Full-Mal-tel Alchemy

This RP is rated PG-13.

Reserved for: Malicia and Duck Avenger

It was just a regular Friday evening in the city of St. Canard. “Regular” in this context being “the empty husks of once living beings found littered throughout the city.”

This was the case for the Saint Canard Police Department, who had cordoned off the alleyway behind Pin Feathers, a local nightclub, to prevent any further rubbernecking. The air hung heavy with the collective displeasure of every officer on duty, grumbling to themselves about yet another freak occurrence keeping them from dinner with the family.

Two officers stood over the body in question, one jotting down details in his notepad. “I am telling you Bob, if I wasn’t supporting the wife and kids with this salary, I would've ditched this gig years ago.”

“I hear you, Bud. You know I ran into old Malone last week at the grocery store? Said transferring to Duckburg brought his blood pressure down to normal. All he’s gotta worry about are Beagle Boys and bank robberies.”

“Lucky bastard. The second there’s an opening in Spoonerville, I’m outta here.” Bud the police officer glanced at his watch. “Ah crap, tonight’s the big kickboxing match too! I ain’t missing that because one of these supervillain psychos is kicking up dirt again.” He flipped the notepad shut and frowned at the body sprawled on the ground in front of them. “This is the fifth one this month. It’s getting more frequent, and we don’t have a single lead." He sniffed at his sleeve and crinkled his nose in disgust. "And this bloody smell is getting in all my uniforms. Mary tried every damn detergent on the market and it still smells like ass.”

“Heh, you sure that’s not your odeur naturelle?

“Ah, screw you. That skunk spray incident was years ago, let it go already!”

“Hey, check it out. Maybe you’ll get to see that match after all.” Hal gave a nod to the caped crusader who’d just arrived on the scene.  “Leave the freak crimes to the freak crimefighters, I always say.”

“Christ, don’t let the boss hear you say that! You know how much he hates these meddling vigilante types.” A pause. “But yeah seriously, this is their brand of weird. He can have at it.”  

    • Duck Avenger
      Duck Avenger

      It was another slow night for Duckburgian superhero Duck Avenger. He was sitting on the roof of Ducklair Tower, staring lazily down into the city and letting the evening pass by. Things were painfully slow lately, with nary a Beagle Boy nor any other big crimes to bust. Heck, he would even take an Evronian invasion if it meant some needed action.

      Which is why he did something he would usually never do. He told One that he would be patrolling that night in St. Canard.

      Usually, Duck Avenger was perfectly content to remain in Duckburg and out of the way of the crazy dealings that happened in the city across the bay. Tonight, however, he was simply too bored and actually was in the mood for something abnormal, which is why he took the Revenger and jetted off along the Audubon Bay Bridge toward St. Canard. He waved to Darkwing Tower as he passed it, wondering if his friend was gearing up for patrol as well.

      He touched down upon reaching the city limits and drove around the downtown core looking for something to do. It was not long before he spotted a police blockade up ahead. Smirking, he pulled to the side of the road and hopped out. Looking around, he saw a couple patrol cars parked by a place called Pin Feathers. He assumed it was some kind of club from the gaudy pink neon sign.

      "Evening, fellas," he greeted, stepping around the police tape toward the group of officers. "Duck Avenger's the name and I was just passing through looking for some fun. If you need a hand, I'd be happy as a clam to-"

      And that's when the smell hit him. Foul and noxious, he found himself covering his beak, barely holding back a gag. "P.U.! What poor soul laid down and died over here?!" Looking up and down, he soon laid eyes on a body on the ground. Or rather, what looked like a body. It was unnatural, the state it was in currently, as if it was merely a shell of what it had once been.

      Duck Avenger's beak scrunched as nausea began to bubble in his stomach. "Holy honk...I wish I didn't ask..."

      • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
        Queen Malicia of St. Canard

        It was not the usual smell one might expect from a decaying body... perhaps because it wasn't decayed whatsoever. But the scent of rotten eggs permeated the area and it was clear the body was the source. That, or someone seriously needed to reconsider their dietary choices. 

        The Chief Officer tilted his hat "Duck Avenger, huh? Yeah whatever, knock yourself out. Bud over there has been the lead on this case, he'll give you the low-down, or what little low-down there is." 

        With a begrudging sigh, the police officer named Bud stepped forward and flipped open his notepad.

        "I'll give you the cliffnotes version." He started. "Since last month, several bodies have been turning up in various spots throughout the St. Canard, though we noted they're mostly the seedier areas." A quick gesture to the club behind them to prove his point.

        "But what makes this a real freak show is the fact the bodies just kinda stay the way they are. No decay. No rigor mortus. Just this rotten smell not unlike the time Officer Peeps went on a Keto kick."

        "Hey, I resent that!" A nearby voice grunted.

        "The bodies themselves show no real hint of murder. No signs of strangulation, stabbing, shooting,... you get the jist. Our coroners cannot find any cause of death. It's like these poor sods just vacated their bodies. But we've ruled out medical illness due to one crucial detail..."

        He crouched low to the ground and with medical gloves on, overturned the left hand of the body to expose the wrist.

        A red symbol was carved into flesh and feather:

        "From what we can gather it's some sort of occult symbol and we've found it on every single body. In other words, we've got a real whackadoo on our hands." 

        "Yo, I just spoke to the manager of Pin Feathers." Said another cop approaching the group. "We've got a solid ID on our victim. Name is Victor Horace, age 42, a white domestic duck. He's a regular patron of the club, known for his boundary issues and shoddy tipping."

        "A great loss for the city of St. Canard, no doubt." Grunted the Chief Officer sarcastically. "Any link to the other victims?"

        "Not that we can tell. No real pattern to the type of victim either. Young, old, male, female, dog, duck... the bodies turning up seem to be just about anyone."

        "Oh boy an equal opportunity serial killer." The Chief said snidely. Then turned to Avenger.

        "Well this one's all yours, pal. After the Cola Cult fiasco of '98 I've had enough of these types to last a lifetime." 

        • Duck Avenger
          Duck Avenger

          Duck Avenger crossed his arms and absorbed everything the officers had to say. He knew he was signing up for a wacko evening by stopping by St. Canard, but this was freaky right off the bat. No obvious signs of murder, no foul play, nothing! Just that strange symbol, triangle on the top, cross on the bottom. If only there was a way he could ring Death...maybe he could call cousin Gladstone...?

          No. Heck no.

          Duck Avenger stepped carefully to the body and knelt down to inspect it closer. He held his breath to counteract the awful smell as he put on a mask. Breathing in once it was on assured him it was daisies all the way down.

          "Don't worry, officers, you can rest easy knowing Duck Avenger will get to the bottom of this!" He saluted them, then turned back to the body.

          • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
            Queen Malicia of St. Canard

            "Uh yeah, sure. Good luck with that." Not terribly convinced by a dude in mask and cape, but who were they to question having a weekend off from this nuttery.

            "Yo Bud, you gotta come with me." One of the officers jerked a thumb toward his car. "Just got a call about a break in at the St. Canard salt factory, we need to get over there."

            "Fer chrissakes." Bud rumbled and glanced at his watch. "I am not missing that match!" He tapped Avenger on the shoulder.

            "Hey buddy, do me a favor and maybe check on that salt factory for me, wouldya? I'll vouch for you when the reporters come sniffin' around, give you some good publicity. How's that sound?" 

            • Duck Avenger
              Duck Avenger

              Duck Avenger turned around again, eyebrow raised as the officer inquired about the salt factory. It felt wrong to just leave a body here when whoever did this could be on the loose anywhere.

              ...probably said something about the outfit they had here, to be honest.

              "Uh, sure. I guess I can peep out the place real quick," he told Bud, standing up. He used his X-Transformer's camera function to snap a picture of the body, making sure to get that weird symbol in the shot, then he rocketed up to the roof and took off running.

              "One, I'm sending you a picture of our stiff. Find out everything you can about this Victor Horace, and also see if you can sniff out what the heck that symbol on him is."

              "Copy, D.A.," said One over the radio, "but I can't help feeling you've made a mistake just leaving that poor soul behind like that."

              "Come on, One, it's not like he's gonna up and vanish on me."

              The silence on the other end made Duck Avenger realize what he just said. "...alright, that was a bad joke."

              "I didn't say a word."

              "And besides, maybe this serial soul snatcher's down there at the salt factory...er, robbing salt! That's definitely much more my speed! Now where the heck is it?"

              "If you say so, old bean...I'll relay information as I find it. In the meantime, keep going straight, then make a right on Silvani, then a left on 53rd..."

              +++

              Soon Duck Avenger was strolling up to the doors of the St. Canard salt factory...which were unlocked and ajar. Fishy.

              He snuck inside, being careful with the creaking door, and turned on the flashlight. "Hello?" he called out. "I know you're in here, so just come quietly and don't be coarse about it."

              Get it? Coarse? As in salt?

              • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                The factory was blanketed by darkness. It was after-hours and everyone had gone home by this time. But the tiny scratches on the outer windows indicated something odd was happening.

                Avenger's call was met with immediate silence. Followed by the sound of small legs scurrying somewhere directly above.

                This was quickly confirmed when a large wrench was hurled at Avenger, aiming for his head. Someone was up in the rafters and clearly unhappy about the hero's disruption. 

                • Duck Avenger
                  Duck Avenger

                  The caped hero jumped at the shuffling along the metal rafters coming directly above him. He whipped around and pointed the flashlight in the direction of the sound.

                  Nothing.

                  Cold sweat began to bead on his brow. "Uhh...c-come out, come out, wherever you are..." he said, a shake in his voice.

                  Suddenly, he heard a whizzing sound coming from his right. He raised his shield in the nick of time, feeling a heavy piece of metal bounce off the X-Transformer and onto the linoleum. He shook his shielded arm as an ache settled in, and shone light on the object. It was a rather large wrench, industrial strength.

                  It was officially on now.

                  "Alright, show yourself, you malevolant mechanic!" he shouted, ready to strike and waving the light around to find out who would be meeting the end of his fist.

                  • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                    Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                    This was met with even more objects hurled in Avenger's direction: A hammer, a bucket full of nails, a kazoo (?), and a bag of mercury thermometers. At the last toss, there was a displeased squeak. "Ohnoes! I shouldn't have thrown that!" 

                    The small creature scurried down the steel supports like a squirrel and settled a few feet from Duck Avenger. It was some manner of monster clearly not of this world, judging by his smooth green feathers, fanged bill, and forked tongue and tail. He was barely the size of a raccoon, but just as mean.

                    "You need to go!" He growled, moving to collect the thermometers that had spilled out across the concrete floor, smashing a few in the process. "I'm doing important business stuffs!

                    • Duck Avenger
                      Duck Avenger

                      He dodged each item left and right as it came down. He eyed the kazoo with confusion, distracting him enough to only barely avoid the giant burlap sack as it thumped on the ground.

                      Duck Avenger was expecting a supervillain or otherworldly beast to come out of the darkness, not a...monster from a children's book. But those fangs looked mean. He would have to be careful.

                      "I'm not moving an inch, buckaroo. Now I don't know where you come from...be it here or 'elsewhere', but you're not supposed to be here." He crept up slowly and snatched the creature by its scruff and held it up at a distance. "I'm doing the SCPD a favor and since you can talk and all, how about you give me the lowdown on who you work for, and why all the thermometers?"

                      • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                        Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                        "Oooooh let me go! Why are all you masked mallards so awful!" He punched and swatted at Duck Avenger, except being held at arm's length resulted in more of a shadow boxing match.

                        "I won't tell you anything, I won't I won't!" His tail lashed about furious. "Mistress would not like that, and nobody doesn't want to upset Mistress." 

                        • Duck Avenger
                          Duck Avenger

                          Feller was kinda cute, swatting at the air in vain hope of socking Duck Avenger across the bill. If only he wasn't so ugly.

                          "Mistress, eh?" That was a pretty nice lead. Duck Avenger smirked at the ratty duck-thing. "Well, you little imp, maybe we'll take you back to the boys in blue and see what they think of your little 'Mistress'." Duck Avenger snatched up the sack of thermometers and turned to walk out of the salt factory, looking back briefly to make sure there were no other surprises to be found.

                          • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                            Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                            Whether Avenger was bluffing or not, it worked on the creature who shook his head so fervently he nearly twisted himself in a knot.

                            "Oooh! Nononono! Not the policemen no! I will take you to Mistress okay? You can talk to her yourself. Maybe... work out a deal?" Eager nodding. 

                            "Bring the salt and thermometers with you so you can see what they're for!" 

                            • Duck Avenger
                              Duck Avenger

                              Not a bad idea, actually. He had no idea who this 'Mistress' was or what kind of reputation she had in this burg, but his gut told him that she was somehow connected to the dead body at Pin Feathers. There weren't any other leads to this case. And the night was still young. Why not visit a new locale? What could go wrong?

                              "D.A.? Come in, D.A.!" said One over the X-Transformer's radio. "I have a profile on poor Mr. Horace!"

                              "Not necessary, One, ol' pal," said Duck Avenger, heaving the thermometer sacks and salt sacks over his shoulder. "I think I've got our culprit." He looked at the creature. "Show me the way, Rocket." He'd follow wherever the creature told until he found this Mistress and set her up with a penthouse view in the St. Canard pen!

                              • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                                Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                                "The warehouse district!" He quipped. "You know where that is, yesyes?" 

                                And indeed when they reached the docks by the Audobon Bay, where the maze of abandoned and dilapidated buildings sat near the waterfront, there was an air of danger. It was as if everyone in the immediate area was avoiding something that set their fight-or-flight instincts on fire. A proverbial ghost town. 

                                "It's not far from here. But... are you flammable? Cause that could be a problem."

                                • Duck Avenger
                                  Duck Avenger

                                  "I've been to this burg a few times, so I've got an inkling," Duck Avenger responded.

                                  And sure enough, his inkling was right, reinforcing his mind's map of the city. The warehouse district was right by the bay if the salty smell was any indication. It was a ghost town of decaying steel buildings used for who knows what. There was no indication that people were even around here during the day. It was quiet, the only sound coming from the waves lapping upon the land nearby.

                                  Duck Avenger raised his eyebrow at the creature's question. "Flammable? What kinda wack query is that? Is everyone where you come from non-combustible or something?"

                                  He scanned the labyrinth ahead. Each warehouse was in equal states of unkemptness, with no obvious "secret lair" markings or anything. "Which warehouse is it, Sly? There's more of 'em here than Scrooge McDuck has Money Bins."

                                  • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                                    Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                                    "It's further inside, very much a maze..." The imp nodded. "Mistress planned it that way, keeps out the other masked ducks. Except for that horrifying growly one." He shuddered. "He always finds a way in to Mistress..."

                                    As the imp talked they weaved in and out past storage containers and junk heaps. It was very much a maze of metal and decay, with the occasional rat scurrying across their path. 

                                    "You are not the usual duck." The imp remarked curiously. "More beanlike, yes."

                                    • Duck Avenger
                                      Duck Avenger

                                      That last remark had a story behind it. But Duck Avenger shuddered and put the thought out of his mind. "I don't even wanna know," he mumbled.

                                      Wait. Masked ducks...that horrifyingly growly one...?

                                      No way.

                                      "Wait, your Mistress knows Negaduck?"

                                      Good grief, he hoped it was kept to only that. The thought of a violent, murderous duck having a love life gurgled the bile in his stomach. Plus, anyone connected to that maniac was bound to be a handful for him.

                                      And so were these burlap sacks, which seemed to get heavier by the minute.

                                      "Are we there yet?" Duck Avenger whined. "You didn't pick the lightest materials for me to lug halfway across town. And why are you so interested in my bodily composition? It's weird!"

                                      • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                                        Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                                        "Isn't that how you Normals makes conversation? You talk about weather and width of your bodies and stuff." The imp paused. They had reached an opening between four warehouses, which created three new paths. 

                                        "It's the one to the left I'm pretty sures." He remarked. "C'mon!" And off they went down the narrow alleyway lodged between two buildings.

                                        "There is something important I'm forgetting." The imp tapped his pointy-eared head. "About the maze..."

                                        A hot sticky breeze wafted through the narrow part, and the imp let out a screech of realization.

                                        "Oh thaaaat's what I forgot. Stella." 

                                         

                                        • Duck Avenger
                                          Duck Avenger

                                          "Well, yeah, sometimes. But you said it like I'm walking into being experimented on, and that's not okay with me," said Duck Avenger. Something was very off about this creature and he couldn't wait to be rid of him soon.

                                          He continued meandering through the warehouse wharf, following the creature's instructions. He went to the left, like he said, and walked through the alley. Duck Avenger was caught off-guard by the sudden hot breeze coursing through. Plus it reeked something fierce.

                                          And it was right behind him.

                                          Duck Avenger froze in place when the creature gave it a name. He instantly regretted coming down here. Tense and scared, Duck Avenger turned around slowly. Lit by a nearby lamppost, he saw something that made him screech in horror.

                                          • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                                            Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                                            Avenger and the imp were eclipsed by a bizarre and terrifying sight: A massive two headed beast, one head being a lion's the other a goat. The creatures long tail lashed back and forth like a furious snake... because it was one, which bobbed and weaved hypnotically, assessing the trespassers. The lion's head opened its massive maw and let out a roar that shook the buildings around them. Flame spewed from both heads as it attempted to squeeze through the narrow space between the buildings. Fortunately the creature was too large, but it took another deep breath, preparing to fill the alleyway with a wall of flame. 

                                            "Oh, hi Stella." The imp waved nervously. Then he turned to Avenger. "Mistress says Stella keeps out the nosy rats. We might... want to runs." 

                                            • Duck Avenger
                                              Duck Avenger

                                              "HAAAAAALP!" Duck Avenger howled, running as fast as he could away from whatever this monster was. He felt the heat on his back and saw the alley light up orange as he reached safety. He panted and wiped sweat from his brow. "What the hexin' heck kind of wacko nutjob lady keeps a whatever-that-is as a guard dog?!"

                                              This was going to be a long night.

                                              Thinking quickly, he ran again toward the warehouse in question. "Strap in, R.J., I'm takin' a detour!" He activated the boosters on his X-Transformer and leapt into the air, clearing the height of the steel facade in a single bound. He touched down, his boots slamming into the roof very audibly. He had better find a vent or a skylight or something before Stella decided she heard that.

                                              • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                                                Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                                                Stella's shrieks of fury could be heard in the distance as the beast circled and tried to sniff out the direction Duck Avenger headed in. But the beast's cries of frustration were drowned out by a far more horrendous noise. 

                                                "OH HO HO HO HO~"

                                                Standing on the roof adjacent, a shapely silhouette stepped forward into the moonlight with all of the dramatic flair totally not required for such an entrance, but that never stopped her before.

                                                "Well, well, well!" One hand still curled beneath her chin post-ojou laughter, the she-demon tossed a strand of her fiery locks over her shoulder. "It seems there is no shortage of masked mallards in this city, is there?" 

                                                Her golden eyes were alight with curiosity as she looked him up and down. "It seems you upset my poor Stella." She feigned a pout. "She's such an awfully sensitive girl, doesn't take well to strangers." 

                                                Her forked tail swished back and forth. "So tell me 'stranger', what fool dares step into the domain of Malicia Macawber?" 

                                                • Duck Avenger
                                                  Duck Avenger

                                                  The laughter made Duck Avenger's head whip around in its direction. "Are you kiddin' me? My tail was nearly roasted by that freaky amalgam offfafafa-hubba hubba!"

                                                  It was then that the silhouette stepped clearly into moonlight like a star singer stepping under her spotlight, and what a thing she was. Blazing orange hair, a beautiful face, despite the fangs, and a dress black as death that sensually left one leg unwrapped.

                                                  She obviously knew how to exploit her assets. ...grow up.

                                                  Duck Avenger shook himself out of his transfixed gaze to address his new foe properly. "Ahem. I'm the Duck Avenger, ma'am, and I have reason to believe that not only have you been pinching salt from nearby, but you've been leaving stiffs in alleyways around this burg too! You can try and sick your weirdo pet on me, but I'm gonna get this case to your bottom! Er, I mean you're going down! Whoa- uh,  well, I-"

                                                  Smooth, Don. Smooth as sandpaper wheels over a gravel road.

                                                  • Queen Malicia of St. Canard
                                                    Queen Malicia of St. Canard

                                                    During his floundering, the villainness raised one brow and placed a hand on her hip, waiting for his standard superhero spiel to be over with. 

                                                    "My aren't we the smooth operator." Her voice carried a lilt of amusement. "Duck Avenger, huh? You heroes, honestly."

                                                    She twirled a strand of that fiery hair around one claw thoughtfully and let out an exaggerated gasp. "Salt stealing and corpse creating? You think moi is behind such a ghastly crime?" 

                                                    Raising one hand in full view so he could watch the small flame in her palm erupt into an inferno. "Well, you'd be right. How observant of you. But I'm afraid this is where your little case gets closed shut. Permanently." 

                                                    She placed two claws between her bill to produce an ear-shattering whistle. Stella's screech echoed back in response and the beast clawed up the side of the roof to settle next to her mistress. 

                                                    Malicia gave the lion's head an affectionate scratch beneath the chin and it cooed in response. 

                                                    "My little chimera here is just the beginning of what I have in store for this city. Once I've gathered all the materials required, I will be absolutely unstoppable. In fact..." The chimera lowered its two heads, allowing Malicia to climb atop its back. "I think you'll be the next ingredient!"

                                                    "Erm." The imp, still seated next to Duck Avenger tugged at the hero's cape to grab his attention. "Maybe you shoulds just go now and not return, yes? No meddlings means no maimings!"