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All original Road Rovers, Space Rovers, Parvo, Groomer, Master, and Oso are © WB
Sniper, Crystal, Blazer, Rally, Diamond, and Mage are © Me
Sierra is © Elista Adkins
DJ is © Jake Williams
Dylan and Jake are © Dylan Rinald
Huntress Retriever is © Greywolf Lupous
Spirit is © her creator
Cricket is © her creator
Penny is © her creator
Dervish is © Casey Johnson
Star is © Katherine Gore


"Everyone Deserves a Second Chance"
(Part three of the four-part "The Nightmare Series")

Story is © 2-11-01 by David Reynolds

SETTING: Sleeping Quarters, Galaxy Rover, eleven days after the deaths of the Road Rovers and Strayers, 2003.

Sniper is laying on his bed, looking at the picture he got from Rally's room after the fight with Parvo. (See "Rovers Reborn: The Birth of the X-Rovers") He sits up as Crystal walks into the room.

Crystal: Snipe, you've been in here all day.  Why don't you train or something?  You know, get your mind off your parents.

Sniper: Crystal, you and Blazer got over it in a couple of days, but it's not that easy for me.  They were the only family I had, but you and Blazer still have family.

Crystal: Say what?

Sniper: You know what I'm talkin' about.  Colleen's cousin, Colley, is still alive, and he's Blaze's family.  You have a lot of family left, too since Uncle Rapperswil had so many brothers and sisters.

Crystal: They're your family, too, you know.  But how do you know they're still alive?

Sniper: Well, there's a pretty good chance since they weren't at Mission Control during the attack.  I just wish I could go back and stop all this from happening.

Crystal: Sniper, I know it's hard, but you've gotta move on with your life.

Sniper: *Sighs* Alright, I'll try.

Crystal: Good.  Meet me and Blazer at the training rooms in ten minutes.

She walks out and closes the door.  Sniper gets up and places the picture on his nightstand.  He gets into a training outfit and walks out into the hall.

SETTING: Training Hall, Galaxy Rover.

Crystal and Blazer are waiting outside one of the rooms when Sniper walks up.

Blazer: Hey, Snipe.  Ready to get your butt kicked?

Sniper: Well, show me someone capable of doing it and I'll consider that offer.

Blaze (Under his breath): Smart-ass.

They walk into the room and Crystal hits a switch on a machine near the door.  The machine warms up and soon the gravity is twice the amount as normal.

Blazer: Well, whatta ya say we get started?

Sniper: No prob.

Sniper walks up to another door leading to a second part of the training room.

Crystal: Persia said that even the best fighters couldn't get past level six, and there's ten levels.

Blazer: Yeah, I only got to level five, but I'm hoping to get better.

Sniper: Well you're already stronger than Hunter was, so I think you could push a little more.

Sniper opens the door and walks in.  Crystal and Blazer start to train by "fighting" each other in the double gravity.

SETTING: Training Room, Galaxy Rover, about an hour later.

Sniper emerges from his room and Crystal and Blazer stop their training.

Crystal: Well, how'd it go?

Blazer: Yeah, I wanna know how far you got your first time in there.

Crystal: Sniper, your clothes are shredded.  What happened?

Sniper: I'm not gonna tell you.  At least not right now.

He walks out the room and into the hall, closing the door behind him.  Crystal and Blazer quickly run after him and catch up to him in the briefing room.  He is standing in front of Persia, apparently discussing something with her.

Persia: You're kidding, right?

Sniper: Nope.

Blazer: Kidding about what?

Persia and Sniper turn to see him and Crystal behind them.

Persia: Sniper just told me about his training session.

Crystal: Well he wouldn't tell us anything.

Sniper: Fine, if you want to know what happened, I'll tell you. *Sighs* I'm on level ten.

Crystal and Blazer: WHAT?!?

Sniper: Level nine was no sweat, but level ten's pretty tough.

Blazer: But even the best couldn't beat level six.

Crystal: Yeah, that's the level I'm on.

Sniper: Well I am the son of Rally, after all.

Blazer: Some guys get all the luck.

Sniper: Don't worry, I'm sure you'll be at the same level I am eventually.

Blazer: Yeah right.  There's no way I'll ever be able to compare with you.

Sniper: Ya never know.  Miracles happen all the time.

Blazer: Very funny.

Persia: Well Sniper, since you've done what no one else could, you can have the rest of the week off from school. *Turns to Blazer and Crystal* You two can also take the rest of the week off since you're as strong as you are at only fourteen.

Sniper: Thank you, Persia.  I think I'm gonna go back to Earth for a little while.

He walks off to the transport room and is sent to Earth.

Crystal: He's strartin' to get more like his dad by the day.

Blazer: Whatta you mean?

Crystal: His dad was a loner, and now it looks like he's gonna be one, too.

SETTING: Outside of Cemetery, Washington D.C.

Sniper is standing there, looking at the gate.

Sniper: Road Rover Cemetery.  Well, this is the place.

He walks up to the gate, but is stopped by a guard.

Guard: Sorry, only certain people are allowed in here.

Sniper: Well check the list, `cause I'm one of `em.

Guard: Name.

Sniper: My name is Sniper.

Guard: Do you have any proof?

Sniper pulls out his wallet and shows the guard his I.D.

Guard: Go on in.

Sniper walks in and the guard closes the gate behind him.  He walks down the walkway in the middle of the cemetery and stops at the last row.  He looks at the names on the tombstones to his left and reads them out loud.

Sniper (Reading): Hunter, Colleen, Blitz, Huntress, and DJ.

He then turns to read the names to his right.

Sniper (Reading): Rally, Stephanie, Diamond, Rapperswil, and Scout.

He goes down each of the rows, reading all the names.  Master's grave is the last one he reads.  When he finishes, he starts to walk out of the cemetery, but stops and walks back to Rally and Stephanie's graves.  He kneels in front of them.

Sniper: If I had only known, I could've saved you.  I wish I could go back and change all this, but I can't.  You can never be brought back.  But don't worry, I'll never let something like this happen ever again.

He stands up and walks out of the cemetery.  He catches a cab and tells the driver to take him somewhere.

SETTING: Research and Development Lab, Galaxy Rover.

A young female canosapien is working on a large machine when Persia walks in.

Persia: How's it coming on the machine, Jessica?

Jessica: Just fine.  All I have to do is make sure the connections and calculations are right, then we can test it.

Persia: And how long should that take?

Jessica: Two, maybe three hours.  Why?  Is there some need to have it done sooner?

Persia: Well, I told Crystal and Blazer about it and they were thinking of using it so Sniper wouldn't have to be so depressed.  They're really worried about him.

Jessica: They're good friends.  Sniper's lucky to have people like them around.

Persia: So do you think you could start checking it now?

Jessica: Sure.  It shouldn't take too long.

Persia: Good.  Come get me when you're done.

Jessica: Sure thing, Persia.

Persia walks out of the room and Jessica begins to check the machine.

SETTING: Training Room, Galaxy Rover.

Crystal and Blazer are again training in the double gravity.  Blazer of course has the upper hand since he has Hunter's super-speed.  He takes a swing at Crystal, but misses.  She then tries to hit him, but he dodges it easily.

Crystal: You're too strong.  Why don't you train with Sniper?

Blazer: Are you crazy?!  I'm not stupid enough to try that.

Crystal: Good point.  Why don't we take a break?

Blazer: Alright.  Five minutes, then it's back to training.  I wanna get as strong as Sniper.

Crystal: Yeah, but that'll take a while.

Persia walks in and turns the machine off.

Persia: Where is Sniper?

Blazer: Don't know.  He might still be on Earth.

Crystal: Why do you wanna know where he's at?

Persia: The machine is almost ready.  All we have to do now is test it.

Crystal: Well what are we waitin' for?  Let's go.

They run out of the room towards the research and development lab.

SETTING: Research and Development Lab, Galaxy Rover.

Jessica is standing in front of the machine when Persia, Blazer, and Crystal walk into the room.

Jessica: Hey, guys.  Where's Sniper?

Crystal: We don't know.  He's probably still on Earth.

Jessica: Well, I was hoping he'd be here for this.

Persia: Well, even though he's not here, whatta you say we test this little machine of yours?

Jessica: Alright.

She places a camera in the machine.

Jessica: We're gonna use this camera as the test subject.  If it works, then Sniper may not need to be so depressed anymore.

She pulls a switch and the machine whirs.  There is a bright flash of light and the camera disappears.  They all look at a monitor next to the machine and smile.

Jessica: It's a success.  Let's find Sniper.

SETTING: Sleeping Quarters, Galaxy Rover.

Sniper is laying on the bed staring at the ceiling when Crystal walks in.

Crystal: Hey Snipe.

Sniper looks at her, then back at the ceiling.

Sniper: Hey, Crystal.

Crystal: Still thinkin' about your parents?

Sniper: Yeah.  I just can't seem to get `em outta my mind.

Crystal: Well, Sniper, everyone deserves a second chance, including you.

Sniper: Huh?  What're you talkin' about?

Crystal: Follow me and I'll show ya.

Sniper: *Sighs* Alright, but this better not be a waste of time.

He stands up from off the bed.

Crystal: Oh, and lyin' in bed all day isn't?

Sniper rolls his eyes at her.  They walk out of the room and down to the research and development lab.

SETTING: Research and Development Lab, Galaxy Rover.

Crystal and Sniper walk into the room.  Jessica, Blazer, and Persia are standing in front of the machine.

Sniper: What's this all about?

Persia: We've got a surprise for you.

Jessica: We know you've been a little down lately, but I've been working on a machine for a couple of months now that I think might cheer you up.

Sniper: What do you mean?

Crystal: Sniper, this machine is a time-machine.  We've already tested it, and it works perfectly.

Sniper: You're pullin' my leg, right?

Blazer: Aren't you the one that said we never joke about stuff like this?

Sniper: Yes, but…

Blazer: But what?

Sniper: I thought things like this only existed in sci-fi movies.

Crystal: Well you forgot that the Space Rovers have higher levels of technology than anyone else, including Bill Gates.

Blazer: So whatta you say, buddy?  You ready to go back?

Sniper: Did you even have to ask me?  Hell yes, I'm ready.

Crystal: Well in that case, let's go home. *Turns to Jessica* Send us back to just before Parvo and his men attacked.

Jessica: No problemo.

She types some numbers onto the machine's keypad.

Jessica: There, the time and coordinates are set.  All you have to do is step inside.

Sniper: Well, it's been nice of you to let us stay here, Persia, but I'd just like to go back home.

Persia: I understand.  Maybe we'll see each other again, although we Space Rovers won't remember any of you.

Crystal: Yeah, and we'll have to have Jake as an enemy again.

Blazer: Oh well.  All good things must come to an end.

Sniper: Well, I say we head home.  What about you?

Crystal: Oh yeah!

Blazer: Ready when you are.

They walk up to Persia and Jessica and shake hands with them.

Sniper: We'll certainly miss you, but thanks for all you've done for us.

Persia: It was the least I could do for the only children of the Road Rovers.

Blazer: Well, whatta you say we head home?

Crystal: Let's go.

They step into the machine.

Sniper: Thanks again you two.  We'll never forget you.

The machine begins to whir, then a bright flash fills the room.

SETTING: Briefing Room, RRMC, eleven days earlier.

There is a bright flash of light.  The Rovers, Strayers, and RSTF members are sitting around the tables, having just completed yet another mission.  Rally looks at a clock on the wall.

Rally: 11:00.  I'm goin' to bed.  Don't stay up too long, Sniper.

He stands up, but Sniper stops him.

Sniper: Wait, dad.

Rally: What is it, son?

Sniper: This may sound weird, but I don't think you should go to bed just yet.

Rally: You're right, it does sound weird.  Why shouldn't I go to bed?

Sniper: It's hard to explain, but I think you should stay out here a little longer.  The same goes for the rest of you.

Hunter: Uh, what are you talkin' about?

Blazer: He's right dad.  It sounds strange, but just trust us on this one.  We'll explain later.

They all hesitate, but finally agree to stay up a little longer.  A few minutes later, the main doors are blown apart by explosives.  Debris flies everywhere as Parvo, Groomer, and about twenty soldiers walk in, all of them carrying either handguns or machine guns.  Parvo and Groomer look around the room at all the Rovers and Strayers.

Parvo: Ah, so nice of you to wait up for me.

Everyone (Except Sniper, Crystal, and Blazer): Parvo!

Groomer: That's right, you mangy mutts.  Now you will all pay for what you have done to us.

Parvo: Right you are, Groomer.  Right you are.

Hunter: What are you doin' here?  And how did you find us?

Parvo: Well, since you're about to die, I'll tell you.  I'm here to kill you, of course.  I found out about your little hideout by forcing the information out of one of your other enemies.  I'm sure you remember Jake.

Dylan: But how'd he find out about… Oh, that's right.  Never mind. (To find out what he means, read "Torn Souls" by Dylan Rinald)

Parvo: And now that I've answered your questions, it's time for you to die.

Sniper steps in front of the other Rovers and Strayers.

Sniper: I don't think so, tin-head.

Rally: Sniper, what are you doing?!

Parvo: Sniper, huh?  Well, you better get outta the way before you get hurt.

Groomer: Yeah, we don't have time to mess with little puppies.

Sniper: Puppy this!

He puts his arms in front of him and powers up an energy blast.

Sniper: I'm not gonna go through hell again.  This time, I'm takin' you down before you have a chance to hurt my friends. *To Rovers and Strayers* I suggest you guys duck.

Rovers and Strayers (Except Crystal and Blazer): Huh?

Crystal: You might wanna listen, unless you want to end up five blocks away.

They look at each other, then they all get on the ground.  Sniper is still powering up.

Parvo (To soldiers): Well, what are you waiting for?  Attack, you idiots!

The soldiers ready their guns, but don't fire.  They are still looking on as Sniper continues to build up power.  Parvo gets impatient and takes a machine gun from one of the soldiers.

Parvo: Fine, if you won't do it, I will.

He is about to fire when Sniper fires his blast straight at him.  He drops the gun and he and Groomer get out of the way of the blast.  The soldiers are still too amazed to move, and the blast hits them directly.  The explosion shakes all of Mission Control and the soldiers are blown to pieces.  After the explosion dies down, everyone left alive stands up.  The Rovers and Strayers, except Crystal and Blazer, are shocked at what just happened.

Parvo: How did a little kid get so strong?!

Rally: I was just wondering the same thing.

Sniper: Don't worry, dad.  You'll hear the whole story soon enough.  But I'm afraid that Parvo won't have the time, seeing as he's about to be six feet under.

Parvo: Groomer, do something!

Groomer: Yeah, right.  I'm outta here!

Groomer turns and runs out of RRMC, but Blaze easily gets ahead of her with his super-speed.

Blazer: Going somewhere?  I don't think so.

He karate-kicks Groomer and sends her flying back about twenty feet.

Parvo: That's what you get, traitor.

Sniper: And now it's your turn, Parvo.

Parvo picks up a gun and fires it straight at Sniper.  Sniper leans back and the bullet barely misses his face. (I just saw "The Matrix" a while back.) He straightens back up and smiles at Parvo.

Sniper: Is that the best you've got?

Parvo: No, this is…

He runs over and grabs Rally by the neck, aiming the gun at his head.  Everyone freezes in place, afraid to move.

Parvo: It looks as though brains are better than brawn.  This time Rovers, you lose.

He starts backing toward the now non-existent door with Rally still in a headlock with a gun to his head and tells Blazer to back off.  He backs away and Parvo continues to head toward the door.  No one knows what to do.  Suddenly Parvo's arm holding the gun is jerked upward, causing him to drop the gun.  His grip on Rally also loosens, and he's able to break free.  Rally steps back towards the others, his eyes still on Parvo.

Sniper: What's goin' on?

Hunter: No, it couldn't be.  Could it?

Colleen: Oso?  Is that you?

Oso materializes behind Parvo, still holding his arm.  Parvo tries to hit him with his free arm, but Oso grabs it and twists it behind Parvo's back.

Exile: Comrade Osovich!  How did you get here?!

Oso: It was easy with no door.

Hunter: Man, that power of yours sure comes in handy!

Colleen: I'll say!

Blazer: Wait, wait, wait.  Who's this guy?

Hunter: Blazer, this is Oso.  We saved him and his master a while back, and when in canosapien form, he has the ability to make himself disappear.

Parvo struggles to get free, but Oso holds him tight.

Parvo: You mangy mutts!  I swear I'll get you if it's the last thing I do!

Sierra: That's what you always say.

Spirit: And it still hasn't happened.

Dervish: Probably never will.

Parvo: Oh, we'll see about that.

Blazer: Will someone shut him up?

Oso: No problem.

Oso twists Parvo around and knocks him cold.

Oso: Problem solved.  What do we do about Groomer?

Groomer was still on her back on the floor, clutching her stomach where Blazer kicked her.

Hunter: I don't think she's gonna be any trouble for us.

They carry Parvo and Groomer down to the "dungeon" and put them in separate cells.  After the cells are locked, everyone looks sternly at Crystal, Blazer, and Sniper.

Rally: OK, now tell me how you knew that was gonna happen.

Colleen: Yeah, I'm a little curious me self.

Crystal: Well, it's a long story.

Huntress: I think we got time.

Crystal: Well, alright.

They sit down on the floor of the "dungeon" as the three X-Rovers tell them everything that happened, or what would have happened had they not had the time-machine.  When they finish, the others look at each other, then back at Sniper, Crystal, and Blazer.

Star: Are you serious?

Sniper: Yes, we are.  And here's proof.  Dad, you're wearing your collar, right?

Rally: Yes.

Sniper: Do you have any spares?

Rally: No.

Sniper: That's what I thought.

He pulls out a collar from his pocket and throws it to Rally.

Sniper: There's your proof.

Cricket: What is it, Rally?

Rally (In disbelief): It's my collar.

Penny: But I thought you said…

Exile: They are telling the truthski.  They must have come from future time.

Hunter: I knew the Space Rovers had a lot of technology, but I never imagined they'd build a time-machine.

Colleen: To borrow a line from you, Huntie - I would not have predicted this.

Dylan: I still can't believe you teamed up with Jake.

DJ: It's even harder to believe you defeated Mage.

Blazer: Believe it, `cause it's true.

Blitz: I can't believe you three puppies are stronger than me!

Huntress: Can it, Blitzie!  We all know how weak and scared you are.

Blitz: I'm not weak and I'm not scared of anything.

Penny sneaks up behind Blitz and grabs him by the shoulders.  Blitz lets out his trademark "girlie" scream.

Huntress (Sarcastically): Oh, no.  You're not scared of anything.

Sniper: You two cut it out, you can argue later.  Right now we got work to do.

Dervish: Whatta you mean?

Crystal: We still gotta deal with Mage.

Diamond: But I thought he only attacked because we all died.

Crystal: Yes, but he's still building up ammo and weaponry.  He might attack anyway.

Hunter: She's right.  Let's get some sleep so we can get a jump on him tomorrow morning.

They head off down the hall and enter their separate sleeping quarters.

THE END

(To be continued in "The Nightmare Series" finale, "The Nightmare Ends".)