Part III

Beginning of the End

It didn't take to long to discover D'gal on the cliff above them and Squeaks went up after him to dissuade any further, albeit fruitless, attempts on Drake's life. The others remained on the ground and grudgingly tried to convince Drake that arresting D'gal at all costs was not in his, and their, best interest.

Drake: But D'gal is evil!

Ivan: You say that like it's a bad thing.

Drake: I have to take him into custody. It is my sworn duty as a Commander of the Invisible Duck Empire.

Ivan: Listen up, space-case. You're never going to see your precious empire again if you don't get it through your thick skull that the normal rules of engagement don't apply here.

Ferdia: Technically speaking, right now you and D'gal are partners.

Drake: Erk!?! * Ka - chunk *

For those of you that are wondering what that noise was, it was a verbal confirmation of a system failure that had effectively taken Drake's brain off-line.

Our apologies for any problems that readers may experience due to these technical difficulties.

But since it is Drake, we don't see that as being very likely.

Drake: Par…part…tner…p…art…nnnnerrr?

Ferdia: Partner. That's it, sound out the word. Two syllables may be more that you're use to, but we know you can figure it out.

Iiwi: Maybe if you gave him a month.

Meanwhile, up above them…

D'Gal: It's very simple, Arcadia. I refuse to do anything that will help that Duck.

Squeaks: But it's not just his life at stake here. None of us will be able to resume our lives, not even you. We have to work together, whatever else we might feel about the next person.

Drake: I am not pretending to be his partner. And I can't promise you that I won't decide to drop anything else on him.

Squeaks: Sigh. Fine, just so long as you don't purposely try and loose him down a volcano or something.

D'gal wickedly grinned.

D'Gal: Now, would I do something like that?

If D'gal had a nose, it would be growing.

But with that last statement, Squeaks was satisfied that D'gal was going to cooperate and they made their way back down to the ground.

Drake was still broken.

D'Gal: What's the matter with him? Besides the obvious.

Iiwi: We were trying to explain to him how things work here and he just started sputtering.

Ferdia: I guess the idea of having to work with you doesn't agree with him.

D'Gal: The feeling is mutual.

At that moment, Drake recovered.

Drake: I am not the one who is an intergalactic outlaw! I should be arresting you, not 'chatting' like these primitives.

Ivan: Watch it, pal. You are not making any friends here.

Iiwi: And it was partly your fault that this happened.

Drake: Don't you see, this is what he wants! This must be all part of a cunning plan. To separate me from my ship while his agents complete their mission to bring about the fall of my people.

There were skeptical looks all around.

Ferdia: Yeah, and you're the only thing that could stand in his way.

D'Gal: No, Dumb-ass, this is not how I wanted things to end for you. I have much more interesting ideas for your fate.

Drake: It's pronounced 'Du-mas' and you know it. And what is that suppose to mean?

D'Gal: Banishment to a lush world like this would be no punishment at all. One day, I will make you suffer in ways your tiny brain could not even fathom.

Ferdia: If you guys are done with all this machismo poising for the sake of hosing down the landscape with testosterone, we need to keep moving. The trail doesn't end here. The Clair-Bible is still out there and we have a few more people to find.

Drake: Who's Claire and why do we want her Bible?

Ferdia: ARGH! Someone, please, gag him!

For the sake of Ferdia's sanity, and everyone else's safety lest she figure out another explosive spell, the Duck's bill was taped shut. It was time to move on; their adventure awaited them.

Iiwi: So why is it Idiot Fowl over there is suddenly invulnerable?

Squeaks: I was wondering that myself. I looked up a likely person he has replaced and it turns out he is an individual named Vrumugun. It does not say much for certain except that he does seem to be killed on a regular basis, but always turns up again. Has to do with some sort of cloning technology.

Ferdie: What kind of magical power is that?

Ivan raised an eyebrow at the bluebird's comment. The others shot Ferdie death looks.

Ivan: Magical power? Now what could you mean by that?

Squeaks: Meaning that normally people don't come back from the dead in our world, except in the stories that Ferdie spends too much time reading.

Ivan: Riiiiiight.

Ferdia: At least we know Drake will be able to survive anything that 'his partner' can throw at him.

D'Gal: We don't know that for certain. I haven't tried roasting him over an open fire.

Drake: Hmmpheegtttt!?! * Translation: How could you even consider such a thing!?! *

D'Gal: What's that? You want to be basted in orange sauce?

Drake: Arrrg thrennnt !!! * Translation: Mommy, Save Me!!! *

Squeaks: Gentlemen, and I use the term loosely, we need to work together here.

Ferdie: But I thought that Vrumugun and Zangulus were enemies of our characters?

Ferdia: Ferdie, I swear if you don't stop trying to help…

Ferdie: You don't understand, I have this awful feeling inside me. Something screaming that I should be fighting Zangulus, not helping him!

Iiwi: Well, squish that voice deep down because you aren't fighting anyone, especially not someone who could snap your neck with one blow.

D'Gal: Why would I want to fight this little pip-squeak?

Ferdie: Hey! I'm no runt, and I am the one with the Sword of Light. I could beat you!

Ferdia: Bro, get a hold of yourself. What are you trying to do?

D'Gal: Heh, you have got to be kidding.

Ferdie: All you have is that crummy Howling sword. Mine is better and that is because Gourry is the best swordsmen in the world while Zangulus is only a second-rate hack!

Ivan: Shut up, stupid! Do you want to die?

Ferdie: Ahhh! What am I saying? I don't want to battle him!
          Yes, you do! He is evil and you must protect your sister!
                  No! Stop! I can't do this!

Iiwi: Holy smokes, the boy has snapped. I think he's developed a split personality.

Ferdia: Squeaks, do something. I do not I want to have to explain this to Ma.

Squeaks: What do you think I can do? Gourry must be trying to come out, or something.

Ferdie: Go away! Leave me alone!
          No, we must vanquish him!

D'Gal: I'll give you something to vanquish.

With that, D'gal drew his sword and pressed the tip into Ferdie's throat.

D'Gal: You might want to reconsider this, kid.

Hands shaking, almost as if he was fighting himself, Ferdie drew his own sword.

Ferdie:      Prepare to die!
                    No! Stop it!

Squeaks: D'gal, back off.

D'Gal: The bird wants to fight. Not my idea.

The blade of the sword of Light released from its hilt and fell to the ground. Ferdie dramatically waved the remaining piece and small sparks began to fly…

But resulted in nothing. Zilch. Zippity-doo-da-day.

Iiwi: Oh, this is bad. But I can't stop watching.

Ferdie: Help me! Get me outta here!

Like an answer to his prayer, there was a sudden, thunderous crash and a puff of smoke. Ferdie was gone and someone new now stood in the armor and blonde wig.

But hardly that big of an improvement.

Beak/ Gourry Gabriev: Let' rock, duck.

D'Gal: Bring it on, hose nose.

Beak placed his body in a fencing stance and activated the Sword of Light as if it was his light saber. While Ferdie may have wanted to run screaming from the scene, the Magi was not about to back down.

SO, everything was suddenly going from bad to worse as the two engaged in a battle of good vs. evil. Me, I'm torn who to rout for.

Ferdia: Knock it off! I want to know where my brother went.

Squeaks: Give me a minute. It doesn't say anything in here about Gourry having the ability to change or metamorphosis.

Ferdia: Read faster.

Ivan: Do you guys want to tell me anything?

Ferdia and Squeaks: NO!

Ivan: Be that way.

Swords continued to clash, or spark, as duck and kiwi fought for supremacy.

D'Gal: Yield. Or I will be forced to destroy you.

Beak: Never. In the name of the Great BaNana, I shall triumph over your evil!

Iiwi: I don't care who, but SOMEONE DO SOMETHING!

And if as in response to her plea, help appeared.

Stop doing that!

Bobetta Kiwi/ Martina: Hello, everyone!

Oye, vey

She can be useful on occasion.

Name one.

Iiwi: Not Bobetta, not if that means she'll be here.

Ferdia: Bobetta, what in god's name are you wearing?

All fighting had ceased at the appearance of the newcomer. Not surprising since all the pink she wore had an almost hypnotic effect. And it was not pleasant against her curly green hair and bright yellow feathering.

Bobetta: Isn't it lovely? When I first arrived here, you would not have believed what I was wearing. Skulls, armor, and a horrid black cape. Not me at all. So I just went shopping and gussied it up a little.

Ferdia: It was worse before?

Iiwi: Leave it to Bobetta to be able to track down a mall in any universe.

Ivan: I am terrified to ask who she is.

Squeaks: Judging from the green Squirrelly Temple look, she is Princess Martina. Too irritating to be a full ally, but too klutzy to be a serious threat. She is called the dark version of Amelia.

Iiwi: Now I think I may kill something.

Ferdia: See, I'm not the only one.

Squeaks: It gets worse. She hits on anything male and follows around our little group because she has a crush on each guy successively, especially Xellos.

Ivan: WHAT!

Iiwi: Aw, isn't that just the cutest thing you've ever heard!

Ivan: Hey!

Iiwi: Could be worse, Amelia is in love with the fossil over there.

Squeaks: Hey!

Ferdia: Avian, mammals, please; can we try and get along here? This is ugly enough as it is.

Squeaks: Don't worry Ivan. Eventually Martina will end up marrying Zangulus and Xellos was off the hook.

Ivan: Thank goodness.

Bobetta: As if you could ever be so lucky.

D'Gal: Gaw? * Ka-chunk *

See disclaimer above.

Squeaks: Wow, I think D'gal just broke.

Drake: Nm phom msh phm, mouf sst? * Translation: Not so much fun, now is it? *

Iiwi: Nani?

Ferdia: What did you just say?

Iiwi: I have no idea.

Beak: Excuse me, we were in the middle of a battle.

D'Gal: Forget it, I'm leaving.

Squeaks: You can't, we need to get home!

D'Gal: I'll be back, I just need to find a better character to be.

Ferdia: It doesn't work that way.

As she spoke, there was another flash and D'gal was gone. The oversized floppy hat and cloak were now worn by another, who was a great deal shorter.

Who exactly gave you control of this story?

Iiwi: Hey, wait. How did he do that? I want to switch too!


Iiwi: I want to be someone else!


Iiwi: Damn it! It worked before.

Bob Kiwi/ Zangulus: Finally in this stupid story. Took long enough!

Beak: Bob? I am very confused now. Bob is not bad. Must I still fight him?

Iiwi: Oh, boy. Let me see if I can explain this, you two.

While Iiwi tried to enlighten the two mystified kiwis…

This could take awhile.

…Squeaks and Ferdia were in a heated discussion of their own.

Ferdia: Why does this keep happening?

Squeaks: I don't know!

Ferdia: Well, you're the one with the book! Look it up!

Squeaks: I have! There is nothing to explain this! But if you don't believe me, take the dumb thing and try and see what you can find!

Ferdia: Stop yelling. I'm not accusing you of anything. I am just frustrated that this place is making less and less sense the longer we're here. Now D'gal is gone, and who knows when we will be able to track him down again.

Squeaks: On the positive side, we know were Bob and Beak are.

Ferdia: But we lost Ferdie. I think. We won't know for sure until we figure out what happened and why Bob and Beak switched places with D'gal and Ferdie.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Bob: Let me get this straight. We're in another dimension, we only have a very limited amount of time before we won't be able to get home, my archrival is here, (most likely to try and steal my fiancé away, the dastardly villain!) and to top it all off, we just lost two people that we need to get home.

Iiwi: That's about the size of it.

Beak: Most confusing.

Raise your hand if you're surprised that Beak is confused.

Bob: I have one question.

Ferdia: Dare I ask?

Bob: Where do you get coffee around here?

Ivan: Oh, it's such a terrible thing, hero. There is no coffee here!

Bob blinked in dumbfounded silence for about ten seconds.


Bob proceeded to run around in circles as the panicking over lack of caffeine really set in.

Ten minutes later…


Everyone was covering their ears to protect their auditory receptors from the ultrasonic tones being emitted from everyone's favorite yellow bird.

Just so you know, we have received a letter from Big Bird's lawyers stating we need specific licensing in order to be allowed to make statements of this fashion.

License. License! We don't need no stinkin' license!





Beak took it upon himself to rectify the situation. He walked up behind the kiwi and smacked him over the head with the sword hilt in his hand. Everyone looked at Beak with shocked expressions.

Except Ivan, who just started laughing evilly under his breath.

Beak: I was just trying to stop his screaming.

Ivan: I say 'brava' for taking such initiative. Most sensible thing anyone has done since we got here.

Iiwi: So, now what?

Squeaks: I guess we keep following the burnt path up into the mountains. What else can we do?

Bobetta: Shopping!

Iiwi: Do us a favor and keep your brilliant ideas to yourself.

Drake: Ghomdum chedustg germufdppht? * How come no one wants to tape her mouth shut? *

And so our heroes continue their quest, preparing to face new dangers that await them in the misty mountains above.

You know, I'm beginning to think that this story should be re-name 'Road to Insanity' in honor of a late, great comedian.

Bob: Hey, wait! I only just got here and you're ending this section now?

Beak: Bob, are you arguing with the narrators?

Bob: Well, think about it. We've lost two people, but only picked up three. And, technically, two off us have switched with previous individuals, so that's really only one character that has been added. They should give us at least one more person before ending.

Fine! You want one more, I'll give you more.

The group was following a mountain pass heading north to what, they hoped, was the end of their journey. The sheer cliffs above them loomed ominously as the wind howled around them.


Knock it off. Anyway, as our heroes were minding their own business, just then a band of outlaw bandits crept out of the shadows and confront the group, swords drawn.

Ivan: You know, I am really getting tired of this place. If we were home, no one would dare treat me in this fashion.

Ferdia: Leave 'em to me. I've been itching for a good fight.

Squeaks: Ferdia, there's over a dozen of them. Don't you think the odds are a little unfair?

Beak: We can assist Ferdie's sister should things go array.

Iiwi: I don't think it's her that the marble-mouse is concerned for. I say kick their butts and then take their loot. They probably stole it anyway.

Drake: Ggstd hnfigm demhllgrsthmv ghrds! * Just untie me and I will arrest these criminals! *

Iiwi: Drake, whatever you just said, it was probably stupid. Don't even try it.

Bob: Um, guys…

Ferdia: Quit, Bob. All right, listen up! I'm Lina Inverse, so unless you guys want to die painfully, I would suggest putting all your valuables on the ground and going back the way you came.

Squeaks: Ferdia!

Ferdia: What? Like the flyer said, the stuff probably isn't theirs.

Ivan: I have to say I approve of this new outlook on life you've developed.

Bob: Guys…

Squeaks: Later, Bob. We've got to deal with this before somebody gets killed.

Bob: I really think you should see this…

What the others were failing to see was the form on the cliffs above that was standing in a heroic pose with brilliant sunlight shining behind him and glinting off his gold crown. With a whooping battle cry, the figure leapt down, prepared to engage the outlaws.

Ferdie da Birdie/ Philionel el di Saillune: For Justice! Pacifistic Crush!

Et al: Ferdie!?! (Drake: Hgt brurerd? * That bluebird? *)

So, join us for the exciting conclusion, when you will hear these words…

Ferdie: Iiwi, I am your father!

Iiwi: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ferdie: It's good to be the king!

Or something close to them.

To be continued...

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