by Roaming Tigress and Shelley Inks, creator of Keleen Vanderchill
The Final Confrontation
secretly watched as Keleen and Victoria helped Steelbeak through his long
road to recovery. To his delight, the lure of friendship was working.
Keleen's act was becoming more and more realistic each and every day, and
the kingpin of F.O.W.L-dom was one step closer to the trap. Steelbeak
had got over the fear he had for his girl, and acted as though he had known
her for a lifetime. Absolute trust was what exactly as he had in
mind, helping Javert's
horrible dream to soon become a reality.
Killing wasn't the only thing going on in Javert's life. He had proposed to Keleen Vanderchill, and not surprisingly she accepted it. From now on, he would be living on easy street.
"You've done wonders with zat rooster, Keleen. He hasn't suspected a thing!" Javert joyously told her, passing by her on the way out to the parking lot. "I think we can take him down tonight. I've waited so long to do this. I cannot wait another day!"
Keleen's sliver of sympathy for Steelbeak disappeared for a moment. Her eyes lit up at the visuals of murder, for it had been some time since she was involved in a good slaughterfest. She wanted nothing more than to impress Javert, especially now since she was engaged to him. Her father was in ill health lately, and should he pass on anytime soon, she hoped he would live to see the day his attacker would come to justice.
Her grin disappeared as Keleen remembered how much reluctant the rooster was to give up trying to remain High Command. His pride had fallen a notch, and couldn't help but to offer what comfort she had. How could she kill someone who she had hugged and promised to befriend? She hid this feeling from her fiancé, and instantly snapped back to her evil side.
"Impatient, are we?" She teasingly asked Javert, giving him a poke in the ribs. "So, how do we propose to do it? Bullet to the head? Brutal stabbing? Poison?"
"Bullet to ze head. Poison has no effect on him, and he can stab us as quickly as we can stab him!" Javert quickly replied, holding his handgun out into moonlight. He aimed it for the moon, and fired. A waste of a bullet perhaps, but he had to shoot something to feed his killer instinct.
"And what about Victoria? I'll take care of her if you want, I know just how much you want that cock!" Keleen said with a saucy grin.
Javert slipped into the car after Keleen got into the driver's side. As she drove off, he polished his handgun and randomly shot out at a pedestrian. He replaced the bullets and comfortably leaned back into the car seat, envisioning what this spring night may bring.
"You can take care of her and ze child. Do what you want with them, but be imaginative! Try something you haven't done before. Smash 'Tori's skull open with a meat cleaver, feed Tatiana through a garbage disposal unit."
He just had to mention Tatiana! Keleen looked away for a moment, heaving a heartened sigh. "You know I can't hurt her, Javert. As soon as we're done, lets just take her to an orphanage. She's a cute little kid, and well-behaved. I know someone will adopt her as quickly as she comes in."
"Sure . . . " Inwardly, Javert rolled his eyes. He had thought she would have got over her soft spot for the child, but apparently she hadn't.
Five minutes later, the pair pulled up into the parking lot of a stylish nightclub. A red neon sign over the entrance read "The Rooster's Den," and the place was practically abandoned. There were only four other parked vehicles including theirs, and only about ten people inside. Normally it was next to impossible to get in, and it seemed the nightclub's patrons knew something bad would happen.
After quietly getting out of the car, the two walked arm-in-arm toward the nightclub. In spite of their air of confidence, their hearts were practically pounding out of their rib cages. It seemed all too real to Javert for this night to come at last, and he had to have Keleen pinch him to make him realize he wasn't dreaming. They stopped just outside the doorway and out of the view of the candle-lighting Victoria.
"I'll leave you here, Keleen. You just go in, I'll come in at about half an hour," Javert instructed, feeling the urge to kill to become uncontrollable. "Keep him busy, amuse him and from zere I'll do ze rest. I'll shoot Steelbeak so quickly he won't know what will hit him!"
"No problem," Keleen answered with a devilish smirk, running a finger down his chest. "What are you going to do in the meantime?"
Javert tossed his handgun in the air and grabbed it just before it hit the ground. "Oh I'll think of something. Maybe I'll kill a citizen or two, to distract ze police away."
"Good thinking!" Keleen nodded quickly, looking back at him as she entered the nightclub. "The diversions should keep the pigs busy."
The moment she stepped inside, Steelbeak greeted her in his usual suave manner. He escorted her to a center table, limping as he went. In spite of this, he managed to keep up his proud stance that he had before the attack. Keleen couldn't help but to notice how much it slowed him down, and knew Javert would take advantage of this.
"I 'ope youse enjoy yer this evening, Miss Vanderchill," Steelbeak said with a graceful bow, handing her a menu. "De best chef''s in de 'ouse tonight, and Ella Marten will be preforming. Foist of all, may I interest youse in some wine?"
"I'd love that, Steelbeak. Thank you!" Keleen replied, using her most charming smile. "As for the kind, just surprise me!"
"Sure t'ing!" Steelbeak beamed, nodding once before making his way into the spotless kitchen. After a quick Italian chit-chat with the chef, he brought out a bottle of sparkling wine imported from Greece.
"Oooh, that looks nice!" Keleen exclaimed, watching as the drink poured into her glass. A sip revealed that it was as tasty as it looked.
"Glad yas like it!" The rooster smiled, subtly shifting his weight onto his good leg. "Now, what would yas like to eat tonight? Stir-fried venison's de special tonight."
"Hrm . . . That sounds interesting . . . " Keleen spent a moment reading over the menu, then looked back at him. "I think I'll have that tonight. I do like the sounds of the rare steak dinner, but before I make a real decision, what kind of venison is used in the stir-fry? Whitetail? Blacktail? Mule Deer?"
"Neither!" Steelbeak answered with distaste. "We's only use Fallow. Imported right from Europe, usin' only de choicest cuts!"
"Choosy, are we?" Amused by his look of disgust, Keleen laughed out loud. "Well, the stir-fry dish certainly sounds decently exotic enough. I think I'll give it a try!"
"You can't find a finer game meat, mate!" Victoria said, overhearing her conversation with her husband. She had finished lighting the candles and took hold of Tatiana just before she tripped over her own feet.
"Not as flavorsome as kangaroo or impala, mind you, but better than that native deer rubbish."
A quarter of a mile away, perched up in a maple tree, Javert watched the inspector of police patrol the city park. He was a middle aged and burly bear who repeatedly tried to bring in the French-accented duck. After months of frustration he finally gave up, even if it meant putting the public at risk with having him always on the prowl. He figured Darkwing Duck would take care of him, but Javert was too stealthy and secretive even for him.
Due to the incompetence of the police, assassinations soon became an everyday occurrence in St. Canard. There were far too many to be caused by the usual suspects -- Negaduck, Steelbeak, any of the Fearsome Four. They also had a particular pattern in the killings. The bullet wounds found in bodies almost always clean and found only in specific parts, generally the front of the head, sometimes the jugular but nothing lower.
The other six villains were more random with what they did with their victims. Negaduck more or less mutilated his victims in any way he saw fit, and the rooster's prey was generally found riddled with machine gun fire. The Liquidator tended to drown his victims, and Bushroot preferred vine strangulation. Darkwing Duck investigated the matter but was at a loss of who exactly did the killings. He suspected it was Javert, but needed concrete evidence.
"Come on, tubby, just a couple more feet . . . " Javert muttered, watching him trudge about through his binoculars. Finally when he came within range, he pulled the trigger and jumped down from his perch.
"One down, another to go!"
At the Rooster's Den, Keleen was patiently waiting for her meal. To keep her company, Steelbeak decided to stick around while Victoria went into town to release her pyromaniac desires. Tatiana toddled about, a little tired but still enjoyed hanging out with the two.
"Fiery by crime, fiery by nature!" Steelbeak said with an arrogant smile, seeing the tower of a tall building up in flames. He was as proud of her reputation just as much as she was.
"Oh, she's a scrapper, all right!" Keleen replied, quickly checking her watch. More than half an hour had past, and Javert still hadn't shown himself.
Just where is he? I hope he hasn't been caught by police, or managed to trap himself in a building that 'Tori set. Keleen turned her head towards the nightclub's entrance, noticing a figure in a black trench coat walk in. At first she didn't recognize who it was, but her anxieties were eased as a clap of lightening gave away the black spot over his eye. She tried not to look at him too much, knowing if she did she would attract to rooster's attention toward him.
Oooh, look what he brought along! From the corner of her eyes, Keleen watched Javert reach a hand into his coat. He pulled out his latest toy, an 8 MM Mauser. By the time he arrived, the remaining nightclub goers had left.
Memories of Javert shooting his daughter were all too fresh in Steelbeak's mind. He protectively stood in front of the child, and while keeping an eye on him he grabbed a steak knife off the table. A gun was in his jacket, but the time it would take to pull it out, Javert would have got a bullet into him first. His foe had better aim than he did, and he was a little jealous of this.
"You're not welcome 'ere . . . " Steelbeak growled, taking a step toward Javert. His threatening body language diminished as he suddenly winced and fell down onto his bad leg.
Keleen had generated a sword made out of ice and slashed it across his back, directly where she had stabbed him before. She had thoughts of impaling him with it, but didn't want to steal Javert's thunder. If she killed him, she would leave Javert with one less fun thing to do.
"Wonderful night, isn't it, Steelbeak? Too bad it's your last!" Javert hissed, taking aim straight between the eyes. With shaky hands, he pulled the trigger and fired.
"DADDY!" Tatiana shrieked, taking cover from under one of the tables.
With an anguished sound resembling that of a roar, Steelbeak crashed to the ground in front of his daughter. The bullet had torn through a metal plate in his skull, blew through the bone and exposed part of the brain. It all happened so quickly that he felt no pain, and slowly he felt his life drain away. There was no miracle in the world that could help him now, but he tenaciously clung onto what he had left.
"Daddy, get up!" Crying hysterically, Tatiana threw her chubby arms around his neck and clung on. She helplessly looked up at the people responsible for his horrible wounds, but found no comfort in their blank expressions.
Tears streamed down Steelbeak's blood-soaked face. He couldn't bear to think of Tatiana growing up without a dad, or Victoria living life as a widow. It's gonna be curtains fer me, but I don't want my favorite goils to know I'm gonna give up. He tried hoisting himself up, but collapsed.
"I'm sorry, hon . . . I . . . Can't do it . . . " He quietly sobbed, using his last strength to place around Tatiana. Never before had he felt so defeated and betrayed. Over time, he had come to befriend Keleen but she in turn had literally stabbed him in the back for it.
Remarkably, Javert remained strangely calm. He refrained from breaking into cheer, and instead quietly celebrated his success with a glass of wine. He couldn't quite make out how he felt at the moment. Perhaps he thought that his enemy would remain invincible, or that he was dreaming again. Whatever the case may be, he looked away from the plight unfolding before him.
The strange calmness was shared by Keleen. Instead of looking away, she couldn't take her eyes off the scene in front of her. She found it morbidly fascinating, victorious, and sad all at once.
"Valentino!" Victoria cried out, bursting through the nightclub's front entrance. From outside, she had seen him lying on the ground in a prone position and immediately rushed in to see what the matter was. She paid no attention to Javert, and it was just as well.
"I . . . I love youse, Tatiana . . . Tori . . . " Steelbeak whispered with a wavering tone. His breathing was slow and heavy now, and he looked up at his wife with a pleading expression. She knelt beside him, offering him whatever comfort she could give.
At first, Victoria was at emotionless state as she saw him in the shape he was in. The thought of her husband dying right before her eyes didn't register. He had always been a tough character, frequently wounded on the job but always sprung back. Shock created a horribly daydreaming effect on her mind, making her believe that he'd be his lovably suave self within a few days rest.
"You're going to be just fine, love . . . " Unthinkingly, Victoria's state of mind was a sort of comfort to him. Soon, though, reality would raise its ugly head. The look Steelbeak gave her was enough to make her come to her senses. Tears were flowing out from her eyes in waterfall amounts, and she collapsed over his fallen form. She got up off him so she wouldn't create unnecessary pain, and held on tight to his right hand.
"A . . . Are y-you going to heaven, daddy?" Tatiana asked with a sniffle, grabbing a handful of his feathers in her little hands. She was too young to fully understand the concept of death, but old enough to know that something wasn't right with her father.
"I . . . I don't know . . . " Steelbeak answered in a strained voice. The tears and blood were blurring his vision, and with a shudder he weakly nuzzled her and Victoria with his damaged beak.
"Make him better, mommy."
"I'll try, mate, I'll try . . . " Victoria gently said, stroking her head. She carefully rolled Steelbeak over onto his back and cradled his head in her arms. She knew he didn't have much time left now and decided to make it as peaceful as possible.
"I . . . I have to go . . . " Keleen whispered to Javert with a catch to her voice. When he gave her a nod of approval, she got up and left to go outside. She couldn't watch any longer, and soon Javert followed her out into the rain.
"I thought you would've loved to have seen zis day come!" Javert said in astonishment, hearing a soft cry arise from her voice.
Giving him a tight hug, Keleen looked up at him with a shameful look. "Oh, I did, Javert! I just . . . Never thought I'd feel this way. That little kid . . . She got to me, and to tell you the truth, so did Steelbeak. I'm sorry for being all emotional and stuff. You can call off the wedding if you -- "
"Non, non! I wouldn't think of such a thing!" Javert exclaimed with a wide grin, wiping a tear from her eyes. He was more than proud of what he had done, but so that he wouldn't further upset Keleen, he chose to not openly express it.
"Lets go home, Keleen. I will put ze sauna on for you."
Her mood lightened by this thought, Keleen followed him to the car with a smile replacing her sadness. "Thank you. It's been a long night. I could do with something like that!"
After one last from Victoria, Steelbeak quietly passed away. He was now gone from the world that had hated him, and with it, the cursed pain and hounding. All his life he had been trying to run from the past that always came haunted, and now, he was free from it.
That night, Javert proved to the world that he had the makings of a killer. At last, he accomplished his murderous objective but he would soon come to regret it.