Author's Note: I'm back!

Chameleon was just finishing cleaning up the bridge when he heard a strange PING against the hull of the Raptor. A second later, the main computer chirped a warning. The small Saurian went over to investigate just as another, louder, PING was heard.

After checking the computer and seeing that various spots on the ship were detecting strange anomalies, Chameleon activated the outside cameras of the ship. The cameras picked up movement and but whatever it was moving faster than anything the sentient reptile had ever seen. He turned on the outside lights and that's when all heck broke loose.

"She needs to find her inner calm," Grin stated in his deep rumbling voice.

Wildwing was so lost in his own thoughts that he barely noticed when the right defenseman brushed past him. It wasn't until Grin was standing directly in front of Ruby that the mage stopped her pacing. Wildwing wanted to go and protect his team mate, but his head was still spinning from the realization of what he was feeling.

Grin was talking to Ruby too quietly for Wildwing to make out, but he could see the effect. Ruby stood perfectly still, though he still could feel and see her tension. As he watched the two ducks in front of him, he had a revelation.

If Ruby could effect his emotions, could he effect hers?

Taking a deep breath, the white drake forced himself to relax while he slowly exhaled. The mental exercises he did to calm himself before each game came easily to him and he concentrated on those instead of what was happening in front of him. He could feel the tight knot in his gut suddenly loosen.

Wildwing looked over at Ruby just as she dropped to her knees. Grin sat down in front of the red feathered duck and continued to talk quietly to her while the dragon laid his head on the ground next to her. Wildwing refused to think about the fact that he may have had something to do with Ruby's calming down.

We're ready, the gnome stated as he popped out of the ground in front of Ruby.

"Thank you," Ruby softly replied.

Grin stood up and then helped the blue beaked hen to her feet. She smiled up at the large drake and Wildwing ignored the twinge of jealousy he felt while he activated his communicator.

"Dive, get ready," Wildwing stated into the small device.

"Hey! I was hatched ready!" Nosedive gleefully responded.

Before the team captain could give the go ahead, Ruby was over by the kids getting them on their feet. He was confused, since he was sure the sudden movement of earth that was about to happen would knock everyone down. He was impressed by how quickly Ruby was to be able to get all of the kids to listen to her.

In a matter of a few minutes, the teacher-in-training had all of the kids paired up, big kid to little kid. She then got them facing towards Black Death, who was still trying to dig past Ruby's shield. After getting the kids into a runner's starting stance and making sure that Raleigh would get the kids moving when the time came, Ruby turned to the dragon.

I will help, the beast stated while he shifted around in the confining space.

"You will run," Ruby countered as she went to his head and started to scratch him behind the jaw hinge.

But…he tried to protest, his eyes closing partway from the pleasure.

"No, she's older, more powerful and completely insane," the mage pointed out. "Please, don't put yourself in harms way."

But she could hurt you, the dragon stated as he reluctantly pulled his head out of her reach.

"I know," Ruby replied. "But with the energy you've given me and with the help of the earth Elementals, we should be able to get everyone on the Aerowing and get out of here."

She will come after you, the large reptile said.

"I know," the red hen responded. "I'm actually planning on that."

We must hurry, the gnome said. The magic one is right. It is best that you leave.

But...the dragon started to protest again.

"You and I are now linked," Ruby reminded the flaming creature. "You'll know if I need you. Now, please, we don't have time to argue."

Fine, the dragon huffed, not looking the least bit happy.

"Thank you," she sighed with relief before turning Wildwing. "Let's get this done."

"Ok, Dive, bring her in," the team captain ordered into his communicator as the gnome disappeared once more.

The ducks all knelt down as the ground beneath their feet started to vibrate.

What is this!? Black Death shrieked in indignation. Do you think you can defeat me!?

Ruby's eyes glowed a bright blue as the shield above them became clear once more. With a lurch, the floor of the pit they were in started to rise as the ground under the black dragon sank in. The shield above them disappeared only to reappear over the evil Elemental. The gigantic beast started to take flight only for the ground to suddenly engulf the giant beast and pull her under the ground.

With a deafening roar, the monster fought against her impromptu prison while the Aerowing came in low over the tops of the trees. The ground started to close in over the black beast as she continued to thrash and claw her way out. Only Ruby's shield kept the fire Elemental from escaping.

"I can't hold her down for long," Ruby warned through gritted teeth.

"Dive, hover and lower the ramp," Wildwing instructed his baby brother.

The moment the air ship was in position, Raleigh let out a shout and led the kids towards the flying machine. The Mighty Ducks flanked the kids, helping any that had trouble keeping up or tripped over the uneven dirt. Wildwing brought up the rear until he noticed that Ruby wasn't with them.

He turned and saw the mage still crouched down, her hands flat on the ground. Her eyes were glowing a bright white, but there was a golden red glow around the blue beaked duck's body. Wildwing knew that meant there was a chance of the phoenix taking over.

"Ruby!" the white drake yelled as he ran back for her. "Let's go!"

"Once everyone is on board," Ruby shot back and he could see her shaking. "I'm not sure how long the shield will hold once I move."

Wildwing turned and saw his team getting the kids on board as quickly as they could. It was controlled chaos as the ramp didn't quite make it to the ground and the smaller kids were being lifted up by Tanya and Grin to Duke and Mallory. The goalie could only assume that Raleigh was helping to organize the kids already on board as he didn't see the man.

The drake looked under the Aerowing and could see the dragon trying to claw her way out of the ground. She bit and scratched at the shield holding her down, but it did no good. The monstrous beast tried to bash her way out and Wildwing heard Ruby grunt.

"Ok, they're all on board," Wildwing stated as he grabbed Ruby by her wing. "Let's go!"

Wildwing didn't wait for her to agree. He didn't have time for an argument, so he just dragged her along as he ran for the ship. Once they reached the ramp, he nearly threw her up to Grin as he jumped up after her.

"Get us out of here, Dive!" Wildwing yelled while he hit the button to close the door.

The team captain carefully made his way to the co-pilot seat, being mindful off all the kids and strapped in as his brother swiftly took the Aerowing up. He glanced back and saw the humans crammed into the back. They were packed back there like proverbial sardines. Wildwing tried not to feel worried when he noticed how tired Ruby looked as she came to stand behind the brothers.

"And we're home free!" Nosedive crowed. "Let's hear it for the Divester!"

"Not so fast," Duke warned as the air ship suddenly shook from something hitting it. "We've got company."

"What the heck is going on!?" Siege demanded as he stormed onto the bridge of the Raptor.

It sounded like a hundred hammers were beating on the sides of the ship. The sound was reaching rock concert level. The club tailed reptile shoved the smaller Saurian out of the way when he got to the controls.

"I don't know!" Chameleon replied while he picked himself up off of the floor. "I turned on the outside lights to see what was going on and that's when the anvil chorus started."

"What the blazes is going on!?" Dragaunus yelled as he stomped onto the bridge.

"That's what I'm tryin' to figure out," Siege grumbled, pushing buttons to try and get a clear picture of what was banging on the hull of the ship.

"I have a bad feeling about this," Wraith intoned as he appeared from a cloud of smoke.

"What are those things?" Siege asked no one when he finally got a clear shot of one of the dozens of things slamming themselves against the side of the Raptor.

The creature was human shaped, but half as tall, and covered in scales of various shades of brown. The hands were overly large with webbing between the fingers and the feet were fins. If the being had a gender, it was impossible to tell. Instead of hair, the head was covered in what appeared to be tentacles and gills could be seen on the side of the neck.

"They're water sprites," Wraith moaned. "We are doomed."

"Now, now, no need to be a gloomy Gus," Chameleon said, trying to sound cheerful.

"The water Elementals are starting to awaken," Wraith snapped. "They may decide to destroy the ship because they see it as a threat or because they're bored or because it amuses them."

"We need to get out of here!" Siege exclaimed.

"Without the Balerium Crystals, we're dead in the water," Dragaunus snarled.

"Maybe quite literally," the wizard groaned.

Suddenly, a distant BOOM could be felt throughout the ship. The water sprites stopped their attack on the Raptor and quickly swam off.

"What was that?" Chameleon squeaked.

"It wasn't on the ship," Siege quickly confirmed as he checked the readouts.

"That was a magical explosion," Wraith stated with dread. "What is that foolish hen trying to do?"

As if on cue, the warning klaxons started going off. The live feed of the outside of the ship picked up something extremely large rising from the darkest depths of the ocean. It was so large that the video feed couldn't get a clear shot of it.

"We are all done for," Wraith whispered.

"Head towards the ocean," Ruby instructed as she held onto the seats the Flashblade brothers were sitting in.

"You hoping that thing is just going to fall into the water?" Nosedive asked.

"Incoming!" Duke warned and the young drake piloting took evasive action causing the kids to squeal.

"I'm hoping a water Elemental will take exception to her and deal with her for us," Ruby confessed as the ocean came into view.

A strangled noise caused everyone to turn and look at Mallory. The weapon's specialist was glaring at the mage and Ruby tried not smile. The band of magic was still around Mallory's beak.

"Don't you ever relax?" Ruby asked.

The red headed duck gave the other hen such a look it was a good thing Ruby was fire proof. With a flick of the mage's finger, the band of light faded away. The weapon's specialist still looked like she was ready to spit tacks.

"That's it!?" Mallory snapped. "That's your plan!? Fly over the ocean and hope something else eats her?"

"Have you got a better plan?" Ruby asked.

"Why don't you deal with her?" Mallory demanded.

"And how, exactly do you propose I do that?" Ruby shot back. "In case you missed it, I was barely able to keep her from eating us. I don't really feel like being an appetizer if I tried taking her on."

"That makes one of us," Mallory softly grumbled.

"I can muzzle you again, you know," Ruby warned.

"Not to break up what promises to be a good hen fight, but what are we supposed to do if that beast doesn't follow us?" Duke questioned as he stared down at the display at his station.

"What do you mean?" Wildwing asked.

"I mean that the instant we got over the ocean, she stopped," Duke answered.

Nosedive turned the Aerowing around and put the ship into hover mode. They could see the black dragon sitting on the beach above the high water mark glaring at them. Most humans were beating a hasty retreat, though there were a few that were taking pictures.

"Now what?" Nosedive questioned.

"Well, if she can't do anything about that monster, then we should," Mallory stated as she started to active the laser canons.

"Do you really think lasers are going to do anything to a fire Elemental?" Ruby asked in frustration.

"So now what?" Mallory demanded.

"Maybe we can out race her," Duke suggested. "Or go further out to sea and loop around."

"Not a good idea," Ruby replied. "Even if we do manage to shake her, she'll just come after us one at a time. If grown and trained mages couldn't hold her off, how well do you think a bunch of untrained kids are going to do?"

"So, what do you suggest?" Wildwing demanded.

"We have to get her over the water," Ruby sighed tiredly.

"Too bad we don't have a big dragon treat to hang outside and say 'Come an' get it'!" Nosedive joked.

Unexpectedly, the Aerowing shuddered just before dropping a good foot. The kids screamed in fright and Ruby nearly fell to her knees. Wildwing grabbed the controls and helped Nosedive hold the ship steady as it bucked and shook as if a wild and unpredictable wind buffeted them.

"What the heck is going on!?" Tanya yelled, holding onto her work station.

The ship bucked again, drawing more screams from the back of the cabin. This time, Ruby did lose her footing and started to fall backwards. Only Duke's quick reflexes kept her from hitting the deck. The mage stared at the drake in shock.

"I really am sorry about the house," Duke muttered as he helped her get back on her feet.

"What the heck is going on out there?" Nosedive demanded through gritted teeth as he struggled to keep the Aerowing steady.

Ruby looked out the windscreen and gasped as the brothers got the air ship under control. She could see the air rippling past them headed toward the shore. Back on land, the ground was trying to pull the black dragon under, but was having only a little effect as the large beast fought to stay above ground. With a short hop, the monster jumped up onto a large pile of rocks where the waves were barely reaching and Ruby could see barnacles and mussels attached to the bottom.

Various Elementals started to pop in and out of view, harassing the large black beast. From what Ruby could see, only earth Elementals were attacking. The dragon snapped and slashed at her attackers only for them to disappear before she could make contact.

Suddenly, the stack of rocks Black Death was sitting on tumbled out from under her, forcing the dragon to take wing. As soon as she was off the ground, the air Elementals appeared and started to push the one responsible for their long sleep over the waves. That's when Ruby saw the largest tentacle she'd ever seen in her life start to lift out of the water.

"GO!" Ruby yelled. "Get us out of here!"

Nosedive didn't wait for his brother to confirm the order, he punched the power and turned the ship. There was a good dealing of screaming as anyone not buckled in were thrown off their feet. Ruby crashed into Tanya just before she hit the floor. Before she could get up, the Aerowing bucked, throwing her up several inches before she came down again, knocking the wind out of her. She had never been more thankful that her magic protected her from serious damage.

"What the heck just happened?" Wildwing demanded.

"Hopefully, I got my wish," Ruby answered as she picked herself off of the floor. "Can we see what's going on behind us?"

"What. Is. That?" Duke asked in horror at the image on the screen.

A creature bigger than an oil tanker that was mostly tentacles and a huge mouth with razor sharp teeth was trying to drag the black dragon beneath the waves. The fiery beast wasn't going without a fight. The steam created by the fire hitting water made the battle hard to see, but that was fine by the mage.

"A kraken," Ruby said with a slightly strained voice.

"It doesn't look like, you know, it's going to be able to drag her down," Tanya stated as she leaned over Duke's station.

A moment later, the ocean exploded beneath the battling giants. Something dark and massive broke the surface of the water with a mouth as big as a sky scraper filled with monstrous teeth. It clamped onto the neck of the dragon and pulled her under.

"Hold on!" Ruby warned about a second before the Aerowing bucked once more.

"Wha...wha…," Tanya whispered as her eyes were nearly falling out of her head.

"Leviathan," Ruby squeaked her reply.

"Are we good?" Wildwing demanded. "Is it gone?"

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure that we won't have to worry about her anymore," Ruby shakily responded.

"What was going on with the Aerowing?" Mallory asked.

"That first bit I think was Air Elementals heading toward shore and we got caught in the backwash," Ruby answered. "I saw a distortion in the air which only happens when a lot of them are moving in unison."

"And the rest was from, you know, the shock waves from fire hitting water," Tanya added.

"So we can go home now?" Dive questioned.

"We need to get the kids back to their families first," Wildwing said as he punched in a bunch of buttons on the com unit.

"Tell me you know where those Saurian creeps took those kids, Wildwing," Klegghorn's grumpy voice filled the cabin from the speakers.

"I've got one better," Wildwing happily answered. "We've got the kids and their safe. Where should we bring them?"