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Angelwing's Ice Palace
Dark Angel Rising (part 10)
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      The next morning, Wildwing awoke early.  He couldn't help get over what Jess had told him the night before.  How could Angelwing go against his wishes?  He had warned her not to go, but she went anyway.  Wildwing let out a sigh of frustration as he made his way to the door and down the hall.
 
      Grin was sitting on the floor, by Angelwing's room, with his eyes closed and his back against the cold, steel door.  He wanted so badly, just to fall asleep right there, but he was resistant.  He knew he couldn't, at least, not until Wildwing came to relieve him of his duties.  So, instead, he opted for some meditation.  It wasn't long before he heard footsteps down the hall, coming closer.
      As Wildwing approached Grin, he noticed that his eyes were closed.  "Poor guy," he thought, "he must be exhausted."  Once Wildwing reached him, Grin opened one eye at first, to see who it was.  Then he opened the other when he realized it was Wildwing who was standing before him.
      "Sleeping on the job?" the captain joked slightly.
      "Just resting my eyes and doing a bit of meditating," Grin replied and Wildwing helped him to his feet.
      "I'll take over from here," his leader told him.  "You better go and get some rest before our practice this afternoon."
      Grin nodded tiredly as he yawned.  "Thank you, my friend."  Then a thought occured to him.  "But who will keep watch while we practice?"
      Wildwing thought about this for a moment.  "Well, I suppose either Jess or Karissa could do it," he answered, finally.  "I'm sure they won't mind."
      Grin agreed and yawned again as he headed for his bunk.  Once he was gone, Wildwing punched in the code for Angelwing's bunk, and the door slid open.  He walked over to her bed, where he found her, sleeping soundly.
      "She looks so harmless and innocent," he thought to himself as he watched her.  He could even sense her loyalty and kindness when she was awake.  She didn't seem like the "criminal / killer" type.  So how did a duck like her, ever get mixed up with a notorious gang and with Dragaunus, anyways? 
      Dragaunus.  He was the source of her current problem, or so Wildwing and Jess thought.  Wildwing sat down on the edge of the bed, still watching the female duck.
      "What did that Monster do to you, Angel?" he asked quietly, as he gently brushed a piece of hair away from her face.  "What happened to you?"  He stared down at her  now peaceful face.  There was definately something about Angelwing that intrigued him.  What it was, Wildwing did not know.  What he did know, was that she was in some sort of danger, and he had to save her.
      As these thoughts crossed his mind, the memory of Canard came floating back to him.  The memory of that terrible day, when he lost his best friend.  Canard was lost and trapped in dimensional limbo.  "For all eternity" and "from which there is no escape," Dragaunus had said. 
      Wildwing shook those words from his thoughts.  "It can't be," he thought to himself, refusing to believe that Canard was gone for good.  "There's gotta be a way out.  Dragaunus and his army managed to escape.  So, it can't be completely impossible."  Wildwing sighed once more, feeling hopeless, and looked back down at Angelwing.  "Boy, we could sure use your help right now, Canard."
      Wildwing quickly snapped back to reality when Angelwing began to stir.  At last, she turned her head and slowly opened her eyes, a bit alarmed to find her team captain right beside her.  "Oh!"
      "Good morning," he greeted her as he looked into her eyes, smiling.
      Angelwing smiled back.  "Good morning," she replied, a bit groggily.
      "Sleep well last night?"
      "Yes, I did, actually," she lied as she sat up and stretched her arms.  "Surprisingly, it was the best sleep I've had in quite a while."
      "Well that's good to hear," Wildwing commented.  Then he changed the subject.  "Are you hungry?"  Angelwing nodded.  "In that case," he started, "I'll go see about getting us some breakfast."  With that, he stood up and walked towards the door.  Angelwing continued to smile, watching Wildwing's every movement, until he was gone.
      "Fool!" she snarled and threw the blankets off her.  Then she stood up and quick-changed into her armor.  "He actually thinks I'm really Angelwing."  She grinned and chuckled suspiciously.
 
 
      As Wildwing stepped out into the hallway, he caught a glimpse of Karissa, who was just leaving her bunk.  He called her over and asked her to guard Angelwing's room while he ran to the galley to get some breakfast.
      A few moments later, when Wildwing returned, Karissa was nowhere to be found.  Wildwing frowned as he opened he com.  "Karissa, where are you?"
      "In the shower.  Do you mind?!" she replied tartly, through her com.
      "Well, I asked you to watch over Angelwing while I was gone."
      "She's fine.  She's still in her room."
      "For your sake, she better be," Wildwing warned her before closing the link.  He sighed out of aggrevation and annoyance with Karissa's attitude.  "At least Jess is more sensible," he thought.  "I know I can depend on her  to keep an eye on Angelwing later."  Wildwing made his way to Angelwing's door, but paused as thoughts were still flowing through his mind.  Before opening the door, he opened his com once more.
      "Hey Jess, are you up?"
      "Yup.  Although, I'm not so sure I'm quite awake yet," Jess answered with a yawn.
      "Great.  Do you think you could take over for me, watching over Angelwing, in a few hours?  It's just while we practice.  Then, I'll send someone else down to relieve you."
      "Sure thing," she replied.  "Grin already mentioned it to me this morning.  I told him I would, but he must have fell asleep before he could relay the message to you," she chuckled.  "Poor guy.  He looked exhausted."
      Wildwing nodded.  "Well, thank you.  I appreciate your help."
      "You're welcome, anytime.  It's no problem, really.  Besides, I was thinking about going to see her this afternoon anyway.  Maybe try to cheer her up," Jess told him with a smile.  Then, her smile faded and she lowered her voice.  "Any news yet on Ariana?"
      The male duck shook his head sadly.  "Nothing yet.  I haven't heard from Tanya, yet, this morning.  I'm sure she's been with her in the infirmary all night."
      "Then I'll go and check up on them, and give Tanya a break.  I bet she could use one."
      "Sounds good.  I'm sure Tanya will be appreciative of that.  Alright, see you later."
      "In awhile," Jess remarked.  Then Wildwing closed his com.
      At last, he was able to tend to the task at hand.  He opened the door and walked into Angelwing's room, carrying her breakfast in with him on a tray.  For the remainder of the morning, Wildwing stayed with Angelwing.  He kept her company by talking with her and playing games such as cards, air hockey, and even a hockey video game, in which Angelwing proudly beat him five times in a row.
 
      Meanwhile, Tanya was in the infirmary, running tests on the still unconscious Ariana.  "I just don't get it," she was mumbling to herself as she looked over the results.  She was caught a bit off gaurd when she heard a knock on the door, then the door slid open.
      "Good morning Tanya," Jess said cheerfully as she walked in.
      Tanya glanced up from her paper work.  "Oh, good morning."  She was a bit surprised to see Jess so early.
      "Thought you could use a break this morning," explained Jess.
      "Could I ever?!" Tanya sighed.  "I can't figure this out for the life of me," she said, holding up the test results.
      Jess looked over at Ariana then looked back to Tanya.  "Why?  What's wrong with her?"
      "Well, that's just it," Tanya started.  "According to these results, nothing."
      Jess stared at her strangely.  "But she's still unconscious, isn't she?"
      Tanya nodded.  "It seems as if all she has is one nasty bump on the head."
      "Sheesh!  She must have taken quite the hit.  Poor girl."
      Tanya yawned.  "Well, since you're here, I think I'll uh, go grab a bite to eat."
      "Sure thing," Jess replied.  "Go ahead, I'll keep an eye on Ariana."
      Suddenly, without warning, Ariana awoke and sat up abruptly, screaming in fear.  "NO!  SHE'S IN TROUBLE!  WE HAVE TO SAVE HER!"
 
 
 
To be continued................
 
 
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Part 11

The "Dark Angel Rising" Saga