Ranger to the End

Posted: August 11, 2011 in Fiction

“You know I hate it when you call me Billy,” the voice on the other side of the phone sounded irritated. Jason didn’t care. He exhaled slowly and a thick cloud of smoke curled out of the corners of his mouth. He kept the phone to his ear. “Look, Jason, you know I’m still your friend. I’ll still help you out. But I have a family to take care of. You know that.”

“I know lots of shit, Billy. I know we used to be a team.” Jason stared at the cherry at the end of his cigarette.

“It’s Will – ” Jason hit the end call button and slouched back into the chair. The Barca-lounger looked out of place in the Command Center. The half circle of computer consoles that was divided by a massive glass tube sat dark. It had since 1997, when Zordon and Alpha 5 left Earth. The viewing globe was obsolete compared to Jason’s iPhone. The hazard lights were worthless. Angel Grove had installed a detection system, and you could follow it on Twitter to be updated on any disturbance.

There was no sound in the cavern, save for the quiet crackle of the burning cigarette as Jason took another drag. It hadn’t been so bad at first, not being a Power Ranger any more. He had had more free time. The rest of the team were still his friends. Every once in a while he’d get to go back and relive the glory when some monster got to be too much for the current generation of Rangers to handle. There had even been that Red Reunion. Jason lurched forward out of the chair. His booted feet sent echoes through the hallowed cavern.

He tried to walk past the only decoration in the entire structure on his way to the Zord bay. Tried and failed. He failed every time. The picture was in a cheap black frame. It had all six of the Rangers during their senior year at Angel Grove High. He lifted a calloused hand and ran it down the glass. Trini and Zack were both gone. The three of them had been in a roll-over accident on the way back from that damned peace conference. Kim was a gymnast now. She wouldn’t talk to him anymore. Bitch. They had tried dating after Divatox had tried to feed them both to a volcano. She ended things by telling Jason that she loved him like a brother. He didn’t take it well. Jason shook his head. Billy had a family and lived here in Angel Grove. The two of them had fixed up the old Dinozords , even made some improvements. He had stopped helping once he found out Jason planned to actually use the machines. He kept trying to get Jason to let the Rangers be in the past. Coward.

Jason’s fingers curled into a fist. He slammed that fist into the cold stone next to the picture. The Rangers were not the past, God damn it! Tommy played at being a history teacher, but he was still out there fighting too! His jaw clenched. Things hadn’t worked out as well for Jason. He’d been a dive instructor and a personal trainer, but he hadn’t been able to make ends meet. Being a Ranger took up so much of his time, and there was no one to cover for him so he could make a decent paycheck. He’d finally given up trying to pay rent and moved into the empty Command Center. Jason ripped his eyes from the picture and stormed into the Zord bay. He flipped the butt of his cigarette into the darkness of the cavern. The burning ash sparked as it hit something massive and red. Jason ignored it and went over to the weight stacks. He slammed a fist into a suspended black heavy bag. It rocked, and the chains jingled as the mass became weightless and then snapped taut. He stormed past it and lay down on the weight bench. He lifted the bar and pumped in time to the diminishing creak of the still-swinging bag. They’d all left him behind, but he’d never stop fighting.

Sweat beaded on his brow. He didn’t need them anymore anyway. He was stronger than ever. Smarter, too. Monsters didn’t show up in Angel Grove small anymore. Not since Jason had stopped playing nice. Some ridiculous squid monster had shown up one day when he was in an especially bad mood. He’d just called the Tyranno-Zord and stomped on the stupid thing. Fastest fight he’d ever been in. Now, they all showed up building-sized from the start. No matter. Jason was a better pilot than in the old days too.

His phone beeped at him from his jeans pocket. He knew that tone. The Angel Grove Defense Net. Jason smiled and grabbed a towel from the pile of clothes on the floor. He wiped himself and the bench down, and pitched the towel into the darkness. Jason walked over to the wall and mashed a huge button. A series of distant ka-chunks sounded as lights powered on. The cavernous bay lit in harsh white fluorescence. Jason craned his neck up and smiled. A school bus sized grin of stainless steel fangs grinned back at him. The Tyranno-Zord. Jason took a deep breath, and felt the adrenaline jangle his nerves.

“It’s Morphin’ Time,” he whispered.

  1. serquet says:

    You’re awesome, you know that? Nice twist on a bit of nostalgia.

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