Hi all. I’m moving as quickly as I can here and so I beg your indulgence as I don’t always recreate everything as you might expect. Again, I continue to use as much dialog/events from the show as possible, but some scenes are being changed to fit this series. So with that said, to the story…

 

 

 

 

Legends and Heroes

By Jeannine Trevizo

 

 

-x-

 

Chapter 11: When the Stars Go Blue

 

 

Kira headed straight to the Cybercafe, hoping that Conner would be there. She had to apologize, and she needed to do it now.

 

As she opened the doors, she found the red ranger with Ethan, the two of them working on a paper, no doubt for Mr. Feldman’s History class. Conner always was putting History homework off…

 

“Conner… can I speak with you?” she asked hesitantly, her entire body sending out hesitant, uncomfortable vibes.

 

He turned and regarded her coolly, but she could see the spark of hurt in his eyes. Ethan looked between the two of them and nervously started tapping his fingers on the table.

 

“So, you want to talk to me now?” Conner said, his voice tinged with an angry edge.

 

“Look, Conner, I’m sorry… I didn’t know…”

 

“Didn’t know what?”

 

“That you didn’t stand me up,” she replied sorrowfully.

 

“What?” he said, nearly jumping from his seat. “That’s what you thought? You were the one who wasn’t here when I arrived…”

 

People were beginning to stare, and Kira nervously glanced around and then focused on Conner with a determined look.

 

“Conner… do you really want to discuss this here?” she nearly hissed, her face starting to turn red from embarrassment.

 

“Okay… let’s go outside.”

 

Hurriedly, Kira headed out the door, leaving Conner to follow. Once she was outside, she glanced around and found a semi secluded spot near the café, and motioned to Conner to follow her. Once they were away from everyone, she turned to Conner with a humiliated expression.

 

“I’m sorry I didn’t let you talk to me. I was angry that you didn’t have the decency to contact me directly to cancel our date.”

 

“But I never cancelled. I was there exactly at seven. But you weren’t there,” he said, now more confused than before.

 

“I know. I… someone told me that you weren’t coming,” she admitted hesitantly, knowing that this was going to change everyone’s opinion of the guy they thought was their friend.

 

“Who?”

 

“I…”

 

“Kira, tell me. Who told you I wasn’t coming?” Conner questioned irritably.

 

“Trent.”

 

“What?” Conner yelled, and Kira cringed.

 

“He lied to me… in an effort to get me to not go out with you… and go out with him,” she explained, her lips settling into a frown as she thought again on Trent’s deceit.

 

Conner’s eyes bulged, and Kira wondered if the red ranger was going to loose his cool. She studied him as the idea began to gel in his head, and the realization that the young Hispanic man could have lied to her…

 

“I can’t believe it… he, I, we all trusted him. He helped Hayley… how could he?”

 

“He… he thought if he kept us apart that I’d choose him. But he was wrong. I’d already chosen you.”

 

At her words, Conner focused more closely on Kira, and saw that she was telling the truth. Her reaction to his words, and how she had answered him all spoke to her honesty about her feelings. And when he realized that both of them had been played, his anger sparked.

 

“I swear, the next time I see him, I’m gonna…” Conner started to say, his fists tightening as his pissed off mind began imagining Trent’s face before him.

 

“You’re not going to do anything,” she said simply as she laid a hand on his arm, coming closer to him. “He’s lost, and you beating the crap out of him would just invalidate everything you’ve accomplished as a ranger. What we’re going to do is go out on our date. And maybe, if you’re really lucky, I’ll let you kiss me goodnight.”

 

His eyes widened and she smiled at him. He beamed back at her and quickly caught up her hands and held them close to his chest. She watched him with a flutter in her stomach and realized that she’d made the right choice.

 

“Can we go right now?”

 

Kira laughed and then nodded, and Conner swept his arm around her waist and led them to his car.

 

-x-

 

“Hey, any luck on defossilizing Dr. O?” asked Ethan the following afternoon as he, Conner and Kira entered the command center, finding Kim overseeing Hayley scanning the amber material Tommy was trapped in.

 

“Not yet. I just can’t find an energy source that can safely break the molecular bonds of the amber.”

 

Suddenly from the console, a beeping alert brought everyone’s attention to the monitors, and Kim quickly moved to allow Hayley to sit down and figure out what the alarm was all about. Around the main chair, everyone huddled close by, waiting for word.

 

“That’s weird. The satellite’s picking up a strange reading in the forest.”

 

“Let’s go take a look,” suggested Conner, with Kim and the others nodding in agreement.

 

-x-

 

“Cassidy? Devin? What are you two doing out here?” asked Conner as the team arrived at the site that Hayley had guided them to.

 

“We might ask you the same thing,” the blond reporter said with a haughty tone.

 

“Look, we don’t have time to play games with you right now. Let’s check this out.”

 

As they all turned to move closer to the energy reading, they found themselves no longer alone, as a monster with tentacle like arms appeared on the grassy hill above them.

 

“Pardon me, but I don’t think I’m supposed to let you do that,” it said as it waved forth a group of TyranoDrones.

 

“Quick, run!” yelled Cassidy, turning and heading away, Devin right behind her.

 

Before getting to far, Devin pulled out his video camera and looked to the blond.

 

“Do you want me to get this?”

 

“Hideous mutant creatures like that is news in this town. Let’s get out of here.”

 

“Okay.”

 

With that they rushed off into the woods, leaving the others behind and now free to dispatch the advancing horde without any possible civilian casualties or interference.

 

Immediately the monster directed the TyranoDrones to attack, and the team launched into battle. The four kicked and punched through their respective opponents, and partway through the fight, Kim’s gauntlet beeped, indicating that someone was trying to communicate with her. Pressing the single button to open the channel, she called to the person on the other end.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Kim, I’ve analyzed the radiation from that rock and it’s really freaky. Get away from it,” said Hayley.

 

“It’s a little late for that.”

 

Unknown to the rangers, the monster had decided to inspect the rock. In doing so, the rock’s energy had changed its personality, sending it into a battle-rage, attacking Conner with a flail-like arm to his back, sending the red ranger flying.

 

“Come on you wimps, put ‘em up!” it taunted as the rangers quickly moved around Conner’s half-prone form.

 

“You thinking what I’m thinking?” Ethan asked the others.

 

“Ready?” called Conner.

 

“Ready!” answered the team as they whipped up their arms, converting the gauntlets into their morphers.

 

“Dino Thunder, power up. Hah!”

 

“Purple Ranger, power up!”

 

With that, four power rangers transformed into their armor, falling into battle stance and then launching into a direct attack. With their armor, they now had a better chance at winning this fight. However as they battled the monster and the TyranoDrones, the energy from the meteorite that Hayley had warned them about pulsed out of the rock and struck each of them, hitting their systems like a lighting strike.

 

Once the effect seemed to wear off, they struck out again at the TyranoDrones, their new wave of attacks sending their opponents running.

 

“I’ll be back for round two. Retreat!” said the monster, as he and the TyranoDrones disappeared in an invisiportal, leaving the rangers behind.

 

“Okay. Power down,” said Conner. “Well, that was a challenging altercation.”

 

“I was just getting started. I want to annihilate that goon,” Ethan nearly growled.

 

“Ew, I got dirt under my nails. That’s like, totally disgusting,” remarked Kira.

 

“You guys are such losers. I can’t see why I’m even letting you common folk hang out with me,” Kim stated, and then looked down on her street clothes. “Ugh. I need to go shopping. Where’s my Prada? I need to call my agent…”

 

Their gauntlets beeping brought the four of them back to the matter at hand, and as Ethan pressed the communications control on his wrist, Hayley’s voice cut the silence.

 

“Guys, head back to the lab. I have some news about the space rock.”

 

“Space rock?” the all intoned.

 

-x-

 

The following day, as the team began to return to the cave for another check in on the meteor, Hayley knew now that the strange effects she had thought might have affected the team had most certainly occurred. Ethan arrived first and was doing curls with a set of hand weights.

 

“What’s up Hayley?”

 

“Ethan, are you sure you feel okay?”

 

“Oh yeah. I’m pumped and ready to rock!”

 

“Good morning all. The weather is particularly pleasant today,” announced Conner as he arrived, hair slicked back, books in hand and dressed in a nerdy tweed jacket. “Excessively low humidity.”

 

“Whatever bro,” replied Ethan as he continued his weight lifting. “How do my arms look? I look ripped or what?”

 

“Good morning Kira,” commented Conner, looking to the stairs as a very prim and properly dressed Kira walked down with shopping bags on either arm.

 

“Hello. Sorry I’m late. There was a sale and I just… well, you understand.”

 

“Hey, you guys think I’m ready for the Iron Man competition?” Ethan asked, his eyes settling back on his biceps.

 

“Where’s Kimberly?” asked Conner, looking around the cave as he pushed the newly acquired glasses up his nose.

 

“I’m right here,” rang Kim’s voice, and they turned to see the first pink ranger walk in and everyone’s eyes bulged. She looked like she’d just come from posing for a cover of a magazine – dressed to the nines in a stylish white suit and her hair styled, eyes covered with sunglasses. She whipped them off, showing the delicately painted nails and perfectly painted face as she sighed dramatically. “Please tell me you’ve found a way to get my handsome out of that rock so I can get the hell out of this place. I mean, there’s nothing in this dump. I’m so bored I might snore myself to death.”

 

“Okay, there were definitely side effects from you being exposed to the meteor,” Hayley said confidently as she looked at each of the rangers. “We need to destroy that rock and get you guys back to normal.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“Side effects?” asked Conner, bewildered. “I find that highly improbable.”

 

“Yeah. I feel like I can kick Mesogog’s butt myself,” replied Ethan haughtily.

 

“Oh come off it little boy. You have no idea what a real villain is like. Now Zedd, he was evil,” Kim said with a self satisfied smile as she looked at her nails in admiration. “And it was my Tommy and me, and the others on the team of course that took him down…”

 

Suddenly from behind them, the alert system began beeping, causing them all to hurriedly move to the console. On the screen, their monster foe had returned and was attacking the populace.

 

“I guess that’s gonna have to wait. Look who’s back,” bemoaned Hayley, turning to the changed rangers.

 

Looking to one another and shrugging, the changed rangers quickly realized that even in their ‘normal’ forms that they had a job to do, and were ready to do it.

 

-x-

 

Days later, after the team had fractured in the field and then gone their separate ways to pursue their new personalities, Hayley called them back to the command center with news.

 

“Hey guys.”

 

“What now? I was having a super-intense workout,” complained Ethan.

 

“And I was right in the middle of a very compelling biography,” pointed out Conner.

 

“Is this gonna involve dirt? ‘Cause if it is, I’m gonna have to say “uh-uh”,” Kira stated flat out.

 

“Really Hayley, I hope this is important. I had two magazine interviews scheduled today and a conference call with Madonna,” Kim remarked with a dramatic sigh.

 

“Sorry I interrupted your busy day. I just thought you might like to know I think I’ve found a way to unfossilize Dr. Oliver,” retorted Hayley.

 

“Really?” questioned Kira.

 

“No way,” said Ethan.

 

“Wonderful. Have him call me when he’s out,” Kim replied with a smile that seemed a little too happy.

 

“How” asked Conner.

 

“The meteor fragment. My theory is that it frees your inner selves. That’s why you guys are acting so weird.”

 

“Of course! If you could harness its power, you could free Dr. Oliver from the inside out,” reasoned Conner, his eyes shining with the sudden realization. “Although I do take offense at being called weird.”

 

“Sorry. You’re not being weird. It’s just that the rock is allowing you to show a side of yourself that you don’t usually show,” Hayley explained.

 

“A recessive personality trait.”

 

“You could say that. Like, Conner, there’s a part of you that’s intelligent, studious. Ethan, there’s a part of you that’s athletic, even competitive.”

 

“I still don’t get any of this,” admitted Ethan as he raised his hands and shrugged.

 

“You don’t have to. For now, just pull it together as a team. Trust me.”

 

“That sounds logical.”

 

“Anything to get my handsome back.”

 

“All right, here’s what I need you to do…” began Hayley.

 

-x-

 

Having dispatched the monster, the rangers rode towards the meteor on their raptor cycles, the vehicles bouncing over the rough forest terrain.

 

“Okay guys, lasers on full,” yelled Conner as they came within firing range of the meteor.

 

As they let go the barrage of weapons fire, their bikes bucked and they compensated, arching the vehicles into jumps as they continued towards the crater. Skidding to a halt, they jumped from their bikes and Conner called for them to power down before moving on to the edge of the Earth basin the rock was in.

 

“You think this will work?” asked Kira as Ethan picked up a chunk of the rock slightly bigger than his fist.

 

“The components should still have residual powers that can help Dr. O,” he replied.

 

“How do you know this stuff?” asked Conner.

 

“It’s called education,” fired back the blue ranger.

 

“Okay, that was kind of brutal.”

 

“Stop it you two,” said Kim, looking at both young men as if she was their parent.

 

“Hey, you sound like the old Ethan,” realized Conner suddenly.

 

“Hey, I do,” Ethan answered with a big grin.

 

“Thank you. One more second at a shopping mall…” Kira began, and Kim smiled and wrapped an understanding arm around the singer.

 

“Let’s get this rock back to the lab,” Conner stated, reminding them all of their real reason for being out there, as the group raced back to their bikes.

 

-x-

 

“I assume you’re feeling back to normal?” Hayley asked, even though just looking at them she knew that they were back to their old selves.

 

“Thank goodness,” Ethan said with a sigh.

 

“I heard that,” agreed Conner.

 

“So Hayley, you’re sure this is going to get Tommy out?” Kim asked, her concern evident in her voice.

 

“I’m pretty sure… we have to try.”

 

With that, Hayley slid the rock now in a cylinder into the center of a machine connected to a box similar to the one that had caused Tommy to be fossilized in the first place. The group walked to Hayley’s side, Kira catching Kim’s trembling hand in hers as everyone began to get nervous.

 

“Come on Hayley.”

 

“Activating,” she said as she pressed the buttons on the control panel of the machine before them.

 

A beam of energy gathered on the dish before them, then centered through the point to hit Tommy’s encased form. The electrical-like power began to melt the amber, the material sluing away like so much melting snow.

 

Without warning, the machine powering the transformation sparked, and exploded in a shower of white sparks, causing everyone to start or scream.

 

“Oh!” cried out Hayley.

 

“The rock! It’s fried,” announced Kira as she looked into the quiet and dark center of the generator and lifted the cylinder out.

 

“Yeah, but look,” remarked Conner, pointing to the subject of the rock’s purpose.

 

“It worked!” yelled Kira, and she turned to see Kim start to faint, and reached over to help steady the purple ranger until she had her feet back under her.

 

Tommy stood there, his body moving in his black ranger armor, just like he had been frozen by Jason.

 

“Dr. O.”

 

“Awesome!”

 

Everyone but Kim raced to Tommy’s side. She stood there, still barely keeping herself standing as she fought not to cry. He was back…

 

“Good job guys,” he said as he looked at the teens and Hayley. “Power down.”

 

Yet at his words, nothing happened.

 

“I said, power down!”

 

Again, nothing happened. Everyone started to show the fear on their faces, and even in his stance, it was obvious that Tommy was worried too.

 

“I think we might have a problem,” he said quietly.

 

“Tommy?” Kim questioned suddenly, as she moved to him, parting the others and reaching out to touch his chest.

 

“Hey Beautiful. It looks like I can’t unmorph.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“I…” he started, his eyes locked on Kim’s through the visor as his heart thudded loudly in his chest.

 

Then, without any explanation, the black ranger’s uniform dissolved, leaving Tommy standing there in his civilian garb. Kim moved and caught Tommy up in a huge hug, her fear at having him fossilized and then stuck in his ranger uniform ebbing.

 

“Wow Dr. O, you really had us scared there,” said Ethan, as all the teens sighed and looked among themselves, happy that their teacher and team mate was finally back.

 

“Hey Kim, I’m okay,” Tommy remarked as he started to feel his ribs complaining at the tight grip Kim had on his torso, and looked down to see her face buried in his chest.

 

“You scared me to death,” she murmured, only easing up on her ‘death’ hug enough to give him some more air.

 

He smiled at that, and reached up to stroke her hair, hoping to soothe her and himself. He looked around the room and realized suddenly that someone was missing.

 

“Where’s Jason?”

 

At his question, Kim’s face raised and she swallowed hard. The last he had known, Jason was still under the evil spell…

 

“Tommy, we need to talk. Hayley, can I take him upstairs?”

 

“Sure. I’ll just want to run some more tests later. I’ll send the kids home and then close up.”

 

Kim nodded her thanks and smiled at the team as she led Tommy away from the center of the cave and to the stairs. Once they were in his living room, Kim moved to the couch, sitting down on it as she warily watched Tommy come to her side.

 

“Kim? What happened? Did you save Jase?” he asked rapid fire, his concern growing at Kim’s reluctance to talk downstairs.

 

“He’s fine… well, as fine as someone who was just under an evil spell’s influence and just released can be,” she quickly explained, and watched as his shoulders seemed to loosen up and the pain in his eyes lessen. “He went home, back to Angel Grove to get his head together. I knew you’d understand…”

 

Tommy nodded, knowing that between the attacks on the team, Kim and himself that his long time friend was no doubt starting to understand in unfortunate detail just what he had gone through following his time as the evil green ranger.

 

“At least he’ll have friends there that will understand…”

 

“I called Trini and let her know what to expect when he got back.”

 

“What did she have to say?”

 

“She was worried about me… having you trapped and Jason guilt-ridden and leaving me alone to take care of things. I told her that as long as I knew that you would be okay and Jason was on the mental mend, I could hold things together.”

 

“And have you?” Tommy asked, reaching over to catch her hand tenderly and tugging her closer to him.

 

“No, not really,” admitted Kim softly. “But I didn’t have any choice. I had to stay focused.”

 

“But you don’t have to do that now.”

 

At his words, the first tear pooled and then slid loose of her lashes, streaking down her face. He immediately moved to wipe away the tears, his eyes showing the love and hurt for her he felt. She nearly hiccupped and swallowed hard as she tried to get her emotions back under control.

 

“I was so scared… that we wouldn’t find a way to save Jason or you… “

 

“But you did both Kim,” he said as he cradled her face in his hands. “I’m so proud of you Beautiful. You proved that you always have deserved to be a ranger, and that you can handle anything that comes your way. If Zordon had known, he might have made you the leader all those years ago instead of me.”

 

Kim couldn’t help smiling then.

 

“So, how about we go and get some sleep?” he said, standing up and reaching down to help Kim up.

 

When he didn’t lead them to the front door, but towards his bedroom, Kim slowed and stared at him, causing him to stop and then let her go. He licked his lips nervously, and ran a hand through his hair before catching her gaze.

 

“Tommy?” she whispered, unsure of what was going on.

 

“Kim, I… I know that before you stayed while Jason was evil so we could both get some sleep, but… I was hoping that even though we haven’t gotten to date as much as we’d like…”

 

“Tommy, we’ve had one official date since we settled things between us.”

 

“I know. But I’d really like it if you stayed… even if it was just for tonight.”

 

“But you’d rather it be permanent?” she questioned, a hint of awe and something else in her voice.

 

“Yes… I know that we haven’t…”

 

Before he could get another word out, Kim nearly jumped forward and pulled his head to hers in a fierce kiss. Immediately he responded, wrapping his arms around the petite woman before him and holding her to him like his life depended on it. When she finally let him go, she looked up at him with new tears on her lashes.

 

“Let’s go to bed,” she said lightly, and then smiled a stunning smile at him. “I’ll pack up my things in the morning.”

 

Tommy grinned and looped his arms around her waist, lifting her feet off the floor and proceeded to carry her to ‘their’ bedroom.

 

-End-

 

Yeah… it looks like things are finally getting better for everyone.

 

Okay – Author’s note shameless plug: I have a video trailer! A wonderful woman, Estel Kenobi of Power Ranger Universe.net replied to a message on their board about another video by their members, and offered to do a “Trailer” for Always a Ranger. Please see this video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6boNvAniow