Author's Note: The so-called "peace offering" later in this fanfic may be too gruesome for squeamish readers, so be warned.

Multiple Dilemmas
by : Crypt

The Spice Club and the Power Rangers were still exploring through space. Perhaps the Spice Club should change their name to the Space Club, huh? But their nicknames wouldn't make sense. The Astro Megaship orbited a planet.

"I think I'll go down to that planet and take a look around," Spinal said.

"Fine with me," Jenny said.

"Spinal, you're going by yourself?" C.C. asked. "Are you sure? Want me to come with you?"

"No. I need to be a more independent type of guy," Spinal told her. "Every other Spice Club member is independent; they're not afraid to fight alone."

"So, what do you expect to find at that planet?" Jenny asked.

"Nothing," Spinal said.

"So, what you're saying is that you're going down there just to wait for trouble?" the Cryptkeeper asked.

"Uh, basically yes."

"Well, see ya," Jenny called.

Spinal teleported out of the ship. The planet below was just a deserted jungle. Spinal was just wandering around and admiring the strange alien nature. He listened for any alien sounds. All he heard was a familiar blubbering sound. He looked up over the trees and found a horrible surprise. Waving over the trees were red flags with crossbones and the name......Divatox.

"Divatox!?" Spinal gasped. "She's here?"

He walked toward the flags and ducked behind a tree as not to be seen. He found a huge school of Piranahtrons led by none other than......Divatox! And what luck that Spinal saw that they were guarding the very person the Spices and the Rangers have been searching for all this time.......Zordon!

"Zordon!" Spinal whispered in excitement. "We've found him! Oh man, I've gotta tell the others!"

He skeleported over to a secluded spot nearby. Skeleporting is different for Spinal. He can only skeleport to another spot in his current area. He can't use it to get from planet to planet. He uses it during battle.

Spinal looked all around to make sure he was safe, then opened up his Spice ring.

"Guys! Guys, hear me, hear me!" he cried softly.

"Spinal, you look excited; what's up?" Jenny asked.

"I found him! Zordon's here!" Spinal exclaimed. "I can't believe it, but I know he's here!"

"You're serious?" the Cryptkeeper asked.

"Yes!" Spinal started hopping up and down. "Oh goodie, goodie, goodie, goodie!!!"

"Okay, Spinal, calm down," Jenny said with a laugh. "We're on our way."

Spinal continued his hopping until rudely interrupted by a chain of explosions. He gasped and staggered back. Astronema appeared with her army of Quantrons.

"Oh no...." Spinal whimpered.

Astronema smiled. "Spinal, how nice to see you......alone."

"Do you have to make that kind of entrance?" Spinal asked.

"Of course," Astronema said. "Get him!"

Spinal held both arms up and his sword and shield came to him. The Quantrons rushed in to attack. Spinal swiped and kicked a few of them back, then ran for dear life. Astronema gasped.

"Stop him!!" she ordered.

Spinal ran frantically, ducking under low branches and hopping over protruding roots. Suddenly, he was forced to make an abrupt halt. Coming directly toward him were Divatox and the Piranahtrons. Spinal gasped in horror as he looked back and forth at the giant fish creatures and the metallic murderers. He had no choice but to fight these things off. Soon, the Quantrons and Piranahtrons were pushing him around. As one Quantron shoved him to the center of the circle, Spinal skeleported out of the circle and ran some more, heading towards where he saw Zordon. As he ran, he opened his Spice ring again.

"Guys, hurry and get your asses down here!!" he yelled.

He found some Quantrons and Piranahtrons carrying Zordon away. Two Quantrons in the back turned around and fired lasers at him. The shots struck him in the chest and leg, causing him to fall. Spinal got up quickly, then heard a battle cry from behind. He looked up to see Ecliptor leaping at him fiercely. Spinal backed up and gasped, seemingly afraid of Ecliptor. He held his shield up just in time. Ecliptor struck the shield, then quickly struck Spinal's ribcage before he could react. Spinal recoiled in both pain and surprise, but recovered quickly and drove his sword into Ecliptor's shoulder. Ecliptor also recovered quickly and hit Spinal three times, knocking him to the ground.

"Perhaps this is way too independent," Spinal thought to himself.

Ecliptor caused more agony by firing eyelasers at Spinal's lower ribcage. The Quantrons began to advance.....

"Wait, he's mine," Ecliptor said. "I will handle this alone. Be gone."

The Quantrons vanished. Spinal let out a weary sigh, relieved that he was no longer outnumbered. Maybe he still had a chance to save himself. As Ecliptor advanced on him, he was stopped by blaster shots. The Blue Senturion leaped between Spinal and Ecliptor.

"Assault and battery are infractions of the law," he said. He moved back to check on Spinal. "Spinal, are you injured?"

Spinal groaned in agony, then passed out. The Blue Senturion looked back at Ecliptor as a group of Spices finally arrived.

"What are you doing, Candyman?" Jenny asked.

"Spices..." Ecliptor growled. "Seven of you at once and you still don't stand a chance against me."

" 'Seven of you at once and you still don't stand a chance against me,' " Jenny mimicked. "That is so lame, Ecliptor. There is simply no room for foolish pride."

"Ecliptor, return immediately," Astronema ordered.

"Yes, Astronema," Ecliptor replied.

"And bring Spinal with you."

"Yes, Astronema."

Ecliptor rushed past the Spices to look where Spinal was. Spinal wasn't there.

"Huh?" Ecliptor asked. "He's gone. What have you done with him!?"

"What do you care?" Jenny asked.

Ecliptor just disappeared. The Spices pondered.

"Now where did Spinal go?" the Cryptkeeper asked.

"Hey, look!" Hallie cried out of nowhere.

The group turned to see Spinal's unconscious body being carried away. The figure was almost invisible, so nobody could tell exactly what was taking him.

"Hey!" Jenny began to chase it, followed by the others.

As the Spices got closer, the camouflaged figure began to speed up. Soon, Spinal's body seemingly vanished into thin air. The Spices stopped.

"Great!" C.C. cried. "Now how are we going to find him?"

"Not to worry," the Blue Senturion said. "Missing persons are my specialty. I'll find him."

He ran in the direction that Spinal had disappeared. The Spices froze, wondering what was going to happen to their lovable comrade. As they pondered, they suddenly heard rumbling and the ground shook beneath them. They looked over the trees to see a space ship lifting up and taking off. That only meant one thing.

"Uh-oh," the Cryptkeeper muttered. "We just lost Zordon."

A moment later, the Power Rangers arrived, flipping into action only to find that everything was peaceful. The Spices stared at them.

"We got a message saying that Zordon was here," T.J. said.

"He was....." Jenny said. "But now they just took off."

"Well, then we're going after him," Andros said.

"You Rangers go ahead," Jenny told them. "We can't look for Zordon without Spinal."

"Spinal? Where is he?" Cassie asked.

"We don't know. Some......thing......carried him off," Jenny replied.

"What thing?" Carlos asked.

"We don't know that either," Jenny said. "It was almost invisible. And I don't think it was working for Astronema."

"You mean your mother," Andros threw in.

Jenny's eyes widened. "Yeah......my mother."

"Well, good luck in finding Spinal," T.J. called.

The Rangers teleported away. Jenny turned to the other Spices.

"What did you say to them?" she demanded.

"I had to tell them!" the Cryptkeeper cried. "They wanted to know why in the hell you would date Darkonda. They dared me to tell them."

"I see."

The Spices began walking around the planet in search of Spinal....

* * *

Ecliptor returned to the Dark Fortress. Astronema waited with a smile, but that smile disappeared when she saw that Ecliptor had returned empty-handed.

"Well, where is he?" she asked.

"He.....disappeared," Ecliptor replied.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean he mysteriously disappeared. Even now, the Spices are searching for him."

Astronema sighed. "Oh well. Let me show you my new secret weapon."

A human stepped out of the shadows. Ecliptor stared in confusion.

"Tommy? I believe we've already used this tactic against the Spices."

"This isn't the real Tommy," Astronema told him. "This is only a clone. He'll destroy the Spices once and for all."

"I see."

"I have heard that Tommy is a legend," Darkonda said. "The greatest Power Ranger in the history of Power Rangers."

"True," Astronema said. "Darkonda, see if you can fetch Spinal for me."

"Yes, my queen."

* * *

The Spices continued their search. Jenny was pondering about what it would be like if they had successfully rescued Zordon, but without Spinal to join in the victory. She didn't like the idea.

"It's no use," she said. "Leaving a teammate behind would be heartless."

"I don't see how we're going to find him like this," C.C. said.

"Well, right now it's the only way we can search," Jenny told her.

Out of nowhere, Darkonda appeared. "Hello, Spices."

"Darkonda, what do you want?" Jenny asked.

"It's not what I want, but Astronema still wants Spinal," Darkonda told her.

"So Astronema doesn't have him already?" Lexington asked.

"No, she doesn't. So hand him over!"

"Well, guess what, Darkonda," Jenny said. "We don't have him either."

"Then where is he?"

"I don't know. Some camouflaged thing carried him off. That's all we know. We don't know where he is. Now if you'll excuse us, we'll be getting back to our search."

"I think I'm supposed to attack you," Darkonda said.

"If you don't let us find Spinal, Astronema will never be able to touch him in the wrong places ever again," Jenny told him.

"Oooh, you got me there. Hope you find him soon," Darkonda said as he disappeared.

He went back to the Dark Fortress.

"Well, what happened?" Astronema asked.

"Tonfa Spice says that Spinal was carried off by a camouflaged creature," Darkonda replied.

"You didn't actually believe her, did you?" Ecliptor asked.

"I have learned much about her from our dinner date," Darkonda told him. "I realized that she would never tell a lie, and that she'll tell us anything. She explained how her schoolmates threw rocks at her from across the street."

"Another aspect of life that drove her to suicide," Elgar added. "Being mistreated by her own race. The poor girl's better off dead."

"Never mind that," Astronema said. "Tommy, get down there and do your thing."

"You command and I obey, my queen," the Tommy clone replied.......

* * *

"Sis, this search is getting us nowhere!" Hallie cried. "That thing could've gone anywhere. How do you know that it hasn't taken Spinal off this planet?"

"Well......I don't," Jenny said. "Rats! I can't believe that I've actually lost a member!"

"Don't say that, honey," the Cryptkeeper said. "We don't even know if that thing was evil. Maybe it was just trying to help."

"I don't think so. If it wasn't evil, it should've left him where he was. We could've taken care of him."

"Hey guys!" a voice called.

The Spices paused and looked around.

"What was that?" C.C. asked.

"If I didn't know any better, I'd say that was Tommy calling us," Jenny said.

"Hey guys!" the voice called again.

Tommy ran out in front of the Spices.

"Tommy, what the hell are you doing on this crazy planet?" Jenny asked. "Aren't you supposed to be living back on Earth?"

"Well, Billy invented this rocket ship thing and now I'm just exploring the universe," Tommy replied.

"Just you? You didn't bring anyone else?"

"No, just me. So......any luck finding Zordon?"

"Well, we just had him, but Divatox slipped through our fingers."

"Gee, I'm sorry."

"But right now we're looking for Spinal," Jenny said. "He was.......taken."

"Really? Who took him?" Tommy asked.

"We don't know. It really makes us sick."

"Uh, listen, Jenny, I know that I've been put under spells thousands of times and I've caused you a lot of trouble. So I was thinking that we could get back to Earth and hang out."

"Well, sure," Jenny said. "You guys keep looking for Spinal. Tommy and I have some...... personal problems to settle."

"You got it, honey," the Cryptkeeper said.

Tommy and Jenny teleported all the way to Earth.

"Hmm. I wonder what they're going to do?" C.C. asked.

"It's easy," the Cryptkeeper told her. "Jenny's going to kill him and accomplish her eternal goal, to avenge her father."

"I sure hope that the Blue Senturion's having more luck than we are," Lexington said.

They continued their hopeless and pointless search........

* * *

Jenny and Tommy went to Hull House, the Spice Club's home. Jenny had two bottles of Sprite in the living room. She poured a glass for herself and for Tommy.

"Here, Tommy, let me make the peace offering," she said.

They sipped their Sprites.

"So, is there anything else you've been doing besides hunting for Zordon?" Tommy asked.

"Well......I have been studying Ancient Egypt," Jenny told him. "The embalmers were awesome. They used an instrument like this."

She pulled out a thin hook with a handle at the end. "They used it to remove the brain through the nose."

"Sounds repulsive," Tommy said.

"And you won't believe how the embalmers removed the other internal organs."

"How's that?"

"They would mix a potion.......call it a drink......that they would pour down the corpse's throat. After a short time, the organs would dissolve into a thick sludge and ooze out of the body through the mouth and the ass."

The sound of the "drink" bothered Tommy. He looked at his empty glass.

"Are you trying to psyche me out?" he asked.

"No, Tommy. I'm trying to kill you," Jenny told him. She took another drink of her Sprite in front of him.

"Wait a minute," Tommy said. "You drank it, too......sugar."

Jenny paused, presumably in recollection. "Did I?"

She held out both Sprite bottles in front of him. "Did you see me pour both sodas from the same bottle? No, of course not. How could you? You weren't paying attention! But hey, who pays attention to li'l old me anyway?" she asked, giggling innocently.

Tommy stood up and grabbed on to the stairs railing. He suddenly clutched his stomach.

"You little bitch!" he cried weakly.

"Oh, Tommy, how embarrassing!" Jenny cried, covering her eyes.

Tommy tried to cough out the poison, but to no avail. Soon, he threw up this black stuff sickeningly. A few drops of it splattered on Jenny's face.

"Shit!" she cried. "What a mess!!"

Tommy dropped to his knees and vomited the rest of his internal organs, which spilled onto the floor in the form of black liquid.

"Well," Jenny said, picking up the brain-removing hook. "All in the name of history and science."

She proceeded to remove Tommy's brain. As the flesh wrapped around the hook like spaghetti on a fork, there was a knock on the door. Jenny stood up to answer it, picking the brain from the hook and putting it in her mouth. She opened the door.

"Darkonda!" she cried in surprise. "What brings you here?"

"Well, I just hope that things are going well between you and Tommy," Darkonda told her.

"Oh, everythingís going great," Jenny said. "Nothingís gonna happen."

"Thatís nice. Now Astronemaís attack will go smoothly."

"What attack?"

"The Tommy that greeted you on that planet was an evil clone that is bent on destroying you," Darkonda said.

Jenny gave a look of disappointment. In fact, she was also kind of relieved. "Oh.....really? Thatís nice. But why would you tell me?"

"Because I am to help him," Darkonda replied.

"Oh......wonít you come in?" Jenny asked, clearing the doorway.

Darkonda stepped into the house. The first thing he saw was the clone corpse on the floor. "Eeeuw, what happened in here?"

"Itís nice that Tommy was just a clone," Jenny said. "Because I just killed him."

"So you knew he was an evil clone all along?"

"No, I didnít know. Thanks, Darkonda, you saved me from eternal regret."

"So you were deliberately trying to destroy the real Tommy? Why?"

"Because I hate him! Heís pure evil!"

"I wouldnít say that," Darkonda said. "I have heard how Rita Repulsa put him under a spell and made him the Green Ranger."

"Well, you know what they say," Jenny told him. "Once evil, always evil. Especially when they do some permanent damage."

"What did he do that was so permanent?" Darkonda asked.

"He killed my father; thatís what he did," Jenny said.

She kneeled over the corpse and lapped a bit of the black organ on her fingertip, then sucked it off.

"The beast really is inside," Darkonda muttered.

"Oh, I almost forgot!" Jenny cried.

She turned Tommyís corpse onto his back and shot her hand into his chest. After a few seconds, she pulled her hand back out, gently but firmly grasping his heart. Darkonda watched, a little disgusted. Jenny stood back up.

"Iíve always said that Tommy was a heartless man."

Darkonda froze for a few seconds. "So......any luck with your comrade?"

Jenny sighed. "No. Even searching for him is pointless, for we have no clue. Almost as pointless as the Red Rangerís sister."

"Youíre not giving up, are you?"

"How could I give up? Spinal is one of the best warriors in our group; thereís no way Iím going to give up! Weíll find him somehow."

"Well, Iíd best be on my way," Darkonda said. "Since Astronemaís plan has obviously failed. Nobody had any idea how you could despise an ally like that."

"It happens," Jenny said. "Astronema just overlooked one itty, bitty detail. Bye-bye, Darkonda. Come again."

"Uh, if you donít mind my asking, what exactly did you do to Tommy?" Darkonda asked.

"Itís really quite simple. I mixed up this potion which he drank. His internal organs dissolved and he puked them out."

"Internal organs?"

"Yeah. You know, the lungs, stomach, intestines, liver, that kind of stuff. Then I ripped out his heart." As she spoke, Jenny tore off the long blood vessel from the heart and sucked it into her mouth like a spaghetti strain.

"Okay, now Iíll be going before I end up like that thing on the floor," Darkonda said. "Nice home, by the way."

He stepped out of the house and Jenny closed the door. She turned to Tommyís corpse.

"And now to dispose of this.....thing," she muttered to herself.

She grasped the corpse by its feet and dragged it downstairs into the crematorium. She threw it into the oven and turned on the gas. While the body was being cremated, Jenny opened it back up and pulled out the fresh skull. Then she let the rest of the body cremate until it was reduced to ashes. Jenny carried the skull into her bedroom where she took a marker and wrote the name "Tommy" on top of the skull. Then she carried upstairs to the very top floor of the house where the Spicesí treasures were kept. They were treasures that were obtained or donated by the members. The gargoyles had brought the Grimorum Acanorum, which was a book of spells; the Phoenix Gate, which was like a pocket time machine; and the Eye of Odin, which was a beautiful orb necklace with a power that corrupted whoever wore it. The Cryptkeeper had donated the Necronomican, also called the Book of the Dead. It also appeared to be a book of spells written in blood. Jenny set the skull down to add to the treasure. She smiled; she was proud of her work, although it wasnít the real Tommy.

* * *

Meanwhile, Spinal woke up slowly. He was startled to find himself in a different place than where he was before. He couldnít even tell where he was, for the room was completely dark. Whatís worse was that Spinal could sense that there was someone in this room.

"Hey!" he called aloud. "Whatís going on? Where am I?"

He tried to get up, but he felt a pair of hands push him back down. Spinal waited a few more seconds before trying again. This time, he was successful.

"Hey!" he called again. "Whoís there? Who are you?"

Nothing.

"Come on!" Spinal demanded. "Answer me!"

Still nothing.

"All right!" Spinal was beginning to get frustrated. "What the hell is---"

The lights suddenly came on, cutting him off. Spinal looked around to see control consoles surrounding him. He must be in some sort of space ship. Standing by the wall was the camouflaged figure that had carried him off. It slowly stepped to the center of the room. Spinal stared at it in wonder. He thought it looked familiar to him, but he couldnít place the figure.

"What are you?" he asked.

The figure responded by uncloaking itself to reveal a well-known ally of the Spices and Rangers.

"Phantom Ranger!!" Spinal cried in shock and relief. "Long time no see! But did you have to scare me like that?"

The Phantom Ranger shrugged his shoulders.

"Are we still on that planet?" Spinal asked.

The Phantom Ranger nodded.

"Great. Iíd better get back; the others are probably worried sick about me."

They both walked out of the ship together. They walked along for a little while until they heard a low growling noise. In response, they ran toward the growl and hid behind a tree. They saw the Dark Specter talking to Astronema and her cohorts.

"Itís the Dark Specter!!" Spinal gasped.

"It is fortunate for you, Astronema, that Zordon is safely hidden away," the Dark Specter said.

"What!?" Spinal whispered. "The others lost Zordon!?"

"But the evil Tommy clone will destroy the Power Rangers and the Spice Club once and for all," Astronema said.

"Tommy clone?" Spinal asked himself.

"Youíd best not fail again, or Iíll crush the Dark Fortress as you sleep," Dark Specter threatened.

"Yeah, do it, Dark Specter," Spinal muttered, making a fist.

"My queen," Darkonda said. "Thereís something you should know."

"What is it?" Astronema snapped.

"Tonfa Spice has already destroyed the Tommy clone."

"What? How is that possible? She didnít even know."

"True, but it is apparent that sheís had a cruel hatred towards Tommy ever since he became a Power Ranger," Darkonda explained. "While he was under Rita Repulsaís spell, he destroyed her father. Tonfa Spice has sworn vengeance."

Astronema was frozen. She wondered how cruel Jenny could be.

"So Jenny already killed the clone," Spinal whispered to the Phantom Ranger. "Of course she would. She hates Tommy. Everything Darkonda said was true. It may not have been the real Tommy, but heíll just have to do, right?"

The Phantom Ranger nodded. Spinal looked down at his power ruby, which was still shattered.

"Still broken, huh? Tommy really did it that time, didnít he?"

The Phantom Ranger nodded again.

"Come to think of it, that ruby will never be fixed, will it?"

The Phantom Ranger shook his head.

"Well, I better get back to the Astro Megaship," Spinal said. "You should come, too."

Together, they teleported off the planet.

* * *

Jenny also teleported to the Astro Megaship. The other Spices sat there looking distressed.

"Itís no use, honey, we just canít find Spinal," the Cryptkeeper said.

Jenny sighed in frustration. "Damn! What am I going to do? We canít just leave him behind!"

They sat around the bridge to mourn the loss when a few minutes later, Spinal and the Phantom Ranger came onto the bridge. The Spices sat up.

"Spinal!!" C.C. ran over and hugged him.

"Hey, Iím okay, really," Spinal told her.

C.C. came to her senses and released him. Jenny circled around the Phantom Ranger.

"So it was you," she said. "You took him."

The Phantom Ranger nodded. Jenny suddenly grabbed his shoulders.

"Donít ever do that again!" she yelled. "You had us worried. We actually believed that weíd lost a member!"

The Phantom Ranger shrugged his shoulders.

"Hey, Jenny, how did hanging out with Tommy go?" C.C. asked.

"It was great. I finally killed him," Jenny said.

"I told you that was the first thing sheíd do!" the Cryptkeeper exclaimed.

"Are you aware that Tommy was actually a clone?" Spinal asked.

"Yes, I am, actually," Jenny said. "Darkonda stopped by just to tell me."

"So the real Tommy is still alive?" Hallie asked.

"Of course."

"But the Dark Specter got away with Zordon!" Spinal cried.

"Spinal, we couldnít go after Zordon without you," Jenny told him. "Besides, the Rangers are going after him."

"You didnít give up Zordon just for me!"

"I just couldnít see our victory without you. Youíre just as important as the rest of us!"

"I guess youíre right. Iíd feel bad continuing a search and leaving a teammate behind."

So Jenny let the Dark Specter get away with Zordon to keep her team together. The question was, were the Rangers able to rescue Zordon? The Spices could only hope and pray....

The End... for now

Rule

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