A/N: I mentioned very early on that Dr O and Colonel Truman were neighbors. The chapter where Scott moved to the Garage.
Also, OMG IT'S DONE! I can't tell you how it feels that I've finally finished Part One. Even knowing what has yet to be written, it's done. I don't have to worry about writing another chapter. Keep your eyes peeled though. I intend to have Part Two: Get in Gear coming out sometime soon.
It was time, the Rangers gathered in the Ranger Room divided by their colors. Conner and Hunter were giving Scott some quiet advice while Kira and Summer embraced. Ethan, Flynn and Cam were looking at some computer program with Dr K. Colonel Truman had been invited to join them, as well as Dr Oliver, Trent and Blake. The two soldiers were uneasy in the presence of their CO and stayed somewhat away from him. Besides, it gave them a better view for the meeting between Colonel Mason Truman, leader of Corinth's Defense and Doctor Tommy Oliver, legendary Ranger and nominal leader of the remaining Earthian Rangers in the wake of his best friend's death.
The fact that the pair were neighbors and had often commiserated on raising teenagers over a morning cup of coffee made this meeting even funnier.
"So you're a Power Ranger," Truman said.
"Retired," Tommy replied mildly. "Technically, I still have the Zeo Powers, but the only other surviving Zeo Ranger lives on another planet."
"Oh," Truman replied, uncertain as to what to say.
"With the exception of the Astros, Galaxy and Wild Force Rangers, all the teams lost people," Tommy continued. "The team with the most Rangers in Corinth, is Mighty Morphin', that is, the original Rangers. Only the Black Ranger actually has his full Powers. The Pink Ranger can summon her Ninja Power, but the Ninjas are at a third of their strength since the Coins were destroyed. I still have my Ninja Powers, for that matter."
"Venjix claimed many lives," Colonel Truman agreed, softly.
"Rangers, it is time," Dr K announced, rescuing people from their awkward goodbyes.
"Let's do this," Conner said, squaring his shoulders as he stepped into the cleared area of their departure point. Kira hugged Summer, Scott and Flynn, kissed Trent's cheek and fled to join him. As she tried to wipe away her tears with a hand, Conner passed her a handkerchief and then took her free hand in his to offer her some comfort. Ethan looked over the data, shook Flynn and Scott's hands, accepted a hug from Summer and joined his teammates nervously.
"Bye," Dustin muttered as he hugged Summer one last time, he shook Scott and Flynn's hands, then paused, looking at Truman. Even as Hunter hissed as him not to, Dustin deliberately stepped into Truman's personal space and stared into his eyes. "One day," he said finally, "you'll have an opportunity to pull your head from your ass and realize you have a son you love dearly. I can only hope that day will come before it's too late." Then he turned to join the others, letting Hunter hold him tight with an arm over his shoulder. Finally, Cam stepped away from the monitor and the device Dustin had built. The device began to hum as Cam walked across the room. Just as he stepped over the line into the target area, the hum reached a fever pitch before a flash of light signaled the departure of the Rangers.
For a long moment, all anyone could do was dry watering eyes. Then Truman left without a word, followed by Blake and Trent. Tommy hesitated a moment, but when Flynn hugged Summer and Scott slid an arm over Flynn's shoulder, he left them to comfort each other.
The world twisted, flipped and shook, white light blinded them and a roaring whine deafened them. When it cleared, they stood in the middle of Cam's living room. "Hello?" Cam called hesitantly.
A clatter and the sound of shattering glass preceded the arrival of Blake and Trent from the kitchen, and Shane and Tori from up stairs. "You're back!" Tori cried gleefully, throwing her arms around Dustin without hesitation.
Kira threw herself at Trent, kissing him with passionate desperation.
Hunter grabbed Blake for a hug before the Navy Ranger could blink, but gripped his brother tightly as his brain caught up.
Tori stepped back suddenly, "Sorry," she began hesitantly.
"It's ok," Dustin said, he glanced at Shane shyly, "I think we need to talk. We've left a lot unsaid for a long time." He glanced over at Hunter and Blake, winked at Tori, and spoke up, "Am I going to have to get jealous, Hunter?"
Hunter jumped, releasing his brother as if he'd been burned while Cam, Conner and Ethan laughed, "N-no," Hunter said.
"Relax," Dustin said, "I'm teasing."
"How long have we been gone?" Conner asked after staring at Trent and Kira for a moment.
"Almost two months," Blake said, "what happened?"
"Cam screwed up," Dustin announced gleefully.
"It was weird, we were in the future," Hunter added, he poked his brother, "you got old."
"It was horrible," Conner corrected, "and we have to stop it."
"What, did SPD take over?" Shane asked.
"No," Conner said, "and maybe we should reconsider that."
"I'll explain later," Conner added, "Kira, stop kissing Trent. We have a mission to complete."
Kira stepped away from Trent, but clung to his hand tightly. "What kind of mission," Shane said softly.
"The kind that will save Earth," Conner replied. He pulled a piece of paper from his pocket, "Cam, see what your security clearance can tell you about Alphabet Soup and the 'directors'; Ethan."
"Security hack on a military satellite," Ethan agreed.
"I'll go talk to Kim," Kira said, "and Tanya. See if there are any other Ranger kids missing. Trent, you coming with me?"
"I'm not letting you out of my sight," Trent replied.
"Dustin," Hunter said, "you should go to the Wind Academy."
"Right," Dustin said.
"What happened?" Tori asked quietly.
"The Earth was contaminated," Dustin said, "and I had to commune to help us get home."
"We'll see that he makes it safely," Shane told Hunter even as Tori slid her arm around Dustin to steady him.
"Good," Hunter said, "then get back here, we're going to need your help with this."
"What are we doing?" Shane asked.
"We're going to rescue a little girl," Kira said quietly, "before she is forced to destroy the world."
In the remains of the Rocky Mountains, two men stood facing the southeast. Behind them was a secluded valley filled with maybe fifty people, clad in rags and starving. The men were watching a black car as it drove away, heading for a sanctuary they could only dream of. "Do you think he'll make it?" One asked softly, tugging at the yellow lined black leather at his throat.
"He has to," the other replied, adjusting the red band that kept his hair out of his face. "He's part of Earth's last hope."