Hi all. I’m back! Thank you all again for your patience… things are going well in RL, and I’m getting back in the saddle. These next few chapters are based on YouTube uploaded episodes, so my dialog might be a bit off, but once we pass them, I have PRG episodes that I taped over the holiday that I will be able to use closed captioning on to get the best match to the dialog as possible. Now, as to this chapter - I wanted to keep Tommy invisible, like in the show, even if he wasn’t stuck in his uniform permanently in my series. So… this was the best solution as to how that happened. And now, to the story…
Legends and Heroes
By Jeannine Trevizo
Chapter 17: If You Could Only See
“So Cass, are we…” Ethan began as he ran into Cassidy near the school bus, dropping off students for their day of academia.
“Hey Cass, can I ask you,” Devin started as he rushed up to the pair and then realized that he was butting into a conversation that he wasn’t invited to. “Uh, I’ll be over here.”
As Devin wandered off, they were finally alone again, in as much as there wasn’t anyone interested in them. As Ethan and Cassidy started towards the front of the school, Ethan tried his question again.
“Uh, are we still on for the picnic?”
“Oh yeah, totally,” she replied, wringing her hands together in nervous excitement. “I thought we could start with a cheese appetizer and for the main course, trout almondine.”
“Uh no. Let me handle everything. You’re my guest, I don’t want you to lift a finger.”
“Oh you’re so sweet. And who says chivalry is dead.”
With that, Cassidy bounced off, leaving Ethan behind, and felling none too confident about his decision. Before he knew it, Conner was beside him, his hand falling on the Blue Ranger’s shoulder in support and sympathy.
“What was I thinking?” Ethan said with a helpless tone.
“First date jitters?” Conner asked.
“I wouldn’t know. This is my first date ever.”
“I think it’s sweet,” offered Kira.
“A 20 gig hard drive with a 12 meg portable back up is sweet. This is pure torture.”
“Dude, don’t sweat it. We’ll put you through dating boot camp. When you’re finished you’ll be Cassidy and ‘Casanova’,” insisted Conner, swinging his arm around the African American’s shoulder. “The power couple of Reefside. Right?”
“Absolutely,” agreed Kira, hoping that Conner didn’t give Ethan any of the bad dating tips that she was so desperately trying to break him of.
Nodding, Ethan let Conner steer him to the building as the bell began to ring.
Later that afternoon, Hayley had finished her analysis of the slime that Tommy had collected from the pool Elsa had led them to. With the encouraging results, she suggested that they try fixing his morphing problem.
“Well, I guess slime really does pay,” he said with a lighthearted tone.
“This is crazy, but it might just work,” Hayley replied, knowing that anything other than using another dino gem was something Tommy was willing to try. “So, I’ll call everyone and…”
“Not Kim,” Tommy replied, and received a puzzled look from the red headed scientist. “Just in case this doesn’t work, I don’t want to get her hopes up.”
“What about Jason and the others? If she goes looking for any of them, she’s bound to find out about this.”
“She’s in L.A. today meeting with a record producer. She’s not supposed to be back until this evening, unless there’s an ‘emergency’.”
Shrugging, Hayley called everyone separately, requesting they come back to the cave.
The teens arrived together, the three of them coming through the back entrance of the cave in a rush.
“What’s the emergency?” asked Ethan as the three of them skidded to a halt in the middle of the floor.
“That’s a good question. What’s up bro?” questioned Jason as he came in from upstairs and joined the others as they stared at Tommy and Hayley.
“Hey guys,” Tommy said in greeting to everyone. “Hayley thinks she can fix my morphing problem.”
There were lots of gasps and words of congratulations, but then the one question was raised that Hayley was worried about answering.
“With the help of this slime we found. I think it might work as a synthesizing agent that I think will bring Tommy back to his normal self.”
With that, everyone huddled around, waiting as Hayley began making her preparations, and Jason moved to intercept Tommy. He’d noticed the one missing ranger and had a bad feeling his friend was shielding the love of his life from disappointment.
“So, Kim…” he said simply, trailing off as Tommy moved away from him, trying to avoid the conversation. “Tommy.”
“Okay, I asked Hayley not to call her. She’s in L.A. and I figured when she got back tonight that either I’d be back to normal or still having problems with being stuck in the suit. She doesn’t need to be here for the technical stuff.”
“And if something else happens? You know she’ll kill you and me for not telling her.”
“Nothing will happen. Hayley’s got this covered,” Tommy insisted as he moved to the holding chamber that Hayley was beckoning him to as she held the container of slime gingerly in one hand.
Jason sighed. He had a bad feeling that his friend was being way to trusting. Still, Hayley was as brilliant as she was beautiful. She could have the answer…
“Okay, I’ve input your molecular structure and DNA information. Now, to add the slime. I hope this works.”
“You’re not the only one,” Tommy said as he stood in the clear cylindrical chamber as Hayley walked closer with the slime Elsa had lead them to.
“Good luck Dr. O.”
“Catch you on the flip side.”
Jason groaned. Kim was a bad influence on the Black Ranger, no doubt about it.
Sliding the container with the slime into a synthesizing machine, Hayley flipped the switch, setting the machine to a humming, whirling sound. “System activated.”
With that, Hayley went to join the others, moving to Jason’s side as he laid an arm across her shoulder in support. Meanwhile, the center chamber where the slime was agitating under the power coursing around it from the machine began to glow as the liquid pumped through a single tube leading to the chamber Tommy now stood.
“Here we go,” Hayley said as the liquid began to fall from the top of the containment unit.
“Huh? No way,” Ethan called out as they watched Dr. O get bathed in the green liquid like a bad episode of ‘Double Dare’.
Then, as the majority of the liquid had covered Tommy, there was a flash, and then he was gone.
“No!” Hayley cried out, stunned at the serious error in her plans.
“What’s going on?” Conner asked worriedly.
“He’s gone,” Kira said, watching the place where Dr. O had just stood, now empty. Then Kira noticed something, “look, the towel!”
Everyone looked to where the lab towel was seemingly moving on its own, wiping at some green slime that looked to be hovering in mid air.
“Dr. Oliver, are you there?” Conner questioned.
“Yeah. I’m here. Hayley, any guesses as to what’s going on?” said the disembodied voice of their friend and teacher.
“Looks like the slime made your dino power of invisibility kick into overdrive.”
“Great,” Tommy complained as he continued to wipe off the slime.
“Did it fix the morphing problem?” asked Jason, focusing on the original problem, and everyone looked to where Tommy’s towel was moving.
“I think so. I can check…”
With that, Tommy morphed, and then unmorphed, unseen by everyone.
“Yeah. But now no one can see me.”
“Invisible science teacher. That is so totally graphic novel,” commented Ethan humorously.
“Glad you find it funny Ethan,” Tommy complained.
“Is there anything you can do?” Kira asked, worried about how this was going to impact the team, and Dr. O’s situation with Kimberly.
“This is a tough one. I have no idea how to counter act that agent.”
“Don’t worry Tommy, I’m sure Hayley will figure something out,” insisted Jason.
“Uh guys, over here,” Tommy directed, as he’d moved to the other side of the room as everyone had been talking. “There’s nothing you can do right now. Hayley and I will work on it.”
“I guess now would be a good time to give Ethan his makeover,” suggested Conner, as the ranger in question looked over at him with a worried glance.
With that, Kira gave Ethan a push and they walked past the invisible Dr. O, leaving Jason and Hayley behind. Jason sighed and found one of the rolling lab chairs and sat down, his hand racking his hair at his temple.
“How many times do we have to go through this before we learn? Do not assume that everything will be okay when dealing with alien technology. What is Kim going to say about this?” Jason pointed out.
Tommy sighed and pulled up another chair, sitting in it, but nothing appearing there.
“Well, I guess I’m gonna find out.”
“Tommy?” Kim called out as she opened the front door to the house, her arms loaded down with two sacks of groceries she’d stopped off to get on her way back from her out of town meeting.
Walking to the kitchen, she started to put things away, before noting that the door to the cave was closed. If he was downstairs, usually he’d keep it open so she could join him, or call down to him to let him know she was there. If he wasn’t answering her upstairs and the downstairs was closed…
Turning, she reached for the milk and found it gone. Swiveling her head towards the refrigerator, she found it already in place. Shrugging at her lapse in memory, she moved back to the bags of food and was surprised again to find things she had just seen gone.
“What the hell?” she said under her breath.
Then she felt something pinch her ass, and she whirled around, looking around to see absolutely nothing.
“You look like you lost something,” said Tommy, except he wasn’t there to be saying anything.
Kim stared ahead, her eyes wide as she looked for the owner of the disembodied voice before her.
“Kim… I need you to not faint on me… but I’m right here.”
“Are you being funny, using your invisibility powers to spook me?” she asked, a hand falling to land on her hip in a pose of disbelief.
“Actually, no. Hayley thought she had a fix for my uniform problem. Instead of breaking the armor’s affixation to me when I use my morpher, she… well she broke my power.”
“I mean I’m stuck. I can’t turn visible again.”
“Oh God,” Kim sighed, sitting heavily in one of the chairs in the kitchen. “Wait, do you think we could try what was working before?”
With that she reached out, groping for Tommy and finally his hand met hers. Clutching it tightly, Tommy willed himself to visibility, like he’d realized he could do with changing from his uniform. Only this time, nothing happened. He still couldn’t see his hands, his feet… anything.
“It’s not working.”
“The slime wasn’t like what happened before. Hayley said she thinks it kicked my power into overdrive, so I can’t become visible.”
"So, how do we get you visible again?” Kim asked, worried now that things had gone from bad to worse.
“She’s not sure. The slime that we located and tried to use is something totally alien, and she’s not sure how to counteract it. But there is good news,” he offered, seeing the concern in her eyes, and wanting to diminish it as best he could.
“Great. I could use some of that about now.”
“My uniform problem is fixed.”
“You mean you can unmorph now?”
“Yup. Tried it after I went invisible. So, one problem solved…”
“And another replaces it.”
“Yeah. You know how it is with rangers… never a dull moment.”
“So, what are you going to do about school? You can’t teach like this,” Kim remarked.
“It’s a weekend, so we have two days to figure this out. And if on Sunday we haven’t made me visible again, I’ll call in sick or something.”
“I guess that means that we’re staying in this weekend.”
Tommy watched Kim as she said that last sentence, and saw the slight flush to her cheeks and the glow in her eyes. This whole having to stay in for the weekend because he was invisible was starting to have its upside.
It had such possibilities…
“We are. Hope you brought home enough groceries.”
His evil grin brought out another on her as they worked to get said groceries put away so they could focus on other matters.
Kira had forced Ethan to bring his entire wardrobe with him to the Cyberspace. As he tried on different combinations, looking for the perfect outfit, Kira kept laying out new arrangements, trying to show off different sides of him.
For a while, Conner found it all entertaining, but after a while, he was getting bored.
“Let’s move on,” he finally said. “Dancing?”
At the word dancing, Kira groaned. Conner liked to think he was all that, and he could sort of dance. But…
Before she knew it, Conner was teaching Ethan the tango. Red rose between his teeth, Ethan was doing his best not to tell the Red Ranger he was out of his mind. Finally, as they tangoed back towards one of the couches at the empty Cyberspace, Ethan dipped Conner, releasing his hold and sending his dancing partner to bounce off the couch, as he did a faux ‘ole’ move in completion of his dance.
“So, what about dining etiquette?” Ethan asked as he flopped down on the couch besides Conner.
“Don’t ask me. Kira says I’m a slob.”
“You just don’t eat everything with a fork,” Kira complained. “And I’m not all that knowledgeable either… what about Jason?”
“You think he’d be willing to give me some pointers?”
“Can’t hurt to ask,” Conner said, whipping out his cell phone. After a few minutes of conversation, he hung up with a sly grin on his face. “He’ll be here shortly.”
What couldn’t have been more than ten minutes later, the White Ranger knocked at the front door, and Kira raced to let him in.
“So, I guess it’s time for the adults, huh?” asked Jason as he moved to where Ethan and Conner were sprawled on the couch. “Come on Ethan. Time for romance 101.”
With that, he tossed a backpack to the floor and began to pull out a tablecloth and candles. As Ethan, Conner and Kira watched, they all got the feeling that Ethan was going to really be in over his head now.
“Not that this hasn’t been fun and all, but you really need to be visible,” Kim complained the following evening as she, Tommy, Hayley and Jason had dinner.
She had been watching Tommy’s knife and fork floating up and down as food moved from his plate to his mouth and then disappeared. And the fact that she couldn’t see him doing it was just wigging her out.
After everything they’d been through in the last twenty four hours, Kim’s patience had worn thin and this was the last straw. Between the stupid monster attack and more tests by Hayley to find a solution to his invisibility problem, Kim and Tommy had been stretched to their limits. Even their ‘experimenting’ with the possibilities of an invisible boyfriend hadn’t been enough to make her feel as if she and Tommy weren’t reaping the penalty for having had things so good up until now.
As it was, even Ethan’s love life seemed to be going better than hers. Tommy’s aid in giving the Blue Ranger some invisible pointers with Cassidy had gone a long way to bolstering the young woman’s opinion of the mostly geeky ranger.
So this impromptu dinner had been more about Kim wanting some kind of normalcy, and it was turning out to be the exact opposite.
“Yeah bro, talking to thin air is gonna make people think I’m crazy,” added Jason, causing Kim to roll her eyes.
“Hayley, any new ideas?” asked Tommy’s disembodied voice.
“Well…” Hayley began, running her hands over the silverware before her before she looked up to stare at the three of them in turn. “There’s always my first plan…”
Even invisible, Kim and Jason would have sworn they saw Tommy’s look of rejection at that suggested path.
“No! I told you we were not using any one else’s gems.”
“But Tommy, with you stuck like you are, I need at least one other gem’s power to try and return yours to its normal state, and get you back to being visible,” complained Hayley, knowing that her options were running out fast.
“And what happens if it screws up again?”
There was silence, and it was Jason that broke it.
“Look Tommy, Kim and I came here to help you all those months ago, and nothing has changed. You know I’d do anything I could to help you, and Kim… well, I think that you know how far she’d go… You need to let us help you, because right now, you’re not any good to the team like this.”
“I… I know. You’re right. I just… I’m worried. Especially after this snafu, that something really bad could happen.”
“Come on, after everything the three of us have gone through… I doubt there’s anything that could happen to us that we haven’t been through before.”
“Tommy, please, you need to let us do this,” Kim said in a pleading tone, reaching for where she heard his voice, and taking a few tries before catching his hand. That simple act, of Kim not being able to touch him made him relent.
“Okay Hayley, what do you need?” Tommy said, resigned to this course of action now.
“I need Jason and Kim’s gems, calibrate the synthesizer mechanism again and Tommy needs to get hooked up to the command center’s sensors so I can monitor how the gem’s powers are affecting him.”
“So, we’re doing this now?” Kim asked, ready to get up from the table right this second.
“Tomorrow. I have to triple check all my calculations and systems before we do this,” Hayley insisted.
“Alright. Well, let’s finish dinner so I can escort you home to get a good night’s sleep so you can start first thing in the morning,” Jason suggested, reaching over to lay his hand over hers.
She gave Jason a small smile, hoping that she was up to the task before her, and that Jason and Kim’s faith in her getting Tommy back to normal wasn’t misplaced.
A planned NC version of this chapter will be posted to the website by next Friday.