Sorry for the long wait, everyone. Here's the new chapter! Hope it doesn't suck too much!
The Dragon Chronicles Part 1- The Surrogate Cavalry Chapter 3- The Reclusive Academy
After Atticus said this, a hush fell over the eight that stood before him.
“Wait... what did you say?” Kay asked, eyes wide.
“Yeah... what do you mean?” agreed James.
“I mean precisely what I said,” Atticus said, his eyes gazing sternly around the room. “You eight– you have been prophesied as being the only persons on this planet that can save us from this unmistakable evil known as... the Reich.”
“The Reich? Who’s that?” asked Raffi. The others nodded in agreement, save for Kay, who had already heard about them from Nightmare and Daydream... although she kept quiet.
“They’re our antagonists,” explained Atticus. “They are... the evil you must save the magical world from.”
“Hold on a second here!” Jay suddenly arose, a confused and slightly angry look on his face. “Before you even talk about this ‘Reich’ thing, I wanna know what’s going on here! What’s this ‘magical world’ thing all about? Who ARE you people?!?”
“Yeah!” Kate stood up as well. “What’s going on here?”
“Patience, young ones,” Atticus smiled. “All shall be revealed soon.”
“Dammit, I wanna know what’s going on NOW!”
Atticus sighed. He turned to the nearest black-suited accomplice of his. “Mr. Warburton, it would be greatly appreciated if you would take Jay and Kate into the next room... there, you may tell them all that they desire to know.”
Warburton, the black man that had come to Laura’s home, came forward and motioned for Jay and Kate to follow him, and they did, exiting through a door on the right side of the room.
“Now then,” Atticus turned back towards the remaining six. “I suppose that you all would like to know why you’re here...”
“Yeah, that would be nice,” Shade remarked.
“Hm... well, alright then,” Atticus sat down in a chair facing them. “Where shall I begin?”
“Just begin with... why on earth we’re here right now,” said James.
Atticus nodded. “You all... well, as I’m sure you know– and have known for a good while– are dragons. The six of you were born with the dragon gene in your blood– and I’m almost certain that most, if not all, of you were told this at a young age by your parents.”
“However, here is the reason you all are here. Quite simply, for some reason, none of you were ever registered as dragons in front of the Dragon Council– something that is supposedly mandatory of all dragons in the world.”
“So that’s all this is?” asked Laura. “We just get registered as dragons and then be on our way back home?”
“Well... no, actually. You see– in this case, it was a good thing that the eight of you have never been registered– for it means that our greatest enemy does not know about any of you.”
“Our greatest enemy? Who’s that?” asked Ash.
“...the Reich,” Kay whispered.
“Correct, Kay. It is the Reich whom we are in conflict with,” nodded Atticus. “They are... a group of persons devoted fully to ridding the world of the entire magical population– and they’ve begun to do so by first eliminating their greatest threat– dragons.”
“Clan by clan, dragon by dragon, they are being picked off. Last night, in fact, we were informed that the entire Canadian dragon force had been wiped out– by the Reich, no less. They killed hundreds of thousands of dragons at Dragon Summit... and by our calculations, there is a mere ten percent left of the dragons that once populated this earth.”
The six just sat there in complete silence, in what seemed to be disbelief. How could this be happening? All these dragons... dead. Why was this happening?
“We are unsure as to what the Reich’s motives are... why they feel it necessary to kill all these innocent magical creatures... but we do know this– they will not cease until everything is gone. Then, their mission is complete.”
“So... okay, I understand that we are, for one reason or another, under the radar... we haven’t been recognized by the Reich,” Raffi said. “But... shouldn’t that mean that we should stay where we were... that way, we’re still safe? Why are we here instead?”
“Well, Raffi... recall what I spoke of earlier, if you will. I said that you eight are destined to be the saviors of the magical race. We will keep you here– to train you for the unmistakable challenges that lie ahead... should you accept it.”
“And if we refuse?” Shade asked.
“Then you may go back to your homes, no problem. However... you may only be safe for a short time– the Reich, I’m sure, has ways to find you all eventually– so if you do refuse, and this evil is not stopped, I would be quite fearful for your lives.”
Atticus rose from his chair. “The choice is yours. However, we could really use your help.” He walked to the door through which Jay and Kate had left earlier with Warburton. “If you are all ready to begin, follow me through this door. If not... talk to any of my associates in the back of the room, and they will return you to wherever it is you have come from.” He then nodded to the six and disappeared into whatever was outside this room.
And so the six sat there, as it seemed, in deep thought. That is, all except for Kay.
“I don’t know about you guys,” she said, standing up, “but those guys have killed too many dragons. And I’m not gonna just stand around here and let them continue all these killings! I’m gonna try and save the magical world... even if it means I’m doing it alone.”
Kay then walked briskly out of the room, not turning even once to see if anyone was following her. I believe that, even if no one had ever followed her, it wouldn’t have mattered to her.
And then there were five...
“Y’know,” Raffi said softly, “...I agree with her. I guess... I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I spent every day back home knowing that people were dying... and I could’ve saved them.”
“That’s what I was thinking...,” nodded Shade. “But I... I just don’t think I could go... without the rest of you.”
“What do you mean?” Laura asked.
“I mean... I’m not going unless you guys are.”
“Well, I am,” said James decisively.
“Me too,” both Ash and Laura said.
“And I’m definitely going if you’re going,” said Raffi, her gaze meeting Shade’s, but then quickly averting her eyes away, “...because... I mean, everyone else is...”
“It’s settled then,” Ash announced. “We’re ALL going... as a team.”
The five of them stood up and, as Kay had done earlier, followed each other out of the room.
Quite strange, it was– the new area they entered into through this door, that is. It was a long, narrow corridor, whose beige, plastered walls seemed to stretch on for as far as the eye could see– at least until about 300 feet away, when the hallway ended with an enormous, stained-glass window that appeared to extend above and below onto other floors. Other doors– similar to the one that they had recently exited through– lined the corridor as well, and about mid-hallway, there was what appeared to be a staircase of some sort– although many of their observations, save for the wall color and the doors, could only be inferred, as they were still quite a ways down the hall.
“Wow, um... look at all these doors... Mr. Stevenson could’ve gone into any of them...,” said James in awe. “It’ll take forever to find him.”
There came no immediate answer from the group collectively, but it seemed as if they all were, too, wondering where the dashing old man had wandered off to. They began to step rather quickly, growing slightly impatient at this predicament that presented itself. Not only did they not know where Mr. Stevenson had gone– but what about Kay, who had left hastily much earlier than they. Had she found Stevenson? Or was she, too, lost in this enormous place– a place they still did not know the name of, nor where it was located. And what about the other two in their party– Jay and Kate? Were they somewhere inside this place as well– with Warburton?
It became evident soon, however, that wherever any of them were, it was not on this floor. They came to the staircase that sat about mid-hallway and paused, knowing that they would have to go either up or down.
The staircase itself was a sight to behold. Compared to the beige walls of the hallway before it, along with the brown carpeted floor, the staircase seemed quite out of place. It was a grand white marble staircase– wide at the top, narrowing toward the middle, and then widening again at the bottom. It looked as if it had been pulled from the Titanic’s watery grave , had been fully restored, and was placed there.
The staircase also ascended to an upper floor. However, this section was much less elegant– it was simply brown and wooden– although it still had a slightly charming feel to it. They, however, didn’t seem to notice this floor as much; it was the bottom floor– the one reachable by the grand marble stairwell– that seemed to be given their utmost interest. For there, standing at the foot of the stairs, staring up at them and smiling warmly, was Atticus Stevenson.
“Ah... I had hoped that Kay wouldn’t be the only one– welcome!” he grinned. “Now, if you’ll all follow me, we may begin...”
“Begin what?” asked Laura.
“Why, your training, of course,” Atticus laughed rather oddly– as if there was something about this ‘training’ that intrigued him. Perhaps it was just that he would be seeing their powers for the first time. But they could not be sure– at least not now. Atticus then disappeared into a door on his left– one that seemed a bit more ‘important’ than the others they had encountered up to that point, considering its sky blue, marble frame that surrounded exquisitely carved light wooden doors, which were also about twice the size of all others they had seen so far.
The five of them stared around at each other, wondering whether or not they should follow him. They didn’t see why not– Atticus seemed like a trustworthy individual, someone that wouldn’t mean to do them any harm– why not follow him?
And so they did, single file, opening the door cautiously and stepping into something that might resemble some sort of everlasting black abyss– if such a thing ever did exist.
“Hey, who turned out the lights?” Ash retorted. No one answered.
“Guys... is that you?” asked a female voice.
“Um... sure... who are you?” Raffi asked.
“It’s Kay... the one who left before you guys, remember?”
“Oh, yeah... any idea what’s going on?”
“Well... Mr. Stevenson told me to wait in here, but he turned the lights out as soon as I entered, so I couldn’t see anything. Then he left, and... then you guys came in.”
“Yeah... I vote we get outta here,” Shade sighed. “I’m not gonna stand around here in the dark. I thought this was supposed to be training.”
The rest of the group murmured in agreement. This WAS strange– why would Atticus lead them into a pitch-black room and then leave them all alone– especially when he had said that the reason for their entering this room was for their training to begin?
But then these thoughts were wiped away from their mind, when a sudden flash of light garnered their attention.
The lights of the room had come on, shining with such bright intensity at first that it was nearly blinding to the group. But soon, the preceding glare began to mellow out– just in time for them to see six mechanical arms come shooting toward them, with the claw-like appendages that sat on the ends of the arms outstretched, meaning, it seemed, to grab the kids and do... well, whatever it is mechanical arms do to people.
With incredible ease, the arms grabbed each and every one of them before they had any time to react even slightly.
“Wha...?” Laura cried out.
“What’s going on?!” screamed Raffi, flailing about and beating the cold steel arms with her hands. “Put us down!!”
They were hoisted higher and higher into the air, all the while beginning to finally examine their surroundings. It was a large room– with what appeared to be white plaster walls and large lights hanging from the ceiling. The mechanical arms were connected to the ceiling as well, which is where they were being taken. Which is never a good thing.
Once the arms reached the ceiling, they paused. And so they hung there, suspended against the ceiling, unable to do, really, anything.
“Well, um...,” stuttered Kay, “anyone got any bright ideas here?”
“Hm... well, no, not really,” Ash sighed.
But before anyone could suggest anything... the universal concept stating that “what comes up must come down” was realized– as the mechanical arms that held them opened, sending them hurtling towards the tiled floor– which was approximately a hundred feet down.
For a split second, each and every one of the six stared in horror at the quickly-approaching ground. That is, until James broke this trend.
“Dragon... UP!” he yelled, and his entire body was engulfed in a jet black flame, before he emerged as a large dark dragon– quite akin to that of the actual Dark Dragon himself.
The remaining five quickly did the same– Raffi, Shade, Kay and Ashleigh returning to the dragon forms they had already exhibited earlier on that day, while Laura shifted into an orange-scaled dragon that seemed slightly smaller than the rest, by maybe a foot or so.
The dragons soared through the air, narrowly evading the ground, and then shot back up into the air, hovering there for a moment as they attempted to regain their composure.
“Whew... that was close,” gasped Laura, out of breath.
“Whoa... we’re not out of this yet!” Kay yelled.
And she was right. For the arms that had bound them earlier now came hurtling towards them once more, with even more vivacity than before.
Quickly and without hesitance, Raffi proceeded to shoot a basketball-sized orb of fire at the nearest arm. Upon contact, the arm seemed to cower back, the fire consuming the ‘fingers’ and working its way up the arm, consequently rendering it immobile, thus it fell to the ground, officially out of the grand scheme of things.
“Guys!” Raffi exclaimed excitedly. “Just breathe fire on the arms! It takes ‘em out!”
And so they all followed Raffi’s advice– at least to the best of their ability. James breathed an enormous black ball of fire at his pursuant arm, while Ash and Kay were a bit more... traditional, shooting brilliant orange flames at their opponents.
Shade and Laura differed from them, however. Shade, when he attempted to take down his respective arm, spit a brilliant-blue stream of ice at it, which covered it completely and froze it in its tracks. Meanwhile, Laura shut her eyes tight, as if she was concentrating deeply, and when she reopened them, they glowed a bright, piercing yellow. She raised her arms above her head, and a swirling cloud of intense lightning formed in between her taloned hands. After a few seconds, she hurled the lightning at the remaining arm, causing it to explode on impact. And with this, all six of the arms were vanquished.
Still, the six dragons remained suspended in the air, as if they were expecting that there was still the possibility of there being another attack on them. But after a few moments, it became apparent that there would be no such attack, and they finally flew to the ground and reverted back to their human forms, all the while wondering: Why were they attacked? And by who?
This was all about to become clear, they’d soon find out. For as soon as they touched ground, they heard the sound of clapping– applause, no less. It reverberated through the room, giving the appearance of a crowd of people... although in reality, as they realized when they glanced at the nearby door they had entered through earlier, there was only one person giving them the ovation– and he just so happened to be someone they had not expected– even though it actually made perfect sense.
There stood Atticus Stevenson, his face twisted into a scheming grin, at the door, his hands clasped together in applause. “Bravo, bravo... very good, children. I’m impressed...”
But the rest of them didn’t exactly share his enthusiasm on the subject. “What’s going on here, Atticus!?” spat Shade, his apparent ire coloring his face red with annoyance. “What was up with the metal arms of doom? You trying to kill us?!”
“‘Cause if that’s what you were aiming for, it didn’t work. Those things were simple to defeat...,” added Ash.
“Well, of COURSE they were easy,” Atticus chuckled. “Do you honestly believe that I WANTED to kill you all? If I had wanted to do that, it would have been much worse, believe me.”
“Then what was all that about?” growled James.
“I told you all that your training would begin inside this room, did I not?” Atticus asked with a sly look on his face.
“Well... yes, I guess you did...”
“And it DID begin, did it not?”
“Well, now that you’ve cleared this all up, I suppose we have,” sighed Raffi.
“Exactly. Now,” grinned Atticus, “it is obvious that you have passed your first test.”
“And... what was that?” Kay asked.
“Quite simple, really– kill your attackers before they kill you,” he laughed. “And you succeeded. Well done.”
“Wait... but those arm things technically weren’t even alive... they were just machines!” Laura chimed in.
“Does it really matter, Ms. Bellamy?”
“Well, if you meant what you said, it kinda does...”
“That’s enough, Ms. Bellamy. Now... not only did this session enable me to observe your combat styles,” continued Atticus, “but it also revealed your powers to me. As you’ve seen, not all of you ‘breathe fire,’ as is custom with most dragons– and I wished to see whether any of you were like this: and apparently, our hunches were accurate.”
“Okay...,” Shade said, “I understand... I think. So, uh... what now?”
“What now, you ask?” Atticus’s sly grin had returned. “Now you all will accommodate yourselves here at the academy– make yourselves at home. And then, we can truly begin.”
“Academy? We’re at an academy?” asked Raffi.
“Why yes, where else would you be?” laughed Atticus. “Welcome, one and all, to The Stevenson Academy of Excellence– known throughout the magical world for its expertise in training young warlocks, witches, shapeshifters (and, now, dragons); as well as being known throughout the human world for being the most unattainable school in the world– considering that we only take in magical folk, and would NEVER accept a human... so we must be quite selective, as you might imagine. We must also keep our motives a secret from the outside world, as I’m afraid that mere humans are a bit unprepared to discover that we are a school training magical creatures and such, don’t you think?”
“The Stevenson Academy of Excellence?” asked James with a puzzled look on his face. “Never heard of it.”
“What? You honestly have never heard of us?”
James shook his head, prompting Atticus to glance around at the others in question.
“Wait... I think I may have heard of it...,” Kay said. “Isn’t it that really prestigious school in the southern part of Pennsylvania?”
“Precisely,” Atticus nodded.
“Yeah, I think I’ve been past it before when we took a vacation to Indiana; it was on the way there...”
“Well, I am glad that at least someone knows where they are... nevertheless, welcome to you all. Now... I understand that you were all given no time to pack for your stay here, is this correct?”
A hush fell over the six, but after thinking it all over, they all began to nod. For it WAS true... they had nothing but the clothes on their back at that point.
“That is what I had figured. Not to worry, though– here at the academy, we have our very own convenience store, full of the latest clothing, amenities– you name it, we have it!”
“Wow, um... that’s... convenient... I guess,” Raffi said hesitantly, staring around idly at her new colleagues, and received glances back that seemed to say ‘Well, let’s go with it– even if it is a bit strange.’
“Really? I think so too,” beamed Atticus. “Now, if you’ll follow me, I will show you to your dormitories– where you’ll be staying for a good while.”
And so they departed, exiting through the very door through which they had entered, and followed Atticus up the grand staircase they’d traveled down earlier. Atticus led them up the entire staircase, and then rounded a corner and headed up the wooden staircase they had seen earlier– the one that connected the second and third floors.
Once they reached the third floor, they saw much of the same that they had viewed on the second floor– in fact, exactly the same, down to the same wallpaper.
As they all walked along the hallway to their rooms, Ash ran up alongside Atticus, “Um... excuse me, Mr. Stevenson, but I had a quick question...”
“Yes, what is it?”
“Well, um... how exactly are our parents supposed to know where we went? They’ll worry... and that’s not good. What are we gonna do?”
“Ah, don’t worry, Ashleigh– my people are working on it as we speak. All we are telling your parents is that you all are taking a few courses at our academy here... that you’ve been chosen, out of thousands of children across the United States, to take part in these courses, and that you’ll be home soon enough. Now, of course, the parents who already know that their son or daughter is a dragon will likely question this, and in that case, we’ll simply tell them everything– aside from the fact that you all will be saving the magical world.”
“Hm. Well, good luck with that.”
Atticus nodded in recognition, and then stopped. “Alright, here we are.” He turned to the six of them. “We’re a bit low on rooms right now, so we’ll have all the boys in one room, and then two rooms for the girls. All the other rooms in the academy are occupied by regular students– although the majority of them are not here right now, as we’re on a semester break– which should end at about the time that you all will be leaving the academy. Granted, you will still see a few students roaming the halls here... you may converse with them if need be, however, they have been given specific instructions to, for the most part, stay clear of you all.”
“I believe that’s it, then,” Atticus rubbed his hands together in closure, “if you need anything, feel free to ask any of the staff. Have a nice stay!” He disappeared down the hall and into the stairwell.
Shade and James, gleeful with their being able to room with each other, ventured into their respective dormitory, while the four girls stood there, attempting to decide who would room with who.
“I’d like to room with Ash, if it’s alright with the rest of you,” Raffi said. “I mean... just because we go to school together and all...”
“Fine with me; I’ll room with Kay,” Laura nodded.
“And, um, me...,” came a voice from inside the room Kay and Laura were about to enter.
“Wha... who’s there?” asked Kay.
“It’s... Kate, the girl that left earlier with that Warburton dude...” said Kate, stepping into the doorway.
“Oh... yeah, I almost forgot about you guys!” laughed Raffi.
“Wait... so that means Jay’s back!” Laura’s eyes lit up.
“Yeah... you might wanna give him a little more alone time right now,” suggested Kate. “He’s taking this whole ‘dragon’ thing kinda weird....”
“I’m sure... so you guys had no idea that you were dragons?” asked Ash.
Kate nodded. “No clue. I’m cool with it though... I guess. I mean, it definitely puts a whole new perspective on my life...”
Kay stuck out her arms and yawned, “Wow, I’m tired... can we move into our rooms yet? I really have some shut-eye catching up to do...”
“Sure, let’s go,” Laura said, seemingly disappointed that she was unable to speak with Jay at this point. The five girls each turned into their rooms, and went from there.
The boy’s room was a bit boring, to say the least. James and Shade were on their lone couch, talking about their dragon powers, while Jay was knocked out on his bed.
In Laura, Kay, and Kate’s room, it was more of the same– Kay had fallen asleep as soon as she hit the pillow on the bed she’d just chosen, Kate was on her bed staring up at the ceiling, while Laura was at their narrow window, staring around at the surrounding scenery. (Which will be explained more in detail in the future.)
Ash and Raffi’s room, meanwhile, was a whole other story. It was quite lively in there, actually– probably the initial shock of finding out that they shared this common characteristic– their dragon powers. The two of them began talking about random stuff that had occurred that day as well, and a bit later, it drifted towards a more ‘personal’ topic.
“So, Raffi,” grinned Ash with a sly look on her face, “how about it? What do you think about the other guys here?”
The question seemed to catch Raffi a bit off guard, but she finally stuttered out an answer, “Well... um, I dunno, I guess they’re kinda cool...”
“Mmhmm...,” Ash stared a hole through Raffi, as if she was trying to get her to spill something valuable, “and... what about that Shade guy... from our school?”
“Um... yeah, he’s cool.”
“Aw, c’mon, Raffi, that’s all you can say?!” laughed Ash. “I KNOW there’s something goin’ on between you two... I saw that look you two gave each other before we left to find Atticus. You can’t fool me!”
“Say... what?” Raffi exhibited a look on confusion. “You’re crazy, Ash... we just looked at each other... I think you’re reading a bit much into it. I mean... I don’t really even know him!”
“Yeah, sure... whatever you say,” Ash smiled triumphantly, averting her eyes away.
“Ash, I’m serious!”
“Shh... what’s that?”
It was a static noise coming from inside the room. After locating the source of the sound, they realized it was coming from an intercom speaker above their door.
“Attention on the grounds: all dragon students, please report to the lobby. Thank you.” It was a female voice– probably a secretary.
After awakening the sleeping students, the eight of them headed off together to the lobby... which Kay claimed she had seen when they came down the grand staircase on the right side of the room.
And she was right– there was the lobby: a mid-sized room with a couple tables and chairs, a computer, a telephone, and a large fireplace at the far end.
They all sat down, and were soon joined by Atticus Stevenson and his suited accomplices.
“Welcome again,” Atticus greeted them, “I figured that you all would like to meet your trainer– he just flew in from New York City.”
“Wait...,” said James, “You mean YOU’RE not our trainer?”
Atticus chuckled softly, “Of course not. It wouldn’t make much sense– I’m not a dragon, you know. I believe that a dragon should be trained by another dragon... and that is what we will do.”
He turned toward outside the room. “You may come in now...”
And for a while, there came no response. But soon enough... a small wheelchair came scooting in slowly, with an equally small man inside. He was clothed from head to toe in a long blue robe, with gray hair and a long beard. It was apparent that his legs were paralyzed... but his upper body was still movable, as he was moving the wheelchair on his own.
“Children, I’d like to introduce your trainer... he is one of the only known survivors of the attack on Dragon Summit... Mr. Lao Shei.”
Post by ADJLFanatic on Jan 1, 2007 21:39:30 GMT -5
OMG Lao Shi. XD And wow, I see very weird signs of the 'liking' thing with the.... BAH I won't say it. Anyway... THAT WAS LOOOONGGGG. And a veryveryvery nice update. I so officially love you. Not as much as the other guy but OH WELL. GREAT WRITER YOU ARE TOOOOOO. *weird* @_@
Well umm... THAT WAS SO COOL. I can't wait to see what else is going to happennnn!!
ICHTHYANDER: ADJL scored 635K likes on Disney plus in India, which is more likes than Kim Possible, because Kim Possible has 250K likes! Note that Disney plus has recently appeared in India, namely, on April 3!
Apr 12, 2020 7:43:35 GMT -5