"Summon help." replies Karai. She closes her eyes. Then opens them and chants,
"Old friends linked to me>
Hear my plea.
Do as I bid,"
She tosses the stone out of the cell as she chants,
"Come to me!"
Light blazes from the stone. Only Karai does not shield her eyes. A loud cry unlike any bird they had ever heard fills the air and large, black talons grip the bars. There is a powerful gust of wind that would have knocked Karai off her feet if Dive had not steadied her at the last second and the bars are wrenched out of their settings. A loud cry, like an owl's, echoes through the room as the breeze and light fades.
Standing before them is a golden brown feathered gryphon. An owl twice the size of a barn owl perches on one of the ruined bars.
I was so happy to see Naren that I shouted his name in happiness and threw myself at him. I hugged him tightly and smiled as I felt his wings surround me.
"It isss good to sssee you again Karrrai." he said. "Isss it time?"
"Time for what?" asked Grin as they walked up, watching the gryphon and owl carefully.
"Forrr the lassst-"
"NAREN!" I cut him off with a warning hiss before he could alert them. They were not to know anything about the up coming battle. I knew that this would be the last time my friends and I would confront Dragaunus for a very, very long time.
"Neverrr mind. You will find out sssoon enough." he said. then he turned and headed for the main control room with Whuur and I following him. They caught up in time to hear Naren say quietly, "Rrrememberrr...Do not let Whurrr land on yourrr arrrm orrr all will be rrrevealed..."
I replied "I know." Then I saw Duke walking next to me, looking at us curiously.
"What will be revealed?" He asked me...That was not a good question for him to ask me.
"Umm...Naren?" I really didn't want to have to explain, but Naren ignored me. I recognized the look of mischief in his eyes, though.
"Well?" He used that tone of voice that usually commands instant obedience from me.
"I can't tell you...um...you would never believe it.."
"Try me." He can be so stubborn sometimes.
"Oh great..." I muttered. Fortunately, we arrived in the main control room and the final battle began.
Karai ducks behind some equipment while Whuur and Naren help the others from the air. Only she knows when Dragaunus and Wraith begins focusing magic through a large crystal. Oh no! She thinks racing towards the crystal. "WHUUR!" she shouts. The urgency in her voice freezes all action as Whuur lets out his loud cry and settles onto her arm briefly. There is a flash of light and suddenly Karai isn't entirely the Karai Heartfeathers they know. She points to the crystal and shouts a single word. Their vision flares white then the ducks know nothing else.
The ducks awaken to find that their home seems to have aged greatly. They look around curiously meeting in the ready room. "Anyone know what has happened here?" asks Wildwing looking confusedly at the mask which has not seemed to age.
"Not a clue."
"Wish I did."
"Lets check outside." says Wildwing decisively.
"Wait a minute...Where's Karai?!" asks Duke suddenly. A quick but thorough search of the building turns up no trace of Karai Heartfeathers.
Wildwing lays a hand on Duke's shoulder and says, "She must not have survived that last battle."
Duke brushes his hand away. "Yeah, well, such is life."
"That is truly cold, Dukester." says Nosedive disgustedly.
"We all knew she wasn't a fighter but we still let her come with us on missions...It was only a matter of time before somethin' happened to her." he says. His voice is emotionless.
"She was our friend Duke and your girlfriend."says Mallory.
"She wasn't my girlfriend. We had an understanding."
"She was still a good friend." says Grin. They fall silent for a moment.
"Well, there is no use standing around here. let's check outside." says Wildwing quietly, feeling regretful because Duke was right...If they hadn't allowed her to come with them then she would still be alive.
Outside they find a ruined Anaheim. "You know...this reminds me of Puckworld while Dragaunus was in control." says Duke quietly.
A familiar voice says, "It should." They whirl and see a cloaked figure standing in the shadows.
I was so happy to see that my spell worked. I had missed them so much it hurt. But now they were alive. I looked at them one by one...the fearless leader Wildwing, the fun loving Nosedive, the scientist Tanya, the ever calm Grin, my swashbuckling Duke, and the ever bold Mallory. My friends had returned to me. I knew deep in my heart that if they were awake, it was time to take Dragaunus down once and for all but I shoved that aside so that I could rejoice in their return. The return of the only friends I knew...I could tell that because of the magic on my cloak, they couldn't tell who I was...But I would reveal it as soon as we were in a place of safety.
"Who are you?"asks Wildwing cautiously.
"An old friend." Replies the figure. From the figure's voice they can tell that it is a female.
"Step into the light." orders Mal.
"It is not safe here out in the open. Follow me...unless you would like to meet up with some of the drones?" she asks turning around and walking off. They look at each other then shrug and follow her.
She leads them out of Anaheim and deep into the surrounding woods. Duke and the others note that she takes great care to stay in the shadows.
After about an hour of walking, she stops beside a small stream. They gratefully flop down beside it Nosedive begins guzzling water. She sits down, staying in the shadows and says "If you drink like that you will upset your stomach."
"Okay...we aren't in the open anymore...who are you?" demands Mallory.
"Are you sure you truly want to know?" she asks. Her voice rings familiar in Duke's mind.
"Step into the light!" commands Wildwing, raising his arm blaster. None of the objects that was on their persons aged just as they did not.
"I am not a threat to you. There is no reason to threaten me with bodily harm." she says, standing. A large owl swoops down and seizes Wildwing's armblaster, pulling it off of his arm before he could react. The owl drops it at the figure's feet and then lands on her arm. "And I am afraid that my friends will not allow it. They did not spend five hundred years protecting me and keeping me alive to have you kill me now." She says, scratching the bird's head feathers.
"We only want to know who has led us to this place of apparent safety." says Grin in his deep quiet voice.
"Then you shall." she replies, using one hand to unfasten the cloak, and moving forward with gliding steps into the light.
They stare at her eyes wide with shock.
"No way..." says Nosedive.