Chapter 5: Settling In

Nosedive drove down the chute that led to the Ducks’ secret base beneath the Pond.
“Here we are! Home sweet home!” he announced, gesturing grandly with one hand to the open space inside the base which held the Migrator.
“Yeah,” Agnus sighed, looking around the subterranean room as Nosedive parked the Migrator where it usually resided.
“Now, you just head straight on through and tell the first duck you find that we’re gonna need some help.”
Agnus just nodded and moved to get out of the passenger seat.
“Except if it’s Wing,” Nosedive added quickly.
“Why not if it’s Wildwing?” she asked, a bit puzzled.
“I think he wants to give you a guided tour. You know, settle you in and stuff like that. Personally.”
Agnus just looked at Nosedive, a bit surprised at the news.
“Off you go,” he said with a smile, while unbuckling his seat belt.
Agnus just nodded and began to head out of the Migrator.

The interior of the Ducks’ headquarters was eerily quiet. Agnus felt a bit uneasy skating through, especially seeing as she didn’t know where she was going.
Just then she heard another set of footsteps, which just about made her jump a foot in the air. She stood stock still until she saw who it was.
“Agnus,” Wildwing said with a smile, walking up to her.
“Hi Wildwing,” she replied with a little smile.
“Nosedive and Grin doing alright with your stuff?”
“They did ask me to ask the first duck I came across to go help them… unless it was you though.”
Wildwing smiled before continuing, “Dive told you why?”
“Sorta. Said you wanted to give me a bit of a tour or something.”
Wildwing nodded and smiled before turning and gesturing down a corridor to their left.
“Shall we start?” he asked.
“Sure,” Agnus replied.
Wildwing smiled and pressed a button on his gauntlet, activating his skates.
Agnus looked down at the skates somewhat surprised and somewhat impressed.
“Let’s go,” Wing said, beginning to skate down the corridor.
Agnus followed him closely. There was no way she wanted to get lost in this place.

Meanwhile, Nosedive and Grin were in the process of moving the small sofa they had found in Agnus’ apartment into her new room next to Dive and Wing’s own.
“Last piece?” Duke asked, poking his head out of his own room as they passed it.
“No. First,” Grin replied, as he continued on down the corridor.
Duke just nodded.
“You wanna help?” Nosedive asked, hopefully.
“And rob you of the enjoyment of helping a fellow hockey fan move in? I don’t think so,” Duke replied, chuckling as he ducked back into his room and closing the door behind him.
“Oh ha ha! Very funny! You know how she feels about hockey!” Nosedive yelled back.
“For now at least,” Grin said.
Nosedive just muttered something under his breath while he and Grin continued to take the sofa through the base.

“This is our Quantum Fusion Generator,” Wildwing said, his voice echoing through the cavernous room while he and Agnus skated around the huge piece of hardware in the centre.
“Impressive,” she said, looking up at it.
“It generates all the power we need to run our headquarters, including Drake One.”
“Sure must be handy to have when the city’s plunged into darkness during a power outage.”
“No kidding. This is also the lowest level of the HQ. Above us are three other levels, containing our quarters, living spaces, laboratories, medical facilities, vehicle docking and repair stations and command centre. The fourth level is the Pond building itself.”
Agnus just nodded.
Wildwing was a bit unsure as to what to make of Agnus’ silence, but didn’t want to seem as if he was deliberately avoiding the topic of ‘hockey’ as he actually was.
“Um, onward and upward?” he asked with an uneasy smile.
“Sure, lead the way,” Agnus replied.
Wildwing just nodded, smiled once more and then began to lead the way out to the elevator that had brought them down in the first place.

Nosedive glared at the group that had gathered to watch him and Grin ferry stuff from the Migrator to Agnus’ new room.
“You could help,” he said.
“You two seem to be doing alright. Besides, I swung by the Migrator before I came here and you don’t have much more to bring. Just a few measly boxes,” Mallory replied with a smile, thoroughly enjoying seeing the youngest member of the team do some real hard work for a change.
Nosedive rolled his eyes and continued on his way into Agnus’ room to plonk the drawing board he was carrying down before returning to the Migrator to pick up some of those boxes Mallory had mentioned moments ago.

The doors to the vehicle repair station hissed open and Wildwing and Agnus skated in.
“Tanya’s domain I presume,” Agnus said, looking around at the various pieces of equipment hanging, standing and generally being in the area.
“Heh, yeah,” Wildwing replied with a little chuckle.
Just then Agnus caught sight of one of the duckcycles that was in for repairs. Wildwing noticed how Agnus was looking at the bike and smiled to himself.
“You into motorcycles, Agnus?” he asked, skating towards the ‘injured’ duckcycle.
“Yeah. I was working on one before I came to Anaheim. Little project that was meant to become a useful mode of transport,” Agnus replied, following Wildwing’s lead.
“How far’d you get?”
“Far enough to call it a motorcycle shaped scrap pile.”
Wildwing snorted at the quip and Agnus just smiled amusedly.
“How about I take you for a spin on this one’s twin later?” Wing asked, patting the handlebars of the duckcycle.
“Yeah. Just a little spin around the city as part of our usual patrol for Dragaunus.”
Agnus smiled at the white drake before her before saying, “Thank you.”
“Anytime,” Wildwing replied with a smile, glad to see that Agnus was warming up to him, “Shall we move on?”
Agnus nodded and waited for Wing to take the lead.

Back in Agnus’ new room, Dive was slumped in the armchair while Grin arranged the furniture as he saw best.
“Let the girl move some of it, Grinster. We did all the hard work,” Nosedive said.
“We barely broke a sweat,” Grin replied, nudging the sofa just slightly so that it lined up with the lamp stand.
“Says the strong duck.”
“You sweating bullets because you might break something?” Duke asked, leaning on the back of the chair.
“Something like that, yeah. You saw her explode at Phil. I do not want to become duck flambé because I dinged something, thank you very much,” Nosedive replied.
“Phil’s family, Nosedive. You know what it’s like. You’ll fly off at family for doing something, but not at a friend or a stranger if they do the same thing.”
“Still don’t want to test that out with Aggie.”
Duke couldn’t help but smile amusedly at the younger drake.
“The rest of us are going to be up by Drake One if you’d like to come join us,” Duke said, turning to leave.
“Right behind you, Duke,” Nosedive replied, pushing himself up out of his slump.
Duke smiled over his shoulder at Nosedive before taking his leave.
“Hey, Grin, you comin’ or what?” Nosedive asked, getting up from his chair.
“Be there in a minute,” Grin replied from his position next to the lamp stand.
Nosedive looked at his friend a little perplexedly.
“What are you…,” he started, walking up to Grin.
Nosedive stopped when he saw what his friend was doing and rolled his eyes disbelievingly. Grin was fiddling with the lamp shade, trying to get it perfectly straight.
“Alright! That’s enough, Grinster. Let the lady do something. Even if it is just setting the lamp shade right,” Nosedive said, taking hold of Grin’s arm and beginning to haul him out of the room.
“Hold on. I almost had it,” Grin said.
“Now, Grinster!”
Grin quickly nudged the lamp shade with his finger getting into perfect alignment and then allowed himself to be pulled along by the younger drake.

Eventually, Wildwing and Agnus joined the others in the command centre.
“Thought we’d find you guys here,” Wing said, while he and Agnus skated up to them.
“Why do you say that?” Duke asked.
“Try the fact we didn’t see hide nor feather of any of you the entire time we toured the HQ.”
Duke just shrugged.
“Thank you, guys,” Agnus said, skating up to Dive and Grin.
“No problem. There may be a dust bunny or two you may need to move, but… I think everything’s in order otherwise,” Nosedive replied, looking in Grin’s direction out of the corner of his eye.
Grin didn’t appreciate the dig at his wanting to put everything perfect for their new friend, but, naturally, didn’t say anything.
“I noticed. Who’s the perfectionist?” Agnus asked, looking between the two.
“Not Nosedive, that’s for sure,” Mallory said.
Nosedive, not being in any mood to share smart remarks right now, just glared at her.
“Grin?” Agnus asked, looking up at the big drake.
Grin just nodded sagely.
“Thank you. Your hard work is much appreciated. I was sort of dreading having to shunt things around.”
“Yeah, we swung by Agnus’ room before coming here and, I must say, I’m impressed,” Wildwing said with a smile.
Grin just smiled, more to himself than at Agnus and Wildwing, and looked at Nosedive out of the corner of his eye in a ‘told you so’ sort of fashion.
Nosedive just wrinkled his beak slightly in irritation. If Wing hadn’t been there he may have pulled a tongue at the larger drake, but…, things being as they were, he behaved himself.
“I’m grateful for your hard work too, Nosedive. I hope I can make it up to you two at some stage,” Agnus said.
“I’m sure we’ll think of something sooner or later,” Nosedive said with a smile, his mood lightening a little bit.
Agnus just smiled at him.
At that moment Phil walked into the room.
“Settling in nicely, Aggie?” he asked, walking up to the group.
“She’s just finished the grand tour with Wildwing ‘ere, Phil. Give her five minutes okay?” Duke said.
“Hey, I just want my niece to be happy.”
“So do we, Phil. Don’t worry. We’ll do all we can to make her feel at home,” Wildwing said, putting an arm around Agnus’ shoulders.
“Thanks, Wildwing. I appreciate it.”
Wildwing just smiled at the manager and then turned his attention to the niece in question.
“Now, you know your way around our headquarters, just make yourself at home and if you need anything just call me,” he said, handing her a wrist communicator.
Agnus took the device from Wildwing and looked at it a bit quizzically.
“It’s linked directly to mine. Don’t worry, you won’t be calling any of the others by accident,” Wildwing continued with a slightly amused smile, seeing Agnus’ expression.
“Thanks,” she said, strapping the device onto her wrist. “Well,” Agnus continued, “If you guys don’t mind I’d like to just spend some time in my room. Everything already seems to be in place, but… I’d like to unpack.”
“Certainly. I’ll be ‘round later to check in on you.”
“Thanks, Wildwing. I appreciate the concern.”
Wildwing just smiled at her and she smiled back.
With that Agnus turned and skated off towards her room.
“I see she’s warming up to you, Wildwing,” Phil said.
“Yes. I think meeting her on her own level helped a bit,” Wildwing replied, lifting one of his skates off of the ground momentarily.
“No doubt. Just make sure to give her space when she needs it, okay? She needs plenty of it sometimes.”
“We’ll be sensitive, Phil. Don’t worry.”
“Good. Well, I’ve got a meeting to get to and don’t forget you lot have a game tonight.”
With that Phil turned and began to make his way out.
“Like we’d forget our own hockey game,” Nosedive said, once Phil was out of earshot.
“He’s just nervous. You can see it,” Wildwing replied.
Wing just looked in the direction Agnus had disappeared in moments ago and Dive got the idea.

Meanwhile, deep within the chambers of the cloaked Raptor, Dragaunus paced to and fro. Anyone watching him would have gotten a neck work out with the speed he was going. Just then Siege, Wraith and Chameleon walked into the room and stopped short when they caught sight of their disgruntled leader.
“Uh… perhaps we should come back later,” Wraith said in a hushed voice to his fellow Saurians.
“Good idea,” Chameleon replied, nodding vigorously. He was not keen on getting his tookus fired by a fireball right at this very moment in time.
The three turned to leave, but stopped when Dragaunus spoke up.
“Not so fast, you three,” he said.
The three Saurians in question turned slowly to face their leader. His face was no longer twisted into an expression of annoyance and dissatisfaction. They all knew the expression he wore now. He had finally come up with another grand plan and, by the level of malicious glee they could see in his toothy grin, they could guess that it was one to get rid of the Ducks.

Back at Duck HQ, Wildwing was just on his way to see how Agnus was doing. He knocked at her door, waited to hear her say ‘come in’ and then let himself in.
“Doing well I see,” he said, walking in and looking around the room.
“Yeah. Unpacked and just about ready to start work tomorrow morning,” Agnus replied from her seat on her armchair.
Wildwing, after surveying the room once more, looked at the sofa which was across the way from Agnus.
“May I?” he asked, gesturing towards the chair.
“Sure,” Agnus replied, setting her book down onto a nearby table.
Wildwing nodded and then sat down on the sofa.
“You… okay?” he asked cautiously.
“Yeah. No problems, Wildwing. Why?” Agnus asked.
“No reason. I just… don’t want you to feel put out is all.”
“I’m fine, Wildwing. You don’t have to worry. It’s very nice here.”
“Yeah. Dive was telling me about your previous place of residence.”
Agnus just smiled at the white drake. This place was a palace in comparison to the place she had been calling home a few hours ago.
“Well, I really just came to check in on you and… seeing as you’re okay… I’ll be off,” Wildwing said, getting up and beginning to move towards the door.
“Okay,” Agnus said with a smile. She knew that Wildwing was in a little more of a hurry to leave than he was putting on. He had practice to get to.
“If you need anything… just contact me with the wrist-com, okay?”
“Will do.”
Wildwing nodded and smiled at Agnus as he pressed the button to open the door.
“You don’t have to worry though, Wildwing,” Agnus said before he stepped out.
Wildwing looked at her as he waited for her to continue.
“I won’t call you in the middle of practice, or in the middle of your game,” she said, picking up her book and getting comfortable again.
Wildwing raised his brows in surprise, but then smiled somewhat amusedly and said, “Thanks, Agnus.”
“Please. Call me ‘Aggie’. Easier to pronounce.”
“Fine. So long as you call me ‘Wing’. Easier to work with.”
The pair smiled at each other and then Wildwing took his leave, closing Agnus’ room door as he left.