The Loneliness of the Night

By Julia DeLuca

It was a nice, sunny day in Anaheim, California. At the Anaheim Pond, home of the crime-fighting hockey team called the Mighty Ducks, the mail man who had brown hair, knocked on the door to the stadium. A chubby brown haired man in a business suit, who every one knew as the Duck's manager, Phil Palmfeather, answered the door.

"Well, good morning, Mr. Palmfeather."

"Same here, Mr. Postman. What's in the mail today; the usual bills for the pond?"

"Not today, sir. This time, it's a letter from the court in Chicago, Illinois."

"The Chicago Court?! I haven't even BEEN there, so how come I'm being sued?!"

"Don't ask me; I only DELIVER the mail. Nothing more."

"Well," Phil responded as he kindly took the mail from the post-man, " I guess I have no choice but to find a way to pay for the fine."

"Well then, good day, Mr. Palmfeather."

"Same here, Mr. Post-man."

With that final phrase, each of the to men left in opposite directions; the post-man going back into his mail truck to deliver the rest of his mail, and Phil returning to the Pond. When he entered, silently ripping open the letter, the Ducks, noticing him worried, stopped practicing the game of hockey.

"Hey; what's with Phil?" Mallory asked with great curiosity.

"Dunno," Dive answered. "Maybe he got refused for a date again."

"Very funny, Nosedive," Phil countered. "It's a letter from the court in Chicago, Illinois."

"U mean you're getting sued?" Duke asked with sunrise. "But you haven't even BEEN in Chicago!"

"I think this' some sort of hoax to get us out of business from Dragaunus, so he'll be able to kill us without any difficulty," Wildwing suspected.

Phil then carefully opened the letter, making sure not to rip the form, therefore, ripping apart a sentence within the important document. Carefully reading through the form, there was a look of a mixture of relief, sunrise, and deep thinking.

"Well, what does the letter say, Phil?" Duke asked. "ARE we getting sued?"

"Well...I have some really good news, and some news that's a mixture of good and bad."

"Well, spill the beans then, Phil." Wildwing demanded.

"The really good news is, we're not being sued."

"And the mix news?" Nosedive asked.

" niece, Jessica, is coming to live with us."

"Let me guess, " Tanya stated. "She committed a crime there, and the court's decision was to move her here."

"'re HALF right, Tanya. It WAS the court's decision to have her come here to live with us, but she didn't commit any crime what-so-ever."

" Then how come your niece's coming to live with us?" Wildwing asked.

"According to the form, my older sister, Meranda, died from breast cancer about 6 years ago. My brother-in-law, Marcus, has been put under arrest due to child abuse and child neglect."

"Glad OUR dad wasn't like that, huh, big bro?" Nosedive asked.

"Well, Phil? When will she be coming?" Wildwing asked.

"According to the form, my niece Jessie'll be arriving in weeks."

"What's the bad part about it, though?" Duke asked.

"Huh? Ohhh...well, I'm not sure if she and Nosedive will get along well. Jessie's very boyish and a little street-tough, and can get be a little annoying once in a while. And there's the fact that I got to prepare a place for her to sleep, since a motel's not a good place to stay permanently."

"I think we can pitch in and help," Dive offered.

"Dive!" Mallory shouted.

"Well, we can. Phil's niece, ain't she? Besides, lonely kid from the streets, probably no friends, both parents gone; 1 from death, the other from prison. I think she deserves a better life than the one she had there in Garbage City."

"Hate to admit it, but I think Nosedive just may have a point," Tanya supported.

"Well, thank you all. And I promise to repay you some-how."

"How about no more publicity stunts for the rest of the week?" Duke asked.

"Well...I'll see what I can do. Depends on how much money's offered and how much the supplies cost.."

About to weeks later, the time had come. Jessica Lockheart, Phil's boyish niece, was to arrive today at the Anaheim Airport.

"Well," Phil said as he looked at his watch, "Jessie's plane'll be arriving today. I better leave for the Airport. I need you to promise me a few things since she'll be living with us from now on..."

"We know; we know, Phil," Wildwing said. "We promise that we won't let Jessie get involved with our battles against Dragaunus."

"And we won't taunt her about her past...OR make her feel unwelcome," Nosedive finished.

"Thank you," Phil said. "I better be leaving now, and don't do anything stupid while I'm gone.

"Have we ever done stupid things, Phil?" Tanya asked.

"I'm just saying it; that's all."

With that phrase, Phil left the Pond and entered his car. The ducks we're all alone. No greedy manager. No talking about public appearances or publicity stunts for another few hours. No attacks from Dragaunus. What WAS he up to? Had he given up? Or was he just waiting for the right moment to attack the without any interference? None of that mattered to Phil at the moment, because he was doing his own work at the moment; he was about to bring in another life to the Pond. Within minutes of driving his care to the Anaheim Airport, he sat down on one of the seats, waiting for his little niece to come by, to welcome her in his arms. The minutes that passed by seemed like hours for the sports manager Phil Palmfeather.

After what seemed like to hours, in which in reality was only to minutes, a plane landed in a unloading area where Phil was near. Lots of people unloaded the plane: tourists, newly-weds, reporters, photographers, anyone the human brain can imagine. But to Phil, all of that was the least amount of concern to him. All he wanted was to pick up his dead older sister's kid and take her to her new home, where he was 100% sure she would love more than the place where she was born in.

Within minutes, a very familiar face came to his vision. A young girl, barley 14, walked out of the plane. Despite her appearance, she was very beautiful. Her light blue jeans was torn in about every area. Below her left knee, the bottom of her jeans were shredded, showing scars on her leg. Above her knee on her right leg, there were holes in nearly every area, with bruises on the skin inside the holes. Her white shirt was covered with stains of blood and the color of vomit, torn around the collar and the sleeves. There were cuts and scrapes all over her arms and parts of her face non visible to the human eye. Around her eyes and cheeks, there were black bruises, deeply swollen from being hit in those area so many times. Her hair, tied in a very sloppy pony-tail, due to the band being almost broken, was very dirty, from not being able to wash it in the amounts most teenage girls do. Around her shoulders were to medium-length duffel bags, carrying her clothes and all her personal belongings. Her emerald green eyes, hiding the very pain she's been through the past 6 years, shined in happiness for the very first time in her entire life.

"UNCLE PHIL!!!!" the young girl shouted to the chubby man in the blue business suit with the multi-colored tie.

"Hey hey! Jessica! My niece!" Phil shouted with a very pleasant expression.

Phil then took Jessica, his niece, into his arms, and twirled her into the air 3 times. He then set her down carefully, making sure not to harm her scrawny body, scrawny from not being able to have enough food in her small stomach. He then took a long look at her, trying not to look to alarmed at what he saw; a fragile body, from little food and little love from her only parent left after his older sister's death.

"I hadn't seen you in so many years. You've gotten so big!"

"Thanks, uncle. It's nice to see you as well...and this time, it's not for a few days. A permanent stay."

"That's right, Jessica. You now have a new home; in Anaheim. I hope you love it here."

"So...what does your home look like?"

"'ll see, Jessica. You'll see. First, we got to wait for the rest of your luggage to come through."

"My luggage's around my shoulders, Uncle Phil."

"You don't have any more clothes on you?"

"I'm sorry, but no. Except for what're in my bags, which are all torn and dirty."

"Well...since it's summer time, and your new school doesn't start until around September, I'll take you to the mall sometime soon where I can get you some brand new clothes. Several pairs without any holes or stains."

"Real good condition. It seems like I'm dreaming."

"It's no dream, Jessie. C'mon; time's a waiting. You'll be able to meet my hockey team."

"Hockey team?"

"Yeah. The Mighty Ducks. That's how I make a living; I'm a sports manager in the sport of hockey."

"Wow....a hockey team. How should I react around them?"

"Well, just be yourself, but don't try to put up any fights with them, ESPECIALLY the captain's younger brother. He's kind hot-tempered. And don't do anything to annoy the tallest and the strongest; Grin. When you annoy him's not a pretty sight."

"Heh...I can only imagine, uncle."

When they arrived at Phil's car, Jessie was totally amazed.

"What?" Phil asked. "It's just a car of mine."

"It's incredible, Uncle Phil. There was NEVER a car THIS glamorous in Chicago."

"Well...if you think it's a thing of beauty, then I'm glad you do. We better drive over to the Pond right away."


When entering the car and driving from the Airport to the Anaheim Pond, Jessie took in every site she could see. City Hall, the Fire Department, the Police Department, and just about every building that was passed by dazzled her emerald green eyes. Within less than an hour, Phil's car had arrived at the Pond. When she opened the door and stepped out, Jessie was amazed by what she saw.

"Uncle never told me that you lived in a mansion!"

"Heh; I WISH. This' actually the Anaheim Pond, the hockey stadium. If the ducks hadn't arrived and scared the heck out of me, this place would be run down and stuff."

"So I guess that they're a lucky break for you, huh Uncle?" Jessie asked as she fixed the duffel bag on her left shoulder.
"In a way...yes. Now c'mon. Let's enter and I'll introduce you to them."

"I just hope that they like me."

"What's not to like about you, Jessica? Now don't be so modest and enter."

"Well...okay, Uncle. If you say so..."

Hesitating, and then taking a deep breath, Jessie Lockheart cautiously entered the stadium, which was to become her new home. She was right behind her chubby uncle, feeling shy around people she didn't even KNOW. Nosedive, distracted by the new-comer, didn't even feel himself being checked in to the boards until he felt his right cheek against the glass.

"OWWWWWW!!!!" Nosedive shouted when he felt himself smashing against the glass. "Alright! Who checked me?"

"Nosedive, this' professional hockey; you're SUPPOSE to be checked by the offence of the other side," Mallory reminded.

"Heh; that's what you get for not paying attention, baby brother," Wildwing taunted.

"Very funny, Wing," Nosedive taunted.

"Thank you, I know it is."

"Is not!"

"Is too!"

"Is not! Not, not, not, not, not, not, not, not, not, not!"

Jessie couldn't help but laugh, since she saw Wildwing and Nosedive, to brothers from Puck Word, both fighting against Dragaunus, arguing like a bunch of 2nd graders.

When the young female voice was heard, everyone of the ducks turned their beaks, seeing Phil, and a small teenage girl next to him.

"Phil?" Tanya started to ask. "Is that......."

"Yep," he answered. "This' my niece, Jessica Tina Lockheart. She'll be staying with us from now on."

"So SHE'S responsible for that insult that I was given!" Nosedive reacted.

"Well, I couldn't help it. You WERE acting funny. Maybe you oughta resign from hockey and become a comedian."

"Watch it, little girl, before I," Nosedive started.

"Before you WHAT? I can beat you up in a flash, beak brain. You don't look so tough. C'MON! Face off against me, IF you have the GUTS."

" wanna bleed, am I right?"

Wildwing then went between the twosome and broke up the argument.

"Nosedive! That's enough; c'mon. We got to finish practicing."

"One must not let their anger be in the way, or their pride and anger will cloud their better judgment," Grin noted.

"You see, Jessica? THAT'S why you shouldn't try to pick a fight with the leader's younger brother."

"Sorry, Uncle Phil. I won't react like that again....I promise."

"Let's hope not. I don't want to have to be able to send you to the hospital on your first week. C'mon, Jessie; I'll show you your new room.''

"My very own room," Jessie thought to herself. "Ok, uncle. I'm right behind you."

Adjusting the straps around her duffel bags, Jessie immediately followed Phil up the stairs. Nosedive, well...he TRIED not to look at Jessica Lockheart, but he couldn't help but stare at her every few seconds. Her brown hair kept bouncing and flying with every step she took up the stadium stairs. In fact, he was paying MORE attention to Jessie then he was to practice. So little attention that he kept getting hit in the side of his face with the pucks. However, none of that mattered to him at the moment. Was he just planning a way to get even with Jessie for embarrassing him in front of everyone? Or was it because...he started to get a crush on the semi-street tough tom-boy?

At that very moment, Phil showed Jessie the door to her room. It was white and was activated by a certain code. Jessie, not very familiar with electronics on the count that the school she went to was very poor and had little convinces like computers and stuff, was unfamiliar with the lock. How was it to open? Would it respond to her command? She did not know at the moment.

"Behind this door is your very own room, Jessie. I hope that it's too your liking."

"It should be, uncle. I don't care if it's fancy or not, just as long as I know that it belongs to me..."

"Well, then I'm sure that you'll be happy with the results. Now watch carefully as I open this door. I'll teach you the codes to open it, but only you, me, and the ducks can have access to the room. Don't be telling anyone else about this room, and when the others trust you enough, I'll allow you to visit the underground HQ."

"There's a headquarters under this stadium?!"

"Yep. A huge one at that. Now c'mon; let's not waist anymore time."

With that, Phil pressed in the codes to the door. When it opened, Jessie was amazed by the site. For living a poor life of little food and little pleasures, she was amazed by the entire room she was now given. The whole new room, with an actual bed and fresh pillows and a mattress that was covered by a silk sheet. The blankets were of a violet cotton and the pillows of fresh cotton coverings. There were yellow drawers on one side of the snow white walls, and on the other side was a desk, for her homework when she would start school in the next month. On top of the desk was a computer with a printer and a keyboard for her homework, which could also serve as a TV.

"U...Uncle. This new room of's amazing. It's almost like I'm in a dream of some sort. It's too good to be true."

"On the left there's another room, which you can use as your bathroom and shower. It's not much, but...."

"Uncle, u kidding?! I never received such good treatment before! There's a real bed in my room, I don't have to worry about roaches and spiders coming through any cracks in the walls, I have better equipment for my school work when I start up's a dream come true."

"Well then, I'll give you time to unpack then. In a couple of days I'll be taking you shopping for some new clothes and...some new shoes. I'll be seeing you in the morning."

"Ok, Uncle Phil."

With that, Phil left and closed the door, so that Jessie was all alone. Placing her duffel bags on her new bed, she sat down. Jessica felt like falling asleep when her head touched the soft and silky pillows of her bed. But she knew that couldn't happen until she finished unpacking her clothes. Un-zipping her duffel bag, she took out another shirt, torn in just about every area. She could still smell the blood, vomit, and whiskey from her shirt, brining back painful memories of when she was 9 years old. She could still remember her father, Marcus Joseph Lockheart, guzzling down whiskey, hour after hour. And between those hours, Jessie was always to expect her father to come raging through her door while she was working on her homework, have him tell her what a miserable daughter she was, how she was an accident, have him hit her across the face and possibly other parts of her body, at first with his hands, then it would get more intense with the broken whiskey bottle.

Tears were starting to brim down her green eyes, no matter how hard she tried to control herself.

Get over it, Jessie. It's in the past now. You have a new home, with a loving and caring uncle...who'll only punish you if you misbehave or something. And the punishment WON'T be a severe least I hope not...

Unable to unpack anymore, due to painful memories inside her clothing, Jessie set her limited baggage aside, and plopped her head onto the pillows. Feeling her head against the soft silk of the pillow sheets, she started to dream away, or more preferably, have nightmares. Around the corner of midnight, the horrible image of her father, who had tracked her down, appeared in her mind. Instead of a broken whiskey bottle in his hands, he had an 8 inch long knife, with edges as sharp as a White Shark's teeth. His face was all rugged, for not having shaved in if not days, weeks. His dark brown hair was all dirty from not washing it in days, it not that, more. His teeth were all yellow and his eyes were all red and were blood-shot.

Terror was stricken into her blood, as Jessica ran as fast as she could, away from danger and attempted murder. But no matter how fast she ran, her evil dad was even faster. Faster and faster she went. Even though her legs were burning from pain and lack of rest, Jessica still continued to run as fast as she could, if not, faster, for her life depended on it. But her efforts proved to be worthless, for at that moment, she felt something on top of her, pushing her down on to the ground. She knew that it was her father, but dared not stare into his red blood-shot eyes. She didn't NEED to see his face, for she saw his shadow. With such fury and anger, the image of her father then came into her vision. Jessie's emerald green eyes were then shining in trying to hold back tears, begging her dad for him to spare her life. They had no affect on him, for he had raised the knife above her. Jessie wanted to scream, but couldn't, for was too scared. Before the knife could enter her body, ending her life, all of reality came back to her bright eyes. Instead of the streets of Chicago, she was within her new room, gasping for breath, tears coming down her innocent eyes and sweat through her forehead. Should she tell her uncle about her nightmare? No, she then decided. She didn't want to worry him about matters such as these. They were personal problems and Jessie had to figure out how to solve them on her own, like all teenagers must if they are ever to grow up and take care of themselves and their children if they ever decided to have any. She then laid herself down onto the pillow of her bed and tried desperately to sleep again, in the darkness of the night.

At that very moment, inside the Raptor, disguised as a run-down hotel, Dragaunus, the last of the Saurian overlords, was plotting a way to destroy the ducks once and for all. He was rendered helpless, as all efforts he made had failed, due to unexpected sunrises and underestimated friends of the ducks.

"Curse those ducks! If only I could find a way to destroy every ONE of them, the universe would be MINE. But how will I be able to...of course! Why didn't I think of this before?!"

"What master plan to you have this time, oh brilliant Lord Dragaunus?" Wraith asked, being careful not to sound sarcastic. In doing so, Dragaunus would've killed him right then and there.

"A hologram machine. We could disguise an empty building as the Raptor with it, and lure the ducks into several traps...1 for each duck. With them out of the way, we can find a way to repower the engines, and the Raptor will rise AGAIN! And the universe will be MINE as it rightfully should be!"

"Heh heh heh...this should be good," Siege said as he snickered.

"Sure brilliance, boss," the Chameleon complimented. "Yes, I know," Dragaunus rambled in his usual conceited tone of voice.

Evil laughter then filled the room, a laughter so horrifying and spine-chilling that even the bravest and boldest of the brave and bold would be terrified out of their mind. Anyone would be frightened by the evil warlord Dragaunus, even the Mighty Ducks at times, although they did a really good job of hiding their fears. On the very next day at the Pond, Nosedive was dressed in regular street clothes, sneaking upstairs, at least, until a white hand touched his shoulder.

"Who the--ohhh....morning, big bro. What's the occasion?"

"Just wanted to know why you were sneaking off to Jessie's bunk?"

"I wasn't SNEAKING in. I was just trying not to wake the others, so I went quietly."

"How can we hear footsteps on the stadium stairs when our headquarters are UNDER the stadium?"

"Trust me, bro; you CAN."

"Just tell me why you were going to her room? Not to play some sort of practical joke on her, are you?"

"No way man! I was just gonna take her to the mall and show her around the place. Introduce her to Thrash and Mookie, show her how to play some video games, apologize 4 the immature way I acted around her yesterday..."

"And possibly steal a kiss from her."

"Heck no way, man! Why would I be interested in a teenage human girl who acts like a boy and is 3 years younger than me?"

"Because you're desperate for a girlfriend and I noticed the way you kept staring at her when she headed upstairs."

"I was giving her a cold look, man."

"Looked more like love-sick eyes to me, baby brother."

"Yeah couldn't see well due to the mask!"

"I saw very clearly, little bro. You like Phil's niece."

"I do not!"

"Yes, you do."

"Do not!"

"Do too."

"Do no--"

"Hey...what's the racket about?"

Jessie was then running down the stairs, in a clean white shirt that was torn in her sleeves and her jeans, torn in nearly every area, with a small backpack around her left arm. She did the best she could to hide her sleepiness and her terror from her nightmare last night. She didn't want to worry her uncle's employees.

"You're up early, Jessica," Wildwing noticed.

"Couldn't sleep," she relied.

"For what reason? NO ONE has a problem sleeping in on a SATURDAY," Wildwing question suspiciously.

" Well...Man; I HATE lying! But what am I suppose to do? Tell them about my nightmare and have them laugh at me? Now way. Kept hearing you guys argue about something. Who's this girl that you claim Dive has a crush on?"

"Uhhhhhh....Wildwing's just trying to annoy me...again. But as usual, that's his job," Nosedive grunted.

"Very funny, baby brother," Wildwing taunted at Nosedive. As he started to leave, he whispered to Dive, "Good luck."

"Thanks; I'll need it," Dive answered in a whisper. In a louder tone to keep Jessica from suspecting anything, he said louder "That's not funny, Wing!"

"What was THAT all about, Nosedive?"

"Huh...oh, well, he just likes to tease me about certain things."

"I couldn't help but overhear something about 'Good luck' and 'Thanks'. What's the deal?"

"Guy stuff. You wouldn't understand. Anyway...I was wondering if you wanna, well...go to the mall with me? I can introduce you to my friends, and....get you some new clothes. From the look of your jeans and shirt, you'll need them." And possibly," he started to think to himself, Have some time to just ourselves and maybe steal at least a dozen kisses from you ..

"Gee, I don't want to be a hassle for you . And I might be a little expensive, due to the fact that nearly all my clothes are torn and dirty."
"Hey; don't worry. I usually spend my whole allowance on comics alone."

" much would your allowance be?"

"$200 per week."

"You're kidding!"

"Heh; I wish. I was hoping for $500-$800, due to the fact that Phil's always putting us through humiliating publicity stunts, photo shoots, and public appearances."

"At least you get paid to do so. I had to clean every square inch of my apartment room and I never got zilch."

"Chat while we're on the bike."

" A bicycle?"

"No; a motor bike. Wait outside the pond and I'll get ya."

"Okay, man. If you say so."

After waiting nearly 10 minutes, an odd looking motorcycle showed up right in front of Jessie. She was kind of shocked at first, not because of the way it looked, but because she thought he was trying to run her over.

"What's wrong, Jessie? Never seen a motorcycle?" he asked as he tossed her a helmet.

"Yes, I've seen plenty of motor bikes. That's the problem."

"Put that by me again, Jess."

"In Chicago, in the streets where I grew up in, every time I was walking to and from school, a motor cycle gang was always trying to run over the poor kids and take what little they had left. Since then, I've been afraid of motorcycles."

" don't need to be afraid of THIS motorcycle. The only thing THIS baby runs on is the road."


"You have my word, Lady Lockheart."

Laughing while mounting her helmet, she sat on the bike and wrapped her arms around Nosedive to keep her balance on the bike, much to his delight, even though she wouldn't know it at the moment.

"You might want to hold on a little tighter, Jessie."

"How come?"

"You can never be too careful on the road," he told her.

"'re the older one."

Starting the engine, the motor bike had started releasing gas from the fuel inside its engine, and had started to move. It sped down the road, looking like a blur almost to the people it passes by. Jessie clung on even tighter to Nosedive.

"You ok back there?"

"Yeah; it's just that this' my first time riding a motor bike. I thought that if I didn't hang on tighter, I'd fall off for sure!"

"Hey; don't worry about it! I was like that too on my 1rst motorbike ride! You'll get used to it!"


"Trust me, kid!"

She leaned her head on his back to feel even safer. At first, Dive thought she was hugging him, but realized that it was for her to feel protected. In a way, he was kind of glad that a hope-it-would-be-true had only started out slowly. Like an old saying goes, 'Good things come to those who wait.' Nosedive could only hope that the old saying was true.

Why do I like her? I mean...she's another species from me. I'm a duck, she's a human. Yet...there's something about her emerald green eyes and light brown hair that I can't help but find...attractive. For a human, she's kind of like a babe. I just hope Phil doesn't get a heart attack when he finds out that I like her a lot. So far, the only one who knows that I like her is Wildwing, but how long will that secret last? Will he tell the others? big bro would never. I know him better than THAT. He's not the 1 who gossips about stuff like that...or ANY type of stuff.

Moments later, Nosedive and Jessica arrived at the Anaheim Mall.

" first ride on a motorcycle and my first trip to an actual mall."

"A mall CAN be a paradise to the addictive shopper, but it's best NOT to shop her all the time. I come once in a while for comics, but most of the time, just to hang out with my friends Thrash and Mookie."

"U think they'll like me?"

"What's not to like about ya? I're funny, pretty...did I say pretty?"

"Uhhhh....yeah, I think u did."

"Oh boy...well, don't get any ideas from what I said. It's just a compliment, nothing more."

"Don't worry. I'm not interested in getting a boyfriend yet."


"Not for a while. Uncle Phil told me not to date anyone until I'm at the age of 16 at least. He claims that guys try to take advantage of girls my age and younger."

"Well...that's just a stereotype. Not ALL guys are like that, me especially. I'd NEVER hurt any girl that I had a crush on OR was just a friend with."

Jessie nodded in agreement, knowing that he was telling the truth. But somehow, she knew that there was more of his sentence of her being 'pretty' than just an ordinary every-day compliment. Something in his tone of voice made it sound MUCH more than that. Nosedive then held out his hand to her.

"Care for an escort, Lady Lockheart?"

"Thank you for your kindness, Sir Drake," Jessie teased as she gladly took his hand.

Phase to completed, Dive thought.

After a few minutes of a walk, Captain Comics had finally reached their eyes. The door was opened with the usual bell ringing to sound the coming of a customer. Thrash, the red-headed boy who's hair was as long as a girl's, was the 1rst who noticed them come in.

"Yo Dive! Who's the girl you brought with ya?"

"Huh? Oh. This' my friend, Jessica Lockheart, but every1 calls her Jessie for short. Jessie, this' Thrash."

"Uhhhh....hi, man."

" Huh? You can talk just like us?"

"Like, totally awesome, dudette!" Mookie, the purple haired girl with the bizzarro hair style added.

"Dive? Did you bribe them to say that?"

Nosedive answered no, and Thrash and Mookie denied the fact that they accepted any money to be nice to her. Jessie was still kind of suspicious, since no 1 says that she'll fit in without knowing that they were paid to say that.

"Like, why would think something like that, uhhh...Jessie, was it?"



"Just because. Nothing more."

Nosedive then gave Jessie to quarters to play a couple of arcade games while they would talk. Taking the hint that they were to talk about something that she wouldn't understand and things that were too 'mature' for a girl at her age. While learning how to play one of the games, Dive, Thrash, and Mookie, were having a normal teenage conversation.

"So...when'd ya, like, hook up on that little hotty, Dive?" Thrash asked. "She is DEFINITELY babe material."

"Yesterday, and she's NOT my girlfriend. I mean...I WANT her to be."

"Ahhhh haaaaa...our ducky friend Nosedive Drake has a crush on a human," Mookie teased.

"Better not tell ANYONE, Mook. ESPECIALLY Phil."

"Like, how does your manager fit into this, man?"

" Phil's Jessie's uncle."

"Dude. That's GOTTA be painful," Thrash added while he was putting away some comics.

"Yeah. You DEFINITELY got your work cut out for ya, Dive. Trying to get a date and make a girlfriend out of your own manager's niece."

"Well...the thing is, the only one's that know I like her are my older brother and you guys."

"Well...glad you could...hey. What's that noise?"

The 3some turn around and notice Jessie on the arcade game 'Moral Kombat II'. Apparently, she somehow managed to make it to the final battle of the game on the hardest level.

"'d she make it that far?" Mookie asked in total astonishment.

"Jessie? Are you SURE that this' your first time playing a video game?"

"Yeah, Nosedive. Never played Mortal Kombat before.!!!! I lost!"

Kitana, the character Jessie was using in the game, had died just then, due to the boss, Shan Yo, the final character in the game, killing her in a flash.

"Hey...don't worry about it. At least you made it to the final level. People spend at least $10 in quarters on that game and they hardly get HALF-way past there," Thrash complimented.

"Uhhh...Jess. I think we also came here to do some clothes shopping."

"Huh? Oh yeah..."

Adjust the straps on her backpack, she waited for Dive to come out.

"You? Shopping for clothes?" Thrash asked in total shock.

"For her. You saw her threads, didn't ya? They're all torn. She needs a new pair of jeans and shirts. Just trying to do a poor kid from the streets a favor...and get a little closer until we're at the point where...well, u get the idea."

"Yeah...I think we all do," Mookie answered. "Good luck. You'll need it with a girl like HER."

Still hearing Thrash and Mookie talk over the latest gossip with each other, Nosedive then left Captain Comics.

"What was the talk all about, Dive?"

"Nothing that should be of any interest to you. It's for more 'mature' people. You're barely in the adolescent age."

"That's a big word for a little minded duck. Well...where's the clothes shop?"

Nosedive points to a store right across the comic shop, with the name " Clothes Closet". It was in the color beige color with several windows.

"'Clothes Closet'? What type of name is THAT?"

"The name DOES sound corny, but that doesn't mean it's on the verge of being shut down permanently. Heck, this' the #1 clothes shop in the entire city even."

"You're kidding."

"I only--huh?"

The alarm on Nosedive com had then started to act berserk. It was the signal of trouble happening around the city. Even though not wanting to answer the com, for fear of having to leave the girl of his dreams, he knew that he had no choice but to answer the distress call.

"Dive-man here. What's the haps, caps?"

"Very funny, little brother. We need you at the Pond immediately. Another attack from Dragaunus, and we need all the help we can get."

"Yes, sir. Nosedive out."

With a grudge against his older brother, Dive had shut off his com.

"What's wrong, Nosedive? You seem upset about something...."

"*sighs* My brother contacted me, says we gotta get back to the Pond."


"Afraid so, kiddo. An attack from a lizard beast named Dragaunus. We all know him as 'lizard-lips.'"

"Lizard-lips?" Jessie laughed. "I guess the name suits him."

"We better get getting back then. Don't want the others to get suspicious."

Remounting the motorcycle, Nosedive and Jessica drove away from the Anaheim Mall and back to the Anaheim Pond.

"Jessie, I'm sorry, but we can't allow you into our Quarters just yet."

"How come?"

"It's a rule Wildwing enforced. You'll just have to wait until he believes your ready enough and trust-worthy to see our HQ."


"And don't call me that. It makes me feel like a parent, and I don't want to be that just yet."

Patting Jessica on the shoulder, he ran out of the door to her room, through the locker room, into the secret elevator, and into the secret HQ.

"Well, what kept ya, kid?" Duke asked.

"Spending as much time as you could making out with the little boyish munchkin?" Tanya teased.

"Very funny, Tanya. We were at the mall, chatting with Thrash and Mookie, that is, until we were RUDELY interrupted."

"Not MY fault Dragaunus decided to attack today."

"Well...where is it? Orbital Industries...again? Unbridled Technologies? The Chemical Factory? The old Steel Mill?"

"An abandoned storage system. It's loaded with dynamite, grenades, any type of explosive the human brain can imagine. Possibly, Dragaunus is trying to steal the weapons that are stored in it," Wildwing explained.

"Well, we can't let him now, can't we?" Mallory taunted in her usual way.

"Let's ROCK ducks!" Wildwing shouted in his normal leadership tone.

After a brief agreement, every1 loaded up into the Migrator, the Mighty Ducks' army tank, and sped off for the light of excitement, adventure, and danger. The black shiny wheels of the Migratory whirled under the pavement as it sped off to the scene of the crime. The sun, shining brighter than usual due to the fact that it would sink into the mountains soon, reflected the shiny metal of the Duck's super vehicle. The abandoned storage system was then in approach. Strangely, there was no one in sight. No soul, man, woman, OR child, running in terror. No sounds of guns blazing, OR any red flares from guns. All was quiet. TOO quiet at that matter. Was Dragaunus holding a trap for them? Pushing to of his fingers against the mask of Drake DuCaine, Wildwing carefully examined the building that was in front of him.

"That storage room's the Raptor. But I see no signs of Dragaunus anywhere inside."

"Maybe he and the three lizard stooges are hiding in the ship somewhere," Mallory suggested.

Wildwing noted that, and shot the door down with only one puck from his wrist launcher. When the smoke from the blast was cleared, Wing gave the signal for the others to follow inside the artificial tunnel. Onward they went, deeper and farther into the Raptor. No sounds were to be heard inside the hollow shell, which they unfortunately, didn't know was actually a hologram created from the REAL Raptor. Farther down the Mighty Ducks went until they came across several tunnels, 6 of them to be exact.

"Well...that's just great," Duke taunted. "NOW which way do we go?"

After a few brief moments of scanning with Drake DuCaine's mask, Wildwing had then made his decision.

"The mask can't tell which path's the right one, so we'll have to split up and take a different root."

Everyone of the Ducks separated into different directions. Wildwing's direction led him into a room that had a life chained up, appearing very weak and fragile, from some sort of exhaustion. When the victim lifted its face, Wildwing immediately recognized it.



"Yeah, buddy. It's me. How'd..."

"I...I don't know...I somehow fell out of...Dimensional...limbo...and"

"Well...hang tight, Canard. I'm going to get you free."

"Thanks...buddy. But there's...just...1 problem."

"What's that?"

"You've been had!"

What appeared to have been Canard had then vanished. It wasn't the real Canard; it was a HOLOGRAM of him! Dragaunus tricked him...again! At that very moment, chains were then lowered by the room of the room and grabbed Wildwing's arms. He struggled to get free, but to no avail, for he was hanging high above the floor.

At that very moment, Nosedive was searching for Dragaunus as well, until he came upon a young girl that had the most beautiful emerald green eyes and brown hair as light as the color of cinnamon.


"N...Nosedive...? Is that really you?"

"Yeah, girl. You ok?"

"Yeah...I think so...just a little bruised from being taken hostage..."

"I thought I told you to stay in the Pond..."

"Sorry...but I wanted to know what you were up to. I won't do it again...just help me out of here, please..."

Nosedive thought he should leave her hanging there a little while longer and toy around with her, but realizing that she was too weak to fight back, he decided to free her. When the deed was done, she was clinging onto the chains that entrapped her in order to keep herself from falling over. Taking a little while to support herself, she used her emerald green eyes to stare into Nosedive's ocean blue eyes. How he longed to take her into his arms and give into his burning love for her, and kiss her lips. But at he started to lower his beak to touch her mouth, something happened to her.

"Jessie? What's wrong, girl?"

"Sorry, Nosedive, but there's something that you gotta've been HAD."

With that, she disappeared. Jessie was a clone as well! Chains were then lowered on to him and grabbed his arms. No matter how much the blonde boy struggled, he couldn't get free. Dragaunus even tricked the youngest of the Mighty Ducks. Wildwing with a clone of his best friend Canard, and Nosedive with Jessica, the one girl who he had fallen for. Every single one of the ducks fell into similar traps. Mallory with her father, Puckworld Special Force's commander, Duke with a gorgeous girl from his planet, Grin with his teacher, Tae Quack Doe, and Tanya...she didn't need any bait to lure her in a trap, for when she entered her room, all the doors were locked and she was eternally trapped.

"Yes!" Dragaunus shouted in his throne room of the real Raptor. "At last, I have all the ducks in my grasp. The world and the universe is MINE for the taking!"

"This plan just MAY work, my lord," Wraith complimented.

"Ha! Finally we get to--wha?!?!?!?!?!" Chameleon started speak.

"What's wrong?"

"Something's wrong with the trap controller, boss. Someone shut down the power that controls them!"

"WHAT?!" Dragaunus shouted. "How can this be? All of the ducks fallen for my traps...there was NO possible way fro any of them to escape!"

"Then the ducks must have some sort new ally that we never knew about," Siege suggested.

"I feared that this plan would come to a bitter and shattering end," Wraith had then replied.

"This new ally...Chameleon? Would it be...that young girl you spotted with--"

Dragaunus was unable to finish his sentence, for their was a blast from 1 of the Raptor's ventilation shafts. Every single 1 of the 6 ducks were totally ticked off.

"That was one of the lowest tricks you played on us, Lizard-lips," Wildwing grunted. "Using my own best friend as a pawn just to get to me."

"And then there was the fact that you tricked me with an image of my father. What type of SICKO does something like that BESIDES you?!"

"Tricking me with a gorgeous're SICK, Dragaunus."

"To fool one with the light of one's appearance of guidance is the sign of one truly sick at heart."

"Did you think we can let you get away with traps like THAT?"

"I DIDN'T like it when you used the image of a friend of mine to lure me in2 a trap, fossil-face!"

"JUST a FRIEND, little one? Didn't look like it much when we saw you leaning down to kiss her," Dragaunus teased. "She MUST'VE been more than that to you, or you wouldn't have tried to win her over."

Everyone of the ducks looked down on Nosedive, who then hung his head down in embarrassment and shame.

" that true?" Mallory asked.

"You *ACTUALLY* LIKE Phil's niece?!" Tanya asked in astonishment.

"'s true. I have a crush on Jessica Lockheart, and nothing's going to change that!"

"You are 1 stubborn little duck, Nosedive," Duke noted, but he understood his feelings towards Jessie. But the fact that they were different species stood in the way.

"No matter. Since I have all 6 of you where I want you, this calls for the end. I'm going to enjoy tearing you all apart. Siege! Wraith! Chameleon! Tear them apart, feather by feather! And make sure to make it as painful as possible. I want to hear them scream in agony and cry out mercy," Dragaunus ordered.

"Now WAY are WE gonna cry mercy to you, Lizard-lips!" Nosedive shouted.

At that very moment, the power went out of the Raptor. The entire ship was cored with eternal darkness of the night and of no light from inside the Saurian ship. All was silent at the moment. No sounds at all...not even of the sound of breathing. The only sound inside the ship was the sound of eternal silence. No one made a move OR a sound what-so-ever. That is, until Dragaunus shouted out his usual tantrum of a to year old boy.

"What the blazes happened here?! Who shut off the lights?!"

"Dunno, my lord...we better switch to impulse power then."

In doing so, all could be seen then. Wraith, Siege, and the Chameleon were all tied up, and the hunter drones that were surrounding the ducks were completely destroyed. The warrior that did so was high above the watch of the Saurians. The ducks were long gone then, how was unknown. All that was known was that they escaped somehow and were safely inside the Migrator and had drove back to the Pond. Inside the headquarters, everyone was still trying to figure out how exactly they escaped the jaws of death.

"Who could've set us free from all of those traps and gave us the edge we needed to escape those Hunter Drones?"

"Beats me, big brother."

"Sometimes it can be the one's that we least expect," Grin noted.

"Maybe it was that evil spirit that you noted in your dream, big guy," Duke joked.

While everyone was else was discussing on who or what freed them, Nosedive snuck out of the secret headquarters of the Anaheim Pond and without knowing was near Jessie's door. He was lost in though over what happened. So many thoughts were racing into his mind all at once. How did Dragaunus know Jessica, and how did he figure out how to use her towards his advantage? And WHO or WHAT was it that freed him and the others from all of those traps? His train of thought was then broken when Jessie had opened the door. Nosedive had then stared at her, and liked what he saw A LOT.

Ahhhh....the little tom-boy had finally got some new clothes. And part of matches those beautiful eyes of hers.

Jessie was in one of several new outfits that she and her uncle bought earlier. In a brand new pair of dark black jeans and a bright white T-shirt with a tech vest in the same color as her emerald green eyes, she noticed Dive staring deep into her with his ocean blue eyes.

"Heh....I was wondering where those unusual sounds were coming from."

"Very funny, Jessie. Listen...I wanted to say that I was sorry."

"Sorry? For what?"

"For overacting on our first meet. Usually I'm the one who keeps my cool."

"Well...thanks. And I owe you an apology as well. I shouldn't have tried to make an argument with ya. I always believed that was how most people acted. After all, I grew up in a town where I was always treated like garbage. I believed that was how EVERYONE was going to treat me, so I put up the tough-kid act so no one would suspect that I was badly crying and hurting deep down. Guess that was the biggest mistake I ever made, huh?"

"Definitely. But if you have a problem, hiding it wouldn't do anything...just makes it worse. You got to TELL someone or it may eat you ALIVE."

Jessie noted that and thanked him. As she was about to go back into her bunk and change into her night clothes, Nosedive grabbed her suddenly by her shoulders and turned her to his face, so his ocean blue eyes were staring into her emerald green eyes. He then leaned down and kissed her lips. His sudden urge to kiss her had then been fulfilled. Jessica was shocked and blushed incredibly. For the first time in her life, someone that wasn't from her family OR wasn't drunk had given her care.


Her sentence would remain unfinished, for one kiss didn't satisfy Nosedive Drake. More and more he kissed her, unable to control his craving for the beautiful boyish girl. Jessica, now knowing why he was reacting this way, began to kiss him back. One kiss led to 10, 10 to a 100, and so on. For that moment, all that mattered now was each other and how they made each other feel.

The End
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