Disclaimer: Anything connected with PRiS or PRLG does not belong to me. The idea of the Spice Club belongs to Crypt, which came from stuff like video games and old TV shows. The only thing that belongs to me is Ruth, and she is not the “focus point” in this story.

The Spice Club: Season 2
Remorse Lake: Part I
by Mindy

The day begins in a peaceful-looking jungle planet, called Thickithe. Located not far from a clearing in this jungle was a beautiful brook, and a lake to go with it. A patch of daisies was in the tall grass of this clearing. This place appeared to be a serene and completely unharmed area.

It was at this location that several occupants of the Astro Megaship decided to practice instead of the SimuDeck. They wanted someplace genuinely full of unknown and exciting obstacles, and this planet was the perfect place to find just that.

From several bushes of bracken, a dagger flew out and cut off several of the daisies. From the tall grass, wearing a camouflage outfit and daisy-like objects on the back of the outfit, Kai stood up, utterly confounded. He turned to look, and he found several of his “daisies” were off his back and on the ground.

“Oh, great!” he complained. "I’ve just been de-daisied!”

A figure leaped out of the bracken and landed right in front of Kai, shouting a battle cry. Very frightened, he screamed and backed off. Soon, however, he recognized his attacker as Ruth. She walked to her dagger and picked it up.

Taking the other dagger alongside, she walked behind him and snipped off several more of his ‘daisies.’ “And you’ll be plucked up like daisies if you don’t help us with our jungle fighting technique, Kai,” Ruth responded in a strict and unusual manner. “Astronema, Trakeena, or even Scorpius could show up anytime, anyplace!”

“Aw, man, Ruth,” Kai protested. “You are such a downer. I might be in the strict rules of the GSA, but that doesn’t mean that I am painstaking all the time.”

At that moment, something swept right beneath Ruth’s arms, pushing them up and forcing Ruth to let go of her daggers. Ruth fell backwards, right into Kai’s arms! In awe, both watched the daggers as they went up, and then descended. At the last moment, a thick branch was extended, catching the daggers by their sharp tips.

Ruth and Kai turned to see who was holding the branch. It was Carlos, morphed and ready for battle. “I believed you said something about our jungle fighting techniques, Ruth?” he asked jokingly. Kai laughed.

But Ruth wasn’t laughing like in a normal situation. She pulled out both daggers from the branch, and Carlos threw it aside.

“Very funny, Carlos,” Ruth said sarcastically. “You may be my husband, dear Black Ranger, but that doesn’t mean that I’m impressed every single time you show in your shining suit of black armor.”

After another moment of silence, she reassured her husband with a smile. Carlos also smiled, although it was not seen under his helmet. “Your smile is as warm as the sunshine,” he complimented.

“If only I could kiss you through the helmet,” Ruth responded playfully.

Another cry of attack interrupted them. A figure ran out from the nearby trees and pushed Kai aside. He fell into the tall grass that he came out of. His foot slipped into a small hole, and it took a little time for him to get it out.

Meanwhile, Carlos and Ruth saw her and shouted, “Astronema!”

Ruth got ready her daggers, and Carlos called out his Lunar Lance. They both attacked Astronema at the same time. Ruth ran forward and attempted to stab Astronema in the shoulder. She ducked, however, and Ruth fell and landed behind her opponent.

*Two can play at that game,* Carlos said to himself. Knowing what he had in mind, Ruth crawled to where she was right behind Astronema’s legs. Then, Carlos pushed Astronema backwards, causing her to fall over Ruth.

Her neck had landed on the lake’s edge, and her head was over the water. Ruth stood up again. She sat next to Astronema and began to choke her. The pressure from Ruth’s hands also made the hair touch the water lightly. “Ready to say uncle?” Ruth asked.

“Hey, hey! Chill out, you guys,” she said weakly. Stunned by the words, Ruth eased her grip on the neck. “C’mon, it’s me!”

Recognizing the voice, Ruth stood and helped her up. “Jenny?”

“For sure, Ruth,” Jenny responded. Indeed, she did look just like Astronema, but she knew that her voice would give it away. “I had you going there for a while, though, didn’t I, you guys?” She gave a laugh of delight and triumph.

Ruth chuckled as well. “Yeah, you really got the jump on us, Jenny.”

* * *

Astronema and Trakeena were watching the four practicing. Trakeena smiled at the thought that Ruth almost choked Jenny to death. But Astronema was not happy. *If my daughter looks like me, then why won’t she follow in my footsteps?* she asked herself.

She began to walk away. Trakeena noticed this, and followed her. “Is something wrong, Astronema?”

Astronema paused. “My daughter,” she finally answered. “She is not being the evil woman she is supposed to be. Too long has she been consorting with the good ones. It has to stop, and soon. The problem is I’ve tried almost every idea I could think of, and still she won’t be convinced.”

Trakeena gave some thought to the problem, then she smiled.

“Maybe if we could find a weakness in your daughter, we can force it down her throat. Then, she would lose so much confidence that she would not feel worthy of being the leader of the Spice Club, making her extremely vulnerable. She’ll become evil easily afterwards.”

Astronema thought about the solution, and gave a wicked smile. “Magnificent! Brilliant! And with their precious leader on the dark side, the Spice Club will crumble and fall apart, and the Power Rangers will become weak without allies.”

“Do you know of any weaknesses that she might have?” Trakeena asked.

Astronema paused again, searching through her memory.

“Yes,” she finally answered, “and a strong weakness it is! She has had a terrible past. No one appreciated her except for her family. In fact, as far as she could remember, the Spice Club was the first group of friends that she could count on, and that was only 5 years ago. If we could present visions of her past to her...”

“Remorse Lake!” Trakeena exclaimed. “That is the perfect place to reflect her past.”

“Remorse Lake?” Astronema asked. “What is that?”

“Remorse Lake is not an ordinary lake. When commanded, it reflects the past, and the most terrible memories of it. She’ll be without confidence in a matter of minutes! Have you heard of the Mirror of Regret?”

“Yes,” Astronema answered. “I have heard it.”

“Remorse Lake functions in a similar matter. May I have you permission to put this plan into action? She is, after all, your daughter.”

Astronema smiled. “You have my permission, Trakeena, to use any methods necessary, but I want her alive. She is, after all, my daughter.”

“Of course,” Trakeena responded. Satisfied, Astronema walked into another room. Trakeena smiled villainously at her new plan.

* * *

Jenny walked into the SimuDeck. Robyn was practicing her fighting skills against a small monster, something that looked like a pet. Robyn was holding her new weapon in her hand, a small scepter.

The monster often grunted and emitted out a small beam of energy from it's mouth. The most that the piece of energy could do is startle the opponent, not injure it. Still, it helps Robyn practice. Rachel and Ruth were sitting nearby. Rachel did not seem to be interested. Ruth was watching keenly, observing what mistakes Robyn might accidentally make.

There were a few seconds of silence. Then, Ruth stood up and said, “Pause simulation.” The monster stood still, and Robyn turned to her mother. Ruth knelt beside Robyn. “You must remember, the Universal Magic Princess can feel the Magic flowing in herself.”

“You mean it controls your actions?” Robyn asked.

“Partially,” Ruth answered. “But it also obeys your commands.” Robyn nodded and Ruth stood up. She noticed Jenny. “Hi, Jenny. Come on in and sit down.” Jenny agreed, and they both sat down. “Deca, continue simulation.”

Robyn got ready again. The monster circled around the girl, and she kept eye-contact with it. The monster quickly went in front of the girl, and emitted a small amount of energy to her leg. Indeed, Robyn was startled; she almost jumped.

Rachel laughed. Ruth stood up the moment she heard the laughter. “Pause simulation!” The monster stopped suddenly. Ruth turned to Rachel. “Do you have something to say, Rachel?”

“Yes, Mother, I do. Make-believe tactics and ancient weapons are no match for a good roundhouse kick at your side, Robyn. I say you stop this before you get disappointed.”

Robyn turned fiercely to her sister. However, she didn't scold at her like she looked like she would. “You don’t believe in the Magic, do you, Rachel?”

“Sis, Dad and Andros have shown me about all kinds of weaponry. I’ve seen a lot of strange weapons, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there is an all-powerful force controlling everything. Nothing out of the ordinary is controlling my destiny. It’s all a bunch simple tricks and nonsense.” Rachel sat down again.

Ruth stood up, giving a reassuring smile. She pulled a large, black piece of cloth out of her pocket. “I suggest you try it again, Robyn,” she said. “This time, release all of your common knowledge and logic, and act on instinct.” So saying, she tied the piece of cloth over Robyn's eyes, making sure that it covers them completely.

Robyn gave a small chuckle. “With the blindfold on, I can’t even see. How am I supposed to fight?”

Ruth sat down. “Rule #5: Your eyes can deceive you, so don’t trust them." Robyn held up her scepter and got ready. "Continue simulation.”

Robyn was unsure about everything at first. Then, hearing the small grunts of the monster, she turned to his direction. It gave another small push of energy. It struck the scepter, which absorbed the energy. Even though she didn't see that, she knew that that was what happened.

Rachel rolled her eyes. How is her sister supposed to do this? Her question was soon answered when she noticed that Robyn turned the tables by using the monster's power against him. Her scepter absorbed a little more of it's power, amplified it, and threw it back at the monster, destroying it.

Ruth gave a huge smile. “Pause simulation!” Robyn smiled when she knew that she was finished. She removed the blindfold and giggled. “You see, Robyn?” Ruth asked. “You can do it.”

Rachel, however, gave a small scoff. “I call it luck.”

“In my experience, Rachel, there is no such thing as luck,” Ruth answered.

“Look, Mother, magic against simulations is one thing. But magic against the living. That’s something else.”

“You know, you guys remind me of the conflict between me and my mother,” Jenny pointed out.

“Oh, please, Jenny,” Ruth interrupted. “Don’t go there.”

“Well, I came here to tell you that there is another planet that we are detecting life form readings. Some of us want to go and check it out. Do you want to join us, Ruth?” Jenny asked.

“Is Carlos going?”

“No, but I am taking our newest allies with me.”

“No, thank you, then, Jenny. I still have to teach these kids the basics about reading and writing. Oh, and please tell the others to keep the growing thing with the Lightstar Crystal a secret from everyone else. Please!”

Jenny chuckled. “I know what you mean, Ruth. Sure, I’ll remind them.”

As Jenny left, she heard Ruth talking to Deca. “Change simulation to ‘Program Number 533, Schoolhouse’; and remove any people in the file.” Jenny turned around to see what looked like the combination of a classroom and a nursery. She chuckled again as she exited the SimuDeck.

* * *

The morphed Rangers and Jenny teleported down on the planet. They all looked around. Unlike Thickithe, this planet was more like a meadow area. There was basically nothing else as far as the eye could see. “Wow,” Kendrix said in admiration.

Damon raised and looked at a scanner. Puzzled, he said, “That’s strange. We were able to pick up life forms on the ship, but I don’t pick up anything down here.”

At that moment, Trakeena appeared with many Stingwingers. “You were saying?” she asked.

Jenny spun around. “We don’t have time for your foolishness, Trakeena!” she shouted.

“Well, then, I’ll just have to make some time. Stingwingers, attack, but you must leave Tonka Spice for me!”

“That’s Tonfa Spice!”

The Stingwingers raced to attack. Damon cartwheeled over one and kicked away another. He ducked a punch, and threw one of his own. In fact, he threw several. When he was done, he elbowed one sneaking up behind him.

Maya landed on the ground as a Stingwinger pushed her. Recovering quickly, she kicked away that particular one and quickly got up. She chopped at the neck of an approaching one, and shoved him aside. Then, she punched another one in the gut.

Leo flipped away from his first opponent, then approached him, kicking him at the same time. He finished that one by giving him a severe punch in the face. He noticed another one coming, so he tripped that one, then crushed his body on top of him.

Kendrix twirled around her opponent, then kicked him in the back. She turned him around did a roundhouse punch. Then, she flipped backwards, scraping her feet against her opponent from navel to nose. She gave another one a powerful side kick and a spinning heel kick.

Kai grabbed onto the wrists of his Stingwinger. He spun himself around, spinning his opponent as well. He gave a powerful chop, forcing him to back away. As another came, he jumped to him and gave him a special kick. That particular one had struck his back twice, once against a tree, and again when he landed on the ground.

Trakeena swung the end of her staff at Jenny’s feet, but she jumped over it. Jenny attempted to punch her in the face, but Trakeena blocked and struck her in the stomach with her staff. After recovering, Jenny tried to kick her in the gut, but she grabbed her ankle and pulled her off her other foot. Jenny’s head landed on the ground with a strong blow.

By the time, the Rangers were finished with the Stingwingers, neither Jenny nor Trakeena could be seen. They have left the area before they were given the chance to notice it.

“Oh, no,” Kendrix said. “Now, where did Jenny go?”

“Let’s go,” Leo said. “We’ll have a better chance of finding her at the ship.” Agreeing, the others teleported out.

* * *

Trakeena released Jenny from her grip, and she tumbled and rolled along the dry ground and grass. Jenny was quite surprised when Trakeena simply took her to a different planet instead of the Scorpion Stinger. Her hands were placed in shackles, and it was quite uncomfortable. Of course, Trakeena didn’t know that.

“Now, Tonya Spice, I have you where I want you,” Trakeena taunted.

“That’s Tonfa Spice! And you can’t have me if I can help it!” So saying, she stood up and tried to do a crescent kick. Trakeena easily ducked it, and pushed Jenny on the shoulder. Jenny fell down and crashed on her back again.

“Don’t waste my time,” Trakeena ordered. “With those shackles on, you don’t stand a chance against me! I’ll have to give you leg irons to make you won’t run away from me.”

Jenny struggled to get up again, but failed as Trakeena aimed her staff at her ankles. The chains were formed around her ankles, and she fell down a third time. “What do you want of me?”

“I am not the one who wants you, Tonga Spice, but your mother,” Trakeena answered.

“Tonfa Spice! Tonfa Spice! T, O, N, F, A! Is that so hard to spell?!”

Trakeena chuckled, but quickly changed the subject. “You mother was watching you this morning. She knew that you did look like her, but she wondered why you did not follow in her footsteps, where you belong.”

“I have been raised by good, and I will stay that way!”

“Not after I take care of you, Donfa Spice.”

“Tonfa Spice!”

* * *

Carlos entered the SimuDeck with Ebony, Ruth’s pet panther. Ruth was still running the schoolhouse simulation. Robyn was trying out how well she was writing. Ruth was helping Rachel about reading. On the blackboard were the words “see” and “me.”

“Don’t you see, Rachel?” Ruth asked. “This word has an ‘s’; it says, ‘see.’ And this one has an ‘m’; it says, ‘me.’”

But Rachel did not see. “It is too hard for me,” she said. Ruth looked up and saw Carlos. He walked up to her and asked Rachel how she was doing. “Well, I’m making progress, Mom says.”

“She really is,” Ruth said, smiling.

Carlos started to whisper in Ruth’s ear. "Why don’t you put the words on different sides of the board? That’s the way they do it in school. Then, after studying the word, have her point to ‘see.’”

Ruth liked the idea. She erased the board and placed the words on different sides of the board. She spent five minutes showing Rachel which word was “see.”

“Now, Rachel, point to ‘see,’” Carlos said.

Rachel looked at the board, first one word, then the other. She could not tell one from the other. She was about to give up when Ebony growled and sniffed at the side of the board that said, “See.”

Ebony did not know one word from the other, but Rachel thought she did. Was she going to let a talking black panther get ahead of her? Not Rachel! She learned the words almost at once. She studied and learned every letter of the alphabet and started to read small words, almost at once.

“See me. See me run. I can run! Can you run?” Rachel recited, as she learned more and more about the little words.

“Good, Rachel,” Carlos praised. “I’ll continue helping you.”

Suddenly, communications were turned on. “Carlos,” Andros’ voice came on. “We need you and Ruth on the bridge immediately.”

“We’re on our way,” Ruth said. “Deca, stop simulation.” She and Carlos walked out of the SimuDeck.

Surprised that their lessons were interrupted, Rachel and Robyn stared at each other. “You can read, now?” Robyn asked.

“Yeah,” Rachel said proudly.

“Can you read my name in writing?” she asked, holding up her paper. It had large purple lines that looked like the writing of a malfunctioning computer. Rachel looked confused for a minute, as she walked to get a better look at the paper.

She shouted, “I can’t read this!”

* * *

Jenny breathed heavily as Trakeena dragged her to Remorse Lake. Just like Astronema, Jenny had never heard of this place, so she was quite surprised when she was taken there.

“Nice lake, Trakeena. Now, if you don’t mind, I would like to be set free.”

“Not quite yet. First, I would like to know about your past.”

“Well, the Spice Club has been around for 5 years and...”

“Don’t interrupt me!” Trakeena shouted. “And besides, I don’t want to know about that. I want to know what happened before then.” She picked up Jenny by the collar of her shirt and pulled her to the edge of the lake. She removed the shackles and the leg irons from Jenny when she was really close.

“Now, let’s see...” Trakeena said. “What do we have here?”

A vision appeared on the surface of the lake. Jenny could not believe her eyes. Displayed on the lake was Jenny, about 12 years old, nearby an outdoor basketball court. Several children her age were already playing. Nothing eventful happened until the ball accidentally rolled her way. In a friendly manner, Jenny picked it up.

“Hey, guys,” Jenny called to them. “Can I play with you?”

One of the boys approached Jenny. “Uh, sorry, Jenny,” he said, trying to smile. “We already have seven of us, and we’d like to keep it an even number.”

“Wait a minute,” Jenny said instantly. “Seven isn’t an...” But she was rudely interrupted by the boy, grabbing the ball away from her and running back to the court.

In the distance, Jenny could hear several voices talking.

“What a maroon, that girl!”

“She should get a life.”

“What a trouble maker!”

“Maybe we should call her Jiminy,” one of the girls said. The others silently laughed when they heard that as Jenny slowly walked away. Then, the vision turned back into the surface of the lake.

“Is that all you wanted to see, Trakeena?” Jenny asked. “A flaw in my past?”

“I know that there are more flaws than that in your past,” Trakeena responded. “What you have seen is only an example of what Remorse Lake can really do! Now, let’s go a little further, shall we?”

Another vision appeared on the lake surface. A coach was teaching several kids the rules of baseball. In the dugout was Jenny, a couple years older. A boy was at bat, and the coach was pitching. He threw a hard pitch, and the boy hit the ball real hard! He ran to first base, then to second. When the catcher missed the ball, the boy ran to third base. Then, he made a break, and made a wonderful home run!

“Next on the list is Jenny!” called the coach. Hesitant at first, Jenny walked to the home plate and picked up a wooden bat. She tried to keep in focus for the ball.

The moment the pitch was made, someone from the dugout called, “Jiminy!”

Half-paying attention and half-distracted, Jenny swung the bat, but missed the ball by a few inches. “Focus, Jenny! Focus!” the coach shouted in frustration. “Keep your eye on the ball!”

“Strike one!” the catcher called.

Jenny relaxed her arms for a moment, then resumed the batting position. The coach threw the ball again, but the catcher purposely slid his foot and struck her ankle. She slipped, accidentally letting the ball pass. Jenny stared at the catcher with a large frown.

“Strike two,” the catcher said with a grin.

Breathing heavily, Jenny turned back to the coach. She just had to hit it this time. The coach threw the ball a third time, Jenny struck the ball and ran as fast as she could to first base. But someone from the other dugout had secretly snuck out and stretched a long stick in front of her feet. The stick was the same color as the field, so it was not seen, either by Jenny or the coach. She fell over the stick and didn’t make it to first base on time.

“You’re out!” the catcher called tauntingly.

“Jenny!” the coach shouted. “I’m very disappointed in you! You can’t even run fast enough!”

Jenny’s eyes were full of tears. Why were these people doing this? As the vision disappeared, Jenny began to cry.

“Slowly, you’re confidence is disappearing,” Trakeena taunted.

“That’s not going to work, Trakeena,” Jenny said, behind her tears. “I’ve put all that behind me!”

“Ah, but I don’t believe you have put behind the most dreadful moment that you have ever been in in your entire lifetime!”

Jenny gave a small gasp. “No,” she whispered. “Not that.”

But the vision appeared anyway. There was Jenny, walking down the street with her father. When they were ready to pass by an alleyway, Tommy (he was the evil Green Ranger at that time) ran out from the alley and grabbed Jenny. She gave a loud scream as her father pulled Jenny away from Tommy. Tommy began to fight Jenny’s father.

Stunned by the events, Jenny couldn’t move. Jenny watched, unable to help her father. Then, Tommy ended the battle by stabbing her father in the heart with the Sword of Darkness. “NO!!” Jenny screamed.

Then Tommy turned to Jenny and gave an evil laugh. “I’d hate to break it to you, but that’s the end of your old man!” He laughed again as he disappeared.

Jenny ran over to the dead carcass. “Dad? Dad, no! Please don’t die! No!”

As the vision faded, Jenny’s voice echoed, repeating the words over and over again. To Jenny, it seemed that the voice never faded away, shouting for her father to come back.

“I shall leave you here,” Trakeena announced. “But I want you to consider which way is easier for you: the road of evil, where you can get everything and anything you want easily; or the muddy path of good, where you have to fight for what you want.” With that said, Trakeena disappeared.

But Jenny’s mind was still clouded by the horrible memory.

Remorse Lake: Part II

by Mindy

“I can’t find her anywhere!” Carlos said.

A few more seconds passed. “I can’t locate her ring,” Cassie complained.

“She’s not responding to it, either,” Hallie added.

“I’ll try and put a tracer on it,” Kai volunteered.

*That’s not going to help us,* Ruth thought. *We need something better and more reliable.* Ruth gave several seconds to think very carefully about the situation, and what solution might come. Then, she perked up. “I got it! I got a terrific idea!"

“What?” Andros asked, very eager. “What is it?

“We need to find someone who would know Jenny more than anyone else. Then he or she could be able to help us in very...unexpected ways."

“Knows her more than anyone else?” Kendrix asked. “Who would that be?

“I’ll explain later. Just leave the situation to me.”

Ruth teleported down to the planet where Jenny was fighting Trakeena before she was taken. There was no one around, even though she went into the trees. She used the Magic to change her appearance. Now, she looked just like Jenny. She stepped out into the open again, walking in the same style as Jenny’s.

After a few minutes of waiting, Darkonda appeared. “My sweet Tonfa Spice! I am curious as to why you are here."

Ruth smiled, and changed her appearance back to normal. “I came to seek help from you,” she answered.

“Magic Spice!” Darkonda drew out his sword and raced towards her. Quickly, however, Ruth pivoted around him and gave a side kick against his back, forcing him to fall flat on his stomach. As he fell, his sword became loose from his grip.

“Magic Spice, why do you appear as my wife just to deceive me and make a fool out of me?” Darkonda asked.

“For one thing, deception is one of my advantages. For another thing, I knew that you would come when you would see her. And third, I need your help."

Darkonda stood up fiercely. “What do you need my help for? Do you want me to soften Ecliptor’s heart? Or do you want me to pass information about Scorpius’ next move? Well, forget it! I am not going to help you in either of those ways!” He turned to leave.

“Then, would you be willing to help Jenny, if she was in serious trouble?” Ruth asked.

Darkonda stopped short. Slowly, he turned to her. If she was smiling, he knew that she would be lying to him. But her face was very somber, telling him that she was sincere. “Perhaps if I listened to what the situation is, I might be of assistance.”

All this was being observed by all on the bridge of the Megaship. The others were quite surprised that Darkonda was actually listening to her, especially Kai! “What is she doing? She’s too close. He’ll get her!”

“Don’t worry, Kai,” Carlos said. “I think I know what she is doing. And I think it’s working.”

They continued to watch as Ruth and Darkonda sat down on the grass. Ruth smiled when she got Darkonda’s attention.

“Recently,” she began, “the Galaxy Rangers and Jenny were battling against Trakeena and the Stingwingers. During that battle, Jenny seemed to have disappeared. It is most likely that Trakeena took her, but there were sometimes when Jenny left on her own during a battle."

“Like one time when I wanted to talk to her while the others were battling Horror Bull,” Darkonda recalled.

Unsure about what he just said, Ruth continued. “Uh, yeah, sure. Anyway, we tried almost every way we could think of to locate her. We tried sensors, extra-sensative sensors, tracers; we couldn’t locate her or her ring, and she hasn’t responded to communications.”

“Maybe she is either in a state where she can’t respond, or she won’t respond.”

“Any ideas?” she asked. “Or was there something that would put Jenny in jeopardy?”

“Well, I did overhear a conversation between Astronema and Trakeena this morning.” Darkonda offered. Ruth tried her best not to become excited, but the surprised look on her face indicated that she was excited, and trying to hide it. He chuckled. “I suppose you want me to talk about it.”

“Well, we have no better clues, I’ll tell you that.”

Darkonda chuckled again. “Then, I’ll tell you what information I know. Do you have anything that you are willing to give me in return?”

Ruth thought for a moment, then smiled. “My trust ... the kind of trust that Ecliptor has lost quite some time ago.”

Darkonda smiled. “Good enough for me. Trakeena told Astronema that if she could use one of Jenny’s weaknesses against her, she would lose all her confidence, and the Spice Club would cease to exist. Astronema told her that there was no greater weakness of Jenny’s than her past. They were planning to take her to a place where visions of her past would be reflected when commanded to.”

“What is this place?” Ruth asked.

“I can’t quite remember. It was an unusual name. I do remember that it started with an ‘R.’ But I don’t remember anything more. I’m sure I would recognize it when I hear it.”

Ruth stood up. “Will you wait here a minute? I might use these clues to find Jenny’s location. When I do, I’ll come back and inform you."

“I shall wait for your return. Anything to save my wife from peril.”

Ruth smiled, then turned around. “Galaxy Glider, hang ten!” The white glider came down to Ruth’s feet. She waited for it to stop before getting on. “I’ll come back to tell you further information,” she promised as she disappeared into the clouds.

Darkonda waited patiently. He was thinking about Jenny, and how deep in trouble she could be. “I am not going to let any harm come to her,” he said to himself. “I dedicated my life to her, and that’s all there is to it.” While he was thinking all this, Ruth returned a few minutes after she left. At first, Darkonda didn’t notice. Then, he turned to her.

“She’s at a planet called Penitencity, and at a place called Remorse Lake,” Ruth informed.

“That’s what the name was: Remorse Lake!” he recalled.

“Would you like to hop on, or do you want me to go myself?”

Darkonda thought about the situation very carefully. For one thing, he had never been on a Galaxy Glider before, except once with Jenny. For another thing, she is putting a lot of trust into this. She knew that he could kill her in a split second, ad she actually wants him to go with her? And if he got on, the situation would be vise versa; him putting a lot of trust in her. He knew that she could kill him just as quickly as he could her.

“We don’t have much time, Darkonda,” Ruth said.

Darkonda looked again at the glider. Then, he smiled and stepped on. Ruth brought it upward and they headed into space. She went at maximum velocity, zipping by the stars as if they were street lights, at a dizzying speed.

Finally, they reached the planet Penitencity. It was a boggy, swampy environment. They saw nothing but water, trees, and mud.

Darkonda looked around. He had developed senses when he would be near his wife. He used those senses to located Jenny. Then, he turned to Ruth. “It’s unlikely that you’ll keep up with me if I go into my super speed. Would you like to be on my back while I zoom around?"

Ruth stared wildly at him. “She’s your wife, not me!"

Darkonda chuckled. “A great sense of humor. I can see why Ecliptor wanted you so badly."

Ruth smiled. “And that is why I won’t give in to him. He has to learn that love learns to let go, just like I remember you doing that, once.” She paused for a second, as she stared at him. “Are you sure I’m not too heavy for you?”

“You are barely older than she is,” Darkonda answered. “If I can carry her, then I can carry you.”

“Well, if there is no faster way to get to her, I suppose I shall get on your back.”

“Why do you trust me so?” Darkonda asked. “I am evil, and you are good.”

“Jenny trusts you, and that is more than enough for me to trust you.” Ruth got onto his back. He waited for a moment, then rushed across the swamp. The two covered a lot of ground in just a few minutes.

Their first interruption occurred when Darkonda fell into a mud puddle, and Ruth with him. Quickly, Ruth grabbed onto a vine. Both of them disappeared into the mud.

All was quiet for a moment until Ruth, pulling herself by the vine, came out of the mud. She climbed higher, making room for Darkonda to get out. He came a few seconds after she did. They both moved away from the mud puddle.

“Why don’t you watch where you’re going?” Ruth asked, teasing and laughing.

“I need to get this mud off,” he said, not wanting to answer her. He looked around and found a large lake. It was located at the edge of the swamp and on dry land. This dry land was also a beautiful meadow. He ran to it and jumped in. With a weird look on her face, Ruth walked to the lake’s edge.

Darkonda came out, clean as a whistle. “Come on in, Magic Spice. You’ll be clean, too!”

“Oh, no, you don’t, Darkonda,” Ruth said. “Not in these pants and shirt. You don’t have any clothes to lose. Me? I’ve got plenty, and I don’t want to do that. But I will wash. My hair must look like an old bush.”

She knelt to the lake and rolled up her sleeves. She thoroughly washed the dirt and mud off her hands and arms. Then, she carefully set to work on her face and hair. She took out her rose and had set it aside.

“Why do you wear that rose so often?” Darkonda asked.

“As a sign of commitment,” Ruth answered. “I vowed that as long as I wear that rose I shall care for my husband.”

“Is the Black Ranger good for you?”

“Yes, he is. In fact, he and I have twin daughters, Rachel and Robyn.”

“Oh, really? And which one shall come after you?”

“I haven’t decided yet. I may even choose both if I have to.” She finished with her face and most of her hair, where she replaced her rose. Now, with her face washed, Ruth was able to see more clearly. She looked across the lake and saw Jenny, lying on the ground, facedown.

“Jenny!” she shouted. She ran to her. Darkonda also looked and swam to the other side of the lake and crawled out.

Now that they were closer to Jenny, they could hear Jenny sobbing quietly. Ruth gently shook her. “Jenny, come on. We gotta get back to ship!”

“Leave me!” were the only words that Jenny said. She didn’t show her tearstained face, and continued sobbing.

Darkonda tried his luck and approached her. “My dear Tonfa Spice, you must consider that...”

“Leave me!” she shouted again.

“This sounds serious,” Ruth said, extremely concerned. “I must get the others!” Darkonda turned to her, about to stop her, when she tapped her ring and teleported away.

Darkonda looked at Jenny again. He turned her over to look at her. “Darkonda!” Jenny shouted in relief. In a quick burst of motion, she sat up and hugged Darkonda tightly, and she didn’t want to let go. “I can’t go on like this. It’s too hard. I should rejoin my mother. I should have done so a long time ago."

Darkonda pushed her arms off and made eye-contact with her. “You are talking nonsense. You have absolutely no idea what you have just said. Your friends need you.”

“What friends?” Jenny asked. “I don’t have any friends. I didn’t then, I don’t now, and I never will.” Darkonda paused for a moment.

“You are not the Tonfa Spice I remember. I remember a young and beautiful girl who never gave up, no matter what the odds are against her. I remember a dedicated woman who was silly and serious at the same time. I remember a strong and smart lady, with whom I am married, and with whom your friends trust, because of that.”

Jenny looked up at him. She was unsure that she was ever the way Darkonda had just described her, yet she felt that he was telling the truth. But he was too late; her confidence was gone. “You’re right; I am not the Tonfa Spice you remember. Now are you satisfied?”

“No, just disappointed.”

“You’re starting to sound like my mother, disappointed that I am not following in her footsteps. I am going to do what is easiest for me. And that is to join her in being evil.” She go up and started to walk away.

But Darkonda sped in front of her. “Being evil is not easy, my sweet. I have been uncertain many, many times in all the lives I have spent. Let me show you.” He guided her back to the lake. His plan now was to show her events that lowered his confidence.

A vision appeared in the lake. Elgar and Darkonda were arguing, and Jenny was in the background. “You remember this?” Darkonda asked.

Jenny stared at the vision for a while. “That was the first argument that you and Elgar had over me,” she answered flatly. “I believe that was a Halloween night?”

“That’s right. I knew that Elgar was stupid enough to surrender you to me. Even though he was stupid, however, he was the only thing that kept me from getting to you. And him fighting against me for you had greatly disappointed me.”

The vision changed scenes to where Ecliptor and Darkonda were talking in the Dark Fortress. “You probably don’t remember this one by sight, but I’m sure you would remember by sound."

Jenny listened to the conversation. “Ecliptor, I have completed your challenge,” Darkonda said proudly. “I've finally captured Tonfa Spice.” There was a short pause. *Now your days of calling me a coward are over!* he silently added to himself.

“Took you long enough,” Ecliptor snapped. “Now tell me why you're being sweet on her.”

“I was just bringing out her soft side,” Darkonda replied.

“Did you notice that she was doing the same to you? And that she's winning? Now you've fallen in love with her.”

“I am not in love with her!”

“Yes, you are,” Ecliptor said.

“No, I'm not! Look, Ecliptor; she may be pretty and charming, but that doesn't mean that I find her attractive!”

“Yes, it does,” Ecliptor said. “You wouldn't be calling her ‘pretty and charming’ if you didn't find her attractive.”

Darkonda growled at him.

Jenny gave a soft giggle. “Yes! I do remember this. This was after you had captured Spinal after he was injured on that Halloween, then Ecliptor called you a coward, and that he challenged you to capture me!”

“And this,” Darkonda added, as the scene of the vision changed again. “Do you remember this?”

With a smile on her face, Jenny looked at the vision. This one took place in Ivan Ooze’s palace. The Power Rangers, along with several of the Spice Club members, were battling Slimy Spice, the combination of Jenny and Ivan Ooze.

“Eww!” Jenny said in disgust. “I remember this well.”

Darkonda appeared in the palace. “Ivan!” he called. “I am here to help.”

“Why, thank you, Darkonda,” Slimy Spice said. After a few moments, Darkonda threw his weird-looking ropes from his wrist and captured Slimy Spice. And by going into his body, Darkonda was able to release Jenny. Then, the vision disappeared.

“And having Ivan’s hands on me made you angrier than ever?” Jenny asked.

“Yes, and I believe that Scorpius will do the same someday. Allowing yourself to be evil means that he will have you a lot easier than while you are with the side of good,” Darkonda persuaded. “He has no experience with good young ladies, like you.”

Jenny thought about this. All this time, Jenny’s confidence was returning. When she heard what she already knew about Scorpius, her face became determined. “You’re right. I will not yield.” Then, she looked skyward. “Do you hear me, Trakeena? I will not yield!”

At that moment, a teleportation process occurred. At first, Darkonda and Jenny expected Trakeena and several of the Stingwingers. Instead came Ruth, along with the Space Rangers and the Galaxy Rangers. Jenny gave a huge smile when she saw them.

Ruth was astonished when she saw the smile. She looked at Darkonda. “What kind of a doctor are you?!”

Darkonda chuckled. Then, Ruth’s ring flashed. “Ruth here. What is it?"

Alpha spoke on the other line. “Trakeena is in Terra Venture!”

Jenny took a turn in talking. “We’re on our way.”

They all teleported out, leaving Darkonda alone. He looked as the lights flew upward. “Good luck ... all of you.”

* * *

They all arrived, just before Trakeena caused trouble. Jenny stepped in front of her friends. “Surprise!” she called.

Trakeena spun around, looking at her. “This cannot be Fonta Spice! She is corrupt and weak by now!"

Jenny smiled. “My Spice nickname is not Fonta, it’s Tonfa! And I am not corrupt and weak as you can plainly see.” She spread her arms out as if she was in a fashion show. Then, she placed her hands on her hips.

“Well, if you will not turn, then you will be destroyed. Stingwingers, attack!” Trakeena commanded.

Jenny made a command of her own, and impersonated her own mother. “Destroy them!”

They all ran to the attack.

Ruth pivoted around her own opponent. This particular one had produced his stinger, and he tried to hit her several times. But she always dodged his attacks. Then, she went to the ground and crushed its feet with her back. Distracted, the Stingwinger was now an easy target. She picked him up and spun him around, causing his stinger to slice several others approaching.

Carlos jumped into the air and kicked the head of his Stingwinger. He elbowed another one behind him, turned around, and snap-kicked at his gut. Then, he gave the first one he had a powerful and impressive back kick. Three more approached him quickly. He distracted them for a moment, then he swept his foot across their heads, knocking them down together. “Triple play,” he shouted in triumph.

Cassie rolled under a Stingwinger’s legs, then stood up behind him. She kicked him on the back, sending him to Kendrix. In return, Kendrix punched him in the face and passed it back to Cassie. Another one grabbed Kendrix by the shoulder, but Kendrix pulled him over her shoulder and to the ground before Cassie’s opponent reached her again.

Kai did quite amount of special jumps and flips around and over his opponent. He attempted to throw a punch, but the Stingwinger grabbed his wrist. Acting quickly, he forced him to kneel and pressed against his elbow. T. J. leaped into the air, grabbed onto the shoulders of Kai’s attacker, and pulled him away from Kai.

Ashley and Maya attacked another one in almost complete unison. At the same time, they punch him, kicked him, and pushed him. Then, Ashley kicked him to Maya, which kicked it back. Then, they did another kick together; Ashley on one side of the Stingwinger’s head, Maya on the other.

Damon hopped over one Stingwinger, allowing himself to be in between two others. At the same time, he punched both of them in the gut. In pain, the Stingwingers bent their backs. When that happened, Damon threw his arms down on their backs, knocking both of them out. Then, he kicked away the Stingwinger he hopped over.

Andros backed away from his Stingwinger, and found himself back to back with Leo. They happened upon the same thought at the same time. They grabbed onto their each other’s wrists and Leo twirled Andros into the air, allowing his legs to hit several Stingwingers. Then Andros did likewise to Leo. This pattern occurred several times.

Jenny swung one of her tonfa sticks at Trakeena’s hip, and struck it. Trakeena attempted to kick her away, but Jenny jumped over the leg. Then, she did a leg sweep and successfully tripped Trakeena. Then, Jenny kicked her in the open side. Quickly, Trakeena got up and attempted to strike Jenny’s head with her staff, but Jenny used both tonfa sticks to catch it and pull it right out of her hands.

Seeing that she was defenseless, she took Jenny’s tonfa sticks out of her hands and competed with her physically. She wrestled with her until they both landed on the ground with a thump. Then, Trakeena rolled along the ground, taking Jenny with her. Then, she stood up, grabbed onto Jenny’s shoulders, and pulled her up. Jenny was now in eye-contact with her.

“You will turn to evil, or I will kill you!” she threatened. She began to choke her. Despite Ruth’s and the Rangers’ progress, there were still too many Stingwingers to simply ignore them and help Jenny.

“Never,” Jenny said, gasping for breath. After a few moments, an electrical blast hit Trakeena on the backside. Releasing her grip on Jenny, Trakeena turned to her attacker: Astronema! Her staff was raised and used to hit her.

“Astronema,” Trakeena said, completely stunned. “What was that for? You told me I could use whatever methods necessary.”

“I also told you that I wanted her alive! If you were going to kill her, then I wouldn’t have asked you to attempt it!”

“You didn’t ask me; I asked you! I asked for your permission and you granted it!”

“Yes, and now I’m forbidding it!”

Angry now, Trakeena approached Astronema. “You were the one who wanted her to be evil! I was at least generous enough to try to go for it myself!”

While the two were still arguing, the Stingwingers have been defeated and the others were watching the fight. Jenny looked at them as if to say, *I think it’s time to leave.* Ruth understood and nodded. Then, she turned to the others, telling them to teleport back to the ship.

And still, the two women argued...

* * *

So, Jenny realized that no matter what is against her, she should always pull through it and never to turn or yield, even to herself. Amazingly, however, Darkonda was the one who taught her that lesson. Who would have thought that an evil monster would be persuading someone to continue being good?

The End ... for now.