Dragon Born

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Re: Dragon Born

Post by alyssa.carlene on Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:10 pm

As they exited the town, Ashini opened her arms to grab hold of Syjac. He seemed not only wary but almost frightened. He asked if it was absolutely necessary to fly up to  the cave. Ashini knew from experience that a walk would take upwards of an hour.
"No it simply won't do. If we take too long my people will become suspicious. We are only meant to be hunting." Ashini ushered Syjac into the hoop of her arms and easily lifted him into the sky with her wings.
She adored her wings. They glimmered in the moonlight with an iridescent glow. Her wings were wide and strong, never failing to lift her from the earth. Ashini stayed low in the trees to avoid being seen. She thanked her luck stars that she had always ignored the no flying rule, it made sneaking around much easier. She suddenly felt her passenger tense and he threw tentacles around her. She fumbled and nearly fell at the sudden closeness. She slapped at a couple of the wandering tentacles that got too close to her wings and somehow managed to not drop them both from the sky.  
"You idiot, stop moving!" Syjac then iced himself over in a protective cocoon. he got heavier and she had to shift him in mid-air.
Well he obviously doesn't think much of my control. After a couple of minutes Ashini finally spotted the opening maw of the cave. She was relieved that she would soon be rid of her unhappy passenger. She touched down and waited for him to thaw. Once the ice was gone, Syjac began taking deep breaths and pacing before her. She rolled her eyes and thought that this big bad warrior should be better at flying. She then realized she shouldn't judge, she had bigger faults than he did.
Eventually, after calming down, Syjac marched into the cave with Ashini hot on his heels. Immediately her jaw dropped and she gaped in utter amazement.

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Re: Dragon Born

Post by hatman17 on Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:22 pm

Syjac idly wondered whether he should have brought her into the cave with him. After all, she came from a low-technology background, and some of the gear he'd brought could be considered post-singularity. He shrugged mentally. If luck wasn't on their side, she'd likely see them in combat, and that wasn't the best time to get future shock.
As they passed over the threshold of the cave, they were both immediately silently scanned to determine any inquisitive intent. Syjac felt the electronic watching eyes, and raised a hand. After a quick series of gesticulations, the actual security scan was activated, and both were bathed in glowing green lines that investigated them down to a molecular level. Shortly after, a large blue holographic panel popped up next to Syjac. "DOn't worry about her," he answered its flashing warnings, "Download data from pocket tablet. She in particular is a friend." After a microsecond pause, the panel's bright yellow warnings winked out of existence, replaced with manifests and passive reports.
Syjac waved it all away and looked at Ashini worriedly. She was staring in amazement at the stack of crates that had suddenly uncloaked themselves, still mesmerized from the light show from earlier. He coughed to get her attention. "Hey so, remember when you tried to kill me because you thought I might be a threat against your clan? You're gonna see some stuff that'll, uh, support that opinion. Just a reminder, we're on the same side, and this is for what-ifs only." With that, he brought forward a screen and circled his fingers around a panel marked "activation". The AI recognized the short cut and generated a big red button. He pressed it.
Immediately, all the crates unfolded themselves, spilling their contents to the ground. Spindly electronic arms forming out of the crate panels themselves arranged weapons into stacks, other arms began piecing together more complex robotic components. Ashini unconsciously took a step back from the sudden flurry of movement. "It's ok," soothed Syjac, "You're on the friendly list, so you could stick your head into that mess and not get a scratch."
Of course, that can't be said for anybody who gets placed on the enemy list, Syjac thought as he monitored the more elaborate builds. Already a tiercel was activating and hovering a foot above the cave floor. After running internal diagnostics, it flew to the weapon stacks to begin loading up. It was followed closely by a droid, trotting on all fours to attach its own arsenal. While tiercels were mostly used for supply runs and observation, they could be programmed to wield one or two of the weapons that they carried. The droids on the other hand were designed exclusively for battle. AI driven, they would anchor themselves to buildings or any ground that they could find and pick off targets from hundreds of meters away with a sniper rifle, or charge into battle using a plethora of shorter range weaponry. They complimented any Guardian operation, and in larger-scale operations could beat back Darkened hordes with superior firepower and computer-based accuracy.
As a scouting mission, redundancy protocol made him bring along only three tiercels and two foot soldier class droids, but he was glad for them this time. Usually, scouting was straightforward and a matter of convincing the population in question to stop massacring themselves over one of a list of stupid reasons, so Syjac usually bemoaned the waste in resources to bring along unused equipment. This time, with that game-changer, over-caution might be proven well-founded.
While the machines built themselves up, he walked over to the pile of not-weapons and pulled out his Shard. The spear was lying in wait on the ground. Syjac picked it up and twirled it, feeling rather than seeing the broad leaf-shaped blade cut through the air, just as the elaborate cross guard added weight to every swing. It wasn't massive, as spears go, but it complimented him perfectly. Just as Shards always do. He attached it to a waiting Tiercel before Ashini noticed, and returned to her side without a word.
"Alright, that's the last of it," exclaimed Syjac after 20 minutes. The tiercels and droids were set up and loaded, and the remaining equipment had been consolidated crates into a flying platform that would follow him down to the village invisibly. "Let's get started back."
They walked to the cave, and the droids began the march back to the forests surrounding Ashini's clan. They would remain hidden there, silently ready to come off stand by and attend to their commander at a moment's notice. The tiercels flew off to do the same, but Syjac snagged one before it got too far away. "Whoa there," he told it, "You're giving me a ride back."
He smiled awkwardly at Ashini. "No offence, but you go a bit too high for my liking. The tiercel will hover a couple feet above ground level and we'll just take a game trail back. I'll snag something on the way so that it looks like we were actually hunting. Sound good?"

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Re: Dragon Born

Post by alyssa.carlene on Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:52 pm

Ashini watched in curiosity as the bike obeyed Syjac's commands. She had never seen anything like it before in her life. He then explained that he wanted to ride the tiercel back to the village. Ashini was slightly miffed, it wasn't like she was a bad flyer! But it was his choice, and honestly he wasn't the best passenger.
"Okay, just make sure the game is killed by claws, teeth, or a broken neck. That is how your people hunt. I'll wait for you by the front of the village. We will have to hide your...uhh...tiercel?" He nodded at her pronunciation, "Awesome, and then we can walk in together."
Ashini spread her wings wide and felt the wind catch underneath them. She smiled in satisfaction and pleasure. Flying had always been her favorite, she often looked to the sky and stared with envy at the birds. They could use their wings freely, and she was envious of their right to do so. With a sigh to dispel her thoughts, Ashini leaped into the air and dove towards the bottom of the cliff. She was going full speed and could feel her hair fly back from her face. She was always glad that she kept it short for this reason. Long hair was a hassle while flying. When her dive brought her below the tree line at the bottom, she leveled out and began to hover just under the leaves. She inhaled and then raced off towards her village. She nimbly avoided twigs, branches, and leaves by weaving in and out. She had flown this path many times in her long life.
Too soon, Ashini arrived at the edge of the tree line and had to touch down. She tucked her wings and away and leaned against a nearby tree. She didn't have to wait long for Syjac to appear. He carried a couple of rabbits in hand and then waved for the bike to hide. Ashini indicated that they should make their way back in and led the way. She waved and said hello to the guards and galloped back to her cottage with Syjac walking casually behind her.
She pushed open her door and shouted, "I'm home!" Ashini then turned back to Syjac to explain, "No one is here but it makes me feel less lonely."
Ashini then made her way to her room to remove the ridiculous body suit and ears. She quickly stashed them away in their respective places and threw on pajamas. She had little teddy bears on her sleep pants and a duck on her shirt. She felt mildly embarrassed for her attire, but soon realized that Syjac had seen worse.
After grabbing some blankets from her closet she walked back out to the living room and addressed Syjac, "So, I have some bedding here for you. I figured you could sleep on the couch tonight. Or if you wanted on the floor. I'm not sure which is more comfortable for you. But I am going to go to bed, so goodnight Syjac," She turned to walk away but stopped and looked back at him with a sad smile, "And thank you for everything" She then fled to her bed and tried to sleep.

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Re: Dragon Born

Post by hatman17 on Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:22 pm

The tiercel purred underneath Syjac, and they skimmed close to the forest floor at 50 km an hour. It really was an unstable and highly unrecommended mode of transport; tiercel's weren't built for troop transport for more than short distances. The AI usually only allowed long distance riding in emergency situations. Luckily, Syjac had designed a virus just for this situation that would convince the tiercel that riding was fine.
And it beats flying any day, Syjac grinned, clinging to the back of the machine and narrowly avoiding low-hanging branches. He zoomed halfway through a gap in the woods, and pulled on the tiercel to point it up and aim the thrusters in the direction of momentum to decelerate. He'd spied a hare leaping through the clearing, and a quick whip-snap of Ink broke the thing's neck and snatched it back. Syjac tied it to himself with another strand and continued on his way.
Another rabbit was caught on the fly, and Syjac pointed towards the village after. Ashini had arrived before him, and he waved. The tiercel cloaked itself and sped off to the where the other four machines were lying low. "Well, we've got dinner at least. We're not going to be able to scout out the Kronins tonight, so we should head in and find an excuse to go tomorrow." She agreed
He smiled when Ashini called into her empty house, and waited around while she changed. An eyebrow was raised at her choice in sleepwear, but she probably wouldn't have much else if he disguise ran as deep as he knew it did. He accepted the blankets graciously and bid her good night when she walked back into her room. He was stripping off his shirt when she spoke again.
"And thank you for everything," she murmured before backing back into her room.
"Oh Ash," he muttered under his breath. "I've just given you words and promises of a better life so far, but that's more than anybody's ever given you huh? I have not yet begun to fight for you."
And with that, he wrapped himself into the blankets and suspended himself from the ceiling in a sort of hammock made of Ink tentacles. He made himself fall asleep instantly. He had a feeling that something would go down the next day. And a Guardian's instincts are rarely wrong.

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Re: Dragon Born

Post by alyssa.carlene on Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:39 am

Ashini rose with the morning light as she had for over 100 years, she stretched her hands over her head and sighed. Automatically she reached for her bedside table to find the book that she always laid out the night before but her hand didn't grasp anything. Her head snapped toward the table to find it lacking literature. She pondered the absence of such an essential part of her morning.
I never forget my book. What was I doing last night that I could have forgotten? That is when the events of the last day came back to her with the force of a Mack truck. Ashini sprung from her bed, throwing her comforter to the floor in the process and raced into her living room. Hanging from the ceiling in a series of Ink tentacles was Syjac. Ashini just stared for a bit then quietly turned back to her room.
It wasn't a fantasy! He wasn't a dream, he is actually here. Ashini stood in front of her bookshelf and prepared to pick out her morning reading. As her eyes skimmed the spines, Ashini's mind whirled with emotions. Sadly, nothing caught her attention on the shelf. All she could think about was the possibility for a better future, so the books that she had read a multitude of times just couldn't excite her imagination. An idea hit her just then, the only reason she ever visited the village was to buy new books or clothes. All she had to tell her mother to enable her to spy on Kade was to excuse herself to go shopping. Ashini, in excitement, raced back into the living room. She nearly catapulted herself at the odd hammock while shouting,
"I know how to spy on Kade! I know how to spy on Kade! We are going shopping!"

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Re: Dragon Born

Post by hatman17 on Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:05 am

Syjac reflexively tightened some tentacles and simultaneously let go with others to launch him away from the sudden noise. He landed nimbly on his feet, Ink tentacles throwing away his cocoon of blankets and gathering around him. A second later, he realized it was Ashini, and managed to continue the momentum into a nonchalant getting-out-of-bed backflip.
While she explained how they would be able to go into town to spy, Syjac listened intently, pressing his hand against one wall. As usual, the Ink had wandered, making colourful splashes of half-remembered dreams on the wooden beams and walls. He re-absorbed it into his body discretely, leaving his host's chambers as relatively spotless as when he'd first entered.
"Ok, sounds perfect," he said regarding the plan. It was low-key, wouldn't draw attention, and they wouldn't have to rely on the tiercels, which were better used for surveillance and field ops than espionage. They both dressed quickly, and Syjac took a moment to access the computer pad. A single new message, saying that a team had managed to find one dimensional path, but that a nearby star would collapse under the rift pressures and they'd need to find something else.
Ugh, dammit, Syjac thought to himself as he pulled on his disguise and followed Ashini through the door. I know dimensions harden themselves when they feel they're in danger, but why do they always have to inconvenience the people trying to save it?
They walked to the edge of the village, whereupon Ashini revealed that Kade's village was at the base of the mountain, and that she usually flew down. Syjac rolled his eyes, of course there's gonna be flying involved. He was about to call a tiercel when he realized that might not be the best idea. Riding them compromised some of their stability and inherent weapons functions. Since he didn't know what they were getting into it'd be unwise to reduce their functionality just because of his intense discomfort with flying.
He sighed, and instead programmed two tiercels to join and flank them, leaving the last to remain near Ash's village as backup. He then explained to Ashini, who eventually agreed to carry him if he promised to be better this time.
***
He wasn't, and halfway through the flight he let go of her to land on one of the tiercels and bring it down to the ground floor to follow the forest paths instead.

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Re: Dragon Born

Post by alyssa.carlene on Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:53 am

What a baby! Ashini mused as Syjac fell from her grasp onto one of his floating bike things. She laughed silently to herself as be disappeared from her sight, he really couldn't handle flying. Ashini couldn't imagine her life without her wings.
Without the hindrance of carrying someone, Ashini decided to have fun with her flying. She stretched her wings to their full span and began swooping and diving above the trees, thoroughly enjoying the freedom. She then suddenly pulled her wings close to her body and made a dive toward Kade's village. She could feel the wind rustle her hair and brush against her scales in a pleasant whoosh of coolness. Her swan dive landed her at the edge of the mountain village, and she viewed it from an espionage's viewpoint for the first time. The streets were dirt and the shops were lined up on either side and packed tightly together. Dragons bustled through the streets with bags and younglings in tow. There was plenty of cover; Syjac and her wouldn't draw any attention to themselves by entering the village. She looked beyond the dirt streets and ships and saw the start of cottages and houses for the people of Kade's village. The living quarters were very similar to her own, but there was an air of misery clinging to the air.   She felt sorry for the people of the town, then suddenly realized she would have it worse if Syjac couldn't help her.
She finally moved passed her small pity party to view the end goal. The palace. It sat nestled at the top of a small hill. It wasn't much of a palace but with one look anyone could tell its inhabitants thought highly of themselves. Ashini decided that the town itself would be easy to sneak through, but getting past the sentries posted at the walls of Kade's home would be nearly impossible. Ashini desperately hoped that Syjac could come up with a plan, because a strange new dragon and the crazily dressed fiance of the prince will draw attention from the guards. Just then Ashini heard the tiercels pull up behind her and Syjac sidle up to her side.
"We have out work cut out for us. The village is easy to navigate as long as no one recognizes me. After that we may run into some trouble." Ashini whispered and then cringed as she heard her name shouted.
"Ashini! What is my sexy little pet doing down in my village?" Kade bellowed from just outside the tailor shop.
Well shit. Ashini plastered a smile on her face and bounded over to Kade. She had a spring in her step that hurt her emotionally and a giggled bubbled up in her throat that burned like acid.
"Well I came to shop, silly. You know girls just love to shop and being stuck up on that crummy mountain shouldn't stop me." Ashini pouted and Kade pulled at her lip.
"Don't pout its unbecoming of a dragon of your strength", it was then that he noticed Syjac, "Who. is. that?"
Ashini grew worried that a fight might break out, Kade was steaming and she could feel his power begin to churn in his stomach. She did the only thing she could think to do.
"He is just a diplomat." Then pulled Kade down into a kiss.

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Re: Dragon Born

Post by hatman17 on Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:45 am

That's basically forced prostitution, Syjac fumed inwardly as Ashini placated the bastard with a kiss. He was territorial and possessive of her, and Kade quickly took advantage of the kiss to force his tongue down her throat, holding her in place with a clawed hand at the back of her head.
After long moments, Ashini managed to extract herself. She smiled vapidly, but Syjac could feel her disgust and self-loathing pour out of her. Guardians could sense misery as well as any psychic. Which would explain why his hand twitched with the urge to kill Kade. He could feel darkness clinging to him like the dragonscale tattoos pierced his own skin. His hands were marinated in innocent blood. But he had to make sure, so he put up his own act and approached with a bow.
"I am Null, of the East. I was tracking a man that passed through Ashini's village. I'm sure you've been told all about that. She volunteered to show me around your village, and I am certainly impressed. Even though all I have seen of it is its Prince, I'm sure it's suitable to judge the quality of the rest by its ruler."
Syjac forced his lips into a smile, hoping that Kade's ego would be such that he'd take the overblown compliment as his due. He'd pegged the Kronin family as the type of despot to completely ignore any problems with their community to boost their own status.
Evidently, he'd assumed correctly, because Kade calmed the power nearly growling within him. He eyed Syjac with displeasure, but preened at the flattery. "Well, if my little wife-to-be has company to present, I should present mine. Naraktu! Come see my pet and her diplomat friend."
That was when Syjac noticed. The evil he felt on Kade wasn't just coating his skin, it was everywhere, it radiated. Which made sense, there was a lot of evil in the village, but it was concentrated into a solar flare within the person who stepped out of the tailor's, newly decked out in the clothes of Kade's village.
Syjac's mind blanked for a moment, and only training kept him from automatically calling the tiercel and grabbing a weapon. No wonder the Seers had sensed something bad. No wonder the dimension had hardened itself to outsiders.
The Darkened were here.
Naraktu swaggered forward, grinning grotesquely and showing off a huge mouthful of nothing but sharp fangs, still lightly stained from whatever, or more likely, whoever he'd eaten last. He definitely had an easy time passing for a dragon, being the same species as the Guardian Marodoc back at Hub. Except this one didn't bother fully shifting into human form, and a tail coiled and swished behind him, cutting trails into the dirt from the spikes jutting from the end. Syjac knew from sparring that those spikes could pierce through Terran tank. Clawed thumbs hooked around a belt of pale leather. Luckily he wasn't completely scaled, Marodoc was nearly invulnerable when he shed his human skin in favor of the impenetrable dragon skin.
"My my Kade, you never told me your fiancee was so... colorful," the Darkened dragon said in a scornful tone at Ashini's disguise. His eyes traveled languidly over her, pausing subtly on erogenous zones just enough to make Ashini uncomfortable but Kade clueless. "And her friend is..." His eyes widened and he stopped talking before he could finish. Guardians and high-functioning Darkened always knew each other, much as two predators wouldn't be fooled by sheep skin when attacking one another.
Syjac stepped forward Ink swirling on his right hand. The dragon took a step back, but grinned harder. "Go ahead, start a fight with me. I'll notch my horns with another of your pitiful deaths, and you'll start a war between the villages. I have the guest right fool."
Syjac paused mid-stride. Unleashing a war between the villages would doom all his efforts, however much he needed to kill the filth that taunted him within arm's reach. "Kronin, you don't know what you're doing. I don't know what he's told you, but it's all lies. You've been led-"
"Onto the path of righteousness Guardian, not that they needed much guidance, or you misguided fools wouldn't be here trying to put a stop to our good work," interrupted Naraktu. "These people are almost perfect already, don't try and stop it with your pitiful heathen efforts."
"Scum, SHUT UP!" shouted Syjac with uncharacteristic volume. "Kronin! His people and mine have been at war for millenia, though you cannot have known that, so I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. But if you continue to harbor him, it would be an act of war against my tribe."
Silence greeted his ultimatum. Ashini was wide-eyed with the developments, the Darkened was snickering with derision at what he'd been taught Guardians were, and Kade stood insulted beyond belief at what he thought was the height of impudence.
Shit, thought Syjac, that was terrible politics. He'd get chewed out during his post-op review, but they would probably be more concerned with the fact that Darkened were here. He didn't want to jeopardize hopes of peace, or his promises to Ashini, but protocol was clear. If contact was made with a Darkened, then they had to die before they could report back to their commander and summon a horde.
This one had to die. Quickly. But Syjac waited for Kade to say something, just in case there was a way to goad the Darkened into attacking first. He hated when he had to deal with the smart ones.

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