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Chance Encounter

 

By FoxStar

 

“Duke, can you give us a hand?”

The former thief quickly grabbed one side of the enormous steel plate and helped his captain hold it in place while Tanya riveted it back onto the Aerowing’s side.

“Thanks.”  The scientist stuttered, finishing the job.  “It didn’t take too much damage, Wildwing, but the laser scoring might have been trouble the next time we took off.”  She reported, setting down her tools.

“We’re just lucky you spotted it before we did, Tanya.”  Wildwing smiled, looking a bit weary to the ex-thief’s eye.  “Thanks.  You too, Duke.  Where’re you headed?”  He asked, noticing the trench coat his assistant captain was wearing.

“Out.”  Duke replied, heading off before they could grill him any further.

He sighed as he headed up to the surface.  If anyone had told him a year ago that he would be stuck on a planet that hadn’t even heard of teleporters, holo-vids, or aliens, he would have laughed it off.

It wasn’t quite so funny now.

On the other hand, this place did have it’s good side – he could walk down any street in town as a hero, instead of a wanted man.  This kind of freedom he could get used to…

And if they ever returned to Puckworld, it would be hard to give up.  As wonderful as Anaheim was, Duke had no desire to stay there permanently, and if he stuck around too much longer, he was going to forget how to hide when he got back.

There wasn’t even any decent companionship around – Wildwing was too… good, Nosedive too young, Grin too quiet, and neither of the ladies appealed to him at all.  He spent half his time trying to coax Tanya to speak plain English, and the other half catching glares from the team hothead for being too shady in his dealings with everybody.

It was a waste of effort, anyway.  He wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted in a woman anymore.  Maybe the kid was right, and he was getting old.  When he’d tried to turn his life around, most of the women he’d been seeing or hanging around with had disappeared.  Something about dating a rich, powerful criminal appealed to them – and dating a poor, defenseless fugitive from the law wasn’t nearly as exhilarating, apparently.

The elevator dinged!, and he headed towards the outside doors.

 

A tall figure was bent over the locking mechanism of the loading bay as Duke came out, its back to him

Duke nearly called out, then decided against it, and began to silently sneak up on them.

He had gotten within fifty feet of them when his foot crunched down on a bit of gravel.

The head jerked up, and he cursed inwardly.  “Stop!  Hold it right there!”

Of course, they didn’t.

Duke ran after the retreating figure, trying to catch up to them as the person dodged around a corner.

He skidded to a halt as he turned it, and found the intruder had vanished completely.

Ah, come on… where could they ‘a gone?

Silence answered him.

He glanced around, and a slight movement caught his eye.

Duke quickly vaulted over the car roof, only to find a small silver coloured fox staring at him in surprise.

“Oh… sorry there.”  He apologized absentmindedly, trying to see where the stranger could have gone.

The fox backed away cautiously, then turned tail and started to run.

“What the heck is a fox doing running around Anaheim?”  Duke commented, not expecting an answer.

There was none, and the silver fox disappeared.

Duke shrugged, and gave up on trying to go to the fencing gym today.  He was more interested in who had been messing with the door to the Zamboni room and loading dock.

While he was at it, maybe he’d see if any of the zoo’s were missing a fox…

 

Fox is copyright me, 2003.  Duke and the rest are copyright Disney.  Unfortunately...