Saturday, July 4, 2009
Ducktales: Twenty Years Later - Episode 15
Happy "Day we gave the middle finger to those Limey bastards" day. And what could be more patriotic than the identical tits of three original characters based on the Disney Universe's over sexualized vision of Brazilian hospitality?
Bandages and tender loving care had made a mummy out of Louie Duck. For the foreseeable future, his heroing days were on hold. Louie tried to move an arm, to scratch an itch, but the sudden pain in his chest caused him to go right back to a more neutral position.
"You shouldn't move, Louie," said Webby, who was sitting over the superhero with a first aid kit in her lap. The hero, for his part, was at the moment strapped into a fully reclined seat on the Sea Duck, in sore agony.
"Yes, Dewey, but... Be gentle. He's in a lot of pain."
Dewey walked up into Louie's vision. Louie noted for a moment the vibrations underneath and the steady buzz of the propellers that told him they were in the air. Louie tried to speak, but his ribs protested every breath.
Dewey answered quickly, "Heading towards Bombay. The note you told us to trust says there's an accountant being held at the Khan building."
"Is... that so?"
"Despite it being the silliest thing I ever heard of, and being too convenient for my taste, you told us to trust it, and here we are."
Louie wanted to nod and look content, but pain set his features.
"I want to know what happened to you. Who is this 'PK.' Did he beat you up?"
"Then why should we trust whatever he says?"
"Just... I can't say..."
Webby snapped at her employer, "Dewey. He's had enough. Let him rest."
Looking from Webby to Louie, Dewey scowled, "I still don't like this one bit."
Louie wasn't finished, however, his eyes scanned the amount of cabin he could see, "Where is... José?"
Webby answered as she pulled out a roll of bandages, before gently unwrapping the old ones, revealing the ugly wounds underneath, "He stayed behind in Chihuahua. He said he wanted to stay out of our way, and catch up with Panchito."
"That’s... for the... best," struggled Louie, "The girls... too?"
"W-well..." Said Webby, as she gave a glace towards the closed door leading to the pilot's cabin.
Huey was trying his very best to keep his eyes on the sky, but when you have three Brazilian girls who don't know enough English to talk your ears off orbiting around you looking more stacked than a pile of thousand dollar bills, it's sometimes difficult to concentrate.
"So. Girls," He began, trying to make conversation, "Your Uncle said you could come along with us?"
"Sim!" said Rosalina, "We asked to come with you Huey."
"We wan'ned to help as much as we can," said Maria.
Amalia spoke something in Portuguese Huey couldn't quite parse, and all three girls giggled.
"Well, that's great!" he said, "Your Uncle had some words with me before we left."
"Really?" "What did..." "...disse?"
Huey paused, his eyes rolling up into his head, soaking up the memory from a few hours before.
"Huey, I have something to say."
"You keep my girls safe."
"Even if they do not see me so, they are my daughters, and I love them very much."
"I know, Joe."
"Keep them happy and content for as long as you know them."
"And if you break any of their hearts keep in mind even if I am a pleasant, non-violent ol' man I am friends with a gun-crazy cowboy who is in the habit of shooting first, asking questions never."
"Yes, Jo... oh?"
"Have a pleasant trip."
Huey tried not to sweat as three pairs of hands clamored to touch his arms and shoulders as subtly as they could manage. Three girls! That's a man's dream. Three girls clamoring for his attention and if he picks any one girl over the others he will have to worry about taking care of the brand new hole in his head.
"Huey? You haven't answered the question. What did he say?"
"Oh! Er..." He laughed, "That he loves all three of you very much. And he'll miss you."
The three girls smiled at each other, and Huey couldn't help but feel the triplet smiles as looking a bit smirky.
Webby looked away from the cabin and back to Louie, "Yes, they asked to come."
Louie looked like he wanted to laugh, but no sound came out. "Ugh, funny hurts..."
"Enough nonsense," said Dewey, "Now that you're awake we need to make a plan. We certainly won't be able to pull that janitor trick twice. We need to find a way in to save whoever is in there."
"Don't... look at... me..." said Louie as Webby changed out his bandages, "I'm out of the game... for a while..."
Dewey scratched his chin, "But how?"
"A single... A single man... could get in, stealthy-like."
Webby's head shook wildly, "Oh no! Don't you even think about it!"
"I'm not...! I'm not...! Don't... don't worry. Just... tell Huey..." His less-bruised arm began to move towards his utility belt, to Webby's concerned look. "Take this... use the Sea Duck's radio..." he said, pulling out a piece of paper with a string of numbers on it, "Call this Radio wavelength... Say... Say, 'Gadgets... MacQuack over Bombay. Requesting help...'"
Webby took the paper and nodded, before walking over and into the pilot's cabin.
"What will that do?"
"You'll see. She'll meet us... in Bombay." He finally managed a smile. "We've got nothing to worry about."
From the Sea, to the land, two planes converged on a hidden position, one, a well-preserved antique, another, a science fiction dream living through years of neglect from being owned by a non-pilot. The Thunderquack had pulled ahead of the Sea Duck through sheer speed, and was waiting for about thirty minutes before the yellow Conwing L-16 came down from its flight. Soon, the passengers of the plane began to pour out.
Before anyone could say a word, Darkwing had surveyed the group. "Where's GP?"
Dewey, at the fore, pointed towards the door he had come through to exit the plane. Darkwing rushed through with a rustle of her cape, and gasped at what she saw inside.
"Gadgets! What happened?"
"Oh. Hi DW..." Said Louie, his mummified remains smiling weakly, "...how's tricks?"
"What happened?" She repeated, before turning around and rounding on the nearest of Louie's companions, who happened to be Webby, "What happened?"
"He, er," She shrank back from the masked woman's piercing gaze and bellowing voice before answering. "He got in a fight, with someone named 'PK.'"
"...PK?" her face had frozen into a strange expression of surprise and worry.
"Yes. That's what he called himself," said Dewey, stepping between Webby and Darkwing subtly, "We met him once before, when he helped us escape from the Iron Vulture."
Huey smiled. "And beat you up in the process if I recall."
"Er... yes. Well, we met him again and Louie suffered for it. Do you... does he run in your circles?"
Darkwing shook her head, "He is a superhero if that's what you mean, but no, he's generally not my ally, or anyone else's for that matter. He's not very well-known outside of the community, but in the community he's... well, he's sort of a legend, y'know?"
"Well, you remember that alien invasion we had a few years back?"
Huey, Dewey, Webby, and the three Carioca girls all looked blank. Huey was the one who got it together enough to say, "No."
"Exactly, because he did his job, and well. I don't even want to know how you fellas got onto his bad side, but... hoo boy!"
"Believe me," said Dewey, rubbing his beak, "I know."
"Anyway," Darkwing said after a tense little pause. She turned back towards Louie's reclined state and knelt down next to him. "What do you guys need from me?"
Huey climbed onto the plane and began to speak for the weakened Louie, "We need you to airdrop into the Khan building. There's apparently someone being held there."
"And how did you hear about this?"
Louie spoke up, "The son of a bitch... that caved... my head in."
Darkwing looked into his face for a moment before giving a little 'huh.' "I thought you guys were on his bad side."
"Well we're... not exactly... friends."
There was another pause as Darkwing considered this. She stood up from Louie's side and walked up to Huey, "You'll be my pilot, right?"
"If you'll have me, Ma'am."
She nodded, "Alright then. We'll wait until tonight, and we'll take the Thunderquack. It's stealthier. You drop me off and I'll get your man out of there within two hours..."
"Launchpad MacQuack was here."
"How the hell do you know that?"
Huey and Darkwing were sitting, side-by-side, in the Thunderquack, Darkwing looking bewildered at the various buttons and switches she's never bothered to use, simply content to use the simpler remote control setting when she needed to fly, Huey looking nostalgic as he pressed those same switches and buttons now in preparation for their trip. The sky above was dark, and getting darker.
"It's just a hunch. He had a... peculiar way of taking care of his instruments."
"Let me guess."
"It's the chewing gum and band-aids, isn't it?"
"Got it in one." He smiled as he picked a particularly nasty piece of pink goo out from within the control machinery. "Makes me a little nostalgic for the good old days, y'know?"
"I guess," She looked over the control panel and took stock of her supplies: Parachute. Bow and quiver. Costume on straight. Check. She had a thought. "Whatever happened to Lunchpad, anyway?"
"I'm sure he's still kicking. After I left to go learn from Mr. Cloudkicker, last I heard he'd joined the circus as a stunt pilot."
"How is he not dead yet?"
"Beats me. I looked him up once, and his world record for survived crash landings is so high that it is expected to stand for the next fifty years or more, and if the experts are right, it will claim the lives of hundreds of pilots trying to break it."
"That's a little dismal, Huey."
"You asked." He looked at his watch. "One Half-hour until takeoff. Got everything Dee-Doubleya'?"
"Oh god, don't YOU start call me that."
"That's what Launchpad used to call my... used to call Darkwing Duck the first. It's weird."
Huey smiled as his eyes looked up towards the sky, "believe it or not, I think I know how you feel."
The two looked at each other, seeing in the other the child trying desperately to live up to the parent in one way or another. They exchanged a sly smile and Darkwing held out her hand.
"Darkwing is fine for now."
Huey shook it, "Alright Darkwing. Whatever you say."
Suddenly, their heads were turned by a commotion outside, along with a loud cry.
At this, The canopy of the Thunderquack was open and Darkwing had jumped out, her cape billowing out behind her. Like a shambling corpse, there he was, ambling down from the Sea Duck on stiff legs, stiff arms, and stiff everything.
"What the hell are you doing, Gadgets?" she yelled at him, before turning to Webby, who was standing by, afraid to touch him, "What is he doing?"
"I... Louie! Let me help you back into the plane."
"S-stop! I... I have to... Darkwing, I want to talk to you." He turned slowly, and nearly fell. Darkwing placed her hands over his shoulders, supporting him
"What are you doing, you idiot. You need rest."
"You... You don't have to do this for us..."
"Oh boy. I've never seen this scene before. Get back to your seat, Gadgets. You're hurt bad."
"No. Really. You've done so... so much for us already... I feel bad for... for dragging you into... my family's problems."
"You're welcome, now please..."
"You don't have to... It's not your fight."
"Gadgets..." She said, before she plunged her head forward towards his. Their beaks met suddenly, and Gosalyn closed her eyes. Louie was too stiff and weak to move or resist, so he simply went wide-eyed as he was kissed by the young goose. Then his eyes closed as the fluttering feeling in his stomach settled into a warm contentment that overshadowed the pain in his chest and limbs. Soon, too soon, Gosalyn broke away from Louie's beak. "...Shut up."
"O... okay..." said Louie, before he let himself be led back aboard the Sea Duck by Webby.
Darkwing turned back towards the Thunderquack, and could see Huey sitting in the pilot's seat, with a shit-eating grin, and both thumbs extended high in the air. Darkwing blushed underneath her mask as she walked back to her place in the passenger's seat, and was forced to give Louie's brother a high-five, since he was at the moment unable.
Soon, the Thunderquack was high in the air, screaming towards the Khan building.
The Khan building was lit up like the Fourth of July. Four spotlights searched the skies as an endless parade of guards patrolled the roof and viewing balconies of the tall building. In the cloudy skies, the dark Thunderquack circled overhead, concealed and silent. Unseen by anyone, the canopy opened, and a small figure jumped. The jet was soon off, disappearing over the horizon, ready to come back in two hours or at the call of the violet-clad goose whose small parachute blew open, letting her billow towards the top of the roof, directing herself nimbly between the exposing beams of the searchlights.
Soon, she was close enough that she could let the parachute go. It detached from her, and billowed up, suddenly free from the weight. Before it could stumble into the path of a searchlight, Darkwing pressed a device in her sleeve as she fell the short distance to the flat surface of the top viewing deck, just behind one of the Beagle Boy guards. There was a bright flash as the Parachute immolated suddenly. Every eye on the roof turned towards the flash, and every set of feet went off to investigate, leaving the nondescript patch of shadow containing Darkwing Duck alone.
With the guards busy with the distraction of the burning parachute, Darkwing was able to easily sneak towards the roof access door, and inside.
First order of business, She thought, Is finding out where this guy is.
To facilitate this, her first stop was the first floor, where the main guard hour was located. Forcing the Elevator shafts open was easy enough, and using the cables and a few trick arrows to slow the descent to get up and down in the building was as easy as falling off a really tall log. The tricky part was avoiding getting yourself crushed by the elevator itself as it went its merry way.
She had been lucky on this first trip. She's come into the shaft underneath the elevator, so she wouldn't have to try to go down through the car, but on the other hand, she would have to work fast and go down before someone below tried to call the elevator.
She had been travelling for a long time, and she had counted the floors as she went. Eventually, counting gave way to another way of passing the time.
Hi Dad, she began to think, How are you? I'm sorry I haven't called, but I've been sort of busy. We followed that Steelbeak lead, remember? It led all the way back to McDuck Enterprises. Actually, I guess it's more Khan Industries than McDuck, but Khan is a subsidiary. The new CEO Farid Kagan as the baddie this time. It sounds so white collar, I know, and it is, but Louie... The Duck family needs me. They have... extreme ideas about money.
I, er, hope that kiss wasn't too forward. Having a mom to ask for advice would have been awesome for times like this. Like I said before, you'll like him. He and his family is good people, They're the closest I've ever come to meeting an entire family of legacy heroes without actually having a masked hero involved. I suppose their Great Uncle Scrooge is probably who counts as 'the hero' of this outfit, but there's also murmurs about their other Uncle Donald, who actually raised them.
Right now I'm in an elevator shaft hoping to high heaven nobody tries to use the elevator. I need to find an accountant so they can scan some cooked books before presenting them to S.H.U.S.H. Like I said, white collar. Barf. At least there's shades of someone being held hostage. I wonder why. He probably -knows too much.-
DING! The sudden noise chilled Darkwing's heart to the core. She was nearly to the bottom hanging on the elevator cables with a grapple arrow, but she could feel something starting to move through the cables. She looked up.
Like a freight train, there it was heading down towards her position. The elevator car, one of the high-speed models used in especially tall buildings, was rocketing to the ground, and she was in the way.
She gave a yell before she let go of the cable, letting herself fall towards the nearest elevator door, the entrance to the third floor. Drawing a thick arrow from her quiver, she began to pry at the door quickly, trying desperately to outrun the speeding car. There was a little give, but not enough, not for how fast this elevator was coming. Her arms burned with the effort, trying to wedge the arrow in more and more, trying to outrun certain death.
Suddenly, the arrow went deep, triggering the automatic mechanism in the door. It began to open by itself, and even before it was open all the way, Darkwing was through it and on the floor.
There was a sudden tug at her neck that caused her to choke for just a moment, before she was free again. She looked back and noticed that a piece of her cape had been sliced clean off by the fast-moving elevator, leaving a clean rip as if from a pair of scissors. She gulped, keeping in mind that being a little cheap with the cape material saved her life this day.
But enough standing around, she needed to get out of the open. She looked back into the open elevator shaft, and saw the car had stopped on the first floor. She jumped down, figuring she only had a moment before it would start moving again. She landed with a thump, and instantly opened the top emergency hatch, jumping inside.
The Beagle Boy security guard inside had his jaw broken and his head concussed before he could alert any of his friends and relations about what was going on. As he laid out on the ground of the elevator, the dark shadow that had assaulted him flitted out and into the first floor.
She came out in the bright entrance hall, towards the back. Quickly, she found a door marked "Employee Only" in English, Hindi, and a multitude of other languages, before stepping inside.
The hall she stepped into was starkly lit by fluorescent light and was quite bare, unlike the warmly decorated front hall. On either side were several blank doors that each held the promise of opening up suddenly and exposing her, if her little stunt in the elevator didn't do that first. She rushed down the hall, searching for a sign, which she soon found. It said "Security Room."
She counted to three, and then went in.
There were three of them, Beagle boys all. One was sleeping and the other two were passing a cat's cradle back and forth. There was the overwhelming stench of prunes in the air. The first beagle, his back to Darkwing, went down with a single strike to the head. The second, who had stared wide-eyed at DW as she did so, tried to reach for his gun too late. Her webbed foot found his head, dazing him long enough for the sleeping third to be taken out quietly, Jolting awake from the shock of the Chloroform-tipped arrow, before going back to sleep, and for good this time. With all three splayed on the floor, Darkwing spent a moment to look around, making sure no silent alarms were going off. She noted all of the cameras she must have appeared on and, just for a moment, thanked the BBs for being so obligingly incompetent.
Back to business. She pushed the sleeping Beagle off of his seat and sat down, rolling the chair around to manipulate the consoles and check the various cameras around the building.
She began to ponder, If I was a Megalomaniacal CEO of a famous corporation, where would I hide someone I've kidnapped in my high rise office building without anyone finding out?
Click. Click. Click. She flipped the channels, checking through each view one by one, trying to see what they felt what was worth looking at. Multitudes of static images paraded by, some filled with scenes of patrolling guards or the odd office peon putting in a late night. She kept on with the check, going through each floor one by one, until she got to something that caught her eye.
The screen was dark. Not dark as in the room was dark, but dark as in 'this camera has been tampered with' dark. It was working, to be sure. There was no static or interference, but at the same time the room wasn't being projected, as if someone had placed something in front of the lens. Noting down the room, she stood to investigate. An office, midway up the building, smart place to put a hostage to be sure. Most evil millionaires can't resist hiding the victims on the top floor somewhere conspicuous when locking them up in a random office behind a mountain of 'do not enter' tape would probably be smarter.
Giving each Beagle Boy another dose of sleepy medicine from her quiver, Darkwing Duck swooped out of the room, confident that with the guards asleep, she would not have to worry about cameras.
How long had he been there? A year? Two? Five? A hundred? In the parade of days, in the just enough food to survive, in the wondering when or if he would ever see the sun again, the man wrapped in the rough brown blanket had lost himself. Why are they keeping him alive? There must be some reason.
He did as he had done for however long it's been. He sat, and waited. Eventually his jailer, Farid Kagan, would come in, taunt him, bring him stale bread to live on. He would be powerless to stop him, or his plans.
The light came on in the crack under the door, and the shrouded man tensed all over. He could hear the sound of something being inserted into the lock. It wasn't a key, however, and he found himself furrowing his brow at this breach of tradition.
Suddenly, a light snapping explosion occurred towards the door. His eyes fixated on the afterimage the slight flash had left in the corner of his vision, and he felt his eyes trying to follow beyond their capacity to track the quickly fading patch. Soon he was able to blink it away, and he found that the room was bathed in light from the door, the long shadow of a figure in a wide hat being cast from the doorframe.
A memory stirred, from before all this, He recognized that shadow.
"Darkwing Duck?" he said, the first words he's said in an age.
The figure stepped into the room and tried the light switch, noting that it was completely dead. "Someone in here? I can't see you."
Darkwing had to suppress her startle as she saw the shrouded figure lurch into the light from the hall, holding up white feathered arms to protect his sensitive eyes. After that, another instinct came to the fore, one without some degree of which becoming a superhero would be a futile exercise. With a look of compassion, she approached the stranger.
"My God. What did they do to you here?" She asked, her arms slinging over his shoulder to support the taller duck. She noticed that underneath his blanket he was completely naked.
"Darkwing Duck. It's... Been a long time."
"You knew... You know me?"
He looked closer, his unaccustomed eyes slowly readjusting to the concept of light, "You're different. You're..."
"I get that a lot." She raised his arm, so frail and thin, over her own shoulder and began to help him towards the door, "Come on now, We're going to get you to safety."
With her support, the tall duck was led out into the hall. It was as if someone had taken a normal sized duck and stretched him lengthwise to the breaking point. His face was quite unkempt and unshaven, and his feathers grew wildly around his entire body. His eyes were sunken in, and squinted at even the meager night time illumination left in the building after hours.
"It can't be... Little... The little girl? Gosalyn?"
She blinked hard, before turning her face to look at him, "How do you...? Who are you?"
"There she is! Get her!" yelled a voice suddenly. That's when Darkwing noticed the platoon of Beagle Boys coming around the corner.
"Oops!" was all she said as she turned, helping the frail prisoner hobble along in the opposite direction, where another platoon of Beagles appeared.
"Blathering Blatherskite..." said the stranger, with all the weight of an expletive.
"Excuse me?" she said, before remembering the threat. She looked out of the windows of the hall, large floor-to-ceiling picture windows that did not open and needed one hell of an impact to break.
As the twin walls of Beagle security guards approached, an explosive-tipped arrow provided just such an impact.
"Come on!" Darkwing yelled, grabbing the thin man by the waist and jumping out of the shattered window.
The two figures fell for a moment, before Darkwing pulled out a grappling arrow, not even bothering to knock it, instead merely throwing it towards the building, hoping it will stick. For his part, the man hanging from her arms by his waist seemed to be taking the excitement well. In a stroke of luck, the grappling arrow was able to grab onto a viewing balcony, and the two figures clutching to each other were jerked to a stop by the strong cord.
Gripping the other body to herself, Darkwing dared to open her eyes, looking up at the caged viewing balcony that had saved her's and her companion's lives.
"Are you okay?" she said.
"I'm fine," he answered.
"Lovely. Grab on tight."
She then began the labor of climbing up the strong cord, the surprisingly light man clutching to her back.
"Where... Where do we get picked up?"
"The roof. If I'm right, he should be there by now. We need to find some way to get up th... oh!"
"Hello Girly! Miss me?" called the lecherous voice of Boner Beagle, dressed in his best greasey security guard uniform. He had poked his head over the balcony, and was stroking the cord holding them up in the air like a lover.
"Boner Beagle!" she yelled as her arms screamed from the effort of hanging from the rope, "What are you doing here?"
"What all of my Beagle Brothers and Cousins are doing, guarding Mr. Kagan. And... oh-ho! I see you've got Mr. Kagan's little project strapped to your back there." He twanged the rope like a guitar string, and Darkwing could feel the vibration through her hands. "I still need to pay you back for that broken nose you gave me back in Duckburg."
"Don't you dare!"
"I'm sure Mr. Kagan will be six kinds o' sad when he learns his little pet is dead and gone, but he'll be very happy once he knows The Darkwing is dead."
"I'm warning you..."
"Not to mention," He laughed wildly in the middle of the sentence, his greasy hair flinging every which way, "Not to mention I still have to pay you back for the fork in the fancy-pants restaurant. I know it was you, chicky. I never forget a dame."
Looking around wildly for anything she could use, she ultimately came up short, her fate ultimately up to the maniac above.
"O'course, I could see clear to let you up..." He smiled the wide toothy smile of his kin, along with the requisite gold tooth. "...if..."
Getting his insinuation, Darkwing Duck grimaced, "Go to hell!"
"You first. Bye bye baby."
With that a quickly drawn switchblade began to slice through the rope holding them up.
"Darkwing, I'm getting a little worried," said the stranger at her back.
"I know. I... I..."
Just then, the rope gave, and the two hangers on were soon fallers down.
Listening to the sounds of their screams dying away, Boner Beagle smiled, letting the sound record into his audio library. Nothing gets a guy off like cold blooded murder.
"So long toots," He said finally, turning around, "And thanks for the memories."
Then there were the sounds of jet engines behind him. "You're welcome, slimeball!" said a girl's voice behind him. He turned slowly, coming face-to-face with the face of a giant duck, draped in purple and flying. On top of the gigantic beak, Darkwing and the former prisoner were there, Darkwing surefooted and strong, with cape flapping in the breeze. Her arms were pulling her bow and arrow taught, right towards him.
"YIPE!" he yelled, before he turned and went back into the building before the arrow could get him. Instead, it bounced off the bulletproof glass precisely where his sweating face stared up at the jet.
Darkwing nodded, and stomped on the Jet, "Take us home, Huey."
The canopy opened, and the strange man was helped inside by the terror that flaps in the night. With all passengers' seatbelts fastened and ready to go, Huey gunned the instruments, intending to be back on the Sea Duck within the hour.
"Here he is," said Darkwing, "Take good care of him." She then turned back towards the Thunderquack and walked away.
"Wait!" Louie tried yelling from his position sitting on the edge of the door frame leading into the Sea Duck's passenger cabin, only getting a little bit of the volume he intended, "You're not staying?"
"You guys'll be all right without me," she said, looking towards the frail man sitting down, being tended to by Webby, "Don't you worry about that."
"Are you arguing with me just to get me to kiss you again?" she said with a smirk, "Because that was a one-time thing. I like you boys and all, but I got my own shit to do. Gizmoduck's little police state in Saint Canard was getting out of hand when you guys called."
"G-gizmoduck?" asked the man.
"And that's my cue," said Darkwing, "I already figured this part out, so have fun you guys." And with that, she walked on towards the Thundequack, activating and opening it up by remote control. It lifted into the air on powerful jets before it rocketed off into the sky back towards America.
They watched her go, before Webby gave the man a glass of water. Dewey stood over him, "What did she mean? You said 'gizmoduck.' Do you know Gizmoduck?"
"First things first," said Huey, "Introductions."
Each of the ducks and parrots were in their turn introduced to their new companion, who merely quaffed food and water as fast as Webby could bring it.
"It's... been so long since I've seen you boys..."
"What?" asked Louie, "You seem to know everybody."
"You don't recognize me?"
Huey and Louie were clueless, and Webby shrugged her shoulders. It was Dewey, however, that had his memory stroked. It was a memory of something from long ago, of someone they used to know. Memories that had to do with money.
Dewey suddenly bent down and picked up a small handful of dirt.
"Count the grains."
"Seven thousand, eight hundred forty nine."
Everyone else blinked, clearly impressed at such a talent as counting the individual specks in a handful of dirt.
"You're the bean counter," Dewey said, clapping the dirt off of his hands, "Uncle Scrooge's accountant. Fenton Crackshell."
Fenton Crackshell finally allowed himself a weak smile. "I see a lot has happened to you boys since I saw you last. Same here."
Webby's face brightened, "My god! Mr. Crackshell. I didn't even recognize you." She placed a hand on his thin shoulder. "What happened?"
"I got too close to Farid Kagan is what happened. I found a book-keeping mistake, and he almost killed me for it."
"Almost?" asked Dewey, "Why didn't he kill you? It seems that would..."
"I think it's because..." He paused and breathed a sigh, "...Because I was Gizmoduck until a few years ago."
All three boys threw their hands in the air, all yelling at once, "Fuck! YOU were Gizmoduck!?"
"I could have sworn it was Launchpad!" yelled Huey.
"I always kind of thought it might be Uncle Donald," said Louie.
"It was obviously Duckworth," said Dewey.
"That makes no sense, Dewey," said Louie, "Duckworth wasn't even a duck. And he was too tall in any case."
"So? It was a super-futuristic mechanical suit, It could do whatever the hell it wanted."
Webby cleared her throat, "Guys?"
All three caught themselves in mid-argument, and slumped.
"But wait," said Louie, "If you're Gizmoduck, then who's that guy running around Saint Canard?"
Fenton took a slow sip of water before he continued, "He came upon me one day after my Ma passed on, rest her soul. I was a little unhinged at that point. I was getting past my prime, and my Gizmoduck days were soon over. I wasn't looking where I was when I was changing, and he saw me." He rolled his eyes, looking a little annoyed towards Huey, "He seemed to be disappointed about me not turning out to be Launchpad McQuack as well."
"Well, he was the best guess we all had to go on."
"I tried to get away from him, tried to hide my face, but it was too late. He was a teenager, be about you fellas ages now, and wore a coonskin cap."
"He was a Junior Woodchuck?" asked Louie.
"Yessir. Not a particularly good one, but good enough. He followed me to a crime in progress, and... well..." He took another sip of water, guilt beginning to well up inside, "He was shot.
"I rushed him back to my hideout. I'd dug a cave out from underneath the trailer park, and hidden away there between my life as Fenton Crackshell and my life as Gizmoduck. I operated on him. He lived.
"He tells me I saved his life, but it was me who got him into that in the first place. He idolized me even more after that. When it came time for me to retire, he took up the suit and the name, almost without my permission. Almost."
"But who is he?" asked Huey, "If he was a Junior Woodchuck in our year we should know him."
"You're right. I don't know if this was his real name or if it was just what he liked to be called, but he went by 'Doofus.'"
Like a calm before the storm, all four ducks stared at Fenton for a moment. Suddenly, each Duck had their own way of coping with the bombshell. Huey Laughed merrily; Louie merely looked confused, or as confused as he could while still wrapped up; Dewey looked a bit angry at the betrayal of one of their childhood friends; Webby began to blush. All four of them, at the same time, said the same thing at precisely the same instant: