Subject: New story – Legacy of Valor, Chapter 2: Family Lines
Rating, spoilers, disclaimer, etc all in earlier chapters.
Summary: The Dino Thunder team gets the scoop on why Nova's come looking for help and a few bombshells get dropped as well.
Hi all! Thanks so much for the warm welcome for this story. It's so very heartening to know that even after all these years that the AaR universe is still loved. So we're mixing shows some more and at the end with authors notes I'll explain my linchpin theory. For now though, let's get to the story…
Legacy of Valor
Chapter 2: Family Lines
With a pop and snap the light portal from the past closed behind them as the Nova Ranger and the Dino Thunder team arrived in the midst of a large concrete bunker. There wasn't much to the area – large central table, machinery, lights, viewing screens… a command center if they had ever seen one. There was one doorway leading into darkness that probably led to additional space, and there was a single occupant in the room besides themselves and the Nova Ranger.
The Nova Ranger didn't even pause for more than a second to verify that everyone had made it through the time portal before she moved to greet the other ranger, who though was in his uniform, had his white and dark blue helmet perched on the large table he was standing over. He looked up at her as she approached and sighed in relief.
"About time," he said as he gave her a brief hug. "Everything went okay?"
"I would say so," she answered with a wave of her arm, indicating the six members of the Dino Thunder team.
"Wow… they're so… young…" he replied and watched her give him a look that he knew meant he was being stupid and followed up with, "I guess that makes sense; they are from the past after all."
With a small punch to the other ranger's arm the Nova Ranger turned back to the collected Dino Thunder team. They all seemed a bit disoriented, which she couldn't blame them for. The fact was that not only were they out of their time but they had a huge task before them. Gruumm's people were not to be trifled with lightly.
"Whoa…" commented Ethan quietly as he glanced around the space they'd landed in.
"Doesn't seem very impressive for the future," noted Trent, focusing on the bare concrete surrounding them.
"She did say they were in trouble," remarked Conner, pointing to the two rangers in the center of the room next to what he guessed was the 'battle map'.
"So if this isn't their SPD building, perhaps they're on the run?" Kira added thoughtfully.
"More than likely this is a secondary base," confirmed Kim, feeling the weariness and anxiety that seemed to fill the room.
"So, what's our next move?" Tommy asked, directing his question to the Nova Ranger.
Slowly she moved away from the other ranger and came closer to them. She had a few choices on how to go about this. She could start with the situation on the ground at the SPD headquarters. She could explain the reason for coming to get them. Or she could start off with…
Shaking her head briefly; she knew that there was time for other things…
"History lesson first," announced Nova. "Unfortunately, while the Dino Thunder team has been to the aid of the Space Patrol Delta organization, none of you remember it."
The Dino Thunder team looked around at one another… they'd been to the future and they didn't remember it? When had that happened? And what had the SPD done to make them forget it?
A sudden burst of inspiration hit Kim and she turned to Tommy, her hand falling naturally on his arm, bringing his gaze to bear on her.
"Tommy, remember before you defeated Zeltrax the first time there was that instance when you called me saying you couldn't remember what had happened to you and you were covered in bruises?" Kim recalled, her eyes widening at the memory.
"Yeah… we'd left the school and I had this blinding headache… I'd been concerned I'd had my mind controlled…" he replied with a hushed, somber tone as he recalled the incident in question and his fear something had taken control of him.
"That was the B-Squad at the time," stated Nova apologetically. "Emperor Gruumm had tried going into the past to change the future so the SPD team went back as well to stop them."
"And we helped?" asked Trent, genuinely curious as to what had happened.
"Yes. And they had to wipe your memories so you wouldn't affect the future. Of course it wasn't the first time; your team had worked with the B-squad, the first time when you'd been brought to the future…"
"So you know us…" Conner questioned, his back straightening a bit as he tried to put together the evidence Nova was presenting them that they'd been both to the future and helped in the past SPD time travelers…
"Very well in fact," Nova said lightly before she changed her tone to that of a leader. "Part of the training at SPD is learning about previous ranger teams."
"Wow, I guess we're part of the ranger legacy, huh?" remarked Ethan with a smirk, earning him a look from Kim that made his smile instantly fade.
"You are… all of you; some more than others," she stated meaningfully before she heard someone clearing their throat behind her. She swung around to note the Omega Ranger standing there, his eyes pinned on her and his foot tapping causing her to flush behind her helmet at her poor manners.
"Sorry. I really need to get us moving on the reason you are here – helping rescue the others at SPD headquarters. First some introductions are in order. Although you won't remember him, this is the Omega Ranger, Sam. He's my team partner and the reason the two of us aren't inside the HQ," said Nova.
With the introduction Sam smiled and moved to shake everyone's hands.
"It's good to see you again, well, expect for you Kim… you hadn't joined the team when I worked with them last," Sam said as he moved along the somewhat confused group.
"So we've met your colleague here before, what about you?" asked Kira as the Nova Ranger anxiously moved to the other side of the table, her hands fiddling with the weapon at her belt.
She'd known this was going to happen. When Sam had suggested this she'd been adamantly against it. One mistake here and things in the past would never be the same. She wouldn't be the same. But they needed the help and she knew that the Dino Thunder team could help her and Sam save all of the SPD.
Indecision wracking her, Nova swung her head towards the Dino Thunder team; her visor directed at Kim and Tommy. Slowly she moved back around the table, standing at near attention in front of the Dino Thunder team before she took a deep breath and moved to unlatch her helmet. Gradually she pulled it off and then stared at the two older rangers, dark brown hair framing a soft face set with doe brown eyes and a tentative half smile.
There was a long pause as she studied the people before her and them her in return. Memories were one thing, she reminded herself, but physical reality… She smiled and took another deep breath to gather her courage. She could do this… God knew she had inherited a fighting spirit.
"I've known all of you all my life… My parents named me Elizabeth Trini Oliver," she said softly.
Tommy stared, his eyes widening as he attempted to digest what this woman had just said. Around them the others all watched in stunned silence. And beside Tommy, Kim felt herself go pale, her skin turning to ice before she fell in a dead faint to the floor.
Everyone immediately moved at Kim's sudden collapse, kneeling around the pink ranger, including Beth. She was a few feet away but she watched in awe as her father moved to slide his arm behind her mother's back as he slowly eased her into a tender embrace.
She remembered them being like that when she was a child. After she'd become a teen she ignored it, finding her parent's intimacy too… 'icky' and now she had her own life to live and rarely saw them. But this incarnation of her parents, still young and very much in love… she recalled that she would have been shy of two years old at the time she pulled them from, and it was like a new revelation for her to watch them like this with an adult's perspective of the connection between them.
Kim's eyes slowly fluttered open, taking in the worried faces of her husband and team mates.
"You really have to stop doing that," commented Tommy lowly as he carefully helped Kim stand up from their position on the floor, prompting everyone else to stand as well.
"After all these years you'd think I wouldn't be surprised anymore," she replied with a hollow laugh that the shock and disbelief in her eyes as her head fought to wrap around the idea that this woman, this ranger before her was her daughter.
"Sorry mom… dad. I forgot mom has a habit of taking surprises badly."
The reference to Kim's previous incidents was intentional and Tommy and Kim looked as a unit to stare at the Nova Ranger's features, looking for one concrete thing that would prove or disprove her claim. While baby Beth's features were still changing, the look of the woman before them felt like part memory and part hopefully fantasy; she was everything that they could have ever wanted in a child and now she was here and real…
"Really? You're their daughter?" asked Conner, stunned as he looked at the woman and saw the little baby he and the other members of the team had been so protective of following her birth.
"What? You really think that I wouldn't end up in the family business Uncle Conner?" she asked with a half smile that Conner recognized as Tommy's.
The former red ranger started at that, the realization hitting him and the others like a bolt of lightning that the woman before them had Kim's eyes and Tommy's hair and…
"Holy shit! She really is Beth!" said Ethan as he stared at the woman in front of them, helmet under her arm and standing in a strange mirror image to how Kimberly normally would…
The entire team seemed frozen in place as they processed the fact that little Beth was all grown up and had come to her parents and her aunts and uncles for help in her present.
"So, when are we exactly?" asked Trent as he tried to get a handle on the spinning of his head, trying to figure how many years had passed between Beth's first birthday and now.
"It's 2040," said Sam suddenly, breaking the attention to his superior officer and focusing it on the mission.
"And where are the rest of the SPD?" asked Kira.
"That's part of the problem," started Beth before she ran her hand through her shoulder length chestnut hair in a mirror image of her father when he got frustrated, causing Kim to give Tommy a wry look.
"We're all that escaped the SPD headquarters," Sam explained sorrowfully.
"What?" exclaimed Ethan, surprised by the information.
"I had just found Sam in the past; actually B-squad's past, around the time they defeated Emperor Gruumm," Beth started to explain, "In my time, now, they didn't know I had been time travelling, searching for him so when they attacked I was gone. I think they must have assumed they would get everyone when they attacked the HQ."
"But they didn't…" pointed out Tommy deliberately.
"No, but now we need help to liberate SPD headquarters and send them back where they came from."
"So if your headquarters are occupied, where are we?" questioned Conner, wanting confirmation on what they were up against and what they had available to them.
"Auxiliary command center. For… emergencies," stated Sam with a small sigh, obviously disappointed in their circumstances than anything else.
"Okay, so you have a building full of hostages and no way of getting them out yourselves," started Tommy, his hand gripping Kim's arm even as his heart and soul recognized the truth the Nova Ranger… Beth was telling them. "What do you think just the six of us can do to help you?"
"You still have your powers. When the Solar Rangers arrived on Earth in 2007 you didn't lose your powers, you just stopped using them," Beth stated, memories of the story from her parents, aunts and uncles were very specific on the details of that event. "Which means you can help us defeat Gruumm's former allies."
The way Beth related the circumstances of the Dino Thunder team's retirement was just another affirmation that she was really their daughter. And in the end, they had responsibilities; not just as parents but as rangers. Tommy looked down at Kim before they both turned to the others.
"Anyone not packing?" he asked even as he and Kim brushed their hands over their wrists where their gauntlets still sat.
Sure, they might have been retired, happily living with nearly 2 year old Beth in Reefside but there was always that thought in the back of their minds that being a ranger was never over.
"You taught us all better than that Dr. O," answered Conner as he, Kira, Ethan and Trent all pulled aside their long winter wear sleeves to show their Dino Thunder gauntlets.
"Well then, I guess you have a power ranger team," replied Tommy as he turned back towards… his daughter.
"Good, now let's start figuring out how we're saving SPD…"
-End Chapter 2-
Author's note: Okay, I did the math on this: April 14, 2007 is Beth's birth date. In my story "Footsteps," Beth is 22 when she graduates SPD academy which is set in 2029. SPD wiki states the Nova Ranger is from 2040, which for this story is set in January 2040, making her 32. Considering her parentage she looks young for her age and passes for younger when we see her in Endings 2. And for more clarification, seeing the actress in Endings 2 made me think of what a grown up Beth would be like and this story (originally a 1-shot) was born.
Hope you all continue to enjoy this… J.