Spoiler Warning: The commentary found here discusses events in this episode and beyond.  Read at your own risk!

POWER RANGERS TAKE FLIGHT

Episode 15: "The Drawing Board"

This episode was completed on January 13, 2007, and released on June 14, 2008.  The title overtly references Chris's drawings, but it also alludes to the Rangers' new home (as in the phrase, "back to the drawing board").  It may also be seen as applying to Chris and Casey's relationship being reset after Chris suggests they remain friends.

Writer:  Joe Rovang

[ Sentai footage is from Jetman #16 unless otherwise noted. ]

In Jetman #16, confetti-like snow from Tran's new monster (Papyria) brings various drawings and printed images to life until a young girl's ocarina music repels the monster.  Tran destroys her ocarina.  Red recognizes the girl from a painting, and the painter reveals it was his daughter, killed in a car accident but brought to life by the monster.  The girl finds her real ocarina and plays it for her father in the hospital.  She then aids the Rangers in battle but is fatally wounded by Papyria.  Red recovers her ocarina, and the Rangers finish off the monster.

I chose to use Jetman #16 here to continue with the theme of the Rangers' personal affects being turned into monsters (see episode 14).  I originally considered adapting the premise of Papyria bringing any drawings to life, as some sentai footage was available to support this plot; this eventually evolved to pertain to Chris's drawings only, and the aforementioned sentai footage was discarded.  Likewise, some usable sentai footage involved Red Ranger finding an ocarina, so my intial drafts included an ocarina; later, however, I cut that footage, but the ocarina premise remained.

When I was in the very early stages of planning the series, I considered that this episode might involve a ghost helping the Rangers, and I toyed with the idea that Pink Ranger could believe ghosts were everywhere as a set-up for this episode.  None of those elements eventually made it into the series (unless you count the ghost of the ancient Red Ranger near the end of the series).


[ Fade in to EXT. HOUSE, DRIVEWAY - In the bright midday light, a black SUV (appropriate for 1992) drives up to a gravel driveway in a private, wooded lot.  The lot sits at a relatively high elevation, as any terrain in the distance appears to be downhill.  A house (off-camera) lies at the top of the lot. ]

This scene takes place on Sunday, May 31, 1992, the day after Maggie's birthday (previous episode).  At the moment, Pete is on his midday break, and Luke took off work around lunchtime to see the house; none of the others worked on Sundays.

[ As the SUV parks, CASEY drives up in her convertible, the top up.  In the front passenger seat is MAGGIE, while LUKE and CHRIS sit in the back. ]

[ From the driver's side of the SUV emerges TODD, a tall, slender man in his mid- to late twenties who shares certain features with Casey.  He is wearing a suit, and clipped to his belt is a cellular phone appropriate for 1992.  He is not wearing a wedding ring.  PETE, meanwhile, emerges from the SUV's passenger side and looks up, awestruck, at the house above (off-screen). ]

PETE:
Whoa.

[ The other RANGERS emerge from the convertible, also looking up as the six people gather in the driveway.  LUKE is wearing his work uniform. ]

[ We see a low-angle shot of the majestic house above, the camera dollying slowly to give perspective on the structure.  Excluding the attic, the house stands two stories tall.  Its wood decor and siding appear slightly old and rustic but still well-preserved.  Trees line the side of the property, draping the house in partial shade.  Due to the camera angle and abundant foliage, we cannot see the back yard from here. ]

[ The HEROES continue to stare up at the house. ]

CASEY:
It's beautiful.  (skeptically, to Todd)  So, what's wrong with it?

TODD (with a shrug):
Nothing.  The owner just priced to sell.

As explained further shortly.

[ Continuing to look the house over, CASEY nods somewhat approvingly. ]

TODD (cont'd, casually):
Well, that and it's overlooking a cemetery.

I originally placed the house near a cemetery to explain the house's availability (I also liked the private locale as I explored the Oakland area in Google Earth for a site for their house).  Eventually, though, I took note that plenty of buyers are willing to live near cemeteries due to their quietness, and it was soon thereafter that I realized Spring Valley's housing market would be full of homes as people fled the area.  The cemetery, however, stayed; I only wish I'd done more with the setting.

[ The HEROES look at each other as TODD continues: ]

TODD (cont'd):
... But some people think of that a bonus.  You know what they say... at least the neighbors are quiet.

[ The HEROES remain uncertain, with the exception of CHRIS, who is studying the attic above. ]

TODD (encouragingly):
Come on, just take a look.

[ He rallies them toward the front steps.  As he unlocks the door, he casually asks: ]

TODD (cont'd):
You guys don't mind bagpipes, do you?  (waves his hand dismissively on second thought)  Aw, you probably won't even hear 'em from here.

[ TODD opens the door, and they reluctantly follow him in. ]


[ INT. HOUSE, DOWNSTAIRS - The HEROES fan out beyond the small foyer and into a medium-sized living room to their left.  TODD stands out of the way beside a laundry room to the right, closing the front door once everyone is inside. ]

[ As we see in various exploratory camera pans, the house's interior appears slightly outdated (for 1992) but remains modestly classic.  A dining room is located behind the living room, toward the back side of the house.  Straight ahead from the foyer, a staircase leads up to the second floor, where a hallway turns left (over the dining room), while a door is on the immediate right after the stairs. ]

[ Again downstairs, around the right side of the stairs, a door leads to a small room (later revealed to be a half bathroom) underneath the stairs, while opposite it (on the same side of the house as the laundry room) is an empty room which could serve as a bedroom; this room lies beneath the room shown on the right upstairs. ]

Before beginning to write this episode, I designed the entire house in Google SketchUp to find a layout that would actually make sense in real life (though first I modeled the Command Center from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for practice).  Also around this time, I wrote up detailed questionnaires and filled them out with the voice of each of the Rangers to get a feel for their household behaviors.  Here are a few tidbits (not necessarily canon):

Pete takes a "what's mine is yours" approach regarding his property, and he doesn't mind if others need to go in his room while he's out.  He gets ready quickly in the mornings ("like a ninja," he notes).  His least favorite type of roommate would be someone who's "too uptight."

Chris favors a "don't mess with my stuff and I won't mess with yours" approach.  He goes to bed whenever he feels like it, which is usually somewhat late.  He would stay out of the way if others brought guests over.  He has a long list of traits he could find annoying in a roommate, but hyperactivity, intrusiveness, and high levels of drama are high on the list.

Casey sometimes forgets to turn off lights or change the thermostat when leaving the house.  She doesn't think she takes too long getting ready, but she then wonders, "Like, what's too long?"  She likes to entertain but doesn't bring guests over to the house due to Ranger secrets.  Her least favorite type of roommate is someone who's always grouchy.

Maggie is punctual with bills, and she expects others to do the same.  She prefers cleaning schedules and chore lists.  She expects others to respect common property and furniture, and that others recognize there are public rooms and private rooms in the house.  Sloppiness would bother her in a rommate, as would frequent guests in the house.

Luke is a firm believer in household meetings to iron out chore schedules and smooth over conflicts.  He is fine with people borrowing his things (provided they ask).  He likes to read before bed.  He is patient with others, including roommates, but would consider repeated disrespect toward others a problem.

[ TODD continues to watch the HEROES surveying the downstairs. ]

TODD:
So... It's private, which you said you wanted...  It looks pretty well maintained, but of course we'd have it inspected...

[ The HEROES remain speechless. ]

TODD (with a smile):
Wanna see the upstairs?


[ INT. HOUSE, UPSTAIRS - From a second upstairs hallway, a left turn from the first upstairs hallway shown previously (which now makes this hallway run toward the front of the house), we see CASEY and PETE, followed by TODD, round the corner and look around.  The first door on their left, into which they peek, is a full bathroom. ]

This bathroom will be shared by Pete, Casey, and Chris.  It's located above a portion of the kitchen.

CASEY:
Hmm, not bad.

[ Past the bathroom, toward the end of the hall, are two bedroom doors opposite each other.  PETE and CASEY arbitrarily each take a door, PETE turning to his right and CASEY to her left.  Full of curiosity, they disappear within their respective bedrooms (off-screen) as TODD waits in the hall. ]

These will be their respective rooms.  Casey's room (left) is located above the living room, while Pete's (right) is over a portion of the living room, the rest suspended over a side balcony.

[ Shown in a tighter shot, we see CHRIS wandering around in the adjoining hallway.  He passes this hallway and opens a door immediately after it on the left.  Over his shoulder, we see a dark wooden staircase leading up to the attic.  Without much hesitation, he begins climbing the steps. ]


[ INT. HOUSE, ATTIC - In a shadowy, dusty attic barely lit by two dingy windows, CHRIS rises from the staircase below and takes in the sights.  He doesn't appear off-put by the murky environment. ]

Chris's living quarters in the attic are located over Pete and Casey's rooms.

[ CHRIS steps forward and approaches one of the windows.  He uses the edge of his hand to wipe away the dusty residue from the glass, revealing a beautiful view of the rolling cemetery hills below. ]


[ INT. HOUSE, MASTER BEDROOM - In a fairly large, unfurnished bedroom (the upstairs room to the right of the stairs), LUKE and MAGGIE enter and look around. ]

The master bedroom will become Maggie's room.  It's located above what will become Luke's room downstairs (and part of the hallway outside Luke's room).  It's the only bedroom with its own private bathroom.

LUKE:
Wow, four bedrooms.

[ MAGGIE notices a private, full bathroom located off the bedroom (effectively above the downstairs laundry room). ]

MAGGIE:
Looks like this is the master.

LUKE:
Who do you suppose gets this one?

[ MAGGIE eyes the room. ]

MAGGIE:
Well, I'M not taking it.

Maggie self-deprecatingly avoids taking the master bedroom, but this will in fact become her room; perhaps the others insisted she take it after she volunteered to manage the finances.  My early plans for the series involved Maggie being the most adult of the Rangers, and that finally comes into play in their new house.


[ INT. HOUSE, UPSTAIRS - CASEY emerges from her room and reunites with TODD.  He speaks to her in a fond, somewhat hushed tone. ]

TODD:
You're pretty tough, squirt.

CASEY (with a smirk):
... Why?

TODD:
The grief Mom and Dad give me just for WORKING in the valley...  And you're buying a house here.

As we learn in episode 20, Todd lives in nearby Daly City.

[ CASEY shrugs soberly. ]

TODD (cont'd):
I'll tell you the truth... It's not a shock that you guys are getting such a good deal on this house.  The market in town's been... insane since the attacks started.  You can pretty much have your pick if you're crazy enough to stay.

I added this detail for realism, to reflect the impact of the Rangers' battles on the quality of life in Spring Valley.  At the time, I was aware of no real-life problems in the U.S. housing market.

[ CASEY turns and absently looks out the window at the end of the hall. ]

TODD (cont'd):
... But... are you sure you wanna stay?

[ CASEY turns back to TODD. ]

CASEY:
Did Mom and Dad put you up to this?

Worrying seems to come naturally to the Reynolds family.

TODD:
No.  Look, it's just...  I'm worried about you.  Whoever these "Power Rangers" are... who knows how long they're gonna protect the city?  I mean, what if they lose?  Or... you know, they can't protect everybody.  They didn't protect your apartment.

As in episode 14, one of the heroes is insulted by an off-handed comment about the Rangers, and in particular, their failure to save Parkview from destruction.

[ CASEY glares at TODD somewhat crossly. ]

CASEY (soberly):
When can we move in?

[ TODD keeps his eyes on CASEY without replying. ]


[ INT. CATACOMBS - In a set of labyrinthine, forgotten catacombs, SASHA braves the darkness, her STAR HANDLE functioning as a flashlight.  In place of her normal costume, she is wearing a streamlined black and white bodysuit, her hair pulled back tightly. ]

This is the first appearance of Sasha's sleeker costume; it will return in her "final" battle with the Rangers in episode 22.

The Necrod (Star Handle) didn't function as a flashlight in the sentai; here, I've extended its light-based powers, which were based on the Shadow Ranger plot (episode 27).

The rest of this episode takes place on Saturday, June 13, 1992, almost two weeks after the previous scene.

[ As she comes to a sealed stone doorway, SASHA focuses the light of her STAR HANDLE into a white-hot beam of energy, which she slowly uses to cut out the rectangular stone blocking her path. ]

Further, I've given it a laser torch mode.

[ We then see darkness.  With a dull rumbling, we watch as the massive stone slab topples and strikes the ground with a titanic crash.  Through the dust, we see SASHA, her STAR HANDLE once again serving as a flashlight.  She cautiously steps into the dark room beyond. ]

[ On a pedestal before her is a very old alabaster jar bearing Egyptian hieroglyphics, its lid in the shape of a human head (depicting the god Imset). ]

Imset (or Imsety) was one of the four Egyptian gods associated with canopic jars used to store the organs of the dead once they had been mummified.  Imset was associated with the liver.

[ SASHA approaches the jar with wide eyes.  She places her STAR HANDLE on the pedestal's edge, the light facing herself, and snatches the jar greedily from the pedestal.  Prying off its lid and discarding it, she frowns and reaches into the jar, pulling out a long wad of yellowed linen.  She then turns the jar upside-down and pours its contents onto the pedestal.  Fragments of a brittle, dark, leathery mass tumble onto the pedestal's surface. ]

I had a tough time determining what would come out of an ancient liver jar, but this was my best approximation.

[ The jar still upside-down in her hands, SASHA stands frozen, mouth agape in a mixture of disbelief and disgust. ]


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - An incensed SASHA, now in her regular costume, clenches something in her fist as she shouts at someone off-screen. ]

SASHA (shouting):
I spent TWO WEEKS tracking down this "Godfire Amulet" and THIS is all I have to show for it?!

I needed a substantial passage of time to let the Rangers get situated in their new home; to keep Sasha busy during this time, I introduced this Godfire Amulet ruse.

[ At the end of her line, SASHA hurls the contents of her hand across the room at the subject of her wrath, DILLIK.  The previously seen leathery fragments barrage DILLIK and his side of the room, causing him to recoil. ]

DILLIK (looking at the floor as he cowers):
Ew!  What IS that, anyway?

Though the contents of the jar aren't stated outright, the presence of Imset's likeness on the jar indicates that it must be liver.

[ SASHA storms toward DILLIK, her STAR HANDLE in her other hand. ]

SASHA:
Those were YOUR clues I followed, Dillik!  There IS no Godfire Amulet, is there?!

DILLIK (continuing to cower):
I don't know!  I'm sorry!  Trask told me to give you those clues!

[ SASHA stops in her tracks, narrowing her eyes. ]

SASHA (growling):
... Trask.

[ TRASK enters, carrying a biomass canister into the room. ]

TRASK:
Your majesty, welcome back from your quest!

SASHA (fuming, to Trask):
You did this.

[ In the background, DILLIK grimaces as he brushes debris from the console beside him. ]

[ TRASK sets his canister down. ]

SASHA (cont'd, off-screen, resentfully):
You sent me after some magical artifact that doesn't exist.

TRASK (calmly):
Your majesty, my sincerest apologies.  In my travels on Earth, I heard rumors of an ancient power...

SASHA (scowling):
You heard no such thing.

In fact, it was all a ruse.

TRASK:
My queen...

SASHA:
Quiet!

Sasha seemed aware of the dubious nature of Trask's loyalty in episode 14, and she is now ready to assert her dominance in the wake of this mockery.

[ As she barks at Trask, SASHA flicks the laser whip out from her STAR HANDLE.  The glowing tendril flashes through the air toward TRASK. ]

[ In a split-second, TRASK has raised his forearm to block the incoming whip, but as he pauses in his defensive pose, we see the whip has never arrived.  TRASK glances down. ]

[ At his feet, the biomass canister cleaves apart cleanly in two as a thick black liquid pools out over the floor and under TRASK's boots.  The edges of the halved canister are still glowing pinkish-orange from residual heat. ]

This is the first time biomass is seen in its raw form; for the sake of simplicity, I described it similarly to the black substance into which the Somebody dissolved in episode 3.

[ Holding her STAR HANDLE close to her body, the whip already out of sight, SASHA speaks: ]

SASHA:
Don't let me catch you on Earth, Trask.  The Rangers are my affair.

[ With a white gleam, SASHA vanishes. ]

[ TRASK chuckles stiffly as he lowers his arm from its defensive position.  He then speaks: ]

Trask seems slightly shaken by the encounter; had she not been issuing a warning strike, Sasha might have been able to strike him down.

TRASK:
Clean up this mess, Dillik.

Trask orders Dillik around to maintain his superiority aboard the space station.

[ TRASK vanishes with a ripple effect. ]

[ Visibly shaken, DILLIK blinks speechlessly. ]


[ INT. HOUSE, DOWNSTAIRS - From a low angle downstairs, we see MAGGIE emerge from the master bedroom at the top of the stairs, three paper slips in her hand.  She descends and enters the living room, where CASEY, PETE, and CHRIS are gathered.  All are wearing casual spring or summer clothing. ]

[ The house has now been decorated with second-hand furniture and a few basic decorations.  The house is not shabby in appearance but is still a work in progress.  Future episodes will slowly add successive layers of detail to the house furnishings.  It may be noted that the living room furniture sits facing the front wall of the house, where an average-sized TV set (appropriate for 1992) rests on an impromptu TV stand. ]

MAGGIE:
All right, I'd like to remind everybody that I'm not a math major, but here it is.  (hands out slips)  This is the total I'll need by the first of every month, starting... next month.  That's mortgage, utilities, repair fund... and groceries, now that we're gonna split them up too.

After some discussion, the heroes decided to split up their grocery expenses and regard most items as shared.

[ CASEY playfully tries to peek at PETE's slip, which he hides from her. ]

CHRIS:
So we're not all paying the same thing?

MAGGIE:
No, there were a couple people who volunteered a little extra.

[ CHRIS makes a mildly surprised expression and glances at the others. ]

It isn't stated which housemates pay more, but clearly Chris isn't one of them; I felt Luke and Pete were the most likely candidates.

CASEY (wrinkling her brow, looking at her slip):
How much was rent back at the apartment?

Casey's parents paid most of her rent (revealed in episode 12).

MAGGIE:
A good bit more than what we're each paying now.

CASEY (pleased):
Oh, cool.

CHRIS (dryly, to Casey):
Yeah, all we had to do was cram five people into one house.  You got any friends we can bring in?  We can make it dirt cheap.

[ CASEY is momentarily flustered until MAGGIE replies: ]

Casey was sometimes taken aback by Chris's sense of humor (she was also startled whenever he actually spoke to her).  This changed as the series progressed.

MAGGIE:
Sorry, Chris.  We're at maximum occupancy right now.

I referred to California housing code and the square footage of my house model to determine that, in fact, five people would be the maximum occupancy of the house.

[ CHRIS appears mockingly disappointed. ]

PETE (to Maggie):
So you already told Luke what he has to pay?

Luke is currently at work (darned realistic work schedules).  Pete is on his midday break.

MAGGIE:
Yeah.

[ PETE nods approvingly.  There is a momentary silence. ]

CHRIS (rising to go upstairs):
All right, see you guys.

Chris will spend most of his time alone in the attic.

[ CASEY watches silently as CHRIS leaves. ]

PETE (to Casey):
So, we getting groceries today?

CASEY (clearing her head):
Oh, yeah!

[ Having ventured into the dining room briefly, MAGGIE returns with a grocery list, which she hands to PETE. ]

MAGGIE:
Okay, so... Since we're sharing the groceries, we need to make sure we stick to --

CASEY (excited by something out the side window, nudging Pete):
Oh!  There's that white kitty again!  Put some cat food on the list!

At this point, I wasn't planning to use Casey's cat as a double for Artillacat (episode 28), so I neglected to describe it as black and white.  Perhaps Casey simplified her description here (or Moasi was a different cat from the one Casey spotted here).

MAGGIE (to herself, warily):
Ohh, this is going to be interesting...

We don't hear of any further difficulties regarding the heroes' splitting of the grocery bills.


[ EXT. LANDFILL - Panning across the landfill (see previous episode), we come across SASHA strolling through the rubble.  She ultimately comes across Chris's old sketch book (see episode 7), now somewhat charred and mangled.  She lifts it from the debris below and holds it in her hand, feeling its weight.  She then closes her eyes and concentrates a moment. ]

I don't know the exact nature of Papyria's monster form in the sentai (its name pertained to spirits, and it shot confetti-like streamers), but its resemblance to folded paper gave me enough leeway to use Chris's sketch book as its host object.

[ Soon, SASHA opens her eyes knowingly. ]

SASHA:
Black Ranger.

Sasha seems to have an additional sense, perhaps tactile clairvoyance or just a heightened sense of smell.  I originally considered that this power might come in handy as she continued to choose host objects from the dump, but this ended up being the last such monster creation.


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - DILLIK is studying the central console's monitor.  He then speaks into the small microphone, his voice echoing through the station. ]

DILLIK (officially):
Trask, you're needed in the command center... Trask, you're needed in the command center.

TRASK (off-screen):
What is it, Dillik?

[ We now see TRASK standing in front of DILLIK in a position not shown in the previous camera angle. ]

DILLIK:
Oh!  Trask!  I've tracked Sasha's teleport signal.  She's near the edge of Spring Valley.

As in episode 9, Dillik is only able to track Sasha when she teleports.

[ DILLIK's eyes fall on the monitor below, and the certainty drains from his face. ]

DILLIK (cont'd):
Oh, wait... no, she's gone now.

TRASK (impatiently):
Well, where did she go?

[ DILLIK studies the monitor intently, working a few controls.  An alert tone is heard, and DILLIK looks pleased by his discovery. ]

DILLIK:
Ah, here we go.  She's in the Jinnsect habitat.

TRASK (incensed):
Here?!

[ DILLIK begins to answer affirmatively but then loses the signal again. ]

DILLIK:
... Oh.  Now she's gone again.  (studies the monitor further)  ... and so is a Jinnsect.  We're down to twenty-nine.

Sasha has stolen Jinnsect #17 of 46 to create Papyria.  That leaves 29 remaining.

Dillik should be able to detect Sasha's destination after leaving the station.  I just didn't mention it here because I found it distracting.

[ TRASK clenches his fist and growls furiously. ]


[ INT. HOUSE, ATTIC - We pan through the attic, which is now slightly cleaner and moderately decorated as a bedroom and living area, though it remains fairly dark.  Seated at a second-hand writing desk under the window which overlooks the cemetery, CHRIS is hunched over, drawing into a new sketch book, of which he has only used a few pages. ]

[ CHRIS stops drawing as we hear the door at the bottom of his stairs open, and footsteps are heard coming up. ]

CASEY (off-screen):
Hey, Chris, do you have anything for the list before we go?

[ CHRIS closes his sketch book and turns around in his chair, somewhat displeased, as CASEY emerges from the stairway.  She is holding the grocery list and a pen. ]

CHRIS (awkwardly):
Uhh... how about a knock?

[ CASEY appears baffled, as if expecting something she could write down. ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
You know...  Like, I won't waltz into your bedroom...

Chris firmly regards the attic as private space, nor would he be willing to venture into others' rooms without invitation.

Chris remains oblivious to her crush on him.

[ CASEY blushes sheepishly. ]

CASEY:
... Sorry.

Casey is embarrassed by the faux pas, but arguably some of her blush might be from the idea of Chris in her bedroom.

CHRIS (relaxing slightly):
It's okay.  So, what is it?  Groceries?

CASEY (flustered):
Oh, um, yeah...  Do you... know of anything we need?

CHRIS:
Toilet paper?

CASEY (glancing at the list):
Got it.

CHRIS:
Soap?

CASEY:
Yep.  What else?

CHRIS (off-screen):
Uhh, a kiss is all.

[ CASEY looks at Chris (off-screen) in astonishment. ]

CASEY:
What??

CHRIS (repeating slowly as if he's said it before):
I said, "I guess that's all."

Casey hears what she wants to hear.

[ CASEY frowns suspiciously and then begins to back out of the room. ]

CASEY:
Um, okay.  Well... (searches for something to say) ... bye!

[ CHRIS watches CASEY curiously as she disappears down the steps.  The door can be heard closing below, and CHRIS shrugs and reopens his sketch book. ]

Chris's sense of secrecy about his sketches will be compromised when Papyria puts his creations on display by bringing them to life.  It will also contrast with episode 20, in which he shows Casey his drawings.


[ EXT. CITY STREET - We see a MOTHER driving a sedan downtown.  A BOY, four or five years old, rides in a car seat in the back.  As they drive, a few small pieces of white confetti (compare with sentai) brush past the windshield.  The confetti grows more plentiful as they continue to drive. ]

[ Puzzled by the confetti, the MOTHER turns on her windshield wipers, to no avail. ]

BOY:
Mommy, is it snowing?

[ The MOTHER looks out her window and toward the bright sky above. ]

MOTHER:
No, baby.  They must be having a parade--

[ Suddenly noticing the road ahead, the MOTHER slams on the brakes.  Her car comes to a screeching halt, as do other cars behind her. ]

[ We pan up to see, towering above the car, a massive stone windmill in the middle of the street.  Traffic quickly grinds to a halt as the MOTHER and other drivers gaze at the object in bewilderment. ]

Chris apparently drew a windmill at some point.


[ INT. HOUSE, DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM - Standing with one foot on the toilet lid and the other on the sink, MAGGIE is replacing a light bulb over the mirror in a small half bathroom tucked under the stairs, the left half of its ceiling sloped down from the staircase above. ]

The downstairs bathroom is across from Luke's room and under the stairs.  On the other side of the mirror wall is the kitchen.

[ Shortly, heavy footsteps can be heard through the ceiling as someone hurries above.  The person then begins scampering down the stairs directly above with a tumultuous rumble. ]

MAGGIE (to herself, rolling her eyes):
Jeez, where's the fire...?

[ Just then, her MORPHER chimes, at which point she nearly drops her light bulb as she fumbles for the device.  She successfully climbs down and sets the light bulb on the counter, then checks her MORPHER by pressing its upper left button.  By this time, the noise above has stopped. ]

[ In a close-up of the MORPHER's screen, we see a large, serpentine dragon snaking through the air above a park.  People flee in panic below. ]

Chris also drew a dragon.

[ MAGGIE's jaw drops.  Just then, CHRIS quickly arrives at the bathroom's open door from the front of the house. ]

CHRIS:
We've got trouble!

[ MAGGIE speechlessly gestures CHRIS to her AVIMORPHER, but he remains unfazed.  He then dashes off toward the front of the house, and she follows. ]


[ EXT. CEMETERY - In an expansive, hilly cemetery, a GRIEVING MAN stands soberly in front of a tombstone.  He looks up, spotting the BLUE and BLACK RANGERS flying some distance over the cemetery, their underarm wings extended. ]

[ The GRIEVING MAN stands bewildered. ]

Angels?

This is the only time the cemetery near the Rangers' house is featured, though I did assume that Casey's morning workouts would change to involve jogs through the cemetery, as she no longer lives within walking distance of a gym.  Arella (see episodes 21 and 22) was not created from this cemetery.


[ EXT. PARK FIELD - The BLUE and BLACK RANGERS land in an open field in the park, a thick region of trees in the distance.  Both BLUE and BLACK keep an eye on the skies above. ]

[ Suddenly, from behind them, the dragon's giant shadow swoops over them with a whoosh of air (the dragon itself off-camera).  BLUE and BLACK instinctively duck slightly. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Okay, so... they have dragons now.

[ We see over BLACK RANGER's shoulder as he watches the dragon bank in the distance to turn back toward the RANGERS. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Maybe it's friendly.

As in episode 10, Chris leaves open the possibility that an unknown presence may not be a threat to them.

[ By this point, the dragon is barreling straight for the two RANGERS. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger, cont'd):
Then again...

[ The two RANGERS apprehensively reach for their SKY BLASTERS, but before either has drawn his or her weapon, the dragon blows a stream of fire as it roars overhead, the flames blowing the RANGERS back amidst a flurry of sparks.  The grass around them, meanwhile, remains charred as the two smoking RANGERS return to their feet, essentially unharmed. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
(coughs)  All right, that's -- (pauses)  Wait a second.

[ BLUE RANGER touches two fingers to the left side of her helmet, viewing something privately. ]


[ EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - Through Blue Ranger's visor display (compare with episode 2 and Jetman #35), we see an alien-looking blob creature in a residential area from a Hoverbird's vantage point.  Walking on numerous pseudopodia, the blob plunges its sharp, brightly-colored tendrils into the side of a parked car, causing the punctured areas to begin to degrade into rust.  (At some point further down the street, though not necessarily shown here, is a moving truck.) ]

Chris's drawings focused on fantasy and alien themes.


[ EXT. PARK FIELD - Removing her fingers, BLUE RANGER speaks to BLACK while keeping a watchful eye on the sky. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
More trouble!  There's a... something on the loose.

[ BLACK ducks as the dragon swoops overhead again. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Better split up until the others get here.

This allowed for Chris and Casey to be paired up once she and Pete joined the fray.

[ BLUE nods cautiously. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Right.  Be careful.

[ BLUE RANGER takes a running start and leaps into the air and out of frame. ]

[ Now alone, BLACK RANGER assumes a ready stance with his gaze on the sky. ]


[ INT. GROCERY STORE - We see PETE pushing a shopping cart in a grocery store with CASEY by his side; some groceries are in their cart.  Under the scene, in place of its audio, is relatively placid background music. ]

[ Both PETE and CASEY apparently hear an alert on PETE's MORPHER; in response, they check for people nearby.  PETE then finds a nearby stock clerk and apologetically hands off the cart to him (his explanation unheard) as he and CASEY depart. ]

It bothers me when people leave perishables in their shopping carts when they have to leave the store unexpectedly.  Are they too cowardly to tell an employee they have to go, or just that self-absorbed?  Anyway, this was my reason for having Pete leave their cart with an employee.


[ INT. MUSEUM GALLERY - In uniform, LUKE's MORPHER seems to sound (the same background music still in place over the audio), but he finds himself surrounded by museum patrons. ]

My way of making Luke late to the battle so he could later battle Papyria alone (to match the sentai footage).


[ EXT. PARK FIELD - PINK RANGER trots onto the scene and surveys the area, which has been scorched in several areas. ]

[ Unexpectedly, BLACK RANGER falls from above and rolls across the ground in a heap beside PINK.  She quickly rushes to help. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Chris!

[ BLACK RANGER collects himself and dusts himself off, brushing off her efforts to tend to him. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger, casually):
Oh, hey, Casey.

I found it entertaining when a Ranger was more casual about his or her predictament than one might expect.

[ We see over the dragon's shoulder as it circles high above the BLACK and PINK RANGERS. ]

[ Eying the sky, PINK asks: ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
What is that thing?

[ BLACK RANGER rises. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Well, I'm not an expert, but, uh... that's what I'd think of as a dragon.  (casually)  Careful.

Though it was my intent for Chris to be more sarcastic with Casey than if he'd known about her feelings, this line was also a nod to the fact that the creature matches his expectations of a dragon (after all, he created it).  He simply doesn't yet realize that it's actually his dragon.

[ BLACK RANGER nonchalantly tackles PINK to the side as a stream of fire narrowly misses them from above. ]

Though I was reluctant to overdo the "boy rescues girl" theme, I felt it was appropriate for the story in this episode.

[ BLACK and PINK roll across the grass.  BLACK recovers his footing and takes PINK's hand, helping her up.  PINK RANGER looks at the charred ground beside them. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Thanks!

[ From a low angle behind BLACK and PINK, we see the dragon circling overhead. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Here's what we know:  It's aggressive, breathes fire, and it doesn't like people on its back.  (considers)  ... I think we're gonna need the Flyers.

[ In the background, the sound of a distant helicopter grows louder.  PINK RANGER perks up. ]

The Flyers seemed like a logical solution, but I didn't have appropriate footage, so I used the helicopter to interrupt this line of thought.

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Hey, is that a...?

[ The camera dollies around BLACK and PINK as they turn to see a news helicopter for Channel 6 approaching.  Though not yet shown clearly, the helicopter's side door is open, with a cameraman in a harness nearly hanging out the side as he records the dragon (off-screen). ]

In episode 13, Channel 6 asserted itself as a source for monster and Ranger news.  This, however, was the only time their coverage was seen placing their reporters in harm's way.

CHRIS (Black Ranger, muttering privately):
Aww, jeez... Get out of here...!


[ EXT. SKY - The news helicopter approaches the dragon's airspace.  The cameraman is now shown in greater detail. ]

[ Then shown in a closer shot, the circling dragon turns in the direction of the helicopter (off-screen). ]

[ The cameraman reacts with alarm but continues recording as the dragon grows closer (as reflected in the lens of his camera). ]

[ As it roars toward the helicopter, the dragon is struck by two yellow laser blasts from below; though seemingly unscathed, the dragon nonetheless veers off, just missing the helicopter.  Seen briefly as we pan quickly by the helicopter, the astonished cameraman whips his head to watch the dragon soar by. ]


[ EXT. PARK FIELD - Having shot their SKY BLASTERS, BLACK and PINK relax their arms slightly as they consult each other.  The helicopter sound above slowly fades away. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
All right, here he comes.  What's your plan?

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
MY plan?  I thought you had a plan.

Chris usually asserts himself as an effective second-in-command, but I had him consult Casey here to tone down the impression that Casey was substantially more helpless than Chris (this put them on more equal footing, at least until Chris has to rescue Casey below).

[ The dragon swoops down between PINK and BLACK, violently knocking them aside as it grazes them; though BLACK stumbles only slightly, PINK is hit harder and flips to the side, landing in the grass.  Both have lost their SKY BLASTERS from the impact. ]

[ Recovering his footing, BLACK keeps his eyes on the dragon (off-screen) as it climbs in the air. ]

[ From Black Ranger's perspective, we see the dragon looping up through the air and preparing to plunge straight down, jaws open, toward PINK RANGER, whom we pan down to see recovering but still on the ground, her SKY BLASTER out of reach. ]

[ BLACK RANGER grunts apprehensively and draws his TALON SWORD while leaping straight up. ]

[ From over the dragon's shoulder as it races earthward, we see BLACK RANGER soaring up to meet it.  He delivers a gleaming purple X strike with his TALON SWORD; both slashes cleave through the dragon with purple energy as he passes the dragon in midair. ]

I took note of the prevalance of Black Ranger's X-strike maneuver in the sentai, and I decided to use it in US footage as well.  It was a helpful replacement for the sentai-exclusive Battlizers at times.

[ From a low angle beside PINK RANGER as she shields her face with her arms, the dragon disintegrates into white particles only moments away from her.  (BLACK RANGER can be seen reaching the zenith of his jump high above.) ]

[ Lowering her arms, PINK looks around as the white confetti-like particles evaporate into nothingness all around her.  As she begins to stand, BLACK RANGER lands nearby and sheathes his TALON SWORD. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger, with a relieved chuckle):
... Wow.  My hero.

I originally had Casey commenting further on her "hero" slaying a dragon for her.

[ Both RANGERS collect their discarded SKY BLASTERS and holster them. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
So what was all that white stuff...?  It almost looked like... paper.

[ BLACK RANGER looks around seriously as a few pieces of white confetti blow through the air.  Nearby, a cloud of confetti swirls together, congealing with a yellow glow into a unique creature which might be described as a six-legged alien seal with spines jutting out from its back.  The creature roars monstrously. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger, with a sigh):
Oh, jeez... another one?

[ While deep in thought, BLACK RANGER draws his TALON SWORD again and steps protectively in front of PINK seemingly subconsciously. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
All right, now THIS is weird.  I drew this thing... like, months ago.

This creature is more memorable than a dragon.

[ As the creature slowly lumbers forward, BLACK and PINK carefully circle around it, keeping their distance.  BLACK holds his TALON SWORD ready. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger, cont'd):
... The spines on its back... the face... I mean, even those toes.  (privately) I never did like those toes...

What artist isn't self-critical about his own work?

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
You mean you made it up?  How can that be?

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
I dunno.  But I think that dragon was mine too.

[ The creature lunges as quickly as it can, but BLACK and PINK leap aside and continue to circle it.  BLACK RANGER keeps his TALON SWORD held defensively aloft. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
So your drawings are coming to life...?

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Looks that way.

[ We remain on PINK RANGER as BLACK quickly pounces out of frame toward the creature (off-camera).  We hear his sword impaling the creature, and its dissolving is heard subsequently. ]

I considered the stab too violent to show on-screen, despite the creature's nature as an artificial construct created from paper.

[ We now see BLACK RANGER standing where the creature stood.  He sheathes his TALON SWORD once again.  He then watches as more confetti blows out from a thick area of trees nearby.  From yellow energy, a disembodied human hand (able to double for Chris's hand) appears on the grass and begins crawling around on its fingers.  Suddenly, the hand leaps for BLACK RANGER, but a yellow laser from Pink Ranger's direction (off-screen) disintegrates it in midair. ]

When I was brainstorming ideas for Chris's drawings to bring to life, I thought surely he would have sketched his own hand for practice at some point.  In retrospect, I realize I should have specified it was a left hand, as Chris draws with his right.

The hand also gave me an opportunity to give Casey something to do other than be helpless.

[ PINK RANGER holsters her SKY BLASTER. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
So I guess we follow the paper trail...?

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Good plan.

[ Together, the two RANGERS run off in the direction of the confetti stream. ]


[ EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - As we cut to YELLOW RANGER, we see him quickly get struck by one of the blob creature's pointed tendrils, causing a flash of sparks as he falls back.  His SKY BLASTER is in his hand. ]

[ BLUE RANGER places herself in front of the fallen YELLOW, her TALON SWORD held defensively as the creature lurks in the foreground. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger, glancing back):
Pete!  Are you okay?

[ YELLOW RANGER rises, examining his torso. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Yeah... I think so.

[ YELLOW gestures with his SKY BLASTER. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger, cont'd):
All right, so a blaster doesn't work, a sword doesn't work...  What about the Battlizers?

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Tried it.  He just absorbs the shock.

As I'd sworn off US Battlizer footage, I had no option here but to imply that it had been tried unsuccessfully.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Wanna try the Sky Enforcers?  The Phoenix Cannon?  Not much firepower with just the two of us, though...

The Phoenix Cannon draws power from the Rangers, as shown in episode 11.

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
I'm thinking we should try to restrain it for now so we can go help the others.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Uhh, how the heck are we gonna do that?

[ Alternating their attention on the blob creature, the two RANGERS take turns looking around.  In the background (though not necessarily the focus of the scene), a couple of MOVING MEN are loading a piece of furniture into the back of the moving truck down the street. ]


[ EXT. PARK CLEARING - The BLACK and PINK RANGERS enter a clearing in the park as the confetti thins and vanishes from the air.  PINK and BLACK survey the area. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
It stopped!

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Hmm...

[ An echoing female voice, that of PAPYRIA (off-screen), draws the RANGERS' attention to their side. ]

PAPYRIA (off-screen):
Oh, hello, Rangers!  I was just leaving!

[ Sentai - A white monster seemingly made of folded paper (a JINNSECT embedded in her shoulder), PAPYRIA tiptoes backward, waving her hands back and forth tauntingly.  She then fades away as her laughter echoes in the distance. ]

Papyria fades Papyria fades Papyria fades Papyria fades

Papyria wasn't female in the sentai; I changed the monster's gender simply for variety (this monster's proportions seemed relatively gender-neutral).

PAPYRIA:
But do enjoy your handiwork!  (laughs and vanishes)

[ BLACK and PINK react.  BLACK then grumbles: ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Oh, great.  What now?

[ A voice comes from behind them.  Her voice is a malicious version of Casey's. ]

ESTELLE (off-screen):
I think she means me.

In the script, I used the name Estelle to distinguish her from Casey; readers may remember that Estelle is Casey's real name, as shown on the tenant list in episode 13.  The doppelganger's name isn't mentioned in dialog, however.

[ BLACK and PINK spin to see ESTELLE, a perfect doppelganger for Casey.  She is wearing a long, dark purple hooded robe, with a thin, jeweled circlet across her forehead, both remotely Celtic in design.  Her hair is pulled back tightly. ]

Not only did Chris draw Casey at some point, but he drew her in this outfit for some reason.

There was no evil Ranger duplicate in the sentai, nor were Papyria's creations based on any one artist's work.

[ The shot holds before fading to black. ]


[ Break. ]


[ EXT. PARK CLEARING - The BLACK and PINK RANGERS stand in defensive poses against ESTELLE. ]

ESTELLE (wickedly amused, pulling back her hood):
You look so out of sorts, Rangers.

CASEY (Pink Ranger, to Black, surprised):
You drew me...?

CHRIS (Black Ranger, uncomfortably):
Uhh... I was bored, you were over at our place watching TV...

Though Chris later claims to have no outward romantic feelings toward Casey, we are left to ponder the implications of his protectiveness and his drawing, as Estelle later points out.

To some extent, I wished that I had had the foresight to show Chris drawing Casey in an earlier episode, but this Chris-Casey plot was created on the spot as I wrote this episode (the drawing scene also might have created too much speculation on Chris's reciprical feelings earlier than I preferred).

ESTELLE (while summoning a sword):
Listen, Rangers, I hate to interrupt, but this is the part where I have to destroy you.

[ The sword, summoned with a multicolored (but mostly pink) gleam of light, is an elegant, bejeweled longsword which ESTELLE grips with confidence.  She then approaches PINK and BLACK. ]

[ PINK RANGER takes a step back as BLACK watches ESTELLE warily, his hand on his sheathed sword handle. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger, apprehensively):
Um, Luke went kinda fast on the swordfighting lessons...

Luke trained the Rangers in physical combat between episodes 3 and 4.

[ ESTELLE lunges toward BLACK RANGER with surprising speed, striking his sword hand with a flash of sparks before he can even draw his TALON SWORD.  He clutches his hand and quickly finds ESTELLE's sword at his neck. ]

[ ESTELLE grins.  Then, with a yellow laser burst from off-screen and a flash of sparks, ESTELLE drops her sword to the grass below. ]

[ Nearby, we see PINK RANGER having fired her SKY BLASTER. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Then again, I'm not too bad with a Sky Blaster.

I partially based this blaster skill on Jetman footage, in which White Ranger seemed to favor her blaster over her sword.  It also served to minimize Casey's helplessness in the episode.

[ ESTELLE looks down quickly just as BLACK RANGER drops into a sweeping kick.  His foot strikes the hilt of her sword, sending the weapon flying some distance away.  He rises in a defensive martial arts pose, ready to fight. ]

This is where cinematography dictates we should have seen the sword stabbing perfectly into the ground.  I chose to avoid that cliché here because of its unlikelihood.

[ Cocking her head with an irritated glare, ESTELLE then attacks.  She and BLACK RANGER engage in hand-to-hand combat: BLACK manages to block most, but not all, of her attacks, while appearing to pull his own attacks. ]

Chris doesn't want to fight Casey's likeness with much brutality.

[ During one particular moment, BLACK RANGER fails to strike while he has the upper hand.  ESTELLE quickly seizes on his hesitation by heel-kicking him in the kidney, knocking him to the ground. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Chris!


[ EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - We see into the back of a moving truck as the blob creature is hurled into it with a mighty thud.  Ropes tied around the creature dangle freely as though it was thrown with the ropes.  BLUE RANGER's hands then close and lock the back of the truck. ]

[ We see the BLUE and YELLOW RANGERS, BLUE having finished with the truck door and YELLOW brushing off his hands after his throw, while two astonished MOVING MEN and a female HOMEOWNER stand in the lawn, jaws agape. ]

[ BLUE delivers a casual salute and nod to the HOMEOWNER. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Thank you, ma'am.  We'll be back shortly.

[ As they turn to leave, YELLOW notes to the HOMEOWNER, nodding toward the truck: ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Uhh, you... probably don't want to open that.

[ In the background, a sharp tendril pierces through the side of the moving truck, drawing everyone's attention.  The metal around the puncture may be seen to degrade slightly. ]

[ YELLOW and BLUE then look at each other. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger, coolly):
I'm sure it's fine.

I liked the idea of the Rangers remaining more optimistic than was appropriate at times; later, we'll see that the monster easily escaped the truck.  I considered adding a newspaper headline into a later episode wherein it's revealed that a judge has thrown out a lawsuit against the Rangers for their carelessness here, but I never worked it in.

[ They leap into the air and are gone, leaving the MOVING MEN and HOMEOWNER speechless. ]


[ EXT. PARK CLEARING - As ESTELLE stomps on BLACK RANGER's back, PINK RANGER aims her SKY BLASTER and fires.  ESTELLE, however, deflects the laser harmlessly with an item suddenly in her hand.  She then holds the item in plain sight, revealing it to be a glazed black ocarina; its four holes are arranged in a diamond pattern. ]

I adapted the ocarina from the sentai while I wasn't sure whether I would end up using footage of Red Ranger finding it in the park.  By the time I made this decision, the ocarina was featured prominently in my episode; since I no longer had to match the craggly white sentai ocarina, though, I gave it a new description: sleek black.

I'm unsure whether Jetman explained the ability of the dead girl's ocarina to repel the monster, but in Take Flight, I've made it a blatant homage to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, though that game was certainly not available in 1992.  Rather, Chris' drawing of the Phantom Ocarina was inspired by a fictional Super NES video game.  Here are its songs:

Sylph's Nocturnetemporarily drains victims' energy
Lullaby of Restorationrestores hero's energy
Ode to Virtuerepels villains
Visionary Etudereveals hidden foes

ESTELLE:
This is what's called the Phantom Ocarina, White Ranger.  Let me show you what it can do.

Estelle's reference to Casey as the White Ranger was an intentional play on comments from episode 6; she will refute it later in the episode.

[ Pinned under ESTELLE's boot, BLACK RANGER groans to Pink (off-screen). ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Casey, get back!

[ Still clutching her SKY BLASTER, PINK RANGER takes a step back and watches warily as ESTELLE blows the ocarina.  A beautiful but haunting melody, the SYLPH'S NOCTURNE, flows from the instrument; though initially pleasing, a discordant note begins to resonate, causing PINK RANGER to appear physically drained. ]

A sylph is a mythological creature associated with the air (sometimes regarded as a fairy).  A nocturne is a musical composition inspired by the night, or intended for a nighttime performance.  Here, the Sylph's Nocturne is a special song (from Chris's video game) which drains its victims' energy for a time.  It goes unnamed in the episode's dialog.

CASEY (Pink Ranger, weakly):
(groans)  What's happening?

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
She's draining our energy!

[ BLACK tries to strike the back of ESTELLE's robed knee with his fist, but he is so visibly weakened that his strike is remarkably feeble.  Then, with a purple gleam, he demorphs, barely able to move. ]

This is one of the few times a Ranger demorphs against his or her will; I felt frequent demorphing made the Rangers seem weak overall, but this was a special circumstance.

[ The gems in ESTELLE's circlet begin to glow. ]

[ Appearing increasingly desperate, PINK RANGER aims her SKY BLASTER at ESTELLE and pulls the trigger, but only a dying whine is heard.  She then demorphs with a pink gleam, her blaster vanishing from her hands.  CASEY's legs buckle, and she collapses to the grass. ]

[ Smiling coolly as her circlet's gems grow even brighter, ESTELLE removes her boot from CHRIS's back and strolls closer to the prone CASEY.  She cocks her head and curiously studies CASEY's face. ]

ESTELLE:
Hmm, there is a bit of a resemblance, isn't there?

Estelle apparently doesn't self-identify as a copy of Casey; they merely look alike.

[ ESTELLE crouches down beside the helpless CASEY and lifts her limp left arm, examining her AVIMORPHER.  CASEY, meanwhile, remains conscious but barely able to move. ]

ESTELLE (cont'd):
This is what gives you your powers, is it?  (considers)  ... Tell you what... let's have a little fun.

This would have been an interesting turn of events, but I decided not to go down that path.  I hope this turn makes the episode's events seem unpredictable rather than distractingly arbitrary.

[ ESTELLE sets her ocarina in the grass and reaches to unfasten the AVIMORPHER from CASEY's wrist.  Just then, a hand takes a firm grasp of the back of ESTELLE's robe.  With all his (limited) strength, CHRIS hurls ESTELLE onto her back. ]

CHRIS (with a mighty grunt):
... Leave her alone!

[ ESTELLE quickly rolls to her feet and faces CHRIS.  Seeing he is barely supporting himself on his hands and knees, she chuckles smugly. ]

ESTELLE:
Beautiful heroics, Black Ranger, but hardly effective.

[ ESTELLE summons a gleaming ball of multicolored energy into her hand with apparent ill intent.  Suddenly from above, BLUE RANGER plants a flying kick in ESTELLE's chest, sending her flying back and tumbling into the grass some distance away.  The energy has since evaporated from her hand. ]

[ Landing in front of CHRIS, BLUE RANGER strikes a martial arts pose as her HOVERBIRD can be seen momentarily zipping around behind her. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
I've seen enough.

[ Nearby, YELLOW RANGER casually props Estelle's lost sword over his shoulder and saunters forward. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Me too.

[ We see over ESTELLE's shoulder as she apprehensively looks between YELLOW RANGER on the right, advancing casually, and BLUE RANGER on the left, who checks on CHRIS and then lifts CASEY into a sitting position. ]

[ YELLOW continues to advance. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger, to Estelle):
See, the Phantom Ocarina only drains people temporarily.

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
How do you know that?

PETE (Yellow Ranger, looking back at the others):
It's from a video game we used to have.

Tragically, the game and all of their save files were surely destroyed in Parkview's destruction.

[ As a different ocarina melody, the LULLABY OF RESTORATION, begins to play, BLUE RANGER looks at CHRIS, who is kneeling by CASEY's side as he plays the ocarina. ]

[ YELLOW RANGER notes offhandedly: ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
That's the Lullaby of Restoration.

The Lullaby of Restoration was another song from the video game; it restores the hero's energy.

As revealed near the end of the episode, we must believe that Chris knows how to play the ocarina because its four holes arranged in the shape of a diamond happen to correspond to the buttons on the Super NES controller, which were used to play the ocarina in the game.

[ Pink and purple wisps of energy spiral inward to CASEY and CHRIS, re-morphing them as the tune stops.  Lowering the ocarina, BLACK RANGER stands and offers his free hand to PINK.  She accepts and rises, standing by his side.  Together, the three RANGERS strike defensive martial arts stances in Estelle's direction (off-screen). ]

[ ESTELLE takes a startled step back and looks at Yellow Ranger (off-screen) on her more immediate right.  ESTELLE's circlet is no longer glowing. ]

[ Still casually holding Estelle's sword, YELLOW RANGER shrugs at Estelle (off-screen), then tosses her sword behind him and assumes a similar martial arts stance in her direction. ]

I wanted her sword to be unattainable during the previous sequence, but I needed her to be able to reclaim it for use in a later scene.

[ ESTELLE glances behind her and sees RED RANGER in a similar pose. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Hey, guys.  Sorry I'm late.

Luke finally found a chance to get away from work.

[ ESTELLE disgustedly returns her gaze to the front. ]

ESTELLE:
Well, isn't this lovely.

[ From behind the assorted RANGERS in front of ESTELLE, another cloud of confetti blows through the park.  From it materializes a horde of alien and mythical creatures surrounding the four RANGERS.  Startled by a monster beside him, YELLOW RANGER cartwheels forward and joins the other three. ]

[ The only Ranger not surrounded, RED RANGER calls out, concerned. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Hey, guys...?

[ The four RANGERS are fighting back against the creatures around them, PINK RANGER with her SKY BLASTER. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
We'll handle these freaks!  You go take care of Papyria!  She's the one doing all this!  (kicks an enemy back)  Just follow the paper!

Error!  Error!  I was usually quite careful about which names the Rangers would have known, but here, Chris speaks Papyria's name without being shown learning it.  We're forced to assume that Estelle uttered it between scenes while Chris was down.  I'm ever so ashamed.

LUKE (Red Ranger, with a nod):
Right!

[ RED RANGER dashes off through the trees in the direction of the confetti's origin. ]

[ Her eyes darting between the mob and the departing RED RANGER, ESTELLE dashes forward, plucks her sword off the ground, and runs in the direction Red Ranger departed. ]


[ EXT. PARK CLEARING #2 - In another, similar area of the park, RED RANGER rushes into frame and looks around. ]

[ We see white confetti blowing from an indistinct presence, invisible except for the monster-sized hole (compare with sentai) in the swirling cloud of confetti around it. ]

I wanted to reinforce Papyria's power of invisibility later featured in the Megazord battle.  Invisible monsters are also great in US footage.

[ RED RANGER looks intently at the presence (off-screen). ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
I guess I got ya.

[ RED RANGER runs forward and performs a jump-kick toward the camera. ]

[ Sentai - PAPYRIA rolls back across the grass. ]

PAPYRIA:
Oof!

Papyria rolls Papyria rolls

[ At the edge of the clearing, ESTELLE emerges from the trees but then takes a step back, watching the fight (off-screen) without making her presence known. ]

[ Switch to sentai - PAPYRIA blows a stream of confetti from her torso. ]

Papyria blows confetti Papyria blows confetti Papyria blows confetti

PAPYRIA:
Take this!

[ US footage - RED RANGER clenches his fist. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
That's enough littering out of you!

[ RED RANGER plants his feet together and leaps into the air. ]

Red Ranger leaps Red Ranger leaps

[ RED RANGER draws his TALON SWORD. ]

Red Ranger draws Talon Sword

[ RED RANGER performs a leaping sword strike, slashing PAPYRIA with a flash of sparks (a dwindling residue of confetti still in the air, a US addition).  RED RANGER strikes again.  His third strike, however, is grabbed by PAPYRIA.  She promptly hurls his blade aside and punches him. ]

Red Ranger vs. Papyria Red Ranger vs. Papyria Red Ranger vs. Papyria Red Ranger vs. Papyria Red Ranger vs. Papyria Red Ranger vs. Papyria Red Ranger vs. Papyria Red Ranger vs. Papyria

This battle features a mix of shots from before and after Papyria had killed the ocarina girl in the sentai.

[ Sword still in hand, RED RANGER tumbles back but quickly leaps back into the air. ]

Red Ranger leaps again Red Ranger leaps again

[ RED RANGER readies his BATTLIZER. ]

Red Ranger readies Battlizer Red Ranger readies Battlizer

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Battlizer, power up!

[ His TALON SWORD in his other hand, RED RANGER delivers a leaping BATTLIZER punch toward the camera (shown three times).  His punch makes contact with PAPYRIA's face in a burst of sparks, sending her flying back. ]

Battlizer punch Battlizer punch Battlizer punch Battlizer punch Battlizer punch Battlizer punch

[ The smoking PAPYRIA rolls across the grass. ]

Papyria rolls back

[ In close-up, RED RANGER draws his SKY BLASTER. ]

Red Ranger draws Sky Blaster

[ US footage - Having drawn his blaster, RED RANGER is startled to find himself alone. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Huh?  Where'd she go?

[ PAPYRIA rushes toward the camera with a swat of her hand.  Struck, RED RANGER sparks and falls back. ]

Papyria's swat Papyria's swat Papyria's swat Papyria's swat

[ US footage - RED RANGER falls and rolls onto the grass, his SKY BLASTER still in hand.  He begins to rise. ]

[ PAPYRIA shoots incendiary blasts from her fingertips. ]

Papyria's hand blasts Papyria's hand blasts

[ US footage - Sparks erupting around him, RED falls again. ]

[ PAPYRIA charges toward the camera in slow motion. ]

Papyria charges Papyria charges

[ Smoking on the ground, RED RANGER rolls onto his side.  He perks up as a new ocarina tune, the ODE TO VIRTUE, is heard in the distance. ]

Red Ranger hears something Red Ranger hears something

As explained below, the Ode to Virtue affects villains in a negative way.  This was my explanation for Papyria's revulsion in the sentai footage.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Oh, man...  (tune heard)  Huh?

[ With RED RANGER in the foreground, we see the charging PAPYRIA suddenly stop in her tracks as the tune continues.  She clutches her head in pain. ]

Papyria halts Papyria in pain Papyria in pain

[ US footage - By the trees, ESTELLE writhes in discomfort as the tune continues. ]

[ PAPYRIA looks around, still holding her head in pain. ]

Papyria in pain Papyria in pain

PAPYRIA:
(shrieks)  What is that horrible music?!

[ RED RANGER looks to the side. ]

Red Ranger looks

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Guys!

[ US footage - Advancing from the trees are the BLUE, YELLOW, and PINK RANGERS, led by CHRIS.  CHRIS is wearing his BLACK RANGER suit, minus the helmet, as he plays the ocarina. ]

This is the first time one of the Rangers is shown helmetless.  I enjoyed this visual in Power Rangers, and I will repeat it in future episodes.

[ PAPYRIA recoils backward in pain. ]

Papyria in pain Papyria in pain

PAPYRIA:
Stop already!

[ Switch to US footage - Still in discomfort, ESTELLE looks at her sword as it begins to crumble into dissolving white fragments, beginning from the tip of the blade.  She tosses it to the ground in disgust and glares in the RANGERS' direction (off-screen). ]

This was my reason for making sure Estelle had her sword in this scene.

[ RED RANGER rises and joins the others as CHRIS continues playing.  The shot is tight enough that PINK RANGER, at the edge of the group, is off-screen. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger, to others):
What IS this?

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
It's the Phantom Ocarina.  Chris drew it --

LUKE (Red Ranger):
No, but... what's with this song?

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Oh, it's the Ode to Virtue.  Badguys hate it.

CASEY (off-camera, urgently):
Uh, guys...?!

[ As the four RANGERS look to the side, we see ESTELLE's arm tightened around PINK RANGER's neck from behind, her other hand poised on PINK RANGER's head in an apparent (but not explicit) threat to break her neck.  CHRIS stops playing and startles forward a step as the RANGERS react. ]

[ Sentai - From a distance, we zoom in on PAPYRIA, who laughs wickedly. ]

Papyria laughing Papyria laughing Papyria laughing

ESTELLE:
Now then, Black Ranger... I suggest you hand over that ocarina, for your lover's sake.

My intent wasn't to imply physical relations with the term "lover"; rather, it seemed appropriate that Estelle would use it in its more old-fashioned sense.

CHRIS (startled):
My what...?

ESTELLE (patronizingly):
Well, it couldn't be more obvious.  You're compelled to protect her, to draw her... (wickedly amused) ... and you wouldn't strike me because I look too much like her.

CHRIS (stammering):
But I --  I --

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Chris, don't worry.  I feel the same way.

How akward.

[ CHRIS is speechless.  Behind him, RED RANGER exchanges a surprised glance with YELLOW and BLUE, who aren't necessarily as surprised. ]

ESTELLE:
So what'll it be?  The White Ranger, or the ocarina?

[ CHRIS makes an embittered face, looks down at the ocarina, and then begins to trudge forward in surrender. ]

[ We see PINK RANGER in close-up. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Chris, it's okay.

CHRIS:
Casey, I'm not gonna let you sacrifice yourself.

I made this a play on the traditional "don't worry about me!" convention; Chris thinks this is what she means, but she actually means she has the situation under control.  Once again, I found it satisfying to make Casey more self-reliant.  Also, I felt Casey was the only one who could rightly destroy her duplicate.

[ Again, we see PINK RANGER in close-up. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
No, I mean...

[ A flash of sparks erupts from ESTELLE's torso, causing her to stagger backward.  PINK RANGER, now free, reveals a SKY BLASTER from behind her back, having blasted ESTELLE in the chest. ]

[ CHRIS startles, as do the other RANGERS behind him. ]

[ PINK RANGER holsters her SKY BLASTER as ESTELLE continues to stagger backward in shock, her chest smoking. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger, cheerily):
I mean, I'm not too bad with a Sky Blaster.  (to Estelle)  By the way, it's "Pink Ranger."  (gesturing to her pink leggings)  I mean, hello...!

Casey and Pete discussed the Pink/White distinction in episode 6; it will be resolved in episode 30.

[ With a final lurch backward, ESTELLE dissolves into white fragments. ]

[ PINK RANGER joins the other RANGERS as they commend her. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
All right!

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Ha!  Nice!

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Way to go, Casey!

[ PINK RANGER stops to look up at CHRIS.  After a moment of silence, he smiles softly and says: ]

CHRIS:
Nice job.

[ Sentai - PAPYRIA shrieks angrily and charges forward. ]

Papyria charges Papyria charges

[ RED RANGER steps forward and delivers a side-kick toward the camera. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Back off!  (kicks)

[ Sentai - PAPYRIA rolls back and recovers her footing. ]

Papyria rolls back Papyria rolls back Papyria rolls back

[ RED RANGER looks back at CHRIS. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
You ready?

[ CHRIS nods and speaks into his gloved left wrist: ]

CHRIS:
Sky Condor!

[ With a purple gleam, CHRIS's helmet returns to his head, completing his BLACK RANGER suit.  PINK RANGER affectionately slaps his arm as she rushes forward into battle (out of frame). ]

We're left to wonder how Chris knew the proper commands for dispelling his helmet (shown on-camera later) and restoring it; presumably Luke remembered at some point and told the others.

[ RED RANGER's feet are shown in close-up as he leaps into the air. ]

[ Switch to sentai - The YELLOW and RED RANGERS deliver leaping strikes with their TALON SWORDS, causing PAPYRIA to spark. ]

Yellow and Red attack Yellow and Red attack

[ The BLUE and PINK RANGERS leap in with dual BATTLIZER punches, striking PAPYRIA near her face. ]

Blue and Pink attack Blue and Pink attack Blue and Pink attack

[ BLACK RANGER performs a leaping two-footed kick toward the camera.  He plants his feet into the smoking PAPYRIA, sending her flying back. ]

Black Ranger's flying kick Black Ranger's flying kick Black Ranger's flying kick

[ PAPYRIA flies through the air.  She then crashes into a nearby tree and falls to the ground. ]

Papyria flying Papyria hits tree Papyria hits tree

[ US footage - As BLACK RANGER lands, the other RANGERS gather around him.  RED RANGER calls into his left wrist: ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Phoenix Cannon!

[ Over a black background, the PHOENIX CANNON transforms and descends to the five waiting RANGERS. ]

Phoenix Cannon Phoenix Cannon Phoenix Cannon Phoenix Cannon Phoenix Cannon Phoenix Cannon

[ Energy from the RANGERS flows into the PHOENIX CANNON. ]

Phoenix Cannon charges

[ RED RANGER looks down at his monitor. ]

Red looks down

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Target lock!

[ The PHOENIX CANNON's monitor shows PAPYRIA rising to her feet. ]

Papyria rising

[ RED RANGER presses the trigger button. ]

trigger button

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Now!

[ The cannon fires. ]

Phoenix Cannon fires Phoenix Cannon fires

RANGERS:
Fire!

[ PAPYRIA reacts. ]

Papyria reacts

PAPYRIA:
Hey, what are you doing?

[ The cannon's phoenix flies down.  A spiraling fireball then strikes PAPYRIA, causing her to vanish in a burst of flames. ]

Papyria destroyed Papyria destroyed Papyria destroyed Papyria destroyed Papyria destroyed

Jetman apparently declined to include on-site explosions for monster destructions when their shooting locations (here, a public park) wouldn't permit it; instead, we merely see a superimposed fiery burst dissolving.  I made no attempt to explain this disrepancy in Take Flight.

[ US footage - A smoking JINNSECT lands in the grass, where it expands with yellowish-white energy. ]

[ Above, PAPYRIA materializes from insectoid energy and roars menacingly.  A vertical mouth with jagged teeth has now opened in the middle of her head. ]

Papyria grows Papyria grows giant Papyria giant Papyria

On the subject of Papyria's new appearance: no comment.

[ As the RANGERS scatter below, RED RANGER calls into his wrist: ]

Rangers scatter Red Ranger calls into wrist

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Sky Flyers, we need you!


[ EXT. SKY - As the FLYERS emerge from the clouds, the RANGERS beam up as streaks of light. ]

Rangers beam up

[ The HAWK transforms, and the legs and arms then attach.  The head rises, and the MEGAZORD is complete. ]

Megazord assembly Megazord assembly Megazord assembly Megazord assembly Megazord assembly Megazord assembly Megazord assembly Megazord ready


[ EXT. MOUNTAINS - Her feet shown in close-up, PAPYRIA runs forward and leaps. ]

[ Flying toward the MEGAZORD, PAPYRIA slams into it with her head, causing it to stagger back. ]

Papyria leaps Papyria leaps Papyria's headbutt Papyria's headbutt Megazord staggers Megazord staggers Megazord ready


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (Jetman #23) - The RANGERS startle as they look ahead. ]

Rangers startle Rangers startle

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
What...?

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Where'd she go?


[ EXT. MOUNTAINS (US footage) - We pan across a view of the mountains, with no monster in sight. ]

LUKE (off-screen):
She turned invisible again!

Sometimes I felt the need to over-explain the situation.  In this case, I did it because I had cut the sentai sequence wherein Papyria actually vanished, as it featured a Vane Dagger (for which this wasn't a proper introduction) and the monster's repeated teleport-dodging (which didn't fit with the power of invisibility).


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (US footage) - Shown in close-up, BLACK RANGER presents the ocarina. ]

Because of my decision to use the ocarina to explain the use of the Phoenix Blade to reveal Papyria (below), I had to shoot this scene in US footage; this is the first time I've called for a US Megazord cockpit (though this scene and the one following the monster's destruction could be shot using only Black and Pink's side of the cockpit).  Later, I committed to a full Kestrelzord cockpit in US footage due to the extended space voyage (episode 23), but also because there was so little sentai Kestrelzord cockpit footage.  Once I accepted that the Kestrel cockpit existed in US form, I realized that it could double as the Megazord cockpit with only minor alterations.

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
I'm on it.

[ BLACK RANGER touches two fingers to the right side of his helmet, underneath his ear and behind his jaw. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Remove.

This is the first time we see the Rangers' method of dispelling their helmets.

[ BLACK RANGER's helmet vanishes with purple energy, revealing CHRIS's head.  He then brings the ocarina to his mouth and begins to play a new tune, the VISIONARY ETUDE. ]

An etude is a musical composition (usually instrumental) intended to practice a certain technical skill.  Here, the Visionary Etude (unnamed in dialog) serves to reveal hidden foes.  I wanted all of the songs in this episode to fit equally well in a video game, and I think the Visionary Etude is a good example of this.


[ EXT. MOUNTAINS (Jetman #12) - The MEGAZORD brandishes its PHOENIX BLADE as the tune continues. ]

Megazord brandishes Phoenix Blade Megazord brandishes Phoenix Blade Megazord brandishes Phoenix Blade

[ Switch back to Jetman #16 - In the MEGAZORD's hand, the PHOENIX BLADE gleams with fiery energy which then turns light blue, as normal.  The ocarina tune concludes. ]

Phoenix Blade charges Phoenix Blade charges

To my understanding, Jetman didn't explain the Phoenix Blade's ability to reveal Papyria here.

[ Standing alone in the mountains, the MEGAZORD holds its glowing sword aloft.  Just as the tune concludes, bluish-white streaks of energy radiate outward from the sword, revealing PAPYRIA.  Bellowing angrily, she crackles with bluish electricity and then erupts in sparks. ]

Phoenix Blade reveals Papyria Phoenix Blade reveals Papyria Phoenix Blade reveals Papyria Phoenix Blade reveals Papyria Phoenix Blade reveals Papyria

[ The MEGAZORD leaps and flies in front of its blue vortex. ]

Megazord leaps Megazord with vortex

[ The camera closes on PAPYRIA. ]

Papyria reacts Papyria reacts

PAPYRIA:
No...!!

[ The MEGAZORD delivers its gleaming slash.  Struck, PAPYRIA flops into the air and onto her face, gleaming with multicolored streaks of light the entire time, and finally explodes. ]

Phoenix Strike Phoenix Strike Papyria destroyed Papyria destroyed Papyria destroyed Papyria destroyed


[ EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - Two POLICE OFFICERS are shooting ineffectively at the blob creature from behind the shelter of their patrol car.  In the background is the moving truck, with a gaping, rusted hole in its side. ]

So much for Pete and Maggie's confidence that the blob would be fine in the moving truck.  The police have had to fill in for the arguably neglectful Rangers, but we see they are ineffective against the creature (if police or the military could tackle monsters alone, what would be the point in Power Rangers?).

[ Spontaneously, the blob creature dissolves into white fragments.  The POLICE OFFICERS hold their fire and stand in bewildered relief. ]


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (US footage) - Shown in close-up, CHRIS watches as the ocarina dissolves into white fragments in his hands. ]

I enjoyed the ocarina's inclusion in this episode, and I found it a shame it had to dissolve here.

More US cockpit footage, primarily due to the ocarina and Chris's lack of a helmet, but it also lets me further foreshadow the Megazord's failure (see episodes 14 and 17).

[ PINK RANGER peeks over the back of CHRIS's seat. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Well, you did it.

[ CHRIS looks up at PINK RANGER somewhat fondly. ]

CHRIS:
We did it.

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
(giggles)  I guess so.  Hey, you know, it was fun getting a peek into your little world and all, but you think next time you could draw some friendlier creatures?

CHRIS (jestingly):
Hey, we're all still in one piece, right?

[ Just then, the lights in the cockpit flicker slightly.  CHRIS and PINK RANGER are initially puzzled, but once the flickering stops, PINK RANGER giggles. ]

The flickering lights are actually indicative of a serious problem in the Zords, but it's used here for comic effect, as the Rangers don't yet know of the problem.


[ Break. ]


[ INT. HOUSE, ATTIC - CHRIS is again upstairs drawing in his new sketch book when we hear a knock on the door below.  Glancing back at the stairs, CHRIS appears slightly anxious and unsure what to do.  He finally settles on straightening his hair with his hands and then replies: ]

CHRIS:
Uhh, come in!

[ As the door is heard opening below and footsteps climb the steps, CHRIS rises (without closing the sketch book on his desk) and awkwardly approaches the stairs.  He smiles uncomfortably as CASEY appears from downstairs.  She is smiling coyly. ]

That Chris doesn't close his sketch book here is either a testament to his increased comfort displaying his artwork (after Papyria put his creations on display) or his increased openness with Casey.

CASEY:
All right, so where'd you learn to play an ocarina, anyway?

[ CHRIS shrugs. ]

CHRIS:
Video game.  The buttons were, uh...

[ CHRIS briefly twists his fingers into a half-ocarina-playing, half-video-game-playing shape.  He then confuses himself and gives up. ]

CHRIS:
Well, it's hard to --

This may or may not require some suspension of disbelief.

CASEY (gently amused):
I get the idea.  (more seriously)  So, um... about earlier...

CHRIS (awkwardly):
Yeah...  I, uh... (searches for words) ... I thought you liked Luke...?

CASEY (surprised):
What?  When?

CHRIS:
Oh, umm...  You know, when... (waves his hand dismissively)  Ah, never mind.

Specifically, Chris caught them in an embrace in episode 13, but that was triggered by the stress of their predicament rather than feelings toward Luke.

[ CASEY stands bashfully, at a loss for words herself.  After a moment, CHRIS volunteers: ]

CHRIS:
So, like... I was thinking... maybe we should --

[ CASEY listens intently. ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
... like, just... stay friends for right now...?

I had no specific resolution in mind when I thought to make Casey reveal her feelings during the Estelle battle.  For some reason, though, I found it hard to imagine Chris in a relationship, so I had him suggest they remain friends.  I later explored Chris's feelings toward romance in episode 20.

[ CASEY remains numbly expressionless but appears to blush as silence hangs in the air. ]

CHRIS:
Like, uh...  This business about saving the world and all...  I mean, it puts a lot of pressure on us, you know?  It's just... I don't --

[ CASEY blinks and stirs to life. ]

CASEY (not entirely convincingly):
No, no... I agree.  Totally.

CHRIS:
But, I mean, we could, like... hang out... sometime, if you wanted...

Chris's suggestion of friendship and hanging out isn't to be taken lightly, as Pete notes in the next scene.

CASEY (distractedly):
Oh, yeah.  Definitely.

[ CHRIS grows sullen, perhaps frustrated with himself. ]

[ CASEY gingerly takes a step back toward the stairs. ]

CASEY (more cheerily):
Well, if you ever wanna show somebody some of your drawings, I'd love to see 'em.

[ CHRIS smiles softly. ]

CHRIS:
Thanks.

Chris will take her up on the offer in episode 20.

[ CASEY smiles back, then turns and descends the stairs. ]


[ INT. HOUSE, UPSTAIRS - Just outside the slightly open door to the attic, PETE and MAGGIE have been eavesdropping.  Hearing approaching steps from upstairs, they scatter down the hall, clumsily trying to be quiet and shhing each other in the process. ]

[ CASEY emerges from the attic door before PETE and MAGGIE can reach the lower staircase heading downstairs.  Her voice causes them to freeze in their tracks. ]

CASEY (with mock seriousness):
What are you guys doing...?

[ PETE and MAGGIE guiltily turn. ]

MAGGIE:
Nothing...?

CASEY (shutting the door behind her):
... 'Cause... it looked to me like you might've overheard something.

PETE (scratching his chin absently):
Uhhh... like what?

CASEY (approaching them):
Like me making an idiot out of myself...?

[ PETE and MAGGIE stammer. ]

CASEY:
Seriously, did you guys know?  Like, before...?

[ MAGGIE confesses: ]

MAGGIE:
I knew.

Casey didn't tell anyone of her crush.  It's up to the reader's imagination to guess how Maggie came to this conclusion.

[ PETE nods and then gestures toward MAGGIE. ]

PETE:
I knew because she told me.

[ Making a face, MAGGIE elbows PETE harmlessly. ]

CASEY (sheepishly):
All right, well... cat's out of the bag now.

MAGGIE:
Hey, you know, there's worse things than being friends.

CASEY (reluctantly):
Yeah...

PETE:
And, tell you the truth, Chris doesn't... let a lot of people in, you know?  So if you two are friends, then you're not doing too bad.  (shrugs)  And, I mean, you never know...

CASEY (more quietly, after glancing over her shoulder):
What kind of girls does he usually like, anyway?

[ PETE stops to think for a moment.  His brow crinkles as he looks up distantly, lost in thought. ]

Though episode 7 reveals they have discussed girls (perhaps only in the abstract), Pete has no memory of Chris dating anyone or mentioning specific interests; he therefore may be searching his memory to make sure Chris even likes girls, to which he has no immediate answer.  (Episode 20 divulges his real reasons for shying away from relationships.)

[ Time passes as CASEY and MAGGIE await an answer.  MAGGIE finally takes CASEY by the arm and heads downstairs with a smirk. ]

MAGGIE:
Yeah, let us know when you come up with something there, Owly.

Maggie's playful attitude toward Pete picks up from episode 11, though this is the only time she calls him by this nickname.

[ The girls depart downstairs as PETE is left alone with his thoughts. ]


[ EXT. SPACE STATION - Establishment shot. ]

DILLIK (voice-over):
Um, I've got another reading on Sasha...


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - From across the room, TRASK interestedly watches DILLIK work the central console. ]

TRASK:
Well...?

DILLIK (studying the display):
... She's back in Siberia... in her mother's lair.

[ TRASK nods thoughtfully. ]

TRASK:
As I expected.  (ponders a moment, then turns to leave)  Well done, Dillik.  I'll have to pay her a visit some time.

[ DILLIK holds back comment but then speaks up before TRASK steps out the door. ]

DILLIK (timidly):
... Y-- You're not gonna hurt her, are you, Trask...?

[ TRASK pauses a moment. ]

TRASK:
That all depends on her.

Trask finds the idea of being banned from Earth completely intolerable, but he hasn't yet decided to destroy her, leaving her the option of reconsidering.  At the time I wrote this episode, I didn't know how this conflict would resolve itself.

[ TRASK departs, leaving DILLIK concerned.  Cut to black. ]