Episode 63: BFF?
(We begin today’s episode on a sunny school day just outside Angel Grove high. It's no ordinary day however, as it's "Life Journey" week as posted on Ms. Appleby's chalkboard. Each classmate, including most of our heroes look forward to sharing with everybody stories from their lives to help explain just how they all became the people they are today.)
Trini: Hey Kim... how're you feeling? Know what you're gonna talk about?
Kimberly: (Fusses uncomfortably) I... I'm not so sure...
Trini: (sarcastically) what’s wrong? Didn't do enough homework on yourself?
Kimberly: No... It’s not that, I'm just... I'm just not quite sure my life is very exciting you know?
Trini: What do you mean?
Kimberly: I mean yeah, I'm a cheerleader... and a gymnast and I can sing and dance and play the guitar.
Trini: And you're a superhero that operates a giant fighting robot.
Kimberly: Yeah, I guess that too... but I mean besides all that, my upbringing wasn't very compelling, ya know? I don't have any compelling stories. I was just always the little rich girl who kinda just... coasted through life. And I've already heard some people talk about theirs and well... all of my ideas sound boring or shallow by comparison. It kinda feels like 'Bring your parent to school day' and my dad cleans up after pornos.
(Kim hangs her head shamefully but her friend holds her arm reassuringly.)
Trini: Kim, don't worry. Nobodies looking for any crazy stories; this isn't a popularity contest...
Kimberly: (interrupts) I know but I just… I don’t find myself to be a very interesting person… maybe if my uncle touched me or something, but no…. he was just as boring as me.
Trini: Kim, first of all you’re an idiot for saying that. Second of all, you're an amazing, selfless, strong individual. All you need to tell them is what made you that way. And if they don't like it, who really cares? It's just a silly project; as long as you're happy with the way you are, that's all that matters.
(Kim pauses and stares off into space; allowing Trini’s message to sink in. After a while, her face brightens up a little; giving Trini an approving nod.)
Kimberly: You're right Trini, you always are. Thanks; you're the best!
Trini: (Smiles) No, you are.
(At the front of the class, Ms. Appleby called for the classes’ attention excitedly, as she was ready to begin.)
Ms. Appleby: Okay class, the first day of "Life Journey" week has officially begun. I can't wait to hear all my wonderful students’ stories...
(She beams with excitement as she looks around the classroom; although something doesn't seem right to her as she scrunches her face)
Ms. Appleby: Hmm. It seems we don't have a full class. Where’s Robbie?
(She looks toward the front at the other rangers who each shrug their shoulders back at her; staring at his empty desk.)
Ms. Appleby: Well, he's supposed to go up today... I hope he isn’t…
(Just on cue, the class turns their heads as they hear the door swings open. Robbie walks in nonchalantly with unkempt hair and a wrinkled shirt. He takes his seat and shows no urgency getting settled.)
Ms. Appleby: So nice of you to join us.
Robbie: (shrugs) Sorry… I'm late.
Ms. Appleby: I can see.
Bulk: Nice walk of shame; frat boy didn’t have a comb?
Skull: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! 'Walk of shame!’ AHAHHAHAHA...
(Bulk smirks proudly as Robbie turns around to confront them.)
Robbie: My hairs only messy cause your mom kept pulling on it. But I gotta give it to your mom… in fact, both me and the frat boy did.
Random classmate: OH SNAP!!
Bulk: (clenches fist) ...why you...
Ms. Appleby: (sternly) Roberto, Bulkmier, stop it right now before I send you two to the principal.
Ms. Appleby: Now, before we begin, does anyone have any questions?
Robbie: (Raises hand) I do...
Ms. Appleby: Yes?
Robbie: Can somebody please explain to me what any of this has to do with math?
Ms. Appleby: (enthusiastically) It's a chance to get to know your fellow classmates! It's a wonderful school wide event where we each come together through our differences. It's a wonderful bonding experience as you learn something about your friends, you'd perhaps never know otherwise. Anything other questions?
Robbie: That didn't really answer my first one...
Ms. Appleby: Wonderful! Now first up... (Picks up a piece of paper) is...
Kimberly! Come on up honey.
(The class applauds as she gives one last look at Trini who just smiles warmly and applauds. She manages to summon all her courage to get up to the front. The teacher steps aside and gives her the floor.)
Kimberly: (Nervously) Uhm... hi guys... I don't quite know where to start but I guess... I was born on... February 14th, in Seattle, Washington. And uhm...
(Her mind suddenly goes blank from stage fright as she starts playing with her fingers to buy time. Her eyes dart to Ms. Appleby who appears confused and unsure what to do.)
Appleby: Is everything alright dear?
Kimberly: Uhm..... I….
(Her heart races as she begins to hear random murmuring from a confused classroom. She breathes harder and contemplates just walking back to her desk as she’s already made a fool of herself when she glances back at Trini whose calm presence and encouraging nod made Kimberly take one big breath and dive in.)
Kimberly: Okay... so... my parents were both working in a lawyer’s office; my mom being my dad's assistant. My father's a public figure as well and my mother being that woman that she is, always stood by her man when things got tough. That passion and conviction is what my father fell in love with. And with my dad's intelligence and charm, as well as his stature in society and overall popularity is... well, my mom didn’t stand a chance.
(The class chuckles and the murmuring stops as Kim begins speaking more confidently.)
Kimberly: Growing up with two work hounds and a high profile figure wasn't always easy. For one thing, they were both strict perfectionists; pushing me constantly to improve myself and making me earn my place in life. I used to remember we'd each take an hour of everyday to read... my father didn't really like television. We'd also discuss current events at the dinner table and I’d be quizzed before I got desert. And by looking at my figure, you can tell I didn’t get many right.
(The class chuckles again.)
Kimberly: I even remember getting routinely destroyed by my father at Chess or Scrabble because according to my dad 'you'll never accept a hand out. You gotta earn what you get' Though, to be honest I didn't really like how strict they were, though I know now their hearts were in the right place.
Tommy: (Intrigued) Interesting...
Kimberly: Unfortunately though, a few years ago my parents got into some issues with one another and… they’re no longer together. And.... well, slowly the attention just kind of stopped. And it was really hard on me for a while. I mean, they didn't even really fight; they were just too busy going over legal stuff. Not to mention my mom and I had moved to Angel Grove and was out looking for a new career to support us. It made me appreciate what I had back home... and that's when I truly appreciated what they were always telling me. To push myself to be the very best me I can be. So I signed up for everything... dance classes, singing lessons, guitar lessons... I joined the cheerleading squad and took a very deep interest in gymnastics. I also study very hard... and surround myself with the best friends I can find.
(She nods at her ranger friends and smiles.)
Kimberly: So... I guess that's it. I am who I am because of my parents!
(The class applauds loudly as Kim excitedly skips back to her desk.)
Kimberly: Oh my God, I think that went pretty well.
Tommy: Kim, that was amazing! Explains a lot about you might I add.
Kimberly: (blushes) Why thank you!
Billy: Indeed a very intriguing and compelling description of your journey into young adulthood.
Kimberly: Uhm... huh?
Trini: He liked it.
Kimberly: Oh, thanks!
(She turns back to Trini.)
Kimberly: And thank you so much. I wouldn't have had the courage if you didn't believe in me.
Trini: No problem buddy!
(The two share warm smiles as Ms. Appleby returns to the front of the class.)
Ms. Appleby: That was a very good presentation Kimberly; an A for you!
Alright; anyone else presenting today want to go?
(Several classmates raise their hands, including some of the rangers in the front.)
Ms. Appleby: Okay uhm.... Zackary, you're next.
Zack: (pumps fist) Alright!
(Fade into a montage where several students both ranger and non-ranger go up and tell their life stories. From Zack, while holding his famous grandfather’s trumpet explaining how a love of music was shared through the generations, to Jason explaining that as an only child growing up, he had to keep himself entertained and took a big interest in Bruce Lee movies that lead to his involvement with martial arts from an early age. Stories ranged from serious to humorous; all of them informative and revealing. We finally fade out to see Billy holding a text book.)
Billy: ...and because of aforementioned influences growing up, I spend the majority of my spare time studying and expanding my knowledge in the field of subjects such quantum physics. I guess that's why I am who I am. Thank you.
(The classroom politely applauds as he makes his way back to his seat.)
Robbie: (mumbles restlessly) ...god, someone throw this kid into a locker.
Ms. Appleby: Very good Billy; an A for you. We have time for one final presentation today and it looks like.... it's Robbie turn to go up.
Robbie: (Surprised) Say what?!
(He stares back at her and freezes like a deer in the headlights; clutching his desk in resistance.)
Ms. Appleby: Come on up Robbie.
Robbie: Uhm... can I possibly go another time?
Ms. Appleby: Another time? Robbie, this isn't something you come unprepared for unless you have amnesia. Just come up here and share something about yourself.
Robbie: (pleads) I just... I'm not really ready. I just don't want to right now.
Ms. Appleby: You of all people don't want to talk about yourself? You would think a tailor made this assignment for you? Unfortunately if you were supposed to go up today, there are no second chances. Now you either come up or I'll have to fail you and give you detention for failing to present a mandatory school project.
(Robbie sighs heavily before sinking further into his chair.)
Robbie: Do what you have to do.
Jason: (disbelief) Dude, what are you doing? This isn't anything serious; just
go up there and talk for a couple minutes.
(By now though, he had already checked out and just sort of stared off into
the ground. Trini looks on with concern and raises her hand in order to divert attention away from him.)
Trini: Ms. Appleby, if he doesn't want to go, I don't mind going up for him.
Ms. Appleby: Huh? Oh, sure... come on up Trini.
(Ms. Appleby quickly wipes off the stern look on her face and feigns a smile while stepping aside as Trini takes the floor.)
Trini: Hi everybody... so... I spent a lot of time debating what my presentation should be about. I wanted to talk about something really important to me and Jason already stole a passion for karate. Billy stole just about every one of my academic influences and Tommy took listing the reasons why he’s so perfect. But after some thinking, I settled on telling you guys of how I came to America.
Kimberly: Ooh. This sounds interesting...
Robbie: (unenthused) Yeah...
Trini: Now, this won't be easy. This is actually the first I'm I've told anybody outside my family but the timing seems right. My family didn't just fly here and fill out papers like most immigrants. My family and I were freed prisoners in a detention center in Hong Kong as a result of the Vietnam War.
Jason: (gasp) ...?!
Zack: (gasp) ...?!
Billy: (gasp) ...?!
Kimberly: (gasp) ...?!
Tommy: (gasp) ...?!
Robbie: (Ears perk) ...what?!
(Suddenly, any doodling or small chatter that was going on in the classroom suddenly stopped. Gasps are all that could be heard as everyone looks on in shock.)
Trini: My parents are both Korean, but living in Vietnam when I was born. My father proudly served for South Vietnam and was tasked with defending our capitol against the communist north during the fall of Saigon. He fought proudly and has told me he would do it all over again with honor... but the south lost, leaving his life in danger during a hostile takeover.
Ms. Appleby: (gasp) ...oh my...
Trini: He tried to run home to save us all but at this point, our entire town was overrun by troops; my family and almost everyone my family grew up with were forced out of their homes or risked being brutally killed; I was only months old at the time. We were homeless and devastated with nothing to do and nowhere to go… so my mother felt her only option was to escape to America; who fought alongside us during the war. With no other options, she snuck us into a ship headed to Hong Kong where travel to America would be easier, but the ship carried passengers considered prisoners of war. Men, women and even small children considered 'delinquent' by the communist were to be sent to this detainment camp. But according to my mother, I almost didn't make the trip, being so young and my family so helpless and unable to care for me, I became very sick... and I almost died.
(You could hear a pin drop as everybody just stares in awe from a story fit for a movie script.)
Trini: I pulled though fortunately, and when my father learned of where we were, he petitioned the US government to let us out. And after nearly two years, he succeeded and we fled to the US. And it wasn't until I was about 6 or 7 years old, but our family reunited again in Texas where from there we moved to Angel Grove, because according to my dad 'Texans are equally as unbearable and ignorant as communist.' But it was when I moved here when I realized all the opportunity we weren't allowed back home. We weren't even allowed a home over our heads, but in America, with a little hard work and the right attitude, anything can be accomplished. I never forgot that message and the idea of the ‘American dream’ has always remained close to my heart and I constantly push myself to do my best. And knowing of all the atrocities that man is capable of has motivated me to do as much good as I can. I guess that's why I am the way that I am!
(The class bursts into a loud wave of applause; many even standing up like they'd just seen the final seen of a great movie. Trini just smiles meekly and waves in acknowledgement. The only person who wasn't clapping was Robbie, who just remained in his seat frozen, unable to articulate or express the thoughts racing in his mind. Trini continues speaking however.)
Trini: Thank you everybody... the reason I chose that story is because each year my family honors those who gave their lives and supporting those who survived both in the US and Vietnam by writing encouraging letters and sending gifts to the Vietnam Veteran Care Organization and the we're doing it again this week. I would absolutely love it if anybody can write any letters or bring any unneeded articles of clothing as many of these men and women are still homeless to this day due to the horrors of the war leaving many mentally and emotionally ill. I'll be dropping some stuff off today, but whenever you guys can give something, I’ll gladly take it.
Ms. Appleby: That's a very good idea Trini! I'll pass that along to Mr. Kaplan so he can make that into an announcement.
Trini: (appreciative) Wow! Really?
Ms. Appleby: Absolutely dear, that was a fascinating presentation. A+ for you!
Trini: (beams) Wow, thank you so much!
(Meanwhile, at Rita's castle, the wicked empress overlooks everything through her giant telescope appearing completely unimpressed.)
Rita: Pfft. Big deal. So the yellow ranger got kicked out of home and caught a cold on a ship and all of a sudden she's 'brave' and 'an inspiration.’ Boo hoo, cry me a river...
Squatt: (sniffs) ...that was the most beautiful story I've ever heard in my life!
Baboo: (cries) ...and she SOO humble!!!
Rita: (Annoyed) QUIET! I WAS LOCKED IN A DUMPSTER FOR OVER 10,000 YEARS, BUT YOU DON'T SEE ME CRYING ABOUT IT!! I SHOULD HAVE MY OWN LIFETIME MOVIE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!
Goldar: You're absolutely correct my empress. But don't worry, once we're through with her, she'll wish she didn't survive that boat ride!
(We return to Angel Grove high in the early afternoon. Class is out and the kids are rushing the hallways, putting their stuff away so they can head home and enjoy their freedom. Through the hustle and bustle, Trini and Kim can be seen by their lockers quietly talking.)
Kimberly: Oh my God Trini, I know I said this like, a million times... but your
presentation was amazing... I was... I was just in awe. I mean, all of us were. We couldn't stop talking about it the whole day.
(Trini smiles modestly.)
Trini: Thanks. It's really nothing.
Kimberly: Nothing? No, it wasn't ‘nothing.’ Trini what you went through was... just a deplorable and shameful act of mankind. And the fact that you and your family overcame so much adversity, and are such wonderful, productive and kind hearted people today as a result... it's just inspiring.
Trini: I'm glad you feel that way. I didn't really want to just put that stuff out their though to gain sympathy. It was awkward for me, but I wanted to shed light on horrible war crimes and how low society will stoop when it has something to gain. I also wanted to gather support for those still feeling the effects of it.
Kimberly: Oh yeah, I totally understand why you did it. And if there’s anything I could do to help you, I'll be more than willing. Are you still sending cards and stuff after class? I can help you carry it all.
Trini: (eyes light up) That would actually be wonderful! My family and I have already gathered lots of stuff; I'd really appreciate your help.
Kimberly: Don't sweat it; after you saved my butt earlier, I owe you one, buddy!
Trini: (smiles) Awesome. I'm gonna go ask my counselor a question, before I head to the Juice Bar for a bit. Wanna meet up their whenever you're ready?
Kimberly: Sure, no problem. See you in a bit!
(Trini stuffs her big grey shoulder bag in her locker before shutting it and waving her friend goodbye. Kim waves back and pops her head back into her locker filled littered with pony stickers and pictures of her favorite boy bands. Just as she shuts it though, she turns around and is startled to see three of her old friends have suddenly appeared from behind.)
Kimberly: Oh! Oh hey Hannah, Lindsay, Hillary... what are you girls up to?
(The three girls approach Kimberly in an almost aggressive manner; each emphatically munching on gum or flicking their hair that reeks of product while sporting trendy clothes that most of Angel Grove high couldn't afford.)
Hannah: Oh hey...? Long time no talk. You didn't forget about your best girlfriends did you?
(Kim laughs as she mirrors the other girls in hair twirling.)
Kimberly: What? Of course not you silly skank! Like you've only been my best friends since the sixth grade.
Lindsay: Have we? Cause it really hasn't seemed like that at all lately...
(As Lindsay speaks; all three lean over and give a cold, judgmental stare at Trini.)
Kimberly: What do you mean?
Hannah: (condescendingly) well, us girls were talking, and we all think you've changed lately. The way you act, the way you talk... the people you hang out with.
Kimberly: You mean Trini? What's wrong with Trini?
Hannah: (smirks) Oh nothing; nothing at all. That is, if you like goody two shoes who spend their lives picking up trash and giving to charities because she didn’t like camp as a kid; waah.
Kimberly: (softly) That's not very nice...
Hannah: (scoffs) Not very nice!? My God Kim, you HAVE changed!
Kimberly: ...I just thi…
Hannah: (indignantly) And how is that SHE got the highest grade in the class? Why Hillary only get a B?
Kimberly: ...because, her inspiration… was the ‘New Kids on the Block.’ Trini basically poured her heart out.
Hannah: (Confrontationally) AND?! NKOTB’s music is VERY inspirational.
Hillary: SO inspirational!
(They each step back to roll their eyes and snicker at one another before Hannah lets out a big sigh and continues.)
Hillary: Face it; you're not exactly cheerleading captain anymore. And lately we’ve been wondering if you're even our friend.
Kimberly: I don't get it; I mean I'm only making some new friends. That shouldn't affect our history together. You're still my friends, right?
Hannah: Yeah... you would think.
Kimberly: What do you mean?
Hannah: It’s actually very complicated, but you see as popular girls, we can't exactly be seen with nerds or even people who associate with those… beneath us. Like for example a queen would never marry a peasant; it makes them look bad. I'm sorry sweetie, but rules are rules.
(Kim shakes her head in disbelief.)
Kimberly: Wait, so I’m a peasant now? Then I don't understand, what's the point of even coming here and telling me this?
Hannah: Because, we're trying to save you... honey we love you and we want to see you be happy and flourish. …just don’t tell anybody we said that.
Lindsay: Jacob Cullen's throwing a birthday party tonight and we wanted to know if you'd come with us; it might serve as pretty good damage control for you to mingle with some 'royalty' for a change. What do you say?
(Kim was taken aback by the insinuations that she 'needs to be saved' or that she somehow isn't happy because of such superficial things like the popularity of the friends she hangs out with. But she equally felt dejected as her own friends won't even associate with her. Part of her wanted to redeem herself to them, so despite the harsh words she went along.)
Kimberly: Sounds... good?
Hannah: Excellent. First we're gonna need to go the mall to pick out some cute outfits we've been eyeing. I even have one picked out for you... wanna come with?
Kimberly: OOh... I can't... I'm really sorry girls, but I JUST promised Trini I'd help her carry some stuff to charity.
(She just quietly sucks her teeth.)
Hillary: Oh no…We lost her.
Hannah: Forget it then, you're obviously unsalvageable. Enjoy saving the
rainforest... or bathing the homeless... or whatever that loser wants to push this week. Ciao.
(The girls dismissively turn their heads away from her and strut away;
leaving Kim feeling left out. Meanwhile, on the moon, Rita looks on and loves every minute of Kim’s humiliation.)
Rita: Oh no they di'int.... yes they did! HAHA! Take that you stupid little princess; that'll knock you down a peg!
Goldar: (laughs) Lord help me, I love good sass.
Rita: The best part about it is that it's all true; she's gone soft! She used to be a shallow little valley girl who only cared about clothes, boy and not getting helmet hair…
Goldar: Not to mention taking photos in that insufferable MySpace pose.
Rita: Lately though she's gotten all deep and boring; makes me sick to my stomach. What happened to her?
Squatt: Character development?
Rita: (scoffs) Nonsense! If she can develop then why are you and Baboo still idiots?
Rita: Face it, it's a known fact: people never change. Kimberly may be acting like a sweet little angel, but deep down inside, she's still the self-absorbed little twit whose real command center was the mall. If only I had a way to bring that side of her back out her, I could have everyone at her throat by the second commercial break.
Baboo: And I have just the potion for that!
(Back in Angel Grove high, Trini reappears in a now mostly empty hallway as
everyone’s headed home. She heads for the stairs on her way to the Juice Bar; but half way up, she stops to realize she forgot something.)
Trini: My bag!
(She scurries back downstairs and rushes back to her locker to open it and grab the giant grey bag that barely fit inside of it, when she noticed something fall out of it and softly hit the floor.)
Trini: Huh; a letter?
(A small white envelope had been placed in her locker. Kneeling over to pick it up, she examines it curiously. It had only her name on it, nothing else. She opens it up, not knowing what to expect and reads the letter to herself; smiling eventually when she realized it was a letter for the Vietnam veterans.
Trini: Aww, how nice! Somebody left me a letter. There’s also a note with it too.
(She takes out the smaller flash card and reads it out loud.)
I hope I wasn’t too late in giving this to you, but your story was truly amazing and since you’re always so nice to me, it was the least I could do. In a school full of unbearable shallowness; where everyone’s only into how they dress, what the new fad is, or using their newly discovered parts, you step away from that to be yourself and stand up for what you believe in and what makes you happy while being undyingly kind to everyone you come across despite their differences or their ‘social standing.’ You’ll never be homecoming queen, but you’ve got my respect.
(Her face beams lovingly at the heartwarming words as she searches up and down the note for a name, but doesn’t find one. Her eyes light up from the gesture, eyes even watering as she puts the note away in her bag before skipping away merrily to the Juice Bar. Meanwhile, back on the moon, Rita awaits impatiently for Baboo to finish up his next potion; peeking her head inside his small laboratory filled with beakers and magic potions. Smoke clouds the room as Baboo is hard at work, trying out different effects.)
Rita: Are you almost done Baboo? It’s starting to look like a meth lab in here!
Baboo: Almost my empress.
(He grabs the last vile and pours it carefully into his new concoction. It causes the beaker to turn pitch black and pour out smoke. He smiles approvingly before turning back to Rita.)
Rita: Excellent! So how does it work?
Baboo: It’s quite simple, once she consumes this potion, Kimberly will lose control of her inhibitions and show her basic shallow self. She will act like an annoying, self-centered brat thus causing friction amongst the Power Rangers.
Rita: That sounds fine, but how will we get her to drink the potion?
Baboo: We just send down a putty to give free drinks to the entire group so she won’t expect anything. But before we hand them off, we slip the potion into her drink! She’ll never see it coming!
Rita: Ah, how sinister… in a… strange, date rape sort of way, but I like it. Safe to say I’ll be guarding my drinks around you from here on out… anyway, I’ll need a monster to go with it. FINSTER!
(She storms over to Finster’s workshop where he’s already working on his next monster.)
Finster: Yes my empress; I’m already ahead of you.
(He steps back to proudly introduce his latest creation.)
Finster: Meet Catty Cat; A feisty feline whose claws are as sharp as her words. The rangers don’t stand a chance once she unleashes razor like nails coupled with the snotty arrogance of a typical Starbucks patron. She just needs a few more touches and she’ll be ready to go.
Rita: (boastfully) Perfect! You guys have really out done yourselves!
(She heads back to the balcony, where she looks over planet Earth with an evil, determined scowl.)
Rita: You might be able to beat my monsters in a fight… but let’s see how you fare when the fighting in on the inside! HAHA!!
(We return to Angel Grove as most of the rangers have joined up at Ernie’s Juice Bar; relaxing after another long school day. They sit at their usual table casually shooting the breeze. That is, except for Trini; who is still staring intently at her letter; trying to figure out who wrote it.)
Jason: I’m sure glad that history midterm is over. I’ve been obsessing over our material all week; I even had a dream where I was visited by African slaves.
Zack: (Jokingly) Sure that was cause of the test?
Billy: Today truly was a grueling day. I mean, not only did we have to present our life journeys to the student body; we also had two rather difficult exams.
Tommy: Yeah, I don’t know how Ms. Applebee handles it all.
Zack: Yeah, she’s amazing. What do you think Trini?
Trini: Huh? …oh, yeah. She’s hot.
Kimberly: Is… everything alright Trini? You’ve been staring at that note since you got here.
Trini: Yeah, I’m good. I just, can’t figure out who wrote this. There’s not a name here or anything. It’s frustrating me. Kim, you were by my locker, did you happen to see anybody slip this in here?
Kimberly: No… did any of you guys write it?
(The whole team collectively shakes their heads.)
Trini: Well, somebody did. I could tell it wasn’t you Kim; your handwriting is much prettier. These are barely readable scratches; almost like they wrote it with their foot.
Kimberly: Do you think it might be a… secret admirer?
Trini: Oh shut up… it’s just, I’ve never actually gotten that kind of attention, nor have I ever actually sought it. I guess, it’s just nice to see somebody cares. Their letter to the veterans was pretty awesome too.
(The rangers continue talking as a figure is seen behind them. A young, slender male can be seen from behind Ernie’s counter. He’s got on an apron as he diligently puts the finishing touches on a tray of drinks. He turns his head up briefly to look at the table of rangers, then smiles and brushes back his well-groomed bangs before picking up the tray and heading toward them.)
Jason: Well, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. If this person did in fact like you, I doubt they’ll stop at a card; you’ll know eventually.
Kimberly: Yeah, and at the very least, you get to give that heartwarming letter to some war torn veteran; someone who lost everything and could use a morale boost. I mean, you and your family were there. You know how he must feel and how a simple, caring gesture can help.
Trini: Yeah, you’re absolutely right guys. That’s what’s most important. And as a matter of fact, I’m ready to head over to the donation center now and send this stuff. You ready Kim?
Kimberly: Totally; I’d love to be a part of something that’s so important to you.
(Trini smiles at her friend before getting up from her seat. She became startled however, as someone tapped her shoulder from behind.)
Strange Voice: Hey wait!
(She jerks her head upwards to see the young man approach her with the tray of drinks. Kim can be seen checking him out ever so subtly.)
Clerk: By any chance is your name Trini?
Trini: Me? That depends… who are you?
Clerk: My name’s Jake; I work here.
(He extends his hand out for her to shake.)
Zack: Hey Jake, how come we’ve never seen you here before?
Jake: Oh…. We’ll Ernie just hired me; today’s my first day. And somebody came up to me today and made an order made out specifically to ‘Trini and her friends.’
(Trini looks shocked as her face turns bright red.)
Trini: What?! Really?
Trini: (Sheepishly) Guys, stop it!!!!
(She turns back to Jake.)
Trini: (eagerly) Did he say who it was from?
Jake: Unfortunately no. Do you still want it?
Trini: (unsure) I uh… well… normally I don’t feel comfortable accepting drinks from strangers….
Tommy: Yeah, tell this guy Trini’s friends approve!
Trini: (sighs) Sure…
Jake: Wonderful! Well, here you go.
(Jake started grabbing drinks from his tray and began passing them out to the overeager rangers who quickly start gulping them down. He finally gets to Kim and flashes a bright, somewhat flirtatious smile at her as he hands it off to her.)
Jake: And this one’s for you.
Kimberly: (smiles) Thanks!
Jake: Well uh… I hope you guys enjoy them; take care Trini, good luck finding out who he is.
Trini: You too; tell this guy I said thanks; ask for his name too.
(Jake nods and eagerly walks away.)
Jason: He seems nice.
Kimberly: Yeah. (lights up) Hey Trini, ask Jake if he goes to our school… maybe he’s your secret admirer and he’s just tricking us. He’s cute enough.
Tommy: (confrontational) Oh, Is he?
Kimberly: Well, I mean… not as cute as you are. …babe.
Trini: I don’t know… I’m not sure how I feel about all this.
Kimberly: Aw, come on Trini, Some guy leaving you sweet cards, supporting your causes and buying you milkshakes? What’s not to love?
Hannah: (condescendingly) Aww, somebody got you milkshakes? Isn’t that precious?
(The rangers turn around as Hannah and her crew strut toward them from the stool area.)
Hannah: (mockingly) Glad to see your little crush is making enough money to buy you a treat; I hear the Mickey Mouse club pays very well.
Trini: (Shakes head) …
Lindsey: Haha! Yeah, maybe he’ll save enough money to buy each other
purity rings; lord knows it’s the only action his fingers...
Kimberly: (Annoyed) What do you girls want?
Hannah: Nothing. We just know you like to stop by here with your new friends and decided to check it out for ourselves. Wanna know what we think?
Kimberly: Not r…
Hillary: It looks like a dump. I mean really? A Juice Bar combined with a gym? Who’s the idiot who came up with that idea? It’s like opening up a Church that also serves as a brothel.
Hannah: But just so you know Kimmy, the offer still stands. If you wanna come with us to Jacob’s party, we’ll be at the mall; until then, ciao.
Lindsey: Oh and Trini, if you have trouble finding out who this little crush is…. Just look in your nearest bathroom stall; my boyfriend will probably be giving him a swirly. Good luck.
(The girls strut off as Trini and the others give them all disgusted looks.)
Jason: Don’t listen to them Trini. They think they’re so hot, but they’re just full of hot air if you ask me.
Trini: Oh don’t worry, I’m not. I don’t have to act like them for validation; I’m fine the way I am. Let’s go Kim, they’re gonna close soon.
Kimberly: Alright… just let me take a chug of my free shake before I go; hate to let things go to waste.
(Kim takes a huge gulp of the shake before pulling her chair back. Suddenly though, she makes a weird, bitter-like facial expression. She pushes her drink away and puts her hand to her mouth as if to gag.)
Tommy: Is something wrong with your shake Kim?
Trini: Yeah, is everything alright?
(Suddenly, Kim convulses briefly and lets out a cough before her eyes shoot wide open straight ahead; eyes flashing a blood red color; a sign that a power ranger’s gone rouge. Unwittingly, Trini pats her friend on the back,
assuming she’s choking.)
Trini: (Concerned) Are… you okay?
Kimberly: (disgusted) Ugh… I’m fine; thank you.
(Kim coldly slaps her hand away and leans away from her; feigning disgust.)
Kimberly: That milkshake tastes like puke.
Zack: (Unwitting) I thought it was pretty good.
(Kim jumps out of a chair, knocking it over behind her.)
Jason: Whoa; what’s the matter?
Kimberly: I’ll tell you what the matter is; Jacob Cullen, the most popular boy in school and the captain of the Angel Grove Ware wolves is throwing a party tonight and I’m gonna miss it.
Trini: But I thought you didn’t care… you’re coming with me to drop off gifts… right?
Kimberly: Yeah, I think I’m gonna rain check with you on that. The girls kinda
have a point: If I miss this party, I’ll absolutely die. I mean, what will people think? And my popularity has already taken a hit.
Trini: (Confused) Popularity? What people think? Kim, you don’t care about that stuff… and you just said you were happy to do something that meant so much to me. Why are you cancelling all of a sudden?
Kimberly: Sweetie, I’m sorry…. But this is Jacob Cullen! Captain of the Ware wolves and step brother of Angel Grove High legend Justin B. Burr. If this were like… a baseball game or something, this party would be like the Super Bowl, or… whatever.
Kimberly: And besides, last I checked, I’ve already done countless things
that matter for you. I had to pick up trash with my bare hands, help you petition to clean up that filthy industrial dump and I lobbied to save that stupid statue, which by the way…. turned out to be a monster. So in a way, you kinda still owe me.
(Trini can’t believe what she’s hearing, face pale looking absolutely mortified.)
Kimberly: Look, I’d invite you if I could, trust me but Trini you’re just….
Trini: (Scornfully) JUST WHAT!? Am I not ‘cool’ enough for you and your clique? Well, thanks but I don’t need your charity. So just go; I don’t need
you anyway! And don’t worry, you won’t be asked to do anything else that I believe in, God forbid I cause you to lose any more popularity points.
(Trini doesn’t even wait for her to respond, storming out of the Juice Bar emotionally. Meanwhile, Kim appeared taken aback by Trini’s outburst, almost shocked that she would react that way.)
Kimberly: Well excuse me, someone must’ve woken up from the wrong side of the bed this morning, am I right guys?
(Kim laughs to try and lighten the mood, but not one word is uttered by the others, nor did they even look at her. Each disgusted with her behavior, especially Billy after staring hesitantly at the door, gets up and chases after his friend. Tommy slowly stands up and faces Kim with a blank stare.)
Tommy: (sternly) Kim, I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but that was
totally uncalled for and hurtful towards Trini. You need to apologize to her now.
Kimberly: Calm down dad, I don’t even know what I did wrong? Oh Tommy, b-t-w, you can come to the party. But, you may have to change out of that little karate get up you’ve got going on.
Tommy: Kim, are you list… wait, did you say I could come? Edward Cullen will let ME come to his party?!
Kimberly: (Looks at her own clothes) UGH, speaking of needing to change, these clothes have to go. Not to mention my hair needs to be done. Oh no, and the parties in just a few hours… I’m gonna run outside and see if I can catch the girls, tata!
(Kim gives everyone a short smile before taking a few quick paces towards the door, but stops briefly to turn around one last time.)
Kimberly: Oh, b-t-w, if Billy comes back, you can let him know he can drop the whole glasses and suspenders act. We get it, he’s a nerd.
(She turns back around and paces out the door, leaving her friends bemused and speechless.)
Zack: Wow…. What. Was. That?
Jason: (concerned) Man, I don’t know. But she just started acting crazy all of a sudden.
Zack: I know… I mean why would Billy stop wearing glasses and suspenders? How will we know he’s the smart one?
Tommy: Hmm… I’m gonna go talk to her.
(He runs after her hoping to bring her back to Earth. Meanwhile, back on the moon, Rita raves about the early results.)
Rita: AHA! This is working better than I thought! The rangers hate her shallow narrow butt already!. I must say Baboo; you’ve really out done yourself!
Baboo: (Bows proudly) Why thank you, thank you. She truly is obnoxious now, isn’t she?
Squatt: Yeah, she’s a tan and an accent away from getting her own reality show on MTV.
(She looks through her telescope and shifts through the Juice Bar until she reaches the hallways and spots the new clerk Jake walking by himself.)
Rita: Ah, and I couldn’t do it without you. A job well done, ‘Jake.’
(Jake searches through the hallways to make sure he’s alone before beginning to shift his body awkwardly from left to right. After a few seconds of this, a bright light flashes over his body to reveal the truth; Jake was a putty patroller in disguise. He had slipped Baboo’s potion into Kimberly’s drink. He doesn’t stick around for long, sensing somebodies presence nearby. He vanishes a split second before Tommy enters the shot, darting down the stairs.)
Rita: Arg, that stupid green ranger is going after Kimberly; he’s gonna ruin everything! Maybe a pack of putties will slow him down. And while I’m at it, time to send my monster down to attack poor Trini while she’s feeling bad about herself. HA! I love it when a plan falls to place.
(Back on Earth, Kimberly wanders through Angel Grove Park looking around for her old friends and before long, spots them and tries to get their attention.)
Kimberly: (waves arms) Girls! Yoo hoo girls, wait up!
(At first they pretend to not hear anything and continue walking, but once as Kim persisted, they each turned their heads half way and were puzzled to see Kim calling to them. )
Lindsey: What do you want?
Kimberly: I thought we were going to the mall? And I totally need to pick something out before the big party tonight!
Hannah: Weren’t you going with your new friend to go give to charity, or hug a tree or something pointless like that?
Kimberly: And miss the opportunity to lose my virginity in a strange bathroom then spend the rest of my life convincing myself it was totally consensual?!
Hillary: It totally was….
Hannah: (Shakes head) Nothing…
Hannah: O-M-G, Kimmy, you’re back! Hey girlfriend, we’ve missed you!
Kimberly: I’ve missed you too!!
(The girls share a big group hug.)
Hannah: Perfect timing too, I’ve already got the perfect outfit picked out for you. C’mon girlfriend!
(Kim and Hannah lock their arms together as the four trot off merrily. Meanwhile, from a distance, Tommy can be seen catching his breath, trying to keep pace behind her.)
Tommy: (sigh) Great, she’s back with the gossip girls. Looks like I have my work cut out for me. KIMBERLY WAIT UP!
(He shouts her name out loud and waves his arm, trying to catch her attention. However, she either doesn’t hear him or completely ignores him as she continues walking with the other girls. He starts to sprint after her, but before he can get too far, he finds some old friends of his own.)
Tommy: (Startled) Putties!!!
(From the skies, a horde of putties appeared and quickly circled the green ranger. Left with no choice, his focus shifted, dropping his book bag and getting into fighting stance.)
Tommy: You guys couldn’t have come at a worse time. Looks like I’ll have to beat some sense into you guys before Kim….
(Tommy charges the horde with a brutal flying kick, knocking down at least three of them. He quickly gets up and before the others can grab him from behind and lands three lighting quick kicks to each of their abdomens. But while his back was turned, two of the other three got back up and landed back blows that put Tommy to his knees. One of them picked him back up to lock the resisting green ranger in a rear naked choke hold. The third got up and got in front of him, landing two hard punches to his abdomen. This offense wouldn’t last very long though, as Tommy would land a knock out kick as the minion kneeled over for a third punch, followed by him getting a firm grip on the putty choking him out and flipping it over his head. He finally does a backwards flip, sticking the landing behind the last Putty and before it could turn around, it nearly gets its head taken off by a neck snapping spinning heel kick. The impact was so hard; it flipped several times, likely dying twice before it even hit the floor. Tommy breathes a sigh of relief when they vanish in defeat.)
Tommy: (sigh) Man… something’s not right. Why would the putties just randomly attack me; seems like they were preventing me from something.
(He calls Zordon through his communicator to get some answers.)
Tommy: Zordon; you there?
Zordon: Yes Tommy.
Tommy: I just got ambushed by a pack of putties. Just kinda came out of nowhere, plus Kim’s been acting strange.
Zordon: I know Tommy. It is my understanding that Kimberly was placed under a spell of regression; she’s become shallow and materialistic; only concerned with herself, as she was once in her past. I will keep my eyes out and contact the others if something goes wrong. But for now, you must try and talk her out of it.
Tommy: Got it.
(He disconnects with Zordon and punches his palm angrily.)
Tommy: I should’ve known Rita was behind all this; she’d never hurt Trini like that. Man, I’m gonna make her pay for this!
(He picks up his back pack and now starts sprinting after Kimberly who is now out of sight. Meanwhile, by downtown Angel Grove, Trini can be seen pushing a small cart containing quilts, jackets and other donated clothing. Billy can be scurrying behind her, lugging a big clear bag of cards and envelopes. Trini still looked a little dejected from her encounter with Kim earlier.)
Billy: Wow, I’m amazed at how many letters are here. I’m glad our classmates could pitch in.
Trini: (listlessly) Yeah, most of them pitched in at least...
Trini: (shakes head) But anyway Billy, thanks for helping out.
Billy: That’s what friends are for.
(She cracks him a half smile, but it was obvious to Billy that something was bothering her.)
Billy: Are… you alright?
Trini: Yeah, I’m fine.
Billy: Doesn’t look that way. I’m here for you if you want to talk about anything you know. I understand you and Kim aren’t exactly seeing eye to eye right now.
Trini: …I’m just surprised at her, you know.
Billy: I understand. I was shocked myself with her behavior earlier, but I’m sure she had her reasons; perhaps she just wanted to catch up with her old
friends? Although the manner in which she did it came off as vain and insensitive.
Trini: And I’m used to vain and insensitive. We go to a school where people feel the need to set up this silly hierarchy and in order to keep face they need to put down those they see as beneath them. That’s fine by me, because I don’t care about that kinda stuff and I tend to not make friends with those people… but Kimberly’s supposed to be different. She’s supposed to be my best friend. If she just wanted to catch up with her friends I would’ve understood; but this was the first time since we’ve gotten close that she’s made me feel less important than she is for being the way I am... it’s the first time I’ve ever let anybody make me feel that way.
Billy: Well I don’t know what got into her, but that wasn’t Kimberly… maybe in the first quarter of the season but not now. But if you want, we can head over to her house together later and talk it out?
Trini: I don’t know… I don’t know if something as simple as a talk will fix this… or if I even want to talk to her. She was really catty; one thing I can’t stand catty.
(Out of nowhere a blinding light flashes before them, scaring them as a sharp yet feminine voice calling to them.)
Voice: So, you don’t like cattiness?
(Ahead of them they spot the mysterious figure; a large black cat, sitting on its back legs, calmly licking the well groomed fur off one of its paws.)
Catty Cat: What else do you expect… from a dog.
(It rises to its hind legs as it finishes grooming itself in no apparent rush.
However, once it does its ears suddenly drop as it swings its right arm outward; revealing razor sharp claws.)
Billy: What on Earth is that?!
Trini: (Sharply) Wait, what did that thing call me!? Oh no, it is so morphin’ time…!
Trini: Saber-Toothed Tiger!
(The rangers and this new monster circle one another, getting in fighting stance, but so far only exchanging stares.)
Catty Cat: What pretty costumes. Usually when you wanna slip into
spandex, you go to the store.
Trini: I’m warning you cat; I’m not in the mood today. I suggest you go back
to wherever you came from before we make kitty litter out of you.
Catty Cat: Tough talk for a goody two shoes. What’s wrong? Did some mean old loggers chop down your favorite tree?
Trini: (Infuriated) That’s it! I’ve had it!!
(A fuming Trini charges blindly at the Catty Cat. Swinging wildly with no regard for her own safety. The cat however, is way too quick for her; effortlessly dodging all of her blows while never even breaking from its cold, stoic stare.)
Trini: Stand still you stupid cat!!
(Trini keeps trying to land a blow to it, unable to touch it even once. Gradually she grows more and more tired as well as frustrated. The cat senses this and awaits the perfect opportunity to strike; connecting with lighting quick swipe that caught Trini off guard and brought her to a knee. It continues attacking her with quick jab like blows, hitting a left, then a right, then a left. It toys with her like as if she were a wounded mouse.)
Billy: Trini! I’m coming!
(Billy charges at the Catty Cat and dives toward it in an attempt to push it off his hurting friend , but the cat senses this and lunges away just in time. It gets back on its feet and lets out a menacing hiss before it cocks its shoulder back and raises its backside. Billy gets back up but is unsure of what it’s gonna do. And before he could process it, it lunges itself on top of him and starts viscously swiping at his head. Billy desperately tries to cover his face, but his head has become the cat’s personal ball of yarn. Trini slowly comes to and gets back on her feet to see Billy in danger. She pulls out her blade blaster and fires a mid-distance shot right in its back, finally managing to hit it. It flies right off but lands gracefully back on its feet and becomes agitated. It turns to her and positions itself for another attack. Trini forces herself back up and gets back in her fighting stance. The two lock eyes for a few seconds before lunging at one another once again. Meanwhile, at the command center Alpha and Zordon get notice of this attack.)
Alpha: Ay ya ya ya yai!!! Trini and Billy are under attack.
Zordon: Just as I expected. Rita is attempting to destroy the team by from within and is taking advantage of the teams arguing with another one of her monsters. Alpha, you must contact the others.
Alpha: But Tommy’s out finding Kimberly who’s under a spell. And Robbie’s in detention.
Zordon: That is unfortunate. Contact Jason and Zack in the meanwhile. If all else fails, we will need to call Robbie anyway.
Alpha: Right away Zordon.
(Alpha leans over to the main control dashboard and presses the appropriate buttons to contact the rangers. Meanwhile, back at the Juice Bar, Jason and Zack remain seated in the same table, conversing amongst each other.)
Zack: You think Trini’s alright? Kim slammed her pretty hard.
Jason: I don’t know, I have no clue what crawled up Kim’s butt, but I think her little rant was a little unnecessary. Trini didn’t do anything to her to deserve to be put down like that. And even though she might be a little much with her causes, she has a big heart and still means well for everyone at the end of the day.
Zack: Yeah, I mean I gotta admit, I wasn’t jumping at the idea of picking up trash, but we’re friends, and I’ll support any of her causes. I’m shocked Kim of all people would put her down like that; after all they’ve been through. It’s strange though, she just exploded right after we got the drinks from Trini’s admirer. She was just fine before that.
Jason: I know, they weren’t bad shakes either; a little milky, but that Jake guy’s new so I didn’t mind.
Zack: Yeah, just wish we could cheer Trini up though… I know! Let’s go meet up with her and take her to a movie or something. She should be coming back from the donation center about now. We’ll even get her a pizza and shake.
Jason: Great idea! Yo Ernie!
(Jason waves his arms and calls the attention of the Juice Bars rotund owner.)
Ernie: Hey guys, what are ya havin?
Jason: Can we just get a slice of pizza and a shake to go please?
Ernie: Yea, no problem. It’ll be about five minutes.
Zack: Oh, by the way Ernie, we really like your new hire, that Jake guy. He seems really cool.
Jason: Oh yeah, we totally approve; good call. Shakes could use some work though, but no biggie.
Ernie: (dumbfounded) Huh? Jake? I have no idea what you guys are talking about; I didn’t hire anybody.
Zack: Huh? So… you mean, you have no idea who Jake is? You know, tall guy, thin, nice hair?
Jason: Gorgeous eyes and dynamite pecs?
Ernie: (Shakes head) No, not at all. You sure you guys aren’t imagining
(The two look at one another and exchange puzzled looks, trying to figure out why a strange kid would just give them free drinks. Suddenly, Jason’s communicator goes off and the two quickly put it all together. Ernie doesn’t even hear the communicator as he’s still wondering what the kids are talking about.)
Jason: (Urgently) Uh, Ernie… put a hold on that pizza. We’ll be right back.
Ernie: Huh? Oh, alright…
(The two rush over the empty hallway and look around to make sure the coast is clear before taking the call.)
Jason: We read you Zordon.
Zordon: Rangers, Billy and Trini have been attacked by Rita’s new monster
near downtown Angel Grove. The both of you must go down and help them.
Jason: But what about Kim and Tommy?
Zordon: Tommy is out looking for Kimberly who has been placed under a spell, causing her to act out and behave in a more selfish manner. She’s using this as a way to break the team up as well as to cause a diversion.
Zack: Man; that explains everything!
Jason: Alright, we’re on our way.
Zordon: Good luck rangers; and may the power protect you.
Jason: IT’S MORPHIN TIME!
(We return downtown where the blue and yellow ranger find themselves with smoke rising several places out of their costume and barely able to stand; clearly outmatched by the Catty Cat who licks its paws nonchalantly, resting on its hind legs.)
Catty Cat: (yawns) You humans bore me. I’ve seen mice put up better fights than the two of you. Why don’t you just give up and join with me? Rita could always use new pets.
Trini: Never! I only fight for good and I don’t care what you, or anyone thinks; I’ll never change. And if you don’t like that, then I’ll do away with you too!
Billy: I think she was talking to me too…
Catty Cat: (sighs) Very well…
(The cat gives itself one last lick under its front arm as it calmly gets on all four. Its rear end rises and its ears drop in preparation of yet another pounce. Yet despite this beating they are receiving, they stand tall; refusing to back down.)
Catty Cat: (growls) Time to neuter you mutts….
Trini: (defiantly) Attack!!!!!
(The two pull out their power weapons and charge toward the beast who remains unfazed and stands perfectly still; plotting its next move in its head and just awaits the right time. But as the rangers draw closer, its fur starts to rise, its growl gets louder, it lowers its head more and more. Yet the whole entire time, it never breaks its cold, stoic stare. Finally, it strikes; leaping high into the air and exposes its claws, stopping the two in their tracks. Things look bleak for them, when out of nowhere…)
Zack: BAD KITTY!!
(Zack swoops in the nick of time armed with his axe and takes the cat down with a single swipe, knocking it backwards and letting Billy and Trini breathe a big sigh of relief.)
Jason: Are you guys okay?
Trini: Jason… Zack… oh thank God. I don’t even know what attack we were going for there... I was just kinda hoping all the loud noise would scare it away.
Jason: Don’t worry guys, we’re here to even the odds… now let’s put this cat down!
Trini: (enthusiastically) Yeah, let’s spay this stray!
Billy: (enthusiastically) Yeah, let’s litter this kitty!
Zack: Yeah… let’s tear… this pu… you know what, never mind.
Catty Cat: (indignantly) Oh enough! I refuse to listen to any more of this
drivel and I resent being spoken about in such a manner. I am a mighty feline; an animal of dignity and grace, worshiped by ancient Egyptians yet insulted by mere peasants. I demand respect from you all right now before I turn you each into my color coded scratching posts!
Jason: (defiantly) I’d like to see you try!
Catty Cat: Very well then, you leave me no choice; Putties!
(With one flick of the wrist; a swarm of putties appear behind them and grab each of them from behind before even notice. They each resist and try to break free, but with a ratio of about three putties per ranger, they were simply outnumbered. The cat cracks a sly grin while it paces from left to right.)
Catty Cat: Hmm…. Now, what to do…? What does a cat do when it catches its rodent?
Trini: (angrily) Let us go!!!
Catty Cat: (Barks back) RODENT’S DO NOT MAKE ORDERS!
Catty Cat: On one hand, it is the cat’s objective to get rid filthy infestations such as yourselves. But on the other hand I’m sooooo bored.
Jason: (struggles) AARG!!!
Catty Cat: Let’s see… what to do? What to do, what to do, what to do….?
(The cat ponders for a bit while the rangers continue to fight for freedom. She folds one arm and rests her head on the paw of another; mockingly tapping her cheek as if she were thinking really hard. …suddenly though, she pulls back and winces.)
Catty Cat: Ow! Man my nails...
(She rubs her cheek; realizing she cut herself with her long nails. And just then, her ears perk up as turn to the others. She gives them a sly grin.)
Catty Cat: Ah, speaking of color coded scratching posts; my nails are getting awfully sharp.
Billy: Trini, please tell me your mom does nails before she says what I think she’s going to say…
Trini: Nope, doctor.
Catty Cat: Putties, ties these rangers up; it’s time for a little grooming.
Billy: This is most unfortunate…
Zack: What?! What grooming?!?
Jason: (Defiantly) We’re gonna make you pay for this!!
(The rangers kick and scream as the putties round them up with each other their backs facing one another. One patroller grabs a rope and ties it tightly around the four of them.)
Catty Cat: Queen Rita will be proud; taking out over half the group in one swipe. …or more… you never know how many swipes it’ll take to trim these nails. Baha!!
(Meanwhile, down by the Midtown Mall a wide eyed Kimberly and her gal pals strut inside, looking as if they own the place, each either twirling their hair or munching on chewing gum.)
Lindsey: Oh my gawd, so I think my boyfriend’s getting me sick.
Kimberly: How so?
Lindsey: He was out partying with Justin B. Burr last weekend who was sick. And since then he’s been sick. Now I think I’m starting to get B. Burr’s fever myself.
Hannah: Oh no… Justin B. Burr’s sick? Poor baby!
Hillary: Oh my gawd! Did a Forever 21 just open up?!
Hannah: (Gasp) It did!!!
Kimberly: OH MY GAWD! Let’s go inside, I hear Zack F. Ron works here!
Hannah: (gasp) Zack F. Ron! Ooh, he’s so cute! Isn’t he the star quarterback of the football team?
Lindsey: Wait a minute, I thought Jacob Cullen was?
Hannah: Is it? You girls, aren’t we cheerleaders? We should know who plays where.
Hillary: Well, they’re all popular; doesn’t that mean they’re all the star quarterback?
Kimberly: Actually, I’m pretty sure Tommy’s the star quarterba…
Hannah: (Shoots back) Kimberly!! That episode was terrible; therefore, it
didn’t exist. Got it?!
Kimberly: (meekly) Got it…
Hannah: Good. Now let’s go inside.
(The girls head inside the Forever 21, soon after Tommy appears through the front entrance.)
Tommy: Man, I lost them…. They could be anywhere.
(He turns to the nearest security guard to ask for help.)
Tommy: Excuse me sir? Have you seen four teenage girls dressed in really trendy outfits, with way too much make up on for their age? Possibly talking about cute boys, a stupid party and other superficial nonsense? I need to speak with one of them.
(The security guard, a tall, scruffy black man, scratches his beard and takes a second to think before shaking his head.)
Security Guard: Why, I’ve never seen anybody like that around here ever.
Tommy: The mall?
Security Guard: Nope. But you can try that store over there. Just opened up so chances are, they’re checking it out.
(The man points to the Forever 21 with his nightstick. Tommy thanks him with a quick nod and runs inside the giant store with loud, blaring music. Inside, the girls sift through racks and racks of merchandise looking for an outfit they would like, carelessly tossing anything they don’t on the floor.)
Hannah: I need something eye popping ya know?
Lindsey: Revealing too! I want those seniors to snap their necks when they turn to look at me. Then maybe daddy will pay attention to me.
(Kim blissfully shifts through the clothes through a rack, but can’t seem to find anything she likes.)
Kimberly: Ugh, none of these clothes are any good. They’re either too tacky, or too little. They look like they were made for children.
Hannah: (raises eyebrow) Too little?
(She randomly picks out a tiny denim mini skirt from the racks and holds it up for them.)
Kimberly: I mean look at this skirt; I have belts bigger than this skirt. And honestly, it’s gonna be a little chilly tonight, I don’t know, I think I’m just gonna pick up a nice sweater.
(The girls all stop dead in their tracks and stare at Kim in disbelief.)
Hannah: (coldly) I own that skirt. And you’re holding the large size.
Kimberly: Oh… uh really? I don’t mean this skirt…
Hannah: (Cackles) Kim, you can’t be serious. You’re gonna wear a sweater?
Do you not respect yourself?
Lindsey: Yeah, why don’t you go pick up a burka while you’re at it?
(Kim freezes for a moment, unsure how to respond. She herself didn’t like the skirt, nor does she typically like clothes that revealing. But felt trapped as her innocent faux pa was about to ostracize her from her friends. Feeling like she had no choice, she decided to just go along with her friends.)
Kimberly: …uhm, I was just kidding you guys! I love it! I’m totally picking this up.
(She feigns laughter as she continues sorting through clothes, trying to move away from her mistake. The girls each slowly follow suit without saying another word. But before this awkward silence can be broken, Tommy barges into the store.)
Tommy: Kimberly! Kimberly!! It’s me Tommy! Where are you!!?!
(Kim’s face turns bright red with embarrassment as she quickly hides her face in the racks, hoping he passes by her.)
Hannah: (giggles) I think someone’s looking for you.
Kimberly: Me? Nah… I doubt it.
Hannah: You sure? Isn’t that…
Tommy: Kimberly Ann Hart!!! Are you here? This is Tommy Oliver. Your boyfriend.
(Now not only are the girls all staring at him, but the entire store is. Completely mortified, she picks her head out from out of the racks and yanks his arm from behind.)
Kimberly: (Clenches teeth) What do you want Tommy? You are totally embarrassing me.
(She speaks with a forceful, yet low tone of voice as she tries to contain the problem without getting the whole world involved. Tommy, completely oblivious to this, continues.)
Tommy: Oh hey Kim.
Lindsey: So aren’t you gonna introduce us?
Hannah: Let me guess, this is TOMMY OLIVER!! YOU’RE BOYFRIEND!!
Kimberly: (mortified) Yes. This is Tommy Oliver. My boyfriend.
Tommy: Hey girls. Listen, do you mind if Kim and I talk for a couple minutes, it’s really important.
Hannah: Not at all… she’s all yours. (Under her breath) …hopefully, it’s about changing from those god awful track pants.
Kimberly: What do you want Tommy? Why’d you make such a scene?
Tommy: Look Kim, I’m sorry but we need to talk about earlier with Trini.
Kimberly: I don’t wanna talk about Trini right now; I have a party to get ready for.
Tommy: That’s what I needed to talk to you about. You blew off your best friends charity work for some stupid party with these air heads, Kim how could you? And on top of that, you made her feel terrible about it after she’s done nothing but support you for who you are. You’re not the same girl I met.
Kimberly: Then who am I? Newsflash Tommy; I’m popular. I was popular before you came along, and I was popular before I met Trini. I’m only doing what I should be doing and should’ve been doing the whole time.
Tommy: No, mean…
Kimberly: No, don’t interrupt me. And second, Trini is NOT my best friend. These girls are my best friend and they accept me for who I am: a girl who wants to have fun! I mean, what’s so fun about charity work? Face it, Trini’s boring. She doesn’t go out, ever. She just studies all day and practices karate...
Tommy: (forcefully) Kim, you’re under a spell.
Tommy: Rita drugged your milkshake and it made you act like this unbearable
superficial snob. You need to snap out of it cause Trini and the others need your help.
Kimberly: They drugged me?
Tommy: Yeah. It was a spell of regression; it made you act like a spoiled brat like you were a while ago. It’s made you all closed minded.
Kimberly: It’s made me open minded you must mean. I don’t know why they did it, but they did me a favor. Now leave me alone Tommy; I’m shopping with my girlfriends.
(Tommy puts his hands on his hips and sighs impatiently. He puts one foot
towards the door, before saying one last thing.)
Tommy: Look Kim, I don’t have time for this. OUR friends need us, and if you’re too busy being a selfish, ungrateful little tart, then I’m better off without you. Oh, so is Trini. She’s a great girl and deserves way better than
you. Goodbye Kim.
(Tommy storms out the store without giving her a chance for a rebuttal. He leaves Kim standing there, unsure of what to do or feel. Eventually though, she shakes her head and walks back toward her friends)
Hillary: What was all that about? Is it his time of the month or something?
Kimberly: (fake laughs) Hehe… yeah, I guess so.
Hannah: Well good riddance to him, karate kids are such losers. We’re gonna find you a better man Kim.
Hannah: Yeah, one who plays football! And I don’t mean one who claims to play football after practicing for the first time the day before.
Kimberly: (softly) Bu-but… I kinda like Tommy.
Hannah: Please, he’s a total loner. A girl like you shouldn’t associate with someone like that. It’ll make you look bad. Now, I’ll try and find out if Justin B. Burr’s single, maybe I can rig a game of spin the bottle for you…
Kimberly: But…. Tommy’s so nice to me; they all are. And I don’t really care for Justin B. Burr; he looks like a chick.
Lindsey: (gasp) …
Hillary: (gasp) …
Hannah: (Coldly) Kim… what are you saying?
Kimberly: (bites her lip)…
(Outside of the mall, Tommy finds a nearby alley where he finds himself completely alone.)
Tommy: (sigh) Sorry Kim… but I have to do what’s best for those who care about me.
(Tommy takes a few seconds to think to himself, takes a deep breath and reaches for his morpher.)
Tommy: It’s morphi…!?
Kimberly: Tommy wait!!!!
(Tommy turns his head toward the streets to see Kim rushing in and leaping in his arms.)
Kimberly: Tommy I’m so sorry I was such a fool. I appreciate all you’ve done for me; I appreciate all my friends have done for me… (gasp) Oh my god,
Trini…. Oh God, I can’t believe I actually said those horrible things to her…. Oh God she must hate my guts….
Tommy: Kim, relax. We’ll sort everything out later, but first we need to morph; the others are under attack.
Tommy: It’s good to have you back by the way.
Kimberly: (smiles) Thanks.
Tommy: It’s morphin time!
(Back in Downtown Angel Grove, the Catty Cat maintains the upper hand. With the rangers all tied up to one another, she’s slowly letting them stew as she approaches them with her nails out.)
Catty Cat: Hmm…. Let’s see… who do I trim my nails on first…?
Zack: Get away you stupid cat! Shoo!!
Jason: Don’t you even dare!
Billy: D-did I mention I own a cat? His names mittens!
Catty Cat: (points finger) How about…. You!?
Catty Cat: Yes you, you’d be purrrfect. Hahaha!!
Trini: I swear… we’ll make you pay for this…
Catty Cat: Who’s we? You? Your friends? They’re all tied up? And you certainly can’t be talking about that pink ranger. Why doesn’t even think very highly of you, remember? Would probably rather get her own manicure than risk messing up a single hair on her pretty little head attempting to save you….
Catty Cat: (starkly) Why don’t we find out if she’ll attend your funeral!!!!!
Trini: (winces) …!!!
(The cat raises one of its claws high as Trini braces for the worst. The cat readies to slice right through the yellow ranger when from out of nowhere, a foreign objects smacks right across its face; taking the cat down.)
Catty Cat: W-what was that?
Trini: Huh What WAS that?
(She looks down to where the object landed and to her surprise, she found a pink arrow.)
Trini: An arrow?
Zack: Wait… that must mean…
(The rangers all turn around to see a bow wielding Kimberly soaring to the
Kimberly: (Boldly) You lay another paw on my friends, and my next shot will break it!
Jason: Kim, you’re… the spell?
Trini: Wait, spell?
Kimberly: Trini… I…
Jason: We’ll explain everything later; right now just get us out of here.
Catty Cat: Oh no you don’t… putties, after her!!!
(The large horde of putties that made sure the rangers didn’t escape switch focus and surround Kimberly; immediately outnumbering her.)
Kimberly: Uh oh… there’s so many of em…. Tommy, where are you?
(And out of nowhere, Tommy soars into action heroically to the tune of ‘Go Green Ranger’ and lands right by Kimberly.)
Tommy: Don’t worry Kim, I got this. SYUUU-YAAAAA!!!!!
(Tommy flies head first into the pack and like hot knife on butter starts going right through them as they keep coming at him. With round house kick after round house kick, he takes out about half the group.)
Tommy: SYUUU-YAAAAAAAA (x10)
(He flips unnecessarily behind two of them before leaping into the air and knocking both of them down with a double kick; knocking them into two other putties in the process. He turns around aggressively to face the remaining putties, but after they saw what just happened to their friends, they just figured they’d be better off throwing themselves on the floor as the green ranger strikes a heroic pose.)
Tommy: That’ll sell merchandise. (Turns to the others) You guys okay?
(Kim appears to have broken the rope thus freeing the others.)
Kimberly: (unimpressed) Yeah, good job. Don’t go lose your powers now saving us from this cheap rope Rita used.
Catty Cat: (exasperated) You rangers are starting to rub me the wrong way!
Jason: Give it up cat; you’re the one who’s outnumbered now.
Catty Cat: Never!!
Jason: Alright guys; bring out your weapons and give this giant fur ball all you’ve got.
(Back to Rita’s castle; she leans against the edge of the balcony, refusing to accept defeat.)
Rita: Magic wand, make my monster… GRROOOOOWWW!!!!
(She hurls her wand through space, headed right for Earth. It lands perfectly in a deserted plain. And with a sudden quake, the Earth rumbles and starts to tear open right where the wand landed. A large cloud of smoke fills the sky as Rita’s monster begins to grow to the size of Angel Grove’s highest skyscrapers.)
Catty Cat: PPPPPPPPUUUUUUURRRRRFECT. HAHAHAHA!!!
Zack: (gasp) …!
Tommy: (gasp) …!
Trini: (gasp) …!
Billy: (gasp) …!
Kimberly: (gasp) …!
Jason: WE NEED DINOSAUR POWER, NOW!!
(With a huge blast and a and even bigger crater opening up than before, the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex appears through the flames; roaring fearlessly as it rises from the earth. Next, in a far a way, icy tundra, where the Mastodon proudly rises with a loud blowing of its trunk. Elsewhere, in a desert during a wild sandstorm, created by the Triceratops cutting right through it... Next, we cut to the top of a hill where the ferocious Saber tooth Tiger leaps down onto a rainforest and races to the scene. Finally, nearby with another loud boom, a volcano erupts and through all the smoke and ash, the pterodactyl rips through the sky, flying right through a tree branch on its way to Angel Grove. Jason sees the cavalry within sight and flies through the air to get into his Zord’s cockpit. Zack, Billy, Trini and Kimberly each follow.)
Trini: Trini here, ready to rock.
Zack: Zack here, all systems go.
Billy: Billy here, morphinominal.
Kimberly: Let’s declaw this kitty.
Jason: (boldly) Alright guys, power up your crystals!!!
(He pulls out the power crystal in his hand and emphatically slams it down the dashboard to become zord’s control stick; the others following suit.)
Zack: Two, one, power up!!
Trini: Two, one, power up!!
Billy: Two, one, power up!!
Kimberly: Two, one, power up!!
Jason: (Yanks down control stick) Let’s show em some Megazord power!!!
(The five mighty zords are seen running together, preparing to transform. First the Saber tooth tiger’s legs fold up to create a leg, the Triceratops tail tucks in to for the other. They combine with the Tyrannosaurus’s legs, forming the first half of the Megazord. Next, the Mastodon’s back splits in two down the middle and its head separates. The former spreads out and attaches to the back of the Tyrannosaurus, making the arms and the head attaches to the torso. The rangers enter the Megazord cockpit in their respective positions as the Megazord, now in tank mode rolls toward the monster like a freight train.)
Jason: Switching to Megazord battle mode!
(The two Mastodon arms fold out two giant fists on command.)
Megazord: Megazord sequence has been initiated
(The two legs remain planted as the rest of the body lifts upward to a standing position. The final piece, the Pterodactyl, circles the Megazord and flies toward it, tucking in its wings and head. The Tyrannosaurus head folds into its chest, revealing the Megazord’s head before the Pterodactyl combines with the mighty zord, creating the chest piece as it gets in fighting stance.)
Megazord: Megazord activated.
(Close by, Tommy appears at the top of a large skyscraper; dagger in hand.)
Tommy: Time to show of my pet!
(He plays a melody on his dragon dagger and within minutes, the water by the Angel Grove industrial district begins to rumble. With one large wave followed by a bigger wave followed by a huge splash as the mighty Dragonzord appears. It gives a high pitch roar as it makes its way to the surface to meet with the Megazord.)
Jason: Alright guys, before beat the crap out of this cat, does anyone have any more cat puns you wanna get out?
Zack: I’ve got one…. What does a cat eat on a hot day?
Zack: A mice cream cone!
Catty Cat: …
Jason: Nice. Alright gang, let’s do it!
(The Megazord marches towards the monster and lands a swift jab right in its face. The cat responds, slashing its long nails right through the Megazord’s chest, sending sparks everywhere. The Dragonzord intervenes as Tommy issues a command through his flute with a giant tail whip, the cat dodges; leaping backwards then springing forward with the strength of its hind legs and pouncing on the Dragonzord with a startling hiss. The Megazord grabs it by the head to lift it off Tommy’s Zord and tries to land another punch, but before it could even pick it up the cat bites the Zord’s hand with its quick reflexes, causing the Zord and clutch its hand in writhing pain.)
Zack: Man, this cat’s quick.
Jason: Tell me about it, I can’t lay a scratch on her…
Catty Cat: Imbeciles. You couldn’t beat me if I were licking myself; I’m too quick.
Trini: It may be right; we might have to think of another way….
(Before Jason could respond, the cat leaps into the air to take down the Megazord and begins to claw and gnaw at its face. Sparks fly inside the control room as the rangers start to panic.)
Catty Cat: Oh and by the way, your jokes are terrible.
Kimberly: Oh no, what are we gonna do…
Zack: Don’t worry Kim; I’ve got a million of them.
Kimberly: No, I mean we’re taking a hit...
Billy: Our powers down to about 60%. And we can’t recover if it’s just running circles around us.
(The cat’s turned around and started smacking the Zords face with its tail, simply to mock the rangers inabilities to harm it.)
Jason: Tommy; we could use a little help here!!
Tommy: I’m on it.
(Tommy plays an alternate melody to make his Zord get back to its feet. Once it does, it lets out a unflinching roar before firing missiles from its fingers; getting the cat off of ailing Megazord.)
Trini: Wait, I have an idea! Cats love chasing bird’s right?
Trini: Well Kimberly, maybe if we disengage, you can pilot the pterodactyl
just over its reach and keep it distracted.
Kimberly: That’s a great idea. And maybe… you can pilot the Saber-Tooth tiger and match it in quickness to stun it when it doesn’t expect it.
Trini: Great idea!
Jason: Alright, let’s do that then. Megazord disengage!
(The Zord sits up and begins to disassemble; The Triceratops and Saber-Toothed Tiger reassemble from the Megazord’s legs, the Mastodon pulls away and reforms from its arms. And the Pterodactyl flies away from its chest piece.)
Kimberly: Here kitty, kitty, kitty!
(The cat’s ears perk up as its eyes follow the Pterodactyl that begins circling its head. It licks its lips. It gets on its hind legs in pounce position, then springs upwards, but just out of reach as Kim goes up just a little higher.)
Kimberly: Uh-uh… Gonna have to fight for your meal.
(The cat’s belly suddenly starts growling loudly.)
Catty Cat: Oooh…. I’m famished. Come closer you diseased ridden pigeon… the Pterodactyl as well.
(The cat continues leaping for Kim’s Zord, but always falling short. Trini just patiently lays in wait.)
Trini: It looks pretty caught up in Kim’s Zord; just goes to show you how stupid cat really are.
Billy: (Offended) Hey!!!
Trini: Except Mittens…
Trini: Okay, I think I have a clear; I’m going in.
(The Saber-Toothed Tiger swoops in and while the monsters back is turned, takes a huge bite out of the cat’s tail; letting it drop to the ground.)
Catty Cat: YAHHHHHRG!! Oh god, my tail… is that… another cat?!?
Jason: That’s for waving your stupid tail at us.
Zack: Guess you’ll have to replace your tail where all cats go…
Zack: The retail store!
Jason: You’re on a roll Zack. You’re on a roll.
(The Zord lets out a deafening roar before jumping on a reeling Catty Cat and taking it down with its strength along. It climbs on top of it and starts clawing at its face, just as was done to the Megazord.)
Trini: You hungry? Well why don’t you EAT LASER!
(She emphatically pushes a button down, prompting the Saber-Toothed to open its jaws, revealing is cannon inside its mouth and blasting at in in point blank range.)
Catty Cat: (In agony) AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
Kimberly: Awesome, I think that should do; great plan Trini.
Trini: It was our plan, buddy.
Jason: Alright, now it’s time to finish it off.
(The Tyrannosaurus Dinozord lets out a colossal roar and brings its head downward letting out a ground breaking spiral blast from its mouth; tearing through the floor and approaching a reeling Catty Cat that struggling to get up. It hits it dead on; exploding from underneath it. The blast was so big that by the time the smoke cleared it was no longer there.)
Trini: We did it.
Kimberly: Time for your cat nap.
(The Tyrannosaurus lets out a big celebratory roar as the battles finally over. Meanwhile, at Rita’s castle all Hells broken loose.)
Rita: (infuriated) I CAN’T BELIEVE I TRUSTED YOU IDIOTS TO JUST ONE
TIME… ONE TIME DO SOMETHING RIGHT!!!
(Baboo cowers behind Squatt.)
Baboo: (Regretfully) Oh no… I-I knew I shouldn’t have volunteered for this….
Rita: WHO MAKES A MAGIC POTION THAT CAN BE REVERSED WITH A STERN
Baboo: A-a-admittedly, it had some kinks to be worked out…
Rita: YOU THINK!??!
(She barges over to Finster’s workshop, where he doesn’t hide; he just takes a deep breath and braces himself.)
Rita: And YOU!! Don’t you have a monster that isn’t made of paper-mâché?
Finster: I’m really sorry your highness; I’ll try harder next time.
Rita: Oh grow a spine!
Finster: (sigh) Yes… your highness.
Goldar: You should’ve let me down there; I would’ve made sure they not only remained broken up, but broken apart.
Rita: (Storms out) Oh, cause you’re track record speaks for itself, huh? You’re ALL worthless! Ugh, I have a headache!
(We return to Angel grove high the next day, as ‘Life Story Week’ rolls on and the kids each sit in their respective seats, listening to Hannah’s presentation.)
Hannah: (twirls hair) …and I totally love to help other people. Yeah, it’s not
all parties and make up… I love to help the little guy. Like… just last week my friend Amber didn’t know what color to dye her hair, and I told her she should change it to auburn red. And guess who asked her out to the fall jam once she did? Nicky Carter!!! That’s right, THE Nicky Carter… star Quarterback of the Angel Grove Ware Wolves.
(The rangers all look bored and uninterested in her story; none even making eye contact with her. From out of focus, Zack can be seen yawning.)
Hannah: I’m such a good person the little guy. My girlfriends all say that if they rewrote the bible, I’d be the new Jesus Christ.
Robbie: (Under his breath) …or Mary Madgeline.
Hannah: (cheerful) So that’s it… That’s my life story! Hope you liked it!
(The class applauds as she skips back to her seat. The rangers lethargically clap as well while Kimberly and Trini lean toward one another.)
Kimberly: (Whispers) For the millionth time, I’m totally sorry for ditching you and acting like… that. It was all the spell and I’d never say anything demeaning to you ever; you’re like my sister.
Trini: Kim, stop apologizing. I totally understand.
Kimberly: You do?
Trini: Absolutely, I know you’re better than the average airhead and that’s exactly why we’re friends. You’ve been nothing but wonderful to me and
you’ve only grown more wise and mature as the days go by. I’m the one who should be apologizing for not giving you the benefit of the doubt; I should have known that wasn’t you and that something was wrong.
(Kim’s eyes begin to water and her face beams red with emotion at her friends loving words.)
Kimberly: Oh my god…. Trini, I love you!
Trini: (smiles) I love you too!
(The two girls beam at each other and hold each other’s arms affectionately.)
Trini: Although… to be honest, I AM a little disappointed that this was all a ruse from Rita.
Kimberly: What do you mean?
Trini: Well, the free shakes from the Jake guy turned out to be a trick to get me thinking someone had a crush on me, so I’m sure the sweet letter I got was just Rita setting me up.
(She holds up the card she received earlier.)
Kimberly: Oh, you mean the secret admirer? Wow…
(Robbie is seen leaning in next to Trini and shushes them aggressively; much
to their confusion.)
Robbie: (annoyed) The teachers about to speak!
Kimberly: (dumbfounded) Robbie? Diiiiid somebody put YOU under a spell?
(Robbie just gives her a mean scowl as the teacher returns to the front.)
Ms. Appleby: Okay class, so right now I’d like to make a very special exception for today only. One of our classmates, who didn’t go yesterday, came to me later in the day and after a very persuasive meeting I’ve decided to give that person another try.
Jason: Huh…? Is it….?
Ms. Appleby: So Robbie, come on up.
(Robbie gathers his stuff as the others look at him with astonishment.)
Tommy: Robbie, you convinced Ms. Appleby to give you another shot?
Zack: So you finally came to your senses?
Billy: I-If I may ask for future reference… what exactly did you do?
Robbie: Things you could never do.
(Robbie makes his way to the front where Ms. Appleby makes way for him to take over the floor. The other rangers listen intently.)
Robbie: The other day I decided I wasn’t going up. Not because I wasn’t prepared, but because I just didn’t want to. When I heard most of my classmate’s stories, I thought this project was silly, pointless boasting about our own lives. Tommy furthered my point by bringing in a photo of his penis.
Tommy: Got me an A…
Robbie: And seeing as I don’t really have any of those types of stories to talk about, where I could just find one cute little story about myself and wrap a nice little bow around it and say its why I am who I am, I just decided I’d rather not participate. But later on that day I started to think. Not just about the project, but about why I’m like this; the bravado I put on. It took a friend showing that they’re not afraid to show who they are, even if it isn’t so great. So here it goes before I start rambling…
(He pauses momentarily to either collect his thoughts or swallow his fears. Meanwhile, no one in the class says a word.)
Robbie: (Stares at the floor) I guess… growing up I didn’t have, exactly… a normal family. My mother was very young when she had me and well… so was my father.
Zack: (intrigued) ….
Robbie: (Pauses uncomfortably) Uhm… I didn’t know him much growing up. Only saw him a few times. Guess he was so young; he wasn’t ready to handle being a father and decided to cling onto the remnants of his lost childhood… so he wasn’t very active in my life, or my mothers. I don’t know what he was doing when he should’ve been with us… but I recall thinking the mailman was my father for the first few years of my life. At least I saw him every day.
(He cracks a small smile and feigns laughter to break the mood. But it was clear from the long pause that followed that statement that he wasn’t joking. He clears his throat and tries to shake it off.)
Robbie: Well, last time I saw him was two years ago. He came by to ask my mother for some money. And at 14, I was finally old enough to see through his nonsense; I was also big enough to do something about it. So I told him off; called him a deadbeat, a failure at life… said I never wanted to see him again. …as well as a few other things I’ve already been sent to detention over saying.
But I guess my words resonated with the old man; his own flesh and blood hates him and thinks he’s a failure. Guess it lit a fire under him. Problem was, wasn’t much a high school drop out who’s never held a decent job could do. That is, until he joined the military.
(He reached into his pocket and pulled out a crumpled, wallet sized photo of a stoic, dark skinned man who resembled Robbie dressed in camouflage. A few people in the classroom gasped; none louder than Trini whom he was now tentatively looking at.)
Trini: (To Kimberly) He’s kind of handsome…
Robbie: (continues) But no, this isn’t a story about how he’s a hero and tried to save a country from Saddam all by himself. I know he’s in Iraq, but that’s all. He writes me sometimes, I haven’t responded to any yet; or even opened any.
Robbie: But before this gets more gushy than I’m comfortable with, my
fathers the reason I am who I am… cause well, I don’t speak much; when I do it’s almost never positive. I like to keep to myself most of the times so I don’t keep many friends. But those that I do have are real friends.
(He looks up more clearly and faces Jason and the others who smile right back at him.)
Robbie: I’ve become very selective of whom I get close to… and while I may not agree with them most of the time, I know they have my back; and they’ve proven it time and time again. They’re like the family I wish I always had.
Tommy: (smiles) …
Zack: (Whispers) …you think he’s talking about us?
Robbie: They may not be perfect, but they’re good people; and they’ve got my respect. And I hope they never change.
(The classroom bursts into loud applause from everyone from the teacher to the students, even Bulk and Skull gave him a respectable hand. His friends were giving the loudest applause having just receive rare praise from him, especially Trini, whose words and story touched her the most. Suddenly though, she slowed her applause, wondered just why she liked it so much before looking down at her note. The episode ends with her in a state of bewilderment.)