Disclaimer: Power Rangers belongs to Saban, and Toei owns all of the Sentai shows I make reference to. I don't own any of them or their characters, I'm just borrowings them for this story and I am not making any money off of them (believe me, I'm a starving college student).
Any way, sorry for the long wait, but my schoolwork and my social life leave me little time to really sit down and write. This is the second story in my saga Origins of the Power: The Super Sentai Crossover, and now the real story begins. The one before this, "Little Lost Ranger", was mainly an introduction featuring Jet Man, which was not used in making Power Rangers. If you haven't read it first you may be a little confused. Please send me e-mail telling me what you think. It may encourage me to write a little faster. P.S. Can anyone get the pun in my screen name?
The next installment is now available, The Ki to Your Inner Power.
A short explanation of the Zyuranger story can be found at zyuranger.html.
On with the story where we meet the Zyu Rangers and discover where the Power Rangers really got their powers in a time...
Billy stared, wide-eyed, at the sight before him. Of all the things he expected to see, another ranger team that looked exactly like his old team was not one of them. "Who are they? I know they're not the Power Rangers of the past. Their voices sound totally different and they're not even speaking English." Billy sat down on the grassy floor for a moment, trying to put things into perspective.
When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth
By: Kamen Ranger
"The only logical explanation for this is that I must have landed in another world, where another group of kids became the Power Rangers. Maybe I could find them after the fight's over with and get some help." He got to his feet and started to make his way into the city he saw in the distance. "It may not be the best plan, but right now it's my only option."
He had only walked about a mile when he got the feeling that someone was watching and following him. For a moment he thought there was only one follower, but he was not sure, was there a second? Somehow, deep down, he knew there was. The first was totally foreign to him, but the second...it was not really familiar, but there was something about it that he just could not describe. He turned around quickly and saw the first figure. It looked like a little girl. Her clothing was totally white from head to foot, with a pointed hood, and there was not a drop of color on her anywhere. She was bouncing a small white ball, not even acknowledging Billy's presence.
"Excuse me," he said, hoping the little girl might be able to offer some assistance. As soon as he had completed his phrase, she dropped her ball and let it roll over to him. He picked it up, ready to throw it back to her. "Are you lost?" If you are, that makes two of us, he thought to himself. "Do you speak English?"
Slowly, she looked up at Billy and smiled. He gasped in shock. Her whole face, like her clothing, was as pure white as the snow. The only thing dark on her whole body was her midnight black eyes. Oh man! I think I in trouble! She doesn't look like she's from around here. Wherever here is, he thought, as he prepared to try and escape.
Her high, melodious voice was startlingly normal. "Onii-chan koto koko wa mate tano yo." He had no idea what she had just said, but then she casually waved her hand as if she wanted Billy to go away. When Billy got a good look at her hand, he could see that it was transparent. He saw right through it and caught a glimpse of bones shaping what should have been a hand. Before he could respond, he found his hand was stuck to the ball he was holding. The ball started to move and made its way back to its owner, dragging Billy along for the ride.
"Hey, this isn't funny, let me go!" Then suddenly they both disappeared and it looked as if there were no witnesses. Looks can be deceiving.
Our mysterious stranger watched the events that had just taken place, not worried even for a moment, for the stranger knew the destiny of this young man. "Prepare yourself, Billy Cranston, to learn the true origin of the Power Rangers from the past, present and the future. I shall be your guide, and you will know me when the time is right."
* * *
Back at the Power Chamber, everyone was in a panic. Only moments ago. Billy had been pulled into a mysterious vortex, and they did not have a clue where he might be. Adam was checking over the readings trying to locate his best friend, as Tommy kept pacing back and forth with worry.
"Adam, any luck?" he asked for the umpteenth time.
"Still nothing. I've been trying to retrace his bio-rhythms through the vortex, the same way he found out where Ako came from, but I just can't get anything." He was trying to remain calm; he just had to find Billy. There was no telling where Billy could have ended up. It was not easy without his help, though, they all relied on him for so much even though he was no longer a Ranger. Adam felt that he was more than that to him. Billy was like the big brother he had never had, and now he was gone and Adam did not know what to do.
"I can't believe this!" shouted Tommy in frustration. "I had him... and I let him go." Kat came over and put a hand on his shoulder.
Jason stepped closer to his friend. "Don't worry Tommy we'll get him back."
"Where did that thing come from, anyway?" asked Tommy, barely noticing the other as he stared at his hands, recalling the dreadful events that had taken place.
At that moment, Zordon's voice boomed across the room. "DUE TO THE RECENT DISTURBENCES IN THE DIMENTIONAL BARRIER, ANOTHER RIP MUST HAVE OPENED UP IN AN ATTEMPT TO RESET THE BALANCE." Zordon studied his young charges, with a concerned look in his eyes. "IT MAY TAKE SOME TIME BEFORE WE ARE TO LOCATE BILLY. UNTIL THEN, WE CAN ONLY PRAY FOR HIS SAFE RETURN AND HAVE FAITH THAT HE WILL FIND A WAY BACK TO US."
The Rangers all looked at each other, wondering just what their oldest and closest friend might be.
* * *
As quickly as he was taken, Billy reappeared in a strange cavern. It was mostly white, like the little girl, with a single staircase that led to a set of small doors. He ran up in an attempt to escape from whomever had brought him there, but he found no way to open the doors. It was almost as if they were there just to taunt him. Just great, he thought, as he sat down on the top step, trying to calm down. What am I gonna do? I've just been kidnapped by a ghost, and I'm lost here, all alone with no one to help me.
Just then he looked up and something caught his eye. It was a green candle on a podium in the center of the room. He got up to take a closer look. It was thinner than the one Rita had used to drain Tommy's powers, back in the old days when he was still a Ranger. The thought made him a nostalgic, but he fought it down. He had more important things on his mind. If the Green Ranger in this world is connected to this candle, than maybe I should put out the flame and stop the power drain, he thought as he prepared to blow it out. But one stray thought stopped him. It was something Zordon had said when they discovered Ako. "THERE ARE AN INFINITE NUMBER OF DIMENSIONS IN EXISTENCE, WHERE ANYTHING IS CONCEIVABLY POSSIBLE."
Billy stopped in his tracks. He had no way of knowing what this candle was for. He had only been here a short time, but could see that this world was very different from his own. It might be linked to the Green Ranger in this world, or it could have nothing to do with him. The truth was he did not know. He did not know where he was, and he did not know how to get back home. "Why did that strange girl bring me here, and where is she now?" He was almost hoping that she would appear again, just so he could ask her that question. Suddenly the room was filled with an echoing, childish laughter. He took a breath and tried to sound friendly. "Where are you? Show yourself." Figuring it was the girl that had brought him here, he added, "Please tell me what's going on."
She appeared in front of the door at the top of the staircase, and smiled at him. He froze in his tracks. As much as he wanted to know what was going on, her ghostly white figure frightened him in a way. Something told him that she was more powerful and mysterious than she appeared to be. She spoke, a child's belling voice, her words in English. "Onii-chan, please do not be frightened. I am not here to harm you."
"You can speak English?" he blurted out.
"Only if I need to. Most of the people in Japan speak Japanese."
He was not as surprised as he might have been. "So I am in Japan. But, then why are the Power Rangers here?" The feeling he had, the sense of her tremendous power, made him certain she could answer his questions if he just did not offend her. So he kept trying.
She gazed at him steadily. "Onii-chan, as you realized, this is not your world and they are not the Power Rangers you are familiar with. The Rangers you saw are the Kyouryu Sentai Zyu Ranger."
He hesitated, wrapping his tongue around the strange syllables. "Kyouryu Sentai... Zyu Ranger?"
She seemed amused, though he could detect no outward sign of it. "The Dinosaur Battle Team Beast Rangers. They protect the world from the evil witch Bandora, and her army."
Billy, for once, stood there dumbfounded until he was finally able to speak. "They look just like my old team. Is it a coincidence, or is it something more?"
A true smile spread across her face. "Onii-chan, this world is where your powers, zords, and enemies came from."
"What do you mean by that?" The source of all their troubles and all their strength? Of everything? He was rocked by the idea.
She said blithely, "This world is only one of many in a long chain of dimensions known as Sentai. Many generations ago it was written that, once a dimension forms, it will be attacked by an enemy determined to enslave or destroy it, and a team of warriors will be chosen to come together and defend it. Once the war has ended, either way, another dimension is formed and the process begins all over again."
Billy stood there and stared at her for a few moments. He asked carefully, "Are you saying that my home world is one of these... 'Chain dimensions?'"
Amused, she answered, "Not quite, but it is connected. You see, it was prophesized that one day a new world would be born from one in the chain, with similar qualities to its parent world. I have been waiting quite a long time for this event to happen, and I have watched other Sentai worlds as well, waiting and waiting, and it so happened to accrue in my own world."
Billy felt a pounding in his head and he stepped forward to confront her, his voice rising in alarm. "You've been waiting... you mean you knew about my world before it was ever created? Just who are you, what are you? Why did you bring me here and why are you telling me all this? Just what's going on here?"
Unperturbed by his anger, she answered simply, "My name is Clotho, I am the Spirit of Life."
"The Spirit of Life? Clotho?" Vaguely, he remembered something from the myths of his world. Clotho, of the Fates, who spun the threads of life. Clotho, Atropos and Lachesis. He held his breath. It had to be only a name, could not mean anything. Could not.
She levitated into the air above him, and started to float straight toward the other side of the small room. "It is my responsibility to assign life to all mortals in the Sentai dimensions."
"Assign life?" he asked, nervously. Something with such power might believe it was a god.
"Before a person is born, I give them a certain amount of life. Once one uses up all of the life I have given them, they die."
He stared at her and realized she was quite serious. He stuttered, "You... you mean you cause all humans to live and die?"
She looked at him steadily. "You misunderstand, I do not kill them. A disease, an accident, a murder, or simply time takes their last breath. I only say how long one will live. Where and how they eventually die, only fate will tell." She settled down at the other side of the room.
"So you're saying that you're...a god?" Perhaps she was, and fear ached through him.
"A Megami, to be more precise. A goddess in your language, but I am just a servant, one of many to the one true God. He can't do everything on his own, so he gave me the job of measuring and giving life. Only a god can alter the decisions I make, and that rarely happens." The more answers Clotho gave him, the bigger the puzzle it formed.
Billy swallowed and asked nervously, "So why would you waste some of your precious time, to trap a stranger from another world?"
"As I have told you, your world is but a shadow of ours. But it is not just our world alone, anymore. The average war within the Sentai worlds, no matter how strong the heroes or villains are, only lasts for about one year. Then the battle ends and the next world faces its own war for survival. Your world, on the other hand, has been at war for almost four years. In short, your world is not attached only to our world, but to the chain itself, and it will continue this way for years to come, slowly becoming more and more like the worlds it was spawned from, and perhaps even merging together completely. However, no one from your world, not even Zordon, knows anything about these worlds and can prepare for future changes that are bound to happen."
Billy blinked and took a moment to digest what he had heard. "Is that why you brought me here?"
"Onii-chan, that is why I brought you to this world and sent Blue Swallow to yours."
"You're the one behind all of this!?"
"Your world was not prepared to face the Vyram. I didn't bring them to your world, but if you hadn't had help from the Jet Man team you all would have been destroyed and your planet would lie in ruins. By meeting Ako, you found her home dimension and you were able to bring the Jet Man to your world to help you fight off the Vyram."
Billy managed to calm down upon hearing her logic and he had to admit she was correct. They had never fought anything like the Vyram before. Without the help of Ako and the other Jet Man members, who knew what might have happened? "Well, I guess we owe you a thank you, then."
"It is not me whom you should thank. It was my servant whom I sent to watch over you."
"She is known as the Guardian. She is in charge of keeping these dimensions in line, and helping out lost travelers such as Ako, and you."
He thoughts flashed back to when all of the Rangers from both worlds had joined up against the monster, and then the vortex had opened up and sent the Vyram back to their home dimension. He had suspected that thing was sabotaged, but now he may have just found out by who. "The sabotaged monster! So, she was the one. She must have been the one who helped Chokan find the Power Chamber in the first place. The Guardian, do you know where she is so I can get back home?"
Klotho frowned slightly and stared at him. "Onii-chan, you can not go back to your home, not yet."
"What? Why? My friends must be worried sick by now, and why do you keep calling Onii-chan? My name is Billy."
"Onii-chan is simply the way a young person address an older male. Even though I'm not younger, old habits are hard to break."
"I don't believe this!" he cried out, frustrated.
"I have my reasons for everything, and you are a very important part of what I have planned."
Sick fear twisted in him. "And just what do you have planned?"
"The salvation of your world."
He could feel an easing of his fear, however little he knew. "What do you mean?"
"As you know, your world has changed quite a bit from day one, just as you have. In fact, your world no longer resembles this one. You have new powers, weapons, enemies, and even new Rangers. Your world is beginning to become more and more like the Sentai worlds that give it life, and it will continue to do so from now on, there's no turning back now. The Rangers of your world must learn to adapt, or Earth and the galaxy will fall and be destroyed utterly... forever."
"What does all of this have to do with me, and what can I do to stop this horrible future?"
"You must learn, that is why I have sent for you. You are the only Ranger left from the first day the Dumpster was opened and the Great War began. You have demonstrated great intelligence, and you have become a worthy warrior. You must learn all you can about the Rangers of the past, present and future. You have already learned about the Sentai world that came before this one, now you must learn about this one, the parent to your world."
"The Jet Man team... was one in the chain. So that means if our world had been created a year or so earlier then it might look like theirs?"
"You're catching on."
"But how do I know you're telling me the truth, and how is it you know so much about me and my world?"
He could feel her amusement return. "Are you saying you do not wish to save your world?"
Feeling very young, he controlled his blush and answered her intently, "No, but why can't you do something about it? I'm not saying that I won't do it, I will. But if you're so powerful that you can control who lives and dies --"
"That is not something I can choose. Not everyone can live until they are old and gray, and all mortals must die sooner or later, but I can not just pick and choose my favorites to live on and others not to. I am not allowed to play favorites. I never even see their faces while I assign them life. They are all just faceless candles that I light, and I will watch as they burn out."
Billy stared down at the almost forgotten green candle, burning low. A green candle. Tommy.... But Tommy was not green anymore. And he knew what he was seeing. "That candle... it belongs to this world's Green Ranger. He... he's going to die soon, isn't he?"
For a moment he thought he saw keen sadness cross her face. "He is known as the Dragon Ranger in this world, and he died long ago."
Startled, he started at her. "But then how can he still be alive? Did you bring him back from the dead?"
"I can not answer all of your questions, you must seek them out on your own," she said, a little too quickly. "This is your quest, Billy Cranston, and for me to simply give you all the answers you need, would make you journey meaningless. A wise man once said that 'If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a meal but if you teach a man how to fish you will feed him for life.'"
It was hard to tear his attention from the slowly burning candle. My quest, is it? He lifted his head and squared his shoulders. "I guess I have no choice then. I accept this mission and no matter how long it takes I will learn what I need to know and share it when I return home, however long it takes."
"Seek out the wizard Barza. He is the mentor of the Zyu Ranger team. He will get you started."
He was being sent off on his own. He felt more than a little nervous. "But what if I need to see you again?"
He caught the smile that flitted across her white face. "We will meet again, someday. But fear not. The Guardian will watch over you and guide you on your way. But she will only appear when you are in dire need, or when it is time for you to move on to the next world. Until then you are on your own."
"You said we'll meet again someday. Do you happen to know when?"
She looked at him with a wide, cool smile. "When your blue candle reaches the end of its wick." With those haunting words he felt himself sent from the room, and could still hear her laughing even as he was sent away.
Within the room, however, someone else had entered. It was the Dragon Ranger who appeared just after Billy had left, but his sharp senses told him that someone else had been there.
Bells in the air. He shifted to listen and recognized the distant, fading tones. He said firmly, "Clotho, I know you're here. I can still catch the echo of you laughing."
With that, she appeared before him. "What seems to be the problem, Burai-Onii-chan?"
He frowned at her, sternly. "Someone was in here wasn't there? Who did you let in here?"
"Onii-chan, you should learn to be more respectful of the one who has brought you back from the dead and is keeping you alive." She pointed to the candle, whose flame was motionless now that Burai had entered the room. "You really shouldn't go out so much, or you'll use up all of your life too quickly."
"My brother was in trouble. You know I had to go." He steadied his heart against this reminder of all the time he had wasted, knowing that he would not get anything out of her if he made her angry. "Please tell me who was just in the room."
"You need not fear him, he is just a lost traveler I needed to point in the right direction. This is in fact my room, and keeping you from aging in here is not my only priority. I have a need of that young man, and he will be very useful to me in the future."
"Just what future have you in store for him?"
"That is my problem and none of your concern. However, all will be revealed in time. A pity you won't be around to see it...."
* * *
As Billy walked toward the city he could not help but wonder just what Clotho had in store for him. After all, he was a total stranger here and he did not know a thing about her, or anything else about this place for certain. What if she was telling the truth, and his world depended on his success? The only truth he knew was that he had no choice. He had no way of contacting the others or of escaping this world. But even if he could, would he want to go home right away? The part of him that was a scientist was always willing to learn. Getting the chance to discover the origins of the Power was a once in a life time opportunity that he just could not pass up. He would worry about Clotho later. Right now he had to find the Wizard Barza.
"I just wish she would have given me a little more to go on. I don't even know what this... Barza... looks like." By this time he had reached the city, and he took out the translator and set it to translate Japanese to English. The tall building reminded him very much of Angel Grove, except for the persistent appearance of unreadable symbols. "Clotho speaking English was lucky, but that's not something I can count on." He made his way over to the area where the battle had just taken place, looking for anything that might help him. A few people were staring at him, clearly not used to seeing foreigners here. Or maybe it was because of the translator on his head. It was not long before he saw something that looked promising. Sitting by a large fountain was a group of people, relaxing. Their clothing was strangely medieval, not business suits or jeans like other people he had seen while walking there. It was the color scheme that seemed a dead giveaway to the former Blue Ranger. Of the four men, one was mostly in red, another in black, one in yellow and one in blue. The young woman was more in purple, but still.... "They could be the Zyu Ranger team, or they could just be going to a costume party. It couldn't hurt to ask... I hope." He got up the courage to go to the one in red, hoping he was the leader.
"Excuse me." The five looked up at him, and he was briefly caught by their faces. They were older than his team, by a few years. Each with a quiet intelligence at this moment, and puzzled at being addressed by a foreign stranger. Would all teams in the Sentai worlds be Japanese? He forced himself to speak. "I'm looking for the Zyu Rangers and the Wizard Barza. Do you know where I could find them?"
They all looked at each other, surprised that this foreign stranger could speak Japanese so clearly, and that he knew about Barza. Then they turned back to him, noting with curiosity his light hair and warm blue eyes. His clothing was very normal for the modern world, a simple, black, short-sleeve T-shirt and a pair of blue jeans. The object on his head resembled a common headset like the kind used for walk mans.
The man in red stepped forward, his expression uncertain but laced with curiosity. Billy found he was studying the man, searching for a resemblance to Jason, his own Red Ranger. There was nothing in the rectangular face, the wide-set but small eyes, the simple Japanese-ness of the young man. His voice, when he spoke, struck a familiar chord of tolerance and curiosity. "We are the Zyu Ranger. But what could you want from us, and how do you know Barza?"
Funny. Again there was no secret identity. These people, like the Jetman, walked the world known as who they were. Billy felt a brief pang of jealousy. There was so much he could not tell even his parents. He drew a breath and started, "Well, it's a rather long story. I was sent here by someone named Clotho --"
The calm was broken by clear startlement. The black eyes meeting his went wide and alarmed. "You know Clotho! Why did she send you here, and did she say anything about my brother?"
The sudden rush of words threatened to overwhelm Billy. Jason did not have a brother, but then this was another world. He tried to answer quickly, to calm the other man. "She didn't tell me much. You see, she brought me here from another dimension, and told me that I had to learn about the worlds of Sentai in order to save my own world. I have to find the Wizard Barza. She said that he would start me on my quest."
They stared at him uncertainly, then came together. They did not lower their voices, perhaps out of a kind of respect for a bewildering problem. "What do think?" the red one asked the others.
The man in yellow had a rounded, elfin face, eyes half-closed as though he was falling asleep. The coiled rope that hung like a shield around his shoulders seemed very odd. He responded to the question first. "I'm not sure we should trust him. How do we know if Clotho sent him? He could have been sent by Bandora."
The man in black was very tall, his hair curly rather than straight like the others. He had a long face, and seemed to be the oldest. He glanced at Billy, then said, "But why would she send a foreigner? It doesn't make any sense."
The woman spoke, and he noticed she was lovely, prettier than Ako. Perhaps it was because she was older and had a faint aura of serene calm. "Nothing Bandora does makes any sense. If he is just lost maybe we could help him."
The red one turned to the man in blue, suddenly seeming upset. "Dan, what's wrong? It's not like you not to have an opinion."
He did not answer right away. His oval face seemed more inclined to hold smiles than this puzzled confusion. He met Billy's eyes uncertainly, and it was as though an odd shock passed between them. Billy felt vaguely dizzy. Dan turned to his concerned friends. "I... I can't explain it, but I feel strongly connected with that man."
The small man in yellow cocked his head, concerned. "Connected? Do you know him from somewhere?"
"No, I've never seen him before but... the instant I did... was almost like seeing another part of myself."
The leader looked at him with concern. "Dan, are you alright?"
Dan shuddered and shook his head. He said earnestly, "We have to help him. I don't know why, but we have to. Get Barza, he may know something about him."
The red frowned and yet seemed reassuring, to the observing Billy. He said to Dan, "If you feel this strongly maybe we should." They all turned around to face him. "What is your name?"
I feel like a voyeur, he thought. So much like looking at an echo, a shadow of his team. "William Cranston, but everyone calls me Billy."
"All right... Billy, we'll help you out."
Strange, but he had never felt that they would not. Still, it was a relief. He said sincerely, "I can't thank you enough."
* * *
The Zyu Rangers did not know Billy, so instead of bring him to their base they chose to bring Barza to him. Billy felt dwarfed, sitting on the edge of a flower planter, just outside a towering office building. The woman and three young men stayed near him, eyes bright with curiosity. If it had taken any longer, they would probably have begun questioning him. Their attention was diverted by the red one, coming out of the building, with a little old man at his side. Again Billy was struck by a sense of familiarity about the man, but he could not place it at all. He was just a small, wrinkled man, with square features set on a stocky body. Unlike the Zyurangers, he was dressed in perfectly ordinary clothes. Blue coveralls, a red and white kerchief, a simple hat. Almost like an American blue-collar worker.
And he was looking at Billy with bright interest and expectant delight. As he came close he said, "So, you have finally arrived... William Cranston, the Wandering Ranger." His voice was merry, and rather gruff around the edges.
Billy guessed, from the astonishment on Geki's face, that the other man had not told the little wizard this information. He stood and asked uncertainly, "How do you know my name?"
Barza smiled and looked up at him. "I know all about you. I have been expecting your arrival for some time."
Billy groaned and said, "Why is it that everyone I meet here either somehow knows me or my future?"
Barza nodded and waved a hand placatingly. "I understand your concern, my young friend. I will tell you everything you need to know. But not here, come with us, to our base."
"Thank you, Barza. I hope you can help me." Everything I need to know, but not everything I want to know? But perhaps the little man would be more specific than Clotho.
Barza led Billy and the Zyurangers inside the building and into an elevator. He pushed a sequence of buttons, then Billy felt the usual lift in his gut as the elevator started going down. The numbers on the display changed increasingly rapidly and Billy stared at in with an instinctive nervousness. The floor numbers went into the negatives and kept going until he felt the elevator slowing to a stop at - 2000.
The elevator doors opened and Billy stepped out, to stop in amazement. Here, 2000 meters beneath an innocent apartment building, was an immense cavern, another world hidden from outsiders, until now. The cavern was lit by an aurora glow that shifted in vibrant, living color. Ahead of them was an island and on it were temples, their architecture much like that of ancient Greece. And why not? Wasn't Clotho an ancient Greek Goddess? thought Billy. If they were in Japan, should there not be Japanese monsters? Perhaps as he travelled he would meet Godzilla. When they entered the largest building, which strangely seemed to contain a great deal more than was apparent from the outside, the first thing he saw was the huge, inner temple. Atop the building there were five, tall podiums. Atop each one was a statue of an ancient creature: Tyrannosaurus, Sabretooth Tiger, Pteranadon, Triceratops and the Mammoth. There was something majestic about the statues, even a feeling that they were not mere statues, as if at any moment they might move.
A touch on his arm brought him back and he glanced down. He almost froze in surprise again, but managed to walk forward. Barza's clothing had changed. Now he looked like a wizard. On his head was a blue and yellow turban, held in place by some sort of white band with a blue stone placed between and above his twinkling eyes. Heavy, white and gold padding ranged from shoulder to shoulder, holding in place a blue, yellow and white robe that matched the turban. The rest of his clothes were white, and looked Arabic. Perhaps it all looked Arabic, except for the peculiar staff Barza held in his right hand. The spikey top curled around like a seashell, and Billy wondered dazedly if that was the intention.
Then it dawned on him. When Kimberly and I were turned into punks! The others saw an image of Zordon before he was trapped in his time warp. I may have been under a spell, but I remember everything after I came to. There was no doubt about it, Barza was the Zordon from this world, only he was not trapped in a time warp. The Wizard smiled at him, almost as though he knew what Billy was thinking.
They entered the temple, and the inside was simply incredible. Five doors, ordinary-looking except for the symbol of each of the ancient beasts on each one, were placed in the walls. There was some sort of alter in the center of the space, and off to the side Billy could see a room -- a study, probably -- full of books. He was truly at a loss for words.
"I take it this place does not resemble your base," Barza said, still with that amusement.
Billy shook his head. "This place is incredible, I've never seen anything like it."
Barza waved around the room and upwards, probably towards the statues on top of the temple. He intoned gravely, "The tale of the Zyu Rangers begins seventeen hundred million years ago. Fairies and dinosaurs lived together in peace and harmony. Then the witch Bandora began using her magic to exterminate the dinosaurs and rule the world. The war was long and hard. The dinosaur clans bonded with their gods, who created powerful avatars for them to use in the war. In the end, she and her most dangerous allies were sealed within a magic urn and cast off to the wandering planet, Nemesis. We knew, though, that in seventeen hundred million years Nemesis' orbit would bring it within reach of Earth again. The signs indicated that Bandora would be freed to threaten all future life on Earth."
Billy swallowed his instinctive protest, that science had proven humans in their modern incarnation did not exist that long ago.
Barza stopped and seemed to consider his next words carefully. "Though defeated, Bandora's goal was half-accomplished. The dinosaurs were becoming extinct, and the kingdoms were dying with them. The gods -- and I -- could not accept this. From our visions, we knew the world would have no defense against Bandora, so we chose five inheritors of the Great Clans, and asked them to fight in this time. And they said yes. They and their great beasts, the avatars of the dinosaur gods, together fight Bandora's monsters and protect the world. And they shall continue to fight until, once again, the world is at peace." He sighed and added, "She hates two things above all others in this world: dinosaurs and children."
Barza took a long breath, before turning to the Rangers and waving at them to introduce themselves. The red one stepped forward, eyes searching Billy's face, "I am Geki, the Tyranno Ranger, prince of the Yamato Clan."
The tall man in black and gray came close next. "My name is Goushi. I am the Mammoth Ranger and a knight of the Sharma Clan."
The shortest of them, in yellow, stepped forward next. "I'm Boi, knight of the Daimu Clan. I'm the Tiger Ranger." Billy gamely resisted the urge to laugh. Boi's name sounded exactly like the English word 'boy', and if the Power Rangers got their powers from the Zyu rangers, as he was told, then Trini had received her powers from a man. It seemed that, in Japan, a man could wear yellow without people assuming he was gay or a coward. It touched him suddenly, that this was why Trini's battle armor had no skirt, and he smiled. Boi gave him an odd look, but apparently decided not to ask.
The young woman of the team stepped forward. Again he was caught by her loveliness. So this person would be Kimberly? Wow. She said gently, "I am Mei, princess of the Rinshira family. I am the Ptera Ranger."
And his own. The young man, Dan, stepped forward at last. The sense of connection was stronger here, than it had been before. I would like to wear clothes like his, Billy thought with a glum smile. For the man wore a black turtleneck under a light blue tunic, and a purple vest with a leaf-like pattern along the edges, and leather bands at his wrists. There was a blue broach visible where the light blue tunic came together on his chest. Billy noticed then that Mei, Goushi and Boi also had broaches, but he could not see if Geki wore one. They looked at each other, and Billy realized Dan felt just as odd as he did.
"Dan, a knight of the Etofu family. I'm the Tricera Ranger."
The others watched Dan with concern. He was not the type to act so serious; he was the joker of the group, who always tried to make everyone smile. Geki thought bitterly, What does this human have to do with him? Barza knows something we don't. I don't like him keeping secrets from us, like the one about my... he closed his thoughts on that. There was nothing to be done about it now, anyway. He turned his attention to Dan and Billy, who were just staring at each other as if they were not certain what to make of each other. At the same time, it was like they knew each other.
It was the custom to bow in Japan, but when Billy extended his hand, Dan took it without hesitation. To the shock of everyone in the room, both young men seem to lock into a trance. The moment their hands touched, a blue electrical shock went between them and then they just stared off into space.
Mei asked anxiously, "Barza, what's happening to them!?"
"I am not sure, but this may have to do with the prophecy."
Geki turned on him swiftly. "What is this prophecy and why haven't you told us!?!"
Goushi moved, gripping his younger friend's shoulders firmly. "Geki, please calm down."
As Dan's worried friends looked on, he began to see his life flash before his eyes, only it was not his life. It was Billy's life. Dan could see him as the Tricera Ranger. He recognized many of the same battles he himself had fought. The same but with differences everywhere. Billy in turn was having seeing himself as Dan, fighting the same battles but also seeing events that were totally different from what had happened to him. Not only that, but he felt rather than saw knowledge of Dan's future, unknown to the other man, pour into him. Then suddenly the images were ripped apart as their hands separated and they instantly came back to reality.
Geki and Boi held on to Dan as he sagged. Mei and Goushi were holding Billy. Both men shook their heads. "Oh, boy," groaned Dan, rubbing his head. Then he looked at Billy.
"You can say that again," said Billy, steadying himself on his own feet.
Geki looked at Billy, then at Dan. "What the hell just happened with you two?"
Dan finally straightened up. "I saw... myself... as Billy. He had my power and my armor... and his friends... all had yours."
They all looked at each other, and Boi shook his friend gently. "Dan you're not making any sense."
Billy spoke up in his predecessor's defense. "He's making perfect sense." They all looked at him doubtfully, except for Dan who was grinning. Billy went on, "My world was created in the image of yours, as a shadow. The same things that happed in this world happened in my own. Our worlds were attacked and two sets of Rangers came to defend it. Only... they are the same."
The others blinked at him, then the tall Goushi turned to the wizard with a frown. "Barza what is going on here? They're both making no sense."
Dan piped up excitedly, "But it does make sense. They are a part of us."
Geki turned now and took his friend's shoulders in a strong grip. "Dan you're scaring us. What's just happened, and who are these others you keep talking about?"
"I saw another world, his world and the war they fight there is the same one we fight here, only very different. The Zyu Rangers exist there too, reformed and reborn. Don't you see, that man, Billy, is me. He is me reborn and I am him as he once was."
"Dan?!?" Geki wondered what they would do if Dan lost his mind, but his young ally was blundering on.
"I saw it all, all through his eyes just as he saw through mine. He and his friends are us."
Barza coughed and came between his charges, wanting to defuse this alarm before it became a true problem. "Please calm down, everyone. I believe I can explain." They all turned their attention to Barza and eyed him, Geki rather sternly. The wizard ignored that and went on, "Many years ago, after Bandora and her minions were sealed within the urn, I was visited by a strange woman. She told me that one day a stranger with blue eyes and light hair would come to this world on a quest for knowledge and the truth about the origin of his own powers. From a world created in our shadow, the last remaining warrior from the first day of battle would come. His world would resemble ours to a degree, but with enough differences to make it original. He would be known to all as the Wandering Ranger." Barza muttered to himself absently, "The only thing I knew was it would happen after Bandora was freed."
Billy puzzled this out. A woman, not a child. Perhaps it was the other Clotho had spoken of. He asked, "Barza, sir, do you happen to know the name of this woman?"
"She said only that she was called the Guardian."
Billy blinked. "The Guardian? She's the one who brought me here. I haven't seen her myself, but Clotho said that she was the one guiding me on my quest."
Geki looked at him anxiously. "Clotho? Just what exactly does she have to do with all of this?"
"She wouldn't tell me much, just that the Guardian was her servant and that I have to complete this quest in order to save my world. She took me to this strange white cave -- "
Geki interrupted him excitedly. "Wait a minute! You were in the Lapseless room?"
"I didn't catch the name, but it had a door at the top of a stair case and a -- "
"Green candle at the center," Geki finished for him, grimly.
"Why yes, she said it was the life of the Gr -- uh, Dragon Ranger." He noticed that Geki's face had taken on a distinctly unhealthy color, as though he were in pain. Billy asked hesitantly, "Is he a close friend of yours?"
Geki hesitated for a long momet before saying quietly, "He's my older brother."
"Your brother?" Billy tried to wrap his head around that concept with shock.
Goushi looked at him and smiled slightly. "I take it they are not related in your world."
"No, they're very close friends, but they're in no way related." That would explain why, after breaking Rita's spell, Jason and Tommy shared a strong bond. He had thought their relationship was almost... brotherly. And they had taken him among them, feeling as though they had missed him their entire lives. "The Dragon Ranger in my world was know as the Green Ranger. His name is Tommy. We met him at a marshal arts exposition. Rita -- Bandora in your world -- for some reason chose him and kidnapped him." He knew from the memories he had seen through Dan that Rita and Bandora were indeed the same person. And now it seemed she had to take Tommy, because he was the re-born Dragon Ranger. He shook his head. "She used an enchanted sword and her magic to turn him into the evil Green Ranger, and used him to attack us."
Geki looked at him, lips thin. "He was under a spell? That's not the way it happened here."
"He wasn't under a spell?" The denial seemed to push through him from the echoes of Dan's memories, and the sadness on Geki's face almost made him regret asking. The Green Ranger is dying, he remembered.
"No, it's much more complicated then that...." Geki's gaze turned inward, his mouth set in a wistful line. "We were a minor offshoot of the Yamato clan. My real father, the Black Knight, was rebellious, and as punishment he was forced to give me, his newborn second son, to the red king of the main family line. They had no children, you see. They wanted a son. But my father decided to take me back, and he went to war against the king. Brai -- my brother -- was only eight, but he saw my father kill... he saw the red king deal the blow that killed his father. Dying, his father made him swear to get revenge on the Yamato line. He spent the next twenty years in the custody of a kindly gnome. He studied and practiced and became a great warrior. He wanted to be a hero of the realm and restore honor to our family. He was the beloved protector of the gnome's grandson. But the war with Bandora came and went. My father died and I went with the others into suspended animation to wait for the witch's return. I was the only one left for Brai to keep his promise on, and I was out of reach. He chose to go into frozen sleep, intending to face me in battle when he woke." Geki stopped to look at Barza with cool resentment, before continuing.
"We first heard about Brai from the gnome's grandchild. The boy was trying to release him from his sleep, because if he didn't Brai would die. Barza and the grandfather were chasing him with machine guns and hand-grenades, desperate to stop him. They would not explain why," he said with quiet fury. "It was only after he was freed and attacked us, that Barza had to tell us the whole story. Bandora took advantage of his rage, his pain. She gave him a cursed sword that turned its bearer into a berserk warrior. He sided with her in order to get his revenge. We lost Daizyujin, when an eclipse weakened it and it and fell into pit of lava. All I could think of was that I failed them because I wouldn't fight my brother. I couldn't, because I could see, I could feel his pain and I wanted to help him. I wanted to have my brother. Bandora was victorious, but a few days later we found Brai wreaking havoc in the city with a strange Shugozyu, the Dragon Caesar. He'd apparently had a falling-out with Bandora, for Gryphoza and Lami were fighting him."
Billy reached for the multitude of things he had gained from Dan, and recognized Gryphoza as Goldar and Lami was none other than Scorpina. The knowledge also touched him that the two were husband and wife. Them, married? Man, I wonder what their kids would look like.
Geki continued, his gaze turned inward. "I never felt so helpless, the city was being destroyed, people were getting hurt, killed, and my lost brother was bent on conquering the world for himself. Just when all seemed lost, Barza managed to call back our Beasts. It took all our power to get them out of the pit they were trapped in, but the magma had recharged them and they were stronger than ever. We expected them all to join in the battle as Daizyujin, but my Tyrannosaur insisted on a one on one fight with Dragon Caesar, and I had to face Brai. I had to put the welfare of the world before my sympathy and need for him. I won. We thought it was over, but Daizyujin formed and punished Dragon Caesar for fighting against them. He told me to kill Brai." Geki paused for a moment. That had been a terrible, horrible time and it hurt like hell to speak of it. He had felt so... hopeless.
He took a deep breath and continued. "I knew I had to. He was too powerful to hold, and too murderous to let loose. The others almost stopped me, they knew what it would do to me, to kill him. So did I. I'd beaten him badly, he couldn't get up. Yet he didn't want to die. I was going to do it, but I couldn't. I couldn't kill him, it wasn't his fault none of it was his fault." Geki closed his eyes on the remembered pain and took a moment to pull himself together. "I stabbed my sword into the ground instead and told Daizyujin, 'no.' And I turned and walked away. I knew Brai would attack me, but I still couldn't do it. He snatched up his sword and went after me, cursing me to hell, and I told him to do it. If it would help, if it would take the pain away, kill me."
Dan's memories flung up the scene in Billy's eyes. The man a green blur, the terrible sword frozen, about to descend to slice into Geki's unprotected back. No, no, no. Not Geki! Not for you, madman! and an instant of shame that Dan had felt. Geki turning, tears streaming down his face... the hope when the evil sword fell and the madman dropped to his knees, begging Geki to forgive him. The evil sword disintegrating at the touch of Brai's tears.
Billy swallowed the lump in his throat, fought his own tears that threatened. "But he didn't," he said, unnecessarily.
"No. No, he made the choice. I'd believed from the moment I learned about him that he could, but when it happened I nearly died from relief. Daizyujin was stunned. Isn't that something? We amazed a god. But he welcomed Brai as the sixth member of the Zyuranger. But, right after we were reunited he disappeared without a word. He would only appear if we were in too much trouble, and only if I called for him."
Billy remembered, with absolute clarity, the almost amusing but rather annoying tendency Tommy had once had to forget his bracelet. That was why he came late to so many battles, or missed some altogether. But now, thinking of that candle in the Lapseless Room, Billy wished they had Tommy here now, to look at and reassure himself that the former Green Ranger was alive and well.
Geki continued with a shake of his head. "We found out the horrible truth on one of the darkest days of our lives. Bandora was desperate for victory, and risked her life to summon Satan himself. They would have to sacrifice the lives of thirteen children for it to succeed. She began gathering the chosen ones, but we found the last little girl and tried to protect her. In the end, they stole her from us and embedded her with the others in an ivory tower. We were having enough trouble with Bandora's latest monster, Dora Frank. He was given addition power by Satan and became Satan Frank. There wasn't much time, we had to somehow free those children before their life-forces were spent. Even with Brai's help we couldn't stop them. Daizyujin and Dragon Caesar were severely damaged, and they teleported us to a strange, white room. If you met Clotho, then you've probably been there."
Billy nodded and Geki continued. "That's when we first met her, that strange, child-like being all in white... and that's when she told us all about Burai, though he tried to stop her. She told us he was dying. Had died already, while he slept through the millions of years to this time." Billy recalled Clotho mentioning something about the Dragon Ranger having died once before, but she had refused to give him any more information on the subject. Geki was explaining: "While we were safely suspended under Barza's care, no one was taking care of Brai. During one earthquake boulders fell from the ceiling and crushed his body. He was dead, but Daizyujin asked Clotho to bring him back to the land of the living in order to save the Earth."
Billy startled. Wait a minute, the Daizyujin who kept trying to make you kill him? He stuttered, "But if Daizyujin knew about Burai all along, and kept ordering you to kill him... I mean no insult to you or your brother, but just why did he have Clotho resurrect him?"
"He was needed to complete the Kyuukyoku Daizyujin."
Billy had long given up and wished he had not programmed the translator to ignore proper names. "The Kyuukyoku Daizyujin?"
Geki smiled wearily at Billy's confusion. "Long ago Daizyujin fought off Satan. However, he was injured and broke into several pieces. The five Shugozyus form Daizyujin's main body, but to become whole again he needed to be united with the Dragon Caesar and King Brachion. Each Shugozyu can only be wakened by bonding with someone from the royal houses. If Brai dies while we are both active, as his brother I inherit his Shugozyu."
Billy grappled with the names and tried to trigger associations from Dan's memories. Who was this King Brachion? Then the image came to him and he recognized the Zord their world named Titanis, and knew the Kyuukyoku Daizyujin must be the Ultra Zord. And these gods had cared nothing at all for their tool... "Cold," he muttered.
Geki looked away. He was not certain why he was telling an outsider from another world all of their deepest and darkest pains. It was even more surprising that Barza never tried to stop him and even seemed to consent. If this stranger was in fact from their world's reincarnation, than maybe it was true, and he was in fact Dan reborn. Geki was uncertain of a lot of things but one thing was clear, Billy was on a mission to save the future of his world. And if that was the case, then Geki knew he could not ignore his fellow hero's plea for help.
He cleared his throat and continued his tale. "Clotho told us to go north, and that if we persevered despite everything in our path, we would find a new chance. We had no choice but to go and try to find a way to help our friends. It was not an easy path and Bandora sent her forces to stop us. The others held them off while I continued north as fast as I could, until I came to a waterfall and a cliff. There was nowhere else to go, so I jumped. When I landed I realized that we had all arrived together. What we found there was a large metal disk with an inscription on the bottom. It said that in order to call forth the Kyuukyoku Daizyujin, the six heroes must place their coins within the disk and call out their purpose."
"What did it mean 'call out your purpose?'" Billy asked gently.
Mei answered him, her voice firm. "Each of us have a mission or a cause that we fight for. I am the warrior of Love."
Boi grinned and said, "I am the warrior of Hope."
Goushi ducked his head humbly. "I am the warrior of Wisdom."
Dan stood up. "I -- or should I say, we -- are the warriors of courage."
Billy looked down for a moment. I was supposed to be the warrior of courage? I would have thought we'd be the warriors of wisdom. Everything in this world seems so much more intense. I guess Clotho was right. I'm just a shadow of the real thing.
Geki was smiling fondly. "Brai is the warrior of power, and I am the warrior of justice. And once we brought the powers together, we were able to free Daizyujin and defeat Dai Satan as the Ultimate Daizyujin. Dai Satan wasn't destroyed, but the deadly plague that he set loose was nullified, and the thirteen children were freed." In telling Billy of one of the most important of their adventures, Geki felt somewhat relieved. Although the Great War was not yet over, telling the story made him realize just how far they all had come. It gave him a new hope for the future he was fighting for.
Billy drew a breath and shook his head gravely. "That was incredible, guys." He had never dreamed in a million years that he would discover the origin behind the powers that he and some of his closest friends had shared for almost three years. "You are all truly incredible."
"Billy," Mei said softly, "could you tell us about your world?"
"I want to know about it too." Boi was a little excited. "I mean we all can't just swap our minds with you, like Dan." There were chuckles from the rest of the group.
"It's not so bad, Boi. In fact, it's kind of cool, you should try it." Dan's eyes were dancing with total mischief.
Boi shock his head. "No thank you, I think I have a good enough imagination to interpret Billy's story without putting my brain through a blender." All his friends started snickering.
When Billy thought about it, something in him wanted to do it. That may not be a bad idea. I don't know if it's going to work, but it couldn't hurt. And who knows what he might think? Billy smiled at Boi, who eyed him suspiciously. "You know, Boi, that might not be a bad idea. If it works, you might get an idea of just what my world is like."
Boi backed away nervously. "I'm not so sure it's such a good idea."
Dan came up to him. "What's wrong, are you scared?"
Boi glared back at him. "No, but I saw what happened to you two, and it didn't look too pleasant."
Dan widened his eyes, trying to look innocent. "All that happened was we went into each other's minds and shared our memories."
Mei raised her hand eagerly. "I would like to give it a try. I want to see what I look like when I'm reborn."
Goushi stepped forward, his eyes serious. "I, too, am curious to see what the war is like in your world."
Geki hesitated for a moment. There were many questions that remained unanswered. But if I could see Brai reborn in Billy's world, then maybe I can learn something that will save his life in mine? A part of me wants to know, but I'm afraid at the same time. Geki made his decision and he stepped forward. "If you wouldn't mind, Billy, I would like to see your world."
Boi sighed in defeat. Trying to project a light courage, he stepped forward. "If everyone else is going to do it, then I guess I would be missing out if I didn't at least try."
The Zyu Rangers looked at Barza, who nodded in approval. At that they, except for Dan, gathered around Billy, all a little nervous.
"Just relax and take my hand," Billy told them calmly. He did not know if it would really work with the others as it had with Dan, but something in him said it would. Together, they touched their fingertips to Billy's hand, and sure enough they all went into a trance as red, black, yellow, and pink energy waves ran through them from Billy. Each of them saw themselves as another warrior, fighting at Billy's side in his world. They saw themselves from the time they accepted their powers, until the point when they each in turn passed them on and left to continue their lives. Geki watched himself as the strong, brilliant young Jason, returning later to take up a new and strange type of power he did not quite understand.
Then the images ended without anyone having to come and break theZyurangers away from Billy. They all took a few steps back, a little dazed but not to the point of collapsing like Dan and Billy had been the first time.
Billy sat down for a moment to catch his breath. Dan came up to his friends. "So how was it?" he asked with a playful smile.
Mei was the first to respond. "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it for myself." She paused for a moment to digest just what she had seen. "I saw myself reborn as a girl called Kimberly, up until she gave her place to a girl called Kat and left to pursue her childhood dream." She touched her lips and blushed a little, remembering that as Kimberly she had strong feelings for the one called Tommy... Brai reborn! She had never looked at Brai that way, never had a chance to know him. If he died, she never would. And from what she saw, even though it started out strong between Tommy and Kimberly, it was not meant to be in the long run. She did not know how much the others had seen, but decided it was best not to mention it to Genki. There was no telling what the future might bring.
Goushi spoke of what he had seen. "I certainly will change. I would never have thought I'd come back as such a cheerful, energetic personality. And with a name like Zack! You Americans." Or as a black man, a child of Africans. And yet it seemed that difference meant nothing to the team Zack was a part of. Gouki chuckled. The man he would become seemed more like Dan, and Billy seemed more like himself. However, he had to admire this Zack, who was always there for his friends and had an indomitable will to enjoy the world he lived in. Goushi's new life was going to be very interesting, and fun.
Geki's expression was a mix of confusion and joy. "In both my lives, I was the leader. Jason seems a little new at leading his team, but I approve of his American style." He did not say it aloud, but he was grateful to learn that Brai as Tommy was not only going to live, but he would take Jason's place as leader when the other man left, and that he still held that place.
What took them all by surprise was the fact that all of their reincarnations had quit the war and left their powers in the hands of people who seemed like total strangers. The Zyuranger wondered just what could have seemed more important than protecting the Earth. However, they did get the impression that the war there was not as serious as it was in their own world. Whatever the reason, their reincarnations had all gone, and a whole new team of heroes had entered the picture.
Geki looked up at Billy thoughtfully. The serious young American made so many things clear about Dan that Geki, knowing him too long, had always taken for granted and so never thought of. Though Jason had not been there, Geki knew that Billy's powers had been taken from him, and then he gave up his chance to become a Ranger again, in order to help his friends fight evil in another way. And when Billy had a chance to regain a new power, he was unable to, but Jason was. Geki felt a closeness with Billy from Jason, that had not been there before, as well as a feeling of guilt from having to take away what Billy thought was his last chance to hold the power and to protect the Earth as an active part of the team. He could see the self-doubt in Billy's eyes, questioning his capabilities to complete his quest and save his world from certain destruction. Geki smiled at him. You have faith in everyone but yourself. Trust me when I say that you'll be fine, and that you are the worthiest warrior for this mission. You'll find that out for yourself, of that I'm sure. His attention was caught by Dan's slowly spreading grin. What's he up to? He sighed in exasperation, but felt relieved Dan was beginning to act more like his old self again, despite the trouble he sometimes caused.
Dan was watching Boi, who had moved off to the side, looking a little nervous. Trying to muffle the evil smirk that wanted to spread across his face, he walked over to his friend and put a hand on his shoulder. Boi jumped a little and turned to see Dan, who asked innocently, "So, Boi, what was your future self like? Was he everything you thought he'd be?" Boi gulped, suspecting that Dan knew the truth. After all, he seemed to have seen quite a bit more than the rest of them had. It was probably because Billy was Dan, and vice versa, they had a stronger connection.
Off to the side, Billy let out a small moan. I know where this is going, he thought, as Boi tried in vain to avoid the topic.
"I'm afraid I didn't get a very clear picture." He wished Dan would not press the subject any further. But then again, that would not be the Dan he knew.
"Well, I did." He smiled wickedly at Boi, who was now looking a little sick. Then, without warning, Dan grabbed Boi and started to grope him around the chest. "You looked sooo cute as a girl!" He leaned over and purred in his ear, "My sweet Trini."
"Get off me, you freak!" shouted Boi, his face scarlet as he shoved the laughing Dan away from him. Merry giggles erupted from his team-mates, who seemed to have no pity for his humiliation.
Boi wanted to say something, anything, to wipe those grins off their faces, but he was too indignant to think of any words. Billy took pity on the Tiger Range, and put a hand on his shoulder. "If its any consolation, Trini is one of the most intelligent, sensible people I know. And she's a much better fighter than I ever was."
The unhappy young man looked up at Billy. "Really?"
"Of course. I could barely fight when we started out. She was one of the best fighters on the Power Ranger team ever, in my opinion. She could even give Jason a run for his money if she wanted to. She taught me a lot about fighting and without her I wouldn't be standing here. And sometimes she's the only person who understands what I say." He smiled, remembering fondly all the times when Trini had quickly re-explained things he had said, for their confused teammates.
Dan faked an indignant glare at Billy. "Just whose side are you on, anyway?" Boi, feeling much better, grinned at him.
Barza coughed to get his charges on track, as well as to end this teasing. "All souls that reincarnate may be reborn a man or woman, or even as an animal. Perhaps someone very serious wanted to have more laughter in the next life, or someone wanted to love someone who was lost before they had a chance. Perhaps someone wanted to be quieter, and more intelligent, like someone they idolized." Barza carefully did not look at them as he spoke, and all of them were startled and blushed shyly.
Quieter and more intelligent, respected like Goushi is respected, yeah he's probably talking about me, thought Dan. He turned sheepishly to Boi. "He's right. I shouldn't have made fun of you. I'm sorry." Boi was suspicious, but he accepted the apology with a nod. Then Dan's most evil grin appeared. "At least you come back as a human. Barza comes back as a giant floating head!"
The others all snickered at the thought, even Billy. Never in his life had he remembered so many people referring to the great and powerful Zordon as a giant, floating head. Barza did not seem very happy with that, so Billy decided to distract everyone with the tale of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. He knew that, even though all of the Rangers from this world had seen a glimpse into his world, it was only a glimpse. It was up to him to fill in the rest of the details.
* * *
As Billy once again told the fabled tale of the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers, the two beings that had brought him to this world watched him.
The Guardian had been watching over Billy for a long time now, even before she had taken him from his world to begin his mission. Now her mistress was with her as Billy began to tell the Zyu Rangers about his world.
"Do you think it's a good idea to let him tell them all this, Clotho-sama?"
Clotho smiled. "That is his nature, to gather information and use it in the best way possible. If it wasn't a good idea, he would sense that and make any attempt to avoid it." She paused to take another look at him. "He was always so intelligent, it's almost hard to believe he's mortal."
"Do you think by his presence here and in the other dimensions, he'll help to reunite the severed links of this chain dimension... for good?"
"With him at our disposal, who knows what we could accomplish?" Clotho looked up at her servant. As always, the Guardian was dressed in all white, except for the bluish diamond broach holding her cape closed. Her hood was pulled down in the presence of her mistress, revealing her lovely, Japanese face. Clotho smiled again and reminded her gently, "Keep a close watch over him. He is stronger than he appears, but there are many enemies out there who would love to use him for their own evil purposes."
"You need not remind me about how important it is that he succeeds and that he survives this journey. But does not his candle tell you if he will live long enough?" When her mistress did not respond immediately, she asked nervously, "Clotho-sama?"
"His candle has become unstable. As he is travailing through time and dimensions, it is confusing the normal life drain on his candle."
The Guardian blinked in surprise. "What do you mean?"
"While he is on his journey, I can not determine how much or how little life force he has left."
"But what it runs out before he reaches -- "
"Do not worry, I have taken steps to insure that his candle will not burn as fast while he is on his mission. But you must still watch him closely, so that no one interferes with the protection I have given him."
"Taken steps? Protection?"
"Billy could still be killed, if he is not careful, like he would not be if he was still in his own world. As the Guardian of time and dimensions for the Sentai worlds, you hold a great amount of knowledge and power, but you are still young and this will be a mission for you as much as it is for Billy. Crossing dimensions is not impossible, as I have demonstrated, but a person's life force will function differently when out of its own element. Normally I could tell you exactly when his life would come to an end, but as long as he is away from his native dimension, I cannot determine how much time he has."
The Guardian looked confused. "But I do not understand, Clotho-sama. People travel through dimensions all the time and remain unharmed. How is this man different?"
"Because this is a chain dimension, which is much stronger than his and has existed a lot longer than his home world. One from the chain could crossover very easily, because their world can offer more support to them, and because of the link between here and there. But nothing has ever crossed from his world into this one before."
"That's right, the link only works one way. The chain feeds into his world, but takes nothing back. That's why no one there knew about this place... until now."
"Correct, Guardian. But you should be on your way, for he is almost ready to leave this place."
She bowed her head obediently. "I will not fail, Mistress."
"All is in readiness, as it has been for a long time. You shouldn't run into anything too serious, but I have faith in you."
"I will be alert, Clotho-sama. Farewell." As she left to find Billy, a stray thought crossed her mind. Just how long has Clotho been waiting and watching for this man anyway?
Clotho heard her thought and answered it in a whisper on the wind, though the Guardian was too far away to hear. "All my life...."
* * *
High above all of them, on the innocent moon, there was a dark palace. It was beautiful in its own way, silver and shining where light touched it. On the outside of the building, above the entrance, were carved the words, "Bandra Palace." And inside, were those who lived at that place.
A woman paced within the building. From her heavy, brocaded brown dress, to the hair bound and sticking out from the sides of her head like great horns, Billy would recognize Rita. But she was not Rita, though her echo and shadow would become that in another world. She was Bandora. And she was furious. "I can not believe that we've failed yet again!"
Two of her people watched her nervously. The tall, blue and black vampire, Tottobat, fingered his monocle nervously. "Lord Bandora, please calm down."
The small, squat, blue demon, Bukkubakku, blinked his enormous black eyes and said helpfully, "He's right, look at the bright side."
She spun and glared at them, snarling, "How could this possible have a bright side!?!"
Tottobat stammered out an answer, "Well...um... Brai has lost more of his life force. It won't be long before he runs out completely."
Bandora stopped and thought about it, a pleased smirk on her face. Then her eyes narrowed and her grin turned vicious. "If only I could draw him out and keep him out of wherever he goes to stop aging." She started pacing again. "There must be a way." A ripple, a tangle that threatened to be subtle but was a moment of sheer discord to her senses. It was gone as quickly as it came, but stopped her in her tracks. "What in the..." she went to her balcony and stared down at the Earth though her Dorascope. She looked all around but saw nothing that could explain the weird feeling she had just had.
At that moment, Puripurican came into the room. White of fur, almost sweet in his appearance, his eyes always hooded as though he were half-asleep, his great blue lab coat hung with tools. He took one look at his intent queen and asked, "Lord Bandora, what do you sense?"
She blinked away from the Dorascope and turned to him, frowning. "I felt a disturbance in the dimensional barrier. I can't find the source on Earth, so that must mean whatever came through must be in Barza's possession."
His brows raised and he watched her with interest. "What do you plan to do about it, my Queen?"
Her eyes narrowed, wicked thoughts racing through her mind. "Whatever it is, it can't be good for me. We'll wait for it to emerge and destroy it."
He nodded agreement with his queen's wisdom. "Should I call Griffoza and Lamia?"
A twinge of wry amusement crossed her face. "Not just yet, they're... in the middle of something."
Puripurican understood immediately and nodded. However, Bukkubakku was quite bewildered. "What are they doing, Lord Bandora?" She glanced at him with annoyance, then left the room to avoid the frustration of trying to get through Bukkubakku's ignorance. When he repeated the question to Puripurican, the engineer shook his head and called him an idiot.
He tried asking Tottobat, who slapped him on the head. "Moron, what do you think a married couple who haven't seen each other in millions of years would do?"
"I don't know, that's why I'm asking. Would someone please tell me?"
From her room, Bandora heard that and groaned, "I'm surrounded by idiots."
* * *
In their quarters, Griffoza and his beloved wife, Lamia, were absorbed in nothing but each other. "Darling," purred Lamia, as she helped her husband out of his armor. "I almost forgot how good you looked." She pressed herself against his hot chest, tangling her fingers in his dark fur, and sighed.
"You look even better than I remembered, my dear." He slipped her armor off of her, wrapping his arms about her warm body. Pressing his bony cheek against her smooth one, he said, "When we were parted I took a vow of silence until we could be together again."
She turned her face to meet his eyes. "You missed me that much. Oh, Darling, I'm so happy!"
He grinned down at her. "And when Bandora conquers this world, nothing will part us, ever again."
She smiled up at him, cuddling close. "I can't wait. And maybe we could start our own little family together." They kissed, with all the passion of millions of years alone, and we shall leave them in private while they do what lovers have been doing since the beginning of time.
* * *
Billy had finished telling his story to the Zyu Rangers and been given a short tour of their hidden base. Now he stared off into space, trying to come to terms with all that he had seen and experienced. He thought, This place is incredible. It's so familiar and yet so strange in some respects. Everything here is so much more powerful, the Rangers, the villains and the forces behind the power. He sighed. Without this place, or even this war, my world would never exist. It's hard to believe that Dan and I are the same person, but I guess like everything else in my world, I'm only a fraction of what I used to be. He jumped slightly as he felt a hand on his shoulder. Dan was standing there with that trademark smirk on his face.
"So, what's on your mind? I mean, you must have a thousand things running through it, by now."
Billy nodded. He had told them all about not only his world, but how he met Ako and Clotho had sent him on this quest. "I was just contemplating being a shadow."
Dan raised an eyebrow. "Say what?"
Billy smiled slightly. "Sorry, it's just that now I know my world is only a small fraction of this massive dimensional chain. I can't hold a candle to you, you're the warrior of courage, and I could never compare to someone like you."
Dan shook his head and touched Billy's shoulder firmly. "Don't sell yourself short. I've seen your courage -- on and off the battlefield -- many times and you, my friend, are a true warrior of courage."
Billy looked up at Dan, who nodded, chin stuck out stubbornly. It almost made him laugh. "Do you really think so?"
"Of course. Don't forget, I saw a lot of your memories when we shook hands. I saw how you risked your life for those you love many times. I also noticed you always put other's needs before your own, in any situation." He turned to Billy with a serious expression on his face. "I saw how you lost your powers and I felt your pain as you watched your coin being destroyed." Billy winced at that. It was not one of his fondest memories. Dan continued, "But even so, you took command as the leader and continued to help all of your friends, new and old. You stayed strong for them and because of that they won the battle just in time for a new one to start. And when there was one Power crystal needed, you gave it up even though you wanted it for yourself, in order to help your friends in a different way. If you don't call that courage that I don't know what is."
It warmed Billy's heart and lifted his spirits, hearing this strong, young hero describe him so. He knew when he was doing all those things that it was for the good of the team and for his friends. He did not think of himself as a hero, but still it felt good for someone else to have seen and acknowledged all he had done. He absentmindedly put his hands in his pockets and felt something with his fingers. He frowned in surprise. "What's this?"
"What's what?" Dan asked curiously.
Billy scooped out a silver charm bracelet from his pocket. It had a single blue charm that resembled a bird, or to be more precise, a swallow. Dan looked at the strange bracelet, a little confused. "I didn't know you liked jewelry."
Billy smiled. "It's not mine. I'm betting it's Ako's."
Dan brightened immediately. "Blue Swallow?"
"Yeah, it must have fallen into my pocket when she gave me that good bye kiss."
Dan grinned and grabbed Billy by the shoulders. "Ah, you're a chip off the old block, you know that? A real ladies' man like me! First it was Marge, then Laura, Violet and now Ako -- "
Billy interrupted him quickly, color flaring in his cheeks. "She's not my girlfriend!"
"That's right... who is your latest catch?" He tried to remember the face of Billy's love, but not all of the memories he had from Billy were very clear.
As Dan tried fruitlessly to think of just who it was, Billy stared at the bracelet, remembering his experiences with Ako and how she and her friends had thanked him rather than the Rangers, for a change. It was a small gesture, but it made him feel important, like he was really doing something worthwhile. Everyone always thanked the Power Rangers because there were easily seen out there in the open, but he was left unremarked in the depths of the Power Chamber. It's easy to forget the little people, especially the ones who remain silent in the background. It made him appreciate Dan's comment even more.
"What?" Dan asked, snapping out of his self-induced trance and turning back to Billy.
"I guess I am a little braver than I thought."
Dan raised an eyebrow in mock surprise. "A little? I'm supposed to be the warrior of courage, and I'm not sure if I would have gone through all that without so much as an argument. But I guess that's what makes us who we are. Past life and present."
Billy chuckled. "You're right. I guess Clotho knew what she was doing, sending me on the quest and none of the others. It's still a little hard to believe though."
Goushi's quiet, gruff voice interrupted their commiseration. "I think she knows exactly what she doing." He came out of a side hall, followed by Mei, Boi, Geki and Barza.
"What do you mean?" Billy asked.
"I've been thinking about what you've been telling us, and if what you say is true, you are the perfect choice." He came and looked at Billy with a kind of grave, friendly interest.
"But why me?" Billy asked him. And he felt suddenly, that Goushi was indeed very much the warrior of wisdom.
"Several reasons. One: you were there ever since the war on your planet began and you are the only original one left. Two: while all of our original reincarnations have passed on their powers to another, you have not."
He frowned in confusion. "But I gave my crystal to Tanya."
"You gave your crystal to her, not your coin. The coin for us is our source of power. The crystals you spoke of must belong to another world, somewhere down the line."
Barza joined the conversation. "You held a single power source for almost three years, but I feel strongly that our war will not go on so long."
Boi looked up, surprised. "What do you mean?"
Barza nodded at them all. "I can sense that from here on the war will only grow more intense. You all can feel it as well, can't you?" They glanced at each other, then nodded a silent yes, for they could sense the end was drawing closer ever since Bandora had succeeded in bringing Great Satan to Earth. Barza continued, "We will all face many hard battles, but they may become more personally painful, especially as Brai has so little time left." All the Rangers and Billy bowed their heads instinctively for a moment in sadness. "In any case, it remains that if our power was only accessible for him for about one year, then Billy must be a mighty warrior indeed, to hold that power without a stable source to sustain it."
Billy looked up, more than a little surprised. "I was a warrior for a while, and in a way I guess I still am, although I never thought of myself as mighty... but... if I want to have any hope of saving my world I'll have to have hope and faith in myself. Other wise I'm doomed from the start." Boi smiled at him, and he continued. "Not only hope but wisdom. The wisdom from my world and from the worlds I must travel as well as the information I must collect to ensure the future of my world." He caught another smile from Goushi as he spoke, "I have a great deal of love for my world, and for all of my friends back home who are counting on me. For them I will continue my quest, and for them I will fight my way to the end." Mei nodded and flashed him a warm smile from deep within her heart. "I fought all this time to ensure that justice would endure. I can't give up now and throw away everything we have fought so long and hard for... for a world that doesn't need a team a superheroes to defend it." Geki squeezed Billy's shoulder as they exchanged glances. "At first I didn't have very much strength in the physical sense, but little by little I grew stronger. But I believe now that I have always had a type of inner strength that has guided my through all of the obstacles in my life, not just as a Ranger. And it is from that strength that I shall draw as I continue my quest here and in life."
Deep within the Lapseless room Brai looked up, sensing rather than hearing someone call upon his strength to guide them in a future battle that would surely come. A battle that would decide the fate of a world. Intrigued, he squared his shoulders and said softly, "Whoever you are, you have my support. Good luck."
Good luck, a strange voice said sincerely. Billy looked around for it, then realized he had only heard it in his head. Was he hearing things? No, there was someone missing who should know about these things. It must be Brai, he thought, a lump in his throat. He continued, "And finally I need courage in order to succeed. It took some convincing but I do believe now that it is something I have always relied on. It took courage not to run away after that first battle and it took even more to stay and fight in the war. But if I've learned anything here today, it's that there are many kinds of courage. I must rely on all of them to make it." He looked up at the crowd of new friends that he had met, knowing he would soon have to say good bye and that he would most likely never see them again. The knot in his throat grew tighter and he said, "I can't tell you all what an honor it was meeting you. I have learned so much about the origin of our powers, and about myself. For that I can't thank you enough."
Mei spoke, looking down at him with kind sincerity. "I know your time here will be finished, soon, but I just wanted tell you how nice it was to meet you. Hearing about your world and how there are others who fight as bravely as we for justice, gives me hope."
They stepped towards him and, like Americans, shook hands but without the strange flashbacks this time. Boi was a little hesitant, but when it looked like none of the others had spaced out again, he extended his hand. "Sorry, I guess that was a bit rude."
Billy suppressed a laugh. "Quite all right."
Boi looked at him desperately. "Say, is this girl Trini like me at all?"
At that, Billy had to smile. Flashes of Trini-events in his memory, so much unlike Boi and yet if he thought hard, he could see the small man in her. "Somewhat. She has a very strong will and never loses hope. You'd like her."
Boi suspected it was true. Like Billy, this Trini had been flung all unknowing into a battle against a mysterious enemy, and met it with unflagging courage. And why not? Trini was his future self, even though she was a girl. "I know I would."
Once again Dan and Billy faced each other. "Should we try it again?" asked Dan, as he held out his hand. The others looked at him as if he was nuts.
"It may be the last time." And with that they once again grasped hands, but instead of both of blanking out, a blue glow coalesced around them. Within the glow a ghost-like image of a triceratops appeared above them. Startled though they were, they did not part hands. The image shimmered and became a metal face, strikingly familiar.
It spoke to them, voice deep and male, heavy with warmth and authority. "My children, you have finally met, after all this time."
Geki said softly, "It couldn't be...."
Dan exclaimed in delight. "Daijujin!!"
"That is correct, my children. I have been watching both of you since before you were born, and I will continue to do so." He turned his attention to Billy.
"Billy, you have seen all you need for this world, and it is time to move on. The guardian is waiting for you in the park. You must go now, or you will miss you chance to move on to the next world. If that happens, then you will be trapped here forever."
Billy nodded and bowed respectfully. "As much as I like it here I know I must go on, so I can one day return to my world. Thank you, I won't forget this."
As Billy and Dan released each other, the image split up into seven familiar robotic faces, which faded away, though the dinosaur god's voice reached them faintly. "A safe journey to both of you and your friends..." then he was gone. The others were stunned. Any doubts they may have still had about Billy's origin were gone.
Billy turned to Dan and the others. "I guess I should get going."
Barza suddenly said, "A moment with Billy, if you please." The Zyurangers kindly left the room to wait outside. Billy hesitated. Would Barza want to take his hand and see what there was to see about Zordon? But it seemed not, for the wizard leaned on his staff and regarded Billy seriously, though with warmth. "Your world is not a shadow-world, Billy. It is a light."
"What do you mean?" Billy asked curiously.
The wizard smiled at him. "It is such an innocent place, full of magic. A spell to make someone evil, break the spell and he becomes good. Here it is far more difficult. You cannot just wave a magic wand and make madness -- such as Brai's or Bandora's -- go away." He shook his head slowly.
Billy followed the sentence and frowned in surprise. "Bandora's crazy? She's not evil?"
"Oh no, she is evil. But she did not begin that way. No one does, Billy." He sat down on the bench and looked up at the young American. "I wanted to tell you about her, to help you understand why there are no easy answers in our world. You see, Bandora was a fairy queen. She had one son, Kai, the light of her life. He was killed by a dinosaur. Bandora went mad in her grief, and allied herself with Great Satan to avenge her son's death."
"So... she thinks about him all the time, and hates other children for being alive?"
Barza shrugged slighly. "I don't think she remembers him, anymore. It's been a very long time, and to live with that kind of hate requires... requires not thinking about it all the time. I imagine it would destroy her if she did. I do not know if your Rita has any such event in her existence to keep her hate alive, or if it is as simple as a magic spell that could someday be countered. Be glad of your world, Billy. Treasure it while it is still innocent, and do not envy us the intensity with which we must live."
* * *
Bandora had continued her research, and found the area where the disturbance had originated. The ringing in her ears was returning and formed a shape she understood. Whatever had happened earlier, was about to happen again, and she knew where. She called for her warriors, including Griffoza and Lamia. Bukkubakku had asked what the couple had been doing only to be kicked in the head by Lamia. (Not like she would do much damage there.) Griffoza stepped forward.
"What do you wish of us Bandora-sama?"
"Listen, I believe Barza brought something over from another dimension to help the Zyu Rangers. I don't care what it is but I want it destroyed. Is that clear?" They both bowed to their queen. She nodded and spun away. "Puripurican!"
The tinkerer quickly entered the main room followed by a squad of the grey, golemns. Since they were made from the new Dora mud mined from the Earth, they were a lot stronger the before. "They are ready at your command, my Lord Bandora."
"Good, now all of you go down and set up an ambush. I don't want whatever that thing is getting away, is that understood?" With one single swoop they all bowed in unison, ready to do anything to serve their Queen.
* * *
Barza escorted Billy back to the place where he had first arrived. The young American took a good look around and then turned to his new friends. "The Guardian must be around here somewhere, so I guess this is good-bye." With one finale bow they each said good bye to him. Billy was about to head out when Dan stopped him.
"Billy wait." Billy turned to the Tricera Ranger, who was taking off the blue bandanna he always wore around his head. "I want you to have this."
"Are you sure about this Dan?" Billy asked, his hand automatically reaching out to take it. The heavy material seemed so right in his hand. He held it tightly.
"Take it to remember us by," said Dan, wistfully.
As if I'll ever forget you! "Thanks but I really don't have anything to give you."
Dan smirked, his eyes dancing. "You've left us with some good memories."
Billy raised his eyebrows, feeling a similar sense of mischief rattling his bones. "You realize that when you are reborn you probably won't remember any of this."
"I'm sure it'll come back to me." They both smiled at each other, but suddenly Dan saw something coming up behind Billy. "Look out!" They dove in opposite directions, only just managed to avoid being sliced by Giffoza's sword. Dan threw himself between Billy and the golden warrior, snarling, "Billy, get back, he's a lot tougher in this world than in yours!"
Billy felt a pang at leaving them to face this attack on their own, but he knew he had to find the Guardian so he would not miss his ride. Still, when Lamia joined in the fight, he could not go as fast as he would have. He just had to see them. The bravery with which they faced their enemies etched on their faces. He heard Geki shout, "Transform!"
They answered him with a mighty, "Right!" Just as his own team had, they each took their transformer from their belt and activated it with a mighty flourish. "Dino Buckler!" and with that they transformed to help keep their new friend from harm.
The old, familiar suit of the Red Ranger, but the man within shouted, "Tyranno Ranger, Geki!" And the bold challenge rang through the air to be followed in rapid succession by the rest of theirs.
"Mammoth Ranger, Goushi!" The black suit, with its familiar mask. Billy realized with a start what he had only absently noticed before. Goushi was the tallest of the group, and far taller than Zack.
"Tricera Ranger, Dan!" This almost hurt to see, the blue armor and the man within seemed to be bursting with energy.
"Tiger Ranger, Boi!" Billy had to hide his smile. Boi moved like a cat, much like Trini except far broader of shoulder. It hit him suddenly: he had seen Trini move exactly like this!
"Ptera Ranger, Mei!" He would never have told the difference between Mei and Kimberly, but then he would not have time. Then again, when she put an arrow straight through one putty's head, perhaps it would not be so hard after all.
"Kyouryu Sentai Zyu ranger!" they all shouted as they charged into battle.
Billy was amazed at what he saw, but he knew he was running out of time. He had to find the Guardian, but where was she? Just then he saw what looked like a whitish glow coming from a large rock in the middle of the park. He made a run for it with about five Golems in hot pursuit. Just as he was about to reach the rock the Golems caught up with him and grabbed him. He tried to break free as they tried to pile on him. They were strong, and their attacks were far more focused than Rita's putties, as though they were more intelligent. They surrounded him and were clearly ready to do him serious damage if he could not keep them off. Just as he thought that he was done for, someone grabbed the Golums and began to pull them away him. They turned and went after Billy's savior.
He was a man in green and white, delicate gold embroidery but there was nothing delicate about him. He was compact and yet tall, moved with effeciency, not a wasted motion or strike as he fought the five golemns. Seeing the underlying color of his clothes, Billy realized who he had to be looking at. In short order, the man had the golemns on the run, but did not pursue them. "Brai..." Billy whispered as the man turned and stepped towards him.
Billy swallowed as those eyes flicked up and down, checking to be certain he was all right. An adult, at least in his early thirties, if Billy had understood the story he had been told. What was in those eyes, of a man who knew his death was near? Yet the eyes that abruptly bored into his had an undercurrent of humor in them. A faint smile and Brai said, "So you were the one in the Lapseless room earlier, the one everyone is making such a fuss over. What's your name, stranger?"
For Brai, it was quite a different impression he had of the stunned-looking youngster. A youth, probably as young as Boi. Clean, tidy, a faint expression of perpetual worry in the line between the straw-colored eyebrows. This was a young man who had seen his share of troubles, and was likely to see more if Brai understood half what he saw.
"They call me Billy, Billy Cranston. You must be Brai."
And Bri smiled in genuine amusement. "You've been talking to Clotho."
"Her and your brother." And the memory of why Brai had not been there struck through Billy's astonishment and he said quickly, "But you shouldn't be out here, you may need your life force for later, when there's a more important battle."
"That's what Geki always tells me," Brai said wryly. But he grinned as Billy blushed. "Clotho told me all about you and I just had to see who this Wandering Ranger was before you left. Don't worry about me, but you'd better get going."
Billy nodded quickly, not trusting his voice. The candle he had seen was very short. Brai must have only a few hours left. It was not fair! But whatever would happen, would happen, that was everyone's fate, even his own. He bowed to Brai, not daring to shake his hand and delay them both, and headed back to where he saw the white light. But he had to stop and turn. "Thanks for your help. I'll see you in the next life, my friend." And with that he took off.
Brai had no time to wonder what all that was about. He had his brother and friends to help. At least he could tell them that Billy Cranston had made it safely to the gate to the next world.
* * *
Billy found the source of the light, and floating in mid air beside it was a young woman in a long, flowing, white hooded cape. Her hood covered her face, so Billy had no way of knowing what she looked like. "Am I late?" he asked.
She pointed toward another rock beside the one she was floating by. "Just on time." And with that a giant vortex appeared in the spot where she had pointed.
"Where will this take me?"
"To the next level in your quest."
But Billy had to ask, quickly, "Isn't there anything they can do?"
She turned her head towards him. "About what?"
"To -- to save Brai."
She shrugged slightly. "Perhaps. That is the future."
"He's a hero, he shouldn't die like that!"
She seemed surprised, but only said, "You have to go, now."
He had no choice but to obey her, and he jumped in and vanished from the Zyuranger world. "One down," thought the Guardian as she watched him disappear. "Now I go meet him in the next world." But before she left she noticed a bluish blotch on her all-white robe. "He really is the one," she said in amazement, believing it for the first time herself. She vanished from this plane on her way to the next.
* * *
Rin was troubled. She had been having visions of a light haired, blue-eyed man, but she had no idea what any of it meant. It did not feel like a bad omen, but she still wanted to know the truth. The last time she had visions, they had led to the lost Kiden Juu. The man in her visions was handsome, in a way, for all his foreign face was so knobby. "I almost wish he would just show up so that I can figure all of this out. Right now I'm totally lost." Suddenly in the sky above her a giant hole appeared, in a whirl of white light. Rin's hands automatically strayed to her wrists, instinct readying her to change into her battle armor. What is that? And then a form coalesced in the glow, human-shaped. It fell heavily towards the ground and she hurried to get a better look even as she scolded herself. Birds falling out of trees, people falling out of the sky, the Gorma could be anywhere and what do you do? She knelt beside the pale haired man lying face-down on the ground and asked, "Are you all right?"
He shifted and muttered with mild humor, "Yes, I'm fine. I just got to work on those landings."
As he looked up and she looked straight into his intelligent blue eyes, the features of his face all rang with familiarity. "It's you!" she exclaimed.
"What?" he blinked at her, confused.
Nodding, she put her hands under his arms to help him up. "You're the one from my vision!"
Billy was on his feet, and surprised to find he could stand steadily. She was another beautiful girl, and he thought perhaps she was close to his age. Her hair was long, and not completely black for it had beautiful, brown highlights. "You saw me in a vision?" Who are you? It really didn't surprise him. After all, it seemed like everyone in these worlds knew something about him.
She nodded urgently at him. "Yes, please come with me. I must ask my Uncle Kaku about this." He was ready to agree when all of a sudden they were surrounded by a bunch of creatures. They looked human, but they were all black except for white facemask with red lips and no eyes. He did not recognize them at all, but one thing was clear as the young woman threw herself protectively in front of him:
"I'm think I'm in big trouble."
"The KI to Your Inner Power"
Next time find out...About the Real white ranger Just where the Thunder Zords came from And about the power known as "KI"
Extra Sentai info: As you have figured out by now, Kyouryu Sentai Zyu Ranger was the show that Saban cut to ribbons to create Power Ranger. Most of the fight scenes, villains and Zord fights came from Zyu Rangers. That is why Rita's and Scorpina's lips didn't always match up with everything they said. If you look closely at season one of Power Rangers you can see scenes in most of the episodes where the editing missed cutting out a scene where there was defiantly signs that it was shot in Japan and even some of the Japanese cast.
Another interesting fact about Zyu Ranger is that a lot of the cast had done work in other Tokusatsu and Sentai shows. The actor who played Boi (Takumi Hashimoto) had a role in Sekai Ninjase Jiraiya in the 80's. Both the actors who played Dan (Hideki Fujiwara) and Geki (Yuuta Mochizuki) appeared in Jet Man. I knew about Dan but I just found out that Geki was in there too. (The characters never meet, by the way and only were in for one or two episodes) Geki has since played the starring role in the 1994 movie Kamen Rider J. The man who portrayed Burai (Shirou Izumi) had in fact played a ranger once before. He was in another Sentai show called Change Man in 1985 and played Change Pegasus (Blue Ranger) that year. Reiko Chiba who played Mei was a model before the show and since then her career seems to have taken off. But the most famous actress in Zyu Ranger seems to be (Michiko Soga) who played Bandora. She was a major villain in two other Sentai shows Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan and Denji Sentai Denji Man plus Sekai Ninjase Jiraiya and many others. She even played the main villainess in Dimensional Solider Spielban which was one of the show used to make another Saban show: VR Troopers, although she was never shown in the US version.
Saban said it took years to get the idea for Power Rangers to be sold, but he used the most current Sentai show. Why, I'm not sure, but what this means is that if Power Rangers had come out a year or so earlier they would look much different from the show we have come to know and love. I've gotta go, I said more than I planned to. But hope you enjoyed my story and I plan to try and keep them up, time providing. (^~^)