Jenny’s heart was pounding. She breathed heavily to contain it within her chest. Her eyes were wide as she stared at the black hole. “Oh my God......” She had never been so frightened since her past life. “Oh my God.....”
The others weren’t much better off. They, too, stared at the screen, their eyes open wide.
Suddenly, there was a thudding noise causing the entire ship to tip, throwing everyone off balance. The lights went off for a second, then flickered back on.
“What was that!?” Spinal questioned.
“The ship’s being bombarded with objects that are being sucked into the black hole with us!” Ashley told him.
A large asteroid slammed into the ship, having the same effect as the first object. The Spices lost total balance and fell to the floor. They were quickly back on their feet.
“I’m scared!” Hallie cried, her arms around her sister’s waist.
“Me, too,” Jenny admitted.
Suddenly, the ship was damaged by another asteroid. The ground once again shook violently, throwing the Spices to the floor. Hallie landed near Spinal. When the lights went out, they didn’t come back on. The room was completely dark except for the comets that zoomed past them into the emptiness of the black hole.
“What!? The lights went out!” Ruth cried.
“But what’s that light out there?” Spinal asked.
“It’s just light,” Hallie replied. “The gravity of the black hole is so great, not even light can escape!”
“That’s it!” Spinal cried. “We’re goners! We’re through, dead, kaput!!”
“All right, ladies and gentlemen!” the Cryptkeeper announced. “For old times sake, START SCREAMING!!!!”
“I like that idea!” Spinal told him.
The Spices (except Jenny) began to scream. Sure, it wouldn’t get them away from the black hole, but what else could they do? Jenny and the Rangers still stared at the screen as the black hole got nearer and nearer. The light from the comets outside made it look like they were in the middle of a severe lightning storm. Finally, with a jerk, the black hole sucked the Astro Megaship into the center.
In the Dark Fortress, Ecliptor pressed some buttons on the control panel. He sensed that something had happened to the Astro Megaship.
“Hmm.....the Astro Megaship has mysteriously vanished from our scanners,” he reported.
Astronema entered the room and looked at the readings. “How did it happen?”
“I don’t know. Perhaps the Rangers took off in hyper rush velocity.”
“That will pose another problem,” Ecliptor said. “Their direction is unknown.”
The doors to the control room slid open and Darkonda walked in proudly. “Aww.....have we lost the Rangers?” he whined.
“None of your business,” Ecliptor responded abruptly.
Without warning, Dark Specter appeared on their monitor. “Astronema!”
Astronema looked up. “Dark Specter.....how may we serve you?”
“I am aware of the fate of the Astro Megaship,” Dark Specter said. “It has been sucked into a black hole.”
The villains gasped. Astronema smiled.
“That’s wonderful,” she said. “The Rangers and Spices are destroyed once and for all.”
“No,” Dark Specter corrected. “This particular black hole is a portal to a lost universe. The Rangers and Spices live.”
“Then we’re free to conquer this universe!”
“That is not my main concern. I am sending you the coordinates to the black hole now.”
Astronema looked down at the controls and read the coordinates. Then she looked up at her master. “Why?”
“You are to travel through the black hole and hunt down our enemies,” Dark Specter said. “The Rangers and Spices must not be allowed to survive, particularly your daughter Tonfa Spice.”
For one of the few times in her existance, Astronema expressed mild fear. “Are you sure, Dark Specter?”
“YES!!!” Dark Specter boomed. “You must travel to the lost universe and destroy that bitch!”
Astronema paused for a moment. “As you wish, Dark Specter,” she finally said. “Darkonda, set a course to......”
She turned to where Darkonda had been standing. The bounty hunter was gone.
“I’ll set the course, my princess,” Ecliptor offered.
He pressed the buttons on the controls, and the Dark Fortress shot across space in a trail of green light.
Where had Darkonda gone? He had snuck over to the storage area and stolen one of the Velocifighters. Nothing was going to stop him from pursuing his wife. His love was in danger, and Darkonda would not rest until he was reunited with her. Now that he had the coordinates, he wasted no time. He rushed to the black hole and hyper rush speed and willingly flew into it.
The Dark Fortress was also ready to travel through the black hole.
“The Dark Fortress is ready to go,” Ecliptor said. “On your command......”
Astronema stared blankly at the black hole on the screen. She took a deep breath. “Proceed.”
Ecliptor pressed the button, and the Dark Fortress slowly began to move towards the black hole. However, the gravitational pull caused it to move faster. Like the Megaship, the Dark Fortress was struck by other objects. Finally, the Dark Fortress went into the black hole......
Chapter 2: Awakening
On an empty, sunny planet in space, the Astro Megaship lay on the ground. The planet was peaceful, but it looked so much like an Earth desert, with very little grass and/or bushes. Even the bushes seemed dead. The Megaship was the only thing that had apparently disturbed its peace. But what was going on inside the Megaship?
The pain in Jenny’s throbbing head brought her back to consciousness. She was lying on the floor in the center of the bridge. She sat up, clutching her head, but suddenly felt water-headed, so she lay back down. She did manage to notice that the Rangers and Spices were lying about here and there, still unconscious. She saw a pair of legs standing next to her. Recognizing the Rangers’ space uniforms and knowing their positions, Jenny knew that it could only be Andros.
Jenny stood up and took a closer look. Andros was merely draped over the controls in front of him, also unconscious. Jenny checked his pulse; he appeared to be alive. She tried to wake him up.
But Andros didn’t wake up. Jenny checked the other Rangers’ pulse and tried to rouse them, but they wouldn’t wake up either. Maybe she should try to wake up one of the other Spices. She tried to wake up the Cryptkeeper, but he wouldn’t wake up either.
Now Jenny became aware of her surroundings. The lights of the Megaship were still out; not even the computer controls glowed. The only thing lighting up the bridge was the sunny environment in the visual.
“What happened?” she asked herself. “I could’ve sworn that we were just sucked through a black hole. But how did we survive?”
She cautiously walked out of the bridge towards the ship’s exit.
After passing through the black hole, the Dark Fortress somehow managed to remain floating around in space. Astronema and Ecliptor stood still.
“We have successfully traveled through the black hole,” Ecliptor reported.
“Excellent. Now let’s track down the Megaship,” Astronema said.
“As you command.” Ecliptor pressed a some buttons on the terminal again, and soon came up with a new report. “The Megaship’s energy readings are completely gone.”
“It must have crashed somewhere. All we have to do is search the planets for it. Start with that planet down there.”
The Dark Fortress began its long search......
The door of the Astro Megaship slid upward, and Jenny cautiously walked down the ramp. When she reached the bottom, she stared at the ground as if it contained some sort of trap. After a minute, she finally stepped off the ramp and onto the ground of this strange new planet. Jenny looked around. This planet was so much like Earth; she began to wonder.
“What happened?” she asked herself again. “A dream? No.....then why were we unconscious? How did the Megaship crash? Was that really a black hole?”
Jenny slowly walked around the Megaship to explore her new surroundings. However, she saw no sign of life. Everything looked dead as a doorknob.
“Perhaps there is some sort of living thing,” she thought, trying to stay positive. “I’ll just have to search farther. As long as I don’t wander too far from the Megaship, I should be fine.”
Once again slowly and cautiously, Jenny began to walk away from the Megaship......
“Oooh.....ouch.....” Spinal woke up slowly. Since he had been out for quite some time, it didn’t take long for his senses to return. He was on the floor at the edge of the bridge. He looked around and saw that the others were also beginning to wake up. They all looked around in confusion.
“What happened?” Hallie asked. “Where are we?”
“I don’t know,” Zhane said. “The last thing I remember, we were being sucked into a black hole.”
“And now it looks like we’re on Earth,” Cassie added.
“It can’t be Earth,” Carlos said. “We really were sucked into a black hole!”
“But how did we survive?” Ashley asked.
“Who cares? The important thing is that we did,” the Cryptkeeper said.
“How long were we out?” Spinal asked. “Because I feel like I haven’t seen you guys in 3,000 years.”
“I have the same feeling, but I know it hasn’t been that long,” the Cryptkeeper said. “If it has, the Rangers would be dead.”
“Don’t you scare me like that,” Ruth said.
“But how long as he been?” Carlos asked.
Andros looked around suddenly. “Hey.....wasn’t Jenny in here with us when we got sucked into the black hole?”
Everyone else looked around and were stunned to notice Jeny missing.
“Yeah, she was,” Spinal said. “She must have come around before we did......”
“And snuck out,” the Cryptkeeper finished for him. “The nerve of that woman; she really ought to stop doing that.”
“Why does she do that, anyway?” Zhane asked.
The Spices shrugged.
“She likes to keep a low profile,” Hallie explained. “A leader must remain mysterious.”
“There you have it, folks, live from CNDY, all Spice radio,” the Cryptkeeper announced.
“You guys have known her for five years at least,” T.J. said.
“Hey, you could be her friend for 3,000 years and still not know anything about her,” the Cryptkeeper told him.
“Don’t you think we ought to find her?” Ashley asked.
“Yes, I do.”
Meanwhile, Spinal was checking on Fulgore, who hadn’t awakened yet.
“We need to fix Fulgore,” he said. “He needs help to get running again. It shouldn’t take too long.”
Hanim, Marvin, and Lexington then came onto the bridge.
“Does anyone have any clue what happened?” Hanim asked. “All I remember is that the lights went out suddenly, and the next thing I know, we were waking up.”
“You don’t want to know,” Spinal said.
“Yes, I do,” Hanim said. “Give it to me straight. I can take it.”
The Cryptkeeper made his way over to her. “Okay.” He took a deep breath and dropped the news. “We’ve been sucked into a black hole.”
“WHAT?!?!?” Hanim, Marvin, and Lex screamed in unison.
“Yeah, what he said,” Spinal said, to confirm the report. “But can we please worry about fixing Fulgore and finding Jenny?”
“Jenny? Is she missing?” Hanim asked.
“Yeah, she’s missing......again,” C.K. told her. “Let’s get the show on the road.”
“What road?” Hallie asked, taking a peek at the monitor as everyone left the bridge carrying Fulgore’s lifeless body.
Meanwhile, Jenny was out exploring the planet. Still, she found no sign of anything helpful. She concentrated on the feeling of her hair as it flew in the direction of the cool, crisp breeze. She pulled out a small device, pressed a few buttons on it, and held it in front of her. The device began to beep as she rotated it around her. When she held it in the opposite direction, it began to beep faster. That could only mean one thing......a living thing.
Jenny went up the hill and hid behind a boulder to observe this living thing. She was shocked by what she saw.
These Power Rangers weren’t the same Rangers that Jenny was familiar with. There was no Black Ranger; there was a green one instead. The chests of their costumes were white with a black horizontal zigzag line. These Rangers were riding brown horses. Suddenly, the Blue Ranger stopped and looked in Jenny’s direction.
Jenny gasped. “Damn.....they spotted me!” She went back down the hill and looked for a place to hide, but the field was just too empty.
“What is it?” the Red Ranger asked.
“I thought I saw someone over there,” the Blue Ranger said.
“Are you sure?” the Pink Ranger asked. “I don’t see anything.”
Suddenly, a group of dark-green, bee-like creatures appeared surrounding the new Rangers. They had swords protruding from their right forearms.
“Stingwingers!” the Yellow Ranger cried.
“We don’t have time to find out what it was now,” the Red Ranger said. “Let’s go galactic!”
They hopped off their horses and began to battle the Stingwingers.
At the bottom of the hill, Jenny heard the Rangers’ battle cries. Curious, she ran back up to see the fight. She gasped.
“There’s another good versus evil fight here,” she told herself. “Well, I’m not going to get involved......at least.....not without the others......”
As soon as she spoke, something seized her roughly from behind. When she turned, she saw that it was more of those Stingwingers. Jenny quickly broke free, then ran down the hill and turned around to face her new foes.
The Stingwingers attacked. Jenny produced a sword and fought them valiantly. As far as their physical attacks were, they were martial arts-like. However, their skills were greater than Jenny’s previous foes. Jenny attempted to punch two Stingwingers who were on either side of her, but they grabbed her wrists and pulled them back as they both punched her in the stomach simultaneously. When they released her, she got out from between them. She blocked an overhead attack, then struck her attacker’s chest with the sword. Then another Stingwinger jump-kicked her from behind. Jenny quickly got up and growled at her foes. One of the giant bees pointed its finger at her and fired a thick, slimy claw. It struck her knuckle; she cried out in pain as she dropped the sword. Jenny held her hand, gasping. The claw turned out to be some sort of stinger, and it was extremely painful. Jenny picked up the sword and let it vanish. Two Stingwingers raced at her, but she jump-kicked them both. Another attempted a punch to the face, but Jenny blocked it, gave it several jabs to the chest, then threw a fierce punch to its face, knocking it to the ground. Suddenly, a stinger struck Jenny in the right shoulder and her left thigh. She cried out again as she fell to the ground. She held her new wounds, groaning in agony. She felt the wounds go painfully numb. Two Stingwingers seized her by the arms and pulled her roughly to her feet. Jenny knew that the pain was no reason to give up. Yelling loudly to bear the pain, she jammed her elbow into one Stingwinger’s stomach, freeing that arm. Then she brought the same elbow down sharply on the top of its head. Then she spun around, freeing her other arm, and she caught the other Stingwinger with a side kick.
Meanwhile, the strange new Power Rangers defeated their group of attackers. When they calmed down, they heard Jenny’s battle cries from over the hill.
“What’s that?” the Green Ranger asked.
“Only one way to find out,” the Red Ranger responded.
They ran to the top of the hill to see Jenny surrounded by the Stingwingers, fighting them off as they attacked.
“Hey, that’s what I saw earlier!” the Blue Ranger exclaimed to the others. “Hang on; we’ll save you!”
The new Rangers ran to Jenny’s rescue.
Jenny pinned a Stingwinger over, then back-kicked another who was attacking from behind. Then she kicked the creature she held, knocking it to the ground.
The Blue Ranger fought his way over to Jenny and grabbed her shoulder. “Hey, are you okay?”
With a grunt, Jenny spun around, pulling her fist back for a punch. Luckily, she quickly realized who it was and and jumped back with a shriek. She continued to back off, gasping.
“It’s okay, we’re here to help you,” the Blue Ranger assured her. “Please don’t be afraid.”
Suddenly, a Stingwinger grabbed his shoulder. The Blue Ranger turned and fought the bee. Jenny seized the opportunity to flee while several Stingwingers ran after her......
Meanwhile, Marvin and Lexington were getting Fulgore back to life. As Spinal predicted, it didn’t take very long. Fulgore’s eyes and claws began to glow, and the cyborg sat up.
“Whoa.....what happened?” he asked.
“We were sucked into a black hole,” Spinal told him.
“Right now, we’re trying to figure out how long we’ve been out,” Carlos said.
“Hmm......” Fulgore touched his head. “According to my internal clock, we were out for three weeks.”
“Three weeks!?” the Rangers cried simultaneously.
“Three weeks,” Fulgore repeated.
“Well, now that Fulgore’s back, we still have to find Jenny,” the Cryptkeeper said.
“Jenny? What happened to her?” Fulgore asked.
“Oh, she snuck off again,” Spinal said. “Nothing we haven’t heard before.”
“Well, we can always contact her,” C.K. said, opening up his ring. “Jenny, come in. Do you read me?”
Spinal snuck out of the room without a trace. He walked down the empty halls, which looked darker than usual without the lights. He happened upon Ruth’s bedroom, where her lamp was flickering on and off. Spinal noticed two cradles resting side by side on the bed, so he walked in to investigate.
Inside the cradles lay Ruth’s children. Spinal looked down at the infants, his eyes glowing softly. The babies were motionless. A cold chill ran up Spinal’s backbone as he asked himself the following question:
“Are they asleep.....or dead?”
Spinal slowly reached in and gently tapped the babies’ fingers. They began to move, emitting their baby noises. Spinal chuckled softly as he sighed with relief. He had never felt so warm.
“Aww.....aren’t you a couple of little darlings?” he whispered.
The children opened their eyes, looked up at Spinal.....and started bawling, frightened by his skeletal appearance. Spinal was frightened by their crying. He staggered backwards, holding his hands up as if cops were pointing their pistols at him.
“Okay, I can take a hint!” he stammered as if the twins could understand him. “Don’t shoot me, please! Ruth!!”
He staggered back out into the hall.
Jenny was still on the run from the Stingwingers. It felt weird to be running on one numb leg. Fortunately, Jenny discovered a large bush and quickly ran behind it. Three Stingwingers then surrounded her. She repeatedly kicked them all until they gave up and retreated. Jenny then performed a feeble victory dance.
“It’s moments like this that make me proud to be a warrior,” she thought.
Again, Jenny succumbed to the piercing numbness of her body. She dropped to her hands and knees, groaning in agony. Then she noticed her ring flashing, so she stood up and answered.
“Hello?” she asked, breathing heavily.
“Jenny!” the Cryptkeeper said. “We were wondering what happened to you.”
Jenny looked around and come to a horrifying realization. She had wandered too far from the Megaship. She was lost.
“I was just doing some exploring,” she said. “This is one crazy planet. I need to warn you guys; there’s another war between good and evil here.”
“Really? What’s going on?” Carlos asked.
“These giant bees just tried to kill me!”
“Ouch.....are you okay?” Zhane asked.
“I’m okay,” Jenny told him. “I managed to fight them off. And you guys won’t believe what else I found.”
“What did you find?” Spinal asked.
“I found another team of Power Rangers.”
“Power Rangers?” T.J. cried in astonishment. “Are you sure?”
“Of course. There were five of them, each a different color. The black one is replaced with a green one. They wanted to help me, but I ran away.”
“Perhaps you should’ve just accepted their help,” the Cryptkeeper said.
“I wasn’t sure if they could be trusted,” Jenny admitted. “I’ve stayed alive because I don’t trust anyone.”
“Maybe you should come back now,” Fulgore said.
“I can’t,” Jenny told him. “I’m......I’m lost.”
“You’re lost!?” Hallie cried.
“And with the entire Megaship dead, you can’t teleport back here either,” the Cryptkeeper said.
“I’ll keep looking,” Jenny said. “In nothing but an empty field, the Megaship can’t be that hard to find.”
“Are you going to be okay?” Ashley asked.
“Oh yeah, don’t worry about me,” Jenny assured her friends. “I’ll be fine out here......all alone.....in the middle of nowhere.”
“In the meantime, we’ll come out and find you,” Cassie said.
“Don’t,” Jenny said abruptly. “You’ll only end up lost, too. Besides, you don’t want to encounter what I’ve found.”
“Good point,” Fulgore said. “In that case, we’ll begin repairs on the Megaship. Good luck.”
“Thanks. I’ll see you guys soon.....I hope.” Jenny closed her ring and looked around. “Well, I’d better get moving. I won’t find the Megaship by standing around here.”
However, before she could begin her search, a yellow gas began
through from behind the bush. Jenny threw her arms over her face to
protect herself. She emitted a pitiful groan as her eyelids closed, and
her body collapsed limply to the ground.