Disclaimer: The Power Rangers, VR Troopers, Masked Rider, and Big Bad Beetleborgs are the property of Saban Entertainment and I lay no claim to them. Superhuman Samuri Syber Squad is also another thing I don't lay claim to but right now I don't remember who owns it. Samantha Jones and the Doctor are the property of the BBC. Jessie Belle and Josie Belle are based on creations in the Transformers comic book series, both UK and USA. Sara Pezzini and the Witchblade are the properties of Top Cow. Lara Croft is property of Eidos Interactive. Count Iblis is a character in the series 'Battlestar Galactica' created by Glen A. Larson and is owned by Universal Studios. Cassidy Bridges, Nick Bridges and Nash Bridges are characters in the series 'Nash Bridges' created by Don Johnson and Carlton Cuse which is aired on CBS.
Endings and New Beginnings
Written by the Q-team
It had been almost two months since a significant number of Earth's defenders had left the planet to aid the heroes of other realities in their war against evil and the Doctor, Zordon and Alpha had yet to hear from them. Zordon was growing more and more worried as the days passed. He had faith in the abilities of his charges, but over time he had come to think of them as his children, and he would be a bad father had he not been a little concerned. Alpha shared his concerns although the robot was more vocal about his feeling. Although Parker, Thallian, Sauron and Ninjor were on hand to defend earth should the need arise, both Zordon and Alpha longed for the return of their friends.
The Doctor for his part was a little biased in his concerns. While he worried for the entire group he was particularly concerned about his travelling companion Samantha Jones who had only recently taken the mantle of Yellow Zeo Ranger before leaving with the others. Almost a millennium old and the Time Lord was still unable to hide his concerns about the young woman. It didn't help that his emotions were constantly changing, one moment regarding her as an attractive young woman and the next as another daughter. While he worried about the others, she was the focus of his concern.
The recent appearance of the Astro Defenders of KO-35, now the Astro Rangers under the leadership of their mentor Dimitria, had surprised Zordon since he had heard that the Astro Defenders had all been wiped out with the defeat of KO-35. Andros Lanrydan was the only surviving member of the Astro Defenders and currently the leader of the Astro Rangers. The young man had a chip on his shoulder from what Zordon had seen though it was understandable since he had lost his home, family and friends to the forces of Dark Spectre. At present there were only six Astro Rangers. The only reason Zordon could come up with why the other four morphers were not in use was either they were destroyed or Andros had simply decided not to give them to anyone yet. That the young man had convinced Dimitria, a woman who had been missing for over a year, to serve as their mentor had been truly shocking.
"Ai, yi, yi! I wish we could hear something from them. Any of them," Alpha moaned. He had been repeating that wish since the day they had left in the hope that it would bring them back safely.
"We must have faith Alpha," Zordon answered. "Faith that the Rangers and all the heroes will return home."
There was an unbroken silence as the mention of their return forced the Morphin Master to once again consider the prophecy revealed after they had left. It had claimed that even though the heroes would return, not all of them would survive. It seldom happened, but there had been times when Rangers were lost in the line of duty. Zordon had witnessed the fall of heroes and had heard stories from other mentors about the loss of their Rangers. He didn't want at some point to tell a tale of his own loss.
The mission was over, the darkness defied for the time being. And while most had survived there had been losses. The links between the different realities were slowly closing as the void between the dimensions slowly healed. Soon it would once again become difficult to shift between realities. That was how it had been, that was how it was meant to be, and that was how it would be once more.
Before the travellers a bubble appeared, small at first and then expanding to show the inside of the Power Chamber. As they drew closer they discovered it was not a bubble, but the thin membrane between their home and the void through which they had journeyed. The trip had been instantaneous, though it had taken less than few minutes. In the darkness though it was difficult to guess exactly how much time had passed.
They heard the siren and Alpha's sudden excitement as he went over to the console use to monitor teleportation. The group couldn't help but laugh as the little robot almost jump for joy when he saw that it was them.
"Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi! It's them Zordon, computer confirms incoming signal is not a standard teleport. They're home Zordon! Doctor they're coming home!"
Zordon sighed in relief at the news while the Doctor smiled softly at the news. Their children - the Rangers and other heroes who had so bravely agreed to fight, were coming home.
The vortex formed in the Power Chamber, allowing multiple figures to emerge from the darkness that neither the Doctor nor Zordon would ever wish to walk. Zordon opened his mouth to welcome them back, but was stopped by the tragic sight before them.
Soon the group had assembled. The Morphin Rangers, Zeo Rangers and Outsiders; the Cybertrons or as they had been known the Syber Squad, Dex, and the VR Troopers. They were joined by two women that the Doctor, Alpha and Zordon had never seen before. All looked sad although it was clear that some were more upset than others if the tear streaked faces were any indication.
The Doctor noticed the Virtualizer in Ryan Steele's hand and saw Kaitlin Star still crying. Almost instinctively the Doctor knew that Katie hadn't made it back to them. Zordon's attention was drawn to the spot in the center of the Rangers and Outsiders. Tommy, Jason, Tyler, David, Rocky, and Nathan held a stretcher as if they were pall bearers at a funeral. And they were. On the stretcher was the body of Jessica Belle, once the Silver Zeo Ranger. Her eyes closed in a sleep that she would never wake up from. Through all this Alpha looked on, not sure of how to act or what to say.
It took a while for Zordon to find the right words. In the end he realised that there was little he could offer to console them. Instead he just asked: "Rangers, what happened?"
Tommy looked up at Zordon and said in a sad voice with a sad smile, "We won."
It was clear that in their minds it was not so much a matter of triumph as not having lost as badly as the opposition.
At the Belle residence Jamie Belle was doing housework tidying up when all of a sudden the phone rang. Picking it up she answered in a pleasing voice "Hello?"
The voice on the other end was from Angel Grove Memorial. It said that the Power Rangers had brought in Jessica Belle, who was killed in a battle with Interdimensional villains. Mrs. Belle listened as the doctor on the other end recited the details as best as he knew to her.
Mrs. Belle dropped the phone and then dropped to her knees sobbing.
"The body has been taken to Angel Grove memorial." Richie said. "The Belle's have already planned for funeral services three days from now."
"I'm going to have to get in touch with my captain soon enough. I don't even know how long Lara and I have been gone but it has to have been some time." Sara Pezzini said. "But I'd like to stay for the funeral."
"Same with me." Lara Croft replied.
After being Alpha, Zordon and the Doctor were introduced to both Sara and Lara, The Doctor then stepped forward and asked the team. "How did this happen?"
Ryan began the explanations first. "Things were getting heated up in a major battle. Everyone was fighting someone it was hard to tell who was getting the upper hand. Although we did get in a few good shots ourselves."
"Jessie saw someone trying to get in a shot from behind." Adam continued. "Jessie thought she could surprise him, and Katie went along to cover her. We found out that the monster they were pursuing was named 'Imperator' who was once called Robert Harper."
"None of us knew what happened next." Drew continued. "But we all saw Harper cut Katie down on top of a mountain and sent her tumbling down to the ground. She landed hard, and her VR powers were affected somehow since they turned on her." Ryan remembered Katie fading away leaving only the darkened virtualizer in his hand.
"We all turned to see Harper holding Jessica by the neck." Jason continued. "He wanted us to see the look on her face as he held her life in her hands." Jason remembered the look on Jessica's face. Wide eyed and clearly frightened. But somehow she knew that the moments she was facing would be her last. She had cast a look down to Rocky as if saying both 'I'm sorry.' and 'I love you.'
"Then he snapped her neck. The bloody bastard enjoyed it too." Lara stated with disgust. Everyone remembered the sick smile on Harper's face saying how he enjoyed it. "He said the only reason he killed them was because the Red Night Ranger didn't 'know his place'." Jason and the Rangers knew what Harper meant, and it just made them sicker.
"The red Night Ranger didn't stand for it though." Lillian added. "He looked like he was ready to kill him. Which he did." Lillian recalled in detail the life and death fight Harper had with Red Night Ranger Jeffrey Kincaid. A fight clearly to the death since Harper tried many times to throw Kincaid into a nearby lava pit. But surprisingly enough Harper was the one thrown into the pit, and Kincaid came out the victor.
"We then completed the final battle and came on home." Dex said. "The virtualizer was all that was left of Katie, but we brought back Jessica's body."
"You know what the worst part is?" Tommy then added. "We only now just got free of the Q and Jessie is killed before she can enjoy that freedom." This got the Doctor's attention. "You were face to face with Q?"
"Yeah." Tyler said. "They were playing with us like toys, humiliating us, and demeaning us. Bu someone intervened on our behalf. Told us we had a choice."
"And in that choice we chose freedom." Samantha added. "Then before we knew it Jessie and Katie were both killed." Samantha's voice reflected sorrow. Sorrow everyone shared.
Zordon bowed his head solemnly grieving in his own way. In his mind's eye he saw the battle Jessica and Katie fought, and how they were cut down just so one ranger could be humbled. "I never thought I would hear myself say this rangers. But the monster who murdered Jessica and Katie got what was coming to him."
All the rangers were in shock by what Zordon said. "Zordon what do you mean?"
"It is one thing to die in battle, or to die for a cause to believe in. But for someone to be murdered as a sign of humbling someone, there is no purpose in that except to fulfill one's ego. Jessica's and Katie's deaths had no purpose. They deserved better than this."
"I know Zordon." Dex said in agreement. "I know."
"So what do we do now?" Jamie asked.
"We pay our respects." The Doctor said. "And bury our dead." With that everyone left to go home, be with family, and prepare for the funeral to come. Lara and Sara remained behind in the chamber as they entered the Doctor's TARDIS off in the corner. After overcoming the surprise of the ship being bigger on the inside than on the outside they found their way to the wardrobe to find something to wear to the funeral.
Zordon made a call to an old friend thinking that she might want to pay respects of her own.
A short while later on the Astro Megaship, Dimitria was just receiving the news from Zordon. Andros was on the bridge keeping with his regular schedule and Ashley was also with him. Over the last week the Red and Yellow Astro Rangers had gotten close.
"Andros." she spoke with sorrow in her voice.
Andros and Ashley turned around. "Dimitria. I didn't even hear you get on the bridge? Is there something wrong?" Dimetria nodded indicating that there was. Taking a breath she gave the bad news.
"I've been just informed by Zordon that two of the heroes that left earth to fight in the Interdimensional War... Jessica Belle, the Silver Zeo Ranger, and Katie Star, a VR Trooper... were killed."
Ashley had just let her jaw drop at that. She had lived in Angel Grove for all of her life and she had been through all of the monster attacks. Andros had told them his former team had been killed in battle and she and the other Astros had been shocked over it, unused to the idea that Rangers could die. And now hearing yet another Ranger, a Ranger that had defended her home time and time again had died... she just couldn't describe how she felt.
Andros on the other hand silently mourned the loss of both heroes. He had been through hell when Dark Specter's armies had come and he was no stranger to death. The loss of any innocent life, Ranger or not, was not to be taken lightly. He knew she would be missed. He then walked up to the console and then contacted the other members of his team.
"All Astro Rangers... report to the Astro Megaship." Andros said solemnly. "We have something to discuss."
The Angel Grove cemetery was packed to the hilt. Family and friends from all around came to pay their respects to someone who was a good friend, and was much loved by those same friends.
All the Rangers were there. Jason, Kim, Billy, Trini, Zack, David, Tanya, Samoht, Tommy, Kat, Samantha, Adam, Emily, Ritchie, Bulk, Skull, Nathan and Rocky-who still had a faraway look in his eyes. Rocky was barely aware of the people at the service but he was aware of Jessica's sister Josie who cast an evil glare in the ranger's direction. Rocky paid it no mind.
The Outsiders were all there too, except for Nate who had stayed in the background doing his grieving in private. Also present were the Beetleborgs, Cyber Squad, VR Troopers, and Dex, all in civilian identities, as well as Sara and Lara. All dressed in black outfits as they were mourning their fallen comrade.
Ryan still had Katie's inert virtualizer in his hand which signified his own loss. The Troopers would have a private ceremony for her. But everyone turned to the podium where the minister was about to speak.
"It's always hard to lose someone you love." the minister ordained. "But it is always more tragic when that someone who is loved has her life cut short for her. Jessica Ann Belle was one such victim of life's tragedies. Her life cut short due to a monster, one would assume that she had no time to make an impact on this world. But with this gathering of family, and friends. It just shows how much even the youngest life can touch us all."
After the minister had finished he had asked if anyone else had something to say. For a few moments no one did. But then Rocky stepped forward, "I'd like to say something."
The minister acknowledged Rocky and stepped back from the podium allowing the Blue Zeo Ranger to speak.
"Uhhh. I don't have anything prepared really so this is from the heart." Rocky took a moment to compose himself before speaking.
"I only knew Jessica briefly. But what little I knew I learned to take to heart. She loved computers, there wasn't a moment where she wasn't burying herself into one of its systems. She loved her friends, always standing with them if one of them was in trouble. And she loved her family, she was willing to stand with them through the end no matter what." Mr. and Mrs. Belle smiled at Rocky appreciating the sentiment. Josie however scowled menacingly.
"And I know I loved her. And she loved me. And there won't be a day that goes by where I won't miss her. And the way she had enriched all of our lives just by being here." Rocky's head bowed down in sorrow as he made his way off the platform. Katarina walked up to him helping him back to his seat.
But Rocky's speech was more than Josie could take and she finally let her feelings be known as Rocky was heading back to his chair. "MURDERERS!!!", she screamed. "It wasn't enough that you cripple me! YOU HAD TO KILL MY SISTER TOO!!!"
Rocky saw Josie and went up to her trying to calm her down. "Josie, we tried to save her."
"DON'T GIVE ME ANY EXCUSES YOU BASTARD!!!!" Josie was in hysterics now. "YOU KILLED MY SISTER!!! I'LL MAKE ALL YOU SO-CALLED HEROES PAY!!!!YOU'LL ALL PAY FOR MURDERING JESSIE!!!" Security escorted Josie away leaving everyone staring at her. Her parents following.
Mrs. Belle gave a parting remark to Rocky. "Don't feel bad young man. She's just grieving. You know how close they were." Rocky nodded.
"If you need anything just call." Mrs. Belle said then she too left to escort Josie home.
"Don't sweat it Rocko she's grieving." Adam said trying to be reassuring. Rocky however wasn't listening.
"What if there was something I could have done?" Rocky asked himself. "What if I could have saved her?"
"Man, you saw Harper was a psycho." Tommy said. "That dude's elevator clearly didn't go all the way up to the top floor. There was nothing that could have been done."
Rocky looked on at the teen in the wheelchair being escorted to the limo heading out of the cemetery. Twice now the Belle's have become victims of the war the rangers fought. Now they have lost their youngest child, and the love of Rocky's life.
"No more victims." Rocky vowed to himself. "No more victims."
As soon as they got home the Belle's immediately showed their disappointment in their surviving daughter for her behavior at the cemetery. "HOW DARE YOU BLOW UP LIKE THAT!!!" Mrs. Belle screamed at Josie. "WHO DID YOU THINK YOU WERE ANYWAY?!!!"
"Mom, those people..." Josie tried to explain that Rocky and his friends were Power Rangers, but the Belle's would have none of it.
"I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT JOSIE!!!" Mr. Belle said. "Being in that wheelchair only gives you so many privileges with me. Now go up to your room or whatever. I don't want to hear any more of it!" The Belles left Josie alone who was wheeling herself up to her room. When she finally got there she started losing herself in her own vindictive thoughts.
-Those Rangers! Josie cursed. Because of them I am stuck in this chair. They destroyed my life and now they destroyed my sister! I want them to pay!-
Josie sobbed as she laid her head down on the plans for a special exo suit that she hoped would allow her to walk again. Unfortunately, due to her young age she could not get funding to promote it so she remained stuck in the chair. Apparently none of the 'big names' took her genius seriously.
Josie then picked herself up and realized that she had cried on her plans. Oh great, look at the mess I made.
"I don't find it a mess at all." a voice said in Josie's room. "Who said that?" she asked.
As if on command a figure shimmered in front of her. Josie felt no fear from the one before her. In fact she felt something from the 'being she found reassuring. Almost as if his vindictiveness towards the rangers matched her own.
The figure soon spoke to Josie. "Permit me to introduce myself Miss Belle. My name is Count Iblis."
The ceremony for Katie however was more private, and more brief. Since all that was left of her was her virtualizer, that was what was buried under the headstone 'Katie Star:A brief but rewarding life'. A plot was selected for her at Crossworld cemetery, which was where Ryan's mother was buried.
Each hero paid his respects to the Troopers before leaving, but Ryan seemed to be a million miles away as he looked down at the grave which held the woman she loved. Katie Star may have been a VR construct, but she was one that had a soul, and Ryan loved the soul Katie carried.
Kaitlin also felt a loss, as the sister she never had was taken from her so abruptly. She grew up an only child, and always wanted a sibling. Now that she had one it was too late to do the things sisters had done, and Kaitlin was sorry for that.
J.B. stood keeping vigil over his friends lost in their grief. "Ryan? Kaitlin? Is there anything I can do?"
Ryan then turned to J.B. and said, "Yeah. We can go after Grimlord and make him pay for what he did!"
Kaitlin now looked up. "But Ryan, Grimlord didn't kill Katie, Harper did."
"I know!" Ryan said. "But Harper used a virtual weapon. That's the only kind that could have done what it did to Katie. And who has Virtual weapons other than us?"
Kaitlin understood clearly. "Grimlord!"
"Looks like we've got our work to do." J.B. said.
After the funeral service all the heroes said their goodbyes and teleported back to their hometowns. The Beetleborgs arrived in Charterville just outside the Hillhurst mansion. As soon as the three walked in they noticed Josh, Heather, Flabber and the monsters waiting for them. "What are you guys doing here?" Drew asked.
"Well us, we got a call from some big head telling us you were coming home." Flabber said. "As for these guys...." Flabber pointed to where Count Fangula, Frankenbeans, Mums and Wolfgang all appeared ready to give the kids a welcome home dinner, with the kids AS dinner.
"Ah ha Lunch has..." Fangula started to say but the kids however were not in a mood for a chase, but rather to grieve. "Kids sad again?" Frankenbeans asked.
"What happened this time?" Wolfgang asked in his language of growls.
Roland told the story of the battle to the monsters, and what happened to Jessica and Katie. Not to mention the confrontation with the Q and how they seemed to have been freed from their control.
"You know." Roland added. "It seems like Jessie and Katie's deaths make me realize how I appreciate being alive." Roland added.
"Or undead." Mums added. The monsters were saddened that two heroes didn't make it back, and Heather tried to comfort Drew as Josh tried to comfort Jo.
"Unbelieveable." Mums said thinking about the battle. "Especially those god like beings."
"And I don't think we've seen the last of them." Drew added. "They're not going to like their 'toys' getting away from them."
"Nukus is also still out there." Jo said. "It's a good bet we'll be seeing him again." Everyone nodded promising that they would be prepared.
"But what of Jessica and Katie?" Heather asked.
The monsters, some who had seen too much death in their lives, bowed their heads and mourned for those who didn't return. "Their sacrifices will not go forgotten." Fangula said.
Dex arrived back in Leawood and was immediately welcomed back by his family. They were glad that he had made it back but Dex's thoughts were more focused on the battle he had taken part in, and the lives that were both saved and lost. After a session of stories, and a similar sharing of grief Dex made his way to the roof to lookup at the stars and morn the loss of heroes in his own way.
Ever since Dex was born he had fought for Edenoi's liberation. Always he had focused on the cause that Edenoi would be free one day. He had lost friends and comrades, true. But it seemed like only now did all the loss of life sink in to his soul, and he found himself grieving for every warrior that fought in every battle everywhere. Including those in the I.D. War.
After a while Molly and Albee came up and sat with Dex. They wanted to understand what all Dex had seen, but Dex wasn't sure there was anyway for them to understand.
"We're here Dex if you want to talk." Molly said. Dex nodded with his thanks. "I'm glad you weren't there." Dex then said. Molly and Albee turned and wondered what Dex meant.
"I've seen friends and family die in wars and battles. Especially when it comes to freeing Edenoi." Dex added. "The I.D. War might have been another series of battles to me, but the scope of death...."
Albee and Molly just sat with Dex as he looked. "I can't guarantee that you guys won't be dragged into my conflicts. But don't think of battle as a game. There is a real responsibility here. It's not fun and games."
"We know Dex." Albee said. "But somehow I don't think I'll be getting powers anytime soon."
"Or me." Molly added. Dex smiled. "Sometimes one doesn't need powers to fight for what is right."
Molly and Albee sat with Dex as he looked up at the night sky and thought about Jessica and Katie. -Their sacrifices will not go forgotten.- he thought.
The Cyber Squad was teleported back to their basement where they immediately thought of the great battle they were in, and the repercussions afterwards. "So what happens now?" Amp asked.
Sam shook his head trying to answer that question himself. "I don't know Amp. After taking part in a battle like the one we took part in, what else is there?"
"Especially with our new powers." Lucky added. This brought a thought to Tanker's mind as he said "Kilokhan probably survived you know." .
This brought the squad to awareness as Syd spoke next. "They're probably back in Digitropolis plotting their next move."
"Man it sucks to think Kilokhan survived and those two girls didn't." Lucky added.
Sam looked around the room at his fellow Cyber Squad members. They thought about Kilokhan and the sacrifices Jessica and Katie had made to stop evil from destroying their home. "Their sacrifices will not go forgotten." Sam promised.
The rest of the Cyber Squad nodded saying that they would keep that promise.
Kaitlin walked back into the offices of the Underground Voice Daily as a woman with a purpose. So oblivious to everything she didn't notice the greetings she was receiving as she made a beeline for her office and began to write her news story. Ryan and J.B. headed for Professor Hart's lab looking to debrief him on what happened leaving Kaitlin to do what she needed to do.
As Kaitlin began typing on her computer the editor Woody came in and looked in on his star reporter. "Hey Kaitlin where's the fire?"
"Huh?" Kaitlin said looking up from her monitor. Her concentration distracted.
"There were at least seven people who said hello to you out there. Didn't you hear them."
"Oh sorry Woody. I've just been focusing on this story I'm getting written." Kaitlin said apologetically to Woody.
Woody seemed intrigued. "Is it a whopper?"
Kaitlin looked at Woody and smiled. "Oh yeah Woody. I've got a monster of a story. It involves an Interdimensional War that would have annihilated our world and many others. Where the V.R.Troopers and many heroes make their return, and where two of these heroes fell to monstrous evils."
Woody looked at what Kaitlin had written so far and was wide eyed with excitement. "This is first hand account?"
"From the troopers themselves, and from other heroes involved." Woody seemed like he was ready to burst with excitement, which he did.
"WOW!! WHAT AN IDEEEEEEAA!!! Kaitlin welcome back!" Woody left Kaitlin's office allowing her to get back to work. Percy snuck a peek into Kaitlin's office and snuck in a smile of his own. It looked like Kaitlin Star was back.
From behind her desk Kaitlin Star continued to write. She would see to it that the world remembered Katie and Jessica. -Their sacrifices will not go forgotten-. , Kaitlin thought with determination.
After her flight home Sara Pezzini opened the door to her apartment and then fell on her bed. Her life was strange enough, but the Interdimensional War had been the biggest thing that had ever happened to her in her life next to her obtaining Witchblade. She was a cop, dedicated to saving the innocent from the bad guys. She had seen her fellow officers get shot and killed in the line of duty.
This was so much like that.
Sara turned to look at her message machine blinking when she felt a familiar presence in her apartment. "Why are you here Ian?" she asked.
"To offer condolences." Ian Nottingham said. "To those that had fallen in your latest adventure." Sara turned to Nottingham and asked "How did you know about that?"
"Mr. Irons used his connection to the Witchblade to observe." Nottingham said. "He dismissed the two deaths you saw as irrelevant, but I knew you would be affected by them, as well as the others."
"So what did Irons think of the show?" Sara asked. Ian sighed as he wondered how he would answer that question. "He thought that it was a grand spectacle."
"That's it?" Sara said as rage filled her voice. "People died and god like freaks tried to control others like they were puppets? Does Irons even have a single feeling of compassion in his body?"
"You know the answer to that question better than anyone Sara." Ian said as he made ready to leave the rooftop leaving Sara to her thoughts until he turned and added. "Incidently Mr. Irons thanks you for the demise of Domonique Boucher. I think she is a thorn neither of you want." And with that Ian left.
Sara however felt her mind becoming enraged as it seemed like Katie and Jessica's deaths were nothing more than a sideshow to Kenneth Irons. She felt sickened by how much humanity Kenneth Irons seemed to be devoid of.
"No matter what happens... those two's sacrifices will not be forgotten." Sara said to herself resolving to always remember Jessica and Katie.
On the plane ride back to London, Lara Croft just stayed still. This had been the biggest adventure of her life and she had seen two heroic women lose their lives at the whim of a lunatic. When the plane landed at Heathrow her butler Compton was waiting with her Rolls Royce.
"Home Compton." Lara said as she sat in the back with her thoughts. Thoughts she felt herself getting lost in. She never got to know Jessica or Katie, but she still mourned them nonetheless.
"Young Mistress Croft has left the manor along with her friends." Compton said. This got Lara's attention as Compton handed back a letter. "She left this for you." Lara took the letter and opened it.
Cousin Lara, By the time you receive this letter I and my friends will be gone. Don't look for us right now as we can't afford to be found right now. I wish I could say more, but right now we need to be off the grid for a while. I'll pop back up when I can. Expect me when you see me.
Love, Your cousin Christina Croft.
Lara set the letter aside and wished Christina luck as her mind returned back to the I.D. War. -Take care Christina. And come back safely. Don't..... Lara couldn't continue her thought as she didn't know how else to say that she didn't want her cousin to die like Jessie and Katie had done.
-Maybe it's a good thing Christina's gone.- Lara said. -I'd probably have tried to stop her.-
When she arrived at Croft Manor Lara said that she wanted to be alone for a while. Compton nodded as Lara walked into the massive mansion that was home to her branch of the Croft family. It felt so empty now. Lara remembered galas and balls being thrown when her parents were alive, and Lara threw a few herself. But at the end of the party the house always went back to its original feeling.
Spacious and empty.
"Christina?" Lara called out. No answer. "Guess she's really gone." she said to herself as she walked out to the gardens behind the mansion towards the graves of her parents. All the while hoping for Christina's safety, and that of her friends wherever they were now.
Lara then arrived at the graves of her parents, the lord and lady Croft and knelt down as if paying her respects. She also thought about Jessica and Katie, and hoped her father and mother were watching out for them in whatever reward awaited them.
She prayed to God to receive their souls, to give them a place in paradise for eternity. -And to send that bastard Harper to hell where he can rot for all of eternity.- she added. -Above all, never allow their sacrifices to be forgotten.-
When all the Rangers returned to Power Mountain the remaining Zeo Rangers went outside with Tommy carrying Jessica's Silver Zeo Shard. The sun was setting over the desert mountains signifying the end of a new day. This seemed poetic considering Jessica's tragic end as the Silver Zeo Ranger. One era had ended and another was getting ready to begin.
All they had to do was send the crystal on its way as it would seek out a new host.
"It's time." Tommy said. "Everyone form a circle."
All the Zeos did so. Kat, Samantha, Rocky (who still had tears in his eyes), Adam, Tommy, Emily, Ritchie, Skull and Bulk grabbed hands as they formed their circle. Each ranger then glowed their own respective ranger color. Kat-Pink, Samantha-Yellow, Rocky-Blue, Adam-Green, Tommy-Red, Emily-Purple, Ritchie-Black, Skull-White, and Bulk-Gold. The Silver Zeo shard seemed to pick up on the energies of the rangers and floated up into the air casting a silver glow as it did so.
Soon the Silver Zeo Shard shot into the air beginning its search for a new partner to share its power with. Rocky looked up into the sky, tears still in his eyes.
"Goodbye Jessie." Rocky had said. "I'll never forget you." Adam then took his friend's arm and escorted him back into Power Mountain. The other rangers following inside as well.
Tommy thought about Jessica and Katie and immediately knew what to say. "Their sacrifices will not go forgotten." Everyone agreed.
The six Astro Rangers had their own memorial though for the two fallen heroes. They had detected Astronema ready to attack the heroes during the funeral in an attempt to get rid of them. They confronted her in space. Although none of them had ever met Jessica or Katie, they did know that the fallen heroes deserved a proper burial and they would be damned if they allowed Astronema to deny them that small peace. The Astro Rangers fought on the Galaxy Gliders against Astronema's Velocifighters like avenging angels and pretty soon Astronema recalled her forces. Andros was glad Astronema herself had not come. With the current situation, he had no wish to see the woman who insulted the memory of his own sister Karone by wearing her face. To this day Andros still doesn't even know if Karone is truly dead.
After taking care of that the Astros then proceeded to the grave site of Katie Star and all of them had placed down flowers on her grave. After that they had made their way to Jessica's grave.
"... I still can't believe this is happening..." Cassie said.
"I know." TJ replied to her.
"Rangers dying... kinda of a new concept for us." Carlos sighed.
"Not for me... death has been a constant for me." Sabrina replied with a sullen look. "Still, death is never easy. After hearing the grim details of it all from Dimitria... it was sickening to my stomach and after living for many millenniums there isn't much that can sicken me."
"How could he do it... just kill them like that and call it a 'lesson'." Ashley scowled.
"Harper was a sociopath. He didn't care. He has only one goal in life. To cause harm to this Kincaid we were told about." Andros said. In retrospect, Harper reminded him of Makarrah, the sociopath that had brought his former home of KO-35 to its ultimate fate of destruction. He killed her and at the time he took pleasure in killing her. But now having had time to reflect, he found it wasn't right to enjoy killing of any kind, even death. He would bring down Dark Spectre and Astronema as had vowed but he wouldn't take pleasure in it. Only relief that they were gone from the universe.
"This can be a dangerous job." Sabrina said aloud.
Andros looked at the rest of the team. He knew Sabrina would stay with him no matter what. But still he had to give them a choice on this. "If you want to..."
Ashley then put her hand to his mouth. "DON'T even say what you were going to say. Andros do you actually think we are stupid or something? Yes we are surprised and shocked about the deaths of these two heroes but we were also shocked when you told us what happened to the rest of your old team."
"We had a talk that night amongst ourselves the night after and we all started really understanding there was the possibility of death in all of this." Carlos said.
"But we chose to become Astro Rangers and we accepted the responsibilities that came with that." Cassie said.
"We know the risks, we accept them, and we are not leaving you Andros." TJ said adamantly. "You're our friend. And friends stick together."
If Andros wasn't who he was he might have cried then. Still, he let a smile cross his face. "Thank you. All of you."
Each of the Astro Rangers paid their respects to Jessica and then laid down the flowers they had brought on her grave and then left but then Andros stopped and looked up to the heavens paying a final silent prayer for the dead that his own parents had taught him. After completing the prayer he then said something that he knew as echoed in the hearts of his own team. "Their sacrifices will not go forgotten."
The Silver shard shot up into space looking for the next one who would take up it's power. Remembering its previous hosts it sought out one who was good, intelligent, and worthy to take up its power.
After orbiting earth several times, and keeping itself out of sight of those who would steal its power, the Silver Zeo crystal found it's new host, and went down to that person's location.
Looking up at the night sky Cassidy Bridges looked out at the San Francisco sky line from the top of her father's apartment. A lot had happened to her in the last week, and she needed time to sort it all through.
She had recalled her assignment where she was supposed to interview someone on the job. Instead of asking her police Inspector father she had decided to ask one of his co-workers Inspector Evan Cortez, with whom she seemed to develop a crush on. Both of them shared a kiss, but both agreed that a relationship wasn't a good idea. For one thing Cassidy was still only sixteen, going on seventeen. And Evan was deathly afraid of the famous Inspector Nash Bridges, especially in regards to his daughter Cassidy.
But nevertheless Cassidy could have sworn there was something there. But she decided not to pursue it. -He's right. I'm still too young,- she thought. But Evan Cortez wasn't the only thing on her mind.
Only yesterday did it seem like her mother would be moving to Baltimore, Maryland and taking Cassidy with her. This would have meant leaving San Francisco, leaving her friends, and leaving her father. Both Nash and Lisa Bridges, Cassidy's mom and dad, were divorced for seven years. But they still maintained cordial contact, especially in regards to Cassidy. But then something happened that Cassidy thought for sure would have proved her mother's point that the move was right but didn't.
Cassidy was kidnapped by Vincent Mulroy of a terrorist group called 'the new Federalist army' who was going to use her in exchange for Mulroy's daughter. Cassidy found out that the daughter wouldn't come and Mulroy almost killed her, but her father Nash stopped him when she broke out of his grip and he gunned Mulroy down. While Cassidy was scared of Mulroy, she was also scared that she wouldn't see her father again.
She was surprised and relieved as the next day her mother decided to stay in San Francisco, due to the reason that Nash would miss both Cassidy and Lisa if they both left. Cassidy was grateful that she wasn't leaving San Francisco, but there was still something else.
Cassidy Bridges felt unfulfilled. She wanted to do something worthwhile in her life, and make it count for something. Part of the reason why she went into theatre and dance was because of her desire to make an impact on the world. But she also found the pull of being a police officer like her father very appealing as well.
Cassidy kept thinking until the thoughts all jumbled around in her head like the Wheel of Fortune on high speed. Boy if I keep this up I'll be thinking like Gloria speaks. A mile a minute.
Cassidy got up and dusted off the dirt on her skirt making her way back inside her father's apartment. Her grandfather got thrown out of another nursing home again and it was her night to baby sit. A silver light suddenly distracted her as it streaked down from the night sky and landed on the roof of the building. What the?, she mentally asked herself.
Cassidy made her way to where the glow set down. Stepping carefully she inched her way closer to where the glow emanated. As she got close enough she saw a silver crystal shining. It was long with seven sides and it's silver glow became brighter as she got closer to it.
Cassidy knew she shouldn't touch it, but something inside her compelled her to touch the silver crystal. Reaching out to the crystal, not sure why she was doing it, she managed to touch the silver glowing object...
...and was thrown back a couple feet with the crystal still in her hand.
In the Power Chamber, and in the realm of Hell, both Iblis and Zordon felt the surge of power being activated. Both knew what it meant, and both knew what to say.
"A NEW SILVER ZEO HAS BEEN BORN!"
Cassidy came back into her father's apartment shaky and wobbly. Her grandfather was working on his New York Times Crossword puzzle, which he was very good at, despite having 1/2 Alzheimer's' disease. Nick was also very observant and when he saw Cassidy stumbling in he became very concerned for her.
"Something the matter Cassidy?", Nick asked his granddaughter.
Cassidy quickly shook her head and said "No, why?" Nick didn't answer and went back to his crossword puzzle while Cassidy went to her room.
For some reason every fiber in Cassidy's being said "No, don't tell anyone what happened." and she strangely found herself listening to those impulses. She went to lay down on her bed and as she lay down, the Silver Zeo Crystal phased its way out of her body.
Cassidy looked at the silver crystal and touched it. She stared mesmerized by its beauty, and in awe of its power. Power it had chosen her to wield.
That awe would be the last thing she would remember before falling into a deep sleep.
A sleep that was far from dreamless.
After an hour of work, Nick's son Inspector Nash Bridges came home. "Hey Nick. How's it going?"
"Ohhh not bad." Nick said putting the crossword puzzle away just having finished it. "Has Whispering Pines called saying that they're sorry for throwing me out?"
"For holding an orgy after Lights Out? I don't think so." Nash always loved his father's sense of humor. Alzheimer's or no. With the father and son moment out of the way Nash then asked the million dollar question. "How's Cassidy?"
"Uhhhh Nash." Nick had answered. "I'm not sure but I think my eyes are playing tricks on me as my head is."
"What are you talking about Nick?" Nash asked his father.
"Well, I'm not sure. But for a brief second I thought I saw your daughter with a silver glow around her." Nash was just as confused as Nick was. So confused that Nash went in to check on Cassidy. To his relief he found her asleep on her bed in a seemingly sound sleep.
Her dreams however were anything but sound.
Zordon immediately called the Rangers to Power Mountain and explained what he had experienced. "This can only mean that the Silver Zeo crystal had chosen its new bearer." The other Rangers looked stunned.
"Who is it Zordon?, Tommy asked. "Who's the new Silver Zeo?"
"I'm afraid I'm not sure Tommy." Zordon said. "All I can say is that the new Silver Zeo has been selected, and that Alpha is trying to determine their whereabouts."
"And then what will we teleport them here?", Samantha asked.
"I'd advise against that.", the Doctor answered. "I think it might be best if we went to them rather than them coming to us."
"You are correct Doctor.", Zordon said. "It would be better if this person was more at ease. A teleport from their position may not be the most viable option.
Alpha then spoke up finding out the information of where the new Silver Zeo was. "Ai, yi, yi! Rangers I have traced the signal. It's coming from San Francisco."
Everyone looked confused. "San Francisco?", Tommy said. "Isn't that outside the 'Freak Zone?'
"It is." Zordon said. "However the crystal may have decided that someone outside the 'Freak Zone' may have been a better choice for being a Zeo Ranger than someone within.
"So what do we do now?" Aisha asked. Tommy had the answer and said it in two words. "ROAD TRIP!"
The feeling had passed, and Iblis turned to the new warrior standing before him. No longer was she bound to a wheelchair. But she stood upright wearing a bodysuit with silver lining. It fit her form all over her body and even formed a mask across her face.
"They have replaced her you know." Iblis had said. The figure just nodded as if saying "I know."
"I don't know who this new ranger is, but she's carrying power that was meant for you. Power your sister had and which killed her. And did the rangers care for her? No, they just went to find a new member for their little club." The figure seethed as Iblis said his words filling the venom in her heart to fever pitch.
"They care nothing for you. They cared nothing for your sister. They have dumped both of you by the wayside. What will you do about it?"
A wave of electricity shot out of the woman's fingers vaporizing one of the statues in the room thus showing a display of the woman's power.
"The machines, the rangers, all the so-called heroes, they'll all pay for murdering my sister!!!" the woman once known as Josie Belle had said. But what stood in her place wasn't the Josie Belle everyone knew.
"SO SWEARS CIRCUIT BREAKER!!!"
And Iblis looked back at his new warrior with a sense of pride.
The next morning Cassidy woke up from her sleep, from a dream she would not likely forget.
"Sweetheart?" Nash called out from the living room. "You up?"
"Ummmm yeah dad." Cassidy said as she shook the cobwebs from her mind. "Breakfast ready?"
"In a bit." Nash called. Cassidy could already catch the smell of bacon and waffles from the kitchen as well as a faint trace of maple syrup. Cassidy smiled looking forward to breakfast but also found herself thinking about the dream she had.
In the dream she was some sort of super hero fighting against some monsters of some sort. Cassidy felt some fear in her but that didn't stop her. Fighting was taking place all around her and she still pressed on. That was when she saw one duck into a corner and Cassidy made to pursue. Before she knew it the monster was on top of her.
The next thing that happened Cassidy was dangling with the monster ready to snap her neck. Her friends helpless below. The monster's glare turned to one and then she felt the snap of her neck and then knew no more.
Until the silver glow appeared. For a second Cassidy thought she might have been in heaven as the glow seemed to warm her entire body filling her soul. In the middle of the glow was a seven sided symbol cast in luminescent silver. It was so beautiful to Cassidy, then she heard the voice.
-Embrace your destiny. Embrace this gift.- Cassidy reached out to the crystal and touched it....
....just as she had shot awake. -What a vivid dream.- she thought as she tried to get more sleep. But her subconscious refused to let go of the symbol that appeared to her. Even in morning Cassidy still felt haunted by it, and by a color.
The color of silver.
Her mind then turned to something she thought happened the night before when something fell from the sky and she touched it. She felt something then and she remembered staring into it. -No way. Must have been part of the dream.- she thought.
Little did Cassidy Bridges know that her dream would impact her reality. Especially as she struggled to find something silver to wear in her wardrobe.