Disclaimer: Power Rangers Time Force, SPD and all related logos are property of Saban Entertainment and/or Disney Entertainment. I am using them without permission, but I do not intend to make a profit from this. If I do happen to make a couple of bucks from it, I'll run to Canada to avoid paying royalties.
A/N: This fic takes place shortly after Time Force, but attempting to make sense of it will only give you brain freeze. If it gets a good response, there could be a potential series here.
dis·crep·an·cy - (d-skrpn-s) - Divergence or disagreement, as between facts or claims; difference. An instance of divergence or disagreement. See Synonyms at difference.
Trip had been at it for hours; going through paperwork, reading over history logs, attempting to make sense of what he saw. His recent adventure to the 21st century left him with a lot of questions, and he was sure walking up to Captain Logan and asking direct questions would get him an honest response. With that in mind, he decided to review the history logs, only to discover that many of them were classified with level four clearances. His attempts to hack into the system, to bypass the encryption sequences to view the files, but he hadn't been able to decode them.
His eyes were getting heavy, and fatigue was setting in, but he was determined to find the truth about what happened in the past. Alex had been more than helpful with telling them what happened to Wesley Collins after they left the year 2001, even giving them details that he shouldn't have, but this was different. He wasn't acting on emotion, or the desire to know what happened to a friend, he was looking for cold hard facts. There were things that history logs spelled out that just didn't make sense. Even before his trip to the past, he wondered about the inconsistencies of the timeline, how these obvious mistakes could be overlooked, and now that he was back home, he was determined to get to the truth.
Part of him knew that if Captain Logan or one of his superiors discovered what he was doing, it could mean a court martial, possibly his dismissal from Time Force altogether, but after months of research, he finally felt as though he was close to an answer, and he wasn't about to stop.
"Damn it, why can't I break these encryption algorithms?" he thought to himself, going over every known process, but still coming up short. He was so engulfed in his work that he didn't hear the doors to the science lab slide open, nor did he hear the footsteps behind him.
"Trip? What are you doing?"
The sound of his voice was enough to startle Trip. Not so much that he was shocked or caught off guard, but it was who the voice belonged to that worried him. Trip quickly rose to his feet, turning around and standing at attention.
"Commander Drake," he said firmly.
Alex removed his notorious deeply tinted sunglasses, revealing his blank, monotone expression on his face. "At ease Trip," Trip quickly put his arms at his side, but still didn't move. "You're working late," he said.
"Yes sir, just reviewing some files."
"Files on what?"
"History logs sir," Trip said.
"A report came in on my computer that someone using that access terminal was attempting to access classified files. Would you know anything about that?" he asked dryly.
Trip could have attempted to come up with a clever explanation, but didn't see the point. A routine investigation would reveal that it was his access codes logged into the computer, security monitors would show he was the only in the lab at the time Alex received the alert, and no doubt Alex already knew it was him.
"I wanted to review some of the history logs. I think I may have found some discrepancies in the timeline," he said, being completely honest.
"Yes sir, there are instances in the timeline that just don't add up. I wanted to try to make sense of them before I reported to you, but…"
"Trip," Alex sat down in front of the terminal. "Why don't you tell me what you've found?"
Trip let out a sigh of relief, sitting down next to Alex and pulling the information up on the computer screen. "In 1997, the rangers of that era converted to Turbo technology to gain access to the Nemesis Triangle, and it was thought that the powers that preceded them, the zeo powers, were destroyed in some way, but in 2002, over five years later, Tommy Oliver was able to access the zeo powers during the Forever Red mission. I've tried to access the logs associated with the zeo powers and the zeonizers, but they're encrypted," Trip explained.
Alex paused, yet his facial expression never changed. Trip watched on, waiting with confusion, unsure of how Alex would react. Finally, Alex made a move, leaning forward, inputting a series of codes into the computer. Within moments, the encrypted files were available, and Alex began to review the logs himself. "It says here that the Turbo technology was needed to get into the Nemesis Triangle, but there is no mention of the zeo powers ever being destroyed," he told him.
"So if turbo technology was necessary, why not just incorporate it into the zeonizers? The zeo crystal is known through out the universe as one of the single most powerful energy sources known to mankind. Why abandon it?"
"At the time, the power was controlled and maintained by a being named Zordon. There is no way to know the reasons behind his methods," Alex said.
"Even that aside, there are other instances where things just don't add up," Trip input another command into the computer, pulling up information. "It says here that in 1997, the turbo powers were destroyed, yet almost a year later, when the Astro rangers were on Earth, the blue turbo ranger was able to morph because of energy he received from his turbo zord. How is that possible?" he asked.
Alex turned to the computer, reviewing the information himself. "Yes, during a battle with Dixatox, the turbo powers and zords were believed to be destroyed, but you're a science major, so you know that power can't be created or destroyed, only transferred. According to the files, the desert thunder turbo zord was not in the command center when the center was destroyed. As a result, the turbo powers were transferred to the zord to be used at a later date," he said.
"But the other zords were in the command center?"
"Yes," Alex said.
"So how do you explain that in 2002 during the Forever Red mission, Theodore Johnson Jr. arrived in the red lightning turbo zord?" he asked him.
Alex paused. "Is this the only discrepancy you found in the logs?"
"No sir, not at all," he turned back to the computer. "In 1996, the original Earth bound morphers were disabled because of a shift in the timeline by Master Vile. As a result, those powers were inaccessible by the rangers, and they went on their quest to find the zeo powers. Yet, years later, in 1998, Adam Park was able to use his morpher to morph into the black ranger. Then again in 2002, Jason Scott was able to use his original power coin to morph into the red ranger," he pointed out. "How were these powers still available?"
"I'm afraid there isn't much information available on the morphing grid from that time period, but it is believed that the while the coins themselves may have been damaged, the power itself was still in the morphing grid," he said.
"What about the Quarsar Sabers and the Lightspeed morphers? Were they powered by the morphing grid? And what about the dino gems in 2004 and the Mystic Force powers?" she asked him.
"I'm not sure Trip, we'd have to investigate further," Alex admitted. "Unfortunately, I can't allow you to continue this investigation."
"There are things about the past that aren't common knowledge Trip, things that happened that Time Force feel as though needs to remain classified," he said.
"But its history logs, everyone should be entitled to know the truth about what happened," Trip brought up.
"Normally, I would agree with you, but in the case of classified files, there are some things better left unknown."
"The files about our mission to the year 2001 are available, but there are things that have been left out of the official reports. Our main concern was preserving the timeline, but Wes and Eric were able to keep their morphers even though that technology was from the future. You used the Sphere of Omara to save Wes' father from dying in the hospital, and as a result, Wes didn't take over his father's company as he was suppose to. If these things obviously changed the timeline, why were these changes allowed to stand?"
Alex sighed, standing up and straightening out his uniform. "There are things in the timeline that were necessary to preserve the future. I'm sorry, but I can't discuss all of them with you, but know that Time Force has a way of ensuring that things work out the way they were meant to," he put his sunglasses back on. "If you attempt to access these logs again, I'll have to report this to Captain Logan," he said.
Trip nodded. "I understand. But…" he paused. "I have one question. The history logs show pictures of a red Time Force officer in the year 2010, nine years after Wes was red Time Force ranger. The logs say that Sky Tate from SPD's father was the red ranger, but there are no records of Wes ever having a son. Who was the red Time Force ranger in SPD, and what happened to him? He came up missing after a battle, and he was never seen again," Trip brought up.
"I'm sorry Trip, I can't answer that, but I appreciate your persistence. Keep it up, and there just may be a place for you in temporal investigations," Alex said, walking out the room.