Author: HidingBehindASmile PM
What happens when Taz returns home after ten years as a Starship Ranger. Taz and Up. Based after Starship.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Hurt/Comfort - Taz & Up - Chapters: 14 - Words: 16,681 - Reviews: 57 - Favs: 20 - Follows: 17 - Updated: 02-11-12 - Published: 10-16-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7469747
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N - So, hey everyone. Yeah, this is the last chapter, how terribly exciting (not really) so I hope you guys enjoy it. Thanks for reading it and alerting and reviewing and whatnot, it's really appreciated… So have fun and read on. Or just leave. That's cool.
Release poison gas?
The computer message popped up with a cheerful ding. Taz hurriedly clicked on the 'no' button; she didn't want to kill her friends. She was shocked at the thought, friends? She'd never been popular as a child as she had quickly quashed any extensions of friendship towards her, usually with an act of violence. Up had been her first friend and her best friend, although that was a given considering he was her only friend. But not anymore, or so it seemed. Her fellow rangers could be annoying sometimes, or if their name was Krayonder, all the time, but she would be sad if they were gone. Even the robot was bearable. Sometimes.
Looking up at the screen, Taz could see their expectant faces looking towards the camera. She could do this. For them.
Computing had never been her strong point she realised a few minutes later when her efforts had failed miserably. Cursing, she kicked the computer, slamming her hands on the keyboard in anger.
Gas to be released in two minutes.
"Mierda!" Taz swore as the message popped onto the screen, again with a happy ding.
Taz tapped rapidly on the keyboard. Nothing was working. She tried to cancel the command - it didn't work. She tried to delete the program - that didn't work either.
Glancing at the countdown in the corner of the screen she recoiled: one minute remaining. She saw the rangers again and spoke hurriedly into the microphone.
"You know how to cancel a command?" Astonished faces looked back, confused. "Now!" Taz practically screamed, and several rangers covered their ears.
"Well, you could use the command screen to access the core instructions, then use the screening process to remove all active files which would in turn delete the command. But then again, maybe it would be better to start system control and use the batch controller to cancel the previous commands. But that might not work, I'm not sure," spouted Specs, confusing Taz.
"Wait, slower," she yelled. She waited a few uneasy seconds before repeating her command, this time remembering to press down the microphone button.
"No! There's no time!"
"Have you tried switching it off and on again?" Krayonder asked, as if he were the root of all technical knowledge.
Ten seconds left.
She'd never be able to get this to work in the time she had. It was worth a try, even if it only meant she avoided… Taz looked frantically, searching. How did this thing even work? Where was the off switch?
Taz pulled the plug out of the wall. The computer screen went black. Taz sank to the floor. Her face was buried in her knees. Her breathing was fast and unsteady and her head was pounding.
She should have saved them. She should have tried harder. Pulling the plug had been the easiest thing to do, and although she told herself it would save them, she knew her main motivation was so that she wouldn't have to watch them die. She was ashamed at this show of weakness, not that it even mattered anymore; there was no one to see her. She had to pull herself together.
She was going to forget by doing what she did best - being the toughest ranger in the whole Galactic League. She would send a message, she decided. To the other commanders, explaining what had happened.
Fingers trembling slightly, she pushed the plug into the socket. The computer whirred softly and the screen lit up, loading slowly.
As the background loaded, Taz stared blankly at the G.L.E.E. emblem. Damn that G.L.E.E. Damn their stupid awards and their stupid poison gas. The camera screen popped up, the small windows loading slowly. Taz watched. First some empty corridors. Then the cafeteria, also empty. Finally, the ballroom appeared on the screen.
The breath Taz had been inadvertently holding was released in a small gasp. The place where the faces of her fellow rangers had been just a few minutes earlier was empty. Taz stood up, looking closer, trying to make out any sign of life. Her mouth dropped open as she saw a few limbs, poking in from the side of the picture, the bodies they were attached to just out of shot.
Taz could see it in her mind.
The gas would have hissed out from above them. They would have tried to run, to escape it, but they wouldn't have got far. It would have caught them quickly but death wouldn't do the same. It would have been slow, torture, as they suffocated, unable to get out.
Taz ran from the room. She had to get as far away as possible. Sprinting, she turned left and right, the pain in her side increasing, but it didn't matter anymore. He was gone. He was dead and her pain didn't matter in the slightest because his pain had been worse. She hadn't even had the guts to watch him die, to say a final goodbye. The pain in her side may go away, but the pain in her chest, the weight on her shoulders, wouldn't. She had always been able to shrug off death before, but now it pressed down on her, her love for the man she had failed to save keeping the weight there, no matter how far she ran.
Turning the corner, Taz plowed into something.
"Honestly, Taz, a familiar voice said. "What happened to being careful with my ribs?"
Taz punched him in the stomach. Then she kissed him.
"But how did you get out?" Taz asked after a rather lengthy reunion. "You were supposed to be killed."
"Sadly, your plans failed. We're still here," Up teased.
"Even that candy ass Krayonder?" Taz asked, winking.
"Even me," Krayonder smiled. Taz feigned disappointment – she couldn't give him anything else to boast about. Although it looked like he'd be boasting for weeks anyway; his arm was firmly around Specs' waist and she was leaning into him, smiling. Brushing herself down, and attempting to make herself look professional again, Specs answered the initial question.
"When the power went off, the door just clicked and opened," Specs explained. "I suspect they came up with that defence during the robot wars. They clearly knew a robot would never turn off a machine," she concluded as if it were obvious, pushing her glasses up her nose.
A while later, changed into their uniforms they had retrieved from their rooms, the group of rangers stepped outside. They blinked as they stepped into the bright light, but they were smiling and triumphant at their victory over the robots.
A man suddenly appeared at the end of the street, running towards them. He stopped in front of them, breathless.
"The… The robots," he panted. "They're back."
"We know," Up replied proudly. "We just dealt with them," he explained, pointing back at the building towering behind them. "In there."
"No," The man whispered, regaining his breath. "They're back. They're everywhere."
The rangers looked at each other. The robot wars were fraught with danger and death. But then, they had got through these problems before, and it was time to do it again. Up straightened up and spoke to the group.
"Well then," he started. "Looks like we better get going," he walked forward. The decision had been made the second he had heard the news. He was going to fight alongside those he loved, for the good of his planet. He may have been soft since his accident, but now there was no doubt in his mind. People needed him, and he was sure as hell gonna do his best to get the job done.
Taz looked at her Commander proudly. He had come a long way from when he had been sliced in two. But then again, so had she. Up had learnt how to toughen up, and she had learnt how to let people in. They were both better off now. She would fight with him, and she had no doubt that they would win. They had done it before and they would do it again. She walked forward and stood next to him, ready to fight.
"Come on," she ordered the other rangers. "Let's do this."
Taz and Up walked together towards the end of the street. It was scarily quiet behind them.
"They're not coming," Taz muttered.
"I thought…" Up trailed off.
Footsteps could be heard behind them, running to catch up. The pair turned around, to see Krayonder laden with equipment.
"I know you're trying to get your sunset moment," Krayonder smirked. "But it might be better if you remember to take something to fight with."
So it's over. Lubbly jubbly. I just wanted to say thanks lots and lots to gypsie rosalie, DaisyDoodle and lucyjoan for reviewing pretty much every chapter. Those little bongs from my iPod at about 3 in the morning are awesome, even if not wonderful for my sleeping. And yeah nevthebunny for proofreading and dong a much better job than I do on her stuff (which isn't saying much to be fair). So yeah, thanks. Awkward speech over.