Ziggy feels that no one on the RPM team appreciates him. When a new Venjix attack-bot shows up, Ziggy decides to prove his mettle by taking it on himself. Will he succeed?

*This episode takes place after Ghosts.

All rights to Power Rangers RPM belong to Disney and its affiliates.

Ziggy, Just Drop It

"Listen. All I'm saying is that if there was life on other planets, we'd probably know about it already. I mean, how do we know that Earth is the oldest planet in the universe? If there are older planets, they should have more advanced technology than we do, and they should have traveled to Earth in a giant space ship by now. Take any random planet you want, like that one planet NASA was investigating before Venjix attacked – what was it called? KO35? It had an atmosphere. Maybe that means it had life, too. And advanced technology. And..."

Dillon had been listening to Ziggy's rambling for nearly an hour, and he was on the verge of bursting an artery. After a simple debriefing with Dr. K and the rest of the team about Venjix's new upgrades, Ziggy began a barrage of pointless questioning about looking for technologically-superior allies from other planets and calling them for help. Usually, Ziggy would finish his rants after the rangers tune out and leave him alone. But this time, he just wouldn't stop pushing his point. After Ziggy followed him into the kitchen, Dillon knew that peace and quiet were the last things he'd be getting during lunch.

"Think about it, Dillon: When we first met the Gold and Silver rangers, we thought they were aliens. And now, they're members of our team."

Dillon shook his head. "You're missing the point, Ziggy: The Gold and Silver Rangers weren't aliens. They're humans. Named Gem and Gemma."

Ziggy pressed on: "Yeah, but we thought they were aliens."

Dillon, who was the last person in Corinth to tolerate nonsense, stared blankly at Ziggy. With robotic implants making up half his body and having little human connection in general, Dillon still couldn't figure out how someone like him could put up with Ziggy. He remembered what Dr. K had told him once about their relationship: "My diagnosis of your ability to maintain amicable relations with Ziggy is likely a biological manifestation of Coulomb's Law. In lament's terms: opposites attract."

Fortunately for Dillon, Flynn showed up.

"A'right, boys," Flynn began in his distinctive Scottish accent. "I've tuned the cars. They sound much better. And now – it's time for a smoothie."

Flynn popped his head in the fridge. Ziggy looked up at Dillon and smiled. Dillon knew what was coming.

"Flynn, my man," Ziggy began as he walked over to the refrigerator. "Dillon and I are having a deep conversation about life on other planets." Flynn closed the fridge door and gave Dillon a look that said 'help me.'

"Flynn – do you think that there's life on other planets?" Flynn took a deep breath, but before he could say anything, Ziggy put his arm around his shoulder and continued: "And if so, do you think they could have advanced technology that could wipe out Venjix?"

Flynn waited a moment to be sure that Ziggy was finished. Before he began speaking, he removed Ziggy's arm from his shoulder. "Ziggy, maybe you should focus more on life on this planet and less on speculating about things that don't exist."

Ziggy shrugged. "Flynn, listen. There's lots of evidence that..."

"I don't care," said Flynn, flatly. "None of us here does. What we do care about is being Power Rangers and protecting the city."

Ziggy looked at Dillon, who was busy finishing his sandwich.

"Yeah, but..." Ziggy started.

"Ziggy, just drop it," said Flynn.

"I would," Ziggy began, "but I really think I'm on to something. As a member of this team, I feel I have the right to propose theories that could help us and to look into them."

"That's Dr. K's job," said Flynn, who was becoming annoyed with Ziggy's persistence. "Not yours." With that, Flynn left the kitchen and headed toward the dorms.

Ziggy sagged into a seat next to Dillon. "Flynn never listens to me," Ziggy said. "He's never done anything nice for me either." Ziggy looked up at Dillon. "But you care about me, don't you? I mean, you saved me from prison and stood up for me when I bonded with the series green morpher."

"Sometimes, I wonder why," said Dillon, nonchalantly. And with that, he dropped his plate in the sink and left the kitchen.

Ziggy rested his head on the table. He knew that Dillon wasn't trying to be mean. After all, Dillon would end most of his conversations with a brooding, existential comment, especially when he has no interest in the content. Even still, Ziggy couldn't help but feel a little let down by his ranger team.

***

"Hey, Summer. I have a question for you." Summer had just returned from seeing her parents, and Ziggy was waiting for her at the entrance of the garage.

"Sure. What's on your mind?" asked Summer as she put her luxurious blonde hair into a pony-tail.

"Well, it's just that," Ziggy began, not sure exactly how to articulate his thoughts.

Summer raised an eyebrow. "Yes?"

"Well, I'm starting to feel that no one on the team really wants to be friends with me."

"Oh, Ziggy," said Summer as she took Ziggy's hand in her own. "We're all friends here. We have to be. We're the Power Rangers."

"I know that makes us friends by default," Ziggy continued, "but does that make us true friends?"

"Of course it does," said Summer. "I'm your friend."

"Thanks, Summer. But really: why do you like me?"

"Because... Um." Summer paused for a moment. "Because you're kind, and brave, and enthusiastic. Who else would have organized auditions to find a green ranger? Your commitment to the team has always meant a lot to me."

Ziggy thought about what Summer said. Then he remembered what happened after the auditions failed, and Scott, Flynn, and Summer told him that he was wasting their time and should go away. He also remembered how shocked and disappointed the rangers were when they found out that he was the green ranger, especially when Scott had said "you have no right making yourself a Power Ranger."

Ziggy let go of Summer's hand. "Er, thanks," said Ziggy, not wanting to continue the conversation.

"Any time," said Summer, smiling. "I'll see you later," she said while walking away.

Ziggy stood alone for a moment. "Friends, indeed," he thought.

***

After his talk with Summer, Ziggy decided to go for a walk, hoping to clear his head. When he got to Central Park, he sat down in one of the swings.

Ziggy had considered speaking with Dr. K, but she was spending time with her old friends, Gem and Gemma. For a long time, Ziggy thought that he and Dr. K had much in common: both loners, both misunderstood. He was hoping that their similarities could build into a meaningful friendship. Even though she always spoke to him with disdain, often with sarcasm, Ziggy knew that Dr. K acted that way only because she was denied human contact growing up. After all, living in a top secret government think-tank tends to change a person.

Ziggy thought back to when the Gold and Silver rangers revealed themselves to Dr. K. He had warned them that the doctor might appear cold on the outside; but on the inside, she was very warm (or at least, Ziggy hoped she was). When Dr. K greeted the new rangers with tears, everyone was happy for her – except for Ziggy, who was near heart-broken. Ziggy understood how much it meant to Dr. K to see Gem and Gemma, especially since she had no idea they were still alive. Even still, after all he had done as a Power Ranger, Dr. K had never congratulated him or shown him an ounce of emotion.

Ziggy also thought about speaking to Scott, but he was busy organizing (or, more likely, arguing about) new military strategies with his father, Colonel Truman. Now that the Gold and Silver rangers had joined the team, many new strategic opportunities were possible. In any case, Ziggy knew that Scott wasn't a man of extensive dialogue, and he figured he would probably receive the same response from Scott as he did from Flynn.

"For better or worse," Ziggy thought, "I'm a Power Ranger. But I can't get with the program. Maybe I need to prove myself to the others."

Ziggy looked up. When he did, he noticed something extremely strange. A swarm of black insects was gathering across the park. The huge, dark cloud grew bigger and bigger; and after several seconds, it had condensed into a solid mass. The swarm quickly congealed into a single form, and it began to develop anthropomorphic shapes: long arms, thick legs, antennae on its head, and a satellite which made up its torso. It didn't take Ziggy a second to realize that he was staring at the latest Venjix attack-bot.

"RAAAAWWWOOOO!" it growled. "I am Ultra-nanobot! Generation 12 Venjix Attack-bot! My insects have made their way into your city through the ventilation system over this area! Your puny defenses could never detect my millions of microscopic nanobots!"

Ziggy was nervous. "He's undetectable? That means no one knows he's here! I'd better call the others!" Ziggy stood up and strapped his morpher to his wrist. He placed his finger over the 'call' button – but suddenly, he was struck by an idea.

"If I can destroy this monster on my own," Ziggy thought, "then the rest of the rangers will finally accept me and treat me with some respect!" Ziggy stroked his chin in silent reflection. "But wait – could I really take out a Generation 12 attack-bot?" After a moment's consideration, Ziggy decided: "if Dillon can do it, I can do it!"

Ziggy raced across the park and activated his morpher. "RPM! Get in Gear!" he shouted. As always, Ziggy went through the dizzying sensations of morphing into the Green Ranger: the flying colours; the morphogenesis of his clothing into coloured spandex; and out of thin air, the apparition of a blaster, belt, and a helmet shaped like a shark. The rangers had once asked Dr. K to explain how morphing worked. Naturally, her explanation was too complicated for the rangers to understand. They did learn, however, that the ranger suits depended upon electromagnetic energy generated by the universal bio-electrical field, and that the technology for their suits' instantaneous materialization functioned similarly to the series green teleportation powers.

Ziggy reached the attack-bot. "Stop right there!" he shouted.

"Who are you?!" Ultra-nanobot roared.

"I'm the Series Green RPM Ranger! You're trespassing in this city, so get ready to meet your demise!"

Ultra-nanobot laughed. "You think you can destroy me?! You puny human! You have never met the likes of me! I will destroy your city and everyone in it, starting with you!" Ultra-nanobot laughed again and began to deteriorate.

"He's disintegrating?" thought Ziggy. "Does that mean I won?" After watching Ultra-nanobot break apart into thousands of insects, Ziggy finally realized what was coming.

"Uh oh," he said.

Suddenly, the giant hoard of mechanical bugs flew directly towards Ziggy. All he could do was cover his face with one hand and swat wildly in the air with the other.

"Get away! Get away!" he shouted.

Ziggy was covered in darkness and completely disoriented. He knew that if the other rangers were around, they'd be surrounded, too, and just as helpless. Even still, he couldn't help but feel more alone than ever.

"If only I could reach my blaster..." Ziggy grunted. "Or... my morpher."

A light bulb went off in Ziggy's mind. "Of course!" he shouted. Ziggy crouched down and blindly felt for his left arm with his right hand. After finding his morpher, he traced the buttons with his index finger until he found the one he needed.

"Teleport!" he yelled, and he pressed the button.

Before Ziggy knew it, he was back in the sunlight and standing ten feet away from the nanobot swarm.

"Now's my chance! Nitro blaster!" Ziggy fired madly at the swarm, and hundreds of insects began to drop. The dark mass slowed down, and once again, it congealed into the Ultra-nanobot.

"You can't defeat me, ranger," groaned Ultra-nanobot. "I am made from millions of nanobots! You can never destroy all of them!"

"We'll see about that!" shouted Ziggy. "Turbo Axe!"

Ziggy and Ultra-nanobot raced towards one another. After a very tense moment, the two exchanged blows as they ran into one another. Ziggy recoiled and slashed twice at Ultra-nanobot, causing him to fumble.

"Urgh," Ultra-nanobot grunted.

"I'm not done!" Ziggy shouted. He charged up his axe. "Turbo blast!" he yelled, and he sliced at Ultra-nanobot's midline.

"AAARRRGGGHH!!" Ultra-nanobot growled as he fell to the ground.

"And that's how we do it where I'm from!" said Ziggy triumphantly. As he turned around for a striking pose, he saw the other primary rangers racing across the park toward him.

"Uh oh," Ziggy said.

"Sorry we're late," said Scott. "Venjix sent grinders to distract us from his latest robot. Gem and Gemma are still fighting them."

"How did you know where I was?" asked Ziggy.

"Dr. K was in the lab and saw the green suit teleport away," Summer explained. "When she searched for you, she found you fighting a monster and sent us your location."

"Doesn't look like Ziggy needs much help," said Flynn, pointing at the monster. "Did you do that yourself, Ziggy?"

"Who else would have?" Ziggy retorted, pointing at himself while he puffed out his chest.

The rangers were speechless. Finally, Flynn broke the silence.

"Dude – that's awesome!"

"Well done, Ziggy," said Dillon.

"I'd never do that myself," Summer whispered.

Scott stepped forward. "Ziggy," he began, "you know that we're supposed to take on monsters as a team."

Ziggy sighed. He had a feeling he was about to be lectured by the red ranger.

"But," Scott continued, "given that we were preoccupied, you did a really good job. Well done."

Ziggy beamed. "Oh, you guys," he said, blushing. Even though he was wearing a helmet, Ziggy still turned his head away. When he did, he saw that Ultra-nanobot was growing bigger and bigger.

"Oh, no," said Ziggy, alerting the others. "It's not over yet."

"Let's do it, guys!" said Scott.

The rangers took their standard formation.

"Downmorph zords!" They shouted. The rangers' holographic zord downloads appeared in front of them.

"Insert engine cells!" The holograms became physically solid and grew until they reached zord-size. Zord downmorphing (as Dr. K had once explained) used similar technology to the rangers' morphing. It depended on the same principles, and it could also be explained by the process of instantaneous materialization.

The rangers boarded their zords, activated their controls, and (after Dr. K sent the Croc Carrier) formed the six-zord Zenith Megazord. After five minutes, the Megazord was facing the giant Ultra-nanobot.

"Try teleporting out of this!" Once again, Ultra-nanobot separated into a swarm and surrounded the Zenith Megazord.

"There's too many of them!" Summer shouted. "We can't shake them off!"

"Keep trying!" Scott shouted. "They can't keep this up forever!"

After spinning around madly, the Zenith Megazord finally fell to the ground.

"Shields are dropping," Flynn reported. "At this rate, they'll eat the hull."

"We should separate into individual zords," Dillon suggested.

Although a good idea at first thought, Ziggy knew it wouldn't work. "But then, the insects will swarm each zord individually, before we could even drive away!"

"Good thinking, Ziggy," said Scott. Even though they were close to losing their Megazord, Ziggy couldn't help but smile again - and he had another reason to smile when the Gold and Silver rangers' zords appeared out of nowhere.

"Fire!" Gem shouted.

"I'm on it!" Gemma replied. The Falcon Copter and Tiger Jet blasted the insect swarm, freeing the rangers. The Zenith Megazord recovered and stood up.

"Thanks, rangers!" said Scott over the intercom.

"Any time!" Gem responded.

"Forget the niceties," said Dillon, pointing out the cockpit's window. The swarm was reassembling into the Ultra-nanobot. "How do we beat this thing?"

"I spoke with Dr. K," Gemma began, "and she said that Ultra-nanobot is sending an assembly signal from somewhere on its body. Take out the source of the signal, and he'll fall apart."

"I'm scanning for the signal now," said Summer. "Searching, searching... there! The assembly signal is coming from the satellite in its torso!"

"That's why I couldn't defeat him on the ground!" said Ziggy. "I only attacked his waistline. This time, let's do better than just taking off a few inches."

The rangers configured their wheels into blaster mode.

"Target locked!" Flynn reported.

"Let's do it, guys!" Scott shouted.

"Wheel blaster!" The Zenith Megazord fired all of its lasers at Ultra-nanobot. "Direct hit!"

"AAAARRRRGGGGHHH!!!" roared Ultra-nanobot. And he exploded.

"Mission accomplished!" said Scott. "We'll be home in time for dinner."

***

"Dr. K," Summer asked when the rangers had met in the lab for debriefing, "if Ultra-nanobot was so efficient at sneaking into Corinth, why doesn't Venjix just build hundreds of them?"

"Venjix may have perfected the decomposition and synthesis of robots using nanotechnology," began Dr. K, "but due to the enormous amounts of resources that need to be devoted to the developmental procedure, only one Ultra-nanobot warrior can be produced every six months."

"So that means we might be facing another one of those things in six months?" Flynn asked, despondently.

"Hopefully by then," responded Dr. K, "we'll have destroyed the Venjix virus."

"Then again," Gem began in a matter-of-factly voice, "in six months, Venjix might make something even more powerful than the Ultra-nanobot."

At these words, everyone became quiet and sullen.

Ziggy looked around at the rangers' faces. "Cheer up, everyone!" he chimed in. "We've been through worse. Remember what Dr. K had to go through to get us a second flux over-thruster for the Zenith Megazord? Or what I had to go through to protect the series green morpher?"

Summer smiled. "That was pretty brave, Ziggy," she said. "If it weren't for you, Tanaya 7 would be the Green Ranger."

"Come to think of it," began Flynn, "after auditioning half the people in Corinth – who all turned out to be kind of creepy – you were definitely the best."

"I knew Corinth's Got Talent was a good idea," said Ziggy, grinning.

"And you've always been able to keep up with all of us," said Scott.

"Except for me," Dillon scowled.

Dr. K looked at all the rangers, then at Ziggy. "I think what ranger series red is trying to say – and, perhaps in some way, so am I – is that we're glad you're on the team, ranger series green."

Gem smiled. "Do you think you can show me –" he began.

"Some of your old-school fighting skills?" said Gemma, finishing her brother's comment.

"Any time!" said Ziggy.

"Alright, don't get too excited," said Scott. "It's time for dinner. Meeting adjourned."

Everyone left the room, leaving Ziggy alone with Dillon.

"I had a feeling that busting you out of prison was a good idea," said Dillon as he walked away.

Ziggy smiled. "I knew all along that everyone liked me," he said.