The Return of Winifred

By Jareth

Chapter Twenty-Three: Winifred’s new recruit

“Slow doooooown!!!” Chip yelled as he clung to a nearby wire. When Professor Nimnul had told them that the trip would be quick, he failed to mention that they would be traveling at ninety miles per hour. The fact that the Human Hunter 8000 had feet instead of wheels, made for an extremely bumpy ride. Now, sitting amongst the yellow wires at Professor Nimnul’s feet, all the Rangers or Sparky could do was grab a wire, and hang on for dear life.

“Speed up?!” Professor Nimnul shouted, well aware of what had actually been requested.

“No!” Everyone shouted at once.

“Well,” Professor Nimnul replied teasingly, “we’re already going over ninety, but if you insist!!!” With that, the bumps became more rapid then ever, signifying that they had again, sped up.

“This reminds me of time I rode a wallaby from Sydney ta Brisbane!” Commented Monty.

“Was that as bad as this!?” asked Foxglove

“Not even close,” answered Monty “this is a million times worse!”

“Ah! Ha ha haaa!” Professor Nimnul laughed.

“What’s so funny!?” Sparky shouted over the noise of rushing wind and bumps.

“I just hit a cat!” Professor Nimnul laughed. “The right leg kicked him, practically sending him into orbit!”

“Yaaaaaaa!” Fat Cat yelled as he sailed through the air off into the horizon.

“How much longer do we have to take this!?” Dale asked, beginning to become dizzy from all the bouncing.

Suddenly, as if to answer Dale’s question, the Human Hunter 8000 began to slow down. The Rangers breathed a sigh of relief as the violent bumping slowly ceased. “Alright,” came Professor Nimnul’s voice, now sounding very serious, “we’re here.”

Sparky and the Rangers slowly climbed out of the cab and looked up at the two towers. “Blimy.” Monty commented, staring up at the mile high monstrosities.

“It’s like the Devil has extended his arms into this world.” Sparky said eerily, creeping everyone out.

“So…” Began Dale, “how do we get in?” No sooner had he asked the question, when a small portion of the right tower liquefied, forming an entrance. “Oh.” He said sheepishly.

“Well… Chip gulped, “I guess this is it. Before we go in, I just want everyone to know… in case we don’t all make it… That you’re more than friends to me, you’re family.” With the exception of Professor Nimnul, everyone, including Foxglove and Sparky came together for a big group hug.

“Don’t worry Chip” Gadget said reassuringly “We’ll all make it, I’m sure we will.”

“Hey!” Dale called to Professor Nimnul, completely wrecking the mood. “Aren’t you going to get out of that thing?”

“I can’t take another pill for three days so I’m going to fight using this.” Professor Nimnul explained, patting the laser cannon on the side of his mech.

“Well…” Chip said uneasily. “Lets go inside.”

“hm hm hm hmmmmmm.” Winifred laughed to herself, eyes closed and still in the meditating position, “They’re arrived.”

“Blimy look at this place!” Monty shouted, expecting (but not receiving) an echo.

“I bet you could fit the entire park in here!” Dale exclaimed, looking about the room.

“Actually,” Corrected Gadget “seventeen eighteenths of the park.”

Professor Nimnul and the Rangers had stepped into an enormous, dome-like room. While the walls and ceiling were completely onyx, the floor was a shiny white, glowing eerily as if it were front-lit, lighting up the otherwise pitch-black room, and slowly rotating colors; mainly shades of red and orange.

“Hey,” Dale asked, spinning around “where’s Foxy?” Dale turned around to see Foxglove, right on the threshold of the entrance, shaking. “Aw come on Foxy.” Dale said reassuringly. “I’m right here, nothing bad’s gonna to happen to you, I promise.”

“You don’t understand,” Protested Foxglove “Winifred blew up Australia! Imagine what she could do to us!”

“That had to be an illusion!” Professor Nimnul said skeptically. “If Australia blew up, we would have felt a shockwave, now get in here! I need you all together if I’m going to enlarge you!”

“Well it betta bloody well’ve been an illusion’s all I’ve gotta say.” Monty grumbled under his breath.

“Please Foxy?” Dale asked as lovingly as he possibly could.

“Well,” Foxglove answered, crossing the threshold, “oka—EEP!” She squeaked as the door sealed shut behind her.

“Guess there’s no turning back now.” Commented Chip.

“All right,” Ordered Professor Nimnul, “Everyone stand in front of me!” The Rangers did as they were told and grouped together in front of Professor Nimnul’s mech. “everybody say, cheese.” He said, pulling out the shrinking ray.

“Cheese!” Dale said foolishly.

There was a bright light, which temporarily blinded the Rangers. “My eyes!” Sparky yelled.

“Aaaaaaaargh!” Dale screamed, running around “I’m blind I’m blind I’m blind I’m…” He trailed off, his vision returning. “I’m huge!” Dale looked from person to person, astonished. He, Foxglove, Chip, and Gadget, now stood at exactly five feet tall, while Monty and Sparky now both stood at six foot five. Even Zipper, a fly, was now one foot tall.

“Wow,” Commented Professor Nimnul, “And I thought you all looked freakish at normal size!”

“You say someth’n Normie?” Dale asked threateningly, turning towards Professor Nimnul, socking his fist into his hand.

“Yes.” Professor Nimnul answered calmly as the compartment containing the iron fist opened.

“Oh, uh okay.” Dale stammered nervously “Just making sure I wasn’t hearing, uh… Voices.”

“Hey,” Chip shouted, pointing to a nearby shadowy figure, who had previously gone unnoticed. “Who are you?”

No response.

“Hey,” Chip asked slightly louder, now approaching the figure. “I said, who are y—”

Before he could finish, the room lit up, flooding the dim room with much needed light, and revealing the figure’s identity.

“Tammy!?” Everyone except Foxglove and Professor Nimnul exclaimed at once. It was Tammy; a human sized one at that.

“I thought she was smaller!” Exclaimed Dale.

“Tammy, what are you doing here?” Asked Sparky.

“You know her!?” Asked Chip

“I was a good friend of the Squirrel family until Nimnul captured me.” Answered Sparky. “It’s been a while, but I could never forget her.” He said, pointing at Tammy. “She had an enormous crush on me.”

“Me too!” Exclaimed Chip.

“But you were different Chipper,” Tammy said, looking up, revealing a yellow bandanna wrapped around her head. “Sparky was interesting, but I really did love you.”

“Tammy,” Chip said determinedly “I don’t know how you got this big, but you’ve got to get out of here!”

“WHY?!” Shouted Tammy. “So you can go snuggle up next to Gadget?!”

“Tammy, listen to me, y—” Chip began.

“No, YOU listen!” Tammy shouted, cutting Chip off. “You broke my heart! You smashed it into a million pieces and jumped on them until they were dust and mixed the dust in water to make Kool-Aid for GADGET! Now I’m going to do that to you!” Before Chip could respond to the inane outburst, Tammy suddenly appeared in front of Chip as if by magic, and punched him in the stomach, sending him flying ten feet backwards into the wall.

“Chip!” cried Gadget.

“Argh!” Chip yelled as he slammed into the wall. “Tammy…” Chip groaned, standing back up. “Why are y—AUGH!” Chip yelled as Tammy preformed an uppercut right into his chest, sending him six feet into the air.

“Who’s a defenseless child now… CHIPER!” Tammy yelled in violent rage as she jumped into the air next to Chip and hammer-slammed him back onto the floor. As she did so, her bandanna came off, revealing a black, curly ended “W” on her forehead.

“That’s it!” Gadget shouted in sudden realization. “Tammy is Winifred’s new recruit!” Gadget quickly turned to Professor Nimnul. “Give me one of those pills!” She ordered.

Professor Nimnul pulled a Purple Power Pill out of a small steel case in his pocket and tossed it to Gadget.

“Chip!” Gadget called to a semi-stunned Chip. “Take this pill!” Without a moment to spare, she tossed the pill to Chip.

The pill was only an inch away from Chips outstretched hand, when Tammy came, seemingly out of nowhere, and head butted Chip, sending him flying into the wall as the pill landed at Tammy’s feet. “Oh no!” shouted Dale, “he missed it!”

Tammy began to walk forward, crushing the pill under her foot as she did so. “Give me another pill!” Gadget commanded to Professor Nimnul.

“Sorry, no can do.” Professor Nimnul said, shaking his head.

“What?!” Gadget shouted “He’s dieing; he needs it to defend himself!”

“I only have enough for one pill per person!” Nimnul shouted defensively. “The one that that squirrel just crushed was his! Someone else has to go in to save him.”

“Agh,” Chip moaned as he propped himself up against the wall, holding his chest as if it were about to come open, “how am supposed to beat her? Even if I had the pill, I can’t *cough hit a girl…”

Tammy walked up to Chip, ready to deliver her finishing move. “You broke my heart…” Tammy said, staring at Chip with almost demonic eyes “…AND I’LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU!!! DIE!!!!!” With that, Tammy began to deliver a relentless blur of punches to Chip’s stomach, causing him to scream in agony.

“This is it,” Chip thought, squezzing his eyes shut in pain as he began to feel his life force slipping away “it’s over… Gadget… Everyone… I’m… Sorry…”

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