Champions Saga: Epilogue

A New Dawning

Ninja Rangers

“In times of grief and death, the Lord tells us not to worry. For…”

The priest’s words trailed off in Jason’s mind. A tear streamed down his cheek, and he rolled his hands into tight fists. This was the second friend of his he had to bury in a matter of days. And more funerals were to come.

Jason tried not to blame himself for Trini or Jonathan’s death. He knew they both understood the risks and accepted them. But at the same time, Jason could not help but feel like he could have done more to save his friends. He was not even with them when they were killed.

Trini…I can’t believe you’re gone.

Jason had started to care for her as much more than a friend, but never made his feelings known because of her relationship with Jonathan.

Jason bit back his grief and turned his attention towards the crowd. Richie stood at the ranger’s left side. He stared ahead with a blank look of sorrow on his face. Richie had always kept his emotions buried, but Jason noticed the deep look of sorrow in his eyes.

Richie had cared for Trini too.

Zack stood at Jason’s right side. The young man’s brow was knitted with anger, and his body was tense. Jonathan had been Zack’s best friend. They were like brothers. Jonathan and Trini’s deaths devastated Zack, who preferred to hide his sorrow with anger.

The funeral slowly ended, and mourners moved back towards their cars and trucks.

Jason spotted Trini’s father and tugged on Zack’s shoulder. “Come on, guys…”

Richie and Zack followed Jason to Trini’s father, Hakumenrou.

“Sir,” Jason said. He swallowed the lump in his throat. “I am so…”

Hakumenrou shook his head and placed a hand on his shoulder. “There is nothing you or your friends could have done. Trini knew the risks involved, yet she fought bravely. Do not dismiss her sacrifice through guilt.”

Jason nodded. “Thank you…”

Hakumenrou sighed and turned towards his daughter’s grave. “I on the other hand…missed out on most of my daughter’s life. Because I was weak. Because I let the Youkai corrupt me.

“I am just thankful that this war you children have fought is finally over. And that my daughter can rest in peace.”

***

The rangers stood silently with Trini’s father for a moment before going their separate ways again. Richie would return to the LA police force, and Zack would return to New York for college.

Jason was looking forward to spending time with his girlfriend Emily. Hopefully this time, my Ranger days are finally behind me…

He placed a single white flower on Trini’s grave and walked off.

***

Galaxy Rangers

The Ginga Tribe started rebuilding their villages within the Ginga Forest. The grass and tress would grow back. Huts would be rebuilt. But tribe members doubted their emotional pain would ever heal.

Ryuuta, now a teenager, walked alongside Ryouma through the forest. Ryuuta had volunteered his spare time to help with reconstruction efforts.

Gouki’s parents were both killed,” Ryouma finished explaining. “He’s not doing too well.”

“That’s awful…” Ryuuta said. “I remember once he flipped out just because his dad had an accident. I can’t imagine how he’s handling this. Maybe I could talk to him?”

Ryouma shook his head. “Leave him be, for now. He needs to be alone…”

Ryuuta sighed and looked across the ravaged forest. “Do you think this place will ever be the same?”

Ryouma shook his head. “I know it won’t be, Ryuuta…I know it won’t be.”

***

Hyuuga and Saiya decided to have their wedding ceremony later that night. It seemed like odd timing, but the two loved each other, and had learned not to take a single moment of their life for granted.

Life was too short.

They hoped their wedding would be symbolic, not just of a new start for them, but of a new start for everyone.

“Even in the wake of disaster,” Hyuuga had told his younger brother Ryouma, “life goes on.”

***

Zeo Rangers

Reconstruction started immediately in Angel Grove North, South, East, and West. But Angel Grove Central was deemed uninhabitable.

The sky was still crimson above that war-torn part of the massive city, and the demon palace remained. Therefore, Angel Grove Central kept the name Demon City. The barriers of reality within Demon City were still thin, and as a result, demonic creatures sometimes slipped through. They never left Angel Grove Central, however.

Billy’s INET company would help the rest of Angel Grove’s sub-cities repair themselves in just under six months. Technology he had originally developed to build and repair zords did wonders for building demolition and construction.

Reconstruction efforts employed thousands, and kick-started the city’s repopulation.

Justin and Chris re-entered Angel Grove University at the earliest opportunity, and Kat returned to London to study dance.

Justin and Chris walked across campus.

“Did you say goodbye to her at least?” Chris asked. Justin and Kat had a blooming relationship during their mission in space, but they had drifted apart after Kat moved to London.

Justin nodded. “I’m not that big of an idiot.”

Chris smirked. “Says who?”

Justin looked to his friend. “You think I should tell her how I feel…or something?”

“I think you should have done that a long time ago.”

Justin shook his head. “But the distance…”

“Who cares!” Chris practically shouted. “She’s all I’ve heard you talk about for the past two years. Get a plane ticket. Go to London. Tell her how you feel.”

Justin smiled, turned, and ran off.

“Hey!” Chris shouted after him, with a smile of disbelief. “I didn’t mean now…”

***

Turbo Rangers

Tommy, Ashley, and Teddy walked into the vacant Pegasus Garage. The roof had collapsed and half the walls were torn away, so the three rangers had to walk around the rubble.

“So this is where they worked?” Tommy asked.

Teddy nodded, a look of sorrow in his eyes. He was one of the few rangers, outside of the Turbo team itself, that actually knew Luke and his friends.

“This place was Luke’s dad’s,” Teddy explained. “They all claimed to hate it here, but…I don’t know…I think they liked it.”

Tommy looked down and saw a picture in a shattered frame. He picked up the picture, which was a shot of the Turbos and their mentor Dappu, who was nowhere to be found.

Tommy cleared the dust off the picture. “We barely knew them…I wish…”

He shook his head.

Ashley walked around a pile of rubble nearby. “Justin suggested building a monument for everyone who died. He thought maybe we could include Kou and Eric too.”

Tommy nodded. “That’s a good idea…” He looked to his brother. “But for right now…tell me more about Luke and his friends…”

***

Time Rangers

Jenn slammed her hand on the desk. “What do you mean we can’t go back?”

She leaned over a desk in a Silver Guardian outpost and faced Takku, the Time Rangers’ navigator droid.

The droid pulled up an image on the room’s holographic projector. Jenn, Wes, and Lucas gathered around to watch. An image of a dark blue tunnel appeared.

“This is the time stream,” Takku explained. A red ring wrapped around the line to indicate the present, down to each second. “This is where we are now. However…”

Everything past the red ring, the future portion of the timeline, blurred and faded in and out, as if distorted.

“The future,” Takku explained, “every second of it, is in flux. This goes well beyond the normal fluidity of time. There are infinite possibilities in every nanosecond, and those possibilities produce an infinite number of variables. Normally, different variables split off into parallel timelines, but in this case…I have no explanation for it that is appropriate.”

“There is no future,” Jenn said quietly. “We’re essentially re-writing history with each second, as it happens.”

“Precisely,” Takku explained. “But everything beyond a particular second has lost all substance, until events in that second actually come to pass, and once that happens, the second is already gone, into the past.”

Lucas narrowed his eyes and punched the wall. “First Damien and Sion…now this.”

“It’s okay, Lucas…” Wes said. “We’ll figure something out…”

“And what do we do in the meantime?” Lucas asked.

“Join me and my team,” Wes said. “The Silver Guardians. We could use you…”

Wes looked to Jenn and sighed. He was selfish for thinking so, but he was actually relieved Jenn did not have to leave. He could not bare to say goodbye to her again. He pulled her into a hug.

“We’ll make our own future, Jenn. Together.”

***

Astro Rangers

Zhane sat up in his bio med within the Megaship’s sickbay, but Karone gently pushed him back down.

“Oh, come on,” he begged. “They need me on the bridge.”

“They’ll be fine without you,” Karone said. “Now stay down.”

Karone brushed her fingers through his hair. “You had me worried. You were unconscious for two days.”

“Near-death experiences will do that to you,” Zhane said.

DECA’s voice came over the room’s speakers. “We are approaching KO-35.”

“See,” Zhane said, his voice suddenly soft. “I’m going to have to get up anyway…”

They had arrived at KO-35 for Cy’s funeral.

***

A cybernetic attachment to Zhane’s lower spine helped him walk. His injuries meant he would likely have to wear the attachment for the rest of his life.

Karone walked by his side and draped her arm around his. Several dozen other Kerovians filed in behind the two rangers.

The two rangers walked across a red carpet leading up to a platform ahead. They were in a room lit only by faintly-glowing candles. Priests dressed in red-trimmed white robes lined the sides of the rooms.

Zhane and Karone walked to Cy’s coffin, which was sealed shut on top of the platform. Karone reached out and ran her hand along its edges. “It’s not going to be the same out there in space without him…”

Zhane nodded. “I know…but we’ll manage.”

“Will we?” she asked. “What’s next for us?”

“We keep going,” Zhane said. “The galaxy hasn’t even healed from Sauron yet. We can keep on helping reconstruction efforts. Even if we‘re not rangers.”

Karone reluctantly nodded. She didn’t tell Zhane, but she was tired of roaming the galaxy. She wanted to settle down. She wanted a home. She wanted a life. Perhaps, she thought, she could never have one. Maybe it was punishment for her actions as Astronema.

Or maybe, she just had more she had to accomplish. A purpose she was not yet aware of.

From behind the two rangers, hundreds more started filing into the room for Cy’s funeral ceremonies, which were about to begin.

Zhane bowed his head and whispered a prayer for his departed friend.

***

Gao Ranger

“Ha!” Simon smashed a cross punch against the punching bag. “Ha!” Again. “Ha!” Again. “Ha!”

The teen was in a small, empty barn near the Hayate Way dojo. He set the barn up as a practice room with punching bags, weights, and other pieces of equipment. He recently set up the practice room to have a place to work out alone.

The shed door slowly opened, and Tommy stepped in. He leaned against the wall and crossed his arms over his chest. He watched with concern as his young friend punched the bag with growing intensity.

“You’ve been holed up in here all day...” Tommy said. “Wanna talk about it?”

“Ha!” Simon’s punch knocked the bag off its chain and sent it smashing against the wall.

The teen stood and caught his breath. He used the back of his hand to wipe the sweat from his brow. “Not especially.”

“You missed the funeral,” Tommy said.

“Which one?!” Simon said louder than he meant to. He shook his head and walked over to the fallen bag. “How many of us died? How many people died?” Simon lifted the bag and started to hang it back up from the ceiling. “I felt them all die. I felt them!”

He gave up trying to hang the bag and let it drop back on the ground. “You have no idea what that was like...”

“Tell me...” Tommy said. “Talk to me...”

“The fear in some of them,” Simon said. “Kaitlin wasn’t ready to die, and she had to feel...” a tear streamed down his cheek. “She had to feel a damn snake literally eat through her body. And Sion...watching his best friend die, and having to sacrifice himself. The Turbos...dying just to prove their worth. Kimberly...dying, knowing that her son will have to grow up without a mom.

"It's too much to handle," he continued. "The irony is, I used to fantasize about this life, about being a Ranger. But now...it's too real. There's been too much pain. And I don't know how to handle it...but what I do know...is that I won’t let anything like this ever happen again.”

***

Joining the military again was not an option for Ryan, the Yellow Gao Ranger. He had gone AWOL from his air force unit after they tried to make him wipe out a Middle Eastern village. He ended up saving the village people and betraying the military.

Then he became a Ranger.

But now that his life as a ranger was over, he had to find a new identity, and a new way to hide from the U.S. government.

Luckily, Dr. William “Billy” Cranston had an offer for Ryan, and the offer was one that the ranger could not refuse.

Billy gave Ryan an entire new identity, and in return, Ryan agreed to sign up as an individual agent for an INET Black Ops division. As an agent, Ryan would have free reign to go after meta criminals supplied by terrorist organizations such as Hydra and The Hand.

It was a simple and lonely life, but Ryan found it familiar. He was a soldier. Now and always.

***

Shirogane finished packing a backpack in a small, broken down hotel room that had served as his home for a couple days. Saiya, the white Gao Ranger, stood in the doorway and spoke with him.

“Where will you go?” Saiya asked.

“Wherever I’m needed,” he said.

The sorrow in his voice was still evident. The loss of Tetomu was a wound that would never heal. His last connection with his past, his home, was gone.

“Maybe…I’ll go to Japan,” Shirogane said. “I don’t know.”

“Well wherever you go…” Saiya walked up and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Just know that you have friends here.”

Shirogane gently squeezed her hand.

***

Lightspeed Rangers

Junior sat on a pile of rubble that looked across a creek, and the Demon City was in the far-off distance.

He scribbled notes in a journal he planned to use for writing his first novel. The inspiring journalist planned to document the events leading up to his final battle. He joked that the book would have to be filed in fiction, because no one would believe it.

Max and DJ walked up behind Junior and took a seat.

“How ya feeling?” Max asked.

“Okay, I guess,” Junior said. “It only hurts when I exist. What are you guys up to?”

“Not a god-damn thing,” DJ said. “It’s kind of boring, actually. I guess Kevin and Steph are off having some private time, and Max here…well…tell him, Max…”

Max looked to Junior. “Dr. Cranston is letting me stay on Lightspeed as a technician. The pay is pretty good, considering I‘m still in high school.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Junior said. “This is the same guy who cooked up those monster zombies that almost killed us on the station.”

Max nodded. “I know…but I figure this way…I can keep an eye on him.”

“But you’re not a ranger anymore,” Junior said. “None of us are. What good is keeping an eye on him going to do if you can’t…I don’t know…if you can’t do anything to stop him if you need to.”

Max shook his head. “I don’t know. I just have to be there. Call it a gut feeling…one war my have ended, but I think another one is going to start. And if it does, I think it will be Dr. Cranston’s fault.”

***

Cybertron, Nova Troopers, Galavan

JB laid in a hospital bed in the Bay Area. The Trooper’s upper body was covered with bandages, and burns dotted his skin. He was alive and conscious, and very lucky.

The medical-bay doors opened, and David stepped inside. The young man pulled a chair next to JB’s bed and sat in silence. What was there to say? What could they say? Ryan was gone. Kaitlin was gone.

What could they say? Nothing…

***

Beetle Borgs

Roland held Jo as she cried. The two friends sat alone in the back of Zoom Comics. Drew and Josh. Gone.

She sobbed and looked up at him. “What are we going to do, Roland?”

Roland shook his head and held onto her tightly.

***

Kamen Riders

Hikaru stood over his father’s grave. He looked down upon the memorial stone with mixed feelings.

Part of him thought his father a coward for joining an evil cult. Another part of him admired his father’s courage to finally break away from that cult, and give Hikaru the power to fight against it as Kamen Rider Black.

Another part of Hikaru simply missed his dad.

Hikaru pulled out the shattered, powerless King Stones that had belonged to him and his brother. He slowly placed the fragments onto the gravestone.

Without a word, Hikaru walked away, got onto his motorcycle, and rode off into the distance.

***

Kouishiro and Shou went back to Japan to speak with Maya, and fill her in about the battle against the Mogralord.

She immediately packed her bags when the story was finished. Her archeological adventures could wait for a few months. She said it was because she needed to be home, and with her brother, which was true.

But also, she wanted to study the Demon City.

***

The Power Rangers

Tommy paced back and forth outside his parents’ home. Chelsea and Teddy stood at the doorway, and Ashley was nearby as well.

They waited anxiously for a rather special arrival: Tyler, Tommy’s 4-year-old son.

Scott wanted nothing to do with Tyler now that Kimberly was gone. And Kimberly’s relatives in Florida never minded babysitting the boy, but they had no desire to become Tyler’s full-time caretakers.

Tommy paced faster and his body tensed.

“Tommy, calm down,” Chelsea said. “I’ve never seen you this nervous before. Angry, depressed, and impatient, sure, but not nervous.”

“A son,” Tommy said. “I’m not ready for this. I’m not…I’m not ready for this…”

“You’ll do fine,” Tommy,” Ashley said as she walked over to him. She pulled him to a stop and took his hands into hers. “We’ll do fine…”

“We don’t even have a decent place to live,” Tommy said. “We can’t live on the Hayate Way grounds forever.”

“You worry too much,” she said. “Besides…it doesn’t matter where we live. The bottom line is, Tyler needs a father…”

A taxicab pulled up to the curb in front of Tommy’s parents’ house. Mixed emotions choked him while he watched the cab’s door open. Kimberly’s aunt stepped out, and behind her, was little Tyler Hart. Kimberly had given the child her last name.

The wide-eyed boy clutched onto his great-aunt’s hand and walked closer towards the home. He appeared frightened, but at the same time, curious.

Tommy took a deep breath and walked over to him. He crouched down to Tyler’s level. “Hey Tyler…remember me?”

Tyler shook his head.

Tommy’s heart sank with sadness. He swallowed the lump in his throat. “I’m…I’m Tommy. You’re going to be staying with me…”

“Where’s mommy?” Tyler asked.

Kimberly’s aunt looked down to Tommy. “I tried to explain it to him, but he…just doesn’t understand. He’s to young to have to…to go through this…”

Tommy placed hand on his son’s shoulder. “She’s…in heaven. In a…wonderful place. And even though you can‘t see her…she‘s looking down at you and watching out for you. She…she loves you very much.”

Tyler tilted his head and looked into his father’s eyes. He wrinkled his brow, deep with thought, and stared at Tommy silently for a moment. “Are you my daddy?”

Tommy smiled, and a tear streamed down his cheek. “Yeah…yeah, I suppose I am.”

“Mommy tol’ me ’bout you.”

“Did she?”

Tyler nodded. “She love’ you too.”

Tommy started to cry, and pulled his son into a hug.

***

Adam was starting his first year on the Angel Grove police force. Also, he inherited ownership of the pet store he used to work at, and in his spare time, decided to work towards opening a martial arts dojo for troubled youth.

Rocky continued the life of a professional fighter. He was bound for China to take part in a massive, world-wide competition.

As for Billy…

***

Dr. William “Billy” Cranston sat in the center of a dark room. He leaned forward on a sleek rectangular table of black marble. Eleven holographic projections surrounded him. Each projection was nothing more than a slab of black light with a number.

Each slab represented a member of INET’s board of directors. They did not know each other. Cranston was not even sure who each of them was.

“J-Force will be online within a month,” Cranston said. “SPD teams are coming online throughout the local group of worlds. I’ve merged our Earth-based SPD team with the Silver Guardians unit.”

“What of the Trails?” a voice from a tablet asked.

“Lost,” Billy said. “We’ll have to start the whole project from scratch.”

“It was stupid to let the Rangers onto the station,” another tablet said. “They can never learn of our goals.”

“Agreed,” another tablet said. “They wouldn’t understand that, what we are trying to accomplish, is for the betterment of mankind.”

“Not just the betterment,” another tablet said. “The survival. Mankind must evolve or die.”

Dr. Cranston nodded. “Agreed.”

***

Tommy stepped into his bedroom on the Hayate Way campus. He and Ashley had just finished moving in some of Tyler’s things.

The ranger breathed a deep sigh and sat on his bed. So much had happened, and he barely had time to digest it all. So many questions were unanswered.

The question that nagged at Tommy’s mind most of all: who was the Dark Man, Akuma? Where did he come from, and how did he know so much about…everything?

Tommy leaned back in his bed. He had thought the battle against the Mogralord was his final fight, an end to the war against evil.

He was wrong, he realized as he looked into a corner. Asuka’s sword and scabbard leaned against the wall, alongside the Ryuuseikin. A black silk pouch nearby concealed three braces infused with the power of the Dino Gems.

The sword seemed to flash with a dull glow that pulled Tommy’s mind into a vision. He saw a wide plain of tall yellow grass and three giant beasts fly across it. He had seen the animals in visions before: a hawk, a lion, and a dolphin.

Flames suddenly consumed the field of grass and stretched to the skies. From the flames, a mighty Kirin stepped forth and spat a torrent of fire that distorted the vision into a twirling vortex of chaos.

Faceless minions joined alongside the Kirin, as god-like beings above laughed.

The hawk, dolphin, and lion charged through the chaos and dashed towards the Kirin. From within the chaos, a tyrannosaurus, pterodactyl, and triceratops charged forth as well, and moved in alongside the original three animals.

Chaos in the vortex intensified, giving birth to five more animals of creatures power: a phoenix, garuda, bull, mermaid, and fairy.

The resulting battle created a shockwave that ripped the vortex apart, tearing it like shreds, until only two stars remained. One of the stars sizzled with crimson power, and the other star was a dark jade.

The vision cleared, and Tommy heard a voice speak to him. The voice belonged to Zordon‘s spirit.

“The Sight is a difficult gift,” Zordon said.

“Zordon? How-”

“You are no longer a Ranger, Tommy,” Zordon said. “You are a Master. Use this Power well, for it is difficult burden to carry. You must pass on The Power to a new generation, which will fight for the fate of the universe.”

The vision ended as abruptly as it started. Tommy narrowed his eyes and rose from bed. He walked over to his two swords, gripped the Ryuuseikin, and lifted it from the wall.

His grip on the blade tightened as he thought of all he had fought for, and all he had lost. If evil rose again, which it obviously would, he would fight against that evil with even more resolve. For Zordon. For Sensei Kaku. For Kimberly. Shannon. Kou. Cy. His father. For every Ranger and champion that had died, and for every civilian who lost their life in the insanity of a war they could never comprehend.

The evil would come again. And Tommy was ready. “Bring it on.”

THE END