Interview 3 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...

 

--

 

“I’m Barbara Walters, and I’d like to welcome you to the third installment of Setting The Record Straight, our in-depth look into the lives of the original twelve Power Rangers of Earth.”  The audience applauded before a series of clips began to play on the television screens.  The Morphin Rangers, led by the Red Ranger, fighting against Goldar on the beach.  The Zeo Rangers, with the Gold Ranger backing them up, fighting against the Machine Empire.

 

So many wonderful elements make up the sum of the man who is my guest tonight. He's a mentor to youths, an ambassador for the martial arts and the self-esteem and dedication they can bring to ones life. He's traveled the world championing the causes of the less fortunate, as well as served as a Ranger twice over. His courage is only matched by his compassion and strength of character.”

 

The Red Ranger fighting Goldar one on one flashed across the television screen.  Jason at a martial arts expo at the Youth Center followed.  The Tyrannosaurs Dino Zord taking on one of Rita’s freaky monsters melded into Jason participating in a meeting at the Geneva Peace Conference, which was followed by the Gold Ranger doing some damage to one of Mondo’s creations while Pyramidas loomed in the distance.

 

“He’s the first in a long line of men to have led their teams to continuous victory wearing the familiar red armor of the Red Ranger.  When he was given the choice to save the world in a different way, he handed his mantle to a friend and left to join the Geneva Peace Conference.  Shortly after, he rejoined the Rangers, taking on the mantle of the elusive Gold Ranger, but was forced to leave after unknown circumstances.  The years in between are a mystery, just like the man behind the helmet is a mystery.  Who is that man behind the familiar red helmet?  What makes him tick?  What are the events that have shaped his life?  Tonight, we’re going to find out. Help me welcome to our stage, Jason Lee Scott.” 

 

The crowd roared to life as Jason appeared from backstage.  The women swooned when they saw the black jean and red muscle shirt clad Jason, while the guys cheered on the original Red Ranger.  Jason kissed Barbara on the cheek before the pair sat down in front of the audience.

 

“Welcome Jason.”

 

“Thank you, Ms. Walters.”

 

“Please, just Barbara,” she smiled at him.  “Now, Jason, you’ve watched Tommy and Kimberly’s interviews haven’t you?”

 

Jason grinned and nodded.  “Oh yeah.  The rest of the team was gathered at Billy’s house in California.  We cracked up laughing at some of the questions they got asked, and you guys,” Jason gestured to the audience, both in studio and on camera, “won Rocky twenty bucks from Tommy with the Spandex question.”

 

The audience broke into peals of laughter when Jason wiggled his eyebrows.  “Alright Jason, are you ready?” Barbara asked.

 

The former Red and Gold Ranger nodded even though he looked slightly nervous.  “Our first question is from a member of the studio audience.”

 

Jason turned and saw a young man about fifteen years old, standing with the microphone about half way back in the audience.  “Hi Jason, my name is Gavin and I wanted to know what kinds of Martial Arts you study?”

 

“Well Gavin, I’ve studied thirteen forms of martial arts since I was five, but the main four that I use are Tae Kwon Do, Shenkito, Judo and Kempo.  Added to that, Trini and Adam have tried to teach me Kung-Fu, but I’ve never had enough patience for it and Zack’s forever trying to teach me Hip Hop Kido, which is his very own mix of Hop Kido and funky dance moves.  I like it, but I have no rhythm so it’s been pretty slow going over the years,” Jason grinned.

 

“I’m sure you have plenty of rhythm in other areas!” one woman in the audience called out, causing Jason to flush and chuckle.

 

Barbara covered her mouth, hoping to disguise her own amusement.  “Speaking of teammates,” she started, drawing Jason’s attention back to her.  “Can you tell us how your and the other original team members met?”

 

“Wow, I haven’t told that story in a long time,” Jason laughed.  “Kim’s probably going to want to strangle me, but oh well.”  Barbara raised an eyebrow as Jason prepared himself to tell the story.  “Kim and I have known each other since we were in diapers.”

 

The audience laughed when a family picture of Kim, Jason and their mothers flashed onto the screen.  The two kids were covered head to toe in mud and other weird things, both wearing nothing but diapers, and were grinning at each other.  “During preschool, we met Billy; it was before he was a super genius, so he was in our class.  The following year, Billy and Kim met Trini, who was in their kindergarten class, and I met Zack in Martial Arts class.  It wasn’t until two years later that we started hanging out together as a group.  Zack ended up saving Billy from the school bully and Trini kicked my butt in Marital Arts class, and then we all met up at Kim’s birthday party that year.”

 

Pictures from various stages of their friendship flashed across the screens – the gang in the park playing Frisbee, Billy trying to teach Kim to fly a kite, Billy and Kim cheering Jason, Zack and Trini on at a competition.  Several shots of them dressed for Halloween flashed, along with a few from various birthday parties.  The last one was of the five together, with Billy and Kim in the middle holding up gold medals with gymnasts on them.  The group couldn’t have been more than eleven or twelve.

 

“You seem like a very close group,” Barbara murmured, breaking the silence that had fallen.

 

A gentle smile stole across Jason’s face.  “We are, and that’s the same for the others who joined us during high school.”

 

“Describe your relationships with your teammates,” Barbara prompted.

 

Jason looked thoughtful.  “Justin is like my little brother, even though I already have one.  I never got to serve with him, but he studies martial arts with Rocky, and he was on the team when Kim and I were kidnapped by Divatox right before graduation, so I’ve gotten to know him quite well over the years.  He was a smart kid and I respect the fact that he’s turned into an intelligent and commendable young man, especially after everything he’s been through.  I adore Tanya.  She’s always so positive and knows how to take charge when need be.  I also have an abiding respect for her because she came from Africa during a time of upheaval and uncertainty and took over as the Yellow Ranger.  The same can be said for Katherine.  She joined a team that was going through so much and was used and abused by Zedd and Rita.  She’s a strong woman to go through what she did and still stay sane.  I respect them both so much, and I love having them as friends.”

 

The former Red Ranger took a moment to take a drink of water and gather his thoughts.  “Rocky, Adam and Aisha are a unit.  That’s how I’ve always thought of them.  Rocky’s the jokester, but always the leader.  Adam’s the calm, peaceful one.  And then there’s Aisha, the backbone and strength.  In a lot of ways, they remind me of me, Trini and Zack.  I respect each of them immensely for not ever hesitating to step up to the challenge of taking over for the three of us who left.  The six of them have become family, my family.  The experiences they’ve shared with me cannot be matched by any other.”

 

“And what about your original teammates?” Barbara asked quietly.

 

“They’re my family too.  The six of us have been through more together than anyone.  We’re bonded in a way no one else could be, or would understand.  We faced death and destruction together when none of us had any experience.  We had to lean on each other and pick up the slack when one of us was down.”

 

“Tell me about Billy.”

 

“He’s a genius and if I had to pick anyone to help think of the answers to get us out of any situation, it would be him.  He’s a wonderful person, and I’m proud of the man he’s grown into.  I proved to call him friend and brother and teammate.”

 

“Zack.”

 

“Zack is so full of life that I’ve often wondered how he never choked on it.  He was and to this day still is positive, upbeat one.  He always followed my lead, without question, but he was also the first person to get through to me when he disagreed with me.  Like Billy, he’s my brother.”

 

“Trini.”

 

Jason looked a little flustered at the sound of his former Yellow teammate’s name.  “Calm.  Incredibly calm.  She’s the only girl who’s ever truly held her own with me, one on one.  She’s always been my quiet strength and common sense.  She’s also the only one of us who ever understood Billy and his techno-babble, as we termed it.  Trini’s the one who always understood my need to act instead of talk.  She taught me to balance those.  She’s also the person who encouraged me to follow my instincts about leaving the peace conference to become the Gold Ranger, or to study law and become a detective.”

 

Barbara smiled, obviously knowing there was more he wasn’t saying, though she wasn’t about to touch on it, yet.  “Kimberly.”

 

“A bouncy ray of pinkness!” Jason laughed.  “My little sister.  Feisty, head strong.  I love Kim more than I’ll ever be able to express.  Sometimes she understands me better than anyone.  We’ve always been there for each other when we needed someone the most.  I’d trust her with my life, and have, several times.  She was a kick ass Ranger and I’m proud to have served with her.”

 

Barbara nodded and spoke the final name.  “Tommy.”

 

“My brother in everything but blood.  We’ve been through more together than either of us probably ever wanted to go through.  There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for him.”

 

“So you really are a close-knit family?” Barbara asked.

 

“Oh yeah.  We’re stuck together like glue.  We had close friendships before the power bonded us, and those have only strengthened since.”

 

“Now Jason, tell us about this joke Rocky played on you,” Barbara started, causing Jason to laugh out loud.  “Tommy mentioned it, and I’ve been bombarded with requests to ask about it.”

 

Shaking his head, Jason shifted in his chair.  “A little back story, so you know how this got pulled off.  Rocky’s cousin Vanessa was in on it too, since she’s a computer genius.  Anyways, Rocky was at my house one day when I got a mailing from publisher’s clearing house.  Dummy me made a comment about it being fake and how I never thought anyone won it.  Somehow, Rocky talks me into filling it out and sending it back, which I should have known was him getting the idea for the prank and running with it,” Jason supplied.  “Apparently, he went to Vanessa and had her use her computer skills to create a letter with the official logo and everything.  They sent it to me vial snail mail and email.”

 

“And you thought you’d won?” Barbara asked, surprised that Jason of all people would fall for that.

 

“No initially.  The letter and email were to tell me I was one of the finalists,” he laughed.  “Next thing I know, there’s an Ed McMahon look alike on my front porch with a giant check and balloons and a camera crew.  I’m just about to start calling people when Rocky pulls up, gets out of his truck, and starts laughing his butt off.  I mean, he’s laughing so hard he’s bent over and leaning against the side of his truck.  It was at that point that I realized what was really going on, because everyone else was laughing too.  I’m ashamed to say I fell for it.”

 

“We’ve got the video, courtesy of Rocky, to play for you,” Barbara chuckled as everyone turned to look at the television screens in the studio.

 

The audience laughed as the video played out.  When Jason started chasing Rocky around the yard, everyone laughed harder.  “DeSantos!  You’re a dead man!  You’d better get your funky monkey self back here!  ROCKY!” Jason’s voice boomed from the vide while Jason himself sat on the stage, buried his face in his hands and laughed till he had tears in his eyes.

 

“Funky monkey?” Barbara joked.

 

“A play on his Ninja designation,” Jason supplied, blushing.  He was slightly embarrassed by her words, feeling as though it was his grandmother or favorite aunt scolding him slightly.

 

“I see.  We’re going to take our next question.  Go ahead caller.”

 

“Hi Jason, this is Angela from Florida.”

 

“Hello Angela,” Jason smiled as he listened carefully to the speakers above him.

 

“My question is, have you ever kissed any of your female teammates?”

 

The normal calm, cool demeanor Jason displayed as a former Red Ranger disappeared, in its wake a goofy grin and wide eyes.  “Wow, um, believe it or not, I’ve kissed all five of them,” Jason laughed, causing Barbara and the studio audience to look at him in shock.  “Get your minds out of the gutter!”

 

“Jason, please, explain,” Barbara just smiled.

 

“I’ve kissed them all on the cheeks countless times.  They’re my sisters.  Considering I grew up with Trini and Kim, it should be no surprise that they’re the first girls I ever kissed, period.  Believe it or not, I had a huge crush on Kim in seventh grade.  She was my first real kiss, but it weirded both of us out so much, that it never happened again.  As far as Trini’s concerned, she’s the one who taught me to French kiss during a game of Spin the Bottle.  I won’t say it wasn’t nice, because it was.  At fourteen, when your best friend suddenly decides a normal kiss isn’t going to cut it, and said friend is a beautiful female, as a horny teenage boy, you’re not going to say no, you’re just going to go with the flow,” he explained, but looked a lot more guilty than he should have.  “Does that answer your question Angela?”

 

“Yes, thank you.”

 

“You’re welcome.”

 

Barbara smiled when the camera focused on her.  “We’re going to take a break, and when we come back, we’re going to dig deeper into Jason’s time as a Ranger.”

 

--

 

The televisions in the studio flared to life when they came back from commercial break.  Images flashed across them – the Red Ranger fighting King Sphinx, the Red Dragon Thunder Zord going up against one of Zedd’s monsters, Jason teaching a Martial Arts class at the Youth Center melted into the Gold Ranger helping the Zeo Ranger before it showed him piloting Pyramidas.  “Welcome back to Setting the Record Straight.  We’re talking to the original Red Ranger, and second Gold Ranger, Jason Lee Scott.  Now Jason, I’d like to talk about your time as a Ranger,” Barbara spoke, looking to Jason who was smiling at her.

 

“Sure.”

 

“We’re going to start by taking an audience question.”

 

“Hi Jason,” a beautiful blonde, about twenty-four, spoke up.  “I’m Amy from California.”

 

“Hi Amy, what’s your question?”

 

“What was it like to morph into a Ranger for the very first time?”

 

“It’s an experience no Ranger ever forgets,” Jason explained, his face composed and his tone serious.  He looked at Amy intently but softened the look with a gentle smile.  “It’s like your whole body is tingling, almost like you’ve been electrocuted, but it doesn’t hurt.  The only other thing I could compare it to would be like having sex for the first time.”  The adults in the audience chuckled.  “It’s also weird, because you’re touching something that’s very much alive.  The morphin grid, and subsequently the Great Power, is very much like the Force from Star Wars.  The first time you touch it is like sensory overload – you smell more, see differently, hear the slightest sound, taste everything; it’s like your sense are super charged.  At fifteen, I don’t think the five of us were ready for it, but you learn to adjust quickly.  I can only imagine what it was like for Tommy and Justin, considering their situations.”

 

“Can you elaborate on that for us?” Barbara asked, leaning forward and taking Jason’s hand.

 

“Justin was just eleven when he became a Ranger.  Next to the original five, he’s the youngest Earth Ranger in history.  The power must have been overwhelming for him at the start.”

 

“And with Tommy?”

 

“Tommy never had a choice to be a Ranger, like the rest of us,” Jason started, reminding the audience of Tommy’s interview.  “Rita thrust the Green Ranger powers on him.  Considering he was brainwashed at the time, I can only wonder what that combination was like, and I’m honestly surprised he wasn’t more messed up afterward than he actually was.  Chalk it up to all the long talks with Zordon, me and Kim,” Jason shrugged, but looked pained.  “The power is strong when you’re in your right mind, but like I said, to be brainwashed and have the power,” he paused, his face taking on a look that said he was lost in his memories of a time in the past.

 

For several long minutes, Jason sat in front of the audience and cameras, looking like he was being tortured.  “Jason?” Barbara finally spoke up, breaking him form his memories.

 

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, shaking his head and squeezing her hand.

 

“It’s alright,” she told him.

 

Turning back to the audience, Jason began again.  “The first time you morph is just as traumatic as the final time, when the warmth you’ve carried for so long is suddenly gone.  I wouldn’t trade either experience for anything.”

 

“Thank you, Jason,” Barbara smiled at him.  “Moving on.  Would you tell us what it was like to suddenly lose your status as team leader with the arrival of the White Ranger?”

 

Jason blew out a breath as his mind switched from one hard topic to the next.  “It wasn’t an easy transition.  I won’t sit here and lie and say I completely understood why, because to this day I don’t really, and I’ve come to terms with that resentment.”

 

“Why did Zordon, your mentor, give your leadership to the White Ranger?”

 

“You’ve got to understand, Zordon wasn’t from Earth; he wasn’t human.  He always had a sixth sense about things.  Case in point, his handing leadership of the Morphin Rangers to Tommy.  He didn’t have a team vote, didn’t sit me down and explain it, he just did it.  Same with the retirement of the four oldest Turbo Rangers.  He didn’t ask them if they were ready to pass on their powers, he just did it.  He knew when things were going to change, sometimes well in advance of when they did.  If he hadn’t made Tommy leader, it would have left the team reeling when Trini, Zack and I left for the peace conference.  And with the Turbo team, Tommy, Kat, Tanya and Adam were graduating high school, moving on in their adult lives.  He was smart to pass those powers on before they ran into any problems.”

 

“But you haven’t always accepted that, have you?”

 

“No, but Barbara, Zordon plucked five ordinary teenagers from a tiny Southern California town to be super heroes.  We weren’t military or law enforcement.  We had no life experience outside of the bubble that was Angel Grove.  He gave us the tools, the power, and the confidence to do the job he was giving to us.  He knew long before we did, that we’d win.  Now, knowing that, wouldn’t you say he knew what he was doing?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“It’s taken me nearly ten years past my Ranger days to come to terms with his decision and his actions.  It’s caused me some moments, but I like to think Zordon knew, eventually, I’d understand his master plan.”

 

The veteran journalist knew it was time to switch topics, so the audience was left with a moment of clarity – Jason was just as human as the rest of the world.  “Will you tell me what you were feeling when you stepped down as Red Ranger?”

 

“Believe it or not, I was happier than I ever thought possible to hand that mantle to Rocky.”

 

Jason’s answer surprised everyone.  “Really?”

 

“Again, the age factor.  I was fifteen when I became a Ranger; I was nearly seventeen when I passed my powers.  I’d grown up in that time, a lot.  I saw horrors that would make a grown man cry.  I’d led a team of teenage superheroes against alien forces bent on destroying the world, or at least ruling it.  When I got the offer to go to Geneva, I was relieved.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because it had finally sunk in that what we were doing was dangerous and life-threatening.  I was ready to stop, ready for someone else to step up and do what I’d been doing.  Being a Ranger wasn’t easy on my personal life, no matter how much I look at it now and realize I enjoyed every part of it.  At the time, I was sick of keeping it a secret, sick of having no life.  I was ready for a change.”

 

Barbara looked utterly serious when she asked her next question.  “Then why did you come back a year later to be the Gold Ranger?”

 

“Why did I come back as the Gold Ranger?” Jason asked, repeating out loud the question Barbara asked him.

 

“Yes.”

 

“Simple.  The team needed me,” Jason told her honestly.

 

“But you just said you were ready to move on.”

 

Jason nodded.  “A lot changed in a year.”  The burly former Ranger smiled at the raised eyebrow he was getting in response to that.  “I’ve always been a man of action, and one of little words.  My time at the Peace Conference solidified that in my mind.  Coming back as the Gold Ranger, despite how it ended, was the right decision for me at that point in my life.  The team needed someone they could trust to take on that mantle.”

 

Barbara nodded, and then asked, “Were you unhappy at the Peace Conference?”

 

“At first, no, but by the time I left, I was edgy, depressed, and in need of familiar surroundings.  When the call from Tommy came, I didn’t hesitate.”

 

“Was it a hard transition to make, moving from being inactive as a Ranger for over a year to suddenly being thrust back into the middle of a war?”

 

Jason pursed his lips and thought back to his first days as the Gold ranger.  “Yes and no.  For Tommy, Adam, Kat and Tanya, no; for me, Billy and Rocky, extremely difficult.”

 

“Friction among you?” Barbara asked, surprised that there might be the possibility of that.

 

“It was overall an odd thing for me to be back in that world again.  For Billy, it was a slap in the face, I think, because he’d given his position to Tanya, selflessly, and got stung by not being able to carry the Gold powers because of an explosion not long before.”

 

She nodded.  “And what about Rocky?”

 

“Rocky had been my successor in Red.  I think with me coming back, it shook his confidence in his place on the team.”

 

Barbara looked thoughtful.  “Did it cause visible problems among you?”

 

“Billy and I have been friends for a long time, had been even then.  We were tense around each other, but we silently resolved that by acknowledging that we each had a role to play.  Rocky and I had a worse time.  Rocko did something rash before he and I came to an understanding.”

 

“Something rash?  Care to elaborate?”

 

Jason shook his head.  “No.  It’s in the past, and we all learned a valuable lesson from it.  It also made us stronger friends, so I can say with all honesty now I’m glad we went through it.”

 

The audience applauded Jason’s choice to leave the comments concerning Rocky where he did.  Moving along, Barbara turned to the audience.  “We’re going to take a break and when we come back, we’re going to get into some more personal questions.”

 

--

 

“Welcome back.  We’re going to take another caller.  Go ahead caller.”

 

“Hi Jason, I’m Rick from Texas.”

 

“Hi Rick.  What can I answer for you?” Jason asked, hoping the hard questions were behind him.

 

“Well, my kids wanted to know what your peace conference experience was like.”

 

Jason grinned and asked, “What are the kids’ names?”

 

“Bianca and Alex.”

 

“Well, Bianca, Alex, the peace conference was a lot like school for me.  We studied and discussed issues from Global Warming to Racism to the Alien invasion by Zedd and Rita.  We talked to teenagers from around the world, trying to come up with ways we could stop the bad things from happening and how to make good positive changes not just to the world but to our communities as well.”

 

“Was it a hard transition?” Rick asked.

 

Jason nodded.  “Yes, especially after being a Ranger, but like I said, a welcome one.”

 

“Thanks Jason.”

 

“You’re welcome,” Jason responded.

 

“Obviously, you stayed in touch with the Rangers after leaving,” Barbara started, pulling the audience and Jason’s attention to her.  “Did you discuss the team at all while you were in Switzerland?” Barbara asked.

 

Taking a drink of water, Jason debated how to answer that.  “Yes and no.  If I saw a particularly difficult battle on TV., I’d ask how it went, if everyone was alright, but Tommy, Kim and Billy pretty much left out the shop talk other than how Rocky, Adam and Aisha were adjusting to their new jobs.  I think the three of them were perceptive enough to know the three of us longed for home on some level, so that’s what we talked about in our brief phone calls and letters.”

 

Barbara nodded.  “Okay, our next question is from the audience,” she spoke, gesturing to the young man by the microphone.

 

“I’m Blain from Washington State.”

 

“Hi Blaine, ask away.”

 

“Other than the peace conference, what did you do between stints as a Ranger?  Tommy mentioned a Red Ranger mission in his interview, and that you were involved.  What went on between that and being the Gold Ranger and what happened between that mission and now.”

 

“I went to college,” Jason laughed.  “I attended NYU, grated with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice in 2001.”  At that Jason paused, knowing almost instinctively what question was about to come out of Barbara’s mouth.

 

“Were you there for September 11th?” Barbara asked.

 

For a moment, Jason sat there with what looked suspiciously like unshed tears in his eyes.  His body language spoke of a quiet, somber mood he was moving into.   Sensing he needed time to compose himself, Barbara reached out and took his hand while Jason took a deep breath.

 

“Yes, I was there,” he croaked.

 

“Jason, we don’t have to talk about this, if you don’t want to,” she suddenly assured him.  The look on her face spoke of the pain she felt at having to see this strong man lose his battle with his emotions.

 

“No, its okay,” he told her.  “It’s been almost six years, but it still feels like yesterday if I’m not consciously blocking it out.”

 

Barbara took his hand and gave it a squeeze.  “Where were you?”

 

For a minute, Jason stared at her.  He remembered his father describing what it was like for people to ask him where he’d been when President Kennedy had been assassinated; he swallowed, knowing now how his father felt.  “I was headed to work,” he smiled sadly.  “I’d gotten a job with a law firm in Manhattan.  I was running late, a nasty habit I’d picked up from Tommy,” he winked.  “No, really, I was sick, so I was a little slower than normal.  I didn’t even know what had happened until I heard the sirens.”

 

The look on Jason’s face spoke of someone who was use to helping people and suddenly finding himself helpless.  “I didn’t think, I just headed downtown.  I figured if nothing else, they were going to need all the help they could get with those injured.  I never could have fathomed what happened, not until I got downtown.”

 

“Was that before or after the towers collapsed?”

 

“It was just after the second plane crashed.”  Barbara and the audience remained silent while Jason gathered his thoughts.  “I think that was the first time in eight years I cursed not having the Power backing me fully, but I’ve come to realize that what happened was something no Ranger, active or not, could have stopped; it wasn’t an alien invasion or a meteor headed for Earth.  It was human beings killing innocent human beings because they didn’t agree on how each was living their lives.”

 

The audience was deathly silent while Jason struggled for control.  “I was pretty numb most of the day, and it only got worse when I got Kim’s frantic phone call about four that afternoon.”

 

“Why?”

 

“She called, sobbing hysterically to make sure I was okay,” Jason started.  “And then I heard the rest of the message.  Trini was working at the UN Headquarters, and Kim hadn’t heard from her.  Knowing Trini as well as we both did, Kim was worried Trini had done something dangerous.”

 

Barbara looked serious when she spoke.  “You sound as if you didn’t know Trini was in New York.”

 

“Honestly, I didn’t.  I knew she’d gotten the job, I just hadn’t known she’d already started.  Talk about complicating matters.  When I heard Kim’s message, my main focus shifted to finding her.  I hate how selfish that sounds, but after everything we’d been through as Rangers, I couldn’t imagine losing her that way.  To this day, I hate that I feel that way, knowing how many families lost loved ones exactly that way, innocent loved ones.”

 

“I’m sure people understand,” she assured him.  “Did you end up finding her?”

 

At that, Jason smiled.  “She found me,” he chuckled.  “I was still helping at Ground Zero, still looking for her when I looked up from loading someone into an ambulance and there she was.  She looked tired and dirty, and I knew in an instant she’d been helping out.”

 

Barbara smiled.  “What did you do?”

 

“I gave her the hardest, most bone-crushing hug I could before I broke down crying and so did she.  We were inseparable for the next week, because that’s how long it took us to get the word out that we were okay.”

 

“Other than college and September 11th, has there being anything else that happened in those years?” Barbara asked, shifting topics.

 

Jason blew out a deep breath and nodded.  “Let’s see, I almost got married to my high school sweetheart, Emily.”

 

“And what became of that, because obviously you aren’t married?”

 

“Em wasn’t ready, and in all honesty, I wasn’t either.  Adam and Tanya got married and had a baby, so I’m an uncle.  Oh, yeah, I ended up snack food for a monster with the munchies, as Kim has so often eloquently put it.  I also had one of my friends nearly blown up on an uncharted, uninhabited island in the South Pacific, and I’ve become a lawyer.  Overall, nothing extremely monumental has happened for me, just normal life stuff, which I’m thankful for.”

 

The audience laughed at Jason’s joke, knowing that half of what happened to him could only happen to a Power Ranger.  “Jason, I did this with Tommy, and I’d like to do it with you.”

 

“Sure, what are we going to do?”

 

“Word association.  Ready?”  Jason nodded.  “Power Rangers.”

 

“Our legacy.  A family I was given that means so much to me.  Strength, protection, loyalty and perseverance.”

 

“Red.”

 

“Leadership.  Fear.  A Learning experience.”

 

“Emily.”

 

“A wonderful woman, the first one I ever loved.  Sadness.”

 

“Tommy?”

 

“My best friend, my brother in everything but blood.”

 

“Okay, one more,” Barbara grinned like she had a well kept secret she was about to share.  “Trini.”

 

Jason spoke without hesitation and instantly knew what was going to be said about it as soon as it came out of his mouth.  “Home.”

 

Barbara raised an eyebrow, knowing he’d just given her more ammunition for her last question.  “Jason, if you could redo anything, what would it be?”

 

“Nothing.”

 

“Surely, there’s something you would redo?  You wouldn’t even prevent Zordon’s death?”

 

Jason paled but shook his head.  “Zordon didn’t do anything we wouldn’t have done ourselves.  I miss him, we all do, but he knew what he was doing, and in the end, we have to honor his decision, no matter how much that hurts.”

 

The blonde journalist nodded.  “We’re going to take one last audience question.  Go ahead.”

 

“Hey Jason, I’m Nicolette, from Angel Grove, California.”

 

Jason laughed.  “Ah, hometown native.  Go for it.”

 

“I’m sure the question on every single woman in the world’s mind is, is the original Red Ranger single or does he have a girlfriend?”

 

To say the former Red and Gold Ranger looked like a deer caught in the headlights was an understatement.  “Um, well, you see….no comment.”

 

Grinning, Barbara took something out of the folder in her lap and held it up for Jason and the audience to see.  It was a copy of the National Enquirer that had photos on the front of Jason and some woman.  “Jason, can you explain how the National Inquirer got these photos then?  And who’s the woman in them with you?”

 

A copy of the cover flashed across the television screens.  The couple in the photo was Jason and a woman who suspiciously looked like Trini on a beach, holding each other in a close embrace.  One was of them kissing and another of them splashing in the surf.  “Busted,” Jason laughed, embarrassed.

 

“So, in a relationship, or just friends with benefits?” Barbara asked, causing Jason to look startled by her use of slang.

 

“In a relationship,” Jason murmured, smiling gently.  “Trini isn’t the kind of girl to do friends with benefits, and my mother raised me to have more respect for women than that.”

 

“It appears we have a called who’d like to speak to you,” Barbara announced, smiling.  “Go ahead caller.”

 

“JASON LEE SCOTT!  HOW IN THE HELL COULD YOU TWO KEEP THIS FROM ME!” Kimberly’s screech sounded.

 

Jason winced.  “Ummm…Kimmie…”

 

“Don’t you Kimmie me!  I’m going to wring both your necks!  How long have you two been keeping it from us?”

 

The former Red and Gold Ranger tried to smile.  “Well, you see…six months.”

 

“SIX MONTHS!”

 

Barbara covered her mouth to keep her smile hidden while Jason, to the audience’s delight, got reamed by his little sister.  “Kim, can we talk about this later?”

 

“No, we can not!” she hollered at him.  “Just when were you two going to tell us, or were you ever going to tell us?”

 

Jason’s face narrowed in anger.  “Kimberly Ann.”  When he heard sniffling on the other end, Jason’s face softened.  The sound of the phone shuffling could be heard before someone else started speaking.

 

“Bro, you’d better come clean.  She’s crying and I’m holding you personally responsible.”

 

Jason winced, obviously feeling the guilt Tommy was laying at his feet.  “Has Trini called her yet?”

 

“Aisha’s on the phone with her right now, Kim won’t take the phone.”

 

Blowing out a breath, Jason nodded.  “Believe it or not, I’ve always had a thing for Trini,” he started.  “It started when she kicked my butt in marital arts class all those years ago.  That gave me a grudging respect for her.  I didn’t think anything of it in high school or college, because I didn’t think she felt the same.  Then September 11th happened.  Unfortunately, that was crappy timing on both our parts.  We were both involved with other people and in different places in our lives.”  He paused there to reign in his thoughts.  “I didn’t really think about it again until Adam and Tanya had the baby and then Tommy and Kim got back together.”

 

“What was the breaking point?” Barbara asked while the audience hung on his every word.

 

“About seven months ago, we went out to dinner together.  I drove her home, walked her to the door, and next think I know, Trini’s angry and asking me why, if I’m attracted to her, haven’t I kissed her or asked her on a proper date yet.”

 

The audience burst into laughter.  “Yeah.  Next thing I know, we’re dating.  We never meant to keep it a secret, but we just didn’t feel it was anyone’s business.  I think a lot on my part was wanting to make sure it was going to last.  I saw what happened when Tommy and Kim, and later Tommy and Kat, breaking up did to the group.  I think unconsciously, Trini has been thinking the same thing.”

 

“So you are dating?”

 

“Yes ma’am,” he smiled.  “Looks like I need to order some flowers before my little sister threatens to never speak to me again.”

 

“Apparently so,” Barbara agreed, chuckling as she turned to the cameras.  “That’s all we have time for today.  Join me next time as we welcome original Yellow Ranger, Trini Kwan, to the Setting The Record Straight stage.”  Jason heaved a sigh as the cameras went off.  “Congratulations, Jason, you made it.” 

 

“Yeah, but now I have to face the wrath of Hurricane Kimberly,” he grinned.

 

--

 

Next, Trini Kwan.