If you haven’t read CoE – Selection Process, please do so
COE Lightspeed -Teckno Power
By Shadow Ranger
By Shadow Ranger
Science Laboratory 29, House B, Arcadia Academy
1 December 1996
The walls of his room were bare metal, the only furnishings a cot to which he had been secured. Numerous needles had been inserted into his body feeding him potentially toxic chemicals. Those performing the operation did not care. If he survived the various Doctors and Professors would be living in luxury for the rest of their lives. If he died then the procedure would be reviewed and the whole process repeated on the next unwilling volunteer.
A little over a month before he had been known as Garth Nelson. But things had changed in that respect. His freedom had been taken away when he had been abducted by Arcadia Academy. Some of the students had been sent by the parents willingly, but his parents had been convinced that they should surrender their sons. Even then it had not saved his family from those who sought to eliminate his links to the past.
Now he was one of eight guinea pigs. He had no name and no identity. He was just a test subject chosen due to his age, background, physical health and the fact nobody would ever miss him. Almost forty youths had been taken to Arcadia Academy, all but eight had been used to created Power Rings for Lord Tristan’s Psycho Rangers.
Despite that fact that only a month had passed since his abduction, Garth had been at the academy for five years and had been subjugated to mind numbing routine. He had physically aged almost two years and now approaching his eighteenth birthday they had decided it was time to proceed to the final stages.
How could this happen? Well, Arcadia Academy was only a front for an organisation called Ranitime Industries. Ranitime or the Rani as she was better known was a Time Lord and had used TARDIS technology to alter the ageing process within the school. Inside the academy, five years could pass in a matter of weeks whilst physical ageing could be reduced to a minimum. Hence in a month Garth had gained five years experience for a maximum of two years ageing.
Straining his ears he could hear the sound of his cell door being opened. First the sound of a swipe card being drawn through the reader. Next the beeping of the buttons for the six-digit identity code changed daily. Afterwards came the sound of the outer lock the key scratching at the worn tumblers. Finally was the screech of the heavy mechanical bolt being withdrawn. He had heard these sounds constantly during his time here to the extent that he could now tell who was entering by the time it took for the door to open.
Agent Thomas was very deliberate when opening the door. He was very strict about security and every procedure had to be followed to the letter. He knew the agent took exactly two minutes to open the door. Doctor Grayson on the other hand enjoyed his work and was determined not to miss a moment of his experiment’s pain. As a result Doctor Grayson would constantly open the locks whilst entering his security code. Doctor Grayson could enter the cell in less than half a minute.
The various nurses and observers entered from a second entrance he had never seen. Somehow it was shielded from him, but he believed they might be in the room at all times and concealed by some machinery.
Today he could tell it was Doctor Grayson who was about to enter along with the Project Administrator, Doctor Ranitime. Of all the scientists Doctor Ranitime was the worst. She didn’t care what short cuts were taken or how much he suffered providing she had results.
“What is the status of this one?” she demanded.
“Muscular synthesis had been successfully completed. Optical, audio, nasal, tactile and vocal enhancements have been implanted. His body seems to be responding adequately and we have not had the biological breakdowns the previous subjects suffered. I propose we begin skin alterations immediately.”
“You referred to it as him,” Doctor Ranitime pointed out. “Remember it is just a subject and you cannot allow any feelings when dealing with it. Including the joy you seem to feel when it screams.”
“Yes Doctor Ranitime,” Grayson replied.
“Oh and Grayson, I want you to remove its vocal chords. When it is in use I expect it to speak only when instructed. We can control that by using a synthesiser.”
“Very good Doctor Ranitime. Did you wish to begin the programming?”
“Begin immediately. I shall return later and we shall see what it has learnt. Have the arrangements been made to ensure its continued obedience?”
“One of our Triforian backers suggested a contact who may be able to take care of the situation.”
“Very well, I am leaving now. Remember that nobody is to approach my lab for five minutes following my departure.”
As Doctor Grayson set about his morning checks of the test subject he heard the now familiar sound of Doctor Ranitime’s secret exit opening. “You are very lucky today,” he told the subject, slapping him across the face. “This afternoon you will be released from this cell for a short time so we can see how our work has progressed. If it is successful you will be returned here for further enhancements. Failure will ensure subject termination.”
That said Doctor Grayson left. He knew he would not see Doctor Grayson again that day. It was a trick used to confuse his mind concerning the time he was left. In truth he estimated he would not be seeing anybody for two weeks, the length of time they specified for molten plating. He didn’t care; his time was approaching when he would be freed. And when he left he would be reunited with his brother Daniel and his fellow test subjects.
Of course that would not happen if the Ranitime succeeded in turning him into a robotic Zombie. Fortunately Doctor Grayson had already given him a way out of that possibility.
The surgeons who had made the modifications to his body had been too successful. They had replaced his organs with mechanical supplements and placed microchips deep inside his frontal lobe. His entire brain had the potential to become a super fast modem. What the surgeons and scientists did not know was that the device had not been deactivated. He had been left plugged into the complex’s computer mainframe and had been making good use of his time there.
[Search subject found] the readout said. He could see the words in his mind even though they did not exist. [Download?]
_Yes, _ he thought.
[Subject Name: Garth Nelson
Date of Entry: October 1996
Status of Entry: Purchased from Family, all links eliminated as per Standing Orders
Current Status: List?]
He considered what he had learnt. He had a name and a past. He had been sold to this place for some purpose and his family had been murdered to ensure their silence. This was standard procedure, but how he knew that was beyond him.
_Yes, _ he though in answer to the question.
[Biological Organs: Replacement Complete
Sensory Enhancements: Complete
Computerised Components: Online
Obedience Program: Offline… ERASED
Power Source: Not yet installed
MMP: Scheduled for immediate action]
He was pleased to see the obedience program had been erased. That had been an unexpected stroke of luck. When they had plugged him into the system they never expected him to take over and program himself. Nor would they have expected him to take control of some of the more important programs associated with his progress. He now had a history despite missing almost five years. He has a lethal weapon and he knew why he had been created.
Since the early days of the nineties the government had been trying to create a super soldier. They had started by using men, but the programming drove them insane. Then Doctor Ranitime had arrived. Her reasons were different from the government’s but they worked together. She had decided to select a boy for the experiment. She had wanted Garth’s brother, but Daniel had been too young.
Then three years ago the Power Rangers had appeared and Ranitime had found a blueprint to base her creation on. She had somehow known of a Phantom Ranger powered by a ruby. She had located the place where the ruby had been designed and had stolen two other jewels. The emerald was for him and the diamond was for Aaron, another test subject.
His escape would take careful planning and time. But he had plenty of both. The computer had told him he would be moved to a new facility in Nevada. That would make it easier to break free. He already knew that should he escape his current cell he still had to escape the Pentagon. Nevada would have tighter security but maybe not as many staff. Using his link to the computer he corrected one more part of his status, hoping to save himself some pain.
[Vocal Chords: Severed]
There was nothing left to do except wait.
United States Defence Department Research Facility, Area 51, Nevada
18 December 1996
They had made a mistake and he knew it. After weeks of waiting he had been moved to Doctor Ranitime’s secret facility. Doctor Grayson and his former staff were dead, poisoned by a slow acting toxin Ranitime administered before leaving. The US Government would take care of the bodies and the facility.
Area 51 had been built to contain captured aliens for dissection and understanding. In truth NASADA dealt with extraterrestrial visitors with UNIT acting as advisors so Area 51 was now a weapons testing zone currently at Ranitime’s full disposal.
The last few months had been difficult for Garth. He had been isolated without even the visits from Doctor Grayson to look forward to. But, after the metal coating had been completed and was a proven success he had been visited on a more regular basis. The interface between his emerald power source and his other enhancements was better than expected. He had downloaded every military file on combat, strategies, procedures and anything he though might be useful.
Then they had moved him, but allowed him to remain conscious. They thought a blindfold would be sufficient if used along with a warning about the futility of escape. It hadn’t worked. He now knew everything about the facility where he was stored. The blindfold had stopped his eyes from seeing, but not his infrared implants. His mind had noticed the shift in equilibrium as they descended to the point where he understood why nobody ever escaped.
They had locked him in a cell like the one at Arcadia Academy, but this cell contained more than a bed. There were guards outside, but nobody inside. They had removed his power source, but left it within reach and secured him with only a single chain. Their final mistake had been to leave a mirror where he could find it.
A single look was enough to send him over the top. His body was a mess of cuts and bruises caused by Ranitime’s toughening up process. On his skin were the results of various objects used to inflict pain. Branding Irons, whips, canes, the woman had known no limits in her attempts to ensure Garth experienced as much pain as possible.
Of course Rani would never have inflict the pain without a good reason. She had no real morals, but she did not believe in wasting resources. All the pain and torture had served a purpose. As Garth had experience the pain his computer enhanced brain had adapted to eliminate the sensation in future. The result was a Ranger who would feel no pain.
After taking a few deep breaths, Garth threw himself onto the floor. The chain on his left ankle acted as a stop and with an effotr he was able to support his weight on one hand whilst the other reached under the metal frame. There he found the wires used to support the matress and with a little effort managed to free a small section. By bending it carefull he made a lock pick he could use to free his ankle.
With a final look at his cell Garth pulled on the leather vest he was supposed to wear at all times. With the leather jeans and bald head nobody in their right mind would approach him. He heard a key in the lock and disappeared under the bed.
“It’s time to go'” he said cheerfully.
The door opened and two men walked in. Both carried tasers just in case they were needed. In truth the men simply enjoyed watching Garth react to pain.
“He’s gone!” one of the men cried noticing the opened chain and the missing emerald.
“Sound the alarm,” the other one instructed. “I’ll call Ranitime.”
They had no time to do so. Garth had inserted the emerald as soon a he heard the door unlock.
“Teckno-Ranger Mode!” He whispered.
The words weren’t necessary but helped him control the transformation. His cranial implanted activated, modulating the power of his emerald to trigger the morphing sequence. From the palms of his hands and the soles of his feet tiny nozzles emerged. The computerised implant ensured the receptors located on the boy’s body were working correctly before triggering the nozzles.
Ultra fine cables shot from the nozzles connecting to points all over the body. The cables expanded and linked to form a black Plastoid skill. The yellow boots, gloves and body plate formed next. Finally as the emerald rested in his chest and full faced helmet other his head he triggered Stealth Mode and became invisible.
All this took place in mere seconds of hearing the door start to open. As the two guards entered he was stil lying under his bed, but invisible to their eyes. He knew he could smash his way out. Instead by using his head Garth had saved himself a job. Now he just needed to ensure they couldn’t cal for help too soon.
With a burst of strength he threw the bed into the doorway, preventing their escape. A few quick punches and it was all over. The guards were flat on their back and Garth was free.
He checked his internal database and noted the security procedures Ranitime had put in place should he escape. The first was an Ion Field designed to knock his system offline. A simple command to switch off all his implants defeated that device. A gas pump had also been designed to make him visible. The was more of a problem until he remembered his plan.
Reaching the lift he bypassed the security system and opened the door. Setting the lift for the top floor he kicked a hole in the base of the lift car. As the car stopped he dropped through the lift floor and swung to the cables behind the lift. He then slid to the base of the lift shaft, noting the change in gravity as he did so.
Doctor Ranitime had designed the complex to be escape proof. One of the many features she had included was a gravity shift halfway through the building. The last few floors had been turned upside down so the occupants walked on the ceiling. This ensured any escapees who naturally used the lift to go higher were in fact moving deeper into the complex.
Closing his eyes he allowed his computerised balance system to adjust his senses. As the knowledge he was now pointing towards the ground filled his mind Garth swung his body down.
In his hand a small axe appeared, which he put to good use. Driving the axe into the doors and pulling he forced them open. Scanning the room he detected guards in their normal positions.
Sneaking past was no problem until he stood by the door. The guards would not notice him, but they would notice a door opening and even though bullets would not hurt him he knew some of the outer defences could.
“ATTENTION ALL PERSONNEL, THERE WILL BE AN ELECTRO SHOT IN THIRTY SECONDS. PLEASE STAND BY!”
Garth’s heart sank. He knew that an electric shock would disable his brain functions and allow Ranitime to find him. Closing his eyes he set a plan in motion and closed his eyes. Then the shock hit him.
His mind disabled by the current, Garth’s implants took control. Acting on its own Garth’s body exploded into action, smashing through the doors and running towards freedom. His friends and brother were forgotten as the computer determined its first goal was to get him to safety. In a while Garth would recover and make his way to the one place a Ranger could be safe, Angel Grove. He was going home.
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