The Bug With No Name
by : Crypt

The Spice Club had traveled from planet to planet in search of Zordon. They enlisted the help of the Phantom Ranger, who now had a "spiritual" bond with them. Jenny was faced with the challenge of ignoring the fact that Astronema was her mother.

The Spices were now exploring a hot and humid jungle-like planet. Jenny, the Cryptkeeper, and Demona actually set foot on the planet while the others waited in the Astro Megaship. Little did they realize that Ecliptor, Darkonda, and the Quantrons were waiting behind trees and bushes.

"Just a little closer, Spices, and we'll seal your fate," Ecliptor said.

"We can't just ambush them; it's so last-season," Darkonda said. "Besides, they never work anyway."

"It's a thing called 'surprise,' and that works every time," Ecliptor told him.

"I don't see anything," they heard Demona say. "I don't think that Zordon is around here."

"She's right," the Cryptkeeper said. "I say we pack up and get out of here."

"You guys give up too easily," Jenny said calmly. "We haven't even begun searching the place yet.

"Attack them now!" Ecliptor ordered.

He and the Quantrons ran out into the open. The Spices looked up and gasped.

"Looks like we won't need to search anymore," Demona called.

They battled their foes fiercely. Darkonda remained out of sight.

"I know a much better way to finish off a Spice Club member," he said to himself. He pulled out a hive of some sort, cut it open with his sword, and let it drop. A large bug flew into the battlefield.

Jenny had just pummeled a Quantron mercilessly as the bug attached itself to her forearm.

"Whoa! Ouch!!" she screamed.

She ripped the bug off her arm and threw it. Demona and the Cryptkeeper rushed over to her.

"Are you all right?" Demona asked.

"What the hell happened?" C.K. asked.

"Something stung me!" Jenny cried, rolling up her sleeve to reveal a horrible white blister. Darkonda came out into the open.

"Well, look what's happened," he said. "That was a Barillian bug that stung you. In a few hours, you will become one of them. Oh, I'm sorry it's going to cost you your beauty, Tonfa Spice."

Jenny stared at her blister, then smashed it on purpose. She wished immediately that she hadn't. Not only did it cause excruciating pain, but this white, pure-liquid puss sprayed out of the wound. Jenny stood up and did her best to cover it up. She calmly walked up to Darkonda and paused. Suddenly, she uncovered the blister, allowing the puss to spray onto his face.

"A little taste of vengeance before I turn into a hellspawn!" she shouted. She turned around sharply, swinging her hair in Darkonda's face. Together, the three Spices teleported away.

"Grrr, they got away," Ecliptor growled. "Darkonda, the Barillian bug wasn't necessary. The Spices aren't like other people. They are their very own species. Tonfa Spice may not necessarily turn into a Barillian bug."

"Why wouldn't she?" Darkonda asked.

"Because she's a dead body. A dead body possessed by demonic spirits. All the Spices are this way."

"Well, we'll see what happens."

Meanwhile, the Spices had contacted the Astro Rangers, who rushed to their aid. They had Jenny rest on a table while Lexington scanned her. Her sleeve was still rolled up. The puss had calmed down, as it was slowly oozing out. She had peculiar marks of all the dark colors (red, blue, purple, green, black) on her arm. Her arm was also clammy.

"Eeeuw, yucky. I am sorry, but I cannot make heads or tails out of these readings," Lexington said.

"Oh man, I don't feel good . . ." Jenny groaned.

"Does it feel cold?" Andros asked.

"Uh . . ." Jenny took a moment to explore her symptoms. "It feels cold . . . but at the same time . . . it burns. According to Darkonda, I'm going to become one of those bugs."

"Not necessarily, honey," the Cryptkeeper said. "Our spirit alters these symptoms, remember?"

"Oh yeah. He also told us what that thing was called," Jenny went on. "What was it again? It started with a 'B.' C.K., help me . . ."

"He said it was a . . . um . . ." Demona wondered.

"Sorry, I don't remember what he said," the Cryptkeeper said.

"What if we go back down to the planet?" C.C. asked. "Maybe we can find the bug and get a look at it."

"That seems to be the best thing to do right now," Andros said.

"Great! Come on, Spinal!" C.C. cried, grabbing his wrist and racing out of the room.

"Where're we going!?" Spinal gasped.

"We're gonna go get that bug!"

"Okay, but I'm not leaving without my weapons."

"You guys can borrow the galaxy gliders if you need 'em!" T.J. called.

Once they retrieved their weapons, Spinal went through Andros' jump tube, and C.C. went through Cassie's. They teleported to the planet and looked around. They didn't see any bugs.

"Perhaps I have what you seek," Darkonda said, suddenly stepping out in front of them. He held a Barillian bug in his hand.

"Is that the thing that stung Tonfa Spice?" Spinal asked.

"Of course it is," Darkonda replied.

"Who are you?" C.C. asked.

"Uh . . . that's um . . ." Spinal began.

"Darkonda is my name, evil is my game," Darkonda interrupted. He turned around and zipped out of sight. Spinal and C.C. stood still.

"Yeah . . . that's who he is," Spinal muttered. "Darkonda."

"I know he doesn't expect us to go after him," C.C. said.

They stared straight forward and saw Darkonda zooming back and forth.

"Come on!" They finally decided to pursue him. Darkonda continued to zoom back and forth. Spinal and C.C. needed a faster mode of transportation.

"Galaxy gliders, hang ten!" C.C. shouted.

The red and pink galaxy gliders flew in from the sky and hovered in front of the running couple. They jumped simultaneously. Spinal somehow propelled himself onto the glider while C.C. didn't quite make it. She jumped again and again, but still couldn't reach it. Suddenly, Spinal picked her up, startling her. He hovered over the pink galaxy glider and dropped her onto it.

"Thanks," she said, standing up. "Now where'd that guy go?"

"There he is!" Spinal called.

Darkonda sat in a tree with another Barillian hive. He cut it in half with his sword, letting one half fall.

"Get them!" he ordered the bug.

The hive half landed on Spinal's head. Yellow slime oozed down his face.

"AARRGH! YUCK!" he screamed, throwing the hive away.

He and C.C. flew even faster on the galaxy gliders, edging away from each other. C.C. suddenly found the Barillian bug flying over her. She dropped to her belly, then positioned herself on her back, trying to shoo the bug with her nunchucks.

"Spinal, it's all over me; I can't shake it!" she cried. "AAAAH! Get away, get away!!"

"C.C., look out!" Spinal cried.

C.C. saw an arching log in front of her. She hopped over it as the glider went under, then she got back down under another thick branch.

"C.C., forgive me if I hurt you!" Spinal called. "I'm going to throw some skulls!"

He thrusted his shield forward, launching a line of searing skulls at C.C. As they all collided with her, the bug was also struck. C.C. fell forward onto the galaxy glider as the bug hit the ground. Spinal stopped the galaxy glider, hopped off, and stared down at the bug. C.C. parked her galaxy glider nearby and climbed off. She was surrounded by smoke, which she coughed away. She joined Spinal in staring down at the bug and even picked it up.

"Eeeuw, don't pick it up!" Spinal cried.

"Look at the size of this thing," C.C. said.

"Any idea what it is?"

"No. Let's take it back to the ship."

"Okay, but I ain't touching it."

They teleported back up to the Megaship and showed the bug to Jenny and the others.

"Is this it?" C.C. asked Jenny.

"Yeah, that's it," Jenny replied. "What an ugly mother . . ."

"What the hell is that thing?" Curly asked.

"Let me have a look at it," Andros said. "Yep, this is definitely a Barillian bug."

"A what bug?" the Cryptkeeper asked.

"You've dealt with them before?" T.J. asked.

"Unfortunately, yes. Huge swarms of them once attacked my home planet," Andros explained. "They were everywhere, stinging without warning. In hours, people who were stung turned into Barillian bugs."

"Whoa, that sounds scary," Spinal said. "Were you ever stung?"

"Of course not," Andros said.

"How many hours?" Jenny asked.

"Uh, about two or three."

"Well, she's late," the Cryptkeeper said. "This woman was stung five hours ago."

"Oh boy, lucky me," Jenny muttered sarcastically. Suddenly, she started coughing violently. When she was done, she spit a blackish-green venom onto the floor. Upon making contact, it started steaming and sizzling. The Rangers stared in disgust. Jenny wrapped her arms around herself and shivered. "Man, am I cold."

"Would you like a blanket?" Carlos asked.

"Yes, please," Jenny said.

Carlos left the room and came back a minute later with a blanket. Jenny took it eagerly and covered herself with it.

"Thanks, Carlos, you are such a sweetheart!" She kissed his hand. To her surprise, Carlos screamed in pain. When she released him, that same white blister appeared on his hand. She gasped.

"Carlos, I am so sorry! I had no idea that was going to happen," she said.

"Oh, I understand," Carlos said. "But you are burning up!"

"Let me see," the Cryptkeeper said. He put his hand on Jenny's head, then screamed and pulled it back. "He's right; you are burning up."

"Here, I'll take her temperature," Ashley said. She took the scanner and hovered it around Jenny. "Ouch. Her temperature is 218░! Her blood is boiling!"

Jenny sighed, quickly laid back, and threw the covers over her face.

"Anyway, scientists developed an antidote on KO-35. There may be some of it left. We have to go get it for Jenny and Carlos," Andros went on. "It might be our only hope."

"In the meantime, Jenny can try to sleep her symptoms out," the Cryptkeeper said.

"Fat chance," Jenny muttered as Hallie and Kathy entered the room.

"Sis? What's going on?" Hallie asked.

"I regret to inform you that your sister was stung by a . . . a . . . a Brazilian bug," the Cryptkeeper muttered.

"That's Barillian bug," Andros corrected him.

"Yeah, whatever."

"A what bug?" Hallie asked.

"She's also running a fever of about 218 degrees," Lexington added.

"Ouch; that is awful!"

"Hey, Jenn, why don't you come out of those covers and show her what that bug did to you?" C.C. suggested.

Jenny uncovered her head. Hallie gasped as she noticed the markings, which were now also on her face. Hallie also saw the blister resulting from the bite.

"Eeeuw. That is one nasty blister, sister," she said.

"Come on," Andros called. "Deca, set a course for KO-35. We'd better go and restrain Carlos before he transforms. I need somebody to protect the bridge."

"I'm on it," Lexington said.

"Me, too," Demona said.

"Me, three," Brooklyn said.

The Rangers and the gargoyles left the room. The Spices left the room also. Only Spinal "volunteered" to stay with Jenny.

The Rangers jumped into their jump tubes. Within seconds, they found themselves on the surface of Andros' home planet, KO-35. They headed toward the abandoned hospital, where the antidote was located.

"This is the hospital where they created the antidote," Andros said.

"Well, let's go," Ashley said.

They only took a few steps toward the hospital when they were roughly stopped by explosions.

"Looks like you won't be able to reach the antidote," Darkonda called.

"Out of our way, Darkonda," Andros called. "We're on a mission!"

"And I'm here to mess up that mission!" Darkonda fired some kind of white steam at the Rangers. It felt really cold to them. A minute later, they were all frozen solid.

* * *

"Hey, Jenny, hold out your hand for a minute," the Cryptkeeper said.

Jenny uncovered herself again and held out her hand. The Cryptkeeper took an egg, cracked it open, and let the yolk drop into her palm. Upon making contact, it started sizzling. Jenny sat up in shock. She touched the top of the yolk with her other hand, cooking it as well. Ten seconds later, she removed her top hand to reveal a well-cooked egg. Having nothing better to do, she ate it.

"Well, you must be burning up," the Cryptkeeper said.

"Yeah, but I'm also freezing," Jenny told him.

"Attention: The Power Rangers have disappeared from the planet," Deca announced.

"You can't be serious!" C.C. cried. "How can they just disappear?"

"Well, let's get down there and find out," Earl said.

Jenny covered herself again and attempted to fall asleep. The Spices went down to KO-35 in groups of five or six. Spinal stayed by Jenny's side 24-7. Spinal decided to start a diary of his own. Jenny had told him that it allows a person to explore himself or herself. Spinal opened his diary, took a pencil, and started writing about his one obsessionů.

Dear Diary,
I'm just beside myself in anger. This nasty space witch named Astronema has this sexual attraction to me, and it's NOT making me happy. She'll do everything it takes to lay her hands on me. She's already kidnapped me twice, and she once offered to leave me alone if I beat her in battle. Well, I did beat her in battle, but she still goes after me, not surprisingly. Jenny can't help me, although she has a similar predicament. Elgar is in love with her, and oddly enough, she loves him, too. Elgar is different, though; he has a low IQ and a high sense of humor. Astronema is exactly the opposite, so Jenny's advice that worked for her won't work with me. Another stunning fact which I can't get over (and neither can anyone else), is the fact that Jenny and Hallie are actually Astronema's daughters. Fortunately for us, Astronema doesn't know that, and Jenny is determined to make sure that she stays unaware. I could understand Jenny's concern. If Astronema were to find out, she'd probably try to take them and make them evil. The question is, can Jenny trust Elgar to keep a secret from Astronema?

As Spinal wrote, Deca's announcement came over and over, informing them that all the Spice groups were disappearing. Hallie and Kathy walked into the room.

"Looks like it's up to us," Hallie said.

"Are you sure you should go by yourselves?" Spinal asked. "If the larger groups can disappear, what's going to happen to you? Maybe I should go with you."

"You can watch my sister a hell of a lot better than I can," Hallie said. "Dammit, Spinal, quit being so skeptical! Well, we'll go check on Carlos before we go."

The little girls stormed out of the room. Jenny smiled weakly and proudly.

"That's my sister," she muttered.

They both sat there in total silence. Spinal had just rested his head on the table when he heard a high-pitched scream. He jumped up and started out to investigate.

"Where're you going?" Jenny asked.

"I'm going to investigate," Spinal told her.

"Investigate what?" Jenny inquired.

"Didn't you hear that scream?"

"No."

Spinal paused, then ran out of the room. He ran to the other room where he saw Hallie and Kathy standing in front of Carlos, who had transformed into a giant Barillian bug.

"Come on, let's get out of here," Spinal suggested.

Hallie and Kathy ran out of the room and rushed to the jump tubes. Spinal returned to Jenny. After a while, Jenny began sniffing rapidly.

"What is it?" Spinal asked.

"I smell something good," Jenny said.

"Well, I don't know; I lack three senses."

Then Jenny pulled out a kleenex and sneezed into it. Then she held up the kleenex, which began to disintegrate. She dropped it on the floor.

"Oh man, what has that barbecue bug done?" Spinal muttered.

A few more minutes went by uneventfully. The only noise they heard was Carlos growling and scraping around the ship.

"Attention: Candy Spice and Baby Spice have disappeared from KO-35," Deca called.

"Oy vey!" Jenny sighed slowly and pitifully. She uncovered herself yet again. "I can't sleep! What am I going to do?"

She sat up and looked at Spinal, who was sitting with his head on the table, sound asleep. She suddenly groaned in pain.

"Ow! It hurts to move!" She stretched her body in different directions, then sighed again, this time in frustration. Her noises of relief awakened Spinal.

"What's going on?" he asked.

"Hallie and Kathy have disappeared," Jenny said. "And that did it."

She stood up and started out of the room.

"Where're you going?" Spinal asked.

"I'm gonna go down there and get the blasted antidote myself," Jenny said sternly.

"But are you sure you should leave the ship? You're sick, you know."

"Spinal, I'm going. Are you in or out?"

"Uh . . . I-I-I'm in."

"Good. Let's go."

They walked down the megadeck to the jump tubes. About halfway there, Spinal paused.

"Did you hear that?"

Jenny kept right on walking. Spinal walked back to see what the noise was. Without warning, the Barillian Carlos jumped in front of him. Spinal screamed and rushed to catch up with Jenny, who had already reached Ashley's jump tube. She paused with her hands on the bar above the tube upon hearing Spinal's scream. Spinal ran into the room and dove into Andros' jump tube without losing speed and without touching the edges of the tube. Jenny chuckled to herself and waited. When Carlos entered the room, Jenny smiled and jumped into the tube.

They soon found themselves on the planet. Jenny hit the ground roughly and Spinal helped her up.

"Whoo. This is one weird-looking planet," Jenny commented.

"Yeah."

They raced into the hospital and found the metal cabinet where the antidote was stored.

"Hmm. It's locked. I'll have to bust in open," Jenny said, drawing out her sticks.

"Save your energy. I'll do it," Spinal said.

He sliced the lock open with his sword. Jenny pulled out the case containing the antidote.

"Hmm. I don't see why everyone else found it so difficult," she said. "I thought it was easy."

Suddenly, they were greeted by explosions. It was an attack from Darkonda.

"Too bad you'll never get the chance to use it," he said.

Jenny held the antidote close to her chest. "What are you doing here?"

"Look at you," Darkonda said without answering. "All covered up in hideous markings. You must be in exquisite pain."

He held out his hand. Jenny slowly walked up to him. Pausing for a minute, she took his hand and instantly heard a sizzling sound. Darkonda pulled back, but Jenny maintained her grip.

"Ow! Ow! Ow!" Darkonda screamed, finally succeeding in withdrawing his hand.

"Damn right, I'm in exquisite pain," Jenny snapped, stepping back. "Come on, Spinal, let's get back before we disappear."

"I'm with you," Spinal replied.

"Give me the antidote, my dear," Darkonda said, advancing slowly.

"Why?" Jenny asked, still hugging the case. "You can't have it; it's ours."

Jenny and Spinal didn't move. Without Jenny's resistance, Darkonda grasped the antidote container and pulled it toward him. Jenny kept her grip tight. As Darkonda pulled harder, trying to rip it out of her hand, Jenny made no effort to take it back, but just maintained her grip. She had a smile on her face.

"I guess you don't want it after all," she said, finally pulling it back.

"Okay. I'll let you go with the antidote if you just give me a kiss on the cheek," Darkonda said.

"What? Why?" Jenny asked. "I'm sure we'll meet again."

"I just need a little kiss," Darkonda replied.

"Okay, but let me clear my throat first." Jenny coughed violently. When she was finished, she put her arms around Darkonda's neck and spit the same burning venom on his face. Darkonda screamed in pain.

"Ow! Why'd you have to go and do that?" he asked.

"Don't blame me! Blame your stupid Bolivian bug!" Jenny screamed.

"That's the Barillian bug, honey," Darkonda said.

"Whatever! Come on, Spinal, let's go."

Jenny ran up the stairs. Of course, Darkonda ran after her, but Spinal stopped him and they started fighting. Jenny paused when she reached the top.

"Okay, if he wants to fight, let him fight," she thought. She continued her run and teleported back to the Astro Megaship.

When she reached the Megaship, she searched for Carlos. She found him walking around the bridge. As soon as she walked in, Carlos turned to her. Jenny aimed the antidote gun and sprayed the chemical. Carlos fell to the floor, then quickly transformed back into a human. Then he stood back up. He stared at the ailing girl with the antidote trembling in her hand.

"What's going on?" he asked.

"Shoot me," Jenny said, handing him the antidote.

Carlos shrugged his shoulders and sprayed the antidote on her, and she fell to the floor. All the hideous markings on her body instantly disappeared. She took a deep breath and stood up.

"Oh my gosh; I feel so much better!" she cried. "But we gotta get back down! Spinal's in trouble!"

She and Carlos rushed to the jump tubes and teleported back down to KO-35. They arrived just in time, as Spinal was doubled over by Darkonda.

"Wow! You both look so much better!" he said.

"Indeed, you do," Darkonda said. "And now you can watch as I destroy the last of the Barillian antidote."

He threw the tiny tube on the ground and stepped on it. Carlos gasped, but the Spices remained still.

"That's okay," Jenny said. "I've already sampled it. We have a spiritual link, you know. I can't speak for the Black Ranger, but now that I've tasted the antidote, we Spices are immune now."

"Let's blast this guy," Spinal said.

"Okay, one, two, three!" Carlos pulled out his blaster and fired while Jenny and Spinal unleashed as much power as they could. As soon as the terrific blast hit Darkonda, the other Rangers and Spices appeared out of nowhere, all frozen in ice blocks and dropped to the ground. The ice blocks shattered, freeing everyone.

Overwhelmed by the 37 warriors, Darkonda spoke. "You haven't seen the last of me!" Then he vanished.

"Ha. So much for old Brilliant bug," Sal said.

Andros didn't even bother to correct him. "Hey, how did you get the antidote?" he asked.

"Uh . . . I dunno," Jenny said. "What kept you guys?"

"Darkonda kept us, that's what," T.J. said.

"Well, we'd better get back to Earth," Ashley said. "You guys keep looking for Zordon."

"Don't worry, Rangers; we'll find him soon enough," Jenny called as the Rangers teleported from the planet. "I hope."

After a moment of awkward silence, the Spice Club members teleported back to the Astro Megaship.

The End... for now

Rule

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