-EDIT- PLEASE do not read this, okay? it's old and the writing is really bad and conflicts with canon in a really annoyng way and a lot of the names have already been used. I'm currently planning a full-scale rewrite but please don't read it until said rewrite is underway! D:
It's been fifty years since the end of the Great War - now just a chapter in dragonet schoolbooks. Peace and prosperity reign. But lurking below the perfect surface is something sinister and dangerous, something that could pitch the land into turmoil again. At the end of the war years before, another prophecy was spoken; a prophecy that the NightWings kept secret.
The prophecy is known now, and it foretells another war: one that could destroy the tribes.
Wonder, a northern RainWing dragonet, has had to cope with watching her sister Shine grow up as the RainWing mentioned in the second prophecy. When Shine was sent off to fulfill it, Wonder thought she'd be able to breathe easy for a while.
But she was wrong.
The old NightWing was dying, and the SkyWing sentry knew it.
For over two weeks, she'd stood guard just outside the dim, damp chamber he was kept in, while the waves crashed against the rocky cliffs outside and a SandWing Rebel interrogated the prisoner on and off. They'd tried everything to get him to talk: torture, tricks, flattery, even one of the NightWings in the rebellion had come and tried to read his mind, and nothing had worked. The SkyWing snorted. Typical NightWings, all high and mighty. Probably thinks we're too stupid to understand anything he says. Idiot. But we can't do anything with the Great Plan until we know the real wording of the prophecy, so I'm stuck here guarding this old lump.
Turning around from her position against the wall, she could see through the barred window that faced out onto the tunnel, where she was. It was also the only opening into the cell, besides the thick, fireproof stone slab that acted as the door. The NightWing was curled up on a rock ledge a few feet above the floor, snoring softly, nearly invisible against the dark, gray-black rock except for his white horns and the stars on his wings. He was certainly a very large dragon; that was to be expected from his age. The dungeon he was being kept in was the biggest one in the entire cave system that the Rebels used as their base.
Something went thump outside. The SkyWing quickly withdrew her spear from between the window bars - she'd been trying to poke the NightWing and wake him up - and straightened up from her slouching posture, trying to look like a soldier.
A pale bluish-white SeaWing swept into the corridor with a rustle of wings, deluging the SkyWing in rainwater. Ignoring the spluttering, gasping dragon behind her, she touched the stone slab, which instantly rolled aside, and marched into the cell. A narwhal horn floated in through the window behind her, gleaming slightly in the dim light. The SeaWing pointed to the prisoner, and the horn swept forward and prodded him in the neck, then dropped lifeless to the floor.
The inky black dragon raised his head blearily. "No. Go away," he croaked.
The SeaWing roared and slammed the flat of her powerful tail into his head with a loud crack. "Don't talk back to me, squid-brain! Tell me the prophecy NOW!"
The NightWing didn't answer. Blood trickled from his mouth. The SeaWing was about to dismiss him as dead and leave the cell, when he opened his yellow eyes and stared at her with the faint ghost of a smirk on his face.
"So you want to know the prophecy?" he rasped faintly. "Fine. I shall tell it to you. It will not change one thing. You and the rest of your evil warriors will be defeated. Remember that I delivered another prophecy, many, many years before, before you were even hatched, that set the course of history. This one will be no different -- but not in the way you expected."
The SeaWing growled threateningly at him. "Tell it to me, or I'll rip out your throat and feed you to the seagulls."
The NightWing sighed dramatically and spoke, in a rough voice growing progressively fainter.
The end is coming
The end of Pyrrhia.
Casting shadows on the tribes,
Taking them one by one.
Only seven from each can stop,
The flooding darkness from taking over.
The brightest light in the jungle,
The humbler of the duo.
The twin birds of the peak,
The burnt one you seek.
The crocodile on the river,
Born with red under his claws.
The abyssal deep, devoid of warmth,
Showing only the occasional light.
The desert snake, with death on it's tail,
Showing the way to renewed life.
The dark cold, with icy claws,
Born and raised within the chill.
The blackest onyx that reads the fate,
The real one among the fake.
Seven hiding in the shadows,
Waiting for their time,
To free us from the chaos,
And bring the eternal beginning...
And with that, the NightWing collapsed to the floor, dead.
Part I: Fulfill the Prophecy
Chapter 1: Venomless
"And duck, slash, roll, leap..."
I watched the young RainWing fighting through a gap in the bushes, my scales camouflaged to resemble the dark green leaves around me.
As I crouched in the undergrowth, the dragonet sprang at the brownish-red SkyWing, ruff flared threateningly and fangs bared. She misjudged her leap, tripped over a protruding rock, and fell at the other dragon's claws with a thump.
The SkyWing cuffed her with one long, sharp claw. "Up. I've told you a million times, but will you listen? No! You've got venom, use it! In battle, your opponents won't have a full-body protective metal shield, but they'll have chain armor. You've been trained in accuracy, use it to find the chinks in their plating and melt their scales off!"
The RainWing scrambled to her claws and glared at her trainer. "Pigeon, I'm trying! Don't talk to me like that! You're simply a soldier, I'm a Prophesized One!"
Pigeon raised her brow ridges. "Fine. It's not my fault if you get clawed to pieces in your first battle, Shine. Go study Pyrrhian politics with Undertow. I'll go back to my sleeping cave, where I'll practice my fighting by myself."
Shine flounced off, huffing to herself. Pigeon snarled after her for a moment, then spread her wings and flapped off towards the end of the valley, where the Instructors' caves lay. Relaxing, I let my scales return to their normal turquoise.
Another RainWing materialized next to me, her hide glowing in shades of orange and yellow. "Shine's fun to spy on, huh?"
I sat down and stretched out my wings. "Prism, she's been fun to spy on since we were three and we could get away with sneaking out of the village. Of course it's fun watching her!"
Prism's tail twitched. "I bet you could be the Prophesized One instead of her. It doesn't matter that you can't spit venom! You'd be great, she's a complete leafbrain! Besides, you're related, you'd be able to be in it."
I am completely unendowed with the venom-shooting abilities of our tribe. My front fangs are blunt as a MudWing's.
"Don't be silly, Prism. No prophesized dragonet would have that sort of flaw, I'd just drag everyone down. Better that my airheaded sis screw things up than me."
Ah. I forgot to mention one thing.
Shine, the dragonet we were watching, is a Prophesized One. She's supposed to go out and fulfill the Second Prophecy tomorrow.
She also happens to be my twin sister.
"Wonder! Wonder, wake up!"
Someone was shaking me. It was Prism, looking as bubbly and hyper as ever.
"Whuh. Prism, whuzzgoingon-"
"Shi - excuse me, the Prophecized One's sendoff. Remember yesterday? Her last day here? There was a party for her last night after we got back. Instructors' orders. None of the Valley Dragons were invited, of course. Not even the queen. I suppose we aren't important enough to be prancing about with the fulfillers of the Prophecy. The delegation arrives at noon to take her to a seeeeecret location. All the other Prophesized Ones are gonna be there, and some old NightWing who's supposed to be the one who spoke it a bazillion years ago. You don't want to miss a chance to see the others, do you? Come on, it's eleven o'clock already! Mom has your breakfast on the table, she was worried about you sleeping in so she sent me up to check on you. Come on, Wonder!"
I scrambled up from the pile of ferns I was curled up in, sending leaves flying everywhere. "Fine. Fine, fine, I'll go."
"Great! You don't want to miss it, do you? There'll be food."
Actually, I did want to miss it, but I didn't want to disappoint Prism. Shine couldn't care less if I didn't show up - she didn't even know I existed, the Instructors hadn't told her about her reckless, disabled sibling.
We padded out of my room and down the rickety wooden staircase that led to the main rooms of the house. After Shine's egg had been handed over to the Instructors for proper training, the patrol that found us in a cave after the SkyWing attack hadn't known what to do with me. Eventually, Prism's father Emission took my egg home, putting it next to the egg of about the same age that would end up hatching into his daughter and my best friend. I slept in Prism's room until their two other young dragonets took up too much space, whereupon I moved to an extra storage room that was converted into my bedroom.
Her mother, Mist, was standing by the door, tapping her talons against the ground. When she saw me, she smiled and pointed to the assorted fruits lying on the table. "Sorry I couldn't save more. Three moons, those little ones eat like MudWings. I salvaged a couple plums for you, though, and some pears - there might be a nectarine in there somewhere, too. If you want any, we have some spare deer leg, but be sure to save some for dinner. Eat up, we have to be in the square by noon - that's when they send Shine off."
"Where's Father?" Prism asked, glancing around.
"Your father had to go out on patrol early. He might meet us at the sendoff, depending on when they return. There's been reports of SkyWings need the border, and the last thing we need is another attack."
I finished the last of the fruit and trotted over to the door. "Well... let's go."
We padded outside and onto the pathway that led to the central town square with Prism's twin little brothers in tow. The road was made of packed earth, with massive pine trees lining the sides. A couple of one-year-old dragonets darted past, playing tag, and the mist from the waterfalls hung lightly in the air, creating a slight haze. I closed my eyes, enjoying its coolness on my face.
Too soon, we had reached the town square. On a raised wooden platform at the other end stood six dragonets, about my age, and an ancient-looking NightWing.
Prism nudged me. "They're the Prophesized Ones, I think. Look at the SkyWing, I wouldn't want to get into a fight with her - or the IceWing, for that matter. Or any of them."
I followed her gaze. Come to think of it, they did look extremely dangerous. The SkyWing dragonet was a deep coppery red color, with streaks of gold running through her scales. The air around her was blurred and fuzzy. At first, I though this was because of the mist, but then realized that she was radiating heat - and she was perched on a thick, scorched metal slab, elevating her slightly above the others. A fireborn. The IceWing looked just as deadly. There was a layer of frost coating his scales, and where his claws and tail touched the wood, ice crystals radiated out from them. He was encased in his own personal cloud of thick white frozen mist droplets, and he was definitely the largest of the Ones; he towered over even the fireborn and the MudWing stading next to him, and his shoulders rippled with muscle.
"Iceborns, fireborns," I muttered back. "What next? Don't tell me the SeaWing's an animus."
"Actually, I'm pretty sure he is," Prism said, flexing her wings. "At least, that's what everyone's saying. And I think that the MudWing's immune to fire."
I gazed at the Prophesized Ones, taking in their appearance. The MudWing dragonet was a deep gray-brown, fading to sepia on his underscales and the undersides of his wings. There was a dark blue SeaWing with pea-green stripes and horns, a dull grayish-black NightWing with heavily lidded orange eyes and rough scales, a fairly normal-looking SandWing, and, of course, Shine, who'd just mounted the platform. She'd decided to make her scales purple today, streaked with silver and gold, and was smiling sweetly at the rest of the dragonets.
As soon as she had reached her spot, the old NightWing began to speak. It was mostly an extremely boring jumble of words that I soon tuned out of, but I did catch 'attack', 'will save us all', and 'prophecy'. Beside me, Prism was looking at him, but her eyes were glazed and her facial expression was blank.
Eventually, the NightWing was finally finished. He droned something about sendoffs and thanks, and then the dragonets all lifted off very dramatically and majestically, winging away into the sky with their escort surrounding them.
I breathed out for the first time since we'd come to the square.
Dry leaves crunched under my claws as Prism and I padded through the forest. The sun was high in the sky, it was warm, and I could finally breathe easy. Shine had gone off to fulfill the stupid prophecy and I didn't have to worry about her anymore.
"Hey," Prism said with a grin. "Race you to that big pine over there?"
I spread my wings, not able to resist the bolts of glowing gold shooting through them. "You bet."
Prism leaped into the air. "ReadysetGO!" she shrieked and winged away through the forest.
I swept my wings down and shot after her. Weaving through the trees, I was soon beside her, and we were heading at full speed for the pine. With one hard downstroke, I managed to rush ahead and grab one of the low-hanging branches. Perching on it, I grinned down at her. "I win."
That was when a red comet hurtled down from the sky, smashing through the branches, and collided with me. Something heavy hit me on the back of the head, and the last thing I saw before I blacked out was Prism, gray-green with fear, shooting away towards the village.
Tell them what happened, I thought. Then everything went black.
Chapter 2: SkyWings
I woke up just as my kidnapper deposited me on a rocky surface.
They didn't seem to notice, as they set about fastening something around my neck, then two more things around each of my front legs. After this task was finished, I felt the draft from their wings as they swept away, and I finally dared to open my eyes.
There was a SkyWing staring at me, his orange eyes inches from my face.
I squawked in fear and leapt back, painfully stopped by the bond on my neck. The instinctive reflex of my ancestors kicked in and I shot my fangs forward as if I was about to spray him with venom; at that point, I realized that my fangs were about as venomous and threatening as a MudWing's. Quickly shutting my mouth, I began to pace the rocks, keeping a safe distance from him in the instance he tried to attack me. We Northern RainWings knew much about SkyWings, the Valley of the Mists being literally right next to their territory. They were quick to flare, violent, bloodthirsty, dangerous, and power-hungry, and had tried to take over the Valley on multiple occasions.
As the initial shock faded, I slowly realized that this SkyWing at least appeared to be neither violent, nor bloodthirsty, and most definitely not dangerous. He was small - about my size - and was mostly a dusty red, shot through with the occasional speckle or streak of dull gold. His large, amber eyes reflected the light from the setting sun, and there was something oddly familiar about him - except I'd never seen him before. . .
Beside him was another dragon that resembled a MudWing, but was even smaller than him. She had scales the color of riverbank clay and green eyes, and she was smiling at me - but not the fake smile that Shine always had. This smile was optimistic, cheerful, and downright happy.
I hissed at them as threateningly as I could, shifting my scales to an eye-burning orange and flaring my ruff. The MudWing hopped up and down happily. "Oh, look, Peregrine! She was white when she came in, then blue, and now she's orange! Isn't that cool! What kind of dragon is she?" Her voice was high and cheery.
That was not what I'd expected. I narrowed my eyes. "You don't know anything about RainWings, do you?"
The MudWing cocked her head. "RainWing? What's a RainWing?"
I blinked. This little dragon didn't know much. I sat down and wrapped my tail over my claws. "Well, we RainWings are a tribe of dragons. Have you ever met a dragon from another tribe?" I spoke as if I was explaining something to a very young dragonet.
The SkyWing, Peregrine the MudWing had called him, drew the little dragon closer to him with one wing. "Don't treat Silt like she's stupid. She's never left the swamp. How would you feel if you'd never left the place you lived - wait, I bet you haven't. You're a pathetic, lazy RainWing."
That struck a nerve.
My scales, which had faded back to their normal turquoise, flashed orange again. "For your information, SkyWing, I'm not one of those rainforest-dwellers. I'm a Northern RainWing. We live practically next to you. Perhaps some of your personality has rubbed off on us. We're as capable fighters as any tribe, so keep your stupid mouth shut."
Peregrine cocked his head. "I -"
"No." I cut in. Getting to my feet, I examined him. Both he and Silt were chained in the same bonds I were. "Where are we, anyways?"
Silt motioned over the side of the rocky platform we were on. I padded to the edge - and looked down over a huge drop, down to a circular, sandy area. We were on top of a twisted spire of rock that towered high above the tiered seating. At the far edge of the arena was a large balcony, behind which was an even larger palace, which had probably once been imposing and majestic, but was now covered in burn marks and partially caved in on one side. Next to us, stretching over to the building, were numerous other spires. Dragons topped some of them. A dark green SeaWing was pacing the one next to us, next to a SandWing with mangled wings and no barb. The end of her tail was covered in scars. On another spire, a small IceWing slept curled up, alone. They were all chained up, as we were.
I knew where we were now - the old SkyWing arena.
Last year, the SkyWing palace had been evacuated after an army of dragons from multiple tribes had attacked it. Their force had been small, but they had the element of surprise. Many SkyWings had been killed in the raid, including the queen's oldest daughter Sanguine. The palace was left abandoned, and the arena was the perfect place to imprison a ragtag group of flawed dragonets - for as I looked around, I noticed we all had something wrong with us.
I was venomless, and both Silt and Peregrine were too small. The SeaWing's glowing markings didn't seem to be functioning properly, as they would randomly let off bursts of light instead of shining in controlled patterns. The IceWing was an odd, pale grayish-blue, almost white, and his claws were small and blunt. Yes, this arena was a great place to hide us, except for one thing.
I turned to Peregrine. "Wouldn't we be visible from the air?"
He shook his head. "Dragons have flown over us before. Some of them have even been looking down, but they don't see us. Maybe our kidnappers have an animus on their side - that's the only explanation I can think of, but I've never read about animuses being able to blind others."
"No one cares about us, anyways," Silt chimed in. "We're all flawed. So no one will miss us. My sibs definitely won't. They made me sleep alone most nights."
"At least you had a family," Peregrine pointed out. "I never knew who my parents were. I got thrown off the mountain when I was a hatchling. I guess that I had a sister or brother, but they're probably dead too."
I tipped my head at him. "Why?"
"I've got no fire." He spread his dusty brown wings. "When you have no fire, you usually have a sibling with too much. Dragons like us get thrown off the mountain, though. I only survived because I hit some trees on the way down and landed in a pond."
"Ah." I remembered reading about SkyWing customs in a scroll somewhere. Deciding this was not the best time to mention that Prism's family would most definitely miss me, I opened my mouth to ask a question when something red came swooping towards our spire.
"Best behave yourself, RainWing," Peregrine muttered out the side of his mouth. "They're taking you now."
"Taking me for what?"
But Peregrine didn't get the chance to answer. A rust-red SkyWing landed on our spire. I nearly screamed - it was Pigeon. Pigeon, the bad-tempered, arrogant dragon who had tutored Shine on fighting and military history.
She leered at me. "Come on, sparkles. We're taking you down now."
Pigeon grinned. "It's time for testing."
Chapter 3: Fight or Flight
"Testing?" I echoed.
The SkyWing's nasty grin intensified. "Well, we've got to see how good we are before we use you, don't we?"
Use me for what? I thought, but decided not to voice that.
Pigeon undid my bindings, keeping a firm hold on my wings. With clips on them, I couldn't exactly fly away, but apparently, she hadn't thought of that possibility. She unlatched the manacles on my legs, grabbed the chain wrapped around my neck, and pulled me off the pillar down onto the sands.
"Now." She landed heavily on the ground. At least twice my height, she towered over me, casting a long shadow on the sandy arena floor. "I think we'll start with. . . fighting!"
With barely any warning, she leaped at me. I dove under her and cannoned into her underbelly, trying to unbalance her, but she was much larger than me and simply flipped over, carrying me along. She raked her claws across my shoulder and jumped back. I screeched in pain, and as she charged me again, I ran straight at her and bit the side of her neck, fastening my teeth in her throat.
Pigeon made a hissing noise that sounded vaguely familiar. I realized that she was about to breathe fire a split second before she actually did and let go of her neck, rolling out of the way. A bolt of flames scorched my tail and I tripped. The SkyWing leaped nimply onto my back and pinned me down with one claw on my throat.
My venom-spitting reflex kicked in again and I bared my fangs at her. She flinched back, then paused and leaned forward again. "You're the venomless one, aren't you?" she growled. "Pity you can't kill me like your sister could. That dragonet was the worst venom spitter I ever trained, but at least she could actually use it like a proper RainWing."
"She was also the only RainWing you ever trained," I muttered.
Pigeon bent forward until her eyes were inches from mine. "Cheek will not be tolerated here. Do you understand, lazy RainWing?"
I didn't answer.
"That's what I thought," she said, looking a bit smug. "We'll resume your training tomorrow."
I perched on the edge of the spire with Silt, watching Peregrine and the IceWing fight a pair of adult SandWings. The two dragonets were much smaller than their opponents, and were easily getting the worst of it. Silt winced as one of the SandWings shot fire at the little IceWing, leaving a long burn on his wing.
"We've been here for nine days," she complained, glancing at me. "Are they ever going to let us go, or do they mean to keep us here forever?"
"I don't know." I placed one wing protectively over her. "I don't even know why we're here in the first place. Keeping a bunch of dragonets in an abandoned arena -- it doesn't make sense at all. They can't exactly take over Pyrrhia with us."
Suddenly, there was a glimmer of silver in the sky behind the ruined palace. As it neared us, I saw it was an IceWing. He was panting hard, his scales glistening wet. As he shot into the arena and landed behind the practice fight, I managed to hear what he was shouting.
"She's coming! She's coming! We need to get the dragonets down!"
Immediately, a phalanx of dragons soared from the palace and over to the rest of us who were on the rock spires. A MudWing landed on our pillar, unlocked our bonds, and quickly tugged us down onto the arena floor.
"Get into line," he growled, shoving Silt forward next to me and dragging the SeaWing dragonet over on my other side. "And stay in line if you want to stay alive."
"That's a bit harsh," the SeaWing muttered. The glowing stripes on her wings were flicking on and off rhythmically, while the others lit up and switched off in complete disorder.
Silt nudged me. I glanced up into the sky and noticed a small coil of black mist. It spiraled down into the center of the arena, right in front of us, forming into a dragon-like shape. The mist began to solidify as we watched, and finally a dragon was standing there.
It was a SeaWing, like the dragonet next to me, but instead of being cobalt blue, this one was pale blue with hints of pink on her wings and horns. Her stripes seemed to be in perfect working order, and her dark eyes were narrowed slightly as she examined us.
Suddenly, she marched over to me and flicked her tail. "Open your mouth."
Too scared to refuse, I obliged. She glanced at my fangs, and finally stated, "Now. Spit some of that corrosive acid you RainWings are endowed with at me."
I shut my mouth with a snap, and stared up at her. "I can't."
The SeaWing eyed me. "What do you mean, you can't? Pigeon!"
Immediately, the red-brown SkyWing was at her side. "Yes, my leader?"
The SeaWing pointed to us with one wing. "These dragonets are useless! We have, let's see, a SkyWing with no fire, a SeaWing who can't speak Aquatic, a blind, iceless IceWing, an undersized MudWing, a SandWing who can barely fly, let alone poison anyone, and a venomless RainWing! If I recall correctly, Pigeon, the Prophecy didn't ask for a bunch of defective dragonets."
Pigeon straightened up. "Well, you see, these dragonets were the most convinent to get, as no one would miss them. Also, I know for a fact that the RainWing and MudWing are related to their counterparts in the real Prophecy --" She broke off as the SeaWing glared at her.
"You failed me, Pigeon. And do you know what happens to dragons that fail me?" She leered at the cowering SkyWing. "This happens."
Almost too fast to see, she slammed her tail into Pigeon's neck. There was a loud crack and Pigeon fell to the ground, blood seeping from her mouth and head twisted at an odd angle.
The SeaWing straightened up and looked at the other dragons behind us. "Make them right. Fix them, do whatever you want. You know I wanted her to be in the Prophecy -- find one to switch out and use your best animus to do it. I will be watching their progress with interest."
She dissolved into fog and wafted out of the arena.
Chapter 4: Vanished
"When is Silt coming back?"
I was pacing across the spire nervously, scanning the arena for signs of any of the other dragonets. Over the past three days, they had all been taken from their spires into the palace, and none of them had returned. Ripples of anxious green spun across my scales.
"I'm sure she'll be back soon," Peregrine muttered, but the expression on his face showed that he was as worried as I was.
Suddenly, another SkyWing -- I'd heard other dragons calling him Vapor -- landed next to us. "Your turn, Peregrine," he announced. "Don't worry, Wonder, you'll be up soon enough."
At least he had the decency to call us by our names. My ruff flashed pink as he unlocked Peregrine and led him into the palace. The pink soon faded, however, as a few hours passed and Peregrine didn't come back either. I was the only one in the arena now, and it was a bit eerie being locked on a tall, twisted spire next to an abandoned building with the wind whistling through the gaps in the masonry.
After a few hours, Vapor spiraled back up to me. "All right, Wonder. You're the last in, I don't know why, but I'm sorry you had to wait so long. Come on, you don't want to keep him waiting -- this is delicate business."
I didn't fight as he flew me across the arena into the ruined palace. I'd never been inside, but I was unimpressed. Most of the wall to my left had collapsed and the decorations had either been removed or destroyed. The few that were left were covered in claw marks, and some of them were dented or smashed.
Vapor simply dove down through the center until he reached a staircase that led down into the ground. A metal door had once blocked it, but it was dented and hanging from its hinges now. He set me down on the steps, and turned to me.
"Just follow me, Wonder." The SkyWing plucked a torch from a holder on the wall and breathed fire over it, bathing the walls in dim red-gold light. I followed him tentatively down the stairs that spiraled down, down, down into the ground, until we finally reached another door, this one newer-looking and locked.
"I'll leave you here," Vapor murmured to me. "Go along with what they tell you to do and you'll be fine." He knocked on the door with one claw, lit another torch on the wall, and climbed back up the steps. I could hear his talons clacking on stone as he left.
Suddenly, a SandWing opened the door. "Get in, RainWing. I don't have all day."
I nervously stepped inside the room. It was hewn out of the mountain, with empty cells lining the walls. Another passage snaked off to my left, presumably to more cells.
"Heh." The SandWing closed the door and locked it. I could see that he had several scars crisscrossing his tail, face and neck. Another pitted, rippling scar stretched across his shoulder -- it looked like the sort of mark RainWing venom would make. He shoved me into the back of the room, into a pool of torchlight. "So, you're the one they wanted me to use. Well, you're a RainWing, but they didn't want to use the SeaWing for this for some reason. Ehh, it's not my job to question what The End says --"
"What who says?" I cut in.
"Shut your trap. Anyways, stay here." He suddenly pulled a manacle on a thick chain from the wall, and before I could react, he snapped it onto my neck. Another chain suddenly appeared from the opposing wall, and he had attatched it to the manacle in the blink of an eye. He left me chained to the wall and flicked his obsidian gaze onto the door. It obligingly swung open, and he marched over to it. "Hey!" he yelled, sticking his head outside. "You can bring her in now!"
He must be an animus.
A sky-blue SeaWing came padding down the staircase. Lying across his back was the dead body of another SeaWing, this one about my age and a deep greenish-black with lighter green glowing stripes and horns. He dropped the dead dragonet on the ground in front of me, nodded to the SandWing, and left the room.
The SandWing shut the door and walked over to me. He placed his claws on the dead SeaWing and closed his eyes. A faint glowing haze of blue enveloped both of them, and the SandWing flicked one talon upwards. The haze morphed into a vortex, spiraling down around the SeaWing, while the SandWing slowly raised his claws upwards like he was picking something up. . . or trying to pull something out of the swirling color.
The blue color of the spiral intensified, and a white mist began to rise out of it. Faster and faster the vortex spun, and the mist flew upwards, collecting into a vaguely dragonlike shape. It turned what looked like its head towards the SandWing, who pointed at me. The shape nodded, and flew towards my chest. I expected it to collide with me, but instead it simply seeped through my scales. It was cold. So cold. I gasped and staggered backwards, feeling like a ball of ice had formed behind my heart. Then the cold feeling vanished, and except for a sort of numbness in my legs, I was fine.
I expected the SandWing to remove the chains and let me go, but instead he simply stepped back and waited. Why wasn't he doing anything?
Suddenly, a splitting pain seared behind my eyes and through my entire body. My stomach heaved, and I partially collapsed, limp and held up by the chains. Through a fog of pain, I could see the SandWing, smiling maniacally.
I screamed something half-intelligible and lunged for him, but the manacle stopped me from doing anything. As it dragged me backwards, I vaguely realized that my color-sense was gone. I'd felt my scales flash white with pain and then to a deep, dull green, like those of the dead SeaWing, and then... nothing. A burning feeling stabbed at my wings, shoulders, face, tail and sides, concentrated into little points of white-hot pain.
I picked up one forefoot, my muscles screaming, and looked at it. My talons were shorter and wider, each tipped with a long, thick, razor-sharp claw, and a thin layer of webbing stretched between them. I dimly felt my color-sense switch on again, but it was somehow different. Instead of a multitude of colors, it had only two feelings -- off and on.
And the darkness suddenly cleared slightly. I managed to open my eyes and saw, through the eyes of another, the SandWing. He'd hurt the one I was supposed to take over.
I clenched my jaw and squeezed my eyes shut, only for them to be forced open again. There was a jabbing pain at the back of my skull, and my consciousness flickered and went out.
The RainWing's mind had given way to mine. I seeped up, into her brain, filling the space her thoughts once had. Dispelling the last of her memories, the last of her self, and completing the change. Re-animating her body, now that of a SeaWing. Mine, to be exact.
The SandWing barely saw me coming before I lunged at him, snapping the thin chains that had kept me tethered to the wall, and ripped out his throat. I stepped over his body and rammed into the metal door. It bent under my weight, and I slammed into it again. This time, the hinges gave and it fell to the ground, like the animus had done a few moments before.
I charged up the steps. There were almost no dragons inside the palace, so I stopped and swung my head around, looking for a way out. I noticed a window, about a hundred feet tall, halfway up the side of the building. Spreading my wings, I leaped into the air and soared towards it; there was no glass and I passed through easily.
I was free. I was alive.
Surge had returned.
Written by Wonder Rainwing.
Cover by Wonder RainWing.
Prophecy by Luckybird7765.