Those Blasted Keycards
by : Cryptk1165

The Power Rangers and Spice Club members were still trying to find Zordon. As usual, they weren't having much luck. Since Ruth wasn't officially "deceased," like the other Spices, everyone wondered what she planned to do with her life.

"'re alive, aren't you?" Spinal asked.

"Yeah, why?" Ruth said.

"Well, I don't know. I guess I was just curious as to what you planned to do with your life."

Jenny sat up. "Yeah, that is a good question. What are you planning to do once you graduate from high school?"

"Well, uh.....actually, I already graduated," Ruth told them.

The Rangers and Spices all looked at her in shock.

"Excuse me???" the Spices asked in unison.

"I said I already graduated from high school," Ruth repeated. "I intend to spend my life with the Spice Club. What about you guys? I know that some of you need to be in school."

"No way," Jenny snapped. "I dropped out of school, and I am NOT going back."

"Me neither," Hallie said, crossing her arms.

"Well, why not?" Carlos asked.

"For several reasons," Jenny said. "One, the classmates treat me like garbage; 2, schools won't take zombies as students; 3, there's no legal guardian to register me; 4, I dropped out in my sophomore year, so I know enough; and 5, I don't need a high school diploma to battle the forces of evil."

"Why do you fight evil anyway?" Ruth asked.

"For several more reasons," Jenny replied. "One, because we're dead; 2, to defend ourselves and our beloved universe; and 3, because we have nothing better to do. But Ruth, you have better things to do than hang out with us comic book rejects. Believe me, fighting evil is no way to make a living. That's why Tommy and the other former Rangers quit in the first place."

"We also fight evil because it's fun," the Cryptkeeper said. "It really feels great! You know, the feeling you get when you're in danger, the desperation to survive, the sudden burst of energy...."

"The insanity that comes from interacting with enemies of the opposite sex," Jenny added.

"Whoa, I hear that," Spinal said. "There's been too much of that already."

"Panic is good, too," the Cryptkeeper went on. "I love all the screaming and shouting that goes on. There we are, all fighting Quantrons, punching, kicking, screaming, and having a ball."

"Then you're beat up or captured...." Spinal began.

"Or you make your brave escape and destroy the monster," Jenny interrupted. "Then you hold your head high, raise your hands, and say, `In your face, baby!'"

As she laughed in triumph, she hopped onto the control terminal, where she stood proudly. Suddenly, the Astro Megaship start to rumble and shake violently, causing Jenny to lose her balance and fall to the floor.

"Oh dear, that was not good," said Marvin.

Andros looked around in panic.

"Warning: Velocifighters attacking," Deca announced in her usual "computer" tone.

Andros tapped some buttons on the control terminal. "They're circling around us! There's no way our blasters can hit them!"

The Velocifighters fired their lasers again. The Megaship rumbled and shook again. The Spices let out a shriek as they tumbled to the floor.

As they stood up, Jenny got up with a blank expression on her face. She was obviously filling her head with more of her ridiculously effective ideas. She started out of the room suddenly.

"Hey, where're you going?" Spinal asked.

Jenny turned to face the group. "I'm going to battle some Velocifighters," she said flatly. "Anyone who cares to join me is welcome."

"I'm with you, girlfriend," the Cryptkeeper called as he followed.

"Me, too!" Hallie jumped in.

"You know, I've been dying to practice on my galaxy glider," C.C. said.

Spinal sighed, knowing that someone was going to drag him along. "Oh, all right."

"I'll go, too," Earl called.

The six Spices walked to a jump tube and slid through. They found themselves hovering near the Megaship atop their galaxy gliders that the Rangers had given them for Christmas. Unlike the Rangers' gliders, the Spices' were all white. They all gathered together. Jenny glanced at all of them before announcing her plan.

"Okay; we just take these guys out any way we can," she said. "Ladies and gentlemen......let's rocket!"

The Spices flew around separately searching for the Velocifighters. Hallie hovered directly above the Megaship. The evil ships were nowhere to be found.

"Hey....." Hallie whispered to herself. "They're gone!"

As soon as she spoke, one Velocifighter appeared behind her and fired its deadly lasers rapidly. When Hallie saw the Velocifighter, she screamed and swiftly leaned forward, accelerating her galaxy glider at rocket speed. The Velocifighter took off after her, still shooting its lasers like a machine gun.

"I think I'm in trouble," Hallie thought.

The only thing she could do was let the Velocifighter chase her over and under the Megaship. After a few rounds, Hallie led the Quantron away from the Megaship. The Velocifighter fired its lasers at her ceaselessly. Hallie hyperventilated as she maneuvered the galaxy glider up, down, back, and forth to avoid the laserfire.

Meanwhile, Jenny wasn't doing much better. She was forced to use the same ineffective strategy as her sister. However, Jenny wasn't as lucky to avoid all of the rapid laserfire. One laser struck her brutally in the center of her back. She screamed in pain as she fell forward on her galaxy glider. She stood up with a weary sigh. When she did, another shot hit the galaxy glider, knocking it right out from under her feet. Now floating helplessly in space, Jenny turned and saw the Velocifighter charging directly at her. The eternally young fighter could do nothing as the ship deliberately crashed into her. Jenny tumbled over the windshield as the Velocifighter then went under her. Jenny groaned in pain, then ignored it completely. She had to get back to her galaxy glider if she was to survive. However, the glider was way out of her reach. But the cunning woman had another idea.

"Hey, galaxy glider!" she screamed. "Get back here, hang ten!"

Amazingly, the galaxy glider immediately answered her call. It hovered above Jenny, so she grabbed it and climbed back on.

In fact, all of the Spices found themselves on the flight away from the Velocifighters. The Cryptkeeper flew his glider at top speed, also moving back and forth to avoid the endless laserfire. However, one shot struck the behind. In response, C.K. jumped up and fell onto his seat. Obviously, he wasn't getting anywhere fast.

Now Spinal was having the most trouble (and the most luck) avoiding the Velocifighter's ceaseless lasers. He moved left and right, then spun around once. When he regained control of his galaxy glider, he flailed his arms wildly and swerved upward. The Velocifighter copied his swerve in hot pursuit.

Meanwhile, as C.C. flew from her pursuer, she put her pinkies together and a ball of blue energy appeared in her hands. As she concentrated harder, the ball grew larger. When C.C. was satisfied with the size of her fireball, she swerved over the Velocifighter. Once behind it, she threw the fireball directly into the rocket, then leaned back to slow down the galaxy glider. A few seconds later, the Velocifighter exploded. C.C. threw her arms over her face to shield herself, then hopped up and down, cheering in triumph.

Jenny continued her space chase. She kept her head backwards, trying to keep an eye on the rapid lasers and moving to dodge them. She looked forward briefly and gasped, for she realized that she was on a collision course with her little sister!

"Hallie!!!" Jenny screamed.

"Huh?" Hallie turned and saw where she was headed. "Whoa!!"

Both sisters leaned back to slow down, but it was too late. They crashed into each other fairly hard. Thankfully, the galaxy gliders were endurable. Jenny and Hallie untangled themselves, looked at both Velocifighters, then looked at each other.

"Okay," Jenny said. "You go up, and I'll go down."

"Right," Hallie replied.

They went in their specified directions. The two Velocifighters collided and exploded. Jenny and Hallie screamed with laughter.

"Hmm......looks like that's the only way we can beat `em," Jenny said.

Earl flew around on his galaxy glider with the last Velocifighter. He was a natural at this because he was a natural athlete.

"Whoo-hoo!" he yelled. "This is even better than the Orlando Skateboard Championships!!"

"Watch out," Jenny said. "Let me show you the meaning of cruelty."

She flew over to the Velocifighter and opened up the cockpit. The Quantron inside looked at her, confused.

"Hello," she said sweetly. She grabbed the Quantron and tossed it out into space, leaving the Velocifighter floating lifelessly in space.

Now that all the Velocifighters had been taken out, the Spices gathered in a line and joined hands.

"Well, that was exciting!" Earl called.

"Ah......cruising the cosmos with that......empty feeling in your lungs....." Jenny sighed.

"Can we go inside now?" Hallie asked in her best little girl voice. "I'm getting a little hazy out here."

"Good idea," Jenny said. "Let's go. The Spice has been added."

The Spices teleported back to the jump tube room. Ruth and Carlos were waiting for them and noticed something peculiar.

"You all look pale," Ruth said.

The Spices (except Spinal) inhaled deeply and simultaneously. They their breaths for a second, then exhaled slowly.


"What are you guys doing?" Spinal asked.

"We need oxygen, Spinal," Jenny told him. "There is none out there."

"So weird," Spinal mumbled as the Spices started back to the bridge.

The Cryptkeeper caught Spinal in a headlock. "You don't need oxygen, so what are you talking about?" he scolded. "You little tenderoni!"

The other Rangers and Spices were waiting on the bridge.

"Hey, you made it!" T.J. cried. "How do you feel?"

"Well, other than being shot in the ass, I feel GREAT!!!" the Cryptkeeper told him.

The others laughed.

"The Velocifighters are dead, so I'm going to take a break," Jenny announced. She took another deep breath as she exited the bridge. She proceeded directly to her locker in the jump tube room. When she opened it, a certain object caught her eye.....rather a collection of objects.

Zordon's key cards, which Jenny had obtained from her visits to the planet Onyx. She took them out and gripped them tightly in her fingertips.

"What am I supposed to do with these?" she wondered.

Somehow, she felt their value. Maybe these cards could lead to Zordon, if Jenny could only figure out how to use them. Letting them fall into evil hands can only mean trouble.

"Trying to figure out what to do with those blasted key cards, huh?" a voice called from behind.

Startled, Jenny spun around to see Spinal standing behind her. Her startled reaction startled Spinal as well.

"Yeah....." Jenny replied. "I'm still trying to figure out what to do with these blasted key cards."

"What's so special about them anyway?" Spinal asked. "They're just a bunch of shiny cardboard pieces."

"Nah-uh-uh; do not be fooled by their commonplace appearance," Jenny said sweetly. "There must be a reason why ol' darling Darkonda wants them so badly." She chuckled.

"Oh boy....."

"I'm almost sure that they'll lead us to Zordon, if we could only figure out how."


"Yeah, really......almost."

"Allll righty then....." Spinal mumbled.

"Allll righty then....." Jenny agreed. She gently kissed Spinal's skull and left the room. Spinal moseyed over and dropped into a chair.

C.C. entered the room chock full of excitement. "Boy, we were awesome in those galaxy gliders, huh?" she babbled. "Did you see those Velocifighters explode? I'll bet that empty Velocifighter can be useful to us."

"Maybe," Spinal sighed.

"Oh, come on, Spinal," C.C. said, grasping both of Spinal's hands and pulling him out of the chair. "Celebrate with me!"

"What is there to celebrate?" Spinal protested as they danced in circles.

C.C. ignored his protests and kept dancing. When she stopped, she suddenly embraced Spinal. Spinal's head rocked from dizziness.

"Oh Spinal, my lover!" C.C. gushed. "Has anyone ever told you how cute you are?"

"Yes; many people, many times," Spinal sighed. "I guess I can't help it."

"Wanna work out on the Simudeck?"

"Uh......okay. What kind of workout?"

"Let's kick some Craterite butt," C.C. declared.

"Okay," Spinal said.

Taking his bony hand, C.C. led Spinal into the Simudeck.

* * *

Meanwhile, Darkonda was in the Onyx Saloon playing cards with his pals --- Skullface, Metalhead, and Longhair. As they made their bets, Skullface brought up an interesting conversation.

"Hey Darkonda, did you tell everybody the big news?"

"What big news?" Darkonda asked.

"You know, your marriage," Skullface replied.

The other monsters gasped.

"So.....who's the lucky bride?" Metalhead asked.

"Tonfa Spice," Darkonda said proudly.

"Isn't that the girl with the......what are they called......the Spice Army or something?" Skullface asked.

"The Spice Club," Darkonda corrected him.

"Man, you are so lucky!" Skullface continued. "Tonfa Spice has got to be the finest chick in the whole universe!"

"Not so fast," Longhair interrupted. "You're not forgetting about Queen Astronema, are you?"

"Let's put it this way," Skullface explained. "Astronema is the finest evil chick while Tonfa Spice is the finest good chick. But for some odd reason, Tonfa Spice sometimes reminds me of Astronema."

"Are you aware that Tonfa Spice happens to be Astronema's daughter?" Darkonda asked.

The monsters gasped again.

"That's impossible!" Longhair cried. "Then why would she fight for good?"

"Because she was raised by the side of good," Darkonda told him. "Frankly, I like it better this way."

"I take back what I said before!" Skullface declared. "That Tonfa Spice is definitely the finest chick in the universe! But let me ask you this....." He leaned over closer to Darkonda. "What's she like in bed?"

Darkonda shot him a look. "I beg your pardon!"

"No, seriously," Skullface said.

Darkonda hesitated before responding. "All I'll tell you is that she sleeps peacefully and beautifully."

"You mean you've never.......expressed yourself physically as she sleeps?"

"No. It's much more fun when she's awake."

"And just how did you get her to marry you?" Longhair asked.

"Easy. I captured her," Darkonda replied. "I also gave her a gift that she couldn't resist."

"Ah......since you captured her, she doesn't really love you."

"Oh, she loves me. She may not want to, she may deny it, but she loves me."

"Uh-huh. Which one is Tonfa Spice?"

"Come on, you know who she is," Skullface said. "She's the girl who won Zordon's key cards."

"That little demon!?" Longhair cried angrily.

"That means that Astronema has two daughters, right?" Metalhead asked.

"Doesn't Tonfa Spice have a sister? Is it.......Candy Spice?"

"Oh yeah," Skullface said. "Cute kid. Annoying, but cute."

"Hmm.....Candy Spice.....does she cheat?" Longhair asked.

"Of course she does," Darkonda said. "Nobody said that these things had to be won fairly."

"You're just too picky," Skullface added. "You go on and on about Tonfa Spice cheating, but you don't say a THING when Astronema cheats."

"Astronema's the queen of evil; she can do whatever she wants," Longhair told him.

"Okay, enough about that," Darkonda interrupted. "Listen to this: Candy Spice appears to be very fond of Ecliptor. She constantly addresses him as "the Candyman.'"

"Candyman!?" The monsters broke out into riotous laughter. After a moment, the laughter faded, and the monsters fell into a silence.

"So.....tell us more about Tonfa Spice," Skullface said.

"Basically, she has the heart and the gut to prevent her own mother from destroying the galaxy," Darkonda explained. "Her leadership skills are especially intriguing."

"Such a shame," Metalhead added. "I could just see how humiliated Queen Astronema must be; to be defeated by your own child, who hasn't even existed for half as long as you have."

"So, what's the next step in your marriage?" Skullface asked.

"That is to be determined between us," Darkonda told him.

"You know what you should do? You should have kids. Let Tonfa Spice discover the humiliation of being defeated by her own children."

"Yes. That is truly a punishment she deserves," Longhair said.

"Tonfa Spice is incapable of giving birth, and she is uncomfortable with the thought of having sex," Darkonda said.

"Too bad. I'm sure it would've been fun," Skullface commented.

"I don't agree," Longhair said.

"You know, Darkonda, you should let the universe know how fortunate you are," Skullface said.

"It is not important for them to know," Darkonda began.

Skullface suddenly stood up. "Hey everybody, guess what? Darkonda scored with the hottest babe in the cosmos!"

That did it. Darkonda stood up angrily and drew his sword. Skullface ran out of the saloon. Darkonda chased him. Longhair and Metalhead shrugged as the others monsters in the saloon stared at that one table......

* * *

On the Astro Megaship, Jenny was taking a nap until........

"Hey, Sis, wake up!" Hallie cried.

"Hmm......wha-wha-wha....." Jenny grumbled.

"Andros figured out what the blasted key cards are for!" Hallie explained. "He says that there's a new weapon on one of Jupiter's moons! Let's go get `em!"

"Well, hold on!" Jenny said, sitting up in bed. "Let me wake up first." She brushed her hair, then followed her little sister onto the bridge. "Okay, what kind of weapon are we looking for?"

"It doesn't say," Andros told her. "But I'll know it when I see it, so I'll go with you."

"I'll go, too," Carlos added.

So the two Rangers set out with Jenny, Hallie, the Cryptkeeper, Spinal, C.C., Earl, Sal, and Ruth to Jupiter's moon.

* * *

Darkonda had given up on chasing Skullface and returned to the Dark Fortress. Ecliptor was giving Astronema the latest report.

"The Spices have discovered the use for Zordon's key cards," he said.

"It's about time," Darkonda said.

"What do you mean, `It's about time'?" Astronema asked.

"Tonfa Spice has been in possession of Zordon's key cards for some time now," Darkonda said.

"Grrr......" Astronema growled as she stepped up to him. "Why didn't you speak up?"

"Because I was sure that she would never figure out their use."

"Well, you were wrong. Ecliptor, grab my battle gear and follow me. Darkonda, you are to stay behind."

Astronema, Ecliptor, and the Quantrons left the Dark Fortress.

* * *

Meanwhile, the Rangers and Spices rushed over to Jupiter's moon to find this new weapon. They teleported down into a place that looked like a factory.

"Wait, how did this get here?" Jenny asked. "There can't be any life in here; how can this get here?"

"Gee, I don't know," the Cryptkeeper said.

"There! That's what we're looking for!" Andros called out of nowhere, pointing to a control panel built in to the wall right next to a door.

Jenny tapped his shoulder, then held out her hand. Andros handed her the key cards.

"Thank you," Jenny said flatly.

The group started running toward the controls, but Astronema and Ecliptor appeared in front of them, and the Quantrons appeared surrounding them.

"Oh no!" Spinal cried. "We're surrounded!"

"You stole those key cards from Darkonda," Astronema said.

"No I didn't," Jenny said. "I won them fair and square."

"Give them to me," Astronema ordered.

"Aww, Mom, do I have to?" Jenny pleaded.

"Of course you have to, you naughty girl! And I'll take that necklace while you're at it."

"No you won't. You'll refuse...."

"Hand it over."

"I will not! Darkonda gave it to me personally!"

"You are truly naughty. That calls for severe punishment," Astronema said.

"I can't help it. I love to be naughty," Jenny told her.

Astronema narrowed her eyes. "Destroy them!!"

"Now look who's the naughty one," Jenny said as the Quantrons sprang into action.

Andros, Carlos, and the Spices battled the Quantrons. Ecliptor stepped into the clash to help out. Again, the Spices pulled their very clever tactic of secretly passing the key cards to one another during the fight. Ecliptor stepped up to Jenny and grabbed her shoulder, turning her around. Jenny shrugged, holding her palms out so that Ecliptor can plainly see that she no longer had the key cards.

"I don't have the blasted key cards," she said.

She patted Ecliptor's cheek and backed away from him. Ecliptor suddenly fired a blast from his eyes. Instead of hitting Jenny directly, the energy surrounded her body. Ecliptor looked up, and Jenny slowly rose from the ground.

"Hey.....whoa!!" she screamed.

Ecliptor now had control over Jenny. Still keeping her floating in the air, he began to rotate her around him, slowly at first, but sped up gradually.

Hallie threw a leg sweep at a Quantron, then looked up at Ecliptor's doing. She gasped, then began to run toward him.


The little girl gave Ecliptor a fierce kick to the abdomen, causing him to release Jenny. Jenny flew across the factory, crashing abruptly into a steel wall which fortunately was thin and weak. The whole wall fell over upon the crash. Jenny stood up with no balance at all.

Ecliptor roughly shoved Hallie away and approached the older sister again. Jenny stood against the wall with her hand over her mouth. As Ecliptor raised his sword, Jenny leaned over to him and spit up on his chest. The Candyman froze and looked down at the mess, then looked back up at his opponent. Jenny leaned over again and spit the remainder of the vomit in his face. Then she staggered back to fight the Quantrons.

Spinal was doing all right. As one Quantron chased him, he crashed into another. Spinal grabbed the Quantron and tossed it into another. Suddenly, the Cryptkeeper tapped his shoulder and handed him the key cards, then went back into battle. Spinal stared down at the key cards. His grip tightened and his body trembled as he realized that the object of Astronema's desire was in his hands.

"But I don't want `em!" he cried.

"Ah, so that's their little game......" Astronema muttered to herself.

Meanwhile, Andros was at the control terminal trying to open the door that would lead to the new weapons. As the others fought the Quantrons, he finally got the door open.

"I broke the code!" he called.

"Hey, Andros did it!" Carlos yelled. "Let's go!"

Jenny had a Quantron by the shoulder and was about to punch it in the face with her other hand when she heard the news. She looked over at the open door, then looked back at the Quantron.

"The hell with you," she said, throwing it aside and running toward the door.

"Last one in is a rotten egg!" Hallie shouted.

The group made it through the door......all except Spinal, who was a little tangled up.

"Oooh, he'd better hurry up," C.C. said.

"Yeah, especially since he has the key cards," the Cryptkeeper added.

"Spinal, come on!" Carlos shouted.

"Yeah, come on, Spinal!" Jenny called. "Get your cute little body in here!!"

"All right, I'm coming!" Spinal cried as he began the race for the door.

"Oh no, he's not," Astronema thought. She still was not about to give up on getting Spinal. She was as determined to get him as she was to destroy the others. She WANTED him!!

The evil queen threw a weird-looking boomerang at Spinal. The skeleton warrior cried out as he dropped the key cards and fell to the floor. Astronema caught her boomerang as it returned to her.

"Spinal, get up!" the other Spices cheered wildly.

"Get those cards!" Astronema commanded.

Spinal gathered up all of the key cards and started to get up, but a Quantron snagged his ankle, sending him back to the ground. Spinal screamed in frustration, on the verge of giving up. Then he looked up and saw his friends yelling for him to press on.

"I can't give up. I can't let Astronema get me," he thought.

Spinal kicked the Quantron, stood up, and raced towards the door again. The other Spices continued to cheer him on. Ruth, Carlos, and Andros cheered, too, but not as loudly or constantly.

"Stop him!" Astronema screamed.

"No! They're not going to stop me!" Spinal thought as he ran. "They're NOT going to stop me! I've just GOTTA make it!!"

Since all the other Spices were cheering loudly and simultaneously, Spinal could barely understand what they were saying. A few cheers he did make out were.....

"Run, Spinal, that's it! There you go!"

"Come on, Spinal, just a little farther! You're almost home free!"

"You can make it! You can do it!"

"Don't look back, Spinal; keep running!!"

However, as Spinal was running, the door began to slide shut from the top and bottom. In response, the Spices screamed even louder. Spinal continued the race anyway, for he knew that the Quantrons were running right behind him. As the opening narrowed, Spinal came to a horrifying realization.

"I'm not going to make it through," he thought.

But still he ran. As he got near the door, he positioned the key cards in front of him. The door was much too narrow for Spinal to get through, so when he reached it, he slipped the key cards through just before it closed completely. Spinal immediately spun around and ducked as two Quantrons crashed into the door.

Inside the control room, the other Spices stopped cheering. Carlos and Andros were wide-eyed under their helmets.

"Man, you guys are noisy," Carlos said.

"Hey, look; it's those blasted key cards!" Hallie cried, picking them up from the floor. "Spinal managed to slip them through."

"That clever guy," the Cryptkeeper said.

"Wait, gimme those blasted key cards," Jenny said.

Hallie gave them to her sister.

"But what about Spinal?" C.C. asked. "We can't just leave him out there!"

"She's right; we have to help him," Jenny agreed.

"We can't get the door back open," Andros said. "We have to move on."

"No; it's not right," Jenny told him.

"Look, I know how you feel. But once we get these new weapons, we can come back and get Spinal; I promise."

Jenny sighed. As much as she hated it, she realized that this was the only thing to do. The Spices and Rangers pressed on to find the weapons.

* * *

Just outside, Spinal fought the two Quantrons closest to him and kicked them away. Then he pounded frantically on the door.

"Hey guys, open up!" he screamed.

Greatly pleased that the object of her affections was hopelessly separated from his friends, Astronema smiled.

"Grab him," she ordered calmly.

Spinal kept pounding on the door until the Quantrons seized him by the arms. They turned around as Astronema and Ecliptor approached.

"Hey! Let go of me!" Spinal cried.

"And get the key cards as well," Astronema added.

The Quantrons dug into Spinal's hands only to find that the key cards were gone. They looked up at Astronema and shrugged.

"Okay, Spinal," Astronema said. "Where are they?"

"What?" Spinal asked innocently.

Astronema sighed, then caressed Spinal's ribcage with her fingertips. "The key cards. What have you done with them?"

Spinal tried to break free, but the Quantrons held him tightly. "I'll never tell you!" he snapped. "Leave me alone, you creepy old witch!"

"He must have slipped the key cards to his friends somehow," Ecliptor said.

"Hmm......" Astronema looked at Spinal sideways, pondering deeply. "In that case, I have a very good use for you. Here's what I'll do. I'll send you back to your friends if they give me the key cards. If they refuse, then you will be mine......forever. either way, I win." She smiled and winked at him, then started to walk away. Her affectionate display made Spinal shiver in disgust. He struggled again until Ecliptor stepped in front of him and aimed his sword at Spinal's face. Spinal stopped.

"Let's go, Quantrons," Astronema called.

"No!" Spinal screamed.

As if on cue, a camouflaged figure ran right through the Quantrons, knocking them over, forcing them to released Spinal, and accidentally knocking him over. Everyone looked around in shock. Spinal stood up and backed away from his foes. The camouflaged figure stopped in front of him and revealed itself.

"The Phantom Ranger!" Spinal sighed with relief. "You had me scared."

The Phantom Ranger shrugged apologetically.

"Oh, never mind that; we need to find a way out of here!" Spinal said.

The Phantom Ranger pointed to another door.

"Great! Let's go!" Spinal declared.

The pair raced through the door and slammed it shut before the Quantrons could get through. The Phantom Ranger leaned against the door while Spinal rolled some heavy barrels over to put against the door.

"Astronema's trying to lay her hands on me again," Spinal said. "I can't stand it; it's driving me insane!"

The Phantom Ranger nodded in understanding.

"But we're free for now," Spinal continued. "Right now, I need to get back to the others. I tried to get through, but the Quantrons kept grabbing me! Then the door closed automatically!" He sighed. "Well, at least I managed to get rid of those blasted key cards, so I feel a small sense of accomplishment."

The Phantom Ranger nodded again.

Suddenly, the barrels began to rock, meaning that the Quantrons were about to break through. Spinal noticed another open door.

"I have an idea," he said. "Follow me and I'll explain."

They rushed over to the new door, then Spinal whispered his idea into the Phantom Ranger's ear. The Quantrons eventually broke the door down and rushed in, followed by Ecliptor and Astronema.

"There they are!" Ecliptor shouted.

Astronema turned and smiled. "Giving up, Spinal?" she asked sweetly.

"Never!" Spinal shouted.

"Attack," Astronema said flatly.

The Quantrons charged, but Spinal and the Phantom Ranger stayed put. When the Quantrons got close enough, Spinal and the Phantom Ranger both shot a palm forward.

"Stop!" Spinal screamed.

The Quantrons came to a screeching halt and glanced at each other in confusion. Even Astronema and Ecliptor looked confused.

"We will not present the oldest trick in the book!" Spinal announced. "Now you see us, now you don't!"

With that, he skeleported through the wall behind him while the Phantom Ranger went invisible and snuck through the open door. The Quantrons were even more confused.

"Find them!" Astronema demanded.

The Quantrons went through the door......