Part 1 – The Gathering
Chapter 2 – The Lost Galaxy In Space
Written By Pink-Green-White-4ever
Story Ideas By: Pink-Green-White-4ever and Marcus
Last Revised: September 22, 2006
Summary: Just when they thought the swords could stay in the stone and the power vault could stay locked, two teams find out destiny has other ideas for them.
Genre: Action, Angst, Romance
Rating: T for now.
AN: I have a mini website set up for this story on my personal website. Just click the homepage link in my profile. Also, thanks to Angela for helping to beta the chapters!
“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” -- William Jennings Bryan --
“Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.” -- Isak Dinesen --
For the first time in a long time, Ashley felt antsy. She and Andros had not left KO-35 for nearly a year, not since the pair had returned after a scouting trip called by NASADA to check out the Mystic Force Power Rangers on Earth. In all that time, she hadn’t had a problem staying on the planet she’d adopted as home. Not until now. Somehow, in the middle of her daily workout, she found herself longing for home – for the sights, sounds, smells, and overall chaos that was California.
The trip to Earth a year before had only yielded some of the information they’d been hoping to learn about the Mystic Force Rangers – colors, powers, zords, etc. The trip hadn’t produced any names or backgrounds, but Ashley knew that her husband had kept some information he’d gathered to himself, information not even she had been privy to. She assumed that he’d shared the information with Tommy after their return, simply because she knew he’d locked himself in their office and had used the secure connection that Billy Cranston had come and set up for them to call Earth; said call had lasted nearly four hours. And for the life of her, the former Yellow Turbo and Space Ranger couldn’t seem to figure out why she was thinking about that all of a sudden in the middle of her afternoon workout routine or why she was suddenly longing for home.
It probably had to do with the final report from Zhane about the Mystic Force Rangers that Andros had shared with her the night before. It had taken NASADA, or more specifically Zhane and Karone, three months to place all data on the Mystic Force team together in a report. It was the same kind of report NASADA had on every Ranger team dating back to the originals, with the exception being that the reports on the original Ranger teams of Earth up to the Space Rangers contained no names beyond Tommy’s and Jason’s.
The Rangers of Briarwood had been successful in stopping the impending invasion of the Underworld in what is assumed to be the magical dimension their mentor was from, as well as the human dimension. The final report had a list of names in it – Nick Russell, Madison Rocca, Chip Thorn, Vida Rocca, and Xander Bly. They were the five core Rangers of the Mystic Force team. According to the report, Zhane had found out their identities by accident on a trip to a local record store called the Rock Porium where he’d overhead their morphers go off and their conversation with one of the other staff members about them doing their “other” job.
During their tenure as Rangers, the team was aided by a Ranger-like entity simply known as Solaris Knight, a cat-like entity known as Jenji, a mysterious White Ranger who made only three brief appearances, a woman simply known as The Gatekeeper, a young woman named Lelee who was apparently a reformed enemy, and a man simply known as Lianbow, who later in the report it was revealed to be former enemy Koragg. Other than that, the majority of the report was about their zords, powers, and enemies, as well as the final battle where they destroyed the entity known as The Master. All in all, the rookie Rangers, as they would be affectionately known until another team took their place, had prevailed marvelously over their enemies.
“Did you expect any less out of five people chosen to be Power Rangers?” a voice cut into Ashley’s thoughts, surprising the former Yellow Ranger. She looked shocked when she saw the woman standing in front of her in her own home gym. If the surprise of seeing an intruder in her home wasn’t enough, Ashley surmised, seeing that the woman was see-through was another shock all together!
“Who are you and how the hell did you get into my home?”
One of the woman’s slim eyebrows shot up in amusement. She had a slight smirk on her face, which made Ashley wonder if she was mentally laughing at her. “Ashley Hammond, I’m surprised at you. Of all the people to have seen me, I wasn’t quite expecting you to be one of the ones to not know who I am, or better what I am.”
“I’m not stupid, you’re a ghost,” Ashley responded in exasperation.
“I prefer the term spirit, but hey, whatever gets you through with the least amount of disbelief works for me,” the woman in a yellow tank top and black karate trousers shrugged. “Do you have any clue who I am or do I need to go through my spiel yet another time?”
“I’m afraid you’re going to have to tell me exactly who you are before I start getting hysterical.” Ashley watched the woman before her sigh in mild annoyance.
Shaking her head, Trini prepared to explain to Ashley the situation. “Ashley, how much do you know about the original Rangers of Earth?”
The former Yellow Ranger shrugged. “Only a little more than the average person, my predecessor had little information for me, and all the Turbo Chamber computers were security locked when I came on board. I’ve heard a little bit from Tommy and Jason, but they refused to use names, simply because they want to protect the lives of their teammates. I have my ideas, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“You probably don’t remember me, as I was out of the country by the time you came to Angel Grove High,” Trini started. She watched Ashley stare at her in interest.
“You went to Angel Grove High?”
Trini smiled then, fond memories of her early High School days washing over her. “Yes. I left my sophomore year.”
“Because I was chosen to attend the International Peace Conference in Geneva, Switzerland alongside Jason; my name is Trini Kwan, and I was the original Yellow Ranger of Earth.”
The original Yellow Ranger watched her fellow former Yellow Ranger tear up at her introduction. She knew that Ashley had attended her funeral alongside the other Space Rangers, and many of the Rangers up to the team in 2001, out of respect for Tommy, Kat, Tanya, and Adam. “How?”
“I was chosen for a very special mission, and until that mission is completed, I can’t go back to the rest I’d like to think I’ve earned over the years,” Trini light-heartedly informed her new friend. “You’ve read Zhane and Karone’s report on the Mystic Force Rangers, haven’t you?”
Ashley nodded. “Andros showed it to me last night. Why?”
“I need you to do me a huge favor, and if you don’t want to do it for me, then I’ll also tell you that Zordon’s asking you to do this,” Trini started, watching Ashley’s eyes well with tears. The original Yellow Ranger cursed herself for being insensitive to Ashley’s feelings when she saw the tears. Of all of them, the Space Rangers had bore the brunt of the guilt shared by all of the teams who knew Zordon; they were the team who had been on guard and on duty when he’d been captured, they were the team who hadn’t been able to save him and in the end, they were the team who had carried out his final command – destroying his warp tube to save the universe. “I’m sorry, Ashley, that was unfair of me, especially since I don’t know you well enough to use that.”
“Is he ok? Is he upset with us?” Ashley whispered through her tears. She had always wondered if Zordon had been okay with what he’d ordered Andros to do. She knew her husband better than anyone, so she knew the sleepless nights and moments of peace that had been interrupted by thoughts of guilt over what he’d been ordered to do. She knew Andros had wished and prayed that there could have been a better way.
“Other than being slightly worried at the moment, he’s wonderful,” Trini assured her. “And no, Ashley, he’s not mad at you, or any of the others, especially Andros. He knew what he was doing when he gave the command to have his warp tube destroyed, he’d been aware for years that it might wind up being the only way to restore balance.”
“We thought it was supposed to rid the universe of evil, but when the Lost Galaxy Rangers suddenly popped up, all of us felt like we’d failed,” Ashley spoke softly, her eyes avoiding Trini’s.
“Ashley, you did what you were supposed to. Like I said, Zordon’s death restored the balance that Dark Spector and his forces had tipped in their favor. Zordon’s death gave each team that came after you a fighting chance to maintain the balance. As long as there is evil in this universe, there will always be good, but the reverse is also true – as long as there’s good, there will always be evil.”
“So our jobs have always been to keep the balance, not rid the universe of evil.”
“Yes and no. Our jobs were to protect the balance from the truest of evils, and let me tell you, there have been plenty of those.”
The former Yellow Space Ranger nodded and stopped her workout. “Trini, what do you need me to do?’
Sighing, the original Yellow Ranger knew it was time to get down to business. “I need you and Andros to gather the Space and Lost Galaxy Rangers and return to Earth as soon as you can.”
Ashley’s face showed all of her emotions clearly; the brunette was horrified. “What’s wrong on Earth?”
“I can’t tell you what, but I can tell you this, it’s worse than anything any of us faced as Rangers, and it’s going to take every Ranger from the last fifteen years to make sure that it goes the way it’s supposed to. Please, go back to Earth, go to Briarwood, and find the Mystic Force Rangers. All will be explained then, I promise.”
Ashley nodded. “Trini, will you do something for me?”
The lithe Asian nodded. “Of course.”
“Tell Zordon we’re sorry, and that we miss him.”
A bright smile blossomed on Trini’s face. “He already knows, Ashley, he already knows. I’ll see you when you get to Earth, I promise.”
Ashley gasped when Trini began to fade away in a crackle of yellow light. Taking a deep breath to calm herself down, the former Yellow Ranger planned her strategy for talking Andros into a trip to Earth as well as how she was going to ask Zhane to call the others, who were all living on Earth in nice, normal lives that were vastly separate from their times as Rangers.
“Alright! Homework is to bring in three resources for me to look at for your paper on the music genre you chose to write on. No excuses!” Cassie called out to her students as they cleaned up their desks and prepared to head to their next class or to head home. The spunky young teacher was suddenly very glad that the day was almost over with. She hadn’t slept well the night before, having been plagued by dreams from her time as a Power Ranger, or more specifically, what happened when Kendrix had given up her life to save Cassie’s. Even nearly a decade later, the guilt still ate at Cassie’s conscience.
“Yes Marissa?” Cassie asked, focusing her attention on one of her most apt pupils. At sixteen, Marissa reminded Cassie a lot like herself, only with a more level head and sense of right and wrong.
“Are you alright? You look upset,” the young blonde said softly, her eyes full of worry.
Cassie smiled at her. “I’ll be fine. In fact, I think I’m going to go home, eat something and sleep. You guys might just get out of your chapter test tomorrow if I’m still feeling sick. Now, go on and head home. Have fun!” Cassie shooed her student out of her room. Once she was sure she was alone, Cassie opened her satchel and pulled out the picture she carried there – it was of herself and the other Space Rangers just before their return to Earth and them going their separate ways. For the first time in a long time, Cassie found herself longing for her friends, her only friends, the ones who she’d shared and experienced so much with. If it hadn’t been for meeting T.J. on the bus and her following him to help Kat and Tommy, she’d have never found the family she’d never had. Shaking her head, Cassie made a mental note to call T.J. and Carlos, just to check on them, and to call Zhane and see if a signal could be patched through to KO-35 for her to talk to Ashley briefly.
“I don’t think that’s going to be much of a problem.”
The young Asian looked up and found herself staring at a woman not much older than her, with long black hair and almond colored eyes. “What do you mean?”
The older Asian woman smiled. “Calling Ashley; I don’t think it’s going to be much a problem. In fact, you may find you’ll be receiving call from her tonight.”
“Who are you and how did you know I was thinking of calling Ashley?” Cassie demanded to know.
“Cassie, my name is Trini Kwan.”
The former Pink Space Ranger looked at the woman before her and studied her carefully. It was only upon closer inspection that Cassie realized she could actually see through Trini. “You’re a ghost.”
Trini nodded. “I need your help.”
A serious expression stole over Trini’s face as she moved to stand before Cassie’s desk. “Your time as a Ranger left an impact on you, one that changed your life much more than any of the others around you. I know it still hurts to think about it, but Cassie, I need you to do something you vowed never to do again.”
“No. I vowed when we lost Kendrix that I would never pick up my morpher again. I won’t go back on that vow just because Kendrix is alive again. I refuse to go back to that.” Cassie shook her head and vehemently argued with Trini’s unspoken question.
“Zordon asked me to ask you to put aside your noble vow and help the others, Kendrix included. Cassie, what’s coming is going to need to be met with every ounce of experience and power we can muster, or the legacy you helped uphold will have been for nothing and the balance that we precariously keep between good and evil will be shattered beyond repair.”
The former Pink Ranger looked shocked from the moment Trini mentioned Zordon and his request. “Zordon?”
“Cassie, I’m the original Yellow Ranger of Earth, do you think Zordon would entrust such a delicate mission to just anyone?” The young woman shook her head. If this woman was right, then Zordon was asking her to take up her Astro Morpher again and do what she’d been asked to the day Katherine had given her the Pink Turbo powers all those years ago. “Cassie, I understand your reluctance. You aren’t the only one who suffered scars and wounds during your tenure that have yet to heal. But I’m asking you, in honor of the legacy you are so much a part of, put aside your doubts and do this.”
After several silent moments, Cassie asked, “What do I need to do?”
“Get in contact with Ashley and the others, and then go to Briarwood. Find the Mystic Force Power Rangers. Once you do, everything else will be explained.”
Cassie nodded. “Trini…”
“Don’t worry, you’ll see me again, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find a couple kindred spirits when you find the other Rangers. Until then, be safe.”
Cassie jumped when she turned to the door and saw Marissa standing there looking slightly worried. “Marissa? What are you doing back here?”
“I forgot my notebook. Are you ok?”
The former Pink Ranger closed her eyes, hoping to hold back the tears that had pricked them. Trini’s words seemed to resonate in Cassie’s heart and mind. The Yellow Ranger was right – Cassie was a part of a much bigger whole, it was time she stopped acting like she was the only one who hurt and get on with her life, even if it meant jumping back into a spandex suit. “I’m fine, Marissa. I’m perfectly fine.”
“How bad is it?” Carlos asked, cradling his cell phone between his ear and shoulder while he made himself a sandwich. He’d only been up for a few hours, but already he’d been deluged with phone calls, the most recent being from T.J.
“Pretty bad,” T.J. muttered from his end of the phone. “I’ll be lucky if I can get away without surgery. At any rate, I won’t be ready for the start of next season, guaranteed.”
Carlos shook his head and hobbled over to the kitchen table in his apartment. The former Black Ranger himself had gotten injured two months before in a practice for a charity game. The injury was slow to heal, making Carlos momentarily wish he still had his advanced Ranger healing, but as the years wore on, what was left of his powers faded. “What a pair we make,” Carlos sighed. “Are they going to keep you on or let you go?” he asked, biting into his sandwich.
“Man, I don’t know,” T.J. grumbled. “By the way, guess who called me last night.”
Carlos looked confused. Swallowing the mouthful of sandwich he had, Carlos contemplated T.J.’s comment. “What’s up?”
“Andros and Ashley are bringing the Lost Galaxy Rangers to Earth. They want us to meet up with them.”
“Something’s up. I don’t know what, but we’re needed.”
Carlos rolled his eyes. “We’re injured; we won’t be of any use to them. Besides, what’s going on that Tommy hasn’t contact you about it yet?”
“I don’t know, but I know it must be serious if the others are coming all the way from Mirinoi and KO-35.
“Are you going?”
There was silence on the other end that told Carlos that despite T.J.’s shoulder injuries, his former teammate was probably going. “My shoulder’s banged up, but Carlos, this is important, really important. I can’t turn my back on this.”
“Alright, alright, I get the point. I’ll make plans to get to Los Angeles as soon as I can.”
“Better make it Briarwood. I’m leaving tonight, Andros and the others are going to meet me there.”
“Ok, well, I’ll call you when I figure out what my flight plans are. Think you can pick me up from the airport?”
T.J. chuckled. “Yeah, I’ll pick you up from the airport. Better bring at least a week’s worth of clothes with you, just in case. You know how these things never last only a few days.”
“Yeah, really; okay Bro, I’ll call you later,” Carlos managed around a bite of his sandwich.
“You got it.”
She could hear the birds singing outside her window, could feel the cool breeze coming through the window; the sound of children laughing was carried along on it like music. Snuggling further into the blankets, Maya thought of going back to sleep, of being lazy for once on her only day off of the week, but there was a nagging feeling at the back of her mind that she was needed somewhere. That’s when she heard the distinctive howling of the Wolf, her one time Galacta Zord, and now one of her charges. Throwing back the covers, Maya quickly dressed in her normal clothes, instead of her Terra Venture sanctioned uniform that she wore for giving tours to new arrivals and visitors to Mirinoi as the Mirinite Official Ambassador, and then raced out of her hut.
Long, limber legs covered the ground between her hut in her village and the sanctuary of the Galacta Beasts in a matter of minutes. When she arrived, she found a lone figure surrounded by all the Galacta Beasts. “Can I help you? This sanctuary is not open to the public.” The figure turned, allowing Maya to see it was a woman. The former Lost Galaxy Ranger staggered back a step when she felt the sheer power the being held slam into her sense. “I’m not afraid of you!” Maya boldly told the figure, her body settling into a familiar fighting stance.
“I should hope not after facing off with Trakeena, the Psycho Rangers, and the Demons in Mariner Bay who were under Queen Bansheera’s control.”
Maya was taken aback that this person knew so much about her time as a Yellow Ranger when so few knew she had been a Ranger. “How do you know that?”
“My name is Trini, and like you, Maya, I was one of a team to defend my world.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I’m the original Yellow Ranger of Earth.”
Trini smiled when Maya’s eyes widened and her jaw dropped open. “You’re…you’re the one who passed. I was there, with the others, at your funeral.”
“Yes, I know, Maya. I’m about to ask a favor of you, my sister in color,” Trini told her softly.
Maya nodded. “Of course.”
“I need you to convince the other Lost Galaxy Rangers to return to Earth immediately.”
Maya looked worried. “What’s happening on Earth?”
Trini frowned, and chose her words carefully. “Maya, I wish I could tell you everything, but I can’t. I can tell you the Space Rangers will be contacting you soon. Please, go to Earth. Take the others with you.”
“Of course. Will I see you again?” the younger woman asked, suddenly saddened by the prospect of not seeing her fellow Yellow Ranger again.
“Yes. I’ll be on Earth when you get there. Hurry Maya.”
Maya’s eyes filled with tears when the Galacta Beasts howled mournfully as Trini’s body disappeared in a crackle of yellow light and power.
Leo smiled, watching various kids run around the park while he cleaned up the equipment from his karate class. When he wasn’t working alongside Maya as an official Ambassador between Terra Venture, Earth and Mirinoi, he taught martial arts classes to grade school children whose parents worked for the crew of Terra Venture. Turning to toss his towel in a gym bag, Leo spotted a slender woman in a yellow shirt and black pants walking toward him. The woman had a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes that made Leo slightly uneasy; he didn’t get that exact look often anymore, especially when a woman noticed he had a wedding ring on, but he still got it none the less.
“Yeah?” he responded, standing to his full height. “Can I help you?”
“I sure hope so,” the woman grinned mischievously. “I’ve already spoken to your friend and former teammate, Maya, but I figured talking to you too wouldn’t hurt.”
“What do you mean, you’ve talked to Maya?”
“I need your help, correction, Earth needs your help.”
Leo’s posture straightened. His eyes zeroed in on the woman’s face. “Who are you?”
She smiled. “The original Yellow Ranger of Earth.”
Leo’s expression softened. “Trini.”
Leo nodded. “You said you needed my help, but you’ve talked to Maya already. What’s going on?”
“While I can’t explain it in great detail, I can tell you Earth’s in unspeakable danger. I know Terra Venture and Mirinoi are your home now, but Earth needs the Lost Galaxy Rangers.”
The former Red Ranger swallowed hard but nodded his head once. “I’ll help Maya gather the others. When do we need to be on Earth?”
“Ashley and Andros will be coming to get you. Be ready.”
“We will be.”