bridge_carson: (SPD trio of awesome)
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The shuttle's pilot may not have been terribly concerned about his extra passenger, but when Cruger caught sight of the young man who was definitely *not* one of his Rangers stepping out on to the hangar bay floor, the look he shot Bridge was one that promised a very lengthy conversation later. Fortunately for him there were more important things to deal with. Like that guy currently trying to break through Earth's defenses.

"Cadets," he said. "I need you to come with me to the command center immediately. Boom," he turned to Dr. Manx's assistant, "show Mr... Harris, is it? To the B-Squad's common room. He can wait there until the immediate crisis has passed."

With that he turned and exited the hangar bay, clearly expecting the cadets to follow. And follow they did.

Once they reached the command center, Cruger strode purposefully over to the center console, pressing a button that caused a hologram to appear and start slowly rotating in mid-air. Bridge and Z exchanged looks- they weren't exactly unfamiliar with the guy, after all. Not that their teammates or commanding officer *knew* that.

"Emperor Gruumm, the leader of the Troobian Empire," Cruger said, gesturing at the hologram.

"Ew!" Syd made a face. "A serious contender for one of those makeover shows."

"He’s merciless and will stop at nothing to conquer what he sets out to," Cruger continued.

"The Helix Nebula," Sky said knowingly."

Cruger nodded. "That is just the beginning. He’s after this galaxy."

Z shot one more glance at Bridge before turning to Cruger. "You- you sound like you know him," she said hesitantly."

"Our paths have crossed before," Cruger admitted. "I’ve set the A-Squad to the front line of the Helix Nebula."

"The A-Squad’s gone?" Ghost frowned.

"But who’s gonna protect Earth?" Z wondered.

"You. I'm elevating your team to active status. And that brings me to this: Doctor Manx." He turned towards her.

Kat stepped forward. "As you're already aware, the Judgement Scanner is an SPD officer's best friend. It is, as of now," she pressed a button on the tablet computer she was carrying, "also your morpher. To morph, just hold it out in front of you and say 'SPD, Emergency.'"

"And now, your first mission..."

* * *

"Man, when Cruger said he was sending us on a mission, I totally thought he meant we'd be fighting giant robots and stuff, not... looking for shoplifters in Parkington Market," Ghost complained.

Yet again, Z and Bridge exchanged a look. This time, it was because years in Fandom had taught them that you really shouldn't *say* things like that, because it never ended well. And now Bridge could feel something in the back of his mind, a nagging sensation telling him that there's something here he really ought to be paying more attention to.

With a frown, he slipped off a glove and scanned the area.

"Guys! Check this out!"

"What's going on, Bridge?" As usual, Z was the first to notice that *he'd* noticed something.

"Massive amounts of post-energetic fields, moving in geometrical patterns similar to those used by intergalactic search parties," Bridge explained.

"They're looking for something," Sky realized.

Ghost let out a snort of laughter. "Yeah, hence the term 'search party'. Finally, some action!"

“This is all your—“ Z trailed off for a moment, then finished the sentence with. “Fault. JACK?”

An African-American boy with dreadlocks stopped trying to sneak away and turned around slowly to face them. He was carrying a... well, a strange metal thingy. “Oh, hey, Z,” he said in a clearly hostile tone. “What’s up?”

“What’s up? When did you get out of jail, that’s what’s up!”

“A while ago, you know,” he said with a shrug.

”You could have called me!”

”No, actually, I couldn’t have,” Jack told her. “You didn’t exactly leave a forwarding address.”

Z frowned. ”SPD knew where I was.”

”Whatever.”

Whatever retort Z had been planning, it was cut off as several dozen Krybots teleported in and surrounded the six of them.

Several dozen versus six, as one might imagine, is sort of a problem. Even when five of those six are trained fighters.

"So I've got- oof!" one of the robots landed a kick to Bridge's midsection. "A suggestion."

"What's that?" Sky asked.

"Wouldn't now be a good time to morph?"

"...Good point," Sky admitted. Pulling out their scanners, the cadets all shouted the morphing call, and moments later were spandex-clad.

"What the- I think there's been some kind of mistake," Sky said as he looked over at Ghost, clad in the Red Ranger's uniform, and then down at himself and his blue-wearing-state.

"Look, could we maybe talk about this later?" Ghost pleaded. "Like when we're not surrounded by robots trying to kill us?"

After they fought off the Krybots, the Rangers turned to Jack, who had amazingly not taken this opportunity to run off. Maybe he still had some feeling for Z after all. “They seemed really interested in you,” Ghost observed.

“No, not him,” Z said. “That thing you’re carrying, Jack, what is that?”

"Oh, this? Just some old junk. You can't eat it or wear it, so I was just gonna toss it..." Jack told them.

"Actually... I think this might be what they were looking for. Mind if we?" Bridge was already reaching out to take the strange-looking device from Jack's hands.

"Yeah, yeah, sure," Jack shrugged. "Saves me a trip to the dump." He completely ignored Bridge's outstretched hands and gave the thing over to Z before darting off into the alley.

"We'll bring this to Cruger," Sky said decisively, snatching the device from Z's hands.

"Yeah, good idea," Bridge replied, taking it from Sky in turn. "Let's bring it to Cruger. Or... we could, like, not bring it to Cruger, I mean just not right away, but like later, you know, maybe after we check it out first, give it a little once over—"

"Yeah, that's against regulations," Sky grabbed it back.

"Not according to the S.P.D. handbook," Z interjected. "Rule 473-b: Rangers on active field duty have the authority to investigate any possible leads that may pertain to their investigation."

"Huh?"

Z took advantage of Sky's momentary bewilderment to take the device out of his hands again. "What?" She shrugged. "I *read*. Now who's with me?" She grinned as Bridge's hand shot up in the air immediately, with Syd and Ghost nodding in agreement moments later. Sky just sighed and shook his head.

"Fine, we'll do it your way," he grumbled.

Z led the group of cadets through the streets of Newtech City and down into an alley she was fairly sure none of her teammates had ever ventured near. She certainly would've avoided the place if she could've. Marching right over to one of the dumpsters, she banged authoritatively on the lid.

"Piggy! Get out here! It's Z!"

The lid of the dumpster popped up to reveal the aforementioned Piggy. "Yikes! SPD!" he yelped, making an attempt to close the lid back up.

"It's cool, Piggy. They're with me." Z said, leaning over and holding the lid open.

"That's supposed to make me feel better? I may spend time in dumpsters, but I haven't been living under a *rock*, Delgado. I know what you've been up to for the past two years."

"Is it alright if I go wait on the street where it's—" Syd started to say.

"Safe?" Bridge suggested.

"Clean?" Ghost offered.

"What he said," Syd nodded and pointed at Ghost.

"Hey!" came the offended reply from Piggy.

Z decided to interrupt before an argument could break out. "Found some space junk, Piggy."

"Oh... space junk..." *Now* he was interested, Z could tell. At least, judging from the blue snot that suddenly started dripping from his nostrils.

"Ew!" Syd and Bridge reacted in unison.

"Worthless trash, I’ll throw it away for you," Piggy tried.

"Let's go. He’s wasting our time," Sky insisted haughtily. Z, however, knew better. And that's why she'd made sure to acquire the appropriate bribery material on the way here.

"Bridge!" Obediently, he handed her the brown paper bag he'd been holding. Z opened it up and dangled it in front of Piggy's face. "Mmmm, half eaten baloney sandwich. Must have been in the trash for weeks. And it's all yours if you tell us what we want to know."

"Ah, fine. All that is your run-of-the-mill proton accelerator. The only thing that can make a spaceship capable of getting through a Sirian Space Web, like the one protecting the planet. There’s only one on Earth, and that must be it."

He might have elaborated, except at that moment, a Bluehead robot appeared in the alley.

"Oh! It looks like he may want it too!" Piggy exclaimed, grabbing the modly sandwich and slamming his dumpster lid shut.

"Hand it over or be destroyed," the robot intoned.

"Re-" Sky started to say, but was cut off by Ghost.

"Ready?" Ghost asked.

"Ready!" Bridge, Syd, and Z chorused. Sky just looked annoyed.

"SPD, Emergency!" together, all five held out their Judgement Scanners: now with morphing capability! In a flash of light and a flurry of complicated arm-movements, the cadet uniforms were replaced by brightly-coloured spandex for the second time that day.

As the Rangers charged the Bluehead robot, the lid to Piggy's dumpster creaked open once more and he crept out, snatching up the Proton Accelerator and sneaking out of the alley. Gruumm would reward him for this, he was sure.

Though the Rangers quickly gained the upper hand seeing as it was five against one, the robot had another trick up its sleeve: that thing where it gets really, really big and starts threatening to stomp the city to bits.

Fortunately, Power Rangers are prepared for this sort of thing what with their giant robots and all. And this time it wasn't made out of furniture.

* * *

Fresh on the heels of their first victory, B-Squad gathered in the command center for a debriefing from the commander. Cruger looked over the five of them as they lined up in front of him, meeting the eyes of each of his Rangers in turn, and then he began to speak:

"I congratulate you for such noble instincts and exceptional teamwork."

"Yes!" Bridge couldn't help cheering just a little. His pleased expression quickly faded to embarassment as Cruger's gaze snapped back towards him, the big blue dog clearly *not* amused at being interrupted.

"But you disobeyed a direct order," he continued, disappointment evident in his tone. "Gruumm got what he wanted and now they have unobstructed passage into our galaxy. Great battles lay ahead for all of us. You may make fine Rangers one day, but today is not that day. Dismi-" his dismissal of the B-Squad was cut short as one of the other officers spoke up.

"Sir, we're recieving a transmission. It's from A-Squad." Cruger's glare at the officer had been just as fierce as the one directed towards Bridge- until he heard the words "A-Squad".

"Put it on screen," Cruger commanded. Above the central console, a holographic image of the A-Squad Rangers appeared.

They were under attack, and clearly outnumbered.

"...SPD! We’ve been overrun!" came Charlie's voice. "It’s a trap! We’re receiving enemy fire—what? Oh our coordinates are—ahh!" The transmission flickered one final time and then fizzled out, leaving an eerie silence to descend on the command center.

If A-Squad was gone... what were they supposed to do now?

[ooc: And their adventures as Power Rangers begin! Mucho thanks to my partner-in-fighting-crime [livejournal.com profile] multiplez, of course. Some dialogue taken from "Beginnings" 1 & 2, "Confronted", and "Walls". Don't worry, we're not gonna transcribe every episode for you guys ;)]
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November 2011

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