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Unread Oct 22nd, 2018, 01:39 PM   #51
Aerazura
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Ardon and Comox set to unrolling the tent that the humans would use during the exercise. It was warm enough outside for the dragons not to need a shelter luckily.
They chose a spot that was well hidden but could also be easily defended or abandoned should they be sprung upon unexpectedly. There were two paths through the trees and shrubs that could hide them while they tracked to and from their hiding grounds.

After the tent was constructed and set in between two trees and a few shrubs Zyra brought over some branches to cover the white canvas material to disguise it from any prying eyes.
“There that doesn’t look half bad,” she said as they stood back to look at it. With Rifts help, Jack and Melina put all the equipment inside
"Excellent work team, looks like those survival books I got Zy for Easter has helped" the professor teased as Jack smiled.
"Well I figured it would help hide it a bit better," Zyra replied, "Buuut if you want to be easily visible to the other team I can take the branches off," she teased back, pretending to pull one off the top of the structure.
"I think we can keep them on Doctor, Ardon will take charge of the night shift with Rift and Veyron going to scout, I want Rift in camouflage paint, so his scales wont shine with lights" Jack instructed.

"Did we bring paint?" Asked Rift, walking up curiously at the sound of his name.
"I did indeed!" Melina grinned as she showed the spine-back the spray paint.
'Mel, would you do the honours? It will give us time for the paint to dry before I send them out," said Ardon.
Melina nodded, shaking the can as she got out some pastels that were camouflage colour.
Rift took off his gear so that it wouldn’t get coated in the wet paint and stood still as the professor sprayed the paint over the Spine back's red scales.
Rift closed his eyes and nostrils as the paint washed over his face. He sneezed, shaking his head after the cloud of spray dissipated.
“Bless you,” laughed Comox as Rift wrinkled his nose, feeling the paint dry already.
"You look like a completely different dragon," remarked Comox.
"I bet I do. Not a speck of red to be seen," said rift as he inspected his new hide coloration.
Melina finished off with the camouflage pastels on the spine back's face and stood back and grinned.
"Lets see your best army face Rift" Melina said.

The dragon looked suddenly very stern but couldn't hold the expression and laughed, "How do I look? Stealthy?" He asked, turning in a circle.
"Very, it will keep you hidden, Veyron is a dark colour naturally and sticks to the shadows so he can blend in, you will be able to get him there, get the information a quick evacuation," Jack said.
Rift nodded, looking serious about the task he was given. “You got it.” He promised.
While the group waited for dark they had gathered in the sheltered clearing and sat together in a circle, going over layout plans and Hitteki’s photos. Ardon had set down a whiteboard and given Jack markers so that they could discuss some possible plans of attack before they got all their scouting information from Rift and Veyron later.

“If you keep low and quiet, you could use this part of the woods as cover to get in close" Jack said as Hitteki showed the photo.
"Veyron could get some good shots, as long as the sub commander hasn’t blocked it off," said the Syrian.
“Speaking of him, where did Veyron go?” asked Ardon, looking around as he realized that they hadn’t seen the wraith for over an hour.
“Up here,” came the wraiths voice and Ardon looked up to see the dragon high up in the tree branches above. He was peering through his specially built binoculars to the north looking in the direction of the airfield.
“Anything?” asked Ardon, getting up and walking under the tree as Zyra looked up as well to see what the little dragon was up to. Veyron didn’t move for a moment, slowly scanning the area from his perch. Finally he lowered the binoculars and looked down at the gold.

“I see a lot. I’ll have a better idea tonight when we go though,” he said, opening his wings and gliding over to the next tree.
Zyra made note of how the little wraith moved from branch to branch silently. Only every once in a while his talons made a slight crunching noise when he climbed but it could easily be mistaken for the rustle of leaves with the way he moved. Even though the wraith wasn’t earthy tones, his dark colouration made him blend in easily with the shadows. When he kept his ruff and wings folded there was no flash of the dark crimson. It was obvious he was built for such an environment. No wonder he had pushed for his elevated walkways and tunnels. Wraiths did well up high.
“Well come on down for now, the sun will be going down in a bit so grab something to eat before you and Rift head out,” suggested Ardon.
The wraith lingered in the canopy just a little while longer before taking the gold’s suggestion of a quick snack.

It was always surprising to see the wraith in this work mode. He was still sarcastic with a biting attitude but he was more focused and driven than his usual self. He stood over the photos and surveyed them at length while he ate, adding his own notes to the board and suggesting places to avoid for now until they received intel.
Soon enough the sky began to lose the bright light of day as the sun began to set. Shortly they would be on the move.
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Unread Oct 24th, 2018, 07:38 AM   #52
IapetusCas
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Soon night fell across the lands as Hitteki took watch by the tent, to ensure the humans managed to get a bit of rest while the scouting mission was going to get underway, Jack was outside as Melina rested in her tent.
“Ok you two, remember, keep quiet and low to the ground, keep hidden and keep noise to a minimum, your going into this semi blind, don’t take risks but keep your senses alert, get in there and get out in one piece” Jack instructed Rift and Veyron.
"You got it, boss," said Veyron as he climbed onto Rift's back and checked the gear on his belt.
"I'll get him there and back as quietly and quickly as possible," added Rift.
"We will be in contact but keep all lines quiet unless completely necessary," instructed Ardon.
Jack nodded in agreement with Ardon’s words.
“Use secure channel Alpha Veyron, utilise the silenced communication but don’t speak when in the area, just in case, now, head off, on silent paws Rift” Jack said.
"You got it," nodded the dragon. Veyron took his spot on rifts head between his horns, far away as possible from the dangerous spines.
Like lightening the spine back took off with little noise into the darkness of the night.
Jack watched as they shot off and vanished into the darkness of the forest, Jack soon lost sight of them as his golden eyes seemed to track them for longer than humans.
“I hope they do ok, I must admit its interesting to see them past a normal human’s ability, I guess I got you and Brathille to thank for that Ardy” Jack said to the gold pointing to his eyes.
"You humans are half blind usually, I swear," said Ardon with a slight smile.
"Not exactly but human vision isn't nearly as good as your average dragon for distance or low light," added Zyra thinking back to the time where she had human sight.
Jack had to smile at the comment, the dragoness knew both sides of the coin in this debate.
"I’m glad that at least one dragon understands humans, thank you Doctor Zyra" Jack said, teasing the gold lightly.
“Sorry we haven’t all been zapped into another species,” joked Ardon though he kept his eyes focused on where rift and Veyron had disappeared.
“They be fine, Veyron is in his element, so oddly I trust his judgement” Jack said as Hitteki overheard.
“I hope your right sir” Hitteki said shaking her head.


Meanwhile the two dragons used the forest as cover as they closed in on the airfield, they had been on the move for 20 minutes and so far, there had been no resistance or patrols as yet.
“Keep to the left,” said Veyron quietly as Rift sprinted into the night.
“Got it,” nodded the red, keeping low under the cover of night.
“If they have thermographic equipment we’ll have no way of sneaking in.”
“What’s that?” Asked Rift.
“It’s a camera that can detect heat. Like body head. Anything warm blooded shows up easily and fire breathing dragons’ glow like beacons.” Explained the wraith.
As they approached closer the sound of fighter engines in the sky sounded and they were getting louder.
“Get down!” Hissed Veyron. Rift skidded to a stop and hid under a fallen log.
Soon the sound got louder and then the fighters appeared through the gap in the trees, 4 fighters in a close arrow formation patrolling low in the sky around the forest, the they flew overhead as the engine sound began to get quiet as Rift and Veyron checked to see if the coast was clear.
“Fighter jets?” Whispered rift.
“Yeah. They’ll probably be making rounds. We’ll have to see if they’re on a schedule.” Said Veyron looking at the small digital clock he had clipped to his belt.
“Come on let’s get a little closer.”
The two dragons went closer, a little more cautiously than before, as they moved forward the familiar sound of engines were coming around as they took cover somewhere else, using the natural rocks for shelter and cover as the fighters once again flew past them.
“Okay they are circling around every ten minutes,” the wraith said when the fighters passed over again.
“Okay. We’ll hide low every 9 minutes or so and wait for them to pass then,” said Rift.
“Good plan. We’re getting close anyway. Let’s find out what we can see.”
Rift slowly moved in and soon in the distance the lights of the airfield could be seen and with it more security, soon another fighter with quieter engines were approaching their position allot lower and slower than the other 5, with beams on full.
"Down," ordered Veyron and the spine back reacted instinctively. "A different ship. Martina’s, I think."
"How can you tell?" asked Rift, surprised at the wraith's ability to tell the difference.
"Her engines are quieter on the Avalon and have a slight whine to them as they pass. Listen."
Rift did so and his ears twitched as they picked up the sound. "How do you know all this?"
"Magic," was all the wraith said as he stood up and looked through his binoculars.
Soon the fighter approached near their position as light beams shone through the thick forest, lighting up the deep darkness, some animals scurried for cover as the trees moved from the pulsating engines on the Avalon.
At the next sound of engines Rift hid automatically but Veyron urged him to set himself further back under cover.
"She's got the spotlights out. Get under the brush," he hissed.
Rift wedged himself until some thick brush and lowered his head, ensuring he was protected by the shadows.
"Close your eyes too. I don't want her to see any glow." instructed Veyron.
The engines sounded loud, the fighter was close with the lights scanning the area as Avalon slowly came lower and was scanning the area.
It would become obvious it was Martina’s ship, the woman’s experience and methodical approach was on display as the way the ship moved was precise, covering allot the area.
At the next sound of engines Rift hid automatically but Veyron urged him to set himself further back under cover.
"She's one of the newer members of the team but she’s an experienced one, bonded early too so she had some idea about dragons so we have to be careful with her," explained Veyron.
Soon Martina’s fighter seemed to stop and hover in the sky near where the dragons were, soon a green laser beam seemed to be scanning the area.
“Stay still, Red,” said Veyron.
“What’s happening?” Whispered Rift.
“She’s using some laser system to look around the area.” Veyron said back in a hushed tone.
The ship moved and the green laser scanned the area, the lights shining through as the ship scouted the area, Veyron would see despite her age, she was a very formidable opponent.
Veyron’s eyes were bright and searching as he looked around the area. He wasn’t entirely sure what this system she was using was capable of and had to reassess their situation.
Finally the laser beam went off and the ship turned and slowly moved off to another area, it had been a real scare for the two dragons but Martina’s fighter moved carefully, so they waited till Avalon moved off a bit further.
“Get up, we’re moving,” said Veyron, jumping onto the dragons head.
“Where?” Asked Rift, standing slowly.
“To the area she just scanned. Look there, you can hide under that and I can get up the tree to get some photos of the main base area.”
As they moved closer the dragons would hear and see the airfield, patrolled by security guards and monitored by CCTV and automated turret systems, indeed the base was heavily fortified.
Veyron scaled up a tall tree and clung into one of the branches. Taking out his camera the wraith took a number of photos.
“Hm,” he said, impressed at the fortifications surrounding the base.
He stayed for a while up there in the trees before he finally returned to rift.
“Took you long enough. I was starting to worry something was up.”
“No, just taking stock of what we’re up against. Can’t do that kind of thing half-assed.” Replied Veyron.
Soon the ground under them began to tremble and shake, softly at first but soon it became more obvious and louder as the dragons seemed surprised about where this mini earthquake was coming from.
“Woah what’s happening?” Asked Rift, bracing himself as the ground shook.
“****. Get a move on kid! Through the trees!” Said Veyron, yanking on one of the spines on Rift’s head like reins.
The dragons soon took off before the massive crag back approached their area.
Vonriir lumbered forward, sniffing the air. He had thought he had caught Rifts scent on the wind but he peered into the dark and saw nothing moving.
“Martina to Vonriir, you ok? Anything to report?” Martina asked the crag back as she flew over heard in Avalon.
“Thought I had something but nothing out here.... keep an eye out for anything red. Rift might be out there,” he replied back.
Martina hummed to herself, she decided to ask again.
" I can go check it out if you think Rift or them have been there, just say if you feel they might of sneaked in close" Martina asked.
"Possible. about 30 metres ahead of me. Maybe in that area with the breeze moving as it is," said Vonriir.
"Ok Vonriir i swing round there and order the squadron to scan the surrounding area, keep alert" Martina said as Avalon flew off.
"Roger that," replied the large dragon, turning to the left to patrol the furthest extent of his zone. "Alert me if you find anything."
“Will do, keep your eyes peeled” Martina said as she shot off at speed, putting the light beams on and then communicating with the rest of her Valkyrie squadron.
“Martina to Valkyrie 2, Vonriir says we might have contact with intruders, 30 miles north east, close in your patrol at grid reference 345.32 and circle at slower speed, use your beams and make passes over the forest” she instructed.
“Understood, enroute now” came the response as Martina slowed Avalon down and lowered down to get a better look at the area and to see if Vonriir’s claims were true.
Avalon was closing in on the two dragons as they attempted to return to their camp undetected, Vonriirs sense of smell perhaps triggering alarms off.
"It's the damn Avalon, lose her," Veyron hissed.
Suddenly Rift doubled back and took a sharp right and zigzagged towards the furthest area of the tree cover, circling back towards their safe zone.
Martina slowed down and scanned the area as Rift took off in another direction, she turned her head, perhaps sensing movement as she turned the ship to follow her hunch.
Martina pressed a button an large red laser shot out as she brought up a thermal imaging view on her pilot visor as she scanned the area.
"Hold it. We're not going to outrun those scanners," said Veyron, "Into the mud."
"What?" stammered the red.
"INTO the mud!" hissed Veyron. "Cover yourself and your firelung. If she's using heat sensitive equipment the mud will mask your signature."
Rift felt a bit guilty getting his borrowed gear dirty but he did as instructed, rolling in the puddle of mud that he had leapt over just a minute earlier.
"Why aren't you getting covered?" he asked once he was caked in the earthy dirt.
"I can hide behind you and not get seen. No point in both of us looking like crap," the wraith replied. "Now get down. Chest low to the ground, hide that fire lung."
Avalon came overhead and the red scanner swept up and down near them, as light beams, distorted by the tall trees and leaves as Martina checked the area carefully.
"Stay still," whispered Veyron as the scanners passed over them. Rift had debris and twigs stuck all over him from the mud and the wraith hoped it was enough. This is why he hated bringing others along on missions. A wraith could hide anywhere but it wasn't the case for larger dragons even though Rift was on the small side of the scale.
The spine-back's heart raced but he kept his head low, eyes closed and still as a stone while the ship hummed overhead.
Martina couldn’t see anything on the scanner as she radioed in.
“Martina to Valkyrie 2 and Vonriir, no sign of Rift or any dragons, thermal imaging shows negative, could have been a deer or something” Martina said.
"Hm," was Vonriir's reply, "Could have sworn I caught a scent. Could have been carried up from further away. Thank you for checking."
Martina hummed lightly.
“I have a check the surrounding area, if you picked up a scent, I check more easterly just in case, Valkyrie 2 continue circling grid area 3 4 and 5” Martina ordered.
“Understood madam” came the reply.
Avalon soon moved off at speed, returning the area into darkness as Martina took her search elsewhere.
"Wait, hold," instructed Veyron sensing that Rift wanted to begin the sprint for home base. "Hang tight for a minute and make sure they don't turn back."
Rift looked up and waited and the moment Veyron was up on his head and gave him the signal he was off and running.
Back at the camp, Ardon and Zyra had been taken off watch by Comox and Hitteki who monitored the area as Melina and Jack slept, knowing no operation would happen tonight, they would rest this night and be awoken once Veyron and Rift returned.
Rift suddenly appeared in the camp, skidding to a stop as leaves fell around him.
"Stars above what happened to you?" asked Comox, seeing the spine-back caked in mud and dirt.
"Had to get little dirty," grinned Veyron, jumping over to Hitteki's head so he wouldn't have to deal with all the mud.
"They had .... thermal detecting equipment," said Rift, trying to remember what the wraith had called it.
"Oh and you masked yourself in mud. Great thinking," said Ardon.
"That would be an ingenious idea from moi," said Veyron.
Hitteki smirked lightly but eyes looked up to her head, although she could not see the wraith, she knew the troublesome little dragon was there.
“I can see your still spotless Veyron, didn’t take one for the team I see” the Syrian dragoness said.
“I didn’t need to. I had to ensure Rift wasn’t seen. My priority. Anyway i got lots of photos and footage of the base. They have that thing armed to the teeth.” Said the wraith as he passed over his equipment.
“Perhaps we should wake up Jack and the professor, they are sleeping in the tents, they did say to wake them but might as well look at the intel with fresh eyes in the morning” suggested the green dragoness.
“No Jack wanted to be woken up when they returned,” said Ardon. “I’ll at least tell him that and see if he wants to look at the photos or wait till morning.”
Hitteki nodded and looked at Rift as Ardon went to wake up his Atillu.
“You didn’t need that paint, all you needed was some mud” the Syrian lightly joked.
“No kidding,” said Rift, trying to wipe away some of the muck, “It got the job done though. Hopefully I don’t smell too bad...”
Soon Jack was up and looked at the spine back and smiled lightly, seeing the wraith spotless and Rift in mud.
“Rift, go rinse yourself off in that waterfall, by the small rocky hill nearby and rinse off, then get your head down to rest” Jack said to the muddy dragon.
Rift nodded, thankful to be able to clean up. He snuck off out towards the sound of water.
“Alright Veyron, I want to know what you got, we can connect your equipment wirelessly to this tablet here, then we can all see better” Jack said as Melina and Zyra seemed to wake up.
“Good to see you guys back” the professor commented.
“All went well, apart from Rift being muddy” Jack smiled lightly making Melina chuckle lightly.
Zyra smiled and stretched as they got the equipment connected.
“Right so we’re dealing with Fort Knox here and she’s armed to the teeth,” Explained Veyron. “We’ve got turrets here and here. Mobile. And valkyries patrol this area here and pass over about every ten minutes. Martina’s got some sort of special laser scanner that she’s using to conduct sweeps. Vonriir is bumbling around as he usually does but I think we can easily distract him.”
Jack studied the photos in detail, impressed that Holtan had called upon such resources in such a short space of time, he could see some good photos of the airfield and its defences.
“So I think we agreed we need a distraction for the Valkyries and Martina, plus our resident giant, just the amount of guys and defence turrets” Jack said.
“It’s hard to tell the amount of personnel they have on site. Some could be inside. I only saw three walking near the building,” replied Veyron.
“We will have to be prepared for anything. We have no idea what they might have inside.” Noted Ardon.
“More people. More weapons. Anything,” said Comox.
Jack nodded in agreement, seeing the photos on his tablet and looking at the details, indeed this was going to be a challenging exercise.
“I think it’s a no brainer we strike at night, they might be on alert if they suspected seeing Rift, but perhaps we can lull them into a false sense of security” Jack suggested to the group.
"How do you want to go about doing that?" inquired Comox.
Jack checked his watch at the timer.
“We got another 63 hours until the exercise is up, if we don’t do anything for now, other than plan and get accustomed to night raids, we can do a high stakes, high risk raid near the deadline, we can rush in and take the hostage to safety” Jack said.
"In the hours leading up to our raid perhaps we should have some decoys or distractions set to go off to lure some of their party away from the main area?" suggested Veyron.
"Like a fire, or some tech going off in the trees?" said Rift.
"Exactly," nodded the wraith. "Even if they just send one or two people out to deal with it, its one or two obstacles we won't have to deal with."
Jack scratched his chin and looked at Comox with a smile.
“Co..did you bring the special packages I asked you for a few days ago?, you and Baxter were working on?” the man asked the male bold wing.
Comox nodded, "They're in the tent. Blue canvas bag."
The other dragons perked up, curious as to what the mysterious package could be.
“Small EMP bombs, only last say 5 minutes but can be used to disable the turrets, giving us a bit of time and to cause confusion” Jack said to the team.
The team of dragons seemed really impressed and knew these items would come in handy.
"No way," grinned Ardon.
"Co, you made these?" asked Zyra, touching one lightly with a talon.
Comox smiled a little sheepishly, "I helped really. Baxter has all the know-how behind it but yeah I helped make them."
Hitteki smiled and nudged the male bold wing, “Nice one, I knew you were very clever Comox” she said.
Veyron inspected the devices on display.
"I call setting one off," said Veyron.
Jack laughed lightly.
“I expect no less, for now we can plan our attack and see from the photos if there is any weaknesses, then we sleep in the day under cover, get some food and practice night raids, we got time” Jack said as the team discussed the plans.
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Unread Nov 3rd, 2018, 11:23 AM   #53
Aerazura
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Veyron had set himself up in the canopy of the trees to keep a suspicious eye on what was going on at the other end of the airfield. Even though it was the middle of the night and as dark as it could be, he kept seeing flashes of colour and bright scales below, distracting him. He pulled the binoculars from his face and scowled down at the group of dragons, still talking and shifting about.
“You’re all coloured like you want to be spotted from 10 miles away,” Veyron said critically, looking down at the dragons who were settling around the camp. “Stick out like damn sore thumbs. If you didn’t bring stuff to cover yourselves with you’d all have to roll in mud. You’re all decorated like you WANT to be found immediately.”
"Just because we aren’t all pitch black and sneaky like you, doesn’t mean we can’t be useful," Hitteki said to the wraith.
“When you are as large as we are and have defences like fire or acid, you don’t have to hide away as a protective measure,” explained Zyra, pulling a camouflaged sheet to hide the rest of her scales that weren’t already covered in her kit.
“I have fire too and I’m not coloured like some idiot peacock,” snorted Veyron.
“You breathe fire?” asked Comox, surprised. He had never thought about it, he realized.
“Of course I do,” Said Veyron, frowning as he looked through his binoculars from his position in the tree. “What kind of dragon doesn’t breath fire?”
“Sparks,” whispered Ardon to the Boldwing with a wink.
Comox supressed a snicker but Veyron didn’t notice, he was keeping an eye on the facilities spotlights glinting off the patrolling craft.
Just then Jack emerged from the tent.
"Hey guys, you should all be resting, I need you all on point, not bickering or talking, come on settle, Comox can you take the first watch please," Jack instructed, the man’s tone sounded serious and assertive.
Comox nodded and immediately got up and moved off towards the spot that he was to keep watch.
“Sorry, Jack. It’s hard to sleep. Even though this is a training exercise the feeling like something dangerous is looming won’t disappear,” said Zyra.
Jack softened his approach, nodding his head lightly.
"I understand, it’s something new and different, we wanted to create this environment to hone your skills, you do us all proud, I know it, I just need you all on top form," Jack replied.
The dragons nodded and settled in as Jack disappeared inside the tent again. Rift, Hitteki, Ardon and Zyra formed a loose circle around their little camp. Zyra was thankful most of the group were fire breathers and exuded extra heat for the night was a little chilly.
“Are you not coming down?” whispered Ardon, up into the trees as he realized Veyron was still in the high branches.
“No, I’m find up here,” came the reply from above.
“Comox is on first watch, you don’t have to stay up.”
“I’ll sleep eventually. Wraiths can sleep in trees so stop worrying and go to bed,”” said Veyron coarsely.
Ardon didn’t push further and set his head down on his paws, letting out a soft sight. He stared up through the gaps in the leaves but couldn’t see stars. Clouds had come in for the night.
He could hear the gentle breathing of the group around him and finally settled down to sleep.
Through the night Comox woke Hitteki for her to take the next shift. By dawn’s morning light Zyra was the one sitting by the edge of their camp, watching the world through the branches. She had looked up through the canopy to try to see Veyron but the little wraith had hidden himself well to sleep.
Birds began to sing at first light. At the building, far away at the other end of the airfield she could see that there was only one patrol craft. It had sounded like most of their activity died down in the later hours of the night though she couldn’t be exactly sure.
The rest of the camp began to wake a short while later. Ardon gave a mighty yawn and stretched like a cat. Hs camouflage sheet slipped off his back and landed on Rift who jolted from sleep at the unexpected weight suddenly deposited on his head.
“Sorry,” smiled the gold as Rift dug himself out of the blanket.
“Did anyone see much through the night?” asked Ardon as the others got up.
Comox shook his head and so did Rift, “Nothing really.”
“There was only one patrol craft I noticed when I started my watch at about 3:45 am.”
“They only have one craft operating from 3-5,” came Veyron’s voice as he glided down from the branches above and landed on Comox’s horn.
“How do you know?” asked Ardon.
“I went back out there to take a look,” said the wraith casually. “It looks like Vonriir packs it in after 1am as well.”
“Veyron you weren’t supposed to go out there again without permission,” chided Ardon.
“Says who? You never said I couldn’t go. I got you some important details and some better pictures of the south side of the base which is where I think you should go crashing in through. Quit *****ing and maybe thank me for getting you this intel.”
Ardon frowned but said nothing else, hearing Jack and Melina coming out of the tent.
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Unread Nov 5th, 2018, 03:32 PM   #54
IapetusCas
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Soon there was movement in one of the tents as Jack was the first up and dressed, Melina was also getting ready in her tent opposite, Jack stretched and yawned as he saw the dragons up and watching the sun rise.
Veyron jumped and landed unceremoniously on Jacks shoulder and promptly thrust his camera into the man’s field of vision. “Bout time you got up. I collected better photos of the base.”
Jack seemed surprised but looked at the photos on the camera surprised, seeing the wraith had gone back to the airfield without permission or the other dragons.
“You went on scouting without back up?, that was risky to put yourself in” Jack said to the wraith giving him a look.
“I think it was less risky because I didn’t have a glowing red ground flare following me around,” remarked the wraith. “I was fine. I brought my communicator in case of emergency.”
Jack seemed to let it slide as he looked at the photos the wraith had managed to take from his little excursion.
"Well least your unscheduled errand gave us an option of attack, any patterns you observed" Jack asked.
“Well it was only one night so I can’t say for sure if it’s a pattern but Vonriir stopped his patrol just after midnight and there seems to be the fewest ships in the air around 3am. A shift change might be happening then also so that might be our best opportunity for going in,” replied the wraith.
Jack nodded lightly.
"Yeah and it might work with my task to do it at the last moment, perhaps another scout tonight to confirm, but Rift to drop you off and then you meet him at a meet point" Jack said.
“Sounds fine by me,” said Veyron.
“What should we do in the meantime?” asked Zyra.
“Food is the first point of order, you all must be hungry, I brought enough rations to give to everyone plus chocolate as well” the professor said as she appeared from her tent dressed with hair tied back.
“You’re a saint,” grinned Ardon, thinking about the time of kilara and Jack’s rationing of the rare and delicious treat.
“What’s for breakfast then, anything we need to get prepped?” Inquired Comox.
“A fire but a small one and in shelter to not emit any smoke, I found a little spot the fire can go, plus the heat will go through the rock for the evening” Melina said pointing to a little enclave near their campsite.
The dragons gathered some dried wood and set to making an extra shield out of leaves to dissipate any smoke that might come through.
Ardon set the flame and it didn’t take long for it to catch.
“There,” he said, standing back.
Melina smiled as she got the food kit set up as the fire was set up, the woman was busy cooking the rations in the camping tins she brought along as Jack continued discussions with Veyron.
Ardon walked over to Mel and sat beside her. “Did you sleep okay?” He asked, lowering his head to her in hopes she might pick up the idea to give him a pet.
Melina smiled and petted his golden muzzle.
“Yeah, I slept ok, done camping before, would like a shower but I can cope” she smiled petting his golden muzzle.
“Your golden scales are looking really good Ardon, very well done” the professor added.
“I do my best,” he laughed lightly, knowing he did very little to make them so gold. It was all just luck that he had been given an aurous hide.
“Are you feeling ready to go kick some butt and take on Vonriir?” He teased.
Melina laughed lightly at the gold’s comments.
“Vonriir could bulldoze all of you over, I know its all a simulation but when he gets excited he doesn’t know his own strength at times” the professor said, stirring the porridge ion the large foldable pot over the small fire.
“That’s why I’m suggesting that YOU go take on Von,” joked Ardon. “He won’t dare hurt you.”
Melina smiled as she imagined the massive crag back coming to a halt and getting pets, but he already got that from Martina now.
Zyra walked over, seeing Ardon speak with her Attilu and catching what he was saying.
“You are not going to use MY Attilu as bait.” She insisted.
“Why not? It would be perfect. Vonriir can’t resist a damsel in distress. She would be a perfect distraction.” Grinned Ardon.
Zyra clicked her teeth at him, “she’s not a damsel.”
Melina sensed the bold wings displeasure at the golden dragon’s suggestion of her being a damsel, Zyra was protective of upholding the professor’s image and she did not like Ardon painting her as a classic damsel in distress.
“I think Ardon was joking, besides isn’t it males job to be the big tough, brawny ones and us girls the brains” Melina teased patting the thick muscles on Ardon’s shoulders.
“I have both,” grinned the gold.
Zyra rolled her eyes and smiled, “oh yeah?”
Melina chuckled.
“We’ll have a lovely group discussion on who had brain or brawn after the mission maybe? We can even put it to a vote if you don’t agree.” Laughed Zyra lightly before walking off.
Melina grinned lightly at Zyra’s comments.
“Come on now, save the teasing for afterwards, we still got Vonriir to deal with, he is going to be on form as he wants to do Martina proud, he be fiercely determined” Melina said to the two dragons, “Shes as fierce as I am in my younger years” she added.
“Younger years?” Asked Ardon, “you’re still not out of those yet I think.”
Melina smiled again, looking at the gold.
“True, shes a feisty girl and Vonriir will want to impress her, shame Forge isn’t into these exercises, he could deal with Vonriir” Melina replied.
“He needs a break from all the crazy that happens here,” said Zyra.
“I know. Well we will deal with Vonriir soon enough. Tonight we’ll devise up a plan of attack and sort that but out.” Said Ardon.
Melina nodded lightly.
“Breakfast is ready, its porridge, I got dried fruit if anyone wants some in their portion” Melina said as she got the foldable bowls for the dragons.
“Thank you, Melina,” said Zyra as she sprinkled some fruit onto her portion.
Rift took some with a dubious look but continued to eat happily after the first bite.


“So we need to start working on a plan. What do you think?” Asked Ardon, turning to Jack.
“Actually thinking about a plan first. I’m impressed.” Said Veyron.
Jack resisted the urge to roll his eyes as he answered the question from the gold.
“We have found a potential gap which we can rush in and grab the hostage, it also works with my high risk strategy, hopefully lulling them into a false sense of security, making them think they won, we can exploit the gap” Jack explained.
“Do we have a backup plan for this if things go sideways?” Inquired Comox.
Jack nodded lightly.
“Yes, cause as much havoc as possible, get Rift to rush in and get the hostage, but I am sure my first plan will work good, especially using the emp bombs which Veyron will strategically place” Jack explained.
“I look forward to that,” said the wraith. “Too bad I’m not actually blowing something up, that would be fun.”
Melina chuckled lightly.
“Well you are our recon, scout and espionage agent” Melina said as Jack smiled lightly.
After breakfast the dragons practiced hiding and doing other ground training, helping Rift with movements and how to keep a keen eye out for danger.
“Ok Veyron how long have we got before Holtan can claim victory” Jack asked as he once again reviewed the photos on the tablet again, making a note of defences and CCTV towers.
“He’s not got any claim to victory,” replied the wraith. “We’ve got 36 hours to work with and get the hostage out. I think we can manage just fine.”
Jack nodded lightly as he looked at the little map they had made on the ground, he moved a few twigs which represented defences and CCTV masts, Jack rubbed the stubble on his face that had started to grow.
“Ok, do you think another recon mission is needed tonight to make sure we got it right, then the next night, we strike” Jack asked Veyron.
“I think it’s important for us to ensure that they are sticking to routine before storming out there. Having someone set to keep an eye on things would be imperative. “replied the wraith.
“Agreed, I don’t know if its risking you going there now or at night, to make sure they have not altered anything” Jack said as Melina joined them as they discussed tactics, along with the dragons who had finished training and wondered what Jack had planned.
“I can keep an eye on things from dusk until dark,” Said Veyron. “I am the least likely to he spotted and I know what to keep an eye out for.”
“Then we move in under cover of dark once it looks clear?” Said Ardon.
“Bingo,” Grinned the wraith.
Jack nodded lightly.
“We still have enough camouflage paint for all the dragons and us, plus we got the emp bombs, 5 in total we can use to caused some issues” Melina said as it seemed a plan was in the final stages.
“What if Comox and I distract Martina and her Valkyries,” suggested Zyra, “we can out manoeuvre them even if they can fly faster than us. We could pretend to make attempts at accessing the other entry and have them chase us off and direct their attention to the far side of the building. That would leave less for the rescue team to deal with.”
“Plus with me riding, they think we are going for a two pronged attack” Melina said with a sly smile.
“What you reckon Veyron, anything you want to add” Jack asked the wraith.
“I get to set off the bombs,” Said the wraith firmly but with a giddiness bubbling up inside. “That, and I guess I’ll act as lookout and keep everyone informed of base activity”
Jack nodded.
“Ok, Melina will take the bold wings and distract the Valkyrie’s, while, Veyron is our eyes in the trees to direct us, plus he place the EMP bombs, then he set them off to help us, along with some flares to grab their attention, while all that’s going on, me, Ardy, Hitteki and Rift will go in, Rift will be our getaway driver, you grab the hostage then run like the wind” Jack said to the spine back.
“Me?” Asked rift, surprised he was given such an important task.
“I think it would be a good way to prove you’re worth keeping around the dragon academy,” smiled Ardon.
If Rift could get any redder he would have at the honour of such a responsibility.
“Plus you are fast too Rift, you could get the hostage out and Veyron quicker than us, before they knew what happened you be gone” Hitteki said, agreeing with the choice.
“Then its settled, its high risk but high reward, Veyron will go keep look out this afternoon then scout closer tonight, Rift again will do this, your light on your feet, but camouflage paint again, then drop Veyron off and then get him out” Jack instructed.
“Does anyone have questions?” Asked Ardon, looking around.
The dragons shook their head.
“Then let’s bring home that hostage. Team gold!” He Grinned.
Jack chuckled and Melina smiled as the dragons cheered, looking like everyone was willing and waiting.
“We got one more night of recon then, the last night we strike, I suggest you all train and then get some rest, you on night duties” Jack said.
“Plus, you all need painting tomorrow night” Melina added.
“We should have all been hatched as night strikers. Then we wouldn’t have to get all artsy,” Comox laughed lightly.
“Well go over plans and situations while we wait out the hours,” Said Zyra.
Jack smiled.
“I know your all eager to get going but I want to take them by surprise, we can do this, I discuss it more with Veyron and we can keep an eye on their movements, just in case they altered their patterns” Jack said.
“We do it sir, I know we can” Hitteki said with confidence.
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Unread Nov 10th, 2018, 12:24 PM   #55
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As the team waited for nightfall the dragons took to preparing for the raid. Comox helped refashion the Kevlar sheet to cover Rift’s spines. It would be no good to have their rescued hostage unable to hold on for his life while they escaped.
“I think we can get caps made up one day that could just slide on. They would be unnoticeable and give your peers some added safety,” smiled the Boldwing as he tightened some of the rope and pulled it through the grommets to secure it to Rift’s harness.
“That would work,” nodded the spine-back. “But for now, will that piece stop the spines from poking through?”
“If it can stop bullets it can stop spines,” Replied Comox confidently as he sat back to admire his work.
“Looks good. Thank you,” smiled Rift, turning his head to admire the back half of his harness. They had managed to get it snug enough so that it wasn’t loose and wouldn’t rattle as he ran. Melina had given him what she had called a saddle and added a different collar to his kit so that their rescued team member would have something to hang onto while he ran like the wind.

Veyron was sitting on Jack’s shoulder at the other end of the camp, going over his prep mission in setting up the devices that would disable a good portion of the other team’s security.
“Here you go Veyron, the EMP's they should effective, you need to place them near the gun emplacements, they will disable them, punching a hole for us to get in" Jack said.
Veyron took one of the small disks, marvelling at how small and sleek this kind of tech had got before he realized something and frowned, "Hold on- wait, these aren't the real thing," said Veyron with genuine disappointment.
"Do you really think I want to disable our own valkyrie squadron? Lose all those ships?" Jack said with a questioning look.
The wraith shrugged casually. He hadn’t really thought about it but the thought of no great catastrophe at his hands was a little disappointing. He had been looking forward to causing a little ruin. "Am I the only one hoping for just a LITTLE fire and destruction?" he asked.
"Oh the’ll be a little fire and destruction, they not exactly harmless props, IF you get them in close enough" Jack replied with a smile.
"IF? I'm not an 'if' sort of dragon. Show me where you want them and i'll get them there," said the wraith, shaking one of the EMP’s at the commander before stuffing them into a bag he would be carrying with him.
Jack smiled as he showed on the ground using props to where the EMP's needed to be placed.
"As you can see, close but not too close and it will cause some fireworks to satisfy you," Jack said to the wraith.
"We'll see about that," hummed Veyron, looking at the map, "Though I think the third emp should be placed about 20 meters north, there." he said pointing to a block above where it was currently said to go. "It would have the potential to affect more."
"Agreed, good spotting Veyron, you do that and that will cause some confusion," Jack replied



By the tents Zyra was acting as artist and painting up the dragons in the stealth paint, “Now stay still or else I’m going to get it in your eyes,” said Zyra, reaching up and sponging on the dark colour over the gold’s brow.
“There must be a faster way to apply this stuff,” said Ardon. It had taken a while to get Rift and Hitteki painted up and now, being the largest of the group, he felt like it was taking ages to go from a gold to a charcoal grey dragon with streaks of black and dark green.
“Well if being quiet wasn’t essential we could have gotten a compressor and hooked up a tank to a paint sprayer. That would have cut the time down. But, alas we can’t have that now so you’re just going to have to be patient. Now lower your head.”
Ardon submitted to being painted. His bright gold was hard to cover but the paint held well, even surviving the folding and stretching on his wing ,membrane.
“This is going to be a terror to get cleaned off after all of this is done.” Remarked Ardon.
“You better ask Jack nicely when this training mission is over or else you’re going to look like you rolled in muck for ages,” laughed the dragoness as she stood back to admire her work. It was surprising how different Ardon looked without his trademark brilliant gold colouring. “Who am I looking at again?”
Ardon laughed and put his gear back on now that the paint was dry. Zyra and Comox were the next to be painted but they left the inside of the tops of their wings unpainted. This way they could hide the bright white but stretch out their wings to become more visible if they needed to lure anyone away.
Jack wandered over to see how the dragons were preparing. "Wow, you all look very different with the paints, but it will hide you well," Jack said.
"Rift and Hitteki have been done up in the greens mostly, Ardon and the rest of us we've done in the dark greys seeing as we'll be flying for a good portion of it. Better to keep us more like the dark sky,” explained Zyra.
"I agree, Veyron will be setting the EMP's off, they will disable the turrets, the fighters will be the bold wings problem, while I go in with Ardon, Hitteki and Rift to get the hostage," Jack explained.
“We’re getting to the point where it’s going to be dark shortly,” said Comox, looking up at the light in the sky.
“Shortly after dark is when I’ll set the emps. Then we’ll start our surveillance and ensure that they are sticking to their routine,” said Veyron.
The dragons had one last meal before their mission, sitting quietly together going over different scenarios. When darkness fell Veyron packed up his things and Rift ran him towards the edge of the wood while the others waited.
“You sure you’re good here?” asked Rift, panting slightly as he crouched behind some mossy stones.
“I’m good,” replied the wraith as he slug his bag across his slim back and jumped off the red, “Stay right here out of sight. No one will be able to see you under the brush and stone ledge. Only talk through the communicator if you or I need to be at risk. Got it?”
“Got it,” nodded Rift, seeing the wraith was focused on his task.
Veyron then vanished into the night without much more than a slight rustle of leaves. In his element, the wraith grinned to himself. He scurried up a floor light standard and set an emp at the very top. No one could see such a tiny creature messing about right under their noses.
Veron opened his wings and used them to glide down to a little building on the east side of the grounds and placed another. He waited up in the shadows, watching guards walking about.
“Humans,” muttered Veyron, watching them pass by only a few meters below, completely unaware.
The last of the emps were set with only a few minutes of his allotted time left to spare. He returned back to Rift’s hiding spot and together they waited in absolute silence, holding their breath as one of the Valkyries passed low overhead.
“That ship is a bit off course but everything else is looking good so far. Vonriir was just leaving Hangar 2 when I was on my way back.” Veyron whispered to Rift.
“EMPS placed successfully,” Veyron said through the communication systems and awaited Jack’s orders.
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