The darkened sky provides only shadows of the area around the lake,
as a figure sinks to the sand in front of a white picket fence. An object
is lifted up, and the flicker of light vaguely reveals the identity of
A gun goes off with a loud BANG . . . but faster than the eye would follow the gun was knocked out and away from his head. The bullet just grazed his temple.
"Come with me," the elderly gentleman replies in an odd, yet gentle tone. "I will not hurt you!"
The elderly gentleman gathered the injured teenager into his arms, picked up the gun, and walked them both back to his patio. The gate closed with a BANG!
"Sit down here," the man said as he led the teenager to a cushioned lounge chair. "Drink this glass of orange juice, while I tend your wound."
The teenager did what he was told without even thinking, while the man cleaned and bandaged his head.
"Relax and I will get you another glass of orange juice!" He rose and helped the dazed teenager put his feet up on the lounge chair. "I'll be right back!"
He disappeared into the house, but instead of coming out with another glass of orange juice, he was carrying a blanket!
As he covered the sleeping teenager up, he whispered softly "No bad dreams or nightmares tonight, son. You will sleep undisturbed!"
Night turned into day and back into night again.
"Going to the beach was his idea," Frank Oliver thought as he walked from the car to the beach house he had rented just one week ago.
He should have stuck to his plan, and sent his son back East. But no, his wife had insisted that they do things the way their oldest son wanted.
As the new Chief of Police for Angel Grove County, Frank Oliver took his job very seriously. This had been a step in the right direction, career wise, that is!
However, two weeks after moving to Angel Grove, his oldest son changed! For the first time, Frank Oliver actually was afraid of his oldest son, Tommy. Never had he seen Tommy in such a foul mood. It only lasted for about a week, but Tommy never really returned to his normal self.
Over the last several months, Tommys' mood swings came and went. He even had a girlfriend! But this last time, had left him very depressed.
Both Frank Oliver and his wife, Marsha were now very concerned, because his second service revolver was gone.
Not finding his son at the beach house, Frank Oliver began to search to beach and surrounding area for any sign of his oldest son.
"There was no one on the beach that day," he thought as Frank Oliver rounded a slight curve.
At the last house, he found a rather curious looking gentleman, sitting in a lounge chair, reading the newspaper. The man appeared to be around 80-ish, frail, and yet there was something unique about the man. The elderly gentleman heard Frank Oliver coming several feet from the fence.
"Can I help you, Sir?" The elderly gentleman replied as a man came to fence.
"I hope so . . . I'm looking for the boy in this picture. He's eighteen now! This picture was taken four years ago. I can't believe I don't have an up-to-date picture of my oldest son."
There were fear, panic, and anxiety behind the words his father spoke.
"My wife and I haven't been able to get in touch with him for twenty-four hours now, and frankly I'm just about to have the lake dragged . . . I wouldn't be so worried if only my wife hadn't discovered that my spare service revolver was missing."
The elderly gentleman looked at the picture and commented "A nice looking young man!" His voice still remained in it's normal odd, yet gentle tone.
"He wouldn't happen to be tall, looks as if he works out, and personally could use a hair cut!"
"Yes . . . You've seen him." His voice was stammering. "When?"
"Just a few minutes ago!"
"Where . . . Which direction did he go in?"
"He didn't. He's over there!" The gentleman pointed in the lounge chair where the sleeping teenager lay.
"Tommy!" His father exclaimed with joy. "He's asleep!"
"Yes, sleep was designed to give the body a chance to heal itself." He picked up the gun from the table and handed it to Tommy's father saying "I believe this belongs to you!"
"He did take it! . . . Why?" His father replies as he comes into the patio area via the gate.
Out of the blue the elderly gentleman replied "That will be your wife!"
"Ha, what . . . " The cellular telephone he carried rang at that moment startling his father. "Hello! . . . I found him . . . . Yes he's alive . . . I'm standing just a couple of feet from him." His voice began to raise.
"Move over here, so you won't wake him up!"
His father was pulled rather forcefully by the man.
After hanging up the phone, Frank Oliver out of curiosity asked "How did you know that the phone was going to ring?"
"I have a knack for knowing when the phone is going to ring, always have!" His voice never changed from it's tone and volume.
"Have we ever met before?"
"I don't think so!"
"My father used to talk about a college friend who always told everyone to answer the phone before it rang." Remembering his manners, Tommy's father introduced himself.
"Philip E. Pal!"
"My father was Nathan Oliver!" The man's name rang a bell.
"Nathan Oliver . . . his nickname was Nat!"
"Yes . . . you're the friend my father called 'Phil, the phone man!"
"Tommy still has the card that came with flowers you sent when my father died. They were beautiful. I don't think Tommy's has been able to figure out what that message means!"
"I was very sorry to hear of your fathers' death. He was a good friend!"
The two men sat down and talked for a few minutes. The conversation bounced back and forth from a to z. After awhile, Tommy's father felt it was time to get Tommy back home.
"We shouldn't wake him up, let him sleep!"
"We've imposed enough . . . I don't know how to thank you."
"Its no trouble, besides I have a picket fence that needs to be painted."
"Tommy's not going to like having a baby sitter!" Frank Oliver said matter-of-factly.
"My picket fence needs a fresh coat of paint."
"Are you really sure?" His father asked as he stood up.
"How's that go now . . . Wax on, Wax off?" He made the movements to go along with the words.
"Oh great . . . You and he will probably get along fine." His father shook his head as he opened the gate and left.
His father returned with a note for his son and to make sure the elderly gentleman was serious. Satisfied, he departed, leaving Tommy sleeping on the lounge chair.
Again another night turned into day and back again to night, before the exhausted teenager awoke.
Stretching, Tommy's hand hit the bandaged spot on his temple and he yelped in pain. "Ouch!"
"Well it's about time you wake up . . . I was beginning to get worried." Even though it was night time, the man's eyes twinkled as he knelt beside the teenager.
"Where am I?" Tommy said, puzzled, as he looked around trying to his bearings.
"You are quite safe," the elderly gentleman replied in an odd, yet gentle tone.
"How long have I been out . . . a couple of hours?"
"Forty-eight hours . . . I'm dead of sure!" Panic was very evident in Tommy's voice.
"Here is a note from your father. Read it while I get you a glass of orange juice!"
"No thank you on the orange juice . . . the first glass you gave me made the patio spin." Tommy replied rather hurriedly as the gentleman disappeared into the house.
"You got some sleep, didn't you?" The man's voice not once changed.
Tommy mumbled to himself about getting some sleep and he did have to admit he did feel better, well all except for his head!
Reading the note his father had left . . . "I don't need a baby sitter, dad." Tommy said aloud as the man came out carrying a large glass of orange juice.
"Who said anything about a baby sitter . . . I have a picket fence that needs painting."
Tommy took the glass of orange juice and cautiously began to drink it.
"Don't worry it's not spiked . . . this time!"
Tommy stopped mid sips and just looked at the man.
After he finished drinking the orange juice, he got up and almost fell flat on his face.
"I got you." The man said hurriedly as he caught the teenager.
"Bless you!" Tommy said with a laugh which became contagious.
After regaining his composure, Tommy said "I'm going home to shower and change clothes."
"Don't try and skip town . . . my picket fence needs a fresh coat." His eyes became almost like slits as he stared at Tommy.
"Don't worry I won't." Tommy shrugged shoulders and jumped over the fence.
"What had he got himself into now?" he though as he jogged home.
As he got his first look at the injury on his temple, he groaned at the sight of the dried blood and the four switches that were there.
The wound didn't look any better after the shower as he put a large Band-Aid over the spot. He hoped his hair would cover the Band-Aid. It did a little.
He locked the back door and started back down the beach to the man's home when an old friend materialized in front of him.
"Goldar!" Tommy yelled as he assumed a fighting stance in front of the half wolfian, half simian creature.
"Hello Tommy . . . Lord Zedd wants to see you - Green Ranger." Goldar's gruff voice hadn't changed much.
"Tell Lord Zedd . . . the Green Ranger's dead, thanks to him!" Just as he was about to charge Goldar, two putties materialized beside him.
"Let go of me!" He dispatched the putties only to have two more appear.
"The Green Ranger is NOT dead, Tommy!" The elderly gentleman replied as he strolled up between them.
"Mr. Pal . . . "
"Let me guess . . . I don't know what's going on, right. Wrong, I do!"
Goldar threatened the elderly gentleman, "Old man, go away or I'll . . . "
The old man interrupted Goldar "Or you'll what?"
Goldar's sword came out.
"Uh, you want to play with swords . . . I can play with swords too!" The elderly gentleman held his left hand away from his body and from out of nowhere appeared . . . a SWORD, which landed directly in his opened hand.
With the sound of swords clashing behind him, Tommy dispatched all of the putties, Goldar had brought with him, with surprising speed. As he went to help the elderly man, Goldar's sword went flying through the air and was caught by the elderly man. Who proceeded to break the sword over his knee as if it was a twig.
"Get out of my sight, smelly creature . . . Why don't you take a bath?" He paused a second or two . . . "On second thought I'll help you." He raised his left hand slightly in Goldars' direction, and Goldar mysteriously began to rise from the ground and move toward the middle of the lake where he was dropped.
Goldar yelled insults at the man and Tommy as he was teleported out of the water, along with the two halves of his sword.
"Don't touch that!"
Tommy jumped back as the man slapped his leg and bent down to pick up a funny looking object.
The man had placed his sword, with its ornate handle, several feet directly behind him as he caught Goldar's sword. Tommy pulled the unusual looking sword out of the sand by its handle.
"Where's my sword?" the gentleman asked rather surprised after he didn't find it where he had left it.
"I have it," Tommy said rather guiltily.
"I can't lose that . . . I've had it for a very long time!" He replied relieved.
They walked back to the patio and as the gate closed with a "BANG," and Tommy found himself in a headlock. The man moved faster than the eye could follow.
"Relax kid . . . if I wanted to kill you, I could have done it a week ago when I first saw you!" His eyes, once again, became slit-like as he glared down at the surprised and rather helpless teenager. "I could snap your neck just as easily as I broke that smelly creatures' sword."
Tommy coughed several times after being released by the man. Cautiously he watched the man who held up the sword which disappeared much the same as it had appeared.
"You didn't really know my grandfather, did you?" All of his senses were attuned to the possible danger he was in and he knew it!
"Wrong, I did!" The elderly gentleman replied in his odd, yet gentle tone.
"Then you do work for Lord Zedd?" He assumed a fighting stance.
"Lord Zedd is a schmuck!" The gentleman exclaimed matter- of-factly.
"What?" Tommy replied rather surprised again by this unpredictable man.
"SCHMUCK . . . jerk, fool, a donkey, a dumb bunny, idiot, clown!" His brown eyes growing bigger, almost saucer shaped.
"I get the picture," Tommy replied interrupting the man's train of thought.
"No, I don't work for Lord Zedd!" He said rather insulted.
"Who are you?" With his heart beating rapidly, Tommy cautiously inquired.
A light of pure radiance shimmered around the man who transformed before his eyes into a barbarous looking creature, only to transform again into a rather curious form.
Tommy jumped back away from the life form who chuckled softly and said "Comfy at last!" as it shook its long slender arms that ended in a four fingered hand. It wore a long brown cloak which covered its feet. Its head was oval shaped! Large round brown eyes, a flat nose and mouth surrounded by wrinkles of age were visible under the hood of the cloak. (Remember what E.T. looks like, well envision him right around 5'7" tall not short and stocky like he was in the movie of the same name - "E.T." - and you will know exactly what he looks like!)
"My name is Paladar` . . . I am a Draconian Warrior, First Generation and the last of my generation." He paused as he watched the very surprised teenager. "I didn't think you even existed." He opened his left hand forming a circle with his fingers and an object that resembled a compact disc appeared.
The disc visually projected an image . . . an inside view of the Command Center -- Billy, Kimberly, Tommy, Jason, Zack and Trini standing at the back of circular platform and Adam, Aisha, and Rocky standing in front, all looking up at Zordon1.
"You may be able to hide your emotions from your wife, but not from me!" His voice had returned to its usual odd, yet gentle tone.
"My wife . . . maybe you'd better tell me who she is so I don't tell her to get lost?" Tommy said with a chuckle. He relaxed for the first since losing his powers' as the Green Ranger.
"Very funny . . . You already know her!" The life form shook its head. "She'll probably change her wedding dress after I show this to you." He handed Tommy a beautifully framed photograph.
"Kim!" His face displayed his surprise at the discovery.
"Yup . . . She'll get tried of waiting for you, so she'll take matters into her own hands and ask you to marry her." Once again Paladar` shook his head.
"In about three and half years." He paused due to some unknown reason. "The four people you don't recognize are Rocky, Adam, Aisha, and Katherine."
Tommy, unknowingly, pointed to the four additional people in the photograph correctly.
Footnotes and References:
1. The Ninja Encounter, Part 3.