The disclaimer saying that I don't own any Galaxy Rangers characters is missing. Just another fic that came out of my head that focuses on Niko's point of view.
Since I was a little girl all I wanted to know was what had happened to my parents.
Ever hear the phrase 'Careful what you wish for'?
Several months ago I learned the awful truth. That my parents and my entire colony of psychics were slaughtered by an elite team of specialist from Earth. Then I learned that not only were some of the people who killed them still alive but they were taking out and destroying what little evidence there was.
Can you say 'cover up'?
I was trying to study as much of Dr. Webster as I could in the Ranger/Military Archives. A lot of his case files however had been destroyed or classified.
But I found a pattern, nonetheless. A pattern of men, women and children who had been found to have high psychic abilities taken away from their homes and families and then they either disappeared or they were shipped off to some government run institute.
My parents were among them before they escaped. They and all the psychics that survived the camps fled Earth to colonize another world. Only to be killed. And even that group was small compared to all those had had been taken and never found again.
Nearly a million people between 1997 up unto 2065 had been systematically hunted, imprisoned, experimented on and slaughtered like animals. Just for possessing psychic powers.
All those lives destroyed. All that waste of goodness and light and for what?
Fear. Ignorance. And hate.
It made me feel sick.
No wonder there were so few psychics on Earth. And even the few that I heard of lived on other worlds. It wouldn't surprise me if there were even more of us hiding.
I must have been engrossed in thought because as I didn't hear someone coming up to me as I was reading the files.
"What are you doing down here Ranger Niko?"
I realized I wasn't alone and noticed a very stiff looking Senator Wheiner staring at me.
"The same thing you are doing Senator," I said smoothly. "Research."
"Research?" He looked at me carefully, like I was an object worth studying. Then he saw what I was looking at and then looked at me like I was an annoying mosquito. "You were researching classified material!"
"I have clearance level for this sort of material," I told him calmly. "As you well know I am a student of history."
"Some history should be forgotten!" Wheiner snapped at me. He started to grab at the files I was looking at. "I think these files should be put away where nosy people like you can't get at them!"
"I have every right to study these…" I began.
"You have the right to do as you are told Ranger Niko!" Wheiner snapped. "I'm still one of the senators in charge of BETA and I have the authority to decide what material is classified or not! So don't try anything cute with me!"
"I don't find genocide a cute subject, Senator," I held my temper in.
"That never happened Ranger," He growled as he snatched the papers away from me.
"The Supertrooper Project isn't the only sore subject the Board of Leaders tries to forget isn't it?" I challenged him.
"I'd be very careful if I were you Ranger Niko," Wheiner sneered at me. "Ranger Gooseman's not the only one around here who could be frozen if he gets out of control. If you get my drift."
He stormed off before I could say anything. I felt a white hot burning inside of me. That man repulses me to no end.
It got even worse when I was immediately called in by Commander Walsh. "I was just looking for information on my parents and others like me," I told him. It was the truth after all. Well a small part of it.
"Ranger Niko, I understand your desire to learn about your family background…" Walsh let out a breath. "But as far as this matter is concerned perhaps it might not be a good idea to research the topic further at this time."
"And when would be a good time for the Board of Leaders to admit its role in detaining and killing innocent civilians just because of what they could do?" I snapped.
"I don't like this any more than you do! But we know that even though Wheiner is an idiot he could still make things difficult for not just you, but for everyone at BETA," Walsh snapped. "And all information on those dealings with psychics are classified. Which means it's illegal for you to say or research those files."
I had a few more words for Walsh on the matter, some I really don't care to repeat. Walsh had words for me too. Long story short I was three seconds away from an official reprimand on my record before Walsh wisely decided to kick me out of my office.
It just infuriated me. The whole incident. How people like Wheiner could do whatever they wanted. And we had no choice but to take it. I joined the Galaxy Rangers to uphold justice and I was forced to let those who committed the worst crimes of all cover up their deeds and let them get away.
I felt so trapped.
I guess I couldn't hide my feelings as well as I thought I did. The next day Shane came to see me at my quarters. "Are you okay Niko?"
"I'm fine," I told him. "Why does everyone keep asking me that?"
"Because today you nearly tore MaCross's head off when we caught him for the fifteenth time," Shane gave me a look. "Not that I don't applaud your initiative…"
"I just…I'm just a little frustrated about certain things…" I let out a breath. "My past. And how little progress we're making on…everything."
"Believe me Niko I know exactly how you feel," He nodded. "But there's more to it than that isn't there?"
What could I say?
I was definitely not going to tell Shane about what happened with Wheiner. Not if I wanted BETA to stay in one piece.
"There's nothing you can do anyway," I waved. "Forget about it."
"Come on Niko, this isn't like you," He said. "You're the one who's always into that touchy feely crap and how it's okay to talk about your problems. You're hurting and I can tell. You shouldn't…You shouldn't turn your back on what you believe in."
"Oh but it's okay for you to shut out everyone when you're hurting?" I snapped. "That's bull Shane! If you can shut people out so can I! So shut up and stay out of it!"
The look in his eyes shocked me. It was if I had physically slapped him. I cursed myself for doing that to him. He didn't know better. He barely understood his own emotions sometimes, let alone what other people felt.
He was trying in his own way to comfort me. He just didn't know how.
"I'm sorry," I apologized. "I didn't…"
"No, you're right…" He looked downwards. "Is this what it feels like for you when I shut you out? Do you feel…useless? I never meant for you to feel that."
I frowned. "You're not useless, Shane. I didn't mean to hurt you like that. I just…Maybe now you understand how I feel sometimes when you shut me out. Everyone feels hurt sometimes. But it's not right to hurt the people who only want to help you."
"I thought I was protecting you from myself," He looked sad. "But all I was doing was hurting you. I understand that now. Please Niko, I don't want you to act like me."
"I know it's no excuse but I just wasn't taught to…" He threw up his hands in exasperation. "I don't know anything about being human. All I knew before is that being human made you weak."
"That's a half truth," I admitted. "Sometimes it does. But a lot of times, it makes you stronger."
"It doesn't make me feel stronger right now," He said.
"Me neither," I admitted as I sat down. "I just feel so…Powerless and alone."
"You feel that way too?" Shane blinked as he sat down next to me.
"Everyone does at one point or another," I told him. "You felt like that when Wolf Den happened didn't you?"
He nodded. "And I felt like that when I learned what happened to my parents," I told him. "And I still feel it. I mean we have all this information but we're still no closer to bringing those people to justice than we started. I'm just starting to realize how dangerous things are. This isn't like the Queen of the Crown or all our other enemies. This is an enemy that's living on Earth, and could really hurt us if we're not careful."
"Or worse," Shane said softly.
"But I'm not alone," I took his hand. "And neither are you. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that we need each other to get through this."
"So much for me giving you a pep talk," He made a sad smile.
"You did help Shane," I smiled at him. I squeezed his hand. "You reminded me how selfish I was being. I guess I was being a little self centered. It just caught up with me."
"It didn't help that I don't know…" Shane was frustrated.
"You're doing the best you can," I smiled. "I'm better now. Really. You just need…a little more practice dealing with emotions. All that touchy feely crap does come in handy you know?"
"Just be a little patient with me," Shane looked at me. "But maybe…Maybe I can help you. Actually I know someone else who can help you."
I realized who he was talking about. "Cheyenne?"
"Sometimes…Sometimes I see her while I sleep," He told me. "It just…Makes me feel better. I mean, it's like we've got this connection. I just know if I concentrate hard enough, she can hear me."
"You did develop a psychic connection to her. I know it has something to do with your DNA," I nodded.
"It activated when I first met her…I don't know," Shane shrugged. "Sometimes I dream and I be with her. And it makes me feel…Like I'm not alone. Maybe…Maybe she can help you too?"
"This…This crystal helps," He showed me. "Somehow I feel the connection is stronger when I wear it. So I've been wearing it all the time. If you'd like we can try and…?"
I nodded. We sat down on the couch so we could get comfortable. We both held hands and I activated my badge. Shane held onto his crystal and before I knew it I felt myself being transported.
We were underwater but we could breathe easily. And before us was Cheyenne. She seemed happy to be with us. It's hard to describe but for the next few minutes we all managed to share our emotions and feelings instantaneously.
However the downside was that somehow Shane and Cheyenne were able to see exactly what happened and my encounter with Wheiner. "Niko! Why?" Shane was stunned. "Why didn't you tell me about this?"
"I…I couldn't tell you Shane," I felt awful. "I knew if I said something…"
"You were afraid I'd overreact," Shane finished. "You're probably right. That monster…" I could feel his anger and rage building.
"Shane…" I warned. I could actually see his thoughts on what he wanted to do to Wheiner. And I hate to say it but I agreed with some of them.
"It's bad enough that he threatens me…" Shane growled. "That I can deal with! But to threaten my friends…He is going to pay!"
I agree, but Shane you must exercise patience, Cheyenne warned him. If you are not careful he and others like him will not hesitate to use the Cryocrypt against you or Niko.
"That won't happen to either of you," Shane told us. "I promise. I'd never let that happen no matter what."
True but you are right about one thing, Cheyenne frowned. This evil has been going on for far too long. Both psychic and Supertrooper have been victims of programs like these. The only way we can be truly free is that we bring this darkness into the light.
"There is one good thing about this…" Shane thought. "If Wheiner saw those files he'd probably assume you didn't know the truth about your parents. Or that you know about Webster."
"How do you figure that?" I asked.
"You said so yourself that you were looking for information on your parents," Shane pointed out. "Indicating you don't know what happened to them."
They will also assume that you were only interested in Dr. Webber's files because of your contact with him and his abrupt death, Cheyenne remarked. "It might lead them to believe that they made a mistake killing him too soon. Still they will be on their guard.
"For all the good that it will do," Shane growled. "I've been patient for a very long time Cheyenne. But I need more evidence in order to take them down."
"Cheyenne, do you know where we can find more records of any project concerning Supertroopers or psychics that the Board of Leaders doesn't know about?" I had a thought.
There is something, Cheyenne smiled. Two places actually. One of which is in a secret vault that I have hidden. Next time you visit I can give you some information. The other place…It's in a diary. It tells everything about the Super Soldier program during my time.
"Something's wrong," Shane picked up on it too. "You're holding back on something. I can feel it."
There are…Some secrets in this diary. Dark secrets about my past, Cheyenne admitted. Things I am ashamed of. But they also affect you Shane. I…
"You're afraid to tell us aren't you?" I guessed. "You've kept these secrets inside so long you're afraid…"
I could feel her hurt and shame. Even though we had a link she was able to keep some of her thoughts and memories hidden from us. But we could still feel her pain and loss.
I know I'm being a hypocrite Shane but I just can't….Cheyenne sighed. And these are things you have a right to know about. But I don't know if it's my place to tell you or…
"It's okay," Shane reached out to her. "I know this is hard for you, especially after all this time. I know you want to tell me, but if you're not ready…
Shane I'll make a promise to you, if we have not made any headway in this...In two years. I will tell you everything. Even the secrets I don't think I have the right to tell you. Someone else should tell you these secrets. And he is the same one who has the diary.
"You know who has the diary don't you?" I realized.
Yes but…This person is not an enemy. I can tell you that much. He hides the diary from everyone not only to protect himself, but to protect the one most dear to him. This diary has information directly linked to you Shane. And the past is repeating itself.
"Repeating itself?" Shane blinked. "How?"
Cheyenne looked very sad. "Maybe that's not important right now," I decided to intervene. "The diary is in a safe location. It's important but what's more important is what we do next."
"I think what we should do next is help Niko," Shane agreed.
"I was just feeling a little self pity," I agreed. "And a little angry…Okay a lot angry at Wheiner."
"Join the club," Shane growled.
He will pay for his crimes…I've learned one thing over the centuries. Evil doesn't go unpunished. Sooner or later the past always catches up with you, Cheyenne smiled sadly. But now…It's just nice that we're all together. It's more than I ever thought I would have again. To have people who understand.
I felt her warmth and gratitude. We linked minds and emotions for a moment longer before we separated and I found myself back in my apartment with Shane.
"Thank you Shane," I couldn't help it. My eyes watered with tears. "That really helped me."
"You're welcome," There was a look in his eyes that was pure joy. He was always happiest when he was helping someone else.
But I knew deep down something even more profound had just happened.
A bond had been created between us. Not just between Shane and I, for that had already begun. But with Cheyenne as well. The three of us connected in such a way I had never expected to connect with outside of Xanadu.
When I first arrived on Earth I learned that only a handful of psychics existed, and most of them lived far away on other planets. Those that did exist didn't even have half the training or strength of abilities I did. Most of them could only sense feelings or barely move a pencil.
But when I met Shane…I don't know. Something about him felt, familiar.
And when I first encountered Cheyenne I could tell she was as powerful as some of the sages back on Xanadu. She merely lacked the will to connect with the outside world. And from what I glimpsed from her memories I honestly couldn't blame her.
But between the three of us…We felt something begin to grow. I realized I had so much more to learn and understand. Shane was just beginning to realize how much he could change and evolve into. And Cheyenne…
Cheyenne was slowly breaking away from her isolation. Shane managed to break through her pain enough for her to remember how to dream again. By allowing me to contact her mind she was showing me that she was starting to give humanity a chance again. And maybe herself.
We were all on a path of self discovery. And we were not alone.
I wonder if this was how Xanadu started? A group of lost individuals with gifts, struggling to understand them. Finding out how much more they could accomplish together than apart.
Somehow the three of us started our very own little Circle of Thought. Although it is much more limited than the one on Xanadu…There is a strange sense of comfort and strength we draw from it I had never felt before.
The three of us had connected. And the bond will only become stronger as time passes.
All we have to do is be patient and we will find ourselves.
And that's all we've ever really wanted.