TheIkranRider

We Are VR Troopers!

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TheIkranRider

We Are VR Troopers

Episode 93
The Backstory

Disclaimer: First off, I don't the VR Troopers, nor Mutant League Football. The former goes to Saban and Toei Entertainment, and the latter goes to EA and Sega; I just happened to be a huge fan when I was a youngster.

Introducing the crossover I came up with since I was a kid. I came up with this idea since I was around 7 years old. And both things have influenced me greatly. It's strange that I was turned on by the VR Troopers and not their sister series, Power Rangers; yet, they never finished due to Saban running out of stock footage. If only we could finish a third season somehow. So, without further adieu, let me introduce you to something so bizarre that it may make a difference to both sides...

This all happened during the start of the football season. Grimlord, Gen. Ivar, and Col. Icebot had begun their invasion on virtual reality. At The Battlefield, the former Galaxy Aces were defeating the Sixty Whiners seamlessly, until...

The field was attacked and the Whiners were killed almost instantly during the bombing. Most of the audience evacuated; however, upon exposure to radiation, everyone gradually rotted and transformed into mutants, while some actually died. Blood Clot was one of the lucky players that left unscathed, yet he still turned into an abomination. Soon, all of the stadiums and fields were nuked, forming deep craters, landmines, and the enormous mutations. The only inhabitants that weren't affected were the dragon-like Aliens, as well as the Trollz. The majority of the survivors have turned themselves into skeletons with bare bones, or freaks with superhuman enhancements.

Despite the sudden losses and destruction, the football season began a complete overhaul; the Mutant League Football was born, and customs were changed radically. Unbeknownst to them, the battle was also raging outside in the real world, where three young adults were recruited by Prof. Horatio Hart, enlisting them as the VR Troopers. Their mission was to put a stop to Grimlord's mayhem in virtual reality. They took the fight there, as well as the break through the reality barrier, while the games were still taking place.

It wasn't until a young girl named Chita Comett was playing one of her favorite Sega Genesis games that she was introduced to them personally. She first met Ryan, Kaitlin, and J.B. as she became fascinated in learning karate at Tao's Dojo. Unfortunately, she wasn't as coordinated as the rest of the junior division, nor had good balance. Despite her hinderances, every once in awhile she'd hang out with the trio after school while also getting some help with her own work, as well as doing some odd jobs. Since then, Ryan had been a good friend and mentor towards her, and that actually developed her first crush. While the team went into battle she would watch them unfold via the professor's lab along with Hart and Jeb, encouraging her heroes on.

Through a tear in the reality barrier on one fateful day as she was playing the same game, she was sucked into the War Stadium and came across the players; she recognized them within a moment's notice, and the team didn't lay a hand on her. They were quite impressed that someone from the outside knew who they were.

Shortly afterwards, both the Slammers and Chita encountered the Troopers as they faced off with one of Grimlord's robots named Footbot that looked similar, though abhorrent, to an actual football player. Thinking it was an insult, Docken and Shocken led the ambush along with their close friends Blood Clot, Razor Kidd, Snake, Nelson, Mortar and the twin Trollz, Mo and Spew Puke. They later introduced themselves, and the trio couldn't thank Chita enough for finding some reinforcements while they were searching for her. After they took her home, they decided unanimously to make contact with them utilizing Prof. Hart's technical assistance. And that was how the bond between the Troopers and the Mutant League began.

The guys could never forget all those times the Troopers have saved and assisted their hides as well as protected their domains. It was actually thanks to Professor Hart who managed to find some more of the resistors deep within virtual reality. They couldn't be more grateful on how their broken lives were spared: From the moment when the Vile Vulgars scattered out of their turf while the big bad made the nearby cave his temporary base in the Hump Dome as Tyler Steele was held hostage. To the Killer Konvicts and the Icebay Bashers helping them fight back at their slippery fields. Even the times when Grimlord invaded the Void Club, also known as the Indigo Sector, and the Rad Rockers evacuated unscathed. There were also the Road Warriors, Psycho Slashers, Darkstar Dragons, as well as others, and even the bullies such as the Terminator Trollz and the Slaycity Slayers lend a hand.

As their determination grew, more and more teams bound together, drove away most of Grimlord's armies and befriended the trio. They were quite impressed that a small number of courageous, resourceful, not to mention average humans could stand up against such unspeakable odds. Although nearly all the players were united, there was a lonesome group of robots known as the Turbo Techies that resided on a distant, massive space rock called Asteroid 66; they had little to no interest working with organic lifeforms, skin or no skin, as they were too primitive for their tastes. They were the most mysterious and they were rarely seen, unless if there were to be a new Playoffs game, or the occasional Single Game. Not to mention they always spoke in beeps and chirps instead of communicating in "a normal manner" as Blood Clot would say. The location was eventually found as J.B. programmed Galileo in both worlds.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck. The Battlefield was destroyed and the League's best team, the Galaxy Aces, have died trying to fend off Grimlord and his onslaughts. Everyone of the mutants had perished, excepting Blood Clot who narrowly escaped.

Overtime, the War Slammers and their coach, The General, had officially made the Troopers allies to the war effort, as did the other regrouping teams scattered across the virtual realm. J.B. eventually got the Superhumans rounded up by Blood Clot from the Road Warriors, Ryan joined the Aliens who were recruited by the Razor Kidd who was dumped by the Psycho Slashers and became a vital part of the Screaming Evils, Jeb got Mo and Spew Puke and the Trollz due to their wicked sense of humor, Kaitlin got the Skeletons led by Snake from the Deathskin Razors, and Hart mentors with the coaches, mostly The General. At one point, the Superhumans and the Skeletons revealed they were human once before they were mutated, so they had a soft spot for the trio. And that was when Razor Kidd personally got involved with helping his best friend find his father and rescue him from Grimlord. Unfortunately the Mutants were overmatched by Ziktor's massive upgrade, even by Despera's fatal staff which incinerated some of their teammates before Ryan with his new power suit arrived. There was also a point when Snake and the Razorskins made a protest as they found out about Kaitlin's dark motives, which turned out to be her doppelganger's doing.

And finally, with the help from J.B.'s little space probe, Galileo, he was able to find a desolate location known as Asteroid 66, the home of the lesser known team in the League, the Turbo Techies.

And now, the long-awaited war has been declared. The fate of both worlds will soon be decided. Will Grimlord's long reign can finally be put to an absolute end in favor of the Troopers and Mutants? Only time, and space, can tell the final tale!

A/N: The inspiration of Chita first came from a comic book that caught my eye as a kid that was simply named The Comet. And later I was also enthralled by how majestic and fast cheetahs were. I wasn't really into the comic much, and I did come up w/ the lame alias known as the Comet for Ryan (in his season 2 avatar) and Cheetah for...well, Chita. So I decided to name her Chita Comett instead; I just didn't want to give up on those terms entirely, but use them in a better fashion. This was before I started using OCs more properly, I was just starting out with fanfic concepts after all.

Besides...Ryan Steele was indeed my first-ever crush. There was always something about him that fascinated me when I was a kid; even now I see him as the main hero. It could be almost anything really. I know it sounds embarrassing, but that's when this whole thing started. It's about darn time this series finally gets the finale it truly deserves. Too bad Saban ran out of footage; I don't understand why we can't just finish it with the advanced technology we have now. I doubt the cast would be willing to reprise their roles, and the actors that played Tao and Karl have bit the dust. So, I'm tired of false hope; let's finish this thing, shall we?

Oh...and I thought I can do 2 parts in 1 vid, but it took too long... I'll release the 2nd vid and 2 vids in the next part, if u want to read along.

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TheIkranRider

A/N: I forgot to mention that the Mutants' possible debut to the series is Field Goal, which was a shame since they didn't make an appearance until way after the Dark Heart arc; if only I can remember when I really introduced the fighters...

Aside from the cancellation of the VR Troopers due to the depletion of stock footage, there's one tiny problem that really bothered me about the series...

THE VR TROOPERS NEVER HAD A FREAKING ARMY! I'M SICK THAT IT'S JUST THE 3 OF THEM AGAINST GRIMLORD WITHOUT AN ARMY! HOW CAN THEY STAND A CHANCE AGAINST HIM AND HIS ARMY WITHOUT ONE?! HOW?!

Ahem... Sorry for that outburst, guys. But in all honesty, the odds would've been truly against them if this should happen. I mean, have we forgotten what happened to Ryan Steele during the season one finale!? I never thought he'd be back after he lost his virtual powers, nor survive the self-destruction of the Dungeon; Grimlord has been becoming stronger since minute one. Also, the last episode, Galileo's New Memory, may have had a good ending since Grimlord was stranded in space, but it just wasn't satisfying enough.

Also, in some personal way, Cyan's Theme from FFVI sort of reminds me of Ryan and his philosophical ways; at the time I wasn't a huge fan of RPGs, yet I did see my sis play them a lot, and I guess it just stuck to me since. So I'll have to start with that.

Episode 94
The Virtual Reality War

The story begins as usual with Ryan at the ancient Buddhist Temple, summarizing something very serious, and also developing a lesson his dad taught him. And his greatest of all, was humanity.

"My dad has taught me many things while I was growing up. From when I was a simple baby to a mature tween it was just me and him alone and against the world, as he taught me his greatest virtues and attributes, not just in learning how to fend yourself but also those lessons about life itself. He has been an inspiration to me, and I was so glad that I finally returned to him safe and sound after 10 long years while he was gone. I feel I've been becoming more like him everyday, and that's all that I wanted to be. But one of his most prestigious lessons that he bestowed upon me, and the only one that summed up everything that I was taught, was humanity. And that was one lesson that I will never truly forget..."

At an opaque basement being crowded by various gizmos and gadgets, Dr. Poindexter was marveling over J.B.'s robot, Galileo, which was just rescued by Kaitlin and J.B. from Grimlord's Virtual Dark Fortress. During that time a program, or rather a calculation of the universe, overrode Oraclon's drainage, resulting an overload and rendering the ship unusable and immobile. Upon the robot's freedom, the creepy head's circuits and computer banks were fried.

He was actually destroyed twice, once prior when Ryan blasted away his tentacles and small body by his Laser Pistol while also impaling his center third eye by his Laser Saber. As he was being stranded in deep space, and cyberspace, Grimlord then vowed revenge for the Troopers as his lair and Oraclon were being repaired, but with very little luck.

Just then, the tech geek met up with the Troopers and Chita. And he couldn't be more happier to see them after saving J.B.'s prized possession.

"Guys! So glad you made it!" he went up to them and shook Ryan's hand. "I can't thank you enough for rescuing Galileo."

"No problem, Doc." Ryan said.

"It was easy, actually." J.B. added.

"J.B. just set off an explosion to that scary head, Oraclon!" Chita beamed.

Kaitlin explained, "What she's trying to say is, J.B. had commanded Galileo to calculate the entire universe, disabling the drainage, and destroying Oraclon in the process."

"So now that Grimlord's in space somewhere, does that mean he's finished for good? Have you finally won the battle?!" Poindexter asked enthusiastically.

Chita made a huge grin, though the trio just looked at each other in uncertainty. Before she made an outburst, Ryan intervened, "We're-not really so sure about that yet."

Just then, Galileo's head began twisting and he spoke, "I can help you find the Dark Fortress if you like."

"Yeah, maybe we can really find him and finish him off this time." the young girl cheered.

"I don't know, Chita. Grimlord could still be in virtual reality somewhere." J.B. thought aloud. Then, an idea hit him. "Hey, maybe we can plug in Galileo into the virtual world so he can help track him down."

"Great idea, J.B." Poindexter said. "Do you think he can do it?"

"I know so. I did program him to keep our secrets safe, just in case anything happens to the lab, or any other piece of information Grimlord could find."

Ryan volunteered. "Let's bring Galileo to the lab. I'm sure he can be very useful on finding the Dark Fortress' location." He paused for a moment, thinking that this could be the day when his nemesis would fall and his father would be safe.

"Hey, Ryan, you okay?" Kaitlin asked as she put a reassuring hand on his back.

"Yeah. I just hope we can pull out all the stops and finally finish him off, so that both worlds and my dad would finally be safe."

"Then let's do it."

"We'll definitely take the fight to him." J.B. shared his friend's determination. And Poindexter wished them luck as they marched out of his technology trove.

They made it to Professor Hart's lab, and for once without incident, not even an attack made by any of the evil overlord's air fighters. Jeb was just lounging on the long platform, awaiting a scrumptious meal to be materialized.

While J.B was hooking Galileo up to his computer, there was a contact coming to the lab itself.

"I'm picking up a signal from the War Stadium; the General is hailing us." Prof. Hart shown a display of a certain someone wearing a crimson red top hat, a suit with the same color, and yellow reptilian skin with a pair of ears sticking out like a bat's.

"General! What a surprise!" Chita exclaimed; he was undoubtedly her favorite Mutant League Football coach, particularly to her preferred team, the War Slammers.

"Hey, Troopers. I heard you were successful on disabling Grimlord's Virtual Fortress, but...I sincerely doubt the battle's over."

"Yeah, we kind of feel the same way." Ryan said. "Galileo is being hooked into virtual reality so he can find the location. It's about time we'll finish him off."

"Yeah, I've also heard about J.B.'s contraption, and as long as Col. Icebot and Gen. Ivar are around, our nemesis would find a way to make the Fortress operational again." He then rubbed his neck in embarrassment, "Which still...brings me to something I've regretted on not informing you sooner."

"What is it, General?" the science wiz queried.

"I'm sure you guys haven't heard of the Turbo Techies yet, have you?" he mentioned sheepishly. They all replied they haven't, although Chita was the only one that had.

"The Turbo Techies, they're a team of robots!"

"Indeed, they are, Chita. They reside on a desolate area in space known as Asteroid 66. It has low gravity, and it usually orbits around the Void Club."

"We're on it, General." J.B. said as he continued to punch around his keyboard. "Lock, I got it."

"Location of Asteroid 66, confirmed." Galileo clicked its head.

Everyone went over, and a large rotating particle of grey space rock was revealed, its rocky terrain covered in craters. They eventually saw an actual field complete with a goal post and yard lines. They had discovered from the robot's sensors indicating a large particle of space rock that had a football field. The mutant immediately described it as a desolate location that is home to the elusive team in the entire Mutant League, the Turbo Techies. They were known as a group of hardwired robots each one looking and sounding alike; they were also led by their coach named Tran Shooter, who also happens to be an active teammate from time to time. They had weak reserves, meaning they couldn't stand against direct hits, though their attacks such as Electrocution and Rumble Fumble can leave some powerful marks.

"I apologize for not telling you, Troopers. But the Techies is a team we know the least about, and possibly one of the weakest."

"Hey, better late than never, General." Ryan said. "We should check it out. Maybe they can help us find Grimlord. I'll transform and emerge onto the surface!"

"Great idea, Ryan." Chita replied. Though the others weren't so thrilled.

"I wouldn't be so certain." Prof. Hart chimed in. "The General did say the Techies are the least well-known. It may be unwise to let them meet someone who's not a mutant. They may not welcome intruders that're foreign to them."

"Ah, yes, the professor has a point there, as always. We need to make a good impression instead of waging war; they're very territorial on their turf. Besides, we can't bring our hopes up too high, as they could be a threat. I tell you what, I'll send my team to the astral field and negotiate with them. My colleagues has met them a few times during the season, mostly in single games." He enlisted the usual, Razor Kidd, Blood Clot, Mo and Spew Puke, and Snake, to investigate the low gravity turf; however, they had no ways of reaching it. Instead, J.B. programmed Galileo and asked it to create a portal in the Indigo Sector, or as the Mutants call it the Void Club, which then led to their destination.

With the two links inputted, Galileo confirmed, "Portal successful, leading to Asteroid 66." The team cheered.

"Ok, the Mutants are on their way. Let's hope for the best." the General said.

The guys unanimously decided to stick together, just in case if the Techies should strike unawares. Although they needed to tread carefully since there were a few pit holes with incredible depths from many meteors that impacted the field. This also explained why the terrain itself looked so jigged as it appeared to be a shooting gallery's target as well as having some collapsible areas here and there. Although there weren't any landmines, the only hazard present was wandering off the asteroid into the intense vacuums of deep space. Unfortunately, they realized they were too late for the astral field was already barren with no members of the Techies in sight. Not even on the mint green end zones.

Kaitlin asked after several moments have passed; the team was keeping an eye on the mutants. "Find anything yet?"

"No, not yet." Snake answered.

"How's it going up there?" Ryan queried.

"This place looks deserted, and it's no wonder considering it's said to be constantly hit by space rock." Razor Kidd said.

"Or maybe it's because they can't stand their smell of burning wires, nor oil, after they'd take a dump. Bleh heh heh heh!" Mo Puke teased.

"Good one, Mo." his twin brother, Spew, commented, as he gave him a high-five.

"Oh, you and your distasteful sense of humor. You need to come up with better jokes this time around." Jeb stuck out his tongue.

Kidd spoke again, "Yeah, well... The only live thing we see is that skull goal post moving his head around, looking at us." This gave him the shutters. "This guy's really creeping me out a little."

"You sure you don't want us to come down?"

"I'm positive, J.B." Blood Clot said. "I don't want you guys to waste your time since there's no sign of intelligent life anywhere-"

All of a sudden, the goal's head fixated on the Mutants and shot some red laser beams from its eyes! They scrambled in every direction to avoid the lethal rays. But they were far from safe, as the skull later detached itself and continued its rampage. The guys at the lab were growing worried for them, and the Pukes accidentally collided with each other, stunning them.

"We gotta destroy that skull!" Clot screamed. He was about to take out some long, red grenades until Kidd stopped him.

"No we gotta get outta here! The General warned us they're territorial."

"It's trying to defend itself from intruders, we have to get going before we're churned into steaks, extra crispy!" Snake screeched.

"I'm sending the Vortex command, now." J.B. vigorously typed on the keyboard.

As they saw the Mutants escape to the Indigo Sector, Ryan then found his words, "Kidd, Mutants! Are you guys alright?"

"Yeah, that was close. But not close enough." the dragon bragged as he panted.

"We owe you one, J.B. It's no wonder the General said they were territorial." Clot huffed. The Trollz were holding their heads in anguish.

"Yeah, but, this is very unlikely. I've never seen anything like this before. It's mostly just for show." J.B. reasoned. Chita was freaked out by that stunt and she was being comforted by Kaitlin and Jeb.

"Do you think, maybe..." Kidd trailed off.

"Grimlord." Everyone looked attentively at Ryan, as if he read his ally's mind. "He must have programmed the goal post to keep some of the Mutants at bay. Maybe he has something to do with the Techies disappearance."

"If that's the case, then it's possible that they are working for him." Hart said.

That put the Mutants in a shocked silence. "That-that can't be-!" Chita stammered.

"You mean that the Techies have been working for him right under our snotty noses?!" Clot was outraged, shaking his clenched fist in his spiked glove. "That does not rock!" The other teammates held him back before he should lose his temper; he always tended to hold a grudge, especially against him.

"Hmph, more like heavy metal." Snake muttered. "The Dark Fortress must still be operating somewhere in space." She hissed at the thought.

"I'll have Galileo track its coordinates, and also the Techies as well."

"Hurry, J.B." Kaitlin said. "I don't like the sound of this." She attempted to assure the shaking Chita once more.

"I knew the battle was far from over..." Ryan pondered.

To the heroes dismay, there were Wires, Circuis, Circuit, Gil-9000, Robotus, Nitram, and Trans Shooter within the center of the stage. The other killer machines were among Doom Master and Grimlord's other cronies. Oraclon was missing from the center and all that was left was a large, deep, bright red hole in the backwall. The head of the Techies was standing in front of it, its eyes sneering a shiny cinnabar.

"So, the Mutants and the VR Troopers have fallen into my trap and discovered my plans." the evil emperor growled.

"Indeed, they have, Sire." Despera said.

"With the Turbo Techies under our control we shall triumph over our enemies, and soon rule all of reality!" Doom Master pumped his fist.

It turned out that they beat the heroes to the punch, and through reprogramming by Icebot, they were subordinate and loyal to him and his warriors. The Virtual Dark Fortress wasn't moving before, though it was conveniently above that asteroid field. His troops saw the wandering bots then descended and abducted the Techies with little effort. The dark lord may not need Oraclon after all, since he claimed they're far better with having knowledge of the Mutant League and were more versatile; "Without their mutant army, the Troopers will be defenseless and easier to defeat." As usual they cheered for their master, while the Techies raised their bionic arms in unison and chirped as their eyes glowed as red as the goal post's.

Back at the lab, The General heeded to the heroes because the Techies were the least known and their attacks were lethal to organic mutants, the Troopers might not be ready and Prof. Hart added it'll make the infiltration to Grimlord's space craft difficult. J.B. even tried not just to look for it, but also hacking in for a weakness or a breakthrough, though his attempts were useless thanks to the Techies' protective firewalls. Chita weakly asked how they're going to find and penetrate it. And there was only way to resolve this issue... The group dreaded this but they had no choice, they must let the eggheads, Tyler and Prof. Hart, do the upgrades.

"Wait, you really think my dad can do it?" Ryan asked excitedly.

"I'm positive, Ryan. He does still have the knowledge and resources of advanced virtual technology." Hart stated. It was no surprise since Tyler Steele claimed he was trekking around the world for more highly-advanced technology in order to turn the tides of the battle. He did create the Troopers, after all, and he gave his son a redesigned virtual suit. That alone raised Ryan's and Chita's confidence, although he was held back on the possibility he could get captured again.

A few days later, as the experts were doing their own thing, the Troopers and Chita were relaxing at a nearby park. Their minds weren't completely at ease, however, as they couldn't get the Mutants' fate nor the anticipated plans, nor Grimlord's new agenda with the Techies off their minds; they were also curious as to who they were and what they were capable of, even Chita. While they were discussing, she was easily distracted by her schoolwork; late grammar school was not so easy. J.B. volunteered to help her understand her reading assignment, about answering some questions that required "Critical thinking." Soon, they were ambushed by Skugs who were disguised as park attendants, one of them holding a rake, and the quartet were getting tired of them.

"We'll deal with this later. We got a struggle of our own." the black Trooper stated. Ryan ordered Chita to hide with Jeb, which wasn't really a surprise.

"Come on, Jeb, let's go." she said as she led him away to a hiding spot by which she had trouble finding. It was easy for the hound, as he scurried into a fallen trash can; Chita refused to go in it, gagging all the while. During the fight, one thug eventually fixed on the single target.

"Jeb, run!" The canine actually obeyed her.

She avoided its advances on her using her evasiveness. "Get away from me, you stupid lunkhead!" She actually managed to kick the goon in the chest, forcing it back. He collided toward a bench then pummeled on the pavement on its back. She then marched up and gave it another kick to its head, and while he saw an opening, Ryan gave a strong kick to another Skug backing it toward the other, and they both dissipated when their bodies made contact. Meanwhile, both Kaitlin and J.B. got their hands full as the remaining pair transformed into Ultra Skugs. They strenuously finished them as one of the pseudo-monkeys' bodies got caught in between the two intersecting tree trunks. Chita was quite excited this was the first time she ever confronted the foot soldiers, and the trio couldn't be more prouder.

She wished she could've finished a whole legion of Skugs that'll surround her, then she would knock one into the other and the remaining thugs would follow suit, resulting in a "domino effect."

All of a sudden, there was a chirp coming from Ryan's VR-T, interrupting the brief congratulations. It was the General again and this time, both he and his soldiers looked as if they were loaded for bear, they were also very frantic.

He informed angrily the anxious mutants couldn't wait forever, as each one of their domains was being bombarded by Grimlord's assaults. All their home fields and stadiums were devastated as he shown him screenshots, only a small handful of lucky survivors from every team survived from his wraths, including Clot, Kidd, himself, as well as others. All of virtual reality was destroyed except for one single area, Asteroid 66.

The General rallied up his teammates. "Listen up, slimebuckets. You no longer hold that rancid rank anymore, you've now evolved into Troopers, just like them. Grimlord may kill us all as well as our homes, but he can never break our spirits. I keep telling my colleagues back here that these warm feelings of peace and serenity wouldn't last; no matter how many times we have won, he'll always sprout out from the ashes of failure. And so will WE! WE should let Grimlord know who's boss! And we shall show him that he won't live long enough to be the master of the virtual world. This is our domain! We should let our rage fill our heads, no matter how much space there is up there. If we win this one, you shall expect me to treat you all with the utmost respect, but don't count on it. Now, don't try to change our one-tracked berserker minds, we are going to fight in his final war, with you, or without you!"

As the transmission ended, they were going back to the lab via Kaitlin's red automobile. Razor Kidd soon snarled over the display, "Ryan, I've never seen The General like this. He may be angry and crazy, but this is just beyond insanity here! I always had a desire on dominating my own world, not let MINE be dominated by that maging monster! We're the only ones who can prevent all this, and we can both rule it together with absolute valiance! You and I, and your old man, have suffered enough. This is not a game anymore. It's WAR!"

"We're on our way now, Kidd." Chita said.

"This truly is a battle to the end." J.B. realized with awe.

"Well, if it's a fight he wants, it's a fight he'll get. We should never let Grimlord rule all realities. We're right with you." Ryan cried with determination.

As they were heading back to base, the War Slammers led the invasion in the Indigo Sector. "This is it my loyal and trusted subjects. If we won't live to see another dire day, just remember, we are the War Slammers, and this is what we do! Yaarrrgh!" With their guerilla and sharp weapons drawn, they rushed in and tackled some of Grimlord's Skugs down so deep that even the grave diggers would have a hard time finding their scrap metal. The Slammers were joined by the weaker teams, including the Road Warriors, Rad Rockers, Killer Konvicts, and the Vile Vulgars. They're might and blood were boiling as hot as magma despite the henchmen's lethal tactics, including Despera's staff! That alone caused the armies to scramble, and their numbers dropped drastically.

The human quartet made their entrance, and Tyler was awaiting them.

"Professor, the Mutants are going on a full-scale assault on Grimlord and his armies!" Ryan reported.

"It has been confirmed. The Mutants have declared war; knowing them, they won't stop until all their blood has been shed."

"This is not good. My friends are out there!" Chita pointed out.

"They'll never stand a chance as long as they charge into battle this way; we need strategy, tactics." J.B. reasoned.

"They could be done for if they continue to be so reckless, even against Despera and Grimlord's other generals, even the Techies." Kaitlin added.

"Which is why we may need you." Tyler spoke to the junior trooper, putting the late teens in an awkward silence.

"Dad? Are-are you sure about this?"

"Definitely, Ryan. Her time is now. It is true we need to plan our strategies accordingly, otherwise we cannot win." He switched on a translucent wall capsule containing a yellow armor suit that's about four feet tall, has a hungry face and spots related to a wild cat's, complete with a long, curly tail.

Through all of Chita's valiant efforts, directly and indirectly, Tyler demonstrated her the new Virtual Reality suit, which had similar traits to a cheetah despite the arm and leg blades. It even came with her own whipping tail designed for offense and balance. Her outlook was the first of its kind being enhanced with animalistic abilities, though it was experimental, as she may not be as powerful as the other Troopers. She was still a beginner after all, especially in combat where she could barely hold her own.

"Wow, Tyler, this is great! Thank you!" she beamed, her face lighting like a Christmas tree. She thought she could never have that golden opportunity, and literally so.

"Oh, I almost forgot. You're own Virtualizer." He dangled it in front of her, and it illuminated in a bright electrical banana hue, including the topaz. "Do you accept the responsibility that has been given to you? The choice is yours, Chita."

She looked at her friends, who were wearing both expressions of disbelief and admiration. She then gave a salute, "Yes, sir!" The Virtualizer was placed into her small, but tremoring palm.

"Are you ready, Chita? Just say the magic words." Ryan encouraged her.

Everyone stood back as she told them do, took a deep breath, and raised her pendant proudly as she shouted, "Trooper transform. We are VR!" In a flashy display, Chita gradually changed into her cheetah-esque armor; the spectators could've sworn it let out a purr, like a wild cat about to claim its prey.

This was truly the first time that Chita has proven her worth as the fourth Virtual Reality fighter! And the VR war itself is only the beginning.

A/N: If there's any species of the Mutant League that'd be my absolute favorite, it's gotta be the Aliens! I always liked these dragons from the Psycho Slashers, or any other team I'd see them in. They look, perform, and even sound awesome. And I'd always considered them to be great allies to Ryan since they both are great! Also, from a guide I found, each species has certain characteristics that can be similar to every Trooper; for instance, the Aliens are considered as wild cards, I'd probably pick the same for Ryan since you never know when they're gonna get out of a jam. J.B. and the Superhumans are both well-rounded, and perhaps the strongest offensively, while Kaitlin and the Skeletons are nimble and quick, and the Trollz are just brutes on the field.

Speaking of which, you gotta admit, the dialogue in Mutant League Football is so hilarious, as graphic as it may sound!

Also, when the Troopers fight the Skugs, one of my favorite songs from the toku itself would play here, "C'mon, Let's Save the World." I also had a theme song in mind for Chita, from an ad of sorts way back in '94-96, but I can't seem to find it. I kinda want this fic to be in a movie-like format, instead of the usual as a syndicated series.

Anyway, the VR war has begun! This time, it's personal as the Mutants have finally desired to bring Grimlord to his knees, as the series itself failed to do. But, they're currently fighting a losing battle using brute force instead of tactics, and that's when Tyler and Chita would come in. What will happen next, well we'll find out next time.

 

 

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A/N: I once heard this oldie when I was a kid; at first I thought it sounded like it was saying the cheetah, but after listening to it more, I realized it was actually saying, "The Cheater" instead. It was by Bob Kuban and the In-Men, actually.

Episode 95
Make Way for the Cheetah

Chita continued to admire her new VR avatar, which had similar traits to a cheetah, almost like her namesake. Meanwhile, the Mutants were still intercepting blindly into battle with Grimlord obviously having the upper hand, and Tyler Steele had just returned to the lab. He told the Troopers, especially Ryan, that he's been to many places that research in VR technology including Norway where his former teacher, Dr. Daniel Jacobson, and his daughter, Laurie, were, as well as Tokyo, Japan; Vancouver, Canada; and even the Quest Compound in Maine. He's found another mentor known as Dr. Benton Quest and his vast creation of Questworld was unique and incredible. It turned out that virtual technology exists in other places and they must stop Grimlord mow before it evolves immensely, specifically before the advent of the new millennium, where a virtual world would become a full-fledged universe, in other words, cyberspace.

"Wow. So virtual technology does exist. It's being developed throughout the world, and it'll soon be all around us."

"Let's not forget about the Internet." J.B. added. "Can't wait to see what THAT'LL have in store. I'm so sick of using the Ethernet and landlines; it is so yesterday."

"Indeed, it will, Ryan. That is why we must pull the plug on Grimlord now before he becomes insurmountably powerful, before all forms of VR technology will become more prominent. And eventually cyberspace will bend under his will. There's no time to waste." He then focused on the inexperienced Trooper, "Chita." She looked up, almost looked like a deer in headlights, "I will need your powers to assist us in this fight."

"We should go, too, Dad. Just until she gets the hang of it." Ryan suggested. His father was about to say something, until an alarm went off.

The professor called over it, "Battle Grid alert! Prepare for Battle Grid Mode!"

"I'll go with Chita on this one. You guys stay with my dad and monitor the war." The leading Trooper stated.

"Be careful, and take care of Chita." Kaitlin advised.

"I will. Ready, Chita?"

"You bet, Ryan!" She was so thrilled on having her mentor come along; how can it get any better than this.

"Although I should warn you, if any of you should fail to defeat the Skugs in the Battle Grid, you would be lost in there forever."

"I'm aware of that, Dad. I won't let anything happen to her."

While the duo transformed and then vanished there was a prolonged silence, excepting Kaitlin and J.B. pondering for their safe return. Tyler seemed to wear a guilty expression. Although he was a bit relieved that Ryan was away, as he was hesitant to explain to him about something.

"Detecting tense brainwaves." Galileo chirped as he kept turning his head.

"Thanks, Galileo." J.B. said, he then turned to Tyler. "Hey, what's wrong, is it Chita? Or the Mutants?"

He turned and he hesitated. "Troopers? This is something that's going to be very hard to explain. I'm glad Ryan's not here to listen to this."

"What is it, Tyler? You can tell us." Kaitlin assured.

After another brief pause, he later revealed that Grimlord is actually Karl Ziktor in his VR avatar. Nobody was able to make the connection, nor thought it was him, although Hart suspected as such. Then again, it wasn't too much a surprise, as they saw Karl himself rarely in person always polluting and corrupting the city. It was not really a shocker since Tyler, Karl, and Horatio were specialists in VR technology, then all of a sudden the Box of Isis got in the way and complicated matters, causing Ziktor to grow more in power, use his VR avatar for the first time, and become an archrival to the group, nearly killing Hart in the process with his incredible abilities. After over a decade of waiting, Tyler finally put the pieces together thanks to some awesome Mutants...The General and Razor Kidd!

It all started when the War Slammers' coach heard of the Troopers' archeological journey; Ryan had been researching an explorer named Nebraska Smith although Chita, needless to say, had no interest since she said it was too complicated and "way out of (her) league." Through that statement alone, that was when she made the call to the General, and he sent Razor Kidd along because he felt going to another dimension was very risky, so he only resorted to him. No heroics, which was unlikely, and no better timing since Ryan, and conveniently enough Doom Master, showed up. Kaitlin, J.B., and Nebraska were petrified and Jeb broke the professor's news. After the two brawlers were heading to the Indigo Sector, Ryan managed to solve the lethal puzzle made for intruders; he was then ambushed by Despera, and Kidd was left out of the picture again! So, the quarterback found out from an old, dusty chest containing a neon green hue and a large rock with huge blemishes containing Grimlord's true identity. Sadly, Ryan left them behind since Kaitlin and J.B. were still petrified by two halves of a mysterious shell that Doom Master used and that Despera dropped during combat. As Razor Kidd examined the face of Grimlord he opened the lid and an energy beam hit him dead center, knocking him out cold as Ryan was dealing with Hydrabot. By the time he was awakened, however disoriented, the gateway to the dimension was being sealed forever, and the puzzle itself had turned to dust as soon as everyone escaped!

"Grimlord's real human identity is none other than Karl Ziktor." The duo was stunned, even the professor. "We need to look for his settlement, Ziktor Industries, and enter it. It was all happening so fast, that I wasn't able to tell it was him. Until the General and Kidd unveiled it."

Soon after, Ryan and Chita returned victoriously. And he explained she was at a losing streak until the Mutants, Clot and Kidd, arrived in the nick of time.

"Blood Clot and Razor Kidd are with you guys? Great, I'll contact them. Can you send them a link, professor?"

"Will do, Tyler."

A few moments later, the Superhuman and the dragon were displayed. They greeted him and Tyler gave them the lowdown; the misfits tried with their associates but the General and the War Slammers had their hands full with mutants.

"You guys need to find a rip through the reality barrier. I'm going in after them."

Everyone gasped, but Ryan recovered. "Dad, no!"

"I must do it, son. To monetize the war, directly."

Clot was at a loss for words. Kidd tried to talk some sense into him, "But, Tyler-"

"No arguments now. This isn't the time nor the place. You guys promised me you'd look out for me after I was rescued by Ryan, Kaitlin, and J.B. So, this would be your assignment."

"Wait a minute, you're not just gonna go out there without some VR equipment." the black Trooper said.

"Which is why I need Chita; she would be a prefect distraction."

"Distraction? But, I'm just starting out." she said.

"Brute force could only escalate the problem. We need tactics to outmaneuver Grimlord. There's too much heat, we can't let the VR Troopers intervene just yet unless we dwindle their numbers.

"If anything should go awry, she can always return to our reality."

They had no choice but to agree with that, and Ryan reluctantly let him go. "Alright, but if anything should happen to you two, get out."

"We'll be keeping an eye on you guys from here." J.B. said. "Galileo has set the location."

Together, both Tyler and Chita found a rip in Clot's and Hart's coordinates and went through it while being escorted by the Road Warrior, along with Scary Ice and a few others such as Mortar, Bomber, Assault, Docken, Shocken, and Nelson in tow.

"Master Grimlord. A VR Trooper has entered our reality." Despera made the message.

"Excellent, Despera. We will show the Techies what they're truly made for, to divide and conquer the Mutants, and soon these meddling Troopers."

"There's more to it, Sire." informed Doom Master. "It is Chita and she has gathered herself with the other Mutants."

"Send an assault team down there now. We should clip their wings and never let them soar too high to victory. Do whatever's necessary to eliminate them."

"Understood." He replied with a bow, then left with Despera.

"Once we seize the novice Trooper, they will be as weak as kittens. Her loss will be our gain!" Grimlord made a triumphant fist.

They emerged in a desolate battleground, with the war raging in the distance; there was so many weapons firing and a lot of shouting. Tyler functioned as another effective general. The other head coaches such as Briska, Trickster, Madness, and Bones worked more indirectly as they led their own teams, providing tactical advantages, while the General did strategic ones.

First off, Tyler whispered to Chita to stay put as he assigned some of the best kickers, via walkie-talkie against Grimlord's aerial attackers, the killer helicopter, Air Stryker and Fighterbot, the humanoid jet. Moments later after he gave the other coaches his plans he ordered to wire the footballs and wait for the diversion underneath the thick canopy.

Clot figured it was insane going low ground, as one collision with branches could make the balls explode, destroying everyone in the process. Risk was part of the game, Tyler said.

"There they are. Tyler and Chita are hard to see, but according to my thermal scans, they're beneath some thick trees." J.B. analyzed. Their location was put into view, and everyone saw the two volatile air forces circling around and firing lethal rays at the Mutant armies, causing some collateral damage.

"I'll transform and summon the Blue Hawk to help us out!" Ryan said anxiously.

But his dad had a different objective. "I got another idea. Chita and the Mutants would help us clear the way. Professor, are her powers ready?"

"Her abilities are fully-functional; she can activate them now."

He then bent down to the kid's height. "Chita, I want you to wait for my signal. You see these goons flying around?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"Ok, I want you to go with the Mutants as soon as I give the go-ahead. Run as fast as you can and never look back. They will run right beside you. Don't be afraid, we have everything covered. Just believe in what you can do.

"Everyone, use your super speed to run alongside Chita. We will distract Fighterbot and Air Stryker allowing the kickers to have all the fun. We must make a preemptive strike on Grimlord's forces. Is that understood?" They all nodded in affirmation.

"You will tire out in a minute, so use it well." he advised Chita. She was quivering from top to bottom, but she knew in her heart she can do it, just like her friends would.

As soon as Air Stryker was looming close overhead, he finally let the race loose. "Go! Now!"

Chita went first, then came the Mutants. Within three seconds of running, Chita's VR powers were activated as she gained speed, going as fast as 60 miles per hour! Her allies followed suit using their own Super Speed, just like rushing toward the end zone before making a touchdown! They were all hurrying to the other side, where more thick canopies awaited them at the other side as they were heading toward it on a smooth, skinny pathway. At first, Chita was a bit terrified by the sudden increase in speed, but after a few moments, it was exhilarating!

"Targets in range!" Air Stryker spoke loudly over the mayhem, signaling its compatriot. It shot a volley of lasers and a few missiles, but due to their enhanced running distance, they were a near miss.

As soon as they reached the point underneath the shade, they all skidded to a stop on their feet. They were burning from the sudden halt, but the experience itself was so thrilling to say the least.

The decoy was successful, accompanied by mutant linebackers covering her, though Stryker was still on the pursuit for them, worrying the Troopers.

"Now, kickers! Take them down!" They obliged Tyler's commands.

Elsewhere in the warzone, several other monsters watched the two pilots circle around their targets. Though they had no cover, and another Superhuman led the fray on a tall cliff. "You heard the man, let's do it!"

Both fighters were shot down; however, Fighterbot collided toward the high precipice, causing a shock, then the air ships came out of nowhere and shot the summit and the overzealous kickers fell to their demise.

Meanwhile, the General was observing faraway and contacted Tyler as angry as ever. "WHO gave the order to attack from out of the open?!"

"No order, sir. Some of them got cocky and disobeyed."

"This is bad. This is VERY bad! They've sent the attack drones! We got to stop them from making anymore casualties. Victory cannot be in Grimlord's hands! So much for the foolproof plan." He was quite fumed by some of his best, and some of the worst, teammates by staying on open, high ground where they could be vulnerable to aerial attacks.

Chita and the other linebackers noticed the air space was clear from where they stood. "Coast is clear; those crazy kickers have eradicated the air bogies." Scary Ice said gleefully. "I can't wait to clobber more of Grimlord's cronies."

"They're no match for us!" Mortar cried.

"C'mon let's head back to our brave leader." Bomber added with a sarcastic comment.

"No need, Mutants. I'm right here." A voice came from behind and sure enough it was Tyler himself. They all saw him within the woods as the Alien embarrassingly tried to take back his snarky, forked tongue. "Well done, Chita."

She grew ecstatic, saying he should've seen her. He already has and congratulated the mutants, though Scary Ice wasn't convinced as he gave him a doubtful stare.

"Hey! Shouldn't you have been on the other side of the pathway with your buddies? How did he get here so fast, he doesn't have super speed like us!" He paused when an epiphany came to him, "Wait a minute..." He threw a nearby rock and the hologram began to flicker.

"Chita, stay away! It's nothing but a disguise! He's not Tyler Steele, but uh..." Ice got his answer as it was revealed to be a disguise made by Doom Master! He let out an intimidating laugh. The Alien hissed at him, "I should've known it was you! And I thought I was the one that makes lifeforms get the jitters, I'm Scary Ice!"

"Heh, nice to meet you, and your prestigious plan as slipped from your fingers like butter Bring me the girl, and no one should get maimed!" This caused her to cower behind her fellow Mutants.

"Never! We won't give up by the likes of you!" Docken and Shocken stepped in front.

"Very well. Vixens!" The tyrant summoned his deadly women with an arm spread out. They emerged from below. He pointed toward the hapless Trooper. "Take her away. We will deal with the meddlesome trio later. Grimlord will be pleased once we are through with her; and they would be at our mercy."

The lethal team marched up to the opposing group and started a free-for-all. It was five against seven, but they really became too much for the intimidated linebackers. One of them told her to skedaddle, but Doom Master was close on her trail. Chita scampered to her feet and ran out of the dark thicket, but the tall, diabolical minion immediately teleported inches away in front of her, stopping her at her tracks. She went the other way, but she was grabbed from behind and her mouth was covered, barely making her screams audible. She kept struggling to escape Doom Master's strong grip, but she couldn't escape no matter how hard she thrashed! They were taken away to a location unknown.

From the other side, Tyler, Clot and their commandeers stood by waiting for the rest of their team to show up. One of them pointed out the distant canopy shaking. Noticing it could be a sign of a struggle, Mr. Steele led them away from their hideout.

By the time they arrived, Scary Ice and his group were defeated, suffering from critical wounds. He managed to inform him in his weak, whispery tone, "Doom Master and the Vixens have overmatched us and taken Chita away... Stop them..!"

"Oh no... Chita. W-where did they take her?"

Scary Ice slowly raised a finger pointing west before he succumbed to his injuries.

She was taken to a cliff with a body of deep water 15 feet below. Despera and the Vixens watched as her feet were slipping. She was also doing whatever she could to prevent herself from falling off the eroding edge.

Since she had a little Egyptian knowledge while she was being created, Despera knew. "Ah, the cheetah, so majestic and mighty and worshipped by all. But she is definitely far too inferior to match up with those sacred animals. Even the VR Troopers! She cannott swim, and neither. Would. A cat."

"A cheetah may be a mighty feline, but she is only a puny, little cub." Doom Master taunted. He tightened his grip even further around Chita's waist, making her wail more. "Say goodbye to your friends, little kitty. You're all washed up! Fare thee well, fur ball!"

He then dropped her! She fell and then plunged to the deep lake below, drowning as she was flailing her limbs trying to keep herself afloat. Only...to have another of her virtual powers spontaneously activate! Tiny, microscopic hairs started to grow on her fingertips. By the time they did, they allowed her to attach herself to the rocky terrain. She broke the surface as her fingers made a strong clasp. She was able to resurface, with little time to spare, and she noticed the newly-grown needle-like material. After a few minutes catching her breath and receiving air to her excruciating lungs, she was able to scale the cliff to the top, where it was empty from Grimlord's generals.

Using the portable phone again, Tyler alerted the trio, almost as though he was losing breath. "Troopers, I have some difficult news to tell you. It's Chita, Grimlord's thugs had taken her and some of the mutants lost their vitals trying to protect her."

Everyone went very still and blanch. "What..? No..." Both Ryan and Tyler can't stand what happened to her; they would never forgive themselves if the worst should come. "Dad, we need to transform and get her out of there!"

J.B. scrambled to his computer. "I'll lock onto Chita's coordinates." He scanned for her VR essence and found her alive, at the top of a cliff on all fours! "Oh man...I found her!"

"What?" Ryan and Kaitlin couldn't believe their ears, or their eyes. They saw her drenched and confused, but she was just wandering away from the lake.

"Ah, Dad! She's alright!"

"What? Son, are you certain?" Tyler was still receiving the transmission from the lab.

"She's ok, we see her walking away from the water!"

"Oh, thank goodness. I need to retrieve her. But under no circumstances, do not engage the enemy."

"Alright, Dad. I hope you two could make it back in one piece-"

He immediately saw Chita and Tyler alive and well. She, on the other hand, was a bit bewildered and dumbfounded. Everybody cheered on her safe return. Though she couldn't remember how to turn back to her retro form. Ryan pointed to the button she needed to press and she said the command. She immediately turned back to her normal self, but as she sat on the long examination table, she caved in and broke down. Her friends were right by her side, reassuring her she did very well, even though she doubted she wanted to be a Trooper again.

After awhile, she was still very admired of Tyler's awesome ingenuity; he did save her life twice just moments apart utilizing a cheetah's natural abilities, and she herself doesn't make a good climber. She never even said a single action. He reminded them it was experimental and he mentioned that cheetahs can make excellent climbers and runners; with this setae she could scale any surface she never thought possible! Unfortunately, some of the mutants' best linebackers, including Scary Ice, have perished.

"I dread for the worst. With the Techies new programming, and as long as they're in Ziktor's hands, virtual technology will be more powerful than we can ever imagine."

"Errgh! I can't wait to mash these machines into space dust! They might as well perish along with their lifeless world they walk on!" On the screen, Clot was desperate to destroy them, much to Tyler's dismay.

"No, we mustn't destroy them. Listen to me, we need to spare their lives; it's the only way we can have an advantage in this war. Instead they need to be incapacitated so they could be reprogrammed to our side." That didn't really calm his heated comrade. Yet still, he went on, "Grimlord would send out his more powerful cadets later, as would the coaches. They'll deploy their stronger teams. The Psycho Slashers, Screaming Evils, Slaycity Slayers, Misfit Demons, and the Midway Monsters. But...we must continue our fight without their good kickers and runners. But with a pure heart, and a clear mind."

Tyler earnestly said there may be a better way by infiltrating Ziktor Industries and crush the green prism within; he remembered Grimlord draining his essence back at his torturous Virtual Dungeon to gain all his digital knowledge in receiving a massive upgrade. It was enough juice to power up the green prism, so it must be demolished at all costs.

Because it was still the Halloween season, the timing couldn't be more convenient; he prompted Chita to go as a trick-or-treater in a cheetah costume, while she can bring a few Mutants along using their "costumes" as a ploy. "Without that prism, there'd be no more of Grimlord's powers." Tyler looked into Ryan's eyes and apologized that he felt he abandoned him after spending a decade apart. He never wanted to end it this way, from always travelling the world for finding better ways to seize Grimlord, to being brainwashed into a monster and operating his army. He wished he could make up for all the sins he bared if he could, even though he knew he couldn't change the past. Ryan would never want it any other way, and he didn't mention his real name and vowed to keep a secret, otherwise he'd be slewed if he'd find out.

Clot made a rebuttal, "He'll be killed either way, anyway." Everyone smiled at that.

Regardless, Tyler was glad he finally did. He and Ryan embraced each other, but it was short-lived as an alarm went off, turning the interior of the lab red.

"What's going on?" Chita whimpered. She was about to cover her ears.

"Grimlord has broken into the reality barrier. And his troops are heading right this way. If they should progress further, then we must evacuate." Professor Hart's voice descended as he saddened.

"No, we can't abandon the laboratory, Professor! Nor you!" Kaitlin startled.

"Grimlord may win this battle, Kaitlin, "Tyler said. "But we must survive to ensure he won't win this war!"

Everyone tried to take in his words, though the alarm continued to cry "Red Alert" as they needed to face their worst fear...

Both the lab and Professor Hart were about to be demolished off the face of both worlds!

A/N: I'm afraid I'm not much of a tech genius, unlike J.B. and Tyler, so I got creative and thought outside the box. The VR Troopers has reminded me of other series I saw during my childhood, including ReBoot and The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, which were sort of mentioned in the fic respectively. I would also include Digimon, as they were virtual pets made in Tokyo back in 1996, but I never followed it, not even Tron; I was indeed more into Pokémon, though. Not to mention that Mainframe (or Rainmaker) debuted ReBoot back in '93 in Canada and the US, and TROJQ premiered in '96 just several months after the Troopers were cancelled. I'd always see the VR Troopers as a retro beginning for the advancement of virtual technology and cyberspace, before anything of those iconic series and trends we see a year or two later, even today.

I was very frustrated that Ryan went all this way on discovering Grimlord's true identity, as well as the other moments from the two-parter, Grimlord's Dark Secret; the audience knows he's obviously Karl Ziktor, but the heroes never got the chance! And then there was the cancellation. I figured that only Hart and Tyler only knew and were just afraid to reveal it, so naturally I rearranged some things around involving the Mutants.

So another episode done, and forget what I said about making this into a movie; since it's episodic, I'd see this as more like a miniseries instead. See you next episode.

 

 

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Episode 96
Hart Attack

The four Troopers, along with Galileo and Tyler, were trapped within Horatio Hart's lab. The professor warned that Gen. Ivar and Col. Icebot had infiltrated the vicinity, and they were being surrounded. The alarm and the red lights kept glaring as the hapless occupants felt the ground shake beneath them. They could immediately tell this was no earthquake, as sparks rained down on top of them. They've shielded their faces upon the impact. There were also some pipes that burst and were emitting smoke from all sides.

"Professor, we're sitting ducks here!" J.B. said over the alert.

"Troopers... You must escape." Hart said with a low voice. Even he couldn't believe this was the end.

"We can't go without you! We've gotta take the fight outside!" Kaitlin cried.

"We're encased inside. The door is locked shut. We can't exit through here." Tyler informed.

"You must all transform. It's the only way to protect yourselves and evacuate." Everyone was in complete shock, as they couldn't take their mentor with them when the lair falls. To Tyler and the others, he was like a technological mentor, and they must fend for themselves on their own. "You must all win this war and stop Grimlord, the time is now. Good luck. And...goodbye."

With a heavy heart Ryan led the team to change into their VR avatars. One by one, they morphed; the first was Ryan, then Kaitlin, next J.B., and finally Chita.

"Go now. Use your teleportation, J.B."

He reluctantly activated the Vortex Command, taking Galileo, Tyler, the Troopers, and the enemy squads outside with them. By the time they emerged onto a barren field in virtual reality, they vowed to avenge Hart's demise, and they realized that everything but the knowledge of the Troopers, as well as J.B. backups and their powers via Virtualizers were gone, even Kaitlin's flying automobile she reckoned.
 

"Excellent work, Ivar!" Grimlord said with glee within the Dark Fortress. "We have taken the Hart of the Troopers' abilities. Soon enough, without their precious mentor, they will be defenseless, and I shall soon rule all of reality and win this war. NO ONE can stop me!" he roared as he raised his iron fist in triumph.

While the lab was collapsing, the remaining heroes met up with the imperial army, as well as several surviving Mutants behind enemy lines. Several missiles were fired straight at them. "Chita! Get my dad and Galileo outta there." Ryan ordered. She nodded in confirmation, and Tyler pointed toward a rock mass for them to hide; he said it was fortunate that cheetahs were capable of blending into their environments.

Noticing the Ravage Tank leading the pack, the warrior commented, "Well, well, well. If it isn't our old nemesis, Ivar."

"I'll be more than happy to stomp on those bugs. VR Troopertron command, now!" Kaitlin activated their most prominent weapon.

Via the Sky Base, the front rotated around to become the legs, with the cockpit folding up along the back, being a long flat panel. The arms unlocked from the sides after the front landing pods rotated to the sides, and then forwards. The female Trooper leapt into the cockpit and she was ready to roll. It shot out eye beams onto the enemy fleet. As they retaliated, it was able to catch the fired-upon missiles. It also tended to destroy tanks by stomping down upon them. The heroes knew that it'd stand a chance against Ivar, even swipe his tank with a kick, though she had her hands full with the aerial ships; they were too quick for Kaitlin to punch with the Troopertron, so Ryan and J.B. lend a hand.

While the combat was going on, Tyler fled with Galileo and Chita. Meanwhile, J.B. used his VR Techno Bazooka in conjunction with Ryan's VR Shoulder Cannon. Together, they easily blasted the Grimstars, the Battleship, and the Virtual Fighters into smithereens.

"That'll stop them! These guys are dropping like flies." the latter Trooper commented.

"I'll use the Battle Cruiser to finish Ivar."

"Great, I'll check on my dad and the others. Good luck, you two." He also pondered to check on the professor now that the battlefield was being cleared out. Unbeknownst to them, Chita activated her Super Speed command as she led Galileo and Tyler away from the intense battle; it was like a ride as they were being tugged by her.

"I'm detecting no signs of danger, although someone is coming. From about 10 feet, closing fast." Galileo chirped as he turned his head. Just then, they heard a voice belonging to a tenor of sorts. Sure enough, it was Ryan! Tyler and Chita were relieved he returned safe and sound.

"How're the guys? Are they winning?" she anxiously queried.

"So far. We still have General Ivar on our six, though. I hope we're not too late to save the professor. We have to get you all back to reality." Tyler laid his arms around his son. "Hang on, grab Galileo, Chita. You remember how to return, don't you?"

"I think so." She reached down and held onto the short though wide bot.

"But, Ryan, I don't think there'd be much to salvage for-" Tyler interrupted, but he wasn't able to finish his statement as they were being materialized.

"Let's do it! Follow my lead." He didn't want to hear what his elder was saying. Chita obliged as they activated the warp back to Earth.

Meanwhile, the Battle Cruiser was having a tough battle against Ivar's Ravage Tank. Eventually, J.B. was able to push it over a precipice, making the tank tumble on the way down. The assassin was trapped beneath the wreckage, being pinned down by the demolished body on his legs. He was barely able to see the Troopertron march up to him, standing an astonishing height; like an ant meeting a Tyrannosaurus.

"Time to put you away to the scrap yard for good, Ivar!" Kaitlin kept walking closer to the Ravage Tank, raised the Troopertron's foot, and squashed the doomed vessel like an annoying fly. Both Troopers didn't notice a certain Mutant was watching over the whole ordeal.

"Whoa. This is even BETTER than smashing a soufflé." Clot remarked. "And they look good doing it!" He then noticed some audible cries as a legion of Mutants were running towards the duo. "So much for the cavalry, late as usual."

"Kaitlin, how are we doing?" the black Trooper asked.

She walked up to him without her prized appliance. "So far, so good." she said cheerfully. "That'll put a stop to General Ivar. Let's hope it's for real this time."

"That'll show what he did to the professor. I hope we're not too late."

"Lest we forget Colonel Icebot."

Suddenly, they noticed the large army quickly running up and down some rises, and they were still heading their way with their bone clubs and weapons raised. "The Skeletons?" Kaitlin wondered. "Are they after us?"

"I guess they hadn't forgotten about that protest they were planning." J.B. remembered all too well.

A few weeks ago, there was this incident when Kaitlin looked through a mirror; it was like any ordinary mirror that was delivered to her, but something dire was set afoot. By gazing into the looking glass, there was also a doppelganger of her, and the original Kaitlin's body had started to fade. Ryan and J.B. were flabbergasted of the "new" Kaitlin's erratic and volatile behavior, as was Chita and especially Snake and her kind. They volunteered to destroy all the delivery trucks filled with those accursed mirrors which, of course, were operated by Skugs. And while the double eventually decided to side with the Troopers, after being reasoned by Ryan with a hair of having him and the lab destroyed, she eventually joined with the original's body and became a cooperative copy since then via VR Double Team. However, Snake was still scarred by the incident so deep, that she established a revolt against her; she was still on the Troopers' side, but just hunting and willing to destroy that single one.

"I guess that's what they call a...split personality." Clot said. While it was supposed to be a joke, the Mutants bashed him in.

Kaitlin and J.B. noticed the ruckus and braced for the worst. Snake and the rest of the Skeletons met up and they were about to rush into them, but...

In her native undead tongue, the mistress ordered her scary army to a stop. Everyone just paused in their tracks. Snake's crony, Deadhead, was the first to speak as they lowered their weapons.

"C'mon, Snake! What're you waiting for, GET HER!"

"SHE'S the one we want!" screeched.

"Ergh, I'll use my Confusion on her to make those slick matters sooo much easier!" Impactus added with a tongue that they could've sworn it was dripping with venom.

"Relax, Razors! I'll deal with her myself." their quarterback replied.

The Troopers prepared themselves for an assault, but something was amiss.

It was almost as if Snake's memories just came back to her as fast as her cronies were going. "Katlin, I-I don't have any means of attacking you nor sending you to the unfortunate grave diggers. I changed my deceased mind, and I realized a living friend is less boring and more valuable than even a golden bone! We were just so consumed over our rage, until we remembered who you really were. We-we were wrong. I-I was wrong." she said flattening her wrinkled locks. "I-I hope you can forgive us for our misunderstanding. We were blindsided by all the bloodshed that we have endured, and we wanted to send you and your double to the graveyard as soon as we found out about you going berserk and working for Grimlord; we thought you'd be an enemy."

"Heh, more like Grim Reaper. I wish HE would send him to Hellfield and never rise again." hissed at the thought.

Snake made her amendment, "We weren't so thrilled about your doppelganger either. We'll fight by your side again without any repercussions."

Kaitlin looked toward her partner, then back at Snake, and stated, "Alright, we'll let you fight alongside us. We're certainly glad the undead Mutants are on our side."

"Ok, but no cheap shots. If you pull a fast one, you got me to deal with." J.B. warned.

"What a decaying deal." Snake gave her a hand, then quickly withdrew it. "Psyche! You really think I'm gonna shake hands with a live Trooper!?"

After a brief round of laughter, both heroes forgave the army and joined in on the fight against the remainder of Grimlord's imperial forces.
 

Ryan, Tyler, Chita, and Galileo emerged several miles away and the Troopers returned to their retro forms in unison. They each took a sigh of relief. She rested on a rock close to her.

"I'm so glad you guys are alright. This war's getting rough out there."

"Me too." she added.

"But, we're not out of the woods yet." Tyler told Chita to go with Galileo and take it to Tao's Dojo for safety reasons. He said the Mutants would meet up with her shortly, as they would go to the location where Ziktor Industries stood.

"Location confirmed." the robot chimed in. "I'll lead Chita straight to it. She won't get lost, just several miles east."

"Good. May luck be with the both of you, and don't forget to contact us on your VR-VT if anything wrong should happen. Be careful."

"I will. Bye, Steeles."

While they were immersed in the battle plans, Ryan's memory of the professor's demise came back to him. As Chita and Galileo left, Tyler noticed his son heading toward the old, wrought bridge, desperately calling the professor through his own gadget, though there was no reception. "Ryan, wait!" He went after him without a second thought.

"Hey, what took you guys so long?" a dark-tanned Alien named Gangrene greeted Chita and Galileo.

"You guys are as slow as a Draugr; I never thought a young 'un and a robot would move like a 100-year old tortoise dying from old age." a Skeleton named Bones Jackson arrived beside the other Mutant.

"Guys! Thank goodness!" Chita cheered in a giddy manner as she ran up to them. "Tyler said you guys'd show up."

After hearing the choppy and short explanation, they agreed unanimously to infiltrate Ziktor Industries, and while it was risky Chita decided to morph into her VR armor.

"Y'know, it's kinda weird, but I think Galileo looks very much like R2-D2..." After that statement from Chita, the Mutants pondered for a bot before they gave it a sneer. Galileo spoke in a nervous manner as to why they're looking at it strangely and just like that, they went all over the small robot. After several moments it turned out they gave it a makeover similar to the outlook of the Star Wars counterpart.

"Well, how does it look?" Gangrene asked.

"Not too shabby. For a living being." Bones Jackson commented. Chita giggled after looking at it.

"You better have taken extra care with that liquid. If it should get into my circuits-"

"Relax, trashcan. We did what we could. It's no different than dissecting a zombie." the Skeleton remarked.

With a little elbow grease to lift it back on its wheels, they were ready.

Tyler kept calling out his son's name and followed him beneath the bridge. After treading a short distance, he suddenly saw him sulking as he was sitting on a nearby rock. From the looks of it, he was nearly devastated for the professor and his lab were completely in shambles. The large dim pieces of the triangular arch were the only things that was left. Tyler slowly approached Ryan and then he murmured, "Why did he have to go, Dad? Why did Grimlord finally achieved what he failed..? Why now..?"

Tyler squatted next to his moping kid and laid an assuring hand on his shoulder; he really needed to listen to his words of wisdom in a heart-wrenching time like this. "He needed us to win this fight. Ryan. He knew he couldn't escape such a horrible fate. We shouldn't mourn for long, he's depending on us. If we're to defeat Grimlord, he will finally find peace. And he shouldn't die for nothing."

Clearly, this was something that Grimlord had been longing to do, and succeeded, knowing this was the heart of all their VR efforts. Tyler warned Ryan that acting on revenge would only make the circumstances worse, and he mustn't let his resentment for Grimlord consume him, even though this was actually the first time Karl himself was able to murder someone in cold blood.

Just then, after hearing those driving words, Ryan's hand became a clenched fist as tight as an air lock. He slowly rose from his perch as he declared, "I will avenge you, Professor Hart. I swear, I'll destroy Grimlord after what he did to you." He took in some deep breaths and said he's the only one who must do this, and he shall take the fight directly to the evil tyrant himself.

Against his dad's wishes, Ryan transformed again. He then somehow immersed himself into a dark, cavernous cave, which seemed awfully familiar to him. Hearing a familiar distinctive cry, he followed the sound and eventually saw his Alien partner, Razor Kidd.

The dragon caught up with him, saying that he saw his best friend emerge here and after the recap, he offered to join in and share his vengeance. The Trooper even said, "If I should get captured, then so be it. I'll welcome the chance to deal with Grimlord face-to-face."

Kidd dug in his claws. "So you decided to challenge him without fear nor hesitation. Clearly this is personal." His close ally nodded in determination. "I have seen you walk the path of revenge before." His mind shifted back as he remembered the moments when he did just that, from desperately searching for his old man at the cave and the Virtual Dungeon, to standing up to Decimator in a burning blood-fueled rage as Tyler was Dark Heart. The latter was something he told him about; nevertheless, he had been with Ryan through bad and worst. His psyche then returned to the present, "It's one thing to dominate a whole world. But it's another slick and diabolical manner when your comrades and the world itself would be dominated. I'm with you, Ryan!"

Razor Kidd slapped his hand and they gave each one a strong grip. They then headed off to dangerous territory side by side without any means on looking back.

A/N: This was undoubtedly one of the hardest scenarios I came up with since I started writing this. The truth was, I never wanted the professor to go, and it's not like I hate him and the lab, far from it. It's just...if the series should go on into the new millennium, would the lab still be necessary as farfetched as it is? I mean, yeah this was made when VR was a wave of the future; now it's like so archaic. So, I was thinking that it might be best to let Professor Horatio Hart no longer suffer under Grimlord's conflicts; only his mind survived when he first encountered him, after all. It's like, out with the old, and in with the new and more productive ideas. Like a forest fire as trees get destroyed but if given the chance, they can grow back better than before and becoming more fire-resistant, like as an opportunity for advancement, as sacrificial as it is.

Aside from these other dark moments, I also made a brief reference to the Season 2 episode, "Kaitlin through the Looking Glass." I always wanted to make that joke Blood Clot made, but in all honesty, I did NOT like the incident itself; sure, Kaitlin got an upgrade like Ryan did, but having the doppelganger around just irked me. It also made me worry that she might succumb to the effects of a split personality.

So, another episode done, and I think this is where the story would branch out into two separate gaidens. I'm gonna need a lot of time to work on them, no doubt still recovering from making the decision on losing Prof. Hart. When will the next episode be? Well, we'll see.

 

 

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TheIkranRider

A/N: Some songs would play here from the Strider (Genesis version) OST including Mass of Cloud, Fu Jin, Uroboros the Iron Ruler, and Short Spin. I can't pinpoint exactly when I was introduced to the game, but I think it might've been around the same time I was into the VR Troopers. Heck, I think some of the tracks really work in the fight scenes.

I mean, heck, even the Enemy Airforce track from UN Squadron would be a nice fit to the infiltration itself, you'll see what I mean...

Anyway, this may be a two-parter; one part for Chita, and another for J.B. and Kaitlin altogether. Ryan will have to come later, so...let's just get this over with.

Episode 97
Infiltration

The Troopers, Kaitlin and J.B., joined up with Snake, the head of the Deathskin Razors, as well as her entire legion of undead Skeletons. They eventually arrived and looked over an open battlefield; they saw a bunch of Mutants, mainly the Trollz, face off with an endless swarm of Ultra Skugs. Apparently, those were Grimlord's Mooks before he should send out the heavier artillery, J.B. suspected. The heroes suddenly felt a large tremor as well as a humongous distinctive sound that was strong enough to emit a shockwave, stunning their enemies upon contact. They also tended to squeal as they tried to escape the massive cloud of stench that was erupted from the Trollz's rear ends no less. They were led by Mo and Spew Puke and while their kind wasn't the most effective against constant incoming assaults, they made up for it as the best lines of defense utilizing their bulk, muscle, and endurance.

Instead of taking the fight on the ground being exposed to the nauseating vicinity, J.B. summoned and engineered the Sky Base; Kaitlin, Clot, and Snake jumped in afterward while her flesh-eating comrades took the frontlines, as they never cared about the immense odor since they were technically undead.

As the quartet were soaring overhead the calamity...

"Look, J.B., it's the Air Castle." Kaitlin pointed out.

"Yeah, it seems that Col. Icebot is at it again."

"I wonder if he should turn into an abomination like last time." Snake pondered.

"If we can take out Gen. Ivar, he should join in with his other pals. I can't wait to shatter his coldhearted shin for good into billions of ice shards," Clot smacked his fist into his palm."

They eventually approached the Sky Castle, finally confronting Col. Icebot. Below them, the Techies arrived backing up the Ultra Skugs, putting the foot soldiers in a state of paralysis by their Electrocution whenever they made contact. This put them in a vulnerable disadvantage, as a taste of having their own medicine from being puny underlings.
 

Meanwhile, Chita, Galileo, Gangrene, and Bones Jackson finally arrived at the exterior to the 100-foot tall skyscraper. Looking up, Chita said in awe, "Whoa... This place sure is high. I bet this was how Grimlord appears in the Dark Fortress." After that statement, she dropped her head since she was getting an unsettling feeling coursing through her body; she always got that nervous sensation whenever she looked up at an extremely tall structure. The Mutants, though, weren't really affected.

The Alien shown his fangs, "Time to end his reign of dominance, once and for all." He paused for a moment and reiterated, "And maybe I'll get back to doing what I do best, my hobby on ruling my own domain, with my OWN kind."

Jackson slapped his shoulder, knocking some sense into him, "Hey, don't let it get to your head; there's still a lot of space up there. Get your feet on the ground where they belong. Ow!" She was being pinched by J.B.'s robot using its metallic claw.

"Bickering would get us nowhere; I have scanned the place and it is being looked over by female agents."

They knew the trek would not be easy. "Oh, I have a bad feeling about this..." Chita felt that her stomach lurched after hearing the bot's warning.

"Let's get this over with." Gangrene let out a sigh of defeat.

"Hey, we'll protect you, human. You're safe with us; I'd personally vouge to send them to the graves, with closed caskets."

They soon marched inside when they entered through two massive, automatic doors. The place was accompanied by dim lighting, and sometimes they felt as if the walls would close in on them, making the hallways have that claustrophobic effect. Gangrene and Jackson figured their best chance was to get to the top floor of the creepy castle, assuming that was where Ziktor's prism was. To their surprise, every room was full-with dead silence, that is. They suspected things were too quiet and easy, wondering if the party should await them upstairs. The trio whispered and agreed to never use any of the provided lifts, as they could be littered with boobytraps. They decided to head up more discreetly by treading slowly and quietly. Everyone remained on high alert as they kept their ears and eyes open for a possibility of an ambush.

Moments later, which seemed like almost a half hour to them, they finally made it to the top. Straight ahead was another wide door embedded in large font, Karl Ziktor. Bones volunteered to try the doorknob, thinking it could be protected by something, like it would be red-hot to the touch. Fortunately, it just unlocked, allowing them access into his personal office. It was just as opaque as the rooms before it, and they actually saw the cause of all that darkness; there was a large window covered by very thick black blinds that were drawn closed. They could barely see the large table smack dab in the center and the huge iguana cage to the right.

"Heh, I never knew Grimlord would own an Alien here." Gangrene snickered.

"Um, it's not really an alien, he's a reptile. I'm not sure if it's either an iguana or a chameleon..?" Chita corrected. The reptile just looked through the glass and licked its mouth.

But the one thing that really caught their attention was a little green prism illuminating in its sinister glow.

"So, this is how Ziktor goes into virtual reality and becomes Grimlord." Chita was incredibly fascinated by this.

"Yeah, I bet this was how he was able to assimilate Mr. Steele's knowledge. Now if only to destroy this thing..." Gangrene looked around, but found no plug-ins nor any blunt objects to smash it with. Remembering all the chaos that Grimlord caused over the past few years, and realizing he was a vile billionaire in his actual form, he gazed upon the prism and touched it with an eager grip.

Suddenly, the Alien felt a painful shock on it, and an electric current coursed through his arm. The impact threw him off his feet just nearly a foot away and he crashed onto some nearby office furniture.

"Gangrene!" Chita and Bones Jackson rushed to their fallen ally, asking if he was alright. The dragon was still stunned from the sudden blow, almost unable to move his excruciating muscles. The Skeleton wished she'd be the one to touch the prism.

"I should've known we wouldn't have accessed the prism so easily. I should've tried; that's what we get for assuming."

"Nice try, Gangrene. A for effort." Galileo chirped.

"Well, well. Looks like we got some intrusive gnats crawling around our boss' turf." The group jerked their heads as they looked behind. They saw three women in black skin-tight uniforms consisting of lightless tank tops, leather pants and boots. Each one of the secretaries looked alike as they all wore intense eye shadow and mascara, their shiny, dark blond hair were tied back in buns, and they were skinny and had pale skin almost as white as bone.

Bones lied sheepishly, "Eh heh heh, let's just say we took a wrong turn. We were about to do some Trick-or-Treating here, but we simply got lost. A simple navigational error." She was about to walk off until one of the secretaries grabbed and held one of her bare limbs, to the point of nearly twisting it.

"Our master never likes trespassers. And he despises Trick-or-Treaters."

"And we saw you sneak over to the prism and attempted to destroy it. Good thing Mr. Ziktor activated a defense mechanism while he's doing his own personal affairs."

"He ordered us to destroy you. And so we shall..." she let out a sneer. All three girls stood at attention, and their bodies transformed into a group of Skugs!

"Oh no!" Chita cried.

"Not them again!" Gangrene added.

They leapt up into the air and confronted the group. The Mutants shielded the young Trooper and Galileo from their advances as they bravely fought them off. It was proven to be easy, until they noticed the trio change. They did a fighting pose facing each other with their arms and hands curled up and turned into Ultra Skugs!

"Those monkeys are really starting to rattle my bones!" Jackson miffed.

They fought them with every tooth, claw, and bone they possessed. Even Chita and Galileo participated when the thugs gained on them; the robot used his evasiveness as well as its metallic hands to defend itself. As experimental as Chita's powers were, her abilities were automatic. Her whipping tail couldn't get enough of them as it kept on whacking and tripping the Skugs. Her dark yellow sharp claws sprung from her nails as well as her setae. And by the time one managed to abduct her, as it wrapped its arms around her, she kicked and screamed trying to escape! The Mutants worried that they may disappear through the ground and take her hostage to Grimlord. But suddenly, Chita let out a screech as loud as she could. It was so ear-piercing, that it actually caused some soundwaves toward the surrounding individuals. Everyone was holding their burning ears, and the Skugs were the most affected. The Mutants saw their chance as they teamed up and forced each Skug back toward the one the most open. As usual, when they made contact, they dissipated as their bodies squirmed.

"Wow, that was amazing." Gangrene commented. "Those Skugs definitely got what they deserved."

"Indeed, they did." Jackson said, then she faced Galileo, "You weren't too shabby, either. For a robot, I mean."

"It...it was incredible." Chita stuttered at herself and more of her newfound abilities.

"Her powers have yet to be fully tested; Tyler really knew what she was capable of, as well as a cheetah's." the bot said.

"Yeah, but, how are we supposed to destroy that prism?" she looked over glumly, as did the others.

She reluctantly contacted J.B. via her VR-VT, wondering if he was still preoccupied with the war; it had a yellow coating with wildcat spots covering it. She gave him their literal crippling predicament. In his Trooper avatar, he greeted to her and the Mutants saying it was a great idea bringing in Galileo. He said they could use him as a means to absorb the volatile energy; after all, Grimlord actually did the same thing to Tyler, as a sort of download while he retrieved his knowledge. He figured Galileo can do the same thing, draining the essence trapped within the crystal. "All you gotta do, Chita, is command it to, no different than Oraclon absorbing its data trying to find the secrets to our own abilities. So, it's basically the reverse!"

"Ok, I think I understand." She ended the transmission, knelt next to Galileo and gave the command. "Galileo..." she racked her brain trying to find the right words. "...Um, hook up to Grimlord's prism and...absorb its energy."

"Right away, Chita." The R2-D2 lookalike wheeled over to it. Its body opened and some thin wires extended toward it. It never received any damage, instead it utilized the energy flow toward its memory core and sucked in the data like a leech drawing blood. She and the Mutants were so astounded by this. The two monsters even laid a couple grenades next to it.

"You're not gonna blow up the place are you!?" the cheetah girl startled.

"I hope the city folk wouldn't notice. Otherwise, they'd be sent to the graveyard." Jackson said.

"Ergh, I'm sick of waiting, it ain't my style." Gangrene muttered. "Hurry up, we need to demolish this blasted thing, and maybe the ominous office as well." he snapped to the robot.

Chita's VR-VT chirped in her pocket. She picked it up, and it was J.B. again.

"Chita, is Galileo uploading Grimlord's crystal?"

"He is."

"Good, but I should warn you, I've a bad feeling that his information may corrupt Galileo's circuits. As soon as he's done, can you bring him to virtual reality?"

"I think so, why?"

"Because it'd be great to give Grimlord the element of surprise. I'll tell you as soon as we dock on-"

The message was interrupted when the Sky Base was being shook. The Troopers were under attack. "We got some company, J.B. out!" Her screen shut off and they were anxious as they waited for Galileo to finish processing Grimlord's encrypted codes.


Back at the Sky Base, the Troopers and Mutants found themselves in the middle of an energy charge, and the entire sky churned into a dark mix if fuchsia and black. At times, Col. Icebot kept rapidly firing some volleys of lightning and streams of ice to disable the aerial cruiser. Nevertheless, J.B. unleashed several missiles which seemed to have no effect over the impenetrable force field. Eventually, the Troopers and Mutants decided to abandon ship, and conveniently enough they landed into Col. Icebot's control room via dissolve.

"Is everyone ok?" Kaitlin asked.

"That landing almost shattered my bones." Snake muttered as she got back on her feet, her ligaments rattled.

Several robots surrounded the group and Clot confirmed those were the Turbo Techies, the elusive inhabitants from Asteroid 66. Instead of surrendering, the guys fought them off until they got to Icebot. During the attack, Kaitlin offered to use her VR Double Team, to which Snake didn't really approve of. The heroes succumbed to some electrical shocks, though both Snake and Clot advised them to go to the Techies directly as they had weak reserves and poor defenses; they made up for it in decent offense though with their wired footballs of destruction.

Through a team effort, the two Kaitlins and J.B. used their laser guns and fired upon them, rendering their wires fried and took the malicious machines out of commission. They then used the Power Transfer Command to restore J.B. to full strength.

Through one of the display screens, apparently they were the defensive side, while they believed the offensive side dealt with the Darkstar Dragons, and even reinforcements from the Toxic All-Pros and Manic All-Stars. From before it looked like they were winning almost effortlessly, until they were being struck down by Grimlord's anticipated forces, including the lethal strikes from Despera's staff.

The frigid interior became even more unsettling as the chambers were being coated in ice and frost by the bursting pipes. J.B. advised the group to stay away from the bone-chilling emissions and soon came across Icebot himself.

"There you are!" Kaitlin's double cried out.

"Ha ha ha, you're just in time Troopers. You may have destroyed my altered mutant form last time, but I've been developing a trick up my slick sleeve. You five won't be so lucky! You will never destroy me like you did with Ivar! Your affirmation for your professor would be futile!"

"What did you say!?" J.B. retorted.

Unfortunately, he slipped through their fingers beneath a hatch in the floor. Blood Clot and the tech wiz led the way as they descended. They went onto a few unusual conveyer belts and soon ascended into another chamber as they fought off more robots and avoided a few warheads; J.B. actually slid under one and vandalized it with his VR Super Saber. Aside from the laser pistols and grenades the Mutants used, this was the primary weapon during the hunt for Icebot.

When they finally got to the next area, a few large enemy bots got in their way, but something was forcing them forward; a wall behind them was pushing them toward the other end! The wall ahead looked exactly the same as the one pushing them, and there was a climb that appeared to be about 50 feet high. The Troopers and Mutants ascended as quickly as they could, but the walls were rapidly closing in on them!

One of the Kaitlins began to get nervous, "This is not good, we're going to be squashed here!"

"I've got an idea!" the other Kaitlin added, "Quick, J.B.! Use your Fighter Bike!"

"Alright, VR Fighter Bike Command, now!" The vehicle emerged as it clung onto the left wall. The original Kaitlin got onboard with J.B. and she shot the sickle to the top. The other Kaitlin held onto the motorcycle as did the Mutants.

"Hurry up! The walls are gonna destroy our bones to dust!" Snake screeched.

"Hang on!" J.B. boosted his Fighter Bike which was still zooming up the wall as the other side continued to crush their poor flesh, metal armor, and limbs as flat as pancakes. Luckily they escaped in just the nick of time.

They caught their breath for a brief moment and the black Trooper wondered if his teammates were holding together.

"Aye. But all those traps as of late." Clot said.

"This is way more disturbing than a horror movie, is it not?" Snake added.

"That sure was a close one." Kaitlin stated. "Yeah, we would've been finished for good if it wasn't for our quick-thinking." the double chimed in.

After the quintet progressed further and fought off more armored foes, they soon came across a room that had an unusual gimmick; the gravity shifted and somehow, they were actually able to walk on the ceiling, while at times hold onto the ground. Even though there were some large pointed arrows jotting up and down. Thanks to the improvisations of using both plastic and metallic armor, the Troopers were accustomed to this over a short period of time, but the ever-changing anti-gravity made the Mutants nauseous. Heck, even when they lost their lunch, the vile actually stayed where they were!

"Ugh, there goes the hearty meal I had earlier today... That was a good, tender flock of fleshy ducks." Snake hurled while holding her poor bare ribs.

With some elbow grease resisting the pull, the trio fired their laser pistols toward a massive metal olive green shaft and immersed into a spacious chamber where Icebot was controlling a humongous core computer. J.B. later realized it could operate the entire fortress. Not only that, but the large contraption and the surrounding area was capable of manipulating gravity pulls, hence the previous room having the same effect. While it was activated, Clot and Snake were stuck and being crushed up against the ceiling, and soon violently thrown from wall to wall.

"Agh, I don't wanna die in a grave using intensive gravity!" Snake whined while Clot kept rising and falling.

The Troopers also seemed to have that effect, though they could control their maneuvers using their armor, and the two Kaitlins destroyed the atom-looking objects orbiting the large computer unit using their pistols again. J.B. eventually used his Laser Lance and struck the core directly in the center. Sparks and flames flew and licked the motherboard and the exterior.

"Nooo! How can I lose my precious fortress to the likes of you Troopers?! Grimlord will make you pay for this! Soon, I'll be reborn again! If I go down I'll take you with me!" The Air Castle began to self-destruct upon the anti-gravity unit's demise, as well as a permanent one for Icebot.

As they ran off, the guys grabbed onto the Mutants stunned bodies, and J.B. theorized that the Air Castle itself was being powered by the central core allowing it to soar through the skies; it utilized elements of weather such as ice and electricity from the upper troposphere, though it couldn't go any higher than that in the virtual world. It was no doubt a crippling weakness to the Air Castle since it depended on the core's energy for power and transport.

As the group was escaping, they were trapped since the runaway ended and their Sky Base had been eradicated from Icebot's attack earlier. They were so high above the ground that not even the Fighter Cycle could be too life-threatening, and the Troopertron would take forever at the rate the fortress is going. The fearless five were finally showing signs of dread as they braced for the worst, hoping a fast, light-speed method of transport would come their way.

A/N: Remember when I said that Strider had an impact on me while I was into the VR Troopers, aside from the Mutant League? Here's another reference: The Vixens sort of remind me, or perhaps resemble close to, the Kuniang from Strider, beginning at the Sky Thunder Mk-II (the Fu Jin level) who are a vicious team of women that specialize in deadly martial arts; each one is color-coded but unlike the Vixens, they appear in a group of usually three, with the fourth one as a mysterious member. They seem to function in sync and appear to be lethal in combat and strikingly efficient. I always thought that they'd be related to Despera, as a sort of mother figure to them; wrong again!

Also I'd include a couple songs from "Super Metroid" which was also released around the time of VR Troopers' debut such as "Wrecked Ship " and "Boss Battle 01;" the former plays when Chita investigates the Ziktor Industries, and the latter plays when her allies fight off the Skugs.

That scream that Chita made was inspired by the mutant from X-Men, Banshee. She may not use it to fly, but it was a great idea to help stun her enemies in times of great distress. I also came up with that idea from Simba, the King Lion, a Korean anime series in which the cub emitted soundwaves to make his enemies disoriented and vulnerable.

The few sequences were also inspired by the Genesis game, including the part I always got stuck on when I was a kid, with the moving walls that is. The last portion was also another inspiration, as this was the final segment as a part of the flying battleship, Balrog. The central computer was an essential part of it, thus its destruction also put a hinderance to Grandmaster Meio's plans, and in this case Grimlord's.

But, the Troopers and Mutants are trapped within the Air Castle itself. And they'd been stranded upon losing the Sky Base. Will they escape in time?

Also, ignore the age restriction, this is a K+ fic! Darn YouTube changed this for some stupid reason!!!

 

 

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TheIkranRider

Episode 98
Nerves of Steele

Ryan and Razor Kidd stopped short as they heard a familiar whirring noise as well as seeing a scary sight; they came across more of those sinister honing heads they encountered earlier at the Virtual Cave, as well as the neighboring muddy home of the Vile Vulgars, the Hump Dome, before they both self-destructed several months back.

These floating heads activated as their yellow, piercing eyes flashed on and searched out the Troopers' energy; they remembered that if they exploded however they did, then Ryan's power would be sapped as well, resulting a recoil. It was indeed confirmed as he was being too cocky with his newer, stronger powers fighting them off, resulting a few damaging explosions to his VR armor.

Kidd panicked, "I HATE these things!"

More of them emerged without any signs of stopping. They had the same effect as before, and seeing his friend get hurt badly with every blow, Kidd was about to lose it. "Noo!" All the dark memories rushed back to him as quick as his boiling blood flow, including enduring the destruction of the Virtual Dungeon. He tried to repress these nightmares squeezing his eyes shut as he held his head in horror. Then, he repeated a mantra, "Ryan never gives up, Ryan finds a way." Until, a powerful epiphany struck him like being tackled by a bunch of bulky Trollz. "...Ryan finds a way!"

Suddenly, as he was still clashing with the barrage, Kidd commandeered, "Ryan! Switch into your retro form! Hurry!"

"What!? But I'll be vulnerable!"

"Quick, turn back! If you don't use your Virtual powers, then they won't have any effect on you! Or...at least they'll be minimal..!"

"But...if I lose my powers again, I would..."

"Just do it. Trust me. But keep an eye on your Virtualizer, though."

Reluctantly, he did just that. Razor Kidd told him to find a place to hide and take cover. The dragon saw more of those creepy death masks activating and heading toward the frantic duo. "Go. Hide! Right now. Go, now!"

Ryan obliged and watched Kidd confront them as he shouted, "Rumble Fumble!" Five active long, red grenades appeared on the Alien's back hidden away by rows of spikes. He held one in his tight, quaking hand. "Alright, Grimlord. Time to have a taste of your own viral medicine. I will strip away YOUR POWERS!" He threw one onto a floating specter face and they exploded on contact. Looking at Ryan's Virtualizer, the damage was still at effect, but somehow it minimized as it flashed. Kidd continued his rage on the remaining heads.

Eventually the coast was clear, and Kidd gave the signal. His partner came out, wondering if his plan really worked; he was afraid that his Virtualizer would be more fragile from the onslaught they put on it.

He gazed on it, and Kidd mentioned, "Maybe you should turn back and survey the damage done to it?"

He gave a short nod. "Ok...Trooper transform! We are VR!" It activated and he examined himself after the sequence was complete.

"How is it, Ry?"

"Well, I feel like I've taken a few blows, but I think I'm ok. By the way, how did you know that could work?" he asked, amazed.

"I...I didn't. But I did remember what you told me of what your dad said to you; that the mind goes first and the body comes second. Y'know, just play little tricks or something..." Kidd rubbed the back of his head, bashfully, "I just figured this would be a good strategy, and I don't want us to get maimed and to have you lose your powers again."

Ryan said that that was the smartest thing Kidd had ever done. "Uh-really?" The Mutant was caught off guard by the remark. Ryan said if it wasn't for him, he would've been back in the troubled position he was in before, and that was what Kidd dreaded the most. After all, they needed everything they have to finish off Grimlord for good. "Ok, you got a deal there." They gave each other a tight handshake and were off again.

Kidd just kept on rambling, "Hah! You see that, Mr. Rules Everything?! We are smarter than you! Go ahead and make more of your abysmal traps. You don't stand a chance! Bring it on! I was born ready to deal with your lousy schemes! Give us the best you got which is nothing! Come at me, bro-ARGH!"

All of a sudden, Kidd's feet went still and they were shocked to the core as an electric current licked them. Ryan rushed to his side, but he persuaded him to not get any closer. He suspected it was an Electrocution, a trap made by the Techies; it was brief, but it hurt as badly as a porcupine's spines.

Just then, a robot with a wide body and skinny limbs marched up to him. Kidd identified it as the Techies coach, Tran Shooter. It made the usual chirp like the other Techies, only it was accompanied by a digital voice, "Too bad for you, Mr. Steele. I should've computed your carbon unit would be more resistant behind your shallow armor of yours. Of course, every organic lifeform has a breaking point. Including your old man."

That put Ryan in a state of shock, not in a literal sense.

"I can calculate that my colleagues, Wires and Circuit, would abduct him effortlessly."

"What..? What do you know about my father!?"

"Ergh, here we go again..." Kidd murmured as he held his legs filled with sharp throbs.

"You'll have to perish in order to find out! Grimlord would pay handsomely for this! Time to shut you down, Trooper! Let's see who's got nerves of stainless steel!"

Ryan dealt with against the bot taller than his henchmen with its own electric shock, immobilizing him for a moment. Luckily, his VR armor was more resistant than Kidd's scaly body. Trans' arms shot out several footballs, though Kidd cried each one were wired for death! It also shot out some missiles as well. Ryan avoided the blows and challenged, "Is that the best you got?"

Kidd remembered the Techies are weak against critical hits. So Ryan faced it off manually using his default Laser Blade. He was about to unleash the final blow as it glowed.

"Ryan, wait!" Tyler called over the comm.

"Dad?"

"Yes, Ryan, listen. Don't destroy Trans Shooter, you must incapacitate him so he and his team can be reprogrammed. They work for Grimlord, but they're still part of the Mutant League."

He sliced off his arms and legs, but it wasn't done yet. As a last ditch effort, wires sprung out of its open wounds, binding and shocking the Trooper. Flashing back to the time when Grimlord did the same lethal action, Kidd managed to get back on his feet and threw a large, nearby rock toward the current, disabling and even sliced some of the wires. They soon left the cavern before Trans activated an explosion. Kidd felt he had some very sharp needles and pins coursing through him, Ryan felt the same.

He did manage to communicate with his dad again, though Kidd was the one who apologized about Tran Shooter due to the extenuating circumstances.

"I've also picked up some readings that half of the Techies have been decomissioned; we have to to save the offense."

This reminded Ryan of something as he urgently said, "Hurry, Dad. You gotta get outta here. Trans Shooter said he sent a couple of the Techies after you!"

Unfortunately he was cut off, and then the Trooper was in deep thought. Kidd kept asking what was the matter while he tried to snap him out of his reverie and he made the crucial decision. Because of his many gallant efforts and being such a great ally to him, Ryan decided to give Kidd permission to pilot the Blue Hawk and lead the assault on the Dark Fortress and the Sky Castle along with the other Aliens who have their own reprogrammed saucers! Kidd couldn't be anymore ecstatic, as he always wanted to fly his own ship and cause massive mayhem...only against Grimlord, of course.

Ryan called upon the VR Combat Module, an all-terrain cruiser made of two vehicles, the combination of the VR Drill Tank and the jet fighter, the Blue Hawk. It was conveniently stored inside the flying shuttlecraft form of Ryan's own VR Shoulder Cannon. They momentarily saw it soar to them and hover over the ground.

"Ohh ho ho! This is so great! We could definitely vanquish that virtual dominator with this!" Despite Kidd's giddiness, Ryan offered to give him a crash course in order to use it properly; it was his aerial fighter after all.

Kidd gleefully contacted his kind, unfortunately they were too busy fighting off the ground units and their numbers were dwindling; mainly the rest of the Techies, the lethal Despera, Doom Master, and the Vixens were the fatal culprits.

During midflight, one way to settle the war, Ryan said, was to infiltrate Colonel Icebot's Sky Castle where J.B. and Kaitlin were. Kidd was able to fire upon it, coated with bursting flames and dark, thick smoke. "YAHOO!" The exterior damage was too much for the sinking fortress. And they barely saw the five distressed stragglers wave to them.

"There's J.B. and Kaitlin! Hang on, I'll take the helm." The Trooper helped steer the Blue Hawk and hover it near the runway. He offered the Troopers to escape underneath, as there were some pods awaiting them. There was one for both Snake and Kaitlin, the other was for Clot and J.B. They were able to escape in time as the Sky Castle plummeted.

J.B. said, "Whoa, that certainly would make Icebot thaw and melt in there. Top one off for us!"

"You said it." Kaitlin added.

Ryan offered Kidd to fly solo while he assists the armies below. The guys were finally deployed and the Techies and the last few powerful teams showed up, including the Deathskin Razors, Darkstar Dragons, and even reinforcements from the Toxic All-Pros and Manic All-Stars. Although they were vigilant as always, they were still being scorched by Despera's scepter as well as the Dark Fortress. Ryan decided to let the two Mutants and the Troopers split up, letting the former assist their kind against the viral forces, while the latter team take on Grimlord's field soldiers. The Kaitlins unanimously volunteered to take on Despera while J.B. would confront the mighty Doom Master.
 

Both Kaitlins rushed to the scene and hid behind a nearby rock dune; they saw the wicked witch on top of a tall cliff gleefully fire upon the hapless squads below.

"There she is!" the original female Trooper pointed out.

"I couldn't miss her." the double replied. She then decided to formulate a plan to redeem herself, while her partner would distract her aim.

"Well, well, well. It's about time I dealt with a formidable opponent, a VR Trooper no less."

"It's about time, too, Doom Master. Time to end this!" He drew out his blade.

The foot soldier did the same as he took out a broadsword of his own, glowing in red energy. "So be it, Trooper! I would admire sending you to the scrapyard!"

"Enough talk, let's do it!"

"En garde!"

They took some small sidesteps eyeing their every move with a keen vision, then Doom Master and J.B. rushed into each other, and their blades sent some spectacular sparks flying as they clashed!

Meanwhile Despera was literally having a blast sending the Mutants to cinders, until she was suddenly hit by a stray laser. She looked down and saw Kaitlin fire with her pistol. "You! How dare you mess with my wardrobe?! Not to mention intercept with my glorious wrath over those meddling Mutants?!"

"Those Mutants happen to be our friends. And in order for me to protect them, you're gonna have to go through ME first!"

"Gladly, Trooper!" she sneered and fired upon her. She dodged the rays with ease as she cartwheeled out of the way. She also kept on shooting her own projectiles, but Despera was too quick; she also levitated and done the same process as well.


Ryan assisted in the fight against more Ultra Skugs and Techies while Snake and the Mutants got their hands full with the Vixens. Several of them actually fell in battle and some of the Skeletons' bones shattered and fell into rubble. The Trollz tried their best to draw them back, yet despite their efforts using their bulky bodies, they were still being powerless. Ryan pitched in as he saw another Mutant get their limbs torn out, then he used his Laser Pistol to which they easily evaded. He closed in for the kill and during their lethal close combat, five against one, he noticed their powerful blows mostly from their magnificent kicks were made of plasma, hindering his armor. They were as swift as lightning and eventually it was too overbearing for him! He used his Laser Blade for offense and defense since his hand-to-hand combat wasn't as strong as theirs. He kept holding his own though he was beaten down multiple times.

While the Vixens were being preoccupied on the single Trooper, the group was taken down and bitten and scratched like crazy, turning them into the living dead much like the Skeletons.

Ryan scurried out of the way so HE wouldn't become an infected member of the walking dead, as penetrable as he was. He did give a little smirk, "Heh, enjoy your hearty meal while you can." Snake emerged from the pile. "Thanks a lot, Snake. I owe you one."

She wiped her lips, "You've already done enough, Steele." She then noticed Despera floating around and firing toward her targets. "I'll show that succubus some manners!"
 

As the Trooper made some more attempts to distract her, it was proven futile while Despera had the upper-hand floating around like a phantom and having better range; on top of it, her scepter itself was able to extend longer to reach her distant opponents. In fact, she made a direct hit on Kaitlin's armor, sizzling her left shoulder. She went down, stunned and wounded.

The golden ghoul was knocked over the edge by an oncoming Mutant; it was Snake! Despera rolled down the cliffside and gracefully landed on her stilettoes. A swarm of Skeletons charged toward her and she wiped them out one by one. She then fixated on the Trooper who was struggling to get up, she aimed and fired! But it was the other Kaitlin that she hit in dead center!

The doppelganger went down like a ton of bricks as she was willing to sacrifice herself while she shielded the original from the scepter. Kaitlin crawled to her side and saw the large, steaming gash in her teammate's chest plate.

"No-NOOO! Drraaaggh!" The enraged Snake, after watching her die, managed to leap on top of Despera, taking her down as well as make her lose her large helmet with the golden locks. She also landed a deep scratch upon Despera's face.

She felt it, then giggled and declared, "A scratch. Is that the best your pent-up rage can do?! Such an inferior move." She held her scepter in front of her. "You'll end up like your powerless friends, in a pile of rotting metal and flesh."

"Not quite!" Snake retorted. She never revealed its intention and continued to avoid her wrathful strikes as the wound began to spread across her irritating face. It finally took effect, turning it into a fleshy blue as it was rotting away. The once female pharaoh's body soon became immobile while she noticed her limbs were turning lifeless, as with the rest of her organs and body parts. At long last, she dropped the staff! Kaitlin crawled slowly to grab it and aimed it toward Despera herself, noticing this Snake scampered away.

"This is what you did, to my double!" Kaitlin fired, incinerating her instantly, hardly leaving anything in her wake! Though Grimlord in his Dark Fortress fired back and hit the tip of the scepter, dissipating it instantly! The Alien saucers then shot upon it while Ryan approached the fallen double.

"Oh no..." He knelt close to her and raised her head slightly. She let out a weak groan and her powers and vitals were fading. Ryan and Kaitlin were watching in sadness side by side, and the double held both hands across her chest.

She murmured her last words, "Don't let it end this way, guys... Finish off Grimlord. Do not...let all realities fall under him...just as I did." She looked over to Ryan, "Thank you...for helping me see who he really is." Then, to Kaitlin, "I appreciated working with you... I know...you can...win this..." He lowered her head before she gradually disappeared and turned into dust that was taken by the wind.

After the moment of silence, Ryan slowly got back on his feet and declared to take the fight to him personally while Kaitlin would assist J.B. and the Mutants. As he tried to comfort her, he was then intercepted by an audio transmitter. He then heard Grimlord speak to him, "Worth to make that sacrifice, Trooper!"

"Grimlord!"

"I wouldn't make another move with your ruthless determination if I were you. As we speak, your puny comrades are falling one by one, including your extraterrestrial fleet."

"What do you want with me!?" Ryan said angrily.

"You'll know once you get there. Whether you'll be willing or not, Ryan Steele, I'll be waiting."

The transmission went dead. And he just looked up at the hopeless situation, as each of the saucers were being eradicated by the Dark Fortress. He worried that Kidd would be next, and then looked at his ally, still struck by her loss. He put a hand on her shoulder, "Kaitlin... I'm sorry, but I have to face Grimlord. I'll go alone from here."

"What? A-are you sure about this? Is your father trapped in there?"

I...I have to do this by myself. I always wanted to finish Grimlord. He challenged me to meet with him inside the Dark Fortress." His expression sunk a little. "I'm sorry for being so selfish, but...I have to do this. It's the only way to win this war."

Oddly enough, Kaitlin accepted, "If that's the way to do it, then so be it. I'll help out with the guys down here. Good luck. And hurry back."

They made a strong handshake. "You'll be ok with Snake and her undead legion. It all comes down to this."

"Yeah. Now off you go."

He nodded and headed off.
 

J.B. gave Doom Master everything he had, though his brute force nearly put him at an advantage. His own blade kept radiating that same omnipresent energy, eventually rendering the Trooper's sword feeble. His armor was also taking quite a beating while Doom's broadsword landed each hit! J.B. became weaker, though he still never gave up, which actually put him in more danger. In fact, he was so powerless, that he failed to activate his Laser Lance command; nothing seemed to have worked. Vulnerable, he went down in a heap after Doom Master landed another devastating blow.

Seeing his best friend in trouble, Blood Clot intervened as he tackled his lethal enemy down. "You want a piece of me?!" he pounded his chest.

Despite his weakened state, J.B. raised his sword. "Ergh, Blood Clot. Take this. Use the Laser Lance... It's our only hope." His hand didn't reach up for long. The Superhuman took it before the black Trooper dropped. His body became still and illuminated. Clot thought it would explode, but instead it just dematerialized. "Nooooo!" he cried out for his fallen friend, and Doom Master just smiled at his achievement.

"You...you think this is funny? Losing a friend like this?! Nobody messes with my clan!" Memories of losing the Galaxy Aces and his coach rushed back to him, making his rushing blood boil. He activated the Laser Lance successfully and clashed against the tyrant's own blade. It was almost like a Jedi fight with the intermixing of the red and blue hues. Through his rage, Blood Clot soon impaled Doom Master in the chest! He was electrocuted and lit up as bright as a Christmas tree. Clot backed away so far, knowing what'll happen next as his enemy continued to wail. As expected, he collapsed and burst into a towering inferno.

"Extra crispy with the Laser Lance. Just the way I like 'em! It's even better than smashing a soufflé with a sledgehammer! I just LOVE fights like that, even more than I love mirrors." He admired the view of his greatest enemy's defeat. Fortunately, J.B.'s living vessel was in an automatic retro-form and he wound up on the bed within the secret chamber of Tao's Dojo, feeling some discomfort as he slowly rose up.
 

Meanwhile elsewhere, Ryan climbed to the top of the most tallest cliff. The atmosphere was thin, though he was still able to breathe with his armor still intact. Thank goodness he was unable to fall off this time. He looked up and saw the tiny Dark Fortress in plain sight. Before he had a chance to react, he was then beamed up.

He soon arrived within the Dark Fortress while Kidd and his cronies fired the impenetrable exterior, just to slow it down. He took the tubular elevator down and emerged at the bottom which had no doors. He continued his descent past the platforms, went through some corridors and wound up in the wide main chamber. "Where are you, Grimlord?!"

"Ryan..!"

He then saw his father bonded against the red back wall with his arms spread out.

"Dad!" He ran over to him, but he stopped in his tracks.

"Ryan, no! It's a trap!"

As soon as he was about to rescue his father, Grimlord intervened, tail, throne, and all. "Welcome to my lair, Ryan Steele."

"What have you done to him, Grimlord!?"

"Nothing yet, foolish boy. You should remember the last time we fought like this. You were as puny as an ant when I stripped you of your powers. You will be assimilated once I'm through with you! Say farewell, Steele. And perhaps your treacherous father will enjoy all the fun!"

Jus then, he conjured and then released a strong wall intermixed with purple and black of violent, dark energy. It was like dealing with intense gravity as Ryan tried to resist it. Grimlord then wagged his reptilian tail, raised his right hand, and shot an energy beam hitting Ryan directly and dissipating the barrier.

He rolled and got back onto his feet and fought the ruler off with everything he had, including his own whipping, iguana-like tail and a few powerful energy beams leftover by his first form. He also released some of his binding, shocking wires to which Ryan's blade sliced apart. His throne floated slowly from time to time, avoiding the Trooper's projectiles. At one time, Ryan used his Laser Pistol, though it was ineffective as it absorbed them. As the intense battle wore on, Grimlord then unleashed a white spray onto Ryan's virtual armor, rendering him weakened; he actually remembered it was the same method that one of his toxic mutants, Amphibador, used on him previously, to which he destroyed twice.

Tyler warned, "Ryan! You've been infected. You have to fight the viral slime!" It was actually the same way the Techies succumbed to the damage to their circuits and put them in some hypnotic trance, making them subordinate to Grimlord upon capture, he said. Ryan continued his rampage, thinking that the slime would have no effect this time, until he also gave in to the damage in a matter of minutes.

It left Ryan vulnerable as the poisonous white substance assimilated his armor and mind, putting him in a sort of heavy daze. Taking advantage of the situation, Grimlord used the opportunity to manipulate his hallucinations, desiring him to kill his own dad. For when he abandoned him as a child, even when he grew up after 10 years, even when he was becoming Dark Heart. Like father like son, he sneered. Ryan eventually caved in and slowly picked up his sword, making the hold more deeper. He marched up to him and Tyler kept begging him to remember and fight back Grimlord's evil influence: from the times when he was training as a kid, and using his teachings after 10 years, when the lab and Professor Hart were destroyed, saving him after being brainwashed as Dark Heart and never losing faith, or attempting to save him after Grimlord barely took away his life. Even the powers he possessed now, or when Tyler recovered with the healing crsytal Tao possessed...

All those memories returned to him, even when he was in the lab, reuniting with Tyler in virtual reality before he dissipated; even when he vowed to never stop looking for him when the situation got bleak as Tyler was being vanished back to the Virtual Dungeon.

"I'm not afraid of you, Grimlord! No matter what you do, I'll never stop looking for my dad! NEVER! Do you understand?! Can you hear me!?"

He even heard his father echo in his mind, although he was speaking to him, "The past, and even the dark times, are some of the things that makes us who we are."

Ryan held his aching head, "My past... It's real..!"

Grimlord was charging for an energy attack, saying, "Then, say goodbye to your past, Ryan Steele! If you can't destroy your own father, than I shall do it myself!"

Ryan immediately got in the way of his amazing onslaught. In his weak state, only his rage fueled him. Grimlord used everything he had including throwing a sword like a spear, sprout tentacles from his throne to electrocute and bind him, blast lasers from the sphere on his helmet, and create and blast electrical energy from his hands. While Ryan was enraged, and just about to use his epic Laser Saber-his powers abruptly ran out!

He was completely vulnerable and before he transformed again, "Trooper transfor-!" Grimlord used his reptilian tail to strangle him bringing him to his knees!
 

"Pyramid of Empowerment absorption, 100%" Galileo announced as he twitched its head.

"Goody!" Chita was vey excited.

The Mutants couldn't be more relieved, "Finally!" "Geez, took you long enough."

"Ergh, I thought the suspense was gonna kill us." Gangrene huffed.

"How long have we been waiting?" the fourth Trooper queried.

"I don't know, about an hour?" Jackson guessed, "That would take as long for a corpse to decay."

"Speaking of decaying, we need to finish off Grimlord and destroy that prism!" The Alien declared. The structure itself looked hollow and just as translucent; it was completely emptied from all of the evil ruler's essence, including Tyler's advanced knowledge. "Let's kill!"

"Hold on you bloodthirsty Mutant, what should we do with him?" the Skelton pointed toward the cage that was containing the iguana. The others were just as curious. "Well, before we do just that, shouldn't we follow J.B.'s orders in releasing the volatile energy, before it can corrupt its circuits?"

"I think I know just the place!" Chita exclaimed.

She transported the bot and the Mutants to virtual reality in the middle of the Void Club. They were about to follow through with J.B.'s plan until she saw the immense space craft complete with its large bat-like wings and jagged exterior; almost as though it looked like a massive, sinister demon.

"Look, see that Dark Fortress up there?" she pointed up.

Its vision fixed upon it, "Location of Grimlord's stronghold, confirmed."

"Aim towards that vile hunk-a-junk!" Bones Jackson commanded.

Galileo's scanners were shot as the corrupt data blurred its vision. Chita tilted its head toward it, and she figured it'd be a way to disable the shields over the Virtual Fortress. It managed to lock on as a white target appeared over it. It turned red momentarily, and Chita gave it the order to fire. The volley of laser shot up toward it, making the interior quake.

When the process was complete, she squealed to return to reality if Grimlord should spot them, they then quickly returned back to the opaque building before the Mutants did their own work. Fortunately, the pyramid-like crystal was destroyed by some destructive grenades, while the Mutants, Chita, and Galileo hurriedly escaped before the spark reached the tubular material. Although, the top floor, as well as the gigantic window left open, began to blow leaving no glass being shattered and raining down upon them.

Shaken up, along with several unsuspecting spectators, it was decided.

"Let's just get the heck outta here before somebody sees us." Bones Jackson spoke rapidly.

"G-g-good idea-!" Chita stammered.

They ran away from the once corrupt skyscraper just before it was being swarmed all around by emergency vehicles.
 

Moments later, the quintet were walking with their tail between their legs in another segment of the confusing, bustling city; aside from being guided by Galileo, they weren't the most dedicated.

"Huh, what a day!" the young warrior exasperated while holding the pet iguana tightly in her arms. Oddly enough, he never made any struggles to escape.

"Hey, at least we destroyed Grimlord's, or rather that zany Ziktor's, base of operations; it's not that hard to believe that he was the one this whole time ruling over the virtual world and causing all this trouble here." Gangrene mentioned.

"Yeah, thanks for the newsflash." Jackson stated sarcastically. She gazed upon the unusual creature. "I think we should just...let his pet roam free."

"What, and let it wreak havoc with the wild? Forget it! He doesn't deserve it." the Alien retorted. Even Chita knew it was a bad idea.

"Well, if we can find Tao, maybe he could use him as a companion? To keep him company?"

"I guess the young Trooper has a point there; after all, running a gym solo is never easy, especially when dealing with all those erratic kids, no offense." Jackson complimented. "I mean Ryan told us about his first day running it." It was quite entertaining to hear as Kidd and the special team leaked out his troubling, and hysterical, predicament to the other Mutants.

During their reverie, they suddenly heard a car give a couple honks behind them; it turned out to be a shiny red punch buggy of sorts.

Chita was greatly irritated by its intrusion. "Shut up!" It began to beep a few times again. "We've gone as far as we could go!" It honked a few more times, much to her dismay, "Alright! Alright! We'll walk in the mud!" She let out a fit as she went over and stomped hard on it. Just then, the automobile stopped and the windows lowered. She noticed the dog passenger panting in the front seat. And soon after the driver.

Tao actually wanted to pick them up in the shiny red Great Wall Peri accompanied by Jeb, who could no longer talk. He questioned who the Mutants were, and Chita sheepishly said these two were just people wearing unique costumes, acquaintances of hers, Ryan's, Kaitlin's, and J.B.'s.

"Yeah...uh, we should get going. We need to see what they're up to." Bones grabbed Gangrene by the ear and pulled him away as he howled in pain.

As Tao was taking Chita and Galileo to the Dojo, he said that J.B. was waiting for them; she was undoubtedly confused on what he was doing there. She also showed him his new pet iguana she..."just found." Tao knew from the get-go about the Mutants and the VR Troopers, putting Chita in a state of shock. Before she had a chance to react, Tao assured she didn't have to explain anything since he suspected about the kids as the VR Troopers, as well as all the battles they fought since they were known to be heroes and individuals with pure hearts. He also figured as much since they first brought in Tyler to his secret stash of sacred crystals to help get him restored to full health.

He parked the Peri beside the Dojo's entrance and J.B. showed up in a moment's notice.

"J.B.! What...what happened to you?" Chita said in a nervous manner.

"Relax, relax, I'm ok." he assured. As he and Tao were unloading his robot, he asked if she followed what he asked her to do. Chita affirmed it and even he was a bit relieved that Tao knew everything about their secret identities, which were originally given by Tyler himself moments after his recovery. The black Trooper also said there was a bomb scare at Ziktor Industries and there's a possibility that he was caught in the blast, though the cause and the people responsible remained unknown. "Either way, he deserved it for corrupting our city all this time." He knew exactly what to do with his pet iguana, and as they were heading inside, there was a lot to discuss including the destruction of the Pyramid of Powerlessness. "It's now up to the Steeles," he said, as if he made a silent prayer.
 

With that, Grimlord's body started to deform. He took notice of it immediately. "What?! What is happening!?" He was finally sapped away from his dark powers, and was rendered back to his human form, as Karl Ziktor himself! This was the first time the Steeles made the official connection! Although Ryan was still weak as he struggled to climb up the steps to save his father.

Outside, one of the Aliens declared, "The shields are down! Lock on target and destroy the Dark Fortress!"

"No!" Razor Kidd reasoned. "Seize fire! Ryan and Tyler Steele are still up there!"

While Ryan continued to struggle and reach in a snail's pace, Ziktor had one last nasty surprise; he drew out a metallic mouth from his interior coat pocket, he aimed a pistol toward the duo, and clicked it. Ryan stopped short and the powerless Grimlord threatened to shoot them for destroying his avatar and always interfering with his conquest.

"Dad..! I'll take the blow." Ryan volunteered, much to Tyler's horror. "One of us has to die first. I'm the one he wants."

Ziktor obliged. "No problem."

The Blue Hawk aimed at the uppermost portion, hoping not to hit the Steeles. Then he fired a few lasers onto the now-defenseless Dark Fortress, bursting a large opening over the main room. The impact startled the three occupants and the Steeles were excited to see Ryan's own fighter jet. "Kidd!"

Seeing Ziktor reaching for his pistol, he let out a statement, "Now to say one more thing to that evil overlord. Sayonara, sucker!" Kidd didn't hesitate to fire a laser toward his back torso. The corrupt man collapsed and remained lifeless after that. "Ha ha ha! YES!"

After his brief victory dance when he exited the cockpit and spun like a teal tornado, he gently patted the injured Ryan's hand before he used his claws to slice Tyler's binds apart.

"Great work, Kidd!" he exclaimed. "That should be the end of Grimlord."

"It'll be the end of us if we don't get outta here!" Kidd screeched while the Dark Fortress itself was falling and exploding all around them.

"Wait! Ryan!" They hurried into the Blue Hawk, then Tyler turned toward his son who wanted them to go before him.

With his sore neck and weak body, however, Ryan stood up slowly, then hesitated while Tyler and Kidd were climbing aboard. He discarded his Virtualizer and the place continued to blow all around him more violently than ever!

"Ry!" Kidd screeched as he was about to close the hatch.

"Come on!" Tyler screamed over the uproar.

At first, he felt like he wanted to go down with the ship, to make a self-sacrifice as the final end to Grimlord and his suffering. A huge blast erupted, causing the Blue Hawk to separate from the devastating spacecraft! When the smoke cleared a little, even though it formed a dark stack, they lost sight of the doomed Trooper! He found a broken window, then he paused again, wondering if this was right, or he'd be cut to ribbons. Risking to take either chance he leapt out before the entire vessel was covered in flames! Tyler and Kidd barely saw him as he hit himself hard along the way down.

"Ryan!"

The Blue Hawk caught almost immediately as Kidd put it into full throttle! He then steered it clear from the exploding Fortress before he even crashed into it!

Everyone on the ground cheered as the Dark Fortress was obliterated, almost like an enormous firework performing the grand finale! The Blue Hawk landed easily along with the other saucers afterwards.

A/N: Big Run from the Strider OST would play as Ryan and Razor Kidd make their attack upon the Sky Fortress. Stage Finish would sound when J.B. describes a job well done. I think the first Boss Theme from the original FFIV version for the SNES will play when Ryan deals with Tran Shooter, and the Four Fiends would sound when J.B. deals with Doom Master. I kinda thought to myself to use the song, "The Final Countdown" as maybe a promotion or something, but whatevs. Everywhere else could use the default music from both sides, even the tracks when Grimlord was about to destroy Ryan in the Virtual Cavern.

So, this isn't the last chapter, though, despite having the epic fights with Grimlord and his cronies. More is yet to come, so stay tuned for that.

 

 

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TheIkranRider

Episode 99
Victory is at Hand

Ryan recently returned to his retro-form after his virtual powers ran out as he was on his last legs fighting Grimlord; Tyler was still in bondage, and the Steeles were just knocking on Death's door, until the evil ruler of realities got his powers sapped and turned into his truer identity, Karl Ziktor. It was thanks to the green crystal prism known as the Pyramid of Empowerment that Chita, Gangrene. Galileo, and Bones Jackson destroyed. During the fall of the Virtual Dark Fortress from the Alien onslaughts outside, Ryan discarded his Virtualizer thinking he'd get caught in the crossfire; he did manage to escape, however, by a leap of faith from Grimlord's spacecraft just seconds before it exploded! Razor Kidd immediately brought him in as he was piloting the Blue Hawk, which Tyler himself was impressed with his skills since he was an Alien. He made a soft, slow landing while the Mutants, and the remaining Trooper, Kaitlin, cheered for their final triumph over their nemesis! As was Chita, J.B., Jeb, and even Tao.

But, not everything was so exhilarating. And as soon as Kidd saw the reality barrier while he and Tyler were escorting the unconscious Ryan out, the dragon carried him to it, thinking he wouldn't survive long in the weakened condition he was in. Tyler agreed, though he suggested to look through it first to make sure it was a safe location. Kidd peeked through and saw a human trekking toward the rip, he began to panic and shoved Ryan's body through it! The break closed as soon as the Trooper escaped from the virtual realm.

Kaitlin was one of the more serious onlookers, as when she saw Ryan, she was taken aback. "Tyler." He looked toward her with a grim expression. "Is Ryan ok? Did he survive Grimlord and the fall of his Dark Fortress?"

Painful memories of his narrow escape from the Virtual Dungeon came rushing back to her, as he, Jeb, and Razor Kidd were desperate to escape the labyrinth they were trapped in like rats. Ryan, on the other hand, was so stubborn as he anxiously attempted to find his dad there. Until it self-destructed and there was rumored to be nothing left; both the professor and J.B. theorized the Dungeon was completely wiped out from all realities, until the trio barely survived.

"I believe he has, Kaitlin, but..." Tyler lost his words for a moment. "Razor Kidd just found a rip in the reality barrier. We will soon close these anomalies. But I hope this leads to a safe haven; he really needs to recover, but not here." He then looked over to his associate, "Kidd!"

The Alien looked up with a startled expression and then ran to the duo.

"Where's Ryan? Where did the rip lead to?"

"I...I'm not sure. All I could see was some kind of a paved road and a sort of-of, temple yonder. It looked very ancient, but-I never had the chance to look through it. I-I was scared when I saw a human-a female- walk up to us! I-I didn't want to go through with her seeing!" Kidd's breathing raced, and Tyler wanted to calm him.

He tried to connect the dots. He assumed this was a Buddhist temple similar to the one he and Ryan go to all the time. "If that's the case, then he may be in good hands."

"I'll go in after him." Kaitlin volunteered.

"No!" Tyler said. "The reality barrier here has been sealed; we'll have to find him manually." He then faced Kidd. "You've done well. Leave his recovery to us. Don't worry, he should be alright if someone's to take him in; he'll need all the help he can get right now."

"Tyler..!" He went over to the dragon who was clutching his son's valued possession.

"Ryan's Virtualizer..!" The pendant was cracked as he cradled it in his hand. "Why would he leave this behind..?" Kaitlin was at a loss for words, and he thanked Kidd for retrieving it.

He suggested Kaitlin to warp themselves back to reality and find his son if they can. They dissipated within seconds.
 

It was actually during their victory that a young woman around his age took him in while he was still unconscious. She was thin and looked around his age though she had an Oriental complexion. Her shiny, black hair was pulled back into a small ponytail, she was wearing a purple tank top, denim jeans, and black stilettoes. With as much strength as she could muster, she pulled him on his back into the temple itself.
 

As for the surviving Mutants, the uproar eventually subsided, and the remaining coaches returned to retrieve their own teammates: from Bones to Crazy Bones, excepting McWhimple and the Sixty Whiners; to Trickster, Mad Maxx, and Dante N. Ferno; to Bricka, Buck Troll, Tossa Bricka, and Buddy Riot; and even Madness, Median and Iced Bodies. Though the teams led by Strato Blaster, Krux, and the Warden, and most of the Techies, Evils, Slayers, and Bashers were unable to survive. The malicious machines from the offense themselves have been decommissioned and the General just received word from Tyler that he'd reprogram them. He also thought that maybe he'd utilize the intel from virtual reality to restore the Mutants that had fallen during the war, including Chita's personal favorite species, the Aliens.

The coach finally gathered the War Slammers and the special team. He congratulated everyone, including Kidd, Blood Clot, Snake, and the twin Trollz, Mo and Spew Puke, for a job well done. During that time, they noticed the Superhumans and Skeletons had regained their lost flesh, restored their identities, and the latter group actually started bleeding, showing that they're humanity was growing back. Everyone was shocked to the core and hardly recognized each other without their mutated appearances. To Clot, this was a similar process when his pal, J.B., also had been restored when Ryan and the late professor reversed the transmutant curse; however, he wasn't expecting this to happen to them, and neither was Snake.

As he gazed into his football helmet he took off, he saw he looked similar to that member from KISS without wearing makeup. With his long, wavy, jet-black hair and fully healed complexion, he began to grin at himself. "Wow... I...actually adore mirrors a heck of a lot more, look at me!" he declared to his fellow Mutants. And then he began to notice Snake...who was no longer a member of the undead!

Snake looked older and wiser with her own peach-whitish face. She also had some thick, vibrant lips no longer covered in scars, her teeth were shiny and new, and her long, sleek hair and eyebrows appeared straight out of a human magazine! She also had on a long navy blue coat and tight black pants covering her cleavage.

Clot was completely awed by her spanking new beauty. He managed to find his words, "What happened to you?"

She gave him a stern demeanor, "Why? Grimlord's demise did it. We vanquished all the vile from virtual reality, so...how do I look..?"

"It looks good." They marched toward each other and admired their attire in a close, warmhearted fashion. Or at least that's what Snake and her cronies were feeling.
 

Meanwhile, Kaitlin just turned into her retro-form and Tyler emerged beside her. She and J.B. hugged each other tightly as he was so glad to see them back in one piece. The elder cleared his throat and reiterated they must find Ryan. Curious, the black Trooper listened on his predicament and grew just as concerned as they were. The Troopers and Tyler were walking on an empty road that overlooked the Buddhist temple wondering if this was completely accurate; they had been searching for clues, especially through Galileo, going through every one in Cross World City.

"Razor Kidd are you sure, in your discretion, this is where you dropped off Ryan?" he asked through his son's VR-VT.

"Yeah, I think so." After a quick display coming from his own communicator that was being projected, he did manage to see it. "Yes! That's it. This is the place." The duo was overjoyed, though Tyler wasn't quite uplifted yet.

"This is a very sacred place. Ryan must've been taken in from this exact spot." He bent down to the street, as if he knew the precise spot where he was dropped off. He then faced his comrades, "We can't just barge in here. I've a feeling he's going to go through a long recovery."

"Why do you say that, Tyler?" Kaitlin queried with concern.

"Well...remember the time when you guys rescued me from Grimlord out of the Virtual Cavern, and then brought me to Tao to recuperate?" They nodded. "I'm afraid it won't be that simple; the process may be similar, but...I'm afraid he'll do something he hasn't done before."

"And that is..?" J.B. had a loss for words.
 

About a day later at the secret room in Tao's Dojo, The General told Chita through her own VR-VT that Ryan was beginning to fight his demons.

"Demons? Where are they?!" she frantically asked.

"No, I mean his inner demons."

Her demeanor changed to uncertainty. "...You mean that Ryan is being possessed or something?"

He did a facepalm, trying to get through her clueless mind. But Razor Kidd said, "No, Chita. It means that Ryan has some personal demons..." he pointed to his heart, "...inside."

At first the young Trooper was astonished by Clot's and Snake's human-like appearances. "What he's trying to say is," the former Ace intervened, "Ryan just needs to recuperate for a while. You know how your mind sometimes can't let things go, and it distracts you with its negative thoughts?" She nodded.

The War Slammer coach went on, "Well, that's basically what it is. Only it's something more negative, his feelings. Stress, loss...pain, sadness, emptiness, sometimes anger and feeling alone or helpless. It's like he's suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD for short. I have been through this once, and so has my distant relatives. I am the General, after all."

She wondered if he would be alright and whether or not she can see him again. But, the mutants didn't give her much of an answer; that it takes time for a person to recover and heal his scars Grimlord left. They believed he's been dealing with them since his dad disappeared ten years ago, and then the darkness on top of it. As the transmission ended, Chita walked out.

On the PC in Tao's Dojo, J.B. linked it to Galileo. "I believe I can trace Ryan as well as read his vitals with this. Only one way to find out." While the bot was scanning it, he came across a few images with lines that formed double helixes and those that looked like EMV waves.

"How is he, J.B.?" Tyler asked as he headed over to the keyboard. According to the schematics uploaded by Galileo from the Virtualizer Kidd found, he said that he's physically sure Ryan's ready, mentally he's not so sure; there was a slight change in his brainwave patterns. Tyler guessed he must've gotten a concussion during the strangle from Grimlord depleting his oxygen and while he was escaping from his Dark Fortress. He decided to let Kidd bring Ryan's Virtualizer to the temple he's in. It was then comfortably wrapped in a black velvet cloth along with his blue-red mobile device.
 

Ryan wound up inside a dim lit bedroom laying in a comfortable bed and was being tended to by the young Oriental woman as she used a warm cloth to cleanse his face and soothe his head. Later, she then let him sip a warm broth. He was still blacked out and very weak.

Slowly but surly, Ryan's almond eyes eventually started to flutter and open. He let out some deep groans and he felt his body was being weighed down heavily like a billion tons. With his blurry vision and heavy head, he looked around. He thought he was still in virtual reality, but from his surroundings everything seemed organic, including that lush orchid growing within an elaborate flower pot sitting on a nightstand beside him. There was another one at the other side with a statue of a lucky cat. The room still gave off a warm glow from a few flickering aroma candles.

Ryan slowly sat up, still very groggy as his eyes struggled to stay awake.

"It seems that you've finally come around."

He looked toward that serene voice and saw her. He was deeply admired by how she looked, or maybe it was just the lightheadedness. "Who...who are you..?"

She sat on a flimsy chair beside him. "My name is Ling Yu. I was the one who brought you here. I saw you collapse on the street outside not to far from here. You seemed so weak. So pale and out of it."

He paused for a bit. "I'm Ryan Steele." Then he queried, "Where am I?"

"This is one of the ancient Buddhist temples in Cross World City. Although this in particular is interior, and it's a bit further away from the other open air one. My parents used to own this place, now I'm the only one."

"...I see." His head drooped for a few moments before he perked up a little. "Oh, I really want to thank you for saving me. I-I was..." The cat got his tongue; he wasn't sure how to describe the precarious situation he escaped from. He felt so relieved he wasn't still in Grimlord's fortress or in virtual reality for that matter.

Ling just laid a caressing hand on top of his and whispered, "Try to get some rest. I can see you're still not well." He did just that as he laid his head. He fell back to sleep within minutes.

Several hours later, during a sunny afternoon, he was strong enough to walk alongside Ling. She had shown him the rounds, including a very beautiful koi pond. Some trees with pink petals were covering it, and he grew intrigued by the exotic surroundings. Ling said it was a little something to remind her of home, and whenever the weather's nice, she'd meditate and relax at that spot. Ryan used to do the same at his own sanctuary. During their trek through, he suddenly noticed himself and Ling holding hands pretty tightly. It was a nice, warmhearted sensation, but he startlingly let go.

"Ah-I'm-I'm sorry." he blushed a little in shame.

"No, don't be." Ling said soothingly.

"I-I didn't mean to be so intrusive."

"It's alright. I always seem to have this effect." She let out a small grin.

He calmed down his raving heart and mind. As they got back to the entryway, Ling spotted something lying on the steps. It was a large piece of black velvet and as he opened it, he looked inside. There were a few of Ryan's belongings. The shiny object reflecting the sunlight got Ling's attention. Holding it gently, he described to Ling that it was one of his dad's memos for him when he disappeared for ten years. She really did admire the beautiful "pendant". She was also curious of the special walkie-talkie he had, as she'd never seen anything so small, and advanced.

"Can it actually call someone?"

Ryan paused for a moment, "Well...only one way to find out."

Through his VR-VT still functioning, to which Ling was fascinated with, Ryan made the call. He was inside a kitchen of sorts while Ling was fixing him up something to help him regain his lost strength. He was displayed on the computer screen at the dojo and he said he'd be staying at the Buddhist Temple he was taken to, unlike his dad's. So far, he wanted to stay until he's ready to finally overcome his personal demons and see his friends who were eagerly waiting for him. They, especially Chita, were getting very anxious.

He simply responded, "Look, I-I gotta go. I'll come back to you all soon, I promise."

"And I thought I was the one who had these problems." The War Slammer coach spoke after he listened with the other guys.

"How-how can you tell?" Chita queried.

"I'm a General. I used to be a part of the military, as were my distant relatives. Madness, Iced Bodies, Median. We are all the same when combatting battles both within and without. Heck, I always thought that Tyler would suffer once he came to since he went missing for a whole decade. Geez, he should be so dang lucky his mind hasn't fried yet, especially when he was as Dark Heart-"

Tyler stopped the General's rambling.

"Sorry, sir." he became bashful.

"But why would Ryan go through all this?" Kaitlin asked in deep concern.

"Maybe the final battle between him and Grimlord was too much for him." J.B. said. "Besides, it was usually him who'd take on the most daunting of tasks, and he was often alone."

"That may be." Tyler added. "But...I feel that..." he lost his train of thought. Then he collected his thoughts. "I think since I used to have the sins working for Grimlord and being like a vagabond, I believe Ryan's carrying the burden. That, my sins are somehow being passed down to hm."

"Or what if it's destiny?" Everyone gaped at the General. "It actually could be. He has to finish what the father has started, but from in here." he mentioned clutching his heart.

"I can believe that." the nerd said.

"So can I." Kaitlin added.

"A lot of unique traits had been inherited by his father. Including his pure heart. He can break this curse." Tao said. "With love and support."
 

Night after night, Ryan had been suffering from night terrors, being Grimlord or some other dark disaster appearing in his mind. Through Tao it was later revealed that the caretaker's name was Ling Yu, as meant for compassionate and understanding while her surname meant jade or rain; she masters in Tae Kwon Do much like him in karate, and he began to notice that she and Ryan were sharing a sacred bond overtime, like the Florence Nightingale Effect as Blood Clot said. During his recovery, however, Ryan said nothing of his VR powers, nor the fight against Grimlord; only that he's been having trouble fighting his inner turmoil.

About a week had passed until Ryan led her to Tao's Dojo as he was fully healed. As well as reasoning with his former self within a tall mirror in his older VR armor.

He hallucinated as he looked into it, battled his doppelganger, including his lethal double Lightning Hands; at first he avoided its attacks, until he had no choice but to use his Laser Pistol and Laser Blade on it, causing massive damage. He never finished it off as his illusion begged him to, saying it was an inferior self, and questioned what it would make of itself since it realized who the real Ryan was. He accepted it as himself, and all his purged emotions, and reassured it that the dark days are behind it, and it's no longer alone. He persuaded it to recall all his dad's teachings including that of humanity; that all their past experiences, including the dark times, have made them into who they were. He forgave it as he got himself together, then he and his reflection touched hands on the mirror.

After that, Ryan said to Ling he has finally recuperated. He declared it was "time to go back".

"Oh. You're leaving?" Ling was caught off guard.

"I am. But, I..." Even he never wanted to leave her so soon. Of all the times they had spent. "I want you to come with me. To Tao's Dojo. I'm certain my friends will be waiting for me there. And you'll love Jeb, he's my dog."

She actually agreed to head there together, and he promised her he'd visit her often. They took a nice, long stroll there. As they got inside, he hesitated as he noticed his friends in their usual quarters. He told her to stay, and after the excited reunion, Tyler and Tao questioned how he was able to combat his personal demons he kept referring to. That was when she came in; he gave her a nod and introduced Ling despite her shyness. To the main quartet, and Tyler, it'd take awhile to get used to Jeb no longer speaking in their language, just communicating as any other canine. Regardless, everyone almost instantly warmed up to her, always appreciating her for healing Ryan's deep mental and physical wounds. They could even tell he was in topnotch condition because of how exuberant he looked, including his eyes.

As Ling was being shown around by Tao, Chita, and Tyler, the duo wanted to give Ryan a little pep talk.

"So, Ryan, how do you feel towards her?" Kaitlin queried. He was so dumbfounded at the statement.

J.B. clarified that if he's starting to have any deep feelings for her. From what Ryan told them, it seemed that even though it's been a week, they were pretty much connected while his soul, body, and mind were being tended by her. He was hesitant with the thought.

"But, I-I thought you wouldn't want me to fall for someone. I mean, I never fell in love with anyone before. Yet still..." He looked back at her discussing with the small group. "I feel so..."

When the others got back, Chita was still talking with Ling and Jeb. Tao advised him holding his pet iguana, "Oh you should never doubt what your heart tells you, Ryan. Even though your mind would think differently, you should still listen to it. You must never be afraid for what you are feeling."

"He's right, son." Tyler added. "I remembered having these feelings of doubt, nervousness, fear that I may reject her and let her down. But you must not be afraid and try to drive her away. Believe me, I had these same conflicts and sensations like you do right now when I first met your mom. I later knew this was my true calling." He laid a hand on his shoulder, "Don't be afraid with what your instincts tell you, Ryan. Do not hesitate. Respond to her like how she would respond to you. And never doubt your inner feelings. It'll come in time."

He embraced his wise father. "Oh, and Ryan?" Kaitlin asked, breaking off the moment. "Don't ever mind us."

"Yeah. We got your back, buddy. No matter what decision you'll make." J.B. added. "We had been doing some thinking."

It was a surprise, though Kaitlin and J.B. accepted their own relationship. Sometimes they worried it may not last, but if it would, then it'd be no problem. Kaitlin always wondered who would actually betroth her, since she felt she was in the middle, as to whether her soulmate would be either Ryan or J.B. in fear of alienating the other. She did highly regret falling for Percy, though, as he was clearly NOT her type. But she figured it'd be J.B. after all, if Ryan and Ling's relationship should work out in the end and flourish. Besides, in the past, the two Troopers were seen alone together quite a lot, from battling to when they needed to cut Ryan a few breaks.

Ryan just smiled at them and thanked everyone for their unwavering support.

Hours later, he and Ling were at the same shrine where he visited so many times, and as they held each other close watching the sun set, he made a soliloquy of his thoughtful lesson taught by his dad, as one of the very last:

"Humanity. It can always be our greatest virtue. We must never underestimate the power of the human spirit and what it can do, whether it'd be by blood, used through love, kindness, and social intelligence. It can be our most powerful weapon, or it could be our greatest curse. But it can always help to get us through, even during our darkest hours. My dad said that all our past experiences, even our turmoil, our actions, our morals and values, and our personal desires determines who we are. And I realized it can be used through anyone, no matter how old or how young. Or whether we'd be a subspecies such as a Mutant, a robot, a higher mind, or even man's best friend. We all have some degree of humanity inside us, it just depends on how we use it. It all comes from deep within, it pours from the mind, body, and soul. There was no doubt in my mind when Razor Kidd once uttered this,

"We. Are. VR.

"And that was one of the most treasured lessons I will never forget."

As for the Mutants, it's most likely that Blood Clot, Snake, Razor Kidd, the Pukes and Nelson, as well as the Troopers teaming up, may be the former Galaxy Aces' substitutes. Most of the War Slammers also pitched in, and some of the teammates performed on both sides, especially the Troopers. Kidd was the quarterback, Ryan was the team captain, Clot was the kicker and running back, the Pukes provided great defense, and Kaitlin, Snake, and Chita were great linebackers. They actually helped them win the Mayhem Bowl against the league's two best teams, while Tyler and the General coached from the sidelines.

Episode 100
The Future is Now

About 15 years later, Chita finally moved back to her childhood home at an assisted living apartment in Cross World City for the handicapped. The first place she went to was of course Tao's Dojo. She went in expecting to see Tao himself, but instead met up with a distinctive individual. As she approached the main spacious area, which seemed rather familiar and different to her, the stranger marched up. His tense body looked it had aged with time, he had on broader muscles, he still had some short, dark blond hair but it appeared to be faded instead of looking vibrant. He welcomed her to the place, and his voice was a bit more coarse than before. Complete in his karate wardrobe, he gave her a strong handshake and introduced himself.

"I'm Ryan Steele. I now own the place, though I sometimes share it with my dad. He and I are business partners and experts in martial arts don't you know." He made a striking pose. And then, everything was in place.

Chita gasped, "Ryan Steele..?" He nodded in affirmation. Then she became very ecstatic as she recognized the mentor she once knew so long ago. Ryan felt the same while he remembered Chita. Their sentences kind of ran into each other as they asked how they've been, or how great it was to see each other after so many years!

He was about to close up and he couldn't believe it was Chita, the one who recruited the Mutants in their victorious battle against Grimlord. They were very happy to see each other and Ryan offered to take a seat at the usual location where J.B.'s PC stood. It was replaced by a large black LCD screen accompanied by a keyboard. "Come. We have much to discuss." Especially since that day when Chita moved away to Hill Valley.

While the conversation took root, Ryan's cheery voice started to return, much to Chita's joyfulness, as was hers. It was almost like yesterday since they first met here and became such close friends, until that dreadful day when she had to relocate after her parents divorced.

"I'm very sorry to hear that." he replied as sincere as ever. "Have you made any contact with your mom?" He heard that Chita and her dad have been living happily together with a significant other, although their relationship with her distant parent had shortly became strained. "It's never easy being a single parent; I'll always remember it wasn't easy when my dad raised me. I never knew MY mom, though, as she passed away moments after I was born; there were some complications during delivery he said."

Changing the painful subject, she asked how the other former VR Troopers were. He said that Kaitlin and J.B. had also moved out, to Los Angeles, where she can fulfill her dream as a Hollywood reporter and journalist. J.B. finished his scholarship and graduated from Cross World University in his field of technology, top of his class; however, Ryan never really wanted to advance to higher learning. Instead, he decided to stay within the city and run the dojo...after Tao's untimely passing. Since that tragic loss, he and his dad decided to keep the establishment running, though keep the namesake in his honor, as well as Tao's brother's. Also, being that a dog can live up to 13 years, Jeb also passed away. Ryan actually owns a brown puppy from Jeb's late girlfriend, Princess, and named him Jeb Jr. Although having him talk wasn't quite on the agenda just yet. She actually heard a bark and the energetic brown pup ran up to her. She was overjoyed by his presence and he gave her a few smooches on her cheeks.

There was an upside to all these losses, and that was when he finally had the courage to marry Ling, the same woman that saved his life that one time after Grimlord's demise. "If it wasn't for her, I never would've been alive right now. I then proposed to her about a year later on that day we've met." He showed her his own ring made of tiny pearls, specially made by her. "Oh! Let me introduce you to our kids." He stood up and left, leaving a stunned Chita behind.

"Kids..? As in plural?"

He returned moments later with a son, "These are my kids! Taylor." A four foot boy went up to his dad's side wearing a green belt. He had on an innocent face, with determined amber eyes, and short dark blond hair. "And Suri." She was a few inches shorter than her sibling and a couple years younger. She had on a blue belt and she nearly looked like the exact replica of her mom, complete with her ruby lips, thick eyebrows, and short black hair tied back into a ponytail.

"This is Chita. She's one of my oldest friends since we were nearly as young as you two."

"Hi, Chita." they chorused as they waved to her and made a bow. She waved back.

Eventually, Ling returned and was glad to meet Chita after so many years. It was fortunate Chita didn't have to explain anything since Taylor was born. Ryan finally told them all about his past experiences as a real and virtual hero; he also wishes to pass it down to them. They described that Taylor specialized in karate, while Suri was into Tae Kwon Do, although the dojo itself had expanded and was now designed to teach all ages a variety of martial arts, which the young ones were interested in learning. Taylor seemed to be the spitting image of his dad, as Chita looked like he did when Ryan was his age, albeit 15. Ryan really wanted Taylor to be a future VR Trooper someday.

He also said that Kaitlin and J.B. also had kids, a son and daughter named Jerome and Katie respectively. Tyler had been expanding the lab where the late ruins stood and is still advancing virtual technology to this day.

It was actually Taylor that helped Ryan overcome his demons for good. In some meditated sequence where Ryan was trapped and Taylor courageously fought off the looming darkness, that even took the form of Grimlord at times. Together, they used their talents and vanquished it, and Ryan really appreciated that he was glad to have a son. And also not pass on the sins he and his father inherited.
 

Several days later, the Troopers were reunited at last. Soon, the kids got to the newly-advanced laboratory, and they were finally ready to test their new VR abilities. Only this time, there were four, with Taylor, Katie, Jerome, and Chita. She actually retrieved her Virtualizer, as Ryan made the decision for safekeeping at the dojo's enchanted chamber until she moved back from Hill Valley as memos. The other children got their own pendants, albeit smaller than their elders. While everyone was watching, the children bound together and Chita led the transformation. "Trooper transform!"

"We are VR!" they all chorused.

The quartet emerged at the center of the usual desolate landscape. Chita wore her usual avatar, though slightly taller to fit her stature. Taylor got his dad's older armor, with the blue and red, though it was shorter than his. Katie got the same avatar her mom's double used to wear, and Jerome wore the same avatar his dad had.

Tyler spoke over the comm. "Good luck, future Troopers. A new adventure awaits you all. Make us proud."

The story ends after they did a team salute, after they first made huddled, made a hand pile, and cried as they released and raised their hands. "We are VR Troopers!"

The future for the next generation of the virtual reality troopers is just beginning...

A/N: Much like that scene in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, Ryan was able to overcome his past demon for good with the help of his son, Taylor. Like Ling's name, they were made up, and the former Troopers do needed someone to carry on their legacy. The series really need to get with the modern times and evolve virtual reality, too. So...

The story, as well as the show as a whole, is finally complete. No doubt that it's one of my all-time favorite series, and some of the most nostalgic; this was something I always wanted to do a long time ago. Perhaps someday, Saban can get off the overly-saturated Power Rangers wagon, and focus on its overlooked sister series and do the same. Like they say, all good things must come to an end, and I'm glad I was able to do so.

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TheIkranRider

Introducing my main OC for the crossover!! Chita Comett, as seen in Part 3. So, here's the rundown:

Chita Comett

Age: 7-9, 24

Occupation: Junior Trooper

Appearance: We Are VR Troopers!

Best Friends: Ryan Steele, Kaitlin Starr, JB Reese, Tyler Steele, Prof. Horatio Hart, Jeb, Tao Chong, Razor Kidd, Blood Clot, Snake, Mo and Spew Puke, The General (coach), Ling Yu, Taylor, Suri, Katie, and Jerome, Jeb Jr.

Actors: Young Chita - Oona Yaffe, Adult Chita - TheIkranRider

It all started when she decided to join the Junior Division in Tao's Dojo, the most renowned karate gym in Cross World City; however, she had a very rough start as Ryan noticed that her balance and even her posture seemed rather awkward. It was later realized that she was born prematurely, hence her petite structure and poorly-developed gait. She was also not really the strongest link, nor very coordinated. Her performance was sub-par at best, though her only saving grace was her agility. Despite these shortcomings, she does look up to him the most.

Later on, Chita eavesdropped on the guys as they returned after an exhausting fight against Grimlord and his armies that they mentioned of mutants who happened to be football players. It was then that Chita knew exactly who the Troopers were referring to: the Mutant League Football players! While it seemed unorthodox, she demonstrated them via a Sega game in which they saw their exact virtual replicas, but in pixel form. From there, they volunteered Chita to visit the lab and seek them out in virtual reality. They were found fighting off the evil forces, and it was the first time they ever met real, intact humans; they began to reluctantly accept them in time. And the trio couldn't thank Chita enough of her encounter as the mutants decided to assist the Troopers, as three mere humans against one whole metallic army would be obscene from the teams' observations. Chita had been desperately wanting to make a difference since she wasn't built as a fighter, and for once she actually did when she introduced them to the mutated group; she had been their close real world guide ever since, including introducing them to Christmas traditions.

Before the VR War, she was able to stand up for herself against a single Skug, and she later received her own virtual powers from Tyler. In it, it had characteristics to a cheetah, her favorite animal, including her own yellow Virtualizer. She has yet to use her awesome animalistic abilities as her long-awaited desire to become the fourth Trooper is about to come into fruition. She did and she went with Tyler and their fellow Mutants through the reality barrier. She was actually used as a decoy along with the teams' super speed to distract Air Stryker and Fighterbot while their best kickers destroyed them with their wired footballs. Later on, she was ambushed by Doom Master, then drowned until her setae saved her life without using a command. She and Tyler returned safely, though the battle was far from over.

Soon afterwards, Prof. Hart and his lab were crumbling to dust when Gen. Ivar and Col. Icebot led the invasion. Unlike Ryan and Tyler, she didn't have much time to mourn for their loss; before they got to the ruins the latter gave her an assignment to infiltrate Ziktor Industries along with a few Mutants and bring Galileo to Tao Chong for safety reasons.

Chita, along with the Alien, Gangrene, and the Skeleton, Bones Jackson, went to it and made it to the top floor with little incident. They gazed upon the source of Grimlord's power, the green crystal prism, and Gangrene was electrocuted upon contact. The ruckus was enough to bring in his secretaries which the heroes fought as they turned into Skugs. As one was about to abduct her, she let out her sporadic powers again, and this time she made a deafening screech which disoriented her enemies, allowing the Mutants to finish the job. Her Roar Command really saved their hides from the Ultra Skugs, and then J.B. advised her to use Galileo to drain its essence; it was like the same way that Grimlord did to assimilate Tyler's VR knowledge, only the opposite as it's downloaded to the robot. Chita and the Mutants eagerly waited before the prism would be nothing but an empty shell.

After about an hour went by, Galileo was successful. Chita then warped everyone to the Void Club/Indigo Sector and gave the command to fire upon the Dark Fortress while Ryan was dealing with Grimlord. The new technology was able to override and overload the shields, rendering it easier to destroy with the Aliens' saucers and the Blue Hawk. They then went back to reality and the Mutants loaded up the grenades. While Ziktor's office exploded, they managed to take away the iguana and had the idea making it Tao's new pet. She and Galileo were later picked up by him and Jeb, while Gangrene and Bones Jackson left. It was then that he revealed his speculation that the guys were the VR Troopers all this time since he knew they had pure hearts and made some valiant deeds; he actually found out after Tyler was taken into his secret chamber, as well as telling him that his instincts were true. They soon arrived at the Dojo where J.B. stripped from his VR powers was waiting.

They all witnessed the triumphant final defeat over Karl Ziktor/Grimlord and the Mutants regained their lost humanity. However, Ryan was still recovering from his personal demons and met Ling Yu, his caretaker. She grew attached to her, especially when she was responsible for saving her mentor's life.

15 years later, she moved back to Cross World City from Hill Valley and was living in an assisted living apartment for the handicapped. She eventually went back to Tao's Dojo which had expanded after the owner's sudden passing, and Ryan and Tyler were able to run it. She met up with him and they chatted about their past, including the fact that her parents divorced, and began living with her dad, kind of like Ryan and Tyler. She later met his kids, and she became a sort of mentor for the next generation of the VR Troopers.

Trivia

Chita was a name she found based on her favorite animal, cheetah, and Comett was something she came up with. At first, Ikran wanted to have Ryan like a comet and her nameless OC, Cheetah, since she was into cheetahs and saw a comic book, The Comet. But good thing it was scrapped.

Like the traits of a cheetah, her VR armor possesses them, based on her fascinations with these wild cats! Such as it's speed, camouflage, setae, looks.

Her roaring soundwave was an ability based on Simba's ability to stun enemies in Simba, the King Lion.

Because of her age back then, she thought Oona Yaffe was the perfect choice; this was inspired by her role as Molly Thomas in Sleepy Hollow's Season 4.

Her divorced parents was a foreshadowing, as her own parents soon divorced in the fall. With Chita living at an apartment, Ikran wishes for the same in the future.

Another OC as seen in the finale, only this was my love interest for Ryan Steele, instead of debating it should be Kaitlin as she's betrothed to JB.

Ling Yu

Age: 20

Appearance: We Are VR Troopers!

Occupations: Owner of a Cross World City Buddhist Temple, Ryan's love interest, healer. mother to Taylor and Suri Steele

Best Friends: Ryan Steele, Kaitlin Starr, JB Reese, Tao Chong, Tyler Steele, Chita Comett, Jeb

Actor: Wenwen Han

Ling Yu, meaning compassionate and understanding while her surname means jade or rain, had first saw Ryan after he dematerialized through the reality barrier. Kidd was carrying his unconscious body through and was startled once he saw her walk up to him. She then brought him in her own settlement which was once owned by her parents before they retired to Japan. She tended to him and later developed a Florence Nightingale Effect for him as Ryan fought vigorously against his past demons. Overtime, they began to show feelings for each other, and when it was finally time to leave, he offered her to visit his friends at Tao's Dojo. At first she was shy, but she quickly bonded with them, especially when Kaitlin and J.B. accepted on their budding relationship.

About 15 years later, she was married to Ryan and they settled down in Cross World City, unlike the other Troopers who decided to move away. It was due to a tragic event that made Ryan to stay, and run the dojo after his mentor's passing; he and his dad also volunteered to expand it to teach a variety of martial arts to all ages, rather than just karate, Ling became a loving mom as she gave birth to a son and daughter, Taylor and Suri, respectively. She also got the chance to meet Chita again, along with the other comrades from her husband's distant past. The entire family was reunited soon after, and she was so proud to have raised such a young warrior as Taylor's dream of following in his father's footsteps got into fruition. The future certainly looks bright for the Steele family.

Trivia

Wenwen Han was the actress in the remake of The Karate Kid; Ikran wasn't sure who else to pick. While the VR Troopers took place in the 90s, the fic was more futuristic due to too much time going by...

Ikran wanted to have a mate for Ryan since Kaitlin and JB were often seen together in and out of battle. So, she made her up for her favorite character instead.

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TheIkranRider

And finally, we got the future VR Troopers themselves, the next gen of the first VR Troopers who're their parents!

Taylor, Suri, Katie, and Jerome

Ages: 13, 11, 14, 13

Occupation: Future VR Troopers

Appearance: We Are VR Troopers!

Best Friends: Ryan Steele, Kaitlin Starr, JB Reese, Tyler Steele, Chita Comett, Ling Yu

The young quartet (Taylor and Suri Steele, and Katie and Jerome Reese) of the former trio of virtual heroes long ago. Taylor and Suri are the children bearing from Ryan and Ling, and Jerome and Katie bared from Kaitlin and J.B. Taylor and Suri specialize in karate and Tae Kwon Do respectively while still willing to try other fighting styles. They were the first children to reunite with Chita when she moved back to Cross World City from Hill Valley, and the others met her soon after; she was proven to be a mentor and trainer to them when they finally got the chance to follow in their elders' footsteps to save cyberspace and the world from evil beyond. It was also mentioned that Taylor is not only the spitting image of his dad when he was younger, but he also helped him to overcome his personal demons for good during a meditation sequence; since then, Ryan was so proud to ever have a son and can also no longer inherit the sins from him nor his father before him. It was definitely his true calling and the torch was finally passed onto all of the kids after several years of peace. Too bad it wouldn't last very long.

Trivia

Everyone, excepting Suri, were based on the Troopers as kids. Suri was an idea from Tom Cruise's kid, but a better pic was found.

Ikran wanted the Troopers to have kids of their own to carry on their legacy.

The ideas of Katie and Jerome were found in a disturbing VR Troopers fic from FF.net. She wanted to use them in a far more better fashion!

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TheIkranRider

Also, here's a little meme I'd created for Ryan Steele; he was my first crush after all, and...sometimes his Lightning Hand command would make me nervous despite being a cool finishing move. I'm kind of an astraphobic.

VRTrooperMath.jpg.a54d0d7770f656d6ab0a5c0282b0d9f9.jpg

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    • TheIkranRider
      By TheIkranRider
      Welcome to a crossover I came up w/ since I was a teenager! Introducing The Bouncer tetralogy, a crossover between Dragon Ball Z and the underrated PS2 beat-em-up, The Bouncer! Hey, if Fanfictiondreamer can do it w/ her Ratchet/Kim Possible fics, might as well do this here too! After all, this underrated Squeenix classic deserves more love, am I right? So, here's an idea I came up w/ since before I started HS back in summer 2002. Originally this was supposed to be a trilogy, but...eh, you'll find out soon enough.
      Alright, here's the Prologue!
      The Mikado Saga
      Disclaimer: I don't own Dragon Ball Z, or The Bouncer. They belong to FUNimation and Square-Enix respectively. I just happen to be a big fan of them.

      A/N: Anyone remember the underrated beat'em up game for the PlayStation 2 back in the early 2000s, known as The Bouncer? Well, this is my first fic for these! This was a crossover story I came up with since before I started high school. I had a lot of great memories with those. Anyway, here's a story that centers on my OC, Ayame. She's a Z-Fighter and is on a quest to reunite the seven Dragon Balls, and one of them leads her to the dangerous, crime-ridden city known as Edge. Also, little did I know that Goku trained with Uub for a full year; either way, I'd disregard it. Besides, he wasn't good in GT anyways so it was all for naught. Like I said, it's been disregarded.

      This is an unlikely choice, but I hope y'all like this one. Let's get our fists rolling!
      Prologue
      It's been a few weeks after the 26th World Martial Arts Tournament. Uub was introduced into the world as a better half of Kid Buu, Vegeta was reunited with his family, and, as usual, Bulma was making last-minute repairs on the Dragon Ball radar. She was inside Goku's house deep within Mount Paozu and Goten and Trunks were wrestling happily in the fields, while Goku and Gohan were having a serious chat with Ayame.

      She had skin as white as a sheet's, brown eyes, and a tomboyish do of dark blonde and brown. She was dressed in a black t-shirt with the seven sacred balls embedded on it, along with a red pair of pants, black sneakers, and a little white device on her right ear which was used to translate various languages. She was a young Z-fighter who became interested in her idol just before he was attacked by his eldest brother, Raditz. And recently, she reconciled with Goku from his constant disappearances and all the trouble he made by letting his archrival, Vegeta, get the best of him.

      Her friends decided to give her a task to let her carry on by herself. By the time Bulma was finished making adjustments, she gave her a cap, a top, and some pants with olive green, black, and brown markings on them.

      "Ok, Ayame, here you go." She plopped it in her hands.

      "What's this?" Ayame asked, looking at the load with confusion.

      "This is a camouflage outfit. I'm giving you this, so you could stay out of trouble while you search for the last Dragon Ball. According to the schematics, it's located a few thousand miles south from here. Specifically, at the busy city known as Edge, particularly in Dog Street."

      "Dog Street? I've never heard of that location before." she said.

      "Neither have we. This is the first time a Dragon Ball has ever landed here. It's not necessarily a place for dogs, I hear it has a very high crime rate, and a low economy." Bulma analyzed. "So, you'd best be careful to what's out there, that's why I gave you this outfit. Put it on!"

      Ayame hesitantly did it. It was a bit snug around her body, though it was lighter than her usual clothing. As she left the bathroom, she asked, "Well, what do ya think?"

      Everyone muttered she looked pretty good. "That outfit suits you well." Goku said.

      "Yeah, you look just like a soldier." Gohan added.

      "Uh, thanks." She was too bashful to say anything else. 

      Then, the noble Saiyan gave her the extending Power Pole. The sacred weapon he used to have when he was just a kid. Bulma couldn't help but blush when he held it. It brought back so many memories since the two first met on the same mission. He also gave her permission to use the flying Nimbus for transportation. Ayame accepted, and the feeling of deja vu was so intense in here.

      "Just remember everything we taught you, and you should make it out all right."

      "Of course."

      "I want you to be very careful at that place. There are street gangs and crooks all around. I'm always worried as the money keeps drying up for any judicial support." Bulma warned as she handed her the indicator. It was on full power, and the Ball was stagnant. Everyone wished her luck as she headed outside to the balmy air. It was sunset, and the two kids stopped playing as they noticed Ayame exiting.

      "Good luck on hunting for the Dragon Ball!" Goten beamed.

      "Yeah, if you need us, we'll be there to kick some butt!" Trunks added with a kick.

      She hesitated, took a deep sigh, and cleared her throat as she called, "Flying Nimbus!" Clearly, this was her first time, and she was nervous since she may not ride it. Only those with a pure heart can use the small, yellow, mobile cloud. It arrived in a manner of seconds, and Ayame was able to stand on it without falling. It was pretty spongy, making her wobble a little. With a salute and a final farewell, it took her where she needed to go. She hoped with all her honed skills, things won't take a turn for the worst. It was only one Dragon Ball, right?
       
      A couple hours have passed by the time Ayame reached her destination. It was already nightfall and she was just mere feet away from the spot on her locator. At first, it was still, but now it was on the move. The Dragon Ball was gonna be a little harder to spot in this crazy street. The numerous roofs would make it difficult to find it, so she stepped off the Nimbus and it flew away, leaving a temporary, thin, yellow streak in its wake. She peeked from the side of a tall brick building and headed toward the blinking light, lowering the beeping noise so onlookers wouldn't notice her. The dot blinked more rapidly, indicating she was getting warmer.

      Then, at the side of her eye, she saw a woman on her laptop through a window. She was a brunette wearing a long, white bathrobe and she was typing vigorously as she was watching a news flash. The screen read it was on Channel 99, and big letters highlighted it. They read:

      DFBC: Drf Broadcasting Community

      Ayame stopped short as she heard a woman with long dark blond hair in a red formal sweater announce the bulletin.

      "Our top story. Mikado, the company heading the international space project, announced the launch of an additional solar power generator satellite. The announcement comes as a surprise to many." 

      A man with a strange complexion appeared. The screen read his name as Dauragon C. Mikado. He had shoulder-length, stringy dark blond hair much like the woman's. Apparently, he was the head honcho of this Mikado company. Still, Ayame never heard of this before. She continued to listen as she stepped closer and glued her eyes to the TV. "So, what exactly is a "Solar Power Generator Satellite"? Well, we've prepared some diagrams, so let's take a look."

      The gizmo shifted its scenery from an anchor room, to an image of Earth floating in space. "First, an Earth-based station transmits a guidance signal." It then showed a satellite absorbing energy from the sun. "Upon receiving the signal, the satellite uses a large mirror to generate electricity from solar power." The craft began to flash and then sent an energy wave towards the Earth. "The electricity is then converted to microwave radiation, and sent down to the ground station. The ground station then converts the microwave radiation back to electricity, which can then be used for general purposes." 

      Finally, the planet had a grid surrounding it. Each square was lit up as the sun's rays were received. Then, the TV returned to the newsroom, with a grim look on the woman's face.

      "The question is, do we need such a costly energy program during this time of recession? And how will people be affected by the large amounts of radiation raining down on Earth? While the Mikado Corporation is in charge of a major internationally funded public project, no details about the launch thus far have been revealed. We will keep a close eye on this story."

      Ayame was feeling the same thing. "Hm, good point. How would we be affected by all this radiation? Would we get cancer upon contact, and not even know about it? Is this man trying to kill us or something?" she wondered while rubbing her chin. Then the computer started to burst to life.
      There was bold text at the center: Confirmed

      The brunette entered and it changed to Target Dominique Cross. As it did, there were a few screenshots of the individual. And information was shown at the lower left-hand corner.
      Name: Dominique Cross 
      Sex: Female 
      Age: 15 
      Height: 4' 10
      What a coincidence, Ayame is 15, too.

      There was a pic displaying a bar of some kind. And there was a logo etched on its wall saying Dog Street in graffiti. At the center was a messy canine's face, hardly showing it despite the thick fur lines covering it. Sticking through it were two bones, similar to a pirate flag. Ayame swallowed hard, thinking that place really was bad news. She desperately hoped she wouldn't go there, and she wasn't even 21 yet.

      Finally, the PC had an encrypted message. It later revealed itself, stating: Target headed for the "Fate" bar on Dog Street. Mikado Corporation is already on the move. Permission to eliminate target if necessary.

      "Dammit. The beat us to it?" The brunette slammed her computer closed and stormed out of the room. Ayame ducked behind the bushes just seconds before she barely had the chance to see her. Catching her breath, she thought, The target. Could it be the one carrying the Dragon Ball?

      Without wasting any time, she looked at the radar once more and followed the moving spot. As she did, she noticed a chopper overhead and she could hardly hear the pilot.

      "We've arrived at the target coordinates. Deploying assault units!"

      Ayame didn't care about the mysterious men covered in black, rubber suits, or the devastation they caused to the nearby house, or when they were leaping from rooftop to rooftop like tree frogs. She just kept chasing after the Dragon Ball, until she grinded to a halt. She was shocked of what she saw.

      That's the girl on the computer. And she has the Dragon Ball! Ayame recognized her immediately. 

      Dominique was running, as if she was late for an appointment. She had on leather boots and a yellow rain jacket. She donned on an orange bow through her elegant blond hair. She looked as pale and thin as Ayame, and the Dragon Ball was inside one of her coat pockets. Earlier, Goku gave Ayame his four-star Ball, just in case she needs it for proof, and whenever she gets close to it. The Balls illuminate when they are put together.

      Sure enough, it was to that particular bar. Ayame sighed in irritation; bars were never good to hang around in, as they always ask for trouble, and drinking, and brawls. She always despised them, and she wishes she would never drink when she grows older. The neon sign on the roof shone "FATE". She saw a bulky man with bleached yellow hair and two small, metallic horns sticking out. He was wearing numerous chains and arm braces, and there was a black, shiny jacket. On the back was a large, white patch and a Cactuar on it. A "No" sign was covering it. His faded jeans and shoes were baggy and humongous. He almost looked like a living truck!

      "Hey, Volt." Dominique greeted as Ayame was hiding beside the bar. "What's with the sour face? You're scaring away the customers."

      "Sorry, just doing my job." He replied in a vehement, grunting voice. 

      "Heh, yeah." She headed inside and the atmosphere shifted. Ayame saw snow falling, but the sky was partially clear. A huge full moon was shining down.

      "Sure is weird weather for spring..." The bouncer thought aloud as he gazed up for a few moments. 

      He walked inside the bar, too, not even noticing the ninjas jumping toward the place itself! Ayame had a brief, uneasy feeling. With her enhanced skills from the Z-fighters, she was able to sense people invading her space. These men she felt were definitely up to no good. She tried to remain calm as she reminded herself, all she has to do is get the Ball and get out! Hurriedly, she went to the rear and climbed on top of the closed garbage disposal and looked through a tall, glossy window.

      Ayame saw Dominique as she entered the stingy, overcrowded place. A jukebox at the top floor was playing some kind of blues tune with an old piano. A plethora of ancient, dusty pictures and various alcoholic companies in neon signs were hung up.

      "Hi, Boss!"

      "Hey, Dominique. He's been waitin' for ya. Hurry up!" An old bartender behind the counter with snowy, short hair suggested while he was taking orders for patrons. She climbed the old steps to the next floor.

      "You're looking busy, Kou." Dominique said sarcastically to a man with long, greasy, brown hair. He had tiger stripes tattooed all over his lean body. He wore a very thin dark grey shirt, and long army quarteroids.

      "Hey, if we're not doing anything, it means the bar's doing just fine. Right, Sion?" He motioned to a younger man sleeping on a tilted wooden chair. He had spiky red hair like a punk's. He wore a thick collar around his neck with a chain descending from it, a fire red Dog Street jacket with a yellow inning and black sleeves, blue shorts with chains hanging from it, red socks, black sneakers, arm bands, and motorcycle gloves.
      "Good morning." she interrupted. He immediately stood the chair upright, and his hazel-blue eyes looked stern.

      "Hey, where were you? You're late."

      "Well, uh..." Dominique almost immediately recovered, "Hey, Sion when's your birthday?"

      "Birthday..? Why?"

      Volt walked up to the bored trio as he announced, "Sion, it's your shift."

      "Yeah, yeah, I know." He stood up slowly and began to walk down to start, until Kou mentioned something.

      "Come to think of it...it was exactly one year ago today you first came to this bar and started that giant brawlfest."

      "Then that means today's your first anniversary as a bouncer!" Dominique exclaimed.

      "Hmm..." Ayame's eyes lit up at that interesting remark, still watching from the lower part of the window.

      Inside, Dominique took out a silver necklace with a pendant attached to it. "Here. I got this for you." she said, handing it to Sion.

      "What's this?" he made a questionable demeanor.

      "A present!" she smiled.

      Suddenly, a huge clash startled the group as the ninjas with the rubber suits crashed through the glass ceiling. Everyone gasped as they looked up at the intruders. Even Ayame was just as frightened.

      "Oh no." Kou whispered. 

      "What the-" Volt murmured.

      Sion immediately came at her defense as he raised an arm. "Get back, Dominique!"

      They're Mikado's special forces. The spiky wrestler thought.

      "They're making their move." Kou said as he made a fighting stance.

      While the bartender was evacuating the civilians, Ayame hid herself inside the dumpster as the three men fought them off. Dominique just stood there, frozen like a statue.

      There were five of them in all against three bouncers. So Sion teamed up with Kou as they fought two of them, as Volt dealt with one. The rest of them leapt off to the ground floor. Volt's strong build made it easy for him, however, his weight made him move a bit sluggish. Sion and Kou were much quicker, but had less stamina than him. Sion was like a street fighter, using nimble kicks and punches to knock them to the floor. Kou specialized in tae kwon do, as he kept using his legs to sweep them. And Volt was much like a wrestler, probably a mix between Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker. Eventually, they met the remaining two foes, but their mobility allowed them to go higher and faster, confusing the trio.

      Then, a distinctive figure with spiky hair sticking out from his red goggles and head straps dropped from the roof toward the damsel. It looked as if he was the leader of the fearsome five. There was nothing but shambles, and there was nowhere the scared lady could hide. She met him face to face, and the ninjas easily knocked the bouncers back down to the lower level, crashing through the railing! They were stunned on impact, and the menacing assassin grabbed Dominique as she screamed. 

      "Dominique!" Sion tried to break through the melee. He managed to kick someone to the wall, but the awaiting fighter made him tumble down the stairs.

      "This isn't good." Kou said as he rubbed his aching head.

      "They weren't after me." Volt added as he witnessed the terror.

      As the ninjas regrouped, the leader kept grabbing her by the neck while she struggled to break free, then he crashed through the window and the minions followed suit. 

      "Sion!" The bouncers could barely hear her screeching in the quiet night.

      As everything grew silent, they saw the damage, and Dominique was gone. In anger, Sion slammed his fist against the stairwell. And to Ayame, so was the Dragon Ball. She tried to emerge, but the lid was frozen shut. As she struggled, she could almost make out what the trio were saying, thanks to the broken window.

      "Who were they?" Sion queried as he looked out.

      "They were from Mikado..." Volt responded. Sion was surprised at what he revealed. Kou, on the other hand, wasn't too impressed.

      "Humph, you're awfully well-informed." He folded his arms in displeasure.

      Sion turned to the gang and declared, "Let's go to Mikado."

      "Whoa, hang on." Kou intervened with a wave. "I've got connections. Let me look into this first." As he was walking away, he took out a yellow cellular phone from his pocket and dialed a number. Seconds later, it picked up.

      "I need you to check on something for me. Yeah, I need to get into Mikado fast."

      An irritated female voice answered. "No...Don't tell me the target's been..?"

      "Look, I'm in a hurry."

      "I can't believe you let this happen. Hold on, I'm checking in now."

      "Yeah, thanks." Kou shifted it to his left hand.

      "There's a special MSD cargo train leaving the central station."

      "Great. What time?"

      "In thirty minutes."

      "Gotcha. We're taking off now."

      "I'll be there to back you up at the Orage."

      "Thanks, I owe you one." He turned to the group and delivered the message. "There's a special train at the central station that's headed for Mikado."

      "When?"

      "In half an hour."

      "Let's go then. We don't have much time." Sion immediately stormed downstairs like a speeding bullet. Even the two older men were surprised by his determination.

      "Looks like he's got a heart after all. Especially when it comes to her." Volt commented.

      "Heh, no kidding." Kou responded with a shrug. They soon followed him outside, despite the continuing flurry.
       
      Meanwhile, Ayame decided to use her extra strength to lift off the lid, but instead...

      It toppled and laid on its left side! The top swung open upon impact and Ayame crawled out slowly as she was coughing from the intense odor. The brisk air helped a little, yet her nostrils were burning.

      "Ewww! I can't believe this has happened to me." she said in utter disgust. 

      She brushed off her uniform. And looked at the radar, still intact. She took a deep breath, and the cool air extended her lungs. Renewed, she was more devoted than ever. "I have to get that Dragon Ball, and save that girl if I have to." 

      She scraped her sneakers on the pavement, removing any excess filth. Her voice softened. "I have to be careful so those bouncers won't notice me. I don't want them involved in this, and I can't get in their way. I don't even know these guys." She shook her head to clear the cobwebs. "No matter. Bulma wants me to get that Dragon Ball, and that's what I'll do!"

      She donned on her cap and she ran out of the alleyway, following the locator on where she needs to go next.

      A/N: This story had a couple working titles, such as "Dragon Ball: Bouncer", and "The Hunt for the Damsel and the Dragon Ball." Eventually, after several years, I finally came up with a more decent name, "The Mikado Saga." Eventually, you'll see why soon enough. Believe it or not, it's been 15 years since I first played it, it's a very nostalgic favorite of mine. Yes, it is kind of flawed 'cause of obvious reasons, like awkward camera angles, no response time, clunky controls, and the infamous escort mission coming up. Nevertheless, I consider it a classic, and it was a breakthrough for the PS2's aesthetics.

      Btw, the name Ayame is a Japanese name meaning iris.

      Also, I always loved Sion Barzahd, even though he has a close resemblance to Sora from Kingdom Hearts. Aside from that, this is where the fun begins, as he goes on a salvage mission to rescue Dominique, while Ayame has her own searching for her with the missing Dragon Ball in her possession. I hope the first chapter will be up shortly. Until then, Ikran Rider out!
       
    • TheIkranRider
      By TheIkranRider
      Alright, since Starfox has close ties to another underrated series, F-Zero, might as well do this next. Introducing my F-Zero timeline!
      Ok, yeah it is kind of obvious since some fans have splurged GP Legend into the main timeline, but hear me out:
      Over 10 billion years ago
      The Milky Way Galaxy was created by the Big Bang. Six Reactor Mights were formed, 3 consisting Light and Darkness. These became the two universal forces which govern all life. By the time life was established, three beings came into existence, those are the Yin, Yang, and Wuji to maintain balance. According to ancient civilization each being were known as the Bull (the keeper of darkness representing wrath, diffusion, slowness, passiveness, coldness); the Falcon (representing activity, light, speed, warmth, focus); and the Dragon (symbolizing greyness, without extreme, without ultimate, nothingness). As the Yin and Yang were created, they often clash with one another and are of equal strength as they can't destroy each other, thus a third element must be brought forth either as the bringer of hope or chaos, influenced by one of those opposing forces.
      The Savior/Destroyer was denounced as the Wuji, as a way to re-balance the universe and reunite all six Mights as he/she's destined to see fit.
      "The Creator" (Creator Ghosts) were formed.
      2427 BC
      On May 8 in Ancient Egypt, Pharaoh Atem was born.
      1941-1945
      World War II began as well as the bombing of Pearl Harbor during Japan's imperial conquest on the Pacific Ocean and its locales. Meanwhile, Ryu Suzaku and his spouse discreetly left the warmongering country because of its domineering rule as well as its oversexualizing culture, to which the latter they still use today. They wound up in a concentration camp in California and remained there till the Hiroshima bombing and soon ended World War II. They eventually reached Eilis Island and became full-fledged American citizens while also changing their surname to Wheeler. Not to mention, Ryu Suzaku was, of course, the first personification housing the essence of the Vermillion Bird.
      Around 1955
      Junior Johnson started his career as a NASCAR legend, thus introducing the drafting technique, and this was when events from The Last American Hero took place.
      1966
      The Formula One 1966 season began, so too did the events in the movie, Grand Prix.
      1980
      Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, was born; as stated in the movie, Guardians of the Galaxy. To make the two universes fit, it's possible he and his posse may've traveled forward well into the future. Perhaps thru a black hole, or the Time Stone..?
      Early 1990s
      Days of Thunder took place.
      March 2014
      Events from Need for Speed movie took place.
      2014
      Events from Guardians of the Galaxy and Vol. 2 took place.
      2035
      In Chicago, events from I, Robot transpired, hence making Det Del Spooner as the first cop/half-robot, half-human, aside from Jodyy Summer.
      2100s
      San Fransokyo existed.
      Mid 2130s
      Starfleet was established on Earth, San Francisco.
      2327
      Sterling LaVaughn was born.
      2360
      An experimental race testing hover cars, and Sterling LaVaughn found himself in a fiery explosion; it's not the first fatal race that'll end in an inferno!
      2382
      Zoda (the convict) was born on May 19 at Earth, New York.
      2401
      Rick Wheeler was born on July 28 and raised in a rural farm within Boston. His mom was suffering thru illness from complications of his birth as he was growing up. His family owned a Golden Labrador, Axel, and Rick and his dad were the caretakers of their homestead and his mom. He became fascinated with racing, as his father was also a veteran to the sport; while also discovering his distant Japanese heritage. It was then he was bestowed as Ryu Suzaku II, thus making him embrace his roots, as well as being the second personification of the Ryu Suzaku's fiery essence.
      Years later Rick's mom and his dog passed away due to natural causes and he soon left for New York. He became a cop working for Rose and eventually meeting Haruka, thus became a rookie for the racing scene, that was till she showed him the way, and in turn blossomed their relationship.
      2403
      Haruka Misaki was born and raised in New York, before being known as Mute City. She was 21 when she met Rick, her father was a diplomat and her mom was a fashion designer.
      2424
      Races resumed, but only regressed to the Formula 1 competitions known over 200 years ago. Rick Wheeler became the champion of the Big Apple Grand Prix twice, and was about to propose to Haruka, until an escaped convict named Zoda dislodged his getaway car's door and smashed it thru Rick's windshield!! Rose was unable to stop Haruka from pursuing Zoda toward the East Bank, he ended up frozen and exiled in deep space, and she...abruptly ended her own life.
      2431
      Draq was born.
      2469
      Silver Neelsen was born.
      2471
      Gomar & Shioh were born in Planet Huckmine.
      2490
      James Marcus was born on Earth.
      2502
      Solomon Muto was born on October 4 in Domino City, Japan, Earth.
      2503
      There was a hovercar race with Silver Neelsen and Anthony Ropkin; there was a fiery accident during the Final Lap, the red helmet of Anthony remained as he was put into cold sleep due to his life-threatening injuries, while Silver survived... Aside from that...
      2509
      Dai, Sai, and Gen were born on Planet Shinar.
      2513
      Theodore Clash was born.
      2523
      Goroh was born, possibly in Japan before being exiled to Planet Cryton, Red Canyon..?
      2526
      Pico was born on Planet Tortiz 3 near the Devil's Forest/Death Wind. (I'm using his original age due to inconsistency)
      2527
      Roger Buster was born.
      Robert Stewart was born on Valentine's Day, February 14, at Mute City. (I'm using his age from F-Zero X)
      Approx birthdate for Katherine Wilson.
      2529
      Michael Chain was born.
      2531
      Douglas Jay Falcon was born on April 10 in Port Town, Planet Nintae. Andy Summer/Burt Lemming was also born at that time, but in Mute City, Earth.
      Roy Hughes was born.
      2532
      Antonio Guster was born.
      2533
      Super Arrow was born.
      2536
      James McCloud was born (the human equivalent, NOT the fox!).
      2537
      John Tanaka was born.
      2538
      Kate Alen was born.
      Chris Annex was born.
      PJ was born.
      2541
      Mrs. Arrow was born.
      2542
      Lisa Brilliant (Age found from Neoseeker)
      2543
      Jody Summer was born on February 21 in Mute City.
      2546
      Rain Ocampo was born.
      Tinsel Steelus was born on January 31 in Mute City, Earth.
      2549
      Baba was born in Planet Giant.
      Jack Levin was born on May 5, Cinco de Mayo, in Mute City, Earth.
      Mai Valentine was born on November 20 in Domino City, Japan, Earth.
      2550
      Lucy Liberty was born (approx).
      2552
      Leon was born in Planet Zou.
      2557
      Princia Ramode was born in the Desert Kingdom of Planet Magica.
      Beat was born.
      Joey Wheeler was born in January 25 in Domino City, Earth.
      Tristan Taylor was born on April 19 at Domino City, Earth.
      Yugi Muto was born on June 4 in Earth, Domino City.
      Tea Gardner was born on August 18 in Domino City, Earth.
      Bakura Ryou was born on Sept 2 in Domino City, Earth.
      Seito Kaiba was born on Oct 25 in Domino City, Earth.
      2559
      Bio Rex was created by Keerlon Corp on Earth from a fossilized dinosaur egg.
      Lily Flyer was born.
      2560
      Serenity Wheeler (July 4, 2560)
      The hyper futuristic race we know as F-Zero starts on November 21, (200 years after the fatal F-MAX) that took place in 2560, before the same competition when Sterling LaVaughn first raced in. The Knight, Queen, and King Leagues took place, and Capt. Falcon, Dr. Robert Stewart, Pico, Samurai Goroh, and Tinsel Steelus competed for the gold! She was lucky enough to barely win the first series of tracks, taking in 2nd place while Falcon took the lead! Alas, Tinsel was unable to pass over the 50-foot long gap in the last White Land track in the Queen League. She suffered from great hypothermia, and retired as an F-Zero pilot; she left the Silver Comet in a nearby garage at Mute City and never returned...with some people presuming her to be dead. Then, there was the unfortunate event known as the Horrific Accident, aka the Grand Finale, in which Deathborn caused the lethal crash at the last course of the King League, Fire Field. It was rumored to be Pico due to his reckless driving, then it was assumed to be the works of Black Shadow, even when Falcon barely noticed him stealing his DNA while being hospitalized and under anesthetics. Even Roy Hughes was nearly obliterated on duty as part of the Galaxy Platoon; his body was reconstructed and his wife was horrified by his surgical replacements, then divorced him and left their son, Clank, in her care.
      The Grand Prix was suspended for seven years, and during the wait, many pilots had trained in underground races, even Falcon who has installed simulations throughout the distant islands in the Port Town archipelago. Meanwhile, some evildoers had practiced in the underworld, even a certain demon and his evil creation... Heck, there were even a tetra of mysterious pilots using unique machines such as the Blue Thunder, Luna Bomber, Green Amazone, and the Fire Scorpion; even two secret competitions known as the Broadcast Satellite F-Zero Grand Prixes had been created, including newer circuits to Mute City, Big Blue, Sand Ocean (known as Sand Storm), Silence, and a couple new locations like Metal Fort and Devil Forest! However, since they were illegal races, they didn't air for too long, and most of the details remained a mystery. F-Zero seemed to have faded into obscurity...until, thanks to the persuasion from Super Arrow, the Federation Congress decided to resume the sport with the F-Zero X competition in 2567.
      2561
      Billy was born.
      2562
      Mokuba Kaiba was born on July 7 at Domino City, Japan, Earth.
      2563
      Blood Falcon was created by Black Shadow utilizing Capt. Falcon's DNA stolen after the Horrific Accident.
      Dai Goroh was born in Planet Cryton, Red Canyon.
      Clank Hughes was born on July 28 at Planet Forno.
      2564
      Approx birthdate for Alias.
      2565
      Terry Getter was born.
      2567
      The android, Mr. EAD, was created on November 16, 2201; since he debuted in F-Zero X, might as well be the year the X competition started. He was the replica of Dr. Kipo, who was actually nicknamed EAD.
      From the Jack, Queen, King, Joker to the X Cup, Falcon emerged victorious once again amongst a newer generation of pilots, including Roy's alias, the Mighty Gazelle, showing off his metal parts while disguising himself as a mech. As well as Zoda. Not a certain assassin we know, but rather the alien from Planet Uma-31.
      2573
      Sometime within the year, Yugi/Yami won over Marik in the Battle City tournament. A little afterwards, the infamous Duel against Anubis and the Pyramid of Light transpired.
      Unlike the main chronology, there was a pilot that seemed to have returned from the dead, Tinsel Steelus. Aside from introducing the Duelists, Yugi Muto and Joey Wheeler, to the upcoming event (F-Zero GX) several years later, probably in 2573. It was thanks to Falcon that spread her wings and started to race again since the original Grand Prix 13 years prior and that incident in White Land.
      F-Zero GX Grand Prix started on July 25!
      So how does it relate to the Duelists? On the Yugioh side, Tinsel and her Comet rescued Yugi, Joey, Tristan, and Tea from the Battle City island that was about to self-destruct thanks to Kaiba. Then, there were the events in GX. And Yugi, Yami, and Joey has only made cameos later on. Black Shadow, Deathborn, and The Creators were defeated by Falcon, and he wished to pass on his legacy to a certain...Grand Prix Legend.
      Now, GP Legend would be in an alternate continuity, as would Climax, but both the GBA game and the anime were released at the same time in Japan in 2003, and then the US a year later. So, it's only fair to include both in the same timeframe. Here's the lowdown:
      Zoda was reawakened after GX, and the max security prison in Planet Alcatrand was demolished by Black Shadow. His evil organization, Dark Million, has taken root, and the Emperor has been resurrected! Some time later, Jody and Andy Summer were involved in a shootout in downtown Mute City! Zoda ambushed the duo, and Andy cushioned the blow for Jody from the monster's rocket launcher! Since then, the fate of Andy was presumed lost... Although the Falcon House was established, and Burt actually took Tinsel in as her estranged father abandoned her since she refused to move to the Sothern Asian Colony; she had trauma-induced amnesia from that unfortunate experience...
      A little afterwards, the Elite Mobile Task Force was created, with Jody as the captain and Tanaka as director by the Commissioner! Other members followed suit such as Stewart, Clash, Jack, and EAD improving their lives and careers. Jack lost GX and was disbanded from his band, Thunderbolt, and then became the Death Reaper employed by Michael Chain as an act of vengeance, till Jody saw good in him and took him under her wing.
      At one point, Falcon visited the Task Force base to discuss a personal matter with Jody and Stewart. He went over the prophecy from the birth of the universe, how it'll meet certain catastrophe within the 26th century. The legend was foretold that a Savior must be chosen to even out the war waging between the Yin and Yang, in this case Falcon and the revived Black Shadow. Both members were skeptical of the legend of the falcon and how it shall bring peace perpetuating throughout the galaxy.
      Not only that, but Jody's obsession to stop Zoda grew tenfold. As a ways of destroying him, she'd done her research of a certain racer who was killed 150 years ago. His name was Rick Wheeler, the cop from New York, formerly known before Mute City, a century and a half prior to his fatal crash as he was pursuing the madman! With the way medical technology has advanced, she's quite confident Rick would be the key to the Task Force's victory over Dark Million; he was supposed to be revived after 200 years, rather than deducting 50 years.
      A little after that, Jody invited Dr. Stewart and John Tanaka discreetly to revive Rick, with the common public and the Commissioner not knowing it; it was against the law to thaw someone from cryo-hibernation on account on losing the patient from its severe injuries or the fact he/she's a felony sentenced for permanent stasis.
      Falcon instructed Dr. Clash to install a Light Reactor Might within their magnum opus, known only as the Dragon Bird, based on the name of the Vermillion (Dragon) Bird/Ryu Suzaku, and the Wuji/Dragon.
      2574
      In my OC's timeline, the anime and game both take place one year after the events of GX. In Sept 2574 (Sept being the release monh on the FoxBox), the scenarios of the anime went first, but only the first two Laps when Rick was awakened from the 150-year cold sleep and was just starting out; however, Lucy wasn't included in the game's Story Mode, so I theorized that the game must've taken place before the end of the second Lap prior to Lucy Liberty and Tinsel joining the Task Force. The anime resumed from there. From Rick training then competing against Capt. Falcon, to the onesie race at Planet Clifoto, to Rick and Tinsel chasing after Goroh and retrieving rare medicine for terminally ill kids. Tinsel competed in the next race as she rammed into the Astro Robin stolen and made over by Lisa Brilliant, then the mistress was ambushed at the skinny pit area as the Golden Fox halted her at the end! Tinsel won 1st, despite the Dragon Bird sharing 2 pilots, Jack Levin piloting it, and Rick with his injured arm navigating it. Jody grew fascinated with her skills, and Rick then encouraged her to join the Force; she reluctantly did, then asked Jody if there was a training program, she accepted, and because of her past experiences Tinsel was chosen almost instantly! From there, Tinsel worked part-time and also improved Rick's skills by giving him pointers, including educating him on past F-Zero races used as training grounds. Then, Tinsel used a large Duel Disk, a gift from the Duelists, and actually confronted Truman and the Bloody Chain on her own! Jody was thrilled on her skills, though this was when she needed to be evaluated...
      It was then she was diagnosed with mental illness, but because of her outstanding skills, the Force still kept her in. A week later, Rick suffered from Survivor's Guilt, met Miss Killer and nearly died! It was thanks to Tinsel's resuscitation after he succumbed to a deadly spell by The Skull!
      Sometime afterwards, there was an infiltration at the space transport in Planet Forno. Capt. Falcon destroyed it as Zoda escaped and an unfortunate soul's body was obliterated but his brain and metallic body parts.
      Rick then found out of a secret of Jody as a cyborg, and they were ambushed at the destroyed prison in Planet Alcatrand; Tinsel chased after, and froze Zoda's bullets, sparing the duo. Then, there was the nefarious Fake Star race when Pico attached speed-sensitive bombs to all but one machine... The Duelists assisted Falcon and destroyed the blimp activating them, and Alias received heart surgery. Then, the Crystal Cup race occurred as Zoda deactivated the protective shields from devastating meteors! Tinsel's Duel Monsters protected the pilots, excepting a Black Bull double which was incinerated, while Lucy won by default! Antonio Guster was encountered who bombed a space transport and an Aeropolis track! Clank Hughes was taken in by Burt after he escaped an orphanage in Planet Forno, Silver Neelsen reunited with an old friend, Anthony Ropkins (who was in cold sleep for 70 years) which also restored Jack's victory over Rick! Then, Kate befriended Mr. EAD, to the point she invited him to a Port Town cruise, where Zoda and his thugs were about to smuggle the stolen data chips; luckily, they, Tanaka and Kate were spared as they made their getaway.
      This was when the English Dubs were canned, sadly... Rick received a heart-warming gift from Tinsel.
      2575
      Archer Arrow was born somewhere in that year since he was saved by Capt. Falcon as an infant trapped on the train tracks; based on Capt Falcon's profile vid. He was born in Big Blue, and he was also 15 when he joined F-Zero.
      Tinsel suffered from a curse on losing races, and she quit Dueling as she grew distant from Yugi and Joey; she never bothered with the 10k-year curse set by Orichalcos orchestrated by Dartz and the Great Leviathan. She then asked to work for the Task Force full-time, but without outside allies to assist them. In the spring of 2575, she enrolled at the Hovercraft Hub in Tortiz 3, encouraged by her friends as a leg up to hone her skills. She succeeded and was able to return to Earth in the Finals at Victoria Falls...until she was brainwashed by a dark liquid... She then succumbed to the darkness, working for Black Shadow, wreaking havoc on the course, and soon sent to Mist Flow. The effect wore off, but she and Rick were injured. He was there beside Tinsel who was recovering for almost a week till she was strong enough to race and since then, her extra help paid off!
      There were also a few Japanese subs that took place while Tinsel was away at Tortiz 3 training in the Hovercraft Hub. Such as Rick's day off when Clank introduced him to an old-fashioned automobile and named it the Dragon Ghost; which later got scrapped to restore the Dragon Bird from its makeover as the Dark Star Dragon. Blood Falcon also managed to make the Task Force disband; due to its shape-shifting skills from a Dark Reactor Might, it wreaked havoc disguised as each member, causing strain and severe accusations. Even the fact Rick was infatuated w/ Miss Killer, who was actually Haruka. The Commissioner was of course saved and set the record straight while also promoting the Task Force into public status. Tinsel also missed out on the heated Women's Cup and the title of Miss Galaxy which Jody won the race prior; no one won as it turned into a warzone!! She also missed out on the rescue mission in White Land when Super Arrow and Rick saved Mrs. Arrow and Falcon destroyed a weather-control unit from Zoda's sabotage; there was an episode scheduled for the FoxBox, Super Scam, as Lap 16 in which Super Arrow assisted a hapless woman which was a disguise by Miss Killer, but it never occurred... Clank and Jody also discovered some lost ruins in Sand Ocean. Gomar & Shioh scammed Lucy on losing weight, though she developed their machine, and the aliens were put on probation for their fraudulence in their business w/ old auto parts. There was also the fact that Jack was the Death Reaper, and Rick and Jody settled the score of Jack's past while also scrimmaging against Mike and Baba, resulting in the gangbanger's imprisonment.
      And of course there were also the events from "Ending it All (F-Zero crossover)," which made some of the circumstances altered in the Japanese/English dubs. They just skewed into a different tangent because of the unexpected cancellation of the English dubs.
      So...Yugioh takes place in the nefarious saga, The Wake of the Dragons. Before those events, the Duelists, and their famous Monsters, had made some cameos. It all started on the fic, Cold as Ice, based on Lap 7 of the anime; this introduced Tinsel having the Duel Disk and let her use the Kuriboh and Multiply Cards against the Bloody Chain! Since then, it made some cameos, like Tinsel calling for outside help as Dark Million was raising the bar, starting with Zoda and his invasion in the deserted Alcatrand prison. Then, in the Fake Star race, Yami and Joey got involved in the emergency when Pico attached speed-sensitive bombs to the machines during the Fake Star race and they destroyed the blimp, crashing it toward him! A week later, Zoda deactivated the shields protecting the Outer Space course from meteors, and Tinsel used low-level Monsters to defend the pilots.
      The Duelists and Monsters hadn't appeared for awhile on account of Dartz and the Great Leviathan, but they returned by the late chapters in Ending it All. Then, concerning the Duelists, they got invited for Tinsel and Rick's wedding six months after they said goodbye to Yami and Kaiba.
      The Elite Mobile Task was abducted soon after Rick was in complete devastation of Haruka's death thanks to an obituary he found; he left his home and wound up in a deserted alley, then he was taken out of his vehicle and ambushed by Dark Million's cronies, including Miss Killer who stabbed him deeply. He made the conclusion she was his late flame, Haruka, and she scorned him not to call her that, before she and Bio Rex knocked him into unconsciousness. He and The Skull held Rick while they inserted a mysterious liquid in his upper neck.
      Tinsel began looking for the team who disappeared a couple weeks ago, with no connections according to Burt and Clank. Rick was the first who awakened and succumbed to the darkness, but was snapped out of Dark Million's thrall. Jack and co followed suit and also succumbed to the evil influence. Thanks to an experimental formula created by Dr. Stewart and kept safely by Rodney, they returned to their senses excepting Jody and the high-flying medico; Dr. Clash forced Rick to make him commit suicide as his mind was cracking, never wanting to have his bright mind be infected permanently. Zoda was also assassinated, in Port Town, while one of the mega corporations was infiltrated. The Championship was a split victory, and Tinsel was captured into Dark Star. The reunited Task Force, the Duelists, and outside allies infiltrated the enemy base. Uma-31 was erased from existence thanks to Dark Star's Mights. The remaining duo came back, and the Legend of the Falcon was unveiled, even when Deathborn was searching for the Reactor Mights for his Eden of annihilation; Rick was the chosen one as the Savior of the universe! Peace was restored as Deathborn and the base were obliterated upon Falcon's sacrifice.
      Oh, and by default since both Falcon and Black Shadow/Deathborn bit the dust, the tallied results for the Champion of the GPL Grand Prix was indeed Rick!!
      After trying to fit Yami's memories together, the events from Dark Side of Dimensions took place, the Duelists graduated, Tea eventually became a ballerina in Mute City, and Atem and Kaiba passed on.
      Over a month later, Tinsel moved into Rick's apartment and occasionally visited Falcon's Fortress while still mourning... The first Resident Evil movie made a cameo in Man of Destiny, Rick's first bounty-hunting mission. And The Hive was obliterated preventing the spread of the T-Virus.
      Phoenix Clark Levin was born; he was 7 when he joined F-Zero and his birthday was the same day as the matrimony with Jack Levin and Luna Stewart.
      2576
      Several months after that, it was Valentine's Day. And Rick made a surprise for Tinsel at her nostalgic place, the Port Town Queen League circuit. And he finally proposed! Then, he and Tinsel decided to leave for Planet Giant for a week, while also crossing paths with Lily Flyer who's preparing for her salvage mission in Giant and apprehend Don Genie before awakening the powerful ancient Deities of Materia. Rick somehow absorbed lethal electricity into his molecular makeup, causing him to have similar draco-like and electrical abilities to the late Capt. Falcon!!
      In spring, Rick stopped by in Boston for a few days and Tinsel decided to tag along. They went to Stark Farm, only to find his childhood home devastated and barren. The agriculturists of the Galaxy Platoon, even the Mother-Q, were convinced to restore the broken landscape. Or so they did...
      During a balmy summer, PJ moved into Tinsel's former flat in Mute City. The Empyrean Colony was destroyed by a humongous bomb as a train crashed into a metropolis set by robot terrorists! A girl named Rocket sacrificed herself for her sister's freedom as well as her posse. Prior to, PJ lost his job at Galaxy Cab after demanding for a larger craft and bigger wages.
      2577
      The Guardians of the Galaxy also made an appearance in To Be Married and Loved since their bounty-hunting mission with Rick and Tinsel. The Duelists including Mokuba, Mai, Serenity, Solomon, Tristan, and Tea were also invited. And Rick and Tinsel tied the knot on Oct 9, 2577, while also making the Falcon Fortress as their permanent living quarters that same night!
      Later that year, Tinsel and Rick attempted to use a uterine replicator to form a fetus safely without any chances of birth defects, disease, or harm to the mother. Sadly, it was experimental, and...they lost their chances as their sperm/eggs never merged...
      2585
      And finally, the latest Grand Prix, F-Zero Maximum Velocity, which occurs in 2585 (25 years after the original; I think having it a quarter century after GX was a mistake as it'll take us back to the settings from the original). The future's yet to come involving the all-new pilots, machines, and courses, though it's unknown as to how the competition had reduced from the intense, advanced rules to that from the original competition. Perhaps the Federation were having a restart. The future is hard to see.
      Feel free to make your own timeline for the F-Zero series, and let's hope it lives on.
      Such stories in the timeline include:
      Falcon's Followers The Samurai Returns Cold as Ice Rick's Lament Vulnerability of a Hero Ryu's Immigration A Trilogy of Tension Tanaka in Trouble Merry Christmas, Rick! Tinsel's Trial Tinsel's Interview with Mr. Zero Ending it All Man of Destiny An Action Point for Valentine's The Power of the Falcon PJ, the Empyrean Colonist The Bostonian Comes Home To Be Married and Loved A Tragic Day Trivia
      There were some Easter eggs mentioned like Days of Thunder, Grand Prix (1966 film), Need for Speed, MegaRace, Last American Hero, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek, Yugioh, Resident Evil (2002), Sucker Punch, I Robot, and Big Hero 6.
      Certain chars' birthdates can't be found, such as Rocket Raccoon, Drax, Gamora, Ego, Alice, Chad, Spence, Kevin Stewart, Mason Summer, Mr. Zero, Zoda (the alien), Black Shadow/Deathborn, Lewis Legend, etc. Others seem insignificant like Pegasus, Spock, Capt. Kirk, Capt. Picard, others from Star Trek, and the ancients from Yugioh.