Jack and Ardon - Reclaiming Kilara (Private RP)
The sickness had devasted dragon populations on Kilara, especially on the continent of Talkier, dragons fell to this deadly disease, it did not discriminate and killed dragons of different breeds, the very young and the very old, it spread and killed without mercy, destroying dragon populations and most importantly, destroyed the precious hierarchy of dragons.
Despite Professor Melina and the others coming to the rescue and the cure had finally spread around the dragon populations, helping those who had suffered at the hands of this deadly illness, the dragon populations had taken a pounding.
Not only that but the who equilibrium of the warlords, the top dragons whose lands stretched for miles, the dragons that had kept order and in some cases peace upon the lands had perished, dragons too proud to seek out medication or seek out the cure, due to stubbornness or too proud to ask for help.
These decisions cost them their lives, by the time the remaining warlords realised they needed to change their stance, it was too late for some, by the time the cure was given out allot of warlord dragons perished now leaving a void, a vacuum that could be filled by anyone.
Dragons who had lived under the rule or protection of these warlord dragons now found themselves not having the protection or having a dragon they answered to, with the populations already weakened, these dragons desperately tried to find other warlords that could fill this void, in fear that others with vicious intent could threaten their survival.
This was the case with many dragons up and down the length of the continent and with eggs and hatchlings needing protection and security in a unknown world, where the rules and traditions of the old ways were swept away in an instant.
What little warlords remained were now either weakened or suffering side effects from the illness
They worried as well that they could not fight off challengers for their lands, they could not be the dragons they were, this caused fear and it seemed this now left the door wide open for one dragon to take full advantage of.
A warlord by the name of Kreios, fully fit and well from the illness, the cure the professor had given him had been different to the ones she gave to Forge, the dragon was not a traditional warlord, he was clever, cunning and had a fine attention to detail that some older warlords missed.
Kreios had played up his illness to the professor, fighting Forge and coughing up blood, it had been to make the professor think he was worse than he already was.
Melina had given him a higher dose with other ingredients to strengthen his body and provide nutrients in concentrate.
Kreios was cured but Melina’s medicine had also strengthened him, Melina had been in such a haste to give all dragons a chance including Forge that the cure had reversed some of the ailments age brought.
Now the Orange dragon with a sharp mind had realised that a new order and rules could be done, he already had support of dragons who had been dismayed by Forge’s decision making on the coast, he now used his new-found support to begin a bloodless conquest for the lands of Kilara.
Kreios and has ever growing followers soon was acquiring lands and resources quickly, soon making the dragon a name for himself and with vast resources to back him up, the orange dragon seemed intent of securing the entire continent under his rule.
Old warlords too weak or still recovering from the illness seeing Kreios rise and how he had acquired lands and the loyalty of others unquestioned made them accept his offer.
One by one the lands fell under his rule, although he did not rule them directly he was indeed the head of them all.
The only lands that he had not ventured to was the coasts, home to the coastal dragons and of course the Sunbreak isles where his rival Forge resided, Kreios had adapted and the old ways were now ancient history.
Hamshun was resting by a small lake, he was one of the very few warlord’s left that had survived the illness, he got the cure but it had left him with damaged lungs and a cough but he was alive, unlike the other warlords he knew, his lands were not big and he had no other dragons that fell under him but still it was his until recently.
He was resting there, watching nature around him, obviously seeking out a tranquil spot to help him escape the regret and bitterness of what he had done.
A whoosh of wind sounded overhead as a great silver flew overhead. He let out a respectful call to alert the other dragon of his arrival before landing, his wings churning to slow him as he touched down.
Hamshun looked up from watching the water flow past the small rocks, meandering down the small hill as he saw Forge approach, he gave a respectful bow before the silver.
“It has been a long time warlord Forge since we have seen one another since the mines” he said to the silver.
Forge dipped his head briefly, "a very long time, I hope you have kept well, Hamshun."
The dragon gave a nod along with that a dry croaking cough.
“As well as can be for a dragon who survived the illness that plagued Talkier, I heard from passing dragons you have been looking for me” he replied to the silver dragon.
Forge nodded, "I was hoping the sickness hadn't taken you and was relieved to hear you survived. I have been looking for you," he confirmed. "I had hoped to speak with you."
Hamshun closed his eyes briefly before opening them again to look at Forge, the old dragon having an inkling about what was going to be asked.
“What is the topic you wanted to discuss with me Warlord Forge?” he asked the silver with a questioning look upon his war weary face.
"Krieos," was all the silver said, his stern face a mask, waiting to see what hamshun would say.
Hamshun closed his eyes again, knowing this would come up.
“What about him, what do you need to know?” he asked warily and with caution in his voice, very unlike a warlord dragon of his stature.
A brief hint of surprise crossed Forge’s face before he returned to his solemn look, "you're afraid of him," he said quietly.
Hamshun looked away from the silver, perhaps ashamed to look at a fellow warlord in the eye, warlords never feared other dragons or showed it.
“So much has changed Forge, swept away are the old codes, rules and traditions us dragons held dear, the illness has turned Talkier on its head, you have been on your islands, away from what has gone on here” he said to the silver.
Forge looked grim. This wasn't the news he wanted, but what he expected. "That was my fear," he said, "I have heard whispers of things looking dire."
Hamshun nodded his head, "they are or they were, what remains of the warlords are too weak or suffer side effects of the illness, in the space of a few months Kreios controls vast swathes of territory, warlords have submitted to his negotiating offer...most of taken the offer.....including me" Hamshun said solemnly.
"You submitted to him?" Asked forge, stunned.
The old dragon nodded his head lightly to Forge’s question.
"Like the other warlords Forge, there was no alternative, we all answer to Kreios now and in return we are allowed to be tenants of the lands to live in peace and rest" Hamshun replied back.
Forge shook his head in disbelief, "how? How could he convince so many?" He knew that Krieos was always power hungry but this was surpassing his thoughts about the dragon by tenfold.
Hamshun sighed lightly before he replied to the silver dragon.
“Kreios has massive influence, his name holds power and meaning, far beyond anything the old warlords could do, he has a big following and support, the old ways of doing things is over, there is too few warlords left, most of us just want to rest and are thankful we are alive, me included” Hamshun said.
“There is nothing left of the old guard, they are gone, the illness did this, Kreios adapted, we did not” he added.
Forge rumbled low in his throat, "Tell me what has changed since I have been gone. How does this 'agreement' work?" He asked darkly.
“The agreement is we are tenants, caretakers of our lands, the dragons in our lands answer to us and we answer to him, Kreios also takes a certain amount of resources, food, minerals, herbs every 2 seasons, in return we swear allegiance to him and we are left for the most part in peace, we basically sold our souls to him and his ever massing followers” Hamshun explained the best he could for the silver, knowing full well the warlord was not impressed.
Forge growled, "this is not the way of dragons. It's deplorable, preying on the unbalance that was left in the wake of the illness."
Hamshun nodded lightly.
“Sadly, it is how the world is, there is no one else to help Forge, he is on course to control an entire continent east to west coast, there is noone who will question him, no one who will resist him or his mass of followers, if I was you warlord Forge, for a peaceful life and to enjoy your life, you would do well to follow” Hamshun said.
Forge turned on Hamshun at this, "Roll over and grovel? We are the top tier or dragons! Set to keep our lands at peace and in balance with one another. Dragons were not meant to toil for others. Did you not learn that in the mines?" Forge growled. As soon as he mentioned the mines he regretted in, however.
Forge would soon regret it upon hearing the words, the dragons tone and stance changed.
Hamshun growled back, not impressed with what Forge had said.
“You dare question what happened, if I recall I helped you because I believed in what you and me stood for, when you worked all that time I kept your family safe, so do not throw that at me” Hamshun said growling again.
“The time of the warlords is over, there is noone going to be coming to your rallying cry this time Forge, I am sorry, the world we knew, the rules we stood by are gone, we either adapt or we cease to exist, that is something you must accept whether you like it or not, think about your family and retire with dignity than try to rally against the inevitable” Hamshun said turning away from the silver.
Forge stared after him with a steeled look, "I will not let Dragon kind fall back into a pit of servitude. If you want to allow him to reign over you and yours, so be it. There will be other who won't. Warlords or not."
Hamshun shook his head lightly, stubborn and blind to the truth.
“Good luck with that, no dragon will follow you, there is no warlords left to help you this time, think about your family for stars sake, do you really want to bring more upset and heartache to their door, you done your time Forge, retire, spend time with the humans and that professor you admire, she is worth your time, not this” Hamshun said, his tone went from annoyed to a more pleading tone of voice, not want Forge to go down this route.
I can't let all that we've fought for perish now, Hamshun. I won't have our future generations grow up in tyranny. It may seem okay now but one day that can so easily change...
Hamshun sighed lightly before speaking again.
“I will not join you in this crusade Forge, that is a certain but, rather than you go to him, let him come to you, he has been moving into this area, he soon reach the coastal areas, he come to you soon, his supporters are loyal and are incredibly devoted to Kreios ideology, he has said something to make them follow them with no questions…..keep that human device safe” he advised.
Forge nodded, "I will." Was all he could find words to say even though his mind was storming with thoughts about this new crisis.
Back in Torchwood 5 and a few months after the crazy events with the world president, Martina had some down time and was enjoying getting to know her dragon more, the jolly giant made her smile with his easy going and loveable personality, she thanked the magic of Brathille to be bonded to such a gentle giant.
Martina had her screen on and was playing her guitar, she had a few hobbies outside piloting ships and playing this instrument was one of them, however she usually practiced in private and away from others, wanting some time to learn herself with the peace and quite she had on the base.
Vonriir lumbered into his shared quarters, hearing the sounds of a guitar. "Martina, is that you?" He asked.
Martina turned her head to see the large crag back there.
"oh. Sorry Vonriir I was umm just playing a little bit. I pack up" she said to the large dragon as she reached for the storage case for the guitar.
"No, don't stop on account of me. I didn't know you could play an instrument. Show me?" He encouraged, settling down with a genuine look of intrigue in his face.
Martina nodded as she played off a soft lullaby song on the guitar, Vonriir seemed fascinated how her hands moved and the music being produced from the different movements of her fingers on the strings.
It must have seemed odd for a dragon how such an instrument worked at all, Vonriir seemed to enjoy Martina’s music as she finished the tune.
"You're talented, miss Martina," praised Vonriir after he listened to her play, "the guitar looks like one of the more difficult human instruments if I am any judge. You play well."
"Aww Vonriir your sweet but it’s not that difficult, I learnt this soft guitar lullaby ages ago" she said as she continued playing.
"Looks difficult to me. All the notes and sounds you can make with some strings magic, I call it." He chuckled.
"Well, I am glad you like me playing, let me play this tune for you" Martina said as she played another tune.
It was an old folk tune her mother had taught her, the family were keen instrument players and musicians and she decided to be different and join the military.
"What song is that from?" asked Vonriir.
"Oh, an old tune I learnt but yeah I am glad you liked it, had some time free so got out the guitar to practice" Martina replied.
"You should practice more often. I like music. We didn't have much else other than song on Kilara," smiled the large dragon.
Martina smiled lightly, putting her guitar away, "I try and play more with you around if you enjoy it and all, I been told dragons do love music and tunes" Martina said as she got up and put her guitar away.
"We do," he agreed with a nod, "And dancing," he added with a chuckle.
Martina laughed, "Oh I heard about your dancing mister, I heard about your antics, you up for a flight? my schedule is free" she said.
"Certainly!" he said, pleased at the prospect of stretching his wings with a little company.
Meanwhile in their joint quarters, the professor and Zyra were snoozing away, Melina her chair as her book was settled at her side and Zyra had fallen asleep on her side with a book as well, the two had come into their quarters for a small break, away form the masses of samples and tests they were running.
It had been an intense couple of days and obviously, finally stopping to give their minds a break, tiredness had crept up upon them both.
Zyra woke with a yawn and stretched while laying on her side. Blinking, she closed the book that had fallen against her chest, "Hm, Mel? You awake?" she asked, realizing she had an impromptu nap in the midst of reading.
The professor stirred awake, blinking sleep from her eyes and looking up at the digital clock in the room.
"Urgh...oh gosh did we fall asleep? Goodness me, must be all this analysis work we doing on 80 different samples" Melina said stretching out in her chair.
Zyra tried to stifle another yawn, "I think I dream of all the testing we've been doing."
Melina chuckled lightly at the comment.
" Well we still have answered the fundamental questions yet, that is frustrating" she said to Zyra.
"We'll get there, Mel," encouraged the dragoness, "We're getting close, I can feel it."
Melina came over to Zyra and put her hand on the bold wings forehead.
" hrmm, head feels warm, must be on overdrive" she smiled.
Zyra chuckled, "I've been thinking too hard."
Melina laughed lightly.
"Must be, I guess a drink and back to it then, hope we get some answers or Veyron will be nosing round again." the professor said.
"He's already been poking around, I've seen him scurrying about," said Zyra, rolling her eyes.
Melina hummed lightly to herself.
"Nosy sod anyways we best get back, since we had an unofficial snooze" Melina said.
Zyra got to her feet and shook off the last of the sleepiness that lingered, "Right, let's get a snack and back to the lab then."
Melina agreed as they left their quarters to head towards the canteen.
Forge knew he had spent too long on Earth, meddled in the affairs there. For over 400 years the silver had been Talkiir’s protector, ensuring balance, peace and harmony between the hundreds of dragon species that resided on the massive continent. He in no way ever claimed to rule though he had grown used to having his word listened to, for dragons to answer his call to rise should aid be needed. Dragons would come to him for help, send word to him, requesting his presence, his aid. He had so grown used to this over the many years. While he had influence over most of the western half of Talkiir he had never thought so much to ask for compensation for his services.
This was likely why he had been so respected for so long. Sure, the silver had enemies but the lands were so large that it was easy for them to fade into the backcountry.
Now, now things had changed and it struck Forge with certainty after a growing realization had bloomed into truth. Hamshun had finalized his thoughts. Forge had been gone too long, his guardianship over Kilara had waned as he spent more and more time on the other side of the portal. His alliances had noticed his absence and had to turn and submit to Kreios for some backwards notion of peace and freedom.
Forge cursed himself and shook his head. In his hearts he knew that one dragon alone couldn’t maintain a whole continent. The disruption truly began when the humans invaded. It was only a unified goal that kept dragons on the same page when their world was tipped upside down. Now after the illness had swept Talkiir, the population had plummeted and with that the holders of power and influence had perished.
He should have spent more time here, on Kilara. He thought to himself, but he knew his alliance to this world was now shared with another. He was a dragon split between two existences.
But now what, he thought, sitting at the waterside that Hamshun had abandoned.
He knew that Kreios was a dark storm looming on his horizon. He had already tried to turn the tide of favour to him many times in the past during the peak of the pandemic. He was a sly and cunning dragon with his mindset corrupted, thought the silver. Now he has forced the inhabitants of Talkiir under his rule.
“Over my ashes, Kreios,” Forge growled to himself, looking towards the sky to find the sun. He could make it back to the islands before sundown and talk over this new development with his brother. He needed to find out who still would fight for freedom while maintaining protection of the portal. He knew that if Kreios should invade, he could send a distress signal through the portal channel and then destroy it.
On earth there was still the threat of Skahrsen. He had not appeared since their battle in Japan but that threat was looming as well. Forge growled to himself and got to his feet. Unfurling his wings the warlord took a deep breath and rose into the hazy sky.
“Forge, one dragon can’t protect a whole world,” said Bronan for what seemed like the hundredth time.
Forge shook his head, “I know that and I never believed I was the sole protector of Talkiir,” he said irritably, “I just can’t believe that Kreios has swept in so easily and without any resistance. The disease took so many but I thought there would be some to take the place of those who fell but I guessed wrong. Kreios has seized this weakness by the throat and will throttle Talkiir with his rule.”
“It doesn’t look good, to say the least,” nodded Bronan.
“You have the inhabitants of Sunbreak at your back.” Said Tahsis, stepping into the conversation and sitting beside her mate though her expression held worry.
“12 dragons, including us. All of them are smaller breeds as well,” said Forge,
Tahsis cringed a bit. She had known this but she was grasping at straws now. “There must be others on the mainland…”
“I know they are but they won’t speak up in fear of what Kreios might do to them if he finds out they don’t want him to rule. I could feel this coming. I should have stepped in and helped stop this before it snowballed.”
“I don’t think it could have been stopped, so much has changed since the illness…” said Tahsis, thinking about their recent visit to the mainland. Fire dragons have a tradition of cremating dragons on pyres and letting their ashes scatter to the wind so that their soul can ascend to the stars. Other breeds however buried their dead and marked their graves with special cairns, individual breeds or groups using specific stones to mark the place of the deceased.
The lands along the coast where now littered with these small tributes. A haunting experience to walk through the forests and see stacks of stone littered between the trees.
The remembrance of that choked up the dragoness a bit.
“What about getting the humans-“ started Bronan but he was cut off by the silver.
“No,” said Forge abruptly, “I can’t have the humans come and intervene. Kreios will use that to turn others even more fiercely against me. This is a Drakine issue and if I involve the humans any credibility I may still have will crumble.”
“Oh, hm, you’re right,” nodded the bonze male, a concerned expression taking over his face.
“In any case I need you here guarding the portal. Kreios will come to claim the coast soon enough so I will meet with him soon enough. It gives me time to prepare.”
“Ucluelet and Neekoh will return in a few days I think, you will have their support too,” said Bronan.
Forge sighed, “I don’t wish to have the younglings involved… but every dragon counts in this.” He said, staring out over the ocean. Without another word he jumped into the air and flew off without another word.
“Oh Bronan,” said Tahsis, pressing her head under the bronze’s chin. The male wrapped an arm around her and pulled her close as she sighed, “What is going to happen?”
“I don’t know, but we will get through this. Forge has never let us down. We just need to be his support now. If there is any dragon that will find a way to fix this, it will be him.”
The dragoness closed her eyes, “What will happen to Kilara when he’s gone, or gets too old to fight?”
Bronan was silent for a moment, looking at the setting sun, Forge nowhere in sight now.
“Those are days I don’t want to think about, Tas.”
“Hows those horns looking now Ardon? Jack asked knowing the dragon was trying to see if they had grown more still, since noticing them, the dragon usually had a little peek each day to see them growing.
"They're coming in," grinned the gold.
Jack chuckled lightly as the dragon came trotting in.
“I think you are having another growth spurt, you seem to be filling out more these last weeks, looking more and more like a young mountain dragon, its amazing to see you grow and I couldn’t be prouder” Jack said with a kind smile.
Ardon smiled back, "thanks Jack. It's kind of crazy thinking about how small I started out as isn't it? "
The man nodded his head lightly.
“Yes, it is, now you can smash through walls, melt certain metals and fly with elegance and grace” Jack said.
Ardon shuffled his wings against his back feeling pleased with all the praise, "How about swapping power and prestige with the elegance and grace bit. I think those words suit Zyra better, ya think?"
Jack smiled lightly.
“Ok then golden wonder, have it your way, come on, we best check up on things, bit of me is glad Mark decided to stay with us” Jack said gesturing to Ardon to follow him out of their quarters.
The two of them heading for the common area and canteen when Ardon spoke in response to Jack’s comment about Mark staying with Torchwood 5.
“You won't tell anyone if I say me too?" Asked Ardon, trotting after him.
“Yeah, he might go if you said to him your glad he wasn’t going, I think Veyron is secretly pleased as well” Jack said walking down the corridors towards the canteen.
"Well he wouldn't have his drinking buddy if mark left. Plus he's the wraiths protection from you and Mel," laughed Ardon.
Jack chuckled lightly.
“Yes he is, anyways lets see what is going on in this facility” Jack said as the golden dragon happily trotted alongside the man.
Meanwhile Mark was in his office reviewing the notes on his new security chief, he had done as his scaled companion had recommended and stuck to something he knew and trusted for this job.
"I'm glad you listened to my suggestion," commented Veyron, looking over Marks shoulder.
Mark looked up at the wraith.
“Now now, if you and me get on anymore, that magic Brathille thingamajig might bond us as well, then I wont be able to go more than 100 metres from you” Mark replied back.
"Ah it wouldn't be so bad. You love me anyway," the wraith joked. "Just afraid to admit it. Anyway. When's this new guy coming in?"
Mark looked at another tablet to check the dates.
“He is coming from the US in a weeks time, I know this guy, he use to be a star ship Commander then became a CIA head of operations down in Texas, very upfront and honest” Mark said to the small dragon.
"Yeah, yeah I know all that. I read his file too, remember?" Said the wraith but then added a little darkly, "we just gotta make sure that he won't be swapped out and killed on us.
Mark gave the dragon a look.
“Yeah..the girls still are still working on the masses of samples they got, so far nothing, I think we will need to rip apart those rooms and see if we can find any evidence” Mark replied to the wraith, “See if they have got any hiding holes I’m sure you find them” Mark added.
"I'd be willing to take a look," said the little dragon.
Mark nodded lightly.
“Then I give you full authority to go rummaging round, plus take some security people to help you as well, all this doesn’t add up and I feel we are missing pieces of the puzzle” Mark said, allowing the wraith to use his own unorthodox methods.
"If the piece is in either of those rooms, I'll find it," the wraith assured him, "Though I don't need handlers. I can do the search myself."
“Fine as you wish, once we done a few things here you can go off and do that then, I inform Jack your doing the investigation, hopefully we find something, Professor Baxter has said hes checked and no malicious things in the system or anything affecting the portal systems” Mark said to the wraith.
"Well thank the stars for that," said the wraith, though a little dryly, "I shiver to think of how much worse they could have made this."
“Very” Mark said as he moved onto another report as the wraith seemed content being on Mark’s shoulder but noticing the new bottle in the drinks cabinet.
The two girls had returned to the labs with the computer informing them the results had been completed and that there were no odd readings from the samples, everything seemed to match the systems database for the deceased men.
Shoot," cursed Zyra under her breath as she looked at the results on the latest batch of testing.
Melina looked up, sensing her dragoness frustration.
“I assume the results have not yielded anything we don’t already know about Daniel or Martin then?” the professor asked calmly.
"Nothing at all," said Zyra, sounding crestfallen.
Melina smiled lightly and walked up to her dragoness, she sensed she was feeling a little down, hoping the results would help but it hadn’t.
“Hey, chin up doctor, no one said science would be easy, perhaps we are looking at this the wrong way, hence we are not getting the answers we are looking for” she said trying to cheer the dragoness up.
"I know," said the dragoness with a slow sigh, "I just like to be able to get at least one step in the right direction."
Melina nodded lightly.
“I know but I don’t want you stressing Zy, that is my job, lets start from scratch, what have done so far on the samples, do you have your list there” she asked the bold wing.
"Yes, here," said Zyra, grabbing her tablet so show Melina her notes and results. "I have completed all the tests in this column here." she said, tapping the screen with a white talon.
Melina inspected the paperwork carefully, as always the bold wing was detailed in her findings, so there was no error on this side either.
Melina flet perhaps they should try something a bit more out of their field.
“Ok, perhaps we should think out of the medical aspect, hrmm I wonder, long shot did we do X rays of the bone and skin samples?” Melina asked out of the blue.
"N-no, said Zyra, thinking, "We haven't"
Melina nodded lightly.
“Ok, get some of the skin sample from umm Daniel in cold storage, then bring the bone samples and we run X rays and a few radiation scans as well, just give it a whirl” Melina said to the dragoness.
"Okay, it can't hurt to try," said Zyra, putting down her tablet.
Melina agreed with the bold wing.
“Exactly, no harm in trying, it is a little out of our normal medical thing but worth a go, just see if there is anything, if nothing least we can ask Professor Baxter and Dr Sam and see if they have any ideas” Melina suggested.
"Very true... well, I'll go get imposter D so we can run the X rays. I really don't like calling these guys by Daniel and Martin's name, seems a bit inappropriate, right?" commented the dragoness as she turned to leave.
“Perhaps but according to all our tests, their DNA and samples, everything the tests show these guys are Martin and Daniel, but I guess your right” Melina said.
"I know... just feels weird I guess," said Zyra.
“Yeah, lets focus on the task at hand shall we?” Melina said as the bold wing nodded as she went to fetch more samples from storage.
A few hours later the massive dragon returned to the hanger after their long flight around the area, Martina always wanted to be sure Vonriir managed to stretch his wings and see different things along their routes.
Swinging his wings in wide figure-eights to slow himself, the cragback landed as gracefully as one his size might. "Thank you for joining me, Martina."
Martina smiled lightly.
"Not a problem Vonriir always an experience to fly on dragon back, be it a large fellow like yourself" she said with a light laugh.
Vonriir chuckled at that, offering a paw to let her down off his back, "There you are."
"Thanks big guy, do you require anything to eat or...sorry i shouldn’t think of you as a giant dog or a pet, far too clever and a gentlemen for such things" Martina said looking a little sheepish.
Vonriir laughed at this,
"I think you're allowed to ask me if I'm hungry, Martina. I don't take any offence. I could use a snack I think, though."
"Well, a snack for you is a full sized meal for some, but let’s see what toby got" Martina said to the crag back.
"Alright," smiled the dragon as he lumbered after her.
Martina smiled at the dragon, pleased he was content and enjoying being bonded, it was indeed a strange experience to share each other’s feelings and emotions, she sensed the dragon was content, happy Attilu, happy dragon.
Veyron had left Mark’s office with his new task in mind, gears already turning in his head to think of any other hiding places.
The dragon had already rifled through all the obvious places on previous looks through the room but went over them one more time, double checking for false bottoms in the desk drawers or anything he might have overlooked.
Using the pass code that Mark supplied him, Veyron entered the dark room. The lights manually flickered on as he entered, looking around.
Despite what one might think, there could be hundreds of places to hide something in even a small room like this.
“Well, let’s get started then,” he said to himself, rubbing his paws together.
Half an hour later, the small wraith sat on the corner of the desk and looked around the room, thinking. Tapping his chin as he thought, bright green eyes searching the room.
He had looked through the t-bar ceiling, removing the tiles with no shortage of dust and mess. Nothing to be found. Nothing proved to be in the desk or in the filing cabinets nor behind them. He rifled through every file and didn’t find anything at the bottoms of the cabinets.
He leapt off the desk, vaulting off the back of the chair and back onto the large, dark stained wooden shelf that took up the west wall of the room. He had scoured this shelf before but he wanted to give the room a thorough go over now that he didn’t have limited time or other people in the way, hindering him.
Taking the better half of an hour, the wraith took everything off the shelf, putting the items in piles on the floor. He rifled through books and trinkets, having to resort to ripping open a globe of the earth to look inside but to no luck.
The shelf now cleared, the small dragon was growling with frustration. There HAD to be something here. He knew it. There was a feeling that he couldn’t push aside, he knew that there had to be some clue, somewhere. The two imposters couldn’t have operated without any form of outside communication, devices or communicators. There had to be something, somewhere in these damn rooms.
Veyron leaned back on the wall in the middle shelf of the wooden bookstand. Just then he began to think about the possibility of the men hiding something elsewhere in the facility building. That could very well be a possibility, removing anything that might reveal them from their own personal areas. This realization made the wraith growl. It would take ages to find something in this massive building. Especially since they didn’t know really what they were looking for.
“Where else could something hide?” he asked, irritated as his tail tapped the wall in annoyance.
It took a moment for the sound to register but the wraith stopped, holding his breath for a second as he tapped with his tail again. Spinning around he rapped the length of the wall with his talons up towards the place his tail had been.
“Hah! Here we go!” he grinned to himself, hearing the hollow sound behind the small section of wall. He ran his paws over it. He couldn’t feel any latches so he pushed. Something clicked and a small square of the wall came away.
“Yes!” grinned the wraith, eyes glittering at what he found inside.
Comox was walking down the hall and did a double take as he saw something out of the corner of his eye. He stopped as he realized that a laptop was scurrying towards him from the adjacent hall.
“What the hell?”
There were taloned feet and a tail extending from the device as then he realized it was Veyron underneath it.
“This is a bit blatant, even for you, Veyron,” said Comox, grabbing the laptop and lifting it up as it tried to navigate around him. The wraith let out a squawk of annoyed surprise but didn’t let go, dangling from the device, “This obviously isn’t yours. Who does this belong to?”
“I was told to search Daniel and Martin’s rooms again. I finally found something now let go,” Veyron snapped, not releasing his iron grip on his prize.
“Oh? Wait, really?” inquired Comox, looking surprised. He knew the search had yielded nothing so far.
“Yes! Now let go or take me to Mark’s office. We’ll probably be needing that egghead of yours too,”
Resigned, Comox let the wraith scurry up his forearm up to his head so that he could taxi him off to the other side of the facility where the offices were.
“Baxter is not ‘mine’,” said Comox.
“You sure spend enough time geeking out together in the computer labs,” said Veyron absently, looking over the outside of the device as the Boldwing carted him around.
“By that rule, Mark must be yours then,” teased Comox.
“The entire world is mine, my face melting friend,” he said, deflecting the comment, “Pick up the pace, I wanna show of my find.”
“I’m going, faster than you could have so zip it,” said Comox, turning down the hall that lead to Mark’s office.
As they neared the door, Veyron jumped down and made to grab at the lap top. Obviously the wraith wanted to be the one to parade it in. Trying not to roll his eyes, Comox handed it over.
“Call Baxter’s office if Mark wants him to come down. I’ll go give him the heads up,” he said to the wraith but the small dragon wasn’t listening. He barged into Mark’s office with the laptop held over his head.
“Ask and Torchwood’s greatest asset provides,” he said with a grin, sliding the machine onto the man’s desk before leaping up after it. “Found it in a hidden spot behind a panel by the wooden bookshelf.”
Mark looked up as the wraith proudly put the mini laptop on his desk, the man inspected it carefully as the wraith jumped up onto Mark’s desk.
The wraith had a pleased twinkle to his eyes. "I told you I'd find something if there was something to be found. I just need to be left to do it my way."
Mark nodded lightly as he looked for any obvious traps or failsafe’s knowing not to touch it or do anything to hamper any information upon it.
"So it seems, I aint touching this, professor Baxter is our tech guy, good work Veyron" Mark said to the wraith.
The wraith looked pleased, but as usual had that ever present air of smugness to him.
"Hopefully this will offer something useful ."
The man nodded in agreement, perhaps it would shed light on the two imposters and what they were up to all those months.
“I hope so, I let Baxter know, he can come and collect it, this laptop is not standard Torchwood issue, odd there is no serial numbers either” Mark said gesturing to the machine to the wraith as he contacted Baxter.
"I noticed when I was carting it over. If anyone can't find out what's it in its him," nodded Veyron.
It wasn’t long before the professor arrived with his gloves and a pouch to put the laptop in, he would take it to his lab and put the machine in quarantine.
“Hello, have any of you opened it or booted the machine on?” the professor asked.
Mark shook his head.
“No that is why we called you, it doesn’t look like Torchwood issue, Veyron found it in Daniels office, hidden, Veyron only carried it here” Mark said.
“Ok, well I can take it from here and run some tests, to make sure it is not rigged to destroy all evidence or anything like that” Professor Baxter said.
“Veyron was there anything else or just the laptop?” Mark asked the wraith with curiosity.
“No USB or anything like that hidden?” the professor asked.
"No, nothing else squirted away," said the dragon, "just this."
Baxter nodded lightly.
“Ok, I take this and begin tests and I report back to you and Jack, once I gained access I let you know” the man said as Mark nodded.
“Good, now I need to get on with hiring the new security officer, thank you professor” Mark said as Baxter left with the laptop.
“That was a very good find Veyron, I am impressed, good effort, now we must get my friend into the new post as soon as possible, we need a security chief” Mark said to the small dragon.
"That we do," agreed Veyron. "I can't be doing everything myself."
Mark was amused and shook his head lightly.
“Despite doing a good job, you can still annoy me and want to fling you across the room” Mark said to the wraith looking at him.
Veyron took one step back so he was out of arms reach and grinned. "Well, on that note I'll leave you with this. I'm off for the day."
Mark laughed lightly, listening to the wraith’s declaration.
“So, done your big thing and now your going to waltz on out of here, now you done your big job” Mark teased lightly.
"Well," said Veyron, pausing, "yes... yes I am. Consider it a job well done. Going to take my well-deserved break. Ciao Mark!"
“Yeah, whatever” Mark said as the wraith slinked out of his office, back to his quarters now he felt his done, leaving Mark shaking his head in disbelief at the wraith.
Diao a young scout of the coastals had come to the Sunbreak islands to warn Forge of the large number of dragons moving upon the coast, with Kreios heading the charge, the silver dragon was going to see this orange dragon sooner than he thought.
Forge had gone out to meet the other warlord on a hill so he would not land on Sunbreak, leaving Diao and his family there until his encounter was over.
Forge sat still as a statue of the peak of a tall hill. Stoic, he waited amongst the tall grass.
He had heard that Kreios has been spotted in the area and was now awaiting for the dragon to find him.
Soon enough twenty dragons were approaching over the rolling grassy hills and over the old pyres built, Kreios scales glittered in the summer sun as he led ahead.
As he got closer the dragons seemed to break formation and fly back to where Kreios had ordered them, Kreios now flew solo towards the silver.
The silver rose to his feet in one fluid motion. Head held high he did not greet the other dragon but instead, inclined his head as he drew near.
Kreios landed and folded his wings neatly to his side as he approached the silver, using the same bold and stoic posture Forge had put on as he spoke.
“Warlord Forge, it has been awhile since we last had a proper engagement, your looking well sir, rested, looking impressive for your age” Kreios said to the silver.
Forge had looked over the other dragon with a critical eye, something seemed a bit different about the dragon but he wasn't sure what. Perhaps this ill begotten power was doing him well.
"It has been a while. I have heard you've been up to... much as of late."
Kreios gave Forge brief look as he responded.
“Oh? I have?, what exactly have you heard about my humble person” the dragon said walking slowly around the silver dragon.
"I think you know very well what you've been up to, Kreios. Don't play games," said the silver, not engaging in the other warlords attempts at intimidating him.
Kreios gave a small, sly smile.
“Always to business with you isn’t it Forge” he paused as he stood in front of the silver dragon.
“Ok, I have been a little occupied you should say, been here and there” the dragon replied back to Forge’s words.
"Occupied with occupying land that isn't yours?" Said forge dryly.
“Oh but they are mine, your fellow warlord brethren, one after the other relinquished control into my stewardship, I made them an offer, and what warlords are left all accepted, Vangor, Brovus even your friend Hamshun, all accepted my generous offer” Kreios said.
Forge snorted at this, "bullied into agreeing, knowing that those who used to protect them, support them, are now gone from the illness."
Kreios shook his head lightly.
“Dear Forge, you are mistaken in your thoughts, the agreement allows the former warlords to be wardens of the lands, I have not thrown them out, they live, hunt, patrol the lands, look after the venerable dragons in their care, but they oversee it for me and every 2 seasons or so I ask for some of the resources the lands provide, to aid other areas, there is no hostility at all” Kreios replied back calmly.
"Of course, there is no hostility when they live in fear of you or your minion," he said with a flick of his head towards the other dragons, "coming down on them if they don't listen."
Kreios looked in the distance to see the other dragons that flew, waiting ofr Kreios to return.
“Those are merely dragons grateful for being part of something more than what was there before, the world has changed, the sickness took many, far more than you can imagine, many personally sought my counsel….all thanks to you” Kreios said looking at the dragon dead on with a knowing smile.
Forge remained unconvinced.
"You are delusional," said Forge darkly, "simply exploiting a weakness all of Talkiir suffered, preying on others while they try to rebuild what was lost."
Kreios seemed amused by his words.
“Ok Forge, I can see how it is, you do not like change, why should you, in Forge’s world warlords were law, they existed and kept balance, just like the others too stubborn and stuck in your ways to change the order, then the sickness came and like sand on a beach, washed away with the oncoming tide, washing those old traditions away” Kreios said.
“Dragons desperately looking for order from chaos, warlords who did not get the cure died alone, I offered an alternative, a new way for Talkiir to operate, the warlords or what remains took my offer, dragons follow me because there was noone else to turn to, you saw to that with your decisions those few years ago…so if anything, you are responsible for setting the winds of change” Kreios said bluntly to the silver.
"I saw to it?" Asked forge, the tip of his tail flicking in irritation. "Why should the only alternative be servitude? That is not the way of dragons and you know that."
Kreios smiled again, shaking his head lightly, disagreeing with the silver dragon.
“No, not servitude, they accepted an offer, I did not harm or injure anyone, do you know what some have called this?, the bloodless revolution, the Velvet era, I have not shed a speck of dragon blood or killed anyone in this, I have done something no other warlord has ever done, overseen so many lands without spilling drakine blood on these lands, which is more than what you ever did…and now I am here at the coast…with an offer for you” Kreios said.
Forge wasn't swayed by the other dragons words. He knew that this ran far deeper than what Kreios said
"Oh please do share..." he said dryly.
Kreios nodded lightly.
“I have made offers to the former warlords, depending on lands value, its resources and strategic importance to me, for you Forge one of the very last few old school warlords around, plus I have some respect for you…not much..after last time but I guess the feeling is mutual right?” he questioned the silver.
There was a hint of wry, bitter amusement in the silvers face at this, "After last time? If I recall that correctly you accused me of hoarding the humans and medicine after I had just flown in from distributing it to the sick. We may recall that day differently. But yes. I remember. The respect I have, however, is lacking."
Kreios seemed to echo the look upon the silver’s face.
“Well, I’d rather not go back into that, but due to our past cooperation and of course for your help in curing me of this illness, I want to make you a very special offer, to allow you, your family and others on the coast to enjoy these lands in peace and safety, to enjoy your retirement on Sunbreak, to stand down from your duties and to pursue other interests” Kreios said.
"Well thank you for your offer Kreios but that is what I was already in the midst of doing before this little takeover of yours so I won't be needing to strike a deal with you for that." Forge said calmly.
“Not too well from my scouts, you been busy away, I hear off world as it were, as I said my special offer is this, leave your role as a warlord, head held high, retire and enjoy this beautiful coast and enjoy the plentiful food around here, and in return I will leave you be however, you have….resources of importance and that is something I would…..require for this deal to work, you have unique resources under your banner” Kreios said, Forge would know what Kreios was after.
Forge almost wanted to smile.
Kreios was as arrogant as they came it seemed and now was trying to offer him something that was already his. He knew the other warlord would try to take it from him but the silver wouldn't allow it, no matter what. The islands were more than just his home. It was the only connection they had to earth. "What resources may those be?" He settled on asking.
A more sly and dark look came over the orange dragon before him.
“A very useful resource, about 5 foot 4, long curly blonde hair, intelligence that outranks yours, has knowledge to heal and to enhance our species forward, plus how that resource can be accessed on your islands” Kreios said more assertively, the tone had changed.
Forge did laugh at this, though bitterly.
"You are talking about a living, breathing individual, not an inanimate object, Kreios. Helen Melina is not mine to give nor would she want to." He said. Kreios has used the world enhance and that triggered a memory of the labs in the mines. The earth dragons and humans there had wanted the same thing. To create an enhanced version of what they saw. Could Kreios be treading on the same dangerous ground here?
“Hylen Melina falls under your stewardship, you have a unique relationship, plus you have access to the humans world and technology, I will want the same access to that world and its resources on offer, in return I leave you be to sun your scales and tend to your family…if you don’t then, well I have to break my bloodless revolution, it be a shame if your family suffered for your arrogance and stubbornness, but then again, many dragons have died under you haven’t they”
Forge was silent for a moment. Sure there had been great battles in the earlier years of his life. And yes he had killed but those had been out of necessity. Not for mere taking of power.
"You threaten my family because you want what is mine? What happened to no hostility, Kreios?"
“I hope you accept my offer Forge, you got 2 days to decide, or you see how threatening I can be, there is noone else to help you Silver, apart from your band of kids…consider your family and the peaceful life here” Kreios said in a stark warning to Forge.
"You will never have Sunbreak or The Hylen. If you threaten my family again, Kreios, you will regret it," said forge in a voice of steel.
“Oh please, get over yourself, the old guard is gone, you now stand alone, I control all the lands on Talkiir, you still go to war when the inevitable approaches, rather than seek peace you go to war, this why you lost so many followers to me…you lost many dragons as well, remember that very carefully, you have 2 days, use them wisely old scale” Kreios said standing back, eyes locked on Forge.
"Until then, Kreios," said Forge in a bored tone.
“Until then, Forge” Kreios echoed the dragons words as he took to the skies and flew towards the dragons who soon went in formation around the warlord.
The silver took off for home where Diaos would be waiting anxiously.
Forge landed back on the white sands of his beach only to find the familiar face of the scout there.
“I assume, the meeting was not a friendly one?” the young scout asked the silver.
Forge grunted in response. "He thinks he's the salvation of Talkiir when he's only going to be the catalyst to its downfall."
The scout looked concerned.
“How long have we got sir?, he controls vast swathes of lands and I have seen his followers patrolling the lands around the coast, intercepting any other dragon that ventures past coast lines” the scout said.
"He gave me two days," replied the silver distractedly, lost in thought.
The young scout shifted uncomfortably from paw to paw as the silver told him of Kreios deadline, it did not give him long to get support.
"What happens if you say no..should I inform the coastal dragons?" he asked.
"He's threatened my family should I say no. Inform the costal of my decision to resist. The portal is of the utmost importance. Let them decide where they stand." He said, "I won't ask them to stand with me but if they wish to, it is welcome."
Diao nodded lightly spreading his delicate wings out.
“I be back as fast as I can sir, you can count on me” he said as he shot off into the clear blue sky as he rushed to the other coast to get support as fast as he could.
Later that evening the sun was painting glorious colour across the cloud streaked sky but there was little joy in the beautiful scene. Too much was tumbling through the bronze dragon’s mind. SO much was at risk and their fate and the fate of the island would be determined in less than two days’ time.
Bronan’s brother had gone to speak with a few other inhabitants of the island, leaving the bronze to guard the main beach.
“Father!” came the musical voice of someone he hadn’t seen in a long time high above.
Bronan turned his head to see his daughter descending from the clouded sky, Neekoh at her tail. She nearly hurtled into him, landing in his outstretched paws and hugging him fiercely. He wrapped her up in his large arms, encircling her with great relief that washed over him. She was okay!
“You’re alright, I’ve heard the most terrible rumours!” she said, eyes sparkling with unshed tears of worry. “Then we had to outrun a few dragons along the coastline that tried to stop our passage through!”
“Shh, it’s alright,” said her father, holding her back at arm’s length to ensure that she herself wasn’t hurt in any way. He hadn’t known what could have become of her, as she travelled the lands beyond the island. He and Tahsis had worried endlessly upon news of the turn of loyalty on the continent.
“I’m fine, but we have heard about shifting of power on Talkiir, and that a dragon, Kreios is trying to take the island. We have seen it now, oh father everything has changed,” said the dragoness quickly. Ucluelet had been travelling with the nomadic Sunchasers of Neekoh’s family to acquire information for her goal to give dragons a written history. They had travelled far to the opposite side of the massive continent where Kreios’s rein hadn’t stretched but upon their return they had begun to hear the most concerning of rumours; dragons submitting themselves to one lording dragon in order to keep the peace. The closer they got to the west coast they clearer the story was as it began to unfold. Kreios, a name that had struck her with its familiarity had run alarm bells in her head. Neekoh, her intended, had rallied his Sunchasers to bring them to the island to see what was amiss.
Bronan looked up to see dozens of the lean dragons from tiger orange to rust began to land on the white sand beach.
“We’ve brought my clan, sir,” said Neekoh, taking a step forward, “We weren’t sure what to expect but my family has come to your aid if you have need of us.”
For a moment Bronan was speechless, seeing the group of dragon, he counted 26 in all. This was no number compared to the legion of dragons Kreios had backing him but this was something. They were no longer alone in their defence of the island.
“T-thank you, Neekoh,” he managed to say.
The orange dragon bowed, “At your service, sir,” he said before looking upwards.
Bronan turned to follow the young male’s gaze to see Forge coming into land.
“Brother, Uke has returned with the Sunchasers to support us,” Bronan informed him as the silver walked up, answering the anticipated question. The group of orange dragons stood together, waiting quietly, only sharing a few whispers between them.
One of the larger Sunchasers approached with a bow of his head. He bore a great many tines on his primary horns, indicating his age, “Sirs, my name is Kolofor, leader of the dragons you see here. Neekoh is my nephew and he and Ucluelet have informed us of the great importance of this island and the need to protect it. We pledge our clan to help you in any way. The changes across Talkiir are unsettling.”
“There is great danger in pledging yourself to my cause, Kolofor,” warned Forge but before he could get another word out the Sunchaser held up his paw.
“That is no matter, or well, is, but one we accept,”
Forge dipped his head, grateful but knowing that this endangered these brave dragons. The adults spoke at length about Kreios and what he had done to great tracts of land across the northwest most part of Talkiir. Kolofor informed him that the lands on the southern side of the great desert still remained untouched my Kreios and his followers, the barren land too far for any real enforcement to take hold. The dragons there still leaved freely on the south side of the great continent but they would be of no help to them.
“So we only have one more day?” asked Kolofor after the discussion had subsided.
“What is your plan?” he asked.
Forge let out a slight sigh, “That is the trouble. He wants Melina and access to the portal. I can’t allow that, ever. I have a plan, but I need to speak with Melina and the other’s first.”
The silver had not wanted to get the humans involved but that was no longer an option for him to consider. This had all happened so quickly and while he was away, focused on the happenings of earth, instead of his own homeland.
“I can’t risk leaving the island in case Kreios comes to take Sunbreak so I am going to send an urgent transmission through the portal. Hopefully they will be able to come immediately,” he said, hoping that there wasn’t some disaster going on earthside that would prevent their coming to his council.
Shortly after the emergency message was sent, the normally crystal blue shimmer of the portal changing to a pulsing red, confirming that there was a dire need and the message had been delivered.
“Please,” he said to himself under his breath.
Baxter had returned to his labs with the laptop Veyron had discovered, indeed it was a big find and hopefully what was on the laptop could prove to be useful to finding out what Martin and Daniel were up to, or more precisely what the imposter versions of these men were up to.
Bxter hooked up the laptop to the quarantine systems in his labs, this was separate from the main systems, allowing his computer programs to see if there were any fail safes or malicious software on there, then to gain access into the laptop.
“This is going to take some time” Baxter said to himself, adjusting his glasses and set to work.
Comox was jolted alert from working at his desk as the portal alert began to sound. Looking over the dragon realized what was happening and jumped into action. Leaping out the door to go alert Baxter he nearly collided with Ardon.
"Woah! What's the rush?" Asked the gold in surprise.
"The portal emergency alert is going off. Help me find the others!" Said Comox.
"I'll get Jack," said Ardon, tearing off urgently without another word while comox turned to fetch Baxter.
Jack was in the canteen talking to Melina about the progress on the samples collected when the clicking talons approaching.
"Jack? Jack!" Called Ardon, rounding the corner to see both Jack and Melina, "someone has put an emergency message through the portal. It's urgent."
Melina and Jack looked concerned as they looked at one another then back to Ardon.
“We best get down there, I put out a yellow alert for the base and get Mark down to the portal” Jack said.
“I get my medical kit, just in case there has been an injury” Melina said as she dashed off to get the kit she needed.
“Let’s get down there” Jack said as him and Ardon went down to the portal room as the yellow alert on the base sounded.
Comox had found the others, filling them in on the urgent news before moving on to find Vonriir. When he did the giant dragons normally jovial expression soured, "we have to get to forge then. Help him." He told the bold wing and followed him back to the portal room.
Soon the whole team were down in the portal room, Melina and Zyra was there along with the other dragons including Hitteki, who seemed concerned as everyone else.
Baxter was by the controls as he checked the systems.
“Forge001 log in sent an emergency signal to us, Comox saw the alert, the portal is calibrated for Kilara, you can go across when ready” Baxter said to the crew.
“Ok, me and Ardon will go through, then the rest of you, Mark and Veyron will stay here to ensure security” Jack said.
The two of them went through the portal, then followed by Melina, Zyra, Comox then Vonriir with Amanda who at first was a little uneasy, since she only was told about the portal and its abilities a few weeks ago.
With gentle encouragement she stepped over the shimmering blue line as she felt pulled by an unknown force, soon she found herself next to Vonriir on the beach, it looked a beautiful place but sadly, there would be no time to enjoy the views.
Forge and Bronan were taking quietly when the portal buzzed. Turning they saw the humans come through the portal, dragons along with them.
Rising to his feet he watched them approach with a grim nod to their arrival.
Jack approached the dragons with a concerned look upon his face, looking up at the brothers.
“What is the emergency, we came as soon as we could, do you have any injured, Melina and Zyra have got medical kits with them” Jack asked the two dragons as Zyra carried the two first aid kits, one on each side.
"No, no," started forge. "No one is hurt."
"Yet," said Bronan darkly as the others gathered around.
“Excuse me?” Jack asked, a puzzled expression on his face.
"We have a situation going on here on Talkiir and it involves you," forge said, looking at Melina, "do you recall Kreios?"
Melina looked a little puzzled but the name was familiar to her, as she thought back to when the sickness struck.
“Yes, I remember Kreios, the orange warlord who had the sickness and you two had a brawl” Melina replied to the silver, concern upon her face.
"Correct. The medicine you gave him has led him to a full recovery and now he's taken it upon himself to take over in lieu of all the territory holders that passed during the great sickness.
He has gathered a multitude of followers and in turn has taken over all the territories where there are none. Telling the inhabitants there that they are to offer resources from their land for protection."
Melina seemed concerned.
“Goodness, I knew he was a little power hungry but I did not think he be like this” Melina said.
“How much land and support does he have, do you have anyone to counter them?” Jack asked, already trying to think about how to approach this.
"He has all the support of the continent. Either out of loyalty or fear. I have Neekohs sunchasers and perhaps maybe a few costals but that's it. I have no following anymore. Kreios gave me two days to decide. He wants me to hang up my title and retire to these islands. Unhindered if I give him access to you Melina." He said in a tone that made it clear he wasn't about to accept those terms.
Melina went quiet as Jack spoke again looking at the team.
“He has nearly all of Talkier and a mass support of dragons?, it is unbelievable” Jack replied shaking his head.
“What if you add us in as well warlord Forge, we could muster a defence?” Hitteki asked.
"It won't make a difference. I don't call on you for your support in battle. I won't have it. He has the numbers to make any fight impossible for us. " said forge.
"He's in power with their fear mostly. I have a plan though, I just need your blessing and cooperation..."
Melina looked at Forge with concern as Jack seemed to sense the uneasiness with all of this.
“What is your plan Forge, should I be at all worried by this?” he asked warily.
The other dragons also seemed to hush as they looked up at Forge.
The others looked nervous as well, forge could see it. The silver let out a sigh, "it is not the most honourable idea but I have little choice otherwise. I plan on offering Kreios a deal in challenge. If I win in single combat duel, he will be stripped of his rank and outcast, letting Talkiir resume healing its social hierarchy. If he wins I offer the portal and it's access to Melina..."
Zyra was about to say something rather brash when Forge stopped her, "I don't plan on honouring that should I lose. "I want you to be earth side, and to take my family with you and to destroy the portal should I lose. Kreios will be unable to take it and no innocent member of my kin has to pay the price of his rage."
Ardon looked horrified at this, as did Vonriir.
“NO!” came a shout from Melina, Jack turned looking surprised by the outburst.
The woman shook her head, “No, I cannot accept that, no way, losing the portal and you is not an option, I wont allow it” Melina said sternly, allot more fire than most people had ever seen her, even Martina had gone a little quiet from the professor’s outburst.
"I won't let him have the portal or the lot of you," said Forge sternly.
"You are not mine to give and he is insane to think that I can offer you up as prize. He intends to use the portal for his own gains despite saying that it's for the good of Kilara."
Melina shook her head.
“Let me speak to him, I’m the one who gave him the cure, if he is after me, allow me to offer an alternative” Melina said.
Jack shook his head lightly.
“Professor I cannot allow..” Jack did not finish his sentence as the woman gave him a look, a stern look that reminded him of someone he knew all to well.
"Jack is right, Melina. I don't know what he will do if you're in his presence. I can't negotiate with him if he and his dragons overwhelm me and take you. Unfortunately, you are my bargaining chip, regardless of me not actually intending to offer you in truth." Said the silver.
“I have Zyra, she is a bold wing, he wont mess with a bold wing, can even take Comox as well, it will get me to him and we can talk, I don’t like this plan” Melina said, her dislike and stubborn nature flowing into Zyra’s link but also into Forge’s residual link but allot stronger than before.
"I- we can't risk you," said forge, looking at Jack for support.
Jack sensed the silver was after support, as much as he hated to admit it, the silver was right here.
“I’m sorry professor, I got to agree with Forge, we can’t afford to risk losing you at all, I do not wish this to be the case, I have Baxter set the charges Forge” Jack said as Melina seemed unhappy, again it flowed to Zyra but also to Forge, louder than usual.
"He's doing it to protect you, Mel," said zyra quietly. "There is no other way," said Forge, his voice was grim.
Melina sighed unhappy and folded her arms.
Jack sensed she wasn’t impressed but carried on, looking up at Forge.
“We will head back and prepare just in case, just remember if you do lose and press the button, there be a 30 second delay, once you pressed it, there is no stopping it” Jack warned the silver.
Forge thought for a moment.
"Can the dragon who presses it pass through still? If so I'll have Bronan guard the portal to await the end of the fight." asked forge.
Jack nodded lightly, knowing the idea Forge had.
"I double check with Baxter but in theory the portal will remain working up until the last second" Jack replied.
"Good," said Forge, letting out a breath. Than this is how it can be. You are able to accommodate tahsis and Bronan? I hope that Ucluelet and perhaps her ... Neekoh will go over too. Kreios will use anyone tied to me for his own gains." He asked Jack.
Jack nodded lightly.
"We keep them safe do not worry Forge" Jack said as Melina spoke.
"I want to do a physical before u fight, make sure your well, Dr Zyra can prepare the medical bay" she said.
"I won't leave the island, Melina," said Forge with a shake of his head, "it is very possible that Kreios could be waiting for the moment I leave to overtake the island."
Melina disagreed and spoke again.
"Its the least I can do, I’m not happy with this plan so at least give me peace of mind " the professor said.
Forge knew better than to argue with her in this state. Besides, he thought grimly, it might be his last chance to speak with her.
"Fine. You can conduct your exam in my cave if you must." He told her.
Melina smiled lightly, glad Forge gave her the opportunity to speak with himself on his own, even if it was disguised up as a medical exam.
Melina nodded in response as she turned to Zyra,
"Zy, get the facility ready just in case and have Sam help you, I return soon" she said to the dragoness.
The dragoness was hesitant to leave her but she looked up and saw Forge nod, silently promising to keep the woman safe.
"See your shortly..." Zyra said, "good luck, Forge."
Jack nodded lightly.
“Good luck, I hope it goes in your favour, we keep an eye on the portal and ensure everything is ready” Jack said as the team apart from Melina headed to Earth.
Melina took a medical kit off Zyra, giving the bold wing a reassuring pet and a smile before the dragoness jumped through the shimmering archway.
The silver had walked up the beach towards his cavern. Once inside he sat down and stole a glance at all the items that had been placed upon a rough, natural shelf. Medals and awards plus the various trinkets that had been given to him by Melina and Jack over the years.
He drew his attention back to Melina, "I hope you understand why you must remain earth side."
Melina nodded lightly, the woman being a little quieter than usual, still unhappy with the plan Forge had come up with.
“I do not agree with it, you need me close to you, whatever link we have could help you win” Melina said, looking up to the silver.
"I can't risk him or anyone else taking the opportunity to steal you away while I am fighting Kreios," said the dragon, hoping that she'd understand.
Melina seemed to disagree.
“I can have Zyra with me, she is a bold wing, allot will be wary and if he is an honourable warlord, you guys have boundaries and codes of honour, right?” she asked.
"Kreios has cast those aside, throwing all the old rules away. He no longer follows the ways of the past," said Forge.
Melina sighed lightly.
“There has to be another way, I can negotiate, perhaps reason with him, say I’m willing to perhaps do visits if he is after my specialist expertise and not allow portal access, surely fighting him isn’t the way forward” Melina said, her tone of voice sounding a little desperate.
Forge was silent for a moment; his gaze directed towards the opening of the cave.
There was an air of absolute frustration about him and the tip of his tail twitched, a clear indicator that the dragon was irritable.
"We can try..." he seemed hesitant to say it, "But the second anything seems amiss, Zyra is to fly you back through the portal without a second glance back."
Melina seemed to be a little happier by this but she sensed that Forge was not favourable and she felt that or the whispers of it.
“I’m sorry Forge, its just, I don’t want you to fight Kreios, that is all, I was thinking if you had to the whisperings of Brathille will power you through, that is all, plus losing you if the portal was destroyed” the professor said with verbal honesty.
"I have to fight him, Melina. You don't understand what he has done. No dragon is free anymore under his rule. It is just beginning and perhaps doesn't seem that bad but it will get worse the longer he reigns over Talkiir. I have to try to put a stop to it."
Melina nodded, understanding.
“My fault for healing him but I save peoples lives not take them away, do you think you can beat him” Melina asked.
"I have to," was all the silver said, growing quiet again.
The professor shook her head lightly, Forge was avoiding the question.
“That is not an answer Forge, you know that, I’ve always been honest with you, with no one else here but me, can you swear to me that you honestly think you can win?” she asked again, more assertion in her voice.
"Yes, I think so," said the silver gruffly, shuffling his wings against his sides.
Melina nodded lightly.
“Alright, I let you do it your way” Melina said opening up the medical kit and getting out a bottle of liquid.
“A serum I made, doesn’t taste great but it will help your stamina to keep going” Melina said putting the large bottle before the warlord, “Least you can do is drink it to help you” she said.
The silver looked at it dubiously but took up the bottle and downed it, though he tensed a bit as the bitter flavour hit him.
Melina nodded, seemingly pleased that the least Forge did was to drink the serum that could help him out.
"I head back over, good luck my silver" Melina said as she packed up and got ready to leave.
Forge stood up and shifted his weight, seemingly a bit unsure before he lowered his muzzle to her, "I am sorry it has to be this way."
Melina reached up and smoothed the rough scales on his muzzle, she gave a nervous smile.
“Me too, I hope you come out on top, just be careful my silver” she said giving Forge a muzzle on the muzzle before stepping back and bowing lightly, then the woman left the silver, still unconvinced this was the right thing to do but Melina soon crossed the portal as it automatically powered down.
Veyron had been jolted out of bed with a startled curse when the facility had gone into code yellow. He had managed to get himself together and head down to the command center seeing that everyone else had disappeared. Spotting Mark inside the large room he walked up on his hind legs, rubbing his face with a paw. He had gotten use to his afternoon naps and didn’t look pleased to be woken up.
“Why is it always the second I get to sleep I’m woken up again? Can’t a dragon nap around here? What’s going on?” he asked grumpily, yet with an obvious interest.
“I think some domestic trouble on Kilara, was told to just be here with Baxter while they all went through,” Mark replied.
Veyron got closer and could see that they were monitoring the portal systems from their screens.
“Hm, perfect time to turn off the portal and take over Torchwood. Boss is out of town--- well off planet, which is even better. Think of the things we could do,” joked the wraith, rubbing his paws together as his ruff pulled back with a mischievous look.
“Only you would have a plan like that,” Mark said bemused by the wraith’s comments.
“I have a plan for every situation,” grinned Veyron, hopping up to the nearest table, “You never know what life will throw at you, or offer you….. like perhaps early retirement?” he was already thinking about living his life on a sun soaked beach, resort-style with someone on hand to tend to his every beck and call.
Mark gave a wry smile, “I turned it down, thought better the devil you know than the one you don’t. You should be pleased or else you’d be stuck here under Jack’s influence,” Mark teased lightly.
“Oh please let me show my utter gratitude that you chose to stay here on my behalf,” said the dragon sarcastically giving a bow. “Besides that wasn’t an early retirement, that was another job, I’m talking about parking your ass in the sand and not having a care in the world other than will your drink get refilled before you get to the bottom of the glass…”
This chatter was interrupted by a signaling tone that alerted them someone passing through the portal.
“Well, too late for white sand beaches and personal assistants…” muttered Veyron, his daydream scattered to the wind. Soon enough Jack and Ardon came hurriedly through the wide glass doors of the command center, making Mark and Veyron look up.
“What’s the issue?” the man asked.
“Some bad issued on Kilara. One warlord we treated is now taken over all of Talkiir, using intimidation and peer pressure to make dragons submit Forge is going to challenge him as he wants access to Melina and the portal,” Jack said as Mark nodded slightly.
“So you got a dictator like dragon on the loose in Kilara?” he asked and Jack nodded.
“Forge is going to battle this dragon but if he loses he needs to hand over the doctor?” asked Veyron, trying to understand all of this.
Ardon attempted to explain further, the issues going on since they had been preoccupied here.
“…So,” he concluded, “He will say that he will give up Melina and the portal if he loses but he won’t really. My father is going to set the portal to self destruct if he does. “
“Thus stranding that silver nightmare on Kilara will a legion of opposing dragons? Isn’t that going to piss off this Kreios guy?”
Ardon tensed. He knew that was a possibility but he had such faith in Forge that he hoped that losing wasn’t an option for him.
“He knows what the risk is,” said Ardon but without conviction. He imagined Kreios seeking revenge once he found out what had been done, with nowhere for Forge to run. The thought made his stomach turn violently.
“You think Forge can beat Kreios, right?” Ardon asked Jack quietly.
Back on the island Forge had been silent but storming. Bronan could see it even from this side of the beach where he had spoken to the gathered Sunchasers. It was noble for them to have come join their cause but there was only one way out of this now.
Tahsis had tried to convince them that asking for the human’s intervention but that wouldn’t be possible. If Forge had called for human support, Kreios could so easily could turn the others against them, and say that Forge only had the power of the humans on his side and not the loyalty of dragons.
It was such a complex situation but one that Forge had to handle on his own, as much as it pained the bronze male to admit.
It was dark now. The two moons full and bright in the sky, casting a blue glow upon the island. The Sunchasers made camp on the beach by the portal. A few of them had offered to take turns patrolling the island to ensure nothing was amiss. Bronan had spoken with his daughter, urging her to go through the portal until this was sorted. She remained for now, however. Neekoh would join her when the time came but for now she wanted to be here, for her family. Tomorrow morning they would cross the portal and wait to see what would happen.
“Stars, please let him win…” Bronan wished aloud.
Melina had not been herself since returning through the portal, Zyra was there to greet her and told the professor the medical bay was all ready and prepped up with the help of Sam, she thanked the bold wing for her help.
Melina still felt off leaving Forge to face this alone but the warlord had said it had to be done, he was concerned for her safety and worried Kreios could employ sly tactics while they foight, it was a risk too great for the silver.
As night came upon the facility, Melina tossed and turned, restless and unable to sleep, with all the thoughts running through her head, wondering if she see the silver again, her restless sleep also seemed to stir the dragoness awake, sensing her displeasure.
"Mel, are you alright?" Asked Zyra, lifting her head to see the woman.
Melina sighed and lay up right in bed, turning the side light on to see Zyra.
“Sorry Zy, I cant get to sleep just, worried for Forge, I just feel there had to be another way to deal with this than fighting Kreios” she said to the boldwing.
The dragoness was silent for a moment, "Do..." she hesitated, "do you want to go back? We can see if you can sway Them into not fighting..."
Melina shook her head lightly.
“Sorry Zyra, I shouldn’t be like this, just worried, I disagree with the whole thing, but Forge has made up his mind on it” she replied.
Zyra put a paw on the bed, "I don't like it either. If you want to go back... I'll take you. If you think you can stop this I'll take you there. We just have to get passed Jack and Ardon..."
Melina seemed a little lost as what to do.
“I cant interfere Zy, Forge wont appreciate it, I haven’t been worried before, why is now different, you fought that bold wing leader and I was nervous as well, I just feel little confused, which is unlike me” the professor admitted.
"I was always told to listen to your instincts. If this is troubling you more than you think is reasonable, something might be telling you that for a reason," said Zyra, "I'm worried for Forge too. It's not just a title that's at stake, it would be his life."
“He’s taken on big dragon’s before right?, he should win this just…..I got a feeling that Kreios worries him” she replied back.
Zyra now seemed uneasy herself though she couldn't tell if it was her own worry or Melina's tricking through the link. She looked at the clock on the side table, "Get dressed. We'll go. If Forge wins there's no harm done. If he loses..." she gulped, "well, I'll get you out of there as fast as I can."
Melina smiled lightly.
“Alright, I do that, Forge wont be happy but least we can do is if we cant stop it is be at his side rooting him on” Melina said to the bold wing.
"If he kicks up a fuss you can just glare him into submission," said Zyra, getting to her feet.
Melina chuckled giving Zyra a hug.
“Thanks for supporting me with this Zy, you don’t know how appreciative I am” the woman said looking up at the dragoness and smiling.
Zyra gave her a quick nuzzle with her snout, "of course, Mel. I'm sure we will figure this out, one way or another."
“Lets get ready” Melina said jumping out of bed and getting some clothes on.
Meanwhile Zyra and Melina were not the only ones up at this hour, Martina was also up, being unable to sleep, staring up at the ceiling from her bed, she sighed, thinking about what she saw and thought about Forge and the upset look on the professor’s face, as well as Ardon’s.
"Martina," came Vonriirs voice through the dark, "are you awake?"
Martina looked across the dark to the big towering figure of Vonriir, the woman had not been asleep, allot going on with her first visit to Kilara.
“Yeah, I cant sleep, I am sorry if I woke you up, can’t seem to switch off” she said to the crag back.
"No don't be sorry, I haven't slept either. I don't feel right leaving Forge to deal with Kreios alone," said the dragon, "I've always been there when we fought alongside one another. I feel like I've abandoned him by staying here."
Martina got up from bed and walked across the room to Vonriir, sitting on one of the rocks in his part of the quarters.
“He is a very brave dragon to do that, do you know who this kreios is?” Martina asked the large dragon, looking up to him.
Vonriir nodded but then realized she might not see him in the dark, "yes, he is a warlord from the eastern territories. He was very sick during the illness that swept Kilara. He and forge had a fight and it hasn't been good since."
Martina nodded lightly to this response but then a thought struck her.
"Don’t warlords not fight? You said they don’t tend to out of respect for their titles" the woman asked out of curiosity.
"Traditionally they don't but Kreios isn't a traditional sort of dragon," said Vonriir quietly.
"He not a nice typical warlord dragon then", Martina asked the crag back.
"No. I wouldn't say so," replied Vonriir. "He's turned Kilara upside down with what he's trying to do."
Martina was quiet for a brief moment as she thought about this.
"Can Forge stop him at all or is this Kreios guy bad news" Martina asked with caution.
"I have never seen Kreios in full health. forge is a strong dragon though, he's beaten far worse," said Vonriir.
Martina nodded but then remembered what Vonriir had said about Forge taking on a massive dragon like creature.
"He took on that dragon that wasn’t a dragon but..looks like a dragon?" Martina asked.
Vonriir seemed confused by her wording only for a moment before it clicked, "Oh, yes. That would be Skahrsen.... they've fought many times in the past but that is one creature that I don't think anyone can fight traditionally. Human weapons would have to be used against a creature like him. No, Kreios is more within the bounds of possibility. He's younger than Lord Forge but Forge has always had years of knowledge backing his ability. I'm confident in him being able to best Kreios, it's just if his followers intervene...."
Martina nodded lightly.
"I keep my fingers crossed for him then, perhaps he didn’t ask you because of being a warlord? " Martina enquired.
"He rarely asks for help," said Vonriir, "It usually is just offered. Say, what does crossing your fingers do? Is that a human charm? Would it work if I did it too?"
Martina smiled as the lights came on but very dim.
"Can dragons cross their talons like this?" as she showed the crag back with her fingers.
Vonriir crossed his talons, looking at them and then to her, "Like this?"
Martina chuckled lightly, nodding.
"Yes indeed, your a dragon of many talents Vonriir, with both our fingers and talons crossed he have allot of luck" She replied with a smile Vonriir always loved to see.
"Good," Vonriir smiled back, "I hope that luck reaches Kilara."
“Me too big guy, me too” Martina replied.
Ardon hadn't a chance of sleeping, he knew that. All he could think about was a hoard of dragons swarming the island and overwhelming his uncle. The thoughts troubled him as the minutes ticked by. Lifting his head he nudged Jack's shoulder as the man lay in bed, "I can't sleep. I don't like leaving Forge all alone to deal with Kreios."
Jack stirred and looked over at Ardon, the man hadn’t slept either.
"I’m worried too, but you know what Forge is like, he’s got this" Jack said to reassure Ardon, though deep down he knew Ardon was worried for his uncle.
Ardon flopped his head against the side of the bed, "I know. But he's always come to help us when we've needed it. Just feels wrong not to be there to help him."
Jack nodded in agreement to Ardon’s words.
"I know, the only thing is Melina said he’s in peak health for his age, he will do this and if he doesn’t least your family will be safe, its a wait and see sadly" Jack replied.
The gold dragon let out a sad little noise at this. "I suppose." was all the words he could muster.
Jack seemed a little unsure and sighed lightly.
"Im sorry Ardy, trust me id love to rush in and help but Forge told me sternly, he also knows the treaty we signed, no interference" Jack said giving Ardon a pet.
The dragon closed his eyes, trying to let the scratches on his nose sooth him a bit but still he worried, "I guess we'll know in a few hours or by the end of the day. Did Forge tell you when he's going to fight Kreios?"
Jack was a little confused by the question.
"He did, i was there remember? Usually when a dragon challenges another it doesn’t mean tea and biscuits" Jack replied a little bluntly to the gold.
"What time I mean," retorted the gold.
Jack shook his head.
"He did not say Ardy, he kept it quiet" Jack responded.
"Oh," said the dragon, laying his head back down. "I hope he comes through soon, saying he saved Kilara once again. I don't like waiting."
Jack agreed, giving Ardon some more pets on his golden scales.
“I hope so too, fingers crossed”.
“If Kreios comes or anyone tries to threaten you or the portal, press the button and go through. Make sure you immediately close the portal from the other side so no one can follow you through until it self destructs,” Forge instructed him.
“Forge-“ Started the bronze but his brother turned on him.
“No, Bronan, this is how it has to be. There is no other way to deal with this. I do not have the numbers needed to rise against him and his following. The Sunchasers are all I have apart from the island inhabitants, perhaps even the Coastals but they are days away. Still, if every dragon of their clans came it would be a droplet of water against a sea that Kreios has manipulated to his own will. I have to risk this or else there is no one to stand against him.”
Bronan was silent for a moment, at a loss for words.
“I’ve sent the Sunchasers away, except for Galavier, Neekoh’s brother. If Kreios takes my offer he will be my witness to the match and will signal you if things go wrong. The moment you see his signal you are to press that button and go through that portal. Do I make myself clear?” Forge had lost the familiar tone and had adopted his steely warlord manner of speech. Bronan noted this grimly. There was no turning back when Forge adopted manner.
The bonze sighed, “May the stars lend you their favour.”
Forge lowered his head and tapped his horns against his brother’s. “It’s time,” he said and turned down towards the beach.
He signaled to Galavier who took wing and followed the silver dragon into the sky.
“Please come back victorious, brother,” Bronan whispered to the wind as he watched the silver fly off to the other island. He took up his station next to the portal and waited, trying not to look at the ominous red glow of the button that had been programmed for the self destruct.
Forge took off towards the second island and landed to wait upon the curved beach of SliverMoon Bay. Galavier waited in the nearby trees, not hiding but keeping a respectful distance.
Soon enough the orange warlord came with an escort but they soon dispersed as Kreios came into land, he landed and held his head up and looked at the warlord.
Forge slowly got to his feet, an air of easiness to his movements. He wasn’t going to give Kreios an inch or allow the other dragon realize how much weighed on his silver shoulders.
"Kreios, you are punctual," said Forge, looking at the position of the sun and realizing it was about the same in the sky as when Kreios told him he had two days. This dragon didn’t waste a minute it seemed.
The orange dragon gave a small smile.
"I am always on time and precise with my deadlines, have you come to a decision about my offer?" he asked but the look he gave Forge made it look like he knew the answer.
Forge gave a sniff and looked at the water before turning back to the other male, "I have a counter offer actually," said the silver dragon.
Kreios gave a questioning look, "Oh? Please do tell" he replied back.
"A one on one battle," said Forge calmly, his tail waving behind him slowly, "You and I. If you win, I will back down and offer the portal, the resource that you are after. I won't stand in your way of claiming it nor will I rally dragons against your cause. You may do what you wish with the portal." He said this in an even tone though something within his mind protested at the lie.
Kreios seemed amused at this.
"Your counter offer is a challenge, warlords don’t challenge other warlords," Kreios replied.
"Do you not consider your original 'deal' a challenge simply worded slyly? You know that I would never give up my loyalties and protection without a fight. You know that well, Kreios," said Forge
Kreios nodded lightly.
"Yes, so you want to fight, if I win I gain Hylen Melina and the portal...what if you prevail...sir what do you want," Kreios asked.
"I want you to stand down. Your title and rule over Talkiir gone, your followers disbanded, and you would be banished to the far reaches of the great desert," said Forge simply.
Kreios snorted in amusement.
"Your terms are indeed high, if I wanted to, I could take it by force with my support, you know that, why did you send the sunchasers army home?" he asked as he walked around the silver dragon.
"I fully know that you could take it by force but that is not the way of an honourable dragon, tradition or no," said Forge in a level tone, not moving as Kreios circled him, "I sent the sunchasers away, save for one, because I will not risk others against you and your following. My alliances are few these days, while yours only grows. I wouldn't pit them against your hoard."
Kreios nodded lightly.
"A very wise decision indeed, no need to spill blood when none is needed, why do you think I wont take what I want since you refused my offer and now challenge me with high stakes terms?" Kreios asked.
"I don't think that, it is only a hope that two warlords can be bound by their word and to honour it no matter the outcome. I said I sent all the sunchasers away but one, my witness to the match, should you accept. I offer you to have your own as well, to ensure we adhere to the terms."
Kreios seemed to be thinking it over in his head.
"And why should I fight you when I have everything I want, apart from Hylen Melina?" the orange warlord asked the silver.
"That's the catch," said Forge, an idea quickly jumping to mind, "Hylen Melina will not offer her aid to you if you do not win fairly. She has ways of secreting herself far out of reach, something I have no way of controlling. After seeking her out she said that she would only willfully help you if you should best me in this fight."
"Besides, it would be your final opportunity to take the title of top warlord of Talkiir." shrugged the silver.
"I have always wanted to wipe that arrogant look off your face, perhaps it is the right time for that it seems" Kreios said.
Forge gave a mocking half bow, sweeping his paw out before him, "So, do you accept my terms?"
"I accept your challenge, warlord Forge, may the best warlord win" Kreios said, he had accepted the silver's challenge.
"Braav" you shall be my witness to this challenge, what are the rules of engagement" Kreios asked as dark brown coloured dragon flew down and landed on the beach a few wing lengths away from Galavier
"We will fight, tooth and claw, no fire, until one cannot rise again or submits," suggested Forge.
Kreios shook his head.
"No, no, no, this is the fight to end all fights Forge, we fight to the death… warlord to warlord," Kreios demanded.
Forge didn’t react outwardly to this but his gut lurched with shock.
“Fine,” he said in a loud voice, seeing the sunchaser look horrified. “Galavier, count us down.”
Forge shook out his wings and refolded him, rolling his shoulders to limber up as the small dragon began to count.
“Fight!” shouted Braav, sending things into motion.
Kreios circled the silver warlord slowly, eyes seemed to be looking for a weakness but something in the way he moved made him seem rather youthful.
Forge turned as well, sizing up the other dragon with each step. He sought out the other dragon’s weak points, where a tooth or spine would easily puncture the thinner parts of the dragon’s hide. He could already almost taste the blood in his mouth as his hearts pounded, ready for the end all fight.
Suddenly Kreios changed direction quickly and charged at the silver leaping onto hind legs with fore claws raised.
Forge reared and met the attack with a surprised grunt, the impact lurching him backwards as their talons came together, trying to wrest the other back or to the ground viciously.
Kreios bared his teeth and pushed down with allot more force for a dragon his age.
Surprised at the other dragons speed and power, forge staggered a bit, growling as he fought back. The rumble of his growl reverberated through his throat as his back legs fought to find purchase in the fine sand.
Kreios pushed down against the silver's talons, forcing the dragon downwards with pressure upon silver warlord.
Forge broke away, dashing backwards before swinging his spiked tail at Kreios' head.
Kreios spun round and dodged the warlords spiked tail by mere inches as he shoulder barged the silver hard in the side, moving quickly upon his feet.
Forge staggered backwards, recovering just in time to swing at Kreios with his talons, trying to fight him off.
Kreios ducked and swung his own sharp claws as the hit landed, scratching up the warlords scales leaving deep furrows in his armour, as blood seeped out where the scales thinned and his claws cut into the skin, Kreios gave the dragon a sly look as blood dripped off his talons.
Forge stepped back, snarling as blood ran down the juncture of his shoulder and neck. Beads of dark crimson dropped to the sand at his paws. Eyes blazing, Forge snarled again and charged, swinging his crest at the orange dragon’s throat.
Kreios saw the move coming, reading Forge's move he swung his crest as the two locked horns in battle, Kreios growled and pushed against Forge.
Tangled at the crest the dragons fought, shoving at each other to either knock the other away or manage to unlock their tines to allow for more space between them.
Sand flew as the two massive dragons squared off, talons churning the beach and snarls rang out.
On the sidelines Galavier looked struck with horror as an evil smirk crossed Braav’s face.
Still tangled, Forge threw out his left wing, catching Kreios under the chin with a sickening crack, his wing spur cutting into the soft hide under his jaw. They suddenly came apart and Forge roared then spun on a dime, throwing his shoulder at his opponent.
If this was going to be a battle to the death, the silver wasn’t going to give in that easily. Kreios was strong, too strong. Something about the dragon was different and Forge could tell but wasn’t sure what it was.
Kreios snarled viciously as Forge charged towards him, with a youthful fire in his eyes the orange dragon clenched his paw tight and with a fierce ferocity he punched the silver warlord hard in the face before using his other free paw to slash the dragon up the side viciously.as the poor silver was thrown back from the punch's force.
Lights like stars dazzled in Forge’s sight and he reeled from the impact. The silver’s instincts of preservation were trying to kick in to save him but he was dazed from the heavy strike.
Kreios was soon upon him as he punched, slashed and pushed Forge about with power unseen ever by the silver, the fight was fierce, Kreios did not give Forge space to move as he punished the warlord at close range.
Forge brought up his wings to try to shield his face while trying to gain his balance, grimacing in pain. He tasted blood in his mouth and his body ached as he drew in ragged breaths.
Kreios suddenly barged into him smacking his wing aside as he dug his claws into the silver, slamming the dragon hard repeatedly on the unforgiving stones that lay at the edge of the beach, each time the dragon hit it was a loud thud and soon a crunch as one of his cheek tines snapped off, skittering into the sand.
The silver gave a tremendous kick with his hind legs, shoving Kreios away and giving him a few precious seconds to attempt to stand.
Forge staggered and coughed, his right foreleg giving out on him as he stumbled in the sand.
Galavier jumped to his feet with a cry but Braav stopped him with a wing and a cruel smile as they watched Kreios close in on the silver.
Forge, the warlord of Kilara was breathing raggedly, fighting for the stamina to get back to his feet as he saw his opponent approach.
"You do not how long I've waited to knock some sense into you Silver" he growled.
Forge stared at him with one fiery eye, the other swollen shut as angry bruising began to colour the thin scales around his brow. His head felt so heavy and it was hard to hold the other dragon’s gaze as his chest heaved for breath, fighting for the will to fend off that final, killing blow.
Kreios growled as he picked up speed and soon was upon the silver before he had chance hitting the warlord in the face with his thick hind leg as the poor silver struggled to get to his feet.
Forge snarled in pain, blood dripping off his crimson stained scales, dazed.
Kreios did not stop there, as the orange dragon slashed the warlord across the belly as blood seeped out of the gashes on his under belly as Kreios stamped on his underbelly hard for good measure, Kreios making the dragon suffer as he was on the ground.
Forge curled in on himself, trying to protect his broken frame, dragging in rough breaths.
Kreios smirked lightly giving a glance of the damage he had done to the silver, the orange warlord had really roughed the old dragon up, bleeding, bruised and looking out of breath.
Kreios came at him again and dug his claws in deep into the dragons back, slowly dragging his claws down the silvers already bruised and opened back, the orange dragon was causing major damage to Forge and was in control of this match keeping the dragon’s head forcefully in the sand.
Forge roared out in pain and thrashed to the side, sending a shower of sand everywhere but still was unable to get up.
Kreios smacked the dragon in the back as the orange dragon dominated the silver who had curled up and was staining the golden sands with his crimson blood, the warlord has miscalculated the warlord’s strength and power, now it seemed he would pay for that costly mistake with his life, Kreios showed no sign of relenting as the dragon was just adding insult to injury here.
The portal shimmered as Melina along with Zyra appeared, Melina had asked Zyra to wear her battle harness but on board were medical equipment and other things, the professor knew that this would be a bloody and messy fight.
She saw Bronan at the entrance looking a little grim, looking at the self destruct button on his paws as it flashed, Melina seemed concerned that the poor bronze was given such a task by Forge.
"Bronan, you ok have you heard anything about the fight?" Melina asked as she was upon the bold wing's back.
Bronan startled at the sound of her voice. He had been so focused on watching for danger coming towards the portal he hadn't heard them come through.
"Melina, Zyra. You shouldn't be here... " he said.
The professor shook her head lightly.
“If Forge is going to get bashed up in this thing, he needs me at his side, I will not interfere but he needs me there, where is he” she asked the bronze.
"I can't let you pass-" started Bronan but an agonized roar sounded from far off.
Before he could stop them, Zyra took off like a shot, the male unable to leave his post at the portal to chase after them.
Melina clung onto the bold wings back, fearing the worst as Zyra sped towards the noise that came from the distance, it did not take long before Melina spotted the dragons fighting one another, Melina tightened her grip as she felt and knew Forge was not winning.
Forge hit the ground again with a sickening thud, blood spraying from his jaws.
Zyra came to a clumsy landing, struck by the scene unfolding on the beach. Melina's own horror flooded through the link and they realized it was Forge who was bloodied in the sand.
Melina jumped off Zyra’s back and kept close to Zyra, she could not interfere in this and it pained her to see the silver in this way.
Kreios had dominated the fight and by the looks of things Kreios was going in for the kill, this was a fight to the death.
“To hell with this and honour, he is going to die” she thought as she shouted at Kreios.
“Kreios stop this!, you won, do not kill him!, I do whatever you want” she shouted across from the side as Kreios left the silver dragon in the sand and approached the professor.
"No," rasped Forge, getting to his feet shakily, nearly blinded by blood in his one good eye. "No!" He said again, this time at a bellow.
Melina was here. He couldn't see her just yet but he heard her voice and he could feel her presence, stronger than he had ever before.
Melina looked up and Kreios stopped turning and growling at the warlord.
“Forge, listen to me, just..stay down, I agree to help Kreios, you suffered enough” Melina said as Kreios watched the warlord carefully.
"That wasn't our terms," snarled Forge, fixing Kreios with a murderous look.
Kreios snarled back fiercely, it seemed the orange dragon was not done with the silver either in this case.
“I ask him, do you yield to me Silver as requested by your hylen healer here, or you want round 2?” the dragon said.
"I will not yield," said Forge coldly, despite swaying slightly.
"Oh Forge, no," said Zyra under her breath and she realized the silver would likely die for this.
Melina shook her head but she closed her eyes perhaps seeing if the lingering link with Brathille could wake up a little as she opened her eyes again going quiet.
"We aren't finished here... Kreios," said Forge, his voice sounding a little more steady though he looked like a mess. Melina had come, was all he could think, I can't give up now....
“You’re a mess warlord, there is barely anything left in the tank of yours, I’ve beaten it out of you” growled the orange warlord.
"Not quite," the silver growled back with a thrash of his tail.
Kreios looked furious, unhappy Forge had rebounded a little in the presence of this human.
“Forge, please don’t do this, I can do whatever he wants, regular visits, GP surgeries, I can do that, don’t fight to the death!” she shouted at the silver.
The great warlord seemed to ignore her pleas. He knew that giving in now would only seal her fate and Kilaras. He wouldn't allow her to live her life as prisoner to Kreios.
Kreios snarled and growled as he moved towards the silver slowly.
Melina shook her head, Forge would fight and there was nothing they could do but watch.
“Fine!, go kick his ass then! Melina shouted all of a sudden, perhaps that was all the warlord needed to fight, with the lingering power of Brathille feeding into Forge.
Forge glowered at the other dragon, fixing him with an intense fiery gaze from his one good eye. His lip pulled back in a snarl, displaying bloodied fangs.
“You wanted to the death, Kreios and yet I still stand,” he barked at his opponent.
“Then I knock you back down again,” snarled Kreios as he came at the silver as the fight got back underway.
Zyra couldn’t look away, her eyes stuck on the scene unfolding on the beach. Forge looked at banged up as she had ever seen him and the sand was spattered with his blood.
Galavier watched, open mouthed, “Stars above. Mercy,” he stammered under his breath.
He had been seconds away from letting off the signal to Bronan when the Boldwing and human had arrived. Somehow this had given the silver the moral boost he head needed for the dragon had risen, ready to fight once more.
The dragoness watched him snarl and meet Kreios head on, teeth flashing as he drew his talons across orange scales.
Perhaps it was not the ghost of Brathille lending the silver this second wind, but simply the mere presence of Melina. Seeing her heartened him, and he knew that he couldn’t let Kreios win. For her sake, if not Kilara’s.
The warlords met with a sickening thud as they clashed on the beach, sending sand flying once more.
With a grunt and a growl Forge shoved at Kreios, barging him backwards before he swung at him with talons outstretched, raking them across his muzzle.
Kreios growled as Forge got him good across the nose, blood seeping from the wound. The dragon bared his teeth and went for Forge, furious at this injury.
The silver staggered backwards as he tried to stop the other dragon from bowling him over. While he had a second burst of strength, his own many injuries still plagued him and made this renewed fight difficult.
Forge roared and slashed with his tail, trying to strike a crippling blow to the orange male’s hind legs, if he could only get him down into the sand….
Kreios suddenly lost it with the silver as he caused more damage much to Melina’s horror. Kreios landed three powerful hits, the last knocking the silver off his feet. He was in charge once again.
Zyra gasped, seeing the sand fly as Forge hit the ground.
“He’s getting pummeled to death, “ Melina said quietly to Zyra. “He’s going to die.. if he keep going,” Melina whispered, just wanting them both to stop.
“No, no he has to win, he always wins…” replied the dragoness at a whisper, pulling Melina close to her with a paw.
Forge was in the sand on his side, trying to get up. He could hear the other dragon approaching him again and knew he had to do something and he could hear Zyra shouting at him, yelling at him to get up. Gritting his teeth, he swung his tail hard, goring Kreios through the calf of his hind leg with one of his tail spikes as he lifted his paws up to protect himself.
Kreios roared out in pain as Forge’s spikes embedded into the muscle of his hind leg. Blood poured down his leg as the dragon staggered back to try and free himself from the spines, reeling in pain.
Forge ripped his tail free and shoved Kreios back, rolling to his feet with his own painful intake of breath. The orange dragon was on the defensive, limping on his hind leg from the damage done.
He lunged again before Kreios had time to react. Every second counted in this match and Forge called upon any remaining strength he had.
This was truly an animalistic brawl, teeth and talons flashing at they ripped at one another.
Unable to rear up to meet him, Forge turned Kreios’ tactics on him, trying to bully him down towards the ground.
He batted at the orange dragon with his wing spurs, tail and talons, everything he could to try to make the other dragon retreat. It was working and his own heartbeats roared in his ears.
Forge swung again, but his other foreleg, injured from the previous round gave way and he staggered, missing Kreios’ throat by mere inches.
Kreios saw the opportunity and took it, hitting the warlord in the face hard with a balled fist. A loud bone crunching crack could be heard, making Melina and Zyra miss.
Forge reeled to the size, letting out a bark of pain as a few teeth dropped onto the sand awash with blood.
Breathing hard, Forge took a moment to recover from the wild strike to his face.
Blood dripped from his mouth steadily now, making him look like some hell-bent animal.
Forge hadn’t said a word since the fighting renewed, just a murderous look in his eye, flaming violently.
He lunged at Kreios, feinting a punch with his wing spur before cracking him in the eye with his fist. He bellowed and swung again and again, talons slashing whatever they could find.
Kreios snarled and growled as Forge got the upper paw, the orange warlord being torn into as he staggered backwards, panting heavy and now bleeding and sweating. The fight was brutal between the two.
Awkwardly but at a speed, Forge turned on the other warlord, jaws wide as he lunged full force. He caught Kreios’s throat in his teeth, and threw the whole of his body weight at him. Together they went tumbling into the sand, crest over tail as they fought to be the one who came out standing.
Forge fought, breathing labored as he managed to get to his feet, pinning Kreios down by his wings and his own paws. Blood dripped from his face onto the other warlords orange scales, now battered and bruising in places.
He bared his teeth at the usurper, ready to give the final blow when he felt something wash over him. Fear? Horror?
He looked up, squinting with his one good eye to see Melina at the treeline against the beach, hands covering her mouth at what she was seeing. Panting hard in shallow, ragged breaths the dragon seemed to pause the violence.
Melina looked back at the warlord, she did not say anything but the look on her face, the fear and horror at what she had witnessed and what she was about to witness was plain on her face.
Guilt flooded him then. He was a better dragon than this. He had to be.... for her.
He looked back down at the dragon held to the sand in his paws. He grit his teeth, suddenly furious at everything and nothing all at once.
He steadied his breathing a bit and addressed the dragon he had shoved into the sand.
“You are a traitor to your kind but I will not stoop to your level,” the silver said in a low thundering voice, “Killing you would remove a blight from this world but I won’t do it. I’ll let you live, to be a testament to all others what happens when one reaches for absolute rule. I had the mind of stripping you of all titles, glory and holdings, of banishing you to the great Wastelands of the desert at the end of the world but I am a better dragon than you. You may have had a bloodless war but you ruled out of fear and dread. I have always fought for the betterment of dragon, for freedom and happiness of our kind. If you submit to me, Kreios, and withdraw all your control of Talkiir I will let you keep your warlord title, for that is all you are, a lord of grief and terror.” He drew in a ragged breath, still fighting to keep his breathing steady after such a brutal fight, “Do you accept my terms?”
Kreios was down and had no options, he had prepared for death but it did not come, the dragon was a little fearful of what would of happened, seeing the fierce silver warlord, the dragon he had seen centuries ago.
When the words were spoken the dragon looked up seeing Forge fiery gaze bore into him, he hgad to agree to the terms if he were to remain a warlord and at least keep half of his following.
Forge growled as the orange dragon spoke with a cough, the orange warlord was now as bloodied and injured as Forge.
“I…accept your terms” he said finally.
Forge growled a warning one last time to ensure that Kreios didn't try again. He looked over to Braav and nodded before letting the orange dragon go.
The orange dragon struggled to his feet and limped off towards his observer, there was some words exchanged before the orange dragon took to the skies, it was a struggle but he made it, blood staining his scuffed-up orange scales.
The silver watched the orange dragon go and waited until he was out of sight before turning to face Melina. It looked like he was about to stay something but as he stepped forward his legs crumpled beneath him and he fell into the sand.
“FORGE!” Melina shouted seeing the silver collapse, the dragon had won but it came at a high cost, the professor ran with Zyra not far behind, the sun chaser rushed to the portal to get help.
Forge let out a ragged breath, and saw Melina and Zyra running towards him but his field of vision began to grow dark before he lost consciousness.
Melina’s voice echoed in the darkness as Forge fell into a deep state of unconsciousness, there was silence until a light beeping could be heard, it got louder as the warlord seemed to be coming out of the unconscious state.
The silver dragon stirred, groaning as he shifted slightly, confused.
"Where?" He rasped, cracking open an eye to the familiar sight of his torchwood accommodations.
Forge would see the big screen in his quarters showing an image of him, the computer monitoring his heart rates, pulse and breathing, as well as other vitals from sensors stuck on his body.
A familiar voice greeted the dragon as he awoke.
"Shhh ,take it easy my Silver, you are on earth, Torchwood 5" Melina said softly, her voice was calm and soothing as she came into view, wearing her lab coat.
"Gathered that," he grumbled, lifting a paw to his throbbing head. His brow was tender and he winced, touching it. "Why am I here though?"
Melina gave a weak smile.
"Your here because you collapsed after your fight, bleeding outwards and were going to die, despite your stubbornness you suffered allot of injuries, I had to perform lots of surgeries to stitch you back up" Melina said to the silver, her voice held a bit of a sting.
Forge heard it and turned to face her, "I, hm, I thank you for that. It did feel like I had been ripped into a number of pieces."
Melina nodded lightly, it had been allot of work.
"You been out for a bit Forge, just to warn you, but yes you are welcome, you will be very sore for a few weeks but I can give you stuff to help, try not to move too much, I still got stitches holding you together" she said approaching the silver male so he wouldn’t have to move so much.
The warlord had been stitched up and bounded by bandages and other things to keep things set and to allow the silver to heal up.
"I don't feel much like moving for the next year, considering how I feel now," said the silver dragon, putting his head back down. A strained silence lapsed before Forge cleared his throat and said, "I'm... im sorry..."
Melina was quiet for a moment and then spoke.
"Don’t be, I'm sorry too but I am proud of you my silver, for what you did, not many dragons would of done what you did" Melina said.
The dragon made a grunting noise at this, "No, perhaps not. I just hope my threat was enough to stop it from happening again."
Melina nodded lightly.
“He wont, Hamshun and Gower has been doing things in your absence, Kreios has withdrawn his deals and allowed the remaining warlords to have their lands, Kreios has returned to the west of Talkier” Melina commented.
The old dragon seemed to relax a bit. His old allies where taking care of things. He could trust them to settle the rest.
"Good, good," he said quietly.
There was a little silence between Forge and Melina before the professor spoke again.
“Brathille spurred you on diddnt it, when I appeared, you seemed to come back from the brink” she commented to the silver dragon as he rested.
"Perhaps. Or I am too stubborn to lose with an audience," he attempted to joke.
Melina gave a chuckle at the comment.
“Well that could be, say I inspired you to victory, but you and me both know perhaps the real reason, I felt it a little so you must of as well” she said putting her hand on the silver scales of the large dragon before her.
"I did. Thank you for being there... I don't like to think of what may have happened if not..."
Melina gave a kind smile to the silver.
“Shh, its ok now, do not think of such things, sort of shows with me with you you can move mountains, regardless of what you think or say, we have a unique and special bond you and I…glad for that my silver, I have done the best I can, as a hylen the only order I got for you is rest” Melina said.
Forge gave the barest hint of a smile but then it disappeared. "Did you just shush me? Like a hatchling?" He asked in an offended tone though there was laughter in his eyes.
Melina gave him a look, feeling a little off but she saw the look Forge was giving her and she laughed lightly.
“You know what I mean my silver, I think you do let me get away with murder at times, but yes rest up, your under my care now, you got Vonriir to thank for carrying you, although he said you were heavy” she chuckled lightly.
"Stars," muttered forge, imagine him looking most undignified being carried about unconscious.
Melina smiled lightly.
"Well you were sort of unconscious, now rest up, I got to update Bronan and the others, strict orders to rest my silver" Melina said giving silver a smooth on his scales before leaving, before heading to the door to update the others who were in the canteen.
Forge contemplated asking the woman to stay a little longer, speak with him, but he knew she had things to do. Later, he thought. "I'll see you soon then?" He asked instead.
Melina nodded her head looking back at the silver.
"I be back in an hour, to spend a bit longer with you if that is ok?" she asked him with a smile.
"I’d like that," said the great dragon, easing back to a laying position and closed his eyes, feeling the need to sleep come over him once more.
Melina smiled and left the warlord’s quarters and headed down to the canteen, where the rest of the team were, they had been waiting patiently, with Forge’s family coming across to see if he had made progress, it had been slow going but Forge being awake was a great sign.
As the professor entered the canteen Ardon noticed the woman approach them.
"Mel," said Ardon, looking up and seeing her approach. Bronan and Tahsis turned as well. "Has he woken up yet?"
Melina nodded her head.
"yes he has awoken, thank goodness, he is resting again now so he is out of his unconscious state" she replied.
"Will he recover fully?" asked Bronan, worried for his brother.
"With rest and food he be his usual grumpy self, I fixed him up and he is remarkably in peak health for his age" Melina said.
Tahsis smiled at this, "All of his family seem to be rather resilient" she commented.
"I'm glad he'll be okay," added Ardon.
Jack smiled lightly, glad the old silver was doing well and improving.
"He needs to be to keep up with all of us, great news and well-done professor" Jack said.
"Yes, thank you, professor," said Ucluelet as Neekoh nodded beside her.
Melina gave a smile; the woman was feeling tired but she had worked non stop to fix up the silver dragon.
"Yes, thank you, professor," said Ucluelet as Neekoh nodded beside her.
"Got Dr Zyra and Dr Sam to thank for him as well, he’s got a strong team round him" Melina said.
The dragons nodded, pleased that all was going to be well. Forge's condition had been worrying but now that he had woken and Melina had given them the good news, everyone seemed to relax a bit.
Melina excused herself to get some coffee and something to eat as Zyra watched her Atillu to go across the canteen.
Zyra approached Melina and lowered her head, "Are you okay, Me?" she asked quietly.
Melina nodded lightly, giving a big sigh, glad the silver was improving after all the hard work the team had done to fix him up.
"Yes I will be, been allot to do to fix him up, you have been a star my bold wing" she said with a smile as she smoothed the dragoness white scales.
Zyra smiled lightly, "Of course, Melina. I will always have your back. You should get some rest now if you can."
Melina nodded lightly in agreement.
“I got one more check and then Dr Sam will be checking in, so after that I get some rest” she assured the bold wing as she drank some coffee, something the professor rarely did.
“There goes my healthy streak” she joked lightly to Zyra.
Forge was propped up with his good side and taking a deep drink from a bowl of water that had been kindly left out for him. It was then that he heard the door open and saw Melina appear
Melina popped back in and saw Forge was more awake.
"Your looking more aware, that is good to see you more alert " she smiled, she was carrying a book with her under her arm.
The lights automatically brightened in the room as she appeared, triggered by her movement. He winced, squinting and turned them back down to a less offensive brightness with his tail. He felt like some ghoul needing to lurk in the dark.
“My head is still throbbing though. I must have cracked by head on something hard. I can hardly remember.”
Melina nodded lightly.
"Yes, your skull was cracked, I have sorted that, though you will have a headache, here take this, it will help" Melina offered a large vial of liquid to the silver.
“What is this, then?” he asked, taking it gently from her hand.
"Medicine, to ease your throbbing head, I had to amend the recipe to work for dragons, it should help take the pain and throbbing away, plus relax you a little, you still need to rest up," Melina replied.
He gave her a suspicious glance but decided he rather risk her strange concoctions than deal with the storming of his head any longer. He drained the large vial and tried not to pull a face as he usually did when dosed by her medicine.
He gave her back the vial and put his head back down. Forge sighed, closing his eyes as it seemed to help, "I noticed that you had a book in your hands when you came in. More science texts?" he asked.
Melina smiled lightly.
"Draco came over one time and said his helpers found so very old tales of his country, very old tales that tell of his fight with the white dragon, thought I’d read it to you," Melina said, sitting down nearby and opening the book.
“First you shush me now you propose reading me nest stories? I am Kilara’s warlord not a hatchling just in case you weren’t aware,” said the dragon, though with a smile to his voice. It was rare for Forge to be this amicable let alone tease anyone. This gentle joking was reserved for Melina alone. Not even his jovial brother received any sort of jest from the stoic and steely warlord.
"Well you’re also my patient, ‘Mr. Kilara's Warlord and saviour of both worlds’, so at current I out rank you currently," the woman lightly teased, an under lying energy bouncing between the two of them.
"Hm, do you know? I should have let you at Kreios then and saved myself some bruises," he said, cracking open an eye to gage her reaction.
"Oh I would of gone at him, you know that, but you wanted the glory for yourself," she replied, her eyes looking up at the silver's with a playful look.
He started the to laugh at the image he conjured up of her stomping towards Kreios but stopped, grimacing as his head ached at the movement, "Go on then, read your stories. Now’s the best time considering I am helpless to get away.”
"I struck at a good time then" grinned Melina as she opened the book and begun reading the tale of Draco and his battle against the white dragon.
Forge relaxed and let her tell the story. He had heard it a number of times before, Ardon had made Jack repeat the tale over and over while on Kilara, but to hear it again in her words was soothing enough to the old dragon. He let out a contented sigh, and let her words distract him from his pain.
A week passed with Forge unable to leave his quarters. He was under strict orders for rest but it was difficult to keep a dragon as busy as him tied down to rest and heal.
Bronan and his family had returned through the portal to Kilara to ensure the island was well and to keep an eye on things while the continent and its inhabitants went back to their daily lives. It was been a tumultuous time when Kreios had tried to take over. There was hope that all would soon be settled in a few weeks’ time.
A few dragons had even come to the island to offer their apologies for not fighting back. Bronan had fielded these concerns in stride, speaking to any dragon that might approach the island in thanks or to inquire if Forge was well.
There was still a tide of uneasiness across Talkiir, however. The dragons still needed much time to rebuild their communities and territories. Forge had helped but it wasn’t a perfect situation. In time, however, it was hoped that all could be restored.
Days later Forge appeared in the canteen, hobbling; his right front leg still not quite well enough to hold his weight. Still he stubbornly wanted to get to his feet and walk about. The dragon didn’t do well being cooped up, regardless of his health.
“There he is! The old dragon too stubborn to die,” said Bronan cheerfully, getting to his feet and trotting over to the silver. He had popped back over through the portal that morning to check on things and had been speaking with his son and Vonriir when they noticed the silver, “Brother, how are you feeling?” he asked, coming and looking like he was going to pat the silver on the shoulder.
Forge stiffened let out a growl, “Don’t come near me.”
“Ohhh testy as ever. Still painful, hm?”
The silver grunted at this. While Melina had patched him up well, time still had to do its part in healing the old warlord. His one eye was less swollen now but the scales around it where dark and bruised. He bore many stitches and scab crusted wounds but he didn’t look like he was going to fall apart any second anymore.
“Oh let him be, he just saved Kilara…. AGAIN I might add,” chuckled Vonriir, “Sir, you should be resting, why are you up?”
“I can’t spend eternity stuck in a room. I need to move,” said Forge tersely. It looked like he was regretting this choice, however. He came to stretch his legs, not socialize with this chattering lot.
Ardon gave his uncle a knowing smile but was met with yet another stern frown.
“Ah well, Miss Melina said that a lot of bedrest in needed for injuries like yours. She told me so after the incident at the archives. Do you remember me telling you about that? But yes, Bedrest, though if you’re not feeling up to it we are just about to have lunch you could join us,” said Vonriir cheerily.
“Come on, brother, why don’t you sit down with us?”
“Another time perhaps, I think that’s enough walking around for one day,” said the silver suddenly, turning and limping back out of the canteen.
Once he was out of sight Bronan snickered, “Well that was one way to get him to rest.”
“Huh?” said Vonriir, turning to look at the bronze.
Ardon shook his head, laughing at Vonriir’s lack of understanding of the joke, “Come on, let’s eat.
The next 2 weeks passed quickly and Forge’s progress towards full health continued, the large silver was checked on by Zyra, Melina and Sam, checking the progress of his injuries.
Melina seemed pleased with his progress but she suspected the large dragon was growing inpatient and wanted to wander around but was in a foul mood due to others crowding round, she ensured the warlord had privacy in his quarters and told Jack to keep Ardon and others from pestering him.
The professor was in the labs, checking the silver’s latest readings from the sensors stuck to his body, the sensors allowed Melina to monitor the dragon live and can gather much information, along with the other tests that Melina did on the silver.
"Hey Mel," said Zyra, turning to her as she read from her tablet, "The latest results from Forge's testing are looking promising. He's mending well and rather quickly for a dragon his age. Good work."
Melina turned and smiled lightly.
“Well, you helped as well Doctor, it wasn’t just me, we make a great team, well we have a fantastic team here” she said to the bold wing.
Zyra smiled, "I have to agree," she said happily.
Melina nodded lightly in agreement, sensing the dragoness happiness.
“Reminds me to ask you Zy, are you up for another challenge?, no not fighting or racing a more intellectual challenge” she asked the bold wing.
"Oh? What do you mean?" inquired the dragoness, interested.
Melina gestured Zyra to follow her to one of the lab desks as she pulled out some forms out from under the table, along with a tablet she logged into.
“Here, this is the application for you to begin your way to becoming a professor, I had been admittedly keeping it from you, mainly because I wanted you to be a dragon and enjoy your time, plus being a doctor for over a year and a half as well” Melina said.
Zyra tentatively reached out and took the application papers from the woman. Looking them over, the dragoness's eyes seem to well up a bit, "Really?" she asked, unbelieving.
Melina nodded lightly.
“It be another good 5 or 6 years of study, it is a long slog to get it, but I be at your side as always Zy, it is up to you, I don’t really want to hold you back, so I thought Id offer the choice, there really is no real rush” the professor said with a kind smile.
Zyra looked at the papers again, a smile crossing her face, suddenly she swooped Melina up in a hug, thrumming, "thank you, Mel!"
Melina laughed and smoothed the dragoness muzzle and side of her neck.
“Anytime my girl, you done fantastic work this last year or so, I keep forgetting your growing, I’m far easier to scoop up” she laughed again.
Zyra beamed and put her down, "Well this has brightened my day considerably. I don't think I'll stop smiling for the rest of the week."
Melina grinned happily.
“So, shall we begin this application and get the ball rolling for you then?, I do have one condition though, that is to not get your head stuck in a book, still be a dragoness and still go and do dragon things” she replied.
"And what exactly are 'dragon things' if I may ask?" She laughed.
Melina gave her a look.
“You know what I mean, flying, chasing each other across the sky, you know along with the other dragons we got here, not head in a book, I will be watching you doctor as well, plus…I think we both guilty of this last one, don’t let it get in the way of a good things” she replied softly.
The dragoness nodded, still smiling. "Okay. I think that's a deal I can agree with."
Melina smiled as they begun to complete the application.
Forge had made himself as presentable as possible for his visitor but there was little he could do about his state of bruises and still healing wounds.
The large form of Draco entered, the red dragon looking regal and smart as always as he entered the quarters of Forge giving a respectful bow before the silver.
“Warlord Forge, my deepest apologies for the intrusion, I heard you were as my children would say under the weather, I have come on a visit to see you, along with gifts from my home and the staff” Draco said.
"Draco, that is... kind of you to do so. I appreciate it but I can assure you I am on the mend," said the silver.
Draco gave a respectful nod in return.
“I have heard you are in very good paws with professor Melina, she has wisdom beyond her years, here are some gifts from my home and my children, a card and some Welsh cakes, sized up of course” Draco chuckled lightly.
Forge looked at what Draco had brought and seemed at a bit of a loss for how to respond. He couldn't remember the last time someone had brought him something in this fashion, "I- um. Yes. Thank you."
Draco bowed again before the silver.
“Your appreciation humbles an old dragon, I wish you a fast recovery, young Ardon wants to talk to me about guardian issues” Draco said to the silver.
The silver dragon seemed somewhat interested in this.
"Does he now? Don't let him talk your ear off if you have other things to attend to. Thank you again, Draco. I appreciate your visit." Replied the silver, bowing his head.
“The honour is mine, get well soon Sir” Draco said as he left the silver along with the large get well soon card and goodies.
Draco left the dragon’s quarters and went to see the young golden dragon, who had been dying to talk to him.
Meanwhile on her downtime, Martina was having a lie in, she had been busy patrolling and completing the reports for Mark, she was enjoying the rest.
"Miss Martina, are you awake? I have brought you breakfast!" Said Vonriir as he stepped into the room.
Martina awoke and stretched as Vonriir spoke, she smiled as she got out of bed and looked to see what the large crag back had brought.
“Oh Vonriir, your really sweet, wow you literally brought Toby’s breakfast to me” she laughed lightly seeing how much he brought her.
He put down the tray, complete with steaming coffee and a platter full of food. "Of course. I was already down there for mine so I thought you might like to eat yours while in the comfort of your own quarters." He said cheerily.
“I appreciate it but you do not have to do all of this, your going to make me lazy Vonriir” she said as she tucked into the breakfast.
"Ah. Spoiling you here and there won't ruin your productive spirit," insisted Vonriir.
Martina chuckled lightly.
“Thank you Vonriir, how is your war commander doing?, I hope he is recovering well, plus we need to go for a fly mister, I got a few days off before Mark’s new head of security operations arrives” Martina said to the massive dragon.
"He's the same as ever. Mending well which is fantastic news. I would love to go for a flight if you'd like to come," he said with a smile.
“Of course I do big guy, I fly Avalon for my job then I fly with you on my down time, it’s a 3 way relationship” she laughed lightly.
Vonriir chuckled, "As long as I am your only guardian I will accept that fact," he teased.
Martina looked up and grinned.
“Vonriir cant be jealous of a little bit of smooth shaped metal that flies in the sky are you?, compared to the power and charming personality of you” she asked the crag back.
Vonriir puffed up a little at this, "well, nooo..." he said Though he didn't sound terrible convincing.
Martina laughed lightly as she got up and stretched her hand out to smooth the dragons large muzzle.
“Oh Vonriir, you should not feel jealous, your still my big guy dragon, do not worry, Avalon is my job, he fast but he can do any heavy work or smash through doors and still keep smiling” Martina said, trying to ease the large dragons worries.
The dragon smiled, "that is something I can do. But hopefully not anytime soon," he chuckled.
Martina acted disappointed.
“But I just signed you up for some demolition work” Martina teased lightly, giving Vonriir’s muzzle a smooth.
"Oh? That so?" he asked, thrumming at the attention.
Martina smiled at the dragon’s very loud thrumming that seem the vibrate the air around him.
“Come on, lets go for a fly” Martina said, finishing her breakfast.
Zyra was ecstatic about signing up to embark on her newest goal. It had been a cause for celebration and that night everyone had gathered for dinner and a little toast to the dragoness’s new endeavor.
Her excitement and nervousness towards getting her newest degree was palpable but she was obviously pleased to take the chance. It would be a long and difficult process but she had the best support system a dragon could ask for.
After dinner, Ardon and Zyra were chatting at the others went their separate ways to wind down for the night.
“So, say that again?” said Ardon, cocking his head to the side with a uncertain look on his face.
Zyra repeated the phrase and laughed at Ardon’s expression, “A lot of Medical terminology are in Latin, it’s easier to remember certain things when you know the root words they come from. It’s helped my studying a ton.”
“I thought Latin was a dead language,” replied the gold.
Zyr shrugged, “It is, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn a bit of it.”
“What are you two losers talking about?” asked a voice.
Zyra and Ardon looked down to see that Veyron had sauntered up, nosing into their conversation.
“Ignore le. Peut-être qu'il partira,” said Zyra in a not quite properly accented French, turning back to Ardon.
“Petit dragon de nouilles étrange,” said Ardon which made Zyra snort so loud that she covered her mouth and tried, failing, not to laugh.
Veyron suddenly told them off in Spanish before saying something in Japanese, probably something crude, before turning round and walking the other way, looking rather pleased with himself.
“Oh,” said Ardon, a little dumbfounded, “I forgot that I had tried to learn Japanese when we were at T9.”
“He’s improved a ton, that sounded flawless, not that I know anything of the language,” remarked Zyra, “But where did he pick up Spanish?”
“Stars above, I have some catching up to do it seems,” said Vonriir behind them, catching the tail end of the conversation as he returned to the canteen for a cup of tea for Martina, “Other than Drakine and English I don’t know a lick of any other language. You pups are miles ahead of me,” chuckled Vonriir.
“We’ve been exposed to different languages for years longer. It’s easier to pick them up when you have tons of opportunity to hear them.
“Yes, that’s true,” said Vonriir, trying to balance the tiny cup on his large nose, “Anyways, goodnight younglings,” he said, walking off carefully balancing the mug on his snout with supreme concentration.
Another few days passed and the silver dragon still looked dreadful but was gaining strength. The warlord would sport another handful of scars, a testament to his loyalty and determination and they were something he’d carry forever. Small reminders of what he would do for the things he cared about.
With his wounds healing, the dragon grew a little stronger every day and was often seen making his rounds about the facility. He ensured that he kept moving, exercising as much as his body would allow. Not yet daring to fly, he stuck with walking around between rests, making sure that he would not grow fatigued with lack of movement.
The others mostly kept out of his way, knowing not to cross him. The days were quiet in the facility for the time being, and this seemed to exacerbate the silver’s desire to leave back to Kilara. He knew that things were changing over there yet he was helpless in this state to do much about it being stuck Earthside. He was growing irritable, having to stay in one place but yielded to Melina’s insistence that he stay and heal. This, however, was not without a show of grumbling and protest. He wouldn’t admit at the very lest being stuck in the building on earth meant he was able to see her every day.
Melina came in and visited the Silver every few hours to check in. She smiled as she was called in to enter.
“Hello there my silver, how are you feeling today?” she asked the warlord.
“Fine as I can be looking like this,” he replied, sitting up respectfully as she came into the room.
Melina nodded lightly, “I know it is frustrating, takes time to heal however I o have some news. I think you are ready to rest on Kilara rather than here,” Melina said to the silver.
“I am being released from my healer’s constant care?” mused the dragon, surprised by this.
“You are indeed, with some reluctance, but I think it be best for your mental wellbeing as well,” Melina replied.
Forge snorted at this. He agreed. Spending 3 or so years caring for his nephew 24/7 was more than enough for him he thought with an inward laugh.
“Well, I thank you for picking up my pieces and putting me back together again after that disaster of a fight,” he said a little dryly, thinking of Kreios.
Melina smiled lightly, “No more big fights unless I am at your side please. In fact, no more warlord fights ever,” she said.
“I can’t promise that, Hylen. You’ll go out of business if I keep to myself,” the dragon replied.
Melina laughed lightly, “Good thing I don’t charge you. We’re not the US. I operate a socialist healthcare for dragons. I don’t think dragons use gold or credits,” She chuckled lightly.
“I’m sure dragons could find something of interest to barter with,” he smiled lightly back.
He rose to his feet, trying not to groan at the protest of his back as he did so. The deep furrows that Kreios’ claws had inflicted on him where the longest to heal. He dared not make a show of it in front of Melina though, knowing she’d likely keep him there longer if he displayed any great lingering pain.
“Walk with me to the portal?” he asked, trying for casualness.
“Of course, after you, sir,” she said to the silver.
They walked in silence, simply enjoying the other’s company while they headed to the portal room. He opened the door and waited before she turned on the lights, stepping into the room as the Portal hummed to life.
“Thank you again, Melina,” he said, a little haltingly.
“I’ll miss you too my silver. It will be okay,” she smiled as she reache dup her hand to pet his scales. He lowered his head slowly, touching his nose to her palm briefly before pulling away and stepping through the portal.
The next few days proved to be a little quieter as Forge returned to Kilara, Bronan and Tahsis went as well to keep an eye on the silver, this allowed Melina and Zyra to finish the application and to go back investigating their original investigations.
Jack was in the canteen, reading the news on his tablet and drinking his coffee as it was quiet, he sat on a large comfy sofa off to the one side as he enjoying a bit of peace and quiet, soon the golden dragon came into view, spotting Jack, he approached the man.
"Our new security chief is coming in today," said Ardon as he scratched along his jaw, "I heard Veyron mentioning it. "
Jack looked up from his tablet at what the golden dragon had said.
"Oh he is?, well Mark moved quickly there, I heard it is someone Mark trusts allot" Jack said drinking his coffee, knowing Mark wanted a security chief in position as soon as possible.
"Really? Oh great," replied Ardon, frowning a bit. "I just hope whoever it is likes dragons."
Jack laughed lightly.
"Knowing our luck probably not but Mark went head hunting his old pals and did an in depth check so I'm confident in Mark and surprisingly Veyron" Jack replied to the gold.
The dragon gave him a look but then nodded. "We will see once the person shows up I guess."
Jack nodded lightly.
“Yes, I let him get settled with Mark and all before we come in and speak to him, I know he has requested a house and car, not wanting to live on the base, which we are happy to do” Jack commented.
"Who wouldn't want to live under the ground with us?" Ardon joked, nosing Jack's elbow.
Jack laughed lightly.
“Precisely with all you guys, anyways we will see when he is on his second day” Jack said as Ardon attempted to subtly steal his Danish.
Mark went to the main shuttle hanger waiting for his officer to arrive in the shuttlecraft, he had been told the shuttle had entered Torchwood 5 airspace and was given permission to land, with the main doors opened in preparation.
The little wraith sat perched on Marks shoulder, tail twitching impatiently while they waited for their newest employee.
"What's the hold up?"
Mark gave Veyron a glance.
“He is coming, the shuttle is coming, just some patience please Veyron, it be here in a moment” Mark replied.
Veyron grunted at this but kept his mouth shut, eyes fixed on where the shuttle would come in.
Soon the hum of engines could be heard as the shuttle appeared, lowering down towards the landing pad, all of a sudden the doors began to close and the lights dimmed down in the hanger.
Mark looked puzzled, looking at the hanger manager.
“Why is the hanger lights being dimmed?” Mark asked the shuttle manager Mathew.
“Special request from the shuttle, been sent last minute, same with quarters and other things sir” Mathew said handing over a tablet to Mark.
Veyron tensed a bit. They only ever dimmed the lights when that night striker dragon came. What could this be about? He wondered.
The shuttle landed and the engines powered off as the rear door opened as a man dressed smartly in a shirt and tie approached with short brown hair, he looked a little taller than Mark but had a slim frame, he approached the man and he seemed to wear sun glasses heavily tinted.
Mark seemed to frown lightly as he approached and spoke.
“Welcome to Torchwood 5 Sub Commander Holtan” Mark said as he shook the man’s hand.
The man smiled lightly.
“It has been a long time no speak Mr De Santa, far too long, surprised I got your call” the man said, his accent was strong southern American.
“This is Veyron, one of many dragons here, he is our recon scout and intelligence operative” Mark introduced Holtan to the wraith.
Veyron nodded at the man, "Welcome to the dragon pit. Hope you're ready for this once in a lifetime career." He said.
The man seemed unphased by the dragon, nor surprised when he spoke.
“Great, so this guy the whiskey drinking dragon you been gassing on about Mark?” the man asked.
“It is, sadly, he has a more direct approach to people, but I guess you be fine with that coming from Texas” Mark teased lightly.
"Sadly!" Scoffed the wraith, "don't let this guy fool you, if it weren't for me, Marky here would be drinking solo. "
Holtan nodded lightly as Mark changed the subject.
“Come, let me show you to your office and where everything is, obviously arrange it as you see fit” Mark said gesturing to the sub commander who followed them, however he then spoke.
“Are the lights dimmed?, I did request it”.
Mark nodded lightly.
“Yes I got the lights dimmed, may I ask why you want them dimmed and when did you wear tinted glasses Steven?” Mark asked.
“You can ask” the man replied in a rather blunt manner but Mark did not push it.
Veyron seemed annoyed that mark didn't ask, "what's with the specs then?" he quipped.
Mark tried not to roll his eyes at the wraith’s attitude.
Mr Hotlan laughed.
“Your right, he is rather blunt and direct Mark, to answer your question my eyes are a little sensitive to bright light, little issue I had to deal with” he replied.
“Oh? A mission in space or on Earth” asked Mark.
“Calisto to be exact” the man said.
"What's this then?" Asked Veyron, lost at what they were talking about.
“It doesn’t matter I fill you in another time” Holtan said as they arrived at the man’s new office the lights indeed dimmed as they entered together, the man inspecting his new office with interest.
Mark watched as the man wandered around.
“It’s a little big for a normal office” he commented.
“Well considering we got dragons coming in, it needs to be big to accommodate them, but you can amend it how you see fit” Mark offered.
"The largest of our dragons won't fit through the extra wide door but don't think that will stop them from paying you a visit should they think they need to," noted Veyron.
The man seemed to nod his head lightly.
“Ok, well I like to bring in a few things of mine once I’m all clocked in and all, then I be fine, I will ask for the lights to be dimmed at this level” Holtan said directly.
“Of course whatever you need, we can sort out, you can meet Commander Harkness, your big boss and then Ardon and the other dragons here” Mark said.
"You've already met the best of the team but I suppose you should know the other riffraff," grinned Veyron.
Mark tried not shake his head in disbelief as Holtan found the whole thing a little amusing.
“Least I can do, but this will be fine, I assume my living arrangements are being sorted?” he asked as Mark nodded.
“Of course, I don’t stay on the base, but some staff including his highness here does, you know his quarters, it’s the biggest, to match his ego” Mark replied.
Veyron seemed to just come up with another quick witted response to Mark’s little teasing comments.
"That is where you'd find me," said Veyron with a pleased looking expression at the sight of his luxurious accommodations.
“Well, I give you a tour, come you see what you be responsible for” Mark said as him and Veyron took the man around the facility, a new person to join the team after all the turbulent time the organization has been through.
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