Disclaimer: Ender belongs to Crow, Leila belongs to Tania, Cutter belongs to Starsong. Thanks again.
Jon/Shiska, Firesky/Robyn, Moon/Genesis, The Nemesis, Kochrint, Shelby, Kit,Skygem,and all the rest besides Duke, Mal and Dive are copyright X&X Productions.*bows*
Thanks to the members of the brotherhood who gave me permission to use their characters, yet I didn't use them, Opheilia, Silenced108, Jet, Jadestar and Angie.
Jon looked around the crowed mess hall. In one corner was a table full of the highest ranking members, including Leila. Good. it was time to put his plan into action. He didn't notice the light gray duck in neon pink at the far corner watching him very intently. Jon cast a quick freeze spell and stood up.
Leila’s fork was stuck in her food. She couldn't lift it, couldn't even move her arm. What in the hell? she asked herself. Everyone in her line of vision was frozen. But at the other end of the hall, a rangy blue duck stood. Leila recognized him as one of the newest members. His name was Jon and he always seemed to have a superior air about him. Right now he smirked as he threaded his way past the ranks of frozen Brotherhood members.
Upon reaching her, Jon grinned " Ah Leila, just the duck I wanted to see, not that you have much choice. Why don’t we take little walk."
Leila tried to open her mouth for a sharp retort, but she couldn't All she could do was glare helplessly as Jon jerked her roughly to her feet.
There was one other new member. She went by the name of Robyn. Leila often wondered how she managed to work with the bright neon colors she wore.
Robyn had joined about three days ago and neither she nor Jon were making many friends, with each
other of the other members of the Brotherhood.
Ender saw Leila disappear. A few seconds later, the newest member of the Brotherhood stood up. Ender remembered her as the one who'd hacked into the holos and put up displays of Nosedive’s numerous pranks, though none of them were remembered in the Brotherhood. Robyn glanced his way, then disappeared also.
"Now, we will discuss the rules of this gang." Jon said conversationally.
Leila found she had use of her mouth, and let out long steam of inventive and descriptive curses. When she paused for breath the blue duck chuckled. "Now that is a language I'll have to learn. Might come in useful." He stopped pacing and turned toward her. "On business, since I have control now, I hardly think you are worth keeping around. Soon my backup will be here. And there will be nothing this pitiful band can do."
" Over my dead body." Leila spat.
Jon charged up a deep blue saber and grinned " That is precisely my point." Slowly and deliberately he raised the sword. He didn't see the light gray duck in neon pink appear behind him, or see her scowl. All he knew was that something akin to a ball of solid iron hit him in the skull with enough force to knock him off his feet. Jon went flying into the opposite wall.
Leila stared. This girl was the newest member of the Brotherhood, and already had caused some trouble. She had challenged Duke to a fight, hacked into security, treated most of the high ranking Brotherhood members as if she were better than them, and generally, made a nuisance of herself. Now she stood, chest heaving, as she glared at Jon.
"You nit-witted, no good son of a... " the rest of the sentence was a list of insults that literally turned the air in the office blue. Robyn ended with "...so called plans you have tried, this beats them all for stupidity!"
Jon looked up at her "I don’t believe I know your name," he stated simply, though it was clear he was angry.
The girl chuckled. "Who was it who worked with the two highest ranking members of the Brotherhood when they stole the McDrake Diamond? Who was it who cut off Duke's eye through what you taught me? Who was the third most wanted criminal on Puckworld before she disappeared from History? Yes, me, Robyn, Honor Blade of the Brotherhood and co. leader to Duke and Nartia L’Orange. Would you like to know more, cause I assure you, the info won't leave this world.”
Jon’s face twisted "You, you are the one who ruined all my plans."
"What the heck is going on here!" Leila asked. Robyn didn't reply.
" Well, you know who I am now, or ya think ya do. I suggest this is finished where it began."
Suddenly all three were back in the Mess hall. There was circular area cleared in the center and some of the more prominent member of the Brotherhood were on the inside ring.
Robyn muttered to herself. "Genesis better get here with the others, before this place blows."
Ender would’ve started if he could have, Genesis, alive, no, it couldn’t be. A voice entered his head.
You, numbskull! Not the Genesis!
The voice sounded like Robin’s but - Ender’s thoughts were cut off .
I read minds and am a telepath. It is possible, but highly rare on my world. Now.. if you would kindly keep your thoughts down, I’ll deal with this pest and leave you and the rest of the Brotherhood to your business. The duck turned slightly to face Ender as she told him this.
Jon took the opening. He jumped for Robyn, saber raised to slash her. Without seeming to be bothered by this, the light gray duck ducked and ignited saber at the same time. Jon found himself on the floor, a black booted foot on his chest and the blue saber at his throat.
Robyn’s eyes started to glow a bright blue as she glared down at the duck she held at her mercy. She growled. " Don't you ever do that again, ever." Pausing, she chuckled sourly. “But then , after today, you won't have the chance to try that again."
Jon nodded, expecting to be let up. He raised himself up a little, but was pushed back down.
Robyn had lost all humor. Her eye's were that hard cold of the center of a glacier. She took a deep
breath and sighed.
"Do you know who I am? Really.. know who I am." Her voice was low and dangerous. Without waiting for an answer, she continued: “I am the one you beat when she was little. I'm the girl you restricted till she ran away. I'm the Keeper of the Crystal and the Holder of the Blue. I am the highest ranked talent besides the Crow and The Rowan. I'm the one who had you fooled as the black Saurian. I’m the one who beat you in duels countless times. I am Blue Talent, successor of you."
She paused, blinking back a tear of anger. "I am your youngest daughter, Firesky Whitewing, and of no relation to you. Finally--" she pressed harder with her foot, pressing the breathe from Jon "--I am the duck with the privilege of make your blood into this floor's main decoration."
With these words, there was a flash of blue light, and instead of the light gray duck in neon, there was a tan duck in a blue tank top and pants with her red hair up in two pigtails. she started to leaned on her sword, driving it into Shiska. Suddenly a white hand was laid on her arm and a voice broke through her bloodlust.
"Easy Fire, You wanna be put in detention for the next 20 years?" Her cousin whispered.
Cutter blinked in surprise. 12 ducks had just appeared around the strange duck. He recognized
three of them as Duke, Mallory and Nosedive. Why in the heck were they here. And Duke and Dive
Firesky glanced backwards at Soar. Then lifted her blade, leaving her boot in place. A single drop of blood slowly detached itself from her blade, hitting Sheiks on the beak. A single tear of leftover-or was it growing- anger trickled down her cheek. And with single blink she held back the rest of them.
For ten seconds.
Turning she buried her face in his shoulder. Silent sobs racked her body. From where they stood, Nosedive and Mallory walked over and laid their hands on her shoulders. Turning again, she buried her beak in Dive's shoulder. He threw Mal a helpless look as he gently put his arms around his girlfriend. Mallory shrugged back. Neither of them had ever seen Firesky even sniffle, much less break down.
The rest of the ducks surrounded Shiska, letting him up but nothing else.
After Firesky finished getting Nosedive’s armor wet, she pulled away from his arms, channels in her face feathers from tears and her eyes still glowing. She grinned weakly. "Sorry about that. By the way, what do ya think your doing down here? Most likely you'll get hurt or killed before I can puck ya again for coming."
Mallory shook her head "And I thought I was tough."
" Shaddup. Now, let's get this mess straightened out so we can go home."
Leila still had use of her mouth. “Exactly what do you think you're doing? You don’t run this place!" Her voice rose in anger.
Firesky answered without turning. " Leila, either you shut that thing attached to your face called a beak, or I'll come over an rip your tongue out." Her words were clipped clean as a disinfected surgery knife.
As Leila sputtered in anger, Firesky walked over to Nylessa and stood there with her back turned, faced towards the center of the rink, where a groggy and still bleeding Shiska stood. A short black drakess in green went to stand opposite, in front of Cutter. Another duck appeared, his metallic gold feathers glinted in the dim light and his voice was monotone " To be complete there must be one more."
A small white Saurian appeared and stepped forward " Here, father."
" A saurian!" Leila screeched.
The girl whirled. " I am no Saurian, just someone with the bad luck to be caught like this," she hissed.
The gold duck nodded and moved to stand in front of the still sputtering Leila. Soon all she had to see was the silver and blue surface of the duck's cloak. The female went to stand across from him, in front of the paralysed Duke. The other ducks took up equally spaced spots around the circle. A dark brown one handed Duke the small baby she carried with her, and took her place directly across a solid black male.
Firesky looked at her " Nemesis, what is Shelby doing here?"
" She'll be of help, to quote The Messenger."
"Whatever." Turning to Shiska she said, " Once you start there is no return, no backing out. Prove that you aren't a coward and take this challenge."
The others echoed, "Coward."
The blue duck in the center of the room drew himself up straight. "I am no coward. I accept the
Firesky walked out three paces from her place in the circle " Then I Firesky Whitewing, as Blue Talent, Keeper of the Crystal, Book and Blue Disk--” here she paused , taking a small blue holodisk the size of a dollar coin from her pocket, "--challenge to you a duel to the death by magic or sword, whichever is deemed worthy. ”She flipped the disk up and let it fall. A tall tigress now stood there, a blue collar around her neck. she paced to her mistress's place in the circle and sat.
The black female stepped forward three steps "I, Kit DeCaine, future Power and Keeper of the Silver Disk--" she too took a disk from her pocket, this one silver "--second that challenge as witness." she flipped up the Disk and let it fall, as Firesky had. A huge female panther paced to her mistress's spot in the circle.
Ender was amazed by this. It seemed like he was just a spectator in a weird magic show. And he thought the Brotherhood had strict duelling rules.
The voice of the white duck with blond hair entered his mind. That is just what you are Ender, a spectator, even if Shiska had not put you into freeze state, the entire gang would now be in just his position. though many of us here would love to wreck more havoc, we are forbidden by LAW.
The metallic male strode forward. “As ruler of Other, the Crow talent and the Crow, I , Tante Mozar, validated the challenge. You--" he pointed at Shiska "-- have broken the law, worked with Saurians, attempted murder, have murdered, stolen, denounced you own daughters in turning-" Firesky snorted. Tante glanced her direction "and have not fulfilled your duties. For this, I validate the challenge."
The Crow flicked his wrist and a large black crow flew from nowhere and landed on one of the large Shoulder guards on it cawed once, before Tante stepped back to his place, once again blocking Leila's view of the proceedings.
Cutter wondered why they just didn't get along with it and fight. Soiree’s voice cut through
Rules don’t change easy. Besides.. Juliet, what could you do about it. Your a pitiful person who
cannot defend himself from magic. Not that I wanna get you offend-- Soars tone had sharp bite to it --but
it's true, for what can a computer expert do against the most powerful magicals in my universe? I know
because I too am a computer expert.
How in the heck did that guy know Cutter's real name? And ‘pitiful‘? Cutter was hardly pitiful.
This time it was Firesky who spoke. Like me, Soar reads minds. And he has a bit of contempt for techies who think they can use machinery in the face of magic. Came from fight Dragaunus so long. And now that overgrown garden snake is dead, he's got left over anger. But we don’t have time to discuss this. So kindly keep you thoughts to yourself so I can get this over with.
Kit looked at Firesky, and at her friends nod, she stepped back to her place in the circle. Firesky charged up her sword and went into a deep defensive crouch.
Shiska grinned, and did the same. The two circled each other warily, looking for an opening. Suddenly Shiska lunged. carelessly Firesky blocked his darker blue sword.
"Really now, you think I’m all that bad. Cause lemme tell ya sumthin. I'm better than you
ever thought of me. thanks to my thieving days."
Sheiks withdrew, then struck again. " Oh really. If you're so good, Run me through."
Firesky chuckled " Believe my Father Dearest. I will. I will and you could bet on that if you'd be alive to give me my due."
The two fought on for a little longer, But Duke noticed each block of fire's was weak. What was this maniac doing, saying she could kill this guy when she was losing against him.
A strange voice told him, rather impatiently. If you would Kindly keep your thought to yourself. Fire knows what she's doing. She know how to lure this guy. You watch, Pretty soon--he was cut of when suddenly Firesky dropped on one kneed thrust upwards.
Shiska stared down at the sword protruding from his belly, and slowly toppled back wards.
Grinning grimly, Firesky stood and planted one foot on Shiska's chest pushed down a little as she with drew her sword. Deactivating it, she smiled again. " you played a game with me, to kill one of the members here. And you lost oh so big, how does it feel to know that you daughter just delivered the killing blow? That in a couple minutes you'll be nothing but a bloodied corpse?"
Shiska didn't answer, not wanting to give his daughter the satisfaction. His eyes misted over and her let out his last, rattling breath. And then he was gone.
Firesky knelt down next to the body and rummaged in the front pockets of his shirt. Drawing out a small gold figure. Studded with a single sapphire, she held it. It was a fiddle. Intricately designed at that. Firesky Whitewing McMallard looked down at the body of her father and chuckled slightly.
"I won the gold fiddle father. Fair and square. Shouldn't made bet you knew you couldn't win. Didn't play well enough. And now, I guess. I oughta feel sorry."
Mallory walked up. " look. " she motioned at he Brotherhood. Many were standing now, some
sitting still, but for the main part, Shiska’s spell had gone. Younger sister looked at older. " i know.
he's gone for good. We'd better get out of here."
From over by Ender a slight squeal was heard. Shelby, who'd been forgotten during the fight, had clambered from Duke's shoulders to the table top, and had been playing with Ender's hair. Now he was setting her on the floor, hair mussed. She looked at him, stuck out her tongue, and ran over to Nemesis.
The brown duck chuckled and then turned to Ender " sorry. i think she got a little bored."
Firesky interrupted. " guys, Wing's leaving. She's powered up so we gotta go."
"what the hell are ya talking about?" Leila snapped. Firesky gave a I'm-losing-patience-don't-mess- with- me sigh and turned to the silver duck. " please, or i will let Sabe after ya. " to the black drakress she called " Sabe. Wing's leaving. I get Duke tipsy on the ship so ya can torture him. C’mon."
"Ah damn. When have you ever kept a promise?"
" i just did. Promised to get rid of my father."she gestured at the body light blue light boxed it in.
Without further words, the strangers to Puckworld disappeared in a haze of blue light.
Leila had kept her fork in her food far too long. The leader of the Brotherhood was dazed, as if she hadn't moved in along while. With a decisive shake of her head, she connoted eating.
Ender was getting fed up with the girls who kept plaguing him. Feeling as if he'd rather watch a duel to the death, he excused himself and stood to leave.
Nosedive speared a piece of meat on his fork, aimed at a duck, and let fly. An angered cry proved his aim had been true. It was just another normal day in the Brotherhood.
Firesky looked out through the veiwscreens as the flashing colors of Limbo passed by. She sighed. "that is the biggest group resetting an memory wipe I've ever had to do."
Soar nodded, tired lines evident. " I know. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll go sleep till we get to wherever we're going." He heaved himself out of his chair and left the deck. Fire turned to her sister " Are you sure..."
" Fire, you had to ,re member what he did?"
Fire turned the gold figurine in her hand and stared into space as the Limbo gateway passed by, the ducks headed for what was hopefully home. four enemies down, who knew how many to go.