Mory Rodriguez October 22, 2004
Mighty Ducks & Gargoyles
Feathers and Stone
[Ch. 1, Small World]
Manhattan Island, New York, where you can be found walking down the Bronx [the street not the dog.] or Central Park or any other popular places tourists love to visit. The city of lights and sound; where hardly anyone was asleep at night. Truly, one of the most magical places to visit for any traveling man, woman, and child… or duck. Down the streets of the highway a huge white, tank-like car, shaped almost like a duck's head was driving toward the city. Inside were seven special visitors who had come a long way to play a game against Manhattan's hockey team, the Bulldogs. The team's manager was at the wheel and chatting away at his cell phone while the members themselves were catching a few winks.
"Yeah hello Xanie?" asked the overweight man. "Boobala! It's me, Phil Pomfeather. Just thought you'd like to know that we're here and will join ya in a New York minute. Ha-ha-ha, a little joke there."
"Yes, charming." Replied a wealthy businessman from his office's phone. "I can see you don't waste a minute in these matters. Please know that my family and I are delighted to have you."
"Well hey the pleasure's all ours." Phil brown-nosed. "I mean c'mon. David Xanatos, the richest man in New York opening his home to the Mighty Ducks for their big game. I mean it's a real honor if not generous."
"Well I surely couldn't have let such an outstanding team be force to stay in some of the overrated hotels we have." Replied the millionaire. "By the way, is there any truth to the rumor that your team is really a group of… ducks?"
"Ha ha, you better believe it boobie." Chuckled the manager "But don't think you'll have to do anything special. They may be ducks but they're just like regular people. …Well more or less."
"I see." Chuckled David "I'll have everything ready for your arrival. And rest assured I've got the best security there is to see to it that you'll have nothing to worry about during your stay."
"Hey, thanks a million." Replied Phil "It's been a pleasure doing business with ya Mr. Xanatos. See ya in a few."
"Good bye Mr. Pomfeather." Concluded the businessman.
With that the two humans hung up their phones. David Xanatos looked out his window and saw that it was only a few minutes until sunset. With that in mind he decided to go and inform his 'security team' of the approaching arrival of their guests.
Out on the lookout tower facing the city stood seven stone gargoyles. Each one posed as if they were ready to pounce on any who dared to invade their roost. The setting sun casting shadows upon their features made them appear to be even more fierce looking than they were. Mr. David Xanatos stood silently next to the very largest statue and waited as the sun soon disappeared on the horizon. It couldn't have been more that five seconds when suddenly the air was filled with the sound of splitting and the breaking of stone. The stone gargoyles were cracking, pieces fell off and revealed real flesh underneath it, then with a mix of roaring and yawning each gargoyle stood up in a stretch, shattering and shedding their stone skin and live once again.
"Good evening everyone." Greeted the human when the noise died down. "I trust everyone has slept well."
"Of course," Replied Goliath
"Excellent," Said the wealthy businessman. "Just thought I'd let you know we'll be having some very special guests staying with us for some time."
Brooklyn finished combing his hair with his talons before asking. "Really? What kind of guests?"
"The Mighty Ducks. They're a very popular hockey team." Replied David Xantos. "One whom I gave my word to that they will be quite secured during their stay here."
"Hockey?" asked Angela. "What is Hockey?"
"Wait, I think I've heard of that." said Lexington "On TV if I remember right. Isn't that a game?"
"Right you are Lexington," Said the human. "It's a very physically enduring sport that requires a great deal of balance, speed, and quick thinking. Not to mention strength and endurance."
"Gee." Broadway raised a brow in consideration, "It almost sound like battle practice."
"Indeed," Agreed Hudson. "If this sport is so demanding of such qualities, why would these guests of yours need our protection?"
"You'd be surprised at what many loyal fans of humans can do to a celebrity if they ever get their hands on one," Chuckled Xanatos. "They would practically tear them and others apart just to say they've touched their hand. However security can handle that. It's what the fans of the 'opposing team' are willing to do to 'keep' them from playing. And believe me there is no limit."
"I see," Nodded the clan leader. "Well, then they can rest assured. We won't allow anything to happen to them."
"Wonderful," replied David, "Also there is one more thing I would like to you to know…"
"Excuse me Mr. Xanatos." The millionaire turns to find his assistant, Owen, walking towards them. "Mr. Pomfeather is here with his team."
"Splendid," Replied the wealthy businessman. "Show them in Owen." To the gargoyles he added, "You might want to lurk in the dark for a bit and get a good look at our guests." He chuckled. "I think you'll find them to be… very interesting."
With that David Xanatos left the Wyvern clan to greet his guests. Curious about his last remark the clan glided down to lowers stoops and balconies so they could see this hockey team better. Goliath and Hudson had the balconies and were looking through the windows while the trio and Angela were on small ledges and in dark corners. Bronx stayed up the wall's walkway since he didn't have any wings to glide with.
"Do you see anything father?" Angela asked after a while.
The two older gargoyles couldn't believe what they were seeing at first. Surely this was some sort of trickery for the group of beings that were there were giant ducks! The huge gargoyle was so shocked he didn't have time to answer his daughter. At that moment Xanatos had walked out with what had to be the largest duck they had ever seen. He wore a long trench coat over a white shirt and black pants.
"That's… a biiiiiig duck." Remarked Broadway.
That is until they saw another that towered over the first by what had to be at least two feet! He would surely be even with Goliath in height. The first one was a gray mallard with an eye patch and a white stripe in its hair. His enormous friend had a little rat tail of black hair sticking out from the back of his head, through his dark tan colored feathers. He wore some baggy seat-pants and a slim white muscle shirt.
"And this is the court yard." Xanatos explained as he gave the tour. "I can assure you, it's large enough for you to practice your skills without any bothersome distractions."
"Whoa man." Replied the gray mallard "I gotta admit Mr. Xanatos; ya got some taste in style."
The tone and accent of his voice was very similar to most the people who live in the city. Yet his manner seemed more cultural. His large companion was quiet and was looking around with focus; yet calm eyes. Almost as if he was looking for something. His searching had abruptly ended when a third duck came barreling out of the castle and making such a ruckus that it almost scared the younger gargoyles into jumping out of their perch.
"Whoa! Cool!" yelled the third duck. "This is so beyond awesome!"
This duck was a peach colored male that had long blonde hair that reach down to his shoulders. He was wearing a white jacket over a jersey with a symbol of what looked like a duck-shaped mask and two crossed sticks in the back. A black belt held his blue jeans as he jumped, spin, and twirled around on his flashy in-line skates. He also had a backpack that jerked and sway with his sudden movements. At the reckless speed he was going he practically flew through the air whenever he decided to jump or grind on the ground stoops that held tiny flower garden in them.
"Stars! I bet you can see the whole city from up here!" continued the feathered skater. "I can't believe these things even exist here! Tuark would've loved this, it's so out of 'Dungeons and Dragons!'…"
By this time three more giant ducks came forward as their teammate continued his jabbering. There were two females. One was also peach colored with short red hair that wore a light blue blouse with brown slacks and a taller one that wore glasses, yellow tinted feathers, with purple pants, white shirt, and a lavender jacket. The third was a white male drake that wore a white jacket with the same symbol as his smaller teammate's, over a red sweatshirt, and jeans. He also wore what looked like a golden mask with red eyes that seem to watch his energetic companion with a cold glare.
"Aaaah." Sighed the red headed female duck. "Nosedive you're such a duckling!"
"Honestly." the gray mallard yawned. "That kid's the only one I know who can have that much energy with less than five hours of sleep."
"His is a sprite that must run free and wild," agreed the largest of the Mighty Ducks. "Though, I believe this might a little too wild."
As if on cue the blonde male, apparently known as Nosedive, skated towards his team and with kick flip on his blades he landed perfectly in front of the larger white mallard. "I love this place!" he cried with a wide grin towards the older duck.
"Glad to hear it," the masked duck replied. "Hopefully you love it enough not to break anything while you're skating around."
His tone was calm, almost jokingly, but the sharpness was more of authoritive manner. No doubt this duck called all the shots in the group, which would explain why he wore that mask. It was so obviously the symbol of leadership among them. However, the smaller duck he faced didn't seemed phase or intimidated by what the gargoyles assumed was a warning from his leader. In fact, in what had to be completely unorthodox gesture to the winged creatures, he started to joke about the last comment.
"Well if I do, and since this place is made of solid stone, than that only proves you make us train too hard," the blonde duck laughed as he poke his leader playfully on the chest, while the unseen guardians winced. "All work and no play. That's what ya turned into." Then to the gargoyles shock he began to make playful grabs at the mask. "C'mon take that thing off and skate with me. That is if you can even keep up now."
The first thing that crossed the younger gargoyles minds was that the young duck just made a huge mistake. The masked mallard simply pushed the younger ducks hands away, until the blonde duck finished his sentence. Then in one fast move the masked duck caught both arms by the slim wrists in one hand, and his free hand shot forward for a blow. However, to the gargoyles' surprise, instead of striking, the leader tickled the smaller duck on his sides.
"I know what you're trying to do Dive." Said the masked duck good humorly as he held the smaller duck prisoner by his wrists. "I'm not getting into a contest with you right now." He continued as the younger duck laughs and struggles only to be pulled into a bear hug and tickled even more. "We need to unpack, maybe wash up and change for dinner, and get to bed. We have to practice in the morning and we all need our sleep."
He finally released the smaller duck and watched him retreat a few steps before covering his sides and tried to stop laughing and claiming to the heavens that his leader was 'evil'. To which the masked mallard replied 'so I am' in a layback and amused manner. It was clear by now to the gargoyles that the blonde male was the youngest due to his behavior. The masked mallard was definitely the leader and apparently had some form of relationship with his smaller companion.
"Do you suppose," suggested Angela to the trio. "That they are a father and son?"
Lexington watched the two for a long time; the sight reminded him of his hatchlings years with his Rookery brothers. "Hmm, They're acting more like brothers to me. Brooklyn and Broadway used to gang up on me like that when we were little." The one called Nosedive had managed to calm down by this time.
"Ah, c'mon Wing." He started with a breathy whine. "Do I have to? I'm not even tired."
"Now Nosedive…" started the masked mallard.
"I know, I know." Nosedive cut in and took a pose. " 'We have a duty to ourselves to keep our bodies it top physical condition; so that we may be prepared to face whatever challenges are thrown at us.' " He deepened his voice and copied the bigger duck's authoritive stance. It was obvious to everyone he was imitating the white mallard. Then with a grin he started speaking with an accent. "But I've been stook in the Migrrratoor wit' noothang ta do since we've goon and landed. Canna exploorre the castle, I mean how ofton do we get a chaance taa be Scots dooks?"
He imitated a Scottish accent almost perfectly and brought a light chuckle to the other ducks. Even David Xanatos wasn't immune had to smile at his play; which widen when he glanced up and saw Hudson looking a little irritated at the youth's ignorance in mocking the Scottish. The trio and Angela found amusing because he sounded funny with the fake accent.
"Well, alright Nosedive," Said the duck's leader. "If you're really not that tired you can look around a bit. But, I want back inside by nine-thirty at the latest."
"Ten o'clock got it." Joked Nosedive and skated off.
"Nine-thirty and not a minute more," Repeated the white mallard.
"Okay, twelve midnight I got it," Replied the teen while landing a rail to grind.
"I mean it Dive," Called the masked duck.
"Got it! Three a.m.!" laughed the youth as he broke into the only Scottish song he knew of:
"I'll take the high road and you'll take the low road
And I'll be in Scotland before ye!
My one dear ladyfair I'll never see again
On the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond."
Nosedive's voice rose and fell in harmony with his fake accent as he continued the song with a bounce on a dance that looked like an awkward version of a Scottish river-dance. This time Hudson couldn't help but smile down on him. He knew the old song well and it did his old heart good to know that some things of his passed life had survived over the last few centuries.
"The lad gots a fine voice for singing; I'll give him that," Commented the old warrior. "His dancing may need some improvement."
"Indeed," Agreed Goliath as the sight brought back some good memories. "I believe we should visit Elisa and tell her of our guests. Perhaps she may know something of them."
So the two old friends glided off towards the city. Meanwhile, Angela's and the trio's minds where on different matters. Broadway was interested in knowing more about the largest duck. It was clear to see that he was very strong, but possessed a very gentle manner around him. Still something that big has to eat a lot. Brooklyn was curious about the golden masked the leader was wearing. He wondered if there was symbol for Second-in-command if the flock had one. And Angela was wondering about their guests' origins. None of the beings she had ever seen came close in comparison. They watched the other ducks go back inside the castle with Xanatos, leaving the youngest one alone to explore the gardens.
"Do you suppose they are of the third race?" asked Angela
Brooklyn watched them a moment more before answering. "They sure look like they might be."
"Let's sneak near the widows in the dinning room," suggested Broadway. "We can see'em better from there. And maybe get something to eat from the kitchen too."
Brooklyn and Angela agreed and started to follow, but Angela stopped short noticing that their smallest clan member didn't seem to notice them leaving. Lexington was watching the younger duck as it did more incredible stunts and tricks on his shoes with wheels and wondered about the design and if he could maybe find a way to learn how to do a few. Mimicking could probably do the trick…
"Aren't you coming Lexington?" asked the female gargoyle, breaking his train of thought.
"Hmm?" the little gargoyle turned his attention. "Oh, no thanks, I'm going stick around here a while."
The tall female gargoyle nodded in understanding and left to join the others. Alone, Lexington stood on his little post and watched the blonde teenage duck. Strange how this duck was able to go out among the humans and be accepted as he is. Maybe perhaps since he acted the way most human children do, that he is seen beyond what he is. He seems to be able to make others smile and laugh with ease; even his leader was taken in with his harmless fun. Normally a being his size would be expected to be more, well… mature. Needless to say Lexington wanted to learn more about him. Yet he wasn't about to just glide down and struck up a conversation. He learned from his first unpleasant encounter with the Pack, thank you very much. So he contented himself with sitting on his perch and watched Nosedive make a figure of an eight backwards as he took in the site around him. Clearly this was the duckling's way of relaxing after goofing off.
"Aaah, this is the life." The duck remark out loud, "The night is clear, things are quite, crickets are chirping, a strange mysterious shadow is walking on the walk… What in the Stars?!" Nosedive doubled take over to the spot on the walkway. There. Something was moving up on the castle wall. "What's that?"
Lexington had also seen the movement and realized what was making it, but before he could make a move the duck had already skated toward the stairs that lead up towards the wall's walkway. He then began to take the steps three at a time while pulling his skates off and slipping on a pair of sneakers out his backpack until he reached the top. By the time the small gargoyle glided and perched on the left tower; Nosedive was already there, looking around slowly at the narrow walkway. Nothing.
"Hello? Anybody up here?… … Aw, so weird," Said the blonde duck. "I could've sworn there was…" Just then a grunting sound was made to his right. "Alright who there?!"
Whatever it was, it was shrouded in shadow and hiding inside one of the towers. From what he could make of it, it walked on all fours and it eyes seem to look as if they were glowing; a trick of the moon no doubt since it was full. The way it moved and sounded reminded Nosedive of only one Earth animal he knew well enough.
"Whoa, a dog!" cried the blonde teen, "Hey boy. C'mer I won't hurt ya."
Nosedive kneeled down and beacons the shadowy figure to show itself. It stayed put though, growling as it watched the strange duck with suspicion. The blonde teen noted the growling and moved a little slower forward as he reached for his backpack. He had half a baloney sandwich in there that was sure to calm this dog down, and then maybe it would let him pet it. Just as he reached to pull it out the animal jumped out into the moonlight with a huge roar of a bark… and it sure wasn't a dog.
Inside the Castle
Duke was laying back, lazily, in a very comfy armchair in the guestroom along with the other ducks. Grin was sitting Indian-style on the floor, meditating. Mallory and Tanya were sitting on the couch flipping through the TV cannels and Wildwing enjoying a cool drink that Owen gave him.
"I gotta hand it ta Phil." Said Duke with a stretch. "He sure lucked out on this one."
"Oh, most definitely," Agreed Tanya "I mean an anchent, an antche, um, an old castle like this with m-modern necessities is, you know, very rare."
"Tell me about it," Mallory said with a yawn. "At least, these walls are pretty thick. Maybe enough so we could all get some sleep without Nosedive waking us up."
"Boy you know it sweetheart." the gray mallard replied with a sigh, "Haa ha, guess that leave Wildwing in trouble since his sharing a room with the Kid."
The older brother knew very well that Duke was fooling around with him. In the time that they all had spent on this planet the team had become a sort of family away from home. As far as they were considered the grey mallard sort of became an honorary brother to Nosedive, almost more like a father figure. Wildwing shared the same bond of course but it wasn't singled out the way his brother's was at the time. Besides it was a relief having an extra pair of eyes to help him watch out for Nosedive; especially during his leadership duties.
"Hey c'mon knock it off." Wildwing said after sipping his drink. "Dive maybe a livewire but he's not that bad."
"*yawn* Yah, I know." Replied Duke as he sat his feet on the footstool. "Ta be honest I envy the Kid. If I had half the energy he has now I'd probably go out and…"
A terror filled scream split through the air with such volume it scared the ducks to their feet. Another one, more desperate than the last, had them running towards the large windows. There hanging for dear life on the edge of the walkway was their youngest teammate. They saw him jerk as he nearly lost his grip on the stone.
"Aaaaaaaahh!!" screamed the teenager as he nearly lost his grip. "Wildwing!!!"
"Nosedive!!!" cried the older brother in growing fear at the sight of his brother dangling from the ledge by one arm.
The former thief was also yelling out to the boy. "Hold on Kid!!!"
Wildwing turned and bolted out the doors followed by others; except Duke, who lunched his grappling hook at a near lookout tower and jump out through the window.