The year is 1993, almost ten years to the day when Professor Von Slickstein carries an unconscious Inspector Gadget out of a crumbling pyramid in the Amazon Jungle after he and Penny with the help of a gorilla and Brain foil another Dr. Claw plot to take over Metro City by creating an army of robotic Gadgets with Prof. Von Slickstein’s forced help. The untimely death of Professor Von Slickstein has sent Gadget into a tailspin of grief that Penny is trying to understand. Our story follows Penny, Chief Quimby, Gadget, and Brain as they try to cope with the death of Professor Von Slickstein before and after they attend the his viewing funeral at Metro City’s funeral home.
All Characters are copyrights of Dic Entertainment and Nelvana Limited respectively.
Penny readied herself in the upstairs bathroom of their quaint red roofed light colored bricked home in one of Metro City’s many suburban areas. She had an almost somber appearance as she put on the final touches to her makeup before going downstairs to sit with Chief Quimby who was going to take her, Brain, and Gadget to the funeral home where Von Slickstein’s funeral service was to take place. The young woman now twenty had put many years in as a silent ally for Gadget to earn her way to lead detective which she got because of her amazing wit and resolve under pressure.
She took a moment to walk into her bedroom and sit down on the end of her bed staring at a reflection of herself in the mirror remembering all the times she bailed her Uncle Gadget out of predicaments he unknowingly got himself into with his bumbling antics. Now it was different, Penny was not that little pig tailed girl anymore who had to stay behind as her Uncle went on his dangerous assignments. This time she knew this was not the work of Dr. Claw, this time she knew her Uncle Gadget did not have to worry about Claw messing this funeral up with one of his diabolical plans, this time she knew her Uncle needed her and she sighed deeply as her longtime companion Brain stared up at her knowingly. She felt the old orange colored big blue eyed dog’s stare making her force a smile at the aging hound as she spoke:
“It’s okay Brain, I know this is a lot to take in for all us especially Uncle Gadget, I don’t really know what he’s thinking other than he hasn’t been himself and he won’t say anything to me about the circumstances behind Professor Von Slickstein’s passing. I just don’t know what to do, I hope Uncle Gadget gets through this one.”
Brain gave the distraught young woman his trade mark “bow wow bow rrowf” as he gingerly put his paws on her knees making Penny giggle as the old dog tried to lick her face. “OkayOkay, down Brain, I don’t want to spend another half hour redoing makeup when Chief Quimby is sitting downstairs waiting for us to go with him to pick up Uncle Gadget at the office” Penny said as she gently pushed away the old orange dog who responded by walking out the door as she finished dressing herself with a dark colored blouse and skirt along with a pearl necklace her Uncle Gadget gave her for her twentieth birthday and finished off the look with ear rings and a diamond ring for her finger. Her hair was done up with the traditional double pigtail look she always had as a child. She felt this look would at least bring some comfort to her Uncle Gadget.
She got up and put on a pair of comfortable low heeled shoes as she made her way out of her bedroom to join Chief Quimby who sat quietly in the downstairs den catching up on his paperwork. He had aged quite a bit over the last ten or so years thanks to Gadget’s constant throwing of self destructing messages in his face. He was starting to get a little faded in his receding red hairline and the smoke from his trademark pipe was creating a haze in the den as he took it out to beat out the old tobacco ash into a tray on the coffee table he had sat there when he came in to wait for Penny.
He looked up when he heard the sound of Brain’s footsteps followed by Penny’s coming down the staircase. He smiled when he saw the young attractive woman coming down the stairs. “Penny! So glad to see you!” Quimby exclaimed as he got up to shake Penny’s hand and give her a hug.
“It’s good to see you too Chief Quimby, it’s been too long since you officially gave me my detective’s badge and Uncle Gadget was so thrilled he accidently tripped and splashed hot coffee all over your face” Penny said as she warmly accepted the older man’s hug.
Chief Quimby cleared his throat in his usual gruff tone almost cringing at the number of times Gadget had done something where he ended up on the wrong end of it:
“Yes Penny, I REMEMBER..” Quimby said in a gruff annoyed tone.
Penny pulled up a dining room chair as she sat across from Chief Quimby who could sense she was bothered by something as she waited for him to clean up his paperwork.
“Chief, I’m worried about Uncle Gadget, I’ve never seen him this way before where he will not speak to me or tell me how Professor Von Slickstein passed away” Penny said in a concerned tone as Chief Quimby walked over to get another dining chair to put his arm around her shoulder.
“John I mean your Uncle Gadget owes his life to Professor Von Slickstein who took Myron Dabble’s idea and used it to save his life and turn him into a bionic eighth wonder of the world who was way ahead of his time for the type of work Myron and him were doing. If John Brown had not had the accident and or had the right people there to save his life, the world would never have gotten to know Inspector Gadget” Chief Quimby said as he softly tightened his grip on Penny’s shoulders.
“I have never seen my Uncle Gadget cry before until Professor Von Slickstein died, I never knew a bionic man could have that emotion along with everything else my Uncle had to go through” Penny said staring into the Chief’s eyes holding back tears.
“Penny, one thing Myron Dabble and the Professor did not and would not take away from your Uncle Gadget was emotion. They wanted to make him as human as possible given all the circumstances.” Chief Quimby said pausing a minute before he continued. “And Penny, this is not the first time your Uncle has shown emotion to me or to you. When your parents were brutally murdered at the hands of Dr. Claw on your boat in the cove in South Carolina, Gadget came to me a total mess and told me he had to do something about you because he did not want you to be an orphan so he went to South Carolina out of his own pay to bring you here to Metro City as your legal guardian” Chief Quimby said as he saw Penny’s eye shadow start to cake up as tears formed in her blue eyes.
“I don’t think you really understood just how dangerous these assignments I sent Gadget on were. One of the reasons he always told you to stay behind is that it would devastate him if anything happened to you at the hands of Dr. Claw. He eventually accepted you going along with him after months of me convincing him you were going to go straight into the Academy once you were old enough to and after you started to get much needed experience under your Uncle’s guidance” Chief Quimby said hugging Penny who was moved by what the older man had said.
“I know that now, Chief, I know that my Uncle hated it when he found out I was secretly helping him foil Dr. Claw’s plans even if it meant I’d get myself caught by his MAD agents” Penny admitted as she wiped away the tears from her eyes.
“If it wasn’t for Brain learning how to communicate with me though intercom watch, I don’t think I could have gotten out of the jams I did if it wasn’t for him being intelligent enough to understand my voice and put up with my Uncle’s bloopers” Penny said sniffling a bit as Brain came into the room and laid down at her feet making her smile.
“I almost feel sorry when I have to go to work without Brain as I know he’s too old now to be able to do the type of things I need him to do” Penny said as Brain looked up at her whining a bit.
“Penny, you’ve got an entire group of people who put their trust in your expertise and that’s why you are where you are because you wanted to make a difference even if your Uncle could not always be the world’s greatest detective” Chief Quimby said with confidence making Penny raise a question which had been nagging her for years:
“Why did you keep him on when you knew the other detectives were saying bad things about him and the fact his bionics got him the job, not the bumbling reject he was before the accident?” Penny asked Chief Quimby who answered:
“Look Penny, all I can tell you is I had faith in Gadget, I knew because of what he went through to even be able to walk around as a man that he would defy the odds and be something successful and by God I was not about to let MAD take him under their wing and make him into the agent who could have caused a lot of trouble for Metro City. No, I knew he wanted to put Dr. Claw behind bars because Dr. Claw wanted and still wants him dead at every turn” Chief Quimby said puffing on his pipe.
Penny took a minute to think over what Chief Quimby had said and while she knew it was true, she also knew some of it was a bit of a white lie to cover up the one time Gadget almost was fired but she had other pressing concerns on her mind at that moment:
“I wish I could believe all you are telling me Chief, I just know my Uncle Gadget is in a real spot this time and I don’t think even my intelligence can break him out of it” Penny admitted sighing deeply.
“Penny, listen to me, the best thing you can do for your Uncle Gadget is be that niece or if you will, be that daughter who sticks by her father which I know you consider Gadget as” Quimby said as he relit his pipe.
“I just hope Von Slickstein being gone won’t mess with my Uncle’s mind to where he has to seek help in order to not go off the deep end” Penny worried.
“I have already heard Myron Dabble is willing to takeover the overall care of your Uncle’s Gadgets” Chief Quimby said quickly changing the subject.
“I guess that will have to be a decision between Uncle Gadget, Von Slickstein’s family, and you” Penny said as she sat there trying to clean the eye shadow out of her eyes.
“No Penny, it ultimately is up to John whether or not he wants to do that and right now we need to get going because the funeral starts in one hour and we have to go clear across town to the police station to get your Uncle” Chief Quimby said as he got up with his folders in his arms and the smoke from his pipe making a trail like a steam locomotive out the door.
“Okay Chief I’ll be out in a minute after I freshen my face and make sure I have a leash for Brain” Penny said as she ran upstairs.
Brain just laid there and grumbled making Chief Quimby laugh a bit. “It’s for your own good, Brain” Chief Quimby said turning back to serious as he walked out the door and got into a Crown Victoria car sitting in the driveway of the Gadget house.
Inspector Gadget sat quietly in his office trying to get over the all night bender of booze he had imbibed in while his niece slept upstairs in her room. The middle aged detective had put on some weight as a result of his drinking since he discovered Prof. Von Slickstein face down in his kitchen dead of a heart attack. He could never face up to his niece Penny the reality of what really happened to the Professor on the day he went in for his routine checkup on his Gadgets. He replayed the whole incident in his mind calling Chief Quimby and telling him firmly to not reveal what really happened to Professor Von Slickstein because he knew Penny would not take the news very well and he never wanted to destroy what he had built with Penny whom he considered his daughter more than a niece. He stared solemnly at the picture he took of the Professor and Penny embraced in a hug smiling before they boarded the cargo jet sent out by Chief Quimby to take all of them back to Metro City. Gadget considered Von Slickstein as a father figure as many times over drinks and dinner the two had exchanged various stories of how they flummoxed Dr. Claw time after time and yet the dumb fool never learned the lesson.
Now all of those fun times were gone for the Inspector who sat in a black suit with black Gadget hat trying to hold back his tears after coming to the police station disheveled and smelling of gin, vodka, and other various spirits. How he was able to get past the front check in guard was a miracle given his black hair was a mess and he resembled more of a bum than the world’s greatest inspector. That title carried with it some clout so the guard working the front desk only looked up to buzz in the inspector as he covered up his unshaven face and messed up hair in his light grey trench coat.
“I’m sorry Penny, I hope you understand, this isn’t your problem as much as it is mine” Gadget said to himself as tears started to flow out of his eyes the more he stared at the picture of Penny and Von Slickstein which he eventually had to put back on his desk to avoid crying so hard that he’d cause a scene in the fairly busy station.
Now showered, shaven, and cleaned up, the inspector awaited the call on his top secret gadget phone he had in his pinky and thumb to alert him his niece and Chief Quimby were on their way to pick him up.
Penny freshened her face with warm water and new makeup before she bounded down the stairs stopping at a closet by them to retrieve Brain’s leash. Brain growled when he saw the red colored leash in Penny’s hand.
“It’s okay Brain, you don’t have to wear this until we get to the funeral home, okay?” Penny reasoned with the dog who reluctantly looked up at the blond haired pig tailed woman and forcefully managed a “grrroufff” as he stood on his own two feet and walked out the front door with Penny who locked it behind them. They got into the back seat of the black Crown Victoria as Chief Quimby started the engine of the cruiser backing out of the driveway and heading out of the neighborhood.
Inspector Gadget went into the bathroom to wipe off his face and take one more big swig of coffee. As he was about to turn on the water in the sink his top secret gadget phone rang and he pulled the antenna out of his thumb before he spoke into the intercom.
“Is that you Chief, you’re where?” Gadget said automatically everytime Quimby’s voice came through the phone speaker. “You’ll be here in twenty minutes? Okay Chief and is Penny alright?” Gadget asked with concern in his voice. “She is, okay Chief, I’ll be out front waiting for you” Gadget said as he hung up the secret phone and turned on the water to wash off his face.
Penny, Brain, and Chief Quimby were making good time as they cruised down the interstate towards town. With little traffic on this Sunday morning, a normally hour trip would take them less than thirty minutes.
As Chief Quimby drove he looked in the middle mirror occasionally at Penny who had her hand across Brain’s shoulders as the old dog slept beside her and she dozed off for a few minutes. Chief Quimby could never admit to Penny he knew what Gadget was up to and he had no choice but to put the drunken half the time inspector on desk duty for his own safety and that of people on the road. It had gotten to the point where he had warned Gadget that if he did not get help and get himself cleaned up and off the booze that the Chief would have no choice but to let him go. However, Chief Quimby hesitated because he knew if he rid himself of Gadget that Penny would eventually find out the truth and never forgive him. So the Chief had to make her assume everything was the same old same old and she wouldn’t realize that Dr. Claw had nothing to do with Gadget’s recent change in behavior and weight.
Chief Quimby took a deep breath and sighed as he puffed on his pipe feeling the ash collect on the rim of his mustache as they cruised down the interstate soon reaching the exit for downtown and the police station.
Inspector Gadget made his way out of the bathroom stopping by the commons area one last time to take a swig of coffee before he made his way out to the front of the station sitting down on the bench in front of it. Even though now sober, the world was a blur to the Inspector as people passed by in various vehicles on the street and on foot on the walking paths, some acknowledging the Inspector who happily waved and said “Good day my good man or woman” as they passed by him, some not even noticing he was sitting there. His drinking and lack of self control got him on the desk job from hell and he hated every minute of it yet knew this was his last chance to do something relevant or be on skid row. The Chief had warned him time after time to get help yet Gadget was able until his drinking caught up with him to solve a few cases though barely. Eventually Chief Quimby reached his last straw after he had put up with months of Gadget slurring his speech with witnesses, fumbling his paperwork, showing up late to meetings, and almost always smelling of booze.
Yet Gadget was in his mind perfectly capable of doing his assignments even if they were desk related. He’d show that pipe smoking Quimby he wasn’t what everyone in the station thought he was. But then the memories of what happened to Professor Von Slickstein flooded his mind again and brought him back into the dark valley he could never seem to crawl out of. He just hoped to God above his beautiful niece would not find out her Uncle was the laughing stock of the officers in the station and a regular at Metro City’s liquor store and most notorious watering holes. He took one last deep breath before a loud car horn startled him out of his haze, it was Chief Quimby with Penny and Brain in the backseat. When Gadget saw Penny’s blond double pig tailed hair he found some solace managing to smile as he stood up while the Crown Victoria came to a stop with the passenger side door right in front of him.
Gadget peered in at the slowly awakening Penny smiling at her as her sleepy eyes shot awake when she saw his smiling face while opening them. “Hello Uncle!” Penny said enthusiastically as she accidently roused Brain awake making the orange dog growl his surprise and obvious displeasure at Penny’s arm pushing his head forward into the back of the driver’s seat. Gadget took a moment to laugh at the whimsical moment making his niece smile and laugh lightly as Brain grumbled at both of them crossing one his legs and putting both his arms around his body in a huff.
“You look great Penny, I really needed to see something cheerful” Gadget said as he got into the passenger seat closing the door as the car sped into traffic after Chief Quimby got a clear shot in front of him and behind him in his mirrors. “You didn’t have to go back to when you were ten. I think your pigtails are cute, I just don’t want people thinking I have a ten year old niece when I really have a twenty year old young adult” Gadget commented as they rode north on the freeway.
“I just wanted to cheer you up Uncle Gadget, I know us losing Professor Von Slickstein has not been easy for you” Penny said softly as she reached over the seat to put her hand on her Uncle’s shoulder.
“Thanks Penny” Gadget said quietly taking a deep sigh as he stared over at Chief Quimby who gave him the look. “It really means a lot to me Penny, I know you may never understand how much of a special man Von Slickstein was to me” Gadget said softly as Chief Quimby nodded his approval.
“You know if you ever need to talk about it Uncle Gadget, you know I am always here for you no matter what the circumstances are” Penny said warmly not knowing the statement had caused her Uncle to tear up. “Thank you Penny, I will remember that” Gadget said as he mustered all his strength to not shake a little as some of the emotions deep down within him came to the surface.
Penny sat back as she heard a sniffle or two from her Uncle Gadget as he tried to keep it together for her. “Brain, when we are at the funeral, you keep an eye on Uncle Gadget, okay? I don’t want anything to happen to him to where he goes off the deep end and ends up doing something to himself once we leave” Penny said in a concerned tone to Brain who quietly rouffed in confirmation.
The rest of the half hour ride up to the funeral home was uneventful which worried Penny as she kept in the back of her mind the thought of Dr. Claw or one of his henchmen showing up out of nowhere to sabotage an already on thin ice event. When they reached the funeral home out in the suburbs in a part of Metro City they had never been, Penny looked around once she got out of the back of the car to see if anyone going in or anything parked in the big lot had a MAD symbol on it. Fortunately there were no MAD agents anywhere around because when they got to the double doors of the funeral home, Dr. Von Slickstein’s white gorilla was dressed in a security outfit which barely fit his massive form.
“Good day Penny, Brain, Inspector Gadget, and Chief Quimby, your seats are in the front and someone will escort you to them” The Primate said as he pushed the doors open. The inside of the funeral home was immaculate with chandeliers and carpeted floors for as far as the eye could see. As they made their way past the various coffin rooms they came to the chapel where Von Slickstein’s body lay in a cherry wood coffin with the front part of it open.
“Attention everyone, the service will begin in ten minutes, please find your seats as we entertain you with some soothing pipe organ hymes” The pastor conducting the funeral said over the pa system.
There were a lot of people including Myron Dabble at the service which was filled to standing room only with various friends and family members scattered throughout the morners. Chief Quimby found his seat which was going to be behind Gadget as Gadget, Penny, and Brain filed into the pew in front of Quimby’s pew.
Once they were settled, Myron Dabble came over to speak with Inspector Gadget who sat there stone faced as the organ music lightly drowned out the various sniffles and crying. “Inspector Gadget I presume” Myron said offering a hand shake to Gadget who pulled his Gadget hand out of his hat to shake Myron’s hand. “Yes Myron, I am Inspector Gadget, what can I do for you?” Gadget said with a blank stare in his face. Myron realizied this probably was not the time to tell Gadget he was taking over the overall care of his Gadgets instead said “Professor Von Slickstein was a good man, if I had not found him, I don’t know how in the world I would have been able to perform what I did on you” Myron said hard swallowing when Gadget shot him a look of disgust.
“Myron, the only thing you did was create the idea you see before you, Von Slickstein was the one who saved my life and never took any credit for it unlike you who never once came over to thank the Professor for what BOTH of you did.. “Gadget reminded Myron almost shouting his anger at the professor.
Penny had to stand up along with Chief Quimby and quietly lead Myron away from Gadget who was on the verge of losing his temper and taking it out on Myron. “I think it is best Myron that you give Gadget a few days, he’s not been himself since the Professor’s death. I really don’t need a Gadget outburst sending every media person with an axe to grind Gadget’s way. Go sit in the back where he can’t see you” Chief Quimby said in his gruff tone as he chewed on the end of his pipe.
Myron instead of making a scene as he saw a few of the people looking his way did what Quimby said and went to the other end of the chapel and sat in a pew with a small kid making a ‘THIBBBIIITTTT” noise with his tongue as Myron sat down sighing to himself.
Penny sat by her Uncle trying to calm him down as the service got under way. As it progressed she had Brain who was now dressed in a black tuxedo acting as a donation collector report back to her. The look on the dog’s face said it all as Penny watched her Uncle sob as the pastor dedicated the funeral home to be named Von Slickstein Funeral home. The service came to an end and the viewing began and as soon as Gadget got up to Von Slickstein, he immediately broke down apologizing for not being there when the professor needed him. His reactions broke Penny’s heart as much as they puzzled her. “Why would Uncle Gadget act like this? He knows there was nothing he could do about it so why…” Her thought was replaced by tears as she watched her Uncle Gadget kiss the head of the deceased Professor and walk out of the chapel towards the car.
Penny, Brain, and Chief Quimby ran after Gadget who doubled over once he got to the car almost screaming Von Slickstein’s name as he bawled. “Come on you two, we need to get him home before he makes a scene” Chief Quimby said as he and Penny loaded Gadget into the car with them soon getting into it and speeding off before the mass of people could collect themselves outside to see what all the commotion was.
The ride back to Gadget’s house was tense as Quimby tried to drive and calm the bawling Inspector down. He finally did calm him down before they pulled into the driveway. Gadget got out of the car and stormed inside going straight to his bedroom without a word. A loud crack of the door slamming was what Penny heard as she, Quimby, and Brain walked into the foyer.
Penny looked straight at Chief Quimby with an almost puzzled look on her face mixed with concern as she asked:
“What was that all about Chief Quimby? I’ve never seen my Uncle break down like that.. Is there something you or him are not telling me?” Penny asked demanding an answer.
“Penny, I have to get back to the station, I’ll tell you some other time when I’m not so pressed for time” Chief Quimby said hoping this would satisfy Penny enough to let him get out of there before he slipped his tongue.
Fortunately for Quimby who was sweating as Penny was about to press the issue further, he heard his small scanner he kept in his pocket go off telling him: “There’s been trouble near the police station, we need you Chief to come out here and do some damage control before these family members kill us” The officer on the intercom said to Quimby who quickly answered back.. “Okay, on my way, do as much damage control as you can, I’ll be there in twenty minutes” Quimby replied over the scanner.
“Penny, I’m sorry, I have to go, let me know how Gadget is doing in the morning” Quimby said as he put on his blue coat rushing out the front door.
Penny stood there frustrated wondering what her Chief and her Uncle were keeping secret from her. She went into the kitchen and sat down at the kitchen table running her fingers over her throbbing temples as Brain walked in having a seat in the chair across from her.
“Brain, I don’t give a damn what happens, you stay by Uncle Gadget’s bedroom door, I think I need to step out for awhile to clear my head” Penny said as Brain stood up saluting her with a responding “RRRROOOWWWWFF!”
“That’s a good boy Brain, I can always count on you when the chips are down” Penny said petting Brain on the head as she got up and walked out the front door towards the garage where the Gadget Van sat. She got in the van, started it up, opened the garage and rolled out of the neighborhood.
As she drove along city streets she found a park with a lake across from a coffee shop, the perfect place to get her mind off things for awhile. Penny parked the Gadget van in the lot beside the coffee shop. She went inside the shop which was busy with activity and got a sweat tea drink to take out with her to the park. She made the purchase and soon was in the park with a million things rolling around in her mind as she walked down the nature trail. An image flashed across her mind causing her to stop for a second to look for a place to sit. Fortunately there was a bench right by the lake edge and she walked over to it having a seat as a bunch of ducks came quacking around her thinking she had food. When she shooed them away she looked across the lake and let her thoughts roll as people walked by on the trail behind her:
“Maybe Dr. Claw has taken over the minds of Quimby and Uncle Gadget and is forcing them to act this way” Penny reasoned with herself as she stared across the lake. “It would be like that son of a bitch to mess with my Uncle’s emotions and my Chief’s mind” Penny seethed in her mind remembering the countless times she had to rescue her Uncle and the Chief from the clutches of Dr. Claw. “If that bastard is behind this, I will make his life a living hell, worse than what he’s ever done to us” Penny said aloud to herself almost getting some of her sweet tea on her lap as she squeezed it in anger.
“Wait Penny, if Dr. Claw were behind this, I don’t think my Uncle would be a balling mess of tears and my Chief would be trying to hide something from me” Penny thought logically. “Maybe it’s just that the death of Professor Von Slickstein has brought out new emotions in Uncle Gadget and the Chief doesn’t want to tell me, yeah, that’s got to be it” Penny reasoned with herself as the sun set over the lake.
“Oh nuts, I just don’t know what to do or how to help Uncle Gadget” Penny said aloud in frustration. “The only person who can possibly understand is my dear friend in Tokyo, Atsuko. I need to call her before I go into work in the morning” Penny said aloud to herself as she looked at her wristwatch realizing it was a quarter after six and she needed to get dinner for both her and her Uncle Gadget.
She got up from the bench and made her way to the Gadget van but not before going into the coffee shop to pick up a couple of sandwiches and chips for her and Uncle Gadget. By the time she got home it was well after dark and she would have to eat in the morning before she left for the day. She made her way into the house which was eerily quiet except for a few lights Brain had turned on. She found the orange dog asleep by Gadget’s bedroom door.
“Brain.. Brain.. BRAIN!” Penny loud whispered to the dog who jumped awake growling at her. “How’s Uncle Gadget?” Penny asked Brain who shrugged his shoulders. She walked up to the door putting her ear against it hearing loud snoring assuring her that her Uncle Gadget was okay.
“Come on Brain, let me feed you before I go to bed” Penny said motioning to the dog who happily followed her into the kitchen.
After Brain was fed and the sandwiches put into the fridge, Penny made her way upstairs to her bedroom. She undressed into some night clothes and got into bed. As she turned off the light, she laid there with her eyes open as she worried about her Uncle. She got out a pair of earphones and turned on some soft music which eventually got her to sleep around 10:30 that night.
Inspector Gadget laid in bed in just his slacks after doing a bender of gin and vodka he kept under the bed after he snuck it in the house under his niece’s nose. His life had taken a real tailspin and now since viewing the body of deceased dear friend Dr. Von Slickstein, it had sent the Inspector over the edge to where not even his severe drunkenness could get him to sleep so he laid there fake snoring until he was certain Penny had gone to bed and taken Brain with her. As he staggered awake, his head pounded, his heart raced, and his emotions were almost too hard to bear. He needed to get rest but he couldn’t because the image of Von Slickstein laying there in the coffin tormented his mind making him sob as his hiccupped.
He got up stumbling into the bathroom to look for some sleeping pills he kept in the window cabinet where he stored his shaving kit. As he looked at his haggard drunk ridden face, the image of Professor Von Slickstein came into the mirror almost taunting him.
“Hic, Leave me Hic, alone, why didn’t you tell me you were going to die in your kitchen and force me to find you” Gadget seethed as he bore a fist and punched it through the mirror shattering it into a million pieces. As he hit the floor of the bathroom a bottle of what he thought was sleeping pills fell down beside him as his back hit the wall.
What the bottle actually contained was a mix of knockout pills and anti depressants which if combined with alcohol could be fatal if taken while in a drunken state. Gadget was so drunk he did not even bother to read the label and took the remaining five pills three of which were the knockout pills and two of which were the anti depressants.
As he swallowed them and they slowly started to take effect on his body and his mind, Gadget started to hallucinate even more as the drugs started to flash images of Professor Von Slickstein rising up from the kitchen floor saying “Gadget, you’re joining me because you screwed up, it’s your fault I’m in hell and soon you’ll join me there and we can let God and Satan sort it out” Professor Von Slickstein hissed as his image turned into a demonic type creature in Gadget’s mind.
Gadget started to thrash and scream incoherently as the power of the hallucinations were starting to affect his body and his Gadgets. As the demonic images of Professor Von Slickstein continued to swirl around his mind, Gadget’s body started to seize with his muscles starting to react causing copious amounts of sweat to drip down on the floor as his severe reaction to the drugs took hold. He continued to scream incoherently as the lethal dose took ahold of his body and soon his brain.
Penny could not sleep even though she had somewhat drifted off as she looked at the alarm clock saying a quarter till three in the morning. Something was keeping her up and she did not like it because she knew it wasn’t her having to get up in an hour, it was the fact her Uncle was in such a precarious position that she had no idea how to help him out of. She felt a heavy feeling of depression quickly take over her as she imagined her Uncle in pain with no way of helping him.
Suddenly she heard noises coming from the bedroom down below hers where her Uncle slept. She darted out of bed and immediately ran downstairs. When Brain heard the commotion he too ran out of Penny’s room after her.
She immediately went to her Uncle’s bedroom door pounding on it as she called out his name: “UNCLE GADGET, UNCLE GADGET, are you okay? Please open the door or I am coming in” Penny warned until she heard screaming coming from the bathroom giving her no choice but to kick down the door and force her way into her Uncle’s bedroom.
“UNCLE GADGET!!!” Penny yelled in a frantic tone as she came upon her Uncle resting against the wall on the floor mumbling incoherently with a pill bottle laying next to him and the mirror cabinet shattered.
Penny immediately picked up the phone by the bed and dialed 911 telling the paramedics to get there ASAP because her Uncle had overdosed on pills and she also after she got off the line with 911, she emergency buzzed Chief Quimby through Gadget’s top secret Gadget phone:
“Chief Quimby, Chief Quimby, please come as fast as you can, Uncle Gadget has overdosed on pills of some kind.. PLEASE GET HERE ASAP!” Penny shouted over the intercom hoping Quimby heard her wherever he was.
Penny seethed in her brain about how she was going to get Dr. Claw for this and make sure the bastard had his day with his maker until Brain tapped her on the leg and pointed her to the two bottles of gin and vodka laying on the bed where her Uncle slept.
She felt tears start to envelop her as she went into the bathroom picking up the bottle laying beside her almost lifeless Uncle as she read the label on the back of it causing her to totally lose it:
“Why Uncle Gadget, Why?” Penny said outloud as she collapsed onto the bed burying her hands in her face as she shook and relived the memories of finding her dead parents in better shape than her Uncle.
Brain immediately jumped on her lap and barked at her by smacking her across the face to get her back into reality. She needed to check for a pulse on her Uncle before the paramedics and Chief Quimby arrived so that she could brief them about what happened and how she found her Uncle.
She got on her knees to check right below her Uncle’s jaw line to see if there was a pulse, there was one, though barely. Her Uncle was clinging to life by the utmost threads and needed immediate help.
Soon after Penny heard sirens and ran to the front door opening it as the paramedics and Chief Quimby arrived. She went into the living room and sat down as they rushed up the driveway and into the house making a beeline for her Uncle’s bedroom after Penny briefed them about what happened to her Uncle. As Chief Quimby entered into the room his eyes immediately saw the two big liquor bottles. This time Gadget had really done it, this time he would have to come clean if Penny demanded answers and he knew this time it was not going to be pretty when the media found out about it and word spread across Metro City.
Chief Quimby walked into the living room sitting down with Penny who had a gone look in her eyes as she sobbed. She looked up at Quimby and immediately felt an anger boiling deep down within her soul. Quimby sat there with a scared look on his face, he knew he had to tell her the truth and tell the truth to the Mayor and his Borough Commander who like Penny were not going to be very pleased when news of Inspector John “Gadget” Brown’s drinking got to the general public’s ears.
Before he had a chance to tell her the truth, the paramedics rolled Gadget out. “I think Penny should ride with you guys down to Metro City Trauma Center” Chief Quimby said to the paramedics who motioned for them to follow them to the ambulance.
“Come on Penny, I need to go brief the Mayor and my Commander about what has happened before I can join you at the hospital” Chief Quimby said softly to Penny. “Your Uncle needs you now more than ever, you have to be strong for him” Chief Quimby consoled to Penny who handed him the pill bottle she was holding in her left hand.
Chief Quimby could only look at it and know his goose was cooked. He was not looking forward to the chewing out he knew was coming from his Commander and the Mayor who knew about Gadget’s recent drinking problems and now drug problems.
Penny instead of saying anything to Quimby quickly ran out to the ambulance getting in the passenger side of it once they loaded Gadget into it. Within mere seconds the sirens were blaring and the ambulance was on its way to the hospital. As Chief Quimby watched the ambulance disappear around the corner, he looked at the number of people who were standing outside wondering what was going on at the Gadget residence. Quimby quickly got into his Crown Victoria and sped out of the neighborhood as fast as he could.
As he drove back to headquarters he chewed on the end of his pipe smoking it like a chimney wondering how in the world he was going to explain himself to Penny and for that matter his Superiors.
As Penny rode in the front of the ambulance as it screamed down the highway towards the hospital, she never bothered to look up as she dosed off into a dark state thinking about all the good times which were going to be forever lost if her Uncle did not pull through this. She remembered all the times they went camping, skiing, and on some of Gadget’s international assignments. She remembered how much her Uncle treated her as if she were his own daughter by teaching her the roots of life and always scolding her if she did not study because she hated school and would rather been with her Uncle on his missions. All those memories, some of them older than ten years floated across her mind making her sniffle as another wave of tears took over her.
Gadget lay in the back of the ambulance hooked up to a monitor with breathing ivs up his nose to keep his airways open while the paramedics tried to work on him. His Gadgets were making it almost impossible for the paramedics to stabilize him let alone try to work on giving him just basic fluids. Eventually the paramedics had to latch Gadget’s arms down with a strap to keep them from popping back out everytime they popped them back in.
Gadget in his mind still saw the demonic images of Prof. Von Slickstein, but he also saw images of him as a normal man before the accident which would turn him into the bionic inspector he had become. Right now though, if he could see it, he was clinging to life as the paramedics tried their best to work on him only failing as another gadget would go crazy forcing them to latch it down as he mumbled incoherently. The images in his mind were getting brighter and more lifelike as he slowly was slipping from the real world to that of heaven.
Soon the ambulance rolled into Metro City Trauma Center as Penny came to in time to see through her blurry tear soaked eyes that they had arrived at the hospital. Penny with her arms wrapped around her stomach got out of the ambulance as they wheeled her Uncle into the trauma center. She aimlessly wondered to the front door of the hospital where one of the nurses instead of having her check in and go through all that stress immediately led her to a private waiting room with nobody in it. Soon as the door was closed, the emotion of the last hour claimed Penny in sleep as her tears gave way to light snoozing.
Chief Quimby left Metro City Police Headquarters in a bad mood after his Borough Commander and the Mayor laid into him telling him this was the last straw and if Gadget passed away as a result of the Chief’s negligence that it would be his job and career that would be replaced swiftly by a zebra jumpsuit and five by ten cell with his name etched into it.
Quimby pulled into the Metro City Trauma Center parking lot as the sun started to poke over the hills. Before the Chief got out of his car he made sure to leave his anger in it along with any other thing the Mayor told him. He knew his job was on the line and he knew if Penny wanted answers.. he’d have to give them. He took a deep breath as he filled his pipe with more tobacco before getting out of the car making his way towards the front door. He made his way inside the hospital lobby walking up to the receptionist desk and the receptionist who was buried in a magazine oblivious to the world around her.
“AHEHEHEHEEMMM” the Chief loudly cleared his throat startling the young receptionist who looked at him aimlessly.
“I’m here for Ms. Penny Brown and I’d like to know which waiting area she is in” Quimby asked the receptionist.
“Sorry sir.. don’t have anyone registered under that name” the receptionist said in an annoying tone as she checked the sign in sheet only making Quimby more angry.
“Listen Missy, if you don’t tell me where Ms Brown is in this hospital, I’ll send in a platoon of my finest officers to comb it like a bad cowlick at which point you will be either out of a job or forced to tell me where she is” Quimby threatened slapping his hand on the desk.
“And you are? Because I’m about fifteen seconds away from throwing you out of this hospital for disturbing the peace!” The receptionist threatened back to Quimby who said in his gruff tone:
“The name’s Chief Quimby madam and I would suggest you look a little harder instead of running that whatever you call a mouth!” Chief Quimby shouted drawing the attention of the people in the waiting area and some of the nursing staff.
One of the nurses who had taken Penny to a private waiting room ran up to the front when she heard all the commotion. She immediately walked up to the receptionist area and looked dead on at the Chief who turned his rage on her:
“I want to know where Ms. Penny Brown is and it seems nobody has bothered to tell me where she is” Quimby barked drawing the ire of the older husky looking nurse.
“First off, I’m nurse Hazel and second off, you will kindly quiet yourself down before my boss who is not very fond of hecklers gets down here and deals with you directly” Nurse Hazel barked immediately making the irate Chief think twice when he saw a picture of the massive man in the lobby she pointed to.
“Sorry, I’ve had less than a stellar day and my best inspector is clinging to life and his niece needs my company, where is she? Quimby asked as calmly as he could.
“I’ll take you to her but I warn you, one more loud peep out of you and you know what will happen if my boss has to come down here to sort things out” Nurse Hazel reminded the chief who nodded his head wisely.
Nurse Hazel led Chief Quimby down a long hall to a series of private waiting areas, some full of people, others not. When they got to the last private room, Quimby saw Penny lying on the ground fast asleep. The nurse opened the door and Penny was startled awake as she saw Chief Quimby standing beside the nurse at the doorway.
“You can leave us now, thank you Nurse Hazel” Chief Quimby said to the nurse who made her way down the hall out of sight.
Penny looked haggard still wearing her night clothes with dark circles under her eyes as Chief Quimby made his way inside the room.
“Have they seen you yet regarding Gadget?” Quimby asked as Penny shook her head in a no motion.
“I don’t know how long I’ve been here, I just remember the nurse leading me in here and the rest is a blank” Penny said groggily “I don’t even know what time it is much less why my Uncle did what he did” Penny said as she sat down in one of the chairs in the waiting area.
Chief Quimby made his way into the room sitting across from Penny as the doctor magically appeared at the door after Nurse Hazel had gone to get him.
“You must be Ms. Brown and Chief Quimby I presume?” The doctor said as he walked into the room. He was a small rotund type fellow with receding hair and glasses who waddled a bit as he sat down in the chair across from them.
“Yes, I’m Penny Brown and this is Chief Quimby and you are?” Penny said as she shook the doctor’s hand.
“I’m Doctor Berry and I have taken on your Uncle’s case, I’m just going to flat out say Ms. Brown that he is clinging onto life and still seeing hallucinations, whatever he took really did a number on his body let alone his brain” Doctor Berry said. “It also looks like we are going to have to operate on him as it looks like his brain is swelling to the point where we’re going to have to drain the fluid out of it since he took a nasty fall in the bathroom” Doctor Berry said grimly as he adjusted his glasses.
Penny could only sit there and not try to cry her eyes out as she mustered all the strength she had to say: “Will he survive if you drain the fluid out of his brain?”
“Ms. Brown, this is why I wanted to talk with you because your Uncle is not just an ordinary man, it looks like he has bionics and that means we do not have the facilities here in this hospital to deal with that type of patient, we’ve got him as stabilized as best we can at this moment but time is of the essence” Doctor Berry said in a serious tone.
“Myron Dabble is the person you need to speak with, he has recently taken on Gadget because Gadget’s former doctor, Professor Von Slickstein who was in charge of his bionic program recently passed away and before I spoke with my Borough Commander, I gave him a call and he was just about to land in London so we have him on a redeye from London back to here as we speak” Chief Quimby informed Doctor Berry who shook his head in a nodding fashion.
“I know both Professor Von Slickstein and Myron Dabble and I’m sorry to hear about the Professor’s passing, he was a real pioneer to our community as well as someone who was ahead of his time in the bionics field in medicine” Dr. Berry said as he once again adjusted his glasses. “He’s going to be missed by many in the medical community so I send my condolences to his family and am thrilled to hear Myron is carrying on his legacy in the field of bionic medicine” Dr. Berry smiled.
“As soon as Mr. Dabble gets here, I want him in my office immediately because as much as I hate to say this, we’re going to have to fly Gadget to wherever Myron has his bionics facility because we don’t want to risk killing Gadget or messing with his bionics which I am certain are brain controlled” Doctor Berry said looking away from Chief Quimby and Penny to adjust the hearing device in his white Doctor’s coat pocket.
“Myron lives in Switzerland and I am sure his lab is there too, but flying Gadget to there will not be easy since we have to charter a jet with all the necessary equipment to handle bionics” Chief Quimby said as Dr. Berry jotted down a few notes.
“As soon as Myron gets here, that jet will have to be ready and waiting at the airport once I’m done briefing him” Doctor Berry said to Chief Quimby who nodded his head.
“Leave that to me Doctor Berry, I’m sure if I pull enough strings the Mayor will be more than happy to help out with getting us what we need” Chief Quimby said to Doctor Berry who nodded.
“I just want my uncle to survive this” Penny chimed in. “I need to go home and get packed and call my close friend in Japan, we’re going to need all the help we can get in case MAD tries anything funky” Penny said standing up gingerly.
“As soon as everything is put into place, we leave for Switzerland at once” Chief Quimby said shaking Doctor Berry’s hand as the rotund man waddled out of the room.
“Come on Penny, let’s get some air, we’ve got a lot to do in the next few hours” Chief Quimby motioned to Penny who got up and walked out of the room with him.
As they made their way outside the sun was starting to creep into the semi humid misty setting as the two walked down a path towards a lake on the backside of the hospital.
As soon as they were out of range of anyone to hear them, Penny finally spoke:
Why didn’t you tell me that Uncle Gadget was struggling with addiction?
“Penny, the truth is, after we left the Amazon in the cargo jet, Professor Von Slickstein told me his health was failing and that Doctor Claw had made him realize his mortality and when he told Gadget, Gadget freaked out, I had never seen him like that before and that’s when the drinking started. The drugs were added on when the drinking did not knock him out to sleep” Chief Quimby explained swallowing hard.
“You have to understand Penny, I was in a bad spot, I didn’t want to admit to myself that ever since I hired Gadget that he would have a fragile ego to the point where he was so connected to Professor Von Slickstein that it would drive him down this road” Chief Quimby admitted puffing on his pipe franticly.
“No, you see Quimby, there is no excuse for what you did to my Uncle” Penny said in a confrontational tone. “Now he is clinging to life because you would not let your ego take a back seat to reality which is he could die if we don’t get him the help he needs” Penny said pointing her finger at her Chief who gnawed on his pipe making pieces of wood hit the ground as he took it in his hand and slammed it down onto the cement trail.
“I don’t give a damn, I have a city to think about and people to protect” Chief Quimby shouted. “One of these days you’ll be in my position and you’ll have to think about what matters more to you, Penny!” Chief Quimby yelled poking his finger in Penny’s chest.
“Wait, you’re saying that I am going to be in your position? Bullshit, I don’t want it, I just want you to admit you made a mistake and that if it doesn’t cost my Uncle his life, that you’ll have a little common sense next time” Penny yelled flinching as she knocked away Quimby’s index finger from her chest.
“Do you know what will happen if MAD gets wind of this? We’re both finished because Dr. Claw when he gets wind of this will do everything in his power to bring this city down and when he does, he’ll take it over. That’s why I could not let what your Uncle was doing out because Dr. Claw would have long ago destroyed Gadget and you” Chief Quimby admitted as he picked his pipe off the ground and stuck it back in his mouth.
“Well Quimby, this time the cat is really out of the bag and whether or not you like it or not, MAD will get wind of this and MAD will do everything in their power to make sure all of us are eliminated because of your stupidity, now let THAT sink in” Penny spat as her Chief finally snapped:
“Penny, I don’t give a crap anymore because if you’re Uncle passes away, I’m looking at several years behind bars and if he does survive I’m looking at a huge reprimand on my record so that means you’ll be taking orders from a Chief who isn’t going to put up with your attitude.. Let THAT sink in Detective Brown” Chief Quimby spat back puffing his pipe furiously.
“If Uncle Gadget passes away.. I’m done with this fucking force and I promise you, if you thought Dr. Claw was a major problem, you just wait until I slap the biggest lawsuit this force has ever seen right in your lap and when I’m done with you, you’ll be begging Dr. Claw to give you some leniency when you’re thrown in the same jail you threw all his goons that I collared for you when Uncle Gadget was too busy going on clueless leads” Penny said sharply to Chief Quimby who finally had to get his lead detective in line:
“That’s enough Penny, if your Uncle saw us like this he would scold us both and have you brought before him to explain to him why you treat your Superiors like dirt” Chief Quimby said in a tone that backed Penny down just enough to realize what really was at stake here as she immediately nodded her head to her Chief in a moment of clarity.
“Now, we’ve got a lot to do before that jet is ready to go and I certainly am not going to tolerate one of my best detectives walking around in her night clothes representing my city and my police force” Chief Quimby pointed out as he looked at Penny who suddenly realized he was right.
“I understand Chief, forgive me for getting out of line, I need to better control my temper” Penny admitted as she reached a hand out in a shake motion.
“I know Penny, we’ve all been through a lot this morning and we’re looking at a lot more ahead of us so let’s bury the hatchet, Shall we?” Chief Quimby said as he shook Penny’s hand.
Penny followed Quimby out to his car and soon it was out of the parking lot headed back to the Gadget House. Penny got dropped off at home where she ran in, took a shower and quickly packed her and Brain’s things in two suitcases and set them by the door. She picked up the wireless phone she brought into her bedroom and dialed Atsuko’s number.
She would have to meet her in Switzerland and hope they could save her Uncle in time because his life and theirs depended on it.
A computer screen blipped off as Dr. Claw sat in his big MAD office chair in his lair sipping white wine with his fat sidekick Mad Cat by his side laying on his desk evilly cat laughing as he finished the glass of wine slamming it on his desk shattering the glass everywhere as he laughed and MAD Cat mewed in terrified surprise jumping up in the air and landing on his feet once he came down back to the desk from his flight.
He had a plan and this time it would work. He just needed to get the right people in the right places so that even that little girl would not suspect it was him pulling the strings until Metro City was his and he was the dictator.
He pulled a chip out of his desk he had been saving for such an event of opportunity, it was in his mind going to bring his evil corporation victory when he had one of his most clever henchmen implant the chip in Gadget’s brain while they did surgery on him so that he would be a vegetable until the chip stopped working at the press of a switch on his computer station. He stared at the chip as he held it in his sliver colored gloved claw as he pet his faithful companion Mad Cat’s head eliciting a loud purr from the fat feline.
He pressed a switch on his desk bringing up an intercom computer with a PA mic on it as he said:
“Send in Presto Change-o, I have a job for him.
The End, for now.