Chapter 2: Digging For Answers
Last Revised: December , 2012
Summary: Two years post Danger and Destiny. A new discovery of epic proportions sends the RPM Rangers on a journey to save three of their own, and down a path laden with familiar faces.
Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama, Romance
Ships: SD, ZK, FG, and more to come
Disclaimer: I don't own PR, wish I did. I don't own the song, Alive, it's by Leona Lewis.
Author's Notes: Okay, I did a hell of a lot of thinking through the Power Rangers timeline to come up with the time frame for this story. This story was also started before Samurai was even a twinkling, so they will not be included in this story, unless I set them in the timeline after RPM Happened. Here are a few things you need to know and remember.
1 – it's my belief that due to the fact that there were no aliens in RPM what so ever that RPM took place sometime between Jungle Fury (2008) and SPD (2025); that means there is approximately a 17 year gap there to play with. 2 – we saw Ziggy rob a Jungle Karma Pizza location, which means someone from JF had to have made it to Corinth, I will explain that in this story. 3 – there is no way in hell that given the amount of former Power Rangers, with and without powers, that any or all of them would have stood back and watched Venjix destroy the world (unless you consider the stupidity of Operation Overdrive, but that is neither here nor there). I'm going to explain that too. 4 – Corinth, in my opinion, is not the only city to have survived. We saw Omega City when the Rangers went to find clues to Dillon's past. I'm of the theory that just because Ranger teams didn't survive, doesn't mean their cities didn't. That will get explained here too.
5 – this story is set two years past RPM, giving the Rangers and their relationships and futures we learned of in Danger and Destiny time to mature and grow. 6 – given what I know of the official ages of the SPD team from the Disney website and the time line in which SPD was supposed to happen, Jack, Sky, Bridge, Z, Syd and Sam are alive during this story and ranging in age from 11 (Sky) to 2 (Sam). They may or may not at some point play a role in this, I haven't decided yet. 7 - As we know, Dr. Manx and Piggy were on Earth in this time frame, so I'm going to assume that Cruger was too, but in hiding. The events described in SPD would take place sometime just after this story. 8 – as we saw in RPM, Venjix destroyed the world. This story isn't going to be a happy go lucky story. Many of the Rangers we've come to know and love died during the three year assault prior to the opening sequence of RPM. More will die in this story. You've been warned.
Dedication: Enigmaforum, Shawn30, Angel, SYuuri, and JTrevizo – I love all of you so very much. Thank you for everything! Psycochick32 – RIP. You are sorely missed, my dear.
"Destiny rarely calls us at a moment of our choosing" – Optimus Prime, Transformers 2
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Domed City Of Corinth, CA
Jungle Karma Pizza
"Boss, there's a phone call for you!" one of her employees told her as he walked out of the back door. She'd been standing behind the building, trying to get a breath of fresh air. It had been a few years, but even now she had a hard time with the smell of pizzas baking and customers talking excitedly over sports, movies, you name it. It took her back in her memories, reminded her of a time when things had been so much simpler and her life had been so much more exciting and full. She'd been whole then, surrounded by the love of her life and the family they'd been a part of. While she hadn't been like the others, hadn't had the awesome power to change the world, she'd never once felt separated from them. Until now.
Of that family, she'd been the only one other than their wolf who had survived the Venjix massacre. Brothers, sister, husband – they had all perished in the fight to protect the citizens of Ocean Bluff and ultimately save their world. She gasped when the tears slid down her cheeks, having not realized she was crying at all. The memories of that last battle didn't always bring tears, but she'd been especially sentimental recently. Reaching up, she pushed her glasses up and wiped the tear tracks from her face before pushing away from the wall and heading inside. She said nothing as she dashed up the stairs to her office, her eyes latching onto the emblem on the wall as she moved passed it – all that was left of their legacy was Jungle Karma Pizza, and she'd spent the last few years making it a success; making it a testament to the lives of those who had once loved it as much as she.
"Hello?" she absently answered as she picked the receiver up off the desk and sat down to start working on the next week's schedule.
"Pretty lady, how's the pizza business?" the achingly familiar voice asked, making her breath catch as his words met her ears. Her head snapped up and she felt her hand tremble as she laid the pencil she held on the desk again.
"Doing just fine, Master," she answered him with the utmost respect, wincing as she heard the quiver in her own voice. "It's been a while since I last heard from any of you, is everything okay?"
There was a long, pregnant pause before a sigh reached her ears. "Yes and no. I need your help."
"Of course. What can I do?"
"I'm coming to Corinth, and I need to slip in and out of the dome undetected. To do that, I need your assistance."
Her brow furrowed in confusion. None of those who survived on the outside that she knew had ever come to Corinth since the wolf had brought her here and left her the year the city shields had gone up. "How come?"
"Red's sending me in to do some scouting. I need to observe the team, without them knowing it." His cryptic response had unease swelling in her belly; if Red was sending someone in, it meant something big was going on.
"You're scaring me."
Another pause and a deep breath let out against the receiver from his end, and she could mentally picture the look on his face. "I can't tell you anymore than that this is important. You know Red wouldn't send me if it wasn't. I'll be there in two days."
Letting out the breath she hadn't know she was holding, she nodded even though she knew he couldn't see her. "I'll be waiting."
"Well?" her voice, so familiar to his ears, carried an edge to it that hadn't been there before. He'd known her all his life; the beautiful, spunky teenager had morphed into a confident, mature woman who'd made the best of a horrible series of events. The fearless heart of their team once, she was now the indomitable leader of what was left of the Rangers. He watched a piece of her die a little more every day they continued to wear the armor they'd thought they'd hung up as teenagers.
"Purple checked in. He'll be there in two days. Our contact on the inside is more than willing to help," he informed her, watching the tension in her leave a little.
"Good. And the others?"
He actually smiled, recalling the phone call with his fellow geniuses. "Samurai's working on the connection. The academy suffered a blown generator a few days ago. Power's being diverted to the back-up shields in case the magical barrier goes down, so communications are going to be spotty at best for a while."
She nodded. "He won't let that happen," she responded, shaking her head as she wondered what other set backs they could possibly face. "Have they found the others?"
"Elizabeth is in Corinth, at the orphanage. There's been no word on Jack or his mother," he told her, watching her face pinch. Danny and Kendall's daughter had disappeared but resurfaced in Corinth a year before. The only reason she knew that was because they'd found out that Bulk and Spike had actually survived and made their way to the domed city. And they had still not found T.J's son, the child's mother, or his stepfather. "We still don't have word of Sydney or Bridge."
"And Sky's still in the future?"
When it came to the son of the former Time Force Rangers, he could only sigh. "Wes refuses to tell me if he's talked to her at all."
Her shoulders moved up and down in a familiar shrug. It was a nearly impossible task to get Wes to talk about his family, especially since the last time Sky saw him, he was told that Wes had perished at the hands of Mirloc. "We know he survives, because I refuse to believe that the four of them wouldn't do everything in their power to ensure the future remains unchanged. If they don't grow up…"
"Bridge doesn't come back to help Adam," he finished her sentence, both of the shuddering painfully. "I'm well aware."
Rare tears gathered in her brown eyes, breaking his heart. She hadn't cried in front of anyone since her falcon had died. She'd refused to show weakness, plain and simple. "I'm tired."
"We all are, and I'm sorry you've had to shoulder most of the burden of leading what's left of us."
"Billy…" she whispered before she moved across the room and slid into his lap, arms wrapping around him as she held on tight. He'd been beside her through some of the best and worst moments of her life, had given her strength, support and had held endless faith in her abilities. They had both loved and faced bitter, draining loss; they had fought side by side and at times against one another, but through it all, he'd been there. She loved him as she had no other. Her heart and soul would always be Tommy's, of that there was no changing, but since his death, she'd come to love Billy in a much different way than she once had.
"We'll get through this, we always have before. The kids will grow up and some day, it'll all be a dream," he tried to assure her, his hand stroking up and down her back.
"They ask about him all the time," she whispered, knowing she could share this with him. He knew what it was like to have to answer those kinds of questions. His daughter had only been a toddler when her mother had been killed in a car accident and his stepdaughter and stepson had disappeared into thin air.
"Natural, and a testament to who he was, the kind of father he was. All they have left of him is their vague memories and yours."
She sniffled as she rested her head in the curve of his neck, for once leaning on instead of supporting. "If it wasn't for the kids, I'd have joined him a long time ago."
Blue-gray eyes closed on a sharp stab of pain that echoed in his heart. He knew and respected how she felt because he'd been there himself a long time before. It hurt though, to know his closest and dearest friend had lost her will to go on, save for the driving desire to raise her children.
"I hate to interrupt" a gruff voice called, bringing their attention to the figure in the doorway. "Pink just checked in."
"Is she alright?" they asked in unison.
Green's dark eyes clouded with emotion. "She found signs that Adam may have survived longer than we thought. She went to check them out."
The pair sprang up out of the chair, shock on both their faces. If Adam had survived at least for a little while longer, then maybe so had his and Pink's son… "Oh God! Is she okay?" Red demanded, her voice carrying more worry than heat.
"Yellow's gone out to join her. He looked pretty messed up when he left."
She nodded and looked up into Blue's face. "Can you alert the others?"
"Some of us are already here."
Turning, they all saw four figures enter from one of the secret entrances. "Guys."
"Adam survived?" the petite former Yellow's voice croaked out of her throat as she moved to embrace Red.
"Longer than we thought, anyway," Green answered her, his voice pained.
Her face was pale, her eyes a storm of emotions. "Stay on schedule and stick to the plan. I'm going to Corinth." The other six Rangers stood in silenced shock, watching fierce determination fill every part of their leader.
Her throat was on fire, the pain of her body having faded. She could feel the baby finally quiet down. Every few days, they came and put her through excruciating pain, probing the birth canal to monitor the progress of her child. She'd briefly glimpsed Tenaya once, her sister in law looking as blank as she had years before as Tenaya 15. She hadn't seen Dillon at all since they'd been taken trying to scout the factory. Part of her feared he was gone.
All her expectations of her pregnancy had been destroyed. She could remember the wonder, fear and absolute love on Dillon's face when she'd told him she was pregnant. It was one thing they'd not discussed with K following Venjix's destruction – they hadn't asked if Dillon or Tenaya would be able to have kids due to the Venjix tech. Their baby was a miracle, but she knew that joy was going to turn to sorrow if Venjix got his hands on it.
She was so tired, so sick of the constant pain. All she wanted was to be home with her family, celebrating the pending birth of her child. She cringed when she heard the bots coming back. Carefully, she locked her consciousness deep inside, knowing it was the only way she was going to survive what was to come.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Domed City Of Corinth, CA
K was absolutely frustrated as she stared at the multitudes of spare parts, fried circuits, and the general mess that was currently her lab table. She had kind of hoped repairing the computers from the Lightspeed base would be a generally easy task, but realized that nothing Ranger related was ever going to be easy. All was not lost though. She had managed to get some more information from the computers, including the identities of the Space and Overdrive Rangers.
It disheartened her to know that the entire Space team was either missing or presumed dead. It was one thing for her to know that billions of people had died because of what she'd done; that was a terrible burden in and of itself on her tiny shoulders, but it was infinitely more personal to know that several generations of people who could be considered family had given their lives to stop her virus. She knew in her heart, there was never going to be a way to atone for that kind of mistake. Turning back to her computer, she studied the screen before her. As far as Angela's records were concerned, K knew that at least some of the Overdrive team had survived because they'd been charged with taking the children of other Rangers to safety.
"Dr. Rawlings?" K asked, looking down at her notes. She'd been able to make a list of all the former teams and she and Gemma had come up with a list of questions they were hoping the hologram would be able to answer.
Thanks to Gem's diligence, a good portion of the hologram's memory banks had been repaired. They were still working on what they all knew were the most critical portions – the ones that had the hidden identities of the non public teams on them.
"Yes Dr. K?"
"Can you tell me about the Jungle Fury and Mystic Force Rangers?" K knew that other than the Overdrive Rangers, those were two of the last teams. It seemed what the team had been able to pull on Jungle Fury and Mystic Force was that their identities had been known by some, but never revealed outside of Ocean Bluff or Briarwood to anyone but other Ranger teams.
"What would you like to know?" Each interaction with the hologram was proving more and more interesting. It was almost as if the technology used for the programming was something alien – this hologram seemed to learn from each session with K or the Rangers. If K hadn't known that some of the Ranger tech from the earlier teams was alien, she'd have never believed it of the hologram.
"What happened to the remaining team members after the Venjix assault?"
"Jungle Fury was only known to have one surviving official member at the time of my recordings. The wife of one of the Rangers also survived but her whereabouts must be kept secret in case Venjix ever tries to annihilate what is left of the legacy of Rangers."
"Dr. Rawlings, Venjix has been defeated, I'm asking you to reveal that secret to me. I need to know where she's at."
"Without the password, I cannot reveal to you where the Rhino's wife is."
Groaning, K shook her head. She sincerely hoped that Gemma got the decryption program working soon, because all the mysterious blocks they kept ramming right into were giving her a headache. "Tell me about the Mystic Force."
"Last contact with the Mystic Force Power Rangers came during year three of the Venjix assault. At the time, Zeo Ranger V, as the most senior member of the Ranger teams, ordered them to evacuate Briarwood, which lays on the coast of California just North of Blue Bay Harbor."
"Where did they evacuate to?"
"That I cannot tell you," the hologram spoke. "No one but the Zeo Rangers was ever made fully aware of the evacuation destinies for any of the teams. It was safest that way."
K rubbed her forehead. "Did the entire team survive?"
"No. I was told that the White and Red Rangers perished in the fight, along with the Red Wolf and Solaris Knights. I believe the Pink Ranger was severely injured in the battle as well, but it is unknown to me whether Vida died due to her injuries or not."
With a sigh, K typed out the information. So there was a possibility that there were at least four Mystic Force Ranger still alive – Green, Yellow, Blue and possible Pink – a large part of her hoped they had all survived. It took her all of two seconds to realize that she had just been given a hint to one of the Rangers' identities.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Domed City Of Corinth, CA
West Gate – Outer Dome Park
She sat on a bench in the two year old park outside of the west gate. It felt good to be outside in the fresh air, to feel the actual sun on her face, but it also reminded her of what had been lost. She kind of hoped when all of this was over, she and the Wolf might be able to go home and see if anything had survived. She knew that Ocean Bluff was probably still vacant, but if Corinth could rebuild, so could they.
It gave her a start when she felt the brush of fur against her leg. Looking down, she saw a sleek looking wolf sitting at her feet. A luminous smile lit her face as she bent to him, threw her arms around him and buried her face in his fur. "It's good to see you, R.J.," she murmured even though her throat was choked by emotion.
He rubbed against her, trying to soothe her. Then he nudged her toward the gate. She laughed and quickly tied the leash around his neck before leading him into the dome.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Domed City Of Corinth, CA
He stared at the screen, face grim, eyes full of questions. It had been a very, very long time since he'd spoken to any of the resistance fighters, particularly the man he was currently staring at on the video screen. Though he looked much older than the last time Colonel Truman had seen him, Mason knew the younger man was still a formidable opponent. "Are you certain?" the Colonel asked again.
"Colonel Truman, I've known Zeo Ranger V since were in grade school. She didn't make this decision lightly. She's coming to Corinth within the next week, and she wants to meet you and the new Rangers."
"I believe it has to do with your missing Rangers."
Mason's eyes narrowed. "Mr. Bulkmeier, she has never tried to contact us since she gave the order to evacuate to Corinth. Why now? Why after all this time has she decided to take an interest in my Rangers?"
The younger man's cynical laughter made the Colonel fold his arms over his chest and growl low in his throat. "Colonel, Zeo V has been a Ranger off and on since she was fifteen. She has reasons for doing things that I don't know and don't question. Are you going to risk everything by asking her why?"
"We'll be ready to meet her when she gets here."
"Good. I'll contact you again when she's arrived."
"Of course. Truman out."
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Domed City Of Corinth, CA
"Dr. K, you're running around like a lunatic; would you mind telling me why?" Scott demanded, watching the tiny woman race back and forth between five separate computers. She didn't stop or answer but kept muttering to herself and typing on the computers. Having had enough, Scott stepped in front of her and grabbed her shoulders. "Doc!"
"Dr. Rawlings' hologram finally gave me a hint, to the identity of one of the Mystic Force Rangers. I'm scouring the city's databases for information on her."
Scott's face darkened and he nodded before moving to K's main computer. She watched him type something in and then pull up a classified screen she'd only seen Colonel Truman use. "Scott?"
"See what you can gleam from the secret files. I don't know what's there, but Marcus gave me the codes, just in case."
The doctor looked at him, realizing even her Rangers had secrets. "Thank you."
"Hopefully you'll find what you're looking for."