None of the six Loonatics spoke on the way back to headquarters from another successful mission. They knew from Ace was absolutely livid just by looking at his clenched hands and the agitated expression on his face.
Once they finally returned to their residence, Ace broke the silence after everyone entered the living area and immediately turned his glare to the orange and black uniformed mallard.
"What the hell were you playing at Duck!?" He barked disregarding the fact the rest of the Loonatics were also present. "I specifically said everyone to stay back and shoot at the guy but oh no! Not the amazing Danger Duck! You deliberately disobeyed me and rushed in there by yourself! Did you forget about the last lecture I gave you about the dangers of taking anyone on your own!? Especially someone who has superpowers like us!?"
Duck crossed his arms and let out a growled exhale. "If you try to take on the bad guy by yourself without thinking, you're not only risking your own life but the lives of others whether they be your team mate or innocent citizens. Something along those lines?" He recited without an ounce of remorse.
"So why did you on purposely ignore what I said!?" His voice grew higher in pitch. "For crying out loud Duck, I've given you this lecture a hell of a lot recently and I'm tired of having to repeat it over and over again!"
"Oh come Ace! It's not like we failed to catch the bad guy and lock him away!" Duck flicked his hands in front of him. "Besides, he would have done a lot more damage to the city and hurt a lot more people if I hadn't had intervened when I did."
"That still doesn't give you any reason to go against my orders," Ace exclaimed. "Take last week; we had to prevent a guy from pulling the trigger on an unlucky bystander in a bank robbery gone wrong. We could have easily dealt with the situation in a more civil way but then you had to teleport on him and try to snatch the gun from him. Because of your actions, we could have been dealing with a homicide instead of an attempted robbery."
"Well, what did you expect? Did you think they'd willingly let the hostage go and put both hands up in surrender after a pain-staking long time of you trying to reason with him?" Duck challenged. "And no one died even when he let it rip with the bullets!"
"But someone could have Duck! We all had to risk our lives making sure you and the hostage were still alive! If you haven't have forgotten, not everyone has quantum teleportation to get away, nor do we all have regenerative healing powers!" Lexi joined in although she didn't sound as angry as Ace was at present.
"Uh, don't superheroes take risks like that anyway?" Duck glanced at the rabbit before Ace continued his onslaught.
"Yes but not to the extent where they needed to get themselves killed!"
"Listen, we've dealt with Viking robots, rock monsters, super villains with powers beyond our imaginations and we destroyed a giant asteroid from out of space!" The mallard counted on his fingers before gesturing to everyone in the room. "If you haven't noticed this by now, we're all still alive after all the hell we've been through! We even managed to walk away from a black hole that Black Velvet lady got sucked into!"
"All I'm saying Duck is that you can't keep taking these dangerous risks and expect everything to be okay because you'll never know when one day, we could end up in a dilemma where we can't escape alive no matter what we try to do to survive!"
"Do you think I don't know that!?" The mallard finally shouted. That jolted the others into an eye-widening surprise while Ace maintained the frown. For a few seconds, silence hung in the air before Tech finally stepped forward and cleared his throat.
"Normally I don't want to interject into arguments but I have to ask you something Duck; is there something bothering you?" The green and black uniformed coyote said calmly. Duck snapped his gaze at the scientist.
"I'm perfectly fine! What makes you say that?" He retorted.
"Well apart from your increased agitation, your outburst just now intrigues me. 'Do you think I don't know that?' Why did you say that when you testified earlier that everything usually goes our way on missions? I just find that very odd." Tech explained.
"Great, the coyote becomes a psychologist," Duck snorted sarcastically and gestured to a purple couch. "Why don't I lie down and tell you my miserable life story while you're at it?"
"Duck, Tech was only trying to help and I'm starting to believe there is something wrong with you," Lexi placed her hands on her hips. "You're acting like a real jerk."
"Yawn! As if I haven't heard that one before," The mallard pretended to be bored by the insult before a scowl appeared on his face. "Now if you don't mind, I'm going to take a long walk and I'm definitely coming back late." He declared before vanishing in front of his teammate's eyes. Ace then turned and walked away from the rest of the group towards the elevator before he stopped halfway.
"I'm gonna go and beat some hologram grunts up. Anyone's welcome to join me," the hare glanced back at the remaining Loonatics before he stepped inside the elevator. After the door slid shut and took him down, Tech left the other three Loonatics and headed for his laboratory. Rev, Lexi and Slam gave each other confused looks before they disbanded to their own rooms.
The next morning was strangely quiet but the tension from yesterday's argument dwelled in the atmosphere. Even Rev's chirpy chatter didn't fill the silence, save for the Foley sounds of clinking crockery and cutlery and the occasional munch and slurp from Slam's breakfast feast.
Lexi sat at the table and bit into a small amount of toast. To be honest, she didn't feel like eating but she didn't want anyone to worry if they thought she starved herself. She glanced at Tech who seemed to be watching something on his laptop but didn't ask. However, Lexi worried more about the whereabouts of Ace and Duck. Ever since the argument from yesterday, no one had seen them return even when everyone retired to their beds. She hoped Ace hadn't exhausted himself from over-doing his aggressive destruction of whatever enemies he decided to destroy, as well as she hoped Duck didn't stay out so late that he lost some hours of sleep. From what her sensitive ears had detected, there was no sign of Duck in the building. They did, however, sense Ace and as if on cue, he entered the room with a yawn and stretched his arms. It was then that Tech suddenly perked up and called, "Hey guys! I think you should come and see this!"
The rest of the teammates surrounded the coyote and stared at the monitor of the laptop from what appeared to be a shot of the outside of a hospital with metallic walls. "Tech, what's this?" Ace asked.
"Well remember when I asked Duck what was wrong and he refused to answer? I decided to see if I could find the cause of his behaviour, so I created a camera and microphone device and had Rev plant it on the jacket Duck usually wears. It's the size of the smallest fingernail on the average human hand so there's no way he'd be able to find it."
"In other words, you bugged him?" Lexi looked at Tech.
"How he reacted to Ace saying there maybe a time when we may not be able to escape a situation alive had been bothering me since yesterday and as a scientist, I want to know why" the coyote shrugged his shoulders before turning to the screen again. "Okay, he's going into the hospital. Acmetropolis Cancer Clinic?"
"Maybe he has a sick relative and the stress of that is making him act more reckless than usual," Rev offered before the team listened to a conversation between Duck and female receptionist with a black hair in a bob style.
"The name's Danger Duck. I have an appointment with Doctor Marley at 9 am."
"Ah! Danger Duck! It's an honour to see you in person even if it is in unpleasant circumstances but I must ask for your real name please."
Duck let out an exhale before saying with a hint of embarrassment, "Daniel Duck."
The receptionist briefly scanned her computer screen until she found the mallard's name.
"Yes, here you are. Please take a seat. Doctor Marley will be with you in just a moment."
As Duck thanked the woman and took his seat, the rest of the Loonatics gave each other puzzled looks.
"Wait, he's going in for a check-up?" Ace frowned perplexed at what was currently played.
"You don't think…?" Lexi's concern heightened when a man in a white doctor's jacket (who they assumed was Doctor Marley) appeared before Duck and signalled him to follow him to his office. The rest of the Loonatics watched with baited breaths as they both entered a pastel blue-walled room with a light grey laminate floor and sat on transparent plastic chairs.
"Please, call me Danger Duck."
"He still insists on being called Danger Duck at this type of setting?" Lexi rolled her eyes before the doctor spoke.
"Um… well Danger Duck, I have the results of the tests done on the lump inside the bone marrow tissue."
The doctor leant over his desk and threaded his fingers together. He let out a sigh before he gave an intense stare at Duck, although to the rest of the Loonatics, he was staring at them.
"I regret to inform you that the myeloma* cancer has returned. I'm so sorry Danger Duck."
There was a long pause from the mallard before he uttered, "And there's nothing else that can be done?"
The doctor shook his head. "I'm sorry but since it's returned, it's unlikely that you'd be able to beat it this time around. I sincerely cannot apologise to you enough."
Upon hearing those earth shattering words, the five Loonatics stared at the monitor in horror, unable to say or do anything that was appropriate for what was just revealed to them.
* = Myeloma is a type of bone marrow cancer, which affects the plasma cells (a type of blood cell) inside the spongy tissue at the centre of some bones.
Hey guys! Long time no see! I've been incredibly busy at my new job as well as writing other fan fics and then abandoning them so chances are, chapters will be coming out slowly.
Anyways, this idea popped into my head after reading lots of Danger Duck fan fics and I wanted to try and write a story with a heart-rending storyline. Cancer is a difficult subject to deal with since everyone knows at least one person, whomever they may be, who has either had cancer or has a relative who's suffering with it. I lost my great aunt to stomach cancer so I hope I do this story and the subject justice.