It was a dark night in Africa, but then again, most nights in that part, with little or no of what would be called 'modern conveniences' were dark. The only light that came was from the stars and the pale crescent moon overhead, caressing the long grasses tenderly. A soft breeze moved some of those grasses, but others were moved only by the passage of a young woman.
Aisha Campbell, the former Yellow Ranger, walked through the savannah quietly, her thoughts turned inward as they often were these days. She looked like a regular village girl, but inside, in her heart, mind, soul, and outside in her body, she was different. Her body was trained for karate, and she still kept up her discipline even now, when she'd been out of the fight for six months, and as far as history was concerned, had never even been in it.
She remembered, though, and she wished at times she hadn't left. Yes, she'd done good work here. The animal plague was over with, the last sick animal had been cured and pronounced perfectly healthy just days earlier. She had nothing keeping her here anymore. Except her parents, who didn't even remember ever having lived anywhere else but here.
I wish I could go back, she thought, running her fingers idly through the grass. I miss everyone so much. Rocky, Adam, Kim, Kat, Billy, Tommy. Heck, I even miss Bulk and Skull and Angel Grove High! It was with effort she stopped a tear from going down her cheek. But no one else remembers we lived in Angel Grove, because in THIS timeline we didn't. We've always been here. . .I guess the Zeo Crystal did something so that the effects of me being the Yellow Ranger were there, though. I wish I knew.
"There's so much I wish for, and that I can't have," she whispered out loud, staring up at the stars above her. "I want to go home. I want to be free of this place. I did what I came to do, and now I want to go back where I belong. But I can't. I'm stuck here because of that Zeo Crystal twisting time."
Her eyes blazed hotly for a moment. "Damn Master Vile!" she swore, as she seldom did, then quickly glanced around to see who was looking, if anyone. He was the one who warped time so that we lost our powers and had to get the Zeo Crystal in the first place! If it hadn't been for him, I'd still be in Angel Grove, I'd still be a Power Ranger, and none of this would have ever happened!
She took several deep breaths. She had to calm down. There was nothing that could be done; what was done was done, and that was all there was to it. She had made her choice, and though the plague was over, it had rearranged her life so much that she knew she could never go back to the way things had been. She glanced up at the stars overhead, and felt just the tiniest bit of comfort to know that somewhere else, her friends, her real friends, who had been with her through thick and thin and everything else, could very well be looking up at the same sky she was right now.
"Wherever you are, guys," she whispered softly. "Whatever's going on with you, know that my heart is with you always. We are friends to the end, no matter what. I love you all."
As she closed her eyes, their faces drifted behind her eyelids, those of the ones she had fought side by side with, and those she had known only barely. Jason. Zack. Trini. Kim. Billy. Tommy. Rocky. Adam. Kat. Tanya. Then, one more face presented itself: that of an old, kindly-eyed woman. She seemed more real than the memories, and as Aisha slowly opened her eyes, she almost jumped back to see the same woman she'd just been imagining right in front of her!
"Aisha Campbell," the stranger's voice was very rich, musical, and full of life. "I have come for you."
"Okay, let me see if I understand all of this," Kyle Lee Scott, the Avatar of Good, looked at his friends. "You guys all used to be Power Rangers, and then Jason, Zack, and Trini went to Switzerland, and were replaced by Rocky, Adam, and Aisha. Time got twisted up somehow, and you guys all had to go on quests for magic crystals that would fix everything. Aisha decided to stay in the past, and Tanya came to take her place. Not long after that, Billy met Kala, and she basically gave him a pep talk about giving up his powers. And after that," he shivered a little.
Jason, the Avatar of Spirit, laid a hand on his brother's shoulder. "It's okay, Kyle," he said quietly. "We know what happened. The essence of evil invaded your body and made you the Avatar of Evil."
"And we all know how that ended," Trini replied. "And I'm glad it's over. But what do we do now? We've got all this power. . .what do we do with it?"
Kim played with a spray of water between her fingers. "I have no idea. But Kala said there were more Avatars out there than just us. I'm wondering who they are, and if they're going to pass their powers too."
"And if so, to whom," Billy mused. "We really don't know why we were the ones picked, you know."
Kyle shook his head. "Kala said it was because I had been the Avatar of Evil; and by expunging it from my body, I was able to become the Avatar of Good." P> "I'm certain there has to be a reason for it," Zack mused. "I guess it's one of those things we'll find out in time."
The others nodded a little, while Billy just kept staring up into the crystal blue sky overhead. Ever since the defeat of the Dark One and the acceptance of Kyle into their ranks as the Avatar of Good, things had seemed almost to slow down. For a week they had been on edge, waiting as each of the old Avatars passed their strength and power to another old friend. And now, with it all over, they were not quite certain what to do next.
Something is missing, he mused. Many somethings. But what? As he sat, knowledge began to flow into his mind suddenly. The image of a circle appeared in front of his eyes, with twelve dots of light all around it. From those dots there extended lines, and in the center where they met was a thirteenth, that shone with a magnificent brightness. He could see/sense a darkness that made the essence of evil that had been within Kyle seem like a child's petulance. Only those points of light could hold back that darkness, he sensed.
"Billy?" the image flickered out, and he was sitting in the park with the others again. Trini was looking at him. "Billy, are you all right?" he could see everyone else behind her, watching nervously.
"Yeah," he shivered. "I. . .I was seeing something, I think. A circle. ..twelve, no, thirteen points of light. Literally."
The others exchanged glances; they had all had episodes of this type happening to them recently. It seemed they'd gotten more than just the ability to control their respective elements; they'd also been given knowledge of their predecessors. "Apparently freeing you wasn't the end of our Avatars' quest," Jason said, looking at his brother. "But just the beginning."
Kyle nodded. "So what now?" the Avatar of Good wondered.
"Now we go to Africa," the words came from Kim, and all of them turned to see what she wanted. She was standing stock-still, her eyes wide and her fingers dipped in the waters of the lake. "We go to Aisha."
Aisha stared at the woman in front of her. "Huh? What? Who are you? What are you talking about?"
"My name is Sher," the woman bowed her head gently. "And I am the Avatar of Magic."
The former Ranger blinked, frowning. "Magic? Could you please explain what's going on here?" she was still backing away; this was freaky!
Sher sighed, and flicked a hand out towards the young girl. Aisha found herself rooted in place suddenly. "I'll bet none of the others had this much trouble with their successor," she grumbled half under her breath. "I'll give you the short version, Aisha. I'm the living embodiment of the essence of magic, which is neither good nor evil, it just is. I prefer personally to use it for the side of good myself. I've been the Avatar for about three thousand years now, and it's time for a change. It's time for you to take the job. You are my successor, the next Avatar of Magic."
Aisha felt as if someone had just rammed her in the stomach, hard. "What. ..?"
The Avatar took an extremely long breath. "Aisha, there are forces in creation that choose living hosts to be the embodiment of their power. The five basic elements, good, evil, magic, music, quite a few others. Before the seasons have completely turned from the moment the first of the new Avatars took up their task, all thirteen of them must have come together. You are one of those. You are needed."
As those last words were spoken, Aisha felt something stirring inside of her that she hadn't in some time. A sense of destiny. A sense of strength. Within her soul, she felt as if the Bear, her spirit guardian, was roaring in approval. Though she lost her morphin powers with the destruction of her Power Coin, she had still felt in touch with the mighty creature. She took a deep breath. "Sher," she said quietly. "I believe you. I'm sorry I didn't at first."
With a mercurial mood swing, the Avatar just smiled. "Hey, no biggie. I was the same way when I got picked. My predecessor had to throw me off a cliff and levitate me back up before I would believe him! I'm glad I didn't have to do that to you."
Aisha smiled back at her, and found she could move again now. she walked over to Sher, and found herself looking into the old Avatar's eyes. There was a deep strength and love in them that she felt reach out to envelop and support her. Sher laid her hand gently on Aisha's shoulder, and smiled. "I suppose I have to do this the formal way," she said, straightening up and looking as imposing as she could. "Aisha Campbell, will you be the new Avatar of Magic?"
The former Yellow Ranger smiled. "I will," was the only reply she ever could have made to that question, really, and some part of her had always known that.
Sher reached out her hand, glowing faintly now to Aisha's eyes, and the young woman took it. Power flowed from Sher to Aisha, and the old woman almost seemed to deflate as she passed her legacy to the next generation. Aisha caught her before she could fall. "I'll be all right," she said swiftly. "But it's going to take me a while to get used to being mortal again."
"I'm. . .not mortal?" Aisha whispered. What kind of job was this?
Sher touched her cheek gently. "All your questions will be answered in time," she promised. "You've got some friends coming who are going to want to talk to you. And I'll see you again." with that, she vanished.
Aisha shook her head; in a matter of seconds her life had turned so totally around it wasn't even funny! Friends coming. ..I wonder. . .
"There she is!" Kim pointed to the young woman standing in the broad savannah ahead of them. The six Avatars had traveled there not through teleporting, though Zordon would have gladly sent them, but through their own particular methods of transport. Words couldn't precisely describe any of it, but it rather involved moving through the element that they represented and that empowered them.
Aisha was standing there watching them as they came up. She smiled softly, looking from one to the other of them. "Hello, fellow Avatars," she said quietly. "It's been a long time."
Billy smiled at his old friend, squeezing Trini's hand as he did so. "Yes it has, Avatar of Magic," he could sense the power and it's nature flowing through her. "A very long time."