Disclaimer: PRiS and PRLG belong to Saban. Since this story focuses on Spinal, I'll say that Spinal belongs to Rare.
"Calm down, Spinal," Deca assured him. "You were only dreaming."
"It was horrible!" Spinal cried. "All these wolves just lashing their teeth out at me! They were eating me! Please don't let them get me, please!"
"It was only a dream," Deca reminded him. "Perhaps you should join the others and talk with them."
Spinal sighed. "That sounds like a good idea." He started to stand, but hit his head on the upper bunk. "Ow.....help."
He looked up, then started towards the dining room. Hanim was teaching Arbin how to use a fishing rod.
"Batter, batter, batter, swing!" Fulgore called as Arbin practiced the castoff.
Spinal walked into the dining room with a pitiful groan. He sat down at the table and buried his face in his hands.
"What's wrong, Spinal?" C.C. asked.
"I had a nightmare," Spinal sobbed. "These wolves were eating me. I was so scared."
"Shh....." C.C. gently placed her hand on his shoulder. "We're here for you. If you want to talk about it, we'll listen."
Suddenly, Spinal felt a cold, heavy hand on his other shoulder. Spinal looked up to see Fulgore standing over him.
"What's this I hear?" he asked. "Is my little friend troubled? Well, don't worry, little one. Your pal Fulgore will cheer you up."
"Uh, no thanks," Spinal said. "I'll be okay."
"Oh nonsense." Fulgore grabbed Spinal, pulled him out of his chair, and began to drag him out of the room.
"No! Fulgore, please let me go!" Spinal cried. "Guys, help me!"
"Come on, Gazelle; I'll demonstrate what I was talking about," Fulgore called.
Gazelle followed Fulgore.
"C.C., please help me," Spinal pleaded.
C.C. could only stare helplessly.
"Oh, do stop struggling, Spinal," Fulgore said.
"Why?" Spinal asked. "I don't like being tortured. I never have, and I never will!"
"Spinal, don't you see?" Fulgore went on. "All the torture is for your benefit. It has made you strong in battle. You can take what the monsters dish out as a result. So come on."
Fulgore picked up Spinal and draped him over his shoulder, making it impossible for Spinal to escape. Fulgore carried him down the hall as Gazelle followed. They went to the Simudeck, where Fulgore created the simulation of a dungeon.
"Okay, hold him, Gazelle," Fulgore said as he dropped Spinal to the floor. Gazelle pinned him down before he could react.
"Hey! Get off me!" Spinal demanded.
"Ah, there we go!" Fulgore said, pointing to a stretch rack.
He grabbed Spinal, placed him on the rack, and secured him tightly.
"Now I'll just get some oatmeal," Fulgore went on. "Guard him, Gazelle." He left the room to get a few......supplies.
"Gazelle, please help me," Spinal said.
"Sorry, Spinal," Gazelle replied. "I'm rather interested in what Fulgore has planned for you."
Fulgore returned a minute later with a bowl of oatmeal and other condiments. He smeared the oatmeal all over Spinal's quivering body, then topped him with brown sugar, spice, bird seed, and bread crumbs.
"What's this all about?" Gazelle asked.
"Oh, you'll see," Fulgore told him.
Just then, Ruth's eagle Feather flew in. "Is that lunch I see?" she asked.
She landed on Spinal's ribcage and began nibbling all the food off. Spinal groaned uncomfortably.
"Hey, stop picking on me!" he screamed.
As Feather continued to nibble on Spinal, Ruth and Carlos came in.
"Hey, we're gonna go fishing," Ruth said. "You want to come?"
"Sure, we'll come," Fulgore said. "Let's go, Gazelle."
Then ran out of the room as Ruth followed.
"No, wait!" Spinal cried. "Don't leave me like this! Carlos!"
Carlos paused and approached him. Fulgore came back into the Simudeck.
"No, Carlos, just leave him," he said. "We're not done with him yet."
"You can't just leave him!" Carlos called.
Without another word, Fulgore left the room again. Carlos stood over Spinal.
"Carlos, please....." Spinal pleaded. "Please let me off this thing."
Carlos pondered for a moment. "Well, I can't just leave you here, so I might as well free you."
With that, he unchained Spinal from the stretch rack, and they went into the dining room.
"No, I can't go," Maya told the other Galaxy Rangers. "I can't stand seeing those poor fish on a hook."
"Well, that's fine," Damon said. "Spinal, what in blazes happened to you!?"
Spinal, still covered in oatmeal and other condiments, sat next to Maya. "You don't want to know," he sobbed. "I need to get cleaned up."
He went into the kitchen and wiped himself off. "I think I'll stay behind with Maya."
"No, that's okay," Maya said. "I'll be fine here alone."
"I really want to stay," Spinal told her.
"Just go on. Have fun."
"Well, if you insist....."
"Of course we insist!" Fulgore grabbed Spinal's feet and dragged him along the floor.
"Help....." Spinal whined.
The Rangers and Spices left for their trip. They went to a pier overlooking a large lake.
"Okay, remember what I showed you," Hanim said to Arbin.
"Got it. Just toss it out....." Arbin performed the castoff, but his hand came off. The hand and the fishing rod flew into the water.
"I'll get it!" Hanim called as she jumped into the water.
While Hanim fetched Arbin's missing hand, Spinal performed his own castoff. He swung the rod out, but lost his balance and fell into the water. Since he lacked the ability to swim or even float, Fulgore dove in after him. Seconds later, Fulgore emerged from the water with Spinal. Together, they climbed back onto the wooden dock.
"Spinal, you have no idea how lucky you are to have me around," Fulgore said.
"Ha ha," Spinal muttered sarcastically.
"Stingwingers!" Kendrix called out of nowhere.
Fulgore and Spinal jumped to their feet. Arbin screwed his hand back on and took his basic fighting stance. The Spices and Rangers clashed into battle with the Stingwingers. The Spices' basic strategy was simply knocking the giant insects into the water. That proved to be a bad idea when one of the Stingwingers knocked Spinal into the water, and the other Wingers started grabbing him.
"Guys! Help!" he screamed. "Fulgore! Leo! T.J.!"
Fulgore rushed to the rescue, but the Stingwingers pulled him underwater. Fulgore dove in and took Spinal's wrist. The Stingwingers, however, wouldn't let go. They fired their lasers at
Fulgore, causing him to lose his grip on Spinal. Still, Fulgore swam after them again, but the Stingwingers disappeared with Spinal.
Seeing this, Fulgore swam back to the dock. The Stingwingers there were gone as well.
"What was that all about?" Ashley asked.
Jenny shrugged. "Is everyone okay?"
"They took Spinal," Fulgore announced.
"Say what?" C.C. cried.
"They took Spinal," Fulgore repeated. "Scorpius is holding him captive."
C.C. grabbed Fulgore. "Come on, we have to find him!"
"But why would Scorpius want Spinal?" Leo asked.
"I don't think it's Scorpius who wants him," Jenny told him.
"It's our other enemy." "Astronema!" the other Spices cried in unison.
"Of course!" C.C. went on. "It's been a while since Astronema picked on him. Oooh, if she hurts him in any way, I'm gonna open up a can of beat down....."
"I don't think that Astronema is going to hurt Spinal," Fulgore said.
"After all, she is in love with him," Jenny added. "Why would she hurt him?"
"Last one back to the ship is a rotten egg!" Fulgore called, teleporting away.
"Hey! Get back here, gearhead!" Pico screamed.
The heroes teleported straight to the bridge to track down Spinal. Maya followed, looking confused.
"What's going on?" she asked.
"The Stingwingers......they kidnapped Spinal," Carlos told her.
"I can't get a lock on his ring," Cassie said.
"That means that he can only be in one place....." Leo said. "The Scorpion Stinger......"
Spinal woke up with a groan. He immediately recognized his surroundings as those of the Scorpion Stinger. He sat up and then realized that his wrists were handcuffed behind him. His ankles were also bound together with chains.
"Help....." he mumbled as he lay back on the floor.
He saw Treacheron peek into the room, then leave. Spinal knew what this meant. Astronema must have ordered Treacheron to inform her when Spinal had awakened. Not wanting to face whatever Astronema had planned, he struggled to get his wrists free, but the handcuffs held them tightly.
"Spinal?" a voice called sweetly.
Spinal looked up to see Astronema standing in the doorway. "Oh no....." He scooted back as far as he could as Astronema knelt down beside him. At this point, Spinal was too overwhelmed to move.
"It's been a while, hasn't it?" Astronema asked. "I hope you enjoyed your little vacation from me. Fortunately for me, I'll be taking care of you from now until the end of time."
"That's not what I need," Spinal said. "I can take care of myself."
Astronema rubbed his skull. "But you're a little tied up at the moment, Spinal."
"I still don't need you taking care of me," Spinal said. "I don't need to be fed or anything."
"That's exactly what makes you so perfect for me," Astronema told him. "I can spend more time doing what's really important.......playing with you."
She threw her arms around Spinal, caressing his ribcage.
"Help....." Spinal whined.
While Astronema fondled with Spinal, Scorpius and the other minions plotted yet again to eliminate the other heroes.
"We have Terra Venture on the viewing screen," Treacheron announced. "And our sensors have tracked down a lone Spice member near a lake."
The viewing screen then showed the lake where Pico was working on a large laser weapon. Trakeena gasped with a grin.
"Pico!" she gushed. "Oh, can I get him, Father?"
"Who is this Pico?" Scorpius asked.
"He's my dreamboat," Trakeena sighed. "Please let me have him, Father. He's alone and vulnerable."
"Trakeena....." Ecliptor said. "Pico is a warrior; he could harm you. Perhaps you should at least take a few Stingwingers along."
"An excellent suggestion, Ecliptor," Scorpius said. "Bring him back here so that I may have a better look at him."
"Certainly, Father," Trakeena said. "He's so cute!"
She left the Scorpion Stinger with four Stingwingers.
Astronema entered the room carrying Spinal in her arms. She sat down in her throne next to Scorpius.
"So you let Trakeena go after Pico, eh?" she asked.
"What my sweet Trakeena wants, she gets," Scorpius told her.
"Great," Spinal spat, looking directly at Astronema. "Now do us all a favor and let me go!"
Astronema just giggled and held him even tighter. She continued to cuddle him like a pet.
Meanwhile, Pico was having a little trouble with his laser device by the lake.
"Drat! These computers are so naughty and so complex! I could rip 'em out!" he cursed to himself.
"Hello, Pico!" Trakeena called.
Pico just shot her a sour glance and returned to the laser. Trakeena walked toward him. "I'm coming for you, Pico," she said.
Pico paused again. "You've got to be kidding," he said flatly.
"No, Pico; the only thing I've got to be is by your side," Trakeena responded.
"I don't date bugs, I eat them. Now back off before I have you for desert!"
"Oh, you wouldn't eat me, Pico. I'm far too beautiful."
"Fly, fly away!" Pico ordered.
"Oh, to be a fly on the wall of your life....." Trakeena sighed, moving even closer.
Pico shot her a finger. "Lookie here," he growled. "I asked you to go away."
"I can't go away," Trakeena said. "My father Scorpius wants to have a look at you. I want to show him just how cute you are."
"Blech!" Pico exclaimed. He spit a wad of green venom to the side that burned a hole in the ground. "What gave you the idea that I was cute?"
"Just look at your face!" Trakeena cried, taking Pico's chin so that she could look into his eyes.
Pico moved away. "Hands off!"
"And I love that red turtle shell of yours." Trakeena rubbed his shell.
"I said don't touch me!" Pico snarled.
Trakeena gave an exasperated sigh. "Oh, come on, Pico. Don't be like this. Won't you come back to the Scorpion Stinger with me? We'll be really happy together. Think about it."
Pico grumbled to himself as he thought about it. Luckily, a plan entered his mind. "Wait a minute. Is Spinal being held captive there?"
"Yes. Astronema is cuddling him like there's no tomorrow."
"On second thought, maybe I would like to see the Scorpion Stinger."
*Jenny would kill me if she saw this,* Pico thought.
Trakeena held out her hand. Pico grasped it and they both disappeared, leaving the giant laser weapon by the lake.
"What!?" Kendrix cried. "How could Pico just give in to her like that!?"
Jenny snapped her fingers. "Of course! Pico's infiltrating the Scorpion Stinger. All he has to do is distract Scorpius' lackeys and free Spinal. I'm sure he really does hate Trakeena."
"That can be one advantage to having a bad guy fall in love with you," Fulgore said. "They fall for your tricks so easily."
"I knew we were irresistible!" Hanim cried.
"I can't stand it," Fulgore said. "I want to go to the Scorpion Stinger myself. Spinal's my old partner; I want to free him."
"Free him!?" Carlos laughed. "You're the one who keeps torturing him."
"You don't know me at all, Carlos," Fulgore snapped. "That is my way of showing affection. What do you expect me to do? French kiss him? Give him a piggy back ride?"
"The piggy back ride sounds like a better idea," Damon said.
"I'm leaving," Fulgore announced as he left the room.
"I'm sure he has a plan......" Jenny shrugged.
"I got him, Father; I got him!" Trakeena cried as she brought Pico forward.
"Hmm.....he looks evil enough," Scorpius said. "Is he trustworthy? Will he serve me?"
"Probably not," Trakeena replied. "But I can fix that. You'll be good, won't you, Pico?"
Pico stood with his arms crossed. "No."
Spinal, still stuck in Astronema's lap, looked surprised. "Pico....."
"Fix him good, Trakeena," Scorpius ordered.
Trakeena escorted Pico away. Scorpius ordered Treacheron to keep an eye on them both.
"Oh man, poor Spinal," Gazelle sighed. "I hope that Fulgore and Pico could save him."
"He's an amusing little fellow," Arbin said. "I thought I'd never meet a fellow zombie."
"I like him.....I like him a lot," Gazelle commented. "I like the way Fulgore picks on him. No wonder Astronema wanted him so badly."
"He is so sweet," C.C. jumped in. "I can't let Astronema have him."
"I hope Pico gets murdered, though," Gazelle said.
"Don't say that, Gazelle; you know that's not true," Arbin told him. "Besides, the likelihood of Pico being murdered is like a million to one."
"Don't worry," Jenny called from across the bridge. "No one can rescue Spinal like Fulgore can....."
On the Scorpion Stinger, Pico had been left alone in a room that looked like the combination of a lab and a kitchen. He didn't want to be there at all. He hated Trakeena so much, he had almost forgotten his reason for letting her bring him to Scorpius' ship in the first place. His main purpose was to free Spinal. He wanted to free Spinal and get out as soon as possible.
Pico stood in the center of the room with his always-sour facial expression and his arms crossed. He tapped his foot impatiently, waiting for either Trakeena's return, or for a plan to
come up. Then he noticed a scorpion crawling across the floor. Without hesitation, Pico picked it up and popped it into his mouth.
Seconds later, he felt a painful sting. He clamped his hand over his mouth and swallowed the scorpion quickly. But the sting on his tongue remained, and it was unbearable. Tears streaked Pico's face. He gripped a frying pan tightly......
"Treacheron! Find out what's causing all that racket!" Scorpius ordered.
"Right away, Scorpius." Treacheron took a bow and went to investigate the crashes.
Treacheron went into the kitchen/lab to find Pico swinging the frying pan back and forth, smashing everything in the room. Only a shelf in the back of the room full of chemical beakers remained intact.
"Turtle Spice!" Treacheron screamed.
Pico stopped and turned to him, still holding the pan up.
"Aren't you making a big enough mess?" Treacheron asked.
"There's only one mess I'll make in here," Pico replied. "And that is the spilling of your blood!"
He threw the pan at Treacheron, who dodged it. Then Pico took the beakers from the back shelf and threw them at him one at a time. Treacheron dodged them all, and every single beaker was shattered. Pico would have continued throwing beakers, but then realized that there were no more to throw. Treacheron laughed out loud.
"Looks like you're fresh out of beakers," he said. "What are you going to throw now?"
Pico stared at the empty shelf, then got another idea. He lifted the entire shelf and hurled it at Treacheron, who ran out of the room to avoid it. The wooden shelf smashed against the wall,
splintering to pieces. Stingwingers raced into the room to attack Pico.....
Meanwhile, Fulgore had snuck on board the Scorpion Stinger to find his partner. He activated his invisibility cloak to prevent being detected. He went straight into the throne room. Astronema still had Spinal in her lap. Fulgore waved wildly, then Astronema and Scorpius saw the distortions that his outline made.
"What is that distortion?" Scorpius asked.
Fulgore uncloaked himself. "Hello!" he called cheerfully.
"Fulgore!" Spinal cried, relieved.
Astronema stood up, letting Spinal roll out of her lap and drop to the floor. Since Spinal's wrists were chained behind him, he landed roughly on his shoulder.
"Quantrons!" Astronema screamed. "Destroy him!"
The metal creatures appeared and attacked. Fulgore fought them off fiercely.
"Look out!" Spinal cried.
Fulgore fought his way over to the defenseless skeleton warrior. "Are you okay?"
"I will be as soon as I-"
"Great! Let's get out of here!"
Fulgore picked up Spinal and jogged out of the throne room.
"Fulgore, if you'd just get these chains off, I'd be able to walk!" Spinal said.
Fulgore kept on wandering around the ship.
"Fulgore......Fulgore!!" Spinal continued to plead.
"What!?" Fulgore asked impatiently. "What about Pico?"
"Damn, that's right!" Fulgore dropped Spinal and ran off to find Pico.
"Ow.....I've got to get out of these cuffs!" Spinal told himself, squirming yet again. He was still unable to free himself. He was getting really frustrated.
"Pico!" Fulgore called.
Pico stumbled out of the kitchen/lab. "What?"
"Are you ready to bust out of here?" "Let's blow this joint!"
Fulgore and Pico started out of the Scorpion Stinger. On the way, Fulgore picked up Spinal. Fulgore used his own rocket while Pico called on his galaxy glider. Together, the three escaped from Scorpius and Astronema's clutches.
"Spinal, you're okay!" C.C. cried when they got back into Spinal's room.
"Oh.....I don't know about that, C.C.," Spinal replied, still tied up and draped across Fulgore's shoulder.
"So what happened?" Ruth asked.
"Oh, nothing much," Fulgore told her. "Astronema kept him in her lap the whole time. Quite frankly, I think that was the most hilarious thing I ever saw!"
"Oh shut up!" Spinal whined.
Fulgore carefully placed him on his feet, and C.C. threw her arms around him.
"Astronema will pay for laying her hands on you!" she vowed. "Just wait 'til I get my hands on her!"
Fulgore gripped the center of the handcuffs. "Hang on; let me get these off and we'll get back to where we were....."
"Aye-yi-yi, everybody!" Alpha cried through the communicators. "There's a Fishface monster on Terra Venture."
"Come on, let's go!" Carlos called as he ran out of the room.
"Sorry, Spinal; duty calls." Fulgore shoved Spinal away. Spinal's feet were still bound together, so he immediately fell down.
"Wait!" Spinal cried. But it was too late; everyone was gone. Spinal spoke more softly. "Don't leave me like this.....Deca.....what can I do?"
"I am in no position to help, Spinal," Deca replied. "You'll have to wait until the others return. Just relax; at least you are safe."
Spinal let out an exasperated sigh. "Help....."
"Okay, Fishface, let's get this over with!" Fulgore announced. "I've got a partner to torture!"
"I feel sorry for your partner," Fishface said. "I'm not here to make you all suffer. I'm here to end it!"
Suddenly, the monster was struck by green energy bolts. The Rangers and Spices didn't even have to wonder who it was; they knew who it was.
The hot-headed warrior marched onto the battlefield. "You and I have some unfinished business."
"Hey, you!" Jenny cried. "Get out of here; we were here first!"
"This is not your battle, girl!" Magna Defender responded. "You have no score with this monster. Magna Blaster!"
The heroes noticed some innocent citizens running by, trying to get away from the action. But Magna Defender didn't care. He fired his blaster anyway. Most of his shots flew past Fishface and headed for the innocent people.
"Hey! What the hell does he think he's doing!?" Fulgore screamed.
"We've gotta stop him!" Ruth cried.
Jenny rushed over to Magna Defender and grabbed his blaster. However, Magna Defender just shoved her aside.
Now Pico rushed over and managed to rip the Magna Blaster right from Magna Defender's grip.
"Damn it; you could've killed those people!" he growled.
"They're insignificant," Magna Defender told him.
"That's not true, and you know it," Jenny yelled. "What is your problem anyway?"
"You will never understand.....my anger."
"Anger!?" Pico laughed. "Anger???"
Gazelle laughed, too. "Looks like you could use some lessons, Magna Defender," he said. "No one handles anger as well as Pico does."
"Let me show you how to throw a real temper tantrum," Pico said. "First, you take any object you can get your hands on......like this STUPID Magna Blaster.....and slam it to the ground."
So saying, he threw the Magna Blaster on the ground.
"Then you stomp on it," Pico continued, performing the action as he spoke.
The other Spices snickered.
"And then you storm over to a nearby trash can, pick it up, and toss everything out," Pico explained, still performing the deeds as he spoke. "Then you kick all the trash around, and you can even stomp on it if you want."
Magna Defender glared at him. Suddenly, Pico bent over, supporting himself on his knees.
"And in extreme cases where you feel sick to your stomach, you just stumble over to the person you hate most......" With that, he staggered over to Fishface. "And you puke all over them!"
Then Pico threw up all over the monster. His vomit looked like a steamy green slime, like venom. Fishface let out a yell as the venom burned at him. Slowly but surely, the monster disintegrated. When it was all over, there was nothing but a glowing green puddle on the ground. Pico still held his stomach.
"And that.....my friend.....is how you throw a real temper tantrum. Not by blasting a bunch of innocent people with.....this thing." Pico handed Magna Defender his badly damaged blaster.
"Are you all right, Pico?" Arbin asked.
"I'm just sick to my stomach," Pico said. "I just ate a scorpion on the Scorpion Stinger......something I'll never do again."
"Come on, Gazelle; let's get back to where we started," Fulgore said.
"I'm with you, Fulgore," Gazelle replied.
They teleported back to the Megaship in a hurry. Spinal was still struggling to free himself, but it was just hopeless. Fulgore picked him up roughly and ripped the chains off his feet. However, Fulgore still wouldn't let him go.
"Now, where were we?" Fulgore asked in a sneaky tone. It was a tone that Spinal was all too familiar with.
"Fulgore, please....." he sobbed. "I've had enough for one day. Please let me go....."
"I will.....as soon as I finish my demonstration. We wouldn't want to disappoint our new friend, now would we?" Fulgore paused for a moment, patting Spinal as he pondered. "Hmm.....sometimes, it can be as simple as shoving him around."
With that, he shoved Spinal to Gazelle, who grabbed him.
"Now what?" Gazelle asked.
"Just shove him back to me," Fulgore told him.
So Gazelle shoved Spinal back to Fulgore. This silly game continued as the two cyborgs shoved Spinal back and forth. With his wrists still handcuffed behind him, Spinal was helpless to resist. When they grew bored of the game, Fulgore shoved Spinal to the floor and took the handcuffs off.
"There we go," he said. "It's been fun playing with you, Spinal. Tease ya later!"
He and Gazelle gave each other five as they laughed and left the room. As soon as they were gone, Ruth came in and saw Spinal prone on the floor.
"Spinal.....are you okay?"
Spinal raised himself and groaned. "Don't give me any grief," he said. "Just go. I'm tired; I need sleep."
"Well, okay." Ruth got up and left.
Spinal climbed onto his bed and covered his face, sobbing uncontrollably. He continued to sob until he fell asleep, mumbling to himself.