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Title: Project Nexus
Chapter: Trouble on The High Seas
Rating: T
Fandom: TGWTG/ Spoony Experiment
Character(s): Nostalgia Critic, Nostalgia Chick, MarzGurl, Spoony, Linkara, Doctor Tease , Doctor Insano, Professor Celluloid, Malachite, Welshy
Pairing(s): none, as of right now
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.


Hours later and Critic had managed to push his earlier concerns to the back of his mind. Of course, he reasoned, it was a lot easier to not let it bother him when he was more focused on making sure that the contents of his stomach didn’t get dumped into the ocean like so much chemical run-off from a factory.

            The large wooden pirate ship slowly rocked forward as another volley of waves, stirred by a gentle breeze, pounded against the ship’s sides. Critic groaned inwardly as he scrambled to keep his footing on the deck. Unfortunately, this gesture did little favors for his nauseous stomach.

            “Why’d Insano choose this dimension to run field tests in?” Critic wondered aloud, “Couldn’t he have dropped us off on dry land or something? Anywhere where I’m not about to see lunch come up in reverse would have been nice.”

            Chick, seemingly immune to sea-sickness, rolled her eyes as she gripped the ship’s cog-like steering wheel, slowly trying to guide it safely to land. Although he was still somewhat woozy from the rocking motion of the sea, Critic couldn’t help but vaguely register that Chick piloting the ship was just a little odd. He might have only known her for a few short years, but he was pretty sure that not once had she ever mentioned being capable of manually steering an eighteenth century pirate ship before.

            “So,” Critic asked, slumping down onto a nearby bench, nursing his queasy stomach, “Where’d you learn to steer this thing anyways? What, were they offering ‘Eighteenth Century Ships 101’ at the university or something?”

            “I don’t really know,” Chick replied, still focused on navigating the ship, “It’s kind of like I just sort of knew what I was doing after I put on the disguise y’know? I guess that those morphing devices that the doctors made are programmed with certain skills based on whatever dimensions we’re running around in.”

            “Uh guys,” MarzGurl said, as she entered the room, “How much longer do you think it’s going to be until we hit land?”

            “According to this map,” Critic replied, checking the map on his morpher, “There’s a port town about forty or so miles nearby. With the speed were currently going, I guess we’ll probably hit it in a little over an hour.”

            “Thank god,” the purple haired reviewer sighed, “’Cause, Spoony and Linkara are starting to lose it, like big time. I think the sea air and this dimension’s starting to get to them.”

            “How so?” Chick asked, raising an eyebrow.

            “Like both of them are acting like they think they’re Jack Sparrow,” MarzGurl replied, “Last I saw of them, they were rambling on about peanuts and rum. At least I’m hoping that’s what they were going on about.”

            Chick opened her mouth to speak, but promptly found herself cut off as a loud, thundering crash echoed from somewhere behind them, forcing the three reviewers to jump as they quickly spun around.

            Their startled expressions melted into bemused smiles as they saw their two other fellow Rangers among a mess of toppled barrels and crates.

            “Ahoy there,” Spoony grinned wolfishly as he and Linkara staggered out of the mess, “how it goin’, cap’n?”

            “Remind me,” Critic said under his breath to MarzGurl, “to keep the two of them away from the rum while we’re here. If they’re acting this stupid while sober, I don’t even want to imagine them drunk.”

            “Ah, lighten up a little, Cap’n” Linkara, also speaking with a slurred, stereo-typical cockney accent, “If we’re goin’ ta be round here for a while, might as well ‘ave some fun while we’re at it.”

            “Haven’t you ever role-played before?” Spoony added, “I mean, if you’re gonna look the part, might as well act it, too. Like they say; ‘When in Rome…’”

            “Yeah,” Critic scoffed, “Well, last time I checked, Rome didn’t look like the set of Cutthroat Island. Seriously, save the Blackbeard the Pirate bullshit for when we get to land. Bad enough I’m getting seasick around here. We don’t need you two acting like a bunch of dorks on top of that.”

            The two practicing pirates groaned in disappointment as they slumped their shoulders. So much for having a little fun, they sighed.

            “So,” Linkara asked, now speaking with his normal accent, “What’s the mission, anyways? Insano left you with the mission brief, right?”

            Spoony grumbled something under his breath that was unheard by Critic, but earned him a swift jab in the rib by MarzGurl, who glared at him with a dagger-sharp glare.

            “Well,” Critic began, checking his morpher, “We’re supposed to be doing a field test on a function with our morphers that’ll be able to locate Synthspectors, even if they’re disguised.”

            “Wait,” Chick asked, “I thought that they said that there wasn’t anyone being held here. So, why are those creepy masked guys hanging around?”

            “Beats me,” Critic shrugged, “I’m guessing that they just want to keep their bases covered or something. Besides, the only thing the doctors said was that they weren’t detecting anything. Doesn’t mean that there might not be someone here. If there is, we’ll just track them down and bring them back with us.”

            “That is,” Spoony said, “If lizard mouth and the cat ears don’t show up and do that mystical voodoo shit like last time. Knowing our luck, they’d probably turn someone into a kraken or something.”

            Linkara shuddered as he recalled the previous encounter with Tegon’s spell. Critic gave a quick, sympathetic look toward the comic reviewer. He remembered the younger man collapsing on the ground, quivering as if he were freezing, mumbling like a madman in a language that one  was sure not even its speaker truly knew. The reviewer just hoped that whatever had caused that, it wouldn’t happen again.

            The rest of the trip was rather quiet as the ship slowly sailed along toward the shoreline. The mid-afternoon sun beat heavily down upon the deck as the first traces of civilization appear on the horizon. At first, it almost seemed like a mirage to the weary crew. But slowly, the outlines of ships and buildings started to come into focus, much to their relief.

            In a matter of minutes, the ship was docked, and the Rangers climbed out. Around them, the scent of spices from far off lands mingled with the scent of metal, gunpowder and sweat as floods of people, all of them looking like the last people one would want to mess with in a dark alleyway, shuffled around, loading and unloading various wooden crates and dusty burlap bags to and from the other ships.

            “Geez,” Chick coughed, wrinkling her nose in disgust, “You’d think that these guys would have learned to take a shower every now and then. God, like throw themselves into the harbor every once in a while y’know?”

            “I’m pretty sure,” Spoony snarked, “That’s probably how these guys keep themselves alive around here. Nobody in their right mind would want to get close enough to knife a guy smelling like Satan’s shit.”

            “….And that’s why they started using guns,” Chick replied dryly.

            “So,” MarzGurl asked, her eyes scanning the horizon, “We’re here. What’s the next step?”

            “I think we should split up,” Critic replied, “Marz, Linkara and I will take the eastern half of town….”

            However, the rest of his orders were cut off as Spoony started shaking his head, as if he believed that Critic were asking them to jump off of a ledge into a pit of sharp spikes, rather than split up.

            “Whoa,” Spoony said, “Hang on a damn second.”

            Critic rolled his eyes, exhaling with an annoyed huff. Seriously, he wondered, had there been one minute since they’d become Rangers that the gamer hadn’t had some problem with his plans?

            “What is it?” Critic sighed.

            “Splitting up the team?” Spoony said, “Dude, that’s a bad idea: Like, a seriously bad one.”

            “Oh really?” Critic challenged, “Name one way that this is a bad idea.”

            “Uh,” Spoony replied, “How about that we know jack shit about this place and what’s around here? Or how about we’re more likely to have pirates and bandits jumping our ass if they think there are less of us?”

            “What do you mean?” Critic asked, “We split up during the quest for the gauntlet, and I don’t remember hearing a peep from you back then.”

            “That’s because there was like twenty of us,” Spoony countered, “and I complained a lot, for your information.”

            “…And I suppose you have a better idea?” Critic asked, “Let’s hear it, then.”

            “I think,” Spoony said, “That we should stick together and get a bit familiar with the area before we start splitting up.”

            “I’m leader,” Critic stuck his tongue out the gamer, “So we’re going with my plan. As I was saying: Marz, Linkara and I will take the eastern half of the town. Chick, you deal with Spoony and take the western part. We’ll contact each other after an hour, or if something happens. Alright?”

            The Yellow Ranger once more growled something under his breath as the Red, Blue and Green Rangers disappeared into the crowd, leaving him and the Pink Ranger alone.

            Chick, the only one in the duo not busy muttering curses under their breath, began searching for a place to start testing. Old, shabby buildings, edges smoothed by wind and sea-salt, stretched out for miles on one side of the cobblestone street. Signs, some carved in blocky letters and others painted with fancy scrawling, separated each relatively identical building from another. Other things, like display windows and barrels and boxes of various goods helped specify the functions of each building a little further, helping separate a general store from the blacksmith and the baker to the casual pedestrian.

            But, as much as their lively displays and painted signs tried to entice potential customers, none of these places seemed like an ideal place to start for Chick.

            As they walked, the colorful eye-catching displays became fewer and fewer, giving way to more gruesome and grotesque arrangements that seemed far more appropriate for the derelict and seedier looking buildings that began to occupy the area.  Although it was only afternoon, somehow the mere aura of squalidness that floated in the foul-smelling air seemed to cast a shady blanket over everything.

            A crash, thin and clattering like the sound of glass shattering echoed through the air alongside some slurred, indecipherable shouts, causing Chick to jump and Spoony to immediately stop ranting.

            Just ahead of them, they found rather small building. From what they could decipher of the faded, rotted sign, it appeared to be some kind of inn. Although a thick layer of dust covered the windows, shapes and light could be seen within, indicating that this was not an abandoned building, as it might have appeared.

            Probably not the safest of places to enter, Chick reasoned as she lead Spoony inside, given that it did seem to be in the part of town that the less than desirable characters were more than likely seen.

But, it was as good of a place as any to start.

Despite its very dilapidated outward appearance, the interior of the place seemed much more well-kept and lively. Granted, it still had that touch of dustiness about it, and its current occupants did seem like the type who’d probably spent more than their share of time in jail, it certainly seemed like a small improvement over the outside.

“Are you kidding me?” Spoony whispered harshly as Chick dragged him toward a small table in the corner of the common area, “These guys could probably gut us like sheep if we just look at them wrong. You sure that we want to test out that program here?”

“There’s a lot of people here,” Chick explained just quietly enough for only the gamer to hear, “If there’s any Synthspectors here, we’ll be able to watch them without anyone noticing us. Just keep you’re head down and don’t say anything.”

            Checking furtively over their shoulders to make sure that no strangers—as impaired as their vision may have been by eyepatches and glass eyes—were watching them, the two summoned their morphers. With a few taps on the keypad they started the program. A wavering shockwave of energy pulsed from the morphers, showering the room in its transparent waves.
        
            The two reviewers breathed a small sigh of relief as no-one seemed to notice the wave that passed through them. Almost immediately, a faint orange glow, unseen by all but the two observers, glimmered around some of the patrons of the inn.

            Within the few seconds that the light appeared, the images of the marked customers wavered just slightly, revealing traces of the featureless faces that the two reviewers had come to unmistakably recognize as Synthspectors.

            Still careful not to be spotted, Chick began examining a set of charts displayed on her morpher. Spoony bit his lip, looking between the readouts on Chick’s morpher, matching them up with the ones on his own and with the light-marked pirates within the common room.

             “Well,” Chick said, “Looks like the program works, and we didn’t get caught. Let’s report back to Insano and the others and get the hell out of here.”

            “Hey,” Spoony asked, leaning over the table to point at something on Chick’s chart, “That dark pinkish-red blip; what’s that?”

            The female reviewer frowned as she studied the magenta colored dot on the screen. That was strange, she thought, comparing it to the other dots nearby it, running through all the possibilities of what it couldn’t have been.

Any Synthspector reading that appeared on the tiny screen was marked with orange, she noted, while any normal human being didn’t even register on the radar. It couldn’t have possibly been them misinterpreting their own signal—a couple of glowing pinpoints in their Ranger colors indicated that one.

            It could have been possibly Tegon or Devafen, she noted, but not both of them. Otherwise, there would have been two dots. Of course, she thought as she looked up, quickly scanning the crowd, there was one other thing that it could possibly be.

            “Spoony,” Chick said, tapping the long-haired gamer on the shoulder, “I think I might have figured out who that dot was.”

            She pointed to a very lanky looking young pirate sitting at another table, gambling with an oily and squat little man in an ill-fitting striped shirt. Although most of the skinny man’s head was covered by a large red bandana, long, frizzy curls framed the man’s thin face, emphasized by the pair of wire-rimmed glasses perched on the man’s nose.

            The female reviewer couldn’t hear the man talk from where she was standing, but she was sure that his words would have been laced with a Welsh accent.

            “You think that’s Welshy?” Spoony asked, confirming to his teammate that he too noticed the similarity.

            “Who else could it be?” Chick  answered, more to herself than to the gamer, tapping her morpher, “All of the readings are saying it is. Plus, why else would there be this many Synthspectors hanging around if it weren’t? I’ll call the others and let them know what’s going on. Spoony, don’t let him out of your sight, okay? If he ran off, it’d be like finding a needle in a haystack trying to track him down again. Spoony, are you even listening to me?”

            But, the green-eyed man sitting near her was no longer listening, nor was he even sitting any more. A square-jawed blonde woman gripped the terrified gamer by the shoulders and had all but slammed him against the wall. The way that the woman’s steely gray eyes stared through him as a deep, angry scowl darkened her frightening features.

            “Ye ain’t got much rottin’ up in that dead skull of yers,” the woman growled, her breath smelling heavily of rum “If ye thought that you could jus’ show yer flea-bitten, scurvy arse around here, again.”

            The gamer laughed nervously as he tried to squirm out of the woman’s grip, only to find that she had him pinned against the wall like a beetle in a biologist’s bug collection.

            “E-excuse me, lady,” Spoony said, “But, I think you got me confused with some else. I just came in here for a few drinks. I’ve never been here in my life.”

            Spoony shot a pleading look over at Chick, who fidgeted with a loose lock of hair, torn between wanting to help her fellow reviewer and not wanting to loose sight of their newly acquired target.

            “Ah,” the woman barked a laugh, “I see what’s goin’ on: Ol’ Black Dog Bill sent ye in ta see if the Captain wasn’t lookin’ for you two. But, now that ye got caught, yer gonna play dumb, thinkin’ that I wouldn’t notice. Ye can’t fool me, though. I’d recognize that ugly face of yers anywhere, Jack.”

            “Look, lady; I don’t know who the hell you think I am,” Spoony replied, growing more annoyed, “But my name’s not Jack, okay?! You mind lettin’ go of me, please?”

            “I told ya,” the woman growled, “lyin’ and cheatin’ yer way out of this ain’t gonna work.”

            Chick’s cheeks flushed a deep red and her jaw set as she stepped in, wrenching one of the angry blonde’s large hands from Spoony’s shoulders.

            “Hey!” Chick said, “You mind getting your hands off of my friend, there? I don’t think he needs to tell you a third time: he’s not the guy you’re looking for.”

            The female critic winced, immediately regretting drawing attention to herself as the livid blonde whipped around, dropping the gamer to the ground with a heavy thud. The woman, easily six feet tall, dwarfed the petite reviewer as she bore down on her, the veins in her neck twitching.

            “’An who the hell are you?” the woman asked, “Some whore off the street that Jack picked up for the night?”

            It was about this time that common, rational thought and Chick had parted ways for the moment, as the dark-haired lady practically leapt off the ground, upper-cutting the larger woman in the jaw, knocking her into one of the occupied tables, upsetting several men’s drinks and card games.

            Once the loud buzzing had faded from Chick’s ears, allowing her to hear the deafening, stunned silence that fell over the tavern as every pair of eyes was now on her and Spoony, who was scrambling back onto his feet.

            “So much for laying low, eh?” the gamer said under his breath.

            “Hey,” Chick replied defensively, “I got Bessie the Sea Cow over there to let you go, didn’t I? The least you owe me is a ‘thank you’.”

            “Yeah,” Spoony said, “But, now the rest of the tavern’s pissed at us. Including Welshy. And if he’s pissed, then probably most of the Synthspectors are pissed too. Speaking of which, was that lady one of them?”

            “Nope,” Chick replied, “Apparently, she’s just one really pissed off pirate.”

            “Ah, well that’s good to know,” Spoony said, “But you know what’s even better to know?”

            “What?”

            “An escape plan.”

            Chick had no time to respond as a raucous roar echoed through the bar, as chaos erupted like a volcano around the two. Although a large number of the patrons seemed to be focused on aiding the blonde pirate, it seemed that an equally larger number didn’t care who was fighting who or why, and were just happy to have an excuse release any aggressions they’d kept pent up while on the cramped confines of a ship.

            Had it not been for their battle training earlier that morning, both Chick and Spoony would have been pummeled flat in less than five minutes. Luckily for them, they were able to maneuver rather quickly between the crowds of rowdy, drunken pirates. Unfortunately, the crowd—the same thing that had only moments ago made the inn an ideal location—was a little too large and tough for just the two of them to handle alone.

            Within a matter of minutes, the two reviewers had found themselves backed into a corner. At the head of the mob, the furious blonde woman rubbed the red spot on her jaw where the Pink Ranger had punched her. Beside her, Welshy and three other pirates moved in to flank the two trapped individuals.

            Spoony, having become frustrated with being backed in a corner, lunged at the crowd, hoping to knock the nearest person off their feet and open a path for escape. Unfortunately, in his blind rage, he failed to see that one of the pirates had swiftly dodged out of the way, hitting the Yellow Ranger hard in the back of the neck.

            “Um,” Chick laughed nervously as two of the pirates grabbed her fallen teammate by the arms, pulling him off the ground, “Now wouldn’t be a good time to apologize, would it?”

            With a swift movement with her hand, the blonde motioned for Welshy and the drunken pirate he had earlier been gambling with to grab Chick, pinning her arms behind her back.

            The lanky pirate blinked, overtaken by a momentary confusion, as his eyes fell upon his captive. It was like déjà vu, he thought. He remembered seeing her somewhere before, somewhere far away, but he couldn’t remember where he’d seen her face before. Perhaps it was at some inn in the middle of some other port town, he guessed, shaking his head.

It didn’t matter, he tried to tell himself. She just had a face that just naturally seemed familiar to other people. Lots of people had those faces—it wasn’t completely unheard of.

“Sorry about this, miss” Welshy said, “Melody can be a bit wild at times. Luckily for you, the Captain’s a bit of a nicer guy. And you seem like a smart lady, so he might go easy on you. Jack’s pretty screwed though.”

Chick sighed, defeated, as the group of pirates dragged her and a still unconscious Spoony out of the inn. Why couldn’t things ever go as easily as they sounded?


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