The rest of Buzz's team joined them at the now-visible Heed spaceship. It was not one of the large ones, like they had used in their previous famous attack. This one was small, discreet. It had few weapons built in, and would not fare well in a fight with either Star Command or Zurg. It seemed to be equipped for nothing more than secret transport. Ty was put in charge of making sure the Heed did not escape, as they investigated the spaceship; Ty figured it was Buzz's way of showing Ty how much confidence he had in him. Ty appreciated it. The Heed was about the size of an LGM, and alone, had no chance of struggling free of Ty. So he didn't.
As they explored the Heed ship, it became apparent that their perpetrator was working alone, despite the race's almost hive-like mind. The ability for one to act against the others excited Capitol Planet anthropologists and, while the single Heed only wanted to have Star Command and Emperor Zurg destroy each other, he ended up becoming an icon for the renewed debate about the ability of a community-driven being to distinguish himself. Ty could empathize.
All this passed through the space ranger's mind as he walked toward the mess hall. After all that had happened between them, Ty wanted to talk alone with Buzz for a bit. Not about anything in particular; just prove to Buzz and himself that they were friends. Ty felt the energy from his new bracelets diffuse into his bloodstream – or wherever it went. The LGMs had figured out that the way to keep Ty from absorbing power from everything around him, was to make sure he was getting a steady stream from something that would not wear out. In the mind-boggling way they invented everything else, the LGMs crafted two mechanical bands that fit on Ty's wrists that pulled unused electricity from the air, or something. Technology wasn't one of Ty's strengths. He smiled a little.
It is now, I guess, he thought as he plugged his meal card into the wall next to the door and the screen came to life.
"Welcome," it greeted. "What would you like to eat?" Various menu options appeared on the screen. Ty reached for it, but then paused, unsure whether he should touch the screen. He rolled his neck and loosened his shoulders before pressing his gloved hand to the screen. There were no sparks, no rush of electricity. The only thing that happened as a result of his contact with the screen, is that a hatch opened with his food of choice, and the screen told him to have a good meal.
Ty took his tray and turned as the sliding doors slid out of his way and revealed a bright room of all the other rangers on their lunch breaks. At a center table, near the back but directly in view, Ty saw Buzz. Buzz saw him and waved him over. As Ty walked between tables, people patted his shoulders and grabbed at his arms, in appreciation. Great job, Ty. Smiles. No whispers. No shifting eyes. No fearful looks.
"Hi Buzz," Ty said when he reached his friend's table.
"Ty!" Buzz greeted. "How's life these days?"
Under the table, Ty fiddled with one of his bracelets. His joints had stopped aching, his unnatural thirst had dissipated, and his suit had not yet lost power.
"It's normal. Very mundane," he answered.
"Sorry to hear that," Buzz said.
"Don't be," Ty said quickly, swirling his orange drink. Then he smiled at Buzz, a real smile; one that pulled at the unused corners of his eyes. "Normal is fantastic."
A/N: I hope you liked this story. Please leave me a comment to let me know what you think of it. Thank you to those of you who persevered, despite my erratic updates. But I said I'd finish, and I did. I am of the belief that Ty deserves more love than he gets. So, here is my offering towards that end. I hope I've endeared him at least a little more to you.