Categories > TV > Power Rangers > Thrill

Thrill

by Kuwa-chan 1 Reviews

Justin knows why former Power Rangers all vanish.

Category: Power Rangers - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst - Characters: Other - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2006/12/22 - Updated: 2006/12/23 - 1536 words - Complete

Thrill

Justin was aware a lot could happen in twelve (almost thirteen) years. People were born, others killed and moved halfway around the state in that amount of time. Security could be lost, gained and lost again; people you thought you'd never be without, who used to be tight, perfumed hugs and laughter became tears and a gray slab of concrete in a field far away. Justin knew that.

Harder to except was what could happen in nine (almost ten) months.

People were left, loved and left again. Life went from lonely routine to companionable, exciting, fast-paced, driven and anything but routine. Science fiction movies were proven real, at least possible, if slightly flawed. Aliens were real. They lived in tubes and spoke in questions, unless they commanded mindless fish-warriors and tried to take over the world.

Justin leaned over to the side and pushed the button on the streetlight again. Drummed his fingers against the handlebars of his brand-new bicycle idly, squeezed the handbrakes boredly. Early birthday present from Carolyn, Dad's new girlfriend. She was nice. Bit clingy, much too eager to please and totally unaware that he was twelve (almost thirteen) and already in high school, which was sad, considering she'd gotten him such an expensive birthday present. But nice all the same.

The world's slowest streetlight still refusing to change, Justin sighed longingly at the cars blazing past. The bike was cool. Brand-new. Obscenely expensive. And it was almost stupidly nice of Carolyn to give it to him early. He was supposed to be getting some fresh air in the park, letting the grown ups talk, showing off the new bike...

Justin had to bite his tongue after hearing that. He'd just gotten back from soccer practice; he didn't need any more fresh air. He knew the grown ups weren't going to just talk, not if the myriad of couples at his high school were any indication. And he honestly didn't want to show the bike off. He got into enough trouble for showing off... no need to actually do it on purpose; it wasn't his fault that he was smart and athletic and twelve (almost thirteen) years old all at the same time.

He rolled the bike forward and back, forward and back. The bike was cool... for a bike. But bikes were only slightly better than walking. You could only do so much with a bike without a ramp and X-Games equipment. There was no power in a bicycle; no power that you didn't already have when you were walking. Bikes had limits, human limits, and no one liked being restrained by human limits. Super villains were always complaining about human weaknesses and sickening as it was to agree with a bad guy, Justin thought they had a point. Dozens of aliens already powers and strength and magic and amazing technology that Justin would jump through hoops to disassemble, but humans needed a power boost, they needed to become Power Rangers to be able to triumph.

Power was like a drug, Rocky told him, and trust me, kiddo; I know drugs. He'd gestured to the charts documenting the various painkillers and sleeping pills he was on with a wry smile. Rocky didn't mind being affectionate with children and Justin was suddenly feeling cold and just the littlest bit frightened with what his mentor was asking him to do, so he'd cuddled up close to Rocky. Rocky had lowered his voice and tousled Justin's hair before continuing, that power made you feel good, but only for a little while. Then you got used to it and you needed more to feel like that again. And more and more and more, until you were destroying yourself to get it.

But if you're destroying yourself, won't you feel even worse? Justin wanted to know.

Exactly right, you're a smart ki-guy. So the amount of power you need increases even more, you see? So people attack Earth, wanting whatever power it can give them, thinking it's out of the way and backwards (Well, that's what Cestro said, maybe you'll meet him one day, he's kinda cool).

Lucky for us, though, Zordon is here and he has power and he gives it out to those he thinks are worthy, and they become the Power Rangers. It's the old fighting fire with fire, only fight power with power.

They'd gotten caught then; the nurse came in to shoo Justin out, scolding him that visiting hours were over and that nice lady at The Shelter was looking for him. She'd threatened to take away Rocky's visitor privileges, Rocky answered with a joke and used the minute she was distracted laughing to strap his communicator and Zeonizers to Justin's wrists.

See you later, Justin, Rocky said loudly, giving the eleven (almost twelve) year old a patronizing little pat on the head. And Godspeed, he added, soft enough the nurse didn't hear.

Consequently, Justin hadn't gotten to ask how Rangers kept from getting too comfortable with the power, with needing more and the utter frenzy of the next few hours, days, weeks made him forget it until long after Tommy and the others had gone. He'd asked Carlos once, but Carlos had shrugged and said he didn't know. Maybe the older Rangers didn't know, either. Why else had all of them seemed to vanish off the face of the earth? Carlos asked, in a fit of philosophy. I know there's the security thing, but man. Seems kinda harsh to just drop everything, everyone like that.

Justin had to fight down a moan of longing as a sleek blue sports car sped through the intersection. It was almost a blur, barely visible. Justin itched to be behind the wheel of a real car, grip it in his hands, foot on the gas. Feel the engine thrumming, the thrill of the speed no human bicycle could match. Power not beyond human imagining, but a hell of a lot better than human capability.

He'd tried those driving video games at the arcade and they were just so boring. No two dimensional screen could simulate that kind of speed or power. He'd tried riding his old bike down a very steep hill and despite nearly crashing into a tree, he'd still been bored.

Seeing Storm Blaster again was almost more than he could take. Morphing on top of it had been phenomenal; his heart raced and ached for it. He'd been totally sincere in telling the Rangers to call him if they needed help, even as he knew they never would. He'd almost heard the collective sigh of relief when he chose to stay with Dad. Outer space was no place for a twelve (almost thirteen) year old, even if he was a genius and a black belt. Even if he was the only one of them who actually knew Zordon, the only one who could truly take the mission as personally as it was meant to be taken. Rocky might have opened the door, but Zordon had ushered Justin inside and locked it behind him.

He wondered if any other ex-Rangers felt like him; powerless and hungry. He had everybody's full names from Tommy, in case of an emergency. And he knew how to use a phone book. Tommy hadn't been able to provide valid addresses and numbers for many exes.

Sometimes he got The List out, puzzled over the names, contemplated calling them. They were colored coded; the first one written in red, Jason Lee Scott, and underlined with gold glitter glue. Justin's best candidate for answering his question in the affirmative, if his brief meeting with the ex-Ranger was any indication. Hard to miss some of the stuff he said to Tommy.

Sometimes he got The List out, puzzled over the names, contemplated calling them. Sometimes he even got the biggest phone book he could find, and began looking them up, Kimberly Ann Hart, Aisha Campbell, of course Jason... sometimes he even copied them down. But he always crumpled them up, staring at the phone, dropped them in the trash and them surprised Dad by taking out all the trash in the house.

Because he didn't want to ask, didn't want to hear the heroes of Angel Grove admit it. If they admitted it, he would have to admit it, and the shame was too great. He completely understood the attractiveness of dropping off the face of the earth now and was working towards it steadily. Him (all of them?) falling down the same path as those they were sworn to fight... well, he guessed the road to hell was paved with good intentions.

A white Mustang that had to breaking the speed limit something awful screeched to a halt in front of Justin and snapped him from his thoughts. The streetlight finally switched to yellow, then red, and then the sign flipped from "Don't Walk" to "Walk." Justin eased himself back on the new bicycle and rode across the street, instead of getting off and walking it. No, he wasn't allowed to do that and Dad would ground him if he found out, but a twelve (almost thirteen) year old ex-Power Ranger needed some kind of thrill in his life.
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