What The Duck?


richard4_icon.gif sera_icon.gif yi-min_icon.gif

Scene Title What The Duck?
Synopsis Yi-Min has an appointment.
Date June 22, 2020

Raytech NYCSZ Branch Office

Jackson Heights

It has been one full week since Yi-Min resumed her life as a free woman, and just from the looks of her, it would be impossible to guess that she had experienced any kind of major disruption to that status. Early sunlight streams across her hair and face as she makes her way across the sprawl of the Raytech campus in a briskly clipped pace, her flared skirt swishing around her shins like a jaunty little banner with every step.

The energy of that gait doesn’t peter away when the building's automatic doors slide open before her, allowing her to transition from fine midsummer weather into the cooler, air-conditioned expanse of the lobby. It only becomes more internal as her approach takes her on; by the time she is fully inside, it has melded into just another unremarkable part of her gaze.

Which remains whole and unperturbed— at least, until she gets close enough to make out that the growing blob of the receptionist's desk isn't visually resolving itself into a shape that makes any goddamn sense.

There is a one foot long and nine inch wide stuffed duck sitting in the middle of the reception desk. There’s a person behind it, for sure, but Sera Lang is doubled over at her desk, fighting with something that must be wires because that’s what she’s muttering about.

The stuffed duck stares wide-eyed at Yi-Min with beady, black glass eyes. Its little plush beak is open just a touch. There’s a colorful tag still on it that identifies the duck as Percival Duckington and the logo for some children’s show called Ducktectives. The duck has a little Sherlock Holmes cap to sell the theme.



Dr. Yeh stares right back into those sightless, soulless little eyes, and unsurprisingly doesn't find a useful answer there.

"Excuse me?" She tries. Her gaze pries itself off the duck on the desk to shift, rather dubiously, onto Sera's bent form.

When Yi-Min speaks there is a tinny, bassless thunderclap that comes from the stuffed duck. It’s eyes flash red and it wobbles from side to side, little wings flapping. Then, a horrible old man’s voice emits from the duck.

«So… you want to play the game. My game, by my rules. I am… THE GATEKEEPER!»

There’s another really horrible sounding clap of thunder from a tiny speaker somewhere inside the duck.

«I rule this game, and you — you will obey my rules.»

Meanwhile Sera, heedless of the drama playing out on top of her desk, continues to rummage with something under the desktop. In fact, she slides completely out of her chair and onto her hands and knees on the floor and crawls under the desk. It’s like she didn’t hear Yi-Min at all. Meanwhile, the duck continues to waddle from side to side, wings flapping and eyes flashing red.

«When I speak you will stop, and you will listen! Hmmm? I see… You have all been stained with a color, and marked by a number.»

Well, this is doing exactly no good. Yi-Min can only keep watching with an uneven gradient of subdued consternation, real amusement, and complete confusion as she loses sight of Sera completely beneath the desk.

Around the time of the second thunderclap, Dr. Yeh narrows her eyes at the deskspace around the hellishly lurching duck, casting about for some service bell she can ring. Failing to find one, she instinctively curls her fingertips around what would appear to be the next-closest thing— a small, fat rubber pig squeaky toy, sitting out in the open as though begging to be picked up just for that purpose. She gives it several squeezes in rapid succession, the pig's eyes bulging miserably from its head in her hand every time she does.

"Excuse me!"


«If I call your number or your color you must answer "Yes, my Gatekeeper!"» The duck continues to make demands as Yi-Min repeatedly squeezes the rubber pig. There is now no sign of Sera, having completely disappeared under her desk. Though there’s occasionally a clunk and a thud.

«If you fail to answer "Yes, my Gatekeeper", when I call your number or color, you will be punished!» The duck shouts, still waddling from side to side with the occasional flap of its little wings.

Yi-Min can see the cords that go into the back of the receptionist’s monitors wiggling a little, like they’re being tugged at from under the desk.

«I'd like to punish one of you now.» The duck suggests.

"Hey Sera, I was just looking at my meeting schedule and…"

Richard trails off as he comes walking into the lobby and just stares for a moment as Yi-Min furiously squeaks a rubber pig in the direction of a duck that's offering to punish her. He looks to Yi-Min. He looks to the pig. He looks to the duck. His secretary is nowhere to be seen.

"Am I…"

He looks back to Yi-Min. Back to the pig. Back to the duck. Back to Yi-Min.

"Am I interrupting something?"


With perfect casualness, Yi-Min very slowly stops what she's doing and sets the pig back down on the desk when Richard strides in, giving the thing a sideways glance with one brow finely arched as if nothing had happened. It's everything she can do to stop herself from breathing out the tiniest of noises she won't recognize, as though she's patently unsure whether she should be bemused or laughing.

The poor pig, at least, doesn't deserve the continued abuse.

"Richard. Interesting, ah." Weather?


Found it!” comes from muffled under the desk, followed by a shuffle, a thunk that rattles the desk and knocks the stuffed duck onto its side, then a yelp of pain. Sera Lang comes out from under the desk, over-ear headphones on and a pen she had dropped earlier now held fast in one hand. Her other hand is rubbing the back of her head.

«You? The one who holds the lowest number.»

Sera looks at Yi-Min, then Richard, then the duck, then the pig, then back to Yi-Min. Slowly sliding back up into her seat, Sera sets the pen down and stands the duck back upright.


Yes Gatekeeper.” Sera says with a roll of her eyes, picking the duck up and setting it down in an open drawer, slowly sliding it closed. She then looks back up to Yi-Min with a helpful if expectant smile and slides her headphones off. They are blaring something that sounds like Darude’s Sandstorm at full volume.

«Time's up is muffled in the drawer.

"Well," Richard offers blandly, head canting to the desk, "Go ahead and check in, Doctor Yeh. You'll need your guest badge."

And Yi-Min looks back at Sera, her expression clearing and becoming noticeably sunnier. Her brow is still arched, though. Just so. "You heard him. May I have my guest badge, please?"

Sera slowly smiles, but it turns into a grimace. She looks at Richard side-long with a toothy, open-mouthed smile. “The badge printer isn’t fixed yet.” Sera says in a sing-song apologetic tone. “The maintenance tech from Scantronics will be here tomorrow.”

«If you failed to answer "Yes, my Gatekeeper" in time, you are banished.»

“But!” Sera holds up one finger, swiping something off of her desk as she bolts up, walks over to Yi-Min and sticks something to her chest.

It’s a vinyl sticker that says JUNIOR DUCKTECTIVE.

Sera’s brows rise slowly and she turns to Richard, stepping out of the way so that he can see her handiwork. She gives him an enthusiastic thumbs up.

Richard slowly lifts one hand, removing his dark-tinted glasses. He then brings his hand fully up to rub over his face, his eyes closed as he observes in long-suffering tones, “Sera. If she doesn’t have an actual guest badge, then the security systems will register her as an intruder in the executive wing.”

“Do you know how hard it is to clean up the goo guns?”

Goo guns.

“What if I told you the renovations to the new building also disabled the goo guns?” Sera stage whispers.

The newly-inducted JUNIOR DUCKDETECTIVE squints at the shiny sticker on her blouse to try and identify what it says upside-down. "Junior…. duck—"

But then Yi-Min raises her chin slightly at hearing the mention of goo guns, brow furrowing skeptically at first Richard, and then Sera.

"If it is all the same to you both, if there is a risk of dying to 'goo guns,' I think I will simply go and sit myself in jail again." She jerks a thumb towards the doors, suggestively.

It seems safer.

Richard levels a long look at Sera. It’s a look that says ‘I know you have guest badges in that drawer, probably underneath the Duckkeeper, but I also know that you know that I don’t have the patience to make you admit it’.

It’s a very expressive look, okay?

He pinches the bridge of his nose for a moment, then slides the glasses back into place and turns, “Come with me, Doctor Yeh. No need to go back to jail, we have much more comfortable chairs if nothing else.”

«Move your mark to the closest black hole.»

Sera purses her lips, shrugs, and puts her headphones back on and walks to her desk with a sense of accomplishment in the face of adversity. She sits down at her desk, opens up her email, and finishes composing the email she was writing before she dropped her pen.

to: gro.seirtsudnihcetyar|yarw#gro.seirtsudnihcetyar|yarw
from: gro.seittsudnihcetyar|gnals#gro.seittsudnihcetyar|gnals
Subject: Re: Percival Duckington

Your Majesty,

The tape deck you installed in Percival works but the motion sensors are really sensitive. Or he is possessed.

Do you know which?

Sera Lang

Administrative Support Specialist, Raytech Industries

Sera hits send, happily.

«Let us begin my game with you.»

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