Clans, Crimefighters and Cartoons

Mallory smiled as Nosedive and Jadestar ate. Nosedive was showing Jadestar just how much spaghetti he could eat in ten seconds, and Jadestar was giggling for all she was worth. Mallory looked up and saw Wildwing smiling too. She could honestly say that she had never seen Wildwing or Nosedive happier. She figured that finding Jadestar was alive had restored some hope to Wildwing’s search for Canard, and that Nosedive was just glad to have his sister back. He obviously loved his twin immensely, even though they seemed to fight a lot.

Mallory sighed. Being an only child hadn’t been easy, and since her parents had been killed in a skiing accident just after she’d joined the army, the ducks around her were the only family she had. She was really quite fond of them all, and if Jadestar made some of them happy, why not?

She found her thoughts drifting to what she liked about them. Wildwing, once he decided something, he was firm, and couldn’t be wavered. Tanya, who could answer just about all your questions, and was just downright nice. Grin, who didn’t panic no matter what, dependable. Duke was...just Duke, very talented and handsome...she stopped that train of thought before it could unload. Nosedive, though annoying, was really very brave and fun at times. Stupid, thoughtless and a pain, but wasn’t that what little brothers were meant to be like?

Jadestar. Like her twin eerily in some ways, but so different in others. They laughed at the same jokes, liked the same foods, and talked about the same things. Jadestar could listen without making remarks when it was important, but had as many comebacks as Nosedive when they were clowning around. She couldn’t play hockey well, and she read.

They were fitting Jadestar out for battle gear today, and seeing what she could do. Hockey season had just finished yesterday. Jadestar had dubbed herself official cheerleader, and had gotten the crowd going with some fancy skating in the half-time.

Mallory liked Jadestar. Not as much as the others yet, but she knew them better.

Mallory suddenly realized that she had been staring directly at Nosedive and Jadestar while she’d been lost in thought, and they were both staring back, very serious. Her eyes focused, and she turned away.

“It’s OK to stare Mallory, I know I’m gorgeous.” Nosedive told her.

“Dive, you’re so modest. Give us a break.” Jadestar shoved her brother, and he shoved back. Soon they were doing their utmost to push the other off their chair. Duke, sitting next to Mallory, raised an eyebrow at her, and she shook her head. Duke shrugged, and reached for more coffee.

“I’m gonna need it.” he whispered to her, gesturing to the twins, who were now rolling around on the floor.

“I see your point.” Mallory took the coffee from him, and refilled both their mugs.

Tanya coughed, and spoke to Wildwing. “Shouldn’t you, like, stop them? I mean, we have a busy day ahead of us.”

Wildwing pointed to the pair, who were laughing insanely. “What can I do?” he said helplessly.

Grin stood up. “Their souls are reuniting. Unfortunately, their bodies are too. This is not good when we need to work. I will straighten their spirits.” With that he picked them both up, one in each hand, holding their collars, and unceremoniously dumped them in their chairs.

“Enough.” Wildwing told the two. Jadestar immediately wiped the smile off her face. Nosedive tried, but failed, so he compromised by covering his mouth with his hand.

“Be serious, guys, we have to see what Jade can do before we go take her out. You should be hurrying to get on with this Dive, you were the one who had to stay home with her. Now, I want to get one thing straight. Nosedive, you are not to help her. I know how you love to cheat, but Draganus isn’t going to go easy on her or any of us. A team is only as strong as it’s members, and we all have to stand up by ourselves.”

Nosedive was slightly stunned at this speech, and he could see Jade start to look nervous. He remembered that she hadn’t fought before, and he frowned at Wildwing’s harshness.

“Wing, chill. You make it sound like ‘one for yourself and yourself for yourself’. You’re always looking out for me, and we’ll both be checking on Jade. So cool it, you’re making her worry.” Nosedive was getting protective, and Duke hid a smile so only Mallory could see it.

Jadestar was about to open her mouth to add what she thought, when she changed her mind and thought better of it.

Wildwing sighed. “You’re right Dive, I’m sorry. But you still can’t help her.”

Nosedive threw his hands in the air. “Bro, I wasn’t going to! I have more sense then I’m given credit for.” He made a face.

Mallory choked. “I don’t think so.”

Nosedive sat up straight. “Like you’d know, Miss Zombie-staring-into-space!”

“I was thinking!” Mallory was defensive!

“I bet I know what it was about! Oh Duke, the way you handle all that coffee is just sooooo cool!” he twittered in falsetto.

Mallory went almost as red as her hair. She threw her mug in the general direction of the sink, and it smashed, coffee going everywhere. She jumped up and put her hands on her hips. “Actually, I was thinking how I finally had a family here! Guess I was wrong.” She stormed out of the room, and all eyes turned to Nosedive. Wildwing was angry, he alone knew that Mallory had no home or anyone to go to on Puckworld. Tanya was plain upset, and was on the verge of going after her. Grin was passive, as always. Duke was staring at Nosedive, his thoughts jumbled together and them all on how pretty Mallory was when she was angry. Jadestar looked like she was about to cry. Nosedive saw her eyes, and for almost the first time, felt guilty for the way he acted towards Mallory.

He sighed. “Look, I’m going, I’m going.”


Nosedive ran to catch up with Mallory. She was storming towards the locker room. He got in to step beside her. She stared at him, obviously surprised to see him.

“Look, Mal, I’, I’m sorry.” Nosedive rubbed the back of his neck, uncomfortable.

Mallory stopped dead in her tracks.

“I know I don’t say sorry very often, so while I’m in the mood, I’m sorry for turning your hair green last week too. I’m glad it washed out after it dried. Uh, what happens now?” Nosedive wasn’t sure what happened after you apologize, Jadestar simply hugged him and Wildwing just let it go. But that was not Mallory’s way, and Nosedive knew that he wasn’t going to get away with it that easily.

“Then I guess I’m sorry too,” she said in a low voice. “But you just laid my psyche out for the whole team to see.”

Nosedive snorted. “You know what they’re all thinking. Wildwing’s mad at me, Tanya’s mad at me, Duke is off in the clouds somewhere thinking about you, who knows what Grin is thinking, and Jadestar is confused. You know I’m right, cause you can read them just as good as me.”

Mallory started to laugh, incredulous. “Nosedive Flashblade actually thinks about what other people are feeling. Nosedive, I’m sorry to say I’m surprised.”

Nosedive frowned. “Well, don’t be. Now, will you come back with me to Drake One, cause we need ya for the tests.”

“Fine. Though, we never tested you. I don’t really understand why Wildwing is so worried about Jadestar.”

Nosedive rolled his eyes. “If you think that he’s protective about me, you should see him with Jade. He’s just making sure she hasn’t lost what it takes.”

Mallory smiled. “Oh.. By the way,” she looked embarrassed. “Do you think Duke likes me?”

Nosedive couldn’t believe his ears. Wasn’t this the sort of thing she should be asking Tanya or Jadestar? “Oh, course he does. What’s not to like?” he suddenly realized that that was not a really good thing for him to say. “For him, I mean.”

“I hope you’re right, cause I’ll never be able to look him in the eye again otherwise.” Mallory said with feeling.

“For comic books sake Mallory! If he doesn’t, then just lie and say that you never liked him either!” Nosedive wondered if Mallory was more dense than he’d suspected.


After the drills, Mallory caught up with Wildwing in the hall. “Are you going to let Jadestar fight with us?” she asked.

Wildwing turned to her, surprised. “Of course. Why on earth not?”

“Why not? She’s not very good at fighting Wildwing. She can aim a gun, but she can’t really fight hand to hand very well. Nosedive must go easy on her a lot. She’s more delicate than the rest of us, one punch and she says ‘ow’. I’m not sure if fighting Draganus is what she was built for.”

“I know what she’s capable of. When she’s angry she’s a very good fighter. She can think on her feet, and she can’t be as delicate as you say: she survived those shots didn’t she?”

“I hope you’re right Wildwing. But if you ask me, she’s a hostage waiting to happen, and I don’t want to be able to say ‘I told you so’.”

“If you’re that worried about it, give her a little training. It can’t hurt, and perhaps you’ll put a little more trust in her capabilities.”


Jadestar sighed as Mallory yelled instructions at her.

“Don’t be afraid to go all out Jade, Dive can take it!”

Dive circled Jade, and she carefully kept him in full view. He leaped, and she ducked, sending him sprawling. He rolled over and pulled her down. They grappled on their knees, both trying to push the other over. Nosedive suddenly stopped, and Jade fell on top of him. She stood up, and her brother looked up at her.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, head cocked.

He stared at her side. On the far left, almost on the back, a small patch of skin showed through her feathers.

“You still have the scar.” he pointed shakily.

Jadestar knelt down. “Yeah,” She pushed down her shirt at the neck, and Nosedive could see another one. “Brings it all back, doesn’t it?” she said grimly.

Mallory walked over. “What the heck are you two doing? You’re meant to be fighting, not adjusting your gear!” She stopped short when she saw the mark. “Oh.”

Jadestar pulled Nosedive to his feet. “We better finish anyway. You guys have practice soon.”


Jadestar watched ruefully as the others got into their hockey gear. Nosedive caught her gaze, and smiled. “Hey, cheer up Star! So you can’t play with us, big deal! You know that you skate better than anyone!”

Jadestar wrinkled her beak. “Maybe, but I still wish I could play.”

Wildwing patted her shoulder. “Don’t worry, we’ll teach you yet. Besides, someone has to be the cheerleader, and you really are great at half time.”

“And Phil loves you!” Duke laughed.

“Phil loves anything with a beak.” Mallory pointed out.


“It does not matter what you can do,” Grin stated. “What matters is what you want to do.” With that he skated out. Jadestar looked to the others, and they shrugged.


They won the game, as was expected, and were cheered by the ecstatic fans. Back in the Pond they all showered, and met in the Ready Room.

Wildwing took a deep breath. “OK, we’re going out tonight. Jadestar, you’re coming too.”

Jadestar leaped from her seat and hugged him. “Really? Wow! Are we going right now?” He nodded and she released him and dashed off, grabbing Nosedive’s wrist on her way past so she could drag him out. She called back “We’re going to get ready!” and the ducks could hear Nosedive’s half-hearted complaints.

Duke turned on Wildwing. “What the..she isn’t ready Wildwing! She can shoot, but that’s about it! What happens if she’s forced into hand to hand? She has no idea about combat or survival. This could get her killed!”

Wildwing put a hand on the angry thief’s shoulder. “I know Jadestar, and she wasn’t just talking about hockey in the locker room. She’ll start to follow us, and if she’s out with us I want to know about it. Nosedive wouldn’t let a thing happen to her, and I wouldn’t let anything happen to either of them.”

“I know, you’d die trying! It isn’t only her life on the line! It’s OK for you to protect Nosedive, he only needs minor supervision, he’s good. Wildwing, you won’t have time to watch your own back.”

Wildwing poked Duke in the chest. “Nosedive, Jadestar and myself have been through more than you think, she’s survived a lot, and she’ll be fine. Just trust me, will you?”

Duke growled under his breath, and backed off. Wildwing spoke into his com. “Dive, where did she drag you?”

“We’re in the Migrator. She wants to drive.”

Duke was mumbling to himself. “This ain’t no game kid...”

“Tell her I said ‘no way’.” ‘He says no way.’ was heard over the com, and few grumbles followed. “Look, are you guys gonna get here anytime soon?”

Wildwing signaled for the others to get their battle gear on. “We’re on our way, little bro.”

“Gotcha. Later.” Nosedive closed the connection.


Jadestar was uncomfortable as she sat on the floor. The ducks were saying a whole pile of technical stuff that she hadn’t yet picked up, and she was feeling left out. She was sure she’d pick up the jargon and be able to help soon though, after all, Dive had done it, right? Right.

They stopped suddenly, and Jadestar pitched forward onto her chest.

“Gotta watch those stops Jade.” Wildwing told her as he helped her up. “Pay more attention from now on.”

“Sure thing. What’s happening?”

Tanya came over. “Oh, just a bank robbery. This is going to be a cinch.”

Jadestar rolled her eyes. “Oh yeah, JUST a bank robbery. So, what do we do?”

Wildwing put a hand on her shoulder and steered her towards the Migrator door. “First, we let them know we’re here. Watch.”

The ducks ran into the bank, with Duke at the front, and Wildwing and Jadestar at the back.

“Hey, low lives, forget how to use the automatic teller?” Duke grinned as he challenged them.

“No.” The thief frowned. “I know how to use the ATM.”

Nosedive snorted from beside Duke. “Oh yeah, THAT was a good comeback. I’ll remember that one,” He took out his pucklauncher and aimed it at the robber next to the safe. “Unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons.” He fired, hitting the burglar’s hand, forcing him to drop the bag of cash he’d been holding. Nosedive blew on the top of the shooter, glancing behind him to see if Jadestar was impressed. She was.

“So, do we do that to the lot of you, or do you give up while you’re still in one piece?”

“Can we have a conference?” the first thief asked, apparently the leader.

The ducks were confused, and turned back to Wildwing.

“OK, you have one minute. But after that, we fire.”

The humans huddled, and Tanya watched closely. “I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I think they’re dolling out weapons.”

“We better be prepared then.” hissed Wildwing, and they all brought out their various guns, sabers, omnitools, fists and what ever else.

The leader of the villains turned to them, a gun in his hand. “I think not.” He smiled and opened fire on the ducks. The ducks sprung behind the teller desks, and returned it. The good guys got a few shots to hit their target, but they weren’t aiming to kill. The bad guys had other ideas however, and wanted out at all costs. Wildwing deflected most of the shots, but a few were too close for comfort.

The tide turned however, when Jadestar drew out the exploding pucks she’d been given. She tossed them directly at the opposing side’s feet, and they backed off. While they were slightly stunned, Mallory, Grin and Nosedive got over and knocked them out. A robber who had kept away from the pack, ran out the door, but Jadestar gave chase, and caught up easily. She dragged him back and tied him up with the others, refusing help. When she’d finished she straightened up and grinned.

“I did it! I caught one! Hi-five, Dive!”

The twins slapped hands, and Wildwing patted his sister on the back. “Well done. OK ducks, let’s move out before Kleghorn makes an appearance.”

The ducks climbed back in the Migrator and continued their patrol, but the rest of the night was uneventful. Jadestar stayed hyped-up though, and made Grin’s attempt at meditation futile. The problem was that she was always apologizing for disturbing him when she was too loud, and that just kept annoying him. He gave up, and fell into conversation with Tanya. Nosedive had been yelling comments down to the new duck, and in the end Wildwing got Jadestar to stand up the front, as to prevent any major headaches.

Duke had been wanting to think, mostly about Mallory, as that was a subject that he never tired of, but the twins enthusiastic noise made this impossible. He consoled himself with the fact that they were just getting used to each other again, and that with time they’d calm down.

Mallory was sick of driving around doing nothing, and she convinced Wildwing that it was time to go home. He agreed, and they returned to the Pond. They went to bed immediately, on order of Wildwing, but the twins whispered well into the early hours of the morning.


The next day was a Saturday, and Jadestar’s internal clock woke her up at seven. Nosedive was still fast asleep, and she tried to wake him. Her attempts failed however, and she left him there. She saw how long her occupation had taken, and she raced to the nearest TV. She sprawled in front, and switched it on. Cartoons, the essence of life! Her beak moved to it’s permanent smile of happiness, and she lost herself in the plot of Timon and Pumba. She jumped in an ad when she was tapped on the shoulder. She whirled around and stared into the face of Duke L’Orange.

“Mind if I sit down?” he asked, gesturing to the coach on which she was lying.

“I don’t mind.” She moved her legs. “You like cartoons?”

“You bet. Cept I always wake up late. What have I missed?”

“Well, Timon and Pumba accidentally sent themselves to the North Pole, and...” she started to giggle, and Duke raised an eyebrow curiously. “I’m sorry,” she quickly brought herself under control “I just can’t believe I’m having this conversation with the famous tough guy Duke.”

He shrugged. “Hey, you’d be surprised. Mallory’s sometimes in here too. Nosedive always is, cept when he stays up after Wildwing tells him to sleep. I’m guessing that’s what happened?” He smiled.

“Bingo. Oh, it’s on again!” She turned back to the TV, just as Mallory walked in.

“What cartoon is it?” she asked sleepily.

“Timon and Pumba.” Duke said, Jadestar already unreachable.

Mallory immediately turned on her heel. “Call me the next cartoon comes on. Some crime fighting one.” She left and went back to bed.

Duke nudged Jadestar when the next ad came on. “So, you’re staying here with us?”

She looked at him, puzzled. “Of course! I can’t get back!”

Duke snorted. “I don’t buy the dimensional thingy in the Saurian ship, mainly cause the normal ships are too small. Really, how did you get here?”

Jadestar took a deep breath. “Promise not to tell anyone?”

He held his hands in front of him. “Sure, why would I?”

“OK, but you aren’t going to believe me.” Jadestar picked her words carefully, still concealing the main lie. After all, he hadn’t asked about that. “There’s a human who has a small device which creates small dimensional and universal gateways. She calls herself Thlayli, a Dimensional Traveler. There’s a whole big Dimension and Universe theory that I won't bother to explain. Anyway, she also has access to a time machine. About 6 months ago, she came and took Nosedive away for about two years, her time, to her dimension, along with some other cartoon characters and her own creations. Incidentally, Timon was one of them. They stayed with her for as long as she needed them, then she returned them so they’d only been gone for a few seconds. Anyway, while she had Nosedive, she found out about me. Two weeks ago she approached me on Puckworld, and asked if I’d like to be with my brothers again. I obviously said yes, and she transported me to outside the Pond. The rest you know.”

Duke digested this story slowly. “Why not tell us the truth in the first place?”

Jadestar wrinkled her beak. “Thlayli has a whole secrecy thing going. I think it just makes it more fun for her to be a unmentionable shadow.”

Duke leaned back into the sofa. “I don’t buy that either.”

Jadestar grinned and smiled as the show came back on. “Just as well you didn’t pay anything then.”


Nosedive suddenly burst in. “Why didn’t you wake me Star? Now I’ve missed the whole of Timon and Pumba!” He watched, upset, as the credits rolled down the screen. The theme for Darkwing Duck started and Duke pushed Nosedive away.

“Go get Mal.” he ordered.

Nosedive pushed past and sat on the floor. “Get real, you go get her, lover boy.”

“You leave that out of this.” Duke half-smiled.

“Whatever. I ain’t getting her though.”

Mallory chose that moment to enter by herself anyway. “I heard the music and you arguing.” she explained. She pulled another chair over and sat down.

Wildwing, Tanya and Grin appeared in the doorway. “So this is where everyone is.” Wildwing smiled.

“You bet.” Mallory flashed her own smile at him.

“Be quiet!” the twins yelled at once.

The last three ducks found seats and watched the show too. Jadestar couldn’t help the idiotic grin that spread over her beak. The great and powerful Mighty Ducks all crowded around watching the terror that flaps! Oh well, maybe it was nice to see some vigilantes fight where success was guaranteed. Death was too close to them for anything more vivid.

Story Copyright Rachel Baker ‘98. Jadestar and Thlayli Copyright Rachel Baker. All other characters Copyright Disney, and used without permission.