I know, I really seem to be bad at this after such a long history of those stories but...
You see, everything was going well untill I made the one fatal mistake I have made time and time again: I tried to juggle two or more stories at once.
This has caused quite a bit of groaning from me and (I'm sure) any readers that I had. I just couldn't stick with it. I made one final attempt to revert back on course... and I failed horribly. This has gone horribly bad for a few reasons, but I have finally decided that the best course of action is to halt any and all stories I have out right now. I'm sorry 'bout that... :embrsd:
But I eventually plan to go back and finish these . I will just have to finish one project before even thinking about another.
So, once again, I sincerely opoligize for all the unfinished stories.
I have gone back further that I thought I could remember. I have found the first story that I ever created. It was finished, yes, but it was a rough draft. I think that, following the plot I mostly outlined in that story, I can re-create it in a better fashion.
So, I give you The Truth About Dragons is...
Prologue: Hatchlings, witches, and royalty.
The cave's walls vibrated with the slow humming. It was a simple, single note, soothing and yet invigorating. It also had an encouraging tone to it.
The ground of the cave was strewn with straw, cloth, and various types of dirt. It was a large cave, big enough for three houses to fit into with no difficulty. Yet, the cave was bare except for the two large creatures, the nest, and the human figure on the edge of the large fire in the middle of the cavern. The humming was coming from one of the creatures, the other too busy with watching the nest to hum.
The hum stopped the moment the first of the twenty-four eggs gave a sharp crack. It sounded much like heavy glass breaking, though the egg was much too hard to be glass. A squeak eminated from the gold egg, and then all was quiet once more.
"So the first is hatching," cackled the human form. The rasp of it alone was enough to send chills down a man's spine, though there weren't any men in the cavern. This human was a woman, though the voice was the only indicator. All of her distinguishing traits were coered in rags. The rasp also indicated that she was old. She almost sounded like someone who has smoked for a very long time.
The creature not watching the nest faced her, straightening as if it was the first time seeing the woman. A voice, though not heard through a person's ears, permeated the cave. So, you have come, witch. Obviously for your own gain. The witch, for that was what she was, cackled again and raised her right hand in a gesture of hello. The creature snorted.
"Don't be like that, Dragon Queen," The witch rasped. "After all, I don't see you ready to help your hatchlings. The old blood still flows in these too." She stated it as if it was a subject much like the weather, and then stilled as three large cracks filled the air. More chirps and squeaks were heard.
The second creature finally swiveled his head around enough to eminate his thoughts aloud. I figured as much. Is that all, Gwen? You usually have a second purpose to your visits. Have you seen something again? He turned his head back to the nest, watching with quiet intent. His ears still listened, but his thoughts were in another place.
"Dragon King," Gwen bowed low, not seeming to notice the snort of disgust from the creature she had called Dragon Queen, "I have seen many dark things this night." She raised her voice as another ten cracks filled the cavern. The squeaks became harsher and better focused, as if the hatchlings were angry at something. "First of all, and I'm sure you know by now, the hatchlings will fight with their blood rage. Only a handfull of your two-dozen will survive. Then again, that is the way with dragon survival." She contunued on even as more cracks sounded and more chirps and speaks joined the chorus. "Second of all, I sense you and the Queen's deaths are near at hand."
The nest was suddenly illuminated as The creature shifted its entire body away from it. Blue, red, green, black, white, gold, silver, and many more colored egg shells littered the straw arount it. Dragon hatchlings of the same colors as their shells chirped in anger as they saw each other. Two eggs were still unhatched, a third egg nearly four times the size of the others standing in between them. It was from this egg that a frenzy of muffled chirps eminated. The egg's color was grey. The two others were pink and black.
"And," the witch added before the dragons could send their thoughts, "I would bet on that grey egg's contents survivng."
Right after she said that last comment, the thoughts hit her. They were somewhat muffled by emotions, but the general idea was comprehended. WHAT?! She fell backwards, a blot of red blood spilling onto the rags over her face. The bleed was expected, though Gwen had hoped their shock would be better held back. Then again, you couldn't judge a dragon.
The flame in the middle of the cavern seemed to grow, enveloping the entire area with its glow. The two big creatures were now illuminated. Gold and silver reflected the light into wonderful patterns.
The dragon that had hummed, a silver dragon and the Dragon Queen, was larger than a two-floor house. Her wings, though folded, made her sides seem small. They were probably three times the length of her body. Her four legs rested heavily on the ground, the retractacble claws now glinting in the fire light. Her tail, a long, spikey whip of a thing, flew back in forth with her emotion. A row of spikes went down her back. Her eyes shined with an intelligence higher than a human could wish for.
The Dragon King, a gold, slightly bigger than the silver, was the same save for the row of spikes on his back and the cut on his face. The spikes were broken in one place or another, save for the last one on the top of his head. That spike was untouched. The scar on his face went down the left eye, cutting through every scale that it came in contact with. His stance was noble, though he almost looked more like a broken king.
The witch, Gwen, got back up slowly, suddenly speaking in a voice that betrayed her tattered appearance. It was filled with authority. "I want to protect the survivors and tutor them on human knowledge. They must grow up to change the veiws of humans on dragons. It's your only chance of survival."
She sheilded her mind from the sudden blast of thought that she was sure she would here. Instead, however, a final, ear-splitting crack filled the cavern. The grey egg, along with the two others, had open. It was time for the fight for survival.
The first attack was fast and furious. A black attacked and killed a white in seconds. As the carnage became increasingly worse, the silver turned away. The gold watched, entranced. Suddenly, however, a party of six dragon hatchlings converged on the battlers. In the confusion, they easily killed the rest off.
Strangely, none of the dragons were the same color. There was a grey, a green, a pink, a blue, a gold, and, strangely, a multi-colored hatchling. Each scale was differently colored.
The six dragons eyed each other for a moment, and then they each started to lick off the membrane reminants from their eggs. The Dragon King's eyes were wide, and even Gwen whispered it, astounded. "Impossible!"
In the history of such hatchings, a color would pair up with its own color. For instance, a black with a black against a single white. For six hatchlings, each of a different color, to pair up was... not once heard of. Nor had a hatching ever been over so quickly. The dragons had worked well together.
And so it was that the first step of life was started... And the seeds of a new generation were planted.
I was a bit hesitant to post this... It isn't as lengthy as the prologue, though it still has it's own backround...
Oh, and when I was saying colors, I was reffering to the color of dragon I was talking about. Thus, Gold dragon becomes a gold.
Chapter 1: Around seventeen years later
He stared out of the window with something close to disgust. This wasn't what being a kid was all about! A locked room, an annoying brother, a forgetful father... all of it added against him! Had he not locked the door, the annoying brother would be in by now. That kid was always bothersome, not to mention disruptive, rude, obnoxious, and, well, basically anything bad.
Of course, he was being a little too angry at the kid. Kyle, for that was the annoying brother's name, wasn't too bad. He was still annoying, though not as bad as he would like to believe. No, it could be worse... He could have two annoying brothers.
Hark coughed and observed his room with quiet contempt. The floor, a cheap wood, creaked even when not under strain. The few peices of furniture, a couch older than him, a bed, and a single computer chair. It was all quite a bit boring.
But what was he going to do? Crystal was waiting, and he had no way to get out. Dad would be watching... so he couldn't go out his door. Kyle would be watching his room from the backyard, where he was playing football with the other kids his size and age. There was no escape!
An idea jumped into his head as he watched a football player walk inside. The kid was about his size... and Dad wouldn't think anything of it... A sound decission made, he opened his door and walked out.
His room was on the first floor. This saved his a few annoyances. But how would he get past the other kids? The plan would work if... Yes! There was a car out there! He could just...
The football player walked into the kitchen, dressed warmly for the cold weather. The snow was falling, and all Kyle could do was play football! Those kids were crazy! As the player took off his coat, scarf, and hat, Hark stood in the corner. The player, seeing the wall instead of Hark, walked into the bathroom. Hark took the opportunity to "borrow" the items now on the table. The jacket was sweaty, and the hat looked like someone with lice had worn it, but it would do.
He walked out the door from which the kid had come. As Kyle turned to him, he thought for a moment that he had been caught. Still, he called out his planned words. "Yo Kyle! I'm leaving now! I'll see you later!" The kids nodded at him and said their farewells, Kyle adding his own. Hark waved and walked towards the car. As soon as he was sure nobody was watching, he slipped onto the sidewalk and ran to his destination.
There was a little park not far from his house. It was old and nobody thought to care for it, but it was still a good place if you got far enough in. Of course, nobody wanted to visit the park anymore. That's why he and Crystal always went there. That way nobody would see them. It wasn't like they were anything but friends, but people seemed to always get the wrong impression about that sort of stuff. Especially at the age of seventeen.
As he neared the meeting place, he went back to the events of the past few days. Christmas was done, and it was almost the start of a new year. 2005 was a good year, despite the fact that the government wasn't at its best. He hoped 2006 would be the same.
Crystal wasn't there yet. She was probably caught up in something too. With that in mind, Hark cleared a patch of snow off the dirt around a tree and sat against it. He tore off the jacket, hat, and gloves. Snow may be on the ground, but he was still hot. The cold didn't really bother him. Feeling like he was in a room temperature area, Hark let the drowsiness he had been feeling for the past feel days take over. With a small yawn, he hunkered down and waited for Crystal to show.
Hark opened his eyes and saw his mother leaning over him. She was so close, he could smell her perfume easily.
"Morning Mom." He replied drowsily.
Suddenly, the voice of his mother changed, and he heard it inside of his head instead of with his ears. Hark... it is time to see the truth.
Suddenly, a huge, silvery dragon's head was staring at him in place of his mother's. Panic overtook him, and he struggled to wake from the horrid nightmare.
When he opened his eyes, Hark felt like he was still inside the nightmare. For a moment, he was sure he saw a pink-tinted dragon in front of him, its head intently looking at him. Then, he blinked and it was like a lense lifted from his eyes.
Now, he saw Crystal standing in front of him, her eyes fixed on him intently. She blinked once, then smiled and let out a small giggle. "Hello there! You were asleep for quite a while... Were you having a nightmare?"
Hark nodded and got up, groaning. "I saw my Mom again. Then it all changed and got weird..." He drifted off and thought for a moment, trying to recall what he had just seen. There was his Mom and then... what happened?
Crystal giggled again and went on staring at him intently. "Must have been some nightmare. You were grimacing and then you started to move your hands and feet, like you were trying to escape." Hark didn't comment on it, but he was perplexed on why she didn't just wake him up. He shook his head in an impartial fashion and surveyed the park, letting his eyes rest on Crystal. She was a strange kid, though he wasn't sure why that was. She was just a little odd. Then again, so was he, so they were good friends. She had long brown hair that ended at her shoulders, her face small and slanted. Her nose was slightly smaller than normal, and her eyes shone with an untold intelligence. She always wore bubble gum pink clothes all year round, the shirt she was wearing today having a flower in the middle. She was slightly shorter than him, and she was smaller in build. Still, he didn't take notice of these things. He just considered her a friend, and that was all he cared about.
You see, Hark was a social outcast no matter what he tried. It was hard to find any type of friend. He blamed some of it on his brother, but other than that he just figured that he was different. He didn't know how or why, but that didn't bother him. Humans, he decided, were a race that should be dealt with as minimally as possible. So it was quite surprising that Crystal had stayed his friend for so long. Even more surprising, she shared his veiws on many subjects.
They had met during middle school. Back then, Hark had been massively unpopular. During one of the many fights he had gone through, Crystal stopped the bully before any fists were thrown. Since then, they had been able to continue being friends. Even after Hark had grown to be stronger and braver than a bully, Crystal still helped him.
Hark also helped Crystal, though not as much. He was smarter than her, or at least that's what he was told, so he helped her with any question on her school work. In the end, Hark was sure Crystal only feigned stupidity: She was probably smarter than him.
"So," Hark started, breaking the silence, "what was it you want to talk about today?"
Yeah, that was a bit confusing... it will make sense eventually.
Chapter 2: The Hunt
There was a shout and a loud explosion. The shockwave was strong enough to make rubble out of the surroundings.
Vreev stood on the hill overlooking the town. As the hunt closed in, he was sure he saw the dark figure cast a glance at him. It didn't matter, seeing as the kid couldn't possibly do anything from so far away.
It had been a long hunt, but they had finally tracked him down to this abandoned town. The duilbings were made of brick, and they were easy to destroy. They was also very very dangerous to enter. No, Vreev didn't feel like staying here much longer. As soon as he got the kid, he was going to blast the place apart, grab anything usable, and go on. That was the way a bounty hunter of his specialty worked.
His partners were down there right now, blasting the kid out of every house they found. He could just have sent them a radio call, telling them exactly where the kid was, but that would ruin the fun of it. After all, such a unique case was to be savored.
His specialty was in magical beings, things most of the world figured didn't exist. Oh, they existed all right. He had hunted every magical creature in lore and legend. This job was just one of the thousands that he had done for money. If his employer was lucky, Vreev would be interested enough to offer no charge. This time, however, Vreev was collecting on the job. A lot of explosive had been used to kill the big gold one, and the kid was just a bonus.
The grandson of Gwen... That was interesting in itself. Who knew that witch had kids? In any case, she had never mentioned it before her... untimely death.
As the circle closed in, Vreev jumped off the hill and walked slowly into town, as if it were a leisurely stroll. As he neared the target, he was sure there was a golden flash and a cuss. This, he figured as he wlked in that direction, was the kid being shot. Still, it didn't mean the kid was dead... he had given orders not to kill unless needed. After all, magic users were extraordinarily hard to find these days, and he planned to use the kid.
As he turned the final, rubble-filled corner, he was met with a harsh surprise.
The kid was standing, shoulders straightened, head up, stance noble. His back was to Vreev. He was looking at a group of men coming towards him. As Vreev raised his gun, however, the kid turned around and his face contorted into a snarl.
The kid was around seventeen. Hid hair was a golden blonde, cut short. His eyes were similar, though they were a clear gold. He wore ragged clothes, looking very poor and worn. The only thing that hinted differently was the necklace at his neck. The chain was gold, and at the front five differently colored flat stones shined with untold beauty. There was a pink stone, a grey stone, a green stone, a blue stone, and a multi-colored stone. The multi-coloered stone was in the middle, the green stone and pink stone to the left and right, and the grey stone and the blue stone next to the green and pink.
Vreev was hit with two realizations at once. One, this kid wasn't normal, and two, he wasn't even human.
As the dragon-kid (hatchling, really) stared at Vreev in its human form, something broke. The hatchling raised the human hand, and sparks ran through his eyes. You killed Gwen and my father!
Before the hatchling could further act, however, he was hit hard in the back of his head. He fell to the ground, his body going limp as he blacked out.
Vreev finally spoke aloud. "This kid is a dragon! Do you know what this means?" There were a few grunts from the hunters, though Vreev was sure they didn't know. "It means we've got something rare! I hope these beasts can be used for something!"
There were some hoots and hollers as the hunters threw a net around the kid and started to drag him. Vreev followed behind, smiling as he considered what the boss would pay...
Hark was sleeping again. Yet, the voice was clear and smooth. It sounded familiar, too, though he couldn't quite place his finger on it.
Hark! Don't be afraid, Hark! It's me, Menk!
Suddenly, it was like a lense was placed over his eyes. The blurry world of dreams became a clear film of golden light as he shifted his head.
I don't have much time, Hark! I need to contact the others too! All I can say is that you need to remember what you forgot... I wish I could say more, but I need more time!
A haze of pink, blue, grey, gold, and green danced across his vision. When the strange light show was over, five flat stones the same colors as the lights floated in front of him. He reached out, touched the grey stone, and watched in wonder as a ranbow-like light danced around them. It stopped after circling the fifth stone, a necklace now fully formed in front of him.
In the haze of dreams, he reached out and grabbed the strange necklace. the rainbow light hardened and became a type of metal. For a second, he thought about what was happening.
The haze shifted and Hark found himself with his arm outstretched. For a second, he was sure it was all just a strange dream, but then he saw something that snapped him into reality.
Whew! Busy days are back for me! Finals in 11 days!
Chapter 3: two more join the list
The street was dark. A single lamp, its bulb miraculously not burned out, flickered back on for a moment, then went out. For a second, it flickered again. A shatter broke the silence, and the lamp went out for good.
"What now?" A feminine voice asked.
A sad, slow voice answered, "look, kid, I don't know myself. Gwen is dead, the King is dead, and I barely know how to lead myself, let alone a couple of dragons. You and Geoffrey should get out of here before I lead you to your deaths."
"But you're all we've got! Geoffrey is always off doing something stupid, and I'm not much better. At least you have a clear chain of thought."
A laugh, muffled by a hand to keep it a bit quiet, answered back, "I never thought you, of all people, would ever compliment me. I guess it does make sense... Dragons don't receive a clear chain of though until they're fifty years old. And they also don't become independent until year thirty. Last time I checked you weren't near that old for either. I guess it's true: I really do have an unusual life."
Suddenly, a smooth voice started up a chant, "Shella and Barin, sitting on the street, t-a-l-k-i-n-g." There was a large thud, a muffled yelp along with some laughing, and then a groan of anger as the smooth voice said loudly, "I can't see anything without light! Shella, can't you give us a little?"
There was another thud, then a curse. A loud crackling filled the air as two bright green flames illuminated the area. They were each the size of a fist, and each one was nestled into the palm of one of Shella's hands. Strangely, it did not burn her, nor did it seem to send heat over the two boys to her left and right. Both of whom had their arms over Shella's back, the fists attached to the other's face.
Shella, a teenager with very green eyes and brown hair that went down to her waist, seemed unsurprised at the obvious hostility between the boys. Then again, it was normal for them to behave that way.
As Barin, the boy on Shella's left, let his arm drop, he seemed to eminate a sadness as he poured over the events of the last few days. He was a good teenager, clean cut and well-dressed. Still, he looked a little... different from a normal kid.
Geoffrey, the kid to Shella's right, seemed to not notice the world around him. His blue eyes stared into the darkness surrounding them. His hair, as unkempt as his attitude, didn't move as the wind of the cold cobblestone street rushed around them. He smiled as he noticed that Barin was searching the darkness with his eyes too.
"Makes you sick, doesn't it?" Geoffrey asked, a sickened tone rising in his voice, "Gwen was killed for no reason. Barin, I really am sorry for her. She was your grandma... But Dad... that was just sick. I hope Mom is still alive."
A dot of red appeared on Barin's eyes. An angry tone entered his voice, "if only I knew what to do now... My Grandma helped you dragons more than any other human. Sure, she may have been bonded but... well... she helped you with all her heart. When she was dying in my arms, all I could think of was the moment I had met you guys in the first place... Now I can only think of revenge. However, I can only see a few things for a few choices. If we go after our enemy now, we will die. I saw that much. If we wait, we will be hunted, I saw that too."
Geoffrey leaned back, his eyes gleaming with an angry prospect, "Then we'll have to round up the three others. You know where they are and who they are, right Barin?"
Barin groaned and leaned back further than Geoffrey, "Yes... Besides, we can just use your necklaces. You may not have realized, but they can be used as tracking mechanisms. The problem is, I have no idea how they'd react. Menk told me, before he was captured, that he was able to contact Hark- the rainbow one- but that's all I know."
Shella raised a necklace much like the same make of the other necklaces. This time, the stones were grey, rainbow, blue, pink, and gold. The chain was green. Geoffrey pulled out a similar necklace, the stones gold, grey, rainbow, green, and pink. The chain was blue.
Shella only had to say two words, "When? How?"
"We can go any time. As for how... just focus on finding the owners of the scales on those necklaces." Barin replied.
Hark picked at his lunch with the expression of one who who was lost in thought. The peices of popcorn chicken didn't even look appetizing today, though they were his favorite school meal. He mixed them with his mashed potatoes, and then thought back to the last few days.
"You know, I never did like this place that much," Crystal suddenly stated, her blonde hair blowing in the always-present wind inside of the run down park.
Hark started, surprised by her suddenness. "Never liked...? What are you talking abou-"
Crystal cut his sentence off, "Haven't you felt it lately? I have... It's the feeling that something big is happening out there. Soon... I'm gonna find out what that is. I can almost taste it, Hark... It's like my blood is drawing me out."
Hark was silent for a second, wondering if anything he said would fit her thought process. Instinctively, he let his mouth go along with the conversation, hoping what he said would make Crystal feel like he knew... Though he felt it too, he didn't know how to describe it. "It's like... a part of me is waiting for me elsewhere. Is that how you feel?" He felt releived when she nodded. "Yeah, I've got that feeling too. Only for me... It's lasted my whole life. You know what, Crystal? If I left this town right now, the only thing I'd miss is you. You're the only good friend I've got... I hate my family... I hate this town... I hate these humans... I hate everything but you. When you talk to me, you regard me as an equal. For some reason, everyone else seems to see me as an inferior being."
Crystal nodded again, a somber expression covering her usually happy face. "I thought it was only me..."
"This necklace thing," Hark thought out loud, "what is it?"
"Whatcha lookin' at?" Came an ever-unwelcome voice. It was Kyle.
"This necklace thing... it's really strange, don't you think?"
Then came a startling reply. "What necklace? You're just staring at your hands! You're off your rocker! I knew it!"
Hark turned around, surprised enough to take his brother seriously. "You don't see it?"
Kyle ran out of Hark's room, shouting, "Hark's lost his marbles! He's seeing imaginary necklaces!"
"Why couldn't he see it?" Hark muttered to himself as he raised a weighted-down fork to his lips. He spluttered and spit the item that had been on the fork out, realizing that the stuff had been the cardboard of his milk carton. Noticing that it was almost time for lunch to end, Hark dumped his tray and sat back down, waiting for the signal to go to class. It came soon enough, and Hark gratefully went to his next class.
Spanish was not his favorite subject, but Hark was planning to keep it all through High School. Why? Because he and Crystal always ended up in the same Spanish class. Hark didn't know whether it was some alphabetical thing, or whether chance always went in his favor, but he didn't care. As long as Crystal was in the same class, he would be fine. Besides... she knew more about the subject than him. Better yet, she seemed to have a better way of remembering verbs, names, and conjugations. Hark... had a very bad memory with names, verbs, and conjugations. By her helping him with that, they always seemed to get through just fine.
The day was uneventful until the very end. Hark had felt a sinking feeling all day, but he didn't understand why. Then he got something everybody dreads... He got a call to go to the principal's office.
Dr. Mindish was a kind principal. She was only harsh when she needed to be, and her habbit of seeing both sides of things saved many a student from an hour of detention. She was an all-around good person, and the students saw her as one of them. Hark had only spoken to her on two occasions. One time, when he saw her during lunch and had bought a large amount of candy for all his friends (she wanted to make sure he wouldn't be eating it all for himself), and the other time when she asked him how construction was going for the Spring play, which he helped with whenever he could.
Today was different. Her office was filled with many people, all of whom seemed to be surrounding a single computer. He caught a glance of his student profile until Dr. Mindish made him take a seat further away from it. She sat at her desk, twisting a blue-stoned ring that was around her middle finger. When Hark tried to ask her about what was going on, she hushed him.
Finally, she sat up and greeted another person that was behind Hark. He turned to see Crystal, her eyes reflecting the same uneasy sense of urgency, which was only too present in the office.
Crystal sat in a chair to Hark's left, her pink backpack hitting the ground with a dull thump.
"Now," Mindish stated as she crossed her fingers into a twisted mass, "I want to show you a very strange thing."
She pulled out two photos from a drawer in her desk. One was of a mass of furniture that Hark had never seen, and the other was a bit more familiar. His furniture, from the fridge of his kitchen to the bed from his room, was all photographed to be in a grassy mess of lawn. At first he didn't reckognize the backround, but then he realized that it was all his backyard. Crystal had the same expression on shock as his. Obviously something strange was happening here.
"Those pictures," Mindish said slowly, as if to stop any confusion, "were taken a year ago. It just so happens that somebody noticed this today. When we went to your houses... they were gone, just like in the pictures. It's as if they went poof! I've tried to find pictures of both your houses, and every single one is just like these."
Hark spoke up, his voice shaky and a bit off-tone, "How did you get those first two pictures in the first place?"
Mindish waved her hand, as if the question was a simple one. "We always ask for a photo of each person's house in case the student in question becomes disoriented and we need to drive them home to their parent's house. It helps to know what the house looks like. We had someone reviewing all the records today, to see if anyone was missing. We found something missing, at least. So... what the heck is going on?
Man, it's been a while. Finals are still going on, but I didn't want to keep you all waiti-
Wait a minute, what am I talking about? I bet not a single person has been reading this since I started it! What a joke!
Still, I'm gonna keep going. For some reason, I hold on to that vague hope that somebody will eventually read and reply to this.
Chapter... wait, who cares? Oh well... Chapter 6: Barin Flameheart
The sun was rising on yet another day as Barin woke up. His slightly muscular frame shook as he got up, the cold of the cobblestone street far more bothersome than he wished.
Shella's dark form lay next to Geoffrey, both of the dragons still fast asleep. Barin was grateful for that, at least. They may look human, but they most certainly weren't. It seemed easier to be alone for the moment. At least humans had that independent feeling: they barely ever stuck together. Dragons preferred to stay together. They could detach from the group for a while, but eventually the dragon would feel too lonely. In fact, only a few dragons had ever been gone from their group very long, and those usually ended up dead, killed by the knights of the old times or ambushed by some other being.
And yet, Barin knew he was bound to their race. Now more than ever. Ever since Gwen died... He stopped that thought halfway, but not soon enough. Fresh tears started to cover his still-red eyes. Less than a day, and he could already feel it settling over him. The spirit was stronger than he could have imagined. Soon, he was sure, it would start to manifest itself. How? Well, Gwen never really did answer that question.
Being the grandson to someone like that was... shocking. After all of his life, being brought up an orphan, he never would have thought that he had family in such a lofty position. And with such beings! Dragons! What a race! They were smarter and stronger than humans, and they were much more ferocious. Yet... he never guessed that they had human forms. It was a change in every story that portrayed dragons as evil and stupid beasts. These things were truly real, and yet humans knew so little. Gwen had only started telling him before she...
The same unwelcome thought! To lose family right after finding out he had any at all!
The street suddenly seemed dangerous as he remembered that other kid. He was so fast... so strong... and he had mentioned that Brotherhood Gwen cursed so angrily. In fact, that one time was the only time he had ever seen her angry.
And yet that kid was the most dangerous being he had ever seen, dragon or not. Not even Menk, the gold dragon, was able to stop him. And strangely Barin had been able to. Not by strength, it had seemed, but by sheer luck.
"Morning Barin," came Shella's voice as she walked up behind him. He was startled, having been too busy dwelling in his own thoughts to pay attention to the people around him. How long had he been standing there? And how long had she been watching him? She laughed when his surprise reached her through the strange mental link he now felt between them. It was a strange connection, yet also warm and familiar. "You know what? I think that kid was pretty strange too."
A growl eminated from Barin as he realized how she knew what he was thinking. She had been in his head again. That was wrong, no matter how amusing it was to her.
She giggled again, then stopped abruptly as his growl of anger reached her mentally. "Yeah, yeah, you don't like me being in there. But really, can you blame a dragon for it? You're mind is human, yet we dragons sense it as one of our own. Our curiosity is too great to just allow it. Think of it this way: You're gonna have to let me get used to your mind sooner or later. It's better to just let me get it over with."
Finally, Barin talked back, an unfamiliar gruffness added to his tone, "My mind is for me and me alone. While you dragons may welcome each other into your minds, humans see their minds as their only sanctuary. It's the only place where secret things can stay hidden unless we choose to reveal them."
"Secrets," said Shella, as if tasting a new food, "they are scarce among dragons. We all have regrets, yes, but we do not keep them secret. We hold them proudly, next to our accomplishments, for all dragons to see."
Barin turned his head to the left, his eyes narrowed into a fierce grimace. "I have no regrets... I only wish to hide certain things about my past. They are things not even someone searching through my mind should experience. You dragons have no grasp on the human world, but I do. I've seen the worst first-handed. You aren't ready for that."
"Fine, fine, fine," sighed Shella, as if in response to an adult's lecture, "either way, when do we leave this forsaken place and track down the three others?"
Barin glanced at Geoffrey, happy to have the subject changed. The blue dragon was still fast asleep. "Once that lug wakes up," he responded jokingly."
Shella grinned and cracked her knuckles, "Leave that to me..."
If you insist on a reply then I'll grant you one. I've been following this story for some while, and I can see that it shows great potential. However, I suggest you proof-read your posts more often to catch your errors, then embelish your wordings to make them more descriptive. Keep writing.
Huh? No, I serious thought nobody cared. Thanks for the comments, though. I share the same thoughts, really, and I will try harder. I was sort of slacking off... I didn't think anybody was reading this but myself.
Chapter 7: Uncle Kurk
The trip out of the school was uneventful, though it struck Hark that it was strange his brother was not coming along. After all, they went to the same school, and the very fact that he had not seen Kyle at all was strange too. Surely they notified him?
But that was brushed aside as Hark considered "Unkie Kurk". The man was a strange find indeed, but the strangest thing about his relation to Hark was the idea that he was related to Crystal too. As far as he could tell, Hark was not related in any sort to Crystal. In fact, their families each had different backrounds. Aparently Crystal's family was mostly Irish, while as far back as Hark's family tree went, they were a mix of everything European. He was Scottish, British, German, French, and, well, anything really.
Still... Hark couldn't quite process Kurk. The man seemed familiar in some strange way. His features weren't quite what rang a bell in Hark's mind, but rather the man's attitude did. His farmer's accent sounded fake, and it probably was, but then why would somebody fake an accent so stupid? It was so strange.
But where did Hark know him then? It was in a dark wrinkle of his mind, a place everyone has but almost nobody ever accepts. It was in that strange fold where memories dragged down like nets filled with fish. If you hit one, the emotions would usually drown into you no matter what you felt before that. Hidden in there, Hark felt, was the memory of Kurk. But before he could drift through his wrinkle, Kurk stopped in front of a single motorcycle and grabbed a pair of helmets. One he tossed to Crystal, while he gave the other to Hark. With no other helmets, Kurk motioned for them to sit on the cycle.
Hark didn't move a muscle.
"You expect three people to ride on that?" He asked, wondering whether or not the man had a scrap of intelligence.
"Fine, if you don't want the cycle you can always ride in the car," responded Kurk as he sat down on the front area himself.
"What car?" Hark retorted, looking around. The thought that Kurk had a second vehicle was strange: How did he get it here if he rode on the cycle?
A single, black car pulled up to the front doors of the school. Three men hopped out, and a fourth stayed next to the passenger side of the car, protecting it. Without showing any notice of the odd trio in the parking lot, the three men walked into the double doors of the school. Whoever the strange men in black were, they didn't look friendly. Hark strapped his helmet on.
* * *
Five minutes later the cycle, laden with three passengers, sped along an unfamiliar highway. Kurk was in front, followed by Crystal, and then Hark on back. This was the kids' first time on such a vehicle, so Kurk delighted in looping back and forth in between cars, followed by loud protest from the horns of the drivers. Stangely, no police cars seemed to be around, so Kurk was free to bob and weave as he pleased. Crystal, who was unaccostomed to wind blowing past her face so fast, as well as the pull of the speed of the cysle, clutched tightly to Kurk. Hark, who loved riding coasters, whooped and hollered at each new move the cycle made.
Even though the rush was fun, Hark couldn't help but become overly bored. He tried to talk to Kurk, but the speed of the wind blowing past knocked away his voice, making it impossible. Crystal tried once or twice, but Hark only got an inaudible response afterwards.
When he had left school, Hark had recorded the time at 2:00 pm. Looking at his watch now, he noticed that dinner time was close at 5:30 pm. The sun was starting to set to his left, and the oranges seemed to summon up his hunger. Crystal was also hungry, which became apparent when she tugged on Kurk's coat and made a motion to her mouth. The cycle slowed enough for Crystal's voice to drift over, allowing Hark to catch, "and there's and exit!" before a loud crash caught his attention.
You see, at that very moment a second cycle had come roaring up behind, swerving horribly. A car had swerved to miss the two-wheeled vehicle, only to start rolling on its side! In five seconds, the entire highway seemed to be full of rolling cars and blazing horns. And the entire mess was speeding towards the kids quicker than Hark though possible! He caught a glimpse of the female motorist in the second cycle before the Kurk's own cycle turned and quickly went into an exit. Crystal gave a high-pitched scream, a late reaction to the enormous pile of cars that kept going down the highway. The second cyclist was behind them, obviously lucky to be alive.
The exit was basically a small patch of street, branching off to a few houses and fast-food places. A single, dingy mall was in the center of the layout. Kurk stopped at a brightly lit McDonalds, Hark suddenly remembering the good taste of a cheeseburger. His mouth watered as he smelled the wafting scent from the place, a mixture of cooking burgers and fries in the fryer.
Crystal looked just as hungry, though a bit pail from the massive accident that had happened. Hark shrugged it off with an impassiveness that surprised even himself. It wasn't his fault, so what should he care? Then again, there was probably a good bit of damage...
Kurk finally got off the cycle, the kids following his example. They unstrapped their helmets. The helmet hair was surprisingly bad, seeing as Hark's usually ruffled hair had become as flat as a sheet of paper. As Hark ruffled his own hair to make it recover, Craystal fingered her own with an expression of distaste. They all walked into the restaurant together, Kurk being strangely quiet. Hark was struck by the fact that he was on an unknown highway, at an exit, with somebody he didn't remember, and he didn't care one bit. He felt strangely calm, as if this was all to be expected.
Crystal seemed to be at the same point as him. She was also strangely calm, as if the situation didn't scare her a bit. He was sure he saw her throw him a glance, as if to make sure he was still there. So they were in agreement: They would both go through this entire incident together. As long as they were both willing, they would both keep going.
This particular McDonalds was pretty dirty. A single, snotty clerk ran the registers, along with one other person running the cookers. The three took their orders, and while they waited, the door of the restaurant rang as yet another person entered. At first Hark took no notice of it, taking a sip of his drink (a pepsi). When he actually did glimpse the person, he spluttered.
The same female cyclist that had, just a few minutes before, endangered their lives was in the McDonalds too!
The lady was quite peculiar, too. Her shirt and pants clashed horribly, her pants a dark blue and her shirt a light red, almost pink. She still wore her helmet, which was a greyish black. Her face was angled to look very aerodynamic, her nose small and pointy, her ears (or at least the bits not uder the helmet or the hair) were flat against her head. Her hair was dyed to look blonde, though in essence it looked more silvery than anything. A single earring, on her left ear lobe, dangled down, reflecting the light of the McDonalds off of a sickle moon shape. Her eyes were a strange, inquisitive orange. It was strange indeed, seeing as Hark had never seen orange eyes before.
"Oh, hello Duka," said Kurk, first to act. "You know, I was wondering if you wouldn't show until you pulled that little stunt."
The woman laughed as if she had just been commented profusely, "I was running late, but that's okay. After all, I did find you. So, you got them did you?"
Kurk made a small nod, and then looked uncomfortable. "I got two of them, at least. Yeel seems to have taken things wrong. He disappeared before I could reach him."
The lady, apparently called Duka, nodded. "I guess that's the best we could expect... especially from these funny little dragons. At least Vreev will be slightly happy."
"Dragons?!" Hark stated, surprised by the obvious mention of him as a dragon. "What do you mean by dragon?"
Hmmm... I made that last bit while in a bit of a rush...
Chapter 8: Let's revisit...
A growl, as loud as a fire truck siren, ripped through the glass of the elegantly made cage. Try as he might, however, the dragon couldn't escape.
He had shed his human form a while ago. Now, however, he wished he hadn't. Magic was required for the form to work. While he couldn't work it out loud, Shella could. She was the reason that they had been able to escape the cave as humans. Now, however, more magic was needed to start the form. If it was started, he was sure he could resume feeding it with the required magic... but, as he said, magic was not under his control.
"Still trying to escape, Menk?" Vreev asked as he laid back in a black leather chair. "I promised you that once you were reunited with your relatives, I would allow all of you to go."
Why, then? Menk asked with his thoughts, no longer able to speak english with his dragonic mouth, Why keep me locked up in this damned cage?
Menk was sure he heard a teasing note in Vreev's voice as he replyed, "I've got to make it look good. I am a bounty hunter after all. If my men thought I was soft on you dragons they would turn on me. Besides, I need to make sure you keep your end of the bargain. Remember, one wish. That's all I want."
You don't even care about what happens to my family? You really are heartless. Especially after killing my dad. You knew him well, didn't you? The King of Dragons? Menk retorted. He was displeased with the fact that he was being used by his father's killer. But he was even further angered that Gwen's work was coming undone so fast.
"Please," Vreev stopped him from going further, "I had no clue as to what he was until the end. Besides, it was only a job. From what I saw, the King was getting older, weaker. If a human didn't kill him soon, he would die from another dragon soon enough. I would still like to know where the Queen flew off to, but since she isn't a vital part of my plan I don't care."
You... you have no idea of the true wrath of the dragons. You will not survive when my siblings come to kill you, he was frothing over with anger at the emotionless tone in Vreev's voice. Like the man didn't have a soul.
"I've seen the truth wrath of your kind, dragon," Vreev stated, "so don't give me a lecture." He paused for a second, and then a darker tone entered his voice, "you don't know what humans see in you dragons, so let me paint a picture for you."
"All humans notice the eyes of a dragon first. I'm not sure if it's some twisted instinct, or if we're forced into it by some strange version of your magic, but we just do. Your species has eyes resembling a snake, really. However, after a second of observation we see those things that scare us. We see that glint of intelligence, an intelligence that surpasses our own, and we also see that ferocity. The awesome ferocity of nature is in all dragons' eyes. It makes our very souls shiver.
"Next, we see the rest of your head. The giant snout, the teeth gleaming under your lips, the scaled head with spikes on the top, and even the forked tongue. It shows a preview of your size, and it also shows us that you could chomp us down easily. Scares the crap out of a normal human.
"And finally, we see your bulk. It shows how big and strong you really are, and it shows what you can really do. Your wings are framed against your back, and the line of spikes along it make you look able to spear through a human's chest. Your scales reflect the light, blinding us on bright days, and your spiky tails inspire even more fear.
"All in all," Vreev concluded, "that would be enough to scare away the most rational of humans. But, since I apparently lack a sense of rationality, I had to anger a black dragon one day. I've seen the damage a single bout of rage can inflict. Then... I saw the damage your true rage could do."
Sounds like you've had some pretty bad experiences with my kind, Menk stated slowly.
A small chuckle rang through the shadowed room. "Enough to know how to bargain with your race, and how to keep safe," Vreev stated as he moved his eyepatch slightly.
I guess I'm back to being ignored. Oh well... I guess I didn't give visitor a very warm welcome, eh?
Chapter 9: The villain emerges
The clatter of hollow metal on ground broke through the silence, but only for a moment. It was only long enough, in fact, to be mistaken for a lapse in concentration, or to be attributed to the imagination. Imagination, however, had not created the vile creature now in the halls of the King of Dragons.
Actually, five beings were in the hall. The most vile of them was holding another of the beings by its throat, a punishment for the noise. Even in panic, it did not scream. To scream now would mean instant death, and it wasn't yet willing to make that ultimate sacrifice. A metal plate lay at the feet of the lead creature, bigger than a large stone slab.
The lead creature was something of pure evil. It was the worst of all races.
It was human.
Or at least the likeness of a human. Either way, it was a travesty to the Halls of the King of Dragons. For it was decreed, by all dragons that had filled the halls, that in no way should a human, or even a human form, enter them. Even Gwen, the personal witch of the King, and a human bonded with a dragon, could not enter these halls. And yet, here was five of that very race, now disgracing what was once sacred.
The lead human released the other, making a mental note to do personal harm to that one when the time came. He (for it was undoubtedly a male of the race) rubbed his bare arms, as if feeling a chill. However, it stopped abrubtly when he realized the scratch of skin on scale was making a terrible noise.
There were three halls branching out from this one, the walls seemingly carved from claws, and then melted to be smooth. One hall was the exit, the roughness of the rock forming a natural formation as it neared the end. The other two halls could have lead anywhere for all the four underlings knew. However, the fifth knew exactly where he needed to go, and what he needed to do. They had already collected the blood needed...
He took the passage on the right, a peculiar gleam in his slitted eyes. Eyes like a snake, but with more intelligence showing in them. Eyes that showed a feral side that humans as a whole had abandoned long ago in sacrifice of society. He was close to it now. He was sure... he could feel it in his very blood. Blood of both a human and a dragon. The blood of a bonded human and dragon...
He needed now to only take a quick sniff, and he knew where to go. Quickening his pace, he hurried to find his long lost love. No, he was not there to find his mate... but rather the love of his dying life. The love that he would use to breed death and destruction on these pitiful humans and dragons.
He let instinct take over as his padded, bare feet went across the floor. The four underlings were close behind, slightly panting under scarves that concealed their faces. Blood... blood of dragons... it reacted differently with varying substances. When mixed with water, it caused a fire. With rock, it created a type of magma. With metals, though, it reacted totally differently than anything else. It actually bonded with the metal, giving the metal powers like a dragon. All it needed was one to weild it...
They were one room away now. The leader could actually taste his love now. It was so very intoxicating... It was like a finely produced drink or a perfectly aged cut of cheese.
They rounded the corner of the rock cave and found... an empty room. However, the leader knew it was there... his blood was pulling him to it. Without a word to his now exhausted underlings, the leader drew a glass knife. They understood, for he had told them beforehand exactly what he would do. The time to reunite with his love was finally here! After hundreds of years plotting this exact moment... it was perfect. With that thought in mind, the man knelt and slashed his right wrist with the knife.
The blood rushed out of his vein like water out of a waterfall. The blood seemed to flow faster than a normal opened vein, as if being drawn to the love like a magnet to metal. As soon as it hit the cavern floor, it started to form a circle with a diameter of two feet. Even as the leader's vein started to seal itself magically, the blood would not be denied its release. Finally, after thirty seconds of blood dripping out of his vein, it stopped. The circle was fully formed.
Lifting his right and left hands, the leader waited for the two offerings. One, a clear glass bowl of a red liquid, was placed in his right hand. The second, a bright red rock, oval in shape and fifty times the size of a robin's egg, was placed in his left. Muttering under his breath, the leader placed the bowl down, and lifted the lid off of it. He poured the liquid into the center right of the circle, still muttering into his scarf. Surprisingly, the liquid did not spread past the perimeter of the circle made by his own blood, nor did it spread through the entire circle. It pooled near the bottom, forming a sort of tear drop shape, the point at the top of the circle's perimeter.
The red stone was then held in both of the leader's hands. Still muttering, he drew a finger along the entire shell. When finished, he tapped the top of the shell twice. It created a small, hollow sound, a crack appearing where he had traced his finger. Lifting a segment of the shell, the leader revealed the the contents.
The infant form of a baby dragon, it's life cut short while still in the shell, was in the center, the membrane still surrounding it. With a slice of the glass dagger, the leader severed the hatchling's head. Lifting the body of the infant above the circle, he let the neck droop down. Blood soon spilled into the bloody circle, covering the rest of the area uncovered by blood.
Muttering became talking loudly, and then finally shouting as the leader invoked the proper magic to release his love. The blood of a not-yet-born dragon, the blood of a dead dragon, and the blood of a dragon still in the present. It was all a vital element. The mess sank into the earth, forming a groove a foot deep until the magic of the dragons' blood stopped, keeping the groove in place. His blood, however, went deeper. It was more powerful than the dead or the newborn, so it created a small circular crack in the ground.
Finally, the leader shouted the last word of his spell, his exhaustion forgotten in his enthusiasm. The moment he finished, a deep rumbling filled the cave. It slowly grew stronger and stronger until it felt as if an earthquake was crashing into it with full force. Slowly, the depression in the floor raised. It met the floor level, then went higher. The ground was now tumbling as if the full force of nature was trying to crush the cave before the leader's love emerged. Two feet above the ground, a hilt slowly appeared in the stone as it raised. It was a red hilt, the metal stained with countless battles between dragons and humans. In the center, a circle of spiked was cut in. In their curcumference, a black hole appeared. The hilt was made for the weilder to allow the sword to drink his power in as it saw fit. The power was in the blood...
Finally, the blade appeared, and the leader's love was finally revealed for what it was. A bloody red sword, about one foot wide from one side of the blade to the other, and the length from top to hilt being a good five feet, protruded from the risen rock slab.
"Finally, my love, we see each other once more," stated the leader as he leaned forward and grabbed it by the hilt. The spikes cut his palm, and he allowed his blood to flow into his love's mouth. She remembered him, all right.
"What exactly do you mean by saying you saw the future?" Shella asked, worried.
"Quite simply, I saw the future," stated Barin. "Gwen stated it to me before she... Anyway, she said there would be changes in appearance of those around me, and that I would state having 'seen' that point in time in my vision."
"And you beleive this?" Geoffrey inquired, "I mean, Gwen was a good witch... But foresight? And before you've been completely bonded with... with you-know-who... I mean, it's impractical."
"We'll see," stated Barin, allowing himself to stand and continue walking.
"I remember," stated the kid as he huddled in his blankets, shivering, "I can remember it all now..."
Yeel was sitting in the back of a cop car. He had been found and picked up on a street corner. The two police men who had been told to get him were in the front, the mesh metal screen seperating them.
They had tried to talk to him, but he had just repeated the same thing: That he remembered. So they were taking him down to the station to see if there was a missing person's report.
Before the police had showed up, the person who called them had given him a blanket. She had been a nice person... scared as she was by his demented demeanor. Of course, he didn't notice her too much, but she seemed to actually care, a trait most people he knew didn't have. The cops were gentle, but they also eminated that sort of fear. They were all afraid now... how laughable. Of course, chuckling like a lunatic and repeating the same phrase didn't help their veiw on things.
"Gwen, Dad, Mom, I remember you now. That stupid witch most of all... she will pay for the anger and hatred I have felt. Dragon," he murmured, testing the word on himself. Yes, he could handle being a dragon. "As soon as I sever the ties, I will become what I have have been forced to not be. I will become that which I am suited to. I will-"
"Hey, will you quiet down back there?" The driver asked, not unpleasantly. Yeel gave him a glare of such hatred that, if the cop had been paying attention to his mirror, he would have given an involuntary shudder. His partner, who was paying attention, got a very bad vibe from the kid. He adjusted his hat, trying to convince himself that this was just a messed up kid on drugs. It didn't work.
"You know, all humans, no matter what they do, are generally evil," stated Yeel, suddenly lowering his head and closing his eyes, deep in concentration. He wanted to sever one of the strings. And now!
As one cop opened his mouth to reply, a low grumble started to fil the police car. It was the growl of something feral... It was the growl of an angered beast about to strike.
The driver's partner turned to look frantically at the kid, who had raised his head. Yeel opened his eyes, and the partner gasped in fear. There, staring back at him, were the eyes of some dark beast. Even as he looked the kid over, he noticed that the boy was noticably larger, and he no longer shook.
There was a shout, and the car swerved off the road.
Hark was now bound and gagged, fear burning through his insides as Kurk and Duka led him forward into the darkened cave. Crystal was behind him, the two connected by a length of rope thicker than a telephone pole wire. Kurk tugged on the rope to make them stop at a pair of doors. They were made of thick steel, a pair of giant metallic hinges just slightly holding it to the cave wall.
The events of the past few hours made Hark shiver with a touch of hatred. He had trusted Kurk, even though they had met only so long ago and under strange circumstances. Now, he was tied like a prisoner, being led to who knew where, and that wasn't the half of it. A dragon... Hark knew now that a bizarre mix up had occured, though he wasn't sure how or why. There was no possible way he could be a dragon! He was human! If he was dragon, then why would he have a family? Same with Crystal, for that matter.
And that was where he felt truly bad about this whole ordeal. Crystal had stuck with him because his feling towards these strange coincidences, or at least she thought he knew what was happening one way or another. Now, they were both being carted down to this weirdo named Vreev by two demented people. He was sure this wouldn't turn out well no matter how you cut it.
And yet... there was still a strange feeling in the heart of his mind that kep telling him that no harm would come from this, and that he should just go along with these lunatics. He sincerely hoped that the feeling was right.
Don't worry, brother.
Hark straightened, startled. What was that? Was he going nuts now as well? It was like a voice in his head! Greeeeeat...
The giant metal doors opened without a sound, as if the hinges were well oiled. They had also opened without need to knock whatsoever... Hark was starting to feel like something very out of the ordinary was happening here... Dragons, weird doors, voices in his head... if he had the chance, he would have his head examined right now.
Crystal gave a small gasp as the enormity of the cave behind the doors became apparent. The doors themselves were not big, but the cavern behind them widened to be larger and larger until it was large enough to fit three or four large stadiums. Small cracks in the ceiling, along with small lanterns, which were hung from pegs attached to natural stone pillars, illuminated the area. Hark was surprised by the size, yes, but he was even more surprised by what was in the middle of the area.
A large glass dome, accented by the yellow of the lanterns, stood in the center of a town large enough for a couple thousand people. A pool of water, murky green, stood next to the town. However, Hark was not interested in the town itself. No, for the moment, he was focused entirely on the dome. Not even Crystal was a part in his mind at that moment.
In the middle of the glass dome, glistening with a golden brilliance unrivaled by any other sight in the world, sat a winged, gold dragon. Years of mythology, stories, and every rumor Hark had ever heard about dragons suddenly sprang to his mind as the eyes of the dragon met his own. Even from such a long distance, Hark felt the intelligence, the feral fury, the independence of any race or being.
Also, he felt a sense of familiarity. It slowly crept in his mind, as if a pool of water had burst inside his mind, allowing a flood of wter-like memories to run through him.
We meet once more, Hark. I am Menk. Also... I am your brother.
Well, since I'm bored I'll start chapter 11.
I guess nobody's reading anymore. Oh well. I'm having plenty of fun just writing.
Chapter 11: Enter the mind of Barin Flameheart
A demon. That was the only name for the monster that killed Gwen and the King of Dragons.
And not just that, but he was still there, hunting Barin, Menk, Shella, and Geoffrey. Shella had just enough time to allow Menk, Geoffrey, and herself to become human before the guy had chased after them. Barin wasn't really sure if he was actually being hunted, though. He didn't even know if the evil guy knew he was here.... Then again, he also didn't know how long he could hide in the caves before venturing out for food or drink. He was also lost, which didn't help matters.
He wished he was in the halls... they would stop this demon shaped like a human... but then again, as a human, Barin couldn't even enter.
A girl's scream rang out, piercing the silence. Fear gripped Barin as he saw the situation in his mind's eye. Shella had been caught by the demon guy... it was only a matter of time before he would kill her.
A sudden thought protruded into Barin's mind, though he was sure a moment before that he was too scared to think. For the sake of all dragons, help her now! He lifted one foot, then another, and another, until he was walking towards the source of the scream at a steady rate.
A dark, low laugh echoed through the cave even as Barin approached. But, then, he wasn't Barin... Or rather he was, but he wasn't... He was conscious, but he wasn't the controller.
"And who would this weakling be? Another hatchling of the King?" There was a pause for a reply, but Barin had his head lowered and he did not answer as he walked forward. He remembered being aware of a sharp pain in his shoulders, his hands, and even his very eyes. It was as if his body was crunching in different directions, changing to fit some kind of design. "No answer, eh?" the voice mocked, "Very well... I will dispose of you like I did the King."
Barin involuntarily raised his head, a single twitch in his eyebrows the only sign that he cared.
"You think I'm a weakling, egg-breaker?" retorted Barin in a gruff voice that was not his own. "You pretend you are superior, yet you are just as weak as the rest."
The demon of a thing gasped, but then it laughed again. "Ah, the Elemental Spirit Dragon... and here I was thinking you had ended your reign with that witch, Gwen. No matter, I will destroy your new host."
And that's where Barin had blacked out... He didn't remember past that. The next thing he actually could remember was waking up with Shella and Geoffrey above him, worried.
"Elemental Spirit Dragon," Barin thought aloud, "I don't know what that guy meant, but I'm sure it has something to do with... us... you... whatever."
Shella turned toward Barin as she walked, "You okay back there? I thought I felt something mentally...."
The smoking wreck of the cop car was slightly to the left of the road, the two dead cops sitting in their burned seats.
Blood dripped from Yeel's hands as he contemplated what he did. That was two kills... and yet he felt nothing but joy. These humans were deserving of death... and he was finally bringing it. Years of feeling a deep-seated hatred for them, feeling fear and anger because of them, and now he could kill the, with a single swipe of his hands!
He was going to use this...
He was going to kill those who had caused them injustice...
Okay I'll reply. Now it's getting really interesting, you've left the reader with a lot of questions, like what happened in the past, how is everyone connected, and how the dragons will get together etc. I'm looking forward to seeing how the story turns out.
As Visitor said, you may need to proof-read your work as there are a few spelling mistakes and typos. But on the whole your writing is very good and has improved since the early chapters. Whoops now I'm sounding like an English teacher, sorry!
Anyway, good story, can't wait to see what happens next.
Yeah, yeah, a little late. I've been busy lately, so I couldn't really post here. Sorry 'bout that.
Chapter 12: Luperan, the Sea Serpent
The murky water surrounded him, enveloped him, covered him. It was his home, yet he wanted to escape. However, if he left the water Vreev would surely kill him, and the tunnel was caved in.
Luperan had been swimming in the sea one day when, to his surprise, he found an underwater cave. Without thought for his safety had had swam in, his body just small enough to fit in the tighter areas of the cave. He had snaked his way through that tunnel for five miles before he even tried to turn back, and then he was met with a horrid surprise.
He couldn't turn back. The space would not allow it. With no other way to go, Luperan had surged forward for to find a space big enough to turn back in. When he had finally gone ten more miles, the cave expanded. However, the water stopped there. He had hoped it would not, for without water he no longer had cover. Without cover, humans might see him. He had raised his head to see if there were humans in the cave, and to his dismay there was. Then there was an explosion, and the tunnel behind him was buried.
That had been five hundred years ago, and even then he was sure of his fate. Vreev's family, for they were the inhabitants of the cave (he had learned this much from the ramblings of the family members, who visited the water often), kept him in the water, feeding him whatever they felt that they could throw away. Thus, over his life, Luperan had become unnaturally thin. His waste was an ever-present problem, mostly because he didn't trust the people enough to push it out of the small lake bed. At night, when he was sure nobody was watching, he would simply just layer it on the floor of the bed. It was not a good solution, nor would it help his situation, but at least it had two good side effects: It made the crabs thrive, thus giving him a good, though sharp and crunchy, food source. Also, it made the lake bed soft enough for him to later shovel the waste with his enormous claws and make the bed deeper.
You may be wondering who or what Luperan is, to live five hundred years under the water. Well, he obviously wasn't a dragon. Dragons lacked the proper breathing capacity for water, and they were mainly fire-breathers anyway. Humans, though they had made fabulous technological advances, could not do much better. You see, Luperan was a sea serpent.
Sea serpents are much like dragons, though not exactly so. Their bodies are much longer, and they have no wings. Also, they have gills, which allows them to breathe in water. Finally, they have no spikes, other than a cluster of them that are behind the serpent's head. They come in many colors, though they are usually the color of the water they were born in.
Luperan was a deep, navy blue serpent, which indicated that he was of the deepest and darkest regions of the sea. Also, He had a single spike a bit more in front of the ones clustered behind his head, indicating that he was of a noble race of serpent. The length of the horn, a good twenty feet long, was the last of his racial indicator; saying that he was to be regarded as the most important of serpents.
After the cave was destroyed, Luperan had desperately tried to dig it out. However, every time he tried another bomb would be detonated, further imprisoning him. After a while, he had given up all together.
But today, he wasn't worried about escape, waste, or death. Today, he could feel that two more dragons had entered Vreev's cave. The two others, he sensed, were brimming with enthusiasm.
He was there when the first dragon, a young gold, had been brought in. He had heard of the separate race known as dragons, but it was still strange when they had touched minds for the first time. The gold has simply stated one thing: You are the enemy as well. Luperan didn't know what the hatchling had meant, but he had retreated from their mental contact until he could only feel the emotions of the gold, which he could do relatively easy and without detection. When the white hatchling arrived, he did the same. Although he had felt many probes from the white try to contact him, he did not ever answer. He sensed the two dragons talking one day, and the mental probes stopped.
Yet these two dragons felt different. They had the emotions of humans, but their minds were definitely that of a dragon's. He sensed a rare magic around them, something that restricted the more feral features of a dragon's mind and suppressed old memories. It was, he concluded, a bonding's magic.
So... a bonded one was involved in the appearance of these new hatchlings. Indeed, the world was changing greatly. Soon, Luperan was sure, the arcane magic around the two hatchlings would run out (it was already weakened greatly, as if the supplier had been gone for far too long), and that those two would then see the full benefits of the dragon's powers.
Curious, he touched their minds and looked briefly at the current thoughts of the two. One was absolutely astounded by the gold. This, he decided, was a boy. The other seemed more afraid of the dragon, and she (for it was surely a she) was frightened to death by this situation. He inserted himself further into her mind to determine exactly what he situation was. He was sure that she felt a touch of his presence, but all he did was emanate a peaceful sign to show that he was not mean, nor was he an enemy.
Suddenly, another mind grabbed his and yanked him out. It was the gold again. Leave them alone, serpent. They are not yours to explore, nor are they to be tampered with. I know the trickery of your kind, and I will not have you destroying the one chance I have to escape this accursed place.
The ferocity of the statements alone made Luperan retreat into his own mind and ponder what the gold had said. Why was he so angry at the serpents? His curiosity prompted him to make one statement before the gold could continue blocking him. Why hate us serpents? We are your ancestors, therefore we cannot be all bad. He got hatred as a response.
The one named Vreev walked towards the two dragon hatchlings. Luperan watched with his mind as the bounty hunter looked over them. He could only bare his aquatic fangs in anger as an extreme fear emanated from the girl hatchling. The two were guided to the dome of the gold, and were pushed in. The gold was totally quiet as the younglings stared at him. Luperan felt the gold emanate a thought to the two, then all was quiet.
The leader and his four underlings walked down the dirt road to the first destination in their trip. His love was hungry... and it needed to be fed at all costs.
The human town was a small walk away from the dragon's cave. The inhabitants didn't know it, of course. If they did, they'd already know what the earthquake was and they'd have run as quickly as possible.
However, they hadn't. The humans were ignorant of the dragons. They had both evolved from the serpents of the sea, and yet the two could never have been further apart. Protectors of the air, the dragons, protectors of the sea, the serpents, and the protectors of the earth, the humans. And yet what was there to protect? They did more harm than they did help.
All races deserved to die.
As the town came into view, the leader could not help but feel a trill of excitement. He hadn't slaughtered since he lost his love. Now that he had it once again, it would repeat what they had done long ago, drinking the blood of dragons, humans, and even the serpents. This time, however, their mission would not fail.
The defeat by the elemental spirit dragon had damaged his pride, but it didn't mean he would lose again. Not with his love by his side.
Unsheathing the blade with the care of ages past, the leader allowed his love to drink his blood once more.
It was the third day since they had set out from the abandoned town they had started at. Night had fallen, and the deserted road gave off a sort of forlorn look, as if sad that it didn't have many visitors.
Shella and Geoffrey were awake, startled to their current state. They had been sleeping just moments before, but now a horrible groaning had made them both awake. The sparkling remains of a meager camp fire showed that it wasn't too late in the night.
The groaning was coming from Barin, still asleep. He tossed and turned on the barren earth, making dirt stick to his clothing. When he was still, he made a horrible groaning, as if a feirce physical pain was being inflicted on him. He would grimace, and then start moving again. Shella and Geoffrey stared at each other for a moment, and then looked down at their strangely fitful friend. An obviously horrible nightmare was happening to him, and it was disconcerting.
Barin had only been with them for about two years (specks of time, even for young dragons), but they had already accepted him as they would a long lost brother. Just one day, Gwen had showed up with the young kid in hand, and she had left him in the their Dad's central chamber. Their Mother, the Queen, had been quite angry at first: Why should he, a human, live with the dragons. But then Gwen had revealed why she had brought him. He was her grandson, the last living relative in her family. Shella had not known at the time, but she soon found out what that meant.
Gwen was a bonded person. This meant, of all things, that she was a full fusion of a dragon and a human. Bondings, as they were called, were dragons and people who had gone from being two to being one. They were rare, and they were hardly ever accepted, but the King welcomed them openly. Gwen had become the King's witch when she displayed her awesome power of foresight, a trait that was rare even for dragons. She also, it turned out, was bonded with a very powerful rainbow dragon. Shella had never been told the name, but she figured it was a dragon with such high status that to see it was to know the name.
However, since Gwen had bonded with it, Shella would never know the name. Most dragons that had bonded did not wish others to know their names, in case a former enemy were to hear it and try to kill the new, bonded form.
What did this mean for Barin? Well, it mostly meant that, when Gwen died, the spirit of the dragon would pass on to her closest relative. it was an awkward situation, for that relative wouldn't have a choice other than to accept the spirit into oneself.
When Barin found all of this out, he had been a stubborn kid. However, one day he just accepted it out of nowhere. One day he was cursing Gwen and the dragons, the next day he was accepting the duty silently. It was an abrupt change that often left Shella wondering if all humans were so quick to change their opinions of things.
And now the kid was having a nightmare. It was odd, for dragons had full control of their dreams. When Barin had explained how humans handled dreams, it had confused Menk, Shella, and Geoffrey to no end. Still, they eventually accepted it. It must be a particularly bad nightmare, for Shella had never seen him toss or turn so much during the night.
A sudden, outrageous thought struck her. Why not enter his mind and see the nightmare? It was simple enough, and she might be able to help whatever strange problem he was facing. Mind diving was one of her favorite hobbies, and she figured, why not? Connecting to one's mind was simple. All you needed to do was feel that person's presence, and you could do it. So all she had to do was touch his mind and...
A sudden wave of color and raw emotion flooded through Shella as she entered Barin's dreams. Anger and pride were some of the more highlighted emotions, while sadness and happiness were very scarce in the flow. A moment later, and she was inside the nightmare. It was dark... yet there was still light... It was evil... yet there was still good....
A small, deserted town stood in the middle of a barren desert. The houses were mostly gray, and the black shingles on each roof gave the entire place the look of a black and white movie. A single stone gave a dull plunk, and then all was quiet. Shella found that she was standing on a roof of one of the houses. She gave a breif look around, and then shrugged. There wasno reason for Barin to be acting so violently inthe real world, as she could see no action happening here.
Suddenly, the town started to shake. At least, that was Shella's first thought. But after she jumped down off the roof of the house, the shaking stopped. The house itself was shaking! Soon enough, Shella knew why.
A large crash sounded, and a human figure flew through one of the house's walls. After impacting with the ground, the person skidded a good five feet, then stopped. They stayed there, limp. He wasn't dead, however, for a pained groan escaped his lips. A groan, in fact, that Shella had heard already that night. She hurried over, already fearing something fowl, for the fact that this was a nightmare had escaped her.
Barin lay in the rubble of the house's wall, bruised in more than one area of his body. A steady stream on blood flowed from his lips, and he looked close to death. Another groan came from him. He tried to get up, but Shella held him back down, saying "Barin, it's okay."
"I," he stated almost proudly, "am not Barin."
At first, Shella didn't know what he meant... until she saw the dragonic slits that were his eyes. Until she saw the pointed fans that were developing as his teeth. Until she saw the small line of spikes forming along his back and poking out from his shirt. No, this wasn't Barin... this was the dragon.
The new Bonding lifted itself up, pulling Shella up as well. It had the air of something noble, yet dangerously so. The blood along its lip disappeared as it was licked off by the Bonding's forked tongue.
"Get out of here... now," the creature warned as two small bumps, the beginning of wings, started to form on its back. Shella nodded as walked away, startled. What was this all about?
A long laugh cut through the scene like a knife through butter. It was bitter, dragged out by a maddened tone. And so it was that the being that had thrown Barin, or the Bonding, through the wall of the house slowly stepped through the rubble, as if savoring the moment.
It was something so scary, only the word demon could describe it. It had the same sort of features as the Bonding, but they were more full. Also, a sword about five feet long and blood red hung from its right hand. Blood seeped from the hand's palm is if cut severely.
"So, Elemental Spirit Dragon, we meet once again. You may have bested me in the last fight, but now I have my love with me."
Shella's eyes widened as she realized two things. One, this person was another consciousness. That meant he was assulting Barin's mind! And secondly, she knew this evil person.
It was the kid that had killed Gwen...
It was the one that had been there on that fateful day...
Back in the days of Unity, when Sea Serpents, Humans, and Dragons worked together, a party of seven worked tirelessly to keep peace. Three Serpents, and four Bondings. Two Bondings, both Human and Dragon, worked for the Dragons, and the other two worked for the Humans. The Serpents represented their own race. Through these delegates, peace reigned for well over a thousand years. Through the wisdom of Serpents, the Humans advanced at an amazing level. The Dragons, with their power, shaped the land for the Humans to live in, as well as the Serpents, for which they built many streams, rivers, and lakes. And the Humans, with their sizable numbers and courage, defended the earth with the fist and the sword.
The seven delegates were each given different names. There was the Courage Spirit Dragon, the Blood Spirit Dragon, the Elemental Spirit Dragon, the Light Spirit Dragon, the Serpent of Wisdom, and the Serpent of Death. Each Bonding was labeled as a Dragon even though they were both. For some reason, the races decided it was best that way.
However, the peace did not last forever. The humans spread much like a disease, and soon the world was overpopulated with them. The Serpents raised new lands for them to dwell in, but even then they wished for more. Some Serpents soon started to kill Humans to keep the population from spreading enough to destroy the world. The Dragons retaliated against the Serpents by attacking back, and the Humans, believing that the Dragons were in with the Serpents, attacked the Dragons. Faced with destruction, the Dragons fought back. The Humans also attacked the Serpents, and the Serpents started to attack the Dragons. Each side had two enemies.
The delegates, realizing that the races would soon destroy each other, tried to make peace. Unfortunately, they didn't agree either, and soon they were fighting each other. They were epic battles, Dragon against Dragon, Serpent against Serpent, and Dragon against Serpent. Each delegate had powers acquired from their race, each ability unique to that individual. Mountains crumbled into dust, seas boiled over, and the air itself was cut.
Inevitably, a great line was crossed. The Blood Spirit Dragon, a delegate for the Humans, lost his mate, the Light Spirit Dragon, a delegate for the Dragons. Smitten with rage, the Blood Spirit Dragon, also known as Geldahn, declared that all races were to be destroyed. He forged, from the metal of a comet that had hit just as the earth was cooling down, a great sword. Bonding it with the soul of a great Serpent, he soaked it n the blood of Humans, Dragons, and Serpents alike. Because of this, the sword became the color of freshly spilled blood as a result, and he would commonly refer to is as "his love" to remind him of the conflict.
Finally, one day, as he was slaughtering a town of Humans, Gwen, the witch of the King of Dragons, confronted Geldahn. With the speed and foresight of the strongest of Dragons, Gwen stole Geldahn's love and destroyed the Bonding.
However, Geldahn would not be vanquished. His spirit sought out a new host, and after five hundred years, he found one. Young Fream wanted something to happen... he got it.
And that brings us to the present day, where Geldahn has acquired followers and has also reacquired his love...
"Well, Elemental Spirit Dragon... time for me to do to you what has been done to me," Stated Geldahn as he ran at the Bonding that was once Barin.
The two figures collided, and a great ringing emanated from the blade. Then, they parted as Geldahn sped onward. Only, there was a slight change in status. Geldahn stared in disbelief as Barin raised the red sword into the air, and sputtered out a "How did you...?".
"I," Barin stated plainly, for his eyes had once again become a full Human, "am Barin Flameheart." He took the hilt of the sword (making sure not to grab the spiked side) and shoved the blade deep into the earth.
Geldahn laughed with a peculiar sparkle in his eye, "I know that name... Barin, Barin the Thief!" As Barin's eyes widened, Shella gasped. Barin a thief?
Barin let his eyes droop into a sly position, and he smiled. "You've heard of me... that's just great. However, I'm afraid that doesn't help you," he replied smoothly. "By the way," he added, "you got my title wrong. I'm Barin the Master Thief!" He put himself into a ready position to fight hand to hand.
A flash of light and color went through the town as the dream started to shatter. Barin was waking up! Soon, the mental assault would not be able to reach him. But until then…
Geldahn disappeared in a flash, and then reappeared next to his sword. With inhuman ease, he pulled it from the earth and disappeared once more. There was a sickening crunch from Barin (at this point the dream was darkening, so Shella couldn’t see too well), and then… nothing. Finally, a flash of white, and Shella was back in her body with her mind intact. She waited a minute before moving, and then looked up. Barin was awake too, holding on to his side.
Geoffrey was sitting there, peering at both of them with an expression of distaste on his face. His blue eyes gave the expression of someone with a severe problem with the situation but who still accepted it. Barin groaned a bit and hugged his side tighter.
As Shella walked over to him, the person she thought she knew, she couldn’t help but feel angry. Barin was a thief? And not just that, but a Master thief?
“Let me explain,” stated Barin, as if reading her mind.
A single line of understanding shot through Hark's mind: He was stark, raving mad. A voice was in his head, he was staring at a giant glass dome containing a Dragon, and he was inside a giant cave that contained an entire city.
And yet he couldn't help but chuckle. He could stand being mad if it meant he was a Dragon. He had always imagined it, much like the fantasy readers of the time, so why not enjoy this craziness? It wasn't every day that you got to step into the unreal of reality. Surely he'd wake up soon and remember this only as a vague dream. This was just one of those horribly vivid dreams... right?
Dreams are only an interpretive mirror of reality.
There was that voice again! As Duka and Kurk led Hark and Crystal towards the town, the true enormity of it was reavealed. This place could make vegas look like a supermarket! Street lamps decorated every corner, and people walked about as if they didn't realize that they were in a town that was inside a cave. As if a city, buildings as high as any other place, was supposed to exist in a cave.
They know no other world.
The voice was deep, as if it was all-knowing. However, Hark could only shrug in annoyance. How could he talk to a voice in his head? Talk out loud? That could only serve to make him crazier than he already was.
Think, and I will hear you.
Startled by the quick reply to his thoughts, Hark hurredly started processing what he wanted to ask this dream. However, one question surfaced itself rather quickly. What are you? He aked the voice.
The reply came quick enough, I am your brother.
Hark growled inside his head, You stated that... but WHAT are you? Are you human? Or something else...?
There was a pause that lasted for a second, then, I am a Dragon... as are you.
Right, and I suppose the Easter Bunny exists and he's the one that lays Dragon Eggs, Hark retorted. '
Do humans disregard what is right in front of their eyes as you are doing right now? If so, then Gwen was wrong in believing that you were the next step in the interracial relationship between Dragons and Humans, came the sharp reply.
What in the Hell ae you talking about? asked Hark after a moment's pause.
There was a sharp growl from the glass dome, and then, You don't remember?
Er... no? Hark replied.
The group was nearing the dome now. The town seemed centered around it, thus as they got closer more people crowded the paved streets. Hark hoped that something would happen that would allow him and Crystal to escape, but their jailers seemed to already anticipate such a problem. They were so close together that Hark could smell perfume coming from Duka, and he could practically hear Kurk's breathing.
The people didn't seem to notice the odd group. They simply walked by without a second glance, if they even bothered with a first one.
When they finally reached the dome (which was perfectly circular, with a radius of half a football field) Hark saw the enormity of the creature within.
The first thing that struck him was its eyes. They were a lot like a snake, but more intelligent. And then the body... it was a bit bigger than a full-grown human. It had four rather peculiar-looking claws and wings that extended over its entire back.
If you have forgotten, then there is only one way for you to relearn the ways of the Dragon... came the deep voice.