"First, we separate the Positrons from the Negatrons!"
With the pull of a lever, Megavolt sent a red translucent beam from his Tron-Splitter toward the bank's vault. The beam expanded conically, encompassing the whole of the circular safe door. Megavolt himself beamed a smile, for he already knew what would happen next. The very essence of the safe door divided in two. To the left of where the proper door once stood, each of its positive particles reassembled themselves—and a brightly golden version of the door shined splendidly. To the right of where that original door had stood, its negative particles also reassembled—creating a blackened, dark parody. Both safe doors, light and dark, remained locked.
But, where the actual door had once stood, there was now nothingness. An empty gap. Megavolt sprinted through the conical beam to that opening, for he wanted to work quickly. After all, how healthy was it to keep light and dark elements separated from each other for very long?
He ran through the opening that had once been the vault's protection. He then proceeded to grab bag after bag. Bags which undoubtedly contained cash, gold, gems. Riches valuable enough to sell for precious lightbulbs, batteries, extension cords, or whatever his heart could imagine. Finally, Megavolt sprinted back through the opening, his arms extended outward to carry the gratuitous pile of moneybags. The newly created negative door flanked his left; the positive door, his right. Running through the "nothingness" between those doors felt just a little bit creepy.
Huh. Could a door really be positive or negative? Good or evil? Who cares. They could be manipulated to give him access to loot. That's all that mattered. But just to be safe, Megavolt dropped his bags to the ground.
"And second, we remerge them!"
A push of the Tron-Splitter's lever did exactly that. Seamlessly, the positive and negative doors shifted back toward each other until they occupied the same space. The original door stood as it once was, not a scratch to show for the effort.
Trons. The building blocks of good and evil. What a beautiful, abusable characteristic of nature!
Megavolt smirked. "Easier than replacing a lightbulb!"
His smirk disappeared as his gloved fingers felt through the topmost bag of his ill-gotten payoff. "Ball bearings?" Indeed, a stack of metallic ball bearings rested in his palm instead of gold bars or diamonds. What gives? It was a setup. It had to be. And that meant …
"I a—*cough cough*—am the terror that—*cough cough*"
Darkwing Dope. And Megavolt had been having such a good day, too.
The pile of stolen bags began to move through their own power, unstacking themselves until only the bottom bag remained. The voice had been coming from this bag. Now it bounced violently, like a Mexican jumping bean, and a small whiff of purple smoke began to leak through its opening. Clearly Darkwing had managed to botch his trademark entrance and was now choking on his own smoke. Good. Serves the do-gooder right.
"*cough*—that flaps in the night—*cough HACK HACK*"
Maybe the duck would just die. Right now, choking to death. Wouldn't that be a jolt of good luck?
But no. The sack kept talking, and now it was bouncing toward Megavolt. "I am the cat—*cough cough cough*—that somebody let out—*cough*—of the bag!"
A thin blade, perhaps from a pocketknife, slit through the bag from its inside. The cloud of smoke poured out this new opening, along with that caped cretin himself. Darkwing struggled to stand, working his webbed foot free from the sack as he continued. "*cough*—I AM DARKWING…" He grunted once more, fighting to kick the bag aside. "…duck."
Exhaling in victory, or perhaps exhaustion, Darkwing strode toward Megavolt and his mysterious device.
"Hey! Nice Tron-Splitter, Megavolt. Birthday present?"
The machine was actually modest-looking, considering the true power it held. It resembled an early style camera and was about the size of one, mounted on a tripod that made it no taller than either the rat or the duck that stood before it. That only made it easier for Megavolt to lift it now, compress the tripod's legs together, and rest it on his shoulder, all while that feathered blowhard was making conversation.
It was time to bolt. Megavolt extended his right index finger and emptied lightning into Darkwing. As expected, the duck leapt into the air as electrical surges bulged his eyes and displayed his skeleton. Megavolt made for the window, folding the Tron-Splitter into backpack form and strapping it behind him as he ran.
"He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day!"
He leapt out the window, and fell. An unforgiving concrete street lay several stories below, where casual honks of traffic could be heard.
No. No, he didn't leap out the window. That would be a bad idea. Stepping back into the room, Megavolt panted like a dog.
"I—I forgot we were on the ninetieth floor."
Darkwing reached into his cape and retrieved his signature gas gun, leveling it in Megavolt's direction. "The show's over, Megavolt, and the credits are all mine. Now suck gas, evil-doer!"
Drat. Megavolt had used most of his battery power to fry Darkwing just a moment ago; now he was low on juice. Instead, he reached for his own firearm: a laser pistol that was fully charged. Yes… yes, the ball bearings! Megavolt took aim not for Darkwing, but for those metallic orbs.
"Eat wrecking ball, creep!"
Was there anything more beautiful than electromagnetism? As if they were part of a choreographed dance, the ball bearings shifted with the laser's blast to form a much larger, corporate ball of metallic destruction.
But say what you would about Dimwing, he was quick on his feet. As the wrecking ball swung his way, the do-gooder merely… well… he ducked.
"I already ate, thanks!"
And there it came. Megavolt exhaled a soft whimper: "Uh oh."
To him, the next series of events unfolded in slow motion. The wrecking ball speeding his way, gaining momentum as it completed its arc. Slamming into his body. Carrying him out the window, as he held onto the ball bearings for dear life. Then breaking, allowing him to begin his fall to the street. Setting off the Tron-Splitter.
The Tron-Splitter fired a wild beam into the bank. A direct hit on Darkwing.
Megavolt didn't see the hit, nor would he have cared at the time. All he cared about was that loud screaming, right in his ear. The screaming that was coming from his own mouth, projecting downward to the pavement as he plunged face-first. The street came closer and closer as he fell, and the last things he remembered were a manhole… a sewer... and the bright splash of light he saw upon landing in that sludge water.
Why couldn't he have just hit concrete?
It was hours before Megavolt regained consciousness. His hand instinctively reached for his cranium.
"Ohh… my head. Stupid Darkwing."
Staggering to his feet, he flicked some of the suspiciously colored water from his bodysuit. His tongue extended in disgust.
"Yuck. Sewer water. As if being short-circuited wasn't enough, sheesh!"
Megavolt stepped to the relatively dry corridors of the sewer, walking through them as he gathered his wits about him again.
"Okay, everything's okay. Yeah. Just gotta wait until my battery recharges, that's all. Then I'll be on full power again. So the bank was a bust. So what?" He shrugged to himself. "I'll just hit another one. Dullwing can't be in ALL of the bags of money in ALL of the banks, can he? I'll just take my… MY TRON-SPLITTER!"
He turned in alarm, having just now remembered that the precious weapon had been acting as a backpack when he plummeted over ninety stories into a pool of filthy water. An occasional spark came from the Tron-Splitter, sure, but other than that:
"Hmm. The damage doesn't look too bad on you, girl. I think we'll have you up and running again in no ti…"
Megavolt stopped. Though he had turned his head around to check the Tron-Splitter on his back, there was something more interesting that had caught his eye. There, in the shadows of the sewer, a small creature stared at him.
"Well hey there, little guy."
The creature was somehow eerie and cutesy at the same time. It was ink-black and only came up to Megavolt's waist. It twitched about like an animal, as if its body were following the movements of the antennae on its head. The face was empty and shapeless, no mouth or nose. But two bright, empty yellow eyes shone like lightbulbs in Megavolt's direction.
Megavolt chuckled nervously. "Heh. Heh, creepy little shadowy thing. Okay, I'm gonna go somewhere else now." He turned and walked at a quick pace, as one would walk away from a stray dog.
The small creature flinched slightly. Then, it melted into the ground as if it were an actual shadow, shifting quickly in front of Megavolt. It rose from the floor, retaking its physical shape and blocking his path.
"Hey! Back off, you creep!"
Megavolt leveled both hands toward the dark creature and pressed his gloved fingers together, sending an electrical blast its way. The creature instantly exploded in the impact, its shadowy form dissipating into the air.
"Wow. Guess that did the trick. Can you believe all the crawly bug things that hang out in these sewers?" He shuddered to himself for emphasis.
Then he saw them. Three more creatures, exactly like the first one.
"That's not good."
It wasn't good. The one electric blast had drained what little charge Megavolt had; now it took nearly all of his effort just to stand. Yet, somehow he managed to spring to the nearest ladder. Climbing up, he pushed the manhole cover aside and pulled his body to the outside world, to freedom.
"You know, if I weren't a convicted felon, I'd vote in a new mayor who'd actually clean up a little down there. A guy can't even…"
Megavolt's jaw dropped as he gazed on St. Canard. "Don't go and call me chicken," he continued mumbling to himself, "but it looks like the sky is falling."
Chaos was the only word. It was dark, pitch black. Whirlwinds carried debris from vehicles and wrecked buildings, flying and crashing into other structures. The steady howl of the wind overpowered any other noises he might have heard. In the distance, multiples of those shadowy creatures sprang from the ground. So they weren't sewer bugs after all.
This was it. This was the end of the world.
A bellowing laugh made itself heard over the wind's howling, and Megavolt turned his head toward the Audubon Bay Bridge. There, standing in the midst of a maelstrom, was what could only be described as a gigantic, colorless version of his lifelong nemesis.
Yes, it was a monstrous, black-and-white Darkwing Duck, easily taller than St. Canard's skyscrapers or the Bay Bridge towers. Lightning streamed from its body, striking out in random directions.
"YOU FOOLS!" it screamed, "I AM THE TERROR, THAT COMMANDS THE VERY NIGHT ITSELF! I AM THE CLOGGED, DECAYING ARTERY, THAT CLOGS UP YOUR HEART!"
Then the monster laughed again. A horrible, merciless laugh.
"Thomas Alva Edison," Megavolt cursed quietly.
He was so frozen in shock that he didn't even feel the small shadow creatures claw at the Tron-Splitter on his back. He hardly realized when it detonated, sending him upward through the sky. And, as it shattered, it seemed as if the very world itself was being rent apart at the core.
Like so many others in St. Canard, Megavolt fell. And now, he found his mind recalling those two vault doors, back at the bank. The two doors that really should have been one door. He remembered passing between them, the chill that went through his body as he stepped through the unnatural nothingness.
And now, though he couldn't prove it, something felt eerily similar. It felt as if there were now two worlds, one to his left and the other to his right, instead of the one correct world beneath him. And when he kept falling, when his feet failed to reach any sturdy ground, Megavolt realized that he was falling into…
…well, he didn't really want to think about it.