By Eric Smith
Negaduck stalked through the streets of the city, always looking left and right, never letting his guard down. It was almost 1 a.m., and the streets were deserted, but he never took chances. The smallest sound made him jump, ready to strike out with deadly force. But nothing happened.
He approached a bus stop on a corner. Inside the small shelter sat a nervous-looking little man. He looked up suddenly as Negaduck barged in and appraised him with cold eyes.
Never one to waste words, Negaduck growled, "Do you have it?"
"Do I..." the little man began.
Negaduck grabbed him by the lapels. "I said, do you HAVE it?" he barked.
The man, trembling, reached into his pocket and brought out a small bag of some sand-colored powder. "Here. I have it. But it wasn't easy to get, Negaduck. Not easy at all. Not at all!"
"Shut up." said Negaduck as he let the man go and took the bag. "Okay, you've done your job. Now get out of here...and if you value your life, you'll keep your mouth shut."
"What about my pay?" whined the man.
Negaduck grabbed him again and lifted him off his feet. "Your payment is your life." he said. Then he threw him to the ground. "I said get-"
"You always were a cheapskate, Negaduck!" came an all-too familiar voice.
Darkwing Duck strode into the booth, full of confidence as always. "You're a little old to be playing with sand, evildoer!"
Negaduck turned to the little man. "This is your fault. You led him here. Or...you double-crossed me."
"No...no!" cried the man. He wanted to run, but Darkwing was blocking the door. Negaduck's eyes were cold as ice.
"I'm looking at a dead man." snarled Negaduck. He slammed his arm into the face of the little man, knocking him against the wall. Then he turned to Darkwing. "You're next." He aimed a savage kick at Darkwing's groin, but DW dodged it. Then Darkwing hit Negaduck with a karate chop to the neck, stunning him for a moment. He fell to his knees.
"It's over, Negaduck." said Darkwing. "Hand over whatever it is he gave you."
"Okay." Negaduck reached into the bag and pulled out a handful of powder. Then he flung it at Darkwing's feet. "Your place." he sneered.
"Oooooh..." said Darkwing sarcastically. "And me without my dust buster."
Negaduck moved like lightning. He grabbed Darkwing's foot and pulled him off balance. Then he ran through the door and down the street.
Darkwing tried to follow, but Negaduck was gone. "A temporary escape, Negaduck. I'll find you." he promised. Then he turned to the little man. "Where did you get that stuff-and why did Negaduck want it?"
The man was blubbering, reduced to a quivering mass by Negaduck's death threat. Darkwing shrugged and hauled him to his feet to take him to the police.
He had no way of knowing that just moments earlier, a powerful explosion had rocked his neighborhood.
Darkwing dropped the man off at police headquarters, still gibbering like a madman. DW didn't blame him, after Negaduck's threat. Then he and Launchpad headed home.
"Too bad Negaduck got away." remarked LP.
"For now, LP, for now." said Darkwing. "But we'll get him."
"You said he had some kind of powder he threw at you?"
"Yeah...some junk that he thinks is going to help him take over the world. He'll never learn." said DW as he stepped on the gas.
It was then that they heard the sirens. Not police sirens, but fire trucks. Lots of them, and coming from the general area of thier neighborhood.
"I wonder what..." began Launchpad.
"We'll soon find out." replied Darkwing as he wheeled the Thunderquack towards Avian Way.
When he found out, he wished he hadn't.
Thier street, thier neighborhood was a scene of horror. Houses and cars had been smashed and wrecked, as if a bomb had fallen in the area. In many areas, the wreckage was burning fiercely. Fire trucks and ambulances were everywhere, carrying out casualties and fighting a losing battle to contain the fires. Darkwing got off his motorcycle and stood there, in disbelief. The smoke in the air made him cough, the heat from the flames made him uncomfortable. But he stood there anyway, until one thought made him move.
"Gosalyn!" The scream had no sooner echoed in the air when Darkwing was running like a mad man, jumping over hoses, ignoring the glass, wood and metal debris that lay
everywhere. It was all Launchpad could do to follow.
He reached his house, and found it was as ruined as the others. The garage half had collapsed, and the windows and doors were blown in. There were small fires burning all over the lawn, as well as Darkwing's station wagon. He raced across the lawn, ignoring the flames, and into his house.
"Gosalyn!" he shouted, tears running down his face.
"Darkwing! Help!" came a female voice. Launchpad recognized it at once.
"Help me!" yelled Beth.
They went towards the sound, towards the kitchen. It had collapsed, and the upper floor was spread out across where the kitchen floor would normally be. Beams and boards were everywhere, and Gosalyn's wrecked bed could be seen. And Beth was there, pulling on a board. Her hair was disheveled, and her glasses were missing. Even her sweater was torn. But the look on her face was determination. "Help me...move this...Gosalyn's under here." she puffed as she pulled boards and huge pieces of glass loose.
"No..." said Darkwing. Again he stood like a statue, staring at the huge pile of boards.
Beth came over and grabbed him by the jacket. "Help me!!!" she shouted, and shoved him towards the wreckage with strength she didn't know she had. Darkwing and Launchpad numbly began pulling away the ruins.
Then an arm could be seen...and then a leg. And as they pulled more away, Gosalyn's face could be seen, dirty and bruised and with cuts. She was alive, but unconcious. They pulled enough away to be able to lift her out.
The couch was still more or less intact, and Darkwing carried her over, the tears falling. He gently laid her on the couch, and held her tight.
"She's alive, Darkwing." said Beth. "It's going to be okay."
Unable to speak, Darkwing just shook his head and kept holding his daughter.
"Get some help, Launchpad. Paramedics." Beth instructed.
"DW..." mumbled Launchpad.
"Launchpad, we don't know how seriously Gosalyn is hurt. She needs help...right now!" Launchpad nodded and went towards the door.
And Darkwing held his daughter...
Negaduck strode into the old warehouse that was the headquarters of he and his gang, the Fearsome Five. Megavolt, Quackerjack and the Liquidator were playing cards and arguing. Bushroot was reading a botanical encyclopedia.
"All right, you knobs and Bushroot, get over here." ordered Negaduck as he set the bag of powder on a table. Quackerjack, Megavolt and the Liquidator scrambled away from the card table, while Bushroot closed the book and sauntered over.
They stood around the table. Negaduck looked around the group, but only Bushroot returned his gaze.
"I destroyed Darkwing Duck's neighborhood tonight." he announced.
Everyone gasped in amazement and started talking excitedly at this news, except Bushroot, who stared at Negaduck coolly.
"How?" he asked.
"With this." Negaduck held up the powder. "It has its origins in witchcraft. When this powder is thrown at the feet of a person, and something that belongs to or is involved with them is named, that will be destroyed."
"Satisfaction 100% guaranteed?" exclaimed the Liquidator.
"I just told you I blew it up." snapped Negaduck. "Turn on the news."
Megavolt did so, and sure enough, there was the bulletin about a devastating explosion on Avian Way. "Wow!" he shouted.
"It's playtime." cried Quackerjack.
Bushroot studied the pictures on the screen. "Interesting." he remarked. "If you did cause that explosion, it seems to be very thorough."
"It is. I could even destroy that greenhouse of yours, Reggie. Just by throwing some powder at your feet and saying the word."
Bushroot gave him a cold stare. "I don't doubt that you could." he said, his words icy. "But I strongly recommend you don't."
Negaduck looked at him for a second, then looked at Megavolt. "Or that lighthouse of yours. Or your toy kingdom." he sneered at Quackerjack. Quackerjack clapped his hands over his beak in fright.
"Or anything else I want. Once word of this gets out...everyone in this city will live in fear of my red powder."
"You hope." said Bushroot. "You're forgetting that Darkwing is still alive."
"Don't worry." replied Negaduck. "I'm far from done with Darkwing yet..."
The mayor slept quietly in bed. He didn't hear his bedroom door slowly open and two figures slip in. Suddenly the lights blazed on and a wild voice yelled, "It's Playtime!!!"
He jumped up, instantly awake. "What the devil..." he exclaimed, before a bolt of electricity slammed him to the floor.
Megavolt and Quackerjack picked up the figure and carried him out to a waiting van. Then they dumped him in the back and climbed in themselves. The van roared out of the yard.
"You...you'll never get away with this." spluttered the mayor.
"Shut up." replied Bushroot, who was driving.
"Yeah! Shut up!" Megavolt repeated. "Or I'll zap you again."
"That goes for you too." snapped Bushroot, throwing them a glance over his shoulder. "In case you haven't noticed, Mr. Mayor, we've already gotten away with it. In a few minutes, you'll really have something to worry about."
They drove on towards the warehouse.
Darkwing, Beth and Launchpad sat in the hospital waiting room. All were exhausted, but there was no thought of sleep. Gosalyn had been taken into surgery, still unconcious.
Beth looked at them and adjusted her glasses, which she had retreived from her house. "Hey, she's gonna be okay. This is Gos here." she said, trying to sound cheerful.
"She just lay there...she might have been dead..." mumbled Darkwing.
"But she's not, Drake, do you hear me? She's...not...dead!" DW nodded, but seemed only half-convinced.
"What did this?" asked Launchpad.
Darkwing looked up. "It was Negaduck. He did it. He threw powder at me and said 'my place'. He must have meant my home."
Beth could only stare in horror.
"He's going to pay for this. If anything happens to Gosalyn...I'll make him pay. I swear I will!" He slammed a fist down on the table next to him.
Just then, a doctor appeared. "Darkwing Duck?"
DW stood up. "That's me. What about Gosalyn?"
"You're the child's guardian?"
"I'm her father." Darkwing's stare seemed to go right through the doctor.
"Yes. Okay...come with me and we'll talk."
"Why can't we talk here?"
The doctor glanced at Beth and Launchpad. "It is rather confidential..."
"These are my friends." said Darkwing. "You have anything to say, you say it here. Understand?" He moved closer to the doctor. "What about my daughter?"
"Well, the surgery was a success. We removed some fragments of glass and wood.
Her left leg and arm are broken. And she has contusions and cuts."
Darkwing nodded. "She was unconcious."
"She's awake now." said the doctor. "In fact, she was calling your name."
The tough demeanor of Darkwing fell away like a coat. He fell to his knees, weeping unashamedly. Beth put her arms around him and held him.
Visibly moved, the doctor said, "Give the nurse a few minutes to set her room up. I'll let you know." Beth nodded.
Darkwing continued to pour out his relief as Beth held him and Launchpad placed a hand on his shoulder.
Darkwing Duck and all related characters are the property of Disney and used without permission. All fan created characters are the property of thier respective creators and are used with permission. This story was created for non-profit entertainment purposes only. (C) 2001 Eric Smith.