By: Tazura Avey
This is to all of my friends that I've had and still have over the various years.
Mallory idly gazed through the books lining the shelves when her eye
caught on a thin, black book. She pulled it off the shelf and noticed that there was
nothing on the cover. When she opened it, to her delight, she discovered that it was
full of classic Earth love poems and grinned. Soon after they had arrived on this
planet, Mallory had discovered that she enjoyed human love poems and knew that both
Duke and Nosedive would give her a hard time if they ever found out.
Well we all have our little secrets, she mused as she scooped up a few other
volumes of poetry. She took her selections to the register and quickly paid for them
before leaving the store. As she strolled back to the Pond, Mallory took out the thin
book and began idly flipping through the pages, reading the various poems. She didn't
see the red haired girl until it was too late. All of their books went flying and
instantly the girl dropped to the ground to pick them up.
"Oh man," she groaned. "I'm sorry. I didn't see you." The girl looked up as
Mallory began helping her pick up the books and her green eyes grew even wider. "Miss
McMallard, I am truly sorry!"
Mallory smiled at the girl and took a closer look at her. She appeared to be
about eighteen years old with freckles scattered over her slightly tan face and her
red hair was caught back in a braid that fell to her waist. A few wispy curls had
escaped from the braid and framed her face and Mallory's smile grew wider when she
saw that the girl was wearing a shirt that proclaimed "Give Blood Play Hockey".
"Don't worry about it," soothed Mallory, handing the girl her books. "I wasn't
paying attention either."
The girl lanced at her watch and groaned. "I have to get going. Sorry again for
bumping into you." With that the girl grabbed her books and tore off down the street,
weaving around people who were in her way. Shaking her head, Mallory gathered up her
books and continued on to the Pond, vowing to read her new purchases there in the safety
of her room.
Panting, Lori Brown entered the house that she shared with her parents,
her brother and two of her brother's friends. She shut the door behind her and
dropped her purse on the closest chair before collapsing on the couch. Megabyte, her
tiger striped gray cat, climbed up onto her lap, purring loudly.
"Mallory must think I'm a total klutz, Meggie," groaned Lori, remembering the
disastrous meeting at the mall. She grinned as she scratched Megabyte's face. "But I
suppose that's one way to meet people." Giggling as Megabyte licked her chin, Lori
reached over and managed to snag her thin black sketchbook without disturbing the cat.
Flipping it open, she stared at the poems that were printed on the page as it
dawned on her. "I must have accidentally grabbed Mallory's book when I ran into her,"
she moaned, hitting her head with the palm of her hand. "Scuse me, Meg." She slid the cat
off her lap before jumping up and grabbing her purse. Scribbling a quick note to her
parents, Lori grabbed her keys and the book before racing out the door.
With a satisfied nod, Mallory put the last of her purchases away before reclining
on her couch with her book in her hands. She opened it the book and frowned. Instead of
poems, she found herself gazing at colorful sketches of her and her teammates.
That girl! She realized, flipping through the rest of the book. She must have
accidentally grabbed my book when we collided. A cold fist grabbed her heart as she gazed
at the pictures. I have to show this to Wildwing, she decided, standing up with the book
in her hands.
Mallory strolled down the metal halls when she heard Wildwing arguing with someone
and shook her head. She quietly entered the room as he slammed the phone down before
looking up at her and sighing with disgust.
"I wonder how Phil thinks up these publicity stunts," he groaned, rubbing his
temples. He looked up at her and smiled. "So how was your shopping trip?"
"IT was fine," she replied, holding out the book. "Except I bumped into someone
and we accidentally switched books."
Frowning, Wildwing took the book and slowly flipped though it. He blinked in
surprise when several photographs of the Ducks slid out of the pages. A few were of
the banquet that had gone to after winning the Stanley Cup while others were of the
Ducks in civilian clothes or battle gear.
"Looks like we have another fan," he remarked, returning his gaze to
the sketches. "What's bothering you?"
She sighed. "I was just concerned that this might be an obsessed fan," she
Wildwing smiled and closed the book. "This hardly looks like the work of an
obsessed fan," he remarked. "A fan, yeas. Obsessed, I don't think so."
Mallory took the book back and smiled sheepishly. "Guess I over reacted a
bit," she admitted. "Thanks." Turning, she wandered out into the Rec Room where she
sat down in one of the chairs and started flipping through the sketches. Some of the
sketches were the team of the team in various styles of clothing and Mallory giggled
when she saw a picture titled "Nosedive as Louis XIV".
"What's so funny, Sweetheart?" asked Duke behind her. Instead of answering him,
Mallory showed him the picture and he started laughing. "Where did ya find this? I gotta
get me a copy."
"IT belongs to a girl I bumped into today," replied the redhead. "We accidentally
switched books in the collision."
Duke peered closely at the sketch. "I wonder if her initials are LLB?" he
muttered. At Mallory's confused look, he pointed to a small figure near the lacy sleeve.
She looked at it carefully and discovered it said "LLB, 4-28-97".
"Must be her initials and the date completed," he remarked. "Some artists on
Puckworld do the same thing."
Mallory grinned. "You're an art expert too?" she teased, her green eyes dancing.
Duke shook his head. "No, but Darkon's specialty was art," he stated. "He gave me
a course in fine art and I taught him the difference between real jewels and cheep
Suddenly, Drake One's alarm sounded and the two Ducks scrambled for the Ready
Room, the sketchbook lying forgotten on the chair.
By the time the team had assembled, Tanya was already coaxing a report from
the massive computer. "Teleportation readings just a few blocks away," she announced,
her fingers flying over the keys.
"Let's move, team!" barked Wildwing, heading for the Garage. The others sprinted
after him and minutes later, the Migrator burst out into the sunny Anaheim street.
As she walked down the street, Lori managed to slide the book into her large
purse along with her keys as she walked. That done, she began thinking about how to
approach Mallory and ask for her sketchbook back while offering the book of poems in
return. Lost in her thoughts and anxiety, Lori didn't realize what happened until she
turned a corner and three lizard like creatures were standing in front of her next to a
broken store window. Lori had heard of these creatures. They were called Saurians and the
Ducks fight them.
"The ducks are gonna be here any minute," whined the green Saurian, wringing it's
hands, nervously. "What are we gonna do, Siege?"
Siege, the brown Saurian, glanced around and smiled when he saw Lori. "Simple," he
replied, starting towards her. "Those feathered pinheads won't attack us if we have a
"Gotta catch me first!" challenged Lori, darting past them. She managed to
dodge the green Saurian and Siege when she suddenly ran right into a pillar of smoke
and bony fingers closed around her arms.
"Not so fast little one," mocked the thin Saurian
"Good work, Wraith," stated the green Saurian.
The Wraith shoved Lori at Siege. "You take her," he growled as Siege grabbed
both her arms. "Looks like we got our hostage just in time," commented Siege as the Migrator
screeched to a halt and the Ducks piled out. They aimed their weapons at the Saurians
and Siege chuckled.
"Not so fast, you flat footed freaks," he warned. "If you try to stop us, I'll
crush this pitiful human like a bug."
I don't thin so, thought Lori as she grabbed a welcomed cylinder from her purse.
"Hey Ugly," she called, bringing the little bottle up to point back over her shoulder.
"Lookit!" With that, Lori closed her eyes tightly and pressed the button. There was a
hissing sound followed seconds later by a cry of pain and Lori was abruptly dropped to
Instantly, she dashed for cover behind the Ducks as they opened fire on the
Saurians. Lori looked up and grinned as she watched a blinded Siege try to aim for the
Ducks. Unfortunately for the other Saurians, he kept firing on them
"What did you do to Siege?" Mallory shouted over her shoulder.
"A wonderful invention called pepper spray," replied Lori, creeping
forward. "If you get any in your eyes, it's so irritating, it temporarily blinds
you." She laughed. "Looks like it works on Saurians as well as humans."
Suddenly, a stray shot caught Mallory in the chest plate and she was thrown
to the ground, winded. Lori scooped up the dropped pucklauncher and began firing
on the Saurians, sending them running for cover.
"Way to go, Girlie-girl!" called Nosedive as Mallory climbed back to her
feet. Lori grinned and tossed the pucklauncher to Mallory who plucked it out of
Before anyone could move, Siege spun around and fired at Lori. The tachyon
bolt hit her shoulder and she screamed before collapsing to the ground, unconscious.
Mallory crouched next to the girl long enough to make sure she was still
alive before firing on the Saurians with a frightening fury.
"Let's get outta here!" cried the Chameleon, dodging pucks. He activated his
teleporter and vanished with Siege and the Wraith in the now-familiar green light.
Once the light had faded, only then did Mallory turn back to the girl.
Tanya knelt next to the girl and examined her shoulder. "We need to get her
back to the Pond," she announced. "We have the right supplies to treat tachyon burns."
Wildwing nodded and gently scooped up the girl. He carried her back to the
Migrator and climbed in with the rest of the team. Once everyone was strapped in, the
Migrator turned and headed back to the Pond.
In the Infirmary, Tanya cleaned the burn and bandaged it before stepping back.
"That's the best I can do for her," she announced.
Just then, the girl moaned and opened her eyes as she sat up. "Okay, who decided
to get out the red-hot pokers?" she asked, blinking at her surroundings. When she
finally managed to focus on the faces around her, she blushed with embarrassment.
"How are you feeling?" inquired Wildwing in a gentle vice.
"I've been better," she replied, slowly standing up. "What happened?'
Tanya looked up as she put away her medical supplies. "You were shot in the
shoulder with a tachyon bolt," she reported. "I managed to put an anti-burn cream on
your shoulder and cleaned it enough that it won't get infected."
The girl winced as her shirt brushed her shoulder. "Did that cream happen to
have aloe in it?" she inquired. When the blond Duck nodded, she sighed. "Man, this is
gonna hurt." With that, she pulled off the bandage and gently washed her shoulder in
a nearby sink. When she was done, she grabbed a sterile bandage and tried to put it
on with one hand.
Mallory approached the girl and gasped when she saw the horrible blisters on
the girl's shoulder. She carefully placed the bandage over the blisters and the girl
sighed in relief.
"Sorry 'bout that," the girl apologized. "But if I get any aloe on my skin,
it just makes the burn worse instead of better." She glanced around and pounced on
her purse. Opening it up, she withdrew a thin black book and handed it to Mallory.
"Here's your book. We accidentally switched them when we collided."
"Thank you..." began Mallory, taking the book.
The girl blushed again. "Lori Brown," she supplied.
Duke waked over to Lori and held out a book that looked exactly like the one
she had just returned to Mallory. "I think this belongs to you," he stated. She took it
and sighed with relief when she spotted the sketches.
"Thank you," she breathed. "I'm glad I didn't have to start all over again."
"Those are extremely good," Duke remarked, nodding his head at the book. "Do you
do that professionally?'
Lori shook her head. "No, I worked at a fast food joint for the past four years,"
she replied. "These are just a hobby of mine."
Wildwing studied the girl carefully. "Lori, why do you sketch us instead of
humans?" he inquired.
"Two reasons," she replied. "One, drawing you is a challenge, and Two, I've
never been able to draw human noses too good." She glanced at her watch and swore. "I've
got to get going. I still have an English essay to write."
Mallory smiled and glanced at Wildwing who nodded. "I'll take you home," she
offered. Lori nodded and followed Mallory to the Garage where the duckcycles were. As
she handed Lori a helmet, the redheaded Duck gazed at the girl.
"Lori, why do you sketch?" asked the Duck, confused. "Don't you spend any time
with your friends?"
The girl was silent as she carefully fastened the helmet, being careful not
to move her injured shoulder any more than what was necessary. "I honestly didn't have
many friends in high school and after graduation, we moved o with our lives," she
confessed, he voice sad. "I've always been a loner and a bookworm. Never interested in
sports or shopping so I didn't fit in with the Jocks or the popular kids and I wasn't
freaky enough to fit in with the Goths or the Punks. Now my friends are scattered
across the East Coast and the only way I can keep in touch with them is by telephone,
e-mail, or the Postal system."
"What about your friends in collage?" Mallory inquired, tilting her head to
one side in a curious manner.
Lori laughed. "I'm lucky I see anyone I know at collage," she sighed. "I don't
even have time for a boyfriend, between classes and finding a new job. I enjoy
watching your games but I either have to listen to them on the radio or record them
to watch later. I skipped some of my classes to watch the Stanley Cup game."
"Sounds rough," Mallory said, sympathetically.
"Yeah, well, it's the only way I can live," stated Lori. "I'm going to be
paying for my collage until I graduate which is why I have to find another job soon."
The girl shrugged slightly and climbed onto the duckcycle. "As much as I enjoy
gossiping, I'm afraid I still have that paper to write."
Mallory nodded and climbed on in front of Lori. As she started the duckcycle,
Lori wrapped her arms around Mallory's waist and the duckcycle roared down the
tunnel to the hidden entrance.
"Lori, both Duke and I liked that picture of Nosedive as that Louis person,"
remarked Mallory, grinning.
The girl laughed. "I was curious to see how everyone would look in those
kind of clothes," she confessed. "After I did Nosedive, I didn't have the guts to
do the rest of the team. I kept that picture to cheer me up on bad days. Personally,
I like the picture of the team as 1930 gangsters."
Mallory frowned. "Don't think I saw that one," she admitted.
"I'll send you a copy," promised the redhead as the duckcycle stopped in
front of a two-story house. "Thanks for the lift, Miss McMallard."
"My friends call me Mallory," replied the Duck with a smile. "Maybe the two
of us could get together some time and hit the mall."
Lori grinned. "I'd like that, Mallory," she said before the duckcycle roared
off down the road.
Behind Lori, the door opened and her younger brother, Rick, stuck his head out.
"Who was that?" he inquired as Lori entered the house.
"Mallory McMallard," she replied, heading for her room and leaving a stunned
boy stand there.
Taking a deep breath, Lori entered Captain Comics and stopped, letting her eyes
adjust to the dimmer light. As she looked around, she smiled when she spotted a familiar
girl with a purple Mohawk standing behind the counter.
"Mook?" she called, cautiously. The girl looked up and Lori smiled. "I'm Lori
Brown. We were in English 101 together."
Mook nodded. "You like had all those cool essays as stuff," she replied. "SO what
can I like do for ya?"
Lori dug a few sheets of paper out of her notebook and handed them to Mook.
"Here's my resume and an application for a job," she announced.
"Come with me," requested Mook as she took the papers. The two walked back to
an office where an elderly man was reading a book. He looked up as the girls entered
"Mr. Peterson, this is Lori Brown," introduced Mook, handing him the papers.
"She's looking for a job."
"Impressive resume, Miss Brown," Mr. Peterson remarked, glancing at the papers.
"Tell me, when can you start?"
Lori grinned and resisted the urge to jump for joy. "Right now, sir," she replied.
Mr. Peterson laughed. "Welcome to the gang," he announced. "Mook will show you
the ropes." He waved them out of his office and returned to his book.
Mook grabbed her arm. "C'mon. I'll introduce you to the rest of the staff," she
said dragging Lori back to the front of the store. Putting away newly arrived comic
books were two boys roughly the same age as Lori and Mook.
"Lori, this is Chip Delaney and Thrash," she introduced. "Guys, this is Lori
Brown. She was like hired a few seconds ago."
"Welcome, Lori," greeted Thrash, slapping her on her injured shoulder. She
hissed in pain and backed away as her eyes started watering.
"Are you okay?" asked Chip, concerned.
She nodded. "Just took a Saurian blaster bolt in the shoulder last wee," she
replied, blinking away the tears.
Thrash snapped his fingers. That's why your name's so familiar!" he exclaimed.
"Dive was in here last week telling us about this girl who was not only able to escape
Siege but deadly with a pucklauncher too."
The three teens looked at Lori with a mixture of awe and envy. "Spill," ordered
Mook, folding her arms across her chest.
Laughing, Lori repeated her story and when she finished, the others were
grinning. "...And when my parents found out what happened, they went out and bought
me five more bottles of pepper spray," concluded the redhead.
Chip grinned and carefully placed an arm around Lori's shoulders. "A story like
that deserves a reward," he announced. "After work, why don't we all go out for ice cream."
The teens cheered their approval and Lori knew that this was the beginning of a
This is the only story where Lori is a major character. When she appears in any
other story, it's just as support for the plot.