It's A Jungle Out There

By Jelle (CD)

Part Eight

Mercy’s airplane had took off and they were safely in the air now, away from Saudi Arabia and one of it’s dark princes. Mercy didn’t understand why the flight wasn’t postponed because she triggered the metal detector, but guessed the salamander prince caused the necessary confusion to make the airport workers mistake identities and they arrested the Saudi prince for weapon possession while she herself was just as guilty. And even if their workers insisted on checking over Mercy, she’d never allow them to take her knife away. She’d rather pay a fine than hand it over. While weaponry in airplanes was taboo, Mercy was a taboo breaker. The world is a dangerous place, and Mercy had to play lifeguard for herself and Philip.
“How’s your leg?” Philip inquired, looking up from his comic book.
“Phil, don’t be so concerned about me. You’ve asked it every minute now.”
“Okay, I’ll stop,” He stated and read on before looking up again and asking “How’s your leg now?”
“I said, stop asking.”
“You said to stop asking it every minute. I’m now asking it every half minute,” Philip proclaimed.
Mercy sighed deeply.
“I know, it’s only thirty seconds but in the marathon you’ll miss gold,” Philip pressed defensively.
“I told you, that steward bandaged my leg and the wound is cleaned. There’s nothing to worry about. Don’t bother me for the rest of the flight, I’m going to sleep some more. And if you wake me up before we’ve reached New York you’re in trouble,” She warned, yawned and fell asleep.
Philip decided not to bother her anymore and took out a rodent sized disc player to listen some relaxing music.

Alex entered the storage building in panic and ran up to the two Nutcrackers.
“My liberators arrived and they beat those smugglers. Now’s our chance to escape!” he declared proudly and freed Steve and Flora with the key he snagged from Sergei’s office.
The trio quickly ran to the exit, Alex leading the way. When he left the warehouse however, he froze. Alexander looked fearfully at the rifle that was pointed at him by an American chipmunk in a bomber jacket and fedora.
“You don’t happen to be in possession of information that helps us destroy this place do you?” The other chipmunk asked while keeping his weapon pointed at Alex.
“You don’t understand sir! I’m a deserter, I have no will to fight this battle! Please don’t shoot!”
“Chip don’t! He’s a good guy!” A voice called out to the armed chipmunk that was familiar to him.
“Flora and Steve? You here?” Chip asked as he lowered the dart rifle.
“These smugglers took us prisoner when they raided the hospital we were at. Alex here is not part of them out of free will. He’s willing to surrender to the BATS when given the chance,” Flora explained quickly.
“That’s right, so please spare my life now. I never wanted to lose my life in this war simply because I made a mistake somewhere,” Alex pressed apologetically.
“If you tell us where to find the explosives depot, we’ll bring you back to civilization,” Chip offered.
“Fair enough, it’s over there!” Alex agreed and turned around, pointing to a nearby facility.
“Thanks, let’s go guys!” he called out to the other Rangers but stopped dead in his tracks after he rounded the corner.
“Well, well, if it isn’t little Chip Maplewood. Nice to meet you again.” Boris “Bowler” greeted with a bazooka pointed at the chipmunk detective.
Chip was shocked to see the rocket launcher the rat carried, but just couldn’t help but remark, “So they recruited even you. These people must be desperate and paranoid.”
“Ghrrl, you’ll pay for that insult!” the rat snarled and fired his weapon.
Chip quickly dived for the floor and the missile passed right over his head and hit a stack of barrels that exploded, setting off a domino effect of exploding barrels and crates which ended at the base of a huge building with large smoke pipes protruding from the roof.
“No!” Boris screamed, dropped his weapon and ran toward Chip, lifted him off the ground and shook him furiously. “Look what you did! This is your fault!”
“S-should I have stood my ground and gotten blown to pieces?” he managed.
“Idiot! That’s the power plant that supplied our base with power! It’s damaged beyond repair!”
“Thanks, you just made our mission a lot easier,” Chip declared proudly, hoping to make the rat feel even worse about his action.
“You don’t understand the danger of the situation do you!? When that thing blows, this place will be wiped out, you and me included!” Boris insisted desperately.
Monty decided enough was enough and tapped the rat’s shoulder, then punched his face when he turned around. “That would be enough mate.” He stated as Boris dropped Chip, a black eye forming where Monty’s fist hit.
“Don’t panic, I know what to do!” Alexander declared, trying to keep everyone’s cool “This place has a couple of submarines. I suppose we can ‘borrow’ a few. Underwater we’re safe from the explosion and can escape without anyone chasing us.”
“Sounds like a plan. Show us were we can find this sub pen,” Steve asked.
“It’s not to far, and with all the confusion there probably won’t be anyone guarding the place.”
“We’d better tell Pèpe to evacuate the BATS soldiers or they’ll get caught in the blast,” Chip warned and took Gadget’s radio and ordered the captain to take every unit away from the smuggler base. “Now take us there!” Chip ordered when he finished.
“Da!” Alex acknowledged and saluted before leading the way, leaving Boris behind to panic.

“Here we are” Alexander stated as he led the Rangers over to a submarine “This is the smugglers’ version of the 945 Sierra class Nuclear Submarine. Or “Barrakuda” as the Russians call it,” Alex declared proudly.
“You mean to say Russia has these as well?” Dale asked, hoping his fellow rodents across the world didn’t turn to mass destruction as well.
“This ship was made in Russia!” Alex corrected, not realizing that the Rangers disliked violence and Dale was horrified instead of bewildered. “It’s got a huge amount of firepower and when submerged, it can reach a maximum speed of 36 knots.”
“That ought to shake of a couple o’ ships,” Monty mused before noticing something “Lad, what about those other subs here?”
“Those are scaled down versions of the Typhoon and Hai Lung. They are inferior to the Barrakuda, so we’d better leave them. Now get on board, I learned a few things about subs while I was staged in Vladivostok.” Alexander advised as he led the Rangers inside and to the bridge of the Sierra 945.
With the help of Gadget, Alex and radio assistance of a BATS girl named “Crazy Mina” the Rangers managed to move the giant hulk of steel out of the smuggler sub pen. They set course for the BATS encampment, their mission completed.

With the chaos that ensued after the destruction of the reactor core, Sergei had a hard time organizing the rest of the base. With the help of Boris he managed to calm enough people and get them aboard the submarines to evacuate. To his dismay he noticed both Alexander and the Sierra 945 were missing, and a large amount of his employer’s subjects had been captured by the BATS. Just when he thought things couldn’t get any worse, Boris reported.
“Comrade, we found the missing Barrakuda on the sonar. It seems the vehicle thieves aren’t familiar with submarines; it’s not cruising at maximum speed, it’s not running silent and it’s currently surfaced.” Boris informed his old friend “Should we take them out?”
“Whether we are dealing with BATS here or just cowards who thought it best to flee and abandon us, we should get revenge. Do we have any weapons operational?” Sergei inquired as he got up and made his way over to the bridge, his old rival following.
“Torpedoes armed. Give them the word and they’ll fire.”
“Fine, then sink those fools! Nobody takes our ships unpunished!” Sergei ordered one of henchmen on the bridge “Torpedoes away!” He shouted as two of the ship’s torpedoes were fired at the Sierra 945.

Inside the Barrakuda the Rescue Rangers and their friends noticed two splashes right next to the sub they were in. Alex immediately checked the sonar to see his fears were for good reason, they were being followed by another submarine, probably one of the Typhoons they left behind.
“Miss Hackwrench, we should dive immediately, we’re being followed by those smugglers that survived!”
“What do we do now?” Chip asked worriedly “Do you suppose this ship can hold out against another one in combat?”
“Probably, but before we’ve turned to face them the other sub has probably closed enough on us to fire another round of torpedoes that will hit. If we dive and increase our speed we can simply outrun their ship, the Typhoons only go 27 knots submerged, because it’s operating under a set of steam turbines and a pressurized water reactor. And we’re running under nuclear power. And that’s another reason to retreat. If they manage to damage our submarine and sink us that would create an environmental disaster. I don’t need to tell you what that means,” Alex explained quickly as he adjusted a few things.
“I see, I suppose that escape is the best course of action,” Chip agreed and nodded.

“You fools, you missed them!” Sergei screamed furiously.
“The distance was too great to get an accurate shot, and this equipment was designed by a bunch of commies not to mention,” the weapons officer apologized, not that it helped.
“What’s wrong with our systems? At least we produce by masses, we can topple you stinking Americans easily when it comes to quantity!” Sergei retorted angrily.
“May I inform you that I’m a born and bred Greek? And that you filthy reds have no idea what ‘reliable’ means?” The officer countered, which made Sergei even more hateful.
As the two continued their debate about capitalism and communism, Boris looked worriedly as the other sub disappeared in the dark and mysterious blackness of the sea.

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