Disclaimer; Not, not mine, not not mine
A/N: Celebrate! Last Chapter! Ahm, hope you like, this is Ziggy's real story. Oh, and Don't ask me when RPM takes place, because I figured, hey, the world's just ended, who cares about the date. Then I went and gave it a timeline anyway!
Ziggy took a deep breath as he opened communication with Summer, "This is Summer," Summer said quickly.
"Summer, its Ziggy, and I need a favor." Ziggy said, crossing his fingers.
"What's up?" Summer asked, "aren't you coming home today?"
"We're on our way out of the hospital parking lot," Ziggy confirmed. "Listen, I was wondering if you could get something out of my room."
"What do you need?"
"In my nightstand's top drawer, there is a green leather photo album. Could you bring that down to the kitchen for me, please? There's," he paused, then looked over at Dillon who nodded at him, "there's something I need to tell the team."
"Ok," Summer said, her natural curiosity clearly perked.
"You can look at it if you want," Ziggy added, "it's just, it won't make sense without my explanation."
"Don't worry, Ziggy. We'll be waiting for you."
"Thank you, Summer," Ziggy said.
"Are you sure you're ready for this?" Dillon asked.
"Yeah," Ziggy said, "it's time I talked about this; especially if Venjix is going to try this again."
Silence fell between the two, but it wasn't awkward or tense, it was, in fact, a silence that Ziggy knew well, it was the kind of silence that the Grovers had often found coming between them. It was so familiar, and such an indicator of safety and home to Ziggy, that he actually dozed most of the way back to the Garage instead of fretting over what he was about to do.
Flynn, Scott, Summer and Dr K were waiting in the kitchen, seated around the table. In place of one of the usual mismatched kitchen chairs was Dr K's computer chair, even though Dr K wasn't sitting there. Ziggy let Dillon help him into the chair, before which was his album. "I need one more favor," Ziggy said softly, staring at the book, "Just, let me tell you my story, don't interrupt. It's going to be hard to tell you this as it is, without the added stress of answering questions in the middle of the story."
"Of course," Summer said, looking hard at Flynn and Scott, "I think we can do that." Dr K only nodded, but Ziggy knew he could trust her. Dillon only put a glass of water beside the book and sat down.
Ziggy let his hand rest on the worn leather for a moment before he opened it to the first picture, a family, with a lanky, almost geeky looking man, who had his arm tight around a shorter, plumper man, and four children, two who looked like the lanky man and two like the plump man. "I was born," he said after a moment, "Daniel Lucas Anderson-Zigman. 'Ziggy' was my nickname from a young age for reasons I can't really remember anymore. This is my dad, Larry Zigman, and his partner, Joe Anderson. Joe's sister Katy was my biological mom, as well as my sister, Sara Kaitlyn. Dad's sister, Aunt Heather and Pop were the biological parents to my brothers David and Kyle. Even though we knew our Aunts were our mom, we never called them that. We had Dad and Pop and that was enough for us. When I was five, we lived in New Orleans. I went to Seattle to visit my grandmother and while I was gone, my family vanished during Hurricane Katrina. When I was six, they were all declared dead, and my grandmother suffered a heart attack from the shock. Left on my own, I arrived at St Thomas Orphanage just outside Seattle a true orphan. Within a week, I met Jessica and Sam, who had grown up at the orphanage. We- we all loved Sesame Street, especially Grover, and we bonded over that. I was eight when Kyle came, and he became my roommate. He'd been…hurt…by his family and he was afraid of everybody. I gave him my old stuffed Grover and we became friends for life." Ziggy smiled as he turned the page and let his hand rest on the picture of shy Kyle.
"A year later was when Danny joined us. He'd been taken from his family as well, and with him being the third in our room, Kyle and I began to trust him. It was hard, there were other kids that came and went to new families, but we weren't wanted. Nobody wanted me because I had had two dads, and I was a bit hyper. Jessie was violent, Sam would later be categorized as bi-polar, and Kyle avoided strange adults like the plague. In fact, Jessie and I once attacked a couple who had cornered him. I bit the mom and Jessie kicked the dad in his sweet spot. Danny, well, Danny never talked to anyone but Kyle and I, and even that took some doing. People thought we were too messed up to deal with.
"At thirteen, we went to a group home, all five of us, and we decided that we would be a family; brothers and sisters for life. We chose the name Grover, because that old Muppet had made us all friends in the first place. When we were old enough and we changed our names, I changed mine from Daniel to Ziggy because we all ready had Danny and to help remember my parents. We split up a bit after school; Kyle went into the Coast Guard and was based in Seattle. Danny went with him and became a forensic pathologist. Jessie and Sam went to New York, Jessie to be a ballet dancer, and Sam worked as a secretary to put herself through college and become, well, she wanted to work with stocks. I went down to LA to try my hand at acting and fell in with the Scorpion Cartel. When Venjix attacked, Kyle's ship, the Polar Star, had just left Guam for its return to Seattle. The Star vanished, literally. It went silent one night and vanished from every instrument they had. They said Venjix was in the navigation and had done something, but nobody ever knew what. Danny vanished in the assault on Seattle. Jessie died in New York City. Sam saw her die, and got out. She was just outside the protections when her transport was bombed by drones.
"Sam wrote me a note that I got about Jessie's death, but I couldn't really believe it. Then I started getting letters from Jessie. At first, I thought it was really her, but then, I noticed little things were off. Finally, I went to Colonel Truman and asked him if Jessica Grover was on the confirmed dead list for New York City. He had someone look and she was. Last night, I knew that that 'bot wasn't my Jessie, I just didn't know if she was someone trying to get close for 'other' reasons or an attack bot; at least, not until she pulled out that foundation. I'm highly allergic to certain kinds of make-up, as we learned as kids, and that particular brand would have killed me before the nurses could figure out I was having an allergic reaction."
Ziggy fell silent as he looked at the pictures of a happy childhood, unaware that tears were falling down his cheeks. "It's not…not that I don't trust..." he stopped and took a deep breath, "I trust you guys, it's just, I've already lost two families. I'm not strong enough to love a third."
He stared at the picture from the Grover's official first day as a family, all of them were half hanging off each other with grins that were bigger than any of them normally had used. All of them wore t-shirts with 'Super Grover' logos and jeans, and with their brown hair, ranging from his messy curls to Danny's military crop, they could have been related, cousins even. "Which one's Danny?" Summer asked, startling Ziggy.
"Here," Ziggy said, pointing at his brother. "Jessie and I had put bleach in his leave-in, and then pink hair dye in his gel. He shaved his hair to make sure nobody saw it. His dad was black, and Danny got his hair, but he had his mom's hazel eyes. That's Jessie, she was always dancing. Her grandmother danced in the Russian ballet; at least, that's what Jessie always said. It must have been true, because Jessie was like a leaf, she could float without seeming to move. Sam was just the opposite, clumsy and moody. She hated to dress up as much as Jessie loved it. They were actually born on the same day and were forever insisting that they were twins. We all had our favorite sibling, but at the same time, it was us, we fought for each other and against everybody else. It wasn't anything we promised, we just did it. We used to pretend we were a power ranger team," Ziggy smiled. "Kyle was red, because he was the one who took charge. Danny was blue, Sam was pink, Jessie was silver, actually, and I was green."
"Really?" Scott asked.
"Yeah," Ziggy laughed shakily, "ironic, isn't it." He looked at the pictures, "Last night, Venjix tried to use Jessie against me. If he's done that, he could try it again, with Sam, Danny and Kyle. That's why you guys need to know about them, because I don't know if I can fight my family."
"What about your dads?" Flynn asked.
Ziggy shrugged, "It's been almost twenty years, Flynn, I mean, I loved my dad and pop, and my siblings, but I've mourned them all ready. I did what they would have wanted me to; I found a new family that I could love. The Grovers are too new, too fresh; they're going to be the ones I'll respond to."
"And don't forget," Dillon said, "this new bot used holograms to fool Ziggy. That thing could try to imitate anybody."
"And the only way to detect it is if it drops its hologram," Dr K added.
The alarms went off, and the Rangers rushed to the view screen, except Ziggy, who was curled up and rocking slightly after his jump jarred his shoulder. "There's the 'bot," Scott said. "Let's go."
Ziggy turned, "I can't morph yet," he told them, "can you guys handle this without me?"
"We can," Scott said. "You just focus on healing."
As the cars raced from the Garage, Ziggy reflected that it was like before he'd become a Ranger, and he hated that. He was a Ranger; he could help, but not like this. Instead, he followed Dr K into the training room, pushing the computer chair, and settled behind her to watch.
It was an unequal fight, and the Rangers needed him, but Ziggy knew he couldn't go. Besides, Dr K had his engine cell to make sure he didn't try anything stupid. "I hate this," Ziggy muttered.
Dr K sighed, "I didn't plan on doing this, but Venjix's bot has made it necessary." She walked into her control room and came back out with what looked to Ziggy like a metal tube. "Just hold still," she said as she approached him.
"Hey Doc, you aren't going to kill me are you?" Ziggy asked.
"No." Dr K replied and slammed the tube into his neck, "And DO NOT call me Doc."
There was a hiss of air as pain shot through Ziggy's neck, and he yelled, "Ah, Jesus, Mary and Joseph! What the hell was that?"
"A hypospray loaded with a healing accelerant made for the Rangers. Go ahead and head on over to the battle, there's a military jeep parked outside, keys in, that you can use. Just, try to avoid the cows this time."
Ziggy paused in his run, "Cows?"
"Not now, go!" Dr K ordered.
Ziggy shook his head and ran from the room to help out his friends.
That night, as the five Rangers slept, Dr K pulled up a video she'd managed to get from the dome cameras. This time, she ignored the sight of Ziggy avoiding the cow only to blow out, and focused on him being thrown from the jeep. She slowed the image down frame by frame as the Ranger clearly tried to take control of his flight. Instead, he tumbled in the air, and then was surrounded by green light for five seconds before he vanished and reappeared on the soft ground close to the river, hitting the ground with enough force to become injured, but not killed as he should have been. After a moment, Dr K rewound the tape and watched again, frustration and fear welling up as she tried to figure out how Ziggy had saved his life. "This was not programmed," she whispered to herself as he vanished again.