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    #76
    Jacob looked around than gave a signal over the communicators to the troops "we're done here, now it's like a giant litter box, we're just making mess worse, we really need to get the supplies we came for and tend to the wounded and get out of here, all of the supplies will be devied up at valley." he said than headed out the doors, the Lion Man was right, they were supposed to be here to rescue those in need and destroy the enemies' chance of getting any further foot hold, however he had been working against the machines in open full combat for a while, he wasn't sure if hiding and striking only to rescue would be of help or if it would keep them alive, but one thing was for sure, they weren't going anywhere long as the machines had hold in this quadrant.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Back on board the carrier, three very satisfied Catharians were in the lounge relaxing after 'extensive exercise' they were also going over battle assessments and other various reports hoping to find a flaw in the machine defenses they knew Jacob and the rebels depended on the knowledge and tactical edge to be able to devise better plans to take on the machines.
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      #77
      Chance was holding a picture of himself and a female, she was shrouded in Catharian uniform and blaster, infact her facial features also revealed her to be Catharian, he was standing beside her in the photo, almost as if... his mind was jolted back to the goings on of what was happening, he snapped to attention looking around
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        #78
        Back at Safe Haven that night...

        Helga was the one using the communication crystal ball this time while Benjamin was out checking on the village and the village garden. "Clipper, come in please. This is Helga and it's important."

        Clipper's voice emerged from the communication orb, Good thing you called in, Helga, Nick and the others are freezing their butts off over here on Verminoi IV. I visited Safe Haven while you three were gone and I took pieces of the keystones from the access portals there for installation in the other safe haven portals. Behind the crystal orb you will find a small bag, Take the sea-green keystone from bag and place it into the Access Portal's slot of the same color. Then take the bluish white keystone and place it in the remaining portal's slot. When the sun rises the next morning, the portals will spring to life and then we can share supplies from here with You and Benjamin.

        Helga took the small bag. "Clipper, We may have a problem over here. Benjamin is starting to regress into a feral version of his man lion self; he is even starting to prefer to roam around on all fours rather than to walk on his hind paws like a man. If we don't fix his powers soon, we will lose the friend we all know and love. Please tell me that you guys are closer to fixing his powers. Also, the Catharian is starting to make plans and carry them out with his people as if Benjamin isn't even here. If it weren't for the people he has rescued, I think Benjamin would just completely go feral and just give up on being a ranger."

        Clipper then replied, As soon as you can get the portals operational, Helga, we can directly see about fixing Benjamin's powers. I know he really wanted to find his own way, but since the Catharian is overstepping Benjamin's authority, you may be right. The Catharians only seem to care about themselves and as a group are pretty weak when faced with overwhelming odds. In fact, they might say they are losing a fight when the main heroes are about to score a victory strike.

        Helga grinned. "It is amusing that you mention that, Clipper, because that is exactly what I heard Jacob's people saying during the raid his people arranged on an enemy camp. I am going to get these keystones in place. When the sun rises, I will expect to see you over here to directly help Benjamin. Helga Out."

        And she headed out to get the keystones into their properly colored access portals. Now it was the waiting game.


        Helga then approached Benjamin where he was playing with one of the rescued children. "Good news, Benji. I called Clipper and they are about to get the Verminoi Safe Haven access portals functioning and... Clipper says he has the time to try to sort out your powers."

        The lion looked up at the Varg'rr and said, "Why would I care about that? Isn't it obvious that no matter what world I go to I am always going to encounter some alien race who wants to claim all the fame and glory for themselves. I didn't come here to watch the Catharians take over my mission yet that is what they are doing."

        Helga yanked Benjamin up by the scruff of his neck and looked him in the eye fiercely. "I didn't come here to serve the blasted self-centered Catharians myself. I came because of you, Benji. The Aquarian Force cares about you and you are NOT about to give up your right to be civilized just because that old fart that is your mentor would like to see you go back to being primitive. You were human originally and you will be again whether the old fart likes it or not. Don't make me go to his home valley and kill him."

        Benji dangled there helpless in Helga's grip. "What can I do, Helga? If I cannot get my human form back, I'm finished. And if I have no morphing powers, I might as well go back to Earth because I am useless as an Aquarian Force member without powers."

        Helga carried the dangling man lion back over to the center of Safe Haven and forced him to sit American Indian style facing the fire. "Now to take your morpher," And she removed it from Benji's wrist without so much as a warning... and the moment it was off of his arm... Benjamin transformed back into his human form although mostly as undressed as the man lion preferred to be since most of his clothes were destroyed in the stinking swamp back on New Britannia. "What the...? You're human again. Then that means the species always on form is messed up only in your morpher. We know you originally stole this from Lord Zedd in Desparia, but even then you told us that the power could fail at any time. And now I would have to say that it has. But don't worry, we will get you a new morpher so you can be the ranger you were always meant to be. For now, just sit there while I make dinner."

        Born and raised in Kenya, Africa, Benjamin was a native African Leo being born on August 16th. His main interest was lions, of course, but he will perk up to anyone who loves big game cats. He had short black hair, feline green eyes, dark brown skin. He normally stood at 5'10" tall and weighed around 156 pounds. In addition to lions, Benjamin also liked horse-back riding, the supernatural (especially spiritualism), fairy tale literature, and tribal music.

        Helga had to smile upon seeing Benjamin's original good looks. "Despite the lack of clothes, Benji, I still like you. Now stay put while I cook dinner."

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Worlds Access Portal Reminder:

        On Verminoi II (the wooded plains world), Benjamin, Helga and Jacob are here. Nick and the others will join them soon.

        On Verminoi III (the marshland fishing world), Former Britannian Queen Rosetail of the kangaroo people rules there.

        On Verminoi IV (the Winter wonderland world), Nick Kane's mining operations, along with the Reindeer allied forces nearby.
        Just then Clipper lifted his head out of a mental communication with Helga. "Guys, Benjamin's going feral when suited up and that means I have to go see to it that he doesn't get stuck that way. He is our friend and we can't afford to lose him. That also means that Mackenzie can come with me since he cares about Benjamin a lot. We will be using the portal in the morning. Helga is making Benjamin sit at the campfire in a native yoga pose while she makes dinner. And they have been putting up with the Catharians usurping Benji's mission over there."

        Nick then said, "If making 'im a new morpher would solve the problem, we could simply 'ave yas go that route, Clipper. Ah can pay yas in sex for succeeding..."

        Wendell hummed. "I just had an idea, Nick... I am sure there are now more Loners in the universe we could recruit into the good fight on the slaver worlds. What if we were to call a few of them to join Benji and Helga to form an all new branch of the Aquarian Force with Benji as the leader? A team is not a force of one or two, it is six minimum and eight to twelve maximum. If Davyd Starrock wasn't continuing to stay on Foresta with his team, they could assist Benjamin themselves. But... they do love using the concert hall over there and we can stream the battle music over our magical radio communicators."

        Godyva had just returned and said, "I think that is a great idea, Wendall. Benji needs more team members so they can all help to support his mission. Right now it seems as if Helga is shouldering the entire weight by herself."

        Infinity said, "I can mentally contact IO and the Holy Pouch and ask them who else is available for Benjamin's team."

        Rudella nodded her head. "And I can use my Rider Radio to call the other Riders to see if any Alumni are bored for another mission... In Space."

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          #79
          Deryk oddly felt left out (and still a bit uncomfortable of being the third wheel). He didn't have any connections to offer to help Benjamin. David just simply hugged his brother, seeing how depressed he was getting again. He hated seeing that for his brother. "We may not 'ave as many connections, but we are willing to give our support, right Deryk?" He then put him in a half-neslon after not hearing an answer. "Right Deryk?!"

          "STOP STOP STOP!" He then grunted. "Alright! Yes David!"

          Kyr hummed. "Benjamin will be in my prayers. If the Divine cannot intervene, I don't know what will."
          sigpic

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            #80
            Nick then seemed to notice Deryk's agitation as he added, "If anyone in this team wants to join Benjamin's team that will be permitted. Ah know the conditions up 'ere are not fit for man nor kangaroo. 'ence in my opinion, another incentive for Mackenzie to go join Benji."

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              #81
              Jacob walked up to Benji. "I don't know if it would fit ya but I have some spare clothing." he said with a smile, setting the duffel bag down in front of him, having seen the entire exchange between him and Helga, he was wondering if there was anything else he could do, as far as powers he didn't have any really but he was wanting to help as much as possible.

              ~~~~~

              Knight looked at the others than looked at Chance, "If anywhere i'm going to kick evil's tail right here" he said standing next to Nick, he wasn't so easy to discourage from battle, Chance however looked at everyone and than said "i will go where i can be of best use to the rebellion, i know that being part man and part machine can be unsettling to some, however my heart is with those that fight for freedom" he was attempting to sound more human all the time.
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                #82
                The next thing that was heard was a big SLAP! Deryk was glowering at David for volunteering him for such a thing. He was loyal to Nick, and switching loyalties to Benjamin when he desired to continue the fight by Nick's side was not something he'd willingly volunteer for. Either he was mistaken at hearing the words, or he thought the implication was that he didn't want to stay was getting to his head. Of course, he was angry. He just left to return to his tent, furious at his brother. Benjamin was David's interest; not his.

                David's face was throbbing... at least on the side where Deryk used his hand to slap his brother hard. He realized he might've been mistaken in volunteering him just to help boost his morale. He let out a sigh and his smile turned into a frown. "Ah guess 'e didn't like that idea..."

                Yin-Yang shook his head. "Ah'll go see what's wrong. David, it will be best for yas not to follow 'im." The Balance Roo KSP then floated further down the trail, but gave Deryk enough space.


                Kyr also shook her head. "Brothers."
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                  #83
                  Nick looked to Infinity and Rudella. "Yas two start making some calls and see who might be available for some slaver bashing action and some moral support providence. Clipper, yas and Mackenzie 'ead on over to see what can be done for Benjamin. The rest of us need to get the Safe 'aven mining operation started. They are going to be needing the metal on the other two worlds and Verminoi IV is the only place where we get get the raw material for use on Verminoi III and Verminoi II. Remember my mates, the only reason we are 'ere on Verminoi IV is to get these mines started. We 'aven't seen a slaver nor a machine since we arrived and the reindeer at their outpost would 'ave mentioned seeing such and they 'aven't." Nick got up and shouldered the hand held Pneumatic rock drill and headed over the mountain side and began drilling to get the mines started from the safety of Safe Haven.

                  Infinity who could multitask chose to start tunneling into the mountain at cosmic speed to create the initial mine shaft itself. Once he was done with the initial mine tunnel, he extracted himself back out into Safe Haven and he shook all of the dust and dirt off of himself allowing precious metals, iron ores, and various gems land on the ground. "Okay my friends, this is what is available within this mountain. Sorry to burst your enthusiasm, Nick, but that rock is a lot harder than you think and with that hand drill you would have been at it for the next few months and that isn't why you formed this rebellion. The more important task is to support Benjamin and help him to fight the slavers where he is. Verminoi II is the world which the Space Rangers initially rescued Lord Rein Akinobu from when the boy was stranded there long long ago. He was simply cute Renny Reinger back in those days. I think Benji had the right idea at the right world. All we will manage to do here is wake up as icicles and that isn't a dragon's idea of a good time. The others are already making the occasional trips back over to the marshland world to warm up when they get too cold here. Humans are not accustomed to working in these kinds of conditions, Nick, and you know that I am right."

                  Nick nodded his head as he set the drill down once again. "Ah know yas are correct, partner, but we 'ad to get this operation started for the necessary minerals. Ah 'ate to quit a project that Ah planned. But for my team's sake, we will migrate over to Verminoi II, not to steal Benji's thunder, but to support 'im and see about arranging two separate patrol operations. Ah will lead one and Benji would lead the other. It will be good to see 'elga again. Ah think she is about the only one who can keep us in line... aside from Moz the Shaman moose."

                  ~~~~~~~~~~

                  Benjamin looked up at Jacob. "I somehow don't think Catharian clothing is going to fit my human body too well, Jacob, aside from making me feel kinky."

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                    #84
                    David had already headed to Verminoi II to get warm. He was not going to let his brother's anger get to him. Kyr followed close by to talk to him about the way he volunteered his brother for something against his will. Best not to hear that conversation, though some of it did involve a the use of a ruler.


                    Within the tent, Deryk wasn't playing music, nor was he crying. He was just sitting in his tent feeling angry. "David... baka."

                    Yin-Yang floated around Deryk, just sitting beside him as he watched Deryk's glowering gaze at the ground. "Yas can't always come to yer tent to sulk when things don't go yer way, Deryk. Ah know yas love Nick, and the restored contractual bond between 'im and Clipper 'as gotten that tinge of initial jealousy back in your glare. That will eventually fade and things will go back similar to what it was back in Desparia. Nick is counting on yas... and 'ow can yas keep 'is trust if yas keep on being this way?"

                    Deryk growled. "Did yas see? David just volunteered to send me away from Nick... Volunteered to have me go fight with Benjamin where Ah know where my place is." The elder twin closed his eyes. "Ah don't want to fail 'im."

                    "Yas will only fail Nick if yas are not the one being 'elpful," said Yin-Yang gently. "Yas know yas share feelings with 'im, and yas can't let yerself get as bad as yas were back in Foresta with the impostor. That will also fail Nick. David was trying 'is best just to get yas out of that slump when Nick was offering sex to Clipper. Ah guess the implications use that... set yas off."

                    Deryk punched the ground. "Ah guess Ah should apologize to Nick for my be'avior."

                    A small smirk came across Yin-Yang's muzzle. "That will be a start. Yas are not infallible, and yas shown Nick a side of yas that yas sworn never to show. That's what makes yas 'uman. Just apologize to 'im about the way yas acted, and when yas are done, yas can give David the cold shoulder all yas want. Yer brother may be wanting to 'elp, but yas were right in slapping 'im this time."

                    Deryk finally started to calm down. "Ah need to go 'elp... Ah can't be a burden." He slowly got up and out of the tent with his coat on.
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                      #85
                      Jacob nodded "i suppose you're right,my apologizes i often forget how different humans and Catharians are." he said with a laugh, he than reached into his pocket to retrieve his com-pad after hearing it beep, it was a text based transmission from a friend of his, he smiled and put the pad away, if it wasn't for his fur covering his face someone could almost think Jacob was blushing.
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      Knight was assisting where he could, his mind couldn't wrap around some of this more modern technology in the back of his mind he wondered if he was doing any good here, but he wasn't about to abandon his friends or the cause here, he'd continue to fight and assist these rebels with their cause, after all this was the most adventure he'd ever had, not everything would be about combat and fighting and he knew this.
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      Chance was assisting with more technical aspects where he thought he'd be of most help, however un alike Knight he wasn't a healer and un alike Jacob he didn't have a carrier chip he could call on, What Chance did have was intimate knowledge of machine empire and their workings, and in a very extreme case he could be useful in a information raid, He felt like he had to work harder to deserve everyone's trust after all it was machine tech that was in his body.
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                        #86
                        Through the Access Portal from Verminoi IV, Clipper arrived with the Kangaroo Courier Rider (Mackenzie) as well as David and Kyr (the latter holding a steel ruler.)

                        Helga smiled. "Good to see you guys. Clipper, when I removed Benjamin's morpher from his arm, he reverted to his old human form that he started with back on Desparia. Since the morpher is messed up due to the dip in the swamps, you will be busy making Benji a new morphing source. ...Preferably one that does not rely on those stupid lion valley idiots who were okay with Benji losing his humanity..." She then raised her voice to Kyr to warn her, "Kyr, don't look at Benji... he lost all of his usual clothing; he is naked on the other side of the fire."

                        Clipper took the failed morpher and scanned it before destroying it in a blast of super magic. "I can do it, Helga. A nice new clean morpher... as for Benji.. it is a good thing a lot of Benji's clothes were still in storage back at Rootcore on Planet Foresta..." he pointed a hand at the naked human and a magical ray shot out and in a flash, Benji was wearing one of his clean outfits that he had in storage back at Rootcore. In fact, it was the uniform that he used to wear back in the Desparian dimension.

                        Benji smiled. "Thanks, Clipper. I owe you a kiss. How long will it take to make the new morpher? I cannot free slaves with my good looks."

                        Clipper said, "A few hours, tops. I am not as fast at making morphers as Lord Devlin on New Adalia is. By the way, Nick and the others will be migrating over here soon, but he isn't coming to step on your toes, Benji. He is still going to let you perform your own missions exactly as you planned before. Not to mention, they got the new mine started and with the fresh resources, I'll be able to make you a very stylish morpher."

                        Benji nodded his head as he got to his feet and patted Jacob on the shoulder. "When the others arrive, you will see the rest of the Aquarian Force." He then walked over to the kangaroo and his motorcycle where he gave Mackenzie a loving hug and a kiss on the muzzle. "Thanks for worrying about me, mate." He then stepped over to look at David. "Where's that brother of yours?"

                        ~~~~~

                        Rudella then said, "One of the Kamen Riders just informed me that New Adalia has a Ranger and Rider Academy where they train the newest generation. The Rider said he would forward my message to the academy and after that, we will get some new blood in the Aquarian Force."

                        Nick smiled. "That sounds great, Sheila... but sadly... My hands and legs are numb, so Ah need to go over to Verminoi II to get warmed up. Infinity, bring the supplies, please. Attention everyone... we are about to migrate to Verminoi II to get warmed up. I think Helga is preparing a meal."

                        Wendell loaded the mined material into a large sack and then he carried it off toward the access portal.

                        Infinity mentally reached out to Yin-Yang, Have Deryk pack up his tent and come on back. We're about to leave Verminoi IV. Nick almost got frostbite.

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                          #87
                          After the message was relayed to Deryk, he could practically kick himself. He got his tent broken down and folded down as fast as possible, considering the weather conditions. "As soon as we get things out of 'ere, we need to get the tents and Nick out of 'ere if 'e didn't step into Infinity." He then looked at the KSP. "Prepare for Tao Mode and Boomer Cycles... we need the rest of the things to warmth as fast as possible!"

                          As soon as Deryk realized retrieving the spikes are a lost cause after losing one of his gloves to the sticky frozen ice-covered tent spikes, Deryk morphed and activated Tao Mode. "Boomer Cycles, rev up!" The Yin Ranger grabbed the tent and spare belongings of Deryk Lonewolf. "Catch any stragglers, and 'elp them get out into the warmth... I'll get the equipment out!" ZOOM! Gone.

                          "R-right," said the Yang Ranger, his hopes risen again, as he revved up and got his Boomer Cycle running. Yang then said, "We won't last long in this cold weather. Let's be fast."


                          As soon as the Yin Ranger arrived in Verminoi II, he saw that David was getting several ruler strikes to the back. Kyr was mad. "Next time, think over your plans before practicing them! The last thing we need is a a depressed and angry Deryk becoming a liability to the team! Don't coerce him into that stuff! Haven't you heard the story of Joseph and his brothers?!"

                          "OW! OW! OW!" grunted David. "Stop it! That 'urts, Kyr!"

                          The Yin Ranger snerked to himself. "Serves 'im Right."

                          Yin growled. "That is counterintuitive of what our balanced counterparts would think, although the balanced Deryk is mad at 'im."
                          sigpic

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                            #88
                            Soon, everyone else was in the Verminoi II Safe Haven. Infinity pulled a cold Nick Kane out of himself and set him down at the fire pit to get the necessary warm up he needed. "I think we got out of there just in time. I don't know how those reindeer soldiers do it."

                            Nick shivered as he held his hands up toward the fire. "Ah think their scout told us once that all of their people dip themselves in some sort of anti-frosting oil."

                            Rudella came through and unpacked the food supplies and then she proceeded to help Helga in preparing the meal.

                            Wendell walked over and knelt shook Benji's hand. "Clipper will get your new morpher up and running. You will be a lone lion ranger again before you know it."

                            Benji sighed. "I sure hope you are right. I am sorry you guys had to tolerate the glacier world for as long as you did."

                            Clipper then said, "I have been in touch with one of the Clipper Legion, this one over in the Medievon dimension; he is sharing the blueprints for an all new lion morpher that one of their rangers makes use of. It won't be long now, Benjamin."

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                              #89
                              The Yin and Yang Rangers merged as one and powered down, Deryk stayed at Nick's side for a moment. He was breathing in the warm air, as he looked to Nick. "Ah'm sorry for letting myself be an arse when David... tried to be a brother." He had other words for what he did, but that was for the Tao Ranger to be discreet about.

                              Hector was in the air with Jakkin flapping as if he was a backpack for his Daddy. They were keeping watch over Safe Haven for now.

                              David was being lectured on the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors from the Good Book, and man was Kyr relentless about making sure he listened. Even Leaper cringed at that form of punishment!
                              sigpic

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                                #90
                                Enough dinner had to be prepared for everyone in the Safe Haven village. After everyone was fed, and temporary lodgings assigned for the Aquarian Force, Clipper worked with Wendell, Benjamin and Jacob into the night on Benji's new Lion morpher. To better help Jacob fit in with the Aquarian Force, Clipper decided to make a Catharian based morpher that would be a gift for Jacob to use however he liked.

                                And soon the night had passed.

                                To Be continued...

                                End of ROA-02 Fossil Fuels

                                Stay tuned for the next episode, ROA-03 The Ruins of River Bluff

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