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About Literature / Hobbyist Russell Truex25/Male/Antarctica Group :icondragonnation: DragonNation
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Preparations to move the army took all morning.  At that period, the camp was a flurry of activity.  And through it all, Ronan was right next to her, carrying her orders out with perfect clarity, despite interruptions...

Halfway through the morning, three males from Alpha squadron were walking by when the last one stopped, and turned towards them, wide-eyed stare focused on Ronan.  Agera saw what was about to happen just in time.  The male went to leap, and she jumped in front of their Voidwing ally.  The ice dragon, the very one who had tried to keep her from seeing her foster mother, gave off a loud roar at her and Ronan.

"Move you wretched BITCH!" he shouted at her.  Agera snarled back.

"He's your ally!  Show some fucking respect!"

"No void will ever be an ally of mine, you traitorous cunt!" Agera snorted.  This male was like almost all others.  All he knew was power.

"You want him, you gotta go through me." Agera said lowering her head to protect her neck and widening her stance to keep herself from being bowled over.

It looked like the male wanted to jump them, but he didn't.  At least not yet.  He snorted, breathing ice out his nostrils, then turned and kept strolling down the lane.

Ronan smiled at her, "Better seven raging dragons as your enemy than a single patient dragonelle."

"Oh shut up." Agera said, grinning.  Venus watched with wide eyes as she bumped hips with him.  Janus's mouth looked as if it had come unhinged it was hanging so low.

There was a general commotion as the battlegroup went to move out.  The general call had just gone out via radio for Oscar Mike, when there were shouts of alarm on the southern end of the camp.  Agera looked towards the sky and spotted a black swarm soaring slowly towards them.  She squinted her eyes and spotted armored Void.

"Those are my men!  What are they doing?!" Ronan shouted.

"Whatever it is, they're not attacking.  We'd have much less of a warning, and they would be flying faster than that." Vienzo said.  They took off as a group, set on an intercept course.

"All units, do not attack!  Possible friendlies!" Agera said over open radio coms.

"Those are Void!  The fuck I'm not going to attack!  I'll let the brass sort it out later!" an unknown voice said.

"You do know that the brass can hear you, right?" the GM intoned, "Those void are obviously not here to attack.  Omega, you're the closest, escort them in."

"Sir!" Agera called, acknowledging the order.  She soared past and around the group, angling back in towards the leader.

"State your business!" Agera called over the distance. The void saluted her.

"Here as additional guides and escorts, ma'am." his English was rough, but understandable.  His accent told her he had spoken Drashish all his life.

"Follow us in!  If you deviate from our lead, your actions will be assumed as hostile." the drake frowned at her but nodded.  They kept extremely close.

Agera had never seen void act like these before.  All of them wore thick battle armor.  They were extremely well muscled, and their movements were precise.  They flew in exact formation, and had a clear command structure.  Every single one of them had a colored stripe running down either side of their bodies.

"These are bonded void.  Most bonded pairs are kept out of the main war, simply because the bonding prevents the void from following many orders.  The colors represent the color of the dragon they are bonded with." Ronan explained, following her gaze.

"So where's yours then?" Agera asked, turning to him.  Ronan frowned at her.

"I still need to have them tattooed on." he said the phrase like it was obvious.

"I thought the bonding changed you in every way." Agera asked as they landed.

"That doesn't mean it changes you ALL the way.  You still stay the same; your body and mind just work differently.  Understand?" he said, cocking his head.


"My lady, it be simple.  We are who we are, and the bonding just alters that.  Even though the bonding changes us, it still works within the bounds of our body and mind.  We don't get smarter, we don't get stronger, and we don't get faster.  Our DNA doesn't change in the slightest, so we are still void.  But the bonding causes us to do things differently.  It pushes us to think outside the box, to lift things we didn't think we could, and to move faster than we ever have before, but it's still all within the limits of our bodies.  Unless it kills you." Ronan said chuckling, "Think of it like unlocking our potential."

The group strolled quickly through the formations waiting for departure.  Agera suddenly realized she was there more for protection than for keeping the new void in line.  Growls, hisses and calls of challenge, accompanied by vulgar insults in Drashish and English followed them as they approached the GM who was coordinating the transport efforts with his advisors.

"As if things weren't complicated enough.  You should not have come.  One void, especially the grand lord, caused enough tension.  Having a group of void among us is likely to cause rash actions among my troops.

"WE shall stay our spades." the leader said.  Agera nearly chuckled when she saw the GM's eyes nearly pop out of his head at the insult.  To make such a statement insinuated that the GM could not control his forces.  He couldn't say anything against it though, the wording was perfect.

"Hush Basil!  Do not patronize our only ally against Avila." Ronan said.  Basil nodded his head and backed down, "Grand Marshal.  May my drakes stay?"

"They may.  But I suggest they keep their distance.  Some drakes here might keep their quiet, but I can think of a few who might use claws before words."

"You're turning this force into a circus, Lowe!" Agera turned to find Kali.  Of course she would have survived the scourge.  Always more concerned about her own hide than anyone else's.

"You should have taken my advice when you let that grey rat in here." Kali said vehemently pointing at Ronan.  Agera hissed at her.

"Kali, control yourself." Agera said quietly.

"Hush child.  You there.  You will leave at once." she said looking at Ronan, "Or I will make you leave."

"Commander!  You do not give the orders here, I d - "

"Oh shut up." Kali said, cutting off the grand marshal, who promptly turned purple with rage.

"You are relieved of duty, commander!  Krigsman!  Arrest this female." the GM said turning to her.

"For once listen to your mother, Agera!  Get rid of this asshole and put a dragon in charge of the military, like it should be!" Agera was fed up with Kali and finally struck her.

"Get.  Out.  You are not needed here anymore.  Don't like some void in our camp?  Nobody is keeping you here." Kali turned, but before she took to the air, she spoke in a low whisper.

"Don't ever expect help from me, wretch." and she took off, soaring low and quiet across the landscape.  A single roar was heard from her, and the remainder of Alpha squad took off after her, some fourteen extra dragons.  The grand marshal looked unsure about what just happened.

"There will be more.  Agera, your squad is one of the few who will cooperate with allied void.  Watch for trouble.  Let all who bear witness hear my words.  Any who attack these void will be treated as if they had just attacked our own military.  Post a notice of that throughout the force, Hummel." the GM said, turning to a lieutenant.

Guin whispered next to Agera, "Always making friends..."

"So what can you tell me about Avila?" Agera asked.

"She is mad.  Brilliant, but absolutely mad.  She will not hesitate to kill any in her way.  None can stop her.  She is a force of nature, the embodiment of destruction." Ronan answered quietly, "She cannot be reasoned with and she does not accept appeals for mercy or surrender.  She doesn't believe in diplomacy, only power."

"What's her motive?" Agera asked quietly.

"Does she need one?  Stories abound of her.  Some say you killed her father for war crimes during the last conflict.  Some say that she sympathizes with the void.  Some claim she is pitting both races against each other to achieve her own ends.  It doesn't really matter.  She does what she does really because it's in her nature.  Its how she works in the same way it's in the nature of a fish to swim and a bird to fly.  Dragons were made to fight.  Void were made to serve.  So the void serve her, and she fights." Ronan said.

"So how do we kill her?" Agera asked.

"I'm not sure that we do.  I do t think she can be killed.  She can be injured, but not killed.  It would be like trying to kill the land or the seas." Ronan said looking at her.

"So how do we defeat her?"

"You can't.  But you can't defeat the storm either.  You only try to survive it."

"So do you have a family back where you came from?"

"Versai.  A mountain range called Versai.  Massive peaks and narrow valleys.  We live in perpetual gloom and darkness.  It sounds depressing, but it's actually quite peaceful and calm.  It's one of the few places war hasn't reached yet.  And no, I don't have anyone waiting for me back home." Ronan said, hanging his sore paws out of the back of the APC.

"Was there never anybody?" Ronan looked unsure.

"Well, there was one.  A female." he said sheepishly, "Kija."

"What happened?" Agera asked sympathetically.

"We have different views on the bonding.  Some see it as a curse.  She didn't like the idea that sometime in the future we might be torn from each other because we bonded.  And so, as fate would have it, she bonded.  And she was killed for it." Ronan said quietly.  Agera was quiet for a while.

"Sorry, I shouldn't have pushed it."

"It's alright.  I'm over it." Agera raised an eye ridge.


He licked her cheek affectionately, which surprised Agera greatly, but then she giggled, something she hadn't done since she was a hatchling, "Really, m'lady."

"And then he goes, 'Well what you really need is a big di - ' and at about that time, my grandmother creams him with her tail spade.  My Grandsire always knew how to make me laugh." Agera laughed with Ronan as he recounted stories from his family, "Yeah, holidays are always interesting.  What about you?  Any family?"

"My family history is complicated and bloody.  My mother happened to kill my father's parents during the last conflict.  Her own parents are unknown, and likely dead.  After that they were both killed by Avila at the start of the war.  I hatched an orphan.  No aunts or uncles.  Although Pyrrus and Kiesah like to think of me as their daughter.  Might as well be, all the time I spent at their manor.  No males waiting for me either."

"Good." Ronan said quietly, almost so quiet that Agera nearly missed it.  Nearly...

The squadrons were flying in trios on scout runs around the convoy, making sure of an early warning in case of attack.  One morning Agera took Venus and Guin up, as sort of a girl’s flight, giving the boys some well deserved rest.  As soon as they were up, Venus gave Agera a short blip on a private radio channel.

"Geri, go ahead Vee." Agera said.  She watched her friend soar on a thermal a quarter mile to her right.

"I've seen you talking to Ronan lately." she said quietly.

"And?" Agera said quietly, on guard.

"Is there something between you two?"

"What's it to you if there is?"

"Agera, snap out of it and listen to yourself!  He's a void.  And not just any void, he's their leader!"

"My paws are tied here Vee.  He bonded to me, remember?"

"Hang on." Venus reached behind her and grabbed her mechanical wing, jerking hard on the joint.  She jumped a couple feet in altitude, and then leveled out, "Sorry."

"What's wrong?"

"It's my mechanical wing.  The joint keeps sticking.  It's not a big issue." she said, turning back to her friend.

"The hell it is.  It needs cleaning.  Soon as we get back, you're to clean it out.  That's an order, understood?" Agera said sternly.

"My paws are tied, ma'am." Venus snipped at her.  Agera growled.

"And what's that supposed to mean?" the leader replied.

"It means, ma'am, that the electronics are sensitive, and we don't have the tools to repair it here.  I can't repair it.  But that's an excuse isn't it?  I was taught at an early age how to clean it.  In the same way you don't have to get close to Ronan.  He's a liability like my wing is, and someday, sooner rather than later, it's going to bite you in the tail." Venus said.

"Are you saying he's going to ruin my life?" Agera asked.

"No, I'm saying you're going to ruin your own life because of him.  Distance yourself before you do." Venus said.

"And what of Vienzo?  Is he a liability to then?" Agera asked, hostility in her voice.

"Agera, calm down!  I'm on your side.  Enzo knows there are more important things than just him and me.  If he has a choice between winning the war and saving me, then he'll win the war, and vis-versa.  I'm not saying Ronan doesn't think that, but it's impossible for him to do anything but protect you.  And if that means you're going to die in a battle, or that there is a chance you're going to die, he could attempt to stop you, forcing your hand.  Would you be willing to kill your own friend if it meant a chance at winning this war?"

Is time!  My titan PC has returned!  And with it, so have I...

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The trio flew until planetset and then hunkered down in a hollow between three hills.  They went without fire or food and took turns for watch.  Agera was up all night.  She couldn't sleep.

Around planetrise, Ronan approached her vantage point atop the highest hill.

"Agera, we need to talk." he said quietly.  Agera took a deep breath.

"Fuck off." she whispered.  Even still Ronan sat down beside her.  His chest was bruised where they had collided mid-jump earlier.  Agera didn't realize how hard she had hit him.

"My incredibly accurate and powerful senses of the female are telling me that you are 'troubled'." he said quietly.

"Show some fucking respect." Agera growled back at him, "My friend and wingman died today.  And it's my fucking fault.  Not that I'd expect a savage like you to understand.  I can't expect much when public displays of mating and artistic executions are the norm among your people."

Ronan looked at her, and despite the fact that she didn't want to, she looked at him.  He was hurt.  She could see it in his eyes.

"If that is what you think of us, then you know very little about us." Ronan replied, "You know only what you've needed to know.  But there's more than that.  What do you think of me?"

Agera wanted to say he was a barbaric prick, but she knew that wasn't what she actually thought, "You're different.  You don't approve of this war.  You don't approve of Avila or Julian.  You're trying to protect your people against them.  Who are you?"

"The son of the clan leader of the strongest tribe in these realms.  I was only a hatchling when my father was killed by Avila.  That was twenty-five years ago.  Now I work to salvage anything I can of my father’s legacy."

"Why are you telling me?"

"Two reasons.  The first is you're different like me.  The second is because of something you are completely unaware of.  This is what we need to talk about most."

"Thousands of years ago, there were three super powerful beings." it was Kiesah.  The blue gas giant had just started to rise and was casting everything in a ghostly glow.  Kiesah sat down on her other side, "The Ancient, the Almighty, and the All-knowing.  They were brothers.  They existed in their own separate planes of reality though, and so spent long periods of time away from each other.  As such, then Ancient grew lonely.  And so he created his own race, the Drakian, in his own image.  The Almighty was also lonely, and he created the humans.  The Ancient said to the Almighty, 'Look how clever and numerous your people are!  So that we shall never grow lonely again, let our races protect one another, so that they may never die out.

The All-knowing also attempted to create his own people, but it resulted in cataclysm, a self-destructive race which consumed all before it.  In desperation and jealousy, he stole a human and a Drakian from his brothers, and made his own race, the void as a representation of how he felt.  His brothers, upon discovering his treachery, became angry.  They cast their brother from their presence and cursed his bastard creation.  Because the void are made from both humans and dragons, they have all of the drawbacks and none of the benefits.  They are subservient to both dragons and humans, because they are from both races.  They have neither the strength of dragons nor the adaptability of humans."

"The curse was by far the worst part.  We are subservient to both races, but it's more than that.  If any of our number come into physical contact with one of yours, they will be destined to live a partial life, thriving on the whims of those they touched.  We call this the bond, or the bonding." Ronan explained quietly.  Agera didn't like where this was going, "We are bonded now, Agera."

Agera was startled.  That simple bump in the fortress was far more than just someone getting into someone else’s way, "How much does it affect you?"

"In almost every way imaginable.  If someone or something threatens your life, I'll be forced to put myself in harm’s way to save you.  Even if it means my life in the process.  If you cannot function properly to do your duty, to proceed towards your goal, I'll know exactly what to say or do.  I'll be the perfect friend, bodyguard, and if the occasion warrants it, I'll even be the perfect lover." he said, blushing slightly.  Now that the planet had risen and was shining its light on the three of them, Agera saw that the bruise on Ronan's chest wasn't a bruise.  It was a mark.  A golden imprint of her scales where he had collided with her.  Agera took a step back.

"I'd die before I mated or became a friend of a void." she said, "I've fought them all my life, and killed hundreds."

"It makes no difference.  It is what it is, I am that I am.  I cannot change that." Ronan said.

"Fuck you!  That curse was why you kept me from saving Jiza!  FUCK YOU!  DAMN YOU TO HELL RONAN!" and she struck him, as hard as she could.  She felt a horn break under her paws.  She jumped on him as he reeled back from the blow, and she tried to crush his throat.

"Agera!" Kiesah grabbed her from around the middle and hurled her several yards away, then stood between the two of them, "Killing him will solve nothing!  And we need him."

"THE FUCK IT WON'T SOLVE NOTHING!  It'll make me feel fucking better!" Kiesah smacked her then across the head and knocked her to the ground.  As she tried to stand, the frost dragon pinned her.

"Get your head on fucking straight, Agera!  Harden the fuck up!  Did you honestly think you would all live through this war?!  This is not some fucking book or movie!  You and your friends are not invincible!  You are young, weak, and inexperienced!  And the only reason Omega squadron still exists is because of dumb luck, ignorance, and blind devotion to a belief that is irrelevant anymore!  Snap out of your fantasy world!  You’re not some fucking hero!  You have no control over your own fate!  You're just lucky you haven't died yet!  Lucky that Ronan spared us, lucky that I showed up at the right time during the scourge! And lucky that we weren't spotted during that escape! Now we need Ronan!  I need him because he has valuable intelligence.  He won't even need interrogation.  He'll answer any questions we have and he will not lie.  And you need him because he will protect you and your friends and comfort you, as much as possible.  You need him because you can trust him better than anyone else who’s ever existed. Now I am going on to base.  You stay away until you've cooled off and figured out what you're going to do."



"Get the FUCK off me."

Despite what Kiesah had said, Agera couldn't calm down.  Her duty had been to get all of her squad out of this hell hole, and she had failed.

Ronan stayed behind after Kiesah had left, living up to his claim of bonding.  He took care of her during those dark hours, hunting for her when she was hungry, keeping watch when she was tired.  She spent her free time carving out of a rock she had found.  She carved Jiza's gravestone.  It read, "Jiza Ra, Omega 6.  Medic.  Warrior.  Family."

When it was finished she paced back and forth, trying to calm her nerves with action.  Ronan always looked on, just watching, never saying anything.  Finally, she stopped.

"What the fuck am I supposed to do now?" she asked of him.

"That is entirely up to you, Agera.  What's your goal?" he responded flatly.

"To win this war." she responded almost immediately. Almost immediately.

"Is it though?" Ronan said.  His intuition was incredible.  Agera sat down in front of him.

"I used to think so.  Now?  I dunno." Agera said quietly.

"Come on.  It isn't that difficult." Ronan egged her on.

"Damn it I dunno!  To finish this conflict and enjoy life! I want to stop fighting!  I don't want to die as a martyr on a planet where nobody will remember me!" she said getting up and pacing again.

"So how are you going to do that?" Ronan asked cautiously.  Agera ignored him and continued to pace.

Finally, she stopped and looked at him, "To defeat your enemy, you must know them.  To know your enemy, you must become them."

She sat down again in front of the male, "Tell me everything about the void."


"Everything.  What their life is like.  How their government works.  Do they have an economy?  How often do bindings occur?" Agera was speaking rapidly, "The more I know about your race, the more I can exploit a weakness to get to Avila."

"I'll start with the last question then and work my way up.  Bondings occur more often than most know.  There have been millions of them throughout history.  Avila herself is actually from a coupling of a pure blood dragon, her father, and a Hybrid, her mother."

"Does that make her sterile, like a mule?" Agera asked.

"Yes, although as you've seen in Kiesah, sterility isn't a guarantee of a lack of hatchlings.  The amount her and her bonded consort mate, it wouldn't surprise me if she conceived at some point." Ronan said.

"Great.  That would be bad." she said quietly, "Don't give me bad dreams.

"Yeah.  One Avila is bad enough." Ronan said under his breath.  He turned back to her, "During this damnable war, we've seen a decrease in bondings, but they still occur.

If a Void isn't bonded, they live a normal life.  They work, eat, sleep, play, and love.  They are just like you with a different skin color.  As far as our technological life is concerned, we are perhaps at about medieval periods of technology.  We were stunned at Moscow.  We had never seen a nuclear weapon before."

"You were there?" Agera asked, looking at him.  His gaze was distant.

"Yes.  I was ashamed of our race that day." Ronan said quietly, "We are better than that.  All of us are better than that."

They sat in silence after that for some time, side by side.  Agera took a deep breath, then turned towards the camp, "Come on.  We need to get back.  I've got a plan."


Agera stopped him, "Don't get uppity!  You, directly or indirectly, costed me the life of a friend and family member.  Even if you didn't have this whole bonding thing with me, I'd still have you fighting with Omega.  You owe us.  You owe me."

"Don't make it out like it's all my fault, Agera.  You had a claw in this too.  You didn't report in and you didn't call for backup.  You didn't plan ahead at all." Ronan said pointing a claw at her.  Agera nearly slapped him, but she stayed her spade.  Mostly because she knew he was right.

Agera was terrified of heading back to base.  Not because of the reprimand she was going to get from Lowe, but because she had to face her squad and think of what to say.  So engrossed was she in her thoughts that she completely forgot that Ronan was an enemy.  That was until four drakes in full battle armor landed in front of them at the edge of camp.  The leader, a shadow drake, folded his wings behind him and addressed her.

"Omega lead.  What be your purpose with this...  whatever?" he asked.  His voice was incredibly disdainful.

"This is Ronan.  He surrendered peacefully.  Standing orders are to keep any void personnel alive until they can be handed over for interrogation." she said warily.

"Will you accept an escort?" the male asked.

"Yes, but I wish to accompany you." she said.  She wasn't sure why, but she wanted to make sure Ronan reached the Grand Marshall alive.  The shadow drake only eyed them and then gestured with his head.  All four of them took up positions around the pair at the corners and they moved forwards into camp.  Kiesah suddenly appeared next to her.

"What did the GM say?" Agera asked quietly.

"I got back the same time you did.  I never really left, not with a void around.  Even if he is bonded with you, his interpretation of your best interests could mean kidnapping you and hiding you from the world." Agera was startled.

"I'd like to see him try." she said finally with a smirk.

"So would I." Kiesah said.

The camp dropped everything and stared as they walked through it.  Pretty soon a crowd had gathered along their path.  Agera even spotted some humans sitting on dragonback just to get a look at the odd group being escorted.  Agera's scales itched.  She hoped no one did any rash actions.

Just outside of the GM's command tent, Venus, Vienzo, and Janus met up with her.

"Figured this was about you." Venus said happily, "What happened?  Where's Jiza?"

"Come on." she said to them, pulling open the entrance flap.

"Krigsman?!  Where the devil have you been?!" the Grand Marshall shouted at her from over by the theater map.  He looked up just as Ronan walked in, "I want everyone out except Omega squadron, Kiesah, and that Void."

When everyone was inside.  Agera placed the last of Jiza's scale in Janus's paw.

"Jiza is dead." she said quietly, "I made a bad judgement call.  And because of my mistake, she was captured, abused, and then killed."

There was stunned silence, so Agera continued, "Venus take your mate with you and go and get everyone ready to move."

After Venus had left, Agera turned to the grand Marshall, "Sir, we've located a large void installation about half a day’s flight from here.  Avila was present."

"Then it is far past time we moved.  Perhaps our new friend here can tell us more about the surrounding lands.  I assume that you, young drake, have bonded with our strong-headed colleague?" the Grand Marshall addressed Ronan.

"High Lord Ronan, sir, of the Versai Alps.  My father was High King Korgan, the Great." Ronan said, bowing.

"Are you ally or enemy?" Lowe asked.

"Neither, more like someone with mutual allies and enemies.  I've been thinking of doing this for a long time, offering assistance.  I have a grand total of one million troops at my disposal." Lowe stared, "It's hardly a great number."

"It's a fantastic number!  With that amount at our disposal, we could win this." Lowe said, rubbing his hands together.

"I doubt it.  Avila has perhaps ten times that amount stationed in and around the capital." Ronan said quietly, marking the map with a claw, "Here, in about a one hundred kilometer radius.  Another two million here, at the citadel, which she uses as her training academy.  My troops are far to our south, about two week’s fast march, in a series of canyons we call the badlands.  It has a spider webbing series of caves beneath it that are known for swallowing up whole platoons, groups disappearing for eternity.  It's also a haven for those on the run from Avila's wrath.  You shall find many allies there."

"Then it is there that we shall go.  Is there anything else you wish to say?" Lowe asked.

"What is to become of me?  Am I to be held captive?" Ronan asked.  Lowe shuffled nervously.

"No, that would be a very bad idea.  I cannot however have you leaving the camp.  I have no assurances that you won't lead our enemies to us.  While you are here, if it would please you, you may stay with Omega squadron.  They are one down anyways, and it'll insure you remain safe.  Agera?"


"He is not to be harmed.  He's under your protection, so be more careful than you usually are." Lowe said looking at her pointedly, "Speaking of which, I want all of you out of here except Agera."

Kiesah held the flap open as Janus and Ronan departed.  Ronan glanced at her worried, and Agera was given the distinct impression he knew exactly what kind of grief she was putting herself through.  She shivered as the Grand Marshall sighed.

"Agera you are a damn fine soldier.  One of the best I've ever commanded.  But unlike you, Jiza followed orders and used common sense." he growled, staring at the map.

"Sir..." she started, but he cut her off.

"Shut.  Up.  Under normal circumstances I'd have you court marshaled for disobedience and negligence.  What you did was reckless and foolish.  I've half a mind to take you out of command of Omega and put Venus as lead in your place, but I know she won't get the same results you will.  Even in this disaster, you rescued a guardian and captured a void.  Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of a court martial or even discipline.  I just wanted you to know how severe this choice was.  Now get out, and try not to go all lone wolf on me."

"Yes, sir!" Agera saluted and turned to walk out.

"And Agera?"

"Sir?" he looked up at her from the map.

"Don't ever make me have to do that again."

Agera stepped out into the sun and took a deep breath.  Janus was waiting for her.

"I'm sorry, Janus." she said quietly.  He took a deep breath as well.

"You made a mistake.  We all do.  At least you made a new friend.  Just be careful with him, the bonding can be rough." he said, getting up and walking away.  Agera stared at him.

"How would you know?!" she said, startled.

"There are reasons I'm certifiably insane." he said, walking slowly, "Well, one reason.  A reason named Chell."

Agera walked alongside, listening intently to her friend’s confession.

"Chell was a void, and a thumping good looking one too.  My mother found her lying nearly dead when I was young.  I was with her, learning how to hunt, and quite literally tripped over Chell.  She was badly injured and exhausted.  My mother was incredibly kind however, and despite not knowing who or what she was, brought her back to our cave and nursed her back to health.

When I was young, she was the very best friend one could imagine.  When I got older she was my confidant and guide.  And when I matured she became my lifemate.

It was before our first clutch hatched when the void finally found us and attacked.  Chell died protecting me and the eggs.  I tried to rescue my hatchlings, but was unable.  They were smashed to bits.

I went mad after that.  I attacked anything and everything I could find, hoping that death would find me.  It never did, only sorrow and anger and grief.  I eventually found my way to a city, still don't know which one, and fell in with a young group of surviving drakes.  I left for the military when they did.  You know the rest."

Agera was quiet for a while longer.

"I and Jiza had similar nightmares.  I see my family my hatchlings, and most of all, I see Chell, whenever I close my eyes.  It used to haunt me, but now it comforts me.  It keeps me going.  What about you?  What do you see when you close your eyes?"

Agera took a deep breath, "I see death.  The scourge in particular.  I see my friends, my family, burning alive on earth whenever I close my eyes.  I doubt it will ever be a comfort.

Janus, we used to be fighting for Earth.  But Earth is gone now; her colonies likely weren't engulfed by the sun, but the heat given off from it would likely scorch their surface very quickly.  We had a few tiny colonies on exo-planets, but the planet we were fighting for, our planet, is gone.  So what are we fighting for?"

Janus shrugged, "In my experience, if there is at least one more creature that you care for, then it's always worth fighting.  I care about you and Venus and Vienzo, so I keep going."

They stopped on the hill that Omega squadron’s tent was on, and looked out over the tiny base camp.

"I'm going to miss Jiza though." he said quietly, "She reminded me of Chell."

They sat, watching the planet set, and the darkness enveloped them, and then moved inside.  The barracks were barely lit, and all Agera could see as she drifted off to sleep was Ronan's glowing yellow eyes watching her through the darkness.

It was pain, inconceivable, unthinkable, pain, of which my hide was branded with.  My wings melted and my blood boiled.  The skin burned off my bones and my muscles and tendons snapped as they dried.  Jiza screamed a high pitch death rattle, and I watched her burned alive next to me before the last vestiges of my sight fled me.  My lungs seared as they were exposed and my bones were bleached white.

I struggled, and thrashed in panic, and suddenly there was a voice in my horn.

"I have you, I got you." a grey and silver body, strong and cool.  Ronan's wings closed off the world around me, and the pain vanished.  My lungs re-knit themselves, they felt as if cool water had been splashed over them.  My eyes burst back into their sockets, and I was bathed in a dark comforting glow.  My muscles stretched taught, long and strong, and my skin flowed back over my now renewed bones.  Ronan pulled me closer, and I sighed in relief as I felt his chest expand and contract with his breathing beneath my head.

In the dark night, the rain poured ever harder on the tent as the everlasting storms worsened, but even still, Agera sighed, curled up tighter and snuggled closer to the void who was laying next to her, nose to tail tip, like hatchlings.  Ronan smiled as Agera relaxed and drifted to pleasant dreams, and then closed his eyes, and drifted off to slumber himself.

In the morning, for the first time ever, the rains had finally stopped, and a mist hung over the early morning hills.  Agera had risen early and well-rested for the first time since arriving to the Dark Lands.  She sat outside the barracks now, eyes west, waiting for the planetrise.  She was hoping to catch the dawn of a new day for the first time on the desolate moon.  Soft footfalls and a swish of the entrance flap behind her told her she was not the only one up.

"Good morning, Ronan." she said smiling.  He stopped, wary of this sudden change of attitude.

"Good... morning?  What's gotten into you?" he said, laying down close next to the female.

"I'm just feeling well, that's all." she said, purring.  It wasn't a lie.  She wasn't in pain, and her extremely good rest last night had left her feeling more energetic than usual.  Ronan warmly grinned at her as well.

"You just lost a member of your squadron yesterday.  Now, suddenly, you’re feeling better?" Agera ruffled her wings in a shrug.

"It's a new day, and I don't think Jiza would want me to squander it by acting all depressed." she replied.  Several beads of light dotted the horizon, bathing the hills in the cool blue planetrise.  They sat in companionable silence for a while.

"So how'd you do it?" Agera asked, not turning to look at the male.

"Do what?" Ronan asked, turning to look at her quizzically.

"You know what." Agera said, looking at him sideways with a knowing grin, "How'd you get into my dreams?  Normally I'd get upset, but..."

"You needed it, Agera."

“What do you mean, smartass?” Agera asked, turning to him fully now.

“It’s the best way I can describe the bonding.  I don’t know how I do what I do, I just do it.  I was aware of what I did last night, but I can’t describe how I did what I did or how I even knew what to do, I just did it.” He said, shrugging his wings.  The planet had just started to rise over the horizon, bathing the hills in a smooth blue glow.

“Well…” she blushed, “Thanks…  I needed that.”

Ronan gave her an odd look, “What’s with you?  You never blush.  Are you alright?”

She gave a contented stretch and a purr, “I’m doing better than I’ve done in a long time.  Come on, we gotta move.  GM will be wanting to get us heading towards the badlands before mid-day, and we still have all this shit to break down.”

Mature Content

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It was pain, inconceivable, unthinkable, pain, of which my hide was branded with.  My wings melted and my blood boiled.  The skin burned off my bones and my muscles and tendons snapped as they dried.  Venus screamed a high pitch death rattle, and I watched her burned alive next to me before the last vestiges of my sight fled me.  My lungs seared as they were exposed and my bones were bleached white.

Agera awoke screaming and thrashing.  Venus moaned loudly close by as she stumbled around the edges of sleep, but she quickly nuzzled into Vienzo's warm belly plates, sighed deeply, and drifted further into her dreams.

Agera gasped for breath as sweat poured down her body.  Her eyes darted around the darkened barracks, over the slowly rising and falling bodies of her fellow dragons, looking for any enemies hiding in the corners.  A smaller, familiar shadow a couple beds over was also up, eyes alert.

"Nightmares, Agera?"

"Fuck me." Agera whispered back, rubbing a paw up and down her muzzle.  It was wet.  She had been crying in her sleep.  Again, "How do you cope, Six?  How do you even get enough sleep to function?"

"A lot of naps.  You alright?" she whispered back.

"I'm fucking tired, and I'm fucking stressed." she whispered.  She got up and walked to the latrine unit now running off an external water tank.  Outside, the rain pummeled the canvas of their tent.  Agera shivered.

"It was just a dream." she said, her voice shaky.

"Sure doesn't sound like it was 'just' a dream." Jiza said quietly.  Agera walked to the entrance and threw open the flap, standing there and listening to the rain fall.

"You want to go for a walk?" she asked, looking back into the tent.

"Fuck yes."

"How's your brother?"

"Freezer if I know.  For all I know he's dead.  But he wasn't a very good brother to begin with.  What about you?  Do you have any siblings?"

Agera snorted, "It's bad enough having one of me around.  You want more of me shouting at you and cussing at everything and bringing doom to everyone?"

Jiza laughed, a crystal clear sound, "Good point.  I might tear my horns off if I had to put up with a second hopelessly grumpy commander."

"Oye!  Watch it six.  Evening." Agera nodded to a guard as they walked past, shielding themselves from the storm with their wings perched over themselves.

"Does it always rain on this planet?" Agera asked.

"Always, to varying degrees.  Three weeks ago we had an absolute monsoon here, and all the tents started to flood." Jiza said as the rain intensified, "That was a fun day."

They continued to walk in companionable silence until Agera absentmindedly looked down an alleyway behind the chow tent.  She was almost startled to see a tail spade slink around the corner.  It belonged to Kiesah.

"Now what would you be doing up late at night, sneaking around?" Agera said out loud, turning slowly down the lane.

"Huh?" Jiza said peering around her flight leader to the next street over.  The golden dragoness turned down the lane and followed her surrogate mother.

"Agera!  What're you doing?!" Agera was definitely stalking Kiesah now.  She dropped her wing to her side and folded it in close to her body so it didn't knock anything over.  Dragons could be amazingly quiet when they wanted to be, despite their size.

Agera spotted Kiesah taking off as she left the northern edge of the camp, her glistening arctic blue scales throwing off motes of what little light there was.

"Where are you going so late at night?" Agera whispered to herself.  She looked back to Jiza, "Hope you know how to run as well as you can fly."

"Agera, I really think we should report this!" Jiza hissed at her.

"Two dragons are noticeable enough as it is.  We don't need a whole battalion trying to shadow her." Agera turned and darted off into the night across the hilly muddy terrain, kicking up bits of dirt.

They ran for the rest of the night, and all next day.  Kiesah quickly left them behind since she was flying.  But Agera had watched her glide silently and easily on those wide majestic wings.  With so little flapping, Agera figured that the Ice Guardian was spearing straight towards her destination.  And so they followed the direction she had gone.

It didn't take long for them to catch up.  And it wasn't like they could miss their destination.  The monolithic citadel rose from the grounds just like the mountains, looking as if its walls pierced the overcast skies.  Agera and Jiza approached with caution.

The palace looked upon closer inspection to be made of living stone.  The light that darted across it shimmied and shivered as if reflected from a deep pool, the spider-webbed veins glowing in the night.  The ramparts atop the foreboding walls were guarded by void draped in the golden fabrics of the Queens royal guard.

"Great.  Do you think Avila is here?" Agera scanned the walls as Jiza and she lay in the mud, keeping their heads low.  The walls were guarded, but the numbers were sparse.

"No.  This must be just a contingent.  Perhaps she will be doing an inspection soon." Agera said quietly.  The two of them slithered closer in the darkness, the rain masking their approach.

"Agera." Jiza pointed with a wing to the spot where the wall joined a mountain.  At the base was a portcullis with water flowing through it, a fresh water supply, "With my element and enough strength, we can get through that."

They cautiously neared the area.  Few guards were here.  They all thought no one could approach them here because of the mountains flanking the castle.  A flash of lightning lit the sky, and the pair froze.  When the landscape had dimmed, they continued their infiltration.

When they had finally reached the opening, Jiza quietly sprayed ice over the cast iron bars sunk into the rocks.  Agera waited for a flash of lightning, and when the thunder came a second later, she struck the bar with a single hard blow, using her element to accelerate her tail.  The grate fell with a clang, and Jiza and Agera froze, ready to flee had any sentinel heard the clamor.  None showed tail nor talon.

The portal had only one guard fortunately, and they managed to slip to the far side of the wall, where Agera froze.

Ten thousand voids, of all types, waited in utter silence, either sleeping or sharpening claw or spade.  They were organized into their battalions laying in perfect formation, and clad in full battle armor.

The pair dared not move.  If they left their shadowed hiding spot, they would most certainly be spotted.  They waited for what seemed to Agera to be at least two hours before some silent signal had them rise to their feet.  There was a commanding shout, and as one, the void threw up their wings in salute.  They waited another twenty minutes, when suddenly, the rain stopped and the front gate opened, and silhouetted by the blue gas giant was Avila and her shadow dragon consort.

The time dragoness looked far different than when she and Agera had fought.  She walked with a detonate limp, because of her amputated leg.  Half her jaw was exposed because of the lack of skin.  Her rib cage was gaunt where new skin had been grafted on and her wing was covered in a stitched canvas covering, allowing her to fly.  She had no scales on her right side.  Her right eye could barely open.

Each of them had taken their toll on the other, that was for sure.

"Ronaaaaaan!" Agera jumped at Avila's incredibly loud voice, "Step forwards!"

"Someone's in trouble." Jiza said in a whisper.  Agera gave her a look that said "shut up".  Ronan strided forwards confidently.  Avila was easily triple his size.  Somewhere deep down, Agera admired his courage to approach that banshee.

"I hear you've taken a captive." Avila said quieter this time as they met in the middle of the void presentation.  Ronan turned to walk next to her, slowing down to match her limp.

"I apologize for the violation of your laws, ma'am.  Lord Lucien has a personal connection with this female, and he would not listen to my objections." Ronan replied.

"He is as foolish as he is stubborn." she hissed, "This does not surprise me of him."

"With respect, your Majesty, this female IS special.  She has many ties, and even holds a guardianship." Avila stopped and looked at the smaller male sideways, out of her good eye.

"Which guardianship?"

"Ignus et Glacias." Ronan said smiling, "Lord Lucien is far more cunning than he lets on, ma'am."

"At last, the Arctic Storm.  We've been after her and her mate for years.  Since Moscow.  They are major political figures and leaders in this war.  How was she captured?"

"She walked in of her own volition." Ronan said, shrugging.

"This I must see." as Avila turned her back, Agera nodded to Jiza and beckoned with a claw.  Using Agera's element, they snuck through the courtyard as everyone’s back was turned, and in through a door.  They found themselves in a storeroom.

"Why would Kiesah just SURRENDER?!" Jiza said loudly.

"Six, shut the fuck up!" Agera hissed.  Jiza clamped her mouth shut, "We're still in enemy territory, so keep it down.  Whatever's happening, it's beyond your scope.  So we're going to need an exit strategy.  You go and find something, and for FUCKS SAKE, stay quiet.  If either of us is detected, then the game is up."

"Where are you going?" Jiza asked at the door.

"To find Kiesah, solve this massive clusterfuck, and get her the hell out of here." Agera cracked the heavy wooden door slightly, peeking out the crack.  She only saw a torch lit corridor beyond.  The both crept out and Agera grabbed Jiza's tail.

"You've got two hours.  If you're not back at this spot by then, I'll assume the worst." Jiza nodded at her solemnly, "And -"

Agera looked the other direction, then back at Jiza, "Be careful, Jiza."

Jiza stood gaping at her, but soon, Agera was gone, having slipped off into the shadows.

It wasn't long before Agera realized she was in a labyrinth.  The corridors were long branching and cumbersome and they ALL looked exactly the same.  Same grey stone, same torches, same cold.  But that didn't mean Agera wasn't impressed.  The structure was built out of the mountain with exquisite detail.  The walls may have been smooth and spartan, but they were flawless as well, with no ruts or divots, and met the floor at a perfect ninety degrees.  There was no dust or dirt anywhere.

She checked multiple rooms as she went.  Most were empty.  One was another storeroom like the one she and Jiza had hidden in.  One was set up like a kitchen.  The last had several sleeping void, to which she closed the door very, very quietly.

Finally, she came to the main hall, with walls so high they disappeared into shadow.  A long low polished table made of an odd looking stone was laid out with ornate dishes of animals she didn't recognize.  Several void, all of whom were draped in purple fabric were there.  At the end sat Avila, on a raised cushioned dais.  Her consort stood behind her.  On her left hand side was an odd looking dragon.  He was by far and away the largest dragon Agera had ever seen, and would have towered over Pyrrus had he been there.  He also looked to be the strongest dragon Agera had ever seen, corded muscles rippling as he took a deep whooshing breath.  Despite this though, he seemed to be made of pure crystalline onyx.  His skin was as a starry night, inking black with beautiful sparkles all over.  Agera had seen handsome dragons, but she had never seen quite so beautiful a dragon as this one.

And then Agera spotted Kiesah next to him.  This time she was bound, although not tightly.  Her wings were wrapped and pinned to her sides, but aside from that she was free to do as she pleased.  The bindings didn't look uncomfortable; they just limited her ability to fly.

On her right was Ronan, who looked to be enjoying the void actors at the end of the table, who were playing out a comedy.  He was the only one enjoying it though.  The black giant looked to be trying to usher Kiesah closer to him, with the female resisting.  And Avila looked downright bored.  At least the half of her Agera could read looked bored.  After another fifteen minutes she stood.

"Enough!  This play-writing is dull.  It makes my scales drop.  Lord Julian!  I assume you have entertainment as well?" Ronan went to speak, but the giant cut him off.

"If course your majesty.  I anticipated your disappointment and set up my own show, although this one is far more real and enjoyable." Julian said.  Kiesah took the opportunity of his distraction and edged away.  Agera didn't think the black dragon looked dangerous, but she trusted Kiesah's judgment.  Whoever this male was, he was someone to be feared.  The drake motioned with a wing, and eight male void proceeded through a door on the left side of the room while the actors, cowed, absconded to the right.  In the center of the new ensemble was a ninth dragon, a tiny female who literally had wet wings.  She had only sprouted them in the last forty-eight hours.  She had a strange coloring, with the traditional void grey, but with multi-color stripes down her sides and wings.

As soon as she entered the hall, cat calls and jeers started.  At first, Agera thought the void surrounding her were a guard for her wellbeing, but after watching how likely they were walking around her, they were more likely there to prevent escape.

"With all due respect your majesty, I do not approve of this at all.  It is vile and vulgar and repulsive to me and I detest it.  I would much prefer we banish these people, instead of humiliate them." Ronan said quietly.

"Hush Ronan.  She'll make a fine example.  Besides, everyone loves a hybrid tragedy." Avila said quietly.

A hybrid?  What dragon would mate with a void?  Agera wondered to herself.  She had an excellent view of the room from the darkened second floor balcony.  The female was dressed up with a mask and body paint, and she reminded Agera of the butterflies back from earth.  She was far better decorated than even some dragons at formal parties.

The hybrids guard left, and a new male entered from the opposite side of the room, also a hybrid.  He also had a mask and body paint, and was also young, though not so much as the female.  What came next was something Agera was not prepared for.

It was a play, a tragedy, a tale of a young void, conscripted, gone to war, and the female that chased after him.

The problem was the acts were incredibly vivid.  In the first act, where the young male took part in his first battle, four void died, and the male was wounded down his side.  In the third act, when the female finally caught up to him, running through a war zone and going behind enemy lines, they had sex, in full view of the dinner table.

To say that Agera didn't enjoy the entire show from beginning to end would be a lie.  Words didn't do it justice.  The fact of not acting but doing made the play all the more enjoyable, lifelike, and emotional, all the way to the final act, where, amid the war torn battlefield, the male and the female, both about to die to nuclear armaments, fell upon their opposites tail spade, sharpened to a razor point.

There was applause and cheering and jeering.  Agera didn't know whether to be impressed or repulsed.  She decided on the later.

Fortunately, she didn't have to see any more.

"I hope you enjoyed that your highness.  Now if you'll excuse me, I and my mate shall retire." Avila gave him a half nod, and the massive dragon stood and ushered Kiesah out of the main hall via the largest door.  Agera followed silently, listening to them speak.

"I'm not your mate, Julian.  That time has flown." Kiesah said coldly.  The giant smiled at her.

"Oh come on Kisa, I know somewhere in that cold exterior you still find me appealing." he rumbled.

"I didn't say I didn't find you appealing.  What I said is I don't love you.  That's your problem, you can't tell the difference." she said growling, "I'm tired.  I'm going to bed."

"You don't want to slip into my chambers for an hour or so?" Julian said, gesturing to the end of the hallway at an over large doorway.  Kiesah growled and took a step backwards.

"Julian, the only reason I'm here, the only reason I haven't slit your throat yet is because you have an assassin at our camp and you threatened Enzo.  So don't think that if you intend to rape me, that I'll go quietly." she took another step back and Agera thought she might be planning to run.  Julian's smile widened.

"I thought you might say that..." that was all Kiesah needed, and she turned and bolted, running as fast as her legs could carry her.  Instead of chasing after her, Julian sank into the floor, the rock enveloping him, and Agera suddenly realized this was HIS complex.  He had carved it right out of rock, and he was PART of it.  The massive dragon sprang from the floor in front of the diminutive female as if springing out of water.  The stone flowed smoothly and reformed into a solid flat surface beneath him.  Kiesah skidded to a stop but couldn't react fast enough.  Her legs slid out from beneath her as she collided with the ancient, and he pinned her on her back.  She went to protect herself from him with her tail, but he pinned that as well.  His dragon hood was already emerging from its sheath.  It was likely as long as Agera was.

"Julian, please don't do this." Kiesah said quietly.  Agera had seen enough.  If Kiesah was begging, then it was time to act.  She kept to the shadows she was hiding in as she crept closer, and then leaped silently towards the ancient male.

So focused was she on her quarry that she failed to notice the silver blur that was rushing down a side passage.  She collided with the larger mass at high speed in a bone jarring impact, and grappled with the foe, trying to gain the upper hand.  There was a roar, a massive snarl, and then Agera was atop the interloper.

It was Ronan.

"Fucking hell!  Ronan, you have the worst possible timing!" Kiesah groaned, rolling Julian's body off of her.  She dislodged her tail spade from his chest with a squelch, and then looked down on him with disgust and disdain on her face.

"Good fucking riddance." she said quietly, whipping her blade clean on his skin.  Agera still had her claws at Ronan's throat.

"I have bad timing?!  You got in my jump!  Are you gonna kill me or not?!" Ronan growled up at her.  Behind his curled lips and bared fangs though, she could see he was terrified.  She had a sudden vivid image of crouching in a hat shop, hiding from a hundred thousand enemies, tired, beaten, and broken.

"No, I'm not.  But I am taking you with Me." she said quietly.

"So I can be tortured into betraying my kind?" he growled at her.

"No, so you can be asked to help mine." Agera growled back, "Now, MOVE.  Or I really will slay you."

She nipped at his tail and he snarled, leaping forwards.

"Is that really necessary?!" he barked at her.

"No, but I enjoy it." Agera said grinning.

Ronan traveled between Kiesah and Agera.  Twice while making their way down the dark halls they were nearly discovered.  All throughout, Ronan kept his mouth shut, which surprised Agera.  She could not understand why he was cooperating so well.  He even once warned them of impending doom.

Finally, an armored quartet of void walked by, and Ronan gave off a low growl.  Agera clamped her claws around his jaw, but it was far too late.

Surprisingly, the alarm was not immediately raised.

"Lord Ronan!  It is my honor, sir!" and the male gave a bow, as did the other three, their gray armor plates gleaming in the torchlight, "Who be your escorts?"

"They are Lady Kiesah and Lady Agera, formally of earth, now of no-place." Ronan growled back.  Agera had never been called a lady before.  She sort of understood how Kiesah felt now.  She didn't see herself as very lady-like.  They bowed again though anyways.  Agera was baffled.  She had never been treated this way by void before.

"They are my troops." Ronan said to Agera's confused face, "And loyal only to me.  I only take true warriors from my villages, and I actually pay them, unlike Lord Julian.  My men are the finest warriors in the dark lands, equipped with armor, and trained to perfection." Agera was forced to agree.  She had never seen armored void before, nor void that look so presentable.  Their armor was spotless as was their scale.  When they moved they were silent, and yet Agera could tell these were some of the strongest troops she had ever encountered.

"Sir.  An alarm has been raised.  Lord Julian was found dead just outside his quarters.  We have orders to bring Lady Kiesah to the main hall." the soldier said.  Agera took a half step forwards, trying to bar the way.

"Peace, m'lady." Ronan said, placing a paw on her wing shoulder, "The anger is not necessary.  Soldier, you are to report you never found us.  Return to the main hall and tell all you see that this way is clear.  After the alarm has been lifted, alert as many troops of mine as possible to prepare for a fast march to the badlands.  You will lead them.  You are to deliver a notice to queen Avila that one of our scouts found a small group of one hundred defectors to the south.  Take the contingent, fly south for half a day, then proceed to the badlands."

"Understood, sir, and congratulations on your bonding." he said, half turning.

"Thanks, but I'm still trying to figure out if my bonding is a good thing or not." Ronan said with a wry smile.

The trio arrived at the storehouse with only a few minutes to spare.  Ronan peeked outside into the snow first.

"Damn.  Agera, you need to see this." he said quietly. Agera peered around his wing and swept her vision through the cracked door.  A large assembly of void was there, including Avila, and several Shadow dragons.

"Lord Julian's personal guard." Ronan whispered.  And then Agera spotted Jiza at the center of the vast ring.

"Fuck!" Agera whispered loudly.  She went to step forwards, but Ronan stopped her, "Get out of my way, void."

"No." Ronan said evenly, a hard look in his eye.  Agera grabbed him around the neck, but Kiesah cracked her tail across her snout.

"Don't be a petulant child, Agera.  You can't save Jiza, both you and she would be dead before you got to her.  She knew what she was getting into." Kiesah said.

"She was following orders!  My orders!" Agera retorted.

"She filed for the transfer herself." Kiesah said.  Agera growled and paced back and forth.  She stopped several times at the door then went back to pacing.  Finally, they heard Avila speak.

"AGERA!" her voice was loud.  Louder than it should have been, "I know you're here!  Show yourself, or this lovely young thing will have her blood on your hands!"

Agera hopped from foot to foot, watching the event, "Fuck.  Damnit!"

"Let's see if we can't draw her out captain.  Have your way." Jiza started breathing even harder.  Her bindings had already chaffed through her scale, and the cloth tied around her muzzle was red from the abuse.  The captain, all together too much enjoying the show, nodded.  Agera forced herself to watch as they took turns mounting her.

Suddenly, the ground shook violently.  Clouds of smoke and fire plumed from within the fortress as the explosion caused a further collapse.  Agera could almost see Jiza grin a sadistic smile from beneath one of the larger males.  The shockwave tore him right off her.

"Way to go Girl!" Agera said under her breath.

"Captain!  That blast came from the lower storehouses!  Get down there!  We may still be able to catch these assassins." Avila said.  She turned to Jiza, who appeared to be quivering from the repeated violations, but even still, she stood, letting blood and snow run off her, and proudly puffed her chest out in front of Avila.

Avila stretched out a paw, and twisted.  Jiza instantly grew, larger and larger.  In twenty seconds she was larger than Kiesah.  In forty she was larger than Avila.  By the time a minute had passed by she would have rivaled Julian in size.  After three minutes had passed, she fell to the ground, shaking violently, and then lay still, eyes closed.  Avila continued to age her and her scales fell out, her skin rotted off and her flesh decomposed, leaving only the bones.  Eventually, even they turned to dust.

And so passed Jiza Ra, Omega 6.

The trio waited there a long time, until everyone was out of the courtyard.  They crept out and along the far cliff edge until they reached the wall.  Agera however stopped and turned towards where Jiza had been slain.  Several glistening white scales, and Jiza's medical pouch, lay in the snow. She darted out and scooped up as many scales as she could carry in one paw, and grabbed Jiza's pouch, flinging it around her neck, and ran back to the other two.  They slipped silently out of the camp, and flew south.
Between Two Worlds, Ch 14: The Nightmare
So this chapter was re-written something like ten million times.  That and my new job, thats why it's been so long for me to upload this.  The book is really getting somewhere, isnt it?  I'm rocketing through these chapters.

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noodlepredator Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the fav :3 
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Thanks for the fave ^^
Slendershy Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2015
Searching for the epilogue to your fanfiction LOS birth of a hero: the chosen. Came across it a few years back but didn't get round to finish reading it. You happen to have it still somewhere by chance? can't find it in your gallery and on fanfiction :(
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Thank you very much for faving my work and for the watch.
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Thanks for the fav =D
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Bertross Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2015
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