18 Years Ago.....
The nurses in England were hard at work helping a woman deliver her first baby. The patient held her husband’s hand tightly as she screamed, struggling to get the baby out of her womb.
“That’s it, breathe, breathe!” one of the doctors cried.
“It’s out!” a nurse cried. She stood up, holding up the screaming newborn. She placed the baby in its mother’s arms. “Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Kinkade. You are now the proud parents of a beautiful, healthy seven lb. girl.”
The mother sighed with exhaustion and relief. “Oh Daniel......she IS beautiful!” she exclaimed.
“Yes, she is,” her husband agreed.
“What shall we name her?”
“Hmm......how about Diane?”
“Nah......we need something cute and innocent,” the woman said. “How about Jennifer?”
“How about Jenny?” the man suggested.
“Perfect! Jenny, it is! Oh Daniel, I’m going to love her always, forever.
The doctor wrote Jenny’s name on the birth certificate and showed it to the parents. The father read it aloud.
“Jenny Lynn Kinkade: Born January 23rd, 1981.....”
Astronema was disturbed by the flashback about an Earth woman giving birth to a seven lb. girl. January 23rd was only three days from today. Astronema had taken off the necklace in hopes of getting rid of this memory, but to no avail. While she was busy pondering, Darkonda snuck over and picked up the necklace. Only Ecliptor noticed, and he tried to warn Astronema.
“My queen....” he began.
“Not now; I’m thinking,” Astronema snapped.
“But-but-but....” Ecliptor stammered.
“May I ask what you are thinking about?” Darkonda asked politely.
An idea popped into Astronema’s head, and she smiled. “My daughter’s birthday is coming up.”
“Which daughter?” Ecliptor asked.
“Tonfa Spice,” Astronema said. “I want to do something extra special for her. I’ll give her just the present she deserves.”
She snapped her fingers, and a black knight monster appeared. This monster looked exactly like the Nasty Knight, which had attacked Zack, the original Black Ranger on his birthday.
“I am the Birthday Basher!” he announced. “My purpose is to obliterate those who are currently celebrating a birthday.”
“Perfect,” Astronema said. “Birthday Basher, my daughter is having a birthday in three days. Could you do me a favor and destroy her?”
“Wait a minute; let me get this straight,” Birthday Basher said. “You’re asking ME to destroy YOUR daughter?!?!?”
“That’s right. She’s a very naughty girl. She’s done so many terrible things to her own mother. She is a disgrace to the family name!!”
“Okay, I’ll destroy her......not because you command me to, but only because it’s her birthday.”
“I don’t care!” Astronema cried. “I just want her destroyed!!”
“Yes, my queen,” Birthday Basher replied. “But.......who is your daughter, anyway?”
Astronema grunted slightly, then impatiently explained who her daughter was......
Meanwhile, Jenny was walking alone in the park as she does on a regular basis. She was aware that her birthday was coming up, but she cared not. Birthdays only meant that a person is a year older, and Jenny was ageless, so she had no reason to celebrate her birthday every year. She didn’t even have a thing on her wish list.
As Jenny walked, Darkonda appeared out of nowhere directly in front of her. He held out his hand.
“Hold it right there, my lovely birthday bride,” he said.
Jenny gasped. “Darkonda.......how did you......”
“How did I know your birthday was coming?” Darkonda interrupted. “Your mother knew, of course. Here, I brought you this.”
He handed Jenny Astronema’s necklace. Jenny gasped again.
“This is Astronema’s necklace. She’ll kill me if she sees me with this!”
“Here, just open it.”
Darkonda opened up the necklace and pulled out a smooth and tiny chip.
“What is this?” Jenny asked.
“It’s a little video chip,” Darkonda told her. “But it would be a good idea to bring it back to me as soon as possible.”
“You have my word,” Jenny said.
“See you next time, my love.” Darkonda bowed to her and vanished.
“Sweet,” Jenny mumbled.
She was so curious about Astronema’s necklace that she teleported to the Megaship immediately. She went straight to the bridge. Following Deca’s instructions, Jenny slipped the chip into the control panel and an image appeared on the screen. It was the video of her birth!
Meanwhile, Carlos and Ruth were walking down the hall having an intimate conversation when they heard a scream. They immediately followed the scream to the bridge, but they didn’t disturb Jenny.
“What can this be?” Ruth whispered.
“I don’t know.....”
“Oh, Daniel.......she IS beautiful!” the woman in the video cried, holding the newborn in her arms.
“Yes, she is,” the husband agreed.
“What shall we name her?”
“Hmm.....how about Diane?”
“Nah......we need something cute and innocent,” the woman said. “How about Jennifer?”
“How about Jenny?” the man suggested.
“Perfect! Jenny, it is! Oh Daniel, I’m going to love her always, forever!”
*Liar, liar, pants on fire,* Jenny thought.
The doctor wrote Jenny’s name on the birth certificate and showed it to the parents. The father read it aloud.
“Jenny Lynn Kinkade: Born January 23rd, 1981.....”
As Jenny watched, a tear streaked her eyes.
“Hey, that’s a video of Jenny’s birth!” Carlos whispered.
“Whoa, go back!” Jenny exclaimed, rewinding the visual.
“Oh Daniel.......she IS beautiful!”
“Stop!” Jenny said, pausing the video. “She actually said that I was beautiful! But what is she saying about me now?”
She thought about the days when her mother was a normal Earth woman, and compared her to the evil queen that she had become. Things were so much different now.
Afraid of being caught, Carlos and Ruth left the bridge.
“You know, it’s kind of weird to think that that woman is actually Astronema,” Carlos said.
“You’re right,” Ruth said. “Hmm.....January 23rd.......that’s three days from today! Jenny’s birthday is coming up!”
Carlos paused, counting the days in his head. “Yeah, you’re right. I wonder why the other Spices didn’t tell us?”
“Well, let’s go find out!”
They ran into the dining room. The Spices and Rangers were conversing again. Spinal was resting his head on the table, and C.C. was massaging him thoroughly.
“Hey, guess what?” Carlos said. “We just found out that Jenny’s birthday is coming up.”
The Spices’ heads perked up.
“It is?” the Cryptkeeper asked.
“Yeah. Didn’t you guys know?” Ruth asked.
The Spices shook their heads.
“We never knew when her birthday was,” the Cryptkeeper told her. “For some odd reason, she didn’t want us to know.”
“I don’t get it,” Cassie said. “Why wouldn’t Jenny want anyone to know when her birthday was?”
The Spices shrugged.
“How old is she gonna be?” Ashley asked.
“Well, she was born in 1981....” Ruth said.
“Jenny is ageless; she’ll still be 16,” the Cryptkeeper told her. “Hmm.....maybe that’s why she didn’t want us to know about her birthday.”
T.J. stood up. “Well, we care about her. We are going to throw a surprise party, no ifs, ands, or buts about it!”
“Great idea, T.J.!” the Cryptkeeper said. “She’s been a terrific leader in the face of universal danger, and what have we done in return? Nothing!! A terrific idea; a party. P-A-R-T.......Y?”
“Because that’s what friends are for,” T.J. replied. “All in favor, say ‘aye!’”
“Aye!” the others cried.
Silence. Jenny entered the room bursting with curiosity.
“What’s all the commotion about?” she asked.
“Uh, the Rangers want to start a clean-up club in Angel Grove, and we all agree to it,” C.K. replied.
“Really? Well, I’m all for it,” Jenny said. “The universe is a very dirty place. Yes, indeed; d-d-dirty, dirty.”
She went into her locker and pulled out a pocket pack of kleenex and started for the door. She paused, noticing that the others were staring at her.
“Oh, nothing,” the others replied.
“Oh, okay.” Jenny then walked off.
“Phew, that was close,” Ashley sighed.
“Okay, here’s how we’ll do this,” T.J. began.......
Jenny wandered into the engine room singing to herself.
“Sometimes I feel I’ve got to.........run away; I’ve got to.......get away......”
She approached the yellow glow of the engines and hovered her hands over it.
“Whoooooo......” She let out a small chuckle.
“You are behaving rather strangely, Jenny,” Deca said. “What are you doing?”
“Oh, don’t mind me,” Jenny told her. “And don’t tell the others anything about me behind my back, okay?”
Jenny looked over all the containers, then felt the walls, which were really smooth. As she leaned against the wall, she ran her hand up, accidentally opening up a small secret door. Jenny stood up straight and saw a hidden terminal.
“Hello, what’s this?” she whispered to herself.
She blew a kiss towards the terminal. The code was automatically entered into the terminal, and a secret door opened up. Jenny stepped inside slowly. The room was lit with a dim blue. Jenny crossed her arms.
“Oooh, it’s freezing in here!” she exclaimed.
She walked deeper into the room. Inside this room was a long ice box. Jenny heard a beeping noise that drew her attention to a monitor. She looked at the body image on the screen and discovered that the beeping indicated the heart rate. Jenny returned to the ice block.
Suddenly, the door opened again. Jenny quickly hid behind the box as Andros stepped in. He merely gazed at the box, then looked at the screen. He looked around suddenly.
“Is anyone in here?” he asked aloud.
*Nobody in here but us dead bodies,* Jenny thought.
Finally, Andros sighed and walked out of the secret chamber.
Jenny came out of her hiding place and stared down at the box. She felt a sneeze coming on, so she fumbled for a kleenex. However, the sneeze came first, and her sneeze left some mucus on the block of ice. Feeling embarrassed, she pulled out some kleenex and wiped the mucus off......and some of the frost along with it. Jenny looked closer and saw something inside the ice. It looked like a silver Space Ranger helmet. Underneath the rest of the frost, Jenny could see the rest of the Ranger’s body.
“Oh my God.....another Ranger?” she gasped softly. She glanced at the screen. “Is he.......alive???”
She stared at this silver Power Ranger, and she could feel him staring back at her. She felt a mysterious connection with this Ranger right away, but she wasn’t sure what this connection was.
*Is he good or evil? When will he come out? Will I like him? Will I be jealous of him? Am I in love with him already!? Nah......it can’t be......never.......I refuse.*
“Brrr.....I’d better get out of here!”
Jenny collected herself, then left the secret chamber.
“So, her birthday is the 23rd?” Andros asked.
“Yeah,” Ruth replied.
“That’ll give us some time to get everything ready,” the Cryptkeeper said. “Choosing a gift will not be easy. That girl doesn’t have a thing on her wish list. Well, there might be one thing.....which, unfortunately, is impossible to grant.”
Jenny came into the room. “Is anyone as bored as I am?”
“No, actually, we were working on a school project,” Ashley replied.
“Yuck, I hate school projects,” Jenny said. “See ya.”
This continued for the remainder of the day. Jenny finally gave up and went on to bed. The next morning, she woke up and went onto the bridge.
“Good morning,” Carlos said.
“Sleep well?” Ashley asked.
“I guess.....” Jenny sighed.
“We’re going to check out a planet in the Degeba System,” T.J. said. “We’ll be back in a couple of hours.”
“Yeah, okay,” Jenny said.
The Rangers left the Astro Megaship. Jenny looked over the bridge silently as the other Spices scanned galaxies for Zordon.
“Everybody......work harder.....” Jenny mumbled out of stupidity. “Spinal......sleep better.....”
Spinal sat up and yawned. “Did you call my name?”
“Oh, never mind,” Jenny told him.
“Here, I’ll help him sleep better,” C.C. said, kneeling over Spinal.
“Oh boy.....” Spinal sighed.
“Roll over, Spinal.”
Spinal rolled onto his ribcage and C.C. began massaging his back. Jenny smiled at them. She looked around the bridge again. She couldn’t stop thinking about that Ranger frozen in the secret chamber. While she was pondering, she got an idea.
*I think I’ll go back into that chamber. Andros is out exploring the universe again, so he won’t catch me in there.*
Jenny snuck out of the bridge and made a brief stop in the jump tube room to pick up her sweater, remembering how cold the secret chamber was. Then she went into the engine room. She opened up the hidden terminal and entered the code manually this time. Once the door was opened, Jenny stepped inside and approached the frozen Ranger. Again she was stunned.
“Whoa.....how long have you been frozen in there?” she asked as if the Ranger could answer. “Why are you frozen in the first place?”
She sighed before continuing.
“Being frozen is no fun, is it? I’ve never been frozen before, but I’m sure it can’t be any more fun than being burned to a crisp. And believe me, I’ve been burned before. It does not feel good.”
Jenny paused and stared down at the Ranger, apparently thinking again. Suddenly, she chuckled.
“I know, I know. You’re frozen, you can’t hear me, and yet you see me standing up here babbling. You’re probably thinking, ‘What are you, crazy??’ Perhaps I am. I have nothing better to do at this moment.”
She thought up more words to say.
“By the way, my name’s Tonfa Spice; what’s yours?” She laughed, knowing that the Ranger couldn’t respond. “Never mind. My mother is the Queen of Evil; can you believe it? My dad was killed by a Power Ranger. For all these years, I’ve tried to avenge his death, but I’ve failed.”
Jenny paused again.
“You know something? I think my friends are keeping something from me. But that’s all right, you know why? Because I’m keeping something from them. Nobody knows that I know you’re in here. Andros knows that you’re in here, but he doesn’t know that I know. You know?”
She chuckled out loud.
“Well, I guess that’s all I have to say for now. See you later, um......Mister.”
Jenny left the secret chamber. For the rest of the day, she eventually found several activities to kill her time. The Rangers returned from their mission with no luck. Everyone went on to bed.
The next day, while the Spices and Rangers prepared their secret birthday party, Jenny snuck back into the secret chamber to talk to the frozen Silver Ranger some more.
“Good morning,” she said. “Isn’t this weird? I’m actually coming back in here just to open my big mouth. You know, I could get in a lot of trouble by doing this. Andros is gonna be mad if he catches me in here. I could see it now; he’ll march right in here and say, ‘What the hell do you think you’re doing?’ Talk about angry.”
She pulled out Astronema’s necklace and placed it on top of the tube directly over the Ranger’s face.
“See this? This is my mom’s necklace. It’s actually a little video thingie. Darkonda gave it to me just so that I could watch my birth. It feels weird. Oh, by the way, Darkonda is my husband. ‘But aren’t you a little young to be married?’ Well, maybe, but he.......talked me into it. He gave me this other necklace which I can’t bear to part with.”
As Jenny spoke, she realized something.
“Speaking of necklaces, I have to find Darkonda! But where would he be?” She thought for a moment. “If I were Darkonda, where would I go? Of course! Onyx!!”
Jenny quickly started out of the room, then paused abruptly. She went back to the Silver Ranger’s “icy coffin.”
“Can’t leave without this, can I?” she asked, picking up Astronema’s necklace. Then she left the chamber. When she left the engine room, she headed straight for her locker. She decided not to bother with a hooded disguise this time, for she knew that the monsters would know better this time around. She pondered as she walked down the empty halls, realizing more and more about herself. She was the daughter of the Queen of Evil, yet she fought for good, so she could go wherever she chose. She could either hang out with the Rangers and Spices and be outgoing, or she could go to an evil place such as Onyx and be a wallflower. Jenny was a woman of multiple personalities existing only under a curse, yet she had the guts to defend the universe from her own mother.
Jenny changed into her Dominique costume, complete with her wedding necklace.
“I’ll be gliding through the galaxy in case there’s an attack,” she announced. She pointed to her ring. “You know where to find me.”
“You got it,” T.J. replied.
With that, she hopped through the yellow jump tube.
“Don’t worry; she constantly avoids company around her birthday,” the Cryptkeeper said.
Everyone else nodded, then went back to work.
Meanwhile, Astronema was just as bored as Jenny was. She waited impatiently for this day to go by, for tomorrow was her daughter’s birthday. Astronema had a surprise party of her own planned, and it would surely mean Jenny’s end.
“It won’t be long now, my queen,” Birthday Basher said. “Once the girl celebrates, I will eliminate her.”
“But I want her eliminated now!” Astronema whined.
“But I can’t attack until her birthday, which is tomorrow,” the monster told her.
Astronema sighed, then continued to stare into space. Suddenly, Jenny glided by on her galaxy glider and stopped right in front of Astronema, Ecliptor, Elgar, and Birthday Basher.
“Look, Ma, no hands!” she yelled. Laughing insanely, she flew away. Astronema glared at her until she was out of sight.
“Okay, I’ll wait,” she said. “She’s going to go down with a bang.....”
Jenny crashed into an alley on the planet Onyx. She sent the galaxy glider away, then snuck around the building. The planet looked like an old western town infested with monsters. Jenny had to avoid all the Putties, Tengas, Cogs, Piranahtrons, and Quantrons that stood guard in the road. She carefully crept down the street.
Darkonda was inside the Onyx saloon doing his favorite pastime, poker.
Still, Longhair despised Jenny because she had obtained Zordon’s key cards from him with a lucky hand; therefore, he could always sense Jenny’s presence. So when Jenny stepped into the saloon, Longhair instantly stood up and charged at her. Jenny, with her quick reflexes, gasped, punched the creature in the gut, then kicked his face. Longhair was instantly subdued. Jenny sighed with relief.
“Phew! Man, why can’t you just get over it?” Without waiting for an answer, she moseyed over to the bar where she ordered an Onyx juice special.
“Hey Darkonda, there’s your chick!” Skullface exclaimed.
Jenny heard the remark, and she blushed and laughed.
“Enough!” Darkonda ordered.
Jenny pretended not to notice her husband as he stood up and approached her.
“Well, well, well, it’s a surprise to see that you’ve come willingly unplanned, my dear,” he said. “Never thought you’d find me.”
“Well, you always found me wherever I went,” Jenny said.
“So, what brings you here?” Darkonda asked.
“My friends are acting weird. I’m not sure how or why. And, as usual, I need time to myself.”
“Well, I have studied Earth’s birthday customs. Perhaps your friends are secretly plotting a surprise party.”
“No, it can’t be. I haven’t told anyone about my birthday. Oh, and I did come here to bring this back.” Jenny pulled out Astronema’s necklace and handed it to Darkonda.
“Yes, thank you. Not to worry; Astronema hasn’t noticed it missing. Now, as I was saying, my research also revealed that people receive gifts on their birthday.”
“It’s true,” Jenny said. “But there’s nothing I really want for my birthday. Well.....there is one thing.....”
“And what would that be?” Darkonda asked.
Jenny held the dragon head of her necklace gently. “I just wish I could see my dad again. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if he came back as a zombie. Wouldn’t that be cool?”
“Hmm......it would be interesting.” Darkonda reached behind him and pulled out a small lavish box. “This is for you.”
“What is it?” Jenny asked, examining the box.
“It’s my permanent birthday gift to you. This one you can keep. Go ahead and open it.”
Jenny cautiously opened the box. Inside was a gold bracelet with a heart locket. “Oh, wow.....”
“You like it?” her husband asked.
“Yeah, I love it.......it’s beautiful.”
“I made it myself. I borrowed this rare stone from KO-35.”
“Thank you......but I can’t take this.” Jenny tried to give it back to Darkonda.
“Sure you can,” he said. “Here.....”
He grasped her hand gently, then fastened the bracelet onto her wrist.
Once she was satisfied, she and Darkonda leaned closer to each other. But before they could reach, a certain green and black sword came down between them. Jenny and Darkonda pulled apart and looked at Ecliptor.
“Leave a little room for the evil ghost,” he said.
Jenny and Darkonda glanced at each other, then simultaneously punched Ecliptor in the face. The odd couple burst out laughing as Ecliptor fell. Now Darkonda succeeded in his kiss.
“Nothing comes between me and my romance,” he said. They turned their backs on Ecliptor.
“You know, Darkonda.....” Jenny began. “Not too long ago, I saw the strangest thing.”
“What did you see, my love?”
“Um......I don’t know. It looked like a large block of ice......with something frozen inside.”
“Hmm......I’ve never seen anything like that.”
“Darkonda!!” Skullface cried, laughing.
Jenny and Darkonda glared at him.
“Well......I think I’d better get going,” Jenny said.
“Agreed,” Darkonda said. “Although it was brave of you to stop by, it is not safe for you here.”
Longhair stepped in front of Jenny. “You got that right!”
Darkonda stepped in between them. “Don’t you dare lay a paw on my bride!”
They started wrestling with each other. Jenny snuck to the door.
“Well, I gotta go; bye!” she called as she ran out.
“Hey, the girl’s getting away!” Skullface exclaimed.
Darkonda threw Longhair off. “Let her go!”
Jenny called on her galaxy glider and returned to the Megaship.
“Hey, where’ve you been?” T.J. asked.
“You okay?” Ashley asked.
Jenny looked around, confused. “I’m fine,” she told them. “I just had something to take care of. Nothing to worry about.......right?”
“Right,” Andros said.
The Cryptkeeper looked at Jenny’s wrist and held it up. “Where’d you get the bracelet?” he asked.
Jenny looked at him and smiled, but said nothing.
“Oh......never mind; I think I know,” the Cryptkeeper said.
Jenny nodded. “You got that right. So......any luck on that planet?”
“No, no sign of Dark Specter,” Cassie replied.
Jenny suddenly became lost in thought. “Dark Specter? Wait a minute......”
She remembered that last dream she had, about shooting soda cans using telekinesis. Perhaps she could do it for real. She left the room.
Jenny spent most of the day working on her telekinesis. Slowly but surely, her phenomenal skill improved. When the night came, she went to bed.
When she woke up the next morning, she had breakfast with the others. Then she went down to Angel Grove. Jenny did this on her birthday every year. She’d spend most of the day alone, regardless of what happened to her. If she were in grave danger, she’d have to deal with it on her own. So far, as one could tell, she’s gotten out of all her tough spots.
Jenny teleported to the grassy Angel Grove park. She spread her arms out and took a breath of fresh air.
“Today is my birthday,” she sighed. “However, nobody knows; therefore, today will be like any other day. I think I’ll just lay back, kick it, and enjoy the ride.”
The morning was pretty peaceful. Jenny stopped by the Surf Spot and chilled. Then she returned to stroll in the park. Suddenly, as she walked, Astronema and her goons appeared with a giant present.
“What the....?” Jenny gasped.
“Happy Birthday, darling,” Astronema said. “Welcome to the last party you’ll ever attend.”
“Oh Mother, my birthday is nothing special.”
“Don’t be silly. Of course it’s special. You’re my daughter, and this gift is for you. Believe me, this is the best present you could get.”
“I doubt it,” Jenny said, looking down at her bracelet.
Astronema stepped away from the present. “Just do it.” She and her goons stood quite a distance from the present.
Jenny approached the present slowly. “Hmm.....what could it be? What could possibly be wrapped up in this huge thing?” She reached out and reluctantly grabbed the ribbon. Should she pull it? She was bursting with curiosity, but she was also sure that it was a trap. But then again, maybe her mother is serious this time. There was a first time for everything, after all.
Jenny hesitated again, then closed her eyes tightly and yanked the ribbon, then backed up. The sides of the box tipped over to reveal a black birthday cake. Jenny opened her eyes and looked at it. She approached the cake slowly.
“Hmm......strange birthday cake, Mother,” she said, dipping her fingertip into the icing. “Licorice, I presume?”
She sucked the icing off her finger, but she was wrong. It tasted horrible. Suddenly, Astronema’s monster burst out of the top of the cake, leaping over Jenny’s head and landing behind her. He jumped up and down, throwing confetti and blowing party favors. Jenny stared at him in confusion.
“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you; Happy Birthday, dear Tonfa Spice, Happy Birthday to you!” he sang.
Jenny was tapping her foot. “So today is not going to be a normal day; I stand corrected.”
“Here, try it!” Birthday Basher cried, handing her a noisemaker. Jenny blew the noisemaker once, then sighed.
“Okay, let’s get down to business,” she said. “Who are you, and what do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m called Birthday Basher. My purpose is to destroy people on their birthday. Today’s your birthday, so I’m going to destroy you!”
“Don’t be so quick to open your mouth,” Jenny said. “I’m not that easy to destroy.”
Birthday Basher got out his sword and shield. Oddly enough, Jenny remained empty-handed. The black knight attacked, swinging his sword furiously at Jenny, who simply dodged every blow. As Birthday Basher attacked, Jenny threw a jab to his face. The monster pulled his sword back and lunged. Jenny moved aside, grabbed his wrist, and elbowed him in the chest several times. Seeing another opportunity to cause major damage, she threw him over her shoulder. As Birthday Basher stood up, Jenny sighed sadly.
“I’m disappointed. You’re.......a black knight. Obviously, you’re not as tough as you look.”
“I haven’t even begun to fight,” Birthday Basher replied.
“Well, now’s a good time to start!” Jenny yelled.
The monster charged again. He spun Jenny around with his shield, then kicked her spine. When Jenny turned around, Birthday Basher nicked her chest. Jenny moved in quickly, giving him a thrust kick to the hip. Now more desperate than ever, Birthday Basher gathered some energy in his shield. Once it glowed brightly, he threw it at the Spice leader. Jenny only threw her arms over her face to brace herself for the blow. When the energy ball slammed into her, she flew backward, screaming. Astronema, watching the battle from the distance, was smiling.
As Jenny lay prone on the ground, she coughed the smoke out of her face. Birthday Basher advanced on her slowly.
“There isn’t a more interesting date to die than on the date you were born,” he said. “Ready for your demise, darling?”
Before he could make a move, he was struck by several shots. Jenny gasped and looked up. The Silver Ranger leaped down between her and Birthday Basher.
“What the.....?” Jenny muttered.
“Hey, what do you think you’re doing!?” Birthday Basher cried. “I’ve got a birthday girl to destroy!”
“Terrorizing people just because it’s their birthday isn’t right!” the Silver Ranger shouted. “Now you’re going to eat your words!”
Astronema and the others were shocked by the Silver Ranger’s sudden entrance. The evil queen stared at him with her wide eyes.
“Who is that!?” she demanded.
“Don’t ask me,” Elgar replied.
Jenny stood up slowly, also staring at the Silver Ranger with the same expression as her mother.
The Silver Ranger ran to attack the monster. As Jenny watched, Darkonda approached her.
“You did well, my love,” he said.
Jenny turned to him. “Oh......you startled me.”
“So, who is that silver guy?”
“I have no clue.”
“Hey.....where’s your bracelet?” Darkonda asked.
“Huh?” Jenny looked down at her wrist only to find her bracelet missing. “Oh crud! It must have fallen off!”
She looked out in the battlefield and found her bracelet. “Ah, there it is!” She went out carefully to retrieve it. As she was about to pick it up, Birthday Basher leaped on top of her. Angered, Jenny threw him off, and threw a combination of kicks at him, knocking him away. Then she picked up her necklace.
“That was close,” she mumbled. “I don’t want to lose this.”
“Are you okay, miss?” the Silver Ranger asked.
“Yeah......I’m fine,” Jenny told him. “Wow, you’re actually talking to me......”
“Just stand back; I’ll take care of this Birthday Basher!” the Silver Ranger shouted as he attacked the monster again.
“But I wanna kill him!” Jenny whined. “Okay, you ugly excuse for a fighter.....”
She concentrated on her hands and appeared to be gathering energy. When she felt it was strong enough, she threw it at the monster. Birthday Basher threw the Silver Ranger off, then saw Jenny’s blast coming toward him. He stopped it with his shield, then reflected the energy blast right back at her. Jenny screamed as the blast hit her, sending her flying back.
“Oh man!” she cried. “I hate when they do that!!”
“Super Silverizer now!!” the Silver Ranger cried. He pulled out his weapon and sliced Birthday Basher several times. After the fourth blow, the monster exploded.
Jenny snapped her fingers in disappointment. “Damn. I wanted to kill him.”
She approached the Silver Ranger slowly. Now was the perfect chance to see if he was actually aware that she had been talking to him while he was frozen.
“Um.......are you dead?” she asked.
“What?” the Silver Ranger asked.
Jenny chuckled nervously. “No, no, no; there’s nothing wrong with being dead. See, I’m dead.....”
“I don’t understand.”
“Ah, forget it.”
Angered that Birthday Basher was destroyed, Astronema raced at Jenny with her staff.
“Look out!” the Silver Ranger cried.
"Now I've got you," Astronema growled as she pointed the staff at her daughter. "You will suffer the trials and tribulations you put me through."
Jenny knew that moving would be futile, so she held her ground. She thought about what she should do.
"Not so fast, Angela!" a male voice called.
Everyone gasped and turned to the perpetrator of the voice. Jenny was especially stunned. "Oh my God!" It was a zombie, covered with dirt and dried blood. He had all kinds of maggots, bugs, and worms all over his torn clothes.
"Who are you!?" Astronema demanded. "And who are you calling 'Angela?'"
Jenny stormed up to Astronema. "Mom, don't you remember? That's Dad."
"I'm calling you Angela," the zombie said. "That's what you told me your name was when we met, dated, and got married."
"Well, I'm not Angela anymore," the evil queen said sweetly. "I'm Astronema. If you're dead, why are you here?"
"I'm here because that young woman over there has wished to see her father again while holding her cursed necklace."
As the zombie spoke, Jenny looked down and grasped her necklace. "I don't believe this...."
"You've got some nerve, Angela," the zombie continued. "You're trying to destroy our daughter on her birthday."
"'Tis a fitting punishment," Astronema said. "Over and over, she's thwarted my plans to fill the universe with evil."
"That's only because she's learned of what's right and true.......from you, believe it or not. Now, Angela, if you look deep into your heart, you'll find that you wouldn't really want to destroy her."
"Why would you think that?"
"Angela.....close your evil eyes. Think back, and remember the moment our daughter was born....."
The vision of Jenny's birth became vivid in Astronema's mind....."
"Oh Daniel, she IS beautiful!"
"Yes, she is....." the man replied.
"I'll love her always and forever....."
Astronema opened her eyes and looked at her zombified husband. "Daniel......?"
"Remember your promise, Angela?" Daniel asked. "You said that you would love our daughter always and forever."
"I was obviously manipulating you!" Astronema yelled. "I NEVER loved her!"
Jenny gasped. "Mom! I'm hurt!"
"I'm hurt, too," Daniel said. "But I will not let you destroy a creature you have brought to life."
"Just watch me." Astronema pointed her staff at Jenny. However, Daniel grabbed the staff and wrestled with the evil queen. Astronema kicked the zombie away, then charged toward Jenny. Daniel got up and grabbed Astronema's ankle, tripping her over. The parents started fighting again.
"Oh man!" Jenny was hyperventilating. "Mommy and Daddy are fighting! I can't watch!"
"It appears that your wish to see your father has been granted," Darkonda said. "Perhaps you should summon your sister to see this."
"Nah.....we'd better wait until her birthday," Jenny said. "My parents are fighting. I can't stand it! Dad!!"
She tried to run out, but Darkonda grabbed her shoulders and pulled her back against him, then whispered something into her ear. Jenny nodded, then lunged again, but Darkonda still held her.
"Dad!!" she screamed. "Stop!! Let me go!!"
Suddenly, Astronema stopped, then gave up. "Fine! I wouldn't want to touch a rotting zombie like you anyway!"
"That's odd!" Jenny called. "Spinal's a zombie, yet you can't keep your hands off him!"
The Silver Ranger was so stunned by the whole thing, he couldn't stop staring. Darkonda momentarily released Jenny. The Silver Ranger turned to them.
"Hey, girl, look out behind you!" he shouted.
Jenny calmly turned to her husband. Remembering what Darkonda had whispered into her ear, she tried to get away again, but Darkonda grabbed her, clasping his hand over her mouth.
"Back off, Silver Ranger, or the girl dies!" he shouted.
"Hey, ugly, let her go!" the Silver Ranger demanded.
Jenny wiggled in Darkonda's grip. Darkonda loved how she struggled, and he listened to her muffled screams. After a moment, she stepped on his foot, then elbowed his gut. Now free, she raced to the Silver Ranger's side. She sighed with relief.
"Oh, man, this is one birthday I'll never forget," she announced. "But the party's over. I'm going home. See ya, Mother...."
She turned around, walked away singing.
"I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee. Won't my mommy be so proud of me. I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee." She stopped. "Ow, it stung me!!"
Jenny giggled as she teleported away. The Silver Ranger followed.
"What happened in here?" she asked. "Rangers? Somebody?"
She walked into the jump tube room where it was still dark.
"Hello? Where is everybody?"
Suddenly, the lights came on, and all the Rangers and Spices were standing there.
"Surprise!! Happy Birthday, Jenny!!" they shouted in unison.
Jenny gasped. "Oh man....not another party....." She was really close to fainting. How had they figured out her birthday? "How......how did you guys know?" she asked.
"That's not important," Carlos told her. "What's important is that you're our friend. We want to do all that we can for you."
"Yeah, you've led the Spice team and saved our butts at least a zillion times, but we didn't know what you expected us to do in return," the Cryptkeeper added.
"All I wanted in return is for you guys to stand by me," Jenny told him. "You guys are all I have. If I didn't have you, I'd be all alone, consumed by hate."
"Oh, and we do have a present for you," Andros said. "Come on out!!"
A blonde-haired young man stepped out. Jenny stared at him in confusion.
"Jenny, this is Zhane," Andros said. "Zhane, this is Jenny, the Spice Club leader. Her nickname is Tonfa Spice."
"It's nice to meet you, Jenny," Zhane said, gently kissing Jenny's hand.
"Nice to meet you, Zhane," Jenny said with a knowing smile. "That voice.....do I know you?"
"Well, let's find out," Zhane replied. "Let's rocket!!"
He morphed into the Silver Ranger. Jenny stared at him in shock. This time, she really did faint. The other Spices kept a laugh in. The Silver Ranger knelt over Jenny to wake her up.
Jenny had survived another birthday, and two surprise parties. All
these surprises were a little too much for her. She got her wish to
her father again, and the fight between her parents was a big shock as
well. She didn't want to celebrate any more birthdays.....