The Command Center was unusually quiet, and had been
this way for the last three weeks. Six teenagers moved
nervously around the confinement of the circular platform.
"What are Lord Zedd and company plotting now?" The teen dressed in Red snaps.
"How should I know?" The teen dressed in White snaps back.
"Rangers, go home and get some sleep." Zordon commands, in his fatherly voice. "Alpha 5 and I will continue to investigate this apparent disappearance of Lord Zedd and company."
"Rocky, sorry man for snapping at you!" The teen in White replies as he extends his hand out to the teen in Red.
"No problem, I guess we should be happy . . . NO WEIRD lookin' critters out to get us and destroy downtown Angel Grove."
The six friends chuckle, agreeing with the teen in Red.
"I just wish we knew what was going on," the teen dressed in Pink said, her soft Australian voice wavered with concern.
"So do I," Alpha says, followed by his familiar cry "Aye, Yi, Yi, Yi! They could be just waiting for us to let down our guard."
After thinking about what he had just said, Alpha's robotic circuits cause the mechanical wonder to move around the circular platform, in an erratic fashion. The teen in Yellow tries to calm the upset robot down.
"Alpha, calm down!" Aisha begs, as she gets hold of the mechanical wonder as he spins around a forth time. "Hopefully, we won't give them the opportunity to strike. We'll be ready for it!"
With the little robot calmed down, and after doing one final check, the six teenagers depart the highly sophisticated, secret Command Center, bound for bed and much needed rest.
Several days pass before the six friends are summoned by the familiar "beep, beep" of their communication devices.
"What are they throwing at us?" Adam says as the six teens finish materializing on the circular platform. His voice was tense, yet calm, because he knew that they could stop whatever the Moon could throw at the Earth!
"Alpha 5 and I have discovered the reason behind the sudden disappearance of Lord Zedd and company!" Zordon declared.
All ask the same question at the same time, "WHAT?"
"You will see after Kimberly gets here," Zordon replies.
"Zordon, we can't disturb Kim at Pan Global Games!" Tommy replies with an upset tone in his voice. "She's in third place!"
"I realize that Tommy, but what Alpha and I have discovered concerns her as well. And with the weather causing problems both with television coverage and the athletes' health, it might be good for Kimberly to get away for a while."
"Don't worry, Tommy, we will monitor the games from here, and if necessary teleport Kimberly back!" Alpha 5 informs the group excitedly. Several seconds later another beam of PINK LIGHT appears.
After the hugs and congrats, the seven teenagers look up toward the fatherly figure known as Zordon.
"Alpha 5 and I have discovered WHY Lord Zedd and company have apparently disappeared?" His voice was guarded, almost mysterious. And as Zordon continued, the seven teenagers became even more nervous with every passing minute.
"It seems that we have had a loss of several weeks, possible several months." Zordon's own voice was oddly distressed.
"What do you mean by a loss of several weeks?" Billy, the teen in Blue asked. His voice echoed with a touch of fear added.
"There seems to be a GAP of several weeks missing in six different places." Alpha 5 replied matter-of-factly.
"A gap in time," Billy's voice was heard. "A Time Hole, like the one Kimberly was pulled into . . . when she ended up in 1880 Angel Grove?"
"No, but a passage of time erased from your memories and the computer's."
"A passage of time!" Tommy murmured as a cold shiver spread throughout his body.
The teen in White asks without really wanting to know, "Starting when!"
"This is the point at which Alpha and I disagree! I feel that you should know; however, Alpha thinks that if you were meant to remember you would."
The seven confused teenagers' look back and forth at each other, Zordon and Alpha 5.
"Alpha, why don't you think we should know about whatever has happened?" Aisha asks, her voice wavering from calm to slight panic.
"I don't really know, Aisha, my circuits just don't feel right about this situation."
"The first GAP occurred just one month ago!"
"A month ago," Kimberly replies with disbelief in the tone of her voice.
"Yes Kimberly!" Zordon answered.
The seven teens stared at each other, more surprised than frighten!
Tommy was the first to speak, half in anticipation, half in dread. I guess the best place to start is at the beginning!" His stomach was churning with anxiety and frustration as he turned around to face Zordon.
"Behold the viewing globe, Rangers," his voice faded. For the first time, since recruiting these remarkable teenagers, Zordon felt that he had let them down. Failing to protect them from danger!
Unfolding before them, the viewing globe displayed the Angel Grove Youth Center. The owner, Ernie, was behind the bar filling an order for drinks (juice, of course).
The Youth Center was a buzz of activity! The sounds of children, young and old, echoed throughout the inside of building.
Seven familiar teenagers enter, and proceed to they're usual tables.
In one corner of the room, sat an elderly gentleman, sipping one of Ernie's house specialities.
The man's clothes looked almost brand new. Dark shades of brown seemed to give the gentleman an air of eccentricness. His features were very out of the ordinary, oval brown eyes, tapered nose, and a medium shaped month.
"There's that same old man sitting in the corner," Rocky said cautiously.
"So Rocky, it's hot outside," Billy said after glancing over his shoulder, and seeing the man.
"He's been in that same spot every day for the last week!" The teen dressed in Red replied. "I get the funny feeling he's watching us."
"I've had the same feeling," the teen dressed in Yellow said agreeing with her friend.
"Let's don't let our imaginations run wild," Tommy replied.
"Tommy's right," Kimberly commented as she sat down at one of the tables. "Maybe Zedd and Rita are on their honeymoon!" Kim added sarcastically.
All seven teenagers softly laughed, as Kat joined her at the table.
It appeared to Kimberly that Kat was still a little nervous about becoming a Power Ranger!
"Kat," she said softly "You'll do fine, just relax. When Billy and I became 'Rangers', we felt the same way you do right now --- scared and unsure of ourselves."
"Kim's right," Billy confirming Kimberly's statement as he carefully sat down the tray with their usual order. "I obtained a strawberry surprise for you, Kat!"
"A what!" The Australian voice of their friend and fellow Power Ranger was filled with surprise.
"Ernie calls it his masterpiece," Adam -- the teen dressed in black, said just before taking a sip from his drink.
Cautiously, Kat took a small sip of the pink drink in front of her. "This tastes like a strawberry milk shake!"
"That's what it is," Rocky said dropping his gym bag on the chair at the next table.
The two tables filled with laughter as the others, Aisha and Tommy also joined the group. Tommy, Rocky and Adam were waiting for their students to arrive for that afternoons karate class.
Soon the room was buzzing with the sounds of children practicing their karate moves under the watchful eyes of White, Red and Black Rangers.
A man dressed in dirty clothes came into the room, and after surveying the room, he grabbed one of Ernies' waitresses.
"This is a hold up, don't anyone try and be a hero or this kid gets wasted!"
The room became very silent, as the patrons of Ernie's establishment froze in their tracks.
A brown paper bag was throw on the counter by the man, who told Ernie to fill it up --- NOW!
"Don't bother moving, my good man," the elderly gentleman stated as he rose from his chair and starting moving to the place where he man stood.
"Oh - look, grandpa is going to play the hero!" At that moment the young girl held by the man let out with a groan.
Faster then the eye could follow, the elderly gentleman laid the man face-down on the floor, in just seconds.
The teen dressed in Blue pulled the scared waitress to safety just seconds before the man landed on the floor.
"Not so brave now, are you," the elderly gentleman stated as he glared down at the helpless man.
Several police officers arrived shortly thereafter, and arrested the man who was still on the floor!
Police Chief Frank Oliver, was one of the responding officers, and he recognized the elderly gentleman - "Mr. Pal, it's so nice to see you again!"
"Chief Oliver, we seem to meet in the unusual of places - don't we?"
"Yes, we do!"
Both men shook hands, and chatted for a few minutes while the other police officers' took statements from Ernie and several other people present.
After the police departed, one of the children in the karate class stepped forward and announced, "Gee - Mister, I bet the White Ranger could do that move!"
The elderly gentleman turned slowly around until he faced the young child, and replied "I wouldn't bet too much money on the White Ranger being able to do that move, son."
"How come?" The young child replied!
"Because, you would loose!" As he answered the boy's question, he glanced toward the seven teenagers who served as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
"It takes years to learn my form of Martial Arts, and even longer to achieve the ranking of "Warrior!"
All seven teenagers felt as if this elderly gentleman knew their closely guarded secret.
Ernie thanked the gentleman for his heroic act. After which the gentleman departed with seven shadows, all convinced this fragile old man was sent by Lord Zedd & company!
The seven teenagers cautiously followed the man into the park, only to discover he had vanished into thin air.
Faster then any of them could react, Tommy, Rocky and Adam landed flat on their backs after being flipped by the fragile old man.
"Follow me, do you!" The elderly gentleman said as he glared, between slit-like eyes, at the three teens lying on the ground.
"Think I don't know when I'm being followed?"
"No Sir," Billy quickly responded. "We're just interested in learning . . . studying your form of martial arts!"
Tommy, Rocky and Adam were getting up slowly after being caught off guard by the elderly gentleman.
The seven teens introduced themselves to the gentleman, who in turn introduced himself.
"Philip E. Pal!"
Tommy remembered the man from somewhere, but he couldn't put his finger on where!
After a bit of minor conversation, Rocky asked Mr. Pal where he learned the unusual move.
"I learned that move a long time ago, before any of you were even born!"
"Kids . . . Teenagers even worse!" The man shook his head from side-to-side as he made that comment.
"So you want to learn more about my form of the Arts?"
"Yes Sir," Tommy, Rocky and Adam said in unison.
"Ok, I'll show you some moves!"
The teens spent the remainder of that Friday afternoon with the strange, yet fatherly figure of a man.
Over the next two days, the teens spent as much time as possible with Mr. Pal.
By late Sunday afternoon, Tommy, Rocky and Adam were completely baffled.
"How come we can flip each other, but we can't flip him?" Rocky grumbled as he got up from the ground after being flipped by Adam.
"I wish I knew!" Tommy answered, puzzled, still sitting on the ground.
"Give up, yet!" The fragile old man asked.
"Not a chance," Adam quickly answered as he got up.
"Ok, kid give it your best shot!"
And before Adam could even assume a defensive stance, he was on the ground, again!
The three teens sat on the ground, bruised and battered! This time not by any of Lord Zedds' monsters, but by the hands of a mysterious, elderly gentleman.
Rocky glanced at his watch, and relieved he was going to be late if he didn't get moving! "Adam, do you need a ride home?" The teen in Red asked his friend.
"Ya I do, Rocky!"
Both teens said their goodbyes, and then left heading to the parking lot. Rocky's familiar red car was seen pulling out of the lot about 15 minutes later.
The other five teens began gathering their things from the picnic-like setting (book bags, picnic basket, and the blanket).
"Tommy!" Phil said as Tommy started to walk away.
"I would like to have a word with you before you leave."
"I'll catch up," Tommy yelled to the Billy, Aisha, Katherine, and Kimberly.
They all acknowledged his words by waving.
Tommy backed up and turned around to face the elderly gentleman.
"I would like you to practice something for me," Phil began.
"Going inside yourself . . . to a safe place where no one can touch or harm you!"
Tommy was a bit puzzled at his strange request; yet he did as he was told.
"Good . . . Very Good!"
Billy yelled to Tommy -- "Are you coming?"
"Yes!" Tommy yelled back.
"Practice this technique of going inside yourself," Phil said as Tommy picked up his bag.
"OK!" Tommy's voice faded as he ran.
As Phil watched Tommy catch up to his friends, Phil replied "It might just save your life, Tommy!"