Eclipse Chapter Nine: Foul Play

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LissaFish
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Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 02/12/2017

 

 

 

ECLIPSE

Chapter Nine

 

 

Foul Play

 

 

 

LissaFish's picture
LissaFish
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 02/12/2017
chapter nine

We watched the dragons play for an hour, and by the end of it you would have thought they’d known Ebony all their lives. All but Toothless, who was not in the best of moods and stuck to Hiccups side.

Ebony was particularly attached to Hookfang… although he didn’t feel the same for her. After running all over the place trying to escape her, the five-thousand-pound dragon hid behind Snotlout. She finally let him be.

“I wonder if Hookfang reminds her of another dragon that she made friends with,” Hiccup thought.

“Sounds likely,” Fishlegs nodded. “If other Nightfuries are anything like Toothless they should live together with other dragon species symbiotically, leaving the window open for friendship.”

The two nerds nodded-simultaneously.

The chief clapped his hands together. “Okay, moment of truth. Everyone to your dragons! Snotlout, would you and Hookfang lead us back to camp? I think Ebony will follow you guys. If she does then we might be able to convince her to follow us home.”

“With pleasure,” Snotlout bowed.

Each to his and her own dragon, we flew up and out of the forest.

Below the branches Ebony wriggled and hopped and cooed, but refused to join us in the air.

“Snotlout circle around a few times to encourage her to follow you guys,” Hiccup suggested.

The Jorgenson turned his dragon “Hey Ebony, your new best friend and I are leaving, you should totally follow us home and become a part of the Jorgenson clan,” He cooed.

“I said encourage not discourage. Let Hookfang do the talking.”

“Well aren’t you the rudest Chief I ever met. Fine. Hookfang, do you mind helping me out a little here?”

His dragon snorted.

“Oh come on be a pal! I need her to follow us! Can you imagine what dad will think if I come home with my own Nightfury?”

Hookfang looked him in the eye, growling.

“No no no I wouldn’t replace you what? That’s crazy!” he rubbed the back of his neck nervously. “I can’t believe you’d think that you know my dad will take her.”

Hookfang shook his head.

“I’ll feed you one hundred of the biggest salmon in the archipelago, give you three rub downs a day and you can have my hut.”

The Monstrous Nightmare snickered and began calling to the dragon below.

Ebony replied by running back and forth on the ground.

Snotlout looked to Hiccup, shrugging.

“Maybe she can’t fly,” Heather said.

“She didn’t even try to.” Fishlegs added.

 

Down we went again.

 

“What’s the matter, girl?” Hiccup asked, looking for clues.

“If this is about Snotlout making you a Jorgenson, don’t worry. NONE of us will let that happen,” Ruffnut said, rubbing the dragon’s head.

Ebony shoved her down by accident as she returned to the place she was standing when we first saw her. She sat down.

Together we followed, but she spread her wings a little and let out a soft growl.

We were perplexed.

“She’s nervous about something. Please, just stay here. If I go alone she may feel more comfortable than if we all went.”

“By all means,” Dagur said. “But could you will Toothless to me first?”

“You too, bud,” Hiccup put a halting hand up to his dragon. “Stay.”

 

Realizing Hiccup was coming alone, she visibly relaxed and allowed him into her personal space. He looked her over and all around while Toothless watched warily from an unconfrontational distance.

Ebony followed Hiccup’s movements with her eyes, waiting expectantly for him to figure out her dilemma.

“I don’t understand,” He finally said, looking her in the eye. “Your wings are good, your tail is good, what are you trying to tell us?”

She stood and turned. With a brisk trot she led him over the mossy rocks to a small boulder. She put her paw on it.

“Okay, a rock.” Hiccup copied her and put his hand on it too.

“We are now touching this rock.”

She slapped the rock a few times.

He slapped the rock a few times.

Ebony put her ears back and pulled the rock towards her. He looked down for a few seconds.

“Oh,” We heard him say, pain in his voice. “You poor thing,”

“What is it?” Heather called. “What’s wrong with her?”

“It’s not her. There’s a crevice under here. It’s not very big,” He answered, his hands disappearing into it, “But just big enough to hide this little guy,”

He brought out a very limp terrible terror.

“Oh!” We rushed Hiccup.

Ebony chattered uneasily. She glanced towards Toothless, who didn’t move but was sniffing curiously. Glaring she circled in front and spread her wings so he couldn’t see.

“Is it…dead?”

“No,” Hiccup said sadly, cradling the dragon in his arms. “But I don’t think he’ll be with us long.”

The sorry little dragon’s eyes were closed. His breathing burdened. His scales had all but been burnt off, and only a few shown purple amidst the charring. He coughed a feeble, smokey attempt at a defensive fireball.

“Oh sweetheart,” Heather pet him, voice waving but calm. “Don’t worry, no one will hurt you now.”

“Who would do such a thing??” Fishlegs’ rage mode was triggering. “This is horrible!”

“I don’t know but we’re going to find out.” Hiccup growled.

“And when we do they’ll be apologizing!” Tuffnut brandished Macey.

“Guys,” I said, stroking the weak little body. “look at his!”

There was a small metal ring attached to the Terror’s right hind leg.

“A courier dragon! He was carrying a message!”

“I wonder what it could have been?”

“Or who it came from or where it was going.” Dagur mused.

“Must have been important, if somebody went as far as to shoot him down for it,” Snotlout added sullenly.

“I don’t think he hid here on his own.” Hiccup turned to Ebony who was currently giving Toothless the lazy eye. “You put him in there didn’t you girl,”

Ebony turned to him looking confused.

“You saved this little guy and hid him from us until you knew we wouldn’t hurt him.” Hiccup put his hand on her nose. “Good girl, Ebony. Good girl.”

At the words ‘Good girl’ Ebony’s eyes grew wider, if that’s even possible. A slow but happy purr came out of her and her tail went up.

“So if she hid him from us that means she felt we were a threat to him which means she’s met Vikings that are a threat to Terrible Terrors in the least but has not made acquaintance with Vikings capable of being a threat to herself?”

“Who knows Tuffnut. What matters now is to try to save this little guy if it’s possible. If not, at least make him comfortable.”

I thought of Norbert Haugen’s Prickleboggle back on Berk. What I wouldn’t give to have her with us right then.

Heather spoke up. “I have a salve back at camp. It’s made of aloe, yak cream, honey, and a few drops of Tide Glider gel. I use it on Windshear when she gets saddle sore. It’s very soothing.”

“Anything would help.”

Hiccup handed the tiny still creature to me as he mounted Toothless. Ebony followed, grunting. I walked up to hand the dragon back too him but she pushed me away.

“Oh, I guess I am chosen now,” I laughed.

“Rude,” Hiccup said, arms crossed.

“Don’t worry Stormfly and I’ve got him. But would you guys do me a big favor?”

“Anything.”

“So we have a smooth ride could you fly above and in front of us, so we don’t run into any seagulls or their droppings?”

Both of them cringed.

“Toothless is black, Astrid,” Hiccup argued weakly.

“So?”

He gave an exaggerated sigh. “It won’t be pretty, but we’ll do it for you. And the little guy. But we’re not doing it for Stormfly’s vanity.”

Stormfly rawked indignantly.

“Thanks, sweetheart.” I smiled.

 

 

They only ran into about a hundred seagulls on the way. New record.

Ebony occasionally came over and checked on her Terrible Terror friend, but mostly followed Hookfang, collecting every seagull he hit in her paws. When we landed in the cave she dropped them all and they flew everywhere.

Hiccup and Toothless were in last, making sure to cover Stormfly and I.

Everyone laughed. Although they’d all been hit with bird droppings, poor Toothless looked the worst.

“We are so jumping in the ocean later. I don’t care how itchy we get.” Hiccup rubbed nasty white spots off Toothless’ head.

They had landed close to Ebony. She glanced irritably at them, hissed at Toothless and slinked to Hookfangs’ side.

“Wow she really does not like him.” Snotlout grinned devilishly.

“It’s so strange,” Hiccup shook his head. “Friendly to other dragons except the one that’s her own kind.”

Stormfly squatted low to the ground so I could easily slide of with my frail bundle. She gave a nervous chatter, cocking her head to the side and sniffing.

Heather got the salve and rubbed it all over the little body. It helped; he loosened up a little and his breathing slowed.

Fishlegs tore his reindeer fur blanket in half and wrapped it around the dragon. Snotlout brought his dearly loved and never shared kippers over.

“He needs them more than I do,” He said, holding out one of the tiny fish. The terror raised its head just a little, but didn’t open his eyes.

“That’s it, super yummy kipper. Try a bite.”

Too weak to even eat, he lay his head back down again.

Everyone looked up at each other sadly.

Hiccup snapped his fingers, trying to think. “Maybe if we try something that he doesn’t have to chew, just drink. Does anyone have yaks milk?”

“I do,” Dagur put his hand up. “Never leave home without it. Sometimes I have digestive issues and as the medicine man says a gallon a day keeps the-“

Hiccup gagged. “Just go get it please.”

“O-Kay! Shattermaster! Here boy!”

Shattermaster had wandered outside and couldn’t hear him.

Dagur growled with fists clenched. Then he looked to us in misery. “He knows I hate this island. I’ll be right back guys.”

“How are you going to feed it to him? He won’t drink out of bowl.” Fishlegs asked.

“We need a funnel of some sort. Like a hollowed reed, with a wide and narrow end.”

“Well my friend, you are in luck today.” Tuffnut and Ruffnut came forward. “Allow me to introduce you to Peter.”

Tuffnut held out a strange looking instrument. It was triangular in shape, made with tall reeds scaling down to short, all in a row and tied together.

“…what is it?”

“It’s a reed. You blow air in one end and noise comes out the other.” He took a great breath and blew out one or two horrific notes. “See?”

“Hear, actually. Or used to.”

“This Peter Flute has been in my family for generations. We are a proud reed playing family. First it was my great great grandfather, then my great grandfather, then my grandfather, then my father and now it is I. I alone, must conquer this instrument and become a great artiste like my greats.”

“Tuff, you know we’ll have to break this to use it.” I warned him.

“The pleasure’s all mine.”

He ripped it apart.

“What?” He asked, like nothing was out of the ordinary.

“I’m just wondering how ANYTHING gets handed down in your family without being destroyed.”

 

Hiccup made quick work of his idea. He took the largest reed and cut the wider end at an angle. Then with his knife he drilled a whole through one of our wooden cups, just enough to fit the wide end of the reed.

“I think this will work,”

He gently pet the little body. “He’s getting cold,”

I put my hand on the creature. I could barely feel his heart beat.

Hiccup tried to shake the feeling of hopelessness, placing the narrow end of the reed in the dragon’s mouth. “Someone bring me some water?”

Ruffnut handed him an open canister. He poured the water into the cup. It drained into the reed and into the terrors mouth.

“Swallow,” Hiccup muttered. “Swallow,”

The dragon gulped.

“Good boy.”

“UGH! I’m back, and here’s the yak milk,” Dagur gasped, feathers and droppings stuck to him.

The little guy drank a whole cup full. In the meantime, the rest of us packed up.

Ebony had been wandering the cave getting into everybody’s stuff. But she came back now to see what was happening to her friend. She shoved her face towards the little dragon, getting in the way.

“Move, Ebony!” Hiccup pushed her away. “You’re smothering him!” She stepped back, looking with angry eyes and swishing her tail. She left to torment Hookfang some more.

The terrible terror fell into a restless sleep.

“Well, that’s all we can do. The rest is up to him.”

“Will we stay here with him, until he recovers?” Fishlegs asked, ever hopeful.

“No. We’ll take him with us. I’ve emptied one of Toothless’ saddlebags so I can put him and the fur blanket in it. Is everybody ready?”

“Couldn’t be any MORE READY-Y!” Dagur said with a touch of derangement. He leapt onto Sleuther’s back. “This place sorta brings out the worst in me.”

Everyone else mounted.

Hiccup picked up the blanketed dragon and walked to Stormfly.

“Uhh, what are you doing?” I asked, leaning forward. Stormfly sniffed carefully, bobbing her head.

He put the sleeping dragon into Toothless’ saddlebag and strapped it over his shoulder. Then mounted Toothless.

“You and Stormfly are going to follow his scent and lead us to the person or people responsible for this cruelty.”

“And then we’ll KILL them!” Dagur whipped out two swords. A javelin randomly appeared in Fishlegs’ hands.

“I was thinking more like talk to them. Very sternly.”

“What until they feel sorry for what they did and become solid citizens of the Archipelago? That’ll be the day!”

Hiccup grinned. “It happened to you, Snotlout.”

“Shutup, Hiccup.”

“And if talking doesn’t work?”

“I’ll try very hard not to let the dragons eat them. Try being the key word. But if they do I won’t be very sorry. Lead the way, Astrid!”

I urged Stormfly on. She trilled excitedly, happy to be on the hunt.