Drake DuCain is the property of Disney along with the Wraith and Saurian
Race, but all the other characters were born in my imagination. Now on with
the story.

The Trilogy of Drake DuCain

Book One: Invasion of the Saurian
By: Tazura Avey

Drake DuCain smiled as he pulled his ice sled to a stop in front of
his home and leaped off, sliding his way across the slick sidewalk. Winters
on Andromeda were always fun for ice skaters of all ages since the planet
seemed to turn into a ball of snow and ice and the only way anyone could get
anywhere was on blades of some kind.
Just as he was getting ready to open the front door, it burst open
and Conrad, his best friend and co-renter, almost collided with him. "Whoa.
Sorry, Drake," apologized Conrad, his brown eyes twinkling. "I didn't see
you."
Drake smiled. "Well, then I guess you didn't see these," teased the
younger duck, dangling his keys to the ice sled in front of Conrad's beak.
Conrad's dark brown feathers bristled slightly as his eyes assumed a pained
expression and Drake laughed. "Try not to wreck it." He slapped the keys in
Conrad's hand and punched him in the shoulder.
"Oh, by the way, " began Conrad. "Red's in the kitchen, waiting for
you." He patted his friend's shoulder as he passed and Drake winced at sore
muscles from his hockey game. Drake watched as Conrad tore off down the ice
covered street and shook his head as he closed the door behind him. Drake
walked as far as the living room before he collapsed on the couch, beak
first, and sighed in relief as some of his sore muscles stopped protesting.
Suddenly, he felt the couch shift under him and a pair of hands began
massaging the tension out of his back. "That feels great, Redfire," he said,
beginning to fall asleep under her magical hands. "I didn't think that guy
had checked me into the boards that hard, but my back says something else."
"You keep getting beat up like this and one day, you just might end up
with a crushed backbone." Redfire retorted with a snort. "Besides, I thought
the goalie didn't get smashed into the boards."
Drake chuckled weakly. "We don't unless you happen to skate past a
furious player from the other team," he replied, looking over his shoulder
at her. Her light green hair complemented her ruby eyes and peach complexion
and she shook her head in exasperation, her hair fanning out around her with
the motion.
"What is it with guys and injuries?" Redfire asked no one in
particular as she stood up. She held out her hand and Drake slid his into
hers before she pulled him up off the couch. He grimaces as a few muscles
protested to his moving but he ignored them and followed Redfire into the
kitchen where a pair of mugs filled with hot chocolate awaited them.
As Redfire sipped her mug, she reached over and flipped on the
television just as the news came on. "There have been several reports of
strange objects spotted in our galaxy," announced the anchorwoman, her dark
eyes filled with fear as she read the report. "Astronomers are baffled and
can offer no explanation for the objects or even what the objects are. In
other news..."
Drake saw the worried look on Redfire's face and switched off the TV.
"Don't worry," he soothed, gathering her in his arms. "Those 'objects' are
probably nothing more than asteroids that broke free of the Belt and when
they get in range of the cannons, the military will blast them out of the
sky before they can become a threat to Andromeda."
"I hope so," murmured Redfire with a shiver. They stood in each
other's arms for a long time.

Meanwhile, on the edge of the Andromeda Galaxy, a fleet of spacecraft
sat, waiting for their orders from Dagodevas, Supreme Warlord and Head
Sorcerer of the Saurian War Fleet. He stood ten feet tall with dark gray
scales under black body armor and on the end of his fingers were wickedly
curved talons as spikes decorated his tail. His head resembled a triceratops's
except his eyes were cold and calculating and his mouth wasn't beak shaped
but more like a tyrannosaurus's, full of sharp, vicious looking teeth.
There was a cloud of smoke and a young sorcerer stood there in pale
gray robes that matched his scales with a straight wooden staff in one hand.
Out of his head curved a pair of sharp horns and he bowed before Dagodevas.
"You summoned me, Master?" groveled the young sorcerer.
"I want you to stay beside me during our little mission, Wraith,"
ordered Dagodevas, not bothering to look at the new arrival. "There is much
you can learn at this stage in your training." The Wraith stood off to one
side on the bridge. "We will reach our first target in a little under a year
their time and halfway there, you will help me cloak the fleet from
detection." The Wraith nodded and smiled as chilling laughter echoed through
the room.

The winter passed quickly on Andromeda, much to Drake's disgust, and
the following summer, Drake and Redfire were married with Conrad as Drake's
best man. Instead of going out and finding a new house, Redfire just moved
into Drake's room and they split the rent three ways. Summer flew by and
autumn felt like it lasted only a week before the first ice storm of the
winter season hit the planet.
"It's strange," mused Redfire one winter day. "They've been having
reports about those strange objects in our galaxy for the past year and then
four months ago, all reports just stopped." She gazed across the table at
Drake and Conrad as they finished their dinner. "Almost as if the objects
vanished."
Drake looked at Redfire, his brown eyes burrowing into her red ones.
"Why are you obsessed with those objects?" he asked, curiosity and love
evident in his eyes.
"I just have a bad feeling," she replied, standing up and collecting
the dishes. She deposited them in the sink and glanced at the guys with a
mischievous smile. "I believe it's your turn to do the dishes." The two
friends groaned good-naturedly when suddenly, explosions rocked the house and
they raced to a nearby window. More explosions tore up the streets but the
trio was unable to determine where the blasts came from.
"Quick!" cried Drake. "To the basement!" They stumbled down the
stairs and Conrad sealed the door behind them, plunging the cellar into
darkness. There was a flare of light and Drake walked around the room
lighting candles that were scattered around on various surfaces. Then, they
curled up in a large blanket and waited for whatever was happening to stop.
The explosions and tremors seemed to last for days and occasionally
when there was a lull in the shaking, Drake and Redfire would emerge from
their hiding place and gather up clothes, food, and anything else they might
need in the future. When everything finally stopped, Conrad eased open the
door and slipped out only to reappear minutes later.
"There appears to be some type of huge robot patrolling the street
and herding a line of people towards something," he reported, his dark eyes
full of fear and a small note of panic in his voice. "What are we going to
do?"
Drake stood up and grabbed a large backpack. "The first thing you're
going to do Conrad, is calm down," he ordered with a stern look. "I don't
need a hysterical duck on my hands. The next thing we're going to do is
gather up all the supplies we can carry and get out of here before those giant
robots find us." Redfire began packing another backpack with food and clothes
and even managed to squeeze in a medical kit.
Drake slung his pack on and scooped up his ice skates, tying his
roller blades to his pack. "Grab your skates," he said. "We'll probably be
able to make better time on blades and wheels than on foot. Plus, the ground
outside is still covered with ice." His two friends followed his lead and
they crept upstairs with their skates in their hands. Creeping to the window,
Drake peeked out and instantly fell flat, motioning for Conrad and Redfire
to do the same. A robot's head appeared in the glass and seemed to be
searching for anyone that was still alive. When it failed to find the trio,
it moved on to the next house and Redfire breathed a sigh of relief.
"We have to be careful," stated Conrad. "If those things have
sophisticated sensors, then we could be sitting targets."
Drake glances at the other two. "I promise you that I will do
everything in my power to keep both of you safe until these things are
gone," he vowed. "If that takes the rest of my life, so be it." He peered
out the window and nodded. "The sun's setting. We should be able to move
about more freely after full dark."
"Where will we go?" whispered Redfire, her voice laced with fear. "I
mean the first thing these robots probably took out was all of the military
bases and enslaved the solders."
Drake smiled. "Have you ever heard of the Brotherhood of the Blade?"
he inquired. Conrad and Redfire gasped, their eyes large. "I heard of a
secret hideout of theirs and maybe we can offer our skills to them in
exchange for a place to stay. Tonight, we'll make our way to their
hideout." They nodded and settled down to wait for nightfall.
A few hours later, three shadows slipped out of the house and skated
off down the street before any of the robots noticed them. They continued
for several blocks, ducking into abandoned buildings and alleys whenever
the looming figure of a robot appeared. When they had gone about half a
mile, they dodged into an abandoned warehouse, and Drake glanced out as a
legion of smaller robots marched down the street with glowing red eyes
searching the area.
"All clear," whispered Drake, already heading out to the street.
Redfire and Conrad were close behind him as they continued down the street.
They skated through the night, dodging both types of robots and when
the sun peeked over the horizon, Drake led them into a tunnel that lead
under ground. "We should be safe down here for the day," he said as they
made themselves comfortable on the hard packed dirt floor. "But just to be
on the safe side, we'll sleep in shifts with one person up. I'll go first,
then Conrad, and Redfire will finish up the day." Redfire and Conrad curled
up in their blankets before drifting off to sleep with Drake sitting with
his back against the wall, watching the weak sunlight that filtered through
cracks in the ceiling.
I hope Count didn't lie to me when he told me about this hideout,
thought Drake, digging through his pack for something to eat. He shook his
head. he never lied to me and I have to trust my brother in a time like
this. Sighing, he placed an old tachyon blaster across his legs and waited
for his shift to end.
For several days, the trio continued traveling at night and hiding
out during the day to avoid the strange robots. They met a few people that
joined them; Tina, a military expert who had escaped before her base was
destroyed; John, a mechanic; and Lori, a scientific genius with a knack for
machines. Tina had filled them in on what she had heard before the invasion.
"They're called Saurians," she said, one day while they were hiding.
"Their leader is Dagodevas, a warlord and sorcerer. They're using their
Dark Powers to hide their ships. The large robots are monitor towers while
the smaller ones are the hunter drones."
"Is there any way to neutralize their powers?" asked Drake, a look of
intense concentration on his face.
Tina shrugged, brushing a lock of blond hair out of her blue eyes. "I
don't know of any, but that doesn't mean that there isn't one," she replied
before curling up in her blanket. The odd group managed to make it to a
cave in the surrounding hills in under a week and they made a blockade
across the entrance with boulders.
"Okay. Now what?" demanded John, brushing dust off his brown feathers.
Drake shrugged. "Now we wait," he stated, getting settled down.
Redfire glanced around at their supplies and sighed. "If we're going to
be waiting here for a while, I need to find more food," she stated, standing
up. Tina and Lori joined her and the trio crept past the blockade, vanishing
into the bushes in search of food. Conrad, Drake and John began setting up
camp and when the women returned a few hours later, the interior of the
cave resembled a well organized camp.
"Nice," remarked Lori with a smile. "But where do the women sleep?"
Redfire smiled at the raven haired duck. "Well, since Drake and I are
married, I know where I'm going to be sleeping," she stated in an offhanded
manner. Lori just rolled her eyes and spread her blanket out beside Conrad's
before getting busy dressing the rabbits that she had caught. Conrad sat
down next to her and picked up the skins, carrying them out to the blockade.
There he at down and began dressing the skins, stretching them across the
rocks where they would dry in the sun. When he was done, he nodded and
returned to help prepare dinner. Lori raised a surprised eyebrow but handed
him the carcasses when she was done with them.
"Where did you learn how to do all of this?" she inquired, her black
eyes filled with curiosity.
Conrad shrugged. "I use to go hunting with my father when I was
younger," he replied with a small smile. "I haven't hunted in years but the
little tricks Dad taught me seem to be coming back."
She leaned closer to him. "What else did your dad teach you?" she
whispered in a teasing voice.
"Maybe I'll show you everything one day," he murmured in her ear. Lori
smiled and they continued working on dinner.
Drake and Redfire smiled at this exchange and she snuggled closer to
him. "So how long do we wait?" she inquired, her red eyes twinkling.
He shrugged. "Count didn't say," he said with a far off look on his
face. Redfire glanced up at Drake but her lips froze at the hopeful look on
his face. Sighing, she rested her head on his shoulder and dozed off.

Dagodevas stood in his tower and smiled at the plumes of smoke rising
from the cities. All the ducks that could be found were toiling away in the
mines and factories, constructing ships and drones for his conquest of this
galaxy. There had been a few attempts to fight back but his sorcerers
quickly destroyed all resistance. The Wraith was one of the best in finding
and crushing those that opposed him.
Behind him, a cloud of smoke appeared and the Wraith's thin form
became visible. "You wished to see me, Master?" he inquired. Dagodevas
turned and instantly spotted the new decoration on the Wraith's staff; the
skull of a duck. Probably one of those that fought back, mused the High
Sorcerer.
"There is a rumor going through the work groups about a possible group
of trouble makers," mused Dagodevas, watching his protegee. "They call
themselves the Brotherhood of the Blade and their leader is the Guardian. I
want you to find them and bring this Guardian to me. I want to deal with him
personally." He waved his hand. "Now go." The Wraith bowed and vanished in a
cloud of smoke, off to carry out his orders. Dagodevas turned back to the
window and continued watching Andromeda.

John turned to face Drake. "When is this supposive Brotherhood going
to show up?" snarled the smaller duck in frustration. "We've been here for
almost a month and we haven't seen a soul except for those mental monsters."
Drake sighed. This was an old argument now and patience were waring
thin. "All I know is that if I ever needed help, to show up here and wait,"
he repeated. "I'm not their leader and can't even guarantee that they WILL
show up. Look at it this way; would you rather be out there, dodging the
drones and towers, or here where we can at least sleep without jumping at
every little noise."
Suddenly, the ground began shaking and Lori raced back to where they
had the weapons. "About a dozen drones are on their way here," she cried as
she scooped up the blasters. Drake and John followed her up to the blockade
and grabbed their blasters as Lori handed them out to the others.
"Tina, any way to take them out fast?" Drake demanded, charging up his
blaster.
"If you aim for their knees, it sends them to the ground," the blond
duck reported. "Then blast their heads before they can fire back." The
others nodded and aimed their blasters through chinks in the rocks, waiting
for the drones to come within range.
As the drones began climbing up the hill to the cave, one blaster
after another opened fire and slowly the drones were pushed back. A few of
the drones fell to the ground where they exploded in a burst of flames, but
far too many began advancing on the six ducks with their blaster firing back.
"They're not stopping!" shouted Conrad over the noise. "What do we do
now?"
Drake smiled grimly. "Keep firing!" he ordered, in a tense voice. "And
pray for a miracle."

To Be Continued in "The Brotherhood of the Blade"

Drake DuCain, the Wraith, and the Saurian Race are the property of Disney
while the rest of the characters are born out of my imagination. This is the
second book in the trilogy and unless you read "The Saurian Invasion"
several items in this story might not make sense. This takes place minutes
after the first one ends. Enjoy. E-mail me at sirnero and
tell me what you think of the stories.

The Trilogy of Drake DuCain
Book Two: The Brotherhood of the Blade
By: Tazura Avey

The situation seemed hopeless but Drake DuCain would fight until the
end. He had promised his wife, Redfire, and his best friend, Conrad, that he
would protect them for the rest of his life and he had extended that promise
to the other three ducks that had joined them since they left the city:
blond Tina with her military prowess, dark Lori with the scientific
awareness and knack for machines, and brown John, the mechanic who had been
helping them keep their equipment in working order. Now, the six ducks were
hiding in a cave with a blockade of boulders across the entrance and a group
of hunter drones scrambling up the side of the hill.
"We can't hold them off forever!" shouted Conrad over the noise of the
battle. "We need help like yesterday!"
Drake dropped three drones before being forced to duck behind his
cover. "Tell me something I don't know!" he snarled, frustrated.
Suddenly, there was movement at the bottom of the hill and several
figures in dark clothes emerged from the bushes and opened fire on the
drones. Caught in the crossfire, the drones were destroyed and more dark
figures appeared, slowly moving up the hill. Drake stood up and slung his
blaster over his shoulder and the others followed his example. As they
approached, Redfire was able to make out about twenty individuals and leaned
over to inform Drake of the number.
"Do we fight or run?" whispered Lori, fingering her blaster.
John snorted. "Get real," he said. "We're trapped in here and don't
have anywhere to go."
One figure stepped forward when the new arrivals were still a distance
away. "Why are you here?" asked the figure in a deep voice.
Drake climbed over the boulders and noticed that all the figures were
wearing hoods over their faces. "We came here looking for help against the
invaders," he replied. "I was told once that if I ever needed help, to come
here and I would get it."
"Who told you that?" demanded the figure, placing his hands on his
hips.
Drake smiled. "A man by the name of Count DuCain," he stated in a calm
voice. "My brother." There was a startled murmur from the crowd on the hill
and the spokesman nodded.
"Come with us and you will have the help you seek," he said. Turning,
he strolled back to where the others were waiting and the six ducks in the
cave quickly gathered up their possessions before joining the group. Together
the oddly mixed group descended the hill and strolled through the sparsely
growing trees until they reached one tree with a huge trunk. One of their
escorts knocked on the trunk and a section of the tree swung open. The dark
clad figures escorted the six ducks through the opening and lead them down a
dirt tunnel. Several minutes later, they were deep underground and the only
light came from torches set in the wall every few feet. As their eyes
adjusted to the dimmer light, Drake was able to make out several tunnels
that lead off from the main tunnel as well as other shadows lurking in the
darkness.
After some time, Drake was completely lost in the darkness and
just when he thought that they would never reach their destination, the
group emerged in a large cavern that appeared to be the main gathering hall.
Tables were scattered around the room and more people than even Redfire
could count lounged either at the tables or against the walls.
"They're in perfect positions if we turn out to be a threat," Tina
whispered to Drake. He nodded and noticed that they were being lead to three
figures and decided that the center figure was the leader of the
Brotherhood. The figure was definitely a female, but she was wrapped in a
tight cloak that concealed her face from the light. His suspicions proved to
be accurate when one of their guides whispered in her ear and she approached
the six ducks.
"So you are the brother of Count DuCain," she said in a voice that had
a slight purring sound to it. "What do you want from me and the
Brotherhood?"
Drake placed his hands on his hips and stared right into the shadow
that hid the woman's face. "Simple," he replied. "We are willing to offer
you our services in exchange for a safe place to stay where we can be sure
these invaders won't capture us for their chain-gangs." He shrugged.
"Unless, I'm mistaken and you don't want our experience or talents. If
that's the case, then we'll try our luck on our own."
There was stunned silence in the cave before the figure threw her head
back and laughed. With a simple shrug of her shoulders, her cloak fell to a
heap around her ankles and a startled gasp came from the six ducks. The
person standing before them was a smoky gray feline in a lavender bodysuit
with a type of armor over it. Her ears rose out of a mane of hair that was
so black, it made the darkest night possible seem like a sunny day and her
hands rested on a belt around her waist that held a bracer full of daggers.
She strolled over to the group with a hip-rolling walk that made her seem
even more dangerous than the people scattered around the cavern.
"You have guts," she remarked with her ears twitching in amusement. "I
have need of someone with guts. I am Guardian and who are your friends,
Drake DuCain?"
Drake gestured to each of his companions as he named them and told of
their talents. When he was done, he noticed several of the occupants of the
cavern had stripped out of the black suits to reveal outfits that looked
like they had been pieced together out of whatever could be found at the
time.
Guardian also noticed his gaze and held out her hand. "Come, I'll take
you to your quarters for the duration of your stay," she said in her musical
voice. "After you get cleaned up and eat something, we'll discuss how you
can help us."
The six ducks followed her down another hallway and she gestured to
doors as they passed. Conrad was next to Drake and Redfire, who were in the
same room, while Tina, Lori, and John were a few doors down the way. After
Guardian left them, the new arrivals quickly freshened up and grabbed food
out of their packs before assembling in the hall where they were lead to a
smaller cavern. The cavern was obviously a strategy room because there were
maps and plans of the robots and weapons scattered around and attached to
the walls. Guardian was bending over a map spread out on the only table and
there were two other ducks standing there. One was white with a jagged scar
running over one eye and the other was black with silver eyes.
"You can't be serious, Shadow," Guardian told the black duck. "Is that
your best idea?" She turned and motioned Tina closer. "Tina, this is Shadow
and Mark. Since you're a military expert, may be you can shed some light on
this situation." Tina and Drake crowded around the table as Guardian
gestured to the map as she explained. "There is a supply depot that is being
guarded by twenty drones and two monitor towers. That means there is
something in that depot that the head guy wants to keep very badly and we
need to get it. Shadow's idea is a frontal attack to draw off the robots so
a small group can sneak in and grab whatever it is they're guarding. The
problem is he doesn't know how to get the team INSIDE out again."
"Hockey," muttered Drake as he stared at the map. The other four
looked at him with blank looks and he gestured to the map. "In hockey, you
have a bunch of people trying to keep you away from your target and you have
to figure out how to reach your target and get clear again before someone
gets sore and decks you. This is the same thing except of playing for
useless points, you're fighting for survival."
Mark smiled. "Okay, than what's your play for getting into this target
and getting out with our feathers intact?" he asked in an amused voice.
"Simple," replied Drake, pointing to the map. "Station sharpshooters
in nearby buildings that have easy access to the sewers and while they start
destroying the drones, the small strike force comes UP into the building and
grabs this thing and vanishes into the sewers again before anyone's the
wiser. Then once the inside team is safely away, pull the sharpshooters away
through the sewers and have them all meet somewhere safe."
Guardian nodded. "A sound plan," she stated, glancing at Shadow.
"Don't get your feather's ruffled. All he did was take your plan and
improved it." She stood up. "Spread the word that we need sharpshooters and
a group of people willing to sneak into a heavily guarded warehouse."
After the two ducks left, Guardian turned to the six ducks. "Tina, you
and Drake will help me plan and carry out attacks," she instructed. "John,
we have a garage that is severely underhanded and your help would be
welcomed. Lori, the weapons department could use your scientific know-how.
Redfire, we are desperate for a good cook in the kitchen. Conrad, you can be
a huge help in the attacks and bringing food."
"Excuse me, Guardian," stated Redfire. "I was just wondering. I
haven't seen many women around here."
Guardian smiled gently. "Most of the women are on the lower levels,
caring for the children," she replied. "We have families hiding down here
and until the children are old enough to understand, their mothers usually
stay with them. Don't get me wrong. They have the same training that the men
do and so do the older children." She turned and lead them back to the main
chamber.

A few hours later, Drake gazed around at the small team he was leading
into the warehouse and noticed that a couple of his troops were younger than
he was, maybe not even out of their teens. Suddenly, his thoughts were
interrupted by the ground above them shaking as the robots moved. He nodded
to one of the people who was standing under a man hole cover and she
carefully lifted it up. After making sure the coast was clear, the small
attack force slipped into the warehouse and Drake motioned for three of them
to protect their exit before motioning for the others to spread out.
They searched around for several minutes before one of the groups
found a large crate and the others gathered around. One of them grabbed a
crow bar and pried the lid off of the crate. Inside, they found components
for advanced machines and more powerful weapons.
"Grab as much of this stuff as you can and get back into the sewers,"
Drake ordered as he began scooping the components and weapons into his pack.
The others started in on the pile and soon there was nothing left in the box
but dust. Carefully, they replaced the lid and slipped back into the tunnels
before easing the man hole cover back into place. A few minutes later, the
sharpshooters pulled back and vanished into the shadows, leaving empty
buildings to be stormed by drones.

Over the seasons, Drake became exceedingly well known by everyone,
either in the Brotherhood or rescued from the work gangs, and was often the
one the drones fired on when he came into view. Dagodevas finally placed a
reward large enough that all the sorcerers were out looking for him while
Guardian and the Brotherhood faded into the background. Changes also began
taking place inside the Brotherhood: Conrad and Lori got married and Guardian
turned command of the Brotherhood over to Drake. The old tachyon blasters were
replaced by puck launchers and electric sabers that John and Lori had created
when tachyon became scarce in the tunnels. The body armor everyone was wearing
was upgraded to protect its wearer from pucks and tachyon blasts and the
training started to include several hockey plays as well as a game called
"Seek and Evade". It was quite simple where the children would hide while their
teachers searched for them and the ones that made it back to their "base"
without being caught were the winners.
One day, seven years after the Saurians invaded, Drake walked into Lori's
workshop and rested his hands on his hips. "What did you need to see me for?" he
inquired, his brown eyes curious.
Lori brushed a raven lock out of her face as she turned around with what
looked like a hockey mask in her hands. She held it out to him. "Here," she
ordered, her black eyes twinkling. "Try this on and tell me what you think."
Shrugging, he placed the mask against his face and was shocked when he felt
it attach itself to his beak and feathers. He looked around the room and found
his gaze tinted by a slight red glow.
Lori picked up her scanner and pointed it at Drake. "Okay, now press your
hands to the sides of the mask," she instructed, activating her scanner. Drake
pressed the sides and gasped when Lori's skeleton became visible inside an outline
of her body!
He jerked the mask off his face and could only star as it shimmered from gold
back to hockey white. "What is this thing?" he demanded, almost afraid to put it down.
"Sorry," apologized the black eyes duck. "It's a sophisticated computer that
can analyze, scan, and allow the wearer to track anything by it's energy trail. I'm
pretty sure it can 'see' through that Cloak of Darkness Dagodevas has around his
Master Tower." She glanced at her hand held scanner. "At least my projected readings
on the mask check out indicating that it's safe to wear and use it."
Drake smiled and placed the mask firmly on his face, slightly startled as it
shimmered to it's golden color. "Why don't we test this in the fields?" he suggested,
his eyes narrowing.

A few hours later, Drake was crouched behind a ridge with Guardian, Redfire Conrad,
Tina, and John. Ahead of them was an open field covered in a layer of snow and ice and
John fingered his saber nervously.
"What exactly are we doing out here in the middle of nowhere?' he demanded, his
breath visible in the cold air.
Drake pressed his hands to the side of the mask, causing the eyes to glow with an
eerie red light. There was a shimmer in the air and the Master Tower became visible to his
eyes. "We're going to send Dagodevas back to his home planet," he growled, climbing over
the ridge and sliding down the hill. Behind him, the other five followed him down the
hill with their puck launchers in one hand and their sabers on the other. As they slowly
made their way across the field, one step, it was an empty field, and the next one, the
Master Tower appeared and all the ducks froze as they stared at the huge monstrosity.
Tina activated her saber and the emerald blade sprang out of the red hilt. "Let's not
keep the Saurian Scum waiting," she said, her voice calm and steady. Drake nodded and they
made their way across the field to the front entrance and the final show down with
Dagodevas and the Saurian Sorcerers.

To Be Continued In "The Price Of Freedom"

This is the third and final story in the Drake DuCain trilogy. I hope you
enjoyed them. Once again, Drake DuCain, Wraith, and the Saurian race are
all the property of Disney while the rest of the characters and the plot
are mine. Enjoy.

The Price of Freedom
By: Tazura Avey

Drake DuCain slowly approached the Master Tower with Redfire,
Guardian, Conrad, Tina and John close behind him. He knew that if one of
the drones spotted them, they were as good as dead. Suddenly, a cracking s
sound filled the air and he glanced behind him to discover the ice shattering
under the group's feet. Before he could say anything, they plummeted into
the snowy crevasse with frightened screams. They landed hard on a slide of
ice and continued downhill towards the tower at an alarming speed.
"Hang on!" shouted Drake, aiming his grappling hook at one of the
walls and fired. The grappling hook bit into the ice and he flung out his
had to catch the others. He snagged Redfire who grabbed Guardian and between
those two, they stopped the other three duck's wild flight.
"Is everyone all right?" gasped Tina, checking herself over for
injuries.
John shook his head. "Just a ringing in my ears when you screamed on
our way down," he replied, glancing around. "Now what?"
Redfire helped Drake stand. "Why don't we follow this tunnel until we
reach the tower?" she asked. "That way, neither the sorcerers nor the drones
will see us."
Guardian smiled and unstrapped the skates from her battle pack. "Shall
we get going?" she inquired, tying the blades to her feet. Minutes later,
the small group was on its way once more to the Tower.

The Wraith was in the dungeons, torturing some of his favorite victims
when he heard the sounds of hushed voices echoing through the halls.
There shouldn't be anyone down here at this time of night, he mused,
gliding down the hallway with his Cloak of Darkness on to investigate. As he
approached the voices, he suddenly sensed a magic user and dropped his Cloak
just as five ducks and a feline came around the bend.
"Drop him!" shouted the duck with a golden mask on his face, pointing
to the Wraith.
"I'm afraid not, my dear duck," chortled the Wraith, activating his
Cloak again. To his surprise, the masked duck fired directly at him, even
after he moved and so did the feline. Peering closer at the pair, he noticed
that the eyes of the mask were glowing with a red light and the feline's
eyes shimmered with green energy.
The mask must somehow be able to penetrate my magic, concluded the
Wraith, dropping his Cloak and hurling fireballs at the group. And the
feline is a magic user. I had better report this to Lord Dagodevas. With
that, he raised his arms above his head and in a cloud of smoke, vanished
from the dungeons to reappear in Dagodevas's quarters.
"What is the meaning of this intrusion?" demanded the sorcerer, smoke
pouring out of his nose while green energy crackled around his hands.
The Wraith bowed before the Overlord. "Forgive me, Master," groveled
the younger Saurian. "But five ducks and a feline have entered the Tower."
Dagodevas shrugged. "The drones and other sorcerers will take care of
them," he replied with an indifferent shrug.
"But the feline is a magic user and one of the duck's has a mask that
sees through the Cloak of Darkness," announced the Wraith in a desperate
voice. "I managed to escape with my life so I could inform you of the strike
force."
Dagodevas snarled. "Sound the alarm and spread the word to the
others," he ordered, already heading for the huge crystal sphere set in the
center of a wooden table. "Tell them that we have uninvited guests and then
destroy these intruders." The Wraith bowed once more before vanishing to
carry out his assignment.

As they made their way through the dungeons, cheers rose up from
several of the prisoners when they realized that help had arrived. Some
started promising their help in defeating the Saurian scum while others
begged to be let out.
"Drake, we just can't leave these poor people here," stated Tina, her
blue eyes hard as stones.
Drake nodded. "Your right," he replied. "Tina, you and John start
freeing the prisoners. The ones that want out, take them to the entrance
while the others that want to fight, gather them in a group and try to find
weapons. Then send them out against the drones." Tina and John got to work
while Drake, Redfire, Conrad, and Guardian continued on their way through
the dark halls of the Master Tower.
When the quartet had scaled three levels, a squad of drones appeared
with two sorcerers and the group opened fire with the strike force ducking
for cover. Drake and Guardian managed to take the sorcerers out of action
with a couple of bolo pucks while Redfire and Conrad destroyed the drones.
After that, they began running into more and more opposition when
reinforcements appeared in the form of the now armed prisoners. Once Tina
and John had rejoined them, they began slicing their way through the
Saurians' defenses until all that was left between them and Dagodevas was
the Wraith and a pair of huge doors.
"Well, well well. Look what we have here," John said, his hands on
his hips. "If it isn't the Saurian cowered who ran away when we were
fighting him in the dungeons." He began laughing, not noticing the fireball
that appeared in the Wraith's hand.
"Personally, I prefer my ducks roasted!" he snarled, heaving the
fireball at John. Before John could react, the fireball hit him and he
vanished with a scream.
The air around Guardian began crackling with power and her lips were
drawn back in a snarl as she raised her hands. "Young and foolish sorcerer/
With much horror and fright/ Now become a withered being/ With half your
original might!" she chanted, a lavender light engulfing the Wraith. Before
the assembled ducks' eyes, the Wraith's figure became gaunt and thin while
his robes turned into tattered forms of their original glory. Within a
minute, the Wraith had aged until he was a shadow of his former self.
Drake fired a bolo puck and the Wraith collapsed to the ground with
his arms and twisted staff trapped at his sides. "Now let's free Andromeda!"
snarled Drake, firing his puck launcher at the doors. The others added
their firepower and the metal doors crashed to the floor with a huge thud.
Cautiously, Tina, Conrad, Drake, Redfire, and Guardian crept into the
room and before the others could join them, a steel wall slid out of the top
of the doorway, cutting off their exit.
"We're trapped!" cried Redfire, shoving her weight against the metal.
Chilling laughter echoed through the empty room and the group formed a
circle to protect their backs.
"Foolish mortals," sneered a cold voice. "Do you honestly think you
can defeat me?" In a flash of light, Dagodevas appeared, except this
Dagodevas was thirty feet tall and breathing fire.
"Body check!" ordered Drake, racing for Dagodevas. The other four
slammed into Dagodevas with Drake and the sorcerer fell through the wall to
the snowy field below. Using their grappling hooks, the ducks swung down to
their fallen enemy as he shrunk to his normal size of ten feet.
As Dagodevas staggered to his feet, Drake aimed his puck launcher at
the Saurian. "Not so fast, lizard lips!" he growled. "You're not going any
where except back under the rock you crawled out of."
Dagodevas laughed. "I think not, foolish duck!" he jeered. Before
anyone could stop him, the sorcerer fired a blast of energy that rammed
Drake into the side of the Tower. When he hit, Drake felt his back breaking
and everything went numb from his waist down. He collapsed to the snow and
looked up horrified as Dagodevas loomed over him.
"Now you will know the true meaning of the word 'fear', Drake DuCain!"
hissed the Saurian as he lifted the hapless duck off the ground.
"NO!" screamed Redfire, firing at Dagodevas. Her pucks loosened his
grip on Drake and he tumbled to the ground, pulling himself across the snow
as fast as his arms could take him. Conrad and Guardian rushed over and
slung his arms across their shoulders before retreating a safe distance.
"Conrad, here," gasped Drake, pulling the mask off of his face. "You
have to defeat Dagodevas. My back's broken and I can't use my legs."
His friend only smiled. "You're still our leader, Drake," he soothed.
"A broken back won't change that." He shoved the mask back at Drake who
reluctantly placed it back on his face. "Now, let's kick some tail!"
Drake fired his puck launcher at Dagodevas while the others joined
him. Tina, Guardian, and Redfire dashed in occasionally and slashed
Dagodevas's armor with their sabers before dancing out of the way for the
guys to blast him with pucks. Snarling, Dagodevas tried to defend himself
against these multi-attacks but he was eventually drove to his knees just
before Redfire launched a bolo puck at him.
"You may have won the war, ducks," snarled Dagodevas as he levitated
off the ground with dark energy crackling around his body. "But you lost
your planet!"
"Not on your life, Saurian!" screamed Drake, launching himself at
Dagodevas with the last of his strength. As he landed on Dagodevas, the dark
energy ripped through his body and he screamed in pain. Dagodevas laughed
and waited for Drake to fall to the ground, but Drake grabbed hold of the
robes and gritted his teeth against the pain.
"You haven't learned, even after seven years, that we will not give up
without a fight," growled Drake, punching Dagodevas in the face and sending
both of them crashing to the ground. "Even if your kind ever comes back to
Andromeda and enslaves the populous again, there will be those who will
fight back with everything they have. Even if it means dying for their
planet, because the price of freedom is never too expensive."
"Brave words for someone who's about to die," sneered Dagodevas,
releasing his Dark Powers on Andromeda. "From this day forth, this planet
will be nothing but endless winter. The next time the snow and ice melts, it
will be when the Saurians have returned for revenge!" He collapsed on the
snow, laughing as his powers streaked off the planet and formed a belt of
meteors that stretched out through space to loop partly around the planet.
Suddenly, a lavender glow surrounded the rocks and they reshaped from hunks
of rocks to huge hockey pucks.
Back on Andromeda, the now freed ducks helped gather all of the
Saurians in the middle of the snow covered field and tied them together in a
chain gang. Then they began celebrating their independence from the
Saurians. Suddenly, Drake's body spasmed and he fell from Redfire's arms to
the ground. All celebrating stopped and they surrounded him with Redfire
and Guardian by his side.
"What's wrong with him, Guardian?" asked Redfire, her red eyes
shinning with tears.
Guardian shook her head. "It's the Dark Power that he absorbed when he
grabbed Dagodevas," she replied, her ears drooping. "It's slowly killing
him." She reached out and placed one hand on his chest and the other on his
head before the familiar lavender glow surrounded both of them. Redfire
held her breath and prayed that Guardian could help her husband before it
was too late. She hadn't survived seven years of fighting only to loose him
now when victory was theirs.
After several minutes of silence, the light faded and Guardian bowed
her head. "I've repaired the damage as best as I can," she replied as Drake
opened his eyes and slowly sat up.
"What happened?" asked Drake, holding his head in both hands. "It
feels like Conrad used me for a punching bag."
"Don't worry about it, love," soothed Redfire, throwing her arms
around Drake.
Guardian smiled at them. "I managed to repair you back, but
unfortunately, you'll have to wear braces for the rest of your life unless
you want to use a wheelchair," she said before standing up and walking over
to the Saurians. "Drake DuCain, I promise that as long as I live and for
the rest of my children's' lives, we will make sure the Saurians never harm
another living creature on this planet. Farewell, my friends."
A swirling blue and lavender vortex appeared above the group and Drake
saluted Guardian before she vanished into the vortex with her charges. As
soon as they were in the vortex, it closed, leaving no trace behind them.

Epilogue

Five years after the Saurians had been defeated, life on Puckworld,
the new name of Andromeda, began to adjust to the new conditions that it had
been left in. Animals who were unaccustomed to the harsh winter weather were
moved into huge paddocks under domes where the temperature was kept high all
year round with help from the sun. Winter clothes became the norm and hockey
caught on like wildfire.
Drake Bouvier and his wife, Red, settled down in Pakia with Conrad and
Lori Blake moving into the hose next door. Less than a year later, Red had
a son they named Wildfire. Even though Drake had to wear braces on his legs,
he still managed to teach Wildfire how to be one of the better goalies among
his friends.
Years went by, and the name DuCain faded into legends as the populous
of Puckworld soon forgot about the Saurian menace. When Drake and Red
Bouvier died of old age, they were buried together in an intricately carved
cave by Conrad and Lori. A white hockey mask was placed on a pedestal in the
main chamber before Conrad sealed the doors as they left Twin Beaks.
The Bouvier and Blake lines began drifting apart after the second
generation. Then a millennium later, two young ducks meet in school and
become good friends despite the fact that one duck's younger brother liked
to hang around with them. One day, when they were older, the brother was
talking about the Legend of Drake DuCain and when he was done, his older
brother shrugged the story off by saying it was only a legend and the
Saurians were long since defeated. Little did the trio know that the last
of the Saurian Overlords had just broke out of his Dimensional Limbo prison
and was coming for revenge.

The End.

Okay. How did you like it? Flames? Comments? Questions? Please e-mail me
and I'll try to answer any and all mail as soon as I can. Thanks.