Disclaimer: Power Rangers Dino Thunder does not belong to me. It belongs to Disney.
Author's Note: This story is not really an AU tale; it's more a "What should have happened" story. In the original MMPR, the other Rangers never gave up on saving Tommy from himself when he was the evil Green Ranger. In Dino Thunder, the other Rangers except Tommy had all but given up on Trent, and he was freed from his Dino Gem's evil only by Anton Mercer's interference. That just really burns me, so I decided to pour my frustration into this story.
I've made some minor changes to the DT universe in this story, mostly to suit my own preferences. First, while this story is an alternate DT #21, Tommy is not trapped in Ranger form. Second, his weapon the Brachio Staff is now a Brachio Saber. I figured that since Tommy uses it more like a sword, it should be called a saber instead of a staff. On with the story.
It was another day at Reefside High School. Principal Randall was her usual bitchy self and Dr. Tommy Oliver was his usual patient teacher self. Conner, Kira, and Ethan sat at their desks and tried their best to learn despite the fact that it was easier for some than others.
Of course, there was one thing that troubled Tommy and his three teenaged students, a.k.a. his fellow Rangers.
When they'd first met Trent, he was simply a gentle busboy who loved to draw. When they'd run into his adoptive father Anton Mercer, he was simply a gentle busboy who loved to draw and had an authoritarian rich guy for a father.
Then the evil White Ranger came, and his arrival had brought nothing but torment for the Rangers. He had viciously attacked and trounced them several times, and it didn't get better when they found out that he and Trent were one and the same. At first, the evil had been confined to his Ranger form but it had now seeped into his civilian persona.
Now their days were full of anxiety, anticipating the White Ranger's next move and watching out for Trent to make sure he didn't go medieval on any innocent students whose only crime was getting in his way.
At the moment, Trent was in their class as well and he had settled for aiming malevolent glares at the Rangers. Specifically, he was glaring at Conner and Kira. When he wasn't glaring, he was furiously drawing.
"Who wants to bet that he's drawing himself killing us?" Conner whispered to Kira.
"Conner," Tommy said. "You mind not talking in class?"
"Sorry, Dr. O," Conner said.
Tommy let him off, mainly because he knew what was troubling the red-clad soccer player. Trent. Being a formerly evil Ranger, he knew the white-and-black-clad teen's predicament better than most people. However, what really galled him was that the other Rangers didn't seem to understand that; they saw everything in black and white with no room for shades of gray. Once Trent had been revealed as the White Ranger, they had immediately concluded that he was nothing short of pure evil and needed to be stopped.
A regretful sigh escaped his lips. Kira was the only one who bothered trying to save Trent; Conner and Ethan had just written him off.
"Dr. Oliver, what's wrong?" Cassidy asked. "You look tired."
"It's nothing, Cassidy," Tommy replied before continuing on with what he was teaching his students.
After class was over, Kira went to her locker and opened the combination lock. 18 . . . 25 . . . 2.
Once she opened her locker to retrieve her books, two pieces of folded paper fell out. She picked them up and opened them; silently gasping in shock upon seeing what was on the papers.
One paper had a drawing of the four un-helmeted Dino Thunder Rangers beaten, broken, and dead with a triumphant White Ranger standing over them with the White Drago Sword in hand. The other paper had a short note that said:
"Dear Kira, it's rather easy to memorize someone's locker combination when they can't even see you. Hope you liked the glimpse of how you and your Ranger friends are gonna die. Signed, Trent."
Kira spent the rest of the school day in a deep sense of trepidation. At lunch, Conner and Ethan tried to talk to her.
"What's wrong, Kira?" Conner asked.
"Yeah, you look like you just had a run-in with Nightmare from Soul Calibur 2," Ethan added.
"I'll show you when we get to Dr. O's lab," Kira replied.
After school was over, the teens and Tommy headed for the lab underneath Tommy's house. Once there, they gathered around the computer, or around Tommy who was sitting in front of the computer. "All right, what is it?" Ethan asked.
"Here," Kira replied, pulling the refolded drawing and letter out of her pants pocket. Tommy took the two pieces of paper and unfolded them.
"Man," Tommy said. "Trent did this?"
"Yeah, it was him," Kira replied. "Who else would be able to watch me use my combination without me seeing him?"
"I'm telling you, we need to put a stop to that guy here and now," Conner declared.
"I'm with Conner on this one," Ethan agreed. "Now he's leaving threatening notes and drawings. If we don't stop him now, he's going to do something even worse."
"It's not his fault," Kira protested. "I told you before, his Dino Gem's making him this way."
"You sure it's just the Gem?" Conner asked.
"What do you mean?" Kira asked.
"Dr. O, you said it yourself that Dino Gems choose their holders," Conner said. "Why would an evil Dino Gem choose Trent to wield its powers?"
"Are you trying to say what I think you're trying to say?" Kira asked angrily.
"What I'm saying is that we didn't even know Trent that well before he became the White Ranger," Conner replied heatedly. "Who knows what he was really like?"
Tommy hadn't said anything, just pondering the situation. However, his frustration had reached its peak and he wasn't going to take it anymore.
"What is wrong with you?" Tommy asked with intense anger in his voice. "How can you act like this about Trent?"
"Dr. O, I get that you were once an evil Ranger and so you sympathize with him, but Trent has seriously gone off the deep end," Conner replied. "The only thing we can do now is stop him."
"No, that's not the only thing," Tommy insisted angrily. "You're forgetting that Trent is a human being just like you. He didn't ask to be evil. He didn't ask for the power of the White Ranger, and here you are writing him off as just another enemy to be taken down."
The intensity in Tommy's voice scared Conner. Never had he imagined that his teacher, mentor, and fellow Ranger felt that way.
"Dr. O . . . I'm . . ." Conner started to say, but was interrupted by the sound of the alarm. The Rangers looked at the screen, which was showing an image of the White Ranger on his custom ATV shooting Laser Arrows at buildings, cars, and random pedestrians.
"Trent's really gone postal, hasn't he?" Ethan remarked.
"Look, this time we can't go in just trying to kick his ass," Tommy said. "This time we have to remember that he's a human being and that somewhere deep down inside he's still good. Someone just has to be brave enough to try to reach that part of him."
"And who's gonna do that?" Kira asked.
Tommy's only reply was a meaningful stare aimed at the yellow-clad singer.
"Me?" Kira wondered.
"Yes, you," Tommy replied. "You were the closest to Trent before his change. You were the first person he went to when he remembered what he'd done as the White Ranger. Also, from watching you two together, I could tell you had feelings for him."
"Can we talk about this later?" Ethan asked. "Trent's still tearing up the city!"
"Ethan's right," Tommy said. "We don't have any time to waste if we're going to save Trent from himself." He got up from his seat in front of the computer and walked behind it, the other three Rangers lining up on either side of him. "Ready!"
The four Rangers held up their Dino Bracelets as they changed into their Dino Morphers. "Dino Thunder, power up!" the four shouted, morphing. "Dino Power!"
The Dino Thunder Rangers raced into town on their Raptor Cycles and ATV, only to find the White Ranger patiently waiting for them next to his ATV.
"Hello, Rangers," he said in his morph-deepened voice. "Get my message?"
"You bastard!" Conner yelled. "What the hell was the point of leaving Kira that letter and drawing?"
"It was all in good fun," Trent replied, smirking evilly underneath his helmet, his eyes colder than glaciers beneath the red visor.
"You call that fun?!" Ethan wondered angrily.
"Fun for me," Trent replied, drawing the White Drago Sword. He flipped it so that the hilt was facing outward and slashed the air with it, inscribing his trademark Laser Arrows. With a slash of the white-black-and-gold blade the Laser Arrows flew at the other four Rangers. While they were still reeling from the Laser Arrow attack, Trent charged them at super-speed and slashed them viciously.
"Trent, you've gotta stop this!" Tommy pleaded. "We're your friends!"
"Friends," Trent sneered. "Who needs them?"
"You do," the Black Ranger replied.
"No, I don't," Trent contradicted. "The power of the White Dino Gem is all I need. Pretty soon, no one will be able to stop me."
"We'll see about that!" the Red Ranger retorted, drawing his Thunder Max Saber. He charged at the White Ranger and they clashed swords. The aforementioned swords sparked with each strike and it seemed like Conner was holding his own until Trent kicked his legs out from under him. The White Ranger proceeded to kick Conner into the air before he could hit the ground and then jumped up and slashed him viciously.
Conner landed hard on the ground with Trent standing over him, ready to finish him off.
"Conner!" the Blue Ranger shouted. "Tricera Shield!" He charged at Trent with every intention of bashing him half to death with his signature weapon but the White Ranger just dodged and kicked Ethan hard, leaving him sprawled on the ground.
"Brachio Saber!" Tommy shouted, drawing his weapon and rushing Trent. As they clashed swords, he pleaded with Trent. "Don't do this, Trent! Don't let the White Dino Gem control you!"
"Shut up," Trent snarled and punched the young paleontologist in the stomach, making him stagger.
"Don't make me do this, Trent!" Tommy entreated.
Trent's only response was to charge at the Black Ranger with another dash attack, leaving the older Ranger reeling.
"You've left me no choice," the Black Ranger said. "Perhaps a bath will help you cool off! Brachio Saber, Wave Strike!" He stabbed the Brachio Saber into the ground and summoned a tsunami that engulfed the White Ranger.
"Is that . . . the best . . . you can do?" the White Ranger asked in a mixture of disdain and anger.
"Trent, you have to stop!" Kira pleaded. "Don't you remember anything of what you were before you became this way?"
"I was weak and foolish then," Trent replied coldly, "but now I see things clearly."
"'Clearly?' Kira asked. "You see things clearly!? Clearly, you don't because you'd be on our side otherwise, not trying to kill innocent people!"
"Who cares about them?" Trent asked. "It wasn't them I wanted, it was you. The attack was just to get your attention."
"Remember how hard you fought for Hayley's Cyberspace when your father tried to take it over?" Kira asked. "You wanted so badly to set things right since you blamed yourself for your father getting the idea in the first place!"
"I told you, I was weak and foolish then," Trent replied. "This is who I am now. Deal with it."
"I refuse to believe that!" Kira replied angrily. "Deep down inside, you are still the same cute, kind guy that made me blush when I first met him!"
"He's dead," Trent stated coldly.
"I don't believe that," Kira insisted.
"Believe what you like," Trent sneered. "To the Zords!"
The Drago and Stego Zords arrived on the scene and Trent jumped inside the Drago Zord.
"Dino Stegozord formation!" he ordered.
His two Dino Zords combined, the Stego Zord forming the torso, head, and tail and the Drago Zord forming the arms and legs.
"Brachio!" Tommy shouted into his morpher.
The Brachio Zord arrived and opened three compartments to release the Tyranno, Tricera, and Ptera Zords. Conner, Ethan, and Kira jumped inside their respective Zords and those Zords combined.
"Thundersaurus Megazord, on-line!" the three Rangers shouted.
The two Megazords faced off.
"We're gonna need some extra help," Ethan said.
"You're right," Conner agreed. "Ankylo Zord! Parasaur Zord!"
The orange and green Dino Zords combined with the Thundersaurus Megazord, the Ankylo Zord replacing the Tricera Zord as the right arm and the Parasaur Zord replacing the Tyranno Zord's tail as the left arm.
"Calling in reinforcements, huh?" Trent sneered. "Two can play at that. Dimetro Zord, Cephalo Zord, attach!"
The Dino Stegozord's arms broke off, replaced by the Dimetro and Cephalo Zords.
"You're going to wish you never stole our Zords, you bastard!" Conner shouted.
"No, you're going to wish you'd never met me," Trent replied with cold arrogance. "Dimetro Zord, Saw Blade!"
The Dino Stegozord slashed with the Dimetro Zord's whirring saw-like blade.
"Cephalo Power Punch!" Trent commanded, and the Dino Stegozord rapidly punched the Thundersaurus Megazord with the Cephalo Zord.
"I've had enough of this!" Ethan snapped. The Thundersaurus Megazord struck with the drill-like tail of the Ankylo Zord and then followed up with cutting strikes from the Parasaur Zord.
"Trent, you've gotta stop!" Kira pleaded.
"Why should I?" Trent asked coldly.
"Because this isn't who you are!" Kira replied passionately. "The Trent I knew was a kind person who would never intentionally hurt anyone! The Trent I knew loved to draw superheroes and loved to hear me sing! The Trent I knew cared so much about Hayley that when his father tried to take over her Cyberspace, he fought hard to stop him! The Trent I knew didn't want to be evil and fought as hard as he could to stop himself! The Trent I knew . . . was the Trent I loved."
"Loved?" the White Ranger asked, puzzled for the first time in his career.
"Yes, Trent, I love you," Kira replied.
"You love me?" the White Ranger wondered. "Kira . . . I --- aaaahhhh!" He screamed in pain as electricity painfully engulfed his suit.
"What's happening to him?" Conner asked.
"The real Trent's starting to break through," Tommy replied over their morphers. "But his Dino Gem won't give up its hold on him without a fight."
Mesogog, Elsa, and Zeltrax watched inside Mesgog's lab-slash-island fortress as the screen showed Trent clutching his head in pain as he struggled against the White Dino Gem.
"That miserable girl!" Mesogog snarled.
"Apparently, that sickening declaration of love has awakened whatever good was left in him," Elsa said.
"You see?" Zeltrax sneered underneath his helmet. "Love. Human weakness at its worst."
Back at the scene of the Megazord battle, the White Dino Gem had regained its control over Trent.
"Nice try, Yellow Ranger," he sneered. "Drago Winger, Strike Mode."
He summoned the Drago Winger and the Dino Stegozord launched it at the Thundersaurus Megazord, seriously crippling it and forcing to break into its component Dino Zords. It had the added effect of ejecting the Rangers.
"So much for your idea of Kira being the best one for the job of saving Trent from himself," Conner spat.
"It can still work," Tommy insisted. "When Kira told Trent she loved him that triggered something deep inside him. The White Dino Gem hasn't completely turned him. There's still hope, but only if we're willing to take a chance."
The Yellow Ranger nodded. "Anything to save Trent."
"Go for it, Kira," Ethan said.
"Yeah," Conner agreed. "We're behind you one hundred percent."
Kira jumped up and landed in the cockpit of the Dino Stegozord.
"Trent!" she exclaimed.
"Yellow Ranger," Trent sneered. "Have you come here to die?"
"No, to bring you to your senses," Kira replied, removing her helmet. Before the White Ranger could react she lunged at him and removed his helmet, revealing black hair, a tanned face, and cold dark eyes.
"Get off me before I slit your throat," Trent snarled.
Kira refused to be daunted by his threat. Instead she pressed her lips to his. Trent struggled hard against her grip but her Ranger strength combined with her desperation made her too strong to fight against. After what seemed like an eternity, she felt him relax against her.
To her pleasant surprise, she felt a pair of white-gloved hands stroke her long blonde-brown hair gently as the owner of those hands kissed her back.
"I think I'm going to be sick," Elsa commented back inside Mesogog's lab.
"I knew he couldn't be trusted," Mesogog hissed. "Send Kaorinyko to deal with that traitor and his Ranger harlot."
"It shall be done," Zeltrax said as he activated the Geno Randomizer.
In the city, Tommy, Conner, and Ethan watched the Dino Stegozord with anticipation.
"What's happening in there?" Ethan asked.
"I'll check," Conner replied. Speaking into his morpher, "Kira, are you all right in there?"
There was a brief pause and then Kira's voice spoke. "I'm all right and Trent's back to himself."
"Is that a fact?" Conner asked in a tone that was a mixture of worry and sarcasm.
"Very funny, Conner," Trent's voice said.
"Is that you, Trent?" Tommy asked.
"Yeah, Dr. Oliver, it's me," Trent replied. He and Kira jumped out with their helmets back on and landed in front of the other three Rangers.
"Power down," Trent and Kira said at the same time, demorphing.
"Power down," the other three echoed, demorphing as well.
"Is it really you, Trent, or is this just another one of your tricks?" Conner asked.
"It couldn't be a trick," Kira replied. "Not after the way I brought him to his senses."
"And how did you do that?" Ethan asked.
Just then, a giant monster in the shape of a woman made entirely out of kaolinite with knife blades on the backs of her hands appeared.
"We'll worry about that later," Tommy replied. "Ready!"
The five Dino Thunder Rangers stood together, morphers ready. "Dino Thunder, power up!" they all shouted, morphing as one. "Dino Thunder --- Power Rangers!"
"The name's Kaorinyko, Rangers," the monster said in a raspy voice.
"All right, guys, you know what to do," the Black Ranger said.
"Yeah," the White Ranger replied in his normal voice before leaping inside the Dino Stegozord. As for the other three Rangers, they jumped back inside their Zords and recombined them into the Thundersaurus Megazord.
"Two Megazords to trash!" Kaorinyko shouted. "This should be fun."
"Fun for us," Trent corrected. He unsheathed the Drago Sword and drew the image of a katana. The katana image flew out of the Dino Stegozord's chest and materialized shortly before being gripped by the Dino Stegozord. The red-and-white Megazord then slashed Kaorinyko with the katana.
"Nice try, traitor," Kaorinyko sneered. Then she ran around the Dino Stegozord at super-speed, slashing it with the knife blades on her arms.
"Ahhhh!" Trent cried out as his Megazord was repeatedly struck.
"Trent!" Kira shouted. "Pterarang!"
The Thundersaurus Megazord threw the Ptera Zord at Kaorinyko like a boomerang. However, Kaorinyko knocked it aside and then leaped into the air for a jump kick to the Thundersaurus Megazord's head.
"Damn, she's a lot more agile than the monsters we've faced before," Ethan remarked.
"Dino Stegozord, Tail Attack!" Trent ordered. The Dino Stegozord jumped into the air to gain speed and momentum and then curled into a ball, grinding Kaorinyko with the spikes of its tail. Kaorinyko endured the grinding so that she could grab the Dino Stegozord and throw it into the Thundersaurus Megazord, causing both Megazords to fall to the ground.
"Could you get off us, Trent?" Conner asked irritably, as though the White Ranger had fallen on them deliberately.
"Dr. O, what do we do?" Kira asked. "She's wiping the floor with us!"
"The only way you'll be able to beat Kaorinyko is to combine your Megazords," Tommy replied.
"Us? Combine with him?" Conner wondered as if the idea was anathema to him.
"I understand you still don't trust him, but get over it and work as a team," Tommy snapped. "It's the only way you'll beat her."
"Sounds like a plan, Dr. Oliver," Trent said. The Dino Stegozord separated into the Drago and Stego Zords and Tommy jumped inside the Stego Zord. Then both Zords combined with the Thundersaurus Megazord, the Drago Zord on its back and the Stego Zord making itself a platform for it.
"Thundersaurus Megazord --- full power!" all five Rangers shouted inside its cockpit.
"Hey, guys, what's up?" Trent asked.
One couldn't tell by Ethan's face that he was nervous around Trent, as his face was concealed by a helmet, but his body language said plenty about how guarded he was around his white-and-black-armored fellow Ranger.
"You think that's enough to take me?!" Kaorinyko asked as though affronted. She ran at the Thundersaurus Megazord, ready to slash it to bits, but the Thundersaurus Megazord took to the sky on the Drago Zord's wings.
"Flying Dino Drill, engage!" Conner shouted as the Thundersaurus Megazord descended upon Kaorinyko and ran her through with the Tyranno Zord's whirring tail. Even she couldn't stand against the powers of all five Dino Thunder Rangers and thus she died in an explosion of fire and sound.
"Sweet!" Ethan shouted.
"We did it!" Kira exclaimed.
"We all did," Tommy said, gazing meaningfully at Trent from behind his black helmet. "Together."
After the battle was over with, the five Rangers were gathered in Tommy's lab. Conner and Ethan had had some serious reservations about Trent's presence. To be more accurate, Ethan had had reservations. Conner had outright objected to Trent having anything to do with them. However, Tommy had overruled him.
"I know I've done horrible things to you all," Trent said. "I know that nothing I do will be enough to cancel that out. But I'm serious about helping you guys stop Mesogog, and I'll do anything it takes to prove that."
"Anything?" Conner asked with a mischievous smirk. He turned to Kira and Ethan. "Isn't there a rule that says newbie Rangers have to wash all the Zords?"
"Are you serious?" Trent asked. "The Zords are like thirty stories tall!"
"Enough, Conner," Tommy said. "There's no such rule."
Trent breathed out a sigh of relief.
After the Ranger meeting had broken up, Trent was watching the sunset. Unbeknownst to him, Kira had walked up next to him.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" she commented.
"Hey, Kira," Trent said.
"How does it feel?" Kira asked. "Not being evil."
"I feel . . . free," Trent replied.
"I meant what I said before, when you were still evil," Kira said. "I really do love you, Trent."
"That's a good thing," Trent replied, "because I love you, too."
The sun set on two young lovers sharing their second kiss.
Inside his lab, Mesogog was not a very happy camper. Technically, he never was a happy camper, but his mood was even fouler than usual.
"Now that the White Ranger has joined the other Rangers, our plans for the future are in jeopardy," he said.
"Not quite, my lord," Zeltrax contradicted.
"What do you mean?" Mesogog asked.
"Yeah, what do you mean by that?" Elsa asked. "With that kind of power on their side, the Rangers will be even harder to beat."
"I believe there is a saying," Zeltrax replied. "'Fight fire with fire.' While Trent Mercer was with us, I secretly obtained an imprint of his DNA and Ranger powers. Behold the result."
Just then, an exact duplicate of the White Ranger walked into the lab.
"A soulless warrior, one hundred percent evil, and completely devoid of humanity," Zeltrax described.
"I am ready to serve," the white-armored doppelganger said in a cold dark voice.
To be continued in . . .
Dino Thunder #22: "Triassic Triumph"
End Notes: So what did you think? I completed this in two days, but I put a lot of thought into it. It's basically a redo of "Copy That," only with a different monster and an almost entirely different plot. Anyway, let me know what you thought of this story.