Morph Twenty-Five: Tomorrow's Rangers, Part 1
The Toby family huddled underneath a small umbrella near the tracks waiting for their train. May Toby kept a tight grip on her daughter, ensuring the little girl didn't go exploring too far away, especially near the tracks. Keean Toby held his wife's hand with one hand, the other he shifted to consult his watch. The train was five minutes late, he thought, and continued to watch his surroundings through his aviator glasses.
"Where's the train?" asked Sarah Toby. She shifted her head this way and that, looking for the train on the north tracks, the south tracks, and in the sky. "Isn't it supposed to be here, Daddy?"
"Yeah," replied Keean Toby. "I guess it's running a little late Don't worry, it'll be here before you know it, kiddo." He patted her head and she smiled. In the faint distance, they heard the small issue of a whistle in the stormy weather. "There. What'd I tell you?"
Less than two minutes later the locomotive pulled into the station, shooting steam all over the family and the other passengers waiting nearby. Keean Toby coughed, attempting to blow the smog away from his family. The train whistled one last time before it hissed and the engine ground to a halt in front of the platform. The conductor leapt off the black machine and consulted his pocket watch.
"All aboard!" he called. "Platform 1- Pyrite Town to Kanto Central Station."
"That's us," said Keean Toby as he gathered what little luggage his family had and followed his wife and daughter on board. They waved their tickets at the conductor, who allowed them in after counting them. Their tickets were for a private compartment in the first class, which they located after some minor difficulties in navigation through the train, the first attempt of finding the car ended with them in the storage car in the back. Thanks to May, they managed to find the little private room. Keean Toby grabbed their bags and tossed them under the seats. Sarah jumped onto one side of the train and looked outside the window.
"It's so pretty in here!" said Sarah excitedly. May smiled and sat down with her daughter.
Keean Toby did not join them. "I'm going to
go catch some air. I'll be right back." May nodded and Keean Toby shut the compartment door behind him. The train had started to move, despite this he moved casually through the rocking train towards the back car. He needed to be alone, if only for a moment. At the back of the train, surrounded by the luggage of his fellow passengers, the Golden Ranger sank to the ground. He shuddered, his hands clenched in fists.
0?" whispered a voice in his ear.
0 coughed, trying to suppress his emotions. "What's up, Pi?" he asked.
"Nothing. I just wanted to know if you were alright."
The Golden Ranger sat in silence for some time, not sure how to answer. "Our whole world ended today, Pi," he said finally, feeling his face grow hot. "My family's safety, our friends
nothing's ever going to be the same again."
"0, you can't blame yourself for what happened. He knew the risks going into the fight. He chose to fight anyway. He died a hero's death."
"He was a hero, he didn't deserve to die," 0 choked, there was a lump in his throat and his nose felt stuffy. "And they
" He couldn't even finish the sentence, he didn't want it to be true. He just wanted his friends and family back together and for no one to be dead
"This is all my fault."
"You wanted to keep everyone together. He understood that."
"But I didn't do that, did I?" he asked harshly. He opened his mouth to continue, but stopped just short of shouting at the Pikachu. "I'm sorry, Pi. I know you're just looking out for me."
"I'm not angry. You're in mourning. So is everyone."
"I need to be strong for Sarah and May," he muttered. "They need me now, more than ever before."
"Just remember, whatever you are now, 0, you are her husband and Sarah's father. They're the last link to your humanity. Don't lose that."
0 nodded and took a deep breath. "Never again," he vowed.
His morpher began to glow, the Golden Ranger lifted it up to his face. "A message
?" he asked.
"I thought Bakaguru disabled outside communications from PKM," said Pi.
"He did." The holographic image on the watch displayed a new message had been sent to him. "He just left communications open for me to send to the others
"What should we do? PKM could be tracing us
/ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ\ /ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ\ /ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ\ /ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ\
Twenty-Four Hours Ago
"Ready, 415?" asked Bakaguru.
She took a deep breath and nodded. "As I will ever be."
"She'll be great," Max said. "She's been getting better with Luxray. If we're lucky, she should be good to go."
"Could we not simply poison the other applicants?" suggested 415. "That way, this arbitrary selection process will be over and done with within the day."
"I don't think you quite understand why we're doing this through a ranger camp." Bakaguru paused to clean his glasses. "It's so the best applicants can be chosen in an impartial series of tests."
"I could not care less. I worked the hardest, and 0 picked me as his successor."
"The former Golden Ranger selected the current 0 as his replacement."
"I was his daughter. He loved me."
"You were his adopted daughter. He took you in, nothing more. The current 0 and his team will select their new team members by seeing who will be the most compatible and useful with the ranger technology. There has only ever been one person bonded to the ranger system that wasn't compatible."
"Yeah," muttered a voice behind Bakaguru. "Me." Serena rubbed her eyes and yawned loudly. "Mind not talking about me behind my back, Bakaguru?"
"My apologies, Serena. Don't you have to get to 0 for ranger camp preparations?"
"He said he already took care of everything, so I decided to come down here."
"Good. Today you're doing the friendship tests right?"
"Yeah. 415, how are you and Luxray working together?"
"She's doing great," said Max. "Luxray's listening to her when she talks to it, and she's learning to work with it instead of order it around." In an extremely unintelligent move, Max put his arm around her and gave her a big hug.
415 responded by putting Max in a headlock and breaking his neck. Max fell to the floor. Bakaguru and Serena gasped, but 415 merely sighed as the Dark Emerald began to glow, and a crunching noise issued while Max's neck reattached and he climbed back up to his feet.
"If only he would stay dead," 415 wished.
"Yeah, she figured out I don't die in our third lesson. Doesn't change the fact that it hurts a lot."
"I suppose I will have to settle for that."
"Yep. She's too weak to break the Dark Emerald, so I-"
415 grabbed his neck and squeezed. "Do not tempt me, idiot."
"Okay! Okay! It hurts!" he growled. "Geez, why can't you be nice to me? I am trying to help you accomplish your dream, you know." He rubbed his neck and sighed. "Bakaguru, any news on what PKM's doing with my mom and dad?"
"Norman and Caroline Birch?" Bakaguru wondered, and typed into his computer for a few moments. "They're on a cruise in the Orange Islands. Should keep them out of the public eye for about a year while we work on hiding the rest of your family."
"Cool. Uh, got any idea of when the ranger camp stuff is going down? I heard the final testing was happening today."
"The final testing will take place in two hours. The final three applicants will be given the ranger systems based on their skill level. The top applicant will be given the Blue Ranger system, the next will receive the new White Ranger system, and the last shall be given the Black Ranger system. The Council has actually given clearance for a rather extravagant party to be held in honor of the new rangers."
"That doesn't sound like them," said Serena.
"The announcement came directly from Alexander Charon."
"Who's that?" asked Max.
"Alexander Charon, primary director of the Council," muttered Serena as she rolled her eyes. "His family is another of the founding members of PKM, like mine and Logan's. He's really, really creepy."
"Charon has long attempted to put Council agenda on my PKM Ranger program," explained Bakaguru. "He has failed at every turn thanks to the selective process remaining in my hands. With the ranger camp, however, I have been forced to allow everyone willing and able to volunteer."
"So we don't have a clue who we're getting in bed with," finished Serena.
"To put it in layman's terms, yes, that's right." Bakaguru pushed his glasses back up to the bridge of his nose. "So, 415, I suggest you do a good job today with Luxray. Your dreams depend on it."
415 growled. "I am aware." She walked off and Max followed.
"Serena, there is something I've been meaning to ask you," said Bakaguru.
"What's up?" she asked.
"How are you handling the ranger business?"
Serena lowered her face. "It's hard, but at least I'm still with 0. I can handle it as long as we stay together."
Bakaguru sighed. "Serena, there's something I need to talk to you about."
She looked up. "What?"
Bakaguru hesitated. "There is
something you need to know. I have
" He shook his head, he couldn't tell her. Not yet. "You should be at the ranger camp setting up. It's my understanding there will be spectators at today's event." He returned to his computer, his heart heavy. "Go. I will be on my way soon enough."
"You sure, Bakaguru?" Serena asked. "You seem
I don't know. Kinda down. Is something wrong?"
He shook his head. "Of course not, Serena." He squeezed her shoulder and smiled. "Run along, I'll come once I finish my testing for the Ailed Morphers."
She nodded and left. Bakaguru waited again until he was certain he was alone before he brought out the three new morphers. Each one was a perfect little watch. He placed each one in a small box and sealed them away before tucking them into his lab coat.
"Alright, Charon," he muttered. "Let's see what strength you can muster."
He shut down all the computers and walked out of the lab.
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"Good evening, ladies and men!" bellowed Logan. "Welcome to the final portion of ranger camp: the Friendship Test! Can I get a hallelujah?"
"Hallelujah!" shouted the surrounding crowd.
"That's what I'm talking about!" roared the Red Ranger, to the applause of all. "Today three among you join the prestigious ranks of us, the PKM Rangers! Three sexy, legally consenting individuals, who will join Karin and I in an after-party celebration-" Logan paused, not because he wanted to, but because Karin grabbed his tongue and tossed the microphone over toward the Golden Ranger.
"That was completely uncalled for," Logan complained, while Karin gave him a look of intense pleasure as she applied pressure to his neck. "This is paining me. Please stop." She did not.
"Moving on," growled 0. "Agents step forward with your Pokemon."
The six candidates stepped up to the platform with their Pokemon. Luxray and 415 stood quietly in the middle of the line, both with a reserved calmness. The others were a mixture of nervousness, cockiness, and excitement. The Golden Ranger turned to her and nodded. She ignored him.
"You have been found suitable for field combat and ranger technology," 0 announced. "But part of being a Ranger Agent means being compatible with the current generation of the Ranger System. This requires an agent acting as an operator and a Pokemon acting as the support intelligence and basis for the Ranger System. The level of teamwork between ranger and ranger spirit measures the potential strength of the Ranger System. Utilizing the Friendship Checker, we will measure the compatibility of the selected six agents with their Pokemon. The top three will advance into the ranks of PKM Ranger Agents Blue, White, and Black."
Serena moved towards a platform set up on the stage and lowered her head to the microphone. "Will Agent 3228, Derek Rex, please step up here with his Empoleon?" One of the cadets, a buzz-cut recruit with a serious expression, nodded and stepped up to the platform with his penguin Pokemon. After a few seconds the machine finished recording and Serena wrote down the number. "Thank you," she said. "Please step down. Will Agent 5833, Sean Aarons, please step up here with his Charizard?"
This continued with the other three agents, until finally Serena said, "Will Agent 415, name classified, please step up here with her Luxray?" 415 took a deep breath before she and Luxray stepped onto the platform. 0 nodded encouragingly and Max cheered from the sidelines. She shot him a glance that could freeze a volcano.
A few seconds later, it was done and she stepped down. Serena handed the results to 0, who didn't look at the paper and raised the microphone to his mouth. "Here to deliver the results is the operating director of the PKM Ranger Agents, Agent 003 Bakaguru Niwa." The crowd applauded as Bakaguru made his way to the stage, took the sheet from 0, and grabbed the microphone.
"Thank you, Agent 0," he said before turning to the audience. "Ladies and gentlemen I have the results of whom will be joining the PKM Ranger Agents today. When we first began ranger camp there were over a hundred applicants, which we have narrowed down to the six agents you see before you. Half of these people did not make the cut. I would like to personally apologize to those who will not be joining our team today, as I am sure I would like to have worked with each of them."
He paused and took a deep breath before looking down the list. "The new operator for the Ranger Agent Blue System will be Special Agent 45, Daniel Day. Congratulations on your promotion, Agent 2." The audience applauded as Day, a large man with a Hariyama, stepped forward to receive a special jacket similar to the ones worn by the other Ranger Agents with his number and color on it.
"Thank you," he said with a smile and stood off to the side with Logan, Karin, 0, and Serena.
"The new operator for the Ranger Agent White System will be Agent 776, Ashley Yorfino." A woman slightly younger than 0 stepped forward, giggling with pride, with a Togetic floating next to her. Serena, after much hesitation, presented Yorfino with her old jacket. "Congratulations on your promotion, Agent 3."
"Take care of it," Serena said.
The new White Ranger nodded. "I will," she promised, and stepped next to Day.
Bakaguru lowered the list and tucked it into his pocket. "The final new operator, who will assume control of the Ranger Agent Black System, will be Agent 415. Congratulations on your promotion, Agent 4." He turned to 415 and handed her the ranger jacket, his face beaming with pride.
415 didn't reach for it. "I did it?" she asked.
He nodded and showed her the results. "You worked the hardest for this. You've earned it." She put on the jacket and stepped to the side with Luxray, who grinned evilly at the crowd. Bakaguru turned towards the crowd. "Please join me in welcoming the three new PKM Ranger Agents, joining our three other agents in protecting the-"
It was at the point where Logan grabbed the mic and, smiling, shouted, "Everybody, party at the cafeteria! I'm doing the first keg stand!" This was received by unanimous applause and a slap to the head from Karin.
Bakaguru clear his throat. "Yes, well, as Ranger Red said, a celebration will be held shortly. During the party we will be bonding the morphers to the Ranger Agents. See you there."
Bakaguru and 0 waited until the arena filed out before they headed back to the lab.
"Come, Gold," he muttered. "We need to begin your sequencing early." 0 nodded.
"How long is it going to take?" he asked.
Bakaguru shrugged. "I decreased the necessary time. Shouldn't take more than twelve hours now. During that time you'll be wearing a replacement morpher." He opened one of the drawers on his lab table and pulled out the fake one. "Bring your morpher over here." 0 raised his wrist as Bakaguru pulled out some sort of strange, spherical machine. He opened the device and placed 0's wrist inside before shutting it again.
"Is this going to hurt Pi?" 0 asked.
Bakaguru shook his head. "No. The ranger spirit will be placed into hibernation while the morpher reconfigures with the Ailed Morpher chip. Pi will not be injured when it is transported to the new system."
"It's okay," said Pi. "Bakaguru will take good care of me."
"Fine. See you on the other side, Pi."
The machine detached the Golden Morpher from his wrist in one quick motion. Once the process was finished 0 removed his hand from the device and felt his wrist.
"Man, this feels really weird. I even have a tan line," he muttered.
"You'll live," said Bakaguru as he attached the fake morpher to 0's hand. "This will generate a fake version of your suit in case of emergencies. It cannot operate the Synchronization Drive or utilize any of your other weapons. Keep that in mind if you decide to play hero." 0 nodded. "How are you doing on serum?"
"I'm scheduled for my next dose tonight. I'll make sure I take it on time."
"Good. There is one more thing, 0. It seems that Alexander Charon intends on interrogating the Snagem commander we imprisoned."
"I thought they were all in the regular jails now."
"Most of them. The Snagem leader is bonded to an abnormal Dark Onyx, so he's a special case. We should hopefully be able to get something useful out of him."
"Wait," said 0. "Why aren't we interrogating him? Why's Charon doing it?"
"Prior to his father's death, Alexander Charon was the lead interrogator for the special operations division of PKM. He is well-versed in all manner of torture techniques. He is also a sick, sick little man."
"We're all sick," whispered a voice dramatically behind 0. Logan grinned and stepped next to the Golden Ranger. "Better statement would be that the guy just ain't right in the head, Bakaguru. You haven't met him, Golden Boy. He likes to play hardball. He's the reason we've had to come up with this mutiny we're doing today."
"How do you-"
"Please, 0. You give me too little credit. You think Bakaguru could come up with this kind of huge plan all by himself?"
"I did come up with it all by myself, Logan," said Bakaguru with an annoyed look on his face.
"That's completely beside the point. You needed someone to bounce ideas off of."
"There were no ideas, there was just my basic plan."
you needed someone to eat your food with you."
"Fine. You contributed to that."
"Hang on," 0 said. "Who else is in on this?"
"Karin and I know, our morphers are already being upgraded. Birch's parents have been whisked away so they can't be touched. Everything's in place. All you need to do is inform your family to be ready and we'll be good to go. Agents Day and Yorfino, unfortunately, will not be receiving their new morphers. When we go underground, we'll be taking all of the Ranger Systems with us."
" Bakaguru coughed. "It seems I have forgotten something. Serena will have to be told, she still has no idea what we're doing. I will tell her of the plan later tonight, at the party."
"Why didn't you tell her already?" 0 asked.
Bakaguru sighed. "I just didn't want to complicate things for her. She is trying to deal with her demotion as best she can, but I can tell she's suffering." 0 nodded. "Gold, I'm not just doing this for you. This whole mutiny benefits your family, true, but Serena needs this just as much as you do. She wasn't supposed to be a ranger, but that accident has become her identity. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yeah. Don't worry, Bakaguru, she's a big part of our family. I don't want to leave her behind when we're gone."
"Good. Get going, I believe that your presence will be required at the party today."
0 grinned. "Gotcha. I already promised May a dance." He took off.
"Young love," muttered Bakaguru. "Young, stupid love. Is there any other kind?"
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The gentleman before the Snagem boss undid his tie.
His hair was immaculate, despite a slightly-receding hairline. Coarse black hair flowed from his scalp to his shoulders. He adjusted the narrow lenses of his glasses and coldly stared down at the subdued Dark Gem freak.
"You," he hissed, as he rolled up his sleeves, "have been a very bad boy."
The Snagem leader did not respond, prompting Alexander Charon to reach for a nearby can of Mace. He grinned. "Come on, little freak. Tell me what I want to know and I promise we won't hurt you. I swear on my mother's life."
"Heh," growled the boss. "Something like you has a mother. That's funny, skinny."
Charon's brow furrowed. "My mother would not appreciate your comment, boy," he hissed and blasted the boss' face full of Mace. The Dark Gem screamed in agony as his face became plastered with the painful, stingy liquid. "Want to try again?" he asked, his voice raised to drown out the shrieks.
"G-Go to h-hell," he stuttered before spitting in Charon's face. The director of the Council paused, just long enough to retrieve a handkerchief and wipe his cheek, before spraying the rest of the can into the Dark Gem's eyes. He shrieked as Charon tossed away the can and glanced lovingly at the torture table nearby.
"Ah. You know, I have so many little toys to play with, you little freak
" He walked over to the table and picked up a blowtorch. "For instance, I could incinerate your hand, finger by finger, until the last three are gone. Karino really did a number on you, huh?" He placed the torch back down and picked up some sort of strange syringe. "Or some liquid nitrogen to pump through your veins. I'll bet that'll get you to start talking
if you live through it, that is." But at last he found what he wanted: the flickering jumper cables plugged right into an electrical generator. "Here we go, I think these will do perfectly."
He walked back to the Snagem leader and, as politely as possible, attached the ends of the jumper cables to both of his captive's hands. Charon reached for the electric generator. "Is there anything, anything at all, you wish to tell me before the real interrogation begins?" he asked hopefully, flashing a smile. But nothing he said made a difference to his prisoner and he let out a loud sigh. "Maybe I should let 1 interrogate you, a few hours with him and your head would explode. But no, I'm a kind man. I'll just inflict physical torture on you." He hit the switch and watched the pretty sparks that shot from the Snagem boy's mouth for a while After he'd had enough, he flipped the switch and cackled while his prisoner gasped for breath.
"Want more?" asked Charon, all smiles. "I'm sure I can tap into the main power grid of you'd like some mo-" He paused, as the little prisoner began gasping for air, trying to say something. "What's that?" he asked and slapped the man. "Speak up, I can't hear you!"
"S-Said that if y-you k-k-kill me
can't t-tell," he gasped. Charon relished the sound as his captive struggled to breathe with every instant that dragged on.
Charon tapped his lips with his forefinger. "Excellent point," he murmured. "But if you don't talk, then I just end up having all the fun at your expense. I want this to be an equal trade, kiddo." He glanced at the desk nearby and picked up a file. "Let's see, what does my agency know about you, Mr. Prisoner?" He flipped open the first page.
"Your name is Arnold Walker, but I was told you prefer the codename Goza. Now, that's a very stupid name, isn't it? Much dumber than that poor thing your mother gave you." He chuckled and Goza's face just reddened up like a fresh strawberry.
Kill you," he mumbled.
"I don't think you're in a position to make such a rash, rude statement," said Charon, who was more than willing to touch his finger gingerly to the electrical knob that controlled the circuit flow between the machine and Goza's body. "Now I'll ask you one more time: what are you doing with that Dark Gem of yours? I'm afraid I just need to know. We need to get rid of you vermin while you're soft and weak. If we wait longer, you'll just get bigger and make even more of a mess."
"Then-" The man's head sagged "-what's with Jolly Green? Saw one of us with your team."
he's being taken care of right now. Once you give me the information I need, you'll join him in being executed. You Dark Gem Rangers are simply too unstable for me
not like ours are any better, but ours listen to me and me alone. Yours don't. See the difference?" He flipped the switch for the tiniest second, but it was one of the most painful seconds Goza had ever endured.
"Did that change anything?" Charon asked.
"N-Not a thing," whispered Goza between clenched teeth. "Want to know what the funny part is?"
"Go ahead, I love a good joke."
"In a few hours, you'll all be dead. Every last one of you. So go ahead, put me through this. I can take it. My Dark Gem won't let me die like a dog here." He lifted up his hand and tried to wave the bloody stumps where two of his fingers used to be. "That pink one? She's the first one to die. She took my fingers, I'll take off her neck!"
"Yes, I must apologize for that," murmured Chaon, almost as if he was sincere. "You see, Ranger Pink has never quite been a person of
shall we say mental stability. She's right on par with you Dark Gems, I think. Her background is complicated, to say the least. As her master, I should tell you that your injury could have been much worse. You should have just let her go, but now you've lost two fingers and it's nobody's fault but your own. If anything, blame your Dark Gem friends. Why, did you know that the Dark Emerald Ranger can regenerate anything? If we cut off his head, I'm sure he'd just reattach it somehow! He must be so much stronger, so much better than you, to have your friends leave you with something so weak, so useless
"Stop talking to me!" Goza shrieked, and slammed his fists into the sides of the chair. "I don't want to hear any more! Nothing! Zip! Nada! Got it, you sick, twisted freak?" His breaths came in gasps, his face was steaming red. Only the restraints on the chair prevented him from rising up and ripping off Charon's own head. Even then, Goza was sure he'd just keep talking, no matter what.
"I'm the sick twisted freak? I'm sorry, you must be confusing me with someone else, you poor diluted man." As he opened his mouth to continue, he was forced to pause when somebody knocked at the door.
"Now who could that be?" Charon wondered aloud as he walked towards the door. "I believe I asked for specific instructions to be left alone with the prisoner!" he called through the door. "He's just about to give up some information."
"New orders came through!" replied the voice on the other side.
"From who? You think you're talking to some annoying punk! I am Alexander Charon, head of PKM. No one has higher jurisdiction than I do."
"New orders came through!" repeated the voice.
"Fine." Grinding his teeth, Charon opened the door with a knife in his hands. Instead of some sweet, innocent little girl whom the voice sounded like, a woman with blazing purple eyes stood behind the door, casually holding a gun.
"Hi, Alexander Charon, head of PKM. Mind if I come inside?" asked Ame. She glanced past him to the prisoner. "My friend Ony looks like he's in bad shape. I hope you haven't permanently damaged him."
help me," groaned Goza. "He's
gonna kill me."
Ame shut the door behind her and locked it. "I cannot let him do that, my employers wasted too much time creating you and bonding that expensive Dark Onyx to you. Still, you have no one to blame but yourself for this mess. I told you not to engage them until you were strong enough. Your Dark Onyx is too weak to even hurt that traitor Eme." She crossed to Goza, still pointing the gun at Charon, and touched the prisoner's shoulders. "This is going to feel weird, but it will be over soon." She closed her eyes and something within her clothes glowed.
Goza gasped as he slid through the chair and landed on the ground. Ame dragged him away and he stood up.
"How did you do that?" he asked, amazed.
She shrugged. "Need to know basis. Alexander Charon, head of PKM, does not need to know." she shifted her gaze towards Charon, whose face seemed a little bit too calm. "Now, what would you like to do with him? My contract says nothing about whether Alexander Charon lives or dies, Ony."
Goza grinned. "Oh, I've got a few ideas," he murmured with a growl. He cracked his knuckles and took a step forward. Not wanting to be outdone by such a freak, Charon mimicked the motion.
"I as well, little freak," chuckled Charon, as he reached for his knife. "In fact, this could even be fun. For a while, at least, until you die."
But Ame consulted her watch, and halted the potential bloodbath. "Ony, we must move," advised Ame. "We are on a strict schedule, I need to bring you back to my employers. Vengeance will have to wait until your final upgrade. My clock is very specific on our time constraints."
Goza growled, but reluctantly followed Ame out the door. Charon watched, certain of his complete inability to do anything. After all, the girl had whisked his prisoner through a solid steel chair. His powers were much less.
When the door slammed shut he reached into his pocket and pulled out a communicator. "Bakaguru Niwa?" he asked.
"Charon?" replied the voice, with a bite of distain.
"Alexander Charon to you, tech monkey," said he. "Rally your troops together. We seem to have a wee infestation in our organization. Delay our plan to arrest Max Birch and Serena Brine, we may need them as cannon fodder."
A pause on the line. "What's the problem?"
"Our Dark Gem prisoner was released by another one, they're probably making their way towards the party as we speak. Inform the guests of honor of our
predicament. I don't want to have to replace the whole team after we just finished choosing new recruits."