Disclaimer: Disney owns all their characters and I am making no money from my hobby and am sharing their adventures for responses only so please feed my need. Also in my fanfics the plots happen starting in February of 2008 calendar year but the characters are the ages they were in the cartoons. (Gosalyn's Birthday happened in Hexes and Vexes which makes her now 10; Honker's 10th birthday happened in the cartoon, In Hexes I state that Drake is 25 and for purposes of my plots Launchpad is approximately 5 years or so older than Drake.) I am also upgrading the technology quite a bit while trying to remain true to the source material. Please let me know if this works well or not. Thank you Irual
Darkwing stretched and yawned; glancing at his wrist watch he sighed and decided to grab a cup of coffee. He'd been following the money from the advertising for the charity fundraiser Thursday ever since he'd gotten back to the lair Friday night and it was now technically Saturday.
As Darkwing turned from the console it automatically went into secured hibernation mode and powered down. Even though he'd rested at the house and even caught his usual four hours of sleep he had worked through his second routine sleep period and it was catching up to him.
Launchpad was finishing the last of his inspections and tuning up of the Thunderquack. He was on his back on a creeper board tinkering with something underneath the plane's cockpit with the access hatch leaning on his upright tool box and muttering to himself as he worked.
Darkwing suppressed a grin as he tip toed past his best friend and snuck to the kitchenette in hopes of getting his coffee without Launchpad's gentle nagging about getting some rest. However, Launchpad wasn't as distracted as he seemed and he heard the coffee pot gurgle and slid out from under the plane and moved to the sink wiping his hands with a rag.
Drake looked a little guilty as he glanced at Launchpad and said, "Hi, LP. I didn't mean to disturb you…."
Launchpad grinned and looked at Darkwing's coffee mug before saying, "I'm not disturbed…just tired. Don't you think we should call it a night? We have to start for Duckburg in a few hours anyway and I'd feel better about the drive with a nap under my belt."
Yawning to emphasize his point the lanky pilot waited while his best friend and boss tried and failed to suppress a yawn of his own. Sighing Darkwing gave in. Usually his stubborn streak would have put up more of a fight, but he WAS tired. Inside DW knew LP was right, he would make more progress once he was rested. Even this weekend trip would work out since he could use his new portable mini laptop to continue checking things even though they were going to be gone until Monday.
He nodded and said, "You're right LP. Would you bring the messenger bag with you? I already packed the mini PC and there's room in the bag for Gosalyn's as well."
He grimaced and added wryly, "Although I admit I HOPE she does something a little more active and cooperative with the ducklings than computer games."
Launchpad nodded agreeably as he finished fastening the access hatch back over the oil line of the jet and picked up the desired bag. Laughing a little as they went to the chairs to go home Launchpad added, "I understand DW, but I think it's smart to be prepared. If it rains Gos will want her machine if they play Worlds of Wonder."
Herb Muddlefoot woke up from his Saturday afternoon nap to the rather jarring sound of his bedside phone ringing. Picking up the receiver he said jovially, "Hiya Frank. I'm feeling fine and dandy, even if I do say so himself. Yes Binkums and the boys are just great. The little woman has been cooking up a storm all morning; she want's to be sure you and the boys have plenty to eat while we are gone. I really appreciate this Frank."
On the other end of the line, Frank Muddlefoot smiled eerily as he continued, "it's no problem at all. I am just glad I happened to be getting back in the country in time to help you out…. I haven't spent much time in the U.S. in what…it must be close to two years and I want to reconnect with my nephews. From the picture you and Binkie sent at Christmas, I could see how much the boys have grown. No, no I insist, it's the least I can do Herb. I have even arranged for a little surprise as my own anniversary gift for you and Binkie…."
He laughed and the intense, hungry look in his eyes would have frightened anyone who saw it as he finished in the same warm and caring tone, "Ah, ah, ah little brother, if I tell you it won't be a surprise. I'll be there this afternoon and we'll do some catching up. I am looking forward to it."
He hung up the phone and hurried up the sidewalk towards the unimposing, very solid door in the brick wall. Frank Muddlefoot had arrived in St. Canard on Friday and stayed at the Astoria Hotel while he waited for his employer. As per their agreement over the phone two days earlier, Flintheart had arranged to meet at the Velvet Rope. This was a very discrete, private, and expensive establishment that catered to the very rich, the very criminal; and especially those who were both.
Frank took a deep breath and steadied his breathing for a moment. His conversation with Herb had temporarily shifted his thoughts from his almost uncomfortable position but…. In his own mind at least, he had to admit that the clientele here was far above his usual haunts.
Frank drew himself up and bolstered his courage. Granted, he wasn't the kind of big time operator that this place catered to. But given his hobbies and the kinds of jobs he took to pay his bills; he really preferred to be thought of as a harmless, small-timer. Moving past the red velvet ropes that crisscrossed each other in front of the entrance he knocked confidently.
His appointment with Flintheart Glomgold wasn't until four, but since Glomgold was footing the bill Frank had decided to arrive a little early and have a meal on the old skinflint. The peek hole near the top of the door slid open and a pair of dark brown eyes, far more menacing than his own peered at him before the door swung open to reveal a black furred grizzly bear in a chocolate colored, Parisian suit.
His pale pink, silk shirt and dark chocolate tie with it's matching pattern of interwoven stripes should have made the huge ursine less intimidating and yet the fellow carried the look effortlessly. Frank walked in as though he came here everyday and nodded to the second identically dressed bear waiting to frisk him.
Morgana hummed to herself as she puttered around her manor. She was trying to organize the guest rooms since she had had a premonition that she was going to have company here in St. Canard soon.
Morgana actually hoped this meant that some of the Monster kind and Mage-born from home were going to need a safe place to stay while they visited, but SEEING wasn't something she was strong in so there weren't any details at all. Archie stirred from his place in the rafters where he was placing some decorative cobwebs and glanced at the mirror as the house defenses reacted to yet another intrusion. The mirror above the mantle in the guestroom flared and a vision appeared showing Morgana and her familiars the front porch and then split to show the back as well.
The porch was starting to shift warningly since the duck waiting nervously in front of the door hadn't knocked yet and the more nervous he became the more the porch reacted. Morgana peered into the mirror hanging above the mantle and gestured before hurrying to the door and the doorknocker opened his eyes to speak to the Normal.
While Eek flew through the chimney to relay her instructions to the gargoyles; the Quackmoronicon flapped his way to the workroom to activate the portal locks. Morgana wasn't shy about her people OR her power, but she knew that Normals needed careful handling to understand that she wasn't bad just because she was different.
This being so, she wanted these people to experience her lands and its ways while making a positive impression so she moved to the porch first. Ahab and the other gargoyles would herd the others to the front and she could use the interval between when they showed up and when she answered the door to defuse their fear and channel it something else. Of course what else they thought would depend on them but….If she wanted to live here and build her life with Dark, she had to at least begin to win some acceptance from the others who lived here.
Opening her door, she smiled at the duck on her doorstep and asked. "What brings you to Macabre Manor?"
Guiltily he tried to say something but as he was stuttering the other three sentients, most likely television reporters from the equipment they held; came staggering around the corner of the porch escorted by six of the gargoyles who landed heavily on the roof of the porch and the gables she had just had installed yesterday.
Morgana gave them her BEST enigmatic smile and offered, "Now that you are all present, won't you come in? I'm sure I can enlighten you."
All four of them gulped but the lady duck in charge gathered her wits and her courage and offered her hand in greeting saying, "I'd love to do an interview with you Ms. Macabre. I'm Daisy Duck from channel thirteen news and entertainment in Duckburg and…."
Morgana's smile warmed a fraction and she offered, "Ah yes, I saw one of your broadcasts…a show called, 'what in the world', wasn't it? I DO hope you aren't trying to cast me in a bad light Ms. Duck."
Daisy laughed uncomfortably and said, "Oh no, in television you are only as good as your last success and I have moved on since that was aired."
Daisy looked conspiratorial and admitted, "In fact, I am hoping an exclusive interview with you will give me the edge I need to get a segment of my own on the tri state broadcast."
Morgana gestured gracefully and her door opened wide to admit Daisy and her crew. "As a business woman myself I understand how difficult it can be to make a place for yourself; Daisy…. Let's sit down and chat, I am currently developing some new menu items for my restaurant and I should have a few samples ready by the time you have set up your equipment."
Gosalyn grumped a little from her place in the back seat of the car, "Geez Dad, I still don't see why you wouldn't let me even ASK Webbigail and the guys if Honker could come too."
Sighing again and asking for patience Drake replied in as calm a voice as he could, "GOSALYN, …honey, I know you and Honker usually hang out together and I know the ducklings all like Honker too, but he had company from Europe coming to visit! His Uncle hasn't seen him in at least a year and Herb and Binkie WANTED Honker to visit with his Uncle."
An irritated grunt was the only reply he got until he lost patience and said in his best irritated Father voice, "I don't want to hear another word about this Gosalyn and I expect you to be on your BEST behavior…UNDERSTAND?"
Sighing Gosalyn gave in, there was no reason to make Dad really angry after all. Her bracelet tingled making all her feathers fluff as she tried again to shake off the feelings of dread and anxiety she had been trying to deal with ever since she had been informed at breakfast that they were going to Duckburg to stay at the McDuck Estate until Monday and that Honker was staying home. That last bit was the part that had been the reason she was upset, not the trip itself, but being ten sucked as much as being nine as far as winning an argument with dad when he was in his 'I'm the parent so what I say goes ' mood.
Still unhappy about having to leave Honker behind without even finding out if he COULD come Gosalyn muttered, "Yessir…. "
Before she could slip on her headphones to listen to her I pod Drake offered, "Gos sweetie, I'm sorry about Honker we'll call him later tonight okay?"
Seeing her actions in the mirror on the sun visor Drake winced a little and then offered, "I brought the car adapter Gos, pass your I pod up here and I'll run it through the radio so you don't have to wear the headphones."
Launchpad glanced in the rearview mirror and hid a grin since Gosalyn's grumpy pout was being duplicated by Drake beside him. But she handed over her music without a fight and waited patently until Drake got it all plugged in and soon enough they were all singing along to Heron Montana and the Jaynus Brothers as well as several other young pop stars. Launchpad took the musical selections in stride since he didn't actually mind them and he knew Drake was singing along as a way to distract Gos, but even so LP was impressed that Drake managed to restrain his sarcasm over the fame and musical merit of the youngsters on Gosalyn's play list all the way to Duckburg.
James Gander Hooter sighed tiredly as he glanced to the digital clock on the wall. He had been hard at work all day and he STILL wasn't anywhere near done with the mounds of paperwork he needed to read and approve or send on to someone else. But it WAS five thirty and if he didn't leave now he'd be late for his appointment.
The follow through on Darkwing's going public was actually going very smoothly. Whoever had set the caped and masked vigilante up as the newest celebrity of the tri state area had done so with a thoroughness that had set off the instincts for trouble that every senior S.H.U.S.H. agent, researcher and bureaucrat had.
In spite of this though, there hadn't been even a hint of trouble, none that is except the curve ball Darkwing himself had thrown by publicly announcing his engagement to Ms. Macabre at the fund raiser instead of clearing it through them first. But given Grizzlikof's report, Hooter grinned wryly as he imagined the scene; it wasn't that surprising to see how Drake had to have been desperate to keep Morgana from becoming upset either with him or the fans that had been so…enthusiastic in their admiration of him.
Moving briskly to the outer office Director Hooter nodded to Benji and said, "I am off to my dinner engagement. If something comes up my personal line will be available of course."
Benji looked up from her desk and nodded respectfully, "Yes sir, I'll handle things here until the night shift arrives. Gregory is coming along nicely and he should be entirely capable…. Unless something drastic happens but even then, we shall keep you informed. Have a goodnight Director."
Hooter's expression turned surprisingly mischievous as he moved to the elevator and answered, "I certainly hope to Benji."
He joined his right hand male, First Agent Grizzlikof who was also going down to the underground parking garage. "Ahh First Agent Grizzlikof, Going home on time for once?"
The burly bear nodded non-committal way and hit the button. Director Hooter didn't know it of course, but he was getting a chauffeured ride to the restaurant. Now a days it was too risky for Director Hooter to be wandering around without SOMEONE around to keep an eye on things. Just because nothing had happened yet didn't mean First Agent Grizzlikof was going to be caught off guard.
A few minutes later, Hooter got out of the company car. With a rueful smile he moved quietly into his favorite café. He was supposed to meet Gandra and Fenton here in just a few more minutes. Seating himself in his regular booth and nodding to his usual waitress; Hooter slipped his teabag into the pot of hot water she brought and waited with carefully concealed glee for his darling daughter and her fiancé to arrive.
Meanwhile, Fenton was nervously escorting Gandra down a small side street in St. Canard. When she told him that she wanted him to meet her father he had of course been more than a little nervous, but it only made sense that she wanted her family to meet him. Honestly he hadn't expected that they would go to St. Canard OR be walking down the sidewalk in this old fashioned neighborhood. Unable to help himself, he glanced around and noticed the independently owned and operated businesses, restaurants and some really well maintained small apartment buildings. He had never been in this area of St. Canard in either of his guises, but somehow he knew that there was a great deal more to this neighborhood than what showed on the surface.
A little ways down the block he noticed a small news van in front of a florist shop and stiffened as his heroic side kicked in. Then he relaxed as he realized the crew was trying to interview the older goosey lady who was just locking up.
Her kindly and jovial attitude spoke more than words as she finished securing her storefront with a lightweight metal fence across the windows that she moved into place easily all by herself. One of the news crew asked her how effective this could be since it was so light and she laughed good-naturedly and admitted that she used it to placate her family.
They didn't like the thought of her locking up and walking home alone, but she wasn't worried. The patrol officers of the St. Canard Police Department came by every evening and she timed her walk with their patrols. Besides the gangs here were very well behaved and never bothered the locals.
With an earthy laugh the florist admitted, the gangs HAD been a lot more unruly a few months ago, but after encountering Darkwing Duck they had become very well behaved. Fenton felt Gandra closing his beak for him as she giggled and gestured to the door of the little café they were now in front of and Fenton lost the rest of that remarkable conversation as he scrambled to open the door for Gandra.
As they entered he noticed the counter loaded with what looked to be a large selection of deserts and a friendly waitress offered to seat them just as Gandra smiled and waved to someone in a corner booth. Moving forward, Fenton suddenly felt faint as he realized who they were meeting.
Struggling with his composure he tried not to stumble as the diminutive owl in the old fashioned suit stood to greet them. Admiring Gandra's ring and hugging her warmly James Hooter looked deeply into her eyes before turning to gaze at Fenton. Fenton managed to shake Hooter's hand and stutter a greeting as he realized that Hooter KNEW about everything and from the twinkle in the owl's eyes he was enjoying this FAR more than Fenton thought possible.
First Agent Grizzlikof had wanted to stick around the neighborhood in case of trouble but Hooter had drawn the line at being escorted to the café. Instead of sticking by his comrade and boss he had been told in no uncertain terms to take the rest of the night off and since tomorrow was Sunday he wasn't to go into the office tomorrow either. Not unless Benji or Gregory called him in or he heard from Hooter himself.
Sighing Griz decided to put his downtime to good use and get a late meal at the Velvet Rope. He hadn't been there in over two weeks and Lady Velvet was too good a contact not to listen to. Besides, even if she had nothing for him or S.H.U.S.H. her chefs were VERY good and he was tired of the usual mediocre fare he ate at the S.H.U.S.H. cafeteria and hippo burgers.
Glancing in his rearview mirror he grinned recognizing Tussie Mussie from the fundraiser at the park. She was certainly taking advantage of her opportunities. Her shop was now considered quaint and trendy and the rest of the businesses here were receiving the benefits of publicity as well.
The brownstones and row houses here were all fully tenanted and well kept and several of the more industrial buildings had been bought by a real estate investor who also had been bitten by the acting bug since this Mr. Mallard had also recently acquired the old neighborhood theater and several of the buildings on the edge of this more well to do area.
According to the investigation he had sunk quite a bit of money into bringing the buildings up to code, and there were extensive renovations and restorations involved. The theater was being outfitted with modern projection capacity as well as the actual stage for performances and according to Dr. Bellum who sat in on the board of the symphony the new owner was even trying to arrange a concert schedule already.
Grizzlikof snorted and drove off shaking his head at his own foolish feeling of unease. That neighborhood had withstood the encroachment of time and crime and was actually stable and as solid as could be but….
Griz knew he was a suspicious sort of person and the surname Mallard was one of the most common in the tri state area. In fact it was second only to Duck for native and immigrant Avians but something about that whole set up concerned him. Oh it was nothing he could put a paw on, but he felt there was something important he was missing.
Deciding to put off being paranoid for one evening he went to Velvet's. Her place was a whole other world away from the old school, hard working people of the district that Hooter favored even if it was just a few miles distant in geography. This time of night it was still early enough that he should be able to find a secure space to park the company sedan in the underground and still be fairly close to the door when Lewis and Clark began working the crowd.
Black Secret snarled to herself as she staggered out of the shop mart grocery store. For some reason she had yet to understand, she HAD to have more pills. These high mineral vitamin supplements were the only thing that tended to keep her mind clear.
Whenever she tried to go more than six or eight hours without a handful of them, her thinking turned weird. She KNEW those looser weasels wouldn't have been a challenge to someone like her even IF these strange episodes weren't happening, but what little she remembered didn't make any sense.
Staggering a little she reached a small room she had rented a few days ago and tried to open the door. Her vision wavered and the key proved to be a choosy companion and after dropping both it and the bottles of vitamins she struck the wall beside the door in frustration.
A strange tingling sensation traveled up her arm and centered in the lower part of her torso and she vaguely remembered that she ought to be careful, that was the arm that had been badly cut just the day before yesterday. But she didn't feel hurt and a careful examination showed only her dark plumage and a curious discoloration in her skin at the base of her feathers but there was no sign of any injury. So she dismissed the memory of being hurt as another one of those strange unexplainable things that had happened in the last day or so and turned to stare at the television set.
It was tuned to a local newscast that was still covering some kind of entertainment that had been held in St. Canard Municipal Park Thursday. Even though the film was two days old, they were trying to squeeze a little more air time from the footage by expanding the story and showing some of the criminals that were the usual foils for Darkwing Duck.
For some reason the sight of the short mallard in the dark purple jacket was irritating but it was the footage of an identical mallard in a yellow jacket and red hat that made her blood boil. Suddenly enraged, she found her left arm raised and pointed at the television set. She made a clenching motion with her fist and suddenly the television smoked and sparked as the tube broke and the case containing the rest of the pieces fell apart.
The heavy feeling in her chest had faded and now she felt a bit faint but she was determined not to pass out again. Moving to the phone on the table she dialed a number from memory and sat heavily down to talk so she wouldn't have to concentrate on standing up.
Speaking firmly she said, "This is Black Secret checking in, no…he's still in play. I told you I would…yes sir I'll report back by Monday evening."
As she hung up she looked distinctly irritated but then calmed as the arid smell of smoking wires and broken electronics wafted to her nares. Looking carefully at her fist she shook her hand and tried to figure out why she was so dizzy but the effort proved to be too much.
Slumping tiredly onto the old couch she decided to take a nap before finding transport out of this dump. Just before she fell asleep she gulped a few more of the little tablets that she needed so urgently and passed out to snore on her back as the noise of late afternoon traffic filled the dingy room.
Alrighty, this is actually where I planned on leaving this fic since it is the set up for the next 4 or 5 plots I am working on. I am already working on the first chapters of Grounding Elmo, King's & Pawns, Velvet ties and Trials & Tribulations.
If for some reason I have gone senile and have left something dangling that is confusing, or if there is something else I need to address please e mail or PM me and I'll work out any kinks and don't worry the first chapter of at least one of the aforementioned plots should be up and running very soon.
All four of those happen simultaneously in terms of plot time but they may not all take as long as T&T. That one I am actually pretty nervous about and so I will probably post the villain centric ones first, or at least parts of them. That way all of you spiffy readers who have been following the ducky madness that spews forth from my brain will get to see what happens to the Fearsome Five while T&T happens.
(Also I have a couple of ideas for 'Through Rose Colored Glass' which is supposed to be a Bushroot fic but it is proving to be a very …thorny customer. So it will most likely be a while before I post any of it.)
Please leave reviews and let me know what you think thank you Irual