Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers or any other show. They belong to their respective copyright owners. No money is being made from this piece of writing. The first scene was adapted from Ellen Brand's work.
Path to War
It was a tree stump, nothing more. But this tree stump for all its simplicity was a focal point of temporal energy within the multiverse. For upon this tree stump a relationship between the same two humans had been formed over and over across multiple timelines in universes that shared nothing other than those characters and of course that stump.
The weather in Angel Grove was warm and sunny, a perfect day to take a walk in the park. Jason had made a round of the concrete paths, and was now sitting under a tree, enjoying the beauty of the day. He was alone, much to his friends' objections. They had wanted to stay together and enjoy their time as a group. But as Rocky had pointed out the previous night, sometimes you just had to be by yourself. This was his freedom and although he was now a Grid Warrior, a partially powered Ranger drawing on a fraction of the power provided by a single coin, he would give the power up if it meant that he and others would continue to enjoy their freedom.
The Elemental Beasts were coming and though it was unknown when they would arrive, the anticipation was enough to make all the Rangers a little edgy. The feelings were worse among the Grid Warrior who would not be fighting in the confrontation. Zordon had ruled that only the Gem Coin Rangers should remain in the front line.
From Jason's point of view, Billy's assessment had been more accurate when he had said: "Somebody has to stay behind in case they fail."
Trouble was the last thing on his mind this morning, though. All he wanted was to sit in the warm sun and relax. Doing so did not make him healthier or stronger, nor make his powers any more reliable; it did make him realise what he was fighting to protect. Later he would go and meet up with the other and hopefully they could drive outside the city and take some time to enjoy the sights. If not, it didn't matter; in his heart he knew what he was fighting for: his home, his family... his world.
"Hey Jason, do you mind if I join you?" Jason opened his eyes to see Emily standing in front of him, smiling.
"Please," he replied enthusiastically, gesturing off to his left. She did so and they exchanged a quick kiss. It wasn't a deeply passionate kiss, but it showed how their relationship had evolved other a matter of months.
The silence continued, Jason staring across the park and Emily, who by now had a suspicion of what her boyfriend got up to whenever he disappeared, was happy just to spend time with him.
Jason couldn't help looking at her. She was every bit as striking as the first time he had seen her. When she plopped down next to him, he realized how comfortable he felt in her presence.
"So," he managed lamely, "How's the bike."
Emily laughed. Jason had fallen in love with her motorbike and after a few shaky lessons, which she suspected he staged for her benefit, he had turned out to be a good rider.
Jason grinned as he listened to Emily chat about her bike, and Ernie's bar. It was surprising how much you could miss if you didn't pay attention. Ernie had far more going on than he allowed the public to realise.
"So..." he started after a while. "The guys and I are going to go see that new action movie at the Angel Grove Multiplex tomorrow night, would you like to join us?"
She smiled at him. "Is this just another excuse to stare at women in tight clothes?" He flushed and stammered something. Emily grinned, she definitely knew how to embarrass him when she had to. "Seriously, is that the one with those super-powered teenagers saving the world? 'Turbo Heroes' or something? I think we get enough of that around here."
Jason shuddered, missing the small dig. "No way! Those things are so cheesy! I meant the new Segal movie."
"Sure. I'd love to. But there is nothing wrong with Turbo Heroes. Personally I think a guy looks cute in Spandex."
Jason couldn't help smiling to himself. "Great," he told her. "I'll meet you after work and then we'll meet the others at eight?"
"Sure." They talked about other things for a while, but all too soon, the real world intruded, and they both had to leave, Emily to work and Jason to his home. Walking back to his house, Jason almost forgot his problems. But somewhere in the back of his mind he knew that the danger was as real as ever and the Elemental Beasts were getting closer to appearing.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!
In another part of Angel Grove another man sat alone. But his reasons for solitude were more to do with habit than it was to do with a desire to be alone. Sam Revilo was not used to having friends. In fact for the best part of two centuries he had been friendless. At first that had been due to fear; Colonial Angel Grove had been a superstitious place and once the surprise surrounding his arrival had faded, the fear that he was a witch had reared its ugly head.
He had never really been accepted and the day he had moved away to live with his wife, there had been much celebration. When she had died, Sam had been alone in the world. He had been unwilling to build new friendships only to see them crumble as his friends grew older and died. Immortality was a painful curse for anyone to bear. It was a curse that meant that you had to watch all your friends fade away. Sam was alone, abandoned by all his old friends... even Dragonzord.
So why was he even here? For a man who didn't want to have friends, why was he standing by them? In his heart he knew the answer. Rita and Zedd had created him to be a Power Ranger albeit an evil Power Ranger. That meant that whether he liked it or not he was destined to be a hero. He sighed. Heroes didn't really get a say in whether they accepted their role or not; fate was a cruel taskmaster and would see to it that one way or another, he would get involved.
He held his hands out, palms up and concentrated on the Dragon Flute, the last working link he had to the Dragonzord. He put the flute to his lips and played a soft mournful tune. As he played, he closed his eyes and allowed the power of the Morphin Grid to guide his thoughts.
In his mind he pictured the Elemental Beasts the Rangers feared would arrive at any time, in the hope that his spirit animal would guide him to where he needed to be. In his vision he could see the ocean moving beneath him as he passed over land and sea. The journey seemed to take forever until finally it halted
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!
In a shaded spot in the shadow of a waterfall, a lone and experienced teacher stood watching two young warriors running through the exercises he himself had learnt as a youth. For David Trueheart the only difference between today and the last time he had drilled in this fashion was that this time he had a practice partner.
Tommy was not used to the routine, but having had his own workout regime he was able to adapt quickly and had not shown the difficult he would have felt had he been less active.
David didn't want to be a Power Ranger. That was not the sort of lifestyle he would choose if given a choice. But he had not been given such a choice and as a result had accepted the role as White Grid Warrior. However, now he had accepted the challenge of defending his world, he was determined to do his best to aid his friends. That meant he had to become familiar with his weapon of choice and know enough to use it without the Power to tell him.
Tommy stood in a fighting stance, a broadsword held in both hands close to his right ear, the blade parallel to the earth and pointed away from him, towards his front. Directly at the person he knew as a peaceful man, his brother.
He whirled the blade into a low-guard, pommel by his groin, blade extending up and out, both hands griped on the handle as he turned to face the north.
"It's not about anger, it's about peace," the teacher toned. When his old student had approached him, the sensei had been eager to help to teach his brother some moves. He had known Tommy's secret since the boy had become the White Ranger.
Again Tommy whirled the blade, this time turning to the west. He was dimly aware of the David mimicking his movements while the old sensei continued to speak.
"It's not about power, it's about grace."
A third time the blades whirled as the pair faced to the south.
"It's not about knowing your enemy, it's about knowing yourself."
A final time they turned, Tommy whirling his blade back up into the position from which it had started. Facing the east, the rising dawn, and his fellow student silhouetted by it, who slowly turned to face him, his sword mirroring Tommy's.
"Actually," Tommy interjected, "it's not about any of the above, it's about all of the above."
"Good," the teacher smiled, "you have learnt something from Zordon and Ninjor I see."
The two swords clanged together, the metallic rainbow hues of Tommy's broadsword flashing against the polished steel of a sword he remembered once being wielded by a Megazord. Of course it had been longer back then.
David kept his eyes centerd on Tommy's, reaching out with his other senses to predict his brother's next move. He brought his sword, the same one that had once belonged to the Dino Megazord, around and felt it lock with Tommy's.
He let it slide down to his opponent's guard, then whirled it away and through the space where Tommy had stood moments before.
"Closer David, but I think Tommy remembers more of Ninjor's training than he let on," the sensei laughed.
David didn't say anything and the two swords clashed against each other as the two sought out weaknesses in their opponent's defences. Neither finding what they sought.
Tommy reversed his grip and brought his sword up in a slash that started by his left foot and would have cleaved an opponent from right hip to left shoulder had it connected.
He felt it slice air, and just as quickly reversed its direction and brought his blade to a halt, the edge a scant millimetre from the side of David's neck.
"Looks like you're both dead," the old man said as he smiled, glancing at the point of David's own blade that firmly touched his brother's chest, directly above his heart.
David smiled as he whipped his sword up into a salute, then placed it in the scabbard he had affixed to his back.
"Good practice David, you are progressing faster than I would have thought. We will need to work on your ability to guess not only your opponent's movements, but also how he will react to your movements. We'll have to wait until you can both morph fully before trying that."
David nodded and removed the scabbard from his back. He handed it to his trainer and then walked over to find his shirt. Tommy did likewise, handing the broadsword back to its owner.
"That felt different to the Zeo V Power Sword," he admitted.
"Heavier no doubt," the teacher mused. "Not many can claim to have a sword made from the heart of a star now can they?"
Tommy nodded and walked over to join his brother.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!
On a small island off the coast of Japan, the weather patterns had taken a turn for the bizarre. Hurricane force winds fanned the uncontrolled flames that fed on the rapidly grown vegetation, totally immune to the water spout that threatened to swallow the quaking landmass. At its center the four empty shells that had once contained the Elemental Beasts. The greatest force of destruction had been unleashed on the Earth and despite having the Grid Warriors as backup, only one force stood in its way: the Power Rangers!
End of Part