The skittles idea at the end of this chapter was from JasonTKD...thanks!
A few days later, Tommy pulled up to his secluded house after school to see a delivery truck that seemed to have just arrived. The driver was coming down the front steps and smiling at him. Tommy got out and walked up to him.
"Why good afternoon," the driver said cheerfully. "Dr. Thomas M.C. Oliver?"
"That's me," Tommy said, signing where the driver pointed on his clipboard.
"Where do you want it?" the driver asked. Just then, they could both hear the phone ringing inside.
"Uh, just leave it by the porch, thanks," Tommy said, rushing in to answer the phone.
"No problem," the driver called after him. "Have a great day!"
"Thanks, you too!" Tommy called over his shoulder.
By the time he made it to the front door, found the right key (he had recently undergone a major lock change process), and found the phone, the answering machine had already picked it up.
"Hey Tommy!" an all too familiar voice sang out.
Oh no… Tommy thought, instinctively stopping in his tracks and spinning around to check if there was someone standing behind him, grabbing the butter knife he had forgot to put in the dishwasher that morning, ready to strike. He found me…
"It's me, Zack, the best black ranger ever. I'm just calling to say hello. Also, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to go crazy in my last phone call at such a ridiculous hour, and you were right to not pick it up, or even call me back. I overreacted. Anyhow, just to show you there are no hard feelings, I would like to say on behalf of all of your black predecessors, welcome to the club, Doctor Thomas M.C. Oliver! Your initiation package should be arriving shortly! Later, yo!"
My what? Tommy thought curiously. Initiation package? Since when are we supposed to send initiation packages? He thought back to Jason's visit the previous day, in which he had thrown a half-eaten bag of red Twizzlers to an over-joyed Connor, claiming that they were making Trini sick and she had demanded he get rid of them, but other than that…rangers weren't supposed to give initiation packages to the new wearer of the color…were they? If so, he was majorly behind.
And what does he mean Thomas M.C.? My initials aren't M.C. Wait, M.C…that sounds familiar…where have I heard the initials M.C. recently?
Suddenly, he remembered the delivery man out front. Fearful of whatever was sitting on his porch right this very moment, he ran through the house to try and stop the delivery, even though it had been almost five minutes and it must be too late. Surprisingly, the truck was only just pulling away when Tommy burst through the front door. Wondering what had taken so long, he looked down to see where the package was. He didn't see it right away at his feet, so he walked down the stairs to look for it, just as Connor's car pulled up and the three younger rangers piled out. It was then that he noticed the multiple boxes stacked neatly all about his entire front yard. There were stacks upon stacks of boxes everywhere.
"Whoa, dude," Connor said. "Did Jason decide to help you clean out your attic after we left yesterday or something?"
"Don't call me dude," Tommy muttered absentmindedly, while slowly walking around, looking suspiciously at each box as he passed it. Ethan walked up to one box and went to open it, or pick it up, or something that he never got to do because Tommy pointed at him and snapped "Don't touch that!"
Ethan jumped back. "Sorry! I mean, why? I mean, sorry!"
"Don't. Touch. Anything."
He cautiously walked to the nearest box and waved his hands around it, not sure what he was looking for, but it was the one with the addressed envelope on it, so he figured it must be the one he was supposed to open first. After making sure there were no trip wires or anything, he slowly pulled out the piece of paper. The curious, and now amused, teenagers read over his shoulder.
This is to certify that Doctor Thomas M.C. Oliver is hereby initiated into The Cult of The Blacks, who are also the most awesome people in the universe. The following signatures are the current members who approve of this great happening in the history of The Blacks:
Zachary Taylor, MMPR I
Adam Park, MMPR II
Carlos Vallerte, PRIS
Daniel Delgado, PRWF
Tommy stood there, not moving, and re-read the letter several times before Ethan broke him out of his trance.
"Hey Dr. O, I didn't know your initials are M.C. What does it stand for?"
"Multi-colored," Tommy hissed slowly and quietly.
"Well that's a weird middle name," Connor said obliviously. "And that guy doesn't even have a middle name," he pointed to Corcus. "Or a last name for that matter. Poor guy. And what the heck's a 'pris'? Hey, wait…you're not even black, why are you being initiated into this thing for black people?"
Kira poked him. "He's the black ranger. Weren't you paying attention to the video?"
"Nah," Ethan spoke up again. "That was the day he was obsessed with getting his brother's ninja kick down, remember? Hey, what's in the boxes anyway? And how come I didn't get anything from the former blues? Kira, have you gotten anything yellow in the mail recently?"
Tommy ignored them as he quickly reached out to the nearest box. He practically tore it open, and the four of them stared down at its contents.
"Wow," Connor said sarcastically, pulling away. "Those blacks sure have a sense of humor. Almost makes me regret being born white. Ow! Hey-Cut it out, Kira!"
As the three young rangers made their way to raid Tommy's kitchen, he just stood there and stared at the box. He then went around the yard, opening every few as he went. By the time he was finished, Hayley had pulled in behind Connor's car.
"Hey, Tommy. Whoa. Who loves you so much? And what is it?"
Tommy looked at her and picked a bag up out of the nearest box.
"Licorice," he muttered. "He sent me five dozen boxes of it…five dozen boxes…filled with bags...of black licorice."
As he stood there staring at the single bag of black licorice in his hand, another delivery truck pulled into his driveway. His head snapped up.
"Oh no," he said dreadfully. "Hayley-hide me!" he said, darting behind her.
"It's just a delivery truck," Hayley said, rolling her eyes, getting sick of constantly hearing how the first black ranger wanted to brutally murder her best friend. "I'd be a little more worried if it was Zack himself."
"But what if Zack had himself delivered?!" Tommy said frantically, stepping closer to the sanctuary that was his house. "Remember that year he thought it would be funny to jump out of Trini's birthday cake?!"
A few moments later, however, the delivery man jumped out the front seat carrying a somewhat small package. "Package for Tommy Oliver?" he asked Hayley uncertainly, looking around at all of the delivery boxes already piled on the front lawn.
"Hiding behind that one," she said, gesturing behind her. "Don't mind him, he's bothered because one of his closest friends sent him candy. Personally, I would be rejoicing if someone sent me sugar loaded stuff that would rot my teeth, but that's just me..."
"Yeah, no kidding," the delivery man muttered. "Um, Tommy Oliver?" he asked the nearest stack of boxes.
"Over here!" a hand shot up from behind a different stack. "What's in the box?"
"Uh," the man said, looking at Hayley for reassurance. She just shrugged. "I don't actually know...I just deliver them. But it does say perishable on my notes sheet, so that means food."
"You can keep it," the stack of boxes said. Suddenly, he stood up. "Actually, give it to me, and I'll give it to Connor. It might be poisoned."
The delivery man looked helplessly at Hayley, who just rolled her eyes. "Like I said, don't mind him."
As Tommy was signing for this new package, Connor noticed the truck through the living room window. "Hey, there's another delivery for Dr O," he called to Ethan and Kira.
"Really?" Ethan asked. "I wonder what's in this one...?"
As they bunched in front of the window, they watched as Tommy flipped it over to look at the return address, and then visibly relaxed.
"Well," Ethan said disappointedly. "He looks rather calm. It must not be as good as a bazillion bags of licorice."
They went back into the kitchen, not knowing that they were missing one of the biggest meltdowns in Dr. Oliver history. Hayley jumped back as Tommy threw his head back and yelled "JASON LEE SCOTT I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!" before dropping the package and storming into the house, kicking a few boxes as he went. Hayley stared after him for a moment, then shook her head and leaned down to pick up the small package from Jason.
Dear Captain Technicolor, the note inside said. You know how I warned you about Zack? Well, I felt guilty because I kind of gave him the idea. By now I may or may not have come by to get rid of the food that Trini doesn't want around (seriously man, you need to find the grocery store in Reefside…last time I was at your house I thought I was going to starve to death), so if I show up and you can't resist the urge to kill me, please warn Trini so she can warn me so I just don't come visit you. Thanks! Good luck on your quest to carry on the legacy of the multi-colored people of the world! –Jason
Hayley laughed to herself as she peeked in the box and saw what Jason had stashed between the bubble wrap. She took the bubble wrap and stuffed it in her purse, thinking that she could use it later to distract/amuse Connor, before setting the small box on top of a larger one.
And there it remained until Tommy got around to cleaning the yard…five dozen boxes of black licorice, and a single party-sized bag of Skittles.