Wild Night Flight

                         A Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers story by Morgan Kohl

I just thought there's not enough stories starring Zipper. So here's a small
tale for this small fry.

A soft wind made it's way lazily through the large city park on a sweetly
warm summer evening. Occasionally a dog would bark, or a faraway car's
engine could be heard, but otherwise the air was soundless. The moon was
full and beautiful as it cast its yellow light over all. The feeling of the
night was one of quiet peace.

On a high branch of the tallest tree in the park, a small blue fly rested on
his back, his head on his arms and his eyes to the sky. His stomach was full
of the delicious broccoli cheese soup that Monterey had cooked up earlier.
He sighed happily at being able to enjoy this moment of peace. His life as a
rescue ranger was a hectic one. Case followed case with only an occasional
rest period. Just today he and the others had risked their lives defending
the city from one of Professor Nimnul's harebrained schemes. This time, the
good doctor has invented a dehydration device, and was intent on turning it
on the city council if they didn't crown him emperor. The rangers had
naturally defeated him, but they'd all nearly ended up as rescue raisins in
the process.

Zipper smirked at it now. While they were often terrifying at the moment, in
hindsight most of their cases were pretty funny, if not downright zany. 'How
do we always end up fighting nothing but nutcases?' Zipper wondered to
himself. 'Ho well, even Batman has to deal with the Joker'.

His role in the rangers had been gradually shifting since their first case
had brought them together. At first, only Monterey had really respected him.
The others treated him more like a prop than a teammate. His wings were
about the only things that made him special to them. However, as time went
by, their perceptions changed. As he showed them that he could be as active
a team member as any of them, they gave him more responsibility in the team
and more respect as well. 'Boy, did that gigantico gun incident ever do
wonders for me!' he thought with a laugh. Now, he was considered an equal.
He didn't even have to ask the others; their attitudes to him showed it was
true. It made him proud to know that he, an insect, oft considered a lower
life form by mammals, had come to be seen as a friend and comrade in the
eyes of his mammalian teammates.

A rustling below him snapped him out of his thoughts. Friend to mammals or
not, there were still plenty of other animals that liked to eat his kind. In
the realm of predator and prey, 'better safe than sorry' wasn't merely a
wise saying, but words to literally live by. Zipper sat up and scanned the
area with all his senses. He waited, and heard the rustle again.

It came again, much closer this time. Something was making it's way up
towards him through the tree branches! Zipper was completely motionless. He
tensed his muscles, readying himself for instant flight.

And then, suddenly, a dark form seemed to burst forth from the branches
under him. It was black as coal and its voice was the screech of a banshee.
The form's wings seemed to stretch for miles. Zipper was paralyzed by
fright. He lost his balance and toppled headfirst out of the tree.

The sudden, clumsy movement may have saved his life. The thing lost sight of
him. Zipper was made a statue by his fear for an instant before regaining
his senses. Leaves and tree branches rushed past him at an amazing speed.
How could they be growing upwards so fast? 'Wait, no, they're not going up!
I'm the one that's going down!' he realized. "I'm falling!" Zipper quickly
barrel-rolled over on his stomach and beat his wings furiously at the air,
trying to find purchase. He was rewarded by that familiar feeling of
almost-weightlessness as he went from falling to flight.

Zipper darted like a cruise missile from the foliage, hoping his dark
attacker would be left behind searching for him amongst the greenery of the
Ranger tree. The little blue fly zoomed across the park to land a ways away
on the lip of a municipal trash bin. His breath was ragged from fright. He
buzzed squeakily. He looked over his shoulder to the tree. He didn't see
anything. A smooth, chilly breeze blew across him.

And there it was again. Zipper gasped as the black blur shot up out of the
tree and scanned the park. From the way it moved and the brief glimpses he
got in between its sharp movements, Zipper knew it was a bat. "Oh
wonderful," he muttered to himself. "Now I have to deal with a predator that
can echolocate." Birds were bad enough, but at least they didn't have sonar.
Zipper took stock of his surroundings. He moved as silently as possible,
knowing how sensitive bat hearing was. They didn't have those big ears for

Behind him was a lamppost. Mostly low-cut bushes to his left. There was a
park bench a few feet to his right. And the trash can, of course. But that
wouldn't be too helpful. Or would it? Zipper peeked down and noticed some
assorted bits of trash. He got an idea. Carefully, carefully, he made his
way into the bin. He made sure that the only sound he was producing was his
heartbeat. He knew he was overreacting, but when one was considered highly
edible in the circle of life, any and all precautions were a good idea.

Zipper reached the empty quarter-sized Doritos bag. His plan was to bring it
to the top of the can and let the breeze blow across it. The resulting
crinkle sound might help lure the bat away while he made his escape. He had
to find a way to get back into RRHQ. There was safety. But that was the one
direction he couldn't go yet. He had to find a way to divert the bat first.

He then realized he had a problem; how to get it to the top of the trash can
without giving away his position first? If he flew, he was certain the bat
would hear his wings beating and swoop in for the kill. Zipper puzzled over
it for a few minutes, rubbing his chin thoughtfully as he'd seen Gadget do.
The thought of Gadget sparked something. Perhaps he could invent something?
He looked around at the other trash. Was there something here...?

A light bulb went off over his head.

Within a few frenzied, silent moments of work, Zipper had constructed a
crude springboard from a flattened cardboard popcorn box from one of the
many cart vendors that strolled about the park in the afternoons. The
fulcrum was a leaky red cola can. Zipper lifted up the Doritos bag as
carefully as he'd deliver a baby. He walked like a cat towards the slapdash
springboard and positioned himself on the end. He was glad to find it was
indeed bouncy enough to serve his purpose. He took a deep breath.

The blue fly began to bounce. Slowly at first, just enough to get some
momentum. Then with more force. He went up a few more centimeters with each
bounce. Up, down, up a little more, down a little more. Zipper hoped the bag
wouldn't brush against the lip of the lid and rustle too soon. Well, no
going back now. He concentrated all his energy into coming down on the
cardboard as hard as he could. Zipper shot up through the trash can, out
into the cool night air.

The first sight he saw when he opened his eyes made him scream.

The bat was already there.

He saw into it's red, gleaming mouth.

Zipper was off like a bolt of lightning, flying faster than he ever thought
he could. His brain was so rattled from the horrifying vision, he wasn't
even sure where he was going. His mind swirled like a tornado. His flight
path was completely chaotic; he zipped and dived like he was drunk. He hoped
his unintended erratic path would throw the bat off. No such luck. He heard
wings behind him.

He managed to get his head screwed back on enough to see he was headed for
the bushes. Great. He could lose the flying nightmare in there. He slapped
his arms to his sides, making himself into the shape of a bullet and dived
for his life into the thick foliage. Leaves slapped him all over as he
thrust himself forward. Deeper, deeper, into the center of the plant where
it wouldn't find him.

Zipper collapsed against a thorny branch. He panted heavily. He was
completely exhausted. He didn't often put on such great bursts of speed, and
when he did, it always left him drained. He couldn't hear the bat. Even
better, he couldn't see it either.

Zipper waited.

He hoped time wasn't passing as slowly as he perceived it. It felt like he'd
been listening for the predator for hours. He hoped it wasn't just a few
seconds. He hoped he'd finally gotten away.

But then it was there again. Zipper's heart skipped a beat. It was there,
thrashing against the leaves, growling in annoyance. He could see the
branches shivering as it tried to fight its way inside.

Zipper was absolutely motionless. His yellow eyes were wide open. He wasn't
about to try anything clever this time. This bat was too smart for that. He
was just going to stay here, as still and quiet as he could be, and wait it
out. He could feel his heart thumping. He tried to keep himself from
quivering in fear.

The bat seemed to quiet for a second. Zipper dared to hope it might have
gone away. Seconds became hours again. Then his heart sank as he heard the
bat making it's way into the thick hedge, this time with methodical
movements rather than force. Zipper nearly fainted.

The little fly bit his lip. He was trembling in terror and he couldn't stop
himself. Branches creaked and bent. Leaves fluttered. He couldn't see it,
but he knew it was coming closer. Images of being digested alive in it's
stomach flashed through Zipper's mind. The bat was coming closer.

And closer...


Finally, Zipper could take the suspense no more. His mind snapped. He leaped
off of the branch and tore off through the bush, his only direction was away
from the thing that would eat him. Flying was impossible. The branches were
too close together. He had to scramble madly on all fours like a rodent
through the labyrinth of green. The bat was behind him. He could hear it
crashing through the bush behind him, keeping pace. They were closely
matched in that they were both primarily creatures of the air, and a chase
through this arboreal jungle gym was equally awkward for both hunter and

There was barely any light and everything looked the same. It was like an
optical illusion. He didn't even know what was up or down anymore. All that
mattered was what was in front of him. Branch. Space. Run. Jump. Leaves.
Branch. Jump. Jump. Run. It didn't seem like it would ever end. Zipper felt
trapped in a loop of time.

The bat was keeping pace. He could hear its clawing, slashing, chasing
behind him. Always just a tiny fraction behind him. He knew if he slowed for
an instant, he'd be dead.

Zipper forced his body to move faster and faster, despite its aching
protests. There was nothing but green and dark all around. His vision was
beginning to swirl. Was this bush infinite? Would he never escape it? Would
he never escape the bat? NO! There! Ahead was a patch of moonlight. An
escape! The blue fly drove himself towards it like a bullet. Closer, closer,
closer. He was almost there...

Made it!

Zipper nearly cried in joy as his wings carried him out of the maze of
shrubbery into the cool night air. His lips in a wide smile, he shouted out
in joy! The bat was left behind!

His expression turned to pure horror as he felt claws grasp around his
midsection. It had him.

Zipper's whole life flashed in front of his eyes. It couldn't end this way.
There were too many more adventures to be had! Zipper writhed in hysteric
terror, thrashing against the impenetrable clutch of the black flying devil.
His eyes and teeth were clenched in defiance. He couldn't die! He couldn't
die like this!! He heard its wings slapping at the air like the sails of a
pirate ghost ship. He felt the deadly sharp claws on his his stomach. He
felt hot, ragged breaths blowing on him. It was only a matter of seconds
before those terrible teeth would rip into his body!!

And then the bat spoke.

"*pant, pant* Gosh, Zip, if I'd known you wanted to race, I would have done
some stretching exercises first!"

Zipper's eyes popped open upon hearing the bat's voice. His mouth, set and
ready for a bloodcurdling scream, slowly turned into a rattled smile.
"Foxglove, i-i-is that you?"

Hovering in flight, the pink bat leaned over to look into the eyes of the
fly she held in her footclaws. "Of course it's me, silly!" she said, her
bright yellow eyes sparkling.

The little blue fly nearly passed out in relief. He collapsed into jelly,
feeling his heartbeat still pounding like a jackhammer in his chest. "You
scared the HECK out of me! I thought you were trying to eat me!"

Foxy chuckled. "Naw, I'd never eat you. You're my friend and teammate!" she
reassured him. "And I hope you'll never eat me," she added jokingly.

Zipper managed a chuckle of his own. "I promise I won't," he replied. His
breath was starting to even out a bit and he didn't feel so dizzy anymore.
He felt like he'd just gotten off a runaway rollercoaster. He turned himself
around so he could look at her. "So, why WERE you chasing me, anyway?"

"Oh, Monty just made a big blueberry cheesecake for dessert and he asked me
to ask you if you wanted any."

He smiled oddly. "Cheesecake? I almost gave myself a heart attack over
CHEESECAKE?" Zipper tossed up his arms in exasperation. "Of all the..."

Foxy smiled. "Is that a no?"

Zipper thought a bit. "No, no actually, after a workout like that, I could
use something to eat. Lead on, Foxy!"

And, smiling at the silliness of the whole thing, Zipper rode in the gentle
grasp of his bat friend's footclaws through the now calm night sky back to
the ranger tree, thinking to himself 'It had better be some *really* good

                                    The End

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