I haven't had much time to get near a computer other than to check my e-mail.
I've always thought that there might be more to Tanya than just brains, talent
and beauty. I mean, why should Duke and Grin be the only one's with secrets.
Usual disclaimer: All the Mighty Ducks with a few exceptions belong to Disney.
Anything that hasn't been said in the shows is totally made up by me so go ahead
and enjoy the story.
This is dedicated to all my friends at NERO, because without NERO, my life
would be extremely dull and normal.
The Black Jade Society
By: Tazura Avey
A swirling blue vortex opened and Canard stepped out, leading a shackled
Lucretia DeCoy. Wary Puckworlders stared at them before parting to allow a group of
soldiers to approach him and the leader saluted Canard.
"Sir, General McMallard sent us to escort you and the prisoner back to the base,"
she announced, in a crisp voice.
Canard smiled and returned the young soldier's salute. "I'd be happy to welcome
your company,' he replied, holding out is hand. The soldier was startled before gratefully
shaking his hand. She motioned to the rest of the troops and they formed an escort around
the two. Silently, the group started down the street and, as Puckworlders watched the odd
group, a cry of recognition echoed through the crowd.
"Look! It's that traitor, Lucretia DeCoy!" someone shouted.
"Didn't she almost end the Resistance?" called another. Insults began raining down
on the group and in a few seconds, chunks of ice pelted the small group.
Biting back a curse, Canard covered his head with his free hand as he grabbed
Lucretia. "I'll get her to the base," he shouted over the crowd. "Cover me but don't hurt
Before anyone could move, an explosion echoed through the streets and several
Puckworlders screamed in fear and pain. Canard looked around and spotted five figures
clothed in black moving through the half-panicked crowd towards him. In a flash he
realized that the strange Puckworlders were after Lucretia!
"You're not getting away that easily," he snarled, tossing Lucretia over
his shoulder. She let out a startled yelp as Canard activated his jet-blades and weaved
his way through the crowd, heading for the safety of the nearby military base. A black
figure dropped down to block Canard's path and Canard calmly fired a bolo puck at the
figure. With a grunt, the Puckworlder fell to the street with his hands trapped at his
side and Canard zoomed past with his prize struggling to get free. The brown duck had
only managed to get a few blocks closer to the base before he was surrounded by the
figures dressed in black. One stepped forward and held his hands out to show he was
"We do not wish to harm you, Mr. Blake," he announced, his voice calm despite
the chaos swarming around them. "All we have come for is Lucretia DeCoy and what the
Black Jade wants, the Black Jade gets."
Lucretia gasped and Canard frowned. "Sorry to disappoint this Black jade, but
the only place she's going is the military base to stand trial for her crimes," he replied,
tightening his grip on his pucklauncher.
The figure bowed his head. "I am truly sorry to hear that, Mr. Blake," he a
pologized, clasping his hands in front of him. He suddenly flung his hand out and Canard
yelped in surprise as the handle of a knife struck the back of his hand, forcing him to
drop his pucklauncher.
As one, the other figures jumped into action and Canard was hard pressed to keep
all of them off him and away from Lucretia. One of the figures struck him from behind and
another grabbed Lucretia. A Canard fell to the ground, he managed to rip the sleeve off of
a nearby figure to expose a strange black flower tattooed on the Puckworlder's arm, but it
was the last thing he saw before darkness consumed him.
Tanya ducked as a barrage of bullets flew in her direction and glanced around the
alley for a way out. She had been on her way to 'Lectric Land when she had stumbled across
a jewelry robbery and the robbers had decided to eliminate her. Now she was trapped in an
alley that ended in a high brick wall.
Why is it all we have to do is wake up to attract trouble? Wondered Tanya,
crouching behind a Dumpster. She tried her wristcomm again only to be greeted with static.
Must have been hit when I ran in here, she thought, shaking her head. Looks like there's
only one thing to do. Taking a deep breath, Tanya dashed out of the alley and ran right for
the robbers. Startled, they stopped firing and Tanya crashed into the group, kicking and
She managed to drop two before the remaining robber shoved her though the
display window, shredding the back of her shirt. Rolling to her feet, the blond Duck
climbed out of the window in time to see the Migrator pull up and Wildwing, Duke and
Mallory pile out to intercept the last robber.
"Are you all right, Tanya?" asked Wildwing, laying a hand on her shoulder.
"I have had better days," she replied as Mallory tied up the unconscious robbers.
She glanced over her shoulder and snarled. "Oh perfect! My brand new shirt's ruined!"
Mallory glanced at Tanya's back. "Sorry, Tanya," she apologized with a small
shake of her head. "I don't think there's anyway to repair it without it looking pathetic."
"So much for my trip to 'Lectric Land,' sighed the blond with a small shrug as
she made her way to the Migrator. Wildwing tied the three robbers to a nearby light pole
before joining the others in the armored vehicle.
Duke glanced over as Tanya made her way to a small medicine cabinet at the back of
the Migrator, and as she reached up for a bottle of aspirin, the tears in her shirt moved to
expose a familiar black flower, tattooed across her lower back. He turned to gaze out the
window as his mind worked furiously to identify the tattoo, but the answer managed to elude
As the Migrator pulled into their headquarters under the Pond, their wristcomms
beeped, and Nosedive's face appeared in the view screen. "Hey guys, we've got an emergency
call coming in from Canard," he announced. The connection was terminated, but the anxiety
in the young Duck's voice was enough to send them sprinting for the elevator.
As soon as the doors to the Ready Room opened, The quickly made their way to Drake
One where Nosedive and Grin were waiting for them. On the monitor of their supercomputer
was Canard, his faced lined with concern.
"What's the emergency, Canard?" asked Wildwing, gazing up at his friend.
"Lucretia DeCoy's free," Canard replied, grimly. "A group of soldiers and I were
escorting her to a nearby military base at Andoxia to stand trial when a crowd turned into
a mob. During the ice barrage, several black clothed figures attacked, and I managed to
get DeCoy a few blocks father when the same figures surrounded us. They claimed to be
working for someone named Black Jade." A startled gasp echoed through the room as Canard
continued. "I tried to hold them off as long as I could, but they over powered me and took
Duke took a step forward. "Did any on the attackers have a death-bloom tattoo?" he
The brown duck nodded. "I saw one after ripping a sleeve," he confessed, rubbing
the back of his head. "Right before they gave me an unwelcomed nap." He gazed at the Ducks
with a deadly serious expression. "Watch your tailfeathers. The Military's been looking for
DeCoy, but haven't found any traces of her or her abductors. It's all too possible she might
head after you." Canard's face was replaced with darkness as the communication was cut
and Wildwing turned around to face the rest of the team.
"Why'd ya ask about the tattoo, Duke?" inquired Nosedive.
A look of sadness flashed across the one-eyed Duck's face. "Because the attackers
were from the Black Jade Society," he announced, his voice hard. "The deadliest group of
assassins on Puckworld." Unconsciously, he reached up to touch the eyepatch that covered
his missing eye. "What they want with Lucretia can't be good."
"What can you tell us about the Black Jade Society?" requested Wildwing, leaning
against Drake One's control panel. "Any information at this point would be helpful if any
of these Black Jade assassins show up here."
"Not much, I'm afraid," Duke confessed. "Their assassins are the deadliest ever
known, and everyone I've seen or known have had the death-bloom tattoo somewhere on their
body. They'll take any commission as ling as the price is met and there are only two ways
out of the Society; death and retirement."
Mallory frowned. "If these assassins really are so deadly, why is Canard still
alive?" she wondered, puzzled. "I would think that they wouldn't want any witnesses left
"Unless they wanted the military to know who grabbed DeCoy," remarked Nosedive.
Wildwing sighed. "Whatever the reason, it can't be good so watch your tailfeathers
when you go out," he ordered, sealing his words with a piercing gaze. They nodded before
trailing out of the Ready Room.
Stumbling to the center of the room, Lucretia blinked against the spotlight
that suddenly appeared and pinned her in its brilliance. She heard whispers that betrayed
the movements of several figures cloaked by the darkness around the shaft of light, and
knew she was going to have to be alert if she was going to get out of this encounter with
her feathers in tact.
"Lucretia DeCoy, you have been selected for a special job," intoned a chorus of
voices from all around her. "Succeed and you will be well rewarded. Fail and you shall be
punished." A large leather bag was thrown into the light and Lucretia caught it before
it slammed into her. She slung it over her shoulder and looked straight before her into
"Who is my target?" she asked, falling into the familiar ritual she knew so well.
"You will be sent to Earth and kill Duke L'Orange and Tanya Vanderquack,"
announced the voices. "Bring back proof of their demise and you can claim your reward."
A dimensional gate appeared behind her and with a startled yelp, Lucretia was pulled into
the vortex before it closed behind her.
"Black Jade, is it wise to send that traitor after both Tanya and Duke?" asked a male
voice from the darkness.
A chuckle echoed through the room. "Do not fear," soothed a voice that was
weighted down with age. "I also do not trust her so my enforcer will be monitoring
her actions." A female duck clad in a black silk cloak stepped into the light and a look
of triumph crossed her elderly face. "Tanya's final test has begun!" With that, the light
faded and plunged the room into darkness once more.
Looking over her shoulder in the mirror, Tanya examined her back for cuts, but her
eyes kept returning to the tattoo stretched across her lower back. It resembled an Earth
rose but without the thorns and all black except for the three leaves. One was midnight blue,
the second a deep crimson, and the last a dark forest green. Each represented her skills as
a scientist, spy, and assassin, and she wished for the hundredth time she could wipe out
the part of her life that the death-bloom represented.
Why now? She wondered as she pulled a large shirt out of her closet. And why
Lucretia? Sighing, Tanya pulled the shirt on and stared at her reflection, once more
seeing the scared young woman who had joined the Black Jade Society ten years ago.
The knocking on her door startled her out of her bitter memories and she called
out for the person to come in. The door opened and Duke strolled in. "I jest wanted ta
make sure ya were okay after takin' that dive through the window," he remarked, tossing
her a cocky smile.
"I'm fine," Tanya replied, brushing past him. "I've got some work to do in my lab,
so if you will excuse me."
"Ya can't run from the Society," he called, casually. "Sooner or later, they will
That stopped her in her tracks and Tanya turned to find Duke looking at her. "I
don't know what you're talking about," she lied, avoiding his gaze.
The gray Duck shook his head. "Don't lie to me, Tanya," he warned, in a soft
voice. ""I saw the death-bloom on your back in the Migrator and you knew about DeCoy
when the rest of us simply thought of her as Dragaunus's pawn. I haven't told the
others about this, but I think you should."
"I can't," Tanya whispered, her voice barely audible as she closed her eyes
against the pain and grief flooding over her.
Duke stalked over to her. "Don't give me that," he growled. "You know more
about the Black Jade Society than anyone here. Right now the rest of the team needs
"This coming from someone who's had the protection of the Brotherhood his entire
life," spat Tanya, looking at him through her tears with haunted eyes as the memories
washed over her carrying their familiar mix of pain and suffering. "Well, I didn't have
any protection ten years ago when a psychotic killer decided to stalk my family." She sat
down on her couch, tears streaming down her face as the story spilled from her. "The
military tried to protect us, but they couldn't. Then one of my classmates, Wanda
VonDrake, suggested that I join her society and accept their protection. Out of
desperation, I joined the Black Jade Society, and true to Wanda's word, one of the
assassins found the stalker and sent his body to the local military base." She shrugged,
staring at the floor with her arms wrapped around her chest. "A girl only fifteen years
old doesn't have much of a choice when it comes to protecting the ones she loves."
Duke frowned as he sat down next to her. "But Wanda VonDrake is the name that
DeCoy used when she first met us,' he remarked, puzzled.
Tanya smiled, bitterly. "Wanda VonDrake IS Lucretia DeCoy," she explained,
wiping the tears off her feathers. "She changed her name soon after I joined. Five
years later, I heard about a botched assassination that cost a young woman her life and
her unborn child's, and I left the Society." She shook her head. "I couldn't continue
in the Society knowing they murdered two innocent people."
"So why not tell the others about this?" he demanded, staring at her.
"Because I can't take the chance that I'll loose the team's trust and
friendship," Tanya cried, exasperated. "I never had a friendship that I value as
highly as that of this teams. Even after I left the Society, my family never looked at
me the sameway light again. There was always that doubt in them, what jobs had I
taken, what lives had I ruined. Soon, I began building walls around my emotions until
Kenny tore them down and showed me he accepted me for who I am, despite my past." Fresh
tears raced down her face and she buried her face in her hands as Duke slipped a comforting
arm around her shoulders.
They sat like that for several minutes until Tanya's grief and pain had run its
course and her sobbing stopped. "Tanya, ya can't expect the rest of us ta trust ya if ya
start mistrustin' us,' he explained, gently turning her head to look at him. "Right now,
ya have information that could help us if DeCoy shows up." He smiled, softly. "If you're
worried about how the others will look at ya, ya had better take a closer look at us. I'm
a thief in charge of the biggest criminal organization on Puckworld; Grin is a
bully-turned-pacifist; Mallory is a military commando who, for all her bluster, has a heart
of gold; Nosedive's a pain in the tailfeathers, but as loyal as they come; and Wildwing
started out as our unwilling leader who became the best Team Captain since Drake
DuCain." He wiped the tears off her cheeks with gentle fingers. "Now how about telling
us everything about DeCoy and the Society. Ya don't have ta tell them that ya were a
She nodded and smiled up at Duke. "Thank you," Tanya murmured as they stood
up. Together, they went in search of Wildwing.
Humming to herself, Lucretia coated a dagger with a powerful drug before slipping
it into the last available sheath on a large bracer filled with other daggers prepared in
a similar manner. She was sitting on the floor of an abandoned building she had discovered
soon after appearing on Earth and had moved in as soon as she moved the former occupants out.
"I'm going to have to plan this carefully," she mused, picking up one of the swords
that were scattered at her feet. "Nosedive is a fool I can easily trap, and Mallory is
hotheaded enough to rush blindly into my arms. Grin relies a bit too much on his strength,
but Wildwing is cunning. I'm sure it was him who switched the chips before planting the
Proteus Chip in my bag. For that, he shall pay dearly. Duke will be a bit of a challenge
since he doesn't take kindly to people using him. Tanya will be putty in my hands once I
have her friends."
Her reflection in the blade seemed to frown at her. "I know my targets are only
Tanya and Duke," she confessed out loud. "But I'm sure Lord Dragaunus will reward me
handsomely for removing his Duck problem." Laughing, Lucretia slipped the sword into its
sheath before climbing to her feet and leaving to explore the building to plan her traps.
As she left the room, she was unaware that the pommel of one of the daggers in the brace
was blinking merrily to itself.
Tanya cautiously followed Duke into the Rec Room and looked around at the people
she had come to think of as friends, and in a way, her family. She silently prayed to the
Guardian that their opinion of her wouldn't change in the next few minutes. Duke nudged her
with his elbow and she hesitantly cleared her throat. Everyone turned to look at her and she
took a deep breath.
"I have some information about Lucretia and the Society," announced Tanya. She
decided then not to let them know about her connection with the Society despite what Duke
had said. "The Black Jade Society is almost as old as the Brotherhood, and despite the
fact that it's made mostly of spies and assassins, has just as strict code of honor. The
Society protects the families of those that join its ranks even if all they become is a
scientist. Once a person completes the basic training, they receive the death-bloom tattoo
and the shade of the leaves indicates what rank they are. Blue for scientist, red for spy,
and green for assassin. The darker the colors, the higher the rank. There are only four
kinds of people, and their families, which the Society will not take a commission on: high
military officers, prominent political figures, the Leader and the Council of the
Brotherhood, and the Black Jade herself."
"Wait a minute," interrupted Duke, turning to face Tanya. "If the Brotherhood
Leader is immune to Black Jade assassins, then how could Fal Cone hire one to come after me?"
The blond glared at him with her eyes flashing. "How should I know?" she cried,
throwing her hands into the air with an exasperated expression on her face. "Only three
people know the target: the one with the money, Black Jade, and the assassin hired."
Wildwing held up his hands to forestall any arguments. "And DeCoy?" he prompted.
Tanya took a deep breath and got her emotions back under control. "Lucretia
was a classmate of mine ten years ago," she began, slowly." She was already a member of
the Society and quickly became one of their top assassins and spies. She'll worm her way
into your confidence, find everything about you that she can and then use that information
to take you down. Most of the time, she'll trick someone else into doing her dirty work
before eliminating them."
"Like she tricked us in using the Mask to find that chip for her," growled
Mallory, her eyes flashing.
"So how are we going to capture her?" inquired Nosedive. "I mean, we don't even
know if she's going to be coming after us."
Tanya snorted. "After that switch Wildwing pulled with the chips, she'll be after
us," she remarked. "Especially Wildwing."
"To defeat an enemy, one must turn their own weaknesses against them," remarked Grin.
Duke grinned. "We turned the tables on her," he stated. Everyone turned to look
at the Team Captain, who had a thoughtful look on his face.
"If DeCoy is on Earth and planning to come after us, we had better be alert," he
cautioned, glancing around at the others. "When you're out and see something suspicious,
contact the others before investigating. That way, if it turns out to be DeCoy, we have
a general area to search in. Got it?" They nodded and Wildwing turned back to Tanya.
"Anything else you can tell us about either the Society or DeCoy?" Tanya thought about
the question for a few minutes and realized this was her chance to tell the others her
connection to the Society but her fears rose before her. She shook her head and left the
Rec Room before any of the others could ask her about the source of her information.
Lucretia smiled as she examined her traps one last time. She had spent the last
three weeks scrounging and stealing the components needed, but now her work was complete.
Now is the time to strike, she thought, tugging the final strap into place as the
sword rested across her back. Walking over to the window, she slipped the pucklauncher
into the holster at her hip and grinned.
"Look out, Tanya," the lavender haired duck whispered, strolling out the
door. "Your worst nightmare is about to come true." Laughing, she vanished down the
hallway to bait her traps.
Desperately trying to keep her bags from falling all over the sidewalk, Mallory
walked down the street with Lori who was carrying just as many packages.
"I can't believe you managed to talk me into buying all of this," giggled
Lori. "This is the most I've ever bought."
Mallory's laughter abruptly ended as a familiar tingling began along the back
of her neck. Slowly lowering her purchases to the ground, her eyes scanned their
surroundings as she looked for the hidden watcher, and she risked a glance at Lori only
to find the girl had a can of pepper spray in her hand as she backed away from the Duck.
Keep going, Lori, Mallory silently urged as she activated her quick-change
sequence. A yellow light temporarily engulfed her, but when it faded, she was clad in
her armor and she swung her puck bazooka off her back and into her hands.
"Impressive," purred a silky voice. "But I don't impress easily."
Mallory's face twisted into a snarl as Lucretia DeCoy stepped out of the
shadows of a nearby alley. The violet haired beauty had several blades strapped to
her, but none of them seemed to hinder her movements in any way. "Lucretia DeCoy, you
are so dead when I get my hands on you," growled Mallory, starting for the other duck.
"Come and get me," taunted Lucretia before racing back down the alley.
Without another thought, Mallory raced after her forgetting Wildwing's words of
caution. She followed the treacherous duck to an abandoned building and watched as
Lucretia slipped inside. Grinning, Mallory cautiously approached the building with all
her senses on full battle alert, and pushed open the door, her puck bazooka leading
the way. She crept down the darkened hallway, her eyes searching in every shadow for
Lucretia, and she dimly realized that this entire set up was probably a trap.
Too late for any change of plans, the commando mused, grimly, as she approached
a staircase leading to the upper stories of the building.
"Really, Mallory, do you honestly think YOU can stop me, hmm?" taunted
Lucretia, her voice drifting down from the staircase. Snarling, Mallory slowly
climbed the stairs when she suddenly found herself face to face with Lucretia on one
of the landings. With a growl, the redhead fired her puck bazooka only to watch the
pucks smash through Lucretia and shatter the other Puckworlder.
Suddenly, a streak of silver whistled out of the darkness and Mallory
dropped her puck bazooka in surprise. It had been neatly sliced into two pieces and
the wires sparked slightly as Lucretia emerged into the dim light.
"Oh, I'm sorry," apologized Lucretia, drawing a dagger from the bracer across
her chest. "Did I break your little toy?"
Mallory crouched in a defensive stance with a bolopuck in one hand. "You won't
take me without a fight," she growled, swinging the bolopuck over her head. With a flick
of her wrist, she sent the bolopuck spinning towards Lucretia, but before it reached the
lavender haired duck, her blades flashed around her in a deadly dance. Mallory stared
in disbelief as the now useless bolopuck fell to the floor in pieces, and Lucretia rushed
at her with her blades flashing. Faced with a well-armed advisary, the redhead did the
only thing she could. She dashed into a nearby room and slammed the door behind her.
Looks like I'm gonna need help, thought Mallory, opening the channel on he
wristcomm. "Mallory to Wildwing. Come in Wing!"
Wildwing's masked face appeared in the screen. "Mallory, by the Guardian,
where are you?" he demanded.
"In an abandoned apartment building about seven blocks from the mall on the
corner of West Fifth and Tenth," she replied, backing away from the door towards the
center of the room. "Be careful. Lucretia's here and she's.." Her sentence trailed off
into a scream as the floor gave way beneath her.
She struck unyielding wood and all the air was forced out of her lungs. Stunned,
Mallory lay there, trying to catch her breath, but after only a few deep breaths, her
vision blurred. Too late, she realized that the room was full of gas and seconds later,
she slipped into unconsciousness with Wildwing desperately calling for her over the open
wristcomm. A hand reached down as slipped the wristcomm off Mallory's limp arm.
"Why, hello Wildwing," cooed Lucretia, flashing him a dazzling smile.
"What have you done with Mallory?" growled the Team Captain. "If you've hurt
one feather on her body.."
"Here's a better idea. Why don't you try to rescue her," challenged the deadly
beauty before dropping the wristcomm n the floor and smashing it with her heel. Grunting,
Lucretia lifted the unconscious Duck onto her shoulders and headed for a special room in
Duke, Grin, Nosedive and Wildwing had been lounging in the Rec Room when Lori
stumbled through the soor, out of breath. "Mallory.. trouble.." she gasped, collapsing
to the floor as her legs gave out.
The one-eyed Duck helped the girl to the nearest chair, and she gratefully sat
down as the others gathered around her.
"Start at the beginning, Lori," urged Wildwing.
Lori nodded. "Mallory and I were returning from the mall when she suddenly stopped
and changed into her battle gear," she explained, her green eyes wide with concern. "Then
this purple haired duck steps out of an alley and taunts Mallory into following her. I
raced back here to let you know."
Nosedive handed Lori a glass of water just as Wildwing's wristcomm beeped, and he
opened it to find a concerned Mallory gazing back at him. "Mallory, by the Guardian, where
are you?" he demanded.
"In an abandoned apartment building about seven blocks from the mall on the corner
of West Fifth and Tenth," she replied. "Be careful. Lucretia's here and she's.." There was
a tremendous crack and Mallory's words turned into a scream. The Ducks exchanged worried
glances as they listened to their teammate land and Wildwing began calling her name.
After a few seconds, Lucretia's face appeared in the wristcomm. "Why, hello
Wildwing," she cooed, smiling seductively.
"What have you done with Mallory?" growled the Team Captain. "If you've hurt one
feather on her body.."
"Here's a better idea. Why don't you try to rescue her," challenged the deadly
beauty before the connection was terminated. Wildwing closed his wristcomm and looked
at the others.
"Dive, Grin, you're with me," he ordered, starting towards the Garage where the
Migrator was kept. "Duke, locate Tanya and follow as quickly as possible." Dive and Grin
followed Wildwing as he raced for the Migrator and a few minutes later, the armored
vehicle roared into the sunny Anaheim afternoon.
"Hey, Wing, we're not going to do Mal any good in body casts," remarked Nosedive
as the Migrator took a corner and almost flipped over. Wildwing didn't reply but slammed
on the brakes in front of a rundown building.
"Split up and be careful," warned Wildwing before slipping into the building.
"Watch your back, Nosedive," warned Grin, staring at the building. "there are bad
Nosedive grinned. "Aw, you're just saying that to make me feel better," he teased,
slipping into the dark interrior. Grin rolled his eyes and followed his teammates into the
dimly lit building.
Glancing around, Wildwing slowly climbed the stairs with his back pressed up
against the wall. When he arrived at the third floor, he spotted what was left of Mallory's
puck bazooka on the floor lying on what looked like the remains of a shattered mirror.
Looks like Lucretia's wired this place for traps, he mused, stepping through the
mow empty frame. Better warn Grin and Dive. He opened his wristcomm and closed it quickly
before the squeal alerted Lucretia to his position.
"Wonderful," he muttered, starting up the stairs again. "She must have activated
the jammer after our little chat." He scanned the third floor with the Mask but found no
trace of either Mallory or Lucretia. Pausing at the next landing, he carefully checked for
any traps before continuing up the stairs.
When he reached the fifth landing past the broken mirror, he stopped, frowning.
Something was wrong and he stopped to figure out what was bothering him, when in a flash
of inspiration it hit him. He hadn't seen any door that lead off onto the other floors
and he was trapped in the stairwell. Wildwing forced the blind panic that threatened to
consume him back and started up the stairs again.
This is no time for my private daemons to haunt me, he thought, shaking his head.
Not when my team is in danger.
As his foot landed on the next landing, he cried out as pain lanced through the
Mask and into his head. Wildwing clutched his head and sunk to his knees as wave after
wave of pure agony rolled over him. Then, just as suddenly as it began, the pain stopped,
leaving his head throbbing and he tried desperately to stifle the moans that escaped
between his clenched teeth.
There was a dim whistling, and a bolopuck wrapped around his chest, pinning his
arms at his sides. Off balanced, Wildwing crashed to the floor as a pair of brown boots
filled his sight. Painfully, he raised his eyes to find Lucretia staring down at him with
a sneer on her lovely face.
"How the mighty have fallen," she spat, pointing a black cylinder at him and
pressing the button on it. Once more, pain lanced through his head, but this time, the
agony was too much and he passed out.
With a soft moan, Mallory opened her eyes and winced as she became aware of all
the bruises she gained by crashing though the floor. For some reason, her arms and back
hurt the worst but her mind was still foggy from the gas to figure out why.
Where am I? she wondered, shaking the last of the cobwebs from her brain. Blinking,
she looked up and discovered her hands were chained aournd some kind of hook that held her
off the floor. Okay, that explains the ache in my arms and back, she mused, but where's
DeCoy? Gazing downwards, she found that she was wearing only her purple bodysuit and the
floor had been torn up to create a hole three stories deep. At the very bottom of the hole,
a bit of light glinted off of sharp metal, but before she could speculate any father, a door
opened up and Lucretia entered, dragging an unconscoius Wildwing with her.
"So glad to see you're finally awake," remarked Lucretia.
At the sight of Wildwing's limp form, Mallory's temper rose and she glared at the
other duck. "What did you do to him?" she demanded, her green eyes flashing with fury.
Lucretia smirked. "Amazing what a few hundred volts of electricity can do when
properly conducted," she remarked as she knelt next to him. Quickly, she removed his armor,
boots, belt, shirt, and the Mask before chaining his wrists together. She lugged him to
the edge of the hole and slipped a large hook through the chains before grasping the
chain connected to the hook. Hand over hand, Lucretia easily hauled Wildwing up until
he was suspended over the pit beside Mallory.
"Now, if you will excuse me, I've got more ducks to catch,' remarked Lucretia,
dusting her hands off. She started for the door but stopped after a few steps. "One
more thing. At the bottom of that pit are dozens of sharp metal spikes. If I were you,
I wouldn't move around too much." With that, she left the two Ducks alone in the room.
Mallory looked at Wildwing with a troubled gaze. "Wing?" she called in a soft
Groaning, Wildwing lifted his head and blinked against the harsh light. He gazed
at their surroundings and smiled, bitterly. "Looks like DeCoy is determined to keep us
here," he remarked, his eyes filled with pain.
"Are you all right?" she asked, concerned. He nodded and looked up at the chains
that held him high above the floor. "I'm sorry, Wildwing. You wouldn't be in this mess if
I had listened to your orders"
Wildwing grasped the hook and tried pulling himself up. "I have a feeling that
DeCoy's been planning this since she arrived on Earth," he replied, gritting his teeth,
stubbornly. "Besides, Duke and Tanya are coming as back-up." Sighing in frustration, he
lowered himself back down so he was once more hanging by his wrists.
"That makes me feel a little better," confessed Mallory with a small smile.
"Try to grab the hook with your hands," he instructed, wrapping his own fingers
around the metal. "That way, it takes some of the pressure off your wrists." He flashed
her a reasurring smile. "Don't worry. We'll get out of this. Somehow."
Moving quietly for his large size, Grin approached the fifth floor and continued
his search. It had been several minutes since he had separated from Wildwing and Nosedive,
and an uneasy feeling was growing in the pit of his stomach.
He opened the door to one room and heard a faint click. Diving into the room,
e rolled to his feet just as a weighted net landed on the spot he had occupied moments
before. Carefully, Grin knelt next to the net and examined it.
"Glass-rope," he muttered, shaking his head in disbelief. He would have been
severely injured if that net had fallen on him, since glass-rope cuts like a laser through
ice. Standing up, he started towards the door just as a metal sheet slammed down, blocking
his exit. Turning, he watched stunned as similar metal sheets slammed down over the windows,
blocking all forms of escape. Frowning, he walked towards the covered window but when he
passed one of the vents in the room, he felt a draft blowing INTO the vent. He stopped
and placed his hand in front of the vent. With a sinking feeling, he realized that all
the air was being sucked out of the room.
"This is not good," he remarked, examining his surroundings. Walking back to the
door, Grin punched the door and listened to the sound the metal sheet made. "Too thick to
punch through. Probably same for the windows." Crouching down, he knocked on the floor and
a ghost of a smile flittered over his face. Clasping his hands together, Grin brought them
crashing into the floor with a grunt, and the wooden floorboards shattered beneath the
impact. He quickly pulled up enough boards to allow him through without injuring himself
in the process, and jumped into the hole, his momentum carrying him into the room below.
Cracks appeared in the wooden floor but the boards held his weight as he looked
the feeling that he was being watched.
"I never thought that you would have made it out of that room," mused a voice
from the shadows. He gazed around the room as Lucretia appeared out of the shadows with a
sword casually held in her hand. Grin fell into a defensive stance and Lucretia smiled
wistfully. "I was only hired to kill Duke and poor Tanya, but I'm sure Lord Dragaunus
will reward me well for removing all of you from his path."
The giant Duck shook his head, sadly. "The path you have chosen will only lead
to your destruction," he warned, not taking his eyes from her.
Lucretia's eyes turned hard. "And I am going to enjoy every minute of it," she
snarled, lunging at him with her sword whistling through the air. He twisted out of the
way and she spun around, a flicker of silver flying from her hand. Grin ducked as something
flew past his head to imbed itself into the wall with a thunk.
For several minutes, they dodged each other's blows until Grin managed to knock
the sword from her hands and grabbed her arms, lifting her off the floor. "Now, why don't
you take me to my friends," he suggested.
I thought you'd never ask," purred Lucretia. A line of fire slid along his ribs
and he dropped her, startled. She leaped up and planted a solid sidekick in his stomach,
knocking him against the wall. Grin glanced down to find a small cut slowly staining his
white shirt red and looked up to find Lucretia holding a bloody dagger. She seemed to
blur and he shook his head, trying to focus on her. Unfortunately, the drug from her
dagger was too much and he sank to the floor, unconscious as the drug overpowered him.
Taking a deep breath, Duke knocked on Tanya's door and frowned when there was no
reply. He opened the door and cautiously entered the dark room, her eyes searching
everywhere. There was no movement anywhere in the room and Duke shook his head.
"Tanya, DeCoy's captured Mallory, and Wildwing has taken Grin and Nosedive to go
get her," he announced into the black room. "They left about five minutes ago." Suddenly,
the lights snapped on and Duke tried hard not to jump out of his feathers. "Shards, Tanya,
don't do that!"
The blond Duck grabbed his arm and dragged him out of her room. "C'mon," she urged.
"Lucretia's sure to have captured the others by now." Duke blinked at the bulging black
trenchcoat that she was wearing but followed her to the Garage. She climbed onto a
duckcycle with Duke behind her and they strapped on their helmets.
"Head for the corner of West Fifth and tenth," announced Duke, wrapping his arms
around Tanya's waist. The blond nodded and they raced down the tunnel to emerge into the
After several blocks, Tanya pulled to a stop and Duke looked around with a
frown. "Um, Sweetheart, we're still two blocks away," he remarked.
"You're thinking like a Mighty Duck," she replied, climbing off the duckcycle.
"Right now, we have to think like thieves and assassins. If we don't, the we might as
well surrender to Lucretia right now." She looked at him and Duke noticed for the first
time that she had replaced her glasses with contacts. "Lucretia has the building wired
with traps and no doubt is expecting us to just go charging into this blindly." Tanya
withdrew a graphing hook from under her coat and fired it towards the roof of a nearby
building. It easily caught the edge of the roof and Tanya smoothly pulled herself onto
the roof with Duke right behind her.
"So what's the plan?" Inquired Duke, glancing across the rooftops towards their
"Our best move would be to stick together once we reach the building," she
announced. "Then, while I distract Lucretia, you get the others out of there." From
under her coat, Tanya produced a crossbow and walked to the edge of the roof. Aiming the
crossbow, she fired a cable across the span between the buildings and easily crossed to
the other side before motioning Duke across.
Soon, they were standing on the roof of the abandoned building and Tanya shrugged
out of her coat, allowing it to fall to her feet. She had exchanged her usual purple
jumpsuit for a black bodysuit that left her midriff bare. Soft black leather boots
replaced her military boots, and strapped to each thigh was a lethal looking dagger.
Across her back was a pair of katanna blades and around her waist was a belt of pouches.
When she turned her back on Duke, he discovered that her top was short enough to reveal
the death-bloom tattoo on her back in it's full glory and he stared in disbelief at the
leaves that were so dark, they were almost as black as the flower.
"Here," offered Duke, holding his sister's sword out to Tanya. "Think of this as a
good-luck charm. It belonged to my sister, and she helped me defeat a Black Jade
assassin." He shrugged. "Maybe, she'll help you as well."
"Thank you," whispered Tanya as she took the sword and hooked it on the back
of her belt. She took a deep breath. "We'd better get started." Duke nodded and together
they slipped through the door as silent as shadows.
When Nosedive finally opened his eyes, Wildwing sighed in relief and tossed his
younger brother a reassuring smile.
"Anyone get the number of that truck?" groaned the younger Duck, blinking as he
looked around to discover himself hanging between Mallory and Grin.
"I'm just glad you're awake," remarked Wildwing. "Did anyone find out what DeCoy's
"She claimed that she was hired to kill Duke and Tanya, but captured us to claim a
reward from Dragaunus," reported Grin.
Nosedive frowned, puzzled. "Why would she be hired to kill Tanya and Duke?" he
"Simple, you weak minded fool," spat Lucretia, walking around to face the four
Ducks. "Duke is the leader of the Brotherhood of the Blade, a potential rival to the
Society. With him out of the way, the Society can easily wipe out the Brotherhood."
"And Tanya?" prompted Wildwing, his voice hard.
Lucretia looked at them startled, before throwing her head back and laughing. "You
mean she never told you?" gasped the lavender haired beauty, her voice amazed. "Oh, this
is just too precious. Sweet little Tanya Vanderquack never told her friends that she was
part of the Black Jade Society." The four Ducks exchanged startled looks, and even Grin's
normally placid face showed his amazement. "Well, as much as I'd love talking about
Tanya's soiled past, I have something else in mind." She pulled and electrowhip from off
her belt and pressed a button. A hum filled the air and she cracked it in the air. "For
starters, I plan on making you pay for double-crossing me, Wildwing! You will beg me for
mercy by the time I get done with you!"
"If the hunter drones couldn't make me beg, what makes you so sure you can?" inquired
Wildwing, his voice hard.
With a strangled scream, Lucretia raised the whip, but before it could fall, the
door crashed open and Tanya entered the room with a katanna held easily in each hand.
"Lucretia DeCoy, I challenge you to Pa'Kha'Ri!" called Tanya, her eyes flashing
Lucretia let out a short laugh. "Tanya the Wimp challenges Lucretia DeCoy, spy
and assassin of the Second Circle?" she asked in disbelief, staring at Tanya with
The blond Duck shook her head, slightly. "No," she countered, her voice deathly
quiet. "Tanya Vanderquack, Mighty Ducks, and assassin, spy, and scientist of the First
Circle challenges you to the Pa'Kha'Ri'."
"So be it," sighed Lucretia, pulling the bracer off of her left arm to expose her
death-bloom tattoo with its green and red leaf. She drew her sword and exchanged the
electrowhip for a dagger.
Shouting, she charged Tanya, but instead of falling back under the assault,
the blond stood her ground and met Lucretia's attack with her katannas. With ease,
she shoved Lucretia back and silently circled her, looking for an opportunity to strike.
Most people attributed Tanya's bulk to fat, but the truth was, she had as much fat on her
body as Mallory did. Instead of slimming down when she exercised, Tanya was one of those
that when she worked out, she bulked up with extra muscle. Too many people underestimated
her for that reason and she always surprised them.
The two adversaries circled each other as they traded a few blows, both Puckworlders
searching for the other's weak spot when Tanya attacked with lightning speed, throwing
Lucretia off balance. The blond managed to knock Lucretia's dagger from her hand with a
stinging blow and Lucretia danced away, her free hand coming up to reveal the electrowhip
in her grasp once more. The hum filled the room and she lashed out, wrapping the whip
around Tanya's blades and sending a mild jolt through the metal, forcing the blond to drop
her weapons. With a cry of triumph, Lucretia placed her sword at Tanya's throat, a cold
smile spreading across her face.
"Surrender now and I will make your death as painless as possible," offered Lucretia.
Tanya smiled amd Lucretia suppressed a shudder. "You of all people should know that
only death stops a Pa'Kha'Ri'," reminded Tanya, slowly drawing the daggers at her thighs.
She dropped to the floor and rolled backwards, putting some distance between herself and
Lucretia before the lavender haired beauty could react. As she rolled to her feet, she
threw both daggers at Lucretia and Lucretia cried out as one of the daggers sliced her
arm, forcing her to drop her whip.
"You will pay for that!" snarled Lucretia, glaring at Tanya.
"Just try," growled Tanya, reechoing behind her and wrapping her fingers around
the hilt of the sword Duke had given her. She dodged out of the way of the daggers
Lucretia hurled in her direction and faced Lucretia with the sword activated.
A sneer of disgust crossed Lucretia's face. "I can't believe you would stoop to
using a Brotherhood sword," she remarked with disdain.
Tanya shrugged. "An assassin uses whatever is at her disposal," she quoted, the
silver blade glowing in the light. She lunged at Lucretia with the sword flashing and
Lucretia was hard pressed to defend herself.
While the two Puckworlders were fighting, Duke quietly slipped into the room and
made his way over to the chains. He grabbed the first chain and began lowering Grin
towards the pit. When the large Duck was near the floor, Duke fired a cable around
Grin's waist and pulled him onto the firm floor. Quickly, the one-eyed Duck unchained
his teammate and they managed to free Mallory, and Nosedive.
"We gotta help Tanya," whispered Nosedive, starting towards the fighting duo.
Duke snagged his arm. "Leave her alone," he ordered. "Tanya can't afford the
distraction right now. Besides, she has to do this on her own." Reluctantly, the young
Duck joined Mallory by the diminishing pile of armor and weapons.
With a twist of her wrist, Tanya managed to free her blade from the pin Lucretia
had trapped her in. They had been fighting for several minutes and while only a thin
sheen of sweat covered Tanya's feathers, Lucretia's hair hung in damp strands and she
was breathing heavily.
"Looks like you need a time-out," taunted the blonde, as she stalked Lucretia.
"Your time in Dragunus's services has made you soft."
"You haven't defeated me yet, Traitor!" hissed Lucretia, lunging at Tanya.
Tanya's blade clanged as it met with Lucretia's lone sword. "How am I the
traitor?" asked the scientist in disbelief. "I joined the Resistance to free Puckworld
while you decided to join the Saurians side and fight against your fellow ducks."
"You betrayed the Society," snarled the panting duck. "The Society offered you
protection and the freedom to develop your skills."
"Develop them for destructive purposes, you mean," countered Tanya, her eyes hard.
"That's the difference between us, Lucretia. You don't care about anyone but yourself,
but I joined the Society out of desperation." Her beak twisted into a cold sneer. "Go
back to Dimensional Limbo and join the rest of your fellow Saurians."
With a strangled scream, Lucretia rushed at Tanya, and the blonde's hands snaked
past the deadly sword to grab Lucretia's arms. Falling backwards, Tanya planted a foot
in Lucretia's stomach and flipped her opponent into the air over her head. Tanya rolled
to her feet to discover Lucretia had fallen into the pit! She raced over and discovered
that Lucretia had managed to grab one of the boards that jutted out into the pit.
Lucretia looked up at Tanya with pleading eyes. "Please don't let me fall," she
begged, her lavender gaze filled with fear. "I surrender. Just don't let me fall!"
Reaching down, Tanya grasped Lucretia's wrist. "Don't move," she warned before
slowly pulling the violet haired beauty out of the pit. With a final heave, both
Puckworlders collapsed beside the hole, and Tanya was climbing to her feet when she
heard someone shout "Look Out!". Pain lanced through her back and she crumpled to the
floor with a moan. She turned her head to find Lucretia standing over her with a dagger
in her hands and a triumphant look on her face.
With a groan of relief, Wildwing felt the stiff muscles in his back protest
slightly when he lowered his arms. Looking over at Tanya, he spotted Lucretia standing
up with a dagger in her hand.
"Look Out!" he shouted, but even as the word left his beak, Lucretia's blade struck
and Tanya collapsed at the edge of the pit with Lucretia standing over her.
"Now Tanya, you will regret not killing me when you had the chance," announced
Lucretia, exchanging her dagger for a nearby sword. As she raised the blade for the final
blow, Mallory sprung into action. Scooping up the discarded electrowhip, she flicked it
out to wrap around Lucretia's wrists and she pulled hard. With a startled yelp, Lucretia
fell backwards and landed in the floor with a loud thump.
Lucretia quickly untangled her wrists and leaped to her feet just as a bolopuck
wrapped around her waist, trapping her arms at her sides. "Who dares..?" she sputtered,
outrage clear on her face.
A shadow emerged from the dark doorway. "I dare," growled the shadow in a dangerous
voice as it stepped into the light. It was a Puckworlder with black feathers and silver
eyes clad entirely in black and in one hand, he gripped a pucklauncher.
"Silver," whispered Lucretia, her eyes large with apprehension.
The strange duck walked over to Tanya and offered her a comforting smile as she
regarded him with wary blue eyes. He opened a pouch at his waist and withdrew a large
pad and a roll of gauze. With skilled hands, he quickly bandaged to wound and helped her
to her feet.
"Nice to see you again, Tanya," remarked Silver as he helped her over to her friends.
"Why are you here, Silver St. Ice?" inquired Tanya, cautiously, as they joined
the rest of her teammates.
Wildwing watched the new arrival with concern. "Just who are you and why are you
here?" he asked, suspiciously.
"Silver St. Ice, personal enforcer for Black Jade," replied the blacks duck with
a bow. He turned to regard Lucretia with hard eyes. "As for why I'm here, it's simple."
He walked over to the violet haired duck. "You have violated the Pa'Kha'Ri' and gone
after others who were not your target."
"Allow me to explain.." began Lucretia.
"Silence!" snapped Silver. "You have also failed in your assignment and therefore,
you will be punished for your crimes." He touched one of the daggers in her bracer and
a familiar swirling vortex opened up, pulling her into the dimensional gate with a
startled shriek. Turning, Silver opened up his pouch again and puled out a first-aid kit.
He handed it to Mallory who immediately patched the slight cut on Grin's chest.
"Silver, you still haven't explained what you are doing here," stated Tanya.
The enforcer sighed and spread his hands in a harmless manner. "I was sent here
to watch over your final test," he explained. At her startled look, he continued. "Y'see,
Black Jade has been looking for someone to replace her when she retires, but out of the
entire Society, you were the only one with all the skills necessary to be the next Black
Jade. Lucretia was only suppose to come after you and Leader L'Orange, and I was suppose
to see if you still had those skills."
"I've got another question," announced Duke, his good eye flashing.
Silver raised a hand to silence him. "I think I know what it is," he confessed. "But
let me start at the beginning. The Brotherhood and the Society have an agreement that
whenever the Brotherhood elects a new leader, a Black jade assassin is selected to test
the new leader to make sure they have the skills to lead the Brotherhood. Unfortunately,
Fal Cone found a crooked member of the Society and paid him enough money to take Justinian's
place and kill you. We didn't discover the treason until someone found Justinian stuffed in
a closet, but by that time, it was too late to do anything." He glanced at his watch and
backed away from the Ducks. "Now if you will excuse me, I have to report back to
Puckworld." He turned to leave, but stopped and snapped his fingers.
"One more thing," he reported. "Tanya only joined the Society to protect her
family from a stalker after the military failed to stop him." With that, Silver vanished
into the darkness as suddenly as he appeared.
Wildwing glanced over at Tanya to find her looking at the floor, avoiding everyone's
eyes. "Tanya, thanks for saving our tailfeathers," he said, softly. Tanya looked at him,
startled, and he smiled. "C'mon. Let's head back to the Pond."
Grin carefully picked up Tanya as they strolled out of the room. Tears of happiness
slipped down Tanya's face, unnoticed by her teammates as they left the deadly building
With a muffled groan, Darkon, acting Leader of the Brotherhood of the Blade, pulled
the covers over his head and tried to ignore the little girl who was trying to pull the
"Daddy, come on," pleaded the golden hatchling, releasing the covers to plant her
fists on her hips. "There's a black man with silver eyes waiting to see you. He has a
purple lady with him."
The white duck pushed some of his long black hair out of his dark eyes as he sat
up. "Okay, Starfire," he grunted, tossing the covers back. "Let me grab some clothes
and I'll be right out."
Starfire nodded and left the room. "Leader Darkon will be with you in a few
moments," she told someone in the outer room. "If you would care to have a seat.."
"Thank you, but we will stand," replied a deep voice, softly. Darkon slipped a
shirt over his head and snapped his belt around his waist before opening the door.
Standing there was a powerful looking duck with black feathers holding a rope that
was tied around... "Lucretia DeCoy," purred Darkon "What a plesant surprise. You just
saved the Brotherhood several hours of work." He turned to face the other duck. "And you
The duck bowed, respectfully. "Silver St. Ice," he replied. "Black Jade's personal
enforcer." He smiled at Darkon. "I hope we can put our differences aside to come to an
arrangement about both of our organizations." He nodded his head at Lucretia. "Think of
her as a peace offering."
Darkon walked over to the wall and pushed a button. Seconds later, two large
Brotherhood members entered the room. "Take DeCoy to one of our most secure cells," he
ordered, gesturing to the bound woman. "Be careful. She's a Black jade assassin of the
Second Circle." The two grabbed Lucretia and hustled her out of the room as Darkon
motioned Starfire over.
"You know where to take this," he remarked handing her a piece of paper. "We'll meet
The golden hatchling bowed slightly and left the room. Darkon turned to face Silver,
gesturing for him to follow. Together, they strolled down the halls until they entered
a room with two cones of light stabbing down from the ceiling.
Silver placed a hand on Darkon's arm, stopping their progress. "Before we begin,
I just want you to know something," he announced. "Your wife was killed by a rogue member
of the Society who was hired by Fal Cone." Silver's hand fell to his side. "I hope that
helps ease the pain some."
"And Fal Cone?" inquired Darkon. At Silver's puzzled glance, he continued. "Fal Cone
vanished several months ago and our best efforts have failed to locate him."
Silver frowned. "The Black Jade Society will help you find him," he promised. "We
have contacts in places that not even the bravest member of the Brotherhood would dare to
go. As soon as we find anything, no matter how remotely significant, I will personally
Darkon nodded and together, they stood in the twin lights and waited as dark
shadows entered the room.
Muttering under his breath, General Charles McMallard sorted through the stacks
of papers that had slowly taken over his desk. There was a sharp rap on the door and
he called for the person to come in, never looking up from his work.
"I hope I'm not disturbing you, General McMallard," stated an unfamiliar voice.
Startled, McMallard looked up to find a dark haired duck lounging carelessly in a
nearby chair. "BY the Guardian, who are you and how did you get in here?" McMallard
demanded, his brown eyes flashing dangerously.
The stranger laughed. "Nice to see you too," he replied, dryly. "I am Darkon,
acting Leader of the Brotherhood of the Blade and I have a proposition for the Military."
"Where's the Leader of the Brotherhood?" the general asked, suspiciously.
Darkon's face grew thoughtful. "Last I heard, he was on Earth with your niece," he
said with a careless shrug.
McMallard threw back his head and laughed. "Okay, so what's this deal?" he
inquired, moving around to sit on the front edge of his desk.
"It's simple," Darkon replied, brushing his black hair out of his eyes. "I propose
a type of partnership between the Military and the Brotherhood." He held up a hand to cut
off McMallard's protest. "Hear me out, please. The Brotherhood has connections that the
Military doesn't and we're only hampered by our rules and regulations. Whenever the
Military needs help with a job that requires a certain... finesse, the Brotherhood
would be willing to help. For a price, of coarse."
Folding his arms across his chest, McMallard grinned. "I think we can work
something out," he remarked casually. Darkon grinned and just knew he was going to
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