Back To Basics
by
C. "Sparky" Read

Chapter One

"Uhhh...Are we in trouble?"

Quackerjack shot Megavolt a terrified glance. "You're asking that now?" he squawked as they both cringed in the corner. "Doesn't the enraged chainsaw-wielding duck in front of us give it away?"

Negaduck lowered the smoking power tool. "Now, boys," he said, his voice suddenly soothing (and consequently ten times more frightening). "Tell me in your own words exactly what happened back there."

"Well, ah..."

"We didn't"

"It wasn't"

"There was a"

"SHUT UP!" Negaduck revved the chainsaw. The two villains in the corner obeyed immediately.

"Do...do you think he'll kill them?" Bushroot whispered to the Liquidator from where they stood, watching, on the other side of the abandoned travel office.

"Never underestimate the slicing capability of your average weapon of destruction," the Liquidator murmured back.

Quackerjack threw himself forward, and crawled on his hands and knees towards his furious boss. "It was an accident, Negaduck!" he wailed. "It won't happen again!"

Negaduck turned off the chainsaw, and leaned over to touch his bill to Quackerjack's. "That's right," he hissed, "it won't. I'm tired of being mopped up by that sicko Darkwing Duck...And this time was entirely your faultAnd yours!" he shouted at Megavolt, who had begun to edge away towards a window.

Negaduck turned around and regarded Bushroot and the Liquidator coolly. "What do you two think about what your teammates did tonight?" he asked them.

Bushroot and the Liquidator glanced at eachother, and did not reply.

"Was it bumbling? Was it moronic?" Negaduck walked in a slow circle around the silent villains. "Does it make you angry that because of those two we could all be taking an extended vacation behind bars?" He stopped to face Bushroot.

"What about you, Veggie?" Negaduck narrowed his eyes at the plant-duck, who swallowed nervously. "Do you think your teammates deserve to be punished?"

Bushroot's gaze wandered to the far corner, where Quackerjack and Megavolt still cowered, then to the floor. He didn't dare to give an answer.

Negaduck wasn't expecting one. He turned to the accused, enjoying the way they seemed to wilt under his scrutiny. "Well...I think they deserve to be punished," he said slowly.

"Whatwhat are you going to do?" stammered Megavolt, pressing himself against the wall.

"Well, let's see." Negaduck stroked his chin. "I could kill you"

This suggestion elicited a yelp of terror from everyone, and Negaduck smiled.

"But I won't, this time." Negaduck put the chainsaw down on the desk, then approached a wall. On it was a poster advertising the unprecedented joys of visiting Swizzleland.

"No, not this time," he repeated, running his finger along the Swizzleland horizon. "Not even after the shameless way you idiots insist on misusing your superpowersOr whatever the case may be," he added, glancing sidelong at Quackerjack, who sighed. "In fact," Negaduck said, his expression becoming thoughtful, "I wonder if you two would make better villains without them."

He whirled suddenly to face the corner once again. "That's it," he said. "You two prove to me that you can cut it as ordinary criminals, and I won't do you grievous bodily harm." He grinned nastily.

"You mean" Quackerjack gasped"no more toys?"

Negaduck's grin widened. "No more toys."

"No more Nutty Putty? No moreno more Rubber Duckies?"

"Nope."

"So..." Megavolt trailed off as he tried to form a coherent thought. "What are you saying?"

Negaduck glowered. "No more juice, you nob!" he shouted. "None! Zero! Zip!" He leapt forward and seized both Quackerjack and Megavolt by the collars. "Read my lips, you pathetic morons," he began, lowering his voice. "As of right now, you two are ordinary Joes. No more toys, no more electricity, no more gimmicks. Just go out there, and pull off something worth my notice. And if you use your pathetic excuses for talents even once before you are done, I will find you and personally kill you. Got it?"

Quackerjack and Megavolt indicated that they got it by making several incoherent mewling noises.

"Good. Nowhere's the plan: you go out, you steal something big, and you take it to the old abandoned ammunition factory by midnight tomorrow." Negaduck arched an eyebrow, an indication that he wanted assurance that he was understood. Quackerjack and Megavolt nodded hastily in response. "You succeed, you're back in the Five, and everything's back to abnormal around here. You fail..." He trailed off, with another arching of an eyebrow. Again, he was understood.

"Now get out of my sight."