Hello to all readers out there. I hope you're doing all fine. This story is destined for all LU fans, especially Danger Duck fans. Writing this story has been a challenge. It was enjoyable, and yet difficult to write. I'll be posting another "story" on how I got inspired in writing this one, A Hero's Tale. If I were to say what music I would put when reading this story, then I'd say there are a lot of them, but none of them could summarize Sadame from the X series of Clamp. The normal more towards the beginning, the piano version towards the end. I believe there's also another, but these two songs fit this story so well. You'll see what I mean.

Sadame, translated from Japanese, means "Destiny" in English.

Anyway, I'll have to remind you that this story should be something to cherish. I don't mean because the way I wrote, but more because of its content. Heroism should be cherished. That's all I can say. I'm not gonna spoil anything.

So, if you like this story, then read the next one that will be posted right after I posted this story. It will explain a certain concept of mine when writing this.

Okay, enough with the talk! Please, enjoy the story!


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A Hero's Tale

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You know, there are so many things I've been wondering about, and if I tied the dots together, then it would come to one word. Destiny. What is the destiny of any kind of being, heroes, for an example? I always had this crazy idea that when you're destined as heroes, you get fame, money, anything you could ever wish for. Okay, fame covered the "anything" to my eyes. But what I realized is that destiny led me to them, to these friends with whom I shared the destiny of a hero.

I never knew that speed would make a huge difference until I saw it for myself. The overfilling speeches of leadership were always annoying to me. If it couldn't get any worse, the fat cat always ate my breakfast, lunch and dinners away whenever I took an instant to look at something else. Snacks and desserts included. A day that is longing to end took its time when the genius always explained in long, complicated sentences, or when some pink diva that I know would give her smart remarks and use her special ability to fry my tail.

I've got to face it. Those goons were always making my life so difficult. But now, I come to know how much I loved it at times, besides the frying, of course. Their every habit showed me one thing: I always knew that they were around to be counted on.

You surely wouldn't have expected this mushy-stuff coming from my side, huh? Well, for your information, every being has emotions and affections. You can't expect me to only be the handsome, savior-esque hero around here. Unmentioned affections are just difficult to perceive through a tough quacker like me, Danger Duck. And let me tell you that if the situation were a bit different, I'd never admit the softness in me. It would ruin both my image and my reputation, and that matters to me. A lot. But in this crammed place with the heat rising and my back resting against the wall of a rail, I kept fading in and out of reality. In that intense moment, life flashed in a blur before my eyes. It began from the moment of my birth, passed the period during orphanage, and made a sharp halt from the moment a meteor from outer space struck at metropolis. And from that point, I became one of the many people to join the best heroic team ever founded, the Loonatics Unleashed, where I began the partnership with the most reliable buddies and comrades of all time.

In this damp room, flames were dancing on broken wooden crates, burnt metal objects, and once working objects of futuristic technology, all to be joined by puffing smoke. Even with the wounds I had, it was really difficult to get a calm and clean breather. My panting could never return to its calm breathing, and the noxious air that mixed itself with the fire's smoke was anything but satisfying to me. However, before I add anything more, you'll have to hear my tale of how it all came to this.

The day started with the usual gentle blow of the autumn wind on the eastern section of Acmetropolis. While my comrades, the Loonatics Unleashed, were in the tower, I was taking a stroll here, finding my way to the renowned shop which had an outstanding selection of costumes for superheroes. After the experience I had with Tech when trying to order my suit by phone, I decided to get it on my own. I would've used a jetpack, if Ace weren't against that idea. He said it would do me some good to walk for once. Can you believe that rabbit? As if saving-the-day routine didn't require enough running. I also had to hear one of his lectures of leadership, and this time it was about honor. I didn't let him fill me in all about it, because I was already down the elevator and out of the house. I've already heard so much of his lectures that I have to gag. Honor this, honor that… If I lived by that code, then I'd be called Ninja Duck by now.

Wow, that actually sounds good. Ninja Duck. Pretty catchy name. Unfortunately, nothing beats Danger Duck!

When reaching the shop, all I could do was gaze at its windows. What amazing suits they had, and they all were fitting for the perfect hero. Me. I could already hear the cheery voices of the crowd, calling out my name and the hot females squealing as I pass by and fainting when they realize they had just seen the one and only Danger Duck.

I was knocked out of my dazed state when I heard people gasping around me. I shook my head to get my senses back together, swallowed the water in my mouth and wiped the drool away from my mouth, to turn around and present myself properly with a straight and proud posture in front of those gasping fans. True, I was still stuck in that dream until I followed the eyes of the by-passers who looked up at the skyscraper's TV screen in confusion.

There had been an unusual broadcast, and if my eyes didn't deceive me, it was all a villain's doing. It's easy to notice. Come on, when would there be a time when an ugly man like him would appear on TV? A man clearly in overweight with a thick, bald head, his remaining ginger hair shaped in a crescent moon, a slightly hunched back covered by a grey lab-coat, a thick nose in the middle of his greasy face and very small eyes hidden behind large lenses with ears sticking out of his head like Dumbo's ears? No one is stupid enough to hire a distant cousin of Quasimodo as a TV Reporter.

The little fat man snickered in front of the camera like a fat rat. "My fellow ladies and gentlemen, and all other species who dominate this city." He stopped to snicker once again. "Your doomsday has arrived!"

The image of this nutty guy minimized into a rectangle and scrolled to the upper left side of the screen. A map of Acmetropolis displayed on the rest of the TV, and six red dots around the city flashed. "Within less than ten minutes, the borders of your poor city will be the target of a whole lot of atomic missiles from Acmetropolis' Arsenal, and by the time they hit, the city goes boom! How pitiful. It is hopeless, citizens of Acmetropolis. No one can penetrate the Arsenal to cancel this operation as long as I am in the control room, locking down all access. All you can do right now is spend your last minutes with your loved ones, because no one can escape the wrath of Doctor Madman!" His mad cackle drained the citizens of their hopes, and they all squirmed and ran and jumped to different places. "And if you're watching, Loonatics," he continued after getting a hold of himself, "then you must know that from your tower to the weapons facility requires a transportation of ten minutes. You will not make it to save this city. Say your prayers, and enjoy your way to hell!"

That guy knew how to make a dark ending to his broadcast. His mad-driven fits of laughter was like a string to ignite a dynamite that set the whole crowd around me in fear and despair, screaming and yelling, getting into their cars only to crash in another one or to end up in a traffic way up ahead. I watched as mothers assembled with their children, and men or women hugging the other to death.

So from this kind of perspective, this is what it looks like when all hope is lost? How dramatic. And Ace says I watch too much TV.

Speaking of whom, my watch beeped and vibrated, and I pressed on the button to see his face flashing on the watch's screen. What a surprise. "Duck, you watchin' this?"

How dumb does he think I am? "Uh, no, I'm watching Care-bears. Of course I am! I've got a sky-scraper TV right before me with that fat, ugly bald-head covering the whole screen!"

"That Madman ain't kiddin', though. Tech discovered just now some unusual activities in the factory; them missiles will be launched and'll destroy the city, and what's worse, we ain't gonna make it in time to stop 'em."

"What about Rev? He could make it."

"He would if he were available. He's stuck at the metro. "

"Of all times, Rev gets stuck at the metro when we need him most." After a short while, the phrase penetrated my mind. "What the heck is he doing in there in the first place?!"

I sighed wearily at my remark, but then a concept made its reappearance in my mind. This was when I began to understand the notion "destiny", something that I have been pondering about for some time, as you may have noticed. Destiny was on my side and led me to this place. It brought me here to prevent this whole extermination from happening. I could now show my true potential by saving the city.

I took the bold appearance of a hero and looked at the screen, eyes flaring in determination. "He didn't expect me to be here. I'll take care of it."

"Duck, are you sure about this?"

"May I remind you, Ace, that I'm a hero who can teleport? Besides, I've been to the Arsenal before, as well as in the computer room. You of all people should know that. I'll be there and have the mission done before you even arrive. Obviously."

A quick moment of silence allowed Ace to recuperate to heave out a sigh. "All right, Duck. Just be careful out there."

"The last thing I need is a second Mom. I'll be fine, though I do appreciate you being worried about a superhero like me. Danger Duck out."

I ended the transmission and focused then on my strength. Teleportation was really handy. To be in another location in a couple of seconds. That is why I'm pretty cool and not too easily stressed, except when a certain group of lunatics I know make everything so tense at home.

Anyway, in a blink of an eye, I found myself within the Arsenal's computer room, with a large screen-decorated machine standing in the middle, connected from the ceiling to the ground. A metal railing separated the other half of the room, and if I remember well, beyond the railing was a big drop. It was a pit to put all the crates containing machine guns and different sorts of weaponry. From what I could tell, not all crates were down there. Normally, the computer here controlled a crane that should bring all the remaining crates stashed here down to the pit, and seeing that some of them are still stacked against the wall or in the corner, I'd say somebody hadn't been in here for some time.

In front of the computer, taping on its buttons, stood the man behind the crime, cackling to his delight of his accomplished plan. He was a lot shorter than I expected, but big on the wide side. I was told that the screen conceals the true appearance, and I believed that the moment I laid eyes on him. He's a lot uglier than on TV.

Noticing another presence, he turned his head at me. He seemed to have been caught by surprise when he saw me. Nonetheless he chuckled in a deranged squeal. "Ah, I should have known that someone would make it after all. How did you ever pull it off?"

"I'm a teleporter, Madman, and I'm here to stop you."

"It's Doctor Madman to you!" he roared, "No matter. Eliminating you will make my success more meaningful."

"You know, I'd like to see you try. Bring it on, fat man!"

"Oh, I will." He laughed and clicked on some of the computer's buttons. Instantly, there was whirring sound that accompanied the doctor's laughter, and a loud clank that followed suit. Looking at my right, the source of the sound flew to my direction. That despicable meatball used the crane on me!

The hook rammed into me, and my body clung onto it out of pure reflex. I shook my head a couple of times to get rid of the swirling and pounding feeling in my head. The crane veered around, and when I could focus again, a wall appeared in front of me.

Like I said before, teleportation is very handy, and saves me a lot from smashing into walls. Sometimes, I really wonder why I have to scream for something that won't even happen. Guess that's just the way I am. The others weren't kidding when they say that I'm too melodramatic.

Before the hook collided against the wall, I commanded my body to dematerialize and bring me somewhere else. The place switched with another, and I stood behind the man who had been eagerly looking with a disturbing smirk at the broken-down wall caused by the crane. He waited for the dust to clear away, convinced of his victory. What an over-confident idiot.

I tapped on the back of his shoulder, and he swayed it away. "Not now! Can't you see I'm enjoying this victorious scene?"

"I see you're enjoying a victorious mistake, Maddy."

"What-" was all he could utter before my fist connected with his face.

His whole body swished away before my eyes. When his head came in harsh contact with the ground, a soft moan came from his mouth, then nothing but silent breathing. I approached him, ready for any strike. A look at him, and I knew he was out cold.

"How disappointing. You make such a commotion, and what do I get? An overconfident crazy maniac whose plan has just backfired."

Either it was just me, or that fight was just too easy. From what I could tell, he had no special ability or any superpowers, just big brains and a crane he used as weapon. When I looked under his lab-coat, I saw a gun clutched onto his hidden belt, a weapon that he didn't even use, which made it all the more confusing. Why didn't he use it? Maybe he didn't have brains at all, or maybe he was just too convinced that he wouldn't need it. Crazy guy.

I wasn't satisfied at all after this so-called combat. I couldn't show the tricks I've been working on, and I was kinda looking forward to that. The enemy lay before me, beaten and defeated and trapped in the whatcha-ma-call-it bubble prison made by the geek Tech. No one could get out of that. Impossible.

Once his weapon was relieved on my account, I tossed it down the pit and took a good look around me, and by judging how things were going here, I'd say it looked pretty tense, with dozens of computer-screens flashing in red, alerting me that time was really of the essence, as they would say. The other Loonatics still weren't here, and I do have to admit that I was expecting them to arrive soon.

I looked down at my watch, pressed on the button and spoke out: "Hey Tech, I've got a whole lot of keyboard here waiting for fingers to tap them. Tell me what I've got to do to shut this whole thing down."

The screen flashed in ominous and pixilated grey color, buzzing some deteriorated noise. No clear response at all. Great. I'm really on my own.

I did have a bit of a panic. Nearly as bad as having a seizure. I could've panicked a lot more, like the citizens back on the streets, scream around and hug myself to death if necessary, but I realized that it wouldn't lead me anywhere. The situation was a lot more serious than I could imagine, and one fatal mistake could be fatal for the city.

God, responsibility sure is a pain. But I kept in thought the opportunity that had presented itself to me. I alone had to take care of this situation. I was the only one who could prevent the missiles from being launched and plunging Acmetropolis, my city along with all my friends, into an inevitable oblivion. I could make the difference, and I knew then that destiny lead me here to determine the fate of those obnoxious, cherished ones.

The room, lit in a red dimming color, kept on blaring at maximum volume in alarm. How annoying. With every step I took towards the screen, the red, blinking message of countdown to doomsday was forcibly drilled into my head along with the mechanical voice repeating its statement over and over again.

"Missile launch in 4 minutes and 39 seconds…"

In taking care of this mission all by myself, I realized how disadvantageous it was to work alone. I couldn't handle this kind of technology. There was no way the coordinates could be changed, nor could I crack this code. Tech was the best in this field, but that genius wasn't here. And as I kept on tapping in a desperate attitude numerous, and what I would say ineffective buttons, the corner of my eye caught something dangerous, yet intriguing. A red button in a windshield box was a couple of meters beside me. I went closer and read it out loud with a smirk on my face: "Self destruction."

Blowing up the Acmetropolis' Arsenal was a desperate alternative, but I didn't have much of a choice. Time was ticking and slipping out of my hands, so I smashed my hand down. This blinked in red and a new alarming sound emerged from every speaker.

"Warning. Warning. Self Destruction in 2 minute and fifteen seconds."

How great my day turned out to be. Though I'm being sarcastic, I really meant it. I had enough time to get out of here and return to the city as a hero, which I've been pretty long waiting to do.

BANG! BAGANGANG!!

Shock spread throughout my whole body in a rushing moment. My right hand pulled itself in reaction to my chest, and my body kipped forward, only to be prevented from hitting the ground by my other hand that held my ground against the tabbed surface. Something unbearable brought itself up my throat, and I choked onto a warm liquid. The bitter taste of blood spluttered in a violent quake out of my clenched mouth, flowing through every crevice of my beak. A shuddering feeling overtook me as this warm liquid trickled down my furred neck. Moments later, I felt the pain's presence in my chest. I tightened my knuckles, forced a few grunts that were hesitant, all to erase that aching feeling. My body longed for air, but with every breath I took, I sunk more into the agony.

Every nerve of my body trembled, but I still turned around to face the inflictor of my wounds. To my surprise, that Doctor Madman stood there, smirking in all his pride. Even when my sight blackened a few times and I had to shake my head to get my sight clear again, I was in utter shock when I saw him. He was in top shape, as if he hadn't had any beatings at all in the first place, free from what I thought an inescapable prison. As he stood there beside the empty bubble-cage, he held that same loaded weapon in his hand, the one I took away from him and that I threw down the pit. How is any of this possible?

"The duck has been finally shot." He sneered, "Your performance with the crane was impressive, but not good enough."

I clutched tightly onto my chest. "How did you… do that?"

His maniac laughter echoed throughout this facility. When done, he gave a dangerous, blood-lust grin. "Oh, I don't like revealing my secrets, but all you'll know is that I have powers of my own as well. And you'll know it once you're dead."

"We'll both die… This place will self-destruct…"

"Who do you think I am?!" he screeched crazily, "Don't you think I'm smart enough to undo this self-destruct mode? All that's standing in my way is you."

Somehow, I knew I was done for. Every moment that passed took a greater deal of strength to keep up. But it was almost a magical moment as well when that realization hit me. Somehow, a new strength was born in me, a determination that kept knocking onto my head and telling me that it isn't over. It wasn't over, not until the end. So did I stop fighting?

I smirked. "I'll be happy to oblige in taking you down, Maddy."

No.

His gun cocked. "HA! Miserable duck!"

For the first time in my life, I summoned all the power I had within me, and put all my troubles aside. Taking him down was my top priority. So I took a deep breath, and charged myself at him to finish where I left off by mistake. His gun shot bolts of lasers, coming straight at me as their target. The movements I made by dodging aside drained drastically more and more of my energy, and at times, this hot, bitter liquid would burst out of my mouth, but I kept on fighting. I clung onto the goal set by my strong-willed determination like a hand greedily holding a pack of bills worth a fortune, and I even wondered if it was through courage or desperation that brought me this far. When somersaulting over the bullets, I eagerly wished for my comrades to back me up. We could take this crook out in one shot. But today was a different day, and it was time that I showed my true valor. If I didn't do anything, the whole city would die, and as a hero, it was my duty not only to protect my citizens, but those whom I cherished most.

Doctor Madman cursed in a short breath when his gun had ceased its firing. When his hand fumbled into his pockets to grasp onto the weapon's ammunition, I came into a halt and used the moment to my advantage. Shuddering, hazy breaths escaped my throat, longing to leave the unreliable body, accompanied by the river of blood that poured like a waterfall out of my mouth. I had to ignore the scrambling pain in my chest and focus on my mission. I dug deep into what I call the core of my body, and used my infamous "Quantum Quack" power. A tingling feeling befell my body, as if a cloud covered me with sparks that crawled onto my fur. I had never felt this sensation before, but I had never given the time to think about it. I was also at every time too much in a hurry to know how it felt like. I think that because of my weakened state, everything went a lot slower and became clearer.

When the power finally warped me out of here, I found myself for a short while in an odd place. Darkness was everywhere, but the amazing thing about this place was the surrounding. Shining dots were everywhere and moved around me like fireflies. It didn't resemble the space and stars at all. This place was as pitch-black as it could ever be, and the sparkles shimmered all around me, like snow falling from the sky. Then, each of their light grew intense, stronger, brighter, until everything had suddenly bathed itself into light. Starting from there, I remembered what I was doing.

I had quacked myself in front of that crazed doctor. He was still searching his pockets for ammunition, and by the time he realized that I was before him, a fist had made a powerful impact on his face. He stumbled back, trying to regain himself from the hit, but I kept on throwing my arms at him, punching from left to right, putting all my strength into it. The blood that burst out of my mouth had tainted his bruised face, and for the coup de grace, I took a couple of steps back, pulled my right hand over my head, and focused my powers onto my palm. I could feel a short spiral forming in my hand, then succumbing into a tiny sphere which rolled around on my hand's surface. But as it grew in size, that orb, warm and filled with intense and unknown energy, took every space available on my palm and my finger closed up to grasp onto one of my proud abilities: the Power Orb Randomizer.

I took my aim at the man, who held his beaten face in his hands, and gave out a sharp whistle. His head flung up from his hands, and as our eyes met, my grin had made its comeback. "Your crime-days are over, Doctor Madman. Have a nice fall!"

The orb catapulted towards the criminal and hit him straight in his left eye. The orb exploded on impact and released huge amounts of black liquid that covered swiftly his eyes. He didn't react too pleasantly.

"My eyes!" he screamed and turned around in circle, firing his now reloaded weapon, "I can't see a thing! Cursed Duck, where are you?!"

As the crazed man he was, he fired aimlessly at anything, and unfortunately for any of us, he hit a crate that contained explosive weapons. When it exploded, it immediately set this whole place in fire. All of the flames reacted in the same way as the doctor did. Crazy, aggressive, dancing around like fools. Though they shared similarities, they weren't the same. The doctor headed blindly towards a flamed wall. A sudden fear struck at me, and I recognized that thick fluid that covered his face all too well, in particular how dangerous it was when fire was all around. Criminals were a despicable race, but it was always a hero's duty to save anyone, good or bad.

"Warning. Warning. Self Destruction in fifty-five seconds."

Time was escaping fast. I dragged my body towards the man, trying to pace my speed, but after that combat I had, there was barely anything left in me. I couldn't put more thoughts onto how much I had to hurry. It was already too late.

Doctor Madman's back came in contact with the burning wall. A yell was attempted on my side, hoping that he wouldn't turn around, but no word, not even a sound came from my mouth, except panting. Even making a call brought pain to my organs, and I could feel that they could no longer bear it. The doctor turned to face the wall, and all hell broke loose. The aggressive fire was easily attracted to his face, or more likely to the black liquid. It was tar that blinded him. One minuscule flame flickered onto the fluid and instantly ignited his whole face. He entered a climaxed panic, screaming with no end while patting on his face to turn it off. How useless, and he should've known. The fire jumped all the way up to his hands and danced.

Now completely out of control, the tone of his scream became aggressive, just like the fire, and he joined their dance in one of his own kind. He made a run for it, but he didn't know where he was going. I tried to walk faster, but to no use. He slammed himself onto a rail, wheeled over it and fell.

Finally arriving at the rail, I peered over it, and pulled my head quickly back to digest what I just had seen. One thing was for sure. A deep fall and an unending fire… That guy was long gone.

The criminal nature never changes. If he hadn't shot me in the first place, I could've saved him. I never wanted my heroic conclusion to end up becoming literally true.

In that moment, my force was fully drained, and I slumped against the metal rail, sinking all the way down to my knees. And that's where I found myself from the beginning of the story, watching as these flames, caused by our fight, changed their style of dance from a slow ballad into an infernal disco. The blood that stained my face hardened the soft feathers, rendering it uncomfortable to me. Reality became a blur, and darkness crept at every corner of my eye, showering me with a deadly cold feeling, and whenever I breathed out, it became colder, and thus forced me into a soft tremble, even when the fire was around to warm me up. I couldn't tell if I was either sweating from heat or from coldness. My life was coming to an end. But somehow, I wasn't frightened. I felt relieved. I saved a city, I saved its citizens, I saved my friends, and all that for the price of only one life: mine.

I wished it were different, but since it's like this, I'd say that's quite a good bargain.

It was my destiny to be a hero. It was my destiny to save them all. It was my destiny to become friends to those I thought of as annoying and difficult. I now realized how much they meant to me. Sadly, I realized as well that I was destined to be a sacrifice. Fate was calling out to me, ready to claim me. Consider me crazy, which I am not, but I didn't mind at all. I would be the only one dying, and the others could have a full life. That was what counted to me.

Wow. I didn't know I could be that deep, or that I could be that selfless. I was though a bit disappointed my friends weren't around to see the show. All those stunts I've pulled off so far… They should've seen it. I'm sure they would've been proud of me.

"Warning. Warning. Self Destruction in ten seconds."

My time was done. I closed my eyes, lowered my head and clasped my hands together. God, if you can hear me, hear out my wish: tell them that I love them all.

Go do it yourself.

For a second there, I thought I heard wrong. That despicable… And then it hit me roughly. At the brink of giving up, this voice found a way to remind me of a very important point.

I'm a teleporter for God's sake!

"Self Destruction."

The computer controls sparked up and the screens cracked explosively, and all that agitation caused further detonations to other objects. I still felt the tension and the rumbling sound of the explosion detonating. One place after another, explosions emerged from walls, and these dancing waves of flames streamed at me, ready to embrace me in their fiery, merciless and cruel touch. I wasn't going to let them get me. I sought out the strength within me, deeper and deeper, until I grasped onto it and brought myself fast away from this place through teleportation. I had no idea where I was going to, but it had to be far away from here and hopefully, closer to my friends.

My surroundings disappeared in a flash, before the gleam faded away and I faced once again the reality. I landed roughly with my back against the ground, resulting of more blood streaming endlessly out of my mouth. My eyes shut themselves in pain, and I began to breathe desperately for more air, but it kept mingling itself with the liquid.

"Guys, I found him!"

That was a voice easy to recognize, since it's the only female one that I know. I fluttered my eyes before finally opening them. The whole gang was right there at my side, some of them standing, others kneeling or crouching down to have a better look at me, and they were all calling repeatedly my name. Some of them were screaming, others were dumbfounded, but leaking eyes told everything. It was Lexi's warm hands around my neck that I felt first. But soon, her hands were removed. Tech kept on telling to back away from me so that he can check my wounds. But when he touched one of them, I flinched and smacked his fingers away.

"Don't!" I wheezed in pain, panting excessively.

My statement was followed by a sudden burst of blood. Gasps filled this silence.

Ace came up to me and knelt by my side, wringing his fingers around my neck while the other was placed on my arm. He pulled me closer to him, a mix of shock and worry drawing on his face. "Don't worry buddy, we'll get you to a hospital as soon-"

I reached my hand out to him and tapped his shoulder. "No need for that. Superheroes don't need a hospital, especially when there's no point of getting to one."

Ace chuckled nervously. "What are you saying?"

I stared into his eyes. "Come on, Ace. Look at me. I'm in no shape at all to survive…"

My eyes moved to the left to look at Tech. "And you know that, don't you? Tell me, how much time do I have, Tech?"

I saw that he was taken aback from this abrupt question. But as I kept staring at him, he gave his brief reply. "A few minutes."

I let out an astonished, weak, gasp. "And I already thought you were going to give a long line of complicated explanation."

I looked then over to Rev. I was surprised that he wasn't talking at all. "That's weird. What happened to that non-stop talking Rev that I knew?"

He glanced at me with sorrow-filled eyes. "I just don't know what to say…" he said slowly. I didn't know he could still do that.

I tilted my head over to the Tazmanian. His eyes had sunken along with frown-formed lips that used to be an enormous grin. He kept on staring at the ground, whimpering.

"I can't believe what I'm hearing." I chuckled, "Normally, the only noise I'd be hearing from you is munch and chomp."

I looked then over to Lexi. Tears already streamed out of her eyes as she kept on hiccupping. "Sorry, Lex. Guess you'll have to find someone else to fry a tail."

I heard her let out a soft chuckle. That's what I wanted to hear again. I closed my eyes, and let my heart speak out for me.

"You're gonna think I'm crazy by what I'm gonna tell you guys, and let me just make it clear that the Doctor Madman's madness isn't contagious." I took a deep breath, and carried on. "I've come to realize that you are all part of my destiny. Being a hero was our destiny. This destiny is my tale, my story. I was able to save you. I didn't screw up. But the only regret that I have is that I can't stick around anymore, not as long as I wished for… Heh, I really regret it, 'cause you're the best friends anyone could wish for…"

Finally, after recovering from another blood-choking moment, I faced Ace, who had these weakened eyes of his, and held firmly on his shoulder. "You know what, Ace Bunny? That honor-thing you blabbered about just before? I think I know what you mean, and all I can say is that I've always felt it when you were by my side…"

In return, he tightened his grip on my arm, with no intention of letting me go. "Duck?" Ace choked out.

"Take care of them, Ace. Protect them…"

I was running out of breath. I was coming to my end. I choked out, but regained soon after that easily my calm. The sky emptied all the rain on me with a thundering storm, but as I looked over to Ace, who gritted his teeth, I realized that not all tears belonged to the sky.

My eyelids flapped and fluttered, trying to keep themselves open. The pain was all too great. I finally gave in and let my body sink into Ace's grip, releasing his shoulder and letting it drop to the ground. With my last breath, I wheezed out: "I love you all…"

And there, as destiny foretold, I died.

O


I hope you enjoyed reading this. Or maybe not, considering this is a sad story. If you found anything that disturbed you, then leave a comment. If nothing negative, but positive, leave a review. If you want to feel better, then look at the one I just posted. It's called "An inspirational Encounter". Oh, and if you are an avid Danger Duck fan, then I'd say be proud of being one.