Her father is a fisherman in a sleepy town between the mountains and the sea.
They are a small family, but one that must work hard for their existence. She has a part time job and tries to contribute to their household of two.
Sometimes her father brings her presents–she remembers owning grander trinkets; jewelry and weapons and treasures that were both–but she likes the smooth driftwood and gleaming sea glass very much.
One day her father brings home a medallion–green encircled by gold.
School is school, mundane as ever, and this school is even more so. She keeps her head down and doesn’t act up and so she is invisible.
Being unseen means she can see everyone else.
She makes no friends, but neither does she make any enemies.
This does not hold true forever.
In her dreams a new voice appears… perhaps voice is the wrong word.
Maybe desire would be better: intent. Memory. Ghost.
But she is already haunted by many ghosts and so Rita’s rage does not overwhelm her.
Mr. Scott used to be drinking buddies with her father.
Used to, because now Mr. Scott is far too busy trying to hold his son back from the brink. Jason Scott is throwing his life off the rails, train wreck in the making, his potential wasted.
Or so her father says. He looks at her with grateful, relieved eyes:
She is not nearly so much trouble.
She gets hungry for gold. It gnaws at her stomach, her brain, Rita crooning instead of screeching, and so she decides to indulge.
But why murder and pillage when stealing is far more efficient and fun?
It’s just like stretching muscles long left unused.
Whatever language Rita speaks doesn’t translate very well. They are concepts more than words, emotions more than syllables.
And also, alien visual cortexes are different from human.
Yellow is still yellow (energy and recklessness), blue is still blue (loyalty and instincts), green is still green (sharp and unyielding).
But Rita’s red is more like Earth’s orange, pink closer to red, and black more of a dark purple. Or maybe indigo? Or maybe both, she never could tell the difference.
As pigment, that is.
She is still invisible–especially helpful now that the town is abuzz with news of the robberies–and so she notices connections bloom where before there were none.
A group where before there were only individuals.
That way lies trouble, she thinks; her father’s relieved eyes.
She turns away.
She just nabbed a couple of gold candlesticks from the town pawn shop, crunching into them like carrots as a midnight snack, and so Rita is as calm as she ever will be.
Because of that, the second voice deigns to make it’s presence known. It’s much quieter, beaten down and scared, but perhaps after almost two weeks of keeping Rita at bay it feels brave enough to speak.
Power Rangers, it says.
Energy Warriors, it means.
Flame Guardians, she understands.
But Rita’s voice is louder, angrier, and far less sentimental.
Power with a price. With a limit. Synergy–the sum greater than the parts.
The parts nothing without the sum, or so Zordon would have his team believe.
Five is powerful, yes, but not as stable as six.
She wanted independence. She wanted freedom. She wanted.
Months pass. The five rangers grow stronger.
More slowly, perhaps, without an enemy to prompt it, and confused at the lack of one, but stronger they grow all the same.
Synergy, the second voice whispers every time she passes one of its fellows
She supposes she can see the appeal of it, but they are looking for a fight, not a friend.
After her final robbery within the town–the awful cash for gold place with unfair rates–she realizes she’s made a mistake.
Not with the theft itself–no, she’s a professional… or she was one, once–but with her management of the situation.
The rangers are languishing without an enemy, but if what Rita says is true of the Zeo Crystal then someday there will be others who want it for themselves.
They need to be ready.
They need to be made ready.
The mountains are theirs, she can respect that, will not take that away from them. But she’s not going have the battle in the middle of town where casualties and fatalities are just waiting to happen.
The sea, then.
Just as well, it brought her the medallion.
Genjutsu against the sleeping rangers is ludicrously simple, but how to make it suitably frightening yet goading is the hard part. Rita and some of her other ghosts are more than happy to contribute.
The Dead Ships. Impending, if belated, doom.
Come stop her if they dare.
She announces that she’s going out, surprising her father who is on his own way out for work.
She never goes out, she has no reason to do so.
Fishing is best at night.
“By yourself?” He asks, worried. Then, suspiciously, “On a date?”
Ah, the perils of being the single father of a teenage daughter.
“No,” she says, “I’ll be meeting some people from school. Group project.”
She’s not really lying.
With the amount of gold she’s consumed–thefts branching out to neighboring cities–making a simulacrum of Rita is easy. Trusting her with it is far less so.
“There is a line,” she says. “If you cross it I will do worse than kill you.”
“Don’t think you can command me, Earthling wretch,” Rita responds.
They both know Rita doesn’t really mean it, but she definitely means hers.
Out in the water Rita and Goldar fight the Power Rangers in their Zords.
The sea froths from the battle, angry, ships bobbing about frantically with the waves.
There is a line.
The rangers form their own–protecting their town, struggling and straining against their enemy.
On the shore, she forms another.
Synergy, the second voice whispers.
Not yet, she responds.
Synergy requires trust.
Rita is defeated–Megazord something not even she could dream of–and as the simulacrum is slapped out beyond the atmosphere, her voice returns. Muted and exhausted; not exactly happy but… satisfied.
As a reward, there’s an ostentatious chandelier in the mayor’s house that’ll make quite the meal.
She did good, she’s earned it.
From her desk right next to Kimberly Hart, she notices the drawing.
She huffs a small, quiet laugh, trapping the noise into her shoulder: no need to draw attention to herself at this point.
A lightning bolt.
The significance doesn’t translate, but still. She’s touched.
Every Tuesday after school, Billy Cranston comes to her part time job–the legal one, that is.
He orders the cheapest thing available and sits at the smallest table and does his homework until, eventually, one of his fellow rangers calls him.
He doesn’t tell them why he does this every week. For nearly as long as they’ve known him, this is just something he does, one of his habits.
But she knows the truth: he doesn’t like donuts.
She can keep this secret, too.
A/N: Guess who recently watched the Power Rangers (2017) movie!
~Free movies on Delta flights~
I don’t think I’ll continue with this ‘verse. I especially don’t think this will be one of the “canon” ‘verses that Tetsuki goes to, but this fic flowed easily so…
If there are any future non-canon one-shots of Tetsuki going into other ‘verses, I’ll put it under the title Viridescent, too.