Disclaimer:  I don't own the Power Rangers or any characters from the show.  Saban Entertainment or Disney or whoever owns them does.  This has been the first Power Ranger fic I've written in awhile, so I'm not quite sure about it.  I started this a long time ago and have decided that it seems like a good time to finish it.

The Walls Still Stand

After the Countdown...

Nighttime had fallen across the small town, leaving the evidence of the day's battle in a blanket of darkness. Streetlights flickered on and off, casting an eerie glow on the remains of the buildings. After days of attacks, days of fighting, it was finally over. No longer would Angel Grove be attacked by evil beings from outer space, threatening their way of life. They would finally have their peace. But for now, it was time to rebuild. The days of attacks had taken its tole, for most of the town had been destroyed by the fighting. It would be a while before life could continue as it used to, but one day life would be back to normal. It would take awhile, but life would continue as it once did.

Footsteps interrupted the quiet of the night. A lone figure slowly made his way down the street, eyes downcast on the ground. A sense of weariness filled him, but that did not stop him from making his trip out to a hollowed out building. After spending so much time in that building, he felt that he had to visit it. He had to see if it had survived the attack.

As he finally made it to building, he looked at it in shock. The once proud building was now covered in scorch marks. Many of the trees that had once surrounded the building were now reduced to splinters. He took in the destruction that had come to the building, not wanting to believe any of it. After all, it was his building. Just a few short days ago, he had been in the building, watching over his many students. As the principal of the school, it was his job to teach the many students that passed through the school.

Principal Kaplan sighed as he looked over at the rubble of the school. It would be awhile until students once again graced the hallways. It would be awhile until anything in the town was rebuilt. But right now, he did not care about any of that. Right now all that mattered was the school had withstood the attacks of the previous days. His real home had withstood the alien attacks.

This place really is my home, he mused, looking over the destruction of the building. I have spent years here, watching students grow and learn.  Watching them change from children to young adults. 

For a moment, he stood in the torn doorway of the school, uncertain about whether to enter the building or not.  But the moment of indecision quickly passed and he pushed the broken door forward, for once in his life not worried about safety.  For now, it was time for remembrance – remembrance of his school, his students, his colleagues…his family.

As Principal Kaplan walked down the destroyed halls of the school, his footsteps echoed, causing it to feel as if the hallway was emptier than it had ever been before.  As if the life of the school was gone.

The life of the school is gone, he thought to himself as he stopped by a group of toppled lockers.  There won't be life here, students here, for a while.

A flash of color caught his eye and he bent down to pick up a picture that had fallen out of a locker.  As he slowly stood back up, he studied the picture, a small smile on his face as he looked at it.

Ashley Hammond, Cassie Chan, TJ Simpson, and Carlos Veralos.  Yesterday, they were ordinary students.  Good grades all of them, though I always thought they had more potential.  Now I know why they never quite lived up to that potential.

"Who would have ever thought that the Power Rangers were ordinary teenagers?" Principal Kaplan asked, his voice echoing down the hallway, as if he were asking his own school the question.  "Who would have thought?"

He carefully placed the picture back by the lockers they had come from.  He was tempted to take the picture with him but it seemed so…wrong.  It deserved to be in the torn hallways.  It deserved to be in the place where it belonged.

As he started down the hallway, he could almost here the laughter and voices that had become a second nature to him.  Sure, he had always warned students about excessive noise in the halls, but he had never really minded it.  In fact, he had appreciated it, loved it.  It gave life to the school.

Now, without that laughter, it was empty.  Barren.  It was merely a shell of a building.

Stepping over a broken board, Principal Kaplan walked into what was once the detention room.  Like the rest of the school, the room was trashed.  Desks and chairs lay overturned.  Parts of the walls were caving inwards.

Even this place gives me memories, he thought.  He smiled as he remembered two of the most well know frequenters to this place.  He could almost hear them talking, the smaller one repeating the words of the other.

"Ah, Bulk and Skull," he whispered, using the names they were know by to the rest of the school.  "Always getting in trouble, those two."

Memory after memory of their many…experiences came to him, causing him to laugh slightly.  As he did, he breathed in a breath of dusty air and immediately began to cough.  After a few minutes, it subsided. 

I can't stay here that much longer – the air is worse in here than it is out there.

As he turned to leave the room, he could not help but think of the one time he had been absolutely shocked by the occupants of this room.  Five good students, no other marks on their record, had all been sent there on the same day.

I wonder whatever happened to them – they were very like the teens that are the Power Rangers.  Had much more potential than they lived up too.  I wonder how they have changed since leaving?

He left the room, intent on making a few more stops before he left the building.  First, was the auditorium.  So many student events had occurred there – plays, talent shows, other student-run events…so many memories there. 

And then, it was onto his final destination.  At the end of the hall, a door stood closed.  It was not as scorched or torn up as the rest of the school.  It was almost as if it were untouched.

He hesitated at the door, his hand just inches from the doorknob.  For as much as he wanted to enter, he could not bring himself too just yet.  With his other hand, he lightly traced the sign that shined on the doorway.  Principal's Office.  This had been the center of his home for so long.  It had been where he had spent hours sitting at his desk, working on ways to better the school.  As he finally opened the door and looked around, memories hit him.

Mrs. Applebee almost running in, babbling in excitement over the test scores of a one Justin Stewart.

Walking out of his office and inevitably getting his toupee knocked off.  That thing had been more work than he had expected.

Reading test scores and making the decision to allow Billy Cranston to graduate early.  He had struggled long and hard with that, for even though he knew that Billy was more than ready to go, he did not want to lose such an extraordinary young man. 

Walking in the office only to find out that one of his students was in the hospital after a gymnastics accident.  His heart had stopped momentarily as thoughts of losing one of his students overwhelmed him.

More and more memories came to him, so much that he could not enter the room.  Tears came to his eyes as he realized how much being a principal meant to him.  How much this school meant to him.

He backed out of the room, closing the door quietly, almost reverently.  He slowly walked out of the school, his shoes once again echoing.  The emptiness of the school began to overwhelm him and he had a sudden urge to run out, to escape the loneliness and despair it seemed to exude.  But he walked firmly towards the door, looking around once more as he reached the exit.

Even after the attack, it's still here.  And it will be rebuilt.  And students will once again attend it; will once again fill its lonely corridors with laughter and noise.

"The walls still stand," he whispered as he pushed the exit doors open.  "The walls will always stand."