Gadget had been working on her new invention for several days, and now it was ready for the test flight. Fortunately the weather was perfect; if it wasn't, there's a chance she would've gone ahead with it anyway. But the skies were clear with almost no chance of rain, and there was a good breeze blowing. Just right for her new balloon.
Now there was nothing new about a balloon. But Gadget had added something different: 2 adjustable side panels, like wings, for steering. That was the main trouble with ballooning. You couldn't steer, had to go wherever the wind decided to take you. This new invention might just fix that.
Balloons were easy to get around here. They were everywhere. Gadget had bought one, thrown a net over it, and tied the ends to a plastic bowl that would serve as the gondola. Two horizontal bars held the wings, bars connected to a steering lever by a series of gears.
As the little mouse readied her invention, she never thought whether anyone she knew would happen by.
The sight of a balloon in the park was nothing noteworthy. They were everywhere. But this one was not held by a child, nor a costermonger. The one Basil espied was apparently the property of a familiar mouse.
"Why, Miss Gadget, are you taking up ballooning?" he greeted his fellow-rodent. "I thought aeroplanes were more to your fancy."
As he raised his hat to the lady, Basil examined the airship before him. He was always interested in aeronautics, not only for its potential use in fighting crime, but because it was so frightfully thrilling to soar through the air like a bird.
"I've never seen anything like this sail business, though. A new invention of yours, I suspect?"
The construction of just about anything would frankly have been enough to catch Jiminy’s attention, perpetually curious as he was, but there was particular interest taken in the (rare) fact that this time around the object under construction was something more on his level as opposed to a human invention. He could count the number of times he'd stumbled upon similarly-sized folks (outside of family of course) back where he was from on two hands; all the more reason why he couldn’t quite resist the urge to go check out the situation at hand as soon as he’d spotted the thing from a distance. The two mice already observing the invention were unfamiliar, but that had certainly never stopped Jiminy before, and he had little hesitation in approaching to study the vehicle once he’d closed the distance a fair bit.
“My stars, would you look at this!” With an impressed whistle he hopped a little closer, maintaining a careful distance from the contraption even as he peered at it with curious appreciation. Jiminy liked to think he was resourceful enough with the materials he managed to scavenge, but he could never have imagined crafting something like this out of a balloon; as a matter of fact, the thought of inventing a means to take to the sky was never a thought that would have crossed his mind at all. It was more than just the sheer ingenuity that captivated him-- he was fascinated by the possibilities it presented.
“Er, apologies,” he added a bit belatedly as he swept off his hat with a bow directed towards the two mice, both an apology and a greeting all at once. “Didn’t mean to intrude. But… gosh, is this somethin’ else!” The other fellow had been right on the money when he’d said he’d never seen anything quite like it before, and Jiminy was in complete agreement on that front.
Jake caught sight of the balloon right away. Hearing that Gadget made, and flew, a plane, did surprise him. Yet here, the sheila was working on a hot air balloon! Jake couldn't help but whistle as he approached, a big grin on his face as he did. It was an impressive sight to see what a mouse can do with the right tools. And it wasn't just mice too, as he saw a cricket in clothing standing nearby as well. Another new comer, no doubt. Still, Jake was impressed.
"Well, would you look at that!" Jake said as he approached, "Didn't think you would be able to make such a thing with simple tools." He then looked at the balloon itself, "Guessing they allowed you to have one?"
He then smiled, seeing Basil, "Ah, Basil! Good day to you, mate. Things going well since the whole thing in Animal Kingdom?" He then looked to the cricket, "And good day to you too. I assume your new here. Name's Jake." He tipped his hat as a greeting.
Why, Miss Gadget, are you taking up ballooning? I thought aeroplanes were more to your fancy.
Gadget gave Basil a warm smile before giving her invention another look.
"Well, yeah. But I thought up this idea and wanted to try it out." Yes, ballooning was a more primitive way to fly. But when Gadget got an idea, she just had to flesh it out.
Before they could discuss it any further, a stranger interrupted.
Didn’t mean to intrude. But… gosh, is this somethin’ else!
Gadget thanked the cricket sincerely. She was always gratified when somebody appreciated something she made.
"My name's Gadget, and this is Basil. Nice to meet you." There wasn't time for much more before Jake came by, another friend she hadn't seen in a while.
Guessing they allowed you to have one?
"Oh, I bought the balloon. They sell them everyplace. Of course, the cast member had to tie it down for me until I could get it weighted. The rest of the parts I found around the park. I'm just about ready to take it on a test flight. Do you guys want to come along?"
It seemed that Gadget's balloon was attracting quite the crowd. Basil nodded a greeting to the cricket, all the while remarking to himself about the easy familiarity these American ladies possessed.
Good day to you, mate. Things going well since the whole thing in Animal Kingdom?
"Capitally, capitally," he answered Jake. Then he was free to turn his attention once more to the balloon, observing the way in which the steering mechanism manipulated the sails. "And this, I presume, releases gas from the balloon? Ingenious." Though Basil was no mechanic, it seemed to him a neat piece of engineering.
I'm just about ready to take it on a test flight. Do you guys want to come along?
Basil's eyebrows lifted. He did so enjoy flying, and it wasn't often he had the opportunity to indulge himself. A bird's-eye view of the park would be rather thrilling, just the thing to while away a lazy afternoon.
“Jiminy,” he introduced himself in turn before answering Jake’s question, albeit a bit distractedly given his attention was largely still focused on the balloon. “New enough that I’m still learnin’ the ropes, I suppose.”
I'm just about ready to take it on a test flight. Do you guys want to come along?
Despite his fascination with the whole prospect, the cricket hesitated a bit. While flying did sound exciting (it had been a while since he’d gotten to experience anything so entirely new to him, after all) and he was hardly frightened by the idea of being that high above the ground, it was difficult to stifle the bit of apprehension that crept up on him regardless even in the face of the other’s eager willingness to go along. Anything could happen up there, and it was a very long way down to the ground.
“Er… are you sure it’s safe?” He asked before hurrying to clarify. He wasn't exactly worried about the structure of the invention, after all, and certainly wouldn't want Gadget thinking as much. “I’m sure you built it just fine! But... there could be birds, or- or who knows what else...!” he trailed off worriedly. Granted, he couldn't exactly think of anything else specific that could be dangerous, but that didn't mean there wasn't cause to fret.
Jake chuckled, "Still is a lot more to learn, but you'll get the hang of it, mate." He said to Jiminy. He would then look to Gadget, and gave a nod, "Those cast members are good at what they do. I am glad they've been great help."
He would then look over the balloon, examining how it was set up. He was no engineer, but he could get a guess as to how it worked. After all, balloons naturally floated, so all you needed was a capsule to hold the passenger, and a way to control the balloon part of it. Maybe something to control direction, and a way to control ascent and descent. The kangaroo mouse then gave a smile to Gadget, "Well, it would be a wonderful trip. I'd be happy to join you."
He then looked to Jiminy, "Ah, well, birds usually go after smaller things. The balloon is larger than them. As for us? Well, we should be fine. They expect prey to be on the floor."
He did wonder though if he should of gotten Zazu to tag along. If something did happen, they would at least have an extra pair of wings for back up. Ah well, they should be fine.
Gadget was glad to hear everybody agree to come along. It would make the trip that much more fun with some company.
All except Jiminy, that is.
are you sure it’s safe? there could be birds
"Yeah, I guess there will be birds in the air," Gadget began. She wasn't thinking about the fact that birds ate bugs. "There are pigeons and stuff back in New York, and I fly there all the time. So if we get in their air space, we'll just tell them we're sorry and move away. That's the reason for the new steering mechanism."
Now that that was settled, Gadget clambered into the gondola and went into her final pre-flight check. "Climb in, guys. We're almost ready to take off." Fortunately, there was plenty of room for a few extra mice and a bug.
Basil did not wait for a formal invitation. He vaulted over the side of the gondola, or what took the place of the gondola, and inspected the interior. It was clearly built for utility rather than comfort, but that would do for a short pleasure trip. He found the controls most interesting.
"Is there anything I might do to assist you, Miss Gadget? Drop some ballast or some such?" It seemed the only thing to do was to release the ropes holding them down, according to the lady. Accordingly, Basil stationed himself at one and, at her command, did his duty and untied it. With nothing to hold it to earth, the balloon rose swiftly. Their adventure, had they only known it, had begun.
<<I'm not trying to exclude anyone, only to hurry along the preliminaries. Jiminy and Jake can post how they climb in before the ropes are released.>>
Jiminy very much doubted that any bird would be receptive to something as straightforward as an apology. He'd met a great many creatures in all his time and travels and yet through all of that he'd- as of yet, at least- never met any bird that was able to process even the slightest bit of reason. All he knew is he was going to stick very, very close to the exit, thank you very much. There was no time like the present to find out if his umbrella was up for a hundred-foot plummet to the ground if the occasion called for an escape attempt.
"If you say so," was all he said in response, then, though not without a great deal of further uncertainty; and when he climbed into the balloon he indeed stuck close to the edge, hands tightly gripping the lip of the makeshift gondola. "Guess experience trumps... well, knowledge."
...Not that 'birds are bad' was a particularly wise bit of knowledge by anyone's standards.
For better or for worse (quite likely better by everyone else in the balloon's standards, at least, as they were spared from further fretting) nearly all unease was forgotten upon liftoff. As the earth surrounding them instead surrendered to sky, it was hard to worry too extensively about any preliminary planning for disaster, unnecessary or not. It was gorgeous- and a sensation unlike anything else Jiminy was familiar with. His tight grip eased rather gradually as curiosity won out over caution enough for him to straighten up fully, leaning forward just a bit with one hand gripping his hat so as not to lose it to the wind.
"Gosh..." It was more of an awed breath than any coherent line of thinking as he adjusted to the view. "Never thought I'd live to see anything like this."
Jake: Hello there, and welcome!
Aug 1, 2019 17:04:22 GMT -5
Basil: Basil and Vanellope had an...interesting relationship.
Aug 1, 2019 21:44:00 GMT -5
Ronno: A belated welcome Vanellope!
Aug 6, 2019 17:13:19 GMT -5
Helen Parr: Heyy sorry about the delay! The kitchen remodeling took an entire month and then my sister left for vet school, so it's been super busy for me. I'm back to posting though <3
Aug 8, 2019 23:46:21 GMT -5
Ronno: Good to see you back! Congrats and good luck to your sister too! It’s a tough route but very rewarding. (I’m actually a vet tech myself ).
Aug 9, 2019 13:38:22 GMT -5
Elsa: I'm coming back as well! Pruning a few characters, have an idea for a new one (i have a mild addiction... XD)
Aug 9, 2019 18:41:51 GMT -5
Negaduck: Admitting it is the first step to a cure.
Aug 9, 2019 19:06:58 GMT -5
Helen Parr: Lol that's awesome that you're in that field, too! <3 My sister was a vet tech as well! Thank you! It definitely sounds tough.
Aug 13, 2019 20:11:54 GMT -5
Ronno: <3 ! Vet techs unite! Always good to hear of a fellow vet tech. ^_^
Aug 14, 2019 20:56:04 GMT -5
Edna Mode: welcome back helen hope things went ok been waiting for the thread to continue
Aug 15, 2019 2:10:44 GMT -5
Elsa: relatively unimportant message for Basil
Aug 16, 2019 20:21:29 GMT -5
Helen Parr: Hey Edna! Thank you! I think I'll wait for Vi and Dash to post in there before I post again, but I'm looking forward to the thread too! And yay Sage, love seeing your amazing posts again <3
Aug 16, 2019 23:52:09 GMT -5
Papá Héctor: As for Héctor, I'm getting ready to introduce the whole dance quince court thing in the party this weekend, so prepare yourselves! <3
Aug 16, 2019 23:55:34 GMT -5
Basil: Cool! I have company for the weekend, so I may be late in replying.
Aug 17, 2019 8:33:53 GMT -5
Basil: Yay! A post in the balloon thread!! Hurrah!!
Aug 17, 2019 20:44:45 GMT -5
Jiminy: Soooo so sorry for the crazy delay on literally all of my posts y'all. I'm done with training so I should be less sporadic now with any luck, haha!
Aug 17, 2019 21:05:40 GMT -5
Basil: Jiminy is worth waiting for!
Aug 17, 2019 21:28:51 GMT -5
Judy Hopps: I just spotted that thread for Judy & Nick. Sorry, Fibber! But I'll wait until Reuben posts first.
Aug 21, 2019 14:23:40 GMT -5
Nick Wilde: I was waiting on others, hehe.
Aug 21, 2019 16:45:32 GMT -5