It all began in the years before the Black Moon War touched Crystal
Tokyo, during the long peace known as the Crystal Millennium. Titanite,
better known to the world as Sailor Polaris, convinced Queen Serenity to
temporarily unseal the Multiversal Nexus at the centre of Crystal Tokyo. The
gateway to alternate realities Serenity had long ago closed it to prevent
unwelcome guests from arriving. But, as Titanite reminded Serenity, it was
not the only path into their world. Merely the easiest. Since so many of
the surrounding continua remained unknown and unexplored their threat
potential was equally unknown. Someone had to investigate and she was
Titanite always suspected that Serenity knew her hidden motives. Not
that she wasn't sincere about seeking out dangers to their world. She had
every intention of learning if any of the other worlds were hostile and
possessed dimension crossing capability so Crystal Tokyo would be forewarned
against possible interdimensional invasion. But she felt, rightly enough,
that the true inspiration for this quest was far too frivalous to discuss.
Namely her curiosity about if there were other any other worlds that resembled
her favorite anime and manga series. Like the ones she had explored, somewhat
more recklessly, in her youth. It was quite possible Serenity knew or at
least guessed all this. Regardless she gave her blessing and so began the
adventures subsequently known as "The Continuing Bogosity of Titanite".
So, equipped with a stabilizer to prevent herself being assimilated by
alien continua, Titanite set off upon her new bogus journeys. During which,
despite some gloomy sentiments expressed by her cousin, she did not bring the
whole fabric of space and time crashing down. Not that she didn't cause her
fair share of havoc but that was more or less a given.
During her many travels while Titanite encountered many worlds that she
recognised from books, televison and movies she also found several worlds that
gave her an odd sense of Deja Vu. Worlds filled with odd variations on the
people and events she knew. There was that odd world where Tokyo and the
Senshi were thoroughly americanized, Saber Moon and Tuxedo Mecha of MegaTokyo,
Sailor Borg (the first real threat she encountered) and, strangest of all,
Sailor Moose and Tuxedo Squirrel.
After encountering all these worlds Titanite became somewhat jaded and
decided nothing she saw on her travels would ever surprise her again.
She was wrong.
Sailor Moon Expanded and Saban Entertainment presents Titanite in
On Her Majesty's Secret Serv ... no, that's not it, what was it? Oh yeah!
by Mark Latus (prologue based on Christian Gadeken's "Bogosity" series)
Titanite blinked at the bright sunshine and made a quick survey of her
surroundings. Probes weren't infallible but there were no signs of dangers
nor any witnesses to her materialization in this dimension. She was standing
in a small grove of trees not far from a sprawling three story building. It
didn't look commercial, from the number of kids leaving it she'd guess a
school or college of some sort. Based on their apparent ages it was more
likely the former. The suspicion was confirmed when she spotted the name over
the main doors. She was nodding to herself when the words penetrated. She
did a double take then read it again.
Sure enough it still said "Shaizaar High School" in angular youma'shak
characters. A sudden chill hit as she wonder if on this world the Overlord
had never fallen after conquering the Earth. Then blinked in confusion at two
of the boys leaving the building. Except for the blond hair one was a dead
ringer for her brother in his younger days, the other ... she frowned and
tried to picture a long dead movie star in his youth. The frown deepened as
she decided a teenage Bogart would probably be a dead ringer. What was going
"Excuse me ma'am ..." Ti nearly jumped at the voice, she'd been so
distracted she'd let someone get so close without noticing. He looked
friendly enough ... in fact he looked like a teenage Pyrite with blue eyes.
He was also looking puzzled though not as much as she was. He continued
saying, "I don't mean to pry but you look like you need some help. Also you
look a lot like a friend of mine so if you're related to Tina ..."
Tina? "This Tina ... is that her brother over there?"
He glanced where she was pointing and nodded. "That's Carl all right."
"Who's that with him?"
"That's Magnus." There was some exasperation in his voice, along with a
tinge of regret as he studied the two boys. Carl seemed to be cheerful
enough but the other was looking dour.
"He doesn't look very friendly."
The Pyrite lookalike sighed. "He isn't, Magnus is a real loner but
Carl's never given up on trying to get him to see no man's an island. Except
so far he hasn't had much luck."
"I see ... Carl, you said?" He nodded. "What's the family name?
"No, that's Magnus's name. Carl and Tina are Flytes, which does sound a
bit close but they aren't related. I guess you're not either or you'd know
"You're right ... oh my God!"
Startled by the shock in her voice he followed her gaze expecting to
see the usual horde of small fry evil minions who needed punching out. He
was more than a little surprised to just see a very familiar couple.
"It's just Ms. Quite and Mr. O'Kite. Is something wrong?"
"Er ... no. I just mistook them for someone else. Is there some
reason she's wearing all white?"
"She always dresses like that. Zoe's the school nurse and thinks she
should look the part."
"Zoe?" Her young friend flushed.
"Uhm well she's always saying 'call me Zoe, Ms. Quite sounds too old'.
I guess that's one reason half the guys in school have a crush on her."
"They may be in for an unpleasant surprise."
"Not important, maybe what you see is what you get. That guy with her,
he's a teacher here?"
"Yes, one of the toughest."
"What does he teach?"
"And his full name is ...?"
"Malcolm O'Kite, why?"
She frowned. "Odd, I thought I saw a pattern developing but ... Oh, it's
one of those Malachite worlds! Of course, now it makes sense." Seeing his
puzzled look she added, "By the way I'm Titanite though I normally go by Ti."
"Titanite? Like the mineral?"
"Yup, long story why my parents picked that. And you are ...?"
"Peter. Peter Wright."
She looked thoughtful. "Pete Wright ... P. Wright. Yes, I can see
that." What was that supposed to mean? Then he spotted a familiar face and
waved her over.
"Hi Pete, what's up?"
"Tina, this is ..." He suddenly realized there was no one with him.
"Did you see someone standing beside me?" The blonde shrugged.
"I thought I did for a moment but then it was just you. Was there
someone else here?"
"Yeah ... if it wasn't for the hair and being a few years older I'd
swear she was a dead ringer for you."
Tina turned to the newcomer who'd just joined them, "Hey, bro. Pete was
just saying he was talking to my lookalike."
Carl tensed. "Another duplicate?"
"Chill, he said similar rather than an exact replica. Right?"
"Yeah ... say do you have an aunt or older sister I don't know about?"
Carl shook his head. "Only other sister we've got is Chrissie and her
mom didn't look a thing like Tina. You've met Chrissie, right?"
"Sure, back during ..." You never knew who was listening "... when
that giant robot armadillo showed up and started wrecking things."
"Actually it was when the giant robot treesloth attacked."
Tina frowned. "Are you sure it wasn't the same time the giant robot
platypus was running amuck?"
Carl sighed. "There's been so many mecha attacks they all start
blurring together. It seems like everything in town's been rebuilt at least
once. Beats me why anyone still lives here."
Tina beamed. "Cause they know the Negarangers will protect them!" This
didn't provoke the group cheer she'd been hoping for. Instead the boys just
looked put upon. Why did they have to be "the glass is half empty guys"?
Though come to think of it Annie and Marg weren't much better. Not that she
let it bother her but she wished they'd learn to not take everything so
Pete tried to change the subject. "I never did ask ... Chrissie isn't
much younger than you two but she's your half sister?"
Tina winced and Carl answered, "That's one of the reasons Mom and Dad
aren't together anymore."
"Oh ... sorry."
"Hardly your fault. The ironic thing is Ned wound up a single parent too
when Chrissie's mom took off. To be fair he's always fulfilled his financial
responsibilities. Course he's racking it in with that astrology scam."
"Carl!" Tina looked scandalized.
"Sorry Tina but we've both seen how he comes up with his predictions.
It's impossible for me to take it seriously."
"How about the time ...?"
"He's made a few good guesses!"
Peter rolled his eyes, this was a long standing argument between the
siblings. Sure enough Tina produced today's paper opened to the horoscopes.
As always Carl muttered, "'The Guardian of Destiny's Astrological Forecast',
yeah, right. What's wrong with 'Ned Flyte's horoscopes'."
"They needed a fancy name for syndication as you well know."
"Yeah but the number of people who take it seriously is disturbing."
Tina shrugged, "People want to believe and what's wrong with believing
there's a little magic in their lives? After all who knows better than us
that the world's a lot stranger than people think." Naturally both boys
immediately looked for witnesses but the only person in sight too far away to
hear anything. Or so they thought.
Some distance away and secure behind a glamour Titanite tried to work out
what was going on. She'd been deciding it was looking like some sort of
high school romance anime with the centerpiece being a triangle between Carl
and whoever Azurite and Margrave's counterparts were. Until she'd heard that
stuff about Negarangers and mecha. Puzzling but intriguing. So she'd decided
a bit more investigation was in order and was shamelessly eavesdropping with
one of the surveillance gizmos she carried. Right now her counterpart was
reading horoscopes out loud. Apparently Peter's concerned a new possibility
for romance which he was decrying a bit too loudly. Carl was kidding him
about someone named Ami. At which point a very familiar figure exited the
school building and started their way. Titanite felt her confusion level
rise. What in the world was going on around here?
Oblivious to her attention Carl was saying, "Wonder where Marg and
Annie got to?"
Glad to change the subject Peter told him, "You didn't hear? They got
in a fight last class and sent to the Principal's Office."
He sighed. "Again? Why can't those two learn to get along?" As always
he completely missed the look that passed between Tina and Peter. Tina shook
her head and Peter changed the subject again.
"Speaking of people who have trouble with teamwork any luck with Magnus?"
Carl snorted. "What do you think? Guy's grim as ever. He's still doing
his, 'I've got my own agenda, I help you only if it serves my ends and I've
had my sense of humour surgically removed' routine. Guy's hopeless."
Tina frowned. "Oh I don't know, he's polite enough when he talks to me.
By which I mean he just goes 'hmph' whenever I say something about working
together but doesn't actually tell me to bug off. Which he does if Annie
or Maggie tries the same thing."
"That's because he has a crush on you."
Tina rolled her eyes. "Oh come on! He just grunts a lot and leaves as
soon as he can. Never a kind word, no sign of affection and he's definitely
never tried to date me."
"All of which is because he gets flustered when you're around and real
men don't show emotion. So he tries to avoid you because he's attracted to
you. Some guys are like that."
His sister laughed, "Yeah, right. Like you're any sort of expert when
it comes to love." Naturally Carl looked blank as he wondered what that was
supposed to mean.
A new voice interrupted, "Excuse me Wright-san ..."
Everyone turned and Peter said, "Hello Ms Mizuno. By the way I've told
you before Peter's fine. We're less formal around here."
"I will remember that ... please call me Ami." She coloured a bit as she
said the last part which made her look cuter than usual.
"My pleasure. So what can I do for you?"
"I was just wondering ... if you're not doing anything ... if you'd maybe
like to join me for a snack down at Burger Kingdom?" He blinked and she
turned to go looking embarrassed. "Iunderstandyoumusthavelotstodoandyou're
"Ami ..." He gently touched her arm and the flow of words stopped.
"I'm not offended just a little surprised." He thought for a moment. No
reason not to go, they'd agreed nothing was likely to happen until tonight and
it was looking ever more hopeless with Annie these days so why wait for her
to show up just to see her moon over Carl. Why not go? Besides he liked Ami,
she was bright, modest and pretty. "Actually I'd be happy to accompany you."
She smiled and the colour faded. The two of them excused themselves and
walked off, the conversation quickly shifting to the inadequacy of the school
computers. Tina watched them go with a thoughtful frown. They were still
more at the friends with common interests stage but she was betting that could
change swiftly. Better have a word with Annie and let her know she can't
depend on him waiting patiently forever. Speaking of whom she wondered if
her friends were stuck in sit-there-and-rot detention, work-your-butt-off
detention or the principal was getting to the nasty 'I will ruin your career
Meanwhile on the other side of the school a voice that hinted at barely
controlled maniacal laughter was saying, "Now I don't want to see you girls
back here. Because if I do it's suspensions during exams and I don't care
what it does to your grades or your chances of graduating."
In unison two voices replied sincerely, "Yes, Ma'am!"
"Good, then we understand each other. You can go now."
Trying not to look like they were hurrying Annie Zyte and Margaret Brave
walked out of the office carefully closing the door behind them. While the
nameplate that hung on it was notoriously easy to dislodge its owner had been
known to expel students who dared make it fall. But caution prevailed and the
small sign reading "Beryl Queen - Principal" barely quivered. Breathing sighs
of relief the two girls tiptoed away.
They stayed silent as they entered the empty locker-room and collected
their things. Annie shrugged into trademark leather jacket and smirked when
she saw Marg obsessively checking herself in her mirror. Margaret noticed
the redhead's scrutiny and sniffed dismissively. Still not a single platinum
blonde (which always won out over red in the style columns) hair out of
place. As always she looked great.
Despite their mutual dislike they fell into step and headed out together.
Once she was sure there was no one eavesdropping Maggie whispered, "Ms Queen
is a real tyrant!"
Annie nodded, this being one of the few things they could agree on.
"Yeah, no wonder she's still single."
Naturally it couldn't last as Maggie (Marg to close friends & family)
added, "Of course we wouldn't have got detention if you hadn't started that
"If you hadn't been needling me all day it wouldn't have happened. I
don't really care what happened on your date with Carl!"
Margaret grinned, "Right! Except for wishing you'd been in my place."
"Don't push it!" Once again Annie cursed fate for lumbering with having
to cooperate with this shallow, superficial, vain little bitch. She also
cursed fate for making Carl blind to all this.
As if reading her mind Maggie told her, "It's your own fault you know."
"You know! If you hadn't been such a tomboy when you were kids Carl
might be able to see you as a girl instead of his best buddy."
Annie didn't reply but her jaw clenched. When she'd been younger that
had been plenty. But feelings changed as you grew up except Carl was too
blockheaded to notice! Maggie nodded sympathetically.
"He's not worth it, is he. Better to stick with Peter."
"Don't tell me my business! Even if I agreed I wouldn't want him
trapped as your girlfriend."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"How about you're a selfish little tramp who'd go with any guy who'll
spend a few bucks on you."
"I resent that! I'm not that cheap." She couldn't quite make out what
Annie muttered but it sounded like something about the difference between
hookers and call girls. Maggie's face purpled but she kept herself under
control. Always let her make the first move so she's the bad guy. Don't want
to disillusion Carl. Time to try a new tactic.
"I don't see why you're so keen to steal my boyfriend. You've already
got Pete." As always that set off her guilt feelings.
"I ... that is ... Pete's sweet and I like him but ..."
"But he's not Carl?"
"I ... yeah."
"Too bad for him. Still his luck may be about to change."
Annie glared at her companion. "What's that supposed to mean."
"Just that Ami, that new foreign exchange student, has been hanging
around with him every chance she gets." Annie's angry face developed a
definite hint of worry and Maggie smirked. Annie quickly tried to make light
"I know about her, they've just got some common interests."
"Uh huh. I know science geeks naturally stick together but it's getting
a bit heavier than that. She's interested and you can't really blame him. If
you're going to ignore him all the time why shouldn't he try his luck
elsewhere. Especially if she's coming on hot and heavy."
"SHE ISN'T!" That turned the heads of a few idlers and Annie coughed
unconvincingly then whispered the rest. "Ami's shy, she's not going to do
anything that'll worry me."
"That a fact? I've always said you have to watch the quiet ones. Sooner
or later something snaps and boom! Pete'll never know what hits him ...
course before too long he won't care."
"You don't know what you're talking about now shut up!" Maggie did but
kept the insolent grin.
They walked on in silence for a few moments until they passed one of the
free concert posters that had been plastered everywhere this morning. It had
been the talk of the school all day and a lot of the students were planning
to attend. Annie studied the picture of the three underdressed girls who
fronted the group and shook her head. "'The Doombringers' ... could they get
any more obvious?"
Margaret sighed in agreement. "They never learn. Like we can't figure
the show's at the lakeside arena because they've got a mecha stashed
underwater. Which they'll deploy soon as the Negarangers manifest to stop
whatever their latest idiocy is. It's so plain you can hardly even call it
Annie had a pleasant thought. "I've got a great idea. This time we
don't wait for them to bring out the mecha before we bring out the Negamechs.
Except we don't use our mechas separately, we merge into the Negazoid right
away. Soon as we've got it together we sneak up on the arena through
the lake and stay submerged until the show starts. Then while they're still
on stage sucking life energy, hunting crystals, talismans, mirrors, starseeds
or whatever it is this week we surge out of the water and step on them!"
Margaret assumed the same wistful look. "I like it!"
"I knew you would."
For a few moments they contemplated squishing their enemies. Then
Margaret sighed. "The boys would never go for it."
Annie sighed too. "I know, too chivalrous for their own good. Well
Magnus might but we don't need him unless we're doing the Mega-Negazoid.
Besides Tina wouldn't go for it either." They both shook their heads at this
foolishness and shared a moment of sisterhood. Which didn't last more than a
few seconds before they remembered they were rivals and didn't like each
other. They continued on their way to see if anyone was waiting for them.
Rounding the corner they saw Carl and Tina standing at their unofficial
meeting place. Marg immediately headed for Carl planning enough public
affection to make Annie's blood boil. Annie grit her teeth and resolved to
ignore her then frowned as she wondered where Pete had got to. He was usually
the most punctual of them all. Tina answered her unasked question.
"If you're looking for Pete he's joined that new girl, Ami, for a snack."
"Oh?" Annie was proud she'd kept her voice level.
"Yup. Surprised me too, thought she was too shy to do anything like that
but I was wrong."
Margaret chuckled. "I warned you."
Annie tried to look unconcerned. "There's nothing that says he can't
have friends outside the Negarangers. Besides it's healthy to see other
people instead of the same old faces again and again."
Carl nodded. "True but we should discuss how we're going to handle
things tonight as a group just to be on the safe side. Mind fetching him
back Annie? Ami mentioned Burger Kingdom so you should find them there."
Shrugging elaborately Annie said, "If you think it's really important
I'll find him. But I won't be interrupting them unless I think whatever
they're talking about is trivial." She sauntered off trying to ignore
Margaret's snicker. Nearby the disguised Titanite decided to tag along and
see what was happening. So far she didn't have a clue how things worked in
this world so a thorough investigation was warranted. Besides she was
curious what a Pyrite-Ami (or reasonable facsimile) date would look and sound
As usual this time of day Burger Kingdom was full of the after school
crowd but Pete and Ami managed to find two stools together. The woman who
had followed them in (though they hadn't noticed her) and currently looked
like the star of Project A-ko succeeded in getting a good line-of-sight seat
so she could watch instead of merely listening to her quarry.
As she'd half expected conversation initially concerned computers (or
at least some sort of technology as they seemed to be mainly talking in
acronyms) but from there it began to swing toward the personal.
Pete found that Ami was reticent to talk about her family and homeland
but eager to hear about his life. So he gave her a condensed version of his
life story aware of how boring it sounded. He could have livened it up
easily enough but if he told her about being summoned by Mettleseeka he'd be
betraying his friends. The big problem with cool secrets was you couldn't
tell anyone. Yet despite it all Ami seemed to be hanging on every word and
paying attention to him. It was incredible!
It was very pleasant to be sitting here with a girl who was really
interested in him for a change. He didn't doubt Annie had some affection for
him but lately he'd been wondering if they'd ever be more than friends. Which
unless she ever gave up on Carl wasn't going to happen. Not so Ami, shy
though she was he could tell she was thinking they might be more than that.
The question was what was he supposed to do? He noticed something out the
corner of his eye and saw a couple he hadn't expected to see. It looked like
fellow nerd Max Michaels had finally got up the nerve to ask "Blackie" Dekkers
out. He mentioned this to Ami. He didn't see her blush but he heard her
comment that maybe romance was in the air. He had just agreed and was turning
back to Ami when he saw Annie on the other side of the window looking in. He
froze like a deer in headlights trying to work what to do. He had absolutely
no idea and felt the onset of panic. It was almost a relief when the Tuxoids
came crashing through several other windows.
Burger Kingdom erupted into pandemonium as everyone tried to leave at
once. Haleogre, the manager, muttered, "Not again!" as he dropped to the
ground and began crawling for the exit while wondering about his insurance
rates. Nearby Ti was trying to work out what was going on. Not being local
it was a little confusing though most of the natives weren't taking it in
Seven creatures had just burst in and begun wreaking things. They were
human shaped but featureless being a deep black with the exception of an
inverted white triangle running from chest to (assumed) navel. With a little
(okay a lot) of imagination they could be said to resemble men in tuxedos.
Which might explain why Peter had exclaimed "Tuxoids!"
Not everyone was leaving, Annie was trying to push through the crowd
into the burger joint. Meanwhile Peter had taken up a martial arts stance
and was trying to shield Ami. Since he had his back to Ami he didn't see her
face twist with fury at this interruption. Then remembering who she was
supposed to be she made herself look scared. Across the room a red haired
young woman ducked into the washroom probably to crawl out the window. Annie
had made it inside and was fighting with one of the tuxoids. Another was
already curled on the floor at her feet clutching at itself. While Annie's
stance showed her martial arts training she had always found the even more
ancient technique of "kick them in the bollocks" most effective against these
creatures. Unfortunately you could normally only catch the first one like
that, the rest got cautious.
Ami came to a quick decision and had a noisy attack of female weakness.
Trying not to overdo it she moaned, "Ooooo ...!" and slumped back with her
eyes closed. Pete was momentarily nonplussed, he'd never seen a girl faint
before and couldn't even imagine Annie or Tina doing it. The closest he'd
seen was Marg acted scared and using it as an excuse to clutch Carl. But if
things got serious she got dangerous, even if she risked breaking a nail.
Pete shook himself out of his stupor, he had to help Annie and protect
Ami. Unconsciously trying to look more heroic he caught Annie's eye and she
nodded. No more witnesses which meant they could get serious. Grabbing
their transmuters both intoned their transformation phrase.
"Dire Butterfly Lethal Venom Morph"
Though he'd never admit it Pete wished his morph sounded that cool. Far
as he was concerned he'd got the wussiest one.
"Carpenter Snail Artificing Ability Morph"
Watching from her concealed vantage point in the washroom Ti saw the
transformation. She realized she wasn't the only one, she would bet that Ami
hadn't really fainted. At any rate there was a flare of light and Pete and
Annie were both clad in all concealing garments of the same design, his sky
blue, hers dull yellow. The only parts (presumably) not covered by fabric
were their heads and those were concealed by matching helmets, featureless
except for the hexagonal goggles over the eyes. Both had acquired weapons
with the change, his was a staff while hers were a pair of those long and
thin bladed daggers. Which they set about using with devastating effect.
She noticed once the Tuxoids hit the ground hard they began dissolving.
She might have been content to watch if more of the creatures hadn't begun
pouring in. Hmmmm ... well why not?
The fighting was getting loud with all the breaking furniture, weird
noises of the tuxoids and attack cries of the two Negarangers. Negaranger
Yellow cursed as she realized Negaranger Blue was immobilized by having to
protect Ami. Worse, the Tuxoids were realizing it and shifting to concentrate
on him while a smaller group held her off. She had to take them down now and
help him! She was so focused on this it came as a real surprise when the
washroom door slammed open and the restaurant filled with cherry blossom.
She wasn't alone, everyone froze in surprise as the newcomer stepped out.
Her outfit looked like a more modest version of what Queen Czarina's
Captains wore but she lacked the malicious expression that accompanied the
clothes. Negaranger Blue recognised her as the woman he'd met earlier while
Negaranger Yellow wondered at the resemblance to a slightly older, green
haired Tina. Well aware she was the center of attention the mystery
woman intoned, "A visitor from afar who seeks only to observe in peace.
Summoned to battle by the stench of evil she appears like a thunderbolt.
Senshi of cherry blossoms and megamallets, lovely warrior Sailor Polaris is
here! On behalf of Queen Serenity and the Crystal Tokyo University Inter-
Dimensional Studies Department I will punish you!"
No one was quite sure what to make of this. Then the nearest tuxoid
shrugged and with the usual cry of, "ROSE!", threw itself at her. There was
a loud thud as it was driven facefirst into the floor by a mallet she hadn't
been holding a moment ago. She raised her other hand and a rapidly growing
sphere of light materialized before it. The Tuxoids evidently didn't like
that as they forgot the Negarangers and swarmed towards her.
"POLARIS MULTIPLE WARHEAD INDEPENDENT TARGETING MISSILE!"
The sphere surged forward and fractured into smaller sphere each of which
unerringly struck a tuxoid. All of whom fell down and began to melt away
leaving the two Negarangers more than a little confused.
"My brother always says never expect gratitude but I'd say a thank you's
The Yellow Negaranger responded with, "Thanks but don't make any sudden
moves or you'll be sorry!"
Sounding a bit more friendly the Blue Negaranger asked, "We appreciate
the assistance but who are you? Did Mettleseeka send you?"
"Who? Oh, right. No, like I said I was just passing through and lent
a hand. Though you might want to forgo discussions until we've got a bit
more privacy." The Yellow Negaranger followed her gaze and remembered Ami was
there and might wake up any time.
"Damn! Negaranger Blue our job is done so we should be going ..."
Ti interrupted with, "Hey, no need to run off to change then sneak back
here in your civilian identities. I already know who you are."
"I don't know what you are talking about ..."
"You're Annie, right? And I met Pete over there a little while ago."
The two Negarangers looked at one another uncertain what to say. Ti
shrugged and said, "If it makes you feel better I'll go first. Honey Flash!"
A flare of light and there was a blonde policewoman standing in the stranger's
place. Though despite the hair she now looked a lot less like Tina as her
face had changed as well.
Annie couldn't read Peter's face through the mask but from his stance
he was utterly flummoxed. So it was up to her to ask the cliched but vital
question, "Who or what are you?"
"Hahaha. Sometimes I'm a superstrong redhead who likes to eavesdrop.
Often times I'm the beautiful and mysterious Sailor Polaris. Occasionally I'm
the sadly underrated actress who never got the Oscar she deserved. Right
now I'm the policewoman in the skirt that's shorter than regulation length
but the truth is ..." She struck a pose and blew a kiss at Peter, "Lovely
Multi-talented Dimensional Explorer Lady Titanite!"
"..." Annie was sorry she had asked and gave up all hopes of this ever
making sense. Fortunately Peter seemed to have regained some self control.
"Ohhkay fine ... well since our identities are compromised anyway and I
just saw Ami stirring I'd better follow your advice." So saying he shifted
back to plain old Peter Wright and crossed to Ami's side. The Yellow
Negaranger started to protest but stifled it realizing it was too late. A
moment later a tenser than usual Annie replaced her alter ego.
Ami's eyes fluttered open. "Peter-chan ... I mean Wright-san ... what
Before he could answer the "policewoman" helped her sit up and told her,
"Looks like one of those senseless rampages we get around here. A bunch of
guys put on black bodystockings, get hopped up on goofball and go berserk."
She patted Ami on the shoulder comfortingly and added, "But it's all over
now. Lucky for you and your friends the Negarangers showed up and drove them
"Oh, I see. I have heard of such things happening."
The fake policewoman nodded and sympathetically commented, "I imagine
it's a lot more peaceful in your homeland."
Ami almost laughed but managed to stay in character. "Yes, such things
do not happen. This violence is frightening." She shivered and was glad to
see the mystery woman had bought her act. Good, she'd been awake during the
attack and the little she had managed to glimpse had been so unnerving that
she had feared being unable to act like Ami Mizuno. Good thing Ami would be
shaky after something like this. Her composure slipped a little further as
she noticed Polaris, Titanite or whatever her true name was scrutinizing her.
"No obvious signs of injury. Do you feel any pain?"
"No sensei, just scared."
"Understandable after an experience like that. Young man ..." Peter
blinked as he realized she was addressing him. "Would you mind escorting
your girlfriend home?" She indicated Annie, "This young lady seems a lot more
composed so she can fill in all the details for me."
Before Peter could answer Ami grabbed his arm and plaintively asked him,
"Yes, please take me home Peter, I don't want to stay here!"
"Uhm, yes, of course. It must have been a real shock ... ah, can you
handle things here okay Annie?"
"I can take care of myself."
The subtext that she wasn't some wimpy fainting flower was obviously lost
on him as he just nodded and helped Ami to her feet. He lead her out the
wrecked restaurant careful to avoid debris. Both Ti and Annie decided Ami
was leaning on him a lot more than was really necessary.
Once they were out of earshot Ti commented, "Notice he didn't correct
me when I called her his girlfriend?"
This was, Annie decided, shaping up to be a really rotten day. "Okay, now
that the bystander's out of the way let's get back to who the hell are you?"
"Would you believe I'm another version of Tina from an alternate
"Okay, then I'm your fairy godmother and I'm here to tell you if you
don't stop taking that boy for granted you could lose Peter."
"I'm serious, do you really think he doesn't know why you're always
fighting with Margr ... Margaret or hasn't seen you watching Carl? Don't
you think all that hurts him?" The anger had given way to a dumbfounded
look and Ti wondered if she should have been a little more subtle. But there
was no turning back now. "If I were you I'd make some hard decisions about
who I want to be with and act. Either confront Carl or tell Peter you're
sorry for messing up but things will be different from now on. If you don't
you could wind up with nobody."
There was a silence as the teenager just stood there looking stricken.
At length she wiped her eyes and managed, ""For someone who just met me five
minutes ago you're pretty free with the personal advice."
"Sorry but you two remind me a lot of some old friends of mine."
"Did you butt into their lives the same way?"
"No, I was younger then so I didn't put it together until the night he
finally reached his limit and everything came boiling out. Things worked
out for them but it was a close thing. You've got a chance to do better."
Another pause then the girl managed a wry grin, "You know this is nothing
like what I was expecting to talk to you about."
"You were expecting some sort of spiel about the local war between good
"Sorry like I said I'm just passing through and decided to butt in. I
don't really know what's going on around here." She had some definite
suspicions but those could wait until she had a bit more proof. "Meantime
we'd better get out of here before the real cops show up."
"I guess, though they don't hurry when people call in the really weird
stuff. They've kind of gotten used to the idea they're outmatched. Now
whenever mecha or monsters show up they hole up in the donut shops until they
hear the Negarangers have destroyed them."
As they wandered out Ti asked, "You didn't see surprised Peter knew
where Ami lived. After all she never told him where they were going."
Annie raised an eyebrow. "You're right, there are plenty things you
don't know. Ami's a foreign exchange student and they stay with local hosts.
Ami's staying with Pete's uncle Fred."
That name raised some intriguing possibilities for Ti. If she was right
and Fred was the brother to Peter's father that would make him ... She
shook her head, that meant a very different blood relationship. A good
reminder that this world wasn't just a flip flop of the one she had known and
not to assume exact reversals. She realized Annie was trying to work up to
ask her something and smiled encouragingly.
Hesitantly the teenager asked, "Do you really think I've got a rival?
Is Ami really after Pete?"
After a moments thought Ti told her, "I think you're going to have to
watch her. But so's Peter! There's a lot more to that girl than meets the
Annie frowned "What do you mean?"
"Oh, just an intuition of mine."
Some distance away Peter was asking Ami, "Are you comfortable living
with my uncle?"
Ami had brightened up as they walked so she beamed as she answered.
"Yes, he's a very sweet man."
Pete made a noncommittal noise. His uncle was many things but he had
never before heard anyone call him sweet. If anything Fred Wright could
be described as merely gloomy on his good days. One of his favourite pastimes
was complaining about how things had been so much better in the good old days.
Which, combined with a string of disastrous romances that had left him
embittered had turned him into a cynic-depressive. Sort of like a manic-
depressive but a lot less fun. Pete put aside his musings as they approached
the house. Before he could knock the door swung open.
"Hello Peter. Ami, you look disturbed." There was a definite concern
there which surprised Peter.
"She had a nasty shock. We were having a chat at Burger Kingdom when
a gang attacked it."
"Anyone hurt?" Fred looked over Ami as he asked searching for signs
of injury. It looked like his uncle had warmed up to Ami. A big surprise
but then so was his uncle's offer to host an exchange student in the first
place when the school asked for volunteers. There was a lot more to Fred
than you'd guess at first glance.
"Probably some bruises when everyone ran for the exits but no one got
trampled. Ami fainted and we were surrounded before we could escape. Lucky
the Negarangers showed up to save us." Fred nodded, Pete was sure if Ami
wasn't here he would have winked. His uncle was the only one outside of the
group to know his secret. A consequence of the day he had been forced to
transform in front of him. He was fortunate his uncle could keep his mouth
shut. Meanwhile Fred was asking if she felt any dizziness seeming worried
over her collapse. She told him that she felt fine if a little weak but
would be fine in a little while. That wasn't good enough for him.
"Young lady you are going up to your room to lie down. What you need
right now is a little rest. Pete thanks for bringing her back."
That was clearly a dismissal. Ami turned to Pete looking embarrassed
to tell him, "Your uncle's probably right ... I'm sorry this happened. If
you hadn't come with me we could have avoided it."
"Don't apologise, it's not your fault those lunatics attacked. Besides
until that happened I was having a good time."
She managed a smile, "So was I."
"Maybe we can do this again sometime somewhere quieter."
"I'd like that."
Peter wasn't sure what to do next but decided with his uncle there that
about as much as he could say. Not to mention Annie would be waiting for him
to return. He blinked as he realized that Sailor Polaris character had
slipped his mind. He really had to get his priorities straight, whoever she
was it was crucial to discover just whose side she was on and her intentions.
"Well ... I'll see you later."
"Yes, until later."
"Uhm ... well goodbye."
Ami waved at Peter as he started back towards Burger Kingdom then shut
the door. Turning to her host she asked him, "Don't you feel bad about
betraying your own flesh and blood?"
"Of course but it's my duty and I always do my duty."
Ami nodded but deep inside it didn't seem quite so clear. The plan was
so simple. Latch onto the only known Negaranger and either corrupt him or
use him to engineer their downfall. Why was it getting so much harder? She
realized Fred was watching her.
"No, no. Of course not. It's just ... just a bit harder than I
"Nothing worth doing is ever easy." Ami was about to reply when she
realized wasn't really talking to her. He seemed to having one of his
Fred shook his head as he remembered the old days. When he'd been
Peter's age he'd been part of a giant robot team himself. Him, Jeb, Mal,
Ned and Zoe. Four boys convinced they were tough guys and a girl who needed
to be rescued from the bad guys at least twice a month. Imperium Force Five
and their mecha, "Golden Guardian"! Those were the days and that was a real
mecha team! None of this kung fu crap, back then they were allowed to carry
big guns and blow the bad guys to hell and gone. He sighed, times sure had
changed. But after Guardian was destroyed saving the world the team had
disbanded and they'd drifted apart. All of them except Zoe and Malcolm which
he had always expected. Though like the rest of them he'd had a crush on
Zoe. Yes those were the days ... the days before he saw Dohreyhan and the
beauty of the dark side.
"Fred?" Ami's voice jolted him back to reality.
"Have you ever heard of someone calling themselves either Titanite or
Sailor Polaris?" He frowned as he tried to puzzle that one out.
"Because somebody calling herself both names showed up at Burger Kingdom
after the tuxoids attacked and blew away a dozen of them without even
breaking a sweat!"
"I wish. I don't know who or what she is but she could be a major
stumbling block if she throws in with the Negarangers. Question is if she's
already an ally or some sort of random factor and just passing through as
Fred shrugged. "Hard to say without more information."
"You now know as much as I do."
"I see. But either way she messed up your plan."
It was Ami's turn to frown. "What plan?"
"To have Pete protect you from the tuxoids so you could use gratitude to
get closer to your hero."
"I didn't call in those tuxoids!" Though now he had mentioned it she
wondered why she hadn't? That would have been a brilliant strategy, why
hadn't it occurred to her? Hiding her confusion she tried to cover. "Far
too melodramatic and risky. If the tuxoids avoided attacking me it would have
been very suspicious. Worse if any had got past Peter I'd had to defend
myself that would have given everything away."
It sounded a little weak to her but Fred nodded. "Makes sense. But if
you didn't send them who did?"
Ami's face darkened and she removed a small cloth tag from her sleeve.
She had snatched it from one of the fallen tuxoids before it went into
meltdown and hidden it. It told her all she needed. "I already know who's
responsible. Since I'm due to report in I'm going to have a few words with
Roy!" She felt herself getting angrier then realized Fred was looking
"You'd better be careful. She's ambitious and she'd like nothing more
than to wind up replacing you. Make sure you emphasize your plan is working
slowly but steadily and she's jeopardising it with flashy stunts."
Ami nodded. "I'll remember your advice and won't let her get to me.
"No problem." Ami started toward the basement and the concealed matter
transmitter. "Oh, don't forget to change before you get there. As I recall
last time you were censured for being out of uniform."
Ami stopped and winced. The only thing she really hated about this job
were the working clothes. No wonder no one took them too seriously. She
sighed, nodded and continued down the stairs. Stopping in front of a wall
covered with tools she pushed a saw hanging from a hook to the right. The
wall slid open revealing the hidden platform and the basement filled with its
red glow. That done she triggered her transformation and felt her modest
blue dress melt away to be replaced by her uniform. Short barely concealing
blue skirt, white halter top that left most of her torso exposed, tiara,
earings and those damned boots. Muttering her usual mantra of, "Just give me
five minutes with the idiot who invented spike heels!", Captain Aimless
stepped up onto the transporter platform and activated it. An instant later
she was gone. Hearing the familiar whine Fred headed downstairs to hide
the machine again.
The first thing Aimless heard as she materialized in the Crystal
Fortress was somebody torturing a guitar. That was unusual, generally the
most common sound in the fortress was the echoes of evil laughter. But today
was different and the din intensified as three voices began singing in sort
of harmony. Clamping her hands over her ears she continued towards the
throne room feeling the noise get louder with every step. Gritting her teeth
she kept going glad that at least the noise enabled her to ignore the statues
that lined the corridors. Usually she found their anguished features very
disturbing. Though not nearly as disturbing as the knowledge they had been
servants of Queen Czarina before they failed her.
Aimless somewhat reluctantly lowered her hands and entered the throne room
to see her three fellow Captains performing for their queen. The trio stood
on a newly built stage before the throne, gyrating and belting out a song as
her majesty watched and (presumably) listened. All three were dressed the
same; shorts, halters and boots of some shiny black material. Not that
different from their regular garb apart from the uniform colour scheme though
the appearance was a bit kinkier. Actually considering the length of those
boots those costumes were probably more concealing. Ami crossed to the side
of the stage and bowed to Czarina who acknowledge with a perfunctory nod.
Deciding it could be unforgivably rude to block her ears in Czarina's
presence Aimless endured the alleged music.
Thankfully it didn't go on too long. The song screeched to an abrupt
halt and Czarina applauded with a couple of light claps. "Yes, very good.
Should be a good show." Aimless figured unless they sprung the trap quickly
or locked the exits most of the audience would walk out early on but kept her
mouth shut. Czarina's attention turned to Ami and she assured the Queen the
plan was proceeding as expected despite some interference. Roy gave her a
grin but didn't butt in. Ami decided not to elaborate as that would compel
Czarina to declare one of them in error. Which she was no more anxious for
than Roy. On the positive side Roy obviously hadn't been watching as she
didn't mention the mystery woman. Nor did Aimless, she would keep that
little titbit to herself. After all if she decided to help the Negarangers
tonight it would be Roy's plan that failed, not hers. So why should she
bring her up? Watching her Roy wondered why Aimless was hiding a smile.
Shortly afterwards Czarina dismissed them with the usual threat about
lacking infinite patience and the Captains took their leave. Meanie muttered
something about "girl power" then stalked off to her quarters to get some
sleep before the show. She remained a Captain in name only and had lost her
once boundless energy on her demotion. Lotta drifted off on some errand on
her own after telling Roy she found their stage costume inspirational. Which
left Roy and Aimless looked at each other with cool collected and perfectly
civilized hatred. Ami spoke first.
"Care to explain why you interfered with me doing my job?"
Roy raised and eyebrow. "What makes you think it was me?"
Ami produced the tag she had snatched and read it. "Property of Captain
Roy. If found return c/o The Crystal Fortress, #1 Doom Island." She rolled
her eyes, "What kind of idiot puts these on constructs programmed to self
destruct if defeated?"
Roy glared. "It's so we can tell the damn things apart. Besides it
could be handy if they get lost."
"I don't think the pound delivers."
"Okay so it wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done, sue me."
"I'd like to do a lot worse, you ruined my da ... plan. I had the
Negaranger falling for me just as I planned. Everything was right on schedule
and you nearly wrecked it by exposing me."
Roy snorted. "Your precious plan is irrelevant as the Negarangers will
be history after tonight."
"It seems Queen Czarina doesn't share your optimism or she'd have told me
to discontinue my operation."
Reigning in her temper Roy snarled, "Her majesty, in her wisdom, plans
for every contingency however remote."
"That's your story and you're sticking to it."
Roy's blood pressure rose and she might have exploded had something not
occurred to her. "Aimless, dear", she purred, "if you're trying to seduce the
valiant Blue Negaranger why haven't you just bedded him."
Apparently oblivious Roy continued, "After all he's an enemy so it
wouldn't mean a thing to you. So there would be no risks it would influence
your judgement, correct?" Not waiting for an answer she added, "We're all
supposed to make any sacrifice necessary to aid Czarina so why haven't you
done your duty. Or are you scared that it wouldn't be so impersonal after
all?" Aimless didn't answer so Roy hissed, "You've let him get to you,
haven't you? You weakling!" She grabbed her rival's shoulders and pulled
her closer. "Look me in the eyes and tell me I'm wrong."
Aimless responded with a slap. Roy let go of her to raise a hand to her
cheek. As she did Aimless snarled, "Fool, no wonder I'm running this plan!
Had you bothered to study the situation you would know a rapid approach would
have scared him off, driven him back to his old girlfriend. Not to mention
that Ami isn't that sort of girl and such a radical change in character
would be suspicious. I know him, while he is naive he is not a fool. Your
idea would bring the whole scheme crashing down. Now I have things to do,
don't bother me unless you have some constructive suggestions to offer!"
Aimless stalked off down the corridor trying not to shake. Everything
she had told Roy was true, not the whole truth but the truth none the less.
She was Czarina's second Captain and Peter meant nothing to her, she had to
Behind her Roy called, "Oh very smooth but we both know better, don't
we? Go ahead and dig your own grave. Just remember what Czarina does to
failures. Only reason Meanie's still walking around is Czarina values her
hairstyling skills. You? When this doesn't work out she's got no reason to
spare you and you'll wind up a wall ornament. And I promise you every time I
pass your statue I will spit on it! ... Hey, are you listening to me? Get
back here!" Aimless walked on tuning out Roy as best she could, feeling
nowhere near as confident as she had acted. She had spun a fine web, maybe
too fine. She was becoming afraid she had entangled herself without
Listening to all this Ti congratulated herself. Planting that bug on
Ami/Aimless when she patted her on the shoulder had been a smart move. The
last pieces had just fallen into place. Aimless, the second commander
sent by the evil queen, was disguising herself as a human and wavering in
her loyalties thanks to an attraction to someone. No two ways about it,
Aimless was Nephrite's analog. Now granted this universe wasn't an exactly
analogically reversed but the similarities were remarkable. So the odds were
Aimless would try to turn from the dark path and die tragically. Which didn't
sit very well with her. Ti nodded to herself, things-to-come needed a
few rewrites and she had a few ideas about that. First thing to do was find
out what the Negarangers were planning. Luckily she had planted a second
bug on Annie before departing. An act that would have rather startled her
brother who considered her incapable of anything Machiavellian. Which was
true most of the time but there were circumstances where you had to bend the
rules a little. She clicked on the second bug and began to listen.
Still telling herself she wasn't the least bit jealous Annie arrived
home. She was a little surprised to find the "Closed" sign lit and the
door of "Jebediah Zyte, Jeweller and Goldsmith" locked an hour early. Though
nowhere near as surprised as she'd been the day she arrived home to find him
selling off new stock at ridiculously low prices. It was because of that day
she studied the man she saw through the window carefully. Her father finished
locking the most valuable pieces in the safe then turned and waved. He
crossed to the door and unlocked it which saved her circling around to the
side entrance. He raised an eyebrow at her silent study but he'd gotten used
to it. Annie flushed a little feeling a little guilty about scrutinising her
father like this. But ever since that duplicate mess back when the whole
Negaranger thing began it had become an almost automatic habit.
She followed him though the store and up the stairs to their apartment.
Annie had already decided this was really her father and that she probably knew
what was going on. She'd come to recognise that hint of nervousness.
Jeb cleared his throat, "Um, Annie mind if I ask what you're doing
She shrugged. "The gang's going down to that lakeside concert so I
thought I'd join them. Is there a problem."
A quick answer, "Oh no, nothing wrong with that. It's just that ... I've
got an engagement tonight so I'll be leaving soon and I don't know how late
I'll be back. You'll have to either fix yourself dinner or get a takeout and
I'll cover it. I'm afraid I can't join you."
Covering a smile she nodded. "No problem, Dad ... so is Tess your
engagement for the evening?"
He looked a little flustered. "Ahh ... yes, yes she is."
"Thought so. Look don't worry Dad, I'm a big girl. Go on your date and
have a good time, I can look after myself." From past experience she could
guess she wouldn't see him again until tomorrow. They'd wind up the evening
by taking a leisurely cruise and Dad would spend the night on Tess's
houseboat. Before Tess had shown up Annie couldn't have imagined anyone
wanting to live on the ocean. But her father's girlfriend definitely had the
sea in her blood.
Annie had been of two minds when Tess Siz entered her father's life. On
the one hand angry this stranger was trying to replace her mother. On the
other glad that Dad was coming out of his shell. That was then, these days
she'd decided she liked Tess. Besides since they'd become an item Dad had
given up on his elaborate get-rich-quick schemes so she no longer had to
worry he'd either bankrupt the store or wind up in jail. Still while Jeb Zyte
was relieved his daughter was adapting to Tess so well a hint of edginess
remained. What he didn't know was the true source of Annie's disquiet.
Remembering what was coming down that evening she asked, "Tess isn't
planning a trip up the canal tonight?"
"No, you know she says lakes are only for weekend sailors."
"That's good. It'll get kind of loud tonight and it won't be your sort
of music." Not to mention that a giant robot, probably with an aquatic motif,
was going to emerge sometime tonight. One other worry remained. "She's not
still talking about exploring Doom Island is she?"
The, until recently, submerged island had created a real stir when it
erupted from the ocean floor several months earlier. All the locals had
wanted to explore it though the coastguard had posted it off-limits until
it was officially mapped and explored. However disturbing stories began to
emerge and their enthusiasm had waned. Where the name "Doom Island" had come
from nobody seemed to know but everyone began calling it that. A name which
seemed to become more and more appropriate as visiting the island became less
and less popular with every day that passed. Meanwhile after a series of odd,
baffling and downright horrifying incidents the Coastguard had ringed the
island with automated buoys painted with warning signs and broadcasting
warnings and left it unexplored. They had settled for saying if anyone
ignored the danger signs that was their lookout, marked on the charts, "Heree
there bee dragons" and tried to forget about it. Tess was the only person
around who still talked about exploring it someday.
"Not tonight certainly and not in the near future. I've managed to
convince her it's too dangerous. Never mind the problem of scaling those
sheer cliffs with all those reefs around it she could damage her boat looking
for an inlet." Annie reflected it was probably this last point that deterred
Tess rather than the stories about monsters they told along the waterfront.
Anyway that was a relief, last thing she wanted was to storm Queen Czarina's
headquarters in a bid to rescue Dad and Tess. Then the phone rang and her
father snatched it up. A moment later he handed it over telling her it was
Taking the portable into her room for privacy (knowing that would leave
Dad even more convinced Carl was her boyfriend) she asked, "What's up?"
Carl sighed, "I thought you went to bring Pete back not disappear
yourself? Look he met up with us after he dropped of Ami ..." There was a
faint crack as Annie gripped the phone tighter. "... and told us a pretty
wild story. If it wasn't for the fact we had a look and saw Burger Kingdom
was wrecked I'd have said he was going crazy."
Annie reflected it was a measure of how weird her life had become that
she was more concerned about Peter and Ami than the energy bolt hurling
madwoman who'd shown up. "If you're talking about that Sailor Polaris
"Pete knows as much about her as I do ... well she did tell me a few
things after he left." Annie related those details and agreed with Carl that
it was a ridiculous story. Then they both fell silent considering how many
ridiculous things they'd been through. Both agreed that the group should
get together and discuss things. Carl said he'd bring the others while Annie
told him she'd meet them in the usual place and hung up. Calling a goodbye to
her father, who was occupied with sprucing himself up, she headed down the
back stairs to the garage. Muttering again about the school regulations
that kept student vehicles off campus she opened the garage door, kicked her
cycle to life and roared out the drive towards the west.
Carl was already there with the others who had just piled out of the
junkheap he called his car. The abandoned quarry wasn't the nicest place
but it was usually empty and a handy location to be if you suddenly needed to
summon twenty tons of anthropomorphic battletank.
Greeting her friends Annie did her best to give them the rundown on the
woman calling herself Sailor Polaris omitting all the personal details
"She claims to be somewhere between a intelligence officer and a tourist.
According to her officially she's poking around all the dimensions near to
her own assessing them for potential threats. But that's just an excuse so
she can have some fun nosing around all the nearby worlds."
Carl sighed. "Like we don't have enough weirdness already! I guess all
we can do is hope she's not the vanguard of an interdimensional invasion
force. Also that if she is what she claims she doesn't get in the way."
Annie frowned. "Well she said she's on our side philosophically but
not to count on her support as she's just passing through. As for getting in
the way ... I don't know how she'd do against a mecha but in personal combat
she's a powerhouse! Frankly if it was all of us versus her I'd hate to have
to bet on the outcome."
"You didn't see her in action and she gave me a demonstration afterwards.
She can generate spheres of energy without equipment and pull weapons out of
thin air ... well mallets anyway but some of them were huge! If that's not
enough when she left she disappeared!"
"Disappeared? You mean she's got a stealth mech like Magnus?"
"No I mean one second she's there, the next there's blossoms everywhere
and she's gone. Incidentally all the petals melted a couple of minutes later."
After a few minutes further discussion consisting largely of Margaret
accusing Annie of making up the whole thing they decided to try and forget
about the mystery woman and just hope she didn't mess up their plans. Talk
turned to the concert. Carl summed the problem up
"Okay we know it's a trap. The question is do they know we know it's a
Peter shook his head. "Past practice says no. Besides we've blundered
into enough traps that they'll be expecting us to fall for it." Everyone
winced at his assessment but couldn't deny it. Looking back it was amazing
what they had fallen for. Thankfully surviving had accelerated their learning
curve faster than their enemies anticipated.
Annie contributed, "The main problem is it'll be packed with targets
and one hell of a lot of hostages. We don't do something about that then
Margaret raised an eyebrow. "You wish. Okay first order of business
cutting them off from the audience. Got it! We drive through the walls and
block the line of fire."
"Bringing the roof down on the audience. Real smart." Marg glared at
"At least I'm trying!"
Very grudgingly Annie said, "I'll agree we have to sever the line of
fire but I don't see how we can do that in a crowded auditorium."
Carl nodded. "Maybe we'd better go back to our original idea for
stopping the show."
Tina shook her head. "Pull the fire alarm during the opening act then
bring in the mecha as soon as everyone's clear? People could be trampled
in the panic!"
"I don't like it but it's better than the alternative."
"I've got an idea ..." Everyone looked at Peter. "Instead of using out
transmuters to just change and summon the mecha we bring the mechs out first
then reverse the polarity on the transmuters."
Carl tried to follow that, "You mean route the mechs power through the
"Right. If we align all five we should be able to create an energy
"Won't they burn out?"
"Not short term. We should be able to maintain it long enough to get the
audience to leave." His enthusiasm suddenly vanished as Peter admitted, "Of
course we still have to find a way to let us set the shield in front of the
Captains and they're not going to let us do that."
Annie smiled, "Oh I don't know. I see a way we can set it up in plain
view of them without any problems ..." She explained her plan and there were
a series of nods. Even Margaret conceded it might work. That done there was
some fine tuning of the details. That done Carl gave the order to summon
their mecha. They would have to be in place for tonight.
A little later the security guard on duty in the kiosk at the Lakeside
Arena's parking lot was jolted awake by a horn. Glancing at the clock he
cursed whoever was showing up this early before looking at the car outside.
He did a very impressive double take that would give him neck trouble the rest
of the week.
The man in the all concealing red costume inquired politely, "It's flat
rate parking, right?" The guard nodded dumbly and accepted the bills he was
handed. The man in red leapt back into his vehicle's cabin and eased it
inside. Twenty tonnes of metal shaped roughly like a Zuggernaut slid past
the kiosk with about a centimetre of clearance. The guard looked past it to
another four animal shaped tanks waiting patiently. He mumbled, "I've heard
of monster trucks but this is ridiculous!", and decided soon as they were
past him to start calling around looking to swap shifts. He had a sudden
premonition trouble was coming.
Parking their mechs the five Negarangers let Blue make the necessary
adjustments to broadcast power then activated the camouflage programs that
covered the mechs with holograms with buses. Maybe a bit obvious but the
only other setting made them look like hedges and despite what ninjas thought
hedges suddenly appearing were a bit conspicuous. So far so good. Now for
the second half of the plan. Silently the five slipped to the receiving doors
and let Blue neutralize the alarms and locks. Then vanished inside the arena.
It was a few hours later the crowd started showing up, Ami Mizuno among
them. It was more or less her duty to witness this, though she rather
expected (or at least hoped) Roy would blow it. That would make her own
victory so much sweeter. At least it should have but she found the face
behind the Blue Negaranger's mask was preying on her thoughts. It was giving
her a migraine. She ducked into the nearest washroom to take a few aspirin
unaware she was being followed by a woman with an uncanny resemblence to the
anime interpretation of the Norse goddess Skuld. The door locked behind her
and there was a muffled "bonk" unheard in the din of the corridor.
Backstage Roy waited as the opening act finished their set to applause
and enthusiastic cheers. She smiled nastily, get ready fools, the real show
is about to begin. She nodded to her fellow Captains and the trio trooped
onto the stage launching into their first number.
This whole operation was a trap for the Negarangers and that was Roy's
true objective. Still the disappointing response was irksome. Giving a
signal she announced, "Pity you weren't more enthusiastic, you could have
delayed this a bit longer!" The lifeforce drainer concealed in the staging
came to life and started to feed on the crowd. Which would include the five
Negarangers. They would transform and start acting heroic and when they did
the drainer would be focused on them exclusively sucking them dry inside of a
minute. At least that's what should have happen but the drainer's energy
tendrils were stopping dead before they left the stage. Roy swore, something
was blocking them but what? At which point Lotta asked, "How many bouncers
did we hire?"
Roy looked to the end of the stage and the five figures in security
uniforms standing there to keep the fans back. She felt a sinking feeling as
they turned around, shedding their uniforms to reveal the monochrome costumes
underneath. Snarling she activated her battlesuit's combat systems and threw
a fireball at the fivesome only to see it blocked. Lotta's electro pulses
and Meanie's energy whip suffered the same fate. Stalemate!
On the other side of the shield people were either cheering the stage
show or booing the lookalikes in the phoney looking Negaranger costumes.
Ami shook her head and watched the stalemate from a position near the stage.
She saw Roy looking her way and waved. Roy looked like she might explode
but then developed a nasty smile. Gathering all her power Roy gave a few
quick instructions then raced forward and dived into the shield blasting
the air before her.
Crashing through though not without injury Roy rolled to her feet
ignoring the pain and the startled crowd. Grabbing Ami she snarled at the
Blue Negaranger, "Okay Blueboy, either come stop me or I burn her head off!"
Before anyone could stop him the Blue Negaranger leapt from the stage to
confront Roy. The forcefield wavered, immediately Meanie and Lotta powered
their weapons and renewed the attack while the drainer's guidance system
continued trying to bypass the shield to begin feeding. Tina came to a quick
decision and launched herself at Meanie. As she did did Lotta turned to zap
her. Before she could the Yellow Negaranger was tearing towards her, possibly
slightly before the Red Negaranger ordered, "GO!"
Amongst the crowd Magnus Cite watched things get further and further out
of control. Idly he wondered how long Red and Black could maintain the shield
by themselves. A question Carl and Margaret were asking themselves with a
far more urgent emphasis. In front of the stage the Blue Negaranger was
staggering under Roy's assault as he tried to shield Ami. On stage the
Yellow Negaranger and Lotta seemed well matched as did Meanie and Pink though
the latter pair were far less skilled fighters. Watching the Pink Negaranger
aka Tina Flyte fight on he fingered his transmuter and mouthed a certain
phrase. In all the confusion no one noticed him change. Especially as things
got lethal a few moments later.
The Blue Negaranger staggered and fell in front of Ami. Roy smiled, she
had made excellent use of Aimless's disguise and all the credit for this would
go to her. There was about to be one less Negaranger in the world. Summoning
everything she had she let fly at the prone figure. Aimless stepping in front
of him was the last thing she expected. Aimless collapsed as the Blue
Negaranger screamed, "AMI!"
Roy was gaping at the sight in amazement instead of taking advantage of
the distraction when the green blur rushed past and hit her very hard on
its way to the stage.
Onstage Ami's sacrifice had affected both fights. Witnessing her comrade
fall Lotta was thrown momentarily off her stride. Long enough for Annie to
slam her facefirst into the stage and race for the lifrforce draining machine.
Tearing aside the plastic cover she stared momentarily at the controls then
followed the traditional technique of ripping apart everything that had lights
or made noises. She was so preoccupied it wasn't surprising she didn't notice
the near disasterous turn the other fight had taken.
The problem was Tina saw Ami go down while Meanie was facing away from
the audience. Shocked the Pink Negaranger froze and her enemy took advantage
of the hesitation. Stunned by the energy whip she hit the stage hard and
looked up groggily and defenceless to see Meanie towering over her with the
whip set to maximum output. Meanie saw both Red and Black scrabbling for
weapons, forgetting about maintaining the shield, but knew they weren't going
to be in time. She was finally going to be rid of one of these pests and
regain full rank. She slashed downwards not daring to savour the moment for
fear of losing it.
Unfortunately for her but fortunately for Tina it was already too late as
the Green Negaranger grabbed her arms to throw off the strike then flung her
across the stage. Deciding discretion was the better part of survival the
dizzy (which some would call her normal state of mind) Meanie activated the
short range transporter linked to the hidden mecha. She vanished in a showy
flash to reappear in the mecha's cockpit. The equally dazed Lotta pulled
herself upright, saw Negarangers coming from all directions and Aimless dying
in the Blue Negaranger's arms and muttered, "This is gonna mean paperwork."
She triggered her transporter about half a second before Annie reached her.
Lying on Peter's lap Ami's clothes shimmered as they shifted between
her own and Aimless's uniform. She had murmured his real name putting all the
pieces together for the little of his mind not consumed with grief.
The dying woman gasped, "Hurts ... pe ... blue ... you ...okay?"
"Yes!" Actually he ached like hell but that didn't seem important right
"Good ... never meant it to be like this ... was supposed to use you to
destroy others ... seemed so simple ... don't understand but couldn't ...
couldn't let her hurt you ... not fair ... finally get a second chance and
... it hurts ..."
"Don't talk anymore!"
"No ... all over ... I can feel it ... maybe if we'd had more time ...
sorry to run off before we had chance to share chocolate parfait ... would
have liked to have date ... just be normal girl ..." Her eyes shifted to
the Yellow Negaranger kneeling over both of them. "Know who you must be ...
sorry but I was lonely ... take care of him ..." The Yellow Negaranger nodded
and her gaze switched back to Pete. "Sorry about everything ... would have
done best to make it right ... I wish I could see your face one more time ..."
She reached up to touch the mask then slumped back.
The other Negarangers (except for Green who was still on stage destroying
all the remaining parts of the drainer) had encircled Roy, who stood very
still not daring to move or say a word with all the weapons just waiting for
an excuse to be used. She was as surprised as them when she suddenly found
herself in the mecha's control room. Lotta looked at her and said, "I used
the remote to activate your transmitter. Now since you're still commander
do we cut our losses and head home or ..."
Roy shook her head. "Go home after a fiasco like this without striking
a single blow? You trying to get me crystallized? All systems on line, time
for good old giant robots and brute force to carry the day!"
Inside the arena Red was saying, "They're all clear which means they'll
be back with mecha. We have to form the Negazoid!"
Yellow shook her head. "Blue's in no shape for that. We'll have to use
the vehicles separately ..."
Everyone looked at Blue, who gently lowered Ami's body which seemed to
be glowing and becoming fainter. Peter got to his feet and continued, "We'll
need the Negazoid and all hands to beat them. I'll mourn afterwards but right
now it's time to see they don't get away to kill again!" He strode towards
the exit pushing through the crowd. An instant later the Yellow, Red, Black
and Pink Negarangers followed.
The only one left behind the Green Negaranger lifted a discarded
microphone and announced, "Ladies and gentlemen the Doombringers have left
Realizing the show was over the audience began to file out. Slowly at
first but when they saw the Negazoid in the parking lot the exodus sped up.
One thing people around here had learned was it only showed up when something
big enough to fight was nearby. Seeing it carefully stalk towards the lake
getting to the driest land possible suddenly seemed like a good idea.
Ignoring the fleeing crowd (apart from making sure they wouldn't step on
anybody) the Negarangers walked their mecha to the lake. Sure enough from all
the waves and bubbles churning the surface something was emerging.
Inside the now deserted arena the late Ami stopped dissolving and rose
to her feet. Her features shifting back to normal Titanite chuckled, "Hah,
and they said none of my performances was Oscar material. Solid gold! That
would have got me best actress for sure!" Hearing all the yelling outside
sobered her up abruptly and she decided to see what was happening. To say
she was surprised by what followed truly understates the matter.
A rounded black shape broke the surface of the boiling lake, water
streaming from it as rose higher and higher into the air giving it more
definition. Carl muttered, "They've gotta be kidding!" as its shape became
clear. Topped by its towering pompadour the white jumpsuited mecha stepped
onto the shore unslinging the massive guitar from its back. One of the
fleeing crowd stopped and stared then felt tears of joy roll down his cheeks.
The King had returned! Then he gasped as he saw the Negazoid advancing on it.
He raced towards the rapidly shrinking space between the two giant mecha.
Inside the Negazoid the Red Negaranger glanced over at Negaranger Blue and
wished he could see his face. One major drawback to these costumes was body
language was the only thing you could read. Pete's showed tension but if
that was grief or anger he couldn't tell. Either way they'd better make this
battle quick. Carl gave the order
"Okay, no messing around let's make it short and sweet. Deploy the
lance!" There was a chorus of agreement except for Negaranger Pink who
sounded a bit scandalized.
"We're starting off with our finishing move? What about our policy of
using the weaker stuff to minimize collateral damage ..." Tina's voice
abruptly filled with concern. "Hey, somebody just ran in front of their
As soon as she said it Negaranger Blue had zeroed in on the interloper
and put him on the screen. He stood with his arms outstretched as though
trying to block the Negazoid. Negaranger Red stopped their advance wondering
why anyone in their right mind would voluntarily step between two hundred ton
mechas. He frowned as he recognised the intruder as a classmate. What was
that idiot playing at?
Tina frowned behind her mask. "Who is that? He looks familiar."
Negaranger Yellow answered, "It's Kenny." Annie's voice had definite
tones of dislike which were echoed by Negaranger Black.
"You know, the little creep who always mumbles when any girl passes him."
"Oh, right. Hey, his lips are moving. He's trying to talk to us!"
Blue must have focused a mike on him as a moment later Kenny's voice
echoed through the control room. Margaret was surprised to be able to
understand the creep for the first time. Normally she liked guys staring at
her but there was something about him that made her skin crawl. For the first
time she was glad her black costume covered her completely. Last thing she
wanted was Annie to see her getting edgy. Though creepo wasn't talking trash
just crazy. What in hell was he on?
"... have to stop! The King has returned to us, arising from the lake
with his mighty instrument held aloft. You can't fight him this has been
Pink guessed she wasn't the only one confused by all this. "Anyone have
any idea what he's talking about?" She could almost hear the shrug in her
"Best guess is he's confusing Arthurian legend with Elvisian and coming
up with this gibberish. Probably on weed or something ... uh oh!"
Outside Kenny ranted on oblivious to the world around him. He ignored
the shadow descending on him until almost the last minute. The massive foot
of his idol rendered him almost two dimensional.
On board the Negazoid the Pink Negaranger gasped, "Oh my God! They
Yellow turned to glare at Black. "Whatever. Anyway maybe he was a creep
but he still didn't deserve that. Let's nuke 'em!"
"That I can agree to."
Negaranger Red was suffering an odd case of Deja Vu. Hadn't Kenny got
killed by a falling building last week when that turtle mech was rampaging?
No matter, he'd worry about that later. "Let's do it!"
"Yeah!" As always everyone chanted "Nega Burning Heart Lance!" as they
deployed the individual components their mechas carried. They'd never been
sure if shouting while assembling it was strictly necessary but Mettleseeka
insisted and why take chances on screwing up their ultimate attack?
But before they could complete the summoning sequence the other mecha's
fingers brushed its guitar and unearthly howling tore through the cabin. The
sound abruptly died away and Red realized that Blue must have cut the external
speakers. Unfortunately that didn't get rid of the ringing in everyone's
head and the superstructure continued to vibrate as the ultrasonic melody of
"Do Be Cruel" washed over the Negazoid. Ignoring all this Carl reinitialized
the summoning sequence and the others followed suit. Everything snapped
together in a flare of light and their mecha was holding the Negalance which
it spun in the preprogrammed circle. Completing this the Negazoid posed with
the lance held in the righthand pointing towards the ground while the left
hand gestured a "come here" at their enemy. The tide of battle was about to
But the enemy hadn't exhausted their tricks yet. The strings on the
massive guitar detached from the fret and whipped towards the Negazoid
wrapping around it. The Red, Black and Yellow Negarangers all uttered a few
words fortunately muffled by their masks as they realized the arm holding the
Lance was bound to the mech's side.
Inside her Graceland furnished control room Roy couldn't resist a bout of
evil laughter. "YAHAHAHAHAHA! We've got them! Lotta, electrify the cables
and let's toast them!"
Lotta frowned at the controls before her. "How do I do that?"
Roy's smile slipped. "What?"
"There's nothing here to power the strings."
"Impossible! I gave specific instructions to ... MEANIE!"
The Captain stuck with overseeing construction just shrugged. "Well
don't look so surprised. Your idea of design specs is to scribble a dozen
lines of weaponry on a piece of paper along with a bad cartoon of the mech
and tell us you want it Friday. Even with magical construction there are
limits, you know? To make an impossible deadline we had to cut a few corners.
You're lucky we even had time to get the battle guitar 80% functional."
"You incompetent fool. Well improvise! Link the plasma generator to
the wires and we'll fry them with our full power output."
"How am I supposed to do that. Aimless was the only one any good at last
minute jury rigging ..." She nodded at the empty fourth chair. "... But
since you just killed her we're stuck."
"I don't want excuses! I want results!"
"Uh, Roy ..." Lotta's interruption broke the argument as both realized
they had taken their eyes off the monitors. They turned back just in time to
see the Negazoid spinning around and the lines go taunt. Lotta tried to
increase gripping pressure but it was too little, too late and the guitar
tore free and flew towards the Negazoid. As it did the strings loosened and
the mecha's left hand caught the guitar by the neck which it swung back even
as it stepped free of the wires and charged forward.
"HERE THEY COME!"
"NO, BLOCK THEM!"
The guitar caught the mecha squarely in the face and shattered. Flung
backwards the giant robot crashed to the ground and rolled, coming to rest
on its back. Groaning and thankful she had been wearing her seatbelt Meanie
looked around the battered control room. Lotta had managed to grab onto her
control panel (which was now full of red lights) so she wasn't flung across
the cabin. Roy staggered to her feet clasping a hand to her cheek. Snarling
she pulled the hand away to reveal a very thin, lightly bleeding cut. Despite
the minor nature of the wound Meanie wasn't too surprised when Roy lost it.
"THEY SCRATCHED MY BEAUTIFUL FACE. THEY WILL PAY FOR THIS. WE WILL
"What do you mean we?" Roy turned to see Meanie lever open the door to
the teleporter pod. "We've got a dozen system crashes and they're still
running at 100%. I am out of here!" With that she slipped into the pod and
"She's got a point!" Roy stared as Lotta clambered into the pod. "We
blew it again but we can blame the failure on Aimless's defection. Now let's
get out of here!"
"NOT UNTIL THEY'VE PAID!"
"Your funeral, sis. However much I love you I'm not dying with you."
A moment later she was gone.
Looking fanatical Roy swore, "Who needs you? I don't need any of you
weak willed cowards. My strength alone shall crush them!" The Negazoid was
charging in as she made her robot rise. There had to be some offensive
systems still working ... AHA! The mecha raised both arms towards its
onrushing foe. "ELVIS PUNCH!"
Both fists rocketed towards the Negazoid. Once it was down she would
get in close and use the anti-aircraft laser concealed in the pompadour.
At least that was the plan before there was a ripple in the air and two
missiles shot out of nowhere to destroy the fists. What the hell? Roy swore
as she realized it was the Green Negaranger's stealthed mecha. Probably
telling his buddies he just disarmed me, ha ha. Well he was wrong and he'd
just given himself away. Backtracking the missiles had given her a target
lock. Eat laser, punk!
As her finger touched the button Roy belatedly realized that with no one
else in the cabin no one was tracking the Negazoid. She looked up just in
time to see it filling the main monitor. "OH SH...!"
The Lance plunged into the mecha's chest and the Negazoid threw itself
back. A massive flare of energy erupted from the lance's tip consuming the
enemy mech and everything in its vicinity. When the light faded the lance was
lying at the bottom of a newly formed crater. As the Negazoid retrieved it
several of its pilots thought, as they often did, that this attack was a
bit hard on the landscape. On the other hand at least the city wasn't stuck
having to haul away a hundred plus tonnes of wrecked mecha every week.
"Okay let's unmerge and head home."
"Back to the arena first." Red looked over at Blue.
"Okay, if you're sure." He nodded. "Gotcha, let's move out."
Disassembling the weapon the Negazoid headed back.
Meanwhile back at the Crystal Fortress Queen Czarina looked away from
the projection wall. "This is getting a bit repetitive. Not to mention I'm
out two Captains."
Lotta shook her head. "Don't worry, Roy got out all right."
"Oh? Good. But she still screwed up. Lotta you're in charge, get a
new plan together ... on second thoughts wait until I've consulted Dohreyhan.
He may have revised our objectives yet again."
Soon as she'd left Meanie asked, "Why'd you say that? She didn't get to
the teleporter and while she may have ejected that's a real long shot."
"I don't know. It just popped out. Well if Czarina asks she's been put
in cryo status until we can heal her injuries."
"You're the boss."
"Good attitude." Lotta paused a moment sure she had forgotten something.
"I feel like something's slipped my mind but what ...? Oh yeah! NEGARANGERS,
YOU HAVE KILLED MY SISTER. I WILL AVENGE HER!"
Meanie clapped. "Very nice but you'd better keep it down or you'll
tip Czarina off."
Unbeknownst to everyone a familiar figure was clambering out of a pond
at the Shaizaar Grove Sewage Treatment Plant cursing both the Negarangers and
whoever installed the damn pilot ejector seat. Probably Aimless which meant
she couldn't take it out on her. Muttering to herself and reeking to high
heaven Roy tried to work out how she was going to get back home.
Back at the empty arena the unmorphed Peter was staring at the place
Ami/Aimless had fallen. Funny none of them had ever noticed the resemblance
before. No trace of her remained, the dissolution he had seen start had
been total. She was gone.
He felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up to see Annie. "You really
liked her, didn't you."
"I ... I guess so but I didn't really know her at all. I mean she was
our enemy and manipulating me all along so I shouldn't feel to bad. It's
"It's okay. You can't blame yourself because she took advantage of you.
If you weren't a nice guy she wouldn't have been able to get to you but if
you were like Magnus I wouldn't like you. And I do, more then I've been
He looked at her for a moment. "Annie ... I ..."
"My timing stinks, right?" He nodded. "I understand. When you're
ready ... well you know where to find me." After a moment she added, "One
thing you should remember is it wasn't a one way affection. She shielded you
when all she had to do was sit back and let Roy finish you. If she hadn't
felt anything for you she'd never have done that. So whatever else she was at
the end she cared about you. So you've got no reason to be ashamed about
The other three Negarangers watched in silence. No sign of Magnus, he
must have flown off after they torched the mech. Margaret opened her mouth
to say something but felt Carl's fingers tighten on her arm. He whispered,
"Whatever you're about to say it'll be the wrong thing. So just keep quiet
for once." She pouted but obeyed for once. Carl looked at Tina and she
nodded and the threesome withdrew quietly. Annie waited while Peter knelt
by the empty space. At length he looked up and permitted her to lead him
away. The echoes of their footsteps died away and silence settled over the
When she was sure everyone was gone Titanite emerged from her hiding
place. So far, so good. She retrieved the inconspicuous surveillance devices
she had planted and put them back in pocketspace. Humming the Captain Tyler
theme she crossed to a storage closet and opened it. Inside the closet the
bound and gagged Aimless uttered muffled threats and demands for immediate
release. Ignoring these for a moment she removed the earpiece receivers that
had let Aimless follow the action, did a check for any gizmos she had missed
then dissolved the psychoplasm ropes.
Momentarily taken aback by her sudden freedom Aimless screamed, "DO YOU
HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU'VE DONE?!"
"Yep, destroyed all your archvillainess cred. Welcome to the side of
"To use a bad metaphor you were teetering on the brink of good and evil
so I snuck up behind you and gave a good shove."
"You lunatic! Czarina watches these battles! She just saw me turn
traitor. Do you know what she'll do to me?!"
"Nothing, you're dead far as she knows. Though you might want to lower
the decibels or you could tip her off otherwise."
Glancing around furtively Aimless whispered, "Maybe I can still salvage
this. If I go back to Doom Island ..."
"With no proof and just your word do you really expect her to listen?
From what I know of evil queens I'd say you'll get about as far as, 'I can
explain everything!' before she zaps you. Besides do you really want to go
Aimless groaned and sat down heavily. Defeated she moaned, "You've
ruined me. If I reappear in either identity Czarina will have me hunted
down. I'm finished. I can't go home and my student identity is useless so
I've lost my hiding place. Plus if Ami reappear Peter will think it was all
some sick plan and reject me. Why have you done this. Do you get some charge
out of destroying people's lives?"
"I don't make a habit out of stunning total strangers, tying them up and
impersonating them as a rule. Actually most people who know me would be very
surprised I even did it this one time. But needs must and all that. Let's
just saying I figured the odds were you'd wind up giving yourself conflicted
loyalties and torn between two worlds. Which would probably get you killed as
most evil queens don't accept resignations. So you could say I've saved your
"Big whoopee. Thanks a lot."
"Look forget the sarcasm and start thinking. This isn't so much an end
as a new beginning. Have a word with old Fred and get him to help you set
up a new identity. If he won't do it out of the goodness of his heart I'll
tell him I'll be passing word of his activities onto his nephew and letting
his employers know his cover is blown."
Aimless looked at her. "Anyone ever tell you, you've got a definite
"First time for everything. Well, let's go have a few words with
Freddy-boy." She took Aimless's hand and they vanished.
Monday morning found Peter and Annie heading into school together. He
was still nursing a lingering sadness but increasingly appreciative of her
interest in his welfare. Maybe there was hope after all. Just short of the
school gate they spotted a green haired figure ignoring all the puzzled
passing students. Altering course they went over to join her.
"You're still around?"
Ti smiled at Annie. "Not for much longer. The only reason they let me
take these trips is to determine potential hazards to our world in the
neighbouring dimension. This world's got problems but nothing that will
impact ours. Neat as this world is I've stalled them as long as I can so it's
time to move on. I just wanted to say bye."
"Ah ... well goodbye. It's been weird but kind of enlightening meeting
you." Peter looked Annie but she didn't seem to want to elaborate so he
just said, "Thanks for the assistance the other day."
"No problem. Oh, one more thing. Keep an eye on that uncle of yours."
"Oh I already checked on that. He says he can't remember most of Ami's
visit so I guess she was controlling him somehow. We took care of a few
loose ends and far as the school's concerned Ami had to withdraw suddenly for
a family emergency."
"Good thinking. Well I must be off. Bye!" She gave a wave and
vanished. The teenagers blinked then looked for witnesses and were relieved
not to spot any. Last thing they needed was more complications. Sadly that
was just what the day had in store for them next.
Just as they entered the school grounds a voice called, "Excuse me?"
Peter turned then tensed abruptly. Feeling the change Annie whirled around
and gasped, "Ami!"
In a voice and accent quite unlike the late Captain's the puzzled
newcomer said, "Yes, that's my name. Sorry, do I know you?" Looking closer
the differences added up. The more daring clothing, the earrings and a few
other details of her appearance.
Trying to sound casual Peter asked, "Your name wouldn't be Mizuno Ami
by any chance?"
"Sorry but you must have confused me with someone else. My name's
Amy Anderson, I'm a new transfer student."
"Oh?" Annie tried to show no signs of disbelief.
"Yeah, I was supposed to start here a few weeks ago but there was some
sort of trouble with the paperwork. This school kept insisting I was already
here or something. They finally straightened it out over the weekend, my
record was mixed up with someone else's. Weird, huh?"
Annie shook her head. "That just qualifies as a glitch. We've got
different criteria for weird around here."
"So I hear. It sounds like an exciting town."
"That's one way of looking at it. Anyway can you tell me where the head
Peter began, "It's towards the back of the building. It can be a little
tricky to find until you know the layout ..."
"Jeez, I hate wandering around in circles and I don't want to be late my
first day. Would you mind showing me."
It was probably her resemblance to Ami that made Peter blurt, "Not at
all!" Then remembering Annie was with him asked her, "Uhm, you don't mind
The real answer was yes but she didn't want to seem insecure and
possessive. "Why should I? Nothing wrong with being nice to new students."
Amy beamed, "Great, well you've got the all clear so let's go." She
grabbed Peter's arm and began dragging him towards the building. "You know
my name but I didn't catch yours."
"Sorry, it's Peter Wright."
"Nice to meet you Pete. So any tips you can give me about this school?"
The voices faded into the distance and Annie muttered, "Fast worker.
Didn't give a damn who I was." Feeling a presence behind her she spun to
confront a grinning Margaret. Before she could open her mouth Annie told
her, "Say one thing wrong and I will flatten you no matter what the
Margaret felt sweat developing despite the antiperspirant. "Uhhh ...
got a pencil I can borrow?"
"Okay, fine. Well, see you later." With that she dashed off. Annie
took a few moments to center herself with limited effectiveness and stalked
into school muttering, "Somehow I will bet this is that Sailor Polaris's
fault. She ever shows up again I am going to punch her really hard!" She
stopped and shook herself, "Okay so things just got complicated again. Well
when I set myself a goal I never quit until it's accomplished so don't
challenge me Anderson. You'll get hurt." Ignoring the bystanders staring at
her she marched confidently into school.
Some distance away Ti lowered he binoculars and murmured, "Maybe I
didn't think this through as much as I thought."
Ti jumped, wondering how her brother had got so close undetected.
"What are you doing here?"
"They sent me to remind you not to dawdle. You've done enough here."
"But there's so much more that needs fixing ..."
"And there always will be because that's the nature of things. Every
change leads to new problems and try as you might you can't solve everything
by yourself. It's hard enough for all of us to keep things running smoothly
"Ti, this world got on fine before you arrived and it'll keep on spinning
long after you depart. You've just got to trust the people to do the best they
"You know you're ruining your tough cynical guy image."
"Utopia seeps in after a while. Now let's go." As she still looked
hesitant he added, "They think they've found a half dozen new anime worlds."
"REALLY! Well what are we hanging around here for? Let's move it!"
A moment later both had departed this world forever.
Unaware her counterpart had just left Tina Flyte was on a mission of
her own. She spotted her quarry at his locker sorting through his books.
He turned a cold gaze on her. "My name is Magnus."
"If you insist though it wouldn't hurt you to loosen up a bit." He
uttered a ,"hmph!", and turned back to his locker. Undaunted she continued,
"Well, I just wanted to thank you for the saving my life thing."
"I did that because the Negarangers are useful to me sometimes. You owe
me nothing, I was just taking care of my own interests."
Tina shrugged, "It may be nothing to you but my life's important to me
so thanks anyway." Then feeling an odd combination of impulses she darted
forward and planted a quick kiss on his cheek. The results were remarkable,
she had never seen anyone blush so brightly before. It almost looked like
steam was coming out of his ears. "Well, see you around." Fighting off a
giggle she headed to her class passing her brother on his way to his own
Wondering why his sister was in such a hurry when there was still plenty
of time until the bell Carl nodded at Magnus and got his books. It was only
after he had retrieved his books and closed his locker that he realized
Magnus hadn't moved since he entered. Frowning he waved a hand before the
"Magnus? You in there?"
The other boy seemed to snap out of his daze abruptly. Not really
noticing Carl he quietly announced, "Maybe the world isn't such a dark and
lonely place after all." With that he closed his locker and headed down the
corridor looking vaguely happy for the first time Carl could recall.
Pondering what had got into Mr Teen Angst, Carl followed. Then
shrugged. He might never know the reason. All sorts of things went on around
you, both hidden and public, that you caught the barest hints of at most. The
odds were against ever learning what most of it was about so all you could do
was deal with it as best you could. That's just life.
Not a particularly profound philosophy but he was a teenager so he was
expected to be shallow. Speaking of which there was something he'd far rather
contemplate than the mysteries of existence. Speeding up a little he joined
Margaret and dismissed the meaning of life. Though some might say he had just
found it. For even if love didn't make the world go round it certainly made
your time on it a lot more enjoyable.
Which while not a definitive conclusion Ti would agree it's a pretty
good note to wrap up on.
You can blame this story on two people. Christian Gadeken for coming
up with the Bogosity concept (though his stories were short and to the point)
and Austin Loomis for asking for a Bogosity story featuring the DKR as a
sentai superteam. If you'd like to see the original Bogosity stories check
out Continuing Bogosity
Well that concludes the Power Ranger version of the DKR and I promise never
to use them again. Sometimes things get out of control so what started as a
simple short parody of the "teens with giant robot" shows took on a life of
it's own. Guess I've been overdoing it on Hurricane Season so I needed to
write something light. Right enough silliness, back to MegaTokyo and the
Knight Sabers. Yes, I'm finally getting around to completing the damned
thing. Will I destroy everyone's lives even further? Can I destroy anyone's
lives any further? You'll find out. One chapter down, six to go.
Okay, one last bit of silliness follows. Apologies to fellow SMEer Sam
Ashley for misusing his Encyclopedia Metallia in the morphing phrases.
Carl Flyte - Negaranger Red (Team leader)
"Zuggernaut Crushing Force Morph"
Tina Flyte - Negaranger Pink
"Graxat Burrowing Power Morph"
Annie Zyte - Negaranger Yellow
"Dire Butterfly Lethal Venom Morph"
Margaret (Marg) Brave - Negaranger Black
"Gardinel Beautiful Nightmare Morph"
Peter Wright - Negaranger Blue
"Carpenter Snail Artificing Ability Morph"
Magnus Cite - Negaranger Green
"Hidebehind Unseen Deathstrike Morph"
Mettleseeka - Mysterious avatar of justice who chose the six champions to
oppose Queen Czarina
Queen Czarina - Arch villainess & ruler of Doom Island
Meanie - Czarina's crazy and energetic first Captain. Demoted after continual
failure to destroy the Negarangers
Aimless - The smartest of Czarina's Captains she launched a plan to destroy
the Negarangers from within but got caught in her own web.
Roy - The third and angriest Captain, possibly because she's stuck with a
boy's name. Also the most ambitious she puts down Aimless every chance
Lotta - Last and most talented Captain. She was a bit too close affectionate
with Roy for BS&P so in the North American version they're sisters.
Dohreyhan - Czarina's master, the Dark God sealed within the Crystal
Fortress. Incapable of doing anything himself he depends on
Czarina to do his dirty work, encouraging her with evil yet
corny pep talks. Fortunately his memory has been damaged by
millennia of imprisonment depriving Czarina of lots of
information about the Negarangers.
People of Shaizaar Grove:
Christina Flyte - half sister of Carl & Tina. Has a few secrets of her own.
Ned Flyte - Father of Carl, Tina & Chrissie. Also an Astrologer with his own
syndicated horoscope column
Maude Flyte - Tina and Carl's mother. Didn't bother changing name back after
Jebediah (Jeb) Zyte - Annie's father & local jeweller
Tess Siz - Jeb's girlfriend and local (boat) pilot
Zoe Quite - School nurse
Malcolm O'Kite - Phys ed. Teacher
Beryl Queen - School Principal (just missed the entrance requirements for the
Fred Wright - Peter's gloomy uncle. Secretly an agent of Dohreyhan though
he dislikes Czarina intensely. Has a soft spot for Aimless
and an unrequited love for Meanie.
Haleogre - Manager of Burger Kingdom, local teen hangout.
Max Michaels - Transfer student and hacker wannabe. Accidentally transferred
himself to Shaizaar High while trying to hack the computer
records at his old school and improve everyone's grades
"Blackie" Dekkers - The local girl Max fell for and the reason he's in no
hurry to move back to his old school.
Kenny - Very unlucky guy
Find all the anime and cartoon references in the story and win ... well
nothing but feel free to have a look anyway. Thanks to Austin and everyone
at SME for all the suggestions and inspiration. Until next time
March 31 1998
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