"SENIORS! SENIORS! SENIORS!"
I cheered and yelled as we walked through the hallways. It was the first day of our Senior Year at Angel Grove High and the hallways were full of seniors. The underclassmen stood on the sides watching the display.
Tasha, Ann and I were dressed in full senior gear. All 3 of us wore black cut up t-shirts with 'SENIORS' painted on the front in Red (me), Yellow (Tasha) or Blue (Ann), some sort of crazy printed pants, strings of Marti Gras beads and had our cheeks painted with the word 'seniors'. Everyone carried black balloons that we spun around our heads as we walked and tons of people were throwing confetti. It was chaos but it was fun.
"This is quite an amazing display of spirit!" Ann grinned as we walked.
"You have no idea! Wait until Homecoming!" I replied.
We finished our rounds down the hallways and departed for class. Tasha and I slid into our seats in Billy's class five minutes later and Chris followed soon after.
"Morning babe." he grinned and gave Tasha a quick kiss before Billy showed up and chastised them for PDA in class.
Tasha and Chris had been official since the week after Formal and I loved the fact they were together. They were one of those couples who were so much alike that they were perfect together. It was like they were meant for each other.
They weren't the only couple either. Jakob and Ann were still going strong as well. Ann was super smart and could be super serious but Jakob was slowly getting her relaxed and she was becoming more and more like a typical teenager.
"I am so glad that this is our LAST year. I'm so over school." Tasha said as she pulled out her notebook.
"Agreed." I nodded.
"You two still looking at apartments?" Chris asked.
"Sorta. We found one last week that's a block from the Youth Center." I replied.
"We just have to have Tommy look at it before we can put down a deposit. And then it's all ours." Tasha smiled.
Tasha and I had taken jobs at Ernie's Lakeside Juice Bar over the summer and had saved every penny we had made. Thankfully Ernie was a generous boss and we had made been able to set back enough money to put down a deposit on an apartment and a couple months rent. Adding to that the fact we were going to keep working part time at the Youth Center and we would be able to move out.
"That's great!" Chris smiled.
"Hopefully Dad will approve." I replied crossing my fingers.
Billy came into the room and started the usual first day lecture on the rules of the lab and all the things that teachers were supposed to say. The rest of the day pretty much went the same way with teacher after teacher repeating every rule we'd learned since Kindergarten. I was more than happy to climb into my brother's car with Tasha and Chris after school and head to the Juice Bar.
Tasha and I put on our aprons and headed behind the counter just as Ryan, Jakob, Nathan, Ann and Amanda sat down at the bar.
"Bar wench! Smoothie me!" Ryan said and banged his fist on the bar with a smirk.
"Call either of us a 'bar wench' again and the only smoothie you're going to get is one made out of us putting your hand in the blender." Tasha said staring down Ryan.
"Damn…a little harsh there Tash?" Ryan said holding his hand defensively.
"Are you going to order something or just take up space Ry?" I asked looking at him.
"Gimme a smoothie. Surprise me on the flavor." he said.
"Sure thing." I replied and started tossing random fruits into the blender knowing that Ryan would drink anything.
"What about you four?" Tasha asked.
"Fries and two sodas." Jakob said.
"Strawberry smoothie." Amanda replied
"Can you just fill up my bottle? I'm going to work our with Ethan and Chris." Nathan said.
"Alrighty." Tasha said.
We quickly filled their orders and started on the ones from the other customers. Once the after school rush was over Tasha and I set about washing cups and cleaning up the tables.
I was wiping down a table when Ethan, Chris and Nathan caught my eye. Chris and Nathan were sparring and Ethan was standing to the side watching. Chris had certainly improved in the time that we had been working with him but it was Nathan that drew my eye.
He wore a pair of black Gi pants and a white tank top, a white headband tied across his forehead. His eyes were focused and his face was serious. My eyes watched as his muscles flexed under his skin, each movement deliberate and certain.
My eyes broke away from Nathan and I turned to see Tasha grinning at me.
"What?" I asked.
"You were staring at Nathan!" she said in a stage whisper.
"I was not!" I replied.
"Uh-huh…that's what you said the first time you saw him too. Just admit it Izzy!" she laughed.
"I wasn't staring at him! I was watching them spar and was thinking about how much I missed it. What with working and everything I haven't had time to really spar." I replied.
"Right. Whatever you want to believe." Tasha smirked and headed back to the counter while I returned to mopping down tables.
What I had told Tasha hadn't been a complete lie. I hadn't really had been able to spar or do anything of that sort in forever. All summer I had worked sometimes all day and then had just crashed that night. Sometimes I almost wished that Zard would attack again.
It had been seven months since there had been a single peep from Zard. After the battle the night of the Formal there hadn't been a single monster attack on Angel Grove. We checked in with Zordon and Alpha at least once a week but both assured us that there was no trace of Zard in our Solar System.
I was torn on the whole subject. Sometimes I thought that maybe he really was gone but then other times it was almost a gut feeling that his flight was less of a retreat and more of a strategy to get us to let our guards down while he plotted something more sinister to overthrow us.
I pulled myself out of my thoughts and finished the tables before wiping down the bar. After that I checked the clock and realized it was time to clock out. Tasha and I punched out our time cards and headed outside towards Ethan's truck which he had so generously left for us.
The both of us walked through the door of our house and collapsed on the couch.
"I made dinner." Ethan said walking out of the kitchen.
"What? Are you serious?" I asked looking at him.
"Yeah. Who else was going to make it? You two just got home and Dad is teaching that Paleontology Club thing at the museum until 7." Ethan replied.
Tasha and I looked at each other before getting up and walking to the kitchen to see just what kind of mess we were expected to eat. Sitting on the table were plates of food; Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, green beans and biscuits.
"This…this looks edible." I said looking at Ethan.
"That's because it is. I tasted all of it and it's really good. It's amazing what you can do with a microwave." he smiled.
"Well I'm starving." I said and grabbed plates from the cupboard while Tasha grabbed drinks.
We sat down and dug into the food. It was actually really good.
Soon Dad came home and sat down and filled up his own plate.
"So how was the Paleontology club?" I asked looking at Dad.
"It was great. There are actually few kids that really seem to care about being there." Dad replied.
"And the kids who don't?" Tasha asked.
"Well a few pretend to care but there are two or three that are just a pain the in the neck." Dad said shaking his head.
"Maybe they'll just leave." I replied.
"And if not I hope you have the patience of Zordon, Dad." Ethan smirked.
"Speaking of Zordon have you-" but that moment the familiar melodic beeping filled the air in stereo from all three of our Communicators.
"Speak of the devil." I sighed and hit the button of my Communicator.
"We're here Zordon." I said.
"Report to the Command Center immediately." he said.
"Right away Zordon." I said and stood up.
"I'd better come with you." Dad said standing up as well.
"Why?" Ethan asked. Dad usually only came to the Command Center if one of us were hurt or something of that nature. He preferred to leave the world in our hands.
"Long story." Dad replied.
"Okay." I said and Dad grabbed hold of my arm and the four of us teleported to the Command Center.
We all got there about the same time as the others and instantly we were all asking questions.
"Is Zard back?"
"What's going on?"
"Is the city under attack?"
"Rangers please calm down. All will be explained." Zordon said.
"So what is going on?" Ethan asked.
"Over the past several months we have been monitoring this solar system for any signs of Zard. However what you did not know was that we have been monitoring other ones as well in hopes of locating and tracking Zard's movements. Until now there has been no sign of him but we have finally managed to locate him." Zordon said.
"So what's going on? What is Zard doing?" I asked.
"We have evidence that over the last seven months he is building an army." Alpha said and on a screen we saw thousands of Putties and Trogs marching in synchronization along with monsters and aliens of all sorts. It was a scary sight. .
"An army!?" Ryan asked.
"Indeed Rangers. He is gathering forces as we speak in an attempt to invade earth and it's allied planets that are home to Rangers like yourselves." Zordon replied
"Aquitar!" Ann gasped.
"As well as the planets such as KO-35, Mirinoi and Triforia." Zordon said.
"What are we going to do Zordon? We can't let him get those other planets. We might not live there but we can't let him destroy all of the other ones. We have to do something." I replied.
"Don't worry Izzy plans have already been set into motion." Billy said.
"What kinds of plans?" Nathan asked.
"We've been contacting other Rangers for the past few months now, preparing others just in case Zard was up to something like this. It's taken some doing but we've managed to reboot one team of Rangers powers and are working on contacting another one as we speak. Tommy is also working to create another new team." Billy replied.
"When did this happen?" I asked turning and looking at Dad.
"That Paleontology Club. I've managed to collect a series of gems called Dino Gems thanks to my friend, Hayley in Reefside. A group of teens held them there and burnt them out. However after some experiments it seems that they only burnt them out for themselves. There are five all together and I think that I've found the ones that should hold them." Dad replied.
"What's the plan then?" Jakob asked.
"First, Ann you're going to have to head back to Aquitar. Immediately. The other Rangers there need you." Billy said.
"Naturally." Ann replied with a nod but she couldn't hide the sadness on her face at having to leave not only her father but her friends and her boyfriend behind.
Ann waved her hand and the clothes she wore shimmered and a moment later she was back in the clothes she'd arrived in from Aquitar. Billy began to punch a few buttons before turning to his daughter.
"You should say your goodbyes now Ann. You only have a few minutes until the teleported is ready." Alpha said.
Ann nodded and walked over to her Dad she hugged him tight and Billy hugged her just as tight. Before she broke away he kissed her head and told her he loved her.
One by one Ann hugged everyone before getting to me.
"I'm going to miss you very much Izzy. You and Tasha were so accepting and so welcoming when I was new and strange to your planet. I want to thank you for your kindness. I have no biological siblings but I hope that you won't mind if I count you among my family." she said tears welling up in her eyes.
"I won't mind at all Ann. In fact I count you among my family too." I smiled and hugged her.
When I pulled away I wiped the tears away just in time to see Ann and Jakob whisper their quiet goodbyes before pressing their lips together in a soft but passionate kiss. When they pulled away Jakob pulled her into a hug one last time before she stepped away, Alpha telling her it was time.
"Farewell my friends. May the Power protect you." she said and gave a little bow and was teleported out.
"And the rest of us?" Ethan asked.
"You will have to stop Zard before he can get to Earth." Billy replied.
"Before he can get to Earth? You mean that we…" Tasha said trailing off.
"You leave in 4 hours." Billy replied with a nod.
"What do you mean that we're leaving in 4 hours? Where are we going?!" Ryan asked.
Billy looked at Ryan and then at all of us, "You're going into Space."
And the first chapter of the sequel is up! I would've had this up earlier but I got a splinter under my nail and my finger has been hurting, making it hard to type.
Thank you to everyone who submitted Characters and be sure to keep an eye out on them! I have also figured out a way to include Dino Thunder which I am ecstatic about. If you didn't catch it the story is that they found the gems on their own and Hayley was their mentor since she seemed to know everything about them anyhow. So I just subtracted Tommy from the equation!
Anyhow thank you for reading!