So much we’ve been through
In the little time we’ve know each other
Will it all fall apart now?
Firesky watched Duke storm by, his face a cloud of anger. She sighed , fighting an inner tug of war, then started after him “Duke?”
The tall gray duck whirled on Firesky “ What.”
“ We need to talk.”
“ Bout what.”
“ Could you cut it out with the telepathy stuff.” Duke snapped.
Firesky shrank back momentarily, then straightened, “Fine, I won’t tell ya. I’ll let you find out the hard way.” She stomped of, her eyes turning color in anger.
Soar looked up as an angry Firesky stormed into the infirmary “Ready?”
“ Yup. Zaltana?” Fire turned to the older black female. She nodded “ Good.”
The three gathered around Skygem’s prone from. Soar looked at Zaltana. “The Purple Emerald?”
Zaltana nodded and took off her headband “I wish it were whole.”
“It’ll work.” Firesky patted the older woman’s shoulder.
Before any one could do anything, a puff of black smoke went up in the middle of the room. When it disappeared a tall black male duck and a shorter female duck, with black feathers and red hair were standing there. The taller one grinned. Firesky tensed and her eyes, which had been slowly going back to their normal sky blue hue, abruptly turned aqua, solid aqua.
“Morgan and Thorn.”
Zaltana put her headband back on. The red-haired female laughed “We have to fight them. Oh help!”
“Better be asking for help.” Soar growled “Cause you'll need it.”
Firesky’s eyes went out of focus for a second, then she grinned “ Let’s get ready to Rumble!”
Skygem swam in a sea of black, heading for and island and a light that never seemed to get closer. Voices whispered around her, amazingly like the ones of her friends and teammates.
“ Give up.” came Soar’s voice.
“ You won’t make it.” Firesky told her.
“ Sabe did this to you.” that horrific voice belonged to ...Canard. Skygem opened her mouth to scream, but no sound came out.
A large Crystal appeared in front of Skygem, imbedded in it were seven colored Disks, three primary colors, three secondary colors and the last a silver. A cool feeling of peace flooded over Sky as she worked toward the never approaching island.
A voice came to Sky in her head “You can do it, just trust.”, it was a silky smooth voice, like water over the smoothest surface imaginable.
Again Skygem gave vent to an empty cry. A multicolored beam of light hit her, and took all the voices and pain and fatigue away. The whispers faded away in wails, crying for mercy as they disappeared.
Skygem found herself standing on a rocky beach, black waves trying to bring her back into the sea of pain, but they could not. Skygem found a multicolored lighthouse in front of her
“ Go up.” the voice told her.
“ Why would they choose here to fight?” Soar grunted as he blocked Thorn’s spell.
Zaltnana shrugged “ Who can tell? all I know is that this wasn’t the best place.”
“Same here, those two better show up. And fast.” Firesky let off another spell at Morgan.
Thump! The door slammed open and two ducks came in. Kochrint grinned and drew his sword “E’llo everybody!”
“ Hi, now give us a hand here.”Firesky glared at him.
He chuckled “High Ho, high Ho! Off to work we go.”
Sabe slowed her vehicle as the car in front of her turned. Checking the radar, she found Kit and followed.
Crunch. The tires ground on the gravel road. A dark man looked over at the limp form in the seat next to him. The hardest part of his job was done.
Sabe narrowed her eyes as she watched the man get back into his car and drive away. Cautiously, Sabe got out of her car and followed the faint trail into the trees.
Skygem’s faltering progress up the stairs was brought to a halt by sheer exhaustion. She groaned “ I can’t.”
“ You’ve got to. Your friends, your sister are in danger. You’ve got to help them.” the silky voice urged her. Shygem sighed and started up.
Morgan chuckled “This is going nicely, but that stuff better start working before Sabe finds her.”
Sabe gasped. In the mouth of the cave was Kit.. but not the Kit that Sabe knew. Her hair was green, her eyes black and her mouth was formed into a twisted smile. Kit looked at her “What?’
“ Your diff’r’nt.”
“ How?” Kit, or if it was Kit, got up.
Sabe pointed at her hair with a shaky finger.
“ I’ve got green hair. So? I’ve always had hair this color.” Kit lunged at Sabe, only find herself tackling empty air “ Shoot!”
Sabe appeared in her car and turned the key, nothing. There was a noise in the bushes. Kit stumbled out. Normal.
“ Ok, here goes everything.” Firesky held the gem for a moment, then let it go. Slowly it rotated in the air, flashing from one color to the next. Faster and faster the gem whirled, going through colors that didn’t even exist.
Firesky stared at it while, she smiled. “ All set.”
Sabe sighed and got out of the car, stepping hesitantly over to Kit. The younger girl looked up.
“What’s happening?”, then she fell unconscious.
Sabe rubbed her hand on her temples and then bent to pick Kit up. As she did a shock seemed to go over her, changing her hair color, then it turned back to it’s normal black. Sabe shuddered. I only know of one thing that could do this. I hope...She left that thought trail, it was too horrible to finish, and picked up Kit.
Duke was growling to himself as he stalked down the corridor. Nemo came out of a door way and looked at him oddly “Ev’r’thi’n ok?”.
Before Duke could answer Sabe appeared holding Kit. The black and blond duck glared at Duke.
“Take her will ya?”
“Why should I?” he snapped.
“Cause if ya doan, I’ll collapse, which you probably won’t care about, and she could die.” Sabe glared at him. Not waiting for an answer, she plopped the comatose girl in Dukes arms and disappeared.
Nemo shook his head “ does she do that a lot?”
“What, the disappearing or dropping an unconscious Kit on me?” Duke mumbled as he moved the young girl to a better position from that that Sabe had plopped her.
Damn, I better be wrong about this. Sabe hissed at herself as she headed for the Library. She was afraid she wouldn’t be.
Skygem groaned. “ How much longer?” she asked thin air.
“One more turn.” replied the voice. Skygem groaned and pulled herself around the corner to find herself facing a door. It was a dull silver, like a combination steel and brushed pewter. And it had no handle. Not even an old fashioned keyhole.
“Push it open.”
Sky pushed it and lowly the door opened with a prolonged creak. Sky gasped in amazement. She was staring into an empty room. Empty, that was, except for the huge faceted crystal ball revolving in the center of the room and the cloaked figure standing silhouetted by the dim light from the wraparound window of the lighthouse. The figure turned slowly and Skygem saw two yellow eyes staring unblinking at her.
“W-what are you?” the girl gasped.
“That is of no importance, not yet anyway.” the figure said in that same silky whisper. Now that Skygem had reached her goal, she heard a deep sadness in that voice, as if this person had gone through much suffering.
“Your friends and sister are in danger. You must help them. Do not tell any but the one called Duke of me though. Now go.”
Skygem found herself whirling through a long tunnel of flashing lights. her mouth opened in a silent screamed, and with a grunt she landed on something semi soft.
Nemesis blocked another ball of black fire. Firesky heard a grunt and replied “ Nem just get over here now!”
“That wasn’t me.” Nem answered as she hurried over to where the rest of the group was standing. “ It was Sky.”
The black duck groaned and sat up “What happened?” she moaned.
Kochrint pushed her back onto the bed “ you got stabbed. Now go back to sleep.”
The girl shook her head “ She told me to help, and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Firesky shrugged and helped Skygem up. “ okay. Whatever you say.” The ducks in the infirmary reached for the turning stone.
Duke heard the boom as he tapped in the code for the door. when it opened he saw Firesky, Kochrint, Nem, Soar, Zalt, and Skygem all gathered around something. Skygem looked like she was on the verge of collapse.
Firesky sighed and looked away from a scorch mark on the opposite wall. “hey Duke, ya found ‘er?”
Duke glared at her “ Sabe found her.”
Oh please, oh please, oh please don’t let me be right. Sabe begged as she flipped through Poisons Of the Galaxy. Her eyes lit on what she was looking for. With a groan she leaned back in her chair and covered her face with her hands. No, I was right. there’s no hope. None at all.
“ Ahem.” said a voice behind her.
Sabe turned and looked up at Duke. “ You wanna know?” she rasped “Here.” she shoved the book into his hands and stalked out of the room.
“She knows.” Robin whispered as she looked down at the figure beside Kit’s bed.
“What should we do?” Darky asked.
“Wait.” whispered a voice that belonged to none of them.
Sabe gazed sadly down on the face below her, watching the face switch from black, to green, to black. This was the only way. Slowly she raised the pistol she held and aimed.
“You will lose” hissed the thing.
Kit shook her head “ If I do, I go down fighting.”
Duke and Nemo strode into the infirmary, Duke’s gaze stony. When he saw Sabe aiming the pistol at Kit. He snapped. In three strides he was behind Sabe and had wrenched the hand that held the pistol behind her back. Sabe didn’t do anything. Surprised, Duke let go of her arm.
The young duck turned. “You know, don’t you.” she said sadly.
Duke glared at her. “ what do you think you’re doing?” he growled.
“Putting her out of her misery. “
“No!” cried a new voice. Duke and Nemo turned to see a brown cat, and brown duck and a human standing there.
“Robyn?” Duke asked.
The human nodded. “ Duke, you can’t kill her, it wouldn’t help anything. Nothing at all would be change. What’s inside her does not need it’s host to be live.”
Duke’s expression went from angry to helpless. “ So we can do... nothing?” He sounded lost.
Sabe shook her head. “Nothing but let her fight. It will eventually overpower her, then kill itself and her. No..” Sabe’s face took on the same expression Duke’s had. “ there is nothing we can do.”
Robin cut in. “ Maybe we’d better tell the team.” she suggested. The group looked at each other, then they all headed out into the hall.
It had won. Kit was defeated and It had won. Kit looked in horror from her cage as It gave a howl of triumph. “No... please no.” she whimpered.
As the four ducks, human and cat left the room, Kit’s colors went berserk again. Her eye opened. Clear, bright... and a solid, glowing black.
The cloaked figure of the lighthouse gazed out the window at the happening in the infirmary. When she watched Delta leave through a window, she turned away, eyes brimming with tears.
One of the Disks set in the Crystal flashed once, then a tiger man appeared. he laid a hand on the other’s shoulder and said quietly “ How do we help.”
The Red Disk glinted. the cloaked one shook it’s head. “No, it’s won’t help.”
“It might.” replied the tiger.
“Very well then.” the figure turned back to her window and kept back her tears.
The scene was once again of a cloaked figure facing the window, the revolving Crystal, and an otherwise empty room. Only now, the cloaked figure had unseen tears dripping down her unseen face, and her yellow eyes were closed like floodgates.
“so how do we know you didn’t do this.” Duke interrupted Sabe in the middle of her explanation of what had happened to Kit. The rest of the team tensed, ready for the drakeress to blow her stack.
Instead, she looked at him with sad eyes. “ that’s a very good question. The thing is, only a magical can make handle Switch, and even then their in danger of having it You see Duke, Switch isn’t like crack, or speed. It’s a mix of different chemicals and drugs, most of which only grow on Puckworld. With every person it’s different, it finds that persons weaknesses in his or her mind and plays on them. But there’s always one thing the same. It kills everyone that person loves, then suicides them. After that, it just evaporates.”
“OK, but how are we to know you didn’t have-”
Firesky stood up, eyes glowing and grabbed Duke by the arm, cutting him off. “ Ok mister,” she growled “ you and i are going to have a little chat.”
Firesky drug Duke into the hall and slammed him up against the wall with amazing strength for someone so thin. Igniting her sword she growled. “ Now you listen and you listen good Duke Trace L’Orange. Sabe would never have thought of poisoning Kit. Skygem’s like a sister to her, and even if she
wanted to kill Kit, don’t you think she would have know where she was? Sabe had absolutely NO part in getting switch into Kit. NONE! You hear me?”
Duke nodded, still out of breath from getting rammed into the wall. Firesky grabbed a fistful of the front of his shirt, pressed him back against the wall again and raised her saber. “ Kit was right you know. We do treat her like a baby. Even me, the youngest on the team, do that sometimes. But you Duke, I think you were the worst. I know you love her, but she’s got to be trusted to take care of herself. I don’t know about you, but I think we’d all better lighten up with this protecting business. Don’t you agree.”
Duke nodded again, looking at the deadly blue saber tip hovering at his chest. “ You think I’d disagree with that thing there?” he muttered.
Firesky nodded as she put out her saber and let go of Duke’s shirt “possibly. you ought to know by now that i do a very good bluff.”
“NO i didn’t know that.” Duke growled as he stalked off down the hall. And ran slap bang into Nemo.
“She’s gone!” The brown duck gasped. “Window's open. She’s gone I tell you.”
Down the hall Firesky chuckled “Aren’t you being a bit dramatic? Of course she’s gone. Switch won. It’s only natural she’d leave.”
At Nemo’s puzzled look Duke sighed. “Firesky, not all of us are as used to your mind games as some. And he doesn’t know what Switch is.”
But Nemos’ face had gone as deathly white as possible, and he whispered. “Switch? That’s girls got a Switch? Oh the poor, poor thing.”
Firesky raised an eyebrow at Duke, who flushed. “Oops.”
That night, Skygem dreamed again of the lighthouse room. The cloaked girl was standing at her window again. The Crystal was motionless and the shadows seemed bigger and more frightening.
“Hello Skygem.” the voice of the cloaked girl sounded like she was holding back tears. “Much has happened has it not.”
“My ...my sister has a Switch.” Skygem muttered, shocked at the lack of emotion in her own voice.
“I know. And i know there is no known cure either.” Now the girl turned, and Skygem saw those yellow eye’s burning brighter than ever. “ It is time you knew my name.”
“Y-your name?” Skygem stuttered.
“Yes. I’m sure Jumper taught you of when the Saurian first came to Puckworld.”
“You remember hearing of The Messenger?”
Again Skygem nodded.
“You are looking at her.”
“B-b-but, Morgan Moonkid killed you.” Skygem’s dream eyes opened wide in disbelief.
“He killed a simulation of me, but not the true me. I escaped right before he entered the room he killed me in. And came here. I’ve been in time sleep.”
“There is no time to explain. I brought you here to tell you how to defeat Switch. It’s not permanent, if Kit gets around someone else with a Switch, or enough of her life force is drained or something of that sort, Switch will come back to strength, but what i’m about to tell you will defeat Switch time and again.”
“Tell me please! What is it!” Skygems voice was still emotionless, and things seemed to be slowing down. as The Messenger answered with a single syllable.
Skygem gasped and sat up in bed, sheets mainly on the floor. “Love? Good grief I think I watched too much Snow White. Love? The entire team loves-” realization dawned on Sky and she cursed “ Darn you Messenger. Pick the most stubborn person there is to go get her back will you?”
Duke looked up from his coffee as Skygem entered the kitchen. “ What’re ya do’n here?” he asked “you should be asleep.”
“So should you.” she muttered
“Yea well, couldn’t sleep.”
“Can any of us? Look, I know your worried about Kit. And I have something to tell ya.”
“You gotta promise not to think I’ve flipped my lid.”
“I can’t promise that until I hear what you have to say.”
“I was afraid of that. Well, you know when i was unconscious after I got stabbed? Well while i was asleep, i saw this girl in a cloak in this really weird lighthouse. She told me to help Firesky and the rest. Then, tonight, I saw her again. she told me she was The Messenger, and the only way to get Kit back was love.”
Sky downed the rest of her coffee and left the kitchen as quickly as she’d come. Duke stared into his coffee cup, eyes blank.
“Sabe, can you take me to Kit?” Duke walked up behind her in to library.
She turned “ Why are ya asking me.” she retorted.
“One of the best questions I’ve ever heard. But will you? I think I know of a way to get her back.”
“Oh anything to help you commit suicide.” Sabe grinned.
Duke sighed “ When can we leave?”
Sabe grabbed his arm “ Right now.”
A second later the library was empty.
Firesky started as Duke and Sabe appeared in Front of her. “ what the hell ya two doing?” she growled.
Delta chuckled evilly as she made her way through the train. She was going to rid herself of Kit in one of the worst ways.
Kit stared helplessly as Switch laughed insanely.
Let me go! She cried angrily. Switch turned and hissed. Kit fell unconscious to the floor of her cage.
Duke stared as the door at the other end of the train car flew open and Delta stalked through. She saw him and chuckled. “ Fight will you, or get out of my way. I don’t have all day.”
“I won’t fight you Kit.”
“Kit is dead!”
“it’s not true.”
Delta sighed. “ I tire of your babble.” She raised a flame colored sword and swung at Duke. He dodged, but the blade caught him in the thigh, slicing deep. He gave and involuntary cry and fell backwards.
Delta gave a hissing laugh and raised her sword again, only for it to be blocked by Sabe’s blood red one.
Duke stared “ Sabe, you feeling all right?”
Sabe reached behind her for his hand and pulled him to his feet. “ I’m either going super soft, or I’ve got a Switch.” she muttered.
Firesky and the rest were backing out of the car. “ Duke, you gotta fight her, there’s not enough room for all of us in here.” Firesky called to him as she disappeared.
Kit woke up, head pounding, and saw Duke go down. Nooooooooo! she screamed. Duuuuuke! And then she started fighting with all her might.
Duke saw the flickered of different colors started to flicker over Delta/Kit’s face. maybe, just maybe, there was a chance this might work.
“ Kit, do you remember that first time we kissed?” he started. “I thought you were a traitor and had drugged me. C’mon Kit, I loved even then. you gotta fight that thing.”
The cage dissolved and Kit was locked in combat with the Switch. You won't kill me and you won’t kill him. She said through gritted teeth.
you wanna bet., the Switch hissed back.
Duke kept, fighting, kept talking, hoping against hope that something was going on in Kit’s head. “C’mon ya squirt, I love ya. I never meant what I said in the infirmary.” he blocked another blow from Delta and saw that somehow they’d ended up on top of the train.
Switch had lost. Kit had won. But the fiery little **** was going to make a last ditch attempt.
Kit’s colored slammed correct as she turned and jumped off the train.
“ Kiiit!” Duke dove and caught her wrist. She grinned up at him “ i’m baa-aack!”
“ Yea, an’ ya ain’t no featherweight either. "Duke muttered as he pulled Kit onto the top of the car. They collapsed in a heap and started laughing with relief.
Duke sat up and drew Kit close. “ You know I love ya girl.”
Her kiss was all the answer he needed.
“ Uh guys, I hate to interrupt this touching train top moment.” Firesky tapped Duke’s leg. “ But i really don’t want to be the one to explain to Wing how you didn’t see the top of the tunnel.”
Duke and kit looked towards the front of the train, then Kit smiled “ No problemo!”
And all three were on the floor of the train in a heap . Sabe stared down at them and sighed “ That is just sick.”
The heap started to laugh.
“So this isn’t permanent?’ Kit asked Sabe the next day. The drakress shook her head “ If you tap into your life force or get around other Switched people or another Switch, your in danger.”
“Other than that?”
“You’ll be fine.”
Kit looked up at Duke and grinned “ Well, if she gets rid of you, and I get Switched again, then I guess the entire team goes kerwhammy cause your the only one who can fix me.”
Duke laughed as he watched Sabe stalk off. “ Yup.”
Later that day, Duke stared at Sabe doubtfully. The drakress was sitting cross-legged on the couch, holding two sock puppets.
“ Hello Mr.Larry.” she squeaked.
“ Why hello Bob. How are you today.?”
“ Well,” her voice was normal “ fancy meeting you two here. What are you planning to do today?”
In the other room Soar had Veggie Tales turned way up. Firesky rolled her eyes “ wonderful, a warbling cousin and an assassin turned puppeteer. What next?”
A black and red streak nearly hit her in the head. Fire ducked, then straightened. “ ok, who left the lima beans in the fridge?”
“ I thought we banned those things.” Mr. Larry squeaked.
Phil walked into the room “ Boobies!”
Soar chucked a magic ball at him from the other room, Duke and Firesky drew their swords, Zalt aimed her bouncing frame towards him and Bob, Mr. Larry and Sabe all yelled: “ Mr. Larry doesn’t like you! And neither does Bob!”
Phil ran from the room yelling “ Heeeeelp!”
In a small dark room Morgan Moonstar swept his hand through a small patch of black fog in front of him. Thorn was standing quietly in the shadows.
“ what shall we do now Uncle.” she asked in a flat voice.
“Plan our revenge. Dam, that plan nearly worked.”
“ Perhaps if we get rid of the cure before going for the disease next time.” The other suggested.
Morgan stopped his pacing “ Yes.... That just might work”
In the lighthouse room The Messenger's eyes were sad “ One day, one day Morgan, you will come back to me. And you daughter will have a father again.”
The Crystal revolved slowly, Disks winking encouragement at Messenger.
In a far corner of Kit’s mind, a fiery little object hissed and spat inside it’s cage of love.
And in a room in the center of the Lighthouse Island, a small baby lay sleeping on a hard bed. The tiny gray duckling didn’t feel the draft of chill air ruffling her smoky feathers. She'd been sleeping 17,000 years, and she had not much left to sleep before she would wake. And be the key to her father’s heart.
The world turns, the fates work.
We are all destined to come together
We are the keys to each others hearts
But we must first find that heart
Note from the author: Oh I hate this. Got a nice mysterious , depressing mood going, and what do I do? Add a note. Anyway, all characters except the six original ducks belong to X&X Productions. Comments on this story and it’s counter part are welcome . Send any to firstname.lastname@example.org. thankies.