This is a fanfiction by RimeTheIcewing. You may only edit this story with her permission and/or if you see an obvious spelling mistake. Please enjoy!
Prologue: Heart of Ice
Lights flittered in the dark room, the lights of a thousand candles. " Bring out the sculpture. I want to see these powers in action..." Said a deep bellowing voice, void of any emotion.
A glittering ice sculpture was brought to the pit in the dark room, and a thousand dragons moved in to take a look. The sculpture was quite fine, reflecting the looks of a strong Icewing with some more rigid edges, but was near perfection. " That's very pleasing, but how can it serve the righteous lab without life? That's where you come in." Said the deep voice, pointing to a figure in the shadows.
" My magic wasn't meant for this... madness! Why should I support creating this monster!?" Said the figure, his voice weak with age.
" Kind sir, we are only doing what's best for our world, our tribes, everybody. This... monster as you call it, is just a guard to help us. We don't intend anything more." Said the deep voiced dragon, his claws scraping the ground as he leaned over the edge of the pit.
" I've seen people like you, but I don't trust you with your little buddies. Again why should I risk my sanity and my people's safety, for your petty little beast." Said the old dragon, starting to leave. Two Nightwings came down at him and grabbed his arm, dragging him back to the center.
" Let me go! I'm going to tell Queen Glory and get you all where you belong!!!" He shouted, squirming and kicking. " I'm sorry, but you aren't going to leave our lab alive." Said the other dragon.
The old dragon snarled, as the deep-voiced dragon came over. " So, what do you think, old dragon? Help us or go to the cells." He said, pointing to a faraway door.
The old dragon sighed " Fine, but if you dare to attack out kingdom, I will mold you into a bony square. " He then said.
The two guards let him go. The older dragon stepped down into the pit and stared deeply at the life-like statue before putting his claws on it. Red magic flowed from his talons into the scales, slipping into every gap and filling every crevice. All of a sudden, cracks appeared in the sculpture, cracks that formed scales. Two frosty orbs appeared in the dark hollow eyes of the fake Icewing and it began to take on a life of itself.
" May the golem be forever loyal to our cause! His fierce strikes will shape our new world!" Said a very loud Rainwing, flapping her wings.
The room was no longer dark, but filled with bright animus magic. Gasping, the old dragon finally let go of the statue as it came to life. The Icewing flew up into the air and roared a mighty howl.
"My work is done. Are you happy with this... thing?" Said the old animus.
" Very." The deep dragon said.
" Then I am going." Said the old Rainwing, beginning to walk out the door again.
The two guarding Nightwings flew down again, but this time jabbed him with the spear. The dragon screeched and frantically shot animus magic about, trying to get the spear out of him. Within seconds, all the life had left the animus, a few dribbles of blood coursing down his underbelly. The deep-voiced Skywing cast a disgusted look before sliding the corpse out of the way as he left the lab.
" I told you. You could never leave this place alive." He said, now going up to the new Icewing. " Welcome to the lab, Golem."
Chapter 1: Welcome!
Blank looked around as she took her dart shooter out. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary to her, but an awfully weird smell had pasted through her nose. " Burning wood." She said, willing to disguise herself. No such luck, as her pure white scales lacked the pigment to change.
An orange glow started from deep in the woods and worked it's way through the jungle like a fiery orange snake. The trees lit up in an ember filled blaze and the rest of the Rainwings began to retreat. " Why couldn't it be a rainy day?" Asked Blank, leaping from tree to tree. " Queen Glory isn't going to like this? Who could have done this...? The Nightwings...The Sandwings...?" Said a blue Rainwing, leaping next to her.
" Well, let's stop this fiery blaze first. The village could be burned to ashes if this fire goes on any longer." Blank said, grabbing some water from a river and splashing it over the fire. The fire retracted slightly as the water gushed over it, but it contuined along the forest. " It's no use, we have to fall back, please come back with us, Blank!" Said the other Rainwing, his scales a whirlwind of color and emotion.
" I'm coming." Sighed Blank, looked at the beautiful plants burning to near nothingness. It would take years for even the saplings to grow back after a fire this big. Blank grasped onto a branch and hopped from tree to tree, looking back to make sure the fire wasn't coming toward the village. Just then, when she wasn't looking, she missed the branch and brutally scraped her wing, beginning to fall down very quickly.
Blank roared as her back hit another branch before snapping it and sending her tumbling down again. She didn't know what was going on, but didn't care. She breathed venom and twirled in the air, roared and screeched for help.
At last, though, Blank's head smashed up against the ground and she laid there, helpless. The weak dragon heard the faint sound of chatter, and felt a talon tugging her, before she blacked out into a dark void.
Blank awoke to a sour healing remedy being poured down her throat. Gagging, she coughed out the leafy mixture before looking around. She appeared to be in an underground cell of some sort, but with tiny wooden counters filled with medicines, mixtures and books. A large pale Sandwing with a dragon-tooth necklace inspected her as she woke up. " All ok then?" Said the Sandwing, looking at Blank.
" Um, I think so. Do you know where the exit is? I don't like it here." Blank said, taking a more careful look around. There were dragon skulls hanging from the wall, with each of the tribes and gender captions below them. One of them still smelled of decay, the one labeled " Male, Rainwing". The very thought of somebody killing a Rainwing made her feel angry and sick.
" Sorry, young one, but we don't allow outsiders to leave. I might seem nice enough, but the boss sure isn't." Said the Sandwing, putting the green soupy medicine back into a wooden cabinet.
" The boss?" Replied Blank, very confused at this statement and where exactly she was.
" Oh yeah, sorry, sorry, forgetful me... This is THE Lab of Mythic Dragons and Scavengers. But we just call it the lab. We found you right out of our step and the boss was VERY interested in your scales." Said the Sandwing, looking at Blank. " I'm sorry kid. But your not at home now."
" Welcome to the lab."
Chapter 2: Behind Walls
Blank frantically looked around for an exit, only to find there was none at all. She bared her fangs and hissed, only for a sharp pain to course through her body. The will to fight drained out of her as she hit the ground, her limbs going numb.
" Sorry, we take safety VERY seriously around here. Copperhead, go get me another sleep poison!" Said the pale Sandwing to his assistant, another Sandwing with a deeper, more copper scale tone and glimmering black eyes. The Sandwing ran off and came back with a needle full of a dark blue substance.
" We are very fond of these frogs around here. You should know, darter. We found this near you." Said the Sandwing Blank assumed to be Copperhead. He took out her dart shooter and tossed it aside. " So primitive."
" Hey, Copperhead, just let her fall asleep, we'll be bringing her into the lab cell soon." Sand the pale SandWing, his voice fading to Blank's ears. Copperhead injected the substance into Blank through a small gap between her scales and watched the Rainwing drift off into an almost peaceful sleep.
Blank's head hurt as she groggily choked out " Hey... Where are you...?". She looked around where she was. She appeared to be in a large box-shaped cell, with stone walls on all sides but one, which had thick glass. A single bowl of strange-looking flesh was in the corner, as well as a small pit with water in it. Blank was on a rock when she woke up and as she rolled off of it, she saw a dragon on the other side. A dragon that was unusual, like her. A freak.
Golem whipped around as he caught a glimpse of the new Rainwing. Her scales were pure white and her eyes a bloodshot red. No doubt an albino. But something was different about this one. Maybe it was the way she looked at him or the way she almost tried to reach through the glass, but he didn't like it. It was new, it made him not want to tear her, even if she tried to escape. Through mere gestures alone, he was already interested and made his way up to the glass.
Blank looked at Golem, his pale blue scales flickering in the light and the way his claws were spiked all around. He stared at her, his frosty blue orb eyes casting a slightly unnerving look. Blank reached out and touched the glass again. She only just met him, yet she could still feel a tiny spark in her heart. What it was she did not know, but she wanted to know more about him. The Icewing shook his head and mumbled something that didn't make it through the glass.
" Back to work... Like always." Said Golem, getting back on trail. How foolish am I to be distracted by a mere freak... He thought, moving away. He went down a large flight of stairs, catching glimpses of some more freaks along. A two-headed MudWing, a nine tailed NightWing and a SandWing with no barb and deep brown scales all backed off to the corner of their cells as he walked by. The long flight of stairs lead to a final cell, with a freakishly large NightWing-SeaWing hybrid in it.
" Come on, you big fish." Golem said. " Shrike wants you in the lab again."
" No, I'm not going back! Never!" Said the hybrid, thrashing her tail at Golem, who caught it and held it in place, digging his talons into it. The hybrid simply kicked him and several shards of ice hit the ground, Golem's body flashing a bright animus red for a moment.
" Aaargh..." Said Golem, surprised at such an outburst from a dragon usually so shy. This was the first time she ever fought back with such force. Golem leaped out at the Nightwing-Seawing, Riverbeast. She easily dodged and flew up the flight of stairs. Golem quickly ran into the guard's section, looking at the other dragons inside, mostly Nightwings and Skywings.
" The beast has escaped. All guards, report to me if you find her. Shrike will know what to do to her..." Said Golem, sharpening his talons. It was time for payback.
Chapter 3: Shrike
Golem made his way into a small box shaped room, with a wooden desk in the middle, dozens of papers covering the desk. The walls were lined with shelves stuffed with books and records, the floors were also wood, the walls stone. Golem looked at the SkyWing sitting at a seat by the table. Shrike, his master turned to look at him.
Shrike looked at Golem dully, his yellow eyes glaring at the icy creation. " She escaped?" He said, his blood red tail swishing harshly.
" Yes, sir. Yes indeed..." Said Golem, his strong voice dragging on weakly in fear of his master's wrath. Shrike was not quite right in the head, despite leading the facility.
" I want her back here by noon. I knew that disgusting excuse for a dragon would cause trouble, and we are here to purge the world of such miserable creatures." Said Shrike, the SkyWing picking up a glass of water and drinking it down.
" And if she isn't here?" Said Golem, a small frozen bead of sweat coming down his head.
" You'll have bigger problems than that dragon, much bigger problems." Replied Shrike, holding the glass bottle like it was his head. With a single blow of his talons, the bottle shattered, pieces of broken glass scattering across the wooden desk.
" Understand?" Said Shrike, beginning to dismiss Golem.
" Y-yes sir." Said Golem, leaving the room to roam the underground tunnels. The roots of the trees dug into the walls, the smell of rot. It was not a pleasant place.
Riverbeast looked around the corner, checking for any guards. At this rate, she would be out of the place in a matter of minutes. The dark blue dragon sharpened her claws as she went through the tunnel. She hated fighting, despite her large size and strength. Looking around one last time, she left the tunnels for the top floor.
Riverbeast lit up her lime-green stripes to get a better look around. She wondered how Golem ever found his way around this place without night vision or glow stripes. She wandered through the dark, her eyes only catching the small circle of light around her. What was only a few minutes felt like an eternity to her as she wandered the dark halls, the halls of the dead of the lab. She had remembered this place from when Kindsoul had died. The poor Nightwing dragonet.
Riverbeast hit several skeletons and shuddered. From what she could she, the dragons bodies were slowly being pushed down a grate, they're bones turned to mere dust, while the body became a paste. With a single sniff, the paste smelled quite like the cell food, but Riverbeast didn't want to think about that now.
All of a sudden, she saw a glimmer of daylight. Without thought, Riverbeast dashed towards the light, leaping from room to roomed. She reached out, as if trying to grab the light, but to no avail. The searing pain of a spear pushed through her delicate underbelly, breaking away some of her scales, but luckily only going through her underbelly. " I got her!" Shouted the dragon, dragging along the startled hybrid. So close... Thought Riverbeast, trying to weakly grasp the light again.
Riverbeast looked out, at the light before it was retracted from her quickly, her impaled body being dragged along. She seemed to drift between fainting and awaken, but struggled with all her might. Several guards tried to hold her down, but she battered them with her long, thick tail. Screeching, she hit down the holder of the spear and bit his neck clean off, the crimson blood pouring down. Suddenly realizing what she was doing, she tried to apologize. " Sorry! SORRY! NO! STOP!" She said, several dragons screeching in terror as they tore at her. At that moment, Golem came in.
" STOP YOU FOOLS!" He said, his like a howling blizzard, his body glowing animus red for a few moments. " We need her alive!" Golem said, kicking away the guards before injecting the blue liquid into Riverbeast, causing her fall over. The large blue and green Nightwing-ish looking dragon was covered in cuts and scars, her breathing light. There was still much left in the tough dragon, but in this state, she was quite easy to kill.
" Golem, you have returned. Are you bringing the dragonet?" Said Shrike, his bloodstained claws clasped together. His assistant, a female Rainwing with a red hue, stood beside him.
" Yes, here she is. I would never disappoint you, m-master." The words had began to sound fake to Golem. He hated his master very much, almost as much as he hated this lab.
" Good, good. To the lab!" Said Shrike, the Rainwing tossing Riverbeast over her before almost falling under her weight. Stumbling, they brought her out the lab. Golem thought he might have seen those innocent eyes open for a second, staring at him with sadness and rage. Guilt overwhelmed him.
Chapter 4: Stained Claws
Blank stared at the stone walls, clawing at them. She had been in here for what seemed like days, with little food and water. She looked around at the other dragons and caught the eye of one in particular. It was a Seawing, with claws the size of scavenger steel teeth. That dragon could easily break his way out if he wasn't tied up against a wall. Then Blank got a great idea.
Digging her claws into the wall, she wrote " Use your tail.". The Seawing cast a confused glance before smacking his tail against the chains, wincing as his tail slapped him along the way. They shivered for a second, letting him slip down slightly and he started to realize what she meant. He hit one of the chains until it broke, and he fell on all fours to the ground. Raising a claw, he swiped at the glass wall, shattering it. As he began to make his way out Blank quickly clawed into the wall " Can I be freed?" she scribbled, looking hopeful. The Seawing quickly made a turn and swiped his talons several time, freeing her.
Things weren't looking good for Riverbeast as she looked around. She was strapped into a thick iron board, her wings hanging droopingly like cloth. She couldn't move them, her wings were frozen and stiff.
A crimson Skywing, whose claws were stained with blood and who knows what else walked in, his strides big and proud. His yellow eyes scanned the room and he wrapped a white robe around his body and put on a pair of goggles. His claws scrapped against the floor as he grabbed a red vial and poured the liquid into the needle. Then it got closer.
" This will only hurt a bit..." He said, his voice deep and bellowing. The red liquid was unnaturally bright and red, with hints of blue floating inside. He took the needle and looked at Riverbeast's tender underbelly, before jabbing the needle inside.
The needle dug into Riverbeast's skin and she began to jitter. Her body felt like it was going up in flames and she tried to scream, but she had a muzzle. The Skywing stepped back and watched her. She cried in pain and at last settled down, beads of sweat and a red glow around her gill-like scales. The Skywing looked at the painful dragonet and backed off. " Sorry, it's for the greater good." He said.
Shrike looked at the hybrid, her wings numb, her innocent body tortured by a simple shot of red flame. He knew he was doing this for the best, so that the normal dragons could live through burns and whatnot. They are the only ones that should be called dragons He thought, putting back the needle. But then he wondered Then why do I feel so guilty?
Golem looked around for the Rainwing. There was too much for him to keep up with, with all these escapings in the lab. He walked towards a large corridor that had a howling wind blowing through it, making the torches flicker. Then, Golem saw a shape in the shadows.
Chasing it down a corridor, the torches flickered, each flicker giving him a glimpse of the stunningly beautiful albino Rainwing, flying like a mad dragon. The Rainwing screeched in fear, but they were far enough not too attract guards. But Golem flew faster, his wings smooth and quickly. She was no match for his sheer speed and strength.
Blank rushed ahead, letting her wings spread and flapping frantically the Icewing's eyes shone in shadows as he closed in on her, his large claws scraping her wing. A blast of frost-death nearly hit her body as she dodged it and cringed as Golem, in rage, tore at her wing angrily. Blank realized she would never fly again at this rate and flew down, only to be tackled to the ground. Blank looked up into the icy eyes of Golem and prepared for the worst.
Golem put his talons to Blank's neck, but the dragon rolled away and jumped back quickly. Mad with frustration and wanting her dead. " Hey mayb-" Said Blank, narrowly dodging an icy blast sent from Golem's maw.
He leaped at her again, this time like a furious wildebeest, his head ready for a head-butt. He hit Blank right on the stomach and launched her high in the air before flying up. She tried to regain balance in the air before Golem smashed her back into the ground and went diving after her. She ignored the pain and quickly swiped the diving Icewing, amazed as several of what she thought was his scales flew off.
Golem tried time and time again to attack, but the tricky Rainwing kept dodging, igniting his rage. His eyes, turning a bright animus red and red steam coming off of his body, charged towards Blank again, driving her into the ground. The time for games was over.
Golem, not wanting much else than to kill in his bloodlust now, grasped Blank's neck and drove her further into the ground before roaring like a howling blizzard. " Uuurgh.. I was saying, maybe..... maybe... We could work together. Not fight... I could show you the world. Just let me." The bloodlust stopped.
Chapter 5: Shackles
Golem looked down the trapped dragon, his slobbering maw moving back for a split second. He did not know of a world, because the lab was all he ever had ever in his life. " The world?" He said, shifting his icy claws, causing Blank to cringe in pain.
" Wow, you've really never left the lab? You really need a life." Said Blank, sweat gushing down her lower maw. Golem snorted for a second at the insult, but wanted to keep her around for a bit longer.
" Well...no." He said, looking slightly shameful. " Is it warm? Is there a lot of food?" Golem said, hiding his own desires to get out of this cold, lifeless tunnel of a place.
" Definitely. Where I come from, there's a bunch of careless dragons who just bathe in the sun's warmth all day. It's so easy to just grab food from them. Well, until you get caught then-" Blank's sentence was cut off as Golem pushed her slightly deeper before leaning in very closely, his voice a tiny whisper.
" You make a compelling deal. I'll let you go, and you show me this "world", that'll be the deal. But don't get any funny ideas, OK?" He said, loosing his grip on Blank before letting her go. The Rainwing gasped for breath before slowly standing up. " Ok then, let's go..." Blank said, her white scales still standing straight.
Golem looked around for a second before looking back at Blank. " The lab is up next." He said, a worried expression crossing his face. He had never liked the lab, as it was always full of grumpy Nightwing guards and cloaked figures. The mysterious one always made him shudder, as nobody knew who- or for that matter, what it was. It carried off the dead and performed the expieriments that even Shrike would never do. Not the best dragon to fight against.
Blank flew up to the locked door, ready to knock it down, before Golem bit her back. " Wha-" Said Blank and before she could finish, Golem shushed her. " Do you see the dragonet? We can't go now, the mystery killer is here." Pointing through the tiny window.
Riverbeast looked up painfully at the cloaked figure, her eyes widening. The figures wings opened, his bloody red eyes visible from under the cloak. The dusty, bloody cloak looked like it was beginning to tear. His shriveled talons picked up a wire and attacked it to her shackles. " Don't worry, young dragonet. You'll have little pain after this. Just sleep..." The figure said, putting its hand on Riverbeast's head. As he reached for the switch, Riverbeast squirmed in her chain and shackles, as electricity began to course.
" You really want to save her?" Said Golem, watching the sparks fly. He looked at Riverbeast screech as the power slowly increase.
" Oh course! She doesn't deserve that!" Said Blank, fidgeting at the lock. She reared her horns and smashed them into the door, knocking in a big dent. " Let's go! Hurry!"
Golem watched as the door fell down and as Blank leaped at the cloaked figure. He had never been so surprised as the Rainwing tore at his face and cloak before being attacked back. He quickly made his way over to the machine connecting to the electricity wire and tried to pull the switch before being tripped. The figure hissed and several shots of fire blasted out. It's cloak began to rip, and Golem could see deep dark gray scales with flecks of eerie gold going through. One of his fingers were made of cold steel, which Golem felt as he was tugged off the ground. The mysterious figure chucked him to the wall before going back to fighting Blank. His arm shattered as it broke across the ground.
Riverbeast looked up at the wall, her body shuddering as the sheer force of the electricity made her talons move. Oddly enough, one of them was a dragon she had grown to despise, a mean-hearted golem with a heart of ice. Maybe it had melted a little. The other fought tooth and nail, but Riverbeast knew it was pointless. The flowing power started to burn through her skin, and it was going to be over soon for her.
Blank sliced at the figure, but it swiftly dodged back before countering with a quick uppercut swipe. " So quick..." She said, biting at him but only getting another piece of cloth. As her eyes slid to the left, she realized Riverbeast had little time left. As the figure leapt there one more time, she switched her direction and went for the switch. It flipped down as she was tackled.
Riverbeast's pain ended.
Chapter 6: The Warning
Blank looked up at the odd hybrid as it got up slowly, her teeth clenched in rage. Her body was a wreck, her scales ripped and burned, but she desperately pushed herself along, trying to get away from the cloaked figure. The figure looked up and grinned manically, but while it was distracted, Blank charged at him, only for his other talon to wrap itself around her like a long black snake. Riverbeast, almost out of the lab, pushed with all her might against the steel door, slowly pushing it open. " Free..." She said, one of her eyes starting to roll back and ready to faint.
" Not yet." Said the figure, Blank struggling under his talons. As Riverbeast started moving again, the figure cut into Blank's neck before leaping out at her. The red liquid spilled across his cloak and he licked the blade, before trying to plunge it into Riverbeast. Quite smartly, Riverbeast rammed him and turned paths toward the grinding room, using her large tail to batter the door openly. She knew that there, he couldn't just leap around without fear.
Golem's eyes slowly flickered as his body regenerated, his arm coming back together. He wondered why he didn't just hit his core after that. A single blow to his core would cause him to fall apart, and he knew this, as he was there on that cursed day. Then, seeing Blank bleeding dry on the ground, he realized he wasn't the target. The prisoners were.
Riverbeast reached up to a high platform inside the grind factory and pushed herself up, up to a higher platform. The figure flew past, only to have his cloak snagged on the gears. " Ugh! Argh! Hm?" He said, trying to untie himself. At that moment the gears began to turn as a few leaves and some bones fell down from a pipe, to be crushed between the gears.
The gears were about to hit the figure's body, killing him instantly, but the impact had not come. " Wha-? Why did you-?" Began the figure, his cloak now being torn away. The dim lights revealed the slight hint of brown of his scales and his huge thick armored scales. A Mudwing.
" I didn't want you to die, and if you did, I wouldn't be able to stand the guilt." Said Riverbeast, going back onto the platform before the mudwing had a chance to strike.
" So cute, but you are quite a fool. Don't you know how deadly I am, how helpless you really are!" He said, trying to grasp the platform's steel fence, grasping it by only a tip. With a heavy heave, he pulled himself up and the steel fence bended down. The steel fence bent down, and the evil Mudwing hurried up, but it was clearly unstable. One wrong move could send him plummeting.
" Don't move any closer!" Said Riverbeast, watching the fence shake with every step. The fence had already began to sink, but the mudwing was still very confident in his abilities.
" Afraid? Well I'm sorry to say, but this is your demis-!?" He was cut off as the fence snapped, sending him falling into the many gears and grinder below. A echoing roar was heard as a dagger flew up from the hole, probaly thrown at the last second. Riverbeast looked down sadly before exiting, a sharp pain still in her body.
Riverbeast looked up at her two rescuers, one of them who was badly injured. Blank was on the verge of collapsing dead. " Golem? What are you doing here?" She said, her anger clearly obvious in her voice.
"Ugh, Riverbeast, I know what I did was wrong and yadda yadda yadda! But this dragon is dying!" Said Golem, looking at Blank.
" And who almost died because of you? I'll help, but not for you, at least not now." Riverbeast said, getting out a reed of seaweed. " My mother taught me this." She said, drenching the seaweed in water and tying it around her neck. The bleeding slowed down and Blank dizzily blinked before trying to get up and falling back down. Then they heard clawsteps.
Golem helped Blank up on her claws. As Blank heard clawsteps, she froze up and tried to camouflage herself, just like her instincts told her, but it was not much help for a colorless RainWing. Golem started to panic as the clawsteps came closer and closer, and decided to hide in a cabinet. With one frosty eye peeking out, Golem scanned the room. " Is anybody there?" Asked Blank, her tail thrashing weakly.
" Yes." Said Golem.
It was Shrike, and he was not happy.
Chapter 7: Cabinet Confessions
Riverbeast quickly went to the corner of the cabinet, her eyes wide with fear. " No! Not Shrike! If I didn't know better, I'd say he didn't have a heart!" She said, wrapping her tail around her head. " I don't want to be reminded... Of..." She didn't finish the sentence, tears and snorts blocking out her words.
" Of what?" Curiously asked Blank, trying to comfort Riverbeast with her wing.
" What he did..." She said, running one claw down her gill, which had several red blotches on the inside. She cringed for a second before retreating father in.
Meanwhile, outside, Shrike looked around, his yellow eyes blazing. " Where is the body!? Where is that Mudwing I sent in?!" He said, turning to his Rainwing assistant, Aloe. She gave a worried glance at the pipes and turned back to Shrike.
" Dead. His scales are clogging the pipes." She said, backing away from Shrike, who gave a deep growl. " How did that worm escape? It couldn't be..." He started.
" Golem. I knew that silly ice-thing would turn on me, being made by that untrustworthy RainWing. Well, I can easily retract that power from him, so let's see if he knows anything." Said Shrike, pulling out an amulet from one of the locked shelves.
Golem instantly started to panic, and worried that one of his new "friends" might have heard that. He knew he had disobeyed, and any punishment they gave him was justified, as he wasn't a dragon. He was always taught that, always knew that. This was not the first time he had seen the amulet. When a dragon escaped, he was tormented with it's animus-sucking powers, an injure he'd never recover from. Even now, he could still feel the sting in his chest, like a hollow gap. But he didn't want to ruin his chance with this new dragon.
Shrike held out the amulet and it spun towards the cabinet, the closest source of animus magic. " That's odd..." He said, opening it to find all three of the dragons in a tight cluster. With a quick pouncing motion, Golem leaped out at Shrike and knocked the amulet out of his claws. Shrike's head whipped around and he gave Golem a quick kick before dashing after the amulet.
" Aloe, protect me!" He yelled. Aloe quickly spat some venom at Golem, which barely missed, falling to the ground but unable to melt the steel floor. Riverbeast ran out and tackled Aloe, who after squirming out, ran away. Riverbeast ran after her, exiting the lab.
" USELESS WORM!" Shouted Shrike, picking up the amulet as Golem started to sprint towards him. " Well, this brings back some memories doesn't it?" Shrike said, pointing the center of the amulet, a dark red gem, towards Golem. Golem flinched, his ears going back and his body tensing up.
" Now unless you tell me all that happened, I'm going to tap this gem... and you know the rest." He said, Golem shuddering.
" Golem!" Yelled Blank, dashing over. She looked at Shrike, her red eyes narrowing. " What are you doing!?" She barked, hissing under her breath.
" Stand back, or you'll regret it!" He said, turning on the amulet. A striking snow white beam hit Golem and it steadily turned red, engulfing his body. Golem roared as his icy body started to crack, revealing a bright red core. " Well, what do you have to say?"
" I-.... NO... Help!" Golem said, his talons coming off the ground, now floating in mid-air.
" STOP IT!" Said Blank, rushing the quickest she ever had. Shrike gave a blast of fire that sent her tumbling, smoke pouring off her. She opened one eye and slowly began to get up, clutching her burn. Deep hues of red flowed through the air, with Golem struggling to get closer to Shrike. With a few weak talon blows, Shrike had dropped the amulet again, but it kept draining animus from Golem, who began to fall apart.
" What are you doing to him, you brutish Skywing!?" Shouted Blank, running as fast she could over to Shrike, who was ready to seize the amulet once more. The gem was no longer a deep red, but bright red, almost full.
" He hasn't told you? Heh! He's not a dragon, but a mere construct of animus and ice. So hard to break, but so easy to drain!" He said, reaching for the amulet, before Blank desperately shot her venom at him, it splattering across his hand. The bubbling black substance melted his flesh and bone, tearing away at his hand. Blank rushed over and crushed the amulet while Shrike rolled over in pain, fire coming out of his gaping maw. Golem gasped as a his animus magic, his life, flowed back into him, slowly repairing his cracked body.
Looking back at Shrike pulling the alarm, they ran out of the lab into the dark corridor. One step closer to freedom.
A faint screech of rage and terror echoed from the lab.
Chapter 8: Not Dragon
"Golem?" Said Blank, as they went down the dark halls, the halls where the dead have gone. Golem's pale blue eyes glowed softly in the darkness, but they carried an intensity like no other. He looked over his shoulder and back at himself, the powers slipping through his ice blue scales.
" What!?" He said, running his other claw over his ice scales. He wasn't dragon. He was reminded of this every day by Shrike, whose voice echoed in his head every minute of the day. Guilt and rage were just parts of him, but he felt them almost like a real dragon would.
" What he said about you, was it true?" Asked Blank, glancing over at Golem. Golem stared at the blood-stained floors and the vats full of mutant dragons, but didn't respond for the longest time.
" Yes. I'm sorry." He said, gripping the stone, his claws digging into it.
" You don't have to be sorry. You were...made that way." Said Riverbeast, coming up next to him. She wrapped her wing around Golem, clearly forgiving him.
" I was made a monster! Didn't you see all that I did? To you? To the others?" Golem said, pointing at the vats. Riverbeast simply turned her head towards him and gave him a gentle hug with her wings.
" You can change, you aren't frozen. Not on the inside. If I can find it in me to forgive you, you can change." Said Riverbeast. Golem's intensity lifted and he gave a hug back to Riverbeast, his large wings going around her.
" Hey lovebirds, I think we have a problem...." Said Blank, staring at one of the vats. It was clearly not built strongly and the dragon inside, a Sandwing, was vigorously smashing itself against the glass. With a heavy crash, it bursted through the glass. Then, Blank gasped as it began to change.
The Sandwing's legs became smaller and small, as two of it's teeth jutted forward and lengthened into fangs. It's wings shriveled up and it's barb became a rattle. The Sandwing writhed in pain as it's horns and ears disappeared and a brown stripe pattern like that of rattlesnake formed. There was no longer a simple Sandwing, but a giant rattlesnake in it's place, hissing and rattling it's tail. Blank dodged a quick blow and spat a stream of venom at it, which it simply avoided by quickly slipping to the side.
Golem swiped at the rattlesnake and it hissed again in pain before biting back. Golem stood there, the venom not effecting him, as he had no blood. " Wha-" Said the large rattlesnake before Riverbeast bit off it's head. Riverbeast looked sadly at the beast she thought she killed before it started to twitch. The giant rattlesnake's body collapsed, but a few seconds later, it had risen again, this time with two heads, both ready to fight.
"RUN!" Yelled Riverbeast, frightened at the two heads trying to bite her. Blank and Golem followed her through the halls, Riverbeast's and Golem's dim light leading the way. The rattlesnake slithered almost as fast as they ran and they had little idea where to go. Blank narrowed her eyes, annoyed at the darkness.
" Ugh, I can't see a thing." Said Blank, her talons bumping over several pipes. The rattlesnake was gaining speed and it's two heads were snapping at her tail. As it opened it's hideous jaws to bite her, Blank jumped through the door with the others, closing it quickly. A dent appeared in the wall above, but it was clear that the security would arrive in that room any second.
" Now we just have one thing in our way." Said Riverbeast, remembering where she was caught.
Chapter 9: Escape
The entrance glowed with beams of daylight, breaking in tiny beams. Riverbeast looked at it and barely resited the urge to dash up there herself and escape. She looked around and spotted the two NightWing guards, who were currently on guard. " Not these guys... Ok, Golem and Blank, you can take them on. I'll unlock the door." She said, flaring her wings in preparation.
" You can lock-pick?" Said Golem. " That explains a lot..."
Riverbeast gave a quick look before motioning forward. She was very silent, to not alert the guards. Blank burst out in a dash and knocked one of the guards over. Golem soon followed, slightly slower but like a charging bull. He knocked his head into the guards chest and watched as the guard fell back, her lightning blue eyes closing in pain. Riverbeast, quickly flew forward towards the door and reached out for the pick, her claws scraping the edge. Then, a sudden spray of daylight cloaked the room.
Golem looked out while wrestling the guard and saw sunlight for the first time. It felt warm... yet surprisingly painful to his frosty skin. While he was distracted, the guard moved her spear next to Golem's neck and prepared to slice. Seconds passed slower and slower as Riverbeast turned and tried to knock away the spear. Golem looked at the sharp spear almost diving into chest and prepared for the impact, but it didn't come. Riverbeast laid on her side, a brutal cut along her side, cutting into her ribcage.
Blank looked over and dropped the near-dead guard she was holding and went over. With a fury like never before, Golem watched as the guard was torn limb by limb, her roars filled with a burning pain. At last, Blank dropped her and looked regretfully at her, then at her own blood-stained claws. " What did I-... Never mind. Let's get out of here, before more come!" Yelled Blank.
Golem didn't budge, picking up Riverbeast and struggling to hold her over his shoulder.
" Golem..." Said Blank, reaching out to Riverbeast. " She's dead..."
Riverbeast's pulse was gone and her body was limp. The various cuts and burns along her body stood out in her dead body. Her ribs were shattered by the spear blow and she bled too much. Golem stubbornly picked her up and trudged on, ignoring her death. Walking into the sunlight, his animus magic now adjusted to keep him cold, he dropped Riverbeast. " No..." Said Golem, feeling her.
" I'm sorry..." Replied Blank, wrapping her wing around him. His ice-cold body made her shiver, nut she didn't care. In the rainforest they stood, with the hybrid limp and dead.
Twelve minutes later, a squadron of RainWings flew down and looked at the group. The eldest, a Rainwing with a light blue color like the sky looked at Blank, confused. " Where were you..? You were gone for so long!" Said the Rainwing.
" In a lab... I'm not sure where exactly it was.. *sniff*... Sorry. Can you please take this young dragon back to the village? She's dead.. But we can give her a proper good-bye..." Said Blank, standing up slowly. The squad picked up Riverbeast with some difficulty, but managed to fly back to the village. Blank joined them and Golem followed, curious.
The night came and gone with many good-byes, and Riverbeast's ghost flew past the village that night.
Meanwhile at the lab....
" Aloe... Help me! Aloe?" Said Shrike, weakly limping forward, his wounds from the venom great.
" Over here, fool!" Said Aloe, grinning wickedly at him. " I knew this would happen one day... You're too soft on the fools... The lab is forever, just not you."
" Don't say that to your superior!" Replied Shrike, struggling forward.
" You're not my superior... The extinction of these destructive fools is."
" What are YOU going to do about it!? I'm the boss around here, whether you like it or not, Aloe! Now help me PLEASE!"
" I'll help you... I'll help you DIE!" Said Aloe, grabbing Shrike and biting his neck like a savage beast. Shrike fell to the ground, and died in seconds. " Now, now, where was I?" Said Aloe, licking her teeth.
"Ah yes, those three... Heh.. Heh.. HEHEHEHEH-AHAHAHAHAHA!"