A/N: This was written for the prficathons Christmas exchange on LiveJournal. The request I got was to write fic about the Aquitar Rangers; I decided to address the issue of why they call themselves the "Alien" Rangers, even though they wouldn't be aliens to themselves.
Also, does anyone know what the inhabitants of KO-35 are called? Some sites say "Karovan," others "Kerovan," others "Kerovian," etc. I just went with "Karovan," but I honestly have no idea.
"Cestro, can I ask you a question?"
Cestro glanced up from the hydrating device he was working on in the Command Center, his gaze landing on Billy. "Technically, you already did," he pointed out.
Billy smiled ruefully. "Affirmative," he replied. "I was hoping to inquire about the origins of your team's name. I find it curious that you refer to yourselves as the 'Alien Rangers,' when it is only humans on Earth who would find you… well, alien."
Cestro was, quite frankly, surprised that it had taken this long for one of the Rangers to ask. He supposed that, with the exception of Billy, they were in a childlike state and had no reason to question the title; but, still, he had to wonder what sort of education system Angel Grove had.
"It's an interesting story, actually…" he began.
After a battle in which the Aquitar Rangers defeated the Hydro Hog so thoroughly that he wasn't expected to reappear for months, it was Delphine who suggested that they use the lull to help other planets in need.
"Excuse me?" Corcus demanded, upon hearing the idea. "I don't remember the last time I had a decent night's sleep—"
"There are many creatures out there who are not as fortunate as us," Delphine told him, "and who do not have the luxury of respite. KO-35, for instance, has been targeted by Dark Specter and is reporting an increasing number of attacks—nor do they think they will be left in peace anytime soon. If we could provide aid to their warriors, even just for a month or two, it would be a great help."
"I'm with Delphine," Aurico said. "Besides, we haven't had nearly enough experience with interplanetary warfare. If we are ever called upon in the future, we need to be prepared to adjust to different atmospheres."
"My only concern," Cestro responded, "is that our presence on KO-35 may bring us to Dark Specter's attention. If he sets his sights on Aquitar, we would be dealing with far worse than the Hydro Hog. We will not be able to withstand such an attack."
Tideus nodded in agreement. "Let the Karovans deal with him," he declared. "When the Hydro Hog returns, we will have enough problems on our hands without the monarch of evil knocking at our door."
"We don't have to tell Dark Specter's forces who we are," Aurico argued. "We can say that we are Karovan Rangers."
"They already have Rangers, though," Tideus pointed out. "Dark Specter will see through that immediately."
"There are Power Rangers on KO-35?" Billy asked, his eyes widening.
"Only a couple," Cestro replied, trying to remember the specifics. It had been a year since the trip to KO-35, and the months since then had been a blur of Hydro Hog attacks. "They're quite young, too. Much like yourselves."
"Do they have the same colors?" Billy inquired curiously.
Cestro shook his head. "One of them was Red, but the other was Silver. Neither of them had been Rangers for very long. It is my understanding that they were the first of what the Karovans were hoping to expand into a larger team. I suppose they have added new members since then, though in truth communication between our planets has been almost impossible."
Billy considered this for a moment. "If KO-35 had their own Rangers, then, under what guise did you provide assistance?"
"The leaders of KO-35 will help us maintain anonymity. They can inform their citizens that we were pulled from the ranks of the Karovan army to form a temporary unit of elite soldiers, one that will be in use until they recruit additional Rangers. By the time rumor has reached Dark Specter, we will be long gone," Cestro theorized.
Aurico and Delphine nodded their heads in agreement. "Tideus? Corcus?" Delphine inquired, raising an eyebrow at the Yellow and Black Rangers. "We cannot go without the full team's consent."
In the end, Tideus and Corcus reluctantly gave in—but not without Corcus warning them that "bad things" would happen if anyone woke him up on the journey to KO-35. And so it was that, less than a week later, the Aquitar Rangers' ship entered KO-35's international skyport.
They were greeted by an elderly man in a long, flowing robe, who introduced himself as Kinwon. "We can't thank you enough for coming here," he said emphatically. "Dark Specter's attacks are getting worse by the month, and we fear it won't be long before he launches a full-scale invasion. Your presence here is greatly appreciated."
Just then, there was a small disturbance in the form of two teenagers racing each other towards the visitors. A minor scuffle ensued upon their arrival, one of them playfully elbowing the other in the gut and his companion retorting with a shove. The Aquitians exchanged confused looks, wondering why had these children been allowed onto the skyport.
"Andros, Zhane," Kinwon said sharply. "Now is not the time for your antics."
The two boys guiltily straightened themselves out. With a forced expression of seriousness, the long-haired one inquired, "Are these the Rangers who have come to help us? Sir?"
"Woah, alien Rangers!" the other murmured in awe.
"Zhane!" the long-haired one hissed. "That's rude!"
"No, it's totally cool," Zhane insisted, as Kinwon sighed in exasperation. "I'm Zhane, the Silver Ranger," he told the Aquitians, before gesturing toward his friend. "This is Andros, the Red Ranger."
Corcus voiced what the Aquitians were all thinking. "How old are the two of you?"
"Old enough," Andros muttered, his cheeks reddening.
"Old enough to kick Dark Specter's—" Zhane began, but one look from Kinwon prevented him from finishing the sentence.
"Perhaps the two of you should check in on the Megaship and see how the repairs are going," Kinwon said, his tone clearly indicating that it was not a suggestion.
Andros, at least, appeared rather chagrined; but as the two Rangers were walking away, Zhane whooped and said, "Alien Rangers! Just wait until I tell my dad…"
"Did you ever find out how old the Rangers were?" Billy inquired.
Cestro shook his head. "Yet, whatever their age was, they were both excellent fighters—and, in the end, that is what matters most."
Billy nodded in agreement—although, Cestro thought, the Blue Ranger was hardly in a position to frown upon underage warriors.
"Unfortunately," Cestro continued, "they were too young to understand the meaning of 'secret identities'…"
"Look, it's the Alien Rangers!"
"Do you think those are their brains, sticking out of their masks?"
"I can't believe it! The Alien Rangers just took down the Quantrons like they were nothing!"
"I wonder if they have special alien powers…"
These remarks—and sometimes shockingly racist ones, though thankfully those were few and far between—followed the Aquitar Rangers wherever they went, despite Kinwon's futile attempts to convince the Karovans that the new Rangers were really citizens of KO-35. The Karovans overwhelmingly rejected this story, enthralled by the idea of "Alien Rangers" coming to their aid. The only saving grace of the whole debacle was that none of the Karovans knew where they had come from; few, in fact, seemed to care.
Zhane never officially admitted to telling everyone that the newcomers were "Alien Rangers," but in a rather misguided attempt at damage control he did start a series of false rumors about them—each wildly inaccurate and, as Corcus often grumbled, contributing to the exotic appeal of the Aquitians. Said rumors included a story that the White Ranger was related to Zordon, that the Red Ranger was actually a girl, and that all of them were from the Lost Galaxy.
With the exception of Corcus, the Aquitar Rangers found the ignorance of the Karovan masses to be quite amusing—not to mention, extremely helpful in concealing their true identities.
"I see," Billy said when Cestro wrapped up his tale. "You assumed the inappropriate moniker as both a joke and a way to deter the forces of evil from easily determining your origins."
Cestro nodded. "More as a joke," he confessed, "because while the term 'Alien Rangers' often fools distant evil rulers, our appearances and suits are widely recognized in this part of the galaxy."
Billy hesitated. "Have you found the people on Earth to be just as… well, ethnocentric as the Karovans?" he asked, looking embarrassed.
"It is understandable," Cestro hastened to assure the Blue Ranger. "Especially since the scientists of your planet have yet to discover alternate sentient life forms in this galaxy." (The Aquitians had escaped detection by placing a cloaking force field around their planet, since it was widely agreed that none of them wanted to be bothered by "the Earthlings.")
Billy still seemed put out, so Cestro added, "Besides, the same is true in reverse. If you were to come to Aquitar, you would be treated as if you were a creature in one of those 'zoos' you have here. It is only natural for people to be curious when confronted by the unknown."
"I suppose that's true," Billy replied; but he had bitten his lip at the mention of Aquitar, and he remained preoccupied for the rest of the afternoon.