Well here it is the last chapter. I'd like to dedicate this one to Patricia de Lioncourt whose piece 'Where His Loyalty's At' was the inspiration for this story.
For the last time (on this story at least) I'd like to say that I do NOT own Darkwing Duck and neither do I own Spooks and its character Malcolm Wynn-Jones.
His head hurt. Come to think of it everything hurt. But his head hurt most of all. He opened his eyes only to immediately regret it and close them again with a groan. This came to the ears of the red haired teenager seated next to the bed.
Gosalyn's voice, the voice of the betrayer. He forced open his eyes again and swallowed twice in an effort to get some moisture back into his sore throat.
"Why? Why did you do it Gosalyn?" He tried to catch her eye but was unable to as her face was pointed towards the floor.
"I'm sorry Dad. It was necessary."
He could hardly believe his ears, "necessary, knocking me out was necessary! Oh well I believe that's all right then."
"Dad please, I really am sorry. But it was the only way I could get Negaduck to talk. I had to know why he's been following me and I couldn't do that if you were there. I tried to get you to go. I really tried Dad. Can't you understand that?"
"No Gosalyn I don't understand," he gazed at her impassively watching the tears roll down her cheeks. He sighed, "But I guess I don't need to. You're my daughter and that means I have to forgive you."
Her head came up. "Really Dad?"
He smiled, "yes, really. But since my absence was so necessary, tell me. Why was Negaduck following my daughter?"
She took a deep breath. "Okay, but I don't think you're going to like it. Well, he said that he's been following me to make sure that I don't die before I'm old enough to become your full time partner."
"Darkwing closed his eyes and said in a faint voice. "He's been following my daughter to make sure she doesn't die," he continued more strongly, "I should be surprised but somehow I'm not." He opened his eyes again and sat up on his pillows. "Go on, I'm sure this charming story hasn't ended, so far you haven't told me anything that would merit knocking me out for." Clearly Gosalyn wasn't quite as forgiven as he said she was.
She swallowed. "Well, in order to keep a better tab on me, when he kidnapped me three years ago he inserted an untraceable tracking device somewhere under my skin.
"WHAT! You mean that for three years he's been able to track you all over St Canard? No wonder he knows where we live," he said conveniently forgetting that Negaduck hadn't needed a tracking device to find out the secret identity of Darkwing Duck.
"Not just St Canard Dad, try the entire world. And…" she paused for a split second before rushing on, "those satellite S.H.U.S.H bases that were blown up. They were all ones that I'd visited. I've been his accomplice without knowing it."
"You mean," roared Darkwing, "that Negaduck has been using my daughter to commit crimes for THREE YEARS."
She nodded miserably.
"I'll ring his neck." He looked across to Gosalyn, "but first we need to get that device out of you. You were right Gosalyn and I'm sorry. You did need to knock me out. Now, have you any idea where that tracker is?"
"And you are sure that Negaduck gave you no hint or clue at all?"
"I'm positive; all he said was that it should stop transmitting in six months. Give or take."
"Hmm, well we don't want to wait that long if we can possibly help it. I'll have to take you to S.H.U.S.H HQ. Negaduck already knows where it is so we're not giving him a new target. Hopefully they'll be able to find it and take it out." He swung his legs out of bed wincing as he did so. "Before we do anything though I need my coffee. We'll go back to the house first kiddo. It's a shame I took the kitchen here out to make room for my new computer. Er, could you pass me my dressing gown? I'd forgotten how chilly it can get in here."
Gosalyn went to the foot of the bed and picked up the dressing gown that was lying across it before passing it to Darkwing who put it on and stood up gingerly.
As Gosalyn and Drake arrived back at the house Launchpad sprang up from the sofa where he had been dozing.
"DW, you're awake. Er, Gosalyn told me what happened, how're you feeling?"
"Like I've just crashed the Ratcatcher into a wall. It's not pleasant. I was just about to make some coffee, do you want some?"
"No I'm fine DW, though I wouldn't mind something to eat, how about a fry-up?"
Drake shuddered, "You're making that yourself. Just try not to set the fire alarm off again." He walked into the kitchen and opened the cupboard to get the jar of instant coffee. Reaching into the cabinet above his head he brought out his favourite mug and set it beside the jar. Snatching a teaspoon from the draining board he scooped up a full spoon's worth of the brown granules before dropping them into the mug. Then he remembered to fill up the kettle and set it to boil. While that was happening he walked into the hall to see what post had arrived in the two days that he had been unconscious. Flicking through the envelopes and pointedly ignoring any that even looked like they could be a bill he came across one that was yellow with black handwriting on that looked like his own. Hands shaking slightly he opened it to find a sheet of red paper with black computer typed script. He started reading.
I'm not sure when you'll get this but hopefully I'll be out of hearing range. I'm off for a long holiday so don't think you can come after me and try to kill me again. My ribs couldn't take it.
I never did get around to answering your question – you know the 'why did I never use this information to my advantage' one. Well the answer is… how boring would that be? I could defeat you in seconds and you're the only one in this city worth fighting. Forget the Justice Ducks, without you they're just a bunch of losers. Come to think of it, when they have you they're still a bunch of losers. Anyway I don't fancy getting rid of a halfway decent opponent; I'd just be shooting myself in the foot. So your home and the tower are both safe.
I suppose the brat told you about the tracker and that you'll be off to S.H.U.S.H HQ to get it removed. I won't stop you but do try and stay clear of Dr Bellum will you? I'd hate for Gosalyn to get turned into a turnip or worse. If you think this is a trick so that the tracker isn't removed just remember the time that you turned into me through that do-hickey of hers. Personally I don't think that woman is sane. Oh, the tracker is in Gosalyn's left arm. You'll have to find the exact location yourself; I don't want to make it too easy for you.
Well I'd better start packing my bags, time waits for no duck. See you next crime,
Darkwing stared at the paper in shock, he hadn't been aware that Negaduck actually had any scruples. Well, he wasn't about to start yelling himself hoarse over the fact that Negaduck was audacious enough to actually send a letter to his house, but his was rather annoyed about it. In addition he also couldn't believe that Negaduck had willingly parted with so much information. Of course that didn't mean that he trusted it. He made a mental note to ask S.H.U.S.H. to check Gosalyn's right arm first.
"Dad, your coffee's ready."
"Coming Gosalyn," he folded up the letter and put it back into its envelope before putting that in his dressing gown pocket. Then he walked to the kitchen to drink his coffee.
Three cups of coffee, a shower and a quick change of apparel later, Darkwing, Quiverwing and Launchpad were in the Thunderquack heading for S.H.U.S.H central.
"So you think that they'll be able to get the tracker out of me then?"
"Well, they do have some of the greatest scientists in the world working for them. And the craziest," he added under his breath. "They'll probably bring in their senior technical officer. Negaduck can't be the only one with access to this sort of technology and it's too advanced for him to have developed on his own. He's a chemistry expert not an electronics whiz kid. I'd bet my fortune that he stole it."
"I never bet against a surety – hey, you have a fortune?"
Darkwing must have become very deaf all of a sudden as he ignored Quiverwing's question and spoke instead to Launchpad. "Looks like we're almost there. Er, do you think you'll be able to land properly for once?"
"No problem DW, I've been practising."
"Oh yes? Somehow that doesn't make me feel any safer."
However he was pleasantly surprised. Aside from one small bump he wouldn't have guessed that it was Launchpad who had been piloting. As they walked into the building Darkwing rubbed his left hand as it was sporting a fierce red mark from where Quiverwing had pinched him to prove that he wasn't dreaming.
Director J Gander had had a quiet day; Agent Grizzlekoff was training (aka torturing) some new recruits. This had left the Director some free time to catch up on some of the red tape clogged paperwork. Five hours after starting he had decided that their only useful purpose was serving as pillows for one very tired Director. It was a shame that his nap didn't last very long.
"I am the terror that flaps in the night, I am the serrated edge on the tape dispenser of crime, I am Darkwing Duck!" Never mind that he didn't know what the 'tape dispenser of crime' looked like, it just sounded impressive. And oddly appropriate too he thought as he gazed at the stacks of paper in front of him.
"Ah Darkwing, what brings you here?" asked J. Gander sounding as if he hadn't just been asleep on a pile of Agent post mission reports.
"It's my trainee Quiverwing," stated Darkwing, moving away from in front of her as he spoke. "A member of the Fearsome Five inserted a tracking device somewhere under her skin. I need S.H.U.S.H to get it out for me."
"I see, do you know which Fearsome Five member was involved?"
"No," said Darkwing firmly, shooting a warning glance at Launchpad. "No we haven't any firm idea who it is; this sort of thing is more Megavolt's expertise though."
"Right, well Dr Sara Bellum,"
"No. Another person please J. Gander. Please, anyone other than that woman. She caused me to be turned into Negaduck!"
"Ahem, well I suppose that we can manage that seeing as Dr Bellum is away on holiday at the moment, which was what I was trying to tell you."
Darkwing's face flushed red as he muttered something incoherent and looked down at his feet.
"But this is a serious matter if one of the Fearsome Five has managed to put a tracker in you. Do you have any idea how long you have had it Quiverwing?"
"Just over three years. Apparently it should run out in six months or so and is only capable of being traced by one computer."
"Well I'm no expert, I think I'll escort you down to the labs and get Nigel, our Senior Technical Officer to have a look at you." He pressed a button on his desk. "Nigel could you go to lab one please. I need you to search for an alien tracker in one of our most valued external operatives."
"No problems Guv'nor. I'll be right there."
J. Gander turned away from his desk and waved Quiverwing through the door, "Nigel is top of his field, if he can't track down this tracker no one can." He followed Quiverwing out the door leading Launchpad and leaving Darkwing to bring up the rear.
As he led them through the corridors J. Gander spoke to Quiverwing, "It's very pleasant to see you here again miss even if it is under such grave circumstances. I take it that the person responsible for this is the same person who was responsible for the bombings of the S.H.U.S.H bases."
She looked at her feet, "yes."
"My dear, it's not your fault. You didn't know that Negaduck had put a tracker in you. I presume that you were unconscious at the time."
She quickly looked up, "how did you know?"
"Of all the Fearsome Five he is most likely to want S.H.U.S.H destroyed. Plus you have just told me so. Would you like to tell me about it my dear?"
"No, that's okay; I've already talked to my Dad about it."
"Of course, ah right, here we are then," he turned to Launchpad and Darkwing, "I'm sure Nigel will be waiting for us inside."
Inside they found it just as he had said. Nigel came forward.
"Hi, I'm Nigel Banning Senior Technical Officer, pleased to make your acquaintance. Who will I be checking this tracker for then?"
"That'll be me, Quiverwing Quack, pleased to meet you."
"I have reason to suspect that it's in her right arm," put in Darkwing, unhappy at being so far ignored.
"Ta mate, well I'll just run this probe over you. It's fantastic, picks up any type of tracker even those made to be undetectable. Hmm it isn't picking anything up. You sure it was the right arm mate?"
"Well it could have been the left," mumbled Darkwing. A beeping noise soon confirmed his words.
"Ha-ha got it. Hmm seems to be just under the surface. Well I can get this out myself; I'll just get a local anaesthetic to give you." He walked over to a cupboard and took out a hypodermic needle and syringe along with a 5ml vial. He took the syringe from its sterilised packaging. After filling it and getting rid of any air bubbles he approached Quiverwing, "Right, you should just feel a small scratch."
She gave a small gasp as the needle went in.
"Are you okay Quiverwing? Did that hurt at all?"
"I'm fine Dad, stop worrying."
"Well that should take effect in two-three minutes. If you'd like to lie down on this table and then we'll have it taken out in a jiffy. No problem at all."
And it wasn't a problem, well not if you discount Darkwing Duck turning white and fainting half way through. Everyone else ignored him.
"Right, what do we want to do with this little chap? I must say that it looks rather well made. Probably a Wynn-Jones."
"Can I keep it? I've got a few plans for it." Quiverwing said as she sat up, now sporting a white, neatly made bandage.
"Of course, let me know what happens. Now are you feeling better Darkwing?"
"100 J. Gander. Now I think its time that we all went home."
"I'll put that tracker into a vial for you. Come down here again sometime, we don't get a lot of visitors. For some reason they all go to see Dr Bellum and her bevy of scientists. Of course they have a decent budget to work with and spend it making a lot of flashy equipment that turns out to be a complete disaster. A few extra grand wouldn't go amiss down here Guv'nor."
"And on that note we'll leave you to your work." He led the three crime fighters out the door.
"It could just be a thousand," Nigel called at their retreating backs. "Ah well better luck next time." He went over to the phone and dialled an outside line, "I'd like to speak with Malcolm Wynn-Jones please, ah Malcolm? Have you lost anything lately?"
They were back at the house; Launchpad had stayed in the tower to work on the vehicles and Drake and Gosalyn were sitting on the sofa flicking though the channels on TV.
"Dad, I think it's time you told me all about your trip to Negaduck's universe and about this other Gosalyn you were going to abandon me for."
Drake sighed, "You're right Gosalyn. Where to begin though? Well, you have to understand that the Negaverse is nothing like this universe; the Launchpad there is insane, Tank is polite and Honker is a blood thirsty psychopath. And, well you already know what Negaduck is like.
"NegaGosalyn, I'll call her that for clarity's sake, was – is nothing like you. You're a survivor; I think it's all that spirit in you. If Negaduck was your guardian you'd give him the run around or else turn into a master criminal. But NegaGosalyn, well the best word that describes her is sweet. I couldn't leave her to Negaduck Gosalyn. I knew you would be able to cope, I had no idea if she would."
"So what changed?"
"The Friendly Four – Quackerjack, Bushroot, Liquidator and Megavolt. They rescued me from the NegaMuddlefoots and NegaLaunchpad and in return I taught them how to be crime fighters – Darkwing's Ducks. They defeated the NegaMuddlefoots and NegaLaunchpad while I went off after Negaduck into the portal between the universes. I knew that I was leaving her with four people who would look after her."
Gosalyn stayed silent taking in all the information. Finally she spoke.
"I don't think you were right you know. I don't think I would have been able to cope had you gone. I'd lost my parents and my grandfather. I couldn't have been able to stand losing you. I still couldn't. Don't ever leave me Dad."
Darkwing's eyes were misty as he gazed at his daughter. "Gosalyn, I love you, I promise that the only way I'm ever going to leave you is kicking and screaming. Agreed?"
She smiled shakily, "agreed."
"Well after this touching father-daughter scene how about you telling me what you're going to do with that tracker?"
"Well I thought that I could plant it on one of the Fearsome Five and have Negaduck follow them for a change. It won't fool him for long but it won't be me. What do you think?"
He smiled and ruffled her hair, "I think it's a great idea." He flicked on the news channel.
"And news just in, Quackerjack has just been spotted at the Rocking Horse toy shop."
Drake and Gosalyn looked at each other and then said in unison, "Let's get dangerous."
Well that's it Ladies and Gentlemen. I'd like to thank each and every one of you who has been reading this story and a very big thank you to my reviewers. I'm now taking a break from writing Darkwing Duck and returning to Jekyll and Hyde for a while. I do have plenty of ideas for more Darkwing Duck fics so I will be back. In fact here is a sneak preview of my next DW work.
10:53 pm, 8th October 1980. It would be a date he wouldn't ever forget. A date memorable for being the date of his parent's death; shot down in the street by the lackey of a rival gang leader. Shot down right in front of him. Three should have died that night and three did die; but not the right three. A moment's pity entered into the heart of their attacker as he gazed into Drake Mallard's innocent eyes. He dropped his gun and turned around to walk away. That was all the time it took for ten year old Drake to pick up his father's gun and send a bullet into the back of Steelbeak.