The Master of Sorrow

by Rachel Faraday

Chapter Two

The inside of the Old Haunt was crawling with its usual crowd. The typical low-life. The gangster wannabe. The brutish thugs. The occasional super villain. It was just another night in the Bad Part of Town. The ruff bartender filled a glass mug with foamy beer and slid it forcefully down the bar into an awaiting open fist.

Above the bar and off to the side was an old, faded painting of a sharp young mallard with dark eyes that glittered and feathers slicked back atop his head. His stare pierced through the thin layer of cobwebs that covered the framed painting and his suit still looked crisp and pressed. Much of Saint Canard had changed since the painting had been hung on that wall. The Old Haunt was no exception. He used to frequent the Haunt when it was a bar for the hard-working slaves of the city who wished to drink away the day’s stresses. This painting had served as a reminder of a Saint Canard legend. However, only Old Haunt veterans knew of or acknowledged this old legend who continued to fade away with each passing year.

But that legend was about to resurface, and his first stop would be his old haunt.

No one seemed to notice the saloon-style doors swing open. The old mallard took one step inside, and then stopped to survey The Old Haunt. The thugs and criminals continued their game of darts and arm wrestling, not giving him the slightest glance. But Jacob Mallard wasn’t here to see any of them. The villain he sought was nowhere in sight.

Jacob sauntered inside, his slight limp and clean suit finally catching a few curious glances as he made his way over to the bar. He took a seat on a vacant stool, and he couldn’t help but give the faintest smirk when his eyes found the painting still hanging on the wall.

A shadow suddenly loomed over him.

“Humph. Ya know, I think you may be in the wrong place, pal,” the robust bartender suggested in a deep voice.

Jacob remained cool, confident, and considerate. “I beg to differ. I am in the right place,” he said in his deep, growly voice. He leaned forward and now spoke a bit more quietly. “I’m looking for Negaduck.”

The barkeep let out a deep laugh, his foul breath stinging Jacob’s eyes. “Why? Not lookin’ to wait for old age to do ya in, old timer?”

“It’s a business matter,” Jacob replied, dismissing his jeering remark and keeping to his point.

“Oh yeah? Well, Negaduck don’t come in here much. And it’s just as well for you, pal. The only business he’ll do with you will require you to pay with yer life.”

Jacob only gave a sly, knowing smile. “I’m going to make him an offer he won’t be able to refuse. Now, where is he hiding these days?”

The bartender shrugged his shoulders while he cleaned a glass with a rather dirty rag. “From what I hear, he’s been up that abandoned asylum on Oak Hill. But yer signing your own death warrant by going up there, pal.”

The old mallard smirked. “Aw, showing concern? Better not let anyone hear you say such a thing in this part of town. They may mistake you for the large, cuddly type.”

“Hey!” the burly canine snarled defensive. He was done being what one would consider ‘friendly’ in the Old Haunt. “I’ll show you ‘cuddly’!”

He hurled the glass mug at Jacob who, even in his older years, was able to duck in time. The glass sailed over him and hit the back of a large biker pig’s had, shattering into pieces. He spun around with an enraged glare on his face and eyed the guilty bartender. A chair was thrown across the room in retaliation, which also missed its mark and struck a bystander.

Within seconds, the Old Haunt had erupted into an all-out brawl. Fists were flying and foul words were shouted. And while crashing could be heard, Jacob Mallard calmly strutted out of the bar, unscathed, and vainly brushed some stray dust from the shoulder of his gray suit.

“Well, that was quite refreshing,” he smirked to himself. Jacob tapped his fingers pensively on the handle of his cane.

He was well on his way to revenge. It would take patience and cunning. It surely would be dangerous. But to Jacob Mallard, it did not matter the price. He would hunt down Jake Mallard and make him pay. He would make him suffer the way he had suffered. But Jacob knew that his double would not go down easy. Jake was smart, deceitful, and had power on his side. So Jacob would need to play every card he had in order to get back at Jake. And there was one duck that could complete his deck of arsenal.

With his shoulders squared, he strutted away from the Old Haunt and toward the outskirts of Saint Canard.


“You wanted to see me, Director Hooter?”

Jake Mallard stood in front of SHUSH’s Director J. Gander Hooter, who was sitting behind his ornate desk. Despite not knowing the reason for standing in his office that morning, he kept a stoic expression.

“Ah, Agent Mallard. Thank you for coming in at such short notice. I understand that you have been quite busy as of late,” J. Gander greeted him in a friendly tone.

“It’s not a problem, sir,” Jake responded, sensing that this meeting would be in his favor. “What can I do for you?”

“Indeed. It is a matter of what you can do for me.” J. Gander leaned forward over his desk, his hands clasped in a loose fist. “As you know, Chief Agent Gryzlikoff has been on a temporary duty assignment at our legal attaché in Moscow. Originally, it was intended to be 30 days, but it appears that his assistance is further needed for an indefinite amount of time. And because we do not know how much longer he will be needed, we need a capable agent to oversee operations here in the meantime.”

J. Gander now stood up and rounded his desk. “This is where you come in, Agent Mallard. I am assigning you as Acting Chief Agent of SHUSH.”

Jake could feel his ego double in size and he managed to suppress the smug smile fighting to spread across his bill. “Of course, J. Gander. I’m at the disposal of the needs of SHUSH. I would be honored to act in Chief Agent Gryzlikoff’s absence,” he said in a humble voice.

But Jake was determined to do more than merely be a stand-in for Agent Gryzlikoff. He was determined to out-perform the long-lasting Chief Agent and steal the position right from under his nose.

“Excellent. That takes care of the first matter of business,” J. Gander said as he clapped his hands together. “Now, for—"

“I am the terror that FLAPS in the night!”

Both heads turned to see the cloud of blue smoke billowing from atop J. Gander’s desk.

“I am the in-grown toenail on the foot of crime! I am Darkwiiiiiing Duck!!” The smoke cleared to reveal Darkwing striking one of his trademark poses, despite receiving little reaction from his audience of two.

“Darkwing Duck. So glad you could join us,” J. Gander greeted as the caped crusader hopped down from the desk.

“Indeed,” Jake added.

“So, J. Gander,” Darkwing began with a smug air. “What’s the case this time? Is FOWL concocting another scheme toward world domination?”

“No such pressing matter, Darkwing,” the SHUSH director waved away. The hero visibly deflated. “I asked you here to share in a recent change in the ranks. I have just announced the appointment of Agent Mallard here to Acting Chief Agent.”

Darkwing looked curiously in Jake’s direction. “Really?”

Jake only replied with the slightest smug smile.

“This comes in the indefinite assignment of Chief Agent Gryzlikoff to our Moscow office,” J. Gander continued to explain. “Agent Mallard’s work speaks for itself and I have full confidence in his ability to carry out the tasks required of the Chief Agent.” He looked in Darkwing’s direction. “Your role in SHUSH’s operations came as an influence in my decision, Darkwing. Your assistance in many of our cases is crucial, as is your ability to work with our agents. You and Agent Mallard have collaborated successfully in the past, which I consider to be important to SHUSH’s continued success.”

Darkwing puffed out his chest with pride. “Yep, yep, yep, yep! No need to fear, J. Gander. With Agent Mallard leading your agents and with Darkwing Duck at his side, Saint Canard will be in safe hands!”

“Well said, Darkwing,” J. Gander verbally applauded as he made his way back toward his desk. “Now, if you gentlemen would excuse me, I need to make this official by putting it in writing.”

“I was hoping to have a word with Agent Mallard, anyway,” Darkwing said as he and Jake excused themselves from J. Gander’s office.

Once in the hall, Darkwing tried to contain his excitement while he accompanied Jake back to his own office. The hero looked up to Jake and admired his dedication to SHUSH. He secretly looked to him as a father-figure he didn’t have for most of his life. Darkwing did not know much of his biological father, Jacob Mallard, who had disappeared when he was still a child. As a young Drake Mallard, he wanted to believe that his father had died admirably. In the line of duty. And Jacob’s disappearance was only the beginning of a downward spiral of tragic events for Drake. His older sister was eventually killed in a horrible accident, and his mother took her own life, leaving Drake as the sole survivor. He never found out what had happened to his father, but held on to the idea that he had perished.

Darkwing felt that Jake Mallard had somehow filled the void that his own father had left him years ago. Jake was also dedicated to SHUSH and was the only agent who seemed to work well with the crime fighter. And when the agent would hand him a compliment, Darkwing felt the pride every son wishes to feel. He respected Jake, and looked up to him as the father he never had.

But subtly, of course. Darkwing knew that Jake was the professional and no-nonsense type. He didn’t want to put a dent in his or the agent’s reputation.

“So, looks like we’ll be working on more cases together,” Darkwing said as they continued down the hallway.

“Indeed,” Jake replied evenly. “I’ll admit that I didn’t see that coming.”

“Well, I’ll say that J. Gander made a good decision! Besides, you’re much better to work with than old Gryzz,” Darkwing sneered with a disgusted emphasis on Gryzlikoff’s name.

Jake humored him with a light smirk. “Well, don’t celebrate just yet, Darkwing. This is only temporary until Agent Gryzlikoff’s return. And I intend on being just as hard-assed, if not more so. Think you’ll be able to handle that?” he asked him challengingly.

“Pah! I can take anything you dish out, Agent Mallard. No need to worry about Darkwing Duck!”

“Thatta boy. Now, any news on our boy, Negaduck?” Jake asked him, changing the subject.

Darkwing narrowed his eyes, as he did every time his double came to mind. “Not a thing since the other night! I’m still trying to get a lead as to whether he is just in a lull or planning something diabolical.”

Jake nodded as they came to his office. He opened the door and stepped inside. “Unfortunately, with a character like Negaduck, we’ll have to wait for him to make a move.”

“Well, when he does, I’ll be there to personally handcuff him and bring him to SHUSH with a big red bow on his head,” Darkwing said, already grinning at the humiliating image of his nemesis in said predicament.

“Easy, kid,” Jake cautioned as he sat down behind his desk. “As much as I’d like to see that for myself, we still have certain expectations and reputations to uphold. The both of us.”

The hero shrugged, trying to cover up his disappointment. “Well, yeah, I guess you’re right.”

There was a pause as Jake opened a file that needed his attention. As he read it over, he added, “Bringing him in a gift basket would be just fine.”

Darkwing’s eager grin returned to his bill. “Consider it done, Agent Mallard.”

He gave Jake a salute, then grabbed the corner of his cape and enveloped himself inside it before disappearing his trademark blue smoke.


The vast, old structure of the asylum that sat atop the hill on the outskirts of Saint Canard loomed over the Audubon Bay. Once a lock-away for the mentally unsound, it had since been condemned for years, yet the screams could still be heard echoing through the halls. The eeriness would never leave the walls, just as the hopeless souls never left. It truly was the definition of an unsettling, haunting place that struck fear into those who nearly passed by.

This is precisely why he liked it here. This was his sanctuary. His hideaway. No one would dare even stumble across this place.

Or so he thought.

Negaduck kicked in the old front door of the asylum, which banged loudly against the wall. The reverberating sound traveled through the hallways and reached the ears of his two trusty Dobermans. They barked and could be heard stampeding down the hall to great their master, who was less than thrilled to see them.

“Get down, you stupid mutts!” Negaduck barked back as they eagerly jumped at him.

The two dogs followed the masked mallard as he stormed down the faded white halls. He stepped into a room that had once served as the asylum warden’s office, which contained a desk and a plush leather chair. The bookshelves had been altered into racks for his arsenal. On the wall were several headshots of those he hated. There were many more of Jake Mallard and, of course, Darkwing Duck.

Negaduck stepped over to the window that faced Saint Canard. The lights sparkled against the night sky. He placed his hands firmly on the window sill and leaned forward, glaring out at the city.

“Darkwing Duck and Jake Mallard. Dimwit and Bastard of the Year. How you torment me so,” he snarled aloud to himself. “And NOW they’re showing up at my heists together?? One was bad enough, but now I have to put up with the both of them simultaneously.” He groaned and rubbed his temples. “I can already feel the migraine settling in….”

“You might want to consider taking something for that.”

Negaduck’s head perked up at the voice, as did the ears of the canines that had been lying on the floor. He spun around to see the outline of a mallard standing in the doorframe.

“I’m sure there is a 24-hour pharmacy you could hold up at this time of night,” the figure added.

The two dogs rose to their feet and bared their glistening teeth, the hairs on the back of their necks standing on end. At first, Negaduck’s mind jumped to the conclusion that Jake had found his hideout. Still, the voice was similar, but not the same. And this intruder carried a cane in one hand.

“Who in the Hell are you?!” Negaduck demanded.

Jacob took a few steps forward into the room, the dim light now revealing his face. “Not a friend, but not an enemy. But we’ll get to that in a minute.”

“Oh yeah?? Well, in the meantime, allow me to show you what I do to uninvited guests!” He pointed toward Jacob and then demanded of his dogs, “Get ‘im, boys!”

The Dobermans began to stalk towards Jacob. But the old mallard didn’t flinch, not seeming to bethel eats bit intimidated by the vicious dogs. Instead, he suddenly pulled out a rather large flank steak and waved it enticingly in front of them. Their expressions immediately went from fierce to excitement.

“Here you go, pups,” Jacob said calmly and hurled the steak out of the room behind him. The dogs barreled past him, forgetting about their master’s orders.

Negaduck was left with a dumbfounded expression. “Hey!!”

Jacob looked back at him with a smug expression. “Now, can we talk?”

In a flash, Negaduck had leapt over the desk and had the barrel of a pistol shoved in Jacob’s face. He glared dangerously up at him and grabbed the tie around his neck to pull him closer. “You wanna talk? Fine. Tell me what you want written on your tombstone!”

Unfazed, Jacob stared coolly back at the villain as if there wasn’t a gun aimed between his eyes. “It’s a mystery as to why you don’t have any friends.”

Then, demonstrating that his skills were as sharp as ever, one of Jacob’s hands shot up and grabbed Negaduck’s wrist, pulling it to the side and away from his head. He twisted hard, sending a wave of sharp pain up Negaduck’s arm and forcing him to drop the weapon. Jacob then spun him around and thrust him face-first up against the wall. The masked mallard growled loudly and violently tried to throw Jacob off of him, but the former SHUSH agent still possessed admirable strength for his age.

“Now, are you going to be a good boy and calm down?” Jacob sneered into the enraged duck’s ear.

“Nooooo!” Negaduck jeered back in a taunting, childish tone. He thrust one of his webbed feet back and jammed it into the Jacob’s Achilles’ heel--his bum leg.

He howled in pain, momentarily relinquishing his hold on Negaduck who spun around and grabbed him by the lapels of his suit. Jacob was now staring into the masked mallard’s enraged blue eyes.

“I’m gonna send you to the convalescent home where you belong, old man!” Negaduck roared and then hurled him into the air. Jacob hit the top of the desk and tumbled onto the floor on the other side. There was the loud "thump!" and then silence.

Negaduck grinned triumphantly, convinced that he had knocked the older duck unconscious. He marched across the room and rounded the desk, expecting to find Jacob’s form lying motionless on the floor. But when he looked down, there was nothing. Negaduck blinked with a baffled expression on his face. “Huh??” Then the thought hit him. “Uh oh….”

The crescent-shaped top of Jacob’s cane suddenly hooked Negaduck around the ankle and pulled his feet out from under him. He hit the floor on his back and let out a frustrated groan. “I’m getting my tail handed to me by a freakin’ senior citizen….”

Then his eyes fell upon the gun that had landed on the floor. It was just out of his reach several feet away. Negaduck jumped to his knees and made a scramble for the gun. He leapt for it, only to be yanked back by Jacob grabbing him around the ankle. But his fingers managed to close around the handle, and Negaduck turned and pointed the gun back at Jacob, who quickly let go of him.

Negaduck let out a low chuckle as he rose to his feet and stood over Jacob, clearly having the upper-hand. “You messed with the wrong duck, you old coot. Now I’m gonna blow your brains out, and there’s nothing you can do to stop me!”

Jacob narrowed his eyes defiantly. Then he kicked his foot up and struck Negaduck mercilessly right in the groin.

Negaduck’s eyes bulged. His knees locked together and he squeaked, “Except for maybe that….!” He fell to his knees and toppled over onto his side.

As the villain writhed in pain, Jacob rose to his feet, gathering his cane in one hand and rolling his shoulders back into place. He looked down at Negaduck with a stoic expression as if he had just walked in the door. “Now you’re going to listen to me, Negaduck. I didn’t come here to bruise your ego. I’ve come with a proposition that I think will only benefit you.” He picked the gun up off of the floor, just in case the villain tried to turn the tables once more. Jacob then decided to cut to the chase as he stepped over to the desk. “I’m here because of Jake Mallard.”

Still feeling his manhood pulsing in pain, Negaduck managed to pull himself to his knees and slowly rise to his feet. He looked toward Jacob questionably, his curiosity now perked. “Yeah? So what?”

Jacob leaned back against the desk and stared back at him. His black eyes seemed to suddenly take on a deep sense of spite and hatred. “So, I have a score to settle with Agent Mallard. We go way back. He’s responsible for a lot of anguish in my life, and is responsible for this,” he sneered and motioned to his handicapped leg. “I’m Jacob Mallard. I used to be an agent at SHUSH until he tried to kill me.”

“I know who you are,” Negaduck snapped as he finally regained himself and straightened the red fedora on his head. “You’re his double. Jake is you from the Negaverse. He ruined your life. I get it. And I don’t care. But what I don’t get is why you’re HERE in MY hideout.”

“I told you: I have a proposition for you, boy. I want Jake Mallard to pay for what he’s done to me. I’ve planned his demise in my head for years. But I know it will be easier said than done, and I don’t dare underestimate him if could risk the loss of my revenge.” Jacob eyed him. “I need you to ensure he meets an untimely, and painful, end.”

Despite wanting the same fate for Jake, Negaduck remained indignant, and scoffed. “What makes you think I’M the duck for the job, huh? What makes you think I would even want to help you??”

“Because you initially thought it was him when I stepped through that door. I could see the pure hate and rage from across the room.” Jacob set the gun down on the desk and leaned forward a little. He locked eyes with him, and now Jacob’s eyes were a bit softer. “I know he’s your father, Negaduck. And I know there’s a reason behind your pure hatred toward him. You want him dead just as much as I do. Neither of us seems to be able to accomplish that on our own, but together we can finally bring him down. We can finally make him pay…”

Negaduck stared at him for several long seconds. The tense emotion in the room was so thick that he could cut through it with a machete. Finally, he broke the stare and stormed away a few steps. “So you wanna join forces with me to bring down Jake Mallard, huh? You, an ex-SHUSH agent, working with ME, the city’s public enemy?” To prove his point, he narrowed his eyes suspiciously. “Why should I trust you?”

But Jacob only returned a cunning smile. “You can’t. But then again, why should I trust YOU?”

There was a drawn-out pause. Negaduck folded his arms across his chest and smirked. Jacob had hit the nail on the head.

The villain gave his reply in a deep growl.

“I’m listening…”