Time For a Change


"St. Canard, prepare to fry!"

"Not so fast, Megadolt!"

A scrawny rat in a yellow jumpsuit and rubber boots and gloves paused with his hands on the lever he'd been about to pull. "Oh, not again," he groaned as a cloud of purple smoke exploded in front of him.

"I am the terror...that flaps in the night! I am the--"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, you are the oven that scorches my dinner," the rat interrupted in a mimicking tone as the smoke cleared and a duck attired in a purple cape and mask, along with a gray fedora became visible. A flicker of electricity arced between the two prongs of the rat's plug hat as the raised his arms above his head. "Well scorch this!"

The duck dove out of the way as a bolt of electricity shot towards him and hit the wall instead.

"Hold still, duck!"

Streaks of energy crashed into various machines in the St. Canard Electrical Plant, causing most to short out. One, however, began to shake and spark violently. The aforementioned duck glanced at it and ran to a large window, saying before he jumped out, "So long, Sparky!"

"Uh oh," the rat murmured in a small voice just before the piece of machinery blew.

St. Canard very suddenly blinked into darkness as the Electrical Plant shut down amid a series of explosions.

The rat coughed once and shook some of the ash off his rubber gloves. "Well," he began gleefully to himself, "at least I've stopped the power flow! Now all I need is an outlet to plug in to..." He snapped his fingers several times until his hand began to glow, then crept around the pitch black room, searching for a power outlet. "Ah ha!" A thick bundle of wires led from the wall to the fried machine--a generator--and he rushed towards it, ripping at the wires.

In the faint light cast by the stars near the window, something--a shadow?--shifted slightly. The rat paused and strained his eyes, trying to see if anything was actually there. When all was silent, he shrugged and turned back to the generator, dismissing the thought quickly.

A few seconds later, the wires began to grow warm and a trail of fire shot up them towards the generator.

The rat removed his hands to avoid being burned and muttered, "What the--?"

The machine burst into flame and the rat leapt back with a yelp of pain and surprise. "Hey, what's the big idea?!" he shouted. At who, he was unsure-- --a question that was less than answered when a burning apparition appeared in the corner by the window.

"Hey!" he demanded. "What do you think you're doing? This is my dastardly deed!"

A ball of flame shot in his direction caused him to reconsider quickly with, "And I was...um...just going!" He scrambled to the door and bolted for the exit as a veritable firestorm rained down all around him.


"YOU IDIOT! All you had to do was shut down the plant and drain the power! How hard can that possibly be for a LIVING BATTERY?!"


"You know, Megavolt, I've had it just about up to here with your COMPLETE INCOMPETENCE!"


"I've got a chain saw right here! Do you want me to use it! There are some definite pluses...one, I wouldn't have to see your irritating face ever again!"

"But Negaduck--"

"What do you morons think?" The furious supervillain duck whirled to face two more members of his gang, who both were watching silently.

With his boss's back turned, Megavolt garnered up enough courage to lift a finger and say nervously, "Uh, Negaduck?"

"WHAT DO YOU WANT?!" he screamed lividly, wheeling back around with eyes blazing.

Megavolt gulped. "I...uh...I did short everything out..." He gestured to the still darkened St. Canard for proof of this. "...but there was this...fire..."

"What's your point?" Negaduck growled.

"It was a...person...made of...fire," the electrical genius attempted to elaborate rather weakly.

Negaduck's expression very suddenly became thoughtful. "A person made of fire, eh, Megs?" The rat nodded quickly. "Not another crackpot 'superhero', I hope?"

"I don't think so," Megavolt ventured.

"You don't think so? You don't think at all!"

Unsure of how to respond to this, Megavolt just cowered while Negaduck literally held his life in his hands.

"Well." Negaduck grew calm again. "I'll tell you what, Megs. You bring me some proof of this fire-person and you're off the hook. But if I don't get a good excuse for this little mishap within the next week...I'll make sure you know it when I'm killing you." With that threat, he stalked from the secret hideout.

"Looks like you messed up big time this time, Megs," a duck dressed in a jester suit commented.

Another duck with green feathers and purple hair nodded and added, "We heard the explosion."

Megavolt got to his feet and brushed off his rubber suit. "The explosion was all part of my plan."

The jester, Quackerjack, rolled his eyes and accused, "No it wasn't."

"Then let's say I ran into Darkwing Dork."

Quackerjack looked out the window and giggled. "He didn't protect St. Canard too well this time, did he?"

"Yeah, too bad I can't get back to the plant," Megavolt agreed mournfully.

"How long are the lights out?"

With a mournful shrug, he lamented, "I think I just blew a fuse or something. My children will be enslaved again by noon." His expression of almost comic sadness brightened suddenly. "I should save them while there's still time!"

Quackerjack and the green duck, Bushroot, exchanged a glance. "That probably isn't a very good idea," Bushroot said uncertainly. "Not when he's in one of his moods."

Megavolt looked longingly at the completely darkened city, then at the door Negaduck had left through, then back at the city. Finally, he let out a woeful sigh and crossed his arms across the electric outlet on his chest. "I would've pulled it off, too, if that do-gooder...um...that do-gooder hadn't interrupted."

"What, you mean the 'fire-person'?" Quackerjack snickered. "I think your brain's been fried one too many times."

"Oh yeah?" Megavolt challenged. "Well next time when he starts shooting fireballs at you we'll see if you still think I imagined it!"

The jester made a scornful face and snorted, but made no retort save for, "Yeah...we sure will!"

Bushroot made a small sound of disgust and the other two supervillains whipped their gazes around to him, glad for the distraction. "Maybe I'll bring you along, Veggie," Megavolt threatened. "I can use you as a living shield!"

"I don't think so!" Bushroot shot back.

Megavolt glared, then backed off a little. "Yeah, you're probably right. You'd just burn up. I emphasize burn." Sparks crackled at his fingertips with this comment while Quackerjack looked on with a wide grin on his face.

"I wonder where Licky is?" the jester asked idly. Megavolt shut up immediately and glanced around the hideout, making sure the watery villain wasn't present as Quackerjack went on, "Hey, Megs, I'm pulling off a heist at We R Toys tomorrow night. Why don't you tag along...since you think the living torch is stalking you."

"I never said it was stalking me," the rat replied heatedly.

"The eyes are the windows to the skull, my friend."

For a second, Megavolt's expression was total confusion, but then he conveniently forgot the remark and whined, "How do I save all those lightbulbs? They must have an entire feudal system in that barbaric enslavement camp!"

"Um, yeah. Why don't you use that bungee cord?" Megavolt looked at him strangely. "Y'know, the one that you use every other time you're hanging around--" Quackerjack paused to laugh at his joke, "--trying to 'save' lightbulbs."

With a patronizing sigh, Megavolt informed him, "Dipwing Dork ruined it last time he got in the way." In an attempt to salvage his dignity, he added, "I haven't had the chance to steal a new one yet."

Giggling, Quackerjack suggested, "What about one of your wires? They're pretty stretchy."

Stiffly, Megavolt answered, "No, I don't think so."

"Why not? I'm sure they'd be happy to help!"

"That's it!" Megavolt yelled.

"Aw, come on, Sparky, I was just--"

The rat's eyes bulged out and electricity began flashing back and forth between the prongs of his headgear. "What did you call me?"

"I think it was 'Sparky'." A bolt of electricity zoomed through the air toward Quackerjack's head. "No! Just kidding! I said you were wacky!"

"How is that better?" Megavolt questioned maliciously, taking aim and firing again. This time he had better luck and the bolt took off half of Quackerjack's jester hat.

"Ah!" Quackerjack screamed, clutching at his head. Then he turned to face Megavolt, who was positively glowing--literally. "Okay, buster, you asked for it."

Megavolt smirked and crossed his arms. "Really."

Mimicking the smirk, Quackerjack reached into the folds of his clothing and pulled out a small mechanical toy, wound it, and placed it on the floor.


Megavolt was beginning to like the bench at the bus stop. After all, he and Quackerjack had been sitting there all day (almost twenty four hours now) watching people visit the local We R Toys, St. Canard's biggest and best toy store. Although at this time of night, it was just employees leaving. Normally they'd be hanging out at the Fearsome Five headquarters, but, well...

"This is all your fault," Quackerjack snapped.

"My fault? Oh, by the way, I forgot to thank you for reducing my death preparation time to a day!"

"Well, now I have to help you find the Living Torch! It isn't fair!"

"Well maybe if you hadn't set a bomb off in our HQ we wouldn't be in this fix!" the rat shouted before remembering to keep his voice down.

"We're gonna have to lure him here somehow," Quackerjack said thoughtfully.

"How're we gonna do that?" Megavolt asked cynically. "I've only seen him once. And only for about five seconds."

The jester snorted. "Whose problem is that?"

His eyes shooting daggers, the electrical genius said angrily, "Both of ours, and thanks to you, my bigger problem!"

Quackerjack rolled his eyes and propped his head up with his hand. "What did you do to make him show up, anyway?"

Shrugging, Megavolt told him, "Blew up the generator. But there's nothing to--" He stopped as he followed Quackerjack's pointing finger. His jaw dropped when he caught sight of the huge, neon "We R Toys" sign. "That'll light up the neighborhood," he said in an awed voice.

Quackerjack grinned insanely, his teeth gleaming in the yellow and red light of the electrical sign. "It's PLAYTIME!!"

The two supervillains scampered across the empty parking lot and halted by the locked doors of the toy store. "We'll probably attract some unwanted attention if I short the lights out," Megavolt remarked in a rather unconcerned tone.

"Who cares? Blow 'em up. As long as the Living Torch gets the message," Quackerjack dismissed, happy to be doing something destructive after a period of relatively little criminal activity.

Megavolt grinned at this and placed his hands on the wall. Waves of electricity flowed up towards the sign and hit it with a loud, large explosion, pitching the parking lot into darkness. After a second, he removed his hands, glancing around. Spotting a stray shopping cart, he grabbed it and pushed it at the locked glass doors. The glass shattered and the two of them made their ways in.

"The toys..." Quackerjack breathed, awed.

"The lightbulbs..." Megavolt said in exactly the same tone of voice.

They looked at each other and each ran off to separate parts of the store to wreak havoc.

In short order, Megavolt found himself staring up at the lofty expense to the ceiling. He eyed a shelf full of board games for a minute during a burst of reasonableness, then decided there was only one way up. He pulled himself up until he reached the top shelf, where he stopped, unable to ascend any further. After a moment of gazing longingly up at the ceiling, he began to pace back and forth, obsessing over how to get higher.

It took him a minute to spot the fire burning on the end of the shelf, but when he did, he stopped and stared. No doubt about it...that was the thing he'd seen yesterday.

"Hi, buddy," Megavolt said nervously. "Good to see you again...heh heh..."

The apparition didn't move--at least, not at first-- but after Megavolt spoke it raised what looked like arms, about to shoot a ball of fire.

"Hey, charcoal breath!"

This caught the fire's attention and its "arms" lowered marginally. Quackerjack was standing at the opposite end of the shelf with his hands behind his back. "Yeah, you. Listen, I don't like you showing your...er...face...in--"

The flame, at this, sent a streak of fire over the now prostrate Megavolt towards Quackerjack, who danced out of the way.

"Oh yeah?" the duck said, his tone only mildly deranged. "Well, ya know what they say--if you can't fight fire with fire, use water!" With these words, he whipped out two huge water guns from behind his back and shot two jet streams of water at the flame. "How do you like my friend, Super Soaker 50,000,000?!" he cackled gleefully.

The flame gave an ear-piercing shriek and fizzled out, leaving a dark shape to drop to the ground.

Megavolt peeked out from under his arms and stood up cautiously. "Hm," he mused sarcastically, "now that the torch is all washed-up, I wonder if I should fry it? Ooh, tough choice...hmm...well, it looks like I'm gonna have to go with fry today."

Electricity sprang to his fingertips, but Quackerjack yelled, "Hello, genius?!" and sprang forward to grab the rat's arm.

"Whoa!" Megavolt moved away and pointed to the jester's hands, which were dripping wet.

"Oh. Sorry." He wiped them off. "Don't you remem--Oh, no, of course you don't." This last bit was added rather nastily.

Megavolt looked uncharacteristically sheepish (as he had forgotten what they needed to do). "Oh yeah. That's right." He cracked his knuckles and walked over to the form on the ground. "So, whaddaya think we got here?"

Quackerjack followed him and rolled the "Living Torch" over with his foot. His eyes widened. "Oh wow." he whistled and looked at Megavolt. "You never told me the pyro was a girl!"