Disclaimer: Power Rangers do not belong to me, they belong to Saban. I do own Jenny, Seth, Sahsha, Alex, William, Adam, Zarian and Marcus Bulkmeier. As well as anyone or anything else you haven't seen in the show.
Author's Note: My thanks to all who have helped me is located at the end of this story. And a very special thanks for Joe Rovang's site. I would have made this fic a complete mess if it hadn't have been there for us writers to use. I'd also like to thank whomever it was that came up with the idea of Ninjor being Dulcea's brother. And yes, I was watching 'Interview with a Vampire' when I came up with the idea, though this story is not a crossover of the movie. This by far, has been my favorite fic, and I hope you all like it. In this fic, Phantom Ranger was not fighting on his home planet at the time of CD2D, and there will be some other differences from the way things really happened in the show. I've tried to stay in Saban's time frame, if there are any mess ups, I apologize for them now. If you like this fic, please email me. I love to hear from you.
Interview With a Power Ranger
2099: Angel's Depth, California
I remember the day I met him. I had been scouring the city around the place that had; at one time, been called Angel Grove.
I had seen the pictures of a once peaceful, quiet city. A far cry from the place of now. This place was a city in every sense of the word. Sure, all of the evil was gone, but that was just the evil from other places. The human evil still remained. And had become stronger in the hundred years since the legendary Power Rangers had disband. If they had truly ever existed.
That was my main reason for searching the city of Angel's Depth. I'm a reporter, and I had come upon book; written some seventy years ago, cronicaling the Legend of the Power Rangers. But, most only believed them to have been a myth. There was no evidence that the Rangers had ever really existed. I was looking for solid information and facts. It mainly seemed to come from the very old, who had heard it from their grandparents. Most of this information, I seemed to take for fantasy. So unbelievable it was.
I had been searching for months. Picking up pieces, of the legend, now an then. On this particular day, I happened to be combing the alleys, looking for people who generally thrived on talk of such things. I was talking to a middle-aged vagrant named Marcus Bulkmeier. He was really getting into talking about the Rangers. Spouting stories of his Great, Great grandfather, a great Detective back in 1996; saying that his Great, Great Grandfather had known the Rangers, and had even been friends with them. I caught myself stifling a laugh on more than one occasion. After all, wasn't the Ranger's identities suppose to be a secret? I was just turning over the disk in my recording scanner, when I felt the tap on my shoulder.
At first I thought it was another vagrant wanting to tell his or her story. This wouldn't have been the first time it had happened. But, when I turned, who I saw was not who I had expected to see. He was young, about my age, maybe twenty, if that old. He was about five-foot-ten, with sunblond, shoulder length, hair and pale hazel eyes. He was dressed in black from top to toe. Wearing a long black coat.
He told me that he could give me a first hand account of the Power Rangers. I nearly laughed myself silly. How could someone at his age, possibly give a first hand account of the Power Rangers? They had only been fable for the last hundred years. A hundred years. But, I was curious.
I agreed to meet him at the address he provided me with; at six o'clock that same night. To say that I felt a little trepidation, was an understatement. I didn't know this guy. He seemed sane enough, for these times, but those were the ones we reporters had become the most leery of. But, my curiosity was peaked. I couldn't let this go, and continue to call myself a reporter.
When he left the alley, I pardoned myself to Mr. Bulkmeier; paid him the twenty dollars I promised him, tucking it into the pocket of his shirt. He didn't seem to notice me; as he was so deep into the story of his Great, Great grandfather and the Power Rangers.
Once in my apartment, I gathered everything I would need for the interview: my recording disks, an extra scanner and of course…a gun. I didn't know what I was getting myself into, and I was going to protect myself to the extreme if that was to happen. Soon the trepidation gave way to excitement. I glanced at a clock near my bed. Three-thirty. I had two and a half hours still; before I was to meet this…man. I didn't even know his name. Who was I to ask for?
It didn't matter. Things would work out, or I'd make them work out. It was the way of the reporter.
Finally the waiting had come to an end. I raced out of my apartment, hailed a taxi, and gave him the address that I had been given. He looked at me a little strangely, which made me nervous, but I wasn't going to give up this chance just over the jitters. I sweetened the deal, and he was more than willing to take me where I wanted to go.
A short time later, I arrived at the address. I could see why the driver was nervous, and I could plainly see why I should have been as well. The buildings were dilapidated. Old torn curtains and blinds flapped in the wind through broken widows. It was deathly quiet here. A million thoughts crossed my mind at this moment. Why had he asked me to meet him here, just to discuss the Power Rangers? Why not a safe cozy bar somewhere? Somewhere there would be a great many people to witness what ever he would do to me.
Taking a deep breath, I handed the fare, plus the bonus, to the driver; who's hands shook as he took the money from my hand. Crossing himself, he quickly raced from the area. I watched him go, and noticed for the first time, how dark it was becoming. Quickly I checked the written address, and gazed at the buildings around me.
Finally, locating the building I was looking for, I made my way up the steps to the broken, hanging, glass doors. Steeling my nerves, I pushed past it. It creaked as I brushed against it. I half expected it to fall, but soon it was still. I turned my gaze to the dark empty hallway that stretched before me. A number of closed doors lined its length, and I wondered what things would jump from behind them at me. And as I made my way down the dark hall, I noticed what seemed to be…lockers?, lining the walls.
My need for news drove me forward, regardless of the cost. I gazed at the numbers on the doors as I passed. Some were broken, and hanging upside down, and others were missing, but the outline of them remained on the paint of the doors. Pieces of plaster ground beneath my shoes as I slowly made my way down the hall, alerting anyone, and everything of my presence.
Nearly at the end of the hall, is where I saw a light. There were no doors to this room, so I entered slowly; my hand in my bag, ready to grasp the gun I had hidden inside, if I needed it.
"Hello?" I called. Waiting for some sort of response. Then I heard his voice coming to me from within the room.
"I'm glad you came. I almost thought that you wouldn't, especially when you saw the place. Come in." I didn't see him, as much as I heard him.
"I almost didn't. But, you were offering me something I couldn't pass up."
"A story. A story of the Power Rangers."
"Yes." I followed the sound of his voice. There, in a room lit with several candles, was the man from earlier that day. But this time, he wasn't dressed in black, and there was something about him that made me feel safe, and smile. And it wasn't just the fact that he was smiling. This time he was dressed in a pair of relaxed fit jeans, and a white, long sleeve turtleneck shirt.
I looked around the large room. There was a couple of steps that lead to a spacious floored area. Dark shapes, that might have; at one time, been exercise equipment, lurked within the shadows. Behind me was a long bark and some delapadated stools, and all around us were the remains of dust covered tables, and broken chairs. I started, when he spoke again.
"We need to get started, if we are to accomplish what I have brought you here for." Again I felt nervous. I guess he could tell. He stood from where he was sitting at an old table, and pulled out a chair, and motioned me to it. I made my way to the table, and placed my bag of equipment on it's scarred top. Thanking him, I took my seat, and pulled the things I would need from my bag. My gun within reach, if I needed it.
"Things sure have changed," he said, as he watched me lay out my equipment. "But, where I've been, Earth is still in the dark ages." I was startled by his comment. Where he had been? Speaking of Earth, as if he had been away from it for a long time? I watched as he picked up the recording scanner, and carefully began to turn it over in his hands; glaring at it, like it was some puzzle to be solved. Then he placed it back on the top of the table, where I had set it.
"I don't understand why you brought me here. You said that you could give me a first hand account of the Power Rangers, but you don't look to be older than twenty…at the most." I added. He just smiled, and took his place at the table across from me.
"This place holds a lot of old, happy memories for me." he said, looking around. The place looked like it had been deserted for a very long time. Any good memories would indeed need to be old, quite old.
"I've been watching you, and I have the most wonderful things to tell you. When I am finished, you will see the purpose of me bringing you here. And by the way, I was eighteen. But, that was over one hundred years ago." I nearly lost consciousness right then and there, then I gathered myself, and laughed.
"I'm sorry. But, you're saying…that you are over one hundred years old? I find this just a little hard to swallow. I've heard everything, but never this. This is a new one. Are you some sort of Vampire, Werewolf or Demon…"
"I can understand. I find it hilarious at times myself, but at others…unsettling. I assure you that I am neither crazy, or mad, or even a Vampire or any other horrible thing. I have all my faculties in order. I will start from the beginning, and bring you slowly up to the present. After I have told you my story, if you need proof of what I tell you, I will be able to provide it. But, not until then." I guess he noticed how unnerved I was, because his next statement eased me a bit, just as much as the one that followed sought to undo what the previous statement had done. "I didn't bring you here to bring harm to you. I have never done anything like that in my life, except in self defense and defense of the world…as a Power Ranger."
I guess I was staring at him, as if he had grown a second head. He just smiled and motioned for me to start my recording scanner.
"The year was 1993…and Rita Repulsa, an evil witch, had been released from her capsule, on the moon, by a couple of curious astronauts.
"I think we were in our Freshman year of high school then. It's been a long time. We used to hang out at a place called the Youth Center, this place." He spread his arms, indicating the whole place around us. "This is where it all began. We were hanging out, talking, when suddenly there was an enormous earthquake. People were running from the building, screaming, while me and my friends were trying to hang on. Suddenly, my friends and I, were engulfed by bright lights, and everything around us disappeared. The next thing we knew, we were flying through the air, at a very high speed. When we landed, rather unceremoniously, we were in a room and all around us were computers, covered in flashing lights. And this is when we first met our Mentor Zordon, and his assistant Alpha 5, a fully sentient, multifunctional, automaton.
"The place was called the Command Center. And it would be our base of operation, for the next two years. This is where we were given our powers by our mentor Zordon, who had been trapped in a time warp tube, thousands of years ago by Rita.
"There were five of us then. Jason Scott, a friend I had know for four years, was to become the Red Ranger. Zack Taylor, whom I had known for the last two years, became the Black Ranger. Kimberly Hart, my best friend, the one I had grown up with, was the Pink Ranger. Trini Kwan, whom I knew for as long as I had known Jason, was the Yellow Ranger. And myself William 'Billy', as my friends called me, was to become the Blue Ranger.
"For the next few years, things would change. The Zords we piloted, the villains we fought, and the Rangers we fought with. When it all started, we were a team of five fighting a villain called Rita Repulsa. Within this same year, we picked up a new member to the team. He had fought against us as one of Rita's warriors. But, once the spell was broken, he became an even greater ally. Tommy Oliver, a new student from Stone Canyon, was the Green Ranger. Then that same year, and into the next, he slowly began to loose his power, and then with her magic, Rita stripped it from him altogether. We also gained a new villain. Lord Zedd. He had placed Rita back in her capsule, because she had angered him, by not being able to defeat us, and sent her back into space. But later, Rita would return and team up with him. And together they would become a formidable team.
"That next year, because of the goodness which was in him, Zordon created a new Ranger, and Tommy became the White Ranger, and leader of the team. Shortly after that, we lost three of our original team to the Peace Conferences. It was hard to see them go, but knew it was for the greater good of the world. What they were doing would be just as important as what they had done as Rangers.
"Trini, Jason and Zack were soon replaced by Ayisha Campbell, the Yellow Ranger, Rocky DeSantos, the Red Ranger, and Adam Park, the Black Ranger. We were a team of six again. That same year, Rita returned, and using a magic spell, wed Lord Zedd, and became a source of power to be reconed with.
"Then, the very next year, the villains seemed to have defeated us. An evil interdimentional being, named Ivan Ooze, stole our powers and nearly destroyed our mentor Zordon, and some how, trapped Lord Zedd and Rita. To save Zordon and gain our powers back, we had to go to a planet called Phaedos. There we met Dulcea. She was the guardian of the planet. It's master warrior. A beautiful and strong, intelligent woman. She was more Tommy's type than mine, I wasn't fond of women who could kick my butt.
"She gave us our Ninjetti powers, but to claim our Morphin Powers back, we would have to cross the Neola Jungle, pass the test that were placed before us, and reach the Monolith at the jungle's center. There we would find our new spirit guides, and our powers.
"It was a hard test, but we were determined to get to the monolith. The safety of the world counted on us reaching it. And reach it we did. We fought it's guardians, and was rewarded with our guides and powers. We were still the Morphin Rangers, but we also had the power of the Ninjetti. Our own personal guardians had changed as well, and we had new Zords.
"Tommy was no longer the White Tiger. He was now the Falcon. Adam changed from the Mastodon/Lion, to the Frog. A change he wasn't too happy with to start, but it grew on him. Kim changed from the Pterodactyl/Firebird, to the Crane. Ayisha from the Sabertooth Tiger/Griffin, to the Bear. Rocky from the Tyrannosaurus/RedDragon to the Great Ape. And myself, I found my true guide. And he has been with me ever since. I was no longer guided by the Triceratops and Unicorn. I was now guided by the Wolf."
I was amazed by the things this…Billy, was telling me. I wanted to disregard what he was saying, as ravings of a lunatic. To be able to laugh at the things he was saying. To refuse to believe the things that he was telling me, to say that they were not true. But there was an unbelievable light in his eyes. A light that spoke of things he wasn't saying. And I don't think he would have been able to put those into words. I found myself being pulled into his world. A world of a hundred years ago. A world of magic, and fantasy. Of Heroes who would gladly give their lives to save the world. And as he told me his story, I found myself reliving it with him. Gone was the city of Angel's Depth. Back was the quiet, if monster ridden, city of Angel Grove. And he just kept pulling me deeper and deeper into that world of long ago.
By now, I had forgotten my gun, and what I might need to use it for. And gone was the outside world around us. It was only the Angel Grove of long ago.
His smile remained on his young face. It was hard to believe he was over one hundred years old. But his words were so detailed, that I started to believe him. At least, part of me did, the more sensible part wanted to deny it all. But I wanted to hear more…I had to hear more. I was in this world with him now, and I couldn't leave. His words wouldn't let me.
"We managed to defeat Ivan Ooze, to save the world, and restore our mentor back to his capsule.
"And during the time that followed Ivan Ooze's death, we were proud to accept the help of Dulcea's brother, Ninjor, from time to time.
"That next year we lost Kimberly, and I lost my best friend, to the Pan Global games, and Katherine Hillard took her place on the team. Just the year before, Kat had been one of Rita and Zedd's evil warriors, just as Tommy had been at first. Knowing that she had been under a spell, at the time, made it easier to accept her as the new Pink Ranger, and the fact that Kim trusted her with the powers, helped. Then tragedy struck. Our Morphin Powers were taken from us, for good. The world had been spun backwards by Rita's father, Master Vile. And in turn we were turned into children. We weren't allowed to access the power, because we were too young. And even with the power, we would have been not defense against Lord Zedd and Rita.
"I eventually was able to create a device to try to change us back to our normal age. I thought that the best person to try it out on would be myself. That way if something went wrong, then the others would be okay. It worked. I was returned to my age of seventeen. But, before I could transform the others, Goldar destroyed the machine, and destroyed the Power Coins. Unable to protect the Earth from the evil forces, alone, we had to contact the Rangers from the planet, Aquitar, to help us, until we were able return things to normal. The Aquitian Rangers were more than willing to help us out.
"Zordon told us of another power. And this power could change things back to normal. Undo the things that Master Vile had done. We had to find the Zeo Crystal. Once put together, the Earth would be brought back to rights, and we would have new powers. Powers stronger than before.
"But, I was not allowed to go on the quest for the crystals. The young Rangers had to go. Zordon needed me to stay and help create a device to put them together once the Rangers returned with the shards.
"The crystal had been separated into five parts and sent into different times in the past. The Rangers had to enter a vortex into the past, and retrieve the pieces. Once their quest was finished, they would return.
"The Aquitians and I waited patiently for the Rangers to return. And one by one they did. Then, when Ayisha was to return, she had decided to stay in Africa, to help them, and sent someone else back with her crystal. It was hard saying good bye, but we had to respect the choices that each of us made. Tanya Sloan returned with Aisha's shard. The last piece to the puzzle. I placed it in the device with the others, and immediately things began to change.
"The Earth stopped it's clockwise rotation, and was turned back to it's correct rotation. The next thing we knew, everything was back to the way it was suppose to be. The Rangers were teenagers again.
"Then, within moments, tragedy struck once again. Thanks to Goldar, Lord Zedd's henchman and Rito Rivolto, who just happened to be Rita's brother. They were given instructions to plant an explosive device within the depths of the Command Center. And for once, they were able to succeed in their task.
"The device exploded, and took the Command Center with it. I tried to stop it, I threw myself on the control panels to protect the others. I took a strong charge, which left me unconscious for a short time. When I came to, I was laying on the ground at the base of the cliff where the Command Center once stood. We were all devastated.
"The Command Center was gone, and so was Alpha and Zordon. We rushed to the top of the cliff as fast as we could. There was nothing there but rubble. Searching through the ruble, we found the Zeo Crystal. I told Tommy that maybe we shouldn't touch it, because we didn't know what effects the explosion had on it.
"No sooner had he put it down, when the ground beneath us gave away. We fell for what seemed like forever. When we landed, we were in a corridor. We could hear what sounded like Alpha, off in the distance. We followed the voices, and found a plasma vortex.
"The voice did belong to Alpha, and he asked us to step through this vortex. Tommy went first, then Kat and Tanya together, then Adam and myself. I literally had to pull Rocky through it. We were greeted by a new Chamber. One Alpha called the Power Chamber. Both he and Zordon had survived. And I remembered this place from the time I had accidentally stumbled upon Alpha and Zordon working on the White Ranger. Alpha and Zordon had teleported down to this place as the explosion happened, and teleported us out of harms way at the same time.
"Then it was time to distribute the new powers. But, before Zordon could give them to us, I made a decision that haunted me for years after I made it. But, it was the right choice to make. I felt that I could better serve the team, if I was working with them…on the inside. I would no longer be a Power Ranger. I would remain with the team, but I would be helping them from inside the Power Chamber."
There was great sadness in his eyes, as he told me of his choice, not to be a Power Ranger. He sat, staring down at his clasped hands. I remained quiet, waiting for him to continue. After a few moments of silence, he slowly began to proceed with his story.
"The Power I had willingly given up, would be given to one of the others. And Tanya would become a Ranger. So much was happening to her in so short a time, that I was in awe of how well she was handling everything.
"Zordon proceeded to designate the new Powers to their rightful owners, thus creating a new team of Rangers. Gone were the Morphin Rangers of the past two and a half years. Now, standing before us, in the new Chamber, was the Power Ranger Zeo team.
"No longer in need of the help from the Aquitians, we had bid them farewell, earlier, and let them return to their own planet. And so, this new team would again take charge of defending the Earth.
"I watched, saddened, and yet excited, as the Rangers were given their new powers.
"For Tommy, gone was the Falcon, and Ninjetti Powers, now he was Zeo Ranger 5, Red. His symbol, the star. Adam was no longer the Frog, he was to become Zeo Ranger 4, Green, his symbol, the rectangle. For Rocky, the Great Ape was gone, and he was to be Zeo Ranger 3, Blue. His symbol, the triangle. This was the hardest part for me to watch. Blue, had been my color for the past two and a half years, but I faced it, happy with the decision I had made."
I could barely catch a glimpse of the sadness and loss he had felt all those years ago. I watched the play of emotions on his face, as he continued to tell me his tale. I no longer doubted the reality of what he was telling me. He had pulled me into his world, and I found myself wanting to be able to go back into the past. To be a part of the world of the Power Rangers.
"But, the next given Powers, were so wonderful to witness, that they overshadowed the sadness of the loss of my own. Tanya, who had never been a Ranger, and probably didn't even know of them, was to become Zeo Ranger 2, Yellow. Her symbol, two parallel bars.
"And finally, Kat. Who had found her place amongst us, in the same way that Tommy had, was no longer guided by the crane, she was now Zeo Ranger 1, Pink. And her symbol was the circle.
"The Rangers were back to being a team, but this time there were only five of them, instead of the six we had become so use to. And now, we had a new villain. The Machine Empire. We had always thought that Rita and Zedd were hard to beat at times, but the Machine Empire was harder.
"For the next two years, there would be more changes happening for the Rangers, than there had been in the two previous ones. I graduated that same year. I had earned enough credits that I didn't need to finish my Junior year, or even return for my Senior year. This made the fact that I'd given up my powers seem even worse. I could no longer hang out with the gang at school. And now, I had basically locked myself up within the Power Chamber, always working on one device or another.
"During that time, Alpha and I created the Defender Wheel, to help the Rangers out, and it was also my first chance to travel to the planet Aquitar. Cestro, the Blue Aquitian Ranger, and friend, had been sent to Earth to find me, and ask me for my help. Aquitar was under attack by the Hydro Contaminators. I agreed to help, and time was crucial, so I wasn't able to say goodbye to the team. I quickly gathered the things that I would need on their planet, and Cestro and I boarded his ship, and left for their planet.
"I must say, that my experiences on Aquitar were quite extraordinary. I had always dreamed of going into space, visiting other planets, and seeing if there really was other life out there.
"I guess I didn't need to be able to travel through space to find other life form, after all. All it took was for me to become a Ranger, and I saw more than I ever dreamed there could possibly be.
"But, Aquitar was a little too wet for me. Ninety percent of the planet was covered in water. And the fact that I was even there, was strange. Because I had spend most of my life; and if it hadn't been for Kimberly, and the rest of the team, I still would be to this day, with a phobia of fish.
"Don't laugh. I almost let the team be destroyed because of my phobia. I had to overcome it, so that I could save my friends, and defeat the latest monster that Rita and Zedd had sent.
"I learned a lot on Aquitar. I learned about their culture, and the many species of aquatic life that existed there.
"But, soon, I started missing everyone, even the bullies who had picked on me so insistently: Eugene Skullovitch and Farcus Bulkmeier. So I decided to head back home. And thanks to Mondo, I nearly didn't make it. They tried to redirect my trajectory, and send my ship into the sun, but the Rangers even foiled them in that.
"Soon the time came, when the Rangers need some extra help. I created a new Zord, and it would work in conjunction with the Zeo Zords; the Red Battle Zord, it would need the use of Tommy's thoughts for it's actions. So, for the Zord to work, Tommy had to keep his thoughts focused, telling the Zord what to do.
"It was hard at first. Tommy's thoughts were in turmoil, and therefore, he couldn't focus for the Zord to battle. It was around this time that Tommy discovered that he had a twin brother, whom he never knew existed. David Trueheart had been raised on a nearby reservation, adopted by Sam Trueheart, and raised there. Now that Tommy's mind was no longer in turmoil, he was finally about to concentrate on guiding the Red Battle Zord.
"But, things were changing, but at a faster pace now.
"It was now 1997, and we were presented with a new ally. I had picked up a power signature, that was; incredibly like the Zeo power signature of the Rangers. I was excited. Thinking, maybe, it would be my chance to undo what I had done, and become a Ranger again. I know I was being selfish, but I hadn't realized just how wrong the decision I had made was, until then.
"It was during a battle, that the newcomer arrived. Dressed in Black and Gold, his helmet carrying the trifold emblem, as well as a power staff. We came to know him as the Gold Ranger. We didn't know who he was, where he came from, or where he went. We only knew, that each time the Rangers battled the Machine Empire, Gold Ranger was there to help. Providing help with his Zord as well; Pyramidus. The Zeo Zords would be contained within the structure, the Red Battle Zord attaching to it's back, to become the largest Zord I had ever seen.
"It was during these battles that I would disappear, causing some gossip to spread amongst the Rangers, suggesting that, perhaps, I was the Gold Ranger. This accusation mainly kept coming from Rocky, the skeptic of the group. Little did the Rangers know, I was working on a project that would be there for them when the next change would come.
"Finally, in a way that we least expected, the identity of the Gold Ranger became known to us. Trying to escape the Varox, who had pursued him, he was shot down over the planet of Aquitar.
"The Aquitians rescued him, and immediately contacted us. He was Lord Trey of Triforia. And the Aquitians needed to send him back to us as quickly as possible. The conditions on Aquitar were having an adverse affect on him, and if we didn't get him back soon, he might die. Unable to receive him at the Power Chamber, because of a block, the Aquitians had to set his place of arrival as close to the Chamber as possible.
"We sent the Rangers to the location, to retrieve Trey and bring him to the Chamber as quickly as possible. Once he was safely pulled from the ocean, where the pod had landed, something quiet strange began to happen to Lord Trey. Due to the effects of the water, he separated into three beings. Trey of Heart, Trey of Courage and Trey of Wisdom. And it was because of this separation, that Lord Trey could not hold the powers of the Gold Ranger. He would need to become one individual before he could take back the powers, but until then, someone would have to safely hold the powers, before they were lost.
"As I tried to get past the block, to retrieve the Rangers and the Treys, Mondo sent down an army of cogs to attack the group. Finally, I was able to teleport the Treys to the chamber, as the Rangers continued to fight off the cogs."
I could see a light in Billy's eyes. I could see everything he was telling me, within them. His words, so vivid, I could see the Treys standing before him.
"So, it was these Powers that they offered to me."
"You became the Gold Ranger, then. You had your powers back…like you wanted." It wasn't a question. My smile spread widely across my face. I could feel the joy within me growing; that he was finally able to become a Ranger again.
But, this joy faded, just as I watched the light in Billy's eyes fade. A deep sadness came over him then. I felt my heart sink with his. He looked deep into my eyes…
"No. When I had created the device to take us from our state as children, to adult, I had also sealed my fate. I would never be able to use the powers of a Ranger again. I would never be able to morph, again."
I was confused by his words. My heart ached for him. The thought of never, again, being able to be the thing you most wanted in your life. I felt the tears fill my eyes. So deep was I in my grief for him, that I was surprised when he reached across the rickety table, to wipe the tears from my eyes.
I'd never know such tenderness before. It was like he had been doing it for others, for years. He casually sat back, and continued on with his story.
"I wanted to cry, then, as well. The device I had created had worked, and restored me to my teenage years. But, one the rotation of the Earth was restored to normal, this started a process in my body; that I did not know about at the time, until the Treys offered me the Powers.
"I was aging. The Powers knew this, and they rejected me, knowing that because of the aging, my body was not strong enough to hold the powers, and would probably kill me.
"I didn't want the Rangers to know this. I didn't want their pity, because I didn't know if the process would continue, and if it did, how fast. And they were fighting one of the hardest battles they had fought in their lives as Rangers. They didn't need the distraction. So I kept it to myself, and asked the Treys, as well as Alpha and Zordon, to keep my secret.
"So, after they had delt with the cogs, the Rangers rushed back to the Chamber, in hopes of finding a new Gold Ranger. Tommy thought he would see me with my wishes fulfilled, but all were disappointed when they arrived in the Chamber to find that the Treys still had the powers. I wasn't thinking clearly, my mind a jumble of questions, trying to find answers. The excuse I gave them, was the first thing that popped into my head.
"I told them, that when the Command Center had been destroyed, I had become charged with negative protons. And they refused the powers of the Gold Ranger."
"There are no such things as 'negative protons'." I stated.
"I knew that, but I hoped that they wouldn't. And it seemed as if they didn't. At least, no one ever questioned it. But, we still needed someone to hold the powers, while the Treys returned to Triforia and found a way to become one. Tommy said he knew just the man for the job…."
Once again, I sat back to listen to his story. I checked the disk, quickly changed it, and Billy continued on.
"No one knew who Tommy had in mind. He left alone to retrieve this individual. The rest of us stayed sequestered within the Power Chamber, waiting and watching. Mondo knew we had the Gold Ranger, and he was determined to have the powers for himself. There fore he had placed another block on the Chamber. I could only get teleportation a short distance from the Chamber. It would have to be up to Tommy and the new guy, to make it to that point.
"I think it was unanimous that all of us thought it would be Tommy's brother David, that he returned with. Once Tommy and the 'soon to be' Gold Ranger were teleported into the Chamber, he wasn't who we had all thought it to be.
"Unknown to us all, except Tommy, Jason Scott; former Red Morphin Ranger, had returned to Angel Grove. I was glad to see Jason again, and that he was in the position to be a Ranger again.
"The Trey's offered him the powers, and the powers accepted him. I was disappointed, a feeling I tried hard to him, and again, Alpha was there offering me his support. Always my robotic friend. Before the Treys left, they offered us a black box, containing five small crystal coins. When we accepted them, the coins became new Zords for the Rangers. We wished him luck, and watched him leave, and we congratulated Jason, and welcomed him back to the team.
"Things seemed to be happening more quickly now. Rita and Zedd were spotted again. Trey had sent us the Warrior Wheel, to help us out, and during an expedition to find her parents, Tanya brought to us a new ally. Auric the Conqueror.
"Then things in my life began to change drastically. As it did in the lives of the Rangers. Mondo and Machina's eldest son, and his wife entered our lives after Mondo's destruction. Prince Gasket and his wife, captured Tommy, and tried to brainwash him into thinking he was the King of the Machine Empire, and turn him against us. We were able to turn the tables, and bring Tommy back.
"Not long after this, the aging finally reached it's worse. In a wave throughout my body, I suddenly changed. I was old, and growing ever older by the minute. I could no longer hid it from the Rangers. And I was desperate to find a cure.
"At this time, Rita and Zedd joined forces with the Machine Empire, and began to attack the Rangers in force. The Aquitians were contacted once more, and their services offered. At this time, I was told about a cure that might work. There was a water source on Aquitar, called the 'Eternal Falls' and the water from this place, might be able to restore my age.
"Aquitar was contacted, and soon Cestria, my friend and Aquitian, arrived with the precious water. The little bit of water she was able to bring, started a very slow process, but I would need to return to Aquitar with her, to partake of the amount of water it would take for me to become young again; treatments we called them. The treatments of the water from the 'Eternal Falls' restored my youth."
"And gave you eternal life." I knew it had, he was sitting here infront of me, looking for all the world to be no more than maybe twenty years old, but claiming to be over one hundred.
"Yes, in a sense. I could still be killed, just like anyone else, and I could be wounded. But, I would never grow old, or feel the ailments of age. Weather this was a gift or a curse…I couldn't say. It's allowed me to see all of the advancements in science, and yet…I've watched all those I have loved, grow old and die." There was a deeper, untold sadness in his eyes then. I wanted to ask more, but a single tear, kept me from being so bold.
So, once again, I allowed his words to carry me away to places I've never been, or ever hoped to be.
"Once on Aquitar, I felt as if I'd found a place where I belonged. Cestria and I were close, but nothing more than friends. I think my last message to my friends, telling them that I was staying, and that I'd finally found someone who understood me, was misinterpreted. They thought Cestria and I were together, but in fact, my heart still belonged to someone else.
"While on Aquitar, I kept an eye on the Rangers, to know how things were faring for them. It was in the following week of my arrival on Aquitar, that I was contacted by Zordon, and he made me an offer that I could not refuse.
"It seemed that the Council on Eltar; Zordon's home planet, had been keeping an eye on our progress as Rangers. They had chosen me to come to Eltar, and begin training as a Ranger Mentor. The things that were happening to me, were only ever just dreams that I had, had since I was a child. And now, they were finally coming true.
"Eltar was the most extraordinary place I had ever been. When I first arrived, I thought that I was looking back on the ancient buildings of Rome and Greece, before they began to fall apart. They were unbelievable. And the fact that the sky was an unusual shade of bluish purple, made the buildings look like the purest white, I had ever seen. They almost seemed to glow.
"I didn't have much time to see the sights, for soon after I arrived, my training began. With my high IQ, it was fairly easy for me to breeze through high school, and graduate early, as well as create a fair portion of the Zords and gadgets that the Rangers used. But, what I was learning now, tested my mind so much, that I could barely grasp what I was been tough. And for the first time, I found myself struggling along.
"Through the long days of training, Zordon was able to contact me, and keep me filled in on what was happening on Earth as well as the Rangers. It was truly the only time I had to myself through the long days, for it seemed the days on Eltar seemed quite a bit longer than those of Earth, or Aquitar.
"It was during one such meeting, that I learned that the Gold Ranger powers were having an adverse effect on Jason. I pleaded with Zordon, to talk to the council, and ask them to let me come home for a period of time, to help, but Zordon thought that I would be of more help where I was.
"And he was right. With what I had been learning on Eltar, I was able to help Zordon and Alpha come up with a plan to help save Jason's life, and reunite the Treys, and restore the powers to him. And it worked just in time, though the Machine Empire tried the best they could to keep it from happening.
"Right after that, Zedd and Rita somehow destroyed the Machine Empire, but, being machines, it would only be a matter of time before they were up and running again.
"The Rangers kept a close eye on Rita and Zedd, but they didn't make any moves toward Earth, but the Rangers kept their defenses up. For a while, things were pretty quiet, and I continued on with my training. I learned new ways to fight, think, and amazingly enough, create."
I'd never been one to wonder about other planets or people. If I couldn't see it right in front of me, and touch it, it didn't exist.
At one point I was wondering if Billy was, in some way, transferring these images into my mind? I still don't know, but I laughed it off, and convinced myself that I had a better imagination than I ever thought I did.
I watched as Billy shifted in his seat, placing his hands on the table, leaning forward slightly, as he continued on with his tale.
"The quiet of the Rangers' lives came to a crashing halt. A wizard who had been pursued from his planet, to Earth, by a space pirate named Divatox, landed in Africa. Zordon sent Tommy and Kat after him, hoping to reach him before Divatox did. Once he was found, he was immediately teleported to the Power Chamber to be taken care of. His body dehydrated by the harsh climate.
"Shortly, we heard from Divatox, wanting us to turn this Wizard, Lerigot over to her, in return for our friends she had taken, and Lerigot's family. She had his magical wand, but only Lerigot knew how to use it, to open the porthole to another dimension, where the island of Miranthius existed.
"She had taken Lerigot's family prisoner on their planet, and was using them to get to Lerigot's powers. Our friends were taken as wedding gifts for her future husband, Maligore, who was waiting on Miranthius for her.
"From the accounts that I had received, she had taken Bulk and Skull first, but Elgar; her nephew, messed up their minds, so they were nearly useless as wedding gifts. So, during a visit to Angel Grove, Kim and Jason had been taken while they were scuba diving.
"The Rangers refused to give Lerigot over to Divatox, though they tried to set a trap to gain the return of our friends and keep Lerigot safe. As soon as our friends were released, they and Lerigot would be teleported to the Power Chamber safely.
"But Lerigot had his family on his mind. So when Divatox's men showed up with our friends, dumping them into the water, Lerigot turned himself over to Divatox's minions, so that his family would be safe. The Rangers were helpless to stop him. So, after Divatox's men left, Adam and Tommy swam out to our friends, to find that they were just dummies. Divatox still had our friends.
"Zordon knew that something had to be done. There was no way that they could allow Divatox to reach Miranthius. If she did, there would be an evil unleashed on the universe that we had never seen before. So he made a decision. It was time to present the Rangers with their new powers. And with these new powers, came new Zords. The secret I had been working on, at the time of the Gold Ranger's appearance. The Zeo Rangers were to become the Turbo Rangers."
"So you were completely aware of the changes that would be happening to them?"
"Only the fact that new powers would soon be needed, and that new Zords would be needed as well. I knew nothing of the circumstances that would bring about this change.
"Not only were the Rangers getting new powers, they were also getting a new member to the team. A first time for something like this to happen. During practice for the karate competition, Rocky had fallen and severely damaged his back. Unable to take his rightful place on the team, he handed it over to Justin Stewert.
"Justin had been visiting Rocky in the hospital, and had overheard a conversation between the Rangers and Zordon. Rocky trusted Justin, so he sent Justin to the Chamber, and into the hands of destiny."
"So, what was so unusual about Justin?" I asked. I didn't really understand what would make him so different, that is, until Billy continued.
"Justin was twelve years old. A child. He was intelligent for his age, as I had been. I guess the team was a little concerned about a child being placed on the team. But, they figured that if Zordon believed in his abilities, then they would too."
"If he could become a Ranger, and defend himself, why weren't you all able to become Rangers when the world had been turned backwards, and you had become kids again? You said that Zordon refused to let you morph, because you wouldn't be able to defend yourselves." There was so much to this story that confused me, and just seemed to pass over my head, but this I couldn't understand.
"I'm not exactly sure myself. I know only, that the powers were different. The Turbo powers, somehow, allowed Justin's body to morph into that of an adult, when he morphed into the Turbo Ranger. Where as the Morphin powers would not have. I think it all had something to do with the Turbo powers being stronger.
"To continue. The Rangers were brought into the Power Chamber, and were given the new powers. Tommy became the Red Turbo Ranger, and piloted the Red Lightning Turbo Zord. Adam, became the Green Turbo Ranger, and piloted the Desert Thunder Turbo Zord. Justin, the new Blue Turbo Ranger, and for a kid who wasn't old enough to drive yet, was taught by Alpha how to pilot the Mountain Blaster Turbo Zord. Kat became the Pink Turbo Ranger, and piloted the Wind Chaser Turbo Zord. And finally Tanya, who had been with us for a little over a year, became the Yellow Turbo Ranger, and piloted the Dune Star Turbo Zord.
"Once again, Zordon had a full team to send after Divatox. To save our friends and our world.
"As new adventures began for the Rangers, my training continued, but the reports from home kept me distracted. Here I was, on another planet I had only ever dreamed of being on, and learning things that only Zordon knew, as well as the history of the Rangers. Thousands of years before we became Rangers, Zordon had been one of the first Rangers there were. But, the conditions back home, kept my mind occupied, and I couldn't bring myself to be excited about the things I was learning. It just didn't seem right.
"Finally word came that the Rangers had defeated Maligore, and sent Divatox running. But she would return. Kim and Jason been made evil by the lava in Maligore's pit, but the spell had been reversed by Lerigot and his wife. Rocky was recovering well, but would not be returning to the roll of Power Ranger. I wanted to be there, to talk to Rocky, but I could not. And Lerigot and his family were free, and the world was safe. For the time being.
"Divatox did return, and immediately started making trouble for the Rangers. And Rita and Zedd had dropped out of the picture again. But the council had heard rumors that the Alliance of Evil was brewing something up.
"In the daily reports that I received from Zordon, I learned of the many battles that the Rangers fought against Divatox, and in one such missive, I learned that the Rangers had located two space vehicles, which would be of great help to them. Storm Blaster and Lightning Cruiser.
"Then the day came. Lerigot returned to Earth. His duty was to release Zordon and Alpha from their positions on Earth, as mentor and assistant, a new mentor would take their place, Dimitria, who was new to the roll, from Inquirius. And a new assistant was sent as well, Alpha 6. They were an unusual pair. I had gotten to know them during my time on Eltar. Dimitria could not give a straight answer, they were always in questions. I knew this would tax the Rangers, but they would learn to work with her. But, Alpha 6 was another story. He thought that it would be easier for the Rangers to accept him, if he had a familiar Earth accent to use.
"Why he chose to sound like he was from Brooklyn, New York, I will never know."
I found myself laughing at the thought of a small android talking in that type of accent. Billy looked at me, laughing as well.
"We had some really strange accents during our time as Rangers. You remember me telling you of Dulcea's brother Ninjor? Well, he sounded like the character from a cartoon I used to watch as a child. Duddly Dooright."
I remembered, very vaguely, a cartoon of that name, but I did in fact remember the voice, and the thought of a person, such as Ninjor must have been, using it, made me laugh harder.
We dried our eyes, and I listened, as Billy continued on with his story.
"I was excited to be able to see Zordon once again, as well as Alpha 5. But, this time when I would see Zordon, he would be in human form. For not only was Lerigot sent to send Zordon and Alpha back to Eltar, but he had, had the power to release Zordon from the tube in which he had been imprisoned since Rita put him there.
"Finally, the time arrived and, as I stood in the Council chambers with the Council members, I saw a bright light descend upon the magnificent room, growing brighter as it neared. When the light faded, there, within the shrinking light, stood a tall, slender, aristocratic man. Zordon stood nearly seven feet tall, his skin pale, and his eyes a deep, wise blue. His robes were white, and seemed to shimmer when he walked.
"His voice was deep, and kind when he spoke. This was a far different man that I had known as a Ranger, but he was still Zordon. And when he saw me, he smiled, then took his place at the head of the Council.
"I watched, in total awe of him, as the Council discussed matters that were of utmost importance. About the Alliance of Evil, and most of all, my training. I would now become Zordon's apprentice. A place that I was more than willing to be in.
"But, before my apprenticeship could begin, something of major importance appeared. A Centurion unit, from the future, crashed in a remote part of Eltar, on it's way to Earth. Once he was brought into the city, and checked over by the scientists, it was found that he carried a very important message about the future, and about the Alliance of Evil. It was imperative that Dimitria get the message, but the unit was damaged, and would take some time to repair him.
"The Council approached Zordon, inquiring of him, what should be done. Zordon told them that he would need time to think upon it, and dismissed all but myself.
"Zordon and I had talked at great lengths, about many things, and above them all, was the fact that I missed Earth and my friends. Together, we came up with an answer to the council's problem. The original message would be hidden in a secret compartment within the suite, and a new, fake message would be installed. Just in case something happened.
"The time came to send the unit to Earth. No longer was the Centurions unit's insides made up of wires and gears, it was filled with a heart, lungs, and other human organs. I, was now the Blue Centurion. I would arrive on Earth with the disk with the message, and a special code for Dimitria to access it's information. And in return, I would be able to be with my friends for a short time, until the original unit was fixed.
"It soon became apparent that the council knew something I didn't. I was captured by Divatox, and when she tried to access the message, I was able to produce the bogus message, which she tried to destroy, then I was released and sent to Dimitria.
"When I was finally able to tell them of the message, the bogus one came on by accident. I was having trouble controlling some of the functions of the suit still, but I was finally able to retrieve the disk, and give it over to Dimitria, along with the code. But, this message was for her eyes only, the Rangers were not to know anything of the events of the future.
"It was hard keeping my secret from my friends, and from letting them know I was inside of the suit.
"Soon, I returned to Eltar, and I was replaced with the original unit. He would carry all of the memories of the things that I had seen and done while on Earth as the Blue Centurion.
"When I returned I found that a major decision had been made, regarding the lives of my friends. The Rangers were adults now, and the council had determined that it was time for them to move on in their lives.
"Dimitria was given instructions, and was told that the current Rangers, must find suitable replacements for themselves. It would require tests, to prove that the powers would go to someone worthy of them.
"I was saddened that my friends would not be Rangers any longer. I knew how they felt. Even though I was training to be a Ranger mentor, I still missed wearing the uniform and fighting in the battles, and most of all, the feeling I had when I morphed."
I watched the expressions on his face change, almost like ripples in water. I gazed casually at my watch, to find that it was nearly two in the morning, though it seemed like I hadn't been there long.
Billy must have caught me looking at my watch. He offered to let me go home, and that we would resume our meeting later that day.
"If you're not too tired to continue, I would like to hear more." I stated. Billy smiled, and gazed up at the peeling paint on the cracked ceiling, but he seemed to be looking past it, as if he were looking into a future that I couldn't see.
"The new Turbo Rangers had been tested and chosen, and accepted by the powers.
"Tommy had chosen, and passed his powers onto a young man, new to Angel Grove, named TJ Johnson. Adam had picked a friend of his, Carlos Sanchez. Justin Stewert would remain the Blue Turbo Ranger. Tanya chose to pass her powers onto a young woman named Ashley Hammond. And, finally, Kat entrusted her powers to a young woman, who was also new to Angel Grove, Cassie Chan.
"The new Turbo team was ready to take up the job of protecting the Earth."
I could see the far off look in his eyes, and my heart was beating erratically within my chest.
I wasn't sure, but I seemed to remember having a Great, great, great grandmother who's name might have been Cassie. I wondered, for a moment, if they were the same person. Could my grandmother have been a Power Ranger? And if she had been, why didn't I know? Why would I have always been led to believe that the Power Rangers were nothing more than legend?
I had so many questions, but I could tell by the look on Billy's face, that any of my questions would have to wait.
"These new Rangers, with the exception of Justin, were new to the world of the Power Rangers. Dimitria was trying as best as she could, to help them, but she was still a novice mentor.
"During this time, the Elders of Eltar, had created a special armored battle suit, and they wanted to test it. I told Zordon that I would be more than willing to test it. I had tested so many things on myself in the past, that I didn't even think when I said that I would do it. It was like second nature. Zordon agreed, and talked with the council about it. After a bit of negotiation, they all agreed as well.
"Zordon informed me of Dimitria's dilemma, and asked me to put together new Zords for the Rangers, saying only, that they would need them and my help.
"It took no time at all to put together the Zords. Then I was ready. All I had to do, was don the suit.
"The suit was made from special mineral deposits found only on Eltar, making the suit nearly indestructible. It's only power source, was a large ruby, set into the chest plate of the armor. For the suit and I to work together, I would be physically bonded to the ruby, and thus bonded to the suit.
"By doing this, the suit would be able to perform all that it was intended for. Especially the Stealth mode. I would be able to become invisible again. Something I had only experienced once before, and it had been unsettling at the time, but with the suit, there would be no side effects.
"The bonding was a very intriguing experience. It took less than twenty minutes for me to bond with the ruby. It was like my blood was being replaced with some sort of thick substance. Initially, it was a bit painful, but after doing it a few times, it was no longer painful, and was nearly like it was second nature.
"Once I was bonded to the ruby, and was in the suit, I could hardly tell I was wearing it. I had to check myself over, to make sure that I wasn't standing there, naked as a new born bird." I laughed with him, his laughter was contagious.
"When the time came, I would be able to return to my craft, where the device to unbond me, would be kept. I would unbond from the ruby, so that my normal biological system could work alone, to restore my energy. A process that required nearly two hours.
"Once familiar with the suit, and it's functions, I was once again, on my way to Earth.
"I arrived in secret. The Rangers would not be able to detect me. When I arrived on Earth, I hid Artillitron away in a secret location that Zordon had given me the coordinates for. After that was accomplished, I flew over Angel Grove, to land my ship in a secluded spot in the woods outside of Angel Grove, where I thought no one would look.
"I decided to take a tour of the town I'd grown up in, and being invisible, I would be able to do it in silence. As I made my way down the main street, I cam upon Divatox's goons robing the Bank. I took this opportunity to test the suit, and use my stealth mode to do it.
"By the time the Rangers had arrived, it was all over. I watched them, in their confusion, from a hiding place. I listened, smiling, as the witness' began to describe what had happened, to the Rangers. That was the first time I hear the phrase, 'Phantom'. And it fit well. After that, 'Phantom Ranger' is the name the Rangers referred to me by.
"But, my attention was drawn to the Pink Ranger. I knew her name was Cassie, but just watching her, I was reminded of a different time, and a different Pink Ranger."
I could see the feelings he was feeling in his eyes. Who ever this other Pink Ranger had been, he'd cared for her very much. I sat back, folding my arms, and closed my eyes, letting Billy's words carry me back to that time…
"Later, the same goons were trying to rob the mine out side of Angel Grove. But, this time, I barely finished the job, before the Rangers arrived. I hid just in time. Convinced that I had to be close by, they began to look for me, but before I could get away, I came face to face with the Pink Ranger.
"I was still in stealth mode, but as I moved, there was a distortion that she could see. I held my breath as she reached out to touch me. As soon as she began to speak, I turned and walked away. Realizing how frustrating it had been when the Gold Ranger had appeared during the Zeo era, I let the stealth mode flicker, just enough for her to see me, and gave her the only name I could at that time. "A friend." Then I left as quickly as I could.
"My mind was in turmoil, as well as my feelings. She had brought up memories and feelings inside of me that I had thought were long gone. And yet… I knew she wasn't the same Pink Ranger.
"It was imperative, that they didn't find out who I was. It was left to my discretion to let them know, when the time was right. Until them, I was to help only when needed. I later found out that Dimitria had traced my power signature, and assumed that because it came from Eltar, that I did as well. It was a good thing that they weren't sure enough to check it out, though they would have been told nothing if they had."
"But, you said that Dimitria was from Eltar. Wouldn't she have known of the suit?"
"She was from Inquirius. And only the Elders and Council knew of the suit."
"I decided to head back to my ship, but when I got there I found that it had been found not only by the youngest Ranger and his friend, but also by Divatox. She had placed a bomb on the ship. I had to help the Ranger and his friend first. When the other Rangers finally appeared, it was the first time that any of them, aside from the Pink Ranger, had seen me. Finally, I was able to get the bomb off of my ship before it exploded.
"As I continued to help the Rangers, Divatox sent torpedoes down to destroy my ship. At the same time, the young Ranger's friend was recaptured by the goons. I had to make a choice, the hardest one I had to make. Either save the boy, or save my only way to unbond with the suit.
"I made the only decision that was right…
I hadn't realized that I had been holding my breath as he spoke. I could clearly see him standing there, looking between the kid and the ship. Locked in a personal battle to do the right thing.
I leaned forward, watching the man before me…
"I quickly grabbed up the boy, and shielded him with my own body, as the torpedoes hit their target.
"As soon as the flames died away, I turned, looking at the empty place where my ship had been. I heard voices behind me, but I couldn't make out their words. I moved slowly, toward the empty spot. With a quick movement, I was able to drop the ships shields and stealth mode. As the ship slowly appeared before me, I let out a long breath, thankful that there was no damage.
"I left as the Rangers thanked me. I needed to hide my ship in a different place.
"I didn't stop to realize how well the suit was working. My mind was in turmoil. The old feelings a