Disclaimer: The Power Rangers were once the property of Saban and are now owned by Disney who will soon control half the planet.
Author's note: The goal of this fanfic is to answer many of the unanswered questions brought up in Power Rangers. I will do my best to fill in the many plotholes especially the big ones brought up by Forever Red. This fic is a monster that has completely taken over my life and has an outline of 45 chapters which is sure to be expanded. It has also spawned five other large fics which may never see the light of day. Though I hate to leave things unfinished, I do not guarantee that I will finish this, but I will do my best. Reviews can really help.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to the Writer's Guide to the PR Universe for much helpful information.
Once a Ranger
"Oh, really." With his eyebrows raised, Andros leaned back in his chair and pointed an accusing finger. "So, you're the one who decided to take my ship for a joy ride."
"I…I…." Stuttering, Kai looked to his friends for assistance but was acknowledged only by their snickering.
"And you." The Red Astro Ranger moved to level his finger at the Green Galaxy Ranger. "Weren't you hired to take care of the Megaship?"
Damon raised his hands in protest. "Hey, this guy just pushed his way onto the ship and started ordering people around. What was I suppose to do? Let him fly the thing? He would have crashed before he even got off the ground."
Laughter spread among the eclectic group of youth sharing drinks in the near perpetual sunshine of Terra Venture. Outside a café away from the crowds, they lounged, tables pulled close together protected from the sun by two large, canvas umbrellas. The laughing was commonplace as they told tales like they were old friends instead of strangers who had only met a few hours before.
"I happen to be a perfectly good pilot," contended Kai crossing his arms across his chest. "I just wasn't familiar with the controls."
"Sure you are," Leo smirked slapping the Blue Galaxy Ranger on the back. He received a glare in return.
"Well, as we just explained, I didn't have much of a choice," Kai defended having just been elaborating on the adventurous story of the formation of the Galaxy Rangers.
"Don't worry about it." Carlos waved it off. "Besides we actually knew most of this before we came."
Four pairs of eyes shot up and turned towards him.
Grinning at their bewildered expressions, TJ explained. "Alpha's been keeping us informed."
"Okay…" Leo's eyes were wide. "That'll teach us not to underestimate the little guy."
"He's been spying on us?" Maya frowned.
Damon shrugged. "It's only fair. After all, we did steal their ship."
"Borrowed! Borrowed their ship," insisted Kai.
"Just take good care of her," Andros instructed. "We only loaned her to Terra Venture as good luck."
"We haven't had much of that, I can tell you," commented Damon shaking his head. "But the ship sure has come in handy."
"We're just glad someone is able to put it to good use," TJ remarked.
Finishing off his drink, Carlos nodded. "Considering the Wave of Light pretty much destroyed all active evil on this side of the universe, we didn't think we'd be needing it or our morphers any time soon."
"These guys weren't really cut out for space travel anyway."
Ashley punched Andros in the arm in protest. "I'm surprised you gave it up."
"I wanted to stay close to you guys." The Kerovian paused absent-mindedly rubbing his arm before continuing. "The Astro Megaship's been getting a little run down anyway. She's not that old, but she's been through a lot."
"Well, I for one promise to take good care of her," pledged Damon, the other Galaxy Rangers chiming in with their agreement.
Andros gave a grateful smile. "Thank you."
"So, what have you been up to?" inquired Leo leaning forward. "I'm surprised you guys didn't become instant celebrities after everything that happened."
The Astro Rangers looked at each other. "Let's just say we have a special arrangement with the media," replied TJ. "As far as we know, knowledge of our identities never left Angel Grove. And even there it hasn't been spread around."
Carlos smirked. "The rest of the world isn't even sure if Power Rangers actually exist."
"For which we are immensely grateful," exclaimed the Yellow Astro Ranger. "I don't know how we would have made it through our last year of high school with reporters hounding us everywhere."
Kai's eyes grew wide. "High school?"
"We graduated a couple of weeks ago."
"Wow." Leaning back in his chair, Kai ruffled a hand through his short hair. "Sorry, but that's just amazing. I didn't realize you had been so young."
"Hey," Carlos offered. "It's not as if we were the youngest to become rangers."
"And we're only a couple of years older than they were," added Maya.
Intently curious, Leo continued his questioning. "What about you, Andros? I don't suppose you've been attending classes."
Andros shrugged. "I've been keeping myself busy. There was a lot of reconstruction to do after Dark Specter's attack."
"Luckily, the people of Angel Grove have a lot of experience in that area," put in TJ. "Things got rebuilt fairly quickly."
Nodding, Andros continued. "I also did some work on Terra Venture."
"Really?" Kai raised his eyebrows. "I'm surprised we never ran into each other."
"I mainly worked in the background." Dismissing more questions on the subject, the Red Astro Ranger leaned his elbows on the table, his fingers intertwined, and continued. "Since the launch, I've mostly been doing work for KO-35. There's still a lot to be done before the colony's back on its feet. That's where Zhane is right now."
"Zhane's the Silver Ranger, right?" inquired Maya.
Nodding, Ashley smirked. "And he's sure going to be sore when he hears he missed this. I'm sure he would have loved to have a go at the Psychos again. He and Karone visit us a lot, especially since he and Andros started working on that special project of theirs." She turned an indignant glare at her boyfriend. "Which they refuse to tell us anything about."
"It's a secret," Andros defended himself. "And it doesn't look like it's going to be done any time soon. We all have a much more important project to work on, which is the reason I'm afraid we can't stay longer."
"What is it? Is Earth in danger?"
Rubbing his temple, the Blue Astro Ranger let out a deep breath. "Not yet."
"You know I was kind of thinking college after graduation but…" Carlos shook his head.
"There's this prophecy," TJ continued. "5000 years ago a group of demons that inhabited the Earth were trapped in a tomb by a powerful warlock."
Damon raised an eyebrow. "Demons?"
"Demons, mutants, orges." Andros shrugged. "You'd be surprised by all the things evil can throw at you."
"Well, according to the prophecy, the demons are due to escape soon. The people who've been watching over the tomb contacted us hoping we could help. We've been working with them to create some defenses. We were in the middle of plans for a new base when Andros mysteriously disappeared."
His arms crossed, Carlos leaned back in his chair. "You know I had really hoped he'd gotten over that habit of rushing off on his own like that."
TJ agreed. "We had no idea what was going on until Alpha contacted us."
Everyone turned to Andros expectantly.
Seeing the expressions on his friends' faces, Andros gave up any hope of them forgetting his little escapade and with a sigh began his story. "I received a transmission a few days ago from an old friend. He said there'd been rumors going round that the keycards containing the Psycho Rangers had been found. I thought, or at least I hoped, they were just rumors. I didn't want to bother you guys if it wasn't true. So, I took my galaxy glider to Onyx…"
Ashley winced and Carlos shook his head saying, "You sure love to live dangerously."
"What's Onyx?" questioned Kai.
"A planet where all the leftover evil riffraff of the universe seem to enjoy hanging out," explained TJ as he cast a stern glance at the Red Astro Ranger.
"It also happens to be a great place to get information." With a shrug and a slightly sheepish look, Andros continued. "Anyway, I asked around and was able to find out a little about what happened. I'm not sure who found the keycards first because they changed hands so many times. Apparently, there was a lot of backstabbing involved as people tried to sell it to the highest bidder. Someone got the great idea of locking them in a box and selling it and the key separately. I managed to get hold of the guy who had the box and convinced him I wanted to buy the keycards. Unfortunately, the guy was more interested in getting the key. When I finally tracked him down, he was dead and the box was empty. As our bad luck would have it, the guy who killed him turned out to be Deviot. I headed for Terra Venture, but I was too late, he had already freed the Psychos."
Patting his hand, Ashley reassured Andros. "But everything worked out."
"Yeah," agreed Carlos. "And it's almost a good thing considering we needed to come here to get our morphers anyway."
"You're kidding." TJ shook his head. "Psycho rangers are never a good thing."
Everyone laughed as they agreed with the blue ranger's statement.
Leo grinned. "This is amazing. I wish Mike was here to hear all this."
"Well, some people have actual jobs," retorted Kai.
"Well, some people like their jobs a little too much." Brow furrowing, the Red Galaxy Ranger looked around. "Shouldn't Cassie be back with Kendrix by now?"
"I hope she didn't get lost," worried Ashley.
"I'm sure she's fine," reassured Carlos. "If there's trouble she'll call."
Leaning forward over the table with a large grin across her face, Maya demanded, "So tell us more of your adventures."
"Well…" Ashley exchanged looks with her friends. "There was the time we met the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."
"There's no such thing."
"That's so cool!"
A familiar beep and a call interrupted the outpouring of exclamations and questions. Laughter and smiles were swept away. Without a thought, Leo lifted his summoned morpher activating the communicator.
"Rangers, come in. We're pursuing Psycho Pink. She's going to planet Rashon."
"Psycho Pink? Still alive?"
Expressions shifted from concern to shock to blank set faces of action as adrenaline pumped readying them for what they were about to face.
"We're on our way."
Chapter 1: Changing Destinies
As everyone tries to deal with the death of Kendrix, the Space Rangers find themselves facing another unexpected change of plans.