Seeing as Starship is like my favourite thing in the whole world I thought I at least owed it a fanfiction. Enjoy!
Taz smoothed down the frills on her dress and tentatively stepped in front of the mirror. She grimaced immediately, and turned to the side to get a different angle. It didn't make any difference. She still looked like a little girl.
Perhaps Taz wouldn't have minded wearing a dress quite so much if it hadn't been bright pink, covered in frills and bows and decidedly little girly. It was her Quinceañera after all, the day she was going from a girl to a woman, so why had her mother insisted she still dressed in such a childish outfit?
Taz sighed unhappily. Still, it was only for one day. One day of being the centre of attention, trying to plaster a fake smile on her face and pretending that she was happy everybody had turned out to celebrate her birthday.
Taz snorted. She could think of many things she'd much rather be doing, like playing football in the streets with the boys, or climbing trees, or even just sitting in the shade at the back of the house reading a book.
Taz took one look at the pink shoes that her mother had laid out for her to wear and decided that she wasn't going to wear them. With massive pink bows on the front and small heels that were entirely unsuitable for wearing outside on the uneven Mexican streets, Taz tossed them straight back in the box. She was drawing the line there. She usually walked around in bare feet. Today would be no different.
After a brief attempt at taming her wild hair with a comb, and looking at the make-up she'd been left with a look of disgust before ignoring it, Taz took a deep breath and left the room. She peered around the corner and down the stairs, assessing how many people would see her in the frilly pink horror.
Taz closed her eyes and pressed her back against the wall at the top of the stairs. After counting to ten, she took another deep breath, opened her eyes and gave a fake smile that was probably more of a grimace as she made her way down the stairs.
The room of people fell silent as Taz descended the rickety wooden staircase. Every single pair of eyes fell on her and Taz wanted nothing more than to run back up the stairs and hide beneath her blankets until all of the guests had gone home.
'You look beautiful, my dear,' said Taz's mother, kissing Taz's cheek.
'Thank you, mama,' replied Taz. She decided it was easier to agree with her mother than to start an argument, especially as her mother was stressed out trying to make the day perfect.
Taz walked around the room, all of her various relatives and neighbours telling her how pretty she looked, while she thanked them all. She had just managed to brush off the old man who lived next door, who had already had a few too many glasses of wine and tried to grope her bum, when she heard a familiar voice behind her.
'Well, if it isn't my little Tazzy, all grown up!'
Taz turned around and her mouth fell open at the man standing there. She hadn't expected him to come. She hadn't seen him in five years. He was about a foot taller than Taz, with dark hair cut short and the same dark chocolate eyes as Taz. He was well-built, and underneath the smart suit he was wearing, it was clear that he was muscly.
Taz ran up to him and jumped up into his arms, causing him to stagger backwards.
'Whoa, Tazzy!' he said, regaining his footing and putting her down. 'You look absolutely delectable in that dress.'
'Don't lie, idiota!'
'I'm serious!' grinned Hugo. 'The dress makes you look just like the cake in the kitchen.'
Taz punched him playfully in the arm.
'So, what are you doing here?' she asked him. 'You left for the Starship Ranger Academy five years ago. Shouldn't you be out in space?'
'I graduated last year and I spent a few months out in space, fighting in the robot wars,' Hugo told her. 'We've heard rumours that the robots have come to Earth. My starship has been stationed not far from here. I should be on duty, but I got my lieutenant to cover for me if the commander asks where I am. I couldn't miss my little sister becoming a woman, could I?'
'I'm not little,' argued Taz.
'Yes you are, Tazzy,' teased Hugo. 'You haven't grown much since I last saw you. Still the same little Taz.
'You've changed,' Taz said. She prodded his bulky upper arm. 'Where did all this muscle come from?'
Hugo grinned. 'That's what four years at the Academy does to you.'
'When I'm old enough, I'm gonna join the Starship Rangers too,' said Taz. 'Only three more years and then I'll be joining you.'
'Mama will never let you,' said Hugo.
'I don't give a shit what Mama says I can't do,' growled Taz. 'Mama says I can't go out and play football with the boys in the street because I get dirty and graze my knees, but that don't stop me doing it.'
'Come on, let's get out of here,' said Hugo, taking Taz's hand and leading her through the crowd of people into the kitchen. He grabbed two cans of beer and left through the back door into a narrow alley between their house and the one behind it. Hugo offered one of the cans to Taz and she took it, opening it and gulping down half the contents eagerly.
'Take it easy, Tazzy,' said Hugo. 'We can't have you getting drunk.'
Taz poured the rest of the beer down her throat and looked at Hugo defiantly.
'Is today really that bad?' laughed Hugo.
'Yes, Hugo,' said Taz. 'Mama's been stressing about today for weeks. She wants it to be perfect. And the sooner I get drunk, the sooner I can forget how horrible this dress is.'
'I think you look beautiful.'
'Liar,' snorted Taz, and Hugo started laughed.
'Come on Tazzy, you only have to wear it for one day,' said Hugo. 'Then you can burn it if you want.'
'Mama probably wants me to keep it as a reminder of my special day.'
'Tazzy, you're a woman now. You don't have to do what mama says anymore.'
There was suddenly a loud explosion from out in the streets, followed by a yell.
'What was that?' frowned Taz.
'Probably those boy friends of yours causing trouble,' said Hugo, draining his can of beer and dropping it to the floor, crushing the can under the heel of his shoe. He kicked it away into the shadows with the other trash that littered the alleyway.
'I'm serious, Hugo,' said Taz, worriedly. 'That sounded like an explosion. My friends are rowdy, but they don't explode stuff.'
'I'm sure everything is...'
A second explosion went off, much closer to the alleyway where Taz and Hugo were talking. A piercing scream ripped through the air, followed by a sound that Taz didn't recognise. From the look of horror on Hugo's face, he knew exactly what was going on.
'That's zapper fire!' he exclaimed, his eyes wide with panic and fear. 'The rangers are here!'
Hugo set off at a sprint down the twisting passages of alleyways, the alleyways that they both knew so well, and Taz ran after him, hot on his heels. She was glad that she'd decided to go without the pink heels as they would have made it almost impossible to keep up with Hugo.
Hugo and Taz emerged out into a street just round the corner from where Taz's house was and they looked on in horror at the sight before them. There were about six robots wreaking havoc on the street, destroying houses and blowing up cars, and judging from the plumes of smoke and more distant explosions, there were plenty more in the rest of the little rundown village that Taz live in.
Without warning, the battered little car that Hugo and Taz stood behind exploded, sending them both flying through the air. Taz hit the ground hard and grunted in pain. She squinted through the cloud of dust and saw Hugo's face appear over her.
'You okay, Tazzy?' he asked.
'Never better,' groaned Taz, sitting up.
'Tazzy, I need you to stay safe,' said Hugo, a sense of urgency in his voice. 'I need you to find Mama and get out of here.'
'Hugo, where are you going?' asked Taz, as her older brother turned to walk away.
'Tazzy, I'm a Starship Ranger,' said Hugo. 'I need to go and fight. I'm here to get the job done.
He gave Taz a salute as he ran away, reminding her of the games that they'd played when they were she was a little girl and Hugo was a teenager, pretending that they were both Starship Rangers. Hugo had always been the Commander and Taz was his Lieutenant.
Taz got to her feet, remembering that task that Hugo had given her.
'I'm here to get the job done.' Taz muttered the famous Starship Ranger saying under her breath before running off down the street towards her house.
As she turned the corner onto her street, she stopped suddenly in her tracks. The crowd from Taz's party had spilled out onto the street in fear, and several of the houses were no more than rubble as the robots, about fifteen of them on this street, continued to destroy everything that got in their way.
But it was the sight at the far end of the street that caught Taz's eye. As the robots destroyed buildings and the terrified people ran down into the alleyways, desperately trying to get away from the terror, a gap cleared in the crowd and Taz could see about twenty Starship Rangers slowly making their way towards the robots. They worked methodically, shooting from behind cover and steadily making their way down the street, covering each other as they took it in turns to progress to the next pile of rubble to hide behind.
Taz took a moment to admire them, the way that they shot at the robots from behind cover, then leaping out and charging forwards. They were fearless.
Taz spotted Hugo, the smart clothes he'd been wearing as torn as her own dress, a metal pole in his hands. He charged at one of the robots, impaling it on the rod, before vaulting over a smashed up cart and joining the rest of the Starship Rangers. One of them, a muscly brown haired man, clapped him on the back, before tossing him his own zapper, picking up a spare from a body at his feet.
Taz was so enthralled by the Starship Rangers that she didn't notice the robots bearing down on her until one of them plucked her off the ground. As she yelled and thrashed around in the air, as the robot carried her over to a tree, she reached out with both arms, taking the robots head between her hands. She knew it was useless, but she pulled at the robot's head, yelling insults at it.
'Let me go, you piece of shit!' she screamed as the robot hung her upside down from a tree.
'Pu-ny hu-man,' said the robot in its mechanical voice. 'You will die.'
'No, you will die, hijo de puta!'
Taz cried out in pain as the robot swung a heavy piece of metal at her, cracking it straight into her ribs.
'Is that all you got?' she yelled, flailing her arms around. The robot swung the metal rod again, but Taz was ready for it and took the full impact in her hands. Grimacing at the pain, she clung on the the rod as the robot tried to swing it back over its head for a third go, and Taz was pulled up with it. She heard her dress rip up the side, but she didn't care as she grabbed hold of the branch which her feet were tied to.
Taz curled herself around the branch, knowing it would protect her body as the robot swung the rod at her back. She used all of the strength in her upper arms to keep herself holding onto the branch as she attempted to untie her feet.
The robot hit her again just as she triumphed over one foot, but she had let her grip on the branch slip. Taz fell backwards, and yelled out in pain as the one leg still attached to the branch above her felt as though it had been torn out of its socket.
'Come here, you son of a bitch!' Taz didn't recognise the voice, but she heard zapper fire as she hung hopelessly from her left ankle. She tried desperately not to pass out, slapping herself around the face when she could feel her vision going.
'Alright, sweetheart,' growled the rough voice, speaking English. 'Let's get you cut down.'
Taz could see someone hacking at the rope around her ankle with a knife, and she felt herself falling through the air. She expected a hard landing on the floor, but her saviour caught her. She was aware of being pressed against his warm chest and she looked up at his face for the first time.
It was the brown haired ranger who'd given his gun to Hugo. Taz wanted to say something, perhaps a word of thanks for saving her, or maybe even shout at him until he put her down, but she was too battered and exhausted to get anything out.
'You took quite a beating there,' he said. 'Can you stand?'
'I can try,' Taz croaked. The lieutenant put her down and helped her to her feet. After one tentative step, Taz stumbled, her leg giving out beneath her as a sharp pain shot through her from her hip.
'I'll carry you,' he said, and Taz felt herself being hoisted up onto his back in a piggyback.
'Put me down!' said Taz, clawing at his face as he began to jog away from the battle still going on.
'I'm taking you to safety.'
'What about the robots?'
'The other rangers are taking care of them.'
Taz felt her vision start to cloud at the edges.
'What about mi mama?'
'I'm sure your mom is just fine.'
And that was the last that Taz remembered before she passed out.