Attack of the Yosties 2: Initiation
By Peregrine and Mele
Billy stirred, thinking he heard a noise. He opened eyes carefully, holding instinctively still, listening for any strange or mysterious sound in or around his night-filled bedroom. There it was again! A creak, ever so slight, but there.
Suddenly, blinding light appeared under the doorway and outside, brilliant white light pulsed rhythmically through his window. Wisps of a peculiar fog crept under the door, illuminated by the light into crawling tendrils of luminescence and as Billy sat up in alarm, the door flew open and a tall, impossibly-shaped figure stood silhouetted against the brightness, with an immense bulbous head on a spindly neck.
Billy scrambled backwards, yea-close to panicking, then the figure raised a hand and he found himself unable to move, as if there was a great pressure holding him down, pinning him to the bed. He tried to struggle, but before he could even get out more than a muffled "eep" , he faded into unconsciousness.
"Okay, Mele, get off him!" Peregrine whispered a little grumpily because she hadn't got to do that part. "Mel? Excuse me? He's unconscious ... what's the point?"
"Don't be a spoilsport," Mele said, showing no particular signs of moving. "He might wake up any moment. Rap, turn off the flashlight ... you didn't have to bring a halogen lamp!"
"All I had," Rap replied, impatient to get down to what they came for. She shone it over Peregrine. "For crying out loud ... not really suitable attire, is it, for an 'alien' abduction?"
"I was in the shower!" Peregrine replied defensively. "You guys didn't give me a chance to change before we left." She unwrapped the towel turban from around her head, swopping a dressing gown for her Robe.
"Where are our Initiates?"
Rap pointed out the window, where the flashing lights were still strobing through the dark night sky. "Out there." She walked over to the window and opened it. "Cinders! Mouse ! Greeneyes! Froog! Turn the flash function off!"
"We can't!" came a voice from below the window.
Rap muttered into her silver-lined hood. "It's got a slide function button, push it forward and it will stop!" she called out.
"But I tried that and ... oh." The light went out suddenly. "Sorry."
"Have none of you ever used a flashlight before?" Rap asked in amazement.
"Yes, but I only have a $2.99 flashlight, not a REALLY BIG Magnalite!" Froog muttered rebelliously to her fellow Initiates as they waited for the three Azure Elite Sisters. She was summarily ignored.
"More likely to use a candle myself ... mmmm, hot wax ..." Peregrine said absently, and stopped as Mele looked at her sharply.
"Don't give me a look like that, Mel ... you're the one hogging Our Boy!" Peregrine said. "Let's get him out of here. We have work to do!"
With that the three of them grabbed hold of their prize and fled into the night. Then they remembered they had four others with them and hurried back ... and tried fleeing once again into the darkness.
"Where the Hell did you park the car?" Mele gasped angrily. "He's a lot heavier than he looks!"
"Just a couple more blocks," Cinders said defensively. "I didn't want anyone to spot it and get suspicious."
"Like seeing seven hooded figures carrying an unconscious person isn't suspicious," Rap grumbled, adjusting her hold on the lax body they were carrying.
"Girls, stop fighting. And Mele, put your hands somewhere else!" Peregrine insisted.
"But this gives me a more secure handhold!"
"Yeah, like we believe that," Rap muttered.
"It's nothing but the truth," was the overly-reasonable reply.
"Ladies, did it occur to any of you that a VW bug was not the most logical vehicle to use?" Peregrine inquired as they approached the vintage car. It was easily twice as old as their captive.
"It's all we had available. Besides, it seemed appropriate under the circumstances," Mouse answered.
"And just where are we supposed to put our ... guest?"
"I have an idea," Mele piped up.
"Forget it!" Rap and Peregrine replied in tandem.
"But you don't even know my idea!"
"We don't need to hear it to know it's no good," Peregrine declared.
"Okay, I've got the doors open now. Where are we going to put him?" Froog interrupted.
"Rap, you drive. Um ... Mouse, you ride shotgun, with Greeneyes on your lap. Cinders, Mele and I will keep our boy safe across our laps in the backseat."
"What about me?" Froog queried with a worried frown.
"Oh. Um ... I know just the thing! Come with me, dear. I have the perfect place."
After a seeming eternity, at least to the women crammed into the tiny car, they arrived at their destination. Rap exited the car easily, but she was the only one. It took a full fifteen minutes of cursing, sweating, and maneuvering to remove Mouse, Greeneyes, Mele, Cinders, Peregrine, and Billy from the small car.
"I swear, these cars are the invention of a mind even more evil than any of ours," Peregrine growled as she and Mouse tried to pry Mele out of the subcompact. With a final grunt, accompanied by the sound of tearing cloth, the last Yostie was finally extracted.
Well, almost the last.
"Hey, what 'bout me?" came a muffled shout just as the women hoisted their prize and started toward the entrance of the dark building.
"Oops, sorry," Perry muttered, opening the trunk and releasing Froog. "Forgot you were in there."
"Next time you ride in the trunk. It'll do wonders for your memory," muttered the disgruntled woman.
The others had managed to carry the unconscious young man into the building and dumped him unceremoniously onto the floor in the middle of the room. Chairs had been set up to one side, and a free-standing lectern was situated slightly to the right of where they'd dumped Billy.
"Let's get him strung up," Rap ordered, turning for a moment to confer with Peregine and Mele.
"Whoa! No, no ... not that way!" Mele cried out suddenly. The other two turned to find their students attempting to hoist the Blue Ranger to his feet, using only one rope. Tied around his neck.
"No! We don't do that until the Advanced class," Rap added, hurrying forward to rectify the situation.
Ushering the four students to the chairs, the three women quickly secured their prize to a hook in the ceiling, just as he began to regain consciousness.
"Where ... who ... ARRGGGHH!!!" It was flattering that the young man remembered them.
"Hi, hon. Thanks for joining us," Peregrine cooed.
"Did I have a choice?" Billy wondered warily.
"What ... what do you intend to do this time?" he asked worriedly. The memory of the cruel assault he'd suffered at the hands of his captors the last time rose unbidden in his mind, and he shuddered, his muscles twitching involuntarily.
"We're having a special class for newer Yosties. You, my fine specimen, shall be our audio/visual aid."
"A .. audio ... v .. visual?" he stuttered, visions of unspeakable acts committed on his helpless body by ... *One, two, three .. oh Lord, SEVEN of them?!?* flashing before his eyes. *I'm doomed!!!*
"Yep. Gotta give 'em a good show, ya know," Mele concurred.
"You women – you know you need serious help, don't you?"
"I don't think so. You seem tied securely enough to me," Rap observed, checking his bonds. Incidentally, her hands glided down from the bound wrists over nicely-muscled arms to a beginning-to-heave chest.
"Ahem!" Peregrine coughed loudly.
"That'll teach you to run around in your dressing gown," Mele muttered. "Hussy!"
Peregrine ignored her fellow Yostie. "I call this seminar to Order! Initiates, I hope you have your notepads at the ready, for you have some illustrious guest speakers and an even more luscious ... er .. illustrious audio/visual aid." She ignored the sniggers from the assembled group. "As you know, there are certain criteria that make a true Yostie ..." her eyes misted over. "Being a Yostie is a Calling, not a job ... there are some instincts that cannot be taught .. Ow!" A half-eaten hard bread roll ricocheted off of her hood.
"Cut to the chase ... there's a body going to waste over here," Mele called out, eyeing their captive.
"You better be talking about Billy," Perry murmured darkly.
Mele smirked behind her hood.
"Fine ... basically we all know that we are driven to do terrible things to our victim ... but there are certain ... advanced levels that can be achieved. I call our first guest lecturer, Rap ... a round of applause here, ladies ... to give you practical pointers on physical torture." Peregrine stepped down from the lectern and took up her position a little too close to the "audio-visual aid".
"Er ... I don't like the sound of that," Billy ventured, twisting slightly as if drawing away from the menacing robed figures. He was blatantly ignored.
"Physical torture is an unappreciated refined art," Rap addressed the group. " I'll let Miss Psycho-Babble over here deal with the reasons WHY we do it, let's just accept we do and be done with it. It is too easy to just hit someone ... details are important ... Where you inflict torment is important, and realism too. Things HURT. That's the point." She picked up what appeared to be a pointer from beside the lectern.
"Initiates ... you have in front of you ... Billy the Blue Ranger at your mercy ... what would you do with him?"
There was an immediate clamour of lewd suggestions and a few attempts by Mouse and Cinders to demonstrate exactly what they had in mind. They were restrained by Mele and Peregrine and sent back to their seats, looking very disappointed.
Their hanging captive had blushed furiously at the raunchy suggestions. What made matters worse, somehow, was that Mouse spoke with an accent that seemed very familiar to Billy. A sudden suspicion flitted across his mind.
*She sounds Australian, like Kat. These maniacs seem to be extraordinarily familiar with my whereabouts; could it be that Kat has fallen under Rita's spell again and this time, I'm her target? Even the name "Mouse" could be a play-on-words with her nickname ...*
Rap slammed the pointer on the lectern, making them all jump. "Yes, all very PHYSICAL, ladies - but hardly torture, is it?"
Peregrine snorted. "You have met Mele, haven't you?"
"Hey!" Mele punched Perry on the arm.
Rap turned and pointed at them. "Now that is more what I had in mind." She approached their dangling captive, raising the pointer.
Peregrine eyed her suspiciously. "Hey ... Rap ... that's no pointer," she accused.
"SUUUUURE it is ..." Rap protested, retreating within her silver-lined hood.
"Hey, no, it's not!" Mele interjected. "Give me that!"
"No! Get your own!" Rap growled. "It's my whip, and I'm not afraid to use it!"
"Not in front of the children, dear," Mele said. She confiscated it. "You can have it back later - after class, as it were..."
Slightly annoyed, Rap continued. "The rib area is a favourite area for inflicting pain. Broken and cracked ribs are a stock-in-trade of all Yosties. Specialising in certain tortures requires one to be more inventive. Toenails ..."
Peregrine and Mele groaned in unison. "Here we go again ... ack ... toenails," Mele whispered. "There's an ugly word for people like her .. obsessed with torturing feet!"
"What ... chiropedist?" Peregrine said innocently. Mele pushed her.
"What? I've always though it was a nasty word .. sounds perfectly sinister to me," Peregrine protested as Rap lectured on, ignoring them. Eventually the speaker coughed loudly.
"... like I have always maintained, toenails are an under-exploited resource ... and I am an advocate of their usage. I would suggest that we experimentally verify this theory by removing one of our subject's nails," Rap concluded with great satisfaction.
"Er ... do you have to?" Billy said, testing his restraints surreptitiously. Was there a slight give?
"As a scientist, Billy, surely you demand empirical evidence of certain phenomena," Rap said in a quiet, reasonable tone of voice. "The Yosties are no less thorough in their determination of what reactions certain stimuli and variables will evoke."
"But ..." Billy protested.
"Oooh, he can evoke my variables any time!" Peregrine chuckled to herself. "In fact, I do believe he does ... all the time!"
"Do you want that bucket of cold water now or later?" Mele offered. "If you can find innuendo in that sentence, you are desperate, girl!"
Rap glared at them - the impression with the Hood being that of a very disapproving silver-trimmed large sock.
" However ... what is it?" She stopped as one of the Initiates stuck up a hand.
Greeneyes stood up. "Er ... we were wondering ... we feel we need to see the details of this a little closer," she suggested diffidently.
Rap drummed her fingers on the lectern. "Very well," she agreed as Mele and Peregrine gasped in horror.
"No! It's too soon! What have you done!"
There was an unseemly rush from the four Initiates, trying for a synchronised grope.
"Takes me back .. " Peregrine said to herself nostalgically and was trampled briefly underfoot.
"Not that close!" Mele warned. "Back, damn you! Back! Ha!" She picked up the confiscated whip and a chair and did her best impression of a circus lion-tamer.
Mouse, Froog, Cinders and Greeneyes paced and circled the group on the dais, their eyes hungry, alive with unrestrained ardour and exchanging comments. Watching them warily, Billy came to the conclusion that the dark-robed person with the accent was indeed Australian, but not his teammate in disguise/under a spell. He was undecided whether that reassured him or not, however.
"Mutiny!" Rap said. "Off with their heads!" she added in her best Alice in Wonderland impression. From within her robe she pullled out a katana blade and added in a fake Scottish accent, "There can be only One!"
"What the hell are you doing?" spluttered Mele. "WHY have you got a sword?"
"You wouldn't let me decapitate him last time ... I sort of thought I might bring this just in case ... the opportunity ... presented itself," Rap pointed out, hesitating as she realised how incriminating that was. "And aren't you glad? Look at them! Practically frothing at the mouth!" She indicated the circling Initiate Yosties. The Blue Ranger, meanwhile, was trying his best to imitate an owl, only his head couldn't turn around far enough. Nevertheless, he resembled nothing so much as an unraveling piece of thread as he twisted hither and yon.
"You CAN'T decapitate a member of the Yosties ... even if you are an Azure Elite!" Mele wailed.
Billy looked horrified, ceased screwing his head left and right, struggled another moment against his restraints and then applied his mind to the problem. "Er ... may I point out .. if THEY get me, there will be nothing left for any of you?" he suggested artfully. It wasn't the best of ploys, but even geniuses are allowed to have an off moment when under threat of torture, aren't they? Besides, it worked.
There were dismayed looks .... and that was just Mele.
The gold-cowled figure sighed, having picked herself up, dusted herself off, and started up a cliché all over again.
"I'll deal with this ... but you two OWE me!" She struck a dramatic pose and yelled, "Heyoka! I CHOOSE YOU!" The thunderbird Muse popped into view, crackling with lightning. "Stroppy Muse Attack ... NOW!" Peregrine ordered, indicating the Yosties.
There was a rumbling thunderclap and arcs of actinic lightning toasted the over-excited Yosties, sending them yelping back to their seats ... and indiscriminately frying the ones Heyoka was meant to be defending as well.
"Thanks, Heyoka." Peregrine wheezed, a little shaky.
Heyoka looked at them and said, tongue-in-beak, "Pika...PikaCHU!" before making a hasty fluttering retreat as Peregrine tried to swat him.
Rap surveyed the other robed figures. "And that is why I don't have a Muse." She said it scathingly while trying to shake the static out of her robe.
"Argh! Static cling! Get it off me, get it off me!" Peregrine wailed, and as Mele turned to help her ... they had the same thought and turned to look at their captive.
"Mmmmm ... static cling ...." Peregrine drooled in her best Homer Simpson impression.
Mele's voice was full of awe as she walked behind their frazzled victim. "I had never before appreciated what a wondrous thing it could be ... Perry, dear, you HAVE to see this ...!"
Peregrine wandered over and was dumbstruck for a moment. "Oh ... my ...." she breathed.
"If you two have quite finished!" Rap said sharply, tapping her reclaimed whip on the side. "Because of that little incident, I will have to forego any additional physical demonstrations!"
"Wahey!" a voice came from the audience.
"You will have to be content with the effect of electricity upon him ... something which admittedly none of us have considered in great detail," Rap conceded in a disappointed tone.
"But soon will ... now we know about this useful side effect ... oh my ..." Peregrine added hungrily. "The way the material just ... clings around certain areas ... Mel? Breathe, Mele! Breathe, girl!"
"Oooh, I didn't realise I was holding my breath," Mel said, staggering forward dizzily. "It was a very interesting demonstration .... Yes, very ..."
"Well, at least it was of value," Rap admitted grudgingly. "In Advanced sessions in the future we might explore the topic in great detail, examining its effect on each part ..." There were some muffled sniggers.
"Grow up, you two!"
"Sorry." The sugary voices just oozed insincerity.
Billy looked up weakly. *Advanced Sessions?! I'll never survive that ... them ...* With renewed determination, he cautiously wiggled his wrists when no-one was looking, trying to tug a hand free.
"In the meantime Peregrine, our resident Psycho Babbler, will bore you all rigid with a lecture on the psychological torture that we inflict on our subject." Rap stepped down, glaring at her fellow Yosties indiscriminately.
"Thanks for the glowing endorsement." Peregrine stepped up, her gold-trimmed hood glinting in the spotlight. Unfortunately, the effect was spoiled as she slipped on the wet spot where she'd dripped her sarcasm and had to flail her arms wildly to regain her balance. For a moment, she looked like a giant black bat.
"Now then ... we all do it ... we love the guy .." She glanced over at Billy, dangling still. "But we take it upon ourselves to alter his reality and send him through trials and tribulations. Why? Because we want to."
There were some uncomfortable looks, and Billy looked panicked.
"... But why do we want to? It's because we want him to win ... it is because we want him to show strength from his vulnerability. That is the key. It is a measure of the perceived strength we attribute to him that, to make him overcome, we stake him against nigh impossible odds."
Peregrine looked around at them all. "Remember this phrase and all becomes clear: That which does not kill us makes us stronger. That, ladies, is the key to what we do to him on all levels. Billy has shown us he can learn, he can adapt and as such we target him for ... special training." Peregrine paused.
For the first time in his life, the Blue Ranger found himself thinking that that was one (or more) learning experience he would gladly do without. Permanently.
Either her audience was enthralled or asleep. Probably asleep, knowing her own experiences as a student in lectures. She walked across to Billy.
"As such ... you can play with his homelife ... see Rap for details .. you can toy with his mind, you can put him through abuse, but always remember this: He is human ... and the body can stand much, but it is the mind that holds the greatest hurts."
"Oh yeah?" Rap challenged, pulling out the sword again. She stalked over to Billy, the blade arcing over her head like a scythe.
"Tell me, Blueboy ..." she said in a throaty whisper, "would you prefer to be a little tortured by me and my ... friend ... here, or by Peregrine over there and her mind tricks?"
It occurred to Billy despite his peril that being 'a little tortured' by an obviously deranged woman wielding a sharp object had much the same impact as if one of his female teammates had declared that she was 'a little pregnant'.
"I am going to get you therapy ... I really am," Peregrine threatened.
"Oh! A stabbing! A stabbing, there's going to be a stabbing!" Mele cried out enthusiastically. The fellow Yosties cheered just as enthusiastically.
"Mel! Please ... I thought you had got over that!" Peregrine said in a disappointed tone of voice.
Mele looked totally unrepentant.
Billy looked back and forth between Rap with her large and sharp sword and a seemingly harmless Peregrine, trying to make up his mind if he must. The effect was much as if he were watching a ping-pong match.
"Perry!" Mele hissed. "You are doing an Evil Smile behind that hood, aren't you?"
"What if I am?" Peregrine replied in a silky tone.
Billy coughed. "I'd rather not be hacked by a sword ..."
Rap flourished her blade in triumph. "See -- I create more fear than you!"
Peregrine smirked. "That's only because he doesn't know what I have in this hand ..."
"Ooer!" shouted Froog from the audience.
"You didn't!" Mele gasped, shocked. "That's too horrible ... even for Billy. Rap, she's done it! She's really done it this time!"
Billy swung around in alarm as Peregrine whipped out ... a tape player of Zack-like proportions.
The entire Yostie contingent froze in horror.
"Noooo ... I thought that was just a rumour!" Cinders said, shuffling her chair backwards. Just in case.
"You wouldn't dare!" Mele challenged, perhaps unwisely.
Peregrine stood and began an Evil Laugh that reverberated through the hall.
"Mwhahaaaaaahahahahhhhaahahah<cough>! ... damn, nearly got it," she muttered. "Doubt the power of psychological torture, will you!" She depressed the play button.
"Cover your ears! NOW, if you value your sanity," Rap yelled, as the terrifying strains of "I love you ... you love me ... we're a happy family!" burst into the air.
The Yosties screamed and covered their ears. Too late.
Billy however, strung up as he was, was totally defenceless before the onslaught as the barrage of Barney continued inexorably. Desperately, Billy called up every little bit of mental discipline he'd learned from Zordon and during his karate lessons with his friends and tried to block out the horrific tones. All around him, his captors sank to the ground one after the other, twitching in convulsions much like freshly-caught fish swung on land by a giant angler. In their billowing dark robes, the seven women looked like heaps of dirty laundry which had been animated by a demented cartoonist on Speed as they spasmed and writhed all over the place.
"Serves you right," Billy murmured through clenched teeth, searching his mind for a mantra that would shield his brain patterns from the debilitating effects of the Barney Song. There!
*Na na na nah, na na na nah, hey-he-ey, good-bye ...*
"Aaah!" the Blue Ranger sighed in relief . The insidious melody wormed itself through his brain synapses, blocking out the insanely cheerful song still blaring from the ghetto blaster. The Yosties and their Apprentices were moaning softly, quivering underfoot, but he couldn't care less. This was maybe his only chance to get out of here!
Twisting like Houdini, Billy managed to loosen the rope around his left wrist. Just as the loop widened enough to enable him to slip his hand free, the door to the lecture room opened, and a woman poked her head through the opening.
"Hello? Girls? Is this the right ... oh. Oopsie." She'd spied the Blue Ranger, still sort of dangling on the dais. The head disappeared again, but within a minute, the door opened completely, and the woman entered the lecture hall.
Clad all in black leather with ankle boots sporting five-inch spike heels and now wearing a black silk Zorro mask, she was a terrifying sight for Billy. Confidently, she strode towards the dais and with a single flick of her finger switched off the torture tape. The young man wondered how the newcomer had managed to remain unaffected by the song, but it became obvious as she removed a pair of purple bunny-shaped ear mufflers from her blonde hair. Dangling them between her fingers, she turned glittering blue eyes on the half-freed abductee. Billy tried to hide his untied hand behind his back.
"What have we here? Oh no no no, that'll never do! Come on, kiddo!"
She stepped up to the instinctively cowering junior genius and reached for the rope still tying his right wrist to the ceiling hook, treating Billy to the awe-inspiring close-up sight of a barely-covered size 40 DD cleavage under black leather. Billy felt himself go light-headed, but it was not from terror this time. Or was it?
For a second, he hoped the woman was going to help him escape, but that was dashed when she made a skilled grab for his left arm, pulled it high and deftly secured it back where it belonged. Testing the expert knot with a few tugs, she then nodded once, patted Billy approvingly on the butt and looked around.
"Good boy. Nothing personal, you understand, just ... call it professional courtesy? From one Ranger Appreciator to another, you know ... Now, what's going on here?"
"I ... I don't know," Billy gulped. "These ... ladies, I guess ... have abducted me from my house in the middle of the night, brought me here and want to use me as an object lesson in torture, I believe."
"What ladies? Oh, them. They're no ladies, kiddo. Nevermind. Yes, come to think of it, that sounds about right. At least, that's what Mele and Peregrine told me they'd be doing," the woman said calmly, looking around the room. "Nice setup, too. Nearly perfect."
"Y-you're a Yostie, too?" The Blue Ranger paled at the thought. Those hooded robes were bad enough, but the leathers ... he blushed furiously as the stranger turned towards him, planting her hands on her hips. The movement almost made her most prominent frontal assets spill out of their confinement.
"Perish the thought! Do I look like a Yostie to you? Do I?"
Billy had to admit she didn't.
"Hmph! I should think not! No, I'm a member of PHAS." Billy alternately blanched and blushed at the Look accompanying the word 'member'.
"P-PHAS?" he swallowed, suddenly inexplicably flustered.
"Yes - the Power Hunk Appreciation Society," the tall blonde explained. She had started checking on the unmoving Yosties one by one, wobbling slightly on the too-high heels. Even without the slut boots, Billy could see that she'd tower over him by at least half a head. She winked at him, a gesture that did nothing at all to reassure the Blue Ranger. Quite the contrary.
"Don't worry, I'm not really interested in you. Now, if you were Jason, though ..." her voice trailed off suggestively. Pausing in her examination of her black-robed friends, the valkyrie approached the bound young man and wandered slowly around him. Billy suddenly became excruciatingly aware that he was only partially dressed, and he squirmed a little under her knowing scrutiny, as much as his bonds would allow.
"Hmm, not bad ... not bad at all," she finally declared. "I'm beginning to see what the girls see in you."
Suddenly, something clicked in the Blue Ranger's otherwise thoroughly befuddled mind. The stranger knew his captors, or at least two of the three ringleaders, the provocative leather outfit, the blatant innuendo, mention of his oldest friend ...
"Er ... excuse me, Ma'am, but your name wouldn't by any chance be Dagmar, would it?" he eeped.
"Why, yes, as a matter of fact it is," the blonde beamed. "You've heard of me?"
Billy was starting to feel lightheaded. Or nauseous. Or excited. Or all of the above.
"O-only in the m-most g-general terms," he stammered, highly embarrassed by the turn his thoughts were taking. And the effect that was having on his previously electrocuted anatomy. "I think it was Miss Mele who mentioned you the last .... time ..." Too late, he realized what he'd given away. He blushed. Again.
"You mean this isn't the first time they caught you? Billy, Billy, Billy ... I thought you were supposed to be the smart one!" The blonde tsk-tsked, shaking her head.
"They're sneaky!" Billy protested, stung.
"Well, yes, that they are," Dagmar agreed. "You really shouldn't be going around calling Zordon 'a inflated windbag of a head'. That'll only get you into trouble, as you can see. And it's 'an inflated', by the way. Watch your language, I always say. What exactly did Mele tell you I'd do to you, though? Just out of curiosity?"
The Blue Ranger colored more furiously than ever before. However, he sensed he'd better give an answer, or else. Looking anywhere but at the woman bending over Cinders, helping her to sit up against the nearest wall and thereby presenting him with a seam-splitting, leather-stretching rear view, he mumbled something into his nonexistent beard.
"What was that? I didn't hear you," called Dagmar as she rolled Froog over into a stable position. She then moved on to rearrange the heaps that were Mouse and Greeneyes.
"She said you'd make me have mind-blowing sex with ... with Jason," Billy said, somewhat more audibly.
"Only if Tommy or Kat are unavailable for him," the PHAS representative soothed. "I mean, no offense, you're quite cute in a nerdy sort of way, and the smartest of the lot, but ... you're not exactly a Power Hunk, if you know what I mean?"
"Uh ..." Billy didn't know whether to feel relieved or insulted.
"Although, come to think of it, I just might turn you over to Cheryl," Dagmar mused. "She's in PHAS, too, at least unofficially."
"Wh-what would Cheryl do to me?" Billy couldn't help asking, experiencing another flash of déjà vu.
"Oh, she'd either have you in bed with Kimberly and Tommy, let you run around an alien jungle sans clothes for two months with all of the Zeo Rangers, or let you watch ALL of your teammates make out with each other," Dagmar said nonchalantly. She grinned knowingly as yet another rush of tell-tale color flooded the Blue Ranger's face and spread down his chest, to disappear inside his pants. It caused a rather incriminating reaction. That didn't go unnoticed, either.
"So she's right about that, huh? She'll be glad to hear it. Don't worry, though; for tonight at least, your virtue is safe. >From us at PHAS anyway. Can't speak for this sorry lot, though." She jerked her head at the collapsed Yosties. "But I can't make any promises about your health; sorry."
Billy sagged in his bonds, whether from relief or disappointment, he couldn't say. Something else sagged, too.
Around him, the Yosties and their Apprentices started to come around; moans and groans could be heard as the quivering heaps began to stir.
"Nah, tonight I'm just a messenger," Dagmar continued. She pointed to a calfskin bag she'd deposited next to the lectern. Red lettering could be seen on the side. Somehow, the item had escaped Billy's notice earlier.
"That's Mele's personalized Ranger Emergency Kit; tell Rap and Peregrine they'll get theirs once I've collected the special ingredients for them, will you?"
Insatiable ... curiosity ... made Billy ask, "What special ingredients?" He could've bitten his tongue as soon as the words left his mouth. He didn't want to know, he really didn't! Craning his neck, he eyed the elegant leather bag speculatively.
"Oh, this 'n' that," Dagmar smiled mysteriously, winking once more. "Mele will need them for her part of tonight's lecture." Billy gulped. "Exactly," the blonde smirked. "I see you have a good grasp of the situation. Have fun, Blueboy!"
With that, the statuesque woman sauntered to the door, hips swinging provocatively under tight black leather. Just before she stepped out into the hallway beyond, she looked back at Billy. Blue eyes glittered behind the mask, and black shiny material strained to confine ample curves. The young man blushed for about the 37th time in less than ten minutes.
"Oh, and Billy?"
"When the Sisters are through with you and you get home ... give my regards to Jason, will you? I have ... plans for him!"
The door snicked shut, and with long-drawn-out moans, the Yosties awoke from their Barney-induced stupor.
"Oh, my aching head," Rap moaned as she staggered to her feet. "What happened?"
"Miss Psycho-babble happened, that's what," Mele growled. She approached the still-stunned Peregrine menacingly. "You unleashed the Barney Song on all of us? What were you thinking, you knothead?!?" She whapped her fellow Azure Elite Sister upside the head.
"Ow! I forgot we needed to use protective gear!" Peregrine protested. "It was an impulse decision ... really!"
"'Knothead'?" Rap mumbled, still trying to clear her head of the nauseatingly, numbingly saccharine song.
"How could you put us at risk like that? A couple more minutes and we could have suffered irreparable brain damage! Where's Rap's sword?"
"What ... what are you going to do?" Perry asked in a quavering voice as the Initiates watched in wide-eyed terror.
"I'm going to make sure that NEVER happens again," Mele replied, grabbing the sword and rushing at Peregrine, who backed away in terror. The deranged Sister kept going, and in one powerful swipe struck a blow of vengeance for all the assembled Yosties. The offending tape player was cleaved cleanly down the middle.
"Oh, you witch! What have you done? That was my brother's; he's going to kill me!" Peregrine wailed as Rap hurried to remove the sword from Mele's grasp.
"You don't use a Katana for things like that! Moron!"
"Well, we didn't have a chainsaw handy!" Mele responsed heatedly.
"A chainsaw?!" a chorus of horrified voices thundered out.
"Well, yes, I like chainsaws. They're very efficient, causing maximum damage with minimum effort. They really should be used more often," Mele explained.
"And you said I'm sick! Therapy may not be enough for you, I'm going to start adding hazard pay to my bills, you know ... chainsaw armour doesn't come cheap," Perry commented wryly. "However, Sisters, we are forgetting our Initiates. Now, who can tell me what we've learned from this?"
"Don't piss off Mele?" one timid voice ventured.
"Don't mess with Rap's blade?" chimed in another.
"The Barney song is dangerous?"
"That we should all love each other?" the fourth voice contributed, sounding a bit dazed.
"Oh, great, Perry, you broke Cinders. Now what are we supposed to do? How do we reverse it?" Mele said accusingly.
"I have the antidote right here ... I may be dangerously unbalanced, but I'm not stupid!" Peregrine pulled out a Walkman and placed the earphones carefully on the damaged Initiate's ears.
"What's that?" Rap asked suspiciously.
"A recording of Stephen King reading "The Clone Wars", sure to restore any Yostie to full power. She'll be fine ... in a loose definition of the word. May result in her next efforts being a little, er ... dark and graphic," Perry explained with a slight embarrassed cough. "Now, Mele, you ready to do your demonstration?"
"In a minute. Let's give Cinders a chance to get back with us. Oh, looks like she got to the good parts!" Mele replied, while she and Rap moved closer to the reviving Yostie Initiate.
Taking advantage of the others' inattention, Peregrine sidled up to their hostage. "How're you holding up, Billy? Oh, I see quite well," she purred.
"You women, you all need serious help. If you let me go now, before anyone else gets hurt, I can get help for you," he offered, looking desperate.
"Nice try, but ... how can I put this delicately? ... No."
The adamant refusal, delivered so sweetly, sent a shiver down Billy's naked spine. Nevertheless, he rallied himself. He was the Blue Morphin' and Blue Thunder Ranger, his Spirit Animal was the Wolf! He was made of sterner stuff than his captors thought! Wasn't he?
"I'm not afraid of you, you know. I'll turn you all in this time, you'll pay for what you're doing," he threatened.
"Oh, pooh! Like we're scared of that. See Rap? Looks like she's harmless enough, right? Like a grade school teacher, perhaps? Former military. Consider all that might mean. And Mele? Looks like a nice, quiet, mild-mannered tax accountant? Former trucker. She can do things with a tire thumper that are best left undiscussed. Getting the idea now?" Perry asked.
Actually, Billy couldn't see a thing under the concealing robes, but he wisely chose not to mention that fact. He had no desire to get on his captors' wrong side – wherever that was. "Military? Trucker?" he gulped. "And ... and ... what are you?"
"A Reiki Master Healer. Whatever they break, I can fix. And what they can't break ... I can." she replied in a soft, beautifully delivered Menacing Tone. "Between us you'd last a looooong time."
The Blue Morphin'/Thunder Ranger, Avatar of the Wolf Spirit, paled considerably.
"I see you get the picture .... Or at least the parts of it a sane person can imagine," Peregrine said smugly.
Before the bound Ranger could reply, Mele joined them. "Cinders is back to abnormal, so I'll do my demonstration, as soon as Daggy drops off my stuff."
"Didn't I see your bag over there?" Rap asked, pointing to the corner where the leather bag was lying.
"Oh, yeah. When was Daggy here?" she wondered. They all turned to Billy, amazed he could turn such a vivid color.
"She was here," Rap noted drily.
"Did you two have a nice visit?" Mele asked sweetly.
"Er ... um ... uh ..."
"That's what I thought." Mele said with a knowing look.
"Damn that Dagmar and her leather gear!" Peregrine muttered to herself sulkily. "Leather or robes ... and we bloody well went for Robes! How she gets 'round the chafing I just don't know!" Giving a sigh, she turned back to the others.
"Come on, girls, time's a-wasting. Mele, the stage is yours," Peregrine declared, moving to the side with Rap.
"Actually, for this part we should all gather around the table here so we can discuss the various weapons. Just remember, you can handle the weapons, but you cannot use them," Mele instructed.
The table was set directly in front of Billy so he could enjoy the instruction as well. He didn't want to, but that didn't faze the Yosties. Under the rapt attention of the others, Mele upended the bag and out fell ...
"Oh. My. God!" Mele cried out as the others looked on in amazement. Rap and Peregrine immediately began laughing hysterically, while the Initiates picked up assorted items in wonder, and Billy blushed nearly purple.
"What is this?" Froog wondered, inadvertently twisting one end of the device she held. "Ah! It vibrates!" she squealed, dropping it back on the table.
"Give me that back!" Mele ordered desperately, grabbing the equipment and stuffing it hastily back into the bag.
"What's this?" Mouse wondered, holding up a contraption consisting of a great many leather straps and studs, all dyed a tasteful royal blue.
"Nothing. Wrong frigging bag, just give that back," Mele demanded, managing to close the leather bag at last. "I'm going to kill Dagmar, just you wait. Kill her thoroughly! Would you two please quit laughing!" she shouted.
Peregrine was holding on to the table to keep from collapsing while Rap pointed at the bag. "It's still pulsating. Better kill it," she gasped out between guffaws.
Mele turned and kicked the bag, sending it careening off the wall, after which it was finally still.
"Well, Mel, that was ... interesting," Perry crowed happily. "I think you found a new way to torture Billy: terminal embarrassment."
"Aw, shaddup, before I go find my tire thumper," she growled, ignoring the looks the others were giving her. "And this is not my bag, I'll have you know. It's Dagmar's bag. Which means she's got the one with the knives and mace and such in it. Serves her right."
"Un-hunh. Right. Like we believe you," Rap muttered.
"What's not to believe? It's not as if I were a sex-starved ex-trucker ... well, I am, but ..."
"The fact that your initials are on it?" Froog pointed out innocently.
"So they are," Cinders agreed, bringing the bag back.
"The luggage is mine, she borrowed it. The contents are hers," Mele protested weakly.
"Oh. So this ... uh ... flat piece of wood with a handle emblazoned with the word 'Mele' isn't yours?" Rap asked in a syrupy voice. "Oooh, custom-made ... that's a FINE hickory handle, made to measure too ..."
Spluttering, Mele grabbed the item and put it back in the bag, trying to keep it from any more prying eyes. She wasn't quick enough for Peregrine.
"Here you go. Since we don't have any weapons, you could use this as a dagger, and show us the proper use," she suggested, handing the red-trimmed Yostie a cylindrical tapered item maybe ten inches in length and two in diameter.
"Fine," she growled, grabbing it and tossing the bag aside before any more incriminating items could be removed.
"Now, class, stabbing can be fun, and can be used to cause Our Boy much anguish. There are several prime locations for stabbing, and having the right weapon is essential." She was interrupted by snickers from the others, which she tried to ignore. "With a dagger, you always hold it by the handle, not the blade," she explained, running her hand up and down the 'blade'.
The others lost it completely at that point, rolling about helpless with laughter, much to Mele's annoyance, until she realized exactly what it was she had just demonstrated.
"Ohmigod. That's not supposed to be demonstrated until the Advanced class, and Dagmar is supposed to teach it," she exclaimed, dropping the item and blushing furiously under her hood. Unfortunately, the interesting color clash with her robe's lining was lost on Billy, who couldn't see her face, anyway.
Billy found himself praying he could not only find a way to escape from this group, but to get as far away as possible from these deranged creatures before the 'Advanced Class'. By now, he was quite certain he wanted no part of that.
"I give up," Mele declared, tossing her 'dagger' in the general direction of her bag. "We can't do the weapons thing because we have no weapons. Shall we get on to the Grand Finale?"
Billy turned pale at the thought of that. The last time ... he'd barely survived.
"But ... but ... you already electrocuted me, isn't that enough?" he whined.
"That was evocative, but not quite enough. Think of it as ... an appetizer, and now it's time for the main dish. Seeing as how you're so dishy and all ... but I digress. Ahem. Where was I? Oh. No, a different torture awaits you. Since Perry's Muse was the contributor last time, we decided to let Mele's Muse at you this time. Be afraid, be very afraid," Rap intoned.
"Again with the clichés! You really should watch that," Perry commented.
"Ladies!" Nobody paid any attention and Mele sighed. "Well, Rap and Perry! Stop that! Now, Initiates, you shall be privileged to see something no others have yet encountered. Introducing my Muse, Murray. Master of Tongue Fu!" Mele announced. There was a dramatic gong sound ... which turned out to be Peregrine hitting the coffee tray off of the table.
"Tongue Fu?" Billy wondered aloud as a green frog, about the size of a kitten, hopped up on Mele's shoulder. *A frog?*
"Oh, isn't he cute!" Greeneyes exclaimed.
"No, he isn't cute, trust me on that one," Mele mumbled, stepping closer to the bound Ranger.
"I'm supposed to be afraid of a frog?" he asked incredulously.
"A demonstration please, Murray."
A slender tongue, incredibly long, cold and slimy, lashed out, striking the teen first on one cheek, then the other, too fast to follow. Billy gagged and tried to get away from the disgusting attack.
"Ugh! Stop that. Gross!" he cried out, squirming in his bonds, much to the delight of his audience.
"See? If pain can't break them, grossness can – an aspect of psychological torture, I might add," Perry pointed out smugly. "How about a full-out attack, okay, Murray?"
Moving deftly around the bound teen with the help of his author, Murray hit every sensitive area on the naked chest and back of the trussed-up young man, causing him to twist, shudder, and shake under the merciless onslaught while the attendant Yosties watched enthralled until Billy was hanging limply in his bonds. The wolf whistles and cat calls, not to mention other animal sounds coming from the watching Initiates, seemed rather appropriate, under the circumstances.
"Okay, Murray, cease fire!" Rap ordered at last. She turned to the Initiates. "Okay, ladies, you have successfully completed phase one of your training. You will now be assigned your colors. Please step forward when you are called. Cinders, you shall be awarded the color pink, since it matches your blush so well. Greeneyes, you are green, for obvious reasons. Froog, per your request, you are white. And Mouse, you shall be ... chartreuse? Peregrine, couldn't you have gotten normal colors? Chartreuse!?!?"
"It was on sale," she protested.
"Geez, next time I'll get the ribbons. Anyway, next phase will be the Advanced Class, including possible guest lecturers such as Dagmar and Cynthia. Class dismissed."
The Initiates, chattering happily together, headed toward the exit while Mele collected her bag and Muse. The frog seemed put out to be interrupted in his conversation with Heyoka; the two were exchanging tips and techniques.
"Maybe I should just keep him at my place until the Advanced class. Would be easier than having to capture him again," she offered, running an appreciative hand down the well-muscled back of the limp Ranger. Her hand came away covered in slime, and she wiped it off disgustedly on Billy's jeans-clad butt. "Eeww!"
"NO way," Rap grunted, releasing the rope slowly. "You can't be trusted."
"Like you can?"
The three stood contemplating the insensible young man who still shuddered gently, his torso slick with ... frog spit.
"Think we went too far this time? He doesn't look so good. Maybe I should take him home and nurse him back to health ... you know, the 'comfort' part of the hurt/comfort thing that some of us ... mysteriously forget to ... mentioning no names ..." Peregrine offered in a far-too-innocent tone of voice.
"No way, I don't trust you, either. Besides, it's safer letting him go. He's not gonna squeal on us, he doesn't know who or what we are, where we come from, or anything else. And even if he did, would he admit what has happened? I doubt it. Come on, our work here is done," Rap announced.
"Clichés again," Perry muttered.
"Did you say anything?" Rap asked, caressing her katana meaningfully.
"Good answer. Let's go!"
Remembering what happened the last time, Rap and Perry each grabbed one of Mele's arms and dragged her protesting out of the warehouse, calling Heyoka to join them as they left. Soon all that remained of the evening's festivities was one limp and exhausted Blue Ranger, softly snoring beneath the rope they'd left behind.