My fifth fanfic, I hope you like it. Thanks to JAM and Indy for editing and rating respectively. The story is some high PG for suggestiveness and voilence. Now, on with the 'fic.

A Silent Person Dies Without Noise

By: CD

Part 1

Steve arrived at Flora’s house with a bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates. It was evening, and a perfect night for him to do this. He checked his Hawaiian shirt if he still had the object with him he wanted to give Flora, and sure enough, it was still there. He quickly made some last-minute changes to his appearance before knocking on the door with the end of his walking cane. A few moments later Flora opened, water dripping from her fur and hair and a towel wrapped around her body.
“Sorry, if I knew you where taking a shower I...” Steve tried to apology.
“Don’t fuzz over it, come in while I finish refreshing,” she said hastily and returned to the bathroom before the puddle on the ground could grow larger.
Steve installed himself in a chair, put two of his presents on the stand next to it, and awaited Flora’s return.
“Did the elevator give you any trouble?” She asked when she returned, dressed in her blue strapless dress and baggy pants.
“I took the stairs. After seeing the movie ‘Down’ yesterday I decided to be careful around ‘the terror on a steel wire’. Good movie though, but so was ‘Amsterdamned’. How are you by the way?”
“Our flat is being terrorized by a doorbell ringer, Garret is up to his usual tricks again but other than that everything’s alright,” she replied while sitting down on the sofa.
Steve joined her on it, yawned and was about to put an arm around his girlfriend when they were interrupted by the doorbell.
“I’ll take it,” Steve said and opened the door to see a kid running off and rounding the corner. There was a loud thud and the sound of Garret’s voice.
“So you’re that funny one who keeps ringing my doorbell? I know just what to do with pranksters like you.”
“There goes one of your worries,” Steve informed Flora who now stood next to him.
She took him in her arms and was ready to kiss when someone else rang her doorbell.
“What now?” She asked no one in particular and opened the door.
There was a mouse in a suit with a suitcase, and a nametag that read Robert Stein.
“Good evening ma’am. I represent our fine product Sub-o-Soap—”
“Get lost” Flora told him and slammed the door in his face, there was a muffled “Ow, my nose is stuck between your door,” and then silence.
“Salesmen,” Flora complained.
Steve searched his pocket for the object he really wanted to give Flora to pop the question when they were interrupted by a scream next door. Steve put back the item and followed Flora to where Lisa Doughhearth, Flora’s neighbor, lived. There they found Robert Stein and something much worse.

Chip Maplewood, detective and leader of the Rescue Rangers, was rudely awakened by the sound of a ringing telephone.
“Mom, could you turn off my alarm clock?” Dale moaned and put his pillow over his ears.
Chip jumped out of bed and sleepily made his way over to the telephone and half awake he took the horn.
“Hello, is this Rescue Ranger headquarters?” The person at the other end of the line answered.
“Yes?” Chip answered, waiting for a reply that didn’t come.
Then he realized he held the horn upside down and quickly remedied the situation.
“Yes? Rescue Ranger headquarters, over.”
“It’s me, Flora. I got a case for you, a murder case.”
“Murder?” Chip asked, wide-awake now.
“Murder?” Monterey Jack echoed who had also heard the ringing of the phone.
“It’s my neighbor. She was found dead a few moments ago.”
“Stay there, we’ll be over as fast as we can,” he told her, and went off to wake up the others.

“So there are no traces of blood, fighting or violence?” Chip asked, now dressed in his trademarked fedora and bomber jacket.
“None at all, not a scratch,” Flora answered.
“Then how do we know she didn’t die of old age? She doesn’t look that young anymore.”
“In all my years with her I was never aware of any disease she was suffering from or other illness.”
“Things like a heart attack or such are sudden and can be deadly if not dealt with properly,” Chip reminded her.
“Perhaps, but something tells me that was not the case.”
“Then what could have killed her?”
“Say...” Flora whispered suspiciously as she noticed the cup of tea the corpse had in her hand.
“I got a feeling that box of tea sacs I got today has something to do with it,” she murmured.
“Tea?” Chip asked, quite surprised that would be the cause of Lisa’s death.
“I got them today from a mysterious rat. He didn’t speak a word, he told me to try this new tea recipe he represented and gave me the box. I hoped to make Lisa happy by giving the stuff to her as she liked tea and she would need it more than I would. That tea could have been the cause of her death, and it most likely is.”
“Tea, eh?” Monty asked “I have been put to sleep by it once by some Geisha in Japan who kidnapped me but this...”
“Most people wouldn’t believe a cup of seemingly harmless herbal drink could kill a person. It would be the perfect way to assassinate a person.”
“Who would do such a thing?” Flora asked bewildered.
“You should know, the stuff was for you.” Dale reminded her.
“Oh my god, someone put a price on my head!” Flora blurted out as realization dawned on her. She fainted, but Steve quickly caught her before she hit the floor.
“I think I’ll bring her over to my nightclub,” he told the Rangers “She’ll be safe there, and I doubt she would want to stay here any longer.”
“Right. Monty, Zipper, you should escort Steve back to his place in case this murderer is waiting for another opportunity. We will see if we can find anymore clues here.” Chip ordered.
“Right away Chipper, let’s go Zip.”

Part 2

Philip Stoneturner awakened, stretched, and yawned before hopping out of bed and making his way over to the bathroom. He found his sister there who was brushing her teeth, however he found his sister’s current state quite unsettling.
“I’m sorry.” He apologized and put a hand over his eyes.
“Hmm?” Mercy asked and turned around to see her younger brother who had put a hand over his eyes, blushing slightly.
“What’s wrong?” She asked as she filled a glass of water, took it and flushed her mouth with water before spitting.
“I wouldn’t have entered if I knew about your lack of clothing. Are you angry now?”
Mercy wondered about what all the people at the orphanage had thought Philip as she walked over to him, picked him up and sat him down on his bed.
“Philip, you shouldn’t worry about that. I’m your sister, I love you, and I don’t mind you seeing me like this. Remember, we live together now and so we can do what we want without having to listen to someone else’s rules. If we want to lie around the house doing nothing, waiting until complete exhaustion, tiredness, each other’s scent, and the smell of this place put us to sleep, so be it. Who can hold us from doing that? By the way, this is perfect training for your knowledge on biology.”
Just then, someone rang the doorbell. Mercy got up and opened the door a few inches. She peeked out to see who was there. It was a salesman named Robert Stein, according to his nametag.
“What do you want?” She asked annoyed.
“I sell Sub-o-Soap, the best way of cleaning your clothes.”
“Beat it.”
“Not until you buy at least one box.”
“Okay, hold on a second would you?” Mercy closed the door and panicked. “Now what? My dress is in the washing machine and that dork won’t go until I come out and buy his stuff.”
“You can borrow one of my shirts.” Philip suggested hopefully.
“I think they wouldn’t fit me.”
“They do, I got them in your size as well!” He said cheerfully and searched the closet “Here, I got one. I got shirts in various sizes should I ever grow out of this one, but you can use it now.”
“Well, you sure think ahead of time.” Mercy complimented him and threw on the shirt “Just close your eyes this time, this could be messy.” Using her fists, Mercy efficiently disposed of the evil salesman and got back to her daily schedule. “Now let’s get us something to eat. You want a baked egg or some orange juice?”
“Both!” he cheerily stated and helped his sister in preparing breakfast. “What are we going to do today Mercy?” he asked while he retrieved some oranges from the fridge.
“The same thing I do every day Philip, try to take over Chip’s heart!” She said in her best Brain voice.
“So we’re going to visit the Rescue Rangers again?” the boy asked.
“You bet we will.”

Ans was lying in the hospital in Miami. Her child was finally born, and Gus was now telling Steve to come in and see his new relative. When the father arrived in the waiting area, Steve was in a conversation with Flora about honesty.
“As long as you speak your mind.” he stated.
“Son, you can see our new addition to the family now.”
Steve followed his father to the ward where Ans was now recovering from giving birth. Steve bent over to see the little baby and spoke with all honesty.
“UGH, MAN! What happened to him? Are you sure that’s a baby? Looks more like E.T.! Ugh!!! Aren’t you even ashamed, mom!? I mean, you’re not pretty either but this is the rancid cream on the top! Ew, If it were my child he’d be in the garbage dumpster by now. And that’s supposed to be family of me!”
Steve left without saying another word, incredibly angry. If the ward had normal doors, they would have been slammed shut.
“What did I do wrong now? I thought you had forgiven me!” Ans thought, absolutely not understanding how it had to go like this.
“Nothing happened to him, he’s as healthy as I am. And it’s impossible for me to give birth to an alien. Call me whatever you want but leave my children out of it!” She told no one in particular, crying crocodile tears. Right then, Philip entered, the little chipmunk boy she had seen before whom she liked a lot.
“Mister Nutcracker, I drew a picture of you, your wife and your new child.”
Gus sighed and turned around, annoyed. “I’m looking out of the window dolt, I’m busy! Alright then, I’ll watch.” The father inspected the drawing the little kid made for his family. He handed it back as if it was something really dirty while giving his opinion.
“What sort of rubbish is this, loser? Don’t expect me to say it’s great; I don’t lie. This here is the sun I presume, what’s with the big smile? The sun—” Gus started and pointed out the window, “—is a ball of lava, and lava doesn’t laugh, you numbskull. And who is this, me or the great dictator Adolf Nutler? I don’t like it when I’m being compared to a fascist. First of all, I’m no squirrel, second, I don’t speak German. And I don’t know what this is but suppose you had Napoleon Cheeseaparte in mind when you drew my son. That’s not nice, right? Comparing us to heartless villains, especially when my wife is in recovery. I even suspect you of causing her so much suffering. You don’t have feelings, you’re a sadist! Now get out of here, and make a drawing for that silly sister of you.”
“What happened to you? You are not the Gus Nutcracker I know, he would never go ape over a simple drawing, even if it was god ugly. You’ll never make a good father with such an attitude, stop with it now or I’ll raise this child alone!”
“Wake up Ans, you’re still dreaming!” her husband retorted.
For a moment Ans thought he had insulted her, but then her eyesight faded and when it came back she was in her own bedroom back home.
“You had a nightmare,” her husband explained to her.
“That was weird, but I just hope it will remain just a nightmare and that reality will be different. I don’t want new things to worry about.”
“Whatever it is, I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.” Gus promised her and kissed her forehead. “Now get back to sleep, you’ll need it.”

The Rangers had returned home after they could no longer find anything that could confirm that Lisa was poisoned, but Gadget had taken some of the tea sacs to run a few tests over them. Someone knocked on the door and Dale was the first to open up. He found a teenage squirrel with red hair, pink shirt, and jeans standing in front of the door.
“Can Chipper come out and play?” Tammy asked with a childish voice.
A mischievous plan formed in Dale’s mind. If Tammy was around, that would mean Chip would be forced to stop flirting with Gadget, giving him a chance to finally make moves on her without interference.
“Sure, come in. We’re in the middle of a murder investigation but I think that can wait.”
“A case can’t wait Dale!” Chip warned him, “We have to—” At this point Chip noticed the girl that had just entered.
“Maybe I can help you in investigating?” Tammy offered.
“No way, we’re dealing with a dangerous person here. Besides your mother would grow worried.”
“My mother is shopping, she won’t be back until midnight.”
Dale wanted to use this moment to finally show Gadget how he felt, but someone grabbed his shoulders before he could even get to his room to pick up his present for Gadget. “They got me! Help, they’re going to take me to Uranus! Somebody help me!” he shouted and wanted to get away from whatever had captured him.
“Other than that, everything’s alright cutie?” An all-too familiar voice asked.
Right now it was Dale’s biggest wish to be captured by the cloning aliens that lived somewhere else in this solar system. He liked making moves on someone else, but not someone else making moves on him.
Foxglove entered the headquarters, leaving a petrified Dale behind.
“Did I hear something about a murder investigation?” She asked Monty, who was the only one in the room she could talk to and understand.
“How could you have been wrong with such ears?” Monty replied. “It had to happen sometime, and this is the first time we couldn’t save a person from being killed. But we can at least try and see who did this.”
“Sad, I thought killing was for humans. What motive did the murderer have?”
“We don’t know lass, still too early to say,” he answered her question, making a mental note that she would make a fine detective.
“Any clues that might help?”
“Only a few tea sacs that could have poisoned the victim, and we know the wrong person was killed this time if it was a murder.”
“You mean someone else’s life is still in danger?”
“Most likely it is, but that person is in safe hands for now.”
Just then, another person knocked on the door. Dale, who was still shocked, was able to open the door before he fainted.
“Why, mister Dale. What’s up?” Philip asked him and tried to reanimate him as best as a child can do.
Mercy looked around to see nearly everyone was occupied, except her. Zipper landed on her shoulder and shook his head. “This is how we investigate a murder,” he explained, hoping Mercy understood him.
“Who’s that girl talking to Chip?”
“That’s Tammy, we had to look after her and her little sister once. She has a crush on Chip, but he thinks she’s too young.”
“For his sake I hope so. I wouldn’t want to have someone else get hitched with him before I take a place in his heart. But who’s the lady bat?”
“That’s Foxglove, she likes Dale a lot. She’s the only bat that never tried to eat me yet. You might even learn a few tricks from her to sway Chip.”
“No, I like my own style. And Chip must have seen them already when she used them on the pantless red guy on the floor. I’ll just sit down until everyone quiets down enough to notice me.”
“Guys, I got the results of those tests,” Gadget announced, catching the room’s attention. One knock on the door however was enough to break their concentration. Gadget opened to door to see a familiar scene she hated more than everything. Gadget quickly ran back to her workshop to get one of her inventions while Robert Stein ran for cover, having heard of this mouse several times before when one of his colleagues was carted of to the hospital or cemetery.
“Where did he go?” Gadget asked while holding some sort of diabolical device in her hands.
“He’s long gone Gadget love, let’s just concentrate on your discoveries,” Monty suggested, who never really understood why she had something personal against salesmen.
“Well, if my equipment wasn’t wrong, the tea was indeed poisoned,” Gadget told the others.
“What sort of poison?” Chip wanted to know, for some assassins tended to use the same method of killing people, which could make it easier to guess who committed the murder.
“If you ask me it was simply some toilet cleaning product or bleaching product, or possibly both.”
“Sounds like the perfect poison. Easy to obtain, deadly when consumed, legal by law—”
“Now where to go? It’s not like there is an assassinations agency where we can ask for all the data we need to find this madman,” Dale stated.
“From what I know, you can find the right people for the right job at the Burly Rat. Nearly every thief, killer or smuggler in this city finds his jobs in that place,” Mercy informed them.
“You’re familiar with that place, and with your looks you can easily get us all the info we need to put the murderer behind bars,” Chip offered.
“I wish it was that simple. After all that happened I must have shattered the trust I built up down there. How do you think people there would react to stories that I saved you from Thomas, Salamino’s gang, and my mother marrying a honest businessman? Not to mention the rumors that float around out there...”
“What rumors?” Tammy asked suspiciously.
“It doesn’t matter,” Chip said, cutting off their conversation before it started. “We need to find the place where this killer most likely spends his free time. Any suggestions?”
“I know three places where you can find freelancers, criminals and psychos,” Mercy admitted. “The AGRAFA, Sweet Mother’s Palace, and the Burly Rat.”
“Care to give us some more detailed information?” Monty asked her.
“Sure, got a map we can use?”
Tammy suspiciously watched as this strange girl pinpointed three locations on the map of the city. This girl knew a lot of crime, perhaps too much. But she could worry about that later. First, she had to prove to Chip that she was a good detective and fit to join the Rescue Rangers, even if that meant getting herself in peril.
“Now that we know where to look for this person, I suggest Zipper and Monty to go see if they could find Billie at the docks and see what he knows. The harbor is always a good place to ask around since news travels too. Dale, you should go and see if you can find something in Sweet Mother’s Palace. Now we have to find someone who can handle the AGRAFA,” Chip stated while trying to think of someone that could do this.
Tammy’s face brightened as she hoped Chip would ask her. However, the telephone took Chip’s attention before she could ask to be included in this case.
“Rescue Rangers, no case to big no case to small. Who’s calling?” Chip answered the call.
“It’s me, Flora. Did you find anything yet?” The other person at the line asked.
“Yes, your neighbor was indeed poisoned. Right now we just have to find someone who can go to the AGRAFA and see if there is someone who knows about this murder and who did it.”
“I could go over there for you and see if I can help,” Flora suggested.
“Don’t you think that could be dangerous? What if the murderer who is after you is there and kills you?”
“I’ll take that risk. You needed an investigator and you got yourself one. Besides, it’s a forbidden to draw blood in a public business.”
“Fine, I’ll give you the address.”
Tammy had a feeling this job wasn’t going to be her business. She just hoped there was something she could do. “Is there something you want me to do?” she asked eagerly.
“You could clean the house if you insist or cook up something for us when we get home,” Chip offered.
“No, I mean investigation work.”
“No way, that’s way too dangerous! Leave this to the experts.”
“Don’t worry Chip, I’ll stay here to keep an eye on her.” Gadget offered reassuringly.
“Good idea Gadget. Foxglove, you should stay here as well. Leave it to us,” Chip advised. “Now who is going to the Burly Rat?”
All the other Rangers and their visitors looked expectantly at Chip, except for Tammy who seemed quite offended. Chip gulped, he knew who was going to do this job.

Part 3

A little later, the Rangers finished preparing Chip for his infiltration of the Burly Rat.
“Why Chipper, you look beautiful,” Monty told his disguised companion.
“That’s right Chipper, downright adorable.” Tammy agreed teasingly, even though she had already seen his get-up before.
Chip himself gritted his teeth and felt more humiliated than ever before. He clearly wasn’t enjoying this and his friends’ teasing wasn’t helping either.
“We just need something to remember this forever,” Dale chimed in as he grabbed Gadget’s self made photo camera and shot a few pictures with the flash on its lowest setting so Chip wouldn’t have to close his eyes or suffer from blindness. “Come on Chip, smile to the birdie,” Dale encouraged while shooting a few more pictures. “Would you mind posing in front of the camera?”
“Don’t look so angry Chip, it clashes with your outfit,” Gadget warned. “And we don’t want you to spoil the pictures.”
“We should send Chip’s parents a few pictures as well to put into their photo album,” Dale noted while photographing his long time friend from different angles. “Look at that wonderful figure, the beautiful torso, her well-shaped butt—”
“This goes a little too far!” Chip snapped back and covered the lens with his hand.
“Awh, come on Chip, its great fun when you see the pictures over a few years,” Dale reasoned and continued snapping pictures.
“That’s right.” Monty explained “The more happy memories we have of being Rescue Rangers the better. I remember that in Morocco I met Canada’s top journalist—”
“We need a picture of this interviewer as well,” Dale suggested while handing the camera to Gadget and putting Chip’s fedora on his head.
“Go ahead Gadget,” he told her and leaned against the wall with one hand.
Right then Mercy and Philip entered the living room and saw Chip’s embarrassing disguise. Mercy immediately broke out in laughter. “Chip, you look even cuter than I do!” she said between giggles. “Would you lend me that dress sometime? I’m sure it would look good on me too.”
Philip ran up to him and looked over the detective in drag. “You are stunningly beautiful, at what time should I pick you up?” he said professionally.
“Forget it, you won’t get a date,” Chip retorted.
“His parent’s wouldn’t approve,” Mercy explained to Philip. “You should behave like a bad girl and sneak out at night to meet cute boys like my little brother,” she advised Chip.
“If everyone had his share of fun and teasing can go and get to work?” Chip asked. “If you guys won’t go I’ll go on my own,” he said as he walked toward the door. “I’ll get back at you!” he whispered to Dale right before he exited and slammed the door shut.

“Say, wait a moment. Where are you going?” Steve demanded as he rummaged through the storage room next to the guest room.
“I’m going to help in investigating the murder,” Flora told him.
“Not so fast,” Steve demanded as he blocked the double doors “It’s too dangerous to go outside alone. Not to mention investigating the murder on your own. Let Henk or Timbert escort you if you want to go outside or both.”
“Steve, I’m quite capable of saving my own skin. I don’t need them or Hiss or Mousestein to protect me.”
“You mean too much for me to risk your life. At this moment, you are in my nightclub and I decide what happens here. And I decide you shouldn’t go out all alone. And, with the risk of sounding like a parent, I demand you go back to your room now.”
Flora gave him a dirty look and walked back in the direction of her room. Steve watched as she did but suddenly he sneezed violently and lost an eye contact. When he looked up he saw that Flora rounding the corner that lead to the kitchen.
“Stop, come back!” Steve warned as he ran after her.
Flora started running too. She entered the kitchen and closed the door behind her. When Steve had reached the kitchen she was nowhere to be seen but he reasoned she had entered the bar in his nightclub through the other door. He followed and he saw her running toward the exit.
“Halt, you can’t go outside!” He yelled and jumped on the bamboo counter but slipped and fell with his chin on a barstool. He made a mental note to compliment Timbert later for choosing barstools with a soft cushion on it instead of completely wooden or metal ones. He looked up to see Flora leaving the nightclub. He was too late, she was outside now.
“Oh no!” he cried.

“Aren’t you worried about Chip?” Philip asked his elder sister.
“We might have gone a little too far with that teasing, but it was an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up. He’ll forget it soon enough; he’s been through worse.”
“No, I mean concerned about his health, not concerned about your friendship. What if he has to engage in useless violence?”
“Philip, there is only one type of violence that is useless and that is foiling a cucumber when your recipe asks for nuts,” Mercy assured him.
“That is Foilence with an F, not a V.”
“How was I supposed to know that? Don’t forget I never got to do High School.”
“Me neither, blame it on our mother for not sending you to a good Primary School.”
“I guess so, you’re the one with brains around here.”
“But now what is going to become of Chip?” Philip said, trying to get back on topic.
“Wait with worrying until over a few hours. The Burly Rat, and the other places the Rangers are going to investigate aren’t open yet. Except for the docks, of course.”
“I guess you’re right on that, you know the outside world better than me.”

Chip was quite annoyed when he saw on a clock pole that it was still noon. Most criminal activity took place at night and that was also the time that The Burly Rat got most of its customers. Chip was wandering aimlessly through the streets of New York when suddenly he heard someone call his name. He looked up to see an old acquaintance of him. She was accompanied by two men, probably agents, or business partners.
“Why are you walking around in that dress and with a wig on your head?” The girl asked him with the same sweet voice Chip hadn’t heard in quite a while.
“Clarice!?” Chip asked, quite surprised she recognized him.
“The one and only. I answered your question, now you answer mine,” The gorgeous chipmunk lady demanded.
“It’s a disguise,” Chip said casually, trying not to show it irritated him lest she would start teasing as well.
“You’re an investigator? I know you always liked that detective stuff but how did you convince Dale to follow your lead? I thought he didn’t like Sureluck Jones stuff.”
“Not Sureluck Jones-like, we’re heroes. We agreed to clear the name of a human police detective and his dog. After that we formed the Rescue Rangers.”
“You, Chip Maplewood, leader of the Rescue Rangers? Gosh, my admirer a hero? This sure does sound like a fairy-tale.”
“Well, I’m not really the admirer I was years ago. Things have changed a lot since we last met.”
“You no longer feel attracted to me?” Clarice asked surprised.
Chip was uncertain what to say. Would she understand if he told her about his messed-up love life or would she immediately run toward the newspaper to try if she could get some coin for her story?
“That’s ridiculous!” Chip thought “Her life doesn’t revolve around money alone, friendship and attention is something she needs as well.”
“Come on Chip, you can tell me. I understand if your heart is already with someone else. You’re only chipmunk after all.”
“Well—things are quite complicated,” Chip started. “You’re still cute, but I’m caught in an extremely fragile love triangle. I’m loved by two girls who fortunately haven’t fought over me the way me and Dale did over you. But Dale and me lately have competed a lot over a team member. I have not the faintest idea who to chose.”
“Depends—could you give me some more detailed information on the three girls?” Clarice offered.
“Mercy is something like seventeen years old and she has the unsettling ability to nullify my ability to think, something like a trance or hypnosis. Then there’s Tammy who is if am right about twelve years, she constantly calls me ‘Chipper’ which is quite annoying. Last is Gadget who is part of the Rescue Rangers and she’s brilliant except when it’s about love, she’s clueless on that.”
Clarice put a hand under her chin and thought deeply. “I think you won’t have to worry about Tammy for the next six years. She’s under age, and you don’t know how the outside world would react to a relationship like that,” she finally spoke. “As for your team member, if she’s not noticing you, you either have to try harder or forget her. I think Mercy wouldn’t be too much of a problem, except that she sometimes has total control over you. Has she ever done you any harm?”
“No, not directly. She’d probably be unable to; she admits she’s somewhat fragile herself. But she once became so mad at someone she caused extensive damage to his spine. I don’t think she would ever try to harm me at all, she admires me. And besides, she has a younger brother that keeps her in line.”
“She seems alright, but it’s still your choice whether to go for her. But be careful when you finally decide who you want; the others could become jealous. And I know better then you what the consequences of that are. But how is it going next to your troubled love life?”
“Bad, we’re currently working on our first murder case.”
“Horrible, I don’t think I want to be in your shoes right now. Sometimes I don’t understand my fellow rodents. Take my little nephew for example, who suffers from Down’s syndrome. However he may be calmness itself, he never wanted to, let alone did, hurt a fly. Did he ever raid a shop, rob a poor lady, or rape a woman in a disco under influence of drugs and alcohol? No, that’s something for ‘normal’ rodents. He once nervously told me I had pretty eyes while normal people have no problem with telling me I arouse them. I don’t care if he still has trouble writing his own name, heaven is a dull place compared to his smile. Everyone calls him funny names but they miss the fact that if we were all as ‘strange’ and ‘moronic’ as my nephew then aggressive acts like assault and murder would be problem of the past, so there!”
“I totally agree, it would make my job as a Rescue Ranger a lot easier.”
Chip and Clarice continued talking to each other, catching up on how each other were doing. By now, Chip had all but forgotten he was in drag and probably wouldn’t have cared anymore if he did remember.

Meanwhile at the AP precinct three mice entered an office.
“Well, let’s see gentlemen,” Chief Rensen announced. “You have offered to help in our investigation Mr.—”
“Hackwrench,” A mouse with yellow-orange hair and moustache dressed in a bomber jacket, pilot scarf and helmet.
“Good, but for what reason? I mean, you don’t HAVE to get involved with this,” Ulbrecht warned.
“I just want to make myself useful. After my plane crashed over Africa I have been isolated from civilization for months, maybe years. I tried getting my life back on track, but no one wants to hire an ace pilot who crashed with a valuable load and expensive plane and then lives a long time in a dangerous jungle without knowing what happened to the rest of the world. Upon coming home I couldn’t find my daughter anymore, maybe she ran of with some stranger or now lives with one of my old friends.”
“If your family name is Hackwrench, could it be that your daughters name is Gadget?” Rensen asked while quickly searching for a copy of Gadget’s file.
“That’s right. Nothing bad happened to her I hope?” Geegaw asked nervously.
“Not at all,” Ulbrecht calmed him. “In fact, she joined a crime fighter group called the Rescue Rangers. She saved countless of rodents, animals and humans all over the world.”
“She did? She’s become famous too? What about the rest of the team, do they treat her well?”
“There is Chip and Dale, two chipmunks that formed the team. Then there is Zipper and Monterey Jack—”
“Monty? Odd, I know a mouse with exactly the same name whose companion is also named Zipper. Does this Monterey Jack have an Australian accent and an unnatural love for cheese?”
“‘Unnatural’ love for cheese is the wrong word. When there is cheese around he becomes mind controlled or something.”
“Here, I got all you need to know about them,” Rensen declared as he dropped a stack of files on the table. “It contains all we know about your daughter, her team and teammates. We’ll let you—”
Geegaw hadn’t heard the last few sentence of the AP chief as he took all the documents and quickly left the precinct to find his precious Gadget.

Part 4

Tammy looked out of the window with a bored expression on her face. All the other Rangers had already left to find out who committed the murder. There was no one with whom she could talk to, at least in her opinion. She still felt some slight jealousy toward Gadget, but that was not why she didn’t want to talk to her. Her mind-bashingly high IQ was what troubled her as Gadget could never have a normal discussion without giving a complicated scientific explanation. Foxglove was a little too shy to talk to and besides, she spend most of her time outside, sleeping upside-down. She had a suspicion that Mercy was after Chip as well, so to avoid conflict she left her alone. And Philip was a little too young for her. Besides, she already had a younger sister that ran her ragged the entire day and she feared this young boy might be just like that. She sighed and decided to grab some food. When she entered the kitchen she found that the little chipmunk boy had similar plans, but for some reason he just stood there in deep thought. Tammy was uncertain whether to help him but asked him what was the problem before she knew it.
“What’s up?” Tammy asked, breaking the child’s concentration.
“The bowls,” the kid answered which confused Tammy to no end.
“Did I land in the Twilight Zone or something?” she thought and asked, “What bowls?”
“They are too high, I can’t reach them.”
Tammy realized what bowls he meant. “Aw well, I suppose I could lend him a hand,” she thought. “As long as he doesn’t start ordering me around like Binky does.” Tammy walked over to the kitchen counter and opened a kitchen cabinet and took a bowl out for the chipmunk tyke.
“Thanks,” he said as he put some chips in it. “Mercy and me were going to play a game of Mouseopoly, would you like to join us?” he asked with an innocent smile.
Tammy had to think about that. Would it be okay to talk to her competition and play a game no less? “Come on Tammy, it’s just a game of Mouseopoly,” she told herself. “What harm could it do? Maybe I’ll be able to even beat Mercy.” Tammy was unsure if it was safe to do, but finally Philip convinced her. She helped him with getting some Coockoo Cola and followed him to where Mercy had already set up the entire board game. “I’ll be the bank,” she offered as she put down her cup and the bowl with chips.
“Alright, but all tax money goes to the Jackpot,” Mercy declared as she grabbed the dice to see if she would start out first.
“Twelve, want to bet that I’ll be first?”
“Ten.” Philip declared and handed the dice to Tammy.
Tammy rolled them and got two times six.
“It’s a draw,” she said triumphantly and took them again. This time she got one five and a three. Mercy grabbed and rolled.
“Drat, three,” Mercy cursed and handed them back to Tammy.
Due to the game they lost track of time and forgot all problems. Tammy was especially ecstatic when Mercy got on one of her hotels and went bankrupt. After that Philip took the Jackpot, which was quite stacked up by now, and Tammy went down when she reached one of Philip’s hotels, which was on the most expensive street in the game.
“Hah, I’m the best!” Philip declared proudly.
“More luck in games than in love,” Mercy mused which caught Tammy quite off guard.
Fortunately Gadget entered and took their minds of the game. “What would you all think about going to Club Acorn? I heard their number one singer returned from her tour through the country. Are you three interested?” she suggested.
“What about the bat lady who’s still outside?” asked Philip.
“Foxglove can come along too, of course. But I’m not sure if she should fly with this weather, it looks like it could start raining any time now.”
It didn’t take them much time to find Foxy who was still hanging from a tree branch. By now she was awake and didn’t mind a small trip.
“Gosh, I didn’t know you liked nightclub trips Gadget,” Tammy noted.
“I don’t visit them very often. Well except for Steve’s place but that’s because he’s a friend, not because I like the shows. Oh, strike that, maybe I would like them if I ever took the trouble of seeing one. Anyway, I just thought you liked to go as most other girls usually visit clubs at evening to meet other people. Would you believe that for some reason I suddenly have to think about my father?”
“That’s not strange at all,” Foxglove told her.
“Maybe if you consider he has been missing for a few years now,” Gadget continued while she put Philip in the back of the Ranger Plane and buckled up his seat belt.
“Be happy you know what a father is. Me and Philip never got to meet our fathers due to my mother,” Mercy comforted her as she climbed in.
“I guess so.” Gadget admitted as she took her place in the pilot’s chair and waited for Foxglove and Tammy to get in before flying off.

Dale had reached what looked like Sweet Mother’s Palace, which was located in the back of a neon-illuminated alley along with three other buildings. He walked toward the entrance where a rat dressed in a black coat and black hat with red band had guard duty.
“Well, well, our Christmas light bulb has finally arrived. Unfortunately you’re late,” the rat sneered.
“Don’t make comments over my nose, my mother gave it to me and I’m proud of it!” Dale angrily replied, he always hated it when someone would make fun of his big red nose.
“Ah, you’re mother’s sweetest,” the rat snickered.
“Why you nasty—” Dale mused darkly and rolled up his sleeves.
From out of nowhere the rat pulled a knife the size of a short sword.
“The more trouble you cause the more you’ll have to pay for entering,” he warned.
“Okay, okay, just put thing back. And would you stop insulting me?”
“What are you? A pacifist or a child? If it’s the last you should not be here,” the rat suggested while putting his weapon away.
“What do you mean?” Dale asked.
“Can’t you read?” The rat asked and took Dale’s neck and pushed him with his nose against a warning list, “No one under eighteen permitted, no infants, forbidden for babies. That means both physically and mentally.”
“But I have to enter!”
“No can do.” The rat insisted and crossed his arms.
“In the name of the law I demand it!” Dale continued.
“Crime fighter right? Fu-Jong, would come over here for a moment?” A Siberian chipmunk walked over to Dale and the rat. He was dressed in a black kimono with a red band and was much taller than Dale and the rat where. “This is Fu-Jong Hai. Fu-Jong, this immature soul claims he is policeman. But I’m convinced the police doesn’t pick its members on length anymore and I doubt he’s speaking the truth. And you know what to do with liars right, Jong?”
Fu-Jong grumbled something in response and cracked his knuckles.
“W-wait a m-minute I-I-I n-never s-said I-I’m p-p-part of the A-A-AP” Dale said defensively.
“Sorry, I can’t understand a word of what you’re saying. Continue Fu-Jong.”
“What’s going on down there?” A female voice upstairs demanded to know.
“It says it’s a policeman!” The rat shouted back.
“Let him in,” she ordered.
“Alright miss, Christy,” he agreed and turned to Dale, “Go in and take the stairs up. Don’t go left, you didn’t pay for that.”

Dale entered and went up the stairs. There he looked around until he noticed an office door with a nametag on it that read, “Christi ‘Sweet Mother’ Lighthead”. When he entered, his nose was invaded by a strong perfume or air refresher that made had very negative effects on his mind. He looked ahead to see a chipmunk lady with long blonde hair. She wore a white skirt and a pink shirt and mules. She had her eyes closed and concentrated on something.
“What are you doing?” he asked, confused.
She opened her eyes and noticed her visitor. “Spiritual practice. Ever heard of meditation?”
“What for?”
“Lately I took a guru into partnership who told me life is about more than taking the money of honest though naughty men. In an attempt to understand what he meant I started with meditation. But to be honest, I still haven’t found out what he means. Ah well, I can always take up partnership with that voodoo doctor from southern America if this starts getting boring. But now what do you want?”
“I investigate a murder case. Do you have any idea who could have done it?”
“You won’t find anything like murderers in here, Rudolf,” she said teasingly.
“Rapunsel,” Dale countered.
“What does that mean?” Christi demanded to know. “My hair might be long but spare me your nasty comments!”
“Well, you called me Rudolf,” Dale explained.
“By the way, what’s your true name or do you want me to keep calling you Rudolf?” Christy asked a little more relaxed now.
“I’m Dale Oakmont.”
“I know you, you’re that Rescue Ranger right?” Christy’s suspicion went up enormously. What did she do to deserve this kind of attention from law enforcement groups? And why not send that beauty named Gadget? If they where so suspicious about her why didn’t they know about her disposition toward men? “What makes you think I murdered someone?”
“Hold it, I didn’t say you murdered her, just that I might find the clues I need in here.”
“The chances that a killer enters this place are just as high for a fireman entering this building.”
“What is this place anyway?” Dale wondered out loud.
Christy walked away from her desk and moved toward Dale. “If there is something I know about you it’s your childish innocence. And we don’t want to ruin that, right?” she asked while rubbing his head with her knuckles.
“Would you cut that out?” he asked quite annoyed.
“Okay, won’t happen again,” she replied innocently and sat down on her desk and swung her right leg over her left. Dale looked away from her to prevent from looking under her skirt; a rule his parents thought him long ago. “What are you looking at?” she asked when she noticed he was suddenly fascinated by her bookcase.
Dale remembered a line from when one morning he was going to brush his teeth and found his mother in the bathroom who quickly covered herself with her bathrobe. “I-I was just going to brush my teeth,” he explained.
“What do you mean with that?”
This reminded Dale of when he returned home with a report card full of bad grades. It was exactly what his father told him when he lied that someone switched cards while the name on top clearly read “Dale Oakmont”. “It’s not my fault!” Dale said defensively.
“You’re weird. What disease are you suffering from?” Christy asked, a very normal question when someone is delirious.
However, to Dale it was like the first words he heard from Chip, who at first treated him like a real dork. “I don’t know. But you must think you’re Indiana Jones or something.”
“Who do you think you are, Rudolf?” Christy insulted Dale.
By now Dale recovered from whatever came over him and replied to her insult. “Stop it Rapunsel!” he shouted.
“Ugly unpolished light bulb!”
“Seductive attention hussy!”
“Mentally disturbed son of a mother!”
“Naughty daughter of a father!”
This send a shiver trough Christy’s body and caused her to use her most severe insult. “Man!” She spat in his face, which surprised Dale to no end.
“What kind of insult is that?” Dale wondered.
“Get out of my office NOW!!!” She screamed at him while she searched her drawer for something.
“Fine, it’s no use staying here if I’m not welcome.” Dale got up end left, slamming the door shut which caused a statue on Christy’s bookcase to fall off and shatter to pieces on the ground. She gasped in horror, stomped toward the window, and opened it. “Vinnie, Fu-Jong, grab that mannerless chipmunk!!” she shouted angrily at them. After shouting orders she moved over to where the statue had broken. Tears formed in Christy’s eyes. It was a present from her mother, who she loved dearly. It used to be a statue of her and her mother made it herself. Now it was broken beyond repair. “That barbaric masculine idiot has absolutely no respect for my possessions! But what else to expect from males? They all need a little extermination, and I’ll start with Dale Oakmont!”
Dale yelled and screamed as Fu-Jong brought him into Christy’s office.
“Do you see what you’ve done?” Christy asked her captive as she pointed toward the broken statue.
“As if that’s a reason to send this—buffed-up body builder after me.” Dale countered.
“It’s a reason for much more.” Christy replied and took a silenced pistol from her bureau drawer and put it to Dale’s head.
“Boss, that’s not a good idea!” Vinnie the rat warned her.
“Give me one very good reason,” Christy asked without looking away from her target, her finger tightening around the trigger.
“Your visitor will arrive soon, we won’t get this office cleaned up before he arrives.”
“Is that really worth sparing his live?” Christy asked while looking at her guard angrily.
Dale saw his chance and kicked Christy away from him. She crashed into her desk but quickly recovered and punched Dale in the gut.
“Alright Vinnie, your call. What are we going to do to ice him without making a mess of my office?”
“Give him to me and I’ll dump him in the water somewhere, his feet in a bowl of cement,” Vinnie suggested and was already ready with a rope.
“Agreed, but you are aware that he’s now your responsibility right?”
“Don’t worry, I’m on top of it,” the rat replied and got to work.

Geegaw arrived at the big oak tree in the middle of central park. He managed to get up to the front door and knocked. When no one had opened up a minute later, he tried again. But it seemed that no one was home. Through the window, he could see a nearly empty bowl and three empty cups on the floor, one with some of the soda drink Coockoo Cola left in it. He could also identify the board game Mouseopoly that looked like someone had already won this game. Geegaw guessed the Rangers where either on a case or took some time off.
“I think I’ll return later,” he decided and left.

Flora finally reached the place Chip was talking about when suddenly she heard someone behind her, panting heavily. She turned around and saw Steve.
“Y-You—you’re coming with me r-right now!” he managed to get out before falling face-first on the pavement.
“You’ll have to drag me back to your home first,” Flora insisted and sat down on his back and swung one leg over the other.
“Would you get off now?” Steve asked, understandingly annoyed.
“Hmm, I’m not sure,” Flora replied while massaging her feet. “You feel quite comfortable, Steve.”
“They got chairs inside that place,” Steve offered while pointing to the AGRAFA. “Go sit down in there.”
“Odd, that’s where I had to go for Chip. I tell you what: I’ll get off you if you let me investigate this without interference.”
“I’m afraid I’ll have to agree, you have the upper hand right now. But I’m going with you to insure you’ll be save.”
“I don’t see the need for that, I can take care of myself. But because you’re so stubborn I’ll let you come with me.” Flora got off Steve and he got back on his feet again. “By the way, what does AGRAFA mean anyway?” she wondered.
“It stands for ‘Association of Gun slinging Rednecks Away From Arkansas’.”
“Sounds promising,” Flora stated and entered, Steve following close by. Inside the place looked like a mix between a country and western bar. The only proof that this place used electricity where the lights and a jukebox.
Suddenly Steve picked up a conversation between two customers close to him. “...really, that last American Festival was a whole mess, a waste of yer time.”
“What the Sam Hill happened then?”
“They send a bunch of pig food eatin’ fakes instead of the real Bluegrass Beasts! Can ye believe they did that? Ye don’t make such mistakes! They should have gotten themselves a group of Cossacks instead, at least they have skill! I mean really, this was no music! It was drooling over yer instruments while making a few noises now and then!”
“Am I glad I spend mah time in Houston during that!”
Steve gulped and was glad that the bad lighting was shading his face or he would have been toast.
“Don’t worry Steve,” Flora comforted him who already know who had replaced the Bluegrass Beasts. “You did great, and those two have no idea what real music is anyway.”
“I-I think I’ll spend some time in the bathroom,” Steve decided, hoping he would be safe there.
“Alright, I’ll wait up for you,” Flora told him.
“Forget it, let’s go,” Steve replied because he reasoned hiding would only slow them down if Flora didn’t investigate anyway.
“By the way, this country music is getting old really fast,” Flora informed him. “I’ll see if I can find something happier on that jukebox.”
Flora made her way over to the jukebox with Steve covering her back. She threw in some money but when she changed the music to ragtime, the jukebox was the only sound in the entire bar as conversation died out immediately and all eyes were pointed at Steve and Flora.
“Uh, she just changed the music, that’s all,” Steve informed the entire club and pointed in Flora’s direction while moving away from her. With a lot of noise everyone aimed his or her weapon at the two chipmunks. Shotguns, pistols, rifles and machineguns were all pointed in their direction. One person had even grabbed dynamite.
“That was a bad idea,” the bartender said and got back to cleaning a glass. There was a long moment of silence as Steve and Flora dared not to breathe, as the slightest form of movement could be fatal. “They want you to change the music back,” the bartender advised before continuing his work. Steve slid his hand into his pocket and took out some change to throw into the music device that was still happily playing an unfamiliar song. He shakily changed it to what he guessed was their kind of music. As the sounds of Rawhide filled the room the weapons were still pointed at them. Flora and Steve slowly made their way to the door and exited right when the sounds of gunfire began to fill the room. When the noise quieted down the door was in ruble, the guns were empty and the jukebox dead. But Flora and Steve were safely outside, and that was all that mattered to them.

Part 5

Christy had disposed of the rubble of the statue and had calmed down a little more when someone else entered her office.
“What are youse doing?” The gangster rat asked his soon-to-be business partner.
“It’s called meditation.” Christy replied, wondering why the rat didn’t send a moll, but upon looking him over she understood no girl wanted to be his moll.
“What? How do you do that?” The rat asked, as he had no idea what meditation was.
“You sit around a little and breathe now and then,” Christy explained, even though she hadn’t booked success this way yet.
“And what happens then?” he asked, still not understanding what use this had.
“It’s an internal quest for Yin and Yang.” Christy answered, repeating what she read in a booklet.
“What a waste of time,” Capone sneered as he closed the door.
“Great minds think alike,” Christy replied and got out of a position that hurt her buttocks. “This Asian stuff is starting to get boring. It only makes a fool of me, and at least that voodoo doctor can help me neutralize my foes.”
“Say, that’s a nice painting you got there. I like that type of art,” Rat Capone noted, trying to compliment Christy’s tastes as well.
“That’s right, it’s the result of me considering what could have happened to Elvis Munkley if he didn’t die in the hospital,” she replied and smiled at it. On the painting was Elvis Munkley, the rodent rock star, tied up to a railway track. “He was male, after all,” Christy replied and smiled broadly which even startled Capone a bit. “Now what is the reason you visit? What kind of cooperation did you have in mind?”
“Me and my cousins, Francis and Thomas, are considering joining forces to not only take over, but also to wipe out the opposition. The Animal Police and the Rescue Rangers. Maybe you would join us. Youse will be considered neutral, but it would pay of if you pooled resources and gave us certain rights ‘cause you’ll not be forgotten.”
“Why should I be contend with this city if I’ll end up in jail after a short reign? Takeovers like these usually don’t last. I like it the way it is, I control a monopoly in adult entertainment and have large share in this city’s drug dealership. With the money this gets me I can buy myself anything. If I wanted to I could make a run for president of the United States.”
“It won’t last forever, my criminal empire is on the rise. Youse might have your monopoly and money but competition is unavoidable. Today a Speakeasy, tomorrow a Casino, next week control of City Hall. Youse can have a hand in all of this you know, everyone will bow before Christy ‘Sweet Mother’, my moll.” Capone bragged.
“You sick, filthy, ugly, egoistical hoodlum! Don’t you know I absolutely despise men!? I’d be caught dead rather than be YOUR moll!! You can dream whatever you want; your empire will always be nothing more or less than an illusion! Don’t think I’ll ever join forces with YOU!” Christy had grabbed her pistol but Capone jumped her and pinned her against the ground before she could fire a shot. However Christy’s smile surprised Rat Capone. Suddenly he remembered about the information an ‘associate’ gave him. Only three of the four of Christy’s henchmen were know: Vinnie “Sharpblade”, Fu Jong Hai and Bennie “Fixer”. Nothing was known about Christy’s fourth helper, but Rat had a suspicion about what his profession was, which also explained why people died for no reason before Vinnie, Fu Jong or Bennie could even get close. Faster then anyone would give him credit for Rat Capone hid behind Christy’s desk. The enraged girl got to her feet again but Capone threw over the desk so it landed on her legs, which caused her to fall and lose her grip on the gun. Capone quickly grabbed Christy by her shirt and used her as a living shield. He slowly made his way over to the door, pushed her out of the way, and closed the door behind him. He ran down the hall, off the stairs, out of the building and soon enough Fu Jong gave chase. Unfortunately Rat Capone was able to enter the sewers where the bulky chipmunk dared not to follow.

Meanwhile Tammy, Mercy, Gadget, Foxglove and Philip were enjoying the performance of Clarice, Club Acorn’s star actress.
“I must admit she’s cute, but you won’t catch me trying to woo her.” Tammy stated.
“I’m sure the boys would try to impress her, if they do that with me I don’t want to know what they would do for her,” Gadget reasoned.
“Probably a lot of fighting, chips like them would knock each other out for a knockout like her,” Mercy guessed.
“That’s got to hurt, both physically and on terms of relations,” Foxglove theorized.
“Ah well, it’s about time we got back. It’s way past Philip’s bedtime,” Mercy insisted.
“Come on Mercy, it’s not that late right?” Philip tried.
“The last one to get into the Ranger Plane is a slowpoke,” Foxglove suggested, which changed Philip’s mind as he immediately ran toward the exit. However, he bumped into an actress on the way back.
“Watch it boy, you’re still too young to be hastened,” Clarice warned as she got back to her feet.
“Sorry miss, I didn’t see you,” Philip apologized.
“Golly, are you alright Philip?” Gadget asked, concerned.
“Yes miss Gadget, just a small headache,” the boy reassured her.
“Say, aren’t you the Gadget from the Rescue Rangers?” Clarice asked surprised.
“That’s right, do you need my help?”
“I’m one lucky girl, first I meet your leader Chip who once was my admirer, and now the famous Gadget Hackwrench.”
“Admirer?” Tammy asked concerned.
“Sure, you should have seen him and Dale fight over me when I was still an undiscovered talent.”
Mercy gave Tammy a meaningful glance. “Truce?” she whispered.
“Sure, I’m sure you want answers as well as me,” Tammy answered quietly.
“Let’s get to my dressing room, we can talk there,” Clarice offered and led the way.

“Nice room.” Philip complimented tactfully and sat down on a recliner.
“You’re a real ladies man right?” Clarice asked, now in her chamber robe, as she sat down on the chair in front of her makeup table. She sprayed some deodorant under her arms before continuing. “You remind me of my nephew. He’s cute too, even though people dare call him an ‘oddball’. And that while he knows more couplets of our national anthem than the average rodent. He even knows the entire biography of Marco van Mousen, Michael Ratsmacher and Boris Munksin.”
“Marco van Mousen?” Gadget asked, not familiar with European heroes.
“Soccer player at FC Bar Celona-mice. Or ‘voetbal’ as van Mousen calls it,” Clarice explained.
“Just out of curiosity, how did you meet Chip and Dale?” Tammy asked carefully so she wouldn’t arouse suspicion from her.
“That was in the days I was still unknown. I wasn’t interested in the jobs other girls my age did to earn some extra coins. So, I slowly worked myself up in the world of ‘glitter and glamour’. Those two were of the first to behold me in this nightclub. Just thinking about then makes me experience the stage fright I had the first time. However, they immediately told me I had talent when they saw me sneaking back to my dressing room, nervous as heck. They gave me the courage I needed to do another performance here, and another one, and another one after that. They slowly helped me become the star I am nowadays. That doesn’t mean I’d ever trade my fame for the old days. In fact, I miss the times when I invited them over to the club to see me; I just love those cute boys. But things moved on, and I’m sure things are different now. Chip himself told me he’s in a complicated love triangle. I just hope him and Dale can get themselves tied up sometime, even if it isn’t with me.”
“The boys are a hand full, marrying one of them equals a lot of trouble and one big mess. They’re nice, but they get rough on nearly everything!” Gadget warned, using her personal experience with Chip and Dale as an argument.
“That’s right,” Clarice agreed. “You should have seen my parents’ faces when the boys once decided to escort me to the club one night. As if they saw their daughter leave with a group of Hell’s Angels! But if you know Chip and Dale you can’t help but know they fight over the same girl all the while. If you only look at one the other will turn green with envy. That’s why I always split my attention between both of them, so I wouldn’t tear two friends apart. It worked, I guess. They’re still friends, but I don’t think jealousy can separate them.”
“Thanks for your time, but I’m afraid we’ll have to go. My little brother needs a lot of rest at his age,” Mercy explained her, putting a hand over Philip’s mouth so the boy could not protest.
“No thanks, it’s always nice to speak to someone who knows Chip and Dale. Tell them I said hi.”

Chip had now reached the source of trouble throughout the city. His return unnerved him, even though there would be no seductive chipmunk maid to disrupt his attention. He carefully made his way toward the entrance, hoping there were no muggers close by who would mistake him for a defenseless lady. Now that he was dressed up as a girl he had no trouble with the bouncer at all. He could just enter, but he attracted a lot of attention, especially from males and jealous females.
“Wanna, buy fake dollars? They’re really cheap,” a shady rodent asked him as he made his way over to the bar.
Chip sat down on a bar stool and got the attention of the bartender. “One orange juice,” he said in an even more high-pitched voice than normal.
The bartender murmured something along the lines of “wimp” and handed him a bottled bottle of orange juice. With all of his might Chip tried to pry the bottle cap off. When he succeeded he spilled some of the liquid over his dress. He sat down at a table and scanned his surroundings. He took a few sips before getting up and walking over to the bulletin board filled with illegal business names and locations.
“My, my, interesting,” he smiled to himself as he spotted Rat Capone’s Speakeasy on a small note. He skillfully swiped it off when nobody was looking and hid it in the top of his dress. He then noticed a shady rat dressed in a black cloak, black hat and white shirt, his face hid in the shadows. He walked over to him while trying to think up a subject to start a good conversation. “Nice weather we’re having today right?” he tried desperately.
The rat looked up when he realized someone was talking to him. Chip could now see his face. He had a set of eyes that would put those of a demon to shame, true killer eyes.
“There is too much sun, it scorches my skin,” he replied, just as coldly as his stare.
Chip’s mouth fell wide open and his eyes grew wide with fear. He lost grip on his orange juice, which fell to the ground where the bottle shattered, spilling some of it’s content over the rat’s feet. Fortunately, he didn’t mind, he just kept looking at Chip with that evil glare in his eyes.
“Is there something you’d like to discuss?” he asked, as if he didn’t notice Chip’s fear-struck face. His voice was sinister and dark, resembling that of Clint Eastwood.
“I-I’m-I’ll-I was about-” Before Chip could excuse himself the rat reached for him.
At first Chip thought his life would end soon, but then he felt the rat place his paw on his head and twist it toward the entrance. An Animal Police patrol entered, catching a lot of unwanted attention.
“What do you guys think you’re doing here?” One of the customers asked the leader.
“We’re criminals dressed up for Halloween,” the sergeant replied, which was barely enough to fool some of the minor thugs present.
“Ah sure, and the prison guards all dress up like burglars right?” a raccoon asked.
“If you ask me you’re trying to fool us. Get ‘em boys!” another ordered. A fight escalated between a couple of criminals and the AP patrol.
“You must be glad you’re not in their position right?” the dark rat asked Chip with his diabolical voice.
“R-right!” Chip answered, who had almost forgotten he was in the presence of a pure incarnation of evil and he feared the rat had just looked through his disguise.
“Be happy a cute little femme like you need not to concern herself with business like that,” he comforted him and tapped his head. “Don’t worry your pretty head about that, concern yourself about your own safety. There are many people like me who would love to rob you, molest you and literally steal your heart.” He breathed deep, letting the smell of sweat, orange juice and male deodorant sink in. “Should one of those numbskulls ever bother you, don’t hesitate to call me. I’m not afraid of them, I’m the best of them. And I’m one of the few that can bring up respect for ladies like people long ago did, back in old times when this world wasn’t so spoiled. So don’t mistake me for a normal criminal, I’m not here to kill everything that walks.”
He put his hand on Chip’s cheek, who had now forgotten he was afraid and nervous a few moments ago. Instead, he now only felt confusion and shyness. “T-thanks,” Chip stuttered and turned around to exit.
However, the rat grabbed the back of his dress and stopped Chip in his tracks. “Come see me again okay?” he asked, with a smile on his face.
Chip smiled back and walked off, still feeling charmed by this strange man.
“Wake up Chip, this is not right.” Chip’s conscience told him “He’s a criminal, he’s evil, he’s a man, and you feel compassion, sympathy, even friendship for him!?”

“Say, that girl reminds me of something,” a female chipmunk in white skirt and red shirt with black hair observed.
“I’ve never seen her before. Do you think what I think?” A rat in black leather jack and white shirt suggested.
“If you mean she could have been one of those goons that took our clothes you’re right,” she answered.
“I indeed remember him,” a squirrel joined the conversation. “He was here some time ago and caused a complete trash up, I remember his face. But—”
“If that’s so, we should get back at her, hard!” The leader, a chipmunk in yellow pants, red shirt, and blue hat ordered as he got up and his gang followed.
“Aw well, if you don’t want to know,” The squirrel replied to the group that was already out of hearing range. “If you don’t want to know that girl is actually a guy...” he paused to drink some of his beer. “Then it’s your business.”

Part 6

Chip climbed up the ladder that led back to the surface when a hand grabbed his leg and mightily pulled him off.
“I think we need to talk,” Joseph “Knuckles” demanded as his two followers surrounded Chip.
Chip gulped as he recognized his assailant by his clothing.
“Just why did you knock us out, take our clothes and leave us naked in a dangerous sewer, easy prey for any predator that lurks under the waters?”
“This is just wonderful,” Chip thought, “I’m lying on the ground in a dirty sewer, surrounded by three aggressive ne’er-do-wells.”
The rat picked up Chip by his arm and lifted him up in the air. “Answer me when I’m talking to you!” Joseph ordered and punched Chip in the face, which caused his nose to bleed.
“Why did you take my love’s clothes?” Joseph slowly asked.
“I-I-I’m-I’ll tell the AP if you don’t let me go!” Chip replied, trying to sound convincingly for both his threat and his cover.
“You heard her, Jack,” the gang leader said and nodded in the rat’s direction.
The rat grinned and let go of Chip’s arm who fell back on the floor, right on his tailbone which hurt immensely.
“You do realize you just got yourself in a lot of trouble do you?” Joseph explained.
The girl in the group kicked Chip in his side to put some meaning to her leader’s words.
“That’s right. Mary, show her you won’t take that from anyone,” Joseph encouraged his female teammate.
Mary fiercely planted her heel in Chip’s stomach, which almost caused him to throw up. Joseph then grabbed him by the top of the dress and pulled Chip back to his feet.
“How would you like it if we did THIS to you?” the angry hoodlum asked and winked in Mary’s direction. She got the hint and ripped off the lower part of Chip’s dress. “And what about THIS?” Joseph continued as he used his knife to cut the belt and elastic of Chip’s baggy polka dot pants. Chip felt humiliated and vulnerable as he tried to keep his pants up with one hand. “And don’t forget THIS!” Joseph almost screamed as he kicked Chip with his full leg on the detective’s midsection, which sent him flying right into the sewage water.
Chip desperately tried to reach the sewer sidewalk and with all strength left in his beat-up body he climbed up. Joseph and Jack both took one of Chip’s arms and pulled him back on safe ground. Mary then put her foot on Chip’s back and rest all her weight on that leg. It hurt, but Chip’s was too exhausted to make any protests anymore.
“Let me show you how it’s done.” Joseph offered Mary, who backed off so her boss could get some more fun at this girl. The bully sat down on Chip’s back and began twisting his ankle. Chip clenched his fist and desperately tried to fight back his pained cry. “She doesn’t even feel it! That asks for some more serious action,” Joseph decided and twisted Chip’s ankle forcefully, which resulted in a chilling audible crack. Chip’s scream was deafening and could have scared of anyone, except for these freaks who felt the need to continue. “I just love that sound,” Joseph cheered, “Let’s do it again!” He quickly grabbed Chip’s left arm and pinned it to his back and pushed it up with all strength he could muster. Chip screamed again, but not as loud as a moment ago. Exhaustion and pain had weakened him greatly and yet these guys still weren’t satisfied. “Your turn, Jack.” Joseph offered as he got of Chip.
The rat grabbed Chip by his legs, sending a shiver of pain through his body as the rat grabbed him by his pained ankle. However, that was his least concern as the rat lifted him of the ground and slammed him back on the stone cold floor. He then slammed him with his back against the wall and let go of Chip. The Rescue Ranger slumped to the ground and slowly everything turned into a vague blur.
“And now the finishing touch.” Joseph declared and grabbed the detective’s arm and dragged after him around the corner.
Chip didn’t know what this guy was planning, but from the stories he heard he knew it was bad. Chip’s humiliation and helplessness suddenly turned into anger and he directed it all toward the other chipmunk.
“STOP IT!!!” He screamed, as he hastily got up, furious, and kicked the criminal with full force, forgetting about his pained ankle.
The kick sent Joseph into the sewer water and Chip quickly made a run for it, totally forgetting his injuries. The two henchmen first fished their leader out of the water before chasing their victim, giving the slowed-down Chip a head start. He climbed out of the sewer and collapsed. He knew he had already used up all the energy his adrenaline rush could muster, this would be the end. Joseph climbed up and eyed Chip full with hate. However, he received a full kick to the neck from someone Chip was unable to see.
“Get away from my love you plague!” A voice hissed menacingly.
First Chip suspected it was the killer Chip met a little while back. Chip’s defender then put full force on his leg, an audible crack could be heard, and Joseph fell back down the manhole. Chip’s savior moved closer while Chip lifted his head to see who had helped him. “Clarice!?” he asked when he saw who his guardian angel was.
“Sssh, calm down,” she hushed him and forced his head back. “You had better be careful with who you get into a fight, you’re beat-up badly. Can you walk?”
“I’m afraid I’m unable to,” Chip said full with regret that he would have to bother her with that problem as well.
“Don’t worry, you can lean on me for support,” Clarice reassured him and helped him up. “What exactly happened to you?” she asked concerned.
“I’ll tell you.” Chip agreed and told her every dreadful detail while she helped him walk.

At the docks, Monty and Zipper had finished their mission to find Billie and ask him for some help, which proved invaluable. “Nice of Billie to write the names of serial killers who use herbs as a weapon on a list,” Monty said while checking the list.
Zipper buzzed something to Monty, which only the ear of a trained rodent could translate.
“Chipper is smart enough, he’ll fish out the one responsible in no time at all,” Monty reassured his insect friend.
They continued their travel back when suddenly Zipper buzzed a warning. Monty turned to see what was wrong.
“Crikey, that’s Dale! But who is the blighter with that cement bag?” Then Monty noticed that Dale was tied up and gagged, and that the rat was filling a bowl with wet cement. Monty was not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but it didn’t take long for him to realize what was going on. “Blimey! He’s going to drop Dale to the bottom of the sea!”
The rat had just finished preparing the cement when he looked up to see an angry fly.
“What? What do you want?” Vinnie asked the insect.
The rat got no reply except for a fierce punch to the nose. Vinnie muttered a few vulgar curses before he was punched in the face by a much bigger fist. He landed a few rodent meters away from where he stood a moment ago. He recovered to see a mouse that clearly was much stronger than he would ever be. But that didn’t trouble the rat at all, after all he used other means to win a fight. Dale shouted a muffled warning to Monterey Jack while the rat drew a sharp and vicious knife of incredible size. Monty backed off a little until his heel touched the cement bowl, which gave him an idea. Monty grabbed the bowl and threw in the rat’s direction who dodged it, but it gave Monty enough time to pick up Dale and make a run for it. Zipper darted toward Vinnie and right into his gut, which stunned the rat for a while, buying Monty a few more seconds. However, this rat wouldn’t be stalled so easily, he took another knife out of his coat and threw it toward Monterey Jack. It flew through the air but for some strange reason it changed trajectory at the last moment and with a loud clang it stuck to Monty’s coat, penetrating nothing and leaving the mouse unharmed. Vinnie was shocked for a minute. No one could escape his aim; his marksmanship was the best in rodent New York! With only Charlie “Ghost” as an exception, who also worked for Miss Christy. While the rat tried to think up a possible reason for his failure and a lie to tell his mistress, Monty made good use of this distraction and ran back to HQ, Dale still under his arm.

At the AP precinct people had become familiar with Rescue Rangers and what they looked like. So it took the desk sergeant on duty only a second to unmask Chip, who had got rid of the wig he wore for almost the entire night by now. “Quite a nice outfit Chip. Are you thinking about changing your gender soon?” The gopher asked teasingly.
“Cut the mode show and get serious. I got the address of Rat Capone’s Speakeasy for your boss Rensen,” Chip informed him.
“Funny, we sent a squad over to a criminal hideout today who didn’t find this address,” The gopher replied amused. “They’re at the hospital right now, a lot of bad bruises and some serious beatings. Fortunately no casualties.” Chip smirked at the mention of the AP team that he met in the “Burly Rat”. “Thanks for your help though, but are you sure YOU don’t need medical attention?”
“It’ll take more than a few rogues to get me down. I don’t feel hurt, only when I laugh,” Chip explained, more afraid of losing his face than his life.
“Stop being so tough, let’s get you back to headquarters,” Clarice insisted and helped Chip leave.

Sugar Ray Lizard had reached his destination to carry out his mission. Seeing as how his boss moved business from time to time he had to keep his customers updated on the location, that was exactly what Sugar Ray was supposed to do. He entered the Burly Rat where he found some of the tables and chairs wrecked. He dismissed it as another bar fight and didn’t pay more attention to it. He got over to the message board, pinned the note he carried in his hand on it and left again, politely taking his hat off for Yvonne, a sexy chipmunk girl full of seductive tricks. The note he left indicated the new location of Rat Capone’s Speakeasy.

Part 7

Meanwhile Gadget had finished constructing two extra beds. Since Philip was already sound asleep in the guest room they would need extra beds for Tammy and Mercy who had decided to stay for the night. Foxglove had offered to sleep upside down on a branch outside, which saved Gadget the trouble of also installing a perch. The four girls decided to play a game of cards before going to bed.
“Nice evening it was. What are we going to do tomorrow?” Mercy asked and dropped a card on the stack.
“Darn it!” Gadget answered and took two cards from the other stack. “I guess you three have to think up something since I’ll be helping in the investigation. I turn it into diamonds.”
Tammy placed her card on the stack and banged her fist on the table.
“To bad, I hoped I could spend some time with Dale but I came at the wrong time,” Foxglove chimed in and took her turn.
Mercy uttered a vulgar curse and took seven cards from the stack and lay down a Jack. “Hearts,” she declared.
Gadget placed another card and then added a second.
“Thank you,” Tammy complimented Gadget and lay down her clover ace.
“That makes five for Tammy, two for me and Foxglove, and one for Gadget,” Mercy declared as she marked it on her list.
“Another one?” Gadget asked as she took the cards.
There was a knock on the door and Mercy got up to answer it.
“I think that’ll have to wait,” Foxglove guessed while scanning the door, hoping the chipmunk of her dreams was behind it.
But it was Chip, who according to Foxy’s scanning profile had several internal injuries that were well hidden by pride, flesh and fur. Mercy and Tammy didn’t notice, their minds were only set on one thing: answers. Without saying a word they both took one of Chip’s arms and dragged him into the girls bathroom, which confused the detective in drag. Once they were all inside were no one would hear their conversation. Mercy barred the door with her body so Chip wouldn’t escape.
“What’s the meaning of this?” Chip asked quite annoyed, leaning against the wall so he wouldn’t have to use his foot.
“We’re the ones asking questions in here. Don’t forget you’re not supposed to be here at all,” Tammy informed him, wishing she had a flashlight for interrogation.
“First of all, we want to know the details about you and Clarice,” Mercy demanded, quite curious about how many women he had chased before she and Tammy got into the picture.
“How did you find out about her?” Chip asked, blowing any possible attempt at a cover up.
“We met her at Club Acorn were we got a good view on what kind of chipmunk you were a couple of years ago. Now what all can you tell us about her?” Tammy explained, waiting for an answer to her question.
“Why would you two want to know that? That’s my private life we’re talking about!” He replied annoyed, but it didn’t change much to their attitudes.
“We want to know because we might repeat mistakes other girls did when they got romantic with you,” Tammy explained and folded her arms.
“Who knows what kind of person you actually are? I’ve heard many stories were girls were dumped after the only sparks that remained in their relationship were from a broken electric wire,” Mercy added.
“Do you two think I’m like that? I’m a Rescue Ranger! I have a reputation to uphold!” Chip defended himself
“You sound quite arrogant,” Tammy noted disappointed, changing the topic for a moment.
“A good crime fighter needs a good reputation. There are people that try to make a detective look bad, avoiding scandals is an important step in countering that,” Chip corrected himself.
“Now back to the questioning. What all happened between you and her?” Mercy continued hastily.
“Nothing serious. We flirted, shared time, kissed, but we never had a serious relationship,” Chip honestly replied.
“Then how did it come to an end? Did you hurt her feelings, leave her for dead, got caught kissing another girl?” Tammy pressed.
“She got flooded with contracts, journalists and attention. Soon enough she was famous and she left us. I don’t think I can continue loving her like back then when Dale and I still competed over her,” Chip declared, but even this was not enough for the girls.
“Next to Clarice, how many girlfriends did you have before joining the Rescue Rangers?”
“Dale and I had three or four other girls we admired. They either got sick of us competing for them or it just never turned into a serious relationship.”
“And?” the ladies demanded.
“Okay, I admit. Me and Dale chased girls whenever it was March, April or May. So what? It’s perfectly normal for forest animals to do that! Most of those females were just as contaminated with spring fever as we were. It doesn’t mean I loved them! I’m not the dashing woman hunter some think I am, I’m a bad romantic,” Chip admitted and hung his head sadly.
“If that’s all, we have everything we need. Please understand we didn’t do this to hurt you, it’s to prevent you from hurting us,” Mercy comforted him. “So we don’t have to hurt you after all,” she thought to herself.
“That’s right,” Tammy chimed in. “I’m sorry if I sounded or acted nasty, Chipper.”
“I guess you two did have a reason to worry,” Chip reasoned, still worried and troubled. “I’m a boy after all.”
“So are you alright now, no hard feelings?” Mercy insisted.
“Well I’m not alright physically, I got beat up by a few thugs on the way back.”
“We can fix that. I took First Aid lessons and passed my exam,” Tammy said and put a hand on his shoulder.
“We’ll get you patched up in no time,” Mercy agreed, took a medical kit and gave Chip a naughty look.

A little later Chip reentered, his injured parts bandaged and treated.
“Hey Chip, you’re only dressed like a girl, you’re not one of them!” Dale accused his friend when he noticed him leaving the woman’s bathroom.
“Allow me,” Mercy excused herself, dusted off Dale’s head, and bonked him.
“Thank you kindly, Miss,” Chip thanked her politely.
“What’s with all the patches and bandages Chipper?” Monty inquired.
“I got attacked by a couple of bad guys on the way back to the tree. They’re a nasty bunch, but I got some help from an old friend, Clarice.”
“Clarice? How is she doing? Will she visit us sometime soon?” Dale asked excitedly, forgetting the headache Mercy gave him.
“She’s fine, and I’m sure you’ll meet her as well sometime.”
“We met her already. She’s quite impressive I must admit,” Gadget joined in their talk.
Zipper squeaked something to Monty and pointed to his back.
“Oh, I see mate,” Monty replied as he pulled the knife off his back. “I always knew me horseshoe brings fortune,” he said, revering to the magnet he always carried with him.
“All nice and well, but how about getting on with the investigation?” Tammy suggested.
“You’re right lass, me and Zipper got a list of who could have done it. Here you go Chipper.” Monty laid the piece of paper on the table and the Rangers bend over to inspect it.
“I think we could scratch two names, number one and seven are in prison at the moment. Number three was banned from this city, it’s unlikely he managed to hide in this city, he’s not the stealthy type. That leaves five others, which still is a clue to me,” Chip stated as he scratched three names from the list.
“You’re absolutely great, Chipper,” Tammy complimented, with her infamous flirting voice.
“Eh, thanks Tammy,” Chip replied while blushing a trifle before returning to business. “All of these killers are known for being mercenaries, they’re not insane; they’re in it for the money alone. All ruled out possibilities are either madmen or had a personal score to settle. Ironically, Harold “Hyde”, Thomas’ henchmen, is not on the list. But that could be because he doesn’t use herbs but chemicals.”
“Too right mate, I personally asked for the type of killer to mix poison in tea,” Monterey Jack declared proudly.
“Right, but now that we know someone killed her for money. We need to find who paid this killer. Do you know one person who would want to see Flora dead?” Chip asked the entire group.
“I know! That’s Fat Cat, he told me personally!” Dale interjected.
“Too right, that’s Fat Cat alright! First that scheme with bombs and now assassination. The bloke’s going bonkers faster than a wasp trapped in a glass of lemonade.”
“Good guess. So to Fat Cat’s is were we’re going,” Chip agreed triumphantly. However, he was interrupted by the telephone. Chip was quick to answer the call.
“Hello it’s us, Steve and Flora. We did what you suggested but couldn’t find anything useful before having to flee,” the caller informed the Rescue Ranger.
“That’s not necessary anymore, investigating the AGRAFA, whatever that place was. However, we got a well placed suspicion Fat Cat ordered the attempt at your life Flora.”
“Him again? Why can’t he just leave us alone!? What did we do to him to become a target of him?”
“You two did help us the last time we dealt with him. However, this time he won’t be expecting us to walk in. We will go over there to see if we can find something. You two just play it safe until we got him.”
“What if it wasn’t Fat Cat at all? What if it is Rat Capone and his gangsters again? We still don’t know what happened to his ‘cousin’ Thomas and his henchmen.”
“Rat Capone will be out of commission for some time. His Speakeasy could be raided by the RBI any time now.”
“I hope you’re sure about this. Neither two are the type of people to invite you for diner, except for the main course, if you understand what I’m saying.”
“Don’t worry, we’ve known Fat Cat for a long time now. And we never failed at stopping Rat Capone either, Goodbye.” Chip hung the horn back on the receiver and turned toward the rest of his team. “I guess we should be going now,” Chip announced and walked toward the door, the other Rangers giving him strange looks. Chip suddenly realized he forgot something. “That’s right, wait here till I get back in my normal clothes.” Chip excused himself while feeling a little embarrassed.
The Rescue Ranger leader entered the room he shared with Dale to reappear a minute later in his usual outfit. However, it gave the others some time to plan for the three visitors.
“I think it would be safer if Foxglove, Tammy and Mercy stayed behind, that way you won’t get hurt,” Gadget offered.
“I was planning to do so anyway. I don’t want Philip to be all alone, possibly forever,” Mercy stated and yawned, while making her way to the guest room to get some sleep.
“I think it would be better if me and Foxglove got back home, we don’t want to interfere,” Tammy suggested and escorted the bat outside. “I got an idea,” she whispered to Foxy, hoping her sensitive hearing would pick it up.
“That’s a great—that’s a shame.” Dale said, looking quite relieved.
Chip reentered in his bomber jacket and fedora, feeling back to normal again.
“Well, let’s go. Rescue Rangers away!”

Meanwhile, at Steve’s place.
“Well, it looks like we’ll be sitting this one out,” Flora assumed.
“That’s a relief, I’m starting to become just afraid of adventure as Yago,” Steve said gladly, wiping off some sweat.
“Do you think this is it? This is the death of MY NEIGHBOUR we’re talking about! You can stay here, cowering under your desk if you want to but I’M going to help the Rangers.”
“I’m afraid that means I have to go as well. Just wait for me to get Timbert and Mousestein, we might need their help to stay alive.”
“Then hurry, I’m not going wait up for you.”

Part 8

The Rangers had arrived at the Happy Tom Cat Food Factory, the hideout of the city’s criminal cat kingpin.
“Now we’ll need a plan, just to be sure. Who knows what kind of trap he might have set for us?”
“No need for thinking, Chipper. There’s no way Fat Cat is expecting us, he’s probably counting his ill-gotten money in his office. The chance he is prepared for us is just as small as his brain,” Monterey reassured Chip and carelessly entered the factory.
With an echoing click a bright spotlight was flipped on which shone right into the Ranger’s faces.
“Must be rather big brain he has,” Dale commented disappointed.
“Peek-a-boo, I can see you,” an all too familiar voice called out.
The group looked up toward the balcony were Snout, Fat Cat’s most balanced out henchmen.
“That was a good idea of the boss to order me to guard the lower level, now I can cash-in big time,” he commented with a nasty grin on his face.
“You’ll have to report to your boss first, but I’ll make sure you won’t report anything for the next eighteen hours,” Monty taunted and rolled up his sleeves.
Snout quickly pressed a button attached to the wall next to him. “Ah, alarm installations. Aren’t they wonderful?” Snout retorted and broke out in evil laughter. Whether the rat laughed with his eyes closed or was just visually challenged, he didn’t notice the Gadget firing a plunger in his direction until it was too late.
“What’s going on here?” Fat Cat demanded as he and his goon squad entered the processing area of the factory and noticed the Rangers.
“Game’s over Fat Cat, we got you!” Chip stated heroically.
“Cursed Rubble Rodents! What did I do now?”
“Don’t play dumb, you’re the one who send a killer to take out Flora!” Chip retorted accusingly.
“Suppose I did so why would you come here, you think I’ll tell the entire world what I’m planning? You think I’ll tell everyone I grant a reward to the person that delivers me her heart?”
“That means you are planning to kill her?” Chip inquired.
“Finally, he puts two and two together. I applaud you for your quick thinking,” Fat Cat replied annoyed.
“You’ll never get away with that!” Chip threatened, making a mental note to find a more original line soon.
“Sure I will, I always do. Did the Animal Police ever knock on my door? No, so you Rescue Rejects only cause minor setbacks.”
“Then it’s about time that changed!” Dale chimed in.
“Don’t make me laugh! There is no one who has the power to stop me, not even those bureaucrats at City Hall! Face it, I’m unstoppable,” Fat Cat countered angrily.
“Oh yeah? Well stop this!” Someone called out and in but a second something had clutched itself to Fat Cat’s face.
“Help, get it off! Tear it apart! Do something you morons!” Fat Cat screamed while he desperately swung his claws around himself, striking any of his thugs that got too close.
“Tammy!?” Chip shouted surprised, hoping this would end well.
Wart grabbed his revolver and closed an eye to get a better aim, but his gun was snatched out of his hands by a vague pink blur. It dropped the firearm in a pile of pressed cans were it disappeared like a needle in a haystack.
“Foxy!” Dale cheered, relieved that they were not on their own anymore.
Fat Cat, meanwhile, managed to get the teenage squirrel of his head and dumped her on the cold factory floor beneath the balcony.
“Irrelevant pests, don’t you realize there is no stopping Fat Cat? This time you will all die!” The angry kitty roared. “First the Rescue Rangers, then Flora and finally anyone else that dares to stand between me and this city! Soon I can send my henchmen against the AP force!”
“They got to get through me first!” Someone replied.
Timbert suddenly landed on Mole and pecked his nose with his beak, which seemed to hurt him a lot. Fat Cat heard a resonating click and saw a grappler hook coming right at him. Instinctively he ducked and looked back to see what it hooked up too. When he looked back he could just see Flora sliding down the rope who kicked him in his face with both feet, which knocked the oversized cat over. She quickly landed on his mountainous stomach and began pulling his whiskers. That hurt, but Fat Cat snatched her with his paw and got back on his feet.
“How convenient, now I can finish you off myself, ha ha. Saves me five hundred dollars!” He said casually, with a fiendish smile on his face as he unsheathed his claws.
“You can put that out of your ugly head.” Steve taunted as he thrust the pointy end of his walking cane in the cat kingpin’s knee, causing him to drop Flora. Steve quickly ran past him and grabbed her arm and they quickly ran away from the egoistic cat criminal but slowed down when Mepps got ready to capture both of them.
“This way!” Steve warned as he jumped off the balcony, away from the villainous rabble. Timbert followed his lead and flew after him. Mousestein shot his recovered hook at a roof support and swooped down, kicking Wart of the balcony in the process. He landed close to the Rangers, were Steve’s gang, Tammy and Foxglove had joined them.
“Get after them already!” Fat Cat ordered, not moving from his spot himself, overseeing the fight like a dictator controlling an army.
The goon squad closed on the group of do-gooders, who remained cool. Marcus, Fat Cat’s newest addition whom was forced into his gang after messing up a previous battle, slowly sneaked toward Gadget. However, Dale noticed him and prepared to defend his love interest. “Hands off scoundrel. Or face the wrath of Dale Oakmont!” He stated and struck a heroic pose.
Marcus looked annoyed and uninterested but got ready to fist fight the foolish red nose.
“Judo chop!” Dale shouted in British accent, imitating a spy from one of his movies.
Marcus was stunned for a moment from the attack, giving Foxglove time to act and lifting the baddy up in the air.
“Let go of me!” He shouted annoyed.
“If you say so.” Foxglove replied and dropped him.
Marcus ‘Agave’ hit the ground hard, which knocked the wind out of him and he was out of the fight.
Tammy decided to contribute to the fight as well and picked a fight with Snout, who was eager to teach her a lesson. He threw a punch at her, but she dodged it easily and grabbed his arm, then quickly turned her back on him and pulled him right over her shoulder. “Now THAT is Judo.” She commented as she dusted herself off, unaware of Mole who got ready to hit her with his spade. However the bigger rodent failed to notice Monterey Jack who knocked him right on his head. Even with a helmet on his head, Mole was knocked out of the fight by Monty’s brutal strength. Mepps wanted to go after Chip, but he was unable to figure out which chipmunk to attack, as Steve looked a lot like the leader of the Rescue Rangers. While he was busy trying to find out which chipmunk would be his target, Gadget was able to get a good aim with her harpoon gun and fired one of its plunger darts. The cat noticed the projectile, but when he tried to dodge it he banged his head against the support pillar of a machine.
“Surrender Fat Cat, you’re beaten!” Chip shouted, hoping the cat wouldn’t want to do it the hard way.
“Not yet, I still got a trump card,” He declared while pulling his whiskers. “Justice, would you come over here and have some fun.”
The same shady killer Chip encountered at the ‘Burly Rat’ revealed himself and took a quick look at his targets.
“Who or what the heck are you?” Chip dared to ask.
“I’m called Justice ‘Jerk’, and my profession is murder. Don’t think you’re going to tell people my name though? You won’t live that long.”
“And you’re supposed to show manners toward ladies? I’m not really buying it, you tried to kill Flora and then you go around telling me you protect the fairer gender?” Chip countered, before thinking it trough “Oops, there goes my secret.”
Justice grabbed his throat with both hands and looked he could throw up any moment now. “Uh man, I’ve been flirting with a man! Will I ever recover?” Justice thought to himself, before growling angry “You cheap sniveling little cross-dresser! You’re worm food!” He shouted and run for Chip, as unaware of his surroundings as an ill-tempered kamikaze.
“Not so fast mate!” Monterey interrupted as he dashed into the mad killer and send him flying.
Justice hit the ground hard and didn’t get up anymore. Dale carefully checked it out, suspicious of any move the limp form on the floor might make.
“Yep, he’s out cold.” He confirmed nonchalantly after checking him over.
The other Rangers sighed relieved as Tammy went to get some rope from the Ranger Plane to tie the mercenary up. Meanwhile, Fat Cat secretly sneaked off, knowing better than anyone else he was beaten again at his own game. A mechanic click and the sound of a projectile searing trough the air caught his attention as he stopped dead in his tracks, after which something connected with the back of his head and he fell of the balcony due to the amount of Newton units sending him forward, which equaled a painful fall toward the ground. The other awake animals in the building looked toward were the shot came from. No one could clearly see the shadowy figure clearly, but two of the Rangers had a good suspicion by looking at the silhouette. The figure moved to a better illuminated spot were he could be seen more clearly. He was a mouse in the middle of his life, an orange-yellow mustache and hair along with brown fur. His get-up resembled that of a pilot, a white scarf, bomber jacket and flight cap. He looked like he could have fought in Vietnam, as he radiated an aura of experience and self-confidence. Most notably was that his ‘weapon’ was one of Gadget’s classical plunger crossbows.
“Geegaw?” Monty managed to bring out surprised “I-I thought you were dead!”
“Dad, is that really you!?” Gadget exclaimed amazed.
“The one and only dear,” The mouse replied with a soft, low and friendly voice. He hopped down to the ground level and threw the weapon aside.
“What happened? Why did you never come home?” The female mouse inventor asked.
“Crashed. I got stuck in the jungles of South Africa were I had to use survival skills to elude hungry predators and natural hazards. I got lucky and was able to get help from some tribes of native Africans. It took me months, maybe years, to finally risk a return to civilization. After I heard what had become of you I was more eager than ever to see you again,” Geegaw explained while hugging his daughter.
“You are Geegaw Hackwrench?” Chip and Dale chorused.
“That’s right. You two must be Chip Maplewood and Dale Oakmont, the two other members of the team. I heard a lot about you,” Geegaw replied while shaking their hands.
“Wowie Zowie, do you really have more hours of flying experience than a flock of birds?” Dale asked, having remembered what Monty told him so long ago.
“After being trapped in a jungle so long that tale has lost his value, but you could say I really like flying.”
Momentarily unwatched, Fat Cat retreated back to his casino office.
“Those meddling Rescue Rodents! After all the trouble I went through of finding a reliable helper they just spoil it in one night! I’ll get them, they haven’t heard the last of Fat Cat!”

Part 9

“Two visits on one night, that’s quite a nice surprise!” the gopher behind the desk announced when the Rangers entered the AP precinct. “What can I do for you now?”
“We’ve come to drop off this bloke here,” Monty explained while holding up Justice “Jerk”.
“That’s a really good killer you got there! How did you manage to get him?”
“He just couldn’t resist some of Monty’s brute fighting power. He was knocked out sooner than that beetle we ‘fought’ in Bilbao,” Geegaw explained.
“I see someone here joined his family again,” Ulbrecht reasoned when he saw Gadget and Geegaw.
“That’s right. And I think I know where to stay for adventure from now on,” Geegaw replied while putting a hand on his daughter’s shoulder.
Gadget didn’t know what to say, neither did the rest of the team. The thought of Geegaw joining the group was wonderful for them, especially for Monty, Gadget and Zipper who already knew the mouse aviator.

Steve, Flora, and their friends didn’t follow the Rangers back to the police department. Instead, they got back to the nightclub to celebrate a happy ending. After devouring eleven bottles of Coockoo Cola, consuming five plates with hamburgers and even a bottle of champagne Steve and Flora decided to celebrate on privately.
“Finally I feel safe again,” Steve said relieved, with one hand around Flora and the other holding her hand.
“Me too, though I suppose it’s only temporarily,” Flora affirmed.
Steve let go of her hand and forced her chin up so he could look her in the face.
“Don’t worry about what might happen, that’s not like you.”
“You’re right, won’t happen again,” she smiled cheerily.
Steve searched his pocket until he found the object of value.
“Flora, will you be my wife?” He asked suddenly while holding up a box with a diamond ring.
Flora was taken aback by the question but then hugged Steve tightly. “Of course I will, I thought you’d never ask!!!” she tittered.
“Really?” he replied, surprised and relieved.
“Well, I might have refused only a few days ago. Lisa was still alive then and you know I don’t want to let her down. And during the case I wouldn’t have considered it and turned you down if you had popped the question. Maybe her death was for the better; she was the only thing that kept us from being together forever. She would still have died though, I only speeded up the process by handing her those tea sacs.”
“Don’t blame yourself, that’s not a good idea. If you hadn’t given them to her you might have been dead now and Fat Cat would have won.”
“You’re right again, score two for you. And Lisa herself didn’t care about dying anymore at all, saving another person with her death is something she had even hoped for.”
“Take your thoughts off that and concern yourself with me first,” Steve interjected smiling.
“You’re right, we still got a lot to do.” The following weeks Steve and Flora would spend their time on preparing for their marriage.

Three rats were gathered in a room, sitting around a table and discussing their shady deals.
“So Thomas, youse are willing to contribute Boris, Alberto and Harold to our pool. What about youse Francis, are youse in for it?” one asked in a gangster accent.
“Can’t stay behind, it would be stupid to pass up an opportunity like this,” the rat in red suit answered.
“And what an opportunity this is!” Thomas added.
“Yeah-aaaaaahhhhh!” Rat screamed suddenly as he felt a sharp pain surge trough his chest. “I’m fine, must be a hernia,” he lied, making a mental note to let Mousenegger lift crates from now on.

“That’s for you Rat Capone!” Christy taunted as she put the voodoo doll of the gangster rat on the shelf of her bookcase where her old statue used to be. “Serves you right for assaulting me! And don’t think I’ll forget you; stabbing you will be the most exiting part of the day for years to come!” she menacingly told the doll.

Flora and Steve arrived at the cemetery were Lisa had been buried. Although they were too late for the burial due to their adventure and Steve’s marriage proposal, Flora still wanted to visit this place to prove her friend a last service. She carried a bouquet of yellow and red tulips with her.
“What a grim place to spend your eternal life,” Steve noted.
“Some people buried here weren’t even dead, until they woke up and suffered severe claustrophobia and panic attacks. Being locked up in a chest does nasty things to your mind.”
“Thanks, that’s just what I needed, Flora,” Steve replied sarcastically.
Flora stopped at a tombstone cross and read the inscription.

Lisa Doughhearth

There was nothing special on the site. It appeared that she had really been alone for her entire life. Flora knelt down in front of the tombstone and put down the flowers, the first set this grave had received. Flora fought back the urge to cry; she had always believed it made her look bad. The two chipmunks remained at the site for a while, remaining silent all the time. Finally, Flora got up, she still had to take revenge on Garret who could only think of Lisa’s debt to him after she had died.

Gadget and her father were enjoying a sunny day in the park with a picnic. After so many years it looked as if nothing had changed, though of course there had been significant ones. Both Gadget and Geegaw were official Rescue Rangers, nothing could separate them anymore. No more jobs as a mercenary pilot, no more school work keeping Gadget busy to score maximum, no more air races to earn a living. Those were things of the past now, being Rescue Rangers provided all they needed. Geegaw had heard of what had happened to the original Screaming Eagle, about the first quest his old friends and his daughter embarked on, how they had proved their mettle as do-gooders. Geegaw was surprised at the strange and unexplainable things his daughter told him like ghosts, fantasy creatures and the phenomena Norton Nimnul.
“Are you sure I am up to your level?” he asked unsure, as his daughter might have learned more in these years than he did in the jungles of Africa.
“You managed to shoot Fat Cat, remember? That’s already impressive, most people wouldn’t think of it. Though it’s only half impressing as Fat Cat is easy to hit because he’s big and fat. But then maybe, given the right speed and direction and a little bad luck the plunger could have bounced off. Though it could also—”
Geegaw was all too familiar with these rants, and had learned to not pay attention as Gadget mostly only managed to confuse him.
“I get your point Gadge,” he agreed.
“No you can’t, I haven’t gotten to the laws of physics yet,” she countered as she doubted he really understood.
“Spare me the rant, you know what happens when daddy is confused. Last time that happened I mistook your field spray extractor-whatever for a common household appliance.”
“I still can’t believe you honestly thought you could mix ingredients in it for your jelly cake,” Gadget said as she recalled the event.
“As your grandfather once said: every family needs a weirdo. And I foolishly believed he meant you,” Geegaw replied, as they got a good laugh at that.
They would continue their picnic until late in the noon, chatting about what happened and would happen now or about the Rescue Rangers. Nothing could keep them apart anymore, and they knew it.

“Finally, we’ve solved this catastrophe, it’s about time.” Chip sounded, still exhausted from the adventure.
“With emphasis on ‘cat’,” Dale added.
“That Justice ‘Jerk’ seemed like a dangerous fellow, but looking back at what conspired at the cat food factory I can barely believe any of his claims.”
“You said it, what a wimp.”
“This morning you told me you no longer wanted to speak to me. You’re no longer angry with me for that dress/camera affair?” Chip asked suspiciously.
“Hey, you’re right. I am angry with you!”
“Well I can’t help it you believe me when I tell you Gadget likes cross-dressers. Are you really that ignorant?”
“You lied. You’re the one at fault here!” Dale countered accusingly.
“Hey, you photographed me in disguise so I disguised you in your favorite clothing, it’s a fair trade!”
“Get lost, you,” Dale concluded and bailed out of the discussion.
“By the way Dale, I sent our parents a few of those pictures. I thought you wouldn’t mind.”
“You did what!?” Dale exclaimed shocked, but it was too late, Chip had already left.

Part 10

“Order in the court,” an aging badger demanded as he banged his paw on his desk. The room became quiet and conversation died down. “That’s better,” the badger opined and coughed. “The case against Patricia and Arnold Strongarm will now begin. The judge in this case will be Patrick O’Neil, that being me. The defendants are charged with corruption of United States law and prison abuse. Who will defend Arnold S.?”
“I will defend myself.” The corrupt bureaucrat declared.
“And Patricia S.?”
“I will.” Arnold said again.
“I’ll let the persecutor Mercy Stoneturner speak first. Would you move over here if you please?”
Mercy did as the judge asked and took her place in the witness stand.
“Will you swear with your dominant paw raised that you’ll tell us the truth, only the truth and nothing but the truth, under penalty of United States Law upon deception?” the badger inquired and Mercy agreed. “Then would you tell us why you believe these rodents are guilty.”
“It all started some time ago after I was sentenced a prison term of three years and hard labor. In the first week I experienced several cases of prison abuse which was intentionally done by Patricia Strongarm. Most of these encounters included severe beatings and unnecessary violence.” Mercy started and continued telling the judge about her experience in prison.
“…and finally, I heard later that instead of being transferred to the East Prison I was to be executed. This order was issued by Arnold Strongarm at the request of her niece and it was to be covered up with the argument of ‘attempted murder’ on my part. I’m certainly not trying to overthrow our system of law and order, but this corruption is something that does not fit in a free country such as this!”
“Thank you for your statement. I’d like to call forth the other persecutor, AP Chief Rensen,” O’Neil requested.
Mercy and the Chief switched positions, the latter giving Mercy a thumbs-up. The officer swore an oath and brought up his argument.
“As a part of the AP system I am quite shocked at all the stories I hear about cases were the AP fails its duty to defend the civilians. Personally, I have dedicated much time to counter these wrongdoings and thus was quick to agree to help this girl who is now making a case of this corruption. I’ve stumbled upon several of these faux documents which are cover-ups from Arnold Strongarm, including the ones considering the execution.”
“I know, I’ve taken the time to read them, and it seems you and Mercy are perfectly right. I’d like to call forth the witnesses,” Patrick O’Neil announced and thus the witnesses told their stories.
Liz “Sharky” retold her experience with the corrupted guard, the Manhattan Prison medic revealed what she knew about the Strongarm family. Finally, Arnold Strongarm got to tell his side of the story, but nobody seemed to sympathize with him, not even the other AP officers or the judge.
“It seems perfectly clear who’s at fault here,” O’Neil declared, “I’ll leave it to prosecutor Stoneturner to have a say in the punishment of Patricia. Likewise, Rensen will decide what fate would await Arnold. Both defendants will be fired from their jobs and banned from seeking jobs in law enforcement.”
A greedy glint spread in Mercy’s eyes as she rubbed her paws as she knew immediately what punishment she’d pick.

“Look dear, we got mail from our son!” John Maplewood announced.
“What is it? He’s going to apology for not dropping by from time to time?” Annie asked teasingly.
“Nope, he sent us photos and a letter,” her husband corrected as him and Annie read the letter.
“So Chip’s friends think we might like this? Knowing Dale it’s something mischievous.”
Upon seeing the pictures the two parents broke out in laughter.
“Gosh, why did Chip never tell us he wore pink dresses and wigs?” John asked his wife while desperately trying to find his breath.
“Those are some cute pictures Johnny, you just got to put those up somewhere!”
The elders kept laughing while looking through the set of pictures until they arrived at the last one.
“Hey, that’s Dale! In a turquoise dress? Crack me up, those two are true photo models!”
“And look who’s reflection is in the mirror, that’s our boy with a photo camera! But why is Dale so shocked?”
“I’ll never understand those two,” John concluded, as he looked the pictures over again.

Mercy and her younger brother left the courtroom, Mercy looked quite satisfied.
“That was quite immoral of you to demand such a sum of money from her!” Philip scolded his sister. “She’ll never recover from that financial blow.”
“Crime doesn’t pay pal, I’m glad I stopped with it in time,” Mercy explained. “Besides, abuse of prisoners is a serious crime.”
“That’s true, but you could have agreed with HER prison sentence instead!”
Mercy needed to distract the boy before he got more troublesome. “Hey look, an ice parlor, let’s get you something!” Mercy said, successfully switching topics.
While Philip tried to consume a banana boat that was bigger than his head, Mercy drank some Italian Espresso to finally get rid of her nervousness she felt ever since entering the court again.
“So, are you going to give that money back?” Philip said, getting back to his troublesome do-gooder self.
“Where do you think I bought your banana split from? Now you’re guilty too!” Mercy laughed but got serious again. “If it keeps you quiet I’ll donate the money somewhere. But we’re going to take one half for ourselves and do something fun with it. How about a vacation, a tropical island?”
“What about a winter sport vacation?” Philip suggested.
“Or maybe something that opens up your eyes for other cultures? How about Spain?”
“Why not England, there’s a lot to see there too!”
“I know what to do.” Mercy decided and took a knife out of her dress she carried along to defend herself and Philip.
She aimed at a map she had spotted on the wall of the parlor and threw it. Philip and Mercy inspected were the knife had hit.
“There you go, our destination is...Saudi Arabia? Ah well, why not?” Mercy admitted and she recovered the knife. “Let’s see if the travel agency has a trip available, first class of course.”
Philip and Mercy left, as a rat came out and looked annoyed at the damaged world map, his world map.

Time had gone fast for the Nutcracker family and Gus and Ans had returned to New York to stay with their son for a little longer before the two got married. When they left their plane, they were greeted by Flora and Steve.
“Hi mom, good to see you again.” Steve welcomed and hugged her.
“You haven’t gotten yourself into trouble again did you?” Gus inquired.
“Me? No, of course not! You know me, right?”
“Don’t be silly sugar, of course you did!” Flora protested good-naturedly.
“Then it’s alright. But be sure to tell us about it later, okay?” Ans asked and smiled.
They got a good laugh at that comment until Ans broke off her laugh and moaned while bending over.
“What’s it, are you alright?” Steve asked worriedly.
“Step aside, I’ll see what I can do.” Gus warned and inspected his wife.
“Nothing’s wrong, but I think our baby will be born soon.” Ans managed to say and leaned on her husband for support.
“Then we should go to the hospital. Steve, get us a transport.” Gus ordered.

A little later Ans, Gus, Flora, and Steve were at the rodent hospital. While Flora and Steve waited outside and worriedly discussed what might happen, Gus and Ans were inside the operation room.
“Take it easy hon, you’ll be alright.” Gus comforted, even though he was the only nervous person in the room.
“That’s funny, the operation hasn’t even started yet!” Ans smiled before a shock of pain changed her expression.
However, Gus was the one who couldn’t bear her pain, so he tried to block out all sounds and sights. The surgeons had to be careful while operating; every moan could floor Gus and then they would have to deal with a nervous breakdown as well.
After what looked like hours to Gus his concentration was finally disturbed by one of the doctors.
“Sir, you can stop chanting now, your wife finished the job before an hour passed.”
Gus breathed a deep sigh of relief and moved toward the operation table, careful not to collapse.
“Good news Gussy, you’re the father of a wonderful chipmunk girl,” Ans declared as he showed him the newborn Nutcracker.
Gus prepared himself to deal with the shock of seeing a cub covered with blood and such. Instead he saw a totally clean girl chipmunk with light brown fur, maroon nose and heavenly blue eyes. The little cub laughed softly with a big smile on her face.
“It’s-she’s beautiful! But why doesn’t she show signs of being recently born?”
“They washed those off silly, do you think they’d push you a bloody bundle in your hands complete with umbilical-cord?” Ans explained her beloved “But would you now let Flora and Steve in, they must be eager to know what happened.”

Outside the discussion about giving birth somehow turned into a debate about honesty. Gus opened the door and told the two to come in.
“Where is my little brother-or sister?” Steve corrected.
“You’ve hoped for a brother? Then I hope you can deal with bad news; it’s a girl,” Ans declared proudly.
“That’s good to, even better! What’s her name?”
“I’ll call this one Mandy,” Ans decided and hugged her newborn closely.
“Can I hold her?” Steve asked and held up his hands.
“Sure,” Ans replied and handed him her child.
“You’re a cute kid, did anyone told you that sis?” Steve asked while handling his sister.
“I’m so glad I got to see this, and I’m proud to marry a boy like you, Steve,” Flora admitted and got a closer look at her soon-to-be sister in law.

Part 11

“How am I going to do this?” Steve asked desperately, dressed in a blue-gray tuxedo, white shirt, and his casual straw red band hat.
“You just get out there, wait for her, and say yes when you’re asked to,” Timbert educated him.
“I know, but how to do that WITHOUT fainting?”
“Simple, shoulders straight up, lots of guts and steel nerves, Steelnerve.”
“Haha, wonderful. Imagine yourself in my position, what would you do?” Steve asked, the thought of Timbert getting married conjured up a strange mental image to him.
“I don’t know, I’m no romantic,” Timbert admitted.

“Send a goon squad after me, put a price on my head, have a Russian rat kidnap me for the horrifying experiment of an unstable scientist. That doesn’t concern me at all, but the nervousness I feel now is killing me!”
“Don’t be shy Flora, you said yes and now you have to face consequences. It’s not that bad, I know that since I got married myself once,” Ans explained while she made the finishing touches to Flora’s dress. “Once you’ve stepped into the great room it’s no longer scary, only pleasant.”
“I wish it was over already,” Flora hoped.
“Nonsense, you’ll be wishing the exact opposite in a few minutes!”

Inside everyone was waiting for the arrival of the bride. Timbert had finally managed to get Steve so far that he had dared to continue. Gathered in the room where Gus with Mandy, Flora’s parents, Steve’s gang, the Rangers, Rob, chief Rensen, Ulbrecht, Billie, Mercy and Philip Stoneturner, Tammy, Foxglove and Clarice. Along with a functionary from city hall, who was to initiate the ceremony and process the legal aspects. After what looked like ages to Steve, Flora entered in a gorgeous white dress, which covered her almost entirely, a veil covering her face and a bouquet of flowers. She had personally preferred not to wear gloves, which was something she hated while it wasn’t winter. She slowly and carefully moved toward where her love was standing, glad that the veil covered the blush on her face. Ans quickly made her way over to her husband to see the happy occasion. Flora arrived where her soon-to-be husband was standing along with the official and their best man, Chip.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we are all gathered here to join these two in marriage. Who gives away the bride?” The official in function started.
“I give her away,” Flora’s father, Ferdinand Firalda, declared.
“Do you, Steve Nutcracker, take Flora Firalda to be your wedded wife? In sickness and health, for richer and poorer, for better and worse, remaining faithful to her and her alone until death parts you?”
“Yes sir!” Steve acknowledged. “I mean yes, I do,” he corrected himself.
“And do you, Flora Firalda, take Steve Nutcracker to be your husband? Remaining loyal to him through better and worse, in sickness and health, for richer and poorer as long as you both live?”
“I will,” Flora agreed, never doubting her loyalty.
“May I have the rings?” the official asked and Chip handed him the two precious objects. The ring ceremony commenced. Steve placed his ring, symbolically proving his everlasting love to her. Flora followed and she too accomplished this part.
“With these rings you two are now joined in matrimony. By the power our government bestowed on me, I hereby declare you husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Nutcracker. You may now kiss the bride,” the functionary finished.
Steve carefully lifted the veil and kissed his bride. Flora eagerly returned it, and Steve hugged her as she put her arms around his neck. Miss Firalda, Ans Nutcracker, Gadget Hackwrench, Foxglove, Philip Stoneturner, and Rob, the more tender souls in the room, softly cried as this event unfolded. When Steve and Flora finally parted they could see the desire for more by just looking at the other. They then turned to commence with the next phase of the marriage; legal documents. The papers were already laid out on the table next to the functionary and only needed to be signed. Steve took the pen on the table and put his name on the dotted line. Flora followed, after which Ans had to sign. She gracefully made her way over to her son, dressed in her casual elegant blue dress with puffy sleeves that reached her elbows. She signed the papers after which she returned to her husband and baby. After that Flora’s mother, Vicky Firalda, repeated the progress.
“Now it’s our turn!” Tammy announced as her and the other single girls gathered for the traditional flower toss.
“I wonder who will be next...” Flora thought right before throwing the bouquet in their direction.
The flowers landed in the waiting hands of Mercy, who was baffled, but quickly recovered and gave Chip a naughty glance. Chip himself gulped as he wondered what would become of all of this.
“Let’s go now,” Steve whispered to his bride.
Hand in hand, they walked out to the reception room, after all, it was only morning and they still had a long celebration planned.

After the ceremony came the reception, where Steve and Flora were showered with gifts from their friends. A big book with “The Mysterious Adventures of Sureluck Jones” from Chip, an (unfinished) bubble bath from Gadget and Mousestein, embarrassing photos from their parents, and the surfboard of the big Kahuna Michael Moushell from Monterey Jack. There was also the classical wedding cake along with drinks and other appetizers. They all got a chance to chat with each other. Ulbrecht was talking to Monty, Rob performed magic tricks that would baffle even Yuri Geller, Mercy flirted with Chip, Ans fed her daughter while Gus had to play the role of wall as Mandy refused to drink out of a bottle. As Rob was about to demonstrate his spoon-bending trick to Geegaw, Philip and Billie when the next event was announced.
“Alright everyone, time for a group picture!” Steve announced. Him and Flora sat down on the podium, so everyone could see Flora’s legs for the first time since she put on her wedding dress. The Nutcracker and Firalda families sat down next to their respective offspring. Steve’s gang gathered in front of the two newly-weds, leaving open a spot for Timbert who was to take the picture. To the left of them gathered Dale, Monty, Chip, Henk, Ulbrecht, and Rob. The last one positioned himself between Ans and Gus, feeling a special bond with this family. To the right gathered Gadget, Geegaw, Zipper, the two Stoneturners, Hiss, Mousestein, Billie and Rensen. Tammy, Foxglove and Clarice all sat down in front of the rest.
“Okay everyone, smile!” Timbert announced as he programmed the camera.
Everyone gave his or her own smile, expression, or seductive look. Timbert quickly joined the group to be included in the picture.
The camera flashed, capturing this moment forever on a photo.

After the photo session, everyone returned to their activities. Dale, Tammy, Philip, Rensen and Foxglove all gathered in a room with arcade machines, were Dale tried to prove his experience but had a hard time beating Tammy and Philip in beat-em-ups. Rob continued entertaining for a now more wider audience with a piano and “cultural performances from native home country” or “cabaret”. Steve and Flora escaped the busy groups and went outside, into the beautiful gardens of city hall were they talked and planned. Finally, the time had arrived for dinner, an eat-as-much-as-you-can buffet no less. Out of precaution, Geegaw had warned the cooks of his “hungry friend”. At first Monty feared there wouldn’t be enough cheese, but that fear subsided when baskets full with foreign cheeses were stalled out along the tables. Every cheese type Monty liked was there; Gouda, Limburger, Swiss, Cheddar, nearly every cheese. Chip was relieved that Monty didn’t eat like a caveman while the cheese was free for the taking. After everyone was satisfied and full, there was still room for a few last moments together before Steve and Flora began their honeymoon. So at night the newly-weds were escorted to the harbor by the group to board their ship set to Europe.

“Have a great time you two,” Chip wished them as he shook Steve’s hand.
“Don’t forget to send us a postcard, preferably a setting sun over the sea,” Dale requested.
“Tell us about everything you two saw in your trips when you get back right?” Vicky reminded the two.
“Will you two visit Rob’s home on your travel?” The hot-dog seller asked.
“Depends on what country you’re from,” Flora replied, not sure where her friend came from. The two got aboard their ship to prepare their voyage, with their parents helping with their luggage. As the ship left, Steve and Flora got on deck to wave the group goodbye, back in their regular clothes. They continued waving and saying their goodbye until every one of them was out of sight, after which they returned to their cabin to spend some time together.

After saying goodbye to the wedded couple the group split up and all went their own ways. Since they didn’t have the luxury to wake up late the next day, Mercy got an idea and she followed Clarice to tell her about it.
“Say, since you’re a celebrity could you help me?” she tried.
“With what?” Clarice asked, turning her attention to her.
“I always dreamed of becoming a movie player, and since I’m unemployed right now, I was hoping my dream could become reality.”
“That’s not easy, but not impossible. Are you sure that you want this? You really think this is what you are supposed to be, is it your calling?”
“Sure do, it beats being a Nazz Workless. It’s just that I don’t know what people would expect from me.”
“I see your problem: you have no experience in acting. I sure can help you with that one. I guess we could practice a little in the weekends; I got lots of time then. Just in case, you might want to get another job so you two won’t run out of money in the meantime.”
“Thanks! Oh, and we’re planning to take a trip to Saudi-Arabia soon, I might not be able to show up some time then.”
“That’s no problem, I’m starting to get used to being alone, so don’t mind it,” Clarice joked.
“So that means I’m really going to be famous?” Mercy asked exited.
“Hold it, hold it. It’s no guarantee, but it improves your chances. I do have connections that can get you up the entertainment ladder a bit quicker, saving you the risky jobs like stand-in or stuntwoman.”
“That’s wonderful of you, you’re great!”
“Thank you, now lets get to my place to work out some details.”


Steve and Flora’s trip through Europe went fast, but the chipmunk couple were really enjoying themselves. After their cruise ship had docked in central Portugal they stayed in Lisbon for a couple of days, enjoying this once wealthy city to the fullest. Portugal wasn’t by far as wealthy as it used to be, but tourism had opened a new source of profit to the Portuguese treasury. And even after hundreds of years, it hadn’t lost the graceful colorfulness of the colonization era. The rodents of this country hadn’t given up hope, they would one day be a European power again.

After staying in Lisbon for a while, they toured Madrid, the jewel of Spain. Just like Portugal, this land had become one of the poorer countries in Europe, but it was recovering with the vast amount of tourists like the two Nutcrackers. The Iberian Peninsula offered many sites worth visiting along with lots of sun. Especially when they arrived in Valencia for some beach fun in a town dedicated to tourists, which was still unknown to the party crashers and wild teens. After spending a long time in the sun with sun crème and sunglasses as their best friends they took a bus to Santander in the north, stopping along the road to enjoy some scenic sites and sleep comfortably in a hotel or motel.

Once at their destination, a ship was waiting to ferry them to Paris in Ile de France. The city of lights had always been praised as a romantic place, so this was an opportunity Steve and Flora didn’t want to pass up. The landmarks and tourist attraction made for a few wonderful evenings for the two.

But everything good ended, so after Paris they crossed France’s northern border into Belgium, straight toward Brussels. Brussels was both the capital of the tiny nation as well as the center of Europe and its union. Belgium was renowned for its food. Both the French recipes as well as mashed potatoes were at its best here, and the capital mixed the best of the two cultures in this country, the Dutch-cultured Flemish and the French-speaking Walloons. Their next destination was Antwerp, the Belgium harbor city in Flanders. It wasn’t really romantic, but it gave them a good view on the next country they would visit and also shared the excellent kitchens of the rest of Belgium.

To the north were the Netherlands, were they would seek out the sun again in Zeeland, the namesake of New Zealand. They found a spot to settle down in Vlissingen, which offered a lot of water recreation for the two. And finally, they traveled to The Hague, were they were currently.

“That was great, let’s go again!” Steve suggested.
While in The Hague they stumbled upon a fun fair. Although noisy, it was also the place for a fun-loving couple like them.
“Are you sure you can handle that?” Flora asked half teasingly.
“S-sure, no ‘Spin’ can scare me, even if it twists and turns like mad,” Steve countered, though Flora knew his stomach couldn’t handle much more.
“Fool another girl. The green face gives you away,” she replied.
“But you’re in perfect condition! How can you be after so much excitement? It’s not like these attractions are for sissies.”
“Let’s just say I can last longer than you,” Flora explained. “Let’s get ourselves something to fill that rampaging stomach of yours,” she offered.

It looked that no end would come to their honeymoon, and they still had three destinations to go. First would be London, England, followed by the scenic highlands of old Scotland. And last but not least would be Dublin and the wonderful lands of Ireland. The two had seen wonderful things, and it was not even everything Europe had to offer. In Portugal they drank port, a world famous wine. Sun, sea, and warm nights in Spain. Champagne, art, and “la tour Eiffel” in France. “Frietkotten”, “het Atonium”, and excellent dinners in Belgium. Multicultural enrichment, water sports, and more beach fun in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. And there was even more to come. They were already planning Switzerland, Italy, Greece, and Turkey for the next occasion that would arise to see the rest of this charming continent. But there was still a lot to do and so little time for the other half of the great landmass named Europe.

Marcus “Agave” rummaged through the mail of his oppressors and accidentally stumbled across a letter that was directed to him.
“Mail? For me? What person in his right mind would send me mail while I’m the punching bag of Fat Cat and company?” he muttered as he opened the envelope and read the letter. “Yahoo! Finally a reason to leave this sorry place! I’m out of here!” He screamed and left the letter and other mail to litter the floor, which would soon be discovered by one of Fat Cat’s henchmen who would inform the cat kingpin of what was going on.

Rat Capone was shocked by the statement. It was because he said it so down to business like or Rat Capone would have thought it was a joke.
“But why, why are youse leaving?” The gangster inquired, too surprised to make any threats.
“My job at the Brazilian Arms Smuggling Ring has reopened for me, so I’ll leave and do something that I really excel at,” the lizard replied and tipped his hat “It was a pleasure doing business here.” Leonard said and turned to leave.
All three were too shocked to object, or at least two were, Arnold “Mousenegger” was too dumb to figure out what was going on, too many intelligent words.

The End

And this was my fifth attempt at fan fiction. Should anyone have comments or complaints don’t hesitate to say so. I’m not going to stop writing yet, so duck and cover. I hope you had a pleasant read.

The Rescue Rangers, Chip, Dale, Gadget, Monty and Zipper, Fat Cat, Rat Capone, Francis and gangs, Geegaw, Tammy, Foxglove are copyrighted by Disney, as is Clarice. Steve, Flora, Mercy, Philip, Timbert, Hiss, Henk, Mousestein, Ans, Gus, Mandy, Billie, Rob, Ulbrecht, Rensen, Flora’s parents, Lisa, Marcus, Leonard, Thomas, Christy, Fu Jong, Vinnie, Garret, Joseph and gang and Justice Jerk are copyrighted by me. Everyone else referred to is copyrighted or trademarked by his or her own company.

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