The Black Cat
Part Seven: On the Run
“Do you see anyone?” Premnitia whispered to Eirgo who was standing lookout from the bars.
“Nope, all clear,” he called back.
Focusing her energy Premnitia placed her hands together, “Maybe we can’t get past the bars,” slowly she stepped out of the cell via the wall, “but I can get through the wall.”
“Nice trick,” Jazz praised, “now pull that lever and let’s get outta here!”
Premnitia went to do so but nearly fell face flat on the floor. She heard Jazz laughing and the giggling of a few of the children. “WHAT?!”
“Y--your foot!” Jazz cackled, “Way to go mystic!”
Eirgo laughed too and used his powers of matter altering to walk through the wall and pull Prem’s foot through for her.
Slightly embarrassed Premnitia slapped down the lever and the children all hustled out into the hall. Jazz motioned for them to be silent. “Alright, the Saurians went that way,” she pointed in the direction where Tanya was quickly approaching, “so we’ll go this way.”
Meanwhile Wraith and Siege were back in action and on their way to check the holding cell. That’s when they came across a thoroughly soaked Dragonus, “What kept you incompetent fools?!” he seethed, “Those Ducks are here and probably at the cell by now! STOP THEM!”
Rushing ahead to catch the ducks Siege tripped over something green wriggling around in the hall, “Hey! What’s a guy gotta do to get a little respect around here?!” the Chameleon whined.
“Shut your yap and get after them ducks!” Siege ordered.
“I should have foreseen this,” Wraith stated glumly.
Tanya reached the cells only to find that the prisoners had escaped. “And Ruby said they needed MY help.” she grumbled.
“Look out!” a voice shouted. Tanya turned at the familiar tone and spotted the three goons coming down the hall.
Deciding she’d rather not chance fighting all three of them right now she took off in the direction of the alternative exit---the one Jazz and the others had used.
It wasn’t too far to the teleportation room where the teleporter sat in the corner surrounded by machines.
“Anyone know how to work this thing?” Prem asked.
“Let’s see what we got here,” Jazz raced over to the biggest piece of equipment and studied the controls, “Hm, this engineering is more primitive than I would’ve thought, but hey, these are Saurians!”
“Whatever,” Premnitia answered helping two kids up onto the teleporter. “Can you get this thing going?”
“Sure.” Jazz started pressing buttons and in no time flat the machine was up and running. Now all that was left was to drain the energy into the two ducks wristbands. The crossing of a few wires did the trick. “Okay, just gimme the names of their planets and I’ll send em home.”
“Catch that freak!” Siege bellowed as The Chameleon and Wraith panted after Tanya.
Now who the heck called out to me back there? Tanya was wondering, It sounded like Duke but--nah--couldn’t be.
“You lousy cat when I get a hold of ya I’ll skin ya alive!” Siege threatened.
“Oh right like those stubby legs could keep up!” Tanya called back over her shoulder. No since in refraining from talking now, they KNEW who she really was. She only hoped that they were dumb enough to assume that the other ducks knew as well.
It had been several minutes since the Saurians had collected themselves and come after Tanya, and Jazz and Prem could do a great deal in that amount of time. Nearly all of the children had been transported home now. Everyone except---Eirgo and Vixonne.
“Well,” Prem sighed, “I guess it’s your turn kids.”
Vixonne looked ready to cry as she rushed up to Jazz and threw her arms around her legs, “But what about you?”
“Hey, we’ll be alright.” Jazz smiled, “There’s a group of ducks here that could probably use our help. So we’ll be with friends.”
Premnitia sighed, it wasn’t likely that they’d be joining up with the Resistance, not without knowing their opinion on mutants. Eirgo’s hug snapped her back to the present, “We’ll never forget you.”
Now Prem was tearing up, “C’mon kid, don’t make me cry too. Here,” she took his arm and drained the last of his wristband’s energy into her own, “now get outta here before those sleaze buckets come.”
Once Jazz had removed Vixonne’s wristband both children stood on the teleporter (they were from the same dimension) and with the press of a button, both kids were gone.
“YOU CAN’T RUN FOREVER CATGIRL!” The Chameleon’s voice rang out from behind the entrance to the teleporter room.
“The Saurians!” Premnitia gasped.
“If we don’t destroy this machine now they’ll just kidnap those kids all over again!” Jazz added. “Plus, we need to find the blueprints for this thing so they can’t rebuild it.”
Without any objections Prem set to work searching for the blueprints while Jazz tried to disable the machine.
Tanya leapt against the walls dodging blasts and countering with swipes from her blades. “Ah-ha! Haven’t you boys had enough yet?”
“I’ll flatten ya!” Siege growled.
“Psh--yeah--right.” Tanya remarked.
Wraith formed a blazing fireball in his hand, “Let’s see how she fairs against magic.”
Tanya rolled her eyes and hit a button on her belt. Instantly a flame barrier covered her suit, “Like no one’s ever tried that old trick before!”
Wraith hurled the fireball at her anyway and naturally it had no effect. “My turn,” Tanya grinned deactivating the barrier.
Wraith gulped as she flashed her claws and sprang towards him.
“Whoa,” the Chameleon muttered, “talk about a cat fight!”
“GOT EM!” Premnitia announced as she pulled out a set of blueprints with a disc on top. “This was almost too easy.”
“Speak for yourself,” Jazz snapped, tangled in wires.
“Aren’t you done yet?” Prem asked, “Those Saurians are right outside!”
“Just a few more minutes and I’ll have this thing-”
“Oh move over!” Premnitia grumbled and took matters into her own hands.
“WAIT!” Jazz yelled about a millisecond too late as Premnitia phased through the machine and ripped out a handful of wires.
Wraith collided with a wall and hit the floor with a sickening thud after soaring over the remaining Saurians’ heads.
“Next?” Tanya mused.
Before either Saurian could make a move there was a huge explosion that blew the door off the teleporter room and sent two ducks flying into the back wall with anyone else standing in range.
“Oohhh…” Jazz mumbled, “see what happens when ya mix violence and technology?”
“I guess I should’ve meditated on that first.” Premnitia moaned.
“YOU!” Siege shouted.
Premnitia and Jazz got up to run when Jazz suddenly remembered something, “The blueprints!”
Glancing over her shoulder Premnitia noticed the wrecked pieces of the blueprints (and disc) lying in the rubble, “History!”
Pushing a large piece of debris off herself Tanya saw the two mutant ducks take off for the main exit with Dragonus’s henchmen in hot pursuit.
“Gimme a break,” she groaned.
Duke watched from the entrance as two ducks rushed out of the Raptor with Siege, Wraith, and The Chameleon trailing them, “Must be the mutants those guys were talkin about. But where’s Tanya?”
His questioned was soon answered when Tanya darted outside looking like she’d just been put through the wringer. When I get my hands on those cold blooded lizards I’m gonna blast em where it don’t grow back!
Duke couldn’t help but chuckle at the look of fury on her sooty face. “Welcome to the wonderful world of thievery sweetheart. Just what’ll ya see what’s waiting for ya when ya get home. Everyone’s gotta deal with their past, just like Grin says, and it’s time ya faced yours.”
Thinking back on his past he remembered how the other ducks, especially Mallory, had taken learning about his past life as a jewel thief. They’d always known before, but when it came to trusting him when he said he’d reformed--well--he learned quickly just how painful facing one’s past can be.
He hated to put Tanya through it, but in the long run, it was for her own good. Nevertheless, he’d stay close tonight and make sure she got out of this one okay.
“Are they still chasing us?” Jazz called.
Premnitia didn’t even have to turn around, “Yeah, what’ll we do?!”
Snatching Prem’s hand Jazz prepared to use her super speed. “We kick it girlfriend!”
“Jazz! Wait! WHOOAAA!!!” Prem screamed as her arm was nearly yanked from it’s socket.
“They’re heading for the docks!” Siege exclaimed.
“Stop them you idiots!” Dragonus ordered from Chameleon’s communicator, “Or I’ll use you all as fish bait!”
A pier stood directly in their path as Jazz rushed on at impressive speeds hauling Premnitia behind her. As usual when Jazz pulled this stunt, Prem’s feet were barely touching the ground. With her eyes tightly shut the mystical mutant didn’t notice that they were running out of solid ground.
“Tell me when it’s over!” Prem called.
“Um…” Jazz began, Dang! “it may be over sooner than you’d think.”
“What do ya mean?”
Tanya couldn’t believe her eyes, Okay, now I’ve gotta jump in the water like this? I’m in mutant cat duck mode here, cat’s HATE water!
“Them ducks just took a dive!” Chameleon huffed.
“Then get in there after em!” Siege replied, shoving the Chameleon off the pier.
“WHOA! BUT I DON’T EVEN HAVE MY FLOATIES!”
“Pathetic.” Wraith remarked.
Jazz and Premnitia struck for the surface and finally emerged coughing up water.
“Well,” Jazz sighed, “at least things can’t get any worse.”
Prem’s eyes widened as she noticed a large dorsal fin appear behind her friend, “Wanna bet?!”
Tanya dove in from the shore and paddled out as fast as she could towards the two mutants and thrashing lizard.
“Careful Tawny.” Duke murmured as he looked on from the dunes.
“DUKE!” Wildwing’s image appeared on Duke’s com, “What’s happening? Where are they now?”
“I’ve got no clue where we are,” Duke admitted, “All I know is that the Raptor must’ve landed by some beach.”
“We’ve stopped picking up teleportation energy,” Wing continued, “you’re on your own now until we can trace ya. Just make sure they get back to the Pond.”
“Got’cha.” Duke nodded. Wildwing had been a bit shocked when he’d informed him about Tanya’s little secret and the two mutant ducks that were on the planet but he’d reacted calmly enough. ‘Just get em to the Pond and we’ll sort things out from there.’ he’d said.
Thankfully the Chameleon’s splashing had drawn the shark towards him instead of the girls.
“YIKES!” Chameleon yelped as the large fish swam at him and opened its jaws, “Nice fishy, good fishy, I’M OUTTA HERE!!!!”
“That wimp,” Siege griped as Chameleon transported back to the Raptor. “Looks like it’s up to us.”
“Why go to them when they’ll come to us?” Wraith observed, “That shark should drive them straight to the shore.”
“And we’ll be waiting to nab em!” Siege concluded.
Tanya dove under just as she came to the mutants who hadn’t yet spotted her, she had an idea.
“Here comes JAWS!” Jazz screamed as the shark swam straight for them.
“Oh man! I don’t wanna die!” Premnitia exclaimed, “Think of all the soul searching I haven’t done!”
“I’m gonna slug you if you fill my last moments with that meditation gibberish!” Jazz warned.
Drawing her sword Tanya placed herself just below the shark and mutants. Well, stuff like this works in the movies! With that thought she plunged the sword upward into the shark and started slicing, naturally there was a lot of thrashing and bloodshed involved. (I’ll spare ya all the gory details.) Now to add to the illusion she yanked both mutants under the water.
All Prem and Jazz could see was blood…blood, flashes of white, and (eww) shark guts. To Wraith and Siege however, it appeared as though the shark had attacked the mutants and pulled them under to endure horrific deaths.
“Guess that’s the end of those two.” Siege shrugged, “Now what?”
“Now we go back to Dragonus and explain to him how YOUR foul-up cost him his only two remaining mutant warriors!” Wraith answered in mid teleport.
“WHAT?! Why you conniving old fossil I’ll-” Siege yelled as he too teleported back to the Raptor.
Duke raced along the pier and stared in disbelief at the pool of bloody water a few yards out into the ocean. “NO! TANYA!!”
The one eyed duck got the shock of his life when three female ducks emerged sputtering and wringing blood from their hair.
“TANYA!” Duke cried happily.
“Duke?” Tanya gasped, so it had been him that called to her back in the Raptor. But that meant…Oh no.
“The Black Cat!” Jazz and Prem said in unison.
“Uh yeah,” Tanya blushed, removing her spare mask, “…that’s me.”
Duke gave the women a hand up on the pier. “What happened to the shark?”
Tanya gestured over her shoulder with her thumb, “Ya like sushi?”
“So Ruby really WAS on the level.” Jazz breathed in amazement.
“Who?” Duke asked.
“My--uh--second in command.” Tanya mumbled.
Duke gave her a look of astonishment, “Bet’cha never would’ve given me that much credit huh?” Tanya teased.
“Ya just didn’t seem like the thieving type angel.” Duke answered, “But, there’s something you should know.”
“What?” Tanya dreaded finding out.
“The others, well, back in the Raptor I clued em in that you were a mutant. So um, you might have some explaining to do when we get home.” Duke explained.
“WHAT?!” Tanya snapped, “What gave you the right to do that?!”
“Hey,” Duke countered, “you’re the one who ran out on us! We were worried sick and then on top of everything you’ve gone and hidden something like this from us! We risk our necks for ya like any other member of the team Tanya, don’t you think we deserve to know a secret like this one? You could’ve been killed!”
“Get this through your head L’Orange,” Tanya clenched her fist, “I am NOT some damsel in distress, I can take care of myself and I’ve been doing it for some time now!”
Premnitia and Jazz sat there caught up in the argument. Partially feeling bad for this Duke guy because he obviously seemed to care a lot about Tanya, but then again, they could sympathize with Tanya for wanting to keep her mutation a secret.
Duke was fuming, how could she not see what she meant to him--uh, that is--the team?! “Maybe we should get back to the Pond to finish this.” he finally offered.
Just then Jazz and Premnitia started shaking. It was nothing more than a slight shiver at first, then it progressed to an all out convulsion.
“Um…guys…” Jazz shook violently and glanced down at her wristband. “I think Draggy activated these things.”
Turning to them Duke and Tanya each snatched a wrist and examined the bands. “We’ve got to get these things off.” Tanya explained.
“But we could die!” Jazz cried out in protest, “These things are supercharged!”
“If we leave these on you WILL die!” Tanya stated firmly.
“What’ll we do?” Duke asked.
“Take your saber and get that off her.” Tanya instructed as she took one of her own swords off her back and cut the band off Jazz.
Duke did so with Premnitia and was shocked to see the convulsions worsen. “Now what?”
“Lemme think lemme think.” Tanya wracked her brain, “We need to get them back to our headquarters so I can run some tests. And we need to hurry! They don’t have much time.”
Picking the gray duck up in his arms Duke rushed with Tanya (who was carrying Jazz) back to the shore and out to the street.
Luckily the Ducks had managed to trace the homing signal from Duke’s com and finally found the right beach.
“There! They’re directly below us!” Mallory pointed to a bleep on the radar.
“Alright Nosedive,” Wildwing instructed his younger brother, “take us down.”
“You got it bro!” Dive saluted.
Duke and Tanya looked up as the Aerowing was lowered down and the hatch opened. Grin and Mallory appeared and helped them get the two quaking mutants inside.
“Who are they?” Mallory asked as she watched Tanya kneel over the two girls still in her black spandex.
“They’re mutants, like me,” Tanya explained, “and they’ll die if we don’t get back to the Pond so that I can give them medical attention soon.”
“Whoa, nice outfit Tanya.” Nosedive grinned.
“HEY!” Duke shouted, “Just fly the plane kid!”
“Well EXCUSE ME!” Nosedive huffed and turned back to the controls. “Next stop, the Anaheim Pond!”
*Okay, just so there’s no confusion, remember when Dragonus pulled out a metallic device in Chapter 6 and pressed the button? Well, it took a little while, but the wristbands kicked in at full strength and THAT’S what made Prem and Jazz freak out like that. Plus, it got worse (just as they were warned) when they removed the wristbands. Now their fate hangs in the balance. Will they survive? Review and we’ll see…*