The disclaimer telling all of you that I don't own any Galaxy Rangers characters has gone off to get a Masters degree. Here's another bunch of ramblings from my deranged mind that connect to a few other stories I've written. Including my own back story on Doc. What if he wasn't as normal has everyone thinks he is?
Back To School
"Well how do I look?" Doc walked into the recreation room wearing a dark gray suit with a stylish hat.
"Impeccable as usual Doc," Niko grinned as she looked up from the book she read on the couch. "I take it you are going on another date on your day off?"
"Let's just say I want to make a good impression on my lady friend," Doc grinned. He saw Shane and Zach Jr. at a table nearby. "What are you two doing?"
"Just finishing up a history lesson on the Peloponnesian War," Zach Jr. told him. "Since my dad got me kicked out of regular school, Goose has been helping out with my school work."
"Goose gave you a history lesson?" Doc was surprised.
"Say what you want about Wolf Den but we had a very good education," Shane told him. "It wasn't all target practice and fighting drills. We were expected to be well versed in history, geography, tactical studies, computer science, mechanics, languages, math and science. And we had some very good teachers. Max Sawyer and Mr. Manx."
"I didn't know that," Niko looked at him. "You never told us about him."
"Oh yeah he was a great teacher," Shane nodded. "He even figured out a way to get Gravestone and Kilbane interested in reading. Which as you can guess it was no small achievement."
"I can see that," Doc admitted. "So what happened to him?"
"Well unfortunately one of the books both Kilbane and Gravestone got interested in was on volcanoes," Shane sighed. "They decided to do a project on it and made one with some chemicals they shouldn't have…There was an explosion and a slight inferno…"
"I think we get the picture," Niko winced.
"To this day every time I see a volcano erupt I think of Mr. Manx flying into the sky like a comet screaming," Shane sighed. "You know he might have survived if Brainchild and a few other Supertroopers hadn't decided to also do a project on rocket fuel."
"The more I hear about your childhood the more scary you get," Zach Jr. shuddered.
"I'm a Supertrooper, I'm supposed to be scary," Shane gave him a look.
"But you're not really scary," Zach Jr. said. "You're nice."
"Don't say it so loud," Shane mocked. "You'll ruin my reputation."
"Yeah well my reputation's toast," Zach Jr. sighed. "And it's not all my father's fault."
"I'm sorry Zach," Niko sighed. "You shouldn't have gotten into trouble for writing about me and Goose."
"Don't feel too sorry," Doc pointed out. "Kid I can still show you people who think I'm nothing but garbage because of my skin color. Fortunately they're in a great minority these days."
"Yeah now that they have Supertroopers, aliens and psychics to hate," Shane grunted. "A lot more variety for bigots."
"The point is it took a lot of guts for you to stand up for what you believe in," Doc put his hand on Zach Jr.'s shoulder. "Don't cop out on your beliefs. Never forget that."
"I wish I could forget it…" Zach Senior walked into the room carrying some mail.
"No luck huh Dad?" Zach Jr. asked his father.
"Twelve different schools I sent applications to and all of them said no…" Zach groaned. "And I'm afraid it's because of me."
"Why? All you did was blow up a few walls and threaten a principal," Doc chuckled.
"Not funny Doc," Zach growled.
"Well I'm off," Doc smirked as he went off on his date. "Enjoy lunch period everyone!"
"Don't worry Zach," Niko smiled at her captain. "Fortunately in this district home schooling is allowed. And between all of us Little Zach won't fall behind on his schoolwork."
"I'm really sorry I'm dumping this on you," Zach sighed.
"Hey, I kind of like playing teacher," Shane grinned. "It's fun scaring the students."
"Yeah a blast," Zach Jr. gave him a look. "Too bad I'm not a genius like my sister. Then I could go to her school."
"Yeah well…" Zach then noticed another letter. "Hey, what's this? I don't remember writing to this school."
"Miss Abercrombie's Charm School?" Niko blinked. "Isn't that Doc's old school? Maybe he wrote you a recommendation?"
"Oh I hope not," Zach Jr. winced. "I don't want to go to some fancy finishing school."
"I can't say I blame you," Shane made a face of disgust. "Blech!"
"Goose," Niko gave him a reproachful look. "You know it wouldn't hurt both of you to polish up on your manners!"
"Yes it would," Shane grumbled, folding his arms.
"Hmmmm…" Zach looked at the form. "This looks interesting. Maybe we should check this out?"
Doc looked up at the familiar old building, full of old world charm and quaint coziness. "The old place still hasn't changed," He grinned as he read the words Miss Abercrombie's Charm School on the wall.
"Oh I like to think there have been a few changes."
Doc took off his hat and admired a very beautiful French woman with medium length blonde hair, a very proper pink dress and glasses. "Adriana Deloroux," He made a slight bow and kissed her hand. "It's been a long time."
"At least seven years," She smiled. "How have you been Walter?"
"Quite well," Doc walked with her inside the building. "And you?"
"I have done reasonably well myself," She said. "Fighting the usual battles and wining most of them."
A chime rang out and several students of various ages in blue student uniforms walked out of their classes with the usual hustle and bustle one would find in a prep school. "Good Afternoon Headmistress!" Several students cheerfully said to Adriana.
"Good afternoon," She nodded. "Janice, remind me to discuss our latest field trip with the French Club later. Robert, no running in the halls. Etienne, remember you have detention with me tomorrow instead of today."
"I can't believe you are now Headmistress of Miss Abercrombie's Charm School," Doc shook his head.
"How else would you explain your picture?" Adriana pointed to a picture on a wall filled with esteemed men and women. It was a picture of Doc in his Galaxy Ranger uniform. "That was put up shortly after the Armada attack on Earth."
"Hmm, you even got my best side," Doc preened.
"Still the same ham you always were, eh Hartford?" A young black Englishman in his late twenties walked up to them. He had a full mustache and a pair of silver glasses as well as a very tasteful black suit on.
"Grinny!" Doc beamed. "How's it going old buddy?"
"It's Grindle to you Hartford!" The man bristled. "Elton Grindle! You know how much I hate that nickname!"
"You should smile more, Grinny," Doc teased. "Get rid of some of those frown lines."
"Go ahead but I have the last laugh!" Grindle snapped. "Your face isn't the only one on the wall! Look! My picture is there two degrees higher than yours! It was put there after my award winning publication on mechanical applications as they apply to outer space facilities was written in Scientific Earth! I'm not just a teacher that molds minds for the future, I am an award winning author and scientist! And what are you? A hyperactive space cowboy!"
"A hyperactive space cowboy that's saved the planet and the universe more times than you've brushed your teeth this week!" Doc taunted back. "Which I am guessing is what? Three times maximum?"
"You two are still children," Adriana shook her head. "Your school rivalry has long been over and yet you continue it like it was just yesterday."
"I am not the one who's holding onto petty jealousy," Doc sniffed.
"You stole my pudding cup on my first day of school you sneak!" Grindle snapped.
"I was eight years old," Doc said. "It was only pudding! Get over it!"
"IT WAS MY PUDDING! MINE!" Grindle snapped. "You stole that like you stole everything else from me!"
"Everything else? Give me a break!" Doc snapped. "Who was it that stole the title of Best Dressed from me by rigging the votes? Who stole my dates with Celia Harper and Milan Weston? Who rigged the Prom King votes to get himself crowned?"
"That last one was Mike Finnegan," Grindle corrected.
"Oh yeah," Doc remembered. "I really hated that guy."
"Me too," Grindle nodded. "He was a jerk."
"Not to mention an idiot," Doc said.
"Tell me about it," Grindle remarked.
"You two are pathetic…" Adriana groaned. "Grindle don't you have a class or something?"
"Actually I do have something," Grindle made a grin. "A little demonstration I need to work on! See you later Hartford! HA HA HA HA HA!" He stormed off laughing.
"I see he's still missing a few marbles," Doc grumbled as the two of them went into the headmistress' office. "Boy this takes me back."
"Yes but this time the circumstances are much more pleasant," Adriana poured some prepared tea. "Tea?"
"Thank you," Doc accepted. "I still can't believe my picture is on the Honor Wall."
"Are you kidding? Because of you I think our reputation has increased dramatically," Adriana smiled. "One of the famous Series Five Galaxy Rangers a former Graduate of our school. Sometimes it's all I can do to keep from laughing considering the circumstances."
"I always was special," Doc grinned.
"You know you even have a nickname among some of our students here?" Adriana grinned. "The Successful Failure. Of course I need not mention that those are the more…serious members of our student body. But that in of itself suggests the respect you've earned."
"I told you one day the whole school would respect me," Doc grinned as he sipped his tea.
"Of course that was the day you decided to accept the dare from Tomkins to run around the school wearing nothing but your underwear carrying the school flag," Adriana gave him a look.
"You have to admit I got a lot of dates after I did that," Doc grinned.
"After you served two months detention," Adriana snickered. They both laughed.
"It was worth it," Doc smiled. "Why do you think so many girls got detention the same time I did? Including you if I recall?"
For a few moments there was an awkward silence. "All right Walter why are you really here?" Adriana asked. "I know it's not to walk down memory lane."
"I needed to ask a favor of you," Doc took out several pictures from his jacket. "These are some computer composites but I think they're quite accurate. I need to know if you've seen any of these people."
"This is very trusting of you," Adriana gave him a look. "Do you expect me to tell you the truth or are you planning on just hacking into my personal files? If you aren't already?"
"I was hoping I wouldn't have to," Doc said honestly. "Considering our friendship. That and all those times I helped you out on your exams. Come on, we both know you'd never have even graduated let alone become headmistress of this school if it wasn't for me."
"Don't you think you're exaggerating a little?" Adriana poured some more tea.
"Am I?" Doc raised an eyebrow. "Let me see if memory serves me correctly you might not have gotten a good grade as you did if you had passed in your original paper on the Stewart Treaty. Although I must admit Mrs. Marris would have found your ideas on scrapbooking and color patterns most interesting."
"So I got a little confused on my historical figures," Adriana grumbled. "I was only nine. It could happen to anyone."
"Not if they nearly make the same mistake three times in over five years," Doc pointed out. "Not to mention the time you oh so brilliantly tried to steal the answers from our math teacher and ended up with a bucket of squid on your…"
"All right! All right!" Adriana held up her hand. "You always were the only man I know who could convince me to give up anything. And I do mean anything."
"Like I said I didn't want to go behind your back if I could help it," Doc told her. "Out of all of us you were the only one that supported me and understood why I did what I did. I take it if I had done something as unsavory as sneaking into your computer system, aside from some nasty anti-spy ware programs I would have found information on these people?"
"You'd have also found out that every one of those people were either graduates or those who where thrown out of the academy for being too violent," Adriana narrowed her eyes.
"Too violent?" Doc asked.
"Even for a school for government spies and assassins we have our standards," Adriana smirked. "We are supposed to represent the best families and most noble backgrounds Earth has to offer. It makes it much easier for us to do our work after all."
"So you do know them?" Doc blinked. "Even though none of them were in our class?"
"I recognize two of them right off the bat," Adriana sighed pointing to two pictures. "A while ago those two crawled out of the woodwork and objected to me being made headmistress of the school. It didn't matter that they never graduated and weren't exactly alumni…"
"You always were good at faces. What happened to them?" Doc asked.
"Let's just say that they're now major contributors of the Gardening Club," Adriana grinned. "And you know I don't mean that in the monetary sense."
"What about the others?" Doc asked. "What can you tell me about them?"
"Let's see…" She took a look at the photos and pointed at them. "Dead, dead, also dead, dead, dead, dead, and that one has been rumored dead but you know how those go."
"I see," Doc nodded.
"Do you mind if I take a look at my private files?" Adriana asked.
"As long as you don't use the time to contact whoever employed these men," Doc said deciding honesty was the best approach.
"I assure you, Walter," Her eyes narrowed as she got up and worked on a computer on a nearby table. "Not in this case. Like I said most of these people were…Not exactly considered cream of the crop of our school."
She scanned the information. "Interesting collection you have here," She remarked. "All but three of them once attended our school. I don't have files on the remaining three. Of the twelve that did go to our school nine are dead, two are missing and presumed dead…"
"And the last one?" Doc asked.
"Hikari Zaharishu," Adriana punched up an image of a hardened Japanese man on screen. "Better known as the Enforcer. He was called that because he was a hall monitor but was thrown out for enforcing the rules a little too harshly. So harshly that several students died."
"I remember hearing stories about him," Doc frowned. "I thought he looked familiar. He's on the Hall of Shame isn't he?" He referred to a secret 'museum' of students expelled or disgraced hidden in the boy's lavatory. This was partially used to discourage students from failing.
"And how. He's been wandering around in the dark like the rat he is," Adrianna sneered. "Working for the highest paying clients who want the dirtiest jobs done. He was last seen five years ago on Mars. Apparently doing some kind of dirty work for the Bovo Corporation."
"Why does that not surprise me?" Doc folded his arms. "Those slimes are always trying to bend the law to get more profits."
"Like I said he has not been seen since," Adriana thought hard. "Walter…What is it that's got you worried? What did this group do?"
"They committed a crime," Doc told her. "One I'm not at liberty to discuss."
"Is it because of military restrictions?" Adriana gave him a look. "Or is this a 'personal' case?"
"You could say it's a little bit of both," Doc admitted with a shrug.
"I see," Adriana thought. "I don't want to know exactly what just yet do I?"
"Maybe I already do," Adriana said. "There's another thing a lot of these people have in common. They're almost all fanatically anti-alien, and in some cases…Well let's just say they wouldn't like some of your team mates."
"I already figured that," Doc nodded. "The three that didn't go to our school, do you know anything about them?"
"Not right off the bat," Adriana thought. "I'm not sure if I should find out."
"Perhaps it's best you don't," Doc said.
"Perhaps you're right," Adriana nodded. Then she had a look on her face. "Tell me Walter, does your Commander know you're here?"
"It's my day off," Doc grinned. "He's usually too busy to pry into my personal affairs. Well at least today he'll be too busy. I uh, asked a feathered friend to keep him company. That's all I'm going to say. I just hope he doesn't start another interplanetary incident."
"Hmph," Adriana smirked. "I've heard rumors about an insane memory bird that causes nothing but misfortune to those who possess it. So they're true?"
"And how, to a degree," Doc grinned.
"Commander Walsh…Does he know about you? I mean what this school's background truly is for?" Adriana asked.
"Honestly I'm not sure, but I'd be more surprised if he didn't know," Doc told her. "But I know for a fact one of the Board of Leaders supported my appointment because he knew…"
Doc paused. "I'm supposed to be their ace in the hole," Doc said. "To keep an eye on certain members of the team and take them out if they pose a threat."
"By certain members I take it you mean the psychic and the Supertrooper?" Adriana asked. "But you never liked being told what to do. I take it the Board Member who backed you is in for a nasty surprise?"
"Goose and Niko are good people," Doc's eyes narrowed. "They've had a real raw deal. You know I don't like it when good people are treated badly for no reason."
"I remember our senior year," Adriana nodded. "How you protected so many of us from…"
"Yeah well," Doc waved. "The point is they're my friends. And nobody treats my friends that way. Nobody. Besides it's not just them. They wanted me to take out my Captain and a few alien ambassadors if I had to but you know me…I make friends with everyone."
He grew serious for a moment. "I am not an assassin and I will never be one. Never."
"You are playing a dangerous game," Adriana nodded. "More dangerous than you know." She walked over to a vase filled with flowers and pulled out a black rose.
Doc's eyes narrowed. He knew the significance of the flower.
"The Black Rose…" Doc gritted his teeth. "I should have known they would be involved in this…This just got way more complicated."
"That organization does seem to pop up every decade or so just to cause trouble," Adriana sighed. "There is one other thing you might be interested in. You know how several members of the Black Rose tend to be…Superstitious?"
"So I've heard," Doc nodded.
"I happened to uncover a document detailing about thirty years ago the Black Rose Organization had a psychic working for them," Adriana said. "And that psychic made a prophecy."
"What kind of prophecy?" Doc asked.
"The kind that say that the Earth will be plunged into darkness because of a psychic," Adriana said. "Some kind of great war will happen because of five very powerful individuals."
"Five?" Doc asked.
"It's pretty garbled," Adriana waved. "Rambling scribbles in a diary. Something about a powerful bird of war appearing and the five sparking a war within…Then fighting an evil queen."
"We're already at war with the Queen of the Crown," Doc said.
"Yes it appears that part of the prophecy has come true," Adriana sighed. "Then again the Black Rose hasn't always hit the mark when it comes to things such as this. From what I have heard, as far as most of them are concerned, the prophecy has already happened."
"Still that makes no sense," Doc shook his head. "I mean there are only four Series Five Rangers and no sign of a bird like that unless you count Bubblehead the memory bird. But he's not exactly what I would call powerful. The Captain's ship was called the Phoenix when he and his wife first encountered the Queen. Maybe it refers to that?"
"But it does explain why someone was very nervous about a certain colony of psychics doesn't it?" Adriana gave him a look.
"How do you know about that? And who else knows?" Doc gave her a hard look.
"Remember I told you about those two former dropouts that are now presently garden mulch?" Adriana asked. "Before embarking on their new careers as flower fodder they got a little chatty. Your friend Niko…She is a survivor of that colony isn't she?"
"The only one," Doc admitted.
"I have told no one else this but…" Adriana sighed. "I think a few members of the government suspect of what she is. Be careful Walter. Be very, very careful."
"You think someone knows I'm here?" Doc asked.
"Or could tell?" Adriana added. "No, my students and faculty are all loyal. Whether someone else is watching well…"
"Oh dear I think the science club has gotten carried away again," Adriana rubbed her temples as the building shook.
"Knowing Grindle I am not surprised," Doc chuckled. He looked out the window and did a double take. "What in the world? Adriana did you invite my friends here?"
"What do you mean?" Adriana asked. She looked out the window. "They didn't come with you?"
"NO!" Doc snapped. "I never told them about…Why would I tell them about this place's true nature?"
"We'd better find out what's going on," Adriana agreed. Soon both of them ran outside to a large track field.
A large track field that had a very large mecha type robot that looked like an escapee from a Japanese Anime. Zach, Niko, Shane and Zach Jr. were watching the giant robot blast a large target into giant pieces.
"I tell you one thing," Shane was heard saying. "This is not exactly what I pictured when I learned we were gonna visit Doc's old school."
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" Doc yelled.
"We got an invitation for some kind of open day at the school," Zach explained. "I'm guessing you didn't set it up?"
"No I didn't!" Doc said. "Who would…?"
"And now! Here I am! The shining star of Miss Abercrombie's Charm School and the World! Elton Grindle!" Grindle popped out from the giant mecha to a flourish of taped music, wearing a white tuxedo and carrying a rose.
"I should have known…" Doc rolled his eyes. "Grinny what the devil are you doing?"
"I just thought this would be a perfect opportunity to prove to you once again who is the better man!" Grindle made a dramatic pose. "Especially in front of your peers and your young friend who might want a better role model he can learn from!"
"Oh I'm learning a lot all right," Zach Jr. blinked at the display.
"Grindle! Grindle! He's the best!" A group of young cheerleaders (both male and female) chanted as they shot off several bazooka like weapons. "He's better than all the rest!"
"This is my high school graduation all over again," Doc groaned.
"Is this guy for real?" Shane blinked. "Who is this nut?"
"An old high school rival of mine," Doc told him. "Who never could accept he was second best!"
"Second best? Would a man who is second best have his own theme music?" Grindle shouted. "HIT IT!"
"There he goes Professor Grindle! The smartest man on Earth or space!" The cheerleaders sang, danced and set off their portable cannons in time to the music. Grindle was also singing along as well. "Flying high in the sky to benefit the whole human race! Professor Grindle's on his way! Off to save the day! He's a great man with a great plan! Everything is all right Professor Grindle is here!"
"Do they get extra credit for singing that?" Zach Jr. blinked.
"And I thought some of my rivals were weird," Shane remarked.
"You have no idea," Doc sighed. "At least Kilbane doesn't have his own theme music."
"Professor Grindle's a hero! Doc Hartford is a Zero! Three cheers for Professor Grindle! Go! Go! Go Professor G!"
"OKAY THAT IS IT!" Doc yelled. "GRINDLE GET YOUR BUTT DOWN HERE SO I CAN KICK IT!"
"Behold my greatness!" Grindle jumped back into the mecha machine and started shooting volleys at Doc.
"Everyone duck!" Doc shouted. Everyone did and nearly got creamed. Literally.
"I think I'm hit!" Zach shouted. "I'm hit! I'm…covered in pie?" Zach looked at his shoulder and it was covered in a sticky whipped cream topping.
"Pies?" Niko blinked. "A giant war machine that shoots pies?"
"Chocolate cream pies," Shane tasted one. "Not bad."
"WHAT KIND OF SCHOOL IS THIS?" Zach shouted.
"Uh…One with a very enthusiastic science department," Adriana laughed nervously. "GRINDLE YOU MORON THIS IS COMING OUT OF YOUR PAYCHECK!"
"You see Hartford you can not compare with my greatness!" Grindle laughed manically.
"Wanna bet?" Doc activated his badge underneath his suit and pulled out his CDU. "Tripwire! Disable that stupid thing before we all get creamed!"
"Righty-O Doc!" Tripwire flew out right into the machine.
"HEY! GET OUT OF THERE!" Grindle snapped as Tripwire disabled his controls. "NO FAIR! CUT IT OUT! GET OUT OF THERE!"
"That's not good," Grindle blinked at the noises coming out from the mecha.
Before everyone's eyes the mecha exploded into one huge pie mess. The mecha robot collapsed and Grindle stumbled out covered in pie cream with pie cream all over the field. "My beautiful revenge machine! YOU RUINED MY REVENGE MACHINE!"
"It was stupid like all your other ideas!" Doc snapped. "And you ruined my suit!"
"I'll ruin more than that!" Grindle threw pieces of pie at him.
"This is really weird…" Zach Jr. blinked. Suddenly something whizzed by his head and got stuck in a tree. "AHHH!"
"What in the world…?" Shane looked at the metal imbedded in the tree.
"Sorry!" A gym teacher called out. He was with an embarrassed group of students. "Uh you know how it is with Shuriken Practice. There's always one that gets carried away!"
"SHURIKEN?" Zach did a double take. "YOU HAVE STUDENTS THAT PRACTICE THROWING SHURIKEN?"
"We have a very enthusiastic sports department as well," Adriana gulped. "And we really get into our ancient history reports."
"We almost got into their ancient history reports!" Zach snapped.
"DEATH BY PIES! HA HA HA!" Grindle laughed. Right before Doc hit him in the face with a pie. "CURSE YOU HARTFORD YOU FOILED ME AGAIN!"
"Yeah! Got ya! Ha ha ha!" Doc laughed until a pie hit him in the face. "OKAY NOW YOU'RE DEAD!"
"BRING IT ON!" Grindle threw more pie pieces back at him.
"This explains a lot about Doc if you think about it," Niko sighed as the two grown men threw pie at each other.
"It also explains why we don't have many class reunions at this school," Adriana sighed.
"Hey Dad maybe I should fill out an application after all?" Zach Jr. asked. "This place doesn't seem so bad."
"There is no way you are going to this school for psychos!" Zach snapped at his son.
"Do they have any adult education classes here?" Shane piped up.