Sloane had maybe half a second of a smug smile before he felt a stern slap across the side of his head. For a second he saw white as the pain peaked and blossomed across his eyes. Not even a curse word could leave his lips before the woman laid into him again but this time verbally. Fucking shit…
was all that passed through his brain as he was lectured. He’d usually have some sort of smart remark to make, but instead, he swallowed it down in lieu of just letting it happen. Apparently, he was on a team now. Great…
Yet, while his internal monologue tried to be condescending, he felt something of a relief. Sloane couldn’t tell anyone why, but a familiar feeling of camaraderie was pleasant—even if he didn’t know any of these people. The feeling faded, though, as the woman that assaulted him turned her ire to the Jolly Green Cowboy whose name was apparently Clint. It took everything in his power not to go ”oooo…”
at the verbal ass-chewing Clint received.
That spiel was punctuated by the purple ranger—the short one—asking everyone to calm down and then sliding into instruction. So, she was the leader? Honestly, Sloane couldn’t tell, but he’d learned the angry one’s name was Jordan. More like Roar-dan
if he’d have anything to say about it. Actually, no, that was a shit nickname. He’d sort it out later.
They were headed to the “Command Center,” because apparently they all took orders from the short one now, and were complicit to join. Sloane looked around. No one seemed interested in leaving or abandoning this position. He glanced at the red crystal in his hand. Quitting wasn’t his style. ”Yeah, no, not riding in the sentient Country Song’s truck. He might run over his beloved dog and get left by his girlfriend on the way there. I’ll see you soon.”
He gave a lazy salute and dispersed. The calamity around the center had died down and sirens peeled out loudly in the distance. David was gone, and Sloane left Travis to clean up the mess.
Sometime later he arrived at the “Command Center.” It was the old GENESIS building. Did his dad cut the ribbon to this place? No. But, Sloane was pretty sure he’d stood behind the person that had, clapping and looking as dead on the inside as he was. The building was a far cry from the way it used to look. The empty parking garage only added to the desolation as he pulled in, taking up three spaces. What?
he had a classic, bright red Mustang. He wasn’t about to get cozy with everyone else’s jalopies they called cars.
Sloane didn’t exit the car immediately upon arriving. Instead, he leaned over and opened the glove compartment. Inside was a small, orange bottle of pills. He shook it, almost guiltily, and poured a couple into his hand before swallowing. They were just pharmaceutical-grade pain killers, nothing that would alert the presses. He winced as he pushed his seat back. Pulling his pants leg up, he straightened his leg and looked over his knee. It might have seemed like a dirty secret the way he acted, but it was just a prominent chink in his almost pristine armor.
His knee was mostly metal with a thick layer of scar tissue over it. It consumed most of his leg from there down, pale and disfigured. Over the remains of his knee was a form-fitting brace made of material that had the fit and elasticity of latex but the toughness of fiberglass. Sloane didn’t know what it was, but the pins and staples that held it to his knee almost glittered in the light pouring from the window. Honestly, he shouldn’t have been able to walk at all or at least without a prominent limp, but money had bought him a sense of normalcy. He took a long drink of the bottle of water in his car, making a face at the warmth of it, before lowering his pant leg down and exiting his car. He brushed the front of his designer button-up shirt off and tugged at the sleeves of his red coat. There was the sound of ripping as the stitches in the shoulders gave out. Sloane pulled it off and tossed it into the car. He looked better without it, anyway. He locked the thing and moved towards the building.GENESIS HQ, huh?
They’d almost ruined his family, and so it was a bit of poetic justice that he was back. He followed the others, head bobbing around and taking in the sights—or lack thereof. ”A lot of work is an understatement, but abandoned hobo station is a mouth full.”
Sloane may have mistrusted the elevator had not it seem to function with the fluidity that it probably had in the beginning. He narrowed his eyes as everyone piled in but followed suit.
As the doors opened to the basement, Sloane let out an impressed whistle. Alright, this seemed more his style. He looked over the red crystal, turning it between his fingers. Was he getting excited at the prospect of being a Ranger… of being an official member of the Spandex Squad? Surely not. Then why was he here? Why was there a smile on his face? He let that fall and followed the others into the room.
The short, bossy one was named Charlie, and the other two were Jordan and Clint. He knew the latter’s names already, but it was refreshing to hear them in a more official capacity. At least he could commit them to memory for the future while trying not to seem too complicit in getting Ross’s name wrong. What?
It was funny to see him get upset about it every time. This only became cemented as the screens showed his face along with Vallory and Ross’s, Charlie announcing their names ceremonially. Sloane’s eyes narrowed. Was that his Angel Grove University ID? He placed a hand under his chin and tilted his head to the side. Not his best angle, but it would have to do. His gaze trailed back to Charlie and let her finish up. Everyone started moving about and asking questions. Sloane caught that barbed comment from Ross and his stare. He just smirked.”Morphin Grid?”
he asked, suppressing a laugh. ”Ahem. Sorry. But, yes, I do have a lot of questions. For instance, who cares if you fit your suits or not? What we should be worried about is the reason the Druidon are back. Didn’t the previous Spandex Squad, you guys, finish them off? And, where did that one monster take off to with my and Vallory’s friends… aaaand I’m assuming Ryan’s family?”
He shot Ross a look.