Book 9 - The Mist in the Darkness - Chapter 24: Shocking Blast

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httyyd
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Joined: 10/12/2013

Going through the subject titles for the posts, the numbers of my chapters may be off.  But, I can always figure that out later.

 

The next chapter will be up in a few days as I am in the mood to write now that I am graduated from college!  I guess once a homeschooler always a homeschooler because I graduate as a homeschooler essentially.  XD

 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the chapter.

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Book 10 - The Shattered Axe

Chapter 17 - Back on Track

 

The Jarl Mollerson Mystery Series

All Chapter Links
 

 

Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 3 - Friends and Enemies

 

Proud Leader and fellow member of:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic series.  The books go in chronological order.

 

The Clue of the Missing Socks.

Chapters 1 and 2                         Chapter 3                                       Chapter 4

Chapter 5                                      Chapter 6                                        Chapter 7

Chapters 8 and 9                        Chapter 10                                     Chapter 11

Chapters 12 and 13                     Chapters 14, 15, and 16             Chapter 17

Chapter 18                                    Chapter 19                                      Chapter 20

Chapter 21 and 22                      Chapter 23                                     Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26 - There is a hidden surprise.  Can you find it?

Chapter 27                                   Chapter 28, Part 1                         Chapter 28, Part 2

Chapter 29                                   Chapter 30                                       Chapter 31

Chapter 32                                   Chapter 33                                       Chapter 34

Chapter 35                                   Chapter 36                                       Chapter 37

Chapter 38                                   Chapter 39                                       Chapter 40

Chapter 41                                   Chapter 42                                       Chapter 43

Chapter 44                                   Chapter 45, Parts 1 and 2

 

The Mysterious Frozen Fire

Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4         Chapter 5         Chapter 6

Chapter 7         Chapter 8         Chapter 9         Chapter 10       Chapter 11       Chapter 12

Chapter 13       Chapter 14       Chapter 15        Chapter 16       Chapter 17       Chapter 18  

Chapter 19       Chapter 20      Chapter 21        Chapter 22, Part 1       Chapter 22, Part 2 

Chapter 22, Part 3

Epilogue/Preview for my Third Story!

 

Thoughts of Guilt

Chapters 1 and 2          Chapters 3 and 4          Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7

Chapter 8          Chapter 9          Chapter 10          Chapter 11          Chapter 12, Part 1

Chapter 12, Part 2          Chapter 13         Chapter 14         Chapter 15         Chapter 16

Chapter 17 and 18         Chapter 19         Chapter 20         Chapter 21         Chapter 22

Chapter 23         Chapter 24         Chapter 25         Chapter 26         Chapter 27

Chapter 28         Chapter 29         Chapter 30         Chapter 31         Chapter 32

Chapter 33         Chapter 34         Chapter 35         Chapter 36 and 37

Chapter 38, Part 1         Chapter 39, Part 2         Chapter 40, Part 3         Chapter 41

Chapter 42, Parts 1 and 2         Chapter 43         Chapter 44

Chapter 45, Part 1         Chapter 45, Part 2

 

On the Edge of Mystery

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3        Chapters 4 & 5    Chapter 6, Parts 1 and 2   

Chapter 7          Chapter 8         Chapter 9            Chapter 10       Chapter 11        Chapter 12

Chapter 13        Chapter 14       Chapter 15          Chapter 16        Chapter 17       Chapter 18

Chapter 19        Chapter 20       Chapter 21          Chapter 22       Chapter 23      Chapter 24

Chapter 25        Chapter 26       Chapter 27         Chapter 28        Chapter 29 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 30       Chapter 31       Chapter 32 and 33                         Chapter 34 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 35 Part 1         Chapter 35 Part 2        Chapter 35 Part 3        Chapter 36

 

The Secret Symbol

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21   Chapter 22   Chapter 23   Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29 and 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39

Chapter 40 and 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43, 44, 45, and 46

 

The Legend of Shadow Mountain

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16   Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23    Chapter 24    Chapter 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29    Chapter 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39    Chapter 40

Chapter 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43    Chapter 44    Chapter 45 & 46

Chapter 47    Chapter 48    Chapter 49    Chapter 50    Chapter 51

 

Teaser "Trailer" for Book 8 - Conquest of the Truth

 

The Crimson Storm

Chapters 1 and 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapters 10 and 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18

Chapter 19    Chapter 20    Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23

Chapter 24    Chapter 25 and 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29

Chapter 30    Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34

Chapter 35 and Epilogue

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httyyd
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Drums R Round. Pi R Squared.

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The Mist in the Darkness

 

Chapter 24

Shocking Blast

 

Jarl's Point of View

 

         Holding Elsa in my arms while Undyn rushes us back to the house, I take my sister in and set her on the couch, instantly tending to her.  After checking for vitals, I am certain she only fell asleep more from exhaustion than anything else.  I am relieved and can now observe how she looks.  The singes on her clothes are evidence of a fight.  What is Stormheart after?  Why the retaliation at such an obscure place?

         Questions race through my head as Elsa gasps awake, “Don’t take, Asvord!”

         “Elsa, you’re safe,” I keep her from getting up all the way.

         Elsa is quick to take her surroundings in and remember flying back.  Giving her some water and a few moments to compose herself, she then explains what is going on.

         “They took Asvord and the others.  I was the only one to make it back, no thanks to Stormheart letting me go.  She wants me to give her the heirloom.  If I don’t give it to her by tomorrow morning, then she is going to do something to Asvord.”

         Elsa wanted to cry but I hug her for a moment and tell her, “Slow down.  Start from the beginning.”

         Taking a deep breath, Elsa begins.

         “As you well know, Fishlegs has recently found some new information on the Luminous Krayfin dragon and wanted to investigate it.  So, first thing today, Fishlegs enlists my services to check on Lumie.  While we were checking up on Lumie, Snotlout came with some urgent news to deliver.  Dagur and Mala were in trouble, surrounded by enemies on the high seas.  Fishlegs, Snotlout, and I launched a rescue.  Turns out that Stormheart had capture them both while he and Mala had been sailing.  With Snotlout and Fishlegs keeping the aerial defenses busy, Meatballs and I flew through the fire to Dagur’s ship.  Three of Stormheart’s vikings were already trying to corner Dagur, but I flattened all them by using them as a landing pad.  After a few comments about him being surprised that he of all people were waylaid Stormheart.  He tells me that Mala is somewhere deep within the bowels of the Tempest and was about to find a way to her before me and Snotlout showed up.  While he did that, he wanted me to find a way to free their ship.  Before either of us could go, some of Stormheart’s automatons dropped on to Dagur’s ship.”

         “Between us and our dragons, we made quick work of them and the vikings who attacked along with them.  Our efficiency must have scared the vikings because they ran and jumped off the ship.  No sooner than we were done did the whole hulking Tempest groan under some unexpected pressure.  The ship jolted to a stop while the ‘claws’ of the massive ship flew open.  Mala then had jumped off the Tempest deck and onto the Berserker’s to say immediately, ‘While you three were defeating Stormheart’s forces, I jammed the mechanism open for the Tempest’s ‘claws.’  Stormheart won’t be able to close the exit!  We need you for the final task.  Could you have Meatballs shoot the winch above and break us free?’  Jumping on Meatballs, we bolted up and shot the winch.  The ship’s sail caught the wind and started its escape.  But as it did, Stormheart’s Tempest groaned again, and the claws had been cleared of Mala’s sabotage.  Dagur and Mala finished their escape on Sleuther in the nick of time.  The claws obliterated the ship.  We then regrouped to safety on Hobblegrunt Island.”

         “Fishlegs and Snotlout had arrived before us and pleased to see we were alright.  Once we caught our breath, Mala told us while she was in their prison, she overheard a few of the guards talking about ‘Stormheart’s big plans.’  Between that and what she is doing with the mystery, we all agreed that this truly marks only the beginning.  Later, she heard Stormheart talking to her lieutenant that once she finished dealing with us, she had to ‘secure Johann’s treasure cache.’  The one place the rest of us all thought of was The Ship Graveyard.  We left right away to go there, but stopped at Berk for some reinforcements:  Asvord, Ashley, Explod, and Thoreous.  We did not want to stop for too long, so we got those who were there on Berk where we were to leave right away.  Then once we got to The Ship Graveyard, lo and behold we find Skulder there.  He had been on Mudraker Island for some digging sites, but Stormheart knew where he was and kidnapped him, taking him to The Ship Graveyard.  Stormheart must have already been there as Skulder had been there for a day or two before we got there.  Says Stormheart ransacked the place looking for a treasure trove.  She ignored all the valuables there as she was searching for something very specific:  A small map filled with strange symbols.  She made Skulder translate it and marooned him in the Graveyard when he was of no more use.  Though he did not remember how to get there, the moment he mentioned Vanaheim, that was all the direction we needed.”

         “When we got to Vanaheim we were already too late.  Stormheart had been, gone, and had left damage to the island in her wake.  Broken sea stacks and parts of the eastern side of the island burn to a charcoal black.  The Sentinels put up a fight, but Stormheart must have gotten what she came for the Sentinels were not able to defend the island.  They were not spooked by us flying around them.  The Sentinels allowed me to walk directly up to them.  The consistent thread is there was some sort of goop on the heads which would block their sense of smell, letting Stormheart attack them.  Then there was one lone Sentinel on the closest perch near the island who looked more alert and could sense our presence.  When Snotlout wanted to take charge of the inspection, the Sentinel nearly took out Snotlout.  Trying to think of a plan, Fishlegs thought that the goop could be pepper gas.  That can overwhelm all the senses, burns like crazy, and leaves a residue just like the ones we found.  Fishlegs then brought up that he recognized the Sentinel who was still protecting the island from a drawing in one of Oswald’s notebooks.  He wrote about a Sentinel with a strange bone structure on its head.”

         I comment, “Like the Elder Sentinel?”

         “Exactly.”

         I add, “Oswald said this powerful dragon seemed to lead the other Sentinels in their duties.”

         Elsa moves on, “Fishlegs thought of a distraction plan to get one of us past the Elder Sentinel to find a way to bring the rest in.  One should be able to sneak past while the rest caused a commotion.  Flying in, I headed towards the center of the island.  Remembering what the Dragon Riders did last time, I went to the red fruit tree, smeared some on me and took some back to Fishlegs.  He wasn’t sure if it would work again, but before we could think of anything else a pack of purple Grim Gnashers attacked the island.  The Sentinels were in no shape to defend themselves, so we all chipped in to chase the Grim Gnashers away.  They were more ferocious than the ones the Dragon Riders described being on Vanaheim.  Towards the end of the battle, one tried going for the Elder Sentinel and latch on to its neck.  Using my crossbows to shoot past both, I made the Gnasher think twice.  It then came after me, but I pulled out my whip and scared the Grim Gnasher with a snap at its head.  It was not expecting that and then fled with the rest of the pack.  What was even more unexpecting was the fact the Elder Sentinel walked over to me and stared at me.  The crack of the whip must have been an intriguing sound to him for he bent down to smell me.  I stood my ground and reached my hand out.  It is lacking in sight, yet knew my hand was there.  It bowed to my hand and rested its head on it.  Out of all the things a dragon rider can do, that to me is still the most amazing sight to see let alone actually do it.”

         “We had earned the Sentinels respect and wanted to return the favor.  While we explored the Island with Skulder we also helped the Sentinels clean up the island from the state Stormheart left it in.  However, we also saw some things out of place.  Ashley pointed out that there was a lack of bones on the island for a place meant to be a final resting place for dragons.  Spreading out, we eventually found some of the bones on the far side of the island.  Whatever Stormheart was looking for, she must have tired to search the tombs and then took the bones to be sorted.  She may have also taken any bones she wanted for her own gain after not finding what she wanted.  Fishlegs and Thoreous helped Skulder and the Sentinels properly sort the bones for them to then take back to the tombs.  Ashley and I checked in with Snotlout.  He wanted to take some action to try and get a step ahead of her instead of chasing her all the time.  He, for once, had a good idea of talking to Skulder if her remembered anything more from being kidnapped.  While he was being led to a holding area until they got to the Graveyard, he spotted a map and scribbled down some of the symbols he saw.”

         Elsa still had it in her shoulder bag and showed it to us.  There were the familiar markings of Stormheart’s symbol on it.  But in addition to it, it had the markings of the Luminous Krayfin on it as well as the look of the long since deceased Bewilderbeast which is now called Vanaheim.  If Stormheart could not get any more complex.

         “Showing it to Fishlegs, the only connection he could think of Lumie’s rarity to be of any interest to Stormheart.  The scribbles were not much to go on, but they are a start.  Catching back up with Snotlout, he was getting a bit itchy for something to happen and thought he should scout around the island to see if Stormheart would come back.  He had only been gone for a few minutes before he and the Elder Sentinel came back.  Stormheart did come back.  The Elder Sentinel was so much ready for Round Two that he wanted me to fly him.  Granting such an honor, we flew over to the northern side of the island to prepare a course of attack.  But before we could, Stormheart launched some catapults of a small projectile.  Really, we couldn’t even see it.  That was until the Sentinels sitting at their posts on this side of the island started to get irritated from being hit from whatever it was.  Turned out to be more of her Grimora for the Sentinels started having fog come out of their mouths.  Stormheart pitted the Elder’s own kind against us.  But we had to defend ourselves and the island.  Thankfully, Skulder had several syringes of the saline treatment ready to go, however, we needed to distract the other dragons.  Using our numbers to our advantage, we were able to confuse the Sentinels while staying close to the ground.  Where they stood, some of us distracted with some attacks to scare while Skulder and Ashley were able to sneak up on them to give them the treatment.  Once done, we regrouped to where Snotlout was done by the beach, keeping an eye on Stormheart.  She was nowhere to be found.  None of us believed she saw us.  Maybe her plan involved making the Sentinels take each other out and she would sail in and take what she wanted.  Snotlout was not finished and wanted to tail Stormheart.  Asvord had been quiet to this point but was agreeing with Stormheart.  Stormheart does not know when to stop.  While they were gone, we needed to figure out what Stormheart was after.”

         “For the longest time since we were there, even before Stormheart’s brief appearance, Lumie had been increasingly agitated at something.  It was not until then that Lumie finally was able to get our attention with a big jump in the air before diving back down into the water, surfacing a few seconds later.  He wanted us to follow him.  Without a Tidal Class dragon with us, Lumie would be the only way to quickly navigate in the water.  Also, with my bond to Lumie, it was also easily decided that I would go down with Lumie as he would be more apt to take care of him.  While he is a good dragon and highly intelligent, he is still skittish around other vikings.  Taking off my gear except for my shoulder bag, I then flew down to the water and dove in.  Seeing me in the water made Lumie quite happy as he swam around me, jumped in the air, and splashed down.  No matter the circumstance, Lumie has a way of making anyone smile.  Grabbing on to his shell, he eased into the water, and started swimming.”

         “Letting him lead the way, I kept my eye out for any giant shells that could have a pocket of air to catch my breath.  Lumie also knew this and stopped any time there was a shell.  We made five stops for me to get some air.  He led me through an underwater cave into an open part of the ocean.  Once in this cavern like space next to the Vanaheim, I saw giant bones, dragon bones.  We rounded a corner and in front of me was a giant skull.  For a brief moment, forgot I was underwater and let out a gasp.  I had to let go of Lumie prematurely to make a bee line back to the fifth shell.  Lumie followed me and brought me back to where we were to continue on.  Observing the sights around me, I started seeing Stormheart’s symbols craved into the rocks and some of the bones.  It was as if they had marked a trail to follow, the same of which Lumie was on.  The giant skull looked to be the final resting place of one massive dragon as all of its bones were lining the path we were on.  We came to one of the longest bones in its skeleton and found the prize.”

         From Elsa’s shoulder bag, she pulls out a large trinket which resembles the look of what Skulder saw.

         “This is what Stormheart was after.  We retraced or steps -or strokes- and came back to the spot we were.  How Lumie knew which way to go, remains to be seen.  Maybe Lumie wanted to some me something else, but because I got such a great clue, Lumie sensed I wanted to go back and therefore went back.  If anything, maybe Lumie wanted to show me what he had found in the giant skeleton while we were doing other things.”

         “When Lumie and I came close to the surface of the water, we saw a single dragon in the water.  Thinking it might be someone else, my gut was telling me to be prepared.  As we broke the surface, I caught my breath and brushed the wet hair out of my face.  Once I could see, my worst idea as to who it might be came true – It was Stormheart.  She was riding a Sea Shocker!  Not seeing our friends around, I was about to ask where they were when Stormheart cut me off to say we had much to discuss.  ‘I have taken your Archaeologist, your fellow dragon riders, and their dragons captive aboard the Tempest.  They are safe.  You have something that belongs to me.  The heirloom you found in the Luminous Krayfin graveyard is a symbol of my people.  It means nothing to you and everything to me.  Meet me on the Tempest where we can have a safe exchange.  Give me my heirloom and your friends will be released.  Do you understand me?’  Boiling with anger yet completely dejected Stormheart again has the upper hand, I agree.  She went on, ‘I am surprised to see you here.  I was expecting Jarl.  No matter.  When he and I last spoke, I warned him not to cross me.  It is a shame the apple did not fall far from the other apples of the tree.  He should have made it clear to you and your friends to heed my warning.  Do not test me again, or your friends will suffer.’”

         “I knew I needed help, but I wanted to retaliate against Stormheart.  I used Lumie to go around the island to find the Elder Sentinel.  Then I was relieved to find Snotlout had not been captured.  Catching him up on the situation, he pointed out we have the upper hand because we have what Stormheart wants.  Hearing that, I wanted to launch a rescue for our friends and dragons.  Snotlout said that was the worst idea ever.  Furthermore, when Meatballs came flying in, I set my mind to trying it.  Snotlout mumbled to himself about knowing that if someone stays around Berserkers long enough, then they start going Berserker.  Yet, he is also the one crazy enough to like that kind of plan.  I told him, ‘Neither of us believe Stormheart to say our friends will go unharmed.  We can launch a rescue and if things go south, then we can threaten the destruction of the heirloom as leverage against Stormheart to release our friends.’  Snotlout went on a monologue with himself saying he should not go with me, it’s a bad idea, and then that he actually had a similar idea and thought it was great.  ‘Okay, this might be crazy enough to work, but we are going to have to be smart about it.  The moment we give her the heirloom, we lose any leverage we have and our friends are kaput.’  After asking him if we should even bring the heirloom with us, he replied, ‘No.  If we want to see Fishface, the rock dude, and your crew alive and happy again, we’ll have to sneak on board and rescue them ourselves.  Leave the heirloom here.  If we get captured, she’ll just search for it and take it.  Then we are all kaput.  At the very least, she will let one of us go to go find the heirloom…  Which will obviously be me because I am the most smartest of all the Dragon Riders.  Because, you’re talking to the one and only sneaky viking who saw where Stormheart was going.  Follow me!’”

         “We agreed that the safest place to put the heirloom yet also remember where it is, would be Oswald’s old home.  Dropping it off there, we headed towards the Tempest.  It had sailed around Vanaheim and was headed south.  As we were nearing the massive ship, Snotlout suggested we stick close to the water as to avoid the crossbows and other things that would tear us apart.  Our aim was to reach the lower decks.  Easily making it there, Part One of the plan was a success.  When Snotlout saw the Mudrakers heating the boiler which powers the ship, he thought that maybe they could create a diversion to cover our escape.  The dragons were not chained nor were they being restrained in anyway.  Snotlout could not understand why they would stay in this dump of a situation.  Refocusing on our task at hand, we needed to find our friends.  Moving across to the other side of the ship, we heard a voice from the shadows of a cage call out in a whisper, ‘Elsa.  Snotlout.  Over here.’  Following the sound of the voice to a dragon proof holding cell, we found Skulder.  He was impressed we made it this far but we still needed to get him out of the cell.  Snotlout kept watch as I tried to figure out how to open the door.  It was locked the puzzle like key dial.  While I still could not read the lettering on the dials, paying attention to the clicking mechanism, I soon had them all done.  Skulder told me he was separated from the others after they had been overwhelmed and caught up in nets.  He said Meatballs managed to barely evade the trap.  Skulder wanted to take point after that for he had a pretty good idea of the layout of the ship.  Plus, the fact he did not want to be captured again was a good encouragement to find a way out of here quickly.”

         Elsa then began to rub her arms a little bit.  It was not because of a draft, but because of what happened next.

         “Skulder led the way of the nearby ramp.  But as we went, we heard the thunder of footsteps coming from in front of us.  Snotlout barreled past us to then leap into the air at the top of the ramp and then swing his hammer down, causing the three goons to lose their balance.  Snotlout yelled, ‘If we stop here, we might never find the others.  I got this!  You two rescue the others as soon as you can!’  Snotlout gave out a yell…  Before being blasted from behind by a white electric like blast.  He went head over heels off the inside of the ship and into the water below.  I whirled around to see Stormheart next to her Sea Shocker which was chained to a cart.  She hit a staff against the cart which caused the Sea Shocker to charge up and fire.  I cried out to stop but instinctively jumped in front of it, blocking its intended target of Skulder.  Meatballs reacted the way you would expect and tried to rush Stormheart, she merely had the Sea Shocker fire again, knocking Meatballs down to the deck.  Taking a Sea Shocker blast head on does not feel good, but it also takes nearly all of your breath and energy away.  Struggling to get to my feet, I see Skulder being seized so I rush to mount Meatballs to attack.  But Stormheart only fires upon us both again, nearly knocking me out by the shock.  Right after is a little fuzzy, but I believe Stormheart said something along the lines that I had until sunrise tomorrow to bring her the heirloom.  Meatballs was strong enough to get me out of there.  I flew over Vanaheim to go get the heirloom, but instead of going right back, I knew might make things worse.  Plus, if we have until sunrise tomorrow, then we can make a good plan to save our friends and stop Stormheart.  Shortly after leaving Vanaheim, I must have lost consciousness because I only briefly remember waking up in your arms, Jarl.  I made the trip all the way here by the pure strength of Meatballs.  She must be exhausted.  I pointed her south and told her to go find you.”

         Elsa is trying to show some strength by saying her dragon saved her, but Elsa showed a lot of courage in the face of an impossible situation.  I collect her for a hug.

         I commend my sister, “Elsa, you did an amazing job.  I mean, you may be more of a Berserker than I am.  Who takes the brunt end of a Sea Shocker blast to the face, twice in a row, and can still have the presence of mind to fly their dragon to a location and point them home?”

         Elsa began to say something, but knowing her, it would be about how she has a hard time helping in a tough situation, but I immediately added, “The look on Stormheart’s face after seeing you shrug off the blast…  She must have been shocked no more than you were.”

         Elsa though her eyes are watery, laughed. She then jabbed me in the side, “We were both shocked that I could do that.”  After taking a deep breath to compose herself, she asked, “So what now?”

         I stand up, “I say we pay her a visit tonight.”

         “Tonight?” Elsa echoes.

         “Yes, tonight,” I reaffirm.  “If we leave now, we can make to it Vanaheim by nightfall.  The cover of night will give us all an opportunity to show our ‘gratitude’ for how she treats her ‘friends.’  We have the heirloom as a last resort, but we need to show Stormheart, she messed with the wrong vikings!  Are you up to joining us, Elsa?”

         Standing up and punching her fist into her hand, she adamantly says, “Yes, I am.”

         “Alright,” I stand up too.  “Valkarik, Ali, and Michia…  Do you have any plans for tonight?”

         Valkarik perks up, “We do now!  Let’s go kick some butt!”

         “We may need some things to be blown up,” I begin while the Twins say under their breaths, “Please say he picks us.  Please say he picks us.”  I ask them, “Could you two come with us?”

         The Twins celebrate, “Count us in.  We will show Stormheart she messed with the wrong Berk-Serkians!”