“I’m getting bored. Astronema’s been real quiet for a while. Nothing is entertaining anymore.” Ruth stretched in bed, while Carlos was at a computer he had brought from Earth.
Carlos looked at his wife. “Yeah, I’m surprised.” He looked at the computer again when a female voice indicated that he had e-mail.
Ruth got up. “Well, I’ll be walking around, hoping to find some fun.” Ruth began to walk to the door.
“Wanna go to the SimuDeck?”
Ruth chuckled. “No, I think something real would be preferred for a change.” She gave a warm smile to her husband before leaving.
Ruth had arrived at Jenny’s quarters while on her way to the bridge. She decided to check in on her. She was looking at the artifact collection. “Hi, Jenny.”
Jenny turned around and saw her friend. “Come on in.”
Ruth sat down in a chair not far from the bed where Jenny was looking at the collection. Ruth saw something glimmer in the faint light for a moment and picked up what it was. It was a green data card. Ruth giggled, and Jenny smiled.
“A Psycho data card,” they said in unison.
Jenny noticed Ruth reaching for one of her pockets. She pulled out a blue pocket-sized object. Jenny gasped. “I didn’t know that you had a Game Boy!”
Ruth smiled. “I had it for a while, and I’ve just gotten used to the controls. I was just wondering; what would happen if I put the Psycho data card into the Game Boy, then turn it on?”
Jenny looked at her friend in warning. “Ruth, don’t get to any silly ideas.”
“Oh, come on, Jenny. Where’s your sense of adventure? Besides, I’m bored, and this might be fun.”
Jenny sighed. “Okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“Fine with me.” Ruth placed in the data card and shivered with excitement. She turned it on, and at first, a normal game occurred. It presented the “Nintendo: TM” symbol and made the high-tone note. But a moment later, a Psycho appeared on the screen. Color was not an advantage in this Game Boy.
“How did I get in here,” he gasped in surprise.
Ruth, recognizing the Psycho by voice, shouted in excitement, “Psycho Black!”
Hearing the shout, Psycho Black turned to the screen as if he could see Ruth. And he does. “Magic Spice! What in the world are you doing out there?”
At the question, Jenny joined Ruth in laughter. “Psycho Black,” Ruth started. “The appropriate question at this time is not what I’m doing out here, because I have always been out here. The appropriate question is how you got in there, and I can answer that.
“There is an invention called a Game Boy. It allows people to play games on it; thus the name Game Boy, although girls play it, too. I was just wondering what would happen if I put in a Psycho data card into the Game Boy, and then find out what happens. It looks like I’ve created my own game!”
Psycho Black crossed his arms. “So, uh, I’m going to regret asking: What are the rules?”
“That’s what I’m going to figure out.” She started messing with the controls to move what looked like a plus sign. When she pressed the A button, a blaster-sound was heard. “I guess you try to escape while I try to hit you. Heads up!”
She moved the plus sign to Psycho Black’s chest, while he frantically ran from one side of the screen to another. He ran about like a frightened chicken. Ruth and Jenny laughed at how he was trying to escape the screen, and when Ruth hit him with the plus sign, several sparks emerged from his body like a regular battle.
Finally, Psycho Black had to stop running and resisting. “I don’t know how you’re doing this,” he panted. “But I’m not having any fun anymore. I’m not going to put up with this anymore.”
Ruth giggled. “You want to surrender? That’s the first time I ever heard of a Psycho wanting to surrender simply because he’s fighting a losing battle. Some Psycho you are! I hope you’ll be better off in the next game.” With that, she turned off the Game Boy.
“That was so cool,” Jenny exclaimed.
“Tell me about it,” Ruth responded.
“Can I try your new game?”
“Sure.” She handed the Game Boy to Jenny and removed the Psycho Black data card. Then, Ruth motioned to the other Psycho cards and said, “Pick a Psycho, any Psycho.”
Jenny giggled as she picked up a random card. “I’ll try this one.” She placed in the data card and turned on the Game Boy. When the game was ready, a different Psycho appeared on this screen.
“What in the world!...” she shouted.
Jenny, also recognizing it by voice, smiled at her surprising guess. She started singing in the neener, neener, neener tune. “I got Psycho Yellow! I got Psycho Yellow!”
Psycho Yellow looked at Jenny. “Tonfa Spice, what is going on here?”
As Jenny explained how Psycho Yellow got into the Game Boy and told of the rules, Ruth got up and left. She’ll leave Jenny to try on her own luck.
Ruth came back to her room. Carlos was still on the computer. “Carlos, are you hooked or something?”
Carlos giggled. “Yeah, I guess I am.”
“Well, I found something real that’s entertaining.”
Carlos turned around and looked at her. “And what might that be?”
“A new game that Jenny and I discovered. But I’d rather not talk about it right now and spoil the surprise. Wanna go to the SimuDeck?”
“Sure. What do you have in mind?” Carlos stood up.
Ruth thought for a second. “Hmm ... Switzerland. Snowboarding!”
“All right! Let’s go!”
Meanwhile, Jenny continued playing against the Psychos. She had her luck against every Psycho. During this time, Jenny battled against Psycho Red. He was the hardest, since he was probably the fastest.
Psycho Red, at the moment that Jenny thought she had him, he moved out of the way. This process was making Jenny’s fingers hurt. Yet she kept on trying until she finally hit him once. Even though he was not defeated, Jenny turned off the game. She placed the last card on the dresser and went to Ruth’s room to return the Game Boy.
When she arrived at the door, she did the “Shave and a Haircut” knock. No answer. She knocked again. Still nothing.
“Deca, where is Ruth?”
“Ruth is with Carlos in the SimuDeck.”
“Please open this door so that I may return her Game Boy.” The door opened and Jenny went in. She placed the Game Boy on the dresser. On the dresser, she saw a picture frame containing her parents. Since Ruth looked just like her mother, Jenny thought this was Ruth with someone else.
“I wonder who that man is? Perhaps Ruth’s father. I never got any pictures of my mother and I together, either.”
“You are mistaken, Jenny,” Deca responded. “The woman you are seeing is not Ruth, but her mother.”
“Oh! She looks just like her. Wow!” Jenny thought for a second. But, not wanting to go too deep into anyone’s personal life, she placed the picture frame where she picked it up, and walked out the door.
Jenny passed by the door to the SimuDeck. She stopped and thought about what program was being run. She went in just to hear an excited female shout, “Yahoo!” Jenny saw Ruth fly off a wide ski jump on a purple snowboard, and doing a spectacular twirl in the air. She landed gracefully on her board, and continued going downhill.
Jenny gave an impressed smile. *Show off,* she thought. Then, Jenny looked up to see Carlos just starting his dive down the ski jump.
He saw Jenny and tried to wave. But the moment he did, he started losing his balance. When he left the ski jump, he did several confused, backwards somersaults, with screams of fear and surprise. When he landed on the ground, he rolled in Ruth’s direction. By the time they collided, Carlos was nothing but a large snowball.
Ruth, who didn’t notice Jenny, poked her head out and laughed. “Is that the best you can do, Carlos, you silly boy?!”
Carlos poked his head out. “It wasn’t my fault! Jenny distracted me!”
Jenny crossed her arms and tapped her foot impatiently into the snow. “Hey, you wanted to wave at me! You could have just ignored me, you know!”
Ruth looked at Jenny. “Oh, I didn’t know you were here. You know, this simulation of snow and ice and cold about has become a habit for me. Especially ever since Fulgore and the rest of us were throwing snowballs. Like this one!”
She quickly made a snowball and stuffed it at Carlos’ face. “Hey,” he shouted.
Jenny and Ruth laughed hysterically. Carlos made a snowball and threw at Jenny in an attempt to keep her quiet. For a moment, Jenny was stunned. Then, she made her own snowball and threw it back at Carlos. Then, everybody got into the snowball fight.
Without anyone knowing, Brooklyn had been watching the fight from the top of a nearby, yet tall, hill. He made a small snowball, and aimed it at the playing teenagers. “According to my calculations,” he said softly, not wanting to be heard. “When it reaches them, this baby will be the size of Godzilla.”
He placed the snowball down and rolled it down the hill. It quietly increased its size as it got closer and closer to the fight, which was beginning to stop. Finally, even before the snowball reached them, the fight stopped. Yet it kept on coming...
“I wanted to let you know that I returned your Game Boy,” Jenny panted, exhausted. “I left it on your dresser.”
“Oh, okay.” Ruth carefully got up, then helped Carlos.
Then moment he got up, he saw the snowball. He gasped, and screamed, “Look out!”
The girls turned around and also saw the snowball, coming and coming fast! Carlos and Jenny jumped out of its path, but when they looked to where Ruth was, all they saw was the snowball, finally at a stop.
Jenny turned to the hill and looked up to see Brooklyn, laughing and laughing. “Brooklyn!” Then, Jenny looked at the snowball again. She couldn’t see Ruth. Where was she? Did she escape? Before the answers could come, Carlos suddenly felt something beneath him.
“Wha--what? Woah!” The snow beneath him seemed to come up right beneath his feet! He jumped off and fell backwards. He saw Ruth’s head poking out from where he was standing.
Ruth spat out some of the snow that was in her mouth. “Oh, man! Digging a tunnel beneath the snow with only your hands is not as easy as it seems.”
Jenny laughed. Ruth got up and brushed some of the snow off her snowpants. She was fortunate to wear waterproof clothing, but her hair was full of cold and wet snow.
“Stop simulation,” Ruth called. Instantly, almost everything disappeared. Even the heavy clothing worn by Ruth and Carlos changed to their typical outfits.
Brooklyn wasn’t very lucky. He was still at the top of the hill, and when the simulation ended, the hill disappeared beneath his feet. He landed flat on his back before he could spread out his wings for a softer landing.
The others giggled. “At least everything here is very fake,” Jenny pointed out. She and Ruth left the SimuDeck, and Jenny went to her room to practice the new game. Ruth had to go to her room to get the Game Boy.
“I’m getting them,” Jenny said with excitement. “I’m getting them! I’ve got them!”
Several sparks emerged from both Psychos Pink and Blue. Jenny had borrowed Hallie’s Game Boy, and Ruth was playing against Psychos Black and Yellow. They were both doing an excellent job for playing against two Psychos, by placing in the Game Boy two cards at the same time.
Suddenly, the alarms blared. Deca announced, “Astronema has sent another monster.”
Barely thinking, Ruth and Jenny simply turned off their Game Boys without removing the cards. They left instantly to go into battle, having absolutely having no idea of what was going on inside the Game Boys.
Psycho Pink fell on her knees, with small explosions coming out of her chest. “Those Spices are getting pretty tough,” she weakly said. Finally, the explosions stopped emerging.
Psycho Blue paced and sighed in frustration. “Sometimes I wonder why they can’t pick on someone their own size.”
“Do they think we’re their toys?”
Psycho Blue exhaled loudly. “I’m not a toy; I’m a Psycho Ranger! And I’m going to destroy those Spice Club Members the easy way or the hard way!”
“Well, what are we going to do? We can’t escape, we can’t increase in size, and we can’t call on our weapons. With nothing on our sides, we can’t stand a chance against those blasters! And this is all Magic Spice’s fault!”
“I have an idea.” He leaned to Psycho Pink and began to whisper in her ear.
Inside the other Game Boy, Psychos Black and Yellow were having a similar conversation. Psycho Yellow knew that none of the Psychos could be able to handle this much longer, no matter how many in a game there are at a time.
About half an hour later, the Rangers and several of the Spices came back with victory. But Carlos was bummed, and Jenny was injured.
“Are you sure you’re okay, Jenny,” Andros asked.
“I’m positive, Andros. It’ll take more than a minor blow on the shoulder to slow me down.”
“But that blow was made by Carlos,” Spinal pointed out.
“Shhh,” Ruth quickly said, covering Spinal’s mouth. Then, she looked at Carlos. He obviously felt depressed, but it seems that he didn’t hear Spinal. Ruth removed her hand from Spinal and walked to Carlos.
“It’s all right, Carlos. You didn’t know that it was going to happen. LizWizard can get into a lot of sneaky tricks. Jenny’s all right. No one’s mad at you.”
“I’m mad at me,” he whispered.
“All the more reason to talk to us, Carlos. You can’t let one simple mistake get you down. No one’s born perfect.”
“I should have known better.”
“Carlos, don’t feel so guilty. You had no idea that this would happen.”
Carlos walked out of the room, not wanting anyone to talk to him. Then, Deca gave a small buzzer instead of the alarms, deciding against bothering Carlos. “LizWizard is on the loose.”
Ruth looked at Andros. “Let me do this, Andros. Maybe I can be able to cheer up Carlos by defeating him. I can do it by myself.”
“I don’t know. I don’t like the sound of that idea,” Zhane said.
“I’ll be okay. All I need are my daggers, hidden at sheaths against my legs, and my bow and arrows. I can do this.”
Ruth quickly rushed out of the room after Andros gave his approval. While Ruth was gone, Jenny decided to kill some time by going against all the male Psychos.
Ruth, along with the Rangers, arrived in victory some time later. And this time, Carlos didn’t feel so depressed. When LizWizard has captured Ruth via wrist, Carlos arrived and did similar to what he did to Jenny. But this time, he didn’t make the same mistake twice. Then the others came with the QuadroBlaster.
After congratulating him, Ruth went to Jenny’s room, where she was still battling against the male Psychos. “Hey, Jenny. How’s the game going?” Jenny paused the game and smiled at Ruth, who was surprised. “I didn’t know you could do that.”
“Pause the game.”
“Oh, I found that out while you were gone. Unfortunately, the Psychos are still walking and talking. It’s just that the “Start” button, which makes the pause, tells them that I’m giving them a break. It’s no fun to battle against an enemy just once.”
“Do you want to play? I need to get to the infirmary and check on my shoulder.”
“Sure.” Jenny left a few moments after that, and Ruth picked up the Game Boy.
Psycho Blue was on his knees, trying desperately to endure the battle Jenny played against him. Psycho Black wasn’t doing very well, either, but at least he and Psycho Red were standing up. But Ruth didn’t remember a scenery in the game.
“Wait a minute,” she said. “I don’t recall creating scenery in this game.”
If Psycho Red had facial expressions that Ruth could see, he would have given an evil smile. “That was our own creation,” he said. “We decided to go with our way for a little while. The scenery you see is just part of what ideas the other Psychos gave.”
“Sure, but I don’t see how that will help you,” Ruth said.
“That’s because you haven’t started the game.”
“Okay, if you insist. But I’m going to have a replacement for Psycho Blue. He looks a little beat up and I love new challenges.” She removed the data card of Psycho Blue, and he disappeared instantly. Ruth walked to the dresser and picked up a different card. She placed in the new card and got Psycho Yellow. Ruth resumed the game and started playing.
At first, the game started out ordinarily. Ruth realized that the trees in the scenery were there to protect them. When a blast would hit the tree, only the tree was destroyed, the Psycho didn’t. After a while, Psycho Red decided to put his part of the plan into action.
He thrust out his right hand, making a red beam come right out of the Game Boy! It hit Ruth, and somehow, she was pulled right into the game!
Ruth landed on the ground. For a moment, she had no idea where she was. As she looked around, she knew that she was in a world with no color, just black, white, and different shades of gray. When she looked up, she saw the Psychos.
Now she realized where she was: inside the game that she created! She instantly got up, and began attacking her opponents...
Jenny met up with some of the others on the bridge. She was definitely improving, although she was not injured badly. Hanim turned to Jenny. “Have you seen Ruth,” she asked. “I want to show her something.”
“Last I knew, she was in my room.”
Andros turned to Deca. “Deca, where is Ruth?”
“Ruth has been captured inside an invention called a Game Boy.”
Jenny gasped. “Oh no! Not the Psycho Rangers!” She ran out from the bridge and into her room. The Rangers followed her in confusion.
“What does she mean ‘the Psycho Rangers’? I thought they were turned into data cards,” Cassie asked. T. J. shrugged his shoulders.
When they arrived at Jenny’s empty room, Jenny looked around for the Game Boy. She found it on the floor, where Ruth dropped it when she got pulled in. She picked it up just in time to see Ruth getting up from the ground.
Barely anything happened between the time Ruth realized she was in the Game Boy and the others arriving in the room. Quietly, Jenny pushed the controls to aim at the head of Psycho Black, as he boasted, “Come on! Let’s finish the job!”
“Bring it on, you Psychos,” Ruth shouted.
Psychos Yellow and Red ran to either side of Ruth, and grabbed her at the shoulders. Ruth tried to struggle free, but with no success.
“We’ve got her,” Psycho Yellow shouted. “The one responsible for this game!”
“Now, Psycho Black,” Psycho Red ordered.
“With pleasure,” he responded. But before he could do anything, Jenny began firing at him. With only a few seconds to continue the shooting correctly, after she shot Psycho Black, she aimed at Psychos Yellow and Red. She fired and hit them. They released Ruth, unharmed.
With a combination of a blast from Jenny’s controls and Ruth’s magical jewelry, they managed to defeat the Psychos, only by making them even more tired than ever before. Ruth used this as a distraction to escape. Using a move she learned from Marvin, she made herself invisible.
While everyone, including her friends, were wondering where she went, she created a power beam similar to Psycho Red’s. Instead of pulling her in, however, this beam pushed her out. And even out, she was invisible. So Ruth snuck up on Carlos, made herself visible, and asked, “What’s so interesting?”
The question scared everyone, but the fright soon turned into laughter. Jenny removed the Psycho data cards and in her artifact collection. “I thought that silly ideas would come out from this one, but the game was good while it lasted,” she said.
“You mean you don’t want to play it anymore,” Ruth asked. “Where’s your sense of adventure?”
Jenny laughed. “Who said I wasn’t going to play it anymore? I just said that the game was good. Of course, we’ll play it again, but when we learn moves that they don’t know about.”
So, even games can pose a danger to people. Getting hooked on games is not a good idea, even though not every game will turn against them. A new lesson has been learned.