|DinoThunder: The Legacy of Tommy Oliver
Author: liron-aria PM
PRDT rewrite. Moderate AU. Take a deeper look into the lives of Dr. Tommy Oliver and his fellow Rangers as they struggle to make it through the ups and downs of Rangerhood and the 2004-2005 schoolyear. Who said senior year would be easy?Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Adventure - Tommy O. - Chapters: 12 - Words: 98,743 - Reviews: 165 - Favs: 115 - Follows: 122 - Updated: 04-10-11 - Published: 12-15-09 - id: 5584378
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Now, let it be known that I loved PRDT. All the characters captured my heart, and as is now obvious, my mind. However, the one thing I found lacking, in fact, the only thing I've ever found lacking with Power Rangers, was emotional depth. And come on, it was a kid's show. Of course there wasn't going to be much. But Tommy Oliver is a Power Ranger legacy (can you tell I'm a Tommy girl?), and I always felt that PRDT could have done so much more, been so much more. So, I took action, filling in those thoughts we couldn't see, creating a few extra scenes we didn't know about, and adding a touch of realism to it all. I can only hope you all enjoy.
Day of the Dino Pt. 1
His feet pounded against the concrete floor with too much noise as he raced through the compound.
How the heck did Mesogog get in here? There's over fifty safeguards on this place to keep unwanted guests out. Better question, Tommy, would be how the heck do you plan on getting out of this mess?
Tommy Oliver, former Zeo Ranger, current paleontology grad student, ducked around a corner and watched as five or six Tyrannodrones raced past him. A few moments later, he reached for his cell phone, hanging from his belt.
"Come on, Anton, pick up!"
His only response was a dial tone. Ending the call, he swore under his breath. Trust Anton to be in a business meeting when he was fighting for his life against Mesogog. Seriously, the man had been ignoring him for nearly a month now! He took a deep breath and forced himself to be calm. He could feel the Power stirring within him. He clenched his fists. What he was about to do was extremely risky, but who wanted to live past the age of sixty, anyway?
"It's Morphin' Time! Zeo Ranger V, Red!"
A flash of light later, the Red Zeo Ranger stood in Tommy's place.
"I'm sorry, Anton, but this has to be done."
The Red Ranger raced down the corridor until he found a nondescript metal door with a keypad at the side. One hand went to his laser pistol, while the other typed in the access code. The door opened to reveal a small room with computers, servers, a furnace, and various other large machinery.
"Here goes about three hundred thousand dollars worth of research," he sighed as he began blasting everything in sight. Knowing the sounds of destruction would attract the Tyrannodrones and probably Mesogog, Tommy summoned his Zeo Sword and kept it at the ready. Sure enough, a few moments later, he heard they pattering of several feet and Mesogog's yell of "Find him!"
Twirling his sword in almost forgotten pattern, he stabbed sharply into the generator, the power source for the entire island. He poured as much of his Power into it as he could. Arcs of red energy raced out along the nearby wires, short-circuiting the wires and causing explosions on any devices they touched.
"At last," rasped a familiar voice, "You have nowhere left to run!"
Tommy whirled around and dropped to a defensive stance. Great, this was exactly what he needed. At this rate, he was lucky if he made it to the next sunrise. Ducking, punching, and kicking, he lashed out against the Tyrannodrones as they converged on him. He helped create these; he knew how to destroy them.
Just then, the generator behind him exploded, the shockwave sending him, Mesogog, and the Tyrannodrones flying out of the room and into the opposite wall of the corridor. With reflexes and endurance honed by about two decades of martial arts, four and a half years of which he spent as a Power Ranger, Tommy pulled himself back up and began running down the corridor again. He had a minute and half, perhaps two, before the entire island was blown sky high.
He grunted as a wave of pain raced through him, from holding his morph too long. A thick beam of red energy circled his torso and raced outward. No! I can't drop out of morph now! Just a little further! Tommy dropped to his knees as his Zeo powers faded, leaving him back in his civilian clothes. He pulled himself back up and continued searching for the exit.
The corridors exploded and crumbled behind him as he ran. The ground shook under his feet as the island's structure disintegrated. And of course, a horde of Tyrannodrones surrounded him. Mentally cursing, Tommy readied himself for battle. He may not have had his ranger powers anymore, but that didn't mean he couldn't fight.
When I started researching how to combine technology with dinosaur DNA, this was not what I was planning to create! Ugh! I think I heard a rib crack. Come on, you stupid Tyrannodrones, hurry up and die so I can get off this island!
Finally, he found himself standing at the cliffs at the edge of the island. Five seconds left.
Jump in the ocean, or get blown up with the island, like the Tyrannodrones? Without further thought, he jumped into the water.
Swim, you fool! Swim as if your life depended on it, because it sure does! Tommy mentally chided himself and forced his fatigued limbs to move. Behind him, the island, his home for so long, sank in an angry inferno.
Several hours later, Tommy pulled himself up onto the rocks along the mainland coast. By his estimation, he was somewhere between Blue Bay Harbor and Reefside. Tossing away the piece of driftwood he used for the last legs of the journey, he sprawled out on the solid, dry, unmoving (and quite possibly the greatest creation in the history of the universe) ground. Using the single-mindedness and drive that made him such an excellent ranger, he forced himself to breathe and allowed his muscles to relax, but kept himself from falling asleep. He reached into his jacket, mentally congratulating himself on having the presence of mind to stash his phone in the inside (and waterproof) pocket. He dialed a number and waited for an answer.
Tommy managed a weak smile. "Hey, Hayley. I need a ride."
"Alright, sure thing. Where are you?"
"Umm… Somewhere on the coastline between Blue Bay Harbor and Reefside. There's black rocks and…" Tommy forced himself to get up and look at his surroundings, "Uh… There's a small copse of trees about 300 meters away and road… No signs, though."
"… WHAT! Thomas James Oliver! How on Earth did you… Never mind, you can explain once I've found you."
"Heh… You'd think the Coast Guard would be patrolling the area given its history… or something… but, no, I get to swim for three-and-a-half hours all by myself…"
"Just hold on, Tommy! I'll be there as soon as I can," Haley said, a note of panic creeping into her voice.
"Mhmm…" Tommy lay back down, finally losing the battle against oblivion.
"…My! Ke… U… Tommy, come on, open your eyes!"
Tommy slowly opened his eyes to see an anxious red-haired woman kneeling beside him.
The redhead sighed in relief. "You're okay! You're okay… Don't you EVER scare me like that again, Tommy!"
Tommy managed a weak chuckle as Hayley helped him get up. His entire body was one giant throbbing hotspot of pain. He hadn't hurt this much since his Green Ranger powers started fluctuating after the incident with the Green Candle. Only his most intense and brutal Ranger battles came close to comparing, but then he had fully functioning Ranger Powers to ease the burden.
"You can crash at my place for the night. Do you need me to call anyone?" Hayley said.
"Mmm… No, but aspirin would be nice."
"No doubt about that. I'm almost tempted not to give you any, but I don't think that would teach you a lesson about not getting into trouble, would it?"
Hayley rolled her eyes and focused on driving them home. When they arrived, Tommy promptly collapsed on her couch, having long since claimed it as his. Hayley went into the kitchen and filled a glass of water. She searched for her bottle of aspirin, but by the time she returned to the living room, Tommy was fast asleep. She sighed softly and smiled sadly. He always looked so much more vulnerable when asleep.
Hayley picked up her phone and dialed a number. She fiddled with the phone cord while listening to the dial tone.
"Jason Scott speaking."
"Jason? My name is Hayley Ziktor. I'm a friend of Tommy's and Billy's cousin. Tommy's currently lying passed out on my couch, and I'm a little worried that the cause is something that can't be treated at a hospital, something that you'd have more experience with."
"Er… come again? Sorry Hayley, I'm on break from interning at the UN; I'm not a medic."
Hayley sighed and decided to be blunt. "I'm worried his use of his Zeo powers is killing him."
"How – how do you – what do – are you-"
"I've known since Billy left for Aquitar. You didn't think he could just leave the planet without telling anyone, did you? He and I have always been close. I met Tommy in grad school a year or so back and we hit it off. He filled in some of the gaps for me.
"Please, it's so frightening how pale and tired and old he looks every time he crashes on my couch. I just found him passed out on the beach twenty minutes from Reefside."
Jason sighed. "I'm on my way. Do you mind if I bring my fiancée along?"
Hayley let out a shaky breath. "The more the merrier."
"Hey, don't worry, Hayley. Think of it this way: you've joined the ranks of those of us who've had to sit at the idiot's bedside worrying if he'll make it after he'd gone and pulled some ridiculously powerful stunt."
Hayley chuckled weakly. "That wasn't funny, Jason."
"Ow. Yeah, my fiancée didn't think so either. Let me take down your address, and we'll be there as soon as possible."
Hayley gave Jason her address and ended the call. She turned around and froze in shock. Tommy was awake staring at her with one eyebrow raised.
"You worry too much," he muttered.
"You give me more than enough cause to, Tommy Oliver."
Jason resisted the urge to swear when he saw his best friend lying on Hayley's couch, ghostly pale and so vulnerable. His fiancée gasped softly beside him. As veteran Rangers, especially ones that had gone through more than one set of powers, they were able to sense the Power (and its effects) in others. Tommy, to put it simply, was barely hanging on, surviving on the very last dregs of his Zeo powers.
"Jeez, bro. And I thought seeing you after destroying Serpenterra was bad. Then again, your Zeo Crystal had a couple years to recharge, as opposed to a few months. What exactly was so bad that you had to morph?"
Tommy muttered his reply and Jason wondered if he had heard right.
"A mutant dinosaur tried to kill you and steal the power source for a future generation of Power Rangers?"
Jason's fiancée laughed softly. "You just can't leave the Power alone, can you, Tommy?"
Tommy grinned. "Sorry, Kat, it's too much a part of me."
"I'm going to confiscate your Zeo morpher, I swear. You're not going to get out of being best man at my wedding that easily, bro!"
Tommy laughed. The women smiled as they saw some of the color return to him. Tommy summoned his Zeonizers and took them off.
"Don't worry, bro. If I'm right about this, the only thing my Zeonizers will be used for is a model for future morphers."
"You're serious about this, then? You're really going to mentor a future generation of Power Rangers?"
"Absolutely. Hayley and I have been working on finding the remaining DinoGems, as well as hiding spots for various Dino Eggs, and calibrating the Morphing Grid."
Jason and Kat blinked and looked between Hayley and Tommy. Jason pointed to Tommy. "Zordon," and then to Hayley, "Alpha."
Kat hit him upside the head lightly. Hayley chuckled and replied, "More or less, Jason. That is," she moved behind Tommy and rapped her knuckles on his head, "If Tommy can keep himself out of trouble long enough!"
Jason sighed, reminded of the reason he rushed over. He placed one hand on top of Tommy's Zeonizers and the other on Tommy's forehead. Concentrating, as Zordon had instructed him to many years ago, he searched for the flow of Power within his best friend.
What he found was remarkable. While in most rangers, the Power was a single thread of varying width depending on power-ups, the Power within Tommy was a veritable braid. Green Ranger, White Ranger, White Ninjetti, Red Zeo, and even the barest hints of his Red Turbo powers swirled around each other. He'd seen in Kat her Pink Ranger, Pink Ninjetti, and Pink Zeo powers swirling around each other, but her Zeo powers dominated by far and the other two existed in trace amounts. Tommy, on the other hand… Oh… that was unexpected… Tommy's powers were replacing his life force.
"You'll be fine after some rest, by which I mean about two weeks, but Tommy…"
"What is it, Jase?"
"The Power within you… I can't tell the difference between it and your life force!"
Tommy shot upright, openmouthed. Hayley looked between the rangers and asked, "Is that a bad thing?"
Jason mused, "It shouldn't be unless he tries to pull something stupid and decide to use his Green Ranger powers. See, in a normal ranger, you have your life force, and the Power flows around it. For rangers who've been through more than one set of powers, like the three of us, the older powers exist in trace amounts, while the most recent one dominates. Tommy, on the other hand, has no identifiable life force. It's as if all his previous powers intertwined and filled up the 'space' where his life force should be, so the Power within him is his life force. Jeez, Tommy, way to defy the laws of, well, everything!"
Tommy chuckled and propped his elbows on his knees and his chin on his knuckles. He picked up Jason's train of thought. "Of course, that still means the Power favors TJ for the Turbo powers, like it favored you over Rocky, right?"
"Yeah, no Red Turbo Ranger for you, Tommy. Hey, did you know Rocky's finally out of the hospital? He just got discharged this morning."
"No way! That's great!"
Kat shook her head good-naturedly and said to Hayley, "Let's leave the boys to gossip. I'll help you make dinner."
Hayley nodded and replied, "Sure thing. And they say women are gossips!"
The women laughed, but Kat saw that Hayley was forcing it. She put her hand on the redhead's shoulder and said comfortingly, "Hey, don't worry about it. Tommy's a lot stronger than we ever give him credit for. He'll be fine."
"Yeah, I suppose you're right. So how're the wedding plans going?"
"Oh! Well, the caterer…"
Some years later…
Tommy adjusted his glasses (a nervous habit he used to tease Billy about) and gazed around the throngs of students entering the gates of Reefside High School. It was his first day as a science teacher… What was he thinking? He had a PhD in Paleontology; he didn't know how to deal with teenagers! Shaking his head to clear it of his musings, he melted into the crowd and headed towards his classroom.
A woman with short black hair and glasses came up beside him.
"Dr. Oliver," she said, "I'm Principal Randall."
"It's nice to meet you," he replied reaching out for a handshake. "It's your first day, too, isn't it?"
She ignored his hand and flipped open a folder. Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. He put his hand down and listened attentively. All those years spent being a model child in Angel Grove definitely paid off in situations like these.
"Yes, and I'm still trying to figure out why a doctor of Paleontology would come all the way to Reefside to teach science to teenagers," she drawled. There was a predatory gleam in her eyes.
Tommy shook his head, smiled, and replied, "Guess I'm looking for some peace and quiet." As if. You came here to find your rangers, but you can't exactly tell your boss that, now can you, Tommy?
Randall stopped outside his classroom with and incredulous expression on her face. "So you became a high school teacher." Snapping her folder shut, she continued, "That doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, now does it, Dr. Oliver?"
Dr. Oliver. It still felt odd being called that. As for the peace and quiet, after being a Power Ranger, blowing up an island, fighting dinosaur-robot-crossbreeds, and building Power Ranger equipment, high school was horrifically mundane. Except, he couldn't tell his boss that, either. Time to divert the conversation.
"Y'know, I was thinking, maybe we should get together. This way, you can kind of fill me in on what you expect of me."
Randall scoffed, her eyes glinting menacingly, "I expect you to make it hard for them, painful, if at all possible. If they smile, you know you're doing something wrong. Now, I'm off to find my first truant. We'll talk later."
Did she just check him out before walking by? Tommy's brow furrowed slightly. Well there was a teacher as vastly different from Mrs. Applebee as humanly possible. Time to go meet his students.
He entered to see a room full of students in the midst of… a paper airplane fight? Part of him wanted to laugh, but he knew he had to play the part of a teacher. Ducking as a very oddly designed craft flew by him, he called out, "Guys, settle down! Get in your seats, please."
Immediately, his eyes fell on two students. A yellow-clad girl with dirty blonde hair wrote in a notebook, her lips forming soundless words, and her head lightly rocking to a beat only she could hear. A blue-clad African American boy typed on his laptop, closing the device when he saw Tommy.
Tommy strolled to the front of the class and looked at all the students.
"I'm Dr. Oliver, and this is First Period Science." If you didn't know that, what are you doing in this classroom?
"Before we start, are there any questions?"
A girl with pale blonde hair immediately thrust her hand up into the air and gave Tommy and winsome smile. Surprised (and mildly disturbed) Tommy called on her.
"Cassidy, Cassidy Cornell," the girl said.
The class groaned behind her. Ah. One of those types, then. The girl ignored them and continued, "Dr. Oliver, as you may know, I'm the anchor and field reporter for our school TV station."
Another groan. Tommy resisted the urge to laugh again. This time Cassidy did acknowledge the groan briefly. Oh dear. I know that look. Here comes the third degree. She bulldozed on, "Anyway! I'm sure our viewers are wondering, well, you don't really look old enough to be a teacher."
Cassidy's eyes flicked up and down Tommy as she spoke, taking in his professional, yet casual attire. Tommy groaned inwardly and adjusted his glasses, an exasperated smile flitting about his lips. Not another one! Hayley, Jase, and the others are going to have a field day when they find out about this! They will never let me live it down! He saw the yellow-clad girl hide a smile behind her long hair. Oh yeah, laugh it up, girlie.
"Devin! Are you getting this?"
"Cassidy," Tommy interrupted, "I promise you, I am old enough, so let's put the camera away."
He raised his voice over Cassidy' irate "You missed it!" to Devin and continued, "For now, let's talk about you guys, and what you expect of yourselves for this class, because that's what's really important."
He was surprised to see his students look up at him, suspicion, curiosity, and surprise in their eyes. Seriously, what kind of science teachers had they had before this? As he looked around, a niggling sense of absence caught his attention. There was an empty seat by the front, and the students around hadn't encroached on the space.
"Is someone missing?"
"It's Conner McKnight, sir," Cassidy replied, eager to please, "He's probably out on the soccer fields."
"I see. Well, I'm sure one of you can tell him what we covered today. Now, let's start with a K-W-L. How many of you know what that is?"
A few people raised their hands. He called on the blue-clad boy. "Name and answer, please."
"Ethan James. A K-W-L is a three-part list where you record what you know, what you want to know, and, at the end of the course, what you learned."
"Very good, Ethan. Now, as you're all seniors, I'm sure the K-column will be very full," Tommy said as he began writing on the chalkboard, "So, what do you know?"
He called on the yellow-clad girl.
"Kira Ford. Last year in Physics, we learned about electricity and magnetism."
"Alright. Yes, you in the back…"
By lunchtime, Tommy was left with a sense of accomplishment (and relief) that he felt back when he made the first working predecessors of the Tyrannodrones, or when he'd shaved off another second on his time around the racetrack.
Tommy flipped open his cell phone. "Oliver."
"Tommy! So how was your first day of school?"
"Hey Kat! It was pretty good, actually. Y'know I can see why you became a teaching assistant after graduation. Although, teaching five classes back-to-back is a little much. I've got my first faculty meeting after lunch."
"Five classes? That is pretty loaded for a newbie teacher. Oh dear, Michelle's crying again. I've got to go, Tommy."
"No problem. Take care, Kat. Tell Michelle and Jase I said 'hi'."
Tommy ended the call leaned back in his chair, relaxing. He flipped through his lecture notes for the next day.
Tommy answered his phone again. "Oliver."
"Hey Tommy! How's your first day of teaching going? I've already got a couple girls down at the café gushing about how 'hot' the new science teacher is."
Tommy groaned. "Hey Hayley. Ugh, I can't believe it! You have no idea how creepy it is when half your female students are staring at you like you're a piece of meat."
"I'm sure. Well, I'm glad you're doing alright. I've got to go deal with the lunchtime crowd. Are you going to stop by after school? I'll keep the girls away from you."
"Ha ha. No, I was going to head over to the museum outside of town. I'm pretty sure the time will come soon."
"Oh? That's great!"
"Why don't you sound enthusiastic?"
"They're kids, Hayley. I can't ask them to drop everything and save the world."
"Tommy… If I remember correctly, you were only a kid as well when you were called. Don't worry about it, I know the DinoGems will choose wisely."
"Yeah, you're right. Thanks, Hayley. I'll let you go now."
Tommy ended the call and mused on his students. There was an innocence about them. They hadn't seen, truly seen, the horrors of battle, of placing your life on the line for the people of your city. He didn't want to take that away from them.
After the faculty meeting ended, Tommy returned to his classroom and gathered his papers and briefcase. As he walked down the corridors, he spotted Principal Randal coming towards him. Funny, she was wearing a new set of clothes. Oh, of course… She must have been outside during the sprinkler incident. The question was, what did she want with him? Smile and put on your happy face, Tommy.
"Dr. Oliver! How was your first day?" she asked.
"Oh, the kids were great. No problems." The faculty meeting, on the other hand drove him up the wall. What happened to the good old days when teachers taught because they liked kids and wanted to pass on their knowledge?
"Good, you're going to be seeing a lot more of them," she remarked as they walked up the stairs, "In detention."
Wait, what? No! He had a prior engagement to worry about!
"Ah, mind telling me what I did?" Tommy, you're an idiot. Teachers don't GET detention, they supervise it. Which is still inconvenient, because I need to leave town.
Randall rolled her eyes. "No, you're in charge of it today."
"Ah, no, actually, I have plans to go to a museum outside of town. I-"
"Perfect! Bring the little monsters with you! There should be sufficient torture for them."
She stopped in front of the three students he was supposed to supervise. His breath caught in his chest. How had he missed this before? Conner McKnight, dressed in red. Kira Ford, dressed in yellow. Ethan James, dressed in blue. Red Ranger, Yellow Ranger, Blue Ranger. He could sense an… emptiness… in them, as if they were waiting to be filled… filled with the Power.
Oh, this is going to be SO much fun. Makes sense why Ethan and Kira were the first ones I noticed in class.
He blinked as Randall walked away. Hopefully he hadn't missed anything important. He swallowed and turned to the sullen teens standing against the wall. Taking off his glasses, he asked, "So. You guys like museums?"
They probably made a very odd picture as they trooped to his ride. In fact, all three teens gaped at his black jeep.
"What did you expect," he chuckled, "An '87 Buick? Strap yourselves in. The museum is about half an hour inland."
Conner immediately called shotgun, while Ethan and Kira rolled their eyes and took the back seats. As he drove down, his eyes periodically drifted to the three teens in his car, feeling the Power (or absence thereof) more strongly. Eventually, Conner blurted out, "Dude, stop looking at us. We're not going to do anything."
Tommy's lips twitched. So he'd been caught out. He replied, "Conner, don't call me 'dude'. As for not doing anything, you three are the only ones who managed to get detention on the first day of school. The last people I knew who did that were the school bullies at my old high school."
He broke into a grin as he remembered Bulk and Skull. He'd last seen them before the Serpenterra mission, and they had been in more than a little awe at seeing him decked out in a suit, staying at a five-star hotel, and working with the brilliant Anton Mercer. Noting the teens' curious expressions, he explained, "Bulk and Skull spent most of their time sitting in detention, harassing other students, and getting food all over themselves.
"Getting food all over themselves?" Ethan asked.
"Yeah, I can't tell you the number of times they've fallen headfirst into a trashcan. At some point, they got into their heads that women liked men in uniform and joined the Junior Police Force."
Tommy broke off and sniggered as he ran through several choice memories he had of the pair. He continued, "They drove poor Lt. Stone up the wall. They now own a small café in front of the Hilton outside Angel Grove."
"Wow," Kira said, "Well, we're not like that. I'm just here because Principal Randall said I needed 'written permission to perform on school grounds'."
Tommy glanced back at her via the rearview mirror. "Huh. That's odd. I'd figure she'd let it slide, since kids who play an instrument are fifty percent more likely to get into a good college."
"That's what I said!" Kira exclaimed. "And then she said that I wasn't college material!"
"Dude, Randall is totally hardcore. I heard she worked in a prison before coming to Reefside," Conner added.
Tommy laughed. "Yeah, that one was floating around the Teacher's Lounge, too. But her credentials are obviously legitimate, since the school board has approved her. So what are you boys in for?"
"She reamed me out for playing soccer this morning. So unfair," Conner groused.
Tommy raised an eyebrow and replied mildly, "It is state law that you attend your assigned class during the school day. Ethan?"
"She thinks I had something to do with the sprinkler incident."
"Maybe. But there's no proof!"
"Apart from you being the only student to carry an umbrella and not be surprised when the sprinklers went off and the code for the sprinkler systems stored on your laptop," Tommy retorted.
"Hey! How did you know I had code for the sprinkler systems on my laptop?'
Tommy grinned. "I didn't, but thank you for proving my suspicions correct.
Kira giggled, while Conner crowed, "Dude, you got owned!" and Ethan whined, "Aw man, that was so not cool!"
A companionable silence fell over the group as Tommy continued driving. For a brief second, he almost thought he saw a Tyrannodrone at the side of the road, but he pushed the thought away. The island had been completely destroyed. As they veered off the exit, Conner asked, "So… why are you going to this museum, Dr. O?"
I want to check on the DinoGems and prepare the DinoMorphers in case you three are the next generation of Power Rangers. I also want to check the morphing grid to see if any of the other DinoGems have activated.
"One of my colleagues has an exhibit there: Parasaurolophus walkeri and psittacosaurus mongliensis. It's more about the recovery method than the specimens themselves, though. I told him I'd check it out."
All three of them stared at him blankly. Tommy chuckled abashedly. "Sorry. Paleontologist moment. I'm just doing a friend a favor."
"You could have just said that," Conner muttered. Just then, Ethan said excitedly, "Whoa! Check out the T-Rex!"
There was something frighteningly familiar about that statue. It looked so real. Alright, Tommy, you've spending too much time with your nose buried in a paleontology journal. Time to start figuring out how to ditch the kids for a bit.
They got out of the jeep and walked up to the front… which was chained shut.
"That's weird," Tommy muttered. The museum's website said they'd be open 9-5 for the rest of the month.
"Oh well, no museum for us," Conner said with a fake sigh.
"Great! Let's go home," Kira agreed.
Not so fast. I still need to get downstairs and check on the DinoGems. You can roam around the land, for all I care.
"I'll tell you what, why don't you guys have a look around the grounds. If any of you guys find anything prehistoric, I'll cancel detention for the rest of the week." Because I want to deal with detention even less than you do, trust me.
"Sweet," Ethan replied.
"I'm going to see if I can find someone who can tell us when they're opening up." It's much easier to get underground through the museum than by falling into a pit somewhere in the woods. Of course, if you're truly the ones, that's what'll happen to you.
The teens left, and Tommy went around the chain posts to the museum's glass doors. He read the sign, "In case of emergency, call Anton Mercer Industries?"
"Anton Mercer? That's impossible!"
Anton Mercer was missing. Heck, he was the one who had to make the call when his friend hadn't contacted him two days after the island blew up. If Anton really was back, why hadn't he said anything? Tommy felt a pang of hurt. Why hadn't his friend called him? Was he that upset about the island? No, Anton wasn't the type to stay silent about something he was upset over. If Anton were really angry, he'd have said (yelled) something.
Anton… what's been going on with you these past years? Why didn't you call me? What was that?
For a moment, he could have sworn he saw a Tyrannodrone out of the corner of his eye. Something was seriously wrong here. He shook his head and started walking back to his jeep. Three steps later, he froze.
The T-Rex statue was missing.
A pit of dread formed in his stomach. "Where did…"
His brow furrowed and he instinctively took a few steps back. Turning around, he saw a strange shadow on the ground. It was almost shaped like a… dinosaur head… Oh.
He looked up to see a very alive T-Rex roar at him. The T-Rex leaned over so that its razor sharp teeth were less than a foot away from Tommy. It huffed maliciously, almost as if preparing to taste an exquisite meal. The ex-ranger immediately tensed and launched a kick at the beast's nose. It backed off in pain and roared angrily.
Smart move, Tommy. Kick it and make it mad. Way to forget everything you learned in college about dinosaurs. Seriously, HOW did you survive so long as a Ranger?
He ran towards his jeep, grateful that he had left his coat and briefcase in the vehicle. It was getting a little warm out. He leaped into the driver's seat and locked the door.
"Great, yeah, lock the door, Tommy. Real good," he chastised himself as he fumbled for his keys. You're in a topless jeep, locking the door doesn't make any difference!
"Come on," he snarled as he started up the ignition. Don't you dare fail on me now! When the jeep finally started, he shifted gears into reverse and floored the accelerator. Righting the jeep, he shifted into drive and sped away.
Here's to breaking several traffic and safety regulations more than my career's worth! Come on, T-Rex, let's see how well you do on the highway!
Tommy glanced back to see the dinosaur head-butt his jeep and found himself veering off course. Foot on the accelerator, Oliver! Faster, faster! Where is that overpass when I need it?
There! After an incredibly tense minute of speeding, he spotted the overpass. Hopefully, at the speed they were going, the T-Rex wouldn't. In fact, it most likely wouldn't given the position of the dinosaur's eyes and its focus on Tommy's jeep. He drove under and swerved to a stop when he heard the telltale sound of metal hitting concrete. Getting out of his jeep, he knelt by the head of the fallen dinosaur. Oh no…
No! No no no! All this stuff was supposed to have been destroyed! Please, let there be some mistake! That cannot be the technology Anton and I were working on all those years ago… Except that it is… I know that circuitry; I designed it. Anton? Did you create this? Why would you send it after me? Or did Mesogog survive?
Another thought struck him. The Tyrannodrones! They really are here! Shoot, and I sent the kids out into the woods!
He ran back to his jeep and headed back to the museum. He wasn't disappointed. A group of Tyrannodrones was moving into the forest.
"Oi, scaly freaks! Stay away from my students!"
The Tyrannodrones turned to him and he readied himself for a fight. Kick. Punch. Block. Duck. Kick. Kick. Watch out for that – ow! Roll away. Jump up with an uppercut. Was that a scream?
A few minutes later, Tommy was slightly out of breath and malfunctioning Tyrannodrones lay around him. He blinked and nearly missed the green light that sucked them up.
What the heck? Never mind. I hope Conner, Ethan, and Kira are alright.
He jogged through the woods and found them together a little ways in.
All three of them immediately put something in their pockets. Did they find the gems?
"Are you guys alright?"
"Well uh-" Kira began, but Ethan interrupted, "Yeah, couldn't be better." Conner just nodded in agreement.
Wow, you guys are horrible liars. Then again, my BS-detector is much better than a normal person's.
He looked at them suspiciously, asking, "Nothing out of the ordinary happened?"
"Nah," Ethan replied, making a face, "Just a regular hike in the woods. Lots of furry little creatures."
"And a few scaly ones," Kira muttered.
Thank you, Kira. Now I'm more certain you had to fight off a couple Tyrannodrones. I'm impressed you're unharmed.
Tommy narrowed his eyes slightly. The emptiness was gone… All three of them seemed… more complete now, though he couldn't sense the Power in them as in any of the other rangers.
"So," Conner said, trying to divert his suspicion, "Did you get into the dino exhibit?"
Dino exhibit? Oh, that. I should probably talk to Michael and let him know that I saw his exhibit a week ago.
"Ah, still working the kinks out. We'd better get you guys back. Come on." I'd rather not have to explain to you how I can fight Tyrannodrones so well and why I'm not afraid of them.
He stopped when he noticed the lack of footsteps behind him. The teens were whispering amongst themselves a few feet back. Okay, so the chances they either fought Tyrannodrones or found the gems, or both, just increased significantly.
"You guys coming?"
As he dropped them off back at the school a little over fifteen minutes later (none of the teens commented on his increased speed on the return trip), he said, "It's been a little over an hour since school ended, so you should be able to catch the late bus home, if you need to."
He watched them walk away, using the next few seconds to calm himself down again. He needed to get home and check the video feed to his lab under the museum. On the ride home, he marveled at the weather and the breeze rushing through his short hair. Why would anyone want to taint this?
He opened the door to his home and gave his living room a cursory glance. Nothing out of place, that was good. Allowing the door to swing shut behind him, he opened his briefcase and pulled out his laptop. Checking the sensors around his home revealed that there had been no intruders, not even animals.
"Better activate maximum security levels," he murmured to himself, "So pretty much no one with evil intent can get in without being electrocuted. I need to remember to thank Andros the next time I see him."
He pulled down the jaw of one of his favorite dinosaur models and the rug and floorboards rose up.
Home sweet Dinolair. First things first, check the morphers.
The morphers were still safe. Tommy had to laugh at himself. He had planned to work on the morphers at the museum, but in the end, he had forgotten them at home. After all these years, he still hadn't been able to get rid of his forgetful nature.
Just then, the lights flickered, alerting him that someone had entered his property. Sure enough, he heard a muffled "Dr. Oliver?" from upstairs.
Is that Conner? What is he doing here? Why is he breaking into my house? I swear, if this is some kind of prank, or trick to get out of detention, I will put him in detention for the rest of the school year.
The trapdoor flipped open, and Tommy slid back into the shadows. His ire peaked when Ethan James and Conner McKnight stepped down. Future Power Rangers or not, he did not want to deal with two teenaged boys right now. Especially when they broke into his home uninvited! As they gawked at their surroundings, he stepped up behind them. Ethan's "It's the same place!" told him that they had definitely been to the lab under the museum. His jaw set, he said, "If you're looking for extra credit, you're in the wrong place."
A/N: Whew, that was long. 25 pages long, to be honest. I have episode two written, most of episode three, half of episodes four, five, and six, and then a few more scattered scenes. Updates will be slow.
Aside from that, please leave a review!