The Return of Winifred

By Jareth

Chapter Twenty-five: Jamba’s ire

“That idiot,” Sparky thought angrily as Professor Nimnul continued to provoke Jamba, “Why is he doing that?!”

“You wouldn’t stand a chance against us!” Continued Professor Nimnul. “It doesn’t matter how strong you are! All one of us needs to do is take a Purple Power Pill, and we can easily beat the guano out of you! Heck,” Professor Nimnul laughed, pointing at Sparky and Dale, who were currently the ones nearest to Jamba, “Those two could do it!”

“Stop it, you fool!” Sparky shouted, running towards Professor Nimnul. “Stop provo— *Oof!” Sparky groaned as he slammed face first into something, falling onto his back. It felt as if his body had slammed into something hard. Sparky looked up to see what he had crashed into, but there was nothing there. Tentatively, he extended his hand forward, only to feel it touch what appeared to be some sort of invisible wall. “What the?” Sparky thought out loud. “A… Barrier?”

“A what?!” Everybody except Professor Nimnul asked at once.

Dale tried to run toward the other rangers, but crashed headlong into the barrier as well. “What the heck is this?!” Dale asked, in an almost protesting tone, as he began to bang on the invisible bubble.

Monty laid Tammy against the onyx wall as the other Rangers began to run over to try and help Dale and Sparky. However, Foxglove froze dead in her tracks halfway there, as a look of sheer terror began to form on her face.

“What’s the matta Foxy-luv?” Monty asked in a concerned tone, as the other Rangers began banging on the Barrier.

Foxglove didn’t answer at first, her eyes, fixated on Jamba. “You-you know that sensation that Gadget said she got when she touched Sparky’s forehead?” Foxglove stammered. “I just started to get that same sensation.”

“Not really sure what ya mean.” Monty said, sounding a bit confused. Foxglove had forgotten that Monty had been unconscious when this had happened.

Zipper flew up towards the ceiling, trying to fly over the invisible wall, but his efforts were in vain, as he quickly found that the barrier reached the ceiling.

“All you need is a pill, and you can beat me?” Jamba asked calmly, causing the Rangers to stop pounding on the barrier. Dale and Sparky turned around to face Jamba. “You have quite the sense of humor,” He continued “but you’ll never defeat me.” With that, Jamba placed his wings over his heart his heart. “Allow me to show you a wall that you will never scale with “pills” alone.”

“My god,” Sparky thought, taking a step back “What is he going to do?”

Sparky’s question was soon to be answered, as Jamba starting groaning, as if he were in some sort of pain. He began to grip his chest, as if he were having a heart attack. Inside the barrier, a small breeze began to pick up, circulating around Jamba.

“Dale!” Foxglove shouted from afar. “Get out of there!” However, despite Foxglove’s pleas, no one, not even Dale, acknowledged Foxglove. For some reason, no one could seem to take their eyes off Jamba.

“Arg…” Jamba groaned as his body began to tremble. “argg… AAAHHH!” Jamba yelled, as he thrust open his wings. However, instead of staying extended at his side, his wings detached from his “arms”, their sockets moving from his sides to his back. Jamba’s fur began to darken, as clawed hands began to sprout from the ends of his “arms”. Jamba continued to yell, now closing his eyes as he slowly began to grow. His legs slowly began to lengthen, growing progressively more muscular as they grew. His arms began to become incredibly muscular as well, as Jamba’s fangs lengthened considerably. Finally, Jamba stopped yelling and began panting, as if he had run around the tower several times. Neither Professor Nimnul, Sparky, nor any of the Rangers could believe what had just occurred. Gone was the “small” flying fox that they all knew and feared. In his place, stood a seven-foot tall, demon-like creature. Jamba’s fur had become as black as night. In place of his wings and stubby bat legs, he now possessed fully developed arms and legs, both of which had become extremely muscular; In fact, his entire body was now extremely muscular. At the end of his fingers and toes, were long, razor sharp claws, which glinted as the floor slowly rotated colors. His wings had moved to his back, and from their appearance, now looked more like dragon wings than those of a bat.
“Well?” Jamba asked, his voice mysteriously unchanged, “what do think?” Jamba opened his eyes, which now glowed a bright red.

There was a long, awkward silence, until it was finally broken by Monty’s, “Crikey.”

“Unbelievable…” Professor Nimnul thought, raising his glasses in disbelief. “I never hypothesized that he would do that.”

“…No…” Uttered Foxglove. Although no one else seemed to notice it, for some reason, Foxglove was able to feel Jamba’s negative energy. Before, when she had first felt it, it felt like a brief, sour feeling in her heart. Now however, that brief sour feeling had become a demonic aura, which seemed to grip her heart, paralyzing her with fear.

“Crikey?” Asked Jamba. “Is that all you have to say?”

No one spoke.

“I had originally erected this barrier around myself,” Jamba continued, directing his words toward Sparky and Dale, “To prevent any of you from escaping. However, it seems that this is as large as I can make it, so I’ll just have to kill you two first.” Jamba gave an evil smile, revealing his razor sharp teeth.

“What should we do?” asked Dale.

Sparky reached into his pocket and pulled out a Purple Power Pill. “Well,” He began, as Dale pulled his pill out of his shirt pocket. Sparky looked at the small pill. “I suppose… No,” He said firmly, shoving the pill back into his pocket. “I can’t take this thing.”

“But we gotta!” Protested Dale. “Why the heck not?”

“It was tested on other rats.” Explained Sparky. “If I take this pill… What will that make me?”

“A lab rat.” Professor Nimnul mumbled

“Shut your mouth!” barked Sparky.

“Takes one to know one!” Retorted Professor Nimnul.

“What?!” Asked Sparky, “what is that supposed to—”

“ENOUGH!!!” Jamba thundered. “I’ve had it with all of you!”

“Well, if you’re not going to take it than I will.” Dale said firmly as he swallowed his pill.

“Good.” Jamba said, grinning evilly. “Than you’ll be the first to… DIE!” With that, Jamba lunged at Dale and Sparky, his right arm outstretched, ready to strike.

“Aaah!” Dale Shouted as Jamba’s clawed hand struck the spot where the two stood, creating a deafening boom and a huge cloud of dust, which, although no longer part of the floor, still continued to rotate colors.

“Noooo!” Foxglove cried, running up to the barrier and collapsing onto her knees. “Dale.” She sobbed.

“Foxglove, look,” Came Chip’s voice “they’re both okay!”

“What?” Foxglove asked hopefully, looking up.

“Good riddance.” Jamba said casually as the sparkling dust began to settle.

“Nope, bad riddance!” Came an overly confidant sounding, chipmunk-ish voice.

Jamba spun around to see Dale and Sparky, completely unharmed. “What?!” He shouted, “That’s not possible! No mortal can move that fast.”

“Actually,” Corrected Dale, “When you came at us, you were going so slow you were practically standing still! And whadayamean by mortal?” Continued Dale. “Are you immortal or something?”

“Yes,” answered Jamba. “As long as Master Winifred is alive, I’m immortal. By the way,” He continued. What you saw just now was nothing. I can move much faster than that.”

“Surrrre.” Dale said sarcastically. “Slow poke.”

“Incredible!” Thought Professor Nimnul. “The pill seems to have different effects on chipmunks than it does on humans. It looks like it made him one point twenty-five million times faster, instead of one point twenty-five million times stronger… or did it still pump him up?”

“He really shouldn’t goof around like that.” Gadget commented, as Dale began pointing and giggling.

“He can’t help it,” Chip said semi-jokingly, “he’s Dale.”

“Well?” Dale asked as Sparky moved away from him, “are you gonna stand their all day, or are you already moving?”

“Hm hm hmmmm.” Jamba laughed, closing his eyes and turning away. He suddenly looked up at Dale, giving him an overconfident look. “Dodge this.” With that Jamba disappeared and reappeared in front of Dale. He attempted to punch him, but Dale dodged to the side.

“No way.” Monty said in shock and disbelief. “He side stepped it!”

“And Jamba was moving so fast, it looked like he teleported!” Added Chip, equally impressed.

Monty pulled out his pill and looked at it. “Can’t wait for my turn.”

Jamba tried to sidekick Dale in the stomach, but Dale jumped, completely avoiding it.

“Ha ha! Too slow!” Dale said tauntingly, giving him the raspberry.

“Wow.” Thought Sparky. “That’s incredible.”

“Way to go cutie!” Cheered Foxglove.

“Why you little—Die!” With that, Jamba unleashed a blur of punches and kicks, all of which, Dale easily avoided, while saying things like: “Snail head!” and “Can’t catch me!”

“Hold still!” Jamba shouted as he lunged forward. Dale bent over and watched as Jamba sailed over his chest. “Ha!” thought Jamba, “He fell for it!” With that, while still over Dale’s chest, Jamba took a swipe downward.

However, miraculously enough, Dale actually managed to avoid it by falling onto his back and rolling out of the way, as Jamba’s claws struck the floor, throwing up more color changing dust. “Whoops, you missed!” Dale said tauntingly.

“YA!!!” Jamba shouted as he attempted to grab Dale. However, as soon as he had done this, Dale Vanished. “What?” Jamba thought, looking around him. “Where did he…”

“Uuuup here!” Came Dale’s voice. Jamba looked up to see Dale, standing on top of his head.

“Get off!” Jamba thundered, attempting to grab Dale once again.

“Sure thing slow poke.” Dale said cheerfully as he hopped of Jamba’s head and landed gracefully on one foot. Jamba looked like he was about ready to explode.

“Quit goofing around you blockhead!” Shouted Chip. “Hit him!”

“Alright, alright! Sheesh.” Dale said, making a non-existent fighting stance. “Sorry Jamba,” Dale said, preparing to attack. “I don’t have time for you.” With that, Dale appeared in front of Jamba and punched him in the stomach. “I beat him!” thought Dale, waiting for Jamba to collapse.

“Is that all?” Asked Jamba.

“What?!” everyone shouted at once.

Dale tried punching Jamba in the same spot a thousand more times (took him three seconds), but with no effect. “Hey!” Protested Dale “What Gives!?”

“The pill only made you faster!” Professor Nimnul yelled to Dale. “You’re still to weak to hurt him!”

“I’m what?!” Dale shouted, sounding annoyed. “What a bunch of— HEY!” Dale yelled, jumping back in surprise as Jamba’s fist just barely missed his head. Dale backed up to the edge of the barrier, next to Sparky. “What’re we supposed to do now?” Dale asked, as Jamba began slowly walking towards him, his claws clicking against the floor as he did so.

Suddenly, Sparky’s hand came down on Dale’s shoulder. “I’ll do it.”
He said firmly.

“But how?” asked Dale. The pills only make you fast and— WHOA!” Dale yelled, grabbing Sparky and moving themselves out of the way as Jamba’s claws came crashing down where they once stood.

“The pills make YOU fast.” Explained Sparky. “They must have a different effect on chipmunks.” Sparky paused. “Nimnul tested the pills on rats, so we already know that it’ll make me stronger.”

“But if you take the pill, what’ll that make you?” Dale asked, repeating exactly what Sparky had said earlier.

“A lab rat.” Answered Sparky. He paused again. “Which, like it or not, is exactly what I am.”

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