A SPECIAL TORTURE
Previously: Spider in the Web
Themesong: Don’t Bring Me Down by E.L.O.
“No… please… anything but this… well, not anything. There are things that are worse, but I’m not going to think about them. Get thee behind me Teletubbies.” Fucking Sentai series were bad enough in the original Japanese. The American versions were, if anything, an order of magnitude worse. Sentai 90210 as it were.
I hate this world already. So let’s see how it could get worse. Flipping through the drawback options… Oh… lovely… so much yerg. I don’t know anything about MMPR lore besides what you can gleen from commercials and the infoblurb on the flash screen, but some of these sound idiotic. Like the one that would incarnate two idiotic bullies named, apparently “Bulk & Skull” in all future worlds for me to enjoy their idiocy. Or the one that made me a floating head outside the time stream in a featureless plane… actually, that one sounded like it might be an improvement over MMPRworld… Nooo.. I think… well, fine, ‘Nice Haircut’ [+100/1100/1100] means I’ll be mocked if I don’t keep up with fashions. Ooo, mockery. Scary. And ‘Ai-yi-yi-yi-yi’ [+100/1200/1200] gives me an annoying verbal tic, huh? Great! Let’s take those. Anything to make me never want to come back here without making this already insufferable world a no-win scenario. 1200 Choice Points to spend. Hope something’s worth it.
First… Drop In. I don’t want any fake memories of this place. I’ll just say I moved here from another city or something. I’m not going to be a Monster or a Space Witch. Ick. And I will not be caught dead in one of those Ranger outfits. So let’s look at what powers I get discounted.
Colour Change? No thank you, I don’t need the power to change the color of my clothing. Sixth Ranger… the ability to join pre existing organisations with little trouble. Hmmm… tempting. But not as tempting as Acoustics. Always wanted to learn how to play the flute. Says “You are incredibly skilled with an instrument of your choice and can project your voice or sound from instruments over incredible distances. Doesn’t boost the volume, just the clear carry distance somehow.” That’s worth 100 [100/1100/1200].
What else you got? Alchemy? Eh. Already got the Alchemy of two worlds, three if you count Joketsuzoku chemical science. Don’t need this one. Dunno what Putty Patrollers are… they sound lame. Teamwork? The ability to teach others to work as a team? Tempting. Attitude? The ability to edit my own personality… ooo… dangerous. Monologuing? The power to make sure no one misunderstands me ever again? Very tempting… But nothing screams buy me!
Gear then. I want a giant robot, it’s the only thing this place is good for. Oooo. Giant Robot Discount Get! Dragonzord! Discounted to 300. “An Ancient Giant Robotic Ally from the Sea. Equipped with Drill Weapons and Missiles and more! You can pilot it with the Dragon Dagger or take control from within the cockpit! It can combine with other dinozords for more power!” Well, that sounds like fun. What’s the Dragon Dagger… Hmmm… Dragon Flute is 100… “No Mere Flute, this dagger can fire an energy beam in a fight. It can also summon your Zord from any distance if you have one!” [300+100/700/1200] A flute that’s a dagger… good thing I like flutes.
Hmmm… it also mentioned combining with other Dinozords… how much are.. A 5 pack for 600? Heh. Niiiice. Gimmee. “Five Dinozords that can combine to make one Megazord!” Wait… it says I need five people to operate these, plus my own Dragonzord… I need to import… bugger… Importing costs 50 each. I’ve got 100 left if I buy the Dinozords. I need 250 total. Back to disadvantages… What costs 200? Green with Envy? No. I’m not that big a bitch. Competent Foes? I’m not that insane. So Props it is! “Everything is cheesy and fake and easily broken.” Note to self, leave everything non-self repairing in the freaking Warehouse. Hell, keep the Warehouse on lockdown the entire jump. Yup… This is gonna suck.
So… Dinozord Bundle, plus Importing 5 companions as Power Rangers? No… no… I can’t do this to my friends. Screw it. I’ll take the Zords, but screw the Props. This lunacy has gone on long enough. I want the Zords, but not this much. Zords are stupid anyway. Grumble grumble. Keep the damned things in my warehouse and use some real firepower to take out these… no! Bad SJ! No getting involved. Not this time. No freaking way I’m going to dignify this setting with playing along with it. It’s just silly.
Frack… I’ve lost count now. 100 left after I buy the Dinozords. Nothing says my companions can’t figure out how to use them without being rangers, right? I mean, the fucking idiots on the show did. Oh. Apparently you need the stupid power coin to teleport inside them. Fuuuuuuck. Fuck… fuckity. I… I’ll tinker with them later. I will not subject my friends to the indignity of Power Ranger Costumes. We’d be better as villains again, but I’m not doing that with the nutbars that call Sentai Shows home.
Hell, I’ll buy one of the coins for myself. Should be able to figure out how to copy it eventually. Compromise. Baah. I wanted the infinite range telescope… maybe Props… nooo. Bad SJ. Fuckity fuck. Confirm before I goddamn change my mind.
Have you ever been bullied in highschool? Have you ever had a job you just loathed? You know you can’t leave, know it’s not going to get any better? The kind of situation where you just keep your head down day after day and pray? Yeah. This whole jump was that for me.
I dropped into small city America, straight into the middle of the High School… and right then there was a problem. I’d forgotten to roll the POWER DICE to find out how old I was… and so I found myself as a 17 year old… which wasn’t a problem… but the first thing anyone said to me was “Miss James… You’re here. Wonderful! I’m so glad you agreed to teach gym for us! We’ve had nothing but substitutes for a month.” Fuckity fuck fuckity… I was a 17 year old Gym Teacher? Was the world mad? I was wearing a spandex unitard, leg warmers, and wrist bands. I looked like a 4’10” Susan Powter.
Okay… I know I’m about as physically fit as can be, and I’ve spent decades keeping trim and fit and all… but I hate gym. Always have. It’s torture for half the kids and a waste of time for the others. And locker rooms smell horrible. And the kids are obnoxious. But I wasn’t going to let them get to me. I was going to be vulcan calm. I had iron control over my emotions.
That lasted 12 minutes. If you’ve never taught high school students, you have no idea how terrible the kids can be. I was actually grateful when the monsters attacked. Sure, I may have been a little violent, and there’s no way the bat-thing deserved to have its wings ripped off before being beaten to death with them… but after that the students obeyed me with no small amount of fear in their eyes. I did get called to the office for saying fuck a lot. Apparently I couldn’t stop. I explained that I had Tourette’s Syndrome and, because this universe is stupid and everyone in it is stupid, they believed me.
So school was… a pain. I had an actual job that required me to actually show up at… I tried quitting. I really did. No one paid any attention to it. I tried leaving town… I couldn’t. There isn’t really anything beyond the town. I mean, there is… but it’s all… like automatons and badly built… like a photocopy of the world… or a screen writer’s half-assed version of a setting. Just enough there to make up an economy and world events. I guessed if the heroes ever went to the beach, that would be fleshed out. Also, the town seemed to be surrounded by nothing but parks, quarries, sand dunes, gravel pits, and sparsely treed forests. It was ghastly. I took to turning into a masked anarchist in my Infernape form and smashing local banks after hours for fun. They were always back to normal the next day. Madness.
The Rangers tried to recruit me. And I mean they tried. Often. Like every week. There always seemed to be a fight somewhere near me, and they kept addressing me as Miss James, the Gym Teacher, even though I definitely wasn’t doing my job. I was getting paid for it, which was very strange, but I hadn’t set foot in the building since the first day.
Anyway, Rita or whatever her name is, the Villain of the season, kept sending monsters down within a few hundred yards of me and then the Rangers would show up and be incompetent and I’d have to save them. Well, I thought about not saving them, but I couldn’t not do it. I did swear an awful lot… also there is no booze in this city!!! I’ve made my own, but it’s not the same.
The monsters are chumps. The Rangers are terrible martial artists. I have sooooo much hate in my heart for this place. Sooo much. I have taken to attacking the Rangers as the Firechimp just for giggles. They move like arthritic slugs and their attacks hit like bee stings. I’ve started “Ambush Training” them to see if they have any real potential. I’m not impressed. Also, People get annoyed if you use a Dragonzord to knock down restaurants that get your order wrong.
Also, Rita’s Moon Palace? See… I’ve been to Earth’s Moon as a SPECTER. I’ve been there as a Vulcan. I have long range scanners. And nukes. She’s so lucky I don’t take her seriously. I did show up and kick her ass just because. Found out what Putties are. Oh my god. Sooooo fucking laaame.
One time, I spent an enjoyable hour constantly teleporting produce into her Throne Room. Another time, I turned her staff into a snake. It’s truly mental how much fun you can have when you hate everything. My friends are taking turns terrorizing the town… or shopping.
Ziggy and Ryoga smashed the school gym for me to celebrate the one year mark. I was pleased until I found out that I was now the school’s Health Teacher… despite having shown up to teach once and only once.
There was, it turns out, a gradual power creep over the years and the enemies got more dangerous… in theory. In reality, the Power Rangers, as utterly incompetent as they were, could handle all of it. It wasn’t my problem as long as it wasn’t a threat to me. I kept showing up wherever the threats were about to be, DragonZording it up only when absolutely necessary… and when that didn’t work, I formed the head and we super robo’d it up. Turns out the coins aren’t that hard to figure out. And OmniGel works pretty good to make the Zords self-repairing. The Power Rangers were very confused when we showed up in a gunmetal version of their gear, wearing very much not spandex costumes… ours were more… Mass Effect armor suits. Upgrading Zords with assault shuttle grade phasers wasn’t too hard either, same for upgrading the armor plating.
Pretty soon the fights were getting dull and repetitive… then just sad. Just set a particle cannon to shoot anything over so big and moving. Then rebuild it and shield it. Fairly amazing what kind of magical defenses 6 Hogwarts graduates can put on things.
Just for fun, at first at least, I started showing up and pulling Rita… and later Zedd… into my head and having long philosophical debates with them. At first they just raged around my Mental Palace, being all petulant, but once it became clear that they couldn’t hurt me in my own mind, and that I’d let them go once we’d talked, I started shrinking them. I really was curious what lunacy might make them so dedicated to being so spectacularly useless.
I’m very convincing, and Rita is not a smart person… and Zedd’s even dumber. Their reasons for all the Evulz essentially boiled down to getting all the toys before anyone else got them first. It’s like no one had ever pointed out to either of them that people don’t serve conquerors. They fight conquerors. Unless they wanted to destroy Earth, which they clearly didn’t, they stood functionally no chance of winning, they didn’t have the apparatus to be world governors, in hierarchy or intelligence. There would always be rangers to fight them. Wasn’t it better to do something productive with your time, rather than constantly lose every fight?
Then I introduced them to Farmville… or as I like to call it “Lunar Terraforming 101”. Evil Conquerors are challenge junkies… good at repetitive tasks. I even set up microtransactions for more “Space Fertilizer”… and different color Space Crops. By the time the rest of the Idiot League of Idiots showed up, Zedd and Rita were competing about who could terraform faster. I’m not sure any of the crops were safe to eat, but better than wasting energy ruining… whatever the fuck the name of this stupid city is.
Meanwhile my team and I were keeping the Rangers busy. Sure, they considered it mayhem they were stopping, but we considered it training their sorry asses to be good at their jobs. We attacked them at all hours, since it wasn’t exactly hard figuring out who they were. And as Miss James I finally accepted their offer just to see what kind of blithering lunatic was running the show. Turns out it’s a hologram head with a really lame robot.
Of course. He filled me in on the whole mess… Space Dumpster, 10,000 year prison, Cosmic Evil, Universal Good. I swore a lot. I lectured… a lot. I asked if there was a force of Universal brain damage. Eventually the Machine Empire showed up and I just can’t grock how those microbrained pea heads ever conquered entire Galaxies unless those Galaxies were populated by cavemen.
Still, Zordon, that’s the hologram head, sacrificed himself and all the evul went away. Which pretty much left me and my team as the only badguys around. Rita turned into a Good Witch and took over for Zordon… but even good, she and her Rangers really couldn’t deal with us. We’d kept leveling our gear up with every leveling up their gear got and we were smarter, faster, better trained… and not fucking morons. We also had absolutely no goal besides not going stir crazy from the boredom. It was… fun. It was like a ten year vacation into nonsense land.
I dunno if there are other jumpers, though I imagine there are. I dunno if their versions of the Rangers are frighteningly competent and the threats actually real and the action and special effects realistic. I suspect there might be… But we didn’t get that. We got a Machine Empire that were about as scary as the Carebears. Maybe I should have taken Component Enemies.
Anyway, to make the MMPR feel better about themselves, we finally let them defeat us and switched over to “Good”. At which point I revealed that I was Miss James and they were like “You were her all along?” and I laughed “of course! But the real enemy is fear and ignorance, so stay in school!” They all nodded like bobbleheads and I rolled my eyes as time froze. Of course, it was a beach episode.