The Return of Winifred

By Jareth

Chapter Eleven: Black ♦diamonds♦

“By unanimous decision, I hereby pronounce you, Foxglove, an official rescue ranger!” Said Chip, shaking Foxglove’s hand.

“Congratulations Foxglove!” Said Gadget, also shaking Foxglove’s hand… err, wing.

“Welcome to the team, mate!” Said Monty cheerfully, giving Foxglove as unknowingly hard pat on the back.

“Way to go foxy!” Dale praised.

Even Zipper mad a “Congratulations” noise.

“Thanks guys,” Foxglove began “but are you sure this is a good idea. I mean, I’m not really Rescue Ranger material.”

“Not Rescue Ranger material!?” Bellowed Monty. “Why I don’t know many blokes brave enough to take on a witch!”

“Monterey’s right,” Chip continued, “we could really use someone as courageous as you.”

Tears began too well up in Foxglove’s eyes. Never before in her entire life had she ever revived so many complements. “Thanks guys.” Foxglove managed to choke out.

“Hey!” Came Dale’s voice from over by the TV. Apparently, he had gotten board and had gone to watch some TV. “You guys have gotta see this!”

“Dale!” Chip scolded, as everyone came over to the TV “That was really rude of you to just get up and leave like that!”

“Was not!” Dale retorted. “Besides, the whole ceremony was already over!”

“It wasn’t over!” Chip yelled

“Was too!” retorted Dale

“Was not!”

“Was too!”

“Was not!”

“Was too!”

“Was not!”

“Was too!”

“Was not!”

“Was too!”

“Was not!”

“Was too!”

“Was not!”

“Was too!”
At this point, Chip and Dale’s arguing faded into indecipherable gibbering

“Guys! Please don’t fight because of me!” Pleaded Foxglove. She really didn’t like the idea of people fighting on her account. However, the argument continued.

“Don’t mind them Foxglove, they always act like this.” Gadget said reassuringly.

“Alright you two, break it up” Said Monty as he stepped in between the two chipmunks.

“He started it!” Chip said angrily, pointing at Dale.

“Did not!” Dale yelled in protest.

“Did t—“

“Oh no you don’t!” Monty yelled over them. “Now you two are gonna shake and make friendly like.”

“Fine.” Said the two chipmunks, trying to crush each other’s hands as they shook.

“Youch!” Screamed Dale, sucking on his hand. He was about to hit Chip, when Chip interrupted his attack with a comment.

“Hey, what’s this about?” Asked Chip, walking over to the TV and turning up the volume.

The newscaster’s voice could be heard:
“…are baffled by the disappearance of seven black diamonds from the diamond vault at the city bank. Each diamond was exactly one inch in length and one inch in width. The apparent theft has caused many wealthy diamond owners to withdrawal their diamonds from the bank. Diamond owner Collata DeShawe had this to say.

The camera switched from the newscaster to an overweight wealthy dowager. She was the stereotypical dowager with the opera glasses and the large pearl necklace around her neck. “I’m simply withdrawing them because I don’t feel it wise to leave them in an insecure bank.” Stated the dowager.

“Than where do you plan to keep them?” Came an off camera reporter’s voice.

“I plan too keep them with Klatu, the leader of the cult I belong to”

The camera then switched back to the newscaster. “Apparently, the vault was airtight and the room was depressurized, meaning that if anything bigger than a seed got in, the alarm would sound. Even more mysterious, is the fact that according to the pressure logs within the door, none had entered, nor had any storage drawers been opened. We’ll have more on this in a moment, but first, the Play of the Day with Chuck Roberts—”
Chip turned off the TV.

“Golly,” Stated Gadget “How can someone break into a pressure sensitive vault without setting off the alarm?”

“Sounds like a case to me!” said Chip, socking his fist into his other hand. “Are you ready for your first case Foxglove?”

“Yes…” Answered Foxglove uneasily. She was very unsure of her abilities as a crime fighter.

“Alright then,” Chip began “Rescue rangers away!”

The Rangers waited until police had gone before they began their own investigation. “Alright, Lets spread out and search for clues.” Ordered Chip as everyone began to walk off in different directions. Everyone that is, except Foxglove.

“Wait,” Foxglove called in a nervous tone “what exactly am I looking for?”

“You know,” Chip responded calmly “anything suspicious or out of place. He began to walk off again, but Foxglove stopped him.

“Suspicious like what?” She asked confusedly

“Like uh…” Chip started to try to explain, but found that he could not. “Dale!” he shouted, “Come over here.” Dale began to walk over to him. “You can help search with Dale, that way, he can show you what kinds of things to look for.”

Although Chip had nothing but good intentions in saying this, Foxglove couldn’t help but feel that she was merely being dumped into someone else’s lap.

Dale finally made his way over. “What is it Chip?” He asked.

“Have Foxglove search the area with you. That way, she can learn what to look for.” With that, Chip quickly went off in the direction he had previously been walking.

Dale stood there, speechless for a moment, before Foxglove broke the silence. “Come on big boy, let’s go look for clues.” Foxglove said lovingly.

Dale looked uncomfortable. “Uh… okay, he said, seemingly avoiding eye contact.

Foxglove was confused. What had happened to her knight in shining armor, risking being crushed by falling beams to rescue her from almost certain death? Had it all really been just a dream? The other Rangers had insisted that it had happened, but now Foxglove was beginning to doubt even them. She sighed, looking at Dale, who had begun to walk off towards the vault. He really seemed to have come around before the Winifred incident. Perhaps it was because she had been out for three days, and now Dale was adjusting to her flirting again. It was a strange concept, but then again, Dale was pretty strange. It was one of his lovable qualities. “He’ll come around again.” Foxglove reassured herself “I just need to be patient.” With that, Foxglove flew over to Dale, who was now examining the door. “What are you looking for?” Asked Foxglove, sounding interested.

“I’m looking for some kind of hole or something…” Said Dale, trailing off, obviously being shy.

“I can use my echolocation to listen for one!” Said Foxglove, excited that she could help in some way.

“Okay Foxy,” Answered Dale, obviously beginning to warm up to her again “go ahead.”

“Cover your ears guys!” yelled Foxglove, taking a deep breath.

Everyone obediently covered their ears. With a deep breath, Foxglove let out an extra loud “squeak!” and listed to the results as the sound rippled off the vault door.

“Did you find anything?” Asked Dale as he slowly uncovered his ears

“Yes!” Foxglove cried excitedly “I found something!”

Immediately upon hearing this, all of the other Rangers came running over to see what Foxglove had discovered. “Well,” asked Chip “what did you find?”

“A hole.” Foxglove said proudly, pointing at the door. The other Rangers squinted their eyes, but not even Zipper could see a hole.

“I don’t see no hole.” Said Monty, scanning the area around where Foxglove had pointed. “You sure about this luv?”

“Let me see.” Said Chip, taking out his magnifying lens. He scanned the spot for a moment before shouting, “There it is!” Apparently, there was an almost microscopic hole in the vault.

“Great job Foxglove!” Complemented Gadget.

Zipper made a “good job” noise and patted Foxglove on the back.

“Now what?” Asked Foxglove, curious as to how her discovery would help with the case.

“Let me see the hole for a minute” Said Gadget, walking up to the hole, carrying a small device which looked like some kind of tiny digital voltage meter.

“Whatcha got there Gadget-luv?” Monty asked, pointing to the device Gadget held in her hands.

“Oh this?” Gadget said casually “This is a polarity specific energy meter. Instead of just measuring how much energy something has, it measures how much of each polarity it has. I’m going to use it to see if the criminals used lasers to make this hole”

“Oh.” Said Monty, pretending as if he knew what the heck she was talking about.

Gadget pointed the energy meter at the hole and held down the small black button on the side of the device. Instantly, the meter began to beep. As Gadget looked at the read out, a puzzled expression began to form on her face. “That’s odd.” She began

“What’s odd?” Asked Chip.

Gadget looked up from the readout at everyone. “Well,” she began “For one thing, there’s energy alright, but it’s 99.99999999999999% negative energy.”

“What’s the other thing?” Asked Chip

Gadget began to look even more confused “The other thing about the energy that doesn’t make sense, is that there’s so darn much of it! In fact, there’s so much residual energy here, it’s like a miniature atomic bomb went off!”

“What does that mean?” Dale asked quizzically.

“It means,” Answered Gadget, “that whatever made this hole sure wasn’t a laser!”

Suddenly, Zipper made a “look!” noise.

“Whatcha got there zipper?” Monty asked turning around. In his hands, Zipper held a long strand of red hair.

Chip took the hair from Zipper’s hand. “Hair?” Chip said, looking at the hair.

“This case is getting mighty hairy!” Dale said making a random pun. Everybody groaned, except for Foxglove, who actually laughed at this horrible pun.

Chip ignored the pun and continued. “Monty, hold on to this for me, it could be a clue.”

“Sure thing mate.” Said Monty, putting the hair in his pocket.

Suddenly, voices could be heard. “Why does the chief want us to check the vault again, we’ve already took the thing apart four times and didn’t find a thing!” Said one voice

“I don’t know,” said the other voice, “but lets just do this so we can go home!”

“Lets get out of here!” Commanded Chip as the Rangers ran back over to their climbing rope that hung from the air vent, and began to climb it (except for Foxglove and Zipper who flew back into the vent).

The Rangers arrived back home several minutes later. “I still don’t understand why that hole had so much residual energy.” Said Gadget, still looking at her energy meter. This was really bugging her. Chip had to do something to calm her.

“Don’t worry Gadget,” Chip said reassuringly as Foxglove opened the front door. “I’m sure all the clues will come together in the end. They always do!”

“I guess you’re right…” Gadget sounded a little less stressed.

Just then, she bumped into Foxglove, who was staring inside the house at someone who she had never seen before. A worried expression began to form on Foxglove’s face. “Dale,” She began to ask, “who’s that?”

Next chapter

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