DISCLAIMER: This story takes place between "A Golden Homecoming" and "Where In The World Is Zeo Ranger V?"

Of course, this story is written sans premission of Saban.

That Shrinking Feeling
by: April Michelle Richards

All was quiet in the Power Chamber. Billy Cranston and Alpha-5 were hard at work on a new project while Zordon meditated. Deep under the Power Chamber, however, all was not quiet. Tommy Oliver and Jason Scott swore as they stumbled over all the junk that had accumulated over the years.

"What are we lookin' for again?" Jason asked Tommy.

"A thingymawhachit." Tommy answered.

"A what? I thought it was a doo-hickey."

"Naw. Doo-hickeys are smaller." Tommy responded.

"Are you sure?" Jason frowned as he kicked a rusted hunk of metal out of the way. "Gross!" He yelped when a rat ran over his foot. "When was the last time Zordon has this place cleaned?"

"Dunno. Don't mention it to him, though." Tommy moaned. "Or we'll be the ones cleaning it up!"

"Right." Jason agreed. He pushed aside some more trash. "So, what does this thingiemabobber that Billy needs do?"

"It's a thingymawhachit, Jase. Thingiemabobbers are illegal in this state." Tommy corrected. Jason rolled his eyes and tossed a piece of moth eaten cushion at his friend. Tommy dodged it, but tripped over something. The Red Zeo Ranger hit his head off a some kind of machinery. "Ow!"

"Oops, sorry, bro." Jason ran over and helped his friend up. "Are you OK?"

"Yeah, fine." Tommy shook his head to clear it. "Wonder what I hit my head on?" He looked over his shoulder.

"Well, we should make sure you didn't damage it, bro." Jason giggled. Tommy slapped his shoulder.

"Fu-nnie, Jase. Really funnie." Tommy growled.

Just then, the machine that Tommy's head hit started to whine. Before either Ranger could move, it shot out a blindingly bright, blue beam. Neither Ranger could see what happened after that.

"Oh, my head." Tommy moaned as he opened his blurry eyes. "What was that?"

"I dunno." Jason rubbed his sore eyes. "I think it was the thing that you hit." He added. Just then, Jason looked around. Something wasn't right...."Hey, bro," Jason bit his lip. "Does this place look *different* to you?"

Tommy looked around. "Yeah. I don't remember it being this big." He picked up what appeared to be a giant needle. "Uh, oh. Jason...."

"Oh no!" Jason wailed. He jogged over to his friend's side. "Now what'll go wrong? I have a date with Emily tonight! I can't just call her and tell her that I have to break our date because I'm the size of a bug, shrunk by a machine in the basement of the Power Chamber!" He kicked the machine.

Tommy put his arm around Jason. "Calm down, bro." He whispered. "We have to get up to the Power Chamber. Billy and Alpha can turn us back to normal."

"OK." Jason sighed.

The boys started their trek towards the stairs that would lead up to the Power Chamber. The hunks of old machinery hung over them.

"This is creepy!" Jason rubbed his arms.

"Yeah." Tommy agreed. "I don't remember the room being so long." He added.

"I guess since we're smaller, the room looks larger." Jason suggested.

"Yeah, I think you're right." Tommy smiled.

The boys walked in silence, dodging pieces of metal that had only been a mere annoyance just minutes before, but were now capable of being deadly to the Red and Gold Rangers. Tommy gripped his needle, feeling slightly more protected with it. Suddenly, Jason paused and turned around.

"Bro, did you hear *voices*?" Jason asked.

"Yeah. Didn't recognize them either." Tommy said.

"Who could be...." Jason's voice trailed off when a furry gray body knocked him down.

"JASON!" Tommy screamed and jabbed the beast with his needle. The rat turned and hissed at Tommy. Tommy held the needle at ready. Faced with prey that fought back, the rat ran away. The Red Zeo Ranger hurried over to his friend's side. "You OK, Jase?" Tommy asked as he helped Jason up.

"Yeah. Thanks, man." Jason brushed himself off. "That was wierd."

"Well, we'd better leave before the rat comes back with friends." Tommy suggested.

"Lead the way, O Fearless Leader." Jason bowed in mock ceremony. Tommy snorted, then walked ahead of Jason.

The patter of hundreds of rat feet filled the room. The boys looked back and found the entire rat population of the Power Chamber rushing them.

"Aw man, RUN!" Tommy ordered.

"Don't have to tell me twice!" Jason responded as he and Tommy started running. The corridor quickly ended in a steel wall. Jason pounded his fists against it, trying to find a weak spot that he could break, as Tommy faced off with what appeared to be the leader of the rats.

"Back off!" Tommy snarled as he jabbed the leader in the eye. The rat wailed with pain, then took a swipe at Tommy. The nimble youth ducked and the claw just brushed his long hair. The rat growled something, then all of the rats surrounded the boys on three sides. "We're done for!" Tommy yelled.

Just then, the wall gave out behind them and some one, or something, pulled the boys into a dark cavern. The door rolled back over the hole, keeping the rats outside.

"Thanks, man." Tommy said as he turned around to face their rescuer. "Oh wow!" He gasped. Jason turned slowly.

"What is it, bro.....Whoa!"

Behind the boys stood a mouse with long, drooping whiskers. Its small, brown eyes sparkled with inteligence and humor as it watched the reactions of the teens.

"Um, I'm Tommy Oliver." Tommy held out a hand for the mouse to shake. The mouse took it in his paw. Then, the rodent turned to Jason.

"Jason Scott." Jason shook hands with the mouse's paw.

"I am called," And here the mouse made a nearly unpronounceable sound. "It means Long Whiskers in your language." He added and fondly stroked his whiskers. "What are you doing here?" Long Whiskers asked.

"We were looking for a thingymawhachit for our friends, Billy and Alpha." Tommy said.

"Alpha? The tin man?" Long Whiskers asked.

"Yeah. Do you know him?" Jason frowned, suddenly worried.

"Sure. He always leaves cheese for us. Any friend of the tin man's is a friend of ours." Long Whiskers said.

"Uh, us?" Tommy looked around.

Long Whiskers laughed, then whistled and hundreds upon thousands of mice came out of the darkness.

"My friends, these two boys need to go to the Tin Man so that they can be returned to their normal size. However, the Rats have singled them out to be prey." Long Whiskers paused, letting the information sink in. "Will you give your aide to these two members of the Power Rangers?"

Tommy and Jason gasped as they heard their secret identities being discussed like it was common knowledge. The mice nodded their heads and squeaked in agreement to what Long Whiskers said. Tommy tapped the mouse on the shoulder.

"Um, Long Whiskers, how did you know about Jase and I?" He asked.

"Simple. We have seen you in the rooms above us." Long Whiskers answered.

"Oh. Um, how come we can understand you? I mean," Tommy's voice trailed off. "The Rats were speaking also. Most of the rodents I've known, before now, just said *squeak, squeak*."

Long Whiskers laughed. "It's quite simple my boy. All you hear is squeak because our voices are so high that is all that registers with your hearing. Now that you are down to our size, you can hear us." Long Whiskers explained. Tommy and Jason nodded their heads in agreement. It made sense. Just then, a small mouse tugged on Long Whiskers' tail. It spoke rapidly in the Rodent Language. Long Whiskers stroked his snout, then turned to the Rangers. "Merribell said that the Rats are about to launch an attack against this colony to get to you."

"We'll stay and help you fight, Long Whiskers." Tommy said. "It's our fault that your colony is now in danger."

"But, your Ranger Powers will not work with you this size." Long Whiskers pointed out.

"So what." Jason spoke up. "We have our fists and our feet."

"Right." Tommy nodded his head.

"Very well." Long Whiskers sighed. "Merribell, get the children to safety." The mouse said. Merribell squeaked an answer and saluted. Then, Long Whiskers addressed the remaining mice. "Prepare for battle against the Rats. Softtail, please equip the Rangers with any weapons you can find."

"Follow me, boys." Softtail, the oldest mouse Tommy or Jason has ever seen, chuckled. The Rangers followed Softtail into a large room filled with minature verisons of human weapons. Tommy grabbed a two handed sword while Jason favored a large, spiked mace. Then, the Rangers ran to join the gathering mice army. Tommy and Jason stood beside Long Whiskers as they faced the oncoming Rat army.

"I never knew that there were so many Rats in here." Jason whispered. Tommy just nodded. His attention was focused on the large Rat who had attacked them earlier. Suddenly, the large Rat cleared his throat.

"Long Whiskers, we do not want to quarrel with you. Just hand over the two things that are in your care." The Rat demanded.

Long Whiskers shook his head. "No, Niles. Tommy and Jason are not prey, are not to be eaten. They are our friends, and Power Rangers."

"Ha! Power Rangers! Those tasty little bugs?" Niles snickered. "That's a good one!" Then, Niles sobered up. "If you will not hand over the prey, we will take it!" With that, Niles ordered his army to attack.

The Rats leapt forward and were met by the Mouse army. The two Rangers also threw themselves into the fray, taking out as many Rats as they could. Their long years of Martial Arts training paid off as Rats were tossed into the air and landed on hunks of rusted machinery. Soon, only Niles was left unscathed. Like all villians of old, he did not wish to face Long Whiskers or the two tiny Rangers alone. With his stringy tail between his legs, the leader of the Rats ran away, deep into the junk room. Tommy and Jason relaxed as they watched their enemy retreat.

"Well done my friends." Long Whiskers slapped the Rangers on the backs. The boys winced, feeling the bruises that were starting to form.

"We're glad we could help, Long Whiskers." Tommy answered tiredly. Just then, the room shook. "Aw, man, now what?" Tommy rolled his eyes heavenward.

"Ai yi yi yi yi!" Alpha's tinny voice boomed. "What's been going on here, Long Whiskers?" The robot leaned down and picked up Long Whiskers and the Rangers.

Long Whiskers answered Alpha in the Rodent Language. The elderly Mouse pointed to the machine that had shrunk the boys.

"Oh no!" Alpha exclaimed when he saw what had started the whole adventure.

The robot ran up the stairs and plunked Tommy and Jason down onto a lab table. The other Zeo Rangers had been summoned when the scanners first picked signs of a battle brewing beneath the Power Chamber. The Ranger leaned over their miniaturized companions. Adam stroked Tommy's long hair with a finger tip.

"Alpha, they're kinda cute like this!" Rocky laughed as he gently poked at Jason. "Can we keep them? I have my old cage that I had my hamsters in," Rocky paused. "Before they escaped and the cat ate them." He added.

"Oh, no!" Alpha wailed. "We have to return them to normal now! The ray's effects become irreversible in five hours after exposure." The robot moaned. "And, Tommy and Jason were hit with it four hours and fifty-five minutes ago!"

During this time, Billy had been silent, working on a device. He looked up and motioned Rocky and Adam away from the table. He picked up Long Whiskers and let the Mouse sit on his shoulders.

"This should reverse the ray's effects." Billy stated calmly. "Hold on, guys." He told Jason and Tommy. The former Blue Ranger activated the device. A fine, cool mist coated the micronized Rangers. Then, a soft light hit them. When the light faded, Tommy and Jason had returned to their normal sizes.

"Thanks Billy." Tommy grinned at his friend. Then, he took Long Whiskers off Billy's shoulder. "And, to you too, Long Whiskers." He held out his finger for the Mouse to shake.

"Yeah, man. We'd be Rat chow if you hadn't saved us." Jason also held out his finger. Long Whiskers squeaked out a reply. Then, the Mouse handed Jason a strange looking piece of metal. It was small and shaped like an old skeleton key. "The thingymawhachit!" Jason exclaimed. He handed it over to Billy, who quickly added it to the new device he had been working on.

Tommy tapped Alpha on the shoulder and whispered something to the robot. A flash of light appeared in Tommy's hand, revealing a large wedge of imported cheese.

"Long Whiskers, this is for you and your people." Tommy showed the Mouse the cheese. "As thanks for your generosity towards Jason and myself."

The Mouse lifted the cheese onto his back, then, much to the surprise of the Rangers, teleported out of the Power Chamber. The Rangers looked at each other.

"Alrighty then." Tommy shook his head.

OH, TOMMY, JASON, I WAS WONDERING IF I COULD ASK A SMALL FAVOR OF YOU? Zordon, who had not spoken the entire time, said.

"What?" Jason looked up at his mentor.


Tommy and Jason blanched.

"Oooh man!" Tommy wailed.