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Power Rangers

By Lowell Potter

"Fucking kids," swore Dougal in fury as he gazed at the glowing infoscreen.

"This fucking Damon case was the final fucking straw," the chief mused darkly, carefully chewing another SoMa-Lac . The retro-soma pills were the government's currently favored, officially licensed, drug du jour , .....ever since the big flap over euthanol in the mid teens.

"It's October 5, 2022, and the jig's finally up," thought Dougal. "No,, this can't be happening ....this thing is getting totally out of control."

He watched in fascinated horror as the headquarters' giant infoscreen-eye efficiently panned the Federal Courthouse Block downtown. Thousands and thousands of angry people had jammed the streets in an inpromptu display of righteous indignation. They were rock solid in accord, and exuded a pulsing and throbbing tension, charged with an electric sense of determination.

The judge was so shaken by the size and surliness of the massive turnout, that he had summarily ruled an immediate aquittal for the Damon kid. Following the verdict, lawyers, court officers, and marshals cowered before the bristling enmity of the huge, seething crowd, slinking meekly back in the courthouse to seek refuge.

On the front steps, the crowd whistled and cheered the kid, fervently waving an astonishing array of weapons, in a warm and adoring emotionally charged salute.

The kid had spilled the beans about the "Power Rangers," and the whole story of the secret Round Table had taken the imagination of the public by raging storm, to heights not seen since the Allied-engineered terror-nuking at Seoul in '03.

It seems Jimmy Damon had cut his teeth on his uncle Peter's Pentium-Pentathalon-AltoCumulo-nimbus_Hard-and-soft_ drive_4x4 super-computer, and he had seen on the web by the time he was 4. He said that the "Power Rangers" had first occurred to him in a vision around the time of the McCallum-Pine atrocity when he was 6 years old ....Jimmy had eaten, slept, and breathed Power Rangers ever since.

Stinky Powell had been right there, almost since the beginning ....And Paulie, and Stump, ....and then Roan and the others. They had vowed to their God and their country, to protect the innocent, ....from whatever threat, ....and to hold to a set of Godly laws, as all true free men had done before them. No longer would they idly sit by and watch as corruption and crime ruled the days and nights. By God, someone has to stand for good and decency!

The black-coated federal-police offered no solace, ....their thought-patrols and substance-squads were no different than any other band of thieving marauders, ....just more well armed, ....and if they didn't find you on the street, they were just as likely to hunt you down and kick in your front door.

When Stinky laid it down at the mall last winter, the Power Rangers suffered their first casualty in the defense of truth, justice, and the classical American way.

Young Mona McGinty, one of Stinky's grateful benefactors, will be remembered like the crying girl at the Kent State murders. Mona's sobbing account of Stinky's last words, and his dying testament of allegiance to the Power Rangers, played indelibly over world-wide screens, with Stinky's gaping and riddled, oozing, crimson corpse as a backdrop.

It was "Power Rangers this," ....and "Power Rangers that," all over every screen, and on the tip of every tongue, ....that's all you could hear. It was everywhere, ....all over everything. Like O.J. ....and Seoul.

Stinky's sacrifice had hardened the resolve of the Round Table, and had spurred them to pursue a cell strategy for expanding the Rangers. With Jimmy's cyber-prowess, he managed to disseminate encrypted Power Ranger ideology to an incredibly large number of free spirited and sympathetic eager young hearts everywhere. Eager young hearts, ....and minds, ....all around the world wide web, searching and longing for a chord to resonate with.

After Stinky's Stand, ....and the new recruiting campaign, ....heroic deeds of resistance and mettle started cropping up everywhere. The incidents were remarkably similar, in a pattern consistent with Ranger principles, and the mystery and aura surrounding the Rangers just grew and grew. Typically, fanatic speculation and cult fetishism vise-gripped global attention.

Through the steady warm waves of the SoMa-Lac a nagging apprehension tormented Dougal. He realized he would have to leave here, try to escape,....if he could, ....and to try to start over.

" What would he do," he wondered numbly? Now, ....with this whole Power Ranger mania stirring things all up and folks everywhere bringing out dusty, long forgotten hunting rifles and old .22 's by the millions....

The writing was clearly on the wall. Even Dougal could see it.

"Fucking kids," swore Chief Dougal, as he slowly chewed the last SoMa-Lac in the package.

© 1999 Lowell Potter

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July 28, 1999