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Whispers; a Meeting

The dragon silently winged toward the rift island. He had only left there a few days ago; now he was back to fulfill his promise to his brethren.

The Tines of the Scar stood out in the center of the island.

He cloaked himself in dark magic to hide his passing, and advanced.

* * * * *

Two dragons patrolled the rift island. They had never had any trespassers, and did not expect any that night; nevertheless, they stayed alert. It could only be so long before something happened.

"Look," one murmured, indicating a dark shape landing on the island.

"Who do you think it is?" the other asked. "More so, what?"

The first dragon shouted to the form. "What is your business here?"

A bolt of dark energy prevented him from asking any more questions.

The second looked at the burnt spot where her companion had stood, prepared to chase off the intruder, but thought better of it and winged away as fast as she could.

* * * * *

The trespasser arrived at the Tines of the Scar and smiled. He stared into the portal into which he and his followers had been flung, eons ago... Now, it was time for revenge.

He opened the portal.

Hundreds of dark shapes spilled out and surrounded him.

Losas looked about himself. He saw waves of his brethren, headed by Zazara, ready to carry out his orders.

"The time has come," he stated.

* * * * *

Katie looked about herself. She had gathered nine of her most trusted subjects to a meeting.

The ancient Troll dragon spoke. "Some of you may know why we are here right now.

"You may have heard the rumors." She paused. Some of the other dragons nodded. "Whispered rumors, that the Dark dragons have returned."

There was a collective gasp from the dragons who had not heard. Everyone knew the story: eons ago, the Dark dragons had betrayed the other elements, and were banished into the Rift, and the Light dragons had followed them to keep peace; only Katie and the Light dragons were actually old enough to have experienced it.

She continued. "Light dragons returned just a few days ago, as we all know." Aurora and Cold, two of those, nodded. "We have no idea who set them free - all we know is that whoever did possessed an enormous amount of dark magic."

Aurora, a Light Rift dragon, did her best to hide the look of realization dawning on her face.

"Well, what do we do?" asked Spectra, a Double Rainbow dragon.

Katie looked like she had been expecting this question. "First of all, we DO NOT go rushing off to confront the dark dragons. That would mean death for all of us. What we need to do is to find more out about the dark dragons, and hopefully discover who set them free, and how he or she did it."

"What will we do then?" This question came from Sandara, a Sandstorm dragon.

"In the end, I hope to be able to confront the Dark dragons and force them back into the Rift. We could then destroy the Tines of the Scar to prevent them from coming back, which we didn't do last time because the Light dragons followed them. This time, we will not make that mistake.

"Meanwhile, we all need to train in the Colloseum and the Dragon Track to improve our physical abilities. Some of the Dark dragons possess much greater magic than all but Kairos could hope to obtain, so our only hope is to be able to get at them quickly, before they react.

"This meeting is adjourned. You may all go to begin training now. Spread the word; we will fight back." Katie left the room.

Spectra and Aurora headed off to the Dragon Track together. They had quickly become friends when the Light Rift dragon returned. She was, in reality, a lot older than Spectra, but time passed very slowly while she was in the Rift. They had become good training partners.

The other dragons soon followed. Ellie, an Electrum dragon, and TGD, a gold dragon, left for their habitat to catch a bit of rest before training. Sandara and Stormie (a hail dragon) went to the Colloseum to practice making storms. TDLA, an Equinox dragon, flew away to practice aerial maneuvers. Cold, a heat dragon, had found a friend in Ghidrah, a sonic dragon. The two worked on magical attacks together.

* * * * *

None of them knew that a tiny Watch dragon had been monitoring their activity after they exited the meeting. The dragon had no idea what the meeting was about, but their objective was clear: to train for something. It flew off to report to Losas.

Raid; a Captive

The tiny Watch dragon stood, cowering in front of his large leader.

"So, Leajey. What did you find on this expedition of yours?" Losas menaced.

Leajey shuffled his feet.

"Well, Lord, the dragons seem to know that we are back from the Rift. They had some sort of meeting, then all flew off. Most went in the direction of the Colloseum and Dragon Track. Maybe they are training for when we attack?"

"Of COURSE they are training," Losas mocked. "When I came to release you and your friends from the Rift, I noticed that some dragons SAW me landing on the Rift Island.

"I killed them, of course.

"So, Leajey. Imagine you are the leaders of the dragons. What would YOU do if you know the dark dragons had returned?"

"D-d-do what they did?" the Watch dragon stammered.

"Exactly!" Losas was triumphant. "So what we need to do is hit them before they are ready for us. If they are training, they won't stand a chance!

"I'll send you and some other Watch dragons to raid them. Maybe even take a couple of them, but do NOT get captured! I don't want another failure like your spying."

"O-okay, Lord. I'll get ready now." Leajey scurried off, eager to be away from his leader at the moment.

*****

Spectra and Aurora raced around the Dragon Track. They had been training for a few hours now, but were not too tired to continue giving each other some fierce competition.
"Whew," Spectra said as he crossed the finish line just a nose behind his older opponent. "Well, that was fun."

Aurora expressed her agreement by panting.

"We've put in a long day today," she said. "We should be resting up for another good day tomorrow."

"Yeah. I'm not tired, really, but racing gets boring, you know?"

"Absolutely." The Light Rift dragon sighed. "Well, we might as well go get some food. Does Ye Olde Buffet sound good to you?"

Spectra agreed, as his stomach was beginning to hurt a little. The two flew off to follow the stream of dragons heading toward the popular restaurant.

*****

Katie was thinking as she watched all the dragons winging over to the buffet. Knowing the Dark dragons and their actions last time, they would probably already be planning an attack. They would probably plan this attack well, as they really would want to get revenge. She made a mental note to organize an effort to get more dragons on sentry duty, then took to the air to join the crowds.

*****

"Hey, what's that over there? It looks like Kairos, but more dark." Switch, a Motley dragon, said to his friend Blazer under the evening sky.

"Is this another of your pranks?" the Blazing dragon replied, not one for messing around on sentry duty.
"No!" Switch indicated what he meant. "I'm totally serious. What do you think it is?"

Blazer noticed the form, and looked startled. "Umm... I dunno. What should we do?"

The Motley dragon was just as confused. "I don't, either. What do we do?"

"I guess... Ask Katie? She would know what to do–"

"Did someone say my name?" The Troll dragon swooped down to join them.

"Ummm... Hello?" Switch still had no idea what to do.

"What's the matter?" Katie inquired.

"Well, there was this dark form in the sky..." Blazer looked up. "Oh crap, it's getting bigger!"

Katie picked up on what was happening instantly. "The Dark dragons have come! We need to get some defenders!" She leaped back into the air, showing no sign of her age. "Follow me!"

*****

Leajey flew at the head of the squadron of Watch dragons, looking out for trouble. There did not appear to be any while the other dragons flew in the hunt for food, but suddenly most of the fliers stopped. They looked up as one and seeing the Dark dragons, scrambled to defend themselves.

"What...? Dang! They saw us!" Leajey was irritated, and decided to take it out on someone. "Attack!"

*****

Ellie and TGD were part of the group who were notified of the oncoming thunder of Dark dragons. They weren't really ready as the attackers dove at them, but anything above oblivious worked.

"What element do you think they are?" Ellie roared above the noise of battle.

"Why does it matter?" TGD shouted back as she blasted one of the enemy with a shower of coins.

"We can find their weaknesses! It'll make it much easier to win the battle!" Ellie sunk her claws into one of them, who failed to get the same grip on her metallic scales and left himself vulnerable. "I've got one!" she shouted, triumphantly raking her claws through her opponent's flesh.

*****

Leajey was enraged. He had let his irritation at being seen get the better of him and forgot his plan, and now all he had was a couple dragons who managed to get away uninjured. Not feeling like facing his leader at that moment, he flew away to somewhere where he and his brethren could recover.

*****

"Anyone hurt?" Katie asked.

"Well, I snagged a claw," Sandara said. The Sandstorm dragon had shredded quite a few enemies.

"We have another casualty here," Ellie announced. She presented the miserable dragon to the assembled crowd. "This one thought he could get through my scales."

"Hmm. A Watch dragon. Dark and Fire elements." She addressed him. "You know Leajey, right?"

The captive nodded, defeated.

"Who's Leajey?" Ghidrah wanted to know.

"Doesn't matter now. You can question the prisoner, though. Permission to use a sonic boom to prevent him from escaping if he tries. Try not to hurt him, though," Katie instructed quietly.

"Sure thing."

Katie allowed the assembled dragons to disperse. All but Ghidrah and the object of his investigation gave a cheer and scrambled off to get the best spot in line for the buffet.

Ghidrah looked in the direction in which the others were headed, and decided that the prisoner was more important.

"So, you're not thinking of running away, are you?"

"No," the Watch dragon replied. The idea of having shattered eardrums discouraged that.

"Well then, you better answer my questions. First, who's Leajey?"

"He led the attack tonight. He spies for... our leader."

"Aaaand who would that be?" Ghidrah did not expect an answer, and did not get one.

"Hmph. Suit yourself. Instead, who released you from the Rift?"

"Another Dark dragon." The Watch dragon was not afraid to avoid giving names.

"Oh, yeah? How did he get out before anyone else?"

"No idea."

Ghidrah was scrutinizing the smaller dragon's face, however, and knew he was hiding something. "Really? And I suppose you don't know who your leader is?"

"No, I know Losas personal–" The dragon stopped. "Crap, I said that, didn't I?"

"Yep! And now, you'll tell me everything I want to know." Ghidrah wished it was true.

To the Sonic dragon's surprise, he did as he was told.

"Losas is a Dark Rift dragon, meaning one of his elements is light. That's probably how he escaped – he snuck out when the Light dragons left. He has a lot of dark magic, so he probably was able to hide himself once out of the Rift, then make it back to free the rest of us. His little light magic was what let him pass through the Rift unnoticed."

"Wow, he must be powerful." Ghidrah remembered his stomach. "Well, I suppose I should find a habitat where you'll stay while you're here," he stated. "I seem to remember that there are some empty Fire habitats available. Let's get you to one." The magical confines of a habitat would prevent the dragon from escaping, Ghidrah knew.

He put the dragon into one of the lava-filled areas, then saw his friend Cold sleeping in a nearby habitat.

"Hey! Wake up! It's dinner time!"

The Heat dragon yawned and got up.

"I was having a great dream, you know. There was a huge feast, and there was a lot of food, and I ate and ate..."

"Right," the Sonic dragon said sarcastically. "Now let's get some real food." He grabbed his friend's arm and yanked, sending Cold right up into the air. Together the two flew off toward Ye Olde Buffet.

Losas was frustrated. Leajey had been much longer than he expected. The idiot had probably got himself captured...

He sent a messenger to bring Zazara, his deputy. Leajey would need to be found.

*****

Ye Olde Buffet was crowded. Dragons of all varieties were eating and conversing, while others were looking for friends.

Ghidrah finally found Katie, and relayed what he had learned.

"The leader, Losas, is a Dark Rift dragon, meaning one of his elements is light. That's probably how he escaped – he snuck out when the Light dragons left. He has a lot of dark magic, so he probably was able to hide himself once out of the Rift, then make it back to free the rest of us. His little light magic was what let him pass through the Rift unnoticed."

Katie was impressed that he had remembered the information that well. "Not your leader, I hope."

"Oh, God, did I really say that?"

Cold, the Heat dragon, sadly confirmed what Katie had said.

Katie, however, still praised him. "I'm surprised you managed to get anything out of him. Where is he now?"

"I put him in one of the fire habitats. He needed somewhere to stay, so..."

"Smart move," the Troll dragon replied. "We should still make sure someone else is keeping watch, though, in case someone tries to help him escape."

Cold jumped in. "I could stay there." One of his elements was Fire, so he would be able to sleep in the habitat.

"Thanks," said Katie. "You might want to stay up for most of the night, though. Dark dragons like night, maybe even more than Moon dragons. He could try something."

*****

Zazara sent out some dragons to search for the missing Watch dragons, under the order not to show themsselves, and to report back to her if found.

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