Chapter 1: One Step at a Time
“Uncle Donald? we have a situation.”
“...I'll be there in ten minutes.”
“What's going on,” Donald said, looking around the houseboat. “And what happened to the babysitter?!”
“Uh, well it definitely wasn't my fault,” Dewey said unconvincingly.
“Dewey pulled a sword out of his Gem.” Louie pointed at Dewey.
“Where’d it come from though? It's not like he could have put it in his gem.” Huey asked Donald. Louie put his hands in his hoodie pocket and gave Donald a look.
“He pulled out a sword?” Donald asked before turning to Dewey. “Can you do it again?”
“I guess…?” Dewey said reaching behind him and placing his hand over his gem trying to summon the blade again. A white light formed between Dewey’s hand and his gem. As he pulled his hand away his shirt ripped and the light solidified into a short straight sword once more.
“Oh, by the way, this has ruined my shirt both times.”
“We can fix it later. Now, give it here.” Donald said and he began to look over the blade briefly before he sighed.
“So why does Dewey have a sword, Uncle Donald?” Huey asked him.
“Sit down boys, it’s time for some Gem Lessons.”
“Wait, this is normal?”
“I have the ability to make a sword and you didn’t tell me?!”
“Shhhh! I want an explanation.”
“Gems have abilities beyond being able to store stuff.”
“You mean like how you move water to do the dishes and laundry?”
“Ooh, do we get any other cool powers besides the cool swords? Like laser vision?” Dewey asked excitedly.
“Or turning things into gold?” Louie asked, getting excited himself. Donald stared at them.
“Powers vary, but most Gems get the ability to summon a weapon and another ability like my hydrokinesis, or Gladstone’s luck.”
“Uncle Gladstone’s luck?”
“What’s your weapon, Uncle Donald?”
“My hydrokinesis is weapon enough.”
“Which means you don't actually have one.”
“So are we all going to have swords?”
“Well, no, but-”
“A sword sounds pretty cool.”
“It’s based mostly on personality.”
“So does that mean Huey’s weapon will be the guidebook?”
“Well, knowledge is power.”
“Your weapons will form in time and get stronger with training,” Donald started, “but you can’t use them whenever you want, they’re weapons and you could seriously hurt someone by mistake”
“I heard training? I get to learn how to use this?!” Dewey exclaimed swinging up the blade.
“You’ll learn how to use it properly so you don’t end up hurting yourself or others.” Donald looked at them with a heavy gaze. “You have to remember that these are tools, not toys, and you have to be responsible with them.” The triplets shifted uncomfortably recognizing the serious tone in their Uncle’s voice.
“Yes, Uncle Donald.”
“Okay, step one, hands over the gem,” Huey said as he did so, “step two, feel and gather the energy, step three, separate it from the- arrgh,” Huey groaned as nothing appeared.
“Your gem was glowing that time,” Louie commented from his bunk.
“Why can't I get this, Dewey can do it without even trying!”
“His weapon is a sword and he's Dewey, there's the entire reason right there.”
“Dewey…” Donald's voice echoed from the deck. A couple minutes passed and Dewey came into the room clutching several damaged shirts.
“So... can I borrow one of your shirts for school tomorrow?”
“What did you do to ruin that many?”
“I was practising not ruining them… I'm getting better.” Dewey said pulling out a shirt only damaged at the collar.
“Yeah no, you aren't cutting up one of my hoodies.”
“I'd rather not lose one of my shirts.”
“I'm not going to try summoning it at school, Uncle Donald is already mad enough about the shirts. I just need something to wear.”
“Fine, you can borrow one of my shirts.” Huey sighed.
Late afternoon the next day.
“Crap,” Huey said, freezing between his brothers.
“I left the form in Mr Bernard’s room. I’ll be right back; let Uncle Donald know.” He called, already walking back into the school. Huey had barely grabbed the form from his desk when he heard an angry voice yell.
“HEY!” A second later Huey felt his arm being grabbed and as he turned, he came face to face with one of the older students, orange paint splattered in her shirt, her features scrunched up in anger.
“You messed up big time.”
“What? What are you-” Huey asked. The older child let go and loomed over him.
“You embarrassed me.”
“I have no clue what you’re talking about.”
“Oh, don’t play dumb!”
“I’m not? Are you sure you have the right-”
“Red shirt, stupid face, I think I’m right on my mark.” She sneered. Just as Huey opened his mouth a figure opened the door. “Huey?”
Both Huey and the bully jerked their heads to the voice.
The bully flicked her eyes between the two, quietly they said, “It’s your lucky day, my reason to believe you didn’t do it just walked in.” And louder they called, “Nice hoodie asshat, way to hide.” They moved away and began to stalk forward. “Wait, wha-” Louie started only to stop as a kick drove all the air from his lungs into a pained yelp.
“You ready for more?” They jeered kicking again, this time at his stomach.
His Gem. Huey thought alarmedly as his vision went red and his hands felt heavier. He then ran towards the one who would dare hurt his baby brother.
What happened those next few minutes was a blur of rage, the next thing that Huey remembered doing was picking his brother up and running towards the car.
“What happened?” Donald asked as the door slammed shut.
“Louie are you alright?” Dewey asked him concernedly.
“Y-Yeah,” Louie wheezed. ”but you were right.”
“Right about what?” Huey frowned.
“I played a prank on an older student,” Dewey said. “When you went into the building I saw them follow you.”
Donald's hands tightened on the steering wheel.
“And then Louie went in to make sure he was okay.” He finished.
Dewey looked down “...yeah”
“What happened?” Donald asked again.
“They were talking to me and after I said whatever they were mad about wasn’t me Louie walked in.” Huey paused. “She assumed if it wasn’t me then it had to be him.” He took a steadying breath. “She knocked him down and then she kicked his gem and everything just went red.”
“His Gem?” Donald whispered, concern radiating from him.
“I’m fine Uncle Donald.” Louie was quick to reassure, “plus, Huey summoned his weapon so I’d say it's an even lot.”
“What?!” Three voices echoed in the car.
“What’s your weapon?!” Dewey asked.
“I don’t- I summoned my weapon?” Huey asked in a shocked voice, fingers hovering over his gem. It started to glow slightly.
“Save summoning for the houseboat.” Huey’s hands immediately dropped.
“Don’t answer that Louie I want it to be a surprise.” Dewey interrupted.
Chapter 2: We’ll Call It a Draw
“Come on, let's go, I want to see your weapon!” Dewey said dragging Huey onto the boat as soon as they arrived home.
“Alright,” Huey said as the rest of the family sat at the table in front of him.
“Hands over Gem, gather energy and-” Huey pulled his hands away from his gem and a glow formed around them for a second before solidifying.
“Gauntlets.” Donald corrected.
“Wow,” Huey muttered moving his hands around.
“Let's go practice!” Dewey cheered.
As Huey and Dewey left the room Louie began to get up and Donald grabbed his shoulder. “Stay at the table I want to see your injuries.”
“Yes, Uncle Donald.” Louie knew better than to argue with that tone, he sat back down and pulled up his hoodie to show his torso. Donald quickly went into the bathroom and came out with a first aid kit.
“Are you having any problems breathing?” Donald asked as he began feeling his ribs.
“I'm just a bit sore.”
“Nothing feels broken but let me know if it gets worse or stays the same.” He began to rub an ointment on the bruises.
“I will. Can I go now?”
“No, I need to check your gem first.”
“If the kicks didn't break my bones how would they break my gem?”
“It doesn't hurt to check,” Donald told him, “freak accidents can happen.” He added quietly as he pulled out a magnifying glass and a penlight and examined the emerald. After several minutes Donald put everything away in the first aid box and nodded. “You can go, let me know if you feel anything wrong.”
“I will don't worry about it,” Louie said as he jumped off the seat and went to follow his brothers.
After a few days rest Louie was back in classes. While heading to lunch he saw her, one of her cheeks was a bit puffed up and around her eyes was dark, but her application of makeup made it only noticeable because he was looking for it. Huey grabbed his shoulder and the three of them headed to the cafeteria.
“Has she tried anything yet?”
“No. She might not want to try,” Huey curled up a bit. ”I gave her some pretty bad bruising.”
“That’s not how people like her think, she thinks we pranked her and injured her, she’s going to want to get even somehow.”
Dewey nodded. “Louie’s probably right, we need to be careful. Especially since we’re all together now.”
They ate lunch slowly, gradually relaxing but still occasionally checking her table. When they finished eating Dewey shifted in his seat.
“I need to use the bathroom.”
“You can’t go alone!” Huey said immediately.
“That’s why I mentioned it, Hubert. I need you guys to come with me so we don’t split up.”
“Alright, lunch is almost over anyway, let’s go,” Louie commented. The three of them stood up and walked towards the bathrooms in the hallway outside the cafeteria. As Dewey and Huey entered, Louie paused in front of the door.
“I’m going to keep watch out here. Let you know if she starts coming this way.”
“If you're sure.”
Louie leaned on the wall next to the bathroom, hands in his pockets fiddling with his Gem. He looked through the doors to the cafeteria at her table. He knew a few of the kids in her year, he’d already talked to a couple of them to see about getting something on her, they didn’t have much though. Luckily another student her year overheard one of the conversations and he hated bullying with a burning passion. He had been willing to give up the sizeable amount of dirt he had on her for free. Now all Louie needed was a way to let her know what he had.
A few classes later, Louie found his chance. It was nearing the end of the school day and since Huey and Dewey were in different elective classes he was walking to his art class alone. He saw her entering another classroom and clenched his fists. He got to his class but he couldn’t stop his mind from going back to her. He couldn’t even focus on the teacher. Instead, he slouched in his seat, hands in his pockets and over his Gem.
As his focus drifted away from the teacher once more he suddenly felt a weight drop into his hand. He sucked in a breath and carefully pulled it part-way out of his pocket to look at it, it was some sort of chain. He looked at the clock, there were forty minutes left of class, which meant there were forty minutes to come up with a plan. Ten minutes before class ended the teacher began to go around to check work.
“Louie? This isn’t up to your normal quality.” She said with a frown.
“Sorry, Mrs Swann. I’m still not feeling great.”
“Oh, right. You were out, weren’t you? Try to tell me about things like this before class in the future, ok?”
“Alright. Um, could I leave class now? I kind of just want to get home.”
“If you must, but your work tomorrow needs to be excellent. Got it?”
“Yes ma’am,” Louie said, slowly getting his stuff together and walking out the door.
As soon as he got out the door he walked down the hall writing out a note and forming his weapon. As soon as he got to the hall her class was in he slowed down and waited for her class to let out. The door opened and he slowly walked toward it. He saw the teacher by the door and her in a group leaving the class. He walked by and instinctively moved the whip catching her ankle and tripping her. Making sure the teacher could see them he moved forward.
“That was a bad fall, are you okay?” Louie said, helping her up and slipping a piece of paper into her hand. She gave him a dirty look but glanced at the teacher and said nothing. She brushed by him and kept walking only to glance at the note in her hand and stumble. She looked back at Louie only to get a smirk in response, she started to walk away more quickly.
“Problem solved.” Louie proclaimed as he got into the car.
“What?” Dewey asked.
“Bully dealt with, we don’t have to worry about her anymore.”
“How did you manage that?” Questioned Huey.
“Don’t worry about it.”
“Lou-” Donald began.
“It wasn’t illegal.”
“If you say so.” Donald sighed.
The next night.
“Movie night! Movie night!” The triplets chanted.
“Uncle Donald, is the popcorn ready?” Huey called to the kitchen.
“Yeah just getting it into a bowl, one of you start the movie, another get the light.”
“I got the light,” Louie said, smirking. He felt his weapon form in his hand and quickly pulled it from his pocket and flicked it at the light switch. The moment the lights went out he dispelled it.
“Wha... Wait what!?” Huey stuttered, as his eyes flickered between the lights and his brother.
“Don’t do that again, you cracked the switch,” Donald ordered, walking over.
“Also, when did you get your weapon?”
“Better question.” Dewey interjected “What was it? It was really fast.”
Louie smirked and reformed his weapon; this time holding it out for his brothers and Uncle to see.
“What is it?” Dewey asked.
“It looks like a chain of some kind, I haven’t seen a weapon like it before,” Donald admitted after inspecting it.
“According to the section on tools and weaponry in the JWG, it’s a chain whip.” Huey declared, holding open the book so the others could see.
“Nice,” Louie said as he dispelled the chain whip.
“Can we practice with our weapons together after movie night?” Dewey said excitedly as he turned to Donald.
“No,” A chorus of groans. “But you can practice tomorrow when I get back from work.”