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Chapter 3: The Plot Thickens

Megavolt and Coulomb sat in a dreary vacant room somewhere in the labyrinth of unused space in the factory/hideout. While Megavolt pondered their situation, Coulomb played a game of zapping intricate patterns on the wood floor.
"These powers are so great!" he said. "What are we doing in here, anyway?"
Megavolt sighed. "Running away from Negaduck."
"Because he's powerful and mean and in a really bad mood. You don't mess with people like that."
"Why not?"
"Because they're very likely to decide to hurt you. And I can't fight him back."
"Because he's the boss! Stop asking so many questions! We have to figure out what to do!" Megavolt buried his face in his hands, trying to block out the rest of the world.
"I thought we were doing something."
"We are."
"But we need to do something else. About the cloning machine. If Negaduck figures out how it works, we're all doomed!!"
"That's pretty bad, huh?"
Megavolt nodded as well as he could with his face hidden in his hands.
The conversation ceased as the two supercharged rodents wracked their frazzled brains for a solution.
"We could destroy the machine," Coulomb offered at last. Megavolt looked up.
"Destroy it? How can we destroy it? He's probably guarding it!"
Coulomb frowned. "Guarding… guarding… guardian… the guardian… Darkwing Duck!"
"WHERE?!" Megavolt jumped to his feet. His eyes darted quickly around the room and his hands began to glow with zapping power.
"We could get him to help us! He wants to destroy Negaduck, right?"
Megavolt flopped back down onto the wooden crate he had been sitting on.
"Was I really that dumb when I was twelve or are you just saying that 'cause you don't know either one of them?"
"Uh…. The second one… I think… But what's wrong with getting Darkwing's help?"
"Dorkwing wants to destroy me as much as he wants to destroy the boss! And you know what that means?"
"He wants to get you too!"
"But that's not fair! I won't technically be you for at least six years! Then at least I'll be old enough to be you."
Megavolt shrugged. "Them's the kicks, kid. From now on, I gotta find some way to get you out of here before Dorkwing and the boss find you. If I don't, we're both toast."
"And if you do?"
Megavolt shrugged. "You go on living your life and be whatever I would have been. The powers you got from the machine will wear off."
"Aw, but I like zapping things!"
"Trust me, kid, it's not all it's cracked up to be. What's out there…"
Megavolt pointed to the window, "…That's what you're meant for."
Coulomb went to the window and pressed his nose against it. The streets below and the sky above and everything in between was stained velvet gray by the rain. Only the autumn trees shot forth in flames of red, orange, and fading yellow. Megavolt joined his duplicate at the window. They stood there side-by-side, remembering how fate had brought them to these places.
The spell was broken when Coulomb suddenly let out an angry yell and kicked the window as hard as he could. Megavolt didn't even bat an eye. He had tried the same thing on the same window with no more results than Coulomb got. There followed a string of highly uncalled for adjectives, most of which any normal twelve-year-old who heard them would not know the meaning of.
Megavolt just leaned against the window, waiting for Coulomb to calm down.
"Feeling better now?" he asked when the child had stopped leaping around the room.
"Actually, yes," Coulomb said. "You should try that some time."
"I have."
"Oh. Right."
"So what?"
"Sew buttons on your pants."
Coulomb groaned. "Must you stoop to repeating such horrible puns?"
The two stared defiantly into each other's eyes until Coulomb decided to end the contest by getting up and marching towards the door.
"Hey, where are you going?" Megavolt called after him.
"Elsewhere," Coulomb answered. And before Megavolt could leap up to give chase, the child had disappeared.
In a rare flash of brilliance, Megavolt realized something vital. Coulomb was going to do exactly what he would do in these circumstances.
Specifically, if Megavolt knew a thing about himself, he knew that Coulomb was going to go out and destroy something. Probably something fairly large and expensive. So in order to relocate himself, all Megavolt had to do was wait and watch the local news for stories about large explosions.
That is exactly what he did. And, of course, several hours later the reporters took to following the hot trail of destruction which, according to the Expert Darkwing Duck himself, could only be that nefarious villain Megavolt.
The nefarious villain, for once the innocent party, turned the television volume up and sat back to watch the fun for a while. Coulomb, he knew, would be all right. Just as long as he didn't try to liberate the giraffes at the zoo, he would be all right.
Even as he thought those thoughts, a feeling of impending doom settled over Megavolt. He began to wonder if it might not be a good idea to go find his rebellious duplicate before the giraffes were forced to suffer a second liberation attempt by the same child…

* * * * *

Darkwing Duck, the best crime fighter in St. Canard, was puzzled, baffled, and otherwise totally confused by that night's bizarre turn of events. He had been trailing somebody he assumed to be Megavolt for three hours… and yet by the brief glimpses he caught of his prey, Darkwing could hardly call the villain anything more than a child.
Something very very fishy was going on. And he meant to find out what.
The Ratcatcher zoomed along the dim, wet streets. Darkwing was soaked thoroughly. His helmet visor was so fogged up he could hardly see where he was going. He managed, however, to finally discover that the mysterious Megavolt impersonator was heading straight for the Zoo.
The Zoo?
Nothing good can come of this.

* * * * *

While Darkwing and Megavolt were devising their own ways of chasing and capturing the overcharged Coulomb, Negaduck was trying to figure out how to work the cloning machine. He pushed buttons, flicked switches, even tried using his own common sense! But there was very little sense in the makings of the machine.
Hour after hour he tinkered and toyed with it. He managed to do every possible thing imaginable with it except clone himself. He blew several things to smithereens, he shrunk an old television controller down to the size of a lima bean. He even miraculously managed to change the color scheme of his costume to what can only be described as "luau."
Then, finally, at long last, it occurred to him that perhaps you had to turn the machine on from the inside. After all, if the machine couldn't be operated from the inside, how did that maniacal moron manage to duplicate himself?
Negaduck stepped into the machine and closed the door. When the door clicked shut, a little light turned on. The light shone directly onto a small switchboard that had only two buttons: "Open" and "Duplicate." Without a single moment of hesitation, Negaduck pushed the button labeled "Duplicate."

Chapter 4: The Madness Continues