The Gift of Thundera, Part 2


    Lion-O was the first to speak. "Jaga, why did you never tell us about
this gift? You've never evem mentioned that to me."
    Jaga shook his head. "I never told you because it is an ancient prophecy 
that many on Thundara considered to be legend. It goes like this:
    From another place, another time,
    One of strange appearance and beauty
    Will come to aid us.
    She will be strong of mind and will,
    She will face the Foe alone and together.
    "It certainly sounds like our visitor," Tygraa said. "But the prophecy 
would seem to indicate that we're in for a fight pretty soon."
    "So the legend goes," Jaga said. "At the time this being appears, the 
Lord of the Thundercats will face a great challenge, along with those who 
fight with him. But she must agree to fight, too, or the day will be lost."
    Gadget stood from the table. "You don't have to worry about me on that 
part. I'm a Rescue Ranger. We always stand in to fight the enemies of 
   "It's agreed then," Lion-O said. "We don't know when the trouble is 
coming, so until it does, I think that we can be best served by preparing. 
That includes training Gadget on her new weapons and making her familiar 
with Cat's Lair."
    "You must make haste, Lion-O. The prophecy indicated the time would be 
    "Very well, Jaga. Are we all agreed, then?"
    The Thundercats all brought their hands together, and Gadget did a 
moment later, once she saw they were going for a team shake. Together 
(excepting Gadget), the team yelled out, "Thundercats, ho!"
    Gadget slept fitfully all that night. She always did in a strange place, 
and she certainly had been in no stranger place than this. Of all the places 
to end up in, another dimension! **And will I get back?** Returning was not 
a certainty, though this story can't go on forever so there is some hope. 
Gadget reached up above her bed and turned on the overhead lamp. She was in 
a rather spartanly-decorated room, with a window view of the moon and stars 
across from her. But that wasn't holding her attention right now.
    Gadget got up and walked to a simple wooden nightstand and retrieved her 
goggles. She covered her eyes and paused a moment to concentrate her 
thoughts. Her eyes glowed momentarily with power and the sword appeared. She 
raised it  to her eyes and said as quietly as she could, "Sword of Omens, 
give me sight beyond sight."
    She had spent the last hour thinking about her friends. **If I got in 
this much trouble, I wonder if everyone else is okay?** Then she had 
remembered the sword's power of second sight. She reasoned that her sword 
should be able to see into her dimension as well. She was right.
    The first person she saw was Dale. Then she saw Foxglove and he in a 
cave. She witnessed the horrible scenes of them being attacked by vampire 
bats and of Foxglove being changed and changed back. She sighed with relief 
as she saw they were okay. 
    Then she saw Monty and Zipper. They had made it to Borneo, as they had 
intended. There, their ship was waylaid by drug dealers who had arranged
to pick up their illegal cargo. She watched with growing apprehension as the
two did their best to thwart the dealers. At first they failed, then she saw
Monty and Zipper leave the boat, swim the swallow waters of the port and go 
into the jungle. They returned with all the local animals they could round 
up. Securing a derelict dinghy, they made their way back to the boat. Before 
the bad guys knew what was happening, a bengal tiger sprang on two men while three
baboons dropped a cargo net on the rest of them. Soon the crooks were tied 
up for the local authorities.
    Gadget smiled to herself, as she thought how surprised the others would 
be when she was able to tell them about their adventures before they did. 
But then her demeanor changed as the image switched to Chip. At first, 
nothing was amiss. Then she noticed Chip talking to...herself? No, it was 
Luwainee, and she was making advances on Chip! 
    This disturbed Gadget, not out of any sense of jealousy of course, but 
Lawainee had proved dangerous in the past. The image shifted and showed 
Gadget's twin leaving the hotel Chip was staying at and returning to a 
humble halfway house. It soon became evident that Luwainee had been working 
at the hotel and was not doing well. It spite of her suspisions, her heart 
went out to this miscreant. Then she saw as Lawainee returned and Chip 
apologized for chastising her. She observed the time they spent together 
and the kisses between them. **Golly, is Chip going to leave me..I mean us..
for her?** She couldn't avoid continuing as the image shifted again. Now, 
they were alone in Chip's room. But to Gadget's relief (why was she so 
relieved?) they didn't go any farther than that.
    Gadget paused a moment, but decided to look again. She watched as Chip 
boarded the boat and saw him enter his cabin and start /crying./ In all the 
time that Gadget had known him, she had never seen or heard of Chip crying. 
It really distressed her as she saw him take something out of his jacket 
pocket. It was the picture of her that she knew he always had with him. She 
had wanted him to have it in case the Rangers ever broke up and he wanted 
something to remember her or those days by. But she also saw that he had a 
picture of Lawainee with him too. He sat on his bed and put the two 
pictures in his lap. He sat staring then, and Gadget could almost read his 
thoughts by the look on his face. **What do I do now**?
    Gadget would forgive him. In fact, she already had--especially in light 
of how bad off Lawainee was. She had obviously run upon hard times and been 
forced to do honest work to survive. Maybe it had changed her, made her face
the world. **Maybe it made her more like me**. That thought actually brought 
a pang of guilt to the young mouse as she lowered the sword a moment. She 
knew all too well that Chip was smitten with her. It was highly possible 
that his feelings of sympathy had combined with his feelings for her and 
created that romantic interlude. To have caused Chip pain was the last 
thing in the universe she wanted to do and she wished she was there to 
comfort him now. She raised the sword again.
    It was much later now, and Chip was leaving the ship accompanied by
Luwainee and a female chipmunk. The two girls cried as Chip said goodbye to 
them and he explained why they would have to remain friends only. **They say 
your first love is the strongest one of all**. But Gadget realized something 
more. She had never really thought of Chip as being emotionally vulnerable. 
Now she had seen proof that he was, and probably had been hiding the depth 
of his feelings all along. Those feelings were strong enough to make him 
give up two girls who obviously had fallen for him, even though one looked 
/exactly/ like her. That spoke of commitment. Perhaps she might explore the 
extent of that commitment when she returned. **If I return, that is**.
    Gadget wasn't the only one burning the midight oil that night. The 
mutants had indeed been busy. They had been out looking for Thundrainium 
deposits and found a good supply near Fire Rock Mountain. It had taken 
several trips back and forth from Castle Plundarr, but now they had enough 
Thundrainium to begin purifying it. The work was hard and hot. They had to 
take the ore and boil out the impurities. Once liquified, they could pour 
it into a shell casing where it would harden.
    "Watch what you're doing, Monkian!" Slythe yelled. "You almost spilled 
some on me!"
    The look from Monkian said that he didn't care if the now-molten rock 
melted all of his prattling companion's body. "Watch out yourself. Why don't 
you try pouring this magma for a while, if you think you can do better?"
    Vulture man, who was busy making the shells for the Thundrainium, looked 
up from his work. "Awk! It won't do any good to argue among ourselves. Let's 
finish up for tonight, then we can start pouring the Thundrainium tomorrow."
    Slythe looked over from Monkian to Vulture Man. "How long before the new
weapon will be ready?"
    "I've got Jackal Man working on the parts for it, but it will take at 
least a week to finish."
    Slythe let an evil grin wash across his reptilian face. "Then we will 
attack and rid ourselves of the Thundercats once and for all, yessss?"
    "As long as Mumm-Ra comes through on his part of the bargain," Jackal 
man added in from across the room.
    "Why should he fail?" Slythe asked. "He's always come through before."
    "That may be," Monkain said. "But for all his power, he still hasn't 
been able to defeat the Thundercats. With or without our help."
    "Well, as the great Plundarr said, 'patience wins the battle.'" Slythe 
said. "I think it's just a matter of time."
    That was the end of the conversation, becuase Mutants aren't exactly the 
greatest conversationalists in the universe. They continued their work 
through the night. When morning came to Cat's Lair, it was met with eight 
bright pairs of eyes. The breakfast conversation was lively and reminded 
Gadget of morning at Ranger Headquarters. The Thundercats decided that each 
person should take turns working with Gadget to hone her skills. Panthro 
volunteered to be first.
    Gadget spent the morning learning all the systems in Cat's Lair. Panthro 
was impressed with her almost instant ability to learn new technology. Soon, 
Gadget was able to run all the defensive systems, scanners and 
communications equipment. All the while, she was mentally writing down 
blueprints for when she got home. When she got outside, she got her first 
real good look at Cat's Lair in the daylight. 
    It was an impressive fortress of stone and steel,shaped like a huge cat 
(of course) with an off-white body and arms and a gunmetal gray head with 
red eyes. She already knew that the eyes were lasers, as she had tested 
them that morning. **Boy, what I could do with Ranger Headquarters!** The 
thought quickly left her as the left arm  of the Lair raised. revealing 
Panthro's workshop and the Thundertank's home. Panthro waved Gadget over and 
had her take the driver's seat.
    Her first time out was like you might suspect with any first-time 
driver. Although her abilities were up to the task, it took her time to get 
used to the different controls. Soon, they were several miles from the Lair, 
near the Wolo villages.
    Suddenly, an alarm sounded. "What's that, Panthro?" Gadget asked.
Panthro pushed a few buttons on the console. "Perimeter scanner's picked up
something. I'll try to put it on screen. The image changed, and showed that
there was trouble aplenty. The Giantors had come down from their mountain
home and were raiding the Wolos for supplies.
    "Better let me take over, Gadget," Panthro said as Gadget brought the 
Thundertank to a halt. They quickly switched places, and Panthro activated 
the tank's weapons systems.
    The duo soon closed on the Wolo village, met by several dozen Wolos 
running the other way. They could see three Giantors advancing through the 
village, pillaging as they went.
    "Now's as good a time as any to start training." Panthro said. "Grab 
your nunchunks, Gadget, and let's teach these Giantors some manners!"
    Gadget was only too ready to comply. She brought her goggles down and in 
a moment she was running alongside Panthro, nunchuks in hand. They stopped 
about twenty feet from the assailants.
    "Watch my technique, and don't try anything too tricky your first time!" 
Panthro warned. The iron-muscled Thundercat charged the Giantors, 
challenging the nearest one. "Hey, big and ugly, you wanna dance?"
    This had the desired effect as the twenty-foot-high behemoth ran toward 
Panthro. Suddenly, Panthro feinted right and sprang to the left, at the same 
time extending the chain that held the nunchuks together. Then he grabbed 
the chain, spun the nunchuks around his head and let them fly at the 
Giantor. They produced the desired effect, wrapping themselves around the 
aggressor's legs and felling him like an tall tree under the jumberjack's 
    "That's how it's done, Gadget! Use their size against them!" Panthro 
cried as he immobilized his target. Gadget had her hands full at the moment, 
though. The other two Giantors had teamed up on her. She tried tripping them 
like Panthro, but they held their feet. She almost panicked, but her 
disciplined mind would have none of that. She simply lowered the goggles and 
brought out her bolo whip. In an instant, the whip enveloped her and she 
vanished. The Giantors stopped in their tracks, looking everywhere for her. 
They did not notice when the nunchunks started to move. Nor were they able 
to react fast enough when Gadget reappeared and the superelastic whip 
tangled their legs together. She then pointed one of the nunchuks at them 
and an electric charge knocked them off their feet.
    "All right," she said. "Have you had enough, or do I have to get rough?" 
The Giantors held up their hands in surrender, and Gadget released the whip. 
"Then return where you came from. Now." The two beaten giants stopped only 
to pick up their comrade as they hurriedly made their way out of the 
village. Panthro came up behind Gadget and put his hand on her shoulder.
    "Nicely done, Gadget! Those three won't be back here any time soon. How 
did you know about the electric power in the nunchuks though? I didn't have 
time to show you that."
    Gadget smiled. She was still breathing hard from the effort of the 
fight. "I seem to have been given a knowledge of the weapons when I got 
them. But just like with the Thundertank, I haven't mastered them yet."
    Panthro chuckled. "Well, you mastered them enough to give those Giantors 
some trouble. C'mon, we'll go near the Forest of Silence. We can train in 
peace there."
     Gadget nodded her agreement. They were almost back to the Thundertank 
when the Wolos surrounded them. The tribal elder, a grisly gray-bearded Wolo 
who carried the look of a humanlike sheep that all Wolos shared, spoke first.
     "Oh thank you, Thundercat. And thank you, stranger. Our village would 
certainly lie in ruins now if it wasn't for you!"
    "Golly, we're just glad we were here to help!" Gadget answered. "If 
those giants come bothering you again, you know you can depend on us. Right, 
    Panthro fisted his hands, putting them on his hips. "Exactly. Now, 
you'll have to excuse us. My new friend and I are about to do some serious 
training." With that, Gadget and Panthro leapt into the Thundertank and 
headed for the Forest of Silence.
    Once they arrived, Panthro took the time to go over every function of 
the nunchuks. Even though Gadget had been made familiar with them, she paid 
strict attention, making note of every detail. Then Panthro led her through 
several katas, teaching her new fighting moves that would be useful with her 
new  weapon. Again, this mouse impressed him. She was like a mental sponge, 
immediately taking in and assimilating the knowledge she was given. A few 
more lessons, and she would be giving /him/ a run for his money.
    Finally, lunchtime came. They stopped and ate the repast that Snarf had 
prepared for them, a mixture of breadfruit and meatfruit gathered from the 
RoBear Burbles, a peaceful group of robotic bears that were very reminiscent 
of Ewoks. Gadget found the meal extremly tasteful. **Especially after all 
those cheese soufles Monty's been trying on us lately**. They had just 
finished when a quick breeze stirred by them. It was Cheetara.
    "Panthro, I hear our new friend made quite an impression on the Wolos." 
Cheetara said. "I wonder if she'll have any more luck with me today."
    "Hey, I just got started with her!" Panthro jibed back. "She did pretty 
good for her first time out, but she's got a long way to go yet."
    "Then we'd better get started. Are you ready, Gadget?"
    Gadget had already traded the nunchuks for the power rod like Cheetara 
held. "Ready, Cheetara."
    "Then let's go!"
    The breeze was a little heavier on Panthro as the two speedsters blazed 
past him. Watching them running together was quite a sight. Cat and mouse 
both left a speed blur behind them as they poured on the power. Gadget was 
quite glad that her clothes were up to this standard. She had made her 
coveralls herself out of a composite of parachute silk, kevlar and asbestos. 
It had held up under all sorts of conditions, including the heat friction 
that her speed was building up now. 
    They soon left the meadows that lined the Forest of Silence and entered 
an arid area of plateaus and mesas with sheer rock faces. Cheetara motioned 
to Gadget to run toward one of the highest plateaus and Gadget complied. 
When Cheetara made it to the base of one of the plateaus, her speed 
propelled her right up the rock face. Gadget, who had been hanging back a 
bit, marvelled at this feat of speed and proceeded to do it herself. They 
stopped at the top of the plateau, taking time to enjoy the view.
    "Wow, how did you learn that trick?" Gadget asked.
    Cheetara laughed. "On Thundera, it was one of the first things the 
children in my tribe dared each other to do." Suddenly the smile left the 
female Thundercat's face as she remembered her friends, now long gone.
    "What's wrong, Cheetara? What is it?" Gadget automatically reached out 
her hand to comfort her new friend, as she would have done with anyone else. 
Cheetara gripped it gently and smiled slightly. "I just realized we haven't 
told you our story of how we came to be here. You see, I was remembering my 
childhood because it's about the only happy memories I have of Thundera. My 
planet exploded about twenty years ago."
    Gadget gasped reflexively. She had lost her parents early on, and never 
thought that anyone could lose something to compare with that. But to lose 
your entire home planet? To lose everything and everyone you know? It passed 
all ability to comprehend.
    Gadget looked at her again in sympathy, then curiousity. "Twenty years 
ago? But you're not much older than I am. Were you a child when you left 
your planet?"
    Cheetara proceeded to explain that when they left Thundara, they were
originally supposed to go to a planet they had named New Thundara. But a 
mutant attack along the way damaged their ship, making Third Earth the only 
place they could reach. But in the ship's damaged state, they could only run 
on minimal power which meant they had to ride out the journey in stasis.
    "So you didn't know if you were going to make it or not, then?" Gadget 
    "We nearly didn't. We crashed here and the mutants found our suspension 
capsules. If Lion-O hadn't been awakened by Snarf, we would all have been 
    Cheetara stopped and looked at the beginnings of a blush on Gadget's 
face. This is not what she expected. "You're attracted to Lion-O?"
    Gadget was taken aback by the question and started to answer 
defensively, but decided there was no real reason for that. She felt a 
strange kindred with this Thundercat, almost like an older sister she never 
had. "Well, yes. He's quite handsome for a cat. And strong. And there's 
this...magnetism to him. Haven't you felt it?"
    Cheetara smiled softly. "Yes, and moreso than you. I hope one day that 
Lion-O may choose me as his queen."
    "You love him, then?"
    "Yes, but leave that between us for now. Despite his appearance, he is 
in many ways still a youth. He was only ten when he left his home planet."
    Gadget stared a moment. "But that would make you.."
    "A lot older that he is, I know. But what's age when it comes to love? I 
will always love Lion-O, whether he acknowledges it or not. you 
have someone you love?"
    Gadget blushed quite a bit more at this. "Well, I don't know about 
loving, but I do have two good friends, Chip and Dale. They both fight for 
my attention. I have to admit, though, Chip surpised me lately with the 
depth of his feelings. I just don't know if his efforts are the result of 
love or just the need for competition or if it's just his ego."
    Cheetara was a bit amazed at how open this stranger was being with her. 
She had liked Gadget right off, though, and had two admit it was nice having 
another female to talk to. "Why don't you find out, then?"
    Gadget sat down on the edge of the plateau and let her feet dangle off. 
"I don't know. There were times when it seemed that Chip was just using me 
to get at Dale. But now, Dale has his own girlfriend and Chip is alone. 
I've noticed he's not been trying to win my attention so much lately. Do 
you think that means he's not really interested in me?"
    Cheetara had taken the liberty of sitting down beside her. "I don't know 
about him, Gadget, but it sounds like /you're/ interested. All I can say is, 
be true to your own feelings. When a man loves you, don't take it lightly. 
And never assume that love will always be there for you. If you let true 
love pass you by, it may never come again."
    Gadget looked up. "But you haven't shared your feelings with Lion-O, 
    "No, I haven't. The time isn't right yet. But when the time does come, I 
won't hesitate to tell him. You have to have that kind of courage to find 
out if the love goes both ways."
    "I...just don't know."
    "And you won't, unless you ask him, or make the opportunity for him to 
ask you. I can tell you this, though. Going through life alone is a 
difficult thing. If someone is willing to share the burden, it's often best 
to travel together."
    Gadget reached over and hugged her new friend. "Thanks Cheetara. And 
I'll consider it."
    After their talk, the two females sped their way down the Plateau. 
Cheetara  showed her how to "put on brakes" by running the other way just 
before reaching the bottom. Stopping their accelation, the two easily landed 
at the bottom and proceeded back toward Cat's Lair. They passed over a 
river, their feet moving so fast, they didn't have a chance to sink. Tygra 
was waiting for them there.
    "My turn now, Cheetara?" Tygra said, as he watched the two stop in front 
of him.
    "She's all yours, Tygra. See you later Gadget." Cheetara said, as she 
headed out on her regular patrol.
    Gadget smiled as she waved goodbye to her kindred spirit, as she now 
thought of her. Perhaps it was fate that had brought her to this strange 
planet and to the Thundercats. Cheetara had forced her to face her own 
feelings. She had never gone out with boys as a youngster, even with her 
father's gentle hints that she should. As a girl, she had dedicated her life 
to science, knowledge, technology--the high arts that would satiate her 
cravings for bigger and better inventions. But in the past few years with 
the Rangers she had begun to realize that inventing wasn't enough. And that 
she had missed something. It had taken a woman-to-woman talk to make her 
realize just what that something was.
    "Gadget, are you okay?"
    "Huh?" Her mind snapped back to reality. Tygra had been talking to her 
for over half a minute before he realized she was someplace else. "Your 
mind isn't here. Where were you?"
    "I was thinking of home, and a friend." Gadget said.
    "Your mind is strong, Gadget. Let's find out if you are ready for the 
    Before she had time to react, Tygra disappeared right in front of her. 
She hadn't seen him use his bolo, but he was gone nevertheless. Then 
everything was gone. It was dark, like empty space. Then, slowly, images 
began to form around her. She was home.
    **This can't be right**. She was in a different dimension, another 
planet. Yet somehow she was home, in Ranger Headquarters. Everything looked 
normal, down to the details of the living room she was standing in. She 
flinched as the door opened. As she spun around, Monterey Jack walked in.
    "Hello, Gadget-luv! A year passes by quick, don't it?"
    "Uh, yeah..." Gadget answered hesitantly. "You are real, aren't you 
Monty? I mean, I thought I was..."
    "Real? Why wouldn't I be real? I'm your old pal Monterey Jack. And 
here's Zipper. I'm sure he's just as real as me. Go on, touch me lass."
    She did, and it reassured her. "Are the rest of the Rangers back yet? 
I've got quite a story to tell them."
    "We sure are!" Chip's voice sounded just outside headquarters as he led 
the way, with Dale and Foxglove behind him.
    Greetings were exchanged all around, then they all sat down to tell of 
their adventures. Monty wanted to go first, of course, but Gadget insisted 
on starting off.
    "But why, luv? Don't think your adventure could have been more exciting 
than mine."
    Gadget looked up at him. "I don't know if you can top this one, Monty. 
I've been to another dimension."
    That stopped everyone in their tracks. The Rangers knew that Gadget 
wouldn't lie about anything, but /this/?
    "Wowie-zowie! Another dimension? Did ya meet all sorts of space aliens, 
huh. Did ya?" Dale asked with bated breath.
    Gadget proceeded to tell them of her adventure in the pyramid and her 
time spent with the Thundercats. She included all the details she had seen 
through the Sword of Omens, excepting for Chip.
    "Blimey! That's just what happened to us! And by the way Dale's lookin' 
I think you got him pegged, too." Mony exclaimed.
    "Ooh, maybe you've got psychic powers!" Dale shouted.
    Chip rapped him a good one for that. "Didn't I teach you that psychic 
stuff is psychobabble, Ramma-Lamma-Dummy?" The leader of the Rangers then 
turned to Gadget, a mounting sense of curiousity and dread coming over him. 
"And did you see what happened to me as well?"
    Gadget almost hesitated, but she knew she had nothing to be ashamed of. 
"Yes, Chip, and don't worry about it. I know how you must have been split 
between us and I saw her predicament too. We won't bring it up again."
    Dale, Foxglove and Monty looked with bewilderment through all this. 
"She? Predicament? What is it? What did you see?" Monty asked finally.
    "I think that it had better stay between Chip and me for now, Monterey." 
Gadget said, keeping an even keel in her voice. "The circumstances of what 
happened were personal and could be embarrassing to a certain chipmunk in 
the room." Chip blushed hard at this. "But don't give it any thought. It's 
just something you don't mention in mixed company."
    Chip thought that Gadget could have phrased it better than that, but he 
was /very/ relieved she didn't tell the others what happened. Not that they 
wouldn't understand, but he was still trying to get a grip on exactly what 
had happened to him, and he didn't need any accusing fingers or faces right 
now. Gadget understood. That was enough for him.
    Dale still wasn't satisfied though. "Aw c'mon, you can tell us. Just 
    At this point, Foxglove had given him a stern elbow to the ribs, which 
saved Gadget the trouble. "Didn't you hear her, Dale? If she says it's too 
personal, it's too personal. How would you like it if personal points of 
your life were spread all over the place?"
    Dale did a double take at this. "I guess you're right. Sorry guys, I 
guess I let my curiousity run away with me. Speaking of which," Dale looked 
to his new mate with a knowing grin, "how's about you run away with me to 
the park?"
    "Oh, I don't know," she said coyly. "You aren't planning anything 
untoward, are you?"
    "Nope. Just kissing the bat fantastic."
    "Then let's go!" Foxglove laughed as she caught Dale a bit off-guard, 
carrying him out of headquarters. She couldn't do it for long, but then 
again, she wouldn't need to. This left the rest of the Rangers to laugh at 
their cat-and-mouse game.
    The remainder of the day was spent in catching up on casework and 
checking for enemy activity. All was quiet, so when Chip, Monty and Gadget 
returned from police headquarters, they weren't exactly surprised to find 
Dale and Foxglove snuggled up together, watching an evening movie. Chip 
grabbed up his Sherluck Jones book, Monty and Zipper headed for the docks 
and Gadget went placidly to her workshop. Everything seemed to be falling 
into routine.
    The routine changed a bit, though, when Gadget heard a knock at her 
workshop door. It wasn't overly strange for someone to knock. Everyone knew 
that Gadget liked her privacy when she was inventing. But she knew that this 
was Chip knocking, and that along made her uneasy. It was time to face the 
    "Come in," Gadget said, as the door creaked open (Gadget hadn't taken 
time to oil it since getting back) and the stalwart chipmunk tenderly 
entered. He tried his best to avoid disturbing Gadget when she was working, 
but he knew and she knew they had unfinished business.
    Chip was at a loss on how to open the conversation, but knew that he 
would have to be the one. "So, how much did you see?"
    "Everything. Oh, Chip, I'm not mad at you. I saw the situation Lawainee 
was in and I would  have been sympathetic to her plight, too. Besides, I 
think there's another reason you fell for her so easily."
    Chip took off his hat and threw it to the floor. "I know, I know. I let 
my feelings cloud my judgement! I couldn't believe I did that! But she was 
sincere, Gadget. She had changed, and she seemed so..."
    "Like me? Yeah, I thought the same thing. And then when I saw you crying 
on the boat..."
    "You saw that?" Chip had been hoping against hope that Gadget wouldn't 
know about that part. Chip had always had problems showing his true 
feelings for people. It went back to his relationship with Dale. He'd always 
cavorted and bonked his way through life. He'd never had to face up to his 
real feelings. And when he finally did...
    Chip looked down at the floor. "I didn't know what to do. The emotions 
just hit me like a fire hose. I loved Laiwainee and I loved you. And I knew 
I had to make a decision. But it worked out okay. Lawainee and I are good
friends, but no more than that. It's the same with the other girl I met."
    Gadget put down the wrench she had been holding and came over and faced 
Chip, putting her right hand on his left shoulder. "But Chip, you could have 
stayed with either of them. And Lawainee loved you and wanted you. Why did 
you pick me over her?"
    This was getting difficult for Chip. More difficult than he had 
imagined. "I...I thought of staying with her. But I realized that most of 
my love for her was a reflection of my love for you. I couldn't betray you, 
Gadget--not for her, not for anyone." Now the tears were starting to flow. 
"I can't hold it in any longer, Gadget, it's killing me not having you in my 
arms. I have to you think you love me, even a little?"
    Chips tearing eyes were now reflected by the soft, loving eyes across 
from him. "Chip, you've taken me in, made me a part of your family, loved me 
more than I realized, and stayed more faithful than any man could! I'd 
forgotten what love was before you came into my life. You've given me a 
better life than I could ever have had alone. Of course I love you!"
    The two lovers found each other through the tears, and for the first 
time since her father had left her, Gadget felt real contentment. She could 
feel the love radiating out of Chip, enveloping her. The moment was to 
awesome for words. But, finally, words did come.
    "Gadget, will you marry me?"
    It took her a few moments to realize what he had asked, which made Chip 
fear that she was going to reject him. He'd asked too soon, made too quick 
an advance.
    She parted only slightly from him so he could see her face, enlivened 
with the love he'd shared with her. "Chip, you've given me something that I 
didn't know I'd missed. You've given me yourself, all your love and all 
your comfort. I couldn't go on without it. I'd be honored to be your wife."
    Chip nearly fainted from the power of the moment. He could now feel 
Gadget's love in him, and the fear and anxiety melted away into peace and 
happiness. Several hours later, Gadget found herself on the couch in the 
living room with the other Rangers. She had been the one to tell them the 
good news. Dale, of all people, seemed the most relieved.
    "Now I don't have to worry about Chip being alone in that bunk anymore!" 
he teased as he elbowed his friend playfully.
    "Dale!" Chip cried. Then he saw the mischief in his friend's eyes, and 
knew he had misunderstood. "Thanks Dale. It's good to know you care that 
    "Well pallies," Monty intervened. "I think it's time we all turned in. 
It's been a bonzer day." The mighty mouse hugged Gadget as he made his way 
back. "Knew you had it in ya all along," he whispered to his girl as he 
left the others.
    Dale and Foxglove said their goodnights, then Zipper and finally Chip, 
after a goodnight kiss that would have made Don Juan proud.
    "Good night, Gadget. If my love was water, it would o'erflow the 
world// It will last beyond death, till the stars turn cold!"
    Gadget blinked at this. "Chip! I had no idea there was a poet in you."
    "You've got a lot of things to find out about me, my sweet." Chip winked 
as he walked to the portal. "I'll see you in the morning."
    "'Night, Chip!" Gagdet said sweetly, still savoring the peace of the 
love they now shared. With a smile on her lips, she let the soothing 
darkness take her into dreamland.
    But in a moment, she realized she wasn't asleep, and dreams weren't 
coming. Then, the world reformed around her, and suddenly Tygra appeared 
before her again.
    Gadget was one traffic jam of emotion. "But I was...and 
could you /do/ that to me?" Gadget yelled.
    "Calm yourself, Gadget," Tygra said. "I had to challenge you in your 
mind. Your  indecision over the idea of marriage was keeping you from 
concentrating on the moment. That indecision was your greatest fear. But you 
overcome it. Now, you must remain in the here and now totally to win the 
day. Do you understand?"
    Gadget suddenly heard the gravity in Tygra's voice and nodded.
    "But does that mean I'm going to marry Chip?" Gadget asked.
    Tygraa smiled and shook his head. "No Gadget. That situation was only in
your mind. How you deal with your fried in real life is your decision. Now, 
let's start with some mental exercises."
    Gadget spent the rest of the day learning how to focus her mind and tell 
the real from the unreal. She also learned that Tygra's force of mind power 
was something she had also been given. Tygraa showed her how to project her 
thoughts and create illusions that would fool anyone's mind. But like Tygra, 
Gadget could only do this with considerable effort. By day's end, she was 
Rescue Rangers copyright Walt Disney.
Thundercats copyright Telepictures Corp.
All characters used without permission,
but with the utmost respect.
You are free to distribute this document,
but do not modify.
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