Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers / Darkwing Duck crossover

"There and back..AGAIN?"

Written by Matt Plotecher

Characters herein are © Walt Disney corporation. Distribute freely, but do not modify.

Author's notes

Blame it on Disney.

Honestly, that's how it happened. I am a long time fan of both Rescue Rangers and Darkwing Duck. So, I was delighted to hear the small snippet of dialouge between Monty and Chip in the Darkwing Duck episode, "Twiching Channels". This turned to a more sad response when I heard that the episode was actually going to be a full-blown crossover between the two series.
But, the men in charge decided to ax the project, leaving only the hint of what might have been...
Thusly, I realized that the only way I was going to see something of a full crossover was to write one myself. So if you didn't like it, blame Disney. [grin]
Hope you enjoyed the tale.

Matt Plotecher

Characters from the series Chip 'n' Dale's Resuce Rangers and the
Darkwing Duck series are copyrighted by Disney, and used here  
without permission. All other characters are copyrighted by Matt 
Distribute freely, but do not modify.

--Chapter 1: "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood..."--

     The building was isolated from the rest of the complex,  
sitting alone in a barren, darkened, concrete yard. The  
researchers liked to say it was because they needed quiet and  
privacy from the rest of the SHUSH compound to develop their  
work. Even the janitors, however, knew it was really because 
this  way damage would be minimal when the place finally 
exploded.  Whatever the reason, it turned out to be fortunate at 
the moment  for all of SHUSH. The research lab, due to it's 
isolation, was  easily closed off. Several barricades, with 
security guards and  vehicles tucked safely behind them, 
surrounding the entire  building. Searchlights swept over all 
possible exits, while  various scrying devices probed inside. 
Each time they did,  though, a sudden current overloaded them, 
sometimes so badly that  it melted the instrument completely.
     J. Gander Hooter surveyed the scene with a frown. He knew  
any attempts at electrical surveillance would fail. Not that 
they  really needed it to know who was in there, but they were 
worried  about where he was. Dozens of topsecret projects were 
at risk  now, either at being stolen or destroyed. So far, it 
had not come  to pass, but the director of SHUSH knew better 
than to press  luck.
     "I got here as soon as I got your message, J. Gander." A  
voice said from behind him. Hooter didn't need to see the  
dispersing blue smoke to know who it was.
     "Thank you for coming so quickly, Darkwing." Hooter 
replied.  "We've been watching him for close to fifteen minutes 
now, but  it's impossible to pin down where he is inside." A 
sudden surge  through another machine emphasized his point.
     Darkwing nodded. "Give me the complete rundown."
     "Well, our scientists were working as per usual, when he  
just quite simply walked out from around a corner. He then  
demanded to know where the bathroom was."
     "Excuse me?"
     "It took the scientists off guard, too. He said something  
like, 'No, that's not right...where is know...' 
and  so on. While he was trying to remember, our scientists 
showed the  first use of common sense this year and left the 
building. They  told security, who entered to neutralize the 
     Darkwing sighed and looked over at the ambulances.
     "Yes, they failed." Hooter said with a sigh. "But at least  
none were killed. He appeared to be more interested in searching 
 for something. That's when I called you."
     "Okay, then. Give me ten minutes and it'll be over with." 
He  started forward, only to find his way blocked by the Rock of 
 Gibraltar. Looking up, he recognized this particular geological 
 location as agent Grizzlikof. The immense bear towered over  
Darkwing, scowling. Of course, Darkwing had never seen 
Grizzlikof  with any other type of expression, so it was 
possible that  Grizzlikof smiled by scowling.
     "Sir, I must object!" Grizzlikof thundered. "We have 
several  highlyclassified projects in there. I do not think it 
wise to  let a freelancer," he sneered the word, "to be allowed 
     Then again, maybe Grizzlikof's scowl really was just a  
     "Besides," the bear continued, "I can have the intruder  
neutralized in only eight minutes."
     "Thanks ever so much, Griz," Darkwing stated, narrowing his 
 eyes, "But Gander called me because he wanted the best. Not the 
 paperwork. Besides, I can finish this in seven minutes."
     "Darkwing is best suited for this situation, agent  
Grizzlikof." Hooter said, stepping between the staredown  
contestants. "He has the most experience against this intruder,  
and I don't want to risk any more agents or equipment. We may be 
 able to overcome him given time, but I'm afraid that is not an  
option. You yourself mentioned the highlyclassified projects  
within the building. Who knows how many have already been marked 
 for theft? Or just studied, so he can replicate them himself? 
I'm  told that he is a highlycompetent inventor, and I can't 
take the  luxury of time now."
     Grizzlikof nodded abruptly. "Very well, sir." He stepped  
aside, next to Hooter. "But I could have done this in six  
     Darkwing, who was beginning to turn his back, spun around 
to  face Grizzlikof. "Oh yeah? Well I can do this in five 
minutes,  Bongo!"
     Grinding his teeth, Grizzlikof snorted. "Twenty dollars 
says  you can't."
     "You're on! I'll have this case closed and return to claim  
my cash before you can blink."
     Hooter rolled his eyes, then remembered something. "Oh,  
Darkwing, try to keep this intruder from blowing up the 
building.  I'd like the lab boys to have first crack at that."
     For one of the few times in his life, Darkwing couldn't  
think of a response. He merely nodded, then blended into the  
shadows and disappeared from view.
     "Five minutes, Darkwing Disaster." Grizzlikof grinned.  
"Maybe it was good for him to go. I can use the money for this  
week's poker game."

     No lights were on inside. The searchlights from the outside 
 cast thick shadows on the floor. They danced across tables and  
desks until the light was abruptly cut off from the room, 
passing  along the outside wall. In the central lab, a single 
figure was  rummaging around a group of shelves. Papers were 
strewn about,  gizmos were taken apart, and loose change was 
pocketed for next  week's lunch money.
     " the terror that flaps in the night!" A voice echoed 
 throughout the room.
     "Oh no..." Megavolt groaned. He turned to see the  
trademarked cloud of blue smoke billowing in the doorway.
     " the science teacher whohey!" The voice snapped as  
Megavolt withdrew his Electrogun and began firing into the  
cloud. "Will you let me finish?!"
     Megavolt thought for a moment. Only a moment, though. "No."
     Another barrage of electrical bolts came flying into the  
cloud. They passed through harmlessly, blowing chunks of 
concrete  out of the wall behind it.
     And people wonder why I emerge from a blinding cloud,  
Darkwing thought. He quickly moved to cover before continuing.  
"As I was _saying_, I am the science teacher who gives you a  
failing grade! Darkwing Duck!" He leapt up onto a table  
with a dramatic flourish, arms spread wide, cape dramatically  
flowing out behind him.
     "Happy now?" Megavolt asked, bringing his Electrogun around 
 to bear.
     "Not until your fuses are tripped and circuits broken..." 
He  grinned. "Sparky."
     "Arrrrgh! I _really_ hate it when you call me that, you
know!!!" He fired off another series of electrical bolts.
Darkwing sprang from the table as it was reduced to splinters,
flipping over at the apex of his jump, and landed directly behind
Megavolt. As Megavolt turned around to face him, Darkwing snapped
out his hand in a martial art chop.
     "ShupoundaHing!" He focused his strength into the blow,
knocking the Electrogun free from Megavolt's hand and sending it
skittering across the floor.
     "Oh yeah? Well, 'ShouldaSing' right back at you!" Megavolt
merely reached out to grab Darkwing, charging up his glove to
roast the duck on contact.
     Expecting this, Darkwing dropped to the floor, knocking
Megavolt's legs out with a sweep attack. "And that's 'Shupounda
Hing'. It's a focusing cry for congealing spiritual strength into
an attack."
     "Who are you? Darkwing Duck or Juice Lee?" Megavolt queried,
firing a burst of electricity from his glove as he regained his
feet. Darkwing dodged to one side, moving in again.
     This time, however, it was Megavolt who was expecting the
attack. Darkwing launched himself into a double webfoot kick
(patent pending), when Megavolt snagged the duck's legs and ran a
current through the airborne superhero. Megavolt used the
momentum to whip the dazed crimefighter off into a corner,
crashing him into a shelving unit. Several halffinished devices
tumbled down on Darkwing, bouncing rather well from his head.
     "I don't have time for you, Duck." Megavolt intoned in a low
voice. "I have bigger fish to fry." His plughelmet glowed for a
moment, then thousands of volts of electricity danced from it to
various devices in the room, bringing them to life and heading
towards Darkwing.
     Darkwing shook his head and regained control of reality in
time to see several robots, weapons, and toasterovens marching
towards him unerringly. He quickly scampered off to the side,
away from them, as he looked around for Megavolt. But the
luminous lunatic was nowhere to be seen.
     One of the robots stepped directly in front of Darkwing,
reaching out an appendage. The masked mallard stepped back, but
heard some vehicle driving in from behind. He sprang straight up,
letting the vehicle drive by underneath him and ram into the
robot, reducing them to scrap metal in the process.
     Seizing an overhead lamp, Darkwing swung across the room to
an open area near the doorway he had entered through. The various
machines swerved about, trying to reach him.
     "Hah!" Darkwing grinned. "The devious Darkwing Duck dodges
dexterously, deterring the deranged devices!" He nodded to
himself. Good alliteration, he thought. Now where is Megavolt at?
     He looked about, then heard a series of explosions coming
from the corridor beyond the doorway he was standing in. Peering
down the hallway, he caught a glimpse of Megavolt in a room at
the far end. "Aha!" Darkwing glanced at his watch. "Two and a
half minutes left, more than enough time tooOOOOOF!"
     His train of thought was derailed by a series of high
velocity toast, launched by one of the toasterovens that had
gotten a clear line of sight. The scorched pieces of bread
slammed into Darkwing's side, knocking him down.
     Brushing the crumbs off, Darkwing rolled out of the field of
fire, checking for any butter or jam stains on his outfit. "Whew,
none here. If I had to wash this suit again this week..." He
trailed off, noticing that he had rolled directly into a corner.
The numerous devices had blocked off all avenues of escape.
Darkwing was worried.
     Sure enough, checking his watch, he saw that he now had less
than two minutes to find and detain Megavolt. And these marauding
machines were not helping matters any. The squad of toasterovens
lined up, preparing another batch of burnt toast to fire.
Darkwing noted with disdain that they were even loading the toast
up with grape jelly; they were fighting dirty now.
     "Sorry, mechanized marvels," Darkwing reached into his cape,
withdrawing his Gasgun, "But didn't anyone ever tell you it's not
nice to cause a superhero to lose twenty bucks? Especially with
this month's poker game coming up." He set his Gasgun to
"Liquidize" and fired.
     Several capsules scattered out, which then burst into water
over the devices. Darkwing had guessed right, in that the
scientists of SHUSH were so concerned with advancing their
technologies, that they hadn't even bothered to waterproof their
inventions. Sparks flew as each of the devices shortedout,
collapsing in a heap. Darkwing stopped by them long enough to  
grab a few pieces of wellbuttered toast before heading off down  
the hallway.
     The door to the room where he had seen Megavolt was still
open, making his job easier. He leapt through, landing swiftly
into the middle of the room. Megavolt was over in a corner,
holding his Electrogun in one hand, and some other device in the
     "Hey, Megsy!" Darkwing called out, flinging the buttered
toast at his adversary. "You forgot your order of toast to go!"
     The toast smacked into Megavolt's hands, spreading melted
butter around. Megavolt lost his grip on both items he held, and
they dropped to the floor.
     "Hey!" Megavolt started, looking at his hands. "I didn't
order butter on these!"
     Darkwing took advantage of the moment and whipped out his
Gasgun, setting it to "Gluebomb". He squeezed the trigger,
firing the glue canister out. Megavolt tried to move out of the
way, but slipped on the buttercovered floor and thudded to the
ground. As it turned out, this was fortunate for him, as the glue
bomb missed him and exploded on the wall behind the fallen
     Darkwing groaned.
     "Oh yeah, I meant to do that." Megavolt lied. He tried to
stand, but slipped again.
     "Okay, take two." Darkwing sighed, aiming his Gasgun at
     "Why Darkwing," Megavolt's voice held an edge of
malevolence, "I believe I will."
     He snapped his fingers, and an electromagnetic surge
brought his Electrogun and the other device back to his hands.
He fired his Electrogun at the same time that Darkwing fired his
Gasgun. The bolt of lightning met the gluebomb halfway, causing
a curtain of superstrong glue to form between the two titans.
Megavolt's hands were still slippery, however, and he lost his
grip on the items again. At the same time, Darkwing glanced at
his watch. Less than a minute left.
     "I just can't cut a break!" They cried simultaneously.
     Megavolt ran an incredibly high charge through his gloves,
bathing the area around him in an electrifying field. The butter
was burnt off, leaving a stale smell in the air. Darkwing darted
around to one side of the glue curtain, where it hadn't reached,
and dashed through. He came up on Megavolt just as the
supervillain was regaining his feet.
     "I don't suppose you'd be willing to just give up now?"
Darkwing was desperate enough to ask.
     "Is this a trick question?" Megavolt responded honestly.
     "Oh, well, no, not really. But thanks for asking."
     "Anytime." Darkwing grumbled. It was at this moment, when
they were both standing there, chatting civilly, that Darkwing's
gaze fell upon the second item Megavolt held. And he recognized
     "The electrilizer!" He had forgotten all about it since the
last time he had seen it. He had dropped it off at SHUSH,
figuring they might be able to do something with it. Like destroy
     "Yeah, it's what I came for." Megavolt answered. "Now I can
     The feathers on the back of Darkwing's neck began to rise
and he smelled something over the lingering smell of burnt
butter. The smell of ozone. His eyes darted back to Megavolt, who
was grinning unnaturally, a gleam of madness shining in his eyes,
with electricity springing forth from his plughelmet.
     Darkwing sensed the attack a splitsecond before it
happened. He threw himself to the floor as an enormous charge of
energy flew from Megavolt's plughelmet, narrowing missing
Darkwing. Even so, the top of Darkwing's hat was smoking from the
close shave.
     "Oh blast it!" Megavolt snapped. "Why'd you have to go and
spoil a perfectly good suckerpunch?"
     "That was not a punch, it was a death sentence, you
megalomaniacal madman!" Darkwing rolled for cover, cursing
himself for allowing Megavolt to build up a charge that strong.
He glanced at the wall where it had hitcorrection: Where the
wall _used_ to be. It had been totally vaporized by the blast.
     "Semantics." Megavolt grumbled, snapping the electrilizer
firmly into place in his chest socket. He turned it on, and
looked around for an outlet. Darkwing took a second to check his
watch. Ten seconds.
     He quickly weighed the options of rushing Megavolt on the
slim chance that he could surprise him and take him down before
he was roasted, and of taking the extra minutes to insure that
Megavolt was subdued with little or no injury to Darkwing, and
pay twenty bucks. But it was more than twenty dollars at risk for
Darkwing. It would be admitting that Grizzlikof was right. It
would be swallowing his pride. Darkwing knew the day he did that,
he would choke on it and die.
     So actually, since his pride was involved, it wasn't much of
a difficult decision. He sprang from his hiding place, making a
straight beeline for Megavolt.
     He was delighted to see that maybe this wasn't as suicidal
as he thought. Megavolt was busying adjusting the electrilizer
and preparing to jump.
     Five seconds.
     Megavolt pressed the final button, and his body shifted to
the electromagnetic pulse used in electrical byways. At the same
moment, Darkwing tackled him, knocking them both into a
nondescript machine in the corner. Megavolt's personal store of
electricity automatically brought the machine to life, it's red
lights flashing and sirens wailing. The two combatants struggled
in close confines, striking out blindly.
     Four seconds.
     One of them hit the "send" switch on the electrilizer, and
they both were sucked into the machine.
     Three seconds.
     Within the electronic flow of the machine, Darkwing and
Megavolt still struggled, unaware of their new surroundings.
Darkwing's brain, the section that actually looked out for the
safety and wellbeing of the body, was screaming at him about
something, but the section that held the ego was blocking any
communication with a well placed image of twenty dollars.
     The machine started it's normal operations, but the
introduction of two unaccountable elements, namely Darkwing and
Megavolt, was causing problems. The machine liked everything to
be nice and organized, with all probabilities sorted and
accounted for. But these new two elements, and the havoc they
were causing within, was giving the machine the equivalent of
passing a gall stone.
     That annoying section of Darkwing's brain finally broke
through, distracting the ego with an image of an 8 1/2 by 11
glossy of itself. Darkwing froze, clinging to Megavolt like a
life preserver. This caused Megavolt to momentarily glance about.
     "Well," he said rather nonchalantly, "This wasn't in the
script I read."
     The machine exploded.

     It was a dark and stormy night. Or at least, it could have
been. After all, Professor Nimnul was working feverishly in his  
lab, without windows, so it might have been raining doughnuts 
for  all he knew. But dark and stormy nights often accompanied 
scientists when they completed a project, so he assumed that one
was going on outside.
     He tightened the final bolts on his latest project, then
stepped back to admire his work. The metal gleamed in the well
lit interior of his hilltop lab, while various gauges and meters
measured power levels and desired output.
     "Ah," Nimnul sighed happily, "And thus another brilliant
invention of mine his ripened before my eyes, ready to be plucked
and used for utter chaos and domination." He stepped back a few
more paces, studying it once more, looking for anything that
might hint as a problem.
     But all was well. Satisfied, he nodded to himself, and
withdrew a remote control from his coat pocket. He tapped a
series of buttons, and the machine activated. It was a large,
fourlegged monstrosity, with two large metal wings protruding
from its sides. All in all, it looked like a dragon, constructed
entirely of steel. It stood easily twelve feet tall at the
shoulder, with a long neck capable of stretching out another
three feet. A tail curled around it, swishing slightly against
the stainless steel floor.
     Nimnul nodded to himself. With the metal dragon standing, he
went about his final checklist. All gauges were showing the
proper output levels, all biosynthetic limbs were receiving
signals from the internal CPU, and each armor scale was firmly
attached to the wire mesh insulator underneath.
     With a wide grin and spark of madness in his eyes, Professor
Nimnul gleeful dashed over to the main controls along the wall of
his lab. His hands flew over them, putting in the instructions
for its first test run. The metal dragon's eyes flared as the
incoming instructions were received, glowing with an eerie
facsimile of life. It raised its head towards the domed ceiling,
and launched upwards with bionic legs. It soared straight up, a
small but powerful pair of jet thrusters giving it more power
than the wings. It rammed through the ceiling to the night sky,
its armor unscathed, not even scratched.
     Below, Nimnul was upset.
     "Oh forwhy didn't I think to put in an exit big enough for
the dragon?" He sighed and shook his head, looking at the pile of
rubble now on the ground. "Oh well. I suppose now's a good as
time as any."
     He felt better about it as he programmed a few other robots
to begin the repair and building of a skylight. His spirits were
further boosted to see that it was indeed a dark and stormy night

     Lightning flashed across the sky, causing the rangers to
gulp as one. The dark storm clouds loomed overhead, giving them a
distinct feeling of being small and insignificant. Their tiny
Ranger Plane continued along the whipping winds, fighting to
remain steady.
     "Uh, Gadgetluv," Monterey said, glancing at the clouds,
"I've never been a backseat driver before, but uh, do you think
that you could step on it a wee bit?"
     "I'm going as fast I can, Monty." Gadget answered,
struggling with the controls. Her eyes were focused on the sky in
front of her, protected from the wind by her goggles. "But the
storm is covering the whole city, so no matter where we go, it'll
be all around us."
     "Maymaybe we should land then." Dale stammered. He had just
witnessed another lightning bolt, and was having bad visions
about the Ranger Plane getting hit by one.
     Chip grimaced as thunder boomed from all around them.
"That's not such a bad idea, Dale. Gadget? Can you land us
somewhere safe? We can get home after the storm abates."
     Gadget nodded. "Probably. But take a look around. I don't
see anywhere really safe."
     She motioned with her head to the open fields below. Nothing
but open fields for as far as the eye could see. Gadget estimated
it would take them at least another ten minutes before they were
close to the city.
     "We should have brought the Ranger Wing." She stated as
another lightning bolt lit up the sky. "We could have been home
by now, safe and warm."
     "Hindsight is 2020, luv." Monterey replied. "We all thought
that the Ranger Plane would be best for the last case."
     Zipper buzzed, gripping Monterey's shoulder tightly to avoid
begin tossed from the plane or snatched away by the wind.
Monterey nodded to Zipper.
     "Yeah, mate, it was right for the case." He dug his fingers
into the seat as the plane was buffeted by another gust of wind.
"But that doesn't help us much now, does it?" He groaned.
     Chip pulled down his hat tightly, keeping one hand on it. He
scanned the countryside, hoping to spot an overhang, or gopher
hole even, anything to provide some shelter. This storm was
tugging at all the wrong strings in him for some reason. It
merely felt...unnatural.
     Dale, too, was frantically searching the ground below, but
he was looking for something soft to land on in case a bolt of
lightning did strike. The softest thing he could find was a pile
of rocks, and he didn't quite believe it would work any better
than the ground. Sighing, anxiety in his voice, he sat back and
looked out across the sky. Another flash of lightning shot out,
and he thought he heard an explosion of some kind.
     "Did anyone else hear that?" He asked, sitting up.
     "What? Thunder?" Chip asked.
     "No, it was...quieter than that. And sounded more like
something breaking. Like rocks or something."
     Zipper nodded in agreement, having heard it as well. He
crawled out onto the edge of the plane and pointed off in the
distance. The rest of the rangers looked over, and saw the lights
of the city in the distance. But Zipper wasn't pointing to that,
as they found out. Gadget brought the plane around for a better  
     The flew around the edge of a rocky hill, and saw with
dismay what Zipper was getting at. They all recognized Professor
Nimnul's hilltop lab. The large geodesic globe with those large
pipes sprouting out and digging into the rocks was hard to
forget. What's worse, they all saw the large hole in the top of
the globe, with a light coming from within. It appeared the
Professor was at home.
     Chip was about to say something, when a movement caught his
eye. He turned his head just lightning danced across the sky,
shedding a strong light across the sky for a fraction of a
second. Chip's jaw dropped as he saw a silhouette of a dragon
flying off towards the city.
     The rest of rangers were more interested in the hole in
Nimnul's lab. Things could be seen moving within. Gadget was
already bringing the plane in closer for a better view of the
     "Wait!" Chip cried as the plane twisted away from the
     "What is it?" Dale asked, looking over in the direction that
Chip was gaping at. But without the lightning's illumination,
nothing was visible except darkness.
     "II mean, I saw...I think..." Chip stuttered. He craned
his neck, but still couldn't see any sign of...of whatever it was
that he saw. If I saw anything at all, he thought gloomily. He
sat back down in his seat. "I thought I saw something over
there." He finally managed. "But I don't see anything now."
     "Well, let's check this out first." Monterey suggested. He
leaned over and peered down into the lab. "I doubt we'll get
another opportunity to see what Nimnul's up to before he springs
it on the world."
     "Right." Gadget nodded. "Hang on, guys, I think I can get
through that hole with minimal difficulty."
     They were about to ask what she meant exactly by "minimal
difficulty" when she thrust the wheel forward, bringing the
Ranger Plane down into a steep dive. Glad that they had the
foresight to install their safety belts, the rangers hung on
tightly as Gadget brought the plane down through the hole, only
slightly tearing the balloon.
     The ride to the floor was quick, but thrilling, as the
rangers watched the world dip, spin at blinding speed, and
generally do things that only happen after a serious blow to the
head. It came to an abrupt end as the floor suddenly lurched up
to met them. Blackness shrouded over the entire group.
     "Ah!" Dale cried. "We're dead!"
     "Impossible." Monterey said from somewhere to his right.
"The dead don't get sick." There was a gagging sound, followed by
a hand being slapped over a mouth.
     "Monty's right, Dale." Gadget answered calmly. For her, this
landing really wasn't that different from some of her others.
"The punctured balloon must've landed on top of us."
     "Lucky us." Chip said in a dazed voice.
     A weak buzz from Zipper agreed with Chip.
     "Well, let's get out from under here." Chip managed to state
in much steadier voice. His eyes had stopped flashing colors, and
he was pretty sure that his stomach was back in its proper place.
"If Nimnul is around, the last thing we want is to alert him of
our presence."
     "Hey!" A familiar voice called from beyond the darkness.
"What's that balloon and bleach bottle doing here? I thought I
told Normie to pick up his toys when he was done with them."
     "Too late." Dale mumbled weakly.
     "Look at the bright side, guys." Gadget's voice said. "We
wanted to see what Nimnul was up to. This just speeds the process
     "Yeah." Monterey answered. "But I'd prefer it to be from a
safe distance."
     "Oh...well, you can't win them all."
     Chip and Dale had managed to unfasten their seat belts, and
crawled over to the edge of the plane. Together, they carefully
pushed up the balloon to see what they could see. A wall greeted
     "Wrong side." Dale muttered. Chip rolled his eyes and
     A small shaft of light came from the other side as Gadget
and Monterey pushed the balloon up on their side. The rangers
cringed at the sight before them.
     They were inside of the lab, apparently far off from the
center of the huge room. The spied at least ten to fifteen robots
moving about. They were cleaning up the rubble, and others were
doing something with the hole that the rangers had passed
through. What made them cringe, however, was the appearance of
the robots. Each one of them looked like some type of monster.
     In all honesty, this wasn't a big surprise. The rangers had
encountered robots Nimnul had built before. Whether they were
giant bulldogs or huge guinea pigs, they always looked user
unfriendly. But these...these weren't even trying for that
standard. Dale, being a big fan of fantasy fiction, recognized
several of them.
     "Look over there," he whispered, nudging Chip, "It's a
troll. And there's a goblin. I think that one's supposed to be
some sort of orc, or maybe an ogre." Chip could feel his friend
shudder. "They look pretty sinister, even if they aren't the real
things. At least he didn't try a dragon."
     "Dragon..." Chip let it sink in. "He did Dale. That's what I
saw, flying off towards the city. One of them is out there now."
His face was rather solemn.
     "But why?" Dales asked. "Why design them like this?"
     "I don't know that, mates." Monterey quickly interjected.
"But I do know we had better do something quick, or we may get a
closer look at these robots than we planned on." He motioned up
at the approaching figure of Nimnul, striding closer, mumbling
something about Normie and if his parents would return soon from
that two week vacation they took over a year ago.
     Chip took a moment to gather in their surrounds. "Okay...I
got an idea."
     Nimnul stepped down and picked up the plane, then stood back
up with it wearing a frown. "Where have I seen this before?" He
asked himself. He pulled the deflated balloon off of the it,
still studying the plane intently. Thus, he never noticed the
five tiny figures clinging to the underside of the balloon.
Zipper immediately flew off and out of sight. The rest of the
rangers had to wait until Nimnul tossed the balloon over his
shoulder before the could let go. They all landed with varying
degrees of gracefulness on the floor, then moved off to under one
of the worktables.
     Nimnul knew he had seen something like this before, but he
couldn't recall where. Finally, he just shrugged and tossed to
plane into a trash can on his way back to supervise the new
skylight construction.
     Chip watched with a frown. "This does not bode well for the
visiting forces." He stated.
     "Huh?" Was the choral response.
     "I mean, things have gone from bad to worse. We're stuck in
the lab of one of our worse enemies, Nimnul is obviously up to
another scheme, and one of his inventions is already on its way
to city, for who knows what reason." He sighed. "Not exactly the
way i like to start out a case."
     "Well," Gadget said, moving forward to see the Ranger Plane,
"I can fix our transportation soon enough. We can probably be out
of here before too long."
     Zipper tapped Chip on the shoulder. His expression seemed to
say, Give me a few minutes, and I can scout out what he's up to.
With that, the spirited fly took off.
     "Hey Chip, cast your peepers over there." Monterey pointed
over to the other side of the lab, where a large computer sat.
Among the numerous switches, buttons, and dials, were a series of
monitors. A couple of them were displaying some readouts of what
appeared to be a metal dragon, and one was a moving view of the
city from a bird's eye view. Or more appropriately, a dragon's
eye view.
     "Now this," Chip said with a grin, "is how I like to start a
     With that, the rangers broke off into two groups. Monterey
went off with Gadget to see about getting the Ranger Plane ready,
while Chip and Dale headed off for the large computer.
     The two chipmunks carefully made their way across the lab,
staying far away from the robots and Nimnul. Fortunately, they
were too preoccupied in the construction around the hole to
notice two small furry mammals scamper over onto the control
panel of the computer.
     "Oh man," Dale stepped back, intimated by the huge device.
"Where do we start, Chip? It's like a maze."
     "I know." Chip glanced about, but had no clue as to what
function keys did what.
     They crawled up the slanting surface to the monitors.
     "Whew, television." Dale sounded relieved. "This, I can
     "It's not television, Dale." Chip said as he stepped up next
to him. "This is what the dragon is seeing. See? Look at the
     Dale shrugged. "Well, the skills I developed when watching
T.V. can apply here."
     "What skills?"
     "Uh...the ability to watch it for over six hours straight?"
     "Very helpful, Dale." Chip said sarcastically. "You want to
wait around here for six hours?"
     "Well, if the programs are good..."
     "They aren't programs, Nuthead! It's a camera, so unless it
suddenly decides to stop by the Late Show for a while, you won't
be seeing anything of interest."
     "Well..." Dale tried to think of a defense. Fortunately, the
monitor provided it for him. "I'd call _that_ interesting." He
stated triumphantly, pointing to the screen.
     Chip looked and saw that the dragon had entered a building
of some kind. Flames shot out from the top of the screen and down
the hall, driving the people within back. Chip and Dale watched
with a mix of fascination and fear as the dragon stormed down the
hallway, blasting it's way through any obstacle in it's way. The
security guards attempted to shot it, but the resounding sounds
of ricochet told the chipmunks how effective it was.
     The dragon turned suddenly and burst through a series of
doors until it came to a large, metal vault. A pair of lasers
began to cut the hinges off.
     "What do you think's in there?" Dale asked, unable to tear
his eyes away.
     "I don't know," Chip answered, equally mesmerized. "But I do
know that if Nimnul wants it, we have to stop this dragon of
     He shook his head and looked around. Too many possible
functions greeted him as he scanned the control panel. He grabbed
Dale and spun him from the monitor. The Dragon had finished
cutting the hinges off and was moving inside in the darkened
room, it's starlight sensors amplifying the existing light for
better vision.
     "Listen," Chip said quickly, "we have to stop that thing.
Any ideas of where to start on here?"
     "Well," Dale considered the control panel quickly. "Whenever
I play a video game, I use a joystick to control the figure on
the screen."
     Chip nodded. "As good a place to start as any. Quick; split
up and search for something that might be a joystick."
     The dragon had stopped in front of a large, electronic wall
unit. It's tail came into view, protruding a small connecter. It
plugged into an I/O port, and the unit clicked to life.
As they raced over the control panel, Chip glanced back to see
the words, "Beginning download" flash across the screen. A small
digital display began counting down from 60 seconds.
     "Hurry Dale!" Chip called out. "We have a time limit now!"
     Dale was darting past rows of switches, but hadn't seen
anything yet, and was beginning to doubt on existed. He paused, a
feeling that he was forgetting something tugged at him. He looked
about again, and saw what it was. Most computers used a separate
joystick, usually off to the side of the main controls. He ran
down to the section he thought it would be in, and spotted a
joystick down at the corner.
     "Chip!" he called out, "It's over here!"
     He hopped on it, pulled the stick back. But nothing was
happening on the monitor.
     "What's wrong?" Chip asked. He had also noted that lack of
response from the dragon. He also noted that the counter was down
to thirty seconds.
     "I don't know. It isn't working!" Dale jerked the stick all
the back, but still no response.
     Chip spotted a blinking red button in front of the joystick.
"Wait, maybe we need to tell the computer what it is we want to
control, first."
     "A selection button, Dale." Chip responded as he stepped
down on the button. He glowed red, and another electronic display
in front of Chip flashed the word "Orc". A shout from behind them
told them they were now controlling a robot, but not the one the
wanted. Chip stepped repeatedly one the button, scrolling through
a variety of robots.
     "What?!" They heard Nimnul cry out from behind them. "What's
going on with the control panel?"
     "Chipper! Hurry! He's heading over here!"
     Chip increased his stepping, until the word "Dragon"
     "Got it!" he announced.
     Sure enough, the view on the monitor suddenly showed the
ceiling getting closer and closer, followed by another ceiling,
than another...
     "What's happening?" Dale asked, still holding the joystick
     "I'm not sure. I think you're telling it to take off."
     They watched as the dragon rammed it's way through ceiling
after ceiling, finally breaking out into the night sky. The view
shook a little, and sort of quavered, hovering.
     "Why isn't it climbing?" Dale asked.
     "Look!" Chip pointed over to another monitor showing the
readout of the dragon.
Across the bottom, they read, "Overloaded. Suggested dumping of
excess weight."
     "It never unplugged from the wall unit! It must have pulled
it all the way up through the ceilings. No wonder, look at that."
He pointed to the tail section of the readout. "The connecter was
fused in from the sudden surge of our transmission."
     "So what do we do now?"
     Chip looked over his shoulder to see Nimnul with a raised
mallet, about the crush Dale. "Run!"
     Dale caught Chip's warning just in time. He let go of the
joystick and dodged back as the mallet smashed into the spot
where he was a splitsecond later. The joystick handle was
snapped off and sparks flew from the exposed wiring.
     Chip ran down, and grabbed Dale, pulling him back up and
away from Nimnul, was readying for a second attack. None of them
notice the warnings flashing across the screens.
     The digital readout was till running, however, and had
reached five seconds.
     Dale yelled out a warning as Nimnul lunged again. The mallet
crashed down directly in front of Chip, bashing in buttons and
snapping off switches. More sparks flew, and a discreet smoke
seeped out from the sides of the machine.
     Four seconds.
     Seeing Nimnul pulling back again, Chip pointed to the newly
opened hole in the control panel. Dale nodded, and they both
quickly ducked inside, nimbly dodging sparks and exposed wires.
They ran up towards the top of the machine, where Chip guessed
there would be a vent they could get through.
     Three seconds.
     With the chipmunks no longer in sight, Nimnul had a moment
to see the damage he had inadvertently caused. The dragon was
still trying to fly with the large unit attached to its tail, and
the whole computer used to control his robots was in danger of
going up in smoke.
     For all of the talk of Nimnul being insane, never let it be
said that the man is an idiot. He quickly activated the emergency
coolant system, flushing the interior with a fire suppressive
gas. He entered a quick series of commands in the control panel
that was still functioning, causing the dragon to detach its'
tail completely. He watched on the city scanner as the dragon
began its flight back, and the unit and tail plummeted to the
ground below.
     "Do you hear that?" Chip was about to ask Dale, but the
hissing jumped to roar as the gas shot through the computer's
internal structure. Both of the chipmunks blacked out instantly.
     The unit, still running, hit the city street and exploded.
     But not before it finished it's final computation.

     Somewhere, in an infinite realm of possibilities, there
exists a single chance. The chance that two totally
circumstantial events will have exactly the same result at
exactly the same time. The chances of it happening are perhaps
once every billion years. The chance for this particular billion
years was now cashed in.

--Chapter 2: This had better not be Oz, either.--

     Thunder was the first sound heard. The next was the rush of
air. Darkwing's world snapped back into focus like a gunshot as
his body shifted from the electrilizer's effects back to it's
normal state. He began aware of the sensation of freefall. As
his vision gradually focused, he saw that he was indeed
plummeting towards the ground.
     He quickly took in the city belowhe had to be at least
1,000 feet up, probably more. His first thought was that the
explosion had blown them skyhigh, but he quickly realized that
this was not St. Canard. No Autobahn Bay Bridge, not even a body
of water. None of the skyscrapers in the center of the city. A
gnawing fear edged into his stomach.
     The fear was easily suppressed, however, by the very up
front fact that unless he did something, he would soon become
Darkwing Pressed Duck. He looked around, and spotted Megavolt
alongside of him, seeming to enjoy it.
     "Cool!" He exclaimed. "I always wanted to try skydiving!"
     "Without parachutes, it's called skydying!" Darkwing
snapped back.
     Megavolt blinked and gulped. "Oh yeah." He began to promptly
     Darkwing grumbled, upset. Not that Megavolt was screaming in
fear, but because he hadn't thought of it first. Well, with
strict terror out of the way, cool logic stepped up to bat.
     Maybe I can snag a building with a plunger from my Gasgun,
he thought. Looking around, he noted that they were falling down
towards what appeared to be a junkyard. One tall building was
within range. But as reached for his Gasgun, he remembered that
he was out of plungers, due to Gosalyn's science project (you
don't want to know).
     Strike one.
     How about using my cape as a parachute? He thought suddenly.
He grabbed the edges of the cape and spread it out, only to see
ribbons flap uselessly in the wind. The explosion had shredded
his cape.
     Strike two.
     Wait! Launchpad dropped me off in the Thunderquack, maybe
he's close enough for a pickup! His face brightened with hope as
he dug out his radio and attempted to reach his sidekick. Static
was all the response he got. The he remembered that it looked
like they were transferred to a different city. This could be  
Ducksburg, for all he knew. Whatever the case, Launchpad was out 
 of range.
     Cool logic, having struck out, went back to the bench as
total panic came in to pitchhit.
     "AAAAAAAAAAAAA!" Darkwing screamed.
     Startled by someone else screaming, Megavolt was drawn out
of his fear. "Oh, well, if you're to handle the fear part..." He
shrugged, and looked down. The ground was rising up rapidly; he
only had a few seconds.
     Megavolt made a quick adjustment to his Electrogun, send
out a series of rapidfire burst of varying electromagnetic
frequencies. The waves resounded off of the ground back up at the
falling pair. Megavolt set up another field of energy around him
(and Darkwing, but whether this was on purpose or not remains a
matter of debate), one of equal polarity. The natural "push"
created by two like magnets was recreated here, but this time on
a much larger scale. It would have normally been enough to stop
the fall.
     But for some reason, all it did was manage to slow their
decent, fortunately enough so the when the landed on the rubbish
heap, they were only bruised instead of flattened. Megavolt
bounced off down the pile of garbage, with Darkwing tumbling
right behind him. They crashed rather forcefully into a
collection of old tires at the bottom of the hill, bouncing off
more forcefully than they were used to.
     Groaning, Darkwing sat up and glanced about. He was glad to
see that his hat was still with him, albeit rather worse for
wear. Another clap of thunder reverberated throughout the sky,
and a few bolts of lightning playfully arced from cloud to cloud.
Off to his right, he could see the glow of the city. What city,
he wasn't sure. To his left, he spotted a small shack, apparently
a residence of the caretaker of this place. A dog was barking
from within, and Darkwing could see movement inside. Someone
would be out some enough. And directly in front of him...
     Megavolt groaned and raised his head. His eyes were even
more unfocused than normal, and Darkwing could hear his
adversary's ragged breath.
     "Oh...that was a painful way to land." He said weakly.
     "Better than what would have happened." Darkwing replied. He
stood up, and walked warily towards the downed supervillain.
"Just stay put. You may have saved our lives, but you cost me
twenty dollars." Among other things, he thought bitterly. "The
cops will be here as soon as the civilian realizes who's in their
     As if on cue, the door to the simple dwelling opened up, and
the civilian stepped out. Both Darkwing and Megavolt looked up to
the figure stepping out into the light of the lampposts along the
junkyard. And as one, both their jaws and hearts dropped.
     The person was just that. A person. Not a duck, dog, cat, or
even a dog/rat/weasel type thing (Megavolt has yet to met another
of his kind). He had no beak or snout, but a simple nose, two
rather small (to them) eyes, and _five_ fingers on each hand. The
human panicked and ran back indoors upon seeing them. Darkwing
and Megavolt might have panicked too, but they had seen humans
before. The last time the electrilizer send them through to
another dimension.
     The gnawing fear in Darkwing's stomach quickly grew to a
ravenous hunger which threatened to consume him. "Oh no..." He
swallowed hard. "Not this place. Not again!"
     Megavolt shakily got back to his feet. " can't be.
Not this nightmare again. Stuck in a world of weirdnosed
people." His eyes widened with a sudden fear. "With no way home
this time."
     Darkwing fought back the fear long enough to think clearly.
"No, wait. We've gotten out of this mess before, we can do it
again." His confidence restored, he straightened up. "Yeah, I
mean, I'm famous here. A wellknown television personality."
     "A _cartoon_ personality." Megavolt corrected him.
     Darkwing glared at Megavolt. "Whatever. Regardless, I am
still more famous and respected here than back home. The Rockwell
guy will be willing to help us out. Assuming his helmet is still
functioning, we can use that to get back home."
     "I don't know." Megavolt frowned. "You may have been
hobnobbing with the industry last time, but I was searching for a
way home. I had to look around to find that antenna we used, and
don't remember any of this." He waved his hands in the direction
of the city.
     "Hey, there was a lot of city we never saw. Besides, it's
your electrilizer. Why wouldn't have transported us back to the
same place?"
     "Because those dweebs at SHUSH were messing around with it."
     "Huh?" Darkwing knew the dweebs at SHUSH. This was not good
     "I noticed it when I was setting the frequency. I found it
in that one room, out on a table with some notes around it. It
looked like they were trying to establish contact with another
dimension. When I was adjusting it, I was trying to figure out
exactly what they did to it."
     "Well? What was it?"
     "I don't know. I was interrupted by an unnamed party in a
purple outfit. And I don't mean the artist formerly known as
     Darkwing merely cleared his throat and looked around for a
distraction. His prayers were in answered in the form of sirens.
They were faint, but quickly grew louder. Darkwing and Megavolt
could see the red and blue lights flashing across the area as the
sounds of several police cars pulled up along the junkyard.
     Darkwing breathed a sigh of relief. "Okay, here's the plan.
Let me do all the talking. They should recognize me from our last
time here, and give us a lift to Rockwell."
     "Either that, or a rock cell." Megavolt replied, glancing  
about nervously.
     "Will you calm down? What could possibly go wrong?"
     Megavolt fixed him with a stare. "I can't believe you had
the brazenness to say that."
     Darkwing shrugged. "It's in the job description." He stepped
up to the front.
     The police began a slow and careful move into the junkyard.
Several officers held out searchlights, while the rest snuck down
around piles of trash, guns drawn.
     "Hail, good police!" Darkwing proclaimed, stepping up into a
spotlight. "It is I, Darkwing Duck, champion of justice, prince
of protection, and the terror the flaps in the night. You no
doubt recognize me from my cart"
     "What the heck is it?!" Someone cried.
     "Beats me, but it looks dangerous. Keep your distance, men."
     "Yeah, look how it's dressed. No one sane dresses like
     Megavolt snorted from behind Darkwing. "See? I'm not the
only one who thinks so."
     "Shut up!" Darkwing hissed, then turned back to the police.
"Hey guys, don't you remember me? I'm the superhero from that
cartoon, you know? Haven't you bought my merchandise for your
kids, yet?"
     "It's obviously insane," the lead officer called out. "Get
out the tranquilizer gun."
     Megavolt began a slow withdraw from the scene, looking for
possible escape routes. but the police had the area surrounded.
"Well, Darkwing, any other bright ideas?"
     "Well, just one." Darkwing glanced nervously at the closing
circle of police, and the ones bringing out the tranquilizer
guns. He palmed one oh his smoke canisters. "RUN!" He shouted and
he threw the canister down. Blue smoke exploded outward,
obscuring Darkwing and Megavolt from the police. They dived for
cover at the explosion, then peeked around carefully, confirming
that is was only a smoke grenade.
     "Move in!" The captain commanded.
     They all quickly closed in, but no sign of the two intruders
was evident anyway. They had obviously escaped during the decoy
     "Start an area search, they couldn't have gotten far." He
told the officers, then went to his car and radioed in. "Put out
the word that we have two unknown trespassers at large. I need a
sketch artist down here pronto. They look like nothing I've ever
seen. And tell the commissioner." He turned off the radio and
looked skyward and the looming storm clouds. "I have a feeling
that our problems have only just begun," he muttered to himself.

     "What's going on over there, Zipper?" Monterey called out.
He and Gadget had managed to pull the Ranger Plane free from the
trash can, shoving it over to the floor below. They had just
finished that when they saw the sparks flying from over by the
computer. Zipper had swooped in, frantically buzzing something.
     Zipper took a moment to calm down, then went into a quick
explanation of Chip and Dale ducking inside the computer, but not
coming out.
     "Crikey!" Monterey turned to Gadget. "We've got to get them
out of there, but how? And the Ranger Plane isn't even fixed
     "You and Zipper get Chip and Dale, then get them over here."
She rolled her sleeves up the way up and brought her goggles down
over her eyes, a determined glint in them. "The Ranger Plane
_will_ be ready to fly by the time you get back." She stated it
as a fact, not a hope.
     Monterey nodded and slid down the side of the trash can,
then made his way over to the computer, Zipper flying just
overhead, keeping watch. The robots had gone back to their
construction, and Nimnul was engrossed in running a diagnostic on
the computer, so the Monterey and Zipper arrived at the side of
the computer without incident.
     Crouching down beside the side of the computer, Monterey
watched as Nimnul worked the control panel, trying to isolate the
problems internally before having to actually open it up.
Monterey checked around the side of the machine, but he didn't
see any way in, and mentioned it to Zipper.
     Nodding, Zipper motioned for Monterey to wait below as he
flew up to see if he could find a way in. He sped up the side of
the computer, finally coming to the top. He spotted the twin,
large grates for ventilation right away. The grill was spaced
more than wide enough for him to slip in unhindered.
     The insides of the computer were dark, aside from the
occasional sparking wire. Zipper managed to navigate through the
maze of circuitboards, until he thought he spotted some objects
that looked more organic, as opposed to the geometric shapes that
surround him. A quick beat of his wings brought him to the two
downed rangers.
     Landing next to them, Zipper first checked to make sure that
each was still alive. He was relieved to see them breathing in
slow, rhythmic slumber. Next, Zipper set about waking them up. No
way he could haul them back up to the top, and he doubted their
would be time to get Monterey before Nimnul opened the computer
up to start the hardware repairs.
     Having to revive the chipmunks before, Zipper knew the best
and quickest way: he flew behind them, grabbed each of their
tales and pulled back, letting them snap back into their rears.
     "Erg!" Or something to that effect was the chipmunks
response as the awoke with a start. They didn't have time to ask
questions, however, as Zipper darted back in front of them,
explaining their precarious positions. Chip and Dale nodded, and
followed Zipper back through the computer to the vents. They had
a bit more trouble squeezing through the grill, but with some
addition pull by Zipper, they managed to pop through and then
shimmy back down the side to join Monterey.
     "Glad to see you blokes are still okay." He said as they
dropped down next to him.
     "Thanks Monty," Dale responded. "Is the plane finished yet?"
     Chip nodded. "I think we had better get out of here quick.
Nimnul spotted us messing with his computer." He glanced back
nervously at the fuming Professor, currently removing the control
panel. "It won't be long before he comes after us again."
     "Gadget said it'd be ready." Monterey answered. "What's
going on with him?"
     "I'm not sure yet." Chip admitted. "He's built these robots
for a purpose, and looks like he's using them for remotecontrol
theft, but I think there's more to it than that."
     "Look," Dale cut in, keeping an eye on Nimnul, "can we
discuss this later? Preferably after we're on the Plane and on
our way away from here?"
     Monterey shrugged. "Can't argue with the lad's logic."
     Chip was about to state the he could, but the rest of the
group and already left. Sighing, he quickly took up the rear.
     Back at the trash can, they could see Gadget hammering away
at one side of the Plane. She finished, then looked up at the
rest of them with a smile.
     "All set." She announced proudly.
     The Ranger Plane was did look back to normal, aside from the
missing balloon. Looking it over, they could see that Gadget had
built a quick slingshot rig out of the balloon, aiming up at the
hole they had entered. The four rangers exchanged glances.
     Gadget walked back around to the front of the plane, and
pushed against it. It shifted a little, but not much.
     "Um...could someone give me a hand?" She asked, somewhat
sheepishly. "I need to get this into place." She pointed to the
area in front of the slingshot.
     Chip and Dale each stepped up next to her, one on each side,
while Monterey and Zipper guided it by the sides. Together, they
slid the Plane into place, then climbed up into the seats.
     "Um...Gadget?" Chip asked tentatively, watching the robots
work around the hole. "I have a important question: Do you think
that those robots might pose a problem for our escape?"
     "Oh." He didn't sound reassured.
     "I guess it wasn't as important as you thought." Dale
suggested helpfully.
     "Everyone strapped in?" Gadget asked. "Hang guys, it'll be a
little bumpy for the first minute or so."
     "There's an understatement." Monterey muttered. He was
eyeing the hole, rig, and hoping that the laws of physics would
be merciful on them.
     With a sudden *click*, Gadget released the pressure valve on
the wings. They started to rise, triggering the release on the
slingshot. The entire Ranger Plane was propelled through the air
and a tremendous velocity, forcing the rangers back in their
seats. The robots around the hole were working solely on the area
around hole, so the Ranger Plane managed to exit without any
     "You did it, Gadget!" Chip called out, twisting around to
see the hole growing smaller behind them.
     "Yeah, Gadgetluv," Monterey agreed, "I gotta hand it to you
on this one." He was still amazed that it had actually worked,
but wisely decided to keep that to himself.
     "Thanks, guys." Gadget replied, concentrating on her
piloting. "Now if I can just glide us to the ground, we'll be
okay. Did you boys find out what Nimnul was up to?"
     "Yes and no." Chip replied. "He's using the robots to commit
robberies for him, but I think there's something more to it than
     "Why?" Dale asked.
     "Well, you saw what the dragon was doing, Dale. It was
downloading something from that unit we saw." He frowned and sat
back, thinking. "My guess is that Nimnul was gathering
information or data about something."
     "A bank, maybe?" Monterey suggested. "He's done research to
rob banks before."
     Zipper pointed out that Nimnul had hit more than banks.
Jewelry stores, warehouses, and the like.
     "Right, Zipper." Chip looked out over the cityscape. "If we
could find out what building the dragon invaded, I'll bet it'll
tell us what Nimnul was after."
     "Shouldn't be too hard," Monterey shrugged. "Just follow the
     By this time, Gadget had brought the Ranger Plane into a
slow spiral downwards, finally landing it smoothly in a small
field. The rangers were still a distance from the city, but they
were much closer then before. The storm had seemed to quell for
the moment, but Chip feared that it was merely the eye of the
storm, and more turbulence was coming soon.
     "Hey," Dale said as he climbed out of the plane, "look over
there." He pointed to the distant city. The others all listened
as they climbed out, and peered in the direction Dale indicated.
     Not too far away, in what they knew to be a rundown section
along the edge of town, they could see some flashes of light.
Almost like fireworks, but these lights glowed, rather than
burst. A few moments later, and the wind carried the sounds
gunfire, explosions, and sirens to them.
     "What do you suppose is going on?" Monterey asked, wide
eyed. "Maybe something with that unit the Nimnul was messing
     "No, that was in the center of the city." He watched for a
moment more. "Whatever it is, it sounds real serious."
     The rest of the rangers nodded. They all knew that they
should go investigate, to see if they could help out in some way,
but each of them had an uneasy feeling settle around them. Chip
was the first to shake out of it, and headed off towards the
commotion, the rest of the rangers right on his heels.

--Chapter 3: Chipmunks & Mice & Dog/Rat/Weasel Type Things, Oh  

     The police had caught up with Darkwing and Megavolt much
sooner than they had anticipated. Still disoriented from the
effects of the electrilizer, compounded by the discovery that
they had jumped dimensions again, they weren't thinking too
clearly as they escaped the junkyard. Instead of keeping to the
shadows, they seemed quite content to run madly down the welllit
streets. The call had gone out on the police radios, and the area
search was quick and methodical. Soon the suspects in question
were spotted around a corner, and it wasn't long before the
police started to herd them in.
     In addition to all their other problems, both Megavolt and
Darkwing noticed that something seemed...strange...about this
dimension. They felt almost out of sync with what was happening
around them, but the feeling was impossible to pin down as they
were running for their lives.
     In mere minutes they found themselves surrounded again, this
time in the center of an intersection. Police cars were all
around, and more arriving each minute.
     "Now what?" Darkwing asked breathlessly. He and Megavolt
stood back to back against the encroaching officers. Guns had
already been drawn, but none fired.
     "Personally, I hate feeling like a rat in a cage!" Megavolt
     Because his timing was never in tune with etiquette,
Darkwing turned to face Megavolt. "I thought you were a rat,
genetically speaking."
     Because his timing was even worse in situations like this,
Megavolt uncertainly answered, "I'm...not...sure, really. Last I
heard, I was a dog/rat/weasel type thing, but I still have people
looking into it."
     A bullhorn cut into their supervillaingenealogy discussion.
     "All right you two." The captain said, his amplified voice
echoing from the buildings around them. "Just stay put, and don't
cause any trouble. Nobody here wants any confrontation."
     "Speak for yourself..." Megavolt muttered, his eyes
narrowing. Darkwing, who was once again backtoback with his
archenemy, missed this.
     "So just relax, and come along with us peacefully," the
captain continued, "and no one will get hurt." He turned to one
of his officers. "How long before the S.W.A.T. team gets here?"
     "Shouldn't be too long, sir. They're bringing the gas bombs,
but I don't know if it'll work on _those_." He shuddered a little
as he looked at them. "What are they, anyway?"
     "I don't know. Maybe deformed humans, or deformed creatures
of some kind. Maybe aliens for all I know. What I _do_ know is
that I want them tucked away somewhere far from a populated area.
Then we can start answering your questions."
     He brought the bullhorn back up to address the...things. He
had noticed that the taller of the two was glowing a little.
"Okay, you in the yellow jumpsuit, cease and decessit whatever it
is you're doing."
     Megavolt's scowl deepened. And his glow brightened.
     "Megavolt," Darkwing hissed over his shoulder, "what are you
doing?" He didn't want to turn his back on the twenty or so cops
facing him down with drawn weapons.
     The captain started to get agitated. "Hey! I said knock it
off!" Still no response. Frustrated, the captain resorted to
namecalling. "Hey wattbrain! I'm talking to you, Sparky!"
     "DON'T CALL ME SPARKY!" Megavolt's screech pierced the air.
     A bolt of lightning pierced the same air a moment later,
directly hitting the police car in front of the captain. Metal
was ripped apart and glass shattered in a thousand directions as
it exploded. The officer next to the captain found himself on the
ground over twenty feet away, stars dancing before his eyes.
     "Strange," he muttered, dazed. "I thought the storm was
over." Shouts and screams quickly brought him back to his senses.
He could see past the burning wreck of twisted metal that used to
be a police car the one who had been glowing, throwing out bolts
of lightning, exploding cars and scattering officers. He turned
back to the captain to point this out, but the captain was lying
face down on the cement, his body still smoking.
     "Oh no..." he whispered as he crawled over to the captain,
feeling for a pulse.
     It was there, but faint.
     Thanking whatever forces had kept the captain alive, he
turned and looked around, finally finding his partner. "Hey
     Muldoon stopped his run from the newest fire, and quickly
altered his course to take him over to his partner.
     "What is it, Kirby? Gaaaa, you don't look so good."
     "Take an exploding car in the front and see how you feel.
But come on, we have to get the captain out of here. He's still
alive, but I don't know for how much longer."
     Seeing the state of the captain, Muldoon nodded. He glanced
around quickly, seeing that the whole operation had gone up in
smoke, literally. Officers were trying to take cover from the
lightningthrowing attacker, while others were trying to provide
covering fire. None of the bullets seemed to hit the attacker,
however, so it wasn't very effective, but it least he was staying
     "Wait here." Muldoon said and then made a quick duckandrun
to the nearest working police car. He climbed in and started it
up, then quickly sped over to the area with Kirby and the
captain. Other officers saw this, and kept Megavolt's attention
drawn away, more so with taunts than actual gunfire. In
particular, he seemed to react vehemently to the name "Sparky"...
     He wasn't next to Megavolt, but still in the intersection.
He wasn't responsible for either Megavolt's outburst or the chaos
that followed, but he doubted that the police would believe him
right now. This day, Darkwing thought glumly, has gone from bad
to downright cruddy.
     He was busying trying to prevent a clear line of sight from
the police, as he wasn't about to test his dodging capabilities
against a bullet in flight. Megavolt had apparently throw up some
sort of magnetic field around him, as the bullets were straying
far from the mark on each shot. Darkwing wondered about it for a
minute, as he had never seen Megavolt pull this trick before. But
then again, whenever someone called him "Sparky", who knew how he
would react? This time, it just happened to be picking a fight
with the local police force. A fight, Darkwing noted with some
uneasiness, that Megavolt seemed to be winning.
     A movement to his right brought him out of his reverie. A
few officers had moved in around him, boxing him in and away from
his "partner", Megavolt, who was still busying himself with
increasing the amount of work for the city clean up crew
     The police had a clear line of sight now, but they hadn't
fired. Darkwing hoped that it was because that they might have
sensed that his was actually a crimefighter. In truth, the
police were afraid that shouting Darkwing would only enrage
Megavolt further, but either way had the same outcome: Darkwing
was not in immediate danger.
     Noticing their willingness to let him live, Darkwing seized
upon an idea. He threw his hands up over his head in a
surrendering pose. "Wait! I can help you! I can stop him!"
     The police exchanged glances, but never let their weapons
waver from Darkwing's chest. "How?" one of them asked.
     "He'll listen to me. I'm from the he is, so he
trusts me." Darkwing had been about to say the same dimension,
but thought that might be pushing his luck. Truth is stranger
than fiction, he reminded himself grimly.
     "Why should we trust you?"
     "Because you have nothing to lose. If I'm wrong, he kills
me, and you have one less wacko to worry about." That didn't come
out exactly the way he wanted, but it seemed to work.
     "You have one minute. The second after that, we open fire."
     Great, another time limit, Darkwing sighed to himself. "If
you could, use water against him. It'll short him out, but just
don't be standing within five feet of him when he does." Quickly,
he sprinted back off towards Megavolt, calling over his shoulder,
"Tell your men to hold their fire, and for goodness sakes don't
call him Sparky!"
     One of the officers hopped into a still functioning police
cruiser and told the rest of the force the deal. He then patched
through to the incoming S.W.A.T. team, updating them on what they
knew...yes, the captain was, the attackers hadn't
tried to make a break for it...well, one looks like a threefoot
tall bird and the other looks like some sort of rat/weasel/dog
type, nothing stronger than coffee...
     Megavolt was running out of police cars to blow up. He
actually had to spot and look for them now. He had tried hitting
the police officers, but they seemed reluctant to stay in one
place long enough for a clear shot. Targets that didn't move, as
opposed to those the moved quickly while shouting out rude
things, seemed to be the easier of the two to hit. He had just
spotted one, and was charging up his gloves, when a hand pulled
him back.
     "Blast it, Megavolt!" Darkwing snarled.
     "I was about to, thank you very much!" Megavolt shot back.
     "I mean why did you have to ruin everything?! Now you've
made us into wanted criminals in this world!"
     "And this situation is different from St. Canard in what
way?" Megavolt asked, regaining his feet. His glow had begun to
dim, Darkwing noted, and the police had actually stopped firing,
both bullets and names. At least _something_ was going right
     "Okay," Darkwing admitted, "maybe you are used to being a
felon, but I was a respected hero!"
     "Respected!" Megavolt laughed. "Let's be honest, Darkwing.
You're one step above street sweepers in the public's eyes."
     "We are not here to discuss my popularity." Darkwing replied
testily, growing defensive. "Besides, we can always hit my
webpage when we get back. You'll see from the counter how many
people have stopped by to read all about my excellent exploits of
     "Yeah, I've seen it. And tell me that you didn't start the
counter at one thousand."
     Darkwing was suddenly extremely interested in inspecting the
top of his hat.
     "I figured. So that means that you've actually had as many
as five people hit your page in how long? Five months?"
     "Give it time!" Darkwing snapped. "People probably just
don't know about it yet."
     "Oh please! With those huge advertisements you're put all
over the place? You go to any blue smoke dealer on the web, and
there's your ad at the top! Speaking of which, what is this
'lightbulb loony' reference in your villain's writeup about
     Darkwing blinked. "You read that?"
     "Unfortunately. Rather selfpromoting, wasn't it? All I read
about was how you risked life and limb against me time and again.
You talked about yourself at least 50% of the time."
     "Well, yeah." Darkwing kicked at the ground. "But you have
to admit, I did name you as my archenemy, not Dr. Slug."
     "Well...yes." Now it was Megavolt's turn to kick at the
ground. "And thank you for the compliment. But it still isn't
enough, Darkwing. You need to rework that whole section, if not
the whole homepage."
     "All right! All right!" Darkwing sighed. "You win, I'll at
least rework the supervillain section."
     "'Atta boy, Darkwing." Megavolt cheerfully clapped his arch
enemy on the shoulder. "I'll even help you out, if want."
     "Thanks, Megavolt. That'd be a big help. Can you give me
some info on the fearsome five, do you think?"
     "Why not?"
     Astute readers may wonder why Darkwing and Megavolt have hit
it off so well suddenly. Well, Megavolt is insane, and Darkwing
is egotistical. In a noncombat situation, these personalities
can mesh very well together.
     Even more astute readers may wonder even more what's going
on with the police, as Megavolt and Darkwing are still standing
in the middle of the intersection, surrounded by burning cars,
chunks of concrete, and other indications of a peeved Megavolt.
     Quite simply, they left. Once the captain was to driven off
to the hospital, and Darkwing had kept his promise about stopping
Megavolt's rampage, the police force used the general rule of
thumb. That is to say, look at the situation and hold up your
thumb in front of it. Then, keep backing away until you can no
longer see the situation, as your thumb completely blocks it. You
are now at the proper distance to safely stay out of whatever is
going on until those capable of dealing with it arrive.
     While the police were several blocks away, and the S.W.A.T.
team had almost arrived. Someone had the foresight to keep the
S.W.A.T. team informed of recent developments, so the troops were
taking few minutes to put protective gear into place. Their
primary orders were to subdue both of the transgressors, at which
time they would be shipped to a laboratory for proper study. They
were informed that the bird was more gullible, so could be lured
away with some reassuring words, and maybe some bird seed. The
other one would have to go by force.
     Darkwing and Megavolt, meanwhile, remained in their own
little world.
     "...but that liquid body can't be all it's cracked up to
be." Megavolt was saying. "I don't even want to _think_ about how
he goes to the bathroom."
     Darkwing nodded, writing this down in his notebook. "And
what's the deal with Negaduck? Has anyone tried talking to him
about trimming down those eyebrows? I mean, it's like he has some
sort of fungal growth up there."
     Megavolt shrugged. "Well, the rest of us think he's kind of
sensitive about that, so we try not to mention it."
     A number of squealing tires interrupted their rapport. They
turned to see several S.W.A.T. vans screeching to a halt all
around them. The back doors opened up, spilling for a mass of
wellarmored and protected men. Each one carried his rifle easy
and at the ready.
     "Well, that's rather rude of them." Megavolt commented. "Now
I have to fry them, which will probably make me lose my train of
thought." He looked at Darkwing. "You'll remind me where we left
off, right?"
     "Yeah, don't worry aboh no, wait! Not again!"
     But it was too late. Megavolt had already charged up his
     But then it emitted a few feeble sparks, and the glow died.
     "Oh rats." Megavolt slapped his forehead. "Between the
electrilizer jump and my previous...uh..."
     "Rampage?" Darkwing offered, looking around again at the
ruins strewn about.
     "Oh, yeah. Thanks. Well, between that and our jump, my power
reserves are pretty much drained." He looked around. "I don't see
any power lines or anything to recharge with."
     Darkwing watched with growing fear as the S.W.A.T. team
started to pull out grenade launchers and set them up around the
area. Several rows of troops had already taken position behind
some cover, aiming their rifles at the duo in the middle. Both
Megavolt and Darkwing knew they were in serious trouble when the
last van unloaded its troops. Someone had tipped them off, as
each member was carrying a supersoaker. Darkwing kicked himself
inwardly. Megavolt did outwardly.
     "You told them, you idiot!" He snapped. "Well, this is just
skippy! You'd better figure out some way to stop them before
we're both killed!"
     Darkwing was trying to figure out just that, when one of
them motioned to him. "It's okay...uh, sir. We were told of your
assistance. Step away from the other one, and we'll keep you
     Darkwing breathed a sigh of relief at started forward, but
was yanked back by Megavolt.
     "It's a trap!" Megavolt yelled. "You'll never separate us!
We are forged from the same circuit! One for all, and all
for...everyone else. Or something."
     "Thanks, Megavolt, but I'm sure that everything will be
fine. Just let me"
     "We have to stick together to the end, Darkwing!" Megavolt
dramatically struck a pose, grasping Darkwing even tighter.
"Together, alone in a foreign world, we have to put our
differences aside and work together 'til the end!"
     "Gee, that's real sweet of you, Megs." Darkwing was trying
to squirm out of Megavolt's grip. He turned back to see the
trooper waving for him to get over there and out of the way. Why
is there a bag of bird seed in his hand? Darkwing wondered, then
dismissed it. "But this is for the best. You said you're low on
power, so let me do the talking here, and we'll be all better in
a jiffy."
     Megavolt, remembering how well things went the last time
Darkwing did all the talking, shook his head. "I'm low but not
out. Hang on. I have one more trick up my sleeve, so to speak."
     "What? What are you"
     Darkwing was cutoff as Megavolt raised his free hand
skyward, and a sudden field swept all around them. Then both
Megavolt and Darkwing shot straight up, into the night and out of
view. The S.W.A.T. team looked around uneasy. The leader shook
his head and sighed, looking at the price tag on the bird seed.
     "Buck eightyfive for nothing." He tossed the bag over his
shoulder and ordered a search to commence immediately.
     For the second time in under an halfhour, Darkwing was
treated to an aerial view of the city. This time, however, he was
not falling. Instead, he was flying slowly about 500 feet up. To
be precise, he was clinging tenaciously to Megavolt, who in turn
had his right hand magnetized to the underside of some sort of
small aerial craft.
     "What did you do _this_ time?" Darkwing quacked, waiting any
moment for them to fall again.
     "Besides saving our lives?" Megavolt responded tersely. If
having his hand firmly attached to an unknown flying object with
airborne had any effect on him, he didn't show it.
     "Oh...yeah." Darkwing took a deep breath and calmed down.
"Okay, what happened? You said you were low on power."
     "Exactly. I said I was low, not out. All I did was activate
my energyseeker, and well, here we are?"
     "Energyseeker?" Darkwing repeated.
     "Basically, my harness emits a quick surge over the area,
and detects the strongest source of power around. Then it locks
on to the target, converts a section of the object to negative
polarity, my glove to positive, and presto! My magnetic
personality brings the object to me." He looked down. "Or vise
versa. Normally, I'm drawn to a wall socket or power lines, where
the energyseeker then siphons off the power to recharge me."
     "Is that happening now?" Darkwing thought that if is was, he
should felt something by now.
     "No." Megavolt looked back at the craft he was attached to.
"This thing," he motioned with his head to the craft, "must have
a boatload of power stored up inside to beat out the power lines
we flew by. The energyseeker locked onto this as the strongest
source, but the trip up here expended too much of my power
reserves to finish the job. So, I stuck in neutral, so to speak."
     "Great." Darkwing groaned. "How long before your magnetic
glove gives out?"
     "It won't. They're permanently locked to each other until I
can power up again, canceling the magnetics in the process."
Megavolt tried to relax as much as he could, while dangling 500
feet from the Earth and having a duck clinging to him at the same
     "Relax." He continued. "Enjoy the view. Enjoy the rest. As
soon as we land, I'll probably be in range of something to
recharge from, and we'll be on our way again."
     Darkwing didn't answer. He was busy studying the skyline. He
had some time on the last electrilizer trip to scope it out. At
the time he figured he might never get home, so he light as well
find the most dramatic place to pose. Now he looked with a
different intent.
     This skyline was not the same as the one on the last trip.
     True, Megavolt and he may have come through at a different
time, either many years before or after their last visit, but
there were too many differences; not enough similarities for it
to be the same city. He sighed deeply. They were lost in another
dimension. Again. With no apparent way back. Again.
     He looked below and saw the rooftops of suburbia passing
underneath. They were getting further from the city, and that
struck a chord in Darkwing. All things considered, he was a
detective, and there was one major difference between this
electrilizer jump at the last.
     The last time, the had erupted from a television in a
department store. This time, they had just appeared in midair.
He had a strong suspicion that he should try to return to the
area where they had appeared, to see what it was that made them
appear in that spot, instead of through some electronic device,
like the last time. Granted, it may have been the lightning in
the area, but it was all he had to go on.
     The problem now was getting back there. Darkwing used a free
hand to check his pockets for anything that might help. The only
thing that came close was a superstrong clothalloy (don't ask)
high tension net. Not his first choice for a substitute
parachute. Below, he could see that he was now over a wooded
area, some of the trees a respectable height. He might be able to
use the net in conjunction with a pair of elastic bands he for
repelling as a makeshift bungee cable: Dropping the net over the
top of the tree on the way down, and hope there was enough space
for the bands to slow his descent.
     Now he faced the difficult choice of separating from
Megavolt, who he would need to use the electrilizer for the trip
back, with the possibility that he may never find him again, or
of risking the fall to go back and investigate the area before
time wore the possible clues away.
     "In the meantime," Megavolt was saying, "How about a song?
Ninetynine blown fuses in the trash, ninetynine blown
fuses...You toss one out, I'll reduce you to grout, ninetyeight
blown fuses in the trash..."
     Actually, the choice wasn't nearly as difficult as Darkwing
     The explosions had died away some time ago, but the sirens
could still be heard. Most of them were fire engines, but the
rangers could still pick out the police as well. They kept their
pace up, knowing that sometimes the cleanup of any incident can
be as important as the actual happening itself.
     Keeping to their quick trot, they had soon come into the
parks surrounding the suburbia. Gadget estimated that they would
need another halfanhour to get to the area, but that could be
drastically reduced if they could snag some transportation. So
they pushed on in hopes of hopping on a emergency vehicle on it's
way there.
     They were perhaps no more than halfway through the woods,
when they all heard a sharp cracking sound for high above.
     "What's that?" Gadget asked, stopping and looking up.
     They all heard a muffled cry and saw, silhouetted against
the sky, a figure falling through the branches uncontrollably.
     "How'd a person get way up there?" Dale asked, astonished.
     "Ask him later, Dale, right now we have to save him from
falling to death!" Chip darted over to a nearby sapling, pulling
out a coil of rope he carried. "Zipper! Monty! Give me a hand!"
     They caught on to what he was doing as he lassoed the top of
the baby tree and began pulling it down. Zipper pushed the top,
while Chip and Monty pulled. It was quickly stretched out over
the area where the figure was falling.
     "Come on, Dale!" Gadget said, heading over to a rotted log.
"That sapling won't be enough."
     Dale planted himself next to Gadget, and they shoved the log
down the incline, rolling it into place under the sapling.
     "That sound help cushion the impact." Gadget looked up,
worried. "But I doubt it'll be enough." She hated the thought of
it not being enough, even though it was all they could do.
     Since they were all busy trying to prepare a safe landing
site, none of them noticed that the fall was taking longer than
it should have. Even so, the figure crashed through the remaining
branches of the trees with alarming speed. He wasn't plummeting,
but he wasn't easing in, either.
     He broke through the last leafy bough, and thudded into the
sapling, snapping Monty and Chip off their feet and into a bush
several yards away. What the sapling couldn't handle in terms of
kinetic energy, the rotted log soaked. Between the two of them,
and the elastic bands the rangers could now see, the figure
wasn't injured too badly. In fact, since it was his second fall
from a height of greater than thirty feet, he was doing dandy.
     As the dust settled, the rangers could now see that maybe he
was injured worse than they thought. He was all white, and looked
sort of feathery. He was shorter than most humans, aside from
children. They also took note of the dark clothing he wore: All
shades of purple, with some green and magenta thrown in for good
     What they couldn't understand was the webbed feet.
     They all approached cautiously, Monty and Chip absent
mindedly pulling leaves from their clothes. Zipper hovered over
the large bird, for now they could see clearly that it was indeed
a bird, but like no bird they've ever seen before.
     A groan indicated that the object of their fascination was
     "Launchpad would have been proud of that landing." He said
groggily, shifting to sitting position. He shook his head to
clear out the cobwebs, then peered around, spotting the rangers
for the first time. He regarded them curiously, having never seen
animals in the wild who wore clothes. Not that they were shabby
dresses, mind you. Well, with the possible exception of that one
in the loud Hawaiian shirt, but it really looked like it belonged
     This brought his attention to his own clothes.
     "Oh great..." he moaned, seeing the dirt and moss stains.
"Like today hasn't been going bad enough already. And who knows
how long it'll be before I can get it to a washing machine? I
doubt the Laundromats here will be welcoming to outoftowners
like me." He sighed. "Not only am I stuck here, but stuck here in
a ruined wardrobe."
     All this time, the rangers could only stand and stare.
Finally, Monterey turned to the rest. "Are the rest of you seeing
this as well?" He asked bluntly. "Or did I just hit my head too
hard upon that landing?"
     "No, Monty," Chip answered, "Or else I hit my head on the
rock you did."
     "Well I didn't hit my head on any rocks, not today anyway,
and I'm seeing it too." Dale chimed in.
     Zipper nodded to the rest, then landed lightly on Monterey's
     Now it was Darkwing's turn to stare. This is a new twist, he
     If they was any doubt left in his mind that he had never
been to this dimension before, this was the clincher. In all his
previous adventures, he had never run into small animals like
like this.
     True, Archie, along with Eek and Squeak could communicate
with others, but he had never seen them in any type of wardrobe.
Besides, they were the pets of Morgana, and that threw the animal
behavior guidebook out the window. Darkwing also recalled a group
of ants that were committing robberies, but that was directed by
Lilliput, and even he needed a special cap to communicate with
     "Well," Gadget said decisively, "whatever he is, he's gotta
be hurt from that fall." She calmly strode up to Darkwing.
"Excuse me, Mister...uh...Mister Recently Fallen a Great
Distance, are you hurt badly?"
     Darkwing was caught offguard by the question, and had to
blink several times to bring himself back to the present.
     "Uh, no. No, not at all. I justAHHH!" He jerked in pain as
he tried to stand up. A sharp stinging was racing through his
back. It felt like he might he strained something. What is going
on? He thought with a tinge of panic. I never was this easily
hurt before, I can still feel the bruises from my first fall.
Those should have vanished by now.
     He gazed back up at the treetops, and then down along the
elastic bands connected to his waist. The bands were stretched
out, but his weight was enough to keep him down. This was another
problem. In all the past times he had tried anything like this,
the bands should have shot him back up into the air. But not this
time. Why?
     He shifted, feeling another stab of pain, and he dropped the
line thought for more immediate things.
     "Yes..." he managed in a shaky voice. "I guess I strained
something in my back."
     Gadget nodded. Her practicality had won over her fear of the
unknown. She no longer cared what he was, only that he was hurt.
"Okay, then, hold still for a minute."
She climbed up onto his back, to the bottom of his neck.
     Chip and the rest looked in amazement at Gadget as she
started a comprehensive examination of Darkwing's back, trying to
pinpoint the problem. Chip shrugged and stepped forward. Might as
well get on with it, he figured. They were already providing
medical treatment, after all.
     "Well, Mr., uh, Duck." Chip started as best could under the
circumstances. "We're the Rescue Rangers. My name's Chip, that's
Dale, Monterey Jack, Zipper, and Gadget is the one checking your
back." He indicated each ranger in turn.
     "Heya, mate. Call me Monty." Monterey greeted.
     "Pleased to meet you." Dale nodded.
     Zipper made a gesture which indicated they would have liked
it to be under better circumstances.
     "You're telling me..." Darkwing agreed. He flinched as
Gadget hit the spot.
     "Does that hurt?" She called out. She tapped the area again.
     "Yes." Darkwing's voice was very tiny. "How much medical
training have you had?"
     "I'm selftaught." She stated proudly. "No formal training."
     Darkwing nodded to himself. Figures.
     The rest of the rangers missed most of the conversation,
lost in shock. Finally Dale blurted out what they were all
thinking: "You understood what Zipper was saying?"
     Darkwing looked at them strangely. "Yeah. Is that unusual?"
     "Well, it's just that no human ever understand him." Chip
explained. "And not many animals, aside from other insects."
     "Oh, is that all?" Darkwing waved the thought aside. "Back
home, I know a few residents of the lower section of the
zoological chartno offenseand can understand them rather
well." He shrugged. Only slightly though, as Gadget was around
the strained area. "Of course, it did take me awhile to learn
what they were saying. Launchpad still has problems, but Gosalyn
caught on pretty quick..." He chuckled to himself.
     "What do you mean, 'back hom" Chip started.
     A siren broke through their individual thoughts, bring them
all to remember why they were now in the woods.
     "How bad is it, Gadget?" Chip asked. "Can he walk all
     "Yes, but he really shouldn't. He needs to rest, and I can
probably make him a compress to put on it." She dropped back to
the ground and walked back to the group.
     "Thanks, but I'll be fine." Darkwing said. I hope, he
mentally added.
     "Well, it's just that I want to find out more about what
happened to you, but we're kind of in a hurry. I thought you
might be able to tell us on the way there."
     "Where?" Darkwing said, standing up. The pain stabbed at him
again, but he fought it back.
     Chip pointed off through the woods. "Over near the city. We
heard some explosions and sirens, and wanted to go check out what
happened, and if anyone needed any help."
     "It's what we do." Dale added with a proud smile.
     Darkwing could only give a weak smile. "Oh...._that_." His
voice was attempting noninterest, but it was strained.
     Chip picked up on it in a heartbeat. "What do you mean." His
brain put two and two together, mainly two unusual incidents, and
asked, "You were involved, weren't you?" His gaze was the most
penetrating Darkwing had ever felt from a chipmunk.
     "I...uh..." His mind raced. Why was he feeling so awkward in
front of four rodents and a housefly? He set traps out for these
things at home. And what was more, he was the mighty mallard!
Darkwing Duck! Hero to the helpless, savior of the suffering, and
traffic cop to the speeders of crime! And these five...
     ...had probably saved his life. His bravado drained out of
him as he gazed back up to the trees. As likely as it was back
home that he would he survived this fall without any injuries to
speak of, he wasn't home anymore. The pain in his back was a
testament to that. And if these five...these Rescue Rangers
hadn't taken the time to intervene, without any askance, he might
not have escaped with merely a strained back.
     "All right." His voice was firm again as he put his hat back
on. His resolve in being forthcoming with the rangers lent him a
much needed strength. "You don't need to go there. Everyone who
was injured was taken away for treatment. And I'm willing to bet
the fire department has the burning cars under control. They
weren't near any buildings, so the fire is contained."
     Chip nodded. "Now, how did you come to get there? And where
is 'back home'?"
     "Well, have a seat, because it's a long story."
     "Gadget?" Chip turned to her as he nodded. "Can you get a
compress ready for him here, or do you need some other supplies?"
     She glanced about. "There should be enough here for now.
You'd be surprised at what you can do with natural ingredients."
She smiled as she went about the various trees and bushes,
selecting plants and herbs.
     "Guys, give me a hand with these leaves." Chip said, shoving
a group over towards a spot clear of rocks and roots. The others
nodded and quickly put together a small bed of leaves.
     "There you go, Mister...uh..." Dale started.
     "Darkwing." Darkwing said with a grin. He tipped his hat.
"Darkwing Duck. Crimefighter by trade."
     "Cool name." Dale said with a grin. "Well, Mr. Darkwing,
these should be more comfortable to rest on."
     "Too right." Monterey nodded.
     Zipper gave a wink. From one crimefighter to another, it
     "Thank you, and just call me Darkwing." He settled down
carefully. Again, he noted, they didn't ask if they could help;
they just did. He smiled and started to see some hope glimmering
through his storm clouds.
     Most of the damage had been neutralized, and things were
back under control now. Granted, he had a lot of repairs to do
before everything was up and running like before this minor
disaster, but at least he could get back to his original plane
now. The robots had nearly completed the first stage of the roof
entrance, and his metal dragon was returning intact.
     Nimnul wasn't completely sure how much information was
downloaded before the unit was destroyed, but he was confident
that there would be enough for his purposes. He continued work at
the computer, hoping to have it completely repaired before
morning. Losing himself into his work, he was only dimly aware of
his metal dragon returning through the roof entrance and landing,
somewhat nosily, behind him. His attention, however, was caught
by what followed next.
     "Hey, this is a pretty nice setup here, even for a weird
nosed freak."
     Nimnul spun around, but didn't see anything at first. Then
he noticed a shape underneath his metal dragon. It appeared that
someone had hitched a ride back on to his laboratory. Nimnul
wasn't as interested in how the intruder got onto the metal
dragon as much as he was intrigued by the fact that he was
apparently to stay out of sight. At least, he hadn't come out
from underneath the metal dragon, which merely glanced about,
awaiting instructions.
     Digging his remote out of his pocket, he tapped in a series
of commands to the robots not involved with the construction at
the hole/entrance. Several large, unfriendlylooking robots moved
over to encircle the intruder.
     "You might as well come on out," Nimnul stated. "I know
you're here. I'd like to destroy you with minimal damage to my
inventions. That's happened quite enough for tonight, thank you."
     "You want me to step on out?" There was a spark from the
figure. In the momentarily flash of light, Nimnul saw...well, he
wasn't sure what it was, to be frank, but he had seen some pretty
bizarre things before, most of the time as a result of one of his
experiments. So he wasn't to shaken too badly.
     He was, however, rather ticked when a surge of electricity
sprang forth for a nearby wall socket, lighting up the figure.
The metal dragon was unaffected, its interior surge suppressors
and exterior armor protection was more than adequate to keep it
from even noticing the voltage below.
     Megavolt, now able to detach himself from the underside of
the dragon, moved out from underneath it and stretched, casting a
quick glance around. He felt like teaching the human who was in
'charge', but was distracted by the dragon, actually seeing it
from the first time.
     " that's what my energyseeker picked out." He
nodded admirably. "Nice design. What year is it, a '97?"
     "Made this year, actually." Nimnul responded. He didn't like
the way this guy (he assumed it was male) looked, especially with
that huge battery strapped on his back. Nimnul tapped a few more
buttons on the remote, bringing the rest of his robot force down
the join the closing circle. The metal dragon turned to face
Megavolt, it's eyes glowing red with the latest instructions.
     Megavolt looked around at the approaching robots. "Oh,
you're going to show them all to me? Cool!"
     "Oh yes," Nimnul smirked. "Up close and personal."
     "Great!" Megavolt, still not quite appreciating his
situation walked up to the dragon, trying to pull its head down
for a closer look. The metal dragon made the process easier by
snapping its head won, steel jaws agape.
     "Nice teeth. IYAH!" Megavolt yelled as he jumped back, the
jaws clanging shut only inches from his head. "Well, if you
insist on this..." He lanced a bolt of electricity from his glove
to the metal, striking it squarely in the chest.
     A shower of sparks spread over the area, but the attack was
otherwise deflected. Taken aback but someone actually building a
device to last, Megavolt another approach. Another surge of
electricity hit the dragon, but this time with the intent of
draining the power from it, and transferring it to Megavolt.
     Again, the attack was repelled. Nimnul had put a lot of time
into these robots, and it showed. Maybe, given enough time to
charge himself up to full power, he might have been able to
affect the robots, but the power that was sapped from the wall
socket was rather pathetic by Megavolt's standards. He didn't
have enough to take out one of the robots, let alone a squad of
     He spied Nimnul moving around them, trying to in sight of
Megavolt, but staying a safe distance away. Megavolt saw the
remote that Nimnul was holding, and decided that it might be more
effective to remove the source in this case. He arced another
shot over in that direction, but couldn't see well enough for it
to be accurate. The electricity scorched the ground near Nimnul,
but that was it.
     It was enough for Nimnul, however, as he didn't like the
idea of being reduced to cinders by someone else. Come to think
of it, he didn't like the idea of being reduced to cinders at
all. He entered the final signal for the eradication of Megavolt.
He did feel a twinge of regret, though, as he was fascinated by
the ability to control electricity like that, and would have
liked to learned more about it.
     Megavolt found the his personal space was being to be
violated rather quickly. Knowing that his normal electricity
attacks wouldn't work on this robots, he tried another tactic to
get clear of them. He quickly set himself and the nearest robots
to a positive charge, so as they lunged in at him, the
repulsion caused by to like magnets pushed him up and away from
the danger.
     Once airborne, he shot a wideangled static burst behind
him, letting the force push his momentum away from the robots. He
landed several yards away, and behind Nimnul. Spinning back
around, Megavolt absentmindedly noticed that his feet stung from
the hard landing. This was puzzling, as he had done this hundreds
of times back in St. Canard without any type of pain upon
     He put it out of his mind for the time being, which really
wasn't too hard, considering Megavolt's mind. He stepped forward
towards Nimnul, charging up his gloves.
"Why destroy the toy when you can take out the batteries?' He
said threateningly, rasing his gloves.
     "Because these 'toys' will function without them, carrying
out their last instructions." Nimnul informed him, not wavering
from his position. "Namely, your demise." The robots were lined
up behind Nimnul, but he was holding them back for the moment.
     They both knew that if Nimnul sent the robots in, Megavolt
would roast him before Megavolt was even reached. Likewise,
however, if Megavolt zapped Nimnul now, the robots would have
nothing to keep them from rendering him into hundreds of
Mircovolts. The stalemate was seen and recognized. More
importantly, however, they both had, for the first time, the
chance to meet each other's determined gaze.
     And some twisted part of them recognized the howl of madness
that echoed in the other's soul.
     Megavolt lowered his glove, dispersing the power.
     Nimnul negated the commands, sending the robots back to
their previous duties.
     And both madmen looked at each other for a long, long time.
     The storm clouds still covered the city, and lightning
occasionally played back and forth between rumbles of thunder,
but other wise the storm seemed to have settled somewhat. A few
strong winds blew out across the miles of thunderheads,
eventually coming to the area where Darkwing and Megavolt had
first appeared in this world. Directly below, over a thousand
feet to the city street, the police and fire department were
cleaning up the remains of the destroyed unit, taking statements
from witnesses, and generally trying to sort through the whole
     A pair of slanted eyes watched with interest, eyes that
glowed with a patience of someone waiting for the right moment.
Like a time bomb patiently waiting to explode.
--Chapter 4: New Allies and Old Enemies--
     Chip whistled. "That's a heck of a way to start an evening
at work." He remarked as Darkwing finished his story. Darkwing
held a small compress against his lower back, the one the Gadget
had assembled. A combination of leaves and moss, and a few other
things she told him he'd be better off not knowing about.
Whatever it was, it was working. The pain had subsided rather
quickly. Gadget, who had been monitoring the troubled area during
the story remarked on how quickly it was healing.
     "Yeah, but normally, I don't even feel it five minutes
afterwards. Like I said, it seems to be worse recently." Darkwing
shifted the compress around.
     "Could be a result of the electrilizer." Chip thought aloud.
     "Possibly." Gadget replied. "I have a theory, but we'll have
to run some tests first."
     "Tests?" Darkwing looked ill.
     "Oh, it won't take more than a few hours, really."
     "Swell." Darkwing rolled his eyes. "Well, it's not I can
think of a better idea."
     "Do we take him back to headquarters?" Dale asked. "I don't
think he'll fit."
     "But my equipment's there." Gadget looked back up to
Darkwing. "We don't need to bring him inside. He can wait
outside, and we can bring the equipment out to him, run the
tests, then go back in and process the results."
     Zipper looked at Darkwing, then to Gadget. Wait outside? His
look asked. He doesn't exactly blend in with the other park
     "Not unless we stop by a costume shop, and outfit them in
matching suits." Monterey nodded. "Even if it's night, people are
going to be around."
     "Well, we need to get back to the headquarters anyway,
because we _still_ have to find out what Nimnul was up to." Chip
crossed his arms and looked around, thinking. "Go back, gather
information and supplies, and get the Ranger Wing."
     "But Chipper, how are we supposed keep Darkwing  
inconsequential?" Dale asked.
     "What?" Darkwing quacked.
     "The word is 'inconspicuous', Dale, and we'll do what Monty
said: Stop by a costume shop." Chip grinned, and idea growing.
     "Uh, Chip m'lad, I was kidding about outfitting the ducks."
Monterey said slowly.
     "We're not outfitting 'the ducks', Monty." Chip reassured
him. "Just 'a duck'."
     The others slowly caught and nodded, smiling.
     Except for one.
     "I've got that bad feeling in the pit of my stomach again."
Darkwing moaned.
     Gadget, checking the small of the back once more, confirmed
that it was almost healed, so the rangers climbed onto Darkwing,
who began a steady trot back towards the city.
     "What's the game plan, then?" Dale asked Chip.
     "First, we get Darkwing disguised. Then we stop back by the
headquarters and let Gadget run those tests of hers." Chip and
Dale were tucked safely in the collar of Darkwing, while Gadget
and Monty were snugly in between the jacket and inner shirt of
Darkwing. Zipper went from the tip of Darkwing's hat, to the
shoulder, next the Dale, and then to whenever it best suited him.
They all had a clear view of the approaching city.
     "Actually," Darkwing said to Chip, keeping in the shadows of
the suburbs, "After the disguise, I would like to stop by and
check out that area where Megavolt and I first came through. I
think that might shed some light on what happened."
     "Well, at least make a quick detour to our HQ." Gadget said,
then as he started to object, "Just long enough for us to get the
Ranger Wing. It we enable us to help you out better."
     Chip nodded. "We can cover more ground that way."
     Darkwing agreed, coming up to the city itself. They saw the
first of many buildings taller than two stories. Darkwing pulled
out his Gasgun and fired the grappling hook up to the roof.
Tugging to make sure it held, he released to coiling button,
pulling him and the rangers up to the roof.
     They stuck to the rooftops as much as possible, avoiding
anyone on the street and any windows nearby that had a light on
inside. After several minutes, Darkwing landed deftly behind the
costume shop. The rangers quickly disembarked and moved over to
the door. Darkwing walked up the steps and tried the doorknob.
     "Locked." He took a step back. "Okay, no problem, I'll just
use my patented webfoot kick, and we'll be on our wa"
     "Wait!" Chip called out. "Let us open it from the inside.
There might be a burglar alarm that would be triggered by forced
     It took Darkwing a moment to process the information. "Oh.
Yeah." He resumed his normal stance as the rangers entered
through a small crack by the stairs. A scant few minutes later,
and Darkwing heard a soft click from the inside. The door swung
upon, the rangers waiting down by the door frame.
     "Okay mate, all set." Monterey nodded as he went back into
the shop.
     "Thanks," Darkwing said as he stepped in and shut the door
behind him. "I'll get the next one. You've got to see my
     They took about ten minutes in the shop, finally finding
what they were looking for: A number of fake zippers, fake
buttons, a pair of widelegged pants, and a couple of good sized
shoes. Darkwing quickly slipped into the pants and shoes (which
were purple and black respectively, so they matched his outfit),
and the rangers attached the zippers and buttons around his neck,
head, and hands.
     When they had finished, they took a moment to appreciate
their work. Now if anyone saw Darkwing, they'd think that he was
a midget or a child on his to a costume party. The fake zippers
and buttons gave the impression that he was only wearing a very
realistic duck costume.
     "There!" Dale nodded proudly. He had done most of the
direction for this disguise. "Now Darkwing, people will think
that you're really a human."
     "Sort of..." Darkwing mumbled.
     "As long as they don't look too long." Gadget noted.
     "And there's bad lighting." Monterey observed.
     "And they have bad vision." Chip remarked.
     Zipper merely sighed and rolled his eyes.
     Dale shrugged. "Well, we work with what we have. Anyway,
it's the best we're going to be able to do."
     "It'll do." Darkwing said. "I don't intend to go parading
around town. Not yet, anyway."
     "Yeah..." Chip said speculatively.
     "Anyway," Darkwing continued, "Let's get this over with. I
think I'd rather be shot than have to spend too long looking like
     "With the way your dressed, you might get shot anyway."
Monterey remarked dryly.
     Darkwing just looked at his disguise and groaned again.
"Come on."
     The rangers resumed their places and Darkwing left through
the back again, shutting the door and hoping that there were no
video cameras recording. He could handle the idea of being hunted
again, but not if they spread what his current image was around
the force.
     Another series of roof hops and wall scaling brought
Darkwing to the rangers home base in the park. Darkwing was
feeling more nervous than ever. They neglected to mention the
fact that the park was directly across the street from the police
     "Did I mention that I'm a wanted fugitive?" He mentioned
hurried, glancing over his shoulder, just waiting for a wave of
cops to wash over him.
     "That's a good pickup line." Gadget grinned. "Seriously,
Darkwing, you'll be fine. Just stay in the bushes, and there'll
be no problems. We'll be right back with the Ranger Wing." She
climbed down from his collar and hastened up the tree, Chip and
Dale right behind. Monterey lagged behind a bit to mention
     "Just for your own knowledge," He said quietly, "Whenever
Gadget says, 'no problems' it's like she thumbs her nose at the
spirits of bad luck. They don't like that."
     "Great..." Darkwing was now on the brink of paranoia.
     "I'm not saying it will happen," Monterey quickly explained,
"Just that you should keep your peepers peeled." With that, he
went off to join the others. Zipper was the only ranger left.
     "You sticking around, Zipper?" Darkwing asked as he crouched
into a cluster of shrubs to wait for the rest of the rangers.
     Zipper nodded. There are perks to having your own set of
wings, he grinned.
     Darkwing smiled and nodded. Zipper's presence helped to calm
him down, so he stopped worrying about the police, and stared
worrying about Megavolt.
     I've got to find him, too, he thought grimly. Dollars to
doughnuts we'll need that electrilizer to get home. Not too
mention that as much as I'd like to, I can't leave him here.
After all, it's his fault I'm down twenty dollars, so _he's_ the
one who's going to fork it over!
     As always, Darkwing had managed to overcome his fear and
settle on what was important in his life: Him.
     "Okay then, try this one:
          I am the beginning of it all
          Although in my old age I may fall
          If my inventory you wish to be scrollin'
          Best for you to use my colon
          Or you're going to run into a wall."
     Megavolt nodded, pleased, at sat back. Nimnul chewed over
this latest one, for a moment. However, he had been working with
computers, so it was at the top of his mind.
     "DOS." He announced triumphantly.
     Megavolt frowned. Nimnul was no creampuff in the technical
field. He didn't know the short, squat man that well, but already
was growing a strong respect for the Professor's knowledge.
     "Okay, I have one:
          Wherever you go, I am there
          I am what all systems share
          No matter if you're IBM or a Mac
          I am the basis for all of that."
     Not difficult for Megavolt, mainly because he had already
been thinking about computers. "ASCii."
     Now Nimnul sat back with a frown. He, too, was becoming very
aware of Megavolt's considerable knowledge of electronics and
     Megavolt sat forward, thinking. He decided to divert the
track from electronics a bit.
          "A quarter to the right
           The twist around a thread
           Can make me too tight
           Which all machines dread"
     It was definitely a strand away from the computer riddles,
Nimnul thought. But he had been building things for quite a while
now. He remembered the simple set of operations he went through.
Testing the power levels, tightening the bolts, and checking
     "Torque!" Nimnul laughed. He regarded the...well, whatever
it was, across from him. To be honest, it looked like some
dog/rat/weasel type thing, but Nimnul didn't think that was the
technical term for it. He had introduced himself as Megavolt, and
related the events that brought him here, and it had started
Nimnul's mind working.
     He had a suspicion that somehow, the events he had gone
through, with the malfunctioning computer and exploded unit, and
the events Megavolt had gone through were linked. Not by much,
maybe, but it was there. Still, he decided to wait until he knew
more before saying anything. He was about to ask another riddle,
when Megavolt spoke again.
     "Pardon my asking," He said conversationally. "But what are
you up to?" He nodded at the robots around them.
     "Oh, them." Nimnul nodded, glad to have a chance to talk
about diabolical plans with someone equally twisted. "Those are
my latest inventions. I'll be using them to start gathering
materials and information for my next plan. I started tonight,
but ran into unexpected difficulties."
     Megavolt nodded. Nimnul had told him about what had happened
to him earlier this evening. He, too, had his theories, but like
Nimnul, decided to wait until confirmation before saying
     "You see," Nimnul continued, propping one foot on a knee,
"I've worked with robots in past, to some degree of success. The
main problems I found was that some vermin could sometimes infest
them, sabotaging them, and generally make my life unhappy.
     "But not these." He smiled as he nodded towards the gleaming
metal robots. The roof entrance was nearly complete by now. The
robots had worked efficiently and effectively. "They're completed
sealed off from that." He paused. "Not completely. I do have an
emergency access panel on each if I need it, but it's coded, so
it'll be same enough."
     "But why monsters?" Megavolt asked. He reached over to the
counter behind them, grabbing a cup of coffee for each of them.
He gave them a quick charge to warm them up, then handed one to
     "Well, I figure if you're going to terrorize the city, you
might as well do it with style, you know?" He sipped his coffee
before continuing. "My only complaint is that they aren't
advanced enough for artificial intelligence."
     "Why not?" Megavolt figured that Nimnul could have done so,
if he really wanted.
     "My problem with A.I. is that it takes up so much space in
memory, and things are pretty crammed in there as it is." He
pointed to the dragon, who was getting a new tail attached by
what appeared to be an Orc and an Ogre. "Do you know how much
space fire breath takes up?" He rolled his eyes. "I'm lucky I
don't need to strap a zip drive on its back."
     Megavolt nodded glumly. "What are they up to, then?
Something that requires complex actions?"
     "In a way. I still do the majority of work here, but they
all still need to be completely computer compatible. Right now
I'm working on a theory that I can steal the entire worlds
databases, and put it one sole system. Then, with the ability to
control the entire world through the computer, like power plants,
city records, police computers, water and sewer, and so on, I can
pretty conquer the world at my leisure."
     Megavolt nodded. "An admirable plan." He thought about
trying it himself, but that kind of thing never really interested
him. He always figured the ruling the world would be a lot of
work, and be to similar to some sort of legal job. So, he was
more than happy continuing the fine tradition of robbing and
terrorizing the populace for kicks. Too bad the populace didn't
seem to think it was as much fun.
     He thought for a moment. Something was odd about Nimnul's
plan. Of course, Nimnul himself was odd, but this was more of an
oversight. "Where could you store that much information, though?"
Megavolt turned to the Professor.
     "Well, you've heard of Virtual Memory? I'd be using
something like that. Call it, Extradimensional Memory."
     "Really? You mean storing the whole database in another
dimension?" Megavolt grinned. "That would work. You'd need to
find a proper dimension to store it in, though."
     "Oh, I know where. I found out about a few month's ago. On
the Internet, no less. Really. I typed in the words
'Extradimensional memory storage' and there I was."
     "I'd like to get my hands on that search engine...finding
that toasteroven homepage should be a breeze." He turned back to
the robots. "So how do they fit in? Wait...don't tell me." He
quickly said as he started to see Nimnul's plan.
     "They go out, and gather up the necessary equipment and
information, then bring it back to you, where you can put it all
together." Megavolt began to grin, seeing the plan crystalize to
simplicity. "Then, they go and start the ultradownload. Because
there are so many, so can have them in all parts of the world at
once. You monitor them from here, and transmit all the data to
this Extradimensional storage, where only you can access it."
     Nimnul's grin was a wide as Megavolt's. "Great minds think
     "Twisted minds think." Megavolt thought for a moment.
     Nimnul nodded readily to this.
     "So how's it coming, then?" Megavolt asked, downing the rest
of his coffee.
     "Slow." Nimnul sighed. "Like tonight, for instance. If they
only had their own intelligence, things would go so much faster.
I wouldn't have to be directing them all the time."
     "I think I can help you with that."
     Nimnul sputtered his drink. "Seriously? How?"
     "Well, I've done it before. Any appliance I touched came to
a life of it's own. Of course, they revolted and turned to turn
me into a power generator for the rest of my life, but hey, we
all make mistakes."
     "Of course." Nimnul understood perfectly.
     "But I think I know how to subvert it, all we have to do is
put in a few simple commands into their programming beforehand,
and we'll be all set."
     "Wow..." Nimnul had a dreamy look on his face. "You'd really
do that for me?"
     "Sure. I'm going to be in town for a while, so why not?
Besides, you can probably help me out when you gather more
information on other dimensions. It'll help me to get home
quicker." Megavolt extended his hand.
     "Of course I will." Professor Nimnul clasped Megavolt's hand
and shook it. "We inventor's have an unspoken oath, after all."
     "We do?"
     "Well, I've never heard it, but I would guess we do. Shall
we begin?" He stood up and headed over to the mechanical bay of
his laboratory.
     "Well, there is one more thing that we need to check on
first." Megavolt said after he stood. He realized, he actually
felt a little tired. The events of the evening weren't anything
that should have put him out like this. But it did. "I think that
there's something else going on here. With me."
     "What do you mean?" Nimnul asked, turning back to him.
     "Well, let me explain something about my world..."
     "The determined Darkwing Duck doggedly digs for details of a
dimensional door." Darkwing dramatically stated as he inspected
the ledge of the building his was walking on. The city street was
several hundred feet below, and directly above him was the spot
where he and Megavolt had popped through. This was about as close
as Darkwing could get to it, and he hoped it was close enough.
     "You know, you're pretty good at that word stuff." Dale said
as he moved on down the ledge, also looking for clues.
     "Thank you Dale." Darkwing's ego inflated promptly. "All
part of being a superhero. You see, when you're a superhero, you
have to take the dramatic approach, for your fans. It's re"
     "Oh, I know about the superhero stuff. I was one, you know."
He mentioned as he checked around the lip of the ledge.
     "You were?" This caught Darkwing offguard. He took a moment
to stand up, tucking his magnifying glass away with his disguise.
Up here, he figured he didn't need to worry about it. More over,
those shoes were making his feet hurt.
     "Sure." Dale continued. He turned around and looked up at
Darkwing. "Back when I was Rubber Bando, I was the city's biggest
hero, biggest hope, biggest"
     "Pain in the outback." Monterey Jack finished, coming around
the corner. "I can't recall the last time I saw somebody with
such an ego problem."
     "It wasn't that bad....was it?" Dale looked sheepishly at
     "Yes Dale, it was. You were so full of yourself we had bets
running to see when you finally would burst. At the climax of it,
you were more concerned with parades than crimefighting. What
kind of hero is that, right Darkwing?"
     Darkwing he a impulsive urge to be elsewhere. Unfortunately,
a ledge over three hundred feet in the air didn't often many
opportunities. "Well...ego is that bad...not really. I mean, you
have to keep your selfconfidence up and all..." He stammered.
"Right?" He added in a tiny voice.
     "See?" Dale said, coming to Darkwing's rescue. "He
understands what I mean."
     "Dale, I'm not saying that you were a bad crimefighter,"
Monterey stated. "Merely that you started to let that fame go to
your head."
     Dale shrugged. "Well, yeah, but it _was_ fun while it
     "Find anything, guys?" Gadget called out. She pulled the
Ranger Wing up from the street below and leveled it off, even
with the ledge.
     "Not yet, Gadget." Dale answered. "But we just started on
this side. How about you?" Gadget had gone down to check out the
wreckage below. It appears that the unit that had crashed was
directly below the entrance point for Darkwing and Megavolt.
Guessing that it probably wasn't a random chance, Gadget headed
down to see if she could find out what the machine was, and why
Nimnul might have wanted it.
     "Did I ever!" She said with a grin, landing the plane. She
hopped out, beaming with happiness. "I think we may have just
made some huge strides here tonight!"
     "Gadget, do you think I was egotistical when I was Rubber
Bando?" Dale put on his most disarming smile.
     "Uh..." Gadget had let herself get caught unawares by the
question, and didn't really want to tell Dale what she thought of
him at one point during his career as Rubber Bando. "What brought
this on?" She stalled for time.
     "Aw, Dale was just giving his resume to Darkwing, claiming
his time as Rubber Bando at the top of the list. I told him that
it was ego that was at the top, but he doesn't seem to want to
accept that."
     "Well, I can't believe that I was that bad."
     "Believe it, Dale." Gadget said honestly. "No one should
ever be burdened with the ego you had at one time. How can anyone
be a hero with the selfinflated image blinding them? Right
     "I think I'll go get Chip." He quickly scaled the sides of
the wall up to the top, where Chip went off to. "And there's
nothing wrong with a big ego," he muttered. "Really."
     The top of the building was a four sided pyramid, with a
slow, pulsing, red light on the top of a rod in the center of the
pyramid. This is were Chip had come, not looking around for any
signs of clues on the building, but instead so he could get a
clear view of the spot Darkwing said the crossing had takenplace.
     He was staring up at it when Darkwing reached him. Darkwing
noticed that Chip was merely sitting there, gazing up with a
frown, looking...scared?
     "Hey," he carefully said, "Chip. You done up here?"
     Chip turned, then glanced back up. "Come here, Darkwing, I
want to see if you see this, too."
     Darkwing stepped, being careful with his balance. "What is
it? You see something?"
     "Yes, look up there. No, more to the left...stop. Right
there. Do you see a...a shimmering?" Chip looked back to the
Masked Mallard, looking for confirmation.
     Darkwing squinted, and for a moment, he thought he saw a
quick ripple of light, like a ripple across water, but then it
was gone. "I...think so. It might be lightning."
     Chip shook has head. "No lightning acts like that. I've been
sitting here watching it for over ten minutes, and it 'ripples'
like that every so often, right at the same spot."
     "Okay then," Darkwing said, "Can you guys take the Wing up
there? Get a closer look?"
     Chip was silent for a moment. "I thought about it, but to be
brutally honest, I...I don't the feeling I'm getting from it." He
looked down. "I'm afraid you might say."
     Darkwing regarded Chip with a raised eyebrow. Even thought
they had only know each other for a half a night, Darkwing got
the strong impression the Chip was perhaps the bravest one in the
group. He certainly had the strongest sense of responsibility, so
to hear him say this was an unexpected development.
     Darkwing looked back up. The storm clouds slowly rolled over
them, but the ripple occurred again, in the same spot. Like Chip
had said. Darkwing looked at it for a short while longer,
thinking about it. The night breeze blew over the brims of their
hats, causing the only noise in the silence. For brief period of
time, Darkwing could feel what Chip was fearing. Not fear as Chip
thought it was, but more so for the safety of his friends. Chip
was probably willing to risk it by himself, but not with others
     How many times have I told Gosalyn to wait at home? Darkwing
thought to himself. Told her it was too dangerous? He saw the
same concern in Chip, and decided to leave it be. It was up to
Chip if they would investigate it or not.
     "Gadget's returned." Darkwing informed Chip. "She says that
she's learned a lot about what's been going on, so I thought I'd
come get you before she started the full explanation."
     Chip nodded and turned away from the sky. "Thanks Darkwing."
He smiled, showing that meant thanks for the excuse to leave.
     They soon were back on the ledge, giving Gadget plenty of
room to pace back and forth as she excitedly explained.
     "I landed in the alley, then headed over to the clean up
process first, before the cleared away the unit entirely. What a
mess! Parts and pieces were all over the street, and it had
covered all sorts of cars and the like. There was a lot of people
heading all over the place, so no one paid any attention to me as
I moved around, looking at the remains."
     She paused for a breath. "It was advanced, that was easy to
tell, even from the worst parts. Anyway, I figured that we could
learn more about it at our leisure, so I loaded up the back of
the Wing with microchips and other things that were actually
still intact. Of course, that wasn't really a whole lot, so I
grabbed lots of scrap metal and other things I could use."
     She turned to the rest of the group. "Umm, some of you will
have to ride back with Darkwing." She blushed. "The back seat is
sorta full."
     If Chip and Dale were upset at the back seat, her blush
completely erased it. They merely smiled and nodded. Monterey
rolled his eyes. Who says Gadget doesn't know how to use her
looks? He thought with an inward chuckle.
     "Anyway," she continued, "I then went to check out the
actual building itself. It was the headquarters for a world
renown company, the MacFarland Research Group. This was
intriguing, but not nearly as intriguing as what they were up to.
Remember where Nimnul broke into? Well, I found the place easily,
considering the mess the Nimnul's robot left, and while everyone
was talking with the police and phoning callin shows I took the
time to nose around their records. Some of it was out already for
the police investigation, making my job that much easier. It
wasn't long before I came across a really interesting discovery."
     Another deep breath. "They were actually researching other
dimensions!" She turned to face them all. "I mean, they had
already found out some interesting information about some and
even on how to get there! Science has brought as so far..." She
was grinning widely, her eyes shining. None of the rangers could
remember the last time they saw her this excited. She was so
excited about this that she actually stopping talking, basking in
the knowledge she had just gained.
     It was quiet for a moment. Zipper looked around at the rest
of them. Monterey was scratching his head. He never really got
into the scientific jargon that Gadget threw around. Darkwing was
already thinking to himself, looking back up into the sky. As for
Chip and Dale...
     While Gadget was momentarily silent, staring straight ahead
at nothing, it was quite obvious what Chip and Dale were staring
at. Zipper had to admit, Gadget hadn't been this radiant a quite
a while. He doubted that either of them had even noticed she had
stopped talking. They both were gazing at her as if children
staring in awe at seeing the sun rise for the first time.
     Flying over behind them, Zipper used his patented chipmunk
awakening procedurepulling the tails out 'til they snap back.
     "Argh!" The two chipmunks called as they snapped back to the
present, literally.
     "Hmm?" Gadget asked, broken from her reverie, but still
     "Uh, just wondering why Nimnul sent that robot there, then."
Chip recovered first, trying not to let his stinging end bother
him. Zipper's muffled laugh behind him didn't help.
     "Well, the unit that was destroyed was were they held all
off their records. They figured that by putting the only terminal
in the vault, then only powering it when they needed it, they
records would be safe." She shrugged.
     "Looks like they were wrong." Darkwing remarked dryly.
     "Gadget's right about the progress tonight, though." Dale
said. "Now we know a lot more information." He nodded to himself,
than got a blank expression. "So, what does it all mean?"
     "Well, ol' Nimnul is trying to find out more about other
dimensions, for starters." Monterey pointed out.
     "More importantly than that, Monty, don't you see the
connection?" Chip looked around at the other rangers. Monterey
shook his head, Zipper shrugged, Dale looked back blankly, and
Gadget was still in her own little world.
     "The connection between this unit exploding down there,"
Darkwing said, "and then Megavolt and I popping in this dimension
up there." He looked back to the sky. "Easy to see, but then
again, I have a personal investment in this."
     Chip nodded. "Right. And from what I saw up there," he stole
a glance at Darkwing to see if he knew what he meant. The Masked
Mallard nodded slightly. "I bet you can drop a plumb line
straight down from where you entered, and where that unit
     "So that's what pulled you, through?" Dale asked Darkwing.
"I thought it was the electrilizer."
     "That too." Darkwing nodded, wondering again what Megavolt
was up to. "My guess is that it was a combination of things."
     "Well, it looks like in addition to getting you home," Chip
nodded at Darkwing, "we'd better check into what Nimnul is up to.
If he's messing with other dimensions, it can't be good." And, he
reminded himself, I want to find out what the heck that ripple is
all about...
     "If I may be of service than?" Darkwing said with a graceful
bow. "As long as we're going to be together for awhile."
     "Sure thing, mate." Monterey said with a grin. "We could use
your help against a crackpot like Nimnul."
     "Yeah, being over four feet shorter than your opponent isn't
a good place to be." Dale remarked.
     Darkwing thought back to some of the supervillains he'd
faced. "I can empathize with that."
     "So where to now? Back Nimnul's?" Monterey said as he headed
to the Ranger Wing.
     "No." Gadget walked over to Darkwing. "If you don't mind,
I'd like to run those tests now. Especially after reading those
files," her eyes sparkled, "I have a pretty good guess as to
what's happening with you."
     Darkwing sighed. "Sure. But let's get it over with quick.
Dawn will be here in a few hours, I'd like to find somewhere more
secure than the bushes by the tree."
     "See you back at the tree, mates." Monterey waved to Chip
and Dale from the passenger seat of the Ranger Wing, a grin
openly showing.
     Chip and Dale both frowned at him. He had slipped into it
before they had a chance to argue over who got to ride back with
Gadget. Zipper, too, was grinning, settled comfortably on
Monterey's shoulder. Chip and Dale looked to the back seat,
completely loaded down with the scrap Gadget had collected from
the unit.
     "Sorry guys." She said, blushing again.
     Their frowns melted away into smiles.
     "No problem." They chimed.
     "Thanks guys! I knew you'd understand." She hugged them both
close, then hopped back into the Ranger Wing and took off.
     Darkwing regarded the two dreamyeyed chipmunks with a
smirk. "Good thing I'm designated driver." He picked then up,
setting them along his collar, and began his climb back down.
     The pair of eyes watched as the Ranger Wing took off, and
then Darkwing moved off the ledge. Even though they were easier a
good five hundred feet away, the eyes could see this happen
clearly. After the rangers and Darkwing left, the eyes turned
their gaze off in the direction of Professor Nimnul's hilltop
     And waited.
--Chapter 5: That Sync-ing Feeling...--
     Nimnul removed the large metal helmet from Megavolt, putting
his plughelmet back on. "Well, I will say this," Nimnul said as
he started to go over the readouts, "It's refreshing to see
someone even more bald than me."
     "Oh, trust me, there are worse things than being bald."
Megavolt stated, remembering the afro he had when he first became
Megavolt. Some things could never be forgotten.
     "Okay, let's start with the basic scans." Nimnul flipped
through several charts. He took his clipboard and walked to a
wall, pulling out his remote. The lights were dimmed as the slide
projector came on, showing the first graph on the wall. Megavolt
turned around in his chair, keeping a pot of coffee in easy
reach. He had been through slide shows before.
     "So did you find out what the deal is?" He asked, sipping
his mug.
     "Well, yes, but it's not completely clear yet. You, however,
can probably clear up the questions I have. For starters, can you
really get hit by an anvil without any ill effect?"
     " stings." Megavolt offered.
     "Besides that? No cases of broken bones, fractured skulls,
semipermanent cases of death?"
     "No. Well, maybe a bit of bridge work, but nothing serious."
                              *    *    *
     "I see." Gadget said, going over her results. She was
sitting on the highest branch around the group. For safety's
sake, they had decided it best of Darkwing climbed the tree and
had the tests there, were there was more room than in the bushes.
He was reclining against a large branch at the moment, with Chip
and Dale on a branch on his right. Monterey and Zipper relaxed in
against the trunk behind and above Darkwing. They all were able
to see each other clearly, which was important as they were
asking and answering questions as a group.
     "See, if we we're hit by an anvil, we'd be flattened." Chip
     "Well, none of us actually tried it," Dale admitted, "But we
have a strong suspicion of the results."
     "I see." Darkwing said. He didn't like the idea of anvil's
becoming deadly. They had a nasty habit of falling on him.
     "And what about getting run over, or other highimpact
forces?" Gadget continued. She had the tests completed and
complied, just wanted to make sure she had a few important points
down. "You can just get up and walk away after?"
                              *    *    *
     "Doesn't everyone?" Megavolt didn't like the direction these
questions were heading.
     "It'd be a lot safer crossing the street," Nimnul responded.
"But no, most people have bad side effects to abrupt contact with
high velocity masses over twice their size." He pressed the
remote for the slide projector. The photo switched to some frame
stills of "Blood on the highway".
     "This happens to you people?" Megavolt set his coffee down,
losing his appetite.
     "This happens in our world." Nimnul corrected.
                              *    *    *
     "What do you mean?" Darkwing shifted uncomfortably, having a
bad feeling what it meant.
     "Just that, mate." Monterey said. "This is our dimension,
and it has it's own laws of physics."
     "Ones very different from yours, apparently." Chip mused.
     Gadget flipped another sheet over. "From all the tests I've
done Darkwing, you or more appropriately, your body, has shown a
strange reaction to any type physical force. I first suspected it
back in the clearing. You should have been much more hurt than
just a strained muscle in your lower back."
     "But that's all there was, and I did heal quickly, so maybe
the laws of physics aren't as different as you thought."
     "Not quite." Gadget looked uncertain as to how to continue.
"You see, there's more to it than that."
                              *    *    *
     Megavolt fiddled with his gloves, then grabbed his coffee
again, not answering.
     Nimnul cleared his throat tentatively. "You see, you are
from another dimension. One with different laws of physics..."
                              *    *    *
     "...and yet, I'm carrying around a trace of my home
dimension with me?" Darkwing sounded incredulous.
     "That's why your injuries weren't any worse from the fall,
and why you healed so quickly." Gadget flipped over another page.
"Normal humans and animals, in our world, would need at least a
couple of days to heal fully, and you were out scaling
skyscrapers not more than three hours later."
                              *    *    *
     "I think that's also how you can understand the human
language." Nimnul clicked the button, bring up another photo,
this one of the vocal cords.
                              *    *    *
     "In addition to us." Chip remarked.
     And me, Zipper added with a wave.
     "Okay, I'm confused." Darkwing confessed.
                              *    *    *
     "What does this mean for me? Am I closer to my "normal"
physics or your dimensions version?" Megavolt queried.
                              *    *    *
     "Depends." Gadget admitted.
                              *    *    *
     "On what?" Megavolt pressed.
                              *    *    *
     "We're not clear on that yet." Chip explained.
     Dale nudged Chip. "You mean you don't know? For shame!" He
     "Shut up, Dale." Chip responded.
                              *    *    *
     "What I am clear on is that you seem to still be able to
operate as per usual, but just at a reduced scale from what
you're used to." This photo was of a bar graph dealing with the
'84 presidential race, with the candidates names crossed out and
terms for "dimensional capability" written in.
                              *    *    *
     "This would explain some things I've been wondering,
though." Darkwing conceded.
                              *    *    *
     "Like why my repulsion magnetic wave didn't actually stop
Darkwing and me when we were falling, just slow us down a
                              *    *    *
       "Exactly. For normal everyday operations, you won't 
notice a
difference," Gadget started.
                              *    *    *
     "But I'd better watch my step when I start getting too
fancy." Megavolt finished with a frown.
                              *    *    *
     Darkwing sighed.
                              *    *    *
     "But why didn't this happen the last time? When Darkwing and
I skipped over to that other world of humans, their dimensional
laws were pretty similar."
                              *    *    *
     "You said it yourself, mate, circumstances were different
last time." Monterey shrugged. "Who know how many variables fit
into this one, let alone the last one?"
     "Well actually, I could find that out"
     "Don't worry about it, Gadgetluv."
                              *    *    *
     "At any rate, you'd probably want to watch it from here on
out. No jumping off of 99 story buildings." The next slide was of
a frowny face.
                              *    *    *
     "Or blocking concrete slabs with your head." Chip added.
                              *    *    *
     "Well this trip certainly has gone sour quick."
                              *    *    *
     Dale shrugged. "Welcome to our reality. It's not much, but
it's ours."
                              *    *    *
     "As I mentioned before, things aren't really that much
different. Just remember that the rules here a bit more strict."
                              *    *    *
     "Including the consequences." Darkwing acknowledged.
                              *    *    *
     Nimnul shrugged and turned off the slide projector and
brought the lights back up. "Shall we start conquest of the
globe?" He asked cheerfully.
     The sun slowly crept upwards in the eastern sky. Darkwing
had put his costume back on, despite his trepidations. Still, he
remained in the tree, near the top. Its leafy boughs were strong
and wide enough to support him comfortably, and the view helped
to put his mind at ease. Down below, citizens had already begun
to appear, some out jogging, others on the way to work, and some
just out enjoying the morning.
     Darkwing settled back in his perch, and watched the people
below him with a detached interest. His eyes were watching them,
but his mind was reviewing what had happened, and what yet needed
to be done. He needed to track down Megavolt; that was the
biggest priority now. Megavolt still had the electrilizer, after
all. He had thought of the possibility of using the information
that the humans had gathered, thinking they might have had begun
construction on a machine to breach the dimensional barriers, and
perhaps even completed one already. But he knew that those
chances were slim, especially since he wasn't on home turf
anymore. No SHUSH to get back up from, no Launchpad to get him
around in a hurry, not even his own tower, where he probably had
something to help out. No, the electrilizer was his best bet.
     Making sure that he was securely settled, he leaned his head
back, shutting his eyes. He had been up for a while, and figured
that a nap would be beneficial for the moment. He had time, as
the rangers explained they would do some investigation to see if
they could track down Megavolt. The police probably were still
looking, so they could see what they could pick up on the police
     "Call this crimefighter completely K.O.ed." He murmured as
he drifted off to sleep.
     Several people passing underneath thought they heard a
snoring from somewhere, but they attributed that to wind blowing
through the leaves, and didn't pay anymore attention to it. Of
course, this was not a new behavior for them, as they never took
the time to notice that one of the branches halfway up was level
on the top, being used for a landing platform. Currently, the
Ranger Wing was parked there, with Gadget going over it for
     The rangers had all gone straight to bed upon completion of
the discussion with Darkwing. It had been late, and they had been
through quite a bit of activity. Now, with a few hours of solid
sleep behind them, they were already up and moving. While Gadget
got the Ranger Wing tuned up, Chip was busying trying to track
down various possible leads through the radio and news
broadcasts. Monterey was helping Dale move all of the scrap parts
Gadget had collected into her workshop. Meanwhile, Zipper had
left early on. He wanted to check around with some contacts he
knew. Friends in low places like cracks in the sidewalk and door
frames, he explained.
     Finally, after about three hours searching the airwaves,
Chip turned off the radio equipment. Information had been
present, but nothing that led in the direction of finding
Megavolt. At least the police also had no idea of what happened
to Darkwing, so the rangers were ahead of the game in that
     He headed off towards Gadget's workshop, wondering if
Monterey and Dale needed any help moving the rest of the scraps
in. He spotted them inside, resting on the lazy susan. They
appeared to be in the middle of the a break, but it was hard to
confirm, as they were both asleep. Chip rolled his eyes and moved
over to them.
     "Hey, sleeping beauties," He chided them as he spun the lazy
susan around. "This is your wake up call."
     "Wha...hey!" Dale yelped as he rolled over, not fully awake.
He rolled off of the lazy susan, coming to a surprising stop
against the floor, jolting him up. "Ouch."
     Monterey merely slid off and blinked several times, trying
to regain consciousness. "Huh? We were just, uh, testin' Gadget's
worktable here for stability."
     "I'm sure." Chip said with an inward grin. "Well, hey, do
you guys need any more help moving those scrap parts in?"
     "Naw." Monterey answered, standing up and stretching. He
motioned to a large pile of bits of metal in the back of the
workshop. "We got the last few pieces in here before we took a
napI mean, a look at the lazy susan for any signs of
unevenness." Chip was ready with a sharp retort, but Dale cut him
     "You know, Chip," he said as he rubbed his head, "Some of
those pieces are pretty interesting. I mean, it looks like Gadget
could make some really complicated things from them."
     "Like brakes?" Monterey hoped.
     "He said useful, Monty." Chip commented. "Not wishful."
     Monterey nodded glumly.
     "Anyway, come on guys, let's go make some breakfast for the
others. We'll need our strength today, I'll bet." He led the way
out of the workshop.
     "Any luck with the radio?" Dale asked as they walked along
the hallways.
     "No." Chip frowned. "We'll have to get out and pound the
pavement, it looks like. At least we know the general direction
this 'Megavolt' character was heading in."
     "How they all get the cool names?" Dale wondered. "Maybe we
should update our names, too. You can't strike fear into the
hearts of criminals with a name like 'Dale' or 'Chip'. You need
something dramatic and aweinspiring." Dale had talked at length
with Darkwing about this.
     "This from the guy who called himself 'Rubber Bando'?" Chip
replied dryly.
     "Oh, well, excuse me, Mr. Sherluck Chip." Dale countered.
     "Look mates," Monterey interjected as they came through the
kitchen doors. "Having a fullblown superhero name, complete with
peppy adjectives like 'Super', 'Amazing', and even 'Fuzzy' aren't
going to do us any good when half the time our villains can't
even understand us. Why call yourself things like 'Captain
Chipmunk' or something, when the humans are just gonna label you
as 'Chipmunk' or some such?"
     "Yeah," Chip agreed, pulling out some various food from the
fridge. "As I recall, Dale, the media was calling you 'The Rubber
     "I remember." Dale grumbled. He helped Chip sort out the
food while Monterey donned his chef's hat and started the stove
     "What's more, even those that do understand us still only
know us as the Rescue Rangers." Monterey wrapped his apron around
him and took the food Chip and Dale handed to him, starting to
slice it up.
     "I know." Chip got out a tall pitcher of orange juice. "Out
of all the times we've faced Fat Cat, I don't thing he's ever
referred to any of us by anything other than 'Arg! A Rescue
Ranger!'" Chip thought for a moment. "Or some facsimile thereof."
     "If it's not 'Refuse Rodents' it's 'Rangerms' or something
crummy like that." Dale muttered in agreement.
     "Ah, the price of fame." Chip said with a smile.
     "Too right." Monterey nodded, lying the cut food down in the
skillet, then sprinkling it with some seasonings. "For fellas
like Darkwing, it's not a problem, 'cause he's a solo
crimefighter. For us, a team, we probably shouldn't worry about
     Chip nodded and watched as Monterey cooked the cheese strips
in the pan. "I hope Darkwing likes cheese."
     "Who doesn't?" Monterey chuckled. "Besides, I just hope he
doesn't have big appetite. This is going to be more of a free
sample than an actual meal for him."
     "Well," Dale said, sitting at the table, "I still think we
should change our team name somehow, to give more "oophm", you
     "Oophm?" Chip asked, sitting next to him. "Is that a
technical term?"
     "What did you have in mind, Dale?" Monterey asked, pouring
some more cheese sauce in the skillet.
     " about tacking on a prefix? Like 'Dale 'n' Chip's
Rescue Rangers'?"
     They all thought about it for a moment.
     "Nah." They decided in union.
     Completed, the energytransferenceandintellectbequeather
device (or as Megavolt called it "That Thing") stood in the
center of the lab, with Megavolt and Nimnul in front of it. The
various robots were lined up behind them, the metal dragon first
up. That Thing hummed quietly, the power inside being stirred by
churning electromagnetic wave. Megavolt had redesigned the
machine, and with Nimnul's resources, both in terms of equipment
as well as facilities, they had worked straight through the
night, until it was at last finished.
     Working together, they had finished it in record time, and
were now about to try it out. Megavolt watched the machine hum
with a small twinge of apprehension. It was a better design than
the last one, but he still remembered how much it hurt the last
time. Now that he had to watch his step, he wasn't so willing to
put his faith in his ability to absorb punishment without pain.
     "All set?" Nimnul asked, bringing the metal dragon up
alongside of them.
     Megavolt shrugged. "As ready as I'll ever be, I guess. Now
remember: After I'm powered up, steer clear. I don't know what'll
happen if a living being gets infused with this
electromagnetic soup."
     Nimnul nodded, already putting on a pair of safety goggles,
ones that actually fit over his huge eyeglasses. He stepped back
around behind the dragon as Megavolt reached out to the That
Thing. He pressed his hand up against the metal bar jutting from
its core.
     Puzzled, Megavolt looked around, then rolled his eyes when
he saw the problem.
     "Hey Nimnul," he said, grasping another lever, "You left the
emergency brake on"
     He was cut off as he released the emergency brake, and power
flooded into him. His brain rattled around sharply in his skull,
and he became distinctly aware of the smell of smoke. Sparks
danced before his eyes. His hand he apparently melded with the
bar, as he couldn't let go. The energy felt like it was about to
cook him from the inside.
     Everything was running like clockwork.
     Eventually, after only a few seconds, Megavolt's hand came
free from the bar and he was thrown back to the floor. He bounced
a few times, the settled to a stop. The room was dancing a jig in
from of him as he tried to rise. Someone kept tilting the floor
as he regained his feet. He was only dimly aware of the pinkish
aura around him.
     Trying to steady himself, set his hand up against a
convenient object. Power surged through him again, tearing a yell
from him so bizarre I'm not even going to try to spell it out
here; use your imagination. The flow of energy suddenly came to a
halt, and Megavolt thudded to the floor, trying to remain
conscious. His body ached all over, and the ringing in his ears
was at a roar.
     "That was kinda fun..." He remarked as he slowly rose to his
knees. Now that the power field was out of him, he had control of
his senses, and could see Nimnul walked over to him. Nimnul was
looking up, though, past Megavolt. He turned and saw that the
object he had rested against was in fact the metal. Now the pink
aura had enveloped it. The robot was perfectly still, the only
sign of any interaction with the power within it was the series
of flashes from the eyes. Colors flashed through them in a blur,
while an occasional equation or serial number would surface, only
to be swallow back into the chaos moments later.
     The pink aura died abruptly, as the metal dragon blinked its
eyes. Nimnul was fascinated by this, mainly because the dragon
couldn't have possibly blinked beforehand. Megavolt stepped back,
watching with tremendous interest. The robot's body was actually
acting like a body. The movements were fluid, not stiff, and the
metal was bending and flexing, as if it was flesh. Megavolt
remembered the refrigerator he had first brought to life this
way; it _walking_ over to him. Apparently, the power aura granted
a certain freedom from the normal laws of physics, even in this
"stricter" dimension.
     Megavolt chuckled at the irony. I can grant the ability to
defy the dimension's laws, but I can't do it myself.
     The chuckle caught the attention of the dragon. It stepped
forward up to Megavolt and Nimnul, who were standing sideby
side, watching with amazement at the lifelike functions. A wisp
of flame tricked out of the dragon's mouth, and they both heard a
low, ominous hiss which seemed directed at them. I wonder if it
has a dragon's personality, Megavolt thought, a little belatedly
since it was already over and done with.
     "Cool!" Nimnul said, breaking the trance. "Hey dragon, you
look rather threatening right now. Like you're about to tear us
to pieces. It's very convincing!" He said with a smile,
     "Oh, do you really think so, sir?" The dragon asked
     "Yeah, it's great." Nimnul nodded.
     The dragon sighed happily and sat back. Its voice was low
and cultured, with just a hint of a British accent. "That pleases
me, sir, really. I was hoping to generate the proper atmosphere
of fear and helplessness that is generally associated with
     "Well...ah..dragon," Megavolt started, then scratched his
head. " a name?"
     "Oh, well, no, I'm afraid not sir." The dragon thought for a
moment. "How about Sean?"
     "Nah, too common." Nimnul waved the name aside. "We need
something more...more...dragonish."
     "Smaug?" It suggested.
     "Copyright infringement." Megavolt pointed out.
     "Oh, good point sir."
     "I know!" Nimnul said. "From this day forth, you shall
strike fear into the hearts of people everywhere, known as..." He
paused dramatically. "Dragon!"
     Megavolt and the dragon looked at each other momentarily.
     "Perfect!" They cried simultaneously, grinning.
--Chapter 6: Drive-By's and Singings--
     For the rest of the day, the Rangers planned out the best
way to search the city and surrounding area for Megavolt. They
would have liked to started right after breakfast, but Darkwing
was still asleep. They needed his help, as no one knew him as
well as Darkwing did, but they decided to let him rest. As Gadget
pointed out, he's had a real busy night.
     "Besides," Chip agreed, "It'll be easier to stay out of view
at night. We won't have to worry as much about him being
     "And even if he was," Dale defensively added, "The disguise
will fool most people."
     The other Rangers just politely smiled.
     Grumbling something about no appreciation for creativity,
Dale went back to work with the rest of them. As long as they had
time, they had decided to prepare as best they could before hand.
They choose the Ranger Wing again, as speed was more important in
this case. Gadget even decided that considering the amount of
time they had, she could do some more tinkering with it, boosting
the speed. She devoted herself to that task for the whole day,
while the others decided what they didn't know couldn't hurt
them, and so found other things to do.
     Chip gathered up the various maps they had and kept an ear
open to the radio, listening for anything else suggesting the
location of Megavolt. Dale was stockpiling various types of gear
he thought they might need. Rope, backpacks, grappling hooks, and
comics. He wasn't sure if the others would agree on the
importance of the last item, but decided to be safe rather than
sorry, should they need some reading material. Monterey busied
himself in the kitchen, knowing full well it would be easier to
eat during the search, rather than have to stop for food. He
still wasn't sure what to do about Darkwing, though, so just made
an extra potent batch of his notorious cheese chowder.
     They were all so involved in their various tasks, none of
them noticed that Zipper hadn't returned until he showed up early
that evening.
     "Zipper!" Gadget looked over the side of the Wing, surprised
to see him buzz his way up to the branch were she was working.
"Where have you be? Golly, it's been all day."
     She slid down to the ground as Zipper motioned for her to
follow him inside. They entered through the mailbox, coming out
into the living room. Gadget sat down on couch as Zipper rounded
up the rest of the rangers, each responding the same way as
     "Where were you? Crikey, pally, ya could at least call...not
sure how, though."
     Monterey, Chip, and Dale wandered into the living room, all
sitting down on the couch while Zipper alighted on the control
pad for the television. Now at center stage, and with full
attention for his audience, Zipper recanted his tale.
     First off, Zipper motioned as he paced back and forth, I
checked down around the streets to see if anybug had seen
anything. I took a quick peek in the sewers, too, just in case.
Still no leads. But then I remembered about the...disturbance
that we were heading too when we met Darkwing.
     I flew down to the remains of the scene, Zipper's eyes
informed. It looked like a small war had taken place, but at
least it had drawn a lot of attention, particularly with the  
gnats and ants. I checked with them, and while none had seen it, 
 the scouts that told them about it had said that they had 
escaped  in the air, and a few of the flies believed that they 
flew off
towards the northeast.
     "We found Darkwing in the park up there." Gadget nodded.
     "But not Megavolt. He must've still been heading to the
northeast." Chip mentioned. Something was simmering in the back
of his head about that direction...
     "Then that's were we start are search." Monterey continued.
     But how can we track him if he was in the air? Zipper
inquired with a shrug.
     "He had to land some time." Monterey reasoned.
     "If was anything like Darkwing's landing, he'll be street
pizza." Dale observed. "Or at least field pizza."
     They continued to bounce ideas back and forth, not noticing
that Chip was strangely silent. He was thinking back to that
night. They had come from that direction, as he recalled. And
Darkwing had told them that Megavolt was magnetized to some sort
of small airborne craft, but he wasn't sure what.
     One clue linked to another, making Chip more and more
uncomfortable with the prospect it was leading towards. Sadly,
Chip was good at his job, and knew where Megavolt now was.
     "He's at Nimnul's lab." He stated out loud, interrupting the
     They all turned to him. "What?"
     "They must've hooked up onto Nimnul's robot dragon." Chip
sighed. "The one that was out there earlier and apparently on
it's way back. If Megavolt stuck to it all the way, then he wound
up in Nimnul's lab."
     The rest of rangers shifted uncomfortably in their seats.
The setting sun cast long shadows across the far wall, giving
visuals for what they were all fearing.
     The stars had started to come out as Megavolt and Nimnul
began outfitting the now sentient robots with equipment for the
data transfer. The robots would patch into the various systems,
download everything through a tightbeam transmission back to
Nimnul's mainframe, where he could then make the dimensional
storage transfer.
     They would have been done sooner, but Megavolt had a bad
habit of passing out after bringing three robots to life, and
wouldn't regain conscience until several hours later. Nimnul took
the time to catch some sleep himself, and to name the robots.
     Now the robots that looked like a troll, an ogre, an orc, a
goblin, a griffin, a sphinx, a manticore, a giant spider, a large
lizard, and a gargoyle all had names. Respectively, they were
Troll, Ogre, Orc, Goblin, Griffin, Sphinx, Manticore, Spider,
Lizard, and Gargoyle.
     Megavolt checked the connections on Sphinx, the last one to
be outfitted. Nimnul was busying at the computer, plotting out
the first target for each of the robots. Each of the robots could
fly, thanks to Nimnul's internal antigravity module, but he
still wanted the ones who couldn't fly normally, such as the orc
and goblin, to hit targets where they wouldn't have to fly.
Nimnul figured that each should be "acting in character", and a
flying goblin, while handy, would be out of character.
     "All set." Megavolt announced, standing up and walking back
over to Nimnul. "You have the targets picked out?"
     "Yep." Nimnul grinned, and entered them into the mainframe.
The instructions were transmitted to each robot, who in turn
nodded. Their eyes were now constantly glowing red, but they
flashed brightly as their targets were acknowledged.
     Megavolt sighed happily. Nothing like getting involved in
some global domination scheme to cure homesickness.
     "Well, sirs, the staff and I are ready. Shall we disperse?"
Dragon asked politely. "I must say, sirs, this plan is very
unique. Classifiable as mad, by some psychological directories."
     "Your point?" Megavolt and Nimnul asked in unison.
     "None, really, sirs." Dragon nodded. "Just speculating on
how others may view the nature of this plan. They may consider
you mad, by association."
     Nimnul glanced and Megavolt. "But, we are mad."
     "I'm not angry." Megavolt said, then smacked his forehead.
"Oh! You mean insane! Oh, yeah. I am. And so is this plan. But
hey, that's what makes in fun."
     The rest of the robots had lined up side by side behind
Dragon, and Megavolt stepped forward to the center of the lab.
The lights within twinkled a bit, and a light music began to fill
the air.
     The author wishes to remind readers that this is a Disney
setting, and therefore he is now satisfying the musical
requirement of all Disney animation. (Sing the following to the
tune of "Mine! Mine! Mine!" from the movie "Pocahontas")
The files in old DOS
The wonders all in ASCii
Will be all transferred to
Dimensional mem'ry
The scheme we have here
May seem mad by some
Oh, but why should we be plain, bots
When we are insane, bots?
Mad, bots, mad is our methods
And so, bots, take up the cause
Grab a byte, bots
Right, bots
Plug in an I/O
Download those silos
Full of that data and CAD
It's ours and we're mad, mad, mad
Gone and gone and gone and totally
Gone and gone and gone and totally
They're nutty nutty
So nutty nutty
Oh, yeah you know it!
They're nutty nutty
So nutty nutty
Sane's for the weak!
They're nutty nutty
So nutty nutty
They love to show it!
You can tell by the way that we speak!
My buddies back home
The other four fearsome
Will regard me in awe
Or at least just call me dumb
But my new research
Will startle my old chums
My name on the marquee
"Megavolt"...not, "Sparky"!
I'm mad, mad, mad
Beyond question
I'm mad, bots
Mad and in charge!
With those electrode nodes...
With that electric shatter
My thought patterns will scatter
Which usually makes me feel glad
Or else it'll make me quite mad
Gone and gone and gone and totally
Gone and gone and gone and totally
All of my life, I have searched for a crime
Like this one
A weirder, more crazier partner
I never have had
Hundreds of hard drives await
And I don't plan to miss one
In a crime I won't shirk
A crime that will work!
My greatest advantage? I'm mad!
Keep on hacking, bots         Mad
Don't be slacking, bots       They're way out there
Mad, bots, mad                And they make quite a pair!
Mad to the end                Gone! Gone! And totally
Off the deep end              Gone! Gone! They've got flair!
And these refrains?
Who needs profanity?
We've got insanity!
And all I need now is some plaid
This crime we behold...
This madness unfold...
Your brain will explode!
Or at least implode!
And this crime                So go for the crime
Is                            We know these crackpots
Mad!                          Have hit the jackpot
Mad!                          And these screwballs
Mad!                          Are also the cueballs and
Mad!                          Mad!
Gone and gone and totally gone!
They're nutty nutty nutty and mad!
     The lights dramatically close down to a single large
spotlight, shining down directly on the group in the middle of
the lab, all posing with flair.
     "So Nimnul is a mad scientist bent on world domination?"
Darkwing asked as he swung from building to building. He had his
disguise on again, even though those shoes were hurting his feet,
more than the whole image was hurting his pride. But as long as
they were in the city, he had to play it safe.
     "Yep." Chip nodded, carefully hanging on to Darkwing's
collar. Dale was opposite from him, also holding on tightly as
the Mighty Mallard made his way across the city's skyline,  
the distant hilltop lab of Professor Nimnul.
     "Great..." Darkwing sighed, planting his feet as he tossed a
grappling hook over to the next building. "They should get along
just peachy, then."
     "So what's if they team up?" Dale asked. "Don't you think
Megavolt would be more interested in getting home than going on a
crime spree?"
     "With Megavolt, anything is possible." Darkwing's grapple
caught and held against the building. "It's hard to second guess
him in some regards. But he is a creature of habit, and wouldn't
mind sowing some destruction and chaos before he leaves." He
swung out over the city street gracefully, landing against the
side of the building, and climbing up the rope.
     Chip and Dale watched out over the sky. It was a clear
night, and the stars looked particularly bright tonight. Chip
breathed in the night air deeply, feeling such a relief from the
night previous. That shimmering space in the sky he had still caused him shudders thinking about it. Deep
down, he knew that eventually they would all have to investigate
it, but he was hoping it wouldn't for a while yet. In this
regard, he was almost grateful for the distraction of the
possible team up between Megavolt and Nimnul.
     His thoughts were interrupted as the Ranger Wing buzzed by  
them. Gadget, Zipper, and Monterey had taken the Wing, deciding  
it best of they good cover more ground once they got there. It  
was possible for them to head straight over to the lab, but both 
 Chip and Darkwing disliked the idea. If they were caught, help
wouldn't be available for some time. Time they might not have.
     So, the group in the Wing flew around causally, waiting on
the buildingbound to keep up. Darkwing figured he could increase
his speed, but figured since that a fall from this height would
probably kill him this time, he decided that safety would be the
better path.
     "Safety first." He muttered to himself, recalling the words
of Binki when she was the Carnardian Guardian. He thought if he
even got around to writing that book about himself, he would
leave that chapter out.
     He reached the top of the building and darted along the top,
the Ranger Wing following behind. Another toss of the grapple,
another climb, another building. They continued in this fashion
until they reached the outskirts of the suburbs.
     "Finally!" Darkwing called out with relief as he dropped
into the deserted yards. He quickly pulled his disguise off, and
barely resisted the urge to cram it into the nearest trash can.
Instead, he tucked it back into his cape.
     "What are you doing? We aren't out if the city yet!" Dale
looked about. The streets were empty, but lights were on in the
houses. "Somebody could spot you. Put your disguise back on until
we reach the woods."
     Darkwing snorted. "Not a chance, chipmunk. My feet are
killing me, and I'd rather go skindiving with sharks than wear
that getup for another minute." He adjusted his hat to a slight
angle so that he looked dignified, yet cunning.
     "For one of the few times of his life, Dale's right,
Darkwing." Chip glanced down the streets as well.
     Dale started to thank Chip, but started thinking about what
that remark implied...
     "Look, Chip," Darkwing said nonchalantly, shifting his cape
to dramatically catch the breeze, "The night is my element. My
turf. My playground. I can disappear before an eye blinks and
mystify the mind with my miraculous merits of melding."
     "Er, yeah, right, but can that wait until you're safely out
of sight?"
     "Of who?" Darkwing motioned to the empty street. He started
walked down the sidewalk, towards the woods. "We're only about
ten minutes from the woods, and nobody is out. I mean, it's past
ten and this is suburbia. We're perfectly safe."
     "Hey wait a minute!" Dale called out. He turned to Chip.
"That was an insult!" He had worked through the prerequisite  
logic patterns to come to that conclusion, even if he did get  
lost a few times along the way and had to start over.
     "Guys, can you keep it down?" Gadget asked, bringing the
Wing down next to them as they Darkwing walked.
     "Yeah, mates. It's not like we need any more reason to call
attention to ourselves." Monterey nodded from the passenger seat.
     Zipper decided that they were going slow enough, so he
hopped out of the Wing, to fly alongside on the other side of
     "We guys quite worrying?" Darkwing motioned to them all.
"You act like we're walking directly through a block party.
Nobody is out here. Nobody will be out here. We will be safe."
     "Hey!" A voice called out from the house next to them. "It's
that weird mutant bird they showed on "Hard Copycats"!"
     Lights went on throughout the house as the shouting
continued, and soon it spread to the neighboring houses. Windows
flashed to life as lights were turned out and people gathered
around to see the...bird mutant.
     Monterey clapped a hand to his forehead, letting it run down
across his face. "So much for subtlety." He grumbled.
     "Come on, the woods aren't that far!" Gadget called to
Darkwing as she gunned the motor on the Wing and sped off. "We'll
met you on the other side of the woods!"
     "I'm more worried about meeting them on the other side,
period." Dale said as sirens rang to life in the distance, but
rapidly grew louder.
     Darkwing had took off running, but was forced to remain
along the ground. The twostory houses didn't give much of an
advantage here, and he didn't like the idea of getting too close
to these humans. But he knew he needed a quicker way to the
woods. The sirens were very close now.
     "Over there! Look!" Chip pointed over to Darkwing's right,
to a bike lying on the sidewalk. "Good thing some kid didn't
listen to his parents about picking up his things."
     Darkwing regarded it for a moment. A crimefighter of his
stature riding a common bicycle?
     A police car came screeching around the corner, red and blue
lights flashing brightly against the dark backdrop of the sky.
     "Well, it's no Ratcatcher, but..." Darkwing mumbled to
himself as he hopped on it and began pedalling furiously away
from the oncoming car.
     "Quick! Cut across the lawn here!" Dale leaned over and
directed Darkwing between two houses, a fence running down
between them. Darkwing sped the bike through them, and the police
was forced to stop, unable to fit between the houses with the
fence in the way.
     "Wow." Chip remarked as he watched the officers get out of
the car and begin pursuit. "Cops who actually care about private
property. I thought they would have just driven through the fence
after us."
     More sirens were approaching, but the woods were in plain
sight now. Darkwing pumped the pedals as fast as any duck ever
has, not bothering to stop or even slow down as the entered the
woods. Shouts from the police could be heard behind them, and
Chip and Dale looked over Darkwing's shoulders to see
searchlights darting about.
     "My, they're persistent." Dale observed.
     "I (huh) noticed (huh)." Darkwing managed between gasps.
"Don't they (huh) have something (huh) better to do (huh)? Like
eat (huh) doughnuts (huh)?"
     "Probably got carryouts." Dale replied.
     "As much as I hate to interrupt a discussion on the duties
of law officers," Chip said mildly, staring ahead. "Look out!"
     Darkwing followed Chip's gaze too late, seeing the log at
the same time that the bike hit it. Darkwing, Chip, and Dale all
flew through the forest, crashing to the floor a good twenty
feet away.
     Darkwing staggered back to his feet, a bit shaken, but not
harmed. Chip was helping Dale back up. They had gone through a
number of forest crash landings, even before they started flying
with Gadget.
     "Well, so much for that transport." Darkwing breathed,
looking back to the bent rim on the bike. He took a moment to
gather his breath, then reached down and scooped up the
chipmunks. "Back to the Darkwing express."
     "I think we got a good lead on the police." Chip glanced
back. Beams of light were seen and shouts heard, but they were
further away. "But let's capitalize on it. Gadget and Monty and
Zipper should be waiting for us over there." Her pointed off to
the edge of the woods, were they ended and the fields began.
     Darkwing nodded, took a moment to secure his hat, and was
--Chapter 7: The Gang's all Here...Joy.--
     The hilltop lab was silent and dark as Darkwing crested the
top of the ridge. The Ranger Wing buzzed overhead, of to search
for any signs of accessible entry. All the rangers had gone in
it, giving Darkwing a moment to himself. He took a deep breath,
and started reciting the fan letters he'd received in the past,
which always helped relax him.
     He took a moment to survey the area. Isolated. Private. Very
secure. His mind flashed back to the lab at SHUSH central, and
that it, too, shared these traits. Darkwing wondered what it
might mean if there was some unwritten law that all mad
scientists have their workshops in similar locations, but he
didn't like what the implications might be, so quickly focused on
the actual laboratory before him.
     It fit a mad scientist's motif, Darkwing had to admit. The
geodesic globe looming over everything, the large pipes piercing
the sides of the hill, the lack of any type of duotone color
scheme. He made his way down the slope towards Nimnul's lab
carefully. He wasn't sure what this Nimnul character was like,  
but based on the Rangers descriptions of him, he might have some 
 type of highly elaborate security system. Or course, judging by 
 other things the Rangers have mentioned, he might also have a  
year's supply of stolen potatoes in the back.
     Whatever the case, the lab seemed secure. No doorways or
windows at ground level, aside from an entry portal. The portal
was sealed shut, looking much like an airlock door. No other ways
in were visible from his vantage point, but he thought there
might be a disposal chute of some kind that might offer entrance.
Of course, the thought of dirtying his only outfit even worse
cast that idea in an unapproving light.
     He thought more about Megavolt and Nimnul together, and
decided that if they were working as one, then it was most likely
that they weren't home, or asleep. He highly doubted the chance
that they would be up and around without some type of sign
evident from the outside: low noise, slight tremors, fiery
     The return of the Ranger Wing brought his mind back to
present business.
     "Any luck?" He asked as they came down to hover alongside
     "Yes, actually." Gadget pointed up to the globe. "On the
other side is an access panel. It's big, so you can make it
through without any problems."
     "Once it's opened." Chip noted.
     "Oh, yeah. That too." Gadget shrugged.
     "'Er mate," Monty said, "Give us your grappling hook, and
we'll go secure it."
     Darkwing handed it over, and the Rangers carefully balanced
it in the center of the Wing, then disappeared around the globe.
Darkwing followed along on the ground, coming around to the other
side. He looked up, following the trail of rope from the hook,
and spotted them just as they settled down on a ledge about
threefourths of the way up.
     Monterey hopped out first, as the Rangers passed the
grappling hook down to him. He quickly lodged it firmly in a
corner, tugging on it a few times to make sure it'd hold.
     "All right, Darkwing!" He called back down. "All set!"
     As Darkwing skillfully made his way up the rope, the rest of
the Rangers gathered around the door.
     "Golly, guys." Gadget said as she looked around. "I don't
see any control panels or anything. How can we get it open?"
     "Maybe it's concealed." Chip suggested. "Spread out and take
a look."
     They set about inspecting the corners and sides around the
ledge, looking for some sort of triggering device. Darkwing  
pulled himself up onto the ledge carefully, looking at the door.
     "Access panel?" He asked after studying it for a moment.
     "Not yet." Dale answered, running his fingers along the side
of the door.
     "It's hidden really well." Gadget sighed.
     "If it's here at all." Monterey said dejectedly. "Nimnul may
have it rigged so it can only be opened from the inside."
     "Not to worry, my diminutive detectives." Darkwing smiled,
reaching into his cape. "Equipped with the latest in SHUSH
technology, Darkwing Duck tackles tons of technological traps."
He withdrew a small metallic item.
     "A toothpick?" Dale asked after a moment of silence.
     "It does that do." Darkwing admitted. "But, this is actually
a hightech, state of the art lockpick, designed to release a
series of counterpulses to the circuitry within the panel.
Observe..." He smoothly inserted the thin piece of metal between
into the small crack between the door panels. A sharp spark and
hiss was heard, followed by the lockpick burning our and dropping
to the ledge uselessly.
     Darkwing looked at it for a moment. "Or maybe it really was
just a toothpick."
     Gadget was about to make a comment about the possible
reasons it failed (including that it was total junk), but
something in the sky caught her attention. A glint or light, like
light reflecting off of something. The glint was moving, slowly
but steadily, towards them.
     "Guys, look!" She darted to the edge and peered out at it.
"Whatever that is, it's heading right for us!"
     "Blimey...what do you suppose it is?" Monterey couldn't
make out any details of it.
     Chip frowned. "Ten to one, it's a robot."
     Gadget looked for a moment longer, then nodded. "I think
you're right Chip. It must be on it's way back here." She watched
a moment longer. "It's moving pretty fast, too. We'd better get
out of here before it arrives."
     Dale nodded. "Yeah, but where do we go? It's not like we
have a lot of places to hide around here."
     Zipper motioned that it'd be easy to hide on the other side
of the globe. He quickly set down on the nose of the Wing. Let's
get moving, his eyes pleaded. The robot was getting there faster
than they had expected.
     "Right." Darkwing nodded. He grabbed the rope and readied
himself to repel down to the ground, when Chip yelled out a
warning. He looked back up to see the robot barreling down at
him. They had greatly underestimated it's speed.
     The star light was now reflecting off of it's entire body,
shaped like a griffin. Its claws were outstretched in front of  
it, the shine on them indicating the razorsharp edge they  
possessed. The most unnerving thing Darkwing noted about it,  
however, was that eerie red glow in it's eyes...
     The annoying part of his brain was screaming at him again,
this time trying to break through the fascination barrier. It
desperately tried to point out the somewhat important fact that
unless Darkwing did as his name implied and ducked, the griffin
would rip right through him in less than a second. Finally, it
told the ego that the fascination had called it an "unnecessary
component of the psyche". So as the ego pounced on the
fascination and beat it senseless, the warning managed to wriggle
past to Darkwing.
     He hit the ledge flat, a hair's breath away from the talons
as the Griffin whipped by him. Darkwing waited for the impact as
the robot collided with the doors...but it never came. He
carefully rolled to one side, and checked behind him.
     The doors were open. He could see that it opened into a
large work area. It was easily thirty feet to the floor, and the
Griffin had apparently landed on the other side of the room,
gathering with a few other robots. A quick scan showed no sign of
anyone else in the area. His initial guess was that the robots  
had an internal remote for the doors. He briefly wondered if the
Griffin even saw him, but dismissed in leu of the good fortune
that the doors were open for the moment.
     He took his rope and quickly gathered it up, quietly tossing
it down into the room. He looked around for the other Rangers,
and spotted them already climbing into the Ranger Wing and
starting the engines. Apparently, they had spied the opportunity
as well. Darkwing swung silently into the room, easing himself
down as the Rangers flew in and down along the wall, keeping to
the shadows.
     He wasn't sure if the robots could hear them, or even cared,
but he decided to play it careful. Unfortunately, the doors
closed again while he was still ten feet off the ground. His
landing was loud and painful, so he allowed himself a whimper.
His only saving grace was that he was concealed from the other
side of the room by crates of some kind. He was tempted to check
them for potatoes, but resisted.
     The whirring of mechanized parts alerted him to the
movement of the robots. He pushed himself up, taking a needed
moment to brush the dust away as best he could, and peeked around
the crates. The Griffin was there, as were a few others, moving
about and looking for the source of the disturbance. Darkwing
crouched down low, and studied the way the moved. A grace was
evident that shouldn't belong to metal, he noted. Almost as if
they were alive.
     He put it out of his mind for the time being, and
concentrated on getting away from the area as discreetly as
possible. The crates lined the wall for a good twenty feet, so he
scurried along noiselessly, looking for an opening.
     The rangers could see what was happening clearly from their
vantage point. The robots were moving closer to the area where
Darkwing had dropped, but Darkwing was already a good distance
away, and getting further with each stride. Dale wanted to go
help Darkwing, but Monterey pointed out that the last thing they
wanted to do was attract attention to themselves.
     "Besides," Gadget remarked. "It looks like Darkwing is doing
a pretty good job of avoiding them by himself." She used the
preoccupation of the robots to bring the Wing down on the other
side of the room from them, unnoticed. She landed the Wing behind
a large computer, the same one that Chip and Dale had nearly been
caught in.
     "Come on," Chip ordered, hopping out. "While the robots are
busy, let's see what they're up to."
     "But how, mate?" Monterey dropped next to him. "Just walk up
an ask?"
     "In essence, I think that's exactly want he's planning on
doing, Monty." Gadget grinned. "But we're not going to ask the
robots..." Her eyes looked up at the computer.
     "Ugh..." Dale sighed. "This thing. Again." He shook his head
and shrugged. "Well, the sooner we start, the sooner it's over."
He mumbled as he deftly climbed up the back to the top, the
remainder of the Rangers following.
     Zipper darted up above them, checking to make sure the coast
was clear. The robots had found the cut rope, and were starting a
more methodical pattern. Darkwing was nowhere to be seen,
probably for the best. Zipper knew, however, that their time was
limited, and informed his teammates of this as they reached the
     Nodding, they wordlessly set about moving over the control
panel, looking for information on the screens that might help.
Both Chip and Dale noted with a smirk the area that was smashed
by Nimnul was "fixed", thanks largely in part to Duct Tape.
     "Golly guys, look at this!" Gadget was reading a screen
displaying updates of the transferred data. "This
     "What is it?" Monterey asked, occasionally glancing over
his shoulder.
     "It's a list of files...applications...other programs..."
She watched it a bit more, her face hardening into one of
comprehension. She glanced about at the other screens for
     "Go on," Chip prodded after a minute of silence. "What about
it?" He, too, was painfully aware of their time limit. The robots
were already nearing the center of the room.
     "It appears that Professor Nimnul is downloading a
tremendous amount of data, from all over the place." She moved
over to the keyboard, and started tapping on a series of keys.
Several files were selected, and information about them displayed
in a smaller window.
     "See? Must be hacking into hundreds of databases to be
getting this much information. And there's still more coming in!"
     "I guess it really is a data stream." Dale chuckled. "But
where is he, them? Doesn't he have to actually operate the
computer to hack into places?"
     "Not quite, Dale." Chip said slowly, realization dawning on
him. "Remember that Dragon we saw? It was going out and doing the
downloading for him. That must be were the other robots are!"
     Speaking of which..., Zipper motioned dramatically. He
pointed behind them, to the robot Griffin standing directly
behind them. It was watching them, and the Rangers could almost
swear it was smirking. Two other robots stood behind it, a Goblin
and an Orc, Dale had guessed.
     If the were surprised at the lifelike quality it possessed,
then they were dumbfounded when it spoke to them, in a voice very
smooth and even.
     "Ah...what have we here?" It grinned, unnaturally bending
the metal around it's beak. "It seems to be those rodents that
the boss programmed us to terminate."
     The Orc snorted, a hollow gust of air through it's nose.
"True." It's voice was more like the grating of stone on stone.
"But I didn't think they'd need a large rope like that to down
     "Especially when they had this." A voice from behind the
computer called out in a deep rumble. A Troll robot stepped into
sight, holding the Ranger Wing in one metallic hand.
     "They didn't." The Griffin answered. "There was another on
the ledge that I almost tore through, but he ducked. Quite
appropriate, actually, as he was a duck of some kind." I turned
back to the Rangers. "I think that our other boss may have
mentioned him in passing. Whatever the case, find him. I'll deal
with these intruders."
     The other three robots nodded and began to move off as the
Griffin spread it's wings out wide, encasing the Rangers on the
control panel. The Griffin's wings blocked escape from the front,
and none of them wanted to turn their backs on it to try and make
it back up to the top of the computer. The Griffin's two claws
popped up in front of it.
     "Any ideas, mates?" Monterey asked, backing up with the rest
into a tight cluster.
     "Is crying an option?" Dale asked, flinching away from the
     "If you want," the Griffin answered. "Makes no difference to
     It wasn't the internal programming that allowed the Griffin
to understand the Rangers, but instead the trace of Megavolt's
dimension that was infused in it when it was "born". Of course,
this really didn't matter to either the Rangers or the Griffin,
but is provided here as a public service announcement.
     Finally! Darkwing thought with a grin.
     "I am the terror...that flaps in the night!" His voice  
echoed around the room, as blue smoke poured out from the top of 
 a crate. "I am the 2400 baud modem when you have a two hour 
time  limit on the net from your server! Darkwing Duck!"
     He spread his arms out wide as he emerged from the smoke,  
really presenting a good entrance. He was quite pleased with  
himself, as he had finally gotten the opportunity to make his  
trademarked entrance. Of course, at the same time he presented  
himself as an agent of good, he also presented himself as a 
clear  target, standing on top of a crate with his arms 
outstretched  like an idiot.
     The Troll swiveled his head around, two small barrels  
popping out of each temple. A series of lasers sprang forth in  
flurry of blasts. Darkwing had enough time to yelp and leap  
straight up, the lasers just grazing the bottom of his cape.
     "I just can't get a break!" Darkwing's fear was burned away 
 by the annoyance of his only cape being further damaged. "Well, 
 you little mechanical marvels, suck liquid!"
     His Gasgun was out and selected to "Liquidize" again, and  
fired, raining water down on the trio heading towards him. They  
paid it little attention and maneuvered underneath him as he  
began his descent. The failed attempt to short them out worried  
Darkwing, but not as much as the approaching landing.  
Particularly when the robots had all sprang claws from their  
     He twisted in midair, switching the selector on his Gasgun  
again, and fired off towards the wall. A small plunger shot out, 
 snagging the wall and allowing him to swing out and land behind 
 the robots. Darkwing mentally noted to thank Gadget for  
suggesting that they stop by the plunger shop, where she got all 
of hers at, before coming to Nimnul's lab.
     Darkwing had a hunch as to what was going on. These robots  
were moving to fluidly to just be robots. He dimly remembered  
that Megavolt had brought appliances to life in the past, but  
they had then revolted and tried to kill them all off. Either  
Megavolt didn't learn from previous experiences, or had found a  
way around it. Or both, knowing Megavolt.
     If that was the case, then Darkwing was at a distinct
disadvantage. These robots had him outnumbered, outgunned, and
outmuscled...Darkwing grinned.
     "Just how I like it." He stated as he darted for the trio.
     A sudden leap and acrobatic twist placed him in the middle
them, not more than two feet from any one. His timing had to be
perfect, he knew, but since he was perfect to begin with, he
wasn't overly worried.
     Maybe I can't take these things out, but I'm willing to
bet...He thought as the Troll fired it's lasers again...that they
can do it for me!
     He had already ducked before the lasers fired, missing him
and blasting into the Orc behind him. The Orc staggered back, and
Darkwing hoped his theory was correct as he planted a patented
double webbed foot kick into it's head. His foot ringed as it
struck the metal, but the kinetic force carried through, dropped
the Orc to the ground.
     Sure enough, since these things had consciousness, they
could be knocked out. All he had to do was rattle the CPU, not
necessarily damage it, and it would shut down. If it wasn't for
the fact that his foot was killing him, he would have laughed.
     A rush of air announced an incoming fist from the Goblin.
Darkwing instinctively rolled to his right, towards the Troll.  
The fist missed Darkwing, but connected with the Troll, who made 
 a loud whirring sound as the fist clanged into it. It really 
did  have a sentience, for it completely forgot about Darkwing, 
and  began to pummel the Goblin mercilessly. The Goblin seemed  
surprised at this, but fought back as the onslaught continued.
     The ringing clash of metal on metal echoed throughout the  
room, distracting the Griffin momentarily.
     "What the?" He started as it turned around.
     In a move wrought from desperation, Chip leaped up onto the 
 hovering claw, driving it into one of the I/O ports on the  
control panel. The sudden rush of data and electricity didn't  
harm the Griffin, but did keep it occupied as the Rangers raced  
back up to the top of the computer.
     Looking over to the other robots, the saw that the Orc was
on the floor, while the Troll and Goblin continued their metallic
fisticuffs. Darkwing was nowhere to be seen again. The Griffin
ripped his claw free, muttering with a menacing voice. It glared
up at them, ready to pounce, but the Rangers had seen this
coming, and waited.
     It leaped, only to find them drop behind the machine at the
last second. The Griffin collided with the wall right behind
them, bouncing back off to the floor.
     "Okay, now...I'm mad." It sprang back to its feet, shaking
it's wings out.
     The Rangers wasted no time in moving to the center of the
back of the computer, trying to keep out of reach of the Griffin,
who couldn't fit its arm more than a quarter of the way in. Also
to their benefit was the fact that the Griffin couldn't clearly
see them. The huge computer was too heavy for the Griffin to
move. They were safe...for now.
     "Now what?" Dale asked in a panicked voice. "There's no
space under the computer to crawl under it, and we'll be snagged
if we get too close to either side." A groping claw landed only a
few inches away from Dale, emphasizing his point.
     "If we could only get to the Ranger Wing..." Gadget started,
looking off towards where they last saw it, which was currently
blocked by the Griffin.
     "Yeah, I think he dropped it when Darkwing appeared."
Monterey nodded.
     Leave it to me, Zipper saluted. He flew back up over the
top, unnoticed by the Griffin, still trying to get in at the
Rangers. He didn't even need to look to see if the Goblin and
Troll saw him, as the resounding clangs were still coming steady.
A quick glance confirmed it, as they were currently all the way
over on the other side of room, content on the happy chore of
knocking the living transistors out of each other.
     Zipper spotted the Ranger Wing not far from the computer,
where the Troll had dropped it. It was upside down, but otherwise
undamaged. Still, Zipper doubted he could right it by himself. He
carefully scanned the area, looking for some trace of Darkwing.
He thought he spotted a shadow shift over to his right, among the
crates. A recon trip showed that it was indeed Darkwing,
stealthily creeping up on the Griffin, Gasgun at the ready.
     Zipper swooped down to him, getting his attention without
compromising their position.
     "Whaoh, it's you Zipper." Darkwing said, easing up a bit.
"I know, the others are trapped behind the computer, but I'm not
sure how I can get that Griffin away from them. These things are
actually pretty tough. The only reason the Orc fell was because
of the laser battery that pelted it in the head. My kick was just
a nudge to push it over the edge." He looked out at the Griffin.
"I'm trying to figure out how to take it out without getting
myself killed."
     Well, Zipper motioned, if we can get the Ranger Wing to the
rest of them, we can get out of here, or at least to some safety.
But I need your help. I can't turn over myself.
     "It might work," Darkwing thought, still watching the
Griffin, "but the Griffin can fly, too. And I'm willing to bet it
can do so much faster than the Wing. We still need a plan for the
winged beast of metal."
     Zipper nodded. Their planning sessions was cut short
completely, however, by one of the doors in the wall opening up.
     "What's going on in here?!" A short, balding man in a white
lab coat demanded. He was staring directly at the Troll and the
Goblin, who had halted their "discussion" and now looked akin to
children caught with their hands in the cookie jar.
     "Nimnul." Darkwing groaned.
     This is not what we needed, Zipper added with a nod.
     "Uh..." The Troll started, backing away from the Goblin.
"Hi, boss."
     "Did we, ah, wake you?" The Goblin asked in a plaintive
     "You probably woke the entire town with that racket!" Nimnul
stormed into the room, and Darkwing's heart sank as he saw
another figure enter.
     "What started this, anyway?" Megavolt asked, peering over at
     "Intruders." The Griffin called out from the other side of
the room. He was still beside the computer, but was now merely
guarding the exits from the back, rather than actively trying to
grab them. "They're stuck behind this computer, boss. Those
rodents you kept ranting about."
     "And that's not all." The Troll quickly explained, grateful
for the leadin. "There was this duck or something..."
     "Duck?" Megavolt's attention was caught. Nimnul was still
fuming over the news of the Rangers involvement.
     "Yeah, all dressed in purple and magenta." The Troll nodded.
"Not a bad color scheme, really."
     "Oh wouldn't say that," the Goblin shrugged, "when you
consider that most nocturnal beings prefer the chromas of subtle
contrast, it really lacks in terms of originality."
     "True, but don't overlook the importance of giving new
meaning to an old idea. Think of it like Dadaism, where they were
attempting to rediscover art."
     "Ah, yes, that is a possibility. But then he's clinging to
fast to old ideals to truly give a unique"
     "Enough!" Was the choral response.
     One came from Megavolt, who had figured out what duck they
were talking about, and was already beginning to charge up.
     One came from Nimnul, who couldn't care less about fashion
statements (as his lab coat attested) and wanted to get the
Rangers out from behind his computer.
     And the last one came from Darkwing himself, tired of the
narrowmindedness that these stereotypical Siskel and Ebert were
giving him.
     Darkwing was up over the crates before Zipper could stop
him, and dropped down to the other side, facing off against
     "Just couldn't resist, could you Megavolt?" Darkwing
intoned, wary of any sudden electrical surges headed his way.
     "Of course not!" Megavolt retorted. "I had all of my
resistors removed. Blocking up my power flow, which is really
annoying in times of stress, you know, because then the sparks
sputter out due to inadequate power allocations."
     "I..oh, forget it." Darkwing should have given up the entire
notion of witty banter with Megavolt. "What I meant was that you
couldn't stop yourself from engaging in some criminal activity,
could you? It was more important than getting back home."
     "On the contrary," Megavolt replied, closing the distance.
"This is all about getting home. Once we have all of the data
compiled in our Extradimensional memory unit, I can sort through
it at my leisure, and figure out how to get back from there."
     The Troll and Goblin had helped the Orc back up, while the
Griffin and Nimnul approached the computer. With Darkwing and
Megavolt engrossed in their own discussion, only Zipper was able
to notice what was happening on the screens. Even though he
wasn't very technically oriented, even he suspected something
was up when over half of the screens were flashing red lights and
danger messages across the bottom of the screens.
     "And another thing," Darkwing snapped, now glaring eye to
eye with Megavolt, "When are you ever going to trim those
whiskers?" He pointed with a sneer at the four electric whiskers
snaking out from under his plug helmet.
     "This from a duck with a bill the size of a aircraft
carrier?" Megavolt snorted.
     "Hey hey hey!" Darkwing held up his hand. "Let's not get
     "ARGGGGHHH! I REALLY hate it when you call me that!" A
sudden burst of energy from his gloves drove his displeasure
     Darkwing sidestepped it, a gas canister shooting from his
Gasgun. Yellow smoke streamed out from behind it. Megavolt merely
set up a repulsive magnetic field, deflecting it harmlessly away.
It skidded to the floor, spewing out opaque, yellow fumes. The
two of them continued their combat, hidden from view in the
     Nimnul had decided to ignore the ruckus in the background,
and instead concentrated on getting the Rangers out from behind
the computer. They were now faced with either confronting Nimnul
or the Griffin. Not a hard choice, really.
     "Quick!" Chip called to the rest as he lead the charge, his
voice a harsh whisper. "Hide in his pockets!"
     They all quickly leapt up onto his coat, diving into the
varying recesses of fabric they could find.
     "What?" Nimnul started back as they came near, only to lose
sight of them as they ducked into his wardrobe. The Griffin
sprang around as soon as they moved, but was unable to see them,
let alone stop them.
     Nimnul begin a pat down of himself, checking for them.
"They're in here somewhere..." He muttered.
     The Griffin, misunderstanding him, rolled his eyes. "Lose
your keys again, boss?" He asked with a chuckle.
     "No! I mean those rodents are in my coat." He continued his
search, but the Rangers kept shifting away from the hands.
     "Oh, let me help." The Griffin reached out with it's talons,
slashing a pocket open. Pens, pencils, a calculator, and various
small tools clattered to the ground, but no Rangers.
     "Ah!" Nimnul yelped, as the talon nearly pierced his skin.
"No! You just wait and watch, in case they try to run for it."
     The remaining three robots had decided to take the
opportunity, seeing as no one had called them over, to take a
break and continue the discussion of modern clothing apparel
versus individuality of fashion in a private huddle in a secluded
     Thus, once again, Zipper was the only one who was watching
the screens. He flew over and settled down on the panel, watching
as several video screens showed the sky above the city...
twisting? At first Zipper thought it might be the computer
messing up the video signal, but he saw the city skyline
unaltered in each image. The clouds, currently blanketing the
city, were another matter.
     They were twisting and gathering around a central spot, much
like a whirlpool. They all appeared to be one, colored a dark
red, although Zipper couldn't understand where the light was
coming from. Occasional flashes of purple lightning sprang out of
the vortex, and Zipper began to feel very ill at ease. He needed
to notify the rest of the group, but nobody was looking over at
the computer; each too engrossed in their own predicament.
     But there must be some sort of warning bells or siren or
something, Zipper thought. All of the best inventions have them.
This one obviously had the lights and screen savers of doom down
pat, so where was the audio? He flitted about the control panel,
and spied a series of promising dials over by the edge.
     Landing next to them, he easily read the words "Volume
adjustment" underneath on a label. They were all twisted down to
the zero indicator. At first, Zipper wondered why Nimnul would
have them all turned down, but them remember when the Griffin
spread its wings around the control panel. It must've
accidentally hit the dials, turning them all the way down. Then  
he realized that now was not the time for contemplation, and  
quickly cranked them up to the "You *had* eardrums..." level.
        "DANGER! WARNING!" The monotone voice indicator boomed,  
actually succeeding in gathering the attention of all within.
        "What in the world?" Nimnul said, running over to the  
        "DANGER!" The computer continued. "DANGER WILL ROBINSON!"
        Nimnul brought the volume back down to a manageable level 
as  he worked feverishly over the control panel, bringing up 
various  views of the city from all angles. The cloud cover 
continued its  creeping spiral towards the center point. 
Forgotten in Nimnul's  coat, the Rangers risked a glance out 
from their respective  hiding places. Darkwing and Megavolt, the 
pace of their one-on- one combat broken, stepped out of the gas 
cloud to the computer.  Even the robots gathered around, staring 
at the screens. In light  of a greater potential disaster, 
current disputes were forgotten.
        "What is it, boss?" The Griffin asked carefully. The rest 
of  the group were staring at the screens, transfixed. Except 
for  Nimnul who was angrily stabbing in commands on the panel 
and  grimacing at the readouts.
        "Something's happening through the dimensional transfer 
link  we've been using." He answered, not taking his eyes from 
his  work. "Instead of information going in..." He paused, and 
looked  back at the screens. "Something's trying to come out."
        The time had come. The portal was now firmly stabilized, 
and  the opening was growing with each passing second. Of 
course, the  legions couldn't fit through yet, but patience was 
second nature  to the commander. In the meantime, the atmosphere 
of the new  dimension might as well be prepared properly...
--Chapter 8: Host Connection Established--
        "Okay, run this by me again," Darkwing frowned. "We have 
yet  _another_ dimension involved in this?"
        A temporary truce had been called by all parties. The  
Rangers were surprised by Nimnul's eagerness for one, but  
Darkwing pointed out that it'd be difficult for him to devastate 
 a globe if somebody beats him to it. Megavolt tries to point 
out  that in actually it'd only make it easier, but a elbow to 
the  ribs convinced him otherwise.
        Nimnul had also called back all of the robots, who arrived  
over the course of an hour. They, too, were well aware of what  
was happening, and had even taken the time on the way back to  
pick up some video footage and cloud samples, which Nimnul was  
now analyzing, with the help of Gadget.
        "Yes," Nimnul answered, shaking a beaker slightly and  
studying the reaction within. "As near I can figure they've had  
access to our dimension since you and Megavolt first broke  
through the barrier."
        "So how come we haven't seen them earlier?" Dale asked from 
 his card game with Monterey, Megavolt, and Sphinx (the Rangers  
and Darkwing learned what each robot was named, and, when they  
considered the source, weren't terribly surprised). Sphinx was  
currently winning, but that wasn't a big surprise either. The  
robots, with Megavolt and Gadget's help, managed to piece  
together a make-shift translator for Nimnul to understand the  
        To be honest, it wasn't the machine itself, but the power  
Megavolt powered it with. That power still held a trace of his  
dimension, enabling it to translate "Chipmunk" and "Mouse" to  
        "Well..." Nimnul started, then stopped. "It'll be easiest 
to  explain things in terms of a timeline." He sighed and set 
the  beaker down and strode to the center of the room. The card 
game  was to the right, and Gadget was still at workbench on his 
left.  Directly in front of him were the robots, relaxing among 
the  crates (yes, they are filled with potatoes, but I have no 
clue  why), and behind him was the computer, where Darkwing, 
Chip and  Zipper were.
        "You see," Nimnul said as he started pacing, "At the same  
time that you two were struggling inside that machine, I was  
transferring various bits of data from a database containing the 
 most advanced information on other dimensions."
        "More than just information." Gadget called out. "I had 
some  time to look over what I salvaged. They also had programs 
for  actually reaching 'out' and 'touching' other dimensions. 
They  were all still in the experimental, stages, obviously..."
        The robots snorted in unison. "Obviously."
        "Whatever." Nimnul snapped, getting back to the subject. 
"In  any case, when some _rodents_ messed around with Dragon," 
He  paused to glare and Chip and Dale, who shrugged. "Some 
program  must've been activated. One of those 
dimensional-opening ones."
        "At the same time," Darkwing was starting to pick up on  
this, "Megavolt and I were inside of the electronic flow of one 
of SHUSH's machines."
        "And if they had it stored away, than it must have been  
_real_ dangerous." Megavolt nodded, then frowned at his cards.  
"They would use any of their gizmos unless forbidden by the  
higher-ups at SHUSH, who actually have concern for the planet in 
        Darkwing made a mental note to ask J. Gander about that  
machine when he got back.
        "Best as I can tell," Nimnul continued, "The machine you  
were in must have spit you out, or exploded, which is really the 
 same thing actually...anyway, it must have spit you out at  
precisely the same time the unit from the MacFarland Research  
building finished it's program. Those two random events were  
linked through time, by means of my Extradimensional link."
        "Excuse me?" Chip asked. "This is news to us."
        "Oh yes, I forgot. It was one of the few things I've done  
that you rodents _haven't_ interfered with."
        "Whiney, whiney..." Dale mumbled, but saw Sphinx glare at  
him. He cut it short and discarded.
        "The link?" Darkwing prompted.
        "Ah yes," Nimnul returned to the topic. "I had found out  
about this dimension several months earlier, and had already set 
 up a link to it before I built the robots."
        "So the link already existed?" Chip asked, starting to  
understand. "And when the events in our and Darkwing's dimension 
 were connected..."
        "By the fact that happened at precisely the same time."  
Gadget noted.
        Chip nodded and smiled at her. "Right. Then, the link  
enabled them to break through the barrier without the need of an 
 electronic device to travel through."
        Nimnul thought for a moment. "Partially. They still were  
only connected because they had been converted to electricity."
        "So, in essence, the program connected with the machine we  
were in?" Megavolt asked, tossing a card out. "Sort of like a  
        "Right." Darkwing nodded. "And there was a lightning storm  
going on in the sky when we appeared. So since the unit that ran 
 the program was destroyed, we couldn't come out there..."  
Darkwing started a thought.
        "So you popped out where the most amount of electricity  
was." Chip finished it for him.
        "Fine, mates." Monterey studied his cards, then drew two.  
"But how does this third dimension fit in with it?"
        "Easy Monty." Gadget sat down on a test tube. "Remember 
that  the link Nimnul established is what enabled them to cross 
over  into our dimension, not as electricity, but actually 
physically  bring them over. Only after they did, the hole, or 
whatever it  was that they passed through, remained. And now 
this third player  is trying to break through."
        "Has broken through." Dragon corrected. "Remember, miss,  
that's what happening out there now."
        "Okay," Darkwing stood up straight and looked at the  
monitors. "So where does that put us now? Whatever it is, it 
can't be good."
        "No, it isn't." Nimnul looked grim. "From what the robots  
have gathered, I can tell that the 'portal' is growing wider.  
Furthermore, our atmosphere is being subjected to their 
dimension  preferences." He frowned and came back to the 
workbench. "Instead  of just passing into our dimension, as 
Megavolt and Darkwing  did..." He looked back at the screens. 
"They appear to be trying  to fill our dimension with theirs."
        Gadget sighed deeply. "Science brought us so far..." She  
closed her eyes. "Maybe too far..." She whispered.
        Chip, watching the sky on the monitors, shook his head. "I  
saw that portal," he told Darkwing and Zipper. "I should have  
checked it out. Maybe then we'd have a better chance  
understanding what's going on."
        But Zipper shook his head. If it was this bad, his stance  
said, we would have been taken out before we knew what hit us.
        "Zipper's right, Chip." Darkwing sighed. "Sometimes we jump 
 into things out of pride, rather than duty." The image of 
twenty  dollars flashed in his mind, and he winced at his own 
        In the settling gloom, the only bright spot was that  
Monterey managed the hand against Sphinx. Other than that,  
everybody was lost in their own thoughts.
        As Megavolt shuffled the cards and dealt, the remainder of  
the robots gathered around Nimnul and Gadget at the workbench.  
Nimnul was still trying the get as much information out of the  
samples that he could, but wasn't having much luck.
        "I need more to go on..." He mumbled subconsciously. "If  
only I could get closer to the clouds...or better yet, the  
        "We could provide transport, sir." Dragon offered. "We're  
not sure of the exact location of the portal, though. Do you 
know  where it is?"
        "No." Nimnul frowned. "I can only gleam information from it 
 as energies are sent out by its growth."
        "Just like when a black hole sends out gamma rays." Gadget  
mentioned, and Nimnul nodded.
        "Exactly," he nodded, "so even though it may be in the same 
 area that Megavolt and Darkwing came through, I couldn't 
pinpoint  it."
        "I could." Chip called out, never taking his eyes from the  
screens. "I've seen it before."
        "Really?" Dale asked. "When?"
        "When we were on the skyscraper, looking for clues. I saw  
something up in the sky...a shimmer of some kind. But I didn't  
know what it was." He closed his eyes, and with his back turned  
to everyone, no one heard his addition. "And I was afraid of it."
        No one, that is, except for Darkwing, who merely nodded.
        "So how about it, sir?" Dragon asked again, eager to help.  
"We fly you up to this portal, and you can inspect it firsthand."
        Any sane person would have seen the danger of getting so  
close to the source of a dimensional invasion, but this was  
Nimnul, so he readily agreed.
        "Wait," Megavolt stood up from the table. "I'm coming too.  
This is the way I got in, it might be the way back."
        "Well, you can bet your sweet transistor that I'm coming,  
then." Darkwing stated, adjusting his hat just right. "If this 
is  a chance to get back home, then I intend to take the first 
train  from the station."
        "We might as well see you off." Chip added, finally turning 
 away from the monitors. "We've come this far in this, we might 
as  well finish it."
        Monterey nodded. "'Sides, it's not like you can keep me 
away  from an adventure like this. Think of what'll do to our 
        Like you don't have enough tall tales to begin with...,  
Zipper winked at him.
        The rest of the Rangers agreed, and soon they set about  
formalizing a rough outline of a plan: They would all take the  
robots up there, and between Nimnul, Gadget, and Megavolt, they  
should be able to figure out more about the nature of the portal.
        Truly, the sky was a breathtaking sight. Clouds persisted 
in  their slow, spiralling movement, all of them streaked with a 
dark  red. Everybody noticed, including the robots, how dry and 
hot the  air was getting. Nimnul glanced over from his position 
on Dragon,  to the others behind him. The Rangers were all 
gathered on  Griffin, who seemed to have developed a grudging 
respect for  them. Darkwing and Megavolt both were on Sphinx, 
talking about  various ways of returning to their own world.
        Both Megavolt and Darkwing were starting to get hopeful  
about getting back to their dimension soon, but at the same 
time,  they intended to stick it out here. Megavolt was thinking 
about  that "unwritten code" among inventors, which he planned 
to uphold  by helping out Nimnul. Darkwing felt the same sort of 
kinship  with the Rangers, but their link was one of justice, 
not  conquest.
        The portal was easily visible to all as they approached the 
 spot Chip navigated them towards. It was shimmering in the sky  
like a constant stream of ripples across a pond. Each gave an  
inward shudder as they neared.
        "It is certainly larger, sir." Dragon called out, as the  
strong winds whipping about made communication difficult. "I  
looks to be at least five feet in diameter. I wonder how I could 
 have missed it before..."
        "Because it wasn't there before." Nimnul called back. "The  
portal was there, but not the visible sign of it. Not a visible  
sign this strong, anyway. Those ripples aren't more than the tip 
 of the iceberg. I'd say the actual portal is at least ten feet  
wide, probably a bit more."
        He reached into his lab coat and pulled out a calculator.  
"It's like phases of the moon. The first phase was merely the  
contact. Somebody may have been able to see through it, but  
that's it. Now, with these ripples, the actual atmosphere of the 
 place is starting to seep through." He punched some numbers 
into  calculator. "And soon we'll get to the actual doorway 
phase,  where we can see clearly into the dimension beyond."
        "Hey Nimnul!" Megavolt yelled. "Is it possible to get  
through the portal now?"
        "Probably, it's just small at the moment." He took out 
another bizarre instrument, switching dials and hitting buttons. 
 "My only question right now is what's on the other side..."
        "I thought you said it was that dimension that your had  
contacted." Gadget peered at the nearing portal. "What else 
would  it be?"
        "Well," Megavolt said, tapping the side of Sphinx, "there's 
 an easy way to confirm it." Sphinx nodded, and Darkwing gulped, 
 both understanding what Megavolt was suggesting.
        Sphinx spread its wings out and sped towards the center of  
the ripples, Megavolt and Darkwing clutching to each other  
tightly. They passed into the ripples, time seemed to slow down  
for an instant, then they snapped back to the present. A harsh,  
dry atmosphere greeted their lungs, while an endless world of  
clouds greeted their eyes. They couldn't see any land, no matter 
 where they looked. Of course, they weren't looking around that  
much, as the large fleet of starships hovering around was 
holding  their attention rather nicely. All of the ships were 
huge, but  their shapes varied. Some were globes, others sleek 
triangles,  and some on the shape of large cubes.
        Sphinx concentrated on its flying, so tried not to pay the  
ships much thought. They were all around, floating rather  
peacefully throughout the endless skies. None reacted to the  
dimensional travellers, but whether this was because they didn't 
 notice them or just didn't consider them a threat was unclear.
        "What lovely place..." Darkwing muttered.
        "Not really." Megavolt remarked.
        Darkwing was about to mention that he wasn't serious about  
that, but the rest of the robots coming through the portal  
distracted him. The Rangers stared in disbelief around them,  
coughing slightly in the dry air.
        "It's like we're in a whole other world..." Gadget said  
        "We are, Gadget." Chip reminded her.
        "Oh...that would account for it, then."
        The last one through was Dragon, with Nimnul still clacking 
 away on one of his inventions.
        "Yep, this is the place." He nodded. "I recognize the  
dimensional signature."
        "But golly, where is the information being stored?" Gadget  
asked. "There isn't even any land, so far as I can tell."
        "In there." Megavolt's sweeping arm took in all the ships  
around them, and nearly knocked Darkwing off. "Isn't that why  
they're here? To store all the data?"
        "I bet they're here for more reasons than that." Chip said  
        "You betcha." Dale nodded. "They're here to invade our  
world, just like in all my comic books." He turned to Chip. "And 
 you said they would never come in handy."
        Chip's retort was cut of by Dragon.
        "Actually, sirs, give my companions and I one moment, and  
we'll pinpoint the reason." It smiled widely.
        "Sounds good." Darkwing nodded. "In the meantime, I would  
like it if we can find some place to hide, or something." He  
glanced around at the vast armada. "I'm surprised they haven't 
detected us by now."
        "Thank the robots." Nimnul stated, as he put away his  
calculator. "According to my computations, they generate a  
frequency that counters the technology here."
        "How so?" Megavolt asked. "Just their presence disrupts the 
        Nimnul nodded. "Just like you and Darkwing are carrying  
around traces of your dimension on you, same with the robots.  
Here, it acts like a white noise broadcaster."
        "Golly, but then they would know someone's here!" Gadget  
looked around nervously.
        "Huh? But I thought the robots were hiding us." Dale also  
looked around, but more in confusion.
        "They are, mate." Monterey moved closer to Dale so he  
wouldn't have to shout. "But it's like hiding behind a shield in 
 the middle of an open field. They know we're here, because they 
 can see the shield. They just can't locate the exact spot."
        The robots swung low through the clouds, then began a  
careful climb up to one the starships, from underneath.
        "With any luck," Dragon explained, "They'll mistake the  
interference as a result from one of their one. Hopefully,  
they'll guess it's a malfunctioning drive, or something equally  
        Gadget nodded in approval. "Good idea, Dragon. It should at 
 least buy us some time."
        "Well, we have to close to a ship no matter what, Miss  
Gadget." Dragon led the squadron up to one of the sides of the  
ship, landing deftly on the hull. The only noise was the whisper 
 of their metal claws setting down. "You see, we have to patch  
into a computer, and that's rather difficult for us when we're a 
 distance away. Are modems don't work very well when the  
satellites they use are back in our home dimension."
        Quickly, the robots spread out along the side of the ship,  
using their sensors to avoid any areas that contained alarms or  
the like that would reveal their presence. As the robots went in 
 search of an access port, the rest of the group huddled 
        "Golly, those robots sure are smart." Gadget watched move  
off with a smile. "I hope I get a chance to talk with them once  
we get back."
        "If we get back." Monterey remarked dryly. "Need I remind  
you, Gadget-luv, that we are still in another dimension?"
        "You get used to it after a while." Megavolt noted, sitting 
 down rather comfortably.
        "Getting cozy?" Darkwing frowned. "This isn't exactly my  
idea of a rest stop, Megavolt."
        "Darkwing's right." Chip moved over to the side of the  
platform they were on. "This is the last place you want to let  
your guard down."
        "Is there ever a good place?" Dale took watch on the other  
        "Well, I'm sure that we'll be safe here until the robots 
get  back." Gadget said optimistically, sitting down. "And hey, 
these  dimensional residents might not even be all that bad."
        "Yeah, Gadget." Dale said coyly, maneuvering over next to 
her. "You sure have a good outlook on things."
        "Thanks, Dale." Gadget smiled at him.
        Of all the times to be flirting, Zipper said with a shake 
of  his head.
        Chip felt the same way, but before he could voice an  
opinion, Gadget spoke up.
        "You just wait and see, once the robots find out what's  
going on, we'll be able to go home with no problems."
        Darkwing glanced at Monterey, remembering what he said  
earlier. The Australian mouse just shrugged helplessly. Zipper  
nodded in agreement.
        A ear-piercing wail spilt the air moments later, the sound  
of some sort of alarm. The robots began to return, and a much  
quicker pace, and not so nearly concerned about stealth now.  
Monterey and Zipper didn't seem too surprised at this, and  
Darkwing had to admit he had been expecting it as well.
        Annoyed at having his rest period interrupted, Megavolt  
sprang to his feet. "This had better be important!"
        "They *are* planning to take over our dimension!" Dragon  
said in a fearful voice. "And they've got the firepower to it!"
        "Well, okay." Megavolt grumbled. "I'll let it slide--this  
        "What?" Gadget was astonished. ""
        "Quickly, climb aboard Griffin, Miss Gadget." Dragon said  
hastily as Nimnul hopped up on it. "We'll explain momentarily, 
as  soon as we remove ourselves from this position."
        "What position?" Chip asked as he and the Rangers climbed  
onto the back of Griffin.
        Several clicks and whirs were heard from behind them, and  
they turned to see a dozen gun barrels jut forth from the newly- 
opened housings. The robots sprang into the air, managing to 
move  out the arc of fire before the barrage started.
        "They've been waiting for a dimension to conquer. Any  
dimension." Dragon explained as they all jetted out away from 
the  starship. "When you, Sir," It nodded at Nimnul, "Began your 
 search for an Extradimensional database, they seized on the  
opportunity, and gave you the "access code" to reach through 
with  a link. Then, they just waited for the hole in the 
dimensional  barrier, caused by the link, to widen. Once it's 
wide enough..."
They glanced around at the starships, now closing in, and none  
needed Dragon to finish the sentence.
        "So how do we stop them?" Chip asked.
        "Stop them?!?" Was the choral response.
        "Chip, what can we do against them?" Dale asked in  
        "Dale's right, lad." Monterey agreed, again watching as the 
 starship's continued to close in. "We'll be lucky if we get out 
 of this dimension alive."
        "Sorry to spoil your hopes," Griffin answered dejectedly,  
"But they're going to be watching that dimension hole very  
carefully now. We're not getting back that way."
        "So we're stuck here?" Darkwing felt his stomach drop 
again,  and it wasn't due to Sphinx's evasive maneuvers.
        "Hey!" Chip called out again. "You still haven't answered 
my question, Dragon." The others stared at him, except for 
Darkwing  and Megavolt, who sighed and nodded.
        "When you're desperate..." Darkwing started.
        "Even sushi tastes good." Megavolt finished, although that  
wasn't the ending Darkwing had in mind.
        "Look," Chip turned to his friends, "Right now, like it or  
not, we're the only ones who know about what's going on, and the 
 only ones who can stop them." He pointed out back to the  
starships. "Yeah, they're much bigger than us, but if we don't  
even try, then they've won without even firing a shot. And *I*  
intend to go down fighting." His eyes burned with such intensity 
 that the others wondered if he really *could* beat those  
starships by himself.
        Monterey grew a smile. "Do not go softly into that good  
night, eh, Chip?"
        "Too right." Chip replied with a wink.
        Zipper gave a quick salute, indicating his inclusion into  
the suicide squad.
        Gadget and Dale thought for a moment, then shrugged. Chip  
was right: It's not like the had anything to lose.
        Nimnul was already determined to fight, but strictly 
because  he figured that if those rodents always spoiled his 
plans for  world domination, that these invaders should be 
treated to the  same.
        "Well, when we plugged into their computers," Dragon 
thought  out loud, "We did find out that it's the mothership 
that's  keeping the portal open."
        Darkwing looked around again, spotting the huge starship  
they were heading towards. "That's where we're going then."
        Dragon nodded. "If you can take out the main drive somehow, 
 the portal should begin to rapidly dwindle. The only problem is 
 that you'd have to get some transport to get back to the 
portal,  and quickly, before it closed forever."
        "Wait," Gadget looked at Dragon. "What do you mean, "You"?  
Aren't you coming with us?"
        Dragon looked honestly surprised. "Why, no, my good lady.  
Who do you expect to distract the rest of these starships?"
        Gadget's eyes widened. "You can't be serious! You'll be  
pulverized! Destroyed!"
        "Look," Griffin stated calmly, "If we stay with you, the  
counter frequency we're generating will give you away before you 
 get anywhere. If we drop you off quick enough, they'll think 
that  we were trying to seek refuge near one of the starships, 
then  abandoned the idea."
        "It's the only chance for the dimension's survival, Miss  
Gadget." Dragon affirmed. "It's also logical. One life for  
        "Who are you?" Dale asked. "That doctor from Flash Gordon?"
        The mothership loomed before them, and the robots made 
quick  work diving in and setting down on one of the ledges.
        "There." Dragon motioned to a panel on the side. "You can  
get in through that. The rest of the robots and I will be  
distracting them enough for you, but don't do anything too  
obvious, or the whole thing will be shot. Look for the main 
drive somewhere in the bow of the starship." The rest of the 
robots  began flying back into the oncoming pursuers. "Oh, and 
keep an  eye out for lifeboats and escape pods, or you'll be 
trapped here.  My personal guess is that they won't be far from 
the drive, as  they inhabitants here would want to leave in a 
hurry in their  ship's drive was destroyed."
        "But you can't go!" Gadget cried. "You just got life! It'll 
 be wasted!"
        Dragon took a moment to turn to her, halting his take-off.  
Gently, he reached out a claw and lifted her chin up, looking 
her  in the eyes. "Perhaps it's best this way. Better to have 
tasted  life and died, than never know it at all. And at the 
very least,"  It mumbled, taking it's claw away, "We will know 
true peace."
        Then it turned on it's stance, and was away. The rest of 
the  group, including Nimnul, respectfully kept the quiet as 
Gadget  watched Dragon race to join his brethren in their 
--Chapter 9: To The Rescue, Terror In The Night--
        The panel came off easy enough, thanks mainly a strong 
surge  from Megavolt. They all slipped inside, trying not hear 
the  explosions and cries from outside. The panel opened up into 
the  internal workings of the ship, allowing them to move 
unhindered  up towards the bow of the ship. Along the way, they 
tried to  develop a plan.
        "So we need to destroy the main drive, find an escape pod,  
and slip back through the portal before it closes." Dale went  
over it again.
        "And quick." Monterey added. "Once the main drive is  
destroyed, that portal will close faster than a hot knife 
through  cream cheese."
        "Right." Chip kept an eye out for any signs of where the  
main drive would be, or the location of an escape pod, but he  
also watched Gadget out of the corner of his eye. She had been  
quiet since Dragon took off.
        "Maybe we should split up." Darkwing tried to mentally keep 
 track of their path, but the endless twisting pipes, walls, and 
 other alien technology was getting overwhelming. "One group  
search for the main drive, while the other looks for an escape  
        "And how would we keep track of each other?" Nimnul 
frowned.  "It's not like they have a P.A. system we could use."
        "I've been thinking about that..." Darkwing admitted, and  
snuck a glance at Megavolt, who nodded. For once, they were on  
the same wavelength.
        "Darkwing is suggested that we take another chance."  
Megavolt stated, checking over his electrilizer. "The main drive 
 has to be destroyed, so we'll do it with style."
        "I can agree with that." Nimnul smiled.
        "But that was a million-in-one chance, mate!" Monterey  
pointed out.
        "Not quite, Monty." Darkwing held up his hand. "It was a  
long shot that brought us over here, but we're not really taking 
 a different method. Megavolt and I slip into the main drive, 
and destroy it. When it's destroyed, the surge should at least 
push  us into the electronic flow of the dimensions, if not into 
our  own world."
        "You hope." Chip frowned.
        "You could be transferred in pure energy, or caught in an  
endless feedback loop, or just plain blow up." Nimnul thought 
for  a moment. "Although I'm saying which one my money's on."
        "Either that, or be stuck it this dimension, or yours,  
forever." Megavolt shook his head. "Sorry, but as nice as the  
place is, anywhere that anvils are lethal is *not* the place for 
        "Well, that settles it, then." Gadget stated suddenly. "You 
 two take out the main drive, while the rest of us look for an  
escape pod, so we can get back home." Her tone clearly showed  
this was the plan, whether or not the others liked it.
        The Rangers exchanged glances. You're sure about this?  
Zipper's eyes asked.
        "I'm with Zipper, Gadget-luv." Monterey said tentatively.  
"If you're sure..."
        "I'm sure." No doubt was in her stance.
        "Then I'm in." He nodded.
        The rest of the Rangers quickly agreed, and even Nimnul  
couldn't think of a reason to disagree.
        Gadget turned to Darkwing and Megavolt. "Okay you two, good 
 luck. I don't want the robots sacrifice to be meaningless. They 
 gave as a chance, and I for one, fully intend to utilize it."
        "I guess this is goodbye then." Darkwing remarked, a note 
of  sadness in his voice. "Whether or not we succeed, we'll 
probably  never see you again."
        Gadget's features softened at this. "Yes...I guess so. 
Well,  just remember to watch those falls, Darkwing." She 
smiled. "I  doubt I'll be there to give you a herbal compress 
        Darkwing returned the smile with a bow. "As the doctor  
        Monterey and Zipper gave a quick handshake. "Take care,  
mate. Best of luck to you back in yer own dimension." Zipper  
nodded and gave a brisk salute.
        "Keep up that word play thing. We heros have an image to  
maintain." Dale struck a dramatic pose.
        Darkwing swept his cape in front of him, giving his own  
heroic pose. "Definitely will do, Dale." He turned to Chip, and  
shook the chipmunk's hand. "Be seeing you, Chip."
        "Hopefully not." Chip tipped his hat to Darkwing.  
"Otherwise, something went wrong."
        Darkwing returned the gesture with a brisk nod.
        Megavolt and Nimnul stood a bit away from the others,  
watching and shaking their heads.
        "Sappy." Megavolt commented.
        "Indeed." Nimnul agreed. "Well, Megavolt, write if you get 
a  chance."
        "Sure." Megavolt thought for a moment. "Do you know what 
the  rate is for interdimensional mail?"
        "Not offhand, but I'm sure they know at the post office."
        "Sounds good." He took a small mechanical device from his 
belt and handed to Nimnul. "Here you go, in case you need it for 
 later populace terrorization."
        Nimnul was about ask what exactly it was, but Darkwing had  
finished his goodbyes, and was now headed off towards the main  
drive. "Come on, Megavolt!"
        Megavolt frowned. "Pushy pushy. By the way he carries on,  
you'd think the fate of the dimension was in jeopardy or  
something." He shrugged and quickly moved off to join up with  
        "Okay." Gadget stated, scanning the area. "The escape pods  
should be near the lower section of the starship. And in any  
case, they'll have to be right next to the hull, so it'd be  
possible for quick escape."
        "Right, Gadget." Chip led the group down along the maze of  
the inner workings. "We have to hurry. No telling how long 
before  Darkwing and Megavolt find the main drive and destroy 
        They moved swiftly, Zipper and Dale scouting out ahead a  
little bit, checking for possible hazards while determining the  
best route. Nimnul brought up the rear, his longer leg stride  
allowing him to keep up easily with the Rangers while he tapped  
away on his own scientific calculator.
        They had been moving for about five minutes when a high- 
pitched whine filled the air. They all froze, and heard the  
sounds of muffled running and distant noises of battle taking  
place elsewhere in the starship.
        "Looks like the main drive was found." Dale remarked, a  
touch nervously.
        "Golly! Then we'd better get moving!" Gadget broke into a  
run, searching desperately for any sign of an escape pod.
        "Tsk tsk." Nimnul chuckled. "As much fun as it is to panic, 
 I think it's important to note that you're not going to find 
any  way to an escape pod from inside here, let only a way into 
        "Meaning?" Chip prodded, defensively stepped up next to  
Gadget. Dale took position on the other side, also looking  
protective of Gadget and her ideas.
        "Meaning, rodent, that we have to be out there, in the  
actual hallways of the ship, to find the escape pods. We also  
need to be in the hallways to actually be able to enter it."
        An dull explosion sounded from the far off battle, tremors  
shaking the floor slightly. "Well how to we get out?" Monterey  
looked around at the solid metal walls. Zipper flew about,  
searching the niches and crevices for possible ways out.
        Nimnul shook his head, as if the answer was obvious. 
"Still,  you are merely vermin. I shouldn't expect too much." 
Before they  could respond, he turned away and strode calmly 
down the way they  had come. The Rangers, still wanting to argue 
against that last  statement, followed.
        Nimnul stopped after a minute, and walked to one of the  
walls, crouching down. "We get out the same way that you rodents 
 probably get in everywhere." He reached out and pushed the  
ventilation grate open. "Any questions class?"
        "Yeah." Dale grumbled. "When does our regular teacher get  
        "Never mind Dale." Chip pushed his friend forward. "We've 
got to get out of here. You can insult Nimnul later." They both  
ducked out into the hallway after Nimnul.
        "Why put of tomorrow what you can do today?" Monterey  
responded as he, Zipper and Gadget came through.
        The hallway wasn't too different from the inner workings of 
 the ship, aside that it was more spacious and much more barren. 
 Aside from that, there were still metal walls, floors, and  
ceilings, with strong overhead lighting. Nobody (or no thing, if 
 you want to get technical) was in sight.
        "Ah ha!" Nimnul cried triumphantly, pointing to a doorway  
down the hall. "Just as I calculated! The escape pod!" He darted 
 to the doorway and swept inside, the Rangers hot on his heels.  
Nimnul quickly began pressing buttons and pulling levers. The  
instrument panel blinked to life, and the doors sealed shut.  
Nimnul grinned and turned to the Rangers, only slightly saddened 
 that they had managed to keep up. "Strap in." He ordered.
        Another explosion went off, but felt much closer as it  
rocked them to the floor. Gadget quickly hopped up on the 
control  panel, searching the monitors and viewscreens as 
information and  images sprang forth. "Uh oh..." she grimaced 
looking at one of  them.
        The others followed her eyes to the monitor, which was  
showing a diagram of the portal. Sure enough, it was collapsing, 
 but much quicker than anticipated. Nimnul quickly took his seat 
 in the pilot's chair and activated the firing sequence. As the  
jets breathed to life, the Rangers maneuvered about the control  
panel, keeping an eye on what was happening around them. There  
was a large viewport for in front to see out of, but they 
guessed  Nimnul would be watching out for things coming at them. 
They were  more concerned with things following them.
        The last of the rockets fired, and the escape pod lurched  
out of the protective hull of the mothership into the barren  
atmosphere. Starships were swarming about, apparently in  
        "What's wrong with them?" Dale asked, watching the monitor  
showing the activity on the right side of the pod. "Not that I'm 
 complaining, mind you." The other starships were flying  
erratically about, some even crashing into each other.
        "Here's what!" Chip read the data on the screen carefully.  
"Darkwing and Megavolt *did* destroy the main drive! And it 
looks  like they destroyed more than that, as well. All 
electronics  between the fleet has been garbled; they can't 
coordinate their  movements!" He grinned.
        "And with it being so crowded out there," Monterey watched  
the screen display the fleet bashing into each other, "They've  
got a little game of demolition derby goin' on."
        Not all of the them, Monty, Zipper said with a motion  
towards a monitor in the rear of the ship. Three starships were  
moving in behind them. Not in formation, but not running into  
each other either.
        "Tailgaters." Nimnul grumbled. He grasped the steering  
controls tightly and dove sharply to the right. A barrage of  
laser blasts filled the space were they used to be a 
split-second  later.
        "You know, Nimnul," Chip groaned as he climbed to his feet  
from his new spot on the floor, "It's normally considered good  
shipmate etiquette to shout `Hold on!' before preforming evasive 
 maneuvers like that."
        "Oh, you'd prefer to be a pile of space dust, then?" Nimnul 
 shot back. "I'll keep that in mind."
        "You know what he means, Nimnul." Gadget moved over to a  
section on the control panel, did a quick inspection, and 
started  to dismantle it.
        "What are you doing?" Nimnul yelled as he swung the pod to  
the left, evading another attacked and sending the others 
Rangers  back to the floor. Gadget managed to hang on, and 
continued  working.
        "Oh relax, and concentrate on getting us to the portal." 
She  worked smoothly, gathering up various odds and ends. "I'm 
working  on getting our pursuers off our back. But first, we 
have to be  able to move abut without being tossed around during 
your flight  pattern delta."
        "Whatever." Nimnul said, figuring what he didn't know  
couldn't hurt him. Besides, Gadget was dismantling a section of  
the control panel that wasn't in use, so how important could it  
        Within the minute, Gadget he managed to whip up some  
magnetic boots for the Rangers, aside from Zipper. Using the  
small magnets she took from the control panel, she used some of  
her personal supply of string and tape, so they could hold the  
magnets in place within the strips of cloth she had. They  
couldn't move as fast, but they could move while Nimnul 
continued  to play dodge `em.
        "Okay guys, just hold these wires together here and 
here..."  Gadget pointed out the spots. They were all gathered 
around the  open section of the control panel, except for 
Zipper. The fly was  busy monitoring all of the screens and 
signaling the others any  information that Gadget asked about.
        They gritted their teeth as Nimnul went into another barrel 
        "I don't think I'm ever going to ride a roller coaster  
again." Dale moaned, then slapped his hand over his mouth.
        "We're almost to the portal!" Nimnul called out. "But it's  
getting really small. This craft is going to be a tight fit! 
Even  so, we'll be sitting ducks when I make a beeline for it."
        "Keep going!" Gadget called out. "We've almost got it  
        "Oh well," Nimnul shrugged and brought the pod into a 
direct  path for the shrinking portal. "Who wants to live 
        "I'd like to try." Dale admitted. He and the others  
connected the wires as Gadget directed, allowing a tremendous  
surge to flow through the pod, into the rocket thrusters in the  
rear. The power from the system Gadget subverted dove directly  
into the propulsion units, creating a nasty reaction.
        The pod was shoved forward violently, forcing the Rangers 
to  the floor again despite the magnets. The explosion behind 
them  burst out wide, encompassing the oncoming pursuers. They 
flew  into a cloud of fire and smoke, with just a touch of 
electrical aftereffects. The residual surge wreaked havoc on 
their  navigational devices, sending them off on wild goose 
chases as  the pod broke through the collapsing portal, back 
into their home  dimension.
        The portal, now much smaller than Nimnul realized, broke 
the  pod as it passed through, releasing Nimnul and the Rangers 
into a  freefall over a thousand feet above the city streets.
        The trip to find the main drive had been relatively simple, 
 as Megavolt merely tuned in his energy seeker, and they 
followed  its directions to find it. The crept quietly along, 
managing to  avoid actually running into anything. A few minutes 
of stealth  was rewarded as the main drive now loomed before 
        "Ah...the main drive." Darkwing whispered.
        "Yeah." Megavolt stated blandly. After a moment, he added,  
"Now what?"
        "Now, we use the electrilizer to get inside the system, and 
 from there, we destroy it."
        "Oh." Megavolt switched the electrilizer on and grabbed  
Darkwing. "Makes sense." He flipped it on, and it's eerie hum  
encased both of them. A high-pitched whine erupted suddenly from 
 all around them, and they heard running towards their direction.
        "Sounds like we tripped an alarm with that thing." Darkwing 
 shouted over the siren.
        "Oh well, it's not like we're be around for much longer."  
Megavolt replied, hitting the "send" button.
        "Could you rephrase that?" Darkwing asked as they were  
sucked into the main drive. Darkwing held tightly to Megavolt as 
 the travelled along the electronic current. "Which way now?"
        "Just go with the flow." Megavolt replied. "This current  
will take us directly to the heart of the machine. Watch."
        Darkwing tried, but was starting to get a bit queasy. This  
was never in the job description, he reassured himself. I'm  
allowed to get a little queasy whenever I trip the electronic  
ship fantastic. He gritted his teeth. Just a little, though.
        They sped quickly along, until Megavolt veered off to one  
side, landing in what appeared to be a large room with a crystal 
 in the center. Darkwing carefully released his grasp and looked 
 around as Megavolt headed over to the crystal, withdrawing his  
        "I thought we were inside the main drive." Darkwing said,  
looking around at the metal walls. "What is this place?"
        "The heart of the main drive. We're still inside alright,  
but this is merely an electronic representation of it. Since  
we're electrolyzed, our minds can form passing electrons in the  
data stream into things and places more comfortable for us to  
understand. You don't even have to think about it."
        "Well, that explains how you manage." Darkwing grumbled,  
walking over.
        "It's like dreaming." Megavolt apparently missed the last  
remark. "Only we're awake. So maybe, non-dreaming dreaming..." 
He  shrugged as he fired his Electro-Gun. A blast of energy hit 
the  crystal ball, shattering it in one shot. "And without the 
heart  to control the vast amounts of energy flowing through 
here, the main with overload in a few minutes, exploding, and 
sending us  back into the dimensional flow. Hopefully, towards 
our home  dimension."
        Darkwing looked at the shards as Megavolt put his Electro- 
Gun away. The masked mallard looked up at his arch-enemy.
        "That's it?"
        "Rather anti-climatic, don't you think?" Darkwing felt  
        "Hey, I just work here." Megavolt shrugged. "I don't write  
these things."
        "Well, still I--duck!"
        "That's right, you're a duck." Megavolt agreed.
        Darkwing didn't verbally reply as he flipped over Megavolt, 
 kicking out into the metal viper that was aiming for Megavolt.  
Darkwing's kick smacked it squarely in the head, causing it to  
burst a short flash of energy.
        "What was that all about?" Darkwing asked, on edge. He  
looked around. "There's another one!"
        He pointed to the large, metal, segmented viper that was  
flying deftly through the air towards them. Megavolt fired a  
blast from his plug-helmet, scoring it directly in the chest.  
Another flash of light, and it was gone.
        "Oh....yeah, that's right." Megavolt said as he and 
Darkwing  watched yet more coming in at them trough the metal 
walls. "Since  we destroyed the heart of the main drive, the 
dimension walls are  collapsing. That includes the walls in the 
electronic worlds." He  fired several more shots, reducing them 
into flashes.
        "So what are these things?" Darkwing pulled his Gasgun 
free,  not sure which setting would be effective.
        "Electronic signals from the mothership, probably. Since  
this whole place is going to blow, it probably figures it's fair 
 to take us out at the same time." He continued firing as more  
swarmed through the walls.
        Megavolt was busy with a group on one side, so Darkwing 
knew  he'd have to hold of those on the other side. He leap 
forward  into the midst of them, sending them into a flurry. The 
flocked  down around him, but at the same time he fired his 
grappling hook  up to the ceiling, pulling himself up swiftly. 
The swarming metal  vipers didn't seem to notice, and continued 
to annihilate  themselves.
        Darkwing didn't have time to celebrate, however, as a  
constant stream was flowing in from all around. He dropped back  
down to a clear spot on the floor, dishing out kicks and hits to 
 any that got too close. It only took one hit to vanquish one, 
but  Darkwing was already starting to feel the twinges of 
fatigue,  ready to pounce.
        "We can't keep this up forever!" He called out.
        "We don't have to!" Megavolt responded. He abandoned the  
single shot idea, and was now firing off wide-angled bursts,  
clearing swaths of vipers in one shot. But another group of  
vipers was right there to take up the empty place.
        "We only have to hold them off until the main drive blows,  
then we'll be kicked out!" He continued, feeling his power 
reserves steadily drain away with each blast. A swarm managed to 
 get close enough to actually bite at him, but he quickly 
"melded"  into the floor (being pure electricity has it's 
advantages) and  shot over to Darkwing, "popping" up next to him.
        Once again, the arch-enemies were back-to-back.
        "How long?" Darkwing shouted between hits. He was having  
difficulty seeing the opposite wall, as vipers were continuously 
 pouring through.
        "How long what?" Megavolt fired off another immense blast,  
vaporizing dozens of vipers, only to have dozens more swarm in.
        "How long until the computer overloads?" Darkwing wasn't  
even thinking on how to fight. All he had to do was strike out  
and he'd hit something.
        "Any minute now!" Megavolt's power was drained with his  
final blast. "Unless we'll totally mistaken, and it won't blow 
up  at all." He punched the first viper that came in, but the 
other  forty-nine behind it dove in on him. "Nuts! And I never 
did get  to see the Toaster Oven Homepage--" His sentence was 
cut off with  a gurgle and flutter of metal vipers.
        Darkwing was about to say something, when he felt several  
sharp teeth dig into his back and sides. Completely surrounded,  
he was driven to the floor as the vipers continued to dig into  
        "Gos..." was all he managed before he blacked out.
--Chapter 10: Hello Sunshine...--
        The sky was clearing up, the clouds parting and allowing  
some sunshine to bathe the city below. Gadget noticed this with 
a  smile, enjoying the moment even though the rest of the 
Rangers  were holding on to her legs desperately as they 
continued slowly  to float towards the ground.
        You were right, Zipper nudged her as he flew alongside, it  
*is* a good idea to always carry a parachute in case of  
        "Thanks, Zipper." She glanced over at Nimnul, who had his  
own parachute. "Good thing Nimnul learned the same lesson." She  
watched as he floated slowly away, the wind carrying him off to  
the outskirts of the city. "Of course, it was probably a certain 
 incident with a giant fly that convinced him of their  
importance." She winked at Zipper, who gave a slight blush and  
        "Crikey, sunshine!" Monterey grinned, hanging from Gadget's 
 right leg. "I'd never thought I'd be so glad to see that!"
        "Is it morning already?" Dale asked, hanging from Gadget's  
left leg. "I didn't think we were gone that long."
        "We were in another dimension, Dale." Chip answered, 
hanging  onto his best friend. "Who knows how time worked over 
        "Yeah, but we're back in our own again." Monterey sounded  
relieved, despite the fact the were still over 500 feet up in 
the  air. "I don't know about you blokes, but I for one am 
willin' to  stick with simple crimes for a while. Jaywalkers, 
litterbugs,  insurance companies..."
        "Oh, I don't know, Monty." Chip glanced about, also feeling 
a bit relaxed. "How many crimefighters can say they've saved a  
        "Oh it's not *that* unusual, Chip." Dale laughed. "Happens  
in the comics all the time."
        "Dale, that's fantasy. This is reality." Chip responded.
        "Well, this version of reality, anyway." Gadget corrected  
him. "We know that there's a lot more beyond our own little  
dimensional walls." She looked back up to the sky, which was now 
 looking just like any other day; deep clue with patches of 
white,  fluffy clouds.
        Zipper lazily glided down by them. I wonder if Darkwing and 
 Megavolt made it out okay, his posture indicated.
        The rest of the Rangers were quite for a moment. Finally,  
Chip spoke up. "Oh, I think so."
        "How can you tell?" Monterey asked.
        Chip shrugged as best he could, still clinging to Dale. "I  
couldn't really give you an exact reason, Monty. It's just, 
well,  a feeling, I guess."
        Monterey nodded. "I know what you mean, Chipper."
        Gadget sighed. "Well, the important thing is that we 
managed  to succeed, even though it was by the skin of our 
teeth." She was  quiet for a moment longer, then cleared her 
throat tentatively.  "Um...guys? When we get back, do you could help me  throw some things out?"
        "Sure, Gadget-luv." Monterey nodded. "What'cha want dumped?"
        "The things I salvaged from that wall unit."
        "What?" Dale and Chip asked in unison.
        But you were so excited to get it in the first place,  
Zipper's questioning look read.
        "I know...but well, I just think there are some things that 
 are better left alone." She fiddled with her hands absently.  
"Maybe it's better to just forget about studying dimensional  
travel." A pause. "For now, anyway." She clarified.
        About ten minutes later, they finally landed, extremely  
grateful to feel the Earth under their feet again, even Zipper.  
As one, they made their way back to their headquarters, taking  
their time. Normally, they each would be in a hurry, having  
something they wanted to do back at the tree.
        This time, each was content to just enjoy the luxury of  
being able to relax.
        It was a marvelous parade. The entire city had turned out 
to  greet their favorite crimefighter. Streamers flew from every 
 building, and the chant of "Darkwing!" was heard throughout the 
 streets. The motorcade eased it's way down the parade path, 
slow  enough for Darkwing to wave to his adoring public. Morgana 
was at  his side, along with Gosalyn and Launchpad. And there, 
in the  driver's seat, was Grizzlikof. The huge bear had decided 
to  forego the twenty dollars, as Darkwing had risked life and 
limb  to save a dimension that wasn't even his. All in all, it 
was just  the sort of welcome home that Darkwing knew he 
        He wondered why the crowd changed their chant from  
"Darkwing!" to "Dad!", though...
        "Dad! Dad! Come on, wake up!"
        The scene before him shifted and blurred, then went black. 
A  light blur appeared, as Drake Mallard realized he was opening 
his  eyes. As he achieved more consciousness, more and more pain 
 visited itself on him.
        "Take it easy, Gos. See? He's waking up."
        He was lying on his back. In a bed. His bed. As his eyes  
slowly focused, he could recognize the ceiling he was staring at 
 as looking just like the one in his room. His room...
        "Well, his eyes are opening, Launchpad, but he doesn't seem 
 be getting more coherent. Of course, with Dad, that may be 
asking  for too much."
        His bed. His room. And those insults...
        "Gos?" He asked weakly.
        "Dad!" Gosalyn's tone snapped from cynical to joyous as  
Drake spoke. She flung herself onto him, hugging him tight.  
"You're back!"
        "What happened?" Drake managed to breathe after recovering  
from Gosalyn's crushing hug. He held her close, glad for the  
opportunity to do so.
        "We were hoping you could tell us, DW." Launchpad leaned  
over him and readjusted Drake's bandages. "Hooter told us you  
went in after Megavolt. There was a big explosion, and both of  
you disappeared. That was over a day ago."
        "We looked for you everywhere!" Gosalyn interjected, still  
not letting go. "But there wasn't any sign. We thought maybe  
you''d..." She buried her face in her dad's chest.
        Drake gently rubbed her back, feeling her tears on his  
chest. "It's okay, honey." He grimaced as he felt another stab 
of  pain from the bite wounds on his sides. "Well, it will be." 
I'm  back home...he thought with a grin.
        "Anyway," Launchpad continued, "We were coming back for our 
 search last night when you just sort of fell out of an 
        "Well, like you were pushed out, would be a better way to  
put it. We thought we saw someone running off, but we couldn't  
see. You looked pretty bad, so we decided to skip the pursuit 
and  get you home." He looked sheepish for a moment. "Well, we 
did  stop for some take home at Hamburger Hippo, but only a for 
a  minute!"
        Drake waved it off. "Never mind." He really didn't care. He 
 was home. That was all that was important. His injuries would  
heal, and soon, now that he had his home turfs' laws of physics  
        "What happened, Dad?" Gosalyn lifted her head up to look at 
 him. "You just don't disappear for over a day from SHUSH  
headquarters and reappear with these nasty wounds. Well, not 
more  than once a year, anyway."
        "I'll tell you once I get my strength back, Gos." Drake  
sighed. "But I don't know how I got back exactly." Megavolt must 
 know, he thought. And if he's the only one, I don't think I'll  
ever find out for sure.
        But that was a worry for another time. True, Drake wasn't 
in  that parade he dreamed about, but Launchpad and Gosalyn were 
 there, and at the moment, that was more than sufficient welcome 
for him.
        It was not a dark and stormy night. In fact, it was a 
bright  and sunny day. The sunlight streamed in from skylight, 
giving the  room a healthy glow. Even Nimnul, tucked away over 
at his huge  computer, took a moment to breathe in the 
atmosphere. He then  turned back to his computer. The screens 
that once held  information about the robots now displayed 
information about a  small mechanical device that had been 
scanned and studied.
        The readouts took a moment to go over, and Nimnul then  
leaned back, nodding to himself.
        "For a good time," He read out loud, "Call Mega-Volt. 
Normal  long distance rates apply. Hmmm...I wonder what the 
charge is for  interdimensional long distance?"