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.
Last Edit: Mar 11, 2019 20:29:53 GMT -5 by Deleted
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."
<<Well...I'm beginning to fear this thread will die of neglect. I'm posting to give the participants another chance to post; if it still doesn't fly, I'll end it without incident and re-use this idea another day.>>
The balloon took to the air exactly as planned once the ropes were released. It rose over the tree line, over the buildings, over the monorail track and was soon only a speck to the tourists on the ground. The air was fresh and cool up here, and Gadget lowered her goggles against the breeze. She checked the gauges she'd put together and pronounced everything A-OK.
"Altitude is 200 feet and climbing...wind speed about 3 knots...pitch is steady..." she announced, in case anybody was interested. "Now to try out the steering." That was the whole purpose of the flight, after all.
((Mainly my fault. Was meant to post, yet keep forgetting))
Jake watched the ground as the balloon would rise. And rise. It was indeed an impressive feat, though he was used to flying by now. He flew on many birds, with the largest being a golden eagle. Flying in a balloon was nothing compared to the high speed excitement of swooping down and up on an avian. But, this would have to do. Seems like everything was going fine, and the cricket was impressed. The kangaroo mouse would give a smile to his friend, "It's always great to feel the clean air as you soar. Back home, I always flew fireflies to get around the swamps. For longer flights? Flying on the back of an avian is always good. Largest one I rode, was actually an eagle. A large eagle capable of carrying a human child on it's back. It was amazing."
He then watched as Gadget tested out the various mechanisms. Steering, mainly. The kangaroo mouse rubbed his head a bit as he looked at the mechanism, seeing how the wings were working. "Pardon me, but what if there is no wind? Can't always get a windy day to push you forward. Unless you had something in mind already."
A smile spread over Gadget's face as she began to work the steering controls. All that prep, and now, at last, she was getting to test out her invention. Nothing made her happier than this. Except maybe that moment when you knew the gizmo you'd made was a success.
She listened to Jake's tales of the creatures he'd used for transportation: bugs and birds and things.
"Really? That seems kind of...unreliable. Having to depend on somebody else, I mean. If the birds are flying the other way, you might not be able to catch a ride to where you need to go." Machines seemed like a much better idea, as far as she could see.
Pardon me, but what if there is no wind?
"No wind?" repeated Gadget. "Hunh, I didn't think about that." She was trying to solve the steering problem, not propulsion. "You could create forward thrust with an engine, I guess."
Gadget's mind bent to the problem posed by Jake, her metaphorical gears spinning like the actual cogs in her steering mechanism.
"Wait...maybe you could..."
Whatever that idea was, no one would ever hear. For as she said it, the little mouse turned toward Jake, accidentally tilting the controls at a steep left angle. The balloon veered off, threatening to turn upside down. Gadget jerked the controls back, too far, as it turned out, and the overcompensation sent them careening toward a flock of seagulls. There was a lot of squawking and a shower of feathers, and when the balloon came out the other side, it sported multiple punctures.
Ah, flying! Basil always enjoyed it, though he only rarely had the opportunity. He leaned over the side, drinking in the fresh breeze and the panorama spread out below. They were crossing the water now, though he could easily see the opposite shore from this height.
You could create forward thrust with an engine, I guess.
Basil certainly wouldn't mind a bit more speed. He'd personally had good results by letting the air out of the balloon in controlled bursts, and turned to say so, when he spied Gadget so deep in discussion that she lost her concentration.
"Miss Gadget--" he began, making a dash for the steering mechanism, but the gondola tilted at such a steep angle that he was thrown backward, nearly toppling over the side. It was only with a great effort that he caught hold of a rope and saved himself, only to be knocked over the rim of the basket by a great hulking bird that crashed into it. The bird flew off uninjured, and Basil held on for life, his feet dangling over the lake below.
Looking upward, he saw the balloon in tatters. This was bad.
Gadget gazed up at her balloon with a look of horror. She'd spent a lot of time on that, and it was awful to see it ruined in a few seconds. But never mind that now.
"We're losing altitude fast!" was her understatement. That bag couldn't hold enough gas to keep them up. Too bad she never thought of making some parachutes.
"Wait...parachutes..." Without a word, the brainy mouse started to unroll a blanket she had stashed in the basket. "I brought this in case it got cold in the high altitude. Maybe we can use it to float down."
One mouse could do it. But three? Plus a bug? Gadget wasn't sure. But staying in the basket didn't seem like an option.
"Everybody grab a corner," she cried. "Oh, wait--Basil, do you need help?"
Jiminy had been so absorbed with watching the ground far below them that it had all seemingly happened quicker than he could take in- he could only process being knocked onto his back abruptly, and by the time he was back up on his feet it seemed as though the entire balloon had been torn to shreds.
Seagulls. It was always seagulls.
Doubtful as he was that one makeshift parachute would be enough to hold four individuals, it was better than simply hanging on and hoping for the best as they careened down towards the earth in the basket. They'd all be flattened from a height like this, he was certain of that much, and-
Oh, wait--Basil, do you need help?
Speaking of heights.
"I've got him, ma'am!"
Although, upon brief consideration, Jiminy wasn't so sure he had the strength (or even the weight) behind him to lift a mouse up. But the least he could do was offer Basil a hand; and if he pulled him down with him, he supposed at least he would go out for a decent cause.
...And die knowing his distaste of birds was vindicated.
"Or, uh, maybe. Maybe I've got him," Jiminy amended as he leaned over the edge of the basket, reaching out with both hands to help lift the mouse back up.
Basil clutched at the ropes, the only things that stood between him and a long drop with a short stop at the end.
Oh, wait--Basil, do you need help?
Brilliant deduction. At least she noticed. Bright girl, but her attention span could stand some improvement.
Aloud he said, "Quite possibly. But don't trouble yourself." Help, when it came, came from an altogether different quarter.
Maybe I've got him
Basil wasn't certain just how strong a cricket was, but the proffered hand was enough; it gave him leisure to climb back aboard without falling.
Once back inside the basket, there was scarcely time for a chap to straighten him tie before:
Everybody grab a corner
Hadn't he suggested to her the last time they went flying together that some sort of safety device was called for? And here they were, falling to their deaths with only a makeshift sail to save their lives. Ah, well, it ought to work, anyway. That was some comfort.
Basil took his portion of the blanket and prepared to jump.
"Oh. Okay." Thanks to Jiminy, Basil was safely back inside. Well, maybe not safe, exactly. Since they were all about to be killed. Unless the blanket thing worked.
"Hold on, everybody, and jump together," she called out. "Now!"
Gadget jumped out of the basket, which wasn't easy when it was falling. In fact, it kind of caused it to turn over. Which might be a good thing, since everybody would just fall out and wouldn't have to jump.
Anyway, the brainy mouse soon found herself hanging from a corner of the blanket, staring at her three travelling companions. The good news was they were now floating instead of falling. Sort of. They were still coming down faster than they would be if they'd had a real parachute. But it shouldn't be a fatal landing. Probably.
"Let's see if we can steer it to land on something soft." Gadget wasn't sure how exactly to do that, as they plummeted toward the only land in sight, an island covered with thick jungle vegetation.
Jake was going to respond to Gadget about how unreliable it was to rely on another for transportation. Sure, it was. But no mouse dared to create something that allows them to fly. Maybe if given time and some of the more engineer-focused mice put their minds together, sure. Though it still would take time to gather materials. Jake opened his mouth, though suddenly stopped when he noticed what Gadget noticed. The birds punctured the balloon! Of course they wouldn't know what it was, and probably attacked it in panic. And he just said that they would go after something smaller. He and his big mouth.
Without a word, Jake grabbed hold of a side of the blanket. Though when he did, he soon chuckled, "Not the first time I found myself in a free fall." He said. It probably wouldn't be the last. On Gadget's mark, she jumped out. The basket turned over soon after, but the blanket did what it was supposed to do. It acted like a parachute, slowing down their decent. Though that meant they had to find someplace to land. And the only place was the island. That one lone island that the park abandoned years ago. The very island Jake hoped to explore at some point. Well, guess he will do that today.
"Hopefully the foliage would cushion our fall..." He muttered. He would observe as they drifted down, keeping an eye out for anything that might help the descent. Though as he did, he saw mostly trees. The place itself was abandoned. But maybe...yes, there we go! Jake spotted what appears to be a canopy that covered a set area. There were some debris in various places, some of it weighing the canopy down. But that might just work. "There's a canopy just a few feet away. If we can land on top of it, we should be able to land without injury!"
In a very few moments they were all out of the basket, floating downward. At least they were away from that murderous flock. Their one clear target below was an island, to Basil, a familiar island. He'd been here before on his self-imposed exile, and the memory was not a pleasant one. But there was nothing else for it.
There's a canopy just a few feet away. If we can land on top of it, we should be able to land without injury!
A sensible suggestion, and rather safer than landing in a tree. Fortunately the winds were in their favour, and they came down upon the canopy with a thump, though safely. It sagged under their weight, being threadbare and worn with years of neglect. The balloon proper, as Basil observed, being much lightened, half-floated, half-fell, descending upon the far side of the island.
Climbing to the ground ought to be easy enough, but before anyone could mention that fact, there was a a tearing sound and the canopy gave way under the detective. He clutched at a piece of cloth, but that, too, tore away, plummeting Basil to earth. An intervening bush broke his fall for the most part, but he landed badly upon his left leg.
"That was a pretty good landing," Gadget said, once they were all down. Not that she'd been exactly worried. But it never hurt to state the obvious.
She was just thinking that the island looked a little familiar from the air, but before she could mention that, the canopy tore right under Basil and he fell through.
That caused Gadget more alarm than the crash landing; she squeaked out a little scream and started on a run for the hole where Basil fell through. But her own steps made a tearing sound that caused her to change direction. "The rest of it might rip at any second!" she cried. Though an insect probably wouldn't fall through, it was too flimsy for rodents.
Reaching the corner of the awning, Gadget slid down the support pole, hitting the ground a few feet from where Basil landed.
"Are you okay?" she asked, clearing away some leaves to get a better look. "Are you bleeding? Is anything broken? Did you hit your head? Are you dizzy? Better lie down in case you have a concussion."
<<I've wanted to do this thread for years, and I am loathe to let it go. Fair warning: I mean to finish it come what may>>
Beside the pain in his ankle, Basil heard a buzzing in his ears.
Are you bleeding? Is anything broken? Did you hit your head? Are you dizzy? Better lie down in case you have a concussion.
Oh, it was only Gadget. Her concern was admirable, but a trifle overpowering. Assuring her that he was undamaged, Basil removed a few leaves from his hair before righting himself. Or attempting to; the moment he tried to stand, the pain forced him to drop back with a grimace into a seated position.
"It isn't serious, I'm certain," he said, exploring the injured member. Basil was no physician, but he had studied up, in an amateur way, on anatomy, believing it would prove useful in detective work, studying corpses, and such.
By way of deflecting attention from himself, he asked her, "Are you all right?"
"Well, sure, but I didn't just fall sixteen feet into a bush." Squinting upward, she corrected herself, "More like sixteen and a half, I think." But she could measure it later. Right now, Gadget knelt down next to Basil, who obviously was hurt, no matter what he said.
"I don't think it's broken," she concluded. "Of course, it could be a hairline fracture. But that's not as bad as a displaced fracture." Gadget wasn't a doctor, of course, but she'd studied first aid and had the opportunity to practice now and then on the other Rangers. "Or maybe it's just a sprain."
In any case, it gave Gadget something constructive to do. She hunted around for a couple of sticks the right length to make a splint. Even if Basil's leg wasn't broken, keeping it supported would feel better.
Basil's ordinary course in the face of either illness or injury was denial. Gritting his teeth, he pulled himself upright and made an attempt to stand. It was no good; he couldn't put any weight upon it without collapsing.
"I took notice of the balloon," he began, changing the subject. "It came down upon the far side of the island." Why one might ask, was this important? "I think, perhaps, we might turn the basket into a boat and sail back to the mainland." Basil had nothing but unpleasant memories of this place and no desire to remain here longer than absolutely necessary.
"Most of the island's trails are overgrown, but I daresay we can still make our way through."
Edna Mode: ok i'm gonna reply soon in my treasure hunt group give me a sec to brainstorm
Jun 27, 2020 22:47:21 GMT -5
Wart: Re: Shanghaied--if you want to keep going, no problem, but I'm really stuck with more to do with Lottie. You can leave her at the spa and go on. Maybe you'll even meet her later again.
Jun 28, 2020 11:06:24 GMT -5
Patch: I just started an rp where Patch and Ronno meet, if that’s okay.
Jun 30, 2020 14:27:22 GMT -5
Pleakley: Having major computer problems, folks. I might need a new machine
Jun 30, 2020 17:27:50 GMT -5
Mowgli: Ooh, Kaa is coming. It sure will be interesting to rp with him.
Jul 3, 2020 15:40:30 GMT -5
Bolt: Re: Shanghaied Sure can do; I'll use the next few post to see if I want to start a new thread or not.
Jul 3, 2020 18:08:38 GMT -5
Bolt: Re: Patch sure it's okay! ^_^ I'll have to Ronno's post up.
Jul 3, 2020 18:09:05 GMT -5
Ronno: Finally got the post up.
Jul 8, 2020 17:29:25 GMT -5
Edna Mode: hey sorry if my postings been slow, my laptop was sent for repair after a defect caused the thing to shut off and wont turn back on hopefully i'll get it back either tomorrow or saturday depends on how quick the repair goes
Jul 9, 2020 17:51:27 GMT -5
Lilo Pelekai: lol moments like that make me so happy i have a tech guy XD
Jul 9, 2020 19:52:21 GMT -5