Training week by Daniella T
Summary: Jason has to do a week of training. The catch? He’s not allowed to transmute
Categories: Battle of the Planets Characters: Jason
Genre: Humor/Comedy
Story Warnings: None
Timeframe: Mid-Series
Universe: Canon
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: No Word count: 2960 Read: 1326 Published: 04/09/2022 Updated: 04/09/2022
Chapter 1 by Daniella T
“How long since your last hostage training, Jason?” asked Mark, looking up from some papers he was studying.

Jason, sprawled on the couch in the Ready Room browsing through a sports magazine, looked at him as if the commander had started speaking Spectran, or had finally plucked up the courage to ask Princess out.

“Why would I need hostage training, Mark? I’ve managed to take enough hostages until now without any particular training.”

“Not to take hostages, Jason! To learn what to do if someone, let’s say Zoltar, takes you hostage!”

“Yeah, Zoltar and whose army?” snarled Jason. “Because, in case you haven’t noticed, they haven’t been doing very well until now, have they?”

“Stop busting my balls, Jason! You know you have to do this training. I’ve done it. The others have done it. It’s part of Centre Neptune’s outreach to the wider security community “ having G-Force participate in some of the trainings offered to the other specialists. You get to spend a week on a farm and… do things…”

Jason shrugged.

“Fine. I’ll just transmute as soon as anyone lays a hand on me.”

“Ah.”

At that, Jason looked up, for the first time seriously intrigued, and worried. He mused that he should have paid more attention to the stories Mark and the others were telling after they had come back from their training. He hadn’t joined them at the time as he was racing for Centre Neptune, and had been too high on the excitement of doing that to pay much attention to what the others were saying when they got back, all glowing and bursting to talk about their experiences.

“What do you mean, ‘ah’”?

“You will not be allowed to transmute. I will take your wrist activator before the training and we will give it back to you afterwards. And we will turn down your cerebonic implants, so you can’t rely on them even in a de-transmuted mode.”

Jason jumped off the couch.

“Yeah, like hell you will! Why would I ever not be able to transmute, in a real life situation?”

“Well, you remember when Princess lost her bracelet and was not able to transmute…”

“Just because Princess was stupid enough to…”

Jason stopped when he saw a vein pulsing on Mark’s neck.

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” he conceded. “Could happen.”

“Come on, Jason! It’s compulsory! And it should be a piece of cake for you. Even civilians do this! Plus” “ and here Mark played his last card in getting Jason to agree to go without any further complaints “ “if, and I say if, you ever get kidnapped, you really think Anderson is going to rush to ransom you?”

That, indeed, made Jason pause. He didn’t doubt that eventually Centre Neptune would get him back, one way or the other, if he didn’t escape, but could he really count on Anderson to move as quickly as possible? He was ready to put his life in the Chief’s hands…but it would indeed be better to get a refresher on what to do while the Chief was saving his life.

“Okay, fine, I’ll do it. Gives me a chance to get away from you for a week, right?” he smiled. “Should be fun.”

“Ah.”

Jason looked at Mark suspiciously.

“What do you mean, ‘ah’ again?”

For the first time, Mark looked uncomfortable.

“Now, Jason, please don’t think this was done on purpose. Anderson didn’t know when exactly you would go. He did not plan this.”

“Plan what?” Jason could feel his stomach travelling down to his feet.

“Cronus will be leading the programme. And he knows you’re coming. So… behave.”

“Fuck!”

---

Jason had been told that no one except Cronus knew his true identity, and even the Red Ranger had given no indication of being acquainted with him as the little group were going round introducing themselves. They were civilians from Centre Neptune, including a scientist from Sarah’s department, who Jason had seen in various meetings but as he had always been in uniform, he was reasonably certain he would not be recognised.

There were some young officers from Centre Neptune’s latest intake of security personnel. And some young Rigan recruits for the Red Rangers, probably not looking forward to a week with Colonel Cronus. Jason made the most of his first day hooking up with his fellow participants, especially the ones of the female kind, doing his best to blend in as just another Centre Neptune officer. He avoided the Rigan female officers, on the off chance that Cronus had placed a spy among them. He wouldn’t put it past the colonel to do so. All in all, Jason enjoyed the fact that he was suddenly free of the pressures of being the deputy commander of G-Force. His enjoyment only lasted the first day.

---
On the second day, Jason found himself reaching for his missing wrist activator more often than he had thought possible. He could navigate and run through the woods as well as all the others “ except maybe the Red Ranger recruits “ but, man, it was so much better to be able to use superpowers when doing so! At least the sun was shining “ he had been able to trade his usual G-Force civvies for a plain blue tee and jeans, and was, for a change, just a normal member of a group.

A member of a group with a bewildered expression plastered on his face.

They were standing in the sunshine, all of them equipped with medical supplies, while a tiny Rigan medic was showing them what to do with them. Now Jason was well and truly lost. Princess was the team’s tactical medic: coming back from the Himalayas, she had insisted she wanted to train in providing medical care in the battlefield. Thanks to their cerebonic implants, the team members themselves rarely needed patching up. But Princess had insisted that it would be good if they were able to provide emergency care to civilians, if necessary, and Anderson saw nothing wrong with that. So Princess became their medical expert. If she found it ironic that she was also the team’s explosions and demolitions expert, she didn’t let on. So Jason had not placed a hand on a bandage since his basic training at Centre Neptune, a million years ago.

“Jason, your right hand! You hold it with your right hand!” the tiny Rigan medic “ who, Jason knew, had seen more hours of battle than G-Force “ was saying. “Facing towards you!”

Obediently he turned his device around.

“Someone put a tourniquet on Jason,” ordered the medic, “so he learns how to do it properly,” and Jason quickly found himself gasping, as his arm felt like it was being separated from the rest of his body.

“It’s okay sir, I think I got it,” he mumbled. “I’m losing my arm here. And I need it.”

“Rubbish, you can stay like this for two hours,” said the medic dismissively, and Jason rushed to loosen the strap before anyone got the bright idea that he should do just that.

In the classroom, Jason could see Cronus at the back of the room. A couple of times, Cronus made the universal sign of “I see you” at him, leaving no room for doubt. The fact that the colonel had not spoken a word to him yet made it all the more disconcerting for Jason. He was beginning to think that Mark had been messing with him, but could not be sure either way.

Weapons training was a bit better. He thought that he would finally be allowed to shoot at things, and perked up considerably. Then he remembered that civilians were present, so probably this would not be happening. Instead, he found himself running crazily across a courtyard, and feeling for the first time what it felt like to be at shot even with fake bullets without having transmuted first. Being tall and relatively big, he could not resort to the techniques adopted by some of the smaller participants, like hiding. Or some of the cleverer participants, like hanging from their fingertips from the corrugated iron roof of a shed, perfectly hidden from the shooter.

He could hardly keep his eyes open at dinner, and managed only one beer before turning in, without even looking up the latest racing results.

---

With hindsight, he should have been able to read the situation correctly, but he hadn’t. The fact that no one else had read it correctly either did not comfort him “ he was supposed to be a member of Centre Neptune’s most elite force. But when their instructors gave them a schedule for the day, asking them to be back in class after dinner, he nodded with the rest of them, and quickly calculated how much time he would have between dinner and class to run to his room and drop off the rucksack he had been carrying.

Dinner was a buoyant affair, everyone starving after a whole day running up and down hills and valleys, getting shot at, building shelters and stretchers, patching up injuries, and carrying the wounded. And if the wounded were not really wounded at the beginning of the exercise, they probably were at the end, having been dropped on the ground repeatedly, their limbs bashed around by well-meaning but inexperienced “medics.” Jason got a new respect for Princess, who had trained to do this voluntarily.

Having stuffed himself quickly with food “ never miss a chance to eat, his old instructor at Centre Neptune used to say “ Jason impatiently waited for the coffee to be served, so he could have a quick cup and then run up to his room. The coffee table was there, the cups all set out, but no coffee was coming. Frustrated, he gathered his rucksack and jacket.

“I’ll be back in a sec,” he told the others at the table. “Get me a cup of coffee if it’s served.”

The others nodded, lost in their conversations.

“Going home already?” someone called out mockingly from the instructors’ table.

“I’ll be right back, just need to drop something off,” replied Jason, sprinting out of the dining hall. He checked his watch. There was no hurry, they still had half an hour before reporting to class again. He took the stairs to his room two at a time, suddenly excited about the prospect of a night adventure, dropped off his rucksack, and sprinted back to the dining room, where, he saw, coffee had still not been served. In hindsight, that should have been a warning.

He was standing just outside the loos washing his hands and chatting to Scott, a guy from Centre Neptune he had become friends with after building a shelter with, when all sorts of noises and screams and shots were heard: dogs barking, people shouting, guns shooting, other people shouting to take cover. Instantly, his hand went to his wrist, only to remember, a millisecond later, that he could not transmute. Another second later, a hand had pushed him roughly to the ground, and he found himself lying down on the hard concrete floor, Scott next to him biting back an “ouch!” Then the lights went out.

Jason swivelled his face around “ there was still a little light from the fireplace in the dining room. He regretted wearing only his tee “ he could feel the cold from the concrete seeping through him.

“Are you okay?” he whispered.

“I’m fine,” whispered Scott. “Bashed my knee as they pushed me down.”

On one level, Jason knew very well this was only an exercise and no one wished him any harm. On another level, though, when a black canvas hood went over his head and he suddenly lost all orientation, he wasn’t so sure any more…

He could still see a bit of blurry light through the canvas “ that was probably the fireplace. Then the fireplace went out also, and he was well and truly in the dark. He started breathing in a controlled way.

Jason’s respect for Princess grew: after coming back from her sojourn on the Himalayas, Princess had insisted that the whole team take up yoga. Grudgingly, complaining, they did so, as she wouldn’t let them off. And suddenly Jason found himself profoundly grateful for that. By controlling his breathing the way he had been taught “ four counts in, four counts out “ he was able to quickly calm himself to take stock of his surroundings. This was something he might need to do even while transmuted and in uniform, he mused. Good skill to have.

Someone pulled his arms behind his back and tied them with a pair of plastic cuffs. He tried to wriggle his fingers around, but, for the moment, could not. Still, he could feel that they were not as tight as they could have been. That was something.

Two arms picked him up and carried him outside. He could almost feel Scott being picked up next to him, but he wasn’t sure. He tried counting how many steps they took, but lost count after a while. Apparently they reached a van, or truck, because he was pushed inside and found himself at the end of a long seat. Again, nothing to be concerned about, really, but not being able to see was quite disorienting.

Then someone else was shoved in the van. From a tiny gap at the bottom of his hood, Jason could see a pair of trainers. He wished he had paid closer attention to everyone’s footwear “ that way, he would have known who else was there. There was no chance of asking “ whoever was conducting the exercise and was kidnapping them was repeatedly shouting “no talking!”

He tried to count the twists and turns the van made after it drove off, its wheels screeching. He was fairly certain they were going round in circles, and wouldn’t be surprised if they hadn’t left the farm at all. Then the door opened and a pair of hands pulled him out of the van. He could hear raised voices all around him, all of them shouting “no talking”, but nothing else, except the sound of people being dragged across gravel.

He was also half-dragged across what felt like a gravel courtyard, until pushed down.

“On your knees, now!” someone shouted at him. “Face against the wall!”

So there was a wall. That was news to Jason, as he couldn’t see it. Good thing they pointed it out. He could feel his forehead touching it, his knees still on the gravel, hands tied behind his back. Okay. That was fine. He tried to understand if there was anyone near him “ but could not be sure. Then he heard one of the “guards” pushing someone and forcing them to the ground next to him.

“Are you okay?” he whispered, hopefully in the right direction.

“No talking!” came back a shout from somewhere.

---

He had no idea how much time had passed, but he was starting to freeze. He tried moving his arms again, to get a bit of warmth in them, and realised that he could now move his fingers more freely in his handcuffs. He concentrated on trying to pull one hand.

And then suddenly he was pulled to his feet again, and the hood whipped from his face. He blinked. He was standing against a wall, in the last of four rows of prisoners. The first three rows were kneeling on the ground, the last row standing up. A few vans were parked in front of them, their headlights on, illuminating the scene. Jason wondered whether now they were going to witness a mock execution. And then the instructors were clapping and cheering at them, and the exercise was over.

---

Cronus only acknowledged Jason’s presence after the other members of the group had received their certificates and had scattered to collect their bags before heading to the spaceport.

“I must say I was bit concerned,” admitted Jason. “I thought you’d single me out.”

Cronus winked.

“That was Mark’s idea. To make you think that I’d be looking out for you to mess up or whatever. Kept you on your toes, no?”

“It was… interesting,” conceded Jason. “To see what our colleagues in Centre Neptune and on Riga might have to go through while we rely on our cerebonic implants and our activators.”

“Yes, that was the point. G-Force is only part of a bigger machine, don’t you forget that.”

“Message received,” nodded Jason. “Just one question.”
Cronus nodded at him to continue.

“Had you set any of the female Rigan officers to spy on me?”

Cronus shook his head innocently.

“Would I ever do that? You have to learn to be more trusting, Jason,” he added.

Jason was suddenly frustrated at the fact that he had avoided the Rigans “ and they seemed very nice Rigans at that…

Cronus handed over Jason’s wrist activator.

“Now you can be the deputy commander of G-Force again.”

Jason had never felt so happy to see his wrist activator. Even if, as soon as he put it on, Zark’s voice rang out.

“Attention, all members of G-Force. Report to Centre Neptune immediately.”

Jason turned to Cronus.

“This is not another trick, is it?” he asked hesitantly. “I don’t even get a day off for agreeing to this? I go straight back on duty?”

Cronus only smiled.

“You’ll never know until you get there.”

The End


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