Interview 1 of 12

Written By: The 61 Minutes News Team (Pink-Green-White-4ever and Shawn30)

Summary: With two years of false news reports, lies written in many articles, privacy-invading prime time exposes, and unofficial books written about them and their former lives as Power Rangers the original twelve decide to finally set the record straight in a series of one-on-one interviews with Barbara Walters.

Timeline: Early 2007. Power Rangers Dino Thunder took place, although Tommy and Kim reunited during it. All will be explained in their own words. EVERYTHING else is canon, but keep in mind the Rangers are adults now and we're writing this as if the events in the PR universe happened in real life.

Rating: R for no holds barred adult language.
Couples: Outside of Tommy and Kim just keep your eyes open *evil grin*

Email: newsteam@usagi-carter.org

Authors Notes 1: In early 2005 secret Government files were accidentally opened to the public revealing the names of the first twelve Power Rangers. The C.I.A were covertly keeping tabs on everything that took place in Angel Grove during the Rangers tour of duty and discovered over the years the identities of the Power Rangers. They never learned all the details of what happened behind the scenes with Zordon or the various enemies they fought, but enough intelligence was gathered that names and addresses were discovered. Upon being ousted to the public, the former Rangers anonymous lives were over as they became instant, overnight celebrities.

But the lights of stardom tend to fade and after while their privacy was being invaded from all sides. Former friends and family members began writing books and giving interviews for money. News crews hounded their residences. Paparazzi hounded them everywhere they went, as well as their work places. Nighttime news programs ran intense exposé on their lives, loves, and pieced-together history as Power Rangers. Outright Lies, crazy assumptions, and rude invasions of
privacy have led the former Rangers to finally break their silence and tell their story in their own words.

As is posted on the ABC: The View.com profile of Barbara Walters, she has arguably interviewed more statesmen, Presidents, and stars than any other journalist in history. She is so well known that her name and a brief biography is listed in the American Heritage Dictionary. And when the former Ranger's new publicist contacted her to conduct the interviews she jumped at the chance to bring the story of Earth's greatest heroes to the world in their own words, while humanizing the larger than life warriors that risked their lives to protect the world for so many years.

Choosing a small, intimate studio audience while allowing call-in questions to be taken live on the air, the former Power Rangers will at last tell their story, answer Barbara's pointed questions as well as your own concerning their professional and private lives. Expect the unexpected as this prime time interview series will air on HBO instead of network television.

Authors Notes 2: Kimberly Ann Hart-Oliver opens the new groundbreaking series, followed by her husband Dr. Tommy Oliver, Jason Lee Scott and Trini Kwan. The next series will involve Dr. Billy Cranston, Adam Park, Katherine Hillard, and Aisha Campbell. The last series gives us Tanya Sloan, Rocky DeSantos, Zackary Taylor and Justin Stewart. Concluding things will be a huge round table discussion with all of the Rangers present.

Authors Notes 3: Rita Repulsa first attacked the Earth on August 28, 1993. That's twelve and a half years ago. Our walk down memory lane begins now...

 

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“I’m Barbara Walters and welcome to Setting The Record Straight, an in depth look into the lives of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Earth’s first defenders, in their own words,” the seasoned journalist announced as she sat in a chair on a small, quaint stage, not unlike the stage for her television show, The View.  In the audience, a group of twenty-five specially picked guests sat, waiting for the start of the interviews the world was dying to hear.  “My first guest is perhaps the most well known of the group of twelve, out of uniform.”  Images of gymnasts performing on the various apparatuses and snap shots from the Pan Global Games and Olympics started appearing. 

 

“In 1996, she wowed the world by coming from an relatively unknown place to capture gymnastics gold as a member of the United States’ Pan Global Games’ Women’s Gymnastics Team, as well as earning several other individual medals.”  Clips of a petite brunette in a red, white and blue leotard begin flashing.  “She also participated as an alternate for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games for the United States, coached the 2002 United States Pan Global Women’s team and was the United States Women’s Beam and Floor Coach for the Athens Games.”  Pictures of Kimberly coaching at various events flashed before a large image of the Pink Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger appeared. 

 

“When the Power Rangers first appeared in 1993, many little girls around the world were given their first live female superhero in the form of the Pink Pterodactyl Ranger.” The television screens were suddenly filled with the image of the Pterodactyl Dino Zord rising from the pit of a volcano at an incredible velocity, then zooming off into battle in an unbelievable display of aerial acrobatics. Flashes of energy from the Pink Ranger's Power Bow strike the 'Z' on the chests of multiple putties with perfect accuracy.

 

“And when her time in a uniform came to an end, she valiantly passed her powers on to a friend, successfully ensuring the legacy of the Pink Ranger would live on.”  One moment the television screen showed the petite Pink Ranger standing with her teammates and then it morphed to show a much taller Pink Ranger in the same stance.

“Please help me welcome original Pink Ranger, Kimberly Hart-Oliver.”

 

The audience clapped and cheered when a petite brunette walked onto the stage from behind a large backdrop.  Barbara greeted her with a firm handshake and then the pair settled into the chairs in front of the audience, the cameras rolling as the crew listened on in as much interest as the audience.  “Thank you, Kimberly, for agreeing to come tonight.”

 

The twenty-eight year old smiled brightly.  “I’m happy to be here.  It’s been a long time coming, to be quite honest.”

 

“Now, to give all of you a bit of personal background on Kimberly, she’s twenty-eight, married,” Barbara emphasized, causing Kim to grin and nod.  “She owns her own gymnastics academy in Reefside, California, and she was the original Pink Ranger of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.”  The audience applauded; the sound was like thunder to Kimberly’s ears in the small space of the stage.  “Now, Kimberly, since you’re the first of the Rangers to speak out, would you please tell us how the Power Rangers came to be?”

 

“Sure.  Well, you see, in 1993, on a mission to the moon, two astronauts opened a space dumpster and released Rita Repulsa and her minions from their 10,000 year captivity.”  At that, Kimberly made a face but continued.  “When Rita attacked Earth that first time, there was this massive earthquake in California, and suddenly Jason, Zack, Trini, Billy and I found ourselves being teleported from the Youth Center to the Command Center.  That’s where we met Alpha 5 and Zordon.  Zordon gave us a quick explanation of what was going on, and then told us he’d picked us, five ordinary teenagers,” she paused, as if her mind had gone back to that fateful day before she remembered where she was.  “To be the defenders of Earth; he gave us our morphers and the original power coins, and charged us with becoming the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.”

 

Barbara stared at her, a skeptical look on her face.  “Just like that?  Zordon just picked five teenagers at random to be the Power Rangers?”

 

Kim chuckled.  “Just like that.  We were pretty resistant at first, except Jason, but we got over the shock pretty fast; we didn’t have much of a choice, considering we found out we were really fighting for the survival of Earth.”

 

“That’s very interesting.  Kimberly, everyone in America, and around the world for that matter, is dying to ask about the inner workings of the original Ranger team.  Would you describe to us what your base of operations was like?”

 

A soft, gentle smile graced Kimberly’s lips as she thought back to what the Command Center looked like.  “Believe it or not, we were prepared for that question to get asked, so Billy, Trini and Justin put together a small presentation for you.”

 

On a large projection screen to Kimberly’s left, an image of a building on a lone mountain appeared.  “This is the Command Center from the outside.  It was in the mountains of Angel Grove.  One of the reasons no one ever found it is because it was surrounded by a cloaking shield, so that anyone who didn’t possess the power or wasn’t directly teleported in wouldn’t be able to find it.”

 

The next image was of a room lit by a central light and dozens of tiny twinkle lights.  There was a main area of the room, made up of a ring of what looked like high tech computers, and to either side of those computers were objects – one side was a tall, light blue tubular structure and the other a large, glass ball on a pedestal.  “Now, Kimberly, what’s this?” Barbara asked, pointing to the image.

 

“That Barbara is the main room of the Command Center.  The circular area is where all our computers were.  If you think your home computer is awesome, you should have seen these ones, and of course the later computers in the Power and Turbo Chambers.  I never learned how to really use any of them, because they intimidated the hell out of me.  The large glass ball was what we called the Viewing Globe.  Its basic function was to let us see what was going on in the outside world.  Any time there was an attack or Zordon and Alpha needed to show us something, it appeared in the viewing globe.  I always likened it to a big television screen, only this one had universal cable.” 

 

The audience laughed at Kimberly’s quick joke before Barbara spoke up again.  “And that large tube structure, what is that?”

 

“That’s Zordon’s warp tube.  It was the only way we could connect and speak with him, because Rita had locked him in a time warp.  He use to just appear in it whenever we showed up, that is, if he wasn’t already in it when we arrived.  The first time we were in the Command Center, we nearly had heart attacks because he just suddenly popped up out of no where.  I mean one minute we’re at the Youth Center hanging out, the next minute we’re in a weird room with this little robot and a floating, talking head.  Talk about trippy.”

 

“And what about the rest of the base?”

 

“Basically, we had the main room, a medical room, and another room Billy and Trini used to do experiments and create new gadgets and gizmos for us to use.  There were other rooms, but they were all hidden from us most of the time, so we didn’t bother with them until we had to.”

 

“What about your arsenal?” Barbara asked, looking from her notes to Kimberly, who was smiling.  Everyone in the studio looked to the screen as images of the zords, weapons and suits appeared.

 

Kim smiled and turned back to Barbara.  “We each had our own weapon; Jason’s was the Power Sword, Trini had the Power Daggers, Zack commanded the Power Axe, Billy was given the Power Lance, and I was graced with the Power Bow.  Separately, these five weapons were powerful, effective, and tuned to each of our personal styles.  When we put them together, they formed the Power Blaster, which took out quite a few of the monsters back in the day.  As the Green Ranger, Tommy carried around a dagger-flute combination known as the Dragon Dagger.  It was used as a weapon and as the summoning device for the Dragon Zord.  When he later became the White Ranger, he carried around Saba, an enchanted Saber that not only fought alongside him, but that was capable of independent thought.  If memory serves correct, Saba was able to fight on his own if need be, as well as help Tommy with controlling the White Tiger Zord.”  Kimberly paused to take a sip of water from the glass next to her. 

 

“As our abilities progressed and changes were made to the team, we used them less and less.  As far as Zords, each of us had a Dino Zord, followed by a Thunder Zord.  Shortly after Rocky, Adam and Aisha joined us, our powers were destroyed, arsenal and all, and we were forced to quest for Ninja powers, which included new suits and new zords.  Right before I left, the team underwent the final change in zords, upgrading to the five Shogun Zords, thanks to a Lord Zedd plan gone bad.”

 

“That’s wonderful,” Barbara smiled, before looking down at her notes.  When she looked back up, she gestured to the audience.  “Right now, we’re going to open the phone lines, and give you the viewers, and our audience, the chance to ask Kimberly some questions, and we’re going to let her finally put to rest some things you always wanted to know.  Our first caller is Jamie from Texas.  Go ahead and ask Kimberly your question, Jamie,” Barbara spoke a little louder so the caller could hear.

 

“Hi Kimberly.”

 

“Hello Jamie,” Kim smiled, cocking her head to the side slightly so she could hear the question as clear as possible.

 

“My question is, why has there never been a male Pink Ranger?  I mean, there has been male Yellow Rangers, why not a Pink one?”

 

Kimberly cracked up laughing right along with the audience when she heard that.  “Oh, wow, Jamie, to be quite honest, I don’t think any of the guys could pull off the pink spandex and the skirt,” Kim laughed.  “Seriously though, if you notice with most Ranger teams, including ours, the Pink Rangers have seriously defined what it means to be the heart and soul of the team and most people don’t equate that with men.  It’s really a sexist view, if you think about it, but it’s very true.  Whenever a Pink Ranger has been present, she’s been the center, or heart of the team.”

 

“Can you explain that in more detail, Kimberly?” Barbara asked.

 

Kim nodded.  “What I mean by being the heart and soul of a team is that we Pink Rangers always seem to be the glue that holds the team together.  Typically, the Reds are the leaders, Yellows are the calm collective ones, Blues more often than not are the thinkers or jokesters, Blacks and Greens are the quiet introspective ones, and then you have the other sixth color Rangers.  They’re the ones who fill the cracks, personality wise.  I’m not saying this is true for every team, and at times it certainly wasn’t for the teams made up by the twelve of us, but that’s just a typical overview.”

 

“Thank you, Kimberly, and thank you Jamie.  Our next question comes from the audience,” Barbara spoke, nodding to the young man who was standing at the back of the room with a camera and lights shining on him, and a microphone in hand.  “Tell us your name and question.”

 

“I’m Kyle from West Virginia.”

 

“Hi Kyle,” Kim greeted him, hoping to put the obviously nervous teenager at ease.  “What are you dying to know?”

 

Kyle grinned.  “I’ve always been drawn to the fact that the girl Rangers kicked butt, but I have to ask – why was the Pink Ranger the only one with a skirt until Zeo, if the Yellow Ranger was also a girl?  And what’s your opinion on that?”

 

Kimberly smiled and bit her bottom lip as she came up with an answer.  “Well, to be honest, we weren’t the first Power Rangers to use the original powers, and I think the Yellow Ranger before Trini and Aisha was a guy, so that might explain the suit.  As far as my opinion on it, I honestly think that the Yellow Ranger not having a skirt until the Zeo team appeared was kinda in tune with the women who wore that suit.  Both Aisha and Trini are girly, but no where near as much as Katherine or I.  And Zordon created the Zeo suits specifically for the Zeo team, so I think he went with the skirt for the Yellow Ranger so it could help ease Tanya’s transition into the team.”

 

The young teenager seemed satisfied with the answer and handed the microphone back before sitting back down.  “Thank you, Kyle.  We’re going to go back to the phone lines for our next question.  Our caller is Anna from Seattle.  Go ahead Anna.”

 

“Hi Anna.”

 

“Hi Kim!” the caller quipped.  Just from the voice, everyone in the audience could tell she was at least a teenager.  “My question is, obviously, you’re the shortest of the Rangers, was that a curse or a blessing during your time in uniform?”

 

Kim frowned before she took a deep breath; she hated being asked about her height.  “It was both,” Kim told her.  “I’m only five-foot-two, and a lot of the time, the bad guys were way taller than me.  In fact, Goldar was taller than Tommy and Jason, and they were the tallest two on the team.  In battle, sometimes, it presented a problem because it made me easy prey for the monster of the week or whoever we happened to be fighting.  However, there were times when I was able to use it to my advantage.  In those times, it allowed me to knock my opponents off stride and get the upper hand.  There were numerous times when the monster we were facing thought I was an easy target, or that I wasn’t worth going after, and that was usually when I proved them wrong.”

 

“Cool!  Thanks!”

 

“Our next caller is Alexandra from New York City.  Alexandra?” Barbara announced, waiting for the caller to come on.

 

“Most of the battle footage I’ve ever seen of the Pink Ranger has been that you were often the damsel in distress.  Is that true, or did you just let everyone think that?”

 

Kim wanted to roll her eyes but refrained.  It wouldn’t do any good to get mad about it, since she knew it was a valid question.  “I’d like to think I can kick ass with the best of them,” Kim saucily replied, causing the audience and the caller to laugh.  “When we first started, I didn’t have an ounce of Martial Arts training, only gymnastics and a little self defense, so I’ll be the first to admit, initially, I played the damsel in distress, especially after Tommy joined the team.  That changed over the course of the first year though, and was evident most, I think, right after Tommy originally lost his powers.  I learned that in order for us to be an effective team, I had to carry my own weight.  Each of the others had to gradually learn to let me defend myself, to let me learn, and that helped a lot too.  I think the same can be said of Katherine.  I really think we both learned there was more to us than being the pretty little cutesy Pink Rangers.  I know Zack once said given his choice of the five of us, he’d least of all like to see me pissed off, angry, and on the war path.”

 

Barbara nodded and turned to Kimberly, after looking at the card she held.  “Speaking of fights and playing damsel in distress, how did you hide the side effects of the fights – the bruises, the extreme exhaustions, etc, from your parents?  Obviously they never knew, or if they did, they never said anything.”

 

The former Pink Ranger looked pained by that question.  “Well, truthfully, my parents weren’t around all that much during my Ranger days,” Kimberly spoke, lifting her head to stare at Barbara.  The journalist, and the camera, caught the pain etched on her face and in her eyes.  “My father had just remarried and my mother was seriously dating my stepfather at the time.  With my brother away at college, and me being involved in numerous school activities before I became a Ranger, they pretty much left me to my own devices.  Added onto that, I’m a gymnast.  If I fall just right, I could certainly duplicate a lot of the visible wounds I received as a Ranger.  I like to think I was a pretty decent kid back then; I didn’t get into a lot of trouble, and I had an awesome group of friends.  My parents never really noticed, or if they did, they never said anything.”

 

“Surely, they had to have said something at some time?”

 

Kim shook her head.  “I think I can probably remember once or twice when my mother asked me why I was so tired, but because we had gotten so good at making excuses for our disappearing and keeping our identities a secret, I was able to lie pretty convincingly about it being just too much stress from school and sports and other activities.”

 

“Does it hurt that they obviously lacked in caring about your well being?”

 

“Yes and no.  I often wondered why they couldn’t see, but I’ve come to accept that deep down, the power either kept them from finding out, or they saw and were in denial.”

 

Barbara nodded.  After looking down at her notes again, she looked up and had a most serious expression on her face.  Kimberly fidgeted when she saw the look and instantly knew she was about to get a really hard question to answer.  “What was your family’s reaction to finding out you had been a Power Ranger?”

 

A grimace crossed Kim’s face, memories of the moment her parents had shown up on her and Tommy’s doorstep coming to mind.  “Oh wow, you know, my parents reacted about as best as can be expected, considering, as I’ve said before, they really had no clue.  There was a lot of yelling, a lot of accusations, and a lot of guilt laid on my shoulders,” Kimberly relayed the story honestly.  Two years had passed since that argument, and still there was tension between her parents and her about her having kept her identity a secret.  “Neither my mother nor my father has come to grips with why I never told them.  My brother yelled a lot, but he’s pretty cool with the idea now.”

 

“Why didn’t you ever tell?”

 

“Zordon had three rules when we started; three basic rules we had to follow unless we wanted to lose the protection of the power we bore.  The first one was that no matter what, we couldn’t use our powers for personal gain.  Second, we were never to escalate a battle unless Rita, Zedd, or whoever forced us to.  The last, and most important, was that we were to keep our identities a secret; no one was to know we were Power Rangers.”

 

Barbara looked dead serious when she asked, “Why?”

 

Kimberly let out a heavy sigh.  “Honestly?  I think Zordon was afraid that, what has happened since everyone learned who we are would happen, and we wouldn’t have been able to deal with it.  Not to mention, if we’d told our parents, they’d have been more of an obvious target than they already were with the baddies knowing our identities.  Our parents and loved ones got pulled into quite a few adventures with us without knowing it.”

 

“Was it hard to balance school, sports, friendships, relationships and everything else in a teenager’s life with the demands made on you to save the world?” Barbara asked.

 

Kim let out a tiny sarcastic laugh at that.  “Oh yeah.  You have no idea.  I went from being the most popular girl in school to, for a while, being a complete outcast.  I missed more school extracurricular functions than you could shake a stick at.  I ended up giving up cheerleading and dance squad, art club, and a multitude of other things in the beginning.”

 

“But you kept your gymnastics?  And made time for Gardening Club and a school play?”

 

“We had to pick and choose what went and what stayed.  I did the school play only because both Jason and I were in it, and the fact that there were two of us made it easier,” Kim spoke, hinting at her earlier comments about running off at any given moment.  “Gymnastics I kept because number one, I’d been doing that since I was four, and number two, it was the best way to keep me in shape for fighting putties, monsters, and any assortment of other bad guys on an almost daily or weekly basis. As for Gardening Club, by the time that came into reality, we’d been Rangers for over a year and I was able to balance my life a little better.  As my tenure went on, I got better at managing my time and finding a way to have a life outside of being a Power Ranger.”

 

“Did your and Tommy’s relationship suffer?”

 

Kimberly smiled fondly.  “Yes and no.  We didn’t always get the nice alone, only the two of us time we wanted, but the fact that we were both Power Rangers made it easier.  We didn’t have to keep secrets, or rush off in the middle of dinner on each other.  I think going into battle together the way we did, first as Green and Pink and later as White and Pink, strengthened our relationship in ways I couldn’t begin to describe.  It drew us closer together, but it also allowed Rita and Zedd, and later Divatox, to have a major hand against the team.  If something happened to one of us, the other usually flipped out a bit.”

 

“When we come back, we’ll talk to Kimberly about the wilder rumors and we’ll take more questions from the viewers at home and the studio audience.”

 

- -

 

“Welcome back to Setting The Record Straight, I’m Barbara Walters.  We’re talking to original Pink Ranger, Kimberly Hart-Oliver.  We’re going to go to the audience again for the next question.”

 

“I’m Michael from Oregon.”

 

“What’s your question Michael?” Kimberly asked.  He was about thirty or thirty-five and looked fairly relaxed, which made Kim hope for a mature question.

 

Michael smiled.  “Rumor has it that Hugh Hefner and Playboy has offered the five original Ranger women a deal to pose nude or semi-nude.  Have you agreed?  And if you haven’t, what do you think about things like that?”

 

Kimberly started laughing.  “Yeah, see, Playboy would only ask me to pose if they wanted to run an article on short women!” Kim teased, causing the audience to crack up laughing.  “To answer your question though, as a group, no, they haven’t asked us.  If the others have gotten offers, they haven’t said anything to me about it.  I know the boys have gotten offers from Playgirl, but again, those haven’t been discussed with me, except Tommy’s, and in which case, you know the answer to that.”

 

“Our next question is from Dale in Arizona.  Go ahead Dale.”

 

“Yeah, Barbara, my question for Kimberly is has she ever had a relationship, sexual or otherwise, with any other member of the team other than her husband?”

 

“Dale, it was a big, fat orgy around the Command Center back in the day.  We were doing it whenever and wherever,” Kim sarcastically supplied, watching Barbara’s eyebrows arch and several members of the audience wince.  “No, I’ve never had any kind of relationship with any of my teammates, my husband excluded, other than friendship and a sibling like relationship.  I grew up with Jason, Zack, Trini and Billy, and they are like my brothers and sister.  Even though I’ve only known Aisha, Rocky, Adam, Kat, Tanya and Justin since high school, they’re family too.  I can’t imagine them being anything less or anything more, than that.  Saving the world gave me few options to find someone and when I did, I didn’t realize it until I’d given him up.  In my heart, I’ve always known Tommy was the one for me, it just took some growing up to finally accept it and do something about it.”

 

Barbara nodded.  “Our next question is from the audience.”

 

The Pink Ranger straightened her shoulders and prepared for the next question.

 

“I’m Melissa from Detroit,” a young woman from the audience announced.

 

“Hi Melissa,” Kim tried to smile.  “What’s your question?”

 

“Katherine replaced you as Pink Ranger when you left, and according to the press also dated Tommy for a while.  Knowing that, what’s your relationship with her like?”

 

Kim grinned.  “The media would like to make both Kat and I out to be moody bitches that are constantly at each other’s throats, but in reality, it’s not true.  If I didn’t love and respect Kat, I wouldn’t have given her my Ninja powers, and I wouldn’t have given her my place on the team when I left for Florida.”

 

“What about her and Tommy?”

 

“Granted, Kat had a crush on him when she first arrived in Angela Grove, but she didn’t act on it until well after I broke up with him, and even then it was only once he’d given any indication he was ready.  I can’t be anything but grateful to her.  She’s been an outstanding friend to both Tommy and I, and she helped heal a lot of the damage I inflicted on his heart.”

 

Kimberly visibly swallowed back the start of what looked like tears.  She had known questions about Tommy and Kat would be brought up, she just hadn’t thought they’d hurt as much as they were.  She was grateful for all Kat had done; she was just upset with herself for creating the situation she had.

 

Barbara got Kimberly’s attention and started.  “While we’re on that subject, you’ve already admitted to writing the letter, but could you describe your frame of mind when you sent it and the after effects of that time of your life on the person you are now.”

 

The former Pink Ranger remained quiet for several long seconds.  The tears she’d been holding back when talking about Kat were now finding their way down her face.  Barbara grabbed the tissues off the table next to them and held it out to Kim.  The petite brunette took a couple and dabbed at her eyes.

 

“It’s a hard subject for you, isn’t it?  To talk about the letter, it probably brings back memories you’d tucked away.”

 

Kim nodded and kept her head bent.  “You…uh…never realize how…how stupid something you’ve done is…until it’s all said and done.”  When Kimberly looked up, her face was flushed and she had tear-stained cheeks.  The tissues she’d taken were wadded up in her clenched fist.  “I was a seventeen-year-old kid away from home for the first time.  Like a lot of kids, I was blinded by something flashy and full of empty promises, only I didn’t realize that until it was too late.”

 

When Kim paused, she noticed how quiet the studio was.  It was a little eerie for her to pour out her feelings and thoughts to a room full of strangers, not to mention the entire world.  “I gave up the best thing to ever happen to me because I was dazzled by something that quickly lost its shine, and it took me almost ten years to learn my lesson and get it back.”

 

Barbara nodded and handed Kimberly some more tissues.  “How did you and Tommy finally get back together?”

 

At that, Kimberly gave a relieved laugh and took a shaky breath.  “I moved to Reefside in 2004, to open my gymnastics academy.  Unbeknownst to me, Tommy was living there and teaching at the high school, so when I invited Trini and Jason to visit, he was with them.  We reconnected, even after everything that happened between us, and in 2005 we got married just before our identities as Rangers were leaked to the media.”

 

“Are you happy with the way your life has turned out?”

 

“I’ve never been happier,” Kim responded, a bright smile making her look beautiful despite the evidence of her crying jag.

 

Barbara smiled and nodded, and then her face turned a tad playful.  “Will you tell us what your husband is like behind closed doors?”

 

Twinkling laughter escaped from Kimberly as she threw her head back.  “Oh sure.  What would you like to know?” Kim grinned, knowing her husband was backstage and most likely blushing to the roots of his hair.

 

“Well, for starters, is he like every other normal man, or is he different?” Barbara started.

 

“Tommy’s as normal as normal gets, aside from the extra job in spandex he does once in a while,” Kim cracked, causing the crowd to laugh.  She noticed a lot of the guys in the audience looked very intent to hear what she had to say about her husband.  “Seriously though, I make him take out the trash, do dishes, clean the garage, wash the Zords, scan the city for danger, reach things on high shelves I can’t reach with a chair or step stool.”

 

Barbara and the audience cracked up at Kim’s description.  “What about your relationship?”

 

Kimberly’s face went serious.  “I’ve never loved anyone the way I love him.  He is my stars, my moon, my night sky all wrapped into one.  I’ve been with other men, I’ve been by myself, but I’ve never gotten over him.  No one else has ever mattered more,” Kimberly sincerely told everyone.  “I could have lived my life just fine on my own.  I was happy, content, and successful, but just the sheer quality of my life with him is so far beyond what I ever imagined I’d have.  People tell me all the time, and did even when Tommy and I were together the first time, that love at first sight isn’t real.”

 

“What’s your answer when they say that?”

 

“That they obviously don’t know diddly-squat about love,” Kim fiercely spoke.  “It was love at first sight for us, right from the get go.  We may not have been able to recognize it as teenagers, but it was there.  I’ve never had with anyone what I have with him, and I know why now.  He’s my other half, my soul mate, as cheesy and clichéd as that sounds.  I can only think of one other thing that could ever make me feel remotely close to what Tommy does, and that would be to have children.”

 

Barbara nodded and then her face schooled into a serious expression.  “Everyone I’ve talked to is dying to know what happened to the man you left Tommy for?

 

Kim did roll her eyes then.  “He recently released a c.d. of love songs titled Heartbroken by the Pink Ranger,” Kim told everyone.  The audience laughed.  “I’m serious.  I thought it was a joke too until yesterday when the five of us girls went into the Times Square Virgin Mega Store and saw the display.  To be honest, Anthony and I only saw each other’s gym image – he was a coach and I was an athlete.  We were together for four years, and right after the Sydney Olympics we went our own ways.  I wanted out of the limelight of gymnastics and all he wanted was a famous girlfriend and athlete to coach.”

 

“When we come back, we’ll take more questions from the audience and we’ll get more in depth about the Rangers behind the helmets.”

 

- -

 

“Welcome back.  We’re going to take the next question from our studio audience.”

 

“I’m Miles from Florida.”

 

“What’s your question, Miles?”

 

“Kimberly, how do you deal with the obsession your fans and admirers seem to have with the Ranger “Couples”, particularly you and your husband’s relationship?”

 

“Wow, good question.  It’s kind of creepy, really.  Other than Tanya and Adam, there aren’t any other ‘official’ couples from our group, I think,” Kim laughed.  “As far as Tommy and I, we always got teased by the others when we first became a couple, so the attention isn’t new.  The fact is, in some ways, its flattering that the fans are so into our relationship, but it can be a little frightening.  I mean, our every move is speculated for hidden meanings.”

 

Barbara’s expression turned mischievous.  “Speaking of speculation, are you and Dr. Oliver expecting?”

 

Kim grinned.  “See, there you go.  That’s one of those ‘are they or aren’t they’ questions.  I’m not going to confirm or deny that because that’s a private matter, and if we do have kids, neither Tommy nor I want to subject them to the media.  We both want kids, and when and if we have them, they’ll be welcomed with open arms.”

 

Barbara nodded and moved on.  “Our next caller is Markita from Iowa.”

 

“My question is, who would you like to see play you and your teammates in the up coming live action movie?”

 

Kim giggled.  “Hmmm, let me think….” Kim started, a finger tapping her chin.  “For Jason, it would have to Ben Affleck, Katherine definitely Scarlet Johansson, Trini would be Lucy Lu, Aisha’s would have to be Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child, and Tanya’s would be Zoë Saldana.  For the other guys, I think Nick Cannon would do an unbelievable job as Zack, Chris O’Donnell as Rocky, Matt Damon could pull off Billy, and I think for Adam, it would have to be one of his favorite actors and martial artists, Phillip Rhee.”

 

“What about you and Tommy?”

 

The former Pink Ranger grinned.  “Believe it or not, I think Natalie Portman and Hayden Christiansen would work.  We both loved them in Star Wars, they have excellent chemistry, just like Tommy and I have had since the beginning.”

 

Barbara grinned along with the rest of the audience.  “Next question from the audience.”

 

“Hi, I’m Shawn from Nevada, I was wondering, Kim, if you could explain exactly where ‘The Flipside’ is?”

 

Kimberly bent over laughing.  “Oh, wow.  Believe it or not, that’s a complete inside joke.  I’m a gymnast, and we do flips, and I used gymnastics heavily in my Ranger days.  So, obviously, flipside plus gymnastics equals joke. I’m surprised anyone remembers me saying that, to be honest.”

 

“It became your catch phrase,” Barbara noted, causing Kim to smile and nod.  “Next audience question.”

 

“Hi Kim, I’m Brianna, and I was wondering other than gymnastics, what do you do in your spare time?”

 

“Well, Brianna, other than gymnastics, I love to garden.  Believe it or not, I’ve redone the entire landscaping around mine and Tommy’s house.  I also love to paint, so I’ve been working on doing some more paintings to hang around our house, or as gifts, and I’ve got a couple that are going to go in the entry way of Little Crane Gymnastics, which is my school.  I love to sing and play guitar, so I’ve been working with Tanya to write some songs and do some demos in my spare time, but nothing major,” Kim ticked off each of her pursuits.  “Other than that, I like to curl up with a good romance novel, preferably Nora Roberts, or just hang out with my friends and my husband.”

 

“Getting back to your gymnastics, what was it like to win medals at the Pan Global Games and then to go on to coach there and at the Olympics?” Barbara asked, shifting the attention back to Kim’s former sport and current job.

 

“As much fun as I had winning the medals and competing, coaching is so much more satisfying to me,” Kimberly passionately told her.  “You’ve got all these athletes who are looking to you for guidance, some who will go on to be international stars and others who are just wanting to learn the sport.  I find it fulfilling to teach them the lessons I learned the hard way, to watch them grow and mature.  I definitely like being coach more than being the athlete.”

 

“We’ve got just enough time for two more questions,” Barbara announced.  “First of all, you said your parents were divorced and remarried, and you’ve spoken of your Ranger mentor, Zordon, briefly.  Did he provide the stability you lacked from your parents, and how has his death affected you?”

 

Kim’s mouth dropped open, not having expected that question.  Tears that she’d gotten control of some time before ran unchecked down her cheeks.  If for nothing else, because they were for Zordon, she wouldn’t wipe them away.  Instead, she bore them proudly.  “Oh God, I should have known you’d ask that,” her voice cracked as she reached for tissues to blow her nose with.  “No one but those of us who shared his confidences and received his guidance will ever know what it was like to lose him the way we did.  Everyone talks about losing their loved ones in wars or in the line of duty, but no one who hasn’t been in that line of duty really knows what it’s like to lose someone to it.”  Kimberly paused to choose her words carefully.  “Zordon sacrificed his life to save this planet, its inhabitants, and the entire universe, and only a handful of us knew it.  He was father, mentor, confidant, but most of all, he was a friend.  He gave his life to restore the balance that was so far out of whack that there was no other way to restore it but for him to die.  I miss him, every day.  I miss his guidance, his wisdom, his support.  I miss him with every beat of my heart and with every breath I take.”

 

“Is he a part of the bond that is shared between the twelve of you?”

 

“Zordon’s the reason there’s a bond between the twelve of us,” Kim smiled through her tears.  “He was the reason we were able to come together, to fight the way we did, to keep going, day after day.  He believed in each of us, believed in the individuals we were and that he knew we’d become, but he also believed in the goodness that prevailed in our spirits, and in the team he knew we could and would be, the team we were.  He knew that when he started with five teenagers, he’d have the best people imaginable to defend Earth.  I’m not saying we were always one hundred percent goody-two-shoes, but we were trustworthy and honest and we fought hard.”

 

“Thank you, Kimberly, for joining us tonight.”

 

“It was my pleasure.  I hope I answered some of those questions well enough.”

 

“You did.  That’s all we have time for this time.  Please join me next time when we interview Kimberly’s other half, Dr. Tommy Oliver.  Thank you for joining us tonight, I’m Barbara Walters.”