This is a story by Matau. It's about what could have happened... and what people don't want to admit could have happened. I expect some people to get very upset over this, but I at least tried to keep everyone in character. This just seemed likely, and more than I found comfortable. Consider it a bit of an alternate ending to Book 4... so be warned, it's somewhat darker than what I usually write. I am sorry for upsetting anyone. I tried to give a balanced view, showing both sides. You judge if I did it correctly.



The Chapter

The evacuation of the Night Kingdom was almost complete. The NightWings were swearing loyalty to Queen Glory, as per the requirement.

“Guys,” Tsunami said quietly. “Look who the last NightWing is.”

Starflight turned. Morrowseer was walking toward the portal, snout held high. He said, coolly, “You know, this won’t work. You can’t subjugate a foreign tribe if you want to call yourselves ‘heroes.’ We are every bit as deserving of rights as you are.”

Starflight opened his mouth to argue, but paused. He opened it again, and closed it again.

Tsunami, after she had overcome her anger, said, “You will bow or you’re not coming with us, and you know it. We could just leave all the NightWings to die, but we aren’t. Be grateful for that.”

Morrowseer smiled indecipherably, and replied, with the subtlety of a poison, “Grateful? Then doubtlessly you are grateful for me saving your life by speaking the prophecy which led to the Talons stealing you before the assassin killed you. Doubtlessly you, Starflight, are grateful for saving you from the SkyWing prison. Doubtlessly, Fatespeaker, you are grateful for me bringing you to your own dragons.”

Tsunami growled, “No. You didn’t mean to save me, and I don’t count any heroism you happened to accidentally blunder into. You are the most awful dragon I know, and you don’t deserve this chance at life.”

Starflight watched them argue. It seemed pointless. He noticed the volcano erupting more, and he shivered despite the heat.

Sunny cried out, clearly alarmed, “Can’t we finish this somewhere else? I don’t think anyone here wants to die, so can we hurry? Please?”

Morrowseer nodded, still smiling. “Of course we can. That is, if Tsunami is willing to postpone an argument to save all of us. Are you?”

Tsunami snarled. “I’m willing to save my friends, but you’re not coming until I know I can trust you. So I guess you’re never coming. Flee if you want. Not that we care.”

Starflight noticed Fatespeaker’s eyes shifting back and forth. She said, hesitantly, “I agree with Sunny. We should get out of here now. Can we at least talk about who is right later?

Tsunami glared at Fatespeaker, gill slits flaring. She was breathing hard, her chest expanding and contracting. “Do you trust him? Because I sure don’t.”

Morrowseer said, “That’s not important either way. What’s important is I am an effective, efficient, powerful leader, and you will need all the help you can get. Do you want me as your ally or not?”

Sunny started crying. “Why can’t we just work to save everyone? I don’t like Morrowseer, but he is really smart.” She looked over to Morrowseer. “Morrowseer, I know you don’t like us, and we don’t like you, but everyone here wants to help people. Me and my friends want to help the RainWings. You want to help the NightWings. Why can’t we work together and help everyone?”

Starflight thought back to all the times Morrowseer had called him a disappointment. What atrocities his tribe had committed. What he realized about their secrets. His father’s uncaring view of the RainWings. The queen, burning and freezing simultaneously. The quick, clinical execution of Vengeance.

But then he thought of why they wanted to take the rainforest. How few dragonets there were. The library, filled with knowledge accumulated by the most advanced civilization in the world. Developments in science, magic, mathematics, philosophy, and technology centuries ahead of the world.

Starflight knew what he had to do. He said, panicked, “We have to go, now. Whether or not Morrowseer comes isn’t important. But we have to get out of here, to save the world.”

Morrowseer said, calmly, “That… might be difficult.” His eyes unfocused as he gazed eerily at them.

Tsunami asked, furiously, “What are you talking about? What do you mean?”

Morrowseer opened his mouth to answer, but a particularly loud rumble cut him off. He said, “I’ll tell you once we’re safe.”

Starflight sighed. This nightmare could be over soon. He would go back to the Rainforest Kingdom. No one else would have to die.

Tsunami snarled. “You know as well as I do that he’s lied to us before, and he’s just lying to us now! If he had any good in him, he wouldn’t have ordered Glory killed back under the mountain! If he’s going to the rainforest at all, he’s going in chains. That is, if Glory even lets him come.”

Starflight flared his wings, annoyed at Tsunami. Some part of him, however, was also impressed by her bravery. “Can we get out of here now? I agree, but we are supposed to be the dragonets of destiny, which means we have to forgive and forget.”

Tsunami seemed to be fighting herself. “Fine…” she said, in a voice like here scales were being pulled out. “He can come…”

Morrowseer bowed. “Queen Glory,” he said. Tsunami, Sunny, Fatespeaker, and Starflight moved to let him pass, some more reluctantly than others.

And the mountain exploded.

Rocks were hurled high into the atmosphere. The temperature soared with them.

A wall of lava flowed straight toward them. Morrowseer, Starflight, Sunny, Fatespeaker, and Tsunami screamed in terror at the sight of the molten rock destroying everything in its past. Wings of night, sand, and sea, all brought together by the threat of death.

All of the dragons turned to flee, covering their heads with their wings.

But not all of them made it.

As Morrowseer ran for safety, someone—it was impossible to tell who—slashed his front legs, and he fell. As the lava overtook him, he could only wonder, Who? Who would have wanted me to die so badly?