The Star in the South
Part Three - Double Death

Where are the answers to these troubled days?
Can we find a better way to live? No one listens to what you say.
Does it matter anyway, if your innocence gets blown away?

'Children of the Western World' - Steve Grace
Wildwing paced back and forth. He knew what his heart told him to do, rescue his sister and friend, but he couldn’t just think of himself, or the team. It was his duty to look after Puckworld’s interests.

He tried to distance himself emotionally. His job was to save lives. The ducks on Puckworld would probably soon come to their senses and construct some kind of government. They had to still want peace! So, going back and stopping that would cancel out anyone that Canard killed. He wished he knew just how many people King Canard had murdered. If they didn’t go back, then Duke and Jadestar died. And they were needed back on Earth, to have a full hockey team if nothing else.

"What should I do?" Wildwing asked the others, knowing that they had a right to make a decision here.

Nosedive looked away, as did Mallory. "You know what we think." muttered Nosedive.

"Do you think that’s the best thing to do?" askeing each other, but by the time they hit the floor they had only been able to move slightly. Duke landed heavily on his shoulder, and Jadestar landed on her arm. They both lay still.

"What the…?" The other ducks were still shocked at their sudden appearance, but they quickly gathered their senses. They raced over, and rolled the two ducks onto their sides.

Tanya quickly checked them out. "I think Duke’ll be OK," she decided. "I mean, as OK as can be expected after a 7 metre fall."

Duke suddenly groaned, and Mallory gently stroked his hair. "Hey Duke, it’s OK. Just don’t try to move too quickly."

"Mummph." he grunted. "Are we dead?"

Mallory gave a short laugh, almost crying with relief. "Sorry, you’ll be with us awhile yet."

Duke tried to smile, but grimaced at the pain in his head. He suddenly remembered his companion. "Hey, is Jade OK?"

Nosedive looked at Tanya, himself bended over his sister. "Yeah, is she gonna be all right?"

Tanya was carefully examining her. "Yeah, but she broke her arm when she fell. She’ll be out for awhile yet. Just keep her comfy." she told the two anxious brothers. "Now, Duke, let me look at your shoulder. You’ve probably done *something* to it."

Mallory and Grin helped Duke sit up. Tanya poked and prodded for about a minute, and finally sat back. "I don’t understand. The way you landed, it should be at least be dislocated. Oh well, you can get up when you’re ready." Tanya went back to Jadestar, and started wrapping up her arm. Grin moved over too, and gave Duke and Mallory a bit of space. Mallory shifted so that Duke could lean against her.

"I’m so glad you’re fine." Mallory whispered. "I was worried."

"I was sorta afraid you’d choose to save Puckworld instead. How’d you stop us from killing Canard and Jadestar?"

Mallory frowned. "We didn’t do anything except tell Destiny we wanted you two back."

Wildwing had left Jadestar with Nosedive, and was approaching Destiny with the same thoughts.

"We didn’t do anything. How come Duke and Jadestar are back?" he asked.

Destiny shrugged. "You’ll do better with seven ducks than five."

"But it doesn’t make sense…" Wildwing started.

"Do you want me to send them back?"


"Well then, quit complaining and get to work!" Destiny smiled. She waved her hand, and the ducks suddenly found themselves back on the streets of DuCaine Metropolis.

"Well, I guess we better go stop…ourselves." Wildwing took Jadestar from Nosedive and picked her up. "Well, we can’t leave her here." he pointed out to the others.

Another element suddenly appeared.

"Oh great, just what we needed." Nosedive muttered.

"Sorry I’m late," the black-haired duck smiled. "But I told Destiny to keep you with her till I got there, and she didn’t. That girl never follows orders."

"Who are you?" Tanya asked wearily.

"I’m Health. And it looks like you need my assistance. Line up please, sickest at the front." Health said jokingly. She clicked her fingers. Duke stood up straighter, and Jadestar wiggled in her brothers arms.

"Where are we now Duke?" she asked, eyes still closed.

"I’m not Duke." Wildwing said gently. Her eyes flew open.

"Wildwing!" She hugged him tightly. He let her down, and she went around hugging everyone, Nosedive first. When she got to Duke she whispered to him. "Sorry I was such a quitter."

"Hey, don’t mention it kiddo." he said, embarrassed.

"We better get to the shed." Mallory murmured.

"Right. Fill Jade and Duke in as we go, Dive. Let’s get on with this."


"So you found us using a rhyme, and now we’re going to stop ourselves from shooting me and Canard." Jadestar tried to grasp what was happening.

"Bingo sis." Nosedive had a very determined look on his face.

Wildwing stopped the ducks. "Now, guys, we have to be careful. We don’t want to have to come back here for a third time."

"No problem. I know that I don’t want to have to do this over again." Mallory sighed.

The ducks saw that ‘they’ were about to start firing on Canard.

"Stop!" Wildwing yelled. "Don’t shoot! Get out of there!"

‘Everyone except ‘Wildwing’ ran out, he being the only one who knew that he hadn’t given the order. "Wait!" the Wildwing called, chasing after his team.

The two teams caught sight of each other, staring over the rubble. Matthew and Mary stood behind the team closest to the shed.

"I’m not there!" Jadestar yelled. "I must still be in the shed!" She broke through both groups and rushed towards the shed.

"Jadestar! Stop!" Wildwing called after her.

"No! I have to save Duke. Nosedive told me what happened!" she yelled back. She ducked into the shed.

Nosedive started to follow her, but was grabbed by Grin. "Let go! I wont let her go against Canard without help!" Nosedive screeched at Grin.

Wildwing moaned softly. "Dang! OK, everyone in. You," he pointed to the confused team that they had come to stop. "Stay here. If any of you die, we die. We’re you."

"You don’t say." said the earlier version of Nosedive sarcastically.

They ducks pushed thed Wildwing. His brother shrugged, not meeting Wildwing’s eyes.

"Maybe the poem tells us!" Tanya exclaimed.

"Great. We’re staking lives on an old bit of rhyme." Mallory growled.

"It hasn’t led us wrong so far, Mallory." Grin pointed out.

"Go ahead Tanya. What does it say that might fit in here?" Wildwing kept the peace by interrupting.

"Uh, just a sec." Tanya skimmed the paper for the twentieth time. "Well, at the beginning it says to follow our hearts. Then, at the end it says that when we know where loyalty lies, make the beginning the end."

"That’s pretty clear, we have to go back to Canard's death and stop Jade from being shot." Wildwing made his choice. "Destiny, we choose to save our friends."

Destiny smiled. "Good choice. I knew you'd figure it out!"

"You mean you knew what it meant the whole time?" Nosedive scowled.

"Of course, I wrote it! Anyway," she said quickly, noticing the murderous looks on the ducks countenances. "I’ll get your friends back." She waved a hand, and Duke and Jadestar suddenly found themselves seven metres above the floor of Destiny’s place, upside down. Jadestar gave a short scream when they started to fall.

"Jade, twist!" Duke yelled, as he realised they were about to land head first. They wiggled, still graspir way to the door of the shed. Their Jadestar stood in front of the young Jadestar, protecting her. "I won’t let you hurt me! Not that me anyway!" Jadestar screamed at Canard.

"Jade, don’t!" Wildwing called from the door. He was ignored by Jadestar and Canard.

"You seem like a much better prize anyway." Canard’s eyes glinted as he took in the difference between the two Jadestars. Before the older Jadestar could retort, Canard grabbed her wrist and pulled her into his arms.

"Oh, I’ve missed this feeling." he smiled. The younger Jadestar raced for the door and got out of the shed.

Jadestar struggled. "I’m not your Jadestar! And I wont be! Let me GO!" she screamed at him. He started to kiss her, and she tried to kick him, obviously not returning his kiss. She looked wildly to the ducks standing frozen at the door. "Shoot him!" she cried, eyes glittering with desperation. "Go on! What are you waiting for?"

"Unlike my universe, your brother Wildwing cares too much to even chance you being hit, the weakling. They can’t do a thing." Canard said smugly.

He started to kiss Jadestar again, and she struck out madly with her boots, her arms being pinned to her sides. She couldn’t stand the feel of his hot breath on her neck, his lips on hers, his arms around her waist, and she was willing to do anything to get away from him. She suddenly remembered what she had in her pocket. She managed to get her hand to the object, and she hesitated only slightly before pressing a small knob on the oval object. The next time Canard took a breath, she showed him the exploding puck with no time left on its counter.

Jadestar smiled slightly at the look on his face.

And the whole shed exploded.