Ducks Rock!

This whole thing sucked. Just from the start it all went wrong. I think, I even woke up with a nasty feeling.
But anyhow – time went on.

When teleportation-alarm came in, we were actually glad! It just saved us from another charity-something with Phil.

Soon we arrived at our 'target' just out of Anaheim – everything smelled like a trap.
Bro told us to go on. He was right, we just had to. We needed to stop these Saurians and their Hunter Drones, before they wandered of an’ hurt someone.
But there were so many. It seemed like any time we destroyed one, two new appeared from the next corner.
What the hell was the meaning of all that? And why did Dragaunus suddenly have all these resources? But back to the fight:
Duke swung his sword brilliantly, covering with an’ 'inner-peace-disturbed' Grin our backs. Mal and Tanya spread to the sides, while bro an’ I fought forward.
After what felt like ages, it started looking good for us. The Hunter Drones became less and Chameleon and Siege looked more and more pissed while the little one hastily ditched bottoms on a tool in his hand.
'I’ll get him and the device! Cover me, little bro!'
Wing's voice, still echoing in my head, was carried over the noise. I turned immediately; shot my Puck Blaster as fast and good as I could to keep our enemies checkmate. But suddenly I realized a movement at my right side. I turned; heard Mal shouting, but she was too late.
We all could only watch. I felt like in a slow-motion-movie. Chameleon must have called that bigger, faster robot. This one shot. Just ten feet in front of me Bro sank to his knees, holding his chest and finally laid motionless on the floor.
I starred – suddenly unable to breathe, thinking MY heart would stop beating; it probably skipped a beat anyhow. My weapon slit from my numb fingers.
For some time I just stood motionless, looking down to my older brother. Asking myself, how, just how, this could have happened, and why?
But then I moved. With nothing but my bear hands to fight with, I ran; ran with blind rage. Mindless of anger, pain and sorrow - all I wanted was revenge. I simple wanted to kill these lizards – all of them – starting with that bloody Chameleon right now!
Someone called me back: A voice, strangely familiar, but so distant, like a memory.
I ignored it, even speeded up. ‘Cause I was nearly there, nearly had him.
Of course he saw me coming – he grinned, pressed the button on his communicator, which I know is for transformation. But at exactly the same moment, my hand snatched forward and gripped. I HAD HIM! Or at least I thought so – for maybe two seconds. Just before this strange feeling, this tickling, started and spread out over and through my entire body.

Next thing I know, I was on the Raptor – facing Dragaunus himself.
Yes, 'course I tried to attack – an' 'course I failed. He just pushed me away like an annoying fly. I flew threw the room, only to be stopped by a solid wall.
So much for my revenge. I simply blew it. Without a weapon, without a plan – what was I thinking at all? I mean, it’s not just for kicks; he hardly ever leaves this place, it boosts his power.
I was already half unconscious when they came for me, grabbed me an’… brought me away…
What they did to me? Don’ ask. I’m glad, for my blackouts – for not remembering parts of it. An’ the rest? I simply don’t speak of it – to nobody – I just can’t.

***

When Wingster was shot, it just felt like a nightmare come true. But it was getting worse.
Soon I was next to our team captain, checking his wound. It was not that bad – he would definitely make it. Man, was I relived.
But than I realised, something was wrong. I just turned my head, saw Nosedive close to Chameleon. What the hell was he thinking?
I shouted his name, tried to call him back. But he didn’t hear me – or didn’t care anymore. And so, before anyone could interfere, Chameleon disappeared, taking Dive with him.

Later, after our hard-earned victory over these stupid machines, after we dealt with Wildwing's wound, we sat in our headquarters, talking and thinking what to do.
Wing was still passed out. And I was actually glad of it. I didn’t want to meet his eye or even have to tell him, his baby bro was taken.
We all felt horrible, nearly crunched down by guilt. But we had to do something, not just sittin’ around and wasting time – it was not too late – not yet.
Somehow, strangely, I ended up planning and leading the team, or what’s left of it.
Now all we needed was a hint. But we didn’t get it – we got more.

***

Finally they just got somehow sick of their games. So I was brought in a small empty room.
Leaning to the wall, I sank to my knees, complete exhausted and without any hope. Or at least – it hopefully looked like that.
Really thought I was giving up already? No – definitely not.

Naturally my communicator was gone. So I started thinking of an other option. And belief it or not – but Dragaunus helped me.
He seriously asked me to hack into Drake One, make a connection.
Of course I told him, I couldn’t hack in – I was to bad to handle that complicated firewall, but of course I made him the favour and did the call. But as well – I secretly sent a signal, revealing our location.
Luckily I just lately asked Tanya for some tricks, to win my mew computer game. I always knew, computer games aren’t a waste of time!

***

Without any warning, the screen of Drake One flickered. Just a second before we saw Dragaunus' oversized face.
‘Hello, little Daggy-waggy, ready to lose all?’, he hissed arrogantly.
I had to bite my tongue. ‘Not now’, I told myself, retaining a straight face. ‘Just keep it down, Duke, just for a wile.’
‘What do you want?’ Tanya snarled angrily.
‘Oh, just bargain. Or don’t you miss someone?’
All of us stared to the huge screen, when Dragaunus stepped aside and Nosedive appeared. He didn’t look good at all. Bound to a wooden chair, he sat there with hanging shoulders, dry blood on gear and feathers. I wasn’t the only one shivering, when he looked at us with these empty, tired eyes. What had they done to you?
‘Hello, friends’, came the weak voice of Nosedive through the speaker. ‘They want me to tell you to stay out of there business for… Argh, whatever – I don’t care.’ My eyes widened in surprise. From one second to the other – Dive was back: grinning and insubordinate as ever. ‘Listen’, he continued firstly, before one of the dinosaurs could stop him. ‘Tanya, I finally mastered Kingdom-Fighters. An’ you all, do as Canard always sad! I…’
Damn it! These lizards already stopped him, punched hard on his head, before they dragged him off.
‘Three days! If I see so much as a feather in the next three days, you’ll have one pesky duck less in team. Did I make my point clear?’, roared Dragaunus and just a second later, the screen of Drake One was dark again.

‘I think, you owe me an explanation! And it better be good!’
Oh man, Wildwing WAS angry. We all could see AND hear that.
‘Er… It is jus’… I mean, we will…’ Tanya began, waving helplessly with her hands, while searching for the right words.
I laid my hand on her shoulder, stopping her spluttering, while I faced Wing, starting to explain.
He didn’t like our story.

***

Ouch! Dragaunus really didn’t like my little chat with my friends. ‘Cos he realized I was passing information. But luckily HE could not decode it, so he thought, no one else could. BAD mistake – but still good for me – and definitely worth all the punches he could give me.
Besides, I was his most precious hostage, the only reason my friends MIGHT do what he asked for. So I was rather sure he wouldn’t kill me – at least not yet!
Definitely unhappy Siege was dragging me back to ‘my little room’.
Lying on the hard, cold floor, I decided to rest. Probably I’d need my strength later on.

***

‘What you mean by that?’ Wing sounded really furious. ‘MY LITTLE BROTHER IS IN THE HANDS OF THESE LIZZARDS?!’
‘Wing, just calm down. We will find a way...’
‘And how you’ll do that, Duke. We searched the Raptor for YEARS. We don’t have a clue where he is!’
‘Oh, we do have. I mean a cl... an idea!’ We all immediately became silent by Tanya's unexpected words. ‘Didn’t you hear his w... wor... what he told us?’
‘Of course I heard him. We all did! But what does he think – hang on…’ Mal began but suddenly stopped. I could see how her thoughts began to run. ‘You mean, he actually has a plan?’
‘Not only a plan. He’s showing us, where the Raptor is!’ We all followed Tanya's finger to the screen. On the digital map of Anaheim was a red dot blinking.
How could he figure that out in such short time?
Nearly immediately we took our bikes and hit off.

***

Noise, which definitely sounded like fighting, tore me out of my slumber. I only had time to sit up, before the door swung open.
‘Hi, Duke! You’re faster than expected’, I welcomed my rescuer.
‘Come on! These lizards definitely need a lesson. Don’t you think?’ He grinned and pulled me to my feet. For a moment, I could swear there was concern in his eyes – but it was gone so fast, that I might have been mistaken.
Anyway, I took the Puck Blaster gratefully and went, ignoring my cuts and bruises, off to fight. I had lots an’ lots to pay back.

***

When I finally found him, he was as cheekily as ever.
Only when he was standing directly in front of me, I cloud see all his wounds in the dim light. What had they done to him?!
I felt the anger rising in me. But I fought it down immediately. This was neither the place nor the time to act in a rush.
Then, after he took the weapon, he just shouted ‘Ducks rock!’ and we ran off, ready to hit some lizard-butts.

It wasn’t easy fighting on Saurian territory. We really stayed back and – I hate to admit it – we couldn’t get rid of them. Even though it looked good for some time. But if Dragaunus would have been fought so easily, we had been victorious years ago.
Finally we got all our foes guttered in the cockpit. Dive, Grin, Mal and I changed winning looks, but just in that moment, our positions changed.

***

Well, that definitely went wrong. Wraith waved his wooden stick. And while we ducks found our selves standing close to Anaheim Mall, the lizards including their ship had disappeared.
This time, he had won. But, coming to think – he got away, but lost his precious leverage. So it was probably even.

Suddenly I was crowded by my team, all of them asking me lots and lots of questions. But I wasn’t listening, just looking for the missing team members and somehow expecting bro to appear. Though I knew that this was impossible...
‘Where’s Tanya?’ I finally asked – my mind running wild. Was she still on the Raptor? Was she hurt too?

***

Dive's question startled us all.
Mal was the first to recover. ‘At the headquarters’, she begun, sounding unsure of herself. ‘We didn’t want to leave Wingster alone… It was difficult enough to keep him back. So…’
‘Your brother is all right’, I cut in, unable to watch the fear and expression of uncertainty in those blue eyes any longer. ‘Just concerned, because of you.’
He nodded, obviously not trusting his voice.
‘Let us return home’ Grin decided, and we all obeyed.

***

Beside Dukes words, I was nearly too scared to enter our headquarters.
First there was only Tanya in – working on Drake One, smiling at me, while I walked towards her. But before one of us sad something, bro entered.
We stared at eachother. I know he was checking me for wounds, while I eyed him.
His shoulder an’ arm were in thick bandaged plus he wasn’t wearing his mask, but otherwise he looked all right.

Then his face relaxed, changed to a smile.
'Always making trouble, baby bro?!’, he chuckled to himself and I started to run.
Seconds later I found myself in a brotherly, warm hug. I fought my tears back – maybe for ten seconds, than I gave up, letting them roll.
I mean, what did I care? After all, I just got my big brother back.

***

Somehow it touched us all, seeing how close Wing and Dive really were.
Besides, the experience of those days brought us all closer together. We were more a family than just a team.

For some time I kept a sharp eye on our youngest team member. I’ve seen more than enoug, to know how such things can change a duck.
But Nosedive was the same as ever. Maybe a bit more reflective from time to time.

He didn’t say what he had gone through at the Raptor.
I tried my best to figure it out – but he didn’t want to talk. And when I asked him, if I could help him in any way – just do something for him – he actually begged me to buy the new comic from Anaheim Mall he forgot. Seriously, what should I have done with that?
Yes, of course, I went off and bought it. But I also asked the others to talk to Dive.
Neither Grim nor Mal came far. Only Tanya seemed to make any progress.
At least till I found out; all Dive had in plan was a date for her and his brother, which turned out very well. Honestly, it was about time…

The End

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