The Last True Hero

by Amanda Rohrssen

Chapter Two

Drake Mallard sat up and wiped the sleep from his eyes. He wiped them again when he saw where he was. He was back at home! What had happened down in that hole? The last thing he remembered was hearing Launchpad and an incredible pain on his head.

Maybe… he closed his eyes and tried to recollect. The doorbell rang, scattering his thoughts. Groggily he stood up and stretched. Again, the doorbell sounded.

“Hold on a second! I’m coming!” yelled Drake. He slowly shuffled to the door and opened it. Honker Muddlefoot, a nine year old genius and Gosalyn’s best friend, stood there on the stoop. He squinted up at Drake from thick red-framed glasses and squirmed nervously.

“Hi, Mr. Mallard. Is Gosalyn home?” Honker sounded as if he had a cold all the time.

Drake looked down at Honker and smiled. He liked Honker and wished he had more friends, but he was too shy. “She should be in her room. Gosalyn! Gosalyn, honey, Honker’s here!” He paused, waiting for a response, but there was none. He shrugged. “Hm, she must be at the video store buying another game for her Quackstation. I’ll have her call…”

“Hiya, Honk!” shouted Gosalyn from the top of the staircase. She hopped on the railing and raced down to the first level, crashing into Drake. She smiled innocently as she crawled off of him. “Oops. Sorry Dad. Honk and I are going to the video store. Love you, bye!” She grabbed Honker’s wrist and dragged him along behind her. Drake gradually got to his feet and slammed the door. Then he headed toward the couch again to rethink last night’s events. Halfway there, the doorbell rang again. Drake gritted his teeth and clenched his fists. He threw open the door.

“What?!” he yelled. The person on the stoop jumped back in fear. He readjusted the glasses on his bill and stared up at Drake. Drake glared down at the visitor, then sighed when he recognized the shirt and glasses. “Oh, Honker it’s only you. I…wait a minute. Weren’t you just here? Where’s Gosalyn?”

“That’s what I came to ask you. Is she home? We were supposed to meet at the video store, but she wasn’t there.”

“She should be, she just left with you.”

“With me?”

“Yeah, just a couple of seconds ago.”

“But Mr. Mallard, I haven’t seen Gosalyn all day.”

Drake looked down at his next door neighbor’s son in confusion. He went back into the house and up the stairs toward Gosalyn’s room. He knocked on the door, then opened it. She was sitting on the floor playing a video game with the television blaring. He walked over to her and shut it off.

“Hey! What’s the big idea?! I was playing that!”

“Gosalyn, have you been to the video store today?”

“No. I went last week.” Then she gasped, “I forgot to meet Honker today!”

“You didn’t just go out to the store with Honker?”

“I told you, the last time I went was last week and I haven’t seen Honker since yesterday.”

“Well, he’s waiting for you downstairs. Come right home when you’re done!” Drake called after her as she bounded out of her room, slid down the staircase railing, and out of the front door. Before Drake could even sit down again, the phone rang. He ran to get it, wondering where Launchpad was. “Hello?”

“Hello, Dark. I was calling to ask why you stood me up last night.” Morgana McCawber’s low, seductive voice purred on the line. Drake gulped and suddenly remembered that they had planned to go out last night.

“Well, I…I mean, Moliarty! He was, was trying to destroy the city with an earthquake machine. I left to stop him, and well…I guess it took longer than expected. Let’s go out tonight. I can make reservations at The Pond.”

“All right, Dark. I’ll meet you at seven. But if a crime comes up I want you to call me so I won’t wait around for five hours!”

“I love y- Hm.” He stared at the phone.

She had slammed the receiver down. He slammed his down too, then started searching the house. When he found that he was alone, he changed out of his robe and into a pink shirt and a plaid sweater. Then he walked outside toward the driveway and was surprised to find his blue station wagon gone. He shrugged and assumed Launchpad had finally decided to do the errands he had put off for two weeks. Next door, Herb Muddlefoot was watering his lawn and humming. Drake walked over to the fence and called him over.

“Hey Herb! Mind if I borrow your car?”

“Yeah. Binkie needs it to drive to the hairdresser’s.”

“Do you think she could…drop me off somewhere on the way?” pressed Drake, averting his eyes. He hated asking favors, especially from the Muddlefoots.

Herb scratched his head.

“Well, I guess that’d be all right. Binkie’s inside gettin' ready, she should be out in a half hour.”

Drake’s face fell. “Nevermind. I’ll figure something out. Thanks anyway, Herb.”

“You’re welcome, Drake-a-roonie! If ya wanna come by later, there’s a Pelican’s Island marathon on the TV!”

Drake rolled his eyes as he crossed lawns.


Launchpad hummed to himself as he got out of the blue station wagon. He’d finally remembered to pick up Drake’s Darkwing costume at the Swan Lake Dry Cleaners. A bell sounded as he opened the glass door. A blonde man sat lazily on a stool behind the register. He was obviously wearing a toupee and his cheap suit was a size too big. He jumped to his feet when he saw Launchpad.

“What can I do for you, sir?”

“I need to pick up a suit for DW- I mean Drake Mallard.”

“Mallard?” he sighed. “One moment please.”

The clerk disappeared behind a patched, ragged curtain. Launchpad waited patiently, whistling to himself with his hands in his pockets.


The Ratcatcher’s throaty rumble faded as Darkwing turned and pulled the key from its slot. He sighed and scouted the street, then turned a corner into an alley.

“That’s just great,” he scowled after he’d scanned it. Even the place where the filled in hole had been was now empty pavement. “No clues, no hole, no Moliarty, not even a measly little pebble! Perhaps a closer inspection will uncover his treacherous tracks...” From his vest pocket he pulled out his magnifying glass and began searching.


A metallic clang echoed fiercely through the store. Launchpad stopped whistling and turned around. The doors and windows had been barred shut.

“I’m sorry, sir,” apologized the man, materializing from behind the curtain, “but we don’t have a suit for a Mr. Mallard. Perhaps we’ll just take yours instead.”

The pilot felt something cold and smooth rub against his ankle. He screamed and leapt away. He was surrounded by golden puddles! As they closed in on him, the blonde dog gently removed his toupee and grinned at Launchpad. Then, without warning, the man’s exterior exploded into the same golden liquid and sprang at him. Launchpad could feel all of the slimy creatures crawling over him as their leader splatted into him, engulfing him. The more he fought them, the more powerless he became. More of them covered his face and darkness enveloped him.


Morgana McCawber sighed exasperatedly as she looked at her watch. Once again, he was late. As she lowered her arm, the doors of The Pond burst open, making the glass shake. A duck wearing a gaudy purple costume ran through them and up to the hostess.

“Reservation for Darkwing Duck.”

“I’m sorry, sir,” replied the hostess, “but there is no reservation under that name.” She looked him up and down, obviously not believing he belonged there.

Morgana, watching the scene, decided not to intervene. Why should she help him out when he was the one that was late? Chuckling nervously, Darkwing looked down at his outfit.

“Oh, heh, heh. Uh, where’s your men’s room?”

The hostess pointed across the room to a large sign announcing RESTROOMS.

“Oh,” he muttered as he hurried inside.

Five minutes later, Drake Mallard emerged from the men’s room wearing a wrinkled tuxedo. Once again, he approached the hostess.

“Reservation for Drake Mallard.”

“Yes, Mr. Mallard, your guest has already arrived.” She pointed toward Morgana’s table and he took off at a fast walk, following the direction of her finger. Morgana crossed her arms. What was his excuse this time?

“I’m so sorry I’m late, Morgana, but I had a break through in a case! I didn’t realize how late it was...”

She had stopped listening to him. Frowning slightly, she glared at him. Once again, crime fighting had come before her.

“You don’t have to explain, Dark,” she interrupted.

“I don’t?” he exclaimed, clearly surprised.

“It’s obvious that working on a case is more important to you than being with me.”

“Morgana, I didn’t say that, I-“

“You don’t have to say it, Dark. Your actions prove it.”

“Look Morgana, the city depends on me!”

“And what about me?”

“Do you expect me to turn my back on Saint Canard so I can be on time for a date?!”

“Ooooo, Darkwing Duck! I can’t even depend on you for understanding!”

She rose from her chair, her arms poised to cast a spell on him.

“Morgana, don’t! I-“

At that moment, the doors burst open yet again. This time, however, the glass shattered.

“Lights, camera, ACTION!” shouted a familiar voice. Three penguins and a walrus strutted in, the penguins carrying a movie camera. “Don’t worry ladies and gentlemen, it’s all part of the show. Just stick to my script and you get to live! Scene one, the hostages hand over all of their money and jewelry.”

Two of the penguins waddled around the restaurant collecting the valuables in sacks, leaving the third to operate the camera.

“Scene two, the hostages refrain from calling the police...or else!” The walrus pulled a large weapon from his suit. The diners gasped and many of them threw their cell phones at his feet as proof that they weren’t dialing 911. Drake glowered at Tuskerninni.

“Aren’t you going to stop him?” hissed Morgana urgently. He nodded slightly and began creeping slowly toward the men’s room. Tuskerninni pointed his gun right at him.

“Scene three, no heroics from the supporting cast!” Drake gulped. There was no way he could change now without endangering Morgana and everyone in the restaurant. He glanced at Morgana worriedly. She mirrored his expression.

“Should I use magic?”

“No!” he exclaimed hurriedly. “You might miss- I mean get hurt.”

She slumped back in her chair. “You still don’t trust me!”

“And no conspiring!” growled Tuskerninni.

When his penguins were done collecting the loot, Tuskerninni began backing out, his gun still aimed at Drake. “And finally scene four, in which the villain escapes unscathed to rob another day. Cut, that’s a wrap!” He dashed through the still open doors, glass crunching underneath his feet. Drake took off after him, but by the time he got outside, there was no sign of Tuskerninni. Defeated, he returned to the table.

“Are you all right, Morg?” he asked half-heartedly. Tuskerninni had gotten away with a crime right under his nose!

Morgana glared at him for his indifference to her well being. She could have had one of her eyes torn out and an arm missing and he wouldn’t have noticed.

“I’d like to go home now.” The anger was boiling up inside of her. Did she mean nothing to him? All he cared about was catching criminals and solving mysteries.

When Drake didn’t react to her statement, she stormed from the restaurant and hailed a taxi before he could catch up to her.

“Wait!” he yelled after her, waving his arms like a mad man. As he watched her taxi disappear into the night, he lowered his arms dejectedly. He was too late. Slowly, he made his way back to the Ratcatcher with angry tears forming in his eyes. From the pocket of his suit coat he pulled a small box out and clicked it open, revealing a diamond engagement ring. He sighed heavily as he replaced it, shaking his head. With or without the robbery, he had still ruined a perfectly good evening.


“Then she took a taxi home! I was too late to stop her. I don’t get it, LP. Why can’t I get through just one evening without making her mad at me?” Drake sat with a steaming mug of tea across from his sidekick, whose eyelids were sliding sleepily over his baggy eyes.

“I don’t know, DW. Maybe if you showed up on time she wouldn’t be so angry. There are other things besides crime fighting, you know.”

“But I’m no good at anything else!”

“Whaddaya mean? You didn’t know anything about parenting when you started, but Gos is doing fine. Just try and see things from Morgana’s side, DW.”

“Darkwing Duck? Get in touch with his feminine side?! That’s preposterous! Impossible! I…I…I guess I could give it a shot,” he yawned, giving in to the pilot’s advice. “Sorry to drag you out of bed so late, LP. Thanks.” He poured the remains of his drink down the sink and placed the cup in the dishwasher.

“No problemo, DW. Night,” replied Launchpad, returning the yawn.


Both sluggishly went their separate ways to bed, the moonlight casting ghostly shapes along the walls throughout the silent household.


“Where do you think you’re going, Sparky?”

“Ooo, don’t ever call me that!”

“Why not? … Sparky!”

“Oooo, Darkwing Duck! I should have known you’d show up sooner or later!”

Megavolt had just robbed the local shopping centers of all of their light bulbs and was now carrying them in a sack as he glided atop telephone wires, using his boots like skates. Darkwing was pursuing him on the Ratcatcher. Every time he gained on him, Megavolt threw an electric bolt. He dodged these easily, but swerving slowed him up. As Darkwing accelerated toward Megavolt again, Megavolt turned sharply onto a connecting set of wires crossing in the other direction. For the moment, he’d lost Darkwing. After congratulating himself thoroughly, Megavolt once again changed direction, and was greeted by the twin headlights of Darkwing’s motorcycle.

“Whoa, how’d you do that?”

“Trade secret,” Darkwing replied with a smirk. “Now give up this ridiculously relentless run you repugnant rodent!”

“Never! Not until all of the enslaved light bulbs in the world are free!” He laughed maniacally and took off in the opposite direction. Darkwing followed. Megavolt led the protagonist through a maze of streets as he wound between buildings searching for a safe hiding place. Finally he dove inside the open window of an abandoned factory. Darkwing swerved in front of the factory’s entrance and skidded to a stop.

“Okay, Sparky. You hide, I’ll seek.”

He dismounted and sauntered through the rotting wooden doors. Darkness surrounded him as he crept inside. There wasn’t even a glimmer of light to follow him from outside. “Good thing I brought my trusty flashlight,” he reassured himself as he pulled it from his suit pocket. He clicked it on, waving it around the factory to get an idea of how to get up to Megavolt. Suddenly, the light flickered. Darkwing banged it against his hand. The beam stopped flickering, but a few moments later, it died. “Drat. So much for trusty,” he grumbled as he put the now useless flashlight away.

The heavy silence weighed him down in the blackness. He crept forward, his hands outstretched and his mind focused. A sound met his ears. He stopped dead.

“Megavolt?” he whispered. His stomach clenched and his eyes widened, desperately seeking light. Petrified, Darkwing stayed where he was for what seemed like eons. Only silence met his ears; he was beginning to think that he’d imagined the noise. He took another soundless step forward, not sure of where he was going, but slowly gathering determination. He kept reminding himself that he had to find Megavolt, and that he couldn’t let his imagination overpower his heroism. That’s when he felt it. Hot breath searing the back of his neck, making his blood run cold. Frozen in place, Darkwing whimpered in panic, his skin prickling all over as the breathing continued. He took a tentative step forward and was about to whip out his gas gun when he felt the cold steel of a knife run up his feathery spine.