I don't own Power Rangers or any of the characters, nor do I make any money from this work of fiction.

Summary: AU story. Lothor plans things a bit differently, and only the Wind Academy is attacked. While the students are spared, Sensei Watanabe is not so lucky. Now, with his father's parting words as his only advice and in the possession of three morphers, Cam is left in charge of the Wind Academy.

Pairings: probable (gradual) Hunter/Cam, Blake/Tori

Note: I'm really going to try to put the spotlight on every character in this story. It's going to center on Cam, but all of the other rangers will hopefully have their time to shine. And remember, as always: this is an AU story. I've got a creative license and the right to use it.

The Choices We Make

Chapter One: Weight of the World

You are my successor, Cameron. You were always meant to be. Choose the three wisely.

Three sentences. Fifteen words. With those few fragments of speech, Cam's life had been turned upside down. As he stared at his father's bed, watching the rise and fall of the chest, the breath fogging up the oxygen mask, those words were all he could think about.

Everyone had heard them whilst fighting on the battlefield against a mixed bag of aliens, and as a consequence the only place he could go for peace of mind was his father's room in the medical bay. No one dared to disturb him there.

As soon as he left, however, it would start all over again. The other sensei demanding his decision, when before he hadn't warranted more than a polite nod. The students making nice to him, when before all they had done was ignore him. The responsibility was too much. Why had his father left the decision up to him?

He glanced down at the box he now kept with him at all times. It was locked, and only he and his father knew the password, but that wouldn't stop someone from trying to steal the precious contents within. How was he supposed to make the decision that would decide the future of not only the school, but possibly the whole Earth?

He had to choose three rangers. Not just three rangers, but one from each element—air, water, and earth. He had to choose three power rangers. The mere thought of the task ahead of him was daunting. Actually, forget daunting, it was terrifying.

You are my successor, Cameron. You were always meant to be. Choose the three wisely.

He was his father's successor? It was a joke, and everyone knew it. He had never even been properly trained as a ninja. How was he supposed to be the future headmaster of a ninja academy? It was frustrating, and he wished his father was there just so he could demand an explanation. He'd never been allowed to train as a ninja, so what had his father's plans been?

Of course, he didn't really want his father back just to be angry with him. He just wanted his father back, period. Whatever that…alien…had done to his father, whatever energy he'd been hit with, it was keeping him in a comatose state. Thankfully, his vitals were stable, and Cam had him under the best care he could get thanks to the Academy's connections with the local hospital, but he wasn't waking up. Cam had a sinking feeling that he wouldn't wake up until they had taken care of that alien.

Which led him back to the problem of picking rangers. Cam knew he could possibly take one of the morphers for himself, leaving one less decision to be made. He knew he could do it—just because he hadn't formally trained, it didn't mean he hadn't trained at all.

But…as he stared at the box in his hands, he didn't feel like the morphers were meant for him. He wanted to do it, wanted to prove to everyone at the Academy that he was capable of being a ranger…but he knew, somehow, that the morphers of air, water, and earth didn't belong to him. It didn't feel right. Which made sense. He didn't have an element affinity, so if he were to take a morpher, how could his power be element-based?

He wouldn't take a morpher. But he had to decide who would, and the weight of his responsibility was a great burden, especially on top of his father's condition, and the school, and his worry about the strange alien and his plans for Blue Bay Harbor. And why did the alien seem to have a particular vendetta against his father? Why take out just him and leave the Academy standing?

Well, that last question was kind of obvious. Without his father, the Wind Academy was in chaos. They were without a leader, without their strongest fighter, and that left them severely crippled against an enemy that they knew next to nothing about. They would be easy pickings unless Cam pulled off a miracle and got things organized. Would the teachers follow him? Would the students? Or would they choose a new leader, and push Cam to the side?

Too many questions; and Cam had a feeling that the only man with the answers was lying in the hospital bed before him. His heart twisted with worry and his gut clenched in fear. How was he supposed to do this?

Finally, a story! This is going to take a hell of a long time to complete, considering how many ideas I have for this story and how little time I have, but stick with me and I promise to do my best! Suggestions and constructive comments are always welcomed.