He jolted slightly in his seat and growled, "Careful you idiots! remember the portals don't like it when we go to fast through them!"
A large Great Dane, with a dopey little top hat nodded and pulled back on the stick, "Duh... you got it captain."
'Why must I always be surrounded by idiots?' the captain thought to himself.
The glowing fog in the view port cleared and they saw that they where over forested mountains. A quick glance at the compass told him they where facing south, and from what he could tell there was a city in that direction.
He stood and looked at a weasel standing by the door. "Go now and scout ahead, tell me what you see there." The weasel nodded and left for the main hanger. 'Well now, let’s see if this new world is ripe for the plundering yes, no?' he thought to himself.
A large stocky female duck sat at the control panel, and yawned. He looked at her reflection in a blank screen and started to fool around with her head yellow feathers, when the computer started beeping wildly.
She almost fell out of her seat as she looked at the larger screen and then hit the button for the communications. "Hey guys, get in here!"
A more male sounding voice responded, "What is is Tanya?"
Tanya just adjusted the controls, "Just get in here. This is important.... I think."
Several other ducks came in through a door on her left, one was a huge, grey feathers with a top knot. Another a female, with red hair, walked calmly over and stood next to the other one. Two more came in, in somewhat matching armor, although one was more built then the other and wore a golden mask, and the skinny one had blond hair. The last one to enter was a grey duck with a eye patch, chipped beak, and a streak of white in his head feathers.
“Okay Tanya." The one with the mask said, "What is it?"
"Well I, uh.. that is, the computer picked up a dimensional portal opening north of here in the mountains, Wildwing."
They all looked at each other. Wildwing looked at Tanya. "Is it still open, and do you have a fix?"
"Well no... to both...but I picked up something that came out of it. It's airborne, and moving slowly toward us, and it launched something smaller that's coming close and fast."
Wildwing looked to the others. "Okay. Tanya track it from here, well go out in the Aerowing to see what it launched."
The red head interjected, "What about the larger object? It might be more Saurians."
Wildwing considered and placed one hand across his chest and the other to his beak, "Good point, Mallory. You and Nosedive take the Migrator and check it out, while we look in to the smaller object. If it is Saurians then it might be a missile."
The young blond head duck responded, "Coolidic, I drive!"
With that he left for the bay, with Mallory in pursuit, "Nosedive, wait up! And you’re not driving, you’re too dangerous and this requires stealth!"
The weasel flew his CT-37 plane right over the city of Anaheim and looked at the people below. They didn't seem to take any notice of his prop-job, and he noted how they all looked odd to him, not having seen humans before. However they seemed ripe for plundering, no signs of air defenses, and no airports visible.
He looked up and gulped as he turned his plane to the right suddenly, just avoiding a large looking plane with the front of a duck's bill. He noticed that it circled around and started to follow him.
'Oh boy', he thought. 'The captain's going to be angry with me if I get caught.'
So he decided to do what he knew best and looped his plane around behind them and open fired with both guns as he called in. "Mad Dog to Iron Vulture!"
The captain's voice squawked back to him. "This is Don Karnage speaking to you with my voice."
"Capt. there's a problem..."
"What is your pathetic insignificant little point?"
"Well the city looks ripe but there's a large plane here, I'm trying to take it down now."
"Good, good, we'll be there soon, Iron Vulture out."
He then noted that the large plane had turned and as now preparing to make a run on him.
Wildwing and the others all looked at each other when they first saw the object. It was a small, fast single prop plane that reminded them of a WWI fighter, only with out the bi-wings. What they saw was definitely not a human piloting it, but some kind of weasel.
The grey duck with the eye patch looked back out. "Hey where'd he go?"
Wildwing looked out, then they heard the sound of bullets hitting the hull of the Aerowing, "Duke, man the weapons, the rest of you hand on."
The grey duck nodded and remained seated in the co-pilot's seat. "Want I should take him down quick?"
Wildwing just muttered something under his breath as he turned the craft, "No just make him land, I want to talk to him."
Duke nodded and began fiddling with the controls.
Nosedive rummaged around in the back of the Migrator, as he felt it hit a bump again and hit his head on a shelf. "Owie, hey Mal take it easy, will ya?"
Mallory skidded the large tank-like vehicle to a stop and looked out the window somewhat wide eyed. "I think where going to need some help here."
Nosedive walked over, "What ya talking about Mal-mal?" He looked out. "Gahgahgahgah..."
They saw a large looking bulbous aircraft, at least the size of a aircraft carrier, easily as large as the Raptor. The sides were painted a deep purple, like the Raptor, but had a yellow beak-like front. They saw the beak open and then several small fighters launch from it, several made strafing runs right at them.
"Hold on!" said Mallory as she gunned the Migrator in reverse and tried to turn it so they could get out of there intact, but it rammed into something.
Nosedive flipped a switch. "We’re stuck! There's a ditch and a large boulder pinning us in!"
They noticed that other than for that flying fortress above them, the fighters seemed to have disappeared. There was a knocking sound at the door. Mallory and Nosedive grabbed their puck blasters and readied themselves, as Mallory hit the switch to open the door.
Immediately about twenty canines scrambled in and around the door, pointing a variety of swords and old fashioned guns at them. A large fox walked in calmly, and looked at them. "So this is this world’s natives, what a pity. Take them prisoner, my minions!"
Mallory tried to get a shot off but was hit by the flat side of a sword and fell to her side. Nosedive saw this and threw his weapon to the ground. "Just don't hurt her, and who are you anyway?"
The fox chuckled. "Me? I am the feared air pirate Don Karnage, and you are my prisoner! Now take them and this interesting prize onto the Iron Vulture!"
Mad Dog managed to avoid their first few shots at his plane, then flew right through a bill board, making him crash in front of a large arena. He groaned and rubbed his head as Duke ran up to him and pointed his sword at the Mad Dog's throat. "Don't move."
Mad Dog gulped and whined, "Yeah, ok." Then, softly, "The captain's going to be real mad with me..."
Wildwing walked up with the large bulky grey duck in tow and looked down at Mad Dog who was whimpering. "We’re not going to hurt you. We just want to know who you are."
Mad Dog gulped. "Mad Dog."
Wildwing nodded, as the large grey duck fiddled with something on his wrist. Duke looked at Mad Dog coldly. "Why are you here?"
Mad Dog thought this might be a good place to lie. "Oh, I was just looking around, ya know looking for a place to refuel."
Duke rolled his eyes. "So you shot at us."
Mad Dog gulped.
Wildwing leaned in close. "Who are you working for, and why are you really here?"
Mad Dog blurted out, "IworkforCaptKarnageandhesentmeaheadtocheckthisplaceout."
Duke and Wildwing looked at each other and then at Mad Dog again. Duke said very calmly, "Say that again, and slower."
Mad Dog shivered slightly, "Captain Karnage sent me here to check out the city."
"So we could rob it."
"Yeah. We're air pirates."
The large grey duck then looked at Wildwing. "I seem to be having a problem calling Nosedive."
Wildwing nodded to him. "Ok Grin. Take him along. We might need him."
Duke and Grin nodded as Grin reached over and picked Mad Dog up by the scruff of his neck. The dog started to whine. "Please don't hurt me!”
Mallory groaned slightly as she sat up, only to be hugged tightly by Nosedive> "Mal-mal! You’re all right!"
She shoved him back and looked at their dingy little cell. "I'm fine. Where are we?"
Nosedive sat down on a bunk opposite hers. "We’re on that flying ship, their captain calls it the Iron Vulture." He tapped the side of the cell with the small porthole. "From what I can tell, it's appropriate."
Mallory nodded and looked out the cell and down the hall with it's flickering lights. "Not too modern, are they?"
Nosedive shook his head. "Nah. They seemed more confused by your weapons and the Migrator than us."
They suddenly heard someone coming down the hall and they sat down to see Karnage walk calmly into the cell and look them over. A large chalk board was wheeled in to the cell behind him.
Nosedive just looked at him. "What do you want, garbage?"
Karnage growled. "That is Karnage, Don Karnage! Roll the ‘r’ when you say that." He smacked Nosedive across the face with the back of his hand, sending him to the ground.
Mallory couldn't help but think, 'for a fox, he's built like a wolf.' She growled. "Leave him alone!"
Karnage turned his back to them and grinned. "You will tell me what kind of resistance I will find at that city, so I can plunder it."
Nosedive rubbed his check where the blow landed. "Plunder it?"
Karnage nodded. "We are air pirates, it is what we do."
Mallory just spat at his feet and said, "Do your worst! We’ll never talk."
Karnage nodded as a large Great Dane handed him a glove that looked like a tiger claw. Slipping it on, he grinned. "Oh I think you will."He scraped the claws down across the blackboard, making Mallory and Nosedive wince and cover their ears.
"Owie stop it! My ears are going to ring for a week dude!" cried Nosedive as he winced again.
Karnage chuckled. "I think they need worse. Dumptruck, get me the sandpaper and turnip."
The large Great Dane then nodded. "Duh... Aye, aye Captain."
As he turned to leave, a shorter canine wearing a overcoat and hick style cap came in and tugged on Karnage's sleeve.
"What is it Gibber?"
Gibber leaned up and whispered something in Karnage's ear. Karnage pricked his ears up. "What do you mean, we’re under attack?"
The room shook as they heard a large explosion.
Wildwing leaned in his seat as he turned the Aerowing for another pass. Tanya just kept looking at it out the window. "I still can't get over the size of that thing! And the tech is so primitive, it's amazing."
Duke just looked back at Tanya. "Keep quiet, will ya? You think they'll be ready to talk after another pass?"
Wildwing shrugged. "Can't say, but according to our guest, that thing is called the Iron Vulture and currently holds a small army."
The Aerowing headed for the front. They gasped as they saw the hull on either side of the beak open up. Out slid large artillery pieces.
"Hold on!" Wildwing shouted as he turned the Aerowing, banking it to the left, just avoiding the vulture's cannon fire, he then hit the switch. "Come in Iron Vulture! This is the Aerowing! Cease your fire, we have your pilot Mad Dog on board!"
There was silence, then a voice answered them. "This is Don Karnage here, we also have two of your friends here on board."
There was then a sound of some struggling and then Nosedive's voice over the comm. "Get out of here, bro! This guy's crazy!"
"Crazy! Don't call me that word!"
There was the sound of someone getting hit, and Mallory's voice came over the comm. "We’re fine Wildwing, this pirate just has a temper. Shoot us down before he can do any damage to Anaheim!"
Wildwing said, "We’re not leaving you two on that thing!"
Karnage responded. "As I thought! Now then, if you would be so kind as to land on the air strip, a elevator will bring you inside. Mad Dog!! You will see that there is no treachery on theie part! Iron Vulture out."
Wildwing looked back at Grin who just nodded and lead Mad Dog to a storage compartment and locked him in there. "Ok guys, any, ideas?"
Duke crossed his arms. "Well a direct assault is out. But I don't think he knows how many of us there are."
Tanya blurted out, "If I could get to their engine room, maybe I could figure out how they got here. It could give us a way home."
Grin calmly said, "When the two are no good, maybe the two could become one."
Wildwing nodded. "Ok, here's the plan. Duke, Tanya, you two will drop out as we make our approach and find another way in, while trying to take out that thing’s engines. Grin and I will do our best to get Nosedive and Mallory free. We’ll meet up in the main hanger to make our escape."
Karnage paced in the main hanger and glanced back at Nosedive and Mallory, who were both bound and gagged on the floor. He looked at his pirates, and recognized the look in their eyes. They were hungry for plunder, as was he.
Still, he was no fool. The new technology these ducks presented could make him unstoppable, and maybe he could at last take Cape Suzette back and loot every last building there.
Ah, Cape Suzette. How he hated that city. It was there that he had his greatest victory, and his most humiliating defeat...
"Look there!" one pirate blurred out, and pointed to the lowering elevator platform.
Karnage stood proud of himself. He figured that every world would have it's chosen, just as those of Crossworld told him they would. On his it would be Baloo, on this it seems to be these ducks. 'But I, the feared Don Karnage, have humbled them', he thought to himself.
When the elevator finally stopped, he grinned his wolf grin, watching the armored duck with a golden mask, followed by Mad Dog and a large grey duck step out.
"Ok Karnage," said the one with the golden mask, "We’re here. Hand over Nosedive and Mallory."
Mad Dog walked over to Karnage and tugged on his sleeve.
"What is it, you idiot? Can you not see that I am enjoying my moment of victory?"
"Forgive me, your Karnage-atude, but their two companions decided to bail out before we landed."
Karnage went wide-eyed and growled, just as Wildwing shot off the bonds with his wrist puckblaster shouting, "Nosedive, Mallory! Get the Migrator on board the Aerowing!"
As the fight ensued, Karnage took off down a corridor followed by two large pirates. "Come on, you idiots! They’re buying time, and they know where to hit us!"
Duke stuck a hound dog pirate on the back of the head. "That's the last of them! Any luck, Tanya?"
Tanya was looking at the equipment. "No. This is odd, there's nothing fancy here, it's just old fashioned steam and diesel engines, like on a ship."
It was then the door to the engine room burst open and two large Dobermans followed by a wolf-looking fox burst in yelling, "Kill them!"
Tanya eeped and managed to knock one aside with a wrench as the other tackled her. Duke pulled out his sabre, and lit the glowing blade. The fox pulled out his cutlass and saluted him.
Duke blinked and returned the salute. "I'm Duke L’Orange. So you’re a swordsman! Who do I have the honor of duelling?"
The fox grinned. "I am the captain Don Karnage!" With that he lunged at Duke, who barely managed to parry the blow meant for his throat.
Back in the hanger, Nosedive and Mallory managed to get the Migrator and into the Aerowing before rejoining the fighting. Wildwing moved his back to Nosedives as they both punched a pirate. "So where's the exit, bro?"
Nosedive gestured to a large lever on the far end of the hanger. "There bro, it opens the beak up so they can launch their planes!"
Wildwing mange to shoot the next Pirate in the chest, before yelling, "Grin, go open it! Mallory, find the others and get them here! We’ll hold them back!"
Tanya was still struggling with the pirate, as Karnage duelled with Duke. Each managing to block the other's blows and landing a few nicks on the other.
Duke then panted. "I'll give you this Karnage, you’re good."
Karnage was also panting, his tongue hanging slightly out of his muzzle on the left. "As are you, but my wonderful self am the best, as I come from a long line of pirates."
Duke laughed. "Oh really, well I'm from a long line of thieves!" Duke paused as they both resized each other.
Karnage broke the silence as they lunged and locked each other, almost touching beak to muzzle. "What do you propose? I trust you follow the code?"
Duke blinked. "You know of the code?"
Karnage managed to push him back with that, sending Duke against a wall. "All pirates and thieves know the code! It doesn't matter what world you’re on, the code is the same, so long as you honor it."
Duke nodded slightly. "Ok Karnage. Call off your pirates and head home. We have bigger problems here than you. World big, if you get me."
Karnage blinked, then growled as he lunged again, pinning a surprised Duke to the wall. "I must make this look good, yes no?"
Duke smiled a secret smile only seen to Karnage, and whispered, "One thief to another, that is true." Duke shoved Karnage back and leapt over to Tanya who had just managed to knock out the pirate on top of her. "Come on, Tanya! Lets go!"
They bolted towards a door, leaving Karnage standing there muttering to himself. "World problems..."
Duke and Tanya ran into Mallory in a passageway, and finally back to the hanger. Most of the fighting was over, as the pirates, seeing the ducks had the better of their numbers, slinked back to try and shoot them from a distance. Grin was only halfway to the lever for the door when they saw Karnage standing on a balcony over the beak entrance.
"I want them off my airship, now!" With that he held his cutlass to one side and a large pirate next to him leapt down on to the lever and opened the beak.
"Ok crew! That's our cue! Let's go!" With that they scrambled in to the Aerowing and left through the beak of the Vulture at full speed.
Wildwing turned the craft and saw the Iron Vulture turning in to a patch of fog. He clicked the safety on the missile.
It was Duke, who placed a hand on his shoulder. "They’re leaving."
They watched as it went into the patch of fog that suddenly flashed and the Iron Vulture had disappeared.
"How did you know?"
"Simple. They’re pirates and we put up too much of a fight. I don't think they'll return any time soon."
Wildwing just looked back at the fog patch. "Lets hope so. The last thing we need is another problem to worry about other then the Saurians."
Nosedive leaned back in his seat. Calmly he said, "Still...I wonder what he was going to do with sandpaper and a turnip."