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Swiftlight is my entry for the SwiftWing lightningborn contest, in the category of fanfictions.  It is by HawkEyeRed2, and is not to be used or edited by anyone except Hawkeye or Eaglestar.  It is not done yet, but Koi belongs to Eaglestar and is being used with permission.  Thanks, and please enjoy!

 

Introduction

        Flying at top speed, Storm the SkyWing raced up the hill where Coryza the SwiftWing stood.  “What took you so long?” Coryza demanded.  “I couldn’t find your location….” Storm gasped.  “I’m…sorry…” Storm sighed. Coryza sniffed. “Well, you should meet the princess of the GeodeWings, which is the old tribe you wanted to ally with,” Coryza snapped, pointing to a magnificent figure standing next to her.  She was purple with geodes hanging from her tail by the same color.  Her underbelly was pink, and so were a few of the geodes on her tail and head.  Sharp yellow horns sprouted from her head, and a golden choker was around her neck, and a golden bracelet circled her wrist.

        “This is Storm?” Gemira asked, inspecting Storm.  The blue SkyWing flinched as Gemira poked her wings, then the GeodeWing received a shock of electricity.  Storm saw she had a burned wound on her finger.

        “She seems tense,” Gemira observed, gently massaging Storm’s tight muscles.  “I assume she expects you to attack her,” Coryza explained.  Storm growled as Gemira twirled her long blue tail around her sharp shiny claws.

        “A golden spike…an excellent conductor of electricity,” the GeodeWing said, carefully running a talon down the spike on Storm’s tail, which occasionally sparked with lightning.  “And you seem in good health.”  Gemira pried open Storm’s jaws and inspected Storm’s golden teeth.  “Not golden implants, I trust?”  “My real, sharp teeth,” Storm hissed, clawing the soft earth with her gold talons.

        “Well, I guess my tribe would be all right with allying with the SkyWings,” Gemira admitted, gently stroking her geodes.  Storm smiled.  “I’m glad,” she said.  “We need some help.”  Gemira looked suspiciously at Coryza, who clenched her talons together guiltily.  “I asked Storm to ally with you,” she sighed.  “But she agreed with me!”  Gemira hissed softly and gently patted Storm’s back.  Coryza growled.  “Well, if you don’t believe me, I’ll summon a friend to blast you out of the sky,” Coryza snarled.  Gemira smirked.

        “Well, I’m running mom’s GeodeWing army for her during the Iceball,” Gemira bragged.  “Why can’t Queen Granite do it?” Storm asked.  “Because she’s busy allying with other tribes,” Gemira explained.  “Mom will be so happy when I tell her we’ve allied with the SkyWings!”  Storm hissed.

        “I swear I’ll knock you out of the sky,” Coryza growled.  “Why?” Gemira asked loftily.  “Because you asked for it.  Mother!!”  A white SwiftWing darted out of the sky.  Storm caught a few blue lightning bolt patterns on her side and an orange mane and tail tuft.  Starbolt twisted around and landed at Coryza’s side.

        “What’s wrong?” she asked silkily.  “Blast this GeodeWing into space!” Coryza roared.  “But she’s the princess of the GeodeWings!” Starbolt protested.  I’m the princess of the SwiftWings!” Coryza argued.  “Kill her!”  Starbolt sighed but closed her eyes.  A thundercloud appeared right over Gemira’s head, and the GeodeWing darted out of the way to be covered by another cloud.

        “Blast her!” Coryza hissed, prodding Starbolt’s side.  Starbolt focused and brought a million-watt bolt of lightning onto Gemira, whose gold jewelry conducted the energy into her veins.  Gemira shrieked with pain.

        “Now kill her!” Coryza ordered, but as a huge thunderbolt started toward Gemira, Storm flung herself in the way.  The bolt hit her, not harming her at all.  Starbolt frowned uneasily at Coryza.  “Keep blasting!” she encouraged.  Starbolt swished her tail tuft at Coryza’s red scales and looked uneasily at her.

        “Storm will protect her,” Starbolt protested.  “Then scratch her eyes out,” Coryza snarled.  “Oh, I hate dragons that disobey me!” Starbolt sighed and charged at Gemira, who slashed Starbolt easily with her sharp geode tail as she dodged Starbolt’s claws.

        “Stop it!” Storm protested.  “Stop fighting!”  Coryza had joined the fight now, but the SwiftWing princess and queen seemed like no match for the GeodeWing princess, who smiled at Storm as she easily dodged the powerful strikes, then lunged out with her own razor-sharp claws.  Storm roared, and an arch of lightning separated the three dragons, each of them trapped in their own cone of electricity.

        “Stop it,” Storm said firmly, and Coryza, Gemira, and Starbolt finally settled down.  “I will not help dragons who fight with each other before talking it out.”  Coryza sighed and apologized, and Gemira accepted it.  Starbolt didn’t apologize, but didn’t need to, since she was ordered.  “Sorry, Starbolt,” Coryza sighed.  Starbolt nodded and lay down in her lightning cone.  Storm released the dragons from their cones, and Gemira looked up at her.

        “So, will you help us?” Gemira asked.  Her large blue eyes seemed so innocent….and she looked so helpless…. But Storm remembered Gemira’s ability to charmspeak.  It allowed her to persuade other dragons into doing what she wanted.  She was being a victim herself.  Her eyes looked so much like Queen Granite’s….and Queen Granite required help dearly.  “All right,” Storm agreed.

        Gemira smiled and turned away, disappearing into the mist, but her grin crumbled as she saw the huge SeaWing behind her.  “Flame?” she whimpered as the SeaWing took a menacing step toward her.  “Betrayer,” Flame said softly, taking a rock and crumbling it in his webbed claws.  “I did not betray anyone!” Gemira protested, but Flame had his claws at her neck before she could argue any further.  “I will not kill you, but Koi will,” Flame growled.  He dragged Gemira to the ground.  “I do not care if you are the princess of the GeodeWings or not, I will have you killed, or I will do it myself.”

        “KOI??!!” Gemira shrieked.  She had been captured and been forced to fight Koi in the SkyWing arena, but had never thought he would be a killer.  She just sat down beside him and started talking to him, persuading him with her charmspeak not to attack, and Koi had seemed so nice.  She was nearly positive Koi wouldn’t kill her this time.

        “Here’s our prisoner, Koi,” Flame hissed, and Koi the SeaWing approached, snarling.  His enormous shape was outlined in the mist, but he still insisted on flashing his stripes so Gemira could see his rippling muscles and bloodstained claws and teeth.

        “Gemira,” Koi hissed.  “K-Koi?” Gemira stammered, looking terrified as the SeaWing stalked towards her.  “You are a betrayer,” Koi began.  “And I will kill you.”  He brought his claws down on Gemira’s throat.

 

Chapter 1

Fire Away

 

        Skyway raced toward the mountain.  The tiny orange dragonet needed to get back to her mother.  Cherry held out her paw for Skyway to grab onto, but Blacklight lunged out and held Skyway back.

        “You’ll get your dragonet back when I’ve finished enchanting her,” Blacklight called to Cherry.  “You mean you’ll curse her!” Cherry shouted back.  “I guess you could put it that way,” Blacklight said thoughtfully, shrugging and lifting her burned, blackened wings as Skyway attempted to claw through Blacklight’s talons.

        “Mother!” Cherry screamed as Blacklight started mixing a potion of frog guts and insect antennae.  Storm darted down to Cherry, who pointed at Blacklight and Skyway.

        “I’ll get her, stand back,” Storm warned.  She aimed a lightning bolt as Cherry scrambled into a ditch.  “Don’t hit Skyway!” Cherry squeaked.  Storm nodded and released the bolt.  A huge thunderbolt missed Blacklight as the DeathWing leapt out of its path and hit her potions rack.  Blacklight cackled.

        “Do your worst!” she taunted.  “Fire away!”  Storm grinned and started to aim another bolt, but Blacklight spun up and bit Storm hard on the wrist, where she fell into the ditch, hissing.  Blacklight smiled with all of her teeth.  Finally, Storm managed to fire-blast Blacklight and , snatch Skyway up in her paws.  Gently cradling her granddaughter in her arms, she flew back up to Cherry’s ditch.  Skyway squealed happily as she saw her mother, and Storm gently tipped Skyway into Cherry’s open arms.

        “Thank you, mother,” Cherry said gratefully as she stroked Skyway.  Storm nodded and carefully touched Skyway’s head, begging all of the electricity in her body to stay away from the talon touching Skyway’s head.  Thankfully, no shocks traveled into Skyway’s body.

        Storm flew away, leaving Cherry holding Skyway, who smiled.  Cherry rubbed her dragonet’s scales, searching for visible curses, but didn’t find any.  Finally, she shot a bolt of flame at Skyway, who shuddered as the heat licked her scales.  Luckily, Blacklight hadn’t done anything to affect Skyway’s immunity to fire.  The rare ability had been passed down through the family chain since Peril, then Storm, who was cursed by Blacklight, changing the fireborn into a lightning-powered SkyWing.  Storm had, however, kept her immunity to fire.  Cherry had that same ability, and so did Skyway.

        Cherry shook.  Storm had been cursed by Blacklight at birth, before Peril had woken up and burned her wing, making her wing weak and crusty.  She had not been able to fly after that.  Cherry had been about to be forced to drink a potion that would make her turn to metal, but Storm had slashed her and sent lightning bolts into her veins before the potion was drunk.  Now Skyway had been about to drink a potion that could have done anything to her.  Blacklight had been after Peril’s whole family as revenge for an arena battle Blacklight had said was “unfair”, since Peril had fire in her claws.  The DeathWing had hated the whole fireproof SkyWing family.

        Suddenly, Coryza landed in front of Cherry.  She looked into the pit Blacklight was twitching in, then smiled.  “Well, I’ve always hated that DeathWing,” she said.  “Can any of her potions raise the dead?”  “Why?” Cherry asked.  “Because Gemira is dead.”

        “Gemira?  Princess of the GeodeWings?” Cherry asked.  “YES,” Coryza hissed.  “How many Gemiras do you know??”  Cherry choked back a sob.  “How did she die?” she cried.  “Flame thought she was a traitor, and he had Koi kill her,” Coryza sighed.  “Koi?  The SeaWing?” Cherry gasped.  “YEAH,” Coryza growled.  “How many Kois do you know?”  “Wow, this is seriously déjà vu,” Cherry admitted.

        “Sealight is trying to arise her, but he is having no luck,” Coryza groaned.  “Sealight?  The SwiftWing and SeaWing hybrid?” Cherry asked.  “Of course!!” Coryza sighed.  Cherry frowned.

        “I didn’t know Sealight was an animus,” Cherry admitted.  “He’s not, he just has a way with potions,” Coryza said.  Cherry nodded and peered into the pit Blacklight was in.  “She doesn’t have any potions that raise the dead,” Cherry observed.  Coryza sighed.  “I guess I’ll just go,” she said, and she flew away.

 

        Coryza hissed as she approached the SwiftWing palace.  The glittering telekinesis stone glittered under the red dragon’s paws as her talons clicked on the floor.  Gemira was laying on Coryza’s bed, her eyes full of darkness, and Sealight knelt next to her, gently polishing her cloudy geodes.

        “Any luck?” Coryza asked, kneeling next to Sealight.  “None,” Sealight sighed.  Coryza frowned at Sealight’s potions, which glowed blue, red, and clear in the dim palace light.  “These potions are not accurate,” Coryza said firmly.  “Inaccurate?” Sealight asked.  “Yes, dear, and the red one-” Coryza flicked a long talon at a glowing and smoking bloodred vial, “is not supposed to have mist coming from the top.  Sealight twisted his long neck and yelped as he saw the red smoke coming from the potion.  He hurriedly slammed his polish on a marble table and rushed to the potion.  He stuffed a cork in it, then smashed the vial.  Red liquid oozed from the glass as Sealight carefully lifted his paw and checked it for glass splinters and cuts.

        “Were you supposed to do that?” Coryza asked.  “Yeah.  It allows me to get rid of the toxic in it,” Sealight explained.  “Now it’s as harmless as water.”  To prove his point, Sealight dipped his paw in the potion and let it run through his fingers.  Normally it would have sizzled a bit and might have smoked, but now it just glopped into a pile below Sealight’s paws like jelly.

        Gemira was limp as Coryza slunk up to the bed she lay on.  Her normally blue eyes were dark, but torches gleamed in them.  Coryza looked around, but saw no torches in the room.

        “Sealight, Gemira’s eyes have fiery spots in them like torches,” Coryza warned.  Sealight frowned.  “Her eyes have been flashing different images all morning,” he said.  Coryza gasped.  What did they show?” she cried.  “A valley, a mountain, a plateau, and a SeaWing falling off the plateau, but flying away,” Sealight noted.  Coryza squealed.  “What?” Sealight asked suspiciously.  “I talked to Myeline the NightWing tonight, and she predicted that Koi would fall off the old SandWing plateau!” Coryza cried.  “So… Gemira’s eyes can predict the future?” Sealight asked, looking disgusted.  Coryza nodded eagerly.  “That sounds so wrong,” he commented.


Swiftlight

 

Introduction

        Flying at top speed, Storm the SkyWing raced up the hill where Coryza the SwiftWing stood.  “What took you so long?” Coryza demanded.  “I couldn’t find your location….” Storm gasped.  “I’m…sorry…”  Storm sighed.  Coryza sniffed.  “Well, you should meet the princess of the GeodeWings, which is the old tribe you wanted to ally with,” Coryza snapped, pointing to a magnificent figure standing next to her.  She was purple with geodes hanging from her tail by the same color.  Her underbelly was pink, and so were a few of the geodes on her tail and head.  Sharp yellow horns sprouted from her head, and a golden choker was around her neck, and a golden bracelet circled her wrist.

        “This is Storm?” Gemira asked, inspecting Storm.  The blue SkyWing flinched as Gemira poked her wings, then the GeodeWing received a shock of electricity.  Storm saw she had a burned wound on her finger.

        “She seems tense,” Gemira observed, gently massaging Storm’s tight muscles.  “I assume she expects you to attack her,” Coryza explained.  Storm growled as Gemira twirled her long blue tail around her sharp shiny claws.

        “A golden spike…an excellent conductor of electricity,” the GeodeWing said, carefully running a talon down the spike on Storm’s tail, which occasionally sparked with lightning.  “And you seem in good health.”  Gemira pried open Storm’s jaws and inspected Storm’s golden teeth.  “Not golden implants, I trust?”  “My real, sharp teeth,” Storm hissed, clawing the soft earth with her gold talons.

        “Well, I guess my tribe would be all right with allying with the SkyWings,” Gemira admitted, gently stroking her geodes.  Storm smiled.  “I’m glad,” she said.  “We need some help.”  Gemira looked suspiciously at Coryza, who clenched her talons together guiltily.  “I asked Storm to ally with you,” she sighed.  “But she agreed with me!”  Gemira hissed softly and gently patted Storm’s back.  Coryza growled.  “Well, if you don’t believe me, I’ll summon a friend to blast you out of the sky,” Coryza snarled.  Gemira smirked.

        “Well, I’m running mom’s GeodeWing army for her during the Iceball,” Gemira bragged.  “Why can’t Queen Granite do it?” Storm asked.  “Because she’s busy allying with other tribes,” Gemira explained.  “Mom will be so happy when I tell her we’ve allied with the SkyWings!”  Storm hissed.

        “I swear I’ll knock you out of the sky,” Coryza growled.  “Why?” Gemira asked loftily.  “Because you asked for it.  Mother!!”  A white SwiftWing darted out of the sky.  Storm caught a few blue lightning bolt patterns on her side and an orange mane and tail tuft.  Starbolt twisted around and landed at Coryza’s side.

        “What’s wrong?” she asked silkily.  “Blast this GeodeWing into space!” Coryza roared.  “But she’s the princess of the GeodeWings!” Starbolt protested.  I’m the princess of the SwiftWings!” Coryza argued.  “Kill her!”  Starbolt sighed but closed her eyes.  A thundercloud appeared right over Gemira’s head, and the GeodeWing darted out of the way to be covered by another cloud.

        “Blast her!” Coryza hissed, prodding Starbolt’s side.  Starbolt focused and brought a million-watt bolt of lightning onto Gemira, whose gold jewelry conducted the energy into her veins.  Gemira shrieked with pain.

        “Now kill her!” Coryza ordered, but as a huge thunderbolt started toward Gemira, Storm flung herself in the way.  The bolt hit her, not harming her at all.  Starbolt frowned uneasily at Coryza.  “Keep blasting!” she encouraged.  Starbolt swished her tail tuft at Coryza’s red scales and looked uneasily at her.

        “Storm will protect her,” Starbolt protested.  “Then scratch her eyes out,” Coryza snarled.  “Oh, I hate dragons that disobey me!”  Starbolt sighed and charged at Gemira, who slashed Starbolt easily with her sharp geode tail as she dodged Starbolt’s claws.

        “Stop it!” Storm protested.  “Stop fighting!”  Coryza had joined the fight now, but the SwiftWing princess and queen seemed like no match for the GeodeWing princess, who smiled at Storm as she easily dodged the powerful strikes, then lunged out with her own razor-sharp claws.  Storm roared, and an arch of lightning separated the three dragons, each of them trapped in their own cone of electricity.

        “Stop it,” Storm said firmly, and Coryza, Gemira, and Starbolt finally settled down.  “I will not help dragons who fight with each other before talking it out.”  Coryza sighed and apologized, and Gemira accepted it.  Starbolt didn’t apologize, but didn’t need to, since she was ordered.  “Sorry, Starbolt,” Coryza sighed.  Starbolt nodded and lay down in her lightning cone.  Storm released the dragons from their cones, and Gemira looked up at her.

        “So, will you help us?” Gemira asked.  Her large blue eyes seemed so innocent….and she looked so helpless….  But Storm remembered Gemira’s ability to charmspeak.  It allowed her to persuade other dragons into doing what she wanted.  She was being a victim herself.  Her eyes looked so much like Queen Granite’s….and Queen Granite required help dearly.  “All right,” Storm agreed.

        Gemira smiled and turned away, disappearing into the mist, but her grin crumbled as she saw the huge SeaWing behind her.  “Flame?” she whimpered as the SeaWing took a menacing step toward her.  “Betrayer,” Flame said softly, taking a rock and crumbling it in his webbed claws.  “I did not betray anyone!” Gemira protested, but Flame had his claws at her neck before she could argue any further.  “I will not kill you, but Koi will,” Flame growled.  He dragged Gemira to the ground.  “I do not care if you are the princess of the GeodeWings or not, I will have you killed, or I will do it myself.”

        “KOI??!!” Gemira shrieked.  She had been captured and been forced to fight Koi in the SkyWing arena, but had never thought he would be a killer.  She just sat down beside him and started talking to him, persuading him with her charmspeak not to attack, and Koi had seemed so nice.  She was nearly positive Koi wouldn’t kill her this time.

        “Here’s our prisoner, Koi,” Flame hissed, and Koi the SeaWing approached, snarling.  His enormous shape was outlined in the mist, but he still insisted on flashing his stripes so Gemira could see his rippling muscles and bloodstained claws and teeth.

        “Gemira,” Koi hissed.  “K-Koi?” Gemira stammered, looking terrified as the SeaWing stalked towards her.  “You are a betrayer,” Koi began.  “And I will kill you.”  He brought his claws down on Gemira’s throat.

 

Chapter 1

Fire Away

 

        Skyway raced toward the mountain.  The tiny orange dragonet needed to get back to her mother.  Cherry held out her paw for Skyway to grab onto, but Blacklight lunged out and held Skyway back.

        “You’ll get your dragonet back when I’ve finished enchanting her,” Blacklight called to Cherry.  “You mean you’ll curse her!” Cherry shouted back.  “I guess you could put it that way,” Blacklight said thoughtfully, shrugging and lifting her burned, blackened wings as Skyway attempted to claw through Blacklight’s talons.

        “Mother!” Cherry screamed as Blacklight started mixing a potion of frog guts and insect antennae.  Storm darted down to Cherry, who pointed at Blacklight and Skyway.

        “I’ll get her, stand back,” Storm warned.  She aimed a lightning bolt as Cherry scrambled into a ditch.  “Don’t hit Skyway!” Cherry squeaked.  Storm nodded and released the bolt.  A huge thunderbolt missed Blacklight as the DeathWing leapt out of its path and hit her potions rack.  Blacklight cackled.

        “Do your worst!” she taunted.  “Fire away!”  Storm grinned and started to aim another bolt, but Blacklight spun up and bit Storm hard on the wrist, where she fell into the ditch, hissing.  Blacklight smiled with all of her teeth.  Finally, Storm managed to fire-blast Blacklight and , snatch Skyway up in her paws.  Gently cradling her granddaughter in her arms, she flew back up to Cherry’s ditch.  Skyway squealed happily as she saw her mother, and Storm gently tipped Skyway into Cherry’s open arms.

        “Thank you, mother,” Cherry said gratefully as she stroked Skyway.  Storm nodded and carefully touched Skyway’s head, begging all of the electricity in her body to stay away from the talon touching Skyway’s head.  Thankfully, no shocks traveled into Skyway’s body.

        Storm flew away, leaving Cherry holding Skyway, who smiled.  Cherry rubbed her dragonet’s scales, searching for visible curses, but didn’t find any.  Finally, she shot a bolt of flame at Skyway, who shuddered as the heat licked her scales.  Luckily, Blacklight hadn’t done anything to affect Skyway’s immunity to fire.  The rare ability had been passed down through the family chain since Peril, then Storm, who was cursed by Blacklight, changing the fireborn into a lightning-powered SkyWing.  Storm had, however, kept her immunity to fire.  Cherry had that same ability, and so did Skyway.

        Cherry shook.  Storm had been cursed by Blacklight at birth, before Peril had woken up and burned her wing, making her wing weak and crusty.  She had not been able to fly after that.  Cherry had been about to be forced to drink a potion that would make her turn to metal, but Storm had slashed her and sent lightning bolts into her veins before the potion was drunk.  Now Skyway had been about to drink a potion that could have done anything to her.  Blacklight had been after Peril’s whole family as revenge for an arena battle Blacklight had said was “unfair”, since Peril had fire in her claws.  The DeathWing had hated the whole fireproof SkyWing family.

        Suddenly, Coryza landed in front of Cherry.  She looked into the pit Blacklight was twitching in, then smiled.  “Well, I’ve always hated that DeathWing,” she said.  “Can any of her potions raise the dead?”  “Why?” Cherry asked.  “Because Gemira is dead.”

        “Gemira?  Princess of the GeodeWings?” Cherry asked.  “YES,” Coryza hissed.  “How many Gemiras do you know??”  Cherry choked back a sob.  “How did she die?” she cried.  “Flame thought she was a traitor, and he had Koi kill her,” Coryza sighed.  “Koi?  The SeaWing?” Cherry gasped.  “YEAH,” Coryza growled.  “How many Kois do you know?”  “Wow, this is seriously déjà vu,” Cherry admitted.

        “Sealight is trying to arise her, but he is having no luck,” Coryza groaned.  “Sealight?  The SwiftWing and SeaWing hybrid?” Cherry asked.  “Of course!!” Coryza sighed.  Cherry frowned.

        “I didn’t know Sealight was an animus,” Cherry admitted.  “He’s not, he just has a way with potions,” Coryza said.  Cherry nodded and peered into the pit Blacklight was in.  “She doesn’t have any potions that raise the dead,” Cherry observed.  Coryza sighed.  “I guess I’ll just go,” she said, and she flew away.

 

        Coryza hissed as she approached the SwiftWing palace.  The glittering telekinesis stone glittered under the red dragon’s paws as her talons clicked on the floor.  Gemira was laying on Coryza’s bed, her eyes full of darkness, and Sealight knelt next to her, gently polishing her cloudy geodes.

        “Any luck?” Coryza asked, kneeling next to Sealight.  “None,” Sealight sighed.  Coryza frowned at Sealight’s potions, which glowed blue, red, and clear in the dim palace light.  “These potions are not accurate,” Coryza said firmly.  “Inaccurate?” Sealight asked.  “Yes, dear, and the red one-” Coryza flicked a long talon at a glowing and smoking bloodred vial, “is not supposed to have mist coming from the top.  Sealight twisted his long neck and yelped as he saw the red smoke coming from the potion.  He hurriedly slammed his polish on a marble table and rushed to the potion.  He stuffed a cork in it, then smashed the vial.  Red liquid oozed from the glass as Sealight carefully lifted his paw and checked it for glass splinters and cuts.

        “Were you supposed to do that?” Coryza asked.  “Yeah.  It allows me to get rid of the toxic in it,” Sealight explained.  “Now it’s as harmless as water.”  To prove his point, Sealight dipped his paw in the potion and let it run through his fingers.  Normally it would have sizzled a bit and might have smoked, but now it just glopped into a pile below Sealight’s paws like jelly.

        Gemira was limp as Coryza slunk up to the bed she lay on.  Her normally blue eyes were dark, but torches gleamed in them.  Coryza looked around, but saw no torches in the room.

        “Sealight, Gemira’s eyes have fiery spots in them like torches,” Coryza warned.  Sealight frowned.  “Her eyes have been flashing different images all morning,” he said.  Coryza gasped.  What did they show?” she cried.  “A valley, a mountain, a plateau, and a SeaWing falling off the plateau, but flying away,” Sealight noted.  Coryza squealed.  “What?” Sealight asked suspiciously.  “I talked to Myeline the NightWing tonight, and she predicted that Koi would fall off the old SandWing plateau!” Coryza cried.  “So… Gemira’s eyes can predict the future?” Sealight asked, looking disgusted.  Coryza nodded eagerly.  “That sounds so wrong,” he commented.

Swiftlight

 

Introduction

        Flying at top speed, Storm the SkyWing raced up the hill where Coryza the SwiftWing stood.  “What took you so long?” Coryza demanded.  “I couldn’t find your location….” Storm gasped.  “I’m…sorry…”  Storm sighed.  Coryza sniffed.  “Well, you should meet the princess of the GeodeWings, which is the old tribe you wanted to ally with,” Coryza snapped, pointing to a magnificent figure standing next to her.  She was purple with geodes hanging from her tail by the same color.  Her underbelly was pink, and so were a few of the geodes on her tail and head.  Sharp yellow horns sprouted from her head, and a golden choker was around her neck, and a golden bracelet circled her wrist.

        “This is Storm?” Gemira asked, inspecting Storm.  The blue SkyWing flinched as Gemira poked her wings, then the GeodeWing received a shock of electricity.  Storm saw she had a burned wound on her finger.

        “She seems tense,” Gemira observed, gently massaging Storm’s tight muscles.  “I assume she expects you to attack her,” Coryza explained.  Storm growled as Gemira twirled her long blue tail around her sharp shiny claws.

        “A golden spike…an excellent conductor of electricity,” the GeodeWing said, carefully running a talon down the spike on Storm’s tail, which occasionally sparked with lightning.  “And you seem in good health.”  Gemira pried open Storm’s jaws and inspected Storm’s golden teeth.  “Not golden implants, I trust?”  “My real, sharp teeth,” Storm hissed, clawing the soft earth with her gold talons.

        “Well, I guess my tribe would be all right with allying with the SkyWings,” Gemira admitted, gently stroking her geodes.  Storm smiled.  “I’m glad,” she said.  “We need some help.”  Gemira looked suspiciously at Coryza, who clenched her talons together guiltily.  “I asked Storm to ally with you,” she sighed.  “But she agreed with me!”  Gemira hissed softly and gently patted Storm’s back.  Coryza growled.  “Well, if you don’t believe me, I’ll summon a friend to blast you out of the sky,” Coryza snarled.  Gemira smirked.

        “Well, I’m running mom’s GeodeWing army for her during the Iceball,” Gemira bragged.  “Why can’t Queen Granite do it?” Storm asked.  “Because she’s busy allying with other tribes,” Gemira explained.  “Mom will be so happy when I tell her we’ve allied with the SkyWings!”  Storm hissed.

        “I swear I’ll knock you out of the sky,” Coryza growled.  “Why?” Gemira asked loftily.  “Because you asked for it.  Mother!!”  A white SwiftWing darted out of the sky.  Storm caught a few blue lightning bolt patterns on her side and an orange mane and tail tuft.  Starbolt twisted around and landed at Coryza’s side.

        “What’s wrong?” she asked silkily.  “Blast this GeodeWing into space!” Coryza roared.  “But she’s the princess of the GeodeWings!” Starbolt protested.  I’m the princess of the SwiftWings!” Coryza argued.  “Kill her!”  Starbolt sighed but closed her eyes.  A thundercloud appeared right over Gemira’s head, and the GeodeWing darted out of the way to be covered by another cloud.

        “Blast her!” Coryza hissed, prodding Starbolt’s side.  Starbolt focused and brought a million-watt bolt of lightning onto Gemira, whose gold jewelry conducted the energy into her veins.  Gemira shrieked with pain.

        “Now kill her!” Coryza ordered, but as a huge thunderbolt started toward Gemira, Storm flung herself in the way.  The bolt hit her, not harming her at all.  Starbolt frowned uneasily at Coryza.  “Keep blasting!” she encouraged.  Starbolt swished her tail tuft at Coryza’s red scales and looked uneasily at her.

        “Storm will protect her,” Starbolt protested.  “Then scratch her eyes out,” Coryza snarled.  “Oh, I hate dragons that disobey me!”  Starbolt sighed and charged at Gemira, who slashed Starbolt easily with her sharp geode tail as she dodged Starbolt’s claws.

        “Stop it!” Storm protested.  “Stop fighting!”  Coryza had joined the fight now, but the SwiftWing princess and queen seemed like no match for the GeodeWing princess, who smiled at Storm as she easily dodged the powerful strikes, then lunged out with her own razor-sharp claws.  Storm roared, and an arch of lightning separated the three dragons, each of them trapped in their own cone of electricity.

        “Stop it,” Storm said firmly, and Coryza, Gemira, and Starbolt finally settled down.  “I will not help dragons who fight with each other before talking it out.”  Coryza sighed and apologized, and Gemira accepted it.  Starbolt didn’t apologize, but didn’t need to, since she was ordered.  “Sorry, Starbolt,” Coryza sighed.  Starbolt nodded and lay down in her lightning cone.  Storm released the dragons from their cones, and Gemira looked up at her.

        “So, will you help us?” Gemira asked.  Her large blue eyes seemed so innocent….and she looked so helpless….  But Storm remembered Gemira’s ability to charmspeak.  It allowed her to persuade other dragons into doing what she wanted.  She was being a victim herself.  Her eyes looked so much like Queen Granite’s….and Queen Granite required help dearly.  “All right,” Storm agreed.

        Gemira smiled and turned away, disappearing into the mist, but her grin crumbled as she saw the huge SeaWing behind her.  “Flame?” she whimpered as the SeaWing took a menacing step toward her.  “Betrayer,” Flame said softly, taking a rock and crumbling it in his webbed claws.  “I did not betray anyone!” Gemira protested, but Flame had his claws at her neck before she could argue any further.  “I will not kill you, but Koi will,” Flame growled.  He dragged Gemira to the ground.  “I do not care if you are the princess of the GeodeWings or not, I will have you killed, or I will do it myself.”

        “KOI??!!” Gemira shrieked.  She had been captured and been forced to fight Koi in the SkyWing arena, but had never thought he would be a killer.  She just sat down beside him and started talking to him, persuading him with her charmspeak not to attack, and Koi had seemed so nice.  She was nearly positive Koi wouldn’t kill her this time.

        “Here’s our prisoner, Koi,” Flame hissed, and Koi the SeaWing approached, snarling.  His enormous shape was outlined in the mist, but he still insisted on flashing his stripes so Gemira could see his rippling muscles and bloodstained claws and teeth.

        “Gemira,” Koi hissed.  “K-Koi?” Gemira stammered, looking terrified as the SeaWing stalked towards her.  “You are a betrayer,” Koi began.  “And I will kill you.”  He brought his claws down on Gemira’s throat.

 

Chapter 1

Fire Away

 

        Skyway raced toward the mountain.  The tiny orange dragonet needed to get back to her mother.  Cherry held out her paw for Skyway to grab onto, but Blacklight lunged out and held Skyway back.

        “You’ll get your dragonet back when I’ve finished enchanting her,” Blacklight called to Cherry.  “You mean you’ll curse her!” Cherry shouted back.  “I guess you could put it that way,” Blacklight said thoughtfully, shrugging and lifting her burned, blackened wings as Skyway attempted to claw through Blacklight’s talons.

        “Mother!” Cherry screamed as Blacklight started mixing a potion of frog guts and insect antennae.  Storm darted down to Cherry, who pointed at Blacklight and Skyway.

        “I’ll get her, stand back,” Storm warned.  She aimed a lightning bolt as Cherry scrambled into a ditch.  “Don’t hit Skyway!” Cherry squeaked.  Storm nodded and released the bolt.  A huge thunderbolt missed Blacklight as the DeathWing leapt out of its path and hit her potions rack.  Blacklight cackled.

        “Do your worst!” she taunted.  “Fire away!”  Storm grinned and started to aim another bolt, but Blacklight spun up and bit Storm hard on the wrist, where she fell into the ditch, hissing.  Blacklight smiled with all of her teeth.  Finally, Storm managed to fire-blast Blacklight and , snatch Skyway up in her paws.  Gently cradling her granddaughter in her arms, she flew back up to Cherry’s ditch.  Skyway squealed happily as she saw her mother, and Storm gently tipped Skyway into Cherry’s open arms.

        “Thank you, mother,” Cherry said gratefully as she stroked Skyway.  Storm nodded and carefully touched Skyway’s head, begging all of the electricity in her body to stay away from the talon touching Skyway’s head.  Thankfully, no shocks traveled into Skyway’s body.

        Storm flew away, leaving Cherry holding Skyway, who smiled.  Cherry rubbed her dragonet’s scales, searching for visible curses, but didn’t find any.  Finally, she shot a bolt of flame at Skyway, who shuddered as the heat licked her scales.  Luckily, Blacklight hadn’t done anything to affect Skyway’s immunity to fire.  The rare ability had been passed down through the family chain since Peril, then Storm, who was cursed by Blacklight, changing the fireborn into a lightning-powered SkyWing.  Storm had, however, kept her immunity to fire.  Cherry had that same ability, and so did Skyway.

        Cherry shook.  Storm had been cursed by Blacklight at birth, before Peril had woken up and burned her wing, making her wing weak and crusty.  She had not been able to fly after that.  Cherry had been about to be forced to drink a potion that would make her turn to metal, but Storm had slashed her and sent lightning bolts into her veins before the potion was drunk.  Now Skyway had been about to drink a potion that could have done anything to her.  Blacklight had been after Peril’s whole family as revenge for an arena battle Blacklight had said was “unfair”, since Peril had fire in her claws.  The DeathWing had hated the whole fireproof SkyWing family.

        Suddenly, Coryza landed in front of Cherry.  She looked into the pit Blacklight was twitching in, then smiled.  “Well, I’ve always hated that DeathWing,” she said.  “Can any of her potions raise the dead?”  “Why?” Cherry asked.  “Because Gemira is dead.”

        “Gemira?  Princess of the GeodeWings?” Cherry asked.  “YES,” Coryza hissed.  “How many Gemiras do you know??”  Cherry choked back a sob.  “How did she die?” she cried.  “Flame thought she was a traitor, and he had Koi kill her,” Coryza sighed.  “Koi?  The SeaWing?” Cherry gasped.  “YEAH,” Coryza growled.  “How many Kois do you know?”  “Wow, this is seriously déjà vu,” Cherry admitted.

        “Sealight is trying to arise her, but he is having no luck,” Coryza groaned.  “Sealight?  The SwiftWing and SeaWing hybrid?” Cherry asked.  “Of course!!” Coryza sighed.  Cherry frowned.

        “I didn’t know Sealight was an animus,” Cherry admitted.  “He’s not, he just has a way with potions,” Coryza said.  Cherry nodded and peered into the pit Blacklight was in.  “She doesn’t have any potions that raise the dead,” Cherry observed.  Coryza sighed.  “I guess I’ll just go,” she said, and she flew away.

 

        Coryza hissed as she approached the SwiftWing palace.  The glittering telekinesis stone glittered under the red dragon’s paws as her talons clicked on the floor.  Gemira was laying on Coryza’s bed, her eyes full of darkness, and Sealight knelt next to her, gently polishing her cloudy geodes.

        “Any luck?” Coryza asked, kneeling next to Sealight.  “None,” Sealight sighed.  Coryza frowned at Sealight’s potions, which glowed blue, red, and clear in the dim palace light.  “These potions are not accurate,” Coryza said firmly.  “Inaccurate?” Sealight asked.  “Yes, dear, and the red one-” Coryza flicked a long talon at a glowing and smoking bloodred vial, “is not supposed to have mist coming from the top.  Sealight twisted his long neck and yelped as he saw the red smoke coming from the potion.  He hurriedly slammed his polish on a marble table and rushed to the potion.  He stuffed a cork in it, then smashed the vial.  Red liquid oozed from the glass as Sealight carefully lifted his paw and checked it for glass splinters and cuts.

        “Were you supposed to do that?” Coryza asked.  “Yeah.  It allows me to get rid of the toxic in it,” Sealight explained.  “Now it’s as harmless as water.”  To prove his point, Sealight dipped his paw in the potion and let it run through his fingers.  Normally it would have sizzled a bit and might have smoked, but now it just glopped into a pile below Sealight’s paws like jelly.

        Gemira was limp as Coryza slunk up to the bed she lay on.  Her normally blue eyes were dark, but torches gleamed in them.  Coryza looked around, but saw no torches in the room.

        “Sealight, Gemira’s eyes have fiery spots in them like torches,” Coryza warned.  Sealight frowned.  “Her eyes have been flashing different images all morning,” he said.  Coryza gasped.  What did they show?” she cried.  “A valley, a mountain, a plateau, and a SeaWing falling off the plateau, but flying away,” Sealight noted.  Coryza squealed.  “What?” Sealight asked suspiciously.  “I talked to Myeline the NightWing tonight, and she predicted that Koi would fall off the old SandWing plateau!” Coryza cried.  “So… Gemira’s eyes can predict the future?” Sealight asked, looking disgusted.  Coryza nodded eagerly.  “That sounds so wrong,” he commented.

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