Note: This takes place during 'The Power of Pink', after Kendrix's death, but before the Space Rangers leave. I'm presuming it was anywhere from a few hours to a day later between those two events, anyway.
With a slither, the doors pulled apart, and the Space Rangers and the Galaxy Rangers entered. Mike could tell at once something was very wrong. They all looked so sad...especially Cassie and Maya. His eyes flicked from face to depressed face, trying to figure out what was wrong. Then, something clicked in his mind. Something...something very unusual.
Andros. Kai. T.J. Maya. Leo. Ashley. Cassie. Carlos. Damon. Ke..Mike's thoughts stumbled to a halt and he felt himself growing pale. "Guys...w..where's Kendrix?"
Cassie and Maya glanced at one another, as Leo stepped a little closer. "She...she's dead, Mike."
The Magna Defender stared at his brother. The only possible word that he could utter broke through the deathly silence. "No."
"She is," Cassie whispered brokenly. "She died to save me." Pain and regret etched into her voice, she told of how Psycho Pink had attacked and stolen the Savage Sword, and slammed it through her own Space Morpher. The resulting spewing forth of power had not only nearly destroyed Terra Venture, it had come close to destroying Cassie herself. Kendrix had made her way through the vortex of power to smash the Savage Sword and save them all. The backlash of it had killed her, though.
Mike had sunk into a chair by now, his eyes half-closed and tears streaking down his cheeks without a touch of shame. It didn't matter that he was 'supposedly' too old to cry. This was different. This was death. This was someone he had loved.
He wanted to be alone, however, for his memories of her. And they were myriad indeed. They ranged from when the two of them had first met, over a year and a half before Terra Venture had been launched, right up until that very morning, when they'd shared a quiet breakfast together, talking over recent events.
They weren't in love. Not in the romantic sense of the word, at any rate. They had passed that stage months earlier, after a few dates that had shown them they were best suited to be friends. Since his return from the strange realm between life and death, he and Maya had drawn somewhat close together. Nothing official had been stated between them, but both felt there was an 'understanding', to put it in one way.
But now...he knew that the Yellow Ranger would be having the same ache in his heart, if not more, that he did. Maya and Kendrix had bonded closely during the time they'd spent as Rangers and roommates, as closely as he and Leo had been bonded by their growing up together.
He sighed, leaning up against a tree and staring down at the trickling waters of a river. It had been near here that he had come back. He lifted his eyes to the mountain rising near by; near to the top had been where the old Magna Defender had deposited him before going on to his death.
And how do I repay the powers entrusted to me? By letting Kendrix die. If I'd been there...maybe I could've saved her. Hot, burning tears overflowed his self-control, pouring down his cheeks and bringing him to his knees, literally sobbing.
He didn't know how long he'd been there before he finally looked up. He had never felt so alone in his entire life. The very thought of getting up and going back to be the strong, confidant second in command of Terra Venture made him feel weak in the knees. All he wanted to do was just be here--be alone with his memories.
Kendrix, smiling at him over a batch of new plants she'd just finished growing.
Kendrix, listening to his stories about Leo with a certain gleam in her eyes.
Kendrix, laughing when his attempts to learn cooking from Kai literally blew up in his face.
Kendrix, falling asleep after a hard night of work.
Kendrix, wonder in her eyes as she drew the Quasar Saber from the stone.
Kendrix, tears streaming down her cheeks when he returned to life.
Kendrix, always there for the others when they needed them.
Kendrix, beautiful and caring and shining like a beacon in the night.
He curled back up into a ball, not crying, not thinking, just staring at a spot in the sky. How could he do anything right now? I can't stay like this forever. He knew that. He couldn't remain in a mental morass of grief forever. If Trakeena decided to take advantage of it, or he was needed by Commander Stanton, he had to be as capable as he could be.
His hands shook for a moment, then he started to get up. His muscles trembled briefly, then he went still. There was a pair of boots in front of him, ones he had seen many times. Too many.
Mike looked up slowly, not moving anything else but his head. He wasn't surprised, really, to see Trakeena there. A time of mourning was a perfect chance for any villain to strike. What did surprise him was the fact she didn't have any of her warriors or even any Stingwingers with her.
And she looked sad. The first true expression of sorrow he had ever seen on her face, during those few times he'd ever been close enough to see her. "Hello, Magna Defender," her voice was even different, quieter, and with a strange sort of regret in it.
"What are you doing here?" he asked, watching her carefully as he sat back. She made no moves to stop him, only looked at him. "What do you want?"
Trakeena looked calmly at him. "I came to say I'm sorry," she told him simply. "I know what you and all the other Rangers are going through right now."
The GSA officer couldn't believe his ears. "You what? You're sorry!? You've been trying to kill us all for the last six months, and you're sorry because one of your monsters won!? What kind of sick game is this, Trakeena?"
The insectoid queen merely looked at him, and her eyes were suddenly brimful of tears. He took a step back, not certain just what was going on here. "Yes, I want you all dead. But that doesn't mean I don't feel the pain you're all going through now when just one of you is gone! I know how much I hurt when your brother killed my father, and it's a pain that doesn't ever go away."
Mike wasn't sure what to say or do, but Trakeena hadn't finished speaking yet. "It's going to be a long time before any of you feel like mentioning her name without even the slightest bit of sorrow. Even if you somehow find someone else to replace her on the team...assuming you can find the Pink Quasar Sabre, it won't be the same. It won't be having Kendrix back."
"I know," Mike said the words softly. "It's like a hole in my soul that gets wider and wider with every second."
Trakeena looked at him, then quickly wiped her eyes, her face resuming it's normal cold mask. "It's only going to get worse." Any sympathy she might have had for them had vanished as if it had never been. Mike wondered if it had just been a pose, something to either hurt him deeper or get him off his guard somehow. Her staff appeared in her hands and she turned her back to him. "I give you three days of mourning. Then, all is as it was."
With a flash of light, she was gone. Mike took a long breath, trying to figure out just what it was that had just happened. I...guess we have a reprieve...was the only coherent thing that made it through his mind. For some reason, he felt like going back to the others now. Speaking with someone else...even an enemy...about this had helped him.
Slowly he started back to their quarters. Something made him stop, and turn back. "We'll see you again, Kendrix," he whispered. "You left us behind...but we'll catch up someday. See you then." He knew, in some way he couldn't explain, that Kendrix had heard him. A soft breeze carried a hint of flowers to him, and chief among them was the aroma of roses.
Kendrix's favorite flower. Mike's smile widened a little, and with
a lighter heart, he turned and walked away.