Darkonda sat in the Dark Fortress with only one thing in mind. Actually, he had only one person in mind: Jenny, better known as Tonfa Spice. Darkonda's mission was to get Jenny on a dinner date with him. He knew that his past attempts haven't failed because Jenny has never given him a definite no as an answer. His thoughts were rudely interrupted when Ecliptor stepped into the Dark Fortress.
"So what are you moping around about, Darkonda?" he asked.
"Not what, but who," Darkonda corrected. "Tonfa Spice...."
"Ah, still trying to get her on a dinner date with you, eh?" Ecliptor said. "Forget it; it will never happen."
"Yes, it will. She hasn't said no yet. I'll bet you anything that she's considering. I'll bet that she'll get back to me and say that she'll do it."
"Yeah, don't worry, Ecliptor," Elgar chimed in. "She dated me once and she had a great time. She told me about her past life and everything."
"She told you about her past life?" Darkonda asked. "What was it like?"
"It was horrible," Elgar told him. "She said that the other humans treated her badly, like a soccer ball in the field."
"I don't see why," Darkonda said. "She's so cute, cunning, and spunky. I find that hard to believe."
"Just ask her if you ever get that dinner date with her," Elgar said. "She'll tell you everything. In fact, she's wandering around alone on KO-35......again."
"What is it about that planet that she likes to much?" Ecliptor asked.
"Probably the fact that it's deserted. She likes to spend most of her time alone," Elgar told him. "A desire drawn by the fact that nearly everybody around her wants to beat her up."
"Well, it's about time I made another proposal," Darkonda said. "And Ecliptor, are you sure you don't want to make it a double date with Candy Spice?"
"Yes, I'm positive. I will not be caught dating little girls with disgusting reputations," Ecliptor snapped.
"Have it your way," Darkonda said. He teleported out of the Fortress.
"Ha! He'll never make it," Ecliptor said.
Jenny was pacing around on KO-35. She only walks around, usually singing to herself. By now, it was obvious that getting complete privacy would be impossible. What she was thinking about at the present was unknown. Suddenly, as usual, Darkonda appeared behind her. Jenny spun around and took an offensive pose.
"Don't be alarmed," Darkonda told her. "I'm not here to fight."
"Then why are you here?" Jenny asked.
"Well.....I know I've asked you this before.....but it would really make me happy if you would.....well, you know......."
Jenny sighed. "Why me?"
"Because.....I love you."
"Didn't you tell Ecliptor that you weren't in love with me?"
"When was that?"
"That was when you took me to your little playroom. I overheard your argument with Ecliptor."
"Well, I was merely in denial. I am in love with you," Darkonda told her. "It's so hopeless now, I might as well tell Ecliptor the truth."
"You tell Ecliptor, and he'll tell Astronema," Jenny said.
"Okay, let's get down to business," Darkonda said. "How about tonight?"
"Wait....what are you talking about?"
"The dinner date, little missy."
"Oh. You don't give up, do you?"
"Okay...." Jenny thought for a moment. "All right, I'll do it tonight."
"Great!!" Darkonda screamed. It was so sudden, it gave Jenny a start. "Just meet me at the Onyx Saloon at 8:00 and I'll book a table."
"Wait. You want me to go to the planet Onyx.....at night!?" Jenny asked.
"Yeah, why not? It's just the same, except it's darker."
"They'll attack me!"
"Hmm.....you're right. You have any ideas."
"Sure. We'll meet right here at 8:00 and you can take me there."
Darkonda placed his hand on her shoulder. "Sweetheart, you got yourself a deal."
They shook hands, then Darkonda disappeared as quickly as he appeared. Jenny began pondering again, wondering if she had made the right choice. She checked her watch.
"High noon! I've got a whole eight hours to mope around." She
Those eight hours couldn't have lasted longer. Jenny told her friends about the date, but that was all she could do until the time came. Just before she was to leave, the Rangers came aboard the ship.
"Oh man!" T.J. cried.
"I'm with you! I'm ready to relax after a rough adventure," Cassie added.
"It is getting very late, Rangers," Deca called.
"It is!?" Jenny cried, perking her head. She checked her watch. "Oh man! I've gotta go, or I'll be late for my date!"
"Date?" Ashley called. "What date?"
"There's no time to explain," Jenny said. "See ya!"
She raced out of the bridge.
The Rangers looked at the Spices.
"What's going on?" Carlos asked.
"She.....has a date," the Cryptkeeper told him.
"I know that, but when did she schedule it? Who is she dating?"
"You wouldn't believe us if we told you."
"Would you believe.....Darkonda?"
The Rangers jumped up instantly.
"Why didn't you stop her!?" T.J. cried.
"What's to stop?" the Cryptkeeper asked. "She'll be back. This isn't the first time she's ever dated a bad guy. Hell, you never know; her soul mate might be a bad guy."
"What gave you idea?" Cassie asked.
"Well....." The Cryptkeeper turned to the other Spices. "Think we should tell them?"
"You might as well; they're already curious," Spinal told him.
"Tell us what?" Ashley asked.
"Well.....Jenny and Hallie have just recently found out that Astronema is their mother."
"Then how can you trust them!?" Andros cried.
"They were raised as normal children!" Lexington told him. "Just because their mother is evil doesn't mean that they have to be evil, too. Who knows, she may find out about something, like where your sister is."
"Did you say that Darkonda isn't the first bad guy she's dated?" Carlos asked.
"Yeah. She dated Elgar a while back," Spinal said. "She had a great time, too."
"So, she should have a nice time with Darkonda, too," Hallie said.
"But if only I could've made it a double dinner date with the
Jenny returned to KO-35 to meet Darkonda. However, the planet was deserted and there were no street lights. Since it was nighttime, the place was completely dark. Jenny turned around rapidly. The darkness made her very nervous.
"It's too dark around here!" she exclaimed.
Darkonda had the ability to see in the dark. He snuck up behind Jenny and suddenly snatched her into a bear hug. Jenny screamed in response.
"Relax, my dear. It is only I, Darkonda."
"Oh." Jenny sighed with relief. "Phew. You scared me! It's so dark here, I can't see a thing!"
"I love the dark," Darkonda said.
"Is that why they call you Darkonda?" Jenny asked.
"I guess you can say that. Now, let's go; I'm ready."
"I'm ready....I think."
"Onyx, here we come!"
The odd couple arrived at the planet Onyx merely seconds later due to Darkonda's teleportation. The planet looked exactly the way Jenny recalled, except for the darkness. Grasping Jenny's hand tightly, Darkonda escorted her to the saloon. Jenny was relieved that the lighting was adequate. Thousands of monster eyes stared at her as Darkonda took her to the main counter and sat next to some kind of ant monster. Jenny recognized the server as he served a steaming metal glass to the ant.
"You know, buddy, you look just my AUNT," Darkonda joked, slapping the ant's back.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah; very funny," the ant mumbled.
Even Jenny found it amusing, and couldn't help laughing.
"Come on, let's get to our table," Darkonda told her.
"Your aunt...." Jenny mumbled. "Does that guy really look like your aunt?"
They sat down at the table.
"Well....yeah. Hmm....just stay here; I'll be right back," Darkonda said.
He stood up and walked up the stairs to a door and knocked on it. A short old man stepped out. His gray hair was braided behind him.
"Sorry, we're closed," he said.
He started to close the door, but Darkonda grabbed him and hauled him to his feet.
"I need a vial of strength potion, and I need it now!" Darkonda demanded.
"Yes....I think I might have one vial left," the old man stammered.
Darkonda dropped him roughly, and the old man went back into the room. Jenny looked up from the table, shocked by Darkonda's unnecessary cruelty. A minute later, the old man stepped out again and gave Darkonda the potion. Darkonda returned to Jenny and showed her the vial.
"Strength potion," he said. "I'll use it to defeat you and your pals."
"I see," Jenny said. "After beating the shit out of me the other day, I don't think you'll need it."
"That's what bothers me. You agreed to join me even though I beat you to a pulp? You actually forgive me?"
"Of course I forgive you. We're supposed to be enemies; you had a right to beat me to a pulp. Besides, I'm dead, and it happens to me on a regular basis, so what do I care?"
A black female creature came up to their table.
"May I take your order?" she asked.
"Yes, we'll both have the Onyx Dish of the Day," Darkonda replied.
"Anything to drink?" the monster waitress asked.
"Onyx juice special?" Darkonda asked Jenny.
Jenny shrugged her shoulders. "Sure, why not?"
"Okay, it'll be out shortly." The waitress walked away from the table.
"Wow. Evil-doers getting along; I like this," Jenny said.
"Really?" Darkonda asked. "Well, even the bad guys needs evil friends."
"I have to admit that I am a little uncomfortable."
"I can see that, but just relax. Just be yourself and you'll fit right in. You'd be amazed."
"I'm still surprised that you and Ecliptor can't get along," Jenny said. "And I can't stand it."
"Why not?" Darkonda asked. "Ecliptor is a mighty warrior, but intelligence is not his strong point."
"You both work for Astronema, correct?" Jenny explained. "If you two fight amongst yourselves, Astronema gets angry. You're killing each other! If one of you kills the other, Astronema will kill the survivor. So, if you keep this up, you're both going to end up dead."
"But why does this concern you?"
"Because I like both of you. You're both worthy opponents. If you should perish, things will get a lot easier for us, the good guys; and that will make the struggle between good and evil downright boring."
"Hmm. Well, Tonfa Spice, you do present an intelligent argument as to why we should stop fighting amongst ourselves," Darkonda said.
At that moment, the skull-face creature sat at their table.
"Hey, Darkonda, wanna play a game?" he asked, shuffling the circular cards.
"Not right now, skullface; can't you see I'm on a date?" Darkonda snapped.
Skullface looked at Jenny. "Oh yeah; I remember you. You're that ailing young traveler that won Zordon's key cards."
"Yes, except that I'm no longer ailing," Jenny told him.
"Well, I'll play with you later. See ya...." Skullface walked away.
"So....." Darkonda said, drumming his fingers. "Speaking of the key cards, you didn't bring them, did you?"
"Of course not," Jenny told him.
"I was thinking that we could play for them again."
"I told you that I'm not playing poker again."
"Why not? You're so good at it."
"No, I'm not. I had no idea what I was doing. I only won those cards out of pure luck. I don't know the first thing about that game."
"Is that so?" Darkonda asked.
"Yeah, that's so," Jenny said.
The waitress came back with the Onyx dishes. "Well, hope you enjoy."
She set two silver plates with a cover in front of them.
"Chow time," Darkonda said.
They uncovered their dinners. A puff of white steam floated from them. Jenny coughed as she whisked it away with her hand. The dinners looked quite hideous. They looked like ground, dead animal flesh mixed with unusually colored vegetables. Jenny's eyes widened.
"Looks good, don't it?" Darkonda asked.
"Yeah, talk about roadkill," Jenny replied.
Darkonda picked up his fork and began to eat. Jenny looked down at her dinner. It looked like it was going to spring to life and say hello. Jenny thought to herself, remembering the fact that whenever she ate steak, turkey, chicken, etc., she was eating dead animals. She decided to try the Onyx Dish Special anyway. She took a medium-sized bite and chewed slowly. To her surprise and relief, it didn't taste that bad. She found it edible enough, so she took another bite.
"Oh, by the way," Darkonda said after a while. "Elgar has mentioned your past life; he said it was really tough. Would you mind telling me about it?"
Jenny let out an exasperated sigh. "Must I tell everyone about it?"
"Well, don't tell me the whole thing; just tell me.....something about it," Darkonda told her.
"Okay, the scenario that's most vivid right now is my middle school years," Jenny explained. "Every day was the same; I take the bus to school, I get picked on, then I walk home. Anyway, I get off the bus, I walk home, and I feel these rocks sailing around me."
"Rocks? These rocks were actually rotating around you like the moon does the Earth?"
"No. I mean that my schoolmates were throwing rocks at me from across the street. I kept on walking and thought to myself, 'If I just keep on walking and pretend not to notice, the rocks will never hit me.' "
"Did any rocks ever hit you?"
"Thankfully, no. There was one time where a rock just barely brushed over the top of my head," Jenny said, gently brushing the top of her head. "They were close that time, but I was never actually hit."
"So even your fellow Earthlings attacked you," Darkonda said. "Such a craven, puny race."
"One day, I said, ĎThat does it. Iím ending it all,í " Jenny went on. "So on a Halloween night, I gathered my only pals and had a party at this abandoned funeral parlor, which was possessed by these spirits. Those spirits created the Spice Club. Thatís why we were celebrating Halloween so wildly. Itís like an anniversary for us."
"I see. So you crowded all those Spices in there?"
"Oh no, my group was a lot smaller then. It was just me, along with my sister, Martian Spice, Blonde Spice, Wild Spice, and Zombie Spice. As time went by, more misfits wandered by and they joined the team."
"And how did you get involved in the struggle between good and evil?" Darkonda asked.
"Youíre full of Ďem, arenít you?" Jenny chuckled. "At that Halloween party, there were three evil monsters that tried to infiltrate it. Of course, after the possessions started happening, they panicked and started running around the house like a bunch of fat badgers. We managed to kill one of them, but the other two managed to escape. Do you know Scorpina by any chance?"
"Oh yes, I know her."
"She escaped from the party. We were this close to killing her, but the Soccadillo rescued her. Anymore questions?"
"So you guys are possessed by these demonic spirits? Youíre all actually evil monsters inside?"
"Weíre not evil."
"But the beasts are in you," Darkonda said. "I like it."
"Thatís nice," Jenny said.
They ate a few more bites from their dishes. All of a sudden, some laser weapon fired, and the shot made a direct hit into Jennyís forearm.
"Ow!" she screamed.
She turned to the door and saw the same long-haired creature she played the card games with. It was the same guy who had accused her of cheating. He walked directly to Jenny and Darkondaís table.
"You! You played that game of chance with us! You cheated!" he shouted.
"Oh, not you again," Jenny groaned. "Youíre not a very good sport, are you?"
"Of course heís not a good sport; heís evil," Darkonda told her.
"Whatís worse was that she won Zordonís key cards when sheís not even evil," the ugly long-haired guy said.
"Yeah she is," Darkonda said. "She just fights for the side of good because she has friends there. Right, Tonfa Spice?"
"Uh.....right," Jenny replied.
"Listen, you! I challenge you to a battle, right here and right now," the long-haired guy said.
"Why?" Jenny asked.
"Because I want those key cards back, you little bitch!"
"Bitch!?" Jenny stood up upon hearing the word. "Who the hell do you think youíre talking to!?"
"At least let the lady attend to her arm first," Darkonda interrupted. "Just go up to that door where I got the strength potion from, and heíll help you. If he says theyíre closed again, make him tend your wishes."
"Thanks, Darkonda," Jenny said, turning to the long-haired guy. "And you, Iím going to wear your ears in a fucking necklace when Iím through with you!"
"Weíll see about that."
Jenny turned sharply and walked up the stairs to the door. She knocked on the door and the same braided old man opened the door.
"Sorry, weíre closed," he said.
As he started to close the door, Jenny stuck her heel inside so that her foot kept the door from closing. The old man stepped outside again and saw that her foot was blocking the door. He looked up at her, then noticed her wound.
"Hmm. I guess weíd better get that fixed. Come in, please."
As Jenny followed him inside, she looked back at Darkonda and the other monsters. The old man had her sit down at a table. Then he pulled out a bowl of things which looked like glowing blue rocks.
"What are those?" Jenny asked.
The old man looked at her. "You must be new around here."
"Yeah..... I am," Jenny said. "Iíve only been here once before."
"Well, this is how we treat wounds," the old man said.
He took a small shovel and scooped some of the rocks out. He gently grasped Jennyís wrist.
"This may sting a little," he told her.
He put the glowing blue rocks directly on her wound. It didnít just sting a little, it hurt like hell! The rocks were really hot. Jenny covered her face with her free hand and squealed softly. She wanted to be screaming, but she didnít want to raise a racket. Her eyes began to water.
"There, that should do it," the old man said, taking the rocks off.
Jenny sighed with relief and looked at her arm. The glowing blue rocks had blackened her skin. She groaned in disgust. The old man came back with a rag and some gauze. He poured something from a bottle onto the rag, then patted Jennyís arm with it. That also stung. Then he wrapped the white gauze around her forearm, covering from just below the wrist to just above her elbow.
"Well, there you go," the old man said.
"Wait!" a voice called.
A figure stepped out from the shadows. Jenny recognized him instantly.
"Ecliptor, what are you doing here?" she asked.
"Since youíre dating Darkonda, I need you to give him this," Ecliptor said, handing her a vial of strength potion.
Jenny looked at it, confused. "Darkonda already has a strength potion," she told him.
"Just give it to him," Ecliptor said. "Tell him he may need it in case the first one should wear off."
"You know, Ecliptor, Iím not in that big of a hurry to be defeated."
"Just give it to him!"
"All right, fine! Be that way!" Jenny snapped. Then she sang, "Goodbye, Candyman!"
"Remember one thing," Ecliptor said. "You never saw me here! And donít call me Candyman!"
"Fine, fine," Jenny said, a hint of impatience in her voice. "Now, if youíll excuse me, I have a challenge to accept. Thanks for fixing my arm."
"Just be careful; itís going to be sensitive for the next few days," the old man told her.
Jenny nodded, then walked out of the dark room. She descended down the stairs with a serious look on her face. The old man was right about her arm being sensitive. The gauze was wrapped around her forearm tightly enough to induce pain. The long-haired guy was waiting for her. A sword was handed to her.
"Youíre going down," the long-haired guy told her.
"Darkonda....." Jenny began.
"Hey, buddy, you donít know who youíre messing with!" Darkonda shouted.
"I donít care who Iím messing with!" the long-haired guy shouted. "I wonít have cheaters on my turf."
"You idiot!" Jenny cried. "Youíre the one whoís evil; therefore, youíre supposed to be cheating!"
The monster took a fighting stance in anger. Jenny smiled and took a stance of her own. Not surprisingly, the monster attacked first. The fight started with just the swords clashing. The other monsters watched eagerly. As the fight progressed, the long-haired guy kicked Jennyís sensitive arm, which was the arm with the sword. Screaming in pain, she dropped the sword. She glared at the long-haired guy.
"Letís be positive," she thought to herself. "I donít need that sword; I stink with a sword."
So she continued to fight the guy empty-handed. It turned out that she did quite better without the sword. She blocked one of the guyís attacks, then attempted to punch him; but he parried, spun her around, and pulled her against him, squeezing her neck with the side of his blade. Jenny countered by elbowing him in the gut and dashing upstairs. Of course the guy followed. As Jenny reached the top of the stairs, the long-haired monster swung at her again. She grabbed his wrist and twisted his arm, forcing him to bend forward. As she did, she noticed something in his pocket. They were two shiny black cards, identical to Zordonís key cards. Jenny slipped them out of his pocket, then kicked him in the face, causing him to fall on his back. Then she backed up to examine the cards. The long-haired guy stood up and fumbled in his pockets.
"Looking for something?" Jenny asked.
"The cards!" the long-haired guy cried.
"Ha ha!" Jenny cried, imitating Nelson from the Simpsons.
"Why, you....! Those are the last two of Zordonís key cards!" the monster growled. "Give them back, you little thief!"
"Come and get them!" Jenny taunted him.
The monster responded by kicking her in the stomach, sending her tumbling down the stairs. When she reached the bottom, she sighed wearily and got up quickly. Then she leaped over the railing back up to the second floor. The monster continued trying to snatch the cards from Jenny. At one point, she kicked him in the stomach, then in the face. The monster staggered back and tumbled down the stairs. He lay motionless as he reached the bottom. Jenny stepped down the stairs and stood over him.
"Iím not in such a good mood today," she said.
She returned to the table. Darkonda stared at her.
"So, youíve obtained the last two of Zordonís key cards," he said. "How impressive."
"Iíll figure these things out someday," Jenny said. "Well, Darkonda, itís been real fun, but itís getting awfully late."
"I, too, had a wonderful time," Darkonda said. "Weíll have to get together again sometime."
"Sure." Jenny stood up and walked out of the saloon. "Galaxy glider, hang ten!"
A white galaxy glider zoomed down and stopped in front of her. Jenny climbed on and prepared to take off.
"Wait!" Darkonda cried. "Arenít you forgetting something?"
"My gosh, youíre right!" Jenny replied.
She reached out and kissed Darkonda. Then she set out into space. When she reached the Astro Megaship, she slept peacefully through the night. When she woke up the next morning, she walked into the dining room where the other Spices were having breakfast.
"So......how did it go?" the Cryptkeeper asked.
"It was great," Jenny said, pulling out the two key cards.
"Oh, more key cards!" Spinal said. "Thatís great, but we still donít know how to put them to good use."
"Weíll figure it out someday," Jenny told him.
"So, what happened?" C.C. asked.
"Oh we talked, then this one guy still accuses me of cheating and challenges me to a battle. I sort of took these key cards from him. Thatís pretty much it."
So Jenny enjoyed her date. Perhaps her soul mate was to be an
The answer remains a mystery....