Abandon Sanity All Who Enter Here
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Abandon Sanity All Who Enter Here
by Red Witch
Summary: It's time once again for the Rangers psychology evaluations, but is there a more sinister purpose behind this?
The disclaimer saying that I don't own any Galaxy Rangers characters went off to rehab or something. Just another mad fic out of my mad mind. Just continuing on the saga began by 'Hiding in Plain Sight'.
"I hate psychological tests…" Zachery Foxx snarled at the paper in front of him. "Especially when they make us fill out forms!"
"It's part of standard procedure to have all Rangers on active duty go through random psychological testing to make sure our minds our sound," Niko told him.
"In other words to make sure that none of us super powered nut jobs don't crack up," Shane grunted.
"What kind of questions are these?" Zach asked. "Take this one for instance. Would you rather A, Walk your dog or any other dog you know. B. Take the bus downtown or C, figure out your tax returns for the next year?"
"Trust me Captain these are trick questions," Shane gave him a look. "It's C. It's always going to be C."
"How do you know that?" Doc asked.
"The Board of Leaders has been looking for ways to ice me since Wolf Den," Shane tapped the paper. "This is just one of their lamer attempts."
"But how can C be the right answer?" Niko asked.
"C indicates responsibility," Shane told her. "A means you care about others and B…Well you don't want to know what B means."
"How do you know this stuff?" Doc asked.
"Let's just say I had a crash course in psychology shortly after Wolf Den," Shane told him.
"You mean you figured out the answers and learned to cheat," Doc remarked.
"Cheating is an ugly term," Shane said. "I prefer to call it survival strategy. And speaking of which you guys better get yours settled for the home visitations."
"Home visitations?" Zach did a double take. "No one said anything about that!"
"They never say anything about that," Shane said. "That's part of the test. To try and get you off guard so they can use whatever they find against you. Especially you Zach because you have the most to lose if you get my drift."
"What? They might try to take my kids?" Zach was horrified.
"Wouldn't put it past 'em," Shane growled.
"I don't think it will come to that," Doc thought aloud. "It could be your paranoia talking Gooseman."
"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you," Shane told him.
"Come on Goose," Niko said. "No one is out to get…"
"I DON'T NEED TO BE OBSERVED!" Q-Ball screamed as he was dragged away in a straightjacket by several doctors. "JUST BECAUSE I ANSWERED B TO A FEW QUESTIONS? WHAT'S WRONG WITH JUST GOING ON A BUS TO GO DOWNTOWN ANYWAY? HELP!"
"I told you, it's C," Shane shrugged.
"Uh Goose you wouldn't happen to have a few more test answers would you?" Zach gulped.
"Yeah I've got a few suggestions," Shane grinned. "Particularly when they do the home visitations part."
"Hello, I am Doctor Erik Webster, you must be Ranger Niko," A seventy something year old man with white hair and glasses in a conservative suit greeted Niko at her door. He had a brown lap top computer case with him.
"Dr. Webster come in," Niko smiled graciously. "Can I get you anything to drink?"
"I'm fine thank you," Dr. Webster sat down on a nearby couch. He looked around at her apartment. "Interesting apartment."
"I like it," Niko told him sitting down opposite him on a nearby chair. "So Doctor Webster I take I you're here to evaluate me?"
"One of my older studies was on psychic phenomena and the affects of it on the human mind," Dr. Webster told her. "BETA thought I would be qualified for evaluating the Series Five Team."
"Interesting," Niko nodded pleasantly. "Well shall we get right to it?"
"Yes first of all I'd like you to do a simple ink blot test," He took out his computer and punched up the program. He turned the computer around so that the screen was facing her. "Now tell me what images you see on screen. What does it look like?"
"A bunny rabbit," Niko said cheerfully.
"Interesting," Dr. Webster nodded. "And this one?"
"A bunny rabbit," Niko repeated.
"And this one?"
"Another bunny rabbit."
"Still another bunny rabbit. Don't you have any other pictures?" Niko asked.
"They are not all bunny rabbits!" Dr. Webster snapped. "Now this one is not a bunny rabbit."
"You're right," She replied. "It's two bunny rabbits."
"Let's go on to something else shall we?" Dr. Webster sighed. "Let's talk about your family history. Do you remember your parents at all?"
"Not really," Niko shrugged. "I was too young when they were killed in a spaceship crash. My mentor Ariel found me and raised me on Xanadu."
"You don't remember their names or anything like that?"
Niko hesitated. "Brownstone," She gave him the fake name Shane suggested to her. "Or was it Brownstein? I don't really remember."
"So you don't know if either one of them had any psychic powers did you?"
"Not really no," Niko shook her head. "I was so young…My mentor Ariel raised me as if I was her own. I consider her my mother. I never really thought much about my biological parents."
"I see," Dr. Webster thought. "Ranger Niko I'd like to ask you something about an incident that happened a few months ago when you crashed landed on a planet."
"You're going to have to be more specific," Niko smirked. "Goose tends to crash the ships he's flying at least once per week."
"Have you ever…Had strong sensations about a particular planet?" Dr. Webster asked.
"What specific planet are you talking about?" Niko asked. "Because if we're talking that artificial Ghost Planet that was weird enough. Actually it wasn't really a planet, it was a spaceship. Actually it wasn't a spaceship, it was a weapon. Even though SPEC didn't really want to be one…"
"Never mind," Dr. Webster shook his head. Then he gave her an odd look.
"What?" Niko asked.
"You just…remind me of a patient I once had," Dr. Webster sighed.
"Really?" Niko asked. "What was she like?"
"It was a he actually…" Dr. Webster told her. "You just both…I don't know. I guess it's the hair color and the eyes. And your posture…Never mind. Now Niko I'd like you to try and use your powers. Without your badge try to read my mind."
"All right," Niko pretended to concentrate.
"What do you see?" Dr. Webster asked.
"YOU PERVERT!" Niko slapped him. "I would never do that with a banana! And the monkeys and French Maid outfit is out of the question!"
"But! But I didn't…" Dr. Webster stammered.
"Oh my God!" Niko screamed. She slapped him again. "You…You disgusting animal!"
"Hold on a second…" Dr. Webster held up his hands to defend himself.
"Vanilla pudding! You want me to do what with vanilla pudding?" Niko screamed loudly.
"I think your telepathy is a bit off…" Dr. Webster stammered.
"Don't tell me my telepathy is off!" Niko shouted. "If you don't get out of here I am going to write up a sexual harassment charge so fast…OH MY GOD YOU SICKO!"
"Now wait a minute! I didn't…" The doctor gasped as Niko physically threw several pillows at him.
"GET OUT OF HERE! GET OUT!" Niko shouted. "I AM NOT DOING THAT WITH A SADDLE! GET OUT!"
"AAAAAHHHH!" Dr. Webster ran for his life as Niko threw a vase at him.
"That was almost too easy," Niko smirked as he left. "But…" She quickly contacted Doc on a secure channel. "Doc it's Niko. Listen, I need you to check something out for me…"
"Ah Doctor Webster how good to see you," Doc said cheerfully. "Are you all right? You look rather pale."
"I just had an unfortunate encounter with one of your colleagues…" Dr. Webster gulped as he walked into Doc's apartment. "Wait how did you know…?"
"Well I wouldn't be the world's greatest computer hacker without knowing one or two secrets," Doc grinned. "Don't worry. I didn't go into your personal files. I only go into people's personal files when I'm ordered to. Or if it's a Wednesday. But since today's Friday you've lucked out."
"All right…" Dr. Webster blinked.
"Would you like a drink?" Doc asked. "It looks like you can use one."
"No, thank you," Dr. Webster said.
"Are you sure? Usually people need one after they've tangled with Niko," Doc told him. "Oh and I wouldn't worry too much about those sexual harassment charges and the rumors of you and the vanilla pudding. Just steer clear of her for a few days and it will all blow over."
"You know about that already?" Dr. Webster gasped. "But I only left her an hour ago!"
"What can I say? Word travels faster than a Novian Greyhound around here. You got off lucky," Doc told him. "Do you know what she did to the last guy who made unwanted advances at her?"
"Uh no, what?" Dr. Webster asked. Doc told him. In great detail. "Oh my…I think I will take that drink now."
"Here we go," Doc poured him a stiff drink. "Now let's start those tests! I love psychological tests! I used to take them ever since I was a little boy! Those doctor visits mother took me to were so much fun. Even if the doctors and nurses always did act a bit nervous in the end."
"Visits? But there's nothing in your files that indicate…" Dr. Webster blinked.
"Oh you know how it is," Doc waved. "Wealthy parents bribe doctors to hide their files all the time. It's a trade off. You know a new car for a broken leg. A new house for a few stab wounds…"
"Broken leg…?" Dr. Webster's voice was high. "Stab wounds?"
"I'm much better now," Doc said cheerfully. "I haven't heard the voices since middle school. For the most part."
"Okay let's start with the tests shall we?" Dr. Webster gulped as he booted up the computer. "Please tell me what this ink blot looks like."
"That's obviously a bunny rabbit," Doc remarked.
"Okay…" Dr. Webster had a sinking feeling where this was going. "And this one?"
"And this one…No wait, let me guess. A rabbit, am I right?"
"Yes," Doc said cheerfully.
"Let's move on to something else shall we?" Dr. Webster sighed. "Ranger Hartford I'd like you to explain your powers to me. You create programs that are somehow alive?"
"It is a bit hard to explain, so let me show you," Doc lightly touched his badge and opened up his programs. "All right everyone! Come on out!"
"Howdy do!" Tripwire the tweaker flitted out.
"What's shaking Doc?" Codebreaker popped out.
"Doctor Webster I'd like you to meet my programs or as I like to call them, tweakers," Doc said cheerfully. "Going from right to left that's Tripwire, Codebreaker, Pathfinder, Lifeline, Pixel, Firefly and my two newest little bundles of electronic joy: Short Fuse and Jinx."
"Hey, hey, hey!" A purple spiked tweaker chattered.
"Charmed I'm sure," A red female sounding tweaker that looked a lot like an ampersand with a star inside it appeared.
"Fascinating," Dr. Webster blinked.
"Each tweaker does a specific program," Doc said. "And they all have their own personalities."
"So in a sense these tweakers as you call them are reflections on your own personalities?" Dr. Webster said. "Interesting."
"What do ya mean we're just copies of Doc?" Codebreaker flitted around his head. "I'm my own program!"
"Yeah!" Pixel snapped. "Who do you think you are? A psychiatrist?"
"I have never been so insulted in my life!" Jinx snapped.
Immediately the tweakers surrounded the psychiatrist and buzzed around his head. "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? I AM SO MAD! IF I HAD ARMS I'D SLUG YOU! GET HIM!"
All tweakers except for one that snuck into his laptop. But Dr. Webster was too distracted to notice. He was too busy running for his life around the apartment.
"HELP ME!" Dr. Webster screamed. "Ranger Hartford help me!"
"I would but that's not a very good idea," Doc said casually. "They're very sensitive."
"ATTACK! ATTACK!" The tweakers screeched like avenging harpies as they chased him around.
"AAAAAAHHHH!" Dr. Webster fled for his life out the door. He barely grabbed his notebook in time. Again he also didn't notice a certain tweaker sneaking out of his computer due to the others attacking him.
"Oh what a shame," Doc tisked. "And I was just about to serve him cookies. And speaking of cookies…Pathfinder did you find anything in his personal computer?"
"Yeah Doc, lots of info…" The tweaker downloaded the information it had stolen while the other tweakers had kept him busy. "That was almost too easy to get! He might as well have secured the info with a stick of gum!"
"Hmmmm?" Doc looked at the information. "Very interesting. Tweakers I think it's time the Doctor made a house call."
"Why do you keep showing me ink blots shaped like rabbits?" Shane asked, in a very confused voice.
"Never mind…" Dr. Webster groaned shutting off the computer.
"Have you been drinking?" Shane wrinkled his nose. "I can smell the alcohol on you."
"Apparently I am going to be drinking a lot today…" Dr. Webster groaned.
"That's not really a good idea," Shane said. "Did I ever tell you what Commander Walsh once did to a guard he caught drinking on the job back at Wolf Den?"
"If it's anything like that charming story you told me of what he did to a guard that fell asleep I don't want to hear about it!" Dr. Webster snapped. "Of course it explains how Walsh is able to control all of you! He's as crazy as the rest of…I mean. Let's talk about something else shall we?"
"Go right ahead," Shane grinned. "So what do you want to talk about? Go ahead, tell me your problems."
"I don't have any problems!" Dr. Webster snapped.
"Ah denial," Shane nodded.
"I am not in denial!" Dr. Webster stiffened. "I just…Never mind."
"Denial, classic case," Shane shrugged. "I've seen it so many times it's not funny. There was this one scientist back at Wolf Den…"
"NO!" Dr. Webster said sharply. He stood up and looked around the apartment. "Let's…Let's talk about your life now. Your apartment is quite…interesting."
"How so?" Shane asked.
"It's very basic, very little decoration," Dr. Webster looked around.
"I don't need any unnecessary things," Shane shrugged. "It slows me down."
"There is one thing I am curious of," Dr. Webster looked at the wall. There was a picture a child drew of a mermaid. "That picture there…It seems so out of place."
"Oh that was a gift," Shane told him. "I was told that pictures look nice on the wall so I hung it there."
"I see…" Dr. Webster paused. "And that bird you have in your bedroom."
"A companion," Shane shrugged. "What's wrong with that?"
"Well most people don't have memory birds as a companion."
"They have technopets and Bubblehead is practically the same thing since all his chips are shorted out," Shane shrugged. "He keeps me company at night."
"I see and does this bird help relive any frustrations you might have?"
"This isn't about sex is it?" Shane groaned. "I know you humans have a one track mind but really…"
"No it is not!" Dr. Webster snapped.
"I know you have a thing for vanilla pudding and saddles but come on Doctor," Shane went on. "Some of us like to think about other things."
"I DO NOT!" Dr. Webster snapped. "I hope Ranger Gooseman that you don't repeat this scurrilous rumor to your commanding officer!"
"Who do you think I heard it from?" Shane asked. "Oh no…"
"What?" Dr. Webster asked.
"Do yourself a favor," Shane sighed. "Don't turn around."
"Why?" Dr. Webster turned around and saw a tiny fleet of alien starships behind him.
"That's why," Shane sighed. "They would show up today."
"What is that?" Dr. Webster gasped.
"Oh it's just the Zarthgons," Shane waved his hand casually.
"The Zarthgons?" Dr. Webster blinked.
"Miniature alien race that tried to steal my silverware," Shane told him. "I thought I got rid of them a long time ago."
"YES AND THIS TIME WE WILL HAVE IT! HA HA HA HA!" A tiny evil voice boomed from the lead alien warship. "FIRE!"
"AAAHHH!" Dr. Webster screamed as tiny lasers shot at him. "NO! GET AWAY!"
"Bubblehead!" Shane whistled sharply. The memory bird flew out of the bedroom and went into full attack mode.
"DIE! DIE! DIE!" Bubblehead viciously attacked the alien fleet.
"EVASIVE MANUEVERS! EVASIVE MANEUVERS!" The Zarthgon fleet commander screamed as the ships flew around.
"THIS PLACE IS A MADHOUSE!" Dr. Webster screamed as he ran from the aliens and a berserk Bubblehead.
"Some people just can't take a little job stress," Shane shrugged as he watched Dr. Webster try to climb on top of his refrigerator for safety.
"So how long do you think Dr. Webster will be in the psychiatric wing of the infirmary?" Doc asked Zach casually as the Galaxy Rangers patrolled in space.
"Could be a while," Zach remarked. "Goose you got me all worked up for nothing. Webster never even made it to my place. You three did too good a job on him."
"In my defense I didn't exactly ask the Zarthgons to invade my apartment when Webster was over there," Shane told him.
"No, but you didn't exactly tell people that the Zarthgons were real," Niko gave him a look.
"When the paramedics arrived with the sedatives Bubblehead had already chased the fleet back to whatever dimension they had arrived in," Shane shrugged. "And he was so happy and calm they thought he was just a sweet technopet. All I said to them was that if they actually believed my bird could take on an entire fleet of alien warships? Oh and I might have mentioned the alcohol on Webster's breath."
"Interesting way to phrase it," Zach remarked.
"Anyway I think it will be quite a while before they put us through that crap again," Shane told them.
"Of course not, since the whole mess confirmed we were a few photons short of a blaster," Zach groaned.
"I believe now is a good time for a meeting," Doc told them. He pulled up a few pictures on his CDU. "I've done a little background checking. According to my sources, all but three of the soldiers that attacked Niko's colony are dead. Most of them met some rather unfortunate accidents."
"I'll bet," Shane growled.
"I also found some interesting facts on our good doctor," Doc said quietly. "One of his specialties is abnormal behavior, particularly with extensive studies on psychics."
"He told me that," Niko said.
"But he didn't tell you exactly what his research was," Doc showed her the graphics. "He studied several adolescents with psychic abilities that were wards of the state. Apparently there was a mass breakout at one point. But this picture I found was what really caught my interest."
It was the picture of an auburn haired, green eyed teenager with a gentle face that they saw. "He knew my father," Niko realized. "That's my father. He's much younger and his hair is shorter but that is definitely him."
"Your father's name was Jaiden Arcady," Doc showed them another picture. "And your mother's name was Nicola Benzenadi. She was also at the compound where they were being held. She was there only a month but your father was there a full two years before they escaped."
"What kind of place was it?" Niko was afraid to ask.
"Don't know, all the records I looked for were wiped out," Doc said. "I found these in his personal files. Mostly pictures."
"Covert operation?" Shane asked.
"Looks like it," Doc agreed. "What I do know is that a few years after the mass breakout they all left to colonize another planet where they could live in peace."
"We all know how that turned out," Niko grunted.
"I can't believe the Board of Leaders would sink so low…" Zach was shocked.
"I can," Shane said. "Remember guys there are people on there who want nothing more to see Niko and I dead. And you two are a target as well for associating with us."
"Speaking of which this is one of the survivors of the attack," Doc punched up the information and a picture. "Hikari Zaharisku. Also known as the Enforcer. Last seen doing some dirty work for the Bovo Corporation on Mars five years ago."
"Bovo again, why am I not surprised?" Zach sighed. "Wait a minute. Doc where exactly did you get these pictures?"
"The Doctor does make house calls and his personal home computer was easy to hack into from BETA," Doc told him. "Don't worry I made sure it wasn't traced."
"Not exactly legal," Zach frowned.
"Neither is genocide. There's nothing sane about this Captain," Doc told him. "This is a dangerous game we're playing. One slip up and…"
"And we're all icicles," Shane growled. "If we're lucky."
"Is she one of them or not?"
Dr. Webster winced at the harshness of the voice. "I…I don't think so…" He stammered. "I mean she said her family's name was Brownstone. Or brown something. But her eyes looked so familiar…She reminded me of one of my patients."
"There was a Brownstone in the files and that one disappeared years ago," A woman's voice said. "Never ended up in the colony. It's possible."
"Or it could be that she was smart enough to look up a name on file?" The man's voice said. "So which is it?"
"I…I don't think she is related to any of them…" Dr. Webster stammered. "Or even aware of what happened on that planet. Her powers aren't that reliable. I mean you said so yourself that that colony was neutralized."
"True…" The man said. "And I was pretty sure there were no survivors back then. And I don't make mistakes. Still you never know with psychics…It always pays to check."
"So you are absolutely sure she is not from the colony?" The woman asked.
"Yes…It's just a coincidence that she reminds me of Arcady," Dr. Webster gulped.
"Good," The man said. "That's just what we wanted to know."
"What are you doing?" Dr. Webster squirmed. "I…I've cooperated with you! I've told you everything!"
"Yes and now you are no longer useful to us," The man said.
The last thing Dr. Webster felt was incredible pain before he fell into perpetual darkness.
"Well I hope you idiots are happy," Commander Walsh snarled at his team when they returned from patrol. "I don't know what you did to Doctor Webster but it must have been something because now he's dead!"
"Dead?" Niko gasped.
"He committed suicide in his hospital room," Walsh snapped. "Somehow he managed to slash his wrists and hang himself with a bed sheet."
"No…" Niko was stunned.
"Of course the Board of Leaders wants to keep the whole thing quiet so obviously this entire psychological evaluation never happened!" Walsh snarled at them. "Of course the only reason they wanted the evaluation was to see if you lot were crazy which you've proved beyond a shadow of a doubt!"
"But we didn't…" Niko began.
"Yeah he never had a chance to evaluate me," Zach began.
"Like I said the Board of Leaders is keeping it quiet," Walsh sighed. "They're now saying that Webster had some psychological problems before but I don't buy that."
"Come on Commander you don't think that we'd drive him so crazy in one day he'd want to commit suicide?" Shane asked sharply.
"Let's just say I can sympathize with the man," Walsh gave Shane a look before he walked off.
"I don't believe it," Niko was stunned.
"Neither do I," Shane growled. "Doc…"
"Yeah let's do a little snooping," Doc nodded.
Later that night the Rangers met up secretly in Doc's room. "I don't believe it…" Niko was still stunned. "We drove a man to suicide?"
"I'm not so sure it was suicide," Doc punched up some information. "I got this off of the security cameras." There was an image of a familiar looking man in a doctor's outfit and a woman with short black bobbed hair and sunglasses next to him.
"That's…The Enforcer…" Niko gasped.
"If he was there then it definitely was not suicide," Zach realized.
"Definitely a dangerous game," Doc growled to himself. "I don't know who the woman is though."
"We'll find out soon enough," Shane growled. "Give it to me."
"What?" Doc asked.
"The pictures, the evidence. Give it to me," Shane told him as he took it.
"What are you going to do with it?" Zach asked.
"Put it someplace safe," Shane told him. "With the rest of my stash."
"Stash?" Doc asked. "You mean more evidence against Wheiner?"
"And anything else on whatever Board member I can find," Shane growled. "Let's just say I've gotten quite a collection over the years."
"Goose…" Niko was stunned.
"We can't give this evidence to Walsh, it's too dangerous for now," Shane said. "I'll put it somewhere safe. This is a very important piece Niko. You know this. If we can find out who hired the Enforcer…We've got a great link to who may have ordered the death of your family. And maybe the end of mine…"
"You've been planning something for a while now haven't you?" Doc realized.
"Let's just say I've made it a point of studying politics in secret after what happened at Wolf Den," Shane growled. "It's too soon to do anything just yet. But one day…One day Wheiner is going to pay for what he's done. All I need is a little more time and a little more information. And the same thing is going to happen for you Niko. That's a promise."
"Taking this vendetta of yours a little far aren't you?" Zach asked.
"Sometimes Captain you have to learn to think like a mad man in order to catch one," Shane told him. "Or in this case a handful of mad men…And at least one woman."
"He's right," Doc's eyes grew hard. "We may have to cross a few lines Captain in order to stop the killings. Then again nothing we haven't done before."
"No killings though," Shane told them. "No…I won't stoop to their level. Besides, killing them would be letting them off easy."
Zach nodded. "You realize this madness is only going to get worse?"
"Then we're definitely the right people for the job," Shane grinned. "We're the only people I know crazy enough to take on the Board of Leaders."
"And what's even crazier is that we might actually pull it off," Zach realized.