HTTYD Eclipse Chapter Thirteen

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LissaFish
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Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 02/12/2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

ECLIPSE

 

 

Chapter Thirteen

 

 

By Lissafish the ever so slightly Eccentric

LissaFish's picture
LissaFish
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 02/12/2017
CHAPTER THIRTEEN

We were up in the air again. I mean, that’s were most dragon riders spend their time anyway, right?

Hiccup fell into an edgy silence as we traveled. He seemed to be retreating into his own thoughts and whatever they were they weren’t good. Poor Toothless sensed his boy’s tension and grew nervous.

Fishlegs Dagur and Snotlout argued over how they thought the Hunters could wreak such great havoc on the Defenders. Dozens of theories were tossed back and forth. The twins spaced out, bored with all the rationalizing.

Each time someone retold the story with a new thought of how and what the hunters did Hiccup clutched the saddlebag with Trooper in it closer.

“I’m just saying how does an armada land and trek up an entire mountain without being seen? It’s espionage! That’s how they did it.”

“There’s no way anyone from the northern markets could ever hope to infiltrate Defender’s ranks. It takes ten years just to train for combat!”

“This has been a plot long in the making then.”

“Also they literally know everyone in their clan.”

“Somebody was bumped-off to make room for a spy that looked very similar.”

“Oh and then they just frolicked their way up the volcanic mountain to the Eruptodon and single-handedly bested him? What are you thinking?”

“Hey it happened before right? All that dragon root stuff?”

Fishlegs cut himself short. “Oh yeah. But that wasn’t just one person and technically we would have been the ‘spies’.”

“Yep! So back to my theory, an armada landed and trekked up the hill and stole the poor naïve Eruptodon.” Snotlout butt in. Dagur and Fishlegs groaned.

“You know what? It doesn’t matter what any of us think because we don’t have enough information. Let’s just hurry up and get there before nightfall so we can piece this wretched puzzle together.” Hiccup finally snapped.

The cloud cover fell upon us, becoming thick fog. Toothless led the way using echolocation.

It grew darker and darker even though the sun wasn’t to set for two more hours, unnaturally dark.

A north wind hit us. Not icy but filled with ash and steam. We were getting close.

 

Ebony snorted. Twice. She shook her head.

“What’s up, Ebony?” Fishlegs asked.

Her wide yellow eyes looked around to each of our dragons. They rested on Toothless with hatred. She snorted and hissed and chattered her teeth. She flew out in front, cutting in to veer us off-course, bruxing and trilling to our dragons to follow.

Toothless nimbly avoided her and continued. The dragons watched her break off from the pack but followed their alpha.

When that didn’t work she grunted and came alongside Stormfly and I who were flying wingman. My girl eyed her warily.

Without warning she launched herself at my Nadder. Stormfly rawked, falling out of formation and almost running into the twins.

“Cut it out Ebony!” I snapped, Stormfly none too happy herself. Head held high she returned to our post.

Ebony cried out in distress. One by one she went through all the dragons pushing and shoving, trying to force them follow her.

“It’s okay girl,” Hiccup tried to sooth her as she got more and more riled. “Calm down.”

The dragon ignored him and kept trying to corral everyone away from the leader.

If she had pointed us in a particular direction I’m sure Hiccup would have split the team up, half to follow her and half to continue. But it wasn’t like that. It seemed all she wanted was for us to go anywhere except where we were going.

Her behavior was wearing on even the most patient of our dragons. Meatlug snapped at her.

Feeling she was getting nowhere with the other dragons she turned to her friend Hookfang. She patted him, and cooed and coaxed and urged him to break away. He enjoyed pretending not to even notice all the attention she was giving him.

Getting desperate she fell back and yanked on his tail with all her might. Surprised, the Monstrous Nightmare turned fiercely and spat a small fireball at her.

Poor Ebony yelped in pain and rubbed her face with her paws.

“Okay. This Nightfury is officially broken.” Snotlout growled. “Every dragon knows you don’t pull a Monstrous Nightmares tail!”

After wiping the flammable spit from her face Ebony decided to try a new tactic.

“Whoa hey! Stop it!” Hiccup snapped.

In a sudden burst of energy she had zipped passed us and tried to swipe Trooper’s satchel away from Hiccup! They battled tug of war style for a few short seconds. Ebony meant business and barred her teeth as she pulled. If Toothless hadn’t intervened she probably would have tugged the stubborn Haddock right out of his saddle.

SNAP!

Went Toothless’ teeth a little too close to Ebony’s beating wings for comfort. She let go.

Hiccup righted himself and adjusted the saddlebag, dumbfounded.

Ebony, bested and embarrassed, turned to look Toothless in the eye. She got up close as she dared to him and roared at the top of her lungs.

He put on his most attitude face.

In dragon culture disrespect of the alpha on this level would make you an outcast. Our dragons were kinder though, and didn’t really want that, but they were certainly not on friendly terms with our newest member anymore.

The wild nightfury fell back and followed at a lengthy distance. She continued to beg in forlorn, lonely grunts as we grew further apart.

“Uh, she’s not following anymore,” Dagur pointed back to the black dot in the sky. Between the fog and ash she had all but disappeared from sight. Sleuther rolled his eyes and snorted.

We stopped and turned. I could feel Stormfly bristle beneath me.

“Be nice, girl. Everyone deserves a second chance.”

“Come on Ebony,” We called to her forgivingly. “Come on back to us.”

A stressed and unhappy squeal was returned.

Everyone kept calling to her in gentle and kind tones but she just refused to come, pleading all the while that the dragons come to her.

With one final sorrowful cry she turned away and disappeared into the mist.

Everyone turned to Hiccup.

“We can’t stop.” He said, torn between the two dragons. “We have to get to Caldera Cay.”

“But we can’t just leave her,” Heather said.

“Uhh, she’s leaving us Heather.” Ruff pointed out.

“Shouldn’t someone follow though?”

Hiccup thought and thought.

“The Eruptodon may be in really big trouble and if he is we are the only ones who can help him. It’s all hands on deck, who knows what we’re going to come up against. As much as I hate to say it we have to keep going. Once we’ve accessed what needs to be done for the Eruptodon if we can’t all return I’ll send at least two of you to check on her within the hour. How much trouble can she get into in an hour?”

 

 

 

The closer we drew to the island the darker it grew until the light of day seemed to be entirely blotted out. A low and sinister grumble reverberated from the bowels of Caldera Mountain. Cloud and fog had been replaced by thick, stifling toxic ash. The temperature rose dramatically.

Everyone wrapped bandannas over their mouths and noses. The dragons were well adapt to volcanic material and did not need them.

“Land-censored!” The twins shouted. “Or more appropriately, “Volcan-censored!”

I got my first glimpse of what had been on my last visit a flourishing happy place. It took my breath away.

Through the dark an evil red glow silhouetted a half-melted Eruptodon statue. Marking the place of an ancient and beautiful village, it alone stood above the ashes, everything else lay buried under fifty feet of hardened lava.

Ugly grey mounds coursed through the very heart of the island. It looked like an enormous plow had furrowed the whole of it, streams of lava glowing fiercely between the rivets.

Not a single green leaf was left of the thriving forest. Indeed all life had been snuffed out here. The bodies of hundreds of animals floated in the water below. Forced to choose between a fiery death or a watery grave most had thrown themselves to the mercies of a violent sea, and we now witnessed the carnage of it.

The Defenders had spoken the truth. There was nothing left of this beautiful place.

We came upon charred pilings holding up the last remnants of the main pier.

Hiccup called for a circle formation over them.

Everyone positioned.

“I need two teams. Offence and defense if you will. The first one is to scout the shores. Just like Melody Island look for ships or signs of recent activity especially on the north side. Astrid, Heather, Dagur, Ruff and Tuff, you guys up for it?”

“Absolutely.”

“Great. Fishlegs and Snotlout, your dragons are best suited for the high temperatures at the mouth of the volcano so you’ll come with me and Toothless. Dagur can we take Shattermaster with us?”

“Sure thing.”

The wind picked up. Another stormy night was brewing but this time to our benefit. Rain helped to knock some of the debris out of the air and we could see better.

From the sky Caldera Cay looked like a slimy, deathly gray monster of the underworld. It was eerie to think so much devastation could happen in two days.

Nobody found anything. Same as DeathSong Island.

That feeling I had first there and then when we found the second Terror came back but this time I couldn’t shake it. Like the chill that goes up your spine when someone is watching you, it wouldn’t leave me.

We didn’t bother searching the rest of the island for clues. If there were any, they were under anywhere between fifty to a hundred feet of hardened lava. So up the mountain we flew.

The Eruptodon’s nest seethed angrily. It gargled and growled and spewed putrid smells that belonged deep in the earth out. Molten rock flowed steadily through the lowest clefts of the volcano’s mouth. As far as I could tell the peak of the mountain had remained in place; remember, the eruption had not been violent it simply had not been stopped.

“Over here!” Snotlout yelled to us from the other side of the glowing red lake. He, Hookfang and the others took on strange shapes through the distortions created by waves of heat.

 

Beads of sweat formed on my forehead as we crossed high above the lava. Memories played in the back in my head.

“Did you find him?” I asked.

Hiccup pointed.

The lava chamber should have been completely submerged but it wasn’t. The ceiling had been smashed-in, making a sizable air-pocket. Inside the cave I spotted three great spikes protruding out of the lava.

“Hmm- hmm! Hiccup, not to be a downer or anything… but those look a lot like slabs of shale to me I’m just saying.”

Even as Dagur spoke the Eruptodon sat up, stretching his wings and lifting his mighty body out of the molten rock. Lava splashed around him like water. He spouted through his nostrils like a whale taking a deep breath.

“Whoooaa,” Both Berserkers gasped.

“He’s awesome,” Dagur thought of his sheer size.

“He’s beautiful,” Heather admired his wings and tail.

“He’s alive,” I sighed with great relief.

The Great Protector groaned.

“He is alive. Hey GP Junior, what gives? Your little siesta just melted the whole island!”

“I don’t think it’s that simple Tuffnut.” Fishlegs shot back. “Look at him,”

Junior, as we had grown fond of calling him heard our voices. He crouched low and sniffed the air nervously but strangely didn’t open his eyes or come to a full stand.

“Don’t worry big guy, it’s just us. You’re safe now.” Hiccup called. Toothless echoed his concern with a beckoning coo.

Junior roared aggressively and submerged, retreating further into the cave.

“I take it he’s not the friendly type.”

“You couldn’t be more wrong Dagur. Junior is the gentlest giant you’ll ever meet. His life’s goal is to protect this place and the things that live here. This isn’t like him at all.”

Toothless and Hiccup flew back and forth like worried parents. Finally, they could take it no more.

“We’re going in.”

“Wait- what?” I gasped. “Hiccup no it’s too dangerous!”

They dove, hoping to figure out what was the ailing Eruptodon. Toxic gases spewed out and Lava bubbled up sometimes as high as thirty feet. The two cheated death at every corner by spinning, turning, diving, and breaking for every hurdle tossed their way. At last they neared, just enough to make eye contact with Junior.

“Hey Junior, what’s going on? Do you need any help?”  Hiccup said as he searched the poor thing as best he could for injuries. He spoke so softly the dragon probably didn’t hear him. Toothless cooed a more audible message.

Junior did not seem too keen on their company.

The enormous boulder class dragon growled. He wriggled his whole body back and forth, splashing molten rock everywhere.

“Easy boy, easy, it’s just us,”

Lava splashed up, stinging Toothless’ wings and body. He yelped.

The Eruptodon grew more agitated. He gave a warning roar before standing weakly on his legs and raising both wings.

“Oh boy.” Hiccup gulped. “Toothless pull up. Pull up pull up pull up!”

The Nightfury’s eyes widened in dismay. He turned tail and gave it his all to get out of that volcano.

Junior the Giant collapsed on his belly. He beat his cupped wings as he went down, creating a massive, eighty-foot-tall tidal wave!

“Faster!” We shouted as the wave gained on them. “Faster hurry guys!”

They escaped by the skin of their teeth. With one last burst of energy Toothless cleared the wave and spun around to avoid the impending backsplash. It shot up into the air like a fountain of red fire.

“Are you guys okay?” Stormfly and I joined them.

“I am. Are you bud?” Hiccup looked his dragon over. Toothless smiled with his tongue out.

Below the Great Protector moaned and agitated the lava, making the already inhospitable environment even worse. The whole mountain shook.

“I vote we regroup,” Snotlout held up a hand.

“He’s right. It’s too dangerous up here right now, let’s head over to the sea stack down in the bay.”

 

That particular sea stack had toppled from the rumblings of the mountain. Many others had too but not all. We found one leaning precariously against another and alighted there.

A gentle wind blew away enough of the smoke and cloud cover above for the sun to peak through. It was just touching the western sea.

 

As soon as my feet were planted on the ground I marched over to Hiccup and punched him in the shoulder.

“Oww,” He rubbed his arm irritably.

“That’s for ignoring me.” I growled.

“What happened up there?” Fishlegs came running. “Why did Junior turn on you?”

“I don’t think he knew it was us.”

“What do you mean?” The twins inserted.

“GP Junior has been attacked.” Hiccup told us all. “When he stood up I got a good look. There’s a deep wound in his right leg and huge tears in his wings. He can’t fly. He may never be able to fly again.”

The team fell silent for the magnificent dragon.

“You know the saying,” Hiccup continued hopelessly. “A downed dragon…”

Is a dead dragon. We all finished it in our minds.

“Isn’t there anything we can do?” Dagur asked.

“No.” Hiccup answered.

The look of defeat on his face was disheartening.

A true friend, Fishlegs wracked his brain for something to be positive about, even though he was himself pretty upset. Then it dawned on him. His whole countenance brightened and he spoke up.

“Maybe we can’t do anything,” he said, “but that doesn’t mean there’s no hope. Hiccup I’ve read some of the Defender’s ancient manuscripts, and now that I think of it there was a story in there that described an Eruptodon displaying similar actions.”

“I’m all ears Fishlegs.”

“One scroll mentions a mighty battle between the Eruptodon and a Green Death aiming to steal the island. The Eruptodon defeated the Green Death, but the Defenders feared at the cost of his own life. He retreated into the volcano and refused to let anyone near him. After that, he submerged into the lava and wasn’t seen for six months, everyone thought he was d.ead. Then one day he burst out, all his wounds healed, good as new!”

“Did it mend torn wings?”

“It doesn’t say. But there’s a chance, Hiccup. That’s all we need.”

Hiccup half smiled. He patted Fishlegs on the back.

“There’s no point in going up again right now, but if we wait until morning I’m sure the mountain… and Junior, will be less agitated. Anyone have objections to camping here for the night?”

No one raised hand or voice.

 

Great thing about all that heat our blankets had dried! No soggy wraps tonight. Yes!

Every Viking and dragon got to work setting up camp. Every dragon, that is, except Toothless. He would stand and stare up the hill for ten minutes at a time, bruxing sadly before pacing and doing it again. Hiccup didn’t insist that he help and pulled the extra weight himself.

The sun sank into the ocean. Dusk was upon us.

Meatlug, Shattermaster and Fishlegs got some more fish for us since we’d given all our supplies to the Defenders. It was good to have it fresh again.

Toothless sat turned away from us, still looking up at the mountain. Hiccup stood with him for some time. He got too cold though and sat down by the fire, wrapped in his blankets and holding the cup of tea in his hands.

“Here’s to getting through another crazy day,” I lifted my mug.

“Here,”

Heather was the first to join me.

“Here here,”

The rest were quick to follow and take a swig.

Hiccup made a sour face, glancing down at his drink.

“Well that was gross tasting.”

“Told you.” I smirked.

 

“So,” He set it aside. “Anyone feel like heading back and looking for poor Ebony?”

“Oh you mean now that we’re all comfortable and ready to get some shut eye?” The guys… and Ruffnut, groaned.

“I’d go myself,” He shrugged. “But you guys know how she feels about Toothless.”

At his name’s mention Toothless glanced back. His nostrils twitched and the pupils of his eyes became slits.

“I’ll go,” I offered, nose as high in the air as my Nadder’s. “You wimps get your sleep. Me and Stormfly can go for hours.”

“I’ll come with you,” Heather volunteered. “It’d be nice to get in some girl time.”

“Nice Heather.” Ruff snorted.

“You know what I meant Ruff.”

“Okay, if you ladies are comforta-”

Toothless squealed in horror, making all our dragons jump to their feet.

He had found the tea cup.

After thoroughly crushing it he rushed at Hiccup, throwing him down and sniffing his nose and mouth.

“Not this again! Bud, you’ve got to get yourself under control!”

Poor Toothless cried out. He put his paw on Hiccup’s face and pried his mouth open, stuffing his big nose in and sniffing furiously.

“STOOAAAW, TOOWWESS!”

Hiccup twisted around, escaping his dragon’s grasp. The Nightfury stared with hurt and fearful eyes, making every sound imaginable. He licked Hiccups face, whimpering.

“Really?” Hiccup gave up and allowed himself to be tortured.

“Don’t expect a good night kiss from me.” I had to laugh. “Not after that much dragon drool.”

 

 

 

A roar echoed through the dimming sky. The only two stars out seemed to shiver in its wake.

All eyes turned to the mountain.

The ash was blowing away from Caldera Cay, briefly silhouetting the entrance of a cave at the peak, and with it a dragon.

Black. About the size of Toothless. It leapt from its perch and glided down toward us.

“Hey look it’s Ebony,” Snotlout grinned, jabbing Hookfang with his elbow. “Guess she just can’t get enough of you, pal. OW! Hookfang!”

The nightmare slapped him with his tail.

“Ebony!” Ruff and Tuff raised their hands in the air. “You did follow us! Good girl!”

On silent wings she flew. Toothless arched his back and lean in closer to Hiccup.

Ebony flew a wide circle around our sea stack that grew shorter with every orbit.

Rawk,

I felt Stormfly sidle over to me, a protective wing wrapping around.

Meatlug was doing the same. So was Windshear, Sleuther, and Shattermaster to Dagur and Heather. Hookfang hissed and Barf and Belch finally got the message.

As the circling Ebony closed in, she seemed a lot bigger than when we last saw her.

“Hey what are you guys up to?” Tuff turned and looked suspiciously at their dragon. “Wrapping your heads around us like your trying to protect us from something? It’s just Ebony.”

The Nightfury turned its head to look at us with fierce, purple eyes.

 

 

 

It was not Ebony.