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fic: Project Nexus (Chapter 3, Part 5)
Title: Project Nexus
Chapter: Trouble on The High Seas
Rating: T
Fandom: TGWTG/ Spoony Experiment
Character(s): Nostalgia Critic, Nostalgia Chick, MarzGurl, Spoony, Linkara, Doctor Tease , Doctor Insano, Professor Celluloid, Malachite, Welshy
Pairing(s): none, as of right now
Warnings: AU. mild language, violence

Disclaimer:Any recognizable characters that appear in this fic are property of their respective contributors at ThatGuyWithTheGlasses , therefore I do not own them, nor do I intend any disrespect toward either the character or the contributor portraying them. Also any concepts/ideas borrowed from Power Rangers/Super Sentai are property of Saban and Toei, respectively. Any other properties mentioned/used are also property of their respective owners.

Back on the island, Chick peered through the crowd trying to get a good look at the events taking place before her. Although she knew that it was probably overplayed to make the joke by now, she couldn’t help but think that the last time she’d seen this many rabid people hungrily staring at one person, it was during the premiere of one of the Twilight movies.

            Cautiously, she tried to lay low, moving slowly within the small gaps in the moving crowd. Her heart pounded frantically in her chest every time she saw one of the shuffling mass turn their head just slightly in her direction. This feeling doubled, causing her heart to skip a beat, each time she sensed that one of those who looked at her could have possibly been a Synthspector in disguise.

            Shuddering, she thought back to the zombies from the training simulation earlier that morning. No wonder Insano wanted to include them in the program, she thought, they were far too similar in nature to the Synthspectors when she really thought about it.

            The crowd, she observed as she followed them, clambered up a narrow path through the jungle that seemed to become rockier as the steps grew steeper and steeper.  Finally, the path emerged to an open area, presumably a couple hundred feet above where they’d started.

            On one side, a rickety shack that seemed to be a hodge-podge of scrap metal and wood, seem to grow out of the jagged crevices of the mountainside, while on the other end, a fairly modest expanse of boulders, scraggly bushes and tall grass extended outward, dropping off suddenly into a sharp cliff. The petite brunette was positive that if she looked down the cliff, she probably could have seen half the island and beyond.

            It was near this cliff that they dragged the dark-haired gamer, roughly throwing him onto the rocky ground just a hundred feet from the edge. His clothes had been ripped and torn during the trip up there, Chick could tell.  Tell-tale signs of a struggle—angry red gashes from knife cuts, and nasty blue-black bruises from punches and kicks—peeked out from whatever part of his body that hadn’t been splattered with mud and dirt, making Chick wince in sympathy.

 A silent, angry glare that could have frozen the sun, had it been given power, burned in the gamer’s pale green eyes as a fresh stream of blood trickled down the corner of his mouth. She could tell that he wanted to fight but found retaliation an impossibility thanks to the heavy iron shackles clamped tightly around his wrists, tying his arms behind his back.

The jeers of the mob died down just slightly as the captain, flanked as usual, by Melody, Welshy, and Tegon, stepped to the head of the crowd.  The lizardman’s eyes flashed with glint of sly amusement as he sneered at the captured gamer, forcefully dragging him to his feet.

            Beside him, Chick caught a glimpse of Welshy. The lanky, long haired young man tried to wear a mask of indifference about his countenance. However, this mask seemed to be fairly transparent, as Chick could tell by the faint twitch of his lips into a displeased frown that he was more than a little uncomfortable with the crew’s display of needless violence.

            He’s thinking again, she thought to herself, that’s good. Maybe he’ll finally figure it out this time.

            Now, the scene became almost too quiet as the Captain began to speak, his voice surprisingly deep and commanding for his relatively short stature.  Even Chick and Spoony couldn’t help but feel compelled to stop and watch him as he spoke.

            “Jack D’Arcy,” the man said, “You’ve violated several laws of my crew’s code.”

            “You have a code?” Spoony almost laughed, earning him a swift jab in the gut from Tegon.

            “Of course we have a code,” the Captain snapped “That’s what separates us from the other low-life scoundrels. You should have known that.”

            “Yeah,” Spoony spat, “Well, I guess I’m not the man that you thought I was, now am I?”

            Once more, Chick winced, turning her head as she heard the sickening thwack of Tegon’s fist across her teammate’s face.

            “Don’t back talk to the Captain!” Melody said coldly, “Ye lily-livered sea-dog!”

            For once, Chick couldn’t help but agree with the towering blonde. Although he was trying to appear tough to this crowd, he seriously wasn’t doing himself any favors by smart-mouthing them. Once again, the crowd started shouting, obviously riled up again.

            “Enough!” the Captain roared, silencing the crowd, “Now, normally I wouldn’t do this whenever the crime was witnessed by everyone. But, since Jack and Bill have been two of my most loyal crewmates for years, and I consider myself to be a fair man, I’m going to give you five minutes to explain yourself, and to tell me where your accomplice is hiding.”

            “I don’t know, damn it!” Spoony shouted, trying to struggle against Tegon’s grasp, “Haven’t you idiots figured it out yet?! I don’t know anything about what’s going on! I don’t know who Bill is. I don’t even know why you’re so damn pissed at me!”

            “He’s lying!” Tegon cried, “The coward’s lying to cover his tracks! Kill him!”

            “Oh,” Spoony growled, casting a fierce look at the man beside him, “I’m really starting to get sick of you!”

            For a third time, a fierce roar emitted from the restless crowd, that once more had to be quieted by the short, red-haired man.

            “Well, Jack,” The Captain said, his voice low with regret, “Since you refuse to tell us anything. I’m afraid that we have no choice now but to kill you.”

            Cold sweat poured down the gamer’s forehead as Tegon released him, throwing him to his knees. Even if he were capable of fighting back at the moment, it wasn’t as if he could go anywhere, for a flash of silver glinted in the sunlight as the Captain withdrew a curved sword, pointing it at him.

            “You’re lucky,” the Captain said, “if I thought you were scum without honor, I’d have just shot ye on sight. I usually only reserve death by sword for those I really admire.”

            Spoony said nothing, only closed his eyes, preparing for the sickening feeling of cold metal against warm flesh and blood as the blade sliced through his neck like a grapefruit.

            Chick’s heart beat rapidly, as she looked around wildly, searching for anything that could possibly delay the execution for even a minute. Maybe a rock that she could throw to divert their attention elsewhere?  No, there didn’t seem to be any rocks small enough for her to be able to pick up.

            Perhaps she could start a fire in the tall grass? A good idea, but far too dangerous. She didn’t want to accidentally get herself or anyone else seriously hurt if the fire got out of control.

            Suddenly, she heard a bizarre moaning howl echoing through the air. The other pirates must have heard it too, for they suddenly stopped and looked up at the sky, as if they believed the source of the sound were coming from something above them. There was something familiar about that moan, Chick thought, but she couldn’t place what.

            “Lower your blade!” the voice ordered, “Lower your blade or you shall face my wrath!”

            “W-who are you?!” the Captain demanded “What are you? Some kind of spirit?”

            There was a slight pause before the voice answered.

            "I am the ghost of the dread Pirate Roberts,” the voice replied, “My spirit has haunted this island for two hundred years. Release that man, or you shall be punished for all eternity, Bloodbeard Joe.”

            Chick suppressed a giggle as she recognized the voice. Of course, she thought, she should have figured that Critic would have chosen to make a Princess Bride reference while trying to create a distraction.

            However, the distraction seemed to be working, as that several of the pirates seemed to staring about wildly, frozen in terror, their weapons lowered but gripped tightly in their hands.

            “And if we don’t?” the Captain asked, the tremble in his voice revealing his slow loss of nerves, “What will you do?”

            “You should know that in life, I was a very skilled magician,” Critic’s voice rang through the air, “Capable of summoning demons from the bowls of Hell itself to do my bidding.”

            An unearthly shriek wailed through the air, causing many of the crew to whimper and quiver, as Critic began very dramatically mumbling a long string of gibberish.

            Four more voices, two of which Chick instantly recognized as Linkara and MarzGurl, joined Critic’s nonsensical and incoherent ramblings.

            Chick noticed Tegon glaring as he realized that the incantations they spoke were not of any magical language. His hawk-like eyes narrowed as he looked away from the sky, now searching for shadows behind the towering rocks of the mountainside.

            “Those aren’t demons!” he all but shouted as he pointed toward one of the rocks, “They’re imposters.”

            Immediately, the wailing gibberish of the fake demons stopped, as all eyes fell upon two large rocks near the entrance of the path. Like people waiting for a the main guest of a surprise party, the pirates stared at the rocks, holding their breaths and waiting for even the slightest movement to confirm their crewmates accusations.

            The surprise they were waiting for was not the one they expected as a ball of white-hot energy darted through the air with bullet-like speed before vanishing into the sky above, leaving only a faint trail of smoke, and the scent of electricity, and a scrambling pile of confused pirates on the ground..

            Linkara emerged from behind the rocks, his magic gun drawn and ready to fire again. Beside him, Critic and MarzGurl also entered the clearing.

            Taking advantage of the confusion as the pirates climbed to their feet, Chick and Spoony broke from the crowd, rushing to join their companions.

            “I can’t believe I’m going to say this,” Chick said, “But, I’m actually glad to see you guys, for once.”

            “Yeah? well,” Critic muttered, “You two owe us for this, y’know? Getting yourselves kidnapped and all. I knew we shouldn’t have split the team.”

            “Hey!” Spoony snapped, “Splitting up the team your idea.”

            “Whatever,” Critic replied, “dumbass.”

            “…prick,” Spoony shot back under his breath.

            If the gamer had been paying more attention, he would have caught the slight undertone of concern beneath the Red Ranger’s words. However as it was, even if he had noticed it, there would have been no time to comment on it, for now Jack spoke to him.

            “So, you’re my twin, eh?” Jack joked, “Clearly, I must be the better looking one the two of us.”

            “Well,” Spoony joked back, “I’d be a much handsomer man, except I’m dressed up as you. What’d you do to piss these guys off, anyways?”

            “It’s a long story….” Jack replied, running his fingers through his hair.

            “….and one we don’t have time for,” Bill added, pointing toward the crowd “Look!”

            By now, all of the pirates, disguised or otherwise, had shambled to their feet, evidently not pleased with being knocked over in such an undignified manner. Those with weapons (which was to say roughly ninety percent of them) held them at the ready, while the few without cracked their knuckles, planning to strike with their bare-hands.

            The Captain, Bloodbeard Joe, seemed especially flustered as his beady gray eyes searched the attacking group. He blinked several times, almost sure that his eyes were playing tricks on him. He could have sworn that he was seeing not only an identical twin to Jack, but also a very similar, but slightly different, duplicate of Black Dog Bill as well.  When he opened his eye again, he noticed that this, in fact, was no illusion.

            “They’re two of you?” the Captain asked, bewildered, “So, it’s possible we had the wrong man, all this time?”

            “That’s what we’ve been trying to tell you,” Chick said, “But, you guys were so wrapped up in yourselves you weren’t even listening.”

            “But, be ye twins, or some kind of doppelganger,” Melody asked, speaking for Bloodbeard Joe, “Then how do we know which of ye it was we saw killin’ our crewmates? How do we know that this wasn’ jus’ some devilish trick or somethin’?”

            The Rangers and their two allies paused, giving each other questioning looks. How were they supposed answer that part of the question without accidentally exposing their true identities to these people? They couldn’t simply just say ‘you were all hallucinating’,—every single person in that crowd believed they could trust their instincts enough to know what they saw. On the other hand, if they tried to fabricate a story that, while refuting the events, coincided with what they believed were the facts, they could accidentally get either Spoony and Critic, or Jack and Bill in worse trouble than before.

            “It was a trick.”

            All eyes fell on Welshy, who now seemed just a little uncomfortable that he’d drawn this much attention to himself at one time.

            “It was a trick,” he repeated, “The entire attack was a trick.”

            A whisper went up among the pirates as they pondered this. The attack was a trick? But, how could that be, they wondered, they knew what they had seen. Had he gone mad? Did it mean that the entire thing was a set up—that Welshy and a few of the others had been lying to them? If so, why? They wondered. Could it have been a staged mutiny?

            “What do you mean,” the Captain asked, “That it was a trick?”

            “Ask him,” Welshy replied, pointing at Tegon, as another round of surprised gasps and murmurs echoed from the thoroughly confused crowd.

            “He enchanted us to think that we had all seen an attack,” the lanky reviewer continued, “Think about it. How long have you known Bill and Jack? Most of you probably know them well enough to know that they don’t ever attack anyone without good reason. So, why would they attack a couple of lowly deck-hands, when it would have made more sense to try to kill someone like the Captain, or Melody even?”

            “I still don’t understand,” Melody said, “why you say that he bewitched us.”

            “Certain things don’t add up,” he continued, “Like why none of us remember what happened to the bodies, or which of our men got killed. And yet, every time one of us have doubted, he’s been the one there to quickly remind us what we saw, even though he saw the same thing we did.”

            Another hushed, contemplative whisper echoed through the group, as several sets of eyes fell upon the disguised humanoid. Tegon, however, made no effort to look even the remotest bit shocked or offended that Welshy was accusing him of anything. He grinned slyly as he folded his arms, as if to say ‘Well, you’ve caught me, but I still have a few tricks up my sleeve.

            “Take them,” the Captain said, motioning toward both Welshy and Tegon, “We’ll discuss this at the hideout.”

            At least four men and women from the crowd emerged, grabbing both the bewitched reviewer and the masked lizardman by the arms. While the others resisted, trying to wriggle their way out of their captors grasp, Tegon remained oddly placid, as his snake-like grin never once faltered.

            “Oh,” he replied airily, “I don’t think discussion will be necessary. Not when it’s so much easier just to show you proof of my magic.”

            Suddenly, a loud roaring filled the still air, freezing everyone in place. Although she couldn’t move, Chick could see a flash of light as a portal opened in the face of the mountain, summoning forth Tegon’s accomplice, Devafen.

            Around them, several of the pirates stood blankly as their bodies began to transform into the faceless creatures that Chick and the others had grown so accustomed to.

            Even Tegon’s disguise had begun to waver as his true features began to shift into place.

            The limbs of the awestruck spectators tingled furiously as the paralysis faded, leaving them free to move their bodies once more. However, like the disguises of Tegon and his cohorts, the tingling faded, and the Rangers were now able to focus again.

            “So,” Devafen smirked, “I see you needed my help after all.”

            “I didn’t ask for you to be here,” Tegon replied haughtily, “I don’t need your help.”

            “Didn’t look that way to me,” the catwoman laughed, “From where I was looking, that little human girl had you on the ropes during your fight on the ship. And she wasn’t even at full power! You’re lucky Malachite sent me to help you finish the job.”

            “Shut it, Devafen,” the lizardman growled as a faint flush of dark red appearing underneath his scaly cheeks, “I was at a disadvantage. I can’t fight as well when wearing these foolish disguises.”

            Nearby, Critic and the others watched the scene, patiently waiting for their two enemies to stop arguing with one another.  However, there were two in the party who hadn’t yet became accustomed to the sight of two half-human creatures bickering with one another. Bill and Jack exchanged bewildered glances with one another as they looked between the arguing pair, and the critics, silently wondering how they could be so calm about this.

            “Aren’t they supposed to be fighting us,” MarzGurl asked, “Instead of each other?”

            “Who cares?” Critic said, “They’re distracted. Now’s our chance to grab Welshy and get the hell out of here!”

            “Um hey,” Spoony said, rattling the iron chains binding his wrists together “I’d love to help you guys with this ‘rescue’ thing, but my hands are kind of tied, if you catch my drift.”

            For a moment, Linkara looked thoughtful as he examined the chains. Silently, he aimed the Magic Gun at his friend’s wrists.

            “Hold still,” Linkara said, as he squeezed the trigger.

            A steady beam of greenish energy shot from the barrel, connecting with the cold metal of the shackles. The Yellow Ranger winced just slightly as he felt an uncomfortable heat crawl across his wrist like a bug as the ray cut into the iron, melting it in half.

            Soon, the clamps had fallen from the gamer’s wrists, dropping to the ground below with a clatter.  The gamer let out a small sigh of relief as he rubbed his sore wrists, trying to speed up the circulation rapidly returning to his hands.

            “Okay,” Critic said impatiently “Let’s go. I’d like to get back to our dimension some time before I die of old age, if that’s okay with you.”

            However, by then, Devafen and Tegon seemed to have remembered that the Rangers existed, and were now leering at them, their weapons drawn and ready to fight.

            “Oh no,” Devafen said, twitching her sharp, dagger-like claws so that they glimmering in the sunlight, “Don’t even think that you’re going to get away that easily, again! We might have lost one of your little friends to you, but we’re not going to make that mistake twice.”

            “Well,” Chick corrected her, “More like seven times. I mean, you did kind of let us get away, when you were chasing us back in our world. So, that’s like five times. And then Snob would have been six….”

            “…And,” MarzGurl added, “Once we save Welshy—and we will—that’ll make seven. So there’s like two things wrong with your statement.”

            The catwoman snarled as she threw a few of her dagger-nails at the two women, who quickly jumped out of the way.

            “…and I say,” she hissed, summoning a new set of claws to replace the ones she’d used, “that the thought that your actually going to succeed this time is the mistake. So, let’s get to what we really came here for, eh?”

            Now, it was the critics turn to ready themselves, as an array of rainbow colored lights appeared around their wrists, forming into their morphers.

            “Looks like we don’t have a choice,” Critic said, “Ready, guys?”

            The other four nodded, stretching their arm out in front of them in the way that they’d unspokenly decided as the starting movement for their morphing routine.

            “Nexus Morph!” the five called in unison as they bent their arm, allowing them to easily type in the proper command on the keypad, “Activate!”

            As before, a dazzling flash of rainbow-colored lights engulfed the five reviewers and blinding those around them with it’s otherworldly brilliance, as their disguises vanished, morphing into the color-coded spandex body suits and helmets that, at one time they would have mocked as being needlessly garish and out of place, but now they saw as something that was just barely keeping them from getting killed too quickly.

This time, however, the group did not have time for a proper role call, as the battle quickly erupted around them.  Pirates—those who were not Synthspectors in disguise—jumped out of the way, as their former fellow crewmates charged at the five rainbow-colored warriors.

            “Hey,” Chick said, “I don’t know about you guys, but I kind of feel like breaking out those new weapons we tested out this morning.”

            “You read my mind,” MarzGurl smirked, as she too squared off against another handful of monsters.

            With a quick nod to each other, the two women summoned their morphers once more, this time entering in a different command. Another two flashes of light shot from the devices, engulfing their gloved hands in a shimmering aura. Almost instantly, the lights faded as two weapons—a pair of blue and silver hand axes, and a pink and silver crossbow—materialized in the two women’s hands.

            Noticing this, Critic, Linkara  and Spoony followed suit as another three flashes of light deposited three more weapons—these also being similar to the weapons they had used in the simulation  that morning (or in Linkara’s case, a more modernized companion to his signature weapon), but accented in silver and their respective Ranger color.

            “So, let me get this straight again,” Critic asked, slashing at a few of the creatures “We’re going to take on an army of powerful sorcerers, who can literally transform anyone into a creature from hell, and we’ve got a guy fighting with a fucking oversized croquet mallet. Oh, this makes perfect sense to me.”

            “Still better than using a volleyball,” Spoony replied as he swung the staff-like battle hammer in an arc, sending several more attackers crashing backwards, “So I’m not complaining.”

            Nearby, Bill and Jack watched the ensuing chaos of battle raging around them. Although they were quite familiar with notion that Critic and his friends were not of this world, they hadn’t been expecting anything quite along these lines.

            Of course, this awestruck confusion seemed to have only lasted briefly, as Bill drew his pistol, charging into the fray with a wild battle cry.

            “Bill!” Jack called after him, “Are ye mad?! What’re ye doin’?!”

            “What does it look like?” Bill called back, over the sounds of gunfire and laser-like blasts of energy, “I’m helpin’ em.”

            “But….” Jack started, but trailed off in a defeated sigh as he too, charged into the battle after his friend.

            Also nearby, Bloodbeard Joe and his crew also seemed to have recovered from their confusion and now barreled into the fight, guns blazing and swords swinging.

Although Chick knew that their weapons would probably at best only serve to slow down the angry beast a little, she couldn’t help but feel more than a little grateful for their effort. After all, she thought, it was better that they had this crazy mob on their side, rather than have them fighting against them.

            During the few moments since the battle had begun, Chick had learned two things about her new weapon. One was that it was partially energy based. That was to say that the arrows that the weapon used were infused with energy by the weapon itself. However, the other thing that she learned was that this had the drawback of forcing her to have to wait between shots while the weapon recharged. Unfortunately, the time she waited varied between how much energy she put behind a particular shot. Sometimes it seemed to be only half as second, while larger, more potent blasts could disable her for nearly a full minute.

            It was somewhere in the midst of the battle—Chick had to have guessed a couple minutes into it—that she found herself in this predicament. Sparks exploded from the rock behind a group of oncoming Synthspectors that the Pink Ranger had attempted, and failed, to hit.  It’d only take a matter of seconds for them to have surrounded Chick. There were just far too many of them for her to have been able to take on at once.

            Suddenly, she heard a fierce cry pierce through the air, as Melody and MarzGurl leapt from out of nowhere, tackling and slashing at the faceless creatures.

            “I thought you didn’t like me,” Chick said slyly as the tall blonde pirate stood up.

            Melody shrugged, brushing a lock of hair out of her face as she casually elbowed one the stunned creatures in the chest, knocking it back down into the pile with its buddies.

            “Eh,” she said, “Figured this’d be my way of sayin’ sorry ‘bout all that.”

            “Fair enough,” Chick replied as she and MarzGurl swung their weapons, dispatching another pair of attacking Synthspectors.



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