Jenny was sound asleep in her bed one night as usual. However, she was deeply disturbed by the nightmare she was having. A nightmare about her one weakness --- her past life. The crude remarks, the threats she endured all those years were painful in her heart, and they echoed through her head. Even in her sleep, the tears leaked from her eyes.
Finally, Jenny couldn’t take it anymore, so she woke up gasping.
"It’s all right, Jenny," Deca said. "You were only dreaming."
"No......it was real!" Jenny cried. "The way I was treated was real! It’s stuck in me forever! Stuck like a painful bruise in my heart! I mean, whenever people ridicule me more, it hurts even more."
Jenny couldn’t chance getting caught sobbing on the Megaship, so she blew her nose and wiped off the tears, then headed to the dining room. She went straight to the jump tubes.
"Where are you going?" Carlos asked. "Don’t you want some breakfast."
"No thanks," Jenny told him. "I’ve lost my appetite. I’ll just be at the park if you need me." She went through the jump tube. The Cryptkeeper sighed.
"Uh-oh. She’s having more of those painful flashbacks again," he said.
"Flashbacks? About what?" T. J. asked.
"About her past life; you all know about that," Spinal replied.
"Yeah, we know," Cassie said.
"Isn’t there anything we can do to help?" Ashley asked.
"No. We can’t change her past," the Cryptkeeper said. "Just let her ponder; it’ll pass soon."
The Rangers shrugged and went back to their breakfasts.
Meanwhile, Jenny was in the park with her diary in her lap. She opened it up and began to write.
I’m having vivid nightmares about my past, and now my memories are too vivid to concentrate on anything else. I just don’t understand. People thought of me as a mean person when I was exactly the opposite. They shoved me around, cursed at me, ridiculed me, threatened me, and I just want to know why. Why did they have to hurt me??
Jenny sighed sadly as she closed her diary and set it aside. These heart- piercing memories had Jenny sobbing now. She had her head buried in her knees.
"I never was good in sports.......but they certainly weren’t helping me. Why did they have to hurt me? They made me into what I am now......with an evil mother, a sneaky husband, a father slain by a Power Ranger......" She ran all ten of her fingers through her hair, and once again remembered the cruel insults she’d received.
"Girl, you got a problem!"
"Why’d you call my friend a bitch!?" Truthfully, Jenny had never done such a thing.
"Of course you’ve got a problem; it’s middle school." That was the response she got from a teacher when she asked for help.
"We’re gonna kick your ass; you deserve what the fuck you get!"
"You’re such a crybaby!"
"Can’t you do anything right!?"
"We don’t need you, so you’d best get out of here!!"
“Jenny?!” Jenny almost jumped when she heard the gentle voice. She looked around and found her new friend, Ruth, almost as startled as she was.
“I’m sorry, Jenny,” Ruth tried to apologize. “I’ll leave you alone. I’ll talk to you later.” She started to walk away.
“No, Ruth; that’s okay. You can talk to me now. It’ll be pretty good to have someone to talk to.” Ruth sat down at the park bench with her new leader. “Can I ask you a question?”
“Were you treated like you were inferior?”
“No, but my parents were. Before my parents met, my mother had no religion, even though she had the freedom of having one. She used to spend Sundays with my grandmother. But after my father came and they got together, she spent more Sundays with him, going to Christian Baptist churches.
“For a while, no one complained. But a mob had their anger boiled when Mother became a Christian. They sent both Mother and Father in exile to here in Angel Grove, where they were gladly accepted. That was a little more than a year before I was born. You were treated inferior,” she asked in amazement.
“Yeah,” was the only answer Jenny could bring out at that moment. “Everywhere I go, I was rejected.”
“That’s not entirely true. We, the Spice Club and the Power Rangers, accepted you, not only as one of our two leaders, but also as our friend. Before I joined the Spice Club, I thought that I didn’t belong anywhere, either. Even though I had friends, most of them are gone to colleges and universities elsewhere; most of those people gone didn’t give me their addresses, so I never had the chance to write to them. Tell me, on a scale of one to ten, how good a friend is Carlos?”
Jenny laughed. Before Jenny could give an answer, Ruth began to talk again, “I intended to make you laugh; you don’t have to answer that question.” Both girls laughed.
“Maybe I should have given you the nickname Silly Spice instead, Ruth,” Jenny said. They both cracked into laughter. Neither of them noticed that Darkonda appeared. They continued making jokes at each other, and Darkonda sneaked behind them. He lightly touched Ruth’s shoulder, and she turned to Jenny.
“Did you just touch my shoulder, Jenny?”
“That would be me,” Darkonda said. Ruth leaped off the table and screamed in fear, and landed about 5 feet away. Jenny only turned around, startled. “Tonfa Spice, I need to speak to you alone.” Jenny turned to Ruth.
“It’s okay, Jenny; I’ll leave.” With a touch of her ring, Ruth teleported back to the ship.
The Rangers were on the bridge, looking for Zordon, with Marvin. Ruth passed by and saw them. She decided to have a little fun, knowing that she was Carlos’ weakness. She came into the bridge, laid her hand on his shoulder, and quickly said, “Any luck finding Zordon?”
Carlos, startled by Ruth’s presence, began to speak, sort of. “Well, Ruth, we, umm ... I mean, we could ... umm. We are, uhh...”
“Am I distracting you?”
“No! No, no, you are very welcome here! Yes, very welcome, isn’t she, guys?” Everyone just stared at him, gently snickering at the thought that Carlos stuttered. “What?!” Carlos turned to Ruth, who only giggled, kissed him on the cheek, and left for her quarters. Carlos just stared at the door that she left from. He snapped back into attention and continued working.
Suddenly, an alarm was sounded. Yet another monster was attacking Earth. The Rangers left to take care of it; Crypt, Hallie, Earl, Sal, and C. C. took over for them, and continued searching for Zordon.
They were all waiting for their friends to return in victory by killing time. During this time, Jenny returned, Earl and Hallie were sparring, and many other things occured, and still their friends didn’t return. They waited and waited.
Ruth became really worried about her Ranger friends, especially Carlos. She knew that it wouldn’t take 90 minutes to defeat a monster. Some of her friends even tried to distract her, but she couldn’t even pay attention to them.
“In coming transmission,” Deca said.
Ruth perked up. “Maybe it’s the Rangers!”
Instead of the Rangers, however, there was Astronema. “Hello, Spices,” she said.
“What do you want, Astronema,” Jenny asked.
“Just all 33 of you Spices into surrender.”
“That is the most ridiculous offer I ever heard in my entire life,” Ruth exclaimed.
“I agree,” Hallie added.
“But, Magic Spice, there is something very important that you and your friends should know,” Astronema said, snapping her fingers. A light came on, and there were the Rangers, tied and gagged.
“Carlos,” Ruth shouted in concern. Carlos shook his head, trying to tell Ruth and the others not to listen to Astronema, but he couldn’t speak with the cloth in his mouth.
“Surrender now, Spices, and no one gets hurt. You have 3 minutes to decide.” With that, Astronema terminated the message. Ruth just stared at the screen, surprised and afraid at the thought that Carlos was captured.
“We have to surrender,” Ruth finally said.
“What? Do you really think that if we surrender that they will be safe,” Hallie asked, astonished.
“Do you have any better ideas, Hallie? Besides, how can I marry a dead fiancé?
“I married Darkonda, and I’m dead,” Jenny answered.
“Is Carlos going to become demon-possessed when he dies, like you guys?” No one else spoke. They agreed with Ruth, and turned the message back on.
“You want surrender, Astronema? You got it; just make sure that no one gets hurt,” Jenny said.
“You have my word,” she promised in response.
When they all arrived at the Dark Fortress, Astronema separated Spinal from the others, and took her to her own quarters. Astronema tried to convince Spinal in marring her again.
“Isn’t there even a tiny, little bit of desire to be in royalty,” she asked him.
“Yes, but not for evil,” he answered.
“If I wasn’t evil, would you be my Emperor?” Since the two were alone, there was no one to gasp at Astronema’s question except for Spinal. He became speechless. “You would, wouldn’t you? Maybe we’ll get married, I’ll retire from evil, and we’ll live happily ever after.”
Spinal considered the thought. Then, he heard what she suggested more carefully; she suggested the marriage first, then the retirement from evil. If he marries her first, there is no promise that she would stop being evil afterwards.
“You almost tricked me into our marriage; you twisted what you said.”
“Well, it was a shot, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah, a shot in the dark,” he replied, remembering Psychic Judy’s advice of resisting. After about 10 minutes in discussing, arguing, and fighting, Astronema finally returned Spinal to his friends and sent them all into a prison cell. It was mostly dark, so none of the Spices knew that they were in the same room as the Rangers.
Aracula grunted in complaint. None of the Rangers recognized Aracula’s voice, so they thought that it was a monster sent to eat them.
“Man, could this get any worse,” Carlos asked.
Ruth heard the familiar voice, and looked in the direction of it. “Carlos?”
“Ruth!” They ran, embraced, and kissed each other. “Ruth, I was getting so worried! Are you okay?” She only cried in his shoulder. “Shush, Ruth; I’m here. I won’t let anything hurt you. Are the others here?”
“Yeah,” C. C. answered. “We’re all here, including Feather and Ebony, since they are more loyal than Esther, and faster than Shelly.”
Feather flew to Ruth and landed on her shoulder. “Well,” she said, “as I always say, ‘Birds of a feather should flock together.’” Some of the others broke into laughter. Then, they all tried to figure out how to get out of the Dark Fortress. Eventually, the disscussion made everyone go into arguement except Ruth.
She was thinking to herself. A thought crossed her mind, and she giggled at it. She tried to remain serious as she attempted to get the others’ attention. After failure of stopping the arguement, she placed two fingers in her mouth and made a piercing sound. Everyone went into silent.
“I’ve got an idea,” she said. “I don’t care how silly this idea may sound to you guys, but it’s our only chance. Okay, guys, here’s my idea...”