September 10th, 2012 | Published in Dragon Wars
Their jump landed them in the middle of a stand of woodland with no sign of any buildings. Lydia looked around and swore. “She lied to Naria!”
“No,” Sonia said. “She said a pocket, remember? There’s definitely a pocket here.” She nodded to herself and reached out towards the broken stumps. “There!” She twisted her hand and a blast of wind ripped out and tore a gap in the air. A derelict looking old farmhouse appeared between the stumps. “See!”
Lydia stared at the crumbling bricks forming the building. “Wow!”
“That’s a pretty basic trick if you have the right affinity, actually,” Sonia said. “I suspect all four of you have, so I’ll show you once we’re through this.” She turned to look at the others. “I can sense where Andrew is now, but we still don’t know where Emms is. So I’m going to head for where Drew is – about half of you, come with me. The rest of you need to find Emms and stop him.”
“Seems reasonable,” Ystelyan said. “Though I’d leave someone out here to watch for any reinforcements Likadrian might have as well.”
“That’s not a bad idea. You said it so you can do it, if you don’t mind?”
“I don’t mind,” he agreed. “It’s a good plan.”
“I’ll come with you,” Alaryia said. “Halia as well. Once we’re holding that room we can use it as an infirmary.”
“And if anyone notices any of those plinths again, smash them,” Lyrrekka added. “We don’t want him hopping out on us again.”
“Good idea,” Matt agreed. They spent another couple of minutes haggling over who was going with who, then Sonia ripped the pocket open the rest of the way and they surged inside.
Andrew didn’t need to be in the same room as Jayden Emms to feel the massive explosion of rage as he became aware of what was happening. After the initial ouburst was a long, icy pause.
Stop that, Andrew, or I’ll have to hurt you. There was a sharp mental tug on the controls Andrew was holding with his mind. Give them back!
Andrew just gave a snarl of mental defiance in response and clung on to the controls with all his strength.
Fine, have it your way. I’m nearly ready anyway, and I won’t need the dragons once I’m done. I won’t need you either.
Andrew swallowed and tried to ignore the obvious threat. He felt someone squeeze his shoulder and looked up to see the dragon he’d ordered to protect him standing there. There were rich chocolate brown swirls in his vivid green eyes.
“Don’t let him intimidate you, Andrew-idan,” he said. There was the same sort of echo Halia’s voice had shown when her mother spoke through her, so Andrew realised it must be the first brown dragon that was speaking through him. “I am indeed. Dare I hope you and your father will send my son back to me once you’re free?”
“I- I can’t speak for my father,” Andrew said.
“No, I suppose not,” he replied. “Ah well, he’s better than that monster.” The dragon gave a heavy sigh. “I’ll stay in my son’s mind until we’re done. He’s strong enough to take it and that way Likadrian can’t regain control of him should you falter-” he broke off at the sound of an explosion. “Aha! It sounds like your family are finally here.”
“Yes,” Andrew agreed. “It does.” There was another surge of anger from Emms and once again Andrew had to cling on to control of the throne device for dear life.
It’s too late! They won’t stop me! Emms screamed mentally and then he was gone, back in to the trance, Andrew guessed.
A moment later the door burst open and Sonia rushed in, followed by Daniel, Karen and a handful of dragons. She spun around, then realised that the room was empty and gestured to two of the dragons to hold the door while she rushed up the steps. She put her hands around the first chain holding him but then her eyes went blank and she paled. She let go of the chain and began checking the panel that Laxmi had used when she was tuning the device. “Damn! I don’t understand this thing!” She swore a few times. “I don’t know what will happen if I just pull you out of it, but it won’t be good.”
“You’d probably burn his mind out,” Alaryia said as she looked over Sonia’s shoulder. “It’s got anti-escape wards built in.” She nudged Sonia to one side. “Let me look, I should be able to switch it off safely.”
“Please.” Sonia knelt down by Andrew and took hold of one of his hands. “Don’t worry, Drew we’ll have you out of that thing soon.”
“I know,” he said and looked at the dragons holding the doorway and the windows. “Is Nari okay? She was in a lot of pain just before she jumped out.”
“Her maturity was explosive,” Sonia said. “Like a shaken bottle of pop. But Ystelyan managed to stop her frenzying and Alaryia fixed the damage from where she’d been repressing herself. She was still asleep when we left.” She hesitated. “You’ve grown fond of her, haven’t you?” she asked.
“I-” Andrew began, then considered what he’d been about to say and discarded it. “She’s been kind to me and has helped me as much as she can. I think we’ve kept each other sane.” He nodded to himself. “Yes, I suppose I am fond of her. I know she’s a dragon but she’s a sweet girl. I like her.”
“I think she likes you as well,” Alaryia said from where she was manipulating the panel. “Ystelyan certainly thinks she does.”
“That’s good,” he said with a smile and then yelped as whatever she was doing caused the hood to shock him. “Hey!”
“Sorry,” Alaryia snatched her hands away and scowled at the panel. “He’s put safeties in, this might take a little longer than I thought. I suppose that I should have expected that.” Her fingers began dancing over the panel once more. “This is really advanced. I should have expected that as well.”
Sonia squeezed Andrew’s hand more firmly and looked towards the door. “I wonder how the others are doing?”