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Fan Fic / The Nowakverse

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Fan art of Widget Hackwrench.

The Nowakverse is probably the most famous Fan Verse in the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers fandom. It started with John Nowak's Fan Fic Under the Bridge which was followed by another two stories by the same author, Icarus and Sovereign. Several other authors at least used elements from the Nowakverse in their stories, be it only the main original character, Gadget's long lost sister Widget Hackwrench, be it Widget's self-made submarine Albacore including the entire crew, her husband, Kapitänleutnant Jürgen Jürgen, and their son, Gimcrack. Widget actually managed to build up so much of a fame of her own that no other original character from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers Fan Fic has ever been subject of more Fan-Art.


The stories in the Nowakverse contain examples of:

  • Artificial Limbs: Widget was born without a left arm. Fortunately, she grew into a skilled mechanic and made herself a spring-driven artificial arm.
  • Author Vocabulary Calendar: These stories hammer heavily on "Byronic" and "pelagic" (the latter of which is completely misused).
  • Badass Cape: Widget wears one. It's not flowing freely, though; she wears it to hide her mechanical left arm.
  • Bamboo Technology: Even Albacore falls victim to this. Mr. Fenton, a bat, is not only the sonar operator, he is the actual sonar.
  • Battle Ballgown: Widget's wedding dress is made of Kevlar.
  • BFG: The Darned Nearly Recoilless Rifle is pretty huge if operated by mice. .22 rimfire cartridges might be small for humans, but for rodents they're large enough to require a big weapon which, despite Widget's efforts, isn't entirely recoilless.
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  • Big "NO!": Dale in Under the Bridge.
    "No," gasped Dale. Then, a howl: "NOOOOOooooo!"
  • Break the Cutie: Gadget. After Widget attacked the Rangers trying to kill her and turned into a permanent threat, she transforms from the kindest and most compassionate Ranger to a cold-blooded killer and plans to hunt down and kill Widget first by attacking and sinking her submarine, all hands aboard or not, her weapon of choice illegal or not. It is in fact an exaggeration of Gadget's only canonical Berserk Button, but this time it's taken so far that some consider it Out of Character.
  • Byronic Hero: Widget turns into one in Under the Bridge. She also refers to herself as one over and over and over again since her Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Cameo: Danger Mouse and Penfold appear in Sovereign.
  • Cats Are Mean: Especially those who tried to trap Monty, Geegaw and the newborn babies on the bridge.
  • Circles of Hell: Tailor-made for the Rangers in Chip's afterlife dream in Under the Bridge. Monty's Circle of Hell is a gigantic fondue into which he has been dropped, Dale's Circle of Hell is a software development office in which he has to rid a GUI operating system of all bugs. Chip himself ends up in Gadget's Circle of Hell: her marriage with him.
  • Cool Boat: Albacore is so this.
  • Character Development: In particular, Widget in Under the Bridge.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Gadget's raid on the prison in Sovereign.
  • Dark Action Girl: Widget.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Widget's Backstory.
  • Darker and Edgier: A lot in comparison to the show.
  • Emoticon: Mice put an 8 in front of their emoticons in e-mails to identify themselves to their readers as mice.
  • Enemy Mine: Widget when she needs Rescue Rangers help in Under the Bridge.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": At least during the first chapters of Under the Bridge, nobody aboard Albacore knows Widget's name, not even Jürgen; they all call her "The Gray Mouse" (which refers to her gray hair). In fact, neither do readers who haven't been filled in on the story before reading it.
  • Evil Albino/Heroic Albino: Widget has been both.
  • Evil Counterpart: That's what Widget starts as.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Darned Nearly Recoilless Rifle. Except that what recoil is left will still knock a single gunmouse over backwards.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Chip's afterlife dream has Monty end up in a hot fondue cauldron for retribution.
  • Foreign Sounding Gibberish: Appears in Sovereign.
    "Ich bin Muenster von Kublewagen-Nebelwerfer, der family solicitor."
  • Furry Female Mane: Widget has got white fur but long gray hair tied up in a ponytail.
  • Gibberish of Love: Chip falls victim to this in his afterlife dream sequence involving Gadget in Under the Bridge.
    He had to say something to express his love.
    That wasn't it.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: The massive help mission which the Rangers launch in Under the Bridge after they've received Widget's call for help.
  • Gratuitous German: Despite speaking English fluently, Jürgen keeps slipping back into his native German.
    • Widget also isn't immune, shouting the German command (Los!) right after specifically reminding herself not to do that.
  • Heel–Face Turn: During the fateful events of Under the Bridge, Widget develops from the Big Bad to a Byronic Hero.
  • Kill It with Fire: Gadget's choice of a self-defense weapon against Widget is a disposable lighter, modified so that she can hold and operate it horizontally and use it as a flamethrower.
    Jürgen: "Flammenwerfer!"
  • Left Hanging: Sovereign Part 4 is still missing. According to Word of God, it had partially been written already, but it shall be rewritten entirely.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Gadget didn't even know she has a sister until Widget showed up. On a similar note, neither did Widget for quite a long time.
  • Love Triangle: Gidget, Bertie and David in Under the Bridge. Who they are doesn't matter because David is only mentioned by name, and Gidget and Bertie are mere decoration for the cruise ship Minuscule which is sunk by Albacore a few paragraphs later.
  • Meaningful Name: Hackwrench, Jürgen, etc.
  • Mistaken Identity: Two-way. Gadget and Widget have a mail conversation in Under the Bridge. However, neither does Widget know that her opposite is the very same sister she wants to kill, nor does Gadget know that her opposite is her sister (or that she has a sister at all), let alone that said sister is out to kill her.
  • Mood Whiplash: Under the Bridge in particular is quite a dramatic Dark Fic, but it keeps throwing in funny or even wacky bits when you expect them the least.
  • MST: Under the Bridge was MSTed by Nowak himself, along with Matt Plotecher of Chip Noir Dales Rescue Rangers fame. Not the only MSTing they wrote together, but the only CDRR fanfic MSTed by its own author.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Gadget is pretty much addicted to the stuff.
  • Mythology Gag: Before she first encounters the Rangers, Widget lets off her anger on Gadget dolls made by Applause, known among Rangerphiles as "Gadget plushies" and for being outrageously expensive nowadays. The only hints at their identity are their make, their size, and that Jürgen asks Widget if they should travel to Orlandonote  to get more.
  • Poor Communication Kills: All of this could have been avoided if only Gadget talked with Widget after the fateful science fair competition.
  • Power Fist: Widget's spring-loaded left hand.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Gadget when Monty says she sounds just like Widget as she reveals her plans to kill her sister.
    "I. Do. Not."
  • Purple Prose: The third chapter of Under the Bridge starts out with this in the short scene with Bertie and Gidget aboard the R.M.S. Minuscule. It ends when the story cuts to aboard Albacore which prepares for an attack on Minuscule.
  • Red Right Hand: Widget's mechanical left arm which she hides under a black cloak and in a black glove.
  • Repetitive Name: Kapitänleutnant Jürgen. His family name is Jürgen, his first name is Jürgen, and his middle name happens to be Jürgen, too.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Two-fold, even. Widget built a sophisticated attack submarine, hired a crew for it and even sinks a rodent ferryboat just to exact revenge on her sister Gadget. Gadget, in turn, after finding out that Widget is out to kill her, builds a torpedo out of an illegally imported Russian machine gun round to sink Widget's submarine with everyone aboard.
  • Rule of Cool: All over the place.
  • Scavenged Punk: Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers is this already, but Widget takes it to all new levels. It helps that she planned her revenge on Gadget when she was living on a junkyard.
  • Self-Deprecation: In the aformentioned MSTing, (which, remember, Nowak himself co-wrote) Mike & the Bots frequently poke fun at the story's dark tone and the overuse of Technobabble. Later, Nowak shows up and depicts himself as a "dark Dilbert" who always over analyzes things.
  • Shared Universe / Fan Verse: No Rangerverse saw as many guest writers as the Nowakverse.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Exterminator is based on a Dalek toy.
    • Kapitänleutnant Jürgen could be one to Das Boot. He is even addressed as "Herr Kaleun" like Jürgen Prochnow's character.
    • Although not explicitly mentioned, Albacore is one to the Nautilus (although the latter's Disney live-action version has a full-blown Cameo in the Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "A Creep in the Deep").
    Large saw blades ran from bow to the top of the forward part of the bridge, and along the sides and bottom of the bow. The blades would cut fishnet and gave the black vessel a strangely familiar appearance.
  • Speak of the Devil: In Under the Bridge.
  • Spy Catsuit: Widget's black wet suit.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Especially in Sovereign, but also the remarkable scene in Under the Bridge when Widget tries to kill the Rangers for the first time.
  • Sub Story: Under The Bridge.
  • Take That!: Dale's Circle of Hell in Under the Bridge might be one to Microsoft Windows 95.
  • Tank Goodness: The Exterminator from Under the Bridge.
  • Technology Porn: John Nowak managed to describe the contraptions in his stories at such a high level of detail that it's almost possible to rebuild them in Real Life unless the Rule of Cool is involved.
  • Thememobile: What'd Widget be without Albacore?
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Darned Nearly Recoilless Rifles designed by Widget. .22 Rimfire might be small for humans, but they are described in Under the Bridge as the rodent equivalent of 150mm artillery. Nevertheless, they were conceived and are used mostly as anti-personnel rifles.
    • Also in Under the Bridge, Gadget herself builds a magnetic homing torpedo out of an illegaly imported Soviet 14.5×114 anti-tank machine gun round to sink her sister's submarine.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Averted. Using a surprisingly subtle bit of character reference, Nowak makes it clear Jurgen wasn't one.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Widget takes several ones, starting when she has to take care of a young injured sailor squirrel named Andy and culminating with the birth of her son Gimcrack.
  • The Unfavorite: Widget thinks she is one.
  • The Voice: In Chip's afterlife dream.
  • Wrench Wench: Widget, maybe even more so than Gadget.
  • You Keep Using That Word: "Pelagic" means an open zone in the deep ocean. It has nothing to do with cats. Given that Nowak co-wrote the MST of Under the Bridge, presumably he looked up what the word meant at some point after writing the story, because the MST beats him up heavily for misusing the word.

Alternative Title(s): Under The Bridge


Example of: