Nega Hospitality

(Continued from Duck Avenger's message board.)

Not my idea of a warm welcome, thought Duck Avenger.

Duckburg's defender against criminal scum (well, one of 'em) had decided to spend his evening traipsing around St. Canard, the hometown of his newly-acquainted friend, Darkwing Duck. On his walkabout through the business district, a voice drew his attention. It belonged to a duck that looked almost identical to Darkwing, save for the yellow jacket and blood red hat.

The raspy voice threw Duck Avenger for a loop, but he thought nothing of it, happily accepting a tour from his new friend. Something that was wasn't readily accepted, though, was Duck Avenger's offer of a throat lozenge.

In Central Park, "Darkwing" had shown Duck Avenger a mysterious artifact that he claimed powered the whole city. Duck Avenger felt honored to even look at such an item. However, when it blew up in Duck Avenger's face, he found himself wholly unwelcomed and quite irritated.

Daring to question the duck responsible, he found out that it was not Darkwing Duck he was hanging out with, but Negaduck, Lord of the Negaverse, and all-around evil guy. Duck Avenger turned tail and ran away, realizing who he had dared to get snippy with. Unfortunately, he didn't get far, for a hand shot out of an alley a block away, grabbing him by the neck and hauling him away like a silly sack of wheat in a cape and mask.

Thus, he found himself tied down to a table by his wrists and ankles, his body sprawled out in a manner reminiscent of being drawn and quartered.

Hopefully, there would be none of that happening tonight in this musty, rotted, old warehouse near the bay. But with no weapons on him, and seemingly no witnesses to this uncomfortable ducknapping, Duck Avenger gulped and surmised that he would be in for anything but a quiet night.

    • Negaduck
      Negaduck

      "So." No throat lozenge had been located from the sound of the nearby voice beside him. Negaduck plucked one of the impossibly tight chains like a kankles of cruelty, admiring his own work. The sounds of suffering, there was no sweeter music.

      "They breed them brave in Duckburg huh."

      A stab of the sarcastic rather than physical variety following the supposed Avenger's performance.  

      "A pity, because we already have an oversupply of infuriatingly courageous heroic types here. So, unfortunately, I'm going to have to fire you."

      On cue, beyond Donald's feet a mountain of flame erupted from what appeared to be.. an enormous belt fed pizza oven?

      The felon, at his own astonishing wit, was laughing.

      "I'm sorry, I've wanted to cook up something for this for ages." Too good, too good. Focus. "Anyway, you know the deal, I push the delectable deep dish you're on onto the conveyer, sliding you into the toasty two thousand degree furnace, and viola, you get your extra crispy pizza pie after all."

      Ah, so it wasn't a table he was on, so much as a base. 

      "Wait! Here I am, making a terrible mistake. Can't forget the topping."

      Pulling a lever, he realised a ton of tomato sauce right atop his target.

      What fun. And even more hilarious than, say, mistaking him for Darkwing. 

      • Duck Avenger
        Duck Avenger

        "WAK!" yelped Duck Avenger, as the towering inferno erupted from the pizza oven feet away from his. Cold sweat dripped down his brow, both from the heat of the oven, and his growing anxiety. He hadn't even made a will yet. What would become of his nephews? This was hardly a hero's way to go.

        "They breed them brave in Duckburg, huh?" That wouldn't have hurt as much if it were any other time. But here, with the front he was showing, there was plenty of guilt available to mingle with the growing fear.

        But he had to say something. "Y-you dirty, rotten hoodlum! You're crazy if you think you can get away with-"

        And that's when the pizza sauce came cascading down on him, smothering him from head to toe. It was warm and slimy all over his body; a pitiful primer for what would be thousands of degrees of oven heat. Duck Avenger turned his head and spat out what sauce got inside his mouth. Yeah, it tasted good, but as if he'd tell Negaduck that. The last thing the villain needed was another reason to brag.

        "So this is a Chicago-style pie, eh? Not my favorite." Joking around was all he could do to distract himself from his impending doom.

        Then the belt started to move.

        • Negaduck
          Negaduck

          Negaduck waved him off merrily, only changing to a solemn mood as the base slipped towards the flames.

          "Poor Duck Avenger." Hat over heart, or where it should've been. "May he rest in pizza!"

          A grade hilarity. What wouldn't anyone give for a slice of his brilliance.

          • Quiverwing Duck
            Quiverwing Duck

            An oversupply of infuriatingly courageous heroic types here. Yeah, speaking of that...

            High overhead, one of the warehouse's windows burst inward with a shattering of old plywood and what remained of the glass. The debris fell harmlessly to the floor, but through the cleared opening soared a shadowy figure with faintly glowing white slivers for eyes, like some kind of bat out of heck.

            Or, possibly not; once the figure started to drop into the light he looked a lot less sinister, dressed in a jaunty 'forest archer' sort of outfit in cheerful blue and green. He tucked into a forward flip from his swan-dive pose, and came out of it with his cape flaring around him, and a drawn bow in his hands. The arrow he released had a purple boxing glove for an arrowhead, and it was aimed for Negaduck's face.

            Quiverwing Duck landed on the top of the oven in a slight crouch, his boots making a dull thud upon contact. The heat radiating from the currently contained fire allowed his green cape to continue billowing dramatically as he straightened up. It also caused the 'skirt' of his blue tunic to flit upwards, but that was okay; that was why his costume included green pants, now.

            "What is it with you and these food-related schemes, Negsy? Are you hangry? Is that what's going on with you?" Quiverwing amicably asked the villain, before tipping his hat to the restrained and saucy Duck Avenger.

            • Duck Avenger
              Duck Avenger

              Duck Avenger shielded his face as a few splinters and shards of glass harmlessly indented in his sauce-covered cheek. When he looked up again, above the oven opening stood Darkwing Duck.

              ...at least he thought that was Darkwing. He didn't remember his friend playing like he was Robin Duck, though, with the waving tunic and flashy archery set. But that had to be him, right? There couldn't possibly have been any other Darkwings, right? Besides, in his situation, beggars couldn't be choosers.

              "Darkwing! You gotta stop this thing or I'm a roast duck!" he called out to the figure, squirming against his restraints.

              • Negaduck
                Negaduck

                What a douche. That flip was entirely unnecessary, as is that coif. Seriously who does he think he is-

                BLAM.

                Maybe Negaduck should have stopped internally berating his foes. Maybe then he wouldn't just stand there while a blow cracked him square in the lower jaw.

                Thrown against a rear wall meant he missed the opportunity to retort against Quiverwing's verbal jab, but the ringing in his ears had faded in time to hear the Avenger's.

                "He called me that too."

                You see why all this is necessary then. As if he would ever make the same mistake.

                • Quiverwing Duck
                  Quiverwing Duck

                  "Ooh," Quiverwing winced faintly and sucked in a little air through his teeth when Negaduck revealed the Duck Avenger's sins. That explained everything that was going on. Even so, he couldn't just allow Negaduck to broast this guy to death. Or whatever the term was; Quiverwing had no idea how cooking worked.

                  The masked archer was far less hostile at being mis-identified, however, and explained to the Duck Avenger, "I'm not Darkwing, either. I'm Quiverwing Duck. Think of me as being sort of like Darkwing, except younger, more capable, and much much hotter." He pointed a finger gun at the Defender of Duckburg, and winked.

                  Anyway. Speaking of hotter, that fire qualified. Shooting a few arrows to help undo the Duck Avenger's bonds were not an ideal solution because there was so much tomato sauce obfuscating them that the arrows might pierce flesh instead. On the other hand, there was so much tomato sauce that if that did happen, no one would notice any blood.

                  That would be saved as Plan C. Plan A should probably be trying one of those buttons or levers powering the contraption. So, Quiverwing Duck jumped down and hit a red button marked 'STOP'. As a result, the conveyor belt moved faster. "Hm, I should've known that would happen," said Quiverwing. "Mea culpa."

                  Plan B was trying to physically remove the Duck Avenger and his ... 'pan'? Is that what that cooking implement was called? Off of the conveyor belt. Quiverwing bounded over to grapple with it.

                  • Negaduck
                    Negaduck

                    Younger he might have been, somehow, but a pair of hands landed on Quiverwing's shoulders that would've contested the two other points. That was, if they weren't so busy making to physically throw the hero away from the slightly less heroic hero.

                    "Ah ah ah," Negaduck scolded, which might've sounded nicer if he wasn't actively attempting to clobber the archer with a nasty left hook and possibly kick combo while doing so. "I've got a shallow pan here you can have all to yourself."

                    Get it, shallow? As in looks? Nah didn't work, not coming from him, the only other mallard whose planet sized ego put them both to shame. Had it been even remotely possible for them to feel any shame about it, which of course they did not.

                    In any case, the criminal was so busy dishing it out, the Duck Avenger would need to find another kitchen assistant pronto. That or a flame proof suit; that oven was looming so close the heat would be felt even through his feathers. On the plus side, he would soon go really well with garlic bread.

                    • Duck Avenger
                      Duck Avenger

                      Duck Avenger groaned nervously at the sight above him. Never mind that he had an unflattering view of the two other ducks in this hole of a place, Quiverwing essentially had his hands full grappling with Negaduck!

                      He was even more disheartened seeing Quiverwing tossed aside like a ball of dough and away from him.

                      Mea culpa. That wasn't going to help anything if Duck Avenger was baked to a golden brown.

                      Speaking of, that fire was really starting to make the hero hot.

                      Spare flames began to kiss his boots, and he squealed at their temperature. Adrenaline kicked up his senses and he strained against the ropes tying him down. The pan began to rock back and forth under his struggling. Thinking fast, he kept up the motion, rocking the pan to and fro, until he built up some noticeable leverage.

                      With one final heave, Duck Avenger cried out and yanked as hard as he could to his right. The heavy pan tipped over and off of the conveyor belt, sending him careening towards the floor. Duck Avenger landed face-down on the floor, the sauce splatting underneath him.

                      That blasted sauce would never come out in the wash, but at least he wasn't stuck between a rock and a hot place anymore.

                      • Quiverwing Duck
                        Quiverwing Duck

                        Everything was going fine until Negaduck intruded, but one could say that about any situation involving Negaduck. Quiverwing was able to stay on his feet when he got yanked away from the conveyor belt, but the punch to the face knocked his hat off and tousled his hair enough that half of it flopped over one eye.

                        The kick was marginally better since it wasn't aimed at Quiverwing's face, and he was able to diminish some of its power to his midsection by falling and rolling back. The archer went into a backwards handspring to flip to his feet, nocking an arrow even though he was in a fistfight. He did not fire it point blank at Negaduck, however, he shot it past the mallard menace.

                        The arrow's point lodged into the floor a couple inches away from the Duck Avenger's beak, vibrating in place with the sound of a plucked wooden ruler. Behind the arrowhead was a cylindrical capsule surrounding the arrow's shaft, and just like a Swiss army knife, attachments unfolded with springy clicks. A knife blade, a bottle opener, a comb, what looked like lock picks, a dental mirror, a small grappling hook (?), and with a final click, a petite acetylene torch (??). Everything a hero could want or need when escaping a death trap or a pizza pan, assuming the hero could reach it and knew how to utilize it.

                        Quiverwing had to put up with a bit of a beat down by electing to fire a shot rather than retaliate, but now that he had done so he stashed his bow and put up his hands in a defensive stance so he could start fending off Negaduck's enthusiasm. "Look. I get it, it's annoying to be mistaken for that guy, but you can't cook people over it..."

                        • Negaduck
                          Negaduck

                          The opportunity to gain a serious advantage, aka to wail without restraint, on Quiverwing was not something the crook would pass up.

                          When the archer's blocking became too annoyingly efficient, however, Negaduck took matters into his own hands, literally, by seizing both of his opponent's none too scrawny arms and attempting  to pull his upper body smash into his knee. Aiming for the face again, naturally.

                          Assuming that went well he would follow with a throw to crunch the would-be saviour into the cement.

                          "Oh yes I can."

                          Always the argumentative one.

                          An argument that was about to get a lot more pointed, judging from the hot poker he had yanked out from the flames and was standing over Quiverwing with.

                          "What, do you really think you're in a position to stop me?"

                          See, that was the problem with being driven by anger. Great for the violent bursts of strength, not so great for the situational awareness.

                          • Duck Avenger
                            Duck Avenger

                            Duck Avenger yelped as the arrow stuck in just inches away from his face. As the attachments near the feathers folded out one by one, he became increasingly puzzled.

                            Who is he and what kind of time does he have to make this fancy gadgetry?

                            Well, in his situation, he shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. After all, he was the one that left his X-Transformer back in Duckburg.

                            With a grunt, he shimmied the pan forward so that his hand could grab the arrow. Once in his grasp, he maneuvered it down to the fletching where he could grab that knife.

                            He wiggled his fingertips to twist the knife in the right position to cut his bond, a skill learned from the Junior Woodchucks. Hearing the beatdown happening to his left, Duck Avenger gulped and hastened his sawing as much as his awkward grip would allow, being careful not to cut himself.

                            After what seemed like hours, his left hand was free. He rolled the heavy iron pan so that he was on his back, then proceeded to cut away the rest of the rope.

                            He stood up and massaged his wrists, thankful to be free. He saw Negaduck pull out the poker and gulped. His temper flared up seeing his new ally at the mercy of Negaduck.

                            His face grew red and it vibrated with his anger. Not anymore, you doggone maniac!

                            Thinking fast, he activated the acetylene torch and slid it to Negaduck's foot. A taste of his own medicine.

                            Anticipating a high-flying supervillain, he lugged the pan on top of the oven and climbed up upon it. He threw the grappling hook at the ceiling and watched it latch onto sturdy metal piping with a clank.

                            Determination across his beak, Duck Avenger gripped the pan and leaped off. His grip tightened on the rope as he zoomed toward the burned up Negaduck. "Maybe not, but I am!" he quipped in reply to Negaduck's threat. Crying out with effort, he swung the heavy pan at his foe, bracing for the impact.

                            • Quiverwing Duck
                              Quiverwing Duck

                              Quiverwing had gotten into enough fights with Negaduck to know one should never underestimate the nefarious Negaversian ne'er-do-well. The malodorous mallard malcontent had a markedly murderous mindset when mad. Although it could be said that Negaduck always had a murderous mindset, with degrees of 'more' or 'less' murder, depending on his mood.

                              The downside to not defending oneself at the start of a fight was that a few solid blows could quickly set one on a losing path. By the time Quiverwing had refocused on Negaduck, it was too late to have a brawl on equal footing. When Negaduck was introducing him to his knee, the best Quiverwing could do was avoid having his beak broken, although it wouldn't be long before he was sporting a black eye.

                              On the floor, the anatine archer was contemplating the unpleasant task of having to grab or block the business end of a hot poker--a prospect that did not please--when he saw the pizza. Not the pizza, the other duck hero. Quiverwing was a little fuzzy headed, and although he had no idea how to make cooking go, he was fairly certain you didn't use a pan that way. But he wasn't going to argue.

                              • Negaduck
                                Negaduck

                                Ah, the delicious smell of roast duck. Clearly the pizza process had commenced.

                                No, wait a moment, that was his own foot.

                                "YELP!"

                                As predicted, the villain was sent zooming heavenward - only context ever that would happen - clutching a slightly on fire foot, only to collide into a well placed pan with a massive DONG.

                                The pain. Why.

                                Sprawled on his back, Negaduck had a moment to consider this before he made out something falling towards him. Something that had also been flung into the air during his jump.

                                The poker. Spinning, spinning, until it fell point down in the very place no drake would ever want to get poked.

                                "YEEARRRRRRGHHH."

                                You know what they say about karma.

                                • Duck Avenger
                                  Duck Avenger

                                  Duck Avenger touched back down after obliterating Negaduck with the heavy pizza pan, a vindictive smirk across his beak. "And for the record, they do breed 'em brave in Duckburg," he said, cracking his knuckles.

                                  I'm gonna feel that in my shoulder tomorrow, he thought.

                                  He crossed his arms seeing Negaduck slam on his back with a thud, then looked up to see the hot poker spinning. No way that would be branding Quiverwing tonight. However, his eyes went wide and he gasped upon realizing where exactly the poker would land.

                                  Duck Avenger turned away at cringed at the sizzle of the hot poker in the worst place imaginable. Negaduck's pained howl echoed throughout the warehouse, coalescing into one loud, ugly shriek.

                                  Duck Avenger gulped. "Uhhhh, speaking of breeding..." He rubbed the back of his neck, chuckling nervously.

                                  He almost felt sorry for the villain. But not entirely. No man would want something like that to happen to any other man. But considering he was almost a pizza, Duck Avenger didn't feel too much sympathy.

                                  He turned to Quiverwing. "How's about we beat it before he comes to his senses?" Not waiting for a reply, Duck Avenger zipped toward the exit, ready to be altogether done with his first patrol in St. Canard. 

                                  • Quiverwing Duck
                                    Quiverwing Duck

                                    Quiverwing was just pushing himself to his feet when he saw the poker make its landing. He didn't look away, but he did wince. "Ooh, I bet that smarts." He considered that, then added, "It shoulda hit him in the head, in that case."

                                    When the Duck Avenger suggested they run, Quiverwing was not ready to leave just yet. "I feel like I oughta do something for the poor sap," he explained to the Avenger's retreating back. Dusting himself off, Quiverwing took his phone from his utility belt and held it up. He took a selfie with Negaduck in the background, smirking and pointing to the grievously injured villain with his thumb.

                                    Once that was done, he felt he ought to provide some medical assistance. Going to his utility belt again, he opened the small first aid kit he kept on it and extracted a couple of items, tossing them onto Negaduck's belly. It was a single-use packet of burn ointment, and a tiny bandaid. "Here you go, buddy." Then he sauntered out of the exit.

                                    • Duck Avenger
                                      Duck Avenger

                                      Duck Avenger once again found himself wandering through St. Canard. He was still on edge from the whole pizza ordeal and just wanted to get back to Duckburg. However, he was having a hard time remembering where the bridge was. Darn city was like a maze. It didn't help that there were barely any streetlamps in this section, leaving barely any light for Duck Avenger to see any landmarks he did recall.

                                      The city sure felt empty at night. He shuddered, longing for the hustle and bustle of his home city's downtown district.

                                      He felt a presence nearby and immediately broke out in a cold sweat. He turned around, fists outstretched, but sighed in relief at the sight of Quiverwing Duck approaching.

                                      "How do you even get around this place?" he asked. "This is worse than a hedge maze at the county fair!"

                                      • Quiverwing Duck
                                        Quiverwing Duck

                                        "I was born in St. Canard, I know where everything is. I either drive the streets in my car, or I run around on rooftops." Quiverwing had an affable demeanor as he gestured at the nearby buildings. The lack of light helped conceal the grime and graffiti, at least. While he had no experience with a 'county fair', he at least understood what the Duck Avenger meant from context.

                                        Despite the beating he'd taken from Negaduck, Quiverwing didn't seem as if he were badly hurt. He looked a little ruffled, and he was definitely getting a black eye, but it only made him look more raffish. "Where are you trying to go, Duckburg? If so, you're headed the wrong way."

                                        • Duck Avenger
                                          Duck Avenger

                                          "Yeah, the roofs of Duckburg are amazing. It's nice to get away from the herd for a little while." He lightened at Quiverwing's jovial mood.

                                          But boy, that black eye was gonna be nasty in the morning.

                                          Duck Avenger blinked, hoping he wasn't staring. He cleared his throat. "Quick question, Quivy. Darkwing's never spoken much about his family to me. Are you two twins?"

                                          • Quiverwing Duck
                                            Quiverwing Duck

                                            "I've been to Duckburg a few times. It's nice and peaceful there," Quiverwing remarked, musing over his past visits. It was an interesting point of view, certainly, considering life in Duckburg was well known for being like a hurricane. Then again, Quiverwing was born and raised in St. Canard, and willingly engaged with the criminal element. 'Peaceful' was therefore a relative observation.

                                            Speaking of relatives, he gave Duck Avenger a slight, lopsided grin when he asked that question. "He's several years older than I am." That wasn't exactly a 'no', but neither was it a 'yes'. "If you're wondering if he and I share family members in common and have a similar genetic profile, yes. That's probably as much as I can say about it, he's extremely protective of his identity."

                                            • Duck Avenger
                                              Duck Avenger

                                              "Boy, you're tellin' me. I bet if that mask slipped off, he'd squeal like a girl!" Duck Avenger laughed.

                                              Boy, these Darkwings were weird, but it was just as weird as alien invasions, so Duck Avenger would roll with the punches. It was always good to have friends.

                                              He stuck out his hand. "Thanks for saving my tail, Quivy. I owe ya."

                                              • Quiverwing Duck
                                                Quiverwing Duck

                                                "Nah, you don't owe me a thing. But, you're welcome." Quiverwing shook the Duck Avenger's hand. "It's my job, after all. Well..." his eyes rolled. "I don't get paid for it, so maybe it's more of a hobby, or volunteer work... but it's still my thing."

                                                He gestured back the way they had come, saying, "I'm not going to let someone get clobbered by Negaduck. He's not someone you want to underestimate... I've had a lot of fights with that guy. He's almost impossible to kill, and he is ruthless. Check this out..."

                                                Quiverwing pulled up one of the short sleeves of his blue tunic, and at first it seemed as if he was doing that to better show off his arm muscles. He wasn't doing that on purpose, of course; by this point he was so used to showing off, it just happened naturally. He pointed out a thin scar low on his deltoids, one that seemed to go all the way around. "He cut both my arms off with a chainsaw, once. What a jerk." Although, clearly, he had recovered from that ordeal.

                                                • Duck Avenger
                                                  Duck Avenger

                                                  Duck Avenger saw Quiverwing roll up his sleeve and was surprised at the stacked muscle. He certainly kept up his health, that was plain to see.

                                                  So was the scar.

                                                  Duck Avenger's beak dropped open when he heard how it was received. How could one duck be so malicious? "My stars and little comets..." he breathed.

                                                  There he went, right back to paralyzing fear because the stories about Negaduck were true. He experienced them first-hand even.

                                                  But he had come out on top. With some help from Quivy, of course. But he had beaten Negaduck. He would be wary, make no mistake. But scared? He didn't need to be anymore.

                                                  "I'll keep that in mind. The next time I see that gore-happy goon, it'll be too soon! I guess I had better get back to Duckburg. I'm pretty sure my partner's worried sick. Hope we can work again sometime!"

                                                  He looked around awkwardly, still unsure of the way home. "So, uhhhh...which way's the Audubon Bay Bridge?"

                                                  • Quiverwing Duck
                                                    Quiverwing Duck

                                                    "If you visit St. Canard again, let me know. The streets aren't laid out as neatly as they are in Duckburg. And there are a few areas of the city that... you might not appreciate very much due to how rough things can get. Although..." Quiverwing spread his hands in a shrug. "Maybe you would. I spend a lot of time in areas like that, to keep crime down."

                                                    He pointed down a street that curved out of sight , saying, "That way... although, you know... this will be easier." Quiverwing beckoned to the Duck Avenger, then took a few running steps and jumped at the closest building. When he hit the wall he scrambled up the side of it like a spider monkey until he was on the roof. The view was better there, because the Audubon Bay Bridge was easily visible in all its glory. It was much easier to navigate when one could see the landmark they were traveling to.

                                                    • Duck Avenger
                                                      Duck Avenger

                                                      Duck Avenger watched Quiverwing scramble up with wonder. Now, this was a duck who had been around. Why was this, of all days, the day he forgot the X-Transformer?

                                                      Luckily, there was a fire escape opposite the wall that Quiverwing shimmied up. Duck Avenger scaled it with ease, climbed onto the railing, and vaulted across the gap to the roof where Quiverwing stood.

                                                      Straight ahead was the Audubon Bay Bridge, the grand suspension bridge that joined St. Canard with Duckburg. The bridge that Duck Avenger felt he would be traveling across much more often.

                                                      "If nothing else," he mused, "this is a heckuva view. Well, thanks again, Quivy. Arrivederci!"

                                                      Duck Avenger waved at the drake, then took off in the direction of the bridge. He sure had a story to tell to One. And to Darkwing next time they met up.

                                                      The End...for now...

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