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The Abduction

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Posted with permission of Tayne North II of Everlasting


Two young half-dragons capered in the park just south of Atlas Plaza, one with hair of scarlet red and one with hair black as night. Around and around they chased each other, rough-housing and carousing, chittering back and forth in Draconic as The Man in Black lounged on the park bench and looked on.


"You will keep them safe, yes?" Asked their mother in the man's memory, and of course he assured her he would.


He watched as they found a convenient hillock and began a game of distance where they would launch themselves off the top and glide as far as they could. The red-headed Bolo slid slowly to a stop after an impressive leap and chided his brother Sammo. Sammo flicked his black hair, climbed the hillock and glided even further and stuck his forked tongue out at his twin, and so it went.


The sun was high and traffic was low, the hum of meta-humans passing overhead creating an ambient noise, civilians ambulated through the park on their way to or fro and The Man in Black breathed and knew peace. He watched from behind blue cigar smoke as his adoptive nephews learned about life and love and expanded their understanding of the world and in that moment his error was made manifest.


"Uncle!" The cry came as though from a dream.


"UNCLE!!" The man's eyes snapped open from behind opaque, burnt-orange lenses and as his vision steadied he realized his grave mistake as Bolo and Sammo charged towards him. He had fallen asleep. The little half-dragons' eyes were wide with fear, their wings laid back across their backs as they sprinted towards their guardian who remained lounging upon the park bench, the cigar drooping from his mouth.


Figures emerged from the shadows of the nearby copse of trees, robes of blue and green and red and white symbolizing all four elements worn by men and women with glowing eyes. In their hands were wicked implements designed for torture and dismemberment.


The Man in Black stood and tucked the still burning cigar into his breast pocket.


"Alright, lads, quite alright. Jes' stay behind me, aye?" The dragonlings nodded, their eyes still wide with fear as they scurried behind their uncle who turned to face the robed mages.


"Step aside, mortal, we will have this dragon spawn as sacrifice. You need not be harmed, but we will have these wyrmlings." Snarled the Arch-Mage, her eyes aglow.


The Man in Black turned his head slightly over his shoulder to catch his young charges from the corner of his eye as they huddled together.


"Nay, I reckon ye shan't. Now bugger off."


"You meddle with forces you cannot possibly comprehend, mortal! We would rather this not be a spectacle, but we will slay you where you stand. The choice is yours." The Arch-Mage snapped her hand down, manifesting a ball of brilliant light, crackling with energy. The Mages behind her hefted their weapons and readied their spells as they advanced, attempting to encircle their prey.


The silence is palpable and seems to stretch on for minutes. Sammo and Bolo looked back and forth, the gaze snapping from the back of their uncle's head to the terrifying visages of their would-be captors before their uncle turned back to them.


"Lads, stay put, dinnae move, stay precisely where ye are, aye?" The little half-dragons nodded, clutching each other and with that The Man in Black raised his hand and a circle of fire sprang to life around them, shielding them entirely from the outside world. The heat was intense inside the circle of fire and Sammo the blue, so closely attuned to lightning began to whimper. He looked to his brother Bolo the red who immediately embraced his brother and wrapped his red wings about his twin to shield him from the heat. From beneath Bolo's wings the two hatchlings locked eyes and took comfort in their embrace.



Even from behind the circle of fire and from under Bolo's wings the light was almost blinding as lighting lanced down from the heavens and thunder rolled over Atlas Park. Worse than the noise was the sensation of reality shredding itself apart to make room for something that should have never existed in the first place. Then came the screams of battle.


The hatchlings hunkered down together taking note of the cacophony beyond their protective inferno. Eldritch words invoked dark magics that hammered the outside of the flaming shield, accompanied by the shrieks of human sounding voices as they were suddenly cut short. Small, concussive blasts shook their existence. It was hard for the youngsters to differentiate between their own quaking and the vibrations caused by the battle itself.


Clouds rolled over the sky, darkening the park as shards of ice as sharp as knives began to fall from the heavens, accompanied by a maniacal laughter that quickly changed to an agonal scream that was silenced abruptly. A robed hand reached through the circle for a moment only to be immolated, the ash from the limb floating upwards like dust in the wind, borne skyward by the twisting heat of the flames. There was a tearing sound of flame ripping the air and a mighty explosion that preceded the groaning sound of toppling trees and terrified human screams. The brothers clung to each other in terror, helpless but trusting nonetheless.


And then the world went black. Neither sun, nor moon shone and not a star gave light. Only within the circle of fire was there any sense of the visible world and as the war outside the circle faded into the background Bolo looked down at Sammo only to find his brother staring into the sky. Bolo turned his head to look over his shoulder.


There, floating effortlessly in the heavens was an Angel on Fire, wreathed in flame with copper hair floating in the wind. The light from his fires pressing out against the black, a brilliant, blazing sword in his right hand. The Angel raised his sword above his head before plummeting to the earth and the two brothers ducked, almost by instinct before they heard a single, shouted word. A word they would remember the rest of their lives.




The explosion shook the world, staggering the youngsters, forcing them to cling to one another to keep balance but also to avoid getting too close to flames that encircled them. The debris that didn't soar over the heads of the younglings smashed against the shield, vaporizing instantaneously, snapping and snarling as it was reduced to its constituent molecules, disappearing into nothingness.


And then the sky cleared. The darkness fell away and the sun shone down once more and there was a momentary silence before lightning struck from the heavens and thunder rolled over Atlas Park once more.


The Man in Black stepped through the circle of fire as though it wasn't even there, startling the dragonlings who fell back slightly.


"S'alright, lads. It's jes' me, it's jes' yer uncle Liv." The Man plucked the still burning cigar from his breast pocket and jammed it between his molars. "There's naught tae fear, 'tall." He grinned, the plume of blue smoke encircling his black fedora like a halo. "I reckon it's time tae see ye home tae yer mum, aye?" Sammo and Bolo nodded as one. "So, ye'll jes' have tae trust me once more, jes' this last time, aye? Ye'll take a hold o'me coat an' we'll jes' step intae this fire."


Sammo looked to Bolo fearfully, already uncomfortable with the ambient heat. Bolo glanced at The Man in Black and back at his brother and nodded tapping the ring on his finger. Sammo glanced down at his own ring, made of the purest Infernite harvested from the Lake of Perdition and nodded back. Again, as one, they gripped the bottom of the man's jacked and the three of them stepped through the open flame and disappeared. The circle of fire guttered out immediately, leaving nothing but a deeply scorched, black circle in the earth. The charred, immolated and dismembered corpses of the Circle of Thorns mages lay scattered about the devastated park, just South of Atlas Plaza




The Crucible was quiet and dark and Bosco, a large German Shepherd lounged across the leather couch, his head resting on his paws awaiting the return of his master and soaking in the warmth from the campire central to the sitting area. As if on cue he raised his head, his ears perked forward and predictably the campfire erupted and out strode The Man in Black accompanied by two dragonlings, red and blue. The youngsters rushed to greet the loyal hound as it bounded from the couch, his ears back against his skull, tongue lolling out of his mouth, his tail sweeping low and fast. Many licks and whimpers later The Man in Black cleared his throat as he stood next to one of three Pillar of Fire and Ice.


"Come along, then, lads. Yer mum's waitin'." The boys said their final goodbyes to Bosco and joined their uncle, once more taking hold of his jacket before passing through the crystal.


They emerged into private living quarters on the top floor of the Valiance apartment building, a bespoke and genteel home. Tayne North II came around the corner from the private quarters to find her twin sons gripping the coat-tails of her friend's jacket. At once the two hatchlings raced towards their mother's embrace and began chattering their adventure in Draconic. The Man in Black stood by the crystal listening patiently. Expectantly.


As she listened Tayne's face turned from surprise to shock to fear to anger. She muttered to the little half-dragons who then scampered towards the kitchen and she straightened to her full height and stalked towards The Man in Black. No words were spoken as she glared at him, furious. She knew what lay behind the lenses of those burnt-orange shades but it didn't matter, she glared past them anyway.


The smack of her palm against his cheek reverberated from every corner of the room. They stood there a moment, saying nothing to one another before The Mother Dragon pointed back towards the crystal. The Man in Black bowed his head ever so slightly and disappeared back through the Pillar of Fire and Ice.


Tayne took a breath and turned on her heel and made her way toward the kitchen to check on her children and, perhaps to find a bowl of ice water to soak her hand.

Edited by Living_Hellfire
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-The Legendary Living Hellfire

"The newest person in the room is always the most important person in the room"

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