Oil's well that ends well
By Sharan McQuack, Launchpad's wife
Based loosed on, yet again, "A switch in time" in Disney Adventures 3-01 (1992), Uncle Scrooge 393A (2010),Uncle Scrooge 393B (2010), Uncle Scrooge: DuckTales 1.
That's why I've written so many "takes" on it: Disney reprinted it so often.
Fenton was sick. He had caught the flu and was sick in bed, running a temperature. Wasn't all bad. Gandra was fussing over him. Mr. McDuck called Launchpad into his office and told Launchpad about this state of affairs.
"Don't tell me..." Launchpad began, seeing where this was going and not liking the direction.
"YOU have to be Gizmoduck." Mr. McDuck said.
"AGAIN?" Launchpad asked.
"Who else can I trust not to use the suit to rob me?" Mr. McDuck inquired.
Launchpad was SO tempted to suggest his sister Loopy wear the suit again, but A) Mr. McDuck doesn't know she wore it once (1),and B) Loopy made it clear she does not want to wear the suit AGAIN.
Launchpad went to Fenton's, got the suit, the instruction book and a few gizmoducking lessons.
So...Launchpad took the g-suit to the Bin and said:"Blattersnipe" (2) and it flew on Launchpad.
Launchpad was once again wearing the stupid g-suit again and guarding the bin as Gizmomcquack again.
BEFORE Gizmomcquack arrived, the Beagles were sneaking around the Bin, planning on robbing it. It's what they do. Everybody needs a hobby. They were at the opposite side of the Bin from Gizmomcquack and stayed out of sight.
How 'd they get past the fences, booby-traps, and other security guards? PRACTICE!
"Big Time, how are we going to rob the Bin with nothing but a few sticks of dynamite? That won't even scratch the bin." Bicep asked.
"We are breaking OUT of the Bin. We're using the TNT to blow the Bin from the inside. An explosion inside has a lot more power than one outside." Big Time asked.
"HOW are we getting the dynamite inside the Bin? How are we lighting the fuse once it's inside?" Bicep asked.
"You see this pipe? It brings water inside the Bin, in case of fire. We'll cut into the pipe, drop the TNT down the pipe." Big Time replied.
"The sticks have an extra long fuse, we can light it out here. It won't blow until after it's inside the pipe. Even if it's not all the way in the bin by then, it should make a big enough hole for us to walk in" Big Time explained.
Big Time didn't know that the water was pumped UP inside the pipe. Naturally, when he used a welding torch cut his way thur the pipe and stuck the TNT in, the sticks went down.
Instead of going into the Bin, the dynamite went down into the water pipes. Since the water wasn't turned on, the fuse wasn't extinguished.
Water, water everywhere. Somehow, Launchpad noticed this, somehow Launchpad suspected the Beagle Boys were after Mr. McDee's money AGAIN. He came a-running. And saw the sputtering, sopping wet Beagles struggling to find the turn-off valve and shut it off.
It would be a little hard for the Beagles to spend sodden money. Besides, all that water was hampering the Beagles' efforts to GET at the money. So, Launchpad allowed the Beagle to shut off the water while he, Launchpad, put the Bin's booby-traps on full alert and called the cops.
I don't know why Launchpad assumed the Beagles could find the shut-off and shut off the water. Plumbers they ain't. The Beagles found the valve. But as for shutting it off...
"No, you idiot! You're turning it the wrong way!" Big Time lectured the others: "Righty tighty, lefty loosely!"
"Not that way, your OTHER right !" Big Time screamed.
Somehow the not-very-bright Beagles turned the valve the WRONG way. MORE water erupted.
"Give me that!" Launchpad said, grabbing the valve.
"Gizmoduck! Stop him!" screamed Big Time.
"How about waiting till AFTER I shut off all this water to try and stop me?" Gizmomcquack requested.
"Wait! Let him shut off the water, first. How can we get at the money in this mess? How can we spend paper money that sopping wet?" Bicep asked.
"I'M the brains of this outfit! And I says we USE this water to get into the bin! We's never tried using water before." Big Time replied.
Big Time had somehow forgetten that they'd been trying to shut off the valve until Gizomcquack wanted them to and until Bicep challenged his authority.
Launchpad continued to try to shut off the water. A baker's dozen of Beagles piled on top of Launchpad. The 14th Beagle (3), Bilbo (4)grabbed the valve and fought for control of the water..
Serious Triskaidekaphobia here.
Bilbo Beagle tried to use a funnel to aim the water directly at the Bin.
Launchpad pushed Bilbo, Bilbo slipped and tried to regain his balance. In doing so. Bilbo accidentally pressed one of the g-suit's buttons. Bilbo activated the freeze ray.
The freeze ray beamed out, froze everything directly in front of it, then the beam reflected off the mirror-shiny Money Bin and froze everything in the opposite direction. Water, Beagles, Gizmomcquack were frozen. The Beagles and Launchpad shook off the ice.
"OK, no more Mr. Nice Pilot!" Launchpad shouted. "I'm activating my laser torch. I'm melting off this ice and shutting off this water! Anybody who gives me a hard time, tastes laser! Have I made myself clear?"
"Ut-oh, I think we pushed him too far." Bicep said.
With one eye still on the Beagles, Launchpad set the laser torch for it's lowest setting. He didn't want to melt the valve, and besides, this way if he had to fire at the Beagles he wouldn't hurt them TOO much.
Launchpad aimed the laser torch, tried to fire it. Nothing happened. Not only had the g-suit been soaked with water, that water had frozen. The g-suit was dead, just a suit of armor.
"Gizmoduck is powerless! His suit don't work! GET HIM!" screamed Big Time.
The Beagles tried to charge Gizmomcquack. They kept slipping and sliding on the ice. Only the fact that Launchpad had a firm grip on the valve kept him from doing likewise. He grabbed the funnel Bilbo had dropped and used it like a lance to poke the Beagles into falling on the ice.
The Beagles, knowing the suit was inoperative, kept trying. The funnel broke. It wasn't intended as a weapon.
Launchpad took off one glove and used it to smack a Beagle. He took off his breastplate and threw it at another Beagle who had picked up his gun and was aiming at him. Launchpad wasn't sure if the suit was bulletproof sans power. Besides, the Beagles are lousy shots and the cops were likely to show up soon. The Beagle might hit a cop or even a fellow Beagle.
The Beagle's gun was knocked out of his paw, went flying, fell on the ice with a crack The gun sank into the ice and disappeared. This got said Beagle MAD. He charged Gizmomcquack, full speed. Bad move.
The ice was melting a tad and was even slippery than normal. Beagle went down, and will wake up later, in a prison hospital, with a concussion.
"This is stupid! I'm a pilot! Not a security guard! Not a superhero! Time I remembered that!" Launchpad said.
And he removed the rest of the g-suit until he was in his street clothes. Launchpad aimed arm bands, shoulder pads, etc at the Beagles to keep them busy as he headed for his copter. Launchpad had it parked there, he had been scheduled to fly new ltd bulbs onto the Money Bin.
Launchpad got into his copter. Launchpad started flying it upside down.
"What's that moron doing?" Big Time asked.
Big Time and the rest of the Beagles quickly found out as the helicopter's rotors came closer and closer to them.
"Ye-ow! RUN!" Big Time screamed.
The Beagles tried to run, but kept slipping on the ice.
Now, with all this going on, nobody had shut off that valve. The water is still trying to flow under the ice. Only the ice acted as a plug preventing it from flowing. The pressure kept building up and building up until...
Water erupted straight up...but not just water.
"Oil?" Launchpad asked. 'Great. Did I break something?"
Launchpad assumed their was some sort of oil pipe he had broken.
Water and oil soaked everybody. The Beagles were so oil-coated they were as helpless as birds in an oil spill. So, when the cops finally showed up, they carted the Beagles off with no trouble.
Then, Mr. McDuck showed up.
"Mr. McDuck, I'm really sorry for this mess..." Launchpad began.
"Sorry? Launchpad, you've struck oil!" Mr. McDuck replied.
"In Duckburg? There's no oil under Duckburg!" Launchpad said.
This was sort of true. There is no oil naturally occurring in Duckburg. But Mr. McDuck had bought this land in Duckburg because he got it cheap. He didn't know he got it cheap because somebody buried then waste oil under ground there.
The oil was worth then useless then, it would of cost more then it worth to clean the oil enough to use it. But the price of oil has gone up high since then and besides, we've gotten better at cleaning up dirty oil. Mr. McDuck could make lots of money selling the oil, now that he knew it was there.
With the Beagles in jail, the rest of Launchpad's stint as Gismomcquack was uneventful. Downright boring, in fact. Soon, Fenton was all better and was back to being Gizmoduck.
HOWEVER, remember that Launchpad visited Fenton while Fenton had the flu? Guess what? Launchpad caught the flu from Fenton!
Wasn't all bad.
I nursed Launchpad thru his flu and fun spoiling him rotten.
(1)And did a better job of gizmoducking than Fenton if you ask me. See "The Loopiest Gizmoduck' by me.
(2) Check Superducktales. UT programs the g-suit to respond to the word blattersnipe. The blattering part was Fenton's idea.
(3)The Beagles are far too superstitious to run in packs of 13.
(4)So named because he's the lucky number, used whenever the Beagles would otherwise number 13. His speciality is burglary, natch.