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About Literature / Hobbyist Official Beta Tester Russell Truex25/Male/Antarctica Group :icondragonnation: DragonNation
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“Easy now, dad.” Pyrrus placed a massive paw under his body as he tried to lift his bulk.  His shredded armor lay off to the side, and his scabs and scars on his body cracked as he took on his own weight.

The massive dragon had regained consciousness two days after they had reached Poenari Castle.  He had wavered for a couple hours, but amazingly, Kiesah had been able to stabilize her mate.  No Pyrrus was attempting to walk outdoors again, so he could see the sun and sky.  His four wings brushed the walls of the keep as he groaned, the pain in his body making him shiver and shake.

“Stop worrying over my wellbeing, daughter.  I have had far worse before.  Although I can’t really remember when.” Kiesah rubbed against his side, purring, and helping to support him.

“You should remember the last time, stud.” He smiled sheepishly at his mate, but lumbered quietly outside, allowing himself to be herded by his family.  The sky was a clear crystalline blue today, and it made their spirits soar.  Agera had authorized low altitude flights for her squadron in the valley below.  Janus now led a race along the highway, soaring at super low altitude.  Jiza and Guin trailed him closely, racing their flight mate around the bends.

“Come on you two!” the male called back as he ripped around a tight hairpin corner, blowing dust into the air from his ground effect.  Guin used a micro burst from her element and dived ahead of him, trailer a streamer of light.

“Come on Janus, I thought you were always slick around females!” she taunted back.

“Yeah, I am, but then, you know, I just love chasing tail.” He shouted in retort, nipping at her spade.  She smacked him across the nose.  The duet passed over the ridge neck and neck.

“I am victorious!” Janus shouted, punching his fist into the air.

“Yeah right!  That race was SO mine!” Guin said smiling, “Hey lead, who won that one?”

“What do I look like to you, a zebra?” Agera shouted up at her from the walls of the castle.  She turned to the trio emerging from the interior.  Pyrrus’s blood red scales reflected light over the rest of them, dappling them all in brilliant crimson hues.  His flaming emblems tattooed into his scales danced in the sunshine, and when he finally lifted his wings, they towered overhead.  His armored crest and breastbone were polished to a shine.  No matter how he struggled, Pyrrus believed in having a good appearance, something that the rest of his family took to heart.  He peered at her from under his horns, and despite his fearsome appearance, Agera could see his eyes twinkle with joy and mirth.

“Well met, daughter-friend.” He said, his voice rumbling the ground.  Agera knew from his hiss that Pyrrus was ages old.  In fact he was likely older than any living dragon.  But despite his age, he was no less of a warrior.  Pyrrus had some of the old blood in him, from the days when dragons stood as tall as mountains at the creation of the earth.  He was Head-Guardian, and was charged with an area of land greater than any other, basically the entire continent of Europe, and some of northern Africa.

“Well met, old drake.” He laughed at her.

“I suppose I am at that.” He settled down on the walls, resting his head in his paws, stone cracking under his weight, “What has transpired since my vanquishing?”

Kiesah lay down next to him, leaning into his body, “Berlin has fallen, my love.  We had a good run, didn’t we?”

“Aye, it was a fine game indeed.  We had tactics and strength of warriors, but they had the numbers advantage.  We both knew we could only hold out for so long.  Ach, no matter, what be our next step?”

"Aren't you worried about your people though?" Agera asked, startled.

"Why should I be?  I ordered the evac a week in advance thanks to your Guinevere's thumping good intelligence.  The only ones who died were the ones who stayed to fight, and I gave my warriors the option with no loss of honor.  Nothing wrong in guarding the civilians." he replied looking out over the valley, "So what's the next step?"

"Orders were SAR operations in these areas.  The place is crawling with Void, so it's a good thing it's such a big place." Agera replied, "With no word from the GM or any other units in the area, we need to move on."

"How do we move on?" Venus asked, cradling her crushed paw, "Nearly all of us are wounded.  Pyrrus can barely walk."

"We need a transport, and in these mountains, it's going to have to be a heavy lift dropship.  The problem is we have no contact with command, so until we do, we dig in a -"

"Contacts!" all present turned towards the valley entrance, where two scouts took one look at the assembled dragons and turned hard, flying back the way they had come as fast as their wings could carry them.

"Scouts.  No way are we going to catch them." Guin said over coms, "Orders lead?"

"Change of plans.  We have two options stay here and be over-run or we run and live to fight another day."

"Pyrrus can't move Agera." Kiesah said quietly, "And if you think I'm about to leave his side..."

"I'd sooner kill myself.  Can you walk Pyrrus?"

"I'll do my best." he rumbled, heaving himself to his feet.

"Venus, you'll be flying tight over watch.  The rest of us will be flying CAP around you.  Omega, meet up at sector alpha seven."

Agera took off and met up with the others. Venus flew slower, to protect her injured limb.

"Four, five, fall into a pattern twenty miles out.  Stay low, and report anything.  Three, you're with me in the inner cap zones, ten miles out.  Six, fly in a counter posing orbit, and keep an eye on the Lord and Lady.  Report anything that makes your scales crawl.  Begin your CAP now."

The group split off in their opposite directions, Janus and Guin flying out in the direction of their movement, and Vienzo and Agera moved against the flow.  Venus and Jiza turned sharp circles around the spot where Kiesah and Pyrrus were moving through the now thawing forest.

"Lead, five, private channel." Guin chirped at Agera.  They both adjusted frequency.

"Private channel, go ahead Guin." Agera said scanning the skyline.

"Something's wrong if we haven't heard from command in a week.  Standard protocol is to check in every forty-eight hours."

"I know Guin, I've been trying.  There are only two explanations.  Either local command has orders for radio silence, or -"

"Or they've been whipped out." Guin growled, soaring past her in the opposite direction.

"There's an additional problem as well."

"That being?" Guin asked.

"Where the fuck do we go?"

"Away from here."

"Oorah."

The next several hours passed in relative silence.  Janus got bored until he started trying to play chicken with Vienzo as they passed by each other.  That was until Guin and Agera herded them into a collision.  With dizziness in their skulls, they resumed their orbits.  Finally, Jiza broke the silence.

"Lead, six.  The Lady is requesting a stop for the night.  She's worried about over-working Pyrrus."

"Roger, we'll turn in for now, but we have to work swing duties through the night.  I don't want Void sneaking up on us."

The group landed, and Pyrrus lit a small, smokeless fire.  Game was plentiful in the forested hills, and Venus was able to make an impressive catch of a young buck.  Then with fire roasted venison filling their stomachs, Jiza and Janus volunteered to take first watch.

It wasn't till Agera was roused from her slumber that she realized what kind of danger they were in.

"Lead get up, we got more than a tiny patrol bearing down on us!" Agera tugged herself into awareness and jumped up, ready for combat.

"What's wrong?"

"The void, they come, in uncountable numbers." Janus said in a hushed voice, unusually serious.

"Rouse the others." Agera turned and jumped into the trees, climbing carefully.  She poked her head into the canopy, and peered out towards the sky, under cover of camouflage.

The sky was a sheer roiling mass of grey wings, so many different units that they moved as a great churning cauldron of enemies.

"Ancient give us wings." Agera leaped from the bough she was resting on, half gliding, landing softly on the ground.

"Get up!  We’re moving!" Pyrrus was the first to wake, and his movement woke his mate, who had taken to sleeping next to his stomach, under his massive wings.

"What be the problem, Omega?"

"We've got ourselves a regular pursuit, sire." Pyrrus smiled.

"I always did like a good race."



Three days of no sleep is bad enough.  But when you have to run combat air patrols constantly during that time period, the exhaustion really gets to the wings.

Agera was amazed after counting that fight that it was one of her hardest fought battles, even though she never engaged with Voidwings.  She carried her heavy chest plate with her everywhere, and the winds often fought against them.

But no, the biggest opponent, far and away, was themselves.  The body rebels against exhaustion.  Twice Agera dozed off while flying, and only came to when someone caught her several miles off course and shouted at her.  They could never get more than a couple hours sleep on the back of Pyrrus, who seemed an unstoppable force of nature.

Only when she woke on the third day and saw how close the void were, how she could count their individual numbers, did she truly wake, and start panicking.

"We're never gonna be able to outrun them." Agera finally said.

"Are we finally admitting defeat?" Janus said sleepily over the radio as if he could truly care less, "Good, that means I can get some shut eye."

"Yeah Janus, you'll shut your eyes and never wake again.  Maybe that means we can finally get some peace around here."

"Can it six." Agera ordered over her radio, "We're all a little strung up right now.  So cool your jets."

Venus was still limping along with them, and Agera could tell it was killing her.

"Ma'am, the capital of Romania, Bucharest, is only a half days journey from here.  Perhaps we could lose them there?" she panted, groaning against the pain.

"That sounds as good an idea as any.  Let the guardians know."

As the afternoon wore on, the Voidwings detached a small contingent of around a thousand wings to hunt them down, all of them assault class.  They bore down on Omega squad throughout the afternoon into early night time.  When Bucharest finally came into view, they were only two miles behind them.  When Omega reached the city limits, they had closed that gap to three football fields.  Reports had come in from all Omega members of elements being shut down.

"Go go go!" Agera egged the trio on the ground as their top cover hovered overhead.  Pyrrus by now was full on sprinting, there was no other word for it, and Agera had somehow figured out a way to support Venus and run flat out to keep up at the same time.

"Find some cover!  Anything!" Kiesah dived into a side shop with boarded up windows just as the sun was setting.  The rest landed as they entered the door, and Agera shut it behind them.  Pyrrus dragged himself to the back room, and Venus collapsed next to him, Vienzo going and settling in by his mates side.  Guin and Agera took places behind the counter, ducking down and tucking wings tight to body so that they couldn't be seen from the door.

Wings rustled as their pursuers landed, downdraft from the touchdowns rattling the boards and the door. Agera had never been close enough to a Voidwing to actually put her knowledge of their language to the test, but now she heard every word clearly.

"Spread out!  Find them!  Bring them to me alive!" there was a few roars of assent and many claw beats moved off down alleys and streets.  Shadows passed in front of the sun behind the boards of their shops.

"Really though?  One thousand of the Berserkers for a single squadron?  We outnumber them a hundred to one!" a smaller complained.  He was the one who pushed open the shop door.  A bell chimed in the corner, and the male grabbed it with lightning reflexes and pulled it off.

"You’re too jumpy Asimov.  Calm down a bit." the elder said walking in.

"I'll calm down when these dragons have their heads upon their tails in the city square.  You should be the same way.  We're hunting dangerous fugitives, that's the only explanation for all this power." the one called Asimov replied.  Agera could smell their foreign scent from here.  It stung her nostrils, and she stifled a sneeze.

"Hey check this out!" Agera peered through some rotting wood work at the second one who had found a hat.  Agera realized the shop was a hat shop now, and the Voidwing had found some leftover relic, a felt bowler hat, something native to Romania.  He placed it on his head.

"How do I look?"

"Like a dumbass.  Check the back room." the larger laughed and dropped his souvenir on a low table.

"Seriously though.  Why hunt these dragons down?  Why not just leave them be?  From reports, their seriously battered.  And they're not much more than an annoyance.  Kind of the same instance with the presence we have in the sun worlds.  Why throw ourselves against all of them?  By now their will has broken, and they're just trying to stay alive as long as possible.  Why finish them off?"

"Because they deserve to die!  They are the ones who caused the downfall of our race!"

The larger one stopped at the door way to the back room.  Agera held her breath as he turned to look at his comrade.  If he looked around fully, he would see Guin and she hiding right next to him, "Do you really believe that, Asimov?"

"With every fiber of my being, Ronan." Asimov said quietly.

"That's naive and foolish, brother." Ronan turned back to his friend and spoke to him head on.  From this angle, Agera got a perfect view of Ronan's features.  He had an air about him that gave off compassion, a kind expression that said he loved everything around him.  His form was gracefully built, with large strong horns that curved back perfectly from his head, and full billowing wings that bulged with muscles.  Despite being Void, he was probably slightly larger than Agera.  Unlike most of his brethren, his grey skin was not dull and colorless, but gave off a silver sheen, like a cloud on a bright clear day.  It looked similar to Agera's grey camo scheme she used while flying.

"These dragons are not so different from you or me."

Asimov snorted, "How so?"

"Well for one, they don't give up easily, and second, they love life.  They love the feel of the wind beneath the wings, the sound of music in the evening, and enjoy the passion of their mates at night.  They live like we do.  From what I've seen the only difference is their elements and skin colors.  You might want to learn the distinction between enemy and opponent."

Agera couldn't believe what she was hearing.  This was a Void speaking?

"JUST - check the back room..." Asimov responded.  He looked like he was about to puke.  Ronan turned to look into the room the others were in...

And turned right in to Agera's gaze.  They stared at each other for a full five heartbeats, Agera's hearts pounding in her horns, her teeth clenched hard enough to draw blood, her eyes wide with terror, and every muscle tensed in her body, pleading with her enem - opponent silently.

He finally turned to look fully into the back room, and then turned back to Asimov.

"Nothing here, should we search the other buildings?" Asimov shrugged, and proceeded out the front door.  Ronan was about to follow him, but Agera heard him stop.

"Fly safe..." he said quietly, and then left.

Agera didn't dare breathe until Guin nudged her from behind, at which point she jumped about three feet.

"Move!" she hissed, and they belly crawled around the corner of the doorway into the back room.

At about midnight, there was a great rush of air and Agera heard Void soar overhead.  When the night was still and silent, Agera finally breathed freely.  She heard the others let out sighs of relief.

Pyrrus spoke first.

"Their language sounds just like Drashish." he marveled quietly.



They all slept like hatchlings, literally and figuratively.  Kiesah curled up next to her mate, Venus on her father's back, curled up next to her mate, necks crossed with Agera.  Jiza and Janus curled nose to tail tip on the other side of Vienzo, and finally, Guin flopped down on their tails.  Protocols be damned, they didn't even have any watches.  Agera slept for seventeen hours straight, and she was the first to wake.

When she felt how sore her muscles were, she was surprised she hadn't woken sooner.  Stiff joints cracked and popped as she stood and hopped down to the dusty floor.

Agera peered outside, and found the sky and air was crystal clear, she emerged onto the rooftop, keeping a wary eye out for enemy patrols.  Salty air from the black sea met her nostrils, and she took a deep, long, satisfied breath.  The sounds and smells reminded her of Cayman.

"Nice day, isn't it?" Guin said, coming to sit by her, "Whatcha thinkin' about?"

Agera shrugged, "The Voidwings.  Or I should say The Voidwing."

"Ronan be his name." Guin said quietly.

"Does it bother you that a Void could seem so..."

"Normal?  Compassionate?" Agera rubbed her horn, "Draconic?"

"Yes!  Draconic.  He seemed so much like us.  I mean besides the obvious?"

"You mean the fact that he didn't rat us out and our guts are still in a big soggy bag where they should be?"

"Yeah.  I've never known a Voidwing to show mercy.  Sorrow at what they have to do perhaps, but never mercy."

"It hasn't ever happened, not that I know of.  And if it had happened, then I'd know of it." Guin said quietly, "Whoever he was, he was different, thank the Ancient for that."

"At the end of this damnable war, the survival of an entire race is going to depend on exactly that, mercy.  Some think we should take as many of them out as we can.  I used to think the same way, and I dedicated my life to becoming the best warrior possible, despite my handicap, just so I could kill as many of them as possible..."

"But..."

"But now I'm not so sure."



"This is Captain Agera Krigsman, calling command.  Command, please respond." no answer, again.

"Still nothing lead?" Vienzo asked, climbing onto the roof.  The stars twinkled overhead, slowly circling in their everlasting formations.

"Always nothing.  They recruit us, and then forget us?  Are we really that broken here?  I thought the UEAF still had some presence on their home planet."

"Apparently not.  I'm starting to think we should just strike out on our own." the earth dragon said quietly, staring into the distance with dead eyes.

"We wouldn't make it two months out there on our own.  Besides, Pyrrus needs medical attention, and unless you want to learn how to mate with a dragonelle that only has three limbs, then so does Venus.  We're in a bad way here four.  We need command.  We need stability."

"We need help..." he turned back to the stairs down into the shop, "We're turning off the power.  Are you coming?"

"No, I'm going to stay out here, my helmet's coms probably gets better reception up here." Agera said, looking up at the stars, "You and the others ge -"

"Omega lead, please respond, this is SAR flight zero seven." Agera's head shot up at the voice suddenly in her horns.

"This is Omega lead!!!  SAR zero seven it is DAMN good to hear your voice!" she said, almost crying, "We're currently holed up in Bucharest, hosting a party for the Voidwings."

"Awesome Omega lead.  You got any beer left, or are we too late?" the communications officer jested at her.

"Sorry, we're fresh out, but if you send us a ride home with a chaperone, I'll buy you and your boys as many rounds as you can drink when we get back to the house." she responded, smiling wide.

"You're on, Omega!  Transport in fifteen.  Give us a flare in twelve." he said happily.

"Roger that." she pulled her helmet off and growled with satisfaction, then turned to Vienzo.

"Get the others.  We're going home!"
Commission  Guinevere By 24 7anxiety by Insane-Randomness
Commission Guinevere By 24 7anxiety
So yeah, I had this done.  Been waiting awhile for it, and now she's back!  It hasn't escaped me that this is something like the fourth redesign of Nova, whose name is now Guinevere.  The intel officer of Omega squadron, she has seen way more than her fair share of fighting, having been a guardian of the Hawaii island chain.  She can be incredibly stubborn and hard headed, but she loves her friends and the world around her.  Her element, light, is limited only by the users imagination and control.  It's one of the few offensive elements that has barely any limits on it's power, and it can also be used in a variety of ways. 
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So I've been going through an epic roleplay with my good friend :iconartificialmutt: for a little while (it's your turn by the way mizzi), and I've been liking it so much, I was wondering if there was anyone else who wanted to do an RP.

If you are interested, text me at 937-867-9704, and we will decide everything after that.  It should be noted I have unlimited texting, so anymore, I text a BUNCH.  If you don't, let me know in your first text.  Also let me know who you are, so I don't block you.
Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: strong language)
"GET UP GET UP GET UP!" Agera's shout instantly roused Omega squadron to some effect.  Venus jumped up nearly instantly, Vienzo right behind her, both having old instincts from universal training.  Janus lifted a paw groggily.

"Five more minutes mom." and he went right back to snoring.  Agera stood on his tail, and he squeaked a roar out in surprise, leaping to his feet and biting and clawing at her.  Jiza slept on, completely oblivious to her surroundings.  Janus nudged her into consciousness.  Kiesah had already been awake for several hours, not having slept with worry for her mate.  She still wore her blood stained armor from Berlin.

"Times wasting, squad!" Agera shouted out, birds rising at her shouts.  They had flown the rest of the way across the Mediterranean non-stop, coming to rest at the Vatican.  Rome was a ghost town now, not even priests resided in the burned out hovels, and nature had already begun to take over.  The streets were cracked, and grass had risen quickly towards the sun.  Buildings had fallen years ago, and no cars remained free of rust.  Fortunately, there were no bodies, those that had been slain having been picked over by the carnivores that had followed the herds.

Morning flight however was a different story.  Shortly after takeoff they came to the great European forest that blanketed the continent from east to west.  Or at least what was left of it, for when they breached its borders, they saw all was laid to waste, bare and fallen trunks still smoldering from the flames that had consumed them.  As far as they eye could see, horizon to horizon, was dead.

"This can't be it." Agera said quietly as they soared on silent wings, "One dragon can't have done all this."

She shrugged, scanning the horizon, "You would be amazed what a single dragon can do young one.  Our powers have few limits."

"With power like this, we shouldn't be losing." she said, turning her attention back out to the distance.  They flew slowly for a while, hunting for any sign of their ally.  A small smudge broke the horizon line, and it took four wing eats before Agera realized what it was.

"Fire and brimstone, that's not possible!" Venus said, shocked, when Agera pointed out the horizon spanning smoke to the rest, "You don't think Pyrrus did all that?"

They landed on a rise that overlooked the burning foliage, the roaring of the flames consuming everything.

"Lead, we can't fly over that!  The thermals alone would rip us to shreds!" Vienzo shouted over the flames.

"And going around would take time, which we don't have." Janus added.

Kiesah stepped forwards.  She turned an eye towards Agera, "You think our powers small?  See what a Guardian can do."

The Ice dragonelle raised a paw and drew it across her chest in a wide sweeping arc, her eyes flashing.  A disturbance flew out, as if it were a wave, rippling through the air as it went.

The space around them instantly dropped in temperature at an extreme degree.  Kiesah's skin crystallized, refracting the light around her till the female sparkled like diamond.  Her eyes glowed a fierce blue, as if on fire.  Frost and then ice spread in a radiating circle from her paw.  Agera half expected to be frozen solid, but she felt only a chilling wave pass over her.  The trees flash froze, the air plummeting past normal temperatures into the negative one hundreds.  The fires fought the front for a fraction of a second before they crystallized in midair, holding their form in exotic sculptures.

When all was finished, and the air was still, the group was presented with a sea of white.  Agera's jaw hung half open, she had never realized how destructive an Ice Dragon could be.

"I never realized how destructive you could be, Kiesah." Janus said quietly.

"Yeah, remind me never to piss you off." Vienzo said quietly, "Especially since you're my dame-by-mating." he added the second line quietly.

Agera looked at the large female.  The sun shining off the ice lining her hide hurt the leader’s eyes, "Was all that really necessary?"

"Na, I just like being awesome like that." she said, showing a rare smile.

"No, mother, you just like being a show off and a drama queen." Venus said, nudging Kiesah with her robotic limb.

"So sue me.  When you get as good with your element, it's sometimes refreshing to pit it against the largest of challenges."

They took off again, soaring over the super chilled, and much smoother, air.  The silence that now enveloped them was startling.  They spread out to cover a greater area, moving out of visual range into the limits of radio contact.  Only Venus stayed in audio contact with her, relaying orders through everyone else.  She found herself alone flying over gorges and mountains, death, and beauty as far as the eye could see.

Suddenly Agera spotted a speck of red on the crest of a smaller mountain.  Lord Pyrrus lay among at least twenty dead Voidwings, their blood staining the snow. Agera called her squadron, but Kiesah arrived first, her breathing labored.  She waited for nothing else, only dove towards her mate.

Agera spotted more movement between the trees and spotted a group of Heavies emerging between the limbs.  The dragonelle shouted a warning through her mike, but Kiesah had already spotted them, shielding her vanquished mate from further harm.  There were only three heavies, but it would take the entire squad to bring down only one, according to Guin's numbers.

The trio of massive Void flapped their wings as they roared, flattening small saplings before them.

"A little help here?  I can't hold them off all on my own!" Kiesah called over coms.  Agera dove, silent as the wind, the only sound she made was the whistling of the wind over her wings.  The lead brute didn't even know what hit him, as she landed right on top of its back.  The damage was light for all the good it did.

The creature roared, and bent it's arm up and over to grab the female, but she dodged into its blind spot, clawing at the paws that came close and it's many wings which were trying to beat her about the head.

Veins pulsed in the back of its neck, and she bit down on the largest she could find, the creature gushing blood.  Suddenly a fist the size of a small boulder plowed into her chest, and a gong rang in her horns as the plate crumpled inwards like a tin can.

Fortunately, the tree she hit was crystallized, and shattered upon impact, dispersing the force, otherwise she probably would have just blown apart.  Her chest plate had a dent in it the size of a watermelon, and breathing was difficult.  She ran a paw inside the armor, and felt smooth unbroken scale.  After a couple of slips, the nylon straps holding on the covering fell away, and the plating hit the ground with a thunk, her lungs sucking in cool air.

Across the clearing, Omega squadron was handling one of the heavies, whilst Kiesah was fending another off with tails and wings.  She was at a serious disadvantage because of her protective placement between the enemy and her mate.  The heavy was easily her size and half again tall, hulking over her.

A scream sounded from omega squad, strangely muted to Agera as she whipped her head around, trying to bring herself to her senses.  Venus’s fore-leg was held beneath one of the heavies massive paws, and her leg was held at an odd angle.  She was scrapping at the inch thick scales on its toes, trying to pry the monster off.  Vienzo, an out-of-place etching of rage on his face barreled into the foe’s side, pushing it off balance, Janus helping him, and their combined weight toppled the creature.  Its head impacted in the snow at Jiza’s feet.

“Jiza!  Kill it!  Finish it off.” The young female stood there, eyes wide, for half a second before she brought her spade up and over her head, a sickening crunch punctuating the winter air.  The last enemy saw his comrades fallen, and roared a frustrated cry before taking to the air in retreat.  Agera, panting, waved her paw at the others.

“Let him go, we have other priorities right now.” She gasped.  Jiza stared at the enemy she had just slain, her spade still lodged in its skull.  Janus went and nudged her sideways, and she jerked out of her stupor, pulling the sharpened point free with a sickening squelch.  She looked as if she might faint, but approached Agera.

“Let me look at you lead.  You might have broken bones or internal bleeding.” She poked and prodded the dragoness thoroughly and when she was satisfied, she nodded her assent.  Her cheeks were still tinged a minty green.

“Excuse me.” She mentioned, before running to the edge of the clearing and vomiting over a boulder.  Her chest plates had been splattered with gore.  One of Vienzo’s horns was bent at an odd angle, and Venus was holding her strangely flattened forelimb to her chest.

“Now I get why it’s so tough to fight them.” Kiesah looked at her pointedly as she realized what was going on, “Nearly all of Drakenkind has learned to fight with an element.”

Guin nodded quietly, “Exactly.  We’re used to fighting at a stand-off range.  If it weren’t for that, we could have easily taken them on from the air.  I could have taken on all three of them by myself if I could have used my light element.”

“Pyrrus.” Kiesah mumbled into the fallen guardian’s horns, “My love, awaken.”

There was a deep groan, and Pyrrus opened an eye.

The fire dragon was easily the largest drake Agera had ever seen.  He was easily as large as the enemies they had just faced, and had a double set of wings, something nature had grown for him to allow flight.  He bleed from many gashes across his great body, including an exceptionally nasty wound across his chest plates, something that had cut through a full six inches of custom made armor plating and inch-thick natural chest plates, and it oozed blood.  The injury appeared fresh.  For any of them, it would have been a death sentence, but for Pyrrus, it was a medium sized wound.

“Took you all long enough.” despite her injury, Venus limped to her adoptive father’s side, and pressed her injured paw against his shoulder, wincing at the pain, “I feel you daughter.”

“And I fell you, father.” Kiesah nudged her with her muzzle, and the two got under a wing and lifted him carefully.  They looked a sorry lot between all of them, with Agera missing a major piece of her armor plating, and Jiza covered in brains and blood, and the rest sporting some sort of wound.

“We need cover, Omega lead, can you scout ahead with your squad?” Agera nodded, and motioned to Janus, Jiza, and Guin, and they took to the sky, Vienzo staying back to guard the rest.

Agera first watched over the mountaintop they were hunkering in the shadow of, landing with the rest to get a look at her surroundings.  Janus spotted the brick walls first.

“That a castle?” he said over the wind.  It was indeed, though an incredibly old one.  The brick ramparts rested on a ridge between two mountains, and trees surrounded it.  The walls were crumbling, old and forgotten, and none of the roofs still stood.

“Where the hell are we?” Agera asked, directing the question to no one in particular.

“We’re at Poenari Castle.” Jiza said quietly, “My sire and dame brought me here, before they died.  We’re in the Carpathian mountains.”

A spectacular valley was laid out before them as they landed on the walls, which held one of the twistiest and most convoluted roads Agera had ever seen.

“That’s the Transfăgărășan highway.  Incredible view, incredible road.” Jiza continued, Janus smiled, and she knew what he was thinking.  This was dragon country.

“Only a madman could build something like that.” Agera said quietly.  She turned to the inside of the castles walls, and they conducted a search of the rooms and central chamber, which was large enough for all of them to rest in at once.  Kiesah and Venus dragged Pyrrus up the incline, with the help of the others.  It took them several hours to get him there, but when they did, he was able to warm them with a blast of fire upon some stones picked from the crumbling structure.  While Jiza looked at Venus’s paw, and Kiesah began work on nursing her mate back to health, the rest drew straws, and Agera got the midnight watch shift.


“Alright Guin, get some rest.” Agera said as she climbed onto the tower roof.  The light guardian nodded, but didn’t get up.

“I wanted to talk, ma’am.” She said quietly.

“So talk.  I have horns.” Guin opened her mouth twice, then closed it.

“I’m sorry.” She said after a while, “I’m sorry about what I did yesterday on Malta.  I guess I’ve just been so used to giving orders, that taking them was kind of hard for me.”

Agera sighed, “Guin.  You’re one of the best fighters I’ve ever met.  I remember our rivalry from Uni.  You were one of the few who could beat me in a fair fight.”

“Unfortunately, not all fights are fair.”

“Isn’t that the truth of it?  You’re also the only whole dragon in this outfit.  The rest of us have some kind of scarring, either physical or mental.  And I can understand why you didn’t want to do what I asked.  Kiesah can sometimes be a fucking asshole.  I know that.  But you can’t just turn down an order because you don’t like it.”

Guin opened her mouth to speak again, but Agera cut her off with a raised paw, “AND, we’re in a war, as I said before.  And to get through it, we’ll need a common goal to fight our enemies.  We’ll need coordination and an objective.  What’s going to happen when I give an order you don’t like?  I welcome criticism, but I will not tolerate downright refusal, of any order I give, no matter how small, understand?”

Guin nodded.

“There is not to reason why.  There is not to give reply.  There is but to do or die.” Agera said quietly, “I give an order, you follow it, even if it means suicide.  And trust me, if we ever come to the point where an option is suicide or survival, then I’ll give you the choice.”

Guin nodded once more, almost deep in thought, and then turned to leave.

“Guinevere?” The female stopped and looked over her shoulder.  Agera smiled at her, “I hope this doesn’t mean we aren’t friends.”

Guin smiled sleepily back.



The night was silent, and still.  Little wind hummed through the treetops, and Agera could see the stars brilliantly.  She scanned the sky in quarters, as was her routine, switching sectors every fifteen seconds or so, watching for movement.  She loved these times of the night, when nothing stirred.  It made her feel alive, all this space and concentration.  If she ever had a difficult problem to figure out, she would rest on the top of her apartment and watch the stars in Cayman, contemplating her best solution.

She remembered the last time she had done this, and smiled at the thought.  Siberia.  Her adoptive mother had shouted at her violently that night, about being ejected from her first pass through universal training.  She had stayed on the roof that night of the castle Kiesah and Pyrrus had called home, on the outskirts of berlin, where Venus had been raised.  She had thought about what to do with her life after that horrible day.  She found sorrow, at her situation, and the death of her parents, and her current guardian parent.  She found if she focused herself, she could overcome that sorrow.  Sorrow had never done anything for anyone.

Tonight though, tonight was a night of thanks.  Thanks for what the Ancient had done for her.  He had given her hope, a future, and a real family, despite her disability.  Funny how things like this happened.  Despite her not having an element, being the underdog in all four passes of Uni, she was still here on earth, fighting the Void, wearing the armor of a warrior.  She was grateful that she could apply herself.

And she was grateful to know that her dame and sire would have approved of her choice.

“Lead.” Hells bells, had four hours really passed already.  Jiza climbed onto the towers battlements, and saluted with wing, “I’m here to relieve you, ma’am.”

“Go ahead and start, six, but I’m restless and will keep you company.” Jiza looked surprised at her, but didn’t protest and settled down next to Agera.  After a while, Jiza spoke.

“Ma’am, do you ever feel guilty when you kill an enemy?” Jiza asked quietly, slowly scanning the sky.

Agera was quiet for a moment, but finally responded quietly, “No, I don’t feel guilt when I slay an enemy.  It was not I that ordered the attacks, and so it is not I that has to deal with the guilt.”

“Do you ever see them in your dreams?”

“You mean nightmares.”

“I mean whenever you close your eyes.”

Agera considered Jiza for a while before speaking, “No, not all the time.  But there are differences between you and me.  We’ve all had some sort of sorrow in our life before, but you’ve had an extraordinary amount.  Neither I nor Venus knew our parents, and although that doesn’t bother her hardly at all, it enrages me.  Vienzo has had nothing but happiness in his life.  Janus however.  From what I can tell, Janus is much like you, though he’s older, so he’s had more time to adjust to his losses.  I know little of Guin, but it matters not, I trust her.”

“So is that why I’m having such a hard time with PTSD?  Because of my trauma.” Jiza asked, looking away from her commander in shame, “Poor little Jiza, always the sad-sack, the grief-ghoul.  She’s shy and she has had a hard life, so you should all feel bad for her!  Keep your pity, I don’t need it.”

Agera growled at her, “I never gave you any.  Pity hasn’t done shit in the past.  I was stating fact.”

Jiza jerked her head back around and stared at Agera hard.

“Now do want help coping with this or not?” Agera said quietly, “We all have our own way of living with PTSD.  Janus has his jokes.  I try to stay active as much as possible.  Vienzo and Venus have each other.  Kiesah has her aggression.  So what do you have?”

“I can sing.” Jiza said almost immediately, “But the words don’t come easily anymore.  They bring back bad memories.”

“Are they bad memories, or hurtful ones?”

Jiza was silent for a while, “No you’re right, they’re good memories about my family, but it hurts to think about them.”

“Better to think about good memories now than bad memories later.  Now let’s hear it!  Sing, that’s an order.”

Jiza nodded, and then launched into verse, her voice echoing hauntingly out into the valley below.

“I stand between two worlds
There is no middle ground for me
The tears that fall have wanted it all
There is no return for me
One look is all it took
And I fall apart...”

The song was melancholic, with much sorrow, but beneath it all an unconquerable strength, which fit Jiza well.  It wasn't long, but it was difficult.  Yet through it all, the young dragonelle didn't miss a beat.  Agera had to admit, she could sing.  The lyric ended on a long quiet note, and someone whistled low behind them.

“And here I was thinking Jiza might want some company tonight.  Good to see our great leader has our best interests at heart.” Janus said quietly, moving out of the shadows.

“Janus, just because I’m your commander doesn’t mean I won’t kick your ass.” Agera replied smiling at him.

“That was beautiful, Jiza.  Do you know any Irish pub songs?” Jiza laughed, and Agera realized it was the first time she had ever heard the youngling do so.  The sound was cold and clear, like a deep long breath.  Janus laid down beside her, and Jiza stretched into his stomach, still watching the sky.

Agera faked a yawn, and moved to the stairs before descending.  The night was too cramped for her tastes now, and she wanted to give the two some time alone.

“Don’t stay awake till sunrise now.  I want you two well rested during the day.  There’ll be no falling asleep in the flight wing, understand.” She called back over a wing as she reached the steps down to the keep.

“Yes ma’am.” Janus said, rolling his eyes at her.  Jiza saluted for them both.  Agera smiled at the pair before descending the steps into the cold stone.
ashgfbgvsdjbvsjkbv NEW STAR WARS EPISODE VII TRAILER ON YOUTUBE!!!!

WELCOME BACK HARRISON FORD!  WE MISSED YOU AND YOUR EPICNESS!
So I've been going through an epic roleplay with my good friend :iconartificialmutt: for a little while (it's your turn by the way mizzi), and I've been liking it so much, I was wondering if there was anyone else who wanted to do an RP.

If you are interested, text me at 937-867-9704, and we will decide everything after that.  It should be noted I have unlimited texting, so anymore, I text a BUNCH.  If you don't, let me know in your first text.  Also let me know who you are, so I don't block you.

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overseer Featured By Owner Edited May 10, 2015   Digital Artist
Thank you very much for faving my work and for the watch.
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