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fic: Project Nexus (Chapter 3, Part 6)
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.

Elsewhere in the confusion, Critic spotted Tegon sneaking around the edge of the fray, slowly making his way toward Welshy, who was currently attempting to fight the two Synthspectors that had taken him captive at the beginning of the fight.

            “Shit,” he swore as he countered a blow from one of the creatures.

            There was no way that he could get to Welshy before Tegon did, he thought. There were just too many Synthspectors standing in his way, that even with the advantage of using a sword, he was still being slowed down considerably.

            Everyone else, Critic noted with a hint of displeasure, either seemed to be in the same predicament as himself, or had not yet noticed that the lizardman was left unaccounted for in the fight.

            On one side, Chick, MarzGurl and Melody now were locked in fierce combat with Devafen as the group exchanged exploding blasts of magical darts and crossbow bolts, amid gunfire and punches.

            Not to far from them, Linkara and Bill were back to back, circling one another as they fired, pushing back the circle of faceless creatures that surrounded them. And, just on the other side of them, Jack and Spoony were currently exchanging blows with another handful of them.

            Only Bloodbeard Joe seemed close enough to possibly help Critic intercept the two. Thankfully, the pirate captain seemed to notice this as well, as he drew his pistol, charging at Tegon.

            The lizardman’s eyes widened with shock as he ducked, narrowly avoiding the flying bead of lead that whizzed by just inches from his head.

            “Nobody messes with my crew!” Bloodbeard Joe shouted over yet three more wild shots.

            Hurriedly, Critic broke from his fight to help the short ginger-haired man. A few more shots rang from the captain’s gun, a couple of which actually managed to graze the lizardman’s arm.

            Critic whistled under his breath as he joined the duel between the two (both now wielding swords). He had to admit, that for a normal human, the captain was putting up quite an impressive fight.

            Unfortunately, for whatever skill either the Red Ranger or the captain had in the art of swordplay, neither of them was a match for the shockwave of magical energy that Tegon summoned from his sword.  With a loud thud, the two were sent crashing hard into a boulder, shattering it into several jagged pieces.

            Groaning, the two wearily tried to crawl to their feet, trying to ignore the dull pain in their bodies that was currently protesting their effort. Unfortunately, this was enough of a delay for Tegon to get close enough to Welshy.

            Critic paled beneath his helmet as he heard the familiar dreaded words of magic flow from Tegon’s lips like water from a fountain. Pure, unbridled terror gave speed to his senses, forcing him to struggle harder to regain his footing as the sky began to grow dark. His heart pounded loudly in his ears like a drumbeat, drowning out all other sound as he saw the Synthspectors began to glow and mutate into pure energy.

Although he seemed blind and deaf to everything around him but Welshy and Tegon, he knew that Linkara was undoubtedly also caught in a trance of his own.

Like before, Tegon’s eyes flashed with a spark of pure insanity, far deeper and more dangerous than any sort of madness that Insano could ever hope to reach, as he gathered the energy into his hands.

He tried to run, to push the other man out of the way. But, his legs had other plans as a sharp twinge, like a knife being thrust into the back of his leg, shot through his leg, forcing him to stumble and cry out in pain.

“Welshy!” Critic shouted once he’d managed to find his voice again, “Get out of there!”

“I-I can’t move!” Welshy replied, though his words rasped like scraping sandpaper against his dry lips.

            Tegon’s cold, hollow laugh echoed through the turbulent air as he released the ball of energy which burrowed itself into its victim’s chest.  The Red Ranger cursed himself under his breath as he watched the lanky reviewer painfully transform into what he could only describe as a half-human, half-squid/octopus looking creature wearing a pirate’s outfit.

            “Ewww….” He heard MarzGurl comment from somewhere behind him, “And I thought the whole shark-person thing that Snob turned into was freaky looking.”

            “I’ve seen enough bad horror flicks and hentai,” Spoony said, “To fear where this might possibly end up going.”

            “My god!” Bloodbeard Joe breathed, as he stared in awe and terror at the creature before him, “What kind of witchcraft is this?”

            Once the pain in Critic’s leg dulled to a much more manageable ache, he stood again, regrouping with the others.

            “Bill, Jack,” Critic said to the two pirates, “This might be a little too big for you guys to handle. Get everyone somewhere safe, possibly as far away from here as you can. We’ll take care of it from here.”

            “Aye, Aye!” Jack said, as the two parted from the group, leading the other pirates toward the exit.

            “Alright everyone,” Critic said once he was sure that the pirates had gotten a safe enough distance from the battlefield, “We know what to do, so let’s make this quick. Marz—you and Spoony try to weaken Welshy a bit. Linkara and Chick, try to keep Miss Kitty busy while I deal with her pet iguana.”

            Wordlessly, the others nodded as they struck a fierce battle pose, charging at the trio.  Welshy grunted as his arms stretched outward, morphing into several long slithering tentacles. With a wave of his arms, the tentacles arced, knocking Linkara, Critic and Chick back a couple feet.

            MarzGurl and Spoony, having managed to dodge Welshy’s attack, continued to
charge at their transformed coworker.  The blades of her axes flashed silver in the afternoon sun as the Blue Ranger leapt into the air, twisting her body at just the right moment to land a spinning slash upon Welshy as she landed right in front of him.

At the same time, The Yellow Ranger, summoning up every ounce of energy that he could spare at the moment, brought his hammer smashing into the ground. With a bit of surprise to both the gamer and his enemies, an invisible shockwave shook the ground below them, causing the two magicians and the monster-reviewer to stagger as the ground cracked around their feet.

Just as the two of them managed to separate Welshy from his two cohorts, the other three had recovered, and were now charging at the remaining enemies. The air was alight with flashes of light as the Pink and Green Rangers unleashed a volley of shots, clashing with Devafen’s exploding darts.

Admist the torrent of sparks, Critic’s and Tegon’s swords clashed with one another.

“Why bother fighting?” Tegon growled as he bared down upon Critic with his blade “It’s a waste of time to try to save your friend, anyways. You’re just being stupid.”

“You’re the one being stupid,” Critic replied slyly as he countered the attack, “I mean, you’re wasting time following some hypocrite with a vendetta against a bunch of dorks from the internet! Don’t you guys have any like, I dunno, something better to do with your time?”

“It’s none of your business!” the lizardman said between gritted teeth as he pulled back, glaring at the Red Ranger with a furious, almost offended glare.

Yet again, the battle continued as the three groups exchanged blows with one another. Soon, the Rangers regrouped, preparing themselves for their next move.

“Alright guys,” Critic said, “Let’s get this over with. Time to bring out the cannon!”

Nodding, the other four got into position to receive the cannon. With a shimmer of sparkling light, the cannon appeared and the Rangers followed the procedure they remembered from the previous time they had used this particular weapon.

As before, a fierce ball of energy collided with Welshy, showering the field with a blinding light. And like the previous time, the light cleared, revealing Welshy, still unconscious, but back in his normal form.

However, the reviewers did not celebrate, for they could tell that something was wrong.

            Instead of collapsing to the ground in an unconscious heap, Welshy’s body wavered, fighting between his monster form and his normal form. Suddenly, a hazy violet pinpoint of light began to glow near his heart. Rapidly, the light grew brighter and brighter, enveloping the reviewer in its glow, until it seemed as if the light itself had taken on a vaguely humanoid shape.

            The reviewers watched cautiously, holding their breaths, as Welshy’s body lifted off the ground, as if he were being lifted by invisible wires. Without warning, the light shot out in all directions, forcing both the reviewers and Malachite’s two generals to shield their eyes, for fear the sudden intensity of the light would pierce straight through their retinas.

            As the light faded and the reviewers’ vision had adjusted again, they noticed that Welshy no longer stood, or hovered, in the spot that he had been when the light had faded. But, the reviewers had no time to ponder what might have happened as that an earthquake-like rumbling shook the ground, causing them to stumble.

            “What’s going on?!” Chick asked, as yet another small earthquake rocked the ground below them, “Is this an earthquake? Or some kind of volcanic eruption about to happen?”

            Almost as if in response, an unearthly, echoing roar rang through the air, freezing the reviewers in place.

Near them, Tegon and Devafen seemed to be staring up at something in the sky above them, just beyond the cliff. Almost against their will, the five critics’ gazes followed their two enemies’. And, almost immediately, they wished they hadn’t.

            Welshy, now back in his monster form, towered high above them, at least sixty feet tall.

            “So,” Spoony said, once his fear had subsided enough for him to speak, “It looks like we’re carrying on the ‘Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever’ trope of Power Rangers and Super Sentai tradition.”

            There was no time for anyone to reply, as that one of Welshy’s massive hands slammed into the edge of the cliff, sending the crowd scattering as the force of his fist sent another ground-fracturing earthquake running through the mountain.
            Thinking, MarzGurl summoned her morpher and quickly contacted the mad scientists. With some luck, they had been monitoring the situation, and could possibly give them some suggestions to deal with a sixty-foot tall monster.

            “Blue Ranger to Base,” MarzGurl said, “Come in!”

            “Base here,” Insano said, “But, you don’t have to be all formal, y’know. For the love of Alexander Graham Bell, we already know that you’re contacting us!  I mean, who else would you be contacting? It’s not like these things are just cellphones that can call just anybody, you know!”

            “Listen, Insano,” MarzGurl said, “We need a little help here!”

            “Of course you need my help,” Insano said smugly, “When have you not needed my help?”

            “We don’t have time for a lecture!” MarzGurl said with the same sternness she had used as a drill sergeant in Kickassia. Noticing that Insano seemed to be staring silently at her with his jaw slightly agape and his eyebrows raised just over the edge of his goggles, she breathed, trying to calm herself.

            “Sorry,” she apologized, “It’s kind of an emergency, though. Welshy just got turned into a monster and I don’t know how they did it, but somehow they made him grow like a hundred feet tall. You have any idea what could have caused that, or what we could do to get him back to normal?”

            “Well,” Insano replied, “I’ve got Doctor Tease and the Professor running a few calculations through Nimue about possible causes for what happened. So far, they’re theorizing that after your encounter with Snob, Malachite figured that you would inevitably find another missing reviewer, so before you arrived here, he ordered either of his minions to cast an additional spell on them, which would activate in case of an emergency.”

            “So the cannon’s practically useless now?” MarzGurl sighed, “Well, that’s just great!”

            “That’s not necessarily true,” Insano countered, “According to my own hypothesis, I figure that once the secondary spell is activated, its protection immediately becomes negated, therefore, all you need to do is defeat Welshy and he should return back to normal.”

            “That just raises another problem, doesn’t it? I’m pretty sure that our weapons are useless against him, and even if we did use the cannon again, I doubt that’d be enough energy to even put a dent in the spell core.”

            “True, true,” Insano replied, barely able to contain a giggle, “But fortunately for you, while you’ve been running around in that dimension, we’ve been working on a little something just in case you guys ran into this problem.”

            “Wonderful,” MarzGurl said, “What is it?”

            “Did Linkara ever tell you,” Insano asked, “That roughly around the same time that the other scientists and I left your dimension that Neutro also went missing as well?”

            “No,” MarzGurl replied slowly, as a small grin spread across her face “He didn’t say anything about that.”

            “Well,” Insano continued, also grinning, “We took it! Linksano helped me steal it back from Linkara when he stole it from me. Serves comic-boy right for taking stuff that isn’t his! Anyways, we’ve made some modifications and additions to it in order to give it the capabilities of the rest of your arsenal, as well as make it possible for all five of you to pilot. We’ve got it programmed into your morphers. All you have to do is call on it…”
            “Awesome!” MarzGurl replied, “Thanks guys!”

            Insano’s reply was cut off by another thunderous cracking sound as one of Welshy’s hands, now morphed into giant tentacles, and wrapped itself around the peak of the mountain, causing heavy boulders to tumble down the mountainside, showering the cliff in a thick cloud of brown and gray dust.

            By now, they noticed, Tegon and Devafen had long since disappeared, probably hiding somewhere in order to avoid getting crushed in the landslide.

            “Damn,” Linkara swore as the dirt-fog cleared, “We need Megazord power, now!”

            “News flash, genius,” Critic replied, “We don’t have a Megazord!”

            “Actually,” MarzGurl corrected as she joined the group, “We do.”      
            Hurriedly, the Blue Ranger relayed a summary of the conversation between Doctor Insano and herself.

            “So,” Critic asked once she was finished, “How are we supposed to call this thing, anyways?”

            “Probably in about the same way that we morph,” Chick guessed, “Or do much of anything with these gizmos; A couple arm movements, tap in something on the keypad and shout something really stupid sounding at the top of our lungs.”

            “Well,” Critic replied, clapping his hands together, “Let’s give it a try.”

            Once again, the group nodded in agreement as they yet again summoned their morphers. Just like when they had morphed for the first time, a sort of trance overcame them, guiding their movements as they tapped in the appropriate code in their morphers, before raising their other hand to the sky.

            “We need Neutro Megazord Power,” the five cried out in perfect unison, “Now!”

            Five bursts of rainbow light barreled from their morphers, streaking across the sky like five shooting stars. The five starbursts circled one another, as a swirling vortex, much larger than any of them had ever seen, appeared in the center of the circle.

From this vortex, a large figure descended. It looked like something out of an old science fiction film, with pointed metal ears protruding from its bucket-like head. Its body, made of shining metal, glinted majestically in the light of the rapidly closing vortex, casting an array of blues, reds and silvers over the scene.

A golden beam of light shot from the emblem on the robot’s chest catching the five reviewers in its glow. Without even really realizing it, they were teleported away from the cliff, only to reappear in a very small room with five large computer consoles that took up most of the space.

Various charts and graphs appeared on the monitors that aligned the walls of the circular room, giving readouts on what they could only assume were the stats of the robot as well as that of its opponent.  Behind them there was a large, rectangular door emblazoned with a circular seal with a lightning bolt etched across it. They assumed that this was probably the emergency exit

Two large, eye-shaped windows looked out over the island, confirming that they were indeed inside Neutro’s head.

Five chairs that dotted the two curved terminals—three on the upper terminal, while two narrow ramps lead down two the remaining two, which were stationed on either side of the central console.

Just to one side of each of them, a joystick with at least four buttons jutted out of the terminals. Dotting each terminal, several multicolored buttons flashed in rhythmic patterns like a lighted dance floor to some unheard song, filling the air with soft bleeps and hums.

“It sure is a bit different than when I had this thing,” Linkara said as he and Chick walked down the ramps and took a seat at either of the lower consoles, “Not bad though.”

“Are you kidding?” MarzGurl said as she and Spoony took their seats on either side of Critic on the two side consoles that composed two-thirds of the upper area, “We have our own freakin’ Megazord! This kicks so much ass! Guess this officially means we’re Power Rangers now, huh?”

“Alright everyone,” Critic said, assuming an air of military-like leadership that he usually seemed to reserve for when he gave orders, “Let’s show everyone what five internet dorks with a giant robot can do! Activating Neutro Megazord: Battle Mode!”

Outside, the giant robot’s eyes flashed red as it lurched forward. Welshy turned away from destroying the mountain as he sensed a new presence enter the large clearing he stood in.

As if guided by some animal instinct, the transformed reviewer tensed up, striking a battle pose as he and the giant robot carefully circled one another, searching for the briefest moment of weakness in their guard.

With a roar, Welshy dashed toward Neutro, landing a fierce punch across its chest that sent the robot stumbling back a few steps as sparks flew from the impact zone. However, the human-controlled robot quickly recovered and countered with a set of punches of its own.

More sparks flew as the two titans exchanged hits in a desperate struggle to do the most damage to the other one as quickly as possible. Another animalistic growl emitted from the monster’s mouth (or what passed for a mouth) as he pulled back.

His distance, unfortunately, was not an indication of surrender, but rather to prepare himself for a new tactic. Like before, two large tentacles extended from his arms, wrapping themselves around the robot’s neck and waist. Volts of bluish electricity surged through the tentacles, burning its way though to the armor of the Megazord.

            Both inside and outside of the robot, sparks erupted as the Rangers frantically pressed buttons and switches as they tried to keep themselves afloat.

            “Damage reports say,” Chick reported, over another violent jolt, “That power levels are at seventy-nine percent and dropping rapidly. He’s siphoning our own energy and reflecting it right back at us!”

            “Damn it,” Critic growled, as he flipped a few switches, “If this keeps up, we’re dead! There’s gotta be a way to make him let go of us! Anybody got any bright ideas?”

            “Leave it to me,” Spoony replied as he gripped the controls, moving and pressing them as if he were playing an arcade game, “I’ll teach this bastard not to mess with the Lord of Tekken!”

            With a mighty lurch, one of Neutro’s arms raised, grabbing the monster-reviewer’s tentacles, and suddenly spun quickly, swinging him in the same direction. Welshy, taken off guard by this sudden movement, released his grip on the giant robot as he toppled onto the ground just feet away from the mountain.

            Quickly, he recovered and charged at the robot again. But this time, the Rangers were ready for him, landing a few swift punches and kicks as they countered his attack.

            Soon, the signs of fatigue were beginning to show, as his stance seemed to have become a bit more slouched, and his breathing a bit more ragged and heavy. It was then, the Rangers knew, that the battle was nearly over, and there was just one more thing left to do.

            “Neutro Megazord Final Attack Sequence,” The five shouted in unison as they raised their arms, “Initiated!”

            Now, Neutro’s eyes flashed with a white light that probably could have caused seizures, if it were just a little faster. The robot also raised its arms into the air, as if mimicking its five pilots, before it struck a fierce battle pose.

            The robot’s fist and feet began to glow with white hot energy as it landed a series of hits on the transformed reviewer, immobilizing him in place.

Next, the robot crossed its arms across its chest as a rainbow colored light charged inside the golden emblem in its chest. Its metallic body hummed as the energy built up within it became too intense for it to contain. The robot uncrossed its arms as a prismatic beam of light exploded forth, piercing through the giant monster-form of their co-worker, before surrounding him in its radiance.

Explosions erupted in the sky like fireworks as the effects of the beam faded. The Rangers held their breath as they watched, praying that they hadn’t accidentally caused their fellow reviewer to go up in flames.

Luckily, as the smoke cleared, they spotted Welshy, laying unconscious amidst the rubble created by the explosion. He was completely back to normal, they noted; no longer being a giant monster.

Inside the cockpit of the Megazord, the five Rangers cheered, now completely assured that it was safe to do so. However, a small voice in their minds argued for caution. After all, they might have won this battle, but it was guaranteed that Malachite was not going to let this slide, and next time it was likely that something even more sinister was bound to happen.
But, for now, they reasoned, that wasn’t something that they were going to let get them down.  They were just glad that they managed to survive another battle.

It was shortly afterward that the Rangers were gathered inside of Bloodbeard Joe’s hideout.  Tegon and Devafen were no-where to be found, and it was assumed that they had fled once Welshy had returned to normal.

            For the first time since they’d arrived in this dimension, Chick actually felt happy to be stuck in a crowded space with a bunch of raucous pirates. Somehow, the noise and the smell (while both somewhat unpleasant to her regular senses) seemed comforting to her.  It reminded her that even the worst, most uncomfortable situations, were welcoming when compared to just how many times she and the others had come close to dying that day.

            Of course, if anyone asked her, she’d say that it was just because she was glad that her current company wasn’t trying to murder her.

            She winced as a sudden whine of an accordion echoed off the stone wall of the cavern-like hideout, followed by a sudden joyful cry of singing. She smiled as she heard Critic and Linkara’s voices standing out among the hopelessly off-key, but enthusiastic choir.

            On the other side of her, Spoony and Jack seemed to be boasting to one another about their adventures over a pint of ale, while MarzGurl and Bill rolled their eyes, exchanging snide but good natured remarks about their two companions.

            Melody, waved at the Pink Ranger as she and the Captain sat at another table, examining a map as they discussed what to do, now that their crew numbers were greatly reduced, as well as how they were going to avoid being deceived by such magical spells again.

            “Hey,” Welshy said, coming up to sit down beside her, “Mind if I sit here?”

            “Sure,” Chick replied, “Go ahead.”

            A mild sadness overcame her as she watched the reviewer sit down, taking in the room with interest. It must have been difficult for him, she thought, to realize that everything he thought he knew was a lie.

And, although it was probably a small comfort to have regained the memories of his previous life, it didn’t do much to ease the knowledge of what fate awaited him once he returned back to Insano’s dimension with the others.

            He’d have to be placed into stasis, like Snob had, she knew. Of course, this wasn’t a mystery to Welshy either, as that they had explained everything to him once he had managed to regain consciousness. Sure, he’d been just a little saddened by the fact that he wouldn’t be able to return to his home dimension, but he understood why this was necessary, and eventually agreed to it.

            “Hey,” Welshy said, interrupting her thoughts, “I just wanted to say thanks for helping me back there. You know, remembering who I was and all.”

            “No problem,” Chick smiled, “That’s apparently my job, now. And, anyways, I should be thanking you. I’d probably still be stuck in that cell if it weren’t for you.”

            “Yeah,” Welshy laughed, “Seeing as that lizardy looking bloke kept eyeing you like Thanksgiving dinner; I’m guessing that you weren’t too fond of the idea of staying in the same room as him.”

            “Definitely not,” Chick said, “I mean, I was the one who gave him that nasty looking scar on his face. And here I bet you were just thinking he naturally looked ugly.”

            The two of them laughed, before falling silent again.

            “Yeah,” Welshy sighed, adjusting his glasses “It was kind of freaky when that guy turned me into a monster and everything. I’m just glad that I was unconscious through most of it.”

            “Yeah,” Chick replied, suddenly growing quiet.

            Admittedly, she didn’t want to think about Malachite or any of the spells that he and his army were capable of casting at the moment.

Even as a woman who prided herself on not being scared easily, the whole thing kind of left her feeling uneasy.

After all, Malachite had been able to alter their memories without them even realizing it. And it wasn’t just little things—like them thinking they’d parked their car two spaces over, or that they had grape juice for breakfast instead of orange—it was major stuff, like never having met certain people or remembering important life events from their past.

If Malachite was capable of effectively altering the past, Chick thought, what was to stop him from inflicting fates that would have made death seem kinder in comparison, should they be defeated by him? What was to stop him from essentially making it so that they never existed by wiping all memories of their existence out of the minds of everyone who ever knew them.

What was to stop him from sealing them away in something, like he’d done with Chuck Jaffers, the man who’d written the role-playing game that had forced their destinies to cross paths with the evil sorcerer’s, leaving them immortal and unable to escape?
What was to stop him from altering their minds to the point that nothing, not even the slightest ounce of free will was left, turning them into mindless and soulless puppets for Malachite to control?

No, she shook her head violently, she wouldn’t let that happen. They have the power to stop that from happening, she told herself, so she wasn’t going to waste that by letting herself be overrun by something as pointless as fear. She was a much stronger person than that.

Her thoughts once more scattered to the four winds as Critic tapped her on the shoulder.

“It’s getting late,” Critic said, “And we’ve got a long way back to the portal. And I for one don’t want to be wandering around this jungle at night. God knows that there’s probably a few panthers that are pissed ‘cause we disturbed their afternoon naps during the fight earlier.”

“Okay,” Chick said, reluctantly standing up, “But, we should probably go say goodbye to Bill, Jack and the others before we do. Or at the very least give Welshy a chance to say bye.”

            Nodding, Critic and the others made their way over to the Captain’s table, where now he and Melody were joined by Bill and Jack.

            “Ah,” the captain said, “So yer leavin’ us eh? We’re gonna miss havin’ ye around here. Even if ye weren’t really a part of our crew.”

            “Yeah,” Spoony smirked, “Well, we’re going to miss you guys, too. Even if you did try to kill me and everything.”

            The captain grinned sheepishly as a faint blush of red appeared on his weatherworn cheeks.

            “Here,” Critic said, drawing something out of his pocket and giving it to Bill and Jack, “I figured I should probably give you guys something for helping us find Welshy and save Chick and Spoony and everything.”

            Bill’s eyebrow rose skeptically as he examined the object that his doppelganger had given him. It was a small, wrist-watch like device. However, no numbers decorated its flat, round face.

            “What is it?” he asked.

            “It’s a communicator,” Linkara explained“Doctor Insano and the others whipped these up for you guys. Just press that button on the side there and you should be able to contact us. I hope.”

            “Ah,” Jack said, fastening the watch around his wrist, “Interesting. Thank you.”

            “If you guys ever need anything,” MarzGurl said, “Don’t be afraid to call us. Just don’t call all the time, you know? We’ve got to sleep sometime, too.”

            The two laughed, as they thanked the Rangers for their gift.

            An awkward silence hung briefly over the table, as neither group wanted to be the last one to say goodbye.  As much as the reviewers wished that they could stay a bit longer, they knew that they couldn’t. After all, they still had a mission that was yet to be completed, that they needed to focus on. Besides, Insano and the others would probably get worried about them if days passed without them ever returning.

            “Well,” Welshy said, breaking the silence, “Thanks for letting me stay with your crew while I was here, even though you guys didn’t really have a choice. It was fun, though. I guess I’ll see you around, then?”

            “I guess that this is goodbye then,” the captain said, bowing his head, “Good luck to ye, Welshy. And good luck to ye, too, friends of Welshy. If you ever need our help again, ye know that we’re here for ye. Might not understand anything ye need help with, but we’re here all the same.”

            “Likewise,” Critic said, also bowing his head.

            With that word of parting, the five Rangers and their revived co-worker walked away, disappearing through the door, knowing that—while it might be some time in the far future—it would not be the last time that they ever would see Bloodbeard Joe or his crew again.



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