This story is a tribute to the crime dramas and mysteries I grew up watching & reading. You'll see what I mean as we go along. Recall that at the end of the Scooby-&-Scrappy-Doo Show's run, before it morphed into the New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, Shaggy and the Doos were running the Fearless Detective Agency, while Scrappy split time between that gig and helping his other uncle, Yabba, and Deputy Dusty out west. This will make Scooby's fever dream (Mystery, Inc., season 1) look like chump change. All characters in this story, save for ones I've created, are copyright Hanna-Barbera/Warner Bros./DC Comics. ============================================== Setting: October 1982. Norville "Shaggy" Rogers had returned home to Coolsville after a lengthy business trip on behalf of his ailing uncle Fosdick, alias Uncle Fearless, founder of the Fearless Detective Agency. It was a rare instance of Shaggy traveling alone, without his faithful best friend, Scooby-Doo, who stayed behind with nephew Scrappy to mind the store. Scrappy was going over that day's mail, and handed Shaggy an envelope. "Seems as though you've got a secret admirer, Shaggy!", he exclaimed. "The envelope is laced with perfume." Shaggy sniffed at the envelope, and nodded. "You're right, Scrappy. It is perfume. I think now you guys know why I've cleaned up my act lately.", he said, admiring himself in a mirror. Indeed, instead of his usual sloppy appearance, Shaggy wore a suit & tie, had combed his hair, and even trimmed his tiny goatee. "I have to create a good first impression for any and all incoming clients while we take the agency national." "National? As in, across the country?", Scrappy wondered. "Precisely. I've got the rights to the Mystery Machine now, so I felt we could make that our mobile base of operations. Now, if you'll excuse me......." "What's with him?", Scooby asked. "I think he's in love.", Scrappy replied. "He's got a pen-pal in Metropolis." A few minutes later, Shaggy re-emerged from his office. "Tomorrow, we're going on the road again, but this time, you're coming with me.", he said. "Where to? Metropolis?", Scrappy teased. "Close enough. How about a return trip to Gotham City!" "It's been three years since the last trip.", Scooby recalled, "But it's just the three of us this time? What about Uncle Fearless?" "I've hired a nurse to take care of him while we're away. She'll be here in the morning.", Shaggy replied. ======================================= The occasion was the annual Detectives convention, taking place in Gotham City at the Convention Center. Millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne, alias the Batman, was going over some last minute details with his associate, Alfred Pennyworth, who could see that his employer was a little disturbed by something. "The invitation to Mystery, Incorporated was returned, wasn't it, sir?", he asked. "Yes, Alfred, but half the team is unavailable at this time. Only Shaggy Rogers and the two dogs are coming. The others are all away at college, according to Shaggy. He's running his uncle's agency, so he's really representing two agencies at one time.", Wayne replied. "I won't have the Wonder Twins on this job. Seems Shaggy's uncle is ill and needs attention, but someone's trying to kill him, or so it would seem. So, Shaggy asked if the Twins could work undercover. Jayna's posing as a nurse, to avoid any undue romantic entanglements." "Ah, yes, I seem to recall Mr. Rogers became quite, shall we say, smitten with Miss Jayna the last time." "And vice versa, Alfred, but she's only doing this as a favor for him. He knows she's seeing someone else now. I happened to run into him recently in New York while he was on a case. He's changed since the last I saw him. Tidy, more professional. Seems breaking away from his friends has done him some good." "And perhaps the Batman will make an appearance at the convention?" "I'm supposed to do that tomorrow, but a surprise appearance tonight might not hurt." ======================================== "I have a Fosdick Rogers on the guest list, and you're obviously not him.", Buck Crawford, event coordinator for the convention, said as Shaggy arrived around 5 pm. "Is something the matter?" "Yes. Uncle Fosdick is ill and unable to attend. I am on the guest list, though, representing Mystery, Incorporated, along with Scooby & Scrappy-Doo.", Shaggy replied. "Ah, yes, here we are. I was told to expect the three of you, but I was also told there would be a female companion with you." "Oh, no, plans were changed at the last minute." "You can go ahead and report to the front desk, Mr. Rogers. Since you have double representation, it'll save us some space." "Oh-ho!", Scrappy whispered. "So you were planning on having Jayna join you after all this time." "Not quite. She was supposed to be here with her boyfriend, Jimmy Olsen of the Daily Planet, but Olsen backed out due to a scheduling conflict, and with the prospect that someone could take a shot at Uncle Fearless, I thought maybe Jayna and her brother, Zan, could look after him for us. She agreed to that gig, and she'll let us know if we have to come home early." "The old Rogers luck strikes again.", Scooby teased. "Nah, she admitted when we last saw each other she was seeing someone, so she couldn't risk the thought of cheating on him, and I can't blame her." ======================================= So who's after Uncle Fearless, to the point where the Twins are providing protection? More to the point, how many other famous detectives will Shaggy meet in Gotham? Scope it in chapter 2, coming in 2 weeks.