Ladies Who Lunch
1,588 words; about a 8 minute read
Timeline: 1700 Hours, November 25th 2050
In the few days that had passed since the chaos of returning to Earth, it had been hard to find a moment to just pause and enjoy some of the simpler things. For Ellie, her natural comfort zone had led her back to the kitchen. Despite being a Ranger now, she needed a space she felt more at home and confident in what she was doing.
Making friends on the team beyond Kilena was also high on her agenda. They were a team now, after all.
"Heya!" she said, seeing the Pink and Orange Rangers waiting for her in the canteen. "So, I hope I didn't go overboard..." She pulled a sheet away from a table that was piled with food; sandwiches, light bites, and cakes. "It's a bit early in the day for afternoon tea, but...well, I wanted to make sure it was fresh."
Kilena grinned and put her hand on the Green rangers arm and squeezed. "It is lovely. Dan she can really cook. She made it so I did not kill Damien from hunger on KO-35." It had been very close after she had admitted her feelings for the man and had been turned down.
Valdana looked at the spread wide eyes. "Wow... Ellie... this is... You did all this for us?" The former pop star looked amazed at someone going to the simple effort of making home-cooked food. It had been far too long since she had settled down to something like that.
"This? This is nothing," Ellie grinned. "Really, it's quite reassuring to do something I feel good at for once. All this business with being Rangers, dealing with aliens and everything, that's the real effort." She offered a small plate to Kilena. "We help each other out, right?"
"I find dealing with aliens quite easy." The Orange ranger said with a bit of a grin as took the plate from Kilena. Valdana looked at the pair and nodded. "We do but you are both aware I have been a solo ranger for a while." She had not always been a solo ranger but she had for six months or so.
"I didn't know that," Ellie replied. She didn't really know all that much about any of the 'newer' members of the team beyond Damien and Kilena. "How did it happen to you?" she asked.
Valdana smiled a little and got more comfortable on the chair. "My tour ship developed a fault and her crew had to stop on Onyx for repairs. Whilst everyone was busy trying to repair I snuck off to the local settlement followed by a body guard..."
"Bodyguards?" Kilena raised an eyebrow already seeing where this was going.
"Yeah..." Valdana smiled at the memory lost for a moment before she coughed and took a sip of the water in front of her. "We got caught up in a disagreement with some locals who did not take kindly to outsiders disturbing a mugging. But I have been practising martial arts since I was 2 so I was fully prepared and Alex well body guard. The person that we helped gave us the gems and the rest led to this."
"I'm still stuck on the idea of learning martial arts at 2 years old. I think I could barely hold a spoon at that age," Ellie chuckled, eying up some of the sponge cake. "On reflection, I wish I'd started earlier, or all of this might have been easier."
“It will come to you as you get more intertwined with the crystal,” Valdana promised. It was not natural to most but it did come eventually.
"I hope so." Ellie took a mouthful of cake, probably too much. A few crumbs escaped as she bent forward. "Think it helps the waistline too?" she added hopefully.
"You are perfect the way you are," Valdana commented with a smile. "Everyone is but if you want to get a bit of practice in and gym together just say the word. You too Kilena." The orange ranger offered to the other woman who was sitting there contemplating.
"I guess I could give it a try...so long as it's just us girls," Ellie nodded, leaning in slightly to add, "I think some of the boys are a little too competitive if you ask me. I'm willing to bet Damien would be showing off how much he can bench within ten minutes of starting."
“Completely just us girls. No boys allowed.” Kilena wanted nothing to do with the red ranger on a personal level after being rejected on KO-35 so she could not deny that it would happen if Damien came along. “But you did amazing on KO-35 do not sell yourself short.”
"Oh, that? That was purely survival instinct. And a lot of luck, involving a green power crystal and plenty of help from you," Ellie replied. "I've got a long way to go before I feel like I'm ready to save the universe."
“Which is the first step in rangerhood.” Valdana commented finishing a slice of cake with a happy smile. “I have been a ranger two years and that is how it begins; instinct, so we hone that first.”
“And as I am the person with the new ability to see the future, you have to trust that I am seeing you fully in control as a ranger and brilliant.” Kilena commented giving nothing away to whether she was joking or not.
"Thanks." Ellie shrugged. As much as she was starting to accept it as their fate, she wasn't as confident in her own success on that front. "Seeing the future sounds like a fun superpower, though!" she said, changing the focus back onto Kilena. "You ever use that for fun?"
Kilena snorted into her cup of tea. “Not in the slightest. I can barely control it.” She admitted glancing to Valdana. “What about you hmm? You have control of your poisons”
Valdana nodded. “I do but it took awhile and I had less stress around me.”
"Huh. I'm beginning to wonder if we'll escape the stress at any point, with the way the GPF are treating us," Ellie sighed. "I know, we've got to be patient. Can't just have anyone riding off in giant robots, after all."
“Plus now you know why I wear gloves just encase.” Valdana held up her gloves hands with a laugh.
“They are scared and unused to it having rangers in their ranks. They will be working out how best to handle it.” Kilena assured. She after all had been in GPF before it all started.
"Taking their sweet time..." Ellie murmured, looking at the plate and suddenly regretting having the last sweet bun.
“Patience is not something that comes naturally to you hmm?” The orange ranger wondered.
"I can be patient..." Ellie corrected. "It's just - I'd prefer them to tell us what's going on. So far it's been all hush-hush secrets. Don't you want to know what's coming next?"
"I know what is coming next," Valdana said with a shrug. "They attack. We fight back. They attack with big monsters, we attack back with big monsters. It is just how it goes being a ranger for me... apart from they'll be less hiding myself and being on stage." She said raising the elephant in the room.
"Huh. Guess you can't really hide that..." Ellie agreed.
"Yeah, how did you hide being a pop star and a ranger?" Kilena wondered.
"Pretty easy when my body guard was a fellow ranger. We just... just did," The orange haired woman shrugged.
"Who was your bodyguard? I'm not sure I've met everyone properly yet," Ellie queried.
"The black ranger before Jamie," Valdana said quietly. "I do not even know what happened to him just disappeared one day and then Jamie had his ... everything." She would need to talk to the man soon but for now, the pair were avoiding each other neither wanting to ask nor confront what must have happened.
"Oh. Jamie doesn't really talk about his family..." Ellie admitted. Even having spent some time with the black ranger, he remained something of a loner. "What was his brother like?"
“Alex was awesome. He was my bodyguard for tours so you might have seen him on news outlets footage and stuff.” Valdana sighed softly and fixed her gloves a little more tighter. It was a nervous twitch of hers when she felt vulnerable like now being asked questions. “Most likely would have hated every second of us joining up with you guys though.” She laughed. “Me on the other hand I always wanted to be a cop.”
"Wish I'd known him," Ellie sighed. "A cop? Like, for real?"
"Very much so. I wanted to help and a cop seemed an easy choice but I could sing and I love singing but a girl can dream right?" The orange ranger said relieved the subject had been moved to someone other than Alex.
"I'm still trying to picture that. Though...I can understand where you're coming from; I think every girl has dreams of chasing their own star, but far too often we're left to do what other people expect us to do. Or worse - what they tell us to do." It was so true of her own upbringing, and the weight of expectation that she had managed to shake a little. Being a Ranger was a new kind of expectation, though; this felt different from the one put on her by her parents. This felt somehow more right.