Disclaimer: No, I don't own them. Aside from Cleech and Raye, all characters found here belong to Disney. I'm using them without permission or payment. So there.

It begins...Again

By Crow

Chapter One

Limbo; in a word, hell. A place in-between places.

But it's not a place at all, Cleech thought, or at least he thought he did. Things worked funny here. It was all he could do to hang on to Raye's tiny waist in the tumult of bright colors. And sometimes he forgot why he was doing so. Time didn't work right, in this place that really wasn't. Had he been here an hour, or a decade? And why did he even care?

He suddenly became more aware of the young body he grasped. Raye was a pretty girl. Like the colors. Pretty....

He suddenly felt solid ground beneath his feet. When he looked down, all he could see was the swirling colors. It was a disturbing image, and he forced himself to look away. At least his mind had been returned to him. He looked at the younger duck before him, and realised he was still holding her, tightly pressed to his body. Embarrassed, he let her go. Raye didn't seem to notice, look of deep concentration on her face. Then it all came back to him. The mental communication he'd heard back there....

"What are you?" he asked. She didn't respond, however, too wrapped up in...whatever she was doing.

"There," she murmured, opening her eyes. "That should hold for a while. Follow me. I don't know where Draganus is, but I know how to find out."

"Waitaminute! Y'aren't thinkin' of still goin' after him! The team is dead. And we don't know what's out there!"

"Afraid, Cleech? You may return to Puckworld on your own then, if you aren't coming with me. All on your own."

Cleech gulped and followed her. After what seemed like a long time of silence and color, he began to hear them-- the voices. They were calling him, pleading for help.

"Don't listen to them. It'll only mean your own death," Raye warned him.

"What are they?" he asked carefully, not entirely sure he wanted to know.

"Others, trapped here. Ah..." She reached out into the colorful void: it seemed surprisingly dense. Her hand disappeared then returned, dragging a grown male duck with it. He looked horrible, his eyes wide open, clad only in the rags of what looked like a uniform at one time. He looked vaguely familiar too....

"Isn't that...." Cleech began, searching for a name. The newcomer was babbling incoherently, staring off into the colors.

"Canard. Leader of the original strike team."

"Oh God....."

Raye studied him a moment, her hand on his head. She looked disappointed. "He never made it to Draganus' last position, wherever that may be. He's useless," she said. She started to walk away.

"Wait! You cannae jus' leave him here!" Cleech barked, realising her intent.

"Then you can carry him, Cleech. I'm having a difficult time enough as it is and he's for sure not going to be able to help himself."

Cursing under his breath, Cleech helped the broken, younger man to his feet and half-led, half-carried him along after Raye. After only a few more minutes, she stopped again and repeated the same process. This time she pulled out a sexy young female duck. Her Cleech recognised immediately.

"Lucretia Decoy!"

The woman looked to be in a similar state as Canard. Cleech didn't think he could take them both...

Raye was still studying Decoy, her hand on the older woman's head in a similar fashion as before.

"We have lift-off," Raye said, satisfied. She helped the woman to her feet and forced her, somehow, to stand.

"Take us to your master," Raye ordered.

"I have no master," the older female replyed in a hypnotized voice. She was staring in a strange way, as if she wasn't in control at all over her mind.

"Take us to the last place you were that was solid." Raye said in perfect stride. The woman hesitated a moment, then walked off in a determined, though shaky manner. The other three followed.

Wraith had been dozing when he felt it - a powerful, and painful surge in the Astral Plane. Shaken awake abruptly, he hissed loudly.

"No! Not yet--!" He stopped and looked around. Siege and Chameleon were staring at him with mixtures of confusion and amusement. Lord Draganus looked annoyed, as well as intruiged. His highest-ranking henchman wasn't prone to spontaneous outbursts. Especially not when the Overlord was in the middle of sketching out his latest plot for replacing the Dylitheum crystals needed to power their ship.

"Something you feel you need to add, Wraith?" Draganus asked, glaring sternly at the wizard. He noted an odd sort of emotionless look on Wraith's face: the sorcerous saurian was definitely preoccupied by something. However, he only shook his head.

"Nothing, my liege."

Draganus felt a surge of resentment: his servant was keeping something from him, and he was to valuable an asset to try to force it from him right now. Chameleon chose that moment to giggle.

"Heeheeheh....Bad Chinese food, eh Wraith?"

The object of the shapeshifter's joke curled his lip in irritation but said nothing. Draganus glared at him a moment more, and was about to continue when the Raptor's alarm system went off.

"Now what?"

The computer screen was flashing an enormous map of Anaheim, centering on the coordinates of--

"A dimentional gateway? What is the meaning of this!?" Draganus snarled, now in a thouroughly bad mood. How dare anyone invade what was soon to be his territory?!

"Wraith, Chameleon, get to the bottom of this at once! I want an explanation five minutes ago!"

"Gee, Boss, time-travel wasn't one of the pre-requisites for this job," Chameleon began. The Overlord didn't have the patience.


"Yike! On it, Babe." The shapeshifter and the wizard disappeared in a cloud of smoke and a hissing noise. Draganus sighed and turned to Siege.

"As for you, get to work repairing the back-up engines. I'm sick of them breaking down just when we need them."

"Yes, Lord," the bulky henchman replied, teleporting himself to the engine room.

Five Minutes Ago....The Pond:

"Has anybody seen Duke?" Wildwing wanted to know. He hadn't seen the former thief himself all day, and it was beginning to make him nervous. While he hated not trusting his own teammate, Duke had been the greatest thief on Puckworld - and Wildwing knew for a fact that his allowance for the week was spent up. So what Duke was doing, minus cash, in this city was to be questioned.

Not that he'd actually 'fess up to suspecting him of anything.

"Yeah, I saw him leave earlier," Nosedive said over a comic titled Witchblade. "He said he was 'going out.'"

"To do what?"

"I dunno. Why? You worried?"


"C'mon, that ep with Falcone should have cleared up any worries you had, y'know?"

"I'm not worried, I just haven't seen him in a while and....no, that came out wrong...shit..."

Nosedive shook a finger at him in mock-sternness. "language, sweety. This is supposed to be a kid's show."

"Screw that, 'Dive. They can go watch that fucked-up big purple dinosaur for all I care. Disney cut us after only one season anyway. What's that you're reading?"

"A comic."

Ah, the sad attempts at 'quality time.'

"Yeah, but what's this one about? You read a new one every time I see you."


Drake1's alarms sounded before Wildwing could respond. Brotherly connection would have to wait. This was an emergency.

All the ducks, minus Duke, were staring at Drake1's screen.

"Looks like a dimentional gateway has opened up," Tanya stated, trying to get a firm read-out.

"So Draganus rears his ugly head once more," Mallory muttered, a tad bitterly.

"To the Aerowing," Wildwing ordered.

A minute later, they were airborne and making quick tracks. There was something disturbing about the coordinates, however.

"S-uh-ay! Have we, uh, been here before?" Tanya asked as they neared the destination. It was an old warehouse that did indeed deed look familiar. Nosedive already remembered that particular episode, and it wasn't a pleasant memory.

"Yeah, that's the place where we got lured in by that little ho, Lucretia Decoy. Just before she got sent to dimentional Limbo," Mallory declared, glaring nettles at the youngest member of the team. He gulped and winced.

"I don't know about this," Wildwing said as the craft pulled for a landing. "It feels like a trap. Keep your guard up, ducks."

"Yeah, like that goes without saying Bro," Nosedive retorted. His older brother glowered at him, but no words were exchanged. They had a mission to complete.

The warehouse was almost exactly as it had been left months ago. No humans had bothered cleaning it up: obviously, it bore no significance in their lives. Unfortunately, the collapsed roofing, walls, and paraphenalia provided excellent coverage for those who wanted to hide.

"Spread out," Wildwing commanded. He grabbed his brother roughly by the arm and dragged him along with.

After a few minutes, 'Dive decided he needed to put in his input.

"Don't you think the saurians would have simply showed themselves by now? I mean, they aren't exactly conspicuous...."

"Well, somebody's been here recently," Wildwing retorted, gesturing at the ground. Months of neglect had left a thick layer of dust, and footprints, fresh ones, could be seen leading into a sort of covering made by the debris. The two brothers looked at eachother and nodded in unison, drawing their pucklaunchers.

Wildwing mouthed "on three," as they neared a corner. He silently counted to three, then both ducks moved around, each facing a different direction. Nothing. Even the footprints were gone.

Nosedive turned to his brother, who still had his back to him. Wildwing shook his head in confusion. The younger of the two opened his mouth to say something, but was silenced by the feel of cold metal pressed to the side of his head. He suddenly found himself locked in a strong grip, unable to move.

"There's no one here," Wildwing was saying.

"Oh, I wouldn't say that," Nosedive commented, trying to sound unruffled. It didn't come out like that. 'Wing turned, obviously curious, and reacted instantly.

"Let him go," Wildwing ordered coldly, aiming his pucklauncher just beyond his brother's head. Nosedive gulped, knowing full well his brother was bluffing. He wouldn't dream of shooting that close to his younger sibling....would he?

"Think not, mate. Just lower yer bloody weapon or yer friend meets his great-greats real soon," said a gruff male voice in Nosedive's ear. Funny, his accent sounded kinda Eastside-ish, except that would be impossible....the Mighty Ducks were the only Puckworlders on Earth.

At least they were. But if this guy was a duck (he wasn't certain yet, he had his back to him, obviously), then why was he holding a gun to his head? They should be allies! Right? Nosedive was getting a headache.

Suddenly he heard another voice, this one female.

"Cleech! You imbecile! They aren't the enemy!"

"They're Northsiders, aren't they? Looks like they have s'me Westside blood in 'em as well. That makes 'em all enemy." The voice in his ear growled. Northside? West? They were ducks! But what was he talking about? There was peace between the 'Sides last 'Dive knew. And the headache was now developing into a full blown migraine...

"There's no feud here, Cleech. Just let him - oof!"

The female was cut off by the sound of a foot-meeting-stomach. Cleech, the guy with the gun, let out a rather colorful explicit and turned slightly to see what happened, giving Nosedive a large enough opening to elbow him: hard. The stranger gave a grunt of pain, loosening his grip further.

"Excuse me," came the voice of Grin, "but I think your aura's are clashing. Perhaps you should--" and here, Cleech's grip completely disappeared, letting 'Dive free to see his attacker-- "let go!" Grin finished, holding the new duck in the air by his collar.

This guy was definitely an Eastsider. His reddish-brown feathers, unkempt hair, and safari outfit were a dead giveaway. But that didn't explain much.

Nosedive glanced in the direction from which the second voice had come. He saw Mallory standing victoriously over the unconscious body of a young female. She was huddled up, and her hair covered her face, so he couldn't tell much, except that she wore all black and seemed minus a weapon. Wierd. She had a nice body, though.

"Why did you attack my brother?" Wildwing asked Cleech, who was still dangling a couple of feet in the air. Cleech ignored him, instead glaring at Grin, as if in accusation.

"You traitor! Yer werkin' with these backstabbers?!"

"So it would appear," Grin responded coolly.

"I'll bloody mutitlate y'! Y' no-good--"

"Would you kindly pipe down and explain what it is that would cause you to threaten the life of one of your own?!" Wildwing snarled through clenched teeth.

Cleech shut his mouth and glared (as best he could in his position) at the team leader.

"Y' arenae one of mine. Not after y' and all yer kind turned traitor on us, started yer petty vies for power and feuding after the Invasion."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Wildwing shotback. "We've been here on Earth for over a year. And we aren't part of any feuding. What are you doing here? And how did you get here?"

"I wish I knew," Cleech muttered grudgingly. "But yer broad there knocked out th' only person who could explain this whole bloody mess to y'."

"Uh, Wildwing?" Tanya's voice cut in. "You, uh,'d better see this...."

"Now what?" Wildwing muttered, hurrying over to where Tanya stood. He gasped.

"C-Canard?" His best friend lay among the rubble, unconscious and looking quite a bit worse for wear, but alive. Alive!


And lying right next to him, the partial cause of this warehouse's bad condition, was...

"Lucretia Decoy!" Nosedive exclaimed with horror. This was turning out to be a very bad day for the teenager. Right now, he just wanted to go crawl under his bed and whimper till this was all over. His head really hurt.

"What do we do?" Tanya asked, looking up at the young leader. Wildwing was still staring at his friend.

"I--I...get them back to the Pond. These two need medical attention, and so does that one over there," he said, nodding at the unconscious woman. "And our 'new friend' has some explaining to do...."

As the Aerowing lifted off, the other two beings in the warehouse stepped out of the shadows.

"Ugh. Canard's back. Drag' ain't gonna like this," Chameleon complained, not looking forward to the report they'd have to make. Wraith didn't respond, and for a long while was silent.

"So one of them has survived. This is indeed a bad omen. Could the time truely be at hand? For the sake of all, I hope not." Wraith murmered, mostly to himself.

"Uh?" Chameleon asked. "You freakin' out on me, Bro'? Mebbe you should lay down o' sumptin'," the shapeshifter suggested. Wraith didn't answer him. He simply teleported back to the Raptor.

"Hey! Ah, no reshpect for the little guy, eh? Sheez! Da t'ings Ah put up wit'!"

Five minutes after lift-off, it occured to Wildwing to scan the new ducks with the Mask. This could be a ploy, after all. He'd been fooled before with the 'Canard' deal. Nope, he wasn't going to take that chance again, make that mistake...

He scanned Canard, found him to be authentic. Likewise with Decoy and Cleech, who was sulking under the guard of Grin, who seemed to be in an uncharacteristically bad mood. Wildwing made a note to check on that later as he scanned the last duck, who's name he still didn't know. That thought waws instantly wiped from his mind as the Mask went absolutely beserk! Images suddenly went crazy and overlapped eachother. Wildwing cried out in pain and quickly ripped the thing off his face.

"Whud happened?" Tanya asked, looking up from where she sat, trying to figure out what was wrong with Canard and Decoy.

"I dunno! The mask just overloaded or something!" Wildwing exclaimed, rubbing his eyes. That was a very unpleasant experience. He looked at the girl again, this time with his own eyes.

She was actually very attractive, beautiful even, with black hair past her shoulders and dark feathers, the same color as Grin's or Duke's--

Oh shit! Duke! There was still no sign of hide nor feather of the former thief. Surely he would have heard the alarm go off on his wristcom? Something must be wrong.

Too many things were happening at once. Wildwing forced himself to remain calm. Okay, let's go over the details: Canard is alive, and he's here, and in what may be a coma. Ditto for Decoy. We've got some crazy Eastsider who wants to kill us because of some feud going on back on Puckworld (and what's that all about?!), and another duck, his companion, whom Mallory knocked out, is the only one of these four who can explain how they got here. To top it all, Duke's missing, and Nosedive is flying the Aerowing! Waitaminute...

"Uhn...'Dive? Why are you flying?"

"Somebody has to!"

"Oh, right. Mallory, would you go give him a hand? Tanya, how are they?"

"Er-uh, resting more comfortably than I have in weeks, I'm, uh, sorry to say. I, uh, can't, like, y'know, uh...uh....shoot! Lost my train of thought!"

"Oy vey," Cleech muttered. Wildwing had to agree with him there.

"Like, I can't really, uh, really tell much, at this mo- at this mo-.....y'know, right now."

Hmm, now that that painful ordeal was over.... he glanced at the Mask, then hooked it onto his belt. They were almost back at the Pond. He'd figure out what was wrong with it then. The girl groaned. She was coming to. She'd have some explaining to do, that was for certain...

To be continued in Chapter Two, duh!

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