Black Out

Jason Lee Scott

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Weeks passed as Jason traveled through the jungles of Kraw. The river he had been following had come to an end, so he followed the nearest trail he could find. That only lead to another river with another end, and the cycle repeated itself. This went on for some time, but the breath of fresh air during the process was his meetings with various travelers he shared the road with. He’d encountered mostly hunters who had guided him along the way, and he knew he was getting closer to New Abraxas. He also knew that he was getting much closer to the other Rangers, as he’d encountered more tales of brilliantly colored lights descending into different parts of the jungle weeks ago.

One that stood out to people was a streak of black light that had landed nearest to his path. People had a hard time describing it, as it was both a dark void yet bright as day at the same time. For as much as it confounded the travelers Jason encountered, he knew it was his close friend Zack Taylor’s teleportation beam. It had taken all the Rangers a bit of time to wrap their heads around the fact that they could simply turn into beams of light for fast travel, but the Black Ranger’s energy signature had been the most difficult to wrap their minds around, especially to the brainiac of the group, Billy.

It was a blessing, now, though, as it was leading Jason closer and closer to his friend. New Abraxas could wait if it meant he was able to recover a Ranger. He wondered if Zack would be sealed away like he had been, or if he’d managed to make a lucky escape too? It certainly wasn’t the best thought if all the Rangers had been dropped right into the same dire straits as he had.

It led him to another temple. This time he was on the outskirts instead of the heart, and the layers of defenses he would have to infiltrate were apparent enough, but the real problem was the armed mercenaries milling about the outside of the place. He recognized a similar dress and appearance to Jericho, the man he’d battled upon his arrival and who was apparently the leader of this faction of insurgents. In his travels he’d heard tales of a man trying to raise an army to stand against Indiana Jones. Jason hadn’t quite appreciated meeting the leader in the moment when he’d broken his wrist, bashed his head into rocks, and thrown him in the river. He didn’t believe Jericho was dead, though, and seeing his people mill about like nothing was wrong was enough of a clue that his guess was accurate.

He didn’t like the situation, mostly because he knew that if he had his power coin, he could easily take the whole crowd in a straight fight as the fully powered Red Ranger. As it were, he was just a regular man, unarmed in the middle of a heavily militarized camp. He didn’t have any other choice than to deal with it, though, because Zack was in there and needed help one way or another. The invading memories from earlier rang in his head though. Even if he could save everyone, he would need to find a way to get their actual powers back if they were going to have a chance against this Darkseid character. Or Zedd, for that matter.

Jason crouched low and quietly slipped between the boxes of equipment and machinery that littered the courtyard. All the clutter made it easier to sneak in and still manage to overhear useful information.

“Whole damn thing is pitch black inside,” one of the mercenaries commented to another, within the Ranger’s earshot. “We’re getting the lights installed now so we can search the place.”

“Must be because the natives abandoned this temple,” the other replied. “Weird that they would do that. They’ve been territorial of all the others.”

“Must be a shrine to some god they don’t like anymore,” the original man laughed. “Come on, help me carry this.”

The two men hoisted a crate up and moved away, while Jason kept moving as he noted that bit of information. Luckily there were flashlights scattered all over the place, so he snatched two and kept moving. His sights were set on the front door on the temple, but there was too much foot traffic going in and out to make it through the doorway. Instead, he was going to have to find a smaller entrance not in use.

He surveyed the area, and there didn’t look to be any deliberate side doors. Looking up gave him a new idea. A building in disrepair probably had plenty of holes in the roof. If he could manage to sneak up there, then maybe he could find a way in from above.

It wasn’t the best plan, but he was more than used to working with what he had instead of what was ideal. Why should that change now? Chuckling to himself with amusement at his fortune, the Ranger began to quietly work his way up the fallen debris beside the temple.
 

Jason Lee Scott

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Jason dropped into the ruined temple, landing in the darkness with a small stumble. He was really just happy that there had been solid ground below him, as he’d tried to use his flashlight as little as possible on the way in. Unfortunately he wasn’t blessed the ability to see in the dark, so he had no choice but to click his flashlight on at that point. All it really revealed was an empty, creepy hallway, but empty was a win for him considering the small army that he had slipped by outside.

He made his way through several dark corridors before entering a massive chamber. He didn’t slow as he entered it, knowing that his source of light gave him away to any ambushers. Instead he was quick to step in and shine his light around to assess the area and catch anyone waiting for him. There was no one lurking in ambush, so he walked through the ominously poor lit space, noting a few gaps in the floor with his light. He didn’t know where they went to, but he sure didn’t want to drop in them.

Jason moved through a few more hallways, including turning around at a few dead end rooms before he finally saw something he recognized. Within an empty room there was a pod much like the one he escaped from upon his arrival in this realm, built into the wall just the same. A black light glowed from it, with made him immediately realize that his own surely held a red glow before he’d escaped.

He quickly approached the device and looked it over to find any sort of release mechanism. It seemed to be sealed tight, so he didn’t know what else to do except apply some brute force. He stepped back and delivered a powerful kick, not knowing how else to approach the contraption.

Luckily, his muscle-headed approach seemed to have worked. Gears whirred to life, and Jason stepped back as the tomb split open. As soon as the doors were open he recognized his old friend Zack Taylor. Zack had been the Black Ranger on his team, but more importantly one of his earliest and longest friends. Jason raced forward as Zack was dumped to the ground, and slowly began to stir.

“Hey! Zack!” Jason quickly said as he helped his groggy friend to a seated position. “You alright?”

“Jase…?” Zack wearily asked as he blinked his eyes upon waking. “What… where…?”

“Can you stand?” Jason cut him off, more worried about his ability to move at the moment. Regardless, it was damn good to see a friendly and familiar face, at last. Yet, he had to shelve his relief while there was work to do.

“Yea…yea,” Zack said in a daze as Jason helped him to a standing position, yet didn’t let him go right away. He gathered his senses as he looked around the room, fast noting that it was certainly not the climatic showdown in Angel Grove he last remembered being in. “Where are we? Where’s Zedd?”

“We’re on some world called ‘Kraw,’” Jason explained in a hurried tone. “I woke up here weeks ago, I’ve been looking for the team ever since. You’re the first one I found.”

“Kraw. Kraw,” Zack repeated, putting his hand to his face while finally getting his thoughts together. The sudden change was a lot, but he had learned to quickly adapt to unusual developments long ago.

“Hey, I’ll explain as we go, but we have to move. Now,” Jason quickly said, finally releasing Zack to see he was able to stand on his own. “You good?”

“Got to be,” Zack laughed in his cocky tone, as painfully forced as it was. He lowered his hand and looked around the ancient temple. He was shocked by the rapid development, but he implicitly trusted his close friend and leader’s words. They clearly weren’t safe here. He would get the rest of the story later.

Jason nodded and moved away from the dim black light the opened pod offered. He clicked the flashlight back on as he and Zack retreated from the room. As smooth as it had gone thus far, Jason didn’t trust the escape to be as easy.
 

Jason Lee Scott

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“I don’t really get it,” Zack said as they walked down the stone hallway, illuminated weakly by Jason’s flashlight. “Kraw, Crossroads…Unmaking?”

The Red Ranger had caught his friend up on everything he had encountered and learned so far in the Crossroads, but the information was a bit of an overload to the Black Ranger. Luckily they were in agreement on their primary objectives: find Billy, Trini, and Kimberly, and recover their powers. They were also in agreement that it was a daunting task far beyond anything they had ever done. They had made a superhero career out of being on the defensive in a world they knew, so this was a whole different ballgame.

“Me either, to be honest,” Jason agreed. “It all happened in the blink of an eye, but now we’re stuck dealing with it.”

“I just hope the others are alright,” Zack said. “The sooner we find them, the better. And what’s up with that guy you were talking about trying to shake you down at the other temple?”

“Don’t know there, either,” Jason admitted. “But his people are all over this temple, so we’ll have to sneak out real quiet-like.”

“Power Rangers being quiet,” Zack sarcastically laughed. “Because that’s what we were always known for.”

They entered the large chamber Jason remembered his first time through the temple, but something felt slightly more off about it this time around. Zack felt it too, and the two Rangers stopped in place. Almost on cue, the door slid shut behind them, and they were suddenly trapped in the room. Zack turned around and lightly hit the stone door with his fist, while Jason shined the light around. Someone knew they were here, so finding them was the issue.

Torches began to light around the room, giving the arena a dim lighting. It was enough to see the room in full, but it wasn’t exactly bright. Jason saw what he needed to, though. A behemoth of a man stood before them with his arms crossed. There was nothing between them but a large arena, though Jason did take note of several moving mechanisms above them, likely the primitive technology that operated the temple’s traps.

“Got anything on you besides a flashlight?” Zack asked as he stepped back up beside Jason, looking at the silent enemy.

“Snacks and water,” Jason lamented as he turned off the flashlight and hooked it to his belt.

“Guess we’re going loud after all, then,” Zack smiled as he slid into a combat stance.

“There’s a lot more than him hanging around,” Jason reminded his friend. They needed to be quick.

Jason worked out on the regular, and he had plenty of muscle mass, but this mercenary before them made him look like a scrawny child. As the man uncrossed his arms, both Rangers did a quick survey of the area for anything useful they could use to get an advantage. Two on one was promising odds, but without their powers they were nothing more than regular humans. There was no telling what this mystery warrior from a fantastic land was capable of.

“We don’t want to fight,” Jason called over, attempting to appeal to some sense of reason that might be in the man. “We’re just trying to leave.”

That effort was a resounding failure, as their new enemy broke into a sprint towards them. For all his size he moved with lightning speed, catching two Rangers off guard despite their attempts to brace for the unexpected. Zack hopped the the side while Jason ducked low when the mammoth swung at him. Jason quickly tried to shove his attacker backwards, but it was like trying to shove a boulder. While Jason stumbled back, Zack swung a kick at the man’s back, only to have his leg swatted away when their opponent turned with effortless agility. The attack was enough to throw Zack off balance, so the mercenary turned once more and delivered a heavy punch to Jason’s chest, knocking him backwards.

As the two Rangers collapsed to the ground, the previously silent warrior let out a bellowing laugh. He made no movement to continue the fight, or even secure more tactical footing. Jason found he was in little position to judge this mystery man’s taste for theatrics, but he could at least find a way to use his overconfidence to their advantage. There were moving contraptions above them and holes in the floor, so something could be used in this fight. A conventional win didn’t seem likely.

“You alright?” Jason asked as he climbed to a kneel, rubbing his chest.

“Just getting started,” Zack said as he began to recover as well.

The man clenched his fists as he stood between the two, with a grin plastered on his face. Jason narrowed his eyes. He would be happy to wipe it off.
 

Jason Lee Scott

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Round two.

Jason and Zack rushed their attacker, who responded by swinging his leg in a side kick at Zack. The powerless Black Ranger was ready for the attack this time, and responded by jumping above the kick, spinning parallel to the ground with a dancer’s grace. The behemoth of a warrior showed legitimate surprise at the maneuver, but balled a fist to strike at the recovering Ranger just the same. Yet as he went to swing, he was stopped.

It took both hands and all of his strength, but Jason caught the superpowered warrior’s arm and prevented him from striking Zack. The surprise turned to actual fear on their aggressor’s face, as he looked back to see the strain on his face as Jason kept his blow at bay. This terrifying warrior was a seasoned combatant, so he knew that brute strength over one man was one thing, but he recognized teamwork when he saw it. His fears were confirmed when Zack moved in to deliver several powerful punches to his face while he was semi-restrained.

Stunned, but not out of the fight, the mercenary muscled his arm forward and swung Jason into Zack, sending the two Rangers rolling across the stone floor. They recovered quickly, both rising to a knee as their foe rubbed his face. As they both sized up their stunned foe, they stopped in their tracks at the sound of heavy footsteps in the distance.

“That must be your friends you were talking about,” Zack sarcastically muttered as he glanced sideways to his leader.

“Time to wrap this up,” Jason snarled, never taking his eyes of their silent, unnamed foe. If Jericho’s forces were moving in they would need to end this whole thing and get the hell out of here very quickly.

The attacker rushed once more, swinging at the ever-nimble Zack who somersaulted away from the strike. Jason took the opportunity to land a jump kick on the man’s back while he was distracted, jumping away from a counter attack at the warrior spun around. They heard the footsteps getting closer, and realized they weren’t going to be anywhere near the end of this brawl before back up arrived.

Jason rushed to the side, ripping two torches from the wall. Zack threw two ineffective punches as their enemy before being batted away, giving him time to look to Jason in surprise. Jason quickly dropped one of the torches in an open hole in the floor, and swung the other at the unnamed aggressor. An open flame made him react much more defensively, as he stepped back. Jason didn’t give an inch, moving in with his burning, improvised weapon.

“What’s down there, Zack!?” Jason shouted as he briefly glanced to where he had thrown the other torch.

Zack rolled over and crawled to the hole, looking down into it. The flame had landed between a row of spikes. It was a deathtrap down there, daring someone to fall and impale themselves. Yet, there was also several platforms devoid of spikes, and a broken stone door. It was good enough.

“Not the best way out, but a way out!” Zack responded, jumping to his feet with some motivation.

“We’ll take it!” Jason agreed.

His foe caught his wrist finally, and knocked the weapon from it. As the two of them readjusted their stances, they kicked sand onto the flame and extinguished it. Jason was just as quick to jump and preform a spin kick to the man’s face, forcing him to relinquish his grip. The pounding was closer, and above them. Backup was almost here.

“Black it out!” Jason ordered, grabbing a handful of sand and hurling it in the direction of several torches.

As they were extinguished, Zack followed suite. The room got significantly dimmer, and the warrior realized what they were doing. Jason pulled another two torches from the wall, this time extinguishing it on the man’s torso. As he went down with a roar of pain, the Red Ranger realized he was holding the only source of light in the room beyond the dim glow from the holes in the floor. Just as the footsteps had stopped.

“Jason!” an all too familiar voice shouted from above him.

“Jericho!” Jason replied as he looked upwards, and paced away from their wounded attacker. The man paid Jason no more mind, curled into the fetal position as he held his burnt chest

Jericho, the leader of the band of gangsters that had made his life hell sine arriving on Kraw, stood on a ledge above him. He was flanked by men armed with advanced rifles, and Jason could see other openings with armed mercenaries aiming down at him as well. It was safe to assume they were surrounded.

“I didn’t think you would survive the jungle,” Jericho taunted with a chuckle.

“I hoped you wouldn’t,” Jason retorted.

“I hope you realize the trouble you’re causing me,” Jericho continued. “I’ve worked hard to fortify these temples, and you’re tearing up my hard work and attacking all my people.”

“Complete misunderstanding. We’ll go now,” Jason shrugged.

“The only reason I haven’t shot you is because I’m scrambling to decide if I want you dead or alive,” Jericho scoffed. “I thought I’d know in the moment.”

Jason glanced to Zack, who gave a small nod. They had to act now.

“Let me give you a little more time,” Jason replied.

The torch fell from his hands, and he was already on the run. As the last light hit the sand and the room fell to darkness, gunshots roared through the room with brief bits of muzzle flash. Between it all he heard Jericho’s shouts to kill them, having clearly made up his mind in response. Zack leaped down the hole, and guided by a faint light, Jason followed with absolute trust. They landed as Zack promised, and the depowered Black Ranger was quick to shoulder tackle his way through the remains of ruined door.

The two Rangers rushed into the darkness of the temple. They had gone deeper in instead of towards the exit, but at least they were safer down here.

At least they hoped they were.
 

Jason Lee Scott

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“I see your winning charm worked on those people,” Zack commented to his long time friend as they made their way through the dark temple. “Hell of a group.”

“Well, his people beat me up, I beat them up, we held each other at gunpoint. Then we got along for about a minute until they tried to sacrifice me to some natives,” Jason quickly summarized his arrival in the Crossroads as he shined his flashlight on the the tunnels they were moving through. “After that it kind of went to hell.”

“Damnedest thing,” Zack said through a forced laugh.

Finally, there was literally light at the end of the tunnel.

Jason and Zack had made their way through the dark passageways illuminated only by their single flashlight and slowed down just enough to barricade the trail behind them at every opportunity. It was a long process, but they made it to the end. Stepping into the sunlight was a much needed relief, especially for Zack, who’s eyes strained to adjust to such brightness after so long. Trees surrounded the area, as well as what looked like a large dirt trail below their platform, wide and worn enough to suggest vehicle traffic. That was a wonderful sight to Jason, who had spent far too long on foot trails. Near their exit were spears leaning against the side of the temple, unlit standing torches, and other sorts of ceremonial looking equipment.

“Think we’ll be lucky enough to find a ride?” Jason asked as he looked around.

“I sure hope so,” Zack nodded while walking forward.

The ground began to shake in intervals. There was a heavy pounding getting closer and closer. The footsteps of Jericho’s men before had been light but fast, these were slow and deliberate. The two Rangers froze instantly, bracing for more action while cursing themselves for thinking this was over so easily. They were completely unexpecting the next development, however, as a giant, four legged beast leaped down from a higher level and landed near them. The massive creature turned to reveal a long trunk and two dangerous tusks. The irony was not lost on either of them.

“A mastodon!?” Zack shouted as he stepped back. “What are the odds of that!?”

Jason took a second to look it over. Kraw's environment was hard on any living thing, but this creature was different. There were chunks of dead flesh, a dark aura, fur corrupted by some strange energy, and most noticeable of all was its cold, red eyes. It sure was a coincidence to be confronted by Zack’s Ranger animal so soon after his rescue, unless it wasn’t a coincidence at all. The signs lined up.

“It’s Unmade!” Jason shouted as he realized, stepping back as well.

“That’s what you were talking about!?” Zack shot back at his friend. A closer look made this mutated beast match the tales Jason had quickly told him.

“Get a weapon!” Jason shouted as he began to bolt towards the spears. There was no getting away from this fight.

The Unmade mammal let out an ear piercing roar as it hurled itself forward. Jason and Zack scattered to opposite directions, with mixed luck on their landings. Jason slammed against the wall where the spears were leaning, but despite his effort to stop his roll Zack fell from the platform. The Red Ranger couldn’t afford the time to check on his ally, instead grabbing the nearest spear to him. The Unmade Mastodon violently spun towards Jason, its tusks ripping stone from the wall and caving in the exit the Rangers had emerged from.

Taking small solace in the fact that they were certainly not going to be followed by Jericho now, Jason stabbed upwards at the mastodon with his spear. His weapon caught the beast in the side of its upper trunk for a second before he ripped it back out, noting that there was no blood. The beast screamed in only a second of pain, haunching up on two legs as it did. Jason’s eyes widened, and he knew he needed to get out of this corner as fast as he could. The Ranger bolted to the side, but the monster crashed its legs down so hard it sent a shockwave of dark energy across the arena. Jason was lifted straight off the ground by the impact, and hurled across the opening with a cry of pain.

While Jason crashed down, Zack managed to climb back up and grab a stray spear of his own. The beast was preparing to charge at his downed friend, so Zack hurled the spear as quickly as he could, impaling it in the mastodon’s side. The beast roared louder that time, but Zack was already scooping up a second spear while Jason got back onto his feet and held his ready. The creature charged at Jason anyway, who quickly rushed to the side to avoid the impact. This lined him back up with Zack, and the creature turned to confront the two of them at once.

“Doesn’t get any more old school that this!” Zack shouted, perfectly in-sync with Jason on the correct course of action from here.

The two of them charged forward, stabbing upwards with their spears like a pair of paleolithic hunters. The mastodon shook its head and stepped back, bumping into the wall now behind it. Pinned into a corner, it swung its trunk across at the two of them, but Zack ducked under it while Jason stepped back to dodge. They closed the gap, stabbing at it again and again while the monster furiously tried to figure out what to do. They both knew they were limited in time, as they’d cornered a wounded beast, so they continued their assault on the creature’s face as quickly and decisively as they could.

Yet, it wasn’t fast enough. The mastodon rushed forward, dark energy pouring from its face. Zack dove aside while Jason ducked between the creature’s legs. It stumbled as it ran, colliding with a tree and ripping it from the ground. The mutilated monster turned to face them, wounded far beyond what a normal beast would have survived.

“You started it!” Jason shouted as he rose and faced the enraged monstrosity.

It rushed back at them, swinging its head wildly as it charged. Both Rangers threw their spears, impaling the creature’s face. Blinded by one spear lodging into its left eye, the mastodon only ran faster. Jason moved aside, but Zack was forced to leap onto the beast, grabbing a tusk and hanging on for dear life. As the Black Ranger rode on the injured creature, he could see its demonic teeth snapping furiously, trying its hardest to get him. The mastodon swung its trunk as it ran, trying to grab Zack, but the Ranger kept kicking it away.

While the creature was distracted, it stumbled off the platform to the dirt trail below. It slowed in its step as it did, not enough for Zack to safely dismount, but just enough for Jason to leap off the platform after it with his limbs outstretched in every direction. The Red Ranger landed on the creature’s back, which immediately caused it to charge down the trail at full speed.

“Hey, there’s a vehicle!” Zack shouted as they passed a military styled off road vehicle in a blur while he kicked the Unmade’s trunk away again. They could certainly use it if they somehow survived this disaster.

“This isn’t fast enough for you!?” Jason yelled back, clutching the deformed tufts of hair as hard as he could to prevent being bucked off and left behind.

The creature charged with little direction or purpose, simply trying to escape at this point. Jason climbed upwards towards the creature’s neck as they began to rush into the woods off the trail, pulling himself closer as they barely missed colliding with a large tree. He looked down and noticed that the close call had snapped the first spear that was lodged into the Unmade beast into a far more manageable size. Jason grabbed the shortened point and pulled it from the deformed hide.

The pain caused the beast to roar and accelerate, beginning to intentionally weave into trees as it did. Bark and splinters shattered everywhere, and with the wind generated by the sheer speed of the sprinting creature Jason could barely hear Zack’s screaming for the end of this ridiculous ride. Jason was in agreement, though, and slammed the point of the spear into the mastodon’s neck. The beast slowed a bit, so the powerless Ranger simply ripped it out and stabbed the monster again and again.

Eventually the damage took its toll, and the Unmade mastodon crashed to the ground with a heavy slide throwing dirt and foliage everywhere. There was no noise in the jungle except for chirping birds as Zack dropped straight down from its tusk from its tusk and stared at the treetops above. Meanwhile Jason simply collapsed on the corpse’s back for a moment, each of them taking some time to collect themselves.

“Yep…” Zack finally broke the silence between the two Rangers with a groan of utter pain. “We’re taking a car from now on.”
 

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Jason and Zack made their way back to the dirt trail, and began the trek back to the temple. After all, Zack had spotted some kind of vehicle as they had rushed past in a blur, and there was a good chance it was something they could use. Anything had to be better than walking into the woods aimlessly. Then again, knowing the angry mercenaries and dangerous Unmade out there, it was safer to say almost anything. Meanwhile, the sounds of the jungle had resumed after their battle. The smaller creatures that had been scared away or into silence by the battle were back and active once again. It was just as well, as Jason was far more comfortable with sounds of activity. It meant nothing dangerous was creeping up on him. Usually.

They arrived at the vehicle Zack had eyed, and took a minute to look it over, as well as make sure no one was returning to it. It had large off road tires on it, no doors, and a driver and passenger seat upfront, separated by a console. What stood out more than anything, however, was the massive mounted chaingun on the back platform. Someone standing on the back and operating that contraption could do some incredible damage in a hurry. It was certainly ideal for the dangerous jungle of Kraw.

“M12 Force Application Vehicle,” Jason announced as he looked at a marking under the windshield. Clearly the thing’s designation, for what it was worth. Wheels and an engine were all he really wanted, though the gun was a perk and a welcome break from punching or stabbing everything.

“Right here says ‘Warthog,’” Zack said as he looked over the sticker near the driver’s seat. “That’s a little catchier,”

“As long as it runs,” Jason shrugged, though he did agree.

Zack crouched down and looked under the steering wheel with a sudden sense of purpose. Jason put his hands on his hips as he looked over at his friend in bewilderment.

“What are you doing?” Jason asked incredulously.

Zack smiled as he kept looking underneath. “I’m gonna hot wire it.”

“Hot wire?” Jason repeated with rising confusion. “Where the hell did you learn how to do that?”

“On the mean streets, man,” Zack joked, while failing to even find the wires below the console.

“The mean streets of middle class suburbia?” Jason laughed, having grown up in the same town as his bullshitting friend.

“Alright, Billy taught me,” Zack chuckled with a dismissive hand wave. “Look, I can get this thing running if I can find wherever the hell they put the wires.”

Jason shook his head and rolled his eyes as he walked to the back of the truck. The gas cap was in the same place as most vehicles from the Earth they knew, so he popped it open. Also similar to a lot of vehicles from the world he knew, there was a spare key hidden in there. He pulled it out and dangled it in front of him as he closed the cap.

“How about this?” Jason asked.

Zack turned and looked at him, leaning against the Warthog in exasperation as he saw the key.

“Yea…yea that works, too,” Zack admitted.

Jason laughed and tossed the key to Zack, who countered by throwing it right back. Jason climbed into the driver seat while Zack sat in the passenger seat. While Jason cranked the vehicle, Zack opened the compartment in front of him to find some water bottles, MREs, and other survival supplies. It was jackpot in the middle of an unfriendly jungle, and they surely wouldn’t turn these unexpected gifts down.

“Where did you say you were looking for?” Zack asked as he closed the compartment once more.

“New Abraxas,” Jason answered, making his final survey of the area. “Hopefully they can answer our questions.”

“We’ll have better luck there than here,” Zack shrugged.

Jason nodded in silent agreement as he shifted the vehicle into drive and stepped on the gas. The Warthog tore down the trail, and the two Rangers were just another step closer to bringing their team back together.
 
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