The Black Cat
Part Eight: Tanya Takes Command
After what seemed like forever to the two convulsing mutants the Aerowing landed at The Pond. No sooner had the crew unfastened their seatbelts when Tanya started giving orders.
“Mallory! Rush ahead and get the first aid supplies! We’ve gotta stop the bleeding on the cuts they’ve sustained from the explosion. GRIN! You and Dive carry these two inside while Wing rushes ahead and starts the Med-A-Coms!” no one objected to Tanya’s strange outburst of commands and pretty soon they were all busy with their tasks.
“What about us?” Duke asked catching up to Tanya as she darted into her lab.
Pulling out a drawer and digging through assorted junk she produced a scrap sheet of paper and handed it to him. “This is Dr. Maxine Harper’s address. I need you to get there fast and bring her back here. She’s the best there is when it comes to handling sudden onsets of seizures like what those girls are experiencing.”
“Whoa, what if she’s busy or something?” Duke asked.
“Just tell her Tanya sent ya.” she called before darting back out with her laptop and a few syringes.
Duke stared out the doorway and then down at the paper. “How’d I ever get myself mixed up in somethin’ like this?”
“Hey Wing,” Dive motioned towards his brother, “they don’t look so good.”
“I’ve gotta finish setting these controls Dive.” Wildwing insisted.
“Well what are we supposed to do?” Nosedive demanded. He HATED feeling helpless.
“I dunno,” Wildwing muttered pressing in a code, “just keep em talkin.”
Nosedive and Grin exchanged glances before looking down at the two trembling mutants. One would’ve never known they were mutants simply by looking at them. Both girls seemed perfectly normal on the outside---aside from the fact that they were violently shaking---while Tanya’s mutation was a bit more obvious…and strange.
“So um…read any good comics lately?” Dive sheepishly grinned down at the blonde he had carried in.
To his surprise she laughed a little, “Are you kidding? I love comics!”
Premnitia couldn’t believe her luck, “Oh great, here I am dying and the last thing I’ll ever hear will be those two squealing over cartoons in boxes!”
“You mustn’t talk that way.” Grin cautioned, “Think positively. You will survive.”
“How’s about you lie down here convulsing and I’ll stand over you talking all optimistically?!” Prem glared.
Grin seemed slightly hurt by this. Prem actually cared, Aw what I am doin’ telling this poor lug off? It’s not HIS fault I’m lyin’ here. He’s only tryin’ to help. Stupid conscience!
“Look um…what was your name again?”
“Okay, well…sorry Grin. Didn’t mean to snap at ya like that.” she managed a weak smile, “It’s just that I’m going through a lot of pressure right now.”
“Understandable.” Grin stated, “But it has been said that one can often be at their best when they are truly at their worst.”
“Hey, my old hockey master used to say that.” Prem remarked between cringes.
“Mine too.” Grin perked up. “Perhaps we trained under the same sansei?”
“I hate to brake up this touching moment,” Tanya huffed placing her laptop by the controls that Wildwing had finally finished setting, “but I’ve got work to do!”
Grin and Dive backed off to the sides of the Med-A-Coms where Prem and Jazz were laying, progressively getting worse.
Tanya approached with a syringe in each hand.
“Uh…what are you gonna do with those?” Dive asked uneasily watching as she took Jazz’s bare arm into hers.
“I’m gonna inject this medicine into her bloodstream and hope it helps counteract the effects of the wristband.” Tanya answered sounding annoyed.
“Oh.” Dive squeaked before hitting the floor when Tanya pressed the needle through Jazz’s feathers.
Groaning she tossed Wing a look over her shoulder, “You wanna stick patient #3 on the other bed?”
“He’ll be okay,” Wildwing muttered dragging Dive over to where Tanya gestured, “never could stand needles.”
“That makes two of us.” Jazz murmured feeling queasy as she stared at the opposite wall.
Mallory came in with the medical supplies and proceeded to clean Premnitia’s wounds while Tanya injected her with the contents of the second syringe.
“What happened to him?” she pointed at Dive.
“Squeamish.” Tanya replied, “Better go take care of Jazz now.”
Nodding Mallory took the supplies over to the blonde and started tending to her wounds, “Guess you’re Jazz huh?”
“Well don’t worry. You’re safe now.”
Straining against the involuntary jerking of her body she managed to respond, “I…hope…so.”
“WHAT?! YOU PEEBRAINS!” Dragonus roared furiously once his henchmen informed him of their failure to capture the mutants.
“It wasn’t our fault.” Siege insisted, “That cat lady. She helped em and then that shark tore em limb from limb!”
“Cat lady…” Dragonus recalled his encounter with the mutant. “…Tanya. Wraith! Prepare the hunter drones! If that duck’s a mutant too then there’s still a chance that those other two are alive. Probably more dead than alive by now but those ducks are sure to find a cure. And when they do…we’ll be there to reclaim our warrior slaves!”
Duke arrived at the address on the piece of paper and anxiously rang the doorbell. A tall woman with low cut dark brown hair answered the door eyeing him with confusion and a hint of worriment. “Can I help you?”
“Uh yeah, Dr. Harper?” Duke shifted around in place.
“I was hopin’ that maybe you could follow me back to the Anaheim Pond. A situation’s come up and we could really use your help.” he explained.
“What kind of situation? How’d you know where I live?” although she spoke with distrust she was pulling on her hospital coat as she spoke.
“Two of our kind have been convulsing for a while now so Tanya sent me out here to find you. Said maybe you could help?”
Grabbing a leather bag filled with supplies Dr. Harper stepped out on the stoop and turned to the duck. “Tanya, eh? So…are we taking your ride or mine?”
“Levels are dropping!” Wildwing shouted staring at the flattening lines on the monitor. “We’re losing them!!”
Mallory tightened her grip on Jazz’s arm, “Just hold on.” she whispered to the unconscious teen.
“I don’t like the vibes I’m getting.” Grin said despairingly from his position by Premnitia.
“Well I can only do so much!” Tanya cried out in frustration.
“Tanya, the vital signs are almost non existent.” Wildwing warned.
Nosedive---who had recovered around the same time the two ducks lost consciousness---sat up and stared over at the Med-A-Coms. “Then why are they still shaking so much?”
“It’s an unconscious reaction to removing those bands.” Tanya stated, “There’s nothing else I can give them.”
“Can I help?” Dr. Harper asked rushing into the room with her supplies.
“How are they?” Duke inquired of Wildwing.
“Not good.” Wing answered solemnly.
“We need to elevate their feet some. Try lying their heads back more.” Harper offered suggestions for a good two hours before the shaking finally reached a minimum.
“There.” Tanya sighed lying the used equipment on a metal tray to be sterilized. “We’ve done all we can. It’s up to them now.”
Sadly Wing and Duke stepped out of the room. “Coming Dive?” Wing asked on his way out.
“Nah, you two go ahead.” he answered taking a seat on the other side of Jazz, “I’m just gonna hang out here.”
Smiling at the maturity his little brother was showing Wildwing turned and headed out the door.
Gently Nosedive slipped his hand into Jazz’s right one. Looking over he saw Mallory and was reminded of how Wildwing used to stay up with him all night whenever he’d catch the flu or something back home.
Squeezing Jazz’s other hand reassuringly Mallory sighed to Dive, “It’s gonna be a long night.”
Back in the Rec Room Wildwing and Duke began talking.
“So she knows you’ve told us?” Wing asked.
“Yeah. She’s not hidin’ her secret anymore.” Duke answered, referring to the fact that Tanya was still in her cat-duck form.
Wing took a moment to reflect on all that had happened over the past week. “I just don’t see how she managed to keep her mutation a secret. And now we’ve got those two kids to watch over. Dragonus is gonna pay for this.”
“I know.” Duke grimaced, “The guy’s got no morals.”
“Maybe Tanya’ll be able to help us out more now.” Wing sighed, trying to get a handle on the situation, “You did say she managed to take on all the Saurians back on the Raptor.”
“Yeah,” Duke agreed, “She took em on. But not all at once. Let’s not push her.”
Wildwing agreed and they both slumped down on the couch. After sitting there in silence for a while Wildwing decided to get the one answer he’d been wanting from Duke. “Um Duke…”
“One thing’s been bugging me for a while now.”
“An’ what’s that?” Duke cocked an eyebrow sensing that this was going to be one of those personal questions.
“You and Tanya.” Wildwing began, “Not that it’s any of my business or anything. But I was just wondering…do you like her?”
“’Course I like her. She’s my teammate isn’t she?” Duke got defensive.
Smiling Wing shook his head, “You know what I mean. Do you have a thing for Tanya?”
Ah perfect, this is all I need. Well, I guess it’s better to talk about this with Wing instead of Nosedive. “Yeah I got a thing for her. Have for a while. But it’s not like it matters. She’d never have anything to do with me.”
“Don’t be so sure.” Wildwing cautioned recalling a chat with Mallory where she’d mentioned something about how unbelievable it was that Tanya could still trust Duke even after he’d left her and Nosedive in that vault. A girl would really have to like a guy to forgive him for something like that.
Wing’s reply caught Duke’s attention, “Ya mean she-”
“I’m not saying that she does or she doesn’t.” Wing continued, “Right now we’ve got this whole mutant business to sort out. But tomorrow---well, who knows what that’ll bring?”
*Before you find out what’s next, please take a minute to review this chapter. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to update this fic. I’ll try and have the next part up in a few. ’Til then, thanks for reading! ^_~*