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Power Rangers Ride The Rails
#16 - "Pull The Trigger" (Originally Written In: 2017)

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Gia walked into Dr. Morgan's office, flanked by Brandon and Kai. "You guys don't need to escort me. I'm a strong, independent woman. I can handle myself."

"It's strictly for security purposes," Kai spoke.

She looked at Brandon, then to Kai. "Really? HE'S on Security Detail?"

"Well, I'm more of a Science Division guy, but--"

-"You two may go,"- Kendrix spoke, her chair turned away from them. -"I should be fine."-

"Yes, ma'am," Brandon said. "C'mon, Kai, let's leave these two alone." He turned and ran out of the room.

"But--" Kai looked around and saw that Brandon had already left. He sighed. "Just like his sister..." He walked out of the room, closing the door behind him.

Kendrix turned around. "Welcome to TQG, Gia."

Gia rubbed her eyes. "You're not at all what I was expecting."

"What were you expecting?" She got up and walked around to the front of her desk, leaning against it as she continued talking. "Some rich businessman in a three-piece suit?"

"To be honest... Yes."

She snickered. "It's a common misconception." She started to walk around her office, showing Gia various pictures of TQG's history. "You see, Gia, Kai and I founded TQG with the expectation that we'd already have a Power Ranger team in place, should any problems arise. We've tried various experimental power sets, but nothing ever took off." She showed Gia a picture of three Rangers clad in a black, leather-y material, with colored visors. "This was Codename: Go. It never went anywhere."

"Those are some cool-looking suits, though! I like the colored visors!"

"Yeah, that was what my last design team said, too." She set the photo down. "Sadly, the power sets proved to be too strong for regular civilians to handle, so we had to scrap the idea and start over from the ground up. I brought my brother on to head the R&D team, and that's how we wound up with the train theme."

"It does seem a little out-there for a Power Ranger team, but I like the simplicity of the designs."

"That's Kaori's handiwork. Have a seat, won't you?" Kendrix walked to her chair and sat down. Gia sat in one of the chairs on the opposite side. "Now, tell me what brought you here, and why your friend is causing us trouble."

"Well, we were reconstructing houses on the planet Andresia - that's Orion's home planet, you see - and we were attacked by your Xityrant and a band of very powerful monsters. They tried to defeat me, but I barely survived. They kidnapped Orion, and I can only assume that they've brainwashed him, because why would he work for the bad guys? He hates bad guys. The Armada's the group that decimated his planet in the first place!"

"I see. So, we should be wary of him?" Gia nodded. "Noted. So, tell me about your own powers."

"Our mentor, Gosei - he's a giant tiki-looking thing that is permanently affixed to a wall in a cave - gave us devices that look like his face, and decks of cards that activate weapons, powers, spells... Pretty much, anything we can need in battle, there's probably a card for it somewhere."

"Fascinating. Card-based powers... Why didn't we think of that? It'd be so much better than the trains."

"Yeah, but..." Gia pulled out her Gosei Morpher and showed it to Kendrix. "Would you want your team to have to lug these around?"

Kendrix looked at the device. "That's rather hideous... And, it's so big!"

"I know, right?"

"Well, you probably need to get some rest. I'll see about having our workers set a room up for you near the girls' quarters."

"Thanks so much! Not for nothing, but I could really use a shower."

She pressed a button. "Kai, could you come to my office, please?"

-"I'll be right there."- About a minute passed, and he walked in. "You rang?"

"Prepare a room for Gia, adjacent to Gabriela's and Kaori's room. If she's going to help us, we need to provide her with somewhere to rest."

"But, the rooms are designed to hold three people. Can't we put her in with the girls?"

Kendrix glared. "Kai..."

"Alright, I'll have the staff get a room set up." He turned and walked out of the office, stopping in the doorway and turning to face her. "You know how I jump whenever you glare like that..." He smirked, then turned and walked out.

Gia watched him leave, then turned back around to face Kendrix. "Wow! You really ARE the boss around here!"

She leaned back in her chair and smiled. "It takes a strong woman to get things done."

~*~

Riley walked into the guys' quarters. "So, Chase, what do you think about --" He stopped, when he saw his friend sitting on his bed, with his nose buried in a jewelry catalog. He approached him, and very stealthily snatched the magazine out of his hands. "What have we here?"

Chase jumped up and took the catalog back. "Give me that!"

"Why are you looking at jewelry? You're not thinking about getting your nose pierced, are you? I don't think the whole punk look would work on you."

"No, it's not that." He sat down on the edge of his bed and sighed.

"Whoa." Riley sat down next to him. "What's going on?"

"It's nothing." Chase got up and started walking around the room.

"That's not what 'nothing' looks like. Something's got you wigging out, and -- Wait a minute. You wigging out, plus jewelry catalog..." He looked at Chase. "Oh, you're not... Are you?"

"I'm so nervous! I think I should propose to Kaylee, but I don't know what she'll say. What if she turns me down? ME. Chase Randall! It'd be the ultimate rejection! I don't know if I'll be able to take it if she doesn't accept. I..." He started fanning himself off. "Is it getting hot in here?" Riley snickered. "What's so funny?"

"It's just... You, the almighty Chase Randall, finally tamed by a woman enough that you want to propose to her. I think it's fantastic!"

Chase stopped and looked at him. "Really? You do?"

"Yeah, man! Everyone deserves a shot at love. Granted, you've taken quite a few shots at love - and, quite possibly, have some kids that you don't know about - but, I think you two deserve each other." He paused. "Man, that's a bitter pill to swallow!"

"Look," Chase sat down next to Riley. "I know that you two don't really get along, but just the fact that you think we belong together really warms my heart. Thank you."

"What are friends for?"

"Loaning me money to buy her this ring." Chase flipped through the catalog, stopping on a ring with a blue sapphire in the center, flanked on either side by cubic zirconia stones. "Isn't it beautiful?"

Riley looked at it. "Wow! That's a gorgeous ring!" He looked down at the price, and then to Chase. "It's only $10?" He nodded. "And, you can't afford it?" He nodded again. "What exactly have you been doing with your money? We get a weekly stipend for helping out around here."

Chase got up and walked over to the mirror, where he proceeded to fix his hair. "You don't look like this for nothing, mate."

"Really?" Riley got up. "You've spent all your money on pampering yourself?"

He turned around. "Oh, and I'm sure you've been saving every dollar you've earned, haven't you?"

"As a matter of fact, Alex has been working with me and the Venture Capital Markets. As of today, I'm worth at least $20,000." Chase's jaw dropped. "Yep, it paid to invest in that company that films that show you like."

"You invested in Nagasaki Enterprises and made all that money?"

"I did! I got in on the initial offering of $1/share. I own about 5% of the company, in fact."

"So, you wouldn't mind getting me an autographed headshot of Leilani, the Red Nekoranger?" Chase grinned.

"Man, get out of here!" Riley walked out of the room.

"So, that's a 'no' on the headshot?"

~*~

"Merry Christmas, baby!" Kelly put her arms around Phoenix and kissed him on the cheek. "What are you getting me this year?" Manny coughed. "Oh, you're here. Don't you have some trading card game to go play or something?"

"Kelly, behave yourself," Phoenix said, kissing her on her cheek. "I haven't really given it a lot of thought yet, but I was thinking--"

"That's nice," she replied, stuffing a catalog in his face. "Page 23, and I even took the liberty of filling out the order form for you. I've gotta run. Smooches!" She glared at Manny and Dominic, who were standing there, just watching. "Losers."

Phoenix coughed, removing the catalog from his face. "Sometimes, I wonder why I even bother."

"Seriously, man, you could do so much better than my sister," Manny commented.

"But, she's the head cheerleader! If I dump her NOW - especially, right before Christmas - then I'll be ostracized by the entire squad for the rest of the year!"

"Speaking of the rest of the year," Dominic interjected, "have you given any thought to colleges yet?"

"I was thinking about going to Mirinoi Tech on an IT grant," Manny spoke. He turned to Phoenix. "How about you?"

"Yes, where does the lovely Kelly want you to go?"

"Oh, you're funny," Phoenix replied. "I'm probably going to go to UMRB on a football scholarship." Manny's and Dominic's jaws dropped. "What?"

"Reflection Bay?" Dominic asked.

"Yeah. So?"

"Dude, they're our rivals! I'm not into sports, and even I know that's a bad move," Manny said.

"Yeah, but the University's football team is #1 in the region. It could open up a lot of doors for me."

"I thought my sister told me that you were going with her to Cosmetology School, and you were going to be her real-life My Size Barbie head."

Dominic snickered. Phoenix glared at him. "Sorry."

"She never mentioned those plans to me."

"She doesn't mention a lot of things to you," Manny commented, "especially with your duties at TQG consuming what free time you have."

"By the way," Dominic leaned in, "I saw that Silver Ranger guy on the news. What's his deal?"

"I don't know. I haven't really thought too much about it yet. He just showed up, helped us wipe out a couple of monsters, and split."

"Oh, I know what's coming," Manny said.

"What?" Dominic and Phoenix asked, in unison.

"It's obvious: He's a double-agent, likely brainwashed, and will try to get some new thing that you guys are working on." Manny looked at Phoenix. "There aren't any special projects going on at TQG, are there?"

"Well, there IS this experimental Engine Charger that the R&D team is working on..."

~*~

-"...but, it's not anywhere near ready yet."-

"Excellent! That new Engine Charger that TQG is working on shall be our target," Lithosound said. "Now, we just need that patsy, Orion, to sneak in and retrieve it!"

"Easier said than done," Expulsar spoke. "He seems to want to do things his own way, and on his own terms."

"He just needs some convincing. Leave it to me." Lithosound walked out of the room.

Tracksaurian spoke up. "Anyone want to place bets on how long it'll take him to fail?"

"I've got three meal credit vouchers on one day," Decaynaut said, putting the tickets on a table.

"I'm in," Seismodeluder added, putting her tickets on the table as well.

Tracksaurian and Expulsar added their tickets to the pot. "Twelve meals," Tracksaurian spoke, "go to the winner! I've got Decaynaut with one day. Seismodeluder?"

"Twelve hours."

"Excellent. Explusar?"

"Six hours. Orion's the kind of guy that will fail hard very quickly."

"Noted. I'll go for fifteen hours. One more detail..." Tracksaurian whipped up a countdown timer and set it next to the meal tickets. "There. The countdown begins... NOW!"

~*~

Lithosound walked into the Prison Quarters, where Orion was sleeping in a cell. He threw open the door to his cell. "Wake up, boy!" Orion quickly rolled over, falling out of the bed and landing on the ground. "Pathetic."

"Mmf," Orion said, standing up and brushing himself off. "What do YOU want?"

"We've received some intel on TQG. We need you to infiltrate their base and retrieve their new Engine Charger for us."

"Why can't you just get it yourselves?"

Lithosound grabbed Orion's collar and pulled him close. "Are you talking back to me? Master Xityrant gave you a direct order, and you are to follow it without question. Do you understand?" Orion gulped and nodded. He let go of his collar, and Orion took several deep breaths. "Good. Now, how do you plan on infiltrating TQG's headquarters?"

"Don't worry about me. I'll find a way in. It'd be easier if you guys send down a monster to distract everyone, though."

"Consider it done, boy. You'd better not fail, or else." He turned and walked out of the room.

Orion adjusted his collar. "How am I going to get in...?" He thought it over, and then, it hit him. "I've got it!"

~*~

Chase arrived at the Venture Capital Mall, where he planned on picking up the ring for Kaylee. As he walked toward the main entrance to the complex, he bumped right into her. "Kaylee!"

"Hey!" She dropped her shopping bags and hugged him tightly. "What brings you here?"

"Oh, um... I..." Chase stumbled, trying to come up with a lie... Any lie, really.

"Never mind." She picked up one of the bags and pulled out a dress shirt, handing it to Chase. "What do you think?"

"It's... Lovely?" He held it up. "It's very white."

"That'll make this tie stand out!" She handed him a shimmery blue necktie. "Don't you love how the color changes in the sunlight?" She tilted the tie, and the shade of blue went from bright to dark and back. "Bright! Dark! Bright! Dark!"

"This must have cost you a small fortune. Can you afford it?"

"You bet! Remember that nice farmer that we all had dinner with a while back?" Chase nodded. "Well, after you guys all left, I mentioned how I didn't really have a place to call my own - thanks for not offering to get me a room at your headquarters, by the way - so, he offered me a room. I'm actually helping out with their stand at the Farmers' Market, and sales have increased rather handsomely since I was put in charge of their promotion. So much, in fact, that I've been getting a cut of the profits ever since!"

His eyes widened. "I... Wow! That's fantastic!" He hugged her. "I'm so happy for you!"

Her watch alarm sounded. "Oh, look at the time. I've got to get back home and help plan this weekend's offerings." She kissed him on the cheek. "Love you! Call me!" She ran off toward her car.

Chase looked at the expensive shirt and tie that she gave him, then thought back to his earlier conversation with Riley. "I can't cheap out on the engagement ring. Of all the things I should splurge on, it should be the ring, especially with Christmas right around the corner." He sighed, sitting down on a nearby bench.

-"Hello, Blue Ranger."- A gruff voice spoke. Startled, Chase quickly looked over at the blond gentleman. "Remember me?"

"You!" Chase stood up and faced him. "What are you doing here?"

"Relax," Orion stood up. "I couldn't help but overhear that you're having problems with your lady-friend, there." He glanced over at the shirt and tie. "She's got good taste."

"What do you want?"

"I want to help you, but I need you to do something for me in return."

Chase looked shiftily at him. "I don't know if I should trust you."

"All I want is one itty-bitty thing, and I'll help you get that good engagement ring for your girl." He walked toward Chase, putting his arm around him. "Really, I don't think it's that bad of a deal for you. I get what I want... You get what you want..." He stood in front of Chase. "Everybody wins!"

"What do I need to do?"

"Just bring me that special project that your headquarters is cooking up."

"Special project?" He paused. "How do you know about the purple Engine Charger?"

"I have my ways." Orion backed up. "What do you say, Blue Ranger? Do we have a deal, or is your girl about to be single?"

~*~

-"...Or is your girl about to be single?"- The monsters watched Orion and Chase on the view screen.

"Ooh, here it comes!" Tracksaurian looked at the countdown timer. "It's only been three hours! We could be in for a record failure!"

"So," Seismodeluder spoke, "if nobody took three hours in the pool, who wins?"

"We'll just roll it over into a pool of whether or not Orion survives when Master Xityrant finds out about the failure."

"Rats!" Expulsar shouted. "There go my free lunches for the next three weeks!"

~*~

"I'm waiting."

"Give me a minute," Chase spoke. He started to think over the options. -"On one hand, I'd potentially be helping the enemy by giving them our top secret Engine Charger. On the other hand, I'd be getting a smokin' engagement ring for Kaylee, and -- What am I saying? Why would I help a villain?"-

"I'll ask again. Blue Ranger, Deal... Or, no deal?"

"No deal."

"I had a feeling you'd say that. You Power Rangers and your damn honesty streaks." He spun around, transforming into the Silver Ranger, armed with his Silver Spear, already in its blaster mode. "Take this!"

"Whoa!" Chase leapt out of the way, dodging the fire. He quickly pulled out his Engine Charger. "TQG, Activate!" He stuck it into his Rail Morpher and transformed into the Blue Ranger. "Chase to base! I need backup, now!"

-"Help's on the way!"-

"Hydro Cannon!" Chase's specialized weapon appeared in his hand. He aimed at Orion. "Pressure Blast!" He fired a strong stream of water at Orion, knocking him back a good five yards. "Looks like you're washed up, Silver Ranger!"

"You'll pay for this transgression, Blue Ranger! Mark my words!" He teleported away.

"Chase to base! Never mind." He powered down. "He left."

-"Let us know if he shows up again."-

"10-4," he replied, sticking his Engine Charger back into his pocket. "I'll be back at the base soon." He picked up the shirt and tie off of the bench and walked into the mall.

~*~

"Three hours, folks!" Tracksaurian exclaimed. "Nobody wins!"

Orion stormed into their room. "I thought you clowns were going to send down a monster to help me!"

"Hello!" Lithosound said, walking toward Orion. He knocked on his helmet. "I'm evil. I lied."

"Why, you rotten excuse for a monster..." Orion lunged at him, tackling him and landing on the ground. He started punching him. "You said you'd help, and you didn't!"

"Get him off of me!"

"I've got it. Tender Harpoon!" Expulsar fired a beam at Orion, which grabbed onto him and immobilized him. "Get over here!" He pulled Orion toward him, grabbing him in a bear hug.

Orion struggled, as Lithosound stood up. "Let me go, you creep! I've got some unfinished business to tend to!"

"No! Don't let him go!" Lithosound shouted. "I can't take the beating!"

"Listen, you little twerp," Expulsar spoke, "you had your chance to infiltrate the Rangers, and you blew it. Now, you have to pay the price. Tranq' him."

"Tranq'? What's that?" Orion asked.

"Nighty night," Tracksaurian said, firing a dart at Orion through a bamboo stake.

"Ow!" Orion started to nod off. "You'll pay for this..." He closed his eyes and fell asleep.

"It's time to put you back in your quarters," Expulsar spoke, teleporting away.

"Now that the pest is back where he belongs," Seismodeluder said, "what about sending down a monster?"

"Considering what those two were talking about, I think I have just the monster." Lithosound snapped his fingers, and a monster modeled with a shotgun motif appeared. "Meet Trigger!"

"Howdy, pardners!" The monster spoke in a Western accent. "Trigger's the name, and destroying Rangers is my game!"

"Nice one, L," Tracksaurian commented, "but, what does it do?"

"Why does it need some special ability?" He asked. "Can't it just go down and wreak havoc?"

"Hm, good point. Send it down."

"Yee-ha!" Trigger transformed into a bullet and shot out of the room, teleporting as he hit the ceiling.

"I hope, for your sake, that this monster lasts longer than Orion did against the Rangers," Tracksaurian said.

~*~

Chase walked out of the mall, holding a small box. Suddenly, he was blindsided by the bullet form of the monster, which materialized a few yards away. "Yee-ha!"

"What in the world...?" Chase pressed a button on his Rail Morpher. "Chase to base, there's some weird gun-looking monster here at the mall. I think I'll actually need the backup this time."

-"I'm the only one here right now,"- Riley answered. -"The others are still in school."-

Chase looked at his watch. "Oh, that's right. They're not out until 3, are they?"

-"That's right. I'll be there in a flash."-

"Thanks." Within seconds, Riley teleported down next to him. "That was fast."

"I don't mess around," he replied, pulling out his Engine Charger. "Now, let's take him down."

"I'm with you," Chase said, holding onto his Engine Charger. The two ran up to the monster. "Hey, Yosemite Sam!"

"Good one."

"Thanks!"

Trigger turned around. "Whoo-ee! Lookit what the cat dragged in! It's the Red and Blue Rangers! You fellas the sheriffs around these parts?"

"I reckon we are," Riley replied, "and it's high time we run you right out of this here town! Ain't that right, Deputy?" After a few seconds, Riley nudged Chase. -"That's you."-

"Oh, right." Chase coughed. "This town ain't big enough for the three of us, so one of us has to go, and we picked you!"

"Which one of you boys has a pistol that can rival ol' Betsy here?"

"That'd be me." Chase transformed into the Blue Ranger and pulled out his Hydro Cannon. "Draw."

Phoenix, Gabriela, and Kaori ran up behind the two of them. "What did we miss?" Kaori asked.

"Chase here is about to have a duel with this monster," Riley explained. "Isn't that right, Deputy?"

"I reckon."

"Here are the rules: We fire at ten paces. No outside interference. That includes your posse back there. Deal?"

"Deal." Chase turned around. -"Relax. I've got this."-

"You're sure you don't want our help?" Gabriela asked. "I can have Otome here in, like, five minutes."

"It's not necessary." Chase approached the monster, and the two stood with their backs against each other. "Riley, count us down."

"You got it." Riley walked over to the two of them.

"No shenanigans!" Trigger exclaimed.

"Relax. I know how to count." He looked at the two of them. "Are you ready?"

"I've got Ol' Betsy right here!" Trigger exclaimed, holding up his blaster.

"I'm ready," Chase said, holding his Hydro Blaster.

Phoenix, Gabriela, and Kaori watched from the sideline. "I hope that monster doesn't try anything," Phoenix said.

"You know he's going to," Kaori commented.

"Well, I just hope Chase is smart enough to try something before the monster can try something." Gabriela paused. "Does that make sense?"

"Alright, folks, we've got ourselves a duel here! Walk ten paces, turn, and fire! The one that strikes first wins! Here we go! One!" Chase and Trigger started walking in opposite directions as Riley continued the countdown.

~*~

"I hope your monster's smart enough to fire first," Seismodeluder commented.

"Me, too," Lithosound replied.

~*~

"Eight! Nine!"

"Ten!" Trigger shouted as he turned around and fired.

Chase quickly turned around, doing the splits and dodging Trigger's blast, which headed toward Phoenix and the girls, who ran away and escaped it. He jumped back up, aimed his Hydro Blaster at Trigger, and fired a pressurized stream of water at him, knocking him into the side of a nearby building. As Chase landed, the pressurized blast continued, drilling right through Trigger and causing him to explode.

"You won!" Riley and the others ran toward Chase, surrounding him and congratulating him.

"Aw, shucks," Chase held his weapon to his mouth and pretended to blow on it, "t'weren't nothin'," he said, continuing his Western dialect.

"You can stop that at any time," Riley said.

"I reckon that's gonna be a might difficult to do, pardner," Chase replied.

~*~

"Your monster's dead, but he did last longer than Orion, so kudos to you for that minute victory," Tracksaurian commented.

-"FIRE THE SATELLASERS!"- Xityrant's voice boomed overhead.

~*~

The Rangers watched as Xityrant's Satellaser beam struck the remains of Trigger, reassembling him and growing him to city-wrecking proportions. Once he was grown, he shouted, "Yee-ha! Look at me now, puny varmints!"

They looked up in amazement and said, "Whoa..."

Riley spoke into his Rail Morpher, "Brandon! We need the Rail Riders, now!"

-"Rail Riders are on their way!"- After a few seconds, the tracks nearby glowed in the Rangers' colors, indicating that the Rail Riders were near. They teleported into their battle vehicles and brought them together to form the Rail Rider Megazord, armed with its sword.

~*~

Inside the main cockpit, the five Rangers assembled. "Rail Rider Megazord, ready!"

"Let's take this bloke down quickly," Chase commanded. "I've got a prior engagement."

"You? I've got to find a remarkable gift for Kelly for Christmas, and, like, I have NO idea what to get her!"

"Oh, my gosh, you should totally buy her the extended edition of that book, 'Selfie'! It's the best book ever," Gabriela gushed.

Underneath his helmet, Chase blushed. Riley turned around. "Can we get back to work?"

"Sorry," everyone said.

"Hey, maybe we should use the new Police Rail Rider and restrain him before he gets a chance to blast us," Kaori suggested.

"Good idea!" Riley pulled out the Police Engine Charger and switched his out for that one. "Police Rail Rider, link up!" Within seconds, the new Rail Rider had arrived on-scene and combined with the Megazord, equipping it with its new weaponry.

~*~

"Are you varmints through dilly-dallyin' around?"

-"I reckon it's the end of the trail for you, pardner,"- Chase's voice boomed through the Megazord's loudspeaker.

"Whoo! I'm shakin' in my boots! Take this!" Trigger pulled out his blaster and aimed it at the Rangers, but it wasn't fast enough, as the Megazord fired several Confinement Bands at him, restraining his movements. He looked down. "Hey! How'd you critters do that?"

-"Allow me to show you what ten paces looks like,"- Chase spoke. The Megazord turned around with its blaster drawn, and started to walk away. -"One! ... Two! ... Three! ... Four! ..."-

"I get it! You sheriffs are just too good for me. If I go peacefully, will y'all go easy on me?"

-"... Nine! ... Ten!"- The Megazord turned and fired several blasts at Trigger.

"Guess not. Looks like this is the end of the trail for me!" The blasts struck Trigger, destroying him and sending the Confinement Bands falling to the ground, where they clattered upon impact with both the ground and each other. The Megazord raised the barrel of the gun to the mouthpiece of its face, where an exhaust fan blew toward it, cooling it down.

~*~

"You know, Chase," Gabriela said, "you're really good at that Western accent."

He turned around. "Shucks, ma'am. T'weren't nothin'."

"How did you get so good at that accent, anyway?" Riley asked. "What? Did the Nekorangers 'Go West'?"

"I reckon there's a lot that y'all don't know about me, including where I'm going next. ¡Adíos!" Chase teleported out of the cockpit.

"Where's he running off to, so quickly?" Kaori asked.

"I have a hunch that I know," Riley replied.

After a brief pause, Phoenix broke the silence. "Well? Tell us!"

Riley shook his head. "I'll let Chase do it on his own terms."

~*~

Chase, now wearing the shirt and tie that Kaylee had gotten him that morning, approached the door to Dwayne's farm, stopping at the door to brush off his clothes and make sure he looked his best. He rang the doorbell, and Kaylee answered. "Chase! What a surprise!"

"Kaylee, can you step outside?" He asked. She stepped out of the door, and Chase got down on one knee. "We've had our share of ups and downs in our relationship, and I'm probably to blame for most of those. You've stuck by my side through it all, including several advances by nearly every girl I've come across. I've realized one thing: I want to spend the rest of my life with you." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small box.

"Oh, my gosh!" Kaylee's eyes started to tear up.

"Kaylee Jones," he said, opening the box and revealing the ring inside, "will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"

She nodded, smiling from ear to ear. "Yes!" She took the ring and put it on her finger. Chase stood up, and she tightly embraced him. "I'm so happy!"

"Me, too. I love you," Chase said, kissing her cheek.

"And, I love you, you big lug!" Kaylee passionately kissed him.

~*~

Up on the ship, Orion watched the scene unfold, rubbing his neck from where the tranquilizer dart stuck him. "Enjoy your good times while you can, Ranger, because you're about to receive the bad ending." He turned off the view screen. "Welcome to my nightmare..."
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