by Rain Crow


"Where is it?"


"Oh.... where could it have gotten to?"



"Sorry, Dale! I'm just... I can't find... have you seen my OH, FOOT; I left it at the junk yard!"

Gadget Hackwrench stormed out of the open hanger door, pulling on a jacket over her dirty coveralls, determinedly heading out into the dark, October night to retrieve an absent thingamobob. So focused was she that she didn't even notice the large mouse that she walked past on her way to the headquarters catapult (which would fling her to the police station, and from there she could catch a bus to the yard just outside of town). She did notice, however, when someone with a strong grip latched onto the end of her tail, stopping her short and causing her to emit a surprised squeak.

She looked over her shoulder, in no mood to be playing games, and leveled her irked stare at Montery Jack, who just waved at her with his free hand. "Evenin'," he said easily, "Where're ye off to in such a hurry?"

"I left one of my tools at the junkyard," Gadget explained, pointing in the right direction just in case he didn't remember the way, "I need it to finish the maintenance on the Gyro-Tank."

He smiled at her, "Don't ye think it'd be easier to take the Plane?"

The Ranger Plane. Yeah, that thing that she'd built to fly the team around and haul stuff over long distances.

She smiled back, sheepishly, "Um, yeah! I guess it would; thanks Monty!"

Monty caught her by the shoulders before she could dart back into the hanger and steered her to where he'd been standing, near the trunk of the tree. "Gadget, look up."

She did, and gasped at a huge, orange glowing crescent moon. "Oh, wow..."

Usually the lights of the city tamped down the heavenly host, but the Moon seemed stronger tonight, as though it could feel that now, just three days before Halloween, it could again command the respect and awe of the denizens of the Earth. A cool wind swept by the pair, ruffling their clothes and fur, and tickling the inside of Gadget's ears as she inhaled the crisp, pungent smell of Autumn. It was all red and gold, dead leaves and gardens gone to seed.

She remembered the first time she'd really figured out the magic of Fall; flying over, amongst and through the forests of the Appalachian mountains with her father. Then she realized that this was the first time she'd stopped to remember those times since the first color began seeping into their home's canopy.

"Thanks, Monty," Gadget said, looping one arm around her friend and pulling him into a loose hug. He chuckled, and put an arm over her shoulder as they both saw and felt and breathed it all in, enjoying it before it was gone. They stood for awhile, each warm beside the other despite the cool wind and the dropping temperature.

After awhile Monty spoke again, softly.

"Yer welcome, luv..."