#03 - "All Aboard!, part 2" (Originally Written In: 2016)|
[ Song du Jour | Close ]
Pickpocket materialized in the training room, near where Entoborg and Blackjack were standing. They looked over at her. "I'm not going back there!" She exclaimed.
"Whoa," Entoborg approached her. "What do you mean by that?"
"Two Power Rangers sent me packing. They had swords and guns, and shot freaky looking dinosaur things at me! You never said that there'd be Rangers!"
Blackjack walked over and tapped Entoborg on the shoulder, motioning for him to come over to a remote corner, out of earshot of Pickpocket. "Do you really think there are Power Rangers down there?"
Entoborg shook his head. "She's not the brightest bulb on the tree. She probably saw some cosplayers or kids in Halloween costumes and got scared."
"She does have that older woman half. Maybe there's some senility at play?"
"It's a shame when a monster's mind starts going."
"We should put her down," Blackjack mused. "A nice, humane destruction would be fitting."
"What? You can't do that!" He noticed that he was getting loud and quickly lowered his tone. "What would Clerica think if we just started killing off monsters that failed after one try?"
"She'd thank us for thinning out the ranks of useless monsters."
"Hm... Good point."
"Well, mon ami, you've got the blasting capability. You get the honors."
Entoborg sighed. "I suppose. -- Hey, wait a minute! If we destroy this monster, then who's going to go down and see to these so-called 'Power Rangers'? I rather like living, you know."
"Me, too." Blackjack looked over Entoborg's shoulder at Pickpocket. "Maybe we should send her back down there, but with some new powers and some more Spectres."
"Sounds like a plan. We'll let her rest a bit, then we'll power her up and send her down with more reinforcements."
-"Hello?"- Riley struggled to open his eyes as the pain started to overtake his body once again. -"Kai! This one's waking up!"-
"Where... Where am I?" Riley looked around at the exam room that he was in. He saw a still-unconscious Chase lying on a nearby bed. "Chase!" He sat up, but was quickly pushed back down by one of the attending nurses.
"Whoa, cowboy!" She said as she pushed Riley back down. "You don't want to dislodge your IV."
"IV?" Riley looked down at his arm and saw the needle. "W-what happened?"
"You and your friend took a nasty spill out there," Kai said, walking into the exam suite. "We brought you here to administer first aid." He approached Riley's bed and shook his hand. "I'm Kai Chen, and, according to your chart..." He picked up a tablet and scrolled through the pages on the screen. "...Your name is Riley Griffin. Is that right?" Riley nodded. "Excellent." He looked at the monitor. "Your vitals all seem to be in order. What happened out there?"
"My friend over there," Riley said, gesturing toward Chase, "is he going to be okay?"
Kai scrolled through the charts. "Oh, that's not good."
His eyes widened. "What? What's wrong?"
"It says here that your friend is playing possum to hide from his girlfriend." He smirked.
"Really?" He noticed Kai's smirk. "You..."
Kai snickered. "He's fine. He's just sleeping."
"Again? We just slept for seventeen hours on the plane. I mean, sure, Chase needs more sleep than most people, but, geez..."
"Wait. Seventeen hours on a plane?" Kai looked over at Chase, then back to Riley. "Where are you two from?"
"Amber Beach, California," Riley answered.
"Actually, I'm from New Zealand," Chase added between snores.
"You ARE awake!"
"No, I'm not."
Kai rolled his eyes. "You two must be good friends. You argue like you're brothers!" He handed the tablet to the attending nurse. "You and your friend should be fine in a couple of hours. Now, what happened to you two?"
"Well, what had happened was..."
Clerica walked into Xityrant's quarters. Per usual, he was facing several view screens, all of which were replaying the battle between Pickpocket, Chase, and Riley. "Excuse me?"
He waved his hand, and all of the view screens went dark. "What happened?" He asked in a gruff, raspy voice.
"Had you offered to help, maybe things would have gone better. Instead, you just sit up here and wave your hands, expecting us to just blindly follow you, and--" He waved his hand, causing her to go mute. Upon realizing that she was no longer projecting a voice, she stomped her foot and crossed her arms in frustration.
Xityrant sighed. "Why am I surrounded by such insolence?" He waved his hand again, and the two henchmen appeared in the room. Entoborg and Blackjack bowed in respect to their master. "You two," he growled, turning his throne toward them, "what happened?"
"It's all Entoborg's fault, Sire," Blackjack quickly responded, throwing his partner under the proverbial bus. "I wanted to send down a stronger monster, but he said that Pickpocket would be okay, since it's just a first attack, and -- OUCH!" Entoborg smacked the back of his head.
"If you're finished lying to our leader," Entoborg spoke, "I'd like to say that we didn't think that there would be Power Rangers down there. If those two weren't there, then our plan would have had more success."
Clerica rolled her eyes and tapped her foot. She motioned toward her mouth.
"I'll give you back your volume when I'm ready." Xityrant stood up and approached the two henchmen. "You two had better not fail again, or else."
"'Or else,' what?" Blackjack asked. Clerica's eyes widened and her jaw dropped.
"I'd have that same expression if I wasn't a robot," Entoborg commented, pointing at Clerica.
Xityrant got very close to Blackjack. "What?"
"I want to know what you've got planned for us if we fail again."
Xityrant glanced over at Entoborg, who bowed in allegiance. He looked back at Blackjack, still inches away from his face. "Are you serious?"
Blackjack gulped. "Less so by the minute..."
"Let's just say that, should you - YOU - fail, I'm going to be the last thing you see. Understood?" Blackjack nodded. "Now, begone, you two." He waved his hand, and the two monsters were teleported back to their prior location. He waved again, and Clerica's voice was returned. "Think he bought it?"
"I'll believe it when I see it," she replied, "but I *am* impressed that you actually got out of your chair. I was starting to think that your legs didn't work."
"Oh, my body works, all right," he said as he walked toward her, smirking. "Wanna see?"
She looked him up and down. "Maybe later. I've got... Things to do."
"Mm-hmm. Gonna go and diddle your skittles?"
She blushed. "I just... Bye." She turned and ran out of the room.
Xityrant smirked. "Oh, yeah. She wants me. Can't say as I blame her, though. If I were anyone else, I'd want me, too."
"...And, that's the story."
Kai was typing the tale into his tablet. "Fascinating. So, you and Chase are - or, at least, WERE - Power Rangers?" Riley nodded. "That's awesome!"
Chase woke up and propped himself up in his bed. "It is?"
"Yeah! For a while, we had Rangers running around here. I was even on a team back in the late '90s. I was the Blue Ranger."
"I didn't know that New Zealand had its own Ranger teams," Chase said. "You'd think I would've heard about them on the news or something."
Kai looked over at Riley. "Do you want to tell him?"
Riley looked past Kai at Chase, then back to him, shaking his head. "Nah. Too much reality at once would blow his mind."
"No, I mean it. His head would literally explode." Kai nodded. "So, where exactly *are* we, anyway?"
"I'll let you guys get dressed, and we'll go and meet the head of the organization."
"What about lunch?" Chase asked. "I think we ordered food."
Kai turned around. "You wouldn't be missing much. Trust me."
-"Food cart!"- A voice rang out.
"All right!" Chase pulled his tray table in front of him. "Bring it on!"
An older lady walked in, pushing a giant covered cart. She pulled out a tray and set it on Chase's table. "You remind me of my great-grandson!" She took the lid off of the tray. "Eat up!" She looked over to Riley. "Did you order a tray, sonny?" Riley glanced over at Chase's offerings and vigorously shook his head. "Suit yourself!" She put the lid on the cart and pushed it out of the room.
Chase looked at the offering, and then looked at Kai. "So, the head of this hospital wants to meet with us?"
Kai smirked. "Aren't you going to eat your *delicious* lunch?"
"Ha, ha," Chase replied, dryly. "You're straight comedy, aren't you?"
"Not usually," Kai commented. "C'mon. I'll meet you by the Nurses' Station in ten minutes." He walked out of the room.
Chase and Riley got out of their beds and started to change into their regular clothes. Riley noticed Chase's boxers. "Spongebob underwear? Really?"
He looked down and quickly grabbed his jeans. "I happen to enjoy its rich storytelling." He looked at Riley's boxers. "And, you're one to talk."
"Powerpuff Girls?" Riley looked down, then back at Chase, slightly blushing. "Mm-hmm, that's what I thought."
"This doesn't leave this room."
"You got it, Bubbles," Chase said, smirking.
At the Nurses' Station, Kai was chatting with Kaori about the Ranger technologies that were being worked on. "And then, when the weapons are combined..."
"Sorry to interrupt, Kai, but we're ready to go," Riley spoke.
Chase saw the young lady and was instantly smitten. "Riley! Never interrupt a lady," he said as he approached her, "especially one as lovely as this lass here." He took her hand in his and kissed it. "I'm Chase, and you are...?"
Kaori giggled. "I'm Kaori, one of the technical assistants here."
Kai grabbed their hands and pulled them apart. "We're not here to play 'Love Connection.' We have an appointment that we have to get to. Kaori, if you'll excuse us, we'll see you later." He looked at Chase. "Come on." He walked away, dragging Chase behind him.
Riley held back. "I'm sorry for him. He can be a little too friendly sometimes. I'm Riley, and I'm late for that meeting. Bye!" He ran to catch up with them.
Kaori watched the hilarity ensue down the hall. "Boys..."
The three of them approached a large double door. Kai pressed a button on the intercom. -"What's the password?"- A female voice spoke.
He sighed. "Kendrix, it's me. Let me in."
-"Not unless you know the password..."- There was a sing-song tone to her voice that Riley picked up on, causing him to smirk.
"Must we do this in front of our guests?"
-"High on a hill was a lonely goat herd..."-
Kai rolled his eyes and pressed the button. "Yodel-ay, yodel-ay, yodel-ay-hee-hoo."
-"I can't believe that you actually did it!"-
"That makes two of us," Chase added.
Kai glared. "Are you going to let us in?"
-"You knew that I would."- A buzzer sounded, and Kai pulled the door open, revealing a very lavish office space. As they entered, Chase and Riley marveled at the decorations. "Have a seat, gentlemen." Kai sat in a chair, and Chase and Riley sat on a leather sofa. A blonde woman in glasses approached them. "So, you're the two would-be heroes that Kai told me about. Can I offer you a beverage?"
"Boy, this hospital's a pretty swanky place! I'd love an L&P, if you've got it," Chase replied.
"I don't think --"
"Sure thing!" The blonde woman wrote down Chase's request, then looked at Riley. "And, for you?"
"Um... Do you, by any odd chance, have Dr. Pepper Red Fusion here? I haven't had that in *ages*!"
"I'm pretty sure we can get that," she said. "And, for you, Goat Herder?" She smirked.
"Water," Kai said, dryly.
"Okay, so that's two fantastic Earth beverages for our guests, and bland old water for this guy. I'll put this in, and it should be here in a jiffy!" She walked over to her desk and punched their drink orders into a tablet. After a few seconds, she walked back over to them. "Have you heard anything about us, yet?" Chase and Riley both shook their heads. "Well, allow me to begin. I am Doctor Kendrix Morgan, and this is the central offices of the Terra-Quasar Group, known by its acronym of 'TQG' by the masses." Riley raised his hand. "Yes?"
"I'm sorry. 'Doctor' Morgan? You don't, by any chance, have a daughter named Kendall, do you?"
"I had a niece named Kendall that I haven't seen since we left the Earth on the Terra Venture space colony all those years ago. Do you know her?"
"She's an uptight pain in the butt," Chase instantly replied. Riley elbowed him in the side. "Ow!"
"Pardon my friend, Dr. Morgan. Kendall was our employer at the Amber Beach Dinosaur Museum, and was also the brains behind our Ranger team."
Kendrix's eyes widened. "She was a Ranger? Awesome! -- Wait, you said 'our' Ranger team." She looked at the two of them. "You two were Rangers?"
"We fought some ugly purse monster outside the Airport, when our powers gave out," Chase explained. "Right homely looking bugger, too."
"We must have had some energy flux with our Energems," Riley added, "unless - sorry to burst your bubble, Chase - it's because we're not on Earth anymore."
"Wait, what?" Chase asked.
"This is all quite fascinating," Kendrix commented. "You two, with your Ranger experience, could be the answer to our prayers! Kai, who do we have ready for initiating Codename: RANGER?"
Kai stood up and walked toward her. "Well, of the recruits from last year, we have three that have shown great promise, but we need five to fully initiate the project."
"What about these two?" Kendrix pointed at the guys. "They've already been Rangers, so they'll know how to work on the field. Think about it, Kai: Whatever sent that purse monster down is probably some new evil force! My brother's project is two candidates short of being ready to go, and having two veteran Rangers - that my own niece worked with, no less - on our side would probably solve the problem 1-2-3!"
"Phoenix won't like not being Red, and I don't want to hear him whine about it..."
"I'll deal with him if he acts up." She knelt down in front of Chase and Riley. "What do you guys say? Will you be Rangers for us and lead our own team to victory?"
"Sure, why not?" Chase answered.
"I heard you say something about a Red one. Which of us would get to be that one?"
"Does it matter, Riley? We get to help people."
"Good, then Riley's the Red one. Chase, you're the Blue Ranger."
"Wait, what? Why don't I get to be the Red one?"
"Shouldn't have called my niece an uptight pain in the butt," she replied, standing up. She looked at Riley. "Well? Will you help us?"
"I don't know if I'm ready to lead an entire team, though."
Kendrix and Kai looked at each other. "He's ready," they said in unison.
"My brother and the technicians will brief you on what Codename: RANGER is all about, including a brief tutorial about the artillery and combat maneuvers. By that point, the monster will probably be back, and you'll be thrust into battle." She walked back behind her desk. "Isn't this fun?"
"What about our drinks?" Chase asked.
"Oh, right. Kai?" He nodded, walking over to a sliding door in the wall. He opened it, revealing everyone's requested beverages. "You can take them on your way out. My brother will meet you outside. Welcome to TQG!"
"This is quite the efficient organization you have here, Dr. Morgan," Riley said, taking his Red Fusion from Kai. He opened the bottle and took a sip. "Delicious!"
Chase took his L&P from Kai, opened it, and took a sip. He sighed. "Tastes like home. Thank you!" He stopped. "Sorry about calling your niece uptight." He smiled. "Are we cool?"
"You're still the Blue Ranger," she said, smirking.
Chase's smile turned into a frown. He sipped his L&P again, and his smile returned. "How can I be mad when I have you?" He kissed the bottle, and followed Riley out of the office.
Kai walked over to Kendrix's desk. "Those two, really?"
"They're fun!" Kai had a deadpan expression. "Oh, come on! Don't they remind you of you and Leo back when you two first met?"
"Yes." Kai sipped his water. "And, I don't have the energy to go through that again."
Brandon was waiting down the hall from his sister's office, sitting in a chair. When he saw Chase and Riley approach, he stood up and brushed off his lab coat. When they got to him, he shook their hands. "You two must be Chase and Riley." He hesitated, still shaking their hands. "Which of you is which?"
Riley pulled his hand back, breaking the handshake. "I'm Riley, and this is Chase."
"My sister tells me that you're going to help refine our Ranger technologies. That's great news, because we can use any help we can get!"
"Don't you guys, like, have an entire fleet of scientists working on this?" Chase asked. He looked down at the still-continuing handshake. "Um...?"
Brandon noticed that he was still holding Chase's hand and immediately broke the handshake. "I'm so sorry! Your skin is SO SOFT! It's like a cloud!" He shook his head. "My goodness. Um, yes, we do have a large staff working on Codename: RANGER, but all I have to go on are the news reports of my sister's and Kai's team fighting Scorpius and Trakeena. It's not really that much to work from. I can possibly work with what you guys have and enhance our arsenal with your data."
"Who are we going to be working with?" Chase asked.
"Your sister mentioned that we'd be the Red and Blue Rangers. If your team is like ours, there's still Black, Green, Pink, Gold, Aqua, Graphite, Purple, and Silver."
Brandon's jaw dropped. "That's..." He counted on his fingers. "Seven, eight, nine... TEN of you?!" Chase nodded.
"Eleven, technically, if you count Albert and Kendall's Purple Ranger powers separately."
"We only have five at the moment: Red and Blue, obviously, but there are also templates for Yellow, Green, and Pink."
"Yellow! That's the color we were missing!" Chase exclaimed.
"I always thought something seemed off. Maybe that's why we had those yellow dinosaur teeth sashes on our outfits."
"Good point." He sipped his L&P some more. "This stuff is AMAZING!"
"Would you like to meet the rest of your team?" Brandon asked.
"Please," Riley replied.
"Sure, why not?"
"I'll call over to the lab and have them meet us there. By the time we get there, they should be waiting. C'mon!"
"All right, Pickpocket," Blackjack called, walking back into the practice room, "your vacation's over. It's time for you to go back down there and battle those so-called 'Power Rangers'!"
"I don't think so," the monster's younger voice spoke. "You can't make me! You're not my real dad!"
Blackjack growled. "Why, you insufferable little wench! I have half a mind to --"
"Whoa, cowboy," Entoborg interrupted, grabbing onto Blackjack and holding him back. "Why don't you go... Somewhere else? Calm down. I've got this."
He took a deep breath. "Fine." He turned and walked back out of the room.
Entoborg watched him leave, and then turned back toward Pickpocket. "Now, you don't want to go back down there, right?"
"You don't want to face those so-called 'Power Rangers,' right?"
"You know you don't stand a snowball's chance in Hell of winning, so you'd rather wimp out and hide up here, right?"
"Right. -- Wait, what?"
"Oh, yeah," Entoborg said. He started to pace around. "You know that you're no match for those 'superheroes,' so you'd rather just sit up here and watch reruns of 'Judge Sheila' while snacking on bon-bons. Certainly, those mighty Power Rangers have already scared you off, and it was only two of them. Wait until the Intergalactic Press hears about this. They'll have a field day with it!"
Pickpocket growled. "Nobody makes a fool out of me! I'll teach those Rangers a thing or two! Lemme at 'em!"
"Oh, so you *want* to go down and fight them?"
"That's what I said!" She started jumping around and waving her fists, like a boxer. "I'll rough 'em up! I'll give 'em what-for!"
"Would you like some enhancements to your abilities first?"
"Nope! I'm fine with what I've got! ¡Adíos!" She teleported away.
Entoborg looked back toward the door. "Okay, you can come back in now!"
Blackjack walked in. "Is she gone?"
"Yep. It was easy to convince her, too."
"Think she'll win?"
"Not a chance."
Brandon led Riley and Chase into the Lab. "Riley, Chase, I'd like for you to meet your new fellow Rangers," he spoke, pointing toward each of the three teens. "This is Gabriela, Phoenix, and Kaori." He turned toward the three teens. "This is Riley, and this is Chase."
"We've met," Kaori said. "Good to see you boys are doing better!" She smiled at Riley.
Chase, picking up on the smile, immediately stepped in front of both Riley and Brandon, taking Kaori's hand in his own. "It will be a pleasure to fight alongside you." He leaned in to kiss her hand, but she pulled it away. "Oh, you like playing hard-to-get, eh? Chase likes a challenge!" Riley rolled his eyes.
"He's worse than you, Phoenix," Gabriela commented, playfully nudging at her friend. "You'd better watch out!"
"Please," Phoenix scoffed. "I'm twice the ladies' man that he is!"
"That's big talk coming from you," Gabriela said, "but I'm afraid of what will happen if I ask you to prove it."
"I did that once with Chase." Riley shuddered. "The horror..."
Chase sighed, grinning. "Ah, Spring Break in Los Angeles. That was the best week of my life!"
Brandon coughed, trying to get their attention. "ANYWAY, you five have been selected to be the initial candidates in TQG's long-term project, Codename: RANGER. If you follow me, I'll show you samples of your arsenal." He led them to a long table, which had various themed weapons on it. "This is your Rail Morpher. When you insert one of these Engine Chargers into it and lower the arm here, it will transform you into a Power Ranger! Each of you will have your own weapon, which has an elemental-themed attack with it. We will dive more into those later." He walked over to a standing video monitor, which was playing footage of several colored trains zooming around. "On this view screen, you see your new Rail Riders. These powerful battle vehicles were developed by TQG, along with the Venture Capital Department of Transportation, and will utilize the city's existing mass transit rails to get you from our station to various points in the city as quickly as possible. Any questions?"
Chase raised his hand. "Trains? You built an entire Ranger arsenal around *trains*? Why?"
"As a kid, I loved trains. When given the chance to work on the designs for Codename: RANGER, I channeled my passion into it and came up with what you see before you."
"Also," Kaori added, stepping forward and facing the group, "using trains as a design template allowed for TQG to work with the city to come up with a line of defense that is not only efficient, but will also not completely destroy the city should a large-scale monster battle arise."
"Makes sense, I suppose," Chase said.
"What do the outfits look like?" Phoenix asked. "I trust they look awesome, right? I mean, I've got to impress the ladies, and I want to look good on the field!"
"I went for a very minimal approach with the designs," Kaori replied, "but--" She was cut off by a blaring alarm. "What's that?"
"Mr. Morgan!" One of the scientists ran into the room and changed the channel on the screen. "That monster from before is back! Look!"
The seven of them crowded around the screen and watched Pickpocket land with about a dozen Spectre fighters. "Look who's back," Riley spoke.
"That thing is the big monster? It looks like Gabi's purse," Kaori commented.
"It does, too!" Gabriela snickered. She quickly realized that her friend was mocking her purse and nudged her. "Hey!"
"Ow! It's true!"
"Okay," Brandon said, "it's show time." He grabbed the five Engine Chargers and handed them out, followed by the scientist with the Rail Morphers. "You guys know how these things work. Now, it's time to destroy that monster, once and for all. Chase and Riley are veteran Rangers, so follow their lead. Ready to ride, guys?"
"I'm still a little cloudy on the specifics of how this all works," Gabriela answered.
"It's more of an explanation than we got when we hit the battle field the first time," Chase commented.
"We're wasting time, guys," Riley interjected. "One question, though: How do we quickly get to the monster from here?"
"Good question. Press that yellow button on your morpher, right there."
"This one?" Riley pressed it, and was teleported away in a streak of red energy.
Chase smiled widely as he watched Riley's energy beam fly away. "That's awesome!" He pressed the button on his morpher, and teleported away in a streak of blue energy.
"I can't believe that I'm not the Red Ranger. I'm not even the Blue one."
Kaori rolled her eyes. "Hope you get over yourself soon, Phoenix." She pressed the button, and teleported away in a streak of pink energy.
"Aw, cheer up. At least the green will match your school jacket!" Gabriela pressed the button on her morpher, and teleported away in a streak of yellow energy. "Whee...!"
"Well, green is the color of money. Maybe it's not that bad after all." Phoenix pressed the button, teleporting away in a streak of green energy.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the defenders of the galaxy." Brandon sighed, shaking his head. "Oy..."
Pickpocket was walking through the Downtown area of the city, shooting beams of energy at civilian targets and trapping them in giant coin rolls. She was followed by her squadron of Spectres, who were shooting at trash cans, newspaper dispensers, and other random objects, just causing general havoc. "Power Rangers!" She shouted. "Come out, come out, wherever you are!"
One by one, the Ranger beams touched down about fifty feet in front of Pickpocket. Riley landed first, followed by Chase, Kaori, Gabriela, and Phoenix. The five stood up and brushed themselves off. "Wow, what a rush," Riley said, shaking his head and trying to regain his composure.
"I haven't felt a thrill like that since I won my last skateboarding trophy!" Chase shouted.
"That was an interesting sensation," Kaori added.
"Interesting's not the word I'd use," Gabriela commented. "That teleporting wrinkled my skirt!"
"The ladies are going to LOVE this!"
"Um, excuse me?" Pickpocket asked, stopping with her fighters in tow. "Are you done? -- Wait a second." She counted. "There are five of you now?"
"That's right. Chase and I are back, and we've brought reinforcements!"
"Pfft, like more of you can defeat me. Your puny dinosaur powers are no match for me now!"
Gabriela turned toward Riley and Chase. "Dinosaur powers?"
"I'll fill you in later." Riley turned back toward the monster. "You really think you can handle five of us?" He looked at the others. "You guys ready?" They nodded. Everyone held up their Engine Chargers. "TQG, Activate!" They shouted their morphing phrase, inserting their Engine Chargers into their Rail Morphers, which lit up when the small trains were locked in. "Let's Ride!" They lowered the gates on their morphers, activating the transformation sequence. Their bodies glowed white, and the energy soon shattered into their Ranger uniforms, which were mostly one solid color with a black-and-white insignia on the chest. A manifestation of their respective Rail Rider flew around their heads on a train track, which closed in on their heads and became their helmets. Upon completion of the sequence, the five Rangers stood before the monster.
"Hey! Those aren't dinosaurs! You lied to me!"
"One!" Riley held up one finger. "The number of times we'll fight you!"
"Two!" Chase held up two fingers. "Um... The number of heads you appear to have?"
"Three!" Gabriela held up three fingers. "The number of girls that have said 'no' to Phoenix today!"
"Four!" Phoenix held up four fingers. "It was four, actually."
"Five!" Kaori held up her opened hand. "We need to work on our catch phrases!"
"Standing together to protect our city, we are... T! Q! G!" An explosion with five different colors of smoke erupted behind them as they posed.
The Spectres clapped at the explosion. Pickpocket slowly clapped. "THAT... Was impressive." She looked back at her minions. "Stop clapping and get them!" They stopped and charged toward the Rangers with their swords extended.
"Let's do this!" Riley ran toward the Spectres. He leapt into the air and landed, kicking one of the Spectres back into another one. "C'mon, guys! We can take these freaks!"
"Right behind ya, mate!" Chase ran into the fray, grabbing a Spectre by the arm and swinging it into another one, sending them both flying into Pickpocket, sending the three of them into the side of a car. This impact broke the spell over the people she'd trapped in the coin rolls, setting them free.
"My prisoners!" She shoved the Spectres away. "Get off of me and get those Rangers!"
"There should be some kind of sidearm..." Kaori held out her arm, and a blaster appeared. "There we go!"
"Whoa!" Phoenix exclaimed. "How'd you do that?"
"Visually scroll through your HUD and you'll see 'sidearm.' Do what I did, and it'll appear. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some bad guys to blast!" She ran toward the battle, firing at the Spectres, destroying one of them. "This is just like playing Doom!"
"I think she's enjoying this a *little* too much," Phoenix commented.
"You scared of her yet?" He nodded. "Good boy. C'mon!" Gabriela summoned her blaster and joined Kaori. Phoenix soon followed and, after a few minutes of fighting, the Spectres had been destroyed.
"You're next, handbag! We're sending you back to the discount bin you crawled out of!" Kaori shouted, aiming her blaster at the monster. The other Rangers stood at her sides, each pointing their respective blaster at the monster. "Any last requests?"
"Just one," Pickpocket replied, turning toward the sky. "FIRE THE SATELLASERS!"
Up in Xityrant's ship, Pickpocket's command could be heard all over. -"FIRE THE SATELLASERS!"-
Xityrant pressed a button on the arm of his chair, creating a communication link between him and Pickpocket. "What's a 'satellaser'?"
-"You know, it's the thing that makes me grow to city-wrecking proportions."-
"We don't have one of those."
-"Surely, there's *something* up there that will make me grow larger."-
"Oh, you're referring to our Sprout Aliens To Extra-Large Lasers?"
"Please hold." He pressed a couple of buttons, closing the link with Pickpocket and creating one with Clerica. "Fire the Satellasers!"
A growth beam emerged from the ship, striking Pickpocket and causing her to grow. "How do you like me now, Tiny Rangers?"
Phoenix, Gabriela, and Kaori looked up in amazement. "Wow..."
"Look, Ry," Chase commented, "they grow bigger here, too."
"Wait, let me put on my 'surprised' face." Riley spoke into his morpher, "Mr. Morgan, how do we summon the Rail Riders?"
-"All you gotta do is ask! Great job so far, by the way!"-
"Thanks!" All five of them exclaimed.
In a remote part of town, five tracks lit up in the Rangers' colors, and five trains emerged from the station at a high rate of speed. The yellow and pink vehicles were on the outsides, with the blue and green ones surrounding the red one on the inside. The trains raced to the battle scene.
The Rangers heard five train whistles, and looked to see the adjacent tracks glow in their colors. -"Your Rail Riders are on the way!"- Brandon shouted over the Rangers' morphers.
"Thanks, Mr. Morgan," Riley replied. He motioned to the others. "Let's teleport into them!"
"Right!" They all pressed the yellow buttons on their morphers, teleporting them into the cockpits of their respective Rail Riders.
"Looks nice," Kaori commented, taking the controls of her Rail Rider.
"Could use the Phoenix Touch!" Phoenix took the controls of his Rail Rider.
"It's just like driving a car, but, you know, it's a train," Gabriela mused as she took the controls of her Rail Rider.
"Look at all of these buttons! This is leagues above our old motion controls!" Chase grabbed the control sticks.
"Wow," Riley said, looking around. "All of this tech... How do we use it?"
-"It will come naturally to you,"- Brandon spoke, his voice coming over the loudspeaker in the back of the cockpit.
"Guys, are you there?"
-"...Maybe I'll put some pictures of me in here..."-
-"This is Kaori, and I'm here, Riley. What do we do now?"-
"Let's bring them together! Everyone, press the 'Combine' button on your consoles, and let's send this purse packing!"
The tracks linked together, and the Rail Riders lined up next to each other. Clips emerged from the sides of each one, and they locked together. Riley's Rail Rider folded up in half, forming the central torso of the Megazord. Chase's and Phoenix's Rail Riders slowed down, and the front cabs remained on the tracks while the rest of their Rail Riders - along with the rest of the group - rose up until they were vertical. Once vertical, the Blue and Green Rail Riders' rear cabs shifted to the front, and the Red one's front cab folded toward the front, while the rear folded back, revealing the head to the Megazord. Its protective panels folded back, revealing its face. In the central cockpit, the five Rangers' separate control stations slid into place.
Pickpocket, meanwhile, was waiting impatiently. "Are you done yet?"
-"We're going to take you down!"- The Megazord pointed its sword at the monster.
"I don't think so!" Pickpocket summoned a staff and fired at the Megazord. "Pocket Change Blast!" The Megazord stood tall as the monster's pellets bounced off of its surface, not affecting it at all. She lowered her staff and backed away. "It didn't work?!"
-"Use your Rail Rider Super Slash,"- Brandon's voice echoed in the cockpit.
"You heard the man," Kaori spoke.
They exclaimed in unison, "Rail Rider Super Slash!"
The Megazord hopped onto two of the train tracks and rode them toward Pickpocket at blazing speed, holding its sword in front of its body. As it sped past the monster, it slashed right through her midsection, causing her to explode upon impact. It stopped and turned around once it was a short distance past the monster, whose particles dissipated into the air.
"We did it!" Riley cheered.
"If only it was that easy to get rid of Gabi's ugly handbag," Kaori said, jokingly.
"Just you wait until I get this restraint off..."
"I was kidding!"
Up on Xityrant's ship, Clerica was walking into his quarters. "You called?"
"I'm not pleased. There are five Rangers now, and they have their own giant robot. I thought you said that this was going to be an easy conquest."
"Blackjack and Entoborg picked that monster out. Blame them!"
"I'm holding you responsible, Clerica. If we do not succeed in our next battle, you had better find a way to dispose of the weak links, or I will dispose of *you*. Understood?"
"Good. Leave." Clerica walked out of the room, and the door closed behind her. Xityrant continued to watch the battle footage on a loop. "Oh, Mirinoi. You will be mine. Not even your team and its extra-terrestrial leaders can fend off my attacks forever. I will discover your weaknesses and use them to my advantage."
The Rangers walked into the TQG building, and were immediately met with Kendrix's voice on the intercom. -"All participants in Codename: RANGER, please report to my office. Mister Bolton, that means NOW."-
"I don't like the sound of that," Chase said.
"You five handled yourselves pretty nicely on the battlefield today," Kendrix spoke, walking around the five seated heroes, "but, it's only going to get harder from here. We are trying to figure out who that monster worked for, and what their plans are. As Riley and Chase - as well as Mr. Chen and myself - can attest, villains don't just attack a city or planet for the fun of it. We need to figure out what their plan is and put a stop to it as soon as possible. It's going to be difficult, so we're going to need to ramp up your training regimen. Effective immediately, your training camps will be from Wednesday through Sunday, instead of just on the weekends. Any questions?" Riley raised his hand. "Yes, Riley?"
"Being that Chase and I are the new kids on the block here, where will our quarters be located?"
"We have a guys' quarters and a girls' quarters for the Codename: RANGER participants," Kendrix replied, sitting down on the edge of her desk. "Gabriela and Kaori share the girls' quarters, which leaves--"
"They're going to be living with me?" Phoenix asked, standing up. "But, my room can't hold three people!"
"Yes, it can," Kai interjected. "You didn't think that you had the largest room in the facility all to yourself, did you? We've told you several times that, once it was necessary, you would get roommates."
"I don't remember that," Phoenix said, sitting back down.
"So, it's settled. Chase, Riley, and Phoenix will split the guys' quarters."
"What about when we're not training?" Chase asked. "Clearly, this isn't New Zealand, so we don't have anywhere else to go."
"Until we can figure out your living arrangement, you two are welcome to stay here on a full-time basis," Kendrix said. "You can spend the extra time helping my brother out with Codename: RANGER while the others are in school."
"Free room and board? Count me in!" Chase smiled.
"We can keep training as well, Chase," Riley added.
"If I may," Gabriela chimed in, "will you be keeping up with Phoenix's tradition of Shirtless Saturdays?"
Phoenix chuckled. "If you've got it, flaunt it!"
Riley and Chase looked at each other, then at Gabriela. "Um, no."