One Shot to Glory

One Shot to Glory

A Chapter by TabaD
"

Patrick, Furia, and their comrades had a good start arriving to the Bermuda Triangle, nothing could go wrong now.

"

One Shot to Glory


Everyone arrived half an hour later on the lifeboats. They brought all the supplies and stuff as well. Both Furia and I greeted them when they reached the beach. They were all applauding and screaming cheerfully. I helped getting everything from the lifeboats to the sand. They insisted that I didn't have to help with that. Yet I did anyway. I wasn't a celebrity or someone to be praised… I was just handling my part.


Among the supplies were tents and camping gear, everyone set everything up and organized sentinel teams. I took the luxury of not being part of that, due to the fact that if something happened, I was the only one to call. We chopped off a couple of trees, then the trunks into smaller pieces. We piled a bunch up, the others were left away to keep the fire on for longer time. Then Furia did us all, the honors.


Everyone was gathered up around the big bonfire, having dinner as I was inside of the circle telling how Furia and I took the dragon out. When I finished, they applauded and screamed and cheered again. Furia was eating a pig outside of the circle. I joined the circle among my friends and had dinner as well. Oliver next to me, asked…


-Which dragon do you think that one was?


-It was bigger than Furia, could be the elder's or his son's… the junior's is out there somewhere.


-Just one dragon as main defense?… Isn't that too lucky? Are you sure you didn't see anything else? -Said Jack at my other side.


-Nothing of nothing… -I answered him.


-It doesn't make sense… -Said Jack.


-They are all for sure in the other side of the island… probably they don't even know there's a dragon down. -Said Oliver.


-There will be tension tonight then… it's getting very cold, will you sleep with Furia?   -Asked Jack.


-Yup.


Eventually, almost everyone but the sentinels got into their tents; the circle got smaller and smaller until there were too few people to round up the bonfire. Remaking the circle leaving the bonfire to a side, the ten or so of us shared experiences related to this. A couple of them had found people who had found their eggs. Unfortunately they got killed or their eggs were confiscated before making any move. I mentioned how Clyde found me and the later events.


-He would have loved to see this… -I said…


-He did more instead, he made this possible.  -Said Bruno, James's brother.


We discussed many topics before the group eventually dispersed to the tents. It did was getting cold. I didn't sleep on Furia's back; she curled up and I got in between, her tail and head to my side and her body to the other. To finish, she slightly opened her wing, covering me completely. Furia had to sleep saddled up and I had to keep my boots on… still, this was a beautiful night.


The sentinels woke us up at next morning's first light. Furia and I stood up and stretched our limbs and saw everybody else on the same deeds. I joined them on a light breakfast. Furia wasn't hungry, though she would be later at noon. A cow would keep her well for two, luckily three days. On the other hand, the pigs we had in the ship's meat locker were far smaller; Furia would have to eat more frequently. Having someone to go to the ship and bring a pig one or two times a day was bothersome, but it was required. Giving her a lot of food would enlarge greatly her digestion time before being able to fly. We had to keep Furia always lightly fed to be always ready for action.


I was chewing a mouthful of my sandwich when all of a sudden…


Patrick! Use my vision, quickly!


I did, and ended up spitting my food to the ground. I got onto Furia, and while I strapped myself up, Furia said…


Why does he come that slowly? He isn't even trying to be stealthy...


Then I said out loud…


-There's a Dragon and its Rider coming in slow!


As soon as I finished, someone snapped…


-How are his hands!?


Furia answered the question… Grabbing each other above his head… I relayed the message and that same person spoke.


-That's a friendly approach, he wants to talk.


I don't trust this guy… Furia said.


Nor do I… He wouldn't come peacefully if there wasn't anyone to avenge him if we dared to play dirty on him.


He better not play dirty on us if he does know what's good for him… Furia said hissing lowly and slightly showing her fangs.


Everyone was together in a big crowd behind me and Furia. The strange Rider landed on the beach, around 6 meters away from us. He then crossed his arms behind his back. He said, from on top of his dragon…


-Rider Patrick Darst, your reputation precedes you. That was an impressive display of ability last night. My name is Rider Costanzo Silvestro and this is my dragon Ictio.


His dragon was colored with a yellow, almost golden tone. He was a young man; noticeably older than me, probably on his early thirties. After a quick glance at Furia, and at the memory of the dragon we killed, it ran through my mind an age pattern: Me, aged early twenties, Costanzo, aged early thirties; his dragon wasn't much bigger than Furia...Which meant the dragon we killed was the Government Head's dragon. There were only left this guy, his dragon, his grandfather and its dragon.


What struck me was that he was acknowledging my abilities of killing his father's dragon. This was for sure someone coldhearted, someone to take on seriously, someone in whose company I couldn't get my guard down. Even though I was confident of my capacities, if there was a chance to avoid a future bloodshed, I was determined to give it a shot.


I have not never ever talked with another Rider, nor was I taught how to. Maybe Costanzo was actually expecting from me some ignorance, maybe some bad manners to bear, but I couldn't take those chances. I had to act as refined as I could in order to prevent myself from offending him.


-It is a pleasure meeting you, Rider Costanzo Silvestro, and your dragon as well. This is Furia, my dragon.


-We are honored. (He then unstrapped himself from his saddle and jumped down, crossing his arms behind his back again) Now that we are all introduced, I would like us to walk and discuss a proffer I bring.


I unstrapped myself and jumped down; then proceeded to cross my arms behind my back. This gesture surely meant good faith; one wouldn't easily attack in this position, not even with Magic.


I walked slowly towards Costanzo and told Furia… Follow me closely. She did and together we found ourselves facing Costanzo and Ictio.


-I'd like to walk with you, but our dragons may accompany us.


-As you please.  -He said gesturing with his head to his side, the other direction from my people.


We walked for a minute without a single word being said. I thought it could be an awkward silence, but Costanzo looked fairly comfortable. Suddenly he said…


-For centuries, anyone who dared venturing these waters was slain without warning. After some time, the world has learned to respect, if not, fear these waters… You, your dragon and your people are the only foreigners in very long time to touch this sand.


-It seems to me you have a purpose for allowing us get this close.


-Yes I do, and in it consists my proffer. The ones who actually get to do something for our cause are the Guardians, while my lineage just guides them…


-May I ask a sudden question?  -As he nodded, I continued- Furia and I once met one of those Guardians… he stated that we, Riders, are evil. How come you work together?


-The dragons controlled by my family, the Saddlers', and the army (I felt a cold running through my spine to my head as he said that word) under my command are special exceptions, for they are required to successfully protect the eggs. Now, this is why I let you get this close, this is my proffer: I will provide you with the permission for your people to look for their eggs… And eighteen months, more than enough, to train your people in the arts related to dragons.


An idea crossed my mind, but I ignored it, I took it out from all possibilities, it just couldn't be…


-What for, may I ask?


-Shame and Regret would fall on me if I dealt with you and your people the traditional way. Our purposes here will clash the way they should: One single All-in Battle to the Death.


Horror filled my mind as the possibility I rejected was the correct one.


-I thought we could settle this without bloodshed…


-That cannot be, Rider Patrick.


-Yes it does, for we are not enemies.


-You came here for the eggs, did you not?


-Yes we did, but our purpose is not to harm humanity. It is the entire contrary.


-You want to reenter dragons into humanity's life; that is in fact harming humanity.


-No it isn't, dragons are not…


-Stop it there. (He said as he stopped walking and faced me completely. His friendly tone changed to a very threatening one) I came here to make you a proffer, one that I already expressed. So, will you accept, or will you not? The next word you dare to speak will determine how long will your people live afterwards.


I tried to find another approach, but this was an ultimatum, anything else I said would bring his army to massacre us without mercy. After a sigh of defeat I answered…


-I accept…


-This gladdens us greatly. Have this in mind: If just a single one of your people tries to flee, all of you will be accused of disgracing this pact.


-I'll keep it in mind… In how many Riders does your army consist?


-Forty men and women. Yours?


I wouldn't have said our real number in another situation, but I really needed this guy to reconsider a peaceful solution.


-More than sixty people. I trust you are revealing the true number of your army.


-Yes I am, and don't worry for us, this will just make it even more interesting and delightful.


What kind of monster are we dealing with? I thought.


-I won't...


-Good, now that we are done, I will head back to my camp. I suggest you get the eggs as soon as possible. After that, crossing the island's center hill will be considered intent of sabotage; that goes to yours and mine people. I will charge the Saddlers to ready your saddles by the time your dragons reach riding age.


He said as he got himself onto his dragon and strapped on.


-How will we get the saddles?


-The Saddlers are at the Eastern side of the island. They are not part of my army, yet, going there before your dragons reach riding age, which is exactly three months old, along with going after you get your saddles, will be punished as well. And one last thing: As we are in the middles of March, the eighteen months will start square with April and will end on next year's September. At the very second the sun is completely out on the first morning of October, we will fight at the center hill's aerial space. No words to be spoken that day. Next time we see each other will be when you and your people pick your new saddles, so… until then, Rider Patrick…


-Until then, Rider Costanzo…


He took off and went away. Furia and I stood there for a moment, just watching Costanzo flying away. I stretched my arms and decided to walk our way back; that way we could give everything a little thought before revealing the news to the others.


That was unexpected… stated Furia.


What I can't understand is why they think dragons are evil…


I find it bothersome as well. What could a dragon do so evil that the whole kind deserved to be annihilated and prevented from further existence?


That exactly is what the Dragon Society lacks. This is all too elaborated to be the legacy of a mad man or a lie. The one who leaded the Great Massacre was nowhere near mad nor lying. He had a purpose for all this, I sighed deeply as a realization stabbed into my mind… one that wasn't evil either…


I felt her deep disgust towards my last phrase.


How can you possibly think that!? Have you forgotten Clyde died because of them!?


I faced her; the burst of rage was big enough to take my words out of my mind.


-How dare you! (Furia sidestepped away from me) I would never forget what Clyde did for me that night! I want nothing else but to avenge him! You more than anyone know it!


Furia lowered her head and slightly looked away as she said… I'm sorry…


I breathed deeply and calmed down… I ran a hand on my face… and felt horrible for yelling at Furia… I went closer and pat her neck a couple of times.


It grinds my gears too. I'm sorry… What I mean is this people think they are doing the right thing.


Furia looked back at me, and with a gradually rising to normal tone, she said…


But WE are the ones doing the right thing… aren't we?


Indeed we are the ones, but they don't know it… this isn't a fight of Good vs. Evil; this is a fight just for who's right.


That doesn't even make sense… How come we are fighting for the same thing?


There's a name for that… It's called Human Condition.


Once we got to the others, I told them what Costanzo told me. A lot were upset to hear we wouldn't leave the island without a fight to the death against another pack of Riders. Still, I followed Costanzo's suggestion; James and the guys organized the group to start the preparations of the supplies for the trip to the insides of the island while Furia and I made a flyover. I decided to stop using the flying goggles; Costanzo didn't use any, nor my comrades had any. A dozen situations ran through my mind in which they became a weakness.


We located the eggs and went back to the beach by evening, it was a huge island. Hungry as hell, we had dinner with the group. Someone had brought a pig for Furia from the ship's meat locker. We would then start the journey at the next day's sunrise. Despite the day's events, at least we would sleep comfortable tonight; Furia would sleep unsaddled and I would sleep rid of my damned boots.


At next day's first light, everybody was getting ready for the trip. The supplies were divided and portioned so everyone would carry a part. They were reluctant at first for me and specially Furia to carry stuff, but we insisted until prevailing. Furia's size and strength allowed her to carry a significant part without any problem, making the group's packs lighter and improving the group's overall speed.


It was a long trip across unknown territory, no one would ever guess which supplies were the most important to have at a given moment. So we carried everything.


We first arranged that Furia would first eat the pigs we brought before hunting local fauna. As we were going to raise over sixty dragons, we didn't know yet how to prepare the island for that; we could all starve to death. Yet there was something catchy I remembered… My father's cattle have improved a lot since the moment we moved Furia to his lands… Someone here must have something to say about this… Then I proceeded to tell everyone about it. But, to my surprise, no one knew a thing about it. Good luck was the most popular among the senseless theories everyone had for this.


I was almost calling it a lost cause when one guy came close to me and said "I know what you are talking about…" He told me his ancestors did experiments on the topic. They found strange how no one dealt with any kind of lack, they were intrigued by how the territory was simply ready for the newborn dragons. They discovered that dragons emanate good energy towards the environment; that's why when a dragon was introduced to a new territory; this one slowly became suitable to that dragon. And that applied to a large number of dragons as well.


I asked him why this wasn't general knowledge, and he told me that very few people accepted this theory back then. He and his brother were the only ones in this group who knew about that. They left their hometown to expand their blood chain and met James in Corpus Christy. Telling that theory again today, with more important things to do, such as keeping the important part of those times alive, would be a total waste of time. Until, of course, it would be needed.


A couple of days later, we found the eggs. When Furia and I flew over them, they looked like oddly colored sand, but at this distance, they looked like a lost treasure. There were bright ones that glistened with the midday sun. Some others so dark that could be spotted easily in the distance. Along with those that didn't met the extremes of brightness and darkness, each egg had a unique tone of color.


Everyone dashed into the egg fields to find their eggs. There could be seen some piles in the distance. Furia and I stood back and admired the landscape. Even though there was much still to do, this was sort of a victory. Soon began the screams of "I found it!"


A few days later everyone found their eggs. This proved the efficiency of the Guardians. No one in the group would have found their eggs in another situation. I thought I would see the shinning again. But, to my eyes, everyone just suddenly ran to a random direction and picked the egg up or dug them out from the piles. Then Jack explained it out for me…


-So one just gets to see its own egg's shinning… never another egg's…-I concluded.


-That's right; imagine finding an egg that wasn't yours… if it wasn't because of the shinning, how could anyone tell if they found the correct egg?


In the meantime, while the others were still looking for their eggs, Furia and I explored something we saw while the flyover, it wasn't very far from the eggs. It was a huge dark line; the first thing I thought was that it could be just a burnt down area. But it was too long and perfectly straight to be an accident.


When we landed, I couldn't believe my eyes…


-Pavement? -I said to myself…


To be an airport, it lacked a station… It was just a landing track. This is how they bring the eggs… but… how do they hide the planes from the satellites? Then my jaw dropped as my mind froze.


What's wrong? Furia asked.


They could have discovered us and our whereabouts so long ago…


What do you mean long ago? Furia was impressed by my realization.


There are these things called satellites orbiting the globe…


Wow, wow… slow down… Orbiting?


Going around the globe continually in outer space watching EVERTHING what happens everywhere in the whole world... And you were in the open countless times... I should have thought about that in the first place. Now that I did not, they should have seen you clearly…


Why didn't they?


I don't know… Our images, along with everything related to this island, are filtered for the world… that's clear… but why filtering our information to themselves?


Maybe they didn't hide it. Remember this guy Costanzo wanted to fight with someone.


Maybe, but that's his way. The actual head of the Government is his father, why would HE let us get so far? Why would he let us grow so strong? Why not sending us Guardians while we could still be handled? No one would… Well, no one but Costanzo would risk the world's sake for just a good show.


The Head would, maybe to satisfy the son's whim… Furia stated.


I really doubt it… The Head of the Government is sitting behind a desk. He wouldn't risk that much to gain so little, and even so, having to deal with the consequences of a failure afterwards. Costanzo, in the other hand, would gladly risk the world's safety, because in the case of a failure, he would die gloriously in the battle.


A Win-Win Bet… If he prevails, he would remember that battle for the rest of his life. If he fails, he would simply die gloriously. This leads to the only possibility left…


Which is it? I got really intrigued to what the answer could be.


Maybe someone else filtered us on purpose… maybe someone did wanted us to get this far… and maybe even further. Maybe there's someone looking out for us.


Our wonders about the topic ended there, we couldn't go any further. We talked about something else and went back to the group to comment them what we discovered. Hoping it to be true… we did need someone looking out for us…



© 2015 TabaD


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Added on April 16, 2014
Last Updated on January 7, 2015
Tags: War, island, surprise


Author

TabaD
TabaD

Santiago, Dominican Republic



About
My main characteristic as an individual is that I enjoy strong emotions. I like horse riding, off-road driving and gun shooting. I enjoy Metal music mainly, my favorite band is Corroded. I like writin.. more..

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