A Darkwing Duck Fanfic
by LordNegaduck (et al)
Author's Notes: This story is a Collaboration by LuvvyDuck, LordNegaduck, and
Luckyduck29, who hope you are enjoying this Ludwig Von Drake and Darkwing Duck
story as much as we enjoy writing it!!
As much as we would love to own our favorite feathered friends; Ludwig Von Drake,
Darkwing Duck, Negaduck, and the other characters mentioned from the Darkwing Duck
and Ducktales series are the sole property of Disney.
We would like to personally thank all those who left their complements and reviews!!
We really appreciate them!! You are all so totally awesome! Mean it!!
Chapter 4: Chaos and Camouflage
Darkwing was starting to fume as the small personal computer that was located on a grey metal office desk would not
log onto the internet.
"This LOUSY piece of junk!!! the hero exclaimed as he pounded his fists on the metal. "Where's Gosalyn's hockey
stick? I could just SMASH this computer!! All I want to do is look up Magica De Spell on the internet and I can't
get on! I keep getting this blasted error message!! Why do I pay for this lousy service if I can't access the internet
when I need to."
Darkwing's breathing was heavy as it always was when the hero got very angry and frustrated with a piece of equipment.
"Launchpad, I am going up to the computer platform, to see if I can find out if SHUSH has gathered any information on Magica. If she is as dangerous as you and Ludwig say she is, then they should have a dossier the size of the Saint Canard Telephone Directory!"
When the hero calmed, he took his pie to the SHUSH computer station located on a platform accessed by a ladder. The small floor space was made of concrete and had a guardrail that completely surrounded the office space. Against the wall was a large white projection screen and directly under the screen was a large wooden desk containing Darkwing's main computer and monitor. Immediately to the left of the desk was a table, which held the control panel for the video screen. Darkwing used that video screen to contact SHUSH. If J. Gander Hooter needed to get in contact with the hero, he sent a Flashquack message. The Flashquack, a micro version of the Thunderquack, flew directly to the mighty masked mallard, no matter where he was located, as long as he stayed within Saint Canard. If J. Gander knew that Darkwing was in the hideout, he usually had a video conference using the screen above Darkwing's feathered head.
Launchpad watched calmly as Darkwing raged against the small computer. His and Ludwig's pep talk had brought Darkwing's confidence most of the way up after all that talk about Gizmoduck, but Launchpad knew that being able to find out more about Magica on his own by using his detective work would bring it back up to one hundred percent. He supposed DW was more likely to find Magica on the SHUSH computer than he was on the regular Internet, but didn't have to tell Darkwing that because his frustration with the smaller computer drove him to the big one anyway.
The curious mallard booted up the expensive computer that was generously provided by his part-time employer. He was authorized to look up any background information that SHUSH had in their data base. Once the log on name and password
were typed in, Darkwing typed "Magica Da Spell", in the search field.
"No Matches Found," the computer reported.
Darkwing tried substituting an "e" in place of the "a" and pressed the "Enter" key.
The screen read, "One Match Found."
"Yes!" Darkwing said. "Alleluia!!"
When Darkwing opened the document, he read that Magica lived on the slopes of Vesuvius, near Naples, Italy. The sorceress was born in 1928, and her sole purpose in life was to relieve one Scrooge McDuck of his Number One Dime and melt it in the Vesuvius into a powerful magical amulet. She was considered to be very dangerous because of her magical powers and she was known to team up with a local gang of criminals known as The Beagle Boys to help steal the dime. To date, neither the Beagle Boys nor Magica had ever successfully gotten even close to the dime, which was protected by an alarm system and was under bullet-proof glass. The dime was also protected under the guard and watchful eye of Gizmoduck.
The hero got up from his swivel chair, crossed his arms and exclaimed, "AGAIN with the Gizmoduck!!! Well, no duh!! I ALREADY KNOW all this information!! That is EXACTLY what Ludwig and Launchpad had already told me!! Wait a
minute. What's this?"
Then the crime fighter looked down and read something at the bottom of the screen that he hadn't seen before.
"To access more information about Magica De Spell or The Beagle Boys, contact the Duckburg Intelligence Agency."
"Wait a minute!! I have never heard of the Duckburg Intelligence Agency!!! Launchpad!!!!" Darkwing screamed. "Who the
heck is the Duckburg Intelligence Agency and what do you know about these Beagle Boys!"
Launchpad smiled, thinking of his adventure as a DIA agent with Feathers Galore. This was one of the few times he was able to help DW by giving him information rather than flying him somewhere or helping him fight someone. He had told him about the Beagle Boys, but he knew that sometimes DW didn't always listen to his stories, but tuned them out or treated them as background noise.
He ran to the platform and sat beside Darkwing.
"I worked for the DIA once," he said. "I was delivering a box for Mr. McD, when these guys came up to me and said I needed to make a delivery for them to Geneva. I told them I had to go to Mr. McD first, and they called me 'Bruno' and told me to cut the jokes. Then another guy came up to me and said J Gander Hoover, that's with a V, wanted to see me. That guy brought me to the DIA Headquarters and more agents caught the real Bruno Von Beak on the subway. They came back and showed me and Hoover a picture. Except for the black hair, the guy was a dead ringer for me! Or was I a dead ringer for him? So they called me 'Double O Duck', and signed me up to pose as Bruno and stop Dr. No-good from destroying the world's money supply. I couldn't let Mr. McD lose his fortune; That would be almost as bad for him as losing one of the kids. I'd have done it for him, even if he hadn't ordered me to, because it meant so much to him. So I met up with Bruno's girlfriend, Feathers, and she found out I wasn't really him and tried to kill me. Then Dr. No-good captured me and tried to feed me to his pet lions. Feathers and I escaped and got the DIA to capture No-good. FOWL tried to kill Feathers."
He paused, remembering something he'd never thought of before.
"Weird; they called FOWL the Foreign Organization for World Larceny, not the Fiendish Organization. Anyway, FOWL tried to kill her because I managed to get away from her; that was why she was helping me. She knew the DIA would protect her. Once it was over, Hoover wanted to make me a full time Double O Duck, but I wasn't ready to leave Mr. McD then. I said working for him was safer and that was true, but I also had other things I wasn't ready to give up. I couldn't be a little league coach or Junior Woodchuck troop leader if I was on spy missions all the time. When Webby and the boys got older and Mr. McD lost his sense of adventure, that was when I decided I needed a change and then found the newspaper clippings about you."
He smiled again, looking into his boss's blue eyes.
"I knew if I could be your sidekick it would be just the change I needed. I could still help make a difference and get back the adventure I didn't have anymore with Mr. McD."
He paused, looking at the computer screen, thinking of the Beagle Boys.
"The Beagle Boys don't really care about the dime; they want all of Mr. McD's cash. The money bin is the one place they haven'tbeen able to get into, with or without Gizmoduck. The Beagles will team up with anyone who might be able to help
them get Mr. McD's money; that's why they would help Magica get the dime. All she wants is that one little dime; the rest
of the cash would be theirs. They're not very bright, but their mother is a terror and they usually follow her lead. Lucky for
Mr. McD, they always mess up somehow, even with Ma Beagle leading the parade."
Launchpad drained the rest of his Coo-Coo cola, then went to the refrigerator for another one, giving Darkwing time to process everything he'd just told him.
All that time, Ludwig had been watching Darkwing at the computer, listening to his tirade. He shook his head with a stiff smile. Dat poor guy, he mused. Such a temper he has!
At the same time, the professor was a little worried that some of the hero's frustration might be on account of the little bombshell
Von Drake had just dropped.
"So, it iss okay, yes?" he asked Launchpad, feeling it wise to talk to the calmer of the two. "After all, mine friends, Da Professor leafs LOTSA stuffs in his lab! If I'd known some bad guy like dat Negaduck persons voulda broke in an' stole mine stuff, I'd-a kept every liddle t'ing in a safes someveres! But---hoo-wee!!!!!! Mine place iss such a kooky mess. I needs ta get me a maids or somet'in', hah?"
On and on he rambled; it was partly his distress over his carelessness and the possible theft of his formula that had Von Drake
so wired up---not to mention the sugar and caffeine he had just consumed. But as his relatives and friends in Duckburg could unhappily testify, once the professor was in the mood to talk about anything (and he rarely wasn't), he would chatter on and
on like a hyperactive parrot. Ludwig was likely the one who gave cause for the saying: "He must have been vaccinated with
a phonograph needle!"
"So, Mister Darkvings, you are not mad at Da Professor, right?" he continued anxiously. "Cause I hear ya screamin' at dat computer dere, an' you're already ticked off enough at da t'ing…when I told ya dat I left da formula papers an' some-a da samples in da basement vere dat kooky Negaduck vas messin' around, I-da t'ought you'd be going right t'rough da ceilin'!
Ain't dat right, Launchpad?"
Launchpad opened his mouth to answer, but Ludwig continued.
"So do you guys vant me ta come wit' you ven you go after dose bad guys, or do ya t'ink I should be stayin' here? Cause I
ain't afraid ta come wit' ya if ya want me to…"
"Poor guy," Launchpad thought affectionately as he listened to Ludwig's babbling. "He's nervous enough as it is. I should
have offered him a glass of milk or something instead of all that sugar."
He smiled at Ludwig and put the hand not holding his second Coo-Coo Cola on the Professor's shoulder. He spoke softly,
partly to calm the professor and partly to keep from disturbing Darkwing's concentration.
"Relax, professor. DW's just pretending to be more mad at the computer than he really is to cover up his worry over Negaduck
and Magica's next move. As for the notes and your formula, you should be able to keep things like that around your house,
especially if that's where you work, without people stealing them. How were you supposed to know someone like Negaduck was gonna come along and break into your house?"
Then he had another thought.
"Negaduck took one of the boxes, but maybe it's not the box with the notes on Love-15. I mean, yah had so many boxes there.
What are the odds that the first box Negaduck would grab would be the one he wants?"
Before he could address the issue of whether or not Ludwig would go with them and tell him that would be up to DW, Darkwing
called for him. He released the professor's shoulder, giving him a wink before running to the computer platform.
As Launchpad reached the top of the ladder, Darkwing looked at him with the mixed emotions of worry and anger.
"While you were talking to The Professor, I received a Flash Quack communiqué from Director Hooter. He said to report to his
office immediately with Professor Ludwig."
Launchpad began to feel very anxious when he saw Darkwing's face. He thought part of it might have been because of what
Ludwig had said before, but that couldn't be all judging by the look in Darkwing's eyes, and the tight fists. He listened with his
head cocked to the right, watching Darkwing intently, as DW explained in detail the SHUSH Director's Flash Quack message.
"DW must have found out something he doesn't like," he thought.
At first he thought it had to do with the Beagle Boys or Magica, but he felt a shock as Darkwing explained.
"His message was very sketchy, but…"
The hero looked down at the floor, then directly into his sidekick's eyes and continued.
"Well, let's just say we no longer have to guess if the box Negaduck took actually contained the samples of the formula. The
Saint Canard Police went down into that basement and confiscated every last hat box that was lying around."
Darkwing looked at Launchpad to see his facial reactions.
For a fraction of a second, Launchpad thought it might be good that the cops went to Ludwig's house. Negaduck had to
have left some evidence of his presence there. Then his knowledge of the corruption in Saint Canard reasserted itself. The
cops worked for the Mayor and the Mayor was in league with Negaduck. There was no way the cops would have had
any benevolent intentions at the professor's house.
"Hooter said that the entire house was ransacked," Darkwing continued, "and that the basement stairs were completely
destroyed, obviously the work of my nemesis double. That poor, old man."
The hero shook his head with empathy for his new friend.
"All he wanted to do is invent a formula to make sure the police and crime fighters such as moi don't get injured while
making arrests, and now he is stuck with all this heartache and grief."
Launchpad wasn't sure which feeling was stronger; his anger at the police or his sadness for the professor. How were
they going to tell him? Not only had his formula fallen into the wrong hands, even if they weren't Negaduck's hands
directly, but his house had been invaded, his privacy violated and his safety compromised. How could anyone feel
secure after such a horrible intrusion?
"Launchpad, that's not all!"
"That's not all?" Launchpad thought anxiously. "What else could go wrong for this poor old guy?"
The mallard then looked up at the ceiling, stepped towards the ace pilot and whispered, "J. Gander also happened
to mention that the Saint Canard Police have a warrant out for Ludwig's arrest. No doubt the Mayor is behind this
one. He probably wants to break him into spilling the beans about his formula."
Meanwhile, Ludwig had finally finished off his piece of pie and was strolling around the room of the Tower. He wished
that Darkwing would let him tinker around with at least one of the gadgets---ever the inventor, Von Drake couldn't stand
it if he couldn't have something to do with himself.
Except when Darkwing had been having another 'temper tizzy', Ludwig could not hear him or Launchpad up on the
computer platform. It was well for him that he didn't. He had finally started to calm down, and was blissfully unaware
of the Mayor's dastardly plan to arrest him---not to mention the cruel destruction of his own home, and God knew
Getting restless and curious at the same time, the professor waddled over to the computer platform.
As Launchpad digested the information, Darkwing leaned over the guardrail and saw Ludwig wandering around the floor
of the tower admiring his crime fighting equipment. Then he suddenly heard his voice.
"Ey!!! Is everyt'ing okay, ya guys?"
Darkwing sighed loudly.
"it's times like these that make being a crime fighter a most difficult job."
The hero had a most difficult task of informing the elderly gentleman of some very devastating news, and he was not sure how to approach the matter, or even how he would react to it. But the task had to be done. Ludwig needed to know the whole truth
before he saw Director Hooter.
The mallard looked down at Ludwig and said, "Launchpad and I will be down in a minute."
Launchpad had to fight to keep his volume low as he cried, "What? Arrested? They've already stolen his life work and destroyed
his house; on top of that, Negaduck destroyed his stairs so he'd fall and break his neck and now the creeps wanna arrest him?
What could they possibly arrest him for? I mean, it's obviously a fake charge, knowing these guys, but what is it? What are they
trying to say he did that would make it OK for them to trash his house and then hunt him down and lock him up?"
He fought hard to get his anger under control and to make his knitted eyebrows go back to normal. He smiled slightly, thinking that as sketchy as Darkwing said J. Gander's message was, he'd gotten quite a bit of information out of it. But then his worry took over.
"Aw, DW," he asked softly, "how are we gonna tell the poor guy? We can't tell him we're taking him to SHUSH just to update J. Gander; someone might let it slip. But he's so upset already about the formula! How do we give him even more bad news?"
Darkwing then walked back over to Launchpad and said, "I guess we will both have to tell him about his house and potential arrest."
Darkwing suddenly puffed out his feathery chest with pride and pointed his finger in the air.
"Well, Launchpad, it does sound like a very dark and stormy cloud of conspiracy has overshadowed our dear Professor, but
Thank God he has a couple of heroes like us working on his side to protect him and put all of his fears aside!!!! Launchpad,
let's get dangerous!"
Launchpad felt a huge grin spread across his face when Darkwing included him as a hero. It made him feel a little more confident,
a bit better about the professor's situation. He and DW would help Ludwig deal with it, both physically and emotionally. Darkwing's confidence and pride were contagious. Ludwig would be OK. Launchpad and Darkwing would make sure of it.
The fight had returned to the hero's eyes.
"Well, maybe we can't do anything about the house, but we can certainly keep him from getting within the clutches of that sinister
civil servant!! He will NEVER be arrested for as long as Darkwing Duck is on the job!!" he said while pounding his chest, like Tarzan.
The mallard then paced the floor with his hands behind his back.
"We have to formulate a plan. Ludwig has to be with us 24/7 and in disguise when he is out; that's for sure. Hey, Launchpad!"
The hero stopped his pacing and grabbed Launchpad's brown jacket with excitement.
"Do you still have your Darkwing Duck costume? He could wear that on the outside and no one would be able to recognize him. Whaddya think about that, Launchpad?"
"Yeah, Launchpad told Darkwing, "I still have my DW decoy costume. I'll get it before we go to SHUSH, but first we should
tell the professor what we gotta tell him and give him time to deal with it."
He started down the ladder and towards Professor Von Drake. Normally he would have followed Darkwing, but his anxiety
over the poor professor and his eagerness to get this part over made him act impulsively.
The hero followed Launchpad down the ladder and stood next to him while he thoroughly described the events that took place
against his property. Darkwing watched Ludwig as Launchpad delivered the bad news to him.
Launchpad took a deep breath and looked directly into Ludwig's eyes. He didn't want to see the look in the professor's eyes
when he was told about his house, but it felt wrong not to.
"Uh, Professor," he began, "while we were talking before, DW got a message from SHUSH. I'm afraid we got some bad news for yah. Yah know how the mayor's working with Negaduck? Well, the cops work for the mayor and---"
He trailed off, not sure how to finish. He glanced at Darkwing briefly, then forced himself to look back at Ludwig and continue.
"The cops went to your house after Negaduck left," he said gently. "They, uh, they took all your notes and ransacked your house."
He put his arm around Ludwig's shoulders.
"The staircase to your cellar was destroyed, but we're pretty sure that was Negaduck; it's just something he would love to do.
He probably thought DW would go down there first and hurt himself. Negaduck is still bugged, so we can look at the tapes and
find out if he really---" He stopped, realizing he was rambling. "Uh, anyway, I'm afraid that's not all. The cops---"
He broke off, looked away, then back. He took another deep breath and tightened his arm protectively around Ludwig.
"The cops have a warrant out for your arrest. The Mayor's behind it, of course; I mean, they'll fake a charge if they can get to yah."
Launchpad glanced at Darkwing again, then back at Ludwig.
"But they won't," he promised passionately. "DW and I are gonna make sure you're protected, and so will SHUSH!"
Launchpad looked away again, giving Ludwig time to absorb what he'd just told him. He looked to Darkwing to see if his
boss had anything to add that would comfort the professor. Launchpad didn't tell Ludwig they had to take him to SHUSH
because he wanted to give him time to react to the news of the city's total violation of his right to privacy.
"Between my dastardly, demented double and that slimy, sleazy, self-serving politician, your basement has been entirely
cleaned out." Darkwing sighed and continued. "Other than the staircase and the ransacking, we don't know what other
damage may have been done to your house."
Even for someone with a doctorate in psychology, denial is one of the first reactions to any devastating event. As the professor
listened to the sad news about his house and threatened arrest, his eccentric but still brilliant mind was rejecting what his ears
could not. He blinked and shook his head, hoping that what he'd heard was only a bad dream. It had to be…didn't it?
Yes, that was it: he had fallen asleep at his desk, as he sometimes did, and everything that had taken place---meeting the vicious Negaduck, that icy plunge into Audubon Bay, being in this strange place---and now, hearing that his lab and his very home had been violated and trashed, and the Mayor was even planning to arrest him! (And for what?) Surely this was all some dreadful nightmare? Any second Ludwig would wake up and find everything the way it ought to be…
He was doing his best to stay calm and not get too emotional; but it was with a pale face and a sickly attempt at a smile that he
looked up at Launchpad.
"Vat iss dis you are tellin' me, Launchpad? I vant ta go home now…you are sayin' dat I cannot do dat? But---dot iss mine house, Launchpad!"
Launchpad wanted to cry for the poor professor. He could see the denial in Ludwig's eyes; the blink, the shake of the head. Launchpad thought, when Ludwig looked up at him, that the professor thought they were playing a cruel joke on him. He was
trying to smile, but he couldn't and his face was very pale.
Darkwing took off his fedora and put it over his chest and said, "We can not compromise your safety, Professor, by taking
you home; it's much too dangerous!" He then replaced his fedora back on his feathery head as he listened to Launchpad
break the news to the heartbroken professor.
"I'm sorry, Professor," Launchpad said gently. "It's just not safe, and your house is gonna need at least some repair before yah go back there. Yah can't risk going down those basement stairs. I'm pretty good with my hands; I can help yah with some of that when this is all over, but for now your safety is more important than anything. We can replace your house, but we can't replace you."
Launchpad knew that Negaduck wouldn't hesitate to kill the professor if Ludwig didn't give him what he wanted. The Mayor wouldn't kill him, but he would have someone else do it. Launchpad tried not to show his horror at the mental image of the cops trying to arrest Ludwig, then shooting him and telling people it was because he tried to escape.
He suddenly wondered if anything he and Darkwing did for the city really made a difference. If the city's supposed protectors could be this uncaring to the rest of the population, what could only two people do? It was true that Darkwing was more competent than most of the cops in Saint Canard, if not all, and Launchpad was learning from DW, but they were still only two in a city of, he didn't know how many.
He scratched his head, pushing the doubts away. He and DW had beaten countless bad guys before. They did what they could and were always successful, and it wasn't always luck, contrary to what some people believed. He gave a mental glare to Grizzlikof, SHUSH's Chief agent, who would never give DW a compliment even if Darkwing saved the entire universe from destruction, unless DW used that blasted regulations manual Grizz loved so much, and most likely not even then.
Launchpad scratched his head again, then put his chin in his hand, confused. Where were all these negative thoughts coming from? This wasn't like him. Maybe it was the professor's situation that was having this affect on him. That had to be it;
self-doubt and displaced anger, or anger in general for that matter, were emotions Launchpad rarely allowed himself to
As Ludwig pondered on his own situation, the cruel reality of it now began to set in.
"Everyt'ing I got in dere…mine grand piano, mine opera records…Mama's heirloom china? Mine lab?? Dose guys didn't hurt everyt'ing dat bad, did dey?" he pleaded. Many of his most priceless items and family heirlooms were being stored by Scrooge in his mansion back in Duckburg, but Ludwig had brought a few of his treasures to Saint Canard with him.
"I even had a old phota-graph of mine weddin', years ago," he continued. "If dey did anyt'ing to it…" He clenched his fists and
shook his head angrily.
Launchpad forced his thoughts of Negaduck and Grizzlikoff away.
"We just don't know how badly the house was---" Launchpad began, then stopped, trying to think of a better word for "trashed." He couldn't, so he didn't finish that sentence. "I'm sure Director Hooter will have more information for yah
when we get to SHUSH."
"But vhy does dat Mayor vanna arrest me??" the professor asked Darkwing. "I haf done not'ing wrong! Vhy are dey
doin' all dese awful t'ings ta Professor Von Drake? Vhy, Mister Darkving?"
Launchpad had to look away from Ludwig when he asked Darkwing why all this was being done to him. He just couldn't
look into those dark, expressive eyes when they were so filled with sadness, anger and confusion.
After Launchpad had finished briefing Ludwig, the purple-caped mallard then continued on.
"The SHUSH note did not specify any charges that the Saint Canard Police had on you, but J. Gander will give more
details when we get to his office. Maybe the mayor and his cohorts did not find either the formula or the notes to
Love-15 in any of those hat boxes, so now they must find you to translate and reveal how to produce the formula.
After all, Negaduck did say that they were written in German. For all they know, they could be looking at one of
your cooking recipes on baking a chocolate cake!"
Darkwing's eyes lit up and he inquired, "Professor, what is in your bag that you took with you from your university office?
My superior intellect tells me that they figured the notes and samples are with you, and THAT'S the reason why it is so
important to locate you!"
The hero had a look of anger on his feathered face as he spoke.
"You're being hunted like a common criminal just because of your invention and your genius mind. Well, if you don't mind, Professor…" Darkwing's mood lightened and he chuckled as he spoke. "…I was thinking that you need a disguise. You will
be with Launchpad and me twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, so unfortunately you won't be going home tonight to enjoy listening to your music. From now on, when you are outside, you will be dressed like me, Darkwiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing Duck,
THE TERROR THAT FLAPS!!" The hero exclaimed as he grabbed the ends of the cape and hid his face so that only his ice blue eyes were revealed.
Launchpad listened quietly as Darkwing spoke to Ludwig, feeling a mixture of intense ffection and mild exasperation as
Darkwing spoke. DW was boosting his own ego again, and the professor had barely had time to absorb the shock of
what had just happened. But Launchpad knew Darkwing was trying in his own way to comfort the professor, as well
as give himself the confidence he needed to know they could do what needed to be done and that they would succeed. Launchpad smiled. Again, he was caught up in DW's enthusiasm.
The hero turned to Launchpad and said, "LP, why don't you go and get my spare costume and your Darkwing Decoy
costume and we will see which one fits him best?"
"No problemo, DW," Launchpad said cheerfully.
He took his arm from Ludwig's shoulders, gave the professor's left shoulder a reassuring pat and headed for the
storage compartment in the Thunderquack where he kept a spare costume, both for Darkwing and for him as
Darkwing Decoy, in case they ever needed them and didn't have time to go back to the tower, or something
happened to one of the ones they were wearing. Launchpad smiled again, thinking that he had lost count of how
many capes Darkwing had lost or ruined fighting the bad guys.
Darkwing then said to the nervous Professor, "You will like Director Hooter and Dr. Bellum. She is the scientist at
SHUSH who will ask you many questions about your formula so she can produce it for SHUSH and produce an
antidote as well. We're going to need an awful lot of antidote if either Magica and Negaduck or the Mayor ever
get to produce the formula. Well, no formula is going to get the best of Darkwiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing Duck!!" The mallard
said while striking a dramatic pose with the purple and hot pink cape.
Ludwig frowned; too much was happening in one night, and all of it more surreal than any opera he'd ever heard.
He was still quite bewildered over the news he had just heard, and now he had to go to some other place he'd
never heard of---and wear a strange disguise yet???
But he knew that these two men were trying to help him, and cared for his safety. No matter what "kooky" thing
they asked of him, he had to trust them. He gave a weary sigh and raised a martyred glance to the ceiling; there
was no sense in fighting this.
As for his house, maybe it wasn't quite so bad as it sounded. Houses could be replaced, after all. There was one
thing for certain: when the whole crazy mess was finally over, the Mayor and everyone else involved in that dastardly
affair was going to pay…in spades.
In the meantime, there was still the matter of the formula, and the professor brightened a little as he thought back on
Darkwing's earlier question.
"Dat's right, Mister Darkving---I did put some-a da formula an' stuff in mine briefcase, yes?" he declared. He quickly
set the case on Darkwing's desk and opened it. Despite the plunge in the bay, the vials of Love-15, the software, and
even the professor's writings were still intact.
"If dose baddies didn't find none of dis in mine house," he said triumphantly, "den ve haf da upper hands on dem---an'
dey went ta all dat trouble for not'ing!"
When the hero heard that Ludwig actually had the vials and notes to the formula on his person, he jumped for joy;
and said "YES!" Unfortunately, upon his landing, his cape got tangled up around his webbed feet, causing him to
fall onto the Professor and the very desk that contained the clear glass cylinders of the precious formula.
From the floor, Ludwig could only watch in horror as two vials of the reddish-brown liquid rolled off the desk and
shattered on the concrete floor below. The clumsy hero did manage to save the eight remaining vials after helping
the Professor up.
Himmel! How does dis guy survive on da streets? thought Ludwig, staring in dazed dismay as part of his precious
formula went all over the floor. And his colleagues had called him "an accident looking for a place to happen"!
"Whoops! Sorry, Professor!" Darkwing said sheepishly as he put his index finger to his beak while beads of sweat were
running down his bill.
"Dot's okay, Mister Darkving," Ludwig replied, trying not to show too much concern over the two lost vials.
Darkwing then breathed in deeply and with a sparkle in his eyes, he exclaimed, "Oh, yes, I AM a genius! It was I who
told ya to clean out your office because I just knew that Negaduck and his cohorts will be after the formula. I just LOVE
being one step ahead of my dirty-deed doppelganger, for he knows that he CANNOT MESS WITH THE MIGHTY
MASKED MALLARD!!! He knows he can't beat me in a fair fight!!"
Darkwing turned to Ludwig and said, "Now, since we can't be sure of who saw you come out of the University with
that briefcase, we are going to have to put the vials and notes in another container to take to SHUSH." The hero cupped
his lower beak and then said "Hey, I got it!! You can hide the vials in the cape! The cape is lined with pockets for hiding
my gas gun, cartridges, and my other Darkwing crime-fighting thing-a-ma-bobs!"
Seeing that the eight vials had survived the accident, the hero continued.
"Are all these vials the same? Because if they are, we should only take six to SHUSH and keep two here, locked away
in the vault."
Ludwig was beginning to wonder if trusting this "walking accident" might be a good idea after all, but Darkwing had seem
pretty embarrassed when he apologized and picked the professor up, after salvaging what was left of the materials. And
after all, Darkwing and Launchpad were putting their very lives on the line to protect him and the formula. He would simply
have to trust them with his safety. He certainly couldn't trust anyone else.
Also, the purple-caped drake made a good point about hiding the vials. Any suspicious person having seen Von Drake
leave with the briefcase would definitely be watching for any signs of it.
"Ja, all da vials are da same. But if you are hidin' dem in dat cape, vould ya PLEASE be careful wit' dem, Mister Darkvings?" Ludwig requested anxiously, wiping his brow with his handkerchief.
As the pilot returned with the costumes, Darkwing could see the stress in Ludwig's blue eyes and said, "Not to worry, Professor! You've got the best crime fighting team right here working on your side!" The hero looked to Launchpad, winked and said, "Right, LP?"
"No sweat, Professor," Launchpad said. "Negaduck has never beaten us before."
Darkwing then continued.
"We WILL overcome this adversity, and we will be ready for any trick those slimy serpents may have in store for us!"
The confident crime fighter then gave Ludwig a light friendly punch on the arm.
"Not to worry about your house either, Professor!! Do you realize that he who stands before you is not only the most
competent crime fighter that Saint Canard has ever seen? I'm also known as the original 'Mister Fix It' where no job is
too big or too small!"
The mallard looked at Launchpad as he was arranging the two costumes and said, "LP, didn't I do a great job on that
sprinkler system I installed in the front yard? Professor, you can count on me to put your broken house back together
Launchpad nodded, smiling.
"Yah didn't do too bad a job with the bird bath either," he said, winking at Darkwing.
The bird bath had actually been the Liquidator covered in cement.The liquefied dog had been attacking Gosalyn, so
DW had poured a bag of cement over him and froze him into a statue. Launchpad still wasn't sure how Licky had
managed to unfvreeze.
"DW's really good with cement and Pickney Flanges," he told the professor.
The professor felt somewhat embarrassed for being so upset earlier. Having been quite set in his ways over the years and
fond of his creature comforts, the news about his house had been pretty hard to take. Harder still had been the report of
the Mayor's arrest attempt; but Ludwig was a tough old bird and had lived through worse.
But heartache quickly segued to anger and righteous indignation---those same feelings he'd had toward Negaduck for
trying to con him into marketing those diamond-filled chocolates, the professor now had toward the corrupt Mayor who
had betrayed his trust.
All right, so they busted up his silly old house and tried to steal his formula. And they wanted to arrest him, did they,
perhaps to torture the formula out of him? They'd have to kill him first, and he wouldn't be the first martyr to Science.
It still wouldn't get them that formula; in fact, it would be their own undoing. He, Ludwig von Drake, had invented Love-15
for just such as those hoodlums! Even Science itself taught that actions had consequences---and somehow or other, that
crooked politician and his henchmen would pay.
But until that happened, the professor was grateful that Darkwing and Launchpad were protecting and helping him. At least
he wasn't alone in facing all these crazy incidents…
…including this "kooky" disguise they now expected him to put on.
"OK, Professor," Launchpad asked as he held out the two purple outfits. "Which one of these do you think will fit yah better?"
Ludwig had worn some pretty outlandish attire in his time (especially during his travels), including that clown costume when he sang Pagliacci at the Duckburg Opera Hall one time. But now, as he gaped at the purple and pink outfits LP held out, the professor couldn't help being just a little dubious.
"I t'ink I can try dis one here," he declared, picking out Launchpad's own disguise.
LP looked at the mess on the floor. "DW must have gotten his cape caught again," he thought, smiling and retrieving the mop.
By the time Ludwig had Launchpad's costume on, the pilot had cleaned up the spilled formula and put the mop and bucket
But Launchpad was considerably taller and more muscular, and when Ludwig put the costume on the results were both comical and pathetic. The fedora half-covered his eyes, the sweater and jacket hung on him, and the cape nearly tripped him when he tried to walk.
"Ach, Himmel! I vould get lost in dis t'ing!" he exclaimed. "I t'ink I bedder put on da udder one…"
Darkwing really laughed when he saw the Professor standing there and trying to walk in Launchpad's Darkwing Decoy costume. Ludwig reminded him of a small duckling trying on his father's clothes as the sleeves went way past his arms, and the purple double-breasted coat and green turtle necked shirt went down to his knees.
"I don't know who your tailor is there, Professor, but I sure would fire him if I were you!" the hero said trying to lighten everyone's mood.
Launchpad laughed along with Darkwing even as he stood ready to catch the professor if he fell in the cape. He was amused at the way the professor looked in his costume, but he was also a little embarrassed that he hadn't taken into account the difference between their sizes. If he had, he would have realized Ludwig was more fit for DW's costume and could have saved the professor this embarrassment.
But when he looked at him, he was glad to see the professor's amusement. He smiled at Ludwig, thinking that they had a lot in common. Even in the face of all that was happening to the professor, he could still find amusement in a situation, even at his own expense.
The "udder" costume fit him much better, and Ludwig went over to Darkwing's mirror to have a look. He stared up and
down at his reflection, blinked a few times, then finally grinned.
"Han'some!" he exclaimed, tipping the fedora at a jaunty angle. "Von Drake, purple iss your colors!"
His head high and a new determination in his eyes, Ludwig turned to Darkwing and Launchpad.
"As you alvays say, Mister Darkving: 'Let's be gettin' dang'rous!' "
Darkwing admired how well the his spare costume fit on the Professor. It looked as if it was made for him.
"Stunning! Now, Professor, you look like a real crime fighter, ready to take on some evil doers!"
Launchpad grinned back at the professor when he told himself purple was his color; it was, and he really did look handsome,
and somehow distinguished.
The hero attached the purple and hot pink cape to the snaps that were located under the collar of the purple double-breasted jacket and showed Ludwig were all the secret pockets were located. "I agree, Professor; purple is definitely your color!"
Darkwing stepped back and looked at the Professor as he was admiring himself in the mirror. He then cupped his white
feathered hand into a fist and placed it under his bill, thinking to himself, there is something askew. Then it came to him,
"Ah, Professor? Do you really need those glasses, for they can be a dead give away!"
Ludwig laughed uneasily. "I hadn't t'ought of dat. But Da Professor does need da glasses, I'm afraid to tell ya. Zee, I
haf been nearsighted ever since I vas a young man…an' dat vas a LONG time ago!"
He explained to both Darkwing and Launchpad about his sudden ---and desperate---need for spectacles after a disastrous
flight maneuver back in the First World War.
"Mine eyes veren't so good as I t'ought, vhen I vas out flyin' wit' mine buddies," he told them sheepishly. "Ven I started firin'
da machine guns, I t'ought it looked like da wrong planes vas goin' down! I didn't kill nobody, t'ank goodness… but dey vouldn't let me fly no more till I got dem glasses!"
After that, though, his fellow pilots had christened him Ludwig von Richtoffen (after the infamous Red Baron), joking that the
enemy must have sent Von Drake to kill them off.
"I didn't t'ink dat vas funny," was the professor's annoyed comment. "But da point iss, I haf needed da glasses since den. An'
da older I gets, da stronger dey gets…" He took off his spectacles, and his new friends could see him blinking and squinting. "Now, I am almost blind wit'out dem. So dat iss quite a conundrum we got 'ere, Mister Darkving!"
Launchpad looked sympathetically at the professor when he took off his glasses and could obviously not see without them.
That comment about the Red Baron was cruel, and he didn't think Ludwig's friends would say that if they'd really been his friends. Launchpad had never thought of it before, but what would he do if he couldn't fly anymore? Ludwig had other interests, science included. But flying was Launchpad's life, and the only thing he knew; it was the only area where he had complete and total self-confidence.
He scratched his head again to clear it of these disturbing thoughts. They had enough to worry about now. Launchpad didn't
need to make himself anymore anxious worrying about what may or may not happen to his career in the future. There was
nothing he could do about that until and unless it happened. For now, they needed to get to SHUSH and protect the professor and his formula from Negaduck, Magica and that heartless monster who called himself Mayor of Saint Canard.
Darkwing put his hand to his beak and chuckled to himself as the Professor admitted that he shot down planes that were on
"I guess that was one big 'Whoops' there, Professor." The hero then cleared his throat and continued, "Well, at least nobody was hurt, or worse, killed."
The crime fighter looked to the ceiling and silently admitted to himself that if he received a dollar for every blunder and
"Whoops" he ever cared to admit to, his bank account would surely surpass Scrooge's by far. The Professor's mistake
was caused by lack of eye sight and was easily corrected by eye glasses. Darkwing's problem went much deeper. He always found himself rushing into dangerous situations without properly thinking things through enough and consequently putting those around him in harm's way. For the hero knew that his pride and ego always took precedence over clear and coherent planning. Only when Darkwing was finally able to put all distractions aside and was able to focus and concentrate on the task at hand,
then he was a very competent crime fighter.
Darkwing looked over to Launchpad and then looked at Ludwig and sighed.
"Professor, don't feel too bad about the airplane incident, it wasn't really your fault."
The mallard then looked over to his sidekick and recalled the time when he was temporarily blinded by Megavolt and met the villainous light bulb lifting rodent at the Saint Canard Museum of Art and Science. Everything was going well until the suit Honker ordered for
him malfunctioned, which caused Darkwing to fall backwards onto a lit kerosene lamp that was hanging on the wall. When
the lamp shattered on the carpeted floor and set the museum ablaze, it was Launchpad's heroic efforts that not only saved Darkwing's life, but the lives of Honker and Gosalyn as well. After the heavy wooden joist collapsed on the hero, he was knocked unconscious and the next he knew, he was lying outside, soaking wet, in an upside down prop plane. The mallard
knew that if it hadn't been for him, his friend's and daughter's lives would not have been in jeopardy.
He shook his head to clear it of the painful flashback and said, "It's important that we properly plan for what's to come and
that everyone is on the same page. The mayor and his buddies are very serious about their demented demands, and will do anything to get their grimy paws on this formula, no matter what the cost."
Darkwing then stared directly into the Professor's eyes and said, "Professor, I know you need these glasses to see distance,
but since you won't be flying the Thunderquack, you really don't need them. I am trying to create a diversion, and hopefully
this will throw them off guard enough to get you into SHUSH safely. You will walk next to Launchpad, as…" the hero then
made his dramatic pose with his cape by grabbing the top edge of the satin material and proceeded to cover his face and
beak with it, so only his eyes were showing. "…Darkwing Duck!" The mallard then dropped the cape and continued on
with confidence, "Launchpad knows the way to J. Gander's office, so just stay close to him and act very natural. After you
two are within the building, I will soon follow."
The hero then put his hand on his hip and asked, "Are there any questions about my flawless plan?"
Maybe it was nerves at this unusual risk Ludwig would take, or maybe it was old age having its way with him---or, maybe it
was just the Coo-Coo Cola he'd been drinking...
"Just one teensy question, Mister Darkving: vhere iss da liddle boys' room?"
"Oh, my goodness!" Darkwing said, blushing.
Launchpad grinned, thinking of the Coo-Coo cola. He would have to make the same trip before they left.
"Well," Darkwing continued, "when nature calls, you have to be there to answer it!! It's right over there, Professor, through
that door, just past the kitchen area immediately to your right." After Ludwig was walking, Darkwing suddenly yelled "And
watch the cape!"
Ludwig sprinted to the bathroom, closing the door firmly behind him. While the Professor was otherwise occupied,
Launchpad voiced a few concerns to Darkwing.
"What about his accent, DW? What if he has to talk to someone? The accent will be a dead giveaway. And what if the
three of us have to be together? It'll definitely look suspicious if there are two Darkwing Ducks."
Launchpad was sure DW had logical answers; he wasn't worried, but he wanted to know in case a situation came up later.
He didn't want them to have to improvise and possibly put Professor Von Drake in danger because they hadn't thought this
part of it through. Like Darkwing, he also was aware of DW's impulsiveness; in fact, sometimes Launchpad exhibited the same quality. But his impulsiveness was caused by an over eagerness to please, not by pride and ego.
Launchpad raised some valid concerns about the plan, which did indeed have to be addressed. Darkwing adjusted his fedora
and said, "LP, my only concern right now is to get the Professor safely into the SHUSH building, and that's it. Once you two
are inside, then I will soon follow. Just go to J. Gander's office and act naturally. The Professor does not have to speak to
anyone until we all get inside and speak to Director Hooter and Dr. Sara Bellum."
The confident crime fighter went over to the desk where the spillage had occurred a moment before and opened the bottom
drawer, then retrieved a wrinkled 4-pound brown paper bag and handed it to Launchpad.
"Now, these are cough drops, and if you feel uncomfortable, give the Professor some to put into his mouth, and just say
something like 'Our fearless, dashing, and daring do-gooder can not talk today, for he's got a bad cold.' I'm quite sure you
can come up with something." Darkwing then patted Launchpad on the back and continued, "Besides, we have to get these
vials over to SHUSH ASAP, because Director Hooter and Dr. Bellum want to meet with Ludwig Von Drake. Dr. Bellum
no doubt wants to test its true abilities and see if an antidote can be manufactured, in case any of us should come under its effects."
Darkwing put his hands on his hips and said, "Besides, LP, if you should have any bright ideas, I am waiting to here them.
Otherwise, let's get going!!!!"
When the Professor returned, Darkwing asked, "Feel better? Ok, we are going to take the Thunderquack over to SHUSH headquarters. To make this look good, I want you to sit up front next to Launchpad, just in case somebody is watching when
End Chapter 4