Premise: By multi-cosmic coincidence four villainous aliens; Sosai X, The Luminous One, Computor and Cybercon, in their four contiguous dimensions each make an identical plan to capture their formost adversary using a teleport beam. Unfortunately all four overpower their beams, worse still they put them into operation at parallel moments in time creating a multi-dimensional disruption that results in Sosai X and Gel Sadra getting Dr. Thaddeus Keane instead of Nambu who is captured by Zoltar and the Luminous One. Security Chief Anderson becomes the prisoner of Galactor and Computor while Dr. Benjamin Brighthead ends up in the hands of Cybercon and Mallanox.
At first nobody realizes what's happened. The Doctors and Chief Anderson assume it's all some kind of mind game on the part of their captors, and since all four refuse to talk Gel Sadra, Zoltar, Galactor and Mallanox have no opportunity to discover their mistake.
It isn't until the Gatchaman Team, the two G-Forces and the Eagle Riders arrive to rescue their mentors that said mentors begin to suspect that something is drastically wrong with their universe.
All four struggle to conceal their bewilderment and adapt to strange/familiar surroundings while trying to figure out what the Hell is going on.
Almost forgot: Gatchaman is the property of Tatsunoko; Battle of the Planets property of Sandy Franks; G-Force belongs to Turner and Eagle Riders to Saban Enterprises. Nothing here is mine.
Chapter One: Lost
Everybody here belongs to Tatsunoko, I'm just borrowing them for a bit.
Washio Airfield, 0530 hrs. Ken woke to his bracelet's insistent beep. Groping, he knocked it off the nightstand and had to roll out of bed and crawl around the floor to find it. "G1!" he snapped at last, fully awake and pissed off.
"Pandora here," came the tense answer, "We need you at G-Town, Gatchaman, it's an emergency!"
"Roger." he acknowledged, "What's happened?" but Pandora had already signed off.
"What's the big emergency, Doctor?" Ken demanded again some thirty minutes later aboard the G-Town.
The usually pretty scientist looked terrible; grey faced with fine lines barring her forehead and black circles under her eyes. Whatever it was, it was bad. Turning on her heel Pandora led five worried Science Ninjas from the big conference room, through Dr. Nambu's office, and opened the door to his private quarters. The austere, spartan little room was a wreck, books and ornaments swept from shelves and dresser top to litter the floor, easy chair overturned, the bed knocked awry with pillows and bedclothes strewn about the room.
Ken swallowed hard. "Where is he?"
"We don't know," was the bald answer.
Gatchaman started to shout, took a deep breath instead and said evenly, "What happened?"
"I left Dr. Nambu just before twelve last night, here in his office." Dr. Pandora answered, "Apparently I was the last to see him. He usually signals me at eight for the morning briefing, when the call didn't come this morning I assumed he was sleeping in for once, you know how he pushes himself." The Team nodded in unison. Indeed they did, few better. Pandora continued, holding her voice steady with visible effort. "A message came in early this afternoon that I thought he should see. I came to his office and found it empty. I was surprised of course, it's out of character, but if anybody deserves a day off--" her voice wavered dangerously. "I decided not to disturb him. "Late this evening the chief steward contacted me, concerned that Dr. Nambu hadn't eaten all day. I decided I'd been mistaken, he wasn't taking a rest he'd just gotten involved in his research and lost track of time. He's done that before." More nods. Yes he had. "I came back here. Knocked, got no answer, opened the door and found - this." a stiff gesture encompassed the mess. "I ordered an immediate search, had the daily logs checked. No vessel has docked or left G-Town since I last saw the Doctor. No reported hull breeches or alarms of any kind. He *has* to be here! but he's not, he's vanished into thin air." Pandora finally broke down, burying her face in her hands.
Joe pulled a chair away from the desk and Jun guided her into it, saying gently, "You mustn't blame yourself, Doctor, you couldn't have known." She glared promptingly at Ken.
"Jun's right," he said quickly, "I'd have done the same in your place." Joe, Ryu and Jinpei moved into the bedroom, gingerly inspecting the damage.
"Looks like he put up a hell of a fight." Joe observed bending to pick Nambu's glasses off the floor, one lense starred with cracks.
"Against who?" Ryu wondered.
"Galactor, who else." shrugged Joe.
"But how could Galactors get aboard G-Town without setting off every alarm in the place?" Ken demanded.
Pandora raised her head. "I've been thinking about that. There is evidence that Sosai X has limited teleport capability. It's the only explanation for some of Katse's escapes."
"Then we're finished." said Joe grimly. "They can snatch anybody they want, Director Anderson or the Secretary General, anybody, anytime they please."
"Then why haven't they?" Jun argued. "There must be limits, technical problems we don't know about."
Joe grimaced, "Maybe that's why they grabbed Doctor, to fix it for them."
"If they didn't just kill him," said a small voice. All turned to Jinpei, huddled on the foot of Nambu's bed, hugging a pillow. Jun started towards him but it was Joe who offered rough reassurance.
"If they'd killed him they'd have left his body here for us to find. Besides Gel Sadra wants him alive for questioning."
"For all the good it'll do her." Ryu muttered.
"He knows we'll come for him." Ken agreed. "He'll hold out as long as it takes."
"It's already taken over twenty-four hours." Joe said pointedly.
Everybody here is the property of Sandy Franks, especially 7-Zark-7.
Center Neptune, Somewhere in the Pacific, 1420 Hrs. Paperwork wasn't Mark's least favorite part of his job but it came a close second. He was frowning in concentration over a weapons manifest when his desk monitor lit up with 7-Zark-7's silver and gold lack of face.
"Sorry to bother you, Commander, but have you seen Chief Anderson?"
"Not since the debriefing yesterday." Mark answered. "Why? is there a problem?"
"I'm afraid there might be" the computer co-ordinator admitted unhappily. "He's missed three appointments and a Federation Council meeting, and nobody seems to have seen him since yesterday afternoon."
Mark pushed his papers away. "That's not like the Chief." he said beginning to feel twinges of worry. "Who saw him last?"
"The Flight Deck Duty Officer," Zark replied. "At approximately 1500 hours yesterday afternoon. Chief Anderson checked out a jet. He planned to fly himself to Capitol City for his meetings and stay there overnight. He should have been back two hours ago -"
"But he didn't make the meetings," Mark interrupted, "maybe he didn't make it to Capitol City."
"A crash?" the brain-bot's voice went up an octave, he didn't quite wring his hands. "I'm afraid I never considered that possibility. there was no mayday and the Chief is an excellent pilot."
"You bet he is," Mark agreed. "taught Tiny and me everything we know, but even the best can get unlucky."
"Oh dear!" now Zark was wringing his four fingered metal hands, antenae drooping in distress, "I feel so remiss!"
"It's not your fault, Zark," Mark reassured him, fighting down his own apprehension. "You're supposed to monitor space, not the local air traffic. I'll fly the Chief's flight plan, see if I can spot anything." like wreckage.
The G1 skimmed low over the Pacific, over-flying the occasional coral atoll. *'A power failure?'* Mark conjectured. *'But that wouldn't effect the crash-beacon. No mayday, what could be so fast, so total he wouldn't have time to call for help or even eject his flight recorder? Spectra? Zoltar's still lurking somewhere on Earth but a Mecha, even fighters, would've been spotted. Besides, the Chief's good. Good enough to evade the few seconds he'd need to send out a warning. Maybe-'*
A metallic glint caught Mark's eye amidst the jungle greenery of yet another atoll, then another, then a lot more. "Oh God!" he breathed. Wreckage, enough for a small jet.
Mark stood beside Jason in the middle of the debris field watching as Princess, pale and controlled, scanned for organic remains - for the Chief's body. Keyop and Tiny were some distance away, backtracking the crash trail. The older members of the Team had agreed the youngster shouldn't see whatever the accident had left of their mentor.
Suddenly Princess snapped off the scanner and came to stand visor to visor with Mark. "Negative." she reported. "He's not here, he wasn't on the plane when it crashed." He pulled her to him and felt her shaking with relief in his arms as the sick knot in his stomach unraveled. The Chief was alive, their guardian, the closest thing any of them had to a father, hadn't died on this crummy little island after all.
"The ejector seat's still here." Jason said abruptly and they broke apart to stare at him. "So's the emergency parachute. How'd he get off?"
Then Keyop was racing towards them to throw himself into Princess's arms, tearful and incoherent, clutching something tightly in one red gloved hand. "Glasses!" he sobbed, between hoots and twitters, "found them, his glasses!"
"It's okay, Keyop, he wasn't on the plane, he got off before the crash." Princess soothed, hugging her 'little brother'.
Tiny, jogging up in Keyop's wake, caught the last part, looked a hopeful question at Mark.
the Commander nodded. "It's true, he's not here, somehow he got off in time."
"But how?" asked Jason.
"Teleportation!" the members of G-Force chorused in varying tones of incredulity.
7-Zark-7 looked out of the Phoenix's monitor screen, apologetic but firm. "It was the only possible answer. I scanned for photonic energy remains and there is a particle trail intercepting the Chief's course."
"Good enough for me." Mark decided. "So this trail'll lead us right to wherever they've taken him?"
"It should. Please be careful, Team, Zoltar would undoubtedly prefer Chief Anderson alive but if he realizes rescue is at hand -"
"He may kill him." Mark finished grimly. "Don't worry, Zark, we'll watch it." After the brain-bot signed off, the Commander added quietly, "We're not going to risk loosing him a second time."
G-Force is the property of Turner which is solely responsible for their names.
\Somewhere Over the Pacific Northwest, 1140 Hrs. Ace's bracelet pinged. *'Perfect timing'* he thought raising it to his lips, *'on my way back for once'* "G1."
"Ace," it was Agatha June, her voice full of worry and anger. "We've got trouble, Dr. Brighthead is missing!"
His stomach dropped out of his body, like he'd just done a double immelman. "What! since when?"
"He hasn't been seen for at least twenty hours."
"And you're only calling in now!" Ace yelled, appalled.
"I only found out myself five minutes ago!" Aggie shouted back, "they didn't want to worry the Doctor's sweet little girl." she sounded close to tears, angry tears. "Damn this cover!"
"Are they trying to ship you home?" Ace asked as soothingly as possible with his own gut in a knot.
"Of course." she answered bitterly.
"Okay, let them. We'll meet at Base and go back as G-Force."
The Doctor had been in Central Asia, investigating a crop blight, possibly Galactor related. As always when he left the security of Crescent Base for any place but another ISO stronghold he was accompanied by a G-Force bodyguard, as his wards they had the perfect cover. It'd just been Aggie and Peewee this time, Ace, Dirk and Hooty had all had conflicting commitments; a mail contract, a race, a kid brother's birthday. Nobody had expected any trouble. *'We got complacent,'* Ace thought savagely. *'You'd think we'd know better by now!'*
G-Force was greeted by a small, tense delegation of local security officials. A very unhappy E.U. colonel briefed them. "Dr. Brighthead was last seen here, about four thirty yesterday morning," he said, as he unlocked the door of a pre-fab field laboratory. "According to the two technicians assigned to assist the doctor he dismissed them at that hour and they locked the doors behind them as they left." The colonel gestured around the compound. "As you can see, the lab is protected by a force field fence. There are surveillance cameras set every seven meters. We had four armed guards at each gate and five more stationed in the monitor room. Nobody could have entered or left without being seen, yet -" He flung open the door and the Team gasped.
Scorched and shattered electronic equipment lined the walls. Fragments of glass and metal littered workbenches and floors. They entered cautiously, broken components crunching under their boots, while the colonel hovered in the doorway.
"Look's like they fought World War IV in here." Ace breathed.
"How could your guards not hear all this?" Aggie demanded.
The colonel shrugged helplessly. "The building is sound proofed."
"Must be damn good sound proofing." Dirk commented.
"Too good." The security officer agreed, ruefully.
Hooty bent suddenly to examine a reddish-brown stain. "Blood!"
"Not Dr. Brighthead's." he was reassured hastily, "We checked."
Dirk smiled his unpleasant, predator's smile. "He got at least one of them."
"Good for Doc!" said Peewee.
"Should have known better than to tackle him in a laboratory." Aggie murmured.
"But how did they get in?" the colonel demanded, anguished at the failure of his careful security measures. "And how did they get out again with the Doctor, nobody seeing?"
Ace saw a familiar object on the floor and bent to retrieve it. It was the frame of Dr. Brighthead's glasses, a few fragments of lense still clinging to the twisted rims. His hand clenched around it but somehow he managed to keep his voice calm and professional. "I don't know, colonel. Any ideas, Swan?"
"One." she said, "the same way Galactor keeps escaping from us."
Four bird helmets snapped round to stare at her. The colonel merely looked bewildered.
"That's impossible!" Ace blurted.
"She's right, it's the only thing that makes any sense." Dirk argued. Hooty and Peewee exchanged worried looks.
"I don't understand." said the colonel blankly.
"Wish I didn't," Ace muttered, adding formally. "I don't see how any blame can attach to your people, colonel. You clearly took every reasonable precaution. It's no fault of yours they weren't enough."
"Teleportation!" Director Anderson exploded incredulously.
"I know, sir, but it's the only logical explanation." Ace replied uncomfortably from his command seat aboard the Phoenix.
"We know Galactor has the ability to teleport himself," Agatha June chimed in over his shoulder. "apparently he's now discovered a way to 'port groups of people."
"Which means we're in big trouble." added Hooty.
"The implications are pretty scary," Dirk agreed, "Galactor could drop a combat team in anywhere from the Secretariat building to Crescent base itself."
"The way I reconstruct it a Galactor commando force teleported into the lab, subdued the Doctor-" Aggie continued, ignoring the interruptions.
"After one hell of a fight!" Peewee put in.
"Judging by the damages." Aggie agreed. "Then they ported out again taking the Doctor with them.
"We're backtracking the photon trail now," Ace said. "Hopefully it'll lead us right to Dr. Brighthead."
"And the teleport equipment." Dirk finished for him. "We'll try to take it out."
"For all the good it'll do." Anderson was grim. "What's to keep them from building a new one?"
"Nothing," Ace admitted, "we'll just have to blow that one too."
"And the one after that-" said Dirk.
"And the next one-" sighed Aggie.
"And so on, and so forth-" from Hooty.
"Talk about job security!" Peewee ended with a shrug.
A reluctant smile tugged at the Director's mouth. "Very well, carry on G-Force and good luck!"
"We're gonna need it." the Team chorused as the screen went dark.
"I hope Doc's all right." Aggie said, very quietly, after a brief silence.
"Judging by that lab it's Galactor we should be worrying about." Ace replied with faked confidence, trying to raise spirits. It fell flat. All five had spent enough time in enemy hands to have a painfully clear idea of what their mentor might be enduring. "Can we go any faster, Hooty?" Ace asked.
'Eagle Riders' is the property of Saban Enterprises. No Zark, no stupid names, what's everybody complaining about?
The Eyrie, In The Mountains Above Gateway City, 0230 Hrs. Joe Thax waved casually to the guard at the gate and continued on up the long drive to the main house. Unlocking the front door he stepped into the entry hall and grinned when he saw lights still burning in the library. "Waiting up, Doc? I'm not a teenager any more -" the pleasantry broke off in a gasp as he pushed the heavy oak door fully open and got a look inside.
The big mahogany library table had been overturned scattering books, papers and a pair of shattered lamps across the rug. A Vorak android in the familiar green and drab uniform lay crushed beneath it, arms and legs still twitching feebly. A second android was slumped beside the door, a feather stunner buried in its right eye.
Joe unfroze and swung his arm into position. "Eagle mode, Now!" dark blue wings swirled into existence around him as he turned shouting, "Doc! Dr. Keane! Where are you?"
A quick search of the house proved it empty, the other rooms untouched. The alarm system was still engaged and showed green. Furious Joe brought a cybernetically enhanced fist down on the console smashing it. Red lights flashed and sirens blared. Ignoring the armed guards crashing in through windows and doors, he spoke into his bracelet. "G2 to G1! Hunter, we've got a crisis!"
"I should never have left him." Joe brooded.
Hunter turned from watching Kelly work on a deactivated Vorak. "Give it a break, Joe." he told his second, "The Eyrie's supposed to be secure, we've left him alone here a thousand times. Hell, the main reason he comes up here is to get some time to himself."
Joe shook his head angrily. "If I'd been with him -" "There's no guarantee you could have changed what happened." Hunter interrupted. "They might have taken you too, or killed you. Maybe killed both of you."
"I could've -" Joe began. Hunter cut him off, grabbing him by the shoulders and shaking. "Hey! Joe! this is your commander talking! It's not your fault!"
"But -" "Repeat after me; 'It's not my fault!'" Hunter insisted.
"It's not my fault." Joe echoed weakly. "Once more, with feeling." Hunter ordered. Irritated Joe broke free, snarling; "It's not my fault! Okay? that good enough for you, Hunter?"
"Better," the commander conceded, grinning. "For a minute there I thought I'd have to give you one of my lectures."
"No!" the Falcon cried in mock terror, "anything but that!"
Satisfied Joe was himself again Hunter turned his attention back to Kelly. She had just finished extracting a walnut sized component from behind the Vorak's left eye, the android equivalent of a black box.
"Okay," she said, "this should tell us how they got in here and what they did with the Doctor."
Francine Aikens entered through the wreckage of a garden window trailed by Mickey, carrying her bag, and Ollie. "Nobody saw or heard anything." She reported, "They're not lying but there's no sign of drugs or hypnotic influence, I can't explain it."
"Hopefully the Vorak's vid-corders can." Kelly remarked, starting to rise, her foot knocked against something and she picked it up. For a moment they all stared as if mesmerized at Dr. Keane's glasses, miraculously unbroken, in her palm then she tucked them away in her belt pouch, breaking the spell, led the way out of the room.
Kelly took the Doctor's data decoder from his private lab and set it up in the living room. Hunter and Ollie started rearranging chairs into an improvised theater as Joe looked on in disbelief. "How about some popcorn?" he asked, voice fairly dripping sarcasm.
"Good idea." said Ollie, grabbed Mickey and exited to the kitchen. they returned just as the others were settling into their seats with bowls of popcorn, chips and dip.
"I don't believe this!" Joe snarled. "Doctor Keane is missing and you guys get munchies!"
"Gotta keep up our strength." Ollie returned calmly, passed him a bowl. "Have some popcorn?"
"Ready, Kelly?" Hunter interposed quickly.
"Ready." she responded, "Settle down, guys." She flicked a switch on the decoder and a holoscreen formed before the half circle of seats depicting an android eye view of a familiar figure making a speech. "Sorry, can't get sound."
Kelly apologized. "No problem," Hunter answered. "We've all heard Mallanox rave before."
Their POV marched through standard Vorak corridors then through an arch into a spacious lab where strange looking machines generated a ring of misty light.
"What the hell is that?" Joe wondered.
"Can't be." Aikens muttered.
"Can't be what?" Hunter asked, overhearing.
"It looks like some kind of teleport device," She admitted reluctantly.
"Shit!" said Hunter.
"Double shit." Joe agreed.
Onscreen a detachment of Vorak passed through the light ring into the familiar library with Dr. Keane rising from behind the center table. The point-of-view android moved towards him, weapon leveled. The Doctor's lips formed a word that popped his charges' eyes.
"I didn't think Doc knew that kind of language." Hunter muttered.
Suddenly Keane lifted the heavy table and literally threw it at the Vorak.
Ollie, equally impressed: "Nice move!"
Hunter and Joe simply gaped. The picture cartwheeled as the Vorak fell and settled into an out of focus view of the raftered ceiling.
Kelly switched off and changed vid-corders. "This is from the second attacker." A reprise of the table throwing incident was followed by a flurry of ninjitsu moves as the Vorak tried to close in.
Joe, shaking his head, stunned: "I didn't know Doc had it in him."
Kelly: "Neither did the Vorak."
Mickey: "Yeah! Go Doc!"
Hunter: I don't know why I'm so surprised, he trained us after all."
Ollie: "Watch out Doc!"
Outnumbered and unarmed, except for one feather stunner, the end was inevitable. Eventually the Vorak managed to come to grips and then it was android strength against mere human muscle. Dr. Keane had the good sense not to struggle knowing he would only injure himself. The light ring reformed in a corner of the room and the remaining Vorak walked into it, dragging the Doctor with them.
Kelly switched off the machine and the holoscreen evaporated. "This is not good." Hunter understated grimly, "How long ago did all this happen, Kelly?"
"Roughly twenty-two hours."
Joe flinched. "Don't even think it, Joe!" Hunter warned, "there's no way you could've known. He turned to Aikens. "Is there a way to track teleports?"
She nodded, "Yes, the high energy beam leaves a trail of photon particles -" "Great. Will it still be there after twenty-two hours?"
"Should be." Aikens and Kelly replied in chorus.
"Then let's go!" said Hunter