Hi all. I’m sorry for the extreme delay between chapters. But with this chapter, you know that the finale is on its way. This time around we’ve got action, betrayal and angst. Lots to chew on. And now, to the story…

 

 

 

 

Legends and Heroes

By Jeannine Trevizo

 

 

-x-

 

Chapter 23: Suspicious Minds

 

 

“Okay, we’ve got Stegosaurs, Brachiosaurus and Brontosaurus, what are some other herbivores from that era?” Tommy asked as his pointer slid along the chalkboard, slicing the air as he moved to look over the class.

 

Silence reigned.

 

“Ethan, you should know this. Ethan, you all right? Could someone tell me what the problem is?”

 

“It’s Principal Randal. She took Devon and Ethan’s Dragon War cards,” Kira explained.

 

“Dragon War… isn’t that a kids game?” Tommy questioned the young black youth that had such a sharp mind that it reminded him of Hayley or Billy.

 

“Come on, it’s a strategy game for all ages,” complained Ethan bitterly.

 

“Well, I hate to side with Randal on this, but you know you can’t play cards at school.”

 

“Dr. O, she took the ruby dragon card!”

 

“Dr. Oliver, it was brutal man,” added Devon quickly, feeling slightly guilty as he had been partially responsible for the card game on school grounds in the first place…

 

“Alright, look, I’ll see if I can talk to her after school. Maybe I can get the cards back. Can you guys please pay attention?”

 

“Hey, anything for you Dr. O.”

 

The class slogged through another 40 minutes of science before the closing bell of the day rang though Reefside High. Tommy watched his students scoop up books to shove in bags and grab notes to cover later before heading out. Ethan gave him another pleading look as he followed Conner and Kira out the door and Tommy sighed. How did he get talked into getting ‘contraband’ from Principal Randall?

 

Turning towards his desk in the corner to pack up his own things, Tommy noticed Trent still in the classroom. He seemed despondent and Tommy frowned at the young Hispanic teenager who had his head lowered against his arms on the lab table.

 

“Something I can help you with?”

 

Trent’s head suddenly popped up and he realized that everyone else was gone. Then the words Dr. O had said registered him and he started to open his mouth, and then hesitated.

 

“It’s not really school related Dr. Oliver,” Trent hedged, and Tommy saw the discomfort on the young man’s face. Whatever it was, Trent seemed to need someone to talk to.

 

“Well, I think that I might be able to go outside of my comfort zone of dinosaurs and fossilized plants if you want to give it a shot…”

 

Another long pause filled the room, before Trent blurted out, “do you think that a good person can do bad things because they can’t help themselves?”

 

Tommy stood stock still, surprised at such a serious question from his student. He’d expected girl trouble or issues at the Cybercafe, but this was so much more involved than that. He wondered if he should answer; if he had an answer to give Trent. Then he mulled over the idea that he really knew more than he should about being a good person doing bad things than most.

 

Too many evil spells had given him a clearer understanding of that moral dilemma. And perhaps some of his observations could help here.

 

“While there are times that people end up doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, or because they have little choice in the matter, I would like to think that a good person could stop themselves from doing bad things…” Tommy began slowly, questioningly. “Why do you ask?”

 

“Oh, uh, just… curious.”

 

Then he hurriedly snatched up his things and bolted out the door, leaving Tommy confused once more by the average teenager. Shaking his head, he turned back to his desk to get his things together so he could get to Randall’s office, ask about the card and get home to Kim.

 

Once he’d stuffed his bag with the quizzes in preparation for finals in a few weeks, he threw it over his shoulder and headed for the principal’s office. Knocking lightly, he pushed the door open, expecting to find Principal Randall at her desk, with an obvious gleeful smile at the confiscation of Ethan and Devon’s cards.

 

Instead, he got the shock of a lifetime as the form of Randall appeared before him, back to him and glowed and flowed into that of Mesogog’s main henchwoman – Elsa.

 

Instantly, Tommy’s demeanor changed from school teacher to power ranger. Sliding his glasses off he walked towards her, “I knew there was something about you I didn’t like.”

 

“I was wondering how long I could pull this off,” Elsa said with a sigh and a smirk.

 

“I have to give you credit. We should have seen it. Well, it looks like it’s all over, Ms Randall.”

 

“It’s a shame Tommy… we could have had something,” suggested Elsa with a leer.

 

“Dream on,” Tommy tossed back just as Elsa leaped to the desktop to attack him.

 

With a round of flying fists and feet, Elsa sent a pulse through her hand, sending Tommy to the floor and changed back to her Principal Randall guise and fled.

 

From his position on the floor, Tommy sighed. This was not turning out to be a good day.

 

“Ethan,” he spoke into his communicator as he levered his shoulders up off the floor. “Get the others. I just learned something about Principal Randall that you’re not going to believe.”

 

-x-

 

There was a loud, booming knock at the front door of Tommy and Kim’s house. The urgency of it started the Purple Ranger from where she was composing with her guitar, and she laid the instrument aside as it got more insistent.

 

Opening the door, she found Kira, Ethan and Conner, all looking like they’d flown there, which was only really possible for one of them.

 

“What’s up guys?”

 

“Dr. O called us to say that he’d learned something about Principal Randall, and then we found them fighting on the school grounds!” Kira rushed to explain.

 

“Okay….”

 

“Then she turned into Elsa in mid somersault,” Ethan announced, cutting the others off. He was the one who had figured it out after all. “And she still had the Ruby Dragon Card!”


Kim’s eyes widened at the news about Elsa and the three teens watched as the Purple Ranger’s face went dark at this new news.

 

“I knew I never liked the bitch for a reason,” she swore darkly.

 

Kira, Ethan and Conner all flushed at Kim’s tone. She, Jason and Dr. O were the adults, but sometimes the age difference was hard to remember.

 

“So where’s Tommy now?”

 

“He said he was going to the school board to find out what they were going to do about Principal Randall now that… well, she’s a bad guy.”

 

Kim sighed. This was not good. With Elsa on the loose, with whatever this Ruby Dragon card that Ethan was so worried about as well, things looked like they were about to take a turn for the worse.

 

“Jason,” Kim spoke quickly into her communicator. “I think you need to get to the house. Now.”

 

Before she even finished her message, the sound of Tommy’s Jeep pulling into the driveway cut through the air. Everyone turned their eyes to the door and waited for the Black Ranger to enter.

 

Wearily, Tommy pushed open the slightly ajar door and looked at the people huddled around the room. The guilty, worried faces of his students were a sharp contrast to the fiery anger in his girlfriend’s eyes.

 

She knew.

 

“Kim…” he began carefully, dropping his bag to the floor by the door.

 

“Can I kill her now? I mean she is a bad guy now, not just a woman hitting on my boyfriend…” Kimberly said with a cold edge to her voice.

 

“Beautiful…”

 

“She was your boss, hitting on you and making you jump through hoops all this time to keep you… keep us distracted! Now that we know what she is, she’s going to pay for everything she’s done…”

 

“We’ll stop her and Mesogog, alright?” Tommy spoke softly, reaching forward and laying a hand on Kim’s arm. “At least we know who we’re dealing with now.”

 

“And what exactly would that be bro?” asked Jason as he walked through the open door.

 

Tommy’s eyes flew to his best friend, and Jason tapped his communicator in response to the silent question in his friend’s eyes.

 

“Principal Randall is Elsa,” Conner broke in, hoping to condense the discussion. “And she has Ethan’s Ruby Dragon card, which I guess would be a nasty monster, so…”

 

“We have our work cut out for us,” answered Jason, receiving a series of acknowledging nods and glances. “Guess it’s time to get to work.”

 

-x-

 

Once he’d made his way to the Cyberspace for his shift, Trent considered that perhaps he should have told Dr. O before he had left the classroom earlier that day; that if someone knew what had happened, that maybe they could help his dad. If he just said something…

 

Then, as if on cue, Kira walked in the doors; alone for a change and scanned the room until her eyes fell on him. Without another thought, she made a beeline to his side, looking at him with concern.

 

“Trent? Are you okay? Dr. O mentioned that you had spoken to him earlier… and he thought maybe you could use a friend.”

 

Trent laughed lightly before sliding the tray of clean glasses away from him and looking seriously at Kira. After all his attempts to get Kira to care about him, dump Conner and date him, her she was, checking up on him and asking if she could help.

 

“Do you really care? I thought you were avoiding me.”

 

“Look, I don’t like what you’ve done, but I’m not going to just leave you alone when you seem to need help because you’ve been a jerk.”

 

Trent watched her intently. Her face never changed. She still seemed genuinely concerned for him. And the fact that Dr. O had suggested she come after his conversation… maybe there was a chance to help his dad after all.

 

If he just could tell her.

 

“I asked Dr. O if someone could be good even if they do bad things. I… needed to know.”

 

Kira waited, confused by Trent’s random question to Dr. O and what it really meant for what was bothering him.

 

“I’ve been keeping this secret… I owed it to him, he’s trying to fix it…”

 

“Owed who? Fix what?” Kira asked, becoming increasingly confused.

 

“My dad… He’s…” There was a long pause, and then Trent’s face froze. The words wouldn’t come. ”Look, never mind. I’ll figure it out.”

 

“Trent?” asked Kira, her hands reaching over to cover Trent’s in a gesture of solidarity.

 

His mouth opened and closed, and then there was a beeping. Kira looked down and frowned. Her communicator was going off. Mesogog and Elsa had made their move with the Ruby Dragon finally.

 

“I… I’m sorry Trent, I… I have to go.”

 

With that, Kira rushed from the café, Trent’s eyes following her as his mind whirled. He’d made the right decision, he knew. Dr. O, Kira… no matter what, no one could help his father.

 

He just had to do what he could to keep Mesogog from controlling Anton as much as he could. That was the least he could try and do. Maybe he needed to spend more time with him… keep a closer eye on him. Nodding to himself, he pulled the apron off he’d been wearing and tossed it on the counter.

 

Hayley would have to get another employee.

 

-x-

 

The following day, battles won and Mesogog on the defensive again, Dr. O walked into the school with his students and fellow rangers. Ethan had been disturbed by this fight, what with the Ruby Dragon card he’d so desperately wanted being the monster they’d had to defeat.

 

“Well, have you learned something from this Ethan?” Tommy asked, looking at his young student.

 

“Yeah. Leave the card games at home from now on.”

 

“Dude, how about leaving them to the kids from now on,” suggested Conner.

 

“Yeah, seriously, you’re much to smart for this,” added Kira.

 

“You guys still don’t get it. But hey, that’s all right, I don’t expect you to understand…”

 

The group continued down the hallway until at an intersection they ran into Trent with his dad, Anton Mercer.

 

“Hey Anton,” Tommy said moving to greet his onetime boss. “How are you?”

 

“Tommy. I’m fine. Hey, I understand you’re looking for a new principal,” replied Anton with a handshake.

 

“Why? You interested?”

 

“I’m sure that Dr. Mercer is far too busy to run a school,” commented Kira.

 

“Yeah, far too busy,” parroted Ethan.

 

“Relax everybody, she’s right,” Anton stated just as a beep was heard from his jacket. “Oh, see, even as we speak.”

 

His hand dived into his jacket pocket to pull out the pager from its depths. And with it, something else came out…The Ruby Dragon cards slipped from Anton Mercer’s pocket, fluttering to the floor.

 

All eyes followed it.

 

Then all eyes landed on Mercer. Ethan looked away long enough to pick up the fallen card and as he held it, he evaluated Anton Mercer with a dark regard.

 

“Uh, how did you get this?” asked Ethan.

 

“Honestly, I don’t know,” he replied as he reached for the card in Ethan’s hand. “Trent, is this yours?”

 

“No, I don’t know how it got there,” Trent said, his voice strained and his eyes avoiding everyone.

 

Then Anton listed, prompting Tommy and Trent to move to help him stay up.

 

“Anton. Are you all right?” asked Tommy.

 

Suddenly Anton pulled from Tommy’s grasp and started to fall to the floor.

 

“Just leave me alone,” murmured Anton.

 

“We should get you some help.”

 

“Leave me alone,” cried Anton as he rushed from the area.

 

Tommy followed, with the others trailing behind, even as Trent looked panic-stricken and called out to them, “leave him alone, he’ll be fine,” before rushing out after them.

 

The rangers followed Anton through the hallways, calling out to him until they finally found him stopped in Dr. O’s classroom. Once there, they stood in shock as Anton turned on them and in a flash of light, morphed into Mesogog. Only Trent stood without an ounce of surprise on his face; the only expression showing being remorse.

 

“No way! Mercer is…” Conner stated, astonished.

 

“Mesogog,” finished Tommy.

 

“Oh, this is one crazy week,” added Ethan.

 

Kira’s head swung to regard Trent, who she had spoken to less than 24 hours before. He had wanted to tell her something…

 

“This is your big secret? You knew this all along?” she asked him.

 

“He’s my father… how could I tell you?”

 

“You will pay for betraying me Trent. You will pay dearly,” Mesogog hissed, his clawed hand reaching before him to point at the young man.

 

“I’d never betray you!” insisted Trent.

 

“Silence! All of you will pay. Including you and your rangers, Oliver.”

 

At that, Trent’s face took on a stunned expression and his eyes glanced wildly at his teacher and fellow students. The colors, the missed meetings, the determination to help. It all made sense.

 

Now more than ever he was kicking himself for not saying anything to Dr. O or Kira. They were the power rangers… they could have helped…

 

Without any warning, Mesogog dissolved into Mercer again, and the man slumped to the floor. He slowly raised his head, his mind clearing before he gazed at his son, realizing what had been spoken.

 

“Trent, I’m sorry.”

 

Then he reached upwards, calling open an invisiportal and disappearing, leaving the rangers and Trent standing there, trying to figure out what to do next.

 

“Dr. Oliver…” Trent began, before Tommy cut him off.

 

“Not right now Trent. We all have a lot of things to discuss, and now that you know who we are… we need to ask you not to say anything. Tomorrow, after school, come to my house and we’ll discuss everything with you. But for now… go home.”

 

Grudgingly, he nodded and pushed through the others to the door. Once he was gone, Kira, Conner and Ethan turned to Tommy, expectantly.

 

“What now Dr. O?” asked Conner.

 

“I don’t know. Right now, I need to fill in Kim and Jason. We’ll all meet tomorrow and figure this out.”

 

They waited a moment longer, wondering if that was it, and when Dr. O said nothing else, they moved to the door, Conner with his arm around Kira’s shoulder and Ethan trudging behind them.

 

In the middle of his classroom, Tommy closed his eyes and slowly ran a hand through his spiked hair.

 

How was he going to tell Jason and Kim?

 

-x-

 

Tommy was sitting at the console in the command center, eyes flickering between the monitor and the door. Jason and Kim had missed the big reveal, and so he’d contacted them, requesting they meet him in the command center as soon as they could. Kim had been waiting there when he got home, and despite her repeated requests to be told what was going on, he’d asked her to wait so he could tell both her and Jason at the same time.

 

Finally, the White Ranger entered through the back doorway and stopped, taking in the appearances of two of his closest friends. Kim looked confused, while Tommy… the look on his face reminded him of years past when Zedd or Mondo had kicked their asses to the curb.

 

“Who died?” he asked, his tone grave.

 

“No one,” replied Tommy, his own voice thick with emotion.

 

“What’s going on Tommy? Ever since you called us, you seem like whatever is going on is going to be horrible.”

 

Tommy looked at them both again and sighed quietly. There was no more putting this off.

 

“Anton Mercer is Mesogog,” he finally said slowly, watching his girlfriend and best friend’s reactions.

 

Kim covered her mouth with her hands, stunned beyond belief.

 

“You’re kidding me? How did you…” questioned Jason, obviously disturbed by the news.

 

“We ran into Mercer at the school. He had some kind of convulsion and turned into Mesogog.”

 

“Is that it?” Jason inquired, noting the unchanged look on his friend’s face.

 

“No… Trent now knows we’re the power rangers.”

 

Jason’s eyes bugged out and he grappled blindly for a chair to sit before he fell down. Beside Tommy, Kimberly staggered to the seat at the console, her eyes staring at Tommy.

 

“Did you… I mean, how…” she began haltingly.

 

“Mesogog called us out. There wasn’t any way to convince Trent he’d misunderstood. So, I’ve asked him here to meet with us and the others to figure a way to defeat Mesogog. Trent knows his secrets… he has to. And now that Trent knows ours, we have no choice but to trust him to help us.”

 

“You really think we can do that bro?”

 

“I don’t think we have any other choice,” remarked Tommy solemnly. “We just have to play the hand we’ve been given. We’re power rangers… we’ll figure it out.”

 

Kim and Jason nodded in understanding. They’d been down and out before. At least this time, maybe they had an ally that could help them win.

 

-End-

 

Again, I am so sorry for the super-long delay between chapters. I figure to have this series done in 2-3 more chapters, and I will keep working until the story is done. Thank you all for sticking with me and for those of you at ff.net, for setting up story alerts. I hope that you were all happy to see one in your mailbox for this chapter.

 

J.