original wrote on 09-27-09
revised on 1-19-11
For less than ten seconds, the protective dome surrounding Corinth City dissipated. The populace below started to panic upon seeing the holographic blue sky replaced with the amber burnt red that the natural sky now looks, thanks to the radiation levels put out from Venjix's robot factories. But the citizen's fears are laid to rest as the force field immediately went back to operational status within seconds. It was deactivated long enough for one small jet fighter to clear the dome and head out into the Wastelands outside the city.
Col. Mason Truman watches the Fighter from his computer monitor make great time getting past the wastelands closest to the city without alerting Venjix's defenses. He was totally against this mission, but Dr. K was very insistent that the radiation levels surrounding at least one hundred miles around the dome city had to be checked. If the levels had raised any, it could prove damaging to the city's resources. The only person who had the immediate knowledge of what to look for was herself, so she was the only one who could investigate the radiation putout by Venjixs forces.
And the only pilot fast enough to evade Venjixs aerial troops was none other than Eagle 2, Scott Truman, his only remaining son and sole survivor of the Eagle Squad's decimation.
With his fingers interlaced before him, the Colonel sighs as he watches the jet disappear within the yellow and red stained clouds that cover the skyline outside Corinth's protective dome. "Godspeed you two. Hurry home."
"How you doing back there, Dr. K," Scott asks from the pilot seat. His head is covered with a pilots helmet and visor. He had to make several quick turns to evade enemy radar. While he is an excellent pilot, he was unsure how the young woman behind the Ranger technology would handle the sudden movements, not to mention the G-force generated from the speed that he is traveling.
"Just fine Operator Series Red," Dr. K responds in a not to convincing voice. Scott smiles lightly and chuckles.
"Don't worry, once we are safely out of the danger zone, I will be able to decrease speed. We have to get out of Venjix's radar range."
"I am aware Operator Series Red," Dr. K remarks, her eyes still clamped shut. Her own helmet practically swallows her much smaller head. There are not any pilots within the city with her small frame, so finding her a helmet that was even close to fit was rather taxing. "My mind agrees with you whole hearty. My stomach, however, does not."
Chuckling, Scott returns his entire attention back on piloting. "It'll only be a few more minutes."
True to his word, the jet does indeed lessen its speed. Relaxing slightly, for she is no longer pressed into her seat, Dr. K opens her eyes and peers out of the protective glass covering the cockpit of Scott's Jet. Leaning closer to the glass covering, Dr. K comes to a realization, one that she was aware of before this mission, but one just as startling.
"This is my first time out of Corinth City, outside the dome since it was sealed," she mutters under her voice. While she had traveled to Corinth after escaping Alphabet Soup's labs, her still present fear of the sun kept her hiding low as she ventured toward Corinth. The pilot before her is unaware that he had a part in getting her into the city before Venjix's forces had begun closing in on it. Scott was one of the helicopter pilots who had flown civilians to Corinth before he was assigned to combat detail in his brother's platoon. She had been one of his first.
"Whats that Dr. K," Scott asks, his eyes still forward.
"Nothing," Dr. K shakes her head. "Just thinking."
Scott merely nods. "From the speed that we are traveling, we should reach your desired coordinates in about an hour. So just sit back and relax Doc."
Visibly shaking, but not so noticeable, especially from the pilots seat, Dr. K merely nods. She tightens her arms around her chest, trying to calm herself. She had thought that she could handle this, after all, the secret government think-tank Alphabet Soup had lied to her about being deadly allergic to sunlight, but her subconscious doesn't seem to be agreeing with the rest of her mind at the moment.
"Just let it all out Doc," Scott remarks, patting her backside as she heaves her breakfast up. As soon as they had found a spot clear of any radiation fallout and exited out of his jet, Dr. K lost the battle that she was fighting within herself. "First time flier?"
"No... not really," Dr. K manages after a few moments. "It was not your flying Operator Series Red... but rather... well... "
"You are still afraid of the outside world," Scott asks.
"Yes... how did you know," she looks up toward the Red Operator.
"Corporal Hicks is not real good at filing my dad's files. I read your file not to long ago after you revealed yourself to us," Scott chuckles. "Don't worry, I haven't... and wont tell anyone else."
"I thank you for that," Dr. K rises to her feet, swaying lightly. Scott is quick to grab her, steadying her feet.
"Easy Doc, I got ya," Scott remarks.
Doctor K looks down at his hand, which is holding onto one of her smaller ones. She can feel his other hand on her lower back. She squirms slightly, not comfortable with human contact. Another thing to blame Alphabet Soup for.
"Tuh... thank you," Dr. K releases his hand and takes a step away from him, unaware that her face is beet red. "I would have thought that after all this time, my fear of the outside world would have passed."
"Well, you are standing outside my jet, here in the open. Perhaps you have. Maybe your first flight shouldn't have been in a Jet Fighter. My brother and I went through years of simulations before we even got airborne."
"I know. One of the more reasons why you were chosen for Project Ranger," Dr. K wipes the corner of her mouth with the sleeve of her coat. She was offered a fighter coat before they departed the hanger, but much like the helmet, it was way larger than her petite form.
"One of the reasons," Scott asks as he removes his own helmet. He raises a hand to his hair and runs his hand through it, fluffing his hair free. "What are the other reasons?"
"Another time Scott," Dr. K walks back toward his jet to retrieve her instruments for testing the soil.
The Red Ranger smiles lightly. Ever since the situation where he ventured out into the wastelands where his brothers plane had crashed, the Doctor had held him in a more personal place than any of the other Ranger Operators. While she rarely ever calls the other Rangers by their names, in private moments such as this, she does this for Scott.
"We have much to do," Scott remarks. "Gather your bearings Doc. I'll unload the scanning equipment out of the jet."
As Dr. K lets her stomach settle, she watches her Red Ranger hop upon one of the Jet's wings and reaches inside the cockpit, bring out two large bags that were nestled behind his pilots seat. As she watches him, her mind reflects on just why she did chose him to be the leader of the Ranger Project.
While going over his file, she took note that he was trained by the Special Forces, and earning a rank amongst the Army Rangers. He later joined the Air Force under his brother's wing to become a Combat Pilot. She had also learned that while their was no distrust or hate between Scott or Marcus, the two brothers did not share the same mother. Their father favored Marcus more so than Scott, thus Scott's decision in originally joining the Army than the Air Force. Though his choice in doing so may have been a form of rebellion against his father, the combat skills he learned in the Army Rangers only assisted the Doctor in choosing him for the Red Ranger position. Scott was and is still determined to make his father notice him.
So, determination. That was the second reason why she had chosen him. His combative ability was defiantly a close third. Of all the six other Rangers, he was defiantly the better fighter. Ranger Black had the strength, thanks to his robotic implants and combat prowess that was defiantly programmed into his mind by Venjix, but unlike Scott, Ranger Black nor Green were chosen by her. Also there were the military ties that having him aboard the project made the decision final. After all, his father the Colonel, is one of the main figureheads in the governmental structure that is keeping the last shreds of humanity from falling into Venjix's forces.
Scott hops down from one of the wings with the bags in tow. "Okay Doc, where do you want to set up this relay device?"
"Right here should be significant," she remarks. "This place is desolate enough, with nothing more than sand for the eye to see. We wont have to worry about any interference from trees or buildings... not that there are enough live trees around to be a problem."
"Right," Scott nods as he places the bags onto the desert bed. He squats down and unzips them. "We should hurry. Dust storms were predicted in this area in the next few hours."
"Agreed," Dr. K nods as she takes out several of the components. "Lets begin."
It took close to two hours for the data that Dr. K needed to be collected. Frustrated that it took much longer than anticipated. The predicted sandstorm did indeed arrive, which put a damper on their scheduled return time-frame. Having to rush to return the sensitive equipment back into the safe confines of the cockpit, the two are now seated within their respected seats, waiting for the storm to pass before Scott can take off.
"Well, this blows," Scott remarks. Looking over his shoulder back to the genius behind him. "Were you able to retrieve all the necessary data that you needed Dr. K?"
"Yes. I believe that we got a significant amount to review upon our return to Corinth. I do wish though that this storm would pass. It unnerves me."
"Still uncomfortable with being outside the dome," Scott asks.
"More like being outside my lab," Dr. K shudders. "As you can see I don't adjust to change very well."
"I think you have done an amazing job today," Scott remarks. "Especially after hearing of the extent of your phobia of the outside world from my father."
"Your father," Dr. K asks.
"Yeah," Scott nods, turning around back in his seat. He looks out of the protective glass keeping himself and the Doctor protected from the harsh elements swirling around outside now. "Even though he was angry and was prepared to put you in prison after seeing that video-clip of you talking with Venjix back when he was a docile program, Corinth's safety is top priority. After he calmed down, I am sure that he would have let you explained yourself."
"Do you believe that he would have still allowed me to assist Project Ranger even if I were arrested?"
"I believe so," Scott remarks. "If anything, you probably would have been put under stricter surveillance. But if it he had been a stubborn mule about it, I... I would..."
"You would have what," Dr. K asks, now intrigued.
"I would have probably broken you out. You are too important to me... to the team. If anyone has the knowledge to bring down Venjix, it is you."
"Although that did not happen, I do appreciate the gesture, but who would lead the team if you were captured in your attempt to free me? Although Ranger Yellow does have some leadership skills, her former socialite lifestyle and her misguided feelings for Ranger Black would hinder her in the long run of making correct decisions. Ranger Blue has a hero complex, which will also hinder his judgment from making a right decision under pressure. Ranger Black I feel that once he locates his presumed missing sister, Id believe that he would walk away from the Ranger project. Granted that if Venjix's virus doesn't take him over completely before that happens."
"And Ziggy? Gem and Gemma?"
"Ranger Green couldn't lead a herd of sheep out of a one door barn," Dr. K sighs. "And my darlings, Gem and Gemma while I too may suffer from the necessary social skills to function within society, the two would be lost. Their simple solution would be to simply blow it up, whatever the case may be. Ranger Blue could only be the most logical choice to be the replacement team leader if you are not available."
"So, when you break it all down, Project Ranger needs both you and me to run properly," Scott breaks it down. "You are the brains... and I am your brawn."
"In a manner of speaking... yes."
"You still haven't told me why I was chosen to be your Red Ranger," Scott readjusts himself in his seat, looking back at her.
"You wont let this go, will you?"
"Not a chance," Scott grins. "When will I get another chance to have you all to myself to possibly get a answer out of you?"
"If you must know," Dr. K rolls her eyes with slight amusement. "You were the most qualified all around. No one else in Corinth could fit the physical and mental requirements I needed for my Red Ranger."
"Not even my brother," Scott asks.
"Not even your brother," Dr. K admits after a few moments of thought of her answer. "You really needed to hear that, didn't you?"
"Sorta. Yeah," Scott sighs. "My father... hell, even many other members of the Air Force probably still think that perhaps Marcus would have been a better choice for your Ranger program than me. I overhead my father telling Madam President that if Marcus were still alive that the battle against Venjix would have long been over by now."
"Don't think of me as being crass Scott," Dr. K sits up and places a hand on his shoulder. "But your brother is dead, because of poor judgment. That is something that I couldn't have as my team leader."
"There have been times..." Scott starts off, only to be cut off by her.
"But each time, you went with what you thought was right. Even against my orders. You have always made the right decision in everything that I have seen Scott."
"Not everything," Scott remarks with a slight smile as he places his hand atop of hers. "But I thank you for that."
Another twenty minutes pass before the dust storm begins to settle. Once the winds die down, Scott opens the cockpit and cleans off the jets wings and ventilation systems. Once making sure that everything is clear, Scott hops back into the pilots seat and begins to strap in.
"Okay Doc, better buckle up," Scott tells her. "Once I get this baby up in the air, we'll be on our way."
"Good," Dr. K responds. "I cannot wait to get back to the confines of the Garage."
"Oh, were not going straight back to the city. Not first at least," Scott remarks as he fires the jets engines.
"What was that, Scott," she asks.
"I got a surprise for you," Scott places his helmet back on and straps the buckle under his chin. Dr. K does the same as Scott begins flipping switches and slowly eases the jet forward. As the jet blasts forward and lifts off the ground, Scott pilots the jet high into the air, heading upward to the yellow clouds that seem to cover the skyline.
The jet shakes rather roughly. Dr. K clenches her eyes shut and her hands clenching onto the siding of the cockpit. After a few minutes, she feels the jet level off into a steady speed. Relaxing lightly, she finally opens her eyes and she is astounded as to what she sees.
"Blue sky," Dr. K leans closer to the glass, astounded at what she sees. "A blue sky?"
"We are above the clouds. The radiation," Scott tells her. "Up here, the sky is clear. Considering that you were housed up in that Alphabet Soup program all the way up to your teens..."
"This is the first time I have seen the sky the sun with my own eyes since I was five years old," Dr. K looks out in wonder at the world she has been deprived from since she was little. A world, which she bears responsibility for almost aiding in its destruction due to her creating the Venjix virus, but alas, a world that has passed her by over the years.
"It's beautiful, much more so than the holographic representation that Corinth's dome projects."
"I'm glad you like it," Scott replies, glancing back at her. "I want you to know you don't have to allow yourself to suffer. You created Venjix, but what has happened afterward, is not your fault. You need to quite punishing yourself for something that you could not control. Maybe this was meant to happen. Maybe this will make humanity... better."
"I guess I should add hopefully optimism to your profile as well," Dr. K remarks looking back toward the slightly older male. But the look is not one she would normally give him, or anyone else for that matter. His kindness and thoughtfulness toward her ever since she first revealed herself to the Rangers, and even before hand, she has always regarding him as different. She finally realizes why she has always treated him different than the other Rangers, and that thought makes her face feel warm.
She likes him.
"Thank you for this, Scott."
"You are very welcome Dr. K."
"Just K. From now on, when we are alone like this."
"Okay then K," Scott smiles to himself. The jet makes a sharp turn and blasts onward back in the direction of the domed city of Cornith. However this time, Dr. Ks eyes are open, taking in the bright blue sky for all its worth. After a while, she turns and smiles in the direction of Scott.
She is very glad she chose him.
Hey, its been a while since I posted anything new, or anything that was not SPD related. Hoped you all enjoyed this one shot, of quite possibly my new favorite fan-pairing.