Disclaimer: Darkwing Duck is the property of the Walt Disney Company.
Author's note: This is a re-written version of a fic I wrote way back in 1999/2000, which I decided to overhaul to bring up to my current writing standards. The original had a lot of problems, from a lack of descriptive place-setting to too much dialogue to an original character who probably was a Mary Sue. When I say I overhauled it, I'm not joking.
It's the first of a trilogy and I plan on giving the other two the same treatment, and then expanding it from there into an ongoing series.
The scent of ozone and electricity permeated the air around the St. Canard Electrical Plant, a scorched quality to the air that could have heralded a thunderstorm. Could have, that was, if there had been a cloud in the night sky, which there wasn't. It was a clear, perfect night, temperature hovering in the mid 60s, humidity blessedly almost nonexistent, and just the slightest summer breeze blowing off the bay.
From the roof of the plant, the view of St. Canard was spectacular. Not many people knew that, but the city spread out like a jeweled, sparkling blanket, lit streets running through it like golden threads. The Audubon Bay Bridge stretched across the dark water of the bay, shadow on shadow, its lit towers standing sentinel over the city, cars crossing beneath them like little beads of light. Closer, just down the hill from the plant, really, St. Canard High was lit up like a…like something really big and shiny and bright, the sounds of some sporting event wafting through the pellucid night air.
Yes, it was lovely. It was home. It was going to be subjugated and bent to the will of its most powerful and genius super-villain within the next hour.
Megavolt took a deep breath of the charged air, his whiskers trembling a little in the breeze as he perched in the power plant's main transmission tower, his knees hooked around a metal beam, and checked his watch. "That late already?" he asked no one in particular, though an aircraft warning light blinking redly above him called down that he needed to keep better track of the time. He cracked his knuckles and stood, taking in the view of St. Canard one last time before he enacted his master plan.
Then, with a grin and a chuckle, he clambered out of the tower, strode purposefully across the roof, and threw open the access door leading back down into the plant, where his machine had completed charging. It pulsed with pent-up energy and Megavolt rubbed his hands gleefully together in anticipation. This time, at long last, he was going to be victorious. This city would be his! No one was going to stop him!
Cackling, he scampered over to the machine and wrapped his hands around the control lever. "St. Canard," he said with relish, "prepare to fry!"
For a second, he paused, more out of habit than anything else, and looked around. Nothing and no one. He was alone.
He grinned and pulled the lever.
And he managed to get it halfway pulled, too, he was so close, but then a cloud of purple smoke exploded in front of him and a voice announced, "I am the terror…that flaps in the night!"
"Oh no, not again," Megavolt groaned, waving his hands and coughing as the smoke enveloped him.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, you are the oven that scorches my dinner," Megavolt interrupted with a scowl.
The smoke cleared, revealing Darkwing Duck, fedora angled absurdly over his eyes for maximum melodrama, though his typical pretentious expression seemed to have been replaced by one that looked more like irritation. He yanked the hat up out of his face to glare at Megavolt and said, "Stealing my lines now, eh, Megavolt?"
Megavolt sneered. "What, are you going to arrest me for taking your intellectual property?"
"Ha!" Darkwing replied. "I wouldn't give up your day job, Sparky. I write better one-liners in my sleep!"
Putting a hand to his chest in mock sadness, Megavolt replied, "Oh, I'm so hurt." Electricity arced between the prongs on his hat and he raised an arm, the current running down it to his finger. "I think you're right about the day job, though, I'd really hate to give up my plans for destruction and mayhem after all these years."
Darkwing pointed his gas gun but Megavolt grinned and shot a bolt of electricity from his finger before the duck could pull the trigger. It missed as Darkwing rolled out of the way, and then Megavolt had to jump aside as Darkwing fired his gun. He inhaled a tiny bit of the noxious looking yellow gas that burst out of the canister before he could get far enough away, and his eyes stung a little with tears, which enraged him. "Tear gas, Dorkwing?!" he yelled. "That's cheating!"
From somewhere in the darkness, the hero's voice drifted down, saying, "Pretty rich coming from you, you malignant maligner of morality!"
Stalking around transformers and generators, trying to follow the sound of Darkwing's voice, Megavolt replied, "Yeah, well, I wouldn't talk. What was Tom Lockjaw's special report the other night? 'Darkwing Duck: Hero or Hood?' Or was that the one where he referred to you as 'Winged Cape-y Guy'?"
Darkwing's affronted huff was audible and Megavolt crept towards it. "The media in this town are a bunch of hacks! What kind of reporting was that, I mean, did any of them bother to talk to me?"
"They never interview me either," Megavolt offered sympathetically.
"Whatever happened to journalistic integrity?"
"Hey, bad news and scandal sells, am I right?"
This seemed to pull Darkwing out of his stewing, and he said, "I'm surprised you have time to watch that scurrilous slander during your sinister scheming! I expect more of you, Megs, you're normally so single-minded."
Megavolt narrowed his eyes as he finally caught sight of a cape fluttering around a corner. "I took a break," he said, baring his teeth in a grin.
There was a click behind him. Megavolt froze and slowly turned around, finding the muzzle of Darkwing's gas gun pointed right at his nose, with Darkwing, currently cape-less, right behind it. "Better be careful with those breaks," the duck said. "Take too many and you'll never get anything done."
Clasping his hands behind his back and letting them crackle with power, Megavolt said, "Luckily, I'm very disciplined." With a triumphant cackle, he whipped his hands around, prepared to fry Dorkwing—but just as he let electricity fly from his fingers, Darkwing ducked.
And it was at that moment that Megavolt realized where he was standing and what that powerful stream of electricity was going to hit. "Uh oh," he said in a small voice as the bolt slammed into his invention.
He threw himself to the ground and found himself next to Darkwing, who gave him a look of disgust and said, "What kind of aim was that?"
"I was aiming for you!" Megavolt snapped as the machine began to shake and whine, spitting huge green sparks from its innards. One of them landed on Darkwing's hat, which he ripped off his head and beat on the ground before it could burst into flame. "Wait," Megavolt said slowly, flicking a spark away from his shoulder, "are you telling me that you didn't do that on purpose?"
By this point, the machine's whine had risen to such a high pitch that it was hard to even hear Darkwing as he said, "A…um…hero's intuition is his most…er…valuable weapon?"
Megavolt raised his eyes to the shuddering machine, which was shorting out the power plant's generators in white-hot electrical explosions one-by-one. "You might want to get your most valuable weapon looked at, then," he said, just as the whine rose to an unbearable pitch. He jumped to his feet, braving the sparks showering the floor, and bolted for the door, which really, he knew, he had no hope of getting to before his baby blew sky-high.
Darkwing followed him, all animosity between them forgotten as they ran for their lives. But Megavolt knew his inventions. He slaved over them for days or weeks and loved them like they were his children. He knew their moods, their nuances, their quirks.
And that was why he wasn't surprised when the machine exploded with a huge discharge of electricity, raining pieces of metal down and sending such a powerful current through the floor that when it hit Megavolt his rubber boots did nothing, and the resultant shock blew him right off his feet and somersaulted him through the air.
His backside hit the floor with a painful thump and he swayed woozily, staring out the open door—hey, he'd almost made it after all!—as the entirety of St. Canard winked into blackness.
A scraping at his side drew his attention, and his eyes fell on a heap of charred purple clothing. Through the haze of power still buzzing through his veins, it occurred to him that the heap of clothes looked a lot like Darkwing's dippy costume, and— "Oh!" he said, his eyes lighting up. He stuck a finger out and poked the heap. "Have I finally done it?" he asked gleefully. "Have I finally killed Darkwing Duck?!"
There was a cough from the heap, and then a pained and clipped, "I am still considering that as a distinct possibility."
Megavolt's face fell. "Well," he sighed, "it was a nice thought." He tried to get his feet underneath himself to stand up and thought better of it when pain shot through his whole body. "Say, Darkwing," he began conversationally, "what do you say we put this whole epic confrontation on hold for tonight?"
"Not a chance, Mega—ouch—volt," Darkwing replied, shifting slightly, but still mostly resembling nothing more than a pile of burnt clothing.
"Ooookay, fine," Megavolt replied crossly. "Ten minute hiatus, then?"
There was a pause. And then, "I can live with that."
The two of them sat there in the darkness for awhile. Sirens began wailing, dopplering by somewhere down the hill, and Megavolt checked his watch again, figuring it was only a matter of time until some of those sirens and the police cars they belonged to showed up outside the power plant. He tapped at the watch when he noticed it wasn't ticking, then gave a long-suffering sigh. "I go through these things like they're fuses," he said to Darkwing.
The duck had pulled himself into a sitting position by this time. "You should buy in bulk."
"Hey! That's not a bad idea! Not the buying. I mean, obviously I'd steal them, but the bulk…not bad, Darkwing, not bad."
Darkwing rolled his eyes and muttered something about staking out all the watch stores in the city, then creakily climbed to his feet. "All right, Megavolt, ten minutes are up. I'm pulling the plug on your pernicious plot post-haste."
There was a certain enthusiasm lacking in the words, and after a second, Megavolt pointed out, "My plot's already had the plug pulled on it."
"Oh." Darkwing looked around at the dark power plant, then began searching through his pockets. "You're right. I guess all that's left is the part where I gift-wrap you for the police."
Megavolt pushed himself off the ground. His head was still buzzing a little and his hands were shaking from the massive shock. "I'd like to see you try it, duck," he said, pointing emphatically. His finger sparked without him meaning it to and he smiled, trying to bring something a little more shocking to bear.
His body didn't comply, however. "Ugh, system overload," he groaned, then ducked away as Darkwing lunged for him. Something cracked in his spine and he adjusted his trajectory to be slightly less ambitious, though he still hit the ground with a hard thud that rattled his teeth.
He rolled to one side and smacked his head with a clang against the side of one of the blown out transformers. "Oof," he said as he saw double, "I forgot about how much my spatial awareness goes when I get shocked like that."
Something yanked him up by the collar and Megavolt squinted, wondering how long Darkwing had been working with a twin. "It's going to be a dry cell for you, Sparky, for a long, long time—yowch!"
Darkwing dropped Megavolt unceremoniously to the ground, and Megavolt quickly lifted himself up by his hands to see what was going on now. Darkwing's sleeve was aflame and he was frantically blowing at it, which puzzled Megavolt. With the power dead there was nothing to set that duck on fire…
Then he raised his eyes a little further and gulped. There was a person-sized ball of fire burning in the middle of the power plant. His mouth dropped open when it took a step forward and he realized that not only was it person-sized, it apparently was a person. A person made of…fire?
Having finally succeeded in putting out his sleeve, Darkwing whirled towards the fireball and pronounced, "Another felonious fiend for Darkwing Duck to finish off! You won't soon forget the day that you fought the fabulous feathered—hey!" He broke off as the fire person shot a ball of flame at him.
"Yeah, get 'im!" Megavolt cheered.
Darkwing glared at Megavolt then turned his attention back to the fireball, who was advancing on the duck. "Okay, bub," he said, pulling his gas gun out and taking aim. "Suck gas." The gun made an odd clunking sound but didn't fire, and Darkwing looked at it puzzledly. "Huh?" he said, just as the weapon exploded in a cloud of gas.
The stranger took the opportunity to shoot a stream of fire into the gas, which resulted in another pained cry from Darkwing. He stumbled out of the cloud, coughing and rubbing what appeared to be singed tail feathers, and choked, "I think it may be time to beat a strategic retreat."
With that, he disappeared out the door, leaving Megavolt alone with the fireball. Getting to his feet, he cocked his head and said, "Hey, thanks. I had that under control, obviously, but I don't mind saying you definitely brought the tactical advantage back over to my side." The fireball didn't respond, but it did turn towards him.
He cleared his throat and rubbed at a charred patch on his left glove. "So, uh…neat trick." Taking a step towards the fireball, he asked, "You must be new in town, pal." Still no response, so he stuck his hand out, then glanced at the way the flames were licking the floor and, on second thought, withdrew it. "Got a name?"
The fireball responded to that, though not the way Megavolt had expected. Without warning, the flame snuffed out and Megavolt, his eyes accustomed to the light from the fire person, was left in blackness, afterimages of the ball of flame burned onto his retinas.
"Hey!" he yelled. "That wasn't very sociable!"
There was no answer, except a clanging overhead that might have been someone climbing onto the second storey of the plant to access the windows. He was about to follow the noise when the sound of sirens reached his ears—and when he glanced over his shoulder towards the door, he saw blue and red flashing lights. Looked like Darkwing wasn't the only one beating a strategic retreat, Megavolt thought to himself as he clambered back up to the roof, dropped down on the power lines leading away from the St. Canard Electrical Plant, and skated away on them.