Getting Back To Business
Summary: College re-union.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except the computer I am writing on, even if people spend so much time playing Freecell on it you wouldn't think it was mine anyway.
Author's Notes: During the summer, I'm going to focus on this story and finishing Problematic, my first story where they are all still in high school.
I'd like to give a huge thanks to people such as Morgan, Sara, Ozmandayus, The Girl In The Red Jacket, lyn, White Tiger and Symbolic Agony for reviewing a lot of what I've done. If I've forgotten you and you've reviewed me loads and loads, yell and I'll thank you next time.
#2: I've been feeling recently that all my fics are the same, Tommy/ Kim meet, they don't talk to each other, then get back together. Even though I l like my formula, I'm going to try to chuck it out the window and do something new, (like maybe make Kat a good person for a change!).
*Angel Grove University*
*September 18, 2000*
"It's been so long since we've been back in Angel Grove," Trini mused as she sat in a darkened cafe on the hot summer's day. "I keep on expecting to see so many things that have gone now."
"It hasn't been that long for me," Jason pointed out. "Or you Kim, come to that. Remember Murianthius?"
"How could I forget?" Kim said, shuddering. "But that was my last time back in Angel Grove, it's been three years since you or I have seen any of the old gang."
"All their friendships with us seemed to go out the window after we left the team," Zack pointed out, reaching for his drink. "The only people we've kept in touch with are ourselves....does that make sense?"
"Yeah," Billy said. "It has something to do with the fact that we were friends for so long before the whole saving the world thing happened. Our bond must be stronger than theirs."
"The old Billy would have proved a scientific formula before sundown," Trini gently teased her boyfriend of one year. "You really have changed."
Billy blushed, and Zack sympathetically changed the subject. "So, who are we going to track down first?"
"Logic says we try to find Tommy first," Jason said, looking at Kim to monitor her reaction. She went pale, but didn't burst into flames or run out screaming, so he thought she must be mentally preparing for coming face-to-face with her old boyfriend for the first time in three years by herself. "He's not in college though so we can't exactly go and find him here."
"I might as well go," Kim said. "I'm not in college either, and you guys will have classes from tomorrow. If you look through phone books or something then I'll track him down."
"If you say so," Zack said. "I'll see what I can find out tonight and let you know. Where will you be staying?"
"I'm bedding down at my brother's until I can find a place of my own."
"Shall we arrange to meet here again tomorrow, same time?" Billy said. "Zack, bring what you can find, then we can discuss the best way for Kim to approach him."
"He's not going to like it, you know," Trini said quietly. "None of them are."
"We need them," Jason said stoutly. "There is no chance on Earth that we can get through this on our own, so we need them to help. No doubt we'll get frozen out by them once they know why we're back, but we have to keep trying to get through to them."
"I still don't know why you guys bothered enrolling in the college anyway," Kim said as she stood up, preparing to leave. "It's pretty obvious that we aren't going to be around for very long, and when we are you're not exactly going to have your minds on your studies, are you?"
"We have to act normally for as long as we can," Billy said. "If we get lucky, only three of us will have to go, and then we can decide whether it will be those in employment, education, or layabouts like you, Kim."
Kim gave him the finger, and said, "Have fun learning," before walking out of the cafe.
Zack laid his head on his hands, and said, "Someone please remind me of why we agreed to this in the first place?"
"I think we didn't have much of a chance to disagree," Trini said wryly. "It was a bit of a forced situation."
Three weeks earlier
Sitka Bau colony, desert of New Mexico
"We know who you are. We know who you were."
All five of them, Billy Cranston, Jason Scott, Zack Taylor, Trini Kwan and Kim Hart, had been told to go to a well populated area of their respective towns. Once there, they had been teleported to the Situa colony, to face interrogation by nameless people.
"Who were we?" Jason asked defiantly. "And for that matter, why are we here?"
"You were the five original Power Rangers. Later on you would be joined by such people as Tommy Oliver, Adam Park, and Katherine Hilliard, to name but a few." The grey-suited man didn't wait for confirmation of what he already knew to be the truth. "When your mentor left Earth he left behind proof of your identities in what he thought to be an encrypted disk. We here have spent three years trying to uncrack that code, and last month we finally did." The looks on the five twenty-somethings faces was a sight to behold. "We tracked you down, and used the new information at our disposal to teleport you here."
"Why just us, and what are we doing here?" Kim demanded.
"Oh, it won't just be you. You are just the beginning. We want you to track down all the former Earth rangers, excluding those still in high school, apaprently Justin Stewart is still only seventeen. We only want those who are old enough to dedicate their lives to our cause."
"And what exactly is your cause?" Billy said calmly. He had already guessed of course, but from the looks on his friends faces they had no clue. "At least tell us before you incarcerate us."
"Our cause is to track down the remaining evil left on this Earth. We deal with the humans that you didn't even know about, those who were so terrified of the evil before them they made deals to keep themselves alive."
"There are humans out there who made deals with Zedd and Rita?" Zack asked disbelievingly. In all his time as a Ranger, he had never heard of anything like that, and none of the following rangers had ever mentioned it.
*Road between Stone Canyon and Angel Grove*
*September 20, 2001*
Kim was not looking forward to what she had to do that day at all.
Not only did she have to face the only person she had ever really loved for the first time since their break-up, she had to tell him that some clandestine operation was recruiting him to force the humans left on Earth who were in league with all the evil in the galaxy to return to the side of good.
This should be fun.
Zack had managed to track Tommy down to working at his uncle's racing business, not as a driver but as a manager. It wouldn't be easy to persuade him to leave, but Kim knew what the punishment would be if they did not recruit all the former Rangers. Death.
Billy believed that this operation had something to do with the FBI cleaning out their cupboards, so to speak. Getting rid of all those who had plauged them. The FBI were the ones behind it all in his opinion.
Kim and the others didn't know what else it could be, so they were leaning towards that at the moment.
The past never leaves you behind, just leaves you alone til you are wanted again, Kim thought as she parked her car in the gravel lot behind the squat building, and turned off the engine. And now we are in the business of saving the world once again, just we're dealing with the enemies we never really credited before.
The human race.
*Stone Canyon Racing Team HQ*
*September 20, 2001*
The door swung open, and Tommy Oliver didn't bother to look up from the paperwork at his desk. He presumed it was someone for his uncle, who shared the same office, so kept quiet, only for his work to be interrupted by a gentle clearing of the throat, and the words,
"Am I not even credited with a look these days?"
That voice...the one he hadn't heard for three years. He looked up, and sure enough, it was his ex Kim standing in front of him.
"What are you...why?" were all the words that he could force out fo his suddenly dry throat. She smiled, and said,
"I don't think we have time for small talk, much as though I think we need it. And I don't think you're going to believe me when I tell you why I'm here."
"Why?" he asked warily. "If it's to say you're engaged..."
Kim gave a hollow laugh. "Couldn't have got further from the truth. Can I sit down?"
"Sure." She pulled up a battered desk chair to the table, but before she sat down she made sure that the door to the office was firmly closed. Satisfied, she sat down, and took a deep breath. "About three weeks ago, I was coming home from work. I'd been livng in San Diego for almost a year, working as a gymnastics coach. Then, I had the strangest feeling coming over me, the exact same one as everyone used to get before teleportation."
"Were you teleported?" Tommy asked.
"Yep, and I wasn't the only one either. Billy, Trini, Zack and Jason were all teleported from wherever they were to the Sitka Bau colony somewhere in New Mexico."
"The FBI place?" Tommy asked, stunned to his very core.
"The very one. To cut a long story short, they investigated the Command Center or whatever it was called towards the end, and found a disk that had been left behind. After three years they broke the code, and discovered the identities of all those who had served as Earth Rangers. We were picked up first because they thought we'd be easier to convince, or should I say manipulate."
"What did they do to you?" Tommy asked, suddenly worried that she or any of the others had been hurt.
"Nothing, although it was threatened if we didn't co-operate. Basically, we have been enlisted to persuade the rest of you to come back to Sitka Bau in a month's time, where we wil be given instructions regarding a particular mission."
"What is the mission?" he said disbelievingly.
She sighed. It wouldn't be easy to tell him this, but it needed to be said. No matter how much Tommy believed that the opposition had been wiped out, on Earth anyways. "On the disk, there was evidence of things that had been kept from us. The information that concerns us is that certain humans made deals with Zedd and Rita to save their skin."
His reaction was as Kim had expected. He jumped up from his seat and began pacing the tiny office. After a few moments of this, he turned to Kim, and said,
"What do they think that we can do about it? We don't have any powers, or any way to contact the current Rangers. We're basically useless."
"Not according to them, we're not. They're desperate to have all of us on board, and I know about as much of what we can do to help as you do." Kim wondered whether to tell him about the threat that had been made against the five's lives, if they failed to return the rest of the Rangers back to base within the month. Eventually she decided against it, thinking that he would believe she was using an excuse to get him into the team again. However Tommy had been watching her while she had been wondering, and he said shrwedly,
"What aren't you telling me?"
Kim sighed, and decided to go for the jugular. "I didn't know if I should tell you because you might think it's just some ploy, but I can assure you it's deadly serious. There has been a threat made against our lives if we don't get the six of you to Sitka within the month."
He went pale. "Please tell me that you're joking."
"Would I joke about something like this?" Kim retorted. "We all have to get together and be united by this time next month. Billy, Trini, Zack and Jase are all enrolled in Angel Grove University, but I didn't see the point."
"Does Billy think there is any way to get out of it?" Tommy asked, sitting back down and trying to get things straight in his head.
Ever since they had given up their powers three years ago, he'd been working here. At first, it had been a job that he had loved, but how can you truly put behind you the thrill of what it was like to save the world on a daily basis? Answer; you can't. As the months went by, every memory was a consolation, although he wasn't living his life completely in the past, he had always secretly hoped that they would be called into action again. Never in his dreams had he thought that humans would want them to take out other humans, even if they were on the side of definite evil.
Kim watched the expression on Tommy's face, and knew instantly that he would be. "No. It's as simple as that. He thinks that it has something to do with the FBI getting rid of everyone that has ever caused them trouble. They need us because we are the only ones who have experience in this field."
"And we have to give up everything? What are we supposed to tell people?"
"I don't know. At the...place, they said it would all be taken care of, but I don't know what they mean by that."
"Okay...I'm in." Tommy knew that he may be making the wrong decision yet again, but he also knew that he had missed this. It was like a weird sense of control over his own life, over the destiny of the world.
If he wanted to admit something else, it would be that no-one else could have persuaded him to do this but Kim. Not even his old buddy Jason. But he didn't want to tell her that, or anyone for that matter, so he kept quiet. "What happens now?"
Kim's smile at her success disappeared. "I have no idea, I was only the one getting you in. I guess you could come back to the cafe and meet up with the others before we decide who we're going to target next."
"You're already beginning to sound like an FBI agent," Tommy said. "Do you want me to come now, or later?"
Kim shrugged. "They don't finish classes til about four, so I was just going back to my place for a bit, or should I say my brother's place. You can come if you want," she said carefully, not wanting to sound too forward or scare him off in any way. "But shouldn't you finish work first, so as not to look as though something's going on?"
Tommy nodded. "I get your drift. What time, and which cafe?"
"5 pm, the Bella Rosa on Rosewood. You know it?"
"Yeah. I'll be there."
"Good," Kim said, and picked up her purse. "See you then, then," and with that the best thing to visit Tommy's office since he had installed himself a year ago walked out again, leaving the occupant with mixed feelings.
For starters, he was going to be saving the world again. That filled him with a joy he had forgotten, although he stopped to remind himself that if they had been successful the first time around then the world wouldn't need saving.
The there was the fact that he was going to see all his old friends again. The only ones he had really kept in touch with were Rocky and Kat, although the relationship between himself and Kat had fizzled out after she went to England and decided to stay.
He sighed, and reluctantly returned his mind to the paperwork in front of him. Only a month, he thought, and then we'll be back in the game.
*Cafe Bella Rosa*
*September 20, 2001*
It was 4.45pm, and Jason and Billy sat in the cafe already, fifteen minutes early. They had meant to call Kim to see whether she had been successful or not, but neither had had the time between classes and getting ready for their meeting.
"I'm beginning to think we should have listened to Kim and not enrolled," Billy admitted. "It's taking up too much time, we can't make Kim find everyone."
"Yeah, but at least this way we can track down those who are in the college as well," Jason said. "I would think we can find at least three more of our friends in the college, but the real problem is finding Kat and Aisha in time."
"Let's just hope that someone has a way to get in contact with them," Billy said. "I don't think the powers that be want to teleport them, they just want us to go through the suffrage of trying to find them."
"Trying to find who?" Trini said, as she and Zack walked into the small cafe. They sat down, and Trini gave Billy a quick kiss before saying despondently, "Damn, no Kim yet."
"Do you want her instead of me?" Billy teased. Trini whacked him lightly on the head, and said
"You knew what I meant. Has anyone heard from her?"
Three heads shook in unison. However, it was broken off, as they noticed who was walking into the cafe.
"Hey people, so what have I missed?" Tommy asked. Immediately he was enveloped in a hug by Trini, and Jason, Zack and Billy clapped him on the shoulder. "Let me sit down!" he yelled.
"So, are you in?" Zack asked eagerly. "Not to put the pressure on, but we would like to stay alive if our friends could ensure that this was at all possible."
"Yeah, I told Kim that I was in. Where is she?" Tommy asked.
"I'm here," Kim said, and flopped into the empty seat. "So, what's the plan now, who do we go after next?"
"We need some information from you first," Jason said, looking at Tommy. "Are Kat and Aisha still overseas?"
"Kat is, Aisha isn't, she came back to Angel Grove about a year ago. And before you ask, Rocky Adam and Tanya are all around somewhere, but I only know Rocky's whereabouts for sure. As far as I know Adam and Tanya are all in the college with Aisha."
"Who do we go after next then?" Trini asked.
"I would say it would be easier to get Rocky, but we need to start making contact with England," Jason mused. "Tommy, you got a phone number or something?"
"Yeah, back at my place. I agree, go for Rocky first. He's been feeling at a bit of a loose end recently, so this could be just what he needs."
"So, we're decided." Billy said. "Rocky DeSantos, leave your front door open."