Welcome to What I Lost Rewritten! I'd like to thank everyone who supported my decision of rewriting this. Hopefully this one will perhaps be greater than the last.
Chapter 1: Puzzling
Duck Dodgers was considered the greatest captain the Galactic Protectorate ever had. Or at least... some folks tend to think so.
The great majority of the Protectorate often wondered how Dodgers got anything done. Arguments had heated up over whether Dodgers belonged there or not. The only reasons the duck wasn't obliterated in his earlier missions were because of his dumb luck and his more useful and smarter cadet.
But there were individuals and non-agents who really thought the duck was great. Mainly the Martian Queen and Cadet. It baffled people how patient and forgiving Cadet is with Dodgers and how in love Tyr'ahnee is with the avian who barely looks her way.
Even some of the duck's adversaries had thought there was something about him that was stupidly genius. Cadet always liked to remind people Dodgers did save Earth from a Martian invasion with potatoes.
After that reminder, people would drop the topic and carry on with their lives. The duck wasn't anything special, after all, even if he was the first to successfully wake after cryogenic sleep.
Duck Dodgers was just an egotistical, greedy, self-absorbed little weirdo who cares about no one but himself. Or was he?
He was dead tired.
Dodgers sat in his room staring into the void of space. His breathing was slow and quiet as he clutched his pillow against his chest. His lime green eyes seemed clouded as if he were lost in a daze.
Gosh, he was tired.
Life had been a treat to Duck Dodgers. Sure, there was more lasers and death threats than sunshine and rainbows but he endured... oh who was kidding, he hated it.
' Hate is a strong word', Dodgers mused. A better word for him would be strong dislike. Yes, strong dislike that began forming as soon as he realised he had been lying to himself for years.
He'll admit, the first few years had been pleasant. He liked the job, the people he got to meet, the culture, Cadet and even the Martians. But things had changed recently. Or rather...
He noticed he changed.
These recent times had been rather time. Mars was being surprisingly docile for the first time in six years (Johnson thinks its just the means of a bigger attack, but he thought differently). These calmer times led towards a lot of self reflection. Self reflection he had neglected since the very first moment he had been woken up from cryogenic sleep.
And then he realised something important. Something he doesn't want others around him to find out.
Of course, the revelation of finding out what he was truly missing had kicked him off his tower of an ego. His mother was right when she stated, 'The higher you'll climb, the harder you'll fall'. He fell harder and he was losing the will to get back up.
He barely registered his bedroom door opening, the Eager Young Space Cadet attempting to look chipper but failed to hide his worried grimace.
" C-C-Cap'n Dodgers?", Cadet said quietly.
" Lunch is r-r-ready", Cadet said.
" I'll be there in a sthec", Dodgers said, never once turning to look at Cadet.
It was starting to hurt a little looking at the pig.
Cadet knew there was something wrong with Duck Dodgers.
Duck Dodgers was many things. Greedy, selfish, a bonafide glutton, shameless (in both a good and bad sense) and lastly, a coward (though Cadet liked to argue with that coward part, no one could stand up to Queen Tyr'ahnee in her angriest moments except his captain). But what most people don't see (or don't care to see) is that Dodgers can have his self-less moments, his shamelessness made him blunt and straight to the point (his captain hardly ever softened things), his eating habits were getting better (read: were) and finally: He was not a coward.
Another thing about Dodgers that people didn't care to notice was that he was fiercely protective... borderline possessive about those he cared for (though care was a bit of stretch and tolerate was too strong a word, Cadet figured it was somewhere in the middle).
It was something Cadet had noticed in recent years. Since his arrest from the treaty sabotage and his escape and release afterwards, Dodgers had been more... gentle in a sense. He doesn't yell as much, he helps around the ship (sometimes), he doesn't let anyone he doesn't remotely trust near Cadet any longer.
And there was ONE occasion, one rare occasion, when it seemed his captain's body wasn't working with his mind, he had purposefully taken a hit meant for Commander X-2. Anoter common enemy of Mars and the Protectorate had came and it was all hand on deck that day. Afterwards, in a dazed state, seemed to be checking on the commander for any injuries. All the while, X-2 looked rather flustered.
(Strangely enough, that was the last of the small martian Cadet had seen weeks)
But back to the main point. While Duck Dodgers was many things: good and bad, there was one thing he never was: self-destructive... or at least not until recently.
It started with small things like the amount of food he ate began decreasing over time. He was more lazy than usual, had taken up smoking (Cadet didn't see Dodgers smoke but the pig knew the smell very well and it coated the duck like clothing). The pig had half the mind to send him to Psy Q if it weren't for Dodgers'... distaste for psychiatrists. It would feel like a betrayal to his captain.
Duck Dodgers stumbled into the kitchen, bags clear under his eyes. He was also avoiding looking directly at him, Cadet noted. It had hurt a little.
" I-I-I made your favourite, C-C-Cap'n", Cadet said as he laid the bowl down in front of the duck," C-C-Carrot soup with garlic bread".
Cadet nearly screamed in victory when he saw a small smile emerge on Dodgers' face. It was progress.
They both dug in quietly, Cadet taking small glances at his captain to monitor his emotions. The duck so far seemed reserved, eating in a gradual pace.
It wasn't normal, but it wasn't too weird either. Rather it made Cadet more curious about his captain.
You would think six years of partnership that they'd know each other well. But that wasn't the case. Cadet knew his mannerisms, sure, but everything else about the duck was rather obscure to him.
Cadet knew nothing of his past. Nothing beyond the awakening and he often wondered what the aquatic bird did. Dodgers told multiple stories that don't match up with the other (raised in an orphanage/ lived in mother's basement) so Cadet doubted the credibility of those stories.
He truly wanted to ask. But something told him, a gut feeling perhaps, that asking would be treading on extremely thin ice. So thin it would crack the minute he placed his foot on it. So he backed away and stayed on the soft snowy bank of care, where Dodgers won't snap at him for bringing up possibly still open wounds.
" I want to go Mars later", Dodgers said breaking the silence.
Cadet was surprised but not completely alarmed. It was common knowledge that Dodgers was rather... how to say... nonchalant when confronted with Martians. Heck, Dodgers seem to be rather comfortable with them even after all the attempts on their lives.
" A-A-Any reason for the s-s-sudden trip?", Cadet asked.
" Persthonal reasthonsth", Dodgers responded quickly.
Cadet looked at him strangely. What personal reasons did Dodgers have on Mars? He was curious but opted to shrug his curiosity off. He'll find out later.
Somewhere currently unknown
" Are you sure they're the ones?"
The voice was nasally and scratchy to the ears. It broke through the darkness of the cell they were trapped in.
" I'm sure", this one was smooth but sounded rather young.
" It's just the dog, the cat and the birds look rather... primitive"
Another figure peeked inside and eyed the large bird," Who's a pretty birdie?", he cooed.
The bird leaned more towards the large canine who growled. The bird's baby blue eyes were wary and frightened. while the canine's amber orbs eyed them threatening. It- He seemed to be protecting him, along with the cat and the bird.
" First off, that's a coyote and a roadrunner and yes I'm quite sure! If they were 'primitive', the coyote would've eaten them all. But he's protecting them! And I can see...", the disembodied voice said creepily," ... there's intelligence in their eyes...", he said beforr opening the door.
" Hello...", the figure said as it entered the cell," Feeling comfortable yet...".
" We'd feel more comfortable being anywhere but here", the cat hissed.
" Don't worry. I'll release you soon enough", the person said calmly," Then the REAL FUN can REALLY begin! But first things first...", he said motioning some men to enter.
They took ahold of the larger bird, much to the captives anger and fear.
" What are you going to do to him?!", the coyote exclaimed.
" Make sure you don't let him go. He's faster than any of you could hope to be", the person said before turning to the coyote," I won't harm him if that's what you're worried about. Oh no, you're all far too valuable to my plans".
" And what are thosthe plansth exactly?", the cat asked.
" That's for me to keep and for you to find out much later", the person said mysteriously before closing the door.
" What do we do with the roadrunner, sir?", one of the men asked.
" Drug him, make him sluggish. I don't want him running all over the place and possibly escaping. I need him in order for my plan to be put in motion", the person said.
" Are you sure Dodgers will even care about this?", the other guard asked.
" If he is who I think he is, then he'll definitely care. This is one of his favourite brothers", the main man said calmly," Now hurry off! You're disturbing my time".
The men went off with the struggling bird as our villain stood with his back to them. He began walking away from the cell area.
" Soon, I'll have you in the palm of my hands, Duck Dodgers... or perhaps I should say... Daffy Duck".
End of Chapter 1
I had HOPED to get my five chapter mark but it seems like that one saying was really coming to fruition: when we make plans, God laughs or something like that...
On the bright side, chapter 2 is nearly done so you can expect it to come out between tomorrow and the day after.
Also, guys I just want to say something I think should be made known: The designs for everyone in HBO Max's Looney Tunes Cartoons is so bloody ADORABLE, MY HEART CAN'T HANDLE. Like... when I saw Bugs in Pest Coaster, my heart melted because his design (and everyone else's) makes them more... youthful in a sense. It's really cute and it's a nice homage to my favourite directors (not gonna lie, I'm not that big of a fan of Chuck Jones tbh).
Anway, I hoped you enjoyed this chapter and tell me your thoughts. Was it good, was it bad, was it eh? Have a great day/night.