The story began as young Jenny was battling the Quantrons by a wishing well. Elgar was obviously having another go at her. In the heat of battle, Jenny picked up a bucket and scooped up some of the water from the well. She took a mighty swing and splashed Elgar. When she realized what she has just done, she gasped and dropped the bucket. Seeing that she was stunned, two Quantrons grabbed her arms. Jenny quickly snapped out of it and kicked them both. She made an upward thrust with her stick to one Quantron, gave it an inward spin kick to the face, thrusted with her stick again, then spun around and swung her other stick, which flashed for a second. Finally, the Quantrons gave up and retreated. Jenny chased them a few feet, then paused.
"Yeah. Get out of here, losers!" she yelled triumphantly. "Loo-hoo-se-her!!"
She calmed down and let her sticks vanish from her hands at will. She turned around and started walking out of the park only to be greeted by a large splash in the face. Jenny gasped and started rubbing the water out of her eyes.
"Ha ha; I got you back!" Elgar shouted.
Jenny continued to rub her face dry. "Good one, Elgar."
"Listen, honey, there's something I have to tell you," Elgar said.
Jenny paused. "Go ahead. I'm listening."
"Well, the Red Ranger discovered the Dark Specter's plans. When he escaped, the Dark Specter ordered Astronema to destroy him."
"So I left Auntie D to go with her when I found out that she was following the Rangers back to Earth."
"Your point being?" Jenny asked.
"I followed Astronema so that I could be with you," Elgar told her.
"Nope. Auntie D is off in some other galaxy guarding Zordon. The Rangers will never find him if Astronema keeps attacking the Earth."
Jenny gasped upon hearing the first statement. "Wait, Elgar, stop, stop, stop!!!"
"Huh? What?" Elgar asked.
"What was that about Zordon?"
"Oh. The Dark Specter captured Zordon and is draining him of his powers."
"When was this?"
"Oh . . . a while ago. Didn't the Rangers tell you?"
"No!" Jenny was truly stunned.
"Well, like I said, Auntie D is in charge of guarding Zordon—" Elgar began.
"Where?" Jenny asked.
"Uh . . . I can't tell you."
Jenny laughed. "Of course not. You're not that stupid, are you?"
Elgar chuckled sinisterly. "So, what are your plans?"
"Just getting ready for Halloween. Why not see me tomorrow? I'm gonna be in one hell of a costume."
"Great! I'll be there!"
"Thanks, Elgar, you've been a big help."
Jenny patted him on the chest and walked out of the park. Elgar grinned and vanished. Jenny had been looking forward to Halloween. It was one of her favorite times of the year, not to mention it was an anniversary in which the first group of Spices were possessed. That meant that the Spices would be acting rather weird, usually as whatever their costumes happen to be. In other words, it was when they would lose their sanity.
The next morning, the Spice Club members immediately got into their costumes. Most of them, however, wore costumes year-round. So they stayed downstairs to await the arrival of their comrades. Lola was the first to come downstairs.
"Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go," she sang. She was dressed in a red hood attached to a cloak that hung over her shoulders. She also carried a brown picnic basket. "Hi. I'm Little Red Riding Hood."
"Ha, that's cute," Marvin said.
"Please don't let the big bad wolf get me," Lola pleaded.
the Cryptkeeper came down next. He wore a white long-sleeve shirt with a red vest, along with the two black rings around his arms near the shoulders. He also wore the transparent green hat that didn't cover the top of his head.
"And what are you?" Spinal asked.
"I believe the Earthlings call them gamblers," Marvin told him.
"That's Casanova Gambler to you," the Cryptkeeper said. "Master of luck and romance."
"Now that is creative," Guile said.
The three gargoyles came down next. Brooklyn wore a pirate's outfit with the bandana on his head, the eyepatch on his eye, and all. Lexington dressed as a skydiver while Demona was dressed as some Egyptian queen.
"Hmm. Are you . . . Cleopatra?" the Cryptkeeper asked.
Demona smiled. "How did you guess?"
The Cryptkeeper shrugged his shoulders.
"Well, I gotta to upstairs for a minute," Spinal said, performing the action.
Once he was upstairs, Hanim came down wearing a sky-blue dress with white down the front. She had white stockings on and a pair of shiny black shoes.
"Hey, Alice in Wonderland!" Brooklyn shouted.
Hanim looked down at her costume. Then she looked up at Brooklyn in confusion. "Actually, I'm supposed to be Goldilocks."
"Hmm. Those two characters look pretty much alike, don't they?" Guile asked.
"The only way to tell them apart is with Goldilocks and the curls," the Cryptkeeper said.
Kathy came down wearing a rough, bulky, black outfit. She wore a matching helmet from which she saw through the mouth, which had sharp teeth and tubes coming down from the back.
"What is that?" Chun Li asked.
"I'm the Queen Alien," Kathy said. "Ever see the movie 'Alien?' "
"Oh, that movie was so full of gore," Lola said.
"I love gore," the Cryptkeeper said.
"Yes, we know," Marvin sighed.
Spinal came back downstairs and accidentally bumped into Kathy. Kathy looked up at him. Spinal looked down at her costume and suddenly screamed in fear. The other Spices laughed. Kathy took off her helmet.
"Spinal, it's just me," she said.
"Dammit! Where'd you get that costume?" Spinal asked.
"My dad made it for me," Kathy told him.
C.C. came down wearing a short brown dress. She had her hair parted from the mirror and ponytailed both sides and stuck feathers in it.
"Looks like somebody wanted to be an Indian princess," the Cryptkeeper said.
"Call me Tiger Lily," C.C. told him. "Peter Pan does."
"Oh boy, I can't wait to see Jenny's costume. I'll bet she's gonna be a babe," the Cryptkeeper muttered from nowhere.
He didn't have to wait long. When he was done talking, Jenny stepped down the stairs. She was wearing a nearly skin-tight, black costume. It had little shiny, black plastic spots. Around her waist she wore more thin, shiny, black plastic laced in the front. Her costume was similar to Astronema's, but without all those heavy metal parts. Jenny sexily stepped off the final step.
"Well, she said. "How do I look?"
"Oh, Lord!" Spinal groaned.
Jenny turned to him. "What's the matter?" she asked.
Spinal hesitated before answering. "You . . . you look like Astronema."
"Well . . . you do."
"Oh, never mind that," the Cryptkeeper said. "you look good."
Jenny gazed at his costume. "And what are you supposed to be?"
*Now's my chance,* C.K. thought. He suddenly approached Jenny, grasped her hand, and kissed it gently. "My friends call me Casanova Gambler. You can call me . . . sweetlips."
He leaned over Jenny and kissed her passionately. She lost her balance, causing them both to fall over.
"Good one, C.K.," Spinal said. "You sure know how to romance a woman."
"Oh, shut up," the Cryptkeeper told him. "You'll get yours."
"Yeah right. I'll get mine when I'm tied up and gagged in Astronema's Dark Fortress."
"Now that's one fantasy that's BOUND to come true."
"Okay, Casanova, quit scaring him," Jenny said. "Oh man, I can't get up."
"Why not?" asked the Cryptkeeper.
"Because you're laying on me."
C.K. sighed and stood up. Jenny extended her hand and C.K. helped her up.
Suddenly, they heard a wild yell from upstairs. "YEEEEEEHHHAAAAAWWW!!!!!"
"W-W-What was that?" Spinal asked, stepping away from the stairs.
The perpetrator of the yell raced down the stairs. It was Curly, wearing a long, brown leather jacket and a cowboy hat. He also had an eyepatch and a poorly fitting belt with two holsters on either side. Once he reached the bottom, he started twirling his lasso over his head. The Spices moved back in fear.
"Hyah! Behold Curly, the wildest lasso swinger in the West!" Curly sang.
He threw the rope and lassoed Spinal. He jerked Spinal towards him, and Spinal fell over. When he was at his captor's feet, Curly pulled out a gun from one of the holsters and pointed it at him.
"Your money or your life," he ordered.
Spinal stared helplessly at the gun's tip. "Is that real?"
Curly pulled at the back of the gun with his thumb. "Of course it is."
Without warning, he aimed the gun at the wall and fired. The terrific boom startled everyone in the room. The bullet left a small hold in the wall.
"Okay, Curly," Spinal said. "You can let me go now."
Curly looked down at him. "You think so, varmint?"
"Curly, please . . ."
"Dang-nabbit, Spinal!" Curly cried, taking the lasso off. "Don't you know how to play cowboys?"
"I don't know the first thing about cowboys."
"Curly, if you want cowboys, talk to Bat," the Cryptkeeper suggested. "He'll be a good cowboy companion."
At that moment, Hallie stepped downstairs slowly. She was dressed in what looked like a black ballet outfit. She wore kitty ears on her head and a tail pinned to her bottom. To accentuate her costume, she had the kitty nose and whiskers painted on her face.
"Meow…." she muttered innocently.
"Damn!" the Cryptkeeper said. "There are too many girls in black!"
"Hey. I think girls look good in black," Jenny said.
Now, Charmayne came down the steps performing a speech.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal."
She wore light-green drapes which hung to the floor. She carried a book in one arm, and held a fake torch high above her head. On her head, she wore the most recognizable crown ever.
"If it isn't Lady Liberty," Jenny said. "You've been hiding yourself for a while, Charmayne."
"I wouldn't miss the spicy anniversary for the world," Charmayne said. "So come on; let's celebrate."
The Spices then headed for the Surf Spot to show off their goofy costumes. Jenny headed for the pool tables.
The Astro Ranger teens were sitting around the table, like normal. Andros gazed at Jenny suspiciously. He stood up and approached her slowly.
"Astronema!" Breaking into a rage, Andros took a swinging punch at Jenny. Jenny quickly ducked. She didn't recognize her attacker, so she grabbed his shirt, and threw him over her shoulder onto the pool table. Then she paused.
"Andros! What was that for?" she asked.
"Andros, hold it!" yelled Cassie as the other teens rushed over.
"Chill out. It's just Jenny in a costume," T.J. added.
"But why are you dressed like Astronema?" Ashley asked.
"I'm not supposed to be Astronema," Jenny told her. "I'm supposed to be Dominique, the Night Prowler. All I need is a pair of high heel boots and a mean-looking whip and my costume will be complete."
Andros got up from the table. "Well, you sure do look a lot like Astronema," he said.
"For the last time, I am NOT Astronema," Jenny said. To prove it, she suddenly grabbed Andros and kissed his forehead. Then she joined her friends at the table.
"I won't say I told you so," Spinal said.
"Good," Jenny said.
"Jenny, you gotta help me," Spinal whimpered. "Astronema won't leave me alone! You suffer from Elgar's love. What can I do?"
Jenny sighed. "I can't help you, Spinal. Astronema is a lot different from Elgar. Besides, I can't get Elgar to leave me alone either. Astronema is just a cold-hearted witch."
"I'd agree with that," the Cryptkeeper said. "Snuggling with her is like snuggling with a butterball turkey."
"And snuggling with Ecliptor is like snuggling with---" Hallie began.
"Yes, we know," Jenny said, cutting her off. "A bag of jelly beans."
"Right," Hallie said. Then she sang her little song: "Put him in your mouth!"
"What would snuggling with Elgar be like?" the Cryptkeeper asked.
"I don't know. Snuggling with Elgar would be like . . . snuggling with Elgar," Jenny told him. "Anyway, Spinal, all I can tell you is keep on telling Astronema to leave you alone. When she touches you, you can say what Ecliptor would say."
"And what does Ecliptor say?" Spinal asked.
"He'll say, 'Hands off!' " Jenny said.
"Hands off," Spinal said.
"No, no, Spinal; say it like you mean it," Jenny told him. "Hands off!"
"Hands off!" Spinal said, a little more sincere.
"There you go," the Cryptkeeper said. "Hands off!!"
"Hands off!" Hallie cried, trying to imitate Ecliptor, which had the others laughing.
"Hands off!!" Spinal cried fiercely.
"Hands off!" Jenny repeated.
The repetition of the phrase, "Hands off," drew the attention of the Rangers. They just looked over at the Spices, looking confused.
"Get your filthy mitts off me!!" Spinal cried.
"Uh, yeah, that'll work," Jenny admitted with a chuckle.
". . . Bitch!" Spinal suddenly concluded.
"Whoa. That may not be necessary," the Cryptkeeper said.
"She's driving me insane! There has to be SOME way to get her off my skull."
"Well, good luck."
"Hey, guys, it's our Spicy Anniversary, and I'm itching for some action," Jenny said. "Let's get the others and play a game."
"Or we could split up and act weird and mysterious," Spinal suggested.
"Perfect. Let's go," Jenny declared.
They happily jumped from their chairs and ran out of the building.
Astronema somehow found out about the Spices' anniversary. She had the perfect gift planned for them.
"An anniversary? Perfect," she said. "I'll throw a wild party in Angel Grove just for them."
"What are you gonna do?" asked Elgar.
"I'm going to send 40 monsters from the past to attack the city. They'll outnumber the Spices and the Rangers combined."
"But the Spices can still beat them regardless."
"Elgar, you're not turning on me, are you?" Astronema asked.
"Of course not. I'll still serve you, but I know by now that the Spices are indestructible," Elgar explained. "Even if you defeat them, they'll get back up looking for revenge. I've been helping Aunt Divatox trying to defeat them, but it couldn't be done."
"And what does Divatox know?"
"I don't know, but I do know that going after the Spice Club just isn't worth it. They're just too strong. I would know better by now than to mess with them. You see, they---"
"Enough!" Astronema shouted, aiming her staff directly at his throat. "Those monsters are going down, and they are going to destroy the Spice Club and the Power Rangers once and for all. Got it?"
"Got it," Elgar replied shakily.
Astronema walked out of the room to prepare her evil scheme as
grabbed either side of his head. Would this really be the end of the
girl of his dreams?
Meanwhile, Jenny and the Cryptkeeper were in the park alone. Jenny stood on top of the picnic table with a portable radio set aside. With a twist of her wrist, the heavy metal music was suddenly blaring. Then she began her graceful movements, moving her leg in front of her in a crescent motion. The Cryptkeeper stood by, nibbling on a rose's stem. He didn't even seem to notice Jenny's peculiar dancing. Andros ran over to them, but paused when he saw their strange behavior. The Cryptkeeper slowly approached him and handed him the chewed-up rose. Andros took it and stared at it, looking confused. From atop the picnic table, Jenny aimed her fingers at the rose, which suddenly began to wiggle on its own. Andros gasped and dropped it on the ground. Jenny spread her arms out, then flipped off the table. She stood next to the Cryptkeeper and put an arm around him, laughing.
"What's so funny?" Andros asked. "We got big troubles and we're going to need your help."
"Sure. What's up, loverboy?" the Cryptkeeper asked.
"Astronema just sent a ton of monsters to Angel Grove," Andros explained. "It's going to take the entire team to beat them."
"Monsters? How horrible," Jenny said, still smiling. Then she got serious (or at least she tried to) and opened up her ring. "Attention, Spice Club. Monsters are swarming all over Angel Grove. We'll have to spread out and take 'em out."
"Andros," said the Cryptkeeper. "Don't you worry about a thing, sweetheart. We'll take care of those beasts. Won't we, Dominique?"
"Right," Jenny replied, stepping back with him.
Then together, they announced, "Let's add some spice!"
They held their arms up and their weapons were teleported to them.
Then they walked out of the park to begin searching. Andros shook his
head, then teleported up to the Astro Megaship.
"Are you sure about those guys?" Andros asked the other Rangers.
"Sure, we're sure," Carlos said. "They've been allies of the Power Rangers for a long time. I mean, sure they can be weird sometimes, but they are tough to defeat."
"And we need their help more than ever now," T.J. added. "There's no way we can beat 40 monsters by ourselves."
"The Spices are looking for the monster already?" Ashley asked.
"Yeah. I pity them all," Andros replied.
"It's okay, Andros," Cassie said. "The monsters are scattered all over the city."
"So the Spices have to split up and find them," T.J. added. "And I think that they're more skilled when fighting individually rather than as a team."
"Yes, really. I've seen them in battle. They take turns fighting the monster rather than attack all at once."
"But at least they help each other," Carlos said.
"Well, we'd better start looking, too," Cassie suggested. "There are 40 monsters total out there, and there are only 32 Spice Club members."
"Add the 5 of us, that makes 37," Ashley added. "Those monsters outnumber all of us."
"We should search together," Andros said. "I don't see how the Spices can stand to split up."
"Well, Andros, we can combine all our weapons to form a bigger and more powerful one, right?" T.J. asked. "But the Spices can't do that."
"If we live past this, we can ask them about it," Carlos said. "But for now, we've got some monsters to clear out."
The Rangers rushed to their jump tubes and slid down skillfully.
Jenny stood around in an empty, grassless field. Astronema had planned for the monsters that had fought in the tournament to stalk the Spice member who had destroy them. The Octophantom had fought Jenny, so he wanted to get her back. He also kept a communication with Astronema.
"I see Tonfa Spice; she's right on schedule," he said.
"Get her attention," Astronema ordered.
Astronema took another gaze at Jenny's costume. "Why is she dressed like me? No one, NO ONE imitates Astronema!"
The Octophantom threw energy blasts to get Jenny's attention. Jenny gasped in response and held up her sticks in a fighting stance. Then Octophantom jumped down to face her.
"Looking for something?" he asked. "Big mistake."
Jenny sighed. "I don't have time for this. Just come and get me, and it'll be the end of you."
"As you wish." The Octophantom raced toward Jenny, ready to pound her. However, Jenny held her ground. She had to time her attack just right, so she concentrated hard. When the monster was close enough, Jenny aimed both her stick at him, letting loose her fatal electric energy. The monster stopped on contact. Jenny stepped back to allow room. The Octophantom fell to the ground and exploded. Jenny spun her sticks in her hands.
"Well, that was easy enough," she said to herself. With a smile, she
proudly walked out of the field. "One down, 39 to go."
About the same time, C.C. explored a power plant. However, she could find nothing amiss. But she had the distinct feeling that she was being stalked, especially when she heard a growl from behind. Luckily, she recognized that growl.
"Hmm, me know that growl from anywhere," she said to herself.
Ecliptor slowly appeared behind her. "Hello, Spice."
The Indian princess turned. "Wingabo, Ecliptor. What you do here?"
"I'll tell you what I do," Ecliptor said. "I'm going to rid the universe of the annoying interference of Speedy Spice."
"No way! Ecliptor no defeat Speedy Spice. Ecliptor history." C.C. drew her nunchucks.
They prepared to fight. C.C. raced toward Ecliptor with a jump kick to the chest. Ecliptor took the hit proudly. However, C.C. followed through with a kick to the stomach, a few punches here and there, and a whip from her chucks. Then she knocked Ecliptor back with an upward kick to the chin. Ecliptor got back on his feet.
"That was good, but not good enough," he said.
"What does he mean, 'not good enough?' " C.C. thought to herself.
Ecliptor advanced on her. C.C. stood ready for what she called the "charge stopper" attack. Each Spice had a different one. As Ecliptor came near, C.C. spun around and nailed him with her chucks, which had a brilliant blue glow. Ecliptor recovered quickly, then gave her a kick to the stomach followed by a backfist to the face, knocking her back. Seeing that Ecliptor was advancing as she fell, C.C. got back up quickly with a hopping uppercut. It had more power than it appeared to have, as Ecliptor was taken off guard. Ecliptor began to get angry, as he slapped C.C. again. This time, she landed in a dirty puddle. Before she could get up, Ecliptor stepped on her head, pinning her down. C.C. splashed around to break free, but it was no use.
Luckily for C.C., help was just up the hill. Hallie found Ecliptor pounding on her friend.
"The Candyman!" she whispered in excitement.
Quietly, she raced toward Ecliptor to catch him by surprise. When she reached him, she gave him a rough shove. C.C. felt a pressure increase on her head as Ecliptor tumbled over. Gasping, C.C. pulled her head out of the mud. Ecliptor got up and glared at the black cat.
"Candy Spice," he growled.
"Hello, Candyman," Hallie said. "Meow."
"What are you doing here?" Ecliptor asked.
"I came to help my friend here," Hallie said. "And to get another piece of your candy."
"Oh yes. You're just like a lollipop, Ecliptor. And I'll become your sucker."
"That's it. You've annoyed me for the last time," Ecliptor yelled. "I don't need a puny little girl like you treating me like a bag of jelly beans. I'm not even made of candy."
"But you taste like candy," Hallie said. "I've tasted you before."
"Grrr!!!" Ecliptor growled. "I'll blast you both into oblivion!"
He created a cyber shadow of himself in front of him, which fired a terrific blast. The girls shielded themselves with their arms. They came out pretty unharmed.
With a fierce cat scream, Hallie leaped onto Ecliptor. She punched him repeatedly in the fact until Ecliptor finally seized her by the throat. He threw her away like an ancient rag doll.
Suddenly, there was a teleportation sound. Charmayne seemed to appear out of nowhere with a flying punch to Ecliptor's chest. Ecliptor got up and glared.
"You think you can help them? Well, you're wrong!" he shouted. "And who are you?"
"I'm the Statue of Liberty," Charmayne replied. "Or you could call me Green Spice."
Ecliptor fired energy blasts from his eyes. In response, Charmayne raced toward him, flashing black and white. That ability allowed her to pass through fireball unharmed. She nailed Ecliptor with her staff and knocked him back with a few kicks. Then she double-flipped back in front of the others. Ecliptor just stood up and glared. Charmayne threw some sort of purple star at him. The attack seemed to bounce off him, then Ecliptor fired a more massive blast at Charmayne. The blast hit her squarely in the chest, exploding around her. Charmayne dropped to her knees and collapsed on her face in a puddle of blood. C.C. and Hallie gasped as they ran up to her.
"Ouch," Charmayne muttered. "That blast nearly blew my mind away."
"Come on, we're getting you out of here," C.C. said. "Hallie, you get her out of here while I distract him."
"That won't work!" Hallie cried.
"What do you mean?" C.C. asked. "Do you have any better ideas?"
"Yeah. You get Charmayne out of here and I'll distract him."
"What? You've got to be kidding!"
"Just go already!!"
"Fine. I don't know how I always get mixed up in making the bad decisions."
C.C. put Charmayne's right arm over her shoulder and dragged her out of the battlefield. Hallie stared at Ecliptor. She momentarily turned to her friends.
"Don't forget to do up your fly!" she called. Then she turned back to Ecliptor. "Rrrreow."
Ecliptor stared back at Hallie and chuckled. "You really do want a piece of me just like your friend, huh?"
"Of course; I'd love to have a piece of your candy," Hallie replied. "Put him in your mouth……"
"You are truly disgusting."
"Rrrreow…." Hallie got on her knees and extended her arms forward stretching out like a cat. Then she stood up and looked behind her. C.C. and Charmayne were gone.
"So your friends got away," Ecliptor said. "Too bad you won't."
"We'll see," Hallie said. "You're not even one of the 40 monsters, are you?"
"Of course not. I'm just here to make things a little more overwhelming for you. And I've succeeded, now that you're down a member."
"Think that will stop us?"
"It will, once I take out a few more members, starting with you," Ecliptor told her.
"Ecliptor," Astronema's voice called. "Return to the Fortress. I have another assignment for you."
"As you wish, Astronema," Ecliptor replied. "We'll finish this later, Candy Spice."
With that, he vanished. Hallie looked up with a grin.
"Rrrreeeeaaaaaooooowwwww!! Put him in your mouth….."
"What is it, Astronema?" Ecliptor asked. Then he noticed that Astronema had a visitor. "Darkonda! What are you doing here?"
"I came to help defeat the Spice Club," Darkonda replied. "I wanted to see if they were as tough as I've heard all this time."
"Oh, they're tough," Elgar said. "A little weird, but tough. You won't believe how much they could withstand."
"Darkonda, I want you to go after Tonfa Spice, the leader of the group," Astronema ordered. "She's already destroyed one of my monsters."
"Yes, Astronema," Darkonda said. "I'll take care of her."
"Hey, be careful with her!" Elgar cried.
"Be careful? What are you talking about?"
"Don't listen to him," Ecliptor said. "He's in love with Tonfa Spice."
"Well, she is lovely," Darkonda said. "But I'll eliminate her nonetheless."
Then he vanished from the Dark Fortress.
Curly was exploring a warehouse. Before long, the Pumpkin Rapper appeared before him.
"What are you doing here?" Curly asked. "I thought I turned you into squash, Pumpkin Rapper."
"Maybe you did, but it's time to get sad, 'cause of Astronema's power, we're back and we're bad," the monster replied, singing in a rap voice.
"Well, pardner, it's high noon," Curly said. "You know what that means, don't ya? It's time for a gunfight at the Angel Grove warehouse."
He drew both guns and aimed them at the Pumpkin Rapper.
"Are those real?" the monster asked.
"Yeah, they're real," Curly replied, noticing a ton of bricks hanging directly over the monster. "And I'll prove it, too. YYYEEEEEEHHHAAAAAWWWWW!!!!"
He twirled the guns in his hands, fired two shots to the side, then suddenly aimed the gun upwards. He fired the final shot, which cut the rope that suspended the bricks. The bricks fell onto the Pumpkin Rapper, crushing him to death. Curly blew the smoke out of the guns, twirled them in his hands, and put them back in the holsters.
"So long, ya squashed varmint."
He exited the warehouse proudly.
Jenny had returned to Angel Grove. She dropped on by the park when Darkonda appeared.
"Perhaps you are seeking someone like me," he said.
"Huh?" Jenny gasped.
"So you're Tonfa Spice," Darkonda said. "I've heard so much about you. It is such a great honor and my distinct pleasure to finally meet you."
He knelt down before Jenny and grasped her hand gently. He slowly brought her hand to his face, as if preparing to kiss her. Fearful that he would bite her, Jenny quickly withdrew her hand.
"Hmph. You sure do talk pretty," she said. "But I'm busy right now."
"Your Spice friends must be proud to have a lovely leader like you," Darkonda went on. "I can't wait to see how well you fight. I think you'll find me to be a worthy opponent."
"Who are you?" Jenny asked.
"Oh, forgive me. I'm so renowned in other galaxies, I sometimes forget to introduce myself. Darkonda is my name. Evil is my game."
"Well, evil is not my game, so I'll be going now." Jenny blew him a kiss and walked on.
Darkonda let out an evil chuckle. "I'll be back for you later. It appears that Astronema is much easier to please."
He vanished. Jenny looked back at where he was in confusion.
"Guys," she muttered, shaking her head.
Spinal walked through the woods looking for his opponent. Everything was silent except for the birds chirping. However, Spinal had the distinct feeling that he was being followed, especially when he heard a female voice calling his name.
"Spinal . . ." it called. "Spinal . . ."
Spinal spun around in horror. "Who's there?" he gasped. He explored his surroundings carefully, but he could see nothing suspicious. Finally, the perpetrator of the voice appeared, leaping over Spinal's head and landing in front of him.
"Yoo-hoo!" she called.
"Lipsyncher!" Spinal cried. "I thought I killed you!"
"Maybe you did, but my memories of you have lingered in my soul," Lipsyncher replied.
"No way. You keep away from me, you hear?" Spinal shouted.
"Oh no. You're far too gorgeous."
The Lipsyncher raced over and grabbed Spinal before he could react. She pinned his arms down and stroked his bottom jaw slowly.
"Oooh, what an adorable little creature you are," she gushed.
"Let me go, you monster!" Spinal screamed.
He elbowed the monster in the gut, setting him free. He drove his sword into the Lipsyncher's shoulder, then followed with a shield smash and an upward sword strike. Then he morphed into a colorless Lipsyncher just long enough to knock her back with a jump kick.
"Oh, Spinal Spice; I'd just die for you," she said.
"Sounds fine to me," Spinal told her.
He attacked the monster starting with low attacks, then moving up, using every kick and sword attack he knew. Soon, he swung his flaming blade rapidly over and over and over… Every attack was quick and graceful. Finally, Spinal stopped his blade and threw a searing skull right into the monster, sending her back quite a distance.
Unfortunately, Spinal didn't notice the Lipsyncher's weapon fly out of her hand. With a glow, the weapon struck a log hanging in the trees. The log, hanging from a vine, swung down directly at Spinal. Spinal sharply turned around and gasped.
It was too late. The log struck Spinal just below the ribcage, knocking him back. He tried to get back up, but he was just too sore.
"I can make it!" he sobbed to himself. "I can make it!"
He tried once more to get up, but he felt another jolt of pain and passed out.
Spinal didn't know how long he was out, but when he came around, he saw something horrifying. Standing all over him were Darkonda and a group of Quantrons.
"Oh no!" Spinal gasped, trying to get up. Again the pain stopped him.
"There, there, little Spice," Darkonda said in a sickeningly sweet voice. "Don't worry. This won't hurt a bit."
He put his claws on either side of Spinal's head, putting him to sleep.
"Ah, Astronema will be quite pleased," Darkonda said. "Now pick him up and let's get out of here."
The Quantrons picked up Spinal and vanished along with Darkonda.
The Power Rangers morphed straight to a scene of crime. There they faced Vampiris, who had been defeated by Ninjor in the tournament.
"My scanner says that there are 37 monsters now," Andros said.
"So the Spices have already defeated three monsters," T.J. added.
"However, we're down two Spices as well," Andros went on. "Charmayne was injured during a fight with Ecliptor. Spinal defeated the Lipsyncher, but was then injured in an accident. This thing also says that he was captured by the Quantrons."
"Oh man," Carlos said. "They've probably taken him straight to the Dark Fortress. We all know how Astronema feels about him."
The Vampiris appeared and started snickering at the Rangers.
"Now I'm going to finish you Rangers once and for all!" he announced.
"That's what you think!" T.J. shouted.
Without responding, the Vampiris attacked. The Rangers fought using their regular teamwork techniques, but the monster blocked all their attacks and struck each of them in the chest. When they reunited, the Vampiris threw a nasty energy blast at them.
"Ha! Now I've got you!" he yelled.
As he advanced on them, the Rangers were stunned as an axe suddenly attacked from behind, thrashing it in the side. As the monster fell down, the Rangers looked at the wielder of the axe --- the Cryptkeeper! Again he whacked the monster, mutilating it limb from limb. When he was done, he kissed the gory blade and licked the green monster blood from his lips. The Rangers got up and stared in horror at the murdered monster.
"Did you have to kill it in such a cruel manner?" Cassie asked.
"Yeah. This is how we were between that first Halloween night and our becoming fighters," the Cryptkeeper replied. "I guess I should've let you defeat Vampiris yourselves."
"Well, thanks anyway," T.J. said.
"Hey, are you aware that Spinal was captured by the Quantrons not long ago?" Andros asked out of nowhere.
The Cryptkeeper paused. "Uh . . . I am now. But if they took him to the Dark Fortress, we can't go after him there."
"So you're just going to leave him there?" Ashley asked.
"Sadly, yes. But don't worry. Spinal can escape on his own. Any of us Spices are capable of escaping on our own." C.K. opened up his ring and spoke into it. "Hey, honey!"
"Yes?" Jenny immediately responded.
"The Rangers have just informed me that Spinal was captured," the Cryptkeeper said.
"Oh great. That makes two of us down."
"Two of us?"
"Yeah. Charmayne's hurt."
"Well, at least four monsters are down," Andros said.
"I don't know about you guys, but I'm gonna go hunt some more," the Cryptkeeper said.
"But C.K., you're a gambler, not a hunter," T.J. told him.
The Cryptkeeper paused and looked at him. "Ha. Funny, Teej."
He walked out of the park in pursuit of a few more monsters.
Back at the Dark Fortress, Ecliptor was getting jealous of Darkonda.
"You haven't accomplished anything!" he yelled. "I've disabled a Spice Club member. What have you done?"
"I've done better," Darkonda replied. "I've captured a Spice Club member."
They stood over Spinal, who was spread-eagled and tied to a table, still unconscious. Astronema came into the room and gazed upon him in delight.
"Spinal! Well, well . . ."
"Shh. He's still asleep," Darkonda whispered.
Astronema just looked down at Spinal and grinned.
"Shall I wake him?" Ecliptor asked.
"No. Let him wake up on his own," Astronema told him.
"As you wish."
" 'As you wish,' " Darkonda mimicked. "That is so lame, Ecliptor."
"And what would you say?" Ecliptor asked.
"I'd say, 'My pleasure, Astronema,' or 'Your wish is my command, Astronema.' "
Without a word, Ecliptor walked out of the room.
"Right now, I'll take a look at the other Spices and see just how cute they are," Darkonda said. He took a quick look at the others, then returned to Spinal, who began to stir. Spinal let out a groan.
"He's coming around!" Astronema cried.
The soft red glow appeared in Spinal's eyes. He gasped upon seeing the faces of Astronema and Darkonda hovering over him.
"You again!" he cried.
"Hello, Spinal," Astronema said sweetly.
"Feeling better?" Darkonda asked.
Spinal tried to sit up, but both the pain and the bonds restrained him. Darkonda shook his head.
"Yep; he's still injured."
"Injured? How?" asked Astronema.
"I don't know. He was just badly hurt when we found him."
Astronema looked down at Spinal. "Tell me, how did you get injured?"
"What do you care?" Spinal snapped. "You're just another cold-hearted witch!"
"True, but I'll never find another adversary like you."
"What do you want from me, Astronema?"
"I don't want anything from you, Spinal," Astronema said. "I just want you."
She started running her finger down his body. Spinal struggled against the ropes.
"Where are my weapons?" he wondered, looking around the fortress. He found his sword and shield hanging on the wall.
"Oh don't worry. We're storing your weapons for safekeeping," Astronema told him, still caressing him thoroughly.
Spinal stared at her hands and tried again to break free. "Don't touch me!" he demanded. "Let me go!!"
"Let you go? Now why would I do a silly thing like that?"
Spinal sighed in frustration, groaned in agony, and dropped back on the table.
"You know," Darkonda said, stroking Spinal's bottom jaw. "I can agree with Astronema. You are kinda cute."
Spinal suddenly lashed out and bit Darkonda's finger. Darkonda quickly pulled his hand back and stared at the blood oozing from his finger.
"Heh heh; you really gotta be careful with the Spices," Elgar called. "They're much more dangerous than they look."
"And that obviously gives them an advantage," Darkonda said. "The monsters don't expect them to win a battle, so they don't fight as hard."
"Well," Ecliptor said, again entering the room. "Since Spinal Spice was injured, he made no attempt to defend himself, did he?"
"Of course he did," Darkonda told him. "He tried to get up."
"Well, he still didn't put up a fight."
"You guys are not suggesting that I'm weak," Spinal said.
"No. I'm suggesting that Darkonda is a weak and worthless coward," Ecliptor explained. "If you hadn't been weakened, he would've been afraid to approach you."
"Oh, put a sock in it, Ecliptor," Darkonda snapped.
"Oh, deny it, huh? In that case, I challenge you to go back down to Earth and capture Tonfa Spice," Ecliptor said. "She'd defend herself even if she was chopping into five or six pieces."
"I accept your challenge, Ecliptor. Besides, no evil-doer can resist going after a pretty, little thing like her."
Darkonda vanished from the Dark Fortress to pursue his challenge.
"You know, is it me, or did I hear Darkonda refer to Tonfa Spice as a 'pretty little thing?' " Elgar asked.
"Elgar, I need you to watch Spinal," Astronema said. "Make certain that he doesn't escape."
"You can count on me, my queen," Elgar said. "Don't you worry; Spinal isn't going anywhere."
"Good." Astronema turned and left the room with Ecliptor. Elgar looked down at Spinal.
"I don't like this one bit," he said.
Spinal tried to keep silent, but he was bursting with curiosity. "What do you mean?"
"Isn't it obvious? Darkonda's being sweet on Tonfa Spice and I don't like it one bit."
Spinal didn't say anything, so Elgar continued.
"I can't let him do this."
"He's going to kidnap her, not kill her," Spinal said.
"It's not that I'm worried about," Elgar told him. "The simple fact is that I love her, she loves me; it's a done deal."
"Wait a minute. Who told you that she loved you?"
"Why, she did, of course. As I was saying, I don't like Darkonda flattering her like that. And now he's out to capture her! I'm going down there."
"Elgar, you are not going down to protect her, are you?" Spinal asked.
"Well, I know that she can protect herself against physical attack," Elgar replied. "But when it comes to flattery, she doesn't stand a chance. She gets all shy, you know; but heck, it makes her cute."
"Wow. You seem to know more about her than I do."
"That's something to be proud of. Anyway, I think I'll go down and capture her myself. You won't escape, will you? Good."
Before Spinal could respond, Elgar was gone. Spinal dropped back and
"closed" his eyes…..
Meanwhile, little Kathy was hunting down her monster. All of a sudden, she heard somebody sobbing. She instantly recognized it as her old adversary, Boo-Hoo the Clown. Kathy froze in her tracks. Soon, she was surrounded by massive explosions that threw her off balance. Then Boo-Hoo appeared.
"Boo hoo, you destroyed me at the tournament," he sobbed sarcastically. "Now I'm gonna make you cry."
"Look who's talking, crybaby," Kathy replied.
Boo-Hoo suddenly dashed toward Kathy, who appeared to just sink into the ground and disappear from view. Boo-Hoo stopped and looked around.
"Hey, where'd the little squirt go?" he wondered.
Suddenly, Kathy appeared from the sky, giving him an airborne kick to the chest. When the monster got up, he threw an energy blast, which knocked Kathy up and over. She landed head-first into a trash can. She caught a whiff of the garbage stench and held her breath. Despite the darkness, Kathy managed to notice a shiny object. While struggling to get out, she discovered the object to be a champagne bottle. It was in an upright position with no cork, and it was mostly full. Then an idea came to her. She grabbed the bottle, then grabbed the edge of the trash can and pulled herself out. Boo-Hoo was laughing maniacally. Kathy got behind a tree and pulled out one of her sai's. She stuck the handle into the opening, making sure that she wouldn't be able to pull it out. Once it was stuck good, she shook the bottle vigorously.
"Where are you, little girl?" Boo-Hoo called sweetly. "I'm looking for you! I'm finding you!"
Kathy came out from behind the tree and aimed the bottle at the monster. "Here I am," she called.
Boo-Hoo turned to her and notice the champagne bottle in her hands. He laughed. "A champagne bottle. How sweet. Don't tell me that you're going to use that thing against me. It won't work; trust me."
"I don't trust evil scum like you," Kathy said.
Boo-Hoo stood impatiently, tapping his foot. Kathy continued to aim, but the weapon wouldn't blow out.
"Hmm. Maybe I stuck it in too good," she thought.
So she shook the bottle a little more and aimed it at the monster again. This time, the weapon exploded from the bottle, rocketing directly at the monster, piercing its throat. Kathy aimed the bottle upwards to try to catch as much of the champagne as possible as it came back down. After a gagging yell of agony, Boo-Hoo fell to the ground. With a smile, Kathy sighed. She approached the dead clown and took a closer look to make sure it was really dead. When she confirmed that it was, she pulled the sai out of its throat. She placed the center blade into the bottle to allow Boo-Hoo's blood to ooze into the champagne. Once the few drops had been added, Kathy pulled out her weapon and held the beverage into the sky.
"This calls for a toast," she said aloud.
She took a large gulp of the beverage. Then she hissed at the monster
and left the park.
As Jenny pursued her next monster, she heard an evil laugh. Jenny had never heard the laugh before, but she thought she recognized it. She didn't have to wait long. Darkonda appeared from nowhere, startling her.
Jenny sighed with relief. "Oh . . . it's you."
"Well, little miss Tonfa Spice," Darkonda said. "Nice to see you again."
"What are you doing here?" Jenny asked.
"I need a little action; action that only you can provide."
"What do you want me to do?"
"You see, Ecliptor challenged me to capture you," Darkonda explained. "Therefore, you will hold very still while I capture you."
He pulled out his sword, which grew longer, and advanced on Jenny. Jenny, in turn, backed up.
"I said hold still!" Darkonda yelled.
"Ecliptor challenged you, right?" Jenny asked. "Therefore, it will be a challenge."
She gripped her weapons tightly. When Darkonda ran toward her, she quickly moved aside. Jenny leaped toward him and jump-kicked him in the face. She followed her attack with a low kick to the knee and an inward spinkick to the face. Darkonda threw a punch, which she ducked under, then he threw a kick, which she blocked. Jenny went onto the offensive and threw a punch with her left fist, but Darkonda grabbed her wrist and twisted it, forcing her to bend forward. Darkonda hooked his arm other Jenny's right arm, then did the same with her left arm. Jenny attempted to slip her arms out, but as she struggled, Darkonda's hold seemed to tighten.
"Ah, here we go," said Darkonda. "I think I'll just hold you like this for a few minutes before I deliver you to Ecliptor."
Jenny stopped struggling, breathing heavily. "And what does Ecliptor want with me?"
"I really don't know. Like I said, he challenged me to capture you. And now that I've succeeded, his days of calling me a weakling are over."
"You haven't succeeded yet; you haven't delivered me to him yet."
"But I like just holding you."
"Well, you better hurry it up, because something is bound to happen."
"You are charming, my sweet," Darkonda said with a chuckle. "But since you are an enemy, I mustn't fall for any tricks you might pull."
"I'm serious; this is no trick!" Jenny protested.
Darkonda chuckled some more as he held her tightly . . .
"Huh?" Spinal woke up with a start. He was still in Astronema's Dark Fortress, still alone, and still helpless. Fortunately, his brief nap has healed his ribcage, so he wasn't as sore anymore. Now that he had enough strength, he attempted to pull his limbs up to his body, trying to break the ropes that held him. When he concluded that the ropes were just too strong, he gave up.
"I'll never get out of here like this," he thought. "There has to be another way..... Let's see, break 'em, burn 'em. Burn 'em! That's it!!"
He position the rope between his thumb and index finger on both hands. Then he unleashed a small sample of his power through the rope between the fingers. He moved his fingers slightly to make sure the rope was cut all the way through. Once it was complete, Spinal pulled his arms in and sat up on the table. Then he untied his bound ankles and climbed off the table. He immediately retrieved his weapons from the wall just as the Quantrons came in to see what was going on.
"Uh-oh," Spinal muttered.
As the Quantrons attacked, Spinal cut their chests with his sword and tossed them back with his shield. Astronema and Ecliptor came in to investigate the chaos. Astronema gasped upon seeing Spinal free.
"Stop him!" she screamed.
"Uh-oh," Spinal muttered again.
With a growl, Ecliptor stormed toward him. Thinking quickly, Spinal saw the only way out of the Fortress --- a balcony. Spinal dashed over and leaped over the railing towards Earth. As he traveled through space, he took the form of a giant, glowing blue skull with a trail behind it. From a distance, he looked like a beautiful shooting star. Astronema watched in awe as Spinal reached Earth's atmosphere.
Back on Earth, Darkonda still had Jenny in his somewhat humiliating grip. Jenny knew that she couldn't keep this up, but what was she to do?
"First off, I'll have to relieve you of those silly sticks," Darkonda said.
But in order to do that, he had to release one of Jenny's arms. When he did, Jenny resumed her struggling, trying to get her other arm free. Suddenly, a card-like sword came down on Darkonda's back.
"Leave her alone!" Elgar shouted.
Jenny was confused, but seeing that Darkonda was distracted, she kicked him right between the legs. That move set her free. She backed up and stared at the two villains.
"What are you doing here?" Darkonda asked.
"You're not doing anything to her," Elgar said. "I found her first; she's mine!"
"Nonsense, Elgar. Ecliptor challenged me to get her."
"If you want a challenge, you should fight Ecliptor. But if anyone's going to capture the little lady, it's gonna be me!"
Jenny grabbed her head in frustration. "What the hell?" she thought. "I don't believe this."
"Hey, Jenny!" called a friendly voice.
Jenny turned to the perpetrator. "Spinal, what the hell are you doing here?" she asked. "I was told that you were captured."
"I was, but I escaped," Spinal told her. "I decided to help out since I just dropped by ..... literally."
"So, uh, what's going on here?"
"Oh, they're arguing over who captures me," Jenny said. "Darkonda says that Ecliptor challenged him to do so."
"Oh yeah, he did," Spinal said.
"How did you know?"
"Because I was there."
"Spinal, how did you get out of the Dark Fortress?" Elgar asked. "I thought I specifically told you not to escape."
"Elgar, you knew better than to leave me in there alone," Spinal replied. "I thought Astronema specifically told you not to let me escape."
"These guys can be devious sometimes," Elgar whispered to Darkonda.
"Anyway, she's mine!" Darkonda yelled.
He raced toward the Spice pair again, but Elgar stopped him.
"Oh no, you don't. I'll capture her first, because she loves me."
"Oh yeah; I meant to ask you about that," Spinal said to Jenny.
"Ask me later. Right now, let's get while the getting's good. Bye, Elgar."
"See ya, toots," Elgar called.
Jenny and Spinal ran out of the monsters' sight.
"So, how are you doing?" Spinal asked.
"We're doing good," Jenny said. "We're slaying the monsters pretty quickly, but we still have quite a few to go. How about you? You surviving?"
"Just barely. I'm just glad I got out of the Dark Fortress. Again, Astronema had her hands on me, and there wasn't a damn thing I could do about it."
"Okay, let's go. We've got more bad guys to slaughter."
They had only started to walk out when flashes of lightning filled the sky. This was impossible; wasn't the sky cloudless just a second ago? The answer to this strange question came as an image of the Dark Specter appeared in the sky. Jenny and Spinal gasped. The Dark Specter stared down at them, emitting a low growl. Spinal backed up a bit and hid behind Jenny.
"Not so fast. You won't prevail this time," the Dark Specter announced.
Jenny gave him a slight smile. "Dark Specter," she said calmly. "So you did survive."
"Of course I survived, you stupid little bitch! Rest assured that once I get my claws on you, it's off to the nearest black hole."
"Yeah, whatever, you walking volcano."
"Don't call me a volcano, bitch!" Dark Specter shouted.
"Then don't call me a bitch, volcano!" Jenny shouted back.
"Come on," Spinal said, grabbing Jenny's shoulder. "We'll get nowhere here."
The Dark Specter growled again as he vanished. Jenny did a fake lunge at him. A few more of the Spices ran up to them.
"Whoa! Wasn't that the Dark Specter in the sky?" Curly asked.
"Yep, he survived," Jenny told him.
"Surprised?" the Cryptkeeper asked.
Jenny shook her head. "Of course not. After I beat the shit out of him, my feet were sore for a week. I felt like I was kicking the Rocky Mountains."
"Well, it's lunchtime," the Cryptkeeper pointed out. "Whaddaya say we get a bite to eat at the Surf Spot?"
"I'm all for it," Hallie said. "I'm starved."
"We still have most of the team out killing monsters," said C.C.
So the portion of Spices took their break at the Surf Spot. Adelle walked up to them with the menus.
"My goodness; you all look a little beat," she said.
"Yeah, we've been working out lately," C.C. told her.
"You were just fighting, weren't you?" Adelle said. "I saw the news of all the monsters attacking the city, and yes, it showed scenes of you guys fighting them."
"Uh, yeah," Jenny said.
"And boy, with the way you guys fight, you need your nourishment," Adelle went on. "I mean you gotta eat, eat, eat. Look at you guys!"
She put her index finger and thumb around Jenny's wrist. "Look at that; you all look like toothpicks."
"Aren't you exaggerating a bit?" Jenny asked.
"No, I'm dead serious," Adelle replied. "Here, stand up."
Jenny stood up as Adelle took off her necklace and put it around Jenny's waist. The ends of the necklace almost connected.
"Here, why don't you try me?" the Cryptkeeper suggested.
"Oh, no thanks," Adelle said. "Okay, enough chattering. What do you guys want?"
"I don't care; we'll take whatever we can afford," Hallie said. "Once I'm done, I'll go back and have the Candyman for dessert."
The Spices laughed and shook their heads. Adelle headed out to carry out their order.
"So, C.C., how's Charmayne?" Jenny asked.
"She's still injured, but she's recovering," C.C. replied.
"What happened to Charmayne?" Spinal asked.
"She was injured by 'The Candyman,' " C.C. told him.
"So, Spinal, I was confident that you would escape from the Dark Fortress, but why don't you tell us what happened?" the Cryptkeeper suggested.
"No, I don't want to talk about it," Spinal said.
"Wait, what happened?" C.C. asked.
"Spinal was captured just a little while ago, but he escaped," the Cryptkeeper replied.
"Oh, come on, Spinal," C.C. cried. "Tell us! Please!"
"Oh, all right," Spinal sighed. "What happened was after I beat the Lipsyncher, this huge log hit me from the tree and I couldn't get back up. The next thing I realized, there were two dozen Quantrons standing over me, then everything went blank."
"Hold on; how could everything just go blank?" Curly asked.
"I think those Quantrons put me to sleep," Spinal told him. "Anyway, I woke up in the Dark Fortress. Astronema had me tied to this table. She was standing over me along with this guy . ."
"What guy?" C.C. asked.
"I don't know what his name was. It was the guy who was fighting with Elgar over who gets to capture Jenny."
"Oh, Darkonda," Jenny said. "He's weird. He has a thing for women. I could tell just by looking at him . . . and by the way he talks."
"I'll say," Spinal added. "I hate to break it to you, but he seems to be in love with you, and Elgar is NOT happy about it."
"I know," Jenny said. "He's like a . . . Casanova."
"Did he tell you to call him . . . sweetlips?" the Cryptkeeper asked.
"No, thank goodness. Yet I do find him interesting."
"See, that's another thing different," Spinal said. "You actually find these guys interesting while I simply can't stand Astronema."
"But I've already chosen Elgar," Jenny told him. "Darkonda will truly spoil our so-called 'relationship.' "
Adelle came back with their lunch. The Spices began to eat eagerly.
"So Spinal, tell us more of your story," C.C. said.
"Okay. Astronema and Darkonda started touching me, you know, picking on me," Spinal explained. "All I could do was bite Darkonda's finger."
"I thought I noticed a wound on Darkonda's finger," Jenny said.
"Then Ecliptor decreed that Darkonda was weak because he captured me when I was injured and couldn't defend myself. Of course, Darkonda denied it, so Ecliptor challenged him to capture Jenny. Then Darkonda left. Astronema ordered Elgar to guard me. He just explained to me that he didn't like Darkonda's interest in Jenny and that he wanted to kidnap her himself. That brings me to my question, Jenny; Elgar told me that you told him you loved him. Is that true?"
"Yes, it's true," Jenny said. "I just told you that a minute ago."
"Really?" Spinal asked. "Anyway, Elgar left the Dark Fortress and I fell asleep. I had to heal my wound, you know. I don't think I slept very long, because I was still alone when I woke up. At least my ribs felt better. I decided that now was the time to get the hell out of there. Since I couldn't break the ropes by pulling, I had to cut them by concentrating my powers into my fingers."
"Wow, that's creative," C.C. said.
"I got up, grabbed my sword and shield, and jumped off the balcony."
"Very interesting story, Spinal," Jenny said. "I don't know what I would've done."
"I told the Rangers that you would escape on your own, and you did," the Cryptkeeper said.
The Spices finished their lunch quietly. As they were wrapping up, more of the Spices entered the Surf Spot.
"Nice to see you guys!" Jenny called. "We were just about to go back to monster hunting."
"There's no need for that," Sal told her. "We killed all the monsters."
"You're kidding! Already?" Hallie asked.
"Yeah. It was pretty damn easy, too," Jay said. "Those monsters are dead!"
"You did save some for the Rangers, didn't you?" Jenny asked.
"Hell yeah, of course!" Sal said.
"Well, in that case, I'll be off on my own. See ya." Jenny left the Surf Spot and headed for the park. She was only walking back and forth for a while when she backed up and bumped into something. When she turned around, she saw a horrifying sight. It looked like a man whose head was hanging from his neck from a thick, bloody vessel. Jenny took one look and let out a terrified scream. A pointed pink head came out from under the bloody neck; it was Elgar!
"Hey, baby!" he yelled. "Did I scare ya? Huh?"
"Elgar!" Jenny screamed, hitting his chest. "Why'd you go and do that for?"
"Because it's Halloween!" Elgar said. "Isn't that what you're supposed to do?"
"Yeah, well . . ."
Elgar pulled out his card sword. "So, whaddaya say, baby? Just for the sake of our relationship?"
Jenny shrugged her shoulders. "Why not?" She drew her weapons. They stared at each other, waiting for the other to attack first. Jenny eventually gave up and charged at Elgar, who stepped forward and lashed out with his sword. Jenny blocked the attack with her stick, ducked under it to get behind Elgar, and punched his lower back. Elgar turned and lashed with his sword again twice. Jenny dodged both attacks and moved in to attack, but ended up walking right into Elgar's kick. The kick sent her staggering back to a tree. She ducked under Elgar's attack, again getting behind him and threw an overhead with both stick, which Elgar blocked with his sword. Jenny kept pushing Elgar's sword closer to him. Elgar was just about to lift his foot to kick her when a thunderclap suddenly hit the air. Jenny gasped.
"What was that?" she asked.
Her answer came as the spirit of a man appeared off to the side. Jenny gasped again and her eyes opened wide as she recognized the spirit.
"Hello, Jenny," the spirit said. "I've only come to congratulate you."
"On what?" Jenny asked.
"You've survived yet another year of the good vs. evil massacre," the spirit replied. "So, I've decided to give you a little token of thanks by giving you information about our family."
"Family info? You mean I have more family members out there?"
"You could say that. Tell me, do you remember your mother?"
"She was not as she seemed to you."
"What do you mean?" Jenny asked.
"A certain space pirate, whom you and your friends call Astronema, disguised herself as a young woman. Fatefully, I fell in love with her and we got married. Soon after the marriage, we had two children: you and your sister," the spirit explained.
"Wait a minute!" Jenny cried. "You are not implying that Astronema is our mother!"
"Astronema's your mom? Cool!" Elgar said.
"Shut up!" Jenny screamed, pushing Elgar and approaching the spirit of her father.
"That's exactly what I'm implying," he said. "After that fatal car accident, your mother became Astronema again, but without any memory of her 'Earth' life."
"So she doesn't know that she's our mother?" Jenny said. "That's a relief. But I still can't believe it."
"Believe it," her father said. "You resemble Astronema very well. Why do you wear that shiny black costume similar to hers? Why did Andros think that you were Astronema? Think about it. Consider it an anniversary present."
"Dad!!" Jenny cried in disbelief.
"Happy anniversary, daughter," the spirit said. "Give my best regards to your Spice Club team."
With that, he vanished into thin air. Jenny clasped her hands tightly as Elgar walked up to her.
"Wow! I never would've thought that Astronema's your mother."
"Neither would I," Jenny replied.
"But when you think about it, it really makes sense," Elgar said.
Jenny glared at him.
"Oh well," Elgar went on. "So, your real name's Jenny, huh? I like it."
Jenny's eyes widened again. She wondered how Elgar suddenly knew until she remembered her father's greeting.
"Elgar, you're not going to tell Astronema, are you?"
"Uh, not if you don't want me to."
"Don't! If she ever finds out, she'll come after us and try to make us evil. That's my number one prediction. Promise me, Elgar!"
"I triple-duty promise not to tell her," Elgar said. "Not only that, but if Astronema does find out somehow, I'll triple-duty promise to let you know. Deal?"
He extended his hand. Jenny pondered for a moment, then she took it. "You better hope I can trust you, Elgar," she said.
"You can trust me, honey; your secret is safe with me," Elgar told her. "Well, gotta go. Bye-bye."
Then he faded away. Jenny sighed, for she was still shocked.
"Mother!" she muttered, covering her face. Then she raced to the Surf Spot to share her stunning news with her friends.
The same Spice Club members were still in there, chattering away as Jenny came in, looking rather distressed as she sat down at their table. The others stopped chattering and looked at her.
"What's the matter, toots?" Curly asked.
Jenny looked up at him as if to say, *What did you just call me?* "I just had this shock. You guys will not believe what I just found out. Hallie, you might really wanna listen because this affects you as it does me."
"What is it, Sis?" Hallie asked.
"Our father's spirit contacted me from beyond the grave," Jenny said. "He said that our mother is actually Astronema."
"No way!" Spinal cried. "Astronema's your mother!?"
"How is that possible?" Hallie asked.
"Well, according to Dad, Astronema diguised herself as a typical woman with whom he fell in love. They got married and had children, being Hallie and me," Jenny explained. "After the car accident that supposedly killed Mom, she became Astronema again, but with no memory of her . . . Earth family."
"So Astronema doesn't know that she's constantly being thwarted by her own daughters," Jay said. "Now that is interesting."
"So, Astronema's your mom, huh?" the Cryptkeeper asked. "That figures."
"What do you mean, 'That figures?' " Jenny asked.
"Well, to be perfectly frank, that explains a lot about you two," the Cryptkeeper replied. "First of all, for Halloween, you're both wearing black. Black --- Astronema's color. And the fact that Andros attacked you thinking that you were Astronema. Then Elgar falls in love with you, and you love him back. Just recently, this Darkonda character finds you attractive. And then Hallie seems to be attracted to Ecliptor and calls him 'The Candyman.' "
"Because he looks like candy," Hallie said.
"Yes, I can agree with that," C.K. went on.
"And why do you find Darkonda interesting?" Spinal asked Jenny.
"Because I just do," Jenny said. "I think that the best thing to do is go along with him, flirt with him. Perhaps you should try it with Astronema."
"No way!" Spinal shouted.
"Oh, come on, Spinal; it's only temporary."
"Well, you've got to be temporarily OUT OF YOUR MIND if you think that I'm going to flirt with Astronema!!!"
The other Spices exploded with laughter, even Jenny, who shrugged her shoulders.
"Face it, honey," the Cryptkeeper concluded. "You are Astronema: Generation Next."
Jenny just glared at him.
"See!" C.K. cried suddenly. "That glare is another trait you have in common with her. Like father, like son! Or in this case, like mother, like daughter!"
"Yeah right," Jenny muttered.
"Hmm," C.K. said. "I wonder if you have a family relation with Divatox as well. I think I see a little bit of her in you also."
"Okay, I give up," Jenny said.
"Astronema's our mom," Hallie muttered. "I find it hard to believe myself."
"You know what's worse?" Jenny asked. "When Dad told me our family story, Elgar was standing right there the whole time!"
"Uh-oh," Jay said.
"I had him triple-duty promise not to tell Astronema, but I don't know if I can trust him. And another thing: He now knows my real name!"
"Uh-oh," Sal said.
"This has been one hell of an anniversary for you, hasn't it?" Curly asked.
"Curly, you ain't just whistlin' Dixie, pardner!" Jenny replied in her best wild west accent. "Come on, let's go home and have our own Halloween party."
The group stood up and started out of the Surf Spot. On the way out, they passed the Rangers, who had on their own costumes. T.J. was dressed as a surgeon, Carlos was a Mexican dancer, Ashley was a gypsie, Cassie was a fairy, and Andros was a detective.
"Hey, guys; nice costumes," the Cryptkeeper said.
"Well, we're going home," Jenny told them. "We've had enough excitement for one day. We're about to spend our own spicy time together. See you tomorrow..."
"Wait a minute," T.J. said. "We have a little proposal for you guys."
"What's that?" Jenny asked.
"Well, as you know, the Power Rangers were meant to protect the Earth," Cassie explained. "We weren't supposed to fight in outer space."
"And now, Zordon's being held captive by the Dark Specter," Ashley added.
"Yes, I know," Jenny said.
"How did you know?" Andros asked.
"Elgar told me."
"Anyway, we were thinking that we should stay here and protect the Earth while you guys go out in space and search for Zordon," T.J. said.
"Us?" Spinal asked nervously. "What makes you think that we'll be any more successful?"
"Well, for one thing, you're a much larger team, and there are many more bad guys out there," Ashley replied.
"You can borrow the Astro Megaship and the arsenal that's in there, including the Astro and Delta Megazords," Andros said.
"Oh no; we cannot to the Megazords," Jenny said. "Half of us can't even drive a car."
"Oh, you'll figure it out, just like we did," Carlos told her. "Have confidence and believe in yourselves and you can accomplish anything."
"Hmm. What do you guys think?" Jenny asked her friends.
The others just shrugged their shoulders. Jenny took it as a "yes."
"Okay, we'll go," she said.
"Great. Good luck," T.J. said.
"We'll be going now," Jenny said. "See ya."
"Bye," Carlos called. "Another point for the good guys!"
The Spice Club members gathered in their nearly torn-down home and
threw their own party. Charmayne had been napping ever since her
encounter with Ecliptor, so she was pretty much healed. She was still
tired, however. Another year for the Spice Club has gone by, and it is
said that they improve their skills both physically and mentally. Will
they still be around to celebrate next year?