Eclipse Chapter Twelve: Drifters

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LissaFish
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Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 02/12/2017

 

 

ECLIPSE

 

Chapter Twelve:

Drifters

 

By Lissa

 

 

__________________

Hi!

I'm Lissa, a follower of Jesus ^^ I've been part of SoD for around 3 years; the forum for 2.

My hobbies include: 

Watching Movies

Arting, and Admiring other people's art :D

Using emoticons in every sentence xD

Writing historical fiction, Children's, and Fantasy

 

 

Ebony!

By Ecliptic Eight Thx she is so cute!

 

 

Pround memeber Of

Dragoness

Hookless

Flitt

 

Ebony in her usual state of mind- confused xD

By Hookless thanks so much!

LissaFish's picture
LissaFish
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Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 02/12/2017
Drifters

The sea spread out before us wide and empty. Not a mast on the grey horizon.

On an upside though the rain finally stopped.

Ebony drifted lazily between dragon riders. Thank goodness no one had to wake her. When we got back to camp we found that she’d eaten everything but the perch out of the cache Meatlug and Shattermaster brought back. She was ridiculously pleased with herself.

 

We were making good time. It’s about a day’s flight to Caldera Cay from Melody Island and by ten we had already passed Algae. Flightmares are not as keen on being active during the day so we had no trouble there.

I found myself staring at the water far below. Was that a shimmer, or a strange black and white creature I saw? I tapped Stormfly and we broke formation.

Gliding down to sea level we were met only by waves. Not a beastie in sight.

“What are you doing?” My husband glided in next to me.

“Nothing. Thought I saw something but it was probably just a dolphin.”

He studied the water. “Black and white?”

“Yeah. You saw it too?”

He nodded, absent mindedly.

The rest of the gang swooped in to join us.

“What are you two love birds talking about?” Snotlout interrupted with one of his smug grins.

“Gushy stuff.” I said, just for the fun of irritating him.

“Ugh. Nevermind I don’t want to know.”

“Okay so we all know that Dragon Hunter Island is only about two day’s distance from Caldera Cay. By boat of course. Who wants to put money on those rapscallions?” Fishlegs growled.

“MONEY? I want to put macey on those rapscallions. And IN those rapscallions.”

“All in good time, all in good time,” Dagur chuckled wickedly. “My sword is thirsty too.”

“You guys remember the part where we don’t fire first, right?” Hiccup turned in the saddle. “And the goal isn’t to end them.”

“Of course. But it’s a guarantee they’re going to shoot so, might as well anticipate.”

“Just remember -cough- some of us -cough- were just as bad as they are once.”

“Owch. Drudging up the past, eh Hiccup?” Dagur rolled his eyes. “That’s beneath you.”

“Just to prove a point is all.”

“Speaking of beneath us, canvases at nine o’ clock!” Snotlout pointed due west.

Six to seven white masts gave away a substantial fleet. We hooted and hollered. Out came the javalin again.

Hiccup set his jaw. “Formation!”

 

We rose in the sky, leveled and formed a diamond. Hiccup and Toothless the head Dagur and Sleuther the tail. Hiccup checked and tightened the strap of the saddlebag holding Trooper.

“Shattermaster, middle,” Dagur gestured his loose dragon.

“What are we going to do with her?” The twins gestured our newest member.

Hiccup looked down at Toothless. “Wanna see if she’ll work with you, bud?”

Toothless looked behind him and cooed at Ebony. She stared with her wide yellow eyes.

He cooed again. Slow but sure, she edged her way up and flew above him and Hiccup.

“Double Fury strike bet they won’t see that coming!” Ruff and Tuff fist pumped.

Thanks to the cloud cover we closed the gap quickly and quietly. Just as suspected the ships crest belonged to the hunters. We had found our quarry.

Almost on top of them, Hiccup raised his right hand. We waited in silence.

He dropped it and we dove.

With one hand I reached for my axe, with the other I clasped Stormfly’s saddle, breathing in and out heavy.

“Let’s do this!” I whispered in her ear.

She raised her spines in excitement.

 

In unison we emerged from the clouds, each Viking and dragon shrieking their own battle cry.

Circling the ships at high speed we fired one or two warning shots. Stormfly launched a couple spikes at the deck. Heather, Windshear and Shattermaster prepared to catapult the latter through the ships’ hulls.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Toothless and Ebony about to fire, and to my surprise Toothless swallowed his blast and stopped Ebony.

Hookfang ignited and flew gracefully between the masts, lighting each one aflame.

“Snotlout Snotlout Oi Oi Oi!”

…So much for not firing first.

The twins, never to be outdone by a Jorgenson, crossed his path, Barf pouring gas and Belch sparking.

CABOOM!

 

Toothless groaned, refusing to take Hiccups cues. The latter studied the ships.

“Stand down! Stand down!” He shouted as loud as he could. “Cease fire!”

Nothing changed.

“DAGUR!” He belted to the Berserker and pointed downward.

Dagur studied the ship. His face turned ashen.

“SSSSSSSTTTTOOOOOOPPPPPP!” He roared at the top of his lungs.

Everyone held their position.

I turned to our quarry. It was true that most of them had the hunter’s crest, including the flagship. But some paraded a different flag entirely- an Eruptodon.

Of those carrying the hunters flag, as I looked more closely I saw that many were badly damaged and then repaired in haste. The masts were torn and frayed, big burn spots dotted the deck and the hulls had suffered critical damage from… what appeared to be… the Gronckle maneuver?

Heather and Shattermaster hovered by. It wasn’t their doing.

 “What gives?” Ruff demanded. “Can’t you see we are in the middle of complete annihilation? You should know better than to get between the Thorstons and their victims.”

“LOOK who you’re annihilating,” Hiccup gestured.

The people aboard the ships were making no attempt to fight back. They were too busy hurling bucket loads of water over the decks. Two in particular, a man with a red, shaved-sides pony tail, and a woman in black and gold stood out.

“My darling baby buppie-bunga-boo!” Dagur gasped and dove for the deck.

“Would you look at that,” Tuff smiled pleasantly. “It’s the Defenders of the Wing! Hey I can see Queen Mala from here! Ugh and Throk. Between you and me, that guy’s a weirdo.”

“What are they all doing out here?” Snotlout and Hookfang looked to each other, perplexed. “And by ‘all’ I mean ALL of them??”

“Does it really matter right now Snotlout? Look what we’ve done to their fleet!”

“Oi!” Throk yelled from the deck of the largest vessel. “Put out the masts!”

“Oops.”

Snotlout turned red in the face.

 

War dragons switched to rescue dragons in the blink of an eye. Stormfly and I swung low for a mouthful of salty water to spew at the sails in flame. The others followed our lead.

As we put out the fire Hiccup flew alongside the flag ship, assessing damage.

“You guys are taking on water?” He asked.

“Yes,” Mala leaned over the side. Dagur was kissing out his apology, starting at one hand going all the way up her arm and back down the other to her other hand. “These vessels are not seaworthy but we had little choice. Could your riders bring wood and tar from Algae Island and help us repair?”

“Not a problem, Mala. Guys!”

The chief split us up into teams.

Once the masts were put out Hiccup and I landed aboard the largest vessel for a meeting of the minds.

“We’re soo sorry for threatening your fleet like that. When we saw the sails-”

“We know what you thought. If I saw these sails nearing our harbor we would have prepared for battle as well. We hold nothing against you. YOU on the other hand,” She looked to a sheepish Dagur with fire in her eyes. “You and I need to talk about communication skills.”

 “In my defense I haven’t been home for a while. I was busy making the archipelago a better place for you. And dragons!” he offered a toothy smile.

She glanced behind Hiccup to Toothless and Ebony, who were making faces at each other. “You have found another one,”

“Yes! Long story short, yeah. On Seagull Droppings Island of all places.”

Mala did not look well. There were bandages around her arms. Covered in soot and exhausted, the spark had left her grey-blue eyes. Her hair was a mess, her face was downcast and her posture spoke defeat. Now she could barely stand.

Dagur’s countenance changed as he stopped thinking about himself and the trouble he was in and started worrying about his wife. He found her a chair. “Honey, are you alright?”

“Her arms are half burned and she has been leading us without rest or food for the last forty-eight hours. No she is not alright.” Throk retorted, bristling. Ever the loyal henchman, he wasn’t too keen on Dagur’s wild and unpredictable behavior, especially if he thought it was to the neglect of Mala.

“I can speak for myself, Throk.” The usually even-tempered queen snapped.

Dagur gingerly examined her wounds. They were pretty severe.

As he studied the wounds his blood boiled to his head, until he looked like a beat with two eyes and a scar. His left eye twitched.

“Sweetheart, who did this to you?” the Berserker asked in his calmest voice. Those of us that knew him well took three steps back.

“Lava.” She answered, looking away. “I gather, in spite of everything, you’ve received my messages?”

Hiccup took a step forward, head hung low. “One, Mala.”

“I sent two to Berk.”

“Only one message made it, the one with Stoker. Mala, we found him in the ocean. He is gone.”

The queen shook her head miserably. “I should not have sent him. It was against my better judgement to have the little dragon do my bidding, but I had taken so fondly to Stoker and he wanted so much to please me. I should not have sent him.”

Worn to a fray, this last bit of bad news proved a little too much. Silent tears fell down her cheeks. “Who would do such a thing?”

“Someone who didn’t want us to know you guys were in trouble.” I answered.

“We did rescue the other one,” Dagur tried to give her some glimmer of hope. He put an arm over her shoulder, wanting desperately to make her feel better, to make it all go away. “He was badly burned but he’s healing now.”

“That’s right,” Hiccup was quick to agree. “He’s fought hard. I have him in one of Toothless’ saddle bags. Hope you don’t mind we named him Trooper. Let me return him to you,”

“No,” Mala answered, attempting to regain composure. “He is better off with you and your dragon riders than with us now. You did not receive his message?”

“It was burnt off. What did it say?”

“Stoker was our first messenger. When we did not hear from you we intended to send Mauve, or Trooper, as you call him. But disaster struck.” She looked around at us, resting her gaze on Dagur. “Caldera Cay is no more, and our beloved Protector may be lost.”

“The Island is gone? And the Eruptodon, too??”

“It is nothing but molten rock now.”

Hiccup kneeled down in front of the husband and wife. “What happened?”

“I do not know. Two nights ago a thunderstorm blew in. Between the lightning blasts I was awakened in the first morning hours by the Protector’s mighty roar. When I looked out I found the streets of our ancestral village flowing with lava. We hurried to evacuate, every second hoping the Protector would come and stop the flow, but he never did. So we loaded everyone into the boats, resurrecting some hunter’s ships in sheer desperation, and we have been adrift in our misshapen fleet since. In the absence of our Protector there is and always has been, total ruin.

The only reason a Protector would not perform his duty is if he is not able. Something kept him from it; whether a terrible illness, an injury, or perhaps the storm. I fear the worst.” She cupped her hands over her face. “Twelve. I have failed twelve of my people. The lava cut them off and we could not reach them in time. It was a terrible thing.”

“Oh, Mala,” Hiccup’s voice wavered.

“They went bravely,” Throk looked out across the sea. He looked as worn and frayed as his queen, and just as covered with soot. “And the strongest saved the little ones by tossing them over the molten rock to us. Mala’s wounds are from rescuing one of the infants.”

“The walls of our village have stood for over a thousand years, guarded so carefully by the Eruptodons of the past.” Mala continued. “Hiccup Horrendous Haddock, we have lost our home, our heritage, our island, twelve of our people and I fear a dear friend. You cannot know the pain I feel right now, or the burden of a people without a place to call their own. In a single night, we have been laid desolate.”

He stood. “I- I don’t know what to say.”

“There is nothing that can be said.” She breathed in deeply, looking up at Hiccup, and then Dagur. “There is something you can do though.”

“Anything.” Dagur said, eager to help in whatever way he could.

“I must know. I must know if the protector lives. Will you riders search Caldera for him?”

“You can count on it,” they nodded.

 

 

The gang returned with supplies and everyone pitched in to patch the crippled fleet. Snotlout and Hookfang had marked unstable beams and weak spots in the hulls, they also organized work teams. Heather and Windshear helped the defenders measure and cut the lumber brought in. Dagur who was very familiar with patching up dragon-raided ships made quick work with the wood, and Sleuther tripled that speed by hammering nails in with his tails.

Hiccup Toothless and Ebony followed behind Dagur and Sleuther with the tar. At one point Dagur looking around, and took Hiccup aside. They spoke in hushed tones for a minute, exchanged something, and went back to work.

The old unusable wood was taken to Hookfang who burned it, then given to Fishlegs who mixed it into a pot of warm water and saliva from Shattermaster, creating black paint. He and Meatlug rose up to the mast and painted an Eruptodon over the Hunter’s crest. Meanwhile Barf and Belch stitched together the sails that were torn.

Stormfly supported the deck as the main beam was replaced, as she did with all the beams. When that was done, the Gronckles came down and poured Gronckle iron from top to bottom of each beam. They also covered any weak areas on the outside of the hull with Gronckle iron

With dragons, what would have taken the average Viking crew days to get done we managed to finish in about four hours. The hardest part of the whole job was trying to convince Mala her people needed her rested and alert more than they needed her help with repairs. We almost had to go on strike just to get her to go to bed.

 

When the work was finished I recruited Snotlout and Fishlegs to help me catch some fish for the defenders, who had to leave in such a hurry there wasn’t time to load provisions aboard, just people.

“Here,” Hiccup was saying as we got back. He was handing our entire supply of food over to Throk. “You guys take these.”

“We cannot accept this,” Throk tried to turn the stubborn Haddock down. “You need these rations for your own journey.”

“Nonsense. We have dragons, remember? They’re experts at catching fish!”

“This isn’t just fish, you have produce and bread in here. Dragons can do many things, but I’ve never seen a dough-making-”

“Heads up!”

Before the defender could argue another word we dropped our catch on the deck next to him. As he watched, distracted, Hiccup took the opportunity to load him down with the food for our journey.

Ebony ran up, excited to see so many tasty things all in one place. Fish, bread, Throk.

“Oh no you don’t,” Fishlegs stood between her and the catch. “You pulled a fast one this morning but that’s only going to work once. Shoo! You’ll get your fish later.”

“…And then loop the yak-bone back through… tie it in a knot, and there we go!”

Belch chomped down on the excess twine.

“There you have it. Ten splendidly sewn masts for the Voyage of the Dawn Defenders.”

I looked up at their handiwork. String hung in random places, ugly patches marked the burn holes, and some stiches spanned a length of three feet. The Eruptodon Fishlegs had worked so censored looked like he’d been hit repeatedly by a Quaken. It was disconcerting.

“Thanks to us, these sails will hold through the thickest of storms!”

“I do say, my dear bro, this business of mending has been therapeutic.”

“It has indeed, sister. Perhaps not as therapeutic as arson, but soothing, none the less. Make a note of that for our upcoming New Bork Times best seller, ‘Chicken Soup for the Viking’s Soul’. Between bludgeoning and ship sinking.”

“Consider it done.” Ruff tossed the bone and string behind her. Ebony, Meatlug, and Shattermaster chased after it.

 

“You guys ready to go?” Hiccup and Toothless joined us.

“Almost.”

Dagur was quietly shutting the door to the captain’s quarters. Mala was finally getting some much needed and well-deserved rest.

“So I’m guessing you’re headed for Algae Island,” I said to Throk.

“That is correct. We will weigh anchor until the ships are fully mended and we have gathered enough provisions to make it to Odin’s Respite.”

“May I propose a change in course?” Dagur walked up to the Defender.

“On what grounds?” Throk growled.

“Odin’s Respite has never been settled and there are buildings standing idle on Dragon’s edge. It’s not far, it’s safe, and it would be nice to leave the home of the Buffalord as it is.”

“I don’t think you have the right to offer this island,” the Defender returned stiffly.

“Actually, he does. He just bought it from me.”

All rider’s eyes turned to Hiccup in surprise.

Throk bowed to Dagur, still not on friendly terms with the berserker but looking a little less irritable. “How can I argue?” He ordered a change in course. “When the Queen awakes I will let her know what has transpired.”

“If all goes well we’ll meet up with you at the Edge in a day.” Hiccup said.

“Sooner, I hope,” Dagur added.

He nodded. “Odin’s speed to you. And take care, the mountain is fierce.”