That Old Black Magic

Once he had finally decided to approach the Morgana Macawber of this dimension, Quiverwing Duck decided to do it as Drake Mallard. For him, this meant a dark green sport coat and a pink shirt with a necktie; things skewed more towards the formal back in his own St. Canard.


At the front gate of her home, he pushed back his fedora and hesitated. There was that cognitive dissonance once more, a mingling of the familiar and strange. Of course, it was always more than a little strange around Morgana's house, that just came with the territory.


Things felt far more recognizable to him once he was walking through the yard, however, and he relaxed before sharply rapping on the front door.

    • Morgana Macawber
      Morgana Macawber

      "Just a minute~" A muffled voice replied from somewhere on the other side of the door. 

      Followed by... was that someone shrieking? A series of ominous wails? A long, drawn-out cackle? 

      A few minutes later however, the door swung open of its own accord, and the welcome mat beneath Quiverwing's feet saw him catapulted forward into the house. The heavy-set door slammed shut behind him followed by a series of several clicks from several locks, signifying there was no escape. 

      The lights were off, and save for the full moon casting its eerie glow upon the furniture, it was easy to lose one's footing in the darkness. 

      A dramatic flash of lightning (despite there being no storm) illuminated the lithe figure that stood in the entrance-way. She stepped forward into the moonlight revealing the detail of her furrowed brow and stern frown. 

      "Oh." Morgana said coldly. "It's you."

      • Quiverwing Duck
        Quiverwing Duck

        Quiverwing just stood there with his knocking fist raised but still as the strange sounds emanated from the building. Still, at least, until he was suddenly flung inside.


        "Whoa-oh-oah!"


        After a roll forward to break his fall, he ended up on one knee with his hand lightly holding his fedora on his head. Blinking up at Morgana, he removed his hat and stood up with practiced poise, saying, "Ms. Macawber, it's a pleasure to meet you. Because we haven't actually met, yet."

        • Morgana Macawber
          Morgana Macawber

          "...We haven't actually-- what are you going on about??" 

          Granted his outfit was... new. He also didn't reek of that cheap cologne for once. And had he let the feathers grow out a smidge on his head? 

          She pursed her lips together as she knelt forward to get a closer look. "What game are you playing at?"

          • Quiverwing Duck
            Quiverwing Duck

            "It's no game, ma'am," the drake assured her, lightly touching the fingertips of his free hand to his chest and inclining his head. "I'm a visitor to this dimension. Ah..." after a thoughtful pause, he added, "I'm not Negaduck, either. Just wanted to get that out of the way."


            "The dimensional situation is what I wanted to discuss, you see..." Quiverwing made direct eye contact with Morgana now that she was closer, and immediately wished he had not done so. He hooked his finger into his collar and tugged slightly, because it suddenly felt too tight and he needed to loosen his tie a bit.


            Clearing his throat, he continued, "The Morgana Macawber I knew in my world was an accomplished sorceress. I assume that you must be, as well."

            • Morgana Macawber
              Morgana Macawber

              Not secretly Negaduck, huh? She'd be the judge of that...

              She circled him suspiciously as he continued to talk, inspecting him as one does when sizing up prize livestock. He certainly did appear to be telling the truth.

              "Your aura is... different from Darkwing. Or Negaduck." She concluded aloud. 

              Moving in too close for comfort, she placed an open palm against his chest, positioned over his heart. Her expression softened as she looked at him. 

              "You carry.... profound pain with you." Her voice was gentler now, sympathetic. 

              She took a step back, her face flushed with embarrassment now. "Well, I wouldn't say I'm the most 'accomplished' but... I am a long-time practitioner of the mystic arts. I suppose I could assist you. Do you... also call yourself Darkwing?" 

              • Quiverwing Duck
                Quiverwing Duck

                Quiverwing's expression became deadpan and calm when Morgana put her hand on his chest. Privately, he fervently hoped she could not sense the way that made his heart hammer. Despite how she essentially looked identical to the Morgana he knew, he had to remind himself that this was not the same person.


                After another throat clearing, he said, "Th...ank you, Ms. Macawber. And no, when in costume I go by Quiverwing Duck." His face was a bit flushed as well, and he fanned himself a little with his hat, saying with a faint and nervous chuckle, "Sorry. It's a little warm in here. Uh, I was wondering if you knew about inter-dimensional travel?"

                • Morgana Macawber
                  Morgana Macawber

                  "Well it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Quiverwing." Her cold exterior had seemingly melted away in an instance, replacing it with a cordial smile. "I am Morgana Macawber... although, I suppose you already know that."

                  She beckoned him to follow as she drifted effortlessly across the creaky floorboards. "Inter-dimensional travel, you say? I do have some knowledge on the matter, although I personally have not crossed into any alter-dimensions. I have however dealt with dream dimensions, small pocket dimensions, and the occasional fast-travel portal. The mechanics are similar. Oh, where are my manners? Could I get you something to drink? Tea or coffee perhaps?" They had come to a stop in front of the kitchen where a cauldron was already boiling atop the stove. 

                  Two bats circled around Morgana's head, screeching inaudibly. She smiled at them. "Not to worry my dears, I haven't forgotten about the stew. But it's always polite to tend to guests first." 

                  • Quiverwing Duck
                    Quiverwing Duck

                    "Oh, uh, coffee, please." Quiverwing followed her, his expression one of curiosity rather than any sort of revulsion or fear at his surroundings.


                    When he saw the circling bats, he blinked up at them and said, "Heh. Hi, guys. Wow," turning to the willowy witch, he remarked cheerfully, "You really are just like the Morgana I knew. Anyway, if they're hungry, let them eat first. It won't kill me to wait, even for coffee."


                    Walking further into the kitchen to get out of Morgana's way, he said, "I'm not... exactly certain if the dimension I'm looking for exists. I was trying to go there in the first place, and I ended up here, instead."

                    • Morgana Macawber
                      Morgana Macawber

                      She wiggled her fingers to procure two mugs which placed themselves at the kitchen table. The surprisingly-Normal-and-not-at-all-magical coffee brewer began to bubble away as she ladled the soup into two small teacups. She placed them atop the kitchen counter, where Eek and Squeak perched on the lip and lapped at the mixture happily. 

                      It wasn't long before the coffee was ready and the pot floated over to Quiverwing, along with the sugar and cream. "Help yourself." She smiled as she seated herself at the table.

                      Continuing their conversation she added. "Well we all give off an energy signature that matches the dimension we are from. Perhaps we can use that as a starting point." 

                      There was a silence between them as she poured herself a cup of coffee. She appeared pensive.

                      Finally, she spoke. "Quiverwing, may I ask you a personal question? If it's... not too forward of me?"

                      • Quiverwing Duck
                        Quiverwing Duck

                        Quiverwing dropped his hat on the seat beside him after he settled in, and poured himself a cup of black coffee. He actually looked relaxed, less formal than he had been when he first arrived.


                        The drake was quiet when Morgana discussed dimensional theory; despite being a dimensional traveler, he had no true practical knowledge of it beyond the most basic understanding that it was possible.


                        He arched a brow at the sorceress, the coffee cup lifted halfway to his mouth. "Of course. You're doing me a big favor, just entertaining my request, here. You can ask me whatever you'd like."

                        • Morgana Macawber
                          Morgana Macawber

                          "The version of me from your universe..." Her face flushed lightly. "Are you and her..." She traced a circular motion with her finger "...are you together?" 

                          • Quiverwing Duck
                            Quiverwing Duck

                            "Oh..." Quiverwing set his coffee cup on the table. "Well... we were," he spread his hands in a mild shrug. "For a few years, actually. She came into my office to hire me for a case, and we hit it off. Uh," he glanced aside, rubbing the back of his neck. "Some stuff happened, and we stopped seeing each other. Nothing that was her fault, though."

                            • Morgana Macawber
                              Morgana Macawber

                              "Oh." She glanced down at her cup, her furrowed brow reflected in the dark liquid. "I see..."

                              Her voice was wistful. "Funny how some things... remain consistent across dimensions." 

                              Finally she looked back up at him, admiring his features for a moment. He and Darkwing certainly shared the same appearance, but it was becoming clear to her that Quiverwing was unique in his own way.  

                              "An office, you say? For a case? Are you some sort of agent?"

                              • Quiverwing Duck
                                Quiverwing Duck

                                "Not... ah, not that consistent." Quiverwing was still looking aside. "Anyway, it was more about me being a jerk." He turned his gaze back to Morgana and gave her a faint grin. "I didn't take her seriously enough, and I thought I knew better than she did. I didn't. She deserved better than someone like me, anyhow."


                                After that declaration, the drake seemed to regain his calm, pleasant demeanor. "I'm a private investigator. Or... I mean, I am in my home dimension. My license isn't valid here, of course. Something else I need to deal with if I end up stuck here for a while."

                                • Morgana Macawber
                                  Morgana Macawber

                                  Her face lit up. "A detective? Why, I was just watching a fascinating television show that featured one. It was quite the lifestyle. But how do you see anything through all that Chiaroscuro lighting? Do you get bound in ropes quite often? How do you come up with all those creative metaphors?" Not a hint of sarcasm to be found. She was genuinely curious... and perhaps a tad ignorant on the difference between fictional and non-fictional storytelling. 

                                  • Quiverwing Duck
                                    Quiverwing Duck

                                    Quiverwing just stared at Morgana, his eyebrows slowly arching up high as he quietly boggled at her. The brows drop back down, flattening as he scrutinizes her for a long moment, as if trying to figure out how and why she would know that much.


                                    Then, his expression relaxed and he counted off on his fingers as he said, "I'm used to working at night--and may I say your world is disturbingly brightly lit compared to what I'm used to. I'm an accomplished escape artist, so generally that situation does not pose much of a problem for me. And despite what some people might think, I'm not the dumbest guy around, and if I didn't come up with them, who would?" He then took a long pull from his coffee.

                                    • Morgana Macawber
                                      Morgana Macawber

                                      Morgana nodded along with each answer, occasionally letting out a small 'hm!' or 'ooh' as she went. 

                                      "That sounds like quite the life you lead. No wonder you're eager to get back there." She paused to sip at her coffee. Caffeine-consumption was a recently-formed habit she picked up from Darkwing and, well... some things simply stick around, while others don't.

                                      "You mentioned Negaduck. I... take it you have encountered him already." 

                                      • Quiverwing Duck
                                        Quiverwing Duck

                                        The mention of Negaduck causes Quiverwing's eyes to narrow and his jaw to clench as a growl rises in his throat. "Yeah," he said, his voice quiet and even as he spoke through gritted teeth. "That guy."


                                        He took in a deep breath in an attempt to calm himself, as he would prefer to not have an angry outburst while being a guest in Morgana's house. Clasping his hands, he lilted in a much sweeter tone as he explained to the sorceress, "If I ever see him again, I'll see to it that he will have to take his sustenance in highly unconventional ways for the rest of his life."

                                        • Morgana Macawber
                                          Morgana Macawber

                                          "Pffbbtttt." The sound of coffee being spat back into the cup.

                                          The source flushed crimson red. "Oh my goodness I'm sorry, I just..." She was suppressing a chuckle. "It's not you I'm laughing at, it's just... before I came St. Canard I always considered myself to be quite the pacifist who believed there was goodness hiding in everyone. Then I met Negaduck..." 

                                          She smiled sympathetically. "Needless to say, I have since reevaluated my optimistic outlook of others." 

                                          • Quiverwing Duck
                                            Quiverwing Duck

                                            "No need to apologize." Rather than being offended, Quiverwing looked faintly pleased. Leaning in slightly, he quietly informed her, "Anyway, your laugh is a delight."


                                            Picking up his coffee cup as he sat back, he said, "Needless to say, we didn't have a Negaduck where I'm from. I had to learn my lessons the hard way. I've already lost one costume to that guy, its not as if I have a closet full of spares."


                                            The drake quietly and darkly muttered into his cup, "Not to mention my weapons and equipment. When I get my hands on that bozo I am gonna wring his lousy neck."

                                            • Morgana Macawber
                                              Morgana Macawber

                                              His compliment only made her blush further, and suddenly Morgana felt as though she were making an embarrassment of herself. Time to re-calibrate. She cleared her throat and straightened her posture, choosing to ultimately abandon her spit-washed cup of coffee. 

                                              "He is incredibly dangerous, so do be cautious. Although you strike me as rather intelligent, so I am sure my warning is rather redundant." She stood from her seat. "Come, why don't we make a trip to the library, I have a few books on hand that may be of use to you. Feel free to bring your coffee along."

                                              They trailed down what seemed to be an endless hallway, surrounded by dozens of doors. Occasionally a faint howl or maniacal moaning could be heard somewhere within the mystery rooms. Morgana paid them no mind.

                                              The walls were decorated with paintings and photographs of morbidly strange characters. A few group photos made it clear that many of these ungodly creatures were members of Morgana's own family, as the hostess herself could be spotted standing proudly among them. It seemed as though a few of the beady painted eyes followed Quiverwing's every movement. 

                                              When they reached the end of the hallway, she threw open a double set of doors, revealing a musty, cob-web filled room filled with rows of heavy shelving. She inhaled sharply and a happy sigh escaped her bill. "I do so enjoy the scent of ancient, forbidden tombs." 

                                              It would become evident to Quiverwing that the library doubled as her study room. A number of diplomas adorned the walls by a well-used desk, alongside photographs of her graduation day. 

                                              There was another set of photographs that had been carelessly thrown into a shoe box and discarded on the ground near the desk. Clearly less valuable, yet unable to part with them all the same. A fanged, fiery-haired woman seemed the common denominator in the subject matter. 

                                              Morgana however, was moving across the other side of the room where she vanished down one of the aisles, mumbling to herself. "Inter-dimensional travel... let's see here..."

                                              • Quiverwing Duck
                                                Quiverwing Duck

                                                "Ma'am, your observations about my mental capabilities are appreciated, and trust me when I say I will take your advice in not underestimating that guy." Quiverwing stood up, leaving his hat behind so he wouldn't have to carry it around while his other hand was occupied with a mug.


                                                As he was led through the manor, he looked interested and curious, but not surprised. Then again, if the Morgana of his dimension was at all similar, the eerie atmosphere might be one of the more familiar things to him in this world.


                                                Within the library, he waited by the desk, eyeing everything within his view and automatically filing things into his memory. He did not, however, touch anything and certainly did not try to browse the books. Quiverwing had learned the hard way that some magical tomes had a mind of their own. Some of them could bite.


                                                "Related... is there a way to scry into other dimensions?" he asked, peeking down the aisle where he thought he had last seen Morgana. "Because that would be helpful, making sure I have the right target in the first place."

                                                • Morgana Macawber
                                                  Morgana Macawber

                                                  "That should be possible, I would hope." Responded a pile of books. Or, more specifically, the body walking toward him that was obscured behind the precarious tower of tombs. Mighty impressive arm strength there, Morgana.

                                                  She set the pile down and dusted off her hands. "This is everything I have on inter-dimensional travel. As I mentioned earlier, you carry a distinct energy signature that links you to your world. If we can isolate that, it will help us find the right dimension. But... there is one problem." She frowned.

                                                  "How long have you been away from your home?" 

                                                  • Quiverwing Duck
                                                    Quiverwing Duck

                                                    Upon seeing that tall book pile, Quiverwing's attitude brightened a bit. That looked like a promising start. At least, until Morgana asked that last question.


                                                    "Over a month, now. About a month and a half," he replied, his eyebrows arching upwards. "Not very long." That was stated optimistically, because how could he know how long 'too long' was when it came to magic? On the other hand, some forensic evidence degraded pretty rapidly, and required immediate analysis. Could be something similar.


                                                    Well. That was making him frown now, as he stared at the stack of books.

                                                    • Morgana Macawber
                                                      Morgana Macawber

                                                      "That's... okay then. But..." She was hesitating now. It was clear she was choosing her next words carefully. 

                                                      "I don't mean to panic you it's just... over time your dimensional energy signature weakens as you integrate with the present dimension you are in. In other words, the longer you are here, the harder it will be to pinpoint your home."

                                                      She added on hastily before he could react. "That's... that's not to say that if you are here for awhile you'll never find your way home! It just means pinpointing your dimension using your energy will no longer be an option. We would have to use more complicated means."