Flashback Time!

So I’m gonna have a flashback to middle school here.

I’d like to introduce you all to the Planetary Power Force.

They were the brainchild of a twelve-year-old mind fed on Power Rangers (especially my fashion sense) and Star Wars and early memories of Voltron.  Oddly enough, I didn’t discover Sailor Moon or the Animorphs until after creating the PPF, which you could theoretically see the influences of in my more final version at age 14.

It started off as a series of short stories, which later evolved into a novella (the revision process at work!).  I’ll offer you the very first short story.   I’ll even preserve my original formatting, syntax, Random Capital Letters, etc. so you can all see how silly (pathetic?) I was back then.   Typing this up from the original handwritten very first draft was filled with alternating cringing and facepalming and giggling, punctuated by exclamations of “what the hell” and “oh, geez…”.  So by all means do not feel like you have to take it seriously!

I know I was giggling, and I wouldn’t expect any sort of critical acclaim from my readers at reading this.  I’ve grown as a writer, as we all do.


Title:  Planetary Power Force (short story #1)
Rating: G  (Or is that TV-Y7?)

The Solar Stone

I was starting at a new school today.  Just one problem.  I liked the Power Rangers.  This is not something to be proud of.  But thankfully, I was new here and didn’t know anybody.  So consequently, nobody knew me either.

I rode the bus to school.  I heard mention of the Power Rangers and the “stupid” students that liked them.  At least I know who they are, I thought.

When I got off the bus, I proceeded directly to my homeroom on the schedule I’d been mailed.  It happened to be Math.  I almost gagged.  Several girls were making fun of one girl.  They would hum the “Go Go Power Rangers” song, then laugh hysterically.  The other girl would just blush.

I went through my other classes with no incident up until lunch.  I noticed the Girl from Math sitting alone.  I went through the lunch line and went over to sit down next to her.  “Hi,” I began.  “I’m Robert.  But you can call me Rob.”

“I’m Sandra.  Why would you want to sit with me?  You heard those snobs.  I like the Power Rangers.”

“So,” I replied.  “To tell you the truth, I do too.”

“You do?  Why?”

“I think they’re morphinomial.”

Just then, another girl and three boys came to the table.  “Sandra, who’s this?” the girl asked.  “Ellen, Jack, Brett, Greg,” she began, “this is Robert.  He also likes the you-know-what.”

“Cool,” said one of the boys.  “My name’s Brett.  When we play you-know-what in the woods behind my house, I play double duty white and blue with yellow and blue Alien Rangers.”

One of the other boys spoke up.  “I’m Jack.  I play red.”

The other girl spoke.  “I’m Ellen.  I play yellow or Rita when we play the Alien Rangers.”

The last boy said, “My name’s Greg.  I usually play black or badguy.”

Sandra told me, “You know me already.  I play pink or white Alien.”

Jack asked, “We have a game every Friday after school.  Do you want to come to this week’s meeting?”

“I might,” I replied, “I’d have to ask my mom.”

“That’s okay.  We can understand that,” said Ellen.  We then finished our lunches.

The rest of the week passed without incident until Friday.  Sandra came up to me after Science and asked, “Are you coming today?”

“My mom said she doesn’t care what I do as long as I check in when I get there.”

“Well, good.  Meet us at the Math Room.  We’ll walk to Brett’s house.”

“Okay.  See you then.”  She walked off to her next class.  I watched her go, then realizing I was going to be tardy, hurried off to music class.

After school, we all met at the Math room.  We had all decided to wear our Ranger’s color today.  I wore white, while Brett wore blue.  We had decided that I would be white because I knew real karate.    I wore a white T-shirt and white pants with my favorite black sneakers.  Brett wore a blue T-shirt with a blue and white flannel shirt.  The cuffs were rolled up to the elbows, and he had blue Jeans and white sneakers on.  He looked more like his character than any of us.

Ellen and Sandra wore identical outfits besides the color.  They had on their color T-shirt with a patterned vest and white pants.  They both had white sneakers with their color laces.

Greg wore a black T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers with black laces, while Jack wore a red T-shirt, black jeans, and black sneakers with funky red laces.

After we had all gotten there, we left for Jack’s house.  When we were halfway there, we encountered a group of snobs.  “Look, it’s the Power Rangers,” one said.  I recognized her as Jacki9e Sue, whom many people had said to avoid.

“Look, J.S.,” Ellen began, “You’re going to too much trouble to bully us.  Why don’t you and your clones just leave us alone?”

In response, Jackie Sue pushed Ellen against the Fence of the yard next to us.  Sandra and I threw down our bags.  We stood ready in a Karate defensive stance.

“Well isn’t that cute.  The puny Power Rangers are defending their fellow Rangers,” Jackie Sue said Sarcastically.

Sandra and I had worked on a dual synchronized move after school on Wednesday.  (We all take Karate Lessons).  When two of Jackie Sue’s clones rushed forward to beat us up, we let fly with a double tornado kick that sent them back a large bit.

They got up and ran away.  Jackie Sue called out, “You’ll be sorry!” as she ran.

“Guys, we have to be careful from now on.  Jackie Sue doesn’t give up easily,” Brett warned us as he helped Ellen up.

“She’ll be back.  It’s just a question of when.  But we’ll be ready,” Greg said.

We proceded on to Brett’s hous.  When we got there, I checked in with my mom, then I was introduced to Brett’s mom.  She just smiled and got out another glass of milk to go with our cookies.

After Snack, we went out to the woods.  There were a ton of trees out there.  But what intrigued me the most was the treehouses.  One was built on a platform of wood that strategically spanned the space between two trees.  Underneath was a sinkhole.  Greg saw me looking at it.  “That’s Lord Zedd’s moonbase.  Only Ellen and I have been up there.  It’s really unstable.  The other tree house is the Command Center.  We built it in September,” he explained.

“Why don’t we pretend the Rangers got captured and we all go up there?” I asked.  Only Ellen and Greg disagreed.  We took a vote, and my side won.

The six of us climbed the precarious ladder up into the treehouse. We walked out to the center of the platform.  “See,” I began.  “We won’t fall–” I said as the center collapsed and the six of us fell.

Unfortunately the sinkhole was right under us.  I braced myself to hit the dirt underground.  The impact never happened.  A strange force had settled us gently to the ground on our feet.  There was a strange glow like luminescent crustals, and we could see clearly.  There was a long, dim tunnel, with a light at the end.  “Come on, you guys,” I said.  “Let’s follow this tunnel to the light.  It’ll probably take us outside.” Boy was I wrong.  When we got to the light, there was no opening.  There was no sunlight, not even plants.  This chamber had a ceiling of glowing crystals that created a spectrum of light all around.

A different color of the rainbow hit each of us as we walked in.  A red beam fell on me, while Greg, who was right behind me, was bathed in a shower of orange.  Ellen was immersed in a light of yellow, followed by Jack in green.  Brett seemed to turn blue for a second, then Sandra was hit by purple.

“This is beautiful,” Sandra remarked.

“That it is,” said a strange voice. “And I have to thank you for deactivating the forcefield,” he said, coming into the room. He was flanked on either side by some guys that looked like they were out of Masked Rider.

“Who are you?” asked the usually quiet Brett.  “Did I forget to introduce myself?” the man replied with a sneer.  “I am the interstellar being Ningork.  You kids have just found what I have been trying to get for years by pure accident,” he said.  “What?  You want those crystals in the ceiling?” Sandra asked.

“No, I want the Solar Stone,” he replied, and pointed to a pedestal that I had overlooked due to its plainess.

I walked over to it.  Brett did the same.  There was a six=sided stone on top.  The stone was divided into six parts, each with a strange marking on it.

“What dioes this mean?” I asked.  “It’s the symbols of the planets Jupiter, Neptune, Mercury, Earth, Venus, and Saturn,” Brett Replied.  (Brett’s the smart one of our group.)

“That’s right, kids.  And this stone has a power so great that the world as you know it will cease to exist,” Ningork said.

The six of us exchanged looks.  All of us could feel something happening.  The stones started to glow and levitate.  “What’s going on?!” Ningork exclaimed.

The rainbow lights returned.  But this time the stones flew to each of us.  We stretched out our hands and caught them.  After a few seconds, we had suddenly transformed into these Power Ranger-looking uniforms.  After pondering this incredulous event a moment, I imitated the White Ranger’s style and pointed my finger, clenched it into a fist, and said, “You’re finished, Ningork.”

The girl in purple looked at me.  “Are you crazy?” she asked.  I recognized the voice as Sandra’.  “I mean, we have no idea what these powers can do.”

“Yeah we do,” came Greg’s voice.  I looked around.  Where was he?

“Up here, Ningork,” he said.  We all looked up.  Greg was hovering above us all.  “How’d you get up there?” Ellen (in yellow) asked.

“I flew,” came the reply.  He swooped down and in a blur of orange knocked both of Ningork’s bodyguards down.  Ningork turned and ran out the tunnel.  We followed, close behind.  As he shot up the sinkhole, he called out, “You’ll be sorry, kiddies!”

“I don’t know whose threat we should take more seriously,” began Jack (in green), “his or Jackie Sue’s?”

“No idea,” I replied.  We walked over to the pedestal.  Then, taking the triangular stones off of our belts, we placed them back on the pedestal.  We immediately depowered and returned to normal.

“All right, guys,” I began, “Point on: We are to tell nobody about what just happened.”
They nodded in agreement.  “Point two: We need a leader to keep us in line.  Point three: Ningork will be back and we need to be on guard,” I said.

“The three of us were talking while you and Ellen were watching Greg,” said Sandra, and pointed to Jack and Brett.  “We think you should be our leader,” she told me.  They all nodded their heads in agreement, including Greg and Ellen.

“Then I guess I’m the leader.  But what about point three?” I asked.  “It’s not like Ningork is the type to forgive and forget.  Right now, he’s probably planning an attack on the city.  We have no idea what He’s capable of.

We had better be on guard.  This guy will be back.  Now, I’m hungry.  Let’s go back to your house, Brett,” I finished.

We all laughed and walked down the tunnel.  The forcefield reactivated itself, and Our new found powers shot us up the sinkhole.

When we got back, Brett’s mom literally yanked us inside.  The news was on.  “Reports of a hideous monster at city hall have increased.  A perfectly normal police officer has reported this extremity of nature.  Reports continue to mount.  We’ll go now to live coverage with Sally.  Sally?” Said the newscaster.

“Well, Jim, we have finally caught a glimpse of this hideous creature,” Sally replied.  The camera zoomed in on it.

Sandra gasped.  “That’s no monster,” She whispered.  “That’s Ningork!”

The others recognized him, too, because Brett said, “Mom, we’re going up to my room.”

We went upstairs.  “Why are we up here?” Jack asked.

“We’re going to climb out my window and get to the sinkhole.  Think about it.  We’re the only ones that can stop him,” Brett replied.

We climbed out the window and made a run for the sinkhole.  When we got there, we jumped in.  The power again slowed us down so we landed on our feet.  We raced down the tunnel.  When we got to the room, it must have sensed it was us, so it began the power-up sequence.  We stretched out our hands as the stones flew to use.  But nothing happened.  “What’s wrong?” Sandra asked.

“I think we have to call somehting out,” Greg said.

“All right, then,” I began, “Let’s do it!  Jupiter!” I yelled, reading the marking on my stone.

“Saturn!” shouted Greg.

“Earth!” cried Ellen.

“Mercury!” yelled Jack.

“Neptune!” called out Brett.

“Venus!” exclaimed Sandra.

In a flash, we had transformed from our everyday selves into the awesome uniforms.  “All right guys,” I started.  “We have these powers, and we’re going to use them.  Just remember: No solos.  We work as a team.  Got it?”

“Right!” came the chorus of the others.  We ran down the tunnel and shot up the sinkhole.  Then, using the flight powers we had, we flew to the park.

As we arrived, Ningork looked up.  “So,” he began.  “You’ve come to challenge me, have you?  I suggest you give it up now before somebody gets an eye out.”

“I don’t think so, Ningork,” I replied, taking on the authority of a fearless leader.

“Brave talk for one so young,” came the retort.  “I hope you can handle an attack like you do words.  If not, too bad!” He cried.  We watched warily as he turned his back and reached into a pocket.  He abruptly whirled around and sent some seeds scattering.  Where they landed, a green being sprang up.  They were more hideous than Ningork.

“Meet my Green Horrors.  They’re stupid, but they’ll fight too fiercely for you, even me.”

“You’re such a coward, I’m not surprised,” Sandra said.

Ningork turned and raised a hand.  Energy shot from his fingertips and enveloped Sandra.  She went unconscious.  Ningork raised his hand.  Sandra rose off the ground and into the air.  Then, abruptly, he dropped her to the ground.  The stone flew off her belt.  Ellen snatched it up.

Sandra started to power down, feet first.  Luckily, the process was going very slowly, because some of the green Horrors had surrounded her.  There was no way Ellen could get the stone in there.  Sandra’s identity would be revealed.  Powered by that thought, I jumped up into the air.  I did a double flip and landed right in front of a Horror.  “Nana-nana-boo-boo,” I said to his face.  I took off.  He followed in hot pursuit.  The others saw what I had done.  The other boys did the same, leaving it up to Ellen to get Sandra’s stone back to her.  Ellen made a dash toward her.  But Ningork caught her in that electrical grip.  I watched as Ellen went unconscious, then was dropped.  To everyone’s surprise she landed on her feet next to Sandra.  She clicked the stone into place on Sandra’s belt.  Sandra repowered, then woke up.

Meanwhile, I had my own problem.  The Horror that had been after me finally caught up.  He swung a punch.  I ducked, then dropped down and whirled around.  With a yell, he flew off his feet and landed with a thud on his back.  I punched a strange mark on his chest.  He disintegrated.  “Hey guys!” I called out to Brett, Greg, and Jack, “Remember the Putties last season?”

“This isn’t the time to be talking about television!” Brett called back.  He thought a second, then said,  “I get it now.  Know what I mean?” he asked Greg and Jack.  “Yes, we do,” Greg replied.

By now they had let the Horrors sneak up behind them.  “Now!” Jack yelled.  The three of the whirled around with their arms out to the side.  Their hands met flesh, and the Horrors disintegrated.  “Yes!” I exclaimed.

We ran back to Ellen and Sandra.  They sat there, Exchanging words with Ningork.  All of a sudden, like some instinct, I called out “Spectrum Power!”   There was a flash of rainbow lights and we were transformed into a glittery uniform that was much akin to the metallic armor on our favorite show.

“All right, guys,” I began.  “It’s time for the final showdown.  There’s only room for us or Ningork in this town.”

I continued, “We’re going to need a strategy.  Try to surround him.  When we have him surrounded, draw your weapon.  If he’s anything like Goldar on Power Rangers, He’ll probably retreat.  If not, we’ll have to fight.”

“Got it,” they all said.  We all spread out.  Before Ningork realized what we were doing, we had him surrounded.  “Now!” I shouted.  In rapid succession, starting with myself, we all drew our weapons.

“What are you doing?” he asked with a hint of panic in his voice.  As soon as he realized we would attack if necessary, he shot up into the air calling, “I’ll be back, kiddies!”

As soon as he left, the six of use were surrounded by what seemed to be the entire population of our city.  Because we were in front of city hall, the mayor rushed out to thank us.

“How can I ever repay you for this?” he asked.

“A holiday for everyone in the city on Monday would be nice,” I said.

“Hear this!” he cried out.  “Tomorrow is a city-wide holiday in celebration of the, um, the, what are you guys called, anyway?”

I hadn’t thought about that.  “Um, we’re the, um…”

“We’re the Planetary Power Force!” Sandra interrupted.

“Yeah, that’s it!” I said.  “The Planetary Power Force!”

“All right.  Monday will be a holiday in celebration of the Planetary Power Force!  Three cheers for our own city’s superheroes!” The Mayor exclaimed.

As they all cheered, I could only smile behind the unchanging mask of my helmet.

Later that day, after we had finally escaped the crowds and powered down, we gathered at the sinkhole.

“I wonder if we’re going to be on the front age of the paper,” Sandra mused, “Or better yet, on TV.”

“Did you see how many people were there with video cameras?  I doubt we’ll be overlooked,” Ellen said.

“Hey guys,” I began, “I have the place to myself tomorrow night.  You want to come over for pizza?  It’ll be sort of a celebration,” I said.

“Sure.  I know Brett and I’ll be there.  He’s going to be at my house all day tomorrow,” Greg said.

“Ellen’s spending the night tomorrow night, so we’ll probably be there,” Sandra replied.

Jack also gave his affirmative, and then we went home.

The next night the five of them showed up at my house.  Sandra brought soda, and I had ordered pizza.

In addition to this celebration, I had learned there was going to be a special on us on TV.

Brett arrived late.  He carried a smalle stchel.  “What’s in the bag?” Greg asked.

Brett pulled out six watch-like devices.  “Our own teleporters,” he said.  “I worked on these all day.  Because the cave is behind my house, It was easy to obtain crystal samples.  There’s a small bit of the six different-colored crystals in each of the watches.  By tapping this button, you can teleport ot just about anywhere.  Not very original, but still awfully cool,” he finished.

He handed them out.  They each had our colors on them.  Mine had a small diamond in the band.  When I asked him why, he replied, “The leader does deserve something different.”

I brought out the paper plates and the pizza arrived.  As we sat down on the living room floor, I switched on the TV.

An announcer said, “Most of us know about the television show, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. But an incredulous event yesterday evening has raised a question.  Could such a thing be possible?  Yes, it can.

“In the peaceful city of Lakeview, there is an attack on City Hall by an alien.  Then a group of superheroes arrive and defeat it.  This is what happens every day on Power Rangers.  But this isn’t a kids’ show.  This is real life!

“News cameras have documented the entire happening.”  The screed switched to news footage shot by Channel 9, our local TV station.  As we watched what had happened, Sandra laughed.  “So that’s what you were doing while I was out of it! she exclaimed.   She had seen our distraction method.

We turned our attention back to the screen.  “They call themselves the Planetary Power Force.  They have caught the attention of all Nations around the world.  But who are they?  Where did they come from?  And why are they here to begin with?”

Jack smiled.  “I can answer those,” he said.  “Number one: They’re the six of us.  Number Two: We’re all-American Teenagers.  We came from across the nation.  Three: We’re here because Ningork wants the Solar Stone.  Why is it called the Solar Stone anyway?” he asked.

Brett replied, “I think it’s called that because all the planets on it are in the Solar System.”

After this brief discussion, we discovered the pizza was all gone and the TV special over.

“We better go,” they all said.  I walked them to the door where we clapped our hands down in the center of the group.

Imitating the Power Rangers, we jumped up and yelled, “Planet Power!”


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