Disclaimer: Do I really have to? All right.....(*sighs*) I don't own these guys. The Mighty Ducks are property of Disney, a powerful cartoon industry who will smite down ye wicked people who misuse their characters, so don't say I didn't warn you. Hey, waitaminute here.....
Um, Cleech and Raye belong to
me however. And I will inflict much worse punishment on you if you attempt to use them without my permission! So there!

It begins...Again

By Crow

Chapter Four

Cleech stared uneasily at the ice rink. It had been a long while since he'd really done any skating, though the majority of Puckworld was practically born on ice skates. Living in the warm southern areas made it kinda difficult for that, however, and he'd never been much of a conformist anyway. He was beginning to regret that.

And the creature, Phil, had cornered him again, waving papers at him.

"....why they might even make another Indiana Jones series, starring a duck instead of Harrison Ford, since he's a bit old and is losing his sex-appeal, but that's okay! It leaves room for other people to fill his place! Not to mention the Marlboro ads you could do, action figures...maybe Disney will start the series again!"

He seemed pretty excited about that, it was the fifth time he'd mentioned it now. Cleech decided the best escape route was over the ice, since the chubby manager didn't look like he could skate. The irritated duck pulled on some extra ice skates and slid shakily out onto the ice. Well, it wasn't as bad as he'd expected it to be, after all the years. Maybe the sayings were true, then....like riding a bicycle. The only problem was, the talkative manager had followed him out onto the ice, even without skates. And he seemed to be keeping pretty good balance. Shit.....

"Phil! Not now," came a voice from the lockers. Phil pouted.

"Aw, Duke baby, I was on a role here!"

"Later, Phil," the former thief growled, moving effortlessly across the cold surface. He gave Cleech a look that meant business.

Phil walked away, muttering to himself. Duke skated around for a while, while Cleech tried to look unconcerned.

Finally, Duke slid up to the Eastside duck and glared at him. Cleech returned the favor with a cold stare.

"She's fifteen," Duke said. Cleech blinked. He'd expected a 'stay away from her,' attitude, 'she's too young for you,' but this was news to him.

"Really? She looks older."

"Acts it too. I don't know what happened to her. I know I'd like to seriously hurt the person who made her like this, if it actually was a person. As it is, I know nothing of her past. Even Callie didn't know her true age: Raye doesn't like people to know, because she thinks they won't take her seriously. But I'm telling you now, so you don't do anything you'll regret."

"I've done a lot o' things I regret, L'orange, and a lot more things I probably should regret, but don't. Anyway, what makes y' think I'm goin' t' try anythin'?"

"Dumb question. I've seen the way you look at her. She's seen the way you look at her, for that matter, and believe me, pissing her off is the last thing you want to do."

"Is tha' a threat, L'orange?"

"Not from me, it isn't. You really don't know her that well, do you?"

Cleech had to admit he didn't. But whoever said he was after her anyway? Looking wasn't a crime, and she was certainly an eyefull...

"Look, I'm not after yer lass, L'orange. She's a cute kid, but not m' type," he insisted. Duke smiled like he didn't really believe that.

"Well, just so we're clear..." he ignited his sword. Cleech slid back a couple of feet involuntarily, instinctively reaching for his whip, though he knew Duke wouldn't actually try anything yet.

"...if you hurt her I'll do ten times worse," Duke snarled, then abruptly turned and skated back to the lockers, leaving Cleech standing alone on the ice in silence.

"Shit...." he muttered after a few minutes.

Wildwing knocked on Grin's door, not expecting an answer. Usually, if the door was closed, he was meditating, and that meant no one was going to be able to draw him out of his oneness. However, the young leader heard a deep "Come in," to his surprise. Well, here goes...

This was probably the first time he'd really tried to talk to the most mysterious member of his team. Truth be told, Wildwing felt a tad guilty about that, but it couldn't be helped. Anyway, up till now, Grin seemed fine on his own.

The large duck still had that gloomy feel around him. Something was dampening his aura, Wildwing thought, and almost laughed, stopping himself in the nick of time. That wouldn't help at all!

"Something troubling you Grin?"

"My past has come back to haunt me. Karma is indeed a pain in the ass," Grin grumbled, to Wildwing's absolute shock. That was a first!

"What are you talking about?"

"Is it not obvious? Then perhaps it is not for you to know."

The young team leader considered being offended. He decided against it.

"Just don't let it get in the way of your duties, okay?" He said as he left. Well, that went remarkably well, he though to himself as he walked down the hall. He nearly collided with Duke, coming from the opposite direction. The older duck looked annoyed.

"Oh great, you too? Has some sort of bad-mood epidemic set in or something?"

Duke gave him a puzzled look.

"Never mind," Wildwing said, shaking his head. "So what ails you?"


"'Nuff said. What'd he do, threaten your life?"

"No, he's just been coming on to Raye. You know how it goes."

"Oh. Well, I'll leave that to you to sort out then, if you don't mind. I usually avoid such matters when possible. Just don't shed any blood, okay?"

"I won't make any promises," the Southside duck muttered, glancing back in the direction of the ice rink. Great, Wildwing thought. I wonder what's next in store for my list of things to worry about? I suppose I should go check on Canard....

He quickly excused himself, heading for Medbay. Tanya was, as usual, running tests on the two unconscious ducks. She had a certain dedication to her science that Wildwing had to admire, though there was not much else he admired about her. She was good enough in a fight, if she could use her mental skills, but it stopped about there. And he'd never get used to her stuttering.

Wildwing quickly pushed these thoughts out of his head, instantly regretting them. Tanya did her best, even if if he didn't think it was good enough at times. She was a scientist, not a warrior, and Wildwing was far from perfection himself. Tanya glanced up from her specs.

"Oh, uh, hi! I didn't notice you there!"

"How are they doing?"

"Same as before. I can't find, like, anything, um, ph-ph-physically wrong with them...the, uh, um, only explanation I can, um, determine is, um, severe traumatic shock..."

Wildwing nodded, sighing inwardly. "That doesn't come as much of a surprise," He stated flatly, sitting down at his post next to Canard. Tramatic shock, yeah. A year in limbo could do that, he thought, twisting the knife further. Then he felt a hand on his shoulder.

"Wildwing? It'll be okay. It wasn't you're fault," Tanya said softly. He turned slightly to look at her.

"Thanks," he said. "I wish I shared you're conviction."

"You can't blame yourself for this!"

"Why not?" He asked, not bothering to cover his annoyance and bitterness. "I should have done something. If I had...."

He broke off, noticing the look on her face. A grim line had settled in her mouth: she was actually angry!

"Look," she began, actually hauling him out of his seat to his feet. She was surprisingly strong all of a sudden!

"You're a good leader, Wildwing! Canard wouldn't have left the Mask and the role of leadership in the hands of someone he didn't think could handle it. I know you don't think particuarly highly of me, and frankly I don't care, but I refuse to put up with watching you tear yourself apart for something you couldn't control! It....it won't help them either....." Tanya said quietly, gesturing to the two comatose ducks. She turned away and started to work again on the secs, blinking away angry tears. Wildwing stood there a moment, stunned to silence. She hadn't stuttered through that whole thing! Maybe she was just a victim of low self-confidence....yeah, he knew about that. He suddenly felt very guilty, looking at her. He walked quietly up to her and touched her shoulder.

"I'm...I'm sorry. I shouldn't have..."

"It's okay," Tanya sniffed. "I'm worried too. But you can't, um, can't, uh.....I gotta, y'know, finish up here. Doesn't the Migrator need some working on?"

"Yeah," he said slowly, taking the hint and leaving. He glanced a silent apology at Canard as he went.

"Hey...hey I don't want him stickin' that in my...."*

Laughter pealed throughout the theater. Nosedive noted that even Raye smiled a little. But then she leaned over to him.

"Well, Nosedive? You didn't ask me here for the entertainment, or so you claimed..."

"Er, right. You see, the fight yesterday...uh..."

"Yes?" She asked, a little too casually. He opened his mouth again, and found it stuffed full of popcorn. Coughing, he spit it out and looked for the perp who'd tried to choke him. The would-be assassin (or perhaps assassins would be more correct, turned out to be his two best human friends, who were sitting right behind him and Raye.

"Heyo, Dive-O! How's it hanging?" Asked Thrash, stuffing a handul of popcorn in his mouth.

"Urgh. The usual. Whuzzup? I though you swore off Disney stuff after they cancelled our show and Gargoyles."

Thrash grimaced, half-chewed popcorn hanging from his mouth.

"Sick!" Mookie frowned, forcibley closing his mouth. She glanced at Nosedive, then at Raye.

"Hey, you're new! What's your name, girlfriend?"

"Raye," the person in question responded coolly.

"Thass cool. You here to save the world too?"

"Perhaps," Raye responded, drawing a puzzled look from Nosdive. Why else would she be here, except to save one of their worlds? Maybe he was just misinterpretting her meaning....

Somebody in front hissed at them to shut up before they came up and beat their faces in or something to that effect. The guy was big enough, so they all hushed up and sat still till Mookie leaned foreward and said "What's a big boy like him watching a Disney movie for anyway?"

"Maybe he bought the wrong ticket or something..." Nosedive whispered back, bringing giggles from the two. Raye sighed, a bit annoyed. She hadn't wanted a date, and this was turning into one. Noting this, Nosedive leaned over to her.

"Yeah, like I was saying....while we were fighting, I saw...something....Okay, what I wanna know is....um, are you a witch?"

She raised an eyebrow at him, but whatever she was going to say next was interrupted by an explosion.

"Aw shit! Can't you guys leave us alone for one minute?" Nosedive groaned as Drones appeared in excess, along with Siege and Wraith. Screaming, the movie-going crowd fled in every direction, and, thankfully, the Saurians left them alone. They were after only one thing...

"We meet again," Wraith grinned at Raye. She icily smiled at him.

"Pleasure's all mine."

Nosedive didn't like the interaction going on, though he hardly understood why. He reached for his pucklauncher, when a shot was fired from behind him, grazing his arm. Looking around, he realized they were surrounded. Thrash and Mookie had fled as well, to his relief, But there was no escape for the two ducks. Raye looked more amused and annoyed than afraid, however.

"So, what can we do for you?"

Wraith simply smiled at her as Siege pulled out an odd looking weapon and shot at her. She winced, feeling the projectile enter her arm, and glanced down to see a syringe sticking in her flesh.

"Oh...damn....." she said as she lost consciousness.

"That takes care of that," Wraith sighed. Nosedive bent down to check Raye's pulse. She was alive, but whatever they'd pumped her full off had done its job. She wouldn't be back to the waking world anytime soon. He glared at the Saurians as they approached. Not was a word was spoken, however, as they were teleported back to the Raptor.

Draganus was waiting expectantly.

"Good. Very good. Prepare the ritual as you need. Just make sure she's secure. I don't want this going awry. And as for you..." he said, looking at Nosedive, then turning to Siege, "Tie him up where he can watch. This should prove amusing."

Nosedive looked at him in confusion, then at Siege just in time to see the fist, but not in time to duck it. He was knocked unconscious instantly, and the huge Saurian set about his work.

The alarm had gone off at the moment of the Saurians' teleportation, but the ducks still had not been fast enough. They surveyed the wreckage of the theater, Wildwing inwardly kicking himself and wishing he could do the same to his little brother. How could Nosedive have been so stupid?! He knew better than this, he was smarter than this...the young leader glanced at Duke, then at Cleech. The former was questioning Thrash and Mookie, who'd been present during the explosion. The latter looked grim, a little angry. Wildwing didn't like to think what might be running through his head at the moment, so he approached Duke instead.

"Man, I thought he was right behind us, man! Aw man..." Thrash looked like he wanted to cry. Mookie looked scared.

"Do you think they'll come back? Maybe I should get my gun..."

"You aren't supposed to have one of those," Wildwing told her sternly, ignoring the fact that Nosedive was the same age as them, and he carried a pucklauncher at all times.

"It happened real fast, according to these two," Duke explained. "They came crashing through the wall, like before. Nice entrance. Draws a lot of attention, demands a lot of fear, gets the crowds to run, leaving our two kids to fend for themselves. They were surrounded, out-numbered, and out-powered. Didn't stand a chance."

"At least they didn't kill them," Wildwing sighed, noting the appearance of the police. Klegghorn marched up to the ducks' leader.

"Alright, what's the story?"

"Draganus, Captain. He's kidnapped my brother and another younger member of the team-"

"Who's that?" Klegghorn interrupted, pointing at Cleech, who eyed the short human with a glum form of disgust.

"Cleech. We have two new ducks with us. One of them was captured with my brother."

"Right," the police captain said, glaring uncertainly at the tall, brown duck, then turning back to Wildwing. "Sorry about your brother. We'll do what we can."

"Thank you, sir," Wildwing said, knowing that the humans wouldn't be able to help in the slightest. At least they meant well, but this was beyond their abilities.

"Hey," Cleech said suddenly. "What in...?" He bent down and picked up something from the ground.

"What's that?" Duke asked, moving closer to see.

"A syringe, it looks like," said Tanya. She took the object from Cleech and inserted it into some part of the Omnitool, then typed something into a panel above it. Cleech whistled in appreciation.

"That's a bloody sweet piece o' equipment, lass!"

"Thank you," Tanya smiled shyly. Her eyes widened suddenly.

"Uh oh..."

"Uh oh? Uh oh's not good. What do you mean by 'uh oh'?" Wildwing asked.

"By the contents of what's left in the needle, this was some kind of tranquilizer, but more powerful than, like, um, well, than anything I've ever seen."

"How powerful?" Wildwing pushed, not liking the look on her face.

"It's mixed with something I've never seen before, but....the few drops left over would kill everyone in this room instantly..." Tanya said, giving him an unreadable look. Silence spread among them.

"Shit," Cleech muttered finally. "Are ye sure this actually hit one o' them?"

"There's um, y'know, blood on the needle," Tanya sighed.

Wildwing wanted to ask who's, but didn't feel it would be right. So they'd lost one of their own. maybe both. Draganus was going to pay dearly for this, whether it was Raye or Nosedive.

"Get a lock on Nosedive's com," he ordered, heading for the Migrator.

Nosedive awoke to an uncomfortable feeling in his limbs. His head hurt, and he desperately tried to remember why that should be so. Wait, this wasn't his room......

The Raptor. He'd forgotten. Siege must've hit him pretty hard! He scanned his surroundings.

This was creepy. Really creepy. The room was large, but mostly bare aside in the way of technology. Instead, the floor was littered with candles of varying color, width, and height. The flames coming from these candles provided the only light in the room, and as Nosedive's eyes adjusted he noticed odd markings on the floor, enclosed in a circle drawn with what appeared to be blood.

Ridiculously, his first thought was 'good thing Disney didn't continue through to this ep...." He suddenly recognized Raye, who was still out of it. She'd been laid in the center of the circle, with two iron shackles chained to her wrists. Nosdive found this all a bit odd. Why had they taken such care to keep her there, and only tied him up to some pipes in the corner, almost as an afterthought? He felt a little indignant, truth be told. They barely knew her, while he'd been their enemy for over a year! He heard a hiss of a door opening, hushing his thoughts to the matter at hand. Wraith, Chameleon, and Draganus entered, ignoring him and watching Raye with....fear? Uncertainty? He couldn't be sure.

"You'd better be right about this, Wraith," Draganus hissed menacingly.

"You should worry more about my getting the incantation right, my Lord. This is a very tedious business, at this point," the saurian wizard replied, clutching his staff to him for support. He focused on Raye, gathering the neccesary magic, and muttering what sounded like meaningless syllables. After a few minutes, he pulled a bell out of the folds of his robes. Nosdive briefly wondered what else he kept there, since the tall saurian was already pretty skinny.

"Awake," Wraith ordered, ringing the bell once.

Raye slowly sat up. Nosedive restrained from gasping. Her eyes were glowing a bright golden color, and there was a strange look on her face, a creepy sort of smile that sent chills up his spine.

"You called, little wizard?"

That wasn't her voice at all! It had a higher tone than usual, and sounded like she was on the verge of laughing - not very nicely, though. Like she was mocking someone or something. And it sounded really old at the same time. Nosedive gulped, wishing he was still unconscious.

Even the saurians looked a little shaken.

"I did," Wraith said, trying to appear calm. "I wish to make an offer-"

"What makes you think I'd want anything you have to offer, little spellcaster? Surely I could have taken it anytime, if that were so?"

Wraith took an uncertain step backwards.

"You cannot leave the circle. According to the rules, you are powerless. The iron shackles further ensure this. Physically and magically, you are powerless-"

"Methinks you protest too much, magician. Isn't it a bad sign to repeat yourself?" She smiled a little wider. "But it's true, I am, at the present, helpless. And what is it you intend to do? Kill me? Surely you know of the consequences...."

"We have no wish to destroy you, Lady," Wraith said. Nosedive was surprised to hear him address her with such respect. He really wished he knew what the heck was going on.

"Your enemies are on their way here as we speak, Draganus," Raye said, glancing at the Overlord. "If there is something you have planned, I strongly suggest you order it done while you have the time."


"Er...Yes. We're offering you a new body....his," Wraith said, gesturing to Chameleon. The smaller saurian looked surprised by this news.

"What?! But I--"

"Him? Him? You think I'd want to give up this body, which I'm more than satisfied with, for the time being, to live in that creatures shriveled frame? Tell, me, why don't you offer you're own body, Wraith? Aren't you curious about how it feels? Don't you want to know?"

Wraith was beginning to look very uncomfortable. Chameleon didn't look particularly happy either, for that matter, and was looking around for some sort of excuse to get out of this, muttering "this wasn't in my contract you backstabbers!"

"Whether you choose to renounce that body or not doesn't matter," Draganus growled, becoming annoyed with the time wasted. Raye smiled unpleasantly.

"Do your worst, reptile."

Draganus turned to Wraith. "Do what you must. I will be in the main bay keeping an eye out for our enemies."

"Waitaminute! You can't just-" Chameleon started after him, and was frozen in place by Wraith's magic. Draganus gave him a disgusted look.

"Consider it punishment for your desertion during that Atlantis episode."

Chameleon couldn't respond, but his fear and anger were evident in his eyes. The Overlord ignored this, however, and continued on his way, teleporting out of the room.

"Well, now," Wraith said cheerfully, turning to his teammate. He waved a finger at him, and the smaller saurian was moved telekinetically to face Raye.

Nosedive had to feel a little sorry for Chameleon, even if he was an enemy. Having your own kind turn on you without warning is probably the worst thing to have happen. Apparently Raye (or whoever it was) was having the same thought.

"So now you turn on one of your own to get me to work with you? I'm honored. Really. You better damn well hope he's more forgiving than I am, Wraith."

Wraith attempted to ignore this as he made the final preparations for the transfer.

"Well of all the corny disguises I've seen the Raptor take, this one's taken the cake, the candles, and the entire birthday decor with it!" Mallory stated.

They were looking at an ancient castle, right on the outskirts of Anaheim!

"What I want to know is why no one ever reports this sort of thing. Humans are so weird," Wildwing replied.

"You're tellin' me," Cleech muttered. Suddenly drones came pouring out of the front gate, followed by Siege.

"Here comes the calvary," said Duke. Grin and Tanya were, again, left at the Pond to keep an eye on the comatose ducks, and the rest of them were still weakened by the last encounter with the saurians. Wildwing just hope they were up to this......

*- I haven't seen this movie...yet. Please don't get on my case. I've only seen the previews! So sue me, I'm not rich! And movies here cost a pain to go see!

To be concluded in Chapter Five!

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