Spinal sat at the table in the dining room by himself. He just sat there silently, listening to the hum of the Astro Megaship. He sighed and drummed his fingers on the table. As he pondered, Ruth entered the room with a grin. She approached Spinal and slowly grabbed his shoulder. Spinal gasped and turned to her, startling her.
“Sorry,” Ruth said. “I keep forgetting how skittish you are.”
“Oh.....that’s okay,” Spinal sighed.
Ruth sat in the chair next to him. “So what are you thinking about?”
“Well, I was just thinking about Fulgore,” Spinal said.
“The guy who tortured you?” Ruth asked.
“Yeah, well, he may have tortured me, but we had some great times together, too,” Spinal told her. “Believe it or not, we were the best of friends. According to Fulgore, torturing me was his way of showing affection.”
Ruth laughed. “With a friend like that, you didn’t need enemies.”
“Unfortunately, I had enemies back then, too. The Spice Club isn’t the first ‘superhero’ group I’ve belonged to.”
“Really? What was the first?”
“I was on a team called the KI Warriors. Fulgore and I were on it along with nine others. Although we never fought as often as we do now, we had fun hanging out, aside from Fulgore torturing me.”
“So what happened to the team?”
“They perished from old age; you know how that happens,” Spinal said. “Fulgore and I went on for a while. But after a really rough battle, Fulgore was so badly damaged that his systems just shut down permanently, and he died. So I was lonely for the next 2,000 years. Wait.....didn’t I tell you all this before?”
“Maybe,” Ruth said. “You have such an interesting history.”
“Sometimes I just wish I could see him again....especially when I think about when we first met.”
“When was that?”
“It was the moment I was resurrected, actually. I had no memories of who I was or anything. So Fulgore helped me out, showed me around, helped me understand what was going on. Believe it or not, he even taught me how to fight.”
Ruth nodded. “So Fulgore really was a good friend, huh?
Spinal sighed again. “Shoot, if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know where I’d be now.”
“Everyone has their idols....”
Up at the Dark Fortress, Astronema gazed into a photograph of Spinal, smiling slightly. Although her general emotions have been overridden by computer programming, nothing can override her love for Spinal. She still wanted him!
“I can’t stand it!” she growled. “I must have him! I know.....I’ll send the Psycho Rangers down to capture him. Psychos!”
The Psycho Rangers entered the room. “Yes, Astronema?” they asked in unison.
“I need you to go down to Earth and find Spinal Spice,” Astronema said.
“As you wish, Astronema,” Psycho Red said. “We’ll find Spinal Spice and we’ll crush him like a bug!”
“No!” Astronema cried. “Don’t destroy him. Bring him to me.....unharmed.”
“Why?” Psycho Black asked.
“That’s none of your concern. Just bring him here....and don’t keep me waiting.”
The Psychos started out of the room.
“This should be a piece of cake,” Psycho Red said. “That little pipsqueak doesn’t stand a chance.”
Spinal was in Angel Grove now, hanging out at the Surf Spot. Adelle came up to him.
“Spinal, you look a little down,” she said. “What’s eating you?”
“I just miss my friend. He died a couple thousand years ago. He taught me everything I know,” Spinal told her.
“Well, as long as you remember what he taught you, he’ll always live in you,” Adelle said.
“Yeah.....I suppose you’re right. Well, I’d better get going. Something doesn’t feel right.”
“What do you mean?”
“I sense danger nearby. I’d better get away from here so that no one gets hurt.”
Spinal quickly left the Surf Spot. As he walked down some stairs, the Psycho Rangers suddenly surrounded him. Spinal gasped in fear.
“Surprise!” Psycho Black called. “Astronema has plans for you.”
Spinal froze until Psycho Blue grabbed him. In response, Spinal threw him over his shoulder. Psycho Pink kicked his back, knocking him into the railing. Spinal grabbed onto the railing, lifted both feet and kicked Psycho Pink. The Red and Yellow Psychos tried to dive on Spinal at once, but Spinal skeleported to the other side of the railing and ran away.
“Hey, where’d the little squirt go!?” Psycho Red asked.
“There he goes!” Psycho Black cried.
“Get him!” Psycho Pink shouted.
As Spinal ran for his freedom, he opened up his ring to contact the others.
“Guys.....help! The Psycho Rangers are after me!!” he cried. “Please hurry; I can’t shake them!!”
“Hang on, we’re on our way,” the Cryptkeeper replied calmly, yet sincerely.
Spinal ran until Psycho Red blocked his path.
“Did you think you could get away from us that easily?” he asked evilly. He pulled out his sword. Spinal pulled out his as well. After one sword clash, Psycho Red delivered two swift strikes to Spinal’s chest, knocking him down. When Psycho Red began to advance on him, the other Psychos stopped him.
“No. Astronema wants him unharmed, remember?” Psycho Black said.
Psycho Red put his sword away. He turned back only to see that Spinal was gone again.
“This way!” Psycho Pink called.
Spinal now hid behind a car. “Boy, I sure hope the others get here soon.....”
Astronema watched the chase from the Dark Fortress.
“So, Spinal managed to call the other Spices,” she told herself. “I’ve got to make sure that they don’t get to him in time. Quantrons, distract them!”
The Quantrons vanished. Astronema turned back to the screen and smiled.
“This time I’ve got him for sure.....”
The Rangers and Spices teleported to the location where Spinal contacted them. When they saw that Spinal wasn’t there, they sighed.
“Where is he?” C.C. asked.
“Of course, since Spinal’s probably running all over the city, he won’t be easy to find,” Jenny said.
The Quantrons appeared to attack.
“Oh great!” Jenny cried. “Mother must really be determined this time.”
They went into battle. Will they be able to beat the Quantrons and get to Spinal in time?
Meanwhile, Spinal continued the race around Angel Grove to elude his pursuers. He ran into a building still under construction. He looked around, but the Psychos were nowhere in sight.
“Phew! I think I lost them!” he sighed.
“Think again!” the Psychos called.
Psycho Black ran forward, but Spinal dodged him and kicked his back. Spinal ran off again.
“Oh no, you don’t!” Psycho Yellow growled.
At the speed of light, the Psychos moved in front of Spinal.
“Where are you going, Spinal Spice?” Psycho Red asked. “Escape? There’s no escape from us.”
He grabbed Spinal and threw him to the ground. The Black and Blue Psychos grabbed Spinal’s arms and pulled him to his feet. They held him tightly.
“We knew we’d catch you!” Psycho Yellow said. “It was only a matter of time.”
Spinal knew the advantage of wearing a communicator on his finger rather than on his wrist. He reached over to his ring with his thumb and pressed it.
“You’re coming with us!” Psycho Black declared.
Spinal gave a prolonged scream as they vanished.
Just as the others finished beating the Quantrons, they heard Spinal’s scream from their communicators.
“NOOO!!!!” C.C. screamed. “They got Spinal!!!”
“Now what?” the Cryptkeeper asked.
“We get back to the Megaship and locate him,” Andros said.
“Oooh, that Astronema....” C.C. growled. “She makes me so mad, I could spit in her soup!”
The group teleported up to the Megaship.
In an advanced technology corporation known as Ultratech, a group of scientists were struggling to build a warrior cyborg. This cyborg was large; 6’5” tall and 560 lbs. It had a very masculine shape, a pair of harpoon-shaped claws attached to its forearms, and an orange ponytail from the top of its head. This cyborg is called Fulgore. The scientists had originally built it to conquer the planet; but with Earth constantly under attack by monsters, this Fulgore would be programmed to protect the universe. The scientists took several parts from Fulgore’s old body, including his memory circuit board.
“Just a few more steps and this son-of-a-gun is ready to run,” one man called.
The scientists finished the last few steps, then pulled the lever that would bring the cyborg to life. Soon, Fulgore sat up, allowing the sheet to slip off his upper body.
“Give us your name and occupation,” the scientist said.
“I am Fulgore, universal defender,” the cyborg said flatly.
“I’m alive again!” Fulgore cried.
“Now that you are, I’ll need to explain one additional feature we gave you,” the scientist said. “You now have a rocket built into your back.”
Fulgore felt the rocket in his back. “What do I need a rocket for?”
“Evil exists all over the universe. You may have to chase them into space. You will defeat the forces of evil, won’t you?”
“Sure, but I have a personal task to complete first.”
“And what’s that?”
Fulgore put his hand up to his head to concentrate. “My partner is alive. He has survived these 2,000 years! I’ve got to find him!” He raced out of the building, then stopped. He concentrated again, trying to pinpoint his “homing” partner. He looked up at the sky.
“No way.....he can’t be in outer space.....can he? Only one way to find out.”
Fulgore fired up his rocket and blasted into space.
In the Dark Fortress, the Psycho Rangers approached Astronema.
“Did you get him?” she asked.
“Yes,” the Psychos replied in unison.
“He is in the technology room, gift-wrapped and ready,” Psycho Red added.
“Took you long enough,” Astronema snapped as she went to find her captive.
She went into the technology room where Spinal was well-secured to a reclining chair. It was the same chair that Jenny was strapped to when Darkonda started to turn her into a cyborg. Spinal squirmed against the steel straps as Astronema stood over him. He looked up at her new cyborg appearance and screamed. Astronema clasped her hand over his mouth and smiled.
“Glad I have that effect on you,” she said. “So.....are you comfy, Spinal?”
“No! Let me off this thing, you creepy old witch!” Spinal shouted.
Astronema tilted her head. “Oh Spinal, don’t you love me even just one little bit?”
“I’ll never love you, not one bit!” Spinal cried. “I hold a grudge against the forces of evil!”
“That’s about to change. I’m afraid that we’ll have to give you the treatment. You’ll be just like me.”
“However.....” Astronema continued. “I will leave you to think about it for awhile. If you serve me willingly, you won’t have be reprogrammed for evil. Let’s go, Psychos.”
She and the Psychos left the room, leaving Spinal strapped to the chair. Spinal struggled, but he couldn’t break free. He knew he was in big trouble.
“Astronema must have done something with the others,” he thought. “Otherwise, they’d have been there to help me. But never mind that; I’ve got to get out of here!”
Astronema stood in the control room.
“Just what do you see in that little pipsqueak?” Psycho Yellow asked.
Astronema glared at her. “I find him very attractive,” she said. “Nothing beats a cute little guy like him.”
“What do you intend to do with him?” Psycho Red asked.
“Simple. I plan to make him my pleasure slave.”
Suddenly, Fulgore entered the room. “Excuse me, all you fellow metalheads.”
“Who are you!?” Astronema demanded, shoving Ecliptor aside. “And how did you get aboard my ship?”
Fulgore calmly approached the dark princess. “I am called Fulgore. I am a cyborg prototype built by the secret Ultratech corporation. Who are you?”
Astronema stared at him blankly. “I am Astronema, Princess of Darkness. What are you doing here?”
“I was merely searching for an old, dear partner of mine. His tracking signal has brought me here. Yet I don’t see him here at all.”
Astronema’s facial expression changed from blank to particularly evil. “You look strong. Perhaps you can help me.”
“Help you? With what?”
“I’m trying to destroy these teams of superheroes. One called the Power Rangers, and the other called the Spice Club. They’ve been torturing me for a while.”
“Why would they do that?” Fulgore asked.
“I’m only trying to become the new monarch of evil,” Astronema explained. “But they keep stopping me.”
*Hmm....this woman is evil,* Fulgore thought. *But I can’t let her know that I’m programmed to fight evil. Perhaps my partner is on this ship somewhere. I just need to get a better look around.*
“Okay.....when do I attack?” he asked.
“Later,” Astronema told him. “I’ll send the Psychos and a monster first. You must familiarize yourself with the Dark Fortress first.”
“As you wish......Astronema,” Fulgore said. He left the room to explore the ship.
The Rangers and Spices had to return to Earth to battle the Psychos. Unfortunately, they weren’t doing so well. The Psychos blocked all their opponents’ attacks and struck back swiftly. C.C. exerted pressure on the Pink Psycho.
“Where’s Spinal!?” she demanded.
“You’ll never see that pathetic bone pile again!” Psycho Pink announced.
She threw a blast that knocked C.C. twenty feet back.
“You can’t defeat us!” Psycho Red shouted.
“We already have!” Jenny shouted back. “And we’ll do it again!”
The warriors stood there, waiting for the other to attack.....
Back at the Dark Fortress, Ecliptor was getting ready to turn Spinal into a cyborg. He pulled out the same ugly device that Darkonda was going to use and turned it on. Spinal struggled furiously, but still to no avail.
“Now say ‘ahh....’” Ecliptor sang with an evil chuckle, lowering the machine towards Spinal.
Spinal obeyed Ecliptor’s suggestion.....with a scream.
Astronema and Fulgore heard the scream from the control room. Astronema pressed a button and spoke.
“Ecliptor, stop immediately. I’m not ready to go through with this yet.”
“As you wish, Astronema,” Ecliptor replied. “I am returning to the control room now.”
So he left the room. Spinal was so shocked by what had almost happened, he passed out. Astronema and Ecliptor started discussing their next plan together. Fulgore took advantage of the distraction and snuck out of the room. He had to find out who made that scream. He searched the Dark Fortress until he found the technology room. He gasped when he saw Spinal strapped to the chair. Fulgore raced up to him and patted his face gently.
“Hey.....Spinal, wake up!” he whispered. “Are you okay?”
Spinal groaned as he woke up. He looked up at Fulgore and gasped. “Fulgore!?”
“Hello, Spinal,” Fulgore said sweetly. “Did you miss me?”
“Fulgore.....I thought you were....”
“Dead? Not anymore, partner.”
“How did you.....?”
“I’ll explain later. Now that I’ve found you, I’m getting you out of here.”
Fulgore released Spinal from the chair.
“Fulgore.....I can’t believe it’s really you!” Spinal cried.
“Once we escape, it’ll be just you and me,” Fulgore said.
“Uh.....not exactly,” Spinal said. “I have friends, a team that I cannot abandon.”
“Team? What team?”
“The Spice Club. Come on, I can’t stand this Dark Fortress!”
Fulgore and Spinal raced down the halls. As they cautiously walked along, Ecliptor stepped in front of them.
“Fulgore, what are you doing?” he asked.
“This is the old, dear partner I told you about,” Fulgore said. “I knew from the look on Astronema’s face that I had to watch what I said. But now I know for sure that you’re all evil. You kidnapped my friend; therefore, I will not destroy the Power Rangers or the Spice Club. Now step aside while my partner and I escape from this Dark Fortress.”
“I don’t think so.” Ecliptor moved in with his sword. Fulgore blocked the attack while Spinal moved behind Ecliptor. Fulgore tossed Ecliptor away, then grabbed Spinal’s wrist and pressed on.
“This way!” Spinal called, leading Fulgore into the storage room. It was at least six stories tall, and miles large.
“Wow, get a load of these ships!” Fulgore cried.
“Those are Velocifighters,” Spinal told him. “The Quantrons use them.”
Suddenly, the Quantrons appeared, surrounding them.
“Yeah.....these guys,” Spinal said.
The Quantrons attacked, but Fulgore and Spinal teleported out of the circle. They reappeared in another spot.
“Suckers!” they called simultaneously.
The Quantrons attacked again, and the two partners defended themselves. One Quantron grabbed Fulgore, but Fulgore dumped it to the ground and stomped on it. Spinal thrust-kicked a Quantron, knocking it into several others. Then two more Quantrons grabbed his arms and dragged him behind a crate.
“Fulg---!!” he screamed before being muffled by the Quantrons.
Fortunately, Fulgore heard the scream. “Spinal!” He went behind the crates to help his friend. A single kick had Spinal free.
“Thank you!” Spinal cried.
“Hey, no problem; the pleasure was all mine,” Fulgore said.
The pair raced to the open door leading out into space. Spinal looked at Fulgore and noticed his new feature.
“Wow, you have a rocket in your back!?”
“Yeah, that’s how I got out here,” Fulgore explained. He held his arms out to Spinal. “Hop on and I’ll give you a lift.”
“No thanks; I have my own ride,” Spinal told him. “Galaxy glider, hang ten!”
The galaxy glider answered his call.
“Wow! So you’ve led a very interesting life,” Fulgore said. “You’ll have to tell me all about it when we get out of here.”
“Then let’s go!”
They left the Dark Fortress and cruised through space.
“So you’ve been fighting evil with your friends for four years?” Fulgore asked.
“Yeah. We’ve been fighting in space for several months now,” Spinal said.
“Very funny, Fulgore. But we can talk to our leader; maybe she’ll let you join.”
“Your leader is.....a female?” Fulgore was stunned.
“Yeah; what’s wrong with that?” Spinal asked.
“Oh.....nothing. I’ve just never heard of a female leader before.”
“Come on!” Spinal grabbed Fulgore’s arm. “I’ll show you our spaceship.”
“Spaceship!?” The pair teleported to the Astro Megaship in a flash of light.
“Well, here we are,” Spinal said.
“Wow.....and you’d think I’d be used to this sort of thing,” Fulgore said.
“Come on; I’ll introduce you to my friends!”
Spinal and Fulgore walked through the halls.
“Hey guys, I’m back!” Spinal called. “Rangers? Spices? Alpha?”
“Friends? What friends?” Fulgore asked.
The partners stepped into the bridge.
“This is the bridge,” Spinal said. “Man, where is everybody?”
“Your friends are busy countering an Angel Grove invasion,” Deca told him.
Fulgore looked around frantically. “Who said that?”
“Deca,” Spinal said.
Spinal walked over and pointed at the little red light. “Deca.”
“Oh....” Fulgore nodded.
“She has eyes and ears all over the ship.”
“Oh, there’s no time for chatting, Spinal!” Alpha whined. “The others need you Look!”
The image of the battle appeared on the screen. The Rangers fired their Quadroblaster at the Horror Bull monster, but the shot just bounced off some sort of force field and blew up at the Rangers.
“What!? That monster just deflected the Rangers’ Quadroblaster!” Spinal cried.
“Quadroblaster!? This is my kind of fighting!” Fulgore cried. He grabbed Spinal’s wrist. “Let’s go kick some honeybuns!” They raced outside the bridge, then stopped. “Uh, which way do we go?”
“This way!” Spinal called, racing down the hall.
Fulgore followed his partner to the jump tubes. “Whoa, what are these?”
“These are jump tubes,” Spinal told him. “It’s how we leave the ship and teleport down to the planets. Just follow me.” He hopped through the red jump tube.
Fulgore paced back and forth in front of the tubes. He stopped at the black one.
“This looks like a match for me,” he told himself.
He started to grab the bar, but his claws were in the way. So he trudged back to the red tube. “Uh, Spinal?”
No answer. Fulgore got a crazy idea. He went to the edge of the room, then ran toward the red tube. He leaped feet-first through the tube.
Spinal landed in a hidden spot nearby his friends. Soon, Fulgore fell through the sky and crashed flat on his front.
“Fulgore?” Spinal asked.
Fulgore stood up slowly, leaving a depression with the shape of his body in the ground. “What a way for a cyborg to travel!”
“We do it quite often, so you’d better get used to it if you want to join the team,” Spinal told him.
Fulgore brushed the remaining pebbles off his body, then hid behind the corner of a building with Spinal.
Hanim and C.C. were fighting the monster. It punched Hanim, then kicked C.C. in the stomach. Fulgore and Spinal glanced at each other and nodded. They both raced into the open.
“Hey guys, I’m here!!” Spinal called.
“Spinal, you’re all right!!” C.C. cried.
Jenny noticed the large cyborg running behind Spinal. “Who is that?”
The Horror Bull threw an energy blast at the partners. In response, Fulgore grabbed Spinal’s shoulder and pulled him back. Then he held his arms out, his palms facing each other, and channeled blue energy between them. The monster’s energy bounced off Fulgore’s energy and blew up at the monster.
“See how you like your own energy!” Fulgore called.
“The monster’s stunned; now’s our chance!” Jenny exclaimed.
The Rangers pulled out their Quadroblaster again and fired it at the Horror Bull. This time, it was much more effective. In fact, it destroyed the monster for good. The Rangers cheered with triumph.
“Nice job, Rangers!” the Cryptkeeper called.
“Well......now’s OUR chance,” Spinal said to Fulgore.
The two ran to join the Rangers and Spices while they all chuckled to themselves.
“What a gulli-bull!” the Cryptkeeper commented.
“What a nin-cow-poop,” Jenny added.
“Hey, now these are my kind of people,” Fulgore said.
“Spinal, you’re all right!!” C.C. cried, hugging her lover. “How did you escape.”
“I had some help from an old friend of mine,” Spinal said. “Everybody, this is Fulgore. Fulgore, this is......everybody.”
“How’re you doing?” Fulgore asked.
“Fine.....” Jenny replied flatly.
“So.....which team is which?” Fulgore asked.
“Uh......these are the Power Rangers, and this is the Spice Club,” Spinal told him. “And Jenny, if I understood him correctly......Fulgore wants to join our group.”
Jenny’s eyes widened in surprise. “He does?”
“Well.....Fulgore’s a misfit, just like we are,” Spinal explained. “He’ll need somewhere to belong.”
“Hmm.....” Jenny pondered as she slowly circled around Fulgore. She poked his solid arm with her index finger. “What, uh.....what are your abilities? If I let you join the Spice Club, I’ll have to come up with a Spice name for you.”
“Well, I can shoot lasers out of my eyes, reflect my opponent’s energy back at them, and I can teleport here and there on the battlefield,” Fulgore said.
“Hmm.....” Jenny nodded, then turned to her friends. “What do you guys think?”
“I say let him in,” the Cryptkeeper said. “We can use his help against the Psycho Rangers.”
“Psycho Rangers?!?!?” Fulgore burst out laughing.
“Yeah, the Psycho Rangers,” Spinal said. “They’re the ones who nabbed me.”
“Oh, okay. I’ll show those Psycho Rangers a thing or two.”
“Well.....” Jenny extended her hand. “Welcome to the Club.......Laser Spice.”
“Damn, that was quick!” the Cryptkeeper cried. “I thought it would take at least a week to come up with a name.”
“Laser Spice....” Fulgore mumbled, shaking Jenny’s hand. “I like the sound of that.”
“Do you need a communicator, or do you have one built in there somewhere?” Jenny asked.
“Oh, I have one,” Fulgore said. “I think I’m going to like this team.”
“Good. Let’s go home,” Jenny said.
The Spices and Rangers all teleported to the Megaship. Fulgore stayed behind briefly, then followed.
So the Spices had another new member. They could tell that Fulgore would be a fine addition to the team as Laser Spice, since he has already proved his worth.