Disclaimer: No. I refuse. Lawyers, go read my disclaimer section.

It Begins...Again

By Crow

Chapter Five

Draganus watched the battle below with some anxiety. Perhaps it would have been best to leave Wildwing's younger brother behind when they'd taken Raye. The young leader of the ducks was obviously upset, and unfortunately for the saurians, this improved his fighting ability. Draganus realized with some trepidation that he'd eventually have to take part in the fight himself if things continued as they were.

He quickly reassured himself with the thought that Wildwing was just as mortal as he, and would eventually tire, vengeance or no. He'd just wait him out, then take him down. Simple enough. He hoped things were going well for his sorcerer.

An enormous tremor suddenly shook the ship, nearly knocking the overlord off his feet. An earthquake, now? It would certainly be impeccabley timed, if it were.

"Computer, what was the source of that quaking?" He demanded. The computer system responded with a "busy" blink, then flashed some coordinates. Draganus looked at the screen for a few minutes in silence, then growled in frustration.

"Shit," he muttered. It was coming from the area Wraith was performing his spell. Now what? He didn't want to interrupt, he'd already seen the effects of that. He'd just have to hope this was normal for this kind of attempt....

"....Not as easy....as you thought it would be....eh, little hand wizard?" Raye sounded a little winded, but otherwise hanging in well to....whatever was going on. Nosedive still wasn't entirely sure, and didn't think he absolutely wanted to know.

Chameleon didn't seem to be doing well, however. Whether he was unconscious or in shock was anybody's guess. All Nosedive could think was, he's gonna be mad when he coumes out of that. If he comes out of that, the duck corrected himself. But how could Draganus simply waste one of his own like that? He didn't have many henchmen to spare. Not that this was a bad thing, but it seemed an awfully heartless and stupid thing to do, and Draganus wasn't stupid. That's what worried Nosedive. The overlord usually had some sort of back-up for everything, part of the reason he was still around. If so.....He didn't want to think about that, so he concentrated on Raye.

Wraith wasn't responding to her jibes anymore. He was obviously strained, clinging to his staff. Nosedive could see energies swirling around the duck's skull on top, and was reminded of the battle at the photoshoot. What did that staff have to do with anything? Raye was interested in it, or so it had seemed. Probably just something else he didn't want to know.

Now would be a good time to be rescued. Nosedive struggled at his bonds. The saurians had been a bit sloppy, and left him his com. Which meant Wildwing and company were on their way, if they weren't here already. The communicator also provided a sharp edge, which was just what he needed to cut these ropes.....

Cleech was actually enjoying himself, despite the situation. He took out three drones at once with his whip, which was on the highest setting now. He remembered first using this thing, when he was a fresh-faced kid. He'd ended up cutting his forehead and earning the name "scarface" til it healed. Good thing it wasn't charged at the time. Right now, it would've killed him without time to say "Owch." Even on the lowest setting, it would've sent him into a coma.

The drones were by no means enjoying it, that was certain. Cleech gleefully snapped left and right, cutting himself a decent-sized opening to the Raptor. Wildwing saw what he was doing and followed suit. No way was that maniac going in on his own.

He'd reached Cleech's side by the time the older duck had reached the entrance. Cleech glared at him.

"Gotta problem?"

"Not a one," Wildwing responded, shooting over the older duck's shoulder and taking out another drone.

Siege suddenly charged the two with a roar, letting loose with his blaster. Wildwing threw up a shield, gesturing to Cleech to continue forward. The two ducks ran inside under a barrage of fire.

The door slammed shut behind them.

Cleech let out a stream of explicits. It was pitch black inside.

"It's just a little dark. Easily remedied," WIldwing muttered, pulling a box of matches out of his pocket. He struck one up and peered around.

"Uh, Cleech? All that stuff you just said? You say it again, now," Wildwing gulped. They were surrounded by drones.

"Almost done," Wraith said, a trickle of sweat running unhindered down the side of his misshapen brow. He was getting too old for this sort of work. Raye just looked at him. She still had no intension of going easily.

"Almost done," Nosedive mumbled, still rubbing at the ropes. His com was going to be in pretty bad shape after this, though. Maybe he ought to write a book: "101 Ways to Use Your Wristcom!" He almost giggled at the idea, but thought better of it. No need to draw attention to himself at the moment.

Finally, the rope snapped. Nosedive quickly started shaking it loose. Wraith noticed the movement.

"You have chosen a very bad time to-"

The door was suddenly blown open, interrupting his speech, and Cleech and Wildwingmade their entrance, Wildwing still shielding them both from the heavy fire power. Wraith snarled, passing a worried glance at Raye, who was smiling sweetly at him. Good, the circle had not been broken by the debris. That was a stroke of pure luck.

"Oh, I'd say the timin' was perfect," Cleech grinned, prepping his whip. Wraith scowled, then revealed a gun hidden in his robe. He aimed it at Raye's head.

"Make your move, Duck."

Cleech frowned, wondering what he should do. Wildwing was going to be overrun soon, so he had to think fast. Suddenly, a shadow fell over him. He looked up, and his jaw dropped.

"No...yer dead!"

"Ah, there you are, Spectre," Wraith said pleasantly. "Please see to this annoyance."

Even Raye looked a little taken back. She muttered something incongnitable as the huge saurian grabbed Cleech's right arm.

The next few events happened far too fast, yet to Cleech it seemed to be in slow motion. Nosedive made a dive for Wraith's weapon. The younger duck managed to knock the wizard off his feet, which also loosened some of his concentration, releasing Chameleon. The shapeshifter angrily aimed his wrist-laser at Wraith and opened fire. Wildwing was shotting at the drones still trying to get in the door.

Cleech struggled against the iron grip on his arm. The claws were cutting into his flesh, and he could see blood trickling out from underneath. His hand was turning blue. Gritting his teeth against the pain as the saurian lifted him off the ground, he pulled a knife from a hidden leg-sheath and stabbed it into Spectre's side. The saurian screamed in pain and fury and tore through Cleech's flesh.

It took Cleech a moment to realize that his arm was no longer connected to his body. In fact, it took him a few moments to notice anything except the sudden pain that shook every nerve in his body. He stared in shock at the limb laying uselessly on the ground before him. It occured to him that Spectre had dropped him. The saurian was now fighting Wildwing. Why wasn't that stupid Northsider guarding the door?

Oh. The door was sealed now. Chameleon had locked it. Now the short saurian was fiddling with some side panel. Cleech watched, fascinated, as the blood trickled across the floor, to the designs Wraith had drawn around Raye. The red liquid washed away a small fraction of the lines. The circle was broken.

He'd expected something marvelous to happen. Cleech didn't know what the heck was going on, but Raye had not seemed herself when he and Wildwing'd first entered. Somehow, he'd expected a light show, something. Instead, Raye just blinked in confusion.

"What? Where am....Oh my god! Cleech!"

He felt himself losing consciousness. It would be so easy.....No, he had to stay awake. He didn't remember why exactly......

Chameleon finally got the right code in. Damn them all, he wasn't going to be treated this way! To his satisfaction, the chains holding Raye in place fell away. She stood uncertainly, clueless to what had happened. Then she rushed to Cleech's side.

"Cleech! Stay awake. Whatever you do, stay awake! Shit, you're bleeding all over the place."

"Heheh....that....has been known...t' happen, Lass....erk," Cleech grinned weakly. Raye gave him a smile, to humor him.

"You gotta gun?"

"....yeah -ugn!- in m' left boot. Get that....that bastard....for me will ye?"

"No problem." Raye retreaved the weapon and, without moving from her position, aimed at Spectre's head and shot. The saurian dropped dead.

Wraith growled, then decided that it would be best to make his escape now. He teleported out, leaving the ducks and Chameleon alone. The shapeshifter glanced around, wondering what to do. Wildwing approached him.

"So now what, Chameleon? Is it a truce?"

"I.....I can't....." the saurian was definitely not his normal, jovial self. Before they could say anything, the saurian teleported away.

"To Drake knows where," Wildwing murmered, knowing that Chameleon could never return to Draganus' favor now. He felt a bit sorry for him.

They had a bigger problem now, though. The drones were breaking down the door. And there was no way out.

"Guys," Raye said, drawing the other two ducks' attention. She was holding something very familiar in her hand. It was a wrist teleporter!

"Where did you get that?!" Wildwing asked in confusion.

"I filched it off of Spectre over there, after our first meeting. Duke taught me well," she said with an ironic smirk. She glanced down at Cleech, who was now babbling quietly to himself. "He needs medical attention, now," she told the team leader. She'd wrapped a piece of cloth around the stump, but the bleeding had not yet stopped. Wildwing nodded, then tapped his Com.

"Mallory, Duke, get outta there and meet us back at the Pond."

Mallory started to protest, obviously incredulous, but Wildwing repeated the order, this time more sternly. Then he stepped over to Raye, along with Nosedive. He gave his brother a glare, letting him know his was in for it, then nodded to Raye again.

The girl teleported them all back to the Pond.

Or just outside it.

"Dammit! I forgot about the shield!" Wildwig snarled. Cleech stumbled to his feet.

"We left m' arm," he said, obviously not completely with it. Wildwing winced, and helped get the older duck inside and down to sick bay.

"Oh, uh, it's you!" Tanya said, surprised and pleased at the same time. Then she frowned, seing Cleech, and not seeing Duke or Mallory.


"The others are on their way. Cleech needs help, fast."

Tanya quickly set to stopping the wound (or what was left of it), while Raye stood by, trying to conceal her worry. Nosedive touched her arm.

"What happened back there?"

"Back where?" Raye asked, giving him a puzzled look.

"....Don't you remember?"

"I remember the movie theater. I remember being shot with some kind of tranquilizer, then waking up in the Raptor to see Cleech minus an arm..."

"That's it?"

"What else happened?"

Nosedive opened his mouth and closed it. This was beyond strange. This was scary. He backed away a little.

"Um, nothing. Nothing at all," he said lamely, starting away. He was met by his brotehr.

"We have some talking to do. I don't know how you're both still alive, but you could have been killed thanks to your stupidity. Come on..." He grabbed his brother by the arm and led him out of the room.

Tanya gave Cleech a shot of morphine, putting him temporarily out of pain, then finished bandaging what was left of his arm. She looked at Raye.

"He'll survive....he's pretty, y'know, tough....but without an arm he's going to be handicapped."

"No way he'll live with that," Raye sighed. "If I know Cleech, he'll probably put a bullet through his head when he comes to. Unless...."

She looked thoughtful, a sudden creative light sparking in her eyes.

"What?" Tanya wanted to know.

"What do you know about cybernetics?"

Tanya saw where she was going.

"Can you build him an arm?" the older woman asked.

"If I can find the equipment. It should be a snap."

Tanya nodded and handed her a card.

"You can get pretty much anything at Lectricland. They deliver, too, so just give 'em a call."

Raye nodded eagerly, glad to have something to do. She glanced one last time at Cleech before leaving to find a phone.

It was just as the Migrator was pulling up that Canard and Lucretia simutaniously woke up.

And began to scream....

Next: "Traitors".

The End
Back to Crow's Fanfiction
Back to Fanfiction