Make Way for the Women!
by : Cryptk1165

Spinal had a nightmare. The nightmare was actually a reminder of a recent event. When Darkonda took him from the park, he had drained Spinal of his powers. Although Spinal was rescued, his powers were still missing.

Spinal woke up screaming.

"It's all right, Spinal," Deca assured him. "You were only dreaming."

Spinal clutched his head, groaning pitifully. "It wasn't just a dream, Deca. It was just a vision of what actually happened recently."

"What happened?" Deca asked.

"Darkonda nabbed me from the park.....and....." Like a little boy, Spinal started crying. "He took my powers from me! And I forgot to tell the others!"

Spinal buried himself in the covers and cried himself back to sleep.

When he woke up several hours later, he got up and trudged to the jump tube room where the other Spices and Rangers were sitting around.

"Spinal, good morning!" T.J. called.

"Oh.....what's so good about it?" Spinal grumbled, taking a seat between Jenny and C.C.

"Aww.....didn't sleep too well?" C.C. asked, stroking his skull.

"Not a chance," Spinal sighed. "I forgot to tell you guys something really important."

"What's that?" Jenny asked.

"When Darkonda took me from the park, he absorbed my powers right out of me."

"Oh, don't worry. We'll get them back soon enough."

"How?"

"Spinal, Jenny has the main Spice spirit. You'd be surprised as to what she's capable of," the Cryptkeeper told him.

"I even surprised myself the other day," Jenny added. "I had no idea that I could hypnotize a Quantron."

"Well, Spinal, in case you were wondering, we were just talking about going on a camping trip," T.J. said.

"I haven't been on a camping trip in eleven years," Jenny said. "I kind of forgot what it was like."

"Well, we were thinking that we could camp near some clear springs," Ashley explained. "We could go swimming during the day, then at night, we could sit around the campfire, sing songs, and tell ghost stories."

"And wake up to a wolf howling at midnight," the Cryptkeeper said.

Spinal buried his face in his arms.

"Oh, come on, C.K.," Jenny said. "Who says that wolves come anywhere near springs at midnight?"

"Well, even wolves need a drink every once in a while."

"Then let them drink during the day. Just let us go to sleep at night."

"Here, Jenny, would you like some coffee?" Carlos asked.

"Uh, I never was much of a coffee drinker, but I think I'll have some," Jenny told him. "Just add sugar, cream, and milk."

Carlos handed her the mug.

"Thanks, Carlos. Well, I'm up for it. How about everyone else?" she asked.

"Count me in," Carlos said.

"Me, too. I love camping!" Hallie cried.

"No, thank you," Spinal said.

"Come on, Spinal; it'll be fun," C.C. said.

"Yeah, Spinal," the Cryptkeeper joined in. "You'll be with us; nothing's going to happen."

Spinal sighed as he thought for a moment. "Oh, all right. With you guys with me, I guess it won't be so bad."

"That's the spirit," Jenny said, lifting up her mug. "Can't wait 'til midnight."

She slowly sipped a mouthful of her coffee, not realizing that Curly was sneaking up on her.

"BOO!!!!" he yelled, grabbing her shoulders.

Jenny was so startled, she spit out the coffee all over Andros, who sat across the table from her. The others exploded into laughter.

"Andros, I'm sorry!!" Jenny cried.

Andros was wide-eyed and frozen.

"Come on, Andros, let's get you washed off," Ashley said, taking him by the arm and leading him out of the room.

Jenny turned to Curly. "Look at what you've done!" she cried. "You made me mess up his beautiful hair!"

"Hey, I was just trying to scare you," Curly said. "I had no idea that you'd react like that. But did you guys see Andros' face? Ha ha haaaah!!!"

Jenny shivered intensely. "There are a lot of sick people in this town."

"Well, what are we waiting for!" Hallie cried. "Let's go camping!"

* * *

Meanwhile, Astronema had a plan to really make the Rangers and Spices miserable.

"That's it!" she cried. "I have just the plan!"

"What is it, Astronema?" Ecliptor asked.

"The Spices have said countless times that there are things worse than death," Astronema explained. "So if I can't destroy the Rangers and the Spices, I'll just make them wish that they were destroyed."

Ecliptor looked confused, so Astronema continued.

"See, the Rangers and the Spices are going camping near some springs. I'll simply contaminate those springs and make the Rangers and Spices too sore to do anything the morning after they drink or swim in it. I'll let them suffer for a while, then I'll destroy them."

"Hmm. It just might work."

"But what about Spinal?" Darkonda asked. "He doesn't drink, and I'm sure he's not a big fan of swimming."

"Oh, Spinal will be fine. He won't cause trouble on his own," Astronema told him.

"And he'll have help from Bony Spice, and I think there was another skeleton," Darkonda added.

"That's still nothing," Astronema snapped. "I couldn't bring myself to destroy Spinal. Once the plan is in effect, I'll simply capture him again. Only this time, no one will feel up to saving him. Then he'll be mine......forever......"

She pondered about her plan, an evil grin growing on her face.

* * *

The Rangers and the Spices found the perfect camping spot and set up their tents.

"Wow! It's such a beautiful day. It's perfect for camping!" Cassie exclaimed.

"You said it," T.J. replied. "Let's hope that the night will be just as good. Well, this setup should do it. Now what?"

"Well.....anybody wanna go for a swim?" Ashley suggested.

"Sure. Let's suit up!" Carlos called.

The four Rangers rushed into their tents. Jenny sat by the circle of stones where they were planning to set the campfire.

"Well, I'm glad they're having fun," she said to herself. "But what am I supposed to do?"

"Actually, I think I'll go for a swim myself," Hanim said.

"Me, too," C.C. added.

They went into their tents to change. In the meantime, the Rangers came out with their bathing suits.

"All right; let's do it!" they exclaimed.

Jenny stared at them, Carlos particularly, as they rushed into the clear lake beside their campground. She continued to stare, completely mesmerized.

"Whoa...." was all she managed to utter.

"Hey, honey," the Cryptkeeper called as he approached.

Jenny didn't answer.

"Hey!" the Cryptkeeper yelled into her ear.

Jenny snapped back into reality, as she jumped away and gasped. "What!?"

"What's the matter? Haven't you seen a man in a bathing suit before?"

"Not in a long time."

Jenny stood up and raced over to the edge of the lake. Andros was also there, watching the other Rangers. Hanim and C.C. raced past the bystanders and jumped into the lake.

"Oh, that feels good!" they exclaimed.

After swimming around for a minute, they paused and turned to the watchers.

"Hey Andros! Come on in; the water's fine!" Ashley called.

"I don't know," Andros said.

"Oh, come on, Andros!" T.J. called. "You'll love it! Jenny, come on."

"Oh, no thanks. I paid the price just before middle school," Jenny told him.

"Hmm......well......that water does look pretty refreshing," Andros said. "I'll be right back."

Andros walked back to the tent as Sal came up.

"You know, I went and forgot my bathing suit," he said. "Aaaah, what the hell?"

He took off his shoes and tossed them over his shoulder. Then he took off his jean jacket and threw it. It covered Jenny's head as Sal jumped into the lake.

"Look out below!"

"Sal, you're not going to be able to move in those jeans!" Jenny called, unveiling her head.

"Says who?" Sal asked.

Jenny just shook her head as Andros came to the lake's edge.

"I'm ready!" he called.

Jenny's jaw dropped, as did Sal's jean jacket. Andros rubbed his hands together, preparing to jump into the lake.

"That's it; you can do it, Andros!" Carlos said encouragingly.

"Nice bod, Andros," Jenny said absent-mindedly.

Andros paused and turned to her. "What?"

"Oh.....nothing," Jenny muttered innocently.

"All right. Here we go!" Andros jumped into the lake, and the other swimmers cheered.

"Come on, Andros," Hanim said. "Let's frolic."

She splashed water into Andros' face. Andros stared at her.

"It's how we play, Andros," Ashley told him. "See?"

She splashed water into Carlos' face. In response, Carlos splashed water in her face. Andros pondered for a moment, then splashed Hanim's face. Soon, all the Rangers were splashing each other in the face. After a few minutes, Jenny found it boring and returned to the campsight. Spinal was sitting by the circle of stones.

"What's the matter?" she asked.

"You know......it's what I said this morning.......about my powers," Spinal replied.

"Oh, cheer up, Spinal; we'll get them back."

"I can't cheer up. You don't look so full-of-chuckles yourself."

"Wanna collect some firewood?"

"Sure; I've got nothing better to do."

They wandered out of the campsight to find some firewood. Mostly, all they found were twigs lying around on the ground. After half an hour, Jenny spotted a small, heavy log. It was so heavy, she couldn't lift it herself.

"Hey, Spinal, could you give me a hand with this log, please?" she called.

Spinal skipped over. Each grabbing an end, they picked up the log, hauled it over to the stone circle, and tossed it in. Then they stepped back and pondered over it.

"Think that's enough?" Spinal asked.

"Hmm......yeah," replied Jenny. "But let's collect some more......to burn later."

"Okay."

Meanwhile, the swimmers returned from the lake, all laughing.

"Did you guys have fun?" Jenny called sweetly.

"Oh yeah!" T.J. yelled. "I'm only sorry you missed it."

"Oh, we had plenty of fun also, right, Spinal?"

"Yeah, loads of fun," Spinal replied sarcastically.

"And what did you guys do?" Ashley asked.

"We collected firewood."

"Hmm, that's a good idea," Cassie said. "The sun should be setting soon."

"And that's when camping really gets interesting," T.J. added.

"I'll say," Jenny agreed. "So, what are you going to do now?"

"I brought my frisbee," Carlos said. "Anybody want to play?"

"Sure. I just need to get into my clothes," Ashley said.

"Ashley, there's no need for that," T.J. told her. "I'm staying in my bathing suit. The temperature is perfect; it feels so good!"

"Hmm....." Ashley thought for a moment. "I'll just slip into some shorts."

"Me, too," Cassie added.

They went into their tent and came out less than a minute later. Carlos went in to get his frisbee. When they were all ready, they tossed the frisbee around. Jenny and Spinal left the campsight and looked for some extra firewood. They stored the firewood next to their tent.

"Jenny, heads up!" T.J. called.

Jenny looked up and noticed the frisbee headed in her direction. She extended her arm to catch it, but it somehow sailed past her. Spinal picked it up and tossed it back over to the Rangers.

"Nice throw, Spinal," Carlos called.

"Throwing's the easy part," Jenny said to Spinal. "Try catching it."

Spinal joined in the circle. "Toss it here, Ashley!"

Ashley tossed the frisbee in his direction. It sailed pretty high. Spinal staggered backward, preparing to catch it as it came near. He leaped into the air as the frisbee bounced off his wrist. When he landed on the ground, he slipped and fell into the fireplace. The Rangers crowded around him.

"You okay?" Carlos asked, helping him out.

"Yeah," Spinal told him.

"Good thing we didn't start the fire yet," T.J. commented.

"No kidding. Fire could definitely damage my bones. Well, I think I've had enough frisbee."

"Hey, Jenny, wanna play?" Ashley asked.

"No thanks. I could never catch a frisbee. I'll just take a hike."

"Can I come?" asked Andros.

"Sure," Jenny told him.

They explored the woods together. It was pretty uneventful until Andros noticed a creature unfamiliar to him. A furry, black creature with a white stripe down its back.

"Hey, what's that?" he asked, following it.

"That's a skunk; get away from it," Jenny told him.

"Nah, it looks harmless enough," Andros said.

"Andros, skunks can make you smell really bad!"

Andros continued to pursue the animal. Jenny ran up and tried to pull him away. However, the skunk had already sprayed its stinky fumes. The pair was surrounded by the yellowish gas as they began to cough.

"Oh, yuck!" Andros cried.

"Hey Andros, I'll race you into the lake," Jenny called.

They began the big race into the lake. On their way, they zoomed past Curly and the Cryptkeeper, who caught a whiff of their skunky stench.

"Last one in the lake's a rotten egg!" Jenny shouted.

"I'd say they're both rotten eggs already," the Cryptkeeper whispered to Curly.

"Say what?" Curly asked.

The Cryptkeeper still held his nose. "They've been skunked."

Without stopping at the lake's edge, Jenny dove right in. Andros took a brief pause before hopping in. Fortunately, he was still in his bathing suit. Jenny, however, was in her regular clothes. Immediately, they started splashing each other, then just floated about. Ashley came up to the lake.

"Jenny, why are you swimming in your clothes?" she asked.

"For two very good reasons," Jenny told her. "First of all, I don't have a bathing suit. Second, Andros and I got skunked."

"Oh." Ashley took a sniff. "I can tell. Well, good luck.....I guess...."

As she walked back to the campsight, Jenny swam to Andros, grabbed his head, and dunked him underwater. Andros quickly popped his head back up, gasping.

"Is this another water game?" he asked.

"Yeah, that's it."

Andros then gave Jenny a taste of her own medicine. They repeated this game a few more times until they felt kind of waterlogged and climbed out. Jenny went straight into her tent and dried herself off. Hallie was inside, playing with her Game Boy.

"Ha ha; Sis went swimming in her clothes!" she sang.

"Ha ha," Jenny mimicked. "Do I still smell like skunk to you?"

Hallie took a sniff. "Hmm.....I'd say you smell like.......those clear springs. Why do you ask?"

"Well.....Andros and I got skunked."

Hallie burst into laughter. "Haaaaaaa ha hahaha ha!!!!! You got skunked!!!!!!! Oooh, it's getting too dark to see anything on the screen. I hope it's time to start the campfire!"

She happily rushed out of the tent with her sister dragging behind. Jenny looked up at the sky.

"Hmm. It is getting dark. I think it's time to start."

Meanwhile, the Rangers had changed back into their clothes. Carlos collected some water from the lake to drink as the Spices brought out the food. The same old camping stuff; hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, etc. Earl and T.J. rubbed two twigs in the fireplace, but that little nature tactic was futile. Instead, the Cryptkeeper used a lighter to set a napkin on fire and dropped it on top of the logs. Once the napkin was completely burned, the logs were set ablaze. The group got little skewers, stuck them through hamburgers or hot dogs, and roasted them over the fire.

"This is so great!" Jenny said. "I never thought I'd do this kind of thing again!"

The group was pretty silent as they cooked the food.

"Hamburgers roasting on an open fire....." the Cryptkeeper sang. "Mother Nature nipping at your ass......"

Jenny gave him a disgusted look. "Sometimes, your sense of humor is sickening."

"Well, we're roasting dinner; there must be some way to converse!" the Cryptkeeper protested. "Come on, people; say something!"

"Umm.....I have a dog!" Cassie snapped.

"Really?" Jenny asked.

"Yeah. His name's Jetson. He loves to play frisbee and he loves cheese."

"How nice," C.C. said.

Unfortunately, Andros' hamburger fell off the skewer and into the fire.

"Oh man!" he cried. "Are there any more?"

"Uhh.....hang on," Earl said, running back to the tent.

Andros poked into the fire with his skewer.

"Here, let me see that," Spinal said.

He took the skewer and poked once at the fire. He managed to pull out the hamburger.

"Here you go."

"Thanks," Andros said.

"I think it's done now," Sal told him.

Andros got the buns and ate his hamburger. "Mmm.....delicious."

A few minutes later, everyone else was done cooking, so they prepared their toppings and began to eat.

"Let's see...."

Everyone tried to think of a good conversation.

"Nice night," C.C. muttered.

"Yep," Spinal muttered.

Another moment of silence filled the night.

"Say, anybody know a good campfire song?" Ashley finally asked.

The others looked at each other. Apparently, no one knew a campfire song.

"Well....." Curly began. "There's always karaoke."

"Uh-oh," Spinal muttered.

"Try.......Sam Kinison.......'Wild Thing.' " Curly continued.

"Uh-oh," Spinal muttered again.

Curly lacked the ability to eat, so he stood up and cleared his "throat."

"Ahem.......Wild Thing, I think you move me," he sang, trying to imitate Sam Kinison. "But I wanna know for sure!!!"

The others burst out laughing, but at the same time, they were kind of disgusted. The Rangers and the Spices continued the songs all evening. They seemed to enjoy humiliating themselves by singing well-known songs by famous artists. Once it was all over, they all went to bed. The Rangers slept in one tent, while the Spices had to divide into five or six per tent. They slept peacefully.....most of them did.

Spinal, for some odd reason, decided to sleep outside the tents right next to the campfire. At the stroke of midnight, he was awakened by wolves howling. He looked around in fear, but he didnít see anything, so he went back to sleep.

The sun began to rise. When the light reached the campsight, Astronema appeared by the campfire. She walked right over to Spinal and kneeled over him.

"Spinal! Spinal, wake up," she whispered.

Spinal let out a groan as he woke up. His eyes glowed brightly as he noticed his worst nightmare standing over him. He let out a scream. He found himself trapped in his sleeping bag.

"Astronema! What do you want from me!?" he demanded.

"You know, I just want you," Astronema replied. "Youíre all I have in this universe."

"No! You canít have me!"

Jenny stepped out of her tent with a yawn. When she saw her mother there, her eyes widened. Astronema looked up at her.

"Well, Tonfa Spice, youíre an early bird," she said.

"The early bird catches the worm, Mother," Jenny said calmly.

"Are you suggesting that Iím a worm?" Astronema asked.

Jenny shrugged her shoulders innocently. "Maybe."

"Well.....how does it feel to suffer from severe illness?" Astronema asked. "Iíve contaminated the springs that you drank and swam in. Youíve all fallen ill."

Jenny chuckled. "What are you talking about? I feel fine. I may not smell pretty, but I feel fine."

Astronema glared, then vanished. Jenny shrugged her shoulders again.

"Oh well. What happened, Spinal?"

"She tried to nab me again," Spinal sobbed.

"Well, sheís gone," Jenny assured him. "But I wonder what she meant about us all being ill."

"She said that she contaminated the springs. Which means at least the Rangers will be sick."

At that moment, T.J. strolled out of his tent. He dragged himself over to the campfire like a zombie.

"T.J.?" Jenny asked. "Are you ill?"

When T.J. reached the campfire, he dropped to his knees with a pitiful groan. Jenny walked over and felt his forehead.

"Ouch. Youíre burning up, T.J. Better get back into bed."

"Ow man, it hurts to move," T.J. grumbled.

Jenny slowly led him back into the tent. She didnít see that Andros and Carlos were both face-down on the ground just inside the tent entrance, so she and T.J. tripped over them. Ashley and Cassie sat up.

"Iíd like to know whatís going on around here," Jenny said.

"Andros and Carlos tried to go out to the campfire, but they didnít make it," T.J. replied weakly.

Jenny sat T.J. back down on the ground. T.J. groaned with pain. Ashley felt his forehead.

"T.J., youíre running a fever," she said.

Jenny felt Andros and Carlosí foreheads. "These guys have fevers, too. Hey, wake up, lazy boys."

Andros and Carlos tried to push themselves off the ground, but collapsed again.

"Ow, ow, ow!" Carlos groaned. "My whole bodyís aching!"

"Astronema contaminated the springs, making everybody sick," Jenny said. "But Iím not sick. Are you?"

"I feel fine," Ashley said.

"Me, too," Cassie said.

"Hmm. Iíd better check on the other Spices." Jenny walked out of the tent and checked on her teammates. All the female Spices were fine. All the guys were in the same condition as the Ranger guys with the exception of Spinal, Curly, Aracula, and the Cryptkeeper. The well people met out by the campfire.

"So......your mom contaminated the water, huh?" the Cryptkeeper asked. "Thatís not good. Iíd just like to know why weíre not sick like all the other guys?"

"Maybe something went wrong," Jenny told him. "I suggest we work on a cure of some sort."

Suddenly, the Rangersí communicator beeped.

"Hey, Rangers; Darkondaís been spotted in Angel Grove," Alpha called. "Youíd better stop him quick."

"You got it, Alpha," Ashley said.

"You guys go ahead," Jenny said. "Weíll work on some way to get the others well again."

"Well, okay," Cassie said. "Letís rocket!"

They morphed into their Ranger costumes and teleported out to save Angel Grove.

"Whoa. I like the way they say that," the Cryptkeeper said. " ĎLetís rocket!í "

Carlos dragged himself out of the tent and dropped to his knees in front of the campfire. Slowly, he began to lean into it.

"Hey, donít put your face in the fire," the Cryptkeeper said, pulling him back.

Carlos stared at him. "C.K., how did you manage to avoid this?" he asked.

The Cryptkeeper shrugged. "I have no idea, Carlos."

"Well, weíre not going to find a cure sitting around like this," Jenny said.

Aracula tapped her shoulder and began signing and hissing. Jenny looked confused.

"You.....you want to come up with a cure?" she asked.

Aracula nodded.

"By yourself?" Jenny asked.

Aracula nodded again.

"Okay. Just go on up to the Megaship and let Alpha help you. Weíll stay here and keep an eye on the others."

Aracula teleported out of the campsight to work on a cure for the illness.

* * *

In the Dark Fortress, Ecliptor told Astronema the news about the spring.

"Bad news," he said. "The contamination only worked on the boys. The Pink and Yellow Rangers have gone to stop Darkonda."

"No matter," Astronema said. "Surely Darkonda can finish off those two, and then the others."

"Very well," replied Ecliptor.

He calmly left the room.

* * *

Meanwhile, Ashley and Cassie appeared in Angel Grove to face Darkonda.

"Well, this is sweet," Darkonda called. "A couple of Ranger ladies coming to stop me."

"Give it up, Darkonda!" Cassie shouted.

"Yeah! Youíll never destroy Angel Grove as long as the Power Rangers are around!" Ashley added.

"Weíll see about that once I drink this strength potion!" Darkonda pulled out the small vial of strength potion, which had been poisoned by Ecliptor. He drank it gleefully, then lunged at the Rangers, pounding them brutally. When he landed on top of a building, he fired massive energy blasts at them.

"We need help," Ashley groaned.

"Youíre right. Spices, come in!" Cassie called.

Jenny opened up her ring. "Hello?"

"Jenny, we need your help; weíre taking a beating!" Ashley yelled.

Jenny smiled at her friends. "Letís go!"

She teleported to Angel Grove along with the Cryptkeeper, Spinal, Curly, Hanim, and C.C. They headed to help the Rangers up.

"What happened?" the Cryptkeeper asked.

"Darkonda drank some kind of strength potion," Ashley replied.

Jenny instantly grabbed her shoulders. "He.......DRANK it?!?!?"

"Jenny.....weíre hurt," Cassie said. "Ashley and I are going back to help find the cure."

"Okay."

The Rangers teleported out of the battlefield. The Spices turned to face Darkonda.

"Now itís your turn," Darkonda declared.

"Darkonda.......do you really want to hurt us?" Jenny asked.

Darkonda continued to advance on them until his body began to explode.

"Oh no! The potion must have been tampered with!"

Slime began to ooze out of his body. The Spices gasped in horror.

"Who did this to me!?" Darkonda screamed.

"Darkonda.......I told you not to drink it!" Jenny told him.

"This is not over!" With that Darkonda vanished.

"No, wait!" Jenny cried.

"Wow. Looks like the prediction was accurate," the Cryptkeeper said.

Jenny sighed. "You have to admire him, though. Heís willing to give his life just to kill us."

"Give his life? You mean that heís gonna.....?" C.C. began.

A tear fell from Jennyís eyes. "I hope not. But just in case he does, we have to get Spinalís power back before it happens, or itíll be lost forever."

"There he is!" Curly shouted.

Darkonda grew into a giant creature. He had transformed hideously, with long spikes protruding from one shoulder, and smaller spikes all over his body.

"Eeeuw, that is disgusting!" Hanim yelled.

Darkondaís voice had hideously changed as well. With deep, demonic laughter, he fired a massive beam from his eyes at the Spices, sending them to the ground. Then he reached down toward them. The Spices screamed and moved aside. Jenny and the Cryptkeeper were still getting up from the ground. Darkonda flicked the Cryptkeeper away with his finger, sending him crashing into the wall of a building. Jenny gasped and tried to dive out of the way, but Darkonda snatched her into his hand.

"Ow! Hey!" she screamed. "Put me down!!"

Spinal went to help the Cryptkeeper up. The Cryptkeeper shook the stars out of his head. The Spices looked up at Darkonda, who suddenly turned and walked away.

"Hey, come back here!" the Cryptkeeper demanded as the Spices gave chase.

"Wait a minute; where are you taking me!?" Jenny cried. She opened up her ring. "Guys, I could use some help up here."

"What are we supposed to do!?" the Cryptkeeper asked.

Jenny admitted that she didnít know. Darkonda walked up to a building that was at least as tall as the Empire State Building and began to climb it. Jenny gasped.

"Oh no....youíve got to be kidding me!"

"Somebody better think of something fast before we lose her!" Spinal cried.

But nobody could think of anything. Darkonda climbed higher and higher as the Spices watched helplessly. The Cryptkeeper opened up his ring when Darkonda was about halfway up.

"Jenny, I wouldnít look down if I were you."

However, Jennyís curiosity got the best of her. She looked over Darkondaís fingers the best she could and realized the dizzying height. She wanted to faint, but she couldnít. So she looked up. It looked like they still had a ways until they reached the top. Jenny breathed heavily to calm herself down, but it was no use. She had many common fears, and height was definitely one of them. As she inhaled, she felt Darkondaís grip tighten around her.

"All right, Darkonda," she said nervously. "Put me down somewhere nice and easy.....please!"

"Uh......maybe Ashley and Cassie can think of something," the Cryptkeeper suggested. "Hey, Rangers, we have a little problem that we need help with."

Within seconds, the Pink and Yellow Rangers teleported next to the Spices.

"Whatís up?" Ashley asked.

"Whatís going on?" Cassie added.

"Weíve got the latest version of King Kong happening here!" Curly cried.

The Ranger women pulled out their blasters and aimed them at Darkonda.

"I wouldnít do that if I were you," the Cryptkeeper warned.

"Fire!!" Ashley and Cassie fired their blasters anyway.

Most of the shots struck Darkonda in various areas of his body, but he was completely unaffected. Jenny screamed as the shots also surrounded her. One shot hit her arm.

"Hey! Kinda watch it, will you!?" she screamed through her ring.

"What?" Ashley asked.

"I told you not to shoot," the Cryptkeeper said. "Darkondaís got Jenny."

"Well, why didnít you do something!?" Cassie screamed.

"What is there to do!?" Spinal screamed back.

"Letís be positive," C.C. said. "Heís not hurting her."

Darkonda continued climbing. The Spices continued to stare. To their surprise, the male Rangers showed up in their costumes. They ran over to their allies clumsily.

"Andros, what are you guys doing here?" Cassie asked.

"Weíre a team," Andros said. "In sickness and in health, we are still a team."

"Heís right," Hallie said. "Now how are we going to get my sister down?"

"As usual, weíll have to call on the Astro Megazord," T.J. groaned.

"Absolutely not," the Cryptkeeper said. "First of all, youíll hurt Jenny; second, youíll just end up killing Darkonda!"

"Where is Jenny, anyway?" Carlos asked.

"Darkondaís got her, of course," Spinal told him. "Why donít you use something a little softer......like the Quadroblaster?"

"Sounds like a plan," Andros said.

"Quadroblaster online!" Carlos cried, gasping.

Four Rangers weapons united to form the Quadroblaster while Andros pulled out his Spiral Saber and aimed it at Darkonda. Andros and Carlos were trembling vigorously as they aimed their weapons.

"Aim carefully, Carlos," Ashley instructed as she and Cassie placed their hands on his shoulders. T.J. grabbed the girlsí shoulders, using them to balance himself. Ashley and Cassie could feel his trembling arms. Darkonda was getting close to the top of the skyscraper.

"I think youíd better hold your fire until he reaches the top," the Cryptkeeper suggested. "That way Jenny will have something to land on when Darkonda releases her."

"Okay," Andros grumbled.

The Rangers continued their clumsy aim. Finally, Darkonda reached the top of the building.

"Fire!" Carlos screamed.

The Quadroblaster fired. Darkonda slowly pulled Jenny closer to him as the shot struck and exploded. Upon feeling the sting, Darkonda dropped his spouse, who hit the rooftop. Then the poisoned creature vanished.

"Hey, whereíd they go?" Spinal asked.

The Cryptkeeper opened his ring. "Jenny, can you hear me? Come in! Tell us youíre okay, please!!"

Jenny sighed and strained to get her arm to her face. She opened up her ring. "Iím okay," she groaned. "We have to find Darkonda. We can only hope that itís not too late."

She leaped off the building and teleported safely down to her friends.

"Weíd better get these guys back to the tent," Ashley said. "Think you can take it from here?"

"Yeah; weíll be fine," Jenny told her.

The Rangers teleported away. Jenny pointed to an underground subway right next to the skyscraper.

"What makes you so sure that heíll be there?" the Cryptkeeper asked.

"The poison has weakened him as well as that climb, so he couldnít have gone far," Jenny replied. "Letís go."

The Spices ran into the subway. As Jenny had predicted, Darkonda was there. He was on the ground with his head against the wall, back in his normal form.

"Is he.....dead?" C.C. asked.

Jenny ran up to him and grasped his wrist to take his pulse. "Well, I donít know where to take this guyís pulse, so I canít really tell. Thereís only one way to find out, and thatís by attempting to take Spinalís power back."

She placed a hand on Darkondaís shoulder, then gazed at the slime on her finger. "Oh yuck; this is going to be tougher than I thought." Jenny took a deep breath, closed her eyes, then kissed Darkonda passionately. The other Spices watched in disgust. As Jenny kissed the bounty hunter, both their chests began to emit a yellow glow.

"Whatís happening to them?" Hanim asked.

"I think itís working," the Cryptkeeper said. "Darkonda must still be alive."

After a minute, the glow disappeared and Jenny stopped the kiss. She stood up and inhaled deeply.

"Oh man!" she sighed. "That really takes a lot out of me!"

"So what happened?" Spinal asked.

"I got your powers back," Jenny said.

"Well, may I have them please?"

Jenny stared at him blankly. "No!" she said sternly. "Just kidding; of course you may have them back. Come here....."

"Youíre not going to kiss me, are you?" Spinal asked.

"No; just put your ring against mine."

Jenny and Spinal put their rings together. Upon contact, the rings began to flash. When it stopped, they took their rings back. Jenny sighed wearily and covered her eyes.

"You okay, Sis?" Hallie asked.

"Oh man.....taking the power from Darkonda, then passing it back to Spinal......I guess Iím not used to the sensation," Jenny explained.

"Well, I feel great!" Spinal cried. "I feel like my old self again!"

"You know, Spinal...." Jenny began. "Come to think of it......I think I am going to kiss you."

She grabbed Spinal and gave him a smackeroo on the cheekbone. The skeleton warrior gasped in surprise.

Suddenly, Deca came through the communication channel. "Jenny, the cure is just about finished."

"Thanks, Deca," Jenny said. "But I think that Aracula should make some for us......just in case..... Well, people, letís get back to camp."

She closed her ring, then the Spices teleported back to the campsite.

* * *

The Spices stayed with the ailing guys as Aracula continued working on the antidote. When he was done, he teleported to the campsite. The antidote was served in tiny test tubes. The Rangers and Spices took the medicine eagerly. Aracula started signing to Jenny.

"Whatís that?" Jenny asked.

"Heís saying that the others will recover by tomorrow morning," Deca replied.

"Well, itís getting a little late, and I, for one, am drained," Jenny said.

"I, too, am fatigued," Spinal said. "Good night, all you sick people...."

"Spinal, this isnít like you!" C.C. cried.

"Why not? Would I lie?"

"I think Iíll sleep out here by the fire tonight," Jenny said. "How Ďbout you?"

"Okay," Spinal replied. "Just donít let your mother show up."

"Donít worry; she wonít."

The Spices went into the tents. Jenny and Spinal positioned themselves on either side of the fire and dozed off quickly.

The night was quiet and peaceful. Jenny was right about Astronema not showing up. However, she wasnít counting on her own husband dropping by for a visit at the stroke of midnight. Darkonda had apparently already recovered from the poisoning. He silently walked directly to Jennyís sleeping bag. He knelt down beside the sleeping girl and ran a finger through her hair. Jenny began to stir; her eyes fluttered open slowly. She looked up to find the pair of glowing yellow eyes staring down at her. Startled, she gasped and tried to leap up, but the sleeping bag only allowed her to reach a sitting position. Then she realized that it was only Darkonda.

"Darkonda....." she sighed with relief. "You scared me!"

Darkonda chuckled. "Yes, I love to do so," he said. "You look so cute when youíre startled."

"Really? So, what are you doing here?"

"I just thought Iíd pay my sweetheart a visit."

"Oh......but......werenít you.......?"

"Dead? Well, I was about to perish, but then you came to me to reclaim Spinalís powers. You kissed me in order to absorb it. That kiss ejected a power which restored my life energy."

"Oh.....well......thatís great," Jenny said with a nervous chuckle. "Glad I could help. Spinalís feeling better, though."

"Yes, I see." Darkonda took a glance at Spinal sleeping on the other side of the campfire. "Listen, about nabbing you and climbing that skyscraper....."

"Oh yeah......what was that about?"

"I knew that I would pass away, so I wanted to visit with you one last time. I am forever in your debt. I will repay you someday."

Jenny chuckled. "Oh really?"

Darkonda nodded. "You are wise to distrust the evil-hearted, my dear, but eventually I will return the favor; you have my word."

Jenny sighed. "Okay...."

Darkonda backed away from the campfire and disappeared. Jenny shrugged her shoulders and went back to sleep.

The next morning, everyone woke up feeling like their old selves again. Araculaís antidote had worked. Once everyone was up, they packed up their equipment and teleported back to the Astro Megaship. They vowed to camp in the Simudeck next time.

The End... for now

Rule


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