The Bane Of Big Words
By Avery
Circa 1999


The young blonde swallowed, and shoved his beak deeper into the Captain America comic book he'd been reading, trying to look innocent. Tanya softly snickered, and Duke rolled his eyes, scooting toward the other end of the couch. “Wouldn’t want to be you, kid.” He said dryly. Avery stormed into the ready room, looking deadly. She was holding a dead fish in between her thumb and forefinger, and she stood glaring at the three on the couch. “I found this in my bed.” She said smoothly. “You wouldn’t want to know who put it there, would you?”

Tanya and Duke exchanged nervous glances, then pointed to Nosedive. “He did it.” They said simultaneously. Dive glanced frantically at them.

“Traitors!” He hissed.

Avery narrowed her eyes and stepped forward. In a flash, Duke and Tanya were out the door, leaving Nosedive to his fate. He gulped, and then threw his hands in front of his face. “Aauugh! Don’t kill me, I’ll be good!”

Avery shook her head and sighed, looking exasperated. “Dive, of course I’m not going to kill you.”

He dropped his arms in relief. “No. Of course not.”

“Nope!” She said happily, rocking on her heels. “No sir! I-a gonna curse you instead!” And with that, she stopped moving and, raising her arms, she began chanting. “Oomino, na hol rackintat manoosh. I hex you with the Bane of Big Words!” Nosedive groaned in relief. The Bane of Big Words? What kind of curse was that? He thought he was going to be turned into a slug, or, almost as bad, start puking them.

“Merciful stars! I anticipated you were destined to do something harrowing toward me!” Nosedive blinked. What had he just said? He didn’t....oh. He dropped his head into his hands. He got it now.

Avery snickered. “Have fun, Dive.” She turned on her heel and left the room.

Nosedive glared. “I unconditionally loathe that one demoiselle.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Mallory looked at him critically. “So you’re telling me Avery cursed you with this “Bane of Big Words?” Nosedive nodded miserably. “And she won’t take it away?”

“She says not prior to feeling she has possessed a satisfactory quantity of requital.”

“Er...” Mallory looked confused. “Right. Anyway, have you told Wing yet?”

“Not yet. Reminisce, I must be solicitous concerning my words, or he will not discern what I am expectorating.”

Mallory shook her head. “Whatever. You should, anyway.”

Nosedive looked at her pleadingly. “Please, Mal, you ought to procure succor in favor of me! Harangue to Avery, or something! This is truly Kafkaesque!”



“I can’t understand a word you’re saying.”

Dive threw his hands in the air, defeated.

* * * * * * * * * *

“It is not capricious!” Nosedive stamped his foot in annoyance. “How would you luxuriate in it whereupon you started speaking analogous to this? It is intercomparable to a dialect of what English pedagogues declaim! I am destined to be scoffed upon till this malison is expunged and brought to a cessation particular!”

Duke bit his lip, sweating he was trying so hard not to laugh. “Sorry, Dive.” He managed to croak out.

“You are not! That is a fallacy!” The two were sitting around the kitchen table, Nosedive sulking, and eating mass amounts of Oreos.

“Trying to communicate still, Dive? Won’t work. Even I can’t understand half of what you’re babbling.”

Hearing himself addressed, he spun around. “You!”

Avery grinned at Duke. “Wonderful spell, isn’t it? Picked it up from a Baiopilyn jester.” Duke stared at Avery, looking confused, as Dive shook his finger at her.

“What you have rendered is gauche! It is uncouth! Moreover boorish!”

“Oh, come now, it’s not that bad.”

Nosedive fell to his knees. “Come on, I will procure you something saccharine!”

Avery grinned, thoroughly enjoying her moment of glory. “Piff! You don’t have any money, ‘member, Dive? You wasted it all on comic books.”

“No currency? I am replete with currency! I am de facto severely affluent!”

Avery laughed. “I don’t think so.”

Dive would have continued to chew her out, but the brunette turned on her heel and walked out, chuckling. As she turned the corner, she called out behind her. “If it’s any condolence, half the time nobody can understand you anyway, Dive.”

He growled. “I am directed to garrote her!”

“What’s up?” Asked Wildwing, entering the room and sitting at the kitchen table.

“You’re brother got himself cursed.” replied Duke.

“It is not evenhanded. I deposited a vapid flounder in the midst of her bedstead. A flounder! And she castigates me corollary to this.”

Wing raised an eyebrow. “Interesting curse.”

“Prompt her to subtract it into the distance!” wailed Dive.

“She does what she wants to do, Dive. That’s her way.” admonished Wing. “Where’s Grin?” The latter sentence was directed toward Duke, who shrugged.

“Said he was meditating. As usual.” Wing nodded. “Well, I’m tired of just sitting around. Want to do some patrolling?”

“Patrolling?” squeaked Dive, gesticulating madly. “I can not go extrinsic like this! What if someone sees me? Or we get into a fray among the Saurians? It would be my ruin! My preeminent chagrin!” By the end of his sentence, he’d gotten so worked up, he leapt onto the table, knocking the cookies onto the floor. “Well, I am telling you at this time, it is not occurring! I am not going to be cajoled into this! I am not bound to go all obsequious! I repudiate!”

Duke quelled an urge to knock the belligerent teen to the floor. Instead he said :”Look kid, I know saving the world, finding the Saurians, and going home, up against embarrassment is quite the paradox. But, c’mon, be brave.” He turned to Wing. “Want me to alert the others that we’re leavin’?”

“Sure. I’ll be in the hangar.”

The two men left Nosedive grumbling to himself. “Intrepid? Intrepid?!”

* * * * * * * * * *

Avery dropped into the seat next to Dive. “Don’t be so down.” She said. “I could of cursed you with much worse things.”

“Like what?”

“The Curse of Caustic Clandestine Crabbiness, for one.” She answered. “Or the Vex of Voracious Victory.” Nosedive raised an eyebrow. “I do not verily covet to comprehend.”

Avery held out a hand. “So, truce?”

Nosedive held out his hand, too. “Armistice.”

Avery was about to take the spell off when the Migrator rocked on it’s wheels. “Saurians attacking!” cried Mallory. “Switching to battle mode!”

Nosedive cursed and drew his launcher. “Which one’s are the culprits?” He cried.

“Looks like Siege and Chameleon.”

“This day unquestionably has not been the methodical mundane timetable.” said Dive, taking his position at the console.

“How much damage could we do in a ground fight?” asked Wildwing.

Tanya tapped on a few buttons. “Well, uh, if we were to fight in this enclosed area, I’d prognosticate, uh, you know, the outlook would be ominous. We could intimidate them, but, uh,” she laughed. “Not much else.”

“What if we duped them into heading for a more open, and less populated, area?” Suggested Grin.

“I concur.” Said Dive.

Wing shrugged. “Fine, but how?”

“Damn those little nuances.” muttered Avery.

Mallory smiled evily. “I think I might have just the idea....”

“Swain, this is the dregs.” mumbled Dive, stepping out onto the Migrator’s exit ramp. He held up his white tee-shirt, waving it around in the air. He saw the two Saurians at the end of the ally, holding up rather large blasters. Chameleon waved cheerfully.

Nosedive took a deep breath, then shouted. “Acceptance, you lizards prevail!” After exchanging slightly confused glances, the henchmen grinned at one another and started for the vehicle.

“Now!” He heard the other ducks yell from behind him, and Dive instinctually reached behind him to grab his tossed weapon. The Saurians yelped, and swung their blasters up to fire. However, they only got about halfway through before they were knocked to the ground by Avery and Mallory. Avery tore the transporter from Siege’s wrist, and slammed his head against the pavement, dazing him. Mallory copied her actions, and the rest moved in, binding the two with much alacrity. Dive stood back, satisfied.

“Duplicity trots rampant!” He crowed.

“We got them!” cried Duke, triumphantly holding up the two transporters.

The now recovered Saurians glared, but said nothing. “Oh, come now.” Nosedive smiled. “Why so laconic? If it gives you a little solace, the additional two of your jovial infinitesimal coterie are nevertheless out thitherward.”

“No, not out there. Right here.”

The team inadvertently took a step backwards as a luminous green gas raised itself into a tower, then became tangible. Before they could react, Wraith grabbed his two bound associates and disappeared in a flash.

Mallory was the first to speak. “Right through our very fingers!” She howled. “It’s like we’re premeditated to never get home by a certain someone!” She glared up at the sky and shook her fist.

“God is just a euphenism.” commented Grin. Mallory shot him a dirty look, as Tanya placed a hand on her back and led her back to the Migrator.

Duke sighed. “Some other time, I guess.” He said, and held up the transporters. “At least we have these.”

Avery nodded, and the rest of the ducks returned to their vehicle.