Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Power Rangers used here; all are the property of Saban/Jetix/Disney (Who does own the rights to the series these days anyway?)
Feedback: Please do; I'd like to know I'm not wasting my time here
Dino Thunder: Generations
"Damn…" Ethan groaned the next day as he slumped into the sofa at Hayley's Cyberspace, the other Rangers gathered around him as they reflected on recent events. "Who'd have thought it, huh? After all that Mesogog put us through- to say nothing of what he wanted to do to the planet if he'd succeeded-, when he finally bites the bullet, nobody even knows we've won…"
Conner shrugged nonchalantly at his friend's comment, his arm around Kira as they both sipped at their milkshakes. Since returning to the present, the new relationship between the two of them had surprised many people at the school, but in general the two of them had avoided being the subject of too much gossip from anyone other than the likes of Cassidy, commonly in the form of bets regarding how long the pairing of the jock and the alternative rocker chick would last, but the two of them tended to ignore it.
"Eh, it's not like we got into this whole thing for the recognition; there's a reason they're called secret identities, you know," he said dismissively, leaning over to kiss Kira lightly on the forehead as he put his drink back down. "Besides, in my book, I'd say we got a pretty good victory in the end; bad guys got their asses kicked, and the good guys walk away unscratched."
By dint of an unspoken agreement, nobody mentioned the woman who'd once been Elsa. Hayley had detected another Invisiportal activating as the team had fled Mesogog's fortress, suggesting that Elsa had escaped before it exploded, but none of them had managed to find where she'd gone afterwards and nobody had felt like trying to return to the island to confirm whether or not she'd actually managed to escape. As Ethan put it, this was one case where ignorance was bliss; so long as they didn't go back to the island, they didn't have to know for certain whether she'd escaped or whether she hadn't.
Maybe it wasn't the most heroic action to take, but none of them felt like actually trying to find out either way what had happened to her. They knew that they'd been in the middle of a fight and hadn't exactly had much choice or time available to them, but that still didn't make the knowledge that they'd left her behind much easier to bear.
Still, that's the life of a hero for you, I suppose, Conner mused to himself as he took another sip of his milkshake. Sometimes the hardest part is learning that you can't save everyone.
"So…" Trent said, after a moment's pause as the team took a moment to reflect on Conner's last statement, "what do we do now? I mean, we still have our powers, but there's no bad guys for us to use them against…"
Conner shrugged. "What any Ranger with their powers intact after the last bad guy's gone down, I guess; keep a hold of them and wait for the next team and their respective villain show up on the scene," he said as he put his milkshake down. "If they need help with their adversary- or if there isn't a Ranger team available to fight him-, we'll be there to deal with the situation; if not…"
He shrugged casually. "Well, at least we'll have some interesting mementos of our time here."
"Yeah, there's that," Tommy admitted, nodding in confirmation at Conner. "I mean, I've still got access to my old Zeo powers if I ever needed them; I just never saw a need to start using them again when I moved here."
"Not even when Mesogog showed up?" Ethan asked, looking over at their mentor curiously. "I would've thought you'd have been eager to get back into the suit in that kind of situation."
Tommy shrugged. "At the time it started I didn't know whether Mesogog and the others even knew I was in town; I didn't see a need to start wearing the Red Zeo morpher again until I knew for sure whether or not I'd need it," he explained. "Besides, morphers work best when in a group of similarly-powered Rangers, whether the similarity is in where the power comes from or the colour it is; even if I'd tried using the Red Zeo Morpher, it wouldn't have been anything like as efficient as it had been back when I'd been active with the rest of the team."
"Oh, so that's why you just stuck with the Black Dino Gem all this time rather than use a bit of back-up, huh?" Conner asked, before he looked curiously at the coin on his belt. "Wait a minute; if the morphers don't work as well unless they're with others…"
"Just two working together is enough to unlock their full potential; you and Kira still have enough power available to you both to access the full scale of your powers," Tommy assured them, before he smiled slightly. "Besides, it looks like Ninjor gave you a few little extras that I definitely don't think any previous Rangers have ever had."
"The double-power thing?" Kira asked, smiling slightly as she reached over to touch her Dino Gem with one hand before she reached down to gently trace the now-familiar shape of her Purple Power Coin. "Yeah, that's definitely something we weren't expecting…"
"You mean you never thought about trying it with your Zeo morpher?" Conner asked, looking in surprise at Tommy.
Tommy shrugged. "From what you've told me, Ninjor's the only reason your powers are able to combine like that; whether it's because you already had powers when you visited him or because he deliberately altered the powers to work with each other, I don't know, but combining powers has never worked for me. Even when I once tried to combine my Zeo and Turbo powers it didn't work; we'd upgraded to the Turbo powers to deal with Divatox, and that was it for the Zeo powers."
"Did you ever-" Trent began, only to be stopped when Conner and Kira suddenly sat bolt upright in their chairs, staring in shock at something behind the other three Rangers.
"No way…" Kira breathed, as she turned to look at Conner. "It… it can't be them…"
"Well, who else could it be?" Conner replied, although his face retained a version of the same shock that now filled Kira's. "What are the odds of an identical group to… them… showing up here so soon after we got back?"
"What?" Tommy asked, turning to look at whatever had left the Red and Yellow Rangers so shocked, only for his own jaw to drop as he took in the sight before him.
Standing at the counter, talking to Hayley, all of them apparently ignorant of the puzzled look the team's technician was giving them, as though she was trying to place where she'd seen them before, stood five figures- three men and two women, dressed in dark casual clothes and jackets of various descriptions. One of the men looked somewhat Asian in appearance, wearing loose black clothes that seemed to have been chosen specifically for freedom of movement, another had a vaguely Spanish look about him, and the third man struck them as being more of an intellectual, dressed in a dark blue shirt and trousers with a dark jacket. The two women presented a more vivid contrast; one was a dark-skinned woman wearing black trousers and a yellow top, while the other one was a pale-skinned blonde woman in a pink top and black skirt.
"…could tell us where we might find Conner McKnight and Kira Ford?" the man in the shirt said, looking inquiringly at Hayley. "We're… well, we knew them a long time ago, and we thought we'd-"
"Billy?" Conner, Kira and Tommy yelled simultaneously, drawing the gazes of all five of the new arrivals in the direction of the call.
"What the… Tommy?" Billy said, as he and the others stared incredulously at the team's Black Ranger, before their eyes fell on the people beside him. "Wait a minute; Conner and Kira? You found them already!"
"Of course I found them; I… I made them what they are!" Tommy replied, smiling broadly at his friends as he walked around the sofa the Dino Thunder team had been sitting on; evidently he was taking care to watch their conversation in a public location.
"Wait a minute; you gave them the Gems?" Rocky said, looking between the Black Ranger and Conner and Kira in evident shock, a broad grin on his face as he spoke. "Damn… I know you said your power source wasn't from the same source as ours, but from him?"
"Hey, we were trying to limit the information we gave you; telling Tommy then about Doctor O. here was risking a bit more than we felt comfortable with," Conner replied, grinning broadly as he shook enthusiastic hands with the men in the group while Kira exchanged hugs with the women.
"Seriously, though, what brings you guys here?" Kira asked, pulling back from Kat and Aisha in surprise. "I thought you'd all moved away after you… y'know, 'left' your 'jobs'."
"Well-" Kat began saying.
"Uh… could Trent and I get a cast list, please?" Ethan put in, raising his hand as he looked in confusion between his friends, his teacher and the new arrivals. "I mean, who are these guys?"
"Ethan, c'mon; you don't recognise them from the historical footage Doctor O.'s shown us?" Conner grinned, as he walked around to stand behind Billy and Rocky, clapping his hands onto their shoulders as he looked at his friend. "Billy here is the guy who pretty much started your area of our… job…, and Rocky here was the second guy in my area!"
Ethan and Trent's eyes widened in shock.
"Wait, you mean… you were Rangers?" Ethan hissed, leaning in to stare between the group of people before them. "As in, Doctor O.'s first team of Rangers?"
"Well, only Billy here was on the team at that point; the rest of us were relatively newer additions to the team," Aisha explained, smiling slightly at the Blue Ranger before she turned to look at Tommy. "Seriously, though; Doctor Tommy Oliver? No wonder we couldn't find you in the phonebook; who would have thought that you'd end up with a doctrate?"
"Hey, it's not like I was that bad back in high school," Tommy protested half-heartedly, the grin on his face evident as he turned to indicate Hayley with a further smile. "Which is not to say I didn't have help, of course. This is Hayley, by the way; she helped me get through graduate school, as well as giving us all a hand to develop our… equipment."
"Oh, so she knows about…?" Kat asked, waving a hand uncertainly.
"Technicolour Tommy?" Hayley put in, smiling slightly at the former Rangers. "Trust me, I know all about that."
"Actually, she's the 'tech expert' we mentioned to you guys while we were… visiting you," Kira explained, smiling at Aisha and Kat as she indicated the cybercafe owner. "She made our… bracelets…, helps monitor the… tools of the trade…, and she's come up with all kinds of equipment for us over the course of our time in the… business."
"Really?" Billy said, looking at Hayley with renewed respect. "You have my congratulations, then; those were some exceptional pieces of work."
"I do what I can," Hayley said, hiding her evident pride at praise like that from the Ranger tech-expert who'd set the standards for all of the following Ranger teams. "Glad to know I made an impression."
"Uh… not that it's not great to see you, but what are you even doing here?" Trent asked, speaking for the first time since the old Rangers had arrived in the Cyber-Café. "I mean, it just seems like a bit of a stretch to think that you're here by chance…"
"You're right; we're not," Adam said, smiling slightly at the White Ranger before he glanced over at Tommy. "Just out of curiosity, when did your memories come back?"
"Uh… pretty much when Conner and Kira came… back…" Tommy began, trailing off mid-sentence as he realised what Adam was implying at the same time that Conner and Kira did.
"Your memories of our visit came back?" Conner said, him and Kira grinning at their old 'friends'- the friendship had been brief, but they'd shared so much that 'acquaintance' seemed woefully inadequate to describe their relationship- as they realised what they were saying. "So… you decided to drop in for a visit? Wasn't that a bit far; last I heard, Aisha ended up in Africa after she retired from the game!"
"Eh, what can I say?" Rocky smiled, as he grinned at his successor. "We felt like making sure that you guys got back OK; we haven't really heard anything about the Dino Thunder Rangers since… well, since we remembered about you guys."
"Once we'd contacted everyone else we could- I have to admit, we never thought of Tommy as being a 'Doctor' so we missed his name in the phonebook-, we got together at Rocky's house, tracked down where the current Ranger team were, and got down here ASAP," Adam continued, as he looked curiously at Conner and Kira. "Anyway, now that we're here, care to explain why we have
"Oh, that?" Kira asked, shrugging casually as she smiled at the older Rangers. "Well, with the power we picked up in your time, coupled with a bit of back-up from these guys, we basically kicked the guy's ass, sent him back where he came from, and managed to beat our main bad guy into the bargain."
"Wait a minute; you did all that just after you got back?" Aisha said, looking in surprise at her successor. "What do you mean, you sent the Green Ranger back where he came from? How did he get here? Why did your villain bring him here in the first place?"
"And who was your villain anyway?" Adam added, looking inquiringly at the team before him. "I mean, beyond his apparent theme of creating monsters out of just about any kind of animal or whatever, the reports didn't really say much about what he was trying to do in the first place."
"That's… kind of a long story, really," Ethan replied, looking at his predecessor with a slight smile on his face. "If you've got time for it…"
"You'll tell it to us?" Kat asked, smiling slightly at the current Blue Ranger. "How could we say no to a chance to learn how the new team does it?"
"Come on, then," Tommy said, indicating the chairs behind them. "Let's sit down, have a few cups of coffee, and talk about how we kicked ass to come out on top once again, huh?"
"The chance to hang out with the new guys?" Rocky grinned as he sat down opposite Conner and Kira, smiling slightly at them as he did so. "How could we refuse?"
As the rest of the 'old guard' joined them around the table, Conner, Kira, Ethan and Trent exchanged glances with each other, and smiled slightly at each other.
It hadn't been an easy task getting to this point, but, with some help from the past, the threat to the present had been neutralised, four young people had become part of a legacy that they'd never imagined, and two of their number- thanks to a rather interesting… trip- had come together in a way that they could never have done without their involvement in this legacy.
As the past and present Rangers sat down around a table, Hayley already preparing a round of milkshakes and coffee for them, Conner and Kira exchanged a slight smile at the thought of what might be coming up for them in the future, what with their renewed friendship with Doctor O.'s old team and the powers and abilities they still retained even after the main crisis had passed.
They may not be able to predict what was going to happen in the future, but they could be sure of one thing; just because the fight against Mesogog was over didn't mean their time together would end. Whenever the time came for a new threat to be vanquished, or whenever the world found itself in danger and needed somebody to fight for those who couldn't fight for themselves…
They were Rangers, now and forever, and they would remain that way whenever there was a need for them to go back to action.
Plus, of course, Conner mused to himself, as he leaned over to briefly kiss Kira's forehead as Doctor O. began to explain how the Rangers had acquired their powers in the first place, we get each other to remind us of the whole experience into the bargain.
His time as a Ranger may have begun with him as a reluctant participant in the legacy, but now that it was officially over, he found himself grateful that he and Kira would always have each other to remind themselves of their time together.