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Disclaimer: Power Rangers in all its incarnations belongs to Buena Vista Stuidos Entertainment. This series is for fun only (i.e. I'm not getting paid to do this). I would like to thank Starhawk and Rachel Dawson for their wonderful stories that inspired this fanfic.

Ascension
by: Luellon

Kimberly couldn't remember how disoriented she'd been after Zordon had first teleported them to the Command Center to tell them about Rita escaping--until now. She shook her head to shake the dizziness away. Opening her eyes, she turned and saw her teammates standing in a circle around Trini. She saw colored--clouds was the only apt description she could think of to describe the energy masses in front of each of them. She looked up and saw a yellow "cloud" above Trini. "What's going on?"

"I guess we made it to the Morphing Grid," Jason said with a awed expression on his face.

It took Kimberly a few moments to recollect her memories. Trini had taken them to the desert and opened an old book. Energy from that book at shot out at them and now they were here in the Grid to regain power they'd been denied access to because the Power Coins had been destroyed when the Command Center blew up.

Zordon, the unbidden thought surfaced in her head and she blinked back tears. Heart clenching in her chest, she hoped that it would get easier to think of him wihtout feeling so much pain. A month had passed. The five former Rangers had avoided eachother, or that's what it seemed to Kimberly. She knew they were all busy ; Jason with martial arts classes, Zack, teaching Hip Hop Kido to kids, Billy had been in his lab any spare chance he could get evidently looking for Zordon and Trini had been having dreams about a new threat and a possible restoration of their powers. She also knew that they were trying to stay too busy to think too hard about what had happened.The former Pink Ranger wasn't sure if she wanted her powers back. After Zordon, what was to stop any of them from dying? What would the Ascension do to them? And why hadn't Trini told her about her dreams first? That maybe stung the most.

Maybe she didn't want to burden you. You lost two father figures. Dad fights all the time with Mom so they don't have time for you and now Zordon's gone, she thought. Great, now she thinks I'm just one big parentally defired person. Kimberly knew it wasn't much better for Trini. The Kwans' were very traditional. They wanted her to get married in an arranged marriage and basically live her life by their rules. Kimberly shook her head; she couldn't picture Trini bending to anyone's will except her own. Smiling, she looked at her willowy friend. Her monotonous chanting was in another language and Kimberly doubted it was from Earth.

"How long will this take?" Zack whispered.

"I don't know," she answered, careful to not raise her voice too high. No one wanted to disturb Trini's concentration.

"How does she know what to say?" Billy asked her.

Kimberly shrugged, but it was Jason who answered. "She said the Saber Toothed Tiger spirit's helping her out. He's the one that told her about this in the dream."

"The Ascension?" Billy asked.

"Yeah," Jason nodded.

"Why would the spirits tell us what to do?" Zack asked.

"She said they didn't want to abandon us. They can't do anything to save Zordon. I guess they were hurt by his...death too," Jason said, frowning.

"Death sounds strange to me too," Kimberly told him. She was relieved she wasn't the only one feeling awkward.

"All of us," Zack said with no humor in his voice or in his eyes.

"Especially me," Billy said and sighed. "I just thought if I could find him, then he'd be okay. Everything would be...like it was."

"There's nothing any of us could've done, Billy," Jason said and patted him on the back.

"We didn't know. It's not our fault," Kimberly said and hoped her words were true.

"It's not our fault," Zack repeated and Kimberly still shuddered looking at his humorless eyes. Where was her friend? His laughter? His joy?

Where was hers? It died with Zordon, she told herself. But her heart wouldn't let her give up. She would be happy again. She had to be or she'd die.

Humorless eyes, echoed in her mind. Would he ever be the old Zack? For that matter, would she be able to bounce down the halls of the mall or do gymnastics the same way ever again? They had all changed. Zordon had effected them possibly more than any of them had ever realized.

Kimberly looked up and the clouds began to glow their respective colors. The mist swirled and formed the shapes of the spirits they'd held. A pink pterdactyl stared at her--staring at her intently.

Are you ready? the thought wasn't her own and she knew it was from the spirit in front of her. "Yes."

Energy filled her senses as the spirit entered her body. She felt herself fall and then nothing.

***

Billy couldn't remember ever feeling this tired. His body laggged behind his mind as if the two weren't connected fully. What's going on? He squinted at the bright sun gleaming at him from high above. Was it really noon? Carefully he sat up and saw all his friends laying around him. Brushing himself off, he nudged Zack awake. "Zack?"

"Hey, Billy," he said sleepily. "What's up?"

"We're in the desert. And apparently, it's noon."

"What?"

"We were in the Morphing Grid, but for how long?" Billy helped his friend stand.

"We should wake the others," Zack said, shaking his head.

Jason and Kimberly were easy to awaken, but Trini wasn't getting up. They cried out her name and shook her. Finally, her eyelids began to open.

"Trini!" Kimberly said and hugged her.

"Are you okay?" Jason asked.

"I'm fine," she said weakly. Her head drooped and she was unconscious again.

Kimberly leaned her against her shoulder. "The Rad Bug."

"I'll get it," Billy said and jogged over to the crevice where they'd hid the car. Billy got in the driver's seat and pressed the excelerator lightly. He stopped to let them all inside. Jason was in front with him and Trini laid across Kimberly and Zack's laps in the backseat. He put in the coordinants for his garage and a few minutes later in the teleportation stream, they were at the intended destination.

Getting out of the car, Billy quickly made one of the tables bare so they could place Trini on it. Taking one of Alpha's scanners out of the drawer, he scanned her.

"She seems to be physcially stable," said Billy. He frowned.

"The chanting must've made her really tired," Zack said. "I mean, she was calling the spirits for us, right?"

Jason nodded. "Yeah. She's probably exhausted."

"In fact, we should all take naps. Our bodies need to get used to all this energy," Kimberly said as her eyes widened as a sliver of pink energy sizzled in her hand.

Billy nodded and placed the scanner back in the drawer. He was so grateful that his father didn't even bother to snoop around his lab; Billy wouldn't know how to explain any of his equipment to his parental unit. He was happy then, that his father didn't pay much attention to him at all. He was always working or on business trips or reading the newspaper. They didn't have time for eachother.

Shaking his head, Billy glanced at the others for a moment and went to the closet to get sleeping bags. They weren't leaving Trini here alone--even if their respective kinfolk would--and Billy was glad that he could call his friends his family.

***

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