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  Set In Stone (A Ghost Cat story)
Posted by: Ghost Cat - 01-01-2021, 06:01 PM - Forum: Fanfiction - No Replies

“A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.” - Jean de La Fontaine

Set In Stone
Summary: Taking place in an alternate timeline within the Darkwing Duck universe and right before the events of "Echoes of Destiny”, Ghost Cat receives a premonition about what a monster named Negawing Duck will do to his people: the Nekojins. Terrified of the catastrophic extinction that awaits his species, the mercenary sets out to the Negaverse in what could be his most dangerous and possibly last mission: to assassinate the tyrant before he can do any harm, but surprisingly, the situation might become a little more complicated than Ghost Cat anticipated.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Darkwing Duck or Darkstar Duck's OC Sylvania Duckbill (who is mentioned by name as an homage to my old friend), but I do own Negawing/Alrich, Draco, King Lucian, Carmilla Macawbers, Emperor Shoru and Ghost Cat
Note: Happy New Year, my fellow brethren of the Darkwing Duck fandom and Old Haunt! 2020 is finally over with, huzzah! *Imitates trumpet noise* Here is a special treat that I crafted just for you, which was loosely inspired by the 2002 Twilight Zone series’ episode “Cradle of Darkness.” I apologize for the delay of the third chapter of “Spoils of War”, but I’ve been extremely busy dealing with the holiday season as you can imagine. Don’t fret, I’ll finish working on it as soon as I get the chance, eventually. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy this one-shot project.
The breeze swirled in from the west on that particular Transylvania summer night. Now, outside of a pale-gray medieval era castle Ghost Cat – also known as Takeo Robbins - stood, gaze seemingly up at the stars. But instead of watching the heavens, bright green irises scoured the fortress' façade until they rested upon their target: an open window. Those eyes narrowed ever so slightly, determinedly. If you could stop a modern day Adolph Hitler from rising to power, would you?

That's the question that has been weighing heavily on Ghost Cat's conscience ever since one of his previous clients - a grateful soothsayer - had instilled him the ability of precognitive foresight several months ago. Initially, whenever he slept he was met what he passed off as delusions. In his visions, he witnessed the destruction of his homeland by the hand of Negaduck's descendent named Negawing and also witnessed the terrible crimes that his son, Takeshi, committed throughout his career as a dangerous mercenary until he was struck down by Negawing's older brother, Draco after a failed operation of breaking down the eldest Abnormal Prince's empire by attacking his bases. The carnage he witnessed Takeshi committed... was quite disturbing since they depicted him traveling around destroying colonies by stealing their life force and energies so he could cultivate gargantuan corrupt trees that spawn immensely powerful fruits (the variant of highly advanced energy drinks), which Takeshi harnesses by devouring them and dramatically increasing his capabilities.  The fact that he became strong enough to hold his own against an extremely dangerous warlock such as Draco and forced him to utilize his Draconian Emperor form was an astonishing feat on its own. The colonies and his inhabitants were reduced to withered husks. This nightmarish scenario was among the ones that Ghost Cat intended on preventing from coming to fruition. He would do anything to prevent his son from becoming a genocidal monster by taking down the one who initiated the chain of events that caused Takeshi's descent into madness - Negawing Duck.

It's not only a few weeks earlier that Ghost Cat came to terms with the fact that his visions are actual premonitions, but he was on his own. If Ghost Cat tried to spread word of danger, then heroes like Quiverwing Quack would have him carted off Duckham Asylum as a case of delirium or he could be dismissed as a crackpot by one of the other infamous members of St. Canard's rogue gallery. Hell, even his king - Emperor Shoru - would most likely had him arrested and there was no way he was going to tell his family about this. He came to the grim conclusion that he was alone in this endeavor as neither his hulking dim-witted minion Bonecrusher nor his main client the enigmatic crimelord Unknown nor his archrival Shadow Wolf would take his word seriously.
It had taken him several long weeks to find a inter-dimensional portal to the Negaverse and to track down Negawing at the heart of the Leviathan Empire's capital city (Transylvania). The panther mercenary had come this far in his mission, and he would not be turning face. If what he’d been forewarned was at all accurate, then what happened tonight would ensure the safety of his future – of his people’s future. If he succeeded. No. He would complete this task. His race – the Nekojins – are growing into a powerful civilization and it hadn’t been by Emperor Shoru simply twiddling his thumbs and sitting on his throne all day. He’d killed before on the behalf of his emperor by participating in his conquests for the glory of the empire. This time would be no different. He can fulfill this complicated mission, because he was a proud warrior, just like his ancestors were. He will not let Negawing become the catalyst of the Nekojins' downfall. Once he succeeded in preventing that megalomaniac from annihilating his people then it will prevent Takeshi from following in his father's pawprints and getting killed by Draco later on. Change one critical moment of history then it shall create a ripple effect or at least that's what the panther mercenary was taught from the myraid of science fiction movies that he watched throughout the course of his life. It's worth a shot.
Ghost Cat’s hand drifted to his hip where he ran his fingers along the handles of his handgun and pocketknife for reassurance. He intended on eliminating his target in the middle of his sleep, knowing how extremely dangerous a sorcerer that Negawing is. He will not take any chances of awakening him. Taking in a final gulp of fresh air, the panther mercenary slipped a long rope from his coat pocket and tied a grappling hook to the end. In a single swift motion, he swung the rope skyward for the window. Giving his rope a quick tug, the hook caught on the windowsill. Ghost Cat reached as far up on the rope as he could, then he hoisted the rest of his body along and wrapped his legs around it. Thankful for his upper-body strength and praying that the rope would hold his weight, the middle-aged panther began to climb. Don’t break, rope. Don’t let Negawing's guards hear me, my god don’t let them hear me. Don’t look down, whatever you do, just don’t look down.
Painfully slowly, the windowsill grew closer and closer until Ghost Cat’s own gloveless fingers wrapped around it. Making as little noise as humanly possible, he pulled the rest of his body through the open window. The second his boots touched the wooden floor Ghost Cat had his knife at the ready, poised to strike at anything that moved. When nothing disturbed the delicate peace, the black-furred mercenary let his tired body relax a little. I'm getting too old in dealing with this nonsensical crap. The sooner it's taken care of, the sooner I can return to my home.
Ghost Cat scanned his surroundings, taking in every detail. He decided at last that he must be in the wrong room. It was not unlikely since he had entered through the only open window he could find. There was no evidence of a tyrant waiting in this room, no bed with a sleeping murderous criminal mastermind inside. No intricate devious diagrams of potential invasions or weapons of mass destruction lying around as he’d been expecting. In fact, the only thing of interest was a tiny cradle, the corner of a faded baby blue blanket draped over the side.
Scratching the back of his head in confusion and then shrugging his shoulders as he figured that Negawing had an illegitimate offspring or something of the sort. Ghost Cat made for the door, silently tiptoeing across the wooden floorboards. With every footstep, the floor welcomed him with an unearthly groan, a monster awakened from its slumber. Takeo Robbins would freeze, sure that this time the floor-always on guard-would give him away. Each time, however, as the fifty-five-year-old assassin stopped to listen for rapid approaching footsteps that would signal the castle's guards, his fears were only met by silence. Eventually, Ghost Cat reached the door and wrapped his fingers tenderly around the handle, as if dealing with a bomb. Hesitantly, he pushed the door open. He was ready to pull it shut behind him when the name plate plastered on the outer side of the door caught his eye. Alrich Macawber... what the hell?! Alrich’s Negawing's real name! I’d been in the right room all along? But… that could only mean... Ghost Cat felt his mind scrambling to comprehend the new knowledge. The middle-aged mercenary turned his eyes to the cradle resting harmlessly in the middle of the room he’d just been about to leave. Slowly, he backed into the bedroom again, closing the door quietly and creeping over to the crib. Sure enough, the name “Alrich Macawber” was engraved into the side of the wooden cradle. This “demon-spawn” 's only a duckling? That can't be right! I’m supposed to kill a baby, but I’d never taken the life of a child before in my career!
Takeo wasn’t sure exactly what he was doing as he watched his own hand reaching into the mass of blankets and slide them down slightly, revealing the baby’s small beak and tufted cheeks. Innocence. It was the only thing the panther mercenary could see in the child’s sleeping features, unaware that a extremely dangerous bounty hunter towered above him with the purpose of ending his new life. Judging how young he looked, he estimated that his target was roughly several months old, give or take a week or two. Ghost Cat growled, his hands clenching into tight fists by his sides. Get ahold of yourself, Ghost Cat. You're the greatest assassin that has ever stalked the Earth. I’ve always completed any mission that has been assigned to me. I am feared in over a dozen countries, I am envied by all who kill for cash, and I am looked upon like a god! I am known as the Scourge of Moscow, the Black Baron of Calisota, and the Devil of London; I’ve assassinated presidents, prime minsters, politicians and countless other highly guarded individuals since before this demon-spawn's father was born. I'm just as notorious as Negaduck, Magica DeSpell and Taurus Bulba were. I am a professional killer in every sense of the word and yet I'm… and yet I'm having difficulties bringing myself… The panther mercenary’s thoughts trailed off as he felt his heart pounding against the cage that was his ribs. He only wanted to turn and go back. Back to the comfort and back to where his family awaited him. He was almost ready to do so when the thought of his people flitted through his mind, a taunting reminder of the catastrophic fate that awaited the Nekojin homeland. Ghost Cat forced his other arm, the one brandishing his knife, to lift. It seemed to be the hardest task he’d ever tried to complete. He took in a long, deep breath and brought the knife up, suspended in the air above the sleeping duckling. It will be a swift and merciful demise compared to the one that he had seen Negawing condemning to his people in the near future. A fate much more than the deranged duck-tator deserved that's for sure.
He would later convince himself that he would have brought it down too, had the duckling’s eyes not shot wide open. The diminutive orbs met the intense emerald glare as Ghost Cat found himself staring back his reflection in a pair of wide blue eyes whose depth reminded him of the ocean. The middle-aged mercenary only dropped his gaze as he felt tiny fingers wrapping themselves around his thumb. The duckling cooed softly, tilting his head to one side in a curious manner.
The summer air was suddenly asphyxiating and smothering, and the cool draft from the opened window sent burning chills down his spine. Then there was a low clattering thunder that split the silence open like lightning in thick, humid air. Ghost Cat realized the knife was no longer in his fingers, but had fallen to the floor. He cursed internally at his blunder. Now he could hear the sound of someone, awakened from their sleep, shifting in the next room, probably the duckling’s parents or his older brother or one of the many servants. Either way, his time is running out.
Pick up the knife, Takeo! This is your last chance! If Lucian or one of his relatives finds out about this then it would be impractically impossible to infiltrate his castle again as he’ll increase his security measures by several fold! You’d evoke his wrath, which could guarantee your death warrant! Pick up the knife right now, you baka! That brat is using his magic to deceive you! He's no cherub! Your people and family are depending on you now more than ever! Pick up the knife! Ghost Cat closed his eyes tightly as he could vaguely hear the sounds of a terrible explosion and Negawing's voice cackling with sadistic glee. Pick up the knife or the severe consequences will be on your head, Takeo! The mercenary within him screamed in frustration, his face pulling down into a dark and dangerous glare. No, don't do it! This is all wrong! He's just an innocent ducklingHe hasn't done anything wrongLeave him aloneThe father inside him shouted back fiercely, shaking his head urgently. Opening his eyes, Takeo looked at the glinting metal that lay at his feet, and then back to the babe in the crib whose tiny feathery hand had worked its way into Ghost Cat’s. Alrich's blue eyes shined like sapphires in the darkness, filled with innocence. For a brief moment the black-furred Nekojin could see his own son Takashi in Alrich’s place and all of a sudden he felt sick and he knew, even before he’d decided, that he could not go through with this as his resolve was shattered into hundreds of shards like glass, his heart melted like snowflakes in the sun. Ghost Cat would, but Takeo could not. The father won the internal conflict over the assassin, although albeit barely. Tearing his hand from the baby’s grasp, the panther mercenary grabbed his knife and fled for the opened window, causing the duckling Alrich to sniffle and tears brimming in his eyes. The footsteps were growing nearer now he was glad for the excuse to leave.
He threw himself out into the night and, ignoring the horrible burning in his palms, slid down the rope to the waiting ground below. Ghost Cat tugged the hook loose and dove into the bushes, out of view of the window as he watched a light flickering on in the room. The cooing of a woman - most likely Queen Camilla - and high-pitched whimpers of the duckling soon followed. Takeo felt his pulse slowly quieting down in his ears. He felt no relief, however, only a strange, horrible new fear. Ghost Cat was surprised to realize his cheeks were damp with the trails of his tears. He had never felt so disgusted with himself. Not only had he completely failed to protect his people from the horrors to come, but he’d actually been about to murder a child. A child as roughly the same age as his own son for crying out loud! What the hell was he thinking traveling to the Negaverse's Romania from the Primeverse?! He’d been left with no way out. Ghost Cat had no idea how long he sat there in that bush. He knew he could not go home and face his family looking like this. He let the tears fall and did his best to muffle his gut-churning sobs while burying his face into his arms, his body trembling with turmoil.

Finally, he gained composure enough to stumble to his feet. The sudden urgency to find his way home, to do anything to take his mind off the situation, dimly fluttered in the back of his mind. Slim strips of sunlight had already begun to appear on the underside of clouds and Sylvania would be worried sick if he wasn’t back soon. The thought of the comfort of his own house and his waiting wife and son were enough to send Ghost Cat sprinting away from that faded pale-gray castle and towards the rising sun in the east, heading towards the direction of the derelict bakery where he found the trans-dimensional gateway. He had failed his most imperative mission, which will possibly haunt him for the rest of his life. What have I done? What in god’s name have I done? He thought bleakly to himself, closing his eyes tightly as a few tears streamed down his face. Sylvania... Takeshi... my people... I've failed you all. I just couldn't go through with it. Please forgive me for my greatest disgrace. 

It was 2063 when Ghost Cat met that boy again, over twenty years later and now the situation has drastically changed as their roles have been reversed. Now it was the mercenary who was in Alrich's mercy. By then, it just so happens that the duckling, now fully grown, had decided to worn a extravagant costume that consisted of a black fedora with an oversized brim and red band, a red mask, a red-lined black cape, and a long-sleeved black double breasted jacket over a yellow turtleneck. As for Ghost Cat himself, he did not look good since time has not been too kind to the elderly panther. He always had been a tall, broad Nekojin, but he was gaunt in the cheeks and very pale. His muscles had shriveled beyond use and his clothes were covered in mud. It was apparent that he has grown sick, starving, dying, and desperately thirsty for the glory of which he’d been robbed. He had been driven into destitution and he didn’t know what to do anymore as he had grown so weak that he couldn't wield his weapons anymore…
This is where Negawing Duck came into the picture… a seemingly charismatic twenty-five year-old warlock prince of the notorious Leviathan Empire, and when he spoke with that deep voice of his the panther’s heart flowed once more. Dozens of other poor Nekojins began taking notice as they climbed to their feet and huddled together with the ex-mercenary, one by one. Negawing’s soldiers arrived at the scene. However, instead of carrying deadly firearms these Abnormals began unloading crates from their hovering transportation shuttles and providing the Nekojins with food, fresh clothes, water and other provisions. Ghost Cat caught a loaf of bread that was thrown at his direction and began devouring it wolfishly as Negawing talked about restoring the Nekojins’ into greatness, identity, hope, land, a prosperous future that he sworn would be greater than Emperor Shoru's by tenfold. These words had a profound effect, especially considering that Ghost Cat and his like-minded outcasts here had been discarded to live in the slums for nearly a decade. More and more Nekojins gathered together  - even a large group of soldiers from the imperial army - and they listened intently while various others of them nodded their heads collectively in agreement, many punching their fists into the air as they were angry and disillusioned at the way the rest of the world is mistreating them. After finishing the bread Ghost Cat stroked his chin contemplatively, wondering if he had somehow altered the course of history after all for the better instead of failing to prevent his people's genocide... maybe he did made a difference.
Finally, when the short mallard ceased his speech and took several strides forward until he stopped before Ghost Cat, sea-blue eyes as piercing as ever and a feathered hand extended to the fallen mercenary, who wiped the crumbs from his mouth with the back of his hand. What else could the elderly Nekojin do but place his own fingers into the waiting palm and dropped to one knee while his own people cheered Negawing’s own name as if he were their own savior, lifting them from the ashes? Either way, he's left with no other choice as he's been reduced to a shadow of his former self.

Ghost Cat inhaled slowly through his nose, and then released a low exhale to calm his nerves. "I, Ghost Cat, hereby swear my fealty before you and before all my ancestors this sacred oath; I will render unconditional obedience, to Negawing Duck..." He began tentatively, knowing that he was about to make the pact with a devil in feathers. However, at this point his own survival mattered more than anything else, including honor which had been tarnished thanks to Emperor Shoru, who had sentenced him to live in the slums and was separated from his own family as a capital punishment in fear of provoking King Lucian's wrath all those years ago.

While the other Nekojins began pledging their allegiances to him, none of them witnessed that the Malevolent Mallard’s beak curved into a small, horrendous smile while they became oblivious of the terrible destiny that still awaited for them. There's magic in the words that I had addressed during my rousing speech; a subtle incantation to influence them all to my bidding as I knew it would be easy to control them. Not every spell needs to be chanted aloud. Since they were discarded like filth, these knobs would absolutely do anything to sustain their repugnant lives. Emperor Shoru actually made my hostile takeover that much more easier! What a bunch of shortsighted saps! Everything's going meticulously to my ingenious plan, just as I knew it would. Let them think that I'm their would-be hero, after all it'll be all the much sweeter when they realize that I'm playing them like a fiddle by the time I'm through with them! the tyrant thought smugly to himself with a faux sincere smile on his beak while he suppressed the impulsion to throw his head back and cackle triumphantly. However, even Negawing didn't realized that the machinations that he'll set into motion in the foreseeable future has already sealed his own fate.
The End

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  A Glimmer of Hope
Posted by: Ghost Cat - 11-14-2020, 02:55 AM - Forum: DuckTales 2017 - No Replies

Who here could use some cheering up? I think we all could - just look around you. The world is begging for a hero, but not just any derring-do-gooder, a plucky protagonist who can swoop from the shadows and save the day when maladjusted masterminds are disturbing the peace. and wreaking havoc. Yes, it's been a helluva year for us all. The world literally on fire, pestilence and diseases spreading far and wide, violence, plagues, inane political campaigns, people spending too much time online so they're becoming stir crazy and unable to engage with reality anymore - hey, I know how it feels, trust me! Sometimes it seems like there's no point in engaging reality anymore, because it's so gosh-darn grim and miserable. However, I bring forth a message of hope that could lift everyone's downtrodden spirits for its time to... get dangerous again!

Ladies and gentlemen, I just found out that various sources officially confirming that Disney has recently approved of a spinoff of the 2017 Ducktales series, one that will solely focus on Darkwing Duck and will become available on Disney +! Hey, if you don't believe me then check it out for yourselves...

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  The Spoils of War (A Draco Macawber tale)
Posted by: Ghost Cat - 11-10-2020, 01:26 PM - Forum: Fanfiction - Replies (3)

The Spoils of War
Summary: With the final battle between Posiwing and Negawing reaching a definitive conclusion, the Malevolent Mallard’s reign of terror has come to an abrupt end, but now his older brother – Draco – seizes the initiative by expanding the Leviathan Empire even further. With multi-versal dominance as his main goal, the Draconian Emperor readies himself for the battles of his life against dangerous adversaries and is ready to take down anyone that gets in his way, including his own family!
Note: I don’t own Darkwing Duck, but I do own Draco, Negawing Duck/Alrich, King Lucian, Felix, Carmilla Macawbers, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Ghost Hunter, and many other characters that will be featured throughout this short four-chaptered story. This chronicle is a spinoff to “Echoes of Destiny”, taking place shortly after Negawing is killed by Posiwing and focusing on Draco. My old friend Darkstar Duck’s OC is mentioned briefly as an homage to her. Warning: This tale is rated PG-13 since there are a few profanities and violence.
Chapter One: The Aftermath Part I
(Location: the Negaverse, Draco 38-M, year: 2083.)
Draco Macawber stood amongst the ruins of a rebel camp within an Vietnam settlement known simply as Draco 38-M, standing back to watch his Four Horsemen of Apocalypse rounding up the remaining rebel fighters. “Pathetic, simply pathetic. If you fools wish to oppose me, you could at leave have the decency to be stronger than that.” The lanky Fire Demon Prince spat, crossing his arms over his green and gold ceremonial armored chest.
This rebel movement had existed for quite some time, but very recently had been making more bold attacks against the colonies owned by the Macawber Clan. They’d been rather well equipped as of late, using swiped Leviathan Empire transport shuttles, armors and the latest communication devices. It seemed that there was a traitor within the Empire that needed to be severely disciplined for their treason. But first Draco had to deal with these rebel traitors by making an example out of them.
There were about five survivors in total, each of them the same race. Serpians, a race of vaguely snake-like people, their odd, elongated heads being their most defining physical characteristics.
“What shall we do with this abhorrent coven of traitors, Prince Draco?” Vanator, the black-furred cybernetic werewolf of the Four Horsemen asked, flicking a lock of auburn hair behind his ear.
Draco regarded the Serpians with an ice-cold expression. “Kill them.” He answered dispassionately, clasping his arms behind his back. “Kill them all. I’d rather not clog up our concentration camps with them.”
One purple Serpian spat in Draco’s direction, the glob of venom only making it about a meter away from him and landing nowhere near Draco, sizzling. “You deplorable bastard! You think you can get away with shit like this for your whole life? You’ll be stopped, I swear it!”
Draco didn’t even bother looking at him, continuing to look over at the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse. The first of his elite guard was Vanator, a mechanically enhanced werewolf and the captain of the group. He was intelligent and nearly as ruthless as his master in battle. Second, Thaddeus was a creature that’s almost a few heads taller than Draco, with a squat, blocky face and a heavily muscled body with cracked stone skin. Its eyes were a pair of glowing green crystals and its body was covered with gem-encrusted slabs of stone, like armor. Ancient dwarven runes were etched on its surface, and it was hefting a heavy war hammer over its back. Each step it took rumbled the ground and sent puffs of dust up into the air. This golem’s particular specialty was shattering buildings with his war hammer. Beelo – a former member of Negawing’s Dark Legion - was a small, almost shapeless being that glowed with a white luminescence. It had no emotions and spoke little, but could manipulate its body into any shape it wished. Finally, Timsu rounded out the group. He was a mysterious creature with an armor like exoskeleton that plated his entire body, a mask of bone covering his face and protrusions on his elbows, legs and shoulders. The look was frightening, and strongly reminded one of an earth Samurai. No one had ever seen him beneath his helmet, as it covered his head. He wielded a pair of swords he called the “Infinity Blades”, through which he would harness his own energy and amplify his power many times. His companions regarded him as a flamboyant showoff, but he was the most dangerous member of Draco’s elite guard, so no one said anything.
“By your command, Lord Draco!” Timsu cackled, grinning wickedly and cracking his knuckles.
It happened so fast that the human eye couldn’t perceive their movements. Vanator brandished his right hand, wreathed in scarlet energy that pulsed outwards, in a rough approximation of a sword and decapitated three of the Serpian rebels with a single stroke of his arm. Timsu had fired a web of lightning from his fingers and fried one of the rebels into a charred corpse, laughing maniacally all the way. His laughter and the dying scream of his victim were quickly drowned out by the sound of crackling, the large gem-encrusted golem of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, had charged straight at the last rebel, the purple Serpian, and kicked his head and neck clean off his shoulder. The Serpian’s sausage-shaped head sailed across the horizon and vanished into the distant sky. A moment after it disappeared, a four pointed “twinkle” appeared in the spot where it was last seen, rotating briefly, along with a high-pitched “ringing noise”.
Thaddeus gave a triumphant laugh and punched his fist into the air. “Haha! Hell, yeah! Touchdown! Take that, you reptilian freaks!” he yelled, his voice low and gravelly, like two stones being ground together. He paused and glanced to Vanator. “Um, that’s the saying, right?”
Vanator gave Thaddeus a blank expression and blew some dark brown fur from his face. “How the hell should I know?” he asked, his energy blade disappearing off his clawed hand.
“Good work, boys. Hopefully that little display will give the rest of the rebels something to think about before they start acting out again.” Draco remarked. The oldest son of King Lucian took a seat on a smooth gray boulder and looked to his elite guard. “Now then boys, I believe it’s about time y- What are you doing?” Draco demanded, noting that his quartet of guards were tapping their fingers against the blue-tooth apparatuses mounted to their ears.
“Well Prince Draco, our communicators are picking up a transmission. It could be very important.” Beelo said in a soft, unnerving voice.
Thaddeus punched his fist with his palm. “Ha, we got this if it’s more rebels.” He remarked confidently.
Draco closed his golden eyes, furrowing his brow in concentration. Even without a device of his own, Draco had quickly identified the source of the transmission by tapping into his magical abilities. It could only be one person… “Well unless my father suddenly decided to betray his own empire, I sorely doubt we’re dealing with rebels.” He said, reopening his eye and lifting his gaze skyward. “Answer the transmission.”
(Moments later…)
Draco spat out the wine he had been drinking in shock at Vanator's news, which had taken the Fire Demon off guard completely. “W-what?! Negawing's dead?! A pathetic costumed vigilante killed my brother? That’s absurd, how could this so-called ‘hero’ generate enough power to slain Negawing? Explain yourselves at once!"
Timsu didn’t meet his eyes as he spoke instead staring down at the floor as he bowed and speaking in a quivering voice. “Yes… it’s hard to believe… this vigilante originated from the Primeverse. We believed that this is the same mallard who goes by the name of ‘Posiwing Duck’ based on the intelligence reports that we intercepted from the Dark Legion.”
So that’s the one who’s been giving Alrich difficulty for the past few years, thwarting each and every one of his attempts to seize control of Primeverse. Draco thought to himself, his expression darkening. No doubt… that twerp has paid the ultimate price of his arrogance with his life! Dammit Alrich, you’ve dragged our family’s name through the mud and disgraced father and I by getting yourself killed by a costumed clown! I should’ve finished you off the moment while you were barely clinging onto life right after I won the ceremonial challenge for the throne when I had the chance!
“According to our scouts, your father is making preparations to resurrect Negawing,” Vanator joined in, sounding much more confident than Timsu yet paradoxically even more hesitant, ‘and planning to invade the Primeverse in swift retaliation. However, this could take years since our armies are spread thinly throughout the Negaverse while they’re still trying to neutralize the resistance movements that have been hindering our forces' efforts.”
That gave Draco real pause. Negawing was widely considered one of the most powerful sorcerers in the Negaverse but he was one of the few who knew the truth, that their father was the real juggernaut in their family. Draco had already proven himself to be more powerful than his brother by defeating him a few years ago, but they were both nothing compared to their father. And since Negawing perished, there’s a chance that even King Lucian could meet the same fate as well by some costumed clown, who must have been an incredibly talented sorcerer himself!
It makes sense… how else could Negawing have fallen? This ‘vigilante’ must possess extraordinary magical abilities that could rival my own, or surpass it. I wouldn’t stand a chance against a being capable of dispatching Alrich, even with my Draconian Emperor form. I’ve no intention of underestimating this ‘vigilante’ that gave my brother so much difficulty. Father is wasting his valuable time trying to revive that insufferable twerp from the grave, considering how unreliable necromancy is. However… He tapped his bill thoughtfully with his claw, …there’s a golden opportunity presenting itself now that father is heavily preoccupied and Alrich’s dead, there is no one left to lead the empire… no one left standing in my way!  Yes, this is perfect!  “Vanator, set a course to Cape Suzette, Negawing’s capital city. It’s time for us to make our presence known to the Negaverse. I don’t want any lowly upstarts thinking that just because Negawing is dead they’re suddenly in charge.”
“Of course, my lord.” Vanator said with a bow. “But what about the matter of this ‘Posiwing Duck’ Should we hunt him and his acquaintances down?”
Draco shook his head in the negative. “Forget about him. I’m not going out of my way to get killed for my brother’s stupidity. Besides, this… ‘Posiwing’ did me a favor by clearing my path to the throne, preventing the chances of Negawing from returning and trying to seize what’s rightfully mine! Now that my brother is finally out of the picture we won’t have to work in the shadows any longer, soon the entire Negaverse will learn to tremble in fear of the name of Draco, not Negawing! Tonight we shall celebrate our monumental victory, but tomorrow is when the real work shall begin! And who will be blamed for the death of father’s dearest Negawing? None other than the Prince of the fleabags himself, Shoru! And where will I be when Shoru is executed for crimes against the Empire and the royal family? I will be watching gleefully beside my father as the new crowned lord of the Negaverse!”
After giving his speech, Draco took a moment to survey the expressions of each of his elite operatives. If he caught even the slightest hint of reservation, he was going to shot a lightning bolt directly through the potential transgressor’s eyes. To his surprise and essential glee, there was no reservation in the eyes of his Four Horsemen of Apocalypse. In fact, Draco was sure that he could see an excited twinkle in their eyes as smiles began spreading across each of their faces.
“The right hand man of the supreme master of the Negaverse, that sounds exceptional as there’ll be plenty of benefits!” Vanator commented.
“Bwahahahaha!” Thaddeus cackled. “We’ll finally get the respect that those second rate Dark Legion freaks get!”
“Oh, yeah baby! Then, we’ll be the head hens of the Leviathan Empire and it’ll all be thanks to Prince Draco!” Timsu shouted with Beelo merely nodded its head in agreement.
Draco emitted a soft chuckle at the elation of his task force. He couldn’t believe that he doubted their loyalty to him, even for a minute. This was his crew and this was his mission. And soon, the Leviathan Empire, along with his enemies’ heads, would be his as well.
Leaning back into his throne, Draco grabbed his wine from the nearby table and toasted his henchmen. Thought they were without glasses; the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse raised their fists in salute. “To the fall of Negawing Duck, gentlemen, may the twerp burn in hell for all of eternity” Draco said before bringing the glass to his bill.
As Draco took in the rest of his champagne, his crew responded, “The fall of Negawing Duck! Long live Prince Draco, ruler of the Negaverse!”
The Abnormal Prince rose from his stone seat, smashing it to pieces with an ecstatic swish of his forked tail. He was about to reach a level of power he’d only considered in his wildest dreams, who cared about some namby pamby do-gooder living in a backwater universe?
(Location: the Negaverse, Czechoslovakia, year: 2085.)
“I should have known you were behind this. Only a Nekojin would have the audacity to attack colonies under my protection.”
The Nekojin standing in front of him was a black panther, who was dressed in a black trench coat that was opened to reveal a gray uniform with red chest and shoulder armor, trimmed black gloves and a black leather mask that was complete with opaque eye-guards and several slash like red steaks paint on the surface. He has a long, bone-shaped katana inscribed with mystical green words that were written as Frigus Mortis (Translation: Cold Death), with a pitch-black handle. The sword was hanging on his back and over his left shoulder with a black sheath and a gold strap.

The Nekojin smirked, his red and green eyes wandering to the side where shockwaves were building up through the skies. That would be where the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the other minions he’d brought with him were fighting the small army of mercenaries the Nekojin had surrounded himself with. In the boughs of the enormous tree they stood in, it was hard to hold onto the sense of scale. The explosions that looked miniscule next to its branches were easily large enough to swallow cities whole.
“I’m surprised you caught onto me so soon. I’d planned to hit another hundred colonies before confronting you myself.” He said, ripping off both his black trench coat and casting it over his shoulder. “But seeing you in person, I think I was being overcautious.”
Draco narrowed his eyes at the remark but said nothing else, content to leave his arms crossed as the black-furred Nekojin in front of him flexed his muscles. The first sign he’d received of this marauding mercenary had been when a suspiciously large number of missions had come back uncompleted. Not because his soldiers had failed, but because all life was gone before they got to their destinations. And the mighty scars gouged into the surface of the barren landscapes made it clear that what he was dealing with wasn’t a coincidence. Working out a pattern had been difficult at first, since the territories targeted weren’t just those with high populations or mineral wealth. When one of his analysts had pointed out that the targets were all noted to have highly fertile soil, it had been trivial from there to see that the next target was going to be one of his own colonies.
Czechoslovak being catastrophically hit changed this scums’ crimes from merely poaching his business to a far worse insult since it was dangerously close to Transylvania. Attacking one of his countries couldn’t be ignored, and Draco couldn’t let the culprit face only his elites considering how overconfident they’d gotten. He’d chosen to handle the criminal himself, and when his airship arrived at the scene and caught the explosive growth of the gargantuan tree, he knew he’d been right not to trust dealing with the situation to one of his subordinates.
After finding out that the one in charge of this operation was a Nekojin and their mutual separation from their underlings, he found himself staring at a being who had gone unchallenged for far too long.
“Tell me, are you in league with the one who killed my brother? I’d been meaning to give credit where it was due for that.” Draco smirked.
“Someone killed Negawing Duck?” The mercenary’s eyes went wide with shock, and that gave Draco his answer. In a way the Fire Demon Prince felt disappointed with this turn of events. If this Nekojin had been one of the people he owed his empire to, at least then killing him would have avenged the honor of his brother… as little as the deplorable brat had possessed.
“So you weren’t involved in the slightest. Well, that’s a damned shame. I was looking forward to facing an opponent of that caliber.” Draco sighed, closing his eyes for a brief moment. “Though I suppose it’s a lucky break for you – now I won’t take this skirmish nearly as seriously.” He chuckled softly.
An angry growl emerged from the Nekojin’s throat as a thrumming purple aura lit up the air around him, stripping the leaves from the branches nearby. “You shouldn’t relax just yet, Draco! I may not be able to claim that honor, but I do have something that should paralyze you with trepidation.” The scowl on the Nekojin’s face transformed into a smug smirk as he pointed a thumb at himself. “My name is Ghost Hunter, the world’s deadliest mercenary, the son of both my predecessor Ghost Cat and Darkstar Duck! And guess what? I am a Slayer! I am the embodiment of the nightmare that Negawing has ever feared!”
The wind picked up in intensity as Ghost Hunter’s aura grew wider, the smooth points becoming jagged edges. The look in his eyes was crazy, dangerously crazy and a deranged grin spread over his muzzle underneath his mask as he shifted a leg back, with Draco uncrossing his arms in response.
“A Slayer?” His golden eyes narrowed cautiously.
A purple blur raced towards him at a speed the Abnormal Prince had difficulty perceiving, and a blow smashed into the side of his skull and sent him soaring back through the air, his block forming a second late. He barely noticed the thick wood being smashed to pieces as he broke through it, and the rushing air currents of the upper atmosphere were brought to a stop along with his body as he spread his limbs out and let loose a burst of orangish-red flames.
“That shouldn’t have happened.” Draco muttered, tentatively touching the side of his face with his clawed hand. He could feel the warmth spreading through his feathers and flesh, the dull pain confirmed that the impossible had just occurred. Far below he could see the battle between his men and Ghost Hunter’s had paused, with Vanator staring up at him with his jaw falling open. “Pay attention to your opponents, captain! This isn’t the time to get distracted!”
His words didn’t come a moment too soon, as Ghost Hunter’s mercenaries recovered from the shock first and struck, a bulky Nekojin that resembled a white-furred tiger charging at Vanator and ramming his knee into his gut while a slim Jaguar Nekojin uppercutted Timsu. Draco grated his teeth and formed a blue fireball within his hand, trying to aim a shot that wouldn’t hit one of his own men.
“You need to follow your own advice!”
Draco’s head whipped around just in time to see Ghost Hunter charging at him with a punch being thrown his way.
*Wham!* His barbed tail struck the side of Ghost Hunter’s face like a bullwhip, leaving a fracture in his mask as the black-furred Nekojin was sent hurtling back at the same speed as he’d come at him with. Yet to his surprise the gray-uniformed mercenary came to a stop only a few meters away from him, rubbing his cheek with the back of his paw as he gave him a sly smirk.
“So, the demonic reject from a cheap horror film can fight back. It’s good to know I didn’t waste all that time planting the Divine Essence Tree on a soft target. All those people would have died for nothing, when I could have ruled over them.”
So the tree is the source of his power? Fascinating. I’ve never heard anything about it before. Father told me many stories, but a tree that harvested the life force out of entire country wasn’t one of them. “You’re looking to rule? I was under the impression that you Nekojins were only glorified assassins as you’re only concerned with battle.”
“I’m the most dangerous member of my species, even Prince Shoru doesn’t hold a candle compared to me. All the weak should bow to me, starting with you. Allow me to give you a mere demonstration of what I’m capable of!”
Ghost Hunter pointed his hand forward, a purple glow starting to build in intensity as Draco flew backwards to create distance between them. Dozens of bolts of energy shot through the sky around him, forcing him to dodge and weave between them as he picked up speed. A few exploded against his back, but he ignored them as he started to curve around in the air. Once he’d made a U-turn he could see the number of purple bolts trailing off, with only a handful heading towards him.

A thick layer of scarlet flames coated him as he braced himself before zooming towards Ghost Hunter with full speed. The Nekojin barely had time to blink before Draco slammed into him, sending him shooting into the trunk of the Divine Essence Tree at supersonic speed. Without waiting Draco aimed his palm down at the Nekojin’s shrinking form, gathering blue flames into his hand for a second before firing a powerful stream of sapphire flames. Ghost Hunter struck the tree hard enough to shake its ginormous structure and cause an earthquake on the ground far below, and the flamethrower-like attack which struck seconds later exploded with sufficient force turn everything within a kilometer into rubble.
Draco hovered down towards the expanding cloud of light brown dust, folding his arms across his chest. That arrogant Nekojin was done for, he was sure of it. That kind of impact would have been painful for him, for something as lacking in durability as a Nekojin it was death. The reason he hadn’t already gone to help his soldiers was because he wanted to see the corpse for himself. This Nekojin, Ghost Hunter, was far stronger than any Nekojin had the right to be. He knew the Divine Essence Tree blocking half the sky was the cause, but that overgrown fleabag had still needed ambition to get this far. That kind of drive let exceptional warriors survive where lesser ones failed. And if Draco was sure of something, it was that Ghost Hunter was an exception. He was truly the deadliest mercenary in the world and the Fire Demon intended to incinerate him from existence!
The debris cloud was washed away in an instant as a purple light rose, a sparking meteor of energy crashing into both of his hands. Draco growled, forcing more power into his hands as he felt numbness spread through his clawed fingers as the attack began deteriorating. He’d only caught it in time by reacting on instinct, it was astonishing that this Ghost Hunter had been able to recover and form such an impressive attack in such short time.
With a cry of effort Draco threw the bolt up into the sky, watching the comet tail of the attack receding as it entered the atmosphere. He breathed deeply in and out, trying to recover from the electric tingling in his limbs. A loud whooshing sound in the air alerted him to the incoming blow, and he ducked beneath it just before Ghost Hunter became visible behind him.
*Crack!* That was the sound of Ghost Hunter gagging reached Draco's ears moments after he’d struck the black-furred Nekojin in the torso with his elbow, his limb still embedded in the tattering gray uniform. As he moved back for his next strike he could see that Ghost Hunter hadn’t escaped his attacks unscathed – blood was running down the top of his head, the garment covering his legs had torn off, and his leather black mask was disintegrating, revealing a much disfigured face. A long scar ran down one side of his face, and part of it went over his right sea-green eye. Where there should've been a left eye was now a cybernetic replacement, glowing red and giving him a look that seemed that much darker.
Draco allowed himself a moment to bask in his opponent’s pain before diving back in with a punch aimed at Ghost Hunter’s throat. The Nekojin’s eyes bulged as his throat was forcibly closed, yet Draco didn’t leave him any time to linger on that as he took thick handfuls of the mercenary’s dark hair into both hands before bringing his skull down onto his raised knee. Draco repeated this brutal bashing several more times before letting go, an arc of blood leaving Ghost Hunter’s nose as he fell back in a daze.
“You should never have challenged me, Normal.” Draco said, spiking Ghost Hunter out of the air with a double axe-handle. As he watched the Nekojin’s body striking the dirt fast enough to send up a mushroom cloud, Draco smirked and raised one clawed hand into the air, a small sparkle of sapphire flames glowing on his palm . It’s funny. For some reason I thought he’d stop before he hit the ground. Ah well, it may not be the Nekojin Prince that had Alrich had enslaved before he deserted from his ranks and wreaked havoc across our empire, but it definitely feels good bringing the species one step closer to extinction.
And then, with a psychotic laugh, the speck of cobalt energy quickly expanded to the size of a battleship in a second, a testament to how much he’d improved his mana gathering capabilities over his upstart brother. As soon as he threw the gargantuan sphere down, any chance the mercenary had at surviving was gone as he would be dissolved into ashes! At the last moment he noticed a few of his own soldiers trying desperately to escape the blast radius, but he didn’t waste any more thought of it. If they mattered they wouldn’t have been so weak!
The enormous fireball detonated, and the air around him turned to a raging inferno. Countless smaller branches broke from the Divine Essence Tree and caught alight, just before all visibility was lost as the sky burned white. Draco stared into this maelstrom with a smile. It wasn’t very often that he had a chance to use his favorite attack, and whenever he did it put a smile on his fanged beak.
There was little smoke after the attack, most of the matter had been scattered far and wide by the detonation. A few black wisps were rising from the sides of the crater, but Draco was far more taken with how he could see no sign of Ghost Hunter. Not a burned shadow across the ground, no scattered ashes, no bloodstained shreds of uniform, nothing.
He has to be dead… but why can’t I shake the feeling off that I’m underestimating him?
Movement out from behind the blackened trunk of the Divine Essence Tree caught his eye, and as soon as he turned in its direction he knew that he was right to have been suspicious. While he was covered in sooth and missing both gloves, his shoulder and red chest armor, he was still alive, and grinning up at Draco in spite of his damaged appearance.
“Sorry, you’ll have to do better than that if you want to get rid of me. You’re forgetting that you’re dealing with the world’s most dangerous assassin right now.” Ghost Hunter said, clenching his fists and flaring his aura with a yell.
“Yes, you’re a Slayer. So far you’ve excelled at surprising me and nothing more. You look half dead, while the worst I’ve suffered is a mere bruise. And the best part is, I haven’t even tapped into my true power.” Draco responded by spreading his arms wide, chuckling as he saw Ghost Hunter glaring at him.

“If that’s the case then I think its time I even the odds. Prepare yourself Draco, you’re about to witness the indomitable might of the Nekojin race!”
A pure white orb lit up Ghost Hunter’s palm before he threw it at Draco, who had effortlessly dodged it by tilting his head to the side as the orb shot passed him. However, the mercenary had been anticipating this as he smirked, watching the orb heading upwards into the sky. Curiously, he’d aimed it at a distant part of the sky far away from Draco, so if it was an attack it was an extraordinarily bad one.
“Burst and mix!”
As soon as he said those words a pale moon hung in the skies, and Draco realized exactly what Ghost Hunter’s game was. Looking back down he saw the Nekojin’s body going through convulsions as his eyes turned pure emerald and his black furs became thicker. His face and nose elongated into a large, leonine like snout and his muscles slowly expanded in mass, overflowing with power the lycanthropy transformation pumping into him. Several cuts and bruises, including the bones that Draco broken, stitched themselves together as the process continued, and Ghost Hunter's veins bulged all throughout his body as it strained to complete his metamorphism. 
“Now this is an interesting turn of events.” Draco remarked to himself, frowning at the rapidly transforming Slayer. Ghost Hunter had been a good challenge to his strength, but with his injuries his original powers had been reduced, he was sure of it. But transformed he was several times stronger… the tables had definitely turned.
A pair of sapphire flames left Draco’s eyes and blew apart the artificial moon before the Slayer had regained its senses. Yet to his dismay the transformation didn’t cease as Ghost Hunter’s hands became bigger and sported two-inch claws and his jaws were filled with razor-sharp fangs, his muscles enlarged to titanic proportion and the last few nagging injuries left on him more or less rejuvenated. And once the transformation was completed, Ghost Hunter flashed him a menacing grin, revealing his jagged teeth as he directed his glowing green eyes at the Fire Demon Prince.
I warned you not to underestimate a Nekojin, but your arrogance has blinded you! Although you had eradicated the artificial moon, the lycanthropy spell I casted should still be in effect as it has granted enough power within me to last another ten minutes. I’ll only need three to slice you into ribbons with my claws!”
Draco, meanwhile, was absorbed in a mixture of shock and fear. He’d never seen such a phenomenon before in person, but now Ghost Hunter resembled the were-creature who’s supposedly slain Count Duckula centuries ago. The terrifying beast that he tormented Negawing with stories of, ever since his father gave his brother control of Okinawa when he was a boy. The Abnormal Prince grimaced, his whole body tensing while building up his mana and releasing it in azure flames around his body. As much as he loathed to admit it, but even he became aware that he had underestimated this mercenary and the realization pained him. This… is not going to be pleasant, not one bit! It’s a good thing Alrich’s dead or otherwise I would never have heard the end of that twerp's taunting thanks to my miscalculation!
To be continued…

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  Surprise, Demon Queen!
Posted by: Ghost Cat - 11-09-2020, 04:16 AM - Forum: Dear Demon... - No Replies

Today is your special day, O Your Majesty of Malevolence! A few other like minded rogues have sent you an invitation to a terrifying birthday bash at the House of Mouse! Make sure to wear your favorite ensemble since it was difficult getting a reservation just exclusively for you!

[Image: villains_disney_birthday_meme1.jpg]

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  Through the Eyes of a Monster
Posted by: Ghost Cat - 10-31-2020, 04:03 AM - Forum: Fanfiction - No Replies

[b][i][u]Through the Eyes of a Monster[/u][/i][/b]
Summary: Taking place in an alternate timeline in the Darkwing Duck universe and several years before the events of Echoes of Destiny’s multi-chaptered “Fallen from Grace”, Marius Macawber -Negawing Duck’s son - discovers a horrible monster in this short Halloween-themed tale.

Note: Happy Haunted Halloween, my fellow D.W. brethren from the Old Haunt! There's no tricks this year, but I've cooked up a special treat just for you! This small one-shot chronicle features Marius Macawber and his father, Negawing Duck. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did writing it and thank you so much for your feedback and support!

Marius Macawber hadn’t meant to go looking for monsters. The boy – the splitting image of his father when he was boy, except that while Negawing has downy white feathers, his son has mottled green - hadn’t meant to get out of bed and step outside, where the rain was falling hard and his breath was misting in quick puffs in front of his face, but he couldn’t sleep. Marius couldn’t leave well enough alone.
Ahead, between endless rows of Leviathan Empire dormitories, the streets had turned to mud, overrun with rainwater in torrents and puddles. For a moment, Marius wanted nothing more than to run out there and jump in them and shout and throw mud at everything and nothing together, but he couldn’t.
Dumitru, Marius’ guard, stood just outside his room with his back to the door. His scales were dark blue and his fins was as dark as the mud in the streets, and though Negawing Duck regarded him as a stupid slave, Dumitru had sharp eyes. Marius feared Dumitru would tell Lord Negawing that his son had snuck out again and stayed up all night – that is, if the fish-like creature caught him. That would get Marius in a load of trouble. The boy’s heart quickened with the pitter patter of the rain. He wouldn’t let that happen.
Negawing’s son stayed with the shadows as he moved around Dumitru. His movements were fluid and precise, like the falling rain, and soon he was lost amongst neverending streams of droplets. Once Marius made it around the first corner, Dumitru could no longer see him, so the Abnormal boy began to run down the streets with quiet glee. Lightning flashed; Marius jumped with a burst of freedom; he smelled the mud and felt the rain on him. His body was drenched. It was all so real. Yet it wasn’t cold. Marius couldn’t feel what he didn’t think about.
The boy was careful to keep out of eyeshot of the other guards he knew patrolled the other dormitories. They were no better than Dumitru, and they wouldn’t be able to spot him in the rainstorm if he didn’t make too much noise. Marius began to run away, his arms thrust behind him, the wind-rain in his face. He closed his eyes and let the storm carry him onward.
When he came to a stop, covered in mud and glee, Marius saw a larger building – his father’s personal compound. They were only staying in this village for a fortnight, so his father’s palace hadn’t been built from scratch – it was just an old warehouse left by the previous outpost to occupy Hong Kong before the dreaded gremlin infestation of the 2046 had wiped the entire village’s population during their ruthless rampage, which was a public disaster for the Macawber Clan. Only now was the Leviathan Empire beginning to repopulate the country, licking its wounds and starting over from scratch. Surely, Marius’ father wasn’t pleased with where he was staying, but unfortunately the Malevolent Mallard couldn’t do anything about that. Palaces don’t grow on trees after all and they’re much more difficult to conjure from thin air than most people would think.
Guards lined the front of the building, though Marius knew they were nothing more than formalities; his father didn’t truly need them. Negawing didn’t fear a single person in the Negaverse. In truth, Marius didn’t either – except for the monsters that haunted his dreams.
“They feed on little boys and girls who stay up past their bedtimes,” his father had warned him as he tucked Marius into bed that night. “Giant, ghastly things with razor sharp teeth and long, bony arms to grab with out from the darkness! Bawahahaha!” Negawing had chuckled, slapping his knee while his cheeks were going red as the humor got to him.
“But… but, I’m powerful than most children. I bet the monsters are afraid of me! My father’s the most powerful sorcerer in the Negaverse, after all!” Marius had protested.
“Bawahahaha! Scared? Scared?! No, no, no! They’re starving, Marius. Hungry for your tender flesh and soul. They will eat you as easily as they will any other child,” Negawing had pointed his finger at Marius then even as his son’s eyes had widened in horror and his beak had begun to tremble. “I don’t want you staying up too late ever again my boy, do you hear me?! You are my son, Marius. You will obey my orders, or you will be severely punished. The supreme leader of the Leviathan Empire does not suffer insolence from anyone, not even his son.”
Negawing had went to leave when Marius had decided to press the issue: “But father, c-can the monsters sneak into my room and devour me while I’m sleeping?”
Negawing had grinned. “Only if they know you’ve been naughty. What do you think happened to your older brother, hmm? He would stay up all night, disregarding his father’s rules, and play around and wander the streets until the sun came up. He had not a care in the world, but he disrespected his father and brought shame upon his family’s name. So one night, a particularly hungry monster came… and snatched him up!”
Marius hadn’t known he’d even had a brother. He wanted to ask his father about him – what was his name and what was he like – but fear had kept Marius’ voice trapped in his throat. For a long while after, he stayed in bed, hiding from the dark images in his mind until he could bear it no longer. Anything was better than that. He didn’t want to think about the monsters eating him. He didn’t want to be scared anymore. So he went outside to clear his mind and maybe he would find a monster out there, or maybe one would find him, but ever since Marius had come outside, a bold happiness had coated him like an aura and prevented the cold from getting in again. Now that he was deliriously sleepy, he was ready for them.
There was a feral gremlin with dark spotted green scales digging in the trash bins behind his father’s makeshift palace. Marius threw a bit of mud at it and it yelped in shock before scampering off. The boy laughed and chased the small creature for a while until he slid into a puddle and lost the thing in the gray night. For a while, Marius sat in that puddle, letting the rain pound down upon him. On the one side was the darkness, and on the other, a large window peeking into the palace of the Leviathan Empire’s ruler. Marius stared out into the darkness and dared it to come at him.
“If there’s a monster out there, come and get me! I bet I can kill you with both my hands tied behind my back!” he taunted. He was too tired to really understand what he was saying, yet he didn’t care.
Then, a light flickered on to his left, and Marius jumped up. He saw it coming from a room inside his father’s palace, and the boy ran up to the wall to peer inside. There was his father, pacing back and forth, talking to someone on a Bluetooth-like device attached to his left ear. Marius couldn’t hear what his father was talking about over the pounding of rain, but he could tell Negawing’s voice was agitated, almost infuriated. Straining his ears, he could vaguely make out the words “father” and “Draco”. What does his uncle and grandfather King Lucian have to do with his father’s rage? Soon, Negawing began screaming at his communication device. He ripped it off his head and brought it around to his face, screaming and spitting into its microphone, his face was burning red again, but there was no humor this time.
There were more words that Marius could make out were ‘Dammit, father!” and “That’s not fair… Draco has more!...” but the rest was just a cacophony of noise to the poor boy. He felt anxious watching his father and for a moment, he felt the cold of the storm on his green feathers. His beak lips twitched unconsciously.
Then, Negawing screamed and glared in Marius’ direction. The boy quickly covered his beak with his hands to suppress a yelp as he thought his father had seen him, so he ducked out of sight. When nothing happened, the boy lifted his head again just in time to see Negawing throwing his Bluetooth-like device with such force that it shattered into pieces against the side of the far wall. Clutching the sides of his head, Negawing threw his head back and screamed again, and then a bright light covered his body and then the entire room, and it was all Marius knew.
When the light faded, after a time, there stood in that room not the boy’s father, but something different – something hideous and evil and scary – something new.
“Monster…” Marius muttered thoughtlessly. He knew the being that stood before him was Negawing, but it was not his father, not the father he knew and loved. His eyes were glowing a sinister bloodred, his teeth became sharp pointed fangs, his fingernails turned into claws, his feathers, webbed feet and beak were now pitch black, and there was a scarlet electrical current crackling around his body. He ripped off his double-breasted jacket to reveal a muscular upper body underneath. “Monster…” Marius said again, this time thinking it through. He realized his father’s transformation looked much like the monsters he had described to Marius that very night. He now resembled some sort of twisted, energized vampire!
Negawing was ranting to himself, throwing around furniture, slashing things with his claws, causing them to corrode and fall apart as he was now tearing up the place, but he did not notice his son. Marius was completely shocked upon seeing this – he hadn’t known his father could change into a scary monster at will. Did that mean he had eaten his last son for staying up late? Did that mean he was coming for Marius? Did he know his son was outside the window?
Panic hit Marius like needling raindrops and he felt his entire body quivering with terror. The thought of being beaten, being taken, came to him again, and he regretted his previous boast. Exhaustion had him made stupid, and that made him ashamed. Marius felt small and helpless; he felt like a monster was watching him. He ran.
He fell. The boy had tested his luck in the best of times and now the mud was slicker and the water puddles deeper, and he was not ready. He fell face-first into the slush and felt his beak scraping against a pointed rock. Marius let out a little whimper and rolled over, feeling his raw nose. The brown sky above was shooting fierce daggers at him. Blood was on his fingers for a moment, and then it was all washed away and the boy was on his webbed feet again running back home. He didn’t have time to think.
It felt as if he was drowning in the flood, unable to escape. No matter how far he ran, Marius knew monsters pursued him, waiting to feast upon his bones. He was too small to escape them, too stupid for challenging them. They would never stop hunting him.
Then he saw Dumitru ahead and Marius let out a cry of hope. He waved his hands above his head through the storming rain and the low-ranking soldier saw him. Relieved, Marius rushed up to him and actually hugged Dumitru, sobbing profusely.
“Prince Marius?” the blue-scaled guard asked, puzzled. He turned around to look at the door to the room behind him. “How the heck did you get out here?”
“I-I snuck out!” Marius cried out. “I’m so sorry! Please, the monsters are chasing me! Help”
“Monsters? What monsters?!”
Not looking up, Marius pointed behind him into the swirling darkness and sobbed. “They’re out there! They’re going to eat me!”
Dumitru laughed nervously and picked Marius up, cradling the boy in his arms. Patting the little prince on the head, Dumitru opened the door and walked into the boy’s room. “Now, now, master Marius, there ain’t no monsters out there. Monsters is fake. They don’t exist.”
“But I saw one!” Marius shouted, not wanting to specify which monster he had seen.
Dumitru shook his head and set Marius down. “Your eyes must’ve been playin’ ricks, sir. There’s nothin’ out there. Come on, let’s get you cleaned off before you go to bed.”
Dumitru found a towel in the bathroom and began wiping the mud and water from young Marius’ body. “Yo-you won’t tell my father, will you?” Marius asked with a shiver.
The fish-like guard shook his head. “No, sir. I’m here to protect you, master Marius. Ain’t no monsters, real or fake, gonna get you, s’long as I’m around. I promise you that much.”
And that helped, a little. But then, a terrifying thought returned to Marius that he had tried to run from – that single thought that had scared him half to death before: he was his father’s son. The same blood ran through Marius’s and Negawing’s veins. So… what did that make him? Was he no better than those predators hiding in the shadows? Was he one of them? He shuddered involuntarily, feeling shivers running down his spine and chilling his bones.
Lightning danced across the sky in his dreams. The rain was not so bad now that he was asleep. He stood silently, heroically, in the midst of the tempest. The monsters were watching him, but he wouldn’t let them see him afraid. He wasn’t afraid. He was swimming through the sky, dodging raindrops. He was free. It was as perfect as could be. He was happy, for once. His nose was bleeding again, but still he kept grinning.
Then, another golden bolt impacted the cloud-ridden sky and he saw his father hovering in the air in front of him, anger and disappointment clinging eagerly to his bill. “The supreme lord and master of the Negaverse does not suffer insolence from anyone, not even his son,” his father whispered.
His father charged up a scarlet beam and shot him with it. The boy felt the pain shooting through his throat as he fell from the sky, spinning end over end, seeing nothing but gray and brown and darkness. But when he landed, the boy found the darkness to be not so complete – shapes of varied jagged and menacing shapes moved about on the edge of sight just fast enough that he couldn’t get a good enough look at them before they were gone, but he knew they were there. The boy stood up and the rain came harder still. His body was shivering and he couldn’t control it. He was so tired, so cold. They were going to eat him, he realized, and there was nothing he could do about it. He wanted to scream, but there was no one to scream for.
And then from the blackness ahead came a beast so wretched it took the breath from the boy’s lungs. It looked demonic as its body composed of obsidian-colored feathers, crimson glowing eyes with a matching electrical energies arcing surging it, it hissed at him with its sharp fangs and brandishing its menacing claws. He knew what it was, and he didn’t. The boy trembled and cried. He took a step back, but the unholy creature was on him, its soulless eyes studying him with a desperate, hungry look and it licked its beak with a long, serpentine tongue. He waited for it to make its move. All it did was smile.
Thunder boomed. The monster’s fangs were unbelievably white up close. The boy stared into its glowing eyes that were burning like coals and felt something he could not explain pang through his heart. And then everything else was forgotten – the monsters, the cold, the anxiety. The sounds and smells of the storm evaporated. It was just the boy and the galvanized vampire. A calm washed over the boy then, as instinct took him. He placed his hands on the galvanized vampire’s face and studied it. He knew that face. It knew him.
The creature could easily sink his fangs into his throat and drink him until he’s drained. Or worse, it could electrocute him to death with its powers. Either way, it could kill him effortlessly. Yet,  he did not panic. “You’re a monster, a demon-spawn from hell. You’ve come to eat me,” he said matter-of-factly. Somehow, he was not scared of it anymore.
“Aren’t we all?” It chuckled in an ethereal, raspy voice that sounded lifeless. “Everyone dies eventually, you know.”
He stared into the creature’s red eyes. Rain poured down the boy’s face and his green-feathered body, but he did not feel it. “Yes, you’re right. I know what you are,” the boy stated after a while and then let go of the galvanized vampire. His amber eyes rippled like puddles that had jumped into. The boy looked over his hands, arms, and lower body. The same blood coursed through both of them. He and the monster was One. He pointed at the fearsome thing defiantly. “I know what I am too.”
Like father, like son, Marius understood. Still, that did little to quench the weariness that tugged so relentlessly at his beating heart.
The End

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  Ducktales S3's #12 Episode: Let's Get Dangerous!
Posted by: Ghost Cat - 10-17-2020, 05:42 AM - Forum: DuckTales 2017 - Replies (1)

The twelfth episode of Ducktale's Season Three's hour-long special "Let's Get Dangerous!" will premiere on October 19. It seems like a show's own rendition of the original D.W. pilot "Darkly Dawns the Duck" as it features Gosalyn, Taurus Bulba and Professor Waddlemeyer. In an interesting turn of events it's been revealed that the Fearsome Four will also appear as well and yikes... is that an undead version of Bushroot? Perhaps an homage to DC's Swamp Thing? This special is getting more interesting with each passing day, although its a shame I won't be watching it until it becomes available on Disney+ next year since XD isn't part of my cable package (curse you to the depths of Florpus, Spectrum!). Anyway, feel free to discuss your speculations and opinions regarding this special. Will it lead to more D.W. themed episodes or a reboot? Only time will tell, compadres.

By the way, you can find more information on the episode on Ducktale's/Disney's Wikipedia and the 'Florpus' bit was a nod to the Invader Zim movie that was released on Netflix last year.

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  Echoes of Destiny {Completed}
Posted by: Ghost Cat - 09-02-2020, 07:57 AM - Forum: Fanfiction - Replies (8)

Echoes of Destiny

Summary: Growing up within a dictatorship is never easy as there's always deception, murder, treachery everywhere especially if you happen to be Alrich Macawber, the son of the ruthless King Lucian. Join us today as we uncover Alrich's tragic past as the young warlock gradually becomes the future archenemy of Posiwing Duck and Masked Mallard Menace... Negawing Duck.
Note: I don’t own Darkwing Duck or Duckula (he’s mentioned briefly in this story during a flashback sequence, but his 'fate' is highly exaggerated), but I do own Negawing/Alrich, Feroce and Draco, Lucian, Felix, Carmilla Macawbers, and many other characters that will be featured throughout this story. Draco is a special homage to Malicia Macawber and Hades (the Disney version) and he's roughly five years older than Alrich. The term ‘Abnormal’ is affiliated with Morgana Macawber’s species and it sounds better than “monster” to me. I’m aware that Negawing was initially a “Normal” in the role-play topics he was last featured in eight years ago, but since this story takes place in an alternate universe where he’s a Macawber… well, that makes him more dangerous than before. The setting for the first half of this story takes place in 2053 (approximatively sixty-one years after the D.W. series ended), the second and final half takes place in 2068, and finally Negawing’s nightmare takes place in 2083. Part of Felix’s background was inspired by King Alfred, including the duration of his reign and the illness that killed him, although unlike King Alfred Felix was a tyrant. And also, the idea of the Leviathan Empire using a portal generator is a nod to the Man in the High Castle where the Nazis used similar technology. You can watch the show on Amazon Prime if you wish. I highly recommend it since it was one of my favorite shows, but it's certainly up to you. *Shrugs*  Anyway, I intend to use Negawing s (Alrich) and Draco's memories to really explore their mother's, Queen Carmilla, memories and her history that eventually does lead to her death. I feel this is a good way of getting to know her and Negawing and how he grew up being pulled in two directions by Lucian and Carmilla all the while Draco was essentially left in the sidelines to grow into his own man. This will also help illustrate give some context into the brothers' rivalry and why they start off so at odds with each other. Anyway, I hope that you'll enjoy reading the chronicle as much as I enjoyed writing it, my friends! Ghost Cat out!

Part One: Feroce
(Location: the Negaverse, year: 2053.)
Shoddy defense, shoddy defense. Despite her efforts to reshape him into the ultimate warrior, he still had a tendency to sprawl out unevenly. A quick sweep with her legs resulted with the young fighter landing on all fours; his body heaving in pain as the effects of the blow wore off.
Although he had entered the fighting ring relatively late in life, the mallard on his hands and knees before her had proven himself to have a formidable fighting stamina, even greater than those of his brother or his father. But power was nothing without the correct training, which only she could provide.
At the age of fifteen, Alrich was still relatively young for a fighter, but he was at the same time one of her eldest students. The mistakes that had been made with Draco would not be repeated. At seventeen, the eldest son of King Lucian was too spoilt and pampered to truly understand his potential, much like his father.
Like most males of the Macawber clan, King Lucian and Draco treated her like shit. Indeed Lucian had once told her that had she not been such an impressive warrior, he would have destroyed her once her fighting prowess rivalled his sons. Draco had not spoken a good word to her after the time she had beaten him into a bloody messy for his smart mouth. Alrich however…
Alrich was different. Oddly for a male, and even more oddly for a member of the royal family, he treated her with a strange kindness; respect almost bordering on reverence. While Draco spent his time being pampered and lavished with affection by the other females in the palace, his younger brother had dedicated himself to his training and the strengthening of his abilities.
Though admittedly, his defense posture could really use some work.
Still gasping from the blow, Alrich raised his head from the dojo floor to stare up at his sensei. Feroce looked avian, but there was something from her that was… unusual. She had hair the color of midnight that hung down to her knees – the longest Alrich had ever seen, fetching indigo feathers and her green eyes held a fire and compassion to them. She wore a red gi with a yellow trim and a black belt around her waist. Her delicate face and petite body belied her true strength. Many of her former opponents had been driven to distraction by her shapely form and had often pay the price with crushing defeats. Her eyes studied her pupil’s winded body as a small smile lit up her features. She was the only person he knew could smile sincerely.
She offered a hand to her young pupil. Despite the mistake at the end, he was more than capable of giving her a good workout. He gracefully took the pre-offered hand and stood up firmly as she pulled him to his feet.
“You’re still holding yourself too rigidly,” She remarked with the calming force of a British blizzard. “Relax; try to sense my movements with your spirit. Don’t always rely on your eyes; I could have easily used my powers to distract you.”
“You would have cheated to win, sensei?”
“Possibly, but it would have been dishonorable to fight using cryokinesis. Never use your abilities to give yourself an unfair advantage. Only use them when the situation calls for it.”
“But how can you be sure that an adversary will not use his powers when sparring against you?”
“You can’t. But if he is a true warrior, he will fight with honor, and will fight as an equal to your strength.”
Walking out of the dojo beside his sensei, Alrich silently absorbed what Feroce had told him. It was perplexing. His father had always told him to use every scrap of mana (magical energy) in order to win a battle, and had also told him to never be afraid to cheat. It was their family’s way. Backstabbing and deceit had been an integral part of the Macawber heritage for over five millennia, and was not likely to change any time soon. His father and brother were ruthless killers. Under the guidance of Feroce, he hoped to become the deadliest being in the Negaverse and conquer the Primeverse for his people someday, something King Lucian and Draco could never hope to be.
Even stronger than the Nekojins who would soon be arriving in their capital. 

(*Flashback a year ago...*)
Surprisingly the throne room was empty; normally King Lucian would be reclining in the oversized obsidian and white marble throne, idly sipping a glass of wine while one of his many servants would bring him reports on his latest conquests. Transylvania was the capital of the Leviathan Empire; well suited to be the Macawber family’s base. Felix, the father of Lucian, was a powerful sorcerer and the estranged son of Morgana and Negaduck. Inspired by a vision for a united Kingdom of all the Earth, Felix wanted to emulate Benito Mussolini’s “March on Rome” of 1922 by staging his own coup. However like Adolf Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch, it was thwarted when his grandfather Moloculo’s forces defeated Felix’s men during a great magical battle. With his men dispersed, Felix was brought to a trial and was sentenced to work in the Crystal Caverns for conspiring against Moloculo. Felix served Moloculo for several decades until the one hundredth Tournament of Skulls.
The Tournament of Skulls. Once every fifty years the Tournament was held in Transylvania. Captured traitors to the throne were pitted against each other in battles to the death. The winner of the Tournament was offered two choices. They could be sent to a remote colony to spend the rest of their days or they could challenge the current ruler in hopes of taking their place as ruler. Felix, as many before him, elected to battle Moloculo after he won the tournament.
The battle was fierce, both magical users exchanged destructive spells in a duel to the death. But Felix was losing. It was then he realized what all believed was his trump card. He transformed into a lamia: which his upper body was normal, but has the lower body of a snake. The battle turned in his favor for a while but eventually Moloculo came back to his senses and transformed into a chimera. The battle moved from the ring of the Tournament and out across the Forbidden Forest. No one saw what happened but during the battle Felix revealed his true trump card. An all new transformation! He had done what none before had achieved. He had accessed the Leviathan state!
With this newly unleashed power he toppled Moloculo thus beginning the start of his own Empire, which was named after his terrifying form. He brought all the other tribes under his iron fist, establishing the new world order and the start of his species dominance over the European countries. Unfortunately for the warlord, he had grew frailer throughout the course of his reign and unexpectedly died at the age of fifty which he reigned for fifteen years. It was believed that he had suffered from Crohn’s Disease or hemorrhoids throughout his life and for that to be what killed him. His ultimate vision of world domination where Abnormals would reigned over Normals was left unfulfilled.
Lucian had already been born by this point, secretly, within the Crystal Caverns. His powers was even more impressive than Felix’s as he was stronger than most high-ranking officers of the Royal Army, even at his young age. He took over the throne after his father had passed away from his illness even as a young man Lucian’s power exceeded most others, and then eventually he and his late wife, Queen Carmilla, had Draco and Alrich some years later.
Her pupil and friend standing beside her, Feroce swept her gaze around the room, searching for some evidence of where the emperor had disappeared.
“If you’re looking for daddy dearest, he’s not around.” A lazy, unpleasantly familiar light Transylvanian accented voice spoke up from the back of the room. Draco swept out of the shadows, clad in a flowing emerald robe with gold trim as he regarded Feroce and Alrich a bored expression on his face. The twenty-year-old Abnormal looked like an older version of Alrich as he had an identical stocky build and feathered sideburns, but there were noticeable differences between the brothers. His fiery colored red hair, which was slicked back, glistened a bit in the light. His feathers were orange, and his golden eyes gleamed with cruelty. He had his clawed hands neatly folded behind his back, his high arched feet ended with short, yet sharp powerful claws, and his barbed tail curling up at his back and raising up off the ground.
“He’s gone and he’s left you to look after thing’s here? Huh. Then he’s as arrogant as he is heartless. That arrogant will come back to bite him in the ass someday if he isn't too careful."
Unfortunately, Draco had never been one to ignore an insult. The Fire Demon Prince immediately adopted an attack stance, his features contorting into a snarl, his feathers and hair bursting into blue flames, whipping his forked tail from side to side in a slow and menacing gesture. “You dare insult my father, female?! I’ll have your charred head mounted above my fireplace as a trophy for this insubordination!”
The elder fighter rolled her eyes and even Alrich seemed unfazed as they both witnessed Draco’s temper before. “Yes, I dare insult your father. But I think he would also be pretty interested in hearing that you physically threatened me earlier…”
Feroce could almost see the cogs turning in Draco’s brain as he analyzed the situation. Eventually he backed down, his feathers and hair returning to their normal red and orange, although the snarl still remained on his face. It was too easy and too much fun pissing him off, though she knew she wouldn’t be safe forever. Someday one of the two idiots would lose their temper and try to obliterate her, even though she was more experienced in magic than they were. But whoever said she would be facing an honest death anyway?
“So where is your father? And answer me without that look on your face.”
Draco fought to keep the disgust from his features as he answered her. “Diplomatic mission. He’s currently in the Primeverse opening trade discussions with a mercenary species that are supposed to be even dangerous than the Minotaurs.”
In recent years a team of King Lucian’s scientists were investigating the remains of a bakery shop in St. Canard when they had unexpectedly uncovered the secret that enabled the infamous Lord Negaduck, King Lucian’s grandfather, to travel between the Negaverse and Darkwing Duck’s parallel universe, the Primeverse. The moment the scientists were able to prove that they can enable movement between worlds by using test subjects King Lucian flooded the researchers with nearly an unlimited supply of money and resources to do with as they pleased.

Like Negaduck before him, King Lucian became determined to reach across the universal boundaries and extend his empire’s grasp across the Negaverse. The project became an astonishing success thanks to the enormous resources that were invested into it. King Lucian has sent his agents through the portal and they began extracting technological and cultural information from the different universes, including the Primeverse. King Lucian’s top scientists had created a map of the Multiverse. The Leviathan agents are sabotaging of the nuclear defense program and the SHUSH agency from the Primeverse, bringing King Lucian’s invasion to one step closer to fruition. The Macawber Monarch claimed that he was doing it for “the benefit of the Negaverse and its inhabitants”, but anyone who can see through his deception know that it’s part of his campaign to conquer other worlds as it only benefitted himself, his clan, and his equally power-hungry generals
“Who are they?”
“Nekojins, a feline species hailed from the Primeverse. I believe that they originated from some insignificant island located in the Pacific Ocean.”
Alrich spoke up angrily beside Feroce. “Those insignificant fleabags? Pah! Father would never soil his hands by bringing them into the Leviathan Empire!” He shot a harsh glare at Draco.
“Hold your tongue, little brother. They’re reputed to be extraordinarily powerful, though of course they’re no match for us.”
Feroce raised an eyebrow. “Or so you say, Draco. It’s pathetic how your acclaimed wisdom only consists of the scraps of knowledge others have left behind. And before you even open that smart little mouth of yours, just remember who taught you everything you knew before your father intervened.”
Draco glared at her, and then swept out of the room with his dignity still relatively intact. “Tch, women.” Shaking her head, Feroce walked gracefully over to the giant window to gaze out at the whirling snowstorm. Alrich joined her wordlessly, sensing her irritation at something, presumably at his brother. He watched the storm for a few moments, turning his gaze back to the female as he felt a warm hand on his shoulder, turning him around to face her. He realized only too late that Feroce’s irritation was directed at him as she slapped him across the face.
“Have I taught you nothing, Alrich? Haven’t I always told you never to make hasty judgments about other races, especially if King Lucian believes them to be strong? Never make assumptions about others before fully understanding their true potential. That was one of the first lessons I taught you when you were young.”
The elegant female’s expression changed from anger to regret as she regarded her young pupil. A purple bruise was already starting to bloom on his cheek. His sapphire eyes remained downcast, full of anger and injured pride.
She placed her hands on his shoulders and squeezed slightly, enough pressure to make him look up at her.
“Your brother and father have the unfortunate tendency to make rash assumptions. You may be the heir to the Leviathan Empire, but at the same time, you are one of my best students, and thus possess wisdom and experience far beyond that of Felix, Lucian or Draco. Don’t let your pride be your downfall, child.”
The Abnormal prince’s ego reared up at the comment. “I am not a child!”
“You are a child until I say otherwise. Now go. Your training is over for today.” The sensei watched her charge leave, her own anger at Emperor Lucian and Draco threatening to overwhelm her.
Somehow, Feroce’s criticism had always hurt far more than any insult or rebuke from his father or brother. Rolling over in bed to stare at the far wall of his chambers, Alrich mentally reviewed what his sensei had said after that first argument.
His pride was what made him what he was. Pride in himself, pride in his father, pride in his clan, even pride in his older brother. But his greatest pride was that which he held for Feroce. Why was it that his pride and respect for those he cared about could one day bring him down?
He already knew Feroce wasn’t infallible, but somehow it had never occurred to him that one day, he could lose her and her respect for him. The thought actually scared him. He would have to make certain that they would never be separated. Maybe that was what she meant.
Casting the unpleasant thoughts aside, he rolled over again before finally resigning himself to the fact that he would not be getting any more rest. Not that he had the luxury of extra sleep today. The diplomatic mission his father had been carrying out for the past year had so far been successful. The sovereign ruler of the Nekojins would be arriving today to finalize the agreements before signing the accords leasing them to join the Leviathan Empire. He, along with Draco and Feroce, would be required to play host to a hoard of idiotic Normals, something he was loathe to do.
No matter. The Nekojins were just brainless mercenaries, hardily intelligent or powerful enough to power a threat to the mighty Macawber hierarchy, just like the inferior Normals that tried to oppose them and were subjugated when the abnormal forces overran their countries. So why did Alrich feel so uneasy?
Feroce didn’t mind diplomatic missions. If successful, there would be a banquet held in ‘honor’ of the race foolish enough to join the Leviathan Empire. If unsuccessful, King Lucian would normally be so irritated he would shut himself away for a few days in danger. Either way, she would get a small break from his insufferable ego.
But the Nekojins though… were a curious anomaly as their species were a benevolent tribe of peacekeepers in the Negaverse.
According to the information that King Lucian’s agents retrieved from the Primeverse, the Nekojins weren’t a race of great thinkers, from what she had found out. However they were highly skilled and honorable warriors. Feroce scanned the data on the vidscreen as a steady stream of biographical and cultural details of the mercenaries were selected from the empire-wide information net.
They initially started off a ninjutsu tribe called the “Kuro Neko Clan” that were usually led by a Shogun (commander) or Emperor during the Japanese Feudal System (12th to the 19th century), practice ninjutsu and black magic, until the end of the second World War when the Kuro Neko Clan were nearly eradicated as they’ve lost thousands of irreplaceable men and women during the Asia-Pacific War. After the global conflict, the ninja clans were reduced to a shadow of itself and forced to become reclusive so they could replenished their decimated ranks over the decades. The Kuro Neko Clan became defunct with nearly all of the remaining Nekojins were split into several factions and traveled to various other islands across the Sea of Japan with only a few hundred remaining behind in Okinawa. Only a few of these factions have survived the initial downfall of the Japanese’s Imperial Empire. However, two decades earlier a young man named Shoru inherited his father’s faction and vowed to unite his people. He summoned the other factions’ leaders so he could challenge them in honorary duals and defeated them one by one. Impressed, the factions’ leaders pledged their allegiance and were united as a single empire with Shoru as their ruler.
One of history’s most notorious assassins, Ghost Cat, hailed from Shoru’s clan until he was killed in action when an unspecified mission went horribly wrong for him. Something caught her eye near the bottom of the DataStream. Two items in particular. One, when a Nekojin was badly wounded they could use black magic to fire an ebony stream from their mouths into the opponent’s mouth, allowing them to switch bodies (several tattered Allied reports have also mentioned this). The other was a little more obscure… an ancient legend, nearly as old as the Macawber Clan. The tale of a warrior so great, he was known as a Slayer.
According to the legend, one Nekojin possessed the ability to transform into a were-creature known as “Slayer” and was meant to be born every eight hundred years at the time of a full moon; the potential to transform existed exclusively in the royal bloodline. This warrior’s powers was so great that it almost immediately spiraled out of his control. Eventually his frenzied powers destroyed both him and the island he had been fighting on. Someday, a new Slayer would be born, one who would take revenge for the damage done to his race by the evil ones.
Feroce had deactivated the vidlink and leaned back in her chair, reviewing the data she had discovered. The Nekojins were a proud race, self-sufficient warriors with a dangerous streak. Why in the name of the gods would they want to ally themselves with the likes of King Lucian? The only way this could happen was if the King Lucian and the Nekojin monarch had agreed to a future trade.
She didn’t want to think about what, or who, was to be traded.
The two generations of the Macawber family were assembled in the throne room, clad in ceremonial armor. As the highest-ranked female in the empire, Feroce was dressed in velvet robes, marked with the royal seal. The tight black material mainly served to show off her body, but the robes were cut in such a way that they displayed her lean muscles, emphasizing her status as a fighter. Her primary status as a female meant that she had to stay in the emperor’s presence for as long as she was ordered, but fortunately this wasn’t normally a great deal of time.
The high steel doors opened and the palace guards marched into the room, surrounding the Emperor and Empress of the Nekojin race. Out of the corner of her eye, Feroce could see Alrich recoil slightly, as if trying to put some distance between him and the feline sovereigns. She poked him in the side with her tail and glared sideways at him as King Lucian straightened up to his full height of twelve feet, towering over everyone else in the room. The Macawber Monarch was clad in black leather covered by polished jet-black armor that shimmered in the rays of the sun that poured through the large ornate window that was near the ceiling of the palace, glittering and sparkling on the various iron studs set about his person. His ashen gray, flawless face was all hard lines and sharp edges, as if a deity carved the man from a block of marble. His hair fell in long curtains down each side of his chiseled face, coming to a halt just past his chest and are as midnight-black as his armor. He almost looked like Bram Stoker’s description of vampires; pale, near-ethereal beings that possessed great magical powers and a hunger for blood and death. A strange, predatory look glinted in his cold crimson eyes, ominous green-black crystals jutted out of his body like fragments of broken bone and he had a pair of intimidating black horns that were raised high into the air and glinted ominously as he stepped forward.
“I welcome you to my humble palace, Emperor Shoru.” The Macawber Monarch said softly, his voice thick with a heavy Transylvania accent. “I trust you will be comfortable here?”
The Nekojin Emperor bowed his head respectfully to King Lucian, but his expression was one of mistrust, understandable in this situation. He was a feline with brown-colored fur, but with a short black goatee, as well as black hair done up in a top-knot, with decidedly Asian-looking eyes. He is clad in a green, orange and gold imperial robe. The Macawber Monarch was a giant of an Abnormal avian, meaning the Nekojin barely reached the height of the sorcerer’s chest. Feroce could sense his chakra (physical energy) from the back of the room; it was an ability she possessed that she believed no one else within the empire knew of, not even her dear Alrich. She scrutinized the warrior as he stood back and nodded and King Lucian.
“It’s a dreary and dank kingdom filled with malaria-infested mosquitoes and derelict ancient castles, but I am certain you are more comfortable here than in Okinawa.” He remarked with a heavy, Japanese accent. “Although I must confess that it surprises me that your scientists developed advanced technology such as portal generators, considering how backwards the Negaverse is compared to its counterpart.”
To his credit, King Lucian rejected the bait and instead opted to introduce his heirs. “My sons, Draco and Alrich. The female beside them is known as Feroce.”
Feroce flushed and grace the Nekojin emperor with a small smile as he looked over towards her. For a ruthless warrior, he was certainly handsome. Taken aback slightly, he returned the favor, and then gestured to the slender armor-clad female beside him.
“My mate and Empress, Yukiko.” He stood back so that the Macawber family could better see the female.
Unlike her spouse, Yukiko had pure white fur and her blond hair was pulled into a braid that fell to her shoulders, surrounding a lean, angular face. Pale blue eyes swept over the Macawber Family, finally coming to rest on Feroce. It was clear from her bearing and her compact figure that she was an excellent warrior, her chakra as high as her husband’s. The Nekojin race regarded most their females as equals. Many were dangerous fighters and accomplished tacticians.
Feroce’s own gaze fell on a small bundle of blankets in the empress’s arms. No children had lived within the capital ever since Alrich’s birth, and King Lucian had not allowed children inside his palace ever since; no rivals for his youngest son except for Feroce.
She returned back to the present as King Lucian swept out, Emperor Shoru by his side, Draco and Alrich following. Feroce was left with Yukiko in the gigantic throne room. Apparently King Lucian did not view the Empress as being his equal, no matter what the Nekojin believed.
“I don’t trust him,” Empress Yukiko hissed with a slight, but unmistakable Japanese accent. Feroce jerked her head up at this statement.
“If it helps, I’ve never trusted him. He doesn’t trust me either. We have a special understanding.” This earned her a relieved smile as the Nekojin empress relaxed, though she still held the bundle of blankets close. “The fact you were able to bring your child here is proof that Lucian’s acting different than normal.”
“He didn’t have much of a choice. I gave birth during the negotiations and Shoru didn’t want me to remain behind alone in Okinawa.” Yukiko was refreshingly frank, an intelligence and character she had never encountered before.
The two females left the throne room and walked through the corridors to the guest quarters. It was more than obvious to Feroce that Shoru adored Yukiko, especially if he had been able to convince Lucian to let his family stay in the capital with him. Staring out at the surface of the raging rainstorm from her quarters, Yukiko hugged her child close to her, Feroce standing beside her. A tiny cry uttered from the bundle of blankets, prompting the abnormal woman to look at the baby.
Yukiko pulled the blankets apart and hugged the child before sitting down on the bed with her son in her arms. The baby Nekojin surprised Feroce. He looked like a child image of his father; cinnamon fur and his mother’s brilliant blue eyes that shone with intelligence. Feroce could already sense his chakra. Even for the child of a Nekojin, the young prince had an astonishingly high chakra level; almost half as high as Draco’s mana had been when he was hatched.
The empress kissed her son on the forehead and carefully handed him over to Feroce. The baby squirmed slightly in the stranger’s arms before opening his eyes and staring straight up at the indigo-feathered abnormal avian. She was amazed to find herself unnerved by the directness of his gaze. It was as if the baby had sensed his mother’s distrust of King Lucian and was trying to exact his revenge on her. The blue eyes closed again as Yukiko took him back from her and placed him into the crib at the foot of the bed, gently stroking the brown fur atop his head.
Feroce moved to stand beside the crib; carefully taking one of the baby’s tiny hands and feeling the minute fingers close around her thumb. “He looks just like his father.”
“He’s just as stubborn as his father, that much is certain. Same looks, same personality, even the same name.”
“So this is the Crown Prince Shoru?”
“It was a vow my husband made when we were married; our firstborn son would be named after him. That’s male vanity for you.”
“Better a Nekojin male ego than Lucian or Draco’s egos. You’re lucky to have someone who cares about you and your son so much. I have no-one expect Alrich, and even then he cares about being the ultimate warrior than he does about me.”
She stared down at the Crown Prince, her feelings of loss drowning her as the Nekojin cub squeezed her thumb in his sleep.

Alrich was a fighter first and foremost, but he still had a highly juvenile habit of ending up in fits of jealousy. Especially after what he had seen.
He already disliked the Nekojins, but seeing Feroce being so courteous towards the empress had served to increase his loathing of the mercenaries. And then, seeing her holding Emperor Shoru’s son…
The anger and jealously coursed through him. Alrich span around and started taking out his frustration on the training area. Sparks of mana flew out from his body in every conceivable direction, slamming into the walls, ceiling and floor. He tightened his fists and screamed in rage as a crimson aura surrounded his body, causing the falling masonry to whirl into a hurricane of metal and mortar.
Outside the dojo, Feroce sensed Alrich’s rapidly increasing mana. She didn’t even need to guess why the prince was so vexed. Well, it was his own problem if he couldn’t be civil to Shoru and Yukiko.
King Lucian and Emperor Shoru were still in discussions regarding their forces. Draco had left on a mission the previous morning with no indication of when he would be back. With no-one left to irritate, Feroce had spent most of her time with Empress Yukiko and Prince Shoru, both of whom were as bored as she was. They had actually become good friends, and despite having given birth only three months ago, the female Nekojin was an impressive fighter, although she was still significantly weaker than her abnormal avian opponent. They often trained together in the dojo while little Shoru sat and occasionally slept on the sidelines. Mostly he watched in fascination as his mother and the other female exchanged various colorful spells.
The noise inside of the dojo stopped abruptly as Alrich managed to regain control of his rage. Feroce took the opportunity to leave; she didn’t want him to know she had been listening to his tantrum. She felt his mana drop back to normal as she walked away towards the Empress’s quarters.
Standing in a pile of rubble, the abnormal prince took several deep breaths, trying to get air back into his exhausted body. Turning and striding out of the dojo towards the sleeping quarters, Alrich smoldered in anger and disgust. “Feroce was too polite for her own good.” He muttered bitterly. “Being kind, even amiable… towards a Nekojin…”
The mere idea nauseated him. They were his father’s subordinates; she was the highest ranked female in the Leviathan Empire. What the hell did they have in common?
A noise from the guest quarters interrupted his reverie. He silently peered into the room and was once again revolted by what he saw.
The Nekojin empress was leaning against the window frame while in front of her on the desk, a communications monitor was activated. One of the royal advisors of Okinawa was sending updates of military progress and the financial expenditure of the army. This was nothing unusual though. Since the emperor was still finalizing the trade agreement with King Lucian, Yukiko was temporarily in sole command of the entire ninja organization. What truly disgusted the abnormal prince was the sight a few feet away from the Empress.
Yukiko was standing beside the crib at the foot of the bed, keeping watch over the prince while his mother was occupied elsewhere.
As Alrich watched them, the baby started to cry out for attention. The abnormal female carefully lifted the child out of the crib and held him against her shoulder, slowly rocking him back and forth until his cries subsided. Satisfied that there was nothing else aggravating the baby, Feroce placed him back in the crib and tucked the blankets around him. She gently rubbed his stomach until the little Nekojins eyes drooped shut and he sighed in his sleep. The foot-long furry brown tail twitched occasionally beside him as he rested, a pleasant smile slowly spread across his lips.
Ending her communique with her advisor, Yukiko crossed over to the crib, standing beside Feroce as they watched the tiny prince sleep. The two females both conversed in low voices, not wishing to disturb the baby. Trying to control his mana, Alrich left as quietly as possible.
Only when he reached his quarters did he let out a howl of rage. She’s treating that… thing like… like it was her own child! He growled silently, thinking to himself. Protecting it like a mother. Like it meant something to her. Maybe even more than I meant to her. He stared blankly out of the window of his sleeping quarters, staring straight past the view of the sprawling city outside.
And then his thoughts drifted to his mother, Queen Carmilla, a smile graced on his beak lips. Not a sadistic grin or a condescending smirk that Alrich would normally give off, a genuine and warm smile at those few pleasant childhood memories he had. Carmilla was fonder of diplomacy than Alrich’s father, though she mainly stayed around the palace to raise Alrich and Draco. He could recall her face even now, ebony feathers, purple hair that fell down to her waist, and often worn a flowing sky blue dress. She was tall and lanky like Draco, more slender than muscular of course. King Lucian always told Alrich to never take her lessons of diplomacy to heart, to always follow the Macawber family policy of might being right above all else. Feroce had started their training when they were five years old, meaning to finish when they were eighteen, but after Draco had been beaten for answering back to his sensei, his training had halted immediately and Alrich’s training had been prioritized. Alrich thought back to the day she died, when he and Draco were returning to the palace after spending the majority of the day sparring (Draco was supervising and criticizing his brother). Father had met them, in the throne room and quietly explained how his wife had taken ill and passed on... From then on Alrich changed into the teenager he was today, with only his father to mentor him and shape his view of life in the world.
Somewhere inside of him, Alrich allowed a small part of his long-hidden grief to finally emerge. Many of his earliest memories were of his life with his brother and father, but if he searched back long enough, he could vaguely remember his mother. The main characteristics he remembered about her were her strength and love. She was a great sorceress, fiercely devoted to her two sons, but she had secretly detested the king; her bitterness towards her mate to turning to pure hatred after Draco was taken away and raised by King Lucian. After her first loss, she had turned all of her attention to her youngest son, protecting him and raising him to be a fighter. But after Queen Carmilla had tragically passed away from a deadly (and yet mysterious) illess, King Lucian had decreed that she were to never be mentioned ever again. Feroce now existed in his mother’s place.
Alrich closed his eyes and rested his head against his folded arms, using them as a makeshift pillow while a soft smile came at his lips when a memory of his mother drifted to his mind.

(*Flashback, eight years ago...*)
“…and then the werewolf king pulled Count Duckula’s legs off and gobbled ‘em up so he couldn’t run away!”
“Th-that’s stupid, Draco! Duckula could still fly!” The young Alrich countered, staring at the floor.
A menacing glint came from his brother’s golden eyes in the light of the palace corridors. “No stupid, flying hadn’t been invented yet. That’s why people started flying after Duckula died, so they could get away after the werewolf ate their legs!” Draco said, smirking and poking his younger brother in the chest.
Alrich took a step back and grit his teeth. “Sh-shut up, shut up Draco! That’s not true at all!” he snapped, trembling with barely contained rage. "You're just trying to deceive me again."
Draco continued to smirk and scratched the orange feathers of his arm. “Keep lying to yourself, Alrich, but there’s a moral behind this story that you’re overlooking… as usual.” He folded his arms across his chest in an arrogant fashion. “Father might’ve given you control over some of the other Abnormal races within our realm, but you’d do well to remember that eventually one of our very own subjects could potentially transform into a creature as terrifying as a werewolf or a Leviathan or perhaps something even more petrifying than either of those two that even you couldn't escape from and then...” Draco remarked, trailing off a bit. A small spark of red flames formed on his index talon as he leaned down to his brother’s eye level. “And then...” the flames spark on Draco’s talon exploded with a bang. “Bang! No more Alrich because he's consumed alive...” he said before laughing menacingly, sending chills running down his brother’s spine.
“Draco! How many times have I told you not to scare your brother half to death with this nonsense about someone devouring him alive?!” a female voice snapped, making Draco flinch, and look rather terrified himself. Aw, crap, busted! He thought to himself. Queen Carmilla swatted her eldest son upside the back of his head and plucked him  p by the end of his tail so he was dangling and flailing a few feet off the ground. Similar to Morgana, Queen Carmilla was one of those rare Abnormals who resembled a Normal. She had Alrich’s ivory feathers and her eldest son’s blazing golden eyes, but she worn a low-cut purple dress that she looked like she’d been poured into, displaying her medium-sized cleavage with long slits revealing the side of her legs, straps crossing her arms just below her shoulders attached to a cape and bat broaches below her cleavage and above the slits, gold armbands and bracelets on both arms and red heeled shoes with laces continuing up her shins. She has black lipstick, and her black hair cascaded down around her shoulders. She was wearing a gold necklace with a sea-green gem on it that jangled like a change purse with every step.
“Go to your room, no supper for naughty children who tell such nonsensical stories.” Queen Carmilla ordered sternly, setting Draco down on the ground and pushing him in the direction of his room. Draco scowled, shooting a glare over his shoulder at Alrich before plodding off, while grumbling profanities underneath his breath. Queen Carmilla turned her attention to her youngest child. “Come along Alrich.” she said simply, letting her hand rest around the young Abnormal’s shoulder as she led them to the artificial garden.
As one would imagine from a gloomy, desolate place such as Transylvania, flora within the country was very sparse and the plants that did exist were rather...  repulsive. Thus the garden of the royal palace was an artificial environment, rich air, strong artificial sunlight, heavily fertilized soil, and beautiful plants gathered from around the Negaverse being grown within the garden. Queen Carmilla sat down in a clearing of golden grass, tall enough to go past the young Alrich’s knees, and she pat the ground beside her instructing Alrich to sit there.
“I wasn’t scared mother... I know it was just one of Draco’s stupid stories.” Alrich said sternly, looking down at the ground and plucking up blades of grass, tearing them up before throwing them behind his back. "He always picks on me and it's not fair!"
“Well, I believe the second half of that.” Queen Carmilla remarked, with a small titter of laughter. “Alrich, it’s alright to be afraid, especially when you’re a child. Despite what your father may say, there’s nothing wrong with showing emotions.”
This seemed to surprise Alrich, causing him to look up from his grass slaughter. “But... Father says that a member of the Macawber Clan has to be stoic and harsh, that emotions are for lower being-” Alrich was cut short by Queen Carmilla pressing one slender finger over her son’s small beak.
“Shush child.” she said simply. “Your father is not always right, as I said. He is not immune to making stupid decisions. And he’s certainly not right when it comes to emotions, and if you are to be the future ruler you will need to be empathetic toward your subjects in order to maintain their loyalty and respect.” she explained.
And indeed, Alrich was to be the next ruler of the Leviathan Empire. He was placed ahead of his brother and was to be his parents successor. Simply because he had been born with greater magical abilities than Draco… and his brother clearly hated it as he felt like he was living in Alrich’s shadow.
“But... father is not empathetic and he keeps all his subjects in line.” young Alrich murmured, going back to tearing up golden blades of grass.
“Through fear, Alrich. His subjects follow him because they fear his wrath... Mark my words though Alrich, anyone who ruled through fear will one day face rebellion. Their subjects will realize that a life lived in fear is no life at all. No matter how slim their chances of victory would be, they’d rather die for freedom than to live any longer beneath the boots of a tyrant. Even your ancestor Negaduck had faced rebellions during his reign of terror and was ultimately vanquished by his own double when he tried to conquer his world. To rule successfully you must assist those around you and only then can you live happily without paranoia and hatred gnawing at your soul.” she explained, giving Alrich a small pat on the head. The young Abnormal; glanced up at his mother and blinked a few times. She made a few good points, but still... He could hardly just not listen to his father’s lessons. Queen Carmilla stood up then and took her youngest child’s hand. “Come now Alrich, it’s supper time. Ghoulash with a side of corn beef, your favorite...” she said giggly, walking along hand in hand with Alrich, who was now grinning from ear to ear with delight. However as they moved from the gardens and into the palace corridors, Alrich noticed his father standing in a nearby doorway, looking very, very cross.
(*A year later…*)
Alrich! Please pay attention, darling, you too Draco, don’t think I don’t see you.” Queen Carmilla stood before her two sons with arms folded behind her back, a small smirk gracing her stunning features.
Draco groaned, slapping his face in annoyance. “But mother, I don’t see why I need to be here, Alrich’s the one who injured those other kids.” He pouted, crossing his arms while shooting an irritated glare at Alrich, who merely blew a raspberry at him in response. A vein popped out of Draco's head. Honestly, he could be having fun with his friends right now. Instead he was stuck in the royal gardens listening to a lecture from their mother, and all because Alrich was being a total brat as usual. How he despised having a younger brother that kept mucking his life up...
Because this is a discussion that applies to you as well dear, now please sit with your brother.” Queen Carmilla ordered, looking sternly at both of them. Draco reluctantly planted himself in a cross-legged position alongside his brother, grunting to acknowledge his attentiveness. “Excellent, now darlings you are incredibly talentedwarlocks, even being so young you already far exceed most of our people in terms of magic and raw strength.”  She paused a moment to make sure she had her sons’ attention. “Now with such great strength comes a certain level of responsibility that you will need to hold yourselves to. You will one day take over the kingdom from your father and I and when that day finally comes you will have to think of you will rule.”
Queen Carmilla paused again, a flash of sadness could just barely be detected on her face before she continued. “Your father runs the empire through force and fear, and while he has control now it is fleeting.” Her voice became more solemn at that point matching the sadness that had passed over her beautiful features “I know he wants you both to follow in his footsteps… to be modeled after his own image, but you can aspire to so much more, you have been born with amazing gifts, darlings, and I know you can use them to make the universe a better place. “With that she placed a loving hand on both her sons’ shoulders, smiling warmly at them. “Trust me when I say that I believe you both have the potential to become better rulers than your father, grand-father, and great-grandfather. You can become the living hope that the Negaverse desperately needs right now.”
Draco frowned thoughtfully, listening to every word his mother had said. “But father said it’s our duty to rule in his stead, mother…”

Queen Carmilla affirmed with a nod. Yes, that is true. One day one of you will take over for him, I just hope to steer you from the path of the tyrant and into one of a peacekeeper. Your father doesn’t understand this, but he has stepped on so many lives, and when the downtrodden are given the right spark, it will ignite their passion, and give them the strength to fight back.” The usually lighthearted Macawber Queen looked to the sky, trying to hide the tears in her eyes and thinking of the monster her once loving husband had become. ”Alrich, Draco, just remember that power can corrupt… as it’s done to so many rulers in the past, but the ways of truth and love will always be stronger, tyrants and despot may seem invincible for a time, but they will always fall, it is our heroes who are immortalized.” She looked from one son to the other, taking them in, they were in the center of her life, her reason for being and she could only pray that they would become the heroes she knew they could be. “That means you no more getting into fights with the other kids, dear.” She smiled and winked at Alrich, who looked away awkwardly.

A loud cough rang out from across the gardens, gaining the three royals’ attention. Standing with his arms crossed was King Lucian, an unreadable expression on his face as he gazed sternly at them with his arms folded over his black armored chest. Whether he had overheard Queen Carmilla or not has yet to be seen. Turning back to her sons, Queen Carmilla took them both in her arms giving both a powerful hug, and gently kissed each on the brow.
Mother, is everything alright?” It was the first thing Alrich had spoken since the start of their conversation, a look of concern was etched across his young face.
Queen Carmilla smiled reassuringly, waving her hand dismissively. “Don’t fret, sweetheart, your father and I just need to have a discussion in dealing with the… ‘terrorists’ that have been causing problems lately, now remember what I said and run along. I’ll see you later!”
There was a small glare in King Lucian’s eyes and the side of his lip turned to a sneer. Draco and Alrich noticed their father’s expression, but didn’t really thought much about it at the time. They were raised into thinking that their father was a brilliant monarch who was efficient when it came to dealing with the ‘terrorists’ (also known as “freedom fighters”) that threatened his empire and protecting his people while caring deeply for his family. If only they knew the grim truth, however that he was every bit the ruthless tyrant that Negaduck and Felix were. King Lucian growled dangerously, shattering his wine glass in his left hand and thought to himself. I’m afraid you’ve outlived your usefulness, my ‘queen’
(*Back to the present date…*)
Alrich’s eyes opened open, stirred from his sweet dreams, and rubbed his forehead with a weary sigh. Even to this day it still hurt too much to remember his own mother. His father’s right when he told him that his memories of his mother were just better left buried, after all Draco hasn't spoken a word about her in years. Climbing back to his feet, his mind was now drawn back to the earlier encounter. That baby Nekojin in Feroce’s arms… Shoru, that was his name. Named after his father and thus the heir to his small kingdom. Emperor Shoru often spoken of his son during the negotiations. From what Alrich had heard, it was clear that the feline emperor  was intensely proud of his baby boy. Born with a high potential charka level, the crown prince was destined to be a great warrior someday, to rule over his people with no possible equal. Shoru believed his child to have the potential to be a Slayer, whatever that was.
Alrich didn’t like the sound of it though, but there was a kernel of truth to his mother’s and brother’s stories. That in his sensei’s arms had the potential to rival even him and pose a potential threat to his crown, even without following an idiotic prophecy. However…
Control of the Nekojin Empire was now officially held by King Lucian. By passing his consent to rule over to the Macawber Monarch, Emperor Shoru had just signed away most of his authority over the mercenaries, until he was left with merely ceremonial powers. It had been decided in the final stage of the treaty that Alrich would have ultimate control over the entire race when he entered his eighteenth year. Until then, he would have jurisdiction over the Nekojins, but he would still be subordinate to his father.
A small, malicious smile spread slowly over the Abnormal avian prince’s beak as he remembered some of the more choice terms of the treaty. It was a trade agreement after all; therefore the Nekojins would need to trade something back to the Leviathan Empire. And Alrich had just decided what the Nekojin emperor would be required to sacrifice, a sacrifice that will have profound consequences to come that will plant the seeds of Alrich's, his clan's, and their empire's own downfalls…

To be continued…

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  Passing Down the Torch
Posted by: Ghost Cat - 04-12-2020, 07:54 AM - Forum: Fanfiction - No Replies

Passing Down the Torch
Summary: Taking place over a decade - approximately fifteen years - after the events of “There Was No One Left to Speak Out”, Posiwing Duck had always known that death is a common thing, even when it happens, he must move on. Still those who remember the dead will forever carry a part of them.
Disclaimer I do not know Darkwing Duck or any Disney characters except my old OCs and a couple of new ones, otherwise I’d be as filthy rich as Scrooge McDuck and swimming in my own private money bin right about now. I certainly could envision the benefits of being a quad-zillionaire, though. Anyhow, this little pet project is a sequel of “There Was No One Left to Speak Out”. Let’s just say that a certain OC vampiress of mine turned to be wrong, but that's fine since not everyone can be right. ;)

Somewhere in the city of St. Canard, hiding under the cloak of night, a lone figure moved through the shadows stealthily, unseen, unheard. Her sharp green eyes surveyed her surroundings, watching valiantly for any signs of trouble. Everything is quiet, but she knew this can’t last.
She is somewhat uneasy at the moment. This is her first time out on her own. But, somehow, it felt natural to her, being out in the darkness of night. Then the hush of night is shattered by the sound of gunfire. The shots seem to be coming from the next block. The figure moved quickly. She arrived on the scene, still hidden under the cover of night.
Outside a the Last National Bank, police officers are exchanging laser fire with somebody held up inside. Police backup arrived, sirens wailing while police cars screeched to a halt. Officers in bulletproof vests and police dogs jumped from the vehicles, fully armed. The laws show of force is greeted with a small black marble ball tossed from a shattered window of the store. "Incoming!" One of the authorities shouted desperately to his companions. The police officers can only run to evade the violent explosion that followed. Large chunks of debris from exploding police cruisers rain down upon the city streets causing massive destruction. In the chaos, nobody noticed a lone caped figure stalking around the back of the building.
Inside the store, standing amidst the broken glass and rubble, a large figure watched through the broken windows, with great amusement, as St. Canard’s finest are helpless to stop him. He was a massive jaguar with muscles that made his triple extra-large clothes seemed painted, hulk of a man. He had shoulder length onyx black hair with a matching mutton chop, right green eye, and was wearing a pair of brown boots, desert cammo pants, a black t-shirt, a bandolier of bullets strapped around his chest, and a desert cammo jacket. He had a scar running from his left eyebrow to his cheek and a ebony eyepatch covering his eye. He stood laughing in the room for a while, then caressed the contents of his opened sack, which have been money, gold, jewelry, etc that stood behind him. It’s quite apparent that these are the spoils from his earlier plunders that night.
“Buffoons!” He taunted in his deep, menacing voice, “Do you losers really think you’re a match for Major Demolition? Ha, in your dreams. Not even SHUSH’s agents could defeat me!” He touched every piece in the bag more than once, sometimes looking down with guilty pleasure, other times with deep satisfaction, but most often laughing maniacally. Looking at a gold and diamond-encrusted pocket watch, he paused in his jubilation and frowned. “Tch, this is almost too easy nowadays,” He grumbled bitterly to himself. “I was actually expecting better opposition, but I suppose that’s what happens when this city's last hero has kicked the bucket two decades ago. I was hoping to bring out the heavy artillery.”
“Major Demolition?” A voice echoed from the darkness.
Major Demolition startled. Picking up the pocket-watch again, he hastily tucked it into his jacket. He pulled out a black bazooka with a red trim as he spun around, looking for the owner of the voice. “Who’s there!” The jaguar demanded harshly. “Come out where I can see you!” There was no answer. Major Demolition is growing nervous with each passing second. “I said, ‘who’s there?’ Don't make me repeat myself thrice!" He screamed again, his clawed finger tightening the trigger of his plasma cannon.
Silence… for a long moment he is answered with only silence, then… “you are Major Demolition, the most wanted terrorist in Calisota?” Came the voice from the shadows, in a questioning tone.
“Yeah, what of it? Stop cowering in the shadows and meet your marker!” Major Demolition retorted anxiously. He felt like the prey being stalked by an unseen predator. It’s usually not a feeling that the anarchist's accustomed to.
A silhouette moved in the shadows of the unlit room. Without hesitation, Major Demolition fired cylinders of red plasma, repeatedly. When he ceases fire, he’s sure he’s hit his target. He’s wrong. He felt a hand tapping his shoulder from behind. Major Demolition jumped in surprise and spun around. In the glow of the moonlight that shone through the shattered windows he can vaguely make out the form of a lone mallard that had a distinctively feminine shape, slender waist, a short beak, and was dressed in contrasting shades of blue with a white cape with blue lining, a wide brimmed ivory fedora on her head, cyan double breasted over a lavender turtleneck with a matching cloth strip mask, and steel-toed boots. She had long black hair with white streaks in it, which was braided into a ponytail dangling from out underneath her hat and surprisingly, she was rather slim being at 5’7. There is something strangely familiar about this girl, but Major Demolition can’t quite put his finger on it… at first.
Through the moonlight, the answer is staring back at him, that outfit and those sharp ice-cold green eyes glaring at him in defiance. Major Demolition knew this person all too well, but it’s impossible! “What?! N-no, that's not possible! You… you’re not… you’re not him! He’s dead! You can’t be…”
“You’re right for once, I can’t,” the figure agreed as she landed a spinning kick to Major Demolition’s forehead, knocking him backwards by a few feet.
The jaguar’s jaw dropped; his eyes filled with disbelief as his enemy slowly advanced towards him. “No, this can’t be happening! You’re not real! You’re not real!” Major Demolition screamed, his eyes glinting with madness. He hurled a marble-sized grenade at the figure, who deftly moved out of the explosion's radius just in time.
“You can deny it all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m bringing you down. This night will end when you’re placed behind bars… or a straitjacket in a padded cell at Duckham Asylum,” The blue-clad mallard proclaimed as she pulled out her own equivalent of a gas gun, only this one matched the color scheme of her outfit perfectly. She fired a bolt of cobalt energy at the anarchist, who dodged it at the last possible second.
“I don’t know how you came back from the grave, but there’s no way in hell that you're going to prevent me from taking down this corrupted system,” Major Demolition growled threateningly, his single eye blazing with contempt.
The blue-clad mallard blinked several times. “Corrupted system?” She repeated, scratching the back of her neck in confusion. “Seriously, I've no idea what you’re blathering on about,” She came up to Major Demolition and launched a punch directly underneath the villain's chin.
The jaguar stumbled back from the force of the blow. “You don’t see that news leading to us about the world and that corruption is feeding us communist propaganda!” He growled, wiping some blood from his lips with the back of his hand. “I sacrificed the best fifteen years of my life by fighting in the Middle East for this country only to realize that I’ve been stabbed in the back when I was dishonorably discharged by my superiors for being a ‘loose cannon’ and disobeying their orders! Well, they’re dead wrong! It’s their fault that got my brigade killed, not me! This entire city’s infected with a disease and the best treatment for it is to cleanse it with fire so it can be reforged from the ashes like a phoenix! You, the police, the politicians, and the rest of St. Canard must be destroyed so the city can be reborn!” Major Demolition ranted as he fired his weapon repeatedly, and the caped duckette barely dodged the several streams of scarlet energy.
“I can see that your psychological profile wasn’t exaggerating Major, because that might be the craziest thing I ever heard! It’s definitely the looney bin for you,” The blue-clad mallard commented as the anarchist redirected his aim and pulled the trigger repeatedly in a blind fury. He watched with surprise as the woman effortlessly backflipped several times, dodging each particle beam with dramatic flair. But with every attempt Major Demolition had made, his opponent kept dodging the scarlet blasts, determined to avoid his enemy’s attacks until his plasma cannon began to click rather than fire. The weapon’s energy cells have been depleted. He frantically reached to his belt to retrieve his marble-sized grenades, but it was too late.
Not paying as much attention as he should have, Major Demolition gave the heroic mallard an opening for a flying kick. Bringing his plasma cannon in front of him to block the blow, he was startled when his opponent vanished entirely from sight right before impact. “What the-?” He exclaimed incredulously. “Where did she-?” Looking around wildly, he was unprepared for the hard blow to the back of his head. His opponent had used a low-level teleportation spell to get behind him and land the final blow. The villain froze for a moment, then he smiled drunkenly and groaned wearily, "Rubber baby buggy bumpers..." Weakened from his enemy’s blows, Major Demolition's eyes rolled upward before he collapsed forward unconscious, the jaguar's bulky body hitting the floor with a heavy *thud!*. Just like that, the battle was over.
Within the next few moments, Major Demolition's snoring deeply as he was tied up on the floor of the Jewelry Store for the police to find. The stolen bag of money, gold, and jewelry was lying right next to the fallen villain. The mysterious heroine is gone.

An hour later, in a vacant park on the edge of the city, we found our twenty-year-old heroine now sitting quietly at the base of a monument that stood in the center of the park. She had made a quick stop at the safehouse that the government had provided her - which looked like a converted warehouse – so she could changed into fresh set of clothes. Her hair ran past her shoulders, and has one blue hairpin on the right side of her head. She wore purple lipstick on her petite bill, red oval-shaped glasses, bracelets on both of her wrists, a black tank top with a checkered pattern, a black mini-skirt, a pair of large boots that went up her calves, and a red scarf intended to protect her face from the chilly breeze. While Major Demolition was dressed for war, she didn’t. But then, she preferred fashion over function.
She didn’t considered the events that had taken place earlier that day. She felt fatigued now, and this concerned her. She will need to get some much needed sleep soon and with sleep came the dreams. The dreams of a past and a life that are not her own.
She recalled every dream so vividly, although they were a little hazy most of the time. She dreamt of battles she never fought, people she’s never met. She knew secrets that were never passed down to her. All this she saw through the eyes of another, one who no longer walked among land of the living. She recalled that he was a vigilant like her, thwarting a crime here or there. Even the memories of his confrontations with the notorious mercenary Ghost Hunter, his deceased diabolical double Negawing Duck, and Major Demolition from the earliest period of his criminal record, whom she herself had never met until that night. Yet, somehow, she knew the anarchist all too well.
More over, she saw an entire life, that is not her own, passing before her eyes in a fleeting moment. And at the end of that moment, she caught a glimpse of a utopia that awaited on the other side of Heaven... with turquoise waterfalls, and grassland as far as the eye could see. Farther, she saw mountains covered in snow. This was his fantasy, the place that he always wished existed. It was an enrapturing paradise. Her thoughts were interrupted by the whirring sound of an armored jeep hovering above the parking lot and landing fifteen feet behind her. The motor hushed, soon she heard a door opening and shutting. She never bothered to look back as the sound of scraping footsteps leaving the pavement to tread upon the soft grass, moving towards her. Soon, the footsteps stop only a few feet away from the black-clad woman. She gazed into the darkness, nonchalantly. “Hello Director Phosphorus,” she greeted in a timid tone. Only now did she lifted her eyes to look at an elderly cougar towering above her. He was sporting a high-ranking military black outfit and had a graying crew cut.
“Greetings Agent Delilah, we monitored your performance at the Jewelry Store.” He beamed proudly down at her. “Bringing down Major Demolition single-handedly was an impressive feat, considering that he’s at the top of our most wanted list.”
“Thank you very much, sir. I hardly used my magic and martial arts to take him down, although I’ve still got much to learn when it comes to sorcery and crimefighting since it’s apparent that I require more training,” the young woman bowed respectfully, trying to look polite.
The elderly cougar smiled understandingly. “That’s fine. You’ve shown great potential tonight, Delilah. You’ll be a great hero someday.”
“But I can never be him or Darkwing. You know that don’t you, sir?” Delilah sighed, softly motioning toward the statue.
Director Phosphorus gazed fondly up at the marble statue that was mounted upon the monument. “When Darkwing Duck tragically died in the final showdown against Necrowing, only then did the government realized how much we needed him. Then eleven years later, his successor - Posiwing Duck – perished after taking down the entire branch of Neo F.O.W.L. With Darkwing’s team long dead and gone, Morgana Macawber and Sonia Zimmerman disappeared without a trace, we needed a savior so badly that SHUSH attempted to create one… hence the name “Project Genesis”. By using a few feathers from the original Posiwing Duck that we extracted several months after his death, our top geneticists were able to grow those genetic materials into a full-bodied organism, thus creating you.
We were unable to retrieve any DNA samples from Darkwing, which is why we chosen your progenitor as we hoped you’d be an exact replica of his descendant. We foolishly thought we could, in a sense, bring at least one of those Masked Mallards back from the grave even if the cultivation process took decades. But now we know that can never be as it turns out that our cloning technology’s has many flaws.” He sighed, sorrow rising in his voice. “They’re gone… forever.” The SHUSH Director drew a ragged breath. “You are what you are, my girl, and you’ll continue to progress with the right amount of rigorous regimen. You have Posiwing’s DNA, Morgana Macawber’s and Darkwing’s, and it has served you well… all you can do is your best.”
“I’ll always try my best, Director Phosphorus…” She said, closing her eyes and bowing in respect once more.
“I know you will, my daughter, I know you will.” He smiled confidently, patting Delilah on the shoulder. “C’mon, let’s get back to the regional headquarters before somebody sees us. Heck, I’ll even treat you with rocky road ice cream on the way there since I know it’s your favorite. You still have much training ahead of you before you’re ready then we’ll assign you with a new codename, which we both know is for the best. It’s a good thing that the police wouldn’t believe Major Demolition as he will without a doubt be soon spouting tall tales of your progenitor’s ghost haunting the city since there are no such things. There’s a good chance that nutcase will probably be carted off to Duckham Asylum for a good portion of his life instead of prison. I know I won’t lose any sleep over it, that’s for sure, as it means it's one less megalomaniac causing troubles and a lot of citizens will be sleeping better tonight."
The elderly cougar winked knowingly before he turned and started towards the hover-craft. The young mallard smirked, shaking her head in amusement and standing to her feet. She looked up at the statue thoughtfully. She studied the carved granite figure of a duck in a purple, pink and gray costume and mask, complete with cape and fedora. She lowered her gaze to the inscription etched in the pedestal. She could not read the words in the darkness, no matter she knew them by heart: “In Honor of Darkwing Duck, Launchpad McQuack, Quiverwing Quack, Magnesium Mallard, and Posiwing Duck. St. Canard’s True Heroes. We will never forget you and your team, the Terrors That Flaps In The Night.” Delilah swallowed hard, feeling a lump rising in the back of her throat. She carried more than just Posiwing’s DNA with her. She carried his memories, even unto death and beyond. The torch has been passed down to her, and soon a new Masked Mallard with a different name will rise to defend St. Canard from threats like Ghost Hunter, Major Demolition, and many others that might threaten her beloved city in the foreseeable future.
Delilah recalled Posiwing’s final moments in this life after he took down Neo F.O.W.L. with everything he had, despite the fact he was at a great disadvantage when his arsenal malfunctioned. Inside Neo F.O.W.L.'s central command, bodies of Eggmen, Agents and the Dark Legion - General Marcus, Kleiser, Caibon, Timsu and Beelo - lay strewn about as they were either unconscious or in great pain. Posiwing himself was sitting on the floor with his back against the wall, having sustaining internal bleeding and severe injuries from the brutal battle against the Dark Legion supervillain mercenaries. Despite being heavily battered and his body broken, the young man wasn’t afraid in the slightest. Ever since he first donned the cape and mask he knew of the risks that came with the job that he signed up for. He had always known that death is a common thing, even when it happens, life must move on. Still those who remember the dead will forever carry a part of them. However, he felt concerned for the loved ones he leaves behind. Mostly of his family, his wife Bianca, his daughters and son, and hoping that they will find happiness in their lives, ones they will have to live without him. But in that fleeting moment as Posiwing crossed over into the afterlife, he had one last plea from the heart, “Please, don’t forget me.”
“Wherever you are right now Darkwing and Posiwing Ducks, I hope that you can see this and I hope you know… you both and the rest of our family are remembered and your legacy will live forever. I swear I will do whatever it takes to defend St. Canard.” She vowed, a determined look resting on her features.

The End

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  There Was No One Left to Speak Out
Posted by: Ghost Cat - 04-06-2020, 12:59 AM - Forum: Fanfiction - No Replies

There Was No One Left to Speak Out

Summary: It was an end of an era and being a vampiress, Sonia Zimmerman knew that she would eventually outlived them all, the closest people she considered as her family.

Disclaimer: I don’t own any characters in this story that are associated with Darkwing Duck, except for my vampire OC “Sonia Zimmerman”, “Posiwing Duck” , “Negawing/Necrowing Duck” , "Ghost Cat", "Unknown" and several others back from my old role-playing days between 2011-12. Although not exactly a hero herself as she considers herself to be an “outcast”, Sonia would occasionally aided Darkwing’s gang and constantly rages an internal war with herself to retain her humanity so she wouldn’t be overcame by her vampiric feral nature. This story was also written with the lyrics of "Gone Away" by the rock bands The Offspring and Five Finger Death Punch. Anyway, relax, sit back, and enjoy this bittersweet story.
(Maybe in another life...
I could find you there...
Pulled away before your time...
I can't deal, it's so unfair...)

Just like that, it was over. Posiwing Duck was killed five years ago, and his death marked the end of an era. His demise - like the others - was unfair since his life was tragically cut short, but unfortunately that's the grim part of life sometimes. A large bat flew down from the sky and glided through the single window at the top of Audubon Bay Bridge's northwestern tower. It flapped its wings against the frigid breeze as it hovered in midair for a few moments, as if it was carefully analyzing its surroundings. Without warning, the creature began metamorphizing, assuming its natural form. From what used to be a bat, now stood a duck woman in dark clothing. The woman frowned as she looked around in her new environment, then brushed some of her black hair out of her eyes. "So, this is Darkwing Tower?" She asked to no one in particular with an Hungarian accent. "Has it really been over eight years? It seems like ages since I've last been here." She sighed, shoulders slumping. "I knew that I'd eventually outlived them all... all the closest people I considered as my family, which is why I've always hated being a vampire. I had better carry on with my task and take my leave soon before daylight arrives."

This woman, Sonia Zimmerman, as known as “Nightingale”, knew that time was of the essence as she made a promise to fulfill an important mission that Posiwing’s parents pleaded her to on the fifth year anniversary of their son’s death. They requested her assistance so they could find closure before moving on with their lives and Sonia had no intention of letting them down since it was the least she could do for them. She was a curly female duck, tall and thin as a European supermodel, with a mane of flowing black hair that framed her beautiful face and her bangs covered her left eye, a stunning symmetry of ice-cold radiant yellow eyes, sharp pointed nose, a black star over her left eye, and her beak lips painted crimson. She wore a strapless, black velvet dress, with three zippers running down the front where there were bloodred colored words that were written on the front that read, "This isn't my blood". The non-decorative fastener was zipped down a fifth of the way, to make space for her large bustline; though her modesty was preserved by the purple tank top she wore underneath. A golden cross was attached to a matching chain that wrapped around her neck. Her lengthy sleek legs are emphasized by her fishnet stockings and her shoes were thigh-high black leather boots that matched her dress.

Darkwing Tower was half-washed in harsh florescent light, revealing a carved platform, one that had once been rough but had been smoothed over by the steps of those who carried the world upon their shoulders. A large computer sat across from those platform, the dim light of the stand-by mode revealing more of the tower. On the same wall of the platform were items that belonged in a history museum, items that would, hopefully, never see the light of day again. Hopefully, Megavolt's Tron-Splitter would stay off, hidden under glass. Hopefully, the red and purple colored court jester outfit with a harlequin hat would forever stay behind the creepy mechanical banana-headed doll, never to be used again. She prayed that whatever gods will listen that the deactivated orange and black cybernetic bull would remain inoperable within the cryogenic container, never to terrorize another living soul in his hellbent quest for vengeance ever again.
The biggest hope, though, she thought, staring at the wall of costumes, was that the costumes would never been taken from their homes in the glass. The biggest hope was that the world had progressed enough to never again need Darkwing Duck or Launchpad McQuack or Quiverwing Quack or Magnesium Mallard or even Posiwing Duck. That was her biggest hope, her biggest wish.

(And it feels... 
And it feels like... 
Heaven's so far away... 
And it feels... 
Yeah, it feels like... 
The world has grown cold... 
Now that you've gone away...)
With a sigh of regret, Sonia turned towards the computer she stood in front of. A hand reached out, and after a long beat, a slim finger touched one of the various buttons of the keyboard. The computer gave a beep, then asked whether she was sure she wanted to shut it off. The computer itself hadn't seen the restful stage of 'shut down' since its original assembly. It had been on stand-by, and even in hibernation when Darkwing had retired, but it had never actually been off since... well, suffice to say, the computer hadn't been off in a very long time. 
Next, the immortal vampiress glided over to the wall of 'trophies', as Darkwing had once termed it. Darkwing had always claimed that he kept the tokens to make sure the deadliest weapons never fell into another's hands, whether government or supervillain or superhero. Magnesium Mallard (or Honker Muddlefoot, as the vampiress still secretly referred to him in the back of her mind – he had been, after all, been like a son to Darkwing and Quiverwing’s husband, when you think back on how much it was astonishing that Honker progressed when he started off as Arrow Kid at the age of nine-years-old until he developed an advanced mechanical suit in his early twenties) had told Sonia, though, that his mentor had really just needed something that reminded him of why he fought. Sonia wasn't sure who was right, but she suspected that, in their own ways, they were all probably correct.
The vampiress examined a large display case carefully. It contained a massive suit of powerful, diamond like red armor plating that once completely surrounded its former user's body. The face would have been hidden by a helmet designed like a dragon's jaws and above them on top of the helmet were two diamonds for the eye pieces. The dragon armor had a black strap on its back that held a long, bone shaped katana littered with mystical green words that were written as Frigus Mortis (Translation: Cold Death} and a pitch-black handle. The boots had high red shingle-like plating over the knees, and the shoes had dragon like claw toenails on the front of the shoe. Overall, it seemed that the armor belonged to an ancient samurai while it actually belonged to a notorious Fire Demon warmonger warlock and Negawing Duck's half-brother... Draco Macawber (aka "The Crimson Dragon" as the media had dubbed him at that time). 

Sonia recalled this disaster as if it only happened yesterday and not fifteen years ago. When Negawing's death had finally reached his ears in the capital of his empire in Hong Kong, Draco had gathered his forces and traveled across the world to St. Canard. Several months later, the warlock laid siege to the city in his ferocious quest to restore his clan's honor with his elite forces of mythical monsters and leveled St. Canard to ruins. Fortunately, Posiwing, Sonia, and the other heroes had joined forces and defeated the army after a brutal battle while SHUSH Agents and the police evacuated the pedestrians, but the warlord had then decided to handle the invasion personally. Initially, the heroes and villain are a fairly even match (much to the warlock's mild annoyance); Draco then understood how they gave his half-brother so much trouble. He informed them that he had a strong sibling rivalry with Negawing and even went as far to admit that if he would have killed him sooner had it not been for the matriarch of their clan, Malicia Macawber; this implied that Draco was planning on killing Negawing before his final confrontation with Posiwing, and desired to kill Posiwing mostly for robbing him of his chance of doing so, rather than family matters.

Draco had then unveiled his triumph card: a demonic transformation that he had found by investigating the tombs of one of his ancestors... the secrets of the ancient Macawber rulers and he leant exactly how to unlock it. His face evolved into a fanged snout and his hands curved into sharp talons. A pair of dark maroon wings sprouted from his back, wreathed in black flames, while armor melted into his skin, morphing into ruby-black scales and his eyes were now two glowing yellow slits. The whole evolution was complete in no more than an entire minute and Draco resembled a humanoid black-scaled dragon with a triple-spiked tail. The warlock had referred to it as "The Armored Emperor" form, with power surpassing his half-brother's vampiric form. Reinvigorated, Draco launched an overwhelming counteroffensive and had easily brought Posiwing, Sonia, and the other defenders to their knees with his terrifying might.

It was one of the darkest days of St. Canard's history when the battered and defeated heroes laid strewn across the cracked streets, on the cusp of death. It seemed that all hope was lost and that Draco would have succeeded where Negawing failed until a young rabbit waitress named "Bianca" was injured in her attempt to protect Posiwing. This selfless action had greatly enraged Posiwing and awakened an dormant mystical power within him. He and Draco faced off and eventually, after a difficult battle, the magically empowered Posiwing got the battle under his control, delivering a final momentous blow to the warlock that symbolically ended Draco's tyranny as the villain's body could no longer handled his "Armored Emperor" form for very long. Humiliated and driven back into a corner, Draco refused to relent, attacking Posiwing even as he was losing strength rapidly and threatened to kill the hero's vulnerable friends with by generating two massive waves of yellow and black lightning from his claws while they were semi-conscious. This reaction caused Posiwing to conjured an enormous stream of powerful radiant light with all of his might that had finally vanquished Draco, disintegrating the horrified draconian warlord entirely and ending the battle. In the aftermath, the only one thing left that remained of the warlock was his smoking armor.

It was another close call for the heroes. One that forced Sonia to permanently resigned from her alter ego as "Nightingale". When he was asked by the reporters about his hidden powers Posiwing had responded with; "I've honestly no idea how I harnessed that much magic in the first place. Maybe it's because of my own direct bloodline to the Macawber clan or maybe it was because of something else, but I'm glad that it worked. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to stopped Draco from carrying out his vengeance. Something tells me that was a 'once in a lifetime' sort of deal and I can never wield that kind of magic again. It's probably for the best. The only thing that matters to me is protecting those closest to me by any means possible."

Sonia took a deep breath and extended her hand. Her head slowly turned and she faced the large panel on the wall. It glowed black for a mere second, then, one by one, the lights turned off. Mr. Banana Brain 2.0 was the first one – the light under it's case, the light that had burned so bright and shone so long, flickered off. Quackerjack’s suit was next, then the Tron-Splitter, followed by the original F.O.W.L.'s chief Agent Steelbeak's perfectly pressed white suit with black slacks, and then Taurus Bulba's cryogenic container. The former world's deadliest assassin Ghost Cat's cloaking belt and his twin katanas vanished into the shadows hopefully never to be used to slain people in cold blood, followed by Draco's scarlet samurai armor, then the crimelord Unknown's fractured bronze mask, next a half-empty vial of mutagen that granted Shadow Wolf his deadly werewolf transformation, a trio of red armbands that were worn by the Red Armed Gang, Brain Twister's golden cane and lime green mask, a black stainless steel urn containing Nightshade's (Negaversion-Sonia) ashes, the five sets of Roman-esque centurion inspired power armor that once belonged to the infamous mercenary/supervillain group known as the "Dark Legion", and then Negawing's black, red and yellow outfit and portable multi-barreled Gatling laser gun disappeared into the darkness. Finally, a canister of radioactivity went dark, and then the self-styled Demon Queen of St. Canard Malicia Macawber's seductive green dress followed (Sonia always was impressed that the duckubus has a peculiar sense of fashion, unlike the other members of the rogues gallery); Negaduck’s ominous bloodstained chainsaw, one of the many weapons of mass destructions that he had kept on his person until his death, slowly lost it's light and fell into darkness, finally joining the other artifacts in silence.

(Leaving flowers on your grave... 
Show that I still care... 
But Black Roses and Hail Mary's... 
I can't bring back what's taken from me...)

Sonia made her way towards the costumes, the florescent lights turning off in her wake. The entire tower was dark when she reached the glass booths, with the only light from said cases. She wasn't sure why, but she ended up in front of Quiverwing Quack’s costume first. Gosalyn Mallard/Waddlemeyer was the first, and only, woman to ever wear this suit. She'd started at a nine-years-old and swung from buildings and fought beside the Masked Mallard until she was twenty. Then she was shot – Negaduck took her alter identity that night, leaving her known as Gosalyn Mallard, daughter of (and successor) of mild-mannered Drake Mallard. She became incapacitated and she and her family were forced to travelled across South America to enlisted the aid of a physical therapist to rehabilitated her while Negaduck and the rest of the Fearsome Five assumed control of St. Canard’s underworld and took over several illegal operations within it. Drake and the gang found the doctor, however it led to a third encounter with Taurus Bulba (who was trying to use a mystical artifact to restore his organic form.) Fortunately, Bulba was defeated and the doctor was grateful that Darkwing and the others’ valiant heroics that saved her life and agreed to healed Gosalyn, although it took ten excruciatingly months. 

Eventually, Darkwing and his companions returned to St. Canard and barely defeated the Fearsome Five - with the help of the Justice Ducks and "Nightingale" that D.W. summoned - atop St. Canard after a protracted battle. However, Negaduck refused to be escorted to the authorities and activated an “insurance policy”: several grenades that were hidden under his coat that detonated, killing him in the process while Darkwing, his team the police and the battered Fearsome Four had barely escaped with their lives. It was certainly a close call that Sonia hasn't forgotten any time soon since she came very close to dying. Gosalyn had, of course, retaken up the Crimson Quackette mantle for a while (since Quiverwing’s “death” was broadcasted all over the news and social media outlets by Negaduck), but after a series of fierce arguments with her father… well, let's say that it didn't ended well.
Sonia reached out and touched the smooth, cool glass. The lights along the case gave a loud boom, then went out, one by one. Finally, the top light was extinguished, and the last thing the world saw of Quiverwing was the empty eyes that had once belonged to a little girl who'd fought so hard, so very hard, for a city that would soon forget her. 

The next case that Sonia stood in front of was Magnesium Mallard. Honker's costume was a black under-suit that had covered over his stomach, arms, legs, and neck, while everything else was left shielded by polished golden armor plating. He'd worn a blue-glass visor, giving off a faint glow that still illuminated the tower's darkness. He'd been the fourth to go, after the avian aviator known as Launchpad, his wife and Darkwing, but before Posiwing Duck. He hadn't truly been Magnesium, or maybe Magnesium hadn't really been Magnesium. Sonia had always secretly thought that Magnesium Mallard was the alter-ego of Arrow Kid, not the alter-ego of Honker Muddlefoot. In fact, the vampiress mused, Honker Muddlefoot was the true alter-ego of Arrow Kid, whose alter-ego was Magnesium Mallard. After so many years behind the cowl, Honker had stopped being ‘Honk’ and started being ‘Arrow Kid who pretended to be Honker who pretended to be Magnesium’. Still, Magnesium did belong in the case. Despite his timidity, he'd been a hero, and a pretty damned good one, no matter how hard he'd been pretending to be who he wasn't. He'd died a heroic death, having prevented Ghost Hunter from massacring a small town in South Korea at the age of seventy-five and sacrificed himself for his deeds.
The lights went at the same slow rate, and the slate-gray and beige colored 'MM' insignia was the last to go, giving Sonia one last look at her late friend’s preferred symbol. 

(I reach out to the sky... 
And call out your name... 
Oh, please let me trade... 
I would...)

The next costume to go dark would be Darkwing Duck. He'd been the greatest, the best of them all, though Sonia would always say that Magnesium Mallard was better. Darkwing had hid behind the name of Drake Mallard, and done more for St. Canard, and the world, as both than some people could dream of doing. Darkwing was vainglorious and arrogant, but there was definitely no question that he was self-righteous. He'd saved the world, inspired generations of heroes, defeated villains, and so, so much more. His death had been heroic, as well. Fifteen years ago at the age of ninety-four, he'd jumped into his mechanical ‘Darkwarrior’ battle armor and helped his grandson, Posiwing Duck, whose archenemy and terrible twin - Negawing Duck - had became a vampire. Negawing had cleverly manipulated Sonia’s un-beating heart by winning over her affection, renamed himself as “Necrowing” and ruled the city with an iron fist with an army of the vampires - infected St. Canard's civilians - backing him up. Recognizing the grave danger that befallen St. Canard as she had unintentionally created herself, Sonia had successfully convinced both Darkwing and Posiwing to assist them. Like something out of a graphic novel, the three heroes joined forces and together they rushed over to Necrowing’s lair with their anti-vampirism vaccine and arsenal of weapons, defeating and curing all his victims in the catacombs beneath St. Canard Cemetery. Unfortunately they ran out of the vaccine, and Necrowing still opposed a major threat to them. The Masked Mallards and the Hungarian vampiress lured Necrowing into the Tower where the heroes would have the advantages over the vampire. It was a risky gambit, but the heroes were very desperate to stop him.

However, their plan began unraveling when Necrowing had easily overwhelmed this enemies with his incredible might, and keeps to his word to make sure that Darkwing and Posiwing suffers for bringing shame to his family's legacy, by attacking the heroes with brutal bone-breaking techniques and dark energy blasts, almost bringing them to death, until at length he grew tired of the battle and felt that his ancestor Negaduck had further shamed his family by dying at Darkwing's hand. Finally becoming desperate, Posiwing activated a last-ditch effort, which had been a prototype solar energy machine developed by S.H.U.S.H. Off-guard and already claiming victory for himself, Necrowing dismissed the threat as a fool's errand until he was struck with the sunlight that was stored within the device and was overpowered; he realized how Negaduck lost to Darkwing in his final moments and he wound up paying the price of arrogance with his own life. Shrieking in a mixture outrage and anguish, he was then incinerated by the artificial sunlight, reducing him to a pile of ashes and bones. It was a harrowing battle, however the swords of justice pierced the denizens of darkness triumphantly once more, except this time with a tremendous price.
Unfortunately, Darkwing had sacrificed his life during the battle when he succumbed to his horrible lacerations, or rather, the life of Drake Mallard. Really, though, when Sonia thought about it, Darkwing had never really been the same after Gosalyn died at the age of fifty-one from natural causes as he’d been dead and just hadn't known it, and had been that way since he'd hung up his cape and mask. He'd become Darkwing Duck, and Drake had been the true mask.
Shortly after Drake Mallard’s funeral, Morgana had summoned the rest of her family and Sonia to her mansion so she could informed them that she was permanently leaving St. Canard. She offered no explanation for that either and was not heard from since. Morgana's family and the vampiress assumed that she went somewhere to start a new life in Transylvania. It’s time, Sonia thought, as the lights went out slowly, ever so slowly, for the purple, pink and gray outfit to return to the darkness, to join the wearer.
(And it feels... 
And it feels like... 
Heaven's so far away... 
And it stings...
Yeah, it stings now... 
The world is so cold...
Now that you've gone away...)

The Hungarian vampiress made her way to Posiwing Duck, to Dustin Mallard, the biological grandson of Drake and Morgana Mallard. He'd probably been the only one who'd managed what every superhero had wanted; Dustin had a rabbit wife named Bianca, one who'd proceeded her husband to the grave by three years as she passed away from a broken heart. He'd also had three fraternal half-breed triplets, two girls and a boy. They were grown now, and had been sixteen when they'd found out their father, still relatively young himself at the age of thirty-seven, had been found in the morgue. He'd mysteriously appeared there, arms folded across his chest, his taser gun clutched tightly in his right hand. He'd died of internal bleeding, but had taken down the entire Neo F.O.W.L. - a criminal organization - with a defective arsenal, still mourning for his grandfather and mentor.
The blue mask glared out at her, slowly fading to darkness as the night flickered. The last Sonia would ever see of Posiwing Duck was that navy blue and ivory white outfit, the one that she'd scoffed at so many years for having no creativity since it adorned an uncanny resemblance to Darkwing's uniform, but she knew that Posiwing was just as valiant as Darkwing and the others were.

(Gone away... 
Gone away... 
Yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah... 
Launchpad McQuack was, of course, the last member of the original group that had started all of this when Darkwing accidentally crashed into his hangar during his first initial encounter with Taurus Bulba's henchmen  – had died as an old man at the age of eighty-two in a peaceful sleep twenty-eight years ago, surrounded by his sister Loopy McQuack, her descendants, Drake, Morgana, a fourteen-year-old Dustin, Dustin’s parents (Soleil McKnight and Dracon Mallard), Honker, Gosalyn, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Webbigail, Doofus, and Sonia herself. Three days later, his body was cremated and his sister took off from the airfield at Duckburg in her specially prepared aircraft. She had his ashes scattered into the Atlantic Ocean to honored his final request. It was a fitting end for a skilled pilot of his caliber.

(I reach out to the sky... 
And call out your name... 
Oh, please let me trade... 
I would...)
Instead of automatically turning off the light, Sonia reached out and through the case as her vampiric senses detected something. Her hand, intangible, reached and opened the case to the bomber flight jacket. Then she realized that she felt an object was hidden inside it and gingerly pulled out a yellow paper out of the box. She was surprised when she discovered it was actually a picture. Looking at the brittle picture, her jaw slackened. What had to be Gosalyn as a ten-year-old girl with fiery red pigtails, held by her adoptive father Drake Mallard, took up one half of the picture, while Launchpad McQuack stood with his hand on the shoulders of Morgana. It was an ideal picture of a perfect family, if a little abnormal. This is… it has to be. It’s his surrogate family. This must be one of the very few personal belongings that he had left behind, the vampiress thought sullenly to herself while a tear fell down her face silently.
Her friends – the closest people she had to as a family since her eight-year-old Amsel died back in 1904 from a terrible illness and her husband passed away in early May 1915 during the Second Battle of Ypres in the first World War - had been gone for a long time, but the wound, both mental and emotion, was, and forever would be, still raw. A small content smile was playing on her soft red lips at the sight of the cheerful faces beaming brightly  back at her from the aged picture. She sighed dejectedly while she put the picture back inside the pocket from where she found it, then the lights flickered off, and Sonia watched as the brown-and-cream aviator uniform, flight cap and goggles went black for the last time.

(And it feels... 
And it feels like... 
Heaven's so far away... 
And it stings... 
Yeah, it stings now... 
The world is so cold...
Now that you've gone away...)

Dark wings surrounded her in the derelict bridge tower, Sonia's body shimmered for a moment and then where she had been a bat was fluttering into the night as her mission was completed, leaving a single non-vampire bat to screech in her wake and the single hope that there would never be another need for these heroes. There was no one left to speak out for the fallen.
The time of superheroes was over.

(Gone away... 
Gone away... 
Yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah... 

The End

End Note: It's been close to eight years since I've last completed a story, and I got to admit that writing this project was... rather [i]exhilarating. This chronicle was dedicated to the memory of one of my favorite childhood shows, Darkwing Duck, and to my old friends of the Old Haunt. I imagine that reading this story might be lost less pleasant than you might have anticipated, but then growing up is often unhappy and one has to take the bad mixed in with the good. For example, Sonia’s life is full of hardships and tragedies, but she strives to live so she could preserve the memories of her friends and family. This is technically a one-shot for now but if the inspiration strikes me I might write a full-fledged story, probably detailing an account of Darkwing, Gosalyn’s, and the others’ adventures that took place after the series ended and led up to the events of this story. Let me know what you think.[/i]

I know that some people might think that hope is gone ever since the Coronavirus pandemic had happened a few months ago and affected the entire world. But they're wrong. Hope's still there. And we shouldn’t lose hope because of this threat. I think America - and the rest of the world for that matter -  - will rise up, stronger than before now that one of our weakness has been shown to us – arrogance and prejudice. The great fall of every hero. The people living in the countries throughout the world are such heroes, but unlike others, this is not the end. Our crisis gave us a brand new perspective, therefore new hope. Peace, boys and girls and keep praying. God hears your prayer, wherever you believe in Him or not. I’m praying for anyone who's suffering personally at the hands of this pandemic. May hope come back to us soon, God bless you all and God bless America!

Before we depart company from each other, here’s a few fun facts in store for you. (#1) Magnesium Mallard is, of course, a not-so-subtle tribute to Iron Man. (#2) Quiverwing getting shot is an homage to the famous DC Novels “Knightfall” and “The Killing Joke”, although there is no Azrael parody involved and Gosalyn eventually made a full recovery, but was forced to leave the nest due to a series of fierce arguments she had with Darkwing. (#3) Taurus Bulba’s scheme is a reference to one of the “lost episodes” that someone once informed me on the Old Haunt, although I’ve long since forgotten the title of the episode. (#4) Gosalyn’s demise is a tragic reference to her voice actress, Christine Cavanuagh, who unfortunately passed away back in December 22, 2014. May she rest in peace. (#5) Soleil Mallard is a nod to Circus Soleil, my family and I were traveling to see them last year until we discovered that they cancelled the show when one of heir performers died. May he also rest in peace. (#6) Draco Macawber was an unused OC that I created back in 2014-15. Initially, I had intended for him to be an antagonist of a RPG plot that I planned to work on with Malicia with the idea her OC Lyra and my OC Negawing being the main characters with Draco seeking vengeance against his half-brother for disgracing their family's pride, but Mal declined. I respected her wishes and the concept with Draco was shelved until I partially brought it back for this story with the warlock going after Posiwing instead of Negs. I only regretted not creating the character much sooner, otherwise I'd probably done a fun three-way battle between him, Negawing and Negaduck13's OC Nega-Night. Speaking of which... Negawing's and Draco are about evenly matched in their normal forms, I believe he would have been overwhelmed by Draco if the warlock was given the chance to transformed. (#7) And last, but not least, the title is a reference to a poem named “First they came…” which was written by Rev. Martin Niemoller in 1945. He was put in a concentration camp from 1939 to 1945 for speaking out against the Nazi regime. The poem was a form of a prose post-war confession and it was about the cowardice of German intellectuals and certain clergy (including, by his own admission, [i]Niemoller himself) following the Nazis' rise to power and subsequent incremental purging of their own chosen targets, group after group until the fascist regime's own inevitable downfall.[/i]
Anyway, fun fact session is over and I believe that's enough for today. I wish you an excellent day. Stay home, stay safe, take care of yourselves and we will endure this crisis together.  Dwcape

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  Returning Member here. Hey!
Posted by: Celey - 06-03-2019, 01:40 AM - Forum: Negaduck's N00b 101 - Replies (2)

Wow... it's been a long time. A LONG TIME. Nice to see this place is still up and running! So, how long has it been, you might be asking? Well, I did a quick looksie - I joined the forum back in 2010 (so, almost a decade ago! Huh!) and my last post was in 2012. So... about 7 years ago? Huh. That's... that's a long time. I feel... old? Or maybe like that scary movie monster whose hand breaks out of the dirt in front of their supposed gravestone?

(Also, I feel like I should add a disclaimer and say that a person can change a lot in 7 years! Cause literally I can't remember what all I've posted on here, but I do remember having some odd stuff going on in my history, and I feel like I've grown as a person since then? Although, I think I am still pretty friendly and of course very into Darkwing Duck. And I'm really enjoying the new Duck Tales!)

Also, I'm extremely surprised I remembered my password... Wow.

Anyway, hello all!

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