Back In The Saddle
This fanfic by Red Witch exists on the web at the following location(s) and we suggest visiting the following link(s) rather than viewing the material here:
The text here has been included to allow searching for character availability and author recognition. Please note that the text is most likely not formatted and may be hidden by a spoiler tag.
Back In The Saddle
by Red Witch
Summary: The Galaxy Rangers return to duty only to find new 'improved' Rangers waiting to take their place. But are these new Rangers up to the job or will things only get worse?
The disclaimer telling all of you that I don't own any Galaxy Ranger characters has ridden off into the sunset. Just a thought that came to me. What if there were some new rangers on the block but they brought a lot of trouble? Find out what I think when the gang gets…
"I swear I need a vacation to get over my vacation," Doc groaned as the Series Five team walked down the hallway in full uniform.
"It wasn't that bad," Shane remarked. "Apart from the triple murder investigation and your relatives getting arrested."
"Not to mention that bit with the smugglers, the giant monster and the toxic waste," Niko said.
"And let's not forget the elephant stampede," Zach added.
"How can anyone forget an elephant stampede?" Doc rolled his eyes. "They're still working on the front of my house on it! My house has an elephant sized hole in it!"
"Welcome back Galaxy Rangers," Commander Walsh met with them in the hallway with Dr. Nagata. "You couldn't have come back soon enough. I hope you got some rest on your vacation because there are a lot of missions out there that need to be finished yesterday. So you have a lot of work to do. Three of you anyway."
"You're still hung up about that charging room incident huh?" Shane asked.
"Yes!" Walsh snapped at him.
"So I'm stuck on desk duty?" Shane sighed. "It figures."
"It serves you right for trying to speed up your recovery process by charging your implant prematurely," Walsh gave him a look. "Supertrooper Bio-Defenses or not you still need to heal like everyone else."
"But I'm fine now," Shane said. "I even had the docs look me over this morning."
"Gooseman you are on desk duty until I tell you otherwise and that is final!" Walsh snapped. "Now, I want you all to meet the new Series 5.2 team."
"Oh joy," Doc muttered under his breath.
"What was that Ranger Hartford?" Walsh turned around sharply.
"I said, 'Oh boy'!" Doc replied cheerfully, as if he hadn't said anything else at all. "Can't wait to meet the new guys!"
"I take it there was a reason you waited until we were on vacation to introduce them on Tri-D?" Zach asked.
"Actually I was planning on waiting until you got back," Walsh gave him a look. "But since all of you got so involved with the fiasco of Doc's family and that insanity of a triple murder as well as that funeral nonsense…"
"Please Commander," A tall hardened man with a crew cut hairdo approached them with a team of rangers behind him. "It's common knowledge that wherever the Series Five Rangers go, trouble follows."
"Captain Foxx this is Captain Ares, leader of the 5.2 Rangers," Walsh introduced. "I believe you know Ranger Glenn Sanders…" He indicated a tall thin blonde man with glasses.
"Nice to see you finally joined the team Glenn," Doc smiled.
"Just sorry I waited this long," Sanders nodded amiably.
"Ranger Doreen Green, an empath," Walsh introduced a perky blonde. "Ranger Katya Romachevski…" A woman with dark hair in a bob. "Ranger Troy Dumas, a new psychic…"
"Glad to meet you," A handsome red haired man smiled at Niko. "Call me Troy."
"And of course you know Ranger Broderick Broscoe," Walsh added.
"Yeah we know each other," Broscoe snorted. He was stout but muscular and looked more like a bad cop from an old television show than a Galaxy Ranger. "Still polishing those apples eh Foxy?"
"I was hoping that you've matured in the time since we last saw each other Broscoe," Zach bristled. "But I see that was too much to hope for!"
"I wouldn't talk if I were you Foxx," Ares pointed at Shane. "Considering what you have on your squad! The very notion of a genetic mutant wearing a Galaxy Ranger uniform disgusts me!"
"No worse than any disgusting alien," Broscoe snorted. "Then again we don't know what DNA is inside him. I mean if he has animal and demon DNA…"
"Captain Ares! Ranger Broscoe!" Walsh barked. "I have told you already that I will not tolerate remarks like that! Remember Gooseman is a Galaxy Ranger just like you."
"Not quite like us," Ares glared at Shane.
"Captain please," Troy spoke. "Such remarks are not conductive to our goals. Remember we are all on the same side here."
"Yes, and there is nothing in Ranger Gooseman's record that indicates he is anything but a loyal Galaxy Ranger," Katya spoke evenly. She glared at Broscoe. "A pity such things can not be said for other team mates of mine."
Broscoe glared at her. He and Ares left the room. Sanders looked at Doc and shrugged as he followed him. "Nice to see we're all one big happy family," Doc quipped.
"Listen not all of us are jerks like those two," Troy said. "We all know those two became Rangers because they're favorites of the Board of Leaders."
"The truth is that despite your excellent service records you cannot be anywhere at once," Katya said simply. "Plus you have gained somewhat of a reputation for situations going wild. It is only a matter of time before the Series Five Rangers are phased out for new improved units."
"We're not exactly on the scrap heap just yet," Zach frowned.
"I don't think you are," Doreen smiled at Doc and batted her eyes at him.
"Well that's a relief," Doc smiled.
"It's an honor to finally meet you Niko," Troy smiled at her. "I don't think I've ever met another psychic before. I'd like to discuss with you about your powers over dinner sometime. Is that possible?"
"Uh…" Niko stalled. "Actually…"
"We all have dinner plans to meet with each other," Shane said quickly. "But you are welcome to join us if you like." Instinctively he moved closer to Niko.
"I see…" Troy raised an eyebrow. "Well perhaps some other time then."
That's when Niko felt a presence in her mind. So the rumors are true. You and the Supertrooper are infatuated with each other.
Troy? Niko was surprised.
Who else? Troy's mental tone was amused. Oh don't worry. Tell your boyfriend that I have no intention of stealing you away. Or cashing in on that ridiculous betting pool that's going around. But I do want to discuss with you about your powers sometime. I think it would be…enlightening.
To say Niko was stunned was the understatement of the year. Fortunately no one else seemed to notice the exchange. Zach and Katya were quietly disagreeing about the Series Five's future role. Doreen was flirting with Zach and Shane…
No. Shane did notice something. She could feel it.
And so did Troy. It seems Ranger Gooseman isn't as oblivious as I thought. Interesting. I can't wait to hear all about it.
She barely realized when the other new rangers left the hallway. "What was that…?" Shane whispered to her.
"Later," She said quietly. Shane agreed and kept silent.
"Is there anything more Sir?" Zach asked Walsh.
"Yes, Captain there is. What's your impression on the Series 5.2 Squad?" Walsh asked.
"Honestly? Some of them seem to be a bit full of themselves," Zach told him.
"Downright rude is more like it," Doc said. "Some of them anyway."
"You know how I feel about Ares," Shane growled. "And I know you hate him too."
"I didn't have a choice in his placement," Walsh sighed.
"But the Board of Leaders chose this team and it shows," Doc said. "Granted there are one or two of them that seem okay."
"Doreen," Niko gave him a teasing look. "And I admit it's nice having another psychic around."
It was all Shane could do to keep from growling.
"I hate to say this but we're already having problems with that squad," Walsh sighed. "Ares can reign in his attitude most of the time. But for some reason he and his team mates don't seem to get along very well. Except for Broscoe and he's the main problem."
"What do you mean?" Zach asked.
"The Series Five Point Two Rangers have been sent out on six missions since they were commissioned and quite frankly their record isn't up to par," Dr. Nagata spoke. "They've failed two of their missions and we're already getting a lot of complaints about Broscoe's treatment of prisoners and aliens who ask for help alike."
"What kind of complaints?" Doc asked.
"Language, a prisoner or two has a bruise they can't or won't explain," Walsh sighed. "But a few aliens have come forward with complaints saying that Broscoe was intolerant with them."
"What about the failed missions?" Zach frowned.
"Their first mission was to investigate rumors of Crown Activity on Akon Nine," Walsh sighed. "They barely escaped with their lives and never made contact with our informant."
"Apparently for some reason the Queen is targeting Zanguils now," Dr. Nagata spoke.
"And the other one?" Niko asked.
"Happened shortly after that," Walsh sighed. "Ranger Broscoe was supposed to deliver a large sum of League approved funds and weapons to Walcam to help the resistance fighters there. He never made it. Claimed his ship was robbed."
"He went alone?" Doc asked. "That's unusual."
"He was supposed to wait for Rangers Troy and Green but left ahead of them," Walsh sighed. "And quite frankly I am a little concerned. For someone who had been robbed there was barely any damage to his ship or his person."
"What are you suggesting Commander?" Zach asked.
"I'm not suggesting anything just yet," Walsh said carefully. "However if you want to launch a quiet independent investigation on your own time I would not be reluctant to hear your findings. Right now the three of you need to go to the planet Prairie. There are rumors of a star stone vein there."
"And that's going to attract a lot of attention," Zach groaned. "We'll get right on it."
"And you Gooseman, can get right on to all that paperwork that's been lying around on your desk for a few months," Walsh grinned.
"Great…" Shane groaned. "Where's an alien invasion when you need one?"
Next: The New Guys are stirring up some trouble. Some more than others.
"I can't believe all that fuss was for fool stones," Doc groaned as he flew the Ranger One back from Prairie.
"I can't believe how many groups of maniacs were willing to shoot each other for it," Zach sighed. "It was a good thing we were able to show everyone that they were fighting over nothing. Maybe that will keep things quiet on Prairie for a while."
"It's not just on Prairie," Niko said. "Over the past few weeks the demand for star stones has tripled. I've been reading reports of rival gangs shooting each other for just a handful."
"Those idiots we captured and handed over to the authorities on Prairie were certainly ready to blow each other up even after we proved they were fighting over fool stones," Zach frowned. "I wonder why…"
Just then they got an incoming transmission. "Captain Foxx, am I to understand that you have completed your mission?"
"All set Commander," Doc said. "We're heading back to BETA now."
"Sorry Ranger Hartford but this is an emergency," Walsh said. "There is a convoy of ships carrying precious minerals and important scientific research under siege. You're the closest ship available. The coordinates are being transmitted. You are to assist the Series 5.2 team."
"Oh goody!" Doc said with false enthusiasm. "We get to have fun with our new playmates!"
"Just out of curiosity are there any star stones on that convoy?" Niko raised an eyebrow.
"Now that you mention it yes," Walsh said.
"There's definitely a pattern going on," Zach growled. "We'll be right there. This is Ranger One out!"
"Got the coordinates via the subspace link," Doc punched them in. "Readying the hyperdrive!"
"Engage!" Zach ordered. Soon the Ranger One entered and emerged from hyperspace. There were seven small ships being shot at by five larger ships and one Ranger Ship was defending them rather poorly.
"Ranger Seven this is Ranger One," Zach hailed the 5.2's ship. "Mind if we crash this party?"
"Actually we do!" Ares barked. "We have this under control!"
Then Ranger Seven was hit on the side by a blast. "Yeah right," Doc scoffed. "Reading the target mode."
"Time for some target practice!" Zach smiled as he hit an enemy ship. It exploded.
"The Goose would be proud," Niko smiled.
"What the hell are you showoffs doing?" Ares shouted over the intercom.
"Saving your ungrateful hides!" Zach barked. "In case you haven't noticed your ship is hit!"
"Well if you're not grateful to see them I am!" Doreen could be heard on the com link. "I've known drunken pilots that flew better than Sanders!"
"Shut up you bimbo!" Sanders yelled. "I am doing the best I can! The controls are half frozen!"
"It is not the controls that are freezing up!" Katya snapped.
"I don't want to hear it Russian!" Sanders snapped.
"At least she can hit a target you moron!" Broscoe snapped. "If it wasn't for her shooting we'd have been blasted by now!"
"We are blasted! Our forward thrusters are dead and our shields are almost gone!" Troy was heard shouting.
"Just stop whining and let me shoot!" Katya snapped as she blasted an unlucky ship to pieces. "There! I got another one! Happy now?"
"The enemy ships are retreating Captain," Niko said. "Should we follow them?"
"I'd love to but first…" Zach growled. "Ranger Seven do you need assistance?"
It sounded like Ares was about to say no, but relented. "You heard Ranger Dumas. Our forward thrusters are gone! We can barely move!"
"All right we'll give you a tow inside the Montana," Zach nodded. "Niko, ready the tractor beam."
"Engaging tractor beam Captain," Niko said professionally.
"This is all your fault you…" Katya was swearing in Russian.
"Me? Look our glorious Captain told me to bank left!" Sanders yelled. "I banked left! And look what happened!"
"I warned you not to pull a risky maneuver," Troy said.
"Don't start with me Psychic!" Ares yelled.
"You don't need to be a psychic to know that Sanders was trying to show off!" Troy yelled. "And you were encouraging it!"
"Listen you prissy little…" Broscoe snarled.
"Is there a problem Captain Ares?" Zach couldn't resist interrupting.
"No, no problems at all. Captain Ares out!" The communications were shut off.
"They hung up," Doc chirped. "How rude!"
"So much for them being our replacements," Zach scoffed. "The Kiwi Kids are more professional than that. And they know how to get along with each other!"
"And I thought there was tension between you and Goose in the first days we were together," Niko thought. "But it was never that bad. They all outright hate each other."
"Yeah even I picked that up," Doc nodded.
Soon the Rangers were all on the Montana. "Thanks for stopping the attack," One of seven Andorian Scientists said to Zach.
"Our pleasure. So what happened Captain Ares?" Zach asked.
"What do you think happened? We were ordered to escort the cargo and these aliens to Earth," Ares snorted. "We got ambushed. Sanders screwed up…"
"I didn't screw up! You ordered me to screw up!" Sanders snapped.
"Will you stop bickering! Your negativity is giving me a headache!" Doreen whined as she held her hands on her head.
"Really? Your personality is giving me a headache!" Sanders snapped.
"Don't yell at her because you were next to useless in this fight!" Katya snapped. "Speaking of useless dead weight, where's Fatso?"
"Right here, sweetheart!" Broscoe stormed in. "Checking out the cargo to make sure everything is there."
While walking in he shoved aside one of the Andorian Scientists. "I beg your pardon!" The Andorian Scientist sniffed.
"You giving me trouble, Alien?" Broscoe grabbed the scientist's arm and twisted it before anyone could react.
"Ow! You're hurting me!" The Andorian scientist screamed. Broscoe shoved him roughly and he fell to the floor.
"Stand down Ranger!" Zach threw Broscoe against the wall. "What the devil do you think you're doing?"
"Putting that stupid Andorian in his place!" Broscoe snapped. "Bunch of whining…"
"Ranger! Shut your mouth!" Ares yelled. "And Foxx hands off my man!"
"Tell your man to keep his hands to himself!" Foxx snapped.
"Are you all right?" Niko asked the Andorian Scientist as she helped him up.
"Y-yes, I think so," The Andorian said nervously.
"I'll take him to the infirmary," Doreen told Niko. "Come on." She helped the Andorian out of the hallway.
"What the hell was that all about?" Zach whirled on Ares.
"Listen Fox, I don't tell you how to curb your freaks," Ares glared at Niko. "Don't lecture me on how to handle my rangers."
"Handle them?" Niko was furious. "They're running wild!"
"Yeah it's guys Broscoe that give the rest of us a bad name," Doc said.
"Finally! Someone with an ounce of reason around here!" Katya snapped.
"Quiet!" Ares snapped. "Captain Foxx you were ordered to only assist us. That assistance is no longer needed. You can take your crew and your ship and go on your merry way."
"Oh I will," Zach told him. "But we are not finished here. Not by a long shot!"
The Series Five Rangers left on their ship. "I have never seen such a team in disarray like that!" Niko gasped.
"Disarray? That group wouldn't have made it past the Ranger Academy Entrance Exams much less the Series Five team!" Doc scoffed. "In fact I know Series Two Rangers with more maturity!"
"Commander Walsh has a right to be concerned about that team," Zach frowned. "And I am more than concerned."
Back at BETA Mountain…
"ARES!" Zach shouted as he caught up to Captain Ares in the hallway. "We need to talk! Now!"
"Before you say anything Foxx, I've already filed a report with Walsh," Ares snarled. "So don't go crying 'cover up'! I told them that Broscoe was out of line."
"He was more than out of line!" Zach snapped. "He was a bully and a thug!"
"Yes, even your Supertrooper is better trained than that isn't he?" Ares growled.
"And for future reference keep your opinions about Shane Gooseman to yourself," Zach got in his face. "That man has saved my life and the lives of my squad too many times to count! Not to mention the lives of my family. He is a decent, hard working individual who in my opinion doesn't get half the respect he deserves because of prejudices like yours. He's proven his loyalty over and over again so unless you have something nice to say, don't say it at all!"
"Good god you really are one of those damn bleeding hearts," Ares hissed. "I guess you're around aliens so much you can't tell the difference can you?"
"Why do you really hate Gooseman?" Zach asked. "What did he ever do to you?"
"He made the mistake of crossing my path," Ares growled and walked away.
Zach let out a breath and went to Walsh's office. He saw Commander Walsh and the rest of his team in there. "I take it you all have been discussing what happened on our last mission?"
"And then some," Commander Walsh growled. "Doctor Antell, that scientist is pressing charges against Broscoe. You know my feelings on police brutality. Especially on innocent civilians! This is a black mark against the entire Galaxy Rangers Division! Not just the Series 5.2."
"That team nearly got blasted into atoms today because they can't agree on anything," Doc said. "They have no concept of teamwork whatsoever."
"Yeah well we got a bigger problem," Shane grunted. "I did a little financial background check on Broscoe and his bank account has grown rather large in a very short amount of time."
"You taking hacking lessons from Doc, Gooseman?" Walsh raised an eyebrow.
"Just a few basic inquiries," Shane shrugged. "Broscoe's really sloppy. It's like he doesn't even think he could be caught!"
"I have a hunch," Niko frowned. "I want to check out the ship Broscoe was flying when he claimed to be robbed."
Walsh agreed and soon they were in the hanger checking out the supposed damage. "We really didn't do that much," The head mechanic told them. "There was barely a scratch on that thing."
"Interesting," Walsh looked at the ship. "Ranger Niko…"
"I'm on it," Niko nodded. She activated her charge and touched the side of the ship.
"Anything?" Zach asked.
Niko caught something. "There was no attack," She said. "Broscoe faked the damage. He really met up with some outlaws on a moon and sold them!"
"Are you sure?" Walsh asked.
"I'm certain of it," Niko nodded. "Broscoe sold the weapons to outlaws. Not the Black Hole Gang. Never saw these ones before."
"I knew it…" Zach growled.
"Told you these guys were going to be trouble," Shane agreed. "Didn't think any of them would screw up this fast!"
"If Broscoe really is dirty we have to be extremely careful," Walsh frowned. Then his communicator rang. "Walsh here."
"Commander Walsh, this is Captain Zarchady of the Montana," A man appeared on his wrist communicator.
"That's one of the ships we rescued that was being attacked," Niko said.
"Commander some of the rare gems we were transporting have gone missing," Zarchady told him. "Fortunately we had installed a hidden camera in the cargo bay and we have the identity of the thief. I'm sorry to say it was one of your Galaxy Rangers."
"What?" Walsh gasped. "I want to see it! All of you! In my office! Now!"
"It's Broscoe isn't it?" Zach snarled.
"Five will get you ten…" Doc sighed. "This is a fun first day back isn't it?"
Broscoe had spent some extra time blowing off steam in the Ranger's recreation lounge. So when he got to his quarters he was stunned as he saw Ranger Niko in there.
"What the hell are you doing in my personal quarters you little snoop?" Broscoe snarled.
"Looking for evidence," Niko picked up a large red gemstone. "And I believe I found it."
"Among a few other things," Zach walked out of the bedroom with Commander Walsh and a box full of hidden jewels and cash.
"What the hell is this? Some kind of frame up!" Broscoe snapped. "I have friends you know? This pathetic attempt to get me kicked off the team won't work!"
"Cut the bull, Broscoe!" Walsh snarled. "The Montana has several hidden cameras and they caught you on tape stealing the jewels as well as roughing up several passengers!"
"And we also know you stole those weapons intended for the Walcam Resistance and sold them for profit!" Niko snapped. "How could you do something like that? Those people depended on those weapons to fight the Queen of the Crown!"
"People! They're not people! They're aliens!" Broscoe snapped. "Why should humans help them?"
"Because it's the right thing to do," Walsh growled. "Something you are obviously not familiar with."
"You're under arrest Broscoe!" Zach shouted. "You've tarnished that badge of yours…"
"I've tarnished it? ME?" Broscoe yelled. "This entire Galaxy Ranger program is a joke! Humans helping aliens. Having them live among us! And letting freaks put on badges! This is all a joke!"
"No, just a bigot like you wearing a badge is a joke," Zach growled. "I suggest you come quietly Broscoe. Or else I might enjoy placing you under arrest too much."
"Oh and I will enjoy resisting arrest!" Broscoe touched his badge. Then brought his hands together to make a huge boom.
The blast knocked the three rangers backwards. "What?" Zach gasped.
"I call that the Thunderclap! Unlike you Captain I have two bionic arms and I know how to use them!" Broscoe snorted. "I bet you wondered if I had a thunderbolt like yours, Foxy? I don't, it's better than yours! AND HERE IT COMES!"
Uh oh. Broscoe's out of control! Like you couldn't see that coming! Find out what happens next!
"Thanks Goose for helping me with this paperwork," Doc smiled. "With the warrant we just wrote and the evidence we've both collected this should be enough to get Broscoe put away."
"I still say Walsh should have let me search the apartment with Zach and Niko," Shane frowned.
"Technically you're still on suspension," Doc pointed out. "Walsh just wanted to make sure there were no legal loopholes."
"Isn't searching someone's apartment without a warrant illegal?" Shane asked.
"Read up on your handbook regulations Gooseman," Doc smiled. "The Commander is allowed to personally search any room in BETA Mountain. Technically he's a walking warrant."
"How did he get that written in the charter?" Shane asked.
"I dunno, but I'm hiding my journal in a better location just in case," Doc said.
"What was that?" Doc sharply turned his head.
"I don't know but it sounded like an explosion!" Shane shouted.
"It came from that way!" Doc dropped the papers he was holding. He and Shane raced towards the sound. "The living quarters!"
"Oh crap you don't think…?" Shane remarked.
"Look!" Doc yelled. There was a huge hole in the wall where a door should have been. Broscoe's apartment was filled with rubble.
"COMMANDER! NIKO! CAPTAIN!" Shane struggled to find his friends through the rubble.
"Over here!" Zach called out under a pile of rubble. Shane and Doc raced to remove it. They quickly found their friends hiding safely under a psychic shield Niko had made.
"Are you all right?" Shane pulled her out.
"We're fine," Niko nodded.
"Ranger Broscoe used his bionics against us," Commander Walsh coughed as he was helped out by Doc and Zach. "Lucky for us Ranger Niko shielded us at the last second."
"Lucky I still had enough power in my charge," Niko said. There was another explosion and the sound of screaming. "Oh no…"
"Commander Walsh! It's Ranger Broscoe! He's gone crazy!" A ranger reported in on Walsh's communicator. "He's…AAAAHHH!"
"Ranger Deralo!" Walsh shouted. "Go! I'll be fine! Go get him!"
The Series Five Rangers raced down the hallway. They saw evidence of Broscoe's rampage. "And I thought you made a lot of holes in the walls Gooseman!" Doc quipped.
"Look!" Niko pointed. The other Series 5.2 Rangers were on the floor. Most of them were knocked out.
"Ooohhh, my head…" Sanders groaned. He was the only one conscious.
"Glenn what happened?" Doc went to his friend's side.
"I don't know," Sanders groaned. "One minute we're just walking down the hallway and the next Broscoe comes charging at us. Screaming his head off on how useless we are and then…Boom! I barely got out of the way. Ohhhh…I did not sign on for this."
"Are they all right?" Zach asked.
"They're just knocked out," Shane and Niko looked them over.
"What's going on Walter?" Sanders asked.
"Broscoe's a thief and a traitor," Doc growled. "Tried to kill Commander Walsh and the others."
"What?" Sander's eyes widened.
"I'll explain later," Doc said as several more Rangers and medics ran up to them.
"Take them to the infirmary," Zach ordered the medics. "The rest of you come with us! Set your blasters on stun!"
"There's another one!" Niko pointed to another body further down. "It's Ranger Deralo!" She ran over to him.
"Is he…?" Zach asked.
"He's dead," Niko checked for a pulse and shook her head.
"And so's Broscoe," Zach growled. "Come on!"
The Rangers raced down the hallway. "Where is he?" Zach yelled.
"Shouldn't be that hard! All we have to do is follow the rubble," Shane growled.
Zach's communicator went off. "Dad! We got trouble in Q-Ball's lab!" Zach Jr. spoke. "Some ranger just burst in and grabbed Q-Ball! He's taken him hostage inside his own lab!"
"Little Zach! Stay away! Stay…" Zach tried to warn his son but the communicator went off the fritz.
"NO!" Zach yelled and raced to the Lab. It was in ruins. "LITTLE ZACH!"
"I'm over here!" Zach Jr. managed to get out of a large closet. "Buzzwang shoved me in a closet to protect me."
"Be-bo, be-bo…" Buzzwang was in several pieces. "Large slice of pie…"
"Q-Ball!" Niko ran to the scientist who was on the floor.
"I don't feel so good," Q-Ball looked banged up and his left arm was at an odd angle. "Oh my arm! I think it's broken!"
"He's tearing this whole mountain apart!" Zach snapped.
"Just burst in here and grabbed one of my inventions," Q-Ball groaned in agony. "If it wasn't for Buzzwang tackling Broscoe I'd be dead right now."
"Boop boop be doop…" Buzzwang said cheerfully. "Oh hello everyone. Has anyone seen my legs?"
"What did he take?" Doc asked.
"It's my latest invention…" Q-Ball coughed. "A portable charger. The idea was that you Galaxy Rangers could charge up on assignment if your implants ran out of power. But I haven't even tested it yet!"
"Oh great!" Shane growled. "Come on!"
"Little Zach take Q-Ball to the Infirmary and stay with him!" Zach ordered. Then he looked at two rangers who followed him. "Anderson! Hoover! You two help them and try to put Buzzwang back together! The rest of you follow us!"
"He's headed for the hanger bay," Q-Ball told them before they left.
The Rangers ran for the hanger but they were too late. Somehow Broscoe had stolen one of the Interceptors in the hangar and had taken off before anyone could stop him. However several had tried judging by the holes in the walls and the severely injured men and women on the ground.
"How could one ranger do so much damage?" Doc asked. "Oh wait…"
"We need some medics! Right now!" Niko shouted to some of the other Rangers.
"He got away!" Zach pounded the wall with his fist. "That bastard got away!"
"Not for long," Walsh growled as he walked up to them. "Good news Gooseman. You're off desk duty. You and the other rangers recharge and get Broscoe!"
"The ship he stole just went into hyperspace," Shane said. "He could be anywhere by now."
"Then I'd start looking anywhere if I were you," Walsh told him. "Because if Broscoe gets away this could seriously jeopardize all the Galaxy Rangers!"
It wasn't long before the evening news reported on Broscoe's escape. "Destruction and death visited BETA Mountain today as one of the new Galaxy Rangers, Broderick Broscoe went renegade and caused serious damage," A reporter spoke.
"Here it comes," Walsh growled. He and Garson were in an office watching the news. "It always amazes me how they find out these things so fast."
"We have that stooge Wheiner to thank for this," Garson growled. "I just found out he had an informant ready for an occasion such as this."
"Wheiner…" Walsh growled.
"Trust me Walsh, I am starting to seriously consider having Wheiner whacked," Garson growled. "Officially I can't do it but I am considering it."
"Unlike an earlier incident in the Series Five Program two years ago, this renegade ranger is not perpetrating a hoax in order to play a part in a sting operation," The reporter said. "During his escape attempt Broscoe killed two fellow Galaxy Rangers and seriously injured several others. He is considered armed and extremely dangerous. No word yet…"
"Great the new Series Five point Two Rangers haven't even been in place a month and already we've got one rotten apple running loose!" Walsh barked as he shut off the Tri-D. "With a portable charger no less! I knew it was a mistake to give that man a badge!"
"I admit Walsh, you were right," Vice President Garson sighed. "I take responsibility but not the blame. I recommended an extensive review to the Board of Leaders for that man but they insisted on putting him through."
"You could have tried a lot harder," Walsh growled.
"Do not place all of this on me! You broke precedent for regulations when you got Gooseman accepted into the Academy!" Garson snapped.
"This is not about Gooseman," Walsh told him. "I checked through Broscoe's files and I found that he didn't fulfill half of the requirements needed to become a Galaxy Ranger! He didn't even have a recent psychological profile before an implant was shoved into his head!"
"All right! In hindsight I know I should have fought harder to keep Broscoe off but he knows people and I had to do a lot of favors!" Garson groaned. "One good thing about this is that a lot of his powerful friends have now abandoned him."
"It's not just Broscoe I have reservations on," Walsh told him. "That team of 5.2 Rangers was hand picked by the Board of Leaders and thrown together because of a lot of backroom favors and it shows!"
"Walsh you had no choice but to accept the team that was given to you," Garson said. "You know that. This was a direct mandate from the Board of Leaders themselves. Even Premier Dutch put his stamp of approval on that team."
"Yes but it will be my Galaxy Rangers that gets the ax if we don't capture Broscoe," Walsh snapped.
"So I suggest that you stop complaining and start tracking them down!" Garson said.
"Oh I will," Walsh got in his face. "But I am not going to stop complaining. You and the other Board members will keep hearing about this so that a debacle like this never happens again! That I promise you!" Walsh stormed out.
Garson growled. He pressed a button. "Send them in."
Captain Ares and the rest of the Series 5.2 Rangers walked in and stood in a line. "Sir…" Ares began but a glare from Garson cut him off.
"Well you lot have certainly screwed things up haven't you?" Garson snarled. "You're supposed to replace the Series Five Team! But all you've done is give Walsh even more reasons to keep them on! And now we have no choice but to put up with them for even longer than we planned on!"
"It's not our fault that Broscoe went rogue," Troy said stiffly. "I even warned you about him."
"Picked that up with your psychic abilities did you?" Sanders sneered.
"Even a fool as blind as you could have seen that if you focused on your job instead of trying to get a promotion," Doreen glared at him. "I've always felt your desire for Captain Ares' job!"
"You are not the only one," Ares glared at Sanders. "But for a moment I'm tempted to let him have it!"
"If you do not cease your bickering I will let all of you have it!" Katya snapped. "We are supposed to be discussing solutions to our situation, not going around blaming ourselves like spoiled children!"
"Finally, someone with sense around here!" Garson snarled. "Perhaps I should have put you in charge of this group seeing that Captain Ares can barely do so!" Ares said nothing but gave Katya a death glare.
"Isn't there some kind of tracking device or something in the implants that can help us find him or something?" Doreen asked. "I mean Q-Ball did make the implants so he must have designed some kind of fail safe system, right?"
"You would think that but no, that little idea never even occurred to that scatterbrain Q-Ball!" Garson sighed. "Of course the original implants were commissioned in a hurry shortly after our first encounter with the Queen of the Crown. It was decided that if any Galaxy Ranger went rogue at the very least all we would have to do is wait for his charge to run out."
"Or have Hartford short circuit the implant," Sanders spoke up. "That was his primary function if the Supertrooper went out of control?"
"That was the idea if any of the rangers went out of control," Garson told him. "And that is your function as well Sanders."
"Ironic that you'd have to do it to one of us before the Supertrooper or that Niko freak," Ares growled. "Especially since Broscoe got that portable charger!"
"I don't trust Gooseman or Niko either but at least I have the brains to keep my mouth shut!" Sanders snapped. "You couldn't just feign civility or something?"
"You should listen to your men Ares," Garson agreed. "Sanders is right. Remember, Gooseman and that Niko girl are only tools for our purposes. But they are useful tools which is more than I can say for your team right now!"
"Sir, what are our orders?" Troy asked, purposely keeping quiet that he was a psychic as well.
"Get Broscoe before the Series Five Rangers do," Garson ordered. "But I want him alive. Understand?"
"So you only want his brain half fried," Sanders smirked. "A little late for that."
"Just get him," Garson snarled. "Or Broscoe won't be the only one fried!"
And the hunt is on! But who will get to Broscoe first? Find out next time!
"So how do we find this jerk?" Shane asked as he flew the Ranger One in space.
"Odds are the first crime he is going to commit after escaping BETA will be against aliens," Niko said.
"That narrows it down," Doc said dryly.
"If I know Broscoe we won't have to wait long until he does something," Zach growled. "He always was arrogant and impatient. Let's check the sub space communicators and see if we pick up anything."
"Looks like we got something," Doc fiddled with the communication systems. "An automated distress call from Callisto, one of Jupiter's moons. That's not that far from here!"
"Isn't there an Andorian research station on that moon?" Doc asked. "And didn't they just find a small collection of rare crystals and possibly a small star stone vein?"
"Yeah and no one knows about it unless you're a…" Zach realized. "I think we just found out where Broscoe is! Plot course to Callisto pronto!"
"Looks like we're going to have company," Shane grunted. "Ranger Seven is right behind us."
"This is Captain Ares calling Ranger One!" Ares growled on the communicator. "Back off! Broscoe is our collar! Our responsibility!"
"I understand that Captain," Zach said. "We were given the same orders by Commander Walsh. We'll assist you in capturing…"
"I don't care if the Tooth Fairy ordered you to help us! Stay out of our way!" Ares growled.
"A rogue ranger affects all of us Captain," Zach pointed out. "Broscoe is tarnishing the name of the entire Galaxy Ranger unit. Not just your team. We should work together…"
"So you can take the credit? Forget it! Get out of our way or we'll make you get out of our way!" Ares shouted.
"This isn't about credit! It's about one bad apple from ruining all of us and endangering innocent people! Can't you get that through your thick heads?" Doc shouted. "Sanders! Glenn listen to me…"
"Sorry Hartford, nothing personal," Sanders remarked as he nearly collided the Ranger Seven with the Ranger One. "But we can't have your team steal my team's thunder!"
"What are they doing?" Shane gasped. "That maniac tried to ram us!"
"Evasive maneuvers now!" Zach shouted.
Shane piloted the Ranger One out of the way but still kept ahead of the other ship. "They're locking their weapons systems on us!" Shane shouted.
"What?" Zach was stunned.
"They'd actually shoot us?" Doc gasped. "But we're on the same team!"
"I warned you Foxx! Stand down or we'll fire!" Ares growled.
"ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?" Troy yelled. He leapt up and grabbed the controls, trying to take them away from Ares.
"Stop it! You can't shoot them!" Doreen shouted as she and Katya tried to grab Sanders away from the lasers.
"Trying to beat them to the punch is one thing, but shooting other Galaxy Rangers is the fastest way to a court martial!" Katya agreed. "Even the bimbo knows that!"
"WHO ARE YOU CALLING A BIMBO?!" Doreen shouted.
"I am you second rate…" Katya growled.
"Get your hands off me you freak!" Ares struggled with Troy over the ship's controls. "Sanders! Help me here!"
"DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!" Sanders yelled. "And I've got problems of my own!"
"Boy they really do suck at teamwork don't they?" Shane blinked as he heard the commotion on the communicator.
"That's what you get when you stick a bunch of prima donnas on the same squad," Doc shook his head. "Glenn always did have a problem taking orders. He used to always correct the teachers in school."
"Goose could you watch out for that small asteroid up ahead?" Niko pointed outside.
"No problem," Shane pulled back on the throttle. While Ranger One passed harmlessly by it, Ranger Seven crashed on it due to all of it's passengers fighting over the controls.
"That takes care of that problem," Shane quipped.
"Are they all right?" Zach asked.
"Life support is holding steady," Niko read the instruments. "They should be all right for the next five hours. They just can't go anywhere."
"And by all their yelling at each other it doesn't sound like anyone's injured," Doc winced.
"Send out a distress call and their coordinates to BETA just in case. We'll give them another tow after we get Broscoe," Zach said. "Besides, I think that team needs some time to work out their issues. I only hope Broscoe didn't take advantage of that delay to get away!"
Fortunately for the Galaxy Rangers, Broscoe was enjoying his new powers a bit too much for him to think about quick retreats. He laughed as Andorians fled for their lives from his rampage.
"Well if it isn't Foxy and his little freak friends!" Broscoe laughed. "I was hoping I'd run into you!"
"Broscoe! You're under arrest for murder, theft, arson, destruction of property, desertion and anything else we can think of!" Zach snapped.
"Like I'm going to go quietly!" Broscoe roared as he set off two large thunderbolts from his arms at them.
"I was hoping you'd say something like that dirt bag!" Shane growled. He touched his badge just before one of the thunderbolts hit him. He was able to use his bio defenses to change into a golden figure brimming with energy.
Niko had used her shield to protect Zachery and the other rangers. "You can dish it out Broscoe, but can you take it?" Zach powered up his own thunderbolt.
Broscoe barely missed Zach's thunderbolt, but he didn't miss Shane's electric punch which knocked him several feet backwards. "UHH!"
"Go Golden Goose!" Doc whooped.
"That was for Q-Ball you jerk," Shane's voice had a powerful tremor to it. "You broke his arm! This next one is for the Galaxy Rangers you killed!"
"Thanks for reminding me…" Broscoe growled as he grabbed a small device and turned it on. "My batteries are running low but I could always use a recharge!"
"Broscoe! Wait…" Zach warned.
"Too late Foxx! I'm setting this thing to full power!" Broscoe laughed as he turned it on to the highest voltage. His body began to glow. "With all this power I'm going to…AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHHHH!"
Suddenly Broscoe's body began to contort and shake. His muscles started to bulge and grow and his bionics became visible. They seemed to grow all over his body. "Uh that's not supposed to happen is it?" Doc gulped.
"I don't believe so," Zach blinked.
"Something's gone wrong!" Niko gasped.
"No kidding!" Shane said. "Unless Broscoe picked up a few Supertrooper genes somewhere I'd say that excess energy from the portable charger put his implant into overdrive!"
"The implant doesn't just affect bionics, it affects DNA…" Zach realized. "It draws out and enhances the potential of the best features of a person's body. And too much energy at once…"
"Can really screw you up," Shane realized.
"What…What happened to me?" Broscoe howled in an inhuman voice. He had grown three feet taller and two feet wider. His torso, arms and hands had become gargantuan and ridiculously overpowered with muscles and bionics. His skin had turned grey and his eyes had turned red. His neck had completely disappeared and his head was grossly enlarged. He was hunched over like an overgrown gorilla.
"This is why we always let Q-Ball test his inventions on other people," Doc gulped.
"You're going to pay for this Foxx," Broscoe sneered. "That I promise you!"
"You steal an experimental charging device and it backfires on you and it's my fault?" Zach shouted. "Broscoe you have some serious issues!"
"Man never liked freaks and now he's become one," Shane scoffed. "Talk about irony."
"AAAAHHH!" Broscoe glowed and slammed his fists down. The raw power shook the building and nearly knocked down the rangers.
"Yeah a super powered freak!" Doc yelled. "Now what do we do?"
"Can't you just shut down his implant?" Niko asked.
"I could but I'm afraid of what would happen," Doc told her. "It could kill him."
"RARRRRRR!" Broscoe slammed his fists down again creating more damage.
"On the other hand…" Doc grumbled. "Tripwire, Lifeline come on out!"
"Righty-O Doc!" Tripwire said cheerfully as he flew out.
"We're right on it!" Lifeline told him.
They flew towards Broscoe, who tried to bat them away but couldn't. They went inside his head. Broscoe screamed in agony and then glowed some more.
"We tried to shut it down but there's something wrong with the implant!" Tripwire squeaked as the tweakers escaped.
"It's overcharged!" Lifeline said. "He's gonna blow!"
"Oh goody…" Doc gulped as Broscoe began to glow even more brightly. "Captain he's approaching critical mass! If we don't find a way to drain some of that energy he's gonna take all of us out!"
"Is that all?" Zach looked around for something. He saw several piles of rubble everywhere. "This is an Andorian base right? And Andorians usually build their bases with large quantities of Ancarbonite mixed with Andorian steel."
"Ancarbonite soaks up radiation and some forms of energy…" Shane realized.
"Still won't be enough," Niko said.
"Can you put a shield around him before he blows?" Zach asked.
"It's worth a shot but I might need some help," Niko said.
"Okay…" Zach grabbed a huge chunk of metal. "HEY BROSCOE! CATCH!" He tossed it at Broscoe who was hit with it right in the chest.
"AAAAHHHH!" Broscoe gasped as the metal reacted to his body.
"It's soaking up some of his energy but he's still going to have some kind of reaction!" Niko shouted as she put a psychic shield around him. "Everyone link up!"
The Rangers did so, increasing the strength of the shield. Broscoe screamed in agony as his body let out a strong burst of energy. Fortunately for the rangers, it was contained in the shield. Unfortunately it still affected Broscoe, knocking him out.
"Okay he's fried," Doc looked him over. "Can we take him to jail now?"
"You think he's stuck like that permanently?" Niko shuddered at his still misshapen body.
"We'll have the prison docs check him out," Zach nodded. "Contact BETA. Oh and tell them to bring an extra ship to tow the Series 5.2 Rangers if they haven't already."
Almost done! Wait and see what happens next!
"Well that was the world's fastest court martial," Shane remarked as the Series Five Rangers left the large courtroom in the west wing of BETA Mountain. It was three days after Broscoe had been brought in.
"BETA had to show the League of Planets as well as the Board of Leaders how serious we were," Niko said.
"There was so much evidence against Broscoe for all the stuff he did there was no way he was going to get off," Doc nodded. "It took Commander Walsh and that panel of military judges two minutes to give the guy life in prison. Not to mention orders to remove that implant."
"For all the good that it will do," Zach sighed as he saw Broscoe's misshapen form in chains being wheeled out under heavy guard. "That portable charger was too dangerous and it affected his DNA to a degree where he can't change back. He's been permanently disfigured and his mind was shattered. Not that it was that stable to begin with."
"Speaking of unstable," Niko saw Ares and his remaining rangers storm up to them.
"Well I hope you are happy, you snitch!" Ares growled at Zach. "Because of you my team has been put on suspension! We're stuck on desk duty for a month!"
"You're lucky that's all you got considering you tried to blast us!" Shane folded his arms.
"At least you told the truth and explained to Commander Walsh not all of us wanted to shoot you," Troy sighed.
"It was the least we could do," Niko shrugged.
"The very least," Sanders growled.
"Glenn listen…" Doc began. But the approaching Commander Walsh stopped him.
"Again Excellent work Captain Foxx on a job well done," Walsh nodded. "You and your team are to be commended. Thanks to you faith in the Galaxy Ranger Unit has been restored. Somewhat."
He looked at Ares and his team. "You Series 5.2 Rangers can learn a lot from them. Especially when it comes to teamwork! Your actions not only interfered with the Series Five efforts but you nearly allowed Broscoe to escape! We are going to discuss your incompetence with teamwork tomorrow! Right now you are all dismissed!"
"Great," Troy grumbled as Walsh and the Series Five Rangers left. "The fabulous Series Five team saves the day again!"
"Yeah because they got a lucky break we end up with egg on our faces," Sanders growled. "We might lose our badges because of that screw up Broscoe!"
"This is only temporary," Ares growled. "We're going to prove to everyone that the Series Five Team is a group of has beens waiting for the scrap pile. Just you wait, they're all going to get theirs if I have anything to say about it!"
"And I will prove that you are not the man for the job if I have anything to say about it," Sanders growled at him.
"Will you two shut the hell up?" Troy snarled. "Now is not the time for jocking for position or placing blame!"
"Keep your mouth shut Psychic!" Ares snarled. "I only tolerate you being on my team because I have to!"
"Oh if I could transfer from this pathetic group of losers believe me I would!" Troy snapped. "Like it or not we're stuck with each other!"
"You think you're so much better than the rest of us why don't you lead? As if anyone would let you!" Sanders snorted.
"Maybe that's not a bad idea!" Troy yelled. "I can't do any worse than the two of you!"
"Don't even think of invading my mind in order to…" Ares began.
"As if I could find it!" Troy yelled. The men started shouting at each other.
"I am surrounded by idiots," Katya walked away.
"Yay team," Doreen sighed. "I gave up modeling for this?"
Broscoe sat in the transport vessel, chained and muttering to himself on what he was going to do to Zach, Q-Ball and everyone at BETA for turning on him. Suddenly the transport vessel stopped.
"What?" Broscoe looked around. "We couldn't have gotten to the Rock that fast! What's going on?"
"You are a very lucky man, Broscoe," A voice said. "You still have some friends. Some friends who believe that you can still be an asset to our cause. However, you are going to have to learn to work in the shadows for a while. We can't have Captain Foxx and his team of Galaxy Rangers figure out you escaped from the Deltoid Rock already."
"Who the hell are you?" Broscoe asked. A figure stepped out of the shadows. "I know you…You're that guy. The one that works for the Black Rose Society…"
"I am the one who cleans up after their messes, yes," A tall powerful Japanese Man in a black and white uniform smirked.
"Hikari Zaharishu," Broscoe's eyes widened in fear. "The Enforcer…"
"You know of my reputation then. That is good. It saves me time explaining things to you and how they work. Consider me your new boss," The Enforcer smiled. "And you will learn to do exactly what I say…Or else."