Because I'm not sure if I've written the relationships of the family shown early in the chapter in a coherent way, or maybe haven't presented them in a way that readers will be able to get, I'm going to explain it here, behind spoiler tags in case you want to try to figure it out yourself and then check your work against what I had.
Read Chapter 13 first, although that should go without saying.
Okay, so, Goofy is Goofy. This is the Goofy that is close friends with Mickey and Donald, and the most visible Goofy in most material. This is also the Goofy that is shown in Cartoon shorts married, with a kid named, variously, Junior, Buster, or George. He is also the first Super Goof. In this story, he is the one shown briefly reading the newspaper.
Junior is another Goofy. This is the first Goofy's little boy from the shorts where he was married. I went with calling him "George Goof Jr." and relegated "Buster" to just one of those things parents say. I also decided that since "George" is the closest thing to an official name we have for the kid in the shorts, and he is also known as Junior, we can assume that the original Goofy's name is actually George, and Goofy is a nickname. I tried to call him "Junior" mostly to keep that from getting confusing or too controversial. When he was grown, this Goofy went off to Saint Canard with the super-goobers to inherit the title of "Super Goof." Later on, he married, and had a child. Then I guess the Fridge lanterns got to her, because there is hide nor hair of her in Goof Troop. Not long after, the events of this story occurred and he was forced to move in with his father, Goofy, in Spoonerville. This is the Goofy that we know from Goof Troop. If you don't know, this is Junior, who Gizmoduck tried to interrogate.
Max, is, of course, the baby. Goof Troop happens chronologically after this story, in about nine or ten years, after the original Goofy, Max's Grandfather, passes away.
Hope that made sense.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Howdy, everybody. Episode 13 here, coming atcha. And also watch out for a little extra bit I'm going to post a little later. Nothing to do with the story, just another unimportant little notation about this chapter
Lazy Drawfaggery today. I enjoyed writing for Horace and Clarabell yesterday, and Horace Horsecollar is such a seldom-used character, so I drew some Horace being old, homophobic, and crotchety, but was too lazy to color it. Oh well.
Speaking of Homophobia, I didn't even realize that I posted the last chapter, Homer-sexuals and all during Gay Pride weekend. Nothing important, but I lol'd when I realized.
Anyway, as usual, enjoy.
The telephone receiver was placed on the cradle smoothly, but with enough force to cause the bell inside to give a small, pathetic chime. The orange, striped hand then moved from over the phone to grab a very expensive black steel pen from its cradle, before reading through a contract in front of him. There was a knock at the door.
"Enter." Said Farid Kagan, not quite an order, but not quite a request either.
The door opened up and there was a sound like a bicycle on carpet. Farid looked up to see the chrome-plated Duck of Steel, Gizmoduck, standing sheepishly with his hands behind his back.
"You wanted to see me, sir?"
"Yes, Gizmo. Can you sit in that suit?"
"It's very difficult to stand afterwards sir, I'd rather stay on my wheel."
"Very well." Farid then opened a drawer. His face was perfectly neutral throughout all of this. He reached into the drawer and placed the file he obtained on the table, opening it up. "Dewey Duck has disappeared from my information network."
"Is that so, sir?"
"Quite. They have been missing ever since my... agents in Brazil tried to flush them out. Unfortunately, they escaped."
Gizmoduck nodded, wondering where his boss was going with this.
"However, I have recently gotten a whiff of one of the group's allies." He then reached into the file and threw a stack of photos out on the table. At first glance there seemed to be nothing there, but upon closer inspection there seemed to be something moving too fast for the camera to see without blurring. Something purple.
"D- Darkwing Duck?"
"Yes, your old friend Darkwing is in league with the terrorists."
"H- he's no friend of mine, sir," Insisted Gizmo, "Just another dangerous vigilante. Where were these pictures taken?"
"This one," He pointed it out, "Duckburg, but I doubt the hens would roost so close to the fox's den. These two," He pointed, "Were taken in Spoonerville and Mouseton respectively. One of those two places is most likely where they would be holing up. I want you to fly out to Calisota and search for them."
Gizmoduck rolled forward and looked at the pictures, allowing his suit's Heads Up Display to automatically scan the photos for any recognizable signs. There was no doubt that the purple blur was Darkwing Duck.
"I'll search Spoonerville first, sir. It's further away, but it's larger, and there's a lead there I've been meaning to try."
"Very well. You may go." Farid then lowered his face down to his papers and that was the end of that.
After a pause, during which Gizmo stared at the photos, he turned on his wheel and left the room.
Using those resources available to only the most high-tech of heroes, Gizmoduck found himself searching Spoonerville the next day. The Noon sun beat down on the scene of Gizmoduck rolling out in the open paved sidewalk, as people watering their lawns and pruning their bushes stared at the metal man rolling past. Looking around, Gizmo opened up a compartment on his chest, and made a ringing buzz as a photo printed quickly out of it.
He inspected the photo, the last publicly available picture of Dewey Duck, taken shortly after he and his brother had taken over the family business. He was shown standing next to his brother in nearly identical business suits, with a determined scowl directly at the cameraman on his face the only thing setting him apart from his brother's easygoing smirk and slightly wandering eyes. They are walking down Killmotor Hill together, standing next to a sign that said "Intruders will be met with siege weaponry," and approaching a large crowd of paparazzi in the foreground, held back by a set of guards standing at the opening of the barbed wire fence. If Gizmoduck remembered the news of the day, the picture was taken days after Dewey and Louie had taken over the business, and a couple months after Huey had disappeared.
Looking up from the photo, Gizmoduck began to scan the area around him. It was a small suburb of low, almost identical houses standing side by side on a wide street, with every modern convenience. Gizmo focused in on a car stopping nearby. He had already searched he town quite thoroughly, but for this area, and was content to give up the search and head out to Mouseton after asking just one more person who was likely to know. As the young man, a dog with a long face ending in a pair of gapped buck-teeth, stepped out of his car, Gizmo hailed him.
"Just a moment, citizen!" said Gizmoduck, "I'd like a word."
The man turned and started for a moment, before answering back, sullenly, "You're that... Gizmo-guy, from Duckburg."
"Gizmoduck. And I have a few questions."
Gizmo held up the photo and pointed towards the scowling Dewey, "Have you seen this man?"
After an uncomfortable pause, the young man took up the picture, scratching his chin as he stared at it. His eyebrows raised as his eyes swiveled up to meet Gizmoduck's visor. "Aren't these those bazillionaire Duck brothers?"
His brows rose even further as he looked at the picture with newfound interest, "I haven't really seen them. I don't know why they would be around here."
"I've been asking around the city for any possible leads or connections. You and your father are the last connection I must investigate before I leave."
"Me?" asked the dog, his floppy ears twitching as his drew back slightly, "Why would...?"
"Your father had a connection to their Uncle. Both lived in Mouseton before World War 2, and were quite close. They apparently worked together along with a third friend, a Mr. Mouse..."
"Listen, buddy, I barely know anything about any of that."
"Your father never told you about his friend in Duckburg, or about his nephews?"
"Of course he did, but they were just stories. Donald Duck was a minor celebrity thanks to that rich uncle of his, and whenever he would appear in the papers or whatever, Dad would point him out and tell him they used to solve mysteries in Mouseton or whatever. After the war he and that Duck guy only saw each other a few times." The Dog crossed his arms, "I never even met him, and now you want to know if I'm hiding his terrorist nephews, is that it?"
Gizmoduck did not flinch at the Dog's accusatory tone, "More or less." He then moved his head over to the house in front of which the young man had stopped, "Is your father in?"
The dog's eyebrows came together as he gave a sideways glance towards the house. He turned his eyes back towards the hero, "He's not home. He'll be gone for the whole weekend. I'm watering his plants."
"May I search...?"
"No. No you may not, not unless you come back with a warrant or whatever it is you hero-types need to poke around other people's property."
"I assure you, I mean no harm or offense." Gizmo nodded. "If he is not at home, I can come back another time."
"Good, you do th-"
However, before the dog could finish speaking, they both heard a baby's cry coming from the house. The Dog's expression was one of worry, before he realized what that meant for Gizmoduck.
"The baby is all alone?" asked the Duck, "In his grandfather's house?"
"N-no. Of course not," said the dog, "There's a babysitter."
"Why can the babysitter not water the plants?"
"Look, You're not welcome here, tinman. Just go back to the city and leave us alone." The dog then turned up the drive and began to walk towards the house.
"There... IS one more connection between you and the others."
The young man stopped, and looked over his shoulder, "I don't know what you're talking about."
"The hero, Super-Goof. Apparently a legacy hero, who has roots in Mouseton while your father lived there. He appeared in Saint Canard at about the same time that you moved there with your wife and disappeared recently, after he was nearly caught for violating the Hero registration act. You moved to Spoonerville from Saint Canard at the same time that he disappeared, didn't you?"
"Don't do this, Gizmo."
"Known allies: Darkwing Duck, a dangerous rogue hero in league with the terrorists Huey, Dewey, and Louie Duck. Now, tell me, Mr. Goof. Is this a coincidence?"
"Leave us alone. We don't know anything."
"Junior! Junior, is that you?"
"Damn! I'll be there in a minute, Dad!" He then rounded on Gizmoduck, "And you, stay away from us, or..."
"Are you threatening me, Mr. Goof?"
"N-No. I'm... We don't know anything. G'bye." He turned back around and quickly walked towards the house.
Gizmo approached, regret in his voice, "I was hoping you could make this easy Mr. Goof, but I'm afraid we're going to have to do this the hard way."
As the dog walked up the drive, he began to reach for a small bag in his pocket. A bag of addictive little peanuts that he promised himself he had given up. "Y'don't want to do this Gizmo. You know you're way out of my league."
As Gizmoduck approached, readying an appropriate gadget for the situation, Junior pulled out the bag and was about to reach for one of the little super goobers, when the bag was suddenly wrenched from his hands by a whistling arrow with a boxing glove attached instead of an arrowhead. His head twisted around to see a purple-clad figure crouching up on top of the roof.
"I wouldn't do that, Junior," Said Darkwing Duck, "Not if you want to live."
"Darkwing!" cried Junior, before he continued on, "You said If I drove 'im off you'd leave my family alone! You promised!"
"I lied. It's the kind of person I am." She knocked another arrow, a sharp one, and pointed squarely at the dog, before letting it fly.
A large mechanical arm erupted from behind the dog and shielded his body from the arrow.
"Darkwing Duck!" cried Gizmo, sprouting a helicopter and chasing after Darkwing, who began to run across the suburban rooftops, occasionally covering her trail with smoke, "Darkwing!"
As the two heroes chased off into the distance, the dog surreptitiously retrieved his bag, before stepping calmly into the house. He was greeted by his father sitting on an easy-chair, reading a paper, having not been paying attention to anything happening outside.
"What was all that commotion, Junior?"
"Nothin' Dad," he said, "Is little Maxie...?"
"He's a-sleepin'," said the older Dog with a smile.
George "Goofy" Goof Jr. nodded with a smile, and went to see his son in the nursery. He stepped into the room quietly, careful not to disturb the small resting bundle. He bent over the baby's crib and gingerly picked the child up, cradling him in his strong arms.
They simply stood for a moment like that, Junior supporting little Max in his arms, trying his best to match his breathing to the slow inhales and exhales of the sleeping angel. He thought of Max's mother, who died in the city, a victim of his dangerous former profession, and tightened his hold on the baby briefly, before relaxing once again and resuming the relaxed stance of a father cradling his only child. Their moment of bonding was interrupted, however, by a small noise by the window.
"After I came home I promised I would stay out of the game for good, newbie," said Goofy Junior, quietly, "My little son's already lost his mother. He doesn't need to lose a father as well. This is the very last thing I do 'afore I retire. Understand?"
The Green Phantom sat in the windowsill, nodding. "Where's Darkwing?"
"Keepin' Gizmoduck busy." Carefully, Junior disengaged one of his arms from the baby and reached underneath the mattress of the crib, "I just hope he bought Darkwing taking my family hostage. She gave me this to give you. Better hurry. She can't keep him away for long. I want this out of my father's house before he gets back."
It was a thick binder with the McDuck Enterprises logo on the side. He placed it on a small table on one side of the room before he resumed supporting the baby with both arms. Soundlessly, the Green Phantom shuffled through the room like a ghost, before picking it up and opening it.
"Perfect. Thank you."
"Just go," he said, "And don't come back."
And so, Green Phantom was gone just as quietly and quickly as he left, leaving Junior holding the baby close to his chest.
"That was that, Max," said Junior, "That was that. No more danger. I left you alone for too long and for too many nights already. I'll never leave you again. I'm your father, and I'll always be by your side."
"Come back here!" called Gizmoduck, his voice amplified by his suit, "You are under citizen's arrest."
"Give it a rest Gizmo!" cried Darkwing, confident his metallic ears could hear her, "You'll never catch up!"
She then gave a big jolly laugh as she jumped along the roofs, double backing and using tricks of smoke and light to cover her trail. Gizmo, still following by the air, lost track of her as she disappeared in a puff of smoke. He circled around, switching his visor to Infared vision to try to pick up Darkwing's heat signature.
There, along the sunbaked roofs, he could see a small bit of raised body temperature beyond the smoke. He went into a dive towards it, cutting the power to his helicopter, before pointing himself head down with arms outstretched in a dive. He struck the lit-up object, rolling as he tackled it, before switching off his thermal vision.
"Wha-?" he cried, before the space heater, turned up all the way and attached to another smoke bomb, exploded in his face. He was knocked back, but unharmed, except for the strange irritation in his nose.
He sneezed at the pink powder. He sneezed again, trying to roll away from the irritant. He sneezed again, the vibrations of his whole-body convulsion causing him to lose his balance and fall from the roof he was standing on, landing in a flower patch and macking up someone's prize rose bushes.
As he laid out over the bushes, he flailed his arms in anger, his metallic fists shaking with righteous fury, "That was a dirty trick!"
"There's no fair play in this game, Gizmo. You should realize that," said the voice of Darkwing, from a fair distance away.
Suddenly, a screaming woman with a broom came flying out of the house, giving Gizmoduck several wallops. Gizmo held up his arms to shield himself from the blows as he rolled back into the street and began to try triangulating where Darkwing's voice was coming from.
"Spoken like a true hoodlum," said Gizmoduck in answer, while picking straw from the broom out of his joints, "Your kind of darkness isn't needed in my town or anyone else's, Darkwing!"
"It ain't your town," said Darkwing, from elsewhere. Gizmoduck looked around wildly, his triangulation instruments confused by the rapidly moving Darkwing. "Saint Canard was never your town before you jumped into Farid Kagan's pocket, and it isn't yours now."
"And I suppose it was yours?"
"Of course not," She said, "It's not about owning anything. It's about respect. Something you have a surprisingly low amount of."
Gizmoduck rolled up, a sly smile before he said, "Is that what you call protecting dangerous terrorist masterminds? Respect? Well I call that..." He suddenly twisted around and extended his arm. A giant solid Steel boxing glove on a spring popped out, blasting up against a fence and blowing a hole through it and what was behind it, "...EVIL!"
He rolled quickly to check the damage, expecting to find Darkwing's dazed body. However, he merely found a warm speaker with a conspicuous hole through it where the boxing glove passed right through. He turned his head around, to look across the street, down the street, and up in the air.
"You don't have all the fact, Gizmo. You're going off half-cocked, as usual," taunted Darkwing, "If I'm right, you must have known the Duck brothers when they were just kids. What makes you so sure they would do something like hire the beagle boys to attack Duckburg?"
"Whether or not I think they're guilty is immaterial! They are wanted by the law." Gizmo continued to roll along as he searched and kept Darkwing talking. "If they are innocent I believe the power of the due process of the law will find them so. If they are guilty then so be it."
"It must be wonderful to be so naïve, Gizmo," said Darkwing's voice, much closer than last time, "You should know that your boss can throw as much money as he can at keeping those Ducks framed for just as long as it takes for the jury to declare a guilty verdict."
"Mr. Kagan is not the enemy here. My... My mentor trusts him, and I always trust what my mentor says."
"Well, isn't that just dandy."
Suddenly, an arrow struck Gizmoduck right in the face. The gas-chamber on the tip exploded, sending a grey colored gas spraying into his nostrils.
"Hey! Why... I... Ooog.." said Gizmo, as his arms and head went limp, while the balancers in his wheel kept him sleeping upright. Darkwing swooped in from his hiding place and with a determined expression on her face.
That will only last for a few minutes, She thought, and I only have a few of them. Hopefully I can keep him busy long enough for Louie to get out of town with that binder. It may be our only chance at clearing Dewey's name.
Domestic life, such as it is, had taken over the Mouseton homestead while Louie was away. The single room was alive with the three girls, lead by the intrepid organizer Webigail Vanderquack, making sure every surface was spotless and tidy, as the three men, lead by José Carioca wielding a hot plate and some cheap pots and pans, put together a modest dinner on their shoestring budget. Dewey was in the process of peeling a potato with a swiss army knife, while His brother sliced them up into small chunks. They both worked quickly and efficiently.
José smiled broadly as he stood over the hot broth, "Now where do two city-slicker trillionaires learn to peel potatoes like champien's?"
"Junior Woodchucks, Duckburg branch," answered Huey, dropping the sliced potato chunks in a bowl with a flourish, "And lots and lots of practice."
"Uncle Scrooge was always taking us on expeditions and treasure hunts," Dewey said, "We got used to using our Woodchuck training nearly all the time, although..." He put down his knife and shook out his hand, "...Louie was always the better woodchuck out of us. I kind of wish he was here."
"An' what did your Oncle Donal' do on these trips? I remember the last time I saw him he told us about your Oncle Scrooge, an' finding all those treasures an' secret places."
Huey seemed to mentally cool, and so Dewey spoke up, "He, er, He helped. He was a big help."
"Yeah, somebody's got to do all the unskilled labor," sniped Huey.
Dewey gave Huey a sidelong glance, but didn't dispute what his brother said. "Essentially, Uncle Donald was the, er, Muscle."
"You mean like an enforcer?"
"Er, yeah. Sure. Uncle Scrooge was a firecracker when you got between him and his money, but he was an old man by the time we knew him, and we were no slouches, but you just couldn't beat our Uncle Donald when he got wound up about something."
Huey said nothing, as loudly as possible. José couldn't help but notice Huey's cool relationship with his Uncle, and decided to skip it.
"And tell me more of these Janitor Woodchives. I believe we have them in Brazil."
"You probably do," said a voice behind them, "We're like resourceful, well-informed rats. We're everywhere."
"Louie!" cried Huey and Dewey happily as they saw their brother enter the room from the windowsill. The beaming happiness on Dewey's face caused Webby to pause in mid-order to the three girls and smile.
"You miss me?" said Louie as he reached behind himself to retrieve the binder, "I brought you a present, Dewey, to pay you back for that beautiful scotch we had the other night."
"And that hangover you had the nex' morning," volunteered José.
Dewey stood quickly and snatched the binder out of Louie's hands. In a moment it was open on his lap as he sat on the couch, kicking up a large cloud of dust. Webby gave a dirty look to Amalia, who had the good graces to look sheepish.
"This... This is great." He flipped ahead a few pages, reading them over quickly. "The entire last two years of McDuck Enterprises records, along with accounts, money, and all the little iffy business dealings that went nowhere." He looked up, "With Farid's name all over it. Darkwing...?"
"Yup. She left it with an agent in Spoonerville before giving Gizmo the slip." He gave a glance out the window, looking off into the distant direction of Spoonerville. "I hope she's all right."
As Dewey flipped through the binder, he retained the big smile on his face. As he continued to flip, the smile seemed to shrink more and more. By the time he hit the back cover, he had gained a full-on frown.
"What's wrong?" asked Huey.
"It's these records. They're cooked to perfection."
José raised up his boater to scratch his head, "Cooked? As in the potatoes?"
"No. This accounting. It's locked up tight. I thought there were holes in the accounts, but there's so much misdirection I couldn't tell you where anything went, let alone the money being filtered down through criminals in Saint Canard."
"Great. So it's useless?" asked Huey.
"'fraid so," answered Dewey, "Unless we can figure it out this binder isn't worth the paper it's printed on."
Huey and Dewey seemed to droop, but Louie refused to give up hope. As he sat on the window sill, he gave a sly smirk. "How would Farid have figured out how to work this accounting magic?"
"He'd have to use one hell of an accountant," said Dewey.
Louie pounded his palm with a fist, "So that's it! We need a bean counter to help us unravel the number knots, right?"
"But where do we find an accountant that can deal with this mess?" asked Dewey, sullenly.
"Well," began Huey, a bit unsure of his answer, "Remember that accountant Uncle Scrooge hired for a while when we were living with him?"
"Yeah!" cried Louie, "Of course! What was his name?"
However, for a moment, Louie was lit from behind by a great big spotlight. Everyone in the room shaded their eyes from the glare as Louie dived out of the way of the light, hoping his hadn't been seen.
However, "Dewey Duck and company," said an artificially amplified voice, "You and your companions should come out with your hands up, and I won't be forced to hurt any of you."
"What's happening!" cried Rosalina as she huddled with her cousins.
Louie yelled, "It's Gizmoduck! He's found us, but how?"
"He must have followed you, you dummy!" cried Huey, "Suit up everyone, and get ready for a scrap!"
"I will count to ten!" cried Gizmoduck as he stood out in the evening twilight, shining the spotlight from a device on his head and drawing a crowd of gawkers around him, "If you have not surrendered yourself by then I will be forced to go in and get you!"
Huey was at the window, looking out over the street and shading his eyes from the shine of the spotlight, "Gizmoduck! It's us! Don't you remember us?" he yelled, "We were friends. You used to work for our Uncle!"
"Regardless of our past, you are wanted by the authorities. I cannot stand idly by while you go free after what happened in Duckburg."
"One second, while we think this over, chum!" yelled Louie, "we always decide on things together, you see."
"All right, you three. You've got fifteen seconds, but no more!"
"Thanks!" And with that the three heads ducked down into the room and began to whisper.
Gizmoduck began to count. On one, he was confident and proud, as he was on two through eight. Once he got to nine, the whispers were still going on, and he began to strain to hear them, but they were still too low for his instruments to pick up. On ten, eleven, and twelve, he began to sweat under his armor, wondering if he gave them too much time to think. Finally, he went slightly faster on twelve through fifteen, and finally shouted, "That's it! I'm coming up," before sprouting his helicopter and coming up to the room to break up that incessant whispering.
His propeller beat the air over his head, raising his body quickly up towards the window. He got closer, keeping the spotlight, now sprouting from the side of his head while the propeller took up the top, focused hard on the window. After a moment he had a clear view of the inside, or at least clear enough without all that smoke in the way.
Within, there was a huge, pervasive fire set up all around the room. Everything was ablaze, curtains, couch, tables, everything. Gizmo's eyes goggled underneath his visor as he cried out, retreating as the fire licked up out of the window. The whispers, which had been going during all of this, suddenly died out with a buzzing metallic noise, and was silent.
Resisting the urge to swear loudly, Gizmoduck ran back down to the curb, to the nearest fire Hydrant, and retrieved a long fire hose from his chest, which he unspooled and attached with swift accuracy. He then grabbed the valve with his fingers and turned it hard, pointing the hose towards the fire with his other hand. The torrent of water shot out at high pressure, and Gizmo aimed towards the blazing room. To get a better vantage point, he got out his helicopter and flew up to fight the fire on its own terms, and soon all there was left was smoke and damp steam.
He landed on the ground and turned off the water before he was suddenly surrounded by the cheering crowd of gawkers, which he couldn't escape for a minute or two.
"Excuse me. I'm sorry. I must apprehend... thank you ma'am. No sir, please. Thank you, but..."
"Did we lose him?" asked Dewey as the lor of them ran down an alley.
"I feel terrible about setting that fire," protested Webby, "we could have..."
"No time for looking back, Senhorita!" called out José with a big smile on his face and slightly singed hot plate in his hands.
"Ay, Tio Carioca!" cried the three girls.
"Don't relax yet in any case," said Louie as they ran out of an alley and across the street to the next one, "Gizmoduck is top-tier as far as powers are concerned. He can seriously beat feet, or, er, Wheel, when he wants to."
"But how did he find us?" said Dewey.
"I'd rather like to know if Darkwing is okay," muttered Louie with a concerned expression.
"I'd rather we stop gabbing and start running," cried Huey, "He's right behind us!"
Everyone looked over their shoulders before their legs started pumping faster.
Behind them, quickly gaining by the sky, Gizmoduck followed along, filling the air with the cliché "Come out with your hands up" retreads they had all heard a hundred times before.
"Split up!" Louie yelled as they came to the exit of the alley they were in, "Meet back at the Sea Duck!"
The group did just that. Huey and Louie broke right quickly, planning to go around and, possibly, fight their way through to the plane. José and family linked hands with each other and continued straight on towards the next alleyway.
"Dewey!" cried Webby as she grabbed his hand and pulled him along to the right.
As Gizmo came to the mouth of the alley, he was stunned for a moment as he felt the urge to chase each small group. He began to go towards the superhero's team, before getting curious about those girls he had never seen before. However, the last group, containing the ringleader, Dewey, seemed like both the easiest group to pick off and the one with the largest quarry. He landed on the ground and retracted his helicopter before rolling to the right and following Dewey and his assistant down the sidewalk.
"Stop! You are under citizen's arrest!"
Dewey and Webby ran even faster at this, sweat rolling down their brows. The binder Webby held close to her chest dug into the sides of her upper arms as she squeezed it to herself.
"What (huff puff) Can we do, Dewey?"
"Just (huff) Keep running (puff)."
They ran on, dodging around street signs and hydrants, trying to figure out the way to the Sea Duck without tipping off their pursuer to its location. Everything seemed hopeless, but they couldn't stop now, not with the evidence in their hands, and victory so close.
"Wak!" cried Webby. She had looked over her shoulder to watch the rapidly gaining hero, and hadn't even seen the fruit stand she ran straight into, flipping over the apply trays and sending herself to land painfully on the pavement behind. The binder flopped open on the ground, sliding away slightly.
"Dewey! Take the binder and go! Go!"
But he froze, staring at the binder, then at her, then at the mechanical duck. He ran to Webby without a second though and helped her up.
"No! You idiot! Not me, The book! The-"
"You two are under citizen's arrest," said Gizmoduck as his shadow loomed over the two ducks, who grasped each other for support and cowered.
Webby spoke, "Gizmoduck. It's us. Please..."
Gizmo was just about to pull out a set of his built-in handcuffs, when he finally got a good look at Webigail's face. His automatic facial recognition software began to analyze her face, bringing up a small pop-up in the corner of his vision, telling him what was known about Dewey Duck's personal assistant.
"W-webby?" said Gizmo, who was suddenly trembling, "Is... is that Webby?"
"Yes! Please! Don't turn us in!"
"B-But..." He was rooted to the spot, the hands holding the handcuffs hovering in the air, "I... I must... Webby..."
Suddenly, there was a snap, followed by a buzzing hum, and a great cry floating through the air towards them. Dewey noted that several of the lights around the block had suddenly gone out. Webby noted that behind Gizmoduck another shadowy figure was looming.
Wham! Darkwing Duck, holding in her rubber-gloved hand a cable that sparked and flashed from the exposed wires at the end, landed behind Gizmoduck. Before he could turn around, she gave a primal scream as she drove the end of the wire into Gizmo's back, sending sparks and bolts crackling up and down the Duck of Steel. Darkwing dropped the severed powerline after a moment, being careful not to touch the end with her bare foot, and yelled at Dewey and Webby.
"Get out of here!"
"Darkwing Duck!" screamed Webby.
Bolstered by her voice, and by the vision of Gizmoduck seizing up and falling over backwards, straight as a log, Webby and Dewey picked themselves up, each pulling desperately at the other's clothes, before Webby took the binder back up and continued to run on behind her boss. Darkwing watched them go off for a moment, before she turned back towards the immobile Gizmoduck.
"I-I can't move."
"Your suit can take it. You'll probably boot back up in a little while. Meanwhile I'm going to be elsewhere." She began to stroll off, "See you later, tinman. Have a nice life in Farid Kagan's pocket."
"Come back here! You criminal! Terrorist! Traitor! I'll get you yet Darkwing Duck! I'll get you!"
But she was already gone, back up onto the roofs and off to her many safe houses set up wherever she goes.
Breathing hard and ragged, Dewey and Webby ran towards the Sea Duck, whose propellers were already spinning. They forced themselves to hurry on towards the passenger side door, where Louie was waiting, waving them in. Webby threw the binder roughly inside, before clambering inside helped up by Dewey, before being followed in by Dewey himself.
Louie closed the door, and Huey started to move the plane forward through the long field they were using for a runway.
The door that connected the pilot's cabin to the passenger area suddenly slammed open, revealing Rosalina, "Behind us Huey!"
"I'm on it!"
Dewey stared out the window, seeing the chrome Duck off in the distance. He wiped the copious sweat from his brow. "Can't this cart go any faster?"
"Almost in the air, Dewey. Patience."
There were no more words after that. The plane bounced once, twice, and suddenly they cleared the trees off in the distance, with Gizmoduck following fast behind.
"Could he still follow us into the air?"
"I'd like to see him try!" called Huey.
But he did not try. Instead, as he watched the yellow plane disappear off into the distance with his quarry aboard, he slowed down, until he had stopped altogether. His hands rose up, trying to pry the helmet off of his head, forgetting for a moment that it was stuck tight until he uttered the codeword.
Piece by piece, the armor began to peel off. The orange legs were revealed, stepping out of their housings within the single tire. His torso piece and arms fell away from him next, sliding over his legs and tripping him up. He fell on the soft grass, next to the marks made by the landing gear of the SeaDuck, before he crawled out of his chest plate, revealing his strong upper body and thick arms with a simple blue sweater over it.
As he sat up on his knees, his beak quivered. He reached up with his now bare hands and grasped the loosened helmet, lifting it up, revealing a pair of beady, squinting eyes on a slightly chubby face which looked as if it had been much fatter once upon a time. Dropping the helmet on the ground, he began to pat himself down, trying to find the pair of glasses he had to take off before summoning the armor, which naturally corrected his vision. He lifted them out of a pocket before replacing them on his beak and looking up and off into the distance.
"Webby. It's really you. It's been years since... since..."
Doofus Drake sat in the field, surrounded by the various pieces of the armor that made up his whole responsibility. He made no sounds and no moves, but merely moved his eyes, searching the horizon for some sign of his quarry, and for the woman he used to know riding on it with the man he swore to catch.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Kind of a shortie, but hopefully a goodie. This was one of those chapters where I just sorta blanked out for about six hours while alternating between 4chan, references on Wikipedia, and the Microsoft Word document containing the story, and when I woke up there was a chapter and I had an overwhelming urge to call my older brother who lives on the other side of the country. Pic related. Expect WORDS WORDS WORDS today.
As usual, Enjoy.
"What a dump," said Louie, as he searched the low skylines and wide residential streets of the sleepy town below for any sign of either the modern majesty of Saint Canard, or the earnest bustle of Duckburg.
The plane came in for a discrete landing outside of town near a forest, before the group disembarked. Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Webigail, José Carioca and his three nieces all stood at the edge of the woods, looking at the distant vision of houses and low, blocky buildings.
Huey smiled and waved his hands off into the distance. "Welcome," he said, "To Mouseton, Calisota."
"Why?" asked Louie, his obvious disdain for such a town showing through his face, "Why are we here?"
Huey smirked and began to give the penny tour, "Well, Louie, Mouseton is a small, mostly suburban and rural city of middling population a few hundred miles outside of Duckburg. Despite its former rank as the capitol of Calisota near the turn of the century, it never had nearly the growth potential that Duckburg or Saint Canard did. Indeed, once Uncle Scrooge turned Duckburg into an industry town, it very quickly left Mouseton in the dust. Today it's mostly known for some famous crime that happened here about fifty years ago."
Rosalina, coming up behind Huey and batting her eyelashes, asked, "What happened?"
Huey blushed, and his eyes swung around to look at the girl's uncle-slash-father as apologetically as possible. For his part, José wore only an amused expression.
"Well, er, It was this case, see? This mysterious masked man, called 'The Blot,' operated a crime wave here that extended all the way out into Duckburg. He was apparently some kind of crazy hypnotist or something." Huey began to walk and talk towards the edge of the town. "Some Private detective working with the police finally took him down. Something like... Mortimer? Morey? Something like that."
Darking, passing the meandering Huey, took up the slack of the story, "We're here because it’s the last place anyone will look. Mouston is just one of those towns where nobody goes and everyone is from." She looked over her shoulder and towards Louie. "Perfect for our purposes."
Webby smiled and breathed in. "Well, the air is much cleaner than I'm used to. It's a nice place. Didn’t your Uncle Donald live here for a while?"
Huey grunted, "Who cares about that?"
Webby opened her mouth to answer, but Louie shook his head towards her. She took the hint and quieted down, walking alongside Dewey, who was looking around seriously.
"Where is this office you got for us, Huey?"
Huey perked up, " It's an old office right near the center of town, in the historic district. I think you'll really like it, Dewey."
The door creaked open, spreading a small yet bodacious wave of dust to cascade across the floor. In the frame, the large group stood, with Huey, Dewey, and Louie at the front.
"What a dump," said Louie, raising a single eyebrow.
The room was dark and dry with a grey haze that seemed to settle over everything. Huey tried the light switch, and a single, bare bulk blinked off and on, before burning right back out. From what they could see, there was a single desk, a ratty old couch, and a big empty shelf.
"Good a place as any," said Darkwing, blowing past the three brothers and stepping into the room, kicking up small clouds as she walked.
"I'll really like it, huh?" said Dewey, with a sideways glace towards Huey.
"Of course," Huey said with a smirk, before making his own way into the room, "It was cheap."
"Oh." Dewey looked around once again, this time with a much more appreciative light. "A fixer-upper."
Louie stomped in after Darkwing and sat on the couch, followed by the rest of the group. "So what now?"
Darkwing placed her hands on her hips, and said, "Now, I'm gone."
Dewey nodded, sitting on the wooden chair behind the desk, and searching the drawers for errant office supplies. "Right, You go into Duckburg to search for proof of Farid's guilt. We'll stay here and-" Crack! The chair collapsed underneath him and Dewey seemed to disappear behind the desk. After a moment, he continued his speech, as if he had never stopped. "We'll stay here and lay low."
With a sly look towards Louie, Huey said, "And what about that Green Phantom guy? Do we know what he's doing?"
"I don't know and I don't care," answered Dewey, climbing back up from where he had fallen, before Louie could speak, "I still don't altogether trust The Phantom."
"I'm sure the feeling's mutual," muttered Louie.
"Regardless," continued Darkwing, "You stay here. I'll be back as soon as I get something useful." She walked over to the window and opened it, scurrying out without another word.
The rest of the gang then slowly made themselves comfortable in the dusty room. As the Duck boys, Webby and José sat around and waited, The three girls killed time by digging through the closets, finding, thankfully, a broom and dustpan, as well as a few other interesting items.
"Anybody like to play Monopoly?" said Rosalina, holding up the box.
That night, with the room swept up clean enough to sleep in without sneezing, the entire group slept. After discovering that the couch folded out, Huey, ever the gentleman, suggested the four women take it, while the men slept on the floor. José admired Huey's spirit of chivalry, but Dewey and Louie, or at least their mental chiropractors, didn't quite appreciate the sentiment. Curled up around the floor using their respective coats and jackets for pillows and blankets, were the three boys, while José took the hard-yet-clean desk as well as one of the sofa cushions. The remains of the game, a close affair ending with a sheer battle of wills between Dewey and Louie for control of the board, sat near the corner of the room, a monument to Dewey's sense of business if the stack of multicolored money on his side of the board had anything to say about it.
The room was dark, and all that could be heard was the light snoring of the sleepers. A small movement in the dark, a sound, and a shaded shape began to move through the room, towards the window, being careful not to step on anything or anyone. The window opened with a moan of old wood sliding against old wood, and the shape moved out, backlit by the moon high in the sky, before he disappeared up to the roof.
However, a single pair of eyes were open enough to catch this, before narrowing in suspicion and anger. Dewey Duck tried to drift off to sleep, but with visions of the Green Phantom sneaking out playing over and over in his head.
Mouseton, so different from the other towns and cities he's gotten used to over the past year or so. At night, it truly sleeps. Unlike Duckburg, where Men work straight through to the dawn, or Saint Canard, where the unscrupulous stay up late to plot and scheme, or even Rio or Salvador, where good times are the order of the night life, Mouseton had nothing. The entire town shut down promptly at nine O'clock and awoke the next morning at six. No wonder the Phantom Blot was able to set up his business here where there were no rivals and no suspicion as he pulled the strings of his puppets from half a world away. The pulse of this city, faint, but existant, began to flow through Louie as he sat out on the roof, breathing the clean air. He thought of the Blot, and what he must have felt being the only one awake to appreciate the quiet and dark, and what kind of man the detective who took him down must have been. A Mouseton man, and yet aware enough of the night to defeat someone who operated in the dark.
"What a dump."
That was that, Louie was gone, and the Green Phantom had come out to play, bolstered by the silent whispers of the night. He pulled out the grappling hook he had, still made from spare parts salvaged from the Sea Duck, and figured out the shorter length needed to swing across such low buildings. He threw the iron hook towards the nearest building, a square, four story midget, and prepared to take a trip across the street.
He jumped from the roof, preparing to shift his weight in a swing, raising his legs so the soles of his boots wouldn't scrape across the pavement. He aimed for the roof of a house, a quaint two story vision of Norman Rockwell fantasy with dog house and white picket fence. He had reached the low apex of his swing and was about to clear the white spikes of the fence on his way to the slanted roof above.
BANG! Suddenly, there was a great deal of slack on the rope. The Green Phantom tried not to scream as he suddenly fell through the air. In a low arc, he cleared the fence, just barely, and came down hard on the leafy bushes on the other side, grunting from the impact. Wasting no time, the hero was back up on his feet, and bent low behind the fence for cover, just in case that loud cracking noise was what he thought it was.
BANG! Suddenly, one of the planks of the fence disturbingly close to GP came free and split in half due to the force of a mid-sized object moving at high velocity. Following the planks, he spotted a raised patch of dirt, where the missile had dug into the poor homeowner's lawn. A musket ball.
"Come out you son of a bitch!" Cried Dewey, waving Scrooge's musket wildly, "I know you're back here!"
The Phantom swore quietly, eyes wide. He looked through the hole in the fence and saw his brother, wide-eyed with rage, holding the musket steady at his hip. With another bang and a puff of white smoke, another section of fence near his head came loose and flew away, showering him in splinters.
"Stop shooting you maniac!" yelled the Green Phantom, standing up and waving his arms while Dewey took the time to tamp more powder into the antique gun, "What the hell are you doing?"
Dewey dropped another musket ball into the gun and continued to tamp it down, before dropping his rod and leveling the rifle towards the masked hero, "You followed us to Mouseton. Why? Where do you keep disappearing to?"
With sweat on his brow, Louie's shoulders drooped, "Oh, come on... you... you know I'm buddies with Darkwing. She sent me to keep an eye on you guys."
"That wasn't part of the plan. We don't need the likes of you hanging around here."
"Come on, man! I saved your asses in South America, and Duckburg, and..."
"...And wherever you seem to show up, trouble follows. I knew you snuck into the hostel in Salvador every night. I kept asking José to close it at night, but you always managed to find a way in. Not long after the VPR found us." He cocked back the gun and looked down the sight towards the Green Phantom, "How do I know you're not the one who tipped off Farid Kagan? How do I know you haven't been working for him the whole time? How do I know you won't go and tell him where we are right now so he can send someone else after us to burn down half of Mouseton?"
"You got it all wrong, you blind idiot!"
"Prove it! You're hiding something."
"Of course I am! I'm a superhero. I'm supposed to have a secret identity!"
"I don't know! That's just how it works! Get that thing out of my face."
"Not until you take off that mask."
"I wasn't going to say anything, but damn, how do you not know who I am?" Louie waved his arms around his face, "It's not even that big a mask."
"Take it off!"
"Literally everyone knows already! I think even Amalia has figured it out, and she doesn't even speak English."
"Shut up and take it off!"
"Hey you hooligans! Stop that shouting!" railed a crotchety voice from the house with the picket fence, "I got work in the morning!"
Surprised, Dewey fired towards the sound, burying the musket ball in the wall of the house as the elderly black and white horse shook his fist, unaware of his close scrape with death. With the Musket suddenly unarmed, Louie jumped over the fence and yelled as he grasped the barrel with both gloved hands and pulled, wrenching it out of Dewey's grasp before dropping it behind him. He then pushed the blue-clad duck to the ground and jumped on top of him, raising his fists up to knock some sense into his deluded brother.
"Horace! Horace! What's going on?" Said a lady's voice from within, "Lord have mercy, what is all that noise."
"The neighborhood's going to shit Clarabell. Kids brawling in the streets, setting off fireworks at God knows how late in the morning!"
Louie's fist made a meaty impact with Dewey's beak, but he refused to stay down. His scarred hand pushed the masked man's beak up, and his other hand aimed a punch, while both legs thrashed to try to strike someplace sensitive. Louie's own free hand grasped Dewey's punching hand before he could strike, however, and he wrenched his beak free of Dewey's grasp.
"Is it Mrs. Cluck's grandkids? Always making such a fuss. Let me see."
"Woman! Go back to bed." He turned back towards the fight. "And you! Quit that horsin' around and go back home to your mammas before I give you a whipping like they should have!"
Dewey wrenched his entire weight sideways, and the two ducks found themselves rolling around in the empty streets, tearing and thrashing at each other with their limbs. Eventually, Dewey found himself on top, and, without thinking, he sent his forehead to strike into the Green Phantom's causing GP's head to bounce painfully off the hard pavement.
"Let me see, Horace!"
"Clarabell! Get back to bed! This isn't for your eyes!"
"Ohh! Wait'll Clara gets an earful of this. Who are they, Horace?"
"Hell if I know, Woman!" The horse began to look around, "Get me something to throw!"
Dewey, breathing hard, leaned over on top of the dazed Green Phantom, and reached for the mask, his bloodied knuckles shaking as he wrapped his fingers around the surprisingly chinsy spirit-gummed plastic. He began to pull, ripping the mask up from the feathers of the Phantom's face until...
"Horace! That was my best china! Shame on you!"
"Desperate measures, Clarabell! They'll think twice before making trouble in our neighborhood!"
Dewey fell over from the shock of the china plate slamming into the back of his head, and his hand tightened. As he fell to the ground, his vision clouded over with spots. He felt another impact on his face before his vision seemed to clear. He noted that his hand was filled by the crumpled up mask before he got a good look at the formerly masked man.
Louie froze, with his arm cocked back in preparation for another wallop. He felt his face, and suddenly realized that his mask had come undone. "W-where is it?"
"Louie? You're the Green Phantom?"
"If I say yes will you stop trying to kill me?"
"I reserve the right to change my mind." Dewey tried to push Louie off of him, but Louie had him pinned to the ground by his hand, and was sitting on his waist out of reach of his legs.
"Ah-ah-ah. No getting up until your little baby fit is over."
"What the hell are you doing playing superhero?"
"I'm not playing Dewey. I am a superhero."
"What is this? This is why you ran off to Saint Canard? This is where all of that money has been going?" Dewey looked angrier than ever, and tried to thrash even harder against Louie's hands. "You've been wasting your inheritance on... toys?"
"You've been spying on my accounts?"
"And why not? You used to be my business partner. I had to know where your money was going." Dewey suddenly spat off to his side, leaving a small pool of bloody spit on the curb. "And now I find out you were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to become a superhero? And not even a very good one!"
"Better than just letting it all sit somewhere in a bank with nothing happening to it."
"I'm just following in Uncle Scrooge's example!"
"Uncle Scrooge saved up all of that money and treasure so he could swim in it, and remember all the stories from when he earned it. What's your excuse?" Louie yelled at the top of his lungs, spit flying from his beak as long-dormant feelings came flooding out, "You've never had a worthwhile memory in your life!"
"That's not true!"
"It is! If you had your way you'd sit up in that empty bin on Killmotor hill all day and waste away staring at the pennies at the bottom nobody can reach."
"I manage McDuck Enterprises, A responsibility you ran away from!"
"McDuck Enterprises can take care of itself!"
"That's why Uncle Scrooge didn't trust you!"
Louie drew back, before he slammed the trapped wrists into the pavement, "Bastard! Scrooge taught me more than he ever taught you!"
"You learned silly ropetricks. I learned the business! If you had your way you'd give the entire business away to some charity!"
"I learned to have principles! I learned that even if nobody likes you or what you stand for you still keep going, and damn what they think! You would realize that if you tried to be yourself instead of some carbon-copy of our Uncle!"
"And you should remember how he felt about what happened to his money! He worked for every last red cent of this..."
"HA! As if you can tell me about work! You went off gallivanting in India. I stayed behind! I stayed and worked so Uncle Donald could feed us, and so he could go through with his proposal to Aunt Daisy. I stayed behind to help take care of the man before he went and got himself killed chasing after more money and treasure all alone. I worked and I worked for the shit that man gave us for money while you and Huey went out and had lives, and I worked after he was killed to make sure the business could run after he was gone. After all that I think I was entitled to start having a life with my own money that I earned by being the good nephew!" Drops of water fell on Dewey's face as Louie spoke, his speech getting warbly as he struggled with his emotion.
"Good nephew? GOOD Nephew!" Dewey's own face took on a red hue as he shouted back, "I was the good nephew! I was prospecting for gold in India, you idiot! I was trying to make my own fortune! I didn't want to fall back on Uncle Scrooge's money for some empty security! I wanted to make my own way in the world!" He pushed on Louie's hands, succeeding in raising up the stronger arms slightly. "I took all of the money out of the bin because I wanted to start over! That was his money, not mine. It will always be his money, full of memories of the Klondike, and Panama, The Mississipi, Transvaal, Glasgow... I couldn't just keep hoarding all of those memories that weren't mine! I was... I was going to fill the bin with my own money that I made myself. I wanted to catch up to him. Surpass him. But... but then he died and you left me alone to run the business, and I couldn't just abandon it to find my fortune. My claims just sat in India, gathering dust, and I... I couldn't..." His own rage-filled eyes began to water. "It made me miss him so much. I thought he would stay with us forever."
"He always loved you more. He always talked about your expedition."
"Who cares! You got to spend the last year with him. I wanted to see him one more time before he..."
Finally giving into their mutual sobs, the two brothers embraced tightly in the street, wailing each other's names along with half-pronounced apologies to one another, and to Uncle Scrooge, and Huey, and Webby, Gosalyn, Uncle Donald, and anyone else they could think of. Aching hands and faces were forgotten in the wracking weeps as the two brothers melted together, letting five or more years of rivalry and antagonism dissolve away in so many tears.
"What are they doing NOW Horace?"
"My god! I think they might be a couple o' them Homer-sexuals from the city!"
"Land sakes! I'll get more china! Get 'em Horace!"
The next morning, Huey was the first one up, even before the sun, and the first thing he noticed was that Dewey and Louie were both nowhere to be found. His brows creased, and he got up, stretching the cricks out of his back from lying out on the hard floor, and putting his leather jacket on over his red undershirt.
Quietly, he walked towards the door to their little Mouseton office and stepped into the hall, figuring his brother's might be somewhere planning something.
That's when he heard the singing, faint at first, coming from further along the corridor, where there was a simple staircase leading up to the roof. As Huey got closer to the roof access door, the sounds of song and laughter got louder, as well as the sounds of clinking. He placed a hand gingerly on the door and twisted the handle, listening to the two voices beyond sing in a sloppy round.
"Show me the way to-"
"SHOW me the way to go ho... you stopped."
"You started too early."
A laugh, "You started too LATE!"
"That makes no sense!" Another laugh.
Huey peeked through the crack in the door, and saw, sitting on the ground near the end of the room, a half-drunk bottle between them, and two glasses in each of their hands, Louie and Dewey. Their clothes were disheveled, and Louie's costume was only half on, with his crumpled mask stuck clumsily to his forehead with the remainder of the spirit gum.
"About as much sense as you paying for the most expensive stuff in the store, Dewey."
"Issa Special occasion, Green Ghost."
"Phantom! Phantom! I'm the Green Phantom! Not Ghost. Allitarala... Alliteram... Alliter... Starting your name with The same letters is such a hokey device. I wanted something with flam!"
"Flim-flam! Razmatazz! Jazz! Gumption!"
"Okay. You start this time."
"I started last time."
"Well start again!"
Huey walked out onto the roof right then, and before Dewey could get half of the first note out, both brothers were on their feet and rushing towards their brother. "HUEY!" Both yelled in unison.
"We're sorry..." "...For everything!" "We were..." "...Jerks!" said Dewey and Louie in an alternating rhythm.
"You guys have been drinking up here?"
"We had a fight," said Dewey.
"But then I punched him and now we're brothers again."
"An' we got these nice dishes to show for it." Dewey then reached into his pocket and retrieved shards of blue-painted ceramic that had been shattered.
"An' we need you," yelled Louie suddenly, grabbing Huey's arm and pulling him, "We're not drunk. We just can't seem to get this round robin down."
Huey let himself be positioned to the edge of the building and sat down next to the bottle, as he said, "Now wait a minute. Dewey, you know that Louie is the Green Phantom?"
"And Louie, you're not mad at Dewey anymore?"
"And Dewey bought..." He looked down at the bottle and goggled at the label, "21 year old Scotch?"
"The GOOD shit!" said both brothers in unison.
Huey looked from one brother, to the other, then to the other again, their disconcerting idiot grins, framed by a pair of very conspicuous black eyes on Dewey, somehow cause Huey's heart to melt. And the only cure for a melted heart?
He took a swig of the scotch straight from the bottle, raggedly gasping at the beautiful sting.
"Well, boys? I don't know what happened between you two, but this is probably the best breakfast I've ever had." He then held up a finger like a conductor's baton as the hard liquor began to play tricks on his empty stomach, "A one and a two and..."
The three then began to sing their song, overlapping their voices in three parts, occasionally skipping beats and warping the rhythm, but often blending in three parts, falling perfectly in step behind each other to turn one song into three sung in sequence. They faced out towards the East face of the building, where they watched the sun rise, arms around each other, brothers, once again, at last.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Here's the next one. Enjoy it, or else!
The Baiano breezes rushed through the gaps between the buildings that made up the Capital of Happiness. Salvador de Bahia, a center of culture and music, of carnivals and festivals. The capitol of beautiful Bahia, Brazil, with fifty kilometers of blue and white beaches spread across the coast, where palm trees sway and the men and women and children and women frolic over the sands, taking the time to escape from their insubstantial lives if only for a second, to be taken in by the warm embrace of the sea and sun.
Within the city proper, in the area known as the Pelourinho, a small building, relatively new, but modeled quite obviously on the colonial architecture that surrounded it, contained the seed of commerce and prosperity. Above, a sign signaled that this was one of the many pousadas spread around the Palourinho, bearing the English phrase "Bed & Breakfast" in smaller text underneath. It couldn't have had more than two or three rooms to it, and it was known more for its breakfasts than its beds.
It had been nearly one year since the fateful escape from the Khan building in Bombay, and José Carioca, making the easy transition to a born and bred Baiano that comes easy to a natural social chameleon like he and his family, had taken in the four exiles. They, in return, funded the Bed & Breakfast with a portion of the money they had in Huey's swiss account. Using this base, Dewey and José became partners, uniting Dewey's head for business with José's taste and romance to set up a small retreat for lovers in the middle of Salvador, with all the intimacy they require, and none of the overwrought bustle that comes with the larger hotels and hostels closer to the coast.
Over the past year, charming José had been the public face of the pousada, making sure every single couple that came across their threshold was pampered and coddled, and given the most pleasant time they could ever require. The business had been good so far, as José's personal touch earned the B&B a lovely reputation, and, to Dewey's relief, a fairly long waiting list well into the year. Salvador's love affair with Zé's Pousada had been a long and smooth one so far, but Dewey, whose sense of business knew enough to understand when the tides change, wasn't up for relaxing yet.
The summer, their second in Salvador, was fast approaching, and as such, the preference for more intimate, romantic atmospheres surrounding the spring, fall, and winter months would fall away to the hustle of summer tourism. They couldn't compete with the larger hotels by the sea in the coming months, so Dewey had to focus on simply surviving until their busier months, when they would be on top once again.
At the moment, they had a single couple staying at Zé's. A tall, gangly stork and his newlywed wife, for whom the grace period of love and acceptance was still in full swing.
"Don't eat that. It will go right to your hips," said the man, in straw hat and thin Hawaiian shirt.
His wife did not seem fazed, and continued eating the plate of breakfast meat that had been placed in front of her. "You're one to talk."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"You've been loading up on fatty foods for weeks. I've been dieting to fit into the dress. I think I'm allowed to cut loose on our honeymoon."
"I have not. I've been the picture of strapping health."
"Strapping health subsists on two chocolate bars a day?"
"At least I can still wear the same clothes I wore in college."
The cool way in which the two spoke such nastiness with each other put strange chills up Huey's spine as he, in his little uniform of white shirt, red vest, and little black bowtie, walked up to speak with the beautiful bride.
"Is everything alright? Need a refill on anything?"
The clipped answer caused Huey to twitch, "Alright then. Have a pleasant Breakfast." He then turned to walk away.
Off, away from the intimate breakfast nook, through the employee area, and through the kitchen, Huey walked, before he sat on the little chair spitting distance from the kitchen. Huey leaned back and marveled at the fact that, from Rosalina, Maria, and Amalia's perspective of listening at doors and spying through keyholes, those two cold turkeys outside have the best sex imaginable.
Huey jumped to his feet, and soon was forced back to his seat by the combined weight of three parrot girls climbing all over him.
"Oh! Hi girls."
"Hello Huey," said the three girls again, showing the extant of the English they had learned in the year since they had first met the Duck family. Rosalina, the de-facto leader of the group by virtue of knowing the most English, continued, "Still letting the Storksons get you down?"
"It's just so depressing. It's like they're barely tolerating each other. There's no passion!"
The girls giggled, "There was last night, AND the night before."
"And will again tonight!" said Maria, the second most educated of the girls in the language arts, "Is last day. How romantic."
Amalia only nodded and sighed, understanding her sisters from context.
The three parrot girls and Huey had been dancing a close and dangerous dance ever since they had all been assigned their roles in the B&B. As per his nature, Huey had been giving the so-called "Time of day" to each of the three girls in turn, while also trying to keep that fact away from both the other two girls, and from their Uncle José, who would certainly not be amused. For his part, this flirtation had started innocently enough, as all three girls were naturally flirty, and were all clearly into him.
He stood up, pulling away from the three of them, before turning and smiling nervously, "Well, sex or no sex, I need to go get them their check." He began to turn away from the girls, smiling the whole way, "Could you go and tell Dewey they're almost finished with today's breakfast?"
The girls, from their perches around and on top of the lucky chair, grimaced.
"Dewey? I don't like Dewey much, Huey," began Rosalina.
"He is so Cheap!" continued Maria.
Amalia then finished the sentiment vulgarly in her native tongue.
Huey smiled much warmly now and wagged a finger at the girls, "Now, ladies, you know Dewey is the one around here keeping your uncle from going out of business." He nodded. "He may be a cold fish, but he's a natural at making money."
The three chorused, "Okay!" before they each blew Huey a kiss. Huey had a moment of panic, where he wasn't sure which of the imaginary kisses flying towards him he should do something adorable with, like catch out of the air and place on his cheek, or eat, or something along those lines. He settled for a protracted motion where he caught all three at once and stuffed them in his pockets for later, which seemed to go over well with the giggling crowd as they departed deeper into the Employee area, towards the linen closets and offices.
As they entered the thin hallway, one following the other like a line of baby quail, they saw Webby coming out of one of the closets with an arm full of fresh sheets. She was wearing a sensible black uniform and sensible shoes that were just a half an inch of leather away from being work boots.
"Ms. Vanderquack!" They all said with their usual bright tone for the woman, a fair boss who had just enough stern ugliness when mad to command respect, while also being warm and considerate enough to listen when things went wrong that weren't the girl's faults.
"Girls," said Webby, lowering the linens to let her eyes settle squarely on the ring leader Rosalina's, "what have I told you about our names."
Maria and Amalia simply looked ashamed as Rosalina parroted back, "We shouldn't use your real names."
"Correct. While we stay in Salvador, I am Ms. Beakly. Dewey is Deuteronomy Coot, Louie is Louis Duckworth, and; And you should listen close to this one, girls; Huey is to be called Hubert MacQuack. Understand?"
"Yes. Ms. Beakly."
"Good," She began to pass the girls in the hall as she spoke, "On your way."
Webby stopped, and tilted her head, "Yes?"
Rosalina twined her hands together and spoke, "Please Ms. Beakly, could you speak to... Mr. Coot for us? Huey... er... Mr. MacQuack... wants us to tell him the guests have nearly finished eating."
"Why ever can't you do it, girls?"
Maria and Amalia mimicked their cousin's position, as Rosalina went on, "He doesn't like us Ma'am. He is cold, like the fish. It feels like he does not want to see us, even when we are at our most friendly."
Sighing, understanding what the girls think it means to be 'friendly' to one of the opposite gender, nodded, "Fine. I'll speak with him." She then handed the armful of sheets to Rosalina, who distributed the pile among the others. "You take these to all three rooms, NOT just the one we have a guest staying in. Understand?"
"Yes Ms. Beakly."
"Good." She waved them off and they went, like a small sexy stampede, towards the exit and into the pousada proper. Shaking her head and smiling, Webby turned back up the hall and began walking towards the main office. She knocked.
"What?" said the voice inside.
"It's me, Mr. Coot."
"Oh! Ms. Vander... er... Beakly. Come in!"
She did, stepping inside her boss's office. It was quite small, taking up just the smallest corner of room from the building, but was consequentially uncluttered and very well-organized. Webby had noted long ago that while Dewey was on par with Scrooge in terms of ambition, when you considered the usual state of an office or file cabinet lorded over by the late Mr. McDuck, his nephew was miles ahead in terms of cleanliness and orderliness. Dewey was sitting with his back to the door, looking over a set of papers, and daring the phone to ring to bring him some new business.
"Yes?" he said.
"Hubert says that the guests are nearly done with Breakfast."
"Good. We'll have to make sure José sees them off for the day. He has a knack for ensuring repeat business."
Dewey turned in his swiveling chair, a few pages of a report in his hand. As she stared at his unadorned neck, Webby idly noted that he has yet to replace that tie he used as an impromptu bandage the year before. "We need more rooms."
"More rooms. I've started thinking we need to buy up the building next door and use it to expand."
"The next building over must have a hundred different rooms," countered Webby, "We would need a much larger staff. We can't risk too many people knowing us, could we?"
Dewey stared at his former personal assistant current housekeeper, and blinked. He then slumped down. "You're right!" He ripped the page in his hands once, twice, three times, and tossed the confetti into the air. "God forbid I become too successful," he snarled out.
Webby placed her hands on her hips, "Now, Dew... Mr. Coot. You know we aren't here to run the business. Zé's bed and breakfast is our cover. We need to be able to pick up and move on at any time."
"But we were doing so well! It was thrilling. For six months we were booked solid straight through the holidays before we petered off in mid-spring. There is a great deal of money to be made on this venture..."
"We can't worry about money right now, Dewey. We have to focus on... on our goals."
Webby sighed and turned, "I'll be going now. I have work to do."
"Er... all right."
She began to leave the room, and had almost closed the door, when...
"Webby?" He said.
Her heart skipped as she reopened the office door a crack.
There was a pause, where the two ducks tried to feel the other through the thin office door and beyond their own pounding heartbeats.
"Please send José in to see me. Please," Dewey finally said.
After a moment, the door slammed hard, and Dewey was alone. To keep himself from thinking about what Webby said, and the dread feeling that one day he would have to pick up and leave this B&B while it was going so well, he moved the typewriter over from the corner of his desk and loaded in a sheet of Carbon paper he had recycled so many times that it had the faint outlines of as many as ten different monthly reports printed on it. He began to type out that month's report for his records.
Ten minutes went past before a heavy knock sounded, followed by the door opening before Dewey could say 'Come in.'
"My friend! My friend! What would you like to see me about?" Asked José as he instantly sat in the guest chair and made himself comfortable, beginning by lighting up one of his thick cigars. "I've got to see off the lovely couple staying with us, remember?"
"Yes, José, but this is important as well. It's about expanding the business."
José smiled broadly, "Why expand? I think we are doing very well here and now."
"Yes, but we could do better."
"And I suspect young Webigail has heard about this plan."
"Er... Part of it. She vetoed a large part, however, and I need to come up with something to replace it with." He stood from his typing and began to pace in the three feet allowed him. "I think, perhaps, if we can't build our single location up, then the next best plan would be to create more locations of the same size around town."
"Why the urge to build, Dewey?"
"Deuteronomy. You never know who might be listening."
"Alright. Deuteronomy. Why build? We have such a lovely place now, and I am content."
"But I'm not. Your way of working with people is fantastic, and I want to sell that to people... as many people as possible."
"But Deuter... Mr. Coot. If we do that I could not possibly make as many people happy as I do now. If we open two hotels I will only be able to oversee one and the other would suffer unless I were to split my time between them, which would spread me too thin to be of any good use. And if we open three..." He sucked in some smoke and blew it out, "Forgedaboutid."
Dewey then rounded on the parrot, with a lost expression on his face, "Well then I just don't know what you want me to do, José. I try to build up and I can't. I try to build out, and I can't. I'm giving you the benefit of my business expertise here, José, I don't know what you want me to do!"
"I want you to relax, Dewey. We have made enough money over the holidays to live off of until our season starts once again. We won't even need to dip into Hue... Hubert's savings. We are living perfectly sustainable lives here as we are." He then scratched his head under his straw boater, "And of course, what if you all get called away? If the business is too large I cannot run it on my own."
Dewey sighed and sat down, leaning his elbows on his desk. "I don't want to think about that."
"The heating bill is much higher than it was last month. I forgot to tell you that. You may go now." He tried his best to pointedly not look at José. "Go on, José. Go see the guests out."
Distressed at Dewey's moody attitude, José stood. "For what it's worth, Mr. Coot," he said, "It is a very nice plan." He then turned and walked out of the office, using his umbrella to aid his lame leg.
Quickly, hoping not to miss the Storktons before they go out to see the sights of Salvador, José hurried his uneven gait until he was back in the breakfast nook. He looked around and groaned loudly. The Storktons had already left.
Turning on his heel, he left back through the Employee area, waving politely to Huey, who, seeing Uncle José walk past, very quickly ceased his heavy petting session with Amalia and acted like nothing was happening. José walked on, turning towards the kitchen, where Louie was standing with his shirtsleeves rolled up and his forearms plunged into a tub of steaming water.
"I hesitate to comment on another man's family, but your brother is crazy."
"So what else is new?" said Louie, wiping a large platter with a sponge, "What did he do?"
"I tell him I am content with the pousada we have build for ourselves, but he insists we build it larger." José shed his cream-colored jacket and began to roll up his sleeves, before taking up a cloth and helping to dry the dishes Louie washed. "When I say I do not want it and that it would be dangerous, he sulks. Why does he do this?"
"It's nothing to do with you, Joe, don't worry. It's just our upbringing." Louie pulled out a freshly rinsed plate and handed it to José. "Uncle Donald was in poverty most of the time we lived with him. His only regular source of income was working for our Uncle Scrooge for peanuts. The only way he could even make a living wage off of it was for us to help and take home the same wages, then pool them together and give them to Uncle Donald to help him pay for food, and payments on the house."
"Really? I had no idea Donal' was in such rough straits."
"Of course, when Uncle Donald re-upped in the Navy, we all went to live with Uncle Scrooge." Louie smiled and rolled his eyes, "That was an entirely different matter altogether."
"Because he was so rich?"
"Because he was so cheap. It was surreal. We lived on around the same amount of food as we did when we lived with Uncle Donald, but bought on less than a half of a percent of our great Uncle's total income. Uncle Scrooge was a wonderful man, deep down. We all loved him. He'd had a life full of hardships and he had earned everything he had ever had, but his attitudes about business and money were so tight you could bounce a quarter off of them." Louie looked up from a glass he had been rinsing out, before handing it over to José. "Those two were our main parental figures, you have to understand, so naturally the fact that their situations were so different has impacted the three of us pretty hard. Huey and I are much cooler about our money, although I suspect he wasn't hoarding all that money in Switzerland just for his health, but Dewey? He's different." A bowl found its way into Louie's hands and was passed over quickly to José's. "He idolized Uncle Scrooge. I mean, we all did, you couldn't help it. When he was in his teens he was an honest-to-god cowboy for Christ's sake. But Dewey damn near tried to become Scrooge McDuck Jr.
"I remember the winter before Uncle Scrooge passed away. We had all pretty much grown up and had gone our separate ways by then, you understand. Huey had moved out pretty soon after Donald came home from Korea and was off getting his pilot's license, Me and Uncle Donald were still living together and working for Uncle Scrooge for more money than I ever saw him pay anybody; Don't look so impressed it was still less than minimum wage; and the prodigal son Dewey was in India prospecting for gold. Everyone shows up at Uncle Scrooge's cabin on Bear Mountain, even though Huey never forgave Uncle Donald for leaving us to fight the war, he was there. Uncle Donald, Aunt Daisy, and Uncle Scrooge were there. I was there, practicing some rope trick or other I had coaxed out of Scrooge before he got too old to show me. Dewey was, of course, nowhere to be seen.
"Donald and Scrooge were both disappointed, of course, but then a postcard comes to the door. It's from some small town in India where Dewey was staying. It said, 'Can't talk long, my next claim might be rich with ore, Merry Christmas.' Three lines." Louie's grip on the plate he was holding tightened, "Three dirty lines, and Uncle Scrooge was suddenly miles away, talking about his time in the Yukon prospecting, and White Agony Creek, and that same stupid story we've heard a hundred stupid times. You could see it in Uncle Scrooge's eyes. He was so proud of Dewey. So proud, and there I was working for the rich bastard for less than minimum an hour, all of which I gave back to Uncle Donald so he and Aunt Daisy could have the security to get married."
Louie's fist suddenly came down, splashing the water, "I... I couldn't... It's not like I could have gone off to try making my own fortune. I had more important things to worry about. I..." He looked up at José's warm, concerned face, frozen in mid-dry. "I'm sorry. We were talking about Dewey. He always wants to make his own fortune. It's to do with making Uncle Scrooge proud. Something about that." Louie's beak then suddenly went up, "Me? I don't worry about things like that. The old man gave me enough money that I could live off of it for my entire life and still have enough to leave my grandkids. I've got absolutely nothing to feel guilty about." He resumed washing, going quicker now, with false bravado. "I never had money at Uncle Donald's, and At Uncle Scrooge's I had all the money in the world, but couldn't spend any of it. I'm my own man now, and I can spend it on what I like."
Louie finally stopped talking, and José couldn't help but smile. Somehow he understood Louie perfectly, even where Dewey was an untouchable mystery to him.
Suddenly, a ding resounded from the front.
"That is enough washing, Louie... I mean, Louis. Go out front and tell them I will be right with them. I must prepare."
"Sure," said Louie, unrolling his sleeves and straightening the green bowtie he wore as his uniform. He then began walking off.
"Oh. And Louis?"
"Don't leave the window hanging open when you come in at night. It is causing the heating bill to Skyrocket."
"Oh. Alrigh... er... I... Oh..."
José looked back with a mischievous little smile and tapped the side of his beak with a green feathered finger. Louie couldn't help but sigh and think, Oh well, one more person in on the secret can't hurt.
He walked on, out past the chair, where Huey was now entering into heavy petting with Maria, but still with the presence of mind to offer up a discrete high-five behind her back as Louie went past, which he was equally subtle in returning.
Louie walked through the Employee area, then out and behind the counter, where there was a lady goose in dark sunglasses standing, ringing the bell.
"Good morning ma'am," he said in a very practiced fake Brazilian accent, and with the fakest smile anyone had ever offered up, "Mr. Carioca will be out in just a minute."
"Now why would I want to see him when you're right here," she lowered her glasses slowly, revealing her eyes, "Gadgets."
Louie gasped, "G... Goz..." before looking around. The main hall and breakfast nook was empty. "Come on." He said. "Back here."
Gosalyn Mallard vaulted over the counter, and followed Louie back behind the door marked 'Empregados somente.' The two of them passed by Huey, now working over Rosalina, and settled in the hall leading up to the closets and offices, safe from prying ears. Once there, Louie felt secure enough to begin talking.
"Guh... uh... urg..."
Of course, having nothing much to say, his mouth just made funny noises until Gosalyn placed her hand over his mouth.
"Quiet. You are a difficult family to find. You know that?"
"That's for the best, isn't it? Internationally wanted terrorists and all that."
"Even so, I've been searching for a week before I found out that José Carioca had set up a new hostel here in Salvador." She look off her glasses and coat, revealing the much more casual affair underneath, with the mere flash of purple underneath that, "Three layers in summer weather in Brazil. I do not recommend it."
"You're telling me." He placed a hand on her shoulder, "Anyway, what are things like back home, and in Duckburg."
"Not so good," she said, whipping off her shirt and revealing the double-breasted coat underneath, "Farid Kagan has whipped everyone up into a frenzy to find you guys. He put Gizmoduck on the case a year back, and everyone is getting antsy to find you. Duckburg is paranoia city at the moment, but Saint Canard is even worse."
"Since one of the terrorists was a masked hero, then naturally all masked heroes are to blame. We've been made scapegoats. Gizmoduck has lead the campaign, and since he is firmly in Farid's pocket, Farid is leading the campaign."
"Campaign to what?"
"It was passed a few months after you left," She tied the mask to her face before retrieving the hat from her person, "Register, reveal your identity, and continue crime fighting in the public eye; Retire and never crime fight again; OR continue crime fighting in the shadows and risk getting caught and sent to jail. Since most of the street-level newbies have opted to retire, the big boys have had to stoop to the surge in petty crime, allowing upper-level superbads to slip through the cracks." She shook her head, now fully in costume. "It's bad, and Gizmoduck isn't doing a very good job of inspiring confidence in the community."
"It is. Darkwing Duck officially retired from Saint Canard nightlife about two months later, once the pressure had gotten too great." She sighed, but quickly smiled again. "However, Business. I come bearing a gift."
"Yes. Dad's connections may have come in handy. S.H.U.S.H finally got back to me not too long ago with an offer. Turns out they are quite suspicious about Farid Kagan's sudden rise to power, and of Dewey Duck's sudden disappearance afterwards. They are willing to begin investigating Farid, if..."
"We can gather enough evidence that something funny is happening."
Louie nodded, "Wonderful! We can do that!" He grasped Gosalyn by the hand tightly, "Come on, Darkwing. You're all suited up. I think it's time you told everyone else the plan."
"Finally!" Called out Huey, ripping off his ridiculous Bowtie and loosening the top few buttons of his shirt, "I've been waiting for this. No more dealing with irritable honeymooners for me!"
Stuffed into Dewey's tiny office, the three duck boys, the three parrot girls, José carioca, Webby, and Gosalyn stood or sat. The minor dimensions of the room were just enough to hold the entire party, although with some stacking when it came to Huey and the girls.
Dewey sat at his desk, although his view was partially obscured by Louie sitting next to his typewriter. He did not seem as happy about the news as the rest of them. Webby, standing over his shoulder, placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Isn't this great, Dewey?"
"Of... Of course. Yes." He leaned his elbows on the desk and put his fingers together, being careful to avoid being crowded out by Louie. "But the B&B..."
"Who cares about the B&B?" Snapped Louie, who had begun to whip off the vest he had been wearing. "If we can find proof, we can end this."
Louie's face rounded on Dewey, his expression one of mild incredulity.
"What?" said Dewey, drawing away from Louie's piercing stare.
"You don't want to leave, do you?"
Everyone in the room mentally took a step back from the conversation, more often mentally than literally, due to the size of the room. Louie twisted his body around, sitting face-to-face with his brother.
Dewey's eyebrows drew in. "So what? I... I like it here. It's a good city. Is that a crime?"
"This has nothing to do with Salvador and you know it," Louie extended a finger towards his brother, "This is about you running the business here, isn't it?"
"I... Well... There's no shame in it."
"I can't believe you!" Louie suddenly cried out, grasping the top of his head in his hands, "The only reason we helped Joe set up this stupid hostel was to give us a cover for living in Salvador. We have to be able to pick up and move on at a moment's notice. We KNEW this going in. I know you. You've been going at this like you think Uncle Scrooge would have, I know it. You're trying to take this business and turn a profit, I know, but there are more important things to worry about here. We need to focus on Farid Kagan and McDuck Enterprises. Do you understand?"
"Of course I do! I... There's no shame in wanting to be successful. Especially not here."
Louie's cheeks were beginning to blush in anger. "Another time, Another place, I could let you do whatever the hell you wanted, but this is too important. Farid Kagan has stolen from us. From our family. If you don't want to get back at him after that then I really don't understand where you're coming from."
Webby placed her hands on Dewey's shoulders, "Louie, stop."
"No! I won't stop." He turned back towards Dewey. "Do you want to go, or don't you?"
Dewey said nothing and in the process said everything that need be said.
"I can't believe this! You don't want to get Uncle Scrooge's business back!"
"Louie!" Huey was suddenly up, and with his hand pulling on the back of Louie's collar roughly, "Enough."
Webby had knelt down next to Dewey. "Dewey. I'm going to ask. Do you want to... stay here?"
Dewey paused for a moment, to look into every pair of eyes that looked at him, before looking down at his desk, "Yes. I do." His hands resting on his legs bunched into fists. "I... I'm happy here."
"You don't see happy," muttered Louie, before he was silenced by a nasty look from Darkwing.
"I am. It's... It's my very own business. I took Huey's money, and José's strengths, and spun them into my own money. It was... it is... good for me. I'm happier here than I ever was in McDuck Enterprises."
"And so you're just going to let it go?" yelled Louie, "Just let Uncle Scrooge's business fall into the hands of that lunatic?"
"After all that, you'll just betray our Uncle like that? He was... You were his favorite and you're turning your back on him!" Louie stood, grasping Dewey's collar in his hands, "You selfish...!"
"LOUIE!" cried Webby in surprise and Huey in warning. Louie softened his grasp before letting go. He turned away from his brother, before walking out of the room without another word. The pause in the conversation was wide before Darkwing Duck left the room to go chase after Louie.
Webby touched Dewey's shoulders again, "Dewey. We can stay."
Dewey turned his bill up to look at her.
"They don't need us anyway. I'll only get in the way, and you can run the pousada with Zé."
Huey stepped forward, "Are you sure Webby?"
"Yes. We'll stay behind. You all go back to Calisota with Miss Darkwing." She smiled. "Give them hell for us."
One by one, each person left the office, first Huey, then each of the girls, then José, until only Dewey and Webby were left. Once the last of them were gone, Dewey buried his face in his hands.
"I don't know what to do."
"You do what your heart says, Dewey," said Webby, "Right or wrong, that’s what you have to do."
Suddenly, both of their heads snapped to attention, there was a strange tinkling noise, and the scream of one of the three Carioca girl. Instantly, Dewey was on his feet, and was out the office door.
Heat and the crackling sounds of fire greeted them as they entered the main lobby. The large picture windows were broken from the outside, and bottle after bottle was being thrown in, spreading the alcohol-fueled flames along the carpets and drapes. Huey was carrying Maria, who was grasping his neck with all of her strength, and José was shielding the other two girls with his own body. They were trapped in the corner by the flames which threatened to consume them soon. Louie and Darkwing were nowhere to be seen.
Thinking fast, Dewey ran back into the Employee area and took out a CO2 Fire extinguisher, readying and finally wielding it against the flames. The white foamy smoke poured out, giving Webby a trail to run over to retrieve the group. Taking the hands of the two girls on foot, she ran towards the front door and looked out the small window. She saw a team of dirty men she recognized from Rio, the VPR, fighting Darkwing Duck and the Green Phantom. The two crimefighters were coming out on top.
Webby turned, "Come on! We're going."
Suddenly, Dewey's eyes went wide. "Wait!" he yelled, before he turned on his heels and ran back through the fire towards the Employee exit, using the extinguisher to clear the path. As he ran, Webby screamed for him, but was swept out the door by José, using the most calming tone he could muster.
Dewey was running through the thin hall, aware that if the fire spread to the flammable linens at the entrance he could be well and truly trapped. He opened the door to his office and quickly went to work at the small safe he kept in the office embedded in the wall. He spun the wheel once before he began the combination. 1 left, 9 right, 67 left. The door opened and Dewey reached for the box inside, hugging it to himself. He also grabbed a glass dome, and broke it against the edge of the safe, using his fingers to fish the 1875 American Dime out of the glass. He placed it securely in his pocket, with his own number one tied to his pocket with a string.
With Cashbox pressed to his chest like a baby, and dimes secured in his pocket, Dewey rushed out of the office into the hall, where dark smoke was rising up out of the door to the main lobby. With a sinking feeling, he rushed up to the securely closed door and felt, drawing his hand back at the sheer heat he felt through it. He looked around quickly, and opened up the linen closet, pulling out one of the clean sheets, and then ran over to the small employee bathroom, soaking it thoroughly. He used the wet sheet to grasp the hot door handle. He twisted carefully, before jumping back into the linen closet with the wet sheet over his head to escape the burning back draft coming in through the opened door. It died down momentarily, revealing a waist-high column of fire.
Heat even more intense than ever, Dewey jumped through the fire as fast as he could, shielding his face with the damp sheet, and ran towards the door, fire licking at his feet and legs. Soon, he reached the front door, and threw off the wet sheet, which had been flash-dried by the run through the fire. He grasped the front door and opened.
Before he could run out, however, A man, a mean-looking dog, held a revolver up, threatening to shoot. Dewey gritted his beak and hugged his cash box to himself, bracing for pain.
CLONK! The man's eyes rolled up into his head as he was smashed on the back of the head. He fell to the ground to reveal the Green Phantom, holding a large, burning wooden pole.
"Can we go now?" said the Green Phantom.
By the Sea Duck, José's family and the Ducks, including Webby and Darkwing, stood around the unconscious body of one of the VPR revolutionaries. Louie, who had the foresight to get out of his costume to avoid getting "Stuck" in his secret identity, splashed the man with a bucket of water to wake him up.
Spluttering, the dog shook his head and tried to breathe, coughing up water as he did. Darkwing then grabbed his head and forced it up to look up at José Carioca, who began to converse with him in Portuguese. When the man didn't give the right answer, José shook his head, and that gave Huey permission to hit him anywhere he wanted. This went on for about an hour.
Webby had wandered off, not wanting to watch the violence unfold, and found Dewey sitting by the Sea Duck, still hugging the cash box to his chest.
"...It's gone, isn't it?"
Webby looked back off towards the town and sighed as she followed the column of smoke up from the center of town and up, twisting off into the sky. "Yes. I'm sorry."
"I was doing it, Webigail. I was running something of my own. Even if it was Huey's money, and José's talents, I was the one running the place. I handled the money, I owned the business, I advertized, I brought in new clients..." He shook his head, "But now it's... gone..."
They were stopped by a voice, Louie, who was replacing his lame vest with the green plaid jacket he was more accustomed to, "He talked."
Webby answered, "What did he say?"
Louie looked directly at Dewey as he said, "It was a payoff from McDuck Enterprises. Farid Kagan paid them to flush us out."
Dewey looked up, but did not say a word.
"Look, Dewey. I'm sorry I got so angry earlier. I just..."
"No..." began Dewey, placing the cashbox reverentially on the ground, "No more apologies. No more crawling into little balls and trying not to cry. No more retreating." He looked up, and his eyes were fierce with focused anger, quite different from the uncontrollable rage of his family. "Farid has taken too much away from me. If we don't stop him, He'll keep coming after us."
He began to walk towards the rest of the group, his back straight, and his head high. His hand was snuck into his pocket to touch the two dimes within.
"We'll get him. We'll hand him over to S.H.U.S.H on a silver platter," said Dewey as he walked with Louie towards the others, followed by Webby, holding the cash box, "by any means necessary."