Leadership Friction
by : Crypt

Being a leader means more than making tough decisions that will decide the fate of the universe. When it comes to being a leader and your team has joined forces with another team, there is going to be friction between the leaders. That is the case now between the Spice Club and the Power Rangers.

Kathy was in her bedroom on the Astro Megaship, standing in front of a mirror practicing her acting skills.

"Oh Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo," she sighed. "Nah, thatís pathetic. Hmm.... We have nothing to fear but fear itself. No, no..... Beware the jabberwocky, my son...."

Before she could continue, Carlos entered the room. He carried a box behind his back. "Hey, Kathy."

"Hey, Carlos," Kathy replied. "I just tried on my new outfit; do you like it?"

Kathy wore a blue and white striped T-shirt along with dark blue jeans.

"Yeah, I think itís great!" Carlos replied with exaggeration. "But when you see the gift that I have for you, I think youíre going to want to make a quick change."

Carlos set the gift on Kathyís bed. Kathy skipped over to it and opened it up. Inside was a red sweater.

"So, what do you think?" Carlos asked.

"Well.....itís.....so well-made," Kathy replied, using tact. "I donít think Iíll wear it today, though. Iíll just put it away and wear it for something special, like a holiday celebration."

"Wait! You can wear it then, too, but it would really make me happy if youíd wear it today," Carlos said.

"But I wanna wear what I have on!"

"You can wear what you have on; just put this over it."

"I know whatís going on; you want me to cover up what Iím wearing because Andros thinks that we dress weird, right? Andros thinks that WEíRE weird."

"Why would he think that? He hardly knows you guys."

"Well, he didnít have to know us to decide that he didnít like us," Kathy said.

"Where did you get the idea that Andros doesnít like you guys?" Carlos asked.

"Excuse me? From you, and I am quoting you, ĎAndros canít stand you and your friends.í"

"Okay, maybe thatís what he said, but I think you guys can get along with Andros. Heís really a nice guy."

Kathy sighed. "Okay, Iíll put on this sweater."

She stood in front of the mirror and put on the red sweater, then turned to face Carlos.

"Isnít that a beautiful sweater?" he asked. "That look is you!"

Kathy stared at him with a stupid look on her face.

"I feel much less nervous now; thank you." Carlos noticed the pair of earrings that Kathy wore. One earring was a cat, and the other was a fishbone. "Kathy, are those the earrings that youíre gonna wear?"

Kathy gasped.

"Donít get me wrong, I like them; itís just Andros," Carlos told her.

"Well, donít worry; Andros wonít see them, okay?" Kathy stormed over to the jump tube room with Carlos on her heels. She reached into her locker, pulled out a pair of blue earmuffs and put them on. "Youíre right, Carlos, these are much better," she said with a British accent."

"Kathy...." Carlos began.

"Ta-ta."

"Kathy....Kathy!!" Carlos chased the ten-year-old out of the room.

Meanwhile, several other Spices and the Rangers were on the bridge making conversation. Carlos and Kathy entered the room. Jenny was telling the others about her visit to the planet Onyx.

"Probably the most frightening part was when Darkonda asked me to go on a dinner date with him, and I actually considered agreeing," she said. "And the time when that one guy wanted to kill me because I won their twisted game of poker. Theyíre such poor sports."

"What was that about the dinner date?" Carlos asked.

"Oh....nothing," Jenny replied.

"Kathy, Iím glad youíre in here," Andros said. "I wanted to ask you, how does it feel to be the youngest Spice Club member?"

"Uh...." Kathy looked for a place to sit down, but she didnít want to sit directly next to Andros, so she forced herself between Jenny and Earl. Hallie was sitting in Earlís lap.

"Itís going really well," Kathy told Andros. "Donít you?"

"Weíre dead," Hallie said.

"Sheís proud of it," Kathy said with a laugh.

"Iíll go get some cheese and crackers," Jenny said as she headed out of the room.

Kathy jumped up and grabbed her arm. "Iíll come with you, help you...."

"Donít be silly; the Rangers want to see you," Jenny replied. "Sit down."

Jenny took another step toward the door with Kathy still hanging on her.

"Okay, help you...." Kathy sang.

"Kathy, itís just cheese and crackers."

"Okay, help you...."

At that point, Jenny gave up and let Kathy follow her to the jump tube room.

"I have a dollar that I donít need. Anybody want it?" Earl asked.

"Iíll take it," T.J. replied, extending his hand.

Earl took T.J.ís hand and licked his palm. T.J. quickly pulled his hand back.

"Gotcha," Earl said.

In the jump tube room.......

"Kathy, is there something going on between you and Andros?" Jenny asked.

Kathy shrugged her shoulders and smiled. "Nothing; things couldnít be better," she lied.

"Kathy, this is me youíre talking to," Jenny told her.

"Well, thereís just friction between Andros and me."

"Well, thatís not such an uncommon thing. Andros is seventeen, eighteen, and youíre only ten. Thatís a big age difference. But of course thereís going to be friction between teams. I went through a similar thing with Tommy."

"This is different," Kathy said. Then she dropped the news. "Andros canít stand us."

"Us, who?" Jenny asked.

"Us, the Spice Club. He canít stand us."

"You may think that, but Iím sure it just isnít true."

"I happen to know that itís true.

"Did the man look you in the eye and say, ĎKathy, I canít stand you and your friends?í"

"No. He said it to Carlos," Kathy said.

Jennyís eyes widened in surprise. "He did?"

"Carlos told me twice that Andros canít stand us; he thinks weíre flakes," Kathy explained. "Can you believe that? We havenít done anything to Andros, have we?"

"No, but why would he say this behind our backs?"

"I donít know. Thereís only one thing that he said to my face. He once said, ĎI hope you donít approach your enemies like you did your childhood.í Then Carlos made me put on this damn sweater!"

Then Kathy stormed out of the room. Jenny remained completely still. She walked over to the dining table.

"Oh really?" she muttered aloud. "Hungry, are you? I donít blame the other Rangers; I wouldnít feed you either."

As she walked about, Andros came in.

"Need some help?" he asked.

Jenny hesitated before answering.....

* * *

Kathy went back onto the bridge where the others were still sitting.

"Whereíre the cheese and crackers?" T.J. asked.

"Oh, the orders are going to have to wait," Kathy told him. "Jenny wants to talk to Andros alone."

"Gimme my dollar back, please," Earl said.

T.J. glared at him.

"Hallie, letís go to the mall," Kathy suggested. "You coming, Cyberninjas?"

The Cyberninjas were leaning against the wall, apparently asleep. They perked their heads up. "Sure."

They followed the little girls out of the bridge. Earl and T.J. suddenly realized that they were alone.

"People seem to be clearing out of here fast," Earl said.

"I wonder why Jenny and Andros are in there talking to each other......alone?" T.J. asked.

"I think I know what it is," Earl whispered. He and T.J. leaned closer to each other. "Carlos told me that Andros made some remarks about the Spice Club, which Carlos foolishly told Kathy."

"What kind of remarks?" T.J. asked.

"Well, Carlos said.....that Andros said.....that he canít stand the Spice Club. Now, Iím thinking that Kathy told Jenny what Carlos said Andros said."

"So Jenny just found out what Carlos said that Andros said?"

"You said it," Earl told him.

"Word," T.J. muttered.

* * *

"So, Jenny, you live in an abandoned funeral parlor?" Andros asked. "I remember seeing it before. You and your pals have done some lovely work on it."

"Yeah, weíve managed," Jenny replied with an evil grin on her face.

"Uh, I donít think you need any help in here. I think Iíll spend some time with T.J."

Andros began to leave the room.

"Andros," Jenny called sweetly yet seriously.

"Hmm?"

"Could we sit......?"

The two team leaders sat at the table together.

"Andros......Baby Spice is not comfortable with you," Jenny said.

"I sense something is going on."

"Carlos told her what you said about us."

"What did I say?"

"You said you canít stand the Spice Club."

"What!? I would never say anything like that!" Andros cried.

"Carlos said you did," Jenny told him.

"Let me start by telling you about a recent battle. I was scanning all over the universe, searching for my sister, who was kidnapped years ago. The search led me to my home planet, KO-35. So I went down there and Ecliptor attacked me. Now Carlos decides to come down and help me, but then he gets badly hurt. And then all the Rangers came together and drove Ecliptor away. I was so upset. When Carlos recovered, I took him aside, and I said, ĎCarlos, I canít stand this!í Iím talking about I canít stand the way he comes down and helps me when I donít want him to. It has NOTHING to do with the Spice Club. I was angry with Carlos."

"Well, you have been misquoted."

Andros nodded. "Those people had better be thankful to have leaders like us, who can put up with them."

"I want to thank you, because we are the best things that ever happened to them," Jenny said.

"Just wait Ďtil they get the same frustration that theyíre giving us."

"Andros, letís get on our knees and pray. Letís pray that Ashley and Cassie graduate from high school, and come home one day, each with three husbands, four children, and a dog!"

Jenny and Andros broke into laughter.

* * *

Meanwhile, in another room, Ashley was trying on a yellow dress that Hanim had sewn for her.

"Hanim, I love this dress! Did you make it yourself?" Ashley asked.

"Yes, I did. So whatís happening with you?"

"Well, I need to think about my future. Iíll be graduating before I realize it. Iíve been researching what schools Iíll be going into afterwards."

"What schools are you going into?" Hanim asked.

"Angel Grove University, hopefully," Ashley said. "But you need a high GPA to get in that one, so Iíve researched a few less strict schools as close to home as possible. But theyíre all pretty strict."

As Ashley stood on the table, Hanim took the pin and poked Ashleyís behind with it.

"Ow!" Ashley cried.

Hanim gasped. "Oh, Iím sorry, but youíve got to stop jiggling."

"Yeah, okay," Ashley said. "So what about you? What are you doing?"

"I really canít do much of anything. I threw my life away, remember? But I probably would have gone on to become a singer or a fashion designer."

"And this dress would have been the beginning. You know, the only reason why I want to get into Angel Grove University is because of all the gorgeous guys Iíve heard about."

"Oh, knock it off. Theyíre probably the same guys you went to high school with." Hanim poked Ashleyís behind again on purpose.

"Ow!" Ashley cried. "Hanim, donít you have any dull pins?"

"Doing the best I can," Hanim replied.

"Well, I donít mean to keep going on about myself."

"Thatís okay. Youíre not the only one with pins --- I mean plans."

Ashley climbed down from the table and gazed at herself in the mirror. "You know, I may not get into all those schools."

"Ashley, youíll get in," Hanim told her. "I was hoping to work in Hollywood, but my life was too spoiled."

"Oh, you wouldíve introduced me to all your celebrity friends, right?"

"Oh, Ashley, theyíre just like you and me."

"Anyway, Hanim, thanks for the dress; itíll look great for the prom!" Ashley gushed.

"Anytime, Ashley," Hanim replied. "Anytime."

* * *

Andros and Jenny returned to the bridge. It was completely empty.

"Hmm. I wonder where Earl and T.J. went?" Andros asked.

"Probably down in the Hull House basement," Jenny told him. "That because Earl thinks nobody likes to go down there. Little doth he know that when heís not about, I am down in there listening to those hip-hop albums."

"I see," Andros replied.

Spinal entered the room with a yawn.

"Spinal, sleepwalking again, are we?" Jenny asked.

"Yep," Spinal said sleepily. "I need to heal my skull. Itís still sensitive."

"What happened?" Andros asked.

"You donít want to know," Spinal told him.

Finally, Carlos, Kathy, and the Cyberninjas came onto the bridge.

"Hi, weíre back from the store," Kathy said. "Is it okay that weíre back from the store?"

"Weíre delighted," Jenny said. "Whereís Hallie?"

"Sheís playing with C.C." Carlos said.

"Well, Iím pleased to see you back, Carlos," Andros said.

"I take it everything went well in here?" Carlos asked.

"It certainly did. We got to the bottom of things, and thatís where we found you."

"Huh?"

"You told the Spices that I canít stand them," Andros told him. "And thatís just not true."

"Itís not?" Carlos and Kathy asked.

"No, it isnít," Andros repeated.

"But Andros, I was there when you said it," Carlos protested.

"Iím sure you were, but you really didnít listen. I told you that I donít like the way you come and help me when I donít want you to. I have nothing against the Spices. I donít even know the Spices. As far as Iím concerned, I think the Spices are wonderful people."

"You do?" Kathy asked.

"Yes. Youíre all going to be my very good friends," Andros told her.

In response, Kathy ran up and hugged Andros.

"And to THINK, Carlos, that you had me upset with Andros," Jenny scolded. "This.....FINE young man!"

"I know, but---" Carlos began.

"You made me put on this disgusting sweater because you thought Andros couldnít stand us," Kathy scolded.

"You made her put.....?" Andros cried. "Oh, take that off; thatís not you!"

"Thank you," Kathy sighed as she took off the sweater.

"Can I just say something here?" Carlos asked.

"No, you canít say anything," Jenny told him.

Andros, Jenny, and Kathy were all scolding Carlos simultaneously. While Carlos tried to protest, they kept talking. Finally, Carlos gave up and covered his face, feeling ashamed of himself.

So Jenny proved herself to be a good leader, by smoothing out the friction that came between the two teams. Now the other Rangers and Spices can feel more secure with each other, thus making their teamwork even more formidable. Go, Tonfa Spice!!

The End... for now

Rule

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