RP: Straight Shooting

Down by the dock of the bay. Reserved initially for Quiverwing Duck and Negaduck.

The epitome of intelligence. That's the exact opposite of what that chortle was. 

"I can't believes they left this shipment of golden shower heads unguarded." The mountain of a masked thug marvelled at their luck only long enough for his wry companion to bust through the chained net securing the haul, before hefting one of the crates onto his shoulder. 

"Easy pickin's," sneered the other, twirling the lock on a finger. 

You know crime was bad when even the unnamed goons had to have puns. 

 

    • Quiverwing Duck
      Quiverwing Duck

      The twirling lock was suddenly snatched away, plucked from the thief's finger by an arrow that seemed to zip out of nowhere. There was a plucked wooden ruler 'boi-oi-oing' sound as the shaft vibrated to a stop, embedded in one of the crates and pinning the lock there like a collected butterfly.


      "You have one opportunity to set that down and back away." A calm voice spoke from above the pair, emanating from a figure perched on the lower platform of the nearby shipping crane. Staying in as much shadow as possible, his most visible aspect was his green cape which flapped to one side in the breeze, and of course,  the longbow he had drawn, two arrows nocked and aimed at the thugs. 

      • Negaduck
        Negaduck

        The two hoodlums exchanged a look of mutual astonishment. 

        And burst into laughter. 

        In between the hoots and hollars, they managed a few quips. Not that they could see their assailant all that well in the poor light, but the arrow had said enough. 

        "Oooo, we're really quivering!"

        "Har har yeah, the 16th century called, it wants its schtick back!"

        "That's a bow, not a stick, knucklehead..."

        Cream of the criminal crop, these two. 

        • Quiverwing Duck
          Quiverwing Duck

          There was the twang of a released bow string and the two arrows sailed for their targets; in this instance, the sweet spot right between the eyes of both thugs, respectively. They would be kill-shots if the shafts had sharp arrowheads, but these were topped with something akin to a small lacrosse ball: Dense solid rubber, merely excruciating rather than lethal when striking at high speed.


          The moment those projectiles were launched, another was quickly drawn and Quiverwing Duck leaped out from his shadowy perch, his cape and hat plume streaming behind him. A downward angle was better suited for the next arrow he nocked, and when he was sailing almost directly over the heads of the bantering thieves, he fired.


          When the canister-like head of that arrow hit the ground by the duo's feet, it exploded in an expanding tangle of wiry rope. Quiverwing tucked into a flip and half-twist, landing lightly on his feet to face his felonious foes.

          • Negaduck
            Negaduck

            KONK. The successful boof to both their heads stunned them enough to send the crooks crashing into each other in a daze, and down they went.

            Which was lucky, because it allowed the focus to shift to the much more sinister figure stepping out of the shadows.

            "You like to get to the point, don't you?"

            More archery puns. Fantastic.

            Tilting his head, Negaduck inspected his doppelganger with a decidedly different level of calm than the first time. The absence of a blade, a visible one at least, was also a bonus. 

            No defacing incoming. Not yet.

            • Quiverwing Duck
              Quiverwing Duck

              Someone had to make those puns, because Quiverwing Duck clearly was not going to do them for himself.

              He straightened up from his landing crouch as he looked over at Negaduck, eyes narrowing slightly, his expression otherwise stoic. "You." The word served as a grudging acknowledgement of the other drake's presence, with a soupcon of weary accusation.

              Quiverwing reached back to draw an arrow and nock it, although it was an unhurried gesture. He did not draw back the bowstring, however, and his weapon remained pointed at the ground.

              If Negaduck was expecting some lively conversation, he would be disappointed. The green-masked drake just gazed at him flatly.

              • Negaduck
                Negaduck

                Please, he received so many 'you's it was a surprise nobody suspected he was a sheep. 

                Images of shorn Negaducks aside, it was indeed time to get to the point. 

                "I believe we got off to a bad start."

                Bad start? Planetary cores had collapsed with less fuss. 

                "That doesn't mean we can't reach a.. mutually acceptable agreement."

                Not apologising or pretending the whole squash-you-with-a-pillar attempt didn't happen. Just a statement of fact. 

                • Quiverwing Duck
                  Quiverwing Duck

                  Quiverwing Duck just stared at Negaduck in silence for another drawn-out moment, and then his eyes rolled upwards as he exhaled a long, slow sigh. The drake did not seem to hold a grudge for the prior attack; mostly he just seemed a little tired.


                  Although he did not put away the bow and arrow in his hands, his posture relaxed slightly, losing some of that coiled-spring tension.


                  "I'm listening." Quiverwing inclined his head a little to Negaduck. "But not promising anything."

                  • Negaduck
                    Negaduck

                    "If you are who - or what - I think you are, there's no way you are voluntarily hanging around, mopping up Darkwing's seconds."

                    The seconds in question drooled helpfully, still too out of it to register any insult. Hardly a threat to national security, those two.

                    "You need a different St Canard, your own St Canard. If only you had the technology to get out of here..."

                    Let that fruit dangle, so shiny, so tempting, so not-going-to-bite-you-back at all.

                    • Quiverwing Duck
                      Quiverwing Duck

                      Quiverwing Duck tilted his head to one side and quietly asked, "Who or what do you think I am?" Not that his tone or expression displays anything remotely like curiosity, but the question gets asked anyway.


                      He glanced aside at the thugs, and his shoulders lifted in a subtle shrug. He seemed aware that they were easy targets for him, but crime was crime. The arrow he had drawn gets replaced into the quiver on his back.


                      "I had a St. Canard. You're wondering if I'm stuck here? I am." Quiverwing kept his longbow in his hand, even if it was currently 'disarmed'. "If you're offering to help me... why?" Now he did seem at least slightly curious. After his prior encounter with Negaduck, Quiverwing seemed more interested in figuring out his motives, much in the same way one might want to learn to identify the markings of venomous snakes before sticking one's hand into a snakepit.

                      • Negaduck
                        Negaduck

                        Laughter. Like, you idiot. Can't you piece this one together? 

                        "Are you kidding? Like heck I want another crimefighter type running around the place. Darkwing is enough of a pain in the tail as it is."

                        Reassuring you, hopefully, that he's got it handled.

                        "Getting you to a place you want and getting you out of my headfeathers? Sounds like a win-win to me."

                         Which explained the far more jovial mood the black-masked felon was in, going to lead the other away with an arm draped around his shoulder. Friends now, see? At least in so far as it fitted Negaduck's agenda, because if there was only one reliable thing about him, it was self-interest, and even snakes had that.

                        • Quiverwing Duck
                          Quiverwing Duck

                          "Yeah. I got that. Also pretty sure Darkwing doesn't want me around, for similar reasons." said Quiverwing. He knew from personal experience that Darkwing Duck absolutely hated stolen thunder.


                          Not that he cared about it anymore, of course.


                          Quiverwing Duck made no attempt to flinch away from Negaduck, and while he does not seem to trust him, he also does not seem to feel threatened by him. Either he had retained his streak of over-confidence, or he simply did not care enough about his own fate to be on high alert. Could be a little from Column A, a little from Column B.

                          • Negaduck
                            Negaduck

                            Resignation. It wafted off Quiverwing like a pile of freshly kicked babies. It was too easy. Negaduck almost felt bad for--

                            Ahahaha. HHAHAHA.

                            Nope.

                            Moving on, the caped crook didn't even turn to flick a net-busting knife at the goons - couldn't have him being accused of not helping his criminal brothers out, even if the knife did land impossibly just out of reach, more a taunt than a save - and off they strolled back into town.

                            "I don't know what the eggheads at SHUSH are like in your world, but here, they're starting to get their minds around transdimensional teleportation."

                            Arriving in a nearby industrial zone, into a block of nondescript self-storage units, a roller door was hauled open. Revealing nothing too special; a couple of crates, a ton of blank space, and a few niche magazines. Not his primary hideout location, clearly.

                            Except into one of the crates Negaduck leaned until up he came with a small device that looked like a white handheld barcode scanner which he tossed to his double.

                            A portal gun. As evidenced by the eerily glowing crystal in its centre, and, to a lesser extent, the PORTAL GUN 3000 decal on its side.

                            "At least, they were, until I stole that."

                            Bragging rights. Always first to claim them, regardless of whether they were actually true.

                            • Quiverwing Duck
                              Quiverwing Duck

                              At Negaduck's mention of SHUSH, Quiverwing gave nothing but a noncommittal grunt. Perhaps he was largely indifferent to them or to their work.


                              The archer glanced around the area as they approached the storage unit, automatically seeking out possible danger. Not counting the obvious danger he was walking with, of course. By now he had his bow slung on his back again, leaving him ostensibly unarmed.


                              "Mn." Quiverwing's gloved hand came up to catch the gun with practiced ease, automatically twirling it around his index finger so that the grip slapped neatly into his palm. Then, his eyes rolled a little bit and showed a flash of annoyance, apparently directed at his own motor skills. He gave his head a little shake and studied the device closely, saying, "So. What were you planning to do with it?"

                              • Negaduck
                                Negaduck

                                The instrument was plucked carefully out of Quiverwing's hands.

                                "Hey, if I have a way to guarantee access to my city and they don't, I'm happy." As a figure of speech. "But even if I wanted to, say, methodically travel across the multiverse, kidnap all the Dorkwings and force them to do my bidding-"

                                Oddly specific example there.

                                "The charge is a problem. Crystallised waddledyte is crazy rare. I'm not going to risk blasting myself through the galaxy only to get stuck in some random dimension I want nothing to do with."

                                Flat look at his counterpart.

                                "Because what kind of moron would do that, right?"

                                Kick a mallard when he's down, why not. Sounded like something he'd do.

                                • Quiverwing Duck
                                  Quiverwing Duck

                                  Quiverwing returned the look calmly. Then, head unmoving, his gaze pointedly traveled downwards and upwards one time to take in Negaduck's own appearance, before locking in eye contact again. "Indeed. What kind."


                                  After a silent pause, the green-masked archer quietly said, "I presume you need a supply of that power source." One of his brows arched slightly. "You seem capable of doing whatever you want."

                                  • Negaduck
                                    Negaduck

                                    "I'll handle that. In time. For now, I'm willing to use one of my limited shots to stop you exploding your purple gunk all up in my face."

                                    Super annoying that is, if nobody ever told you.

                                    Directing his attention to a dial that ran around the centre of the crystal, from red on one side, through white, to a glittery shade of pink at the other end.

                                    "Because SHUSH agents are also morons they've colour-coded this based on universal tron concentrations. Negatrons on the left, positrons on the right. We, obviously, are here." 

                                    Indicating a little flashing dot on the dial. The dead centre. Normal town.

                                    "So." A whirl as he powered it to ON. "Do you have a destination in mind, or prefer to spin the Wheel of Misfortune?"

                                    As if Quiverwing hadn't done enough of that already.

                                    • Quiverwing Duck
                                      Quiverwing Duck

                                      "If you hate smoke-bombs that much, I suggest trying the tactic of not attempting to murder me. You might be surprised how civilly I respond to non-murder," Quiverwing replied, completely deadpan in tone and expression.


                                      He frowned slightly as the controls were reviewed. Negatron-heavy worlds? That explains a lot.


                                      "Not a specific destination," Quiverwing admitted. "And I don't know how you'd be able to figure this out with that thing, but..." Somehow, his tone managed to shift into something more cynical.


                                      "I want to go to a world where Darkwing Duck is dead."

                                      • Negaduck
                                        Negaduck

                                        In response to the whole 'civil' suggestion, Negaduck muttered, "I'll keep that in mind."

                                        Luckily the topic of smoke bombs versus stabbing was abandoned for common ground.

                                        "Hah, you and me both, brother! Alas, there's no Darkwing Dunce detection mode on this thing, but if you go to one of the outer fringes, they tend to be on the weirder side. More chance he's a bowling ball or has, I don't know, offed himself in a freak bee smoker accident."

                                        Eenie meenie miny portal!

                                        Dial selected, the felon shot the blaster at one of the blank walls, producing a giant glowing vortex that oozed like lime jelly, or the bottom of a school kid's lunch bag.

                                        "There you go," said Negaduck. "Don't bump your ridiculous hat on the way out."

                                        Fond farewells. Always so difficult, and never fond. 

                                        • Quiverwing Duck
                                          Quiverwing Duck

                                          Quiverwing Duck looked the portal up and down, a hint of skepticism in his eyes. "This looks... different. Might just be the tech, though."


                                          Just because it looked nothing like the trans-dimensional portal he originally used did not mean it was automatically non-functional. Regardless, he reached back to pull an arrow from his quiver, holding it by the point so he could poke the feather-fletched end through the glowing aperture.


                                          With his focus on this impromptu test, Quiverwing mutters, "What setting did you use..."

                                          • Negaduck
                                            Negaduck

                                            "Oh, the same as I always use."

                                            On coming into contact with the portal, the arrow bubbled, gave a hiss, and dissolved instantly.

                                            A living puddle of corrosive acid. 

                                            Quiverwing would barely have a moment to process this treachery before, surprise! More treachery!

                                            The voice from behind concluded,

                                            "Insta-death."

                                            Accurately too, for the voice was also behind a shotgun, cocked and loaded, aimed straight for the hero's back.

                                            BLAM!

                                            • Quiverwing Duck
                                              Quiverwing Duck

                                              There was an impressive mangled mass of a feather cloud bursting outwards from that shot, and nearly all of them belonged to Quiverwing Duck. He was pretty effective as a crimefighting combatant, but even he could not evade a point-blank gunshot. The best he could do was dodge and take a merely excruciatingly painful shot instead of a lethal one.


                                              So much for his quiver. And all those arrows he fletched--with his own feathers, by the way, a perfectly healthy and valid mental choice. And his hat, too; the plume was essentially vaporized. His cape might be salvageable.


                                              Dropped to the ground as he was, Quiverwing actually looked genuinely angry for once instead of just stoic and irritable, clutching tightly at his left upper arm. He wore his feathers longer on the top of his head, and now he was missing some of those, too, the rest flopping down over his right eye.


                                              Something about Negaduck really stirred up Quiverwing's inner Drake Mallard; in costume, he tried to affect a more mannerly attitude because that was just part of the schtick. Now, his eyes were lively and flashing as he barked out, "If you were just gonna croak me, why all this flimflammery first!?"


                                              He suddenly launched himself up from the floor with a growl, good arm swinging to aim an uppercut at Negaduck's beak, because a big target was always good to start with. Anyway, it was not as if he'd lost his hand to hand fighting skills from his Darkwing days.

                                              • Negaduck
                                                Negaduck

                                                That was a different kind of blam. Not the sort Negaduck anticipated - or appreciated, given it knocked him back and the shotgun clattering to the floor.

                                                "Had to see how much of an imbecile you really are, didn't I?" Much easier to take a swing at his target once those stars and those feathers had cleared. "Besides the kind that uses a word like 'flimflammery'!"

                                                Hand to hand was fine by him. As was foot to kidneys. Or wooden chair to skull. He liked to improvise, almost as much as he liked to talk.  

                                                "Do you have any clue how much power it takes to keep a single pathway to another dimension open? The idea that SHUSH could find a way to zap between all worlds with one supercharged marital aid outside of a cartoon show is nothing short of some geek's pseudo-scientific wet dream!"

                                                Didn't stop him stealing their prototype of course, he'd just come way too early. A common problem among thieves.

                                                "Even if it were possible, however-" An atlatl? With a grenade for a tip? What in Hades was that doing lying around his storeroom? Oh, getting launched at Quiverwing's gut, that's what. "Do you actually think I'd share?"

                                                Sure, the poor interloper had only been this St Canard for five minutes, but come on. Negaduck. Helping?

                                                • Quiverwing Duck
                                                  Quiverwing Duck

                                                  From the way Quiverwing kept his left arm tight against his side, that limb was clearly out of the fight. Even if he had some fully intact arrows left, a one-armed archer would naturally be at a disadvantage.


                                                  Well, there was more than one way to press a duck.


                                                  With his firy gaze affixed upon Negaduck, Quiverwing stomped a few steps and kicked the spent shotgun. It flipped up and over, and there was a dull slap as he caught it by the barrel end in his gloved right hand. He used it like a club to swat aside the explosive-tipped spear just as it kissed the front of his tunic, and even as the explosion lit up his staring eyes and sent his tattered cape fluttering to one side, further shredded by stray shrapnel, he continued to advance.


                                                  "You think it's all a game." Quiverwing's voice was calm and very soft when he made that statement. He was not rushing in to attack, however, as if this were a project he was prepared to devote hours to.

                                                  • Negaduck
                                                    Negaduck

                                                    If it were, it was a game he was planning to win.

                                                    Except the whole picking up his prized shotgun bit was taking things way off script.

                                                    "Hey, what're you doing with Bertha?"

                                                    Because a deranged mastermind needs excuses to name their weapons, sure.

                                                    Surprised, and a little weirded out by Quiverwing's composed coldness, Negaduck nonetheless readied himself for.. whatever was coming. Without the usual dramatic alliterations and announcements normally provided by Darkwing, however, how was he to know? 

                                                     

                                                    • Quiverwing Duck
                                                      Quiverwing Duck

                                                      Quiverwing's eyes narrowed into gleaming slits and the corners of his bill quirked upwards very slightly in what could be described as a grim smile, were one to push the definition of 'smile' to its very limit. He emitted a slow, mirthless chortle as he stepped closer, the sort of laugh he used to do from the shadows to unnerve his foes before emerging from a swirl of smoke.


                                                      "Is that her name?" the battered drake asked in a lilting, mocking purr as he gave the shotgun a slight waggle, before letting its stock caress against his ruffled cheek. "Please..."


                                                      Quiverwing suddenly lunged at Negaduck as he brought 'Bertha' down in a blur with intention to clobber, growling, "Allow me to reunite you two!"