Part Three: The Separation
Fingers typed quickly on the keys. Eyes scanned the web page taking in the information. A greenish screen clicked on-line.
Downloading…. Enter Password.
The blank space blinked against the black screen. Click. The decoder was plugged into the CPU.
Five seconds left… Password Accepted.
Good. A sigh. An image appeared on the screen. Good God. Blueprints. The figure pushed away from the computer, clicking the save button and rushing out of the room.
* * *
"What?!" Drake shouted. The other members kept quiet. "Are you telling me that the Ducks will be falling into a trap on one of the next missions?"
"Look," Nyre shoved the printed out papers to the older man. "I did my best okay? I hacked into the system and got this. Some loon's teaming up with Dragaunus and he's part of the Police force. Are you gonna tell me that I was wrong to check things out?"
Hacker and Marri grimaced. "Drake, she did what she did. At least we know now." Melissa put in, calm as ever.
"And what the hell are we gonna tell Klegghorn huh?" He snapped back. "That one of his men wants to kill the Ducks? The guy's never gonna buy it!"
"Then show him the prints!" Nyre urged.
Drake glowered at the petite girl. "I don't want anyone thinking that you guys are breaking the rules to save the team, even if that's what we're doing. We keep this under wraps. I don't want any of you to tell anyone of these prints." He turned to the others who nodded reluctantly, "I don't want us in trouble with the government. We handle this ourselves."
* * *
A hand placed itself gently on Nyre's shoulder as she stared at her reflection. "Nervous?" Dee asked, smiling at her. Nyre nodded, "A little. I hope I sing well tonight. It's different. I had to ask Krysta to help with the routine, since she took up figure skating a while back."
"You'll be fine." The twins sat to her left, both dressed and ready.
"Worried that you won't make an impression?" Melissa gently rubbed her friend's arm. Nyre sighed and stood. Her biased-cut, navy blue skirt falling freely.
Rap. Rap. Rap.
"Get ready in there with the instruments! We'll be on in ten minutes." Ace's voice came through the door. The girls looked at each other and Nyre put on her headset. "Let's do this."
"So who's the band Divey?" Duke asked, leaning on the railing, his good eye surveying the ice.
"Trust me Duke, they're good. They're harmonization's like nothing you've ever heard before."
"More noise li'l bro?" Wing teased.
"No way, this band's pure pop!" Bright blue eyes flashed expectantly.
"Your kind of music, Wing." Mal teased in return.
"Shhh. It's starting." Tanya snapped them to silence.
The lights dimmed to darkness and six figures moved stealthily onto the ice. Seconds later a soft, sweet and melodious voice sounded from the speakers, taking the crowd by surprise. A pale spotlight shone on a female figure at the center ice, her eyes were shut with emotion, her hands moving fluidly. Her eyes opened and the Ducks gasped, all except for Dive.
"Is that Nyre?" Mal whispered as she watched the petite figure who's voice filled the whole stadium. "She's… amazing." Tanya put in, the others nodded in approval.
Different instruments began to play in tune to the song, filling the auditorium more with the inspirational music. And the end came… "For the land of the free…" there was a heart stopping pause, "…and the home of the brave…."
Applause erupted from the stands and from the Ducks as well.
"You knew about this?" Wildwing turned to his brother, who was beaming with pride and gave Nyre a thumbs-up. The teenaged duck smiled up at his captain, "Yup, invited them. Wait until you hear their next number." He turned back to the teen and nodded, the action was returned.
"HELLO ANAHEIM!" Hacker's voice boomed from the speakers. "Howz everybody doin' tonight!" Cheers sounded. He turned his attention to Nyre who stepped in just there.
"For those of you who don't know us, we're STROBE, I'm Nyre, call me Angelbaby please, the blond on the lead guitar is Hacker, our drummer is Ace, on base is Marri, Mel's on the boards and this is Dee on piano-guitar. We've been invited to sing and cheer for the best team in Anaheim -- Let's hear it for the Ducks!"
She raised her hand to the stands where Dive and the others sat. "The Mighty Ducks!" A spotlight turned to the six ducks at the stands and they waved, startled at the sudden surprise. Nyre turned her attention back to the crowd, "And now we'd like to do a little number for the team with the most!" She nodded to the team who began to play. (Note to readers: Think MD:TAS Theme Song)
"On the road to glory, ain't no turnin' back! It's got to be the Mighty Ducks, on the quack attack!" Nyre and Hacker sang together. "Look out, clear the way, ducks are here to play."
"DUCKS ROCK!" Marri, Mel, Dee and Ace came in. "DUCKS ROCK!"
"Mighty Ducks!" Hacker winked at Nyre who launched into her routine, revving up the crowd in the process. "Here come the Mighty Ducks, burning up the ice," She skidded to a full stop, "Just try and stop the Mighty Ducks, and your gonna pay the price!" She sped to the other end and leaned lazily on the goal.
The team laughed at the action and Mal and Duke shouted their support. "Here come the Mighty Ducks, fightin' for the goal--" Nyre returned to place and raised both her hands to clap in the air, "Let's hear it for the Mighty Ducks, it's time to rock and roll!" the blending of voices roused cheers from the audience.
"Let's go!" Hacker and Dee called out in melody.
"Let's go----------!!!" Nyre's voice aimed and hit on the high note sending calls from Dive and her other friends on the stands.
"You rock Angel!" Dive whooped. Wing nodded in approval, a smile coming to his lips.
"Let's hear it for the Mighty Ducks!" Nyre stepped to the left, closed with her right foot, stepped again with the right, spun and ended her routine with a bow.
"And Grin hits the whole Cougar defense into the boards!"
"GO DUCKS!" Nyre could hear Marri screaming at the top of her lungs. She stayed quiet, nursing her voice. Damn, I won't be able to sing tomorrow if this is how my throat's gonna feel the whole night. "Here." Hacker sat beside her, giving her a jug of herbal tea with honey. "You're gonna need it."
"Thanks Hack." She said, barely a whisper. She coughed and smiled weakly. "Who's go the puck?"
"Cougars." Hack took her hand. Nyre put away the thermos and was lifted up onto Hacker's shoulders. "See it now."
"Yeah." Nyre swallowed, she knew that player. Number 53 was one heck of a shooter and out of 5 shots, point five missed. She quickly turned her gaze to Wildwing who stood before the goal, eyes glinting with confidence. He has to.
"And Wildwing saves the goal! As the second period comes to a close the Ducks and Cougars and tied 4 to 4!"
"Hacker, let me down." Nyre squirmed as she saw the pained expression on Mal's face. She rushed to get close to the team. "What's wrong?" She called down to Dive.
The blond looked up and shook his head. "Sprain, bad one. This isn't good."
"Don't worry guys, I can play." The redhead insisted.
"Mal, sweetheart, that's gonna get worse if you push it."
"Wait." Six heads turned to Nyre. "Mal, listen to them, believe me, it's gonna get crazy if you skate on a sprain. If it's bad, it's bad. I can get you guys another player."
Wildwing frowned and stepped over, "Where? How?"
"I'll talk to the boss."
"Boss?" Tanya spoke up. Where had she heard that line before?
"Yeah, the boss, he's our manager-com-older brother. He talked to Phil and convinced the guy. I can ask him to put me in for play."
"Nyre…" Dive whispered, "you'd do that?"
"Hey, it's what I can do as a devoted fan *and* friend." And she rushed off.
"Get her in. Her number is 66, she's good, trust me." Phil shrugged and nodded taking the slip handed to him by the dark-haired, green-eyed young man who he'd found out was the manager of the Wolverines and STROBE. "As long as you're sure your kid won't let the team down."
"And it looks like we have a new player to pitch in for our dear Mallory!" The announcer's voice boomed over the speakers. The ducks glanced up to see Nyre skate into the ice, wearing the spare ducks' jersey with no number. She came over and pushed up her helmet. I can play Mal's role, I won't let you guys down.
"Don't worry," Wildwing laid a hand on her shoulder and smiled. "You won't."
The announcer continued with his introduction. "It seems that not only is Angelbaby a singer, but she's also known as Red 13 of the street team Midgar and number 66 for the Wolverines! Let's hear it for Nyre Leviste!"
"Let's rock Ducks!"
"Thanks Nyre," Dive hugged the female. "You did good and more that I would've expected. You're a true friend."
"Hey, anythin' for my pals." She shrugged. She glanced to the van where five others were watching. "See you in school Divey." She began to walk away.
"Wait." Another voice spoke from behind and a large hand slipped into hers. She turned and smiled up at Wildwing. "We thought it over, and thought to give you this." He handed her the jersey with her name and the number 66. "We had Phil rush it, and this, it's an extra one in Mal's size, might be slightly big though, I hope it fits." He handed her an official jacket. She beamed and blushed.
"Thank you." She hugged him on impulse. Wing turned to the others who had smiles on their faces. Nyre pulled back and wouldn't meet him in the eye. "Thanks." She finally looked up and she blinked away the moisture. "This means a lot to me."
"Yo Nyre!" Ace honked the horn. "I gotta go. Thanks again." She shot smiles at each of them and rushed off.
"She's one sweet kid." Duke commented as they all headed in.
"I know, that's why I'm her acting older brother these days." Dive beamed.
"You?" Mal asked raising her eyebrows. "Yeah me!" Dive laughed and punched Mal playfully on the shoulder.
A loud alarm suddenly went off and they all stopped dead in their tracks.
"Security's been breached!" Tanya paled as she heard a familiar whirring sound. "Drones!" Move!" Wing commanded and they all morphed into battle gear.
"Quack, quack. We'll be havin' roast duck tonight!" Seige aimed a laser at Grin and blasted. Grin dodged the fire, but not enough as he was caught on the leg.
"This is not good." He muttered, placing a hand on the burn and stood back up and charged on a drone, seconds later he was out-numbered as three more surrounded him.
"Mal no!" Tanya screamed as Mal tried to take on Wraith alone. Seconds later she was hurled hard against the wall, a second scream erupted from Tanya as Seige hit her hard from behind.
"Get away from her!" Dive, Duke and Wing rammed themselves against the fat, orange lizard, sending him flying to the wall.
"Hey! Kid! Watch out!" But Duke's warning came too late as a drone knocked the teen unconscious and lifted him above. Duke was next as he got a hard hit on the shoulder from the now recovered Seige.
"Let him go!" Wildwing raised his launcher at the drone. Cold sweat ran down the side of his face. I can't. I might hit Dive.
"Can't do it, can't you duck?" His gaze turned to the sorcerer Saurion who laughed menacingly. A searing pain shot through his right arm and he fell to his knees. He looked up and saw the Chameleon laughing in a pathetic form of a trigger-happy character from some movie. "He's down Wraith, do I finish him off or do we leave them to their misery?"
Wraith lifted his staff and the limp forms of Duke and Mal and placed them in the 'care' of the drones. "Leave them. We need them alive to fish out Freewind and his team. If I know that human, he won't risk having his dear Mallory killed by us." And the Saurions and drones vanished out of sight.
"Wildwing." He heard Grin limp over, in his arms was Tanya, blood trickled down the side of her head where she'd hit the wall. "What did that lizard mean?"
"Freewind. There's only one Freewind I know. And that's…." And before he could finish, he slumped into unconsciousness.
* * *
"Wing…" a soft voice whispered near his cheek. Tender hands stroked his forehead. "Wing, please wake up." The voice was familiar and choked. He tried to open his eyes but shut them in pain.
"Leave him for awhile child, he needs the rest."
"I'm sorry Grin."
"Nyre?" He croaked, forcing his eyes to open. And there she was again, by his side. She smiled down at him. Her eyes were brimmed with tears and her face flushed. "You're okay…." She cooed softly.
"Sure I am." Wing smiled up weakly at his human friend. "How's Tanya?" He asked.
"She's fine." Nyre replied. "She's over at the other bed, resting."
"Why're…?" His eyes clouded over with question suddenly.
"I'm sorry." She whispered and touched his cheek. "I wanted to tell, but Drake wouldn't have it." She paused, "Not until, this…." She fixed the bandage on his arm.
"You had a comrade in the Resistance before by the name of Drake Freewind right?" She whispered, placing a hand on the wounds. "Well, he's the upper man I'm working for." She sighed. "I'm Angelbaby, Wing. I've been the one tipping you off." She sat on the chair and looked away. "And I did it, not because it was my job. Hacker or Dee could've done it. But I wanted to help. Because I care. For you and for the team. You're my heroes. This was all I could do to help you out."
A moan came from the other end of the room. "Nyre, we need you!" Melissa called as she helped Krysta with Tanya's bandages.
Nyre sighed and went over to Wing, giving him a quick kiss on the forehead. "I'll be right back, I need to help out with Tanya, she's awake now and we'll need to fix up some wounds." She started to leave when Wing caught her wrist, making her turn. "Where's my brother Nyre?"
"The Saurions took them Wing, there was nothing we could do." She went close, blinking away some moisture in her eyes, sending one tear to trickle down her face. "We'll get them back Wing. I promise." And the captain of the Mighty Ducks shut his eyes.
* * *
"Well, well, well…." A familiar voice rang through Nosedive's ears. "Ms. McMallard, it seems you are in our territory now."
"Whatever lizard breath, what do you want from us?" Nosedive opened one eye and saw Mallory glaring up at… Dragaunus?
Man, what's wrong with this picture? Dive thought, moving a little. "'Ey, easy there kid, I'm countin' at least three of my ribs broken here."
"Duke!" Dive gasped, seeing his friend leaning on the wall. "What happened, why're we in the Raptor?" The door to their cell closed just then and rang in Dive's ears.
"Have ya lost your memory Dive? And oh, this ain't the Raptor. We were attacked over at th' Pond. Wraith-boy, Seige and that stupid Chameleon brought us here. We'll be used for ransom or somethin' like that."
"Ransom? To Wing and the others? Draggy's crazy if he's usin' a stunt like that. Wing'll get him and get us out."
Duke shook his head. "Last I remember, I saw Grin badly wounded, Tanya was unconscious and Wildwing was knocked over… I think. No, Dragaunus' isn't using us to lure Wing and the others." The look in his eyes seemed so far away just then, "Draggy's found out that Drake's here."
"Drake?" Dive squeaked. "As in Drake Freewind, our Drake Freewind?" The older duck nodded and winced as he shifted his position, "But, how did…? He died!"
"No Dive, he didn't." the two turned to Mallory, her face was tear-streaked and eyes swollen with crying, not exactly the Mallory they all knew.
"What d'ya mean Mal?"
The redhead sighed and began to tell them the story about how Drake had survived the cave-in in the mines on Puckworld and had found a way to get home to his world. "He just left, I woke up the next day and thought it was all a dream… but then I saw the letter…." Her voice trailed and she sighed sadly, leaning on the wall.
"Why didn't you tell us?"
"He wrote that I shouldn't. It would be better for the team to think he was dead and move on. He didn't want to be the reason the Resistance strike force split up because some idiot high ranking officer refused to allow my father to send out a search team." She glanced to her two companions with sad eyes, "He wanted us to win."
* * *
"Dragaunus found out a week ago that I was the upper man using STROBE as informants for you. How? Krysta's boyfriend is in the force, his partner's this wacko who hates you guys with a vengeance." The ducks cast glances to each other, and then continued to listen to a very *alive* Drake Freewind.
"He's been listening in on Krysta's conversations and has been informing Dragaunus in turn. We caught him earlier tonight outside Nyre's room within our HQ. He broke in and Marri here kicked some serious butt."
Marri smiled and glanced to Nyre who sat on the floor fiddling with her laptop, far from Wildwing. "So what now Drake?" Tanya asked softly, still trying to absorb the fact that Drake, her comrade was alive.
"Nyre? Got anything yet?" The older man asked. Nyre typed furiously at her laptop. "Wait for it…." She whispered, the serious look on her face disappeared and was replaced with a smirk. "Got in, Klegghorn looks plenty surprised.
The three remaining ducks and Drake peered over her shoulder.
Kleggohorn: Who in blazes are you?
STROBE: Remember me captain?
Klegghorn: What is it now kid?
STROBE: Switch on your comm to connect to the Mighty Ducks, we'll talk from there.
Klegghorn: You? In league with the Ducks?
STROBE: Just do it Captain Hook.
The screen of Drake One instantly lit up, with the face of a very cranky looking Klegghorn. "So, where's STROBE, my kid informant?" He asked sternly, seeing the Ducks' faces. "Right here sir." Nyre stepped into view.
"So what's the deal? You brought in the traitor and I guess the force does owe you. What do you need kiddo?" He asked.
"We need the jerk, he'll have some of the information we want. We'll be over in a little while. No objections please, this is gonna help save three lives. I'm out." And she switched him off. She then turned to the Ducks and her companions, "Let's go."
To be continued….