C - G : A Romance
By Ronnie Rabbit

Part I:

It was just another day for the Rescue Rangers – meaning they were careening wildly down busy city streets and sidewalks, out to foil the latest dastardly scheme of one of their most dangerous enemies. The chase was on!

Gadget was not in her accustomed seat driving the Rangermobile (and Chip, on the passenger side, tried to remember how Dale had managed to claim the vehicle’s controls despite the more reasonable chipmunk’s better judgment.) No, today the female mouse was jetting along in front of them, trying out a new pair of… rocket skates?

Chip had no idea how the things could possibly work, but there were sure enough a pair of skates strapped to Gadget’s normally bare feet, with wooooshes of flame firing from them, seemingly propelling her along. Despite this, she was skating madly, too – legs pumping, bent slightly forward into the air resistance. Now, Chip was no engineer or rocket scientist, but this just confused him even more. Anybody wearing a contraption like that would break both their legs immediately, and why would you need TWO means of propulsion, and-

The detective sighed, and resigned himself to the existence of the things that looked like a refugee from one of Dale’s cartoons. More important things to worry about, like the note the Rangers had received ominously warning them of the building to be destroyed at precisely 12:58 pm., daring them to catch the perpetrator. Like the dubious quality of Dale’s driving skills. Like the way Gadget was flying up a conveniently placed wheelchair access ramp, using it propel herself up and up, onto the nearby railing while Dale dutifully followed hAAAAAH!!

Gadget turned casually in mid-leap, and landed facing them, still pumping away. Now Chip, in addition to being terrified at their precarious position balanced on one set of wheels on the railing, was even more befuddled. If the skates were turned around and firing in the other direction, how on Earth…?

The mouse interrupted his thoughts as she spoke. Frowning at Dale, she said seriously, “You were looking at my tail, weren’t you?”

“Yes! What? Nuh uh, no way!” the driver hastily corrected himself, “I’m waay too busy!” Gadget crossed her arms, still frowning, looking for all the world as if the conversation was taking place somewhere… comfortably stationary, Chip wildly thought as he looked over the wobbling, elevated side of the Rangermobile at the sidewalk whizzing past below.

“Dale, you goofball! FOCUS!” Chip yelled, bopping his friend soundly on the head, hoping vainly for the hundredth time it would knock some sense into him.

“I WAS focusin’! That’s what got me in trouble in the first place!” Dale complained, trying to wrestle with the rapidly vibrating wheel.

“Don’t focus on HER, focus on HER! Gwaa- forget it! Just DRIVE!” Chip wailed, hanging on for dear life.

Gadget glanced up at a street sign whizzing by, and cheerfully announced, “Oops! Here we are! Guess I won’t be needing these anymore…”

She reached down to a complex looking, cobbled together set of controls on her belt, and pushed a button.

Too late Chip realized what she was up to. “No- NO!” he yelled, jerking up out of the seat despite its still precarious position. He looked around the vehicle helplessly, frantically- he had to do SOMETHING-!

But no, it WAS too late.

Gadget flew up into the air, some sort of even more complex looking rotors popping out of a backpack. As the blades whirrrred faster and faster into life, lifting her slowly upward, the skates popped right off of her feet, soaring ahead under their own inertia…

Chip watched, helpless, as the tiny devices flew through the window of the small jewelry store, triggering whatever it was she had set up beforehand – or perhaps she’d rigged some impossibly potent explosive on the skates themselves, who knew? What did it matter? All he could do was watch as the building went up in a brilliant explosion, gems, bracelets, necklaces, flying outward in all directions along with masonry and bits of what might have once been display cases.

Gadget beamed, twirling in the air, eyes reflecting the explosion. Casually, she put up her hand, and a large gold ring, inset with a magnificent lavender gemstone, flew neatly into her paw just as if it had been planned that way- which, of course, it was.

Gadget Hackwrench, former Rescue Ranger and now one of their most dangerous enemies, sighed fondly as she looked at it. “Perfect!” she murmured.

Chip gritted his teeth. She was going to get away from him. AGAIN. No- no, not this time- not THIS time-

He grabbed the cable attached to the old plunger gun mounted on the back of the Rangermobile, and rapidly knotted a loop around his waist. Dale shot a look over at him, dumbfounded. “Chip? CHIP! I know you’re not thinkin’ what I think you’re thinkin’! Even I’M not THAT crazy!” he yelped, trying to split his attention between driving along the few remaining feet of railing runway he had available and his suddenly insane best friend.

“Just FOCUS, Dale,” Chip gritted. He grabbed the firing control, and braced himself.

“Chipyounutdon’tmakemecomebackthere!” Dale babbled at top chipmunk speed, as the railing ended under the wheels of the Rangermobile.

Looking up at his rapidly disappearing target, Chip fired.

Gadget glanced idly at the large plunger flying about an inch off to the side of her. “Golly, I didn’t think he’d actually shoot at me. That could be dangerous!” she said thoughtfully as the cable shot by her, trailing along behind the ammunition.

Chip, attached snugly to the end of the rope, THOOMPED solidly into the flying mouse, and flailing, grabbed her tightly in his arms as the cable (thankfully) snapped instead of dragging the two off into who-knows-where.

They both WHEEZED heavily, breath decisively knocked out of them. “…Chip?” Gadget panted, staring at the chipmunk suddenly and very unexpectedly embracing her.

Chip, also gasping for air, held on firmly. “Set us down, ‘pilot’. I’m not letting you go,” he told her, feeling a little… awkward. Their noses were practically touching.

A feeling of satisfaction filled him. He HAD her. There was no possible way she could escape THIS. And best of all was the utterly dumbfounded look on her face that told him he’d caught her totally by surprise, there was no backup plan, no last second escape route. He’d WON.

“I… never thought you’d do a stunt like THIS,” she admitted, looking into his eyes. “I, um, didn’t prepare for this possibility at all…”

The rotors made an unpleasant grinding sound as smoke hissed from the overloaded machinery, then came to a sputtering stop. Gadget glanced up at them worriedly. “Not at ALL.”

They began to fall a split second later. Chip looked down in shock. “D- do something!” he stammered. “Use your backup plan! Your last second escape route! You’ve always got SOMETHING! How could you not have brought SOMETHING?!”

“What?! Oh, now this is MY fault?” she snapped at him, trying with one arm – mostly crushed in his now even tighter death grip – to reach for the controls at her belt.

“Ofcourseit’syourfault! YOU’RE the master criminal! We wouldn’t even be here if-“

“I had this calculated perfectly, there wasn’t even anyone in the store, NOBODY could POSSIBLY get hurt and you just HAD to pull this crazy-“

Still arguing, they plummeted to the ground, and the last thing Chip remembered before everything blanked out was Gadget, there in his arms.

Next Part

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