Aftershock: Rebuilding the Lost Light By The Q-Team
The war had taken a great toll upon the Rangers of Earth. Death had always been a possibility, but the final stages of the war had been by far the costliest. The loss of Zordon, assassinated by one of his own had been felt throughout the Morphin Grid. The death David Trueheart had added to their grief. The betrayal by Trini had been painful; some claimed they had forgiven their former team-mate but resentment remained. Trini's death meant that she had never had the opportunity to seek redemption.
After the death of Zordon, the Rangers had chosen to erect a monument to remember all those that had fallen. But while sentimentality was all well and good, but the Rangers had long realised that to protect their world they also needed to be realists. The ancient citadel that Zordon had built had been positioned to take full advantage of the area's connection to the planet's natural magic. And while leaving the site as a memorial was desirable, the leaders understood that it was just not possible.
In the months following the end of the war, the Rangers had commenced the clean-up of their old headquarters, removing the internal ruins with the help of a makeshift teleport system. Once Billy and Justin had gained access to the ancient generators, they had initiated the automated repair protocols, restoring both the inside of Power Mountain and the enormous scanner array that had been housed on the site of the old Command Center.
The eternal flame that acted as a tribute to those that had fallen remained, visible to all. The vast citadel that marked the entrance to the mountain though was only accessible by those that held a connection to the Power and had been passed the Power Chamber's security checks. Zordon's old satellite network had taken longer to rebuild, but the Rangers had outsourced the work. Once positioned in orbit and connected to the Power Chamber's computers, the Rangers had an early warning system against alien invasion.
The arrival of Gosei had been unexpected, but the Rangers had quickly grown to trust him. Gosei was an Eltarian sage who had spent many years under the personal tutelage of Zordon before being assigned to duties elsewhere. Upon hearing of Zordon's death, Gosei had stepped forward to to take the place of his former teacher as the guardian of Earth and the mentor of its Rangers. With a great deal of reluctance - for many had wanted him to help rebuild the Morphin Colleges that had been decimated by war - his request had finally been granted.
Gosei was the closest thing that remained to a Morphin Master. Versed in the ways of the Power he had the ability to manipulate the Grid and create Power Morphers, although his skills paled in comparison to Ninjor; it would be a long time before the Universe would ever boast the number of Rangers it once held. Less than one hundred Power Rangers had been left following the UAE's final battle. Many planets had seen their teams and their powers destroyed.
The Astro Rangers had been sent off on missions to determine the fate of those worlds that had not responded to the Galactic Council following the end of the conflict. Aiding desperate populations had taken up most of their time.
Mirinoi was under heavy reconstruction following a serious of severe meteor strikes. Its Ranger teams had joined the natives in rebuilding their world, something that had taken a great deal of time and resources.
The Rangers left on Earth had not been idle either. There were still some remnants of their former enemies that remained. Monsters had been sighted around the country and the Rangers had been dispatched to deal with them. With no end to the residual monsters in sight, the GSA and NASADA had stepped up their forces to assist the Rangers; without Zords it had become essential to deal with invading forces before they grew.
Restoring some type of Zord army had been an essential requirement as far as Gosei had been concerned. While that was difficult to do so for the Wild Force Rangers - the Wild Force and Primal Force Rangers had surrendered their powers to help the Animarium regenerate some of the lost beasts - and the Morphin team, strides had been made to create new machines for the Zeo and Turbo teams. Lightspeed was one step ahead and had started manufacturing replacement Zords at one of its purpose-built factories. Of course, given the scale of the work involved it would be a while before the machines were ready.
And somewhere deep down inside, Gosei had the feeling that they would be needing those Zords very soon.
Jen Scott knew that she must have looked very strange sitting in an armchair with a helmet on her head.
Time Force were trapped in the present time and rescue seemed unlikely. Their Zords had been destroyed and even if they had been capable of flight, travel to the future had been rendered impossible. She had never understood the exact nature of the interference, but she recognised that it was an attempt to discourage time travel close to Earth. Time Force's equipment used primitive corridors to shift between two known point and had been effectively blocked when the interference had started.
Still, while there was little chance of two-way communication with their own time zone, Jen had discovered that she could still download limited updates about the planet's history. This information had allowed her to give the Rangers some warning about the threats they would be facing and hints on the best way to rebuild their forces for the future.
But recently the information feed had ceased. There had been a final entry about a dark force arriving upon the planet and then there had been nothing. Now as she sat accessing the different programs built into her helmet, she wondered if there had ever been interference or whether the Thirty-First Century had ceased to exist?
"The powers you now hold are yours forever," Dulcea told them. "They cannot be taken away by evil, they cannot be transferred to another and even death will not be enough to break the bond you have forged with them. If you accept all that you have been granted, you will be bound by their rules and walk within the ways of the Power, forever."
At the time Jason, Billy, Trini, Kimberly, Tanya, Zack, Samoht and David had not really understood the meaning of Dulcea's words. It had only been after death that David had realised that life as a Full Aspect Ranger did not end with the passing of the body. It continued beyond the flesh as the essence moved onto a new level of understanding.
In death his link to the White Ranger powers remained just as strong as they had been in life. Even while learning the greater secrets of the Power alongside Ninjor, Dulcea and Zordon, his link to his old morpher told him what was going on with his old friends. He was aware of the moment that Eric McKnight had attempted to take his place as the White Ranger. At first the replacement had appeared promising, but eventually Gosei had been forced to step in when the powers had made Eric ill; lacking a proper link to the powers, Eric's body had been burning itself out to continuously morph. David had stepped in unseen when Eric had transferred the morpher to Gosei's care, using his power to repair the damage that had been caused.
Lee Ann Omano had been the next to hand her power back. She had been selected to replace Kimberly Hart as the Pink Morphin Ranger. He was surprised that Kimberly had not realised the implications of trying to pass the power on to a third party, but then she had been distracted at the time. Kimberly and Katherine had returned from Mirinoi for a short time to resolve the problem. When Kimberly had accepted the Pink Power Morpher, its link to Lee Ann Omano had been permanently severed. Kimberly had left the morpher with Gosei for safe keeping until she was read to resume her role - for despite becoming a Hana Ranger, Kimberly knew that her destiny lay with the Morphin Grid.
Kristen Earhardt had been a more difficult case and had led to a mystery. When Trini Kwan had willingly turned to evil, her link to her powers should have been destroyed - for betraying the Power was perhaps the only way to break the connection. However, the bond remained as strong as ever, leading Gosei to ponder if the Rangers had been mistaken. Given the emotions surrounding Trini and her final actions, Gosei chose not to mention his suspicions to Jason and the others.
The solution turned out to be for Aisha to take up the Yellow Ranger powers; while the power of the Carrier Ranger were extremely powerful, the Yellow Ranger was a core part of the team while the Carrier Ranger had always existed outside of that structure. Trini and Aisha had briefly shared powers during the first Power Transfer years earlier. Aisha had also held the powers of the Bear and was a strong Yellow spirit. While she was not an exact match for the bond, it was similar enough to work without the risk to her health.
The Carrier Ranger powers were not handed on. Aisha had pointed out that they had always worked well without an avatar until she had claimed them and would continue to do so if left to their own devices. The Ninth Colour had always been a bit of a wildcard. Gosei had placed the coin in safe keeping; he had the feeling that one day it would be needed again.
Eric, Kristen and Lee returned to their previous lives, their time with the Power Rangers over.
On the planet Aquitar there stood a large platform. Its use had never been determined, but despite fears that it was dangerous, the Aquitians had never found the time to safely demolish it. What had not been known at the time was that a similar structure had been built on Triforia and a third had been placed in a cave upon Eltare. KO-35, Mirinoi and many other worlds had woken up one day to discover that platforms they had never seen before had appeared out of nowhere. The exact nature of the towers, how the functioned and where they were controlled from was unclear. They defied al attempts to reveal their secrets.
During the relative peace that followed the final defeat of the UAE, the towers had been ignored. The need to rebuild and stabilise planets on the brink of disaster had taken priority. The towers were not forgotten, but few paid them any attention.
That changed unexpectedly the day the platforms came alive. The large drill heads mounted under the platforms activated and bore their way into the surface. They didn't go too far, and experts believed that it was some form of anchoring system to prevent the platforms from moving. And that was when they started to glow.