[See Disclaimer in The Changing of the Rangers!]
One year has passed since Jason, Zack, Trini, Kimberly, Rocky, and Lt. Stone were granted the Ultra Power and became the Ultra Rangers, and during that time, they have managed to foil Zedd and Rita's plans again and again. They all shared many adventures fighting whole new batches of monsters, surviving deadly perils, and helping each other out of sticky situations. But now one of them was leaving, and the new Power Team was about to feel the loss of a good teammate.
* * * Angel Grove Airport
"Goodbye Lt. Stone, I'll miss you!" Kimberly said sadly as she threw her arms around him.
"Yeah man, we'll all miss you." Jason added. "You were an excellent Ultra Ranger, and it will be hard to replace you."
"Thank you Jason, but I'm sure that you'll find a replacement soon enough." Stone then paused for a second. "Hell, knowing Dimitria, I bet that she's found a replacement already."
Everyone laughed except for Rocky, who was obviously the one hit hardest by Stone's departure. "Man, I still don't know why you have to leave so soon!" He said. "You're the best Ranger out of all of us, beside Jason of course. Who could ever replace you?"
"Oh come now, Rocky." Trini scolded. "Lt. Stone has been accepted into the National School of Martial Arts, giving him a chance to really develop his mind as well as his body, you should be happy for him!"
"Yes, I guess you're right." Rocky sighed. "Four years ago, I would have done anything to be in your place, Lt. Stone." He then shook Stone's hand. "Well, good luck, and may the Power be with you always!"
"Sheesh Rocky, you're making it sound as if I'm going away forever." Stone said. "I'll graduate from the school in two years, and during that time I'll come and visit as often as I can."
"Fight 131, now boarding!" A voice boomed over an intercom. A large crowd of people then began to line up in a messy, single file line to board the plane.
"Well, that's my flight." Stone said as he picked up a small duffel bag. The rest of his luggage was already aboard the plane.
"Goodbye!" All of the Rangers said in unison as Stone got in line and boarded. They watched from a window as the plane took off from the runway and headed off into the clouds.
* * * From the moon, Zedd and Rita watched Stone's airplane take off, too.
"So, it looks like they no longer have a Black Ranger for the time being!" Zedd exclaimed as he turned to a certain place on the Moon Palace wall.
On that wall, there were individual pictures of every single Ranger there ever was. Through the pictures of Tommy, Katherine, Tanya, Adam, and Justin, there were huge, blood-red slash marks, indicating that those particular Rangers were dead. Zedd always looked at that wall and dreamed of they glorious day when he would put slash marks through all of the Rangers' pictures.
"What are you thinking, Zeddy-poo?" Rita inquired.
"The Ultra Rangers are going to have to find another to take the Black Ranger powers until Stone returns, and there are only two living humans that I know of who can replace him." Zedd then pointed to the pictures of Aisha and Billy.
"Okay, so what's your point?" Rita asked.
"My point is that we cannot allow either of these two to replace the Black Ranger. They are ex-Power Rangers, and the Ultra Power transfer would merge with the residue Ranger Energies left in their bodies, increasing their strength ten-fold, and making them more powerful than the rest of the Rangers combined!"
"But sweety." Rita said. "Jason and most of the other Ultra Rangers are ex-Power Rangers as well. How come their strength didn't increase?"
"Because, they were the very first to receive the Ultra Powers, and in doing so, the residual Ranger Energies were flushed out of their bodies."
Rita shook her head in confusion. "I still don't get it." She then paused for a second. "So, your saying that we must kill Aisha and Billy." She smirked. "Impossible. Billy is on another planet light years away."
"But Aisha is still within our grasp!" Zedd interrupted.
"Hmm, you're right." Rita said. "So, what is your plan?"
* * * Meanwhile, on the hot deserts of Africa, Aisha was carefully studying a pride of lions from the cover of a dried out bush, but she was finding it hard to concentrate on her work since memories of the Turbo Rangers' deaths were beginning to flood into her head again.
The demise of Tanya really had struck Aisha the hardest of all. Two years ago, after the huge funeral service in Angel Grove, Aisha had begun to have reoccurring nightmares about Tanya blaming her (Aisha) for her (Tanya's) death.
Now Aisha had gotten totally off of her task as she began to cry uncontrollably again. "It should have been me in that coffin, lying cold and dead, instead of Tanya." She muttered to herself through her tears. "It's all my fault! I should have just returned home when I found the final Zeo Crystal and resumed my sworn duties as a Ranger. But no, I just had to stay here in Africa to study what is wrong with the animals, which I am getting nowhere at, while I sent a sweet girl in my place and to her doom."
Aisha then noticed the lions run away for no apparent reason.
"What?! Where did they go?!" She said in bewilderment.
All of a sudden, the bush that Aisha was hiding behind was incinerated by a fireball and she fell backwards onto the sandy turf. As Aisha looked up, she saw two figures standing over her.
"Who?" Aisha asked, and suddenly she realized that the figures were Goldar and Scorpina!
"Long time no see, Aisha!" Goldar laughed as he picked Aisha off of the ground by the front of her yellow shirt.
"Let me go, you big ape!" She yelled, and was suddenly punched in the stomach. Aisha screamed in pain as she fell back into the sand, which got into her eyes and stung them. Both of the monsters laughed in delight.
"All right, you two asked for it!" Aisha exclaimed as she slowly got up, rubbing her eyes as she did.
"Oh, so what are you going to do?" Scorpina asked sarcastically.
"This!" Aisha then snapped her left foot into Scorpina's shin.
Scorpina howled in pain as Aisha followed through with another mighty kick, this time to her chest. Scorpina was knocked to the ground.
"Scorpina!" Goldar bellowed. "You'll pay for that, girl!" He then advanced toward her with his sword.
"Come on!" She taunted.
Aisha threw a punch at Goldar's solar plexus, but he blocked it and swung his sword downward at her head. But with her lightning reflexes, Aisha managed to clasp the sword's blade with the palms of her hands and twist the whole weapon out of Goldar's mighty grasp. The sword dropped to the ground. Aisha then administered a 1, 2 combination of kicks to Goldar's abdomen and groin.
"ARGH!" Goldar screamed as he grabbed himself.
Aisha took advantage of the moment and hit Goldar in the face with her elbow, which made him topple down on top of Scorpina, who was just about to get up. The two fell into a heap.
"Why are you here?!" Aisha demanded. "Tell me or I'll . . . UGH!" Something had hit her hard in the back of the head and she fell forward.
"We're here to KILL YOU!" A familiar voice boomed.
Aisha rolled over and saw Rito standing a few feet away from her, his bone sword in his hands. She desperately tried to stagger to her feet.
"No you don't, you little slut!" Rito exclaimed as he rushed at Aisha and struck her in the back with the handle of his sword, causing her to slump back to the ground.
Rito then began to repetitively kick her, each kick being harder than the last. Aisha tried to roll away from Rito, but with no avail. Soon, the other two monsters got back to their feet and joined in, switching from kicking Aisha, to punching her, to striking her with their weapons. She screamed and screamed as her body and clothes began to turn crimson red from her own blood. Aisha's cries began to grow weaker and weaker until they finally ceased.
* * * On the moon, a red slash magically streaked through Aisha's picture. Lord Zedd and Rita then started to celebrate. It was working just the way they had planned it.
* * * Back at the Angel Grove park, Jason, Kim, Trini, Rocky, and Zack all sat at a picnic table, having a pleasant conversation. They were all so excited for Lt. Stone. Everyone, that is, except for Rocky. To him, it was no fair. The Ultra Rangers just wouldn't be the same without Stone.
Rocky remembered one of the many adventures they had experienced as Ultra Rangers, when Jason, Kim, Trini, and Zack all got captured by one of Zedd's monsters and it was up to him and Stone to save the day. Man, they worked so well together that day, the monster didn't even have a chance against two them. Why did Stone have to leave? WHY??
Without warning, Goldar materialized a few feet away, holding a bloody figure in his muscular arms.
"My God!" Exclaimed Rocky. "AISHA!!" All of the Rangers jumped up from the picnic table and rushed toward Goldar.
"I brought you pathetic Rangers a gift." Laughed Goldar as he dropped Aisha's broken body to the ground and disappeared in a ball of flame.
As the Rangers reached Aisha, Jason checked for a pulse in her neck. Nothing. He checked again. Nothing. He checked her wrists, in her temples. Still nothing. No heartbeat, no breathing.
Rocky suddenly shoved Jason out of the way and looked at Aisha. She had been completely mutilated from head to toe. "Dead." He sobbed. "First Adam, now Aisha." He had known them both years before they ever came to Angel Grove. They had been the two best friends he ever had, and now they were both gone. "NO!!!" Rocky cried out. "NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!"
* * * Back at the Command Center the day after, Billy materialized a ray of blue light, and found himself immediately embraced by his friends.
"I came as soon as I could." Billy said and shook his head. "Poor, poor Aisha."
"Yes." Dimitria sighed. "It is a sad time for all of us."
Billy cleared his throat. "Listen, you guys." There was a brief pause. "I'm not going back to Aquitar anymore. I'm going to stay right here on Earth, where I belong."
"But, what about Cestria?" Trini asked.
"Oh, her." Billy then paused again. "She turned out to be a real bitch. I just couldn't put up with her anymore." He then looked up at Dimitria. "Please forgive my colorful vocabulary."
"Your word choice is understandable." Dimitria said.
Billy looked up at her again. "I know that Stone has left, and now that Aisha is gone, I have to accept the Black Ultra Ranger Powers." A pause once more. "But I think now is not the proper time for that. Maybe a day or two after the funeral when things sort of settle down would be a better time for it. But things are just so messed up now and . . ."
Jason put a hand on his shoulder. "We know man, we know."
Billy rubbed his head. "Oh, that Aquitar." He then groaned a bit. "It was like being trapped in a watery Hell. I never want to go back to that awful, awful place again." Another pause. "And if I ever see Cestria's face again, I think I'll scream."
The gang just couldn't help but giggle a bit.
* * * Back on the moon, Zedd was meditating on his throne. He sat still for a moment, then suddenly laughed as he shot up, startling Rita a bit.
"What is it, Zeddy-Kins?" Rita inquired.
"I sense that Billy Craston has returned to Earth." He then stood up, clutching his Z-Staff in his right hand. "Now begins Stage Two of my plan."
* * * Aisha's funeral mass was held two days later. The Rangers sat next to each other in the same pew as the service began. Rocky gave the eulogy, and the service ended about an hour later.
The mourning teens asked if they could have special permission to stay in the church with Aisha for a while longer to say their final goodbyes to her. The priest agreed and left them to be in private with their fallen friend. When the teens made sure they were alone, they each walked up to the coffin to whisper their final words to her. Jason was first:
"Well, Aisha, it's a pity that I didn't get to know you better, you seemed like a warm and loving person." He then paused and clenched his fists. "Dammit!" He cursed under his breath. "You didn't deserve this, Aisha, not at all!"
Too enraged to go on, Jason stepped back, and it was Kimberly's turn:
"Aisha." She sighed. "You were such a great person. A true friend, always there for me and everyone else when we needed it." She then kissed her hand and placed it on the cold steel of the coffin. "May God bless your soul."
She stepped back and Trini stepped forward:
"Hey, Aisha." Trini said softly. "I remember when we first met, and when you took the Yellow Ranger powers from me." She sighed softly. "I sort of hated you for it, but later I saw how wrongful my hate for you was when I heard of all the good things you were doing with my Powers. I couldn't have asked for a better replacement." Trini then made the Sign of the Cross over the coffin. "May your spirit find eternal peace, friend."
Zack was next:
"How's it doing, girl?" He said. "I didn't know you for too long, but I could feel all of the love and kindness you possessed even during that brief time." He then touched her coffin. "May the great Lord bless your soul, Aisha, and may he bless it good."
Then came Rocky:
"We've known each other for a long time, Aisha." He started. "And we sure have some great memories." Rocky then sighed as tears began to fill his eyes. "Don't worry Aisha!" He stammered. "I'll avenge your death. I swear it!"
He then wiped his eyes and stepped back. The it was Billy's turn to go forward.
* * * Back on the moon, Zedd called his minions.
"Goldar, Scorpina, Rito!" He bellowed.
The three monsters came to him at once.
"Yes, my lord?" Goldar asked, bowing his head.
"I sense that Billy is in his now most vulnerable state." He then pointed to the Earth through the open balcony. "Take some Mega Putties with you and go down there and finish him off!"
"Right away, Ed!" Rito said as he and the other monsters teleported out.
"ZEDD!!!!!" Lord Zedd screamed.
* * * Back at the church, Billy was standing over Aisha's coffin, thinking of what to say. He had known Aisha for a long time. Not as near as long as Rocky had perhaps, but for a while nonetheless.
Billy took in a deep breath and opened his mouth, about to say something, when the three monsters that he knew and hated too well and a batch of weird looking Putty-things teleported right into the church.
Everyone whirled around when Billy did. "How dare you bastards come here!" Jason spat.
"I thought church was supposed to repel demons." Kimberly said, disgusted at the sight of them.
Rocky felt great anger boil within him. "I'm gonna KILL you all for what you did to Aisha!"
Zack then looked at the enraged Rocky, and then at the monsters. "You all better leave now, I don't think you want to get on Rocky's bad side." He then quickly looked back at Aisha's coffin. "Or mine!"
"This is a Holy place of Worship!" Trini growled. "Your presence here is unwelcome and unwanted!"
Billy chose to remain silent as he stepped backward, away from the building fight.
The monsters just laughed.
"Bold words coming from all of you." Scorpina snarled, her voice echoing throughout the huge church.
Goldar then pointed to the Rangers with his sword. "ATTACK!!" He screeched.
The monsters and the Mega Putties all began to advance on the teens.
Zack: BLUE ULTRA POWER!!
Kimberly: PINK ULTRA POWER!!
Rocky: GREEN ULTRA POWER!!
Trini: YELLOW ULTRA POWER!!
Jason: RED ULTRA POWER!!
The teens morphed and began to fight, with Billy watching all the action:
To his left, he saw Zack. One of the Putty-things rushed forward and took a swing at him. Zack ducked, hit the Putty with a counter attack punch to its stomach and then followed through with a right uppercut which took the Putty-thing right under the chin. The Putty howled in pain as it flew back into a pew.
His eyes left Zack as he turned his head to the right and saw Kimberly battling Rito. Rito swung his bone sword vertically at Kim's head. She ducked and grabbed his arm as it came over her, giving it a sharp and sudden twist.
"AAHH!!" Rito bellowed in pain as he dropped his sword.
Kim then raised her foot and hit him with a front snap kick to the belly, and as he keeled over, followed through with a powerful right hook to the face.
Looking around some more, Billy spotted Trini, who was dropping Scorpina with a spinning hook kick, then swiveled on one foot to drive her elbow into the solar plexus of a Putty-thing. The Putty crashed into a huge glass vase filled with flowers, which exploded and showered fragments of glass, water, and flowers all over the red carpeting of the church.
Billy's eyes then found Rocky, who was fighting two Putty-things at the same time. The first Putty kicked out at him. Rocky blocked the attack, and countered with a hammer fist across the thing's face and it fell to the floor. The second Putty attacked with a punch to the head, but Rocky grabbed its arm halfway through its attack and flipped the Putty over into a pew.
Billy then looked around for Jason, but he stopped surveying the fight altogether when he was suddenly tapped on the shoulder.
"Guess who!" A voice growled in his ear.
Slowly Billy turned around to face his assailant.
Meanwhile, Jason battled five Mega Putties all by himself. He fought fiercely, but was being pummeled by punches and kicks coming from all directions. Jason was about to call for aid, when the Putties mysteriously vanished.
"What?!" Jason exclaimed, confused.
"HELP!!" Someone shouted. Immediately Jason recognized the voice as belonging to Billy. He and the others looked to the front of the church and were horrified to see that Goldar was standing in front of Aisha's coffin, holding Billy in a death grip. Goldar let out an evil laugh. There was a trickle of blood coming from the corner of Goldar's mouth, where Billy had obviously hit him.
"Billy!" Kimberly and Trini screamed in unison.
"Let him go, bastard!" Rocky shouted.
"If you insist, Rocky." Goldar sneered. Then, in a single, swift motion, he grabbed Billy's head and snapped his neck. Goldar let the body fall to the floor as he telelported out of the church.
"NOOOOO!!!!!!!!" All the Rangers screamed.
* * * Back on the moon, a red slash streaked through Billy's picture.
"Victory is OURS!!" Lord Zedd bellowed in triumph.
* * * A week later at the Command Center, there was a flash of black light as Lt. Stone teleported in.
"Oh, Stone!" Kimberly sobbed as she threw her arms around him.
"Hey, everyone." Stone said unhappily.
"We're sorry that we made you come back." Rocky said, looking down at his feet.
Lt. Stone shook his head. "I had to come back. My duty as a Ranger is more important than being accepted into any Martial Arts school, and responsibility is one of the first things I had to learn when I was a cop."
Alpha Six then handed him the Black Morpher. Dimitria remained silent.
Lt. Stone looked down at the Black Ultra Ranger Morpher in his hands and then looked up at the rest of his friends.
"Welcome back to the team." Jason said. "Welcome back."
The fanfic was written by Chris Carkett, and is post here with his permission.