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Noob in Town

Noob in Town

A Chapter by TabaD
"

Great things come to those who wait... But even those who wait won't receive them the way they expected.

"

Noob in Town

 

There were two months left for the Kansas Selections and David, Dani, Mantra and I were training one morning. Icy was around too, but flying at his own pace and watching us train from the ground when he was not. David was on my back, strapped to the cursed training saddle that wasn’t too much of a burden by now as we flew fast over the buildings of the town of Hays, Kansas, making twists and turns in an apparently random pattern.

 

Every now and then I heard Mantra’s presence as she enthusiastically told me…

 

Good, good! Very good, Furia! Smoothly done there! Nicely done on taking those curves!! Come on and keep up with me in this sprint!

 

Mantra then sped up, getting a couple of meters away. Breathing briefly and quickly, I hurried my pace and regained the distance lost to Mantra. Dani looked back at me every now and then as my muscles burned without rest while Mantra told me…

 

Don’t let me go! Don’t you let me go!! Just a little bit more!! Keep going, keep going, keep going!! You have improved a lot, Furia!! Amazingly well done!! Let’s land and catch up some breath.

 

Then we dropped to a main street past other flying dragons and their riders and landed. Dani and David strapped off from their saddles and jumped to the ground, David saying… -Well done, Furia! You are going to go home with gold on your back!-… Icy landed a couple of seconds later and approached me as he said… That was awesome, Furia. How do you feel after that sprint?

 

My head was low and my throat was burning with my own panting when I looked at the blue dragon and said… As if I was about to spit my heart.

 

Suddenly I heard Mantra telling me…

 

And speaking of it; remember not to stop moving, Furia, it will mess your heart.

 

I rapidly rose up my head a bit, when I suddenly recalled that what Mantra had told me a few times before. Then I started walking around calmly as I flexed and stretched my tired and sore wings. A little more than fifteen minutes passed before Dani climbed to Mantra’s saddle and David climbed up to mine and said…

 

-I think you handle well enough the racing tricks and you have good endurance. It’s time we train dogfighting.

 

I am battle-hardened and your position here precedes your ability with Vital Energy. There’s nothing to train but figuring out how to communicate without Icy… I stated.

 

David heard me through his dragon and said…

 

-I have no idea right now… I say let’s see what fails and then we’ll have a starting point.

 

Well then…

 

Mantra took off and I followed her after a few moments. After a minute or so, Mantra leveled and flew straight away… I leveled as well, but didn’t follow her; I just stopped to a hover. When she was fifteen meters away, Mantra stopped to a hover too and turned around, facing me.

 

If it was Patrick, we could easily make up a way to attack, or to defend and then surprise attack but now… s**t, I have no idea what should I do… Mantra isn’t attacking nor doing anything whatsoever… I should perhaps…

 

And just like that Dani shot a smoky round projectile. I swear I saw the damn thing right in my face when it suddenly exploded in a cloud of blue smoke.

 

Oh s**t! This is it!!

 

Then I flew to the right and leaned to the left so David could attack, but he had just thrown a blue Vital Energy sphere at Dani that flew pretty far away for being aimed at our adversaries. Mantra and Dani didn’t even need to dodge or block it, so they just flew straight at us as the Rider generated another projectile. I was ready this time, having my sharp sights placed on them when Dani sent the smoky sphere at us and David generated a shield right after I went for a dive, evading the projectile. Icy could just look at us from the ground, shaking his head and thinking for himself…

 

This is like seeing a blind mute and a blind deaf trying to hold a conversation… damn.

 

I thought I was already an Ace when it came to dogfighting, but without Patrick… the truth was another one. It was the same for David, who didn’t hit Mantra or Dani a single time. We simply couldn’t communicate; none of us knew how the other would react to certain situations nor did we have the way to let the other one know of our next move. David may not have hit our adversaries, but he did hit my wings several times. While I may have not allowed Dani to hit me a single time, I as well prevented David from taking good shots.

 

Suddenly, I felt my back being pat and tilted my head a bit to the right to look at David, who pointed down with one hand. I was so relieved and so tired, I could use this interval of time to catch some breath. I dived and then tilted up hard, breaking my fall with my wings. I stroke hard a couple of times before coming to a stop and land without carrying much energy. David then quickly jumped to the ground as I slowly paced around him. He picked his cellphone from his pocket and answered…

 

-Mr. Darst, good morning......... Furia is excellent. She’s becoming a great Sports Dragon..……. Yes, she’s right next to me. I’ll put you on loudspeaker…

 

I stopped the pacing and looked at David as he tapped the screen of his phone and, holding it, stretched his right arm toward me. As I lowered my head and had the phone by my left side, I then heard the voice of Patrick’s father.

 

-Furia, do you hear me?

 

My yellow eye drifted toward David and I quickly nodded, then he said…

 

-She can hear you well, Mr. Darst.

 

-Alright… -Continued John-… Listen, Furia… Patrick has woken up.

 

 

Earlier that day

 

I began to feel consciousness… I slowly stretched my arms and legs the most I could, and got to hear a couple of pops. I yawned and rubbed my face while remembering last night’s party. Man… that was a party… Matt, you crazy f**k!   I thought as I let out a chuckle. I suddenly felt something in my throat and I found something plastic going up my nose and hair coming from my chin.

 

What the f**k?... I thought as I opened my eyes and slowly composed myself to a sit. Nothing was still, everything did turns and swings, I couldn’t focus on anything and my muscles were numb. It was like no hangover I ever had, it felt more like if I had overslept a lot of time. I pulled the plastic tube from my nose and felt the tip coming up my throat, making me gag. Then it came out and I was a little bit more awaken, I breathed deeply a couple of times and swallowed dry as I looked around and noticed this was my room in the country house, not the house in the city. What the f**k am I doing here?...

 

I then turned myself to the edge of the bed and sat, taking the sheets off me. I was wearing underwear and a sleeveless shirt; my legs seemed strangely strong and the floor was just slightly yet awkwardly further than I could remember. What’s wrong with me?... I started to gradually rush and despair and breath quicker and harder as I looked at my muscly and slightly, yet noticeably, scarred arms and rubbed my one-night-old fully grown beard.

 

In the panic, I took off my shirt and froze... When I saw my torso, I couldn’t breathe all of a sudden… No… this is not possible… this can’t be happening… This can’t be!!   Shocked, I slowly ran my hands on the multiple big and horrible scars that now adorned my body. Then I muttered, surpassing the heavy lump in my throat…

 

-My organs… my organs… someone stole my organs… I’m going to die… I’m going to die! Help!!

 

Even though I tried to scream with all my strengths, all that could come from my mouth was a whisper. I could just think… Why am I in the country house? How much time have I been out? Which organs have been stolen from me? How come I haven’t died yet? Alright, alright… think, Patrick, think… if I am not dead after whatever the time have passed, then it means I am ok… but why am I in the country house? Why am I so big and strong? This doesn’t even make sense!!   Suddenly, I heard an unknown voice right next to me saying…

 

-Many of the things you’ll now see and experience won’t make sense, keep that in mind.

 

-Who said that!?   -I exclaimed, looking around frantically. But there was nobody to be found; I was all alone in my room. And suddenly, I heard my father’s voice coming from downstairs…

 

-Patrick!?

 

A beam of joy crossed my eyes as I yelled…

 

-Dad!!

 

I heard the steps coming quickly, closer and closer until this man entered the room; finding me sitting on the edge of the bed, embracing myself. His hair was starting to turn gray and had a short beard with the same tones.

 

He began to walk towards me while saying…

 

-I can’t believe you have woken up! Furia won’t believe this!!

 

-Who the f**k are you!?

 

The man stopped his approach and lowly said…

 

-It’s me, Patrick… your father, John Darst.

 

I looked at the guy with sharp eyes and, after a couple of seconds, got to actually recognize him. It was my father, right in front of me, and I couldn’t recognize him. Then I said…

 

-I didn’t recognize you, at first… you look… older.

 

My father’s smile turned to a horror filled face as he said…

 

-How… how much older?

 

-I don’t know… like… ten years or something… Look at this scars, what happened to me? Am I going to be alright?

 

-Oh no… no…

 

Dad got closer to me and picked me up by my shoulders, bringing me to my feet right in front of him.

 

-What’s wrong?    -I asked… my voice beginning to bother me with its increased graveness.

 

-What’s the last thing you remember?

 

-I was at a party, with the guys and…

 

Dad suddenly got very altered and yelled…

 

-What do these names mean to you? Dragon Society, Francesco Silvestro, Hunters… Anything?

 

-What the f**k are you talking about? Are you on drugs!?

 

Then he let go of me, and looking straight into my eyes, he calmly said…

 

-And Furia?

 

-What’s Furia? Isn’t that Fury in Spanish? Dad, what the hell is happening? Why are we in the country house?

 

-How old are you, Patrick?

 

-You know my age, dad…

 

-Just answer me…

 

-Sixteen, aren’t you going to tell me what the hell is going on?

 

Dad sighed and put a hand on my left shoulder, then started saying…

 

-Sit down, Patrick… -I slowly let myself drop to the edge of the bed and he sat as well by my side, then continued-… Listen carefully and please remain calmed… It’s not been long since you got in a coma…

 

I suddenly pushed myself away from the bed and jumped to a stand, now facing him and yelled…- A F*****G COMA!!

 

-Patrick, calm down… -Dad said with a low tone, not even switching his position-… just calm down and sit.

 

-How long? How long have I been out?

 

-Only a year…

 

Horrified, I began to pace back and forth, muttering… -A year… an entire year.

 

Then dad continued… -but you have forgotten over ten years of events.

 

I was at a loss of breathing suddenly, looking at him with wide panicked eyes while I barely managed to say… -Ten years… ten… years… -I looked away from dad and from point to point, randomly placing my sights in my room as I continued… -All my friends… my girlfriend… They… they are gone… they won’t remember me by now…

 

My eyes began to get watery and I started to sob as I slowly collapsed against the wall and dropped to the floor. Dad stood pat my shoulder as he said…

 

-Don’t worry, Patrick… your life is actually better now, there’s more people that know your name and the things you have done have far more significance than anything ever done in history.

 

I sniffed and said, cut by sobs… -W what… are you t t talking about?

 

Dad’s calmed expression on his face sure did some effect on me as he slowly pulled me from the floor and hugged me before saying…

 

-Go wash yourself and put some clothes on. Just calm down and don’t ponder on too much things while you are at it. I’ll wait for you downstairs at the living room to tell you everything.

 

With a weak voice, I managed to say… -Alright.

 

Dad turned around and left my room while I went straight to the bathroom to refresh myself. Just that it wasn’t any refreshing at all. When I entered the bathroom, the first thing I noticed was my new self in the mirror. My reflection startled me and it felt as if I was looking at another man… another man expressing the same fear and misplacement I was feeling. It only took me a moment to compose myself and enter the bathroom, closing the door behind me.

 

I stood there for a full minute, staring at the stranger in the mirror, studying him. His hair was longer than mine, it fell to his shoulders and, combined to the full beard, gave him the appearance of a Neanderthal. But alike those primitive humanoids, this man wasn’t only strong, he was fit and athletic… he had the body of a true warrior. He had bullet scars, slashes, stabs… My mind wasn’t capable of imagining the pain this man must have endured… even less the pain he must have dealt.

 

I swallowed dry and my heart started to rush to the thought… This man… me in the mirror… he could be dangerous… I lowered my sights and slowly raised my trembling hands; staring at them with wide eyes … he could have killed people… He could be a murderer… The realization, though, wasn’t as horrid as the current of thought… as if it wasn’t that disturbing. Truth was… I had already made peace with the idea in the back of my mind. I looked back up, to the man’s eyes, took a deep breath and we said with a single voice…

 

-I am not a murderer.

 

And then we smiled, letting out a chuckle.

 

Water started pouring from the shower, creating a personal rain that filled the whole room with the melody of crashing and flowing water. Following dad’s advice, I bathed while replaying our conversation of just earlier instead of wondering away.

 

The things I’ve done? More significance than anything ever done in history? What could I have done so great… when I didn’t care about anything great myself? All I ever did was hang out with my friends… Well yeah, I was kind of popular in school, but… that doesn’t matter in the big scale…

 

I didn’t stop studying this new body of mine while I washed myself. The look of it, the very touch of it… simply every sensation felt so strange and alien… so dull and tough. Who is the true owner of this body?... I was the same as intrigued and scared about meeting that person.

 

I walked out of the shower with the towel by my waist and headed back to the sink, took dad’s razor, attached a new set of blades, spread the foam over my chin and shaved. When I was done, I switched the blades back and left dad’s razor as it was, and then I looked at the mirror. Now it wasn’t so disturbing to look at myself. The new man in front of me looked more like me; he smiled the same as I remembered my own smile… he just looked a bit older.

 

I walked out of the bathroom and dressed up with some short pants and a shirt, then headed downstairs. Along the way there were some pictures on the walls… pictures of me with the Pope, another one with another old man that seemed very important as well, and there was another picture that really caught my attention. There was I holding up a bottle of beer along with three other guys in a dark scenario. One looked a lot like my bigger brother Elvis and the other two were completely unknown to me. The whole bunch was so happy, like shouting or laughing… probably both. And behind us were four huge dragons, so big that their shoulders were slightly over our heads. They had their necks stretched up and their jaws opened, exhaling four pillars of fire at the night sky that lit up the scene.

 

I grabbed the picture and looked at it… it was… amazing… To think I forgot something like this… I thought and then muttered… -Where was this picture taken? …  Drifting my sights around I found something in the back, it looked like the porch of… here?... It was the porch of this very house and in a corner I saw some writing, it read…

 

“Beer Drinkers and Dragon Riders”

“Life Takers and World Changers”

 

Dragon Riders? World Changers? What does it even mean? Is this… no… simply no… I looked closer at the dragons… the one behind the guy at my left was like golden, the one behind me was dark red, the one behind the guy at my right was green and the one behind Elvis was gray. They looked so real, the fire coming straight from their maws… they could just be a decoration behind us… then again… Why would a decoration be so important as to title the picture like that?

 

I shook my head and resumed my way toward the living room, holding the picture by the frame and muttering… -Dad better have some answers for this.

 

Dad was sitting on the couch when I finally arrived and I dragged another one, a shorter one for a single person, across and took sit, facing him and handed him the picture as I started the conversation by asking…

 

-What does this mean?

 

Dad sighed and said…

 

-The world has changed a lot, Patrick, and in very short time too. I’ve been thinking about it while I waited for you and came to feel it isn’t my right to tell you the tale of it.

 

-What? But you said…

 

Dad rose his voice and interrupted me… -But don’t fret… -Then he lowered it to his usual calmed tone… -I’m going to tell of your awakening to the beholder of said right.

 

-And that is…?

 

-Your own dragon.

 

 

Back in Kansas

 

Patrick is awake!? You mean for real!!?

 

I quickly pushed myself straight and stood on my hind legs, roaring at the sky and waving my wings with energy and exhaling an over nine, almost ten, meters long pillar of blazing and dancing flames. David stepped back a couple of steps, fearing I might as well kill him by accident. I just couldn’t believe Patrick did wake up after all!

 

Patrick woke up!! Patrick woke up!!!! I have to go see him!! Quickly, David, unsaddle me!! I promise I’ll be back.

 

The sportsman heard me through Icy, who walked up to me and said… Those are great news!.... Then David took the phone to his ear and said…

 

-She heard you well, Mr. Darst, and will be on her way. I’m glad your son has woken up, now I’ll unsaddle Furia.

 

When David finished unsaddling me, I told him and Icy…

 

I promise I’ll be back, guys.

 

-I appreciate that, Furia… a lot. It will be an honor for me to win with you. And please send him my greetings; we got to meet up some time.

 

I will, David. See ya!!

 

And then I took off and flew away back to Texas. On the way, I began to feel excited; I couldn’t believe I was going to see Patrick again! Talk with him again, I was going to feel his touch in my mind after so long. And I was scared; I didn’t know how he would receive me after the way I parted ways with him. I left him alone when he just wanted to see me. The memory of that day coming vivid to my mind…

 

Patrick sent me with Gedeon, the responsible of poisoning his mind, to raid on none-riders. It was the only option to take if we didn’t want to be executed on the spot… one I didn’t approve at all. But I went on the raids, killed hundreds of innocents in a couple of months and came back to the cabin Patrick was being held prisoner in.

 

I was so pissed off at him. Patrick tried to greet me, he was so glad to see me after two months and all I thought was about the meaningless blood I had shed. It was his fault… It shouldn’t have been necessary to do that. There had to be other ways! I was a murderer because of him!! So I took off and left without allowing him to apologize. Patrick tried to reach me before I had gotten too far to the air, only to collapse to his knees and cry my name strongly than one would do to get a life back… But I continued flying on and on, I stopped feeling him in my mind and still continued to get further and further into the arid lands.

 

I left him alone… surrounded by enemies when I was the only thing he had to hold dear.

 

Later I was told that Gedeon had messed with my mind as well. That night, he made my anger at Patrick strong enough to leave him behind like that. It gladdened me to know that I wouldn’t leave my Rider on my own accords, and though it wasn’t my fault or decision at all, I felt so responsible for the pain I must have caused Patrick.

 

No matter how much I wanted to greet him… the first thing I was going to do was apologize to him.

 

 

In the meantime

 

Dad hung up his phone and put it back in his pocket, and then I resumed the conversation.

 

-My dragon?

 

-Humans, Patrick… -Dad started to say-… have always been bound to find a dragon egg. There are no answers for the why or how, it’s just the way it is.

 

-When did that start? I’ve always known that dragons were myths.   �"I stated.

 

-It started seven years ago when you found yours. But that’s a tale for Furia to tell you.

 

-Furia… It’s a female dragon, the dark red one behind me in the picture, right? Where is she? And how is she going to tell me the story? Can dragons talk or…

 

-Dragons have a mental link with their riders; you’ll hear her voice in your mind. And yes, it’s a she. Furia is right now in Kansas helping some sportsmen. But since she hasn’t seen you in a whole year, she’ll make a pause to everything and come here to see you.

 

-You said humans, right? So everyone has a dragon?

 

-Yes.

 

-Even you?

 

-Yes.

 

-Can I see it?

 

-Her, Patrick; and yes, you may see her. Know this for further occasions: Never refer as “it” to a dragon. You might unintentionally offend both the rider and the dragon, and that’s not a matter to take easily.

 

I swallowed dry and said… -Sorry.

 

-Don’t mind it. Now come… -Dad said as he stood up from the couch, leaving the picture on the low table of the living room.

 

I followed him on the way to the front door and we stepped outside. The morning sun lit up clearly the entire scenario. I was startled by the sight of the dragons around, they were of different color and size, some were eating something, some seemed to be chatting, walking around and looking at each other, some were flying around, doing tricks or just flying straight toward whatever location they are set to arrive at.

 

Dad chuckled as he continued walking out of the house, so calmed to the sight of all these ravenous fire exhaling flying lizards, or at least that was the idea TV had sold me, it made me look at him with wide open eyes. Then he turned around, faced me and started to say…

 

-It’s totally safe, Patrick; I know most of these dragons and their riders. I allow them to hunt and roam around; it’s good for the land and the cattle.

 

I started to slowly step outside when suddenly, a rush of wind made me cover my eyes with one hand and this huge a*s sand-colored dragon landed like five meters behind him, making me step back inside and curse.

 

-S**t…

 

I was annoyingly calmed. I thought I’d scream or something that expressed the fear I was feeling… actually… I had no more fear than what I knew about dragons made me think I’d have in the event of seeing one. My respiration wasn’t rising, my heart didn’t rush… I was oddly calmed despite the startle. It took me just a couple of seconds to step again into the porch of the house and then to the dirt, outside of the house as dad walked next to the sand-colored dragon, her shoulders like half a meter above dad’s head, her neck arched up with pride. She looked down at me for a moment with soft green eyes and lowered her head while dad introduced her to me.

 

-Her name is Sahara… -He said as he patted his dragon’s arm-… she’s glad that you woke up. Come closer, don’t be shy.

 

I walked towards dad and slowly reached his side as he continued…

 

-Furia, your dragon, helped Sahara learning to fly.

 

Remembering the picture, I frowned and said…

 

-How come? Furia in the picture isn’t as big as your dragon. How can she be older?

 

-That’s a matter of when the riders find their dragons, and since you found your dragon first, Furia hatched first and thus is older than almost any dragon alive.

 

-Wasn’t I the first one? Whose dragon is older than Furia then?

 

-That’s a story Furia will have to tell you. On the meantime, I can tell you how has it been for you until you found her egg.

 

And that we talked about, though the details were kind of blurry; I didn’t share that part of my life so well with him. In the end, my life before finding Furia was pure s**t; I had to fight off bullies constantly and the girlfriend I already had, plus a future one, both left me. At least this Furia was on her way to tell me a better story.

 

At a moment we found ourselves sitting at the porch and having a beer, which felt strange since I’ve never drank alcohol in front of dad before, but since I was now an adult, he himself went ahead and offered me one… I guess he always knew I drank with my friends. Anyways, we were there at the porch, sitting on wooden chairs and having our beers as dad was saying…

 

-Furia is a very energetic dragon, so Sahara will be waiting for her far in the direction Kansas is and will tell Furia about your situation before she can reach your mind and starts telling you how much she missed you and that sort of thing. If we let her reach your mind so hyped, she might as well overwhelm your consciousness and drive you crazy or something. Now, when you talk to her, don’t hold back, just ask whatever comes to your mind and tell her whatever she asks you. If there is one being in this world that will not be either bothered or bored by whatever you have to say, that’s your dragon. Plus, just hearing you talking to her after so long will lift her spirits immeasurably. So please do that: be as open and friendly as possible. Probably, even knowing you don’t remember a thing about her, that’ll help her with the new load.

 

I had a chug of beer from my bottle and said…

 

-She really cares about me, doesn’t she?

 

Dad didn’t even look at me, he just stared at the distance when he said…

 

-I’ll just tell you this… I’ve only shared a stronger bond with your mother.

 

I didn’t say a thing, just chugged again on my beer as I, as well, looked into the distance. I guess that’s my father for you… always pushing aside any affection for other men…yes, including his own sons. Though he made a pretty good point at showing how deep the relationship is between Dragon and Rider. Probably I got all these scars defending Furia… fighting along her side.

 

Dad then started saying…

 

-You’ll feel a weird tickle in the back of your mind when Furia is near here. Your bond with her is the strongest there is among the riders and dragons alive, so she’ll be pretty far anyway when you feel her. Just get ready to meet her when you feel in your head something you’ve never felt before.

 

The while passed and then I started to feel my heart shrinking, a sensation of emptiness and a sharp depression powered by guilt and impotence. I couldn’t breathe well for a moment and felt my eyes water up as I hit the chair’s armrest with a fist and muttered with a broken voice…

 

-S**t… I… this is not well… everything is wrong! I can’t… I can’t even think clearly!

 

Dad then said…

 

-That’s not your sorrow, Patrick, take it easy. It’s Furia’s. Sahara must have told her about your lack of memories.

 

So bad she feels for me!!!?... It was incredible to literarily understand how hard it felt the loss of my person for someone else. And it felt so wrong… I didn’t deserve that level of affection; I haven’t done anything for anyone to earn that. What kind of person could I have become in ten years?

 

There wasn’t enough time for me to ask myself something else when suddenly Sahara landed in front of the house along with a not-so-much, yet noticeably, smaller crimson dragon. No doubt she was Furia and that she was my dragon. She had a large scar on the left side of her ribcage, right behind her shoulder, and what seemed like the end of a slice wound that came from her belly by her left side.

 

Furia… She’s so scarred… just like me… I thought, putting my bottle of beer on the floor and standing up.

 

Sahara sat on the ground as Furia approached the house slowly. The dark red dragon looked straight at me with shiny yellow eyes and lowered her head as I walked out of the porch. Furia was just three meters away from me and stayed there, just looking at me. Her sadness was still vivid in my consciousness, but I managed to feel some excitement toward all the questions that would finally be answered. Still, it wasn’t enough to surpass the fear-flavored-respect I felt for this dragon who cared for me to the top of her being. I remained silent, waiting for Furia to make the first move. It was half a minute later that so much joy had suddenly began to born in my heart. I even shed a tear because of the strength of Furia’s new emotion. Then I heard in my mind the most beautiful and sweetest of voices I’ve ever heard in my entire life…

 

 

On the other side

 

After a while, I was just a few miles away from Lubbock, Texas, Patrick’s and mine hometown, when I saw a sand-colored dragon on the ground I certainly knew. The dragon roared and took off towards where I was. It indeed was Sahara, she then intercepted me and flew by my side as I slowed my pace and greeted her…

 

Sahara! Did you hear the news? Patrick woke up! Patrick woke up!!

 

I know, and I have something to tell you about Patrick before you see him. We have to land and talk it through calmly.

 

I grunted and protested… Do we really need to land? You have already slowed my pace, so let’s talk in the air.

 

Sahara hissed and gave me a sharp glance as she said… This is no joke, Furia! And I mean it; land now. It’s no easy information what I’m about to tell you.

 

Fine… I growled and finished letting out a puff of black smoke through my nostrils.

 

After a long dive, I landed and was so disgusted to the very feeling of dirt under my claws and talons; it reminded me constantly of the lack of movement towards my goal. A moment later Sahara landed in front of me, the rush of wind and dust forcing me to close my eyes a bit and turn my head as I told her…


Alright, we are on the ground. What can possibly be more important than seeing my Rider, who has just woken up from a whole year long coma?

 

Patrick didn’t wake up the way he should have, Furia.

 

My eyes snapped wide open and I arched back my neck as if the words had hit my face physically. What?... I barely managed to make myself be heard and then lunged toward Sahara, straight like an arrow and when I was right in front of her, I looked up to her eyes and asked…

 

What do you mean by that? What is wrong with Patrick?

 

Sahara turned and located herself next to me, to then embrace me with a wing.

 

He… I’m… I’m sorry, Furia… Patrick forgot over ten years of his life.

 

I pushed myself away from Sahara. She tried for a moment to hold me, but in the end I broke away free. I never stopped looking straight at her eyes, shaking my head as I stepped backwards, getting away from her.

 

Furia, listen…

 

No… You are lying. You are lying, Sahara!

 

I’m not, Furia…

 

Yes, you are!... I sharpened my sight and showed her my fangs… I didn’t wait for a f*****g whole year for Patrick to wake up and then when he finally does; it happens that he doesn’t even know who I am!! Then I let out a loud and long roar towards the sky… to end facing the ground with eyes forced shut; my fangs still visible as I made of myself enough presence to mutter… not ten years… not so long… he’s just a kid! NO!! Suddenly I opened my wings and quickly turned to the direction I was coming from.

 

Sahara roared and made me hesitate as she approached me and said…

 

Hold on, Furia! What are you doing? Aren’t you going to see Patrick?

 

Not like this, Sahara. Not when that Patrick isn’t even my Rider. I don’t want to remember Patrick in any other way than how I remember him now!

 

Sahara kept slowly approaching me as she said…

 

I have no idea how all this must hurt you, Furia. But it’ll certainly hurt you worse to forsake Patrick… again.

 

My heart skipped a bit just then… I couldn’t breathe properly as I re-lived that day once again…

 

[Furia… I am sorry, but... I had to do it... if...

 

I interrupted Patrick with a fierce gaze and a strong growl as I yelled at him, powered with all the hate in my heart…

 

No, you hadn’t! I told you what he was up to, and you didn’t listen to me; you just handed me over to that b*****d… like I was some kind of… pet! This is the last time I have to obey you, Patrick… good luck.]

 

My wings dropped… not folded, they just slowly fell and lay on the ground like leathery carpets. My hind legs collapsed and I was sit as my determined will broke and my sights just fell to the ground with the last of my strength. I couldn’t help but hum gravely and dug my claws on the ground.

 

I didn’t want to forsake him, Sahara… I was mad at him, but… not to that point…

 

I felt a touch on the right side of my head… It was Sahara, gently brushing her side of her head against me. I didn’t acknowledge her… just continued saying humming and howling lowly…

 

I was forced! I didn’t want to abandon Patrick! I wouldn’t abandon Patrick!

 

I remembered when I was in the cave after I left Patrick in the cabin… All I had was my bright yellow collar, which matched with Patrick’s bracelet as means to evidence he was my Rider and I was his Dragon. A policy applied back when the issue with the stolen and sold dragons that was vivid, so it would be easier to notice if a rider got its dragon in an illegitimate way. All I had was my collar and despite all the hate I felt for Patrick at that time, I didn’t break it.

 

Thinking on my collar, that I still wore, I continued saying…

 

Now I’ll never be able to talk to him again… I’ll never apologize to my Rider for failing him.

 

Sahara then spoke, with a reassuring tone…

 

Patrick had already forgiven you, Furia. You don’t need to apologize to him. And if not leaving this younger and far more innocent Patrick alone and in the dark in this new world he has no idea of how to survive in doesn’t make it up enough… then nothing will.

 

I took a deep breath and stopped the howling, then slowly raised my head. Sahara stepped away and her touch faded. I found myself looking up to her caring eyes staring down on mine. Then I said…

 

I wouldn’t know how to greet him… I don’t even know him, Sahara.

 

Let him make the first move then.

 

We got to the air after that… defeating stop. At a moment I felt Patrick in my mind, which wasn’t any heartening at all. A constant reminder of all the things I wanted to tell him that are going to remain buried within myself for the rest of my life.

 

Then Sahara and I landed in front of the house and there were Patrick and… Patrick was there… He stood up from his chair and walked out of the porch as I slowly approached him.

 

Furia… He thought.

 

The scene was so bittersweet… on one claw; this wasn’t the Patrick I grew up with, my Rider. This Patrick was so innocent of so many things my Patrick mentored me of. This Patrick didn’t share with me the countless adventures I and my Patrick had gone through. This Patrick didn’t share with me the same feelings I had for my Patrick… the importance and everlasting meaning of his presence. Yet he was there… standing up, not hooked up to medical machinery to keep him alive. He was there, conscious, speaking to me, touching my mind, feeling a combination of fear and respect and even fascination towards me. I began to feel so much joy despite of the big scale situation… I mean, he’s my Rider! And he woke up!! Wasn’t that the impossible part!? Patrick was right there in front of me and letting a tear drop from his right eye!!

 

I couldn’t hold myself anymore.

 

Patrick… I… Patrick, I missed you so much!!!

 

And I rushed the last steps between me and Patrick and pressed the tip of my mouth against his chest, pushing him a couple of steps back. I couldn’t contain myself from humming gravely and closing my eyes, sheltering myself in Patrick’s touch… both physical and mental.

 

Patrick didn’t get startled… he just stayed there embracing my muzzle, frozen and clueless of what to do next while I continued telling him…

 

I’m sorry, Pat… I’m so sorry… I’ll never abandon you again, no matter whose influence is in my head, I’ll never forsake you again!

 

Then he said, surpassing a strong lump in his throat…

 

-Wh, w… what happened to me?... and… to the world… Who was I that you love me so much?

 

Talk with your mind, please…

 

-Uhm… Like this?

 

Yeah. I missed hearing you so much… It was long since the last time I heard your voice.

 

I… ok, then.

 

I opened my eyes and saw Patrick was red on the cheeks. No wonder… hearing my voice in his head saying all these intimate things while having no clue of what is going on; I would as well feel hot on the face if we switched places.

 

I arched up my neck and looked down at Patrick, then told him…

 

Sorry… I guess I made you feel a little uncomfortable there. So… we know our names so, want to walk and talk? Hope on my back.

 

Patrick quickly looked at John, who was still on the porch. Patrick’s old man didn’t do other than raising his beer and yelling from his chair…

 

-You’ll never be in a better company, Patrick!

 

Patrick then swallowed dry and looked back at me while he said…

 

-Uhm… right… using the mind… alright, let’s go.

 

I lowered myself and helped Patrick climb to my back, right at the base of my neck. Having Patrick taken seat, I walked away as I said…

 

So you really want to hear the story behind yours and mine scars, eh?

 

Yeah.

 

Well get ready then. It’ll be a bumpy and long ride!

 

I had gotten my Rider back. For once it wasn’t going to be dark anymore. It had finally ended. I wasn’t alone anymore. If Patrick had woken up, which was the impossible part; he’ll sure remember everything at some point. My Rider was surely there, inside this shell… I had to get him out. This was a new adventure by itself, one that I wouldn’t give up onto.

 

And that’s how I began to blow Patrick’s mind with a story of friendship, war, pain and death… to end up with the greatest act of friendship and love that finished the war between “The Government” and The Dragon Society. At that point I let Patrick talk about himself; he went to a lot of parties and had a lot of friends. We also went back to the house and he got some food to then go walk around again. He didn’t know about hunting back then, outside of what he had seen on TV, so I warned him about what he was about to see. From the ground he saw how I killed my game and managed to feel his goosebumps from then on as I ripped off and swallowed entire parts of the cow I had killed while he ate his sandwich like five meters away from me.

 

It was so strange to see, to feel, Patrick’s innocence at the age and phase of his life he was stuck in. If he had found me at that time, I don’t think we would have made it to survive a day after the Hunters discovered us. To think of it… It must have been a deep hit to be changed from school and end up constantly fighting bullies off and dulling his heart; which was exactly what turned him to the Patrick I grew with.

 

Truth be told, then… Strength doesn’t come from happy times. It comes from pain and getting up from it.

 

Then I told Patrick about his future self, a more interesting Patrick… dragon races to college, we trained Elvis and Pyro at night, we roamed around by the nearby estates as if they were next street… his world was a lot bigger. And on to the second part of his story… the stolen and sold dragons issue in Miami, the Russian, Gedeon Domashevich, who poisoned Patrick’s mind, and the outcome of our try to neutralize it.

 

In the meantime, John called Francesco Silvestro to tell him about Patrick. They then arranged how to deal with the media. It was easy, the story was that Patrick just woke up from the coma and that he would retire to live out of his well-deserved pension from his services both to the world itself and the L&SDO against the complot that got him to the coma in the first place. Patrick was now able to pick any path he would desire without being bothered by the media or any kind of duty… or just do nothing at all. The point was that no one, outside of his family and close friends, had to know he forgot everything.

 

Later in the day I convinced Patrick to saddle me by following my instructions. When we took off he was just amazed by this new experience; which meant he hasn’t had the horse riding accident that got the Patrick I knew so afraid of riding something. That moment my Patrick rode me for the first time was so meaningful for both of us because of that; though Patrick was awfully afraid, he decided to go on with me to have a great time. On the other claw, this Patrick was just having fun and stuff. The more I got to know this new Patrick, the more unrelated I got to feel. Still, my Patrick was sure to be somewhere in there; I just had to get him out somehow. I mean… Patrick woke up after all, didn’t he? Wasn’t that the impossible part?

 

I told Patrick about his friends, Alan and Oliver Barton, Alena Stanford and their dragons, a bright yellow one called Helios, a grass-green one called Tyranis and a soft gray one called Sanjay, respectively. Oliver and Alan stayed at Miami, working as Bounty Hunters and Freelancers while I saved Alena’s present days for Elvis to tell him, also his. Surely John had already put him up to date.

 

At early evening we headed back to the house and…

 

Hey, Patrick, but isn’t it your brother down there.

 

You hadn’t told me about Elvis or Alena Stanford. What of them these days?

 

Elvis will tell you better than I.

 

Pyro and Elvis were waiting for us in front of the house. Pyro, a dark gray dragon, stood up from the ground as I landed and Elvis walked out of the house. The rider wore his D.D.I. uniform, which consisted of black military boots, cargo pants and a shirt. He had a pistol holster to his waist that carried several pistol magazines and a bulletproof vest that carried several bigger, curved magazines for the assault rifle that hung from Pyro’s black saddle. It looked like some kind of harness onto which the rider sat; with unused clips that were meant to attach armor to the dragon. Each of them showing evidence of their deeds in battle; Elvis missed the ring and pinkie fingers of his right hand and Pyro had collars of bite marks on the sides of his neck.

 

-Can’t f*****g believe it… you really woke up, little brother!

 

Elvis said as Patrick jumped down from my back.

 

-Elvis?

 

The D.D.I. agent made no acknowledgment of Patrick’s word and hugged his little brother tightly for a couple of seconds and then he tore the hug apart, but still holding Patrick by the shoulders as he said… -You are finally up… I got to think you wouldn’t at this point, but you did wake up. Probably you get your memories back as well with time.

 

-At least a part of me did. Now, what’s all this? Are you some kind of military? Furia told me you helped with the stolen and sold dragons deal, but… Man, you mean serious business now!

 

-Furia didn’t tell you what I do?... �"Said Elvis, looking up to my eyes.

 

Then I answered him through Pyro…

 

You would tell Patrick about that better than I would.

 

-Well… -Started saying Elvis, lowering his sight back to Patrick-… Let’s get ourselves some beer and seat at the porch.

 

That they did and Elvis continued saying…

 

-The world has gotten only weirder and weirder since you brought dragons back to existence. The deal with the stolen and sold dragons was over, pretty much everyone had become a Rider and the world needed a new way to keep things from getting out of hand. That’s what the D.D.I. is, The Dragon Division of Investigation, we protect the world from itself. Francesco Silvestro gave up his position, retired, and gave total authority to the heads of each branch in each country all over the world. Furia told you about Alena Stanford, right?

 

-Former Guardian, then L&SDO Agent, yes.

 

-She is now the Commander in Chief of Texas’s D.D.I. while I’m a Unit Commander. Mine’s Delta Unit, the best there is. When we are called, the world might be ending.

 

Elvis finished with a chuckle and drank from his bottle of beer.

 

-Why do you need firearms?

 

-What?

 

-The rifle and the pistol, why do you need them? Furia told me about this “Vital Energy” that allowed any rider to generate a weapon. If you are so strong, wouldn’t it be better to take on the enemy in close combat?

 

-The rider capable of generating a shield before being hit by a speeding bullet hasn’t been born yet, that is one important advantage to take in mind. And yes, many times the combat is decided by the stronger Vital Energy wielder, but one has to get the enemy into close quarter combat first to have that advantage, that is if you are a stronger Vital Energy wielder… without mentioning that they will be firing at you in order to keep you away. What do you say if I train you with Vital Energy?

 

-That sounds great!

 

-Well, you got yourself a deal little bro. I’ll come every day at this hour and train you… -Elvis made a pause of a couple of seconds and then continued-… The irony… it was you who trained me back then. Probably some action brings your memories back… Either way, I’ll do my best to turn you into the finest Vital Energy wielder to ever walk this earth!

 

They continued talking for a while before Elvis and Pyro took off and went home. Elvis called Alan and Oliver the next day and organized a meeting to get the whole group together again. It was scheduled for next week, so Alan and Oliver would have time to make it to Texas. On the meanwhile, Patrick and I got along pretty well as we traveled the states around Texas and talked and flew. Elvis came home and trained Patrick with Vital Energy at nights. It was like starting from scratch with a new Rider.

 

Suddenly the day of the meeting arrived. Patrick and I were at the highest spot one late afternoon just resting and talking. I was lying on the ground while Patrick lay on my back… just like the old times… when I suddenly heard a couple of roars. The second one a little higher pitched than the first one, coming from surely a female dragon.

 

I arched my neck back and turned behind and above me to see these two dragons approaching for landing. They were Helios and Tyranis, and on their backs were Alan and Oliver, respectively, as their wings sent rushing currents of wind toward Patrick and me when they slowed down and touched land. The yellow and the green dragons approached us as I stood up while Patrick and their riders jumped to the ground. He stayed a little behind, next to my hind legs as he told me… I’ll… I’ll let you introduce them to me, ok? I looked behind and nodded before greeting my friends.

 

Say, Furia, I’m so glad Patrick woke up! The gang is whole once again!!... Said Tyranis, beating her wings and letting out a short and cheerful roar as she approached and hugged me, embracing my neck with hers and turning her head behind me… I answered the same way as I told them both…

 

Tyranis, Helios! It’s been so long, guys!

 

It was about time, wasn’t it? For Patrick to wake up, for us to hang out once again, huh?... How’s Patrick taking everything?...  Said Helios as I greeted him in the same manner as I did Tyranis.

 

He’s taking it well; getting a little nervous when people recognizes him and greet him or yell “Hey, Double Scarred Rider!!”. Then I took a step away from Patrick and turned a bit toward him to introduce him his unknown friends. It is not much of a custom for riders to greet dragons directly and vice versa if not to ask where the dragon is or where the rider is, depending on the situation and without mentioning special cases.

 

These are our best friends, Patrick; Helios, Tyranis and their Riders, Alan and Oliver Barton. Later you’ll meet Alena Stanford, Texas D.D.I.’s actual Commander in Chief.

 

Then Alan and Oliver Barton approached Patrick and greeted him with handshakes.

 

-It’s good to have you back, Patrick… -Said Alan-…

 

-I knew you’d come around, bro! I’m sure you’ll recover your memories as well!

 

And then we all walked our way to the house while talking and catching up with the whole group…

 

-We are the most famous Bounty Hunters of Miami!... �"Oliver said-… Only once have we lost a target to another hunter. The b******s knew the target personally and betrayed it! D****t, the bounty was so f*****g high, no wonder!!

 

-That sounds like a dangerous occupation… -Patrick commented.

 

-And it’s awesome!

 

-Yet our main income comes from our other jobs… -Alan took the word-… We run a small security and investigation agency where our contracts vary from body guards and escorts to private investigators.

 

-And we do it not only in Miami!... �"Intervened Oliver-… but all around Florida as well!

 

In the meantime I spoke with Tyranis and Helios…

 

I’ve heard you are helping the Kansan racers with their selections… Helios told me… How is it like being a racer?

 

-It’s pretty much like being a warrior; training is constant, you have to always push yourself further, many things can go wrong… the only difference is that if you do something wrong, you can try it again after a bit of rest.

 

And are you going for the gold?... Snapped Tyranis.

 

I hope so… I answered.

 

Why do you say that?... Helios said as he turned his face towards me a little.

 

At what I answered…

 

There are these pyromaniacs that can exhale fire at like twelve meters or around that and can hold them for over four seconds, I think. And I will forfeit the dragon wrestling competition.

 

What? Why?... Snapped Tyranis.

 

Well, Tyranis… I answered her… Dragons aren’t exactly supposed to kill one another in a sports event.

 

That’s what fangs and claws are for, aren’t they?... Countered Tyranis.

 

That’s why I didn’t dull mine, and thus I’ll have to forfeit in the wrestling competition and train myself in all other events to win as many as possible.

 

We were in front of the house at night’s birth, when Elvis and Alena arrived on their dragons’ backs, Pyro and Sanjay, respectively. The dragons landed and came into the lights of the house’s porch as their riders jumped to the ground. Elvis wore his combat gear to its full extent and Pyro his specialized saddle. On the other claw, Sanjay wore an elegant leather saddle that matched his rider’s leather jacket, white shirt, gray cargo pants and black boots. The only thing different about Alena since I last saw her was that she was missing her aviator shades.

 

Elvis put all his gear inside the house and then he and the rest of the riders set up the grill and cooked up some meat while us, the dragons took off and hunted our dinner.

 

After a while we were back together again in the front of the house; the riders having a beer and conversing while the dragons lay around at random, having our own chat. Alena left later in the night while Elvis, Alan and Oliver stayed over for the night. They would leave next morning and I would too to continue training with David and Icy. But I would come around every week for a little while, and Patrick would too pay a visit and watch me train.

 

I thought I was an Ace regarding to aerial combat, but I sure was wrong; now that I didn’t have Patrick as my gunman, and gone with him his vision to cover my blind spots. David too faced many difficulties; he couldn’t count on his dragon’s instant evasion maneuvers at the moment he saw a threat he couldn’t shield off and he also had to learn to time his attacks with my wings… always… so no matter the situation, not even if I made a dodge right at the second he would attack, he doesn’t end up hitting my wings.

 

During the next and last six weeks before the Kansas Selections, that’s what we did, bending our combat abilities into this new and strange setting.



© 2016 TabaD


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Added on January 31, 2016
Last Updated on January 31, 2016
Tags: racing, sports, training, history, truth, friendship, new world, unknown


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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