It was a peaceful morning. The gargoyles were on the bridge with Marvin, still looking for Zordon. Carlos, Ruth, Jenny, Hanim, and Andros were practicing on the SimuDeck. Ashley and Cassie were eating in the dining room. Everyone else was relaxing. It was just one of those peaceful mornings.
“I’m starting to get suspicious,” Ashley said, as she sat down with Cassie.
“About what,” Cassie asked.
“We haven’t had very much excitement from our villains since Ruth joined us.”
“Well, maybe they’re just planning something extra to their original plans. Ruth is a unique girl, you know.”
“Yeah, I know. But there is something about Ruth that makes her very different from all of the other Spices.”
Carlos would agree with her. During the simulation, he noticed that Ruth was a little more energetic than most of the Spices. She seemed to have stronger punches and kicks than the rest of her martial arts talent. When the simulation ended, she and Carlos joined Ashley and Cassie in the dining room. Carlos just sat down, while Ruth was getting some water.
“How’s the practicing going,” Cassie asked.
“It’s doing great,” Carlos said.
“Yeah,” Ruth agreed. “It’s doing so great, I can’t wait to attack a real monster.”
A few minutes later, an alarm was sounded. Knowing that she had jinxed her friends, Ruth got up and rushed to the bridge with admirable speed, with Carlos close behind her.
“See,” Ashley said. “She’s even a little faster than some of the others.”
“So what,” Cassie said, and went after them, and Ashley joined them a few moments later. There was a yellowish-green monster that looks like a combination of a human and a bug. He seems to be more human that bug, though. He has no wings, his accent seems a rough and sarcastic tone, he dresses like a human, he even hates the presence of bugs.
“Well, well,” said the bug monster, after Ashley, Cassie, and Carlos came, morphed. A few seconds later, they were joined by Ruth, Jenny, and Hallie. “If it aint the Power Club and Spice Rangers.” Hallie giggled.
“I think you got us a little mixed up,” Ruth said in her sarcastic tone.
“Da name’s Bugs Zapper.”
“Oh really? When we’re done, you’re name is going to be Trash.”
They started attacking. Jenny had the first honors. Bugs was hard to swat; he dodged every attack Jenny threw in. After a while, Jenny backed off, and Ashley went in. She tried a spinning heel kick, but Bugs ducked it. He removed a container from his coat, something that looked like a bug sprayer. When Ashley went in again, he sprayed some sort of purple mist at her. She coughed, and fell down, unconscious.
“Take that, you durty power vermin,” Bugs said. Ruth went in the attack, and she did so many kicks, punches and chops that Bugs didn’t have time to aim his container at her. Cassie picked up Ashley, and they went back to the ship. Ruth punched the monster in the chest. Then, she tripped him. He got up instantly, only to find himself hoisted by something. Carlos got his Lunar Lance, and after holding him up in the air with it, Ruth made a good jump side kick at his shoulder. He landed with a mud puddle in his face.
“I think its time to call for an exterminator,” Ruth said. At that, Carlos removed his Astro Blaster, and fired at him. Bugs Zapper was zapped and destroyed! “Bye-bye, Trash,” Ruth said, keeping her word that when they were done, his name would be Trash. Before they could get back to the ship, Ecliptor showed up. They turned at him, and Ruth gave a weird look at him.
“Who’s that,” she asked.
“Oh,” Hallie said, “that’s the Candyman!”
“That’s the Candyman? He looks more like overgrown bags of bolts!”
“I’d prefer to call him a bag of jelly beans.”
“Who is this ecstatic, beautiful young lady,” Ecliptor asked, approaching Ruth. “Young Miss Magic Spice, no doubt.”
“No doubt,” Ruth said. She paused before saying, “I suppose that you should give me a warm welcome in the Spice Club.” The others gasped at this, but not loud enough for anyone to hear. Ruth continued, “Even though you are odious...”
“Uh-huh,” Hallie said.
“And unpresentable!” She turned her back to Ecliptor and walked to Carlos, who laughed with the others at her finish. They laughed even louder when Hallie gasped instead of continuing with her Uh-huh’s.
“I’ve heard of your sense of humor,” Ecliptor said, caressing her cheek.
She kicked Ecliptor squarely on the chest, and he stepped back. She said, “My sense of humor is for a Power Ranger.” She hugged Carlos’s neck, and said to Ecliptor, “The pain I can give is for you.”
“You are just like I remember you,” Ecliptor said.
“What? I never saw you before in my entire life!”
Ruth gave Ecliptor a weird look, and said to Carlos, “I don’t need to take this type of harassment.”
“You don’t have to.” Ecliptor grabbed Ruth’s neck and held her up. In a flash, Ruth boosted her legs to kick on the side of Ecliptor’s cheek. He was forced to let her go. He quickly got up, but before anyone could stop her, Hallie jumped to Ecliptor, and gave him a bear hug around his neck and wrapped her legs around his waist. Ecliptor was disgusted, as usual.
“Ruth doesn’t want you. Let’s talk about us,” she said, sweetly. She kissed his cheek and caressed him on the shoulders. In disgust, Ecliptor removed Hallie from his shoulders and threw her. Jenny ran and caught her. Before they could glance at him again, Ecliptor was gone.
Back at the ship, Ruth was in the dining room, trying to eat her lunch, but she wasn’t hungry. She tried to remember where she had seen Ecliptor before. He was so sure that he had seen her, so she must have seen him. The only thing weird that she remembered was the night when her parents died. In her mind, she saw her memory.
“I was laying down in bed,” she said to herself. “I heard something from the living room. I went and peeked in, at the moment my father fell on the floor, dead. I ran back to my room, quickly dressed into clothes, packed a few things in a small suitcase, and went to my mother’s room. I told her what I had seen, and she told me to run. I wasn’t willing to leave her, but I did.
“After crawling out the window, I peeked in my mother’s room, to get one last look at her. A figure stepped in, but I was too frightened to see him. I started to run. However, when the house burst into flames, I turned around sharply and I saw the face and heard him laugh.”
Ruth gasped. Now she remembered where she saw Ecliptor before. She placed her head on the table and wept as Carlos passed by. He heard someone crying, and saw that it was Ruth. He walked to her, to comfort her. “Ruth,” Carlos said. He touched her shoulder, and she looked at him in fear.
“Oh, Carlos, it’s just you.” She hugged him. He was shocked. She released him, saying, “I’m sorry. I miss my family so much. Please, sit down.” He did. “Tell me about your family.”
“My family,” he asked. “Well, both of my parents died when I was young. I had a younger sister, but she died during a camping trip. Most of what I forget are things about my mom, ‘cause she died before my dad did. I remember the tone of her voice whenever she receives clothing as a present. I remember the way she’d put on her lipstick, so carefully. I remember, she always oil paints, because she was a famous artist in Mexico. I was 5 when she died of cancer.
“My father was a born actor. He also danced very well. He gave me the guidelines about being a dancer, even though I wasn’t as good as he was. There would be no father as sweet as mine in all of Mexico. He had a good friend in Japan. One time, my father had business to do in Japan, so he took me with him and stayed at his friend’s place. The business went on for more than a year, and during that time, I turned from plain old nothing to a wonderful black belt in Karate. I was 12 when my father died in a car accident.
“As an inheritance, I moved to Angel Grove and my Uncle Puerto, my mother’s brother. During previous visits with him, everyone told me to stay away from him. They thought he was a bad influence.”
“Are you kidding? I got my sense of humor from him. No one stayed around him long enough to realize it but me. What about you? What about your family?”
“Oh, well, by blood, I’m part French, and part American. Otherwise, I’m also part Jewish, and part Korean. And I’m an only child. On my father’s side, my grandfather was a distant cousin of Neil Armstrong. When that was discovered, my family became so-so famous. His father’s niece went to fight in the Korean War, while his nephew went to Israel.
“During the end of the Korean war, the niece met up with this wonderful Korean man. They fell in love, got married, and the war ended not very long after that. I visited my Korean relative once, and he taught me everything about Tae Kwon Do. Now, the nephew that went to Israel, he stayed there for a little over 5 years. Not too long after he arrived, he met Rebekah, an Israelite woman. When I was born, Rebekah helped my parents name me.
“My mother’s side was all French. Way back to Ancient France, when gypsies had a vast population, my grandmother’s grandmother was the most mysterious gypsy woman in all France. She was a dancer, and in times of need, she used magic. She could even make herself disappear. Sort of like Ezmerelda in the movie “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” you know? She passed magical possessions to her daughter, who passed it on to my grandmother, who passed it on to my mother, who passed it on to me. When I have children, I’m going to pass them to my firstborn daughter.”
She sobbed again. “I always remembered how my parents died, but today, I remember who killed them.”
“Who,” Carlos asked.
“He ... it was Ecliptor,” she replied. Her words were almost covered by tears. But Carlos heard what she said, and he hugged her. She told him how it happened, every last detail. “He knew that there was a magician in Angel Grove that could destroy him once and for all. To avoid that, he killed every magician there, only to let the real one escape.”
“You can destroy him,” Carlos asked, astonished.
“Yes, but I won’t,” she said, nobly. “I’m not like him. I’m not a murderer like him.”
“Ruth,” Hallie called. She poked her head in the dining room. “Ruth, the Candyman demands to see you alone.”
Ruth got up, and said, “And I demand to see him.” With a large frown on her face, she passed Hallie, who went to Carlos in confusion.
“What’s her problem,” she asked him.
“Ecliptor killed her parents. Turned her house into an overgrown toaster.”
Ecliptor was on the planet surface. Ruth went behind him, and did a jump snap kick in the back of his head. He turned around and saw her, just as she said, “That’s for killing my parents!”
“Ah, so you do remember. Who would have thought that I killed every magician in Angel Grove only to find that the one I was looking for is standing beside me?”
“To tell you the truth, I think you’re a coward. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t have killed innocent lives or tried to destroy mine to avoid your death. Yes, one big, disgusting coward.”
“You should not play with me. I’m quick-tempered, and I can destroy you as fast as you could destroy me.”
“Don’t try force on me, Ecliptor. I nailed you once, and I can do it again.” She quickly did a mere jab in his left eye. Either Ecliptor had sensitive eyes, or the jab was much worse than it seemed to be, because Ecliptor went down on one knee in pain. Ruth was surprised.
“Ow! You little wretch! I’ll be half-blind for a millennia,” Ecliptor shouted.
“Oh, c’mon. It can’t be that bad.” Ecliptor said nothing. “Well, as long as you are half-blind, how about having a sore throat with that?” She did a front snap kick at his neck, sending him to his feet. “What about a poor pounding headache?” She jumped on Ecliptor’s back, and pounded her wrists on his head. He groaned in pain, after she kicked off of him and did a back flip on the ground. He kept turning himself around, trying to find her, and getting dizzy. “And on top of that, I’ll give you a pain the back.” She did a spinning heel kick on his arm, forcing him to turn around again, and finished off with a jumping round house kick. Ecliptor landed in a deep water puddle.
“Ecliptor, you know that I have the choice of killing you quickly, or to let you die in similar ways of your torture. But, in a way, you taught me a lesson. You deserve the pain I gave because you killed my parents and many other innocent lives. I would never go around trying to kill people to avoid death. Instead, I would have tried to face the cause. When Astronema comes to pick you up, she’ll find you looking like this. That might teach you a lesson.”
“You won’t get away with this, Magica.”
“Magica? No one’s ever called me that before. I hate it! Good-bye, Candyman.”
Before Ecliptor fell in unconsciousness, he said weakly, “Good-bye, Magica.”
When Ruth got back to the ship, everyone saw the battle she finished. They also knew about what Ecliptor did to her family. When Ruth was by herself in the SimuDeck, she was dancing in a piece of music that sounded like something was happening. Carlos entered and saw her dancing, and was amazed. Ruth saw him and paused the simulation.
“Carlos, what is it?”
“Ruth, I always wanted to tell you. You were good when you went down there.”
“I’m sorry about your parents.”
“Oh, that’s okay. My parents’ lives were taken and I know that if I stayed there, I would have been killed, too.”
“Well, I just wanted ... Wait a minute. You would have?”
“Of course, I would.”
“I mean, you were’nt killed?”
“No; didn’t I tell you before?” Carlos shook his head. “I’m not like the other Spices. I’m not dead or demon-possessed. Just don’t tell Ecliptor that; he’ll try to kill me.”
“Oh, then what I have to say would be a little easier for me.”
“What? What is it?”
“Ruth, I care about you very much.”
Ruth paused for a minute. She said, “I don’t know what to say.”
“My mother once told me, ‘If one doesn’t know what to say, then nothing should be said.’ I believe it.”
Ruth would have said that she loved him, but she didn’t want to. Instead she gave Carlos a bear hug and a brief kiss. Carlos pushed her off, and they stared at each other. Before Ruth could apologize, Carlos smiled, and gave her a bear hug and a kiss, a little longer one. She laughed.
After a few more minutes of discussion, Ruth offered if Carlos would be with her while she dances. Not only did he agree to be there, but he also danced along with her. Eventually, they got to dancing with each other as a partner. The music kept on going, and they felt like they could dance all night. But they didn’t tell anyone that they were in love.
They were afraid it would brew up some trouble.