The door to the dark room creaked open, a small dark figure stood before the room with a determined face. Tossing her backpack lightly to the side, Webby Vanderquack closed the door behind her and slowly made her way to her bed. Her limbs ached, her mind was a little on the fuzzy side. But she knew she couldn’t stop yet. Her bed was nearby and she knew she really needed some shut eye. The clock near her bed were blazing the time. 3:30 A.M.
She was out nearly all night again. And to make things worse there was an adventure tomorrow. Scrooge was taking everyone out again for a crazy few days. Webby had to be ready, maybe she could sleep more on the plane.
Letting a yawn escape from her beak, she finally made it to her bed. Stumbling onto it she barely managed to shut her eyes before they snapped open. A familiar feeling began to strangle her chest and she turned on her back, slowly letting the panic attack take over. She could feel shadow tentacles wrap around her chest, her arms, her legs. Everything was feeling like it was choking her. Her breathing began to speed up, whimpers escaping from her as she frantically tried to keep telling herself it wasn’t real.
It’s not real….it’s not real….
It’s just my minds reaction to two months ago. C’mon Webby snap out of it!
Slamming her eyes shut she tried to will her body to relax. Repeating the mantra of It’s not real over and over she slowly began to even out her breathing. Slow breaths, in and out. She needed to take control back over her own body. Opening her eyes, she frantically looked around and found something. Her Quacky Patch doll. Reaching for it, she grabbed it and frantically focused on it as an anchor. This was real, this was now. She wasn’t in the Shadow Realm, she wasn’t going to die. She was here, at home safe in her bed.
Feeling herself finally relax, the phantom shadows released their hold on her body. She gasped and panted, shivering slightly at the experience she had been having since the incident at the temple two months ago in the Amazon.
Releasing her hold on the doll she briefly wondered if she should go wake someone up. But that thought quickly fled. It was so late and frankly she didn’t know what to tell the others. Phantom shadows are haunting her? Okay not the weirdest thing they probably have heard. But the last thing she wanted was others knowing that she was weak. They had seen enough of that two months ago. Clenching her fists, she groaned.
She hated this. When she wasn’t adventuring, doing her homework, researching a way to save Lena….she was fighting nightmares. She had hoped that they would have fled the more time passed. Instead it seemed like these nightmares were becoming quite the hassle.
As her thoughts drifted off, she began to finally fall asleep. She only prayed the nightmares wouldn’t return. Soon she fell into a deep sleep with no dreams.
Sadly, her door slammed open only two and half hours later, causing her to sit straight up in her bed. Her arms already in a defensive position.
“RISE AND SHINE SLEEPING BEAUTY ITS TIME FOR ADVENTUREEE!” Dewey announced, his brothers on either side of him. Huey had the decency to look worried for entering Webby’s room without knocking.
Louie was just checking his phone, looking about as awake as Webby felt.
She felt her heartbeat slow down and her posture relax as she realized it was just the triplets. “Guys?” She rubbed her eyes, showing signs of exhaustion as she got out of bed. “What are you doing up this early?” She yawned.
“Webby!” Dewey bounded over like he had 4 cups of coffee. “Aren’t you excited about this adventure?”
Webby grinned at her best friend. “Yeah of course I am!” her cheerful personality was activated and to be fair they had been waiting quite a few weeks for this adventure. Laughing, Dewey grasped her arms and spun her around, causing her to giggle and get rather dizzy. Once he let go, she struggled to stay standing and Huey grasped her shoulders to steady her.
“Dewey don’t be so reckless!” Huey chastised while making sure Webby wasn’t feeling ill after that.
Still half laughing, her eyes not opening because she felt as if she would vomit. Webby grasped her knees and took a few calming breaths.
“Whoops got carried away.” Looking sheepish, Dewey brushed a hand through his feathers on top of his head nervously.
It was then when Louie glanced up, took one look at Webby and knew. She happened a glance back at him and then swiftly turned back to Huey and Dewey who were arguing about something.
Louie eyed her with a raised eyebrow and slowly went back to his phone. “Can we wrap this up? I have a treasure with my name on it waiting for us in…..where are we going again?”
Dewey raised a finger and opened his beak to explain where they were going, then paused and a look of confusion spread across his face. “You know I don’t really remember..”
Webby was getting ready. She made sure to grab her clothes and change in her bathroom while the others chatted in her room.
“You two..” Huey sighed and shook his head. “Okay, I’ll brief you both on where we are going..”
While the group seemed busy, Webby glanced at herself in the nearby mirror. Her mind started to wander a bit, thinking about Lena and what had happened in the Amazon. She didn’t like reliving those moments in time. The fear of almost dying had really gotten to the young Duckling. Never in her life had she felt that suffocating emotion. True to her nature she had pushed it away, hiding it within the deepest recesses in her mind. There it had to stay, Webby had no need of those emotions. Especially not in adventuring and exploring. Everyone counted on her to be the steadfast Webby who could save the day. Webby who wasn’t afraid of anything. And she wasn’t. Staring hard at herself in the mirror she took a shaking breath and spread out her arms, now fully clothed and ready for the adventure.
“It’s okay Webby, just another adventure.” She gave the mirror a bright smile.
A knock at the door nearly made her jump. “Webby you still in there? Were ready to go!” Dewey called from the other side.
“I’m coming!” Webby quickly grabbed a few things and opened the door with a grin. “Let’s head on out!”
Grasping Dewey’s arm Webby pulled him behind her as they met up with the rest of the group near the front door.
Everything would be fine.
Everything is not fine.
Everything is far from fine!
“Webby look out!” Dewey yelled, fear laced his voice as he launched himself into her, knocking her away before the chimera took a bite out of her. Together the duo tumbled on the stone tiled floor. Dewey hissing as his back made contact with the rough cave wall.
When Webby opened her eyes she noticed Dewey’s unconscious form next to her, a gash on his forehead. “Dewey..” Webby grit her beak and turned back to the chimera who was now distracted by Scrooge and Louie while Huey was running towards Webby and Dewey.
“Webby! Are you okay?” the red clad triplet asked worriedly.
“I’m fine, but Dewey..” Webby worriedly glanced down at the duck in blue and Huey’s face turned to pure worry as he grabbed the first aid kit and began to work on Dewey.
Letting out a relieved sigh, Huey smiled. “Don’t worry Webby Dewey’s okay, just-Wait, Webby?” He noticed that the duck girl was no longer by their side.
Running at full speed, Webby clenched her hands into fists and launched herself at the Chimera.
“Lass?!” Were the concerned voices of her family.
Despite the slight shaking of her body, despite the fears forming below the surface. Webby managed a kick to the Chimera’s face and sprang away before it could claw her with his tiger like claws.
Landing on her feet, skidding a bit from force. She quickly looked around for anything to trap the beast.
Smirking she dodged another roar and claw from it. “C’mon kitty-parrot-crocodile type thing!” she taunted and quickly turned around and began running further into the cave.
She briefly thought she heard the cries of her family, but she continued to run, leading the beast away from those she cared for most in this world.
While still thinking of how to defeat this chimera, suddenly the earth before her dropped out.
Skidding to a stop before the cliff, she spun around. The Chimera was slowly stalking her now, knowing she had nowhere to go.
Her back and feet were a mere inch towards the edge.
And then the others burst in behind the Chimera.
Scrooge surveyed the scene and his eyes widened. “Webbigail, do not move!” He ordered.
Webby swallowed hesitantly. “No worries about that.” She joked. It was pretty much impossible unless she wanted to become dinner or a pancake.
Huey had Dewey’s arm around his shoulders and was supporting him. Dewey was now awake and looking at the scene with slight worry but mostly pain.
Louie was trying to think up some way to get rid of the monster.
Scrooge was trying to inch around the beast, who was now growling at them all.
Webby was teetering on the edge of the cliff, knowing she should move. But what if when she did the beast attacked her? Or them? Would she be able to save them?
She could feel her brain becoming overloaded which was not a good thing. Too many things could go wrong. She had to figure out a safe way to-
It was too late.
Webby’s eyes widened in shock as the beast launched himself at Scrooge who was trying to reach her. Everything was like in slow motion for her. Watching in horror she found herself planted in place. Despite her frantic mind commanding her to move she just couldn’t.
The triplets also looked on in horror as Scrooge hit the ground with the beast on top of him. Using the cane he tried to beat at the beast.
She heard several voices at once and suddenly it was harder to breathe.
Huey happened a slight glance at Webby at this moment and saw the tell tale signs of a panic attack on her face. This shocked him because Webby was the most level headed of them all.
“Webby! Snap out of it and help Uncle Scrooge!” Huey yelled, trying to will her out of her catatonic state.
But it seemed Webby was too lost in her own head at the moment. Hearing Dewey let out a panicked cry, Huey’s eyes turned back to see Louie starting to pelt the beast with rocks to distract it.
Muttering some choice words at his brothers’ stupidity he grabbed a few of his own. Dewey, who was now able to stand on his own did as well and all three boys began to throw rocks at the beast.
It spun at them, growling and eyes bright with anger.
This gave Scrooge the chance he needed. Using all his strength he planted his feet firmly on the monsters chest and used all the power he had to shove it away.
Letting out a surprised growl, the chimera was sent tumbling towards the cliff.
Right towards Webby who was still looking rather lost.
“Webbigail! Jump!” Scrooge yelled but Huey knew that his words wouldn’t reach her in time. Running towards her, Huey grasped her arm, yanking her away from the edge as the Chimera careened off it and down the drop below.
The two stumbled to the ground with Huey above her. She had never felt so vulnerable as in that moment. Huey was breathing hard looking down at her. “Webby are you okay!?”
She looked up at the oldest triplet and for once didn’t know how to respond. But she slowly calmed down and looked up at the worried face. Scrooge and the other two ran to them too.
“I’m okay.” Webby managed a smile to Huey. “Thanks.”
Scrooge, battered and wincing as he walked reached the two, sighing in relief.
Webby couldn’t look at them in the eyes as they celebrated the defeat of the Chimera. Together the group got the treasure in the cave before meeting Launchpad outside. On the plane ride home, Webby was staring out the window, thinking.
The triplets were talking among themselves but Louie glanced back at Webby as did Huey cautiously. Only Dewey seemed semi oblivious, although he noticed his brothers were a bit distracted.
“Hey…guys?” Dewey asked, grabbing the others attention. “Whats up? You both seem a little distracted.”
Louie opened his mouth, paused and gave Huey a side glance. Huey nodded.
“Well.. its just that have you noticed anything odd with Webs?” Louie asked.
“Webby weird or different kind of weird?” Dewey asked.
“Different kind of weird.” Huey answered.
“A little.” Dewey confessed. “But I figured it was just because of….well everything. Losing Lena, the whole thing in the Amazon.. I mean..”
“Did you notice she froze in the cave?” Huey asked the other two and both frowned, thinking.
“You are right she did.” Dewey realized with slightly wide eyes. Turning around he ran to Webby with the others following.
Said duck had her arms wrapped around her legs as she stared outside. But at the yell of her name, her head spun to see the triplets walking towards her. She gave them all a bright smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes.
“Guys! What’s up? That was some adventure huh? Dewey how are you feeling? Still hurting?”
Dewey ignored everything and grasped Webby’s hands in his own. “Webby! Are you okay?”
Webby, shocked by the others sudden outburst tried to pull her hands back but Dewey held firm. “What? What are you guys talking about? I’m fine. Its you who is injured Dewey.”
The blue duck shook his head. “I mean are you really fine? During that adventure you seemed…unwebby like.” Dewey didn’t want to comment that she had choked. It might make the female duck mad.
“What? What are you talking about. I’m always me Dewey.” She chuckled a little. “Did that tumble rattle your brain?”
“Webby, we know you have been sneaking out late.” Louie commented, approaching her from the side. At this, Webby froze. Dewey and Huey both glanced at Louie with semi shocked expressions.
“What are you..” Webby started, but Louie put a finger to her beak.
“Ah ah ah, Dear Webbigail are you trying to lie to me?” Louie smirked, crossing his arms across his chest and Webby faltered.
Instead she turned her face away. “Guys, I appreciate your concern but I’m okay.” She said softly.
“Lie.” Louie stated. He walked up to her and got into her face. “Did you learn nothing from the Amazon?”
“Webby.” Huey pulled his brother away, giving her a calm smile. “You know you can tell us anything.”
“Were family, and family sticks together.” Dewey added with a grin. “And if you’re hurting please share with us.”
Unsure of what to do, Webby started to wring her hands and bite her lip. She knew they were right. Maybe she could open up a little. She was just starting to feel like a part of the family. “I….I’m sorry… Louie is right, I have been sneaking out. I’m…trying to find some kind of spell to save Lena.” She confessed.
The triplets showed concerned faces.
“Webby you know doing magic behind Uncle Scrooges back is forbidden.” Huey stated, a hesitant gaze over to said Uncle who was snoozing away on the passenger side.
“But it’s the only way I can think of to save Lena.” Webby said.
“True.” Dewey nodded. “But learning magic could be dangerous.”
Webby steeled her thoughts. “I will do whatever I have to. I promised her.”
There was a pause as the triplets glanced at each other. All three turned back to Webby with smiles. Well Louie’s was more of a smirk.
“Were in.” Louie commented. “Anything you need, we will help you.”
Feeling a smile split her face for once in a long while. A true smile, she laughed and hugged them all. “Oh guys thank you so much! I don’t know what I would do without you!”
By the time the group got home all were in better spirits. And when Mrs Beakley noticed the state the boys were in not to mention Scrooge, she glanced worriedly at her granddaughter. But she seemed the least wounded of anyone there. Scrooge met her eyes and tilted his head slightly. Together, while the kids went off to play Scrooge led Beakley to his office and locked the door behind him.
“Sir..” she started.
He sighed. “Well perhaps the silver idol of the Caverns of Corinth was an ambitious first outing…”
“What. Happened.” Beakley’s voice was firm.
Letting out a grumble and wince, Scrooge sat down in his chair. “Well there was this Chimera…” he began.
“A chimera? What breed?” Beakley seemed curious.
“Tiger, Croc, parrot.”
“Interesting combination.” Beakley muttered. “So? Why are you all appearing as if the Chimera won?”
Scrooge winced a bit. “Well, we might have had a slight….snag.”
“Like?” With a raised eyebrow, Beakley crossed her arms.
Scrooge rubbed his eyes. “I don’t know how to say this without it sounding wrong, Webbigail, well she choked.”
This startled Beakley. “Webby? Webby does not choke. She knows about 45 different ways to choke others. But..” Then she paused. “Wait, could it be?”
“I’d be surprised if it wasn’t.” Scrooge lamented. “The poor lass never really dealt with the incident in the Amazon. She hasn’t told us what happened there either, within the Shadow Realm. Did she tell ye?”
Beakley pursed her lips. “The cliff-notes version I’m sure.”
Scrooge frowned and nodded. “I’m sure she is trying to deal with this her own way. But the lass may need some help.”
Beakley paused a bit. “I’ll see what I can do. Webby is strong. But at the end of the day, she is a little girl who has gone through so much too fast.”
“Aye, I only blame mahself for not talking to her sooner.” Scrooge sighed.
“And while it was to protect her, keeping her here without any knowledge of the outside world was a bit…much.” Beakley frowned. She turned and grasped the door handle. “Mr McDuck…..Scrooge.” She turned back to him. “Thank you for protecting my granddaughter.”
Scrooge gave her a genuine smile.
“22, she is not only yer granddaughter, but my grandniece as well. She is and always will be family. I love her like my own. If she ever wills it, she can change her name to McDuck.”
Beakley chuckled. “I’m sure she would love that.” She paused. “Is there any word on….”
Scrooge shook his head slowly. “Nay, no word from Gyro. But I feel he is working night and day for a solution.”
Beakley sighed. “I’m just worried…Webby’s been sniffing around.”
“Aye I’ve seen the dark circles myself.” Scrooge affirmed.
“I hope she doesn’t do anything reckless.”
Scrooge smirked wryly. “Why 22, she is yer granddaughter. It’s almost confirmed that she will.”
Beakley blew a stray feather from her face. “I was afraid you’d say that.” She frowned. “By the way, what happened with that other……situation?”
Scrooges’ face instantly shifted to uncertainty. “I’m…unsure.” He said hesitantly. “I’ve shifted everything to shadow research for now.” He stated. Surprised at this comment, Beakley frowned.
“Sir, are you sure?”
“I am.” Scrooge’s voice was firm. “I spent years searching for a ghost. Lena is real, I know where the lass is. I just need to get to her and make sure she has a home to come back to.” He sent her a smile. “Seems cut and dry for me. I don’t leave her in that horrid place any longer than necessary.”
“And what does Donald think of this?” Beakley asked, arms crossed.
Scrooge winced. “I haven’t…told him yet, But I’m sure he’d agree.”
“22…” Scrooge sighed. “I’ll look into it after we bring the lass home.”
“I hope you are making the right choice..”
Scrooge waited until Beakley left his office before mumbling under his breath. “As am I..”
“So!” Webby clapped her hands excitedly. “What should we call our super secret mission?! I vote for Mission Midnight Shadow! It’s catchy and symbolizes what we are doing!”
Louie let out a dragged out yawn. “I vote for mission Late night nap, why do we gotta do this stuff so late anyways?!” he complained, flopping on her bed. He was lying on something oddly warm and comfortable. He snuggled into it.
“Uh, Louie?” Webby sounded a little worried.
“Mmm?” he mumbled.
“You’re lying on my skirt.”
Louie’s eyes popped open and he let out a horrified scream before rolling off the bed.
His brothers just laughed at the incident and Webby rolled her eyes.
“Now!” Webby grinned and unveiled the board she had created. “Gentleman! This is the Save Lena from the Shadow Realm board!” she displayed the board which had a picture of Lena in the middle. She connected it with a drawing of Webby with a sticky note saying “Best Friends” between the two. Another piece of yarn connected Lena’s picture to a drawing of the portal to the Shadow realm.
“Now what do we know about the Shadow Realm?”
“Not much, I mean you were the one most involved in that.” Louie shrugged and Dewey nudged his brother with an elbow, shaking his head rapidly and looking worried. He happened a glance to Webby. She looked a little shocked a bit, but then smiled sadly. “Ah that’s right.” Nervously tucking a piece of her hair behind her ear she stood on the balls of her webbed feet.
“You guys don’t really know what happened huh? I really only told Granny a bit of what happened.” Webby let out a small breath.
“Webby if you aren’t ready to tell us we understand.” Dewey said.
Huey nodded as well. “I understand how hard it is to deal with anxiety due to a terrifying situation.”
Clenching her hands into fists she shook her head. “No, its fine. I need to get this out anyways.” She met the triplets eyes. These three were the only ones she could really trust with most of the info she wanted to tell them.
“Um, well.” She brushed a hand nervously into her hair, resisting the urge to grab and tug at her white locks. “Where should I start?”
The three boys were thinking of questions to ask Webby.
“Well, I guess start from the top?” Huey commented. “What happened in the Shadow Realm?”
“Also, follow up question.” Dewey looked curious. “What do you think the Shadows are made of? What did you and Lena talk about? Ooo were there Shadow monsters?”
Webby laughed a bit. “Dewey one at a time!”
Louie suddenly looked up, met Webby’s eyes and asked. “What was it like being consumed by that shadow gunk?”
Huey and Dewey’s eyes widened as the oldest whacked the back of Louie’s head, then looked up nervously.
“Louie!” Dewey hissed then nervously looked at Webby.
Webby was attempting to smile, quickly erasing the look of shock she had a moment before. Nervously, she tugged at her bracelet.
“No no its fine…it’s a fair question.” She swallowed a bit. “Um, to answer in order I guess…well Huey a lot happened in the Shadow Realm. Got chased by a bunch of shadows of you guys…Lena led me to a place to hide. Dewey, we talked a lot about…..well just everything. I told her that you guys didn’t blame her for the events of the Shadow War. When I touched Lena she felt solid, but also a bit like Jello..so maybe Shadows are made some kind of matter. It can be tangible but I guess only if you have Shadow energy inside you.” She chuckled. “Also we talked about how I was feeling…cleared some things up I guess. Then the shadow energy from that world began to grab at me.” She shuddered. “As for your question Louie.” She met his eyes evenly. “It was terrifying. Like being grabbed by a squishy jellyfish in the ultimate hug of death!” She announced, standing up with one arm straight in the air. With a grin she jumped back down and hummed. “I mean sure, it was scary. But everythings okay now so whatever.” She rocked a bit with her hands wrapped around her knees. “But I don’t see how any of this will help us. The fact is Lena can’t leave without a body here.”
“So you think there’s a spell that can give her a body?” Louie asked, looking sheepish for asking the earlier question. Her answer kind of unnerved him.
“The question is how Magica did it before.” Huey pointed to them. “If we can replicate that then she can come back for good.” He smiled.
“Right, but we can’t exactly go up and ask Magica where she got the spell for that.” Dewey added.
“Besides, none of us know magic in general..” Louie added.
“I can handle that part. I’ve been really curious about magic for a while now.” Webby grinned. “I even read a couple books on it.”
“You aren’t gonna become a witch on us are you?” Louie deadpanned.
“No, of course not! But wouldn’t it be cool if something like that happened?!” Webby grinned, she ran around and grabbed a pen, flicking it into the air like a magic wand.
“Abra Cadabra!” She waved the wand with a laugh. “Expectro Patronum!” she pointed the wand at Louie, teasing him and laughing.
Dewey joined in her laughter and grabbed a pen too. Both began to pretend to battle each other with their magic wands while Huey and Louie watched with amused expressions.
Right outside was Donald, door ajar just enough to watch the kids play. He let out a relieved sigh and smiled sadly. He was relieved the group was acting normal. He noticed even before how different Webby was acting, quiet and withdrawn. The triplets seemed to feed on that energy as well. It worried Donald. He knew the events from the Shadow War and Amazon would take time to heal.
“Donald?” Mrs Beakley’s voice whispered in his ear.
He almost let out a large Quack! But Beakley put a hand over his beak and pulled him from the bedroom.
“Do I even want to know why you are sneaking around my Granddaughters bedroom so late at night?” Beakley raised an amused eyebrow.
Donald sighed. “Just checking on the kids. They seemed down earlier.”
“I see..” She eyed the room where she heard them playing and chatting.
“Well those kids are rather tough. They just needed some time to bounce back and work their minds and hearts through this.” Beakley nodded firmly.
“Yeah.” Donald wouldn’t tell Beakley this, but he had a feeling Webby in particular still had many things to work out. But he didn’t want to worry the grandmother. Besides, he had the feeling she already knew.
“Right, Donald.” Beakley turned to him. “Scrooge wants to talk to you. So whenever you have a chance.” She nodded to him. Then went to Webby’s bedroom to tell the children it was time for bed.
Donald seemed confused. Why did Uncle Scrooge want to talk to him?
Making his way down the dark hallways, Donald managed a stifled yawn as he knocked and entered his Uncle’s private study. “Uncle Scrooge?”
“Donald?” Scrooge sounded surprised, then sighed. “Come on in lad.”
Closing the door behind him, Donald nervously tapped his fingers together as he walked towards his Uncles desk. “Mrs B said you needed to tell me something.”
“Right, right, have a seat.” Gripping the chairs arm, Scrooge steeled himself for a rather long and probably heated conversation.
“How are you doing lad?” Scrooge began after Donald was seated.
“Okay?” Donald answered confused. “Worried about the kids as well.”
“Aye as am I…which is why I decided something.” Nervously, his fingers brushed against the cool glass and plastic of his tablet.
“I’m going to devote quite a sum of money and people on Lena’s situation.” Scrooge’s eyes locked onto Donald’s.
“Okay?” Donald paused waiting for him to say more. When he didn’t he continued. “I think that’s great. The sooner we can bring Lena from the Shadow Realm the better for everyone. That poor girl doesn’t deserve to spend any longer alone like that.”
Scrooge let out a breath and smiled weakly. “I’m glad you feel that way. I made a promise to the lass too. Two of them really.” He chuckled. “It really is time I live up to my name…But Donald…this means…” he tilted the tablet back up, showing the small amount of footage of the moon towards his nephew. “This means I canna look into the moon footage until after. I won’t split my team any thinner.”
Donald’s face turned to shock, then anger, then pain. He looked at the tablet and softly put his feathered fingers onto the glass. A tear slipped down his face and he really thought about what the other was saying. This was a hard choice. It was either the possibility that Della was on the moon, or saving Lena from the Shadow Realm. He stared hard at the glass before sighing and lowering his head.
“I still mean what I said before Uncle Scrooge.” He said painfully. “The sooner we can bring Lena home, the better.” He raised his slightly teary eyes to his uncle. “I don’t think I could face my sister knowing that I left a child alone in that horrible place.” She would understand he knew. Even if she was still alive, his sister would want this as much as he would. He could feel it. He set his eyes to determined. “We will do this after we save Lena right?” Besides…it wasn’t as if there was any real proof that his sister was on the moon anyways.
Scrooge nodded firmly. “Don’t you worry Donald we will see if these suspicions we have are true or not.”
Donald seemed relieved at this and gave his uncle a weak smile. “Thank you.”
Sighing as he glanced out the window of his limo, Scrooge watched as he inched closer to the Money bin. It was late, pushing almost midnight. But he had a few things to pick up from his office and to check on Gyro and how the situation was progressing. Ever since his under water lab had been destroyed by Magica’s shadows he had taken it upon himself to do his work at the money bin. Once he arrived there, with Launchpad crashing the car into a fire hydrant of course, he made his way up to his office. Opening the door, it creaked open with an ominous sound and cast a small amount of light in the nearly pitch black room. Flicking on the lights, he wandered to his desk and shuffled through some drawers.
“Curse me kilts, where is that..” Scrooge mumbled and growled.
“Sir?” A voice abruptly spoke from his door.
Jumping, he glanced back to see Gyro, his clothes in disarray. Bags were under his eyes, as if he hadn’t slept in days.
“Aye, Gyro. Just who I wanted to see, how are ye?” Scrooge quickly found the notes he was looking for and picked them up.
“Sir, I’m glad I caught you. I need to show you something.” Looking curious, Scrooge followed the man downstairs, about 20 flights of stairs mind you, to his lab.
There Fenton was snoozing away at his desk. It was covered in notes and graphs about the shadow Realm.
Before them lay a device that resembled a snow globe of sorts. Inside was a floating mass of shadow energy. It spun around the globe as if trying to escape its prison but had nowhere to go.
Connected to it were various wires and a tablet. It also had a few antenna sticking out from the sides.
Staring at the globe in awe, Scrooge pressed a hand against the tempered glass.
“Sir,” trying to catch the older ducks attention, Gyro picked up a few graphs to show him as well as some notes. “I’m afraid I don’t have very good news about the Shadow Realm situation. I’ve studied the samples I have collected and there seems to be some very unstable elements within the….substance itself. I’ve tried a few ways to solidify it into a body of sorts. But every time I try it seems to become unstable and…well that again.” Huffing, he set down the charts. “Also, it seems opening another portal to the Shadow Realm may be a bit difficult as well. The few we are able to create are small and only last a minute or so. I’m worried about making them any stronger.”
“Why?” Scrooge asked, not liking where this conversation was going.
“The bigger the portal, it becomes unstable. The situation at the Amazon would happen again and begin to suck in our entire world. The ancients had powerful magic for sure. I’m surprised the portal in South America didn’t suck everyone inside as well as the entire continent.” Gryo muttered with a raised eyebrow.
Scrooge didn’t like this at all. Clenching his fists he took a deep breath. “Well if it was easy I’m sure everyone would be opening portals to the Shadow Realm aye?” Frowning, he glanced at the charts and notes.
“Gyro, how possible do ye think it will be to figure it all out?”
“Sir?” Gryo frowned.
“A timeframe. When do you think ye can have a stable portal and enough knowledge about how Shadow Forms work?”
Gryo sighed, rubbing his eyes. “At the rate I’m going…probably seven months to a year.” He said with a shrug. “It’s not impossible Mr. McDuck, but there are precautions and variables I need to account for. You are asking to basically change one form into another. Only this isn’t turning liquid into a solid.”
Scrooge frowned at this. This wasn’t the answer he was looking for. He had hoped to get this done quickly and move onto the moon project.
But he sighed and slowly nodded. “Keep it up Gyro, if ye can have it done any sooner let me know. A bonus may be in your future.” He smirked, maybe some more money would help.
Gryo gave the older duck an incredulous look. “Right, well goodnight Mr. McDuck.”
As Scrooge began to turn around, a rustling of papers alerted him to the now awake Fenton. Or had he been awake this entire time?
“Wait! Dr. Gearloose! Aren’t you going to tell Mr McDuck about that weird message we got from the moon?!” Fenton's overly excitable voice shouldn’t have been this perky this late at night.
But the words the other spoke made Scrooge turn about face. “What?”
“Fenton!” Gyro growled to the intern, turning back to Scrooge with a passive expression. Still he had the decency to look a little guilty. “Mr McDuck, its really nothing to worry about…..” he trailed off as Fenton brought a cell phone.
“Mr McDuck…after that video footage we also caught a voice transmitted through the old system.” The system that hadn’t been touched in several years.
As Fenton pressed the play button, Gyro bit his beak nervously.
There was a lot of static, including weird noises in the background. It almost sounded like a rhythmic thumping.
“…………Scrooge……..” Scrooges’ heart leapt at the voice. It was her. “……ship………lost…..trying to fi………miss………..home…..Boys……trying…… help.” that last word seemed to pierce the others heart. It had been years, but as he grasped at the cell phone with both hands tightly tears began to spring forth and he could feel his fierce resolve crumbling.
This was proof.
Della was still alive.
Finding himself at a crossroads once more, he slammed his eyes tightly shut and shook it slowly. Without so much a word towards the worried employees, he ran off with the cell phone back to Launchpad who was waiting to drive him back.
Well, not so much waiting as sleeping.
“Launchpad!” Scrooges cane whacked the sleeping man who startled awake.
“Drive me home. Now.” Scrooges’ voice was darker than the employee had ever heard it before. He may be a little on the dim side, but even he knew when Scrooge was like that he wasn’t messing around.
So they drove back and Scrooge went to his office, still clutching the phone in his hand and sat down. Resting both hands atop his cane, he lowered his head so it touched the back of his hands as he pondered where to go from here.
His mind sped a mile a minute, this seemed to change everything. Just hearing those words spoken it hurt to breathe. His confidence was shaken and his heart was being pulled in two directions. But as he slowly rose his head and glanced once more at the photo of his family, he could feel his mind settling.
“Aye suppose this is it then.”