RATING: this story is being rated t, bordering on m, for some hot and heavy make out sessions, suggestive scenes, mental health discussions, graphic fight scenes, and a whole lot of unresolved drama between kimberly hart and tommy oliver.
NOTE: Hi guys! Sorry for the delay in updating. Unfortunately, I had some personal problems happen these past few days, but they're all over now so back to your regularly scheduled daily updates! Also, I'm currently looking for a beta reader to go over my chapters to see if they have any typos I missed. If any of you are interested, please DM me! This chapter also includes less action and some flashbacks, however chapter eleven will have some more twist and turn!
DISCLAIMER: I am too poor to own power rangers so obviously, any canon characters aren't mine. However daphne and any other oc's are all my own creation! Please don't copy any of my characters mwah x
Chapter Ten : Seventy Two Hours
They say the first seventy two hours after a person goes missing are the most vital. Or at least that's what the Law and Order reruns Conner watched with his mom always said.
However, it had been more than seventy two hours since Daphne Hart was reported missing. One week and three days to be exact. Though the police were investigating her disappearance, Tommy and Hayley headed their own investigation while Ms. Hart called every friend and family member to see if they had heard from Daphne.
The only real clue they had to her disappearance was a haunting voicemail Daphne left in Conner's voicemail box. It contained the sounds of muffled voices and something that sounded like a scream. However, the police deduced it wasn't enough to deduce whether or not Daphne had runaway or been abducted.
Dr. Oliver had asked, well, ordered his Rangers to try and focus on something other than Daphne's disappearance. He reminded them that Mesogog was still at large and that spreading themselves too thin would provide their enemy the perfect opportunity to strike.
Yet it was hard to escape reminders of Daphne's disappearance.
Walking down the halls of Reefside High, the young team of Power Rangers saw posters of Daphne at each turn. Plastered in every classroom, on every hallway, and even in the school newspaper. They all said the same thing in big, bold red letters: Missing.
"Any of you guys see Doctor O today?" Kira asked, the four sitting at their usual table in Hayley's, attempting to work on their homework assignments.
"Yeah, he looked bad today," Trent replied with a grimace, "I don't think he's slept since last Saturday."
Out of all of them, Doctor Oliver seemed to be taking Daphne's disappearance the hardest, even harder than her mother. The man worked himself night and day to chase any leads he could, but to no avail. Daphne had simply vanished into thin air. He would mutter under his breath how it was his fault, how he should've waited to talk to Ms. Hart and Daphne. Seeing their mentor like that didn't inspire much confidence in the four too.
"I mean, I'd look pretty rough too if the daughter I just learned about suddenly disappeared." Ethan commented, the others nodding in agreement.
"I still can't believe Doctor Oliver is Daphne's father," Kira said, "He really had no idea she existed until now?"
Trent nodded, playing with the straw in his smoothie, "That's what Doctor O said. Apparently because he was always doing Ranger work, Ms. Hart decided to keep him out of her life."
"Kinda ironic that as soon as Doctor O finds out, she goes missing." Ethan had a point. It was a sickening kind of irony. Everything Ms. Hart had feared for her daughter came true the moment Daphne and Doctor Oliver were introduced as father and daughter. The four couldn't help but feel a collective sympathy for the mother.
"More like depressing." Trent commented.
"What do you think, Conner?" Kira asked, the other three turning to the soccer player, who had been surprisingly quiet throughout their entire conversation. Actually, their entire time at Hayley's he hadn't said a word. He seemed unusually focused on his history homework, despite it being his worst subject.
"Hm?" He looked up, as though he only now realized his friends were talking.
"Dude, when was the last time you slept?" Ethan asked, taking in the dark circles that were beginning to form under his eyes.
Conner shrugged, "Last night."
"For how long?"
Conner grimaced at Ethan's question. He'd maybe gotten three, maybe four hours of sleep tops. Truthfully, he did try to fall asleep but found himself unable to. "A few hours. I know, not enough."
Ethan opened his mouth to say something, but Kira nudged him, causing the Blue Ranger to suppress any comments on Conner's current sleep hygiene.
Out of all of the young Rangers, Conner seemed to take Daphne's disappearance the hardest. It was evident on his face each time he passed one of her posters. Guilt would plaster itself on his face
Conner still remembered waking up late that Sunday morning after Daphne went missing. There were fifty or so missed calls on his phone, all from various people. The first half was from Ms. Hart and Doctor Oliver, the second half from his teammates. All of them were frantic in their messages, asking if he'd seen Daphne or if she was with him. Then there was the single voicemail from Daphne, time stamped at ten thirty on Saturday night.
That voicemail Daphne left made his stomach drop.
"Conner, you know it's not your fault, right?" Kira said, "You were asleep, we all were. The same thing would have happened if Daphne called any of us."
"I just keep thinking about her." Conner said, leaning back in his chair, his mind swirling with the memories, particularly of one of a conversation the two had in the library together, one sunny day.
A slur of curses escaped Conner's mouth.
Throwing his head back, he threw his pencil down on the table in annoyance. He had been going over the same analysis question in the library for almost the entire lunch period and still had yet to write a complete sentence.
Correction. He had written complete sentences, but when he would reread them, Conner found himself immediately erasing them. How was he supposed to analyze the Merchant of Venice if he could barely understand what the characters were saying?
"Wow," A playful voice exclaimed from behind him, "What's that pencil ever done to you?"
Turning around, Conner met eyes with Daphne Hart, who stood there with a simple smile playing across her lips.
"What're you doing here?" Conner asked, a confused look crossing his face. Lunch was almost over, shouldn't she be heading to class? Or with Kira?
"Needed to check out a book, but I found you instead," Daphne shrugged, setting her tote down on the table and pulling up a chair next to Conner. She picked up the pencil from the table, leaning over and scanning his homework and the book next to it, "Merchant of Venice analysis questions?"
Conner groaned in response, "We're reading it in English. Mrs. Hamm wants us to answer them, but you have to know what they're saying to you know, answer it."
Daphne gave a light chuckle, "So no to being able to read Shakespeare?"
"And you can?" Conner shot back.
"Well, I'm in AP for a reason, McKnight," Daphne gave him a playful nudge, scooting closer to him and gesturing to him to look over the paper with her.
Lithe fingers took hold of his hand and placed it on the open pages of the Merchant of Venice text, "See how he uses words like thee, thy, and hath? Those are all versions of you, your, and has."
Conner's nose crinkled, "Why doesn't he just say that instead?"
"Because no one told Shakespeare to," Daphne chimed, "You want to memorize what the words mean today. So if you read, 'The man that hath no music in himself', you get that it means…"
"The man that has no music in himself," Conner finished.
"Not bad for a dumb jock, huh?" Conner mused.
Daphne let out a laugh in response, "Don't sell yourself short. Jock, yes. Dumb…" She tapped his nose with the pencil, "Only when you think with your bicep and not your brain"
"You haven't talked to Kira or Ethan then." Conner said with a snort.
Daphne's lips rubbed together, pausing for a moment in thought, "If you want, I'll help you with English. We can go over Shakespeare so you understand it better."
Conner quirked an eyebrow up, "You sure? I'm not an easy student."
"Lucky for you, I'm a great teacher."
Conner held his gaze with Daphne, both of them having smiles on their lips. Conner moved his head some, wanting to close the gap between him and Daphne.
However, his attempt to get closer to her were interrupted by the obnoxious sound of the bell ringing.
Both teens jumped, startled by the sound.
Lunch was officially over and the next period would begin soon.
In haste, the two collected their things and stood up from the table, bumping into each other while doing it.
As Conner moved to leave the library, Daphne caught his arm, pulling him back her way, "Meet me here Monday at lunch? We can go over more."
"Deal," Conner said with a wink, throwing his backpack over his shoulder, "See you for class then, Professor Hart."
They never did get to study together in the library on Monday. Because that Monday was when Daphne was officially declared missing and the search began.
"Daphne wouldn't run away," Conner said in a firm voice, "Even if she was mad at Doctor O and Ms. Hart."
"So kidnapping?" Ethan proposed.
"Well that's especially dark." Kira muttered under her breath. Though they all knew that no matter how dark the idea was, it was all too possible.
The four meditated in a short silence that broke with the sound of their communicators going off. In unison, they raised their bracelets closer to them, Doctor Oliver's voice coming over the communicator, "Guys, I need you back here. Something just showed up on the monitors you'll need to see."
Doctor Thomas Oliver sat alone in the team's Command Center, or as Hayley would joke, 'his glorified basement'. It certainty didn't compare to the likes of the Command Center the original Rangers operated from, but it was efficient enough.
It was only with the help of Hayley and a few notes from Billy that Tommy was able to create a modern headquarters. Complete with every system and sensor imaginable, there were monitors and computers lining the walls along with various other areas with tools to work on projects for the Rangers.
However, the headquarters had been turned into more of a living space the past week. With a cot and blanket being set up next to a mountain of various ready-made foods, Tommy only stepped out of his home to teach and spent the remainder of his time in the Command Center. With every system online, he spent hours trying to look for any new leads on his daughter, but to no avail.
By now, Tommy hoped they would have been able to find some hint to where Daphne had gone. Yet there was nothing. Not even the police could figure it out. Their working lead was still that Daphne had run away. Kimberly on the other hand, was convinced her daughter would never leave home for this long. As for Tommy? He didn't know what to think.
"Woah, we renting out the Command Center, Doctor O?"
Ethan, Trent, Kira, and Conner descended from the stairs above, Ethan letting out a low whistle at the sight of the unusually cluttered Command Center. It certainly wasn't their usual cave headquarters and it didn't take a genius to see Doctor Thomas Oliver wasn't himself.
The man had bags under his eyes from sleepless nights. His shirt was disheveled, partially unbuttoned without a tie. His usual pristine goatee had started to grow unruly. The science teacher's hair wasn't even styled, but left nappy. If he looked that bad, the four could only imagine just how much worse Ms. Hart looked.
"Sorry, guys," Doctor Oliver said, "I haven't really had time to clean up."
"It's okay, Doctor O, we know you've been going through a lot." Kira responded, an attempt to comfort the older man.
'A lot' was an understatement of course. The poor man wouldn't allow himself to rest until he found Daphne. You didn't have to be a genius to see he blamed himself for Daphne disappearing in the first place.
"What did you need us for?" Trent said, clearing his throat, an attempt to say the subject.
Doctor Oliver turned from the four and motioned for them to look at the monitors. On two screens were contrasting images. The first displayed a seismic monitor of the entire California coast. The second displayed an energy monitor.
"I've had these monitors running since Mesogog appeared. It's how we found out about Trent and the other Zords," Doctor Oliver explained, "The energy monitor alerts us of any new power sources and the seismic monitor can show where a Zord might be due to the ground activity of it awakening."
Kira's brows furrowed, "I get that, but I thought we found all of the Zords and powers we would need."
"Exactly. All the powers we need," Doctor Oliver replied, "However, there are Zords and powers scattered all across the globe from various generations of Power Rangers. Some of them are still dormant. I monitor them to make sure that if they awaken, someone knows about it."
Doctor Oliver's fingers moved swiftly, the images on the monitors changing the images on the energy and seismic monitors to show images from a week ago, "A week ago, seismic activity started up in Angel Grove. I didn't think much of it, this is California. But twenty four hours ago, there were intense energy spikes showing up on the monitor. And the seismic activity started up again. However, instead of staying in Angel Grove, the activity and the energy have been moving towards Reefside."
"So, what?" Conner asked, "You're saying something's heading this way?"
Doctor Oliver nodded, "And I'm afraid that it's not going to be friendly. I haven't seen energy reading like this since-" He paused, inhaling sharply, "Since when I first became a Ranger. These were the kinds of readings Alpha would find when-"
"When something bad was showing up." Trent finished.
"Something like that," Doctor Oliver replied with a grimace, "What I'm saying is that we need to find whatever this is fast. Before Mesogog. Because if he gets his hands on it, it-"
The aggressive sound of alarms cut Doctor Oliver off, causing them all to cover their ears from the obnoxious noise. Every monitor in the cvae seemed to be going berserk, warnings flashing on all the screens.
"Doctor O! What's going on?!" Conner exclaimed over the alarms.
"I don't know!" Doctor Oliver shouted back, his hands moving to the keyboard to pull up satellite imagery of just what had triggered all the alarms at once.
Within seconds, the main screen displayed live footage of the forests of Reefside. Trees were crushed, ground being uprooted by something larger than any animal. It was more damage to the woods than one Zord could do alone. When smoke cleared, the Dino Rangers could now see just what had caused the chaos.
"Doctor O, what is that?" Kira asked, the others standing in shock at what they saw.
Doctor Oliver's hands stiffened, his throat becoming dry. It took force for him to reply to Kira.
"It's the Dragonzord."
A/N: that concludes chapter ten and that start of Act Two! its about to be a wild ride kiddos, so stay tuned! Chapter 11 will be posted tomorrow! Thank you all for your support!