The Return of Winifred

By Jareth

Chapter Sixteen: The Human Hunter 8000

A thick pair of what appeared to be six-foot tall mechanical legs walked into the room. Above the legs was a large open topped cab, complete with appeared to be a small satellite dish on the right, and a single headlight on the front. Riding in the seat of the cab, was Professor Nimnul.

“At last!” He shouted as the hulking mech came to a halt. “With this, I’ll be the most feared mad scientist who ever lived! Ha ha haaaaa!

Sparky began to clench his fists, an angry expression forming on his face. “grrr…How dare he use science in the name of evil!”

“He must be using that satellite dish on the side to control everyone’s mind.” Deducted Chip as he continued to watch prof. Nimnul.

“Now,” Began prof. Nimnul “for a test. Hmmm… I think I’ll use it at 20%. After all, I don’t want to destroy my lab, heh heh.” Nimnul reached toward the front of the cab, pulled a red lever upward, and pushed a red button. No sooner had he had done that, then the satellite dish on the side of the odd vehicle began to glow green.

The Rangers watched in amazement, especially Gadget. “What the—” Began Gadget.

Suddenly, with a tremendous echoing “BANG!” an enormous beam, eight-feet wide, exploded out of the dish, leaving a large smoking hole in the wall it had been aimed at.

“Genius!” prof. Nimnul shouted joyfully as he pulled the lever back toward him. “The Event-horizon cannon is much more powerful than I anticipated! Using my Human Hunter 8000, I can go on a rampage and— No, I’ll demonstrate what this weapon is capable of to the world, then I’ll hold the world hostage and— No, I’ll…”

Nimnul continued to carry on about the many evil uses of his new invention, while the Rangers starred at the smoking hole in horror and amazement. Finally, Sparky broke the silence. “He’s a mad man!”

“Frankly,” Said Gadget in a half scared/ half amazed tone of voice, “I’m impressed!”

“Impressed!?” Shouted Sparky.

Gadget explained what she meant. “What I mean, is that Nimnul usually cooks up absurd inventions with ridiculous names, like the FOGIE or the Modemizer, to name a few. This time, He’s actually built something really incredible, and it sounds like he’s put a lot of thought into naming it too.”

“Wait a minute!” yelled Chip, having a sudden revelation. “If Nimnul’s been working on that thing, then that means he’s not the one controlling people!”

“But if he’s not controlling them,” Asked Dale “who is?”

No sooner had Dale asked this, when the laboratory door flew off its hinges, reveling three policemen. The officers stood, emotionlessly staring at Nimnul and his machine.

“Well, looks like its time for another test!” Nimnul said excitedly as he began pressing several buttons. The Human Hunter 8000 then proceeded to leap 10 feet into the air, landing right in front of all three officers. “How would you three like a nice Hawaiian punch?” Nimnul yelled, trying to think of a good pun to use.

The Rangers watched nervously. “What do think he means by—” Began Dale.

Suddenly, the front of the HH8000 opened, producing a large mechanism that closely resembled a metal boxing glove.

“Get out of the way you fools!” Yelled Sparky, banging on the glass.

But it was no use. The boxing fired out of the hole as if had been shot out of a cannon. The shot was followed by a loud snapping sound, and the sound of a hat hitting the floor. It had broken the lead officer’s neck.

“Ugh!” Exclaimed Gadget, covering her mouth in horror. Foxglove looked as if she were about to scream, so Dale quickly covered her eyes.

“Oops, looks like I over did it.” Said Nimnul almost happily.

“Why that evil son of a…” began Sparky

“Crikey!” interrupted Monty “Look at that! He’s still standin’!”

Indeed, somehow, the police officer still remained standing upright as if nothing had happened.

“Hey! I killed you!” Shouted Nimnul. “So why aren’t you dead?” Again, the fist shot out of the socket, but stopped short of hitting it’s target. “What!?” asked a confused professor Nimnul, “what’s wrong? Why didn’t it hit?” Nimnul peered over the controls in his cab, and was dumbfounded by what he saw. The officer was blocking the steel glove, using only his pinky finger.

Chip stared in amazement. “How could he possibly still be alive, his neck is broken!”

“Maybe its not broken.” Said Dale, making a random hypothesis.

“Not bro— Look at it!!” Yelled Chip “His head looks like it’s going to fall off any minute now.

No sooner had Chip said this, when yet another bizarre event occurred. The officers neck slowly began to reposition it’s self. The Rangers all stared in shock as the officers head moved back into its normal position, as if it had never been broken.”

“Whaaaaaaat?!” Screamed professor Nimnul, pounding the controls. “That’s not possible! None of this is possible!” Suddenly, Nimnul’s angry expression faded and became evil once more. “Impressive… But try blocking this!” With that, Nimnul reached for the lever controlling the Event-horizon cannon, and pushed it up all the way. “HA!” He shouted, “Not even an asteroid could survive this at 100%! Say goodniiiiiiight!”

“We’ve got to get out of here before that thing goes off!” Yelled Chip. “Come on!” He instructed, motioning everyone towards the drainpipe. The Rangers and Sparky wasted no time in climbing back down the pipe (except for Zipper and Foxglove, who flew) and running for cover.

Meanwhile, back inside, Nimnul’s laser had finished charging. He covered his ears and closed his eyes until he heard a faint explosion. However, when he opened his eyes there was no giant crater. Instead, not only had the laser not fired, but the officer had punched a hole, right through the reinforced titanium legs. “Nooooo! How could you have possibly—” BOOM! With that, the leg exploded, sending professor Nimnul sailing out an open window.

The officers stared at the burning heap of metal. “You think he’s dead?” the first one asked the second.

“Yeah, there’s no way he could have survived the explosion.” Answered the second.

“We gotta report back to our master and notify her that we successfully carried out the mission.” Said the third. With that they walked out of the lab, while the fire continued to spread, engulfing several test tubes and in turn, causing a massive explosion.

Nimnul watched from the bushes. “No, my lab.” He whimpered “my beautiful lab.”

Meanwhile, from a different bush, the Rangers watched as the officers departed. “Is every one okay?” asked Chip.

“I’m fine” Answered Gadget

“Me too.” added Foxglove

“No worries here.” said Monty.

Zipper made a “I’m okay.” Noise

“I’m okay too, I guess.” replied Dale, dusting off his knees.

However, Sparky did not respond, for his attention was directed at the first officer’s forehead.

“Sparky?” Asked Gadget

“That police officer.” Sparky said, still transfixed on the officer.

“What about him?” Asked Chip.

“There’s a “W” on his forehead!”

“A “W”!?” Exclaimed Chip, “Hmm… I’ll bet if we follow them, it should lead us to the real puppet master. Come on, Rescue rangers, away!”

Nimnul slowly walked away from his burning home. “There’s nothing for me here, he said sadly. I guess I’ll have to find a new lab… but first, I want to find out who told those overgrown apes to do this to me.” With that, he also began to follow the officers, keeping his distance.

It was almost 1:24 AM by the time the Rangers and Sparky had finished tailing the officers. As tired as they were, this was not a normal case, and if the Rangers were to sleep, they might wake up to everyone in the city carrying the “W” mark on their forehead. They watched as the three police officers walked into the police station. Quickly, as the door was closing, they all made a mad dash toward the opening. Everyone easily made it, except Monty, who got his tail caught in the door as it shut.

“Here,” offered Sparky “grab my hand.”

“Thanks mate,” Said Monty, taking Sparky’s hand “I really ApriRIRIRIAHHH yowch!” Sparky had unintentionally shocked him.

“Sorry.” Apologized Sparky “You’d think I would’ve learned by now.”

“S’all right. I’ve had worse” Said Monty, sucking his burnt hand.

“*Shhh!” Hissed Chip. “Someone’s coming.” The Rangers quickly ran behind a floor plant and peered around it.

No sooner had they hid, when out of the door, came a very slender attractive woman dressed in a red skintight outfit, accompanied by a fox.

“Who’s that?” Sparky asked Gadget.

Gadget was about to answer, but Chip quickly did it for her. “We don’t know.” He said gruffly. He then proceeded to move himself in-between Sparky and Gadget.

However, while Chip had made this claim on everyone’s behalf, Foxglove was not so certain.

“Something wrong Foxy?” Asked Dale, sensing her tension.

Foxglove stared at the woman uneasily. “I’m not sure why… But I feel like I know her.”

“Do you?” Asked Dale.

“No.” Foxglove answered, sounding unsure. “at least I don’t think I do… but there’s something familiar about her eyes…”

“Well?” Asked the woman, as if the three officers knew the question.

“He’s dead.” Replied the first officer.

“And his lab?” Asked the woman.

“Burnt to the ground.” Replied the second officer.

“Excellent.” She said, an evil smile forming on her face.

“What now?” asked the third officer in an egger to please voice.

“You’re no longer needed.” Replied the woman, with that, all three police officers were instantly reduced to mice. The woman than turned her attention to the fox. “Do with them as you please.” She said, smiling as she walked back into the back room.

“So that’s why you brought me out here. Thank you master.” replied the fox in an eerily calm voice.

“Th-they turned into mice!” Exclaimed Dale as quietly as possible. “That’s awful!” He then noticed Monty and Gadget giving him dirty looks. “…I-in principal.” He finished

“That voice!” Gadget whispered to the others, “That’s Darien, the same fox that was with Winifred!” Foxglove shuddered at the name. “What’s he doing here?”

Darien cornered one of the mice. “Please!” it pleaded, “Don’t eat me!”

“Alright.” Agreed Darien “I won’t”

“Th-thank you…” It replied uneasily

“I’m just going to chew on you a little and swallow the remains. However, I must warn you that anything that happens afterward is beyond my control.” With that, Darin lunged, and did exactly as he had promised.

“We’ve got to save them!” Said Chip.

“But ‘ow?” asked Monty. “ He’s enormous, and we don’t have any kinda weapons on us.”

“Yes,” Responded Gadget, “but we’ve got Sparky.”

Sparky began to look uneasy. “I’m not sure that the best course of action is…”

“Just leave it to me.” Gadget said, smiling. “I have a plan.”

Next chapter

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