CHAPTER 4

"Gosalyn, have you done your homework yet?"

The girl quickly minimized the internet window at the sound of her father's footsteps on the stairs. "Uh, yeah Dad! Just working on it!" she called.

Drake Mallard entered the room. "What're you working on there, Gos?"

"Oh, just a history report," she replied, typing furiously and praying he wouldn't come over to read it.

No such luck. "The dog nothing I hate history mutant zombies--Gosalyn, what is this?!" Drake asked incredulously.

Okay, excuse. Excuses were easy. "I'm brainstorming."

"Brainstorming?" he questioned skeptically.

"Yeah." Gosalyn crossed her fingers in her lap.

It actually seemed to work, because Drake responded, albeit very doubtfully, "Alright. But I want to read it when you're finished."

She gave him a winning smile. "Sure thing, Dad."

So unsuspecting. Drake walked out of the room and Gosalyn clicked on the Macrosoft Internet Migrator icon at the bottom of the screen. Strangely, she felt a chill run down her spine, almost as if...someone was watching her. She wheeled around quickly (with an alibi ready in case it was her dad), already creeped out.

No one was there. Well, of course no one was there. "Shouldn't've watched that movie," she mumbled.

Outside Gosalyn's window, Luminas clutched the tree branch, cursing Megavolt for convincing her she'd be better for this job. Oh, what was she talking--er, thinking--about, she hadn't exactly needed convincing--she just hadn't had enough faith in Megavolt's espionage skills (or lack thereof). But at least she'd seen what she'd come for. How the Fearsome Five had managed to miss something this obvious was...not all that surprising, come to think of it. But the physical resemblance, mannerisms, and just the voice of this duck, this...Drake Mallard...well, whatever the mental capacity of the Five--Four, she corrected herself--she had what she'd come for. It was time to put the plan in motion.

Shoving aside her sense of self-preservation, Luminas leapt for the windowsill and hit it with an unpleasant sounding crunch.

Gosalyn jumped her feet at this and stood frozen for a mere moment before grabbing the nearest hockey stick. By the time she began advancing on the window, however, Luminas had pulled herself up. "Don't even think about it, kid," she growled, placing her feet in room. "I've got no intention of laying a finger on you...unless, of course, you force me to."

"Yeah, well, they tell us in school to never be quiet when someone comes through your window," Gosalyn retorted, steadying her hockey stick.

Luminas gave her a sardonic smile. "Oh? Well, darling, as far as you're concerned, I didn't come through your window. But I have a message. Megavolt wants Darkwing Duck to know that his secret identity isn't quite so secret anymore."

"What?" Gosalyn gasped. Then, quickly recovering her composure, she asked in a forced nonchalant tone, "I mean, um...how would I be able to tell him?"

Luminas's first impulse was to yell, 'you're his daughter!' but thought better of it immediately. "I don't know," she lied instead. "I was just supposed to deliver the message. Megavolt also says if he wants it kept a secret, then the duck had better meet him in the abandoned warehouse just outside of town at twelve thirty tonight. No, make that twelve thirty-five."

Without giving the girl the chance to say anything else, Luminas jumped out of the window and quickly climbed up the tree and to the roof, where Gosalyn wouldn't be able to see her if she looked.

After a moment, a cry of, "Dad!" echoed in her ears, and she smiled. Phase one was complete.

~

"Luminas, let me get this straight. You told her twelve thirty five? That is a really un-supervillainish time."

She took a handful of pretzels from the bag they were eating out of--dinner. "Well, I thought about saying five to midnight, and then midnight...but it seemed so cliche and overused."

Megavolt sighed. "Luminas, Luminas, Luminas--you've gotta tell me your name, 'cause it's just hard to say that three times--you hafta follow the rules if you're gonna be a supervillain."

At this, she rolled her eyes. "That's right, I forgot, you're the master of all things evil."

"Hey, I'm not evil, just misunderstood."

"Sure you are."

Looking at her quizzically, Megavolt questioned, "So what are we gonna do?"

Used to him forgetting half of what she told him by now, Luminas answered, "We go to the warehouse at said time, have our climatic battle with Darkwing Duck, and kill him."

"I have a better idea."

"You do?"

Tossing a pretzel up in the air and zapping it with couple volts of electricity, the supervillain suggested, "How about we get there early, skip the climatic battle, and kill him?"

"You're skipping the best part!"

He grimaced. "Uh-uh. Trust me on this one. Save it for an incompetent superhero who isn't so lucky."

After a second, she agreed reluctantly, "Well, I guess you've got more experience here than I do..."

"You bet I do," Megavolt said.

Neither spoke for a minute, but then Luminas began hesitantly, "So, if we don't do this right...then I s'pose we won't see each other again any time soon."

He blinked at her, evidently a little startled by this borderline-sentimental statement. "Yeah, well...I'll probably just forget about you."

"I know," she smirked.

Again, silence, before the rat questioned, "What time is it?"

"Ten."

"How long does it take to get there?"

With a shrug, she replied, "An hour."

Pondering this for a second, Megavolt announced, "We're going."

The drive was actually closer to half an hour, but Megavolt insisted on parking his car somewhere where Darkwing Duck wouldn't spot it, so they had to walk the rest of they way, which took care of the predicted time limit of the ride there. As a result, they found themselves sitting boredly on a bench in the old warehouse with an incredibly long hour and a half stretching before them.

"Whose idea was it to leave so early?" Megavolt demanded.

"Yours," Luminas sighed for about the fifth time in the last ten minutes. Thinking of something, she said, "We should prepare. Set-up so he doesn't have even a microbe of a chance."

Megavolt nodded and looked around. "Think gasoline will come in handy?"

She followed his gaze. "I'd say it's a definite possibility."

The rat got to his feet and picked up a tank of gasoline, then poured all of it in front of the only door to the place, which had intentionally been left open.

Luminas looked to the ceiling and smiled evilly, jumping up from the bench and making her way up the stairs leading to the second floor of the old building, which was really more of metal platform suspended from the metal beams criss-crossing the ceiling. In a burst of inspiration, she pulled several wires loose from overhead. "Megavolt!" she yelled. "Can you do something with these?"

With an offended noise, he asked, "You doubt me?"

"Sorry, with you it's hard to remember I'm talking to a genius." She concentrated on loosening more wires, then shouted, "Incoming!" and pushed the bundle off the edge of the platform.

"Ow!"

Luminas peered over the edge and tried not to snicker at the sight of Megavolt attempting to untangle himself from the mass of wires. "Sorry," she called down, more because it was perfunctory than because she actually was.

"Um, no you're not," he responded distractedly.

She swung back down to the floor. "Need any help?"

"Not from someone who doesn't know what she's doing."

Crossing her arms and rolling her eyes, Luminas began, "Sparky, if you're going to start being chauvinist--"

He gave her an exasperated look. "I wouldn't let Quackerjack touch it, either. or Bushroot or the Liquidator. It's got nothing to do with the fact you're female, Luminas, it's because you'd screw it up!"

"Well, I took a couple tech. ed. classes my freshman and sophomore years," she muttered.

"Stick around and I might teach you something."

Luminas watched as he welded the wires together, forming a large grid. "Wanna go hang this up?" he eventually asked her.

Taking it from him, she questioned, "Will this be used in concert with the gasoline?"

The sound of an engine outside reached both their ears at that moment, and Megavolt motioned for her to return to the second floor with his creation.

A cloud of smoke appeared in the door and a voice boomed, "I am the terror that flaps in the night!" Megavolt sighed and tapped his foot impatiently. "I...am the one hour photo that gives you the wrong pictures so that you have to go back at a really inconvenient time and exchange them! I...am Darkwiiiing Duck!"

With a nasty grin, Megavolt crossed his arms over his chest and greeted as the smoke cleared, "Hey, Dorkwing."

Darkwing struck a rakish pose. "Ah, Megavolt! Participating in a particularly pernicious perversity, I see!"

"Perhaps," Megavolt snickered.

Glaring at his nemesis, the duck pulled his gun out. "Suck gas, evildoer!"

At that moment, a web of cords dropped from the ceiling and surrounded Darkwing in a half-circle, causing him to lower his gas gun. "Wha...?" Heated blasted behind him and whirled around. An inferno was blazing where he'd been standing seconds before, completely blocking the door. He turned back around just in time to see Megavolt send a charge at the grid of wires, which began to crackle with electricity.

"Now, give me the gun," Megavolt said patronizingly, holding out his gloved hand.

Darkwing glanced around desperately, and, finding no escape, asked rather helplessly, "This is a trap, isn't it?"

"Duh."

In an attempt to gain back his composure, the duck announced, "You'll never get away with this fiendish felony! Er...whatever the fiendish felony is that you're planning..."

"Just give me the gun, duck!"

Grimacing, Darkwing bent down and slid his gas gun under the wires. "Can't we work something out, Megs? Old pal?"

"Nope," Megavolt answered, fiddling with the gun. He took out one of the gas cartridges and studied it, then made a few slight configurations with a charged index finger. "Hey, Dorkwing, what's that thing you always say? Oh yeah. Well, eat steel, do-gooder!" The rat shot the cartridge through a space in the wire grid, and it hit Darkwing in the head without exploding. The superhero dropped like a stone.

"Nice shot, Megs," Luminas's voice floated down.

Megavolt acknowledged her with a glance upward, then touched his hand to the wired grid. The electricity flowed back to him, causing his entire body to jerk spasmodically.

"That's really quite disturbing when you do that."

He coughed, and a little puff of smoke drifted from his mouth. "Yeah, well, you wanna try it next time?"

She lowered herself to the platform from one of the beams and descended the stairs. "No thanks." After passing him, she pushed aside the wiring and dragged Darkwing out into the open. "We need to get him up there."

"How're we gonna do that?"

Luminas gave him a small, slightly devious smile and pulled at the grid, which dropped to the ground. "Necessity is the mother of invention."

In a short amount of time, the two of them managed to rig up a passable pulley system and hauled Darkwing up to the ceiling. Luminas bound his wrists tightly to the metal beams and shoved his unconscious body out into open air. After a minute of watching him hang there, she turned to Megavolt. "Will these things conduct electricity?"

Megavolt reached up and tapped one of the beams, jerking his finger back when he received a shock. Apparently this was answer enough for Luminas, because her eyes hardened and she stated, "Kill him."

With a malicious grin, he replied, "It'll be my pleasure." The rat raised his arms as electricity arced back and forth on his plug hat. Just when power crackled at his fingertips, Darkwing's eyelids fluttered. Megavolt lowered his hands, a shocked expression on his face. "I can't do it."

"Excuse me?"

He covered his face. "It just isn't right!"

"Megavolt, I hate to break it to you, but you are not right."

"Yeah, I know that. But I can't kill him without fighting him in some way!"

Luminas stared at him incredulously. "You can't be serious."

"I am," he moaned woefully. Then he brightened. "But you can do it!"

Her brow furrowed, but she didn't say anything until several seconds later, when she mumbled, "No, I can't."

Megavolt didn't look that surprised, but he did her the courtesy of asking, "Why not?"

"He has a daughter. I thought I could do it despite that. But I can't."

At that moment, Darkwing groaned and opened his eyes. Taking stock of where he was in respect to the ground, he yelped and abruptly shut his eyes again.

Sighing, Megavolt said, "Hey, Dipwing...you said something about working this out..."

One of the duck's eyes opened a slit. "Er...that's right."

"Okay. I've got--oof!" He clutched his side as Luminas elbowed him and corrected himself, "We've got a proposition for you."

"We?" Darkwing repeated suspiciously.

"Yeah, we," Luminas confirmed, so he'd hear her voice but wouldn't actually see her.

Darkwing's eyebrows drew together at this, but he said, "Sure, we'll strike some kind of deal, just get me down!"

Megavolt grinned, enjoying having his arch-enemy completely at his mercy. "No way, duck. You're staying up there until you agree to our terms. It's really simple. All you have to do..." He paused for effect, "...is give up being a superhero."

"What?!"

"Stop being Darkwing Duck! Forget about you cheesy 'I am the terror' entrance lines! Go live permanently as your alter ego! Get a life!"

Squirming in an attempt to get loose, Darkwing announced, "Never! Not while conniving criminals like yourselves are out committing--"

"Oh, I forgot about the stupid alliterations. Give those up, too."

Darkwing opened his mouth to say something, but Luminas interrupted, "Don't bother. I know who you are. I know where you live." She turned to Megavolt and confided, "I've always wanted to say that."

"You--"

"I know you've got a daughter," she added sinisterly. "We're giving you a choice. Either you get to live and raise your daughter...or you can die...and your daughter can live in perpetual fear before I hunt her down, too. Give it up, Darkwing. Or should I say...Drake..."

Darkwing lifted his eyes and looked into the only part of her he could see--her eyes. And what he saw there...what he saw there frightened him. He didn't know who she was, or what she was doing here, or how she knew Megavolt, but from those eyes he gleaned a little knowledge about her--she was cold and calculating. And she reminded him more than a little of Negaduck.

"Ten seconds to decide, duck," Megavolt warned, then whispered to Luminas, "That 'perpetual fear' thing was cool."

"Thanks, I thought it sounded like the right thing to say."

After a second, he resumed, "Ten...nine...eight...seven...six...five...four...three... two..."

"Alright!" Darkwing yelled. "I'll give up crimefighting! But I swear, if you come anywhere near Gosalyn, I'll--"

Luminas put her hands on her hips and cut in, "Guess what? We don't care."

"Yeah, and guess what else?" Megavolt jumped in. "I don't think you mean it. How do we know for sure you aren't going to be out on the streets tomorrow night with that blue smoke? Oh, I know." He smiled nastily. "Maybe if you took off your mask, that'd be a sign of trust between us. Not to mention I'll know who to come after if 'Darkwing Duck' appears again."

With a second's though, Darkwing agreed in a defeated, weary-of-life tone, "Fine. Okay."

Luminas's eyes flared with victory finally in sight. "Good. Now. Repeat after me. Darkwing Duck is dead..."

~

"We need a new name."

"What's wrong with the...oh, I get it. Fearsome Six."

"Doesn't have that ring."

Quackerjack closed his bill and shut his eyes, as if in intense concentration, causing Megavolt, Bushroot, the Liquidator, and Luminas to stare.

"Four out of five villains surveyed say it's time for a change," the Liquidator agreed.

"Psychotic Six," Quackerjack giggled.

"That starts with P," Bushroot pointed out. Then the implications sunk in. "Hey! I'm not psychotic!"

Luminas rolled her eyes. "Guys? An idea?" The four of them looked at her and she smiled. "Henceforth we are...the Sinister Six."

~ the end