It was night? It was very dark. And it was cold. In the distance, I hear voices but I can't see anything. Nor do I recognize anyone. I try to move slowly so as not to make any noise. Not to discover my position. Suddenly the voices disappear. Absolute silence. Footsteps are heard approaching me but I don't see anything. I do not see anyone. I can not.
-Niko? Can you hear me? Can you open your eyes?
A chill runs through my body, my whole body. My head hurts and I feel a throbbing pain behind my ear.
-Niko, I'm Goose. Come on, baby, you can do it. If you hear me, give me a sign.
I don't know why I did it. I moved my hand. His hand was on top of mine. And he squeezed my hand. Gently.
But that voice is gone. And the others also left, and other new voices came.
Niko it must be me. And it is not night. My eyes are closed and I cannot open them.
I can't speak either. I can't move either. I have no strength. My head is going to explode. And I don't know where I am. And I'm not sure who I am.
-We already have her back at home. Let's get some rest, Shane. We can't do anything out here.
-No, Zach. I want to be here when she wakes up.
-Goose, it wasn't your fault. It was nobody's fault. But you saved her. Let's have a drink in the cafeteria and we'll be back soon.
-Captain, I'm fine here.
-Lieutenant, it's an order.
Doc had never seen Goose confront Zach publicly, like that, like that. And for once in his life, Commander Walsh disavowed the captain ...
-Zachery, he is a supertrooper. Can he with this and more.
And you, Gooseman, if there is any news ...
- I'm sorry, Captain, Goose said. You taught me to be a person first, and then to be a soldier. If she doesn't need me, I do need to know about her.
Goose watched from a window as Niko's breathing tube was removed from her throat. It also hurt him. He also gasped for air. He was also afraid. Fear for her.
She was hooked to many machines, to many cables. And he gave thanks for it. Because she had stopped breathing there, and he had to revive her in the immense cold emptiness he felt the moment she closed her eyes.
But luckily, she is stronger than she appears. And she did not abandon him, despite everything that happened. She fought to the end for her life. And so, she saved Goose's life too.
There was also silence in the cafeteria. No one dared tell Zach that he was precisely the person who understood Goose the most right now.
We could all imagine what Zach had to go through when Eliza left. But only Zach knew what the hell it was like to live with guilt. Maybe that's why, and because in his day he didn't listen to us either ... Zach didn't want Goose to be alone.
-Captain, he needs to know that Niko ...
-Zachery, I didn't want to disavow you but ...
-You know what, my captain? We must stay together. We are not only Rangers, we are not only from the Series 5 team, we are not just friends. And I know that you know that ...
-We are family, Doc. We know that, don't we?
The tone of Zach's voice softened. He was not upset by the commander's decision, but because he feared he would lose Ranger Gooseman as well.
Goose was a supertrooper. Now he is also a Ranger. The best Ranger. Before it was a killing machine. He is now a person and that made him as vulnerable as the rest of the humans. He is now a machine but of saving lives.
9 hours passed until the medical team gathered, in a cold room, the commander, the captain, Doc and Q-Ball. Goose was still there. Rather, he was the first to arrive because he never left.
When the doctors gave us Niko's health report, it was like not knowing whether to cry or laugh. I, Doc Hartford, lost at that moment any chance of articulating a single funny word, despite the joy of having Niko with us, again.
Niko had lost his memory. But not all memory.
She remembered everything she must have forgotten.
She forgot what she should remember: that we arrived just in time to save her from the filthy hands of Killbane.
She remembered what the Killbane monster did to her.
She stopped knowing when the bastard Killbane ripped his implant from her head with his claws on him.
She forgot that she won, and although we told her, and we proved to her that Killbane lost the game, her doubts are there.
It was a very tense moment when his 3 friends entered the room with fear the first time.
I remember that the words did not want to leave my mouth. I hugged her, kissed her hand, and it was she who reassured us all.
Zach kissed him on the forehead, fatherly, but his blue eyes told her how angry he was about putting her life at risk by disobeying orders.
And my Gooseman ... ha! Where is the one who slept for a month on the hospital sofa? Where is the one who investigated the entire medical service?
He did not approach her. They just stared at each other. From far. As on other occasions when they both spoke mentally (they think that we don't realize it ...). But Niko didn't have his implant of hers and they couldn't communicate like that. So I think "one look, it says more than a thousand words". And their gazes showed fear, sadness, fury, anger.
And then Ariel came. She had already informed us that the Circle had given her consent for Niko to return to Xanadu for her to recover there. I want Niko, or I don't want to They could not allow Niko's innate gift to fall into bad and dirty hands like Killbane's hands.
Of course the first to refuse was Walsh, after us, of course.
Politely, Ariel asked to be left alone with Niko. She told Niko that tomorrow they would discharge her from the hospital and that they would return to Xanadu at 2, forever, to protect and safeguard the universe.
Ariel was not like a mother to Niko. She was his mother and Ariel only wanted the best for Niko. But this time Ariel was wrong.
-Ariel, I don't want to go to Xanadu. My site is here. My house is here. Here I feel safe. Here I can help others. I want to be here.
- My girl. Don't you see that the danger has already arrived inside your house? Can't you see you're not safe even in Beta Mountain? Because of that woman and your partner, they almost killed you!
- Ariel, he saved me. And the fault was mine alone. I should never have gone alone. I should never have fooled my friends.
I have disobeyed the captain's orders and put my life and theirs in danger. It will not happen again. I promise. Also, if my powers security system doesn't work someday ... I know what to do. What's more, I tried Ariel.
I did my duty when I believed that I had lost this game.
- Don't lie to me like you do to others. I know that your powers are stronger than ever. Stronger than with the device you had on your head.
-No one should know that! If anyone suspects that I don't need my badge to have powers ... they will see me as an uncontrollable danger! Everyone must believe that I need my implant. That will be my salvation, for the moment.
- Agree. You know I like you right? You know that I only want your security and your happiness, even if that is far from me. I will try to keep away from you the Circle disciples who do not trust you.
And Niko ... being with him doesn't benefit you.
And after many tears and hugs, the two of them said goodbye with a "see you later".
Niko has an adapted system in her implant whereby she cannot have offspring if it is not previously deactivated. With the implant, Niko can never get pregnant. So Killbane ripped it out of her head. So Killbane's plans did not come to fruition. So Niko died in Shane's arms.
The difference between Niko and the other members is not only that she is a woman, the most important thing is that she is the only one who has innate powers and they specifically know the limits of her powers from her.
No one imagines what Niko can really do because she discreetly hides her real power. They cannot believe that Niko is a danger, they must believe that they have control over her.
The rest of the Rangers need his badge and implant to use his powers. She does not. Powers and Niko are fused into one: it is assumed that if Niko had offspring, her children would inherit her powers. It is also believed that Goose could do the same with the powers of his immune system.
But everything is confused, they are beliefs, because there is no scientific data to support it.
Therefore, the Board and the League of Planets expressly prohibit Goose and Niko from having any personal ties. They are afraid of what would entail the union of a supertrooper with a telepath, both with extraordinary powers, they could have control of every living being in the infinite universe.
Ariel left the hospital very upset.
-Commander, not only Niko's life is in your hands. Niko's powers are unique, extraordinary and cannot fall into the wrong hands.
-Madam, you watch over the integrity of the universe. And Niko has saved the entire universe multiple times. In addition to that, we look after the integrity of people, Niko in particular. It doesn't suit anyone that Niko's powers ...
- Ariel, if there's anyone who can protect Niko, it's us, Doc said.
-Captain, Niko is like this because the enemy was inside what she calls her house. It doesn't do me good if they put her in danger first, and then save her.
- Come on, Ariel. It's Niko who saves our butts almost always, Goose said.
-Ranger Gooseman! Watch your vocabulary!
-Commander! Isn't it strange to you that Ariel cares more for the integrity of the world than for the integrity of Niko? Niko is fine here with us. She must not go to Xanadu.
-Ranger Gooseman, Niko is like this because she is here with you. In Xanadu, she would be safe from your enemies, Ranger, and the world would also be safe from her.
- Ariel, what do you mean by that? What are you hiding from us? Doc said.
-You all must protect Niko from everyone. Of ALL. I know she can do that herself, but she's a woman. Remember that. Never forget it. What happened should not happen again. She knows perfectly well what she has to do if she finds herself in a similar situation for the good of all. She took too long to obey that strict order from the Circle because she trusts you. And you weren't there to help her. Because of you I almost lost Niko forever. I never thought she had so much guts.
- What do you mean with that?
- I don't say anything. It's just that this is my way of protecting her, that she is still alive. I am saving her from the danger she runs by being with you. Especially with you, Gooseman.
And Ariel, just as she came, disappeared: a thick cloud of silver color enveloped Ariel, and she left.
Only the commander knew what Ariel was saying. It was top secret. That was the only condition that the Circle placed on Niko so that she could belong to Beta Mountain.
At 12 a.m., Niko would be leaving the hospital, so Walsh scheduled an emergency meeting with the rest of the team to determine Niko's new situation, more vulnerable now than ever without his powers, until Q-Ball and the service doctor will give the ok to re-incorporate the implant in Niko's body.
The wrath and rage of a supertrooper washed over the room. He left Walsh's office slamming the door that smashed the door.
The pain and fear of a fragile person washed over him.
He rode his horse Triton, aimlessly, not knowing where to go. He was not prepared for this. For none of this. And everything that happened to Niko was because of him. By Darkstar.
That's what Ariel was referring to: "the further Niko is from me, the less danger she will have."
In Niko's contract to be a Ranger, it is specified that since the degree of danger of his innate powers is not exactly known, he cannot have offspring. Therefore, its implant has a security system. The rest of the Rangers need his implant to activate his powers from them. Niko doesn't need this.
In the event that this device fails, and there is an imminently dangerous situation, she must proceed to her own self-destruction to ensure that her powers are totally annihilated and they do not fall into the wrong hands (such as Killbane's in this case).
Incredibly 6 months ago, Zach and Doc had captured Darkstar on a planet in the Empty Zone.
Gooseman had failed to capture her on different occasions. But they did do that. Wasn't that too easy?
Darkstar had grown tired of running away with Stingray. She wanted to start a new life smoothly, without staining her hands with blood.
Thanks to the valuable information that Darkstar shared with The League of Planets, the Series 5 Rangers managed to get almost all the super-operatives into the psycho-crypt, including Brainchild, who at the time was the leader of a large group of the most dangerous super-operatives. .
Darkstar earned everyone's trust by proving that she had changed. But not much had changed, because ... within the group of bad guys, she was the kindest, right?
Now she belonged to a diplomatic corps of the League of Planets, with her residence in Beta Mountain.
She never trusted Niko. Jealousy? Goose told her that she had nothing to worry about, that he had it all clear, and that Darkstar was water from the past. And he proved it.
Zach gave Darkstar a vote of confidence. People can change.
Doc didn't trust her: not all super-operators are like Goose. Not everyone can change.
And Goose ... he had the "Darkstar love gene" inserted into his artificial DNA. This was superior to him. It's something he couldn't control as a Supertrooper: he and Darkstar had to end up together, it's like saying 2 + 2 = 4.
But Niko appeared in his life from him, and ... things changed inexplicably. He changed thanks to Niko and the rest of the team. He was no longer just a supertrooper. He was also a Ranger. And Darkstar ceased to exist in his life since then. Now Goose had a family to worry about.
2 months ago, Niko's best friend received an invitation to attend a diplomatic party to strengthen humanitarian ties between the different races of intelligent living beings that currently inhabit Earth.
So as a diplomat who she is, when that day came, Niko agreed to accompany her friend Cristal.
-Better, introduce yourself as someone else, Niko. With those clothes, no one will believe that it is you, much less no one will believe that you are a Ranger. You don't look like my Niko !! Give me back to her !!
- Doc! LOL! At a costume party, no one should know who you are. It is about pretending what you are not.
-Well ... if you look at it like this ... you will surely win the first prize. What happens is that it doesn't suit you to be blonde, with green eyes, with that body, with that mind, with ...
- Ranger Walter Hartford! I can't believe what my ears are hearing. But if this reassures you, you should know that Cristy put on a red wig in case someone asks about Niko: She will look like me. LOL.
-Ahhhh, okay, that makes me feel better! Are you trying to confuse me? Women! I can't understand them ... and I don't want to either! They are so funny ...
A few hours later, and after a resounding diplomatic success of brotherhood between the different alien races, while Niko was in the toilets of the festival grounds, a great uproar began in the hall. Gunshots, screams.
Niko ran out of the bathroom to find his empty table. Cristal was not there.
-Niko! Focus, will you? Zach said.
-Capitan, I don't know what happened. I've already told you ten times: Cristal and I went to the bathroom because the red wig bothered her a lot. So I gave her blonde wig to her and she gave me hers. She came out of the bathroom before me. When I heard some shots I ran out and she ...
-The witnesses say that 3 hooded men took Cristal by force. From here on, no testimony is reliable anymore, Goose said.
2 days later, everything was a little clearer.
-How could this happen? Walsh said.
-Sir, I don't know how Stingray has broken into B.E.T.A.'s computers. , That is almost impossible!
Doc couldn't believe what was on the computer screen. He was so confused that he ignored Stingray's message.
"I know you have Darkstar with you. She is mine, and only mine. You have 24 hours to return her to me, or you can now say goodbye to this kind young lady." In the next communication, I will give you the coordinates of the exchange point.
Niko's heartbreaking scream when she saw that the kind young lady was Crystal, left everyone frozen.
If it were up to her, she would wrap Darkstar in a bow and present it to Stingray with pleasure.
While Darkstar tried by day and by all means to get back to Goose, at night, it was he who suffered and suffered with Niko's nightmares. His powers from her were getting more uncontrollable and more powerful. He would take care of her always. They had an emotional and mental bond that no one knew. Only Goose could be Niko's support. And Niko supported him.
Now after that Niko had to have protection 24 hours a day. At night, it was Goose who took care of her. Goose was the only one who could beat Killbane in Niko's mind.
Niko spent 5 days on the premises of Killbane.
She was at the mercy of Killbane's will. Only her powers got in the way of his plans.
She gave Killbane what he wanted. But only mentally. But his powers were running out; his powers were exhausted before the Rangers rescued her.
-Goose, I do not know what is worse: physical violence or mental violence.
-No option is good. But you are not alone. We will get through it together.
- Promise me you won't lie to me. Promise me that what you told me is true is true ...
-Niko, we're on time. He failed to carry out his plan. In addition, your medical examinations confirm this. You have already seen them. There was no physical assault ...
Killbane beat, kicked, hit, humiliated Niko. He played with her. But we don't call all of this aggression.
Since Stingray made an appearance at B.E.T.A. through a communication requesting an exchange between Darkstar and Cristal ... everything turned into chaos. Especially for Doc. He had to find out how Stingray managed to bypass all of Beta Mountain's security systems.
Doc himself had configured them. And it was impossible that there was a failure in them.
-Doc, think. There must be some fault, some hole where he could sneak in.
-Zach, there was not, there is not. I'm sure of it. That transmission must have been made from inside here. From the outside it is impossible.
- Doc, the lives of 2 people are at stake, Zach said. If you really are convinced that Stingray has an accomplice here, in Beta ..., only Darkstar may have been. Find your evidence. We can't accuse her of anything because Wheiner will eat us alive. I don't know why he wants Darkstar here among us when all he wants is to finish off the super-operatives.
-Easy, my captain: he hates Goose so much, that if that is the way to harm him, it is valid\x85. And I'm already at it, Zach.
-Well, I'm going to tell Niko. She should know that we have a lead to follow. And don't tell Gooseman anything right now.
They had to find Cristal, but how?
A few hours later, Doc already had clear evidence of what had happened: Goose's secret key appeared in a message sent to a specific place in the Empty Zone. Whoever did that did not want to leave a trace of the text. And he did well. But Goose could not be. He is a Ranger and would never compromise anyone's safety, not even for Darkstar.
10 minutes after sending that message, "Goose" received another, which due to its large size, could only be a video.
Niko would be unable to read someone's mind to get their computer access codes out. Doc was not, although he could have been (he has the capacity for it).
-Sir, Darkstar is the type. She is perfectly good at getting Gooseman's head codes. She is with Stingray in her personal life ... and in this too.
-Goose, what do you think? Walsh said.
-Commander, after what happened in Wolf Den, I know that Darkstar would never abandon Stingray. She went with him. She killed by and for him. I never believed that this would end now and she wanted to come back with me. Of course, he has all the ballots to be her.
"But the evidence Doc got is not enough to incriminate her," Walsh replied.
-Sir!!! Sorry to interrupt! It is important!! Walsh's secretary said. Incoming call on the secure line.
-Commander, I don't know how it could happen, I followed the protocol and ...
-What's up, Ranger Megan!
-I was in charge of the surveillance of Niko, and she ... she left!
Niko knew, sensed from the start Darkstar's plans. But he said nothing. Goose's well-being was more important. But he couldn't sit idly by.
She inadvertently, inadvertently avoided it, collided with Darkstar in the cafeteria at lunchtime. A touch was enough. She saw it clearly: Killbane sent the message to Darkstar. Darkstar cleared the message for all to see. For all to know. But, if Stingray has Crystal ... why did Killbane send the message? Niko tricked Ranger Megan into leaving his room, direction to the hangar, and with the little Doc taught her about how to manipulate computers ... she left on a ship, address unknown to all, though not unknown to her.
In the interrogation, only Goose was able to break Darkstar:
-You don't get it ?! Killbane found out that I was going to be a mother. Two weeks after that, the doctor told Stingray and me that my baby had died from both of their genetic alterations. And then, Killbane thought that if he had offspring, his son might have his innate powers from him. And who better than Niko to be the mother of her child! You understand !! A son of his and Niko, who would have the powers of both!
He kidnapped Stingray to force me to come here, collect information, and have Niko go alone to find him to save his friend from her. Capture her and ... thus he would kill 2 birds with one stone: he would have an almighty son who in the future would rule the universe, and at the same time, he would take revenge on Goose with what he wants most, with Niko.
-I do not get it! What does Cristal paint in that story? Goose said.
-They were wrong. They. Killbane sent 3 thugs to kidnap Niko at the costume party, I gave him the description of Niko, in blonde wig. But Niko and Cristal exchanged wigs. Those 3 assholes gave Killbane to the friend by mistake. And then, there was no choice but to ask for an exchange between the two. If Niko does not fall into Killbane's hands, he will kill Stingray! And I ... I stumbled upon Niko so that in contact with her, with her powers, she knew the coordinates and ...
"I didn't think you would be so despicable, Darkstar." You are equal to or worse than him. That they!
- Give me a location, said the captain.
"I only know that he is waiting for Niko on a rock in the Empty Zone."
If glances killed, not only Goose would have pierced through Darkstar.
Meanwhile, Niko was already in the Empty Zone, had located the rock and she was preparing to get out of her ship. Before that, she left a message on the AI:
-Tell them, it wasn't their fault. This is up to me. She is my friend and it is better not to put an unnecessary number of lives at risk. Tell them that ...
Suddenly, a loud crash shook the ship, so that Niko lost her balance and fell to the ground.
A tractor beam that came out of the rock, dragged the ship from it without being able to emit any resistance.
When the ship's hatch opened, he was there. Killbane. Staring at her and with an evil grin on his face that horrified her.
-Welcome Lady. I was waiting for her.
-haha! You're not very talkative, are you? Here is your friend. I'm a man of my word, you know? Now give me your gun and your badge.
And she obeyed him.
Niko shuddered when she saw Crystal alive. And Cristal couldn't hold back the tears when hugging her.
A hug that lasted very little.
-I'm not a covenant man so leave before I regret it! And take this trash with you!
With a push, Killbane knocked Stingray to the ground. Niko hadn't even seen him. -You'll take Miss Ranger's ship with you because she won't need it. And Stingray, tell Darkstar that we're up to par. The next time I see you, I kill you.
- Dirty bastard, Stingray said. Maybe I will kill you.
- Do not make me laugh! Out of my sight, the 2 of you! And you, girl ... you shouldn't be angry ...
Niko's ship took off.
Niko would have wanted to hug her friend more, but she shouldn't show her feelings in front of an enemy like Killbane, she shouldn't show her weaknesses, nor should she be fragile.
- Get in my ship, he said. I don't want to see the face of the Runt and the rest of your friends today. I don't usually make deals like this, but be a good girl, and everything will go ...
-Gooseman won't come for me. He is with Darkstar.
-Better for you. Better for us. LOL.
He took her by the arm and pushed her into that ship that seemed more like it would never fly.
It was old but was modified to give it more power. Inside, you could say it was new.
It was like a house: several rooms at the back with a bathroom, a living room, a dining room, a leisure room. Even a gym!
Was it the Killbane house ?!
-Now, give me the knife you have in your leg. Did you think I had forgotten? And he winked at her.
Still looking at him, she threw the knife at his feet. And he, without stopping looking at her, stepped on him with such force that he destroyed him.
-You like my scar? It's a gift your friend made me. The only gift he could give me. And thanks to this, every day I remember that I owe him a great gift for him. Do you want to touch it or is it enough to look at it?
Niko didn't stop looking at him. She did not blink. She knew that physically he had a chance to win. She was just watching now.
The ship took off without any difficulty.
Arrogant. Provocative. To make matters worse, having to hear his hateful voice and ...
Niko was just looking at him. She did not want to enter his game. He liked being the center of attention and she didn't want to give him that taste.
-What do you want? Because I am here? I already told you that Goose won't come for me, and if he did, you would have the minutes counted. He would crush you with one blow.
-Haha! Baby, you're confused. This time I don't want him. Although I know that without touching a hair, I will destroy his horrendous life, for betraying his people and in the future, I will be the master of the universe thanks to you. And his guilt will slowly kill him ... and I'll enjoy it when ...
- If you think I'm going to make things easier for you, you're the one who's confused. I am a Ranger and before that I would rather die.
With a push, he slammed her against the wall, grabbed her neck, pinned her down, and put his face 2 fingers away from hers. He was much stronger. She couldn't part with him.
-Don't touch the "moral", baby. By me you would already be dead. But I need you alive. There are 2 ways to do things: easy or difficult. It depends on you. If you make it easy for me, I'll let you go when I no longer need you.
You are going to give me a son. A son who will inherit your powers and mine.
And this one will make me like an almighty God that not even the Queen will be able to approach me.
Then I'll let you meet your friends and tell them about my plans and especially the Runt, and tell him how much fun we had together.
Anguish. Go to.
She butted him that stunned him, then kicked him in the leg and when she managed to get away from him a little, she kicked him again, now in the stomach that made him stagger. But this was not enough, and from the smack he gave Niko, she fell to the ground.
Blood ran down Niko's face from the forehead (from the head butt) and from the cheek (from the smack).
-I see you don't want things to be easy. Well. I like challenges, otherwise it would be very boring.
Niko could not use his powers. She shouldn't. He should not know that without his plate of hers, she could do "little things". Obviously she, like this, could not spend much energy on her powers because that energy that she needed without her plate, had to come from her "vital energy".
He was stronger. She was smarter. And he had to reserve his energy for the really difficult and necessary moments that were to come.
He grabbed her by the hair and dragged her across the floor until they reached the last door. This was not one of the rooms.
An eerie chill pierced Niko's body and soul: an old mattress on the floor, clothes thrown on a plastic chair, an open curtainless shower, and little else. It was a hut, with chains and anchors on the wall.
-If you earn my trust, you will get privileges. Otherwise, this will be your room. And I remind you, that you're going to spend a long period of time here with me, honey.
He slammed the door shut. He put the lock on. And the noise of his footsteps warned Niko that he went to the cabin.
-Ariel, help me.
The room was completely dark, without any light, without a miserable window through which to look at the stars.
It was a long dark night. Without sleeping.
Many hours passed and the room was still dark. They were not on any planet, there was no Sun nearby. But the ship was moving.
He entered the room and at that moment the light came on. He brought food.
He looked at her, from top to bottom and from bottom to top. The river.
-Come on, Niko. You could have groomed yourself a little, right? You still have blood on your face.
- There is your shower. There you have clean clothes. Do you start or do you want me to start?
He got too close to her. Danger.
She looked. She with her back to him, looking at the wall of the ship. Water ran down his body, cleaning his skin, and healing his wounds. But she felt dirty. She felt Killbane's dirty gaze on her body.
-I can physically become him if that makes it easier for you. Haha!
It's not typical of Killbane to have that condescension with anyone, Niko thought wryly.
The shower ended soon. And he was still there. Looking at her as she dressed.
Suddenly, the ship's on-board navigator texted Killbane. He went .
The ship stopped in a few minutes. They had landed. The door was heard opening and closing. He left.
Crystal will be safe? Or the unfortunate Stingray ... she began to look for an exit point from that her room ...
The hatch of the Ranger-2 opened. Stingray put one foot on the ground and ... didn't give him time to put the other foot down.
Goose had him by the neck, his pistol aimed at his throat. Darkstar crying, grabbed Goose's arm ... and Cristy appeared, she safe and sound.
Now, Niko is missing.
Obviously, Killbane was not at the coordinates the ship had marked. And Stingray didn't know anything else.
Doc was trying, he wanted to find a clue that would bring them closer to Niko. And he worked very hard for it.
-You must eat something, girl. You will need all your strength ...
He whispered into her ear. It was the third night there, with him. On a planet unknown to her. The first night he did not appear in the room. The second forced her to shower in front of him.
Niko couldn't resist even that whisper. She closed her eyes tight. She took a deep breath. She opened her eyes. She looked at him. She looked at that light blue eye, which challenged her.
And she entered his mind. At your wishes. And she gave him what he wanted ... but mentally.
He fell to the ground, passed out, unconscious.
She fell next to him, vomiting her to his insides.
At that time, one of Doc's programs gave an alarm signal.
They had located Niko!
-Commander! Don't ask me how it happened but we have a point where Niko can be.
-Explain yourself, Hartford.
- His implant of her has emitted a signal. She is alive, Lord!
The 3 Rangers along with Q-Ball immediately took off direction to a point of the Empty Zone ... very extensive.
The signal from Niko's implant was so fleeting that they were unable to determine a narrow search area.
But they were closer now.
She was very nervous.
She did not know if her plan was effective. She had to wait to see Killbane's reaction when she woke up. She was crying, in a corner of her room, on the floor.
She had left the ship to run away and away from Killbane.
But it was a desert planet, black, lifeless, with nowhere to run. So she was crying.
He woke up. He smelled of her. He remembered. He smiled and then laughed out loud. He stared at her.
Niko was trembling. She had reasons for it.
-Come on, Niko. It was not that bad! You behaved well! You know? Do you deserve to have some privilege, maybe a little light? Would you like that?
I'm going for some food. I'm starving.
He went. Niko breathed calmly now but had spent much of her strength entering Killbane's degenerate mind without her badge. She had to sleep.
Zach, Doc, Q-Ball, and Goose were waiting for another signal from Niko on the ship. But nothing came. Despair.
The Empty Zone was too extensive, with many uninhabited and inexhaustible planets, with many gigantic rocks, without light ... they could be anywhere and not be able to see them.
-Come on, Niko. We are close to you. Give us another sign.
The wait was driving Goose crazy. He was a supertrooper, and he couldn't do anything else? Wait?
-Gooseman, if anyone can do it, it's her.
Goose looked at the captain. It was clear that he had not thought those words, he had said them out loud and Zach heard them.
-Captain, not even me, being an elite soldier, I have been able to capture Killbane.
Do you want me to be calm thinking that Niko can do that?
- Don't underestimate her, Lieutenant! Niko is as Ranger as you are, like me.
- Yes sir! But she is not a supertrooper!
-But she is Niko, martial arts expert, diplomat, patient and most importantly: she is the smartest of us all.
Blue eyes against green eyes.
Zach's blue eyes against Goose's green eyes.
Killbane's blue eyes against Niko's green eyes.
Irony of fate, right?
Fourth night And nothing had happened yet. Niko ate to regain his strength. She needed them. Killbane appeared. He approached her. He asked for a lock of hair. He's gone.
Niko couldn't sleep. She expected his presence. And he didn't come that night. Nerves.
In the morning he appeared in the room.
-Your pregnancy test was negative.
Niko was not surprised. Ignorant of him.
-Don't look at me like that, I'm not stupid! Darkstar found out the next day that she was pregnant.
Yes, I suppose that the supertroopers are special ... and fast. Although not this time. We will have to practice more, with the Runt's permission, of course ...
His laugh was gross.
Niko was very tired. She must have slept that night. And he couldn't do it.
He fell to the ground, again, without knowledge.
-Zach! Exact point located! We have her!
-Gv! Heading towards those coordinates now! Goose said.
-Q-Ball, have all the resuscitation equipment ready; Doc, you prepare your programs. Goose I want you to carry a suitcase with the kit, first aid, clothes ... and her insignia.
- Capitan, in 3 hours we will be at the fixed coordinates, said GV.
The 4 men looked at each other puzzled. 4 hours was a long time yet.
Hold on Niko!
Something went wrong.
Killbane woke up. He stand up. He said nothing. He looked at her.
But he did not look at her with pride, like the other time. He looked at her with contempt.
Niko was in the corner, on the floor, crying, like the other time and without strength.
He approached her, and with one arm, he lifted her off the ground, grabbing her by the neck.
Niko had no strength even to defend himself.
He slapped her repeatedly. He hit her very hard, until she was almost senseless.
When she wanted to notice, she was tied to the wall of her ass like a dog.
Dammit! He discovered the plan! And now she couldn't escape.
He tore apart the few pieces of furniture in the room. He released his fury. But not all.
-I told you I wasn't stupid! Who do you think you are? A damn stupid telepath who has dared to get into my head and ... did you think I was not going to notice? LOL.
Panic, fear, fury, anger, weakness ... but not a single tear fell from his eyes.
-You've made the worst mistake of your life, Ranger Niko. You are going to pay dearly for it, and your little friend will not have a place to hide in the universe because I plan to finish him off, but first I will tell him what you and I did, how well I had it and how much I enjoyed knowing that You are also the Runt girl!
I'm going to tear you apart slowly, you're going to beg him to kill you. But I won't do this until you give me what I want!
A faint thread of force appeared deep in Niko's soul, but it came too late.
Claws. Claws appeared in Killbane's hands. Claws that sank into Niko's skin, until he found his chip behind her ear. Chip that tore off, threw it to the ground and crushed it with his foot.
That little thread of strength allowed her to laugh out loud at Killbane's face.
-Now my plan B, idiot!
Now I'm dying, and with it the danger ends! I would never allow myself to be the mother of your child.
I told you: I am a Ranger and you are simply ...
She spat out her one eye.
She felt the claws dig into her chest, 2 times. But she had no pain. No longer. He closed his eyes from her. Niko was bleeding to death seriously.
Time stood still at that moment.
The 4 men had entered the zulo; 3 of them were contemplating that cruel image.
The fourth man was already hugging Niko as he tried to loosen those thick chains that kept her on her feet, holding her by his wrists.
Killbane watched the scene, shocked at what he had done, how silly he was, and how cunning she was. Still, he could sense Goose's pain and fear.
And that comforted him.
He felt an enormous pain burning in his chest, his blood burning in his body to the point of believing that she was boiling through his veins. He noticed, he felt, how suddenly that little halo of life faded, of light. He saw the dark darkness.
I think he left without knowing that Captain Zachery Foxx had unleashed all his anger, all his strength in an almost propelling bolt that shot out of his left arm and split Killbane's head in 2.
-Gooseman! Use your badge! said the captain.
Goose hugged Niko, who was already lying on the ground wrapped in a large pool of blood. Still. Cold. No breathing.
-Goose, my friend, your healing powers can save her. Activate your badge. Do it!
Those green eyes have never been so empty and so painful at the same time.
He activated his plate. And he rested his hands on her chest as he kissed her.
A kiss that meant life and death: that kiss that he never dared to give him, that kiss for which he gave him his own life; a kiss that wasn't parting, a kiss that meant that if she left, he would go after her.
That kiss of love, for which he would die with her.
And we will never know if it was that kiss or if it was the power of the healing energy of the Supertrooper, but an intense light enveloped the body of Niko, who for a moment opened his eyes, to see those emerald green eyes cry, and to return to close them later;
while Q-Ball was already with the resuscitation team prepared.
On the ship, everyone agreed not to say everything that had happened.
No one could know, at the moment, the healing ability that Goose's powers had in other people. No one. Because Niko was breathing now.
It was night? It was very dark. And it was cold. In the distance, I hear voices but I can't see anything ...
Now Niko has to try to heal and erase those aftermath that linger in his mind.
She does not want to go to Xanad\xFA.
Killbane's threat was completely annihilated.
Darkstar and Stingray are in the psycho, frozen.
Goose is the only supertrooper alive.
The innate powers of Niko and the healing powers of Goose in bodies foreign to him, could not be corroborated by the intense tests to which they have been subjected;
because Q-Ball, as a scientist that he is, could not fulfill the promise to keep silent what he had seen right there: and he told what nobody had to know.
Zach, who was initially silent about what he saw, could not lie when the Board of Planets questioned him.
Doc's testimony was declared void because of the countless contradictions to his credit.
-Obviously, these powers are a great unknown danger especially for the human race, Senator Wheiner.
We have to be cautious. We do not know what we can face. I vote to make any hint of unknown danger disappear, sir, and this is the thinking of the absolute majority of the League of Planets.
-Aggh, but don't you see it? Are they all blind? We have in our hands the power to be invincible. The power to end the dominance of the Queen of the Crown or any other worthy to challenge us.
Ranger Gooseman and Ranger Niko have repeatedly demonstrated their loyalty and service to us, risking their own lives, saving ours as well.
We need an army of them 2!
The future of the 2 Rangers was in the hands of the interplanetary leaders ... and was it Senator Wheiner who defends Goose and Niko? Zach thought.
-I do not like this at all. This does not look good. This cannot be true, said Commander Walsh. "Sir, I think that after knowing the wish of the Interplanetary Board, the important thing now is that Gooseman and Niko stay alive, if only thanks to Wheiner."
- Yes, but in exchange for what?
A few days later, in a room in an unofficial building, on a remote and unknown planet, Wheiner met with members of the so-called "Black Hand" ...
-Senator, Ranger Goose and Ranger Niko, officially, are not a couple despite having granted them a pardon and having repealed the article for which they could not be together. We have already given the 2 full rights as citizens of the League and our plan has not worked.
- Well, we will change to plan B. We need these 2 to be together, and have children. We need an army that has the innate powers of Gooseman and Niko to be invincible.
Wolf Den failed, but we cannot err now.
These 2, have been on a tightrope for a long time, they risked a lot to be together when they could not, they fought for a forbidden love\x85. and now that we give them permission, now that we need them to be together\x85 now, Gooseman doesn't want that ??
Give me a little more time to fix this.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Niko and Goose say goodbye.
-Niko, never forget it. I love you more than my life. I would die a thousand times in the most cruel way, to save you. You know this, don't you?
-I know, Shane. And do not forget that I love you and I will love you, just as you are, all my life. But you're right. I don't want to, and we can't be a part of Wheiner's plans.
-I do not want them to play with us, I do not want that for our unconditional love, they manufacture an army of soldiers created just to fight, for war. I don't want there to be any more Gooseman soldiers ever again.
-Neither do I, Shane.
We will never allow this to happen. If our destiny is to be far from each other ...
-So, do you agree with me? So ... do we do it?
-Yes. I have it clear. There is no going back.
With tears in their eyes, the 2 Rangers grabbed their luggage and headed for the hangar.
There Doc and Zach waited.
-My Gooseman, do not stop communicating with me. I already instructed you to make it through a secure and encrypted channel. Keep us informed.
-This is done, my friend.
Niko couldn't articulate a word. It was the end and the beginning of a new life. A hug, the real ones, and a kiss on the cheek, while his eyes flooded with tears was the only thing his body could do.
There is no return anymore.
Shane Gooseman and Niko boarded the ship together.
That ship that was the passport for the happiness of the 2.
They were heading unknown, with new names, an invented past, towards a new life of happiness as outlaws, outlaws that they defended so much ... abandoning what united them.
They were going to seek their own happiness, together or separately ...
if the 'others' let them do it.
At the moment, they only have immense pain for what they were losing. When Goose and Niko met, a light appeared in the sky in their lives. Now, that light went out for wanting to make an impossible come true.