Legal Disclaimer: Power Rangers Zeo isn't my property, I am pretty sure that every one of you knows that by now. How many times does one have to make that clear to avoid legal entanglements? Oh well. This fic is totally unrelated and different than any of my others so far: it deals with Tommy! Yes, Tommy! This is set almost directly after "Brother, Can You Spare an Arrowhead?" Please, please, please…tell me what you think of it! I'm only an e-mail link away!

The Way Home
By Kay Enasni

Dear Journal,

Today is Friday, December 2nd, 1996. I report that today is probably the most mixed up and crazy day that I have had since the time when Rita kidnapped me in that alley and made me her green ranger, or the time that the command center exploded…or any other huge moment in my life as a Power Ranger. This has absolutely nothing to do with my ranger life, though. For once, my life has been turned around and it doesn't have anything to do with rangering…but something in my real life. Even though I have a horrible memory, and I am writing the events of this day in this journal, I know that I will probably remember this day for the rest of my life. And the worst of it is that before I got home today…things were great! It all started after school…I went to the reservation to hang out with my brother, David…Things went really cool, cause I think that we're beginning to bond…

"So…you've got your arrowhead?" David asked me. We shifted uneasily from one foot to the other and I nodded.

"Yep." I said. It's so hard coming up with things to talk about with the brother you never knew you had until you were seventeen. "Right here." I pointed to the arrowhead I had hanging around my neck.

"Cool." He said. Obviously he felt the same way that I did. "So…how was school?" And he was doing much better than I was with coming up with convorsation!

"Pretty good, boring as usual." I replied. So much for that convorsation. With that clever line I had totally destroyed any chance for an in depth discussion. And we desperately needed one! We stood there, asking meaningless questions for almost a full half an hour, and hadn't gotten one solid topic yet.

He bit his lip and looked around. I guess that he was trying to think of something to salvage the topic I'd just messed up. "Want me to show you around the reservation?"

"Sure…" That was David's way of solving all of our communication problems. Whenever we reached an impasse of what to talk about, he gave me a tour around the Native American reservation in which he lived. Simple, predictable, but completely effective!

"Okay!" he smiled. "Come on, let's go…" he waved his hand for me to follow as he started to head off towards the orange red rock formations. Flashing him a grin, I broke out in a steady jog to catch up to him.

For the next few hours, as usually happens…David showed me everything that there was to see in the Indian reservation. It was all so peaceful and enchanting…I couldn't help but be totally drawn into it. Everything David said about the customs, the ceremonies, our ancestors, the struggle for land…it wasn't as if I was learning about it, but reliving it somehow. All in all, now David and I were really bonding instead of trying to think of meaningless things to say to keep up a dull convorsation.

"And I've lived here most of my life…" he reminded me. "I'd never want to live anywhere else but here."

I nodded. "I'm glad Sam won that legal battle over the reservation. I was scared for a while there that you guys were going to lose it to a new interstate."

David smiled at me. "It was fate. Our people may have been kicked out of our land almost a thousand times before…and we've moved on. This is where we belong…small reservation or not, it's still home, and no one has a right to take a person's home away from them."

"I wish they'd understood that a long time ago, though." I sighed. "Now all over the country, all there are is little reservations for a once flourishing race of people. It still urks me how Native Americans were here before anyone else, and yet they…we are being the ones kicked off of our own land." I almost snorted. "Isn't that why the name Native American was used to begin with?"

"I totally agree." David frowned, closing his eyes. "But at least we still have what we have now…and I'm thankful for it. I never want to leave here."

I patted my brother on the shoulder. "You won't have to leave." I said reassuringly. "You're cool right where you are. Me? I'm cool chilling out at my place. I love it here in Angel Grove!"

"It's nice," David agreed, opening his eyes up again. "Kind of modern, but nice."

I laughed. "That's me…Mr. Modern of the twentieth century! The old ways were great, but I'm much more adapted to the new ones."

"Learning the Old Ways could prove extremely helpful though." David pointed out to me. "You never know when you might need them."

I nodded, thinking for a moment. Maybe that wasn't such a bad idea. I looked at him. "Maybe you could help me learn sometime?" I asked him. "You know, I could drop by and you could teach me a thing or two about it?"

"I'm still learning some of it myself." He shrugged. "Sam has taught me everything that I know about it…I'm sure he could teach you too…if you ever came by when he was around!"

I laughed and shook my head. "Every time I show up, Sam has the craziest way of dissapearing at the weirdest moments! One moment he's there, the next…poof! He's gone! It's going to be hard for him to teach me anything if I can never seem to find him!"

"You have to admit, when you do find him it's almost always by running straight into him!" David broke out into a wild fit of laughter as I tried to hide my face in my hands. Why did he have to be so darn right all the time?

"So?" I demanded "I didn't do it…he just happens to pop up when I'm not watching where I am going!"

"Ever think that he is trying to tell you something, Tommy?" David stopped laughing slightly to tell me, then started to laugh again.

I thought for a second. "That I should watch where I'm going?"

"Partly. He's trying to tell you to keep alert at all times and watch what you are doing, or you might miss something that you never knew that was there!"

I almost whimpered. "And I don't know that he's there most of the time either! I guess that's a good lesson for me to learn afterall."

David nodded and poked me in the ribs. I jumped almost a foot up in the air. "He thinks that you think more with your rage and attitude more than you do with your heart and your mind. Sam's never been wrong before so…" he shrugged.

"Guess I need these lessons then?" I asked. He nodded.

"Yep. Why don't you come by tommorrow right after school, and we'll see if we can get Sam to teach you too! I'm sure he wouldn't mind it!"

I considered any plans I might have made for the next day after school, then nodded slowly. "Yeah, that'd be good. I don't have anything major going on after school tommorrow. We can start then!"

"Great!" he grinned widely at me, brushing the half of an arrowhead around his neck. I mirrored the movement, and for a moment…my brother and I just sat quietly, thinking about all that we had just talked about.

"David?" a voice broke the silence. David whirled around to see his adopted father standing behind him. He jumped to his feet almost immediately, and I did so myself.


"I think that Tommy needs to go home now." Sam Trueheart sounded tired, weak…distressed. Something that the old man had never struck me as before. He had always seemed so lively, even for his age…but now he wasn't. Something must be wrong. "I need to discuss something with you."

"Yes, sir." David replied and turned around to face me. "Remember…you're coming over here tommorrow…don't go off and forget now!" He joked with me. I think that he was doing it to lighten both of our moods, spoiled by Sam's distress.

"I'll try not to, bro." I said. "But you know how I get sometimes! I'll write it on my forehead before I go to bed tonight, so I'll remember it in the morning."

He waved to me. "Good…now we have some hope that you might actually show up!" he teased. "See you tommorrow!"

"Bye!" I waved back. "Nice seeing you again, Mr. Trueheart!"

Sam only nodded at me.

Waving quickly to David one more time and turned on my heel to head off. All the way back to my red jeep, and all the way home…I wondered what could be bothering Sam Trueheart so badly that he was beginning to appear…old. Something big must be going on. I guess that they're trying to take the reservation away again. Oh well…if that was the case, then Sam would win it back again. It was fate, as David had said. That reservation was theirs!!

Of course, it turned out that that wasn't even the problem at all. It wasn't even close.

…After I got home from the reservation…I found out that my parents were acting almost exactly the same way that Sam Trueheart had been acting when he had asked me to leave so he could talk to David. When I was trying to get a peanut butter sandwhich, they were sitting in the living room…all quiet and everything. Not even my little sister, Reenie was hanging around and being annoying like she usually does. My parents are usually in the living room, talking up a storm about what happened at work that day…and they had always at least greeted me when I walked in through the kitchen door. Today there was nothing but total silence, and it scared me. I went in the living room to check and see what was up…and that's when it happened…

I parked my jeep in the garage next to my mother and father's van, and then let myself in through the kitchen door. Usually before I'm even all the way in the door…I can hear my younger sister begging my parents for something, and the both of them talking about their usual something or other that they always talk about. That is to say, when you first walk into the Oliver home…there's usually a lot of noise and a "Hi!" or two to greet you.

I stepped inside the house to silence. My first thought was that they might have gone out…but then I remembered that I had just parked my jeep next to the van in the garage. So I scratched that idea and wondered what could be going on. I walked through the kitchen so that I could get a clear shot view of the living room, and looked in to find my parents sitting in their chairs as they usually did. The only thing that was different, was the fact that there was no convorsation, and my father was clinging to a piece of paper and an envelope. I waved into the living room, and then proceded to fix myself an afternoon snack.

"Hello, Tommy…" My mother greeted me with a quiet voice. She normally sounded so happy when she greeted me! "When you're through in the kitchen, your father and I would like to discuss something with you."

Discuss something with me? This sounded a lot like what happened before I left the reservation. I proceded to shove an entire peanutbutter sandwhich in my mouth "Sure thing, mom." I replied. "Where is Reenie?"

She sighed softly. "Your sister is upstairs in her room…we sent her there so that we could talk to you."

Walking into the living room, which seemed darker than usual because of the aura my parents were letting off…I swallowed the sandwhich and sat down on the couch in front of them. Either it was a strange coincidence that David and I had something come up on the same day…or the same thing was hitting both of our sets of adopted parents. "What's up?" I asked them.

My dad sat the envelope for the letter that he was holding down on the coffee table, and unfolded the letter. "We received something in the mail today, Tommy…" he said, clearing his throat. "Would you like me to read it to you?"

I looked at them both. "Um…sure…I guess…" I said.

Clearing his throat again, my father pushed his glasses up on his nose and began to read. My gaze was locked on him the whole time. "To the Adopted Parents of Thomas Micheal Williams: Mr. and Mrs. Roger Oliver," he stopped. "Williams is your real last name, son…" he told me…then continued. "We regret to inform you that the original parents of your adopted son: Mr. and Mrs. Paul Williams have requested to take Thomas back into their own custody. They have also done so with Thomas' twin brother David. We understand that this could cause a lot of heartbreak for you and Thomas, but they are his biological parents, and they want him back in their custody until they are of legal age to leave the household. There will be a court meeting to restore custody back to the parents for both children on December 12th, at three o'clock p.m. on the dot. If you fail to show up to the court meeting, there will be immediate legal action. We're very sorry for any problems that this might have caused, but it is at the request of the biological parents'. And it's signed: 'Little Angels Haven Adoption Agency representative, Robert Owen.'"

After he folded the letter back up and placed it on the coffee table with the envelope, I just stared at the both of them. At that moment, I felt like I had been slammed upside the head with a ton of bricks. There was no way in hell that I had heard what I thought I had. It was a dream, some kind of awful dream that I couldn't wake up from.

Of course, most negative life changing events seem like they are nightmares. And all of the time, they aren't the nightmares that you wish they were.

And at that moment I desperately wished that it was. Both of my parents; my adopted parents since I was only two years old, were staring at me with tears glistening in their eyes. The letter that would change my life sat on the table, looking quite harmless in its innocence. But that stupid peace of paper was hurting me far more than any power, any coin, any person…had ever hurt me in my entire life.

Then suddenly, in the midst of my storm of self-pity…I remembered my brother. He would not stand for what was happening. He had proud Indian spirit…an almost unbreakable spirit. Having to leave the reservation would crush him…he had told me all about it earlier that day! I had to see him! But I couldn't just yet…I had to stay with my parents.

My mother drew in a shakey breath. "W…We have ten days until the court meeting. Ten more days and…and then you're gone!" she jumped up out of her reclining chair and over to me, wrapping her arms about me in a tight embrace. Laying her head on my shoulder, I could feel it when she began to cry as the tears soaked through my shirt. "Oh, Tommy…" she whispered.

I worked hard to choke back my tears, but my mother's display of emotions was overwhelming. I soon found myself crying on her shoulder as she was on mine. "I don't want to go! They didn't raise me…as far as I'm concerned, they aren't my parents!"

"We feel the same way, Tommy." My father came up to wrap his arms around me as well. "We've raised you since you were just the tiniest little guy…and we've raised you…but we don't want to be sued for failing to bring you to the court meeting when your parents arrive."

I sniffed loudly, laying my head on my mother's shoulder as she stroked my hair. "I understand." I told them, gently pushing her away from me enough so that I could look at them both. This was no time to act like a baby! "I don't want you to get in any trouble either…I…guess this is something we're just going to have to do."

"Your sister isn't taking this news well at all." Mom bit her lip. "That's why she is upstairs. She locked herself in her room and refuses to come out until they agree to let you stay with us."

"Poor Reenie…" I gulped hard, forcing the knot out of my throat. "I wish that would help…but I don't think it will."

Dad nodded. "We know, and we told her that…but she still refuses. She's going to miss you as much…or more than we will."

Once more I was holding back the tears welling up in my eyes. "Where do these so called parents of mine live, anyhow?" I asked them.

Mom sighed, mopping her eyes with the palms of her hands. "All the way across the country from here. In a suburb near Washington, D.C."

My eyes widened momentarily and I took in a deep breath. Stretching my legs, I thought about having to move all the way across the United States to live with two people who had put me in an adoption agency in Stone Canyon when I was only two years old. I stretched out slightly, every muscle in my body seemed to tense up right at that moment. A sudden realization struck me like lightning. I was a Power Ranger. I had a girlfriend. My biological parents wanted to move me out clear across the country. What on Earth was going to become of this? With shaking legs, I forced myself to stand.

"I…I think I need some air." I said, hugging my parents and then stumbling towards the front door. Once there, I reached into my pocket and pulled out the keys to my jeep, then grasped onto the doorknob and turned it so that the door stood wide open. Once outside, I shut the door quietly behind me and slowly made my way back to the shiney red jeep that my parents; my REAL parents… had bought me for my seventeenth birthday just a few months prior. I opened the driver's side door that I had left unlocked and got in, then fumbled with the keys to start the engine. In a daze, I pulled the jeep out of the driveway and onto the road, headed towards the Indian reservation.

First thing was first…I had to talk to David.

…I can't believe this! My biological parents want David and I to come back and live with them! How could they? After all that stuff they put us through when we were two, what made them think that we would want to come back with them! Of course we don't have much of a choice in the matter. David and I aren't old enough to go out and live on our own legally…and we have to show up to the court meeting, or else our parents will be up to their butts in major kimshee. After I heard the news, I went to go see how David was taking it. That boy, whether he is my brother or not…has got to be out of his mind. I know he has that unbreakable Native American spirit and all…

"I am not going ANYWHERE!" David declared, throwing his hands up in the air. I had arrived shortly after Sam had finished talking to him. "Court meeting? Ha! I laugh at their silly court meeting!"

"But, David…they're going to press charges on Sam if you don't show!" I tried to reason with him.

"No buts, Tommy. There aren't any buts in this situation. Over the history of this entire stupid country, the people have fought for their freedom, so that they could live wherever they pleased, to worship whatever they pleased and do whatever they pleased. Did the Indian ever have that right, Tommy? Not once! Those very same people who faught for that type of freedom in this land, are the same people who denied the Indian people of those very rights they had just faught for! I refuse to leave this place, Tommy…whether the parents of my birth want me to or not! I am fighting for my own freedom! If a man cannot live in his rightful place, then a man has no reason to live! I would rather die a happy man in the place where I belong, than die from grief in a place where I never wished to be."

My eyes widened. "You're not thinking suicide, are you?" I asked worriedly. "David, don't get so drastic!"

"I never said I had the desire to kill myself, brother." David sounded older, more wiser than he ever had…even when he had told me of our ancestory. "I am just making it a point that I will never leave this reservation, my home…unless I have taken my final breath, and have had my final heartbeat. And even then…my spirit will linger here, even if my body is taken far away…"

"But the legal entanglements?" I wondered. "Sam has had enough of those with fighting for the reservation."

"We will go to court, as planned." David reassured me with a cunning smile. "But Sam Trueheart will not give me up so easily, as I will not give up my life in the reservation so easily. We will fight until we have won what is ours."

I sighed a little. I only wished that he wasn't so damn proud all the time. Sometimes, it got a little agrivating. But I could definitely see where he was coming from in this situation. I was honored to have such a brave guy for my brother. "Let's hope you come out on top." I said.

He tossed his hair a little, a rebellious gleam in his dark eyes. "Don't worry, Tommy. Don't pack your bags quite yet. This battle isn't over yet…and it has not yet begun! Let things happen in their own time, Tommy…we aren't going anywhere with those so called 'parents' of ours!"

I could only smile at what he said to me. If I needed any reassurance about what was happening on this day, he was definitely giving it to me. "You're great!" I told him, patting him on ths shoulder. "Fighting against the legal system by yourself, standing up for what you believe in!"

He chuckled softly and grabbed onto my wrist. "Who said I was going to be doing it by myself, brother?" he said quietly, but I could tell that he was deadly serious. "There is no way that I can win this on my own…but the two of us…rebelling for the same cause! They'd never have a chance then!"

Shifting uneasily, I stammered. "I…I donno, David. I'm good at protecting the world and everything, but rebelling against parents and the judicial system aren't exactly my forte."

"Then we shall make them your…forte." He was grinning at me very strangly, and I wasn't sure that I liked it. "Come here tommorrow, afterschool. Just as we planned…Sam and I will train you in the Old Ways. You must come after school every day…and spend some of your weekend with us in order to be ready on time."

"David, my parents and sister might want to spend time with me!" I reminded him. "What about my friends as well?"

"This is VERY important, Tommy…" he replied, his voice grave. "All we require is three hours an afternoon…please."

His sharp eyes searched me over as I went through a thousand ways that I could refuse him in my mind. But when I looked deep into them, and then to the arrowhead which he wore…and which I wore the other half of, I realized that he was right. He could not do this alone.

"Alright…" I said.

…So after I went to see him, it turned out that he and Sam were going to teach me in the Old Ways…so that we can be ready to rebel against our parents at the court meeting. This has been a really long day…probably the longest I've ever had. But…at least we may have a hope. I guess that I'm going to try and get some sleep now…I'll write back when there are further developments on this situation. Until then, I remain…

Tommy Oliver

{Not Williams!}


Dear Journal,

Today is Saturday, December 10th, 1996. I have been training in the Old Ways with David under Sam Trueheart's instruction for the past eight days, and we have two days left until our court date for custody. With the way things have been going, I'm not sure that I am going to be ready! David had told me that learning the Old Ways wasn't going to be easy, but he also hadn't made it a point to tell me that learning them was going to be HARD, not to mention extremely painful! I suppose that it 's all going to be worth it eventually though, but I honestly cannot see how some of these things can make a person stronger. Some of these actually seem…kind of dumb and pointless. David assures me that they will do me good though. I certainly hope so. We only have two days in which to be totally prepared for this, and I'm not quite sure we can pull it off. More or less, I'm not quite sure that I can pull it off! David is great, I know he'll do a good job. Me however, if Sam scolds me for messing up one more time, I think that I am going to crack! I mean, it's not like I'm not trying hard. But whatever I do doesn't seem to please him. David says that Sam thinks I am doing very well. Ha! He sure doesn't have a very nice way of showing it…

"Straighter!" Sam Trueheart slammed his walking stick down on my foot hard. I yelped out in pain and he glared at me with his dark eyes deep set in his old face. "You must stand straighter. No look of fear must pass your face. You are proud, undefeatable! You cannot be proud or undefeatable slouching, now can you, Tommy?"

I winced, and my foot began to throb from the pain that the blow had given. Slowly, I forced myself to stand up straighter. I was almost cursing this man mentally…what did standing up straight have to do with anything? Posture was good for avoiding back injury, sure…but with standing up to a judge and our parents? Was he taking this standing up thing a little too literally?

Sam walked in front of the two of us as we stood up as straight as possible in front of him. A deep frown of dissaproval shadowed his face as he came to stand in front of me again. He lifted up his walking stick and placed it under my chin, then forced my chin upwards. "A warrior is too proud to look down on those smaller than him, Tommy. You must hold your head high."

I gritted my teeth and replied. "Yes, sir." I said. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my brother. David stood as still as a statue, perfectly erect in his posture, and his head was held high. A stone cold glare was plastered onto his face, along with a stern frown. He looked displeased at most, but otherwise absolutely emotionless.

What a showoff. vHe'd been doing that all week…constantly showing off that he was much better in the Old Ways than I was. Of course…when I thought about it, my jealousy was majorly childish. David had grown up on the reservation, and learning the Old Ways. Who was I? Some modern punk trying to pass off as a proud Native American. vSo if that's what he wanted, that's what Sam was going to get. I rose up as high as I could, lifted my chin up, and plastered the same look onto my face that David had. For the first time all week…when Sam walked by…he smiled! Bingo! v"Much better, Tommy…you are learning quickly." He told me. I almost beamed with pride…but I was too proud to do that! {If that even sounds logical} I kept my straight face. I think that he was glad to see me do that as well. He nodded his head slowly, and continued to walk around us for oh…another fifteen minutes or so. Finally…he said. "You may both ease up now." vI plopped my butt down on the dusty ground, whiping my forehead. When I looked up at David, all he had done was lower his chin some…and slumped in his posture a little. I felt a little silly, but I was sick and tired of standing! Sam's smiled faded as he saw me, and he lifted up his walking stick. v'Thump!' he smacked me in the head with it!

"OW!!" I cried out, covering the top of my head with my hands. That had gone a little too far! The stick in the butt, sure. The stick on the foot, fine. The stick on the head, no way! I have a bad enough memory already without some guy whapping braincells out of my skull with a stick!

He shook his head slowly, closing his eyes. "After all this work…" he clicked his tongue. "We haven't much longer, Tommy. I believe that your brother here is ready, but you…you still need some work."

I groaned inwardly. "David has been raised in this atmosphere, he's used to it!" I reminded him. "How am I to be expected to learn all of this stuff in just a week or so? It's hard!"

David looked down at me with a hard gaze. "It's only hard to those who believe that it is hard. You have not put your entire heart into this training…" he bowed his head. "You can learn this quickly…if you want to…and if your heart is into it."

At that moment, I felt like a total and complete loser. Here these two were, depending on me. And here I was, not even working at what they were trying to teach me. I'd been trying hard, sure…but not nearly hard enough. They needed total and complete heart and devotion, and I just wasn't giving it my all.

I climbed back up to my feet, then got myself back into the perfect posture and proud indian visage. The both of them just stared at me, but for the rest of the training that day…whenever we were just standing still for a moment, I would stand just like that. Tall, grim, silent…majorly cool and proud in every way.

That totally scored big points with Sam. He didn't get on to me one more time that day!

…After we finished training came the big part. Actually, it was more or less the part that I wasn't expecting. I was just getting ready to go home, when Sam asked me if I could stay at the reservation tonight. I thought about it…and since it was a Saturday and my parents wouldn't mind, I said okay. It was kinda confusing, I guess…mostly cause I'd never stayed at the reservation over night before. I thought that he might have wanted to give us some special training or something like that. I was about to go and get a change of clothes and all that good stuff when he stopped me, and handed me some indian type clothes…like the ones you see them wear in the movies and stuff. He told me to go and put them on, and then come out and sit in front of the fire. Confused though I was, I did as he told me. What happened after that, I don't think that I will ever forget…

"Here, you will need these." Sam Trueheart placed a bundle of clothing in my arms before I could reach my jeep. I eyed him suspisciously. The world around us was growing increasingly darker as dusk fell upon the reservation.

"I need to go pick up some clothes for tommorrow," I told him. "I'll be right back…"

He shook his head. "You will have no need for any clothes but these, Tommy. Go and put them on, then come and sit before the fire…"

I looked around the area. There didn't seem to be any place for a fire around here, or any place to change for that matter! "Where is the fire?" I asked him. "And where do I change?"

Leaning on his walking stick, he laughed. "On top of that rock formation is a level place. That is where the fire is." He pointed. "And as for changing…are you so insecure about your natural state that you cannot change in the open?"

"Umm…" I blushed furiously and nodded. "Actually…yeah. I am kinda insecure about running around naked."

He shook his head, chuckling softly. Slowly, he started toward the rock formation on which he said the fire would be. "Might as well get used to things in their natural state, Tommy. You'll be surprised how much you're going to need to!"

As he started to climb to the top, I stared after him. Who did he think he was, telling me to get undressed outside! How dare he! And what did he mean that I'd be surprised how much I was going to need to get used to stuff in their natural state, anyhow? I wasn't quite sure if I cared at that moment. Quickly, I scanned the area to see if David or Sam was looking at me…only to find them not around. I was completely alone. Good…just what I needed. Solitude as I got dressed.

I unfolded the clothes that Sam had given to me, only to find that they were Native American garments. I had just noticed that Sam was wearing some quite similer, as apposed to his normal dress. These weren't at all like the ones he and Daivd ususally wore, but real authentic clothes. They were just like the ones that you pictured them wearing in the movies and stuff like that. Deep in my mind, as I proceded to reveal my body to Mother Nature and change, I wondered why I had to change into these clothes. Soon my…embarrasment was over…and I was dressed in the clothes. Looking down at the ground, I saw that I had dropped a headdress out of the pile when I had unfolded them to look at them. I took my hair out of it's usual ponytail, and then put the headdress on.

At that moment, I felt pretty…savage. Wild, untamed, pure untapped energy…I think that is the best way to describe how I felt. Standing there, wearing the clothes that my ancestors wore {Or at least were made like the ones my ancestors wore}, I felt powerful. I guess there was some kind of aura about them that made me feel that way, but it felt great! Jogging over to my jeep, I put the clothes I had just been wearing into the front seat, then headed for the rock formation where Sam was.

It must have taken me forever to climb that thing, but finally I managed to get to it's top. Sam was right…it was perfectly smooth, almost like a plateau…and there was a huge circle of rocks in the center of it. In the middle of that circle blazed a roaring fire. Sam was standing in front of it, waving his hands and chanting slowly in a language that I had never heard, nor could understand. David was sitting crosslegged on the other side, his gaze boring into the flames. He was dressed exactly as I was. Something deep inside told me that what was going to happen next was something extremely important to our training. It didn't seem like it was training, though.

Sam's eyes closed, and he lowered his hands to his sides. The chanting stopped, only to be replaced by words. "Come and sit next to your brother, Tommy." He ordered me with a calm voice. I took in a deep breath and did what I was told without a word. I don't think words were very necessary at that point.

As soon as I was seated next to David, staring deep into the fire as he was…the chanting from Sam started up again. At first, it was quiet and slow…but then it began to build in speed, volume and intensity. He was soon shouting out his chant, waving his arms around him furiously. I could have sworn that I saw the fire begin to take the shape of a bird of some kind…but I never got a good enough look at it because it changed as quickly as it had appeared. As the chanting reached it's peak of intensity, Sam stopped abruptly and stood still. The only sound that could be heard, save the animals of the night and the wind was the crackling of the fire.

There are really no words that can completely describe the scene that next occurred. With the fire and Sam before us, and the serenity of the stars and the night sky above us, David and I were enclosed in a blanket of peace unlike any we had ever known before in our entire lives. And yet, even with the peace…there was an aura about it. A sense of duty and loyalty like no other crept over us both. Sam put both of his hands together almost as if in prayer, nodding his head down to look at the base of the flames. As he rose his head up to the stars and spread his hands apart slowly…the flames parted as well so that we could see him standing before us, surrounded in a circle of flames. He began to speak softly, but we could hear his words crystal clear.

"Over many centuries there have been many boys that have graced the surface of our Mother, The Earth. Only few of those…those with strength, courage, loyalty, heart and spirit…ever mature and become men. Over the course of many years in the case of my son: David…and the course of this past week with one that I love like a son: Tommy…I have seen the both of you grow and mature in many ways. On this day, I realized that tonight is the night…for the two of you to earn your manhood. You have shown me that through my eyes, the two of you are no longer boys…and from here on forth, you shall never be known as boys again."

We were silent, as we should have been, and he continued. "The two of you go by the names of David Trueheart and Tommy Oliver. Though your birth and adoption right has given you those names…deep inside your souls you have another name. A name that was given to you by our ancestors. The Ancient ones labeled the both of you with a name that symbolizes the life you have lead, and the man that you have become. On this night, you shall learn the names that the Ancient Onces have bestowed upon you…"

The gap in the flames closed as he waved his arms quickly, and now all we could see before us was the fire. His voice however, still surrounded us as he told us the names of our destiny. "David. Like the great chief of our tribe long ago, your name is True of Heart. You are he who seeks knowledge, and he who teaches it. You are the swift and quiet warrior; he who knows all."

David bowed his head and closed his eyes.

"Tommy: new learner to the ways of your ancestors. Your name comes from that of the fire. You shall henceforward be known as Flame of Courage. Your heart is an ever-beating drum of battle. You are he who is loyal, and he who is courageous. You often think with your rage and your heart, rather than listen to your mind. But that is not always a bad thing, let me remind you. You are there n time of need, a dependable leader and warrior."

At that moment I was completely overcome with an emotion that I had never felt before. Sitting here in front of this fire, being given the name that the Ancient Ones had given to me…I felt a strange, almost glowing sensation deep in my heart. Who cared what it was? It was right! I bowed my head and shut my eyes just as David had. The Ancient Ones deserved respect for what they had just done. They had just bestowed upon us our sacred names, and our manhood.

…Man, I feel so much different than I did earlier today. This morning I was a boy…now I am a man. What a feeling this is, it feels so…gooey almost. It feels right and wrong and weird and cool all at the same time. I can't help but get the feeling that something big is going to happen in our immediate future. I guess it's just that I am a bit nervous about the court date, and the fact that I find sleeping under the stars on the ground a tad uncomfortable. David and Sam are already asleep, and I guess thtat I should be too. I don't know how on Earth I am going to be able to relax enough to get any rest though. How David can sleep like a log after a night like we just had, and with these type of sleeping conditions I am not sure, but I guess I had better try. I don't wanna be tired tommorrow. It might end up being my last real time to spend with my family and friends. If we don't get past court meeting like we hope we will…what am I going to do? I'm a Power Ranger…and what about Kat? Well…one thing is for sure. If I have to move away from Angel Grove to live with my so called "parents", I am going to let Billy have my powers. He deserves them…I don't think we give him enough credit. Agh, I'm getting writer's cramp. Time to try to get some sleep. I'll keep posted.

Tommy Oliver

Flame of Courage

To Be Continued...