Author's Note: Just a lil' fun fanfic I've been talking about with my friends and threw together for them. I apologize if my writing is terrible or my plots are ridiculous.
Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers or any related media or characters. The story idea is my own but the rest isn't. Everything is copyrighted to its respective owners.
If you review, it'll make me smile and I'll try to respond to positive ones or questions here.
WARNING!: This fic will contain slash, femslash and possibly even some het (le gasp). Nothing m-rated, mind you, but it will contain pairings. Please keep this in mind. Pairings included are Dillon/Ziggy, Flynn/Gemma, Scott/Summer, Tenaya/Dr. K.
WARNING 2!: Contains some spoilers for certain plot points in the series, and is slightly AU. I won't be following the series exactly at some points so you have been warned.
All was quiet in the Garage the Sunday morning on which our story begins. The usual tap-tap-tapping of Dr. K at her keyboard was silenced for a change as she waited with baited breath in the ranger room for some sort of a sign. A response on the com-link, visual, ANYTHING would have been acceptable at this point to tell her what she needed to know. Where were her rangers? Were they all right? Had the mission been a success, and if not, had they made it out with as few casualties as possible?
The dark haired girl rung her hands, much more jumpy than usual about this whole business. While she did try to be somewhat detached with her rangers when it came time for missions like this, Dr. K had to admit she did love them, so to speak, as the only family she had ever had. Her handlers at Alphabet Soup didn't count as family and her no good parents had let her go off to such a horrible place, not caring to even visit their daughter with her supposed 'sun allergy'.
Shaking away thoughts of a life she couldn't quite recall, the raven haired girl went back to twitching around so she could watch all three of the monitors before her that usually displayed the information on her rangers and their current suit powers. Presently, the screens were all searching and waiting for any information on the team's status and whereabouts.
The rangers themselves had been gone for the past week – had it really been that long? - on a discrete and highly dangerous mission into the wastes. The plan was for them to sneak in teams of two and bomb several high level Venjix bases that were helping the virus in his extremely fast paced production of new Attackbots and Grinders. It was a dangerous plan, particularly since the teams would first have to scan for and evacuate any humans that were presently imprisoned, dealing with their safety after the base was destroyed and getting them back to Corinth.
The first signs that things MIGHT be going well appeared within the first three days. A group of humans had been deposited outside of the shield by Flynn, who was the odd man out in the team business. His job was to collect up rescued civilians from the bases and transport them back to Corinth, where a military outpost had been setup to deal with them. Things like scanning for Venjix hardware, providing medical treatment and finding housing for all of these people were a lot of work and Colonel Truman had NOT been pleased when he was told he had to arrange all of it on short notice. He was possibly also displeased about the fact that Dr. K had gone behind his back and sent the rangers – including his son – on a mission that was not only risky but could cripple Corinth's defenses as well, but K paid that no mind.
She'd dared to hope a bit when there weren't any Attackbots sent to the city by the fifth day and a few more groups of evacuees had arrived during the night. The Doctor had been willing to start expecting the team home within a few days – maybe she'd even treat them to a dinner of some sort if they weren't too tired, that was appropriate right? - but things seemed dire when two more days had passed without even a hair heard of them. When Flynn had dropped off the last group of evacuees – looking very tired and worn out from all of the driving and dealing with scared people – he hadn't even stopped to talk, merely gotten a drink, refueled and drove off again. The mechanic usually could be trusted to say SOMETHING – usually very simple and to the point, but it was information none the less. Him being silent was almost as unnerving as Ziggy being silent.
Ah Ziggy, her Ranger Green. He was a hard nut to crack now wasn't he? Dr. K rolled her eyes as she reclined in a chair and wondered about the young man who'd joined her team. It was an odd habit of the young genius to call the team her rangers – Scott was her Ranger Red, Summer her Ranger Yellow and Ziggy her Ranger Green. Their full title was Operator Series Blue, Black or whathaveyou but in attempts to be less cold with her team outside of official missions, K had started trying to call them by their names and give them compliments on jobs well done. A weird change-off from her previous distance with the team, and her coldness when it came time for very risky missions – after all, if she let herself get too emotional about them before something like this, the girl was sure she'd never let any of the rangers out to do their jobs.
Back to Ziggy, he was a much better thing to think about than her own strange quirks. K rolled her eyes at that – sometimes people would joke she was interested in him, but that was not even close to the case. The young man reminded the doctor, well, of someone she couldn't quite remember but wasn't quite sure she wanted to anyway. He was a friendly creature, that was for sure, but not at all bright and not particularly skilled. In fact, his skill level seemed to almost improve incorrectly, never actually getting better no matter what was added to it.
During his year and a half as a Ranger, Dr. K had yet to see more than marginal improvements in Series Green's skill levels. It was as if he was stuck in an impossible rut of dorky comedy relief fighting. No matter how many training sessions he went through with Dillon or Summer or any of the others, the boy just didn't seem to get much better. If he seemed to be learning a ton – always paying rapt attention whenever they took the time to try to help him – his technique never changed. Even though he was obviously doing EXACTLY what they told him to when they told him to, there still seemed a horrible disconnect between his actions and his brain. Instructions didn't seem to go in one ear and out the other – instead, they seemed to go in one ear, get grabbed by his brain, and somewhere during the processing, they escaped rather than being implemented, and that was far worse than his lack of attention.
Scott had become frustrated with this problem rather fast, abandoning any attempts at teaching Ziggy with his hands thrown up and a grouchy shout of defeat on his lips. The team leader took it as quite a blow that he couldn't seem to make one of his subordinates learn how to improve his or her skills. After getting used to the boy being on the team, Scott had been willing to at least try and help out the younger ranger, hoping to get through his thick skull and make him at least semi-competent. However, he hadn't even managed to get the concept of one-liners through Ziggy's thick skull properly, on top of being unable to help him improve his fighting much – the younger male had gotten that they were supposed to be sassy and insulting...but had utterly failed on the concept of them being witty or more than one line. That part was chalked up to him just not being very bright, but after Ziggy also failed several training sessions with Scott, the man had simply given up on the Green Ranger ever being an asset to his team beyond his basic skills.
Summer and Dillon seemed to be the only ones who had the long term patience enough to deal with the youngest ranger when it came to training. Summer was too good natured to give up on the failtastic young man, and had taken to treating him as she would a little brother. Series Black, meanwhile, seemed to have an innate need to protect the moronic stray he'd dragged into the group, and he was also pretty easily amused by Ziggy's stupidity and actions, even if they did try his patience at times. But even with the most patient and the most powerful members of the main team teaching him, Ranger Green STILL had improved very little in his time with them.
On the subject of Dillon, the young genius was pretty sure he might be the only person on the team with close to as many issues as she had – neither of them could rival Gem and Gemma for sheer mental instability, but they did have a lot of things wrong. Neither could remember much of their past – Dillon, because of Venjix stealing his memories, and K because of being brainwashed by the government think tank that raised her. Alphabet Soup may not have ended the world, but they could be just as cold and cruel as the virus they'd had her create and had had unleashed upon them.
K eyed the devices she'd been working on recently with some contempt. Some theorizing had brought the team to the conclusion that Dillon should have his memories back but that they were behind some sort of block. After all, they'd destroyed the Attackbot containing his memories, so they should have returned due to memory not being a purely mechanical construct, a person's brain not being comprised of data and computer chips. The theory had actually been Ziggy's originally and he'd poked at K a lot till she finally took the time to explain to him that yes, the idea was plausible but would require a lot of work, testing and it wasn't easy to come up with that kind of machine from scratch.
By that point, the rest of the team had heard her yelling and when they found out, all hell had broken loose. They may not always get along or see eye-to-eye, but the rangers were a team, and a close-knit one at that, and they looked out for their own. Dillon was family to them and they weren't just going to leave him scrounging for the memories he'd had to give up the chance to get back to save them. When K had brought up how the recovery process from all the testing could leave him out of commission, the group had countered with the idea that with the amount of time she needed to figure out the technology anyway, they could prepare a new morpher and suit for someone else. Well, they mostly meaning Gem, Gemma and herself, but Dr. K was used to working on tons of projects at once and Gem and Gemma had been the ones to help her with the original development of the suits and morphers.
She'd finally been pressured into it by the sheer power of the arguments her team gave – they all felt strongly for the cause and for the need for an extra ranger anyway, so in the end, Dr. K had conceded and begun to work on a new morpher with her the help of her team. That project was going a hell of a lot better than the memory retriever, but in her present agitation, K couldn't work on something so delicate anyway.
The teen's musings had kept her occupied for a while, but once again she was reminded of her desperate and miserable situation. She was alone, jumpy and worried for her team, and with only bad memories and worries, she couldn't even sleep properly to take some of the edge off. Hell, her jumpiness should have left her more paranoid, more alert to sounds that weren't from her computer, but Dr. K was sadly mistaken, as she discovered when a pair of hands clasped over her eyes.
"Guess who, Doc!" the cheery tones of her youngest Ranger echoed in the previously dead quiet Ranger room and K found herself jumping about a mile in the air before smacking Ziggy's hands away.
"Ranger Green! Do you know what kinds of things happen to a person's heartrate when you do things like that to them after such a long period of absence, silence and lack of contact?" she shouted, not even fully noticing her lack of coherence in the last question. K was out of it, and it showed.
"Whoa, whoa, Doc, calm down. I was just trying to cheer you up a bit, you looked pretty down." he assured her with quickly raised hands and even quicker words. Oh yes, she scared the young ranger some days and it was probably a good thing too.
"What you describe as looking 'down' is what happens after more than a week of no sleep, a meager diet and sitting in front of a computer waiting for ANY CONTACT AT ALL FROM MY AWAY TEAM!" the woman was half shouting by the end of her tirade and she'd probably have kept going on that train had she not noticed something else, "You aren't even wearing your morpher? What the hell do you think you're DOING, Series Green?"
Ziggy stared at Dr. K, trying very hard to keep her from blowing up at him before the genius finally got to a question he could honestly answer. "Hey, hey I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be offensive! I was just concerned, yeah? I'm not wearing my Morpher because Scott said not to."
"I cannot imagine why Ranger Red would tell you to do something so foolish." Dr. K said skeptically, shaking her head.
"He said not to wear them because they give off a signal or something when they're on the wrist strap of the owner. So we didn't put a new engine cell in and flip the switch to morph, we kept a new engine cell in the morpher and just put it in the strap and turned it on when we had to morph," the brunette brushed a hand through messy curls as he spoke before pulling his morpher out, removing the engine cell left inside and reattaching it, "S'like trying to save time by leaving the radio on and tuned to the right channel and just pluggin or unpluggin it when you wanna or don't wanna use it instead of turning it on and off."
The small female was not awake enough to deal with this and rested her forehead upon her hands. "Series Green, please stop talking and leave me be. I need to get some rest before the rest of the team gets here...where are they anyway?" The last question was more of an afterthought as she realized that Ziggy had come alone to see her.
He refrained from commenting on how she'd told him to shut up merely moments before asking him something, choosing to just give her a quick answer and make his getaway, "Scott's getting the third degree from his Dad, Flynn and Summer went to pop in on their families before they came back, and Gem and Gemma are helping Dillon with his um...I'll just let you see when they get here." he said quickly before turning and darting upstairs on legs that should not be working that fast after so long out in the wastes doing such intense work. Dr. K'd have almost been suspicious of that were it not Ziggy – his occasionally unbelievable immaturity seemed to also give him an extreme amount of energy and an almost permanent good mood.
That smile had been what really left K suspicious, but not of foul play. No Ziggy only wore that smile when he knew something he considered fun or amusing was going to happen. He tended to wear it most when he was talking about going to do something he enjoyed...or when he happened to be privately grilling the young doctor about her feelings for a certain Venjix human infiltration Attackbot with an extremely long title. She generally didn't enjoy these grilling sessions, but they were good natured and made her feel almost safe, that her odd feelings towards someone she shouldn't at all be interested in, were accepted by at least one of her team. They were her family after all, and their approval did matter at least a little.