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Angelwing's Ice Palace
Dark Angel Rising (part 6)
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      The next morning, the Ducks were all in the kitchen, finishing their breakfasts before practice.  Wildwing glanced around the room in search of Angelwing, but she was no where to be seen.  He noticed that Ariana had left her seat and was now heading for the door.
      "Ariana, wait!" Wildwing called out as he jumped out of his own seat and ran over to her.
      Ariana heard some one call her name, so she turned to see who it was.  "What?"
      "Do you know where your sister is?" Wildwing asked her.
      Ariana looked at him and grumbled.  "No," she sneered, "and I could care less."  She turned back and began walking towards the door again, but Wildwing put a hand on her shoulder to stop her.  Ariana stopped abruptly and wheeled around angrily.  "What now?!"
      The male duck looked her in the eyes and spoke softly.  "She really does care about you, you know."  Ariana stared up at him coldly, then quickly looked down at the floor.  Silently, she brushed his hand off her shoulder and turned to face the door again.  Feeling helpless and unsure of what to do, Wildwing let her go.  Then, an idea popped into his mind and he called her back.  "Head to the locker room and suit up."  Ariana gave him a questioning look.  "You're going to practice with us today."  She grinned slightly and nodded, then she turned and ran down the hallway.
      "What was that all about?"
      Startled, Wildwing jumped a bit and turned to face his speaker.  "Oh, Jess, it's you."
      She giggled.  "Sorry, I guess you can call it even, for you sneaking up on me last night," Jess replied jokingly.
      "Yeah, sure," Wildwing smirked.  "Listen, have you seen Angelwing this morning?  It's not like her to sleep in."
      Jess gasped in shock.  "You mean, she's not back yet?"
      Wildwing frowned, looking confused.  "Back from where?" he asked suspiciously.
      "D'oh!" she cursed herself mentally for almost letting it slip again.  "Well uh, I know she went out for a walk early this morning," she lied.  "I thought she would've been back by now."  Jess was very concerned now.  If Angelwing hadn't returned from seeing Dragaunus by now, then something bad must've happened.
      "Hmm," Wildwing scratched his beak, deep in thought.  "She didn't answer her com when I called her before."
      "Can you track her signal?" Jess questioned.  Wildwing opened his com and checked, then he sighed in frustration.  "Anything?" she asked him.
      "Nothing."  He looked back at Jess.  "Come on, let's go double check her room, just to be sure.  Maybe she's come back."
      "Right," Jess nodded and followed Wildwing as he ran out of the kitchen and down the hall.
      Minutes later, they arrived at the door to Angelwing's room.  Wildwing was about to punch in the code when the door slid open.  Both he and Jess drew their weapons automatically and aimed at the figure standing in the doorway.
      Angelwing shrieked and jumped back.  "What the hell are you two doing?!"  Jess and Wildwing withdrew their weapons once they realized who it was, breathing sighs of relief.
      "Angelwing, good, you're back," Wildwing commented.
      "What?!" exclaimed Angelwing.
      "From your morning walk," Jess added quickly while winking at Angelwing.
      Angelwing looked at her strangely, then she realized what Jess was doing and she played along.  "Oh, yes, that's right," she chuckled nervously.  "Well, I'm back now."  Wildwing looked at her funny.  "You'll have to forgive me, when I returned from my walk, I fell asleep again.  I just woke up a few minutes ago, so I'm a little out of it.  Not to mention opening my door find you two with your weapons pointed at me.  That would give anyone a scare."
      Wildwing apologized and explained the situation to Angelwing, telling her how they thought she was missing and that they tried to track her down.
      "Well, I'm back now, and you've found me!" Angelwing said cheerfully, spreading her arms out. 
      Jess stared at her strangely with a raised eyebrow.  "Are you okay girl?" she asked her.
      "Yeah, I'm fine," Angelwing answered through her smile.  "Why do you ask?"
      "Well, for someone who just woke up, you're acting way too cheerful this morning, even for me," Jess told her.  Then she mumbled, " 'course I'm not a morning person myself."  Angelwing just stood there, blinking her eyes.  "But that's not like you," Jess' voice returned to it's normal volume.
      "What I don't get," Wildwing cut in, "is why you didn't answer your com when I called?  And why wasn't the auto tracker working?"
      "Oh," Angelwing's expression softened.  "Sorry, that's my fault.  It got smashed up pretty bad during last nights battle.  I forgot to let Tanya know," she lied.
      "Alright, well just have Tanya fix it after practice, okay?"
      "Yup!" she nodded.
      "Alright, I'll meet you on the ice then?"
      "Yeah, I'll be there in a few."  
      With that, Wildwing turned and walked away.  When he was out of sight, Angelwing removed her wrist com.  Jess stared at her in disbelief.  "Funny, it doesn't look beat up."  Angelwing put a finger to her beak to hush her, then she dropped her com on the floor and stepped on it.
      Jess' jaw dropped.  "I can't believe you just did that!"
      Angelwing looked at her and grinned slyly.  "Well, believe it, because you just saw it."  The human girl was so shocked, she was speechless.  She stood there, unmoving, just staring at the duck.
      When Jess finally snapped out of her trance, she decided to avoid confrontation and changed the subject.   "So, when did you return from your little 'mission'?" she asked Angelwing, quoting the word, mission, with her fingers.
      "Last night," Angelwing answered her.  "I really did sleep in this morning.  My head was aching and I felt so strange."
      "Hmm," Jess was thinking.  "Did those Saurian creeps do anything to you?"
      "Then how did everything go?  Did Dragaunus buy your act?"
      Suddenly, Angelwing smiled at Jess, in a way Jess had never seen before.  Almost in a malicious, evil sort of way, which kind of frightened Jess.  "Let's just say," Angelwing started, "that everything went as planned."  Once again, Jess was speechless.  "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get to practice before I'm late," Angelwing said as she walked off, leaving Jess to ponder what had just happened.
      The Ducks had all gathered around Wildwing at center ice.  "Alright team," Wildwing started, "we've got another new player, so you all know the drill."  He motioned over towards the benches and Ariana came skating over, in uniform.
      Mallory's beak opened and she backed up a bit.  "Oh no, no way!"
      Ariana glared at Mallory coldly.  "What's the matter 'Mal'?  Do I make you nervous?" Ariana taunted her.
      Mallory grumbled and balled up her fists.  "Who let her come up her anyway?"
      "I did," Wildwing said blatantly as he stepped between the two female ducks.  "We can always use the extra help.  So, you're all just going to have to make the best of it and give her a chance."  The Ducks all exchanged glances and nodded in acceptance.  Mallory was reluctant at first, but decided to go along, for the sake of the team.  Wildwing looked at his team and nodded his head.  "Good.  Now," he turned to Ariana, "what position do you play?"
      Ariana just stared at him.  "What position do you want me to play?"
      "I'm versatile," she explained to her team captain.  "I can play offense or defense."
      "Show off," muttered Angelwing from a distance.  Ariana shot her a dirty look, then turned back to Wildwing.
      "Do you have a preference?" Wildwing questioned her.
      Ariana shook her head.  "No."
      "Hmm..." Wildwing scratched his beak, thinking of where to place Ariana.  Finally, his face lit up as he snapped his fingers.  "I know..."  He got to work explaining his idea and plan to the team.
      As the Ducks practiced, Ariana moved about from position to position, trying a different one for each play.  She wasn't lying when she said she was versatile.  She played both offensive and defensive positions quite well.  Although she wasn't a goal scorer.  She could still get the puck in the net if she took the shot, but most times, she just passed it off to one of the others, assing them with goal scoring.
      Everything had been going well, up until a certain point.  Ariana had just taken the puck from Nosedive and was skating towards the goal.  Angelwing swiftly came up beside her and aggressively tried to poke the puck away with her stick.  She became aggitated at the fact that it wasn't working.  So, she abandonned the attempt and quickly thought of another plan.  With a sly, evil grin, Angelwing skated up from behind her sister at full speed.  Then, she cross checked  Ariana from behind with such force, that she sent Ariana flying several feet across the ice.
      "Ooh, that looked like it hurt," Nosedive joked.  But when he noticed that Ariana wasn't moving and he saw the angry look on his brother's face, he stopped joking.  He skated over to her slowly.  "Sorry.  No, seriously, are you okay?" he asked Ariana, but she just layed there silently, unmoving.
      Soon, the other Ducks had skated over to find out what happened.  Tanya knelt down to check Ariana's pulse while Wildwing skated over to talk to Angelwing.
      "Angelwing, what happened?  What did you do that for?" he asked her angrily.
      Angelwing just stared at him blankly, looking shocked.  "I- I don't know."
      "You know, in a game, that would have been a major penalty, not to mention, it could get you kicked out for the rest of the game.  And besides, she's your sister," Wildwing pointed out.
      "I, I, I'm sorry," Angelwing stammered.  "I-  I just-  I don't know... what happened."  Her eyes began to tear up.  "I don't know what came over me."
      Wildwing narrowed his eyes and stared at her.  He didn't know what to think of the situation.  Angelwing looked and sounded as if she were completely shocked at what she had done.  It wasn't like her to do something like that either, especially not to her sister.
      "Huh?"  Wildwing turned around to find Tanya speaking to him and he skated closer.  "How is she Tanya?"
      "Well," Tanya started, "she's got a pulse and she's breathing alright.  I think she's just been knocked unconscious."
      Angelwing pushed her way passed Wildwing and Duke.  "Is she going to be okay?" she asked, showing her concern.
      "Well, uh, I won't know for sure until we get her under the medicom," Tanya replied.
      "Come on," Wildwing started, "we'd better get her to the infirmary then."  With that, Grin carefully picked up Ariana and carried her out.  "Besides," added Wildwing, "I think we've had enough practice today."  Angelwing's shoulders slumped, feeling hopeless.
      Duke put a hand on her shoulder.  "Hey, don't worry so much," he told her.  "Your sister's a tough kid.  She'll make it through this."
      Angelwing looked at him and forced a smile.  "Thanks."
To be continued.......................
Disclaimer:  All original characters are owned and copyrighted by Disney, all others are owned by me.

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Part 7

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