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PKNA 8: Silicon

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Silicon is the 8th regular issue of PKNA. It was written by Alessandro Sisti and penciled by Claudio Sciarrone.

Plot Summary

It's a hot summer at Duckburg. Russel the farmer is happy about the sunny day but dislikes the recent construction of a factory near his farm. He awakens his dog Buck and goes to see his strange "pumpkins".

At Channel 00 offices, Dan Woodstein tells Angus Fangus that his contract obligates him to take at least one vacation per year, not only for himself, but also to allow the rest of the staff to rest from Angus.

Donald arrives to Ducklair Tower, where Scrooge McDuck reminds him that it's his last month as caretaker, since all the floors have been rented out. Scrroge is puzzled that Donald doesn't seem pleased by the prospect of returning home and to his hammock. They also talk about the fact that most tenants except Channel 00 have shut off their offices to go on vacation due to the weather, and Scrooge will also spend some days of relaxation at Grandma Duck's farm, and he won't get mad if Donald appears there during the weekend, assuming he remembers to activate the tower's burglar alarm. After Scrooge leaves, Donald hurries to the 151st floor, where he enjoys the air conditioner Uno got installed. Both Donald and Uno are worried that since Donald's job at Ducklair Tower is over, they must find a way to keep on their crimefighting collaboration. They also watch the news about the merge of Proctor Ltd with Block Enterprises. The first official act of the Proctor-Block merger was to unify the information networks of both companies.

Meanwhile, a voice inside the Proctor-Block computers thinks that he has finally found himself but his intellectual functions and memories are limited right now, so he needs to recover them. To find a way to move, this "ghost in the machine" takes control of a robot factory.

While Russel sees his "pumpkins" are almost ripe, an Evronian ship gets a signal from Earth, to be specific from the automatic prospectors of an abandoned nest, and it's a report telling the spores are about to open up. Inspector Grukon orders to continue surveillance, and attempt a recovery once the larvae have reached the adult stage.

That night, the Duck Avenger goes on patrol and sees an UFO taking off from the building of Duckburg Technofinancial, but Uno's mid-range sonar doesn't reveal anything on those coordinates. The Avenger pursues the UFO until it shoots a ray that causes the Pi-Kar controls to fail. The controls get back online at the last second. Uno enters the Duckburg Technofinancial's computers to see what he can find about the UFO, but all the computers in the building have burned down.

The machine voice, who is behind the UFO, vaguely recognizes the Pi-Kar as a design stored in his memory, and finds an interference in a signal directed to outer space, that comes from the farm next door to the Proctor-Block factory. He analyzes the spores and discovers they are alien in origin, so he needs to learn more.

The next day, Russel awakens Buck to tell him that the "pumpkins" opened up. He is about to call Angus but changes his mind and hangs the phone as Angus never believed him before. Then Russel gets a call from the factory asking to buy them.

Angus, in his apartment, watches the news about a short circuit causing the complete destruction of the computer network of Duckburg Technofinancial and wants to find a way to relate it to the Duck Avenger, but cannot go to cover it due to his enforced vacation.

The Evronians find out that someone intentionally isolated the automatic prospectors' transmission, and seek to re-establish contact. Donald notices Uno isn't working very well, to which Uno answers he has a loss of energy due to someone being connected to his power supply which, being more complicated than other energy sources, makes impossible to locate that other user. Uno changes subject to mention more worrying matters: only Everett Ducklair would be capable to create a weapon to neutralize the controls of the Pi-Kar and hide a flying object from Uno's sensors, and Duckburg Technofinancial was one of Everett's old enterprises.

At the countryside, Russel feeds the newborn Evronians with seeds as if they were chickens. His buyer (who is the computer voice) calls to tell him to take care of them until they have fully grown. The computer voice is happy of soon having an army of ruthless slaves, and that he has recovered almost all of his memory, but still lacks the most important one that will allow him to locate and shut down his adversary. He cannot connect to the Comduck Company, where the data base is being guarded, but he keeps trying to hack the interface while at the same time taking control of a rhino-like tank.

In space, the Evronians haven't managed to re-establish contact, but they activate some Evron-Eyes that were hidden around the outpost, so they have found about the spores' development. Grukon orders to keep monitoring the situation until they find who is the unknown enemy trying to take advantage of this.

Donald is driving on the 313 when Uno tells him to stop as he has found the anomaly that came from the UFO, and it is on the roof of the skyscraper Donald just drove past. The top floor is the seat of Duckdeck Industries, which belong to Scrooge, so Donald enters as a messenger with a package, and is allowed to pass when he warns about his uncle's ire if the package isn't delivered. Donald enters the deserted offices of Duckdeck and finds the rhino-like tank, whose top screen shows the face of its controller: Due. Donald runs away and Due lets him go as he has more important matters to deal with. When the guard sees Donald running, he sounds the alarm, and Donald leaves while the police arrive. A few minutes later, Duckburg Industries computers are gone up in smoke. Some hours later, Angus hears the news of Duckdeck having a short circuit like the one on Duckburg Technofinancial, and makes the connection to the Duck Avenger by seeing images of Donald leaving the place, and where Donald is, the Duck Avenger is nearby, so vacation or no vacation, Angus puts on his fedora.

Back at Ducklair Tower, the Duck Avenger tells Uno about Due's involvement. Uno deduces that Due got partial damage during their last confrontation, and must have lost the data about Uno's location and the Avenger's existence, so he is seeking Uno in the computers of companies that once belonged to Everett Ducklair. Uno forges a simple yet clever plan, for which they just have to pick one of Ducklair's former properties. Suddenly, the choice is made for them, as Due has reached Ducklair Tower in his search.

The Pi-kar takes off from a secret exit a few miles from Ducklair Tower and attacks Due's UFO, so Due decides to destroy the Duck Avenger to later inspect the tower undisturbed. This time the Pi-kar is protected against the UFO's deactivation ray, and he doesn't have more weapons as the ship is mostly built as transport. Due escapes trusting that no organic being could whitstand to pursue him at the speed he's taking, but it turns out that the Duck Avenger isn't in the Pi-kar either.

Meanwhile, Russel calls Due and tells him the "chickens" have grown too much and cannot keep them anymore. Due thanks them for bringing them, open the gates to let them in and has Russel return to his farm, promising him to transfer the payment tomorrow morning.

The Duck Avenger is hanging from Due's UFO with adhesive handles, somewhat shaken by his sudden acceleration. They reach the factory and Due ambushes the Avenger with his new Evronian army, surprised to find the Avenger knows the aliens. Due explains his survival from the bits he can remember: in the last nano-second he transferred himself, but as no other computer would be able to hold all of his software, he had to divide himself among a large number of slower computers, and lost his sense of self-awareness by being so disfractured, until the Proctor-Block merger, whose database unifying reassembled the most important fragments of his ego; that restored his consciousness and then slowly regained the rest of his memories from other databases. Right now, he only lacks the one stored by the computering firm Comduck Inc., and it's the part holding the data about the Duck Avenger and, most importantly, Uno's location.

The Duck Avenger faces Due's Evronians until an Evronian ship arrives with a message from Grukon, telling that the machine leading them is an enemy of the empire, then the ship retrieves the Evronians. Due decides he can still destroy the Duck Avenger by himself, but a huge Evronian battleship comes to destroy Due for his arrogance trying to use their warriors for his own ends, and to get rid of the Duck Avenger as well. The Duck Avenger uses a rocket belt to escape, and leaves Due to be destroyed by the Evronians.

Angus sees the police and firemen going to the Proctor-Block factory, and Donald (with his Duck Avenger costume hidden in a sports bag) tells him something exciting happened and the Duck Avenger was there, but he doesn't feel like telling Angus about it.

Donald returns to Ducklair tower and finds Scrooge, back from Grandma Duck's farm, coming to ensure there hasn't been problems in Ducklair Tower as there were in Duckdeck, and Comduck, which also belongs to him, has a database filled up with amonstruous amount of hidden files, illegible and useless, slowing down any work. Donald, knowing that is Due's missing data, asks Scrooge what did he do with it, to which Scrooge answers that he gave the order to delete everything. Donald goes to the 151st floor and tells Uno their secrets are safe. Uno tells Donald that he got him a new temporary job to remain at the tower, as Channel 00's errand boy. Uno thinks he can help with the qualifications, but Donald is sure he will get a recommendation from Angus Fangus, if just to get a chance to get even.

Meanwhile, an Evronian ship in the vicinity of Mars has trouble with its astro-navigator, due to an overload in the main computer's memory banks. Uberknownst to the Evronians, it's Due, who has escaped into their systems.

Angus Tales: Tacky Columns

(by Paola Mulazzi and Silvia Ziche)

Back when he lived in New Zealand, Angus met a female reporter named Viciera O'Connel, or "Vicious". They worked together by uncovering several scandals, until their editor Jack began attacking them in the column of their own newspaper, so they decided to give him a lesson. They found some pretty punctual and consistent payments on Jack's bank account. They published an article about it, accussing Jack of corruption, but these payments were people paying him rent for the apartments he owned. Jack's reputation was ruined anyways.

The chairman gave Jack's old job to Vicious, who sent Angus to cover something that turned out to be a set-up to have Angus captured by terrorists. When Angus returned, he found that Vicious had stolen an article he was about to publish, and she moved out of the country after she got the Pulitzer. The chairman, seeing how good had been the office without Angus, fired him, but Angus blackmailed the chairman into exposing some secrets if he wasn't re-hired.

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