No... I'm not dead.
No... I will not drop this story as some must have thought.
Still, long time since I updated. Sorry about that. The reason I haven't updated earlier is because I wanted to finish chapter 32 before I uploaded this one (something which I failed to do so). I haven't had that much enthusiasm in writing... but rest assured that the story will keep rolling forward.
On a positive note Chapter 32 has become my longest chapter yet.... And I am still not done with it yet. I am on the finishing run, but it is a long finishing run.
But do not let me stop you from reading. On to the story, then!
The Legend of Spyro: Origins_Chapter 31
Eventually, at their seventh day of flight, they arrived at Tall Plains in the afternoon. Gale looked in surprise and delight at the mountain with a flat top as they approached.
"How weird!" Gale exclaimed upon seeing it. "Looks like the top had been cut off!" he laughed.
"Come on. We are nearly there" Spyro urged them as they flew onward.
After the skirmish, they had taken a look at their situation. Fortunately, no one had died, but one of the dragons was badly wounded and could not move. Other two dragons had some very nasty cuts that prevented them from flying and the rest sported many smaller cuts and bruises.
Immediately after the skirmish, the group, or at least those who could, started looking around the area for any red crystal that they could use to help the wounded. They found some enough to prevent the death of the most grievously wounded dragon.
They had spent the day looking for crystals and gems that would help them heal or replenish their energy.
As for Gale, he had remained quiet... and a little bit isolated. He would take quick looks quite often at the wounded dragons before focusing on the ground in front of him once more.
The rest of the group tried comforting him and asked him if he was okay. He mumbled some thanks and appreciation for their concern, but he remained in his down mood. He remained in his spot for hours before Cynder managed, somewhat forcefully, to help her look for some food. When they returned, Gale seemed a whole lot better and seemed to return somewhat to her normal and eccentric self.
They spent the night in the same place once again; but unlike last time, nearly every eye was open and searching the shadows for some movement. There were a few false alarms as an overly paranoid dragon shouted at some wildlife moment.
By morning, Spyro played the leaders role to a great extent. He suggested that the three wounded, along with an escort of another two for any contingency, turn back to the nearest town, which happened to be a port, and take a ship back to Warfang.
The dragons, both chosen and injured, protested that they were still able to go. But of course, Spyro was headstrong when someone's safety was at stake and he would have none of it. In the end, the reluctant dragons started walking back to the nearest port. The five remaining dragon, plus the four younger ones and the dragonfly, continued with the rest of the journey.
And now, in their seventh day after they had left Warfang, they arrived at the plateau that was a part of tall plains.
They flew upward the plateau; the top rising very high from ground level. They needed to spiral upwards a few times until they reached the top. When they rose over it they found out that everywhere they looked crops were being grown.
"Whoa!" Gale exclaimed.
There were several llamas tending their crops as the dragons passed overhead. A few of the ground creatures rose their eyes to the sky and, upon noticing that they were dragon, went back to work. A few gave a cheer in their direction when they managed to distinguish a certain dragon with purple scales.
They crossed the plateau and arrived at the proper city. They landed in front of a single wooden built bridge spanned across chasm that separated one plateau of the next. Several llamas that were armed with weapons noticed them and turned to the defensive while a single one of them stepped forward to address them.
"State your business here, strangers?" the llama soldier asked.
"We come looking for Kane" Spyro answered. "We come to deliver a warning"
When the llama laid his eyes upon Spyro, they seemed to have popped out of his face.
"I can't believe it! It's our protector, Spyro!" he said disbelieving. He then turned to face one of the soldiers. "You! Get Kane! Quickly!" he ordered.
The pointed llama jumped from his post and started running away from Spyro's vision.
"You are finally back" the soldier that received them said as gave him a bow. The rest of the llamas went further. They went to one knee and dipped their head, looking to the ground, in their worship to Spyro.
"Oh yeah!" Sparx said quite happily as being god went to his head. "Now this is what I'm talking about. My faithful followers; me... Might Sparx... have returned to the land of his followers"
The groups of dragons looked completely taken aback. They looked disbelieving at the worshiping Atlawas, then at Spyro, at Sparx, then back at the Atlawas.
As for the purple dragon... he was looked rather uncomfortable.
"Please... don't do that!" he said in an uncomfortable voice. "That is not necessary"
"What? Are you kidding?" Sparx asked disbelieving. Then, Sparx flew next to Spyro and reclined is arm on his brother's head. "Listen big guy, you shown know and learn to enjoy the good things that the world throws at you" he said as he waved his hand at the Atlawas.
"We knew you would return one day, Spyro" the soldier said as he stood up.
"See how your loyal faithfulness has been rewarded with our return. Us... the protectors of this land... Scourge of the Despots" Sparx said in his self important voice.
"It's good to see this place again" Spyro said as he gave a quick look around him. "But we need to speak with Kane urgently"
"Speak with me, huh?" a new voice said.
Spyro turned to look and he saw Kane as walk across the bridge. He came walking with a rod and with blue colored lower garment that covered his waist and part of his legs.
"Kane!" Spyro said happily to the white llama as he stopped in front of him.
"Well, isn't it Spyro and the mosquito" Kane said happily as he looked at them.
"Yes, it is me that has......... wait" Sparx caught up too late the insult.
"It is good to see you both" Kane ignored Sparx as he addressed Spyro. "As always, Spyro, you are most welcome amongst us as well as any friend of yours" Spyro then noted a shift in Kane's eyes. "Even the strange ones"
Spyro followed Kane's eyesight and saw that Gale was walking around in circles and smelling one unfortunate llama. In addition to the invasion of personal space, Gale was poking the gear that the soldier carried. The llama soldier, of course, looked uncomfortable with the dragon that did not respect his personal space. His eye was twitching in annoyance, and Spyro could see the desire to use the butt end of his pear to knock the white dragon unconscious.
"Come on and be welcome" Kane said. "You must be tired after your long trip; well get you some refreshments as we have a nice talk somewhere more comfortable"
"Yeah... that's what I'm talking about. Good service" Sparx said as the group started to follow Kane across the bridge.
"It has been a while, Kane. How had thing been going?" Spyro asked as he walked next to Kane and across the bridge.
"It has been very good!" Kane replied. "After you defeated the god of the shrine and left, we have enjoyed bountiful harvest. Tall Plains population had also increased with many immigrants that had come; and as such, the city has grown" Kane said proudly. "Yet there have also been some hardships. We have suffered several attacks, mostly raids to steal our bountiful wealth. Most of them were quite successfully repelled with few losses. So, in the big picture, we could say that things have gone quite well for us here"
"I'm glad to hear that Kane" Spyro replied happily. "Yet, I am afraid I bear bad news for you and your people"
"In that case, let's go somewhere more private" Kane replied, suddenly sounding more serious.
Spyro had to admire the work the Atlawas had done with Tall Plains. The city had grown considerably! And it also no longer held just llama people; it also had some other creatures too, but they were not numerous. There were dragons, some panthers that were relatives with to cheetahs, some coyotes, otters and other creatures Spyro had not seen in his travels.
Spyro was gazing this way and that as Kane lead them through the buildings toward where they would have their meeting. The rest of the group also followed, surrounded by a group of warriors in protection. The dragons from Warfang looked very unsure, yet intrigued at the design of the buildings.
As for Gale... well, let's just say that whenever Kane pointed a particular building or place, he would run off and see up close and first hand whatever it was. Of course, when it happened to be an occupied building, he would exit followed by a somewhat annoyed llama yelling at him. But that did not stop him from getting into another building.
"Your friend is quite eager I see" Kane pointed out.
"He is" Spyro replied with a shake of his head in amusement at Gale's antics.
"He will get in trouble" Kane pointed out.
"Serves him right" Cynder put in as she stepped up next to Spyro. "That ought to teach him a lesson"
When Kane turned and looked at her with a smile. But then, he seemed to falter as he gazed into Cynder's eyes. Spyro was confused by his behavior, but when Kane's eyes widen in fear, he realized what was happening, but it was already too late to do anything.
"Cynder!" Kane said loud enough for everyone near to hear. All of the nearby llamas turned to look at her with surprise and fear. "GUARDS!" Kane yelled loudly, knowing that they had an enemy dragon in their midst.
Immediately, a dozen spears surrounded Cynder while the head pointed in her direction. It effectively was surrounded by a wall of pikes.
"WAIT!" Spyro yelled as he jumped between the spears and Cynder.
Kane turned to look at him with a look of surprise. He was clearly surprised to see the purple dragon stand between the spears and Cynder. Everyone else seemed also taken aback by this... and that was what prevented Cynder from being skewed by dozen of spears.
"Spyro; you know perfectly well what Cynder did to our people" Kane explained.
What he didn't say, but Spyro could plainly see in his eyes, was that he was demanding an explanation for his actions.
"She no longer is the Terror of the Skies!" Spyro protested.
"I can recognize those eyes anywhere" Kane said as he pointed the rod at Cynder. "She is Cynder, the same creature that enslaved my tribe and forced us to work for her with a harsh leash"
"Kane... that's not..." Spyro began, only to be interrupted by Cynder.
"Yes Kane; I am that Cynder" the black dragoness replied. Spyro turned to look at her with surprise, but before he could say anything, Cynder continued talking "I was the one who used to be the Terror of the Skies. But not anymore" she assured tried to assure the leader of the Atlawa that was looking at her in anger. When Kane said nothing else, Cynder continued her explanation. "I know I must have done some horrible things to you and your people. Had I any choice in the matter, I would have avoided all this"
"Why should I trust you?" Kane asked.
"Because some time after I left Tall Plains, I fought against her" Spyro answered for her. "It was later that I learned that she was under the control of the Dark Master. Whatever actions she did was not hers to control. But now she is free from his control and she is not evil anymore. She also helped me defeat the Dark Master. She was there at the finally battle. Had it not been for her, I would sure have been killed by Malefor"
"I did many horrible things while I was under the Dark Masters influence" Cynder said as a single tear left her eye. "Things that I am not proud to have done. I have tried to make amends from the moment I have been set free; but there are many things for which I can never do so. If I could, I would undo the things I did. I can only hope that you can forgive me for the things I did"
"No" Kane said simply. Spyro and Cynder flinched visibly at the single word response. "I cannot forgive you for what you or your army did. Such atrocities cannot be forgiven." Kane said seriously. "Take her to the prisons!" Kane said to the guards.
"No!" Spyro said, getting between the approaching guards and Cynder.
Spyro snarled as one of the guards reached a collar and a chain in order to put it in Cynder's neck. The guards jumped away in surprise against such opposition. Cynder had already suffered enough from the Dark Master and Spyro would not have anyone else hurt her.
"Spyro... it' all right" Cynder said from behind him.
"NO! I will not allow such injustice..."
"Spyro..." she repeated again, more slowly this time. Her calm words were enough for Spyro to drop his aggressive demeanor. Cynder step forwards and presented herself towards Kane and the guards. "Do what you must"
"NO!" Spyro said. "Cynder, you will be taken into prison" he tried to reason with her.
"This is something I must do" Cynder said before giving him a small nuzzle.
Hearing the resignation, and determination in Cynder's voice, dissipated any doubt that Cynder wanted to do this. He could not help a small tear escape his eye.
Once again. Cynder looked at Kane, waiting. Without saying anything else, Kane motioned for his guards to proceed. Cynder remained immobile when the iron collar was attached to her neck. Spyro could not help but hiss in anger when the click was heard. Cynder lowered her head and tear fell of her eyes. Spyro made a movement to follow, but one look from Cynder, who was still looking back, dissuaded him
"I'll make sure you get out unharmed" Spyro promised her as she started to get away.
The rest of the walk was made in silence. Kane only spoke when they arrived.
"We are here" he said. "Spyro, Sparx, you are the only ones who can enter. The rest of you must stay here"
Spyro followed the Tall Plains leader into the building. He kept looking at the ground, as he had done since Cynder was taken away.
They arrived at a rather decorated room, where some chairs where placed around a table. No doubt it was used as dinner or just a table where debates or political meeting took place. A servant rushed in with a cushion for Spyro to use.
Kane took his place in a chair on the opposite end of where Spyro had sat. Sparx just flew between them. Spyro had wanted to talk immediately about Cynder's predicament, but Kane beat him to it with another subject.
"So, what is your reason of coming to Tall Plains? I would like if it was just a social visit, but I fear it is not" Kane said somewhat hardly.
With a sigh, Spyro had told Kane the news of the imminent attack. The llama listen without saying a word as Spyro explained the reasons of why they believed such a thing.
"When?" Kane asked completely serious when Spyro finished explaining.
"I don't know" Spyro answered as he shook his head. "Could be days or weeks"
"Then we must prepare for it" Kane said determined before standing up to start making the preparations for a battle.
"We will help you in this upcoming battle" Spyro said as he too stood up.
"Thank you for the offer" Kane replied with a small bow. "The sight of the purple dragon fighting alongside us will be a huge morale boost for our troops. I will make sure you and your friends get accommodations and everything you send during your stay here."
"And Cynder?" Spyro took the opportunity to take the conversation where he wanted. He knew that Kane didn't like Cynder because of the past. "Will she receive the same courtesy?"
Kane sighed as he brought a hand to his face.
"You know I cannot do that"
"Why?" Spyro asked.
"You perfectly know who she is" Kane said. "She enslaved the Atlawa tribe, and used us to achieve her evil ends" Kane said angrily, remembering those days he had spent in prison, being poked by an ape with a spear as he amused himself with his suffering.
"She was being used against her will" Spyro explained. "She has changed much since then"
"I must say that she has changed since I last saw her. She is much smaller than she used to be" Kane said. "Had I not seen her eyes, I would have thought that she was another dragon"
"I remember a certain old hermit that lives in Avalar Valley that said pretty much the same thing"" Sparx said.
Spyro recalled the old hooded hermit that live in Avalar Valley. He had spooked him since the beginning.
"Well, if he said such a thing, then he must be quite wise" Kane said.
"Are you kidding, the guy had lost it!" Sparx said. "He was crazy! Nuts! Insane! Deranged and bonkers! The guy had gone completely wacko! Living so much time in isolation somehow must have affected his head. Oh... I shudder at the mere thought of him"
Spyro gave a sigh at Sparx description of the old one. It had also given him the creeps.
"Back to Cynder" Spyro tried to take the reign of the conversation. "What are you going to do to her?"
"She is going to remain in prison" Kane said. "After that, she will receive a fair trial"
"The verdict has already been decided" Spyro growled in anger. "Everyone here hates Cynder and would most gladly take her life even before she utters a word"
"Spyro, that's not..."
"Tell me I'm wrong!" Spyro challenged.
Kane seemed taken aback by Spyro's outburst, so he took a deep breath before answering.
"But people..." Kane tried to explain. "They want to vent their frustrations of losing their beloved to someone. The Dark Master would be the best choice, but he is not here... and that leaves only Cynder, who was the cause of so much suffering; whether it was her fault or not"
"And do you actually expect Cynder to be the target for all their frustration and anger?" Spyro lashed out.
"The people would have it no other way other than death. They want justice"
"Are you sure it is Justice? To me it seems more like Revenge" Spyro said. "Sometimes it is a very thin line that separates them." When Kane said nothing, he continued. "If she is going to remain in prison, then so will I" Spyro said with determination.
"What?" Sparx and Kane asked at the same time.
"Bro... I know you like her an all that, but aren't you taking this a little bit to the extreme?" Sparx said in a low voice as he hovered next to Spyro.
"No!" Spyro said. "She is no guiltier of being used than I am. Especially after both of us had been infused with darkness at one time or another"
Kane seemed shock to learn that their purple savior and god of the Atlawa had also been infused with darkness. However, his looks of surprise slowly changed, as if he began to understand something.
"Spyro..." Kane finally spoke a little hesitantly. "Do you care for her?"
"What?" Spyro nearly yelled in surprise at the unexpected question.
"Do you?" Kane pressed further.
"I..." Spyro stammered.
What would Kane think if he told him yes? Would he be angry at him being in love to the one that caused so much suffering? Would he remain neutral? Of course, if he remained quiet, Kane would be bound to find out latte; and by Kane's look, Spyro guessed he suspected. He had certainly seen Spyro ump to defend Cynder without a second thought.
In the end, Spyro opted for the truth.
But before he could come up with a way to say it, Sparx beat him to it.
"Of course he does! He is madly in love with her!" the dragonfly said in a teasing voice.
"Sparx!" Spyro admonished his younger brother.
"It is true" Sparx continued. "His eyes follow her as if she was made out of glue and he followed her as if he was attached to a chain with her"
"Sparx!" Spyro said as he started to blush. This was not how he wanted to conversation of his being in love with Cynder to unravel.
"He sits next to her every time when eating and they share their meals" Sparx continued. "They sometimes wander off to who know where by themselves; no doubt to coo and kiss each other somewhere private. Oh... and they sometimes go to bed together! So madly in love they are!"
"SPARX!" Spyro finally yelled.
By now, his scales had turned a great deal redder. He was completely embarrassed at what Sparx had described with his relation with Cynder.
He looked at Kane, who sat there his face showing disappointment as he shook his head.
Spyro's promise to be in prison with Cynder was carried out to the letter. Cynder had been quite surprise when he suddenly arrived with a serious expression. The guards that were keeping an eye on Cynder felt honored to be in the presence of the mighty purple dragon; and so they bowed low as he entered the prison area. However, neither they nor Cynder expected Spyro to enter the cell next to her and lock himself in it.
The guards looked confused to one another, unsure what the purple dragon was doing. But they knew they should let him out. They scurried for the keys and opened Spyro's cell, but he would just shut it close again, refusing to get out.
"Spyro... what are you doing?" Cynder asked, concern and confusion flowing out from her voice at seeing Spyro adamantly refusing to exit the cell he had locked himself in.
"We both have been used and infused with darkness" He answered. "If the people here judge you because of that, then I am no guiltier than you"
Unsure of what was going on, one of the guards ran to get someone superior. A pair of hours passed before Kane arrived at the prison. He locked eye with Spyro, which clearly held anger in them. He did, however, ordered for Cynder to be released.
Upon seeing that Cynder was released, Spyro stepped out of his cell.
"You are responsible for her behavior" Kane pointed towards Cynder as he addressed Spyro with an angry glare. "I will also assign an armed squad to be around her at all times. Should she do something funny, they have orders to kill her"
Spyro walked to wards the exit, but as he passed Kane, he stopped him.
"I never thought of you as being one that forces a hand" Kane hissed at Spyro.
Spyro didn't take a lot to understand those words.
The news of the Legendary Purple Dragon was in the city reached the ear of every citizen while he had been in prison. People of all races would flock him, eager to lay their eyes and see their savior. The llama people would even go a step further and worship. They would bow to their lowest as he passed. All the time praises and thanks where shouted to him for saving the world. And occasional question about his adventure was asked.
If any word was uttered about Spyro was in prison, the populace would surely become angry demanding him to be released, and specially the llamas that held Spyro with a divine status. However, the only was he was stepping out of prison was for Cynder to be free.
He indeed forced Kane's hand, willing or not.
During all of this praising, one could clearly see that Spyro was woefully uncomfortable. He didn't like all the praise and worship he was getting. He had been raised and lived his childhood in a simple fashion. He was not just used to this.
But there was one thing that made all of this more bearable. Cynder.
He was next to him at all times after they got out of prison. He had explained his actions to her of course; and she was grateful.
Still... it didn't make it any easier on Cynder.
As people saw her pass, angry glares were thrown her way. Even if she was with Spyro she would still be scorned at, insulted and even spat at. One even dared to throw a rock in her direction. She had not seen it and hit her squarely in her face. Spyro had had an outburst over the incident, yelling at the mob that was nearby. After Spyro's outburst with the rock incident, people would no longer attempt to harm her, but still shouted insults and spat.
During all this, Cynder bravely faced it, although with a down heart.
Shockwave and Gale were also with them their entire time. Both of them learned more of Cynder's dark past, as well as having to experience what Cynder's must suffer from the populace.
But their friends weren't the only ones to defend Cynder. Those dragons that had accompanied them stood up for her along with a few dragons that had settled here after the siege stood up for her. They jumped in to defend Cynder along with Spyro since they knew of Cynder's bravery in battle and he role against the dark forces.
They were still a minority, though.
"How are you faring Cynder?" Spyro asked with concern as they left another mob.
"I'm fine" Cynder said flatly.
Spyro wanted to say something to her, but he knew that he would be only repeating what he had said the other times.
"It must be hard for you" Shockwave said as he walked next to them, looking back towards the ten armed guards that were following them at a prudent distance
"You have no idea" Cynder replied with a tingle of sadness in her voice. "It is hard when you know you are responsible for something... yet you did not have control of"
"I understand" Shockwave said in a subdued manner. Although Shockwave had expected some sort of reaction, he was clearly surprised at the sheer hate they showed her friend. "Well, we can at least say one of us is enjoying their time" he pointed out Gale.
Gale was having a good time. Like always he was overenthusiastic as he moved around at amazing speed.
Gale had been completely dumbstruck as the hostile reaction. He had been told about Cynder's dark past and what she had done; but to actually see it for himself like this was completely different.
However, that did not stop him from his curious self when there was no trouble around.
Cynder noticed that he had changed his mode of exploration. What earlier seemed to be running around and trying to see everything at once, he seemed now more controlled. He would now ask a few questions, all rushed of course, before he went to investigate in a scrutinizing manner instead of just running off.
Right now, he was having a quick talk with a llama about a strange device that supposedly the mammal had made.
"I just had a wonderful worshiping session" Sparx boasted as he suddenly appeared next to Spyro. "The llama guys sure know how to treat someone. Lot of food, a nice massage, followers worshiping me"
"That great Sparx" Spyro said somewhat uninterested at his foster brother
"Yes... isn't it?" Sparx said, completely ignoring Spyro's tone as he flew in the most regal pose he could. "It was sure relaxing. You sure try it someday"
"Don't you think you are taking advantage of the Atlawas?" Cynder asked, voicing Spyro's question to the letter.
"Who? Me?" Sparx asked surprised. "Nah! I just accept what they offer me"
"And you just kindly accept it" Cynder stated.
"Exactly!" Sparx agreed with Cynder in one of those strange moments. "It would be a shame to let it go to waste"
"Well, if you continue eating like that, you will get fat" Cynder said.
"Me? Fat?" Sparx asked surprise as he looked down at his belly.
"You might want to throw a salad now and then" Spyro teased his brother. "Otherwise, you will truly get fat"
"Me? A salad? You know how much I hate... oh!" Sparx finally understood as he looked at Spyro's smirk.
Sparx often used to say that Spyro was fat and he should eat more salad. Now, it was Spyro's time to tease the dragonfly.
"Oh-ho... you're busted, Sparx!" Shockwave laughed.
This caused the three dragons to laugh at the small dragonfly. It seemed ironic that it was them laughing and teasing their small yellow friend, considering he was the one who always did.
"Hey... how is it going?" Gale asked as he came to them since he was attracted to their laughter.
"Oh... nothing" Cynder replied. "Just teasing Sparx here"
"Oh!" Gale said when he received the explanation. Then, something else caught his eye. "Hey! What's that?"
Cynder watched Gale dashed toward the thing that had caught his attention with full intention of knowing what it was. He was running at full speed, through the streets of Tall Plains since no one was around.
When he reached his object of interest, he gazed at it intently. Cynder saw that it was a smallish tree with purplish leaves as she heard him talking to himself as he admired the beauty of it. Many branches sprouted from the main trunk, making the small tree seem so full of life.
The group followed him until they too stood under the shade of the tree.
"What kind of tree is this?" Gale asked as he looked at it. "I have never seen such an odd looking tree"
"Then you will be amazed when we take you to the mushroom forest" Spyro said as he remembered the giant mushrooms that served as trees back in the old temple.
"Truly?" Gale asked quite excitedly.
"Yes" Shockwave answered. "As for what tree is this, it is the Peredirian Fruit tree"
"Really?" Gale asked as he focused his eyes once more on the strange looking tree.
"Yes" Shockwave explained. "Its fruit is sweet and tasty"
"I prefer Dragon Fruit though" Cynder voiced her opinion.
"Oh-oh-oh... can I try it?" Gale jumped up and down in his excitement as he began looking at the branches for the fruit.
"The season has just ended, I'm afraid" Shockwave explained.
"Awww" Gale gave a small whine.
"Wait... I see one!" Spyro exclaimed.
"Where?" Gale asked as he looked back up at the tree.
"I just saw it fall; over there" Spyro said as he pointed at the ground with his claw.
There, near the tree main trunk was a single pinkish fruit with some purple leaves coming out from the stick that had been attached to the tree. It from was round and not that big like other fruits dragons ate. Its color and showed that it was ripe and juicy.
Cynder caught Gale to be almost drooling over the fruit.
"Go on Gale" she encouraged him. "Take it"
Gale jumped up and down in excitement at the prospect of eating the delicious looking fruit. The white dragon jumped at the fruit as if he was playing. However, he did not expect what happened next.
The ground underneath the fruit moved! A small pillar of earth sprung from ground, launching the pinkish fruit towards the air. Unfortunate Gale, who was mid-jump, could not grab the fruit as it went near him. With a grunt, the white dragon landed and turned his bewildered eyes to the still airborne fruit as it sailed through the sky.
Just to land in the outstretched paw of a small green dragoness.
"Hey; look at what fell from the sky" she said in a mocking tone.
"What?" Gale asked perplexed.
The new arrival was a petite green dragoness with a brown underbelly. Two brown horns like that of a ram came from the top of her head, and another four from her cheeks. Her tail appendix had the shape and form of a wicked looking axe that could be used to chop, cut and even smash her opponents.
Contrary to Cynder's sleek and agile body, the small dragoness's body seemed to be though and strong. What she didn't have in size and length she seemed to have it in muscles. And as her built, she seemed to act on it. Her movements were sharp and stiff; very unlike Cynder's movement of graze.
All of this pointed to her being an earth dragoness.
By her looks, Cynder thought that she must be younger that she and Spyro were, one or two years at the most. This really surprised Cynder, since there were very few young dragons with the war and all that. And even fewer younger that Spyro and her.
One thing that caught Cynder's attentions was her milky green eyes that seemed to stare into nothingness.
"NO! I found it first!" Gale argued, bringing back Cynder from her observations.
"Too bad you weren't fast enough" the dragoness replied with a shrug and bit into the fruit.
"What? No!" Gale whined as he watched the dragoness swallow. "Come on! You know that I found it first. It is only just that I have it. I can even share it with you if you'd like"
"Why share when I can have all of it?"
"And what about me? Don't I get some of it?" Gale protested.
"I guess you are right" the dragoness said with a small tone of understanding. "Come on here for your part"
Gale immediately went towards her in hopes of tasting the good looking fruit. However, he did not notice the obvious trap. When he was close enough to the petite dragoness, she lashed her tail, making him trip and fall face first into the dirt.
"HAHAHAHA!!!" the green dragoness laughed. "I can't believe you actually fell for it"
Cynder and group went forward to help Gale.
"Are you okay?" Cynder asked as she lowered her head next to his.
Gale shook his head for a bit before turning to look at the still laughing dragoness.
"That was mean!" he accused.
"Yeah!" Shockwave agreed.
"Why would you do such a thing?" Spyro asked.
"That was unnecessary" Cynder said
"But it was so much fun!" the small earth dragoness laughed as he looked at no one with her milky green eyes.
"It was no fun at all!" Gale replied as he started to stand up. "That was mean and cruel"
"And what are you going to do about it pipsqueak?" the dragoness challenged with a hint f amusement and threat.
Cynder could not help but notice the irony of the comment. The dragoness was smaller than Gale, and she had called him pipsqueak.
"Didn't think so" the dragoness said with a smirk when Gale did not respond. And with that, the dragoness took the final bite of the fruit. "That was a nice treat you found there. I thank you for sharing it with me"
"Share it?" Gales asked annoyed. "I didn't share. You took it"
"It's the same" she shrugged.
"Gaia? Are you there?" a new voice called. "Gaia! Where are you? This is no time to play games"
Cynder turned to look and saw a deep blue dragoness. She had a yellow underbelly and a tail ending in a lightning bolt from. Cynder was able to discern that she was an eclectic dragon. Instead of the common yellow scales that most electric dragon had, she had the electric blue color.
She was larger the Shockwave, who was the largest of the group now, and she certainly seemed older.
"Gaia; where are... good ancestors!" the dragoness exclaimed and stopped dead when she spotted Spyro.
The blue dragoness looked from Spyro, to Gaia, then at Gale... and once again repeated the process. Then, her looks became fearful. She hurried her way toward Spyro and once she was in front of him, she bowed low.
"Please, forgive whatever my dear Gaia may have done" she pleaded with a head that nearly touched the ground. "Gaia is sometimes of a wild one and loves to cause trouble"
"Sure..." Gaia snorted with sarcasm.
"I hope she might not have done anything to you" the blue dragoness said as she retained the same position.
Cynder turned to look at Spyro and he seemed woefully uncomfortable. His front paw was slightly raised and as if to form a futile barrier against him and the dragoness.
"Listen, it is not..." Spyro began.
"She did something?" the dragoness asked with a mortified voice. "Please, don't hurt her; I'll make sure she stays out of trouble"
"Come on! I did nothing!" Gaia complained. "I was just having some fun!"
"Hush!" the blue dragoness replied.
"Don't you hush me Electra" Gaia said indignantly.
"Be quiet" the dragoness Electra urged. "Don't you know on whose presence we are?"
"Don't know don't care. Let's go home" Gaia said in a dismissive tone.
'How can she not know who we are?'Cynder wondered as she tilted her head in confusion.
"It's Spyro!" Electra gave a low hiss.
"Phft! Yeah right!" Gaia scoffed. "I know you are overexcited that he is in Tall Plains and all that; but really, I think that it has gotten to your head. Besides, I do not know what you see in that over esteemed dragon besides his fame, his scales and all the crap about 'God-and-Protector' the Atlawas always talk about. Anyway, I always wonder people care about that guy and hold him such a high regard"
Cynder saw how the eyes of Electra bulged at how Gaia described Spyro. As for the purple dragon himself, he also was a little bit surprised at the simple and dismissive way Gaia had talked about him. True, he had never liked all the praise he received, but this was actually was the first time someone said such a thing; the people of Aerie not included.
"Please, Spyro, don't hurt her" Electra lay completely on the ground this time now with a true fear in her voice. "She spoke in ignorance. You see, my cousin is blind and she cannot have know who you were"
"Please, you don't have to... wait; she is blind?" Spyro asked as his mind registered the key word.
Cynder turned to look at the petite and muscular young dragoness. Now she understood! That was why she didn't really look shocked when she turned her or Spyros' way. She could not have known they were them. And here milky green eyes was gave only further prove that she was, indeed, blind.
'I should have paid more attention!'she chastised herself.
"Truly? You are blind?" Gale asked, his previous annoyance completely gone.
"Duh, yeah!" Gaia replied as if stating out the obvious.
"Oh boy... Gale, you got intimidated by a smaller, blind and a girl" Sparx accused as he floated from Spyro's head.
Gale turned to look at the dragonfly with an annoyed looked before turning his vision once again to the blind dragoness with a curious look.
"So you can't see?" he asked.
"What part of blind did you not understand? Maybe I should spell it for you" Gaia said.
"How do you live?" Gale asked as he stepped forward next to her.
"Simply; I just continue breathing and eating" she answered in a matter of fact.
As if he still did not believe that she was in fact blind, Gale started extended his wing in front of her and started to wave it mere inches from her face, trying to see if she had any reaction.
And she did.
Gaia lashed out a powerful punch to Gale's face, who fell to the ground with a yelp of pain.
"Hey! You said you couldn't see!" the white dragon said as he rubbed the spot where she had hit him.
"Just because I can't see doesn't mean that I don't know what is happening around me" Gaia answered. "And I don't like you waving your wing in front of me"
"You could have told me" Gale said as he stood up. "You sure got a strange attitude"
Cynder rolled her eyes as what the dragon said, once again seeing the irony since Gale himself had a strange attitude.
"And you have a problem with that.... punk?" Gaia said with an evil smile.
Gale took an involuntary step back from her due to her aggressive behavior.
"Please great Spyro, don't hurt her" Electra said again, brining Cynder once again to the pleading larger dragoness.
"No! No, I will do nothing of the sort" Spyro said hurriedly.
"Oh! Thank you! Thank you!" the dragoness aid.
"Please... don't do that" Spyro said in a very uncomfortable manner. "I am not someone you to deserve such praising"
"Yes you do!" Electra said. "You defeated the Dark Master! You saved our world!"
"I was just doing what I thought to be right" Spyro said, trying to make the blue dragoness stop. "I just did what any dragon would have done. Please, stop all the praising"
Electra, very hesitant, slowly started to stand up until she was completely erect.
"Now please refrain from doing that again" Spyro told her.
Electra nodded nervously at Spyro's request. Before looking around. And that was when she spotted Cynder.
Electra's eyes bulged wide open when she first noticed her, but then, her pupils immediately narrowed and her timid behavior disappeared only to be replaced by angered and hatred.
"Cynder!" Electra hissed a low and full of malevolent intent.
Cynder flinched at how her name was pronounced. She didn't have to ask that Electra hated her guts as she had a deep resentment against her. This, of course, only served to make Cynder remember her past actions as the Terror of the Skies.
"Cynder? Where?" Gaia shouted in surprise before her voice became full of venom and anger as she turned her head this way and that, looking for her. "Where is she? COME AND FIGHT ME!!!" she yelled. Where the cowardly excuse of a dragoness did ran off to? I'm gonna get to her and then I'm gonna beat her until she can barely stand and then I'm going to get my paws around her neck while I choke her to death... and then...."
"Isn't she a feisty one" Sparx said with a smirk on his face as Gaia continued saying what she was going to do when she found Cynder.
As for Cynder herself, she looked with astonishment at Gaia's aggressiveness and bravado. She completely forgot about how Electra said her name in anger and disgust a few moments earlier.
"Where is she?" Gaia asked out loud in frustration, since she could not find Cynder with her blindness.
"Hey, she is over there" Sparx said as he pointed a finger at her.
"Sparx!" Spyro yelled when he saw the small dragonfly point in her direction.
"I can't see you dumb ass, so don't point fingers" Gaia snarled as she turned to the small dragonfly.
"Okay smart one; so how am I supposed to tell where she is?" Sparx said. "Am I to tell you specific directions? Don't know how that would help either since you can't see"
"Don't play smart with me. Now tell me which way Cynder went!"
"She has been standing close to you since this lovely reunion started" Sparx said.
"Sparx!" Spyro said this time more seriously.
"What?" Gaia asked surprised. "What do you... wait... the female?" Gaia said as she turned to face Cynder.
Her look of surprise quickly turned to anger.
Without further ado, Gaia jumped toward Cynder with an angry face. Knowing her intent was obvious, Cynder used her shadow element to sink into the shadow of the tree they were standing under. Gaia went completely by her as she attacked.
"What the...?" Gaia exclaimed as she landed, skidding along the ground.
Cynder turned to face her without any type of hostility towards her aggressor; just... sadness. True, she had done horrible things and people often remained her of them whether with evil intention or not. She tried very hard to atone for her sins. Those things she had done, as well as all the scorn she received stung her, and will most likely forever will.
However, thanks to Spyro, she had gone past the depression point where thought of killing herself arose. Now, she was just stung and would brave all the remarks thrown her way.
The guards that were assigned to follow Cynder noticed that there was trouble, took a sprint towards them.
"Stop it" she said, hoping to get through the blind dragoness.
"You... you..." Gaia said between breaths, his anger evident in her voice.
Cynder knew at that moment that she must have done something really awful to this particular child. She did not remember everything when she was in league with the darkness... just flashes and memories of certain times. It was kind of a blessing in her opinion... not to remember some of the things she did.
"Look, I'm sorry for what I did" Cynder said.
"SHUT UP!" Gaia shouted before jumping at her.
Before Cynder could move a muscle, Spyro beat her to it. Using his strength, he pushed Gaia away with enough force, but not that much, to make Gaia lose her balance and fall to the ground.
"Stop it" Spyro said forcefully.
"Get out of my way!" Gaia said as she stood up and began walking around.
Spyro moved with her, always staying between the green dragoness and Cynder. The guards arrived and immediately pointed their spears at Cynder, believing it was she who started it all.
"This fighting is pointless" Spyro yelled, stopping everyone where they stood.
"Gaia... stop it!" Electra said as she stepped closer toward her cousin. "Don't let that short temper of you get to your head. Remember what Kane said about Cynder? We are not to harm her"
"The Atlawa can go and jump from the cliff for all I care" Gaia snarled.
"We will be thrown out of the city! What shall we do then, huh?" Electra said.
Gaia stopped for a moment and then, accepting Electra's words, she gave a low growl in her throat and backed away.
"Come one. We have to get home" Electra urged the younger family member.
"Fine!" Gaia grunted.
With that, both dragonesses started to leave the area. Gale started to fidget when the passed near him. Gaia, as if sensing Gale's nervousness, turned to face him.
Gale yelped in surprise and fell on his rump as when he tried to jerk back.
Snickering, Gaia continued her way towards her home.
"That was mean" Gale complained as he stood up.
The new member of the City Guard was sitting in the shores of a lake that was located near the city of Warfang. The pendant and emblem that signified he was a member of the City Watch hung proudly on his neck. He had finished his daily duties and now he was going for some quiet time and some relaxation.
Incendio liked it here. The place was beautiful, where a waterfall fell from the mountains into the lake and the forest was the color of a vivid green. Life was abundant, the birds sang, the insects buzzed and the fish splashed in the water.
It was a beautiful place where one could stop for a moment to mediate, to relax and just to enjoy the scene.
Incendio had applied a requisition to be a member of the City Watch some days past. The mole, who was at the time being at the recruitment post, actually though it was some kind of joke. After all, how could Incendio, Ignitus nephew and unofficial fire guardian, a member held in the highest regard and honor, become one member of the City Watch at its lowest rank?
A dragon officer noticed the laughing mole and came to investigate. The small rodent, between laughs, managed to explain the situation. The dragon, instead of laughing, seemed quite surprised at the requisition. He immediately told Incendio to follow him. The two dragons went to the city barracks, and there, they met with the Commander of the Watch.
The old dragon seemed quite surprised at Incendio's appliance to become a member. After all, he was the candidate for becoming Fire Guardian, was he not? But he was even more surprised that he went to the recruitment office to become a recruit instead of using his influence with the Guardians to have him in become some kind of officer or something.
In the end, Incendio's request was accepted without much paperwork. But not as a mere recruit.
The commander wanted to make Incendio an officer on the spot. They knew of his battle records and his leadership skills. Incendio had protested against such an action, stating that he wanted to start at the bottom and work his way up. Even though the City Watch had recovered somewhat after the siege, the commander said that the Watch lacked competent officers since they lost too much during the last battle.
In the end, Incendio started off as leader of a squad instead of the officer that controlled a whole unit. Even though Incendio wanted to start at the bottom, he agreed.
He started his duties immediately. He was assigned to patrol the streets of the city to keep order and catch thieves. He also went on flight patrols outside the city where he was to help the nearby villages. Also, he was too keep as eye and stop any raiding party that hoped to take the goods from those who have earned them though hard labor. And if necessary, ancestors forbid, spot an approaching army and warn the city.
Right now, he had finished his duties and he had come here to relax. It amazed him how beautiful and calmed this place was. It always seemed to soothe him.
But he had to get going. It was getting late.
Reluctantly, Incendio stood up from his lying position and took flight. He angled towards the city of Warfang. He flew over the wall and above the streets, looking at dragons and moles going back towards their homes after the day's work. As he continued flying, he spotted a few humans walking. He remembered that he had not seen Doctor Kelly for a while.
'Maybe I should pay her a visit'he thought.
Changing directions, he aligned towards where Kelly lived. It was in the section of the city the humans had taken residence, as well as near the hospital. Should someone need urgent medical attention; Kelly could be there in an instant.
He landed near her home, deciding to walk the rest of the way. He watched as shops were closing for the night and people returning to their homes. Candles and firelights were being lit inside the homes to illuminate in the darkness.
Just when he was turned the corner that would lead him to her home, he spotted her standing in the street, in front of her home. His heart swelled in happiness when he saw her and was about to take a step towards her when he noticed that someone else was with her.
"Well, it was a lovely evening" Kelly said to the male at the doorstep. "I enjoyed it very much. We should do this more often"
"Of course" the human male laughed.
Incendio quickly retreated and huddled to the shadows as he began to eavesdrop into their conversation, listening attentively to every word.
"I heard you are leaving" Kelly said, his tone changing drastically.
"I am. Doctor Espinoza wants us to help a city called Tall Plains. She says that we need friends"
"Is it true that there is going to be a battle?"
"How did...?" the male seemed perplexed.
"Father sometimes speak during his sleep"
"I thought you didn't sleep with the Colonel"
"I don't. He went to sleep early last night, and I was still at his house. I hear him talk in his sleep about a battle or something"
"I see" the human male replied in thought.
"I shall prepare my medical kit and be ready for tomorrow"
"No you don't!" the human said with a tone that broke no argument. "It was bad enough when you came here when the city was under siege by disguising yourself as a soldier. There is no way that I'm letting you go in this mission"
"There might be someone who needs me there" Kelly protested.
"And someone will take care of that" the male answered back. "Your father won't let you go into battle"
'Nor will I!'Incendio though, giving a slight snort in determination.
"And don't even think of using a disguise again" the male told her. "I'll make sure you are not on the team that is leaving tomorrow morning"
Kelly seemed ready to protest against her not going, but as seeing that the element of surprise was lost, and her intentions known, she was very muck likely be left behind.
"Very well" she agreed.
"Don't worry. With a little bit of luck, things might not get too bad" the male tried to assure her.
Then, Kelly stepped closer and gave a thigh embrace at the male. Slowly, the human male responded in kind. Incendio's heart skipped a beat as he saw them in such close proximity to each other. Sudden anger started to swell within him, anger at the human male.
"Just make sure you get back all right, Lieutenant"
"I will" the male promised.
With that Incendio decided to retreat and go back to his place, lashing at the air with his tail in agitation. As he skulked away, he did not notice the deep scratches and the burned marks he had made on the paved stone street where he had been standing.
And so passed the days. The Atlawas were preparing their city for an attack as provisions were gathered, weapons forged and defenses built. The people noted this and rumors started to spread about an attack. It was only a matter of time before talks of leaving the city started to appear.
With those rumors and panic starting to settle in, Kane was forced to give the news of a most likely impending attack. He urged the citizens to remain calm and to stay in the city. When it was asked why, he was forced to reveal the enemy strategy of isolating them. But even with the warning, some families left the city in hopes of finding safety elsewhere.
The groups spent most of their time exploring to depth the city of Tall Plains. Spyro and Cynder went mostly by themselves, followed by the ever present security detachment, finding peaceful spots in the bustling city where they could have some time on their own if they could escape the guard. Shockwave often spent looking at the nice and strange architecture of the buildings. Gale often disappeared for hours, exploring the city on his own or taking small trips that lasted hours to the library. He had told them that the library at Aerie was small and he had read many books of it. He always craved to learn.
As for Sparx... well, it seemed that he was having a great time with all 'the god and worshiping' thing.
Days passed, and there was no sign of the impending attack. As nothing happened in those days people started to believe that it was some kind of sick joke. But soon enough, one thing happened that made them wonder.
It was their fifteenth day in Tall Plains when an alarm came from the sentry guards that something strange was coming in flying at a high distance. Immediately, the armed forces scrambled over each other to get into their respective defensive posts.
Spyro and Cynder both got out from the building they had been assigned during their stay to see where they could help. However, that was not needed.
"Hey... isn't that..."Cynder trailed off as she saw the thing in question.
Spyro squinted as he tried to see more clearly at the rapidly approaching object. In a few moments he recognized the silhouette of a vehicle that brought two species together.
"The humans!" he said excitedly. "They came!"
The human helicopter, with their annoying racket they made when they functional, started to head into the city. Before he could move a muscle, the choppers, as the humans called them, slowly started to descend amidst the city.
"Quick, get to the enemy" a llama officer shouted as he directed his troops, fully armed, towards where the human vehicles had landed.
Spyro also notes a few dragons were flying towards where the humans had landed.
'Why would they react such a way?' Spyro wondered. 'Don't they know they are our allies?'
"Spyro... did you told Kane the humans were coming?" Cynder asked Spyro with a confused look.
Spyro's hear skipped a beat as he remembered he was supposed to deliver certain information about certain allies that were coming to help.
"Uh... oops?" Spyro said with a half serious, half amused face.
"SPYRO!!!" Cynder yelled at him. "HOW COULD YOU FORGET?!"
"I'm sorry!" Spyro edged back away from her.
"Don't you know what the Atlawas will do to the humans when they come near?" Cynder asked him. "The humans look like apes! And the Atlawa are no friend of apes!"
Realizing the danger the humans were, Spyro immediately sobered.
"Come on!" he said as he took flight with a few wing beats. "We have to get there to clarify certain things"
'Let us hope it is not too late and blood had been spilled already' he silently prayed.
Fortunately for them... it hadn't. Unfortunately, it seemed that any spark would cause it.
Spyro saw from the air that the helicopter had already landed and its occupants were already out. Their weapons were leveled and aimed at the defenders of Tall Plains that had them surrounded. The llamas, and four dragons, surrounded the humans with a clear intent of attacking should any opportunity arose.
Spyro also noticed that a llama was rolling on the floor in pain as he covered his bloodied nose. Next to the wounded soldier, there was another that seemed to have been knocked out cold. And yet another soldier was tenderly touching his limp arm, his spear lying next to him.
However, that was not the most interesting part.
There was a huge pile of soldier over each other; and it seemed that they were pinning something down. And that someone, underneath all the pile of llamas, was Ramirez, shouting in indignation.
"Everybody calm down!" Spyro shouted; as he landed amidst the trouble.
However, the other parties were too focused on one another to notice him or Cynder. Both sides continued shouting treats and commands of surrenders; but above all the screaming, no one was making sense of anything.
"CALM DOWN!!!" Spyro roared with a commanding voice.
Everyone fell silent at his resounding roar. All eyes stared at him with wide eyes as the echo took a few moments to feel silent as it traveled across the stone buildings. It took a few moments before anyone moved.
"Spyro, thank God you arrived" Parker exclaimed.
"Spyro, hurry! We must prevent the apes from getting further into the city" a llama officer said.
"HOLD IT!!!" Spyro said sharply, stopping the unnecessary shouting once again. He then turned towards the defenders of Tall Plains and explained calmly. "They are friends"
"Friends? Apes?" a llama asked, sounding confused.
"They are not apes; they are humans. They are here to help in the upcoming battle" Spyro explained. "Now please, lower your weapons"
The llamas looked at each other; hesitant to leave themselves open for an attack from this new strange foe.
"The humans are friends and they will not harm you" Spyro tried to calm the soldiers before looking at the llama that was holding his bloodied nose. "Unless you attack them first" Spyro added.
Reluctantly, the llamas slowly lowered their weapons and the dragons that were also there stood up. The humans as well lowered their weapons. However, both parties kept an eye on each other.
Spyro nodded toward both sides before making his way toward Ramirez, who was slowly getting up after all the llamas had gotten off him.
"Are you all right?" the purple dragon asked.
"Apes..." Ramirez said with disgust as he stood up. Spyro noticed that his hair was disheveled and he had a small injury on his lip from where blood was coming out. "At first it was kinda funny; but it is getting old already... and annoying"
"Are you okay Ramirez?" Parker said as he approached.
"Uh-huh!" he grunted as he started to clean off the dirt from his clothes. "I wonder why I always end up underneath someone every time that I go on a mission"
"Well, you did knock three llamas in quick succession, so they were would take you down first" Parker said with a hint of amusement. He then turned to Spyro. "Nice timing you have. Any moment longer and any form of diplomatic solution would have been thrown out the window"
"And we would have to resort to the aggressive negotiations" Ramirez said as he bent to pick up his fallen weapon.
Cynder came to his side and slapped his head with the flat end of her tail blade.
"Idiot!" she admonished. "Things like that should not be forgotten"
"Sorry!" Spyro apologized as he rubbed the sore spot. "That hurts"
"Things like what?" Parker asked confused.
"About you coming here and not being apes"
"You forgot?" Ramirez said, quite indignantly. "How could you forget such a thing?"
"Oops!" Spyro said.
"Oops?" Ramirez asked indignantly. "I was nearly killed and the only thing you can say is 'oops'? I thought you were my friend"
"Ignore him" Parker said against Ramirez tirade. "He is a little hurt because of what happened"
"Sorry about that" Spyro apologized. "I kinda forgot to mention that you were coming"
Parker's eyes looked up. "Well, then I guess it is time for you to explain some things"
Spyro followed Parker's gaze and saw that Kane was standing nearby, looking at the humans with a serious face.
"I got some explaining to do" Spyro sighed.
At first the llama distrusted the humans, since they looked so very much like the apes did; even with Spyro's explanations of them being friends. They kept and armed guard near each of the at all times. They were also not allowed to carry weapons, so they had to leave them at the place they had set up residence.
This, of course, annoyed the all humans to no end. Well, almost all. Ramirez had lots of fun as he tried to lose the guards that were assigned to him, which annoyed the guards to no end.
The humans spent some times bringing the supplies from a small ship they had brought. They told him that McAllister project of the engines for their vehicles was overly ambitious in the short time he promised. Instead, they got lucky.
Not soon after Spyro and group had left, two damaged warships anchored on the port near Warfang. One of them was a mole warship, while the other had been a pirate ship they had managed to intercept and capture. The pirates, of course, had all been apprehended and taken to prison.
Warfang's navy was still recuperating after the war against Malefor. They did not have that many numbers of ships. With one ship to spare, the humans had quickly commandeered the captured pirate ship repaired it in record time. They also had modified it to hold one helicopter, which was the one the humans had just arrived.
Soon, they, along with a troop battalion of moles sent from Warfang, set sail and headed towards Tall Plains. With help from some sailors whose ship were under repair, the ship set sail. The trip had been a calm one. Then, when the ship was close to Tall Plains, they dropped anchor.
So far, things were calm; but it was only a matter of time before the storm hit them.
One afternoon, the scouts reported that the enemy army that was about to attack them had been spotted amidst the thick jungle. It was a considerable sizable force, consisting of many orcs and grublins and hundreds of trolls. But what was worse was that they were close... too close. It baffled Kane and the llama officers about how an army had sneaked so close to them undetected. The most logical assumption was dark magic was at play here.
If the army did not stop to rest during the night, it would arrive by morning.
After that, the llamas understood that they could not be picky about their allies; at least not being caught by surprise. They 'released' the humans from their small confinement.
After a brief talk with the llamas and a quick look at a map of the city and the Tall Plains, Parker started to direct the preparation of his own troops. They immediately set to work in building their own defenses for their own style of warfare as they deployed some deploying machine guns and mortars on strategic positions.
Apart from those of defenses, the humans started to build traps by the dozens. They worked through the night setting traps everywhere! Spyro watched as the placed explosive devices over an area.
"And when they come... BOOM!!!" Douglas explained happily.
Spyro saw another type of explosive trap, which Parker explained as he set it up.
"You attach the cord here, to the explosive" Parker said as he demonstrated, "And you attach the other end to a fixed object. Remember that the line must be tense in order to work. Anyway, when the enemy comes, and steps on the line, the Claymore blows"
And the explosive traps were not the only traps they set. This time, Spyro had to gawk at the human ingenuity as they set traps even with the most simple of things!
"You pull this vine here" Jason demonstrated and a huge trunk tied with vines at the extremes, came swinging down in a horizontal manner. Any unfortunate enemy in its path would be sent flying with a broken body. "Well now, I have to get this back into position" Jason said.
Even Spyro had to marvel when he saw the most simple and, in his opinion, the foolishness in some kind of traps. Spyro found another group of humans digging small hole like crazy while several other sharpened wooden sticks with their knifes.
"We put the sharpened stick on the hole the rest of the guys are making" Jackson explained. "Then we cover them with a little bit of foliage to hide them; and when the enemy comes walking by, the will step into one of these and will find their feet impaled. And my favorite part is we are poisoning these things with things you shit. That way, we can make sure that the enemy will not return to battle fast. The wound will become infected and will have to be tended, or they will find themselves with a nasty infection... or worse. We learned it the hard way in Vietnam"
Shaking his head, Spyro stepped away, wondering how anyone could be so foolish as to step into a hole. He was quite surprised when he suddenly stepped into ground that gave away, making his front paw fall into a clearly hole that had been dug. When he turned his face to look at Jackson, he saw grinning widely looking in his direction, moving a wooden spike in his hand. Spyro only lowered his head and retreated, his scales reddening in embarrassment at falling in such a trap.
Spyro also found that the humans could make weapons out of things he didn't even suspect.
"We have distilled a lot of the llamas' alcoholic beverages" Ramirez said as he took a swig of a still intact bottle of wine. "Not the most popular move amongst the Atlawas. Anyway, we bottle all the alcohol, set a rag on the opening, and were are good and ready; we light it up and throw them. When the bottle shatters, a nice flame ball will ensure"
One thing that enraged the Atlawas was that the humans started to rig the bridges that connected one plateau to the next to blow.
"If things go bad, you will thank me" Parker said seriously. "But hopefully, it will not come to that"
After hours of work, the humans decided to get a few hour of sleep. They would need it in the upcoming battle.
In the end, it was a good call, since the army had once again marched through the night and thus, leaving less time for the defenders to prepare themselves.
The impending battle was nigh.
"So... what do you think?" Parker asked.
"There are many" Spyro commented as he saw the black mass that was the enemy army moving.
They stood on a vantage point above the plateau on a clear day, looking at the Dark army approaching. Parker stood leaning forward, his right foot resting atop an outcropping rock. Spyro just stood straight, looking forward intently.
Spyro gazed at the small group he was in. Cynder was next to him on his left, while Parker and Sergeant Jackson were on his right. Behind them was Shockwave and Douglas, the demolition expert form the humans.
"Are the explosive ready, Douglas?" Parker asked at the demolition expert.
"Prime and ready to blow up sir" he answered.
"And the bridges that takes from one plateau to the next?"
"We failed to cover all of them, but we have managed to get all of the inner bridges" Douglas answered.
They stood there for a few minutes in silence, each of them inside their own minds, having their own thought about the upcoming battle. However, they could not linger. They had to go to their post and be ready for the attack.
"Let's go" Parker said as he finally left his perch.
Without saying anything, the group started to go back towards where the defenders were gathering to give the final instructions. Kane was there, surveying his troops with critical eye as they were formed in ranks.
As for the humans, they were separated in several groups. Some were having small talk while others were preparing their weapons for battle by cleaning them and making sure they were in proper working order.
"Soldiers..." Kane began to speak towards his troops, catching Spyro's attention. "Ever since we were freed with the help of Spyro, we have been living a good life. Harvest has been bountiful, our city population has grown, and we have trades routes that cover a lot of places. The city has prospered! Enemies and pirates have looked upon our prosperity with greed. They have tried to steal what we have gain through hard work. However, this time..." Kane pointed towards where the enemy army was approaching; "this time, we do not face thieves or pirates. They do not come here to steal and plunder. They came here to kill"
When Kane explained the grim situations, the soldiers looked at each other with uncertainty. Spyro was certain that a few soldiers must have had the thought of fleeing since he himself had them at one time and another. However, none of them moved.
"Soldiers..." Kane continued, once again looking at the soldiers, "this time, we do not fight for what we have acquired through hard work. We do not fight for the wealth and goods that we have earned. This time we fight four our lives... for our families, for our homes. If the enemy wins, then everything we hold dear will be destroyed. This is our home! We have been in this land for generations and we will not leave. A new day may come; and when it does, we will see our growing sons running and laughing on the fields without a care in the world. For your friends... for your families, for your sons, for all the goodness and light that exists in this world, we will FIGHT... to make sure that that day comes"
The soldiers raised their weapons and shields as they banged them together in agreement with Kane's speech. Spyro nodded his head in appreciation, and recognition of Kane's words. This battle would determine the fate of Tall Plains and all it inhabitants.
"Pretty speech isn't it?" Sergeant Jackson said with a sarcastic tone. "Lieutenant; request permission to tell my men a good pre-battle speech"
"Go ahead!" Parker chuckled.
Jackson strode purposefully toward where the humans were. They had finished doing whatever they were doing, and now they were lazing around.
"What is this?" Jackson barked. "Is this some bar club or a fucking army? Straiten the ranks you lazy maggots!"
Immediately, the humans scrambled to their feet and hurried to form straight lines in front of the awaiting Sergeant. They stood straight and rigid, with their weapons at the ready. Spyro counted the humans and found that there were nearly fifty humans soldiers.
"Men... a battle's never an easy thing to face; especially before breakfast!" Jackson said in a grave tone.
Spyro, knowing the dark skinned human, looked at him with an amused look; but the llamas, they were looking at him as if he were mad.
"You how irked I get when I do not get my healthy morning meal" Jackson continued as he strolled among the ranks of his men. "And you also know that there is also only one path that will set me back in my good mood. That path is the one paved with the skulls of our enemies with the taste of victory"
By this moment, the llamas nearest to him started to take a few step back away from him.
"Do you see those ugly bugs? Do you see them?" Jackson said as he pointed at the approaching army. "Those damned bugs have DARED to invade our precious little Earth. So, this is the place where will we show those damn and ugly bugs why they couldn't have picked up a worse enemy that the human race. They will only have moments to regret that action before we stamp our boots on their broken skulls in triumph. We will spill their blood until not a drop remains in their pathetic little bodies. We will scatter their gust all over the place as we laugh in delight as the enemy flees in terror against our unstoppable onslaught!" Jackson exclaimed as he finished his strolling around the troops and giving his back to them. He then suddenly turned. "AM I RIGHT, MARINES?"
"SIR, YES SIR!" a chorus came from the humans ranks.
"Uh-huh! Damn right, I am. Now move it out! Double time!" Jackson barked.
With that, the humans soldiers started to ran toward their defensive positions. Jackson, Parker and a few other humans remained.
When Jackson finished saying his speech, he looked with a smug face towards the Atlawa. The llamas, for their part, seemed too shocked and disbelieved at Jackson bloodlust speech to move. They seemed ready bolt out should Jackson so much as sneezed in the wrong way. But Spyro knew better.
He had acted like the Atlawa the first time he heard Jackson's 'famous' speeches. Parker then explained him that he only meant it as pep talk and as an encouraging towards his troop that he didn't really meant it.
True... it was bloody and gory, but it kinda held some humor in it.
"Sir; who will be my spotter?" Spyro head the human called Jason ask.
He turned and he had to open his eyes in surprise as he saw the longest weapon he had ever seen a human wield. It looked a lot like the weapons the other carried, only this one was much longer... and it also had a sort of cylinder attached at it top.
"Don't worry, I will get you one" Parker assured him. "Now, get into the tower and start picking out officers and any leaders you find"
"Yes sir!" Jason said as he started to retreat, grunting as he lifted the heavy weapon.
"What do you mean by spotter?" Spyro asked.
"A spotter is a member of a sniper team" Parker informed him. "The shooter or sniper is a man whose accuracy and aim excel at great distances. We use snipers to take out any valuable targets like officers, generals and such. However, it is difficult if the distance it to great. That's where the spotter comes in. He helps the sniper by 'spotting' the target, as well as advice him on the wind velocity and direction so the shooter can make a precise shot"
"So they are marksmen?" Spyro asked in terms he could understand.
"You could say that snipers are the elite of marksmen" Parker said.
Spyro nodded his head in understanding.
"Where the hell is Ramirez?" Jackson growled out loud.
"Sir, Private Jose Ramirez reporting for battle" Spyro heard said person arrive.
When he turned to look, Spyro had to widen his eyes in surprise.
"Dear Lord and Jesus Christ!" Spyro head a human who was nearby, exclaim. "Looks like John Rambo is ready for war!"
Ramirez had in him a great deal of many weapons at his disposal! Like most of the others, he carried what appeared to be the standard weapons with him; but that's where it ended the similarities. Instead from the single smaller weapons that humans used for backup, Ramirez had brought two; each attached to both end of his hips. He also saw the handle of a weapon that was attached to his back. AND he could at least see three knives and one small looking axe! On both side of his thighs and on his left shoulder. The was also a small axe on his belt that seemed easy to reach for. To making his appearance a little more colorful, Ramirez wore a red cloth on his forehead. The loose ends on the back swung freely on the calm breeze of the morning.
Like the human had said... Ramirez was ready for war.
"Whoa!" another human exclaimed. "M4 carbine with a grenade launcher... 2 M9s pistols... a shortened barrel shotgun; DAMN is that a Tomahawk? Where the hell did you get one?"
"I got a friend in the Army Rangers that got one for me. I owe him a huge favor for this one" Ramirez said as he took out the small axe from his belt.
"Cool! You have to let me borrow it!" the human said as he extended his hand, expecting to at least allowed it touch it.
"HEY! Hands off!" Ramirez said as he jerked away the weapon. "No touchy!"
"Ramirez..." Jackson said a little sarcastically. "Are you sure you got everything you need?"
Instead of answering outright, Ramirez placed the small axe on his pocket once again before head to a nearby carte the humans had brought with them. He pried it open and took out another knife from the inside. He then placed it on his right boot, making it the fourth knife that Spyro could see he carried.
"Yes" Ramirez answered to Jackson's question.
"Why all the weaponry Ramirez?" Parker questioned the obviously over armed soldier.
"Every time I go out on a mission, I somehow end up underneath someone!" Ramirez rambled somewhat angrily. "Well guess what? Not gonna happen again! This time, I'm prepared"
"If you say so" Parker said dismissively.
"Well then, I better go to my position" Ramirez said as he started to leave.
"Not so fast Ramirez" Parker stopped Ramirez. "You may be armed to the teeth and ready to take everything head on, but you are needs elsewhere"
Ramirez had turned around faced Parker.
"Jason Powell needs a spotter... and you are it" Parker pronounced.
"What?" Ramirez nearly shouted as surprise reached him.
"You heard me. You are Jason's spotter" Parker repeated himself. "He is very good sniper and we will need him; but he need a spotter"
"But why me?" Ramirez complained, almost sounding like it was a whine.
"You know Ramirez, you could have been an excellent sniper yourself" Parker said. "You have the stealth and the accuracy to make it. What you didn't have was the patience. I guess that's why you dropped of the sniper school"
"I hated waiting..." Ramirez said in a low voice as he remembered. "But why me?" he whined again.
"Because there is no one else who is able to do it" Parker said. "Now, quit your whining and head to the tower, where Powell is waiting"
"Oh man...." Ramirez whined once more before walking towards the tower.
"And Ramirez...." Parker called for him. "Behave"
Well, the gang arrives at Tall Plains and, of course, Cynder presence bring her to trouble. And as always, Spyro jumps to her aid. I wanted Spyro to do something a little bit rash (but not evil) in his sense of justice. That is why he went to 'jail' on his own accord. It was kind of blackmailing against Kane in a sense.
Second, the Atlawas still see Spyro and Sparx as their saviors and 'god' much to the dragonfly delight and to the discomfort of the dragon. Sparx, of course, takes everything good that comes his way with opens arms, but no so much for Spyro.
Gale... as inquisitive as ever. Shockwave... he seems the normal guy.
Which bring us to the new character; Gaia,
Gaia is a tomboy through and through. I must thank Bloodwolf432 (from fanfiction) that gave me the idea of Gaia, even though his idea was not exactly her. He suggested a blind warrior.... which in turn make me thing of Toph (from Avatar, the last air bender) character. She is also blind and is and earth bender, hence the resemblance with Gaia.
Besides... I needed another female in the story. I can't just be Cynder, can it?
It also seems another battle will begin.
Jackson with his always inspiring bloody speeches to boost morale.
Ramirez being himself... which is saying a lot. I laughed at Ramirez readiness for battle only to be sent to the back, away from the action. BUT... he might make something out of it yet,
And lastly... Incendio. It appears he had found a job within the city watch. Think of it as a militia or cops. He does not seems content with a certain human male that has gotten too close to Dr Kelly. I wonder what he will do.........
Anyway, I hope it does not take me months to upload the next chapter.
As always; your comment, reviews, critics, chats, private messages.... are a HUGE motivational way to make me write.