Tommy swiveled in his chair as he waited.
"All clear, Commander."
Tommy smiled. "Good. Head home, Kat."
"Sure thing. It's surprising how tiring toppling a Middle Eastern government is."
"More tiring than eliminating a Power Ranger?"
"No, but I got sand everywhere . Remind me why we wanted Gaddafi gone? He was doing a pretty good job of keeping the Libyans suppressed."
Tommy chuckled. "We want to rule the world, Kat. Killing everyone leaves nothing to rule."
"Fine, fine. I'm going to spend a month in Hawaii after we finish dealing with China, though."
"I eagerly await the hole in my wallet." Tommy turned to a side monitor, showing three teens in red, yellow, and blue crossing his property line. "I've got to go, Kat. I'll talk to you later."
"Sure, go ahead and morph. Try not to play with your food too much before eating it, alright?"
Tommy smirked as his Power flashed around him, changing him from a simple human to the Black Dino Thunder Power Ranger. "I'll try to restrain myself, but they're so easy to mess with. Although, restraining myself from telling Trent he's doing it wrong... Now there's a challenge."
"Dr. O, you in?"
Tommy ended his call and replied, "In the basement, guys!"
Conner, Kira, and Ethan promptly appeared on the staircase, making their way down. Three conversations were going at once, with Conner explaining the newest line-up he was testing for the Reefside soccer team, Ethan exulting over a new video game, and Kira sharing Cassidy and Devin's newest stunt.
Tommy laughed. "Sounds like you guys had a good day."
"It's Friday, dude!" Conner replied gleefully.
"And the Girl Scouts are putting on a fair after school," Ethan continued, "Girl Scout cookies! Those things are awesome! You don't know what you're missing, Dr. O."
"It's such a bummer that you're still stuck in morph," Kira added, "We'll get you some boxes, too."
Tommy nodded. "That'd be great. Do they still sell Thin Mints? I always loved those."
"Ooh, Thin Mints! I love those."
"Jeez, you're so hyper, Conner," Ethan teased.
"It's a good day!" Conner protested, "And we've got a major game on Saturday, I'm pumped!"
"You sure? Seems more like nervous rambling to me..."
"I'm sure you'll do great, Conner," Tommy assured, "You're one of the best captains the soccer team's ever had."
Conner beamed. "Thanks, Dr. O."
"Aw, you're adorable, Daddy's Bo-"
Conner promptly tackled Ethan, the two of them wrestling on the floor of the lab. Kira rolled her eyes, moving their bags out of the way.
"Knock it off, boys," Tommy called out mildly, and the two teens stilled.
Kira snickered as they picked themselves up, and undid the clasps on her guitar case. "So, I've been working on another song for next week's gig, and I think I managed to resolve the chords at the end."
"I bet it'll sound great, Kira," Tommy replied cheerfully.
Conner and Ethan pulled up chairs as Kira grinned and sat down on a stool and tweaked the strings of her guitar. She strummed a chord and the alarm started blaring.
"Mesogog sent down Trent to wreak havoc at the fair," Ethan reported, "Man that's low."
"Sorry, Kira, guess we'll have to hear your song later," Conner said apologetically as Kira growled and set her guitar down.
Tommy stood up. "You guys ready?"
The teens nodded. "Dino Thunder! Power up! HA!"
The battle was going badly.
It tended to, when they were just fighting Trent. It was a team effort to take him down, and it seemed like he just came back stronger after every battle. Kira and Ethan cried out Conner's name as Trent knocked him into a tree, forcing him to demorph.
Trent snickered. "You guys are seriously supposed to be Reefside's protectors? Pathetic."
The White Ranger kicked Conner in the chest, sending him sprawling.
"Conner! Leave him alone, Trent!"
Trent turned to the Yellow Ranger, easily blocking her punch and deftly knocking her feet out from under her. "Sorry, Kira, I can't do that."
Trent looked to the other side of the battlefield, where the Black Ranger was helping the Blue Ranger up. The schoolyard was completely bare, the Girl Scout fair lying in ruins around them. All the students and fair-goers had been quickly evacuated, though not without considerable injuries among the masses, maybe even a few lethal ones. He wouldn't know until the reports came in after the battle.
"What about you, Dr. Oliver? You're supposed to be this great veteran Ranger, think you can take me down? Or you, Ethan?"
The Blue Ranger snarled and pushed himself up, "I can take you any day. You won't get away with this, Trent!"
The White Ranger threw back his head and laughed. "You? Take me? That's hilarious!"
Ethan growled and got ready to charge Trent as he continued to laugh. "What's so funny?"
"You!" Trent crowed, "You, the weakest Power Ranger, trying to threaten me! The White Ranger, the strongest evil Ranger on the planet."
The Blue Ranger looked at him unsurely, and the White Ranger growled. "You think I'm joking, Old Man? I've practically wiped out your precious little Rangers, and I haven't even broken a sweat. And every battle is like this. It's actually kind of pathetic how you think Good will still win."
Tommy couldn't hold it in any longer. He burst out laughing.
Trent and Ethan could only stare. Kira helped Conner stand and they all stared at their teacher.
Tommy dropped his morph, holding his sides as he laughed.
"What the – "
"Dr. Oliver, you – "
"I can't believe," Tommy gasped out through his chuckles, "That after all this time, it would take you saying something so abysmally stupid to break my cover."
Tommy looked at Trent, trying and failing to fight down a grin. "You think you're the greatest Evil Ranger on the planet?"
Suddenly, Tommy was in front of Trent, his expression hard and cold. "Little Boy, you don't even know what Evil looks like."
Tommy's eyes flickered green and he slammed Trent through a tree.
"Dr. Oliver… What's going on?"
Tommy glanced at Conner. "Stay where you are, kids. I'll come back to you in a minute."
The veteran Ranger walked over to the White Ranger as he scrambled back up. Trent tackled him with a snarl and a sharp crack rang out across the battlefield.
Trent screamed and dropped his morph.
"Oh, sorry, that was your arm that just broke," Tommy said flippantly, bearing down on the injured limb. "It should heal back up in a few days, providing you don't aggravate the injury."
Trent screamed and writhed, trying to get away from the pain. Tommy kneed him in the chest and sent him sprawling.
"Those may have been your ribs breaking, I'm not sure. I don't always know my own strength, you see," Tommy continued, stalking towards Trent and the now wary Kira and Conner. "It's been a while since I let loose."
"What…" Trent coughed. "What are you?"
Tommy's eyebrows rose. "Me? I'm a Power Ranger, Trent."
Tommy crouched down beside the fallen White Ranger. "I may also be the Lord of the Dark Court and leader of the United Alliance of Evil. But no one's really going to believe you if you tell them that."
Trent labored breathing grew sharper and more panicked as Tommy's words sank in. He pushed himself up into a seated position. "Wh-what do you want?"
"That's a good question. Well, if you want to live, bring me Mesogog's head. Or Anton's, if that's easier."
Trent collapsed back onto his elbows, his eyes wide and terrified. "You know?"
"Dr. Mercer?" Ethan cut in, "What does he have to do with anything?"
"Oh, Anton's Mesogog," Tommy replied flippantly.
"How do you know that?" Trent demanded.
Tommy chuckled, pulling the White Ranger to his feet. "Because I'm the one who made him, Trent. I'm the one who convinced Anton it would be a smart idea to test on himself, something no sane scientist would do. A few whispers in his ear, a few words over late night drinks, an investigation or two diverted… I had the man eating out of the palm of my hand, and he didn't even know it. Always was a little arrogant, that one."
Kira stared at her mentor, horrified. "You created Mesogog? WHY?"
Tommy's eyebrows rose. "Well, at least you're not questioning my intelligence this time around. And I created Mesogog because I could feel the Dino Gems start to activate. I needed the Rangers to be focused on a threat besides myself."
Trent shook off Tommy's grip. "What makes you think I'd kill my father for you?"
Tommy looked at Trent as if he was an idiot. "Because he killed your parents?"
Tommy blinked. "What, you didn't know? Trent, no offense, but why else would he have adopted you? The man's a workaholic who barely remembers to feed himself, let alone raise a child. Why else would he have taken you in, unless he was feeling guilty?"
"He loves you?" Tommy finished, an undercurrent of mockery in his voice. "Think back, Trent. Your parents died a few years ago in a cave in. Anton was there with them, but he was the only one who got out. Investigations into the cave-in were either dismissed out of hand or never happened at all, and your parents' bodies were never recovered. The cause was determined to be equipment malfunction. Anton would have been pale and shifty…"
Trent's eyes widened, and a murderous rage crept across his features. "He… My parents…"
Tommy put a consoling hand on the Hispanic teen's shoulder. "I'm sorry, Trent… I honestly thought you'd have found out by now. When you refused to work for Mesogog at the beginning…"
Trent's expression hardened and he pushed Tommy's hand away. "Mesogog will pay."
Tommy grinned as Trent disappeared through an Invisiportal.
"Did… Was Dr. Mercer really responsible for the deaths of Trent's parents?"
Tommy looked at Ethan and shrugged. "Heck if I know. But Mesogog is now no longer a threat… You can come out, Elsa."
The teens all whirled around, searching for the newcomer. The only other person around was a scowling Principal Randall.
"Principal Randall, get out of here," Kira warned.
"Oh, don't do that, Elsa, you're among friends here. Well, enemies, but close enough."
Principal Randall scowled even further and Tommy smirked. Moments later, Elsa was standing in her place. "How did you know it was me?"
Tommy snorted and waved dismissively. "Please. We're not in a comic book. The Clark Kent method of hiding your identity really doesn't work."
Elsa regarded him coldly as she approached. "So you always knew. Yet, you didn't say anything. Why?"
Tommy grinned. "I have my reasons. I have to wonder, though, why you never made a move, when you've obviously known who I was the whole time. That unfortunate attempt at seducing on the field trip notwithstanding."
"I have my reasons," Elsa retorted.
Tommy laughed, moving past the teens. "I'm sure you do. After all, you're the one who put together Mesogog's files on me. You know exactly what I'm capable of."
Elsa swallowed convulsively as Tommy drew close to her.
"So, Elsa… What brings you down to our neck of the woods? And where's your boy – never mind."
Tommy whirled around in time to block Zeltrax's strike.
"Zeltrax. How nice of you to join us," Tommy muttered drily as he dodged the cyborg and Elsa's strikes. "Come on, you two, my kids put up more of a fight in training."
Zeltrax roared at the slight, swinging his battleaxe about wildly. "I will make you pay, Tommy Oliver!"
"So you've said, many times," Tommy replied effortlessly, kicking Zeltrax back, "And now I'm bored, so we're going to wrap this up."
Tommy caught Zeltrax's arm as it slashed up, and pressed a foot against his shoulder, tugging hard. Zeltrax's arm tore free with a sickening crunch and a spray of fluid.
"Hunh," Tommy mused, looking down at his soiled trousers, "You still had some biological tissue. Didn't know that."
"You monster!" Elsa cried out, horrified.
Tommy chuckled and tossed the arm in the air as Zeltrax howled. "Catch, Elsa. And you, stop whining."
In a few instants, Tommy had torn Zeltrax's head free from his shoulders.
A deafening silence reigned throughout the schoolyard.
"You… You killed him," Kira whispered, horrified.
"So I did," Tommy agreed amicably, "He was really whiny don't you think, Elsa?"
"M-Mercy…" Elsa pleaded, backing away as Tommy approached her again, "Please, have mercy…"
Tommy's eyebrows rose. "Mercy? Were you going to show me mercy when you tortured me? Were you going to show mercy to my kids when you fought?"
Tommy slammed his fist into Elsa's gut. "I think you'll find, that as leader of the United Alliance of Evil, 'mercy' isn't really a part of my vocabulary."
Elsa went sprawling as Tommy attacked her furiously, giving her no time to retaliate. Eventually, she lay limp and bloody on the ground, unmoving. Tommy stood over her for a moment, before turning back to the teens.
"Now, back to you kids."
The three teens stiffened and huddled together, trying to protect each other. "I don't know who you are, or what you've done with the real Dr. Oliver," Conner snarled, "But you're not going to get away with this. We won't let you."
Tommy's laugh rang out, high and cold. "The real Dr. Oliver? Oh, Conner, you poor, misguided child. I am the real Tommy Oliver. The man you think you knew was just a façade."
"But you're a Power Ranger," Ethan protested desperately, "You're one of the good guys."
"Good guys?" Tommy reiterated amusedly, "That's where you're wrong, Ethan. I was never one of the good guys."
Tommy grinned, as if Kira had just grasped a complicated complex in his class. "Kira, you get it, don't you?"
"The Evil Green Ranger…"
Tommy practically beamed. "Very good, Kira! You have an A in class for a reason, I suppose. I started my Ranger career as the Evil Green Ranger under Empress Rita. Contrary to popular belief, I never stopped."
"But the Red Ranger," Conner tried, "He saved you-"
"Jason? No, he just blew up my weapon, very annoying, really," Tommy replied nonchalantly, "What followed was a long dance of deception, with Zordon trying to bind me to him with new and improved Ranger Powers, and me feeding Empress Rita and Lord Zedd information all the while."
The teens stared at him, horrified. "But… They were your friends."
Tommy shrugged. "Sure. Doesn't mean I didn't lure them away from the Power and kill them when they became too much of a threat. I lead the United Alliance of Evil, what would you expect me to do?"
"Why are you telling us this?" Ethan demanded, "You're going to kill us next, aren't you?"
"Not necessarily," Tommy said with a disarming smile, "I could kill you, if you stand in my way, or I could let you live, if you serve me. I'm always looking for new recruits in my empire."
The teens glanced at each other, before turning back to Tommy, their expressions hard and determined. Conner stepped forward, his eyes blazing. "No. We'll never serve you. We're the Power Rangers, and it's our job to protect the planet. We'll stop you."
Tommy shook his head in fond amusement. "It's funny, how similar you are to Jason and Rocky, the last Red Rangers to bear the spirit of the Tyrannosaurus, especially Jason. You both have the same spark in your eyes, the same defiance… I'm going to have so much fun putting it out."
Conner growled and blurred forward, tackling Tommy and knocking him down. "You monster! Was it all a lie? Everything we've been through, every battle we've fought – was it all just a game to you?"
Tommy allowed a few of Conner's hits to land, before flipping the teen over and pinning him to the ground, one hand around his neck, the other holding the teen's arms above his head. "You're letting your rage control you, Conner. I've told you before, it makes you sloppy."
Conner spit in Tommy's face, angry tears gathering in his eyes. "I trusted you. We trusted you!"
Tommy wiped away Conner's spit irritatedly, his head turning slightly as he called out, "Ptera, Program IV."
Kira, who had leaped to attack, dropped to the ground, screaming.
"KIRA!" the Blue Ranger cried, rushing to her side, "What did you do to her?"
"That would be the PteraZord trying to kill her through their mental bond," Tommy replied, watching blandly as the Yellow Ranger's morph dropped and the teenage girl writhed in agony.
"You… You can control our Zords?" Conner rasped out.
Tommy's eyebrows rose. "I built the Zords, Conner, of course I can control them."
"Hayley – Hayley built the Zords," Ethan protested.
Tommy snorted. "Hayley is a computer construct. She can't do anything without my instruction."
"She – what?"
"Oh yes… Alien technology is fascinating, and extremely useful on a planet like Earth. Hayley's plugged into pretty much every database on the planet - FBI, CIA, GCHQ, MI6, the school system's… It's how she knows so much about everyone and everything."
Ethan stared, horrified, as his breathing picked up. Tommy chuckled. "What did you think, that she cared about you? That she wanted to help you?"
Tommy grinned as he saw the gears churning in Ethan's mind. "Hayley has no separate conscience. She's just a computer program written by a very smart alien who was very afraid for his life. But then, I suppose it makes sense that you would grow attached to her. Where else would you get affirmation?"
The Blue Ranger growled, looking past Tommy to Conner. "I don't need approval from you or anyone. I'll take you down for what you've done!"
Tommy smirked and said calmly, "Tricera, Program IV."
Ethan dropped to the ground, screaming and clawing at his temples.
"ETHAN!" Conner screamed, "Please, Dr. Oliver, stop this... We're your students. We care about you, and you care about us, I know you do! Don't do this!"
Tommy looked back at Conner, who was struggling to sit up as he rubbed his swiftly purpling neck. "Oh, Conner… You're mostly right."
Tommy crouched beside Conner, grinning as the teen reflexively flinched away from him. He gripped Conner's hand and pulled the teen up, as he had so many times when the teen had fallen before. He tousled the Red Ranger's hair, enjoying the terrified confusion in his eyes.
"You are my students, and I've never lied to you. You're some of the brightest stars I've met in a long while – that's what makes it so much fun to tear you down. Tyranno, Program IV."
Conner screamed and convulsed.
Tommy sighed ruefully after a few moments. "Oh, alright, alright. Program terminate."
The teens twitched and stilled.
"I'll make my offer once more," Tommy said, "Serve me, or die."
All he could hear was laboured breathing as the teens struggled to regain their composure. Then, Ethan's quiet voice spoke up, "No."
"Never." Kira added, buoyed by her teammate's determination.
"We'll never serve evil," Conner finished, picking himself up.
Tommy felt the Power resonate and flare before the teens shouted, "DINO THUNDER! POWER UP!"
Tommy grinned. The Black DinoGem flashed on his wrist, but he resisted the urge to morph. It was more fun this way, the almighty Power Rangers brought down by a simple human.
Okay, he wasn't just a simple human, but that was a technicality.
The Red, Blue, and Yellow Rangers faced off against the dark-haired teacher, their weapons at the ready. Tommy smiled at them, twisted pride shining in his eyes. "Come on, then, show me what you've learned."
The teens attacked.
They got soundly beaten.
Tommy shook his head, walking between his fallen students. "I have to say, I'm a little disappointed. Kira, you're still bending your elbows too early. It takes the force out of your punches. Conner, you really need to bring your leg up higher if you're trying for a roundhouse kick. Ethan… You should probably play less videogames. Your hand-eye coordination is good, but your legwork needs a lot more work."
"Don't count us out yet," Conner growled, panting as he tried to push himself up again.
"If you insist – " Tommy broke off and turned sideways, bringing up an arm to block Elsa's incoming strike.
"Elsa! How nice of you to join us again," the Black Ranger greeted affably as he punched the warrior woman in the solar plexus.
Elsa rolled sideways to avoid Tommy's heel, gasping out, "I can't believe someone like you ever became a Power Ranger."
"See, there's a common misconception about the Power," Tommy said as he kicked Elsa in the stomach, elbowing her in the head as she lurched up to avoid him, "The Power doesn't care about Good or Evil, only about itself. As long as there are Rangers to bear the Power, it doesn't care which side wins. And seeing as I bear the Green, White, White, Red, Red, and now Black Powers, it really doesn't care what I do, so long as I stay alive."
Elsa's bones cracked under Tommy's onslaught, her blood staining his hands bright red.
"And your plan to distract me so the teens could mount an attack isn't going to work," Tommy confided with a conspiratorial wink, grabbing her and spinning her around.
Elsa let out a choked cough as a thick blade pierced through her back and slid out of her chest. Her leather-clad form flickered and she reverted to her civilian form, growing limp in Tommy's hold. Her eyes stared out glassily in death as blood dripped down her chin. Behind her, Conner whimpered and swore, letting go of the Thundermax Saber he had meant to attack his teacher with.
Tommy's lips stretched into a proud grin. "Oh Conner… Your first kill…"
Conner's morph shattered and he stumbled back, oblivious to Kira and Ethan's cries. His hands trembled violently and his gaze was wild and unfocused.
Tommy pushed Elsa's body and stepped towards Conner. "Conner? Hey, come on Conner, look at me."
"No!" Kira protested, finally getting to her knees, "Conner, don't listen to him!"
Conner twitched as Tommy continued forward, placing his hands on the teen's shoulders. "Conner, son, look at me. It's okay."
Conner's breathing hitched and he stuttered, "… I – Da – I – "
Conner's knees buckled and he keened out, "I think I did something bad."
Tommy caught the teen as he fell, drawing him close. "Shh… Easy, Conner, it's okay. It's all going to be okay, son."
Conner shuddered in Tommy's grip and the older man felt tears wet his shoulder. His lips twitched as he summoned the Dragon Dagger behind Conner's back. "It'll all be over soon, Conner."
He slid the Dragon Dagger between Conner's sixth and seventh vertebrae, neatly severing his spinal cord.
Conner's dead body slid from Tommy's hold. The teacher chuckled and tousled Conner's hair before standing. "Sleep well, Conner."
"NO!" Kira shrieked, her PteraScream leaking into her voice.
Tommy turned to the Blue and Yellow Rangers with a smirk. "And then there were two."
"You… you killed him," Ethan whispered, "You killed Conner!"
"How could you?"
"The same way I killed my ex-girlfriend," Tommy replied, "Very easily."
The veteran Ranger paused. "Alright, to be fair, it was Kat who dealt the killing blow on that one. My part involved a fake Dear John letter and getting all our friends to turn on her because they thought she was cheating on me, when really I was cheating on her with Kat… What, you thought I was the only Evil Ranger around?"
Tommy chuckled and shook his head. "Kat was Rita and Zedd's gift to me, someone to cover for me when things got too dangerous for just one person. After Zordon 'purified' them with his death, we took over the Dark Court and remade the United Alliance of Evil in secret. We've been biding our time, gaining power until the time is right."
"Right for what?" Ethan sneered, "Taking over the world?"
"Of course," Tommy replied easily, "I'm the leader of an intergalactic organization of despots and miscellaneous villains. World domination is my favorite pastime."
Ethan snarled, clenching his fists. "Yeah? Well you're going to have to find a new playground."
"Still so defiant. I have to say, I like that."
Kira let out and inhuman screech and attacked. Tommy blocked her strikes easily, toying with her as rage overtook her control.
"Why? Why would you do this to us?"
"I'm evil, Kira, this is what I do. It's actually pretty fun."
Kira screamed again, punching and kicking in a frenzy. Tommy actually found himself working to parry her attacks, when he suddenly darted to the side, allowing the Yellow and Blue Rangers to collide. Kira went sprawling, her morph shattering. She lay unmoving on the ground, her torso shaking with sobs.
"I'll kill you!" Ethan swore, "I'll kill you for what you've done!"
Ethan pulled out his Thundermax Blaster and started firing, shots flying everywhere. Tommy dodged and weaved through the melee, moving across the battlefield as Ethan's shots rained down around him.
Suddenly, the attack stopped.
Tommy looked back to see Ethan staring blankly at his last target. Kira lay completely still, a deep burn across the left side of her torso. The dead girl stared up at the sky through half-lidded glassy eyes, with tears still fresh on her cheeks.
"Well, well, Ethan… Somehow, I should have expected you to be the one that surpassed them all."
Ethan's blaster slipped from his fingers, disappearing before it hit the ground as Ethan demorphed.
Tommy smiled as he walked towards his student. "I mean, Conner killed Elsa on accident, Trent will probably die taking down Mesogog, but you… You killed your own teammate."
"Oh yes," Tommy purred, "Guess you showed her, didn't you? All those times she looked down you for being just a gamer, just a geek…"
"NO! It – IT WASN'T LIKE THAT!"
"Oh really?" Tommy retorted, wrapping an arm around Ethan's shoulders, "Look at her, Ethan. That's practically a perfect kill shot."
"No!" Ethan snarled, pushing away Tommy's arm roughly, "It was an accident! I'd never – not Kira – not – Kira – "
Ethan dropped to his knees, his fists clenched at his temples as he realized the magnitude of what had just happened. "Kira – What have I done?"
Tommy couldn't resist a chuckle and Ethan stared up at his bitterly.
Tommy's eyebrows rose. "Now, why would I do that? This is more entertaining than cable."
"Kill me," Ethan repeated, his eyes hard, "You're going to do it anyway; you've already killed everyone else. I'd rather die than live in a world with you in power."
Tommy considered the teen for a moment before reaching out at snapping his neck with a powerful twist. "Suit yourself, Ethan."
Ethan's corpse hit the ground with a dull thud. Tommy turned away and scanned the schoolyard, searching for further threats. He spied an overturned table of Girl Scout cookies and made his way over to it.
"I wonder if they have Thin Mints…"
He reached down to pick up one of the boxes, just in time to see a grotesque and partially decayed head roll towards him. Tommy straightened up to see a beaten and bloodied Trent standing a few feet away from him. Trent's clothes were torn and singed. One arm hung limply at his side, and blood covered half his face, sealing one eye shut.
"I brought you Mesogog's head," the teen rasped flatly.
Tommy looked between the teen and Mesogog's head, before nodding with slightly raised eyebrows. "So you did. I have to admit, I'm impressed. I though you'd die in the attempt."
Trent snorted. "I'm harder to kill than that. So what's next?"
Tommy clapped Trent on the shoulder, gripping the teen tightly as he stumbled. "Next, Trent, you die."
Trent tensed and writhed, trying to get away from his teacher. "You said you'd let me live if I brought you Mesogog's head!"
"I did," Tommy replied affably, "But you killed your father on a few words from your enemy. I would have to be an idiot to let you anywhere near me or my empire."
Trent growled. "I should never have trusted you."
"No, you really shouldn't have, Trent. I'm your enemy, you should have automatically assumed everything out of my mouth was a lie. If you were sensible, you would have gone back to Mesogog and told him what I'd done and what I'd offered, and maybe the two of you would have stood a chance."
Trent's eyes widened. "But – my parents…"
Tommy snorted. "Didn't we just establish this? I lied."
Trent growled, summoning his Drago Sword. "I won't let you kill me!"
Tommy chuckled and patted Trent's other shoulder before raising his hands to cup Trent's face. "Trent, you're a sweet kid. Really. In another lifetime, I'd probably have adopted you myself. But in this one, you're already dead. Your heart just hasn't stopped beating."
Tommy stepped back and Trent looked down to see the Dragon Dagger protruding from his chest.
"How…" was all Trent could get out before his heart stuttered to a stop and he crumpled to the ground.
Tommy watched the teen fall dispassionately before shaking his head. With some decent training, Trent would have made a good soldier, maybe even a good lieutenant. All of the Dino Thunder Rangers would have, actually. He pulled the Dragon Dagger from Trent's chest and used it to slice open his box of Thin Mints. He popped a cookie in his mouth, humming slightly in enjoyment as the flavor exploded across his tastebuds.
He turned and walked away from the broken bodies and carnage littering the schoolyard, pulling his phone from his pocket and dialing a number.
"What's up, Commander?"
Tommy smiled. "Kat, get the others ready."
"We're moving our plans ahead already, Commander?"
Tommy's smile stretched into a grin. "Oh yes. Earth is ours."