Disclaimer: They're Disney's.
Reviewers, my thanks to you is unlimited! Long chapter ahead, so take your time…
The noon sun hung high in the baby blue sky, beaming down rays of bright warmth. A perfect, crisp breeze floated through the air and carried the sweet tune of the whistling birds. No citizen in St. Canard could ask for a better day.
"I hate days like this!" Negaduck spat, slamming his window shut.
Well, maybe one citizen.
The masked mallard was particularly grumpy after last night's little episode. He stumbled into the hallway with two things on his mind: 1) coffee, and 2) a certain paper. Somewhere amidst his gift of the white orb and the talk of the Devil's Eye, he remembered a strange paper he had been given last spring, one that supposedly pertained to the whole "legend" rubbish. With any luck, it might explain a few of the abnormally abnormal events taking place in St. Canard. Events like why a dead bull's voice was coming out of a living child's mouth.
Negaduck was not five steps down the hall before he tripped and fell flat on his beak. Cursing, he twisted around to see several plant roots obstructing his path.
"Oh for the love of…BUSHROOT, I'M GONNA HAVE YOU FREEZE-DRIED, WRAPPED IN PLASTIC, AND TOSSED IN THE PRODUCE AISLE BEFORE YOU CAN SAY 'LEAFY GREEN'!" Negaduck hollered.
Bushroot could be on germinating on the other side of the city for all he knew, but it still felt good to yell. No sooner had Negaduck gotten up and dusted himself off then did he step on a roller skate, resulting in his webbed feet shooting out from beneath him and his back making solid contact with the floor.
His face glowing tomato red, Negaduck screamed, "QUACKERJACK, I'M GONNA – you know what, I'm just gonna kill him. Flat out kill him. End of story."
He stood up once again and hurled the skate out a window, relishing in the squall of the unfortunate cat it struck below. Negaduck burst into what he referred to as his 'study' and shuffled through the mountain of papers…an NRA newsletter…several ignored tax returns…a greasy Hamburger Hippo menu…aha! A yellowed, worn piece of parchment. This would answer all of his questions.
Negaduck squinted at the unintelligible scribble. One problem. It was written in Transylvanian.
"Dammit!" the villain barked, slamming his fist on the desk, "why is it so effin' hard for me to catch one teeny tiny break for – "
The mallard nearly jumped out of his feathers.
He whirled around to see Nega-Gosalyn's meek frame in the doorway.
"I – I heard you yelling and I thought m-maybe something was wrong…"
"Wrong? Oh, nothing's wrong, it's just that my cohorts happen to be complete mental defects. But other than that, everything's juuuuuust peachy," Negaduck answered.
"You know maybe you ought to be nicer to the Fearsome Four," Nega-Gosalyn recommended, "they do a whole lot for you, and Quackerjack always said – well, Negaverse Quackerjack – he said a team of friends works together better than a team of strangers."
Negaduck replied casually, "Oh, those knobs aren't strangers, they're just strange."
Upon seeing Nega-Gosalyn's troubled face, Negaduck plastered on a fake smile and continued, "But I'll definitely make an effort to be kinder to those numsku – er, number one pals of mine."
"Wonderful! Before you know it, you and the Fearsome Four will be the best of friends!" Nega-Gosalyn squealed happily, and skipped out of the room.
"Oh goody," Negaduck grumbled sarcastically.
"Boy are my tail feathers dragging," Drake muttered.
After waking up considerably early to make sure his daughter attended school, a brief nap could not do much for his zombie-like state of mind. However, Drake Mallard's entire subconscious screamed COFFEE, and before he knew what he was doing Drake's feet found the kitchen.
After few minutes of percolating Drake had a steaming mug in his hand. He looked inside the refrigerator in search of milk when he noticed one of the chilled foods was gift-wrapped. Puzzled, Drake pulled the parcel out of the fridge.
"To DW, from Launchpad," said Drake, reading the gift tag aloud, "They may not be a birthday cake, but I hope you will like them."
Even more puzzled, Drake tore off the paper. A smirk burst onto his beak – it was an entire bag of Krazy Kevin's Klassic Kocktail Weenies.
"Ah coffee, how it refreshes, rejuvenates, revitalizes!" Drake sang, his voice echoing in Darkwing Tower.
Launchpad looked up from the hood of the Thunderquack to the only duck he knew who could go through the spinning chairs with a mug of coffee and not spill a drop.
"Wow DW, you're up early – looks like ya found your birthday present, heh heh."
"Yup, thanks pal," he said, then narrowed his eyes, "I'm hiding these from you and Gosalyn, between your two voracious appetites, I might not get a chance to enjoy my birthday present."
Launchpad chuckled and went back to his jet. With another slurp of coffee Drake made his way to his armoire.
"Hmm, which one shall I wear today…" he murmured, lazily gazing at hanger after hanger of identical purple costumes.
The two ducks covered their ears at the piercing blare of the D.R.A.T.
"Oh boy, a crime!" Drake cried, grabbing a costume and dashing over to his computer. He clicked the keyboard furiously, and in a few seconds the images of Larry's Linguistics Store's security camera flooded onto the screen. Drake squinted at the masked hoodlum on the screen – and his cape, and his fedora…
"IT'S NEGADUCK!" the mallard shouted with glee, "Now I'll finally have that antisocial antagonist…but he's just taking money out of the cash register…that's not his style…"
The camera showed Negaduck dashing out of the store at warp speed. A great BOOM resonated through the speakers, and Larry's Linguistics turned into a cloud of fire and debris before the screen went blank.
Drake Mallard smirked grimly.
"Ah, there's the good ol' Negaduck I know and hate. He may think he's in the clear, but little does he know he's got the world's savviest sleuth hot on his tail feathers! C'mon LP, let's get dangerous!"
"Right behind ya pal!"
"Could someone PLEASE tell me just WHY a linguistics store wouldn't sell a Transylvanian translator, dictionary, talking parrot, anything! For the love of all that's evil why can't anything go right for me today!" Negaduck ranted as he rocketed down the street on his motorcycle, ignoring each and every rule of traffic, "All I need is for the little purple creampuff of justice to show up and I'll have the combination platter of crappy days…"
"There he is Launchpad, straight ahead!"
Negaduck clenched the handlebars so tightly his fingers made ridged indentations in the metal.
"You've gotta be kidding me," the villain murmured, staring at the Ratcatcher in his rearview mirror.
"It's all over Negayuck; pull over now and I won't humiliate you too badly!" Darkwing Duck shouted over the roar of the engines.
Negaduck glared over his shoulder and snarled, "We'll see who's going to be humiliated Darkthing!"
The villain swerved to the side and sped down a crossroad with Darkwing and Launchpad hot on his tracks. Brakes screeched and horns blared as Negaduck bolted past them. He weaved in and out of traffic recklessly, waging an unspoken battle of "chicken" with his counterpart. He had to lose Darkwing somehow…
Up ahead Negaduck could see a tractor-trailer overturned, spewing buckets of cream cheese all over the road. A malevolent smile cracked across his beak.
"Looks like you're slowing down back there Gramps, forget your walker?" Negaduck taunted Darkwing.
The crime fighter growled back, "You must be one delusional duck to think that I –"
"Look out DW!" Launchpad yelled frantically.
Before Darkwing knew what was happening, Negaduck cut to the right, leaving the masked mallard and his sidekick on a one-way trip into the cream cheese.
The Ratcatcher's tires spun out as Darkwing and Launchpad went careening into the mess. Negaduck looked behind himself and snickered, watching his opposite turn the road into his own personal Slip 'n Slide.
"Ha, that oughta teach that bonehead to keep his beak out of my – uh oh."
Following a similar pattern to Darkwing's, Negaduck failed to watch where he was going, leading him to slam his bike into a fire hydrant and be jettisoned off his seat. The villain flew through the air, screaming and flailing, before shooting through the open door of a hardware store where he finally skidded to a halt.
Negaduck managed a tight "Ow." He rolled onto his back and massaged his head.
"I don't know how this could get much worse," he groaned.
"I am the terror that flaps in the night!"
"Jinxed it," Negaduck added.
"I am the unforgiving college loan you just can't pay off!"
Negaduck quickly looked around and spotted a bin of tools to his side. He picked up a wrench and heaved it into the cloud of blue smoke.
"I am – " CLANG! " – hey watch it, I'm makin' an entrance over here!" Darkwing barked indignantly.
He and Launchpad stepped through the wisps of smoke, both of them dripping cream cheese. The masked mallard assumed a dramatic pose and proclaimed, "You may have received an 'E' for effort, but you won't pass this test!"
His harsh countenance slackening slightly, Darkwing added with a chuckle, "Just give it up Negaduck, you know I always win."
"And here I thought I knew everything," Negaduck mused.
In a flash Negaduck kicked his feet out, knocking over a sack of road salt. The sack split, spraying the two heroes with the tiny pellets. Negaduck took advantage of their distraction and disappeared into the depths of the store.
Darkwing brushed salt out of his eyes while asking desperately, "Where'd that snake of a villain slither off to now?"
"Dunno DW, maybe we should split up – "
"Good idea LP! You take the home and garden aisle, I'll take tools and bolts!"
Darkwing raced past the bins of bolts, nuts, and screws, remaining vigilant for any flash of red or glimpse of yellow. Where did that blasted duck get to!
He slid to a stop when he heard the soft rustle of fabric. Narrowing his eyes, Darkwing tiptoed forward and whispered in a singsong voice, "Come out come out wherever you are, you stupid, annoying, no good – whoa!"
The crime fighter barely dodged the heavy blade of a shovel as it whooshed over his head with a metallic zing. Negaduck had appeared seemingly out of nowhere, rearing back the shovel and taking a second swing.
"No one likes a sucker shot Negs!" Darkwing informed, ducking out of the way.
He hastily armed himself with the only thing available – a droopy kitchen mop.
"A mop? That's the best you can do?" Negaduck mocked, still gripping the shovel, "I guess you're all washed up!"
Using his mop as a baseball bat, Darkwing swung at his opposite.
"Ha, you swing like a girl," Negaduck taunted.
Darkwing frowned but retorted, "Sticks and stones Negaduck – en garde!"
Now equipping his mop as sword, Darkwing executed a tricky maneuver and knocked the shovel out of Negaduck's hands. The villain looked stunned for a moment before growling with frustration.
"It's all in the wrist," Darkwing cooed smugly, polishing his nails.
Reacting quickly, Negaduck snatched a handful of nuts and bolts and whipped them into Darkwing's face, producing a painful yowl from the hero.
"Looks like you've got a few screws loose Darkwing Muck," Negaduck said, and skirted out the emergency exit.
Darkwing tried in vain to chase after his adversary, but only managed to slip on the scattered nuts and bolts. He let out a frustrated growl akin to Negaduck's previous one, but finally made it to the exit. Flinging open the emergency door, he leapt into the alley, gasgun at the ready.
"All right Negasludge, come out with your hands…huh?"
To his surprise, Darkwing could not see an inch in front of him. It was as if he had been pitched into a sea of black ink. Even worse, it felt like the temperature had taken a plunge to subzero. Darkwing suddenly had the sense of being a blind duck lost in the arctic.
The crime fighter stuck his hands out and felt his way through the darkness. What was going on?
"Darkwing…Darkwing Duuuuck…" whispered a voice as cold as his surroundings.
"O-kay, v-v-very f-funny N-N-N-Negaduck!" Darkwing said through chattering teeth.
"Listen, duck…and you as well, Darkwing's Double…you both had better enjoy these days…they'll be your last…"
The masked mallard's feathers stood on end at the sound of the eerie voice. His nerves were on edge, the slightest noise would trigger a violent reaction…
Suddenly, Darkwing felt someone budge him from behind. Emitting a cry of panic, he literally jumped in surprise and felt his elbow crash against something solid. Darkwing heard an angry grunt and the thud of someone falling over. As his terror subsided, so did the blackness, and soon the grungy alley became visible again with natural shadows existing as the only form of dark.
When his eyes finally adjusted to his surroundings, Darkwing saw Negaduck sitting on the ground, clutching his beak and looking utterly irate.
"That was my face you moron!" the villain barked gruffly.
"Oh, I'm sorry – " Darkwing began, then caught himself, " – wait, what am I apologizing to YOU for? I'm not sorry I hit you, in fact, I'm quite pleased to see you whimpering in agony – "
Without another word Negaduck slammed his heel into Darkwing's shin, causing the crime fighter to yelp in pain and hop around on one foot while holding his injured leg.
"Take that, ya cheap-cologne-wearing geek…and by the way, your dumb they'll be your last spiel wasn't even remotely scary," Negaduck testified.
Darkwing stopped his hopping and fixed his opposite with a perplexed stare.
"That wasn't me. I thought you were the one saying all that stuff!"
Negaduck sneered, "Of course not, why would I refer to myself as 'Darkwing's Double!' It's an insult! The last person to call me that was – "
There was a pause before both mallards cried out incredulously, "Taurus Bulba!"
"No, it can't be, I must just be having that beastly bull on the brain, I keep thinking I hear him wherever I go – heck, I even thought he was in Gosalyn's head!" Darkwing asserted.
Negaduck's eyes narrowed.
"Was she acting funny and talking with his stupid voice and stupid attitude?"
"Uh, yeah, she was, actually…" Darkwing blurted, surprised to be having such a candid conversation with Negaduck, "how'd you know?"
"Because, the kid from the Negaverse went psycho last night, you'd think she was possessed or something…"
"POSSESSED! EXACTLY! See, I knew I wasn't crazy. Hey, speaking of whom, where's Gosalyn? What have you done to her you miserable misanthrope!" Darkwing demanded.
To further emphasize his point, Darkwing pitched his arms out in the air. One of his hands ungracefully smacked a garbage can, startling a stray cat and causing the hissing feline to burst out and attach itself to Darkwing's head. As the crime fighter wrestled with the wild tabby, Negaduck took advantage of his good fortune and disappeared into the streets of St. Canard.
"Stupid cat!" Darkwing snapped, tearing it off his face and tossing it back into alley. Though he was not surprised to see no Negaduck in sight, it still did not lessen his aggravation.
"G'oh, I had 'im!" he growled.
Darkwing's eyes fell on a piece of parchment floating to the ground. Negaduck must have left it behind by mistake. Examining it closely, Darkwing let out a whoop of excitement.
The Ratcatcher screeched to a halt in front of the alley. Launchpad leapt off and called to his partner, "C'mon DW, if we hurry we can still catch Negaduck!"
Darkwing shook his head, tapping the parchment triumphantly.
"Have no fear LP, we've got more important matters to attend to…"
The door to Macabre Manor opened on its own accord as Darkwing's fist stood poised for knocking. He stepped inside confidently, with Launchpad following with just a touch less temerity.
"Morgana! It's me! Are you home!" Darkwing called loudly.
"In the library!" echoed her response from a distance.
"Um, DW, I think the wallpaper's staring at me…" Launchpad whispered.
"Just stare it right in the eyes, it backs down easy."
They pushed through the oaken doors and into the vast library. Morgana sat behind a desk covered in stacks of leather-bound books and various papers. Archie the spider held out a magnifying glass over an aged piece of parchment while the sorceress scrutinized the tiny print, pausing every few seconds to scratch something furiously on a piece of paper with a pen.
"Morgana, look what I found with my amazingly brilliant deductive abilities – "
"Quiet Dark, I've just about finished," Morgana hushed quickly, "There! Done! It took me quite a while but I've translated this piece of Transylvanian lore I found in your hideout! Now, whatever did you find?"
Darkwing whipped out Negaduck's parchment victoriously.
"Wonderful, more to translate!" Morgana said with the slightest hint of sarcasm.
Oblivious, Darkwing continued, "The twisted nature of St. Canard's current events might not be so irregular after all! It's no coincidence that Negaduck just happened to be carrying around this paper. It's another piece to the puzzle, and I believe we might just have enough information to make sense out of this intriguing enigma. Now Morgana, what, pray tell, does that paper read?"
"Yes, well, you both remember the Devil's Eye, I assume?" Morgana began.
Darkwing and Launchpad nodded.
"How could we forget," the masked mallard grumbled.
"And do you remember the legend that accompanied it?"
"Negative," Darkwing and Launchpad said simultaneously.
Morgana rolled her eyes.
"Remember the sorcerer from ancient Transylvania? Olucolom? He was outcast by society because of his magical abilities, so the Devil let him borrow his eye to frighten the souls of his attackers. His friend named Lamron denounced Olucolom before he was killed, saying his ancestors would hunt Olucolom's kind forever. Remember?"
"Sure why not," Darkwing said offhandedly.
The sorceress glared at him before continuing, "Well, this parchment here continues the legend. Apparently Olucolom had a daughter by the name of Anagrom – "
"What is it with Transylvania? Give your kid a weird name and get a free pitchfork?" Darkwing Duck interjected.
Morgana gave him a venomous stare that quieted him down in a hurry. She cleared her throat and said, "Anyway, it says that Anagrom did not want her father to continue the violence against Lamron and his kind. She believed that though they were opposites, it was as though they were looking in a mirror, and magic and non-magic alike possessed traits and flaws, that none was better than the other. They could work together in peace and harmony. Olucolom persisted with the violence, so Anagrom said 'Let us play a game of mirrors,' and placed a curse on her own family, the family Erbacam."
"Yikes, this girl makes Gosalyn look like an angel," Launchpad joked.
"Well, what is it? What's the curse?" Darkwing begged.
Morgana shook her head and answered, "That's as far as my paper goes. But maybe the paper you found today has the curse."
Darkwing scowled with impatience.
"Well then let's get translatin'! What's this word mean?"
"You can't just go word by word, this isn't English!" Morgana snapped, "This language is almost like a maze, you have to work your way through it!"
The mallard snarled with aggravation and began to pace back and forth. Meanwhile, Morgana tapped her fingers on the desk in a business-like manner.
"There's one thing that perplexes me about this…these names: Olucolom, Lamron, Anagrom…they're not traditional Transylvanian titles. I can't even determine what culture they'd be from. It just doesn't make sense…" the sorceress murmured.
"Yeah, it's almost like they're backwards or somethin'," Launchpad added nonchalantly.
There were a few moments of silence before Morgana's eyes lit up and she shrieked delightedly, "Launchpad, that's it, you're a genius!"
"Huh?" Darkwing and Launchpad both blurted.
"These names! They're backwards!" she exclaimed.
"Hold the phone. It may seem that way to the casual observer, but to a professional like myself…" Darkwing cut in, snatching the paper away and inspecting it.
Morgana pointed to the name, "See, Olucolom is Moloculo backwards – my father!"
"And so that means this Lamron fellow is…Normal?" Darkwing read, "Hey Morg, you sure your dad didn't write this…"
"And Anagrom is you Morgana!" Launchpad pointed out.
"This is fascinating!" Morgana cried, "so then the cursed family Erbacam is…oh my."
"Macabre," the three ducks whispered together.
"That rotten, irritating, stridulent, meatheaded, lamebrained, gutter-sniping, snot-nosed schmuck of a duck!" Negaduck roared among a slew of other colorful words.
"I'm sure Darkwing Duck wasn't all that horrible," Nega-Gosalyn tried.
"How, I ask, how! HOW DOES HE DO IT! He bungles up every little insignificant thing he does, right down to his idiotic entrance, and he still gets away on the up and up! I just. Don't. Understand."
The duckling eyed him warily as he seethed with rage, balling his fists and staring ahead maniacally. She cleared her throat and suggested with a nervous chuckle, "You know, maybe you ought to get some fresh air…it looks like it's going to be a beautiful night – you can already see some of the stars shining! What do you say?"
Negaduck bit back his original response of "I'd rather drown myself in a public restroom" and opted for the more appropriate, "Sure kid, whatever you want."
"Excellent!" she cried, grabbing his hand and hustling him out of the dank hideout, "we'll go to the mall, and go in every store there is – "
"Whoa whoa whoa, hold the mustard there kid. Why don't we go somewhere more secluded? That's dark? And no one can see us, huh?" Negaduck asked quickly.
"Why wouldn't we want anyone to see us?"
"Um, unwanted publicity, that's all," Negaduck lied.
Nega-Gosalyn pondered for a moment and then asked, "How about the park?"
Negaduck sighed with defeat. Oh well, it was better than nothing.
They strode into the park as the last wisps of sunset faded into the deep blue night. The bright moon showered everything in a comforting pale light, illuminating the beautiful scenery.
"Over here!" Nega-Gosalyn called eagerly.
She led the villain to the small clearing of the playground. Dashing past the sandbox and the jungle gym, she leapt onto the swing set.
"C'mon Negaduck, go on the swings! It's fun!"
He smacked his forehead and groaned. Making absolutely sure that no one was looking, Negaduck made his way towards the swings like a man to the gallows. If anyone saw him like this he may as well kiss his reputation goodbye.
Negaduck sat on the seat awkwardly while the duckling was already swinging merrily, enjoying her newfound sense of freedom. In the midst of her euphoria she called down to Negaduck, "Don't be afraid! Start swinging! It's delightfully fun!"
The masked mallard shut his eyes. This has to be a dream. No, make that a nightmare. All he had to do was open his eyes, and he'd be back in his hideout, surrounded by wealth and weaponry…he opened his eyes. No such luck. He was still sitting on the swing with Nega-Gosalyn waiting on him anxiously.
Glancing around to make sure he didn't have a crowd armed with cameras behind him, Negaduck sighed and pushed clumsily with his feet. The chains of the swing seemed to jerk up and down rather than sway smoothly.
Nega-Gosalyn dug her heels into the ground and brought herself to a stop, watching her guardian with a look of confusion. Suddenly she let out a genuine giggle.
"Negaduck…did you forget how to swing?"
"No!" Negaduck snapped defensively, "It's just…I can't…g'oh, what's the big deal! It can't be that hard!"
As Negaduck failed to swing with increasing frustration, Nega-Gosalyn held back her giggles. It wasn't every day you saw a wanted felon struggle with something as simple as a swing set.
She informed him calmly, "It's simple, just push back off the ground…there you go – no, don't drag you feet on the ground again, stick them out in front of you…there, now tuck your legs back in again – that's it!"
Having finally managed a steady swinging motion, Negaduck said arrogantly, "See, told you I didn't forget how to swing."
"Yes, you sure showed me," Nega-Gosalyn replied with a smile.
Little did the two know, four pairs of eyes were watching them behind the cover of the bushes.
"Quackerjack, do you see what Negaduck's doing!" Megavolt hissed.
"Yeah! He went to a playground without me! The nerve!" Quackerjack retorted indignantly.
"No stupid, that's not the point! He's swinging! In the park! With that kid! Don't you think that's a little atypical for Negaduck?"
"And he calls us wimps! What's he up to anyway?"
"Newsflash: The Liquidator doesn't really care. He's going to leave this poor excuse of a stakeout before he wastes any more of his time!" Liquidator announced, "I can't believe I let you guys talk me into following him to begin with."
"Fine, be that way!" Quackerjack called after the retreating Liquidator.
"Really guys, what does it matter? Maybe he's doing it for his blood pressure," Bushroot proposed.
Ignoring the plant-duck, Quackerjack whispered, "I knew he was acting fishy lately…maybe he's running a Daycare…"
"What if he quits the Fearsome Five!" Megavolt asked in a panic, "We can't go on by ourselves! I'll be out of job! How will I pay the bills! The wife and kids will all starve and have to live out in the streets in nothing but dirty rags and fight the cats for moldy bread crusts from the dumpsters – "
Quackerjack clamped his friend's mouth shut and said hurriedly, "Be quiet Megavolt! You don't even have a wife and kids. Now shush, or Negaduck'll hear us!"
The two villains jumped at the sound of a loud snore behind them. Bushroot was curled up in the surface roots of a nearby tree, sleeping soundly.
"That weed, he's asleep!" Quackerjack snapped.
"Dissention in the ranks!" Megavolt added.
Bushroot's sleeping face contorted with discomfort and he began grunting and whimpering softly.
"Hee hee, wittle Bushwoot's having bad dweam," Megavolt taunted in a babyish tone.
Quackerjack crept towards Bushroot and suggested with a nasty grin, "What's say we give him a wake up call to the tune of a Wet Willy?"
The jester's finger was no more than an inch from Bushroot's ear when the plant-duck's eyes opened suddenly, revealing two dull and unfocused orbs of blue. In a flash he clasped his leafy hand around Quackerjack's feathered one.
"And just what was it you were planning on doing, clown?" Bushroot asked in a deep, accented voice.
"I was just simply going to…oh no! NOT AGAIN!" Quackerjack cried, trying desperately to tug his hand free, "Lemme go lemme go lemme go!"
Bushroot smiled evilly and cooed, "I don't think so – ARGH!"
The plant-duck's body surged with electricity. Quackerjack ripped his hand free and turned to Megavolt, whose fingers were still sparking from the attack.
"Quick! Behind that tree!" Quackerjack commanded, and the two leapt behind a large maple.
"We're hiding behind a tree? Isn't that a little, I dunno, obvious?" Megavolt questioned.
"Don't you ever watch cartoons Megs? During any great chase scene all the victims have to do is cower behind a tree, bush, or any other form of vegetation and poof! They're invisible to the naked eye!"
Bushroot suddenly jumped in front of them.
"Nice try – not!" the voice inside him growled.
"Don't call me – DAAAHHH!"
Bushroot lunged. Megavolt and Quackerjack dove out of his path and scrambled in place before finally gaining enough traction to sprint away. Their panic was only intensified by the sound of their teammate crashing through the plant life behind them.
"Vegetable gone mad! Vegetable gone mad!" Mr. Banana Brain shouted.
Megavolt clasped his hands together, shut his eyes, and prayed while running, "Dear Edison, if you can hear me now, please send down a mighty thunderbolt and smite thee wicked Bushroot, lest we witness the untimely ripping off of my head – "
Quackerjack interrupted, "Oh c'mon Megavolt, you have to admit it's a wee bit exhilarating – AAAHH HERE HE COMES!"
Meanwhile, Negaduck and Nega-Gosalyn conversed quietly, oblivious to the chaos going on a few yards behind them.
"So, how's the ol' Negaverse looking?" the yellow clad mallard asked.
Nega-Gosalyn gushed, "Oh, absolutely magnificent! Well, by the Friendly Four's standards, anyway…we have what Megavolt calls 'a primitive form of law enforcement,' the air is now breathable, the water doesn't carry the plague anymore, and thanks to Bushroot there's flowers everywhere…um, Negaduck, is something wrong with your hat?"
Negaduck looked down at his wrinkled hat which he had been subconsciously mangling.
"Uh, nope, just checking to see if it needed to be re-blocked," he lied smoothly, "Anywho, speaking of the Friendly Four, just how are the magical little darlings?"
"They're great! Just last month Quackerjack had his toy soldiers lock up the last of the nuclear weapons!"
"Stupid clown – er, I mean, good for him!" Negaduck asserted with false cheer.
Nega-Gosalyn smiled and stared up at the stars as she swung freely. Negaduck remained still on his swing, staring at his feet. When she wasn't hugging him or babbling endlessly about the Friendly Four, Nega-Gosalyn really wasn't all that bad…
Negaduck blinked. Did he just think that? Did he honestly not mind her company? He found it hard to stomach the startling revelation. No, it couldn't be. There was no way he could possibly be fond of the Darkwing-loving, pink dress-wearing little brat…but still…her presence was a welcome contrast to the Fearsome Four. Besides, it was nice to have someone who practically worshipped the ground he walked on, even if that ground was composed of nothing but lies.
"He's gaining on us!" Megavolt cried in a panicked voice.
"He's not gaining on us, he's growing on us!" Quackerjack replied.
Indeed, Bushroot had grown his legs out into long, dangly vines, allowing him to cover twice as much ground in half the time.
"Your time is up boys…" he snarled, towering above them.
"Oh, I can see the headlines now," Megavolt wailed, "Supervillains brutally murdered by botanist turned mutant turned assassin, Reginald Bushroot – "
"Huh?" Bushroot blurted in his own voice as his eyes returned to normal.
Unaware that he was running on unusually long limbs, Bushroot tripped dramatically and toppled onto Quackerjack and Megavolt. The three villains became ensnared in Bushroot's rope-like legs. Their momentum carried them forward so they rolled together like a large, unstoppable beach ball through the park.
"Make it stop make it stop!" Bushroot moaned as they tumbled.
"I'm gonna be sick!" Megavolt added.
"Wheeeeee!" Quackerjack finished.
Negaduck and Nega-Gosalyn watched dumbstruck as Bushroot, Megavolt and Quackerjack burst into the clearing and landed at their feet a big, groaning heap. Megavolt noted that he might as well be throwing up a hippopotamus judging from the look Negaduck was giving him.
"Hiya boss! Lovely evening, isn't it?" the rat tried conversationally.
"What the…what are you guys doing?" Negaduck asked bewilderedly as he watched the three villains trying ineffectively to untangle themselves.
"We were just taking a stroll through the park – "
"And then Bushbrain here attacked us – "
"No I didn't – "
"Went crazy on us – "
"Talking in this creepy voice – "
"Called me a clown – "
Negaduck shook his head and cut in, "Just shut up. I don't think I really want to know."
"Okay Dark, only one more line to go…" Morgana said in a sort of exhausted excitement.
Darkwing Duck nodded, shuffling through the mass of papers. They had been translating the text late into the night. Launchpad had long since left to check on Gosalyn and attempt to make her dinner. Darkwing and Morgana worked together diligently, loosely translating the Transylvanian into a form of broken English, both determined to uncover the ancient secrets.
"Okay, I'll try and make sense out of what we've gotten so far," Darkwing said, relaxing into the throne he had crafted from the plethora of books, "because this has got to be the weirdest curse I've ever read. Anyway, the first part says:
'When the mirrored ancestors assume the generation
And black and white meet by otherworldly means.'
"What a dumb curse, it doesn't even rhyme. Nevertheless, my correspondence course in code breaking tells me that you and your dad must be these ancestors, judging by your mirrored names."
"Yes, makes sense," Morgana replied, "and the next line?"
"Maybe…we throw together…two cans of black and white paint…in outer space? I don't know!" Darkwing shouted, "Next line!"
'The Eyes will curse, bless, and break'
The mallard continued, "That must be the Devil's Eye, but Eye in the singular form, not Eyes. This thing doesn't make any sense! Look at the next lines:
'Death will wipe clean the family's sins
And the beast triumphs with the sacrifice saw dust'
"It's like it's still written in another language! It's saying your family's going to all kick the bucket after a beast bumps off a sacrifice who sees dust!" Darkwing exclaimed.
"Quite the lovely curse we have here, isn't it?" Morgana questioned sarcastically.
"Hey, there might be some hope Morg! Look at this next line, it has an 'unless' in it:
'Unless black and white mix to form gray
Find the entrance with the palindrome of yawnaiva'
Darkwing thought aloud, "Well, maybe we mix cans of paint…nevermind. And what the heck is yawnaiva!"
"Dark, couldn't it be one of those backward names?" Morgana suggested.
"Hey, I've got it! Maybe it's one of those backward names!" Darkwing blurted thoughtlessly, "Let's see, backwards it's…avianway…Avian Way! That's where I live! Let's see if the next part has any more clues – "
'Mirrors must meet and absolve the dark fears of dreams'
Darkwing shook his head.
"Not ringing any bells. What's the last line say?"
Morgana scratched the last few words and read it back to herself. A frown worked its way onto her face, and she sank back into her chair, staring at the paper.
"What? What is it? C'mon, it can't be any worse than seeing my dry cleaning bill," Darkwing said with a chuckle.
She met his curious eyes for an instant before turning away, unable to hold his gaze. She wished desperately that she could just usher Darkwing out of the house, wipe his memory clean, and never have him worry about anything ever again. But it was too late now.
The crime fighter felt his insides begin to writhe when Morgana gave him a numb nod. Something was wrong. Very wrong.
"Morg, what is it? What's the matter?"
"It has to do with Anagrom," she whispered hoarsely, and shoved the paper into his hands.
"Which is you Morgana, we've established that," Darkwing said with a tinge of unease.
He cast her a troubled look before reading aloud, "Whether curse remains or curse lifts, Anagrom…will die."