Bright Lights, Big City



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Bright Lights, Big City

by Red Witch

Rated: K+

Summary: What was young Shane Gooseman's first time in a city like? Here's my answer, pure insanity!

Goose literally trashed the disclaimer telling all of you that I don't own any Galaxy Ranger characters. This takes place right after the events of 'Exile from a Dark Eden'. I just wondered what would happen when an innocent little Supertrooper like Goose first encounters the real world. Then it hit me. Pure mayhem. Forget sanity folks, I'm just going to have fun with this.

"Shane, wake up," Commander Walsh gently nudged the sleeping Supertrooper youth awake. "We're here."

"Uh…" Shane woke up and saw that their ship was now inside a huge hanger. "Already?"

"You've been out like a light not long after we left Wolf Den," Walsh told him. "Feel better?"

"Yeah," Shane lied. He still felt horrible. The past twenty four hours were still fresh in his mind. "So where exactly are we?"

"Inside the Cademont Building in New Seattle on the west coast," Walsh explained. "It's more like an office actually."

"Isn't that dangerous?" Shane asked.

"This is more of a bureaucratic base than for military purposes," Walsh explained. "We've been trying to put together a more simplified system for years. The higher ups have finally started building a separate base where the Bureau of Extra Terrestrial Affairs can operate independently without…"

A buzzer from the communications system interrupted him. "I have to get that," Walsh sighed.

Shane tuned out the conversation between Walsh and whoever it was on the vid phone. He casually looked outside the window and saw dozens of people scurrying around. It occurred to Shane that he had very little experience with humans except for the few that worked and visited Wolf Den. Realizing he was woefully ill prepared to interact with them made him feel even more alone and self conscious than he did before he left Wolf Den.

He kept quiet as they left the ship and traveled down an elevator. Walsh sighed and looked at him. "I know you have been through a lot Gooseman but you have to remain patient. I have a meeting with some higher ups to try to convince them on the best way to handle this situation. Remember as far as the general public is concerned, Supertroopers do not exist. The knowledge that there are genetically altered mutants running around would cause panic."

"I understand, Commander," Shane agreed.

"Shane remember that I am responsible for you," Walsh told him. "It's imperative that you stay out of trouble as much as possible. Granted technically you are already in trouble but that is through no fault of your own. Just try to not add to it."

"I will, Sir," Shane nodded when they got to the third floor. There was a huge office with two male receptionists in gray uniforms bickering about something.

"Henderson I am telling you GI Joe was without a doubt the greatest cartoon ever made," One brown haired receptionist sniffed.

"You are wrong, Johnson. It is X-Men Evolution," The blond haired receptionist snorted. "GI Joe was nothing more than a glorified toy commercial!"

"Look who is talking!" Johnson snapped. "X-Men Evolution was nothing more that a propaganda tool for the…"

"Excuse me!" Commander Walsh barked. Both men jumped at attention. "I'm Commander Walsh. I believe I have an appointment. And that you two gentlemen have better things to do with your time than to gossip about cartoons!"

"What's a cartoon?" Shane asked him. Back at Wolf Den they had only seen a few old movies and training films. Mostly war movies and a few westerns.

"I'll explain later," Walsh groaned.

"Oh yes sir," Henderson nodded. "Go right in."

"It's going to be a while," Walsh told him. "Stay here and wait for me." He left the room.

Shane felt very uncomfortable with the two men staring at him. "Look kid, it's obvious your uncle is going to be in there a while," Johnson grunted. "You don't have to stay here the whole time."

"But he said…" Shane began.

"Why don't you just go out and wander around the city for a few hours?" Henderson groaned. "We've got enough to do here!"

"Uh okay…" Shane cautiously backed out of the door. He wasn't feeling very comfortable around strange people just yet. Both receptionists gave him rude looks. He decided a quick walk couldn't hurt.

Then he thought as he looked around that he had never seen what a real city looked like. He might as well check it out. Walsh wouldn't be back for a while. What harm could it do?

"Well…" Shane thought to himself as he walked down the corridor and out the door. "I guess it couldn't hurt just to take a little peek at what's out there."

Cautiously he made his way out of the building. He was amazed at how many people were in the lobby. The receptionist at the front door was too busy flirting with the security guard to even notice him leaving. He stepped out the front door, and into a whole different world.

"Wow…" Shane blinked at everything. He had never been in a real city before. Only simulations on the holographic firing range. But even they didn't prepare him for this.

There were giant buildings everywhere, their mirrored reflections gleaming brightly. Multicolored glittering ads sparkled with a shine of capitalistic zeal. Loud blaring noises of shouts, horns honking and vendors hawking their wares assaulted his sensitive ears. His enhanced sense of smell could detect everything from the tantalizing smell of strange food to the blank staleness of urine. There were thousands, no millions of different people of every shape and size hurrying along going from one place to another in a multitude of different kind of clothes.

He had never experienced anything like this. Everything was amazing to him. It took him a few minutes for his body to adjust to his surroundings but he was still stunned. There was no question about it now. He had to explore this strange place.

He wandered around taking in the sights when he saw something that interested him. It was a small area where several young people about his age wearing flashy clothes were showing off riding some kind of board that had an engine on it that enabled them to float over the ground only a few feet.

One of the youths, a kid about sixteen with large red shades nearly bumped into him on his board. "Hey watch it!"

"Why don't you watch it?" Shane snapped back. He wasn't going to allow anyone around his own age to push him around.

"Hey man, don't you know who this is?" A dark skinned woman with braided yellow hair and flashy clothes told him as she glided by on her board. "This is Specs! The toughest hoverboarder in the city."

"I can handle this Cyndi," Specs told her. He looked at Shane. "You think you got what it takes?"

"Well if you can do that it can't be that hard," Shane told him.

"Ooohh!" The boarders whooped.

"A challenge huh? That's all right! That's all right! Hey Marks! Give him your board!" Specs took one from another kid. "You think you're all that? Let's see what you got!"

A normal teenager would have simply been nervous or thought twice to trying something so dangerous. Shane Gooseman was not a normal teenager. This doesn't look so hard, Shane thought as he got on. He quickly found his balance. Back at Wolf Den we did training exercises on moving planks twice as small as this all the time!

At first Shane made some basic swoops to get the hang of it. Then he started to get curious to what the hoverboard could really do. The crowd gasped as Shane did several twists and turns. Some other boarder friends of Specs did tricks and Shane copied them flawlessly.

"Not bad Blondie!" Cyndi called out. "How about a game of Follow the Leader?"

"Fine with me!" Shane whooped.

"Well then let's kick it!" Specs cried out. They tore down the street, knocking over passerby and vending carts on the way.

Shane loved this. The thrill of riding made him forget his pain and loneliness. Unfortunately it also encouraged his Supertrooper competitive streak. When Specs did a stunt that required him to jump a car while his hoverboard passed underneath a car and he landed on it the other side, it was nothing but a challenge to him.

Shane just had to pull the same stunt and do it better.

Instead of jumping over one car. He jumped over four cars down a busy lane. He would jump, land on the board, then jump again and land on the board again.

He did that twice. Once going across the street and another coming back.

Needless to say this caused a slight traffic pile up due to some startled drivers crashing into each other.

The boarders laughed like crazy when they pulled into a park. "Man I have never seen anyone with such a disregard for safety before in my life!" Specs lightly punched Shane on the shoulder when they stopped. "You all right Dude! What's your handle?"

"Goose," Shane told him. "I'm from out of town."

"No kidding," Cyndi snorted as she looked at his rather plain attire. "I never would have guessed. Where from?"

"Oh around," Shane shrugged. "You know…Here and there."

"Hey man I know the scene," Specs shrugged. "Had a lot of friends that had a lot of step parents." There was a vending machine nearby. One of the other boarders that had followed them had gotten a drink out of it. Specs took the can from him.

"Hey!" The other boarder said. "I was gonna drink that!"

"Well why don't you earn it first?" Specs asked. He tossed it to Shane. "This one's for you Goose!"

"Thanks," Shane looked at the drink. "What is it?"

"It's called Jolt Cola dude," Specs snorted. "What you never drank soda before?"

"Uh no," Shane said. "They uh, didn't have it at Wolf Den."

"Wolf Den? What's that?" Cyndi asked. "Some kind of strict military school."

"Yes," Shane lied quickly, realizing what a mistake he had made. "Military school. Real strict."

"Well you ain't there now. What are you waiting for man? Drink up!" Specs challenged.

"Okay…" Shane blinked as he opened the can and took a careful sip. "Hey this stuff's not half bad. Kind of…bubbly but not bad." Emboldened by the taste Shane drank the can. "Wow! Man that's good. Got any more?"

"Uh yeah but uh I kind of left my Planet Express card at home," Specs pointed to the machine. "Outta cash Flash."

"Oh well maybe…" Shane thought and then hit the machine hard on it's side than it's front. Out popped a soda.

"Whoa! Dude how did you score that?" One of Specs' friends gasped.

"Oh back at military school there was this one machine that always gave you stuff if you hit it just right," Shane decided not to point out that the machine in question supplied weapons, not soda. He grabbed the soda and chugged another down. "That's good stuff!"

"You earned it my man," Specs grinned. "I have never seen boarding like that before!"

"You ain't seen nothing yet," Shane grinned, fears and worries all forgotten. He saw that they were near a subway station. "That's a subway station right?"

"Yeah," Cyndi folded her arms. "So?"

"So why not try these babies out and see what they can really do?" Shane grinned as he got on the board and headed for the subway.

"WHAT? Oh Hell no!" One of Specs' friends cried out. "You crazy dude?"

"Dude this guy is suicidal!" Specs laughed. "Let's see what he does! Come on!"

A few hours later, while Shane was having the time of his life, back at the Cademont Building things were not going so well.

"Let me see if I get this straight," Walsh ran his hands through his graying hair, clearly wishing the meeting had not ended earlier than he anticipated. "You let a fifteen year old Supertrooper who never even stepped foot outside of Wolf Den until yesterday alone in a city full of millions of people?"

"Well uh," Johnson coughed. "We didn't know he was a…"

"And you told him to just wander around and come back later?" Walsh's voice grew louder and louder.

"Uh yes," Henderson coughed.


"We told him to come back," Johnson said weakly.

"Oh yes I'm sure he'll just come running home as soon as we call him," Walsh said sarcastically. "Oh wait! We can't contact him! He doesn't have a communicator on!"

"Well I'm sure he hasn't gone far…" Henderson gulped.

"You people are hopeless!" Walsh snarled. "You are to say nothing to no one about this! Got it?"

"Way ahead of you, sir," Johnson gulped nervously.

Walsh stormed out of the room. "Shane where are you?" He had to find a way to get Shane back as quietly as possible. He decided to try and contact some of his contacts when he just happened to pass a television screen that showed the news.

"To repeat our top story wild hover boarders are running amok in New Seattle," The anchorwoman spoke. "They have caused several traffic accidents as well as wrecked several vending establishments. One unidentified youth is also responsible for causing havoc on the east side subway."

"Please don't let it be Gooseman," Walsh muttered under his breath. "Please don't let it be Gooseman…"

"This is the only video we have of a mysterious blond haired, green eyed youth with amazing physical acrobatic skills tearing up the subway and even riding on top of the subway…" The picture was blurred but it was indeed Shane.

"Gooseman…" Walsh winced in agony. "Of course!"

"After the subway the youth then proceeded to skateboard right through Lacy's Department store and freed all the animals in the pet department," The anchorwoman said. "If anyone has any information about this mysterious hover boarder, please contact the police."

"Oh Shane when I get my hands on you…" Walsh began to twitch. Then he heard a commotion at the front desk. "You will be begging for the Cryocrypt!"


"Well what do you know? He did come back," Walsh said sarcastically. He stormed towards the sound of people screaming and running away. "GOOSEMAN!"

Shane was happily doing tricks with the hover board on the ceiling. His new friends were watching with great interest. "GOOSEMAN GET YOUR BUTT DOWN HERE ON THE DOUBLE!" Walsh roared. "WHAT IN BLUE BLAZES DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?"

"Commander!" Shane said excitedly as he floated down, speaking quickly because he was still buzzed from the caffeine in his system. "Guess what? Guess what? This city is amazing! I never knew how big it was! There's food everywhere and different clothes and you get to ride a hoverboard and go on a subway and did you know that a lot of people are different sizes? I mean some of them are huge! I mean really huge as in fat! I've never seen anybody so fat before! I guess that's expected to happen in a city where there's a lot of food. And what food they have! I ate something called a hot dog on a stick and it tasted really good! Better than those regular hot dogs we used to have back at the base! I had ten of 'em! And I rode the hoverboard and I'm really good at it! I went really fast all over the place! Zoom! And then I went into the park and then I did a lot of other stuff! I even went in a store and there were a lot of animals in cages but I let them out and now they're free! But man this place is great!"

He held out a soda can in front of Walsh. "Want some soda?"

"Let me guess…" Walsh groaned as he saw what Shane was holding. "You drank more than one of these didn't you?"

"Uh huh," Shane nodded.

"How many?" Walsh asked, dreading the answer.

"Thirty seven," Shane grinned.

"Thirty…seven?" Walsh blinked. "How in the world did you get thirty seven sodas?"

"Oh it was easy," Shane replied in a chipper voice. "There are these vending machines all over the city. All you have to do is hit them the right way and they'll give you anything you want!"

"I see…" Walsh groaned. "And your new friends introduced this to you?" He glared at Specs and his crew.

"Yeah this is Specs and Cyndi and…" Shane went on happily.

"And you can say goodbye to them! Come with me now!" Walsh yanked Shane by the collar off the hover board and dragged him away.

"Bye Dudes! Bye bye!" Shane waved excitedly as he was dragged away.

"People from out of town are so much fun," Specs snorted with laughter.


"Yes sir!" Specs gulped. "We're gone baby!" The other hover boarders left.

Walsh could not drag Shane back to their room fast enough. He let into Shane as soon as the door closed in their temporary quarters that he had arranged for while he was in the meeting.

"Gooseman, what part of stay here and wait for me did you have trouble comprehending?" Walsh felt like an artery in his brain was about to explode.

"Just wanted to go outside and have some fun," Shane was trying to sober up but not having a very successful time of it.

"You are not going outside your room for a whole year if I have my way!" Walsh barked. "Gooseman! Attention!"

Shane instinctively stood at attention. However his left foot refused to stay still, tapping wildly. "Gooseman!" Walsh snarled angrily.

"I'm trying sir, but my foot doesn't want to stay still!" Shane explained. He tried to stop his foot from moving by putting his other foot on top of it but then he started hopping. "I can't stop it sir! My body seems to have a mind of it's own!" He stopped hopping but his foot kept tapping. "See?"

"Shane, do you see anything strange when I do this?" Walsh asked as he trailed his fingers in front of Shane's face.

"Wow…look at the colors," Shane blinked. "How did you do that Sir?"

"That's what I thought," Walsh sighed. "Apparently all the additives and caffeine in the sodas you drank and whatever else you ate is affecting your system. Especially since you've never been exposed to that before and it's screwing up your body chemistry in ways that would not normally affect most human beings."

"What do you mean?" Shane fidgeted.

"You're high as a kite," Walsh snapped.

"Is that good? Because it feels good!" Shane asked happily. "Hey a sofa! Cool!" He broke rank and jumped up and down on it. "WOW THIS IS GONNA BE FUN!"

"It's going to be a very long night," Walsh sighed.

Morning could not come fast enough for Walsh, but it came too fast for Shane. Shane found himself lying flat on his back moaning in agony on the sofa. "Oohhh…" Shane groaned. "I feel worse than I did when we left Wolf Den…I'm dying…"

"You are not dying," Walsh told him. "You have no idea how close you came to it however!"

"Uhhhhh…." Shane groaned. "I can barley move. All my energy is gone. My head hurts. My teeth hurt. What's wrong with me?"

"Gooseman you are having what is known among the youth of today as a serious caffeine crash," Walsh told him. "To put it simply your system is not used to such a high concentration of stimulants. This is one of the reasons why we never gave the Supertroopers sodas at Wolf Den."

"My stomach feels funny…" Shane winced as he tried to sit up.

"That is called indigestion," Walsh explained. "Another side effect of over indulging in foods made with artificial substances."

"But you gave us foods with artificial substances all the time at Wolf Den," Shane moaned. "I never felt this bad before!"

"Again we made sure those artificial substances did not interact with your genetic structure," Walsh reminded him. "Unlike food in the real world where people just throw in a lot of crap in them and hope for luck. It's ironic that you wouldn't take your genetic enabling factor but you blindly chowed down an unknown substance because some punk on the street said it was cool! Then again you knew nothing about how food is prepared in the real world. But you are certainly getting an education now. So, Gooseman, what exactly have you learned from your little adventure yesterday?"

"Oohh…To watch what I eat and to not eat too much?" Shane moaned in agony.

"That's one thing," Walsh said. "Anything else?"

"Uhhhhgggghhh….Be careful who I talk to?" Shane whimpered.

"Good," Walsh nodded. "Anything more?"

"Uh, that hoverboards and cars go really fast?" Shane guessed. Walsh glared at him. "That's not it is it?"

"Shane Gooseman you may be good at fighting but when it comes to functioning in the real world you have a lot to learn," Walsh shook his head. "What I was getting at is when I tell you to do something, I mean it! If I don't want you wandering around there is a reason!"

"I'm sorry I was just…" Shane winced.

"You were just acting like a showoff, that's what you were doing!" Walsh snapped. "I know it's a hard habit for you to break especially since your little rivalry with Kilbane encouraged it but your actions are no longer acceptable! Do you have any idea how lucky you are that no one was able to identify you? What if you had gotten arrested? Huh? Ever think of that? Do you realize that the Board of Leaders would have frozen your disobedient behind so fast…?"

"Ooohhhh!" Shane couldn't hold it in any longer. Walsh barely stepped out of the way as he vomited all over the floor.

"Never mind," Walsh rolled his eyes and wrinkled his nose. "It's obvious you just aren't lucid enough to…Come on! We'll get you cleaned up." He pulled Shane up by the arm and dragged him to the bathroom.

"I'm sorry…" Shane looked sick and upset. "I'm sorry…"

"I know you are," Walsh sighed, no longer angry at the boy.


"And lord knows so am I!" Walsh groaned after Shane threw up all over him. "That's it, as soon as you are fit to travel we're going to another base. Preferably one where there's nobody around for miles! That way you can't cause any damage!"

Walsh quickly cleaned Shane up and put on a clean uniform for himself. He managed to get Shane into his bed without any more messes. "Commander…I'm really sorry," Shane apologized again. "I just…Wanted to forget everything so badly…"

"But it didn't work did it?" Walsh groaned. "Goose sometimes I forget that you're still only a teenager. A hyperactive Supertrooper teenager but still a teenager. And teenagers make dumb stupid mistakes…Very dumb stupid mistakes. But we'll talk about your punishment tomorrow when you're feeling better."

"Okay…" Shane said weakly. "Commander? I…"

"Yes Shane?"

"I think I'm gonna throw up again." And he did.

"I'm too old for this crap…" Walsh rolled his eyes to the heavens. "That's it. I'm going to request them to put me in the Cryocrypt so I can get some rest!"