Darkwing Duck
"The Restless Remains"
By Lucky_Ladybug


The dark-haired duckette slowly peered out from inside her favorite Salvador Dali painting. Ridiculous cops! As if they could actually keep her, Splatter Phoenix, in jail! They had frisked her for guns and knifes when that Darkwing Duck character had brought her in, but they hadn't paid attention to her real weapon, her paintbrush—and had foolishly let her keep it. Late that night, she had painted a door in the outside wall of the jail cell and escaped. Now she was back in the St. Canard museum and no one was the wiser!

She wasn't sure what she was going to do. Definitely not try to steal the Mona Lisa again! That painting had a real mouth on her. Too troublesome!

Slowly Splatter Phoenix climbed out of the painting, glancing around to make sure the night watchman wasn't in sight. Satisfied, she studied the artwork in the room. Her eyes lit on one of Picasso's paintings. Ah, perfect! This would net her a lot of cash—just enough to enable her to resume her experiments. And what was even better, in this painting, there were no smart-mouths to back-talk and cause trouble. Splatter was determined to not be out-witted again.

She set her purse down and carefully removed the painting from the wall, then carried it to another painting near the back door and climbed in. As she weaved her way around the various skeletons in the surreal depiction of an old graveyard, she was so caught up with thoughts of selling the Picasso that she didn't notice the skeletons coming to life and silently following her out the back of the painting and out of the museum.
****
Darkwing Duck looked out over the city of St. Canard.

"Hmm . . . the city seems quiet tonight," the crime-fighter mused. "Peaceful. Calm." He paused. "But the Daring Duck of Mystery knows that there is always a calm before the storm." Glancing downward, Darkwing did a doubletake. "What new scheming scourge has come to inflict torment on the fair city of St. Canard?" he demanded. "This looks like a job for DARKWING DUCK!"
Within minutes, Darkwing and Launchpad were on the Ratcatcher, in hot pursuit of the strange creatures Darkwing had spotted. They had no idea what they were getting into.
****
NegaDuck was alone in the old warehouse. Or so he thought.

"What was that?" he demanded, whirling around. No one was in sight. NegaDuck shrugged it off. "Probably just a mouse."

NegaDuck returned to the paperwork he was doing. The strange sound came again, louder this time.

NegaDuck put down the pen and slowly turned, trying to catch whoever was there by surprise. Nothing. "Is that you, Darkwing Duck?" he yelled. No answer. "Ohhhh, one of these days . . ." he muttered.

Suddenly a hand reached out and grabbed him, hoisting him into the air by his cape.

"What is this? PUT ME DOWN!!" NegaDuck screamed.

A strange, spooky growl was the only reply. NegaDuck turned to face his captor. He couldn't believe it.
****
Darkwing brought the Ratcatcher to a stop in the middle of St. Canard's main street. "Where did they go?" he wondered, looking around.

"Gosh, DW," Launchpad said suddenly, "I just realized—it's Halloween Eve!"

Darkwing eyed his sidekick, unimpressed. "Yeah. So?"

"So maybe those creatures are ghosts or goblins or something like that!" Launchpad gulped.

"Don't be ridiculous, Launchpad!" Darkwing scolded.

Launchpad shrugged. "Well, DW, it's possible."

Darkwing scowled.

Suddenly there were screams all around, and people ran out of buildings and houses.
"What's going on?" Launchpad gasped.

"We're being attacked by skeletons!" someone cried.

Darkwing and Launchpad exchanged a look.

"Did you see where they went?" Darkwing called.

"Down by the docks," a terrified citizen replied.

"Well, then." Darkwing revved the engine. "Come on, Launchpad! Let's get DANGEROUS!"
****
Darkwing hid the Ratcatcher behind some crates and climbed out, gas gun held high. "Alright. Now, stay close, Launchpad! We don't know what's lurking in the shadows!"

Launchpad gulped as he followed Darkwing into the nearest warehouse.

"I don't know about this, DW," he whispered, looking at all the strange shapes on the wall.

"There's nothing to worry about, LP," Darkwing replied. "We've dealt with stranger things than walking skeletons!"

"Maybe so, DW, but . . . YEOW!"

Darkwing whirled around. "Launchpad!" he said, annoyed. No one was in sight. Darkwing looked around, thoroughly confused now. "Where did you go?"

Suddenly he heard a loud crash in the next room. "Launchpad?" he called, hurrying in. He stopped short, shocked, as he watched that infamous duck who so closely resembled Darkwing emerge from a pile of plywood. "NegaDuck??!"

NegaDuck's eyes were red with anger. "Sooo, it IS you, Darkwing Duck! What is that thing? Your latest crime-fighting weapon from SHUSH?"

"What are you talking about?" Darkwing demanded. "Those skeletons are terrorizing St. Canard! It has to be something YOU cooked up!"

"I'd never stoop to such childish tricks!" NegaDuck growled.

As the two argued, neither one noticed the skeleton creeping up on them until suddenly it grabbed them both.

"Now look what your crazy weapon did! Your plan's backfiring!" NegaDuck yelled.

"MY plan? You mean YOUR plan, you . . . you . . . you dastardly double of mine!" Darkwing screamed back.

NegaDuck struggled to get free. "What's this thing going to do to us?" he wondered, glaring at both it and Darkwing.

Without warning, the skeleton jerked the two ducks forward, banging their heads together.

"You had to ask," Darkwing groaned.

Both ducks blacked out. The skeleton laughed maniacally as they went limp. It dropped them unceremoniously on the floor and disappeared into the shadows.
****
Several minutes later, Launchpad emerged from the shadows, looking perplexed. He held a shaker of salt in his hand. He didn't know how, or why, but when it had dropped out of his pocket, his other-worldly captor had become just a pile of bones.

As Launchpad rounded the corner, he tripped over something. "Gosh," he said to himself, "what was that?" He looked down. "DW!" he gasped. He glanced around. "And . . . NegaDuck??"

Launchpad shook the two unconscious ducks hard. "Hey guys! Wake up! Snap out of it!"

The ducks' eyes opened, but they just stared ahead blankly. Launchpad slapped them gently. Darkwing was the first of the two to completely wake up.

"Launchpad! Where have you been? Where's NegaDuck?" he demanded.

"Where have I been? Oh, gosh, it's a long story, DW. I'll tell you later. But, uh, as for NegaDuck, he's right here." Launchpad indicated the other dazed duck. "What happened to you guys?"

NegaDuck's eyes focused. "We got bashed by his weapon!" he yelled, pointing at Darkwing.

"Mine? It was yours!" Darkwing screamed back.

"Was not!"

"Was too!"

The two ducks glared at each other.

"Whoa, whoa! Wait a minute, wait a minute!" Launchpad exclaimed, holding up his hands. "Let's stop and think a minute. You didn't do it, DW, and if NegaDuck didn't, either . . . who did?" He waited while that sunk in.

The two backed away from each other. "Yeah, who did?" Darkwing wondered. "And how do we stop them?"

"Uh, DW . . ."

"I said, not now, Launchpad!" Darkwing said, annoyed.

"Oh, for crying out loud, let him speak!" NegaDuck said, rolling his eyes. "Maybe he has an idea!"

"Yeah, DW," Launchpad said, holding out a shaker. "I think I know how to get rid of the skeletons!"

Darkwing turned to face his sidekick. "Really? Well, why didn't you say so, LP?!" He looked at the shaker. "What's that?"

"Well, DW, you see, I got captured by one of the skeletons. And then this salt shaker fell out of my pocket and the salt spilled all over the thing. And then, just like that, it collapsed in a pile of bones!" Launchpad concluded.

"Salt?" Darkwing repeated. "Those things can be defeated with common household salt?"
Launchpad shrugged. "I guess so, DW."

Darkwing grabbed the shaker and emptied the contents into his gas gun.

"Hey! They're leaving!" NegaDuck announced, pointing out the window.

"Yeah, and they're taking the Ratcatcher!" Launchpad exclaimed.

"WHAT?" Darkwing rushed to the window. "Why, those . . . those . . . dastardly demons!" He rushed to the door. "Come on, Launchpad! Let's get DANGEROUS!"

The daring duck and his trusty sidekick rushed outside. "Drat! They're getting away!" Darkwing grumbled. "We'll never have enough time to go get the Thunderquack!"

Launchpad tapped Darkwing on the shoulder. "Actually, DW, there is *something* we could do . . ."

Darkwing slowly turned around and spotted NegaDuck's motorcycle. "Ohhh no," he said. "We are NOT working with him!"

"I'm your only hope, Darkwing," NegaDuck said, leaning on the handlebars.

"Why would you be willing to help me, anyway?" Darkwing demanded. "You must have some ulterior motive!"

"Look here—I want to get rid of those things as much as you do," NegaDuck replied. "They've caused me nothing but trouble!"

Darkwing glared at his nemesis suspiciously. "Oh, alright. I don't have time to argue! BUT—" he wagged his forefinger at NegaDuck warningly, "if you, indeed, have ulterior motives, you will be VERY sorry, buster!" He and Launchpad climbed on the motorcycle and NegaDuck revved the engine.

As they drove off, Darkwing muttered, "I hope I won't hate myself for this in the morning!"
****
"There they are!" Launchpad called a few minutes later. The skeletons had parked, where else, in the cemetery.

"Oookay . . . this is going to be fun!" Darkwing said sarcastically.

NegaDuck parked his motorcycle behind a tree and they got cautiously.

In a puff of blue smoke, Darkwing appeared in front of the skeletons, intoning, "I am the terror that flaps in the night! I am the dark shadow you see on Halloween night! I am DARKWING DUCK!"

The skeletons didn't look impressed.

"Eat salt, evildoers!" Darkwing held out the gas gun and pulled the trigger. A huge black cloud rose up, and suddenly the skeletons all started to sneeze.

"Pepper?" NegaDuck said incredulously. "You put pepper in that thing?"

Darkwing looked sheepish and puzzled. "I don't understand! I *know* I put salt in here somewhere!"

As he and NegaDuck both tried to peer inside the gas gun, a little pig-tailed figure appeared. "Dad! Dad!"

Darkwing whirled around. "Gosalyn!" he gasped. "How did you get here?"

Gosalyn ignored the question. "Dad, you can't destroy those skeletons!" she exclaimed.

"Oh really? And why not? They're terrorizing St. Canard!" Darkwing replied.

"Dad, they came out of a painting," Gosalyn explained. "We have to put them back!"

"A painting?" NegaDuck repeated. "This kid of yours is some science-fiction writer!" he said to Darkwing, laughing.

"NegaDuck?" Gosalyn gasped, noticing him for the first time. "DAD—what's going on here?"

"It's a long story, Gossie," Darkwing sighed. "But now, what's this about a painting? Splatter Phoenix is behind bars!"

Gosalyn shook her head. "Uh uh, Dad, she escaped. I heard it on the police radio!"
"Gosh, DW, that doesn't sound good," Launchpad spoke up.

"Of course it doesn't sound good, LP," Darkwing snapped. "We have to find her!"

"Yeah, and get the skeletons back in the painting!" Launchpad added.

Darkwing and NegaDuck disappeared into the pepper cloud. Before long, they emerged, the skeletons handcuffed.

"Now to get these demented demons back in their painting!" Darkwing declared.

They led the subdued skeletons over to the motorcycles, where NegaDuck and Darkwing each took half and started off for the museum. They'd worry about how to get inside when they got there.

"Now, Dad," Gosalyn demanded, "what's NegaDuck doing here?"

"Well, Gos, the skeletons stole the Ratcatcher here," Darkwing explained, "and NegaDuck agreed to let us go after them on his motorcycle."

Gosalyn didn't look convinced. "Yeah? And why would he do that?"

"Well, they were causing him trouble, too," Darkwing replied, "so he wanted to catch them just as much as I did."

"I don't know," Gosalyn muttered, crossing her arms. "Something seems fishy to me."
****
When they arrived at the museum, Darkwing glanced around. "Now, how do we get in?"

NegaDuck grinned mischievously. "I could pick the lock—or explode it," he suggested.

Suddenly they heard someone close by, muttering. They froze, then dove for the nearby brush. Before long, a pretty brunette duck came into view.

"I can't believe I forgot my purse," she complained.

"It's Splatter Phoenix!" Darkwing exclaimed.

"Yeah—and our ticket inside!" Gosalyn said knowingly.

Splatter grabbed her paintbrush and painting a door in the wall, disappeared through it.

"Come on!" Gosalyn declared. "Quick—before the effect wears off!"

She was the first through the door. Darkwing, Launchpad, and NegaDuck looked at Splatter's painted entrance, then back at each other. With a shrug, they, too, disappeared inside, with the skeletons.

"We're going to have to get Splatter Phoenix's paintbrush in order to get these guys back in the painting," Gosalyn announced. "I think she probably keeps a spare one in her purse."

"Then we'll just have to find it before she does!" Darkwing declared.

"Gosh, DW, that might be kinda hard," Launchpad said. "Since she knows where her purse is and we don't!"

"Not necessarily!" NegaDuck said, rounding the corner.

"Hey—yeah!" Darkwing exclaimed, catching on. "I know of only one painting in the museum that has skeletons. Splatter's purse must be somewhere near it, because she'd likely use the nearest painting for an exit out of the museum after grabbing another painting to steal!"

As they rounded another corner, Gosalyn spotted the graveyard painting, which was missing its skeletons. Nearby, there was a blank spot on the wall and underneath . . . a lavender purse. "HA! The Daring Duck of Mystery does it again!" Darkwing crowed.

"Hey—I put the idea in your head!" NegaDuck argued.

While they quarreled, Gosalyn and Launchpad exchanged a look, then Gosalyn reached for Splatter's purse and pulled out a paintbrush. "Cool beans!" She turned to the skeletons. "Now, it's back in your painting for you guys! You've caused enough trouble!"

As Launchpad watched, Gosalyn painted Splatter's special pink paint all over the painting and then, with Launchpad's help, pitched the skeletons back inside.

"YES!!" Gosalyn and Launchpad exchanged a high five.

Suddenly a couple of hands shoved them forward, right into the painting.

"What happened?" Launchpad gasped.

"NegaDuck!" Gosalyn exclaimed. "I knew he was up to no good!" She ran to the painting's and looked out.

But it wasn't NegaDuck who stared back at her—it was Splatter Phoenix.

"Dialectal dualisms!" Splatter growled. "You will NOT get the drop on me again!" She climbed into the painting. "Now, I believe you have something of mine. I want it back!"

"RUN!" Gosalyn yelled. She and Launchpad took off, with Splatter in hot pursuit.

Gosalyn's scream was loud enough that it brought Darkwing and NegaDuck running. "Gosalyn!" Darkwing yelped. He glared at NegaDuck. "Now look what you did!"

"What *I* did? You started it!" NegaDuck retorted.

"Ohhh . . . Alright—never mind who did it! We have to rescue Gosalyn and Launchpad!" Darkwing grabbed NegaDuck and they tumbled into the painting. "Let's get . . . SURREALISTIC!"
****
As they wove in and out of the rows of tombstones, Splatter Phoenix suddenly turned to the infamous skeletons. "Get them!" she hissed. "And bring me the brush!"

Grinning maliciously, the skeletons leaped up and headed after Gosalyn and Launchpad, bony arms outstretched.

"Yikes!" Launchpad gulped. "This doesn't look good!"

Gosalyn glared at the approaching demons. "You can't outsmart Gosalyn Mallard!"

Quickly she painted a hole in the ground, which the none-too-smart skeletons fell into. Then she painted grass over it. "There!" she declared.
"Nice going, Gos, but . . . can't the dead rise from the ground?" Launchpad asked nervously.

Gosalyn gulped as she saw a hand emerge from the makeshift grave. "Quick! Into the next painting! They can't follow us there!"

The two made a bee line for the exit and dashed into the next painting, Splatter Phoenix hot on their heels. Darkwing and NegaDuck followed shortly after.

And so they went, from one painting to the next. When they reached the fruit basket one, Gosalyn started a food fight.

NegaDuck brushed the mango and tangerine out of his eyes, looking furious. Darkwing looked amused . . . until he was suddenly pelted with the stuff himself. "Hey! Whose side are you on?" the two exclaimed in unison to Gosalyn.

"Oops," Gosalyn said in a small, embarrassed voice.

Finally she hit her real target—Splatter Phoenix. The duckette looked at Gosalyn angrily, and, with a wave of her brush, made giant rolling watermelons appear.

"Yipe!" Launchpad screamed. "What a way to go—done in by monstrous melons!"

The foursome ran from the melons, arriving in the next painting just in time.

"Okay," NegaDuck growled after he'd caught his breath, "now I'm *really* mad!"

Splatter suddenly appeared in front of them, smirking. "I'll just repossess my property now, if you please."

"Well, actually . . . I don't please!" Gosalyn replied, tossing the paintbrush up the air. NegaDuck caught it and painted a lasso. Darkwing grabbed it and twirled it around. "Come here, little dogie!" he called, catching Splatter's other paintbrush and pulling it out of her hand.

"What are you doing?" Splatter demanded, horrified.

NegaDuck grabbed Darkwing's gas gun and pointed it at her. Pulling the trigger, NegaDuck sent a huge cloud of pepper flying into the air. Splatter started sneezing uncontrollably. Darkwing rushed into the cloud, sneezing himself, and emerged triumphant, a pair of handcuffs painted around Splatter's wrists.

"Ha! The Daring Duck of Mystery does it again!" Darkwing crowed. "I've saved the city of St. Canard from another of the scheming scourge of scurrilous scum!"

He suddenly had a feeling that all eyes were upon him. NegaDuck and Gosalyn were glaring at him, and Launchpad didn't look too happy either.

"Well . . . with a little help from my associates and my daughter Gosalyn," Darkwing added.
****
Outside the police station, after everyone was safely out of the painting and Splatter had been turned over to the police, Darkwing and NegaDuck talked.

"Thanks for helping out," Darkwing said.

NegaDuck shrugged and looked embarrassed. "Yeah, well . . . Just don't mention anything to the press about it. It wouldn't be good for my reputation as the Dastardly Duck of Destruction." He laughed as he climbed on his motorcycle and disappeared into the night.

"He's quite a character, isn't he?" Launchpad commented.

Darkwing chuckled. "You got that right, LP—he is at that!" He turned around. "Come on, you two, let's go home. It's been a long night!"

"Yeah," Launchpad agreed. "Fighting skeletons that come out of paintings gives a guy quite an appetite!"

"Oh, Launchpad, you're always hungry," Darkwing complained.

"Actually, Dad, I'm kinda hungry myself," Gosalyn spoke up. "Could we stop at Hamburger Hippo on the way home?"

"Please, DW?" Launchpad pleaded.

Darkwing sighed, then gave in. "Alright. We'll stop for Hippo Burgers. But just one each!" he added, as they climbed on the Ratcatcher and rode off into the night.