Five Spices and a Baby
by : Cryptk1165

The Space Rangers and several Spice Club members sat in the dining room having breakfast as usual. The Cryptkeeper was reading the morning paper as Spinal came in, yawning and stretching.

"Hey, Spinal, you awake?" Jenny asked.

"Not really," Spinal grumbled as he sat down. "C.K.....can I read that paper when youíre done?"

"Uh, sure," the Cryptkeeper replied as a section fell out. "Actually, you could read this part."

"Cool." Spinal looked at the section, which was the Classified Section. " ĎWanted: Babysitter.í Jenny.....why do people sit on babies?"

The others snickered.

"They donít," Jenny said. "A babysitter is a person hired to take care of children when the parents are unable to do so."

"Hmm.....babysitting," Spinal muttered. "The name does not fit the occupation."

"Then what would you call it?" Jenny asked.

"Iíd call it.......temporary parenting."

The others snickered again.

"Yeah, that would work," T.J. admitted.

"Babysitter, phooey!" Spinal snapped.

"Oh wow, psychic hotline!" the Cryptkeeper said out of nowhere.

"Iíve always been interested in psychics, but Iíve never been old enough to call," Jenny said. "And now, Iíll never be old enough."

"How about you, Rangers? You old enough?" C.K. asked.

The Rangers shook their heads.

"C.K., why donít you call?" Jenny suggested.

"I would, but I donít know my birthdate or age."

After a moment of silence, the Spices all looked at Spinal. The skeleton warrior looked at them, a look of confusion in his eyes.

"What are you staring at me for?" he asked.

"Spinal, it looks like youíre the only one in this room whoís eligible to call these psychics," the Cryptkeeper said.

"I donít even know what a psychic is," Spinal protested.

"A psychic is a person with amazing mental talent," Jenny explained. "Just tell them your name and birthdate, and like magic, they know almost everything about you."

"I donít need to call a psychic; I know enough about me as it is."

"Oh Spinal, itís just for fun, thatís all."

"Well.....okay, Iíll do it."

The Spices walked out of the dining room.

"Oh Spinal, youíre going to have such a good time," the Cryptkeeper said.

"I still donít see the point in doing this," Spinal said.

The Spices proceeded to the Simudeck where they created a simulation of a typical living room. Spinal reluctantly picked up the telephone and sat in a chair. The Cryptkeeper hooked up a device that looked like an answering machine.

"What is that?" Spinal asked.

"Just something that allows us all to hear what the psychic is saying," the Cryptkeeper responded. "But they wonít be able to hear us."

Ruth and Hallie entered the room and paused.

"Whatís happening?" Hallie asked.

"Hey, youíre just in time to watch Spinal call a psychic hotline," C.C. said.

"Okay, here goes," Spinal muttered as he began to dial the number. "1-800-yadda yadda...."

When the number was dialed, the Spices could hear the phone ringing on the other end. They all listened anxiously for an answer. Spinal shivered violently.

"Oh, Iím so nervous!" he squealed.

As soon as he spoke, a lady answered the phone. "Angel Grove Psychic Hotline; Judy speaking."

"Uh.....hi......" Spinal stammered. "I.....Iíd like to speak to a psychic, please."

"I am a psychic, you silly goose," Judy said.

"Oh.....oops, my bad," Spinal said.

"Okay. Youíre calling for the ten free minutes, correct?"

"Uh.....yes, maíam."

"All right then. I need your name and your birthdate."

"Um.....my name is Spinal Spice......I donít know my exact birthdate, but I do know that Iím 2,650 years old."

The other Spices snickered.

Judy paused. "Uh.....okay......Spinal, give me a second to concentrate here......I see that you are a skeleton warrior."

"Yes.....I am," Spinal replied.

"Oh......I see a great deal of pain in your past," Judy went on. "Long ago......you were constantly tortured by.......a large cyborg assassin."

"A cyborg?" Ruth asked. "That canít be true.....is it, Spinal?"

"Yes, it is true," Spinal told her.

"And you were a slave," Judy continued. "When you fought your way to freedom, you were truly alone, with no purpose and no one to guide you."

"Yeah.....thatís true. But Iíve put my past behind me. Iíve found where I belong."

"And that is the Spice Club, correct?"

"Yeah!" Spinal looked up at the others. "Boy, sheís good!"

The others laughed.

"Letís look at your present existence," Judy said. "Lately, youíve been interested in.......babysitting."

The others laughed again.

"Actually, Iím not really interested in babysitting," Spinal explained. "I was just curious as to why the job is called babysitting when it doesnít involve physically sitting on babies."

The others broke into riotous laughter. Spinal looked up at them.

"Go ahead and laugh! Iím serious here!"

"Well.....okay....." Judy muttered in confusion. "Letís move on, shall we?"

"Yes, please," Spinal replied.

"Letís look at your love life."

"Oh boy......"

"Oooh, this I gotta hear!" the Cryptkeeper said.

"Hmm.....your love life is very successful," Judy said. "I sense that youíre a real casanova with the ladies."

The others laughed yet again.

"She got that right!" C.C. cried.

"Well......not really," Spinal said, chuckling nervously. "Itís just that..... well..... Iím......bashful......"

"It appears that your shyness has attracted a lot of people," Judy said. "I see that you are desperately trying to avoid the love of an evil space queen."

Spinalís eyes glowed brightly. This psychic was digging a little too deep.

"Uh......can I hang up now?" he asked.

"Nonsense, you have another few minutes," Judy told him. "Now, what is the queenís name?"

"Astronema....."

"And she expresses her love by kidnapping.....?"

"Yes! What can I do?" Spinal asked. "She wonít leave me alone!"

"Itís all right," Judy assured him. "Just continue your resistance, and sheíll leave you alone eventually. Sure, it may take some time, but just be patient."

"Well, okay...."

"Ooops, Iím afraid weíre out of time. Youíve been a very interesting customer, Spinal."

"Thanks....bye," Spinal said.

"Bye-bye, cute little fellow you...."

They both hung up the phone.

"Awwww......." the Spices cooed.

"Now, was that so bad?" Jenny asked.

"That was funny," the Cryptkeeper teased. " ĎCan I hang up now?í"

"I canít believe she knew all that about me!" Spinal said.

"Thatís what psychics do," Jenny said. "You gotta admit, it was fun. We sure had fun, right?"

"Oh yeah!" the others cried at once.

"Attention: Approaching the next planet," Deca announced.

"Man, I canít believe that she knew that Astronema was in love with me," Spinal sighed. "I donít need the whole universe to know that."

"Well, maybe some of these alien life forms are willing to give you more advice," the Cryptkeeper suggested. "You never know."

They started walking to the jump tube room. The Rangers were already waiting in there.

"Ashley will go down to the planet, and we need some of you Spices to go with her," T.J. announced.

"Iíll go with her," Jenny said. "And Iíll take Ruth, Spinal, C.K., and Hallie along. By the way, what are you guys going to do?"

"Weíre going to search the next galaxy for Zordon," Andros said.

"Good luck, people," the Cryptkeeper called. "See you later, alligator."

Ashley went through her jump tube, then the Spices went through. They arrived on the planet seconds later. The sky was covered with dark grey clouds, purple lightning flashed across. The group also noticed that every object on the planet was covered in some kind of purple slime.

"Yuck. Weíll find Zordon here for sure," the Cryptkeeper said.

"Are you sure?" Jenny asked. "This is just the kind of environment weíd expect Zordon to be held in."

"Your point being?" Spinal asked.

"My point is that we should never judge a book by its cover. Zordon could be kept in a beautiful environment."

"My gosh; youíre right again, Sis," Hallie said.

"Sheís always right," the Cryptkeeper whispered to Ashley. "Where does she get it?"

Ashley shrugged. "Well, letís look around and see what we can find."

They began to walk along the rocky grounds. Jenny wandered off to the skeletal remains of a giant creature and rubbed some of the slime onto her index finger. Then she put it in her mouth. In disgust, she spit it out.

"How was it?" the Cryptkeeper asked, standing behind her.

"Nasty."

"What IS this place?" Ruth asked.

"Probably the Ooze Planet," Spinal said. "Thereís nothing but ooze here."

Ashley pulled out a tiny device and pressed a few buttons. Afterwards, it started beeping as she held it out in all directions. When it faced in one direction, the beeping began to speed up. Ashley gasped.

"What does it mean when the beeping speeds up?" Hallie asked.

"It means that thereís some life form nearby," Ashley told her. "Right in that direction."

"Should we check it out?" the Cryptkeeper asked.

"Why donít we let them check us out?" Jenny suggested.

So the group waited for the life form to appear. They didnít have to wait long. From the shadows emerged a large group of hideous purple creatures. They did not look friendly at all. They closed in on Ashley and the Spices, snarling ferociously.

"Oooh, those monsters look big and mean," Spinal said. "I think they want to hurt us."

"I think youíre right," Jenny said. "Letís get out of here!"

Ashley and the Spices turned and ran, pulling out their weapons in case they were forced to fight. They ran past some kind of purple fountain. Unfortunately, Ashley tripped over an odd object and fell in. The Spices paused to help her out. The water was also purple. Once Ashley was out, she let out a shriek. Before the Spicesí eyes, she turned into an infant. The Spices gasped.

"Ashley......speak to us!" Hallie pleaded.

"Baby like watta!" Ashley cooed.

The Spices had almost forgotten about the purple creatures that were in pursuit. They gathered around the terrified group. Before they could think, baby Ashley snatched Spinalís sword from his hand and sliced one of the creatures. Purple ooze sprayed all over the Spices.

"Once again......letís get out of here!" Jenny screamed.

Ruth picked up Ashley as the Spices resumed their retreat. Jenny stayed behind briefly to fight off the ooze creatures. She spun around swinging her flaming sticks at them, knocking down three. As they hit the ground, another creature kicked her in the stomach with a roundhouse. Then yet another jump-kicked her in the chest, knocking her down. The same creature attempted to stomp on her as the others began to surround and close in on her. Jenny rolled aside to avoid the stomp, then lifted her legs and spun around in a break dancing maneuver, kicking some of the creatures in the face and startling others. As Jenny spun her legs, she sprang to her feet and ran after her friends.

"Hey, wait for me!" she cried.

When she caught up with the others, she saw that they were engaged in battle with more of the slime monsters. She immediately joined the battle. Hallie stood against the enormous boulders trying to protect the baby Ashley.

As the Spices battled the beasts, a mysterious figure in a green cloak leaped into the battlefield from atop a boulder. Upon landing, she removed her cloak, picked up her staff, and fought the creatures.

"Who is that?" Hallie wondered.

The woman mainly struck the creaturesí legs with her staff. Then she broke it in half and twirled them, creating an annoying whistling sound. Jenny paused and looked at this woman.

"Hey, I could do that, too," she told herself.

She started twirling her sticks. They didnít make any whistling sound, but Jenny didnít care. The slime monsters covered their ears and began to retreat. The Spices regrouped as the woman reattached her sticks with her back turned to them. Hallie handed Ashley back to Ruth.

"Hey, that was great," Spinal said, stepping forward. "Thanks."

In response, the woman turned and struck his arm. "If you want to thank me, go back to wherever you came from!" she ordered.

"Wait a minute; I know whatís going on," Jenny said, also stepping forward. "You got rid of those creatures so that you could abuse my friends yourself. That, my good woman, isó"

The woman cut her off by swinging the staff at Jennyís feet. As if she had expected it, Jenny did a stationary back flip to avoid it. Then other Spices gasped in awe.

"Unacceptable," Jenny said, to finish her sentence.

The woman glared at her. "Leave Phaedos.....before itís too late."

"Phaedos?" the Cryptkeeper asked in disbelief. "THIS is Phaedos?"

"It canít be," Jenny said. "Tommy and the other former Rangers said that Phaedos was a nice place."

"It was a nice place......before Ivan Ooze conquered it," the woman said.

"Whoís Ivan Ooze?" Hallie asked.

"Ivan Ooze is a monster. Heís enslaved the good people of Phaedos. I have gathered up armies to dethrone him, but theyíve all failed. Thatís why the ground is littered with bones. Hmm......perhaps youíd like to be my next army."

"I donít think so," the Cryptkeeper said.

"I think weíll fulfill your first wish and get off this planet," Jenny said. "Adios."

The group pressed on their rings; however, nothing happened. They tried again; still nothing. Jenny opened up her ring.

"Andros? Anybody up there?"

"This is T.J.; whatís up?"

"We canít teleport back for some odd reason," Jenny told him.

"Weíre having problems with the teleportation, but weíre working on it," T.J. explained.

"You mean weíre stuck here?" Spinal asked.

"For the time being."

The Spices stared at the woman.

"Who are you?" the Cryptkeeper asked.

"I am Dulcea, master warrior of the planet Phaedos."

"Master warrior, huh? Cool," Jenny said.

"I saw how you all fought Ivanís goons," Dulcea continued. "I could use you for my next army to bring him down."

Jenny shook her head. "Use? No one uses us!"

"Will you please help me take on Ivan Ooze?" Dulcea asked.

The Spices pondered for a moment.

"Well....we would, but we have a babysitting job to do," Jenny said. "And we have to figure out how to get Ashley back to her right age."

"What has happened to.......Ashley?"

"All we know is that she fell into that purple fountain," the Cryptkeeper explained. "And when we pulled her out....."

"Oh. She fell into the Eternal Falls," Dulcea said.

"Wait a minute. I thought the Eternal Falls were on Aquitar," Hallie said.

"Well, we have Eternal Falls here, too," Dulcea told her.

"Any idea on how we can get Ashley back to normal?" Ruth asked.

"Thatíll be the easy part," Jenny said. "Weíve had this kind of crisis before."

Before she could explain, a purple creature wearing glittery drapes appeared nearby. He walked straight up to Dulcea and the Spices.

"Well, well, Dulcea," he said. "I see youíve gathered more visitors to stop me. Well, just give it up. No one defeats me --- Ivan Ooze."

"Oh, Iíll stop you yet, Ivan," Dulcea told him. "Even if it takes another ten millennia, I will stop you."

"Dulcea, Iíve already conquered Phaedos, and all your armies have failed," Ivan went on. "It is certain that this team will end up like the others, nothing but a pile of bones littered on the ground."

"Oh no, weíre different," Jenny said, boldly stepping forward. "We wonít fail."

Ivan stared at her, pondering. He began to circle around her, examining her figure. "Hmm......what beauty......what courage. Where did you come from, fair lady?"

Jenny thought nervously for a moment. "I.......I think I came from hell."

The Spices chuckled.

"I.......donít believe Iím familiar with that planet," Ivan said. "May I ask who you are?"

"Iím Jenny, but you may call me Tonfa Spice. Those are my friends, the Spice Club. Actually, theyíre only part of the Spice Club. I have a lot more members where they came from."

Ivan continued to circle around Jenny, sniffing at her. "What.......what is that lovely perfume youíre wearing?"

Jenny felt insulted. "Iím not wearing any," she told him.

Ivan chuckled. "Of course! Youíre a teenager!"

Jenny looked at him confused. "Duh! Iím a teenager for eternity."

"Normally, I find that teenagers have a foul stench......but you.......you are different somehow."

Ivan stopped when he was behind Jenny. He grasped her shoulders, then circled in front of her, stroking the edge of her face to her chin, when he lifted his long fingernail. Jennyís eyes widened.

"You have a natural charm that intrigues the evil-hearted," Ivan finally said.

The other Spices froze.

"Hey, leave my sister alone!" Hallie screamed.

"Okay....." Jenny mumbled as she slowly pulled Ivan's hand away. She looked at his long fingernails.

"Oh look, the cute little girl wants to defend her sister," Ivan gushed.

"Of course. All the bad guys try to lay their hands on her," Hallie said.

"Really?" Ivan asked, putting his hands on his hips. He approached the Spices slowly, chuckling.

"Yes, really; and it's getting ridiculous."

As Ivan continued his approach, the Cryptkeeper stepped forward in front of the group.

"Move aside, you old stinking cadaver," Ivan ordered, shoving him aside. Then he bent over Hallie, propping his hands on his knees. "Shut up, little girl."

"I'm Candy Spice," Hallie snapped.

"It doesn't matter what your name is, you idiot. You, your big sister, and these oddballs just got volunteered to help me conquer the rest of the galaxy."

"Ha! We'd never help you; you're the biggest, most disgusting purple booger in the whole universe!" Jenny told him.

Ivan Ooze stood up. "Tell me, are you married?"

"Yes." For once, Jenny was glad.

Ivan approached the rest of the group, staring directly at Ruth, who held Baby Ashley tightly.

"Oh, what a beautiful baby," he said.

"Leave Ďthe babyí out of this!" Ruth snapped.

"Very well. And now, I must take my leave." Ivan suddenly grabbed Jennyís arm and ran his slobbery tongue across her face, leaving a streak of purple ooze. "Bye-bye, kiddies! Remember, Ooze loves ya, baby!!"

He shot up into the sky in the form of a purple shooting star. Jenny groaned at the ooze on her face. The other Spices approached her.

"You talk too much," the Cryptkeeper said.

"Yeah, I know. Me and my big fat mouth," Jenny agreed. "Remind me to thank Darkonda for forcing me into that marriage."

"We must get to my sanctuary," Dulcea told them. "Ivan will send his forces to destroy us, and they canít get in there. Follow me."

The Spices followed Dulcea to her home.

* * *

In the Dark Fortress, Darkonda was staring out into space. Once again, he was thinking about his bride, and many related thoughts raced through his head. As he searched his evil mind for solutions, Ecliptor entered the room.

"So, whatís on your mind, traitor?" he asked.

"Oh, the usual," Darkonda told him.

"Tonfa Spice again?"

"Yeah. I must have more......interaction with her."

"Darkonda, this is foolishness!" Ecliptor said. "You went on a dinner date, and you got married. What are you gonna do next --- have kids?"

"Hmm.....in order to have kids, weíd have to....." Darkonda paused to think again. "No, itís impossible. Tonfa Spice is eternally too young to give birth. Besides, I like to be alone with her. The children will just get in our way. However, perhaps I could find out how sheíll react to the idea....."

Ecliptor sighed. "Hopeless. Just hopeless."

"Thereís another problem I face," Darkonda continued. "I must find a way to return the favor."

"What favor?"

"Your poison almost destroyed me, Ecliptor, but a kiss from the beautiful Spice leader healed me. Hmm.....I wonder what the young girl is doing right now?"

Darkonda pressed a few buttons and the stranded Spices appeared on a monitor. They were in Dulceaís home contacting the Megaship.

"I hate being stuck here, T.J.!" Spinal cried. "With Ivan Ooze in control, we donít stand a chance."

"Just do your best," T.J.ís voice called through the ring. "All you have to do is protect Ashley until we can teleport you back and get her back to normal."

"Weíll be fine," Jenny said. "Good luck."

"You, too. T.J. over and out."

As Jenny closed her ring, Darkonda switched off the monitor. When he turned around, Ecliptor was gone.

Ecliptor had gone to tell Astronema the good news.

"Five Spice Club members are stranded on a planet that has been conquered by an evil cosmic being called Ivan Ooze," he announced.

"Ivan Ooze? I think Iíve heard of him," Astronema said with a smile. "Come, let us meet him and negotiate with him. Elgar, Darkonda, letís go now!"

The evil group vanished from the Dark Fortress.

* * *

Meanwhile, Ivan sat in the throne of his stone castle thinking about the same person.

"Ah, Tonfa Spice....." he sighed. "A thing of beauty and adolescence. Whoever is married to her must be one lucky man....."

As Ivan pondered, Astronema and her crew suddenly appeared in the room. Ivan gasped and stood up.

"Who in the galaxy are you!?" he asked.

"Iím Astronema," the evil queen said proudly. "And these are my servants --- Elgar, Ecliptor, and Darkonda."

"Astronema? The Queen of Evil?" Ivan asked. "I must apologize. Forgive me; I was not aware....."

"Understood," Astronema said, cutting him off.

Ivan gave Astronema a bow. "So......how may I help you?"

"I understand that several Spice Club members are trapped on this planet. By the way, what is this planet called?"

"This is the planet Phaedos. It was once a beautiful world. Now, I have covered it with ooze."

"My wish is to destroy the Spice Club," Astronema said. "Do you think you could help me with that?"

"Of course. But may I make a request?" Ivan asked.

Astronema nodded.

"Iíd like to spare Tonfa Spice. She has intrigued me like none other with her fair face and her stunning courage. But she tells me that sheís already married."

"Ah, yes, my daughter....." Astronema sighed.

"Your daughter?? Perhaps that has something to do with my fascination. Iíd really like to get to know her."

Darkonda made a fist. "Sorry, slime ball; sheís already taken," he thought in his mind. "Iíd advise you not to get too freaky with her, or youíll regret it."

"Weíll leave you with your plan, Ivan," Astronema said. "If necessary, weíll join forces to defeat them."

"Yes, my queen."

Astronema and her crew disappeared from the castle. Ivan sat back in his throne, sighed, and pondered.

"First of all, I have to wait for those Spice puppies to come out of Dulceaís sanctuary," he said aloud. "Then Iíll really sock it to Ďem!!"

* * *

At Dulceaís sanctuary, the Spices sat around the fire. Baby Ashley sat on Ruthís knee, with Ruth gently bouncing her up and down. Ashley giggled for a while, and then began to cry.

"Shh......itís okay, Ashley," Ruth said softly. "Weíll get you back to normal."

"Maybe she needs to be burped," the Cryptkeeper suggested.

"I think Spinal should do that, since he was the curious one," Jenny said with a chuckle.

"Ha, ha, ha!" Spinal said as Ruth placed Ashley in his arms. Spinal carefully rested the baby on his shoulder and gently patted her back. "Okay, Ashley......burp for Daddy....."

Ashley only cried some more as Spinal continued to pat her. After a few minutes, he gave up and held the baby on his legs.

"She doesnít need burping," he said, lifting her up.

As soon as he spoke, Ashley burped, spitting up on Spinalís ribcage. Spinal froze for a few seconds, then let out a scream of disgust. The others laughed.

"Somebody take her!" Spinal cried.

Hallie took the baby from him. Ashley was giggling again.

Dulcea was paying no attention. She was staring out onto the layout of the creepy planet. There was a castle out there. Jenny approached Dulcea.

"What are you staring at?"

"Ivanís fortress."

"Itís ugly," Jenny said.

"We canít afford to wait for your friends to finish fixing the teleportation," Dulcea said. "I know of a way to get Ashley back to normal, but the way is treacherous."

"Where?" the Cryptkeeper called.

"There is a fountain that can reverse the effects of the Eternal Falls. You can take Ashley there and restore her true age."

Dulcea handed Jenny a map.

"Sorry......I canít make heads or tails out of maps," Jenny said.

"I can," Spinal said. "Gimme....."

Jenny handed him the map.

"Hmm......first, we go that way, then we go that way, that way, and that way, and weíre there!"

"Which way?" Jenny asked.

Spinal pointed in the direction opposite Ivanís fortress. "That way."

"Iím certain that with your extraordinary teamwork, you will succeed," Dulcea said.

"Us? You mean youíre not coming with us?" Hallie asked.

Dulcea sighed. "If only I could," she said apologetically. "But one step into that terrain, and I will age rapidly and perish."

"Oh....." The Spices nodded with understanding.

"Boy, this is going to be one hell of a babysitting job," the Cryptkeeper said.

"Weíd better get going so that we donít end up wasting our necks," Jenny announced. "Bye, Dulcea......thanks....."

"Good luck, Spices," Dulcea called.

The Spices began their journey into the unknown. The way didnít seem as treacherous as Dulcea described. As they walked along, the Quantrons appeared, along with several velocifighters.

"Oh great!" Ruth cried. "This is just what we donít need!"

Jenny held Ashley tightly. Then she began to run. The others fought off the Quantrons, running along with her. A velocifighter hovered over them, and it dropped a net. The net landed in front of them. Jenny tripped over it, which sent Baby Ashley soaring through the air. Ashley giggled and cooed during her flight. The Cryptkeeper ran quickly and caught her.

"Be careful, honey!" he cried.

"More bouncy, more bouncy!" Ashley babbled.

"Okay, Iím a bad babysitter," Jenny admitted.

She gave a boost to everyone else to jump over the boulder. Once they were all over, Jenny had to figure out how to get over the boulder herself. She fought off more Quantrons, then made a dash for the boulder. She looked up to notice a net floating above her. She sped up to avoid it, then made a terrific leap. Unfortunately, she landed in a puddle of ooze.

"You okay, Sis?" Hallie asked.

"Yeah. I just need to get this ooze off."

Ashley began to squirm in the Cryptkeeperís arms, so he put her down. Ashley crawled over to Jenny.

"Me love you, denny," she squealed. "You fun!"

Jenny chuckled in response. The Spices continued with their journey. Luckily, they found a fresh lake with a waterfall. Jenny stood under the waterfall to wash off the ooze. Hallie put Ashley on a small raft they found.

"Am I clean yet?" Jenny asked.

"Yeah, youíre clean," the Cryptkeeper told her.

"Can we get a move on now?" Hallie asked.

Then she realized that Ashley was floating away.

"Guys, hurry!" she screamed.

Not only was Ashley floating away, but some man-eating fish were gathering around and started chewing on the raft. Still cooing, Ashley reached into the lake, pulled out one of the fish, and tossed it at the Spices. The Spices screamed and scrambled to get away. Jenny and Spinal jumped up, grabbing the branch of a tree and gasping. The fish chewed on the trunk of the tree, causing it to tip over into the lake. Jenny and Spinal screamed together as they fell. Once in the water, they both climbed onto it. The Cryptkeeper, Ruth, and Hallie hopped on to catch up with them.

"Look! Sheís floating away!" Hallie cried.

The Spices thought quickly as the hungry fish continued to eat up the raft. Baby Ashley waved at the Spices.

"Pie-see, pie-see!!" she yelled.

Finally, the Cryptkeeper had an idea. "Ruth, does your magic ability include pulling out rope?"

"Why yes," Ruth replied. She pulled out a rope and handed it to the Cryptkeeper. He looped one end to create a lasso.

"Hurry, C.K., before those fish get her!" Spinal cried.

The Cryptkeeper twirled the lasso over his head. Then he lashed it out. The lasso caught Ashley by the waist. The Cryptkeeper pulled her off the raft as the fish dove into it. Ruth caught Ashley in her arms. The Spices sighed with relief.

"Good move, C.K.," Jenny said. "I didnít know you were good with ropes."

"Hey, if youíve been around as long as I have, youíve been everywhere and done everything," the Cryptkeeper told her.

Spinal sighed. "Thereís not even much sitting in this babysitting stuff."

"Nevertheless, we must press on," Jenny declared. "The sooner we get Ashley back to normal, the sooner we can quit."

They stepped off the tree onto the land and continued their journey.

* * *

Ivan Ooze still sat in the throne of his fortress. He now sensed that the Spices had left Dulceaís home.

"Ah ha! Theyíre out in the open and vulnerable!" he exclaimed.

He spit a large ball of ooze onto the floor. It slowly grew larger, then rose to form a group a giant black birds called Tengas. They flapped their wings wildly, cawing loudly.

"Silence!" Ivan ordered. "Now, you will fly out into Phaedos, you will find the Spice Club, and you will tear them apart!! But.......bring back their lovely leader, Tonfa Spice."

The Tengas paused. "Tonfa Spice?"

"Yes. Now go!!"

The Tengas flew out of the fortress to attack the Spices.

* * *

"So Spinal, is it true that you were tortured by a robot?" Ruth asked. She and Spinal were trailing behind the others. Spinal was carrying baby Ashley.

"Yes, itís true," he said. "I thought I told you already."

"Well, tell me more. Was this robot like Alpha?"

"No. His name was Fulgore. Unlike Alpha, Fulgore was designed to be a warrior, and believe me, he lived up to his name. He was large and bulky. If you want exact details, he was 6í5" tall and weigh 560 lbs.

"Wow...." was all Ruth could manage.

"Yeah, he was larger and better armed than I was," Spinal continued. "He had these glowing claws attached to his wrists while I had a sword and shield, which Iíd rather not carry around 24-7."

"Do you think this fountain will really turn Ashley back into a teenager?" Hallie asked.

"Dulcea wouldnít lie, would she?" the Cryptkeeper asked.

"I doubt it. Itíd better work," Jenny said. "Ashleyís just too old to be an infant."

Suddenly, the Tenga Warriors dove in on the group. The Spices ducked as low as they could to avoid them. The Tengas turned around and dove again. This time, the Spices leaped out of the way. Spinal had to dodge carefully with Ashley in his arms.

"Oooh, birdie, birdie!" Ashley squealed, flapping her arms wildly.

"Yeah, bad birdie," Spinal said. "No touch."

"Bad birdie," Ashley cooed. "Bad, bad, bad!"

The other Spices were battling the Tengas, but the Tengas kept diving into them. One of them wrapped its arms around Jennyís waist, startling her. But Jenny, never one to give up easily, counter-grabbed the Tengaís wrist and slowly pulled them apart. Then she threw her foot back, kicking its stomach. She leaned forward, and the Tenga rolled over her, landing on its feet in front of her with its back to her. Jenny stood up straight and kicked the Tengaís back.

Spinal stayed against the mountain with baby Ashley, who was giggling and flapping her arms.

"Well, Iím glad youíre having a good time," Spinal told her. "Iím not being very helpful here, am I?"

He looked around, then ran out into the field. He ducked, hopped, and spun around to avoid the Tengas. He made a terrific leap, jump-kicking one of the giant black crows. He approached Ruth, who grabbed a Tengaís wrist and flipped it over onto its back.

"Ruth, would you care to take over?" Spinal asked, handing the baby to her.

Ruth reluctantly took Ashley just as the Tengas dove into Spinal.

"Hey......get off me!" the skeleton warrior cried, throwing the Tengaís off with his feet.

Meanwhile, Jenny and the Cryptkeeper sweeped a Tenga together. They didnít realize that two more Tengas were diving behind them. While one tacked C.K., the other grabbed Jennyís shoulders with its feet.

"Hey! Ow......let go!" she screamed.

The Tenga didnít listen as it continued to carry her over the rocks. The Cryptkeeper struggled under the other Tenga, but he couldnít get out. Hallie rushed over and kicked the bird off. Then she saw the other Tenga abducting her sister.

Ashley continued to flap her arms, hitting Ruthís shoulder.

"Birdie go away!" she yelled, pointing at the flying Tenga.

Ruth looked up. "Oh no, itís got Jenny!"

When all the Tengas realized that they had what they came for, they began to retreat.

"So long, suckers!" they called.

The Spices gathered and sighed in frustration.

"Uckah?" Ashley mumbled.

"What are we going to do?" Hallie asked.

"Do you think those birds work for Ivan?" Spinal asked.

"Iíd say so," the Cryptkeeper said.

"So what do we do?" Spinal asked. "We have to save Jenny, but we canít just abandon our mission to get Ashley back to normal."

"Well.....we can continue on for Ashley.....we saw Ivanís fortress....." the Cryptkeeper mumbled in concentration. "Once Ashleyís back, we can go back and get Dulcea, then we can get Jenny back."

"Think Dulcea can make it to Ivanís fortress without aging?" Hallie asked.

"I hope so," C.K. said.

Reluctantly, they pressed on with their journey.

* * *

At Ivanís castle, the Tengas dropped Jenny through a hole in the ceiling. She landed on her feet, but collapsed due to the stress.

"Ow......my legs.....!!" she groaned.

Ivan stood up from his throne. "Well, well, Tonfa Spice; youíre too kind to visit me in my loneliness."

Jenny stood up slowly as the Tengas gathered behind her. "Arenít these guys enough to keep you company?" she asked.

"Heck no; I need someone with your intelligence," Ivan replied, walking closer to her.

"What do you want with me?" Jenny asked.

"Well, my dear, I would greatly appreciate it if you would rule Phaedos by my side."

"Sorry, Mr. Raisin Head, but ruling a planet isnít the kind of....... Ďlifeí I want to live. And besides, I already told you that I have a husband, and I have dedicated my heart to him for all eternity."

"And whom might this husband be?" Ivan asked.

Jenny thought for a moment. She really didnít want to tell him that Darkonda was her husband.

"Um......his name eludes me for the moment. I donít see him much."

Ivan nodded suspiciously. Then he shrugged his shoulders. "I also know that your mother is the queen of evil."

"So......whatís that to you?" Jenny asked.

"Iím just wondering why youíre not evil," Ivan said.

"I was raised as a normal Earthling. So was my sister."

"Oh, it doesnít matter." Ivan gently grasped Jennyís hand. "Evil or not, Iíve never seen such beauty, such magnificence. Young Tonfa Spice of the stars, of the sun, of the universe."

"Oh boy....." Jennyís eyes widened as Ivan slowly raised her hand.

"I love you, fair creature....." Ivan prepared to kiss Jennyís hand, but she quickly drew back.

"Please!" she cried. "What am I, cursed?"

Ivan chuckled. "A sense of humor, too; I like that."

Jenny froze with humiliation. "I should go." She turned around only to find that the Tengas were blocking the doorway.

"Going somewhere, little missy?" Ivan asked. "I do believe that youíre better off with me than with your husband......whoever he may be."

"I donít think so," Jenny said boldly. "I love my husband, and the knot is too tight to undo."

"I suggest that you reconsider, my pretty, because you wonít be leaving this castle anytime soon," Ivan told her.

Jenny made a fist as she pondered about an escape plan. "Boy, I hope the others have gotten Ashley back to normal. And I hope that the others have fixed the teleportation......."

* * *

Fortunately, the other Spices encountered no more obstacles before reaching the special fountain.

"Well.....this must be it," the Cryptkeeper said.

"Yeah.....but isnít there another challenge waiting somewhere?" Spinal asked.

"Forget about it!" Hallie cried. "Come on, Ruth; put her in!"

Ruth carefully dipped Ashley into the drink. Within seconds, Ashley returned to her normal age. The Spices cheered. Ashley sighed with relief.

"Boy, I forgot that being a kid was tough!" she cried.

"Yeah......so did I," Hallie said.

"Hey......" Ashley began. "Whereís Jenny?"

"Um....." The other Spices paused.

"Weíre assuming that those black birds work for Ivan Ooze, so weíd guess that Ivan has her," the Cryptkeeper said.

"Letís just stick to our plan and go get Dulcea," Spinal said.

"Right."

Ashley and the Spices rushed back to Dulceaís temple. Dulcea turned around upon their arrival.

"Spices, I see you were successful," she said. "And you must be the real Ashley."

"Yes, I am."

"But.....where is Jenny?"

"Well, these giant black crows carried her off," Spinal said. "Do you know of them?"

"Tenga Warriors! Theyíre the most ferocious creatures this side of the universe."

"They work for Ivan Ooze, correct?" the Cryptkeeper asked.

"Yes. They must have taken her to Ivanís fortress. Letís go!" Dulcea declared.

Dulcea, Ashley, and the Spices left the sanctuary to save their leader.

* * *

"Oh, while youíre at it, honey, you can tell me more about the Spice Club team," Ivan said to Jenny.

"Okay," Jenny replied. "Weíve been allies of the Power Rangers for about five years now. Of course, the team wasnít so big back then; there were only seven of us. Mostly girls. Anyway, weíve met a lot of sexy bad guys during the war. Now weíre searching the universe searching for Zordon, whoís been captured by the Dark Specter. He hates my guts."

"Really?" Ivan asked.

"Yes, really."

At that moment, Dulcea, the other Spices, and all the morphed Rangers teleported into the fortress. Ivan and Jenny both turned, surprised to see them.

"Wow! You got Ashley back to normal......and you got the teleportation fixed!" Jenny exclaimed.

"Thatís right," T.J. said proudly.

"Let her go, Ivan, or youíve had it!" Carlos screamed.

Jenny backed up toward her friends.

Ivan stepped forward. "Well, isnít it nice to see you all together," he said. "By the way, where is that little baby you were carrying around?"

The Spices all pointed at Ashley, who blushed. She was thankful that her Ranger helmet hid her show of embarrassment.

"All right, Ivan, your reign of terror is over!" Dulcea announced.

"Really?" Ivan asked, putting his hands on his hips.

Dulcea twirled her staff and attacked. However, Ivan was a surprisingly formidable opponent, considering he wasnít dressed properly for battle. The Rangers and Spices gasped as Ivan thrashed Dulcea here and there. After a final blow to the face, Dulcea fell unconscious. Then Ivan turned to the rest of the heroes and saw the Spicesí wide eyes. He let out an evil laugh.

"I hope that the rest of you are more of a match for me that she was," he said.

"Donít worry; weíll be more of a match than you can handle, big guy," Jenny told him.

"Itís your move, my little cupcake," Ivan said.

Jenny looked back at her friends. "Everybody ready?"

The others nodded with a thumbs up. Andros stepped forward. "Letís go!"

The Spices and Rangers charged forward at once, battling Ivan with their incredible teamwork skills. Ivan knocked them all back with his awesome power. As the heroes got up, Jenny shook her head.

"You know.....we can do this better," she said. "Okay, Ivan....."

"Back for more?" Ivan asked.

Jenny approached slowly, then Ivan attempted to claw her. She avoided the blow, then thrust the end of her stick into his gut. Ivan then lunged and seized her by the neck. Jenny struggled to free herself, but Ivanís grip only seemed to tighten on her throat. Hallie snuck around behind the Slime Lord and literally sweeped him off his feet. Ivan got up as the sisters moved aside. The Rangers pulled out their Astro Blasters and fired. A smoking Ivan Ooze stood up slowly, growling in anger.

"Thatís it," he said. "Obviously, I need a little help here."

He transformed into an ooze state, and began floating towards the heroes. Suddenly, it charged right into Jennyís stomach, seeping directly inside her body. The other Spices crowded around her. Ivan was nowhere in sight.

"Whoa, he went right inside her!" Carlos exclaimed.

"Wait a minute; get back!" Spinal cried.

Jenny groaned in agony as she clutched her stomach and mouth, looking as if she was going to throw up. After a moment, the others noticed a change in her appearance. First, her skin turned purple, then several of Ivanís physical features appeared on her. This was similar to when Ecliptor and Darkonda merged to form Darkliptor.

"Oh no; here we go again," Hallie mumbled.

Now Ivan was in total control. The new figure smiled at the heroes.

"You can call me.....Slimy Spice," he said. "With Tonfa Spiceís body and power in my possession, none of you have the ghost of a chance. I know that you Spices donít have the heart to hurt your lovely leader."

"You know something? Youíre right," the Cryptkeeper said. "But there is one thing that you should know."

"And whatís that?"

The Cryptkeeper punched him in the face. "Our lovely leader canít be hurt. And even if she could, sheíd want us to do whatever we have to to keep her from hurting us."

Slimy Spice threw a large ball of energy at the group, knocking them all back. Hallie stood up angrily.

"I hate to do this, Sis, but it seems I have no choice."

"Wait a minute, Hallie," Spinal said.

Hallie ignored him and charged at Slimy Spice anyway. The creature threw what looked like a miniature tornado. Hallie got caught in its center and was send spinning in the air. When the tornado disappeared, Hallie dropped to the ground. She stood up feeling dizzy.

"I have a better idea," Spinal announced, stepping forward.

He thrust his shield forward, ejecting a flaming blue skull from it. The skull slammed into Slimy Spice and exploded. The creature stood back up, clutching its head tightly. Spinal ran behind him and squeezed him tightly, trying to get Jenny out somehow, but it was useless. Slimy Spice recovered more quickly than expected. He dumped Spinal on the ground and kicked him away.

* * *
Back at the Dark Fortress, Astronema and her goons were watching all the action. Astronemaís slight smile faded as she lost her patience.

"Well, what are you waiting for?" she growled. "Destroy them!"

Darkonda stood in the back of the room. He didnít like what was happening at all.

*I donít like what heís doing,* he thought. *Heís using the girl I love, and I will not tolerate it.*

"Well," he said aloud. "Perhaps he needs a little.....help."

Astronema turned and smiled. "A fine idea, Darkonda. You go down and help."

"Yes, my queen." Darkonda left the Dark Fortress.

* * *

Meanwhile, Slimy Spice had gone on the offensive and thrashed the Rangers and Spices. Darkonda appeared in the castle.

"Excuse me, Ivan; Iím here to help."

"How nice," Slimy Spice replied. "Letís crush them."

He started to advance on the heroes while Darkonda stayed behind and glared. When Slimy Spice prepared to attack again, Darkonda extended an arm and shot out his special rope. It struck the ooze monster in the back. Without a word, Darkonda flew into the body. The heroes stood in total confusion as Slimy Spice emitted a bright yellow flash. Seconds later, Jenny burst out of the light and collapsed to the ground. Darkonda then left the body, leaving Ivan Ooze back in his normal form. The other Spices helped Jenny to her feet.

"Hey, welcome back," T.J. said. "Howíre you feeling?"

"Kinda sick," Jenny replied. Then she let out a disgusting belch. "Pardon me.....too many souls in one body.....I canít take it!"

Ivan was surprised by Darkondaís act. "What was that for?" he asked. "I thought you said that you were here to help."

"I did. What I meant was that Iím here to help my blushing bride over there," Darkonda told him.

Ivan looked at him. "Wait a minute; YOUíRE the husband?!?!?"

"Of course," Jenny said, weakly stumbling over to Ivan. "I keep telling you, Ivan. Iím a happily married woman!"

Using whatever strength she had left, she punched Ivan in the face. The other Spices all threw their firepower at Ivan together. After that blow, Ivan gave up and vanished.

"Well.....I guess our work is done here," the Cryptkeeper said.

"Right. Letís get back to the ship," Andros said. "Darkonda, youíll get yours later."

Darkonda chuckled as the heroes teleported away......all except Jenny. She stared at her husband blankly, then remembered something.

"Dulcea!" She looked over to where Dulcea had fallen, but nothing was there. "Sheís gone!"

"Arenít you going home with your friends?" Darkonda asked.

"Huh? Oh......yeah....." Jenny stepped closer to him, trembling weakly. "Darkonda.....um.....I....." Before she could go on, she tipped forward suddenly, falling into Darkondaís embrace.

"Easy, my sweet. See, I told you Iíd return the favor."

Jenny found herself leaning comfortably against Darkonda. "Well.....okay.....so you did.....well, I need to get back. Theyíll be worried."

Darkonda released her. "I understand. We will meet again, Princess."

Jenny paused. Did she hear him right? She teleported away. Darkonda vanished also, leaving Ivan Oozeís fortress completely abandoned.

The End... for now

Rule

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