Title: True Colors (7): Resignation
Author: Hakase <3
Series: Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger
Spoilers: Episode 41...ish.
Summary: Just another regular morning, living his dream. Life just couldn't get any better.
Previous Parts: 1) Suspicion (link)
2) Curiosity (link)
3) Opportunity (link)
4) Relaxation (link)
5) Interludes: Settling In (link)
6) Affirmation (link)
It had started just like any other day.
The little alarm clock had gone off early, like always, and Marvelous had responded by rolling over and pulling a pillow over his head before falling back asleep. The next time he opened his eyes, the alarm was off and the other half of the bed empty. When he breathed in he could smell the wafting odor of fried sausage, and he knew that Doc was up and cooking. And if the sausage was almost done, then breakfast was almost done, and it was time to get up.
He pulled on his pants first, then socks, then made sure each and every piece of his jewelry was in the proper place before slipping on a shirt. He only bothered to fasten the last few buttons of the shirt, because it was still early and he just couldn't be arsed to care enough to look nice. Besides, they didn't have any plans set in stone for the day. When they knew what they were going to be doing, he'd get dressed the rest of the way, but until then, comfort came first.
The next thing on the agenda was to eat the delicious food he was smelling, so he followed his nose out to the main cabin and found that, as usual, he was the last one to rise. Joe was hard at work with his morning exercise routine in the corner, Ahim was idly dusting the tea sets on the display shelf, and Luka was busying herself with the dartboard. Marvelous couldn't help but notice that Luka had gotten surprisingly good at darts, and wondered if he'd be able to beat her, even with his bracelet off.
A short commotion in the kitchen confirmed that Gai was helping Doc prepare breakfast, and before long the two cooks entered the room carrying hefty trays laden with fruit, sausage and toast. “Food's ready!” Doc called in his best singsong voice, and Marvelous found himself grinning like a maniac. A month ago he would have convinced himself that he was just that hungry. Nowadays he knew better.
He managed to catch Doc's eye as he went to sit down, and the two exchanged an unspoken morning greeting before the crew as a whole tore into the meal. Not much had changed around the table in the past few weeks, except a slight rearrangement that resulted in moving their two chairs close enough together for their knees to touch. While he still delighted in the occasional playful theft of food or drink, Marvelous had more or less managed to tone down his teasing so the crew could get through meals without too much eye-rolling.
“The pantry is just about empty,” Doc said as soon as they were all seated and plates were filled. “I've got a shopping list put together, if anyone wouldn't mind running to the store today?”
There was maybe a second or two of chewing-and-swallowing pause before Ahim nodded politely and smiled at Doc. “I was hoping to go for a walk today,” she said gently. “I can easily pick up groceries while I am out and about.”
“I'll go too!” Gai called out, right at the same time Joe nodded and said, “I wouldn't mind going for a walk.” The two gave each other startled glances across the table, but Ahim simply took a sip of tea and smiled.
“That would be wonderful,” she said, and both Gai and Joe looked sheepish and went back to shoving food in their mouths. Marvelous watched the entire exchange with a smirk – he'd known for a while that his first mate held a bit of a torch for the former princess, but there was little doubt now as to Gai's intentions. Hopefully the two could keep the competition quiet, and with minimal bloodshed.
He took another bite of sausage and only barely managed to keep his mouth shut as he grinned at the rest of his crew. Just another regular morning, living his dream. Life just couldn't get any better.
“Marvelous! It's Zangyack!” Gai's voice had come over the Mobirates loud and clear, and the audible explosions in the background left no doubt as to the urgency. The captain had been engrossed in a game of darts with Luka, but all activity had paused the moment the Mobirates had rung. Now he gave Luka and Doc quick, meaningful looks as he replied to Gai.
“We'll be there,” he said curtly, and hung up. “Let's go.” His crewmates nodded dutifully, and the three of them set off for the the location currently pinging the galleon's on-screen map. It wasn't far, since they'd flown close to the supermarket in the first place, and within minutes they ran up on what could only be described as a massive battle in progress.
Goumin were nearly everywhere, some even running about randomly as groups of maybe twenty or so surrounded each of Marvelous' crew. They had long since transformed, and had been fighting long enough to sport some battle damage as well. Gai was keeping his group at bay with his spear, while Ahim and Joe were fighting back-to-back with a well-executed gun-and-sword combination. Marvelous let himself feel a small spark of pride before he remembered that there were more important things to do.
The three of them transformed and jumped into the fray, hacking and shooting their way through the crowds of Goumin to get to their teammates. Marvelous lost track of the other members as he stuck to Doc's side, watching his engineer's back as they fought off wave after wave of attackers.
It hadn't quite sunk in yet, how well the two of them managed to fight together. With Joe it had been sort of second nature, the two of them fighting back-to-back and synchronized like they'd actually practiced together. When Marvelous and Joe teamed up, enemies fell, and it had been a source of pride for the pirate captain that his first mate gave as much trust as he earned.
It was different with Doc. There was an innate cunning in Gokai Green's fighting style, something that Marvelous hadn't really noticed before. When they fought solo, all he could see was Doc's stunning ability to perform ridiculous moves and have them work out surprisingly well. When they fought together, it was almost as if those same ridiculous moves served to fill holes in Marvelous' own defense, and deflect enemies the captain didn't see until it was almost too late. Where he moved as one with Joe, he moved as a team with Doc.
He had to admit, he rather liked it.
Another wave of Goumin surged forward on the two, and self-congratulatory thoughts fled from Marvelous' head as he rushed forward to cover Doc's back. He blocked two maces with his sword, pushing the soldiers back as he shot each one of them, plus three others nearby, enough to force them to fall back. Behind him, he could almost feel Doc fall forward, roll up on his arms to his hands and wrap his legs around the Goumin's neck. With that momentum, the engineer pulled himself up to the enemy's shoulders, then twisted around and flipped the Goumin with him back down to the ground, causing him to kick another pair of soldiers in the face on the way.
It didn't make sense, but it worked.
They fought together for several more minutes before Marvelous started getting worried. It wasn't as if they hadn't fought off seemingly endless waves of the Zangyack army before, but he suddenly remembered that they'd taken out the commander of the Earth invasion, Prince Walz Gil himself. Unless the remaining subordinates had taken up command of the fleet, there wasn't anyone around to call the shots. Not that they knew of.
Marvelous narrowed his eyes behind the mask of his helmet. Something wasn't right.
He took the opportunity between waves of soldiers to stand up straight and look around. The rest of his crew was still up and fighting, but they were obviously getting tired. There was a lag in the swing of Gai's spear, a brief hesitation between Ahim's shots. Even Joe was beginning to slack a bit in his otherwise-impeccable fighting stance. The Goumin were still running about, just as many as before, if not more.
But there wasn't a single action commander in sight. Not even a Sugoumin calling the shots. With nowhere else to look for answers, Marvelous did the only other thing he could think of.
He looked up.
The explosions began not even a half-second later, blasting at the edges of their battle and moving inward. Marvelous realized too late that the entire area had begun to darken, not from the standard passage of time, but from the invasion-level fleet of Zangyack ships that were now hovering directly above them. His first thought was to call for the galleon, but another explosion sent both him and Doc flying towards the rest of the crew. He readied himself, and rolled properly when he finally hit the ground, but his knee faltered as he went to stand and he found himself kneeling.
His eyes went immediately towards Gokai Green, who was struggling with pulling himself up from the dirt. The rest of the crew was just as beaten, but at least they'd managed to all keep their powers about them. Gritting his teeth, Marvelous looked forward as the sea of Goumin parted and two very distinct figures walked into view.
The one in front was unfamiliar to him, with a boxy helmet-like head on a suit of armor. But he carried himself with the dangerous calm of a justifiably confident warrior, and Marvelous was fairly sure that one by himself would be a challenge.
The second figure, shadowed by two more commanders behind him, was far more recognizable. Mostly because his face was on every bit of Zangyack currency in the universe.
Emperor Ackdos Gil.
Marvelous' blood boiled unexpectedly, and he suddenly had the strength and energy to leap to his feet, pistol firing with absolute precision as he took the opportunity presented to him. He could hear Joe yelling something, some sort of warning, but he couldn't be bothered with that now. It was time to act, or be captured. And capture wasn't any sort of acceptable option.
Almost before he'd even raised his pistol, the first figure darted in front of the emperor and raised his sword to expertly deflect each and every one of the bullets. They bounced away, some striking a few of the gathered Goumin, but ultimately the attack had been useless. He readied his sword for a proper charge when the figure – Damaras, by the sound of Joe's warning – calmly raised his own weapon and sent a beam of burning blue energy slashing at the entire crew.
He tried to dodge, but his legs wouldn't cooperate, and he felt the blow slice through his clothing and send him flying backwards into the gravel. His vision was hazed with red as his power left him, and this time he couldn't even pull himself together enough to land properly. The wind was knocked out of him completely as he hit the ground, rocks and gravel biting and tearing at his skin and clothing. He opened his eyes and saw Luka, Joe, Doc, Ahim, all splayed out on the ground and trying desperately to gather the strength to stand.
One more time he gritted his teeth and lifted his head, glaring up at the Zangyack surrounding them. Every ounce of him was screaming to attack, to take them all out, but the pain was too great. He scrabbled to gain some sort of purchase on the ground, find some sort of support so he could push himself back to his feet, but his hand shot out from under him and his face landed back in the dirt.
This is it.
This wasn't how he'd wanted to die. Ideally, he would have just lived forever, searching the universe for treasure with his crew by his side. What the treasure was didn't matter, all that mattered was the adventure itself. Marvelous felt a new pain, a stabbing at his chest, and he felt hot tears start to stream down his cheeks.
The ground crunched softly as Damaras and the emperor took a few steps closer. “This farce ends here,” Ackdos Gil said calmly, his voice deep and even.
“Never!” Marvelous found the energy to speak, somehow, and he wasn't going to waste it. “Your precious empire won't last forever. If not us, then the next group, but it doesn't matter. Zangyack will fall.”
Damaras snorted quietly at the captain's defiant words, and Marvelous fumed inwardly at being taken so lightly. So what if he couldn't even crawl to his feet? They were the Gokaigers, his crew, and they were a force to be reckoned with. Or, at least, had been.
There came a rustle of gravel behind him, more than the pained shuffling he'd heard coming from his crew, and a plaid shoe stepped into view. “Doc,” Marvelous choked out, craning his neck upwards to look at his battered lover. Why is he...no, wait, he can't, not by himself. He forced his arm to move, just enough so that he could tug on the cuff of Doc's khakis. “Get out of here. Regroup. Then come back to save the rest of us.” It might be crazy to ask, but it was better than the alternative. And there was a part of Marvelous that, while loathe to admit it so readily, would rather see Doc alive and safe than dead by his side.
The blond paused, just for a moment, then looked down at Marvelous with a stunningly sad smile. Again, Marvelous was struck with the engineer's eyes, like something was hidden there that Doc just wasn't sharing. Words caught in his throat and the muscles in his hand twitched, and he let go of the cuff as Doc turned his face forward and continued to walk.
Marvelous could hear the rest of the crew express their dismay as well, but it seemed to fade away as Doc stumbled, untouched, up to Emperor Ackdos Gil and fell to one knee.
“Your supreme highness,” the curly-haired engineer said, in a tone of voice Marvelous had never heard before, and he felt the blood in his veins turn to ice. “I present to you the Gokaigers. As promised.”