Dino Thunder: A Different Take
Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers, Saban does. I own the characters and events that did not take place in the series.
AN: I have received permission from mykkila09 to use a similar sub-plot to her own Dino Thunder story. This story will be darker than Dino Thunder itself was. Make no mistake: This is an adult themed fic. While the rating is T at this moment in time, it could be raised to M due to later content. If you are uncomfortable with drama, tragedy, and angst, this will not be the fic for you.
Summary: Mesogog had the Red and Green Dino Gems, and not the White Gem. What will happen when a traumatized soccer player and his lifelong friend are kidnapped and bonded to the Red and Green Gems?
Chapter 1: Day of the Dino
It was a beautiful day in Reefside, California. Just outside the entrance to Reefside High, Doctor Tommy Oliver is seen looking around at the surroundings of his new school. He still couldn't believe that he was a high school science teacher. If you had told him he'd be a teacher, especially a high school science teacher, when he was a teenager, he would've just laughed and left. But after what happened three years ago, he just wanted to live a quiet, normal life. He was still unnerved by that fateful incident:
Three years ago-
On an island located on the Pacific Ocean, doctoral candidate Tommy Oliver is seen working on a dig with his friend and colleague, Dr. Anton Mercer. It was because of Dr. Mercer that Tommy was on this dig. He went across the country, seeking the best and brightest young minds to build his team for what he hoped would be a controversial, yet illuminating project. Controversy gets people talking, and the more people talked about this ambitious endeavor, the better chance his team would have for being recognized for their contributions to Humanity.
Dr. Mercer knew his project was not only ambitious, but also very risky-Utilizing what was then known about dinosaurs, he and his small, but highly skilled and eager team, would create robotic versions of dinosaurs, in an effort to study their behavior and learn a great deal more about them than what was previously considered possible. There were many things that could go wrong, and Dr. Mercer knew he was taking a huge gamble here. But as a scientist, he knew that they couldn't learn without pushing the boundaries of understanding and yes, taking some risks. Such was the way of science, and it hasn't changed in thousands of years.
It was on Dr. Mercer's tour of the country that he encountered a fresh-faced Tommy Oliver, who was pursuing his doctorate in paleontology at Harvard. He already had Master's degrees in electrical engineering and software design. Tommy was exactly the kind of person Mercer was looking for-ambitious, studious, and passionate about his work. And, Dr. Mercer had to admit, he'd be very hard-pressed to find another of Tommy's caliber-despite his heavy class load, he was still maintaining a 3.8 GPA, a feat that Mercer was quite impressed with. Being a Harvard alumnus himself, Anton knew that certain classes required of those in the doctorate program required the patience of a saint-some teachers had an annoying tendency to aggravate one so much that students were quite tempted to shove said teachers' faces through a wall. And now poor Oliver was stuck with those teachers.
It didn't take Anton long at all to recruit Tommy for his expedition. Anton found Tommy to be quite a refreshing change from the largely stuffy and arrogant students he had met on his quest for team members. The soon to be 30 year old was humble, yet confident in his abilities. Anton chalked that up to his lifetime's devotion to his martial arts, something that Tommy said had usually kept him grounded and calm. It was also the discipline acquired through his martial arts studies that kept him from knocking out certain teachers, which made Anton crack up. He knew all too well of what Tommy spoke.
When they arrived at the island where the project was being set up, Anton told soon-to-be doctors Takashi and Oliver that they were to work on constructing and programming a prototype "dinosaur" so that they could study its behavior in a controlled setting. Takashi would build the robot, while Oliver would design the software and power source needed for the robot to come to life and do its thing. Tommy initially thought of using an RTG, or radioisotope thermo-electric generator, for the power source. Anton was intrigued with the idea, and said he would contact Harvard and see if they can procure one for their use. But he told Tommy to have a backup plan in case they couldn't get the RTG.
The team wasn't able to procure an RTG, much to Tommy's disappointment. But he still had come up with a suitable power source: A fusion reactor. The team had obtained dinosaur DNA, although Tommy never did find out how they managed to get it. He thought it reminded him too much of those campy Jurassic Park movies, which he hoped would not be too close to the truth here. But the DNA came in handy, as the replicants' neural network could not fire up without the DNA. And fortunately for Tommy, the knowledge necessary for building a small fusion reactor was found in the Command Center's computers. With the permission of Zordon and Alpha, the original Rangers' good friends and mentors, the original Blue Ranger and one of Tommy's best friends, William "Billy" Cranston, copied everything on the Command Center's computers years ago. The now Dr. Cranston made and gave a copy to Tommy, knowing it might come in handy someday. Billy found it highly amusing and ironic that Tommy, he of the infamous faulty memory, was not only pursuing a PhD in paleontology of all things, but also managed to get two additional Masters degrees. Billy joked that he was trying to catch up to him in the number of degrees he's acquiring, as well as base of knowledge. Billy smirked and said that he still had a ways to go in that regard; he's actually gotten a tad cocky as of late, and Tommy couldn't be more thrilled. Gone was the stereotypical nerd who got pushed around by the Angel Grove High's resident knuckleheads, Bulk and Skull. In its place stood a confident and proud Dr. Cranston. He was still the down to Earth Billy the Rangers all knew. But he was now much more affable, and a bit cocky.
"Laugh it up, old friend." Tommy thought.
Armed with the requisite knowledge, Takashi and Tommy were able to build several replicants, including some Tyrannosaurus. Takashi was shocked that Tommy was as skilled as he was-he didn't strike the Japanese transplant as being a mechanical engineer. To that, Tommy chuckled, and responded that he watched a good friend of his very closely when they were teenagers, and over the years, Tommy had been building and creating things of his own. It was part of the reason he decided to pursue a degree in engineering, although he said he could possibly pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering sometime in the future. Takashi was quite pleased. It seemed America's education system hadn't failed completely, as it produced Tommy, and apparently his friend Dr. Cranston, a noted scientist in astrophysics and biochemistry.
One day, while Tommy was walking through a tunnel leading to the lab where he was working on a new dinosaur, there was a large explosion that shocked him. He instinctively knew it came from behind him, and he had to run. Fast. He did just that, and soon, he felt he was safe.
He was wrong. He distinctly heard a raspy, hissing voice say, "Fiiiind him. Whatever it takesss."
Tommy shuddered. "Mesogog." He had crossed paths with the prehensile creature once before, shortly after Anton had mysteriously disappeared. Nobody on the island knew what happened to their benefactor and sponsor, only that he had disappeared. As a former Ranger, Tommy knew that something insidious had to have been at work here. The island was thoroughly researched before they went on their expedition; there weren't any creatures or people that could simply make Anton vanish the way he seemingly had.
Tommy ran. He ran until he encountered one of the robots he helped create, which he dubbed the Tyrannodrones. The Tyrannodrone tried to grab Tommy's ankle, but he got free, and continued running through the tunnel, waiting out small explosions and groups of Tyrannodrones. He finally reached the end of the tunnel, and was promptly launched out into the meadow on the island by another explosion. Tommy groaned and pulled himself up, only to find a medium sized group of Tyrannodrones.
Tommy was puzzled. They weren't supposed to be on this part of the island, and he certainly didn't program them for aggression. Yet here he was, trying to fight them off. He did well, for a while. But he was eventually tossed to the ground. It was times like this that he wished he still had active Ranger powers. He shook his head clear of those thoughts, saying that part of his life was over, and he didn't really want to go back to it. He kept running through the forest, avoiding Tyrannodrones where he could, and eventually came to a dead end that was overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
"Not good," Tommy muttered. He turned back to see a group of Tyrannodrones coming up on him, only to be blown apart by yet another explosion. Tommy quickly made his choice, and dove into the water. He turned back once he swam a safe distance, and saw explosions rock the island, eventually making it sink into the ocean. Tommy felt lost-he had lost his good friends and colleagues in that island, good men and women who were only trying to further science and Human knowledge. They didn't deserve this. Tommy sighed sadly and started swimming off. He didn't know how long he was swimming, but eventually he ran out of energy. He kept pushing himself further and further, but even former Power Rangers' stamina levels eventually goes out after this much exertion. Just when Tommy thought he was going to drown, he was pulled out of the water by a group of biologists who were on an expedition of their own. Tommy couldn't keep his eyes open any longer, and darkness quickly overtook him.
When Tommy woke up, he was in a hospital in Reefside, California. He didn't know how he got there, or who was responsible for his rescue. The doctor said he had been unconscious for over 3 days, and the biologists who rescued him had to get back to their project. Tommy was disappointed when the doctor told him that, as he wanted to thank them. He never did find out who they were, and the doctors didn't, either.
After answering the same questions for what felt like thousands of times to various authorities, Tommy was able to go back to Harvard to finish his studies, and he got his PhD. It felt hollow, though. Anton and the others on the expedition became his friends, and he wanted them to be here at this time. He had tried to get the authorities to head back to where the island once was, in hopes of finding something, anything, that could explain what happened. He also hoped against hope to find someone still alive. He was stonewalled at every turn.
"Just what is it that is so secretive that I cannot know? I was a part of the damn team!"
Tommy sighed, knowing that he likely would never get the answers he sought. That just made things even worse.
Tommy still got nightmares about the island, sometimes. He tried so hard to get someone to head out to the island's location, but, as usual, he got stonewalled. But there was one thing that came out of this tragedy, however. He found several colored stones that he quickly determined were fragments of the meteor that had crashed into Earth tens of millions of years ago, and was responsible for the mass extinction of numerous species on Earth, including the last of the dinosaurs.
The stones Tommy found were Pink, Black, Yellow, Blue, and White. The significance of these colors was not lost on Tommy. Nor was the irony of him being thrust back into a world he tried so hard to put behind him. He wasn't a teenager anymore, and he certainly didn't want to become a Ranger again. He would take up the mantle, if there were no other alternatives. But he did not seek to don the spandex once more.
Something about the stones bothered Tommy, though. He noticed that while they were undoubtedly Ranger colors, Red was conspicuously absent. And since the other colors just so happened to correspond to those of the original team, he also noticed the absence of Green. This was not a pleasant situation to be in. He hoped that the Red and Green Gems were simply lost. But deep down, he knew that was not the case. Mesogog had to have obtained the two Gems. His heart sank when he came to that conclusion, as he had hoped to have finally left his legacy as the Evil Green Ranger behind him. Now it appears that it could come back to haunt him yet again.
"No sense in worrying about something that can't be helped at the moment," he thought to himself. He stepped inside the school to seek out the principal, and find out which periods he'd be teaching.
As Doctor Oliver was nervously looking around and greeting students, the very person he was seeking came up on him.
"Doctor Oliver. I'm Principal Randal."
"Oh, it's nice to meet you. It's your first day too, isn't it?" He held his hand out, but when he saw Randal wasn't going to shake it, he sheepishly put it down.
"Great. You already made a bad impression."
"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." Randal gave Tommy a sideways glance as she finished.
"Guess I'm looking for some peace and quiet," Tommy said truthfully. After the life he's lived, even rowdy teenagers would count as peace and quiet.
"So you became a high school teacher? That doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, now does it Doctor Oliver?"
"You know, I was thinking. Maybe we should get together. This way you can fill me in on what you expect of me."
"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." With that, Randal turned and walked away.
Tommy sighed. Maybe this wasn't going to be that much easier than running around in colored spandex for much of his life, after all. He entered his classroom and saw it was a disaster. Paper airplanes were flying around, girls were applying makeup, and it was quite loud. Had things really changed that much from when he was a teenager?
"Not even five minutes in, and I already think I'd rather be battling some Tengas or Cogs. Great. Maybe Randal was right."
"Guys, settle down, please. I'm Doctor Oliver, and this is first period science. Before we start, are there any questions?"
At that, a blonde haired girl shot her hand up, and Dr. Oliver acknowledged her. She shot up from her chair.
"Cassidy, Cassidy Cornell," the class groaned at that. A girl in a Yellow and grey long-sleeved shirt was seen rolling her eyes. "Dr. Oliver, as you may know, I'm the anchor and field reporter for our school TV station."
Now it was time for an African-American male in a Blue T-shirt to roll his eyes. The class groaned again, and Cassidy scoffed.
"Anyway, I'm sure our viewers are wondering: Well, you don't really look old enough to be a teacher. Devin, are you getting this?"
Tommy fought the urge to roll his eyes this time. Part of the reason he wore glasses was so he could actually look like he's over 25. He appreciated the compliments about not looking his actual age of 33, but this was ridiculous.
"Cassidy, I promise you, I'm old enough. Let's put the camera away. For now, let's talk about you guys, and what to expect of yourselves in this class. 'Cause that's what's really important."
Tommy glanced over, and noticed an empty seat.
"Is uh, someone missing?"
On the soccer field, a tall Caucasian kid in a red soccer uniform was practicing, while another kid was acting as the goalie. The goalie was shaking as the Caucasian kicked the ball into the net.
"You're supposed to try to stop it," the soccer player said.
"You sure we're not going to get into trouble for this? I mean, the bell rang, and it's the first day!"
The soccer player bit his bottom lip, which the goalie noticed. That did nothing to assuage his fears.
"If you want to leave, you can. But I have to keep practicing. It's all I'm good for, anyway," the soccer player said in a quiet voice.
"I've heard the new principal is crazy! She worked in a prison or something before she came here! Neither of us should be out here! Randal's insane!" As he was saying this, a middle-aged brunette with glasses, now identified as Principal Randal, came up behind the soccer player.
"Conner McKnight. Do you have anything to add?"
Conner turned around, and saw the principal with a smirk on her face. He shook his head. "No."
"Good. Now come with me." As Conner was about to follow Randal, the principal turned back to glare at the goalie, who was shaking even more than before.
"What are you looking at!" She snarled, and kicked another soccer ball into the goalie's stomach, sending him into the net. "Now get back to class!" The goalie dashed off at that.
In the middle of the field stood a redhead female teen who was clad in a Green T-shirt. The redhead was seeking signatures for a petition to cease the extension of the faculty parking lot that would require tearing down several trees in the adjacent forest to make room. As she was speaking with another student, the principal marched up to the redhead.
"Miss Prebble, you need permission to start a petition on school grounds. Come with me!"
The redhead glared at the principal. "You wouldn't give me permission! I sent in the request 3 times, and each time I sent it in, either you or someone in your office rejected it! I took matters into my own hands!"
The principal bore a victorious smirk. "So you admit to not having permission. You just added another day's detention to the total! Now come with me!"
The redhead glowered at the principal, but gave into the order.
While the principal was taking the condemned to her office, she came across a youth sitting on the grass, with his eyes closed. He appeared to be meditating, and Randal snarled. If there's one thing she hated, it's those peace types. Damn hippies were going to ruin everything. She marched up to the dark haired teen who looked decidedly Native American. Randal noticed he looked a lot like Dr. Oliver.
"Mr. Trueheart, you're late for class!"
The teen in white T-shirt opened his eyes and sighed. He got to his feet, and his near 6' frame towered over the principal, who didn't look impressed.
"I don't have a first period class, ma'am. I got here early, so I decided to get some meditation in. It's great for relieving stress, and is quite calming. You should try it sometime."
As soon as those words left his mouth, he knew it was a mistake. He wasn't insulting the principal, far from it. But he had heard that she had issues with anger, and he wasn't disappointed here.
"Is that right? Talking back to the principal? You've just earned yourself a detention, young man! Come with me!"
The young teen's mouth dropped open. He never received detention in his life, and he never got in trouble at school before. Whether it was on the reservation or in the "real world," as he heard some call it. He sighed; his father and Uncle were not going to like this one bit. He dipped his head and followed the principal.
In the shed where the grounds keeping equipment was located, the African-American male in a Blue T-shirt and his friend were looking around for company.
"OK, all clear. Check this out!" The African-American set his backpack up on a table, and pulled out his laptop. He then connected a cable to machine on the wall, with the other end connected to the laptop.
"I wrote a program, that generates a code so the sprinklers go off at different times every day!" He punched some commands into the laptop, bringing up a schematic of the school grounds. He continued punching in commands, and was finished. He and his friend laughed, and left the shed. The accomplice headed back to class, while the African-American stood by, wanting to see his handiwork.
On a table in the school field sat the dirty blonde in a long-sleeved Yellow and grey shirt holding a guitar. She was softly strumming the guitar and singing a song she had recently penned, which drew a small crowd. The crowd either sat on the bench at the table or the ground surrounding it. Some kids simply stood and listened. They were all impressed with her singing, as evidenced by the clapping she got when she finished. Just as they were clapping, the principal walked up to the blonde. She then pulled out a pen and wrote in the notebook she was carrying, and turned to the blonde.
"Miss Ford, I'm afraid you need written permission to play on school grounds. Let's go."
"Are you aware that kids who play an instrument have a 50% higher chance of getting into college?" The blonde retorted.
The brunette pulled her glasses down slightly and gazed at the blonde. "Well, you're hardly college material now, are you, Miss Ford? Now come with me!"
The blonde's mouth dropped open at the blatant swipe, and followed the principal in a huff. She noticed a guy in red following the principal, his gaze on the ground. The blonde recognized him as the school's star soccer player, Conner McKnight. She wondered why he looked so melancholy. She thought that guys like him were supposed to be extremely confident, to the point of arrogance, and cocky. But looking at Conner, one would hardly see a jock. In fact, if she didn't know any better, she'd swear he looked withdrawn, and perhaps even afraid. He tried to put up a front of nonchalance, but the songstress saw right through it. His behavior puzzled her, and unnerved her more than a little.
"Why is he acting like this? What's happened to him?"
"Krista," the blonde whispered to her friend. "What's up with Conner?"
Krista looked over at Conner, and sighed. She had seen this all too often over the years she had known the soccer player.
"I'm sorry Kira, but it's not my place to say. This is one of the things that he has to say himself," Krista said morosely.
Krista's tone wasn't lost on Kira. She knew Conner and Krista had been lifelong friends, so she had to know something. The tone hinted at something big, and Kira had a sinking feeling it was nothing good. The more she analyzed the soccer player's actions, the worse the feeling got. She started recognizing some of the signs he was exhibiting from research she did in her psychology class on victims of certain crimes, and Conner seemed to fit the bill. She warned herself to not jump ahead of herself, that she might have been over thinking things. But she decided to keep an eye on Conner.
As the principal and teens were being led to the slaughter, the sprinklers turned on, spraying teenagers and principal alike. They all screamed at the sudden appearance of the sprinklers, and the incessant spraying of the water was drenching Kira's guitar.
"That's just great!" Kira huffed as she tried to protect her guitar.
As everybody scrambled to get to cover, Randal saw the African-American youth walk by with a smug look on his face, and an umbrella in his hand.
"Ethan James," the principal practically snarled. "I should've known."
Five minutes later, the 5 youths were led into the school, and they stopped at the principal's office.
"You three, sit!" She screamed at Kira, Ethan, and the teen in White. She then turned to Conner and Krista. "I'll deal with you two in a minute!"
"Principal Randal, I'd just like to mention the fact that there's absolutely no hard evidence linking me to that unfortunate sprinkler incident."
"Save it for Judge Judy, Mr. James! The three of you have detention for a week!" Randal then turned to Krista and Conner.
"Same goes for you two! Starting today. Now if there are no further questions," Kira, Ethan, and the kid in White spoke at once.
"I didn't think so!" Randal spat. She then stormed off.
"OK, somebody seriously needs a hug!" Kira huffed.
Krista, who was standing by Conner, noticed that the soccer player was starting to get an anxiety attack. She leapt into action, and quickly started calming him down. Kira saw this and jumped up.
"Krista, what's going on? What's happening?"
"Kira, stay back! I need you to stay back for now!" Krista said as she turned to her friend.
Kira didn't like this one bit; she may not be one of the cool kids, but she never liked seeing someone in pain. She knew Krista wasn't trying to hurt her, and that she likely knew how to handle the situation. So, Kira reluctantly sat back down, never taking her eyes off the two.
Ethan and the teen in White didn't know what to make of the situation. The teen in White narrowed his eyes; he had learned of the signs of abuse. This kid seemed to be exhibiting some of them. But the question is: Who was abusing him? And why wasn't he fighting back?
The teen in White mentally kicked himself. For all he knew, the soccer player may have actually tried, but things got worse.
Ethan was on edge. He may have been a self-proclaimed king of codes, but for all he knew, the soccer player could've been on his way to a stroke.
Ethan and the athletes of the school never got along. They were from entirely different worlds: they got all the girls, and had teachers pass them so they could play for their teams, and bring in the awards and accolades.
Ethan, on the other hand, was a loner. He was the nerd that got picked on by all the cool kids, and stayed away from parties, lest he be relegated to the dark corner.
That being said, Conner was never mean to Ethan. He didn't look down on him, make fun of him, or stuff him in his locker or a trashcan. Were they friends? No, but Conner never really let anyone be close to him. Ethan was starting to think that perhaps Krista is all Conner has. The beautiful redhead was finally able to calm Conner down, and Ethan somehow knew nobody else would've been able to. He shook his head. He wasn't sure he wanted to know what the soccer player went through to get like this.
"Dr. Oliver, how was your first day," Randal asked.
"The kids were great, no problem."
"Good! You're going to be seeing a lot more of them, in detention."
"Mind telling me what I did," Tommy joked.
Randal was unimpressed. "No, you're in charge of it today."
"Uh no, actually I have plans to go to a museum outside of town."
"Perfect! Bring the little monsters with you! That should be sufficient torture for them!" They came up on Kira, Ethan, and the kid in White.
"You've all met, I trust? Well, enjoy your little outing!" Randal exclaimed with glee. She then came up to Conner and Krista.
"I have a special job for you two." A predatory gleam was in Randal's eyes, and it startled Conner and Krista. "Come with me."
As Randal led Conner and Krista away, Tommy turned to the three, and was disappointed to see his nephew present.
"Eric? What did you do?"
"I don't know, I swear! All I was doing was meditating before my first class for the day. She came up and said I was late for first period, I told her I didn't have a first period class, and was using the time to meditate. I said it's good for clearing your head, and she said I was talking back. Then she said I had detention!" Eric exclaimed in one breath.
Tommy sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. His nephew wasn't the type to get into trouble, so he believed him. But it showed that Randal was one who could easily be crossed, and must be approached very carefully.
"What's dad going to say? I never got detention in my life!" Eric was a bit scared, and Tommy wasn't going to lie to his nephew; Tommy's twin brother David was down to Earth and straightforward, just like Tommy himself.
"He'll be disappointed, but once I explain the situation, he shouldn't blame you. Just make sure that you be more careful with what you around Principal Randal."
Eric solemnly nodded his head. Tommy sighed for what seemed like the hundredth time that day.
"C'mon guys." Tommy led the teens to his Jeep, and drove them to the museum he was going to go to. Once they got there, Tommy saw a chain up, cutting the path to the museum off.
"No museum for us, I guess," Eric said.
"Great! Let's go home," Kira said.
"Tell you what. 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."
"Sweet," Ethan said.
"I'm going to see if I can find someone who'll tell me when they're going to open up." Tommy approached the front door that had a sign with an insignia on it. Tommy read the sign.
"In case of emergency, call Anton Mercer Industries. Anton Mercer?" He shook his head. "That's impossible."
"Hey, did you guys hear about the guy who was hiking in this area and he fell in a giant sinkhole," Ethan asked.
"I don't think we have to worry about sinkholes," Eric stated. Kira and Ethan looked at him.
"They do exist, but we're far enough away from the ocean to worry about level drop, and there aren't any salt deposits found here. But, rainwater seeping through concrete and into piping could cause a sinkhole to occur. They are quite prevalent in Florida, due to massive rainfall via hurricane activity."
Ethan nodded, impressed. "Still, it was on all the urban legend websites. We'll probably slip into one ourselves soon if we keep going."
Kira looked at Ethan and shook her head.
"Hey, stuff happens. Don't blame me if you fall into a giant sinkhole."
As Ethan was saying that, the ground gave out from under Ethan, Kira, and Eric. When they got up, they noticed that they were in a structure not dissimilar from a cave.
"You guys stay here; I'll try to get some help." Eric exclaimed. He tried to grab a hold of some outcroppings on the wall to pull himself up, but he couldn't gain traction and came tumbling back down.
"Back already," Ethan cracked.
Eric sighed, as he and the others tried to find a way out. They came upon a dinosaur fossil embedded in the wall near a dead end.
"That looks pretty Jurassic Park to me," Kira said
"This will get us out of detention forever." Eric agreed. He pulled on the lower half of the jaw, ignoring Kira's protest, and the dead end slowly rose up into the ceiling to reveal a large room that was filled with computer equipment.
"I could do a crazy video in here," Kira gushed as she looked at the size of the room.
"This must be Nirvana to you," Eric joked to Ethan, who shrugged his shoulders, still in awe at the sheer volume of equipment present.
"When you're right, you're right!"
The teens noticed strange markings that looked like pronged reptilian footprints displayed prominently on the walls all around the room. They also noticed a smoking rock standing in the center of the room, sitting on top of a table. The rock had several indentations, along with Yellow, Blue, and White Gems. Eric cautiously reached out for the White Gem, as if it was calling to him. He pulled his hand back slightly, as if debating something. Ethan noticed this.
"Do you really think you should be touching that thing?"
"I…I don't know. I realize it may sound crazy, but I feel like this stone is calling out to me. Like a dormant instinct is being awakened." Eric exclaimed. Ethan frowned at this, yet slowly approached the smoking rock himself.
For her part, Kira didn't know what to think. But the more she looked at the rock, the closer she walked to it. Eventually, she realized she was practically on top of it, with a dazed look in her eyes. Ethan had the same expression.
The three teens reached out to the Yellow, Blue, and White Gems. As they did, the Gems glowed, and the teens knew what to do. They grabbed the Gems, and they felt a warm sensation flowing through them as the Gems continued to glow.
"What are they," Kira asked.
'I could go online later and find out," Ethan said.
"On second thought, it doesn't matter. I don't want to wait around here and find out what kind of freak lives here."
"Right with you," Eric said.
"Me too," Ethan added.
Deserted island-same time
"The Gems have moved," a prehensile hiss was heard, and the figure of Mesogog was seen. "Go. Fiiind them."
Once the teens were outside, they saw several hideous looking creatures in an attack stance. The teens gulped.
"What are those things," Eric asked.
"What do we do," Kira asked.
"I got an idea: RUN!" Ethan shouted.
The teens did just that, but were still eventually surrounded by the creatures. Eric had enough and got into an attack stance. Kira and Ethan looked at him like he was crazy, but he kicked the closest creature to him, sending it into a tree. The other creatures attacked, and Ethan and Kira stood there, paralyzed. They didn't understand why Eric did that, when these things vastly outnumbered them. But they willed themselves into action once they broke from their trance.
Eric was fighting near a tree and threw a creature off him. Suddenly, he found himself blending into the tree, and the creatures looked around, bewildered at the teen's sudden disappearance. As they were breaking off to search for him, Eric reappeared and kicked one of the creatures in the back, sending it sprawling down face first. Eric's hand was glowing, and he opened it to see the Gem glowing White. He got a flash in his head and saw a winged dinosaur separate but not too dissimilar from a Pterodactyl, and a figure in a White suit with black jagged edges and a shield on the front. He steeled himself and leapt back into battle.
Kira was trying to shake one of the creatures off of her when a small group approached her. She found herself lunging forward and opening her mouth, letting out a loud and terrible sonic scream, which knocked the creatures back and onto their backs. Her hand was glowing, and she opened it to find the Gem was glowing Yellow. She got a flash in her head of a Pterodactyl, as well as a figure in a Yellow suit with a skirt. She got a resound look on her face, and jumped back into the fire.
Ethan was trying to coax a creature into rushing him while Ethan was by a tree. He didn't notice one of the creatures sneaking up on him, but instinctively knew to throw his right arm up. The arm had a shimmer on it, and when the creature's blow was blocked, it was thrown back. Ethan looked down at his arms, which looked to now be covered in what appeared to be a form of armor. His hand was flashing, and he opened it to reveal the glowing Blue Gem. He got a flash in his mind of a Triceratops, and a figure in Blue. The creatures had enough and fled.
"Have I ever said how much I love detention?" Ethan gushed.
As the teens were wondering what was going on after stuffing the Gems in their pockets, Tommy was seen running up.
"Hey! Are you guys alright?" Tommy asked.
"Yeah; we couldn't be better," Ethan said.
"Nothing out of the ordinary happened," Tommy asked, skeptical of Ethan's nonchalance.
"Just your routine hike in the woods. Saw lots of furry little creatures," Ethan said.
"And a few scaly ones," Kira muttered. Tommy heard that, and looked puzzled.
"Uh, did you find out anything about the museum," Eric asked.
"They're still working the kinks out. We better get you guys back. Come on."
On the way to Tommy's jeep, the teens argue about why they didn't tell Tommy about what happened, with Ethan going on about what happens in science fiction movies.
After Tommy had dropped Ethan and Kira off at their homes, he took Eric home. As expected, David was not pleased with the fact that his son got detention for a week. But, he listened to Tommy's explanation, and agreed that Principal Randal was someone to be wary of. Eric's head was dipped, and he found the ground more interesting than the conversation, which made David tell his son that he wasn't upset anymore. But he re-emphasized his Uncle's warning about watching what he says around Randal.
The next day, Ethan, Eric, and Kira were heading to class, agreeing to not speak of what happened, when Kira said she had a better idea, and gave Eric the Yellow Gem. Not long after that, Eric and Ethan saw Kira being kidnapped by the same creatures they encountered yesterday. The two teens immediately agreed to head to Dr. Oliver's domicile, and after Ethan pulled up the address on his PDA, Eric drove to Tommy's house. Eric noted that the address put the house in the middle of the forest. After knocking on the door, there was no answer. Eric noticed the door was unlocked, and went inside. Ethan didn't feel it was a good idea, but followed anyway. While looking for Dr. Oliver, Eric noticed a small T-Rex model, and was about to pull down on the jaw when Ethan voiced his reluctance.
"He's a paleontologist, not…Batman," Eric finished quietly as a hidden staircase was revealed. Eric and Ethan went down the staircase and saw to their considerable shock that they were now in the same large room they discovered yesterday.
"If you're looking for extra credit, you're in the wrong place," Tommy said in a firm voice behind the teens, who then spun around.
"There's a reason we came here, Uncle." He took a deep breath and was about to explain when Ethan took over.
"Kira was taken by these weird dinosaur looking things," he explained. Tommy turned around slowly and closed his eyes.
"He doesn't look convinced," Eric said.
"They're called Tyrannodrones," Tommy announced.
"Oh, you know that because?"
"I helped build them."
"I see. School project?"
"It's a long story. For now, we need to figure out what they want with Kira."
"It may have something to do with these," Eric exclaimed as he and Ethan took out the Yellow, White, and Blue Dino Gems. Tommy's eyes widened when he understood the ramifications of this.
Kira started to stir in a chair when she heard a hissing voice say,
"Giive me the Gems'."
"Who's there? Come out so I can you!"
"Giive me the Gems'."
"Is this about jewelry? You've got the wrong girl. I'll occasionally wear a friendship bracelet, but…" Kira was cut off by the appearance of Mesogog.
"I've waited far too long to allow an insignificant teenager to stand in my way. Now, where are the Dino Gems?"
"Is this about those rock things we found in the cave?"
"Yessss," Mesogog hissed.
"I gave mine to Eric and Ethan. You'll have to ask them. Can I go now?"
Mesogog vanished, and Kira shuddered.
"That's it. No more cafeteria food!" She turned to see a woman in black saunter up to her, a look of indifference on her face.
"You'll be lucky if you ever see food again," she proclaimed, scaring Kira even more.
Dr. Oliver's house
"We're sorry, Dr. O. How were we supposed to know these things gave you abilities and weird dinosaur creatures would come looking for them?" Ethan asked.
"Well, I guess this isn't something you see everyday."
"Sort of like a science teacher with the ruins of an ancient civilization under his house," came Ethan's sarcastic retort. Tommy held back a smirk. Ethan was definitely a Blue Ranger, all right.
"Uncle, I think we both know what this entails. I know Dad won't like it, but as we've discovered, we can't choose." Tommy knew exactly what he meant, and nodded sadly- his nephew was wise beyond his years, but he wasn't keen about making him a Ranger. He knew David certainly wouldn't be thrilled about his son becoming a Ranger. But at least he'd know that Eric can handle himself; his Uncles Tommy, Jason, and Rocky, as well as his Aunt Trini had taught him martial arts. David became very close to all the former Rangers after discovering his twin brother back when Tommy was a Zeo Ranger, and is one of the few civilians in on the secret.
"You got a name? You kinda look familiar," Kira exclaimed.
"My master calls me Elsa," the woman said as she stepped forward as Kira stepped backwards.
"Your master? Whatever. Look, I'm going to let myself out."
Elsa grabbed Kira's shoulder, and a fight broke out. Kira was holding her own, and knocked Elsa away.
"Whoa! I so did not mean to do that!" Kira turned and tried to run out of the room, only to be stopped by a tall cyborg in black armor, shield, and a nasty looking ax. A group of Tyrannodrones was with the cyborg.
The cyborg stepped forward, and Kira felt herself being boxed in by the minions.
"You two dating, or just friends?"
Zeltrax attacked, and Kira let out a Ptera scream, knocking Zeltrax and the Tyrannodrones down. Kira took the opening presented and ran out of the room.
"After her!" Elsa screamed
Zeltrax and the Tyrannodrones got up and chased after Kira, who was running through a corridor. She saw a green glowing portal and brought her hand up to the portal, sucking her out of the fortress.
On the road
While on the road, Tommy explained how he and a friend, Dr. Anton Mercer, created the Tyrannodrones, and that they weren't supposed to be hostile; someone had clearly altered their programming. He also explained how he thought his and Mercer's research was destroyed after the lab got attacked after Mercer's disappearance, and that Mesogog appeared to be pursuing the Gems. Tommy stopped his Jeep at a stop sign.
"Look, this is highly fascinating, but how does that help us find Kira? I mean, she's not going to fall out of the sky and land in front of us."
As Ethan said that, a green glow appeared, depositing the hapless Kira on top of Tommy's Jeep. She looked up in confusion, and the guys jumped out of the vehicle to help her up. Ethan looked up at the sky in shock and awe.
"How did you do that," he practically gushed.
"I have no idea. One minute I'm getting chased by Frankenlizard in this creepy lab, and the next thing I know, I'm a hood ornament!"
"Invisiportals." Tommy said, putting two and two together.
"Whatever," Kira scoffed. "Next time, I'm calling a cab! What are you guys doing here?"
"We came here to rescue you," Ethan explained.
"Nice job. Way to show up when I don't need you! Anymore!"
An Invisiportal opened, depositing Zeltrax and the pursuing Tyrannodrones not 10 yards away.
"You sure about that," Eric asked. Tommy and the teens got into a ready stance.
"Mesogog find a new goon to do his dirty work," Tommy bit out.
"You are not fit to speak my master's name! Come with me peacefully, or suffer the consequences!"
"I'm going to have to say no."
The fight was on. Zeltrax took a swing at Eric with his ax, and Eric ducked under it. The teens fought the Tyrannodrones, as did Tommy. A Tyrannodrone kicked Tommy back into his Jeep.
"Looks like Mesogog made a few improvements," Tommy said.
The teens continued to take on the Tyrannodrones while Zeltrax targeted Tommy. Zeltrax kicked Tommy onto the ground.
"You're no match for me!"
Tommy got back up and fought Zeltrax back. The teens showed up behind Tommy and got into an attack stance.
"Make sure you tell your master Dr. Oliver's back," Tommy said.
"I will inform him this battle is over, but the war has only just begun!" Zeltrax and the Tyrannodrones were sucked up by an Invisiportal, and Tommy and the teens stood down.
"Is that the best he can do," Ethan spat out. Eric looked at Ethan.
"Don't get cocky! That was just one battle."
Ethan looked at Eric. That was the second time he heard Eric say something that didn't make a lot of sense to him, but he suspected Eric knew more than he was telling Ethan.
"Let's get going! It's getting late. I don't want your parents to worry," Tommy said.
"Dr. Oliver, what's going on," Ethan asked.
"I'll fill you in tomorrow after school. I promise."
The next day, Cassidy was questioning Kira about her new friendship with Ethan and Eric, people she never would've hung out with before, as well as the creatures that kidnapped her. Kira responded that she didn't know what Cassidy was talking about, as she was fine. But, she noted, Cassidy herself looked a little pasty, prompting Cassidy to curse fluorescent lighting. Dr. Oliver entered the class, told everyone to sit down, and was about to begin the lecture.
Suddenly, the school shook, and the students crowded the windows in the classroom, noticing the sky turned a very menacing pitch black, with lightning coursing across clouds that appeared out of nowhere.
Zeltrax was seen in an aerial attack vehicle, getting in position to attack when he informed Mesogog of the latest developments.
"Hahahaha, the Bio-Zords are running free, master," Zeltrax exclaimed.
A dull White Dragozord, dull Yellow Pterazord, and a dull Blue Tricerazord were seen running through the city, trashing everything in their path. Civilians were fleeing, cars and buildings were destroyed, and rubble was falling all around. Some civilians got caught under some rubble, and some unfortunate souls did not survive the attack. Emergency workers and cops tried their best, but they were fighting a losing battle.
"Cassidy, you won't believe this," Devin came running into Cassidy's chemistry class.
"Let me guess? The sky just turned black in the middle of the day!"
"It did?" Devin looked outside and saw the sky an unearthly black. "Hello, Devin! What?"
"Oh right. I just heard this whack report about mechanical dinosaurs attacking downtown!"
Tommy turned to look at Devin as he said this. Cassidy and Devin were about to leave, when Dr. Oliver told them to remain in the class. Principal Randal said over the intercom that the Mayor had declared a State of Emergency, and to please remain calm, and proceed to the front of the school for immediate dismissal.
"Dr. Oliver, now might be a good time to have that little chat," Kira said.
"We're out of time. If Mesogog has revived the Bio-Zords, we've got to act fast! Come with me!"
"What's the worst that can happen," Ethan said sarcastically. Eric tilted his head in the affirmative as the teens followed Tommy back to his house.
"So these mechanical dinosaurs. They're your friends," Kira asked.
"Bio-Zords. Fusion powered replicants using actual dinosaur DNA for the neural functions."
"Let me guess: You helped build them," Eric pointed out.
"I'm afraid so. But now we," Tommy caught himself, and mentally kicked himself. "I mean you, have to tame them."
That set the teens into a frenzy, rattling off numerous concerns and questions about how. Tommy stopped them and picked up a silver briefcase.
"You can do this. But you won't have to do it alone," Tommy said.
"It's time now," Eric asked. Tommy looked to his nephew and nodded.
"Time for what? Why do I have the feeling you know a lot more than you're letting on," Ethan asked of Eric, who shrugged.
"It's a long story. Just listen carefully to my Uncle, because this is very important."
Ethan didn't like that answer; he completely dodged answering it.
"When I encountered the Dino Gems, I've had these waiting, in case I ever needed to harness their powers."
"Into what," Kira asked. Tommy opened the case, and 3 devices with a dinosaur head on them were displayed. They were Blue, Yellow, and White. The teens noticed several slots that were empty, and wondered about that.
"Dino Morphers. Use these to become Power Rangers."
"OK, I gotta sit down.
"We can't be Power Rangers! Aren't you supposed to fly or have super strength or something like that," Kira asked. Tommy looked at her.
"Oh yeah, I forgot," Kira finished sheepishly.
"Your Gems are from the asteroid that crashed into the Earth eons ago, wiping out the entire dinosaur population. When I found them, I recognized their power and hid them, so that they wouldn't fall into the wrong hands."
"How do you know these are the right hands," Ethan asked.
"The Power chooses you; you don't choose it," Eric said. Ethan whipped his head to Eric.
"That's the third time you said something about this that doesn't make sense! What do you know about all this? What are you hiding," Ethan bit out.
"I already told you, it's a long story. When the time is right, you'll know everything."
"Could we worry about that later," Kira said, bringing the boys' attention back to Tommy.
"Eric's right, Ethan. The Gems are yours. You didn't choose them; they chose you."
"Can't they unchoose us," Kira asked.
"They've already bonded with your DNA; that's what's giving you your powers."
"So if they already bonded with us, how come Mesogog and his creeps are still after them," Ethan pointed out. Tommy sighed. This could make or break the team. But they deserved to know the truth.
"The only way these powers can be taken away is if you're killed."
"OK, for future reference, that's not a great selling point!"
"The Gems wouldn't have bonded with you if you didn't have something inside of you that couldn't handle the power. Please," Tommy finished, pushing the case with the morphers forward. Eric took the White morpher without hesitation. After some reluctance, Ethan and Kira took the Blue and Yellow morphers, respectively.
"So now what? Do we need some kind of secret password or command," Ethan asked.
"All you have to do is say Dino Thunder, power up, and you'll be transformed. You'll know what to do."
After some silence, Tommy continued.
"You three are from different worlds, I get it. But you have to work together, or this will never happen. This won't be easy. Nobody knows that better than I do. But you're going to have to believe in yourselves, because I believe in you," Tommy finished, looking each teen in the eye.
The teens steeled themselves and followed Tommy out to his Jeep, and he took them downtown, where the Zords stopped and looked at the new Ranger team. Zeltrax appeared out of a red Invisiportal.
"You'll have to get past me to get to those Zords!"
"Trust me, I'm looking forward to it," Eric exclaimed.
"You guys ready," Ethan asked.
"Oh yeah," Eric and Kira said in unison.
"Dino Thunder, power up, ha!"
The teens morphed into the Yellow, Blue, and White Rangers, and they were thrilled. It was a feeling unlike any they'd ever experienced.
"So you're Power Rangers," Zeltrax spat, making a fist.
"Call on your weapons! They're in your belt," Tommy explained.
"On it, Dr. O!" The belts shimmered, and the weapons were released.
"Nice! I got a Drago Sword," Eric said.
"I can come to grips with this! Ptera Grips!" Kira added.
"Sweet! A Tricera Shield!" Ethan exclaimed.
"Enough," Zeltrax spat, as an Invisiportal opened up, and a group of Tyrannodrones was deposited. The Rangers made quick work of the Tyrannodrones using their new weapons, although they took some hard hits in the process.
"Freeze," Ethan said to Zeltrax.
"You first! Hahaha," Zeltrax fired an energy rope that wrapped around the Blue Ranger. Zeltrax picked him up, and slammed him into the side of a building. Hard. Ethan fell, and he knew that was going to leave a mark.
"Ethan," Kira exclaimed as she ran up to him.
"Enough," Eric said. He raised his Drago Sword and used the super speed that appeared to come with the White Gem. He slashed Zeltrax repeatedly with the Drago Sword, striking him in an X fashion. Zeltrax flew back and landed on his back. He slowly got up, angered by the turn of events.
"You showed me your weapons, now meet mine!"
Zeltrax disappeared in a red Invisiportal, and the Zords turned back to the Rangers.
"Guys, you have to tame the Zords! Concentrate! Your morphers will communicate your thoughts to them!" Tommy explained. The Rangers nodded, and stepped towards the wayward Zords.
"Easy boy, calm down," Ethan exclaimed as he slowly approached the Tricera Zord.
"Ethan, be careful." Kira said.
"I'm your friend. Tricera Zord!" Ethan raised his arm to the sky, and the eye on the morpher flashed. The Tricera Zord lost its dull finish and took on a vibrant Blue.
"OK, my turn." Kira raised her arm to the sky, and the eye on the morpher glowed. "We can be friends, right?" The Ptera Zord lost its own dull finish and took on a vibrant Yellow.
"Eric, you've got to gain control of your Zord!" Ethan said as he and Kira saw the Dragozord firing its lasers on the freed Ptera Zord and Tricera Zord.
"Dragozord! We can work together, be partners!" Eric raised his arm to the sky, and the eye on the morpher flashed. The Dragozord lost its dull finish and became a vibrant White.
"Now Rangers, use the power of the Zords to defeat Zeltrax!"
The Rangers nodded, and leapt into their Zords.
"Interesting cockpit," Ethan said as he looked around at the sparse accommodations of the Tricera Zord.
"Firing lasers," Eric said as the Drago Zord shot at Zeltrax's assault craft.
Zeltrax was about to respond in kind when he was summoned back by Mesogog. Zeltrax was not pleased, but did as he was commanded.
Zeltrax went into the lab where his lord was waiting.
"Master, why have you summoned me back? I could've crushed Oliver and the Rangers!"
Mesogog hissed angrily and used a psychic attack on Zeltrax, who groaned in pain, falling to his knees.
"Remember your place, Zeltrax! You answer to me! The Rangers have defeated us. You should have foreseen this development." Elsa laughed darkly, bringing Mesogog's attention to her.
"You are not without blame," he hissed, and sent a pain beam her way, as well. She fell to her knees, gasping at the agony of Mesogog's telepathic assault.
"Let this be a lesson. I do not take defeat lightlyyyy!"
The newly minted Dino Rangers were in Dr. Oliver's basement. Tommy brought out a container with the three pronged footprint prominently displayed on the front, and opened it. Inside were silver bracelets with their respective Dino Gems in them.
"Keep these bracelets on you at all times. They'll act as your morphers when you need them. And, you can use these to communicate with me, and each other."
"Dr. O, I know you're real smart, and a science teacher and all, but how does, I mean?" Kira couldn't find the words to what she wished to convey, but Tommy understood what she wished to say.
"I'll fill you in, in time."
"Speaking of time, do you think Mesogog's going to stick around for awhile," Ethan asked.
"Unfortunately, they always do."
"They?" Kira asked. Tommy looked to her.
"I know this is a lot to take in. Your lives just changed in ways you couldn't have imagined. But as long as you work together, and remember you're a team, no one can defeat you. No one."
"Just one question, Dr. O: Aren't Ranger teams supposed to have a red Ranger to lead?" Ethan asked.
Tommy sighed. "The Red and Green Gems have yet to be found. I strongly suspect Mesogog has them."
"With that kind of power, he can be very dangerous," Kira pointed out. Tommy nodded.
"Exactly. Fortunately, he cannot tap into the power of the Gems. They have to choose their bearers. But he can manipulate the nature of the Gems, creating Rangers to do his own bidding," Tommy explained.
"Charming," Ethan drawled.
"Just remember that evil Rangers are not so by choice. They were either forced to act so, or they were turned by the villain of the time. Never hold an evil Ranger's actions against them, for they can't help it. Be there for them, and never give up hope. Friendship can turn the tide."
Kira couldn't help but wonder if she would've even become a Ranger had it not been for that infernal detention. And speaking of detention, Kira was wondering what happened to Krista and Conner. She didn't miss the predatory gleam in Randal's eyes, nor how Conner had been acting the entire time. She hoped they were all right…
"Master, I have a plan!" Elsa said as she walked into the lab. The dinosaur turned to his lackey.
"The Humans have a phrase: Fight fire with fire. We have the Red and Green Gems, and are corrupting them. What if we choose two of the Rangers fellow teenaged brats to wield the Power; teens the Gems would find worthy."
Mesogog leaned close into Elsa's face. "Perfect," he hissed. "Who do you have in minnndd?"
Elsa sneered as she brought up a visual of Krista and Conner on Mesogog's view screen.
"These two monsters should come in handy. Once we finish corrupting the Gems, the Rangers won't know what hit them!"
Mesogog leaned toward the screen, as if he could touch the teens from his lab.
"Excellent! Doooo it!"
Elsa sneered again as she looked back at the unsuspecting Conner and Krista, who were walking back to Conner's house.
"Get ready, brats! By the time we're done with you, you'll wish you were never born!"
With that, Elsa left the lab. She'll grab them when the Gems are ready to be claimed by those they chose, and Elsa was certain they'd choose Conner and Krista.
"We can afford to be patient. We won't make the same mistakes Rita and Zedd did with Oliver and that blonde tart Katherine."
AN: Conner and Krista won't become Rangers until after Tommy does. The one to claim the Pink Dino Gem will enter the picture very soon, but I haven't decided who to make the Pink Ranger: Kat or Kim.