By N. E. Shaw
Carlos lead Psycho Yellow, Blue, and Black on a wild and crazy chase through the Megaship. He was worried about Psycho Red with Zhane, but that couldn't be helped at the moment. He had a job to do.
When he first found the intruders onboard, all four of them were confronting him on the bridge. Alpha was with him. It was all they could do to escape; a precision kick to the groin got Psycho Black out of his hair; but they were not completely unscathed. Alpha took a lazer blast in Carlos's stead, just before they sealed the Psychos on the bridge and got away. Now the selfless little automaton was putting himself back together in the Gym.
Carlos didn't know what had happened to the others. He had only just confirmed he wasn't the only living being on this ship - although if he left Zhane with Psycho Red too long, he might be. In any event, he had to excecute this plan on his own. He had no chance of destroying the Psychos, so he would attempt to chuck them out the airlock into the cold of space. He was on his way to the Cargo Bay now.
He kept the route twisty so the Psychos couldn't chase too fast. But they were always right behind him. They called out things like, "You won't get away this time, Black Ranger!" and "You can run, but you can't hide!"
How unoriginal can you get? thought Carlos as he ran. He did not dignify their taunts with a reply.
Finally, he reached the Cargo Bay, and sealed the door shut behind him. He took a moment to catch his breath, then began setting up his plan. The Psychos were soon pounding at the door.
Meanwhile, on the bridge, Psycho Red prepared to finish off the Silver Ranger. Zhane was barely able to hold his head up, let alone fight for his life. He could do nothing as Red bore down on his throat for the kill.
But Zhane still had a trick up his sleeve. Or, make that a Silverizer. He whipped it out of nowhere and slashed the Psycho in the face. Once again, Psycho Red screamed in surprise and fell backward, holding his scorched helmet.
"Five's a crowd," Zhane smirked. "I like it just you and me."
"Stop chattering and fight!" roared the villain, and Zhane complied, transforming the Silverizer to Blaster mode. He fired a volley of shots at Psycho Red, who finally realized he would not get close to Zhane now. He retreated almost to the exit.
"I can still beat you, Silver Ranger," he barked. "I'll see all of you go up in flames!"
And with that, he punched several buttons on the control deck, and DECA blinked to life.
"Three minutes to auto-self-destruct," she reported. Fear twisted in Zhane's stomach. Psycho Red only cackled and ran out of the room, following his friends. Zhane was left alone on the bridge with DECA. "Two fifty five, two fifty four, two fifty three..."
When the three Psychos finally got the door down, the Black Ranger was waiting for them. He stood before the outer hatch, his feet looped up in a safety line. They all but laughed when they saw this.
"Come, fellow Psychos..." snorted Yellow sarcastically. "Lets fight the Black Ranger while he's fastened to the floor. I sure hope the cargo doors don't open while we're in here..."
Carlos rolled his eyes. "You guys really know how to root out a trap, don't you?"
With a quick glance, they signalled to each other what to do, then lifted electrically charged hands in Carlos's direction.
"Say goodbye again, Ranger," said Psycho Black.
Carlos gave a little wave, "Buh bye.." and jerked his rope, hard.
In a flash, their feet were ripped out from under them. They had been standing on a cargo net, one that was tied to the other end of his line. They found themselves on the floor now, their feet entangled, and completely unattatched to anything solid. The Black Ranger took that moment to dive for the hatch controls.
"Not so fast!" shouted Psycho Black, and released his charge of energy. It caught Carlos in the back and he went down. The Psychos continued to claw at their restraints.
"Three minutes to auto-self-destruct," said the computer. Everyone froze in shock.
"What is he doing?" Psycho Blue roared.
"He'll destroy us all!" Yellow exclaimed.
Psycho Black and Carlos locked gazes, and then all burst into frantic motion again. The Psychos fought to get free while Carlos scrambled to reach the controls on the far end of the room.
"Two minutes to destruct..."
Carlos was had nearly reached the panel when Psycho Red burst into the room. He saw what was happening, and saw Carlos's hand poised over the hatch button.
"Nooo!" he cried out, and made a running leap to stop the Black Ranger. But it was too late. With a firm grip on the safety handle, Carlos pressed the controls.
The cargo bay doors flew open, and hurricane winds blasted to life around them. Psychos Blue, Yellow and Black were carried screaming out into space, still tangled in the strong net webbing.
But Psycho Red was quicker than that. His momentum carried him far enough to grab Carlos's leg, and keep himself from being blown out.
Carlos tried to shake him, but his grip was too tight. Somewhere behind the noise of the wind, DECA continued her countdown; and somewhere within the ship, the Red Ranger opened his eyes and heard those seconds ticking away.
"Enough of this bullshit..!" Carlos cried. "Psycho Red, this one's for Alpha!"
With a mighty kick, Carlos smashed the fingers of Psycho Red's right hand. Red's grip broke, and he sailed across the floor, shouting curses as he vanished into cold, dark, outer space.
When the hatch finally closed, Carlos collapsed in a heap to breathe. Then he heard DECA's voice again.
"..one oh two, one oh one. One minute to destruct."
He jerked to his feet and started running towards the bridge.
Zhane listened in anguish to the seconds ticking away. In about half a minute, they would all be engulfed by an explosion that would be seen with naked eyes all the way to Liaria. If only he had the strength to get to the control panel...!
Just as he was about to give up, he heard the Megalift halt in its shaft. The doors flew open and out came Carlos, screeching to a halt on the bridge.
"Zhane! Are you-?"
"Nevermind me, you gotta to stop the countdown!"
"But only Andros has the..."
"I have the password! Hit 0169 and say 'flex sphere'!"
"..nine, eight, seven..."
Carlos did as he was told, barked the nonsensical words, and held his breath in suspense.
The countdown halted. "Self-destruct-sequence cancelled. Resetting ship's systems."
The lights came back up and Carlos looked down. Zhane was passed out on the floor, his Silver suit marred by boot-scuffs and burns. Carlos was glad to sink to the floor beside him, and pull off his helmet so he could breathe.
"My God Zhane, look what they did to you!"
Zhane stirred awake, trying to see in the harsh brightness glaring down from above. He realized he couldn't obey Carlos's commmand without a mirror, so he turned to his friend instead, and murmured, "You my friend, have excellent timing."
"I try," Carlos replied. Then he became a little more solemn. "We're not, um...the only ones here, are we?"
Zhane tried to shake his head, but that hurt too much.
"Nuh-uh. They're all relatively safe in my cryo-chamber...last I checked anyway."
"Relatively? We better go check on 'em..."
"Ok, I'll do it. But our next stop is gonna be somewhere with medical facilities, cause I'm not gonna taking care of the lot of you all by myself."
"I'll be right here if you need me..."
Carlos made to leave, but Zhane caught his arm one more time. "Hey Carlos," he said with a half-smile. "Ashley'll have something special for you when you find her."
Of course he meant the cross pendant, but his wink sent Carlos's thoughts in a totally different direction. Carlos left with disbelief, and a new fantasy on his mind.