Disclaimer: I do not own the Power Rangers. They belong to the current copyright owners.
Author’s Note: This series is set in an alternate reality completely seperate from Conquest of Evil. This chapter establishes a key difference between the two: the fate of Tommy Oliver’s clone.
Whatever Happened to the Clone?
When humanity mastered time travel the first thing they did was outlaw its use. Not really… the first thing they did was conduct countless experiments resulting in unimaginable damage to recorded history that took decades to put right mostly because they had no idea whether they were reverting an actual change or just making things a little nicer for those involved. It was only at the moment they realised that they were changing things with no understanding of the side effects such changes could have that they realised how dangerous time travel could be and outlawed its use.
Of course, nobody believed that just making a law would ever be enough. Just because somebody was told not to do something did not mean they wouldn’t look for ways to do it without being noticed. Whether it was the husband that wanted to sneak back a few years and prevent his wife from leaving, the distraught parent that wanted to save their child from an accident or some rogue state that was determined to change the outcome of an uprising that ended a regime. Those that made the laws were enlightened enough to understand that for every selfish desire to go back and change history for themselves, there were dozens more who saw the opportunity as a way of improving the lives of those around them.
And so, Time Force had been created. It was a small agency of just over a thousand operatives, charged with the duty of preventing time travel by putting certain technology and those knowledgeable enough to create it, out of harm’s way. As their mission progressed they realised that the only way to know if time travel had been used to alter history was to have an accurate record of how events should have progressed. And so, the agency set up to prevent time travel, sought to journey back in time to monitor the correct progression of history. At some stage it was pointed out that the probes they were using were the same design as the technology that had been discovered leading to the creation of time travel in the first place. It was agreed that those that were aware of that little secret would never reveal it.
The probes that had not ended up under massive mud slides only to be exposed millions of years later during a great disaster, provided the base information needed to create an official history. Stored on crystals that were immune to changes caused by temporal divergence, the encoded data allowed Time Force to build an accurate record of all events from the time of the dinosaurs up until the start of their research. With technology to decode the crystals and computers to cross-reference those events with more traditional records, they could detect changes in the ‘official’ history of Earth and take steps to correct it.
As the number of criminals harbouring time travel technology was reduced, Time Force turned its attention to cleaning up those instances where history deviated from its true course. Teams of operatives were trained to conduct limited time travel into the past to correct such deviations, either with a polite word and a gentle push in the right direction or more aggressive action. In extreme cases the complete remove of a person or persons from history was authorised, so long as their removal did not cause a greater deviation. Many of Earth’s conspiracy theories could be traced to the actions of Time Force and its agents, although after the assassination of a president, their rules of engagement were revised so that such extreme intervention became a rare event.
Captain Braxton was an analyst charged with the critical task of deciding when a deviation warranted intervention and when to allow such things to play out in the knowledge that history was very robust and would often re-establish if normal course if given time. The report before him should have been a difficult choice on his part. A man had been transported back in time to a point where he was many generations removed from his eventual birth. His presence had been noted by the citizens of his new home due to the exciting stories surrounding his arrival. His name had been noted and he was the subject of gossip and conversations in nearby towns.
Braxton was aware of the case rulings on such events: rumours and gossip would eventually give way to exaggerated stories and disbelief; so long as the subject made no attempt to deliberately change events that they were aware of, there was absolutely no need to do more than monitor the situation. At that point Braxton should have made a note on the file and returned it to the review folder to be looked at again at predetermined intervals. Instead he had chosen to mark the incident as high priority and had then authorised a small ‘cleanse team’ to journey to the period in question and remove the time traveller and those that had been corrupted by his presence.
Time Team Zeta had been dispatched with the equipment to complete their task. They arrived in the colonial township of Angel Grove at night and soon located their quarry. Tom Oliver did not put up a fight. He listened as they explained the reason for his Temporal Death Warrant and resigned himself to his fate. Given that some in his position would have gone down guns blazing, two members of the squad had questioned the need to kill him and had been ordered to seek ‘re-education’ upon their return. Tom Oliver was put to death for illegal time travel and that night the township of Angel Grove was destroyed.
Historical records and maps revealed that Angel Grove had once been an English colony located in California. Later a Spanish colony of the same name had been founded on the site of the old township and the English had reluctantly abandoned their claim to the area. Few records remained to reveal the party behind the destruction of the original colony. Many historians blamed the Native American tribes that lived nearby, and days earlier had protested the further expansion onto their land. Others had decided that the Spanish were responsible for annihilating the English incursion on their territory; it was interesting to note that in documents maintained by the Spanish leaders of the nearby Los Angeles, the burnt township had been rebuilt in the months following its destruction and had been given to the willingly by a few strangely attired survivors. The survivors had later vanished without a trace and their involvement remained a matter of conjecture..
Regardless of what history revealed, the timeline eventually corrected itself from the major deviation Braxton had caused. Braxton was demoted for his error in judgement, especially when it was revealed he had based his decision on the knowledge that Tom Oliver was not fully human and had once been a Power Ranger.
Angel Grove had survived the difficult years following its founding and had grown into a community that would one day attract the ancestors of those that had made the city so important. From there events played out as close to recorded history as possible. And save for a small nudge that was needed to stop a certain Tommy Oliver from researching the fate of the clone he had left in the past and perhaps deciding to rescue him, Tom Oliver was never heard of again.
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