Story written collaboratively on the Disney Comics Forum The Feathery Society.
The AU Adventure
It was a seemingly nice evening and Scrooge was swimming in his money. In a few minutes, Gyro Gearloose was due to come present his new invention to him, but for the moment, he just enjoyed a nice moment of leisure. Then up on the roof, there arose such a clatter, that Scrooge sprung from his money bin to see what the matter was. It was a dragon landed on the roof.
"This tall building looks like the sort of place where I could sit and write my poetry undisturbed" said the dragon to himself.
Scrooge, who'd rushed onto the roof through the trapdoor of the ceiling, instantly recognized the creature as the Reluctant Dragon from the old fable. Suddenly Hewey, Dewey and Louie came out from the dragon, and exclaimed "Surprise, Unca Scrooge!"
Right after the nephews, a redhead girl came out and cried Yaay, monkeys on trampolines, ahahahaha.
"I think I need to check to see what's in that imported nutmeg tea I've been drinking", thought Uncle Scrooge. He went to check it out. A spirit came out of the glass. I'm the ghost that possesses teas, it yelled in an eerie voice.
Then he woke up.
"That was weird", thought Scrooge.
Finally, Gyro arrived with his new invention.
"Hello, Mr McDuck!" He said. "This is the interdimensional gate maker that you've been asking me about! It is done now, and I think we could try this one.
— Okay, let's go to a universe where i was never born. I'd like to see how history would've played out without me, answered Scrooge.
— Not so fast! I haven't even explained the I. G. M.'s functioning yet! Look…"
Gyro called his attention to the several buttons on the handle of the cubic machine.
"This blue button lets you input the description of the universe you'd like to visit. After pressing it, you go on the regular keyboard to type it. This green button confirms the universe you chose. This red button sends us to a randomly-generated universe. Can be quite risky, but interesting! Finally, this black button cancels the whole thing."
Okay, writers, Scrooge says, breaking the 4th wall. Why do you think the explanation of the buttons would be an interesting addition to the story? While breaking the fourth wall and complaining, Scrooge accidentally hit the black button with his cane and...
It was a seemingly nice evening, and Scrooge was swimming in his money.
Gyro was coming towards the money bin with his interdimensional gate maker machine.
"So, this is what would have happened if Scrooge could interact with someone who would be writing our story. That's an odd universe to visit. Anyway, this proves the machine works! Now I am confident towards presenting it to him."
Then he went to Scrooge's money bin with that machine and some artichokes.
Once again, after the explanation of the buttons, Scrooge asked to go to the universe he never existed. Nothing happened to Scrooge. He still was in Gyro's lab. But Gyro was scared:
"Wh-wh-Who are you?", he said.
Scrooge was surprised.
"Gyro, what's with you? I have no time for jokes!"
Then he turned around, taking a look at the window... and he was shocked. Usually, you could see Scrooge's very recognizable money bin on Killmotor Hill. But this time, it was instead a large, gray and black skyscraper with a large "R" emblazoned on it.
"R-Rockerduck?!? But that's where MY money bin should be!", gasped Scrooge, while dodging the artichokes being thrown by Gyro, who was trying to get this mystery Duck out of his lab.
Scrooge ran out of Gyro's lab. He walked a bit, instinctively going to Donald's house. Or at least, where Donald's house should be. Something was different. There used to be many cosy, rustic wooden houses with gardens in Donald's district. But now, it was all square, grey buildings. Including where Donald's house should be. A cold, square grey building. Scrooge looked at the buzzer at the building's entry. There was a list of the tenants who could be called. He looked for "Duck". He found one... but it said... "Della Duck".
Scrooge realized Gyro's machine worked: he was in an alternative world, without him. But - he thought - Without me, how could Hortense arrive here, and have a daughter? So he heaved a sigh, and rang to Della Duck's doorbell. As he waited for his niece (no, for the woman who would be his niece in another universe), it struck him that Scrooge or no Scrooge, there would still have been Gideon to take his two sisters to America. Nice old Giddy. He wished he'd been closer to him these past few years.
A female voice came out the interphone.
"Yes, Duck residence. Who is it?"
Scrooge was a bit nervous. He realized he never actually really met Della before. He only saw her as a child, decades ago... when he returned to the USA, when his sisters were here to welcome him, but he... Last time he heard of Della, she went missing, after leaving her sons to Donald. Some said she went into a space mission, but that was a stupid story. Space travel barely existed in the early 1940s! Some even said that her husband went into a spiritual journey deep in Asia... Anyway, the poor children...
"Hellooo?" repeated the female voice.
Scrooge gulped. He had to say something. Something to the niece he pretty much never knew, in a world he never existed.
Well, I guess I might as well tell the truth, he thought, before saying:
"Well, to tell the truth, I'm Scrooge McDuck, your uncle from another universe."
A short silence followed. "Is this some sort of joke? This isn't funny!"
Scrooge wasn't surprised at this reply... how could he convince her of his good faith?
"Excuse me, Sir. Did you have something to say to my wife?" a male voice said behind him.
Scrooge jumped slightly in shock. He turned around. In front of him stood a fairly young man duck, with red hair in a crewcut.
Scrooge looked at the window in front of him. He was scared as he has never been. He saw an Evronian fly! And he didn't know whether, in that universe, there was any Duck Avenger!
"What is going in here? Is the world going mad... or am I?" he wondered, looking around.
The redhaired duck looked at Scrooge with suspicion, and talked to Della through the interphone.
"Della honey, is this man bothering you?
- Jamie dear, he says his name is Scrooge McDuck and is my uncle from some 'Anadoy Nivaz' or something.
- Uncle, uh? He does have some family resemblance, especially with your father... and his accent is definitely Scottish. But I don't seem to remember him from anywhere...
-Of course. It's not Anatroy Neevas, it's "another universe". Listen, you do have a Gyro Gearloose around here?
- Indeed, said Jamie Duck, though I don't see how that's relev--
- You know that he's a genius, right?
- I guess you can put it that way, but--
- So just know that I come from an alternate universe where I'm the maternal uncle of this world's Della Duck, and that I came here thanks to an invention by my universe's Gyro Gearloose."
Jamie stood silent for a moment, hesitating.
Della and Jamie's apartment was not very large, but still cosy enough. Scrooge was sitting on a comfortable blue leather armchair, and looking at the pictures hanging on the walls. Family pictures: Della, Jamie and their children, Huey, Dewey and Louie. All looking like a wholesome, happy family. Engaging in family activities such as going to an amusement park, on an animal safari, a baby picture of Huey messily eating ice cream, Della sitting near an elderly Hortense. Pictures of Mathilda. Pictures of Gideon. Pictures of Grandma Duck. Strangely enough, there was only one picture of Donald. Della came out of the kitchen with a tray containing cups of hot tea. Scrooge looked at her again; she looked a lot like Donald, except she had definitely feminine traits. She had mid-length blonde hair, and wore a variant of Donald's sailor suit, with a red ribbon and yellow buttons. However, her sleeves were shorter.
"What you are telling me is crazy, Mr Scrooge! And yet, I can feel that, somehow, this is something I could believe in.
-Indeed!" said Jamie. "You know too much about our family to just be some prankster or lunatic.
- Glad to hear it, lads. Well. I have some crazy things to tell you. In the world where I come from… you… (he waved at the couple) disappeared. No one quite knows what happened to you."
Shivering, Della asked: "What?!? And-And… what became of my boys?
- Ah, yer brother, Donald, took 'em in. He might not be the best of parents, but he has been managing quite well with th--"
Scrooge stopped, surprised. At the mention of Donald Duck, Jamie and Della had frozen into place, an half-awkward, half-terrified expression on their faces.
"Shhh!" Della warned Scrooge. "We dare not mention that name, much less that he is family...". Scrooge seemed puzzled to hear this. "We would be outcasts if word got out that we were related to the scourge of Duckburg...the evil Duck Avenger!"
"WHAT? No! Nonononono! This… This… I just… The Duck Avenger is supposed to HELP people!"
Scrooge didn't know what to think anymore. It was relieving to see that his existence had apparently been key in Donald's staying on the side of good in the normal universe he came from… but being happy about it right now seemed awfully selfish. Whatever had happened in his world (no, it wasn't the "real" world, he struggled to remember: it was not any more or less real than the world he was in right now) meant that Donald was evil, and people were suffering. People had maybe even died. He sputtered:
"W… What has he… what does your Duck Avenger d-do? And how did he turn… …bad?"
Della decided to take this mystery Duck from another universe into her confidence..."When my brother first started all this Duck Avenger stuff, he was just settling old scores between himself and cousin Gladstone, and his employer, Mr. Rockerduck. He told me he'd give it up, once he 'taught them a lesson'. Then around the same time that Rockerduck bought the old Ducklair Tower, something about Donald...changed. He wasn't his usual self, he seemed...different..." and Della's voice trailed off.
Scrooge understood that world was in danger. And he wanted to help.
"So", he said, "who wants to go to Gyro Gearloose's lab? I think he can help you. And he can help me, too".
They went to Gyro's lab, explained the wholebusiness and Scrooge asked Gyro to take him back to his universe. "
Hey, wait a minute", Della protested. "If you do that, then the rest of us will be erased from existence. Well, our versions in your universe will exist, but us, with our conscience, our memories, we will be gone."
Gyro reassured her:
"No, of course not. It doesn't work that way. All universes exist at the same time, you see; and this wonderful machine that I invented in another continuity, here, is just a mean of travelling from one to another. Why, I think you'll even be able to come back and visit us some time, Mr McDuck."
Della nodded. Scrooge was about to push the black button when an Evronian, crashing through the window, snatched the device from his hands before flying away through the opposite window, knocking a few tall-standing inventions of Alternate!Gyro's in the process.
"Don't worry, he won't go far", laughed Gyro. The Anti-Evronian Field that this Gyro had set around his lab was activated, knocking the alien unconscious. The ducks got back the machine.
"So, now you're going back to your universe and you let us solve our universe's hell ourselves…" Della stated.
Scrooge now looked hesitant... "Well… not necessarily… if it doesn't cost too much… I might, uh, come back with… some equipment… some help maybe?
— What kind of help? asked a dubious Jamie Duck.
— Well… My Duck Avenger!"
But he did not have time to finish.
"Well, well, Gyro, I am afraid that you have crossed some boundaries here." a deep, electronic-filtered voice said. It sounded too familiar. A small disc flew through the air, and stuck itself to the universe-travelling machine. The machine shivered, and sparks came out, followed by black smoke. It was out of order!
A shadowy figure, wrapped in a long cape, was standing at the window. He drew a gun and shot a green laser ray at the unconscious Evronian, who turned into dust.
"Alien scum. Evronians, Venusians, Duckoids, or whatever. Even Rockerduck is too soft on this."
The figure dropped to the floor, his cape spreading out. Two shiny eyes pierced through the darkness of his mask. Della, Jamie and Gyro shivered, beginning to sweat. Even Scrooge was becoming anxious as he came face-to-face with the Duck Avenger.
"This is our chance", Gyro thought. "I've been awaiting a perfect shot like this one for years…"
For now Gyro could use the machine that gives a person super strength. The Gyro in the universe Scrooge came from had only used it once to defeat the Beagle Boys' gang. The problem with that invention is the time limit of its effect, so Gyro had to be near the Duck Avenger, to make sure it would work when he needed it.
"All I need now is a distraction, so that I can get inside the machine", Gyro thought. With that thought, he took out a smoke bomb.
The Duck Avenger snickered as Gyro threw the bomb to the ground, producing a large puff of smoke.
"Oh Gyro. You dare defy ME? I am afraid I can't let you do that."
Gyro rushed to the super-strength machine and locked the door behind him just as the Duck Avenger shot a death ray at him.
Scrooge saw the Duck Avenger closer. He could see that he was Donald. But he wasn't the Donald he knew. While a domino mask surrounded his eyes, he could see in them a mix of hatred, megalomania, and self-serving intelligence. The masked Donald suddenly turned to face him.
"And who are you? You sort of look like that rival of Rocky-ducky… Glomgold, was it? He didn't last long under my rule. So you can't be him. And… you sorta look like me…" Scrooge was petrified with fear. "Y'know, I'd gladly kill you, but you interest me more alive. Plus, you seem to be somewhat friendly with Dumbella--" He nudged Della, who moved aside to avoid her vicious brother's touch. "--and I wouldn't wanna break her new toy, would I? What kind of a brother would I be? Naw. I'll just take ya with me back to the Tower."
Scrooge, raising his cane in futile defense, slowly backed off, hoping Gyro would return with his superstrength to get rid of the villain…
Next thing he knew... Gyro burst out of the strength chamber. But he didn't look like Gyro anymore. He was a great, soft, jelly-like thing. Dragging on the floor in mucus like a snail, he raised tiny tentacle-like arms blindly. Almost all of his feathers had fallen on the floor, revealing a greyish, semi-transparent skin. Gyro couldn't understand what was wrong. What went wrong. He didn't even have a beak anymore. And yet, he had to scream.
The Duck Avenger put on a mocking smile:
"Ha, Gyro. I knew that at some point, you would try to defy me. So I took my... precautions. You see, I may not be as much a scientific genius as you, but I still have learned some mechanics and chemistry on my side. Just enough to hurt those that annoy me. Enough to secretly switch wires in some of those machines of yours..."
Gyro's efforts wasn't completely in vain though. While the Avenger was distracted mocking the inventor, Scrooge decided to ambush him with some martial arts moves:
Bless me bagpipes, I can at least try! the tycoon thought. Back in Dawson, I could beat up an army of men on my own. Even in my age, I must have at least a little fighting skills left in me...
Scrooge reached out his cane with lightning speed, and struck the Avenger in the knee, making him fall down! However, he quickly stopped his fall by doing a jump-spin.
"You have quite the guts, old man!" he remarked, a hint of admiration in his voice, before hissing: "But even then, you are just a weak, pathetic fool…"
In desperation, Scrooge brainlessly rushed against the foe. The Avenger toyed with him, parrying the dodging the hits, while laughing and mocking him.
"Darn", thought Scrooge, "if only i had my youth, that would be so easy! Even a steamboat was no match for me back in the day!"
Meanwhile, Gyro was slowly approaching a closet to take out a spray. The Duck Avenger definitely couldn't have interefered with it -- it was a spray, not a machine. There weren't any wires to be switched. And this was a spray that could make people young again. Not permanently -- just rejuvenate them for a few hours. It was no use to him before: neither he or any of his allies would benefit from being rejuvenated on the strength side, and blasting the Duck Avenger with it to make him a duckling again would accomplish little, as he would still have all of his superweapons to defend himself. But the recent development had changed that. If he could spray himself to go back just a few hours, he would no longer be made of jelly and he could go back to actually helping. And if he managed to spray this stranger who said he was so strong in his youth… well… they might just have a chance at finally ridding Duckburg of the dread Donald Duck.
As the Duck Avenger was mocking Scrooge, Gyro, behind his back, sprayed himself and turned back into a cockatoo; before the supervillain could react, he'd also sprayed Scrooge. There was little visible change in the richest duck in the world: his arms were slightly thicker, and his sideburns smaller. But he felt he was young again. He felt his muscles become hard and strong again, he felt his old agility all coming back in a moment. He jumped at the Duck Avenger, tore his gun and Extransformer Shield from him, and began beating him up.
Soon, the Duck Avenger was unconscious and tied on a chair. But Scrooge did not have the time to celebrate with the others, for he felt something sucking him away from this reality. Next thing he remembered, he was back at his universe, in his 90 year old body.
"Huh? Am I back?"
"Of course, Mr McDuck, his universe's Gyro answered. "I set a time limit to my invention's effect, in case you met trouble in the dimension you visited. So, how was your journey?"
Scrooge McDuck took a breathe, smiled and answered:
"Well, it was quite a ride, I can say. Although I wish I could have stayed a bit longer, to see how things could have happened, after fixing some things up..."
However, he was feeling good; despite him gone, the Scrooge-less dimension could have things going better with the evil Duck Avenger out of the way.
As he sat down to reminisce, Donald entered the lab, carrying crates full of mechanical parts. He was panting and sweating.
"Where would you like me to take that, Gyro?
- Oh, here you are Donald! Thank you very much to come helping. Well, you could put these on this corner..."
Donald clumsily moved across the room, but he unfortunately slipped on a metal bolt...
... and fell on the red "random dimension" button of the I.G.M.!
"Donald! You clumsy dolt!!!" screamed Scrooge. But it was too late...
To Be Continued.