AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a fanfic based off of Team StarKid's musical, Starship. This fanfic takes place after the end of the show, as a continuation. I do not own any of these characters except for the recruits, and any and all credit goes to the StarKids themselves.
"Late! Every damn one of dem! I get my ass up at 5:30 dis morning, and dey're late!" The short, spiky-haired young woman was fuming. Her thick, almost Columbian-sounding accent coupled with the speed at which she spoke made it nearly impossible to decipher what she was saying. Commander Up, however, was used to his friend's temper.
"Now you just calm yourself down, Taz. Those young whippersnappers'll be here in no time."
"No time? Dey should've been here forty minutes ago! Dere's no excuse for that! I'll grab them by the ears and rip them clean off, and-"
"If you can even reach their ears without a stepladder."
Taz glared with utter loathing at the pure white, very human-looking robot that had entered the room, arm-in-arm with a homely country boy.
"Yah? How about I just shoot you through de head now, eh? Don't need a stepladder for dat!"
"Aw, c'mon Taz. Leave Mega-Girl alone. She was just playin' with ya." the man whose arm was linked with the robot's said with his usual Southern drawl. A stupid grin was plastered on his face, as always, and he leaned over and planted a kiss on the robot's cheek.
"Yes, Taz. You would not upset Tootsie by shooting the love of his life, would you?" she smirked at Taz, who lunged toward her. Up held her back, even as she struggled against his grip. Finally she stopped squirming and Up let her go.
"Filthy piece of junk," she muttered under her breath. Tootsie smiled at the group.
"See, it ain't that hard t' get along. Now, where're those recruits that were s'pposed to come fer trainin' today?"
"We were just asking de same thing! Dey should've been here over an hour ago!"
"They cannot enter the ship if the door is sealed shut," Mega-Girl stated matter-of-factly in her clipped, metallic voice.
"We're not stupid, you tin can. Up opened de airlock an hour ago."
"You didn't? Up!"
"I didn't know you were talking to me!"
"No one else was in de room! Who else could I possibly have been talking to?"
Up scratched the back of his neck sheepishly. "Um…"
Taz sighed waved him off.
"Just go do it now." As Up hurried off to carry out her order, she turned to Tootsie.
"Where are Krayonder and Specs?"
"Specs was testin' some equipment and Krayonder was checkin' out her rear end last we saw 'em."
Taz wrinkled her nose in disgust. "Krayonder's a pig."
"As are all humans," Mega-Girl added. Tootsie was offended.
"Except for you, Tootsie. You are special."
"Excuse me while I go puke my guts out. Too much lovey-dovey stuff around dis place, jeeze." Taz strode off quickly, eager to get as far away from the couple as possible.
"No, Krayonder, I will not let you 'hit this'."
Specs sighed and removed her thick, round-rimmed glasses. She pulled out a light blue cloth and proceeded to clean off the lenses as she continued down the hall. Krayonder tagged doggedly along behind her.
"Krayonder, we have work to do. We should've been at the airlock 23 minutes and 17.739 seconds ago. Those recruits are coming today."
"Yeah, but like, a lot of 'em will be dudes. They'll understand that a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do!"
"No. We're late. We don't have time for this now."
The sandy-haired young man perked up noticeably.
"Now? Well, what about later?"
Specs shook her head. There was no use arguing with him. He was persistent if nothing else. Krayonder grinned.
"So, like, I'm gonna take that as a yes!" he fist pumped in victory. Specs smiled to herself, but quickly wiped the expression from her face. If Krayonder saw, she'd never hear the end of it. The pair entered the loading dock to see Tootsie and Mega-girl kissing passionately.
"Yeah, Tootsie! Get some!" Krayonder hooted.
Specs elbowed him in the stomach.
Tootsie and Mega-Girl pulled apart. Tootsie flushed a deep scarlet and smiled abashedly. Mega-Girl didn't seem to be embarrassed in the least.
"Me an' Mega-Girl was just… Uh… Y'see-"
"It's cool, man. Don't worry about it," Krayonder gasped, clutching his stomach.
The group of recruits lay sprawled out across the field in front of the ship's airlock doors. They'd been waiting for the better part of two hours, and the doors had remained sealed shut. Fortunately, the weather was nice. The grassy field was soft and luscious, the two suns warmed them all with their soft glow, and a faint breeze was blowing. Several recruits had given up after the first hour and left. Riker Gordon was not one of them. He had the utmost faith in the Starship Rangers, and he knew they wouldn't let them down. He wondered if they had kept the doors shut on purpose, to test the recruits and see which were most patient. That had to be it. But now, near the end of the second hour, he began to feel a prick of uncertainty. How long would they have to wait out here? Had the Rangers possibly… forgotten about them? Just then, the airlock doors slid open with a faint hiss. A cheer went up from the remaining recruits as a man in his early thirties stepped out of the ship and onto the ramp that lead into it. He had peppered gray hair and a mustache that Riker would've recognized anywhere. Commander Up, leader of the Starship Rangers. The recruits quickly got to their feet and filed into line in front of the Commander. Up frowned, puzzled.
"Er, what're you young 'uns doing there?"
"Um, respecting you, sir," one boy piped up. Up blinked in surprise.
"Oh, erm, right! Well, c'mon in, recruits!" Riker's heart began to pound. He was about to step foot inside a real Starship, with real, living, breathing Starship Rangers. The recruits glanced at each other, silently asking who would go first. Up raised an eyebrow expectantly.
Riker took a deep breath and stepped forward. The three steps between where he stood and the ramp felt like miles. And then, he was there, at the top of the ramp. Up clapped him on the shoulder.
"'Atta boy, takin' charge, plunging headfirst into the mission. Good stuff, good stuff." Riker nodded and dipped his head to the man he'd always dreamed of meeting.
"Thank- thank you, sir."
Two steps later, he was inside the ship. Within minutes all the recruits were gathered, and Up sealed the doors behind them. He led them down several halls and into the loading dock, where the rest of the Rangers were waiting. The recruits lined up for their first briefing. Up took his place beside Taz. Riker had heard all about her, everyone had. She was a hero from the Robot Wars, and her fighting skills were feared throughout the galaxies. But she was quite different than he'd imagined. She couldn't have been much more than five feet tall, with spiky black hair and dark brown eyes. She wore a white tanktop with camo cargo shorts and black combat boots, and of course, her trademark red bandana worn like a sweatband. The other Rangers all wore their uniforms.
"Aye. So we're stuck with you lot, eh? Y' don't look like much."
"Play nice," Up scolded. Taz scowled.
"Fine. I'm Taz, Commander Up's second-in-command. I'll be responsible for your combat and weapons training. I'll let de rest of de team introduce demselves."
"Mega-Girl, replacement Science Officer."
"I'm Tootsie, and I don't have no official title or nothin'."
"I'm Specs, and I'm responsible for all the non-weapon equipment you'll be using."
"An' I'm Krayonder, dudes. I'm just here for strength and man power."
Riker looked Krayonder over skeptically. He didn't look like much. The way Specs rolled her eyes as he spoke confirmed his impression. Taz stepped forward and spoke again.
"You'll start training immediately. Uniforms are in de bunks. Bunks are separated by gender, and will stay dat way." She stared pointedly at Krayonder, who held up his palms innocently.
"You're all to be right back here in exactly 30 minutes. Recruits, dismissed."
The recruits filed off to the bunks, Krayonder leading the guys down the hall that led off to the left, and Specs leading the girls the opposite direction. Taz crossed her arms and shook her head.
"Dey won't last. I'd say tree of them might survive training, tops."
"C'mon, Taz. Give 'em a chance. They may surprise you!"
"Yah, well, I'm not counting on dat."
"That is probably what your mentor said about you when you were a recruit, dwarf," Mega-Girl remarked.
"And your creator probably said-"
"Okay, I think we'll be leaving now," Up interjected, steering Taz out of the room despite her protests.
"C'mon, Up, I had a phenomenal comeback for dat one!"
"Well, save it for next time. I think we can count on the fact that there'll be a next time, with you two always goin' at each other."
Taz smiled wryly.
Next Chapter: When training begins with the hard-core Taz, the recruits will have to struggle to survive both the challenges she sets in front of them and her razor-sharp personality. And some of them may begin to wonder; what exactly is it they've been recruited for? Are the Starship Rangers, defenders and warriors of space, hiding something?