Technical Notes: Conner's characterization in this will spring from the fact that, in my backstory for him, his parents are both deaf. As such, he tends to be emotionally open and direct, and it will actually lead him away from being a butt monkey soon. I'm using Ellen Brand's theories for the Colors and what they mean, but the Power's nature and a Ranger's Allegiance are all mine, as are the galactic empires, politics, and offworld Ranger Corps. Psychology, magic, and psychics will be based off real-life equivilants, with a few things changed to simplify them for storytelling. Jurassic Park and Tommy's love for it is a shoutout to Baby Kitty.
The Dragon Dagger slid out of a Tyrannodrone's back as the Tyrannodrone fell to the floor.
Tommy sighed and straightened, glancing at the carnage around him. It was nighttime, and he was in Mesegog's island fortress. He was...spying, for lack of a better term. The data he needed was stored on a hard drive in his pocket, but a group of Tyrannodrones had appeared, and...
The metal walls were splattered with blood and Tyrannodrone parts of flesh and metal.
Tommy wiped the Dragon Dagger clean as he left the room, sheathing it. He needed his hands free. Blood was a giveaway, and he didn't want Mesegog finding his secret portal in and out. But he encountered nothing more as he snuck through the portal and stepped out into a secluded portion of woods.
He let out a long, slow breath.
His Jeep held plastic trash bags, clean clothes, and basic toiletries. The teens asked why, and Tommy had jokingly told them he buried the bodies of unruly students, but the truth was simpler. He began to strip off the clothes he wore, wincing as the gore brushed his face and skin. Disgusting.
Tommy paused, then shivered, his bared torso cold in the California desert night. No. That was the right word, but it wasn't about the bloodstained clothes or mission. It was about him. Tommy finished cleaning off most of the blood, then stuffed his clothes in the trash bags, climbing into his Jeep and wiping away a final bit of gore from his chin.
Yes, pathetic was the right word. He started to drive into the night, silent, lost in brooding thoughts. Look at him. Once, he had been the Leader of the Earth Ranger Corps. He had been powerful, damnit! The fearsome Green Ranger, a being of pure Darkness who fought for Light, with all the loyalty and noble service of a Green; then the White Ranger, his mistakes forgiven, radiating the purity of Whites; then Red, strong and fire in his leadership...
But now only Black.
It wasn't a bad Color. It certainly didn't mean Darkness, though there were still a few who thought that (and that amused Tommy-begun in Dark, ended in Dark). But it meant wisdom. Guardianship. Parenting.
It meant silence.
How long had it been since another team had even spoken to Tommy? After Murianthis, after Kim and Jason had said their goodbyes...Tommy had stayed in touch, up-to-date. Lightspeed had been helpful, it had really tried, and when Serpenterra was discovered, Tommy had, in one final moment of glory, been the Leader of the Rangers. But that had been it. Jason and Kim had practically vanished off the face of the Earth. Trini and Billy were no better. Zack had only called a few times. His other teammates? Nothing, not a word. Everyone he knew and cared about was gone.
It wasn't the glory. The Power altered his Color so often not because Tommy's personality changed, but because he carried the unique ability to change everything based on need. Ultimately, he was still a Green, and still the holy paladin that implied. Glory wasn't something Tommy ever sought, and perhaps...perhaps he might have been content in his silent guardianship of the Dino Rangers.
Tommy glanced at the thumb drive in his cupholder and smirked. Oh, yes. He could find not only contentment, but enjoyment in this life. He was still young enough that playing James Bond held appeal to him.
But he was alone. Achingly, eternally alone. His children-Tommy knew it was wrong, knew that it robbed their birth parents of all the years of love and devotion, but he still thought of them as his children in spirit-were good, strong, and made him proud...but there was no companionship there. They would never be people he could open his heart to, could get drunk with or talk to about his darkest fears, and the mere thought of that was a perversion. They were meant to see him as a father-figure and a leader, not as a human.
Tommy didn't know why the Ranger Corps had abandoned him. He just knew that he hated being alone.
Gravel crunched under the Jeep's wheels as Tommy pulled up to his house. He sighed and grabbed his thumb drive and the bloody clothes. Musings were pointless. Tommy would go inside, get drunk, watch Jurassic Park, and hide his hangover the next morning. It was a familiar ritual.
He wasn't aware of dropping his things and into a defensive stance until he realized his door was ajar.
Tommy straightened slowly. The dark thoughts were instantly banished from his head. Ajar? For most people, that meant a robbery...Tommy wasn't most people, but he didn't discount it. Maybe a homeless person, too. The woods would be a natural place for them to go.
The next option was one of the kids. Tommy had to force himself not to run into the house, imagining one of them sobbing their eyes out on his sofa. Conner was most likely; he tended not to shut doors, even the front door, unless it was cold outside.
The last option was one unique to Tommy Oliver, but ever present: Danger. Of the supervillain variety.
On the chance that it was the third, Tommy moved slowly up the wooden steps. He kept them creaky, but there was a very specific path that he could take to avoid the creaks. A security measure that he found a bit simpler than installing alarms and detectors, despite Carter's warnings.
The door had been forced, which was why it wasn't closing. Tommy ruled out Conner.
A thought of the White Ranger flashed into Tommy's head. The new Ranger had appeared earlier that day. It was more than possible that this was an attempt to take out the most experienced Ranger...Tommy sighed inwardly. If it was, then the Ranger was in for a very big surprise.
He walked in.
Trent Ferdanez was sleeping curled up in a chair, his knees pulled up to his chest and a silver bracelet around his reddened wrist. A short ways away, a man stood silhouetted against the glass back door, the full moon shining down on him. The rest of the house was dark and empty.
Tommy moved first to Trent, crouching in front of him, hoping to check that the boy was all right before dealing with his kidnapper. The man spoke instead. "Don't."
"Who are you." Tommy asked, getting to his feet.
Jason turned and raised an eyebrow. "Jeeze, Bro. And here I thought you cared."