Reign Of Fire Fanfiction: Reign of the Dragons: Original Story - 2. Chapter 2
Amenable small talk had caused the time to fly by, and I had to say I was glad it was Liz who I was with. I was forced to reconsider my earlier opinion of her; she just seemed lost and confused to live out in hiding instead of spoiled and snobbish. She was generally a shy, quiet person, but when she was taken out of her shell, she could talk my ear off.
As we crested the side of the hill, I heard a whistle and lifted my head slightly to try to see the sun. Strangely, nearly the whole day had passed and I hadn’t seemed to notice. This new girl had been enlightening, and she was interested in dragons as a rule. That in itself had caused the day to fly by, as well as her accounts of living in a house.
Liz stopped and looked up, her instinct telling her the whistle meant a dragon, but I lightly grabbed her arm and pulled her forward.
“Come on. Julie’s going to give us the rundown since you’re new here.”
“Rundown?” Liz echoed.
“Rules,” I amended as we entered the gathering circle around Julie. As soon as we had gathered she began her prepared speech.
“Now, let’s go over the ground rules, since we have a new person in our group. Number one: Travel in pairs. Number two: don’t make any unnecessary actions such as starting a fireplace in a pizza parlor.” Hernando tactically looked away to the sky as Julie’s death glare landed on him. That had been the fiasco at the last city, and Julie was still sore over his lack of judgment. “Number three: Eat indoors. The dragons have acute smell. They’re bound to find us if we parade our presence. Number four: If you’re going to shower, buy stuff that isn’t scented.” Liz stiffened, no doubt used to the stuff. “Again, look to rule number three for why we can’t. Number five: No loud noises such as explosions of any type.” This time, it was my turn to look away as Hernando snickered beside me. That had been some time ago, and it wasn’t my fault that the elements had reacted so violently.
“Did all of you really do this stuff?” Liz asked quietly. Both Hernando and I nodded, mischievous smiles appearing on both of our faces.
“Now, split up. We’ll meet back here at seven. Don’t be late.” With that, everyone broke into their little groups. Hernando and Julie went together and Liz and I paired up.
“Now we’re going to the weapons shop first,” I said, walking away from the departing group. Liz ran to my side, expectantly looking up at me. “We’ll get you a handgun and some ammo, then we’ll get the rest of our things. Now, I’ll have to explain some procedure for you. It’ll get boring, but pay close attention. This is your life at stake. A dragon attack is inevitable with anyone you travel with. Now, as far as dragons go, they hunt in packs.”
“Kinda. They’ll judge us before they attack and go for the strongest out of the group, which would probably be Julie or Hernando.”
“But what about you?”
“Do I look particularly vicious?” Liz laughed and shook her head. “Exactly. I get to slide by on not being gunned for first. After the dragons take out the lead people, they’ll look at the rest of the group. Some may be captured but the rest will be killed.”
“They could be potential threats. Now, explaining that, what you need to understand is that if you see a dragon flying overhead, it probably hasn’t noticed you. Don’t scream or panic, just find a place to hide. Remember, one dragon never travels alone unless it’s in exile. But never expect a dragon to be alone. I can’t stress that enough. The dragon you saw was probably playing decoy to lure humans out of hiding.”
“They’ll do that?” she gasped in surprise. I nodded my head.
“They’re highly intelligent.” I spotted the weapons shop close to us and went inside, Liz following close behind. I leapt over the counter and scanned underneath to find the security wire. I traced it back to the source as Liz watched in a sort of morbid fascination. I reached into the pouch at my side and pulled a few tools out and began working. Once I was done, the security alarm was reprogrammed to work, but not go off.
“Why is the light still on?” Liz asked as I stood up, shoving the tools into my army pouch again. I had picked it up a few towns ago and the thing was pretty handy, although I didn’t carry any grenades with me…yet.
“Because I found out the hard way that places are monitored from a distance,” I said, breaking the glass over some of the guns. “My guess is that the dragons put some of the captured humans on computers to watch and see if any alarms or any electrical change is made in towns. Which reminds me, don’t turn on any lights anywhere. Use a flashlight.”
“But why would they would they care about electrical changes?”
“Because it means humans are around.” She stiffened as she realized that fact.
“They really are smart, aren’t they?” I nodded once before motioning her over to the case.
“Pick one. These are basic stuff. They’re not automatic or anything, but you have to cock it to initially fire.” She blankly stared at me. “You have no idea what I just said, do you?” As she shook her head, I sighed. Green as grass, I tell you. “Choose one first.” She looked through and chose a beautiful silver gun with an inlaid ivory handle. The ivory was adorned with roses, which I guess suited Liz. “Now for a quick gun lesson. Come into the back. They should have a shooting range there.” I led the girl to the back, grabbing a climber’s light from my backpack. You know those lights attached to a headband? Yeah. Those things enabled me to free up my hands, although I looked a whole new class of dork in the process.
“Now what?” I took the gun from her and was surprised to find it fully loaded. Now if that didn’t violate the gun laws…
“Here.” I gave the gun back to her. “Now, this thing on the side here is called the safety. The gun won’t fire with the safety on, like it is now. Regardless, don’t pretend to shoot people with it on, either. The safety has been known to fail before.” I clicked the safety off. “Now hold the gun in your right hand and hold it shoulder high.” I stood behind her and propped her so I could help support the gun’s recoil. “Put your left hand over your right,” I said, and Liz complied. “Now hold the gun steady. Line up the bar on the end of the gun with the two bars in front. That means you’ll shoot straight. Now fire.” Liz took aim at the target and fired a few seconds later.
“Wow,” she breathed as she saw where her shot went.
“Not bad,” I complimented. It was about six inches off of the center, but it was pretty good for her first try. “We don’t have much more time here, but I promise I’ll work with you later. Come on, I need to get a few weapons myself.” I lead her out of the room and put away my light. The light coming in from outside illuminated the store, but it was fading. “Now let’s see…” I trailed off as I grabbed a few silencers for my guns and spotted a gun near the front of the store. “Ooooh. I like it.” I grabbed the camouflaged shotgun as well as all the ammo the store carried for that gun. I dropped the pack off of my back and stuffed my new found treasure into the top and I strapped the shotgun to the side of the pack. “Now come on,” I said, looking outside. “We need to-” My eyes widened as I grabbed Liz and ran into the target room once more. A dragon! Here! Shit, I hoped that the rest of the group had spotted it, because I sure as hell couldn’t raise an alarm without giving my own position away. Dammit! Why now?
“Shut up!” I snapped as I drew some weapons from my pouch. Liz, spotting the action, immediately went quiet as she saw my whole demeanor change. Instead of the outgoing weird girl she had come to know, she now looked at what she perceived to be a soldier, ready for battle. “Now,” I whispered under my breath. “You wait here and you say nothing and touch nothing. The dragon may start ripping off the roof, but you won’t say anything or do anything but hide. Now, take this small light and find a place to hide, but once you do, you turn that light off. Do you understand?” Liz nodded once, not really offended of my curt tone.
“You better come back for me.”
“This may take a few hours. Be prepared to wait.” I moved out of the room, leaving the now shivering girl alone. I heard her scramble for a hiding spot and I wished her luck. This was her first dragon encounter, but she would not fight this time. I rummaged through my pack and pulled out a case, which held my precious sniper rifle. I looked through the door, knowing I was mostly hidden inside, as I efficiently began to assemble the weapon. As soon as I did so, I threw the case back in the bag and twirled the thing around. My trusty battle rifle was strapped on the back and I peeled it off. I left my trusty pack there, knowing Liz would find it later, and slung the sniper rifle over my shoulder. Lifting my battle rifle to the ready position, I made my move.
I cautiously looked out of the windows for any sign of the dragon earlier. Seeing none, I slipped outside the door and into an alley beside of the shop. I heard nothing but the beating of wings, which meant that the dragon wasn’t calling for its pack yet. That meant that no one had been discovered yet, which was a plus. I kept close to the wall as I made my way toward the dragon, which I heard land not too far away. As I knelt into a crouching position, I held up my battle rifle, ready to fire at a moment’s notice. I slipped around a corner and to the end of the alleyway.
There, in the middle of the street, stood a magnificent dragon stretching his wings, probably from a long flight. He didn’t seem threatening in any manner, which meant that he didn’t sense my presence. I kept my weapon trained on him, but scanned the area around me, looking for Julie or Hernando. Trying to find Hernando was a long shot, because that boy was trained to hide. However, I spotted Julie ironically on the alleyway beside of me and she gave a smirk, also laughing inwardly. We definitely think too alike.
She pointed to her eyes and held up one finger, signaling that she only saw one dragon. I repeated the action and she nodded once. We then pulled back into the alley a bit as the dragon lifted its head into the air. He made a roaring sound and shook his head from side to side, as if trying to wake up from his flight. A few minutes after the roar, we heard more dragon wings and Julie and I’s eyes widened. This was a dragon group. With only the knowledge where the two of us were, we couldn’t hope to launch a coordinated assault. We were just screwed. The dragons could easily overpower us and if we engaged, we’d put the rest of our group at risk.
As we pulled back into the alley, we heard screaming and immediately stopped. I silently rushed back to the entrance to the alley and peeked around the corner. I spotted a horrible sight. A dragon carried Alan, another one of our group, in his claws. The dragon dropped Alan onto the ground unceremoniously and Alan sat up, although shakily. The dragon from before sniffed the man once and butted him a bit. Alan stiffened, trying not to scream at the dragon so close to his face. At least the man had common sense. The dragon lifted his head again and looked around, making me lean back to cover myself.
“Come out humans,” it said in a guttural voice that I almost couldn’t understand. It made it all the creepier. “I have your friend and I smell his scent on you.” Shit. Julie tightly gripped her gun and burst out of the alley before I could do anything. I glared at her, but she ignored me, focusing wholly on the dragon. “A woman?” The creature uttered a barking sound, which I equated to a laugh. “You expect a woman to save you?” he asked Alan.
“P..p..please, help me!” he cried. Julie kept her face neutral and I ran back into the alley, going in a small side door I spotted.
“What do you want, dragon?” I heard her ask. I made my way through the small home and into a living room, where I spotted a window. I went into my army pouch again and pulled out a small glass cutter, which I only used for my sniper rifle. I cut the glass quickly, trying to protect my sister.
“I want food, human. I also wanted a fight, but this isn’t going to do.” His lips pulled back, baring his sharp teeth. The dragon beside of Alan leaned his head down toward my friend and I finished with the glass, quickly placing it beside of me and swung my sniper rifle to my hands. Of course, this never really the best thing to do without my spotter, but he was in the dragon’s hands. I took aim at the dragon, which was eyeing Alan like no tomorrow, and waited for my sister’s subtle command.
“We don’t want to fight you. If you give us him, we’ll leave, no questions asked.”
“Are you threatening me?”
“Do you need to ask such an obvious question?” I inwardly groaned. Julie wasn’t one for diplomacy. The dragon growled at her.
“You pathetic human!”
“Meh. So much for cooperation.” The speaking dragon hissed and the dragon I had my sights on lumbered toward Julie. I aimed and quickly fired off my first round, which thankfully hit the dragon’s eye. The dragon fell over into a heap on the ground and the speaking dragon roared in anger. I aimed for the next dragon as I heard a shot from a few buildings away. That had to be Hernando. I noticed that the shot was at least across the street and I quickly amended and aimed at the dragon I thought would be outside Hernando’s vision. He went down, the bullet instantly killing him. I shouldered my sniper rifle and grabbed my battle rifle once more. Hernando would take care of the last two. I ran outside, hearing one shot from the sniper rifle, and peeked out from the corner.
The dragon held Alan in its mouth, the teeth already penetrating the skin, as the dragon lightly held him in its mouth. It was definitely a smart move, albeit a dick move, but it did save him from being shot immediately.
“Shoot me, human!” it said to Julie. “And as I fall, my jaws will crush this pathetic weakling.” Alan screamed as the dragon’s teeth moved up and down from talking, penetrating farther into his flesh.
“Fine. We’ll let you go if you let the man go. I give you my word.”
“Hah! The word of a human means nothing to me!” It spotted me near the entrance to the alley and narrowed its eyes at me. “You! I smell the guns on you. You killed my comrades.”
“Yeah, well, your comrades were gonna eat mine.” Okay, so now wasn’t the time to be sarcastic. Julie was too much of an influence on me, yet there was no real way to talk ourselves out of this situation.
“I require you for payment.” By this time, blood was dripping from the dragon’s mouth and that alone made me immediately accept. “All right.” Alan had been the man who had taught me the rest of forest lore. How to survive, adapt, and hide from the dragons who had killed my family. I would admit, he was my surrogate father and I would rather give my life than have him die for me.
“No!” Julie cried. “Where she goes, I go.” The dragon looked at the two of us carefully, probably debating on whether he wanted another human or not.
“You two have potential to be useful to me,” it said. “Fine.” It lumbered over to us and I got splashed with Alan’s blood, making me shiver in fear and revulsion. It leaned on its hind legs and grabbed Julie and I in opposite talons.
“What about Alan? You promised dragon!” Julie said confidently even as I winced at the dragon’s grip. The dragon growled at her and she kept silent, ready to go into action. The dragon beat its wings a few times, lifting itself into the air. As it flew away from that street, it landed on a nearby roof and dropped Alan from its jaws. I nearly burst into laughter despite the situation, seeing as the roof he was deposited on was none other than the weapons shop itself.
“Alan!” I cried in Spanish, courtesy of Hernando. “Liz is below you! Get her out! Yell and Hernando will come for you!” The dragon gripped me tighter and I shut up as it launched into the air once again. My stomach plummeted as I spotted the height at which we were flying and I quickly closed my eyes and willed myself not to die in fear. Julie, who knew better than to yell out if I was okay, simply watched me, unable to help.
It was much later that the dragon began his descent to the ground below, making my stomach leap to my throat. As I thanked my parents for letting me on roller coasters, I calmed myself the best I could and pretended that it was an amusement ride. Unfortunately, my brain wasn’t that stupid but it managed to help keep my lunch down from the experience of ‘drops’. The dragon leaned back and flapped his wings as he landed on his back feet. He let go of us and we fell unceremoniously to the ground.
I hesitated to stand, still unsure of whether I was going to be sick or not, and Julie stood instead. She looked around and finally her gaze landed on me. The unsaid question was in her eyes and I nodded, letting her know I was all right. Finally I gathered my courage and stood, getting a look around. It seemed that we were outside of some lavish mountain home, and good night, it was freaking huge. It was three stories high, adorned with balconies and what seemed to be a tub of some sort on the back porch.
“Inside humans.” I shrugged as Julie looked at me and made my way inside, where I gaped in amazement. The whole of this room was open and three stories high, with railings lining the whole square of the room. Incredible! Beside me I heard Julie whistle her own appreciation, and we both walked a bit more into the room, looking up at the floors above. Behind us, the door shut and we whirled, only to see a gigantic dragon staring back at us. Wait. How the hell did he get through that tiny door? Admittedly, I wasn’t paying much attention, so he had probably shapeshifted to get in.
“You will obey me at all times,” it said. Julie and I kept quiet, well aware that the dragon could decide to eat us at any time. “Now, what are your names, humans?”
“I’m Julie,” my sister stated, stepping forward slightly as if to protect me.
“Jessica,” I said quietly. I was the one he was pissed at. Sure enough, he narrowed his eyes at me again. “I’m called Jessi most of the time, though.”
“And what is your name, dragon?” my sister asked, bring his attention back to her.
“I am Saphir,” it said before lumbering toward us. “Drop your weapons. All of them.” I sighed as Julie and I slowly began the process of dropping our weapons. I dropped my army belt as she dropped hers. She threw her swords down as I placed my sniper rifle on the ground. Next came her battle rifle as I dropped my own. We eyed each other and nodded, the challenge issued. Weapon after weapon was placed in the growing pile at our feet, our grins widening after each round. Finally, Julie shrugged and I pulled out my trump card, the knife I kept sheathed to my back.
“Hah. I win,” I muttered as she glowered at me.
“Is there anything else you two are hiding?” the dragon asked, actually sounding amused.
“Nope.” For good measure, he leaned forward and sniffed me once. Satisfied, he did the same with Julie and backed away from us. He then lifted his head and leaned back on his hind legs as his body started to morph into human features. Julie and I started in fascination as his bones popped and his skin retracted until he became a full human. Now, I’ll admit it. I gaped.
He had thin red hair that framed aristocratic features, and somehow looked as if he had spent at least three hours styling it. He had high cheekbones, gorgeous lips, and beautiful golden eyes that almost seemed molten. He was tall yet fit, his muscles easily seen through the semi tight clothes he wore. His clothes, however, were a mix of human and dragon, since I was sure that the pants were somehow tailored for him.
“Come here, dragon killer.” I snapped out of my perusal, and judging by the smirk, he had caught me gawking. Oh well. I hadn’t expected a pureblood to have such a beautiful counterpart, nor had I ever seen one in his human form before. If it weren’t for the golden eye that betrayed he was a pureblood, I wouldn’t have guessed. Then again, his attitude would quickly give him away.
As I neared him, he leapt forward and violently spun me around, then kicked the back of my knees, making me drop to the floor with a wince. I felt cold steel on my right wrist and I quickly tried my damndest to pull free. However, I heard the fateful click of the handcuffs and knew that I had lost. I turned to see him smirking at my pained and fearful expression.
“You will stay with the girl, so you will have freedom. Know that if you leave, I will kill her. Understand?” he spoke to Julie. Julie, who did not like being threatened and not being in control, let out a curt nod as her eyes screamed retribution. “Find wherever you wish to sleep but do not go near my room. You’ll know which one it is.” With this, he gave a yank on the handcuff chain, forcing me back to my feet. “Come on.” He lead me through the hallway and up two flights of stairs to reach the third floor. As we entered the first door, I gaped.
“Oh…my…” I trailed off in wonder at the luxurious room. It was carpeted in a pure white, with a mahogany framed bed in the corner of the room. The room itself was adorned with various chairs and couches, with a television in the other corner.
“You will sleep with me tonight. Try anything and I will not hesitate to kill you or your sister.” Yeah, yeah, we know already.
He yanked my handcuff chain again and I rebelled inwardly against this treatment. I couldn’t vocalize it, because face it. He wouldn’t give a damn. I killed his friends, his family. I was lucky I hadn’t gotten eaten on the spot, and I wasn’t going to push my luck and become a problem to him.
He led me to the bed and handcuffed me to the bottom part of the bed, to where I had to sleep on the floor. Oh, I knew what he was about. I was so close to this plush bed yet I had to sleep on the floor like his slave. Whatever. I’d slept on worse and this carpet was much more comfortable than the cold ground. His smirk died on his lips as I easily sat down to remove my boots, not rising to the bait.
“You will sleep on the floor human,” he clarified, trying his best to get a rise out of me.
“I know,” I said easily, placing both boots beside of me. I laid down with a small sigh of contentment; the carpet was as comfortable as it looked. Of course, it would be nothing compared to the bed, but it was a nice change from sleeping outside. “Man, my dad must have had it easy when he lived in a house. This is the life!” I could see his eyebrow twitch in what seemed like annoyance. His plan to amuse himself had failed him, but I was glad to have won one argument without intentionally pissing him off.
“Sleeping on the floor like a slave suits you,” he spoke finally, his voice cruel and taunting. I yawned like the words didn’t rile me.
“Mm, you think? If all slaves got this carpet to sleep on, I wouldn’t complain much either.” Again the eye twitched and inwardly, I pumped a fist in victory. Score two for the human.
Finally he whirled onto the bed and out of my vision. I heard nothing but the rustling of covers as I finally allowed my content face to drop. I was damn worried. Julie was downstairs and I was in the clutch of a dragon. A cunning one at that. And I still had no idea about his intentions and what he would do with me. Was I being taken to later be killed? Was I really going to be his new slave? I didn’t like the unknown and it bothered me that I couldn’t find out until I was told. The loss of control chafed, but I could handle it. I had been trained to survive.
And I would survive this situation, like I always had. Lady Luck was my constant companion, after all.