CHIP'S GAMBLE

A continuation of Gadget's Dilemma

Authors note: Continuing from the alternate take on the ending of Gadget's Dilemma Chip is very much alive, though question is who saved him, is it enemy or friend? And how far will Gadget go to be reunited with the chipmunk she loves? There is more to this story than meets the eye, hope you enjoy as it unfolds.

CH.1: Out of the fire

Chip stood there awaiting death, he had lived a long life in the company of friends and good mysteries, what more was there? True he had wished for a little more time with Gadget, still, if this was the way he was to go who could argue? Finally putting Nimnul where he belongs, that read case closed if any. Hearing the whine of the machine ready to explode he closed his eyes…only to be picked up seconds from the explosion and his jacket falling loose from his body and down into the ball of fire. "Hey, what's the big idea?"

Seated in the cockpit of a rather shabby looking flying vehicle was a mouse who looked wizened and little hair lined his head. He adjusted himself in his seat as he looked down and adjusted his spectacles a bit. "Well well…looks like my crane picking skills finally paid off."

"Look, you need to set me back down; it isn't fair to my friends if I live through all that." Chip struggled against the claw like device, but unlike the rest of the vehicle sputtering along, this seemed quite set on him.

"No need to struggle, and why put you back? I just did you a service son, plus, you wouldn't want to hurt my niece now would you?" Steering them clear of a building he put the vehicle on its wing and let out a whoop.

"Wait a minute…Gadget is your niece?" Chip questioned. He stared blankly at him and then returned his attention to the claw. This was no doubt Gadget's fine work, so, he was pretty much stuck.

"You must be getting hard of hearing. I guess you were too close to the explosion, plus, who else would I be talking about, lest you have a new addition to your team I am not aware of." Seeing the workshop up ahead he began to set the vehicle down for a landing, the landing gears themselves barely held, though it wasn't like he was planning on taking the girl out for another run.

"Why did you save me?" Chip knew there was another reason; otherwise he would've been still there when the explosion had gone off.

The claw released Chip and the mouse walked over looking at him closely. "Are you familiar with a criminal called Fat Cat?"

"Yeah, we've went toe to toe with him many times…wait…how do you know that name?' Chip picked himself up and noticed that he was practically naked without his jacket and hat. Holding himself he ducked for cover behind a work bench.

"My brother was a pilot and inventor, quite crazy in how he handled things. I might seem like a mouse set to retire, but, in my haydays I was quite the undercover pro. I was part of a resistance movement set on taking down the crime organization of this fair city, long before you ever decided to put your detective skills to work. It so happens Fat Cat was a well-known interloper, filled with evil schemes while playing pet to his well-known human criminal."

"Wow, you must've had some great adventures. Wait, does Gadget know any of this?" Chip sat down and watched as the mouse walked over to a drawer that had a special key hole.

"Gadget maybe handy with tools, but, she could never crack this one. So to answer your question, no, though I never really planned on telling her." He pulled out a odd looking tool and as he unlocked the drawer he held out his hand below and the drawer fell right into his open palm.

"If you didn't trust Gadget with this secret…why me? What has pulling me out of the fire got to do with Fat Cat?" Chip was getting nowhere here, and now that he was alive, he was guilt ridden.

"It is as you said, you went toe to toe with him, plus you have untapped potential, sort of a reminder of my youth. Having the potential is one thing, but, if you do not know how to use it, or to tap into it at any time…it simply goes to waste. You can be great Chip, possibly the greatest undercover spy there ever was. Employing your skills as a Rescue Ranger and detective will bring down Fat Cat just as you did with Nimnul."

Chip sighed and thought this was all crazy, just like when he went along with Gadget's plan to make Dale a secret agent. Still, it wasn't like he could return to the Rescue Rangers, they probably already accepted his death and come to terms with it.

"My real name is Claudius Hackwrench, the brother of Gadget's late father. Much of my youth was spent playing dress up, trying to fool my friends into believing I was someone else. Of course it did not pay the bills so I went into schooling to become a mechanic. One day a mouse comes to my shop asking for me to repair his vehicle, as I inspect it I find out that it is a vehicle of stealth, hardly any noise in the engine and has gadgets that, well, half of it I can't remember to this day. It was a real beauty and the mouse took notice and gave me a card, saying they needed mice with special eyes, and handy with tools helped greatly.

"So I went there, left my shop to my brother, and went through training and got the job. I had a lot of zinger of cases, a lot of them danger filled and the other putting me in disguise and taking on a new identity. One of the culprits I was sent to take down was Fat Cat, he was sly and quick with schemes, an always changing algorithm that kept me on my toes, unsure what he would do next. I spent many years trying to take him down, almost lost my life a few times. When I got older and juggling the shop's financial crisis and my love for undercover got too much, I returned to being a mechanic."

"Wow, sounds like you lived quite the long and fulfilled life." Chip saw Claudius nod his head and as set some documents down in front of him he got more of the story. Flipping through it with sharp eyes he noted that Fat Cat owned a casino on the far part of town, it wasn't like the one he and Dale had tried to bust, no, this one seemed legit and stable.

"I want you to go undercover and bring Fat Cat down, any means in your tool of investigative research at your disposal, use it. The identity of Chip must be left behind, so, in some sense you did die in that fire, all that was you is gone. Put all of yourself into this; break the case I never could. I know you can do it Chip, even if you have self-doubts and part of you still lingers in that fire."

Chip didn't know what to say, he just stared at the documents and the casino that Fat Cat had owned, never once having a Rescue Ranger set foot in there. Funny thing was, he was not a Rescue Ranger anymore…he simply was. "What if I fail?"

Claudius took a seat in his rocking chair and felt his spine adjust to the hard wood behind him. "Failure, it is all part of the job, without it we get self-assured that everything we do will work out and we get so cocky that we think we're invisible, better than everyone else. I once thought that, but the stress of the job and the injuries I sustained, especially in my back, made me realize that failure is not bad, but good in a sense that it gets your priorities straight. There is more to this casino than meets the eye, I am certain you will find out what I mean."

Chip realized there was nothing more to go off of and as he rose up he walked over to a dresser he hadn't noticed before. He noted out of the corner of his eye that Claudius was paying special close attention to him. Opening it up he noticed so many costumes in there,, disguises that some dated back quite sometime. "Are these yours…or Gadget's?"

"I believe Gadget once spoke of you dressing in girl's clothing as well," Claudius said with a twinkle in his eye.

"Yes, well, I see your point. Hmm…this might do." Chip chose a heavy coat with a hood and some shades to make him seem mysterious.

"Well…we'll work on it," Claudius said. He kind of felt guilty not telling Gadget about his past and saving her love, but, this was the only way. He just hoped in the end he didn't live to regret it.