Lost On Puckworld: The Military

By Drake Freewind

Saying Goodbye

"You want to what!?!" Drake's mom stared at him as if he'd just suggested they plant a time bomb at the center of DuCaine Metropolis.

"Yeah, Mom. I want to go to military school." Drake repeated shoving his hands into his back pants pockets.

"Son. Why? Why would you want that?" Keth Freewind asked facing his son with questioning eyes.

"I've just always been interested in things related to the military."

"Keth, is it our fault? All because our jobs are related to the army?" Jeanna hugged her husband, burying her beak into his shoulder.

"No, mom! Don't take this like it's the end of the world." Drake knelt before his mother placing a gentle hand on her shoulder.

"Son, the last thing we want to know is that you've been drafted into the army. Who knows what could happen to you there," Drake's father explained, his eyes showing the protectiveness they'd always shown since he was very young.

"Mom, Dad. I promise you I *won't* get hurt. If I even get the smallest scratch, I'll come home." Drake reasoned, his green eyes pleading for his case.

"But you're the most disciplined boy on Puckworld, why would you need to go to military school?" Jeanna gripped Keth harder and harder.

"Hon... honey." Keth winced slightly.

"Mom, if you don't relax you're gonna squeeze the life out of dad." Drake stood and smiled weakly. Jeanna Freewind sighed and let go, then reached out and took her son's hands into her own.

She stared at those two five-fingered hands as they stood out against her own four-fingered ones. Drake... her son, her pride and joy was different from her... from everyone else on this planet they were walking on.

He wasn't Avian... he wasn't really their son. He was an off-worlder... someone from a planet they didn't even know of. But she loved and cared for him all the same. His being so... 'unique' from those his age only instilled more maternal protectiveness over him. She never wanted to see him hurt.

"Drake... are you happy here?" She asked suddenly, her voice as soft as a cat's gentle purr.

"Hunh?" His emerald eyes glinted with concern. He ran a slender, five-fingered hand through his raven black hair and sat down on the couch. He thought for awhile. Sure, there were times he wished he wasn't so different from the others... but when he thought about his friends... his parents. Life here wasn't so bad. He had so little memory of his life before....

"Yes mom. I am."

"Jeanna?" Keth motioned for his wife to follow her into the corridor. "I think we should let him go." He whispered. "I'll talk to Mason and have him watch Drake part time for us."

"I heard that!" Drake called from the living room.

The two shot him a look and he looked away, unable to hide the smile forming on his face.

"You're sure Keth?"

"I'll call him now,"

"Yes!" Jeanna smiled as her son danced around the living room.


"Man! You're going to go to military school?!" Canard Thunderbeak and Wildwing Flashblade stared at their friend open-mouthed. They'd known him for as long as they could remember... or at least... as long as they started living in that neighborhood. Fifteen year old Wing and his seven year old brother Nosedive had moved in three years before when the Flashblades, their adoptive parents took them in. Sixteen year old Canard on the other hand, had lived there most of his life, he'd been the first to approach the off-worlder five months after Wing moved in. At that time, the Freewind's, Drake's family had just moved in.

"That is like, so cool, my man! But how are we gonna hang together?" Nosedive passed the hockey puck to Drake who simply shrugged. The seven year old had developed an affinity for the off-worlder and considered him in a way, one of his best friends... next to Wing of course.

"I'll find a way." Drake sighed and shot the puck towards the goal. Wildwing caught the puck easily and he stood straight, concern lining his face. "What's up with you Drake? That last shot wasn't *you*," Wildwing asked.

"It's just..."

"It's just what Drake?" Dive asked.

"It's just that this is gonna be..." A mischievous light came to his eyes as he raised his stick for the shot, "another of my tricks!" The twelve-year old shot another puck so quickly and so hard that Wing didn't even see it coming.

For the first few seconds the duck was awestruck, then, "Drake..." Wildwing looked at him fuming, his voice tone turning into one that gave Drake the feeling of beating it.

"Uhh... Wing?" He swallowed hard. "Relax. Please," he swallowed again, "relax." Drake started skating backwards slowly.

"You are so dead man!" Wing pulled off his goalie mask and soon he, Canard and Dive were all in a dog pile on top of him.

"I shouldn't have done that." Drake whimpered from below.

"You definitely got it." The three smirked.

When they all had gotten back on their feet. "You know me guys. I'll find a way to get out of the school. Even if I have to dress up as a *female* duck."

"Yowza! Don't bother trying Drake. You won't look pretty," Canard retorted, cocking an eyebrow and shaking his head.

"Like you could do better! And anyway, I'll try anything once."

"The forever rebel." Canard turned his gaze heavenward as if to say, 'why?'

"No duh." The four laughed and continued with their game.


A few days later...

"I guess this is it mom." Drake hugged Jeanna for a long time before he let her go and stepped back to face his father.

"Bye dad." And he did the same with Keth, who simply smiled weakly at his son.

"Well," He breathed, "I'll be going now." He turned away but quickly turned back and gave a hug to both his parents again. He gave them both a peck on the cheek, smiled and went out the door.

"C'mon, Drake. We'll accompany you on the way." Wing said as he patted Drake on the back. The white duck smiled at his friend. This is getting harder for them... the off-worder nodded.

"Let me help you with that man." Dive picked up one of Drake's bags while Canard picked up the other.

"Thanks guys." Drake put on his skates and the four friends skated away from the house. Drake looked back and smiled as he waved good-bye to his parents.

"He left home earlier than we thought Jean." Keth hugged his wife.

"He'll be okay, right honey?"

"Yeah, he'll be okay." The couple hugged each other as they watched their son skate away.


Later that day...

"Hey, Drake?"

"Yeah, Dive?"

"When will we see each other again?"

"Soon. I'll just send you guys an e-mail."

"Practice isn't gonna be the same without you, Drake," Wildwing sighed.

"C'mon you guys, let's... not turn this day into such a bad one." Canard tried not to look as down as he was feeling. True, he was gonna miss his friend... more than he thought he would. And in a way he felt a pain in his heart. What if... what if he can't take all the hard things all at once? He asked himself, glancing silently at the boy who was smiling faintly at Dive.

"You don't always have to be so headstrong Canard," Drake said as he hugged his three friends.

Drake was about to go in the school when Nosedive tackled him from behind.

"You better send me a message quickly or I promise you I'll come here and whack you good." Drake carried the young duck and hugged him.

"Promise I'll send a message to you, Dive." Drake let him down and went into the school. Dive hugged Wing as the three waved a good-bye to their friend.


"Yeah baby bro?"

"When will we see him again?" Dive asked, his wide, innocent blue eyes searching his brother's face.

"Soon, Dive." He watched as the figure disappeared through the academy doors. "Hopefully very soon." Wing told his brother, and the three skated away back home.

To be continued...
Go to Part Two
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