[Sanctuary of the Elusive Captain] Ch 6-2. Party in the Captains' Room
[Sanctuary of the Elusive Captain] Ch 6-2. Party in the Captains' Room
May 02, 2022
Leon didn’t have much time to think before his turn came. He stepped forward, letting gravity take him where it may. It took him right through a gap and to Roxie, where they gave each other a double high-five.
It took him a moment to remember what he asked before. “So do you have your handbook?”
“It’s fiiine.” Emil cut in before she could answer. “That’s just one more reason to find my bro! He always keeps two copies on him.”
“Wow, that’s thorough.”
“That seems too heavy for his cape.” remarked Roxie.
“That’s the–Ow!” Emil’s pattern ended. He tapped his head. “That’s the thing. He has one physical copy. The other’s in his mind.”
Roxie gasped. “Mental storage!”
“That’s right~” He winked.
The lieutenant spread out his hands, creating arced green walls of light. Slowly, they expanded toward Leon and Roxie like a ‘Soundwave,’ the pattern’s name .
“Sometimes I wish my brain worked more like his.”
Neither ranger had to move to clear the first gap, but in its place came another wave.
Emil continued making more. “When he sets a goal, he devotes himself to it. Strict exercise regimen, eating really healthy, studying all night, he’d been training all his life to be a star ranger. Sure, we kinda got it drilled into us, but he took it to the next level!”
“Wow, he sounds really– Uhh, what’s the word?” Leon positioned himself between a gap by the computer desk. “It’s like single-minded, but not in a bad way.”
“Committed! Driven!” Roxie’s words were muffled by the wall she had to plaster herself against to avoid a wave. Emil’s bed being in the area gave her less wiggle room. “Dedicated!”
“That’s the one! Dedicated!” Leon motioned for Roxie to come over to his side.
“Yeah!” It was hard to see Emil through multiple walls, but Leon could hear his excitement. “Not only that, but he’s really practical, too. When we got older, Dad was usually busy or gone, so he’d handle a lotta the housework.”
“With all of his other routines?”
“I don’t know how he had the time. It takes a lot for me to focus on things I need to do!”
“Really? You were able to keep up with a lot a couple weeks ago.”
Emil chuckled. “And look where that got me. Flat chest hair and a flattened Rookie.”
“Almost flattened.” Leon corrected. “Wait, what was that about chest hair??”
“Hair of the heart!” Roxie finally made it to the desk. “His heart hair was suffering.”
Now Leon understood even less. “I didn’t know hearts had hair, but that sounds bad. Take care of yourself.”
“You don’t hafta tell me twice!” One of Emil’s next waves aimed directly at Leon and Roxie. The next free spot was back where she’d come from. With a tilt of his head, Leon led the way over. “I’m spoiled, so I’m only good for making people smile. My brother does the important stuff, like–Oh, I think he’s the one who fixed the TV!”
“Well it has to be either him or Lorie!” Roxie pulled Leon away from crashing into a wall. He gave her a thumbs up and pointed to the next opening.
“Y-Yeah, I guess so!”
It was easier to get around the waves before they expanded, Leon figured out, so he decided to move closer to Emil. He could finally see his face.
Emil’s eyes locked onto him. He smiled. “Hey there.”
His smile turned to laughter as he created a wall right in front of Leon.
“Comrade, take my hand!” Behind him, Roxie reached out. Leon took her hand and she dragged him a safe distance. They continued floating back with the wave.
“Sorry Roxie, I keep thinking I have things figured out, and then it all goes wrong.”
“Nonsense! Your strategy was a smart one, you just got a teensy bit too close.” She pinched her hands together.
“ Wow, I’m not used to getting that.”
“Yeah, I’d say you were on the right track! I mean–!!” Emil cut himself off. “Don’t take my word for it, I’m not the brightest bulb in the shed.”
“You seem pretty smart to me.” Not that Emil was a genius, but Leon didn’t see him as less intelligent than anyone he knew.
Roxie guided Leon to the next opening. “And even if you’re not, it’s what’s in your heart that counts~”
Emil stopped creating waves. “Guys, I was just jo–”
“Like the blood keeping you alive!”
The area cleared, allowing Leon and Roxie to move a little closer, but not too much. Emil smiled to himself, deep in thought. He looked calmer than usual, at least until he noticed the other two nearby. His arms moved to create more waves, but something startled him before he could. That something was named ‘I Made This ~More Special~’
“We should probably move back.” If this was anything like the original version, Leon had an idea what to expect.
Just as he expected, the pattern started off identically to ‘I Made This 2 Again.’ Four streams of projectiles, turning with him as he spun around. This time though, he pivoted twice to make himself go a little faster.
“If you really wanna talk about smart people,” Emil continued, “my brother was at the top of his class. I cheered all the way through his valedictorian speech!”
“Valedictorian?? Of IF Prep Academy?” Leon followed Roxie as she crossed a gap in the first stream, though again, it nearly hit him. He could never get the timing right.
“Isn’t it really competitive?” Even she was surprised.
“Maybe for the rest of us, but nobody came close to him.” Emil beamed with so much pride, he might as well have been talking about his own accomplishments.
Suddenly, he stopped and pulled his arms in. All four streams ejected from him, and he fired four more streams, this time diagonally. He pivoted himself in the opposite direction.
“That’s the reason he got scouted for the Celestion mission, actually. Our principal wouldn’t stop gushing about him and he knew somebody who knew somebody.”
“They didn’t hear anything from your dad first?” Roxie narrowly leapt through a gap. “Whew! My dad would advertise my triumphs more than he’d advertise cars!”
“Pshh! Like my dad would let people know we exist.”
“What about you?” Instead of trying his luck, Leon followed the streams until Emil dispersed them again. “Do you know why they selected you?”
“Someone else was supposed to go, but they couldn’t find anyone willing, so Dad was like,” Emil put on a deeper voice, “‘You. Go with him.’ I don’t get it. Like yeah, people don’t think much of us ‘cuzza our age, but it’s hard for me to look at my brother and not think everything’s gonna be alright. It’s like what can’t he do, you know?”
“Awww! How sweet! Huh?” Roxie was momentarily distracted by Leon waving at her. She picked up the hint and followed him. “You must look up to him a lot.”
“Of course~” Emil stopped once again and dispersed the streams, while Leon and Roxie crossed the larger gap it made. He watched them celebrate.
“I wish I had a little sibling. They could adore me, and I would smother them. But alas,” She held a hand to her forehead, “the stork has deprived me.”
Emil laughed. “I’m sure Rookie knows what I’m talking about,” He fired his next set of shots, “but me and my bro can get on each other’s nerves.”
“Hm.” Leon thought as he floated away from danger. “Actually, we never fight.”
“Never?? That must be great!”
“Yeah… I guess so.” He felt like he could say more, but didn’t know what. Emil pushing away the next streams saved him from having to think about it.
Roxie crossed through the next gap with Leon. “Emil, the captain is someone of many talents, yes?”
“Then why is he using invisibility so much?”
“Huh? Oh! You mean why he’s hiding?” deciphered Emil. He sighed. “Wish I knew. …Is he that afraid of p–?” Emil twitched a little, and suddenly his pattern stopped. “Stun again.”
“Afraid of what?” Leon couldn’t imagine the captain having much to fear.
A chip-toothed grin crossed Emil’s face. “Wouldn’t you like to know? I’ve been ramblin’ about me and my bro for so long now, I think it’s high time you guys be ‘In The Spotlight.’”
As his finger lowered toward the two rangers, spotlights shined down on them. It trapped them in an area outlined by a circle on the ground. Outside, a grid of orange lights appeared one by one.
“Wooooah.” Leon looked around, too mesmerized to worry.
“Huh,” Emil tapped his chin, “I only had one person in mind when I was creating this, so you might have to squeeze in.”
Roxie pointed upward. “So is it bad if we step out?”
Emil coyly shrugged, which might as well have been a yes.
She pointed again, toward Leon’s side. “Behind you!”
“What? Ahh!” Leon noticed the edge of the spotlight creeping toward him just in time to jump away. Unfortunately, this left him drifting toward another edge.
“Wait wait wait, noooo!” Roxie grabbed his hand, but because she didn’t pull back, his momentum pulled her with him. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but the cramped space made every move crucial.
She yanked his hand back, saving him from the edge, but now they were locked in a slow yet uncontrollable spin, tugging each others’ hands back and forth to save each other from disaster. The more he thought about it, Leon felt it was a little silly considering how well they’ve been doing. Then it hit him.
Roxie only had one hit left.
Emil crouched on top of a nearby computer chair, his eyes wide with excitement. “I’m on the edge of my seat!”
“I’m glad our suffering amuses–Eeyaaah!” Roxie couldn’t even finish her sarcasm before realizing her back was dangerously close to the wall.
“I’ve got you!” Leon raised his hands to pull her back. “Oops!” What he didn’t plan for was her rising as well.
“Put me down, put me down!” She squeaked.
“I don’t know how! Wait, duh!” If he could pull her up, he could pull her down.
With one tug, she lowered until she touched the floor. It took even less effort for her to get Leon grounded. They let go and took a bow.
Emil stood on his chair and clapped. “Bravo! Bravo! Great performance! Gotta say, I’ve been enjoying your teamwork so far. Some people could take notes.” He spoke through his teeth. “But now the real show begins. Here’s some flowers for your troubles.” Emil motioned tossing out flowers with a wink and a smile. Five pink ones appeared, flying toward Leon and Roxie at high speeds.
Both somehow avoided them by cowering, but just as they did, Emil threw out five more.
“It’s okay, we don’t need any flowers!” Leon pleaded.
“No, no, I insist.” Emil kept tossing them out like candy. “You’re doing such a good job right now! So in sync! I’m proud of you!”
“Your words are appreciated, your projectiles are not!” Roxie nearly backed into the wall by Emil’s bed dodging a flower.
Leon saw that the spotlight began backing toward the left wall. “It’s kinda hard to keep track of the spotlight and the flowers at the same time with so little room to move around in.”
“All jokes aside, you two have been doing really good despite me designing it for one. I’m sure you’ll figure it out.” Emil’s warm encouragement gave Leon a boost in will power.
“Roxie!” A lightbulb went off in his head. “We don’t have to do both!”
“We do if we want to live!”
“No, I mean–”
Leon backed away from a flower in time. “I mean we can each focus on a different thing.”
“Ohhhh! And we can hold hands to guide each other to safety!” Roxie made grabbing motions with her hands.
He put his in hers. “Good idea! It’ll be like prom, but in a bedroom with no music.”
“And the corsages are on the attack!”
“What’s a corsa–?”
“Leave room for jasmines!” called Emil.
Roxie pushed Leon away as a flower whizzed between them.
“Is that what those flowers are?” asked Leon.
Emil shrugged. “I dunno. Ask my uncle.”
Though stilted slow dancing, Leon and Roxie maneuvered their way through the flowers, all while staying in the spotlight. Emil’s throws got lazier over time. Leon glanced up to see him laying on his bed.
He propped his chin up with his hand. “I wish I got to go to prom, but my dad didn’t like us being out at night.”
“Mine either!” chimed Roxie. “He was afraid I’d get kidnapped.”
“Hm? They wouldn’t let you go to prom but they let you go to Neptune?” That sounded weird to Leon.
“Hey, don’t ask me how my dad’s mind works!”
“What’s it like? Tell us, tell us!” Roxie urged.
Leon thought for a moment. “Well, I went with my girlfriend at the time,” having to add ‘at the time’ made his heart sink, “we got dressed up. It was a lot of taking pictures. And dancing! There was dancing too. I kept stepping on her toes, so I guess I’m doing a little better now.” Leon sighed. “I miss her…”
“Awww. I know how it feels.” She related. “Sometimes, I still miss mine.”
Emil gasped. “Roxie, you had a girlfriend? Niiice!” His legs kicked back and forth. “A-And you having a girlfriend is cool too, Rookie–Ow!!”
An oddball group of astronauts are sent into the unknown with little experience and problems ranging from minor to Ursa Major. Will the crew of the Celestion-5 go down in history as humanity's first travelers to Neptune, or will lousy luck, personal problems, and military mismanagement be the doom of these future stars?