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"The Duck Knight in Duckburg" excerpt

#1
Hi everyone! In honor of Darkwing Duck's 20th anniversary, I've posted the first chapter of my latest story, cowritten with BeecroftA. The rest is posted on Fanfiction.net.
I can hardly wait to share the guest list of characters in this, but you'll have to wait and see! The only hint I'm giving you is that most of the villains have only appeared on the show once!

This one is the second part of a trilogy, with the first being "The Best Present Ever." You can read "Best Present" in the previous forum thread on here called "My Short Stories from Fanfiction.net."

Enjoy!
Dwcape

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The Duck Knight in Duckburg


The summer night had a slight chill to it as clouds spilled over the moon, casting fleeting shadows across a well-manicured lawn. A fleet-footed shape darted out of the cover of the well-spaced oaks around the property line, darting to the house looming on the hill.

The stranger moved without pause toward one side of the house and scampered up the wall, clinging to it easily despite the dampness of the cold brick. At least the rain is holding off, the creature thought after a quick glance at the sky. Few things were worse than a wet stakeout.

The figure reached the unlocked window and wedged it open just enough to drop to the other side. There it paused, listening intently.

The room's other occupant snored away, undisturbed by the slight breeze created by his visitor's passage.

The creature moved lightly across the floor, its weight too slight to bend the carpet fibers. It scanned the room and went directly to the nightstand, searching for a piece of paper or a key. Any clue that might indicate where the formula was hidden.

The person who owned this house, and many businesses besides, was known for setting traps and having clever diversions in place to keep would-be thieves away from his assets. The thief currently standing in his room was specifically assigned to investigate his personal belongings, and, if necessary, bring him in for questioning.

The duck's snoring changed pitch and the vandal froze. The duck shifted under the covers, his face stopping inches away from the thief's. The creature skittered away, bumping a statuette on the nightstand.

The sleeper snorted and stirred.

The vandal waited, confident that even if the old duck turned on the lights, he wouldn't notice his uninvited guest.

The duck settled back into his sleep, mumbling contentedly.

The thief slipped out the window, closing it and returning to a tree top to watch and wait, glancing at the sky. If those thunderclouds were any inkling, it would be a miserable morning...

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Scrooge McDuck was sitting at home, holding the earpiece from his old fashioned gold phone to his head. He tapped a pencil impatiently on his notepad, glaring at his desk.
Duckworth patiently stood nearby, holding Scrooge's top hat and cane on a platter. Scrooge was about to close the 'deal' with a failing bank and was quickly tiring of the manager's plea for more financing.

"No, and for the umpteenth time since you've called, NO! I'm not giving ye one red cent and that's final!" He slammed the earpiece back on the cradle and glanced up testily. "Duckworth, reschedule my appointments for the day. I'm goin' for a swim..."

Scrooge snatched up his belongings and stormed toward the door.

"Yes, Sir..." Duckworth said levelly as he strode ahead of his employer to hold the door open for him. "Shall I cancel your meeting with the mayor, then?"

Scrooge paused. "No. I'll resume my schedule in an hour. I've had it up to here with beggars and pleaders...Cancel the 10 o'clock fundraiser..."

"Certainly, Sir, but isn't that the fundraiser for Master Huey's baseball team?"

"Awk! Blow me bagpipes! I plum forgot!" Scrooge gaped. "Well, niver mind. Forget what I said, Duckworth. I'll just take a half hour swim in me money bin..."

"As you wish..." Duckworth smiled graciously and opened the car door for him. As Duckworth started the car, Scrooge glanced back at the house.

"Duckworth, did ye by chance move me statue of Goldie this mornin'?"

"Pardon me, Sir...?" Duckworth looked at him questioningly in the rearview mirror.

"You heard me! When I got up this mornin', me darlin' Goldie was sitting a full half inch off center from her usual spot. I dinna leave her like that last night..."

"Perhaps you sleepwalked again, Sir..." Duckworth offered as he pulled out of the driveway.

"Perhaps, but I think I would recall gettin' up in the wee hours..."

Duckworth looked in the mirror at him again. "Are you suggesting someone broke in the house last night, Sir...?"

Scrooge thoughtfully rubbed his chin. "Ye niver know, Duckworth. At the rate technology is changin' these days, I wouldn't be surprised if me alarm system has been outdated..."

"Should I call the police commissioner, then?" Duckworth asked, his hand hovering over the car phone. It wasn't a touch screen set into the dashboard like modern car phones, but it worked efficiently enough.

Scrooge considered it, staring thoughtfully out his window at the silhouette of his money bin on a not-too distant hill. He smirked and held up his hand.
"I wouldn't want to go botherin' the commissioner on an old duck's suspicions. I have another idea..."

****
Meanwhile, in a yellow suburban house on Avian Way...

"Mallard goes for the win. She feints left, right, takes the kick!"

Gosalyn kicked the soccer ball into the air. It bounced off the edge of the "net" (one of the blue chairs in the living room), ricocheted across the room, flew off the wall (just barely missing the Darkwing Duck statuette), rolled across the coffee table, and slid into the chair's skirt.

"GOAL!!!" she pumped her fists in the air.

"Gos-a-lyn!" Drake yelled from upstairs.

Gosalyn winced at his harsh tone.

Her father came half way down the stairs, his hair feathers sticking out every which way and his toothbrush in hand with foam on his beak. Gosalyn giggled. He glared at her.
"How many times do I have to tell you: don't play hockey in the house!"

Gosalyn smirked and picked up the ball. He rolled his eyes and corrected himself.
"That includes soccer and baseball and any other sport normally played outdoors! Put that away and finish your breakfast..."

"I did finish," Gosalyn quipped, bouncing the ball alternately on her knees. "Come on, Dad! Hurry up! I can't wait around all day!"

"As a matter of fact you can!" Drake retorted. "I'm your father and what I say goes! Now put that ball back in the garage where it belongs or we won't go to the amusement park today!"

Gosalyn jabbed her thumb toward the window. "Hell-o! Earth to Drake Mallard! It's raining cats and dogs out there! Unless you want to play mud puddle hopscotch, I think the park is out of the question for now. All the rides will be closed."

Drake sighed. "Of course it would rain on today of all days...!" Looking back at Gosalyn, he offered a slight smile. "Sorry, Kiddo. I know you were looking forward to going, but we'll go there some other time." Heading back to the bathroom, he called over his shoulder. "Now could you please find something less hazardous to our home and my health to occupy you until I finish dressing...?"

Gosalyn went up behind him and waited in the hall, rocking back and forth on her heels impatiently as she watched Drake rinse off his toothbrush. He was mostly dressed. All he needed was his vest and a comb. She had another idea.
"Well, you could do that, or...we could go to the tower and find some real action!" she hinted.

Drake chuckled. "Yeah right. I hate to burst your bubble, Gos, but I seriously doubt even Liquidator will be out on a day like this. Especially at..." he glanced at a clock on the wall. "Nine in the morning."

Gosalyn raised her arms in protest. "But that's what makes it so perfect! Nobody in their right mind is outside unless they have to be, so that means criminals and wackos and martians and mutants and celebrities could roam the streets without anyone noticing!"

"Again, why would anyone want to get wet..." Drake muttered.

"Come on, Dad! This is what I really want for my birthday!" Gosalyn exclaimed.

He looked at her questioningly. "Seriously?"

"Sure, why not?" she shrugged. "Patrolling the streets...," she mimed turning a steering wheel. "Busting bad guys..." she kicked at the air. "Building a reputation for being alert even when the weather is at its worst... Sounds like fun, huh, Dad?" She looked up with wide eyes and a hopeful smile.

"I was afraid you'd say that..." Drake grumbled, facing the mirror again.

"Hey! What's the big deal?" Gosalyn bristled. "I've been with you what, two whole years now, and next year I'll be in Junior High School..."

"Emphasis on the "junior"..." Drake growled, toweling off his face.

Gosalyn continued uninterrupted. "...And I know everything I need to fight the bad guys you face on a regular basis. I know all of your moves!"

Drake smirked. "Oh, you do, huh?"
He lunged at her.
She hopped up over his head and slid down his back.
Twisting his arm around, Drake snatched the edge of her shirt.
She wiggled out of his grasp and kicked off his back, darting down the hall. Drake pursued her.
Gosalyn fought back a laugh. This was fun!
She twisted and bounced off the wall, ricocheting past Drake. He blocked her, but she slipped past him.
She veered toward her room. He darted past to block her.
She climbed up on the stairs bannister and slid down the railing. Drake followed her route of choice, sliding down on his feet.
Gosalyn flipped, landed on her feet, and zipped into the living room.
Drake leapt from the railing, landing just shy of the table with his statue on it, and took up pursuit.
Gosalyn used the living room to her advantage, launching her leaps from the furniture and ducking underneath the coffee table. No matter how close her father got to catching her, she stayed out of his reach.

Launchpad entered the racing zone, still knotting his scarf. An end of it flopped in his eyes and as he reached up to adjust it, he was spun in a circle by the momentum of the two racers.

"Whoa! Who turned on the fan?" he gasped as he straightened his scarf and cap.

Drake slid to a stop and ducked behind the sofa. As Gosalyn flew past him, he threw an afghan out just ahead of her. Bull's eye. It landed on top of her.

"Hey!" Gosalyn squawked in protest, struggling to move out from under the heavy blanket.

Drake quickly followed his impromptu tarp and wrestled with his squirming charge until she was free from the afghan. He scooped her up and plopped on the couch with her, sitting her in his lap. He planted a kiss on her head.

"How was that for a new move? Bet you didn't see that coming!" he smirked proudly.

"No fair, that's cheating!" Gosalyn protested with a grin.

Drake let her up and straightened his shirt with a haughty sniff. "Yep, yep, yep...Darkwing Duck always gets his man! Or, daughter, in this case...!"

"Hey, there's my little birthday buddy!" Launchpad grinned at Gosalyn and held out his arms for a hug.
She smiled and briefly embraced him before plopping back on the couch.

Launchpad cleared his throat and glanced between his housemates before reaching into his bomber jacket.

"Uh, I know we were supposed to wait until lunch before handing out your presents..." he grinned and shrugged sheepishly at Drake. Drake smiled. Launchpad grinned appreciatively and extracted his hand from his jacket. "However, seeing that the weather isn't going to cooperate any time soon, I thought this might cheer you up!"

He handed Gosalyn a small box with a big bow on it. Gos reached for it, but the bow was stuck to Launchpad's thumb. He chuckled and jerked the adhesive ribbon off of his thumb, handing over the present with a slight grimace. Some down feathers were still stuck to the bow.

"Sorry about that, hehe... I had a little trouble with the glue not sticking so I improvised..." Launchpad chuckled again. "Guess extra-strength Monkey Glue isn't the best thing to use in gift wrap, huh?"

Drake rolled his eyes.

"Thanks Launchpad," Gosalyn giggled and tore off the ribbon. Inside the box was a gift card to a huge sporting goods outlet store. Gosalyn grinned and thanked him again.

Launchpad accepted her gratitude graciously before turning his attention to Drake. "Sorry, DW. I checked the weather report... Looks like cats and dogs are in the forecast for the rest of the weekend... But on the bright side, I just found an ad for something indoors. Gos is bound to find this interesting..." He proffered a newspaper clipping to Drake.

Gosalyn snatched it before Drake could take it and looked it over. Drake raised an eyebrow at both his impudent daughter and at Launchpad.

Launchpad explained with a shrug. "It's something Mr. McDee built a few years ago. I'm surprised you guys haven't been to it yet...It's the Scroogerama Dome, and right now Monster's Unanimous is performing on stage. They came straight from Swannsylvania. It's got Count Drakeula, Quackenstein, Quackimodo, a werewolf, a swamp thing and...Well, everything!"

Drake cringed at the mention of the werewolf, remembering all too clearly when he had been transformed into one.
"I thought we agreed to discuss alternative ideas without an audience...!" he said through clenched teeth, looking pointedly at Gosalyn and back to his chagrinned sidekick.

Launchpad shrugged again.

At that moment, the phone rang, providing a welcome distraction.

"I'll get it!" Gosalyn chimed, dropping the paper.

Drake seized it and studied the ad carefully.

Gosalyn answered and, after looking momentarily confused, held out the receiver. "Launchpad, it's for you..."

Launchpad took the phone and Gosalyn went to pick up her discarded soccer ball.
Sensing that Gosalyn had something on her mind, Drake set the paper down and followed her.
She rolled the ball back and forth across her shoulders a couple of times and started bouncing it on her knees.
Drake leaned against the kitchen doorway to watch her, wanting to tell her his own plans for the day. He smiled to himself as he waited for her to speak first, fully expecting her to pester him about her presents... And boy did he have a surprise for her!
Finally she broke the silence, but her words took him by surprise.

"Dad, I'm serious about the crime-fighting thing. I'm tired of watching all the time... You need help! And not just from Launchpad..." Gosalyn glanced guiltily toward the den, hoping the pilot hadn't heard her. She looked back at Drake and saw a blank expression on his face. She sighed to herself, thinking that was a bad sign.

Drake, meanwhile, tried to sort what he'd just heard against what he'd anticipated. How was he going to get back to the subject of presents when she kept focusing on crime fighting?

Gosalyn continued playing with the ball as she defended her idea.
"I know all the super villains' major weaknesses just like you and I've taken on Negaduck and Megavolt on my own!" she tossed the ball in the air. "Annnnd I'll even let you have all the glory..."

"'Glory!'" Drake's voice rose several decibels. He caught the airborne ball and tucked it under his arm. "What's the point of glory if I lose the most important thing in the world to me in the process?!" He knelt down in front of Gosalyn and rested a hand on her shoulder, looking her in the eye. "Gosalyn, Sweetie... Don't this the wrong way, but the answer is no for now."

"But Da-ad...!"

"No." He shook his head. "You're not ready yet. You're still growing up, and you need to focus on schoolwork before graduating to the science of law enforcement and criminal pursuit."

"Science...?" she said sarcastically. "Yeah right! As if any of your big entrances..." she made quotation marks with her fingers. "And combat moves are scientifically planned..." He raised his finger to protest but she ignored him. "Besides, it's not like I'm trying to take your place! I'll just handle the thugs that are unworthy of your skills. And when we handle the hard time crooks and the big shots, you'll be in the front line, taking them down, just like you always do! You'll still be the brains behind the outfit."

Drake smiled at the flattery just as Gosalyn had known he would. She smirked to herself and pressed on.
"I just wanna make sure someone's got your back... Besides..." she straightened and punched her fist. "Quiverwing Quack is way too cool to drop. I've got to stay in the public eye so that, when I do go solo, I'll have my reputation all set up and everything. Criminals will run before I even finish my intro..."

Gosalyn hid a wry smirk and looked hopefully up at her father. Surely he would see the reasoning behind that argument.

Drake stayed silent for a moment, thoughtfully scratching his chin. For a moment, he looked like he was going to agree and Gosalyn crossed her fingers behind her back excitedly. Then some other thought occurred to him and his expression soured. He shook his head.
"Sorry Gossie...the answer's still no."

She crossed her arms and harrumphed.

"I'm sorry, but that's just how it is. You're still too immature to be a superhero and that's final." Drake patted her head and walked toward the kitchen, leaving her seething.

Launchpad peeked in from the den, covering the phone speaker with his hand. "Hey, uh Drake? Mr. McDee would like to speak with ya...if that's okay...?" he grinned awkwardly. He looked at Gosalyn's face and grimaced, knowing there would be trouble later on...

Drake raised his brow and politely accepted the phone, heading back into the den with it.
"Drake, here..." he said levelly.

"Ah, Mr. Mallard," Scrooge's voice on the other end of the receiver was bright with a smile. "I was just talking to Launchpad about you and yer bonnie lass. Would you consider stopping by my house for a visit on your way to the Scroogerama Dome?"

"Who said anything about going?" Drake asked suspiciously. "Launchpad just showed me the ad for it a minute ago..."

"Aye, and he mentioned it was Gosalyn's birthday today too," Scrooge needled. He hadn't become the most successful businessman in the world by being sweet and subtle. "What better way to entertain her on a rainy day than going someplace new...?"

As Drake considered this, Scrooge got around to the real reason he was calling.

"I also would like you to take a look around me mansion. I suspect someone was snooping around here early this morning..."

"Me? Really?" Drake brightened before remembering he was talking to someone who, as far as he knew, wasn't privy to the knowledge that he was Darkwing Duck. He cleared his throat awkwardly and asked in a more serious tone.
"Why not call the police? I'm sure they would love to look into this for you..." Drake smiled wryly as he said this, thinking of all the St. Canard law enforcers who would trip over themselves to do the rich duck's bidding. Plus there was Gizmoduck... Come to think of it, why wasn't Scrooge asking his own hired helper? Didn't Gizmoduck have something in his suit like, say, a magnifying glass or a scanner that could recognize footprints...?

"Aye, they would...," Scrooge agreed smoothly. It took a moment for Drake to get his thoughts back in order to listen to Scrooge's comments. "...But if it turns out to be a false alarm, then the next time I call the police about somethin' suspicious, they'll automatically think I'm losing me mind and would barely give it a glance..."

Drake had to admit that was a good reason not to call the police.

"...And I specifically recall Launchpad mentioning you were good with security details..." Scrooge added firmly.

"Hehe..." Drake nervously tugged on his collar. "Good ol' Launchpad...speaking without thinking first..." he gritted his teeth and eyed his sidekick.

Sensing he was in trouble for something, Launchpad grinned nervously.
"Ah, gee, I just remembered..." he said, fumbling in his pocket for the car keys.”I've got to pick up the, uh...cake! Hehe." He scurried out of Drake's line of sight.

Drake scowled at Launchpad's retreating back.

Scrooge smiled to himself. He had heard the whole exchange. "Speaking of a party, I was thinking of having a little get together with me nephews. They're aboot Gosalyn's age and they love sports... Maybe they could entertain each other while you check me home security measures..."

Drake wasn't entirely convinced. After all, he had that surprise for Gosalyn he really wanted to give her (at the right moment, which was most certainly not now). And his superhero super senses were tingling with suspicion that part of Scrooge's reason for extending the invitation was to get a free home security consult. (Much like Darkwing's inspection of Scrooge's money bin a couple months ago... It still irked him that he hadn't been paid for his expertise and his ingenious suggestions. Even a "Thank you" would have sufficed.)
However, as he leaned against the hallway partition Drake noticed Gosalyn looking over the ad for the Scroogerama Dome again. Monsters and live entertainment would be just the sort of thing to take her mind off of crime fighting for a little while...and give her something special for her birthday...
He sighed.
"Alright. We'll come..."

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