I still have no idea about how long this is going to be anymore. Remember back when I thought it was going to be a one-shot? I miss that. I miss thinking I could even control my creativity that much. But everyone seems to like this so far. So on with the show. There's a minor reference to one of the episodes called "Gadget's Replacement," but you don't need to have seen it to understand anything.
He loved Penny with all his heart. There was no question about that. He'd absolutely adored her since the start. He always loved being an uncle. But there was a drastic difference between just being an uncle and being a role model. He couldn't call himself a parent; that title would always belong to Sophie and Frank. But his relationship to Penny was different from before regardless.
Gadget held the crying girl until she fell asleep. He'd come to ask I she'd mind eating out since there was nothing in the fridge that could still be considered food. But then he found her in tears. He didn't know what to say to her. What can you say in this sort situation? All he could think to do for her was to hug her as tightly as he dared with his new limbs. It used to work during Sophie's childhood in the rare instances where he was taking care of his younger sister instead of the other way around.
After she fell asleep, Gadget carefully shifted her into the bed and pulled off her shoes. Her puppy quickly scrambled up and curled next to the girl. This wasn't how he expected their first day together to go. On the other hand, he didn't know how he thought it would go in the first place. Honestly, he didn't have a clue on how to proceed with her. Of course, that wouldn't stop him from trying his best.
Slipping out of the room and pulling the door closed behind him, the man headed towards the living room. For a moment, he considered going through the overly-technical manual again. He was still having trouble trying to understand all the gadgets and gizmos they stuck inside him and how they worked, though he was starting to remember a few of the more basic devices' operation. Gadget didn't know if it would be better to fully-understand what pieces of technology were installed or to remain ignorant of the exact details for his own peace of mind.
On careful consideration, Gadget decided not to go over those files again. He didn't like thinking about that at the moment. Instead, he pulled out a small book from the shelf and sat down on the couch. Opening it to the first page, he was greeted by a picture of Sophie in her wedding dress. He gave a sad smile as he slowly worked his way through the photo album. Everything was so simple back then.
A desire to do his best at taking care of Penny led the inspector to buying a few parenting books that evening when the pair left for dinner. The girl noticed his purchase, but didn't comment on it. She was simply content to have her uncle present.
With the release of John Maxwell Gadget from Professor Von Slickstein and Dr. Lewis's medical care, paperwork of a different sort finally managed to reach him. The Final Will and Testimonies of Sophie and Frank Dollar were read in the days after and the belongings were divided between the two remaining family members and a few close colleagues. The last of their earthly business was dealt with. All that remained was the more personal belongings and the house itself.
For the first time since the incident, Penny stepped into her old house. She felt more prepared this time for the invasion of memories in comparison to when she discovered the box of her mother's belongings. That didn't mean it completely banished the uneasy and heart-breaking silence. The emptiness pressed down on her and almost sent her scurrying back out the front door.
At least until Uncle Gadget tripped across the threshold and dropped the empty boxes he was carrying all over the floor. She couldn't help smiling slightly as she helped him retrieve the containers. It seemed impossible to be depressed for long while he was around. There was just something about him that managed to help banish those feelings, even if only temporarily.
"If you want to start packing things from your room, I'll work down here," he suggested.
Penny nodded in response. Anything they wanted to keep would have to be packed up and transported to Uncle Gadget's house. Anything like her parents' clothes would be donated to charity. Everything else would be sold, including the house itself. Judging by what her uncle said earlier, most if not all the money would end up going towards her college fund. Adding that to what she inherited due to the Will, Penny knew that her future was fairly secure.
Smiling reassuringly at her, Uncle Gadget quickly started gathering up picture frames and books from around the room, his arms extending almost without him noticing to allow him to reach the objects. The first few times she saw him doing that, Penny felt extremely surprised even as she tried to act like it was perfectly normal. By now it did seem normal. While he was clearly still getting used to some of the more outlandish gadgets, the more "natural" ones like his limbs and neck extending weren't that difficult to adapt to. It certainly made it easier for him to pick up stuff he dropped now. On the other hand, the excessive length also made it far too easy for him to misjudge distances and knock things over.
A little more concerning for her was the random hands that seemed to pop out of the hat her uncle always wore with his trench coat. She didn't know for certain if they came out his hat or his head, but Penny didn't want to ask. It wasn't a good idea to ask questions that she'd be happier not knowing the answer to. She really didn't want to find out that they somehow fit into his skull, so she kept silent as one of them popped out to grab a small vase before it broke.
Her room was easier to deal with than the rest of the house. It was her space rather than one for the entire family, so the memories weren't quite as haunting. Setting down an empty box, Penny started emptying her dresser and packing away the ribbon she got for winning the spelling bee in kindergarten. It was strange to imagine that this would be the last time she was here. She grew up in this room and this house, but it was in the past now. She couldn't consider it home anymore. She would be taking her belongings and then the property would be sold to someone else. She didn't belong here anymore. Besides, nowhere could be home without her family.
Shifting her attention to her bed, Penny began folding up the comforter and sheets. Once they gathered everything and returned to Uncle Gadget's house, she could start redecorating the former guest room. She could put up her ribbons and awards from school. She could arrange her collection of books. She could toss a few stuffed animals on the bed. She wouldn't make it exactly like her old room, but she could make it cozier.
Reaching for a teddy bear her Uncle Dollar bought for her third birthday before his death, Penny heard a series of metallic crashes from the kitchen. She quickly identified the sounds of pots and pans tumbling out of the cabinets. Another smile tugged at her lips. Even within a few days of moving in with him, she was very quickly becoming accustomed to recognizing different minor disasters by noises alone. Before she moved in with him, she already knew her Uncle Gadget could be a little clumsy. Now, she knew exactly how many times he suffered accidents. Penny didn't know if he got worse after the addition of unfamiliar mechanical parts or if she was simply in a better position to notice, but she certainly could tell that "a little clumsy" might be a an understatement. And while she did worry a little every time he could theoretically get hurt, it was also growing familiar and comforting to listen to him stumble around.
"Are you okay?" she called out, just in case.
"I'm fine," he yelled back. "Some of these pots seem to have a few small dents in them though."
Again, a brief smile crossed Penny's face. Her uncle being more durable certainly had its perks. It helped prevent her from worrying too much about his clumsiness. And, upon a little reflection, it was helping prevent her final memories of her old house from being negative. Instead of only remembering learning the news of her parents' demises and packing away their earthly belongings, she could picture her uncle dumping a cabinet full of pots and pans all over the kitchen while she listened from upstairs. That was a far better way to close this chapter of her life. Penny felt her mom and dad would approve.
Abruptly, Uncle Gadget's voice yanked her out of her musing.
"Wowser. Penny, did you know this car was in the garage? And it has a bow and a card with my name on it."
The addition of the Gadget-mobile, clearly labeled as a present for the inspector and including a detailed instruction manual written by the late Sophie for her brother, was an unexpected surprise for the small family. John Maxwell Gadget, the former child who excitedly suggested his sister build a vehicle that could fly so many years ago, felt especially happy about it. While momentarily disappointed by the lack of flight capabilities, he eagerly accepted Sophie's final gift and read the manual with far more enthusiasm than he did for the one concerning his new body. Though there was an instance where he mixed up the two.
In an attempt to help make the newest member of his household feel like she belonged, he suggested they redecorate the former guest room. The plain, impersonal space didn't suit his niece. Even the addition of her belongings didn't completely remove the sense that the room was meant only for temporary inhabitation. It would take time to make it Penny's room in the truest sense of the word, but he wanted to help it along. When he approached her with the idea, she agreed to try it.
Gadget stared cautiously at the object in his hand. It certainly didn't seem dangerous to him. Yet Penny's puppy, Brain, immediately dove under the tarp-covered bed as if some natural instinct was warning the canine of an impending disaster. The man felt that this was ridiculous, even if he generally didn't have the best luck when dealing with purchases from the home improvement department. After all, what was the worst that could happen with a couple of cans of paint?
"I think everything is covered up, Uncle Gadget," remarked Penny, tugging the last tarp over her dresser.
"Good. And the door and window are open. Ventilation is very important when dealing with paint. The fumes can be dangerous otherwise," he described.
He remembered one of those parenting books mentioning that it was important to take advantage of real-life situations and to turn them into learning experiences. He didn't remember if it was supposed to apply to kids of all ages or those at a specific level of development. Honestly, half the information in those books was either contradictory or just didn't make sense. If he needed any further proof of the difficulty of raising a child, the complicated advice did the job. But the idea of trying to teach helpful safety tips whenever possible certainly made sense to him. He wanted to Penny out of danger after all.
Opening the paint can revealed a warm rosy-pink shade that Penny picked out after some initial uncertainty. It wasn't a color Gadget would pick for himself, but it would certainly make the room look more like it belonged to a young girl. She might change her mind when she got older, but she'd hopefully like it for a few years at least.
He glanced between the can and the walls. It occurred to him that it might have been smarter to buy some larger paintbrushes rather than the impressive collection of small ones. It was going to take forever to cover everything in the cheerful color unless he could figure out a more effective method. There had to be a way to speed things up.
While he contemplated his options, Penny dipped her paintbrush in the can and gave an experimental swipe along the walls. As she began her third stroke, Gadget devised a strategy.
"Go Go Gadget Hands," he stated.
As a couple of mechanical arms popped out of his hat, he passed them the spare brushes. The more paintbrushes being used, the more quickly they could get Penny's room finished. That certainly made sense, though Penny did give him a brief odd look as he started laying down the first coat on the walls.
After a few minutes of silence as the two of them worked, Gadget decided to have a little fun with the task. After all, the entire wall would eventually be covered. There was nothing wrong with being a little creative with the process.
Using the brush in his right hand, he painted a smiley face on an empty section of wall while his mechanical arms continued to work above him. His niece grinned slightly at the picture before adding a flower next to where she was working. Enjoying himself, he tried his hand at painting a rose-colored dog. Unfortunately, it looked more like a box with a head. She continued by signing her name underneath a window. Gadget then started a game of tic-tac-toe on another portion of the wall.
During the middle of his third loss, Penny abruptly started giggling even as she struggled against it. When Gadget turned towards her in confusion, her chuckling only got worse. Before he could ask, she pointed above him. He glanced up and made the discovery that at least one of his mechanical arms was currently painting his hat instead of the wall with the warm pink shade.
Fumbling at the extra limbs in an attempt to stop them, Gadget managed to halt the discoloration of his hat while also stumbling over the tarp and tripping into the paint can. Rosy pink paint splattered everywhere. Long smears appeared on the walls and protective tarps. Most of the left side of his trench coat was covered and even Penny now sported a few splotches. She was covering her mouth as she stared at the spreading puddle from the can. Gadget grinned apologetically as he tried to upright the paint can before he lost any more of the pink liquid. He didn't mean to make a mess of everything.
"I think you were right about this being a nice color for your room," he remarked carefully, not knowing what else to say or do. "Though I don't think it's my shade."
As her hands dropped, he realized Penny wasn't upset about everything. She was laughing. His niece was laughing about the slight blunder. He didn't remember her giving a real and completely whole-hearted laugh like that since he woke up after the explosion. He missed that sound.
Reaching over with her paintbrush, she poked his nose and giggled slightly, "I think you missed a spot."
Smiling in response, he smeared a little across her cheek as she tried to duck away with a squeak. He knew this was about to devolve into a childish attempt to cover each other in paint. And he knew getting this all cleaned up was going to be a real chore. He couldn't go out to uphold the law with a pink trench coat and hat, after all. But he didn't care too much at the moment. He was just content to see her happy and acting like a child again.
Settling into life together took a little time, but the pair adapted to each other's routine far easier than expected. It took a little paperwork to switch Penn to a school closer to her new house, but she agreed a fresh start would be best. She could still call or visit her old friends if she needed to. Taking care of Brain during the day and trying to ignore the lingering nightmares at night helped distract her away from a very obvious fact. Penny knew it was only a matter of time before her uncle returned to the field. And thus he would be in danger again. It was a countdown that she didn't want to think about, so she concentrated on getting used to her new life instead and taking pleasure from the little day-to-day details.
When it became harder to ignore it after Chief Quimby finally told the inspector he could return to duty, Penny knew she was out of time. Her uncle would return to a job that was dangerous and she couldn't protect him from it. She wouldn't be able to keep him safe. At least, she wouldn't be able to if she stay home obediently. An hour after she learned when her uncle would begin working again, Penny pulled the box out from under the bed and reclaimed her mother's inventions.
Strapping the watch on her wrist, Penny mentally reviewed her plan. Uncle Gadget would be leaving soon to investigate something Chief Quimby tried to brief him subtly on. There was some suspicious activity at a supposedly shut-down ammunitions factory. Her uncle accepted the assignment whole-heartedly and, after asking her if she would be all right on her own, told Penny to be careful while he was gone. That was where his intentions concerning her actions and hers differed.
Armed with the watch and computer book, she fully intended to accompany him. It she could help him find some clues about what was going on, he would get the job done faster and would be safe again sooner. And while she ran her own investigations, she would send Brain to keep an eye on Uncle Gadget. The puppy was proving to be very intelligent and capable of following even more complex commands. With the addition of the collar she modified as a communication device that connected to the watch, she could supply later instructions to Brain and try to keep up-to-date on her uncle's condition. She might just be a child, but she wasn't stupid enough to attempt something this dangerous without being prepared.
She scratched Brain behind the ears, trying to encourage the canine. He seemed to realize that something important was going on and he looked a little nervous. Penny hoped he would calm down soon though. It would be time to leave before long and she'd feel more comfortable with this if her partner didn't seem so anxious.
"It'll be all right," she assured the puppy. "We can do this. All we have to do is sneak along with him. You can guard Uncle Gadget and keep him out of trouble while he looks around. If things get too rough or we find enough evidence, we can call the police for more help. It'll be easy."
Brain's ears perked up and his tail wagged slightly in response. At least he was feeling more confident. She wasn't quite as certain about their success since she'd never tried this sort of thing before, but she would still try regardless. She couldn't stand the alternative of waiting at home and hoping that he'd make it back. She didn't want to answer the door to the police coming with news and condolences concerning her loss. Never again.
Giving her puppy one last reassuring pat, Penny crept over and squeezed the pair of them into the back of the Gadget-mobile.
Penny's first attempt to assist her uncle ended as a complete success. Her second mission following him also turned out for the best. The girl continued to help as much as possible while remaining in the background. Not every investigation went smoothly over the years however. Penny gained far too much experience at being tied up and held captive. There were moments where she honestly feared for her life and her uncle's. She never managed skip ahead a few grades because of her excessive absences from class. On the other hand, she got to see the world and even be the hero occasionally, even if Brain was the only one who knew about her involvement for certain. She also got to see her uncle in action. Penny also discovered that sometimes it was fun to act like an inspector herself. By the time she experienced her tenth birthday, she was well on her way to becoming an expert at this.
Inspector Gadget remained oblivious to his niece's involvement in his cases. He also remained ignorant of how many times her canine kept him out of danger to the point where Brain was bound to eventually suffer a stress-related breakdown. Even a genetically-enhanced dog could only take so many life-threatening missions without reacting. John Maxwell Gadget focused fully on two main aspects of his life. He took care and raised Penny to the best of his ability and he fulfilled his duty as a crime-fighter just as he did before the explosion completely altered his life. He adapted to his gadgets and their use almost began to feel natural to him, though not without minor problems. Prototype technology can't be expected to be perfect. But everyone has their quirks, so he managed to keep working regardless of the fact occasionally the wrong gadget might activate. He would never let something that relatively-minor prevent him from upholding the law and stopping criminals.
Chief Quimby observed everything that happened over the years. He sent Inspector Gadget on increasingly-dangerous missions far beyond what should be expected of a member of the Metro City police. He wasn't always happy with it, but he needed Inspector Gadget's incredible luck, unexplainable skills at unraveling crime, and his new capabilities if they wanted to avoid loss of life. No one else could handle these cases as efficiently, even if dealing with Gadget on a daily basis ran the risk of injury and frustration. The inspector with his mechanized additions kept dismantling MAD operations without suffering the losses that others did in the attempt. Quimby always tried to minimize the danger by only sending out the best and most effective individuals when he knew or suspected he was dealing with MAD and Gadget was always his first choice. On the other hand, most of the people that were sent on those missions didn't have families and they especially didn't have an orphaned niece with no other family. There were days where even the exploding messages tossed in his face and congratulating Gadget on a job well done wasn't enough to banish the thought of what would happen if the man's luck ever ran out. Or Penny's. The fact that the girl always seemed to be present for the aftermath and seemed to be the one calling for back-up was something Quimby desperately tried to ignore. He didn't want to consider the implications. He knew that MAD did its best to rip apart the small family with that explosion, but Chief Quimby was afraid that his dependence on Inspector Gadget might someday finish the job.
But regardless of how he might wish to prevent that possible result, Quimby couldn't find an alternative. He tried. He invested funding into a state-of-the-art computer to help predict crime and make response time shorter. A reduction in the crime rate would give him an excuse to retire Inspector Gadget. He knew it was a harsh move; the man's commitment to the job was almost as powerful as the one he felt towards his niece. He always insisted he was on duty and his devotion to upholding the law at times seemed to put other cops to shame. His life was apparently centered solely on being an inspector and being an uncle. The chief didn't know how well Gadget would be able to adapt to a life outside of crime-fighting, but at least there would be a greater chance of him surviving to see Penny reach adulthood. Even Quimby's best inentions to find a way to break of his dependence on the man didn't work out however. The computer just couldn't make up for the loss of Gadget from the police force. He had no other choice but to rehire him in the end and he could only hope that Inspector Gadget's luck continued as the years passed. And if he ended up suffering minor burns from exploding messages and headaches from a mallet, then that was not too high a cost of having the inspector still alive and working against MAD.
Ever year though that passed since the unintended explosion arranged by the now-deceased minion, Dr. Claw wished more strongly that the inspector did die. He couldn't even count how many times a plan was unraveled by the man's presence. His attempts to kill Gadget always failed. If the murder of the Dollars had successfully destroyed him in the process, so many problems could have been avoided for MAD's operations. Instead, he managed to make Gadget even more durable and capable than before. And with every failed plot and trap, his hatred for the man grew.
Stroking the feline sitting next to the console, Dr. Claw stared at the newest scientist in his employment. There were always those who would surrender their morals for money. Those were useful people to MAD. Those that could be bought, tricked, or threatened could always be taken advantage of. Those that refused subtler methods could be stolen from or killed if they became an obstacle. It was those who refused to die however that proved problematic.
"I've heard you've been having a little difficulty with a certain inspector," the scientist remarked, staring carefully into the shadows as if he could see the man's features if he looked hard enough. "I believe he is called Gadget, correct?"
"Yes," he growled, his blood boiling at the mere mention of the troubling man's name. "And you believe you have the solution to my little problem, Dr. Nibroc?"
The man flinched slightly at Dr. Claw's tone, but he continued, "I believe I do. If you recall, I worked for the government developing military weapons of a more unusual nature. One of our developments might just be the thing to eliminate the inspector for good."
"You have perked my attention," he remarked. "But can you deliver your promised solution? Keep in mind that I do not accept failure lightly."
"I understand, Dr. Claw. But I also know the reason for past failures."
"Oh? Please enlighten me, doctor."
"I've read the rather extensive report on his actions and history against MAD. It is rather impressive, but short-sighted in regards to how to handle him. You've always tried to defeat the man how you might any other man. But he isn't truly just another man anymore. You must also consider him as a machine or a rather durable weapon. How would you halt a tank, an airplane, or one of your very own weapons of destruction? Bullets can be deflected. Fire can be extinguished or resisted. Water can be dealt with. Heavy weights can be braced against. Blades can be withstood by reinforcement. And explosions are what helped create your opponent in the first place, correct? Brute force might be able to overcome a powerful machine, but only if you have enough might and luck on your side. That is no guarantee. And yet time and time again, those with simple minds continue to fall back on those options in a desperate attempt to win through strength alone. It doesn't matter if it is those unimaginative generals wanting bigger guns or your own MAD agents playing with bombs and spike traps."
"My patience wears thin, Dr. Nibroc. Get to your point."
"Brute strength may fail when turned against a powerful enough machine, but even a single handful of sand in the gears can bring it grinding to a halt. Rather than trying to conquer the man, you must destroy the machine from within. If the systems cannot operate correctly, the machine will fail to function. Your troublesome inspector will fail to function. Don't strike out against a man. Deactivate a machine."
Stroking his loyal feline again, Dr. Claw remarked, "An interesting idea, doctor. And you believe you have a way to make this happen? You think you would be able to 'deactivate' Gadget?" He practically snarled the last word, his hatred for the troublesome inspector competing against his pleasure at the possibility of his demise. "I would love to see that. Tell me how you intend to 'toss the sand into the gears,' so to speak."
"I have a few conditions first."
He slammed his hand against the console, startling the cat and Dr. Nibroc by cracking the surface with the impact. Dr. Claw knew that the scientist would be cringing if he could see his glare. But it was best to keep to the shadows for now. Until he could trust Dr. Nibroc completely, there was no reason to trust him with his face. It would be such a waste if he had to kill the scientist to ensure silence. None of his enemies needed a description after all. Why should he make it easier for the police scurrying around to arrest him?
His voice dropping even lower in tone than normal, Dr. Claw hissed, "What sort of conditions?"
"First, you'll double my agreed upon salary if this works."
"I know you can afford it and I know that removing the inspector permanently is worth it to you," Dr. Nibroc defended.
Fighting the urge to grab the man by the throat, Dr. Claw forced himself to admit that both of the scientist's statements were true. He'd triple his salary if it meant the end of Gadget. Too many years of swearing to destroy him next time and always failing ensured that Dr. Claw would give anything to stop the interruptions of his plans. He'd even settle for others interfering in his operations, other inspectors and other cops, just so long as he was rid of Gadget.
"And what is your second condition?" he asked darkly.
Taking a breath, the scientist said, "I keep the plans and designs of the weapon that will destroy him. No one else gets access to that information and I am get to dictate how it is used."
Mildly amused, he asked, "Afraid I'll misuse your invention, doctor? Afraid of it falling into the wrong hands?"
"Not at all. I just want to keep control of it as insurance against anyone deciding to remove the middle man. If I'm the only one in your employment who knows how to make this device, then my knowledge and my life will remain valuable to you. I don't want to be disposed of once you have what you want."
Chuckling slightly at his boldness, Dr. Claw said, "A very wise security measure. Very well. The plans and the device itself will belong solely to you. And thus your life is secure if your creation works how you believe it should. But remember this one fact, doctor. Just as you gamble on this plan, there is a risk in proportion to your reward. If the inspector survives what you have in store for him, I will not weep over the loss of your invention or you." When he saw Dr. Nibroc pale at the threat, he smiled to himself and continued in a friendly-sounding tone, "Just consider it as a slight motivation. If you are so certain that you have the answer to my problem with the inspector, then it shouldn't be that great of a concern to you. All you must do is simply succeed at killing him and there should be no trouble at all."
"Of course," he nodded nervously. Dr. Nibroc took a moment to compose himself before regaining his earlier confidence. Staring firmly into the shadows that concealed Dr. Claw from view, he asked, "Are you familiar with an electromagnetic pulse?"
"I believe I've heard the term before. A side effect of nuclear weapons exploding if I recall."
"A very important side effect," nodded Dr. Nibroc. "At least, it is for you. It is a burst of electromagnetic radiation that results in rapidly changing electrical and magnetic fields. These abrupt changes have an interesting and devastating effect when in contact with technology. Specifically, it will produce damaging currents and voltage surges that overload circuits and leave all pieces of technology useless. Perhaps some of the older vacuum tubes might survive if there is no electricity running through it at the time, but anything more modern will be completely fried by the effect. Nothing technological in range will come out unscathed. And that includes your least favorite inspector and his mechanical additions."
"A nice science lesson, but useless to me," he pointed out dryly. "MAD may have access to a number of technologies and can steal others in necessary, but nuclear weapons are a little more difficult. They can be gained with time, but they tend to draw attention more quickly than most of our crimes. And if I were to gain access to them simply to destroy Gadget, do you not think it would be far simpler and much more satisfying to blow him up instead of taking advantage of some silly side effect?"
Dr. Nibroc smiled, "While the public only knows of nuclear-based EMPs, part of my past research was developing ways to produce the results without the aid of a nuclear weapon. The government is still extremely secretive about it, but a few other top scientists might have an idea of the possibility and those with connections might have heard whispers. Regardless, all you need to worry about is that I can build you a device that will destroy any technology in range. That is the only downside. The effect is not quite as widespread this way, but it should still be more than enough to overload every circuit in the inspector's body. All you have to do is to get it close to him and you'll never have to worry about him again."
The scientist didn't even realize the leader of MAD was smiling at the idea until the laughter started. It was a deep and menacing laugh that sent shivers down the spine of even the most experienced agents. Dr. Claw knew that the doctor would prefer to leave the room to escape the noise, but he was too pleased with this development to pay attention to the man's reaction. Dr. Nibroc's statement about destroying the machine instead of the man was right. The science behind this plan sounded absolutely sound and there would be no escaping a trap this time for the inspector. All those headaches of dealing with the messes he caused would be over. After all those times promising to get Gadget next time…
"There will be no next time for him," he stated firmly.
Yeah, this was part of the idea that originally spawned this story. Among more ordinary questions, I wondered why no one else ever thought about using an EMP against Gadget. Not even in fanfiction (at least, they weren't when I started writing this). So I figured "why not" and decided to give Dr. Claw a chance to be extra evil today. And I did the research to make sure I know (sort of) what I'm talking about. So prepare to be educated.
An electromagnetic pulse (commonly abbreviated EMP) is a burst of electromagnetic radiation. The abrupt pulse of electromagnetic radiation usually results from certain types of high-energy explosions, especially a nuclear explosion, or from a suddenly fluctuating magnetic field. The resulting rapidly changing electric fields and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges. Scientist first noticed them during the time they were testing nuclear weapons in the 40s. The larger scientific community became aware of the significance of the EMP problem after a series of three articles were published about nuclear electromagnetic pulse in 1981 by William J. Broad in the weekly publication Science.
Of course, if Dr. Claw had nuclear weapons, I think he'd rather just blow Gadget up rather than trying to fry all his cybernetic parts. But there are other ways to cause an EMP. The concept of the explosively pumped flux compression generator for generating a non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NNEMP) was conceived as early as 1951 by Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union, but nations have usually kept their most recent work on non-nuclear EMP highly classified until the technology was old enough for similar ideas to be conceived by physicists in other nations. These tend to be limited in range compared to nuclear ones, but allow for a more surgical strike against a target. Not to mention the devices don't necessarily have to be as big.
I think (hope) that I only have one more chapter, but I really don't want to risk saying that. Every time I guess a story length for this thing, I get proven wrong. And if you like the idea of using an EMP against Inspector Gadget, check out Aline Riva's new story "Heart of Steel." She's a wonderful writer and we talked about a few ideas that helped inspire the story. It is based more on the movies than the cartoons, but it is definitely worth reading and reviewing. It is under my favorite story list if you're interested.
Thanks for all the support. I hope you're enjoying this so far.