On Darkwings, and Dark Knights: Book 2
Damien Nathaniel Wren
Chapter 1: Adulteration
Author's Note: This story picks up where the original "On Darkwings, and Dark Knights" crossover leaves off. If you haven't read it, you may want to start there before continuing even if only to see why Batman ends up wearing a tu-tu. Have fun!
It's been 7 years since Dad – I mean "Darkwing Duck" – took on his first big case … 7 years since he rescued me from Taurus Bulba. 7 years since I started to call the house at 537 Avian Way "home".
St. Canard has changed. The crime rate has dropped considerably. Super-villains the likes of Negaduck,and the Steerminator no longer prowl its streets, and FOWL seems but a memory. There is still a place for those like Darkwing – the neighboring Duckburg still has its fair share of problems and Gizmoduck can't be everywhere, but mostly it's about the use of superior methodologies in solving the more difficult crimes, and bringing in the more stubborn perpetrators.
Having retired, Darkwing Duck is no longer St. Canard's defender – Quiverwing is. Although Dad won't talk about it – and Negaduck can't – about 5 years after he began his career as Darkwing something happened. It's almost like he just … "snapped". He became darker, harsher – more sinister.
As Darkwing he was no longer distracted by his ego. He had a mission.
And by God, he completed it.
The near-death of Negaduck should have told the tale – it most certainly was the beginning of it. The paramedics resuscitated Negaduck 3 times on the way to the hospital – and it turns out twice more after he arrived. He spent months in traction, and when Negaduck's trial came 7 months later he was still being fed through a tube.
It did little for his case, though. The jury quickly reached a guilty verdict on all counts, and Negaduck was sentenced to so many years his great-great-grandchildren will grow-and-die in Max Security.
Not long after Negaduck's … incarceration … Liquidator fell. Having trapped him in a giant, water-sealed glass tank Darkwing turned on a series of high-powered heat lamps – evaporating him completely. By the time he cooled, and re-condensed he was in the hands of the St. Canard PD.
I'll never forget the disappointed look on his face as I asked him how he knew Liquidator would be able to put himself back together again. He scowled, and mounted the Ratcatcher – drove away. To this day I still don't know for sure.
The rest fell, too. He lured Megavolt to St. Canard Power and Light and let him drain the whole city, then dunked him in water. Already mentally unstable, Megavolt endured severe brain damage from the shock. His catatonic, vegetating body was ruled incapable of standing trial, and committed to the local asylum under special guard.
The Steerminator was his next target – and Darkwing took HIM personally. The battle between him and the former Taurus Bulba was dramatic, and destructive. Darkwing used what he referred to as "Equalizer Charges" - something he said he learned about from watching footage of "The Bat" as he battled Quackerjack's insane little toy during the incident in St. Canard Stereo and Speaker.
Developed by Gyro Gearloose on "special request" the miniature, shaped-charges worn on the fists like brass knuckles ripped through the cyborg's metal body like tin-foil – eventually leaving mangled, and twisted Steerminator parts all over the battlefield. There was enough left to stand trial – but barely.
It was the brutality of the encounter with Steerminator that left St. Canard – nay – the entire country reeling in shock, and terror. Footage of the smoking, charred, and broken husks that used to serve as the cyborg's legs was transmitted all over the country, while DuckSpace Video temporarily carried partial footage of the battle – Darkwing straddling the grounded, and legless Bulba as he beat the cyborg in the head – his final 2 explosive charges going off during the attack.
After that … Darkwing was branded as serious a threat as those he fought against, and the witch-hunt was on. He became Public Enemy #1. The government placed a $1 Million bounty on his head, and every law enforcement agency in the country was set on the lookout. Even S.H.U.S.H. summarily expelled him from the organization, and promised him that if he ever donned hat-and-cape as Darkwing again they would hunt him to the very ends of the earth.
So Darkwing disappeared. I don't blame him. I don't blame THEM, either though. After seeing what happened, the remaining agents of F.O.W.L. disappeared fearing Darkwing's vengeance may fall on their heads as well. The sight of Taurus' cybernetic body chopped up, and char-broiled like steak cutlets from some domesticated steer at a butcher's left no-one willing to face Darkwing as Judge, Jury, and Executioner.
And Dad's never been the same, since either.
He still loves me, and Morgana. He's tender, and affectionate, and an excellent Dad! But something's lost … some certain … "spark." When the Police needed help some time back, and I reprised my childhood identity as "The Quiverwing Quack" I think I saw it awake a little. I expected him to object – as he always does. He just looked at me – his eyes tired – and made me promise to bring his little girl back in one piece.
Honker has become part of his own story. As an inventor he's top-notch, and provides Quiverwing with everything she needs in her own fight against crime. But he's also become the unofficial head of a large corporation – one that put "Whiffle Boy" in it's place and came out shining.
At the end of our encounter with The Bat and The Clown Honker found a card The Clown dropped. He took it home and examined it and – as near as I can figure – learned how to use it to control electronics by reading signals from the brain through the skin. He developed a video game using it and was an overnight success – millions pouring into his trust account practically overnight. Sales were through the roof, and Whiffle Boy became virtually unheard of.
Honker's corporation was king.
As a gift, he applied the technology to a carefully designed guidance system for my arrows. Every arrow I fire responds to my mental commands – allowing me to make small corrections as I need to in-flight. Needless to say my aim was already deadly – now I can't miss.
As for Launchpad? He's Dad's best friend. They often spend time talking about old times, and reminding me how rambunctious I was. Fishing trips, hanging out, whatever. When Launchpad's not flying Mr. McDuck off to some exotic location he's here, keeping Dad's spirits up. He even still calls Dad "DW."
In fact, it was he and Honker that worked together to build "The Firefly" - my motorcycle. Super-fast, highly maneuverable, and exceedingly quiet it uses some kind of alternate thrust engine. I don't understand how it works, of course, but it causes the tail-end of the motorcycle to glow brightly like the tail of a firefly – which is how the bike got its name.
It has one of Honker's "Cybernetic" control rigs, too allowing me to pilot it hands-free while firing off arrows, or even as a remote-control to bring it to my location. It takes concentration to do it – but I get better at it every time I practice.
And I practice every day...
"... and you must be Madoka. Herbert Muddlefoot the 3rd, at your service."
Honker bowed graciously as he took the hand of the new Japanese exchange student – a beautiful Ryukyu Flying Fox – and gave it a gentle kiss. Looking her again in the eye he smiled gently.
"But you can call me ..."
"BONKERS!" A resounding *WHAP!* echoed through the hall as Tank smacked Honker on the back of the head – Honker stumbling forward from the blow. "Here." Tank takes a jock strap, and hangs it over Honker's nose, stretching it to its limit and letting it snap back onto Honker's bill – knocking him down – before dumping a smelly stack of over-worn gym clothes on him. "Make sure these get into the laundry when you get home!"
Tank looked down at his younger brother who was adjusting his glasses as he again rose to his feet. "Pathetic." he mumbled, then turned his attention to the new transfer. "And who my lovely might YOU be?"
She giggled, and replied softly – her accent gently seasoning her words. "Madoka."
Tank smiled a smile he'd practiced oh so many times, to oh so many women – a smile he knew never failed to make women feel like they were the first to see it. You could almost see the mischievous spark in his eye. "How would you like a real man to show you around?"
Madoka smiled big as her cheeks grew red. "I … I would like that. Very much."
"Hey, Honker! Gotcha doing laundry?"
Honker looked up from his task to find Gosalyn leaning against the door frame with her backpack over one shoulder, and skateboard in hand.
"Uhm … yeah. Tank asked me to ..."
"TANK!" Gosalyn interrupted. "Tell me you're kidding."
Honker hung his head.
"Sometimes, Honker I really don't get you. You can stand up to the greatest evil St. Canard has ever known, and yet Tank still has you grasped firmly by the cojones! Hasn't working with Darkwing taught you anything?"
"It's beyond time, Honker. You need to stand up to your brother. If you don't do it now, you're never going to earn his respect! And it's not just Tank! With him as their quarterback nearly the entire football time has dialed in on that 'Kick Me' sign on your back. To make things worse, Bo String and his crew are all over you when the football team isn't."
Honker sighed. "It seems a lot easier than it is, Gosalyn."
"If you can fight Negaduck, you can stand up to Tank, and Bo."
Gosalyn sighed, her demeanor softening greatly as she propped her skateboard against the door. As she approached Honker she smiled gently – hugging him. Honker was stiff as his pulse began to quicken, and he felt the heat on his cheeks.
"You've been my best friend for more than 7 years, Honker. I just hate to watch you go through this. Promise me you'll do what you can?"
Honker looked Gosalyn in the eye for the first time – Gosalyn sensing the hidden note of panic swirling within the tiny pools of confusion. She giggled in an attempt to relax him a little.
"Believe me, it won't be nearly as scary as you imagine."
Gosalyn picked up her skateboard and walked out of the laundry room without breaking her stride – Honker watching the gentle swing of her hips as she made her exit. Closing the lid on Tank's laundry, Honker sighed. Sure he had accomplished a lot fighting the forces of evil, but she and Darkwing were always there. He knew he had nothing to worry about.
This, though … this was different. The only way he could face Tank, and Bo was alone – and that terrified him. Tank was twice his size – if not bigger – and had no compunction against giving him a good, brotherly beat-down. And Bo … well … like father, like son is all he could say.
Besides, it wasn't Tank's respect he really wanted. Bo's either. It was Gosalyn's. But unfortunately these days even that was going to come at a price. Honker just had no idea how he was going to pay it.
Honker set the washer for an extra-large load, and started it on its longest cycle. Leaning his back to it he let out yet another sigh.
"Just give it up." he told himself. "It's never going to happen! Not..." Honker interrupted himself. "Not unless I…" Honker smiled as he put away the detergent. "Not unless."
Darkwing Duck, and all related properties are the property of Walt Disney/Marvel Comics and used here without permission. Batman, and all related properties are property of DC Comics and also used without permission. Batman was created by Bob Kane.
The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: among them "use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied" (U.S. Copyright Office, Factsheet on fair use of copyrighted works, .). It is under such authority I proceed.