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Title: Project Nexus
Chapter: Not So Happy Days
Rating: T
Fandom: TGWTG/ Spoony Experiment
Character(s): Nostalgia Critic, Nostalgia Chick, MarzGurl, Spoony, Linkara, Doctor Tease , Doctor Insano, Professor Celluloid, Malachite, Bennett The Sage
Pairing(s): None
Warnings: AU. mild language, violence.

Disclaimer:Any recognizable characters that appear in this fic are property of their respective contributors at ThatGuyWithTheGlasses , therefore I do not own them, nor do I intend any disrespect toward either the character or the contributor portraying them. Also any concepts/ideas borrowed from Power Rangers/Super Sentai are property of Saban and Toei, respectively. Any other properties mentioned/used are also property of their respective owners.

*Special Note: This chapter marks the beginning of this story being co-written with EsaEnai of Fanfiction.Net. I strongly encourage you to check out her work, especially if you are a Lord of the Rings or Doctor Who fan.

Chapter 4: Not So Happy Days
Linkara had once come across a study on human perception in subjects had been forced to wear goggles that inverted everything they saw; turned their field of vision totally upside down. Eventually, they reported that everything they saw had become right-side up once again. Just went to show that the human mind could adapt itself to almost everything.

Of course, he didn’t know if that was true or not. On one hand, he had adapted to quite a lot of oddities in his life: magic, conquering, defecting from and then re-conquering a micronation, and recently, everything in his life being a lie and becoming a pseudo-Power Ranger and trans-dimensional traveler.
On the other hand, he didn’t think he could ever really adapt to working with Doctor Insano.

The mad scientist wasn’t making it easy, after all. Insano was reveling in the fact that essentially, all of the reviewers now depended on him; Linkara would have called it a God Complex, but it was more like a Petulant Toddler Complex. Insano was loud and sullen in turns, going from giggling madly to berating the critics in such quick progression it almost gave them whiplash. And, to his own irritation, Linkara was receiving the worst of it.
What was worse, Insano seemed to find Linkara’s reluctance to work with him absolutely hilarious. For Insano, nothing was funnier than an admitted enemy being in debt to him, let alone at the mercy of his own commands. The comic book reviewer didn’t know how much longer he could take it. Every high-pitched manic giggle, every under-the-breath muttering of threatening scientific jargon, every moment spent with his arch enemy made his skin start to crawl.

He had been taking extra time in the Training Room to work off the stress, but a punching bag could only do so much.
The two of them were sharing close quarters for hours on end, every second devoted to rebooting Nimue and getting her back online. Connecting her to the mainframe and communications outlet had fried something in her circuits and they were desperately trying to fix it before the other shoe dropped. Celluloid had tried to help, but after being compared to a Rhesus monkey by Insano, he not-so-graciously bowed out and bolted, muttering darkly in German, leaving the two left to their own devices—quite literally.

“Try it again,” Insano was said to him, goggles skewed and forehead smeared with grease. They were currently elbow-deep in computer guts, wires spread everywhere and the occasional spark buzzing through the air. Nimue sat in front of him, red light worryingly dark.
Linkara jerked himself from his own thoughts. “Huh?”

“Try it again.,” Insano gave him a bored look. "Unless that’s too difficult for you. I could always give you a simpler task. Like tying your shoes or picking an outfit that doesn’t make you look like either a fat lumberjack or a dirty liquor store pervert. You know there are patterns beside plaid, don’t you?”

Linkara bit back an insult and leaned towards Nimue.

“Computer,” he commanded. “Activate Nimue AI.”

There were a few small beeps, and Nimue’s light slowly grew to a bright red. Linkara grinned. Finally…

“This unit is now online,” Nimue’s automated voice intoned over the speakers,  “And will begin accepting…”

The voice went silent. Linkara felt his hope begin to dwindle like a puddle in the desert sunlight. Insano muttered and taped a few buttons.

“And will begin accepting command…” Nimue spoke again, her voice distorted and stuttering, “command-and-and-andandand-”

With a bright flash of light and a loud pop, the console in front of Nimue erupted into smoke and electricity, filling the room with the scent of smoke and fried metal. Linkara let out a shout as the ends of his sleeves started to smolder and Insano screeched, slamming his hand down on the console. The electricity died down, and the lab went silent for a moment, Linkara examined his jacket, barely containing his anger.

“Alright,” Insano muttered to himself, as he dusted his singled labcoat “So, that didn’t really work.”

“Didn’t really work?” Linkara spat out. “Didn’t really work?! That’s the biggest understatement since the Captain of the Hindenburg said ‘I smell gas’!”
Insano scowled. “Well, excuse me! You’re lucky I’m even helping you with this hunk of metal! This AI is so inadequately constructed, it may as well be a Cuisinart!”

You want to talk about poorly-constructed technology?” Linkara growled, pointing a finger in Insano’s face. “How’s that Creature of Unimaginable Terror coming along? Still tiny and pink? Still hopping around the kitchen squealing rikki-tee? Real good job there. Be careful everyone; he may snuggle you to death.”

“Don’t you bring my son into this!” Insano screeched.

“Whoa,” a voice deadpanned from the doorway. “Catfight.”

The two spun around to find Spoony looking dryly at them, as he leaned in the doorway, his eyes lingering on the charred computer behind.

“So,” He said, smirking a little despite himself, “I figured something was going to blow up whenever you two are in the same room together. I take it Nimue’s still on the fritz?”

Insano scowled at him, turning back to his console,” Not now, Spoony One.”

“Loathe as I am to agree,” Linkara said, rolling his eyes, “I’m not in the mood for sarcasm.”

Spoony shrugged, and Linkara noticed an odd, and slightly disconcerting stiffness in his movement, like he had something he really wanted to say. Linkara tried to shake it out of his mind, telling himself that he’d talk to Spoony later, provided Insano ever let him take a break.

“Sure,” Spoony shrugged nonchalantly, “Just… bored, I guess.”

“What do you want, a cookie?” Insano snapped without turning around. “Go bother someone else.”

“Ignore him,” Linkara offered his despondent friend a smirk, “I’m the one he’s pissed at.”

Spoony smirked back, but it didn’t meet his eyes.

“Pretty sure,” He said, “any dad would react negatively if you called their son ‘poorly constructed’.”

“Damn straight,” Insano muttered. “You’re lucky I don’t have any plutonium on me. Ugh, I actually would have preferred that cotton-candy haired baboon of a professor working with me. But no, I get comic-boy…”

“Where’s everyone else?” Linkara said over Insano’s death threats. “I mean, I assume Celluloid is still sulking.”

“Like a baby,” the gamer replied “Tease is off doing God-knows what and took SOI, Burton and Pollo with her, and Critic and Chick are in the Training Room. He challenged her to a kick-boxing match. She beat him in around a minute and they’re currently on their tenth rematch. Might be twelfth by now.  Marz started off as a referee, but she was making popcorn when I left.”

“If you don’t mind getting your hair singed to a crisp,” Linkara chuckled, waving a hand toward the currently offline Nimue, “You’re welcome to hang out here and help us get Nimue connected to communications.”

“Says who?” Insano said over his shoulder. “I can barely handle one of you at a time.”

“Dude,” Spoony shot back, “You lived in my basement!”

“And I did my best to ignore you, don’t I?” Insano responded, “Off with you, Spoony One.”

Spoony crossed his arms defiantly, determined not to leave just yet. “Says who?”

“Linkara,” Insano said impatiently. “Kick Spoony out or I’ll make your precious Nimue speak in a Jamaican accent. Or maybe solely in Japanese.”

“Dude,” Linkara gave Spoony a desperate look. “… please?”

Spoony looked incredulous. Linkara had to kidding him. They were best friends, or they were supposed to be, anyways. It was almost like a slap in the face for him to be all of a sudden changing his mind to say he didn’t want Spoony hanging around.

“You’re agreeing with him?!” Spoony asked, “You do realize that it’s Insano you’re agreeing with here right? The same guy who’s tried to kill both of us more than once? And you want to be alone in here with him?”

“I mean… no, but… Spoony, he’d do it.”

Spoony’s eyes grew dark, as a deep hurtful scowl curved the corners of his mouth. Linkara winced uncomfortably, momentarily taken over by a sudden wave of guilt and sympathy for his friend.

“Fine,” Spoony muttered darkly, letting the sentence hang in the air as he left, the door sliding behind him with a thud that seemed heavier than usual, “If you’d rather spend time with your arch enemy…”

“What a drama queen,” Insano muttered, stripping a wire and immediately electrocuting himself with a low hiss.

“I hate you,” Linkara snapped at him, “You know that, right?”

“The feelings are mutual,” the mad scientist assured him. “Now, try it again.”

The Training Room was a relatively new discovery by the reviewers, and they were making use of it more often than they had expected. After all, Nexus headquarters had a limited supply of entertainment fodder. Spoony and Critic had already thrown a short fit over not having an Xbox, so there was not much else to do than wait, nap, and train.

Everything from a pommel horse to automatic sparring dummies was in the large space, but only one corner was currently occupied. Mats had been spread haphazardly over the floor, the rest stacked in a throne for Marzgurl, while Critic and Chick sparred in the center of the mats on the floor.

More accurately, Chick was sparring and Critic was trying to avoid breaking something. She had already beaten him eight times, losing only once when she tripped and he planted a foot on her back before she could get up.

“Critic, I’m sorry,” Marzgurl commented from the sidelines, sitting cross-legged on a pile of mats, as the Red Ranger picked himself up for what seemed like the hundredth time, “But this just looped around from being pathetic, to funny, and now it’s back to being pathetic again.”

“It’s not my fault he fights like a bitch,” Chick called between punches and kicks. “And he started it.”

“I… don’t fight… like a bitch! You’re… a bitch!” Critic huffed, throwing a right hook.

Chick easily ducked under it and jabbed him hard in the stomach with a fierce punch. He hissed and elbowed her in the side.

“Guys, come on.” Marzgurl ate another handful of popcorn as Chick gouged her fist into Critic’s gut. “Can we stop before there’s any part on Critic’s body that isn’t going to be bruised to hell?”

“Not until I win,” Critic said, lunging at the Chick again. She dodged away, looking bored.

“Maybe if you actually tried blocking once in a while, you’d have an easier time. You fight like a bear with roid-rage,” Chick said dryly. “Play defense.”

“Who died,” Critic snarked, feinting left and throwing a hard punch, “And made you Queen of Combat?”

Chick grinned and grabbed him by the elbow, using his momentum to push him past her to the ground. He landed flat on his stomach with an oomph.
“At least I have strategy,” she said offhandedly, walking back over to the mats and grabbing her water bottle. “Your strategy is probably just ‘see thing, punch thing’ or, failing that there’s the ever so brilliant ‘see thing, kick thing’ maneuver. What’s the score, Marz?”

“Nine to one. Match, and game,” MarzGurl grinned as she gave Critic a faux sympathetic look, “And you were so close, too.”

“Shut up,” Critic groaned as he weakly tried to pry himself up off of the mat, “I’m your leader. Can’t I get a little respect? Or at least a break?

“Who said you’re our leader?” Marzgurl asked. “I must have missed that election.”

“I’m the Red Ranger,” Critic said impatiently, gesturing at his red t-shirt. “Red Ranger is always the leader.”

“Don’t let Linkara hear you say that,” Chick smirked, “He’ll go on for hours about which non-Red Rangers were leaders of what teams.”

“Yeah, on that topic- anyone else a little weirded out that all our wardrobes are color-coded now?” Marzgurl pulled at her blue shorts, “My closet looks like a Smurf exploded.”

“Hey,” Critic said, ignoring Marzgurl, “Nobody else called dibs on being leader, so I had to.”

“We’re a team, honey,” Chick said in a sweet tone that meant I’m very close to killing you. “That means we listen to you, but I can still kick your ass on a regular basis. Plus- there’s no ‘I’ in team.”

Critic shrugged. “There’s an ‘I’ in “win,” though.”

Luckily, the alarm went off before Chick could show him that there was also an “I” in “pain,” and the entire team hurried to the command center.

Tease was already in a seat, typing at the computer in front of her with startling speed. “A new energy signature popped up- we’re just getting a trace on it now. Celluloid, pull up the visual.”

“Why?” Celluloid muttered, glaring at Insano. “Wouldn’t you prefer a monkey do it?”

“Why?” Insano snarked. “Do you have one?”

“Boys,” Tease chided, and the visual soon appeared on screen- a crimson dot, pulsing brightly, “We believe it’s your associate, Bennett the Sage.”
This was met with silence. Marzgurl coughed. Tease turned towards them, confused.

“You aren’t happy to hear this news?” she asked.

“I mean,” Spoony said hesitantly, “Sage isn’t exactly… the easiest guy to get along with. To put it nicely… he’s a fucking psychopath.”

"He tried to imprison some of us and drive us mad with bad anime,” MarzGurl explained, "Just ask Spoony."

“Don’t remind me,” Spoony shuddered, as he remembered being forced to watch Garzey’s Wing with Sage.

“He’s pretended to be the Devil more than once,” Chick said off-handedly, “Though, that’s probably the least offensive thing he’s done, strangely.”

“He took over That Guy’s show and may have tortured him for a few hours.” Critic added, shrugging off everyone’s surprise, “To be fair, he pretty much deserved it.”

“Sane or not, he’s in danger,” Linkara interrupted. “It’s our responsibility to rescue him. As Nexus Rangers-”

“You just want any excuse to wear those Power Ranger suits,” Spoony interrupted with an eye-roll, “Don’t you?”

Linkara scowled at him, as Insano began typing at the computer.

“Linkara is right,” Insano said, “And yes, I can’t believe I said that either.”

The mad scientist pressed a final button, and the reviewer’s wrist cuffs started to beep.

“Happy days, everyone,” he said, and started to giggle.

“What’s so funny?” Linkara asked.

“Nothing,” Insano said, giggling as the reviewers started to blink out of existence. “You’ll see.”


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