The Black Cat

Part Three: A Purrfect Encounter

Emery Drakestone and Amore Heartthrob sat in the center of the Pride’s lair playing Amore’s favorite card game…poker.

“HA!” Amore, a woman about Ruby’s age exclaimed as she laid out her cards before the rookie of the gang, who was a little older than the two approaching teenagers. “Royal flush! Beat that honey.”

Emery rolled her eyes and laid down her hand, “A pair of twos. You win. AGAIN.”

“I see you two are hard at work as always.” Ruby teased, sneaking up behind the pair.

“Ruby,” Amore smiled, “nice to see you out and about. Between work and that family of yours we hardly ever get to see ya anymore.”

“How’s married life treating you?” Ruby asked casually as she led the two girls to the table.

“Alright I guess,” Amore smiled, “I did marry a Brotherhood member, so it’s not all that dull.”

“This here’s Amore,” Ruby introduced the girls to the women, “she’s the resident heartbreaker of the gang, or at least she was, up until a few months back when she married Brink Slapshot.”

“I’m Emery Drakestone,” the white feathered duck with black hair smiled. Her green eyes explained her name. They were stunning, like emeralds.

“As you may have guessed,” Ruby grinned to the two women, “I’ve brought these two here because, like us, they have special gifts.”

“Like what?” Emery turned to the two girls who were suspiciously glancing around the dark room.

“Premnitia Quackcast possesses telepathy and telekinesis,” Ruby explained, “she also has the power to alter weather and forms of matter.”

“Wow,” Amore grinned, “that would’ve come in handy back when we were still pulling off heists.”

Jazz and Premnitia shot Ruby a questioning glance. They had not come all this way to join thieves. They wanted answers, and Ruby had promised them.

“We no longer need to commit crimes.” Ruby explained, “Part of our cat mutation enhanced our aggression. It was stealing highly valuable jewels and attacking trained security guards, OR holding it all in until we involuntarily lashed out on some poor civilian.”

“There’s a dark side to every mutation,” Emery sighed. “But once a cat mutant finds her cure she can suppress her mutation forever if she wishes. It doesn’t show up in our genes for some reason, yet…we all have a counterpart from Felonia.”

“Felonia?” Jazz questioned.

“A realm like the one Puckworld is in. Only cats are the predominant species, not ducks. Each member of the Pride has a counterpart of the cat species in Felonia. They’re like sisters.” Ruby explained.

“So how’d you find out about them?” Premnitia inquired.

“We didn’t.” Amore laughed, “They found out about us!”

“We sort of bumped into each other a while back. When Tanya and I were twelve or so.” Ruby smiled, “Tanya Vanderflock, my best friend, left with the team to pursue Dragonus.”

“So did you just take us here to discuss mutations or are you gonna fill us in on what happened to our parents?” Jazz demanded.

“Who’s the firecracker?” Amore smirked.

“This is Jazz Billeres,” Ruby motioned towards the sulking duck, “she possesses super speed and a photogenic memory. She’s quite good with technology and retains vast amounts of knowledge.”

“Sounds like a younger version of Tawny.” Emery chuckled, “Maybe she’ll grow up to be a hacker too?”

Jazz didn’t say a word. Premnitia was laughing because she knew about all the alterations Jazz has secretly made using her computer knowledge.

“So how do you know all these things about us?” Premnitia could have just probed their brains for the answer but she didn’t like to violate privacy and disrupt oras. Besides, her powers of mind reading weren’t quite perfected yet.

“We know a lot of things. Even those that you keep concealed from your loved ones.” Ruby answered, “In short, it takes a mutant to spot a mutant.”

“And what do you mutants want with us?” Jazz asked again.

“You came seeking answers right?” Ruby smiled to the other two Pride members, “Well, we’ve taken care of things for you. Now you’ll have your answers and-”

A door slid open behind them allowing four figures to emerge. “-your families.” Ruby finished proudly.

Premnitia and Jazz couldn’t believe their eyes. “No way,” Jazz muttered staring into her mother’s teary eyes.

It was too much like a dream for Premnitia, yet it was real. Her father and mother standing just feet away with outstretched arms. “How?”

“We have connections.” Amore blew the backs of her nails.

“To be more exact,” Ruby added, “we have members that can obtain top secret military information. It seems that traitors in high ranking positions on this planet conspired with Dragonus to obtain certain potential mutants to serve as warriors for the Saurians should a Puckworld strike force rise up against them.”

“They’d never be able to shoot down our own, especially if they were only children.” Emery shook her head in disgust.

“The traitors helped separate you from your families to make it easier for Dragonus’s henchmen to obtain you should his conquest of Puckworld fail. And since it has…” Amore’s voice took on a warning tone, “that lizard will send for you two soon.”

Jazz had already rushed into her parents’ arms. “MOM! DAD! Oh my gosh, where’ve you been?”

Jazz’s mother held her daughter tightly, “Oh sweetie! I wanted to come for you! I hated leaving you here. But if we didn’t stay in Mallardsburg those traitors would’ve had you killed.”

“Why?” Jazz cried, a part of her had died the day she’d lost the two people she cared about the most.

“Because the Saurians would surely fail if mutants sided with the Resistance.” Ruby responded, “And that’s exactly what you must do.”

“You can’t expect us to leave now,” Premnitia exclaimed, her arms flung tightly around her father as her mother brushed her bangs out of her eyes, “we’ve just found our parents! Let the Resistance deal with Dragonus, I’m going after those traitors!”

“They’ve been dealt with,” Emery grinned devilishly, “Aside from facing life in prison for treason, attempted murder, and kidnapping, those creeps will be spending some serious time in the intensive care unit.”

All three Pride members flashed their fangs and claws. “No one gets away with torturing mutants while the Pride’s around.” Amore laughed.

“A mutant,” Jazz’s dad smiled down at his little girl, “that certainly explains a lot.”

Tears were still rolling down her face, “If the Saurians are still out there and sending someone after us, you guys could still be in trouble.”

“Which is why you must go on living your lives as if none of this has happened.” Ruby stated. “If you don’t wish to endanger all your lives then this meeting NEVER took place. We’ve done this to prove our loyalty. Now I’m asking you to join the Resistance.”

Both young ducks spun around to protest but Ruby cut them off, “Despite our best efforts there is still no telling where and when Dragonus will strike. It’s almost certain that both of you will be captured and taken to a planet called Earth. It’s in a different universe but the good news is that the Resistance is there. If you can escape Dragonus and locate Tanya she’ll see to it that you’re made part of the Resistance and return home with them as soon as the mission is completed.”

“Wait a minute!” Jazz shouted, “They’ve been on that stupid mission for over a year now! Just when are they coming home?!”

“If they had the aid of two mutants it might help them complete their mission sooner. Dragonus has just recently repaired his gateway generator,” Emery spoke up.

“And just how do you know all this?” Premnitia asked. “No one’s been able to make contact with the Resistance, and they certainly don’t have a gateway generator of their own!”

“Girls please,” Premnitia’s mom begged, “these women are only trying to help. They’ve reunited us at great personal risk.”

“It’s alright,” Ruby assured her, “we know because of Felonia. Since we Pride mutants all have counterparts there we can enter their realm through the use of these linking jewels.” Ruby pushed up her sleeves and held out her hands revealing a long gem dangling on the end of each gold bracelet. “These don’t allow us to travel anywhere except either Felonia or the place from which we transport to get there. We’re only half cat you know.”

“We relay information through our counterparts or sometimes we’re able to meet with Tanya there. Sadly, she can’t cross over into Puckworld because she’s transported from Earth.” Amore said seriously, “That’s how we know about the Resistance and their status. But Tanya’s been suppressing her powers for a long time now. It won’t be long before she loses control of her transformations. She won’t regain it until she makes full use of her abilities again.”

“And you want us to seek her out?” Premnitia questioned.

“Sounds like a mission impossible to me.” Jazz murmured.

“If you won’t do it for us,” Ruby begged, genuinely concerned about the safety of these two vulnerable teenagers, “then do it for your families. And for yourselves.”

“She’s right,” Premnitia’s father spoke wisely, “you deserve better than this Prem. If the people see you fighting for them they might come to realize that mutants aren’t to be feared and persecuted.”

“I want what’s best for you Jazz,” Jazz’s mother squeezed her daughter tightly, “please do as Ruby says. It’s only for a short while and when you come back, we can finally be a family again.”

Jazz and Premnitia exchanged looks, neither wanted to go through with this but even the mysterious Pride couldn’t protect them from Dragonus. Not forever. No one could. They had to save themselves. Maybe this Tanya would help them. Did they really have a choice?


Evening fell on the city of Anaheim back on Earth. It was a beautiful crimson sky. Tanya stared up at it through a black mask. Just a few more minutes…she thought as she watched the sun set.

It hadn’t been hard to dig her costume out of the hidden compartment in her room. She didn’t really figure that the other ducks would pry into her stuff so she left her jewel bracelets in her nightstand drawer.

Everything fit perfectly. Not that she’d expected any less. She’d been the same weight and height since she’d turned seventeen. Her baggy clothing and false glasses hid her feminine features though. No one would ever expect a nerdy little scientist to be the mysterious, slender, and cunning Black Cat.

Stretching out she decided to test her agility. Just to make sure that she still had that special stealth that she had come to rely on when she became leader of the Pride. As she darted from rooftop to rooftop, leaping over chain link fences with ease, her thoughts began to wander back to her gang.

She missed Ruby Dunshap, her best friend and lab partner, terribly. They had been the first cat-duck hybrids to physically alter their forms. It had been a terrifying experience for them both. But fate had brought them crashing into each other one night and ever since they had been the best of friends.

Two years before Dragonus had attacked Puckworld, Ruby had found her cure. Now she could choose whether or not she would ever shift into her cat-duck hybrid form, ever again.

Love had done it for Ruby. One day she was unable to suppress her powers for more than a month and the next she could control the aggression, the shape shifting, and the instincts for the rest of her life. It was an odd feeling that started overtaking all of the Pride’s members as they found the one life altering change which overtook their unmanageable powers. This change became known as the cure.

Tanya had gone out of her way to help the members, all 72, find their cures. And in the span of two years each and every member was cured…except Tanya.

It wasn’t just the obligation of being leader that made Tanya want to help the other members, but the fact that the Pride itself had become a close knit group of friends. For some reason all the mutants of their breed were female and close to the same age. That made it easy for them to bond.

Once the members discovered that Tanya was the only one who hadn’t discovered her cure they each set out to help her. They tried each and every cure that had worked for them. Dream jobs, unachievable goals that suddenly became reachable, and even love.

Tanya wasn’t one to throw herself at anyone. Then…there came an odd night out on the town when she and Ruby were patrolling for crime (another means of satisfying their aggressiveness). The Brotherhood (who to this date weren’t aware of the Pride’s existence) were out on a heist.

Their leader, Duke L’Orange, swung into an alleyway and pulled the black velvet sheet off from over their newest prize. A large diamond glistened in the pale moonlight. Tanya and Ruby had merely yawned at the sight. It wasn’t the jewels that enticed them, but the danger of stealing them.

Then Tanya had noticed an odd movement by one of the members. He stood away from the small crowd of thieves. He was reaching for his sidearm.

“What’s he up to?” Tanya had thought aloud.

Ruby followed her friend’s gaze, “Isn’t that one Falcone? I heard he’s jealous of Duke.”

“Looks like he might be ready to do him in,” Tanya whispered as she hopped up on the ledge.

“What are you doing?” Ruby hissed.

“We can’t just sit here and let him get killed!” Tanya hissed back.

“You’re risking your life!” Ruby reminded her, “This isn’t some struggle between a purse snatcher and an elderly old lady. This is two thieves battling for the title of Greatest Thief of All!”

“But that guy’s sneaking up on him!”

“He knew it was a dangerous job when he took it!”

Before Ruby could protest further Tanya drew a dagger and sent it flying into Falcone’s hand. The dagger was right on target and Falcone dropped his weapon just before pulling the trigger.

The Brotherhood members spun around. “And just what are ya up too back there?” Duke had demanded of Falcone.

“Oh, Duke old boy, just--uh--keeping an eye out for the police.” Falcone had lied.

“I’ll bet,” Duke scooped up the gun and placed it in a large pouch on his belt, “and I DON’T appreciate the pun.”

Ruby had just stared at Tanya’s admiring smile in disbelief, “You’ve got to be kidding me,” she’d muttered.


“You like him, don’t you?”


“Duke L’Orange.” Ruby smirked.

“HIM?!” Tanya gasped, “N--well--umpth--you know, I DUNNO!”

“Well there he is,” Ruby’d chuckled, “your cure. It’s gonna take something just as drastic to cure you as it did me, love.”

Tanya had already hopped off the ledge. She would later consent to join up with the Resistance solely because of the Pride’s insistence that she pursue her cure.

These were fond memories now. Duke had certainly turned out to be a dead end cure. He still called her ‘kid’ and hardly spoke two words to her that didn’t have to do with repairing his saber or taking down Dragonus. He was a lady’s man alright, and that was another problem. He’d even put the moves on Lucritia Decoy. Never mind that the traitor had tied Tanya to the scoreboard above the Pond.

Still, Tanya loved Duke, she knew she did now. Despite all his cockiness and vanity. He was a skilled swordsman with an admirable code of honor. All in all, he wasn’t such a bad guy. If only he’d see her for what she was, without being too shallow to look past her disguised appearance.

The sun sat further beneath the horizon. Tanya had suppressed her powers longer than any other mutant from Puckworld out of sheer will and practice. But now she knew she could no longer control them. She’d have to become the Black Cat again. For the sake of her health and sanity.

Uncertain of how the other ducks would react to learning her true identity she had made up her mind to return to Felonia until she regained control over her powers. She would still have to utilize them (and shift into her hybrid form) occasionally, and she would have to account for her absence (however long it would take her), but maybe she’d still be able to hide what she was from her teammates.

Duke had faced a lot of doubt from the other ducks, especially Mallory, when Dragonus had planned to steal the world’s largest gems for his mind control device but his past deeds had not been hidden from the others. For all they knew, Tanya was nothing more than a stuttering scientific genius, the team tech. Sometimes she’d thought it would be amusing to see the looks on their faces if she suddenly revealed her mutation. But then the thoughts of ridicule and evasiveness came and she shied away from showing them.

Stars peeked out from the cloudy heavens above. They were amazing, shimmering like jewels scattered among dark waves. Tanya loved the night. Like most cats she was nocturnal. And then the pale beams of moonlight danced across her beak. Well, Felonia, here I come!

Holding her arms up against the pale moon she clasped her hands together causing the dangling gems to intertwine. A bright light consumed her as they clinked together. In a brilliant flash, Tanya vanished.


*Hi! It’s been a while since my last update, but what do you think of this chapter? I’ve had this written down in a notebook for ages, lol, I guess it’s time I posted it. I know this fic seems kind of ‘out there’ right now, but give it time. ^_~ *

Part 2

Part 4