The Setup

All the background information you never knew you needed to know.

Ranger Power

The kaiju attacks and alien incursions of the mid-to-late 90’s were a rude awakening for an unprepared Earth. Not only were we clearly not alone in the universe, but a good portion of that universe proved to be actively hostile. When the final invasion came in 1998, Earth was brought to its knees, and all would have been lost were it not for the efforts of a small group of brave young heroes who called themselves “Power Rangers”. Where the political and military might of a planet had failed, a space wizard had managed to solve the problem by shaking several handfuls of teenagers at it.

As the beleagured planet slowly began to rebuild and recover, both individual nations and the UN studied what occurred to ensure that such a catastrophe would not happen again. The Power Ranger situation was clearly not ideal, both because it put youths on the front line and because they answered to someone who, while benevolent, was not of Earth. However, there was obvious merit to the idea of a special task force, with superior equipment and training, dedicated to combating extraordinary threats.

With this in mind, Earth set out to make itself a galactic presence. Colony ships, such as the Terra Venture, were dispatched to seed mankind on distant worlds. Diplomatic advances were made towards nearby worlds (including Aquitar, Eltar, Edenoi, Triforia, KO-35, and many others) in the hopes that their assistance could be called upon in times of need. Experts were brought in – some of whom had been Power Rangers themselves – to dismantle, study, and reverse-engineer captured alien technology. When the next fight came, humanity would be a far more challenging target and would field its own advanced weaponry and Zords.

At the same time, efforts were taken to identify supernatural hot spots, monitor them for activity, and be ready to contain if necessary. While some of these initiatives were UN-led and maintained, many were contracted out to interested third parties whom adopted a Power Ranger model. One such effort was Project Lightspeed, under the leadership of Captain Ryan Mitchell, created to protect the city of Mariner Bay from the influence of the ancient demonic burial ground beneath it. Another of interest was the Silver Guardians, which after a rocky start defended Silver Hills from both ordinary criminals and waves of mutants and robots (allegedly) from the future. Both programs were incredible success stories, and these became shining examples for future Power Ranger programs.

They Came from Outer Space

Fast-forward about fifteen years. Earth has not only recovered, but flourished. Periodic alien and supernatural attacks have continued to occur, but have only served to temper the Earth’s defenses as each is met and soundly defeated by a team of Rangers. While still mostly considered a backwater, the planet has begun to draw attention on the galactic level. However, despite the planet’s tenacity, it wasn’t until 2015 that Earth finally achieved full galactic recognition. This was not a good thing.

The Union of Collaborating Systems, one of the most influential space alliances, formally contacted the governments of Earth with terrible news. Atrox, a legendary intergalactic terrorist who has long evaded capture, had been definitively traced to Earth in his flight, and showed no signs of having left. Though stripped of most of his resources, he was still incredibly dangerous and needed to captured at all costs. As a UCS security fleet arrived in Earth orbit, the UN (as the representative body of the planet) was given an ultimatum – either Earth could be assimilated into the Union, and be given all the protections afforded to its member worlds, or they would land in force to acquire their fugitive, with all the regrettable collateral damage that would cause.

After some hasty diplomacy and the intervention of Aquitar as an independent arbiter, an agreement was reached. Earth would have one of its years to locate and capture Atrox, until when the UCS would refrain from taking action. In the meantime, the security fleet would remain and immediately destroy anything that escaped Earth orbit. Should the year pass without the terrorist in their possession, the ultimatum would then be enforced.

With record speed, the UN passed a resolution and established the Well-Armed Reconnaissance and Retrieval of an Intergalactic Offender for Restitution task force, soon informally shortened to the Warrior Force. Adopting the Power Ranger model that had proven so successful in the past, having extensive resources at their disposal, and ultimately answering to no one except the best interests of humanity, they were given one job: find and contain Atrox.

Familiar Faces

Originally, the Warrior Force leadership approached Dr. Thomas Oliver, whose history as a Power Ranger was legendary, to serve as their technical expert. While he offered to consult from time-to-time, he declined the position, explaining that he wouldn’t feel right unless he was in the middle of the action. However, he did point them to another, someone who himself was a Power Ranger legend and who had almost single-handedly equipped multiple teams of Power Rangers to wage their war against evil.

William Cranston, who resided on Aquitar, was the one responsible for pressing that planet’s to intervene when the UCS arrived, and he leapt at the chance to help save his home planet once more. Unfortunately, because the healing waters of Aquitar were responsible his continuing youth and good health, he could not stay on Earth for extended periods of time, but while he was here, Warrior Force would have the most capable mind a Power Ranger team had known.

Even with Oliver’s assistance, Cranston couldn’t do everything himself. That they were effectively starting from a blank slate was no obstacle; that there was a definite time constraint was. The two put out a call for another expert, one that was answered by Dr. Angela Rawlings (formerly Fairweather) of Project Lightspeed fame. As Oliver and Cranston built the underlying morphing architecture from scratch, Rawlings geared up to produce an arsenal that would make her previous effort pale in comparison. Even when Cranston would make his return trips to Aquitar, Oliver and Rawlings would keep the improvements coming.

Core Conceits

When Cranston was brought in to Warrior Force, made clear the need for some sort of power source or conduit to tap into the Morphing Grid. To his surprise, he was informed that they had already secured one. He was brought to the Hoover Dam, where a large number of facilities had been cleared out for Warrior Force’s use, and at the heart of what would be the command room was the Gold Core.

Recovered from the jungles of Vietnam in the 1970s after it was unearthed in a landmine crater, the Gold Core is a fist-sized, roughly spherical gemstone that vibrates with some sort of power. Believing it to be some sort of alien artifact, the US military smuggled the Core to Area 51, where through experimentation it was soon discovered that if you applied energy to it, it released a lot more energy than you put in. While this technology was clearly beyond Earth’s understanding, it could at least be used (somewhat) predictably. After several years of study, a classified incident occurred, and the Core was migrated to it’s present location, where satellite surveillance could not reach and any electromagnetic signature would be masked by the generators within the dam.

Realizing that the military had been inadvertently tapping into the Morphing Grid, Billy was able to identify the Core as Zordon’s handiwork; it behaved remarkably similarly to the Power Coins. It was far more powerful than the Coins — too powerful, he calculated, to safely put in a morpher. Using the Core’s energy signature, however, he was able to design a scanner that would track other Cores. Within a couple of weeks, three more were uncovered: first the Yellow Core, embedded in a runestone excavated from a Viking burial site in Iceland; then the Blue Core, located as part of an Aztec archaeological find outside Mexico City; and finally the Red Core, within the cornerstone of Windsor Castle.

While the search continues for additional Cores, the clock is ticking. Three rangers will have to be enough; now, the search for the people to bear these powers begins…

The Setup

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