Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers, and I truly doubt
that I ever will. However, there are several things within this series
that I do own including all original ideas and characters herein. Do not
take without asking.
Notes: This is a prelude to Grid Wars. It is not a story per se, it is a text written by a prominent character within the story. This character's views and explanations are integral to the storyline. (Sept 21/02)
A common question among students today is, 'What exactly is a Power Ranger?' A frustrating query if ever there was one, the answer is ever changing to accommodate new revelations, happenings, and the occasional break in political technicalities. To answer such a question, one must return to its source.
Almost one hundred years ago a woman by the name of Mercedes of Vikadin, became the first ever 'Power Ranger'. Mercedes was, as most historical accounts agree, a pure genius. Her studies of the Power made advances in scientific, psionic and magical fields. In addition, she was well on her way to solidifying the United Alliance of Benevolence, thereby securing lasting peace in this galaxy and possibly throughout the known Universe.
In her studies of these fields of the unifying force known as the Power, she came upon a subset of the Power. This subset was the power of change, it was not purely magical in nature as most assume the Power to be, but a mixture of technology, magic, psionics, and perhaps even some powers not know to us. She called it, the Morphin Grid. With this Morphin Grid, Mercedes believed that she would be able to create her Champions of Benevolence, Rangers of the Power.
The first instance of morphing into a Ranger came one night when Mercedes was walking home after a grueling political meeting. The streets of Ismen, capitol of Eltar, were not free of such common a thing as muggers, and Mercedes quite suddenly found herself surrounded by several of the footpads. Without hesitation, she reached into her jacket pocket and withdrew the item with which she had been experimenting. What today would be termed, a 'Power Coin'. A shouted phrase of power and she was clad in white armor with golden designs. I almost feel sorry for the footpads.
Not one month later, Mercedes t'Vikadin, was dead, assassinated, a victim of political maneuverings and intrigue.
The exact definition of what constitutes a 'Power Ranger' is still up for argument and likely will be for quite a while now, with designations popping up such as 'Eltaren Ranger', and 'Power Defender'. Officially and politically, a Power Ranger is a humanoid warrior part of a team of six, who has the ability to morph into a Ranger and is sanctioned by the UAB or a Grid Master. In my opinion, and for the purposes of this essay, a Power Ranger is any person who uses the Morphin Grid to transform into a Ranger, a 'Ranger' being a powered morphed form.
The young and even many of my learned colleagues want a concrete template or plan or form by which the powers from the Morphin Grid are formed and defined.„ I have found in my studies and experiments of this power, that either no such plan exists or that the plan is so enormous in its subtleties and design that finding a pattern would be not only a huge undertaking, but an even bigger waste of time. However, there does seem to be a loose set of rules by which the Morphin Grid powers arrange themselves.
Physically, a Ranger gains from this Morphin Grid, enhanced physical attributes (strength, speed, sensory perception, etc). In addition, while in Ranger form the Ranger is physically protected by a suite of full body armor that in no way impedes freedom of movement. The Ranger is also supplied with a small armory of weapons (if said warrior uses weapons), accelerated healing, and several other attributes discussed further in the following entries.
There are two states of a morphing talisman, defined and undefined. According to the notes of Mercedes t'Vikadin, the first power coin was created by taking a regular golden disk, and turning it into a tap and focus for the power of the Morphin Grid. That is all the more preparation she made. When she morphed, her subconscious defined the particulars. This process of allowing the user's first morph to define the Ranger is known as a blind morph. After this first morph, the coin is defined and will always produce the defined Ranger. Furthermore, the more such a talisman is used, the further defined it becomes.
Since that first morph, another, more regulated method has been established. Talismans are now created with more definition to them, including any combination of the following; spirit guides, weapons, armor and armor design, color, battle mecha or some other defining factor. When defined in this manner, the talisman always produces the Ranger defined. However, that's not to say that further definition cannot be implemented at a later date.
Certain situations might call for specific tools or gear. A Ranger team might find it necessary to develop a handheld device in order to track a particular villain. Once created, this device could be incorporated into the Ranger's standard gear receiving all the benefits of being powered by the Morphin Grid. It should also be noted that when certain items are incorporated into a Ranger's gear, they will take on the color of that particular Ranger. For example, the tracking device from the earlier example might have been created from metal plating of a dull grey color. After a while, this device will no longer remain the color of its origin, but will instead take on the color of the Ranger who is using it.
With Mercedes t'Vikadin's assassination, the United Alliance of Benevolence is not as strong as it could have been and for that reason, there are wars breaking out throughout the galaxy. With the knowledge of how to create Power Rangers becoming more and more common, those with the power to do so, are. Any number of talismans have been created: undefined, highly defined, and anywhere in-between. Which is the best method is a topic hotly debated.
One of the first things noticed about a Ranger is his color.„ That is, the primary color of his armor, arms, and even his civilian garb.„ The designation of color is widely believed to depend, in most cases, upon the individual's personality.„ There are two main exceptions to this rule.
The first occurs when one transforms with a highly defined talisman not of their primary color.„ For example, I am considered a Yellow personality.„ However if I were to pick up a power coin that had been designed to produce a Pink Ranger and attempted to morph, I would take the form of the specified Pink Ranger, if I was able to use that talisman at all.
Another exception occurs, when in a team of Rangers where the talismans are defined to create a team with specified colors, there are two of similar personalities.„ In cases such as this, usually the one who strays most from the particular personality will be given a color of close relation.„ For example, White and Pink often share similar outlooks and demeanors.
This phenomenon of being able to take on colors not your own leads me to believe that a sentient being's personality is so complex that most will be considered to be of a primary color, perhaps even a secondary color and then of all others at once.„It should be kept in mind however, that the declaration that personality defines Ranger color does not always hold true.
(As currently defined by the Grid Masters)
Music, color, words, movementthe mediums by which art and beauty can be represented are at the Black personality's disposal. Musicians, and poets, painters and dancers the Black expresses emotion through art and cherishes the beauty thereof and that which naturally surrounds them. Being natural artists, the Black is quite creative, a trait that assists a team greatly when something new needs to be done. Blacks tend to take up the position of second in command largely because they are too outspoken not to speak their mind, but the position of leadership demands too strict a nature. Much like the Silver and Purple personalities, Blacks are sometimes seen as too carefree and relaxed in their duties, and thought of as not realizing the seriousness of the position they have taken.
Despite the name, being an inventor is not a requirement for Blues. This color of the Grid was dubbed such because an inordinate amount of them are geniuses gifted with the ability to create things. In actuality, the defining traits of those who bear the blue mantle are a tenacious attitude and the ability to think on their feet. In addition to this, they tend to be fairly quiet and self-effacing, sometimes to a fault. Because of this, Blues and Yellows tend to form strong bonds as the Yellow personality will usually be the first to draw the Blue out of their shell. The Blue's sharp mind and ability to think quickly assist them in political situations furthering the chance of a Yellow/Blue bond.
Gold Rangers are highly reserved, they will often only offer an opinion when asked for it and simply follow or give orders as the situation demands. Because of this, Golds have gotten the reputation for being 'good little soldiers'. Certainly not a complementary reputation. Though they do indeed tend to be very soldier like, the Gold's behavior patterns display the desire to think things through instead of flying off the handle, and their desire keep team cohesiveness. Golds are also highly proud, some say vain. Their personal honor is second only to that of their friends and companions. To insult the honor of a Gold is to pick a fight, no matter how reserved they may be. However once the dispute is settled, they do not hold a grudge.
The Green personality is known for being insightful, often seeing things others overlook. In accordance with this, Greens are often of a mystical nature, sometimes being somewhat misty and distant from the real world, making them a mystery, at once exciting and frightening. This has the potential of distancing the Green from his teammates. Greens are also known for being reserved, rather like the Blues, but rarely to that extreme. Unfortunately, more Greens than any other color have betrayed the UAB and turned to the dark. Because of this, some have come to call the color cursed and accuse all Greens of being traitors. Obviously I disapprove of such nonsense, I believe this view to be highly illogical and highly bigoted.
This is the color of the one who wants to stop pain. Most commonly this takes form in the Pink becoming a medic or doctor, but it also includes those who wish to heal wounds of the mind, or damage to the land. Pinks are very open and honest, making it difficult for them to see dishonesty and deceit. Though the Power, and thereby the Morphin Grid is neither good nor evil, it is highly uncommon to see an evil Pink Ranger.
The personality to take the purple mantle is that of the trickster or the thief. They tend to have excellent minds for the arena of stealth, and deceit, preferring to receive maximum results with very little effort. Unfortunately, despite the many talents and obvious usefulness of such warriors, some would call Purples the dregs of the Ranger Spectrum. Where the Black is laidback, and the Silver is a loose cannon, the Purple is a veritable rogue. Stealing, drinking, lying, beding, and gambling are often common pursuits of the Purple personality. Such behaviors indicate a lust for life and for living the moment, not a irresponsible or foul natured personality. Purples often find themselves butting heads with Reds, and to a lesser degree, Golds. The more straight-laced nature of Red and Gold is quite at odds with Purple's.
Red is the color of action, of battle and of anger. Reds are more suited to action then to words, they would rather leave the diplomacy to the Yellows and Blues. For this reason, Reds are not necessarily the best leaders, though they often are in such a position because of their battle prowess. That said, on the field of battle, Red's are quite often in the lead, a sort of battle charisma allowing them to issue orders that their companions will follow. Their greatest weakness and perhaps their greatest weapon, is the Red's short and great temper. Emotion, especially anger, is powerful and in the hands of one such as a Red Ranger, it can be incredibly dangerous. Unfortunately, for the Red who is not careful, and who is not in control, that same righteous anger that gives him power can turn against, and consume him.
Silver is the most erratic color of the Ranger Spectrum. Cocky, arrogant, disrespectful to authority figures and rules, Silvers are seen as wild, sometimes dangerous. However, those who attempt to understand this behavior will note that the cockiness is simply a certainness of their abilities, arrogance is a tactic to irritate an enemy, and respect is something that is earned through action, not rank. In addition to being a loose cannon, Silvers are stubborn, once they set their mind to something, whether it be to get their commander to loosen up, or to hold a tactical position against an enemy, it takes a good deal to stop them.
In the beginning, White Rangers were considered the purest, noblest and most perfect of all others. After all, the first ever Ranger was White. I do not disagree that Mercades t'Vikadin was a good person, but the idea that White symbolizes absolute perfection is ludicrous. Instead, Whites are noble people, dedicated to their cause. In the case of most, this translates to perfecting chivalry, to becoming a veritable White Knight. Some find this irritating, some find it laudable, for the White personality, it is simply their way. As with the Pink personality, it is highly rare to see an evil White Ranger.
Yellows serve as the protector and peacemaker of the group. They are fiercely defensive of their friends, often latching onto one in particular who might need such protection and are the first to step in when those friends don't see eye to eye. At the negotiating table, Yellows are invaluable; many find it difficult to dislike them. The flaw of a Yellow lies in the fact that they can be somewhat overbearing. In the case of one who is in need of their protection at the beginning, this can make it so that the one protected has little chance to grow on their own.
'May The Power protect you.' This blessing has become quite popular among those dealing with Rangers, and there is good reason for it. When one is able to channel the Power through the Morphin Grid via some talisman or other, one is afforded many abilities, the most obvious of which is the transformation into a Ranger. There are also four main physical protections.
A Power Ranger's armor is constructed of a lightweight highly durable material known as plasti-steel. This material when powered by the Morphin Grid becomes nearly indestructible, able to take a great deal of punishment while leaving the Ranger unharmed. In addition to this, the material hinders movement in no way no matter the form it takes. There are currently three forms that a Ranger's armor might take.
The first form is simply called Armor. In this form, the Ranger's armor appears just much like unpowered plasti-steel armor with plates and joints, an obvious barrier between the warrior and an attack. The second form to appear is a thin formfitting suit. Though it is so thin, this Suit is just as protective as the Armor. The third form is a looser fitting cloth like material. This form of the Ranger armor first appeared on the first Ninjetti team. Again, the Cloth armor is just as protective as the other two. The different forms seem to be simply cosmetic as freedom of movement and physical protection seem to be more dependant upon the type of power and skills of the Ranger than the type of armor worn.
Despite the fact that said armor is greatly enhanced by the Morphin Grid, it is possible to for it to be damaged. Ranger's Helmets have been known to crack, armor to rip, et cetera. It would, in general, take the most brilliant of smiths to repair such a thing. Fortunately, much like the Accelerated Healing factor, any Ranger armor, and in fact any equipment powered by the Grid will naturally regenerate.
The Power is constantly augmenting a Ranger's immune and physical recovery systems. Should a Ranger sustain a physical wound or take ill, the power that courses through their body during a morph is the same power that will speed their recovery, in civilian and Ranger form. A minor cut received during preparation of dinner, a sun burn achieved while enjoying the outdoors, even these little harms are remedied. However, while the Power does speed the recovery process, the recovery process must still take place, as many an impulsive Ranger might tell you.
For example, should a Ranger have had to undergo surgery in order to correct an irritated internal structure, though the process of recovery is significantly sped up, it still must take place. Should such an impulsive Ranger decide to morph anyway and take to the field of battle, the energy from the morph will quite likely take away the pain while in the morphed state. However, the condition is likely to be aggravated by battle and since much of the power is going into supplying the physical enhancements, armor and armaments, the healing process will not be optimized.
Another relevant note on Accelerated Healing is that it works harder and faster on the more serious injuries, i.e. if a Ranger receives a gash to the thigh a black eye and a broken rib, the Power will heal the broken rib fist and foremost, fast as it can. The gash to the thigh will be next and then, the black eye if it's not healed already.
Another protection device employed by the power is a Power Down. It takes a certain amount of strength to morph and to remain morphed, though a Ranger will hardly take notice of this while in peak form. Should a Ranger take a significant amount of damage, even if in the middle of battle, they will revert to their civilian forms. This is a defense mechanism that keeps a Ranger from being overwhelmed and destroyed by the Power, as the loss of said strength might make it impossible for the Ranger to continue to maintain the control of the Power
The final form of protection is a result of a fatal blow and doesn't necessarily always initiate or in the event that it does, succeed in saving the Ranger. Instead of powering down, the Ranger immediately goes comatose in Ranger form with all their power going into physical protection and repairing the body. Unfortunately, few have survived this process.
According to some philosophers, emotion is something for those who have yet to master themselves, that to become a truly wise and competent being, one must be able to move past such basic feelings. I am not inclined to agree. Emotion is a part of us, it is our nature to feel sad or happy or angry or excited. And channeled correctly and with the proper discipline, emotion is powerful.
I have seen a Ranger, burst into a room where her comrades were being held captive by a group of villains. Despite the fact that the rest of the team together was captured by these villains, the Ranger bursting into the room is filled with such a righteous fury as to be neigh unbeatable.
Having made my position clear, I must caution that use of anger as a weapon can go horribly wrong. Use your emotions, do not let them use you. A Ranger is granted their power on the idea that they will use it for the sake of what is good and right. In the heat of battle, emotion may well cloud the mind and a well meaning Ranger could do something they will later regret. Therefore, while I disagree with divorcing oneself from emotion, I strongly insist upon control of that emotion.
When Rangers first began to experience what is now referred to as Extended Time, they thought that they were simply loosing themselves in the battle. A full morphing sequence usually includes gesticulation and vocalization taking at least a second or two, but once a Ranger calls upon the power, an outsider watching sees them flash brilliantly for a moment and then they are changed. Further, as I can attest, during the transformation, one might feel as though they are bathed in that power for an eternity. This is the phenomenon of extended time.
Powering up and firing a particular weapon might take far to long for an ordinary person, but when prepared by a Ranger it is possible for it to actually take only a moment despite the fact that it may have seemed to take several precious seconds to the Ranger. Many Rangers describe a featureless space when in the grip of this phenomenon. There is nothing but themselves and their task, oft times including their target. This might suggest that perhaps a Ranger slips into a pocket dimension or subspace when this extra time is needed. This topic is hotly debated and as yet, uncertain.
Power Rangers make great use of pocket dimensions or Subspace. Pocket dimensions can be quite small or very large, depending on who creates them and how. The pocket dimensions used by Rangers are created by tapping into the Morphin Grid and morphing into a Ranger. A Power Ranger then has the ability to store all manner of objects within this pocket including his armor, weapons, morpher and other gear that might be used in the line of Ranger business.
How does one be a Ranger? Now we have the Academy, where students can learn various subjects from combat to strategy to diplomacy. However, even the Academy cannot teach everything that is needed in order to achieve optimal performance in Ranger form. Fortunately, the Power imbues us with this knowledge upon morphing. Therefore the required skills come naturally to the Ranger, from use of weapons, the operation of zords.
In many ways, this is a summary of what many already know. It does, however, strike me as odd, that many people still ponder of the question of what a Power Ranger is. I have compiled this document in an attempt to answer this question as simply and in as short a time as possible. It should, of course, be noted that what is declared in this document is not a comprehensive list of all that is possible. We do not and will not know everything about the Morphin Grid. And that, I believe, is the most important part.
I submit that the possibilities of the Morphin Grid and thereby Power Rangers, are unbounded.