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Angelwing's Ice Palace
Dark Angel Rising (part 18)
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      In the meantime, the rest of the team was now searching for Nosedive.  Wildwing stopped in front of an elevator and checked his auto tracker again.  His brother's com signal still hadn't moved.  Fear began to creep it's way into Wildwing's feelings.
      "Something's definately wrong," he said, sounding worried.  The others looked at him questionally.  "According to his signal, he hasn't moved an inch."
      Ariana frowned.  This didn't sound good at all.  Then, her thoughts drifted to their other teammates.  "What about Duke and Mallory?" she asked her leader.  "They were with Nosedive, right?"  Wing nodded and checked his com as Ariana opened hers.
      "Mallory's signal is coming from the third floor," Wildwing said, closing his com.
      "And I'm not getting a signal at all from Duke," Ariana added.
      "That's because my com was damaged during a skirmish with Siege," Duke's voice suddenly sounded from behind her.  Ariana gasped and spund around, quickly arming herself with her saber.
      Duke stared at her in alarm, then glanced down to find the tip of her sword only inches away from his chest.  "Hey, easy there killer," he said, taking a few steps back.  "It's me, Duke."
      Ariana scowled at him.  "Are you really?" she growled.  "Because as long as that shapeshifter's running loose, I'm not so sure I can believe that."
      wildwing listened in and took Ariana's comment in to consideration.  After all, she had a good point.  "Well let's just see," he said before scanning Duke with the Mask.  Satisfied with the results, he turned to Ariana.  "Stand down, he's telling the truth."
      The female duck breathed in a sigh of relief as she retracted the blade of her saber.  "Sorry," she apologized to Duke.
      "Don't worry," he replied sincerely.  "Completely understandable."
      "Just do me a favor," Ariana started again.
      "Yeah, sure, what?"
      "Don't ever sneak up on me like that again."
      Duke grinned.  "No problem.  Keep reacting like that and you shouldn't have to worry about it."  Then he turned to Wildwing and gave him the thumbs up when the leader asked him how he was doing.  "A bit battered and bruised, but I'm still here," he answered with a smile.  As he spoke, someone moving up from behind Wildwing caught his attention.  "Canard!" Duke exclaimed, staring down the tan duck.  "You're alive?!"  The ex-leader just nodded silently in acknowledgement.  "But how-" Duke stopped short when Wildwing held up his hand to silence him.
      "He can explain later.  Right now, we have to find Nosedive and Mallory."
      "Right," Duke agreed, choosing not to argue with his captain.  He followed the group into the elevator and they were off again, searching for their teammates.
     
      Wildwing looked down at his com as they ran down the hallway.  "According to Dive's signal," he called back to the rest of the group, "he should be right around that corner up there."  He pointed to the end of the hall, the direction they were running in.
      When they rounded the corner, they stopped short and gasped.  Sure enough, there was Nosedive, slumped on the floor and unconcious.  Wildwing ran over and crouched down beside him.
      "Dive?!  Dive?!" he exclaimed in a panicked distress.
      Nosedive's eyes fluttered open and darted about dazedly as he slowly ragained conciousness.  "Anyone catch the liscence plate number of that truck?" he quipped, still unaware of his surroundings.  The other ducks exchanged glances before turning their attention back to Nosedive.
      "Bro, are you okay?" Wildwing asked him gently while he helped his brother sit up.
      "Yeah," the younger duck groaned, rubbing the back of his head, "I think so."
      "What happened here anyway?" Grin questioned.
      Nosedive thought back on what had happened before he was knocked out.  "I don't know," he replied.  "From what I remember, Mallory went to track down Wraith and Chameleon, and...." he trailed off, trying to remember.  Glancing around at his teammates, he spotted Duke.  "Duke!"
      "What?"
      "You were here!" Dive exclaimed, pointing a finger at him as he suddenly remembered.  Duke stared back at him with his beak open in alarm.  "You had just caught up to us after a fight with Siege, and you were beat up pretty bad."  He examined the gray duck as he spoke.  Duke did have some cuts and scratches on him, but he looked to be in better condition than he was before.  "Hey, what happened to you anyways?" he interrogated the older duck.  "You healed up pretty quick."
      Duke looked at him strangely, raising an eyebrow.  "I hate to tell ya Kid, but that wasn't me.  I tried to catch up to you and Mal after I took care of Siege, but I took a wrong turn and ran into the rest of the team," he explained as he gestured to the surrounding group.
      Nosedive returned his gaze, feeling confused.  "You mean-  but who-?"
      "Give ya one guess," Ariana interrupted him, reading his mind.
      Dive turned and stared at Ariana, lost in his thoughts.  Then, it hit him.  Who else would be able to impersonate Duke so well?  The answer made so much sense to him.  "Chameleon!" he cursed.  The others nodded in agreement.
      Wildwing reviewed the scene in his mind, trying to piece together what had actually happened to his brother.  "The Chameleon must've impersonated Duke and then somehow, knocked out Nosedive when his back was turned."
      "Sounds reasonable to me," Duke agreed.
      Canard looked about them, making sure there were no signs of Saurians.  "Speaking of lizzards," he started, facing the team.  "We better find them and put a stop to their plans."
      Nosedive leaned to the side and looked over his brother's shoulder to see who was speaking.  "Canard?!"
      Wing was begining to tire of this and he felt like he was repeating himself too much.  Still, he put a hand up to hush Nosedive.  "We'll explain later."  He thought his younger sibling would protest, but to his surprise, Nosedive nodded in acceptance.  "Right now," Wildwing started, as he helped his brother to his feet, "we have to find Mallory and stop those lizzards, and hopefully catch Angelwing too." 
      "Right.  Not to mention, I owe the Chameleon some major payback!" Nosedive added as the whole team took off again.
 
 
 
To be continued..................................
 

Disclaimer:  All original characters are owned and copyrighted by Disney, all others are owned by me.

 

Stay tuned to find out what happens next time.........

Part 19