Hexes & Vexes
Darkwing is accidentally cursed by Magica De Spell. Can Morgana and the Justice Ducks save our Hero or will he be doomed? And what Happens when Scrooge's Money bin becomes the focal point of the Fearsome Five's current crime spree? Will Gizmoduck still have a job? Please read and find out.
Disclaimer: I do not own any Disney character and am not making any money off this at all. If this were a perfect world Darkwing would have a much better agent and publicist and would have had at least three more seasons and a full length feature or two . Thank you for reading and please review whenever it's convenient only constructive criticisms please. No flames. Thank you.
The house was a nice, suburban two story model with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. From the outside it looked just like any number of homes built in the surrounding neighborhoods on the outskirts of the modern city of St. Canard. But IF anyone had been able to listen in to the loud conversation going on between two of the occupants of the home; most would soon realize that there was more going on here that you would think at first glance.
A short mallard style duck dressed in a green sweater vest over a peach colored shirt was arguing with a very young duckling in the living room, "Gosalyn Mallard, I told you no. Fighting crime is too dangerous. Until you learn some self defense skills and I can teach you a few tricks to get away from trouble, you can't come on any S.H.U.S.H. missions. Especially since I don't even know what this assignment IS yet."
Miserable and disappointed, the nine year old asked, "Oh, but why can't Quiverwing come? It's Spring Break and I already did all my homework last night dad, I really have; you can check it and everything."
He stared at his daughter and demanded skeptically. "You REALLY did all your homework? Even though school is still out for the rest of the week? "
He raised an eyebrow and looked stern. In Drake's hand he held what looked like a purple and orange toy replica of the state of the art jet plane, The Thunderquack; that Launchpad had built for him almost a year ago. It was a flashquack a robotic messenger from the super secret spy agency that he did freelance work for.
Even though he loved crime fighting, it wasn't as if he got paid by the city or anything. Doing these jobs helped him make ends meet, particularly since he'd spent most of his savings on the down payment of their house after adopting Gosalyn.
Still suspicious in spite of her innocent look and eager nodding he pressed for more information. "Are you sure you aren't exaggerating some Gosalyn? It's not like you to do homework assignments so quickly."
Wrapping her arms around her father's waist and looking up at him hopefully, Gosalyn begged, "Please dad I don't have anyone else to play with and I want to be with you."
Darkwing sighed as his daughter's green eyes filled with tears. He reached out and cradled her against his peach shirt in a gentle hug stroking her red hair as he continued. "Look sweetie I know it's tough on you with Honker and his family on vacation but I promise that as soon as I get this done for S.H.U.S.H. we'll go and have some family time okay? We can go camping if you like?"
Gosalyn twitched in panic pulling away from her dad. "Aw Dad NO, please; I mean Ummmm can't we do a horror movie marathon instead?"
Launchpad McQuack, Darkwing's best friend; housemate, and trusty sidekick objected unhappily. "Gee Gos… can't we skip the horror movies for a bit? I am just getting used to sleeping with the lights off again. Sidekicks need their sleep you know."
He was seated on the sofa watching Drake and Gosalyn. His broad shouldered, tall form was well muscled and he was in a relaxed pose as he kept an eye on them. He could already tell that Drake was going to lose this little discussion.
A little hurt by her reaction Drake demanded, "And WHAT exactly is wrong with camping young lady?"
Hurriedly she said, "Nothing Dad really, well except that we are always hungry when we go camping and the bugs are not so fun either when the bug spray runs out and there's no bathroom and…."
All this came out in a fairly panicked rush. When she paused to draw a breath Drake jumped in. "I get the idea Gosalyn, if you want to be a crime fighter though you have to be in shape you can't allow yourself to get soft. Camping and hiking is a great way to improve your physical endurance and …."
Gosalyn perked up and enthused, "Wahoo!! I knew you'd come around eventually, thanks Dad; Keen Gear! How about we start with letting me get some experience by going with you and Launchpad to help S.H.U.S.H., and then we can go to dinner at Hamburger Hippo what do you say?"
Exasperated Drake jumped in again, "I say we need to have vegetables that aren't fried and we already had burgers this week!"
Launchpad chimed in with, "Aw, DW …."
"Oh NO LP we are having a healthy dinner at least once this week. I mean it Gosalyn. "Hey! Wait, how did you …I didn't say."
He looked surprised and then resigned as Gosalyn danced around the living room of their modest suburban house on 537 Avian Way. Before dragging him bodily towards the pair of blue easy chairs that disguised the secret entrance to the tower lair constructed in Audubon Bay Bridge and hopping into his lap to wait for Launchpad.
Launchpad chuckled warmly and pointed out. "You DID mention being a crime fighter DW, and besides if we both go who will watch Gos?"
Gosalyn crowed with delight, skillfully ignoring her dad's mention of non fried vegetables and bounced energetically. "Punch it Launchpad!"
Obligingly Launchpad seated himself in the other chair and slammed his fist down on the head of the little statue of Basil the Great Mouse Detective and the three ducks disappeared in a whirl as the chairs spun them down the chute emerging a few minutes later in Darkwing Tower a few feet from The Ratcatcher. The parked Motorcycle was in tip top shape thanks to the fact that crime was unusually slow giving Launchpad and Darkwing time to perform maintenance and generally clean and tidy the Lair.
Far away, six miles east of Naples Italy there sat a large cone shaped volcano. It rumbled and shifted slightly in response to the magical energy being generated by the anger and frustration of the short, black haired, female duck that was pacing back and forth in one of the subterranean levels of her lair. Her black robe and pageboy styled hair combined to give her a rather squared off look until you saw the slight feminine curves that she sported. Her pumps were sensibly flat but she walked with an experienced sway as she paced.
The lair had been carved out of the many layers of built up hardened lava that had escaped Vesuvius over its various eruptions through history. In her hand she held a small, clear globe as a large, intelligent looking raven flew into the room and spoke to her. This was her be-spelled brother Poe who had lost a Mage-born duel with her ten years ago and was serving out an unusually long penalty as her magically bound slave.
In spite of the fact he was in the form of a large but ordinary looking raven, his mind and body were still those of the Mage-born Avian sentient that he had been born as, "Caw, Magica, calm down; you will cause another eruption if you keep displacing the magma in the magma chamber like this. Raging pointlessly at that toy soldier in Duckburg will not help us get that dime. I just don't see why you won't turn me back to my real form. You can't still be holding a grudge about that stupid fight, are you?"
Absently she replied, "I told you Poe, I will only change you back AFTER Scrooge's number one dime is MINE. Besides with the power of that dime in our control we will be sorcerers to be reckoned with. You know this, Stop harping about your form and help me think up a plan."
She added slyly, "Besides in this form you can actually fly, isn't that one of the things you wanted me to help you achieve? The ability to fly without a tiresome machine to get in the way and breakdown as it interferes with your magic?"
Poe snorted and muttered to himself. "If she ever does get that wretched dime from McDuck only one person can take its power. I'm not counting on you to want to share sister dear. It's high time I figured a way to get out from under her hex on my own. But as long as she hold's the spell I am bound to do her biding drat it all."
His bright black eyes studied the tiny figure of the armored super hero Gizmoduck in the crystal ball. He watched Magica as he sat on a carved perch and thought to himself. "If she would just get over this obsession and focus her magic she wouldn't need that dime. I have been stuck in this form and under her power so long I have forgotten most of my own magic."
He shuddered and a tear fell unnoticed from his eye as he thought of his much-loved familiar. "Poor Mr. Pinchwife it has been over a year since he has spoken to me. At least I still have my inner connection to him."
A gentle reassuring voice spoke in his head saying, 'Of course you do dear one. I will not leave you to suffer this alone. Only you can drive me away. Do not shut me out again I beg you.'
The voice continued hurriedly. 'Let me stay and I will help you to free yourself from her obsession. She is becoming dangerously indebted to Dark Path magic. Her familiar is beginning to despair but I still have hope for both of us.'
Poe was so shocked by this renewed inner contact with his magical soul companion that he dropped from the perch he had been sitting on and hit his head on the floor. "How…?" He whispered in disbelief.
The voice of his Persian cat Mr. Pinchwife sounded proud and happy as he explained, 'You decided to choose for yourself and have given up despair and despond; this broke the barrier you made to keep me safe. I AM safe; do not fear for me now that we are together again.'
Fortunately or maybe unfortunately Magica didn't even notice this byplay. She was too busy shaking the crystal ball and pacing to become aware of anything else. As Poe rubbed his sore head with a wing tip he felt his magical energies being cleansed and renewed for the first time in years. To his shock he saw across the room his, flame point Persian cat shaped; familiar appear and sit behind a chair watching Magica.
Sniffing cautiously his familiar said silently, 'this will take some time but it can be done beloved. Do not concern yourself for me; now that I can reach you again all will be well. Magica will not sense me. She is too blinded by her fixation on the mystical dime.'
In spite of all that had happened between them, Poe still felt love for his sister; he felt a surge of pity in his heart and asked. 'Can she be saved Pinchwife? She is still my sister and I don't want to see her doomed.'
'What is to be will come to pass my dear, but nothing is preordained while free will exists.' Sighed Mr. Pinchwife softly.
I cannot predict her path or its pitfalls, 'her choices are her own and she will be held accountable for the consequences of them as everyone is. She will chose her own fate as do all, magical or not.'
After watching Magica for several hours the fluffy cat simply curled up beside the stunned Poe in his nest on the shelf outside her study and began to purr, still completely unnoticed by Magica.
Drake sighed and glanced out the upper windows of the tower. Normally the huge panels of glass looked out on a panoramic view of the city. Before he had met Launchpad and Gosalyn he had lived up here. His old bedroom furniture was still here in fact. He'd decided to leave it in case Gosalyn needed a place to rest or he got caught up in a case and needed to crash here.
He looked out on a sky now which was filled with dark ominous clouds that looked like they were about to burst open and flood the city at any moment. As he moved to the changing area of the lair he smiled slightly at Gosalyn who was already thrashing about in the armoire searching for her costume hat having grabbed her tunic and tights.
Her quiver and bow were slung on her shoulder as she rummaged about clearly not wanting to give any excuse to be left behind, she was very likely to hurt herself going so fast. Gently he lifted her bow and arrows from her and gestured to the screens.
Smiling at his eager apprentice he asked, "Here, LP please put these in the plane…thanks."
"No problemo DW," Launchpad replied with a chuckle as he went to make sure the plane was pre-flight checked, packed and that mechanically it was ready for a mission.
Excited and all too willing to experience a real adventure firsthand, Gosalyn said, "This will be great! I can't wait."
She disappeared behind the smaller changing screen that had been set up for her as Darkwing shoved aside the heaps of bits of costumes and changed behind his own screen from his green sweater vested alter ego of mild mannered Drake Mallard suburban father; to the Masked Crime Fighter Of St. Canard Darkwing Duck. He adjusted his gray fedora and purple caped jacket and sighed again glancing at his beloved daughter.
Bracing himself for an argument he said firmly, "Quiverwing may just be locked in the Thunderquack all morning you know. If this assignment from S.H.U.S.H. is at all dangerous I am bringing you straight home."
Gosalyn squawked, "What! That's not FAIR!"
He tied on his purple mask, and went to get the instructions from the computer console above the changing area.
Still holding onto his stern father voice he said very calmly, "Fair or unfair I am the parent and what I say goes Gos… I mean Quiverwing. Crime fighting is dangerous and I won't risk you getting hurt because you aren't ready for something or worse because you disobeyed me. I know you think you want to fight crime, but you are only nine and you need to be careful."
Outraged at being treated like a baby, Gosalyn objected… "I'll be ten in two weeks dad!"
Secretly he was so proud and happy that HIS baby wanted to fight crime beside him he could barely maintain the tone of strict father vital in leashing in her more enthusiastic side. Sighing fondly and ignoring her thrashing around behind him; Darkwing glanced at his instructions and powered up his communications suite.
He entered a code from the flash quack message and the screen of his console flickered to life as J. Gander Hooter the director of S.H.U.S.H. and his boss appeared looking slightly absentminded in his old fashioned three piece suit. Gander smiled at the sight of Darkwing trying to be cool and professional as various crashes and bangs happened behind him.
Determined to ignore the noises being generated by Launchpad's preflight, hopefully non-crashing preparedness checks; and the loading in the Thunderquack of a certain apprentice crime fighter, Darkwing held up the flashquack.
Making sure he sounded confident and eager he asked, "You have an assignment for me J. Gander?"
J. Gander Hooter made sure to sound secure in Darkwing's abilities and NOT show any undo humor in his reply as the noises behind the caped and masked figure continued, "Yes indeed dear boy, It's good of you to help us I'm sure you are quite busy but we need your expertise."
Darkwing's ever present ego started to puff a bit and he leaned forward eagerly "What is it? Is it a plot to endanger the world by F.O.W.L.? Or maybe a terrorist cell to disrupt? How about an intelligence or reconnaissance mission? WHAT?"
Sounding a little sheepish but still authoritative Hooter answered, "Well actually…it's more of a security detail, you see; over in Duckburg there is a sister organization of ours the D.I.A."
"You mean The Duckburg Intelligence Agency?" Darkwing interrupted without thinking as he got excited.
Nodding Hooter continued, "Exactly, they are much more involved in the compilation of data and research and development there than most of our facilities here in St. Canard. In fact one of our chief inventor's lives in Duckburg, The inventor of several of your gas gun's cartages and some of the other tools that are more suited to an independent operative like you."
J. Gander's face broke into a knowing smile as he added, "In fact He's fully credited with the development of Gizmoduck's armored suit. Of course that was subsidized through McDuck Enterprises but still an impressive invention."
Darkwing forced an expression of polite interest on his face instead of the sneer he wanted to show at the mention of Duckburg's famous and much beloved hero.
In spite of his fervent desire to present a positive and professional image to Director Hooter, he muttered. "He's an armor plated, irksome, infuriating, irritating excuse for a media hog."
Then he blushed at Hooter's raised eyebrow. "I'm sorry J. Gander." He apologized.
Admonishing his operative gently Hooter asked, "Now, now Darkwing, Gizmoduck is after all an autonomous auxiliary to S.H.U.S.H. like yourself and isn't he one of the team of Justice Ducks that YOU founded to help safeguard law abiding citizens?"
Darkwing felt his face turn an even deeper red and he coughed uncomfortably. He still wasn't sure why J. Gander thought he was the founder of the team. They had actually come together voluntarily to save the city that first time after he'd let his ego and pride get in the way and the Fearsome Five had almost won.
Of course by the time everything had been wrapped up on that first case, all of his team mates had ACTED as if he was leading them; at least during the fighting. Later, on other missions he had asked for their help and they had responded as if he had every right to ask them for their services, but he still wasn't sure why.
They had all acted since then as if he was their natural choice but he'd never ASKED to be a leader of anyone, much less a team of Hero's. Honestly, the responsibility scared him.
Every time he tried to bring the subject up with any of them however, they just changed the subject or he became otherwise distracted somehow. It had been almost six months though and not having any answers was troubling.
Truthfully, this bothered him most with Launchpad and Morgana; they were the two team members that were closest to him personally, and yet they were keeping him in the dark for some reason.
All this flashed through his mind as he tried to think of a way to answer J. Gander without taking credit for something he wasn't sure of. If he HAD done it of course he'd have gloried in it but somehow taking credit for this seemed wrong in some way.
Hooter was the one person Darkwing NEVER wanted to lie to. Having his approval was one of the most important aspects of his professional life. If he ever fell short of that old owl's faith in him it would crush them both, and he knew it.
"Yes…." He admitted reluctantly and then added slowly to try and give himself time to think.
Sighing unhappily he admitted, "in fact he's always been willing to barge in …I mean help anytime ANY of the Justice Ducks who need him. We just have such different ideas about tactics that he and I tend to disagree. Particularly since Gizmoduck seems to think every stray kitten and lost puppy just HAS to be rescued on camera."
He averted his eyes for a moment then in an attempt to divert the conversation from this rather painful topic had a sudden thought. "Wait a minute if this security detail involves Duckburg why didn't Gizmoduck get the call? Can't handle it huh?" He asked hopefully.
Director Hooter sighed, watching the younger duck on the screen he saw not his eager protégé, but a much younger duckling who had caught his attention with his courage and determination so long ago.
He liked Darkwing a lot and in fact knew much more about the masked mallard than Darkwing seemed to suspect. Evidently Drake had yet to realize that Hooter had met him before he'd been offered the chance at recruitment for S.H.U.S.H. after he had earned his high school diploma.
As far as Hooter knew Darkwing still didn't know that it was on J. Gander's orders that his 'secret' Identity of Drake Mallard had been preserved after the explosion at Canard Tower when Darkwing had gone up against Taurus Bulba.
In fact S.H.U.S.H. had taken on his medical care to insure he was healed as quickly as possible and that there was no chance of his medical records being used to discover who he was.
Darkwing's file was getting a bit thicker with each case he helped out on; but only four people at S.H.U.S.H. had access to it; Himself, Dr. Sarah Bellum, Gyro Gearloose, and First Agent Grizzlikof. Of those four only he had full access and only his successor would have it after him. Other than them only a presidential order could open that file and then only as a matter of national security.
He knew pushing Darkwing to sign on as an independent operative was still seen as a risky decision but when Darkwing was healthy and in action the city was actually much safer statistically.
With the police able to concentrate on routine matters crime tended to go down as much as fifteen percent in the areas of Public Safety and security it also saved on repair and maintenance of city property and lives saved especially police and law enforcement.
Normally Hooter was all for working within the law which was why he had been subtly trying to recruit Drake for about two years after he returned from his extensive overseas training.
Giving a masked and caped vigilante an official position at S.H.U.S.H. had truly shocked and dismayed many of the top people involved in the intelligence community but a lot of good had come of it and not for S.H.U.S.H. alone. His becoming an official operative also meant that Darkwing had some legal protection which was one of the big selling points that Hooter had used to convince Darkwing to sign on after he had confessed to wanting to adopt Gosalyn Waddlemire.
In the hospital on a very large dose of pain killers the crime fighter had brokenly wept at her plight and Gander often wondered how much of that conversation Darkwing remembered.
Hooter had always thought that Drake would make an excellent S.H.U.S.H. agent and had been keeping an eye on him for years. Ever since he had rescued the boy from the brutal foster home he'd been assigned to, J. Gander had felt a connection to him that was almost like that of a father and son.
Of course he had to remain circumspect, if he showed open personal favoritism for an independent like Darkwing it could lead to a great many problems within S.H.U.S.H. and as the head of the organization that was something he had to avoid if at all possible.
Still when he was honest with himself he had to admit to valuing Drake as a person as well as an agent far more than most of the other personnel. He knew that First Agent Grizzlikof saw through his attempts to hide his feelings, they had even discussed it over dinner on several occasions.
Even though he hadn't explained about the circumstances of his first encounter with Drake, and he had made sure not to reveal that Drake was actually Darkwing Agent Grizzlikof was certainly talented and intelligent enough to have figured it out.
Grizzlikof was above all else a consummate professional and he had never let anything slip to Darkwing. As far as Darkwing knew, Grizzlikof was inflexible and intolerant because of a lack of procedure in Darkwing's methods which was why they didn't get along.
In reality though Grizzlikof had been trying to instill some respect for S.H.U.S.H. procedure's into their Number One field operative so that he could receive further training and advancement.
Hooter had also pulled quite a few strings to push through the single parent adoption of Professor Waddlemire's granddaughter. Who from the sounds of the conversation he could hear behind Darkwing was evidently determined to follow in her crime fighting father's foot prints.
In some ways it was a pity that for some peculiar reason none of the cities media corps seemed to want to publicize the facts about how much Darkwing's presence on the streets helped the city. It was helpful though when a bit less attention was warranted.
At times however, Darkwing's inability to work with others was a bit of a hindrance in achieving mission objectives. He had demonstrated leadership ability and seemed to be working his way into the role of field commander of his team very well. The reports he got from the other Justice Ducks certainly said so at any rate, but for some reason he didn't act as though he was comfortable with it.
Hooter sighed mentally and decided to give Darkwing a little more time before pushing him to accept responsibility officially for the team. The paperwork had already been filed and verified all that remained was for Darkwing to sign his Oath of Fealty and make his spoken vows before the federal judge advocate for him to move up in rank on the secrets clearance list.
Until then though Hooter decided to just let thing's lie. He thought for a second Darkwing had been going to ask him about it when he'd pressed but Darkwing had avoided it again.
Returning to the matter at hand Hooter said firmly. "Actually I am assigning you to pick up a vital research material and take it to Duckburg to meet with Agent G our chief researcher there, and to bring back any materials he sends. For some reason it's been too quiet lately, F.O.W.L. is bound to try something soon. My instincts say that we need to improve our security measures so until we can put some new twists in to upgrade things The Thunderquack is the fastest and most secure vehicle we have access to outside direct military involvement."
Wiping his glasses on his pocket hanky Hooter replaced the tiny lenses on his beak and looked directly at the camera as he continued in a matter of fact manner. "Because this is a research assignment I can't justify the inquiry that will be made if I request that sort of thing too often, besides every terrorist organization in the world watches the military and I want to keep this quiet."
He smiled again to take the sting from his words. "Besides you DO have a bit of a point about Gizmoduck, he tends to attract crowds and media and that's not something I want to happen here. What do you say my boy, can you and Lawn chair make this run to Duckburg and back today?"
Quiverwing Quack bounced up behind Darkwing. "Keen Gear, please tell Darkwing I can come along on this mission Director Hooter."
Darkwing half turned in his chair and got a thunderous look on his face but Hooter interrupted sternly before Darkwing could say anything. "Ah yes …. Quiverwing Quack isn't it, Well I might ASK your father if he thinks it's a good idea to include you on this mission as a training exercise mind, BUT he has the final say young lady."
She froze in mid bounce at the disapproval in his voice and flushed saying in a tiny voice, "I'm sorry Director Hooter, Sorry Darkwing I shouldn't have interrupted and I promise not to say anything else." Then, looking rather desperate; she held her breath waiting to see what her dad would say.
Darkwing sighed, the fury fading from his face at this unexpected show of parental support from his boss and said. "I don't appreciate you trying to manipulate me Quiverwing and I am very disappointed in you. You are going to be grounded for a week and no desert."
She froze in shock as he continued." But since I was going to let you come along anyway, and Launchpad is going to be flying the jet you can still come. We'll be right there Director Hooter, Darkwing out."
The screen went dark as Darkwing turned it off and went silently down the stairs with a much subdued Quiverwing following behind him. The super sonic jet with an amazing resemblance to its angry passenger in the front seat dove erratically but gracefully below Audubon Bay Bridge and soared over the other tower on its way to the bubble works soap factory in St. Canard which was actually a front for a tiny S.H.U.S.H. installation below ground.
Underneath the Bubble works factory the thin, dark haired figure of Dr. Sarah Bellum one of S.H.U.S.H.'s top research scientists was contemplating the current object of her labors. Things were certainly different now that terrorism was the top concern for S.H.U.S.H., Of course many of F.O.W.L.'s plots were terrorism, but having to deal with preventing terror threats was exhausting.
Sarah much preferred being able to concentrate on research and development of new applications for technology. Her favorite pastime was finding new defense applications because of the freedom that came with being able to think as outlandishly as she wanted. More often than not, her free wheeling thinking ended up producing something different than she intended, but it was almost always something useful; particularly since the current director, J. Gander Hooter had set up the Hero's Directive.
The Fiendish Organization for World Larceny had been content to try grandiose schemes that required long periods of preparation but lately they had been learning from some much smaller and more violently active groups of criminals and that was bad. Fortunately Director Hooter had always been a forward thinker and had been trying to find and recruit as many different types of personnel as possible ever since taking over as head of S.H.U.S.H. . His insistence on expanding their personnel and capacities had met with considerable resistance at first, but for the last five years or so he'd been proven right too often for his critics to say anything against Director Hooter or his policies.
The Justice Ducks were the most obvious result, at least on home soil, but she knew there were several other groups being secretly trained and recruited throughout the country. Of course she only knew this because of her position as head of research for home office. The only reason the Justice Ducks had received so much media coverage was because of its connection with Gizmoduck and the paparazzi's attempts to involve Scrooge McDuck in their feeding frenzies. Unfortunately, this meant that their time table was being rushed some and that meant less time to be certain of all the parts of the plan.
Well at least they could make use of this experiment to achieve several objectives at once. They could use this opportunity to see how well the material stood up to real world criteria and they could provide a prominent figure with a little bit more peace of mind, hopefully anyway. Just then her wrist watch alarm went off telling her that the Thunderquack had just requested to land in the bubble works.
Grinning to herself Sarah thought 'I'd better go topside and meet them, without an escort Launchpad tends to knock over or drop nearly everything and if I don't keep Darkwing focused he'll get all distracted and I need to have this stuff delivered before it get's too late so Agent G will not think he's lost in protocol.'
Launchpad's normally good natured face was troubled as he glanced at the subdued Quiverwing securely belted in the back seat and the stiff figure beside him he tried to think of a way to get them to make up without stepping on DW's parenting. The sky opened up with a roar as the clouds unleashed their rain on St. Canard which coincidentally made for very good cover for the plane as it moved over the city.
Visibility dropped dramatically and DW's hands clenched on the specially installed crash holds he had had LP put in the plane after the Taurus Bulba case and his first experiences with his sidekicks flying style. Although to be honest it was the landings that tended to panic him.
Clearing his throat LP asked gently, "Aw, Gee DW, I hate it when you two fight, I know it was wrong of QW to say anything to Director Hooter and now she knows it was wrong, and well you already told her she's grounded when we get home so can't you lighten up a little?"
Launchpad ventured carefully. "It's never a good thing to go on a mission angry and this is a great time for you to tell her all about fighting crime and deducting and …."
His hopeful speech was cut short by a flash of lightning which he dodged as he radioed their position to the Bubble Works which responded by opening the center of it's roof to allow the jet to hover into a surprisingly smooth landing.
A small smile actually touched his friends face as he popped the canopy, "Actually LP it's deducing when you are following clues, it's deducting when you are doing math."
He chuckled and his mood lightened as he added. "I'd love to know why you can land this thing like a feather in a storm but you can't push a shopping cart down the produce aisle without disaster wreaking havoc."
His tone was affectionate and he punched his sidekick and best friend gently on the arm and sighed. "Okay Quiverwing, you may get out of the plane but STAY with me or Launchpad and don't touch anything okay?"
"Yes sir." answered the very subdued voice of the person he loved most in the entire world.
Launchpad smiled at Quiverwing and lifted her out of the cockpit. She ran to catch up to DW who was walking toward Sarah Bellum one of S.H.U.S.H.'s top scientists; Dr. Bellum also had a minor degree in medicine as he found out when she ended up helping medics patch him back up. Drake was only twenty five but sometimes his extensive injuries made him dread surviving to a respectable old age. It would be a miracle if his body held up.
He glanced sideways at the little girl who was trotting beside him and an uncharacteristic smile flitted across his face again as he took her hand. Suddenly he was filled with a new determination to not only see that justice was served but that they remained a happy family. He pushed aside these uncharacteristically gloomy musings, why he was thinking these things now puzzled him a little.
Normally when on a mission for S.H.U.S.H. he was so eager to successfully prove J Gander's faith in him was justified he seldom thought about anything but being the crime fighter Darkwing Duck. Taking Quiverwing along on missions still seemed so risky; he still had major doubts about it. That must be where this was coming from. He shook off these feelings and let go of Quiverwing's hand to shake Dr. Bellum's.
Grinning Sarah said, "Well Darkwing, I see you made it, who's this?"
"Does she have clearance?" Dr. Bellum asked in a kind tone.
A note of pride he just couldn't stop entered his voice as he introduced his companion with a wink at her which made the anxiety in her face fade. "This is Quiverwing Quack; J. Gander knows she's here so she has clearance. She's going along to help with security on this mission."
"Well good, maybe she can keep the lid on this thing while you are in route." Said Dr. Bellum as four burly assistants carried a small box that was about a foot tall and two feet wide and two feet deep to the Thunderquack and strap it in next to the harness that was Quiverwing's seat.
"Keen Gear; is something alive in there?" Quiverwing asked.
She froze realizing too late that she might be getting into more trouble and stole an anxious look at her father. He was glancing nervously at the box which appeared very heavy for its size and so failed to react badly to her outburst of enthusiasm.
"No," Dr. Bellum replied a little absently as she finished writing something on a small piece of paper.
She continued, "It's actually a special alloy that we have been developing in hopes of improving buildings resistance and such against explosive impacts."
Excitedly Quiverwing asked, "You mean like when Negaduck try's to explode things?"
"Well, yes I guess." Stuttered Dr. Bellum slightly taken aback at the ducklings inclusion of St. Canard's current public enemy 1 into the conversation.
Sarah gazed at the two of them fondly. Putting aside the fact that the duckling was so very young, she could see the similarities in the energy and intensity displayed between the duckling and her father. She often found out really interesting mysteries in the course of her work and the intimate connection between these two was one of them.
Of course Sarah had known that Darkwing had adopted professor Waddlemire's granddaughter. She had been on the review board that had approved Drake's mental state and background check to comply with state regulations for adoptions and she was one of the people who took care of them when they were hurt.
From the looks things here, it seemed as though their similarities were even closer than she had thought. Not that this was BAD or anything…Many children took after one parent more than the other but still it WAS strange…. Sarah's woolgathering was interrupted as Darkwing tipped his fedora to her and swung Quiverwing into the cockpit.
"Are there security codes or coordinates we need in order to make our delivery?" He asked more because S.H.U.S.H. seemed to thrive on unnecessary complications than because he thought there were any. To his surprise Dr. Bellum gave him the small paper she had been writing on.
Smiling to herself Sarah said, "Here you are Darkwing. I recommend you memorize them; the paper they are on will disintegrate in two minutes."
He shrugged and focused on the paper taking slow deep breaths he concentrated until it fell apart in his fingers and jumped into the cockpit of the jet which promptly revved it's engines and lifted off the floor in a neat vertical take off while waiting for the roof to open far enough to allow the plane to leave.
Unfortunately Dr. Bellum wasn't fast enough to avoid getting soaked by the torrential downpour that came in the roof and let out an indignant squawk and ran for the underground research lab. Putting aside the intriguing mystery that the two masked operatives represented, Dr. Bellum thought to herself, 'Well at least I don't have to worry about that shipment now. I think I'll indulge in some hot coffee and see about that artificial vertigo spray I was working on maybe Dr. Francis has finished the testing by now.'
She smiled perkily at the workers she passed on her way downstairs and gave no more thought to the box now entrusted to our heroes, or to their mysterious pasts; other than to mark her clipboard full of forms and drop a stack of them at a security checkpoint for filing and focus on her next objective.
Tucking her lab coat securely around her she went about her day…after all; Director Hooter wasn't going to let her spend much time in a small auxiliary facility indulging herself with this kind of research. As head of home office's science branch she was going to have to report back to her usual lab tomorrow.
The connections between Darkwing and his daughter were a mystery for another day or whenever really…. After all, she had typed and cross matched blood and tissue samples and lined up donors for them as well as the rest of the Justice Ducks and finding out they were compatible was hardly earthshaking news. If the worst ever happened, then Sarah would inform the necessary people to protect them, but until then, no one else needed to know.
The Thunderquack was racing through the sky headed for Duckburg when DW caught the tell tale sounds of 'Someone' trying to open the box.
Struggling to restrain his own curiosity, Darkwing said. "Quiverwing, one of the reasons we get to do top secret stuff like deliver research materials is BECAUSE we don't PEEK!"
He turned in his seat to look at Quiverwing who blushed. "Sorry Darkwing it was force of habit like looking for my birthday presents. Speaking of which I know I'm grounded when we get home but can I still have my birthday party? "
He had to smile at the trembling beak and liquid filled green eyes that searched his face anxiously. His throat tightened painfully and his voice turned husky.
Speaking quietly he said. "Yeah Kiddo I wouldn't take away our first Birthday Party together over this as long as you do exactly as I say on this mission so you don't get hurt."
"Thanks dad" She reached up to hug him slipping out of her safety harness and scaring Darkwing half to death.
Panicking DW exclaimed. "GOS…I mean Quiverwing! Get back into your harness this instant! You could get hurt."
She giggled in his ear and said with a smile "Okay don't hurt yourself dad."
He dramatically wiped his brow and replaced his hat turning to face the windshield he reached into a compartment in the dashboard and pulled out a photocopy of one of his first cases.
With a truly happy tone in his voice he passed the papers to Gosalyn and said. "Okay Quiverwing, this is an actual case I solved a long time ago. Look it over. You should have all the information needed in there to figure out what happened. We can talk about it and I'll help you if you get stuck but this is an important lesson in becoming a crime solver not just a vigilante in a mask and if you truly do decide to be a hero on the streets full time then you can start training now."
He winked at her and added, "I can hardly wait to show you my other little surprise."
He grinned at her excited bounce. "WOW! What is it?"
Smiling mysteriously he said. "You'll have to wait and see Quiverwing. Study the file and let me know when you think you have it figured out or if you have any questions okay."
"Sure thing Darkwing," she began looking at the file, excitedly muttering to herself as she began perusing the case. Darkwing tilted his hat over his face feeling unusually tired and closed his eyes suddenly not even caring if the plane was lurching because of turbulence from the rain.
Here is the first chapter I have revised it some so please read and review thank you Irual. Also I have updated the timeframe of my stories from the original cartoon. This is actually starting in the year 2008 not 1991 and so I have updated the technology as the story has progressed. I am remaining as true to the cartoon as I can but there will be non cannon events revealed as you continue to read my stuff. If anyone finds any errors as they read PLEASE do contact me and I'll be glad to fix whatever I messed up.