All of the former Power Rangers rested against chairs and the couch. Even Hayley, whose café was closed for the day so that they weren't cramped in the Lair, was spread out in a relaxed pose. After a year long war, an exhausting final battle, and doing the chaperoning at prom for Kim, Tommy, and Hayley at the very least, all of them needed a break. Trini was resting on Jason's shoulder as Billy sat next to Hayley, taking a break from talking about their next project. Zack had propped his feet up on the table to Hayley's continued chagrin, yet she was tired of telling him no. Kim glanced over at Tommy who had his arms crossed and his eyes closed. "How is grading going?"
"Mostly done," he told her without opening his eyes. "The test was pretty self-explanatory so it's easy to figure out if they studied or not. In case you're wondering, yes they all passed."
"Good. I'd hate for them to have failed the one teacher who likes them. Has Elsa heard back from the school board?" She asked and he nodded.
"Yep. Somehow, they bought our shape-shifting alien kidnapped the real Principal Randall and took her place story," he answered. "So, she's back for good."
"You think she'll transfer to Angel Grove for us?" Jason asked, joining the conversation. "'Cause, it's our turn next and we could use a principal who knows what's going on."
"Not a chance," Tommy answered, opening one eye to glare at his best friend. "I went through Hell with her evil this year. I want a year at least with her as my good-guy boss."
Trini looked over at Zack and Billy. "How is it going for you guys? Almost done?"
Zack groaned. "I have at least another week, but then I'm done. I don't like negotiating very much."
"I am shocked," Billy said sardonically and turned to Trini when Zack glared at him. "It will take me a little longer if for no other reason than the transporter needs to recharge. However, Neen and I are enjoying our new house."
Before Trini could say anything else, the door flew open and three excitable teens came running in with far too much energy by the adults' standards. Conner did a quick count and grinned at Kira and Ethan. "They're all here!"
"Good," said Kira and she looked at Tommy. "Can you take us to Angel Grove please?"
The adults looked around in confusion by the teenagers' question not to mention the three teens' body language. It wasn't unusual for Conner to bounce in place when he was excited or even Ethan to a certain extent, but even Kira was joining in. Tommy sighed finally, knowing they weren't going to get the answers they wanted just sitting there. "Why do you want to go to Angel Grove? And don't you three have finals?"
"We finished them," Ethan answered with a shrug. "Seniors always finish early. And we want to see where the Power Rangers first came from."
"Ethan and I almost got to when Jason was under the influence of the rock," Conner added, not so helpfully. "But once Hayley tracked him down, we had to go back to save Kira."
"Gee, thanks, Conner," Kira said, but she was still smiling. "Please?"
"Please?" The boys added. Tommy sighed and looked at them.
"You want to see the Command Center." It wasn't a question. He could have sworn that they got even more excited at that and began to nod. "Guys, it's been destroyed for years. It's dusty, it has cobwebs, and no one lives there anymore."
"It's still part of our history, right?" Conner asked. "And you've been telling us how important that is. Come on, Doctor O."
Tommy groaned and looked at the others who shrugged, but looked as uncomfortable as he was. He motioned for them to help, but every last one of them gave him the 'you're our fearless leader' look. "How long are you going to drive Kim and me nuts?"
"Until you take us," Conner answered. "And we've got all summer…"
"And at least next year…" Kira added.
"And next summer…" Conner continued.
"Not to mention that we can call and e-mail," Ethan said.
"And visit…" Conner continued, but Tommy cut them off before they could continue.
"I'll take you if everyone else goes," he said quickly. The others looked at the teenagers' face and quickly agreed. No one wanted a 3 a.m. phone call and none of them doubted the kids would do it. Conner ran to the spare room where Neen had been playing and knocked.
"Hey Neen! They agreed!" He called. She raced out the door and over to where the teens were. The adult were groaning and dragging themselves up as Neen motioned for Conner to lean down.
"It's done?" She whispered and he nodded. "Good."
"How did we let you talk us into this?" Kim asked tiredly. They'd been against going to the Command Center since they reached Angel Grove and before. They'd spent over an hour trying to convince the trio to go anywhere else, but they wouldn't have it. Every time they managed to distract one or even two of them, the third who was usually Kira, reminded them of where they were supposed to be going.
"Just think," Tommy encouraged, though he was just as unhappy as the others. "We go and we don't have to deal with 3 o' clock phone calls. And we can only kill so many of them before the police notice. I don't think the Silver Guardians would bail us out for killing our own."
"Eric might," Jason muttered. Trini batted his arm at that and smiled a bit.
"He would not. And if he did, Wes would stop him," she scolded.
"I don't see why you dragged me along. I'm not a former, current, or future Ranger. I could have stayed on the couch," Hayley snapped before turning to Billy who had his sleeping daughter in his arms. "You look like you could use a break. Here, I've got her."
Billy gently handed Neen over while Tommy rolled his eyes at her question. "Because if we have to suffer, so do you. They're a third yours."
"There it is!" Conner said before Hayley could quip again. The former center was as badly destroyed as they remembered it to be. The charred remains hadn't changed and it was still well-hidden on the hill. Once it was in sight, the long trek seemed too short for the first Rangers. Conner, Kira, and Ethan were chatting amongst themselves to hold off the silence and once they got close, an awakened Neen joined them. They entered in and Tommy was the first to notice slight changes as they headed into the Power Chamber.
"It's cleaner," he muttered and Kim shrugged.
"I guess so," she whispered back. "You don't think something moved in, do you?"
"I doubt it. It's too far out of the way. If we hadn't been here several times before, we wouldn't have known where to find it," he answered. He pulled her to him and held her as they walked, not surprised to see the Jason and Trini were doing the same as they led the way. Hayley had a hand on Billy's shoulder and Zack was just quiet as they continued. Even the kids were quiet to Tommy's surprise.
"Oh my God." Tommy whipped his head up at Jason's remark to see what had shocked his friend. As they entered into the main room, Tommy wasn't sure that the words covered what they saw.
It was clean, spotless really. Like before, there were Power Ranger suits as décor around, but it wasn't just the originals this time. Original, Zeo, Turbo, Space, Lost Galaxy, Lightspeed, Time Force, Wild Force, Ninja Storm, Alien, and even Dino Thunder proudly shown amongst each other, a holographic display of the Ranger who had worn it (or multiple Rangers as the case may have been) was in front of it with the name and a bit of history about them. Replicas of the various weapons had been placed above them. On various tables, there were small replicas of the Zords within the teams as well as the Megazord for each team in the center. In the center, there was a computer that controlled two things: A new viewing Globe and Zordon's tube. In the tube, there was a nod to each of the mentors for all of the teams as well as the technicians. The viewing globe lit up and Andros's face could be seen in it.
"If you're seeing this, it means the new kids managed to convince you to come. Considering that this entire thing was their idea and they seemed as persistent as all of you, I had no doubt they'd manage. We set up security, so no one who doesn't already know about us can get in. We thought we'd leave it to Billy to set up a teleportation system to get inside. Finally, just about every former Ranger was involved in this. Eric and Wes even got a hold of the other Time Force Rangers for their opinions. Enjoy," he said and nodded to them before the face disappeared. It was followed by the other Rangers of various eras waving and greeting them in their own way, telling them they hoped they'd enjoyed it. Afterward, it became part of the viewing globe footage that Tommy had collected over the years.
Kira, Ethan, and Conner stood there laughing and grinning at the others' surprise and even Neen looked pleased with herself. Conner looked at them. "It took a little work, especially getting a hold of the other Rangers, but Neen helped with that. We, uh, wanted to give you something. Something really cool. Did it work?"
Kim wasn't sure when the last time all six of them, seven including Hayley who was just intrigued, had been speechless but she knew that they were now. All of them looked to the others to see what they had to say, but no one came up with anything. Zack was looking at the replica of his beloved ax, while Trini was looking through the footage, Billy and Hayley were looking at the replicas of the Zords, Tommy and Kim were both looking at their old Pink and White uniforms, and Jason was going through the mentors and technicians. He was finally the one to break the silence, though not toward the teen's question. "Guys… look."
There were them, in their current ages, standing in a group. They recognized it as one of the pictures from the wedding and even Hayley was in it. It was a 3-D image at this point as if they had been pulled directly out of real-life. Considering that some of the pictures had been taken with alien or at least advanced technology, that was probably as close to the case as possible to explain. Under it, it read: Jason Lee Scott, Thomas "Tommy" Oliver, Trini Kwan-Scott, Kimberly "Kim" Hart, William "Billy" Cranston, Zackary "Zack" Taylor, the only mentors to actually be Power Rangers themselves. Head mentors: Kimberly Hart and Thomas Oliver. Mentors of: Dino Thunder Rangers. Technician: Hayley Ziktor. Only permanently civilian technician, mentored as well. First generation Power Rangers, first generation Power Mentors.
While the teenagers tried to be patient, Neen had had enough. "So, do you like it?"
Billy came over and scooped the girl up in a hug. The others turned and looked at the worried teenagers and Hayley, Kim, and Tommy nodded. Kim finally spoke. "We love it. We're just… wow."
"It's perfect," Tommy assured them. He turned to his former teammates to see them nod as well. He wrapped an arm around Kira as Hayley and Kim placed their hands on the shoulders of their particular students as they all stared at the hologram and thought back on their own memories.
"Jason, bold and powerful, you shall command the Tyrannosaurus dinosaur. Zachary, you are clever and brave. You shall command the Mastodon dinosaur. Kimberly, graceful and small, the Pterodactyl dinosaur shall be yours. Billy, patient and wise, you shall command the powerful Triceratops dinosaur. Trini, fearless and agile, the sabertooth tiger dinosaur shall be under your command."
"We'll have to find others. Look, we're not doing this to relive our glory days. We're doing this because we're the eldest, the first, and we have to be responsible for it or no one else will."
"We're not perfect, but neither was Zordon. Think about what we've managed to get done already just today. We've all been feeling inadequate, but how do you think Zordon felt? At some point, he had to have had a mentor as well."
"No matter what happens, no matter what we face, we are strong enough and good enough to handle it. We can handle anything."
"You are the coolest mentor ever!"
"Why them, Kim? Huh? Why them? Why are you so ready to just decide that they were the ones who were supposed to get those?"
"Because the gems chose them. Because they came back. Because they did what we did! They left and when they got into trouble, they came here. They trust you!"
"You're not replacing us, right?"
"And we get a large ball, right? And we play a weird form of basketball on raptor back. With how they can jump, it would be great!"
"Please call me 'Neen'. That is what Papa calls me."
"I'm sure Jason and Trini thought this was a great idea. We're not going at it like bunnies, so obviously we need help."
"What am I supposed to say? I'm not used to people apologizing to me. Especially girls."
"What do you have to say for yourself?"
"Will you marry me?"
"Yes, Trini, let's count on the same boys who planned the 'retreat'."
"Does a better plan include starting karaoke?"
"Speaking of Red Rangers, by the way, whenever they get together, they tend to do very stupid things. I want you to listen to me, Conner. If Tommy and a man named Jason try to convince you to go on any sort of 'Red Only' Mission, I want you to tell them that you can't go. Think of a reason, any reason. You're sick, you're dying, something, and make sure that you are not involved."
"Doctor O, where are they?"
"It's not like they're going to fall out of the sky and land right in front of us. Or trip over the rubble as they're stumbling here, blaming the other for being in their way. Or be arguing with each other about something stupid, waiting for me to tell them they're both doofuses because they're doing it again. Or arguing over video games and soccer and which is better. Or teasing me about falling for evil Rangers before arguing over whether or not that means Conner is evil. Or telling me that I need to lighten up because I'm always trying to bring them back down to Earth. Oh God, Doctor O! They're gone!"
"It could work, but not if we all do it separately. We're going to have to push it through one of us and I don't know what it will do to the gems or that person or even the rest of us."
"Then I'll do it."
"They've grown up."
"We have to be responsible for it or no one else will."
Author's Note: You know, for being so short, this was actually a pretty difficult chapter to get down right. Mainly because, outside of the series itself, there were nineteen chapters of quotes to go through and pick through and I ended up adding and deleting many different ones. Not to mention trying to describe the new look of the room and everything else. But it's done and while far, far in the future I might come back and change around some of the quotes at the end, I'm happy with it enough for now.
Considering that I just got the epilogue up, I might be a little late on the first chapter of the sequel. Possibly. I don't know yet, it all depends on crazy things like how I'm feeling after work and stuff like that. While still a T rating, the next one will be a little darker and will deal with a lot of the issues that happened in this one.
I want to thank everyone who has read this and especially to those of you who reviewed for this chapter and overall. I enjoyed writing it, but I especially love that all of you enjoyed reading it.