Truth Hurts

Nosedive groaned inwardly as he heard his sister's breathing increase in speed. He rolled over to look at her. The room was dark, but the dull security lights in the corners of the room made seeing 3D shapes possible.

Nosedive was not in the mood for another one of Jadestar’s dreams, or nightmares, whatever they were. She had them at least three times a week, and while they mostly didn’t bother him, she occasionally cried out. She was long overdue for one of those, and Nosedive had a feeling that tonight was the night.

He stopped trying to sleep, knowing that her cries always woke him anyway. He lay on his back, waiting.

Why doesn’t she tell me what she’s dreaming? The fact that she kept quiet made him slightly worried. Should I wake her up? But then she’d know that I know and … oh bugger it.

"No! Canard, don’t! Mum! Dad! Canard, stop! Canard, please stop!" Jadestar suddenly shrieked, and Nosedive jumped. He closed his eyes as he heard her sit up, gasping. She started to cry softly.

"Oh Wildwing, may you never go home and find the truth." She whispered. Nosedive sucked in air sharply, mentally kicking himself straight away.

"Dive?" she asked. "You’re with Canard. The Saurians had passed leadership onto Draganus’s head man in the field-Menta, a blue lizard with the same shape-shifting abilities as Chameleon, but a heck of a lot smarter.

They made Canard head of the Resistance, the former head had been killed when the headquarters were attacked. I’d been there when it happened, and it was not a pretty sight. We’re lucky that they left any building there at all. Anyway, Canard was in charge. Without Draganus, the remaining Saurians had to fight on their own, as all their robots had been controlled by the computer which you guys fortunately blew up. It was easy to kill the remaining Saurians. We were free-technically. All former members of government were dead, so the decision was simple. The Resistance simply appointed Canard sole ruler. This is where it gets bad. You’d think Canard would be a great leader. But he wasn’t. He turned into some kind of mob leader. Puckworld was just as bad off, perhaps worse, because we didn’t have any hope left.

Buildings were left destroyed, people lived in rubble. The only person who didn’t live under the open sky was Canard. He had a nice little place built for him.

I had met Mum and Dad back at the house. Canard’s parents had been murdered by him, or by his doing anyway. We were hungry, but we were OK. We were actually very lucky, our shed hadn’t been bombed, so we had a roof over our heads.

Money was practically worthless. Food was scare, we ate a lot of insects and grass. We’re also lucky that it was spring.

So we stayed out of Canard’s and his little gangs way, and they left us alone. Till two weeks before I came here. We were sitting in the shed, wondering how you guys were doing (a member of the Resistance had told us what had happened). We didn’t let ourselves think you might be dead. It was almost night. Canard burst through the door and ordered us up against the walls, me one wall, and Mum and Dad against another.

‘You may think you don’t deserve this,’ he said. ‘But it doesn’t matter what you think or say. Revenge is sweet, even if it’s on the wrong people.’ And he took out a puckshooter and shot them. First Mum. Dad was calling ‘Mary, Mary’ over and over, and I was crying. Then he shot Dad. I was so scared. I thought he was going to shoot me too, and I wanted him to do it fast. But he put his shooter away, and pulled my chin up so I was looking straight at him. His eyes weren’t normal. They were like stone, not a jewel, but hard granite.

‘I’ve missed you.’ he said. He was about to kiss me, and I was about to slap him, when someone called for him outside, and he started to go.

‘Don’t think you’ve escaped, I’ll find you where ever you run off to.’ He went out the door.

In a fortnight Thlayli came and asked me if I’d like to go see my family. At first I thought she was talking about Matthew and Mary, or our real parents. Then I twigged, and she brought me here. I’m glad of it, there was nothing left for me there.

Canard’s turned into a monster. I was afraid you and Wildwing might have too, but you hadn’t. If Wildwing knows, or goes back to Puckworld and finds out what Canard has done and is still doing, it’d hurt him so much. I didn’t want that to happen, so I lied."


Nosedive sat in disbelieving silence, running through the story in his mind.

"Let me get this straight. Canard’s an evil dictator who murdered Mum and Dad." Nosedive’s voice was low.

"That’s right. What are you going to do?" Jadestar was willing to do whatever her brother thought, the whole lie had been weighing heavily on her mind.

"We have to tell the others. This takes away our main reason for fighting Draganus: what’s the point of fighting to get home if home is in more trouble than you?"

"I know, that’s another reason why I kept my beak shut."

Nosedive sighed, and went to find his battle gear, too tired to look for anything more normal. "Get dressed and com the others. We’ll tell them before you get cold feet."

Jadestar hopped off the bed. Nosedive suddenly grabbed her wrist, and she turned to see what was the matter.

"Jade, this is the whole story, right?"

Jadestar fought to try and find anything she had forgotten. "I think so."

"Good." Nosedive released her, and they both got changed.

"You take Mallory, Grin and Tanya. I’ll take Wildwing and Duke." Nosedive instructed, switching on his com. "Tell them to meet in the Ready Room."

Jadestar was about to complain, but something in the way Nosedive stood told her that disagreement might not be such a good idea.


The older ducks were incredibly grumpy, Mallory in particular.

"I hope this is important you two," Wildwing said from leaning on a wall. "This isn’t the time of the night for small talk."

"You mean morning." Duke grunted from his cup of coffee.

"Yeah, this is real important," Nosedive nudged his twin. "Go on Jade, better from you than me."

All eyes turned to Jadestar, and she stood straighter. "This is a pretty awful story. You can’t imagine the shit that’s happened since you guys left Puckworld."

Wildwing frowned. Jadestar never usually swore. He turned questioning eyes to Nosedive, but the teen wasn’t watching. Jadestar began her story.


"I can’t believe Canard would do that," Wildwing stared into space. "I mean, he couldn’t. Not Canard."

Tanya had b awake?"

Nosedive tried to fake sleep, but Jadestar got up and sat on his bed. He gave up and pulled himself upright.

"What the heck is going on Jadestar?"

"What do you mean?" Jadestar avoided his eyes. He sighed.

"Look, I know you’ve been having bad dreams. What’s the matter? Why can’t Wildwing go home?"

"How did you know I’d had the nightmares?" She deliberately ignored the last questions.

"You breathe really fast, and you call out sometimes. What’s wrong?"

Jadestar turned to him, eyes glassy with tears. "Dive, you don’t want to know. It’s better for everyone if it stops with me."

Nosedive rubbed her arm. "Look Jade, we share everything. Well, almost. You know what I mean. Tell me, and maybe I can help." He searched her face, brows furrowed. She seemed to hold firm for a minute, but she gave up and her features collapsed. She pulled her knees up to her beak, and buried her face for about two minutes. Once she was composed she looked into Nosedive’s eyes. Her green eyes were clouded, but she spoke.

"Don’t say I didn’t warn you." She pushed herself onto the bed more (Nosedive obligingly moving his legs) and lent against the wall. She closed her eyes and began her tale.


"I was in the center of DuCaine Metro when it happened. The Resistance had come backeen quiet throughout the story, not even raising an eyebrow with the mention of Canard’s rule and the Dimensional Traveler. She finally spoke up. "I thought something like this might have happened."

The ducks gazed at her, astonished. "It’s like this. The Canard on Puckworld isn’t our Canard. It’s a Canard from another universe. Our Canard must have knocked the other out of his universe when the worm took ours, that’s been proven possible in experiments before the war started. As for the Thlayli person, I think I’ve read about her. She’s in a few history books I believe, with some mention in accordance to Twin Beaks."

"That would explain Canard’s, uh, behavior." Duke drained the last of his coffee from the mug.

"What do we do now?" Mallory asked the question on all of their minds.

Wildwing thought. "If we had Draganus’s Dimensional Gateway, we could get back to Puckworld, and zap the bad Canard into Dimensional Limbo."

"What about the Traveler?" Grin asked. "We could use hers."

Nosedive shook his head. "No dice. Thlayli’s what you could call a ‘free spirit’. In other words, there’s no guarantee we could ever see her again. If she does turn up however, we still couldn’t go."

"Yeah, we can’t just leave Dragaunus to the humans. He’d slaughter them!" Jadestar finished her brother's thought.

"Well then. Looks like we keep on going," The team captain looked around at his team. "The only difference is a bigger prize."

Story Copyright Rachel Baker ’98. Jadestar, Matthew, Mary and possibly ‘King’ Canard are also Copyright Rachel Baker. All other characters Copyright Disney, and used without permission.