Chapter 4 – Lies We Tell

After placing his team in cots in the underground base, Tommy sat down at a chair, still holding his chest.

"Let me see it," Bulk told him in a no-nonsense voice.

The Dino Thunder mentor sighed, and with a lot of strained and painful motions, he finally took off his shirt. His chest to the left was a huge mass of purple, blue and angry red in several different shades. With sure motions and a knowing face, Bulk probed the area, and Tommy winced once or twice.

"Nothing broken, but you probably sprained a coupla ribs. You have something that I can tie these up?" the man asked. Dr. O pointed to him the medical cabinet to a corner. While he was fussing inside the well stocked cabinet, Tommy voiced his doubts.

"What did you mean when you said 'Ranger powers'?" he asked.

Bulk remained silent but smiling, until he returned with some gauze, tape, muscle relaxant and an ointment. He started spreading the ointment, focusing on the task at hand.

"You ever wondered why you were chosen to be a Ranger? Why any of you were? Jason, Zack, Trini, Kim? The new ones? The old ones?" Bulk asked.

That threw Tommy into a loop. Evilness aside from his first incarnation as a Ranger, he always thought he was chosen to keep on fighting because of a higher reason.

"Because we were the right people?" Tommy asked, wary, and the smirk Bulk returned was almost sympathetic, if it hadn't a hint of critic on it. "That wasn't it?"

"Yes and no. Yes, you probably were the right people, and Zordon was a great judge of character, even with his plotting. But why you? Why Jason? Why not a trained soldier, a special ops of some sort, with years of experience in the battlefield? Someone older, perhaps? Why teenagers?"

To be honest, Bulk made sense. He never questioned his calling. None of them ever did.

"You never thought about that, right?" Bulk asked, and Tommy replied with a quick shake of his head. He winced when the old acquaintance tightened the gauze a bit. "And that, my friend, is the main answer to all the questions. No one ever questioned Zordon. Or Ninjor. Or Dulcea. You guys and girls were always so enraptured in fighting the good fight and being good guys that all of you ever shrugged this particular question aside. Why teenagers? Because none would question the words of the almighty Zordon," Bulk said, anger clearly reflected in his voice.

"Why do you hate Zordon so much?" Tommy asked, getting more worried at each passing moment. Bulk finished taping him, and with a light tap on his shoulder, announced that he was finished with him.

"That goes back to my first question. What are the Ranger powers? And don't tell me it's the color-coded outfits and the snazzy weapons, or the super robots. What makes you a Ranger?"

Tommy remained silent. If he thought it over, aside from the strength and protection that the suit provided and access to the weapons, he had absolutely no idea.

"Do you think the Power Coins were only good enough to power your suits and weapons? And your Zords?" Bulk asked, sitting in another chair in front of his old friend. "Think about it, Tommy, you are a smart guy. What is wrong with this picture?"

A few moments passed, still in silence.

"Let me help you connect the dots, since you are too close to the problem to see it clearly. The Coins powered your Zords. What does this particular piece of information tell you?"

Tommy lifted his head, finally making the connection. "That there was more energy in those Coins than we ever imagined. If one of them could power up the Zords . . ."

"Where was the energy when you were only fighting as a Ranger?" Bulk completed.

"How do you know that?" the oldest Ranger in activity asked, checking the newcomer under a different eye.

"I'll answer that in a few moments. But, the main point is, your suits? The 'Ranger Armor'? It was armor, all right, but it acted mostly as a power regulator, to block you from access the true power of the Coins, the true Power of a Ranger."

"So that means . . ."

"Zordon and all the other mentors lied to all of you? Yes, they did."