Rangers: 25 R.R.

25 years ago, A force of alien Monsters Descended upon our world Reigning Destruction, Fear and Eventually conquering the planet. Their leader, a woman called Rita Repulsa, began to rebuild the world into her own personal utopia and in all those years, she has ruled the world without challenge or opposition... Until now. This is Earth and the year is 25 RR (2018 AD)

Episode 1: The World we live in

It was a typical day in the small town of Angel Grove, Joseph had woken up late for school as usual. On the television, the R.B.N (Repulsa Broadcast Network) was airing a documentary about Rita's revival from 10,000 years of unjust imprisonment and rather than seek revenge on those who imprisoned her, she chose to come to our world and save us from destroying our selves. He'd seen this documentary before, they had shown it in school every week since he was in kindergarten. Joseph was alone in his home; his father worked the night shift at the angel grove quarry and his mother also worked nights as a nurse at Angel Grove Hospital. Going first to the mirror of his bathroom, he beheld a boy of seventeen with blonde clean-cut hair and a light, clear completion. Joseph had a conservative nature, never speaking out of anger or frustration and always considering the people around him before he acted or spoke. Having quickly dressed in his typical long sleeves button up with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and a pair of jeans, he grabbed a granola bar from the kitchen on his way out the door as he began the five-mile hike to Angel Grove High school. He was met about half way by one of his best friends; sporting tight cut curly hair and always seen wearing his favorite jean jacket, Shelton was a bit of Smart Ass, Making Sarcastic remarks every chance he got. He'd never say anything to hurt anyone, he just appreciated the occasional clever remark. Short in stature with a dark complexion, Shelton was always the life of any social gathering but his sense of humor and out spoken personality was something of a danger as the putty patrollers needed little excuse to cart anyone away to the Finster Correctional Education Facilities.

The putty patrollers were the worlds primary police force, they could be found on nearly every block in every city in the world. No one knows exactly what they are, only that they are some kind of aliens that didn't appear capable of speech, they seem to just mumble to each other. Many people seem to believe that the putties are made from dirt and clay because of their gray, lumpy skin and tendency to leave muddy foot prints in their wake. Though the putties were something to be cautious of, they were a common site and most knew to be wary when in their presence. Finster however, was another matter entirely. Serving as Rita's head of Science, Research & development, education and Corection, he is known mostly for his correctional education facilities. Used as both a temporary jail and a long-term prison, the primary function of these facilities were what most referred to as brainwashing.

People are sent there for everything from a minor traffic violation to speaking out against the Rita Repulsa Regime, though this was a rare occurrence. Most who are sent to these facilities are there for at least a month, if not years, and when they are released, they seem to be completely different people. Everything from there speech patterns to the way they carry themselves in public is changed but most notably, everyone who goes in, comes back swearing to have seen the error of their ways and claims to believe whole heartedly in Rita Repulsa and her vision for the future.

Joseph and Shelton kept their heads down to avoid staring at the puttie patrollers as they walked by. Another mile up the road, they were joined by Jennifer, another of Joseph's best friends. Jennifer was Quieter than the others, usually only speaking when spoken to. She wore her sandy brown hair in a pony tail that reached just above the small of her back and sported rectangular framed glasses above her nose. She was typically seen with a book in her hands, a sweater over her shoulders and usually sitting in the corner of what-ever room she was in. despite her quiet nature, she was known for being very bright, always scoring in the top five percent of the class. This sometimes-brought unwelcome remarks however, remarks from the school principle about one day taking her place in the science or R & D sectors. Maybe even working side by side with Finster himself, these comments made Jennifer feel very uncomfortable.

Finally arriving at Angel Grove High, the three were stopped by a hi-pitched voice calling to them from across the school lawn. It didn't take long for them to recognize the figure running towards them as Spike, the group klutz and the most socially awkward person they knew. Though he was harmless, he always attempted to portray some sort of bad boy persona, usually sporting a leather jacket and excessive chains hanging from his torn jeans. He also had what some might call an unhealthy obsession with the Arena, a place of gladiatorial combat instituted by Scorpina, Rita's head of Public affairs. Spikes greatest ambition was to one day compete in the arena and stand victorious as Grand champion; the title held by whomever wins every fight they compete in for the entire one-year duration of the contest. Because of his clumsy and down-right goofy demeanor however, no one took him seriously. He was a loyal friend though and trust-worthy, the others were always happy to have him in their company.

The four walked into the school building together, checking their back packs at the front entrance so the Security putties could inspect for contraband, this was a daily routine. Once their packs were cleared, they made their way down the hall to their lockers, in every corner of every hallway was a T.V. monitor airing the latest Repulsa Administration propaganda. This time it was showing clips from a past world war, soldiers lying dead on the ground, tanks blasting away at troops hiding behind shrubbery. It was all meant to show what life was like before Rita arrived on earth and then to show what life was like with her as ruler of the planet, the video showed children playing in the park, every day people smiling as they grocery shopped and even a shot of a dog and cat sleeping next to each other. If they were being honest with themselves, no one in school really knew what life was like back then, Rita had been in control of the planet since before they were born and none of their parents or anyone else from the time every really talked about it. After exchanging books and folders between their packs and lockers, the four friends walked to class and made it there just in time to be joined by Rachele, the last member of their close-knit group.

Most of the kids in school would refer to Rachele as "The Pretty one" or "The Hot one" when trying to point her out in the group of five. She usually dressed in a skirt that stopped just above the knees and a sleeveless blouse with three buttons at the neck, her hair was cut short above the neck with blonde highlights through-out her naturally dark brown follicles. Although it was an easy mistake to make, she didn't have a typical pretty girl attitude, quit the opposite in fact. She was very kind, caring and compassionate, always the first to lend a hand to someone in need and never turning her back on anyone in need of a friend. Unfortunately, her knack for caring could only go so far, the school only offered basic instruction in math, writing and centered heavily around the twenty-five-year history of Rita's reign on earth. The final exam out of high school was a placement test to determine where in the work force they would be assigned. Because of this, there were no after school volunteer programs or any other opportunities for Rachele to reach out and do much of anything for her community.

They all sat down just as the final bell rang and it was time for the morning pledge of loyalty to the Repulsa flag hanging in the class room. All the students in the class room placed their right hand over their eyes and recited the pledge.

"I pledge my assets, my Loyalty and my life to she, who saved us from our own self destruction and shown us the true path to peace, safety and security. And should it become necessary, I will gladly lay down my life in service of my Empress, Rita Repulsa.

No one of course, took this pledge seriously, it was just something they had to do at the start of every day. They began class afterword with basic math, nothing too complicated, just a rehash of lessons they'd already had. After that would be reading, writing and literature; of course, the literature was limited to "Rita: An Emprise to be" and "The moon and what it Taught me". There were more titles but they were mostly the same story over and over again, told from different points of view and taking place at a different point in time. These two classes took up the first third of the school day, the last two thirds were taken up with history. More specifically, the twenty-five-year history of the reign of Rita Repulsa and the tragic history of humanity before she arrived. After hearing the same lecture over and over again since your very first day of school, it tends to become pretty boring and Joseph and his friends couldn't help but wonder if there was more to it. After all, twenty-five years isn't that long a time and surely some one remembers what life was like back then. No one talked about it though, not their teachers or parents, most of whom would have been in high school themselves the day Rita arrived on earth. Yet, they never discussed it with the younger generation and while it wasn't the first question on their minds when they woke in the morning, the teens couldn't help but wonder... Why?

School would end with all of the students having been given an assignment to write an essay on what they thought their lives would have been like during the time before Rita came to save us and what about society today would have made that life better. Having already been to their lockers and checked their packs at the front entrance to ensure they weren't stealing from the school grounds, the five teens started the walk back home, talking amongst themselves about an up-coming bon fire they planned to attend outside of town. The event had been put together by various students at school and everyone who had been invited was responsible for bringing something, Joseph was bringing the drinks, Shelton the snacks, Jennifer the stereo and Rachele was one of many whose job it was to bring folding chairs. Spike… wasn't directly invited as he was some-what of an outcast out-side of his immediate circle of friends but the others encouraged him to come along any way and to just bring what he could, should anyone say anything, they'd stand by him. As the five split off to their respective homes, they agreed to meet up around five o'clock the following day (Saturday) in front of Spikes apartment building as he lived closest to the last convenient store on the way out of town.

Joseph returned home just in time to greet his father in the kitchen brewing a pot of coffee, he'd just woken up from sleeping all day and was preparing for another all-night shift at the quarry. His mother had already left for the hospital, having been called into work early, this was typical of his mother's work schedule. As Joseph made his way to refrigerator to grab some leftovers for his dinner, his father asked how school was that day, to which he responded by saying

"it was fine, boring as always."

His father snickered and replied "Don't worry son, it wasn't exactly my favorite part of childhood either, as a matter of fact…" his father suddenly stopped, as though he were about to say something wrong.

"Dad, you ok?" asked Joseph, confused.

His father shook his head and replied, "I'm fine son, nothing to worry about." And he returned his attention to his coffee.

"Oh, ok pop." Joseph said, still puzzled "as long as you're alright, how was work last night? You mentioned the other day that you received a huge order…?" the two continued to chat until it was time for Joseph's dad to head out to work for the night, Joseph took his dinner to his room and flipped on the tv for some background noise as he began working on the essay he'd been assigned in school that day.

Joseph awoke the next morning to the sound of his mother returning home from a long night at the hospital. Knowing his mother well, he got out of bed to go to the kitchen just in time to catch her trying to fire up the stove to make him breakfast.

"Mom…" he said smiling. "you should get some sleep, I can feed myself"

his mother smirked at him and replied "oh, really? What setting do you cook eggs on? Medium or high?"

Knowing this was a trick question but still not knowing the right answer, Joseph said "Medium?"

his mother chuckled and said "sit down boy, I'll sleep once I've made sure you've had more than a Granola bar for breakfast."

Recognizing defeat, Joseph sat down at the kitchen table and before long, his eggs were ready. Though he felt guilty about his mother cooking for him after a long night at the hospital, he was always happy to eat her eggs. They were always fluffy and had the ketchup cook right in with them. He gave his mother a kiss on the cheek as she headed off to bed and he began cleaning up the kitchen, this was the first of many chores he performed through-out the day when he wasn't at school. Since both his parents worked nights and slept during the day, it fell to him to keep up the house. Mowing the grass, house cleaning, swapping blown out light bulbs for new ones, he took care of everything. He didn't mind, it kept him busy and stayed off the boredom that usually fell on other kids his age, Angel Grove wasn't a bad little town but there was absolutely nothing to do. No organized sports, no community or rec centers, their town didn't even have an arena. Not that Joseph was into fighting the way Spike was but at least it would have been something to do other than watch the RBN on tv all day. So, the kids in town would find ways to make their own fun, like the bonfire that night.

By the time Joseph had finished with his chores, it was nearing four O'clock. He grabbed his Jacket, wallet & keys and headed out the door to begin the walk to Spikes apartment building. the route was similar to his walk to school every day except that instead of making the final right toward the school, he would turn left toward the town line. Just as he would on his way to school, he was met on the road by Shelton and Jennifer, with Rachele meeting them at the final fork in the road. The four reached Spikes building to find that he was not yet outside waiting for them, knowing which window was his, Shelton gathered some pebbles from the parking lot and began tossing them in hope of getting Spikes attention. Someone did come to the window but it wasn't Spike, it was his father. At first the teens froze, unsure of what to do, they had just been caught pelting this man's window with rocks after all. Before anyone could say anything the, Spike's father smiled and yelled down to them

"SPIKE'LL BE DOWN IN JUST A MINUTE KIDS, HE'S TRYING TO DECIDE WHICH CHAINS HE WANTS TO WARE"

All of the teens smiled back at him as Rachele yelled in response "THANKS MR. SKULLOVITCH, SORRY ABOUT YOUR WINDOW."

Mr. Skullovitch waved his hand and shouted back "NO WORRIES, I DID FAR WORSE WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE. DON'T BURN DOWN THE TOWN TONIGHT, OKAY."

Joseph Replied "NO PROBLEM, HAVE A GOOD NIGHT." Mr. Skullovitch waved and disappeared behind the window curtains. Spikes dad was a maintenance man in the building, it didn't pay much but his employment there got him a discount on one of the smaller apartments, just big enough for two people. Spike's mom had walked out on them when spike was very young, he didn't talk about it much but it went with-out saying that he felt he was to blame. Spike finally emerged from the front entrance of the building and the five teens headed to the convenient store to pick up the things they needed for the evening's festivities.

Having picked up the things they needed from the store, Drinks, Snack food, Jennifer already had her stereo as well as some cassette tapes she found in the basement of her house with music on them that beat anything the RBN played on the Radio, Rachele was wheeling all the folding chairs she could strap to a two-wheel dolly and Spike… Bought packs and packs of bubble gum.

"Everyone loves gum." He had said as he paid for it at the store.

They were almost to the site of the bonfire, it could already be seen glowing in the distance. The site wasn't too far out of town and near the top of a hill where some old building had been torn down and fenced off years before any of them were born. At one time, you could find more putty patrollers guarding this fence than anywhere else in town but in the last 5 years or so, they'd seemed to have lost interest in whatever was here in the first place. The teens reached the Bonfire site and were greeted by many of their fellow students, who were both thirsty and had the munchies. Joseph & Shelton passed out the drinks & snacks while Rachele set out the chairs she had brought and Jennifer fired up her stereo but when Spike tried to pass out his gum he was greeted with looks of disgust and disapproval. Feeling like an outcast yet again, Spike turned to leave but Joseph placed his arm around Spikes shoulder and told him just to forget about them, more gum for him and his friends. Recognizing that Joseph was trying to cheer him up, Spike smiled and they all took seats by the fire.

The teens sat and chatted with their school mates for hours, covering every topic from whom they had a crush on, to the results of the last arena match on tv. Eventually, the drinks & snacks ran out and the last of the fire wood was down to its last embers. Everyone began to pack up what they had brought, preparing to head home for the evening when Spike called everyone… "Hey, were we expecting more people to show up?" everyone looked at one another, shaking their heads to indicate no. "Oh, then I think we're in trouble…"

Spike pointed down to the road going back into town to reveal a mix of police, fire fighter and Putty Patrol vehicles turning off the main road and heading there way. Every one panicked, most made a mad dash for the opposite side of the hill, intending to run home the long way around while others desperately tried to gather their belongings.

"I don't get it!" Spike said in a panicky high-pitched voice, "I thought this was cool, what's the problem?"

Shelton pointed at the near-by fence and replied "That's the problem! We're too close to the fence, No one is supposed to be here. Even the cops have to get permission from the Putty patrol before they can come anywhere near here."

Everyone looked around and wondered, who's idea it was to have the bonfire here in the first place. Suddenly realizing that they were wasting time and having no desire to visit and Finster Facility, Jennifer stepped forward and said…

"Might I suggest we think about that later and Get out of here before we get caught…" She was right, the teens took another look over the hill side to see that the investigating force had parked their vehicles and were beginning to scale the hill on foot.

With-out thinking, Shelton pulled back on a part of the fence with a split in it and called for his friends to follow him through and again, without thinking, they all rushed through the fence making their way to the hill top. After reach the spot where the old building used to be, Rachele suddenly stopped and asked

"Wait, why did we come up here?"

looking confused, Shelton responded "To hide, Why else?"

Rachele looked at him in disbelief and said in reply "okay but don't you think it would have been a better idea to run down the other side of the hill like everyone else? They might come up here just to check things out."

Everyone knew she had made a valid point but it was already too late, they could hear voices coming from where the bonfire had been and they were getting closer. The teens all rushed to hide in the back-left corner of the ruins where there was still a wall partially intact and what looked like an old control panel, full of buttons and switches. As they peered from around the corner of the wall, the teens saw several figured come into view, Putty patrollers. The putties had an odd way of moving around, slightly crouched with their feet spread widely apart and their elbows always raised and bent, their stance resembled that of an ape. They may have looked goofy but they were not to be taken lightly, in addition to the rumors that they could appear and disappear in an instant, Spike had seen them in the warmup matches of the arena and it took a skilled fighter just a handful of them down. After looking around for just a moment, it appeared that they were going to leave but then, one of them turned towards the corner where the teens were hiding and began moving slowly in their direction. Terrified, the five friends huddled together, they were trapped in this corner and on the verge of being caught. They all closed their eyes and prayed, knowing this was completely in vain, except Joseph… He moved away from the group and began clearing debris from the floor in the corner. "Okay, dude." Shelton whispered "do you really think now is the best time to tidy up…?"

Joseph continued to clear away debris, revealing a handle fastened to the floor. He pulled on the handle, opening a trap door in the floor. "Guys, come on" he motioned for his friends to climb down the hole, which they did one at a time until it was Spikes turn.

"I don't know, it's dark down there and we don't know…"

Joseph cut him off "Would you rather take your chances with them?" as he pointed to the edge of the wall.

Spike nodded in agreement and lowered himself into the hole. Joseph followed closely behind and closed the trap door above him just in time to prevent the putty patroller from seeing them.

The group had climbed down a latter at least twenty-five feet down and found themselves in a dark tunnel. Unable to see their surroundings, the only thing that was visible was a dim light in the distance and having very little choice, they began to walk towards it. Taking short, shallow steps to avoid tripping in the dark, they slowly moved toward the light which grew slightly brighter as they grew closer.

"What do you think this place was?" Spike asked as they walked.

"No clue." Shelton responded.

"I always figured it was an old broadcast station" Jennifer Offered "there was a big satellite dish lying on the ground up there. What about you Rachele, what do you think?"

Rachele shrugged and answered "Maybe it was something to do with the military a long time ago, that old control panel up there looked pretty crazy."

Jen lowered her eyes in thought "you're right, it did. In fact, I've never heard of anything so sophisticated. I would love to have gotten a look underneath it."

Joseph spoke up and said "Well, you're about as far beneath it as I think you're going to get." Everyone snickered at this as they continued down the tunnel. Eventually they came to the source of the light, and what they saw made absolutely no sense in any of their minds. It was green and glowing, almost resembling Jell-O covering what they hoped would be the tunnel exit. It covered the entire wall and they couldn't see through it, no one was sure of what to do, they couldn't go back to be caught buy the putties but they saw no way around this glowing, green slime either. Seeing no alterative and also partly driven by curiosity, Joseph stepped forward and reached out to the slimy barrier.

Jennifer immediately reached out, grabbing his are to stop him. "What are you doing? We have no idea what this stuff is or what it could do to you." She said this, not with a lecturing tone in her voice but with tone of concern.

"Look," Joseph replied "we may not know what this stuff is but we've all heard the rumors about the Finster camps and between the two, I choose the mystery goo." Hesitating, Jennifer nodded and let go of Joseph's arm. Joseph again, reached out towards the Barrier and when his hand was less than an inch from it… He flicked it. Nothing happened, except the green goo rippled a bit. He reached out again, this time tapping a few times with the tip of his finger and again, nothing. Feeling that he may as well, he looked back at his friends and then plunged his arm through the slime up to his elbow.

"What does it feel like?" Shelton asked, looking both curious and grossed out.

Joseph removed his arm from the Jell-O and revealed a slight bit of moisture on his hand. "It feels cool" He responded "kind of like hand sanitizer."

The other's looked at him and breathed a sigh of relief.

"Okay" Spike spoke up "So what do we do with it?"

Joseph looked back at the glowing goo and replied "I didn't feel a wall on the other side, I think we can walk through."

They all looked at one another with looks of hesitation.

"And then what?" Jennifer asked "We don't know what's on the other side."

Shaking his head, Joseph repeated his previous point. "No, but we know what's back there" Pointing back to the start of the tunnel "And like I said, given the choice, I choose goo." With that, he turned around without hesitation and walked through the Green Barrier. Shocked but also feeling they had no choice, his friends took Joseph's example and one by one, followed him through.