A Matter of Trust
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A Matter of Trust
by Red Witch
Summary: Zach's faith in one of his teammates is put to the test.
The disclaimer telling all of you that I don't own any Galaxy Ranger characters has lied it's way into Congress and is trying to get a pay raise. Just another mad idea from my mad little mind. This is from Zach's point of view.
You think I would have learned by now that every time I want to do some family bonding it's going to end up as a disaster. But no. I still haven't learned my lesson.
It was an extremely low level mission. Just escort Ambassador Domani to the Rosadare space station and leave her there. Since we had no other missions at the time I also took Little Zach so we could visit my daughter at the Albert Einstein School for the Gifted for the afternoon. They had a half day at the school and I planned on spending time with my children.
However that wasn't the case.
As soon as we got there and I met up with the kids the rangers got an urgent call. It seemed that Senator Roland Baltine, recently voted out of office was also on the space station and we were to arrest him on several charges including bribery and the selling of dangerous chemicals.
Baltine had been in the news recently. Somehow someone had gotten him on tape taking bribes from mob officials in the men's lavatory at an out of the way space station and sent it in to the news. Along with other evidence that mysteriously appeared about Baltine's involvement with selling dangerous chemicals to the same mob officials.
Apparently one of the mobsters literally ran into a local police station and confessed to everything. Even giving up proof of Baltine's involvement. It was strange. The man was literally scared out of his mind. Like someone had threatened his life or something.
Apparently he was also one of the senators involved in the Supertrooper Project. And Walsh didn't want Goose involved because he felt it would be too personal. Baltine had taken off to the space colony not long after he lost the election to stay at one of his personal luxury quarters there.
Goose took it surprisingly well. He said he understood the reasoning behind it and was more than happy to sit this one out. He even volunteered to watch my kids while we went to go catch Baltine. In fact if I didn't know better, I would swear that he was happy he wasn't going to be there. Like it got him off the hook for something.
I trust Goose with my life but I will never fully understand that man.
Anyway Jessica said it was okay. That she had an interview for a future college prospect later that day anyway. This was not unheard of. One of the advantages of having a child in the Albert Einstein School was that children could qualify for placement at some of the most prestigious universities and research centers as young as ten. Jessica had been categorized as a genius when she was a toddler and was an exceptional student with great skills in computer science and mechanical applications.
She got the mechanical skills from her mother. I still can barely program our Tri-D recorder.
Jessica had already had interviews for pre placement with a few colleges after graduation. Having her live on a space station was a small price to pay for her future education and financial security. At least I didn't screw up her school days like I did with her brother and I wasn't planning on making the same mistake twice.
Goose agreed to take Jessica to the interview and after that he would take them both out to dinner. I was grateful that Shane would watch them for me, even though I wished I could spend more time with my children.
Anyway Doc, Niko and I went to collect Baltine. He was in his suite packing when we informed him he would be under arrest. Then he started to laugh.
"I don't think so Captain," Baltine gave me a smug smile on his fat face. "In fact I think you are going to let me leave this space station without any problems."
"What makes you say that?" Doc asked.
"Because Ranger Gooseman is on this space station. I knew that Supertrooper would be here somewhere so I came prepared," Baltine sneered as he took out a small remote control. "If you value the lives of your children you'd better let me pass!"
"What are you talking about?" I narrowed my eyes.
"That interview your daughter was going for this afternoon?" Baltine smirked. "I set it up. I still have some influence on the Board to make sure that Gooseman wouldn't be involved in this arrest. And I knew you would blindly trust that animal in your children's company. So I arranged a little trap. And if you want your children to get out of it alive you will let me pass."
"What do you mean?" I growled, hate churning in my stomach.
"Over the years we learned about certain chemicals that would interact with the Supertroopers Bio-defenses, temporarily activating them beyond their control," He said. "It's not exactly X-Factor but it's close enough. It's harmless to normal humans but one push of this button and Ranger Gooseman will turn into a slathering beast that will tear your children to ribbons unless you do exactly what I say."
"You're bluffing!" I snapped.
"Am I?" He grinned. "Are you willing to risk your children's lives on it?"
I admit I was terrified. But I also knew Goose. And there was no way I was going to let scum like this get away with threatening my children. I gave a discreet look to Niko, hoping that she would get my meaning.
"Baltine if I were you I would put that down slowly," I warned him. "You're forgetting Goose's Series Five implant."
"No this will temporarily override the control his implant would give him," Baltine snapped. "Now I'm warning you…"
Niko tried to use her powers to grab the remote and Doc sent out one of his tweakers instantly to short circuit it out. But it was too late. Baltine was startled and hit the remote.
"NO!" Niko shouted.
"YOU FOOLS!" Baltine screamed as I grabbed him. "Do you have any idea what you made me do? Your children are as good as dead!"
"No," I told him. "I know Goose and I trust him. He would never hurt my family no matter what!"
"Trust him? You trust that freak?" Baltine hissed. "Captain do you have any idea what that man is? What he was born to be? He is a Supertrooper! A born killer! You can put a badge on him and dress him up in a uniform but underneath he is nothing more than a barely trained animal."
"No, he's not!" I glared at him. "Now come along quietly."
"You've just doomed your children to death," Baltine hissed. "I can't wait to see the look on your face when you realize the mistake you made."
"Just in case Captain we'd better get down there," Doc advised. "And we might as well bring Baltine along for the ride."
"Good idea," I growled as I put the cuffs on him. "Baltine if you think Goose is dangerous, wait until I get some time alone with you!"
We made our way to the lower decks and managed to open the security lock of the room my kids were trapped in. When I opened the door I admit I feared the worst. I can honestly say I was shocked at what I found.
There was Goose, twice as big and as muscular as before. He had reverted to that animal state I had once seen him on Ozark when his implant malfunctioned. Complete with fangs and claws, ripped clothing and his feet were bare.
What really surprised me is that he was running around on all fours chasing a ball my son was throwing with Jessica on his back. He seemed to be having the time of his life.
"That a boy Goose!" Jessica cheered as she hugged him and petted his hair. "Good boy!"
"Rarrrr…" Shane purred as Jessica petted his hair.
"WHAT THE…?" Baltine roared. "WHAT THE DEVIL IS HE DOING?"
"Playing," Niko said simply. "He's playing…fetch."
"WHAT KIND OF SUPERTROOPER IS THAT?" Baltine roared. "THAT'S NOT A SUPERTROOPER!"
"You're right," I smiled. "That is a Galaxy Ranger. I told you Gooseman would never hurt my family."
Shane then noticed Baltine. "You on the other hand might have a problem," I could not resist throwing that last bit in. Shane looked like he was about to pounce on the former senator and tear him to ribbons. And quite frankly, I was tempted to let him.
"Get him away! Get that freak away from me!" Baltine screamed his head off as Shane started to stalk him.
"Well I don't know," Doc drawled. "You claim that you haven't done anything…"
"I'll talk! I'll talk!" Baltine screamed like a little girl. "I'll tell you anything you want to know! Anything! I confess! I confess! I did it! I did it!"
"Including assaulting a Galaxy Ranger with a deadly weapon and attempted murder on Captain Foxx's children?" Doc grinned.
"Grrrrrrrrrrrr…." Shane growled.
"YES! Just please keep that monster away from me!" The former senator screamed like a little girl.
"You're the monster!" Jessica snapped. "Trying to hurt Goose like that!"
"I admit we got a little worried when the gas came out and he first changed," Zach Jr. folded his arms. "Until he rolled over on his stomach because he wanted a tummy rub."
"So what's wrong with Goose?" Jessica asked as she got off Shane's back. "Is he gonna stay like this?"
"I hope not," Doc chuckled. "I don't want the job of housebreaking him."
To this Shane gave him a growl. "Just kidding!" Doc held up his hands in order to show he was only joking.
"There is an antidote right?" I glared at Baltine.
"N-no need for one," Baltine gulped. "The effects of the gas will wear off in a few hours."
"It'd better for your sake," I growled. "Better get him to Q-Ball and the docs just in case."
"Or if that fails we can always call in a vet," Doc joked. To this Shane pounced on him. "HEY! GOOSE NO! OFF! DOWN BOY DOWN!"
"Heh heh heh…" Shane snickered a wolf like snicker as he pinned Doc to the floor.
Needless to say my faith in Goose was justified. And the effects of the gas did wear off. But not before he chased both Doc and Baltine around a bit. After Goose bit Baltine's ankle he even confessed to another senator that had helped him procure the gas as well as all the other people he was involved with.
Goose only chased Doc after he made a stupid joke about a rabies shot after that.
Oh and he kind of broke a few pieces of furniture while doing so.
And then he got outside and started to chase a few squirrels. Then he chased them inside BETA and wrecked a few more things before the effects of the gas wore off and he finally calmed down.
Unfortunately he got riled up again after Doc took a few pictures and posted them on the walls while he was in that condition. So again Goose chased him around BETA and broke more pieces of furniture. Then of course there was the small matter of all the squirrels in the cafeteria and a little incident with a coffee machine. Then Commander Walsh got a bit angry and started to chase Goose and Doc around with his blaster waving while the rest of us chased him around.
It was a very hectic afternoon at BETA.
But still I wouldn't trade my friendship with Goose for anything in the world. Not even a rolled up newspaper.