Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers, they belong to their respective copyright owners. This is a fan work and no profit is being sought nor made.
Author's note: This is an SPD fic based in the year 2040. There are a few differences from the show mainly that SPD fell due to a traitor, but this is mainly intended to be a prequel to Sam's appearance as well as an explanation of why he is a ball of light. This fic also assumes that even for SPD and their enemies, time travel is not something easily accomplished until after Sam travelled.
SPD: The Omega Sacrifice
Sam remembered the day the Troobians had wiped out Space Patrol Delta. It had been the day the Earth and many other worlds had fallen to their power. It had been the day that Doggie Kruger had been executed on the steps of his own headquarters. It had been a swift victory mostly due to the failure of SPD's technology. It had been the day that they had realised there had been a traitor in the organisation willing to hand millions of lives to the enemies. One of his greatest regrets was that fifteen years later they still didn't know the identity of the traitor.
He had been trained by the best of those that remained although the goal was no longer to become and officer of SPD but a soldier capable of stopping the Troobians. He had fought on the front lines, stealing supplies and had witnessed the horrors of Gruumm's reign. From what he understood other planets under the protection of SPD had not been so fortunate.
Moving to the secret facility had been a difficult task because the Troobians considered any human not inside one of their prison cities sport. He had had a difficult time evading capture while not drawing too much attention to himself as a skilled combatant. The last thing he had wanted was to be followed. But finally he had arrived and after rigorous tests to confirm his identity, he had been led into the underground complex deep within the mountains.
"The mountainside helps to shield us from the Troobian scanners," his guide explained as she led him through the mines. "Not that they do many focussed scans around here. There are more populated areas for them to find their fun. So what do you think?"
"I'm surprised," Sam admitted. "I expected something a bit more..."
"Science fiction?" she asked, offering a small smile.
He nodded. So far they had travelled by mine cart deep underground before making their way through a series of tunnels, some of which were very low due to difficulties with mining. When they had emerged into the facility itself he had found that instead of the white walled science laboratory he had been expecting or even the high technology workshops he recalled from visits to SPD, this place resembled an old power plant with thick metal walls and large cables running overhead.
"Sorry kid, we have to make do with what we can get and these days that's not a lot. Besides most of this is not here to those of us left behind."
She knew this would be a shock for him, it had been for those that had volunteered before, but there was no point in sugar coating what was about to happen. She sighed remembering that of all those that had volunteered, he was probably the least experienced as the secret academies were no longer running.
"There's no easy way to tell you this kid, but there's a good reason this place looks like an oversized power plant; it's the only thing that will protect the rest of us if we're successful."
"I don't understand."
"Look, time travel is not easy to accomplish. Nowadays it's even harder. It takes a lot of power and we don't have any magicians or super powerful crystals to help us. There is only one way to generate the power needed and it is so unpredictable that most of that power is wasted, just so we can open the time portal. You've heard the rumour that those that volunteer for this project are changed?"
Sam nodded. He had never heard of anybody successfully travelling through one of the portals because most of the testing so far had been to make certain the traveller survived. The time portals altered matter as it passed through unless it was heavily shielded. Those that had volunteered had been left increasingly deformed as the scientists had improved the process. But when they had announced their success in opening the portals they had not mentioned whether they volunteer had reached their destination.
"We found a method of time travel that uses a particle accelerator to convert the traveller into energy. The resulting energy is enough to open the portals and shielded the traveller from the effects of the portal."
The explosive potential of a human converted from matter to energy was terrifying. If the process failed the giant structure was unlikely to hold back much of the destructive blast, but it was reassuring for those that didn't understand the figures.
"If successful, opening the portal and maintaining it long enough to travel through time burns off most of that energy. Whatever is left is channelled into a small projection unit that can generate a hard light representation of the traveller's body. I'm afraid to say that once the conversion from mass to energy is made we have no method of changing it back again. There were problems with the early trials and most failed to open a portal and only partially transferred to the projection unit. Those are the results are those that the rumourmongers enjoy talking about."
"So if I do this I will never be human again?" Sam asked.
"Sam, no matter what anybody tells you, you will always be human as long as you act human and think of yourself as human," she promised.
"I won't be able to travel back again will I?" he asked, remembering the theory he had studied.
"Travelling into the future is easier than travelling to the past," she stated. "It's mostly a matter of finding a way to stop aging and waking up at the right time. Travelling back to the present after you have been in the past is much more difficult. The moment you arrive you change history meaning you are no longer travelling forward in time; you are travelling... across timeline I suppose. That's something we haven't even thought about yet."
She saw the realisation on his face as he started to understand all that was being asked of him. Other had reached this point and decided not to go ahead.
"So I will never see this year again?" he asked.
"Well there's nothing to stop you using the known method to return to this time," she answered. "I just can't guarantee that anything will be as you left it. Although I don't think anybody would want things as they are now. Or you could just live out your life the slow way. Did I forget to mention that you would be virtually invulnerable to harm?"
There were always vulnerabilities, but the projection unit had been constructed from the most resistant materials they could find and with the energy it absorbed would be unlikely to run out for centuries. His avatar form would feel pain and unless he chose not to, it would also show injuries. But he would be far more resistant to harm than most.
"Your projection unit will also contain the template and profiles for a Ranger suit," she continued as they renewed their journey toward the laboratory. "We've learned the hard way how difficult it is to use it so the unit will give you a transformation device to use."
It was a shame that while the technology for the projection units had advanced, they were limited by the human component. Humans were unable to achieve the necessary level of multitasking needed to transform without an external prop. Fortunately creating an appropriate tool was straightforward.
She continued the tour of the facility, leaving Sam in no doubt that while the technology needed to achieve time travel was impressive, most of their efforts had been focussed on making sure that when things went wrong they could at least try to limit the damage.
"We're far enough underground that if this goes wrong, the nuclear force would be sufficient to crack the planet in half," she admitted. "So this really is a do or die attempt."
"Not to mention the Troobians will detect the build-up of energy before the portal opens," Sam noted.
"Our friends will buy us as much time as they can, but if this fails we won't be able to try again."
If Sam failed to open the portal the explosion would destroy the complex and all those within. Should the portal open there was a good chance that the Troobians would break through the defences and destroy the complex once Sam was gone. And if Sam made it into the past and accomplished his mission the whole thing was a moot point because they would no longer need to time travel.
"But if this facility is still here that means the Troobians haven't detected you," Sam reasoned.
"That's because we have never attempted full conversion," she explained. "We can only attempt this once and we had to be sure that we perfected the process... that could be why we had so many unfortunate outcomes. This is our only shot Sam and you are the person most likely to succeed; if we fail then the Troobians win."
"That won't happen," Sam promised. "I'm ready."
He would stop SPD from falling, he would discover the identity of the traitor before they could bring down the organisation and he would save all those that had been lost to the Troobians.
Knowing that his life was about to change in ways he didn't understand, Sam stepped into the particle accelerator and a few minute later, vanished.