The Times of Their Lives
Author's dedication--This epic story is first and foremost dedicated to those diminutive crimefighters, the Rescue Rangers, in recognition of their 10th Anniversary. May they continue to inspire wonderful stories for years to come. I must also acknowledge the editing help of Shao and Chipette--they helped get me started with this journey and kept me on track. Finally, a thanks to all Rangerphiles, without whom I would not be writing this in the first place.Author's note--This story is assumed to occur after "The Gift of Thundera", thus the character development in that story is continued here. Enjoy!
Chapter 1 - A Meeting of the Minds
It was snowing hard at Rescue Ranger Headquarters. New Year's Day had just passed, and the city was all but closed by the first blizzard of 1999. For the Rangers, it was a day to relax and take account of their lives. Gadget did this by taking inventory in her workshop. She made her way through and around countless parts of machinery, tools and partially-completed inventions. **Organization is difficult when you're inventing,** Gadget pondered.
Then Gadget turned to the picture of her father, Geegaw Hackwrench. She took a terrycloth she'd put aside for cleaning and removed the smattering of dust and other particulate matter that had accumulated on the glass over her father's face. That picture was all she had left of her family. She'd never learned anything of her ancestry before Geegaw. When she asked her father, all he knew of the Hackwrench line was that they had come over from across the sea many years back. Geegaw had been adopted under the name of Harris, and had only learned his true name was Hackwrench years later when he checked the records.
Another member of the Rangers was absorbed with thoughts of the past as well. But Chip's thoughts were much more satisfying, as he was in his room reading from the adventures of his favorite detective, Sureluck Jones. Chip had the luxury of reading aloud, now that Dale was married and living in Foxglove's room. Chip looked down and used his best English accent while quoting from "The Adventure of the Conan Doiley."
"The wily detective doffed his deerstalker hat and Inverness Cape, summoning Dr. Blotson with a whisper in his ear, 'The game is afoot.' Soon the duo was out in the murky streets of London, looking for the notorious Colonel Morrisen Storan.
'Take care, Blotson,' Jones said, as they stalked their dangerous quarry. 'Storan is a master criminal in his own right. Ever since I defeated the notorious Professor Morbid Arty, he's been bent on revenge.'
"Then, before Blotson could reply, a pug-nosed dock walloper emerged from the fog, holding a belaying pin. Jones stood his ground, bravely facing down the would-be assailant. Then, a loud noise came from right behind Jones' head..."
"Hey, Chip!" Dale yelled, slamming the door against the wall as he entered. Chip jumped two inches (that's a lot for a chipmunk) and hit his head on the upper bunk of his bed.
"Yeowch!" Chip cried, dropping the book. Dale peered over to see what the object of his friend's attention was.
"Looks like I got the drop on you, Sureschuck!" Dale said, laughing all the while. Chip was about to bonk him for his efforts, when he saw Gadget and the others coming in and thought better of it--especially in front of Dale's wife.
"We were coming to see if you wanted to have a little group reading session." Gadget said. "We're caught up with maintenance and everything, and there's not much else to do."
"Yeah," Monty added, "I've already reorganized my scrapbook twice. It's so borin' that even your detective novel would be better than nothin'."
Chip didn't quite know how to take that last comment, but he felt uncomfortable nevertheless. His Sureluck Jones stories were a part of his private self. He never read aloud unless he was alone or forgot himself, as was the case when he'd been reading in the Ranger plane when they crashed into Baskerville Hall.
Then Chip looked into Gadget's inviting eyes, and knew he wasn't going to win. "All right, let's just check the news first and make sure nothing else is going on."
Everyone retired to the living room and Dale switched on the set. Most of the news was same-old same-old: politics, scandal, a few deaths but nothing criminal. Only one thing stood out at all. Stan Blather was reporting as a unique picture filled the screen.
"An unusual discovery was made this week in Egypt, as Egyptologists found this miniature drafting table with blueprints on it." This captured everyone's attention, but particularly Gadget's. "The blueprints appear to be for a solar-powered mechanism of some sort. Experts speculate it could have been used for some form of sacrificial ceremony. The find was in extremely good condition and is currently on display at Cairo's museum of antiquities."
"Omigosh!" Gadget reacted. "I forgot to go back and get the plans for my time machine!"
Gadget had completely let that blueprint slip out of her mind. She'd been forced to leave it in the pyramid in Giza when she was sent into the Thundercats' universe. Now that mistake was staring her in the eyes.
Chip and the others moved in to calm her down. "I'm sure no one knows what those blueprints are for, Gadget-luv," Monty said. "After all, they think they're for some kind of ancient sacrifice."
"Don't worry, Gadget," Chip added. "All we have to do is wait till the snow stops and go get your blueprints. Like Monty said, they don't even know what they're for! We can have them safely in Ranger Headquarters in less than a week."
Gadget relaxed slightly at that. "Well, it is true that the machine I built may not have worked at all, but it should have."
Monty cringed at the use of the S-word, thinking of an altogether different kind of sacrifice. **Still, when Gadget builds something, it usually works some way or other.** Monty let the thought fade as Chip began to read from his favorite Sureluck Jones story.
It was the unpublished manuscript that McDuff had given Chip after the Rangers had helped Roger Baskerville to gain his rightful inheritance. Chip had painstakingly recopied the story down to Ranger size in a journal he'd bought. The story was actually a reminiscence, telling how Jones and Blotson first met and described their exploits in defeating the evil Professor Morbid Arty.
Chip loved the story not just for its sentimental value, but also because it was the best-written of all the stories. The other ones were good, but this one far outreached the others. Here, Jones was at his best--fighting against a criminal master as intelligent as he was, and barely surviving a battle to the finish. Chip had always tried to picture himself as the triumphant Jones, receiving the emerald ring the detective so gratefully took from Her Majesty's hand.
Chip was so enthralled in the story that he completely lost himself in the reading. He sat on the floor in the main room, his back resting on the sofa, while Monty and Zipper sat on the sofa to his left. Gadget, Dale and Foxglove were on his right. When he read, Chip was Sureluck Jones, prowling the dark alleyways and corners of London, on the trail of the Napoleon of Crime. He didn't even notice when Gadget's left hand lightly fell on his right shoulder as she became rapt in the story as well. Altogether, the scene was one that Currier and Ives would have loved to put on a Christmas card.
Halfway across the world, the scene was not nearly so blissful. It was not raining in Cairo, nor would it likely do so for some time. The museum of antiquities was closed for the night, with a lone guard to keep out the unwelcome. Raoul did not take his job too seriously. There was no need--who would want to break into this place? There was no treasure here; most of the real valuables of Egypt were now either in private collections or in national museums in England and America.
Thus, Raoul was not even looking when a diminutive form crossed under his chair and into the door of the museum. Nor did the guard see the same form exit several minutes later. Nor yet did he notice anything wrong when he made his routine sweep of the building thirty minutes later. Everything was like it was supposed to be, including the new miniature from Giza, blueprint and all.
Chip had finished the story and went on to another, as everyone had liked the first. This one Gadget was really intrigued with, since it concerned the person she had always likened herself to in the Sureluck Jones stories. Arianna Ideler was the only female who ever bested Jones on his own terms. She was an operatic diva without peer, an accomplished actress and a woman of incomparable intellect. Chip was reading from the section at the end, and hit on one of Gadget's favorite parts. It was Dr. Blotson's remarks on Jones after the main action.
"I had noticed that Jones never made light of the fairer sex after his meeting with the irrepressible Ms. Ideler. He kept her picture separate, under lock and key. Not that he had any overt signs of love for her. No, love would be a bane upon Jones' calculating mind. Yet, he kept the picture, and always referred to her as 'the woman.' To Jones, she was the only worthy product of her gender and if he ever did take up the idea of matrimony, I am sure the doorstep of Ms. Ideler is where he would go to seek it."
"Oh, I love that story, Chip," Gadget said dreamily. "To think, Jones fell in love with her for her ability to best him."
"Now hold on, Gadget," Chip said. "She may have been intelligent, but she was also very beautiful. In fact, Bask's description of her reminds me a bit of you."
"And just what does that imply?" Gadget asked coyly. She ran her index finger down Chip's nose. "Are you saying that only Beauty can charm the savage Beast?"
"It works for me!" Chip said, leaning back and grinning toothily at Gadget. She pulled his fedora down over his eyes, then started laughing. "Oh, Chip, you're impossible!"
Chip was laughing now, as were the others. "Lady, you've just made a powerful enemy!" Chip chided, quoting one of his favorite Gary Crant movies.
Gadget recognized the line, and replied in a good French accent, "You, sir, are an undisciplined, unkempt, loud-mouthed filthy beast!"
Dale and Foxglove caught on, and decided to get their points in. "You know Foxy," Dale started flatly, "if I didn't know better, I'd think these two wanted to get married."
Foxglove gasped in mock surprise. "WHAT! Goody-Two-Shoes and the Filthy Beast!?"
Everyone broke out at that one. Gadget threw a pillow at Foxglove, and that was all that was needed to start a pillow fight. Allies banded together and turned on each other several times before the giddiness was out of their systems. Finally, they settled down and repaired the living room as best they could. Everyone said goodnight, and Chip walked back to his room, the pleasant memories of the evening still in his mind. Just before he reached his door, he felt a hand tap him from behind. It was Gadget.
"Good night, 'filthy beast'. I hope you sleep well," she said, still in character.
Chip entered in mock grumpiness, and turned around. "And may you sleep well, Lady. Just don't go stealing any of my things in the middle of the night."
"How about this?" Gadget replied as she gave him a quick peck on the cheek and left for her room. "Good night, Mr. Elklund."
Chip was in an even better mood now than before. He settled into bed, placing his fedora on the nearby nightstand. The leader of the Rescue Rangers was free to dream of great detectives, a beautiful girl and a promising future.
It was a cold and rainy night in London, as it almost always was. It was New Year's here as well, but the year was 1899. The clip-clop of the horses going to and fro on the cobblestone streets created a rhythm that every Londoner was used to. This daily music was accentuated when the tolling of Big Ben announced that nine p.m. had just arrived.
Suddenly, on one street a hansom stopped and a man exited. He wore a gray tweed greatcoat and trousers, and a gray bowler hat. The hat was pulled down low on the man's head, so that the brim nearly touched the turned-up collar of the greatcoat. In this weather, such a choice in dress would not ordinarily draw attention. But if one looked closer, as this short fellow trudged toward Trafalgar Square, one might have seen a reason for suspicion.
A few moments after his departure, two more passengers left the hansom cab. However, they had ridden underneath and were obviously trailing this stranger. Still, they might have gone unobserved to most humans, for these were mice. Indeed, even if a human had noticed the pair--a rather tall, thin mouse in a brown deerstalker and Inverness cape accompanied by his shorter, rotund partner in gray suit and black bowler--the sight would doubtless have made little impression. For what were mice to humans, anyway? And that was precisely what Basil of Baker Street was counting on.
Their quarry had now reached the square and was right under the statue of Lord Nelson. As he walked, he put his hand in his pocket, then removed a wad of bills. At the same time, a business card fell out. Basil signaled for his friend to wait in the shadows, while he crept out. The candle of the street lamp illuminated his brown and white face. The mouse's aquiline features spoke of a sharp intellect and a keen interest in the goings-on. Finally, he reached the card, snatched it up and returned to the doctor unnoticed.
"Basil?" Dawson said, "What are we doing here? It's past nine, and we've been tracking this fellow without result for an hour."
"Hush, doctor!" Basil said as loudly as he dared. Dr. David Q. Dawson had been a faithful companion to the great mouse detective for over a year now. In that time, Basil had learned his companion's moods and quirks. Above all, Dr. Dawson had the unfortunate propensity to talk at the wrong times. This was definitely one of them.
Basil took a moment to read the card he was holding. He spoke in harsh whispers. "This person, 'Nor-ton Nim-nul', is not what he appears to be. His dress, to the untrained eye, would suggest that he is a mere country tailor from Suffolk. However, I got a close look at his face. This man has spent most of his time indoors, which would preclude him from an outdoor occupation! Also, the glasses and wristwatch are most peculiar. I've never seen any like them before. He is certainly a foreigner, and a deceptive one at that. Look, Dawson!"
As the detective pointed, Nimnul was met by a courier of sorts. This new man was much taller and thinner than his partner, and had the looks and manners of a cockney. **Probably a local informant,** Basil mused as he watched. Then the tall man took something from his coat pocket and handed it over to the short fellow. The object gleamed in the light of the street lamp.
Basil's eyes grew wide. "The Star of Indonesia! I knew this rogue was up to no good! Come, Dawson, we must get closer and see if we can hear what they're saying!" So said, so done. The duo managed to work their way over to the two men unseen. Nimnul was very pleased.
"You've done well! Here's your payment," Nimnul said, handing over a wad of bills.
"Thanks ever so, guv. And if you ever need another jewel pinched, don't hesitate to call on your ol' friend Eustis." With that, the gangly man left the other in the fog. Nimnul laughed wickedly.
"Oh, my precious star, you and I are going to do great things together! I can't wait 'till I've got the full set! Then we'll see some real action!" Nimnul went off, laughing mildly at his outburst.
Basil and Dawson were right behind. Suddenly, the detective decided on a bold move. Nimnul was holding up the diamond to admire it in the light. Basil got a running start, hoping to run up Nimnul's body and strike the gem from his hand.
"Basil, wait!" Dr. Dawson shouted. But it was too late. Even if Basil had known what was coming in the next few moments, it wouldn't have made any difference. Suddenly, a flashing light shone as a bright white oval appeared out of nowhere. Nimnul stepped through the portal, and Basil, who had already jumped, passed through as well.
It took a moment for Basil to reorient himself. Dawn was breaking here, and he was in a laboratory. His momentum sent him reeling, and he struck Nimnul in the back. Needless to say, the professor's mood toward that was not pleasant.
"What was that?" Nimnul had said. Turning around, he found the cause on the floor in front of him. "What's this? A foul, germ-infested rodent? Isn't it enough that those other vermin cause me problems? Now you bump into me! Well, I'll fix you, you icky interloper!"
Thankfully, Basil was not too dazed by the impact, or he would never have been able to dodge the lightning ray on Nimnul's weather machine. However, the blow did singe him a bit, making his footing unsure. Basil managed to find a window as the next bolt found its target. The detective was hurled through the window and out into the snow. He made it a few feet to a nearby alley and the shelter of a cardboard box before the shock totally overcame his nervous system and he fell into unconsciousness.
Morning at Ranger Headquarters was proceeding as normal. The snow had finally stopped late last night, and Chip planned to announce their departure for Giza after breakfast. The air was filled with the smell of Monty's cheese flapjacks. Dale wasn't up yet, as usual. Also as usual, Chip was up and alert, checking the early news stories for anything that might have happened overnight. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Gadget had just finished her morning exercises and was coming into the main room when the door opened and Zipper flew in. The fly was in a high state of agitation and started pulling Gadget toward the door.
"What is it, Zipper? What's wrong?" Gadget asked. Zipper slowed down his squeaks enough for Gadget to catch his meaning. "Chip! Monty! Come quick!" Gadget called, bringing the boys to her immediately.
"What's up, Gadget? Who's in trouble?" Monty asked.
"Zipper says there's someone out there in the snow, and he's not moving!" Gadget said, putting on her coat. "We've got to get down there and see if whoever-this-is is still alive!"
Chip ran to the door quickly, the others in tow. "Show us where he is, Zip! If he's alive, we'll save him!"
Two minutes later the three Rangers were met with a unique sight. It was a mouse, dressed very strangely. He was not dead; his shivering told them that much. That and his stifled muttering about a "star" and "lightning."
"We'd better get him into headquarters!" Gadget said. Monty and Chip picked him up and carried the frozen fellow while Gadget ran ahead into the kitchen and got some hot water and towels. They brought a chair over and put it under Gadget's hot air dryer, putting the stranger in the chair. A pan of warm water soon housed his feet, while the hot towels covered his head and ears. Still, it was several minutes before he showed any signs of consciousness.
The noise had brought Dale and Foxglove to see what was happening. "Who's this guy?" Dale asked. "Looks like he was going to a costume party or something."
"We don't know who he is," Chip said. "But you're right about the costume. It's like something Sureluck Jones would have worn years ago. Maybe he got sick coming home from a New Year's party."
"I think we're about to find out, Chip," Gadget said, bringing everyone's attention to
her. "He's waking up!"
Two brown eyes fluttered open, but just barely. Basil couldn't see clearly, and what he did see only registered vaguely on his mind. Then he felt someone holding his hand. He turned slightly and saw her face.
"Ar...Ar..." he said.
"Is he asking something? He sounds British." Dale asked.
"Give him a moment, he's very weak." Gadget said.
"Arianna, is that you?" Basil asked. "Arianna, my love...forgive me."
Chip gasped. "Arianna? But, that's the name of the woman in the Sureluck Jones story we were just reading. But he couldn't be Sureluck Jones! He was a human, and lived over a century ago!"
Now the detective's senses were returning to him. His British accent, as Dale had noted, was joined by an insightful mind and perfect enunciation. "No...you aren't Arianna. But the resemblance is remarkable. You, however, are an American. You work on machinery, spending a good deal of your time working under them, and you love to eat caramel."
Everyone turned toward Gadget. She blushed slightly. "Well, I do like it. I keep a square or two in my workshop for a sugar boost. Hey! How did you know that?"
Basil rubbed the brown fur on his right ear, trying to stimulate some feeling. "Quite simple, really. When I see no less than five stains of caramel on your...your...whatever that is you're wearing, that speaks of someone who eats caramels quite often. Just as your rotund Australian friend loves cheese, apparently several varieties. And your compatriot in the red flowery shirt seems to have an equal love of chocolate," Basil said.
These observations created a new line of questioning from the three affected parties. Meanwhile, Chip was looking this mouse over, trying to make up his mind about him. The face was certainly one that fit a detective. Still, this just couldn't be the person he'd read so much about, could it?
"Just who are you, anyway?" Chip finally asked, the skepticism dripping from his tongue. "You aren't Sureluck Jones, by any chance?
Basil was coming up to speed now, but the question caught him off guard.
"Sureluck...Jones? Never heard of him, good fellow. But it was deucedly rude of me not to introduce myself at the first. I am called Basil of Baker Street! Surely you've heard of me?" Basil asked, flashing a smile.
Basil looked for any kind of reaction from them. Finding none, his smile waned. "Well, I suppose being a hundred years out of my time has allowed my name to be forgotten. Still, I had hoped that future generations would have remembered the 'greatest detective in all mousedom.'"
The Rangers looked at each other in wonderment and back at their guest. Gadget spoke first. "A hundred years? Then you claim you're from the year eighteen ninety
"To the day, assuming that your calendar in back of you is accurate and it really is the
year nineteen ninety-nine. I would have to say the answer is yes," Basil answered.
"Then there's no time to waste!" Gadget shouted, running toward her workshop. Everyone watched her go and then return in seconds with a silvery bracelet.
"Quick, put this on!" Gadget commanded, giving the bracelet to Basil. Basil did so, and Gadget touched the top of it. Immediately, a flash surrounded Basil and he staggered to the wall. Zipper flew over and started fanning his face with his wingbeats.
"What did you do to him, Gadget?" Chip asked, suddenly worried.
"If he's really from the past, then we got that bracelet on him just in time!" Gadget said, looking Basil over. "It's an artificial temporal field. It'll keep him alive."
"Alive!" the Rangers exclaimed.
"Precisely," Gadget answered. "Part of temporal theory is that you can't exist in another time for long. Your body is used to the environment around you. If you traveled a couple of years, that probably wouldn't cause a problem. Travel over a decade, and your body would notice the change in the electromagnetic field of the Earth. It's weakening as time passes. Go back or forward a century, and within 72 hours the change in field strength alone would kill you. This bracelet compensates for that and seven other factors. I built it for my trip to ancient Egypt, but I never got a chance to field test it."
Basil stood up. "It appears to be working. My head is clearing now, and I can concentrate better." Basil stretched himself, checking for injury. "Ah, shipshape and Bristol fashion!" Basil noted with satisfaction.
Chip started shaking his head. "Pardon me for asking, Basil, but how did you get here?"
Basil's forehead creased as he thought. "I'm not exactly certain. I was on the trail of a rogue who had stolen the Star of Indonesia, the fourth-largest diamond in the world. It turned out to be some foreign chap named Norton Nimnul, and he..."
"Nimnul!" the Rangers shouted. "He's public enemy number one!" Chip cried. "What happened next?"
Basil stood, using his hands and body to accentuate his words. "I was about to pounce on the blaggard, when a...doorway of light opened up in front of him. He passed through it and I was already into my leap and sailed through. I found myself in Nimnul's laboratory. He attacked me with a device that fired...lightning bolts! One of them stunned me just as I escaped, and the next thing I remember is being here."
Gadget came up to him. "Could you describe the doorway you passed through?"
"It was made of light, a very bright white light in the shape of an oval. It just appeared out of nowhere and remained stationary while this Nimnul and I passed through it," Basil replied.
"Then there's no doubt of it anymore!" Gadget said, realization setting in. "He's found the plans to my time machine and built one himself. Oh, how could I have been so careless! Now Nimnul's got access to a technology that could allow him to change history, rule the world, or who knows what!"
Chip came over to comfort her, and Basil put a hand on her shoulder as well. "Don't worry, my dear," Basil said softly. "We'll stop him, and set things right again."
"We? Then you're going to help us?" Gadget asked, wiping away her tears.
"Well, you are the Rescue Rangers, crimefighters that help the helpless, aren't you?" Basil inquired.
"From the police badge and the newspaper clipping on your wall." Basil replied nonchalantly, gesturing toward them.
Gadget's eyes were full of wonderment. "But is there a chance of stopping a crook who can travel through time?"
Chip and Basil turned and looked at each other as they both uttered Chip's favorite line, "There's always a chance! As long as one can think!"
Chip now gasped at Basil with admiration and awe. That line had come from the unpublished manuscript! "You really are Sureluck Jones! But why didn't Howard Bask use your real name?"
A sudden flash of recognition passed over Basil's eyes. "Bask, did you say? Yes! I remember him!...a scrawny little lad. He spent most of his time running errands for my human counterpart, Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Then we met one day and, strangely enough, he could understand me. He followed me on several of my cases. Then he asked me to help him write down an account of my encounter with Professor Ratigan for him. He must have copied it and put the adventures out under a different name!"
Chip left quickly to get something in his room. Monty stepped up now. "Tell me one thing, mate. How did you know I was Australian without hearin' me accent first?"
"Simple deduction, really. The shirt you are wearing is made of a tight weaved wool commonly found in Australia. Your overcoat is made in the style of the Australian oilskins, and the amount of wear and tear on them speaks of a person who enjoys travel. Thus, it seemed more likely you were from Australia rather than someone who simply liked Australian clothes," Basil remarked.
"Here, Basil! Take a look at this!" Chip said, handing over his Sureluck Jones book. Basil took it, flipping first from one page, then to the next. "Yes! It's all here. The cases involving Dr. Dawson's old medical teacher, the disappearance of Lady Jennifer Grayson, the embezzling of Crown funds by the Queen's nephew...."
Basil threw the book down in the heat of his frustration, stamping his feet in the water and throwing his head up. "Ooh, that Bask! Why did he do this without my permission!? He takes great studies in the science of deduction and turns them into meagerly pieces of fiction for profit! And on top of it all, he changes my name to 'Sureluck Jones' so that no one remembers me!"
Chip picked up the book, and came over to his hero with a hurt look in his eyes. "But Basil! The stories Bask wrote are important! Without them, I'd never have been interested in solving crimes. Ever since I was young, I wanted to be you! If it weren't for you, the Rescue Rangers wouldn't exist today!"
Basil relaxed a little bit at this, then looked sheepish. As was frequent with him, he'd let his emotions get carried away. "Forgive my outburst, Chip. I suppose let I the heat of the moment get to me. Still, I would have liked to have had more input on these stories.
"I think you did in a way, Basil. Take a look at this one," Chip said, handing him a page of the unpublished manuscript. "Does this resemble the story you told to Bask?"
Basil eyed the words closely, quickly scanning the page. "Indeed it does! He seems to have just changed the names a bit. It wasn't Professor 'Morbid Arte', though. It was Professor Ratigan, as I mentioned. But he got Colonel Storan's name right. I suppose he couldn't think of a better alias."
Monty changed the subject. "I don't mean to interrupt you two, but shouldn't we be doin' something about Nimnul?"
Basil changed his demeanor in a moment, sensing the hunt about to begin. "Of course! We must get back to his laboratory and find out which jewel he plans to steal next."
"Huh?" Chip said. "How do you know he's going after more?"
"Because, my dear Chip," Basil explained, "he said he was going to get 'the full set.' That indicates to my mind that he has more jewels on his list!"
Chip had to agree with his reasoning, which didn't surprise him at all. "All right, then. To Nimnul's lab! Rescue Rangers, away!"
The trip would have gone faster, had they warned Basil what he would be traveling in. As a product of the 19th century, Basil had never seen an airplane. Thus, Gadget had to explain to him what the Ranger Wing was. The other Rangers cringed at the thought of one of Gadget's "explanations." But they were amazed as Basil stood there and absorbed Gadget's technobabble without blinking an eye.
"So it operates on the principle of motorized high-speed revolution from electricity powered by dynamos and an aerodynamic structure that produces lift in motion. Incredible." Basil noted.
"Precisely!" Gadget said. "Golly, you're the first person who's actually listened to one of my explanations all the way through!"
"He's probably the first person who could understand it," Monty whispered to Chip. Chip nodded his agreement, smiling.
The Rangers piled in the Ranger plane, Basil in the auxiliary seat. With a "Tally ho!" from their British counterpart, the Ranger Wing took off and quickly made its way to Nimnul's lab.
Basil of Baker Street and the Rescue Rangers are copyright Disney and used without permission, but with the utmost respect.
Chapter Three, Part One
Chapter Three, Part Two Chapter Four