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Title: Project Nexus
Chapter: Nexus (Part II)
Rating: T
Fandom: TGWTG/ Spoony Experiment
Character(s): Nostalgia Critic, Nostalgia Chick, MarzGurl, Spoony, Linkara, Doctor Tease, Doctor Block, Doctor Insano, Professor Celluloid, Malachite, Nurse
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.

Critic couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling of several pairs of eyes bearing upon them as they entered the dimly lit bar room.  His heart pounded in his chest as he noted the sharp looks of suspicion that came from some of the patrons of the club. 

He and his friends didn’t belong there, the patrons’ shadow-veiled faces said silently from the corners of the room. They were outsiders—both to this establishment, and to this dimension.  Whether the patrons were actually aware of the latter one or not, was not something that Critic could easily determine on his own.  He was certain, however, that all of the onlookers were painfully aware of just how alien he and the others were to this place.

Almost immediately, however, the tension dissipated as the jazz-band stationed on a platform at one corner of the room began to play again. The patrons, obviously disinterested by the newcomers, returned to their amber-colored drinks and idle chatter.

However, there was one figure, tucked away at a table in the corner, who hadn’t so quickly dismissed their presence. A balding man with thick glasses craned his neck, struggling to see over the crowd.  He looked at them as if he thought he recognized them, but wasn’t sure where he remembered them from.

            A raven-haired woman whispered something in his ear, causing him to look away, shaking his head. Perhaps it was all in his mind, he thought, as he gave one last look toward the strangers.

            “I think we got him,” Critic mumbled under his breath, as he motioned toward the spot where the man they believed to be the Cinema Snob was.

            “Snob?” Linkara asked, his gaze following Critic’s hand-motion with a bit of difficulty.

            “No,” Critic snarked, “Jean Claude Van Damme riding a unicorn. Of course it’s Snob! Who do you think I’m talking about?”

            MarzGurl bit her lip as she studied the two figures beside their captive fellow reviewer.  It was likely, she knew, that Malachite had probably stationed some of his soldiers in close proximity to their target. If there was anything she was willing to bet on, it would be that at least one of the two near him was more than likely a spy in disguise.

            “We got a problem,” she said, “He’s got two people nearby. One of them’s probably one of Malachite’s guys.”

            “My money’s on the shark with the bad hair,” Spoony added.

            Damn it, Critic thought to himself as he examined the table as well. They needed a distraction; something that would keep them off guard long enough to at least get close to Snob. 

            A sly grin came over Chick’s face as she caught sight the bandstand in the opposite corner of the room.  Her grin turned towards the others, who only returned it with a look of confusion.

            “I have an idea,” she said, “Linkara? How’s your voice?”

            “It’s fine,” Linkara replied slowly, still not quite sure where his colleague’s train of thought was going, “But, I don’t see what—.”

            His words were cut off by a surprised yelp as Chick grabbed his arm, sprinting as she dragged him across the floor toward the band.  The others only stared blankly as they watched Chick talking to who they assumed to be the leader of the band.

The man, a saxophone player in a dark gray suit, nodded as he turned to the rest of the band. Within a few moments, a bluesy tune filled the room. The patrons once more fell silent as they became aware of this new sound.

“Hello there, everyone,” Chick said, doing her best impression of a sultry lounge singer, “My friend and I would like to dedicate this next song to the couple over in the corner.”

            She pointed toward the Snob’s two companions, both of whom looked visibly bewildered as the spotlight that had been used to illuminate the stage now fell squarely on the two of them.

            “Come on up here,” Chick said, beckoning them toward the open dance floor, “Don’t be shy, you two.”

            The two looked at each other, unsure of what to do. On one hand, neither one of them were quite so willing to let Snob out of their sights. Besides, they weren’t even a couple, they said. On the other, they’d been pretty much put on the spot, and it would have been rude of them to turn down something like that.

            Hesitantly, the two stood up and crossed the floor toward the center of the room. Chick shot a quick glance over toward her still confused companions, discreetly giving them the signal to go, before she began singing.  Linkara, quickly catching on to the plan, joined in shortly afterwards.

            Meanwhile, the remaining three decided to take advantage of the distraction, edged their way toward the table.  Snob’s eyebrow arched as the three sat down beside him.

            “Excuse me,” he said, “But, you look kind of familiar. Do I know you?”

            In any other situation, Critic would have given a sarcastic, smart alec-ed quip in response. However, now was not the time for this, he reasoned, as he cast a furtive glance over his shoulder. Chick and Linkara could only keep Snob’s bodyguards busy for so long. They were going to need to be quick as lightning to convince their mind-altered co-worker to listen to them.

            “I don’t have a lot of time, here,” Critic said, lowering his voice, “So I’m going to be as blunt as possible, and you’re going to at least pretend you understand what I’m saying, okay?”

            The Snob shifted in his chair, resting his elbows on the table as he folded his hands together. Critic, assuming that this meant that he at least had Snob’s attention, started to speak, only to find himself cut off as a young, short-haired waitress appeared next to the table, asking to take the drink orders of the newcomers.

            With a few polite rejections, the party dismissed the waitress from the table. As the conversation resumed with Critic, MarzGurl and Spoony taking turns explaining everything they could, Snob peered at them through his glasses, torn between being intrigued and lost in thought.

            Meanwhile, across the room, Tegon growled in frustration under his breath as he caught a glimpse of the three reviewers and Snob from the corner of his eye.    

“Damn it,” he muttered in Devafen’s ear, “It’s them. They’ve found him.”

            Devafen cast a quick look over in the direction of the reviewers as Tegon spun her around, keeping time with the music.

            “You sure that’s them?” she asked, quirking a skeptical eyebrow as she lead him a few steps backward, “I mean, they can’t be stupid enough to try the direct approach again, even if they are in disguise.”

            The disguised lizard man, intending to interrupt the reviewers’ conversation, stalked across the dance floor, only to be gracefully pulled back into the dance by his female companion.

            “Not yet,” she warned him, circling him “One of the Synthspectors is keeping an eye on them. If it’s them, then we’ll attack.”

            She grinned playfully as she wrapped her arm around her annoyed companion, pulling him close to her.

            “Besides,” she winked, “The music’s good and how often do we get to have fun on a mission like this?”

            Tegon sighed as he temporarily abandoned his plan, surrendering to his companions’ logic. His eyes narrowed as he shot one more needle-like glare toward the trio.  They were lucky that Devafen had stopped him from storming over there. But, he reasoned, that didn’t mean that he wasn’t going to watch them like a hawk.

            The Nostalgia Chick bit her lip as she allowed herself to quickly glance over at her three companions. It was difficult to tell exactly what was going on from a distance, but she guessed that they must have just finished explaining things to Snob.

He sat there with a contemplative expression clouding his face as he tried to make sense of their story. On one hand, Chick believed, he probably reasoned that a lot of their story made some sort sense. After all, it probably touched on a lot of things that he himself had been wondering about; the dreams, the vague sense of unease clawing at his mind, trying to tell him that this wasn’t his home—that kind of stuff.

On the other, it probably sounded all too ludicrous to possibly be true. Sorcerers and wormholes were things found in old fairy-tales and pulp novels, not in the sane, logical world of reality. 

It wasn’t like Chick could blame him for having doubts, however. She was practically surrounded by weirdness, and even she was having trouble fully believing in it. 

            C’mon guys, she silently pleaded, trying her hardest to mask her concern with a smile, we can’t keep singing up here forever. Hurry it up, please. The song’s about to end any second now.

The band’s music began to get louder, following suit with Linkara and Chick’s voices as they held out a high note. With a crash, the song ended, leaving the two singers breathless as a roar of applause echoed through the room, reverberating off the brick walls.

Chick’s heart felt as if it had gotten caught in her throat as Tegon and Devafen started to head back toward Snob’s table. No, she thought, the others were almost done talking. Their cover would be blown sky high if those two interrupted. 

Thankfully, her fears were temporarily alleviated as a waitress approached the dancing due, speaking something that neither Chick nor Linkara could hear. But, Chick assumed, that could just be her trying to take their order or something.

“Looks like it worked,” Linkara said under his breath, adjusting his hat as he crossed the floor. Chick started to nod in agreement, but was stopped as she heard the usually ambient club fall deathly silent.

The hairs on the back of her neck prickled with fear as she turned toward the cause of this ominous silence. Tegon and Devafen now took the stage. A sinister smirk played on the edges of Tegon’s lips as he bowed toward his audience.

“We’d like to thank those two for that wonderful song,” Tegon said with mock civility, “But, it’s starting to get a little late isn’t it? Don’t you think we all should all get a little sleep?”

A few members of the crowd murmured in confusion as Devafen lifted her hand, muttering something under her breath as she traced a symbol in the air.  The crowd’s confusion was short-lived as many of them fell to the floor, unconscious. 

The members in the crowd, left untouched by this mysterious spell, now turned toward the reviewers, their blank, hypnotized expressions giving away their true identities.

            Hurriedly, the reviewers stood up, forming a barrier between Snob and the monster crowd.  The air wavered like a mirage as the disguised crowd morphed into their true forms. To Snob, this was easily the most surreal thing he could ever recall. One minute, he was looking at a group of humans—people he could have sworn he knew, no less—and the next, the room was filled with a bunch of pale, faceless creatures.

            Suddenly, a soft beep echoed from Critic’s morpher. Curious, he tapped the device. In a matter of seconds, Insano’s face appeared on the computer’s screen.

            “We just picked up a large-scale shift in enemy activity,” Insano said, “Is everything alright?”

            “Ehhhh, kinda….” Critic replied, trying to sound as nonchalant as possible.

            “What in blue blazes do you mean by ‘kinda’,”  Insano shouted, “What’s  going on there?!”

            “Well,” Critic explained, “We found Snob.”


            “….We might have gotten our cover blown.”

            Insano made a frustrated noise as he threw his hands up, mumbling something under his breath about ‘useless’ and ‘idiots’ and ‘genetically engineered monkeys’. 

            “Don’t blame me,” Critic replied, “It’s Spoony’s fault.”

            “Hey!” Spoony said, offended, “How’s this my fault?! You’re the one who was doing most of the talking.”

            “Well,” Critic shot back, “You’re the one who sticks out like a sore thumb here.”

            “Oh yeah,” Spoony replied sarcastically, “’Cause I intentionally chose to look like a jackass.”

            “Yeah?” Critic replied, “Well, if you hadn’t practically announced us with the door guard, we might not have—”                                                

            “Would you two please shut up?!” MarzGurl said, stepping in between the two arguing men before either could get close enough to possibly hit each other, “Look, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is, okay? As far as I’m concerned, this isn’t anyone’s fault. What’s important here is that we need to get out of here and get Snob’s memory back. If you two want to squabble like a pair of kids, then do it later, alright?”

            Spoony and Critic nodded sheepishly, feeling like a pair of children that had just been given detention by the school principle.

            “Speaking of disguises,” Chick said, “Anyone else get the feeling that these costumes are pretty much useless right about now?”

            The others nodded in agreement as they deactivated the cloaking ability of their morphers. A brief flash of light filled the room, blinding the attacking mob. Tegon grinned when, upon the fading of the light, he noticed the reviewers, now in more modern attire, standing in the place of the five figures from just moments ago.

            Silently, he cursed himself for not figuring it out sooner. Although he assumed that the cloaking device must have threw off his senses, he could have sworn that the pink-clad singer from moments ago had looked vaguely like the Nostalgia Chick.

            “Hmph,” Tegon said, feigning a tone of indifference, “So it seems that the scientists have recruited you to do their dirty work. I guess Lord Malachite’s not the only one who wants to see you dead.”

            “Hello, Linkara.” Devafen purred as she waved at the comic reviewer, “So we meet again, huh? You know, I haven’t quite forgiven you what you did in our last fight. That was a really dirty move, you know?”

            “Any dirtier than you damaging Pollo and disabling Nimue?” Linkara retorted, clenching his fist, “Any dirtier than you practically attacking me while I was unarmed? Any dirtier than you posing as Liz to try and deceive me?”

            “Touché,” the feline woman conceded, “But, maybe this time, we can have a more fair fight. Well, if you can get past the Synthspectators, first.”

            Her cat-like grin turned into a disappointed frown as she looked over the numerous faceless mooks that cornered the reviewers.

            “Ah,” she said, immediately brightening up, “who are we kidding? The chances of us having a fair fight are pretty slim. These guys are going to kill you. Sorry about that.”

            The reviewers’ muscles tensed as they drew closer together, forming a tighter barrier around a very visibly bewildered Snob.

            There was only one way that they could escape, as they saw it. Granted, none of them were entirely too fond of this option, but considering that the only other option was to try to break down a brick wall,  fighting their way through the enemy ranks was the only possible choice they had.

            “You think,” Chick asked, “That now would be a pretty good time to use that ‘morphing’ thing that Insano said that we could do?”

            “Not yet.” Critic replied, shaking his head, “We could take these freaks no problem. These faceless bastards are just asking to get their asses kicked.”

            Chick rolled her eyes and sighed in annoyance. Typical Critic, she chuckled to herself, always looking for trouble. 

            “Snob,” Spoony said over his shoulder to the other reviewer, “Stay close to us. I can’t promise we’ll get you back safely, though. You think you might be able to settle for possibly making it out in one piece, instead?”

            “Hey,” Snob said, “You guys know more about what the hell’s going on here than I do. I don’t think I’m in any position to start arguing with you guys.”

            Having grown bored with the lack of bloodshed, Tegon brandished his sword, shouting the command for the faceless humanoids to charge.

            “Synthspectors,” he ordered, “Destroy them!”

            In response, Linkara withdrew the Magic Gun from his coat pocket. The other four, not having had the foresight to bring weapons with them, raised their fists into their best imitations of fighting poses, summoning up every ounce of bravado that they could muster as they mentally prepared themselves for the onslaught of faceless creatures.

            Like a swarm of angry wasps, the two groups rushed at each other. The sound of thunder cracked through the air as a few blasts of magical energy fired from Linkara’s gun, knocking a few of the creatures down, as the crew pushed their way through the crowd.

Near him, Snob, not one to simply stand around as if he were some distressed damsel, had picked up an antique-looking machine-gun from one of the unconscious patrons, and started firing.

            Sure, normal bullets were pretty much useless against these beings, whatever they were. But, that didn’t mean that he wasn’t going give it a try. Besides, he reasoned, his rescuers looked like they needed whatever they could to even the odds between them and the attacking mob.

            One of the Synthspectors that had managed to maneuver past Linkara’s rapid magical fire lunged at MarzGurl, attempting to catch her off guard. Mere seconds before she could be knocked to the ground, the cartoon reviewer twisted her body out of the way, managing to deliver a rather sloppy, but effective, roundhouse kick.

            Chick grunted as another of the pale, faceless humanoids landed a lucky shot on her, sending the brunette flying backward. With a shout, she picked herself up, grabbing the creature by the arm and throwing him into a group of his cohorts.  

Nearby, another Synthspector had chased Spoony across the room, and had now gotten him backed up against the bar. The gamer ducked just as the monster’s heavy, gloved fist swung down. A sharp crack pierced through the air as the polished wood of the bar splintered under the impact of the creature’s fist.

Spoony stood, eyes wide and jaw agape, as he realized just how narrowly he had avoided being hit with what he assumed would have been a lethal blow to the head. Taking advantage of the creatures’ momentarily unbalanced state, Spoony elbowed him in the back with enough force to propel the creature forward, sending him crashing into the cabinets of glass liquor bottles. 

After several minutes of struggling, the crew had managed to push their way toward the staircase that separated the interior of the club from its non-descript exterior.  Critic could almost feel the creatures’ hot breath against his neck as their fingertips came dangerously within reach of his necktie.

            A furious scowl came across his face as he spun around, seeing his attackers on the stairs below him. The Synthspectors, having mostly recovered from being stunned, climbed up the narrow stairs like an infestation of army ants. Bringing up the rear of the swarm were Tegon and Devafen, their weapons drawn and an unmistakable glint of bloodlust in their eyes.

            Growling, Critic kicked the closest Synthspector hard in the chest, pushing him down the narrow stairs. Like dominoes, the other Synthspectors toppled as they were hit with the weight of their falling comrade.  Had he not been so focused on escaping, he would have laughed at the undignified pile of toppled bodies that had formed at the bottom of the stairs.

            The scent of fresh air was like a much welcomed rain after an intense summer heat wave to the reviewers as they acscended into the city square.  They wanted to look behind them, to insure that they had bought themselves the few precious minutes needed to put distance between themselves and the bloodthirsty mob, but fear and adrenaline kept their feet moving forward, despite their lack of direction.

            “Insano,” Critic spoke into his morpher, “Get us the hell out of here! Quick!”

            “Alright,” the mad scientist replied, “I’ll have Celluloid scan for the nearest available por---Gyahh! What in the name of Tesla’s coil…?”

            “What’s going on?!” MarzGurl asked, “What’s the matter?”

            “It appears that a large amount of enemy readings just appeared on the radar,” Insano explained, “And they’re descending upon your location as we speak.”

            A high, mocking laugh rang through the night air, sending a chill down the reviewer’s spines as they looked up, searching for the source of the sound.  A blur of black and white descended on the group, landing a few surprise attacks on them. No sooner had they recoiled from that attack, did another fast-moving blur descend on them, disorienting them even more.

            The reviewer’s groaned as they weakly tried to pull themselves up off the ground. In the seconds that they had been struck, the blurs had managed to grab Cinema Snob, and now materialized into the forms of Tegon and Devafen, flanked by a squad of Synthspectors.   

            “Oh come on!” Spoony shouted, “You have super-speed? That’s cheating!”

            “Just give up already, pathetic humans,” Tegon hissed, tightening his armlock on Snob, “You wouldn’t want anything too bad to happen to your friend here, do you?”

            “Let him go, you metal-faced Lizardman reject!” Critic shouted, rushing forward to attack.  A shrill whistle rang through the air as Devafen waved her hand in an arc, sending a line of tiny, glowing silver-bladed darts zipping through the air.

The blades, they guessed, must have been enchanted for, although they had missed, they still exploded in a shower of sparks that forced the reviewers to take a few steps backwards, to avoid getting scorched.

“Then again,” Tegon grinned, “Even if you didn’t do anything, something still might happen to him. After all, Lord Malachite did give us orders to eliminate the captives should they try to escape.”

Snob struggled harder as he tried to break free of the masked-man’s hold. Tegon barely seemed to notice this as he lifted his squirming captive up, holding the edge of his blade to the captive’s throat.

“Of course,” he said airily, “I could just slice his throat like a tomato and be done with it. But there wouldn’t be any fun in that.”

Snob choked a ragged sigh of relief as the lizardman lowered the blade from his throat.

“Besides,” he said, turning to the immobilized reviewers, “That still leaves the problem of you.”

As if lost in thought, the lizardman stroked his chin with a long, sharp-nailed claw.  Critic’s face flushed almost as red as his necktie as he clenched his fists tightly. It didn’t take a genius to notice that Tegon was toying with them.  He knew that, at that moment, none of them could touch him.

If they tried to attack him, the cat-woman would blast them back with her exploding finger-darts. And if Linkara tried shooting at him, he risked hitting Snob as well.

He didn’t like this. 

He hated the smug expressions written on the alien duo’s humanoid faces, as if they knew something that he didn’t.  He hated the malicious glint in their golden eyes. He hated the uneasiness sloshing around in the pit of his stomach as these two planned some mysterious but horrible fate to befall him and the others. Most of all, he hated knowing, that if they didn’t do something fast, these two would be allowed to carry out that fate.

“Oh!” Tegon said, snapping his fingers, “I know the prefect solution. I could always have them destroy each other.”

While the reviewers looked on with confusion, Devafen’s eyes widened in outrage. 

“Tegon!” she said, “Are you mad?! You can’t possibly be suggesting using that spell, are you? It could destroy you—or worse—if you’re not careful!”

“I know that, Devafen,” he replied sharply.

The catwoman bit her lip as the masked lizardman released Cinema Snob, and began to chant. His voice rang through the deathly still air with an ominous echo, amplified by the ancient voices of the universe itself.  Thunder shook the ground below their feet as lighting streaked across the rapidly growing stormy sky, tinging the air with its coppery electrical scent.  

            The reviewers looked on, enthralled in the iron grip of awe and terror as they watched some of the Synthspectors near the chanting magician began to glow with an otherworldly light.  That light grew brighter as it consumed the faceless creatures, mutating them into shimmering orbs of pure energy. 

            The orbs drifted through the air, coalescing into a larger ball of light that hovered above the spellcaster’s outstretched hands. The light glinted and danced off of the man’s mask, throwing deep, menacing shadows over his face as he lifted his hands.

            Sweat poured down Snob’s forehead as he watched as if immobilized by another magical spell. He could feel the evil aura contained within that ball of light, perverting and twisting what aura of good came into its field.  It was a type of energy that should have never existed, he believed, and yet it did.

            He tried to scream as Tegon brought the evil orb closer to the reviewer. But, it was to no avail, for it felt as if his voice had been lost to him; drown into the tormented screams of madness of this evil presence.

Futilely, he tried to struggle; to make one last bold effort to escape being eaten alive by this unwanted demonic spirit.  The light hovered before him, hungrily staring through to his heart as it flew from its previous master’s hands.  Suddenly, he felt a burning chill, far colder and emptier than anything he could ever remember experiencing, worming its way through his chest, plunging him into an icy void of unconsciousness.

He was fortunate that the experience had rendered him unconscious, for one could be almost positive that no-one would have wanted to have been awake for what happened to him once the ball of energy had burrowed into him.

The evil aura burned like fire as it surrounded his body. Violent spasms, strong enough to possibly break bones, shook through his body like an earthquake. Slowly, he began to change, becoming a twisted demonic mockery of a shark that seemed vaguely humanoid.

At the same time, another witness to this horrific scene seemed to be unusually effected by it. At the sight of the evil orb of energy, Linkara’s knees buckled underneath him as he fell to the ground, trembling uncontrollably, blind to the world around him.

 Voices, whispered but loud, rang through his head, pounding against his skull. The sound was like roaring white noise in his ears. He couldn’t comprehend the voices, nor could he identify them.

Sometimes, the voices sounded like Tegon, Devafen, and even Malachite. Other times, the voices were those of ancient strangers he had never met that existed in worlds yet unknown to him. And still, other times the voice he heard was his own.

Then another voice whispered through the sea of noise. This was the voice of a young girl; the girl whose spirit lived inside the Magic Gun, to be more specific. The voice of his partner; his friend.

            She called for him, her voice growing clearer with each repeated iteration of his name. His senses latched onto that voice, allowing its bell-like quality to drown out the sea of endless noise that threatened to drown him.




            The comic reviewer blinked in confusion as his senses returned to him. Spoony knelt down beside him, holding him by the shoulders as he gently tried to shake him out of his trance.  Carefully, the gamer helped his friend to his feet, only letting go of the comic reviewer’s shoulders when he was certain that he could stand on his own again.

            “Dude, what the hell happened?” Spoony asked, “You just collapsed and started shaking like crazy, mumbling all this weird shit.”

            “Just a reaction to the spell,” Linkara said between coughing gasps for air “I’ll be fine.”

            Spoony arched a skeptical eyebrow, but chose not to reply. Something told him that there had to have been more to the incident than what Linkara had told him. But he also knew that, much like himself, Linkara could be incredibly stubborn at times, and worrying too much about him would not do any good. If Linkara wanted to share more about this incident, then he’d do it on his own terms, without Spoony’s prying.

            “So,” Chick asked Critic, “We’re surrounded by faceless creeps, Snob just got turned into a monster by a lizardman’s spell, and Linkara just started talking in tongues for a minute. You think now is still a bad time to do that morphing thing, Oh Great and Fearless Leader?”

            Critic ignored his female counterpart’s snark as he looked down at his wrist. She had a point, he reasoned. As it was now, things had fallen so far off the edge of the Twilight Zone, that none of them were sure that they could handle it without a little extra help.

            But, another part of him nagged, would morphing actually help them? After all, they had no idea exactly what that spell had done to Snob. For all they knew, he could still be in there, completely conscious. If they killed him, that would be entirely their fault.

            They didn’t have a choice; the first part of his mind reminded him. After all, he had made a promise to himself, that he was never going to let Malachite or his cohorts get away with hurting any one else close to him. There were people counting on him to uphold that promise, he reminded himself: his brother, Ma-Ti, his friends, the world. 

All of them were counting on him, and he wasn’t about to let them down.

“Okay,” he said, “Let’s go.”

            At the same time, the five devices flickered to life as the reviewers held out their arms, readying their morphers.

            “Nexus Morph,” five voices shouted in unison, “Activate!”

            Like a choreographed dance that the crew didn’t remember ever rehearsing, the five made identical movements with their arms before bringing the devices close to them, typing in the appropriate key combination.

            All at once, a brilliant flash of light shot from the morphers, showering them with a rush of energy.  They felt like they had been transported outside of time and space itself.  Light and data rushed past them at hyper speed as bits of energy crept into their bodies, infusing them with strength and speed. More laser-like lights scanned their bodies, glowing with their Ranger colors as it morphed their clothing into the white and colored body-suits that were to be the base of their new Ranger uniforms.

Yet more lights followed shortly after, as armor and other details appeared upon the suit. And a final series of beams crawled like spiders across their faces as their helmets materialized over them.

Before they realized it, it was over, and they rejoined the rest of time/space. But, they did not return exactly the same as they had before. Instead of five untrained geeks who’d had an unusual fate thrust upon them, there now stood five brave and noble warriors of peace and justice who had embraced their potential destiny.

            Well, for a minute, anyways.

            The five critics-turned-Rangers examined their new uniforms in amazement and disbelief.  Admittedly, they were kind of surprised that the transformation had even worked half as well as it did. After all, Insano’s inventions could sometimes be like playing Russian Roulette; sometimes they worked, and other times they didn’t.

            “Hmm…” Linkara said, analyzing his suit with uncertainty, “I like that the suits have a nice kind of tech-y feel to them. But, they kind of look a bit busy for Ranger suits.”

            “Who cares?” Chick replied, dismissively waving her hand, “I’m just glad that I don’t have to fight in skirt.”

            “Oh yeah!” Spoony said, barely able to contain his excitement as he punched the air, “This must be what immortals in Highlander feel like during a Quickening. I feel freaking invincible!”

            “Easy there, Spoony,” MarzGurl said, resting her hand on the gamer’s shoulder to calm him down, “Save some of that for the bad-guys.”

            “Marz’s right.” Critic agreed, “We still have these dorks to take care of before we start patting ourselves on the back for how good we look. Everyone ready?”

            The team nodded briefly before launching into a series of battle poses that they hoped would indicate to their would be attackers that they were not the type of force to be taken lightly. Admittedly, their movements felt almost as if guided by instinct as they proceeded with the roll call. 

            “Nexus Ranger Red!” Critic said, striking a fierce battle pose.

            “Nexus Ranger Blue!” MarzGurl said, following suit with her own pose.

            “Nexus Ranger Yellow!” Spoony said, as he too, struck his own battle pose.

            “Nexus Ranger Green!” Linkara said, preparing himself for attack with yet another battle pose.

            “Nexus Ranger Pink!” Chick said, finishing up the roll-call with her own pose.

            The two interdimensional beings and their transmogrified cohort looked at each other with momentary shock and confusion. Malachite hadn’t predicted that this could possibly happen, they thought. However, their shock was only momentary as they readied their weapons. A few flashy lights and a change of clothes weren’t going to change anything.

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