RP: Back in the Bad Books

Negaduck was on the case. The book case, that was, of a qiant little store that had yet to invest in supervillain proof walls, for he had simply walked through the brickwork and onto the overturned collection of Phrenology for Goats. 

"Look at this dump. So much -ugh- learning." 

Some of it was even touching his foot. Disgusting. Worse than snow covered dog droppings.

Adjusting to the light, through the darkness he located the door to the closet. The unexpected centre of so much trouble and, in a literal sense, the centre of his universe. No surprise of a correlation there. 

"Home time, kid." His grip adjusted to Gosalyn's upper arm, well versed as he was in ward wrangling. "Home for you being a metal box that may or may not contain jumping maggots."

Hey, had to train them somehow.

((A continuation of Negaduck's handy revival. Reserved for Negagos, Normalgos, Lilly, Gladstone annnd anyone else we arrange to jump in at some point.))

    • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
      Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

      Normally Gosalyn would be on the same page as far as learning, but in this case she'd make an exception.  She had been on her way to meet Quiverwing for practice, not realizing that the archer was otherwise engaged, and had spotted the super-charged Negaduck from a distance, dragging a familiar pink-wearing double.  Ducking around a corner (much like the citizens in his way), she watched as he walked right through the brick wall of a bookstore.

      Whaaaaaaat?

      Undeterred, she headed after the villain and marched right up behind him, swatting him mercilessly with her bag.  "Let her go, Negaduck!  Or you'll have to answer to me!!"

      • (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
        (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

        "Come on, dad, learning is very good for you! How else would you learn to run a chainsaw or use an attack squid if you didn't like to learn?" NegaGosalyn lightly scolded, still hanging by her collar. 

        Hey, this place looked familiar... wasn't this the nice bookstore with the lovely lady who gave her a free book and cookies? And they made friends with Quackerjack! 

        At Negaduck's threat, she just giggled. "You're funny. Oh, hi Gosalyn!!" she waved happily when she spotted her double. "I'm sorry about his behaviour. He's really, really jealous, you know. Did you get my notes for your homework?" 

        • Negaduck
          Negaduck

          The retort that he didn't need to learn such things, and was in fact hatched with innate knowledge around a 12 gauge, never came thanks to the sensation of something fluttering at his side. 

          Rage flared, not at the useless flapping, but at the impertinence. The city's heroes had been rendered armless by his awesomeness; did she really think he would be intimidated by one mouthy kid?

          "Both you brats have got a lot of learning to do!" he roared, directing a backhand at the other Gosalyn with the sort of force that could have seen a tankette flying. 

          First complete Operation Dumb Girl Drop. Then he could get back to teaching everyone - the tiny red head included - a lesson.

          • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
            Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

            Gosalyn wasn't fast enough to dodge the hefty backhand, and she sailed into a table, tumbling over it.  Dazed, she shook her head clear then grabbed for her bag, digging out her quiver and arrows.  "You first!" she declared, notching one and firing.

            The soft end broke apart and exploded against the villain's face, releasing a yellow powder.  Sneezing powder, to be exact.  For good measure, she also chucked a chair at him, then ran forward to try and get at NegaGosalyn.

            "Come on!"

            • Negaduck
              Negaduck

              The second that twang sounded, Negaduck had spun. Call it a side effect of being megapowered, call it the result of a lifetime of being shot at. In either case, he blocked. 

              With NegaGosalyn. 

              The fact that the sweetest child on the planet copped a lungful of gas at the hands of a well intentioned intervener was, of course, utterly deplorable. Which meant it was even more hilarious than his puns - if such a thing were possible.

              "Ahahaha-!" 

              BONK.

              "HEY."

              The chair had bounced off his skull harmlessly enough, however the comtinued barrage was enough to capture his concentrated anger. 

              His long suffering ward dropped, chucked really, aside, he focused on return fire. In the form of the first thing available, specifically literature. 

              "You've got too much spine for your own good, runt!"

              The first couple of flings may have missed but the strength of his throw saw them explode through the shelves and, in fact, out of the entire building in a way no paperbacks had ever before. Talk about the power of the written word.

              • (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                The burst of violence made NegaGosalyn gasp, and she opened her mouth to protest, but got a faceful of sneezing powder instead. 

                Then came the ultimate power that could bring the universe to its knees, had the black positivity-sucking hole not been nearby. 

                "Hkk-chpthhh!" 

                Kitten sneezing. 

                She squeaked as she was tossed aside, and continued sneezing. 

                "Look- hkk-tch! - excuse me - look ou- kkh-chi! - oh no, excuse m- hk-tish! - excuse me! Look out! Hkk-chihh!

                She started to crawl, away from dang- no, nonononono what are you doing, child. 

                Yoink. 

                Well, it was more of a gentle tugging at Negaduck's cape. 

                "Stop- kshhih! - excuse me - stop, please!" 

                • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                  Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                  "This is just another reason to hate reading!" Gosalyn groused as she dodged the barrage.  Her jaw opened at the sheer force of his throws.  "How did you get so strong?" she demanded.

                  Ducking behind a lower bookshelf, she heaved a few textbooks his way, hoping to trip him up or at least get one to crush his foot.  Textbooks had to be good for something, right?

                  She frowned at her twin.  This girl really had issues.  "What are you doing?  Come oooonnnn, don't waste your time!  He's never gonna stop!"  She glared at Negaduck spitefully.  "And neither am I!"

                  • Negaduck
                    Negaduck

                    As the chair had done, the textbooks had about as much impact on him as their target audience - until a large print edition of Mahatma Gander's theory of non-violent resistance ricocheted into a fan and exploded into a cloud of confetti. Violently. 

                    "Where'd you go you little-"

                    Being superstrong did not give him xray vision - that would have to go on the Christmas list for next year - but it did give him the ability to lift anything out of his way. 

                    Including a two tonne bookshelf. 

                    "A-HA!" he cried in having presumably relocated both girls, the woodwork and collection of self help titles such as Lose Weight and Friends by Eating Carpet Samples held triumphantly over his head.

                    Not that was much of a surprise. What chance did two little kids have against him anyway?

                    • (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                      (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                      "Well, in that case, I am not going to stop either!" 

                      Was this what would happen if three equally stubborn individuals were stuck in a room together? 

                      The unfortunate bookfetti drew out an anguished whimper from her, until her double dragged her out of sight. She squeaked when Negaduck found them quickly. 

                      "Don't hurt her!" she protested, reaching out instinctively to shield Gosalyn. 

                      • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                        Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                        Gosalyn took the opportunity to grab NegaGos by the arm and pull her into a run.  "Let's go!  We've gotta find Darkwing!"

                        They dodged behind the counter where Gosalyn found a tea kettle.  "Eat antioxidants, Negahulk!" she cried, chucking the object at his head.  When that barely grazed him, she started throwing teacups.

                        Then the shop's phone rang.  "Answer it!  Maybe they can help!" Gosalyn shouted to her twin.

                        • Negaduck
                          Negaduck

                          The bookcase had been dropped like a shelf of old books as he rounded on the runaways. Only to receive an eyefull in the form of crockery. 

                          That brought new meaning to the phrase 'eyes as wide as saucers'.

                          Cracking the china out of his skull, Negaduck roared and brought out a knife, huge and well used. As if things weren't fun enough. In one broad movement their lifeline - the phone - was severed, before the blade was held against a new hostage. 

                          "Come out. Now." The hand holding the weapon near shook with fury and fearsome intention. "Or this First Edition The Princess and the Peafowl gets it."

                          He was mad! He'd do it too!

                          • (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                            (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                            Antioxidants? How thoughtful of her double! Gosalyn berated herself for not thinking of Negaduck like the other Gosalyn seemed to do. 

                            She obediently made a grab for the phone, only to wince and dart back when it was severed. 

                            Then her eyes widened. 

                            "No! I surrender!!" she protested, holding up her hands. 

                            It didn't matter if it was the sixth edition or a fake imitation like the 'princesses' who tried to court the prince in the book early on in the story... all book lives mattered! 

                            • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                              Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                              Gosalyn blinked.  "What?  Seriously?  It's a book."  In exasperation, she snatched NegaGos again and raced into the back of the store.  There had to be a back door, right?  "In here!" she cried, spying a broom closet.  Maybe at least he'd get bored when he couldn't...

                              Her thought stopped mid - well, thought - and she stared slack-jawed and a glittering portal right in the middle of the storage room.  As if this day couldn't get any weirder after Negaduck somehow getting superpowers...

                              • Negaduck
                                Negaduck

                                Stopping long enough for Negaduck to smash through whatever collections he had taken his frustration out on and actually focus was potentially a fatal mistake. As demonstrated neatly by that Princess book that was flung with canonball strength at Gosalyn's back, pancaking her painfully into a pile of cleaning products.

                                A fatherly like hand on the remaining ward's shoulder, although the words that followed were anything but.

                                "Before you go, you should know I collected on that little outstanding limb debt." Was the debt little or the limbs? "Somebody else paid it for you."

                                Pointing through the windows of the bookshop to a patch of light between the apartment buildings, in which drifted a bountiful bunch of rainbow coloured balloons.

                                And handing from the gathered strings, presumably superglued to maintain the grip, a pair of stumps.

                                Bedecked in an archer's purple gauntlets. 

                                Then, without a goodbye, without even looking, a careless push, and the villain shoved 'his' Gosalyn back into the portal.

                                Find a little good in that.

                                • (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                                  (Nega) Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                                  Gosalyn stared at the portal, mesmerised. So this was where she'd been brought to on all those Negaverse visits... 

                                  She snapped out of it when her double was struck. She gasped and moved to dart over to her when she felt Negaduck's hand on her shoulder. It was so warm and gentle... he'd never done that before. 

                                  She looked up at him with an anxious smile... and then it started to fade at his words and she followed his pointing. 

                                  She started to scream, only for it to cut off as she disappeared through the portal. 

                                  • Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard
                                    Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard

                                    Gosalyn yelped as she got pummeled with a heavy book, and was just recovering in time to see what Negaduck was pointing at.  She barely had time to react before NegaGos was shoved into the portal.  Quickly she scooped up a bottle of floor cleaner, popped it open, and splashed it into Negaduck's masked eyes.  "Take THAT!"

                                    She skittered under his legs and sprinted out of the bookstore.  Her momentum carried her up the side of a mailbox as she leaped up on top of the metal blue box.  She jumped again and snatched the dangling arms where they should have attached to shoulders, breaking the string that had been holding them in place.  There were so many balloons that she was quickly carried upward by a strong current.

                                    "Whoa-whoa-whoa!"

                                    • Gladstone Gander
                                      Gladstone Gander

                                      A few minutes later....

                                      'Whoa whoa whoa' may have been echoed by the gander speeding down the street if the term "horsepower" was more literal.  As it wasn't, he simply stood on the brakes, went into a controlled slide and his shiny (very shiny) green sports car skidded to a halt, perfectly parallel parked on the sidewalk outside Second Story Books.  After reaching over to fix his passenger's windswept hair he hopped out of the car and around to the other side to help her out, whistling merrily.  It was a lovely night, lots of plans had been made to try to keep it as low key and perilous as possible, he had a good feeling about it.  Why was anyone's guess.  As he let Lilly out of the car he looked at the bookstore.

                                      "Hm.  That's odd." What? That Negaduck shaped hole in the wall?  Or that eerie flickering?  Maybe the visible rain of paper from torn up books that were snowing past the windows?  "The lights are on."

                                      Ah yes.  That...too?  

                                       

                                      • Lilly Teal
                                        Lilly Teal

                                        It was probably a testament to his nonchalance that for a moment that was all she saw as well. As Lilly stepped out of the car, she frowned, putting a hand on his shoulder.

                                        "I thought I turned those-"

                                        The laying of the hand turned into a gripping as he eyes widened, taking in every detail of the external chaos almost too fast for her brain to process all at once. So they took in the details again. And once more for good measure.

                                        "What is going on?" The question wasn't directed at anyone in particular, as if she hoped for an answer to materialise out of thin air. Maybe a random witness would round the corner and tell them everything.

                                        No such thing happened, and she had to instead turn to look at Gladstone, with a look of deep concern. But, since they had gotten quite used to this sort of thing, it hadn't swept away the relaxation of the night just yet. The concern lay on the surface threatening to sweep away the calm, but for now it just floated.

                                        "Should we. Peek inside? We might need to call the police."

                                        • Negaduck
                                          Negaduck

                                          Immediate plans were shelved by an entire bookcase that came flying straight at Gladstone, or more precisely his shiny sports car. 

                                          "YOU BUMBLING BRAT," came the thundering from inside where Negaduck, unhurt but momentarily blinded by eye bubbles, was rampaging about like a bull in a, uh, book store. 

                                          "When I catch up to you, you'll be lucky to see the light of day!"

                                          Of all the counterattacks Gosalyn could've gone with, she had applied soap. Soap. How dare. 

                                          • Gladstone Gander
                                            Gladstone Gander

                                            Gladstone spun his car keys on his finger.

                                             

                                            “We can take a peek, probably just Javert having a temper-“  he clicked the lock button on the key fob and while it usually made a happy little ‘honk’ this time it make a debilitating ‘KERSMASH tinkle tinkle tinkle’. As bits of glass continued to clink onto the pavement from the literal bookmobile the stunned Gladstone clicked the button again and the car made a sad little ‘hernk’.  

                                             

                                            And here we enter the stages of grief:

                                             

                                            Shock.

                                             

                                            Gladstone blinked at the car unable to process anything else.

                                             

                                            Denial.

                                             

                                            “Judith?” He croaked as he put his hand to a smashed headlight. As if the car would respond. “What...” he frowned at the bookcase.

                                             

                                            The most productive stage, Anger.

                                             

                                            As Negaduck’s ramblings rumbled out onto the street the gander slowly turned his head toward that gaping hole where the fuming flinger could be seen pacing.  Unable to form words he made a series of hand motions to Lilly that varied from “incomprehensible” to “I’m sorry what?” Before he jammed his keys back in his pocket and flung open the door to the bookstore.  With the self preservation instinct of a lemming the goose picked up the nearest book (“The Art of War Paint, from Under Eyes to Inner Thighs first edition”) and threw it as hard as he could at the soapy eyed super villain.

                                            “Hey! Banana Greedpublic! Aren’t you supposed to be DEAD?!”

                                             

                                            Yes, hello to you too Gladstone.

                                            • Lilly Teal
                                              Lilly Teal

                                              "Gladstone!"

                                              In a panic, Lilly grabbed his shoulders and tried to pull him out of the masked mallard's eyeline. What was he doing? He's going to ki- try very HARD to kill you and possibly succeed all things considered.

                                              Which was, of course, when she caught sight of the full and true destruction of the place, and her hands fell nervelessly from his shoulders.

                                              "Wh-"

                                              A shelf was somehow simultaneously pouring with water and was on fire.

                                              There was soap in the food. There was soap in a lot of places soap shouldn't be, for that matter.

                                              The closet door was wide open.

                                              Javert was nowhere to be seen.

                                              And now the first edition of the Art of War paint had a badly dented corner.

                                              Shock.

                                              "What."

                                              Denial.

                                              "But-"

                                              Ang-

                                              "WHY?"

                                              • Negaduck
                                                Negaduck

                                                For a superpowered being, Negaduck still managed to jump in shock. Quickly he fixed one of those items on Lilly's list of losses. Too bad it was only shutting the closet door. 

                                                Nobody needed to see that.

                                                "What, no hug?" How lucky Fadstone had appeared, it gave him the opportunity to gloat in all his extra gorey glory yet again. "I'd be hurt, except tsh, I can't be."

                                                To Lilly, he turned with all the dramatic flair of Wonka revealing his chocolate factory, if only the factory produced terror instead of treats (or both, that seemed to work for him).

                                                "Looking for your furry friend?" Yes, that's all that Lilly was astounded by. "Don't worry, before swinging by for this quick drop off I managed to lift his mood."

                                                Which was when Javert went floating past outside along the rooftops, a bunch of balloons secured around each wrist/ankle, a gust of night air taking him the same way the arms had gone.

                                                I belllllieve I can flyyyyy

                                                • Gladstone Gander
                                                  Gladstone Gander

                                                  “Am I supposed to be impressed Surly Temple?”

                                                  Well wait. What exactly had happened? Gladstone finally seemed to realize that he was standing in the center of absolute chaos poking it with a stick.  Oh well better change tactics.  Better aim that stick for an eye. 

                                                   

                                                  “What are you babbling about? And why are you wrecking Lilly’s store? Get frustrated trying to follow the picture book plots?” He smiled, not particularly kindly, and scooped up a nearby jagged bit of brick.  “They can be tricky for you slow types.”  He tossed the bit of stone up in the air a few times as he kept smiling at Negaduck. “‘See Spot. See Spot’-“ he caught the fragment of brick and threw it as hard as he could out the giant hole in the wall as some balloons drifted along the skyline. “-‘run’.” He finished as he returned his attention to the mallard.  “‘Run Spot’-“ POP one of the balloons burst giving the furry little ball of rage a free paw for clawing and a lot less lift. “-‘run’.  Deep stuff.  Really goes over your head doesn't it Red Delicious?”

                                                  Gladstone suddenly seemed to relax and wagged his finger at the villain with a smug little smile.

                                                   

                                                  ”I see now. You know, Mellow Yellow, if you wanted to see me again there are far more subtle ways to get my attention. But I assure you I am flattered. Repulsed.  But flattered.”

                                                  • Lilly Teal
                                                    Lilly Teal

                                                    The furry ball of rage was too angry to be appreciative. With a hideous snarl, he flailed his free claw and spun about wildly in the air as he tried to reach the other strings, nearly curling in on himself in the effort.

                                                    "Javert!" Lilly looked from badger to gander, not sure who to be more worried about.

                                                    "Gladstone please can we not make him angry?" she suggested timidly. Angry... er than usual, perhaps. "What do you want Negaduck?"

                                                    You didn't take any money out of the till, you didn't make yourself a cup of coffee... I don't understand, I really don't. This isn't your usual bookshop behavior.

                                                    She was thinking of politely suggesting he leave, if he'd come what he wanted to do, but... with how Gladstone was talking to him she was honestly too worry to add too much more.

                                                    "Let's go get the police, honey..."

                                                    • Negaduck
                                                      Negaduck

                                                      "Actually," approaching, the goose's carefully crafted cognomen bouncing off like so many rocks off a badger. "I wanted to see if you had anything on Jungian archetypes of female helplessness in classic cinema, but as your collection as a few holes in it-"

                                                      Yes, that was the collection's fault. 

                                                      "We'll just have to reenact it instead."

                                                      Before either of them could protest or, say, burst anyone else's balloon, the felon holstered Lilly over one shoulder, stalking out of the store. 

                                                      And right towards the tallest building in St Canard.