Disclaimer: I don't own Power Rangers or the origin of this team.
Morning sunlight poured into Azteca Command, lighting up a horde of floating dust motes. The chamber was as silent as a tomb. Scattered across the cracked, blackened floor were the Aztec Rangers and Teotl, the former unmorphed, and none moving.
In the middle of the burn mark, surrounded by Rangers, lay a human woman. Her bountiful steel grey hair flowed across her shoulders and the floor, hiding her face. Her soft black robe and long, sleeveless silver coat were untouched by the soot. Slowly, she looked up. She was somewhere in her mid-fifties, and there was an air of calm certainty about her. T Lock had been right: their powers had transformed Itzpapalotl, just like the other Teotl.
With an uncertain frown, Itzpapalotl looked around Azteca Command. Leaning forward, she touched Mitch's wrist, and his morpher. The onyxes had split and the gold cracked. The Black Ranger sprang up as the woman touched him, and stared at her in newly-woken bewilderment. Slowly, the others began to come around.
T Lock rolled over and covered his ears with a moan, mumbling something under his breath. Blinking owlishly, Tammy lifted her head and ran her fingers through snarls of her ginger hair. Alexandria opened her eyes, glanced around, and shut them again with a little shake of her head. Tez sprang up as if he'd been burned, looking wildly around the room, accidentally smacking Quentin's head as he did.
"Ow! Don't!" Quentin exclaimed, scooting away and pulling himself up by a pillar. He covered his eyes with one hand. "Bleargh, is this what a hangover feels like?"
"What?" The Red Ranger stammered, staring at Itzpapalotl. Seeing his mentor trying to sit up, he ran over to help. Slowly, everyone recovered and got up. Itzpapalotl just watched, her frown fading into a serene expression.
"Itzpapalotl?" Tlaloc asked at last, looking the transformed Tzitzimitl up and down. Chalchiuhtlicue smiled warmly.
"It is good to have you back, Itzpapalotl." The newest Teotl let out a long sigh.
"Indeed. It has been…a long time."
"Our morphers," Tez interrupted, pulling his off and holding it up. Tezcatlipoca took it, and Tez tried to generate lava. His hands didn't even turn red. Growing frantic, Tez tried harder and harder, but nothing happened.
"The energy drain was too much for the Encrusted Bands, and the powers we granted you," Tlaloc said at last. "The link has been severed."
"We've lost our powers?" T Lock's face fell. "Like, really and for truly lost them?"
"You have. I'm sorry."
"Great," Mitch sighed, looking genuinely relieved. Tez sat down hard, staring at the floor. Quietly, Quentin reached over and clapped him on the shoulder.
"Hey, we took out the bad guy; we'd have had to give them up anyway." Tez gave a one-shouldered shrug, not looking up.
Hearing footsteps, everyone looked to the doorway. The other three Teotl entered, stopping and staring at the group. Itzpapalotl's eyes went straight to the bundle in Xipe Totec's arms, and she stood up.
"We found—" Mixcoatl began, but Tammy wearily waved a hand.
"We know. Baby, right?"
"Izel," Itzpapalotl said, holding out her arms. Xipe Totec handed the infant to her, and Itzpapalotl cradled him in her arms. The baby was asleep, sucking on the fingers of his left hand.
"Where is his family?" Huitzilopochtli asked. Izel stirred, and Itzpapalotl shifted her grip. Alexandria came up beside her former enemy, and began cooing over the baby.
"Dead, or uncaring, from his mother's words. I would not have adopted him otherwise. My Tzitzimime were never exactly keen on the idea."
"No offense, but what took you three so long?" Mitch asked, facing the newcomers.
"Why do people always say 'no offense' and then say something offensive? I don't get it," T Lock said, shaking his head.
"We were in deep space when we received your distress call," Huitzilopochtli replied. "It took time to return." Slowly, Mitch nodded.
"We're done here?" Quentin asked, standing up with a small groan.
"…Looks like," Tammy replied.
"Then I'm going to bed, okay?" Quentin rubbed the back of his neck and wandered towards the door.
"For once, we agree on something," Tez said, rising. The other Rangers began to follow suit, Tammy stretching as she stood. Quentin's face lit up, his black eye giving him a slightly manic look.
"Progress!" He exclaimed. Tez glared balefully at him as he passed, bumping Quentin in passing.
"Don't push it."
"Sorry, whatever, I don't care, I'm exhausted!"
It was long after sunset. All six Power Rangers were gathered in the temple plaza, along with their mentors and Itzpapalotl. A chill breeze blew, sending a few pebbles rattling across the ground. The air smelled of petrichor, the scent of the earth after rain; Tlaloc had caused brief shower earlier.
"So," T Lock began, looking up and down the line, "Rashon, huh?"
"It is uninhabited, isolated and fertile. We will have much time to learn to control our…darker urges," Itzpapalotl said. The other Teotl had already left for the planet. Huitzilopochtli had already picked it out before returning for his timely rescue.
"Except for me," Mictlantecutli put in. "I will stay and guide the other Teotl out as they awaken. There are still many left on this planet."
"But you can't restore our powers?" Tez asked, again.
"Why? The threat we called you for has been conquered. You don't need to put yourselves in danger anymore," Xochiquetzal replied. "Go and live your lives."
"If you ever change your minds, though," Quentin added hopefully.
"We will keep an eye on you, Aztec Rangers, worry not," Tezcatlipoca said, with a chuckle. He saluted Tez, and the Red Ranger returned it. Tlaloc shook T Lock's hand, Xochiquetzal and Alexandria hugged, Quentin and Quetzalcoatl high-fived, and Mitch and Tammy just exchanged quiet looks with their mentors. Itzpapalotl moved away from the group, rocking her adopted son gently. Izel lay awake in a sling across her chest, contemplatively sucking his fingers.
"It is time," Tezcatlipoca announced. The Rangers and Mictlantecutli moved back, and Alexandria waved goodbye. Xochiquetzal blew them a kiss, earning a suspicious glance from Tezcatlipoca. Then all of the departing Teotl transformed into beams of light—Itzpapalotl's was silvery—and shot into the night sky. They were gone in a second, lost among the silver pepper of the stars.
"Well…that's that, I guess," T Lock said, after a moment. Alexandria sniffed a little.
"I never thought I'd miss fighting monsters."
"You'll get over it," Mitch said.
"Well, off to start my adult career in crime," Tammy said brightly, heading for her car.
"What?" Tez wheeled on her. The White Ranger glared at him from under her eyebrows.
"It's called a joke, Tez. Look it up sometime, you might like it."
"Hey, don't leave us behind!" T Lock exclaimed, running for the car. With a shout of "Race ya!" Quentin darted for the vehicle, and Tez quickly pursued. Laughing, Alexandria followed, but Tammy lingered behind.
"You coming?" She asked Mitch. The former Black Ranger stood with his mentor, in the shadows. He glanced around.
"Not now," he said. The starlight cast his face in deep shadow. "I'll find my own way back." Tammy folded her arms. Her grey military-style jacket fluttered in the breeze.
"Very funny. What time do you want me to pick you up?" Mitch raised an eyebrow, and glanced at Mictlantecutli.
"Midnight," the Teotl replied. He put a hand on Mitch's shoulder, and the two dissolved into black dust. With a little shrug and a grin, Tammy headed for her battered old car.
Trivia: Rashon is the planet where the Savage Sword was kept in the Lost Galaxy episode "The Power of Pink," (a.k.a. the one where Kendrix dies).
And that's that! Thank you again, WolfsbaneX, for letting me write these guys! Exclamation points! I've decided to try writing the next few teams' fics entirely before posting, that way I can draft and improve the final product, so there will probably be a bit of a gap once I finish Toppled Hourglass and Mesozoic Giants. I'll fill it in with shorter fics, maybe dabble in a few other fandoms.