Thursday, July 16, 2009
Ducktales: Twenty Years Later - Episode 21
TWO MORE! As we draw the story to a close, I invite you to re-read over it, and revel in how mistake-ridden it is, but also to see if It holds together as a cohesive whole as much as I think it does. Watch out for blatant hints I dropped to future events. I don't remember what hints I dropped, but I'm pretty sure I dropped them.
Enjoy the MSpaint, especially how kinda retarded Louie looks.
Here's to a non-disappointing final two chapters!
In 1951, years after the Sky Pirate menace had long since disappeared from the air over the Indies and Caribbean, the Pirate hideout was discovered, or, perhaps, simply revealed, by a young pilot and adventurer based in Cape Suzette named Kit Cloudkicker. Soon after, the UN, in the process of forming a new international police organization for squelching world-wide crime, claimed the small volcanic island off the coast of Africa as a neutral territory and set up the secret headquarters of the Sky Inspection League, set up to police the problem of smuggling and piracy that still plagued the region.
Carved out of a Volcanic mountain and with enough space to store a small army, the island, still referred to as "Pirate Island" even when formally renamed after the Director of S.H.U.S.H at the time as "Hooter Isle," was a perfect place to police the corrupt Asiatic skies.
It was hot inside, the fire within the earth felt plainly through the thick natural stone walls, with added structural supports and safety railing added only later, after a few unfortunate lava-pool-related fatalities were reported.
As the Sea Duck was towed out of the Iron Vulture and into the small Lagoon used as a dock, The boys watched from a few empty seats near a guardhouse beside the lagoon at all of the people.
They ran around, exclaiming to one another, whispering rumors and half-remembered truths. Almost as soon as the Vulture had landed, the surviving crew had spread the story of the attack by Thembria, and was answered by murmurs of war. Dewey shrank back in his seat slightly as more than one accusatory eye came his way.
"World War Three," said Louie in civilian garb, his arms crossed over his chest as he looked off across the lagoon to the patch of sky he could see through the far-off opening, "It's really coming. World War Three."
"That's what they said," noted Dewey, "Thembria are allied with the USSR, who are allied with China, North Korea, North Vietnam, East Germany and whatever other communist nations I'm forgetting. Thembria has picked a fight with the SIL which is an arm of S.H.U.S.H, which, although a neutral peacekeeping organization, is essentially American."
"With how much the Russians and Americans seem to like throwing around how many bombs they have, I wouldn't be surprised if we're all glowing in a half a year," said Huey, bitterly.
Louie shivered, "You think they would really do it? Bombs?"
"Honestly, I think the US will probably give it to them first, but we won't know until it happens."
"Where's your patriotism, Huey? It'll be the Russians who'll do it, I just know it."
"It flew out the door once we started this war with 'nam." He gave a sidelong glance to Louie. "I would think you and I would see closer on this sort of thing, considering..."
"Well, you always seemed to be the... I dunno... Rebellious one. At least where Uncle Scrooge was concerned." Huey leaned back, thankful for the shift in subject. "Spending money like water and going in for total selflessness and all that. Scrooge would have turned over in his grave if he heard about your adventures in Saint Canard."
Dewey spoke up, "Uncle Scrooge was only one of our guardians, if you'll remember, Huey, and even then only for a few years." His eyes swiveled over as he scratched his cheeks which had grown some serious whiskers since that fateful day in Duckburg. "When you think about Uncle Donald, Louie was absolutely devoted to him."
Huey frowned and turned away. "I suppose that's right."
"Listen," Louie said suddenly, turning his face from one brother to the other, "It's not like I'm pro-war or anything. It just scares the shit out of me, y'know." He smiled, but with a note of a sigh, "You never know when us Superheroes are going to get called in by S.H.U.S.H to go... I dunno... help out behind enemy lines. Who knows? Someday I might be like Super Snooper and go punch out Hitler. Or in this case Stalin, I guess. Maybe a little patriotism is what we heroes need just to do our jobs."
"I don't like it."
"You're allowed not to like it. That's the cool thing about the stupid country."
Dewey was back to watching the crewmen walk back and forth. "I suppose with all the commotion, there's no hope for the investigation into Farid to go through. With any luck they'll just forget all about us." He sighed. "Of course that just leaves us right back where we started."
"It can't end here," said Louie, resolute, "It just can't."
"And if it does?" asked Huey.
"I won't let it. These hands could potentially be punching out Stalin in a few years, so some punk wannabe kingpin should be no problem."
"You say that now..." smirked out Huey, "But how tough could you be if some fifty year old duck put you in a stretcher for two weeks?"
"Here you go, Doofus," said Webby as she unwrapped the bandages from around the formerly stricken shoulder, "You're well enough to move, I think."
Doofus sat up, placing a hand to his shoulder and moving it experimentally, working out the stiffness from not moving it for so long. The small sick-bay they sat in was brightly lit and sterile, and had a comfortable air conditioning system that protected the infirm from the heat of the cave it was located in.
Doofus smiled sheepishly. "Thanks Webby. You're a lifesaver."
"It's just my job here, I guess. Team nurse, team den mother, teacher, shoulder to cry on. You know. Usual stuff for the token girl on these kinds of adventures."
Dewey's spectacled face homed in on Webby suddenly, their strong gaze burning a hole in her soul. "Why do you let Dewey jerk you around like he does, Webby? It can't be good for you. It makes me so sad to see..."
"It's not as bad as all that, Doofus. He's my boss, and I'll stick by him." she laughed. "I haven't been paid yet anyway. I have to stick by him until then at least."
"Don't joke about that, Webby. He's... he's not good for you."
Doofus's hand flew over to lay itself over Webby's resting on the hard hospital bed. Webby stood suddenly, jerking her arm away.
"Don't do this, Doofus. We... We both decided we weren't right for one another a long time ago. Don't reopen old wounds."
"But Webby..." He began to stand. "...I know we grew apart. You had your career and I had... mine. I'm sorry. Both of our lives conspired to break us apart, but." He walked towards her, slowly. "But we've both changed. I don't have to hide who I am anymore, and you..."
"No. Doofus, stop! It wasn't just how... how unavailable you were. I know now why you were the way you were and that makes me feel better, but..."
"How is it any different from how Dewey is? He doesn't love you. He sees you as a tool for making money. You're just his secretary."
Webby rounded on Doofus and held up an admonishing finger, "Don't you dare, Doofus. Dewey is a good man and he is going through a lot right now. He can't be thinking about anything like that."
"Doofus. I'm warning you. Don't. Just don't. We had our chance together and you blew it. You broke my heart when you left..."
"For your own safety."
"I didn't know that at the time. Even though I know now I feel like... You could have told me."
"No... No I couldn't have. I couldn't have subjected you to..."
"What? I couldn't have taken the truth?" She shook her head, "Doofus, I grew up for a long time in McDuck Mansion. Even after the boys moved back in with Donald, Grammy and I stayed in the Mansion as staff. I was raised on adventure just as much as the Duck brothers were. I think I could have taken knowing why the man I used to love disappeared, and when he came back, grew so distant so suddenly. I would have understood."
"I... I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking. It was all just so... so new and exciting. But I've changed. I know what I'm doing now. Mr. Crackshell is back, and I can stop all of those horrible things I did in Saint Canard." His hand was on her shoulder, gentle. "Please, Webby. Give me another chance."
They were silent for a long time, with Webby's shoulder feeling the warmth of her former love's hand on her shoulder. She felt the old stir she used to feel around Doofus. Her memories drifted back to before the disappearance, when he was just a normal boy, so different from the fantastic figures that surrounded her from day to day.
"No." She shrugged his hand off of her shoulder. "I'm sorry, Doofus. Maybe... Perhaps..." She began to walk out of the door, leaving Doofus in the sterile office, "Perhaps in another future."
She walked out, her arms twined around herself as she looked down, tracing the path of her feet along the ground. Doofus stayed in the room for a moment, before closing his eyes and sighing, sitting down at the doctor's table and burying his face in his hands.
A day went past, and then two, and finally three. War brewed over the horizon and there they were, right at the thick of it. The entire group was roundly ignored by most of the SIL, with only occasional friction between them and the Commodore, who still, on some level, believed that they did it, and this belief tore him apart inside.
With every day that passed, news from the outside got grimmer and grimmer. USSR and US peace talks were breaking down left and right, and it seemed that Thembria's attack would not go unpunished. For its part, the country remained unapologetic, although rumors of them starting the war to seek some occult amulet were popular, if disbelieved, bits of apocryphal wisdom, at least to those without knowledge of the ultimate goal of their former state sorceress.
Dewey was hunched over at a long table the group used as a sort of meeting place away from the prying eyes of the SIL. The room was adjacent to the hastily put together sleeping quarters they had been given, which were much less nice than the ones aboard the Iron Vulture. On the other end of the table, Huey and the girls were chatting low, teaching and learning bits of each other's languages, while Louie discussed the Superhero trade with Doofus. Webby sat at Dewey's side, reading the only thing she could, a silly romance novel that had been donated by the Iron Vulture's crew for her use.
From a small stack of the past few day's newspapers delivered from Bombay, Dewey was reading an article in an Indian newspaper, using his knowledge of the Hindi language to keep tabs on the business dealings of McDuck Enterprises. To his annoyance, stock prices under Farid Kagan were rising, even as he delivered some truly baffling changes to the structure of the company.
Several industries that were formerly the very center of McDuck's revenue base, for example, Mining, Banking, Agriculture, and others, were being closed out, or reduced.
"I don't get it." Said Dewey out loud, wrinkling his forehead at the latest news from yesterday's paper, "I just don't get it. What is he planning to do?"
Webby looked up from her novel, finding conversation potentially more interesting, "More news from the front?"
"Farid's just closed down several factories for automobile parts. He's literally robbing people of their jobs, but he's such a slick talker he's getting away with it. I can't see the profit in it."
Louie spoke up, his conversation with Doofus having come to a bit of a snag regarding the correct procedure for chasing down a mugger, "Maybe he's got a backup plan. Close down some factories, open them up later to big ole' fanfare or something."
"Maybe they weren't up to code," posited Webby, "You know how Uncle Scrooge would cut corners."
"Or maybe..." began Dewey, before shaking his head, "I wish we could actually do something. I feel so useless here."
"We all do, Dewey," said Doofus who was itching to put on the suit, but couldn't risk being seen by the SIL.
"No kidding," said Louie, "What I wouldn't give to just fly in there and bust some heads."
"It would never work," answered Dewey, shaking his head as he turned the page, moving from the business section into the arts, and throwing the paper onto the table, "It wouldn't accomplish anything but making us look more suspect."
"I know. But it would make me feel better. Right Huey?"
The girls nodded their heads in triumph.
"Maybe it will say something in today's paper," said Webby, reasonably. She reached into the stack and pulled out the new news, opening it right to the business section with a practiced unconscious motion, before passing it over to Dewey and looking back down to her book.
Webby's heart skipped a beat when he heard her boss say "Thank you."
"Y- you're welcome, Dewey."
Dewey was too engrossed in the business section to hear her however, and began reading the fascinating writing of the Hindi language. In a moment, everyone went back to their individual conversations and tasks.
Suddenly, Dewey slammed the paper down on the ground, "That double-crossing son of a bitch!"
"What's wrong?" said Webby, startled away from Lady Argyle receiving a ripped bodice from Duke Iverson of Glen, disguised as the pirate and robber-baron Gregor the Cut-throat, who was at this moment on his way to claim the Lady as his own forced bride.
"That... That bastard! He... He wouldn't!" Dewey quickly took the paper back up and re-read the passage, before, throwing the paper towards the wall with a growl.
"What? What? What?" yelled Louie, "Don't leave us in suspense!"
"He... The factories he closed down... All of those mines and industries..." Dewey stood quickly, causing his chair to clatter to the floor, "He...!" He turned away, beginning to pace.
"What did he do?"
"Weapons manufacturing! Bombs! Guns! Battleships! He's shifting McDuck Enterprises to a pure weapons manufacturer. He's... he's closing down all other non-essential wartime industries to focus on weapons."
"My god," said Huey.
"This... this is..." Suddenly, a light came on behind Dewey's eyes. He ceased the nervous pacing he had taken up and looked up at the wall, a terrible expression lighting up his face. A cruel mixture of fear and loathing and anger all coming together to form an evil concoction upon his face. His eyes were wide and wild, his mouth bent down at a brutal angle, and his forehead creased as his brows rose up to meet the heavens. His body went rigid and his hands flexed outwards, keeping that position for as long as he held the face that had come of his greatest betrayal. "This was his plan all along."
Huey stood quietly, saying, slowly, "What do you mean?"
Dewey snapped at Huey, "I mean, Huey, that Farid planned this, all of it. The siege on Duckburg was his plot to take over the company, using us to tie up the SIL and S.H.U.S.H so they wouldn't catch wise of the plot. He used Gizmoduck to lock down the superhero contingent in Saint Canard so they couldn't raise a finger to stop him even if they did figure him out. I'll bet..." He grunted and turned, leaning on the wall with one elbow and looking with his tortured expression down towards the ground, "...I'll bet he's somehow behind this new war as well. He used you, Huey, and Higher-for-hire to get us mixed up with the Thembrians when they attacked. He must have heard about Magica's need for that dime, and knew I never gave it up, so he threw us together, and counted on... on war. If we lost the dime they would declare war on the world and he wins. If we kept the dime they would tear the world apart trying to get it, and he wins!"
"Why would he do all that?" called Doofus, his hackles raising at the thought of being used to such an end, "What possible reason..."
Dewey laughed, a horrible, sardonic noise that resonated with all of them, "Money! Money! Money money money! World War Three is declared, he uses McDuck Enterprises to sell the Allies guns, rockets, bombs, and makes a killing. He turns around, and uses Khan Industries to sell the Soviets guns, rockets, bombs... He uses our birthright to fleece both sides of the conflict!"
Everyone looked at Dewey, shocked. Louie stood up slowly.
"My... my god. We've got to stop him!"
"Louie's right," said Doofus, standing up gallantly, "Starting a war to make money. That’s diabolical!"
"But what can we do?" said Webby, who stood as well, "We can't just go in and..."
"But we must," Said Dewey, cutting her off, "We can't fight him the way we have been. We need desperate measures. He's covered his tracks too well. Governments are eating out of his hand and the population is on his side thanks to the sympathy vote from taking over McDuck when we were implicated in the raid on Duckburg. S.H.U.S.H is too busy preparing for WWIII to do anything about him. We can't expose him. We have to stop him."
Louie's face had begun to smile a bit, "You mean it?"
Dewey nodded, "By force."
"The SIL," said Webby, her heart saying 'yes yes!' but her mind saying 'be careful,' "They'll never let us go."
"Who needs their permission?" smirked out Huey, his fist finding purchase in the palm of his hand.
Two SIL crewmen were rushing by the door to the conference room the guests were using when they heard two unfortunate words.
Soon enough, the entire wall blew open as rockets, fists, giant hammers, and various chainsaws and power tools sliced and knocked away. The crewmen tried to run, but were buried under the rubble from the near instantaneous explosion of plaster and iron. Soon, a small stampede of footsteps echoed through the hall as the group ran out. The Carioca girls, carrying the meager luggage of the small crew, crowded up behind Huey who ran joyousely through the hall. Doofus, in his armor, lead the charge along with Louie, in full costume including drawn-on mask. Dewey pounded along the hall at a secure clip, hand-in-hand with Webby, who carried a suitcase full of Dewey's few business papers and petty cash he insisted on bringing along.
Soon, a ringing alarm blared out, and the entire group was being chased from the halls, but with Gizmoduck's brute strength at the charge, and Louie's skill with ropes and bindings on backup, the group went completely unmolested as they ran towards the hangar, and beyond, the lagoon where the Sea Duck was being moored.
"Get them!" yelled a familiar voice, before a gunshot rang out, only to be deflected by a quick shield from Gizmoduck, "They are escaping!"
Huey looked over and saw the Commodore, jumping up and down from rage. He smiled inside as he ran.
They were soon in the wide cavern containing the Lagoon, and were on their way to the Sea Duck. Suddenly, however, there was a loud snapping noise and several of the lights went out.
There was a wild laughing as a strange figure came flying towards them. The red emergency lights came on just in time for the group to see the Commodore, brandishing his sword and swinging from an electrical wire. He slammed the wire against Gizmoduck, who began to vibrate as the sizzling energy shorted out his suit.
"R-R-R-R-R-Run!" Said Doofus, pointing towards the Sea Duck.
"Gizmoduck!" cried Webby, before she was jerked on by Dewey.
Louie complied, herding the rest of the group on, taking up the bulk of the defense of the group. Soon, Dewey, Webby, and the girls had ran up the back ramp of the Sea Duck. Louie followed them up and did a quick head count, before exclaiming, "Where's Huey?"
All eyes pointed out over an encroaching crowd of SIL, where Huey had tarried by the stunned Gizmoduck, and was squaring off against Perry Kid, a sword in his hand.
"That idiot!" cried Louie, before it became apparent that the approaching SIL crewmen would keep him and the others too busy to go collect his brother. The crack of Scrooge's musket resounded, and the firefight inside the Sea Duck had begun, with the girls ducking inside the Pilot's cabin to keep themselves safe from stray bullets.
Back over towards where Gizmoduck lay, stunned, Huey and the Commodore squared off towards each other, Huey keeping one nervous eye towards the Sea Duck, which was being swarmed by SIL.
"Pay attention to your opponent when you fight him!" cried the Commodore," You insult me!"
"Of heaven forfend I insult you, Junior."
"Your friends are probably already dead now. I knew you weren't to be trusted. The Guilty always run."
"Everyone runs, Junior, if they're being chased."
"Because everyone is guilty, perhaps?"
"Because it's better than being caught."
"You and your brothers have been the thorn in my side long enough, yes no? I am glad to finally be rid of you. To attack in the midst of war..."
"Because of the war, Junior. We've got to stop it!"
"Preposterous. You have no chance to stop it. You're just three men and some women, how could you...?"
"We'll find a way. We'll find some way to stop Farid Kagan... You could help us..."
"This is not how things are done!" screamed the Commodore at the top of his voice, "You do not escape from me! It cannot be for something so noble, swine!"
"Fine, Be that way. Looks like the tides may be turning my way after all." His eyes looked off to the side briefely.
The Commodore followed his gaze, and saw the crowd of SIL suddenly thinning out, with a single black and yellow blur jumping and punching through the crowd, too fast or heavily armored for the men to get a bead on with their guns. PK took down the crowd, helped, soon, by The Green Phantom and Dewey Duck.
"No! No! I cannot be defeated by the likes of you! Enemies of Justice and right!"
"Junior, quiet. You've lost."
"You insist on calling me Junior, because your mentor calls me Junior. Do you know why they call me Junior, do you?" He began to sweat, this confrontation not going as planned, "They say I am the son of Don Karnage, the pirate. They say my whore of a mother conceived of me as he visited and pillaged a Spanish village, his home town. THEY ARE WRONG!" He screamed, brandishing his sword as his speech became more and more unhinged, "A man who would sack his own home town could never be a father to me, who loves Justice and right! The Law is my father, and fair Justice is my mother, and I am it's proud servant! You are an enemy to that end, and for that I will strike you down! Putup your sword, yes?"
Huey looked at the Commodore's sweating, wild-eyed face with a cold smirk, before he dropped the sword to the ground, dropping down into the accepted position of fisticuffs.
"A-ha. You are different. You follow your blood like a sheep. Your anger-addled Uncle has given you a dishonorable preference of combat."
"honor or not. I'm still kicking your ass."
Screaming, the two men came at each other. Kid struck first, swiping his sword. Huey dodged to the right and fired a punch, which struck kid's ribs, but allowed him to try a stab with his cutlass. Circling round, Huey strafed out of the way, peppering the wild, angry man with punches, before finally laying a kick squarely into his ankle. The Commodore cried out, going down to one knee, and trying a wild slice, his mannered, rigid style bedazzled by rules and regulations going out the window in the face of Huey's fists made hard by visits to cities around the globe before he settled in Cape Suzette. He punched, Face, shoulder, face, stomach, each time his face taking on a little bit more of the joy of the fight, and the enthusiasm that comes from knowing he's fighting someone with a measure of skill and still winning.
Finally, The Commodore stood and gave a bellow, letting everything he hated about Huey come out through his voice. His nose began to gush blood into his perfectly white teeth, as he slashed down.
Huey stepped backwards, used to fighting men addled by rage, and waited until the sword was once again raised to the familiar fencing position. He then gave a strong right cross, and aimed for the broad side of the sword.
Snap! Huey punched the sword, and the blade snapped in half near the base from the sheer force of his strike, tested against the steel grip of Perry Kid.
Deprived of a useful weapon, the Commodore dropped the hopeless hilt of the former sword, and raised his own hands to defend himself, before he was struck out with an uppercut to the jaw. He landed a few feet back, and struggled to stay awake, but unconsciousness overtook him all the same.
By this time, Gizmoduck's systems had rebooted, and he was getting up, "What... What happened?"
"Nothing much," said Huey, "Come on!"
The two ran on towards the crowd of SIL, who were dispersing, scared off by the loss of their leader, as well as from the demon who fights them so harshly.
Huey and Gizmoduck ran in, Huey with a big ole smile on his face. His brothers called their frantic salutations to him, but his face was focused on PK, who was finishing up one last SIL goon. It may have been the angle of the punch, or perhaps the stance he displayed while throwing it, but somehow, Huey felt that PK, at this moment, was a familiar, comforting presence, especially considering how similar the way he took care of the goon was to the way he just took care of Junior.
He was mesmerized by PK suddenly, his shape matching up with his memories, calling up someone, One of the most influential people to his personality, and he felt a strange mixture of joy and disgust. He finally knew who PK was, and he couldn't help but feel elated by the knowledge.
"Hey, Huey," said a voice, breaking out of his reverie. Suddenly the rest of the cargo hold registered. The back had been closed and everyone had gathered together around him.
"Get your ass in gear, Kid," said PK, "You've got a plane to fly."
Looking directly into PK's single eye, he blinked, before, in a moment of unbridled happiness, giving him a giant shit-eating grin. "Groovy."
The Sea Duck was soon winding its way through the lagoon, towards the exit. The parcel of sky getting larger and larger as Huey approached it, until it filled the vision beyond the windshield of the plane. Soon, with a bounce, the plane was in the air and the group was off to face their final foe.