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fanfiction Training Flight 19, their story continues on Extinction

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Ark Survival Evolved. Extinction.

 

This story is the continuation of the adventures of The Lost training Flight 19. It is a story set an additional 20 years into the future that features the crews of Flight 19, the PBM crew, Helena and her tribe, and Rollo with his vikings, along with members of their families that are now as old as their teens living on Ragnarok.

Extinction is the latest of the DLCs that was released November 6th. 2018 for the PC and Nov 13 for consoles. It is a huge map of the destroyed Earth of harsh environments, sheltered areas, and creatures that have been created and existing ones corrupted by Element, that Edminuium from Aberration.

Unlike The Island, The Center, and Ragnarok, there is no force field limiting one’s travel. Instead, there are warning beacons which if you go past them, you will be killed by the radiation beyond the unprotected borders. In fact, there are no borders showing, even when flying high in the sky. The horizon is dominated by corrupted spires to the north, distance mountains elsewhere, and a huge crater with distance mountains to the south.

With the destroyed earth having recovered somewhat from the impact of Aberration on its surface, a portal has reopened making it possible for a return. The story is of one group of the Ragnarok survivors, their teen offspring, and some of the dragons that make the trip to Earth.

 

Chapter 39. Return to Earth?

 

It is the year 20 on Ragnarok when Sargent Pasenna has discovered that the portal to Earth has now been reestablished. Over the years, the survivors have sent small expeditions to visit the other Arks in orbit around the dead Earth. They have been to The Island, alternate versions of The Island, a desert ark called Scorched Earth, a fantasy world called Crystal Island, and many others. They have watched the dirty brown color of the clouds on Earth gradually turned to white, then clear out to reveal a surface of yellows, orange, reds, and browns. With the oceans no longer visible, the entire planet has been turned into a Mars like desert. A large crater can be seen over an area that appears to have been the Rockies on the eastern edge of Washington State, a location where Aberration had crashed and exploded on the surface into a massive fireball thus destroying it’s surface and all existing life.

There are areas that look like giant circles of white, green, and a different color of brown that show up in the spotting scope. A shaft of colored light, similar to what is seen from the Obelisks on Ragnarok, shows up on occasion. Those seemed to have appeared when the clouds had cleared from the sky.

The mystery planet that the two flight crews had seen in geostationary orbit around the Earth, had vanished during the explosion that had destroyed the surface. It has been replaced by an orbiting mass of asteroids held together by it’s gravity.

Most strange of all is that the Earth no longer appears to be in rotation, but has become locked into a tidal position where North America is always facing the sun. Needless to say, it is all desert with the exception of the strange colored circles that appear to be some 20 miles in diameter. At their Lagrange point, where Ragnarok orbits the Earth every 28 days, the survivors are able to see the incredible wind storms that have formed along the twilight borders. Areas of flowing water show along there with fingers of white. The night side looks to be all white in the reflection of the moon, an indication that what is left of the Earth’s oceans are now frozen on that side of the planet as massive glaciers of a now permanent ice cap.

“What do you think it will be like on Earth if we use the portal to go visit it?” ask Belveto.

“I don’t know,” answers Coronal Powell. “With the sun constantly shining on one side of the planet, it is sure to be brutally hot like it was on Scorched Earth in the afternoon while it is frozen on the dark side similar to the that Ark we visited called Frozen. I am most curious about those perfect circles of green and other colors. Those cannot be natural formations, they have to have been artificially created. It is a possibly that they are sheltered Arks on the surface of the Earth. There is one way to find out. So long as we have the ability to return back to Ragnarok, we should send down a team of volunteers to visit and report back what they find.”

One question remains in all of their minds, Do they really want to go back to Earth if it once again has become habitable?

Life the past 20 years on Ragnarok has been quite peaceful. The combined tribes of the two flight crews, Helena’s tribe, and those of the Vikings have done well working together with their dragon friends. They have established a thriving village in Viking’s Bay with farmland and pasture up in the Highlands. They have been living in harmony with the wild creatures of the jungle, plains, badlands, the Great Swamp, and the deserts. All the ancient structures have been explored. The Death labyrinth has been discovered and it’s puzzle solved. All of the men and women that have wanted to do so have found mates with many of them having children that are as old as their late teens. Even the flying dragons have, for the first time in their lives, raised offspring to adulthood which are now in their equivalent of teens, the two days to adulthood growth rates no longer applying on Ragnarok. The Rock Drakes have found that growth rate far more enjoyable then the mad scramble they had on Earth.

Yet, the challenge of the unknown remains. Can they finally return to Earth, where there is the entire planet to colonize, instead of the limited 160 square kilometers of Ragnarok? Will those living on the other Arks make the trip as well? So, the decision is made. A select group of volunteers will be assembled in the morning to travel through the portal back to Earth and report back what they have found.

At the morning meeting Coronal Powell has brought up the subject of sending an expedition back to Earth with the goal of determining if it possible to re establish the human race back there. The Rock Drakes and Dragons, having heard about the portal being establish, are also in attendance.

“As everybody now knows, it is possible for us to go back to Earth via the Green Obelisk. We are not sure what the conditions are going to be like back there given what we can observed from here. Therefore, I recommend that we send back a volunteer force of 12 individuals to see what we will face should we decide to move back home. This exploratory force will need to be prepared for anything. They will have to take clothing to deal with the extreme conditions, canteens, preserved food, and weapons that can deal with any unknown hostile creatures that may be present.”

“Who would like to take the challenge of a new adventure?

In quite a bit of solidarity, everyone has volunteered including the dragons. So, another decision gets made by Coronal Powell, Helena, and Rollo.

After quite a bit of discussion, the 12 person party has been formed. They are;

1. Captain Powell, the group leader.

2. Major Powell, the medical scientist.

3. Masucci, the machinist mate from the Philadelphia.

4. Barbara, one of Crazy Harry’s hostages who has married Macucci.

5. Loki, from the Viking clan

6. Hilda, Loki’s wife

7. Eric, their 12 year old son

8. Eddie, the other survivor from the plague on Earth

9. Lisa, Eddie’s girlfriend

10. Helena, the Beast expert.

11. Lt. Jerry, PBM pilot

12. Sargent Pasenna, the portal expert and radioman for Captain Powell.

Some of the dragons have asked to come along but due to the limitation of the portal to reach Earth, they are being left on Ragnarok for the time being. “If we find that we need you for areal transportation, we will certainly come back to bring you along,” Captain Powell tells a disappointed Tammy and Mayor. “It’s a dangerous mission we are going on, possibly even more dangerous then when we took out Rockwell or the hostage rescue from the Viking Fortress.

“I’ll try to understand,” the two disappointed dragons tell him.

“If it looks like that we can establish a safe settlement, I’ll certainly come back to bring you two, your mates, and your children to see the Earth.”

“Thank you,” both dragons tells him.

It is around noon when preparations have been completed for the expedition. Both cold weather and arctic gear has been packed in several large crates placed on the pad. Extra food and water is in place. Weapons are packed along with the usual harvesting tools. The two Plasma Rifles are being taken along with what is left of the ammo. The portable shelter and corral is packed. A forge, Smithy, and fabricator becomes part of the baggage. Dressed in Gille Armor with weapons on the ready, the 12 person expedition enters the center of the Green Obelisk. Sargent Pasenna sets the control to a place near the State of Washington and activates the portal. With an alien Hum, the white mesh comes down. Then, all goes white.

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Chapter 40 Sanctuary City.

 

It is noon in Sanctuary City when the 12 person expedition, with all of their gear, materializes in the common square in the city center. Even though they have arrived at noon, the sun is fixed into the overcast sky as if it is 9AM. The high level clouds can be seen moving to the West. A stiff wind blows into the city from the West. It kicks up dust and fog along the ground. The square, with a pond to the side, is completely overgrown with bushes and trees. There are decorative waterfalls cascading down into streams that feed into the pond, then drain away in a creek flowing to the East. Sky scrapers, in various states of damage, line the outskirts of the park. Chunks of concrete and metal tie rods litter the ground. Elevated roadways, many of them broken, connect to many of the damaged structure. A Pteradon is seen flying overhead along with a Tapajara. A Dodo bird is feeding on the berries where a Parasaur is seen roaming some distance away.

“Report!” orders Captain Powell.

“Everything came through with us” answers Sargent Pasenna.

“Nothing dangerous nearby,” answers Loki.

“At least, the weather is tolerable here,” answers Major Powell after running her initial tests. “It measures a constant 95*F. It is a dry heat so our Gille suits will keep us comfortable, but, our water consumption will be above normal. Fortunately, the pond is safe, we have a source of clean water here. Hopefully, there will be water available throughout the city.”

“This is most interesting,” reports Helena. “We have all of the berry types as if we were on Ragnarok. I am also observing the same creatures that I have found on the various Arks. Are you sure that we are on Earth and not on some other Ark?”

“My GPS is registering our location as the city of Denver,” reports Sargent Pasenna. “Still, we should be standing at a portal terminal. I don’t see any in this park.”

“Then, how do we get back?” asks Lt Jerry.

“We don’t, unless we can find a portal access,” answers Sargent Pasenna. “We have always materializes at one when we visited the other Arks in the past. This Earth one must be in some other location, like it was when we escaped from Aberration.”

The conservation is interrupted by the sounds of what sounds like jet engines flying overhead. “Meteor shower!” warns Major Powell as she sees the glowing streaks falling from the sky to the East exploding as they impact the ground on the city outskirts.

“What happens if they start landing in the city?” Asks Eddie with concern. Several explosions are heard, then observed overhead as the meteors strike some invisible barrier way above them vaporizing against its surface.

“It looks like we are safe from them so long as we stay inside the city,” reports Sargent Pasenna. “We must be in one of those green circles that we could see using the spotting scope when we looked at the Earth.”

“If we are inside an ark force field, how will we be able to explore what is beyond it?” asks Masucci.

“We’ll find out when we are ready to go reach the edge of the force field,” answers Helena.

“Lets move the supplies into that bus shelter, then have a look around,” orders Captain Powell.

With all of the supplies having been moved into the bus shelter, Eric, out of boredom, swings his metal pick into a bench expecting to tear it apart to get some planks with some unexpected results. “Hey, this bench yielded crystal, scrap metal and something called element dust.”

“That is most strange,” Sargent Pasenna tells the young teen. “I’m sure those resources are going to have some uses that we don’t know about at this time. Craft a storage chest and put them in it for now. You can be in charge of testing everything for possible use as a resource.”

“I believe that I found a terminal we can used to get back to Ragnarok,” reports Masucci. “Sargent Pasenna, check out this device called the City Terminal.”

“Great! Problem solved,” reports Sargent Pasenna after inspecting the device. It looks like that we can craft some specialize machinery in them as well.”

“Lets get in some exploration of these nearby building,” suggest Helena. “Be on the watch for anything that might be waiting in them to ambush us. There are compys and spitters in the area so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see bats and spiders hiding in them.”

“Teams of four,” orders Captain Powell. “Have a warrior as part of your team.” The three teams, Captain Powell, Major Powell, Masuccu, Barbara. Loki, Hilda, Eric, Helena. Eddie, Lisa, Lt Jerry, Sargent Pasenna. They now head into the nearby buildings to check them out.

Searching the City Hall, Sargent Pasenna has managed to find a functioning computer terminal. It’s damaged records piece together a story of the Islamic war and the zombie plague that followed. Confirmed are the facts that nuclear warhead were detonated as a last ditch effort to contain the plague. They are responsible for much of the damage to Sanctuary City and not the impact from Aberration. Those that survived had held out from the zombies by locking themselves in the basement storeroom living on emergency rations for a year. They were then able to emerge to a ruined city to reestablish a colony for the next nine years. It tells how they were able to find other rations, get the irrigation system back in operation in order to farm crops and raise animals for their use.

It tells the story about the sudden appearance of orbiting satellites that looked like domes containing little worlds of various climates and the appearance of a strange planet that showed up high overhead that appeared to be parked in the sky.

Speculation ran rampant about the significance of the planet and the orbiting satellites. No one could explain just what they were. The survivors were able to establish contact with an observatory that had survived the war and had been able to study the planet and some of the satellites close up. The planet appeared to be in ruins, it’s cities destroyed, with huge craters being scattered about the small planet. They has wondered just how a planet, just half of the size of the moon could have retained an atmosphere or have so little tidal effect on the Earth.

Those researchers had been able to see that those satellites that were in orbit around the Earth were indeed self contained worlds with mountains, plains, jungles, and oceans. Those domes all contained three colored Obelisks inside them with three massive support structures outside of the dome.

One day, an explosion on one of those satellites has attracted their attention. Placing the telescope upon it, they observed one of the support columns had been destroyed with the dome having lost it’s normal color. The world inside appeared to have become dead with fires raging by daylight and the obelisk inside glowing a strange purple at night. Then, one day, they observed a second explosion that knocked the satellite into a decaying orbit.

Preparing for an extinction event, the survivors attempted to fortify the basement of City Hall to ride out the expected impact, fireball, and meteor bombardment that was expected. It did not look good when the observatory warned them that the satellite, with an estimated diameter of 30 miles, was about to impact at a point some 50 miles from them. Somehow, they had managed to survive the earthquakes and blast wave when it hit to the South of the city, but in the end, everyone was suffocating from the heat and a lack of oxygen that was being caused by the fires and volcanic eruptions. So, they made a last ditch effort to reach some place where they could find enough oxygen to stay alive. They were headed for a place in the North East where there is a large cave in the side of a mountain when they were attacked by aggressive prehistoric creatures that had strips of glowing purple like metal embedded in them. With their entire city being a weapons free zone, they had nothing to defend themselves with. That is the last entry in their data log.

“And, I thought it was bad with the Zombie Plague,” answers Eddie. “How did this place even survive if Aberration crashed into the ground so close to here?”

“That is an unknown question that we may find an answer as we continue our exploration,” answers Sargent Pasenna. “Lets find that basement.”

As expected, there are no functioning elevators in the building. A fire stairs is found with the door off the hinges. Eddie takes lead in heading down stairs to the basement level.

Finding the records room, they find that the file cabinets are in bad shape. It is very dark in the room due to the walls being blackened with soot. “It must have been extremely hot and damp down here during the firestorm,” reports Sargent Pasenna as he pulls open a drawer only to find that the content is all one mass of congealed pulp. “The sprinklers must have been activated by the heat causing everything inside to be soaked, then baked into pulp.”

Moving on, they find the shelter room and pry open the door. Inside, it is the same mess as the record room, yet, there are no skeletons or bodies to be seen. “They must have all tried to make a break for a safer location,” comments Sargent Pasenna. “Lets head upstairs.”

Picking their way through the rubble, they find much of the same damage to the offices and other rooms in the structure. The windows, made of some unusual material, are glazed in a diamond pattern. Unless knocked out by something that has punched holes into the walls, they are mostly intact. All of the rooms show the same kind of heat damage, nothing actually burned, but either charred or altered in some way by the intense flash of heat of the firestorm that struck the Earth some ten years ago.

Loki’s group has decided to scale one of the sky scrapers from the interior. It takes them a lot of climbing of the damaged fire escape but they finally reach the upper floor which is exposed to the elements and force open the door. Several Tapajaras nesting there take off flying in a panic.

It is one incredible view from the missing windows as the hot stiff breeze continues.

To the North, they can see the jagged and distorted peaks of the rocks. Many of them look like they have melted and reformed into long jagged spikes. Structures can be seen in the wastelands which are made up of boulders, dead trees, and a stream that runs red with blood.

To the West, they can see more jagged mountains and an area that is green with a Green Obelisk floating over it. It is a stark contrast to the wastelands beyond where an area that has yellow ponds and geysers is visible.

In the South, the view is dominated by a huge crater who’s bottom cannot be seen. The edge looks like something has melted away the rock outcropping of the wastelands in that direction. A giant rib structure can be seen in that area.

The view East is a shock of contrast. In the distance in that wastelands, two giant transparent domes can be seen, each containing an obelisk inside. Towards the North, the interior of the Blue Obelisk appears to contain a winter biome. Its snow capped mountains show on the inside of the dome. To the South, a desert biome is under the Red Obelisk. It looks so much friendlier then the surrounding wastelands.

“Both of those domes look so interesting,” comments Loki. “I hope that we can get inside them to check out their miniature worlds.”

Captain Powell’s group has gone on an expedition to study the mechanical creatures they have spotted to the North. They have spotted what looks like walking robots as well as some small flying scout like vehicles. Having the tec rifle with them, they drop one of the scouts with an EMP charge. Taking it to one of the City Terminals, they find that one can craft a controlling device for one. “Where do we get the electronics and Element Dust?” asks Masucci.

"Eric got Element Dust from the bench,” answers Captain Powell. “Lets see what we can get from the light post.” The light post yields the needed materials for the City Terminal to create the control unit as well as to repair the scout so it can be used.

“If Element Dust is what powers that thing, could it be used to power the tec rifles?” ask Major Powell.

“I’ll give it a test,” answers Captain Powell. The test firing is a success.

“We’re going to need a more efficient way to get Element Dust or we will run out of lamp post and benches,” reports Masucci.

“Lets tame up a Doed.” answers Barbara.

“Except that we haven’t seen any of them around here,” answers Major Powell. “Would an Ankylo work in it’s place?”

“Let’s go tame one and find out,” orders Captain Powell. One is quickly located and knocked out for taming with a saddle soon crafted for it.

Testing it out, the yield from the lamp post is now six times what could be gathered by the metal pick. “This is excellent,” Barbara tells them. “We should have plenty of Element Dust, electronics, crystal, and scrap metal for our needs in this place.”

Meanwhile, Masucci has managed to get onto one of the mechanical four legged robots and located it’s control panel on the back of it’s head. He walks it back to where the rest of the patrol is and puts the machine on standby.

“Is that thing some kind of new creature?” asks Barbara.

“No,” answers Major Powell after she has examined it. “It is an intelligent robot, a machine powered by Element Dust. With a bit of reprogramming, we can use them for our transport and defense.”

“That is most excellent,” Captain Powell tells her. “That will solve our transportation needs for exploring this world. Lets head back to our spawn in point and find a place to set up a base of operations with a pen to protect our new tames.”

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Author note, A warning in that current and future politics are going to be introduce into this chapter. It is to set the tone how Sanctuary City came into existence prior to the extinction of all humans on the Earth. Many of the concepts of this city are based upon technological advances being proposes and possible future political outcomes based upon current and projected scenarios.

 

Chapter 41. Establishing a base of operations.

 

It is late afternoon when the three patrols get back to the bus stop. “It still looks like it is 9AM according to the sun,” comments Lt. Jerry. The temperature still remains stuck at 95*F with the wind constant from the West.

At the meeting, Sargent Pasenna reports about his findings of the previous inhabitants. “The survivors of the Zombie Plague learned that Aberration was about to crash close by here,” he reports. “Through some strange law of physics, this city was in about the right spot to escape the direct impact with most of the ejected materials flying past them. Somehow, they also escaped the direct heat of the fireball as well. Later, when they tried to escape to some better shelter in the mountains, they ran into hostile creatures they called corrupted by strips of glowing purple metal in their bodies. Unarmed, because of something called a weapon free city, they became easy prey for the attacking creatures.”

“That sounds like that glowing purplish stuff that Rockwell was living in.” responds Helena. “That and Element must have contaminated everything around here when Aberration crashed into the Earth.”

“Weapon free city? What is that crap all about?” ask Captain Powell.

“It was a policy implemented nation wide by the Progressive Democrats that had taken complete control of the country in 2028,” answers Major Powell. “They started a policy of confiscating all of the guns and knives from residences in the big cities. Their thinking was that if you took away all of the weapons from the law abiding, then violent crime would come to an end. All that policy did was to leave the law abiding defenseless and hiding in their safe rooms. It also ignited a Civil War when the government attempted to confiscate the estimated 400 million guns remaining in civilian hands in 2034 when the country had officially been turned into a Socialist State. Most of us in the military and local Law Enforcement refused to obey the executive orders to seize guns from the civilians by conducting illegal house to house searches, so federal agents were ordered to do the dirty work. Just about every Federal Government agency already had the weapons and ammo to conduct such raids given how they had been armed with military style weapons during the Obama administrations. Still, it took a long time to assemble the agents willing to do so due to the infighting in the agencies over the enforcement method being adopted. A major purge had to be conducted in all agencies which lost over half of their employees through firings, early retirement, and just plain quitting in protest. Many of those Federal agents left ended up dead when they attempted to raid places where the home owners had formed resistant group to the illegal searches. Numerous fire broke out in the nation’s suburbs as a result of those raids. The funeral homes and hospitals were soon swamped with the casualties where the raids took place. They quickly ended when the Government was forced to deal with the massive protest that soon resulted from those raids and an open border policy that allowed over 50 million illegals to flood the country, when people were forced to house those illegals in their homes and communities. A world war with Islam soon followed, which ended with the zombie plague and the nuclear destruction of major cities worldwide.”

“How was that allowed to happen?” ask Captain Powell.

“It began gradually, when people became politically lazy during the 80s,” answers Major Powell. “It started in the public schools and universities when Progressives teaching took over the education system in the country and they starting brainwashing the youth with the Progressive agenda. Then, it greatly accelerate as the nation became politically divided in 2016. Opinion opposed to what the Progressives were doing became censored or shouted down with violence. When the authorities and Congress failed to stop the voting fraud that started taking place in future elections, that fraud allowed the Progressive Democrats to obtain total control of the country by 2034.”

“Sounds like a frackin mess that should of never happened,” answers Captain Powell. “Loki. What did your group find during your exploration?”

“We were able to get a good look of the surrounding terrain from one of the sky scrapers,” reports Loki. “Those circles of green and other colors are actually under the domes of the floating Obelisks. One of those is right next to this city just West of here. The rest of the surrounding terrain is a wasteland of jagged peaks with a huge crater to the South.”

“We have been able to craft a control unit for one of the flying drones.” reports Captain Powell. “We can use it for scouting ahead safely before heading out into any area. Masucci has discovered that those mechanical looking four legged creatures we have seen are actually intelligent robots called Enforcers. They can be programmed for our use as a transport and defense unit. They are powered by element dust. Our plasma rifles will also function on that material. If we use an Ankly and later a Doed to harvest the small structures in the city, we will be able to obtain plenty of element dust to keep them running indefinitely. I recommend that we go obtain an Enforcer for each of us before we head to a more permanent place to set up camp. Don’t do anything to upset the ones running on auto pilot. We have seen them attack and kill some of the creatures out there that accidentally attacked them. Sargent Pasenna, Masucci, and I will go find more of them for us. Lt. Jerry will watch for any that come around here while we are gone. If you don’t bother them, they will leave you alone. They can be shut down with an EMP burst from the Plasma Rifle if you get attacked by one. We’ll set up camp here for the night, then plan to move into the Green Zone to set up a base of operations in the morning.”

It is one strange night as the temperature remains 95*F, the stiff west wind continues blowing through the city, and the sun remains fixed at a 45 degree angle in the sky. The high scatter thin clouds continue streaming towards the west, the moon continues slowly moving in it’s orbit, and the much larger mass of broken rock in a faster orbit. A strange object is seen leaving a smoke trail as if travels through the sky hitting the ground way out in the badlands. Around 11PM, Captain Powell’s group comes back with eleven more enforcer robots under their control and parks them in a circle outside of the bus stop in defense mode.

Using the scout drone, Sargent Pasenna finds a route through the city over to the Green Zone and checks out the area. “I’ve located a suitable place to build our settlement,” he tells the others. “There is a large flat area next to a pond where we can build. There are some predators we need to watch out for but nothing that we can’t handle. Resources are available there. We can always come back into the city for element dust.”

At 6AM on the second day on the Extinct Earth, the patrol is busy packing all of the supplies on the 12 robotic Enforcers. Given how slow the Anklyo is, they plan to walk through the city to the Green Zone area.

It is an interesting trip through the ruined high rise apartments and parkland. “These people must have abandoned automobiles in favor of public transport,” Major Powell tells the others. I have seen articles on the web how Denver was going Green with all private transport being banned and replaced by bicycles, electric buses, delivery vans, and an underground conveyor system linking every apartment to a distribution warehouse.”

“Prior to the zombie invasion, the city had just installed that robotic conveyor delivery system to every apartment. Most everything that someone needed would be ordered from a central warehouse. It was then packed by robots in a tote and routed to a terminal in the apartment where the occupant would unpack it, repack it with their trash, and send it back to the warehouse for recycling, cleaning, and reuse. Larger items, such as furniture, would be delivered by box trucks and robots. Nobody needed to leave their apartment if they didn’t want to. They could work, eat, exercise, and be entertained in there. Mostly, the residents of Denver, which by then had been renamed Sanctuary City due to a million illegals being housed in the new high rise apartments, got their exercise by walking or biking along the walkways connecting the apartments and numerous green zones in the city.”

“Who was paying for all of that expensive construction and housing of all of those illegals?” ask Captain Powell.

“Everyone that still had a job, ran a business, or owned property,” answered Major Powell. “With a National Debt that had exploded to over $50 trillion and out of control inflation, the government was going bankrupt under the Progressive Democrat’s open border policy. The rest of the Western World was no better off. The Zombie Plague was the only thing that ended what would have soon been a world wide economic collapse into chaos. We were facing Armageddon in one form or another.”

“I can see the Green Obelisk up ahead of us now,” reports Sargent Pasenna who is in the lead. “Once we enter the clearing in the forest, we turn left along the pond and we will find the large flat area where we can set up our base of operation.” It is another 20 minutes of walking before they reach the end of the pavement where they head downhill into the area of the pond. Turning left, they follow it reaching the clearing by noon.

Unloading the enforcers, they are placed in a circle around the camp to watch for predators as the rest of the patrol proceeds to assemble the stone fence and set up camp. The anklyo gets used to harvest the river rock in the pond and a nearby metal ore rock. The metal is put into the Smithy along with the scrap metal from the lamp post for smelting.

With the construction finished some exploration of the Green Zone now takes place. Sargent Pasenna, Lt Jerry, Eddie and Lisa ride the Enforcers up to where the Green obelisk is floating over a large rock outcropping.

“That is strange,” Sargent Pasenna comments when they get under the Green obelisk. “There is no terminal or alter base under it.”

“Is it me or does it look much smaller then the one on Ragnarok?” ask Lt. Jerry.

“No, it is much smaller.” answers Sargent Pasenna. “It must serve as an origin point of the protective dome covering this area.”

“There’s an Explorer’s Note over here,” reports Eddie. “It is from Helena. How could she have been possibly been here before us? It reads as follows”

 

“It's been a while since my last entry, hasn't it? Between all that happened with Rockwell back on the station and the shock of arriving planet side, I've been in a bit of a rut. Even cataloging the new species I've found has done little to ease my mind.

Things down here are so mental that some people are wondering if we were safer before. Honestly, they might be right. Maybe that was why we were trapped on those stations to begin with...

Luckily, Santiago's plans have given us all something to do. I'm hardly an ace with technology, much less giant bloody robots, but after all that's happened, I owe it to these people to lend a hand in whatever way I can.”

 

“That is most strange,” answers Lt. Jerry. “Yet, with our visiting of other arks, how is it possible that she could have been in two places at once without knowing about it?”

“What’s this about giant bloody robots?” ask Eddie. “These Enforcers are not that large.”

“It could be about something that we don’t know about or haven’t seen so far,” answers Sargent Pasenna.

“God, I hope that we are not going to get involved with something I saw in that old movie called Pacific Rim,” answers Eddie. “It was about giant robots fighting giant creatures on the West Coast.”

“It’s hard to say,” answers Sargent Pasenna. “Anything seems possible in this strange new world.”

In the meantime, Captain Powell’s group is exploring to the West to the city wall. A City Terminal has been located there. “This is excellent, we won’t need to go back into the city if we need to use a terminal for crafting or teleporting.”

Continuing further along the west wall, they find a gap in it leading down to a ramp where the wastelands can be seen beyond. “What a strange area that is,” comments Masucci as he continues on. “Humm, the temperature has dropped to 72*.” He continues down the ramp to the wasteland below.

“Agguch! It’s like being in a furnace down there,” Masucci complains as he runs back up the ramp. “It smells like rotting eggs out there.”

“Well, that answers the question about being able to go beyond the obelisk barrier,” answers Captain Powell who then sends out the probe to survey the terrain beyond. “Nasty, he reports. The probe is reporting a temperature of 155*F out there. Those yellow columns are pure sulfur with congealed gas inside them. The lake is pure battery acid. Those steam geysers are full of acid. With extremely high levels of sulfur dioxide and CO2, we would have to wear hazard suits to even attempt any exploration or harvesting of resources out there. I doubt that the Enforcers could even survive in that acidic environment without suffering corrosive damage from the contaminated air. Damn, the probe has just failed. We’ll have to craft another one.”

“Didn’t you have hazard suits when you came here from Aberration?” ask Masucci.

“Yes we did, but they were left on Earth prior to us leaving it when Aberration came crashing down,” answers Captain Powell. “Unless we can find another source for congealed gas balls, we are SOL in replacing them. At any rate, there is no way we can go out there past the protection of the Obelisk force field.”

Meanwhile, Loki’s patrol has headed East, then North towards the edge of the force field. They have also found an Explorer’s Note, but, it is from the early occupants of Aberration who had caused the failure of one of it’s support columns when they blew up the control room in a desperate effort to escape from the Guardians that were attacking them in force.

“Did we just go outside of the force field?” asks Loki as the terrain suddenly changes from green to a harsh gray and brown.

“Yes, we did,” answers Helena. “The weather conditions are still the same, but it feels much harsher out here. “Oh, oh, the report about corrupted creatures was correct. I see several in the distant through the spotting scope.”

“There’s a Doed close to us,” reports Hilda. “It looks like a normal one.”

“That’s the first one we have seen anywhere around here,” answers Helena. “Lets get it tamed before some corrupted creature shows up to kill it.” With the Enforcers on guard mode, the Doed is knocked out for taming.

Halfway through the taming process, a pteradon call is heard from above. “Those are corrupt!” warns Helena. “Here they come in to attack us. Take them out!”

Having been quickly been taken down with the crossbow, Helena examines the bodies of the two corrupted fliers. “They are just like Rockwell,” mutter Helena. “They became corrupted when they ingested Element Shards. This area must have become contaminated with the stuff when Aberration crashed nearby. Other then these glowing crystalline growths in their bodies and something called corrupted nodules that looks like organic polymer, they look normal. Whatever that stuff is, it must have warped their behavior in some way. This warrants a lot more study of what is going on with the creatures out here, but, I think that it will be best to wait until we can go out there all together.” With the Doed tamed, the four person group heads back with Eric riding it.

That evening, the three groups file their report.

“Most interesting!” Helen comments in shock as the reports are made. “That is my hand writing on that note. But, how can it be if I was never here in the first place?”

“Perhaps, there is such a thing as a parallel universe,” answers Major Powell. “If so, it would explain the note that was found along with the second one from those survivors from way in the future.”

“It’s good to know that we will not be confined to the Green Zone. When we attempted to enter that yellow wasteland to the West, we found conditions there to be extremely deadly. We lost the probe to the harsh conditions that are out there. Without hazard suits, there is no way we can survive out there for long.”

“Lets plan on an extended expedition to the Northern Wasteland tomorrow as soon as the Doed can gather enough Element Dust to fuel our enforcers.”

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Chapter 42, The Wastelands.

 

With the new Doed named Daisy and Andy the Anklyo, a sizable supply of element dust, electronics, scrap metal, and tons of crystal have been collected nearby from the lamp posts, chairs, benches, and tables. Some Iguanodons have been tamed up along the way to gather berries and to transport the heavy crystal back to base. “It seems rather strange that those items should contain such materials,” comments Sargent Pasenna.

“Perhaps, it has something to do with the solar cells and batteries contained in those items,” answers Major Powell.

Day three on the post Extinction Earth is the same as the other two. The temperature remains at 95*F. The high cloud continue streaming to the West. That same stiff breeze is still blowing. The sun remains fixed in the sky in the East South East. The moon has moved further along on it’s orbit. The mass of the broken dwarf planet has dropped below the horizon.

“Is the weather always going to remain like this?” ask Loki’s son Eric.

“So long as the Earth’s rotation is locked into it’s present position, it will remain the same,” answers Major Powell.

With everyone packed and armed, the 12 person patrol starts out heading Northeast into the Wastelands.

Crossing the boundary of the force field, the patrol soon enters the Wastelands. Their implants start warning them of harsh conditions that may soon push up their hunger rate. “Keep all of your Gille Armor on,” warns Major Powell after she runs some test on the environment. “There is no ozone protection out here. You will quickly get sunburned if you allow your skin to be exposed to the harsh radiation of the sun.”

The area is now a contrast from the Green Zone. Vegetation has turned brown or is dead. There are no trees, just petrified stumps and petrified wood. Strangely, the bushes do yield berries as the stumps give up wood and thatch.

Sticking to the high ground with the mechanical Enforcers, Helena has been studying the creatures she has spotted roaming out there. She has noticed that the corrupted ones do not attack each other, even if it is a corrupted T-Rex standing next to a corrupted Trike. Instead, they both attack every non corrupted creature in sight.

Coming over a ridge, they surprise a strange looking Stego which just ignores them. “It’s safe,” Helena tells the others. “It ids as a Tec Stego. It is a machine in the shape and behavior of a reptile.”

“I’ll watch for it when we come back and see if I can get control of it,” answers Masucci after he does a quick examination of the unusual creature.

Continuing on, the patrol now heads into a most strange valley. The dust is blowing which partially obscures their vision. Three corrupted raptors rush in to attack which are quickly dropped with crossbows. Helena gets off of her ride to inspect them as the others keep watch for trouble.

“They are just like the pteradons that attacked us yesterday out here,” Helena reports to the others. “They still yield meat and hide, bit they also contains corrupted nodules which has a shelf life.”

“Throw it away for now,” warns Major Powell after examining it with one of her medical instruments. “Even though it is a form of organic polymer, it’s as toxic as cyanide.”

“So far, these corrupted creatures are easy to kill,” comments Sargent Pasenna. “Those were high level raptors. They must be weakened by the material that has infected them.”

“Sort of like the plague zombies back in the pre extinction Earth?” answers Eddie. “If they don’t eat meat or berries, what keeps them alive?”

“It must be the Element they are infected with,” answers Major Powell as she spots a dead Moschop near by. “Those raptors didn’t even make an effort to eat their kill.”

Continuing on they head down to where some abandoned structures are located. “This looks like the dome and terminal building for Denver International.” comments Major Powell as she reads the burnt sign by the main entrance. “Strange. There is nothing around here flat enough for two miles of runway. The terrain is all broken up.”

Going inside through the missing door, they take a break to inspect the interior. “Eddie, Lisa, guard the entrance while the rest of us have a look around.” orders Captain Powell.

Inside the main terminal, the check in, vending machines, and information screens are found to be in various states of damage. The panels are smashed with the contents either missing or spoiled. Nothing can be salvaged or harvested there. The roof has collapsed into the East corridor making access to it impossible.

Entering the West corridor, they are able to gain access to one of the boarding areas. A test with the metal pick shows that scrap metal composites and electronics can be gathered, but no element dust. Several burned out transport aircraft are outside, They can be mined for scrap metal as well. “We can come back here for scrap metal if we need it,” reports Lt. Jerry.

“Lets follow the stream towards the mountain,” answers Captain Powell as everyone steps outside. “It appears to head towards what looks like the opening of a cave.”

Continuing on down the stream, they observe blood red plants and algae that has tainted the water there. “This looks toxic,” warns Major Powell. “It looks like Red Tide Algae. It is toxic. Don’t drink any of this water.”

“What are those strange looking purple crystals up on the hill?” asks Lt. Jerry.

“I don’t know,” answers Sargent Pasenna who is in the lead. “They look like those corrupted veins in those raptors that attacked us. We should check it out.”

Heading over to where the glowing purple crystals are, they spot a dead bloodied dragon laying on the ground nearby. Captain Powell gets off of his Enforcer to check it out. “Everyone be on your guard,” he warns the patrol. “This is a fresh kill. What the frack is out there that can take out something as strong as a dragon so easily?”

“Let me get her milk and place it in the Enforcer to preserve it,” answers Major Powell. “It has many medical uses. Be careful around those crystals up ahead. They could be the reason why this dragon was killed.”

Reaching the strange crystal formation, Sargent Pasenna and Lt. Jerry get off of their mounts to examine it. “These crystals register as pure element,” reports Sargent Pasenna. “This is a gold mine if there ever was one.” There is a loud roar from dozens of creatures in the distance as the two men start mining the crystals for element, element shards, and element dust.

“It’s a trap!” warns Captain Powell as corrupted creatures are spotted running towards the element formations from all directions in attack mode. “Head for the cave. Kill everything that attacks you with your assault rifle, rockets, whatever you have as a weapon!”

Three corrupted T-Rexes and two spinos are the first corrupted creatures to show up and start attacking the element formations. They are soon joined by dozens of raptors, trikes, stegos, spitters and pteradons. Four corrupted Parcers and a Reaper get killed with rockets when they attack the patrol racing for the cave. With the exception of three corrupted dragons, flying by the cave entrance, that are shot out of the sky with the Plasma rifles and rockets as they spot and attack the patrol, everything else is at the now distant element formations tearing it apart in a feeding frenzy.

Anybody hurt?" ask Major Powell as she stops to check out the corrupted dragons.

"We're all OK," everyone answers back.

“That stuff must be like crack cocaine to them,” warns Helena. “I now understand why Rockwell became so obsessed with that crap.”

“Is there anything else following us?” ask Captain Powell.

“No,” answers Helena. “They’re too busy feeding on those element crystals. We are out of sight of them for now.”

“These corrupted dragons must be the ones that killed that female back there,” Major Powell reports as she examines them, but, finds that the female has no milk on her. “That dragon didn’t stand a chance against these corrupted ones. Keep an eye out for a young dragon. Given that she had milk on her and the corrupted one was barren, She may have brought her offspring with her. ”

“Let’s get down into the cave before more of those creatures decide to come after us,” orders Captain Powell. “They were a lot harder to kill then I expected they would be, especially that Reaper King.”

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Chapter 43, Eric and Drogon.

 

The patrol has just entered the cave when Eric notices a familiar shadow hiding in the corner under a shelf or rocks that’s about the size of a large horse. Loki and Hilda have seen it as well. “Hold your fire!” orders Loki as he gets off of his Enforcer along with his son to examine the unknown creature up close.

“What is it?” Ask Helena as she gets off of her ride to see what they have found. “It’s a juvenile fire dragon. That must have been his mother we found out there.”

“Is it safe to approach him?” asks Eric.

“If he is like the juvenile Ragnarok Dragons, he would just as soon run away rather then do anything to harm you,” answers Helena.

“Can we take him with us?” asks Eric.

“That will be up to him,” answers Loki. “Be careful as you approach him. He looks scared out of his wits.”

“I don’t want to die! I don’t want to die!” the frightened young dragon keeps telling Eric as he is crying and shaking in fear.

“You’re not going to die.” Eric tells the young dragon as he gets close enough to pet him on the neck. “You’re safe now. Those corrupted dragons that were chasing you are now dead.”

“They killed my mother!” the young dragon tells Eric as he continues crying.

“We know,” Eric tells him. “Are you hurt?”

“No,” the young dragon tells Eric. “I’m just so scared.”

“It’s all right,” Eric tells him. “We were all scared when those corrupted creatures suddenly showed up in such large numbers and started fighting over those element crystals.”

“Do you have a name?”

“I’m called Drogon.” the young dragon tells him as he is now starting to calm down as Eric continues to pet him on the neck.

Major Powell has now come over to check on the condition of the young dragon as Eric continues to comfort him. “He checks out to be in good shape,” she tells Eric. “Here, give him some of this dragon milk. It will help to calm him down and bond with you.”

“How did you end up in this cave?” Eric asks Drogon as he feeds him some dragon milk.

“My mother and I came down from the high mountains to hunt corrupted creatures,” answers Drogon. “This was the first time that we ever seen those strange glowing crystal formations. When we landed by them, we were attacked by the corrupt dragons. We never knew that they even existed. My mother told me to go hide in the cave as she tried to fight them off, but, they hit her from all sides at once pinning her to the ground to kill her. They were looking for me in the cave when they heard the screams from the other corrupt creatures. Then, I heard the explosions and the sounds of something big hitting the ground nearby. I was so scared that I couldn’t move.”

“You are safe if you stay with us,” Loki tells him. “If you are willing, my son would love to have you as his dragon friend.”

“I’ll be his friend,” Drogon tells Loki. “It’s too scary out there to be all by myself.”

“We should stay here for a while so those two can be bonded together,” suggest Major Powell.

The rest of the patrol has set up a temporary camp to cook up the raw meat they have gathered from the corrupt creatures. With only a couple of Dragon Milk left, Major Powell has told Eric and Drogon that it is important that they will have to wean him off of milk sooner then he had expected. “In the Game of Thrones story, Danari had to wean her dragons off of her milk when they were still small enough that she could carry them. She found out that she needed to cook raw meat for them.” Major Powell tells both Drogon and Eric. “Lets see if you can eat some of this cooked meat.”

“Was I actually small enough that you could have picked me up?” asks Drogon.

“Yes,” answers Major Powell. “All of the offspring of our dragon friends on Ragnarok were that small when they were hatched from their eggs.”

“Humans with dragon friends. I never knew that such a thing was possible.” Drogon tells her

“Our dragon friends were so disappointed that they couldn’t come with us on to visit Earth,” Major Powell tells Drogon. “We were concerned for their safety in this unknown world. That fear was confirmed when we had to confront those corrupted ones that were after you.”

“I’m feeling so much better around everyone now,” answers Drogon. “I’ll try to eat some of that cooked meat.”

“Take small bites of it for now until you get used to eating solid foods,” suggest Major Powell. “Chew it thoroughly before swallowing it.” With Eric cutting up the slab of cooked meat into bite sized pieces, he gives them to Drogon one at a time.

“That taste good,” Drogon tells her.

“That’s enough for now,” warns Major Powell after Drogon has eaten all of the slab. “We need to let your body get adjusted to your new diet.”

“Can I fly on him?” Eric asks Major Powell.

“If Drogon will let you, yes,” answers Major Powell. “Just be aware that he can’t carry a lot of weight at this time. Leave everything in your Enforcer other then your canteen, your Gille Armor, and your sword.”

“I’ll give it a try,” Drogon tells Eric.

With Eric leaving everything on the Enforcer, Loki helps his son get on Drogon’s shoulder. “Just walk around a bit until you get used to Loki sitting on you. Then, just make short flights in the cave entrance until you have learned how flying with someone on you works.”

“This is interesting,” Drogon tells Eric as he walks around under Eric’s guidance. “It feels so, natural.”

“Given that both of you are about of the same age, the two of you are a good match to be together” answers Major Powell. “When you feel confident enough having Eric riding you, go ahead and try making a short flight.”

“Oh, this is interesting,” Drogon tells Eric as he makes his first flight. “We both have control of my flying.”

“That has always been true with all the dragons we know,” answers Eric. “They can always take control at any time. Sargent Powell told me that it allowed the Rock Drakes to do the flight maneuvers so that both of their riders could concentrate on taking out Rockwell during their final showdown with him.”

“Can we go outside to fly a bit further?” ask Drogon.

“Yes, Go ahead,” answers Loki. “Just don’t stray too far from the cave and keep an eye out for anything that could be a threat to you two.”

Drogon has taken flight with Eric and headed outside the cave. “Wow! This is amazing,” Eric tells Drogon. “I’ve never had a chance to really fly on a dragon before.” They continue flying a bit further from the cave entrance. But suddenly, Drogon is getting very scared and wants to fly back into the cave to hide.

“Drogon, what’s wrong?” asks Eric.

“Those corrupted dragons are still out there!” Drogon answers in a frightened voice.

“It’s all right,” Eric tells him. “They can no longer threaten you. They’re dead. Land nearby them so you can see for yourself that they are no longer a threat.”

“I’m frightened,” Drogon tells Eric as he lands close by.

“Be brave,” answers Eric. “Just walk slowly up to them.” With Eric’s encouragement, Drogon faces his fear and slowly goes up to the dead dragons where he finally touches one.

“You are right,” answers Drogon. “They can no longer harm me. I just wish that your patrol could have arrived sooner to kill them before they killed my mother.”

“We had no way of knowing that there were any dragons living on Earth.” Eric tells Drogon. “We were surprised to find that there were extinct reptiles and robots here as well.”

“We better get back into the cave. I see a dragon flying this way.”

Recognizing the dragon flying their way, Drogon takes off flying towards it in excitement. “Where are you going?” Eric asks him in alarm.

“It’s my father,” Drogon tells Eric in excitement. “I want to go see him.”

“I don’t think that I could stop you if I tried,” answers Eric. “I’d like to see him too.” Both dragons meet half way, then land next to the dead corrupt dragons as they are talking to each other.

“Drogon, are you all right?” ask the father with concern. “I was so worry that you had been killed when I saw what happened to your mother. You have a human on you!”

“It’s all right Dad,” Drogon answers. “The humans killed the corrupt dragons that were looking for me. This is my young friend Eric.”

“What is your name?” Eric asks the male dragon.

“I’m Reigel,” he answers Eric. “Thank you for saving my son from those awful corrupt dragons. I never knew that they existed.”

“It was a shock to us when they attacked our patrol,” answers Eric. “Fortunately, we brought along some weapons that were able to eliminate them as a threat.”

“Can I meet the rest of your friends?” asks Reigel.

“You better let Drogon and I fly back into the cave before you follow us there,” Eric tells Reigel. “I would hate to have you mistaken for another corrupt dragon.”

“I’ll wait outside the cave entrance until you let me know that it is safe for me to come inside.” answers Reigel.

About this time, Loki and Captain Powell are getting worried that something may have happened to Eric and Drogon. “They have been gone way too long,” Loki tells Captain Powell with a worried look.

“Then, we better go looking for them,” answers Captain Powell. A patrol consisting of Loki, Lt. Jerry, Sargent Pasenna, and Captain Powell, is quickly assembled to go look for them on their enforcers.

Leaving the cave entrance, the four man patrol doesn’t have far to go.

“I see two dragons out there,” reports Sargent Pasenna when they have left the entrance of the cave. He places his spotting scope on them. “Oh, good news. The smaller one is Drogon with Eric sitting on him. The bigger one is a male. They look like they are talking to each other.”

“That might be Drogon’s father,” answers Loki. “We should wait here and let them make the next move.” Soon, the two dragons start flying towards the cave. Then, they land abruptly as they spot the four men on their enforcers.

“What are those humans riding on?” Reigel asks in alarm.

“Those are enforcers,” answers Eric. “They are mechanical robots. Unlike the ones roaming in the ruined city, we have complete control of the ones we used for our transportation.”

“I see my father with them. He must have been worried about us when we didn’t return right away. You’re safe as long as you stay with us. Come on over to meet them. You will like my father. He has a lot of dragon friends back on Ragnarok.” Cautiously, Reigel follows Eric and Drogon as they finally meet up with the patrol.

“Is that Drogon’s father?” Loki asks his son as he gets off the enforcer.

“Yes it is,” answers Eric. “His name is Reigel. He just sort of found us when we stopped to check out the dead corrupted dragons.”

“You must be Eric’s father,” Reigal tells him. “I’m glad that my son and yours have become such good friends. He has been so lonely with no friends in this world to be with. Even a human friend is better then no friends at all.”

“Have you seen humans before?” Loki ask Reigel.

“No,” Reigel answers. “I’ve heard that there may be some living in the cave that escaped being killed by the corrupted creatures when they left their ruined city to seek shelter there. You are the first ones I have seen.”

“That is most interesting that your species had arrived on Earth so soon after Aberration crashed into it,” answers Loki. “Major Powell is going to be most interested in your story on how you arrived here on Earth and have been able to survive in the ungodly terrain of the Wastelands. Lets head for the cave so that I can introduce you to the rest of our party of explorers.”

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Chapter 44. The Underground Forest.

 

As they get ready to head back into the cave Reigel has asked Loki to ride on him. “I’m curious why my son like to take your son riding on him,” he tells Loki.

“If you can, take a quick recon over the area of the element crystals,” Captain Powell tells Loki as he gets on Reigel.

“You have done this before,” Reigel tells Loki with surprise when they take off flying.

“I have several dragon friends that I regularly go flying on,” Loki tells him. “They find it quite enjoyable.”

“I now understand why,” Reigel tells Loki

The quick flight takes them over what is left of the glowing purple crystal formations. It is now a mess of glowing dead bodies in various stages of injury and dismemberment. “What a massacre,” Loki tells Reigel. “That stuff must have driven them insane.”

“I don’t think that all the creatures out here with those purple veins in their body are corrupt,” Riegel tells Loki.

“What do you mean?” ask Loki.

“Let me show you,” answers Reigel as he heads towards the outskirts of Sanctuary City, then lands next to a strange looking worm like creatures.

“You’re right,” Loki tells Reigel as he IDs the creature with his spotting scope. “With those purple veins, it should be corrupt, but it is not. Getting off of Reigel, Loki walks right up to the giant worm and touches it. It looks at him, then continues grazing for a moment before inflating it’s body, then taking flight like a vertical take off jet. “It is very docile as well. Thank you for showing me that. We already know that if a creature registers as corrupt, they will attack on sight. If they don’t register as corrupt, it looks like that they are not going to be dangerous if we don’t do anything to provoke them.”

Heading back to the cave, Reigel land by his son who is enjoying the attention of being fed some more cooked meat. “How did you get him to eat solid food?” ask Reigel.

“He had no choice in that matter,” Major Powell tells Reigel. “His mother only had a couple of dragons milk left on her when we found her. The corrupt female out there had none. He appears to be adjusting quite well to eating cooked meat. Eventually, he should be able to handle raw meat.”

“Thank you.” Reigel tells her. “You have solved a problem of how I was going to feed him with his mother no longer with us.” Everyone is soon introduced to Reigel who is now enjoying all of this unusual attention.

“Do you remember when you first appeared on this Earth?” Helena ask Reigel.

“It was most strange,” answer Reigel. “Vicerian and I just seemed to have appeared on Earth. We are used to living where there is volcanic activity, but this place was just awful. It was dark and stormy with fires burning everywhere. The air was very hot, even for us, and full of smoke and soot. Using our infrared vision, we flew towards a less polluted area finding the ruins of a great city where we took shelter in a cavern that was under it. We did find creatures down there that we could hunt for food and those mechanical things you call enforcers that kept wanting to pester us.”

“Several days later, the air had cleared up a lot with it cooling down to a tolerable level, so, we decided to move into the mountains. That’s when Vicerian saw those humans running towards the cave with those corrupted creatures attacking them. She believes that some of them made it to safety.”

“Over the years, the stormy sky started to clear up with it getting lighter. Then, the sun finally came out for the first time. Eventually, the weather stabilized to what you now see out there today.”

“Would you like to join us in exploring this cave to look for them?” Captain Powell asks Reigel after he gets Loki’s report on the corrupt creatures and the new flying worm like one.

“Yes,” Riegel answers. “I’m curious to know if those humans that escaped from the corrupt creatures are still living down there.”

“We’ll take you as far as you and your son are comfortable with going into a confined area,” answers Captain Powell. “I do have a feeling that this cave is going to have plenty of room for you to fly in. Loki can fly recon on you if you like. I’m sure that his son Eric will want to fly on Drogon. We’ll take our time in heading down there just in case there is anything dangerous hiding in the shadows. Everyone, make sure that you have your torches and spares. I don’t know how dark it is going to be down there.”

It is a strange cave entrance indeed as the patrol now go past the area where they found Drogon hiding from the corrupt dragons. The entrance is dominated by towering man made structures that are in various states of damage as the patrol follows the sloping roadway down into the interior. A concrete viaduct confines the stream coming from the surface as it cascades down in small waterfalls which soon fall off the end of the broken viaduct into the void below.

“I wonder if this cavern is actually some man made structure designed to shelter from a disaster,” Captain Powell asks Major Powell.

“Back in the 60s, a huge underground structure was built to house a military command that would be safe from a nuclear attack. In 2030, a project was authorized to build a massive underground shelter to protect the ruling Socialist Democrats and their donors from a global extinction event. It was still under construction when World War Z erupted along with the Zombie Plague.”

“Do you think that any of those Socialist Democrats and their donors ever made it to this shelter?” ask Captain Powell.

“No,” answers Major Powell. “Not only was the shelter far from complete, they would have all died from the Zombie Plague before they could have ever made it to Denver International and Sanctuary City.”

“You are not going to believe what we found down below,” reports Loki as he flies back up on Reigel to report on their first recon flight. “There is a huge underground forest down in the cavern. It is absolutely massive. The weather is cooler with plenty of ambient light. You definitely won’t need any torches to see where you are going. Just follow the winding cement road.”

“Are there any signs of survivors down there?” ask Captain Powell.

“No,” answers Loki. “There are only the ruins of this structure that go way down into the cavern from this air shaft where the viaduct is broken.”

Continuing down on the Enforcers, the patrol follows the descending path of broken roadway through the towering structures. That soon gives way to a dirt path lined with bushes as they enter a large tunnel lined with pulsating alien looking ribbing on the walls and ceiling. A mechanical hum can be heard coming from those strange looking walls. Fresh water is streaming down from some cracks in the walls and ceiling. Thankfully, the cave appears to be free of any threats as the sound of songbirds echo off the walls of the descending winding tunnel.

“It looks like we should establish a camp down here where the weather is a lot more comfortable,” comments Major Powell.

“That may not be a good idea unless we know how stable the ceiling of this cave is,” warns Captain Powell. “The caves in Aberration were a constant danger with the earthquakes and stuff falling down on us from above.”

“Hold your position, that may be corrupted creature up ahead of us,” warns Sargent Pasenna as he spots an unknown creature up ahead. He puts his spotting scope on it. “Crap, that sloth bear looks really fracked up.”

“I think that we are safe,” reports Helena as she studies the unknown creature with her spotting scope. “It registers as a Gaska. It must be like that giant flying worm that Reigel showed to Loki. Even though it has the glowing purple veins in its body and all of those crystal growths, it is not registering as corrupt.”

“Cover me while I get a close up look at this thing,” Helena tells the others as she gets off her Enforcer to approach the strange new creature. It looks at her with a smile, then goes back to munching on some stone and crystals laying on the ground in the cave. A crystal growth falls off of its back to lay on the ground as it continues on it’s way.

“Is that it’s egg?” ask Barbara.

“No,” answers Helena. “This creature is a male. Besides, it appear to be a mammals.”

“Is it safe to pick up the crystal?” asks Eddie.

“Yes, go ahead,” answers Helena.

Examining the crystal, Eddie finds that it is hollow with something loose inside it. He breaks it open to find that it contains a metal hatchet. “These crystals on it’s back must be like some kind of Star Trek replicator,” Eddie comments as he shows Helena the hatchet.

“Such a strange creature,” comments Helena. “Such a stranger diet eating just about everything, even dirt and stone. Then, it grows these crystals on it’s back that contain replicated items.”

The discussion is interrupted when they spot a hungry Carno coming their way. “Crossbows and stone arrows,” orders Captain Powell. They are not needed when the Carno attacks the Gaska which earns it a boulder to the head killing it. The Gaska continues on forging on the weird materials ignoring the body of the now dead carno. That gets harvested for meat and hide which will be kept for the two dragons which are still out flying recon.

Eric and Loki are soon back with their dragon friends to file a second recon report. “The further down you go, the more like an underground forest this place has become. So far, there are few creatures living down here. With the exception of that Gaska, all are ones we have seen before on Ragnarok. We’ll wait for you at the forest floor at the end of the tunnel taking you there. You will need to cross the stream and a pond in order to find the path that is away from the cliff forming the waterfalls that will takes you the rest of the way down to the edge of the forest.”

“I wonder if it is going to be like Aberration down there?” asks Lt. Jerry.

“I hope not,” answers Captain Powell. “So far, it is a lot cooler and drier than the caves of Aberration were. I didn’t much care for all of the raptors and risks from packs of Ravagner either. I’ll be happy if the worst predators we have to worry about down here are the occasional Carno.”

Continuing on down, the patrol finds the first place they need to cross above the waterfalls. There are bushes scattered about with boulders but no trees. Crossing the stream, they find a steep slope that takes them down to a shallow pond containing river rocks and some Coe. Crossing it, they turn left to follow the grassy slope down to the cave floor below.

The tunnel soon opens up to reveal a huge cavern with light coming in from a hole in the ceiling way above along the man made structures. A Blue Obelisk lies leaning at an angle against it. Massive tree trunks push up against the cave ceiling. Pines and deciduous trees are found on the slopes and near the underground lake. There are beavers and beaver lodges in the shallows. While there are no mushrooms in the area, there is light coming from the crystal growths and alien looking panels on the walls and ceiling. Reigel and Drogon are down in a clearing by the pond waiting for the rest of the patrol as Eric and Loki are survey the area for a good campsite.

“This looks like it would be a good spot to set up a camp,” Eric tells his dad.

“Looks good,” Loki answers. “It is a nice flat area by the lake with resources nearby as we need them.”

“Here comes the rest of the patrol.”

With everybody arriving, they soon get to work to set up a stone fence that is large enough for the two dragons. A hut with beds is set up in one corner. Outside, a forge and smithy are constructed to process the ore from the river rocks. A preserving bin is placed to extend the shelf life of the raw and cooked meat.

Drogon continues to do well on the cooked meat. He has tried some of the raw meat but is not quite ready to eat that exclusively. “We’ll just let you eat raw meat a little at a time for now,” Major Powell tells him. “It will take you some time before your body gets adjusted to eating it.”

Initial exploration of the surrounding area finds the normal Ark creatures in the area but no major threats other then some Tickle Chickens to stay away from. “If need be, I can carry them to another area,” Reigel tells Captain Powell.

“As long as they don’t try to attack us, we’ll just leave them alone,”Captain Powell answers. “Lets everyone take a break for a while, then we can go off to explore this underground world for clues of what may have happened to the survivors that may be down here.”

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Chapter 45. The Underground Shelter.

 

It is the fourth day for the patrol on Earth in it’s 24-7 constant daylight. A check on the amount of Element Dust has confirmed that the 12 enforcers have plenty of fuel for several days of operation.

Drogon and Reigal has stayed in the pen with their human friends. While Reigal is still grieving over the loss of his mate, Viscerian, to the corrupted dragons, he is glad that the patrol came to the rescue of his son and is thankful for the friendship he is forming with Loki. “I sure do miss Viscerian,” he tells Loki with a tear in his eye.

“A lost like that is always hard to recover from,” Loki tells Reigel as he rubs his neck. “I lost my first wife in battle many years ago before I ended up on Ragnarok. Hilda, I met from the Helena tribe some 14 years ago. We hit it off and eventually were married. Our son was born a year later.”

“I know how the dragons will go celebrant when they lose a mate. I do know that you don’t need to remain that way should you find a female that has suffered the same fate. Tammy and Tarmac are an example of how two dragons that have lost a mate can become bonded together as mates. Eddie, of all people when he was a teen, made friends with them and talked them into getting together. They now have a daughter that is nearly fully grown that is dating Flame and Torch’s son. I’m glad to have found your son before he ended up getting lost or hurt. He has given Eric a purpose in life in caring for him and becoming his human friend.”

“Do you think that we will find any lost humans in this cave?” asks Reigel.

“I do not know,” answers Loki. “Captain Powell is calling a meeting in a couple of minutes to plan our exploration for today. If you would like to, come join the meeting. I’m sure that you can help us by flying recon in here. There certainly appears to be plenty of room for you to explore in this place.”

“Drogon and I will join you at your meeting,” Reigel tells him.

In the meeting, Captain Powell lays out the goal for the day. “We will work in two teams of five with the Enforcers to explore the cavern. If we need to, we will build a raft to use in the lake. While the enforcers can operate in water, they will just sink to the bottom. We’ll just follow the shoreline where it is possible. Loki and Eric can fly recon on their dragon friends. We’ll start our exploration of this cavern by checking out the Obelisk and the man made structures it is leaning up against.”

Making a quick recon flight along the lake, Loki has found a route for the ground patrol to get over to the base of the man made structure. “If you climb up on the backside of this ridge, you will find a path down to where you need to go,” They then take off to continue exploring the area in those places that the patrol is unable to reach with the Enforcers.

The land patrol makes the trip as suggested by Loki up over the ridge. Massive tree trunks soar up to the high ceiling. Large Redwoods are scattered among the smaller conifers and other trees. Bushes are scatter about the boulders and river rock. The birds can be heard overhead making for a peaceful setting in spite of a small pack of Troogons that push their luck with the Enforcers. Another Gaska is seen forging on the stones and ground, they have such a strange diet.

“This looks like that scene inside the cave of that moon from that old Star Trek Movie Wrath of Kahn,” comments Eddie.

“It sure does,” answers Major Powell. “The waterfalls, the lighting, the lush vegetation. It sure looks a lot like that old sci fi film from the late 20th century.”

Heading down the slope of the ridge, the patrol heads towards the base of the towering man made structure. “It appears to be some kind of a reinforced elevator shaft to the surface that has been exposed by what must have some sort of cave in when Aberration crashed nearby forming the huge crater that can be seen to the South.” comments Major Powell.

At the base of the shaft by the lake, there are several structures that are half tunneled into the cave wall. Some are finished, while others appear to be under construction with the tunneling equipment still in them. It is a large installation which becomes apparent as they get close to it.

“This is much bigger then it looks,” Captain Powell comments as they reach the outskirts of the underground installation.”

“It was reported to be capable of housing 100,000 people for several years,” reports Major Powell. “I wonder if anyone was able to shelter down here even though the installation was not yet finished.”

“I’m seeing a lot of dragon tracks around here,” reports Sargent Pasenna. “I don’t think that they belong to Drogon or Reigel.”

“You’re right,” answers Captain Powell. “These tracks don’t look like theirs. Lets secure a section for the enforcers and start our search of this installation. Eddie, Lisa, you have guard duty while we are gone inside. I’ll radio Loki to watch out for other dragons as well as survivors.”

Entering the installation through the construction area they find that a makeshift barrier has been erected to block off an entrance to the rest of the installation from the outside. Clearing away the boulders and crates blocking the steel door, they are able to force it open with the help of an Enforcer. Entering the structure, a grisly sight is soon discovered in a storage area. “It looks like the Zombie Virus came down here with them,” reports Sargent Pasenna. Like what was seen at the docks in Seattle, the same carnage is observed at the storage room. Skeletons are seen in various states of clinging to supplies scattered about in the storage area and to the hallway beyond where it looks like that a makeshift wall had been constructed but was knocked down. Many are found hidden in the ransacked storage containers. Others are found in the construction tunnels. None are seen outside in the cave. It is as if the cave itself had been created after the zombie plague had ended.

“This is interesting,” reports Lt. Jerry. “It looks like that several of these containers have been recently opened with their contents neatly stacked outside.”

“That is interesting,” answers Major Powell. “While close to their expiration date, these food rations are still good. Now this is most interesting, for being a weapon free society, here are several cases containing military style assault weapons and ammunition for them.”

“No doubt, they were for the security detail that would have been part of that installation who’s purpose was to keep away anyone that wasn’t authorized to stay down here.” answers Captain Powell. “We’ll take some of these weapons with us in case we have to deal with any more corrupt creatures on the surface. In the meantime, we had better remain on alert that there are going to be survivors down here that will most likely be well armed.”

“There is a path cleared here that heads over into the main corridor.” reports Lt. Jerry as he continues inspecting the area in the storeroom.

In the main entrance area, there is holographic map display of the entire underground installation. It shows the elevator shaft down, the dorm, and rec areas, the support areas, storage, and future expansion currently under construction. The area is completely clear of any signs of rioting or fighting.

Sargent Pasenna soon locates a control panel for the installation in a nearby office. “Good, we still have power down here,” he tells Captain Powell as he gets some of the lighting turned on.

“Are the elevators to the surface operational?” ask Captain Powell.

“No,” answers Sargent Pasenna. “The console shows them all jammed halfway down in the broken shaft.”

“The stair well is blocked with broken concrete,” reports Masucci. “It looks like that the only way out of here is the way we came down.”

“This is so strange,” answers Major Powell. “We came down here through a tunnel, Loki with his son and the dragons through the hole in the cave roof, yet, there is this concrete shaft with several elevators for people, supplies, and construction mining as if this installation was being dug out of solid rock. Something else must have created this huge cavern. But what?”

“What are you finding out from the terminal about this place?” ask Captain Powell.

“The last entries in the log were the evacuation orders from the Government agencies when the Zombie Virus hit,” answers Sargent Pasenna. “It appears that the only people down here were from the construction crews, the security detail, the project supervisors, and some Government officials that happened to be inspecting the place at the time. The Zombie Virus showed up when some of the construction workers and security personnel violated their orders and tried to get their families down here to safety. It took everyone out before the people authorized to be in here could even arrive to this installation.”

“The supply log shows that two thirds of the survival supplies had already been delivered and placed in storage by the time that the alert took place. According to the construction logs, only half of the installation had been completed with tunnel boring continuing for the rest of the planned construction. There were plans to install special equipment that could be used to drill to the surface from down here but the machinery had yet to be delivered and installed.”

“That’s interesting,” reports Masucci. “There is a door leading into the cave from here. I can see the lake from the window in it. It appears to have been locked from the outside with this deadbolt lock.”

“Then, there must be survivors that are out forging in the cave,” answers Captain Powell. “We better barricade it from the inside so we don’t get blindsided while we are busy checking the rest of this place out.”

Captain Powell now gets a radio message from Eddie and Lisa, who are on watch with the Enforcers. “We have four dragons coming this way,” Eddie reports from his radio.

“Everyone outside,” orders Captain Powell as another radio message is coming in.

“Loki here,” the message is received. “We found the survivors from Sanctuary City.”

 

When the recon patrol had first arrived at the survival installation, Loki and Eric were checking out the first high place where they could land their dragons. “Captain Powell just called me to report that they found lots of dragon tracks by the man made structures. Reigel, did you and your son land there to check it out when you were gone hunting last night?”

“No, we didn’t,” answers Reigel. “There must be other dragons living down here. What should we do if we see them?”

“Lets see what their intentions are when we find them.” answers Loki.

“I didn’t think that there were any other dragons on Earth other then us and those corrupted ones,” Reigel tells Loki.

“They may have ran into the corrupt dragons, then made a break for it to hide in this cave,” answers Loki as they land on a high bluff in the massive cave. “Like Sanctuary City, we haven’t seen any corrupted creatures down here at all. Something has prevented them from showing up down here.”

“We never knew that this cave was here,” answers Reigel. “Otherwise, we would have came down here instead of hiding in the underground by the ruined city.”

“Reigel, What’s wrong?” Loki asks when he is suddenly tenses up while staring at something up ahead in the bushes.

“There’s two dragons hiding in the bushes up ahead of us,” answers Eric as Drogon lands closely nearby.

Reigel is now staring at the two dragons, who are doing the same, for the longest time. He looks like some deer staring into the headlights on a highway at night. Finally, he tells Loki in a shaky voice as he tears up. “She looks so much like Vicerian.”

“I know the feeling,” Loki tells him as he is rubbing his neck to comfort him. “It’s too soon for you to look for another mate if she doesn’t have one. She does have a young dragon with her. Lets let them approach us.”

“Hello!” a female voice is heard from someone riding on the female dragon. “Who are you.”

“I’m Loki,” he answers. “My dragon friend is Reigel. Please take it slow approaching him, He is still in shock from losing his mate yesterday to those corrupted dragons. Your dragon looks so much like his Viscerian. My son, Eric, is riding on his son Drogon.”

“That is such a terrible lost to have gone through,” the stranger answers. “My name is Dianna. My dragon friend is named Paragon. She lost her mate to the corrupted dragons years ago. She just told me that your Reigel looks so much like her Draco. She really misses him. My daughter Christina is riding on her daughter Tammy.”

“Are you hiding in here from the corrupt dragons as well?”

“No,” answers Loki. “We’re part of a patrol of 12 explorers that returned to Earth from the Ragnarok Ark. We were able to kill the corrupt dragons when they attacked us. My son found Drogon hiding in the cave scared out of his wits. He found Reigal when he came looking for Drogon.”

“Oh, thank goodness that your patrol got rid of those corrupt dragons,” answers Dianna. “Paragon told me how Draco sacrificed himself so she could escape to the cave. He managed to kill one of them before he was killed in battle by the other three. We found Paragon when we saw her falling from the hole in the cave ceiling at the shelter. She crashed landed close to were we were camped. We found her crying over the loss of her mate. It was quite a surprise when she let us come up close enough to touch her and found out that we could talk to each other. Michael treated her injuries as I went to comfort her. Two days later, she asked us for help in building a nest to lay her egg. Tammy was hatched two weeks later. Do you think that the corrupted dragons have any young ones out there?”

“No,” answers Loki. “That one corrupted female we encountered had no milk on her. They were all flying together. All adult female dragons that I have been with always had milk on them.”

“Where have you seen other dragons before?” ask Dianna.

“From the Ragnarok ark where they are living with us at Viking Bay,” answers Loki.

“You mean that you were on one of those alien satellites in orbit around the Earth? Dianna asks.

“Yes,” answers Loki. “I am from your fifth century when my Viking raiding party was caught in a freak storm and ended up on the Ragnarok Ark. The rest of our party was transported up there prior to the damaged Aberration Ark crashing into Earth. Some of them were on that Ark having been transported there by a stealth experiment that malfunctioned in 1945. The others were survivors from the Zombie Plague at Ft Lewis. We were only recently able to teleport back to Sanctuary City when the portal to Earth became active again. Reigel told me that his mate saw you escape when your party was heading for the cave and was attacked by the corrupted creatures in the wastelands.”

“That is most interesting,” answers Dianna. “It looks like our dragons are starting to get over their shock of seeing each other for the first time since they lost their mates. Let’s head over to my camp in the high cliff side so I can introduce you to my husband Michael and give our two dragons some time to be together by themselves.”

“Are you going to be all right around Paragon?” Loki asks Reigel as he gets off of him.

“I will be fine,” answers Reigel.

“Take as much time as you need to get acquainted with Paragon.” Loki advises him. “We’re going to visit Dianna’s camp.”

“Take it slow and easy with getting to know Reigel,” Dianna advises Paragon. “After all, he is still in mourning over having just lost his mate.”

“I’ll take it slow and easy,” Paragon tells Dianna.

The two dragons are soon engaged in dragon speak as they move next to each other as Loki and Dianna head inland on the bluff to her camp.

“Drogon, Tammy, come with us so your parents can have some private time together,” orders Loki.

Back in the cliff side bluff, the foursome and the two young dragons reach the homestead where Michael is tending a garden. “I didn’t think that anyone else survived out there,” Michael answers after the introductions are made.

“They are warriors that returned to Earth from one of those objects in orbit,” answers Dianna. “Loki says that they got rid of the threat from the corrupted dragons.”

“This is the best news I’ve had since we made a break for it to reach the cave,” answers Michael. “This world has been so messed up as a result of the disarmament of the world’s population that led to World War Z and the zombie plague. That gives us hope that this world can be reborn.”

“Why did you decide to move up here from the shelter?” ask Loki.

“It is so much more peaceful up on the bluff then down in that depressing shelter,” answers Michael. “There’s plenty of resources up here, no threats from the predators below, and our two dragons like it up here. We do go down there from time to time to look for items that we are unable to craft up here for ourselves.”

“Where’s Paragon?”

“She is at the cliff edge with Reigel,” answers Loki. “Hopefully, they will become mates soon.”

“That would make her so happy if it works out between those two,” answers Michael. “What’s it like up on the surface?”

“It is still quite dangerous in the wastelands,” answers Loki. “You will need to wear full Gille armor in order to be protected from the harsh rays of the sun. It appears that the sun is now fixed in the sky with the weather hot and overcast. Sanctuary City remains relatively safe. The force field has been protecting it from the meteor storms that strike without warning. There are still corrupt creatures in that area. We can easily defend ourselves against them with our tec weapons and the enforcer robots.”

“You have control of the Enforcer Robots?” ask Michael in surprise.

“Yes,” answers Loki. “Masucci was able to find where their control unit was and reprogram it for us to use them as defense and transport. We just have to make sure that we have Element Dust to keep them powered.”

“When we came out of the shelter of City Hall, we had discovered that they had gone on autopilot,” answers Michael. “They were randomly attacking us and the other creatures that had escaped from the park zoo and research labs. They were one of the reasons we had to make a break for it to reach this cave.”

“When we are done with our exploration of this new Earth, you are welcome to come back with us to the Ragnarok Ark,” Loki tells Michael. “When our dragons are done getting to know each other, I’ll take you down to where the rest of our patrol is at the underground shelter.”

It is an hour later, as Loki, Eric, and the survivors are trading stories of their survival, when Reigel and Paragon fly back to land at the campsite. Both dragons look so happy to be with each other. “According to my Specimen Implant, they are now mate boosted,” Loki tells the others.

“What is the Specimen Implant?” asks Dianna.

“It is this special gem that is implanted in our left wrist,”Loki tells her as he shows her his left arm. “It provides us with a lot of creature information as well as information about us. It also serves as a backpack and crafting center for many of the common things that we use for our survival. Only those of us that were taken to the Arks by some unknown beings have these implants. Macucci, Eddie, and Major Powell do not have one as they came directly from Earth using a teleporter to escape its destruction. Lets head to the underground shelter so that I can introduce you to the rest of the patrol.”

“Reigel, can you fly double to bring us all back to the underground shelter?”

“Yes,” answers Reigel. “Just have Michael sit behind you when you get on me.”

“Then, lets go see the others,” answers Loki. “I’ll radio ahead that they have friendly company coming to see them.”

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Chapter 46. Surviving Extinction

 

Reaching the edge of the shelter, the four dragons with their five passengers proceed to land inside the protected area. The newcomers are a bit unsure of the mechanical Enforcers guarding the area until they have been assured that they are under the manual control of the members of the patrol.

Captain Powell and Major Powell come up to meet them. “Thank you for finding us,” Michael tells them. “We didn’t think that anyone had survived the Extinction, let alone those horrible corrupted creatures living out there in the wastelands.”

“As you probably know by now, our patrol returned through the portal from the Ragnarok Ark to explore the extinct Earth,” answer Captain Powell. “How did you survive the Zombie Plague, then the Extinction Event?”

“We were part of a group of 20 that had locked ourselves into the shelter of City Hall when the Zombie Plague hit,” answers Michael. “I was able to observe through the security system that the plague only affected people. Then, the nukes hit all of the major cities around the world thus cutting off the Internet and all but the local network. A year later, we were able to leave the shelter after establishing control of the Enforcer network to program them to go after the feral dog packs and eliminate their threat to us. We managed to establish contact with the observatory and a couple of other places with survivors. Then, we received a warning from the observatory about an extinction event heading our way. Since we couldn’t gain access to the shelter, we headed back to the bunker under City Hall. By some fluke of Nature, the city survived the impact from that asteroid and the firestorm that struck after. It was a week later that we decided that we needed to make a break for what looked like a cave that had appeared to the North East. We were totally unprepared for the attack from the corrupted creatures in the wasteland as we made the mad dash for the safety of the cave. Four of us made it to the cave when the corrupted creatures suddenly stopped chasing after us and ran off. Unfortunately, both Lewis and Maggie died from their injuries before we could get them down into the shelter where we could properly take care of their injuries and find some weapons that we could use for our defense against the cave predators that started showing up days later.”

“The cave itself was quite strange. We have no idea it was even here. I don’t think that the shelter engineers even knew about it given that the shelter was being dug into solid granite. It is as if this cave was formed during the extinction event given how half of the construction is now exposed with the construction road falling into it, the broken elevator shafts, and that strange obelisk leaning up against it. Even more strange was the formation of this massive forest. It is as if, it and those strange creatures down here, appeared overnight.”

As Michael continues with his story, Major Powell conducts a medical checks up of the newcomers. She finds that they are in good health both physically and mentally.

“Did Paragon have a torn wing when you first found her?” asks Major Powell as she conducts her examination of the female dragon. “She has a scar on her left wing indicating a large tear had happened to it at one time. Oh, how interesting. It looks like that someone has stitched it back together.”

“Yes, she did,” answers Dianna. “She told me that one of the corrupted dragons tore it with its claw. She managed to get away to the cave as her mate Drago fought them off. With that torn wing, she had a difficult time flying down into the cave where she crash landed close by us. Michael and I found her crying when we found where she had landed. Being a veterinarian, Michael was able to pull the torn wing together and stitch it in place. He use a section of plastic fencing similar to plastic canvass in order to hold the torn wing together so it could properly heal up.”

“He did a good job in repairing a most difficult injury to a dragon.” answers Major Powell. “A tear like that doesn’t heal up properly on its own. It can often cripple a dragon for years.”

“After Michael had stitched it together, he told her that she was grounded until the injury could heal up.” answers Dianna. “She was kept busy with nesting on her egg she had laid a day later. We helped her gather the nesting materials and did the hunting to get food for her. When her egg had hatched, the wing had healed up enough for Michael to remove the netting splint. She was soon flying shortly afters.”

“Paragon was lucky to have gotten away from those corrupted dragons when she did,” Major Powell tells them. “Vicerian’s wings had been ripped to shreds before they killed her.”

“I am so thankful for Dianna and Michael finding me when they did,” Paragon tells Major Powell. “I did not know what to expect when I first saw them. I was so upset with losing Draco and being injured that I didn’t care what was going to happen to me. They were so helpful in repairing my torn wing and helping me with raising Tammy. I don’t know what I would have done without their help.”

“How are you and Reigel getting along together?” asks Major Powell.

“He is the most wonderful thing that has happened to me after losing Draco to those corrupted dragons,” answers Paragon.

“Even though it is a bit too soon, she is already becoming a wonderful understanding mate,” answers Reigel.

“I’m so happy for the both of you,” Loki tells Reigel as he places a hand on each one of them.

“The two of you finding Paragon was probably the best thing that could have happened to you under such difficult conditions,” Major Powell tells the newcomers. “It gave all of you a purpose in life, Paragon, in raising her daughter, you and Michael in caring for them, then raising a daughter of your own.”

“What can you tell us about life living in this cave system?” ask Captain Powell.

“With Paragon’s help, we found that this cave system is even bigger then Sanctuary City,” Reports Dianna. “It defies logic how something so vast and huge could survive the impact and earthquakes caused by the extinction event. Even more amazing is the flora and fauna living down here. It is like a giant temperate terrarium designed as some kind of an Ark. It has more then enough light for the plants to grow which supports a large variety of birds and other animals including several species of prehistoric ones and those strange sloth bears that drop crystals containing tools and other useful items.”

“I would not be surprised to learn that the Keepers of the Arks are responsible for this place, the safe zone of Sanctuary City, and the two domes we have seen with Ark Obelisks inside them.” answers Helena. “The strange way we can tame creatures for our use that would be impossible in the Jurassic World, the strange creatures that have appeared in this world, and these remarkable highly intelligent dragons that became our friends. It all has to be the result of their experiments they are conducting with us.”

“During our first days down here, before we found Paragon, we had to remain hidden inside the shelter as we had no weapons to deal with the dangerous predators that were living down here.” reports Michael. “Like all citizens of Sanctuary City, I had been forced to give up all of my guns and any sharp objects. We were totally defenseless as we worked our way down here. It was with a sigh of relief when we found the supplies for the security detail. Armed, we now had the chance to defend ourselves from the predators. Dianna quickly learned how to use a handgun, the riot shotgun, and an AR-15. The predators quickly learned to leave us alone after we thinned them out that first week alone. We hunt them almost exclusively when we need any meat or hide. Otherwise, we go fishing for it’s protean.”

“One day during our exploration, we ran into a giant living tree that attacked us. Fortunately, I had the large bore Bushmaster with me as protection against Carnos, but, shooting at a tree proved useless. Dianna quickly spotted that it was corrupted with three glowing nodules, so, I took aim at those shattering all three of them. The creature fell unconscious waking up a short time later. With the nodules gone, it was no longer a threat. Through an Explorer’s Note, we found out that we had tamed a Forest Titan.”

“A Forest Titan?” answers Helena. “I never knew that they even existed.”

“If you can fly on Reigel, I’ll take you over to where it lives.” Dianna tells Helena.

“I’ll take you,” Reigel tells her.

Helena is soon on Reigel as Dianna and Paragon take flight for a location way deep in the cave interior. The flight takes nearly half an hour to reach the far end where the Forest Titan is living.

“This cavern is as vast as the underground system of Aberration,” Helena tells Dianna. “It is far friendlier that what that place was.”

“Were there any dragons living in Aberration?” Reigel asks Helena.

“Not any flying ones like you,” answers Helena. “They were killed when the surface became corrupted by the early inhabitants that had tried to escape. Only the Rock Drakes survived that disaster. They came with Captain Powell’s patrol when working with his men, they successfully killed Rockwell, then escaped to Ragnarok.”

“Here we are at Grog’s home,” reports Dianna as they come in to land on a high ledge facing a gigantic tree shaped creature.

“Grog doing so much better since you killed corrupted nodules infecting me,” it answers. “So glad to see that Paragon has a friend. I have four new friends living with me.” Four Forest Dragons come flying out of the giant living tree landing next to the two dragons and their riders.

“I didn’t know that there were other dragons living down here,” Dianna tells Grog.

“They were hiding from me.” answers Grog. “Now that Grog better, they became my friends.”

The four forest dragons that have landed next to Paragon and Reigel have taken quite an interest in their human riders. “How did you become friends with this human?” Molly asks Reigel in dragon speak.

“Her friends saved my son from the corrupted dragons when they attacked him,” answers Reigel in dragon speak. “Loki’s friends were able to kill them when they were attacked by them. Dianna and her mate came to Paragon’s aid when she escaped an attack from the corrupted dragons so long ago. They repaired her torn wing and helped her hatched her egg to raise her daughter.”

“That is so remarkable,” Molly tells Reigel. “We made the mad dash to this cave to get away from them when they first appeared. You are the first dragons we have seen since we made our escape.”

“Do your dragon friends have names?” Helena ask Grog.

“Yes,” Grog answers. “There’s Terry, Greg, and Macy. Molly is standing next to you.”

“You have some nice dragon friends,” Helena tells Grog as Molly puts her head up next to Helena so she can rub her forehead.

“That feels good,” Molly tells Helena. “How did you know how to do that?”

“Tammy is a very good dragon friend of mine on Ragnarok.” Helena answers. “She taught me that rubbing your forehead is a good first contact greeting.”

“That’s remarkable.” answers Molly. “Reigel has told me his story about how he met you and his new mate Paragon. You humans have done well having them as your friends.”

“Have you had any contact with humans before?” Helena asks Molly.

“No, you are the first,” answers Molly. “We have stores of contact with humans in the past centuries ago. It was not pleasant.”

“I understand,” answers Helena. “Your species was feared by humans back in those dark times. Our tribes are now allied with the dragons back in Ragnarok. They are now raising their youngsters along with us.”

“Are there any other Titans on this earth that we need to be aware of?”

“In the dome of the cold there lives an Ice Titan,” Grog answers. “He is corrupted like I was. You will have to watch out for the Ice Jumper and Owls. Even though they are not corrupted, they are very aggressive.”

“The dome of the desert contains a flying titan that has been corrupted like I was. It has a flock of hawks that protect it.”

“The King Titan controls everything that has happened here. I hear the name Rockwell mentioned about him. He is far bigger then me or any of the other titans here. Unlike me, he is not corrupted. He will have to be defeated if there is any chance in restoring the destroyed Earth back to normal.”

$hit,” answers Helena. “Defeating Rockwell on Aberration only set in motion the events of it crashing on Earth allowing him to totally corrupt the Earth with Element. How in the frack are we going to defeat him this time?”

“If you can cure the other two titans of their corruption, you might have a chance to defeat him with our help,” answers Grog.

“Pacific Rim, Giant Bloody Robots, Those clues could be the key for ridding the earth of the corruption of element and Rockwell to restore it back to normal,” answers Helena. “We need to get back to let Captain Powell know what we are up against if we ever want to come back home to Earth.”

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Chapter 47. Back to the Green Obelisk Base.

 

It is an unexpected surprise for the patrol when Dianna and Helena return to the shelter with four additional dragons following them.

 

“Grog has some new friends.” Dianne tells her husband. “They have agreed to join us. Everyone, take your time getting to know them. They have never been around humans before.” The four new dragons are a bit timid around the rest of the patrol but are soon accepted as friends as Drogon and Tammy join in with the others.

“Grog has given us some very valuable information about what has happened here on earth after Aberration crashed into it,” Helena reports to Captain Powell. “It appears that Rockwell has somehow survived, then corrupted this world with the pool of Element he was living in. He has somehow taken on the form of something called a King Titan. If there is any hope for restoring life on this world, he will have to be defeated once and for all.”

“Grog has offered to help if we can get the desert and frost titans to join us. To do so, we will have to kill the corrupt nodules infecting them. If successful, he says that they will join us.”

“Finally, we will need to find the blueprints to build five giant mech warriors powered by Element before we go to confront the King Titan with our three Titan allies. When we enter into the final battle, we will have to join our five mechs together into a giant Voltron. If we can defeat him, all the damage on the Earth will be healed as the Arks are returned to it. Fail, we and the Earth are all doomed to final extinction when that broken planet in orbit above us crashes into the Earth.”

“Giant Bloody Robots, giant alien creatures, this is that nightmare of Pacific Rim all over again,” Eddie warns them.

“I hope that we don’t have to do this with the personnel we have here with us,” Captain Powell tells them. “Unless we can reestablish contact with Ragnarok, we cannot teleport in any additional help. We will have to depend on our friends here to do the job.”

“Grog was easy to rid him of his corrupted nodules,” reports Dianna. “He was slow enough for us to avoid his attacks. According to the Helena Notes Grog had on him, the Ice Titan moves much faster and has a ranged freeze attack. We’ll have to deal with the ice jumpers and owls before we even have a chance of ridding it of that corruption.”

“It will be even worse with the Desert Titan. He is a giant flying creature that has the protection of his desert hawk swarm. He can also summons lightning bolts to attack us.”

“Checking the alien drops for the blueprint will be a challenge given that once one has landed on the surface, all the corrupted creatures will be attracted to it if we attempt to get near it.”

“That could be an issue,” answers Captain Powell. “We saw what happened when they were attracted to those corrupted crystals on the surface when they were fighting each other. We will need a lot of firepower if we have to deal with them directly.”

“There may be a solution to that problem,” reports Helena as she is looking through one of her notes from her future. “There is a creature in the desert that has a frill that fires quills like a natural machine gun. If we can tame them and the ice jumpers, they may give us the firepower we will need to take them out.”

“As soon as we get back to the Green Obelisk Base, I would like to establish contact with Ragnarok and bring 12 more vikings and marines to reinforce our forces.” Captain Powell tells Helena. “Them, with the additional personnel to help us with these new creatures, we should have a fighting force strong enough to wipe out the corrupted hordes, get those blueprints, construct those Mechs, and free the Earth from Rockwell’s influence once and for all.”

The rest of the day gets spent loading the Enforcers with military supplies to take back to the base camp. The four new dragons have been interacting with Eddie, Lisa, Hilda, and Barbara. They quickly become bonded in friendship with them.

In the morning, the dragons are called in and stocked with some basic supplies in preparation for the trip through the wastelands. The enforcers are packed with extra medical supplies, 12 more assault rifles, several heavy sniper rifles and ammo.

“We’re ready to leave for base camp,” reports Captain Powell to the group as he conducts a briefing with everyone, including the dragons. “Everyone that has a dragon friend will be flying on them as our air cover and recon. Eddie, Lisa, Loki, and Dianna will be armed with assault rifles in case any of the corrupt pteradons try to attack them or our ground patrol. let your dragons take out any of the smaller corrupt creatures in our path. Gang up on the larger ones with your fire weapon. Eric, Christina, you can be our spotters for any areal targets. Don’t engage anything with your young dragons, they are not yet old enough to be involved in such combat. I don’t expect to see any more corrupt dragons out there, but just in case any more of them show up, don’t risk your dragons getting in a fight them. Fly back to us so we can take them out with the tec weapons. Leave the big flying worms alone. They look like they are corrupt but they are not. They won’t harm you. Dragon flight, you can fly up out of the cave and wait for us at the entrance. It’s going to take us a while to climb up out of the cave.”

The four forest dragons are a bit astonished as they follow Reigel out of the cave into the entrance of the wasteland. “This looks different then when we first made the dash for the cave,” Molly tells Eddie who is riding on her.

“I would not be surprised given this harsh environment.” Eddie tells her. “Lets land on these high structures at the entrance. Keep an eye out for any corrupted pteradons while we are waiting for the rest of the patrol.”

Loki and Dianna fly up ahead to scope out part of the path back to the camp. Their dragons take out several smaller corrupted creatures in the area leading up to the crystal structures. That area remains free of creatures other then for the decaying corpses of the dead piled up around the remaining crystals.

“Something is not right,” Loki tells Reigel. “I don’t see Viscerian’s body. Something must have taken her while we were gone. Given that corrupted creatures don’t eat their kill, there must be something else dangerous that is nearby.”

“What’s that over there?” warns Reigel.

“That looks like a Giga,” Loki tells Reigel as he places a spotting scope on it. “Don’t try to take that thing out, they are as dangerous as a corrupted dragon. Lets fly back to the cave and tell Captain Powell where that thing is hiding.”

Landing by the cave entrance, they meet the land patrol and inform Captain Powell of the situation up ahead. “Sargent Pasenna, Lt Jerry. Form up on me. Have your rockets on the ready. Loki, fly CAP with the dragons. Hit it’s head from the air with a fire attack. We’ll take it down with rockets.”

The land patrol advances forward out of the cave towards the Giga threat. Two corrupted pteragons get spotted by Molly. Eddie and Lisa take them out with a short burst from their assault weapons as the rest of the dragons fly over the patrol keeping an eye out for danger.

Reigel and Paragon both set the approaching Giga on fire with a flame attack. It soon loses its head with the impact of three rockets. A Reaper King shows up and is quickly dispatched with rockets. With the threat over, the patrol continues on towards the Green Obelisk. Their flying escort finding a safe path back to the safety of it’s dome force field.

“We’re going to need a bigger pen,” orders Captain Powell as they approach their base. “With eight dragons, there is no room inside for all of them. We’ll get a construction detail under way as soon as we get back.”

With the rest of the trip made safely, the patrol unpacks the supplies from the enforcers placing them in storage. Extra weapons and ammo from the bunker has been brought back for the additional marines and vikings they plaqn to bring over. Construction tools have been brought back which will speed up the enlargement of the base. Sufficient corrupted nodules have been harvested from the dead creatures to craft up a dozen more Gille Armor for the newcomers. Masucci takes a forest dragon with him to go look for more high level Enforcers in Sanctuary City so they can have them for additional transport. Barbara has its mate carrying the Doed to harvest element dust from the light poles of the elevated walkways. By late afternoon, Masucci is leading back a dozen high level enforcer robots under his command all packed with element dust, scrap metal, electronics, and crystal. Barbara takes the Doed and the two dragons back to camp into the now enlarged pen.

“I’ve made contact with Rollo on Ragnarok,” Sargent Pasenna announces as he access the City Terminal next to the base. “He has assembled a force of 11 others to transport over to here.”

“Make sure that they wear Gille or Desert armor and bring two canteens with them” orders Captain Powell. “They will likely teleport into the Bus Station area. Tell them not to engage anything unless they are attacked and stay put. We’ll come for them.”

A minute later, Captain Powell gets a radio message from Rollo. “We have made the teleport to Earth.” he reports. “We are in a park where there is a pond with fresh water and a shelter like structure nearby where you left some storage bins.”

“That’s good news,” reports Captain Powell. “It looks like that you ended up where we first started. Stay there. I’ll send Loki out to escort you to where we are camped.”

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Chapter 48 The Plan.

 

Flying towards the city park on Reigel to where the 12 additional personnel have teleported back to Earth, Loki is surprised to see Tammy with Rollo riding on her with Cleo riding on Tarmac. They all land on a cross section of the elevated sidewalk to talk.

“She insisted on coming with us,” Rollo tells Loki when he ask him about the two dragons coming with them.

“Tammy,” Loki scolds her. “This is an extremely dangerous world for dragons. Come over here and have a look at Paragon’s left wing. Look at the size of that scar on it. She was lucky that Michael and Dianna found her when they did before that crippling injury ended up killing her. That injury was caused by corrupted dragons attacking her. They killed her mate. They also killed Reigel’s mate a couple of days ago. When they attacked us, we were forced to take them out with tec rifles. We have found corrupted Gigas, Reapers, pteradon, and numerous other creatures out there in that wasteland. This is one of the reasons why we didn’t want to bring you here at this time.”

There are several minutes of dragon speak before Tammy responds to what Loki has told her. “I’m sorry,” she tells him. “I didn’t know. Paragon is lucky that Michael was able to repair her torn wing. That injury could have grounded her for years.”

“It’s all right,” Loki tells her. “We can use you and Tarmac’s combat experience to help reinforce our force here. Lets go find the others and escort them back to our camp over by the Green Obelisk. Then, Captain Powell and Helena can fill everyone in on what we are facing here.”

As they head back to the city park, Loki radios for Captain Powell to have Masucci to bring over the new enforcers. They land back in the park to talk to the rest of the group that has teleported in to the city.

“You found dragons on earth?” Olaf asks in surprise as they land in the park commons.

“Yes, we did,” answers Loki. “This environment has been far more cruel to them then Eric Bloodaxe ever was on Ragnarok. Reigel and Paragon both lost their mates when corrupted dragons attacked them by shredding their wings before they killed them. We found six more that have been in hiding ever since they arrived on the Earth.”

“Captain Powell is sending Masucci back here with enforcers. They are intelligent robot that will carry you back to our camp. They will protect you from any corrupt creature that have managed to enter the city.”

“Is the weather always this hot here?” asks McDonald.

“Currently, this Earth is tidally locked to the sun along with the weather,” answers Loki. “We have some protection inside the force field from the intense radiation and meteorite storms. Otherwise, the weather conditions are as frozen as the position of the sun.”

“How did this place survive the Extinction impact?” ask McDonald.

“Given that Aberration crashed into the Earth some 30 miles from here, we really don’t know.” answers Loki. “Here comes your rides. Helena and Captain Powell will fill everyone in on what has happened here and what we plan to do in an attempt to fix the mess Rockwell has made of this Earth.”

“Are you telling us that Rockwell had somehow survived when we blew him to smithereens with that rail gun?” questions Sargent Gulliver.”

“Apparently, he has,” answers Loki. “It appears that we will have to kill him a second time if there is any hope of repairing the damage he has done to the Earth. I don’t know how we are going to be able to do that given that Helena tells us that he is now grown so huge that Tammy would appear to be just a small bird flying next to him.”

“That sounds like the battle of Pacific Rim,” answers McDonald. “How are we going to be able to accomplish that?”

“According to some of Helena’s futuristic notes, we are going to have to remove the corruption of two other creatures called Titans and build giant mech robots to fight him.” answers Loki. “Here comes Masucci with your rides.”

“So, these are the Enforcers,” answers McDonald. “I had heard that they were being used for law enforcement in Denver. I just have never seen one for real.”

“They took over all law enforcement duties when we were disarmed by the Progressives and Denver was renamed Sanctuary City,” Dianne tells McDonald. “They all went haywire when the extinction event hit taking out the central computer. Masucci was able to figure out how to take manual control of them. We still need to keep our distance from the ones on autopilot given that their programming has been corrupted causing some of them to attack you or other creatures for no apparent reason.”

“How many people were able to survive the zombie event in the new security shelter that was being constructed?” asks Mc Donald.

“The shelter was a total failure,” answers Dianna. “Michael and I were fortunate enough to reach the cave it was in without getting killed by the corrupted creatures that attacked us when the harsh conditions forced us to leave Sanctuary City. When we finally gain access to the survival shelter, we found that everyone had been killed by the zombie virus. We survived that event only because we had sheltered in place in the basement of City Hall.”

Dianna and Loki stay with the new group to guide them back as their dragons escort Tammy and Tarmac back to the base. Tammy gets another lecture from Captain Powell and Helena about the dangers on Earth when they talk to her. “Still, I’m glad that you are here,” Helena tells Tammy. “We can use your help with our planning to get rid of Rockwell once and for all.”

Riding on the Enforcers, Dianna continues to provide Mc Donald and the rest of the group with additional information about Sanctuary City, what life was like there as the rest of the world was falling apart around them, and how they survived the corruption while hiding in the cave.

“It is a most interesting story,” he tells her. “I was correct in being prepared to save my family when I saw how things were politically falling apart. My work at Ft Lewis helped me to obtain the equipment needed to survive the Zombie Plague. Captain Powell and his rock drake friends helped us to escape from Earth before the extinction event hit it.”

“What are these strange colored banners all about?”

“The Progressive leaders had installed them in an effort to distract the working population of Denver,” answers Dianna. “It was an effort to further control information in order to prevent a rebellion over the taxes being collected in order to pay for all of the construction needed to house the undocumented immigrants flooding the city. The confiscation of guns and knives was part of that plan to control the growing violence between the working class and the undocumented immigrants. The enforcer project was added to replace the dwindling manned police force in order to keep the two groups under control. If it wasn’t for the interruption of World War Z and the zombie plague that soon followed, I suspect that there would have been an all out civil war taking place as a result of the total collapse of the economy due to the Government going bankrupt from all of that spending.”

“What a mess those politicians ended up creating,” answers McDonald. “No wonder some alien power has decided to intervene with this socialism experiment of theirs in order to see if we are worthy of survival or not.”

“Hopefully Captain Powell and Helena have found an answer to that question.” answers Dianna. “If not, we are all doomed to extinction should that destroyed planet ends up crashing into the Earth.”

Arriving at the newly enlarged base, the new arrivals are introduced to Michael, Christina, the six other dragons, and each other. Captain Powell calls for a meeting that evening to lay out the mission they will conduct in the next several days.

“As you probably already know, Rockwell has somehow survived the battle on Aberration and has taken control of the Earth.” Captain Powell tells everyone. “According to Helena’s notes, he is now a monster that is something of the size of Godzilla or the boss monster from those old Sci Fi movies of long ago, living to the North of here in the Forbidden Zone. Unless we are able to stop him, he has the power to completely destroy this Earth and all of the Arks orbiting above. If we are successful, the Arks will be returned to restore the Earth back to normal.”

“From the notes we have found written by a future Helena and others, we will need to do the following in order to get rid of Rockwell once and for all. One, We need to go over to the Blue Obelisk, find, and rid the Ice Titan of his corrupted nodules in order to get him to join us. Before we do so, we will have to become allies of the giant Snow Owls and the Moon Dog Dragons. Helena’s notes says that the Moon Dog, or what she calls the Ice Jumpers, are going to be most difficult to trap and tame. Two, we will then need to go to the Red Obelisk and rid the Desert Titan of it’s corrupted nodules. That will be most difficult as we will have to be flying above it while dodging attacks by it’s lightning bolts and the flocks of hawks it has flying escort to protect it. Three, we will need to find the blueprints from those capsules that land in the Wastelands in order to build five giant Mech Robots. The corrupted creatures roaming out there are certain to attack us in force when we attempt to access their content. Once we have done that, we will construct those five giant robots, take them and our Titan allies to the Forbidden Land to the North, and take out the King Titan Rockwell. The good news, Michael and Dianne have already form an alliance with the Forest Titan. It was easy for them to remove the corruption on it since it was slow enough for them to avoid his attack. It’s not going to be that easy for the other two and especially, when we have to take on Rockwell before he is able to pull down that broken planet into the Earth.”

“Everyone, get some rest. We will get prepared and launch an expedition to the Blue Obelisk in the morning.”

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Chapter 49. The Ice Dome.

 

After the meeting, a patrol of all the newcomers, with Captain Powell and Sargent Pasenna in charge, is sent out on enforcers into the Wastelands to get them familiar with the conditions beyond the protection of the forcefield. The patrol heads out to the remains of the corrupted crystals to harvest what is left of those formation. The newcomers have been armed with either crossbows or military assault rifles. The patrol heads out into the Wastelands to the crystal location. Three corrupted Pteragons are shot out of the sky when they in to attack the patrol. “I never knew that Pteragons would ever attack anyone unless you stole their egg.” comments Olaf.

“Every normal creature that has been corrupted will attack any non corrupted one on sight, even if those corrupted creatures were once peaceful herbivores,” answers Captain Powell. “If you see them coming towards you, kill them with a ranged weapon or use your enforcer when they get closer. Don’t be surprised if you see dead bodies of creatures out here. The corrupted carnivores do not eat their kill. They don’t even attack corrupted hervibores unless they are fighting over element crystals. We’ll harvest them for their hide if we are not encumbered by the element we are going after. Be warned that the corrupted nodules that you get from them is as toxic as cyanide. Don’t accidentally end up eating it.”

Reaching the remains of the crystal formation, the patrol finds that the area has remained clear of any new corrupted creatures. “Lets get what we can with the metal picks before more corrupted creatures start showing up in force,” orders Captain Powell. The harvesting goes well with everyone loading some 400 pounds of various crystal types on their enforcers. Some hide is collected from the dead corrupt creatures laying nearby before the patrol leave to go back to the base.

“What do we need this stuff for?” ask McDonald as they are heading back to base on the Enforcers.

“We use the element dust to power the Tec Rifles and the enforcers,” answers Sargent Pasenna. “Helena tells us that we are going to need the shards and crystals to build and power the Tec Replicator we need to built the Mech Warriors that we will need to attack Rockwell.”

“It looks like that we got everything that was left,” answers Captain Powell after a final inspection. “We’ll go looking for more when we get some of those Ice Jumpers and machine gun creatures to help us.”

Back in the base, the Element Dust, shards, and crystals are placed in secure storage in metal vaults surrounded by metal spikes. “This stuff attracts corrupted creatures like honey does to bears,” warns Captain Powell. “We’ll have to keep a patrol of Enforcers here to take out any that wander over to the camp. We caught a corrupted dilo tearing a hole into the stone wall in order to get after our stores. That is why we have placed several layers of spike walls around the outer fence. We are going to leave four high level Enforcers in here take out anything that gets past the spike fence and into our camp.”

While they were gone, Loki and Dianna have taken their dragon friends on a recon flight over to the Blue Obelisk. It has been a long non stop flight to that dome following the trench at the far eastern part of the city, then through the wasteland to enter the dome for a quick look, then the return flight back to the base. It is 2300 hours when they finally return on two very tired dragons. After praising Reigel and Paragon for a job well done, Loki reports to Captain Powell on what they found during the survey flight.

“I find it so hard to believe but we are going to need cold weather gear when we go inside the dome of the Blue Obelisk,” Loki reports to Captain Powell. “Not only did it look like we were in Norway in the middle of winter, the sun set leaving us in the dark. The place is loaded with Mammoths, wolves, and bears. We also saw one of those Ice Jumpers. It can move extremely fast. It was quite a shock when we flew back through the dome force field to watch the moon lit snow capped mountains suddenly vanish as the world ahead of us changed back to the glare of the morning sun with the heat of the Wastelands with Sanctuary City in the distance.”

“That certainly explains why that dome looks so dark when the time here registers that it should be night time,” answers Captain Powell. “We’ll take a Smithy and metal with us so we can craft winter gear from the pelts we gather from the fur bearing creatures living in there. In the meantime, I’ll have Major Powell craft up some Frea Curry to help keep us warm.”

It is 0600 the next day when a general meeting is called to go over the expedition to visit the Snow Dome and the upcoming battle of the Ice Titan. Captain Powell has ordered Eddie and Lisa for guard duty. He has also ordered Eric and Christina to stay to fly CAP over the camp with their juvenile dragons.

“We want to go with you,” Eric and Christina complain.

“No!’ orders Captain Powell. “What we are about to do is far too dangerous for you and your young dragons to be exposed to. You can be a big help flying recon over our camp while we are gone to watch out for corrupted creatures that get into the area.”

Both Drogon and young Tammy get the same lecture from their parents who have seen for themselves what the patrol faces. They promise to stick around the camp and Sanctuary City with their human friends until the patrol has returned.

“He is probably right,” Drogon tells a disappointed Eric. “My father told me it was very scary over there. He says that the ice dragons he saw act like they are crazy. He also told me that there were predators everywhere.”

“Lets go see Eddie, get a radio, and go flying around the camp to look for any dangers.” answers Eric.

The patrol heads to the edge of the wasteland following the edge of the city East to where the trench is located. With the dragons flying escort, the patrol continues along the north side of the canyon to the direction of the Blue Obelisk.

Up ahead on point, Sargent Pasenna has spotted a shimmering object that vanishes when it stops. Placing a spotting scope on it, he gets a warning. “There’s a corrupted rock drakes ahead of us,” he warns everyone. “Be careful, it is cloaked. Use your infrared to find it.”

“Damn, the infrared is not working in this heat,” warns McDonald.

“I can’t see anything in infrared either!” warns Tammy who now has all of the dragons on alert.

“I got movement!” answers Loki as he guides Reigel in for a flame attack. It is successful as the overhead strafing causes three corrupted Rock Drakes to come out of stealth. The four new female dragons flush out two more corrupted rock drakes when they lose their stealth as a result of a strafing flame attack.

“Take them out!” orders Captain Powell. The five corrupted rock drakes soon succumb to the combined attack of tec rifles and rockets. The four new female dragons spot several other corrupted creatures coming in to attack and take them out with their flame and bite attacks.

A sixth corrupted rock drake suddenly materializes as it lunges after Captain Powell. Tammy, who has spotted the shimmering movement, dives down grabbing it by the neck in her mouth as they both crash to the ground. Rollo gets thrown off as Tammy rips into the corrupted rock drake’s neck killing it. He avoids injury by rolling as he hits the ground flying.

“Are you all right,” a concerned Major Powell ask Rollo as she quickly arrives on her Enforcer.

“I’m fine,” he says. “We better check out Tammy. I’m afraid that she may have taken on more then she can handle.”

“I’m OK,” Tammy tells them as they run over to check on her condition.

“I’m checking you over just in case,” orders Major Powell. “These scrape and bruises you got from that fight need some medical attention.”

“Thank you for saving my life,” Captain Powell tells Tammy as he comes over to help Major Powell apply medical brew on her scrapes and bruises. “Those are sure some fracked up rock drakes. It’s a good thing that their feathers are defective so that they can’t glide. They would have been much harder to kill if they were gliding.”

“I now know why you and Loki were lecturing me about the dangers of this place,” Tammy tells them. “Not only are those corrupted creatures living here crazy, that was a well organized attack those corrupted rock drakes conducted.”

“Still, I’m glad that you are here,” Captain Powell tells her. “Your past combat experience has proven valuable in finding those threats. The last thing I was expecting was a well organized attack by corrupted rock drakes. This is the first time that we have ever seen them in the Wasteland.”

“Good job girls,” Tammy tells them in dragon speak after everyone has had a chance to rest and reflect over what has just happened. “When we can get back to Ragnarok, there are several eligible young bachelors that would love to be with you.”

“Thank you Tammy,” Reigel tells her in dragon speak. “They have been so desperate to find a mate that they have been making it hard for me to be with Paragon.”

“High level armor, three pump shotguns, another Tec Rifle, I have to be wondering if Rockwell sent these corrupted Rock Drakes after us,” ask Helena.

“It’s possible,” answers Captain Powell. “Between how organized the corrupted dragons were, it’s more likely that their leader was intelligent enough to organize their attack against us. Mayor certainly has been capable of planning such attacks when he helped us with the raid on Eric Bloodaxe. Lets consolidate what we have found here, take a break for a moment, and continue on.”

Reaching the edge of the dome, a temporary camp is set up with a forge and smithy. A patrol of dragons fly in to kill some of the predators for pelts so that fur armor can be prepared for everyone. Dressed only in leather armor, it is a cold trip for those riding in on the dragons. In about an hour, enough wolves and bears have been taken to produce fur armor for everyone.

What a contrast it is as the patrol enters the Snow Dome having to quickly switch to fur armor in order to stay warm. Like Loki’s description from his brief inspection, the terrain inside looks a lot like Northern Norway with it’s snow covered mountains, deep valleys with pine forest, flowing streams of ice cold water, and low clouds of fog with blowing snow at times.

“This appears to be a self contained Ark on the Earth,” Major Powell reports. “It has its own weather and day night cycle totally independent of what is taking place outside of its force field.”

“I see a very fat looking Argy close by,” reports Sargent Gulliver as he takes lead on the Enforcers.

“Careful, they are aggressive,” warns Helena.

“Tranc darts,” orders Captain Powell when it flies in attacking the patrol. It is quickly dropped unconscious.

“Most strange,” Major Powell reports. “It looks like that mechanical owl from an old movie Clash of the Titans.”

“How fitting,” answers Private Grobbal. “We are about to be involved in a clash of the titans for real and we get this mechanical looking owl to tame for our use.” With prepared kibble, the owl gets quickly tames and saddled.

“This is most interesting,” Helena comments when she gets on the saddle. “This creature has the healing ability of those Hell Pigs back in Ragnarok, but far more efficient. Tammy, get over here.”

“That, is, amazing,” Tammy tells her after being frozen for several seconds by the owl. “Those scrapes and scratches I got from killing that corrupted rock drake are fully healed. Thank you so much.”

“He is a most worthwhile tame,” comments Major Powell after watching it’s healing ability on Tammy. “He works far faster them this medical brew or the Hell Pigs that have to eat like crazy.”

“He is a good tame, but he sure does flies so slow,” comments Helena as she gets off the Snow Owl.

As the patrol continues on following a ridge above the flowing stream below, a loud screech is heard overhead as several ice jumper dragons show up out of nowhere. One comes crashing down into the middle of the patrol and gets promptly dropped with over a dozen tranc darts. Seeing it’s buddy lying there unconscious with it’s head shaking in fear, the rest of the ice jumpers break off their attack landing nearby. Alfred and Olaf are holding onto it’s ear like horns as Major Powell removes the tranc darts in its neck and checks on it’s health. “Be gentle with him,” she tells the two men as she places some of the prepared kibble in his inventory, “He’s scared out of his wits.”

In the meantime, Reigel and Paragon have trapped a frightened female ice jumper between them. They are soon engaged in dragon speak as Reigel and Paragon tell her to calm down.

“They killed my mate!” the trapped ice jumper complains.

“He is all right,” Loki tells her in dragon speak. “We just knocked him out with tranc darts to stop him from attacking us. He will wake up soon. This is what they look like.” Loki shows her the dart.

“Have a kibble,” Dianna tells her in dragon speak as she hands the ice jumper a kibble. “It will calm you down so we can go over to see your mate.” She takes and eats the kibble offering quite reluctantly at first, then calms down enough so that Dianna can rube her on the neck.

“I never knew that you humans could talk to us,” the ice jumper tells Dianna as she starts to regain her composure.

“Reigel and Paragon taught us dragon speak,” Loki tells her. “If we can trust you that you won’t attack us, we should go see your mate so we can calm him down to let him go.”

“I won’t harm anyone,” she answers.

“Walk down with us so that the others don’t think that you are going to attack them,” Loki tells her. The dragons move apart so that she can get up. They all walk down to there the male is lying in a semiconscious state.

“How did you manage to tame one?” Helena asks Loki in surprise as the three dragons come over to see them.

“We didn’t,” Loki tells Helena. “She made the choice to allow us to talk to her in dragon speak. This is her mate.” Loki tells the female ice dragon to go comfort him as the effect of the trancs start wearing off.

“Do you have names?” Loki ask the female ice jumper in dragon speak.

“I’m called Frieda,” she answers. “My mate is Ferral.”

“Alfred and Olaf, You can let go of his horns now,” Loki tells them. “We don’t need to tame him.”

“Ferral, It OK.” Loki tells him in dragon speak. “Frieda is here with me. Lie still until the effects of the tranc darts have worn off.”

“Ohhhh, My head.” Ferral finally answers in dragon speak as he starts to come to and look around.

“Does this help,”Helena asks him in dragon speak as she rubs his forehead.

“That feels so good,” answers Ferral. “I’m sorry that we attacked your tribe.”

“It’s all right,” Helena tells him. “You didn’t know. We came here looking for the Ice Titan so that we can rid him of the corrupted nodules infecting his mind.”

“That would be so wonderful if you can do so,” answers Ferral. “He has been a threat to us ever since he became infected with them. I’m feeling a lot better now.”

“Go ahead and get up,” Helena tells him. “Just take it easy until the effects of the trancs are gone.”

Getting up, Ferral walks around to get steady. Then, he and his mate jump off to see the rest of their friends. After several minutes, Ferrel comes back to talk to Helena. “My friends are going to spread the word that you are not here to harm us,” Ferral tells Helena. “If you can stay on me, I’ll take you to where the Ice Titan is living.”

“We have a rock drake saddle that should work on you,” Helena tells him. “It will allow you to jump without us sliding off of you.” Ferral allows himself to be saddle so Helena and Captain Powell can ride on him. They soon take off to the home of the Ice Titan.

“I never knew that you could talk in dragon speak,” Captain Powell tells Helena.

“Tammy taught me her language when I first met her,” Helena answers. “Ferral is going to take us to an overlook so that we can study the Ice Titan from a safe distance so we can see where the corrupted nodules are located on his back.” The Ice Jumper soon lands on the overlook.

Down below, the Ice Titan is observed smashing away at the terrain below. “That thing is HUGE,” he comments. “There’s those three nodules,” Captain Powell tells Helena as he finds and makes a mental note of their location. “We just need to plan how we can get a shot at them without killing the titan, or getting killed ourselves, in the process.” They jump back to where the others are waiting.

“Thank you for helping us locate and observe the Ice Titan,” Helena tells Ferral in dragon speak as she and Captain Powell unsaddle him.

“That was most enjoyable,” answers Ferral. “Give us a call if you need our help.” He is soon off to join the rest of his friends.

A meeting is called by Captain Powell to formulate a plan of attack. All eight dragons that are with them join in on the meeting. “The Ice Titan is far too large to take him on with our Enforcers. He moves too fast for us to attempt to surround him. As we need to get behind him in order to target the corrupted nodules, we will have to hit him from the air. We can’t risk using rockets to target those nodules as he can move fast enough that we will end up hitting him instead. This is going to be a job for the dragons to get us into position to hit the nodules with our tec and sniper rifles while staying out of range of his freeze attack, his fist, and his feet.”

“Tammy, Tarmac, your job will be to help us distract the Ice Titan while avoiding his attacks so that the others can get behind him to target the corrupted nodules. I’m going to be riding on Tarmac for this mission. Rollo and I will target his horns with a sniper rifle to get his attention. Be careful, he could freeze you with his ice breath. Don’t get too close to that thing or he could kill you with one blow from his fists.”

“Any questions? Then, lets go get it done.” The flight takes off heading to the direction where the Ice Titan was last observed. It isn’t long before they find him chasing after the Ice Jumpers.

“This is it,” reports Captain Powell. Lets go free him of those nodules.”

Tammy and Tarmac fly directly towards the Titan which soon spots them. The rest of the dragons hug the ground to get into position behind it. The Titan spots two of them and turns to attack which earns it two shots that bounce off of its huge horn. He turns back to take a swipe at Tammy who ducks out of the way just in time.

The Titan roars in pain as six shots from three tec and sniper rifles hit the corrupted nodules on its back. One of them shatters in a huge purple explosion. He turns to go after his tormentors firing his ice breath at them as they hide behind the rock outcroppings which gains another layer of ice. His attention is soon focused upon the Ice Jumpers that come in to get into his face. He takes a swing at them as they jump out of his way. More shots ring out as another corrupted nodule explodes. Screaming for a third time from the pain, the Ice Titan hits the ground unconscious.

Landing next to the unconscious Titan, Captain Powell does a quick examination of him. “Good job everyone,” he tells the others after finding that the injuries done to the Titan are minimal. “Lets give him room to wake up and determine if he will help us defeat Rockwell or not.”

It is several minutes later that a strange metallic helmet materializes on the unconscious Titan as he wakes up. Ferral lands on it along with Tammy and start talking to the Ice Titan in dragon speak. “He has agreed to help us, with our new Ice Jumper friends to battle Rockwell when we are ready. He wants his revenge against Rockwell for making his suffer so with the corrupted modules that were infecting his mind.”

“That is excellent,” captain Powell tells her. “Tell the Ice Jumpers that I thank them for their help in helping us to ridding the Ice Titan of those corrupted nodules. We will send someone back for everyone when we are ready to confront Rockwell.”

“Good job everyone,” Captain Powell praises the dragons and their crews as they meet back at the temporary camp. “Let us head back to camp and plan for our trip to the Desert Biome.”

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Chapter 50. The exciting Wastelands.

 

Flying back on the Owl, Helena has spotted trouble on the path up ahead. She tells Tammy, who is flying close by to flame an outcropping of rock with a dead tree on it by its base. A corrupted Rock Drake comes out of cloak in flames as Sargent Gulliver finishes it off with an assault rifle.

“How did you know it was there?” asks Captain Powell.

“Unlike your infrared goggles or the Dragon’s infrared vision, this owl was able to spot it in this heat with his special radar vision.” answers Helena. “In fact, every living creature is showing up in his vision. He can distinguish between friendlies, foes, and corrupted creatures. He lets me know what he can see by sending those images to my vision in different color outlines.”

“That is an incredible ability,” Major Powell tells her. “This will make it so much easier to detect danger as we are patrolling in the Wasteland.”

Back in the camp, the two young dragons have been flying on patrol with their young riders. “This has been so enjoyable,” Drogon tells young Eric. “You are a most wonderful friend. I really like you.”

“You have been a dream come true,” Eric tells Drogon. “Even though there are young dragons on Ragnarok, I never became close to any of them.”

“I do believe that you two have now bonded,” Christina tells them. “This is what I learned from reading the electronic books about dragons in the Game of Throne series. I pray that they never meet the tragic end of what happened to so many of the dragons in those stories. Take good care of each other. Little Tammy has been so enjoyable to be with from the day she was hatched when she came over to play with me when I was two years old.”

“I see the patrol coming back from the Snow Biome,” reports Eric.

“It should be safe to fly out to them at this time,” answers Christina. “Lets let Eddie know where we are going.”

“Be careful out there,” orders Eddie. “Captain Powell has warned me that they were attacked by corrupted rock drakes. If you see any corrupted dragons or rock drakes, get away from them. They could easily kill you.” With Eddie’s permission the foursome fly out to meet the incoming patrol. However, Drogon has spotted trouble in the distance beyond them and is imminently frightened by what he sees coming their way.

“There’s two corrupted dragons flying towards us,” Eric warns Loki as he struggles to keep Drogon from flying away in a panic.

“Land by Captain Powell,” orders Loki. “We’ll take care of this.”

The six dragons that are carrying riders armed with tec and sniper rifles fly out to intercept the corrupted dragons heading their way. “Stay out of range of their fire weapon,” Loki orders. “Dragons, get us into position so we can take them out.” Six dragons split up into a group of three as their riders take aim dropping the two corrupted dragons from the sky.

“Reigel, Look Out!” warns Loki as a shadow from an unseen corrupted dragon dives at them out of the glare of the sun. Reigel banks hard just being missed by a purple ray of fire that aims down at him. In another hard turn that almost result in Loki loosing his grip, Reigel lunges at the diving corrupted dragon grabbing it under the neck ripping its throat out. It goes spiraling down to the ground crashing into the rocks next to Eric and Drogon scaring them out of their wits.

Tammy and Tarmac spot another corrupted dragon diving down from the sun that hasn’t seen them. They catch it from behind and flame its head. It gets finished off with a sniper rifle from Captain Powell as it too hits the ground nearby.

“Your father killed it,” Eric tells a frightened Drogon who has his head pressed tightly into Eric’s chest as he is getting his neck rubbed in an effort to calm him down. Loki and Reigel land next to them, the purple flesh and blood still dripping from Reigels mouth.

“Good job,” Loki praises Reigel. “You finally had a chance to get your revenge for what they did to your Viscerian.”

“That felt sooo good,” Reigel says with a nervous laugh as he spits out the bloody mess in his mouth. “Drogon, are you all right.”

“I’m so scared,” Drogon tells him.

“I was too,” answers Reigel. “Stay with your friend Eric. He’ll take good care of you.”

“Good job spotting those corrupted dragons,” Captain Powell tells Eric and Drogon.

Paragon has now landed next to Reigel. She comes over and nudges his neck with her head. “She was really worried about you,” Dianna tells Reigel. “She was so scared that she was going to lose another mate to those corrupted dragons,”

“I have to give Reigel credit for his combat skills,” Loki tells them. “After I spotted the threat, he took control and turned the tables on his attacker. I think that we have had more then enough excitement for the day,”

“I agree,” Rollo tells them. “Tammy tells me that they have never had to face dragon to dragon combat before. We need to be sure that we all study their offensive and defensive capabilities so we don’t lose any of them to those corrupted dragons. I need to read those books about the Game of Throne dragons and what happened in those battles between them.”

“From what I read in the electronic copy, they were mostly one sided fights with the loser being outclassed or ganged up on by bigger stronger opponents,” Dianne tells him. “All but one of the dragons in those stories were bonded to a human warrior or child. They were either killed in combat by a stronger dragon, brought down by the opposing armies with iron crossbows and chain bolas, or killed by an angry mob that had them trapped in their barn. More often then not, the victor was so badly hurt that he died from his injuries days later. What you and Reigel did today is likely a far better tactic that what you could have learned from combat in those stories.”

“I have to agree,” Captain Powell tells Loki. “We can best prepare them with training in the tactics of air to air dog fighting combat. We may need those tactics when we go after the Desert Titan to defend ourselves from the hawk flocks protecting it. Lets get back to camp, get some rest, then proceed with dog fight training.”

Back in the safety of camp, Drogon is laying on his side next to Eric as he rubs Drogon’s head to comfort him. “That took a lot out of you” Eric tells him. “You know that you are a hero. You saved the day by warning everyone that there were corrupted dragons coming their way.”

“I was so scared when it hit the ground next to me,” Drogon tells Eric.

Christina comes over with Little Tammy to check on Drogon. “Poor little guy, he is still shook up,” she says as she starts rubbing his neck. Little Tammy starts nudging him as well talking to him in dragon speak.

“It has to be from the shock of seeing his mother being killed, then having those dead corrupted dragon crashing into the ground next to us.” answers Eric.

“I’ve seen this before with Masucci and the three ladies that were Crazy Harry’s hostages,” Major Powell who has come over to check on Drogon, tells them. “Your marine friends call it Shell Shock. It’s modern name is post traumatic stress disorder. Give him lots of attention and praise. It will help him get over his frightening experience he had today with you. With time, we can build up his confidence when facing a dangerous situation in the future.”

“Captain Powell would like to see you four with the rest of the dragons and their riders. He wants to start your training in dog fighting tactics.”

“Drogon, are you coming?” ask Eric as he heads over to the group.

“Yes, I’ll join you.” he answers.

“I want to start this training session by thanking Eric and Drogon for spotting those corrupted dragons in time so that we were able to confront them on our terms,” reports Captain Powell. “Back on Aberration, we trained the Rock Drakes in the tactics of torpedo bombing so we were able to take out Rockwell without suffering any casualties. By teaching them the tactics of gliding in an attack formation, our soldiers were free to train their weapons on their targets. While it was easy for you dragons to get us into position to destroy the corrupted nodules on the Ice Titan, you didn’t have to worry about something else attacking you at the same time. Thankfully, Loki and Reigel survived their first encounter at dog fighting. They were hit with a tactic known as coming out of the sun. Loki saw the shadow being cast by the attacking corrupted dragon diving at them and warned Reigel to dodge the fire attack that was aimed at them. Reigel then turned the tables on the attacker by going after it’s throat.”

“In air to air combat, altitude can be your friend. Tammy and Tarmac took advantage of that when they spotted the other corrupted dragon flying in to attack and took it out with a diving assault. I’m glad to see that your flame attack worked. You could have also knocked it out of the sky with the claws on your feet to take out it’s wings. That is the tactic they used to kill Viscerian and cripple Paragon.”

“Drogon, Little Tammy, I want the both of you to participate in this training. You have an advantage over the adult dragons due to your smaller size. You can maneuver faster then they can. Use that to your advantage. We’ll train with blunt tip primitive arrows so we don’t hurt each other.”

Captain Powell and Sargent Gulliver now show everyone some flying tactics using wood models of airplane as props. They show them the tactics of the role of the wing man and communication between the two so they are working together. The dragons and the personnel that are not from the torpedo squadron are soon asking a lot of questions about tactics.

“Why are we doing this?” Gracy, one of the female forest dragons asks Captain Powell.

“Given that we ran into more corrupted dragons today, there is a good possibility that we could be hit by large numbers of them when we go to confront that King Titan Rockwell,” answers Captain Powell. “We are likely to be so busy with attacking him that we will be unable to protect ourselves from any other threats such as corrupted dragons. It is going to be your job to take them out without getting killed in the process.”

“He’s right,” answers Tammy. “It was bad enough when we were fighting Eric Bloodaxe as an unorganized group. When I listened to Captain Powell, he organized us into a fighting force to take him out without any of us getting killed. I volunteered to be the bait to get him out in the open. McDonald rigged up an armor vest for me. It saved my life from one of those crossbow turrets he fired at me. I lost too many of my friends in the past to his dragon killing crossbow turrets. It will be much worse if we have to fight large flocks of corrupted dragons in air to air combat if we can’t hit them from a position of strength. Reigel and Paragon already know just how dangerous they are. Their mates were killed by them.”

“Molly, Tina, Gracy, I’m assigning your friends Hilda, Eddie and Lisa to ride on you for combat aircraft duty.” orders Captain Powell. “They have the combat experience from riding on their rock drake friends in Ragnarok, Hilda is a natural warrior. Macy, I hope that you don’t mind having Belvelto riding on you. He is a very experience gunner. He can better protect you in combat then Barbara. Besides, she is already bonded with Sleeper on Ragnarok. While I know that Dragons that are bonded to a human friend can also have other human friends that they allow to ride on them, they tend to get very jealous of other dragons that get too close with their bonded human. I’m just concerned that you and sleeper may end up killing each other in a fight over Barbara if she ever makes it back here to Earth.”

“Dianna has told me the story how Danarys raised three dragons from their eggs. Like Cleo’s egg tamed rock drake, they could never talk to her. When they were at Drogons age, she had problems with them getting into fights with each other and raiding the flocks of the shepards for food. It nearly destroyed her relationship with them when she was forced to chain them in the dungeon for the protection of the children and livestock of her kingdom. Months later, her Drogon managed to remove the pin on the collar and escape. In a brave move, Tyrion, the dwarf warrior, released Reigel and Viscerian from the dungeon. She saw Drogon when he landed on the castle roof above her, but he wasn't ready to bond with her. A month later, when her party was attacked in the arena by a superior force of assassins that hid their identity with masks. Surrounded with no escape, the end was near when Drogon appeared attacking the rebels with fire and his biting attack. Even though he had been wounded by several spears that were thrown at him, he mentally told Danarys to get on him and took off flying. He took her back to his lair in the countryside. Even though he was suffering from his injuries, he finally bonded with her. While her Reigel and Viscerian had settled their differences and soon joined them, she never rode or bonded with either one of them. Her Viserian ends up killed in a fight with the White Walkers. He is later reincarnated by the Ice King as a corrupted dragon and becomes his war mount. The end of the stories were corrupted so Dianna couldn’t tell me whatever happened to Danarys or if her Reigel ever became bonded to Jon Snow who’s hidden name in the story translated to green dragon.”

“I understand,” Macy tells Captain Powell. “I did not know that Barbara was already bonded to another dragon.”

“Macy, I’m sorry,” Barbara tells her. “I should have told you that I am bonded with Sleeper.”

“It’s OK,” Macy tells her. “I should have asked you if you had ever ridden other dragons before. We can still be friends.”

“Thank you,” Barbara tells her. “Belvelto is a good man. He will take good care of you.”

“Can we agree to be friends if you decide that you don’t want to bond with me?” ask Belvelto as he rubs her forehead in greeting.

“Yes,” Macy tells him.

“Take her flying so that you two can get familiar working together,” orders Captain Powell. “Then, we can get some dog fight training done before we go visit the Desert Biome.”

“Have you done this before?” Macy tells Belvelto in surprise as he gets on her.

“Yes,” he answers. “I just never had a chance to bond with any of the Ragnarok Dragons. They all had bonded with a human friend before I arrived there.”

“Tammy and Tarmac seem most interesting,” Macy tells him as they continue flying together. “Who are they bonded to?”

“Being the Alpha Dragon, Tammy is unique.” answers Belvelto. “She first let Eddie ride on her when they made first contact with us. Then she asked Helena to ride on her out of curiosity. She eventually ended up bonding with her Viking enemy, Rollo Bloodaxe, who she wanted to kill when she first saw him. That happened when she let him ride her into combat to confront his evil brother that had killed her mate. They became bonded together in close friendship by the end of that day. Helena tells me that no alpha dragon has ever allowed a human to touch them before, let alone ride on them and become bonded to one.”

“Tarmac became bonded to Cleo on the day that they first met. He reminded her of her egg tame Raymond that a t-rex had killed. He does let Captain Powell ride him into combat because they work well together in that situation. Otherwise, Captain Powell works with his rock drake friend Mary.”

“That is so interesting,” Macy tells him. “I like you. Lets tell Captain Powell that we are ready to go practice some air to air dog fighting.”

Edited by rpicardi1

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Chapter 51. Dog fight training.

 

“How are you getting along with Macy?” Captain Powell asks Belvelto.

“She is a most wonderful dragon,” Belvelto answers. “I like her.”

“I’m ready to learn dog fighting with Belvelto.” Macy answers.

“That’s fantastic, Lets get started.”

“The first thing I want to do is assign you to work in pairs so that you have a flight leader and a wingman. Our two mated dragon pairs, Drogon, and Little Tammy are the natural choice with the male as the attacker and their mates as wing man. Molly, Tina, Gracy, Macy, form up two pairs to work together.

“As you can see, we have placed several kites in the sky for you to practice the tactic of diving out of the sun on. What I want you dragons and your riders to do is practice coming out of the sun at those kites. I do have one bit of advise to give you when you do so, don’t cast your shadow on your target. As Loki can tell you, the shadow from that corrupted dragon that attacked them, alerted him to the danger from above. Pick out your targets as a squadron and hit them all at once. We’ll use blunt arrows for now, so don’t flame or tear them up on your first practice attack run.”

Forming up on Tammy and Rollo, the ten dragons, in pairs of two, take flight and climb for the clouds. Rollo shouts out to them which target they will take. The dragons peal off into a dive quickly learning to watch where they cast a shadow as their riders hit the kites with blunt arrows.

“Good job everyone,” Rollo tells them as they fly back up to regroup. “Lets try tearing the wings out of those kites.” The dragons pick out their targets and dive on them ripping several to shreds on the first impact. Three kites end up being flamed as they are hit.

“That was harder to do then it looked,” Tammy tells Captain Powell as they land for their training evaluation.

“You did well flaming your target when you realized that you were not in the right position to rake it’s wings with your feet.” Captain Powell tells her. “My only concern is that you can quickly run of of stamina if you are constantly using your fire weapon to attack them. The showdown with King Titan Rockwell is likely to be a long one, so, you need to be careful that you don’t run out of fire when you need it the most.”

“Everyone, good job.”

“What I want to do now is to have your riders practice air defense. For now, we will practice with blunt arrows by having six of you pretending that you are the attacking corrupted dragons. If you are hit with the blunt arrows, they will sting, but they won’t hurt you. When we end up doing this for real, your riders will be armed with tec and assault rifles. Your job, get on the tail of your attackers while trying to avoid being tailed yourselves. Your rider’s job will be to protect you from corrupted dragons that get on your tail. You will have one big advantage over the corrupted dragons when fighting them, they will not have any one riding on them for their protection. Tail gunners, target your attacker’s body. I don’t want any of our dragon friends to accidentally get a blunt arrow in the eye.”

The dragons are split up into two teams of six aggressors and four defenders to simulate fighting against a superior force. They switch off into those groups as the training continues. “Excellent move,” Captain Powell comments as he is taking notes. “Macy put on the brakes allowing Tarmac to overshoot her. I bet that he won’t make that mistake again after getting smacked by a blunt arrow to his body.”

The makeshift mock battle continues for the next hour. There are a couple of mid air collisions. Then, a head on that knocks the two dragons involved out of the sky. “Everyone calm down,” orders Captain Powell as he is forced to call a halt to the training exercise when Molly and Gracy, the two dragons involved in the head on, start getting into a fight with each other.

“Knock it off!” orders Tammy as she gets between the two angry female dragons.

“Calm down,” both Michael and Hilda are yelling at them.” It takes several minutes of scolding to get the two dragons to finally settle down. They eventually apologize to each other for getting into a fight.

“That was intense,” Tammy tells Captain Powell. “The dragons are taking this training too seriously.

“I don’t think that your mate was too happy with me hitting him with a blunt arrow when I had Macy put on the brakes,” Belvelto tells her.

“Flight crews, get the frack over here, now!” orders Captain Powell. The ten dragons and their riders soon gather around.

“When I get done with this meeting, I want everyone to apologize to each other for taking it personal when one of your friends took a wack at you during aerial combat training. I need all of you to work together, to watch out for each other, cause when this $hit gets real, you will only do so if you are all friends.”

“Now, given that this is over with, I saw some real good combat tactics taking place in this training phase. What Macy did to Tarmac is a classic move to force an attacker out in front of you. Molly and Gracy, your head on attack is another classic move. Just be sure that you duck at the last minute so that you don’t collide with your enemy knocking you both out of the sky. Drogon, good move folding your wings to drop quickly out of harm’s way. Wing men, good job protecting your partner. Everyone, get some rest for an hour. Then, you will fly out into the wasteland armed with crossbows for a live fire exercise to kill corrupted pteragons. Go see Major Powell if you were injured during this exercise.”

“I’m sorry that we got into a fight with each other,” Molly and Gracy tells Captain Powell as they come over to talk to him with their riders.

“I never knew that a dragon could get so angry with another dragon while you are riding them,” Michael tells Captain Powell. “Molly has told me that she is so sorry for picking a fight with her best friend Gracy.”

“It’s quite all right.” answers Captain Powell. “I’ve seen this happen before when we do aggressor defender training in the Marine Corp and the $hit gets really serious. The important thing is you two are no longer making it personal. Go see Major Powell so that she can treat those scrapes and bruises you got from fighting.”

“That was some really serious combat training you put them through,” Major Powell tells Captain Powell after she has checked over everyone.

“Given that we ran into four corrupted dragons and how one of them nearly took out Reigel, I felt it was necessary for them all to experience what it could be like if we ever get hit by a large number of them,” answers Captain Powell. “How bad were the injuries?”

“It’s a good thing Tammy got between Molly and Gracy,” Major Powell tells him. “Their injuries could have been a lot worse had they started biting and clawing at each other. Fortunately, it was just scrapes and bruises. The rest had a bruise or two from being tagged with blunt arrows at close range.”

“Well, that’s a relief,” answers Captain Powell. “I’m having them going after corrupted pteragons next. They should make good targets for a diving attack to practice ripping the wings out from them and for their riders to practice hitting a moving target coming after them. It should help Drogon gain some confidence when he learns that he can take out a flying creature on his own.”

The flight group, under the leadership of Rollo and Tammy, soon formed up and take off to the Northern Wastelands to go hunt corrupted pteragons. Spotting one from above, Rollo sends Eric after it with Christina flying wing man on Little Tammy.

“Go for a wing,” Eric tells Drogon.

“They frighten me,” Drogon answers back. “They look too much like corrupted dragons.”

“Do it!” orders Eric. “I’ll guide you.”

The two young dragons dive on the corrupted pteradon with Drogon in the lead. He slams his claw feet into the corrupted pteradon’s wings breaking them. It falls to the ground hitting it so hard that the impact kills it.

“Good job,” Reigel tells him when they fly back to the clouds. “You are now officially a dog fighter.”

The flight training continues with the rest of the dragons picking off every corrupted pteradon that they can find in the Northern Wastelands. Molly misses her target when it veers off at the last second. Tina takes it out as it cuts across her path.”

With all of the corrupted pteradons cleared from the sky, the flight is coming back to base at high altitude when Drogon spots two corrupted fliers way down below. He and Little Tammy dive down to attack the one on the left. Rollo puts his spotting scope and suddenly realizes that they have taken on more then they should have.

“Everyone, dive! Kill those things, NOW!” he orders the rest of the flight of dragons.

“What’s the problem?” ask Loki as Reigel has launched himself into a screaming dive. He doesn’t get any time for an answer as the two young dragons ahead of them crash into the wings of their target ripping them to shreds.

The other corrupted flier has spotted them but before it can react, it gets it’s wings shredded by Reigel and goes crashing to the ground. The other dragons quickly follow, tearing up the two grounded dragons killing them.

“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!” Drogon is shouting in a panic as he flies towards the camp as fast as he can.

“You did it!” shouts Eric. “You took out a corrupted dragon.”

The two young dragons are still in shock as they all fly back to camp landing in front of Captain Powell. “What happened out there?” he ask Rollo. “Drogon and Little Tammy look like they have just seen a ghost.”

“They took a corrupted dragon out of the sky before they realized that they weren’t attacking corrupted pteradons,” Rollo tells him.

“Outstanding!” shouts Captain Powell as he runs over to praise the two young dragons. “Their training has paid off. I declare Drogon and Little Tammy experienced dog fighters with their first official kill.”

“Did we actually kill a corrupted dragon,” Drogon ask Reigel as he comes over to congratulate the two youngsters.

“When you two shredded it’s wings, it was as good as dead,” Reigel tells him.

“I never realized that we were attacking a corrupted dragon until it was too late to avoid hitting it,” Drogon tells Reigel.

“The important thing is that you were able to take it out without getting hurt.” Reigel tells him.

“That is enough excitement for you two for the day,” Major Powell tells Drogon and Eric. “Eric and Christina, Praise Drogon and Little Tammy for a job well done. Everyone should get some rest before we head to the Desert Biome.”

“I agree,” Captain Powell tells her. “Everyone take the rest of the day off to get some rest. We go find the Desert Titan in the morning.”

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Chapter 52 The desert Biome.

 

Drogon is lying on his side in the pen with Eric rubbing his neck. “I can’t believe that we actually did it,” Eric tells him. “We knocked a corrupted dragon out of the sky.”

“We sure did,” Drogon tells Eric. “I tore out it’s left wing as Little Tammy did the same to it’s right one. I didn’t have time to be afraid until we actually did it. It looked like one of those corrupted pteradons until we hit it.”

“How are you feeling?” Captain Powell asks Drogon as he comes over to check on the two young dragons.

“I feel so much better then I did when Eric made me attack the corrupted pteradon.” Drogon answers.

“Drogon, it’s OK to be frighten by combat so long as you don’t let that fear prevent you from getting the job done when you engage the enemy.”

“When Tammy was flying with Rollo to attack the fortress of Eric Bloodaxe, she had her moment of fear and wanted to turn back. Rollo convinced her to be brave and follow the plan of landing in front of the fortress to get Eric Bloodaxe out into the open. While they both got hurt in the battle that followed, she was able to accomplish the mission of getting rid of Eric Bloodaxe so we could rescue her friends.”

“I never knew that an alpha dragon would ever fear combat,” Drogon tells him.

“So long as you don’t let that fear take over, it will help you stay alive,” Captain Powell tells him. “Get some rest, You and Little Tammy are going to be flying with us to the Desert Biome to confront the Desert Titan in the morning.”

“That’s great, they got their revenge against a corrupted dragon,” comments Major Powell to Captain Powell. “I believe that Drogon has been cured of his shell shock with today’s strange turn of events. He looks so much better mentally. He and young Eric make a perfect match.”

“I agree,” answers Captain Powell. “I’m glad that I included those two in combat training. Even Little Tammy performed well out there together with Drogon. My concern is with all of those corrupted dragons that are now showing up the further we continue with our mission to kill Rockwell. I fear that we could be hit with a significant number of them at the worst possible moment. We need to have better protection for our dragon friends along with tec rifles for everyone.”

“I think that I may be able to help.” McDonald tells Captain Powell. “Before I left, I was handed a blueprint for a Tec Replicator. With the availability of Element, electronics, metals, and corrupted nodules which will substitute for organic polymer, I believe that we can soon build one. With the Tec Generator, we may eventually be able to build those giant mechs. We will also be able to construct tec rifles and another rail gun or two. But most important, we can craft up tec armor for us and our dragon friends.”

“That would be outstanding,” answers Captain Powell. “Take Masucci, Sargent Gulliver, and four other people that are not involved with our dragons and craft up that Tec Replicator. We’re going to go find that Desert Titan and rid it of its corrupted nodules.”

That morning, the patrol is assembled consisting of all the dragons with their riders, Helena riding on Owl, and the rest riding on enforcers. This time, they take the broken road to the South of the great split as they find the path to the Desert Biome.

The trip remains relatively free of threats with only one corrupt Carno that the lead Enforcer takes out and two pteradons that Drogon and Little Tammy ambush from the sky. It is at the edge of the dome when Rollo and Loki spots real trouble.

“What are those two corrupted dragons doing down there,” ask Loki.

“They look like they are hunting for something,” answers Rollo.

“Lets take them out!”

The fight is quick as the two corrupted dragons, intent on looking for their prey, get body slammed from above and have their throats ripped out by Reigal, Tammy, and their mates.

“What is that noise?” ask Loki when they land next to the dead corrupted dragons.

“That sounds like a dragon crying in pain,” answers Dianna. “Lets go check it out.

“Be careful,” answers Rollo “They may not know that we are here to help them.”

Loki is walking over to investigate a shape hidden in the rocks when he quickly jumps behind a boulder just being missed by a blast of fire. “Stay away!” a frightened voice shouts out in dragon speak. A flurry of dragon speak soon follows from Tammy and Reigel. Soon, a frightened injured male dragon steps out from the shelter of the rock outcropping.

“What’s going on out there?” Captain Powell has radioed Rollo with concern.

“We found a pair of wild dragons that survived an attack by corrupted ones,” answers Rollo. “Send Helena over here with Owl. One of them is badly hurt.”

“Oh, Nooo!” Reigel tells Loki when he gets to see the badly injured female lying at the rock outcropping base turning his head away from her. “They took out her wings the same way they did my Viserian!”

“Stay here,” orders Loki. “I have to go see if she is still alive.”

“Loki is talking to the male in dragon speak who has allows him to see his badly injured mate. She is crying from the pain as he goes to rub her forehead. “It hurts so bad,” she tells him. “I don’t want to die!”

“Hang in there.” he tells her in dragon speak as he continues rubbing her forehead. “Help is coming.”

Helena soon arrives with Owl as the rest of the ground force is now by Reigel. “Can Owl heal her,” Loki asks Helena with concern.

“I don’t know,” answers Helena with concern after looking at the badly injured dragon. “Her wings are a shredded mess. Lets give it a try.”

Helena is now talking to both dragons as she tells them what she wants to do with Owl. Several stacks of raw meat are harvested from the dead corrupted dragons and placed on Owl and on the badly injured female dragon. Owl is positioned over top of the crippled dragon as she activates his healing freeze. The process takes several minutes, most of the raw meat, and nearly all of Owl’s stamina is used by the process but it works. As she thaws out, she is no longer crying in pain. The shredded wings are now mended together. “Take it easy,” Helena tells her. “You’re still very weak from your ordeal.” The male is crying tears of joy as his mate gets up to embraces him.

“Thank you. Thank you so much for saving my mate.” He tells her while still crying.” I am Draco. My mate is called Firefox.”

“Oh dear, you’re left wing has been torn.” Helena tells him. “Go over by Owl so that I can have him heal it.”

Loki has now returned to Reigel to see if he is all right. “That was such a shock to see what happened to Firefox,” Reigel tells him shaking from fright. “I’m all right now.” He puts his forehead down to Loki so that it can be rubbed. “It was so upsetting to see her wings torn up like that.”

“Looks like that your son is not the only dragon to have ever suffer shell shock,” Loki tells Reigel ‘We’re lucky to have Owl with us to heal her up. I doubt that Michael would have been able to repair that much damage to a dragon’s wing.”

“I never knew that you humans could even talk to us let alone be friendly to us,” Draco finally tells Loki after Owl has healed up his wing.”

“We learned that we could do so when we met Tammy,” answers Loki. “It is likely from your history, when my ancestors were hunting dragons because we feared them, that you learned to be afraid of us. It was by pure luck that we spotted those corrupted dragons looking for you. If you and Firefox are willing, we can use your help.”

Captain Powell and the rest of the group have now arrived in the clearing next to the rock outcropping. The rest of the dragons remain on air patrol as Captain Powell talks to the two dragons using Helena as a translator.

“I never knew there were other dragons out here,” Draco tells him.

“We didn’t either until we found a dead female dragon, then the three corrupted dragons that killed her that attacked us.” answers Helena. “Later, we found her son, who was hiding in the cave, and her mate, Reigel, who was looking for him. We soon found six other dragons hiding in the great cave North of the ruined city. Tammy and Tarmac came with us from Ragnarok.”

“What brings you out this way?” asks Draco.

“We came looking for the Desert Titan so that we can destroy the corrupted nodules that are controlling him. Hopefully he can help us kill the King Titan Rockwell to free the Earth from Extinction,” answers Helena.

“I can take you there,” answers Draco. “Come, fly on me. Teach me your human language as we fly into the Desert Dome.”

“Take Owl,” Helena tells Captain Powell. “It looks like that we are going to have a lot to talk about. We’ll look for a safe area for you to set up camp before we look for the Desert Titan.”

“If it is all right with you and Firefox, I would like to have Alfred ride on her. He can be her tail gunner so that she doesn’t get ambushed by another corrupted dragon. All the Vikings with us have been learning Dragon speak from Tammy, so they will be able to talk to each other.”

“I’ll let Alfred ride on me,” answers Firefox without hesitation in dragon speak. “I don’t ever want to go through that hell again.”

“I’d would love to be able to bond with a dragon,” Alfred tells Helena. “I so wished that we had made friends with them instead of going to war against them.”

“That will be up to Firefox,” answers Helena. The flight is soon off heading into the Desert Dome as the others proceed through the barrier below.

It is a constant stream of dragon speak between Helena and Draco as they fly through the Desert Dome. They talk about her mission on Earth, their past history, the stories from Game of Thrones, and what has happened that allowed the dragons to return to Earth in their present form.

“I find it interesting that dragons would bond with a certain race of humans in those stories,” Helena tells Draco. “They were never able to talk to each other. It is only from other stores from the Vikings and Mid-Evil ages where I found stories of dragons being able to talk to us and having humans riding on them into combat.”

“I’m starting to pick up your language now,” Draco tells her. “Does that mean that we could be bonding soon?”

"My research and duties doesn’t allow me to have the time to bond with a dragon,” Helena tells him. “I nearly bonded with Tammy when she asked me to ride on her, but I let her go when she became bonded with her worst enemy, a Viking Bloodaxe. They really hit it off together when he rode her into battle to confront his evil dragon killing brother. They have been a perfect match ever since. Thank you for your offer. If you don’t mind, I think that you and Harold would make a good match. He and Alfred are close brothers. It would be a perfect match if they became bonded to you and your mate. In spite of being bonded to Rollo, Tammy and I remain the best of friends.”

“When you have rid the Desert Titan of his corrupted nodules, I’ll give it a try,” Draco tells her.

In the safety of the dome, the patrol has assembles on a plateau overlooking the desert below. The rest of the dragons have landed and been introduced to the newcomers. Rollo is now on Tammy with Captain Powell on Tarmac as the foursome of dragons prepare to look for the Desert Titan. Harold meets Draco as they quickly get to know each other. They soon take off with Draco in the lead as Harold is riding on him.

The recon goes well with the flight landing on a bluff. They spot the titan in flight over the Eastern end of the dome. Taking flight so it can be observed from above, they study the flying titan locating where the corrupted modules are located and observing the flock of hawks flying with it.

Landing back at the temporary camp, Captain Powell gets a surprise when he sees four most unusual tames the rest of the patrol have obtained.

“Olaf found them quite by accident,” Major Powell tells him. “He accidentally walked in front of one of them and was nearly killed by their darts. They shredded his Enforcer as he ran away from them. By observing them from a distance, we found that we could easily knocked them out to tame them.”

“They are literally living machine guns,” Lt. Jerry tells him. “They are extremely accurate when we are using them in machine gun mode. Best of all, those darts on their frills can quickly regenerate. They could be most useful for taking out large numbers of corrupted creatures on the ground.”

“Outstanding, how do you pet them?” ask Captain Powell.

“You don’t” Major Powell tells him as she shows him one of the darts she has recovered from the destroyed Enforcer. “They respond to your implant so only those of us that have implants can ride on them or pet them.”

“Wow, those darts look as lethal as a 50 caliber machine gun bullet,” Captain Powell tells her. “No wonder we lost an Enforcer to them.”

Captain Powell now calls for a meeting with the dragons and their riders. “Gather around. Here is my our plan to go tame the Desert Titan.”

“Since we are going after a flying creature, this will be a mission for our dragon friends and their riders. We know that this Titan is protected by flocks of hawks. As they will likely stay together when they attack, we will need several of you to bait and distract them. Eric and Christina are the logical choice for this job since their young dragons can maneuver so quickly. Tammy, Tarmac, Reigel, and Paragon will conduct the coordinated attack on the corrupted nodules. I’ll be riding Tarmac on this mission. We’ll be using tec rifles on the corrupted nodules. The rest of the dragons and their riders will keep watch for anything that may fly in to attack us. Otherwise, help out Drogon and Little Tammy in case they get swarmed by the attacking flock of hawks.”

“Any questions? Then lets go tame it.”

Heading to the East side of the dome, they find the Desert Titan flying in a large circle. Now in position, Captain Powell leads in the attack on the first corrupted nodule. Four shots from the Tec rifle causes it to explode into a purple cloud as the Titan screams in pain.

“Look out! Here comes his defenses,” warns Loki as Drogon and Little Tammy cut across their path causing the flock to go after them.

“I’m feeling an electrical charge forming on us,” warns Tarmac.

Fly close over that corrupted nodule,” orders Captain Powell. “When you feel it lock on you, get the frack out of there.”

A powerful bolt of lightning strikes the corrupted nodule as Tarmac gets out of the way just in time. It too goes up in a puff of purple smoke.

Paragon lands on the Titan’s back in an effort to give Dianna a steady shot at the third corrupted nodule but they get thrown off when the Titan does a barrel roll. Reigel just misses getting a tail slap that monumentally stuns him and Loki. The four dragons quickly form up above the Titan.

“I can’t warn everybody enough that this thing can fight back and hit hard,” Captain Powell tells them in alarm. “Form up on me. We’ll try dive bombing that third nodule and hit it with the tec rifles. Dragons, don’t pull up, do a hard bank away from it. Everyone, be careful that you don’t shoot your dragon in the head when they bank away.”

The maneuver is executed, but the outcome is not quite what is planned. Four shots hit the corrupted nodule causing it to explode. Three of the four dragons end up in a hard landing on a metal platform that suddenly forms on the Titan’s back. They end up rolling to the edge of the platform but manage to stay on it.

“Everyone all right,” asks Captain Powell with concern.”

“Loki.” “Dianna”. “Rollo.” “Tammy.” “Tarmac.” “Reigel.” “Paragon.”

“We’re all OK,” they answer back.

“Where are we?” ask Rollo.

“We’re on a platform on the back of the Desert Titan,” answers Captain Powell. The mission was a success.

The rest of the dragons have now landed on the platform as the hawk escort land in the hanger in back of the Titan. Captain Powell has now found the bridge on the platform that has allowed him to have direct contact with the Titan. He steers it to land by the bluff where the temporary camp is located. Tarmac flies ahead to let the others know that the Desert Titan is now under their control. It comes in turning until it’s wingtip has formed a bridge up to its back and goes into a hover.

“He has agreed to help us defeat King Rockwell.” Captain Powell announces to the other. “Everyone, get on board. He can easily carry all of us back to camp.”

With the entire land patrol on the platform and the dragons flying escort, the Desert Titan soars back to the base, lands nearby and places a wingtip at the barrier base so the land patrol can get off of it.

“Three Titans allied to us, mech warriors to go,” Captain Powell says to the men and women with him as he exits the bridge control as everyone gets off of the flying Titan.

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Chapter 53 The Tec Replicator.

 

“Fantastic,” McDonald tells Captain Powell as he sees the Desert Titan floating next to the barrier wall. “You tamed us a flying aircraft carrier. Soon, I will turn him into a battleship for you with our new rail guns.”

“You have the Tec Replicator running?” ask Captain Powell in surprise.

“It’s huge,” answers McDonald. “It is housed in this large shed we had to build for it.”

“I have been able to make some special items with the resources we have so far,” McDonald tells Captain Powell. “Have Rollo and Tammy come over here. I have a surprise for them.”

“What is it?’ asks Tammy and Rollo as they come over to see what McDonald had made for them.

“I have some new weapons and armor for you to test out,” McDonald tells them. “Rollo, put this on. Then, help me put this tec armor on Tammy. When we fasten it on her, it will not only protect her better then that heavy stuff she had to wear when you confronted Eric Bloodaxe, it will also protect her wings from a surprise attack from those corrupted dragons.” The new tec armor is fitted onto Rollo, then on Tammy.

“McDonald, you are a genius!” Tammy tells him in surprise after being outfitted with her new tec armor. It hardly weighs anything.”

“Tammy, this is very important.” McDonald tells her. “Along with your new tec armor, you are now carrying two very powerful weapons mounted to your helmet. Those two antenna like things are called tec rifles. You are going to have the ability to use them against anything that is attacking you. Be very careful when you use them. You have already seen how they can one shot a corrupted dragon from the sky. Know what you are shooting at before you fire it.”

“When I have Rollo activate the weapon, both of you will have a targeting sight showing up in your vision along with a readout of how may shots you have left. Aim the weapon by moving your head and body to place the cross hair on the target. When you are ready to fire, Rollo will take the safety off. Think ‘Fire’ and the rail guns will fire on your target.”

Rollo activates the targeting console for Tammy. “That is interesting,” she tells him. “Now, I know how you are able to sight in on a target with your tec rifles.”

“Aim for the tree on that high platform,” Rollo tells her. “When you are ready, I’ll take the safety off so you can shoot at the target. When you get good at aiming, I’ll just tell you what I want to shoot at. As I have the same targeting information that you have, you won’t have to tell me when to fire at the target. Later, I’ll put the weapon on local so that you have complete control of it.”

Tammy takes aim at the distant tree telling Rollo that she is ready. He takes the safety off and places the control on local. Tammy thinks fire. A fraction of a second later, the tec rifle fires causing the tree up above to explode into a shower of splinter.

“Awk,” she says in shock as a result of the flash and crack of the tec rifle mounted so close to her head. “That scared the wits out of me.”

“Take a look at your target,” Rollo tells her.

“Where is it?” asks Tammy.

“Fly up there and look for it,” Rollo tells her.

“That’s incredible,” Tammy tells Rollo in surprise when she lands by the splintered stump. “There is no way that I could have done that much damage with my fire attack, especially from such a distance.”

“Take her out hunting,” Captain Powell radios to Rollo. “Let her get familiar with using the tec rifles. When she is used to targeting with the tec rifles, let her take control of firing them. Just remember, you have to reload those rifles after you have fired off 50 shots from each of them, so, pay attention to how many rounds you have left. They cannot be reloaded in flight. You will have to land somewhere so you can get off her to reload them. In a day or two, we will have tec armor and rifles for all the dragons.”

Tammy takes off to fly into the Wastelands with Rollo guiding her. She targets some corrupted creatures on the ground as Rollo takes them out using his remote. He then gives her complete control over the tec rifles mounted on her helmet. A corrupted rex bites the dust as Tammy is amazed by the firepower she is now controlling. Rollo spots a corrupted Rock Drake which is quickly taken out by Tammy. With its ammo exhausted, they land on an old structure so that Rollo can reload the tec rifles on her helmet to continue their training.

An ominous shadow shows up as Rollo completes the job. “Corrupted Dragons!” warns Rollo as he scrambles to get back on Tammy and turn on the local control. “A purple blast of fire hits Tammy on her left wing causing the edge of the tec armor to crackle in response. “Ow!,” Tammy yells. “That hurt!”

“You’re all right,” he tells Tammy as she takes off in a panic. “It’s a warning mechanism built into your armor. Target those corrupted dragons and take them out!”

Spinning about, she fires off a shot just missing the lead dragon coming after them. Taking better aim, she gets off a second shot that rips a hole in it’s wing causing it to spiral down to the ground. She gets off another shot at the second corrupted dragon as it unleashes it purple fire attack. It loses part of its claw on it’s wing as the tec armor crackles once again from the incoming blast of purple fire.

“Good shooting,” Rollo tells her. “Get on its tail and take it down.”

The second dragon fires another blazing blast of purple flame which completely misses as a result of Tammy’s pull up maneuver. Zooming ahead of Tammy, she dives back down targeting it’s head which explodes in a cloud of flesh and blood as two bolts from the tec rifles are right on target dropping it from the sky. Flying back towards the ground, she strafe the grounded attacker to finish it off.

“You did well!” a frightened Rollo tells her. “We should have never flown out here alone. Next time, we better have Tarmac with us so that he can watch our six when we have to reload.”

“That was so scary, and fun.” she tells Rollo.

“That was some good shooting back there once you were able to concentrate on your target.” Rollo tells her as they fly back to camp. “You will get better with more practice. Next time, we fly with a wing man.”

Landing back by the Tec Fabricator, Captain Powell and McDonald come over to inspect the performance of the new armor and tec rifles. “What the frack happened out there?” asks McDonald when he sees the damage done to the tec armor.

“We got ambushed by corrupted dragons while reloading.” Loki tells him. “Once we got airborne, Tammy took them out with the tec rifles.”

“Did you get hurt?” McDonald asks her.

“No, I’m fine,” she tells him. “It just stings when the armor gets hit by something.”

“You need to be more careful,” he tells her. “Every time your tec armor takes a hit, it will be weakened. If it breaks, you will lose it’s protection. I’ll get this damage repaired so it will be ready next time you go combat flying.”

“We better set up some auto turrets around the base targeted for corrupt creatures,” orders Captain Powell when he learns what has happened during the test flight. “As I feared, those corrupted dragons are becoming more common out there in that Wasteland. Rockwell must know what we are planning and is sending them in to harass us. We had better get a stronger base defenses set up and the rest of the tec gear crafted up as fast as we can.”

“I can rig up some defensive auto turrets and program them to target corrupt creatures,” McDonald tells Captain Powell. “I’ll also place two of them on our Desert Titan to help defend him from overhead air attacks.”

“Excellent,” Captain Powell tells him. “Get it done.”

“I have one problem.” McDonald tells him. “I am running out of resources for crafting everything up. I need a lot more corrupted nodules. Our Element supplies are running low. We are running out of lamp post to get the dust with the doed.”

“I’ll send out a patrol to harvest those corrupted creatures Tammy and Rollo took out.” answers Captain Powell.

“Those orbital supply drops out there are loaded with materials that we need,” reports McDonald. “However, they tend to be well defended. We tried to access one while you were gone but was forced to abandon it when we were hit by large numbers of corrupted creatures. We only got away because they targeted the capsule eventually destroying it.”

“We’ll go out and get you the corrupted nodules.” answers Captain Powell. “As soon as you can, craft up tec armor for me and Tarmac. Then, we will go out and access one of those supply drops with overwhelming firepower.”

The two new dragons, along with the four Forest ones, fly air patrol as they watch over a dozen Enforcers that head out to clean up the kills from Tammy’s target practice. They quickly load up with raw meat and corrupted nodules. Fortunately, there are no other corrupted creatures observed or any corrupted dragons seen. A Quitzel is found flying overhead but nothing else. Draco and Firefox guide it to the safety of the city.

Stopping at the Desert Titan, they feed it with the raw meat gathered by the enforcers. It is now fully healed from the rigors of having the corrupted nodules removed.

McDonald gets a large supply of corrupted nodules which he places in the Tec Replicator. Tec armor for Tarmac is soon crafted along with a set of armor for Captain Powell.

A meeting is called to assemble a force to go access a supply drop that is nearby. McDonald tells everyone what to expect once they activate it’s force field. Four of the personnel are assigned to ride on the Velonasaurs, the living machine guns, to provide ground support. The rest are on high level Enforcers with the dragons providing air cover. Because the dragons are going to be flying air support, Captain Powell has ordered the ground forces to be armed with pump shotguns. They are to use them on the flying targets since he doesn’t want to risk a dragon accidentally being hit by a tec weapon or sniper rifle. Tammy and Tarmac, with Rollo and Captain Powell riding on them, are going to supply heavy air support with their armor and tec rifles.

“I have modified their tec rifles to carry 500 shots each.” McDonald tells them. “That should give them plenty of ammo to avoid what happened with Tammy and Rollo yesterday.”

“Outstanding!’ Captain Powell tells him. “Lets get this show on the road.”

The patrol heads out to where one of the supply capsules has crash landed. Approaching it, Sargent Gullivar activates the force field which soon results in the screaming of every corrupted creature in the area. The ground forces place their Enforcer and the Velonasaurs in a circle to protect it. Spike fencing has been place to slow down the advance.

Meanwhile, Tammy and Tarmac have spotted four corrupted gigas advancing on the supply drop from the North. They dive down to attack the targets. “Tarmac, what’s wrong!” Captain Powell asks him in a panic.”

“I can’t get the tec rifles to fire,” he tells him.

“Just target those thing and I’ll use the remote to hit them,” orders Captain Powell. The tactic works as Tarmac targets a giga as Captain Powell pulls the trigger firing the tec rifles.

With the combined firepower of four tec rifles, the four attacking gigas are soon taken out.

“You have incoming!” warns Loki who is flying on Reigel.

“Watch what you are shooting at!” warns Captain Powell and Rollo as the two armored dragons turn to engage four corrupted dragons diving at them from above. Two volleys from the tec rifles drops the threats out of the sky.

Meanwhile, an organized wave of corrupted creatures hit the ground forces from all directions. Tammy and Tarmac strafe the t-rexes and spinos as they push through the force field eventually taking out the spike fences. The Velonasaurs are taking out the smaller creatures by the dozens with their darts as their riders fire upon the corrupted pteradons attacking them with shotguns. Some smaller creatures break through the defenses. They are taken out with the Enforcers and shotguns. The all out assault soon ends as the perimeter is covered with a circular mound of dead corrupted creatures.

“Jackpot,” McDonald announces as he accesses the ejection panel on the capsule. It contains a major stock of supplies, a load of Element, and several blueprints. The Enforcers are all loaded to the max as the stone and wood are pitched in favor of the bounty of more rare items.

Back at the base, the loot is cataloged and place in storage. Ten customized to fit tec armor for the rest of the dragons is being crafted up. So is the tec armor for their riders and everyone else. As that process gets under way, Captain Powell comes over with Tarmac to have McDonald check out why Tarmac can’t fire his weapons.

“Their must be a sensor out of alignment,” answers McDonald. “He should have been able to fire the tec rifles as easily as Tammy was.”

“I don’t know what the issue is with them,” Captain Powell tells him. “I had to fire his weapons with the remote.”

“Let me check it out,” orders McDonald. With the ammo removed, McDonald runs the system through a series of tests. Then, he puts on the tec armor he has crafted for Captain Powell.

“Tarmac, I know that you are bonded to Cleo and are a good friend of Captain Powell. I need to sit on you to find out why this thing isn’t working.”

“You may go ahead,” he answers. A series of test firings follow when McDonald finally gets off of Tarmac and has him place his head by a platform so McDonald can reach the weapons console on his helmet.

“I think that I found the problem,” McDonald tells Tarmac after clicking a connector solidly into a control box. “Give it a try now.”

“Click,” the two tec rifles respond.

“Captain Powell, Take Tarmac back out when I arm his weapons. Lets make sure that I have resolved this problem.”

Tarmac and Captain Powell head back out to the Wasteland testing out the tec rifles. Tarmac aims at a corrupted carno which explodes in a shower of blood and guts as the tec rifles fire on it.

“It’s working now,” Tarmac tells Captain Powell. They soon fly back to the base.

“How did two corrupted dragons get inside of the Green Dome?” asks Captain Powell to himself when he spots two dead ones near the Desert Titan. “Tarmac, land by them.” A quick inspection finds that they are the victims of the two auto cannons McDonald has placed on the Desert Titan prior to their leaving to raid the supply drop.

Back to base, Captain Powell tells McDonald that Tarmac’s tec armor is now working properly. “I never had the chance to fully test it before you two took off after the supply drop,” he tells him. “I’ll make sure that they are all tested before you have to rely on them in the final showdown.”

“Your little surprise that you placed on the Desert Titan paid off,” Captain Powell tells McDonald. “There are two dead corrupted dragons over behind him.”

“They must have tried to raid our base while we were gone,” answers McDonald. “You had better bring the other titans over here before something happens to them.”

“Sounds like a good idea,” answers Captain Powell. “I’ll send our Forest Dragons to get Grog, and Reigel with Paragon to get the Ice Titan and the Ice Jumpers.”

“Lets raid the rest of those nearby supply drops before we split up our dragon force to bring out Titan friends back here.”

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Chapter 54. The Final Battle for Earth.

 

With the tec rifles on Tarmac now working properly, Captain Powell organizes a raid on the four other supply drops sitting nearby in the Wasteland. Those raids go well with far less resistance then from the first one. “We must be killing off all of the corrupted creatures,” McDonald tells the patrol as they access the last drop for it’s supplies. As with the other supply drops, they get a full load of rare resources which include the blueprint for the fifth mech warrior.

Flying recon over an unexplored area of the Wasteland, Loki has spotted another outcropping of glowing purple crystals. Landing nearby, he confirms that they are made up of pure Element.

“Excellent,” both Captain Powell and McDonald tells him when he reports the find to them. “This will give us plenty of fuel for the Mechs and ammo for the tec weapons. We’ll take the Desert Titan over there and load him up with this find.”

The trip is made with the dragon escort and Enforcers riding on the platform. They ferry the Enforcers down for guard work, then transport the Element back to the Titan as Tammy and Tarmac fly air defense. The formation is harvested with very little resistance with the titan loaded with over 100 tons of Element.

Docking the Titan, his platform is outfitted with storage for the extra Element which is organized into fuel and ammo. Those are placed behind the Bridge where there is easy access for the dragons and Mech Warriors to get at it. The rest goes to the Tec Replicator as they are used to create and fuel the giant Mech Warriors.

The next morning, everyone is taking it easy as the two dragon groups go out to lead the other two Titans back to the base. They have all been outfitted with tec armor and weapons, even Drogon and Little Tammy.

“Five giant bloody robots,” Helena comments to Captain Powell when she sees them in the field outside the base. “Who’s going to control them?”

“You are,” Captain Powell tells her. “Refer to your notes on how they function in combat. McDonald, Masucci, Sargent Gulliver, and Private Ledfoot are going to operate these four. You’re in charge of the master mech so you can assemble them into Voltron when you reach the final assembly terminal in the Forbidden Zone.”

McDonald has requested a meeting with Captain Powell, Tammy, Tarmac, and Rollo. They all meet by the Tec Replicator building. “Put on this new tec armor and help me put these on Tammy and Tarmac.” The tec armor is put in place as the Captain Powell and Rollo get on their respective dragons. “You will notice that there is a new control feature next to the weapons console. Both of you, press that button marked Stealth and observe what happens.

“Interesting,” Captain Powell tells him. “I have a display in my targeting vision that looks like that of Owl in his radar mode.

“So do I,” answers Rollo

“So do I,” answers Tammy. “What does this mean?”

“Captain Powell, Look over at Tarmac, then take off your tec helmet.”

“Where did he go?” asks Captain Powell in surprise.

“We’re still here,” answers Rollo as he turns off the stealth as he and Tammy reappear.

“I have been able to give you Rock Drake’s stealth technology in these upgraded tec armor,” answers McDonald. “Unfortunately, I cannot modify any of the other tec armor with it. We only have these two control units which I obtained from that last supply drop. Be careful using it. I suspect that like the Rock Drakes when they are in stealth, if you get hit by something, you may become visible.”

“McDonald, you are a genus,” Captain Powell tells him. “This is exactly what we need to do a recon flight into the Forbidden Zone without being spotted. We’re going to fly over there now to plan out our attack.”

With the stealth mode activated, the two dragons fly due North to the beacons marking the Forbidden Zone. “My display is showing some kind of a huge tunnel ahead of us,” Warns Loki.

“We better fly in low through that,” answers Captain Powell. “It could be the boundaries of that death zone the beacons warn us about.”

The flight continues through the tunnel that is showing up on their stealth display. It eventually opens up where a huge clearing with a giant concrete parking lot like surface dominates the center. “Land here and use these rocks to help hide us,” orders Captain Powell. With their spotting scope, the two leaders observe what they are seeing ahead and take mental notes of the layout.

“There’s the terminal for assembling the Mech,” Loki tells Captain Powell. “Look at all of the corrupted nodules in the ground around here. They look like those thing that were infecting the Titans.”

Tarmac suddenly jumps in fright when he spots something huge in the distance, then quickly ducks back down. “Is that the King Titan Rockwell?” he asks in a nervous voice.

“Yes, it is,” answers Captain Powell. “Lets get the frack out of here before he spots us.” The two dragons take flight hugging the deck as they locate and fly back through the nearly invisible tunnel.

Back in the Wastelands, Loki has noticed a problem with his and Tammy’s stealth unit. “Captain Powell, I’m loosing my stealth ability. We are becoming visible again.”

“I having the same problem,” Captain Powell reports. “Frack, it just burned out.”

Landing back by the Tec Replicator, Captain Powell has McDonald come over to inspect the two stealth units. “The units must have been fried by the radiation from the Forbidden zone. There is no way to repair them. Were you able to get your Intel before they failed?”

“Our mission was a success,” Captain Powell tells him. “We found a safe passage in to where Rockwell lives. We found the assembler for the tech robots. We also found Rockwell. I’ve never seen any living thing that big before. It even startled Tarmac. As soon as our Titan friends arrive, I want to hold a tactical meeting for taking him out.”

“They had better hurry,” answers Loki. “That mass of asteroids is getting larger. It is about to blot out the sun. I have a very bad feeling about what might happens once it start gets dark around here.”

“I do to,” answers Captain Powell. “Good, here comes the other Titans. Lets have everyone meet up at the Desert Titan and formulate our attack plan.”

“Grog is here with the Forest Dragons,” Helena announces. “He is ready to fight King Rockwell.”

“Here comes the Ice Titan,” announces Loki. “It looks like he has brought along all of the Ice Jumpers with him.”

“We’re here to help,” Ferral tells Helena.

“Thank you for coming,” Helena tells him in dragon speak. “It’s good to see you again. We are going to need the help.”

It is a crowded platform as Captain Powell conducts the planning meeting. “When we reach the edge of the Forbidden Zone, we will need to go in low to avoid the deadly radiation surrounding the entrance at the beacons. Once inside, we will have room to maneuver. The Mechs will be in the lead as they need to reach the assembly terminal as quickly as possible. They will be followed by our three Titans with our dragons flying air support. Ground support will be dropped off from the Desert Titan as soon as we enter the arena.”

“Helena has warned me that the corrupted nodules we observed on the concrete floor are the source of the corrupted creatures that have been attacking us. Take them out as quickly as possible so we are not overwhelmed by them.”

“We need to protect the Mechs until they get assembled. Then, we will supply as much support as possible as it goes after King Titan Rockwell.”

“I need not tell you that this will not be an easy fight. Rockwell is far bigger then the Desert Titan. He may have other powers that we are not aware of. He has to be taken out at all cost before he destroys the Earth resulting in our extinction.”

“Be careful using the tec rifles. Know whats beyond your target. Make every shot count.”

“Cleo, you’re back on your friend Tarmac. I’m taking command of the Desert Titan for this mission. Major Powell and Lt Jerry will be with me to help everyone get resupplied with ammo and take care of your injuries. I suspect that we will be a major target so I’ll have our Forest Dragons and our newcomers do their best to protect us.”

“Lets saddle up and get this show on the road.”

Forming up on the five Mechs the titans follow from behind with the dragons flying air cover and the other two titans following the Desert one. All the land patrol are on Enforcers or Velonasaur ready to be deployed to the ground as soon as they have reached the Arena.

While McDonald has been unable to obtain any more stealth units, he has been able to outfit all of the tech armor with Owl radar vision. It is something that will quickly pay off once the battle takes place.

“Owl Vision,” orders Helena as she sees the dark shadow approaching from the West as the lead mech enters into the Forbidden Zone. “It will outline the death zone for you.”

Suddenly, it gets very dark as the mass of asteroids has now crossed the path of the sun. Lightening starts lighting up the sky as they continue forward. The wind has changed direction as the dust and debris kicks up, further obscuring everyone’s vision. They are still in the tunnel when a flying force of some 20 corrupted dragons and 60 pteradons is spotted heading directly towards them.

“When you hit them, don’t let them force you into the death zone,” warns Captain Powell. “Don’t try to turn around in this confinement and end up getting killed. We’ll take out what gets by you.”

Tec rifles are blazing on the Dragons as most of the attackers get dropped. Three corrupted dragons fly past with several of their pteradon escorts. The auto cannons on the platform open fire taking them out. One corrupted dragon flies up into the death zone above in an effort to dive bomb the bridge on the Desert Titan. It soon comes tumbling out of the sky crashing into the platform behind the Bridge while screaming in pain. Lt. Jerry puts it out of its misery with his tec rifle.

The Mechs have now cleared the confines of the tunnel entering the huge very dark arena. Rail Guns are blazing as they are taking out a wave of corrupted Gigas waiting for them. “Target those corrupted nodules,” orders Rollo as he spots more corrupted creatures coming out of them.

“The land force quickly departs the Desert Titan as he hovers next to a structure that forms a natural ramp. The dragons are targeting corrupted nodules taking many of them out as corrupted dragons and gigas are climbing out of them. Rockwell is soon spotted heading towards them as the Mech head directly for the assembly terminal.

“Get the Titans between Rockwell and the Mechs,” orders Captain Powell as the battle continues. The forward rail guns on the Desert Titan open fire as the ones on the helmet of the Ice Titan responds in kind. Ice Jumpers are hitting smaller corrupted creatures in force. Several corrupted spinos go down. One ice jumper falls to the deck near the bridge mortally wounded as Major Powell goes over to comfort him at his last moments.

Suddenly, the entire platform shakes violently as Rockwell grabs the Desert Titan by a wing. He lets go when the now assembled Voltron hits him in the face with it’s fist.

It is a rough landing as the Desert Titan crashes to the ground badly wounded. “Is there anything you can do for him?” ask Captain Powell as he leaves the bridge.

“Unfortunately, no,” answers Major Powell in alarm. Owl can’t heal anything that big. He is already out of stamina trying to heal ice jumpers. They are taking a beating out there.”

“Lets keep our supply platform operational as long as possible,” orders Captain Powell as he grabs a tec rifle out of the bridge footlocker.

Flying above Rockwell, Christina asks Eric a question in a panic. “Why don’t they form the blazing sword?”

“They probably can’t so long as Rockwell keeps hitting them,” Eric answers.

“Can we blind him?” Drogon asks Eric.

“Yes, we most certainly can,” answers Eric. “We still have ammo left for your tec rifle. Little Tammy, form up on me. Lets take out an eye with the tec rifles.”

Diving at high speed, the two young dragons cut loose with their tec rifles on Rockwell’s left eye. They get several direct hits which breaks Rockwell’s concentration on the Voltron. He swats the two dragons out of the sky as a blazing sword is formed. The battle soon ends when Rockwell loses his head.

The impact to the ground is hard as the foursome crash next to the downed Desert Titan. All of the tec armor gets broken by the impact. Drogon has broken a wing and is crying from the pain as Eric crawls over to be by his friend. Little Tammy and Christina are laying nearby. They are not moving. It looks like that the end is near as a corrupted spino spots them when the sound of a machine gun takes it out. “Way to go pin cushion,” Eric says in a painful voice as the Velonasaur stands guard over them. Then all goes blank as he passes out.

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Chapter 55 Reborn

 

The sun is shining down brightly from a beautiful clear sky as Eric regains conscious. Drogon is laying next to him nuzzling his body with his head. Major Powell helps him stand up as Christina and Little Tammy comes over to check up on him.

“Drogon! Are you all right?” Eric asks him as he gets up.

“I’m fine,” Drogon answers. “Owl healed up my broken wing when you passed out.”

“What happened,” Eric asks Captain Powell when he comes over to see him.

“You four are war hero,” Captain Powell tells them. “You distracted Rockwell just long enough so Helena could have Voltron form it’s blazing sword to kill him.”

“Where’s Owl? The Ice Jumpers, Pincushion? Our Titan allies?

“That is the strangest thing about what just happened here today,” answers Captain Powell. “When the darkness ended all the corrupted creatures, even our friends and tames with the purple veins, just vanished. We lost all of our tec armor, weapons, and anything else powered by element. Those of us that had Specimen Implants have now lost them as well. We only have the clothes on our back and our basic gear in a backpack. We got a message saying ‘Survival Quotient Determined’ just before they vanished.”

“Then, we won?” asks Eric.

“Yes,” answers Loki as he arrives on Reigel. “The Earth has been saved. All the corrupted creatures are gone. Our friends with the purple veins as well. Even the Enforcers are gone. But we were told that we can keep our dragon friends for as long as they want to remain with us.”

“That is great!” Eric tells his father. “Drogon is such a wonderful dragon friend, I don’t know what I would do without him.”

“I’m so glad that you found him in his hour of need.” Reigel tells Eric. “He thinks the world of you.”

“I’m so happy that he is here with me,” answers Eric. “I was so afraid that I had lost him after we made that desperate move to distract Rockwell.”

“The important thing is that your mission was a success,” answers Captain Powell. “Lets get back to camp in the Green Zone and start exploring this reborn new world.”

The sun has now risen high in the sky as the weather in the Wastelands has moderated with a light breeze from the East. There is no sign of the orbiting mass of asteroids. All the beacons marking the Death Zone are no longer active. The Blue Dome to the North East is no longer there, but the snow capped mountains beyond remain. There are lights all over the sky that are descending towards the Earth that vanish beyond the horizon. Then, there is a rumbling noise to the South as a huge object, clearly recognizable as an Ark slowly descends down from above, it’s three giant supporting pillars landing it gently into the huge crater in the South. Once landed, the glistening dome vanishes. Tammy and Tarmac fly up to the highest point in Sanctuary City so that Rollo and Cleo can get a better look at the Ark that has landed to the South.

“Oh, my Gosh!” Rollo says when he places the spotting scope on the landmass he can see beyond the sea. “That looks like Viking’s Bay.” They fly back to the patrol that is mostly on foot hiking back to their base in the Green Zone.

“You are not going to believe what just landed South of the city,” Rollo tells Captain Powell. “It looks like the Ragnarok Ark. I can clearly recognize Viking Bay from the vantage point of the skyscraper.”

“Incredible,” Captain Powell tells him. “Instead of us teleporting back to Ragnarok, Ragnarok came down to us.”

“Then, it is true,” Major Powell remarks. “That voice and giant image that looked like Helena, after we had killed Rockwell, told us that this was going to happen. That the Arks were returning to earth to help heal the planet and restore life back to normal.”

“What are we going to feed our dragon friends if the Ark creatures are all gone?” asks Loki.

“I think that they will be OK,” answers Dianna. “I am seeing elk, wolves, and wild sheep up in the mountains in what used to be the Death Zone. There will be sufficient game around here for them to thrive.”

“There’s plenty of supplies for us to live on in the shelter until we can become self sufficient with farming,” Michael tells the other as he dismounts from Molly so that she can fly free for a while.

“I’m wondering what we are going to find when we return to the Green Zone?” asks Captain Powell.

“I guess that we will know once we get there,” answers McDonald.

While walking, the trip back takes much of the afternoon. Prehistoric herbivores are observed in the distance as they are grazing on the berry bushes that are now showing a lot of green color. Turning a corner around a boulder, Sargent Gulliver nearly runs into a Trike. It looks at him with curiosity, then proceeds to continue grazing.

“Well, it looks like that they won’t be a threat so long as we don’t harm them,” comments Helena as she goes up to examine the trike. She offers it a hand full of berry bushes which the trike accepts. “It will be a lot different to be able to passive tame these creatures instead of knocking them out like we used to do.”

Reaching the door to the camp, they open it up to see what is left. The Doed and anklyo, come over to Helena looking for handouts and attention.

“Looks like they are still domesticated,” Helena tells the others as she rides the Ankylo outside, then takes his saddle and bridle off so he can graze in the field nearby. “We’re going to have to relearn how to use them given that they no longer have inventories that we can access.”

“It’s the same with our dragon friends,” reports Rollo. “They don’t have their inventories any more. They have back packs on them just like we do.”

“Indeed,” reports Cleo. “Tarmac has raw meat in his along with some of our supplies.”

“We’ll have to set up a purification station for our drinking water,” reports Major Powell. “Our pond is going to be quickly unsafe for drinking once the natural bacteria return to it.”

“Did Andy just go over to the pond to get a drink?” asks McDonald.

“Yes, he did,” answers Helena. “It looks like that all of the creatures here will now need to obtain drinking water like we do.”

“It looks like the laws of Nature are going to behave the way they did before we ended up on Ragnarok,” Major Powell tells the others. “If you are outside of our camp, be watchful of the environment out there. The wild creatures may start behaving differently then we are used to. Be careful of approaching any nest you start finding out there, their mothers may start getting very protective of them and of any offspring that may soon start showing up around here.”

It has been a long exhausting day as the sun starts setting in the West for the first time since their arrival on Earth. Captain Powell organizes the night watch as the rest settle down for the night. Even the dragons are laying down next to their mates and their bonded humans as they soak in all of the attention from them. The full moon rises in the East in the bright starlit sky. There are no Arks, or strange planet visible anywhere in the night sky.

“This is like paradise,” Rollo tells Tammy as he is rubbing her forehead.

“That feels sooo good,” she tells him. “Will we be able to fly back to Vikings Bay in the morning?”

“If you can fly across that long stretch of open water, I don’t know why not,” Rollo tells her. “If not, our longboats can easily make that trip in half a day. They can bring the rock drakes and the young dragons with them.”

The night remains quiet with the occasional splash from a wild pteradon that is fishing in the pond for a meal. A spitter has been hanging around the north fence. Even though wild, it has not posed a threat to the night watch. Olaf gives it a dodo that has impaled itself in the spike fence. The spitter accepts the offering eating part of it, then burying the rest next to the fence for later. He hangs around allowing himself to be petted, even appearing to be enjoying the attention.

“This is so much different from their normal behavior,” Helena tells Olaf when she comes out to take watch and the dilo comes up to her for attention. “They are starting to behave like their Jurassic cousins, yet, they have retained the intelligence of domesticated animals.”

Helena has observed that the predators are only hunting when they are naturally hungry, there is none of the constant chasing and fighting that has been the norm under an Ark environment. They avoid any confrontation with the larger herbivores only going after the weak or injured. In the days to come, she learns that the balance between the two has now been stabilized to a real environmental level as it was back in the Jurassic period and beyond.

That morning, a patrol is assembled to head South to the sea. All the dragons fly escort exploring through the city as the land forces hike to the southern border. The weather has cooled considerably from the constant hot dry 95*F. It is actually quite cold as the patrol starts out but warms up to a comfortable temperature as they leave the bounds of the city to enter the wasteland which is starting to green up.

A weather front moves in from the West soaking everyone from the rain as they seek shelter in the ruins of an abandoned hanger. It is an easy access for the dragons given that the doors have been blown away by a meteorite strike some time ago. “If we can find some way to haul them back, we can use these tools and plutonium power unit for fabricating additional items we will need.”

“We can use the horses from Ragnarok to pull a wagon,” Helena tells him. The rain soon quits as the sun returns in a partly cloudy hazy sky.

“Oh My Gosh! Is that the Philadelphia?” Masucci says in alarm as he spots a rusting hulk of a WW2 warship wedged in the rocks decked out with antenna arrays.

“Can it’s existence still change our history?” Captain Powell ask.

“The ship is dead,” reports Dianna as she and Loki fly back from a quick inspection. “It’s back is broken. It looks like it has been resting on the ocean floor for over 100 years.”

“Thank God! That nightmare is now over,” Masucci says in relief.

Reaching where the huge crater used to be in the South, they find a metal wall that looks like the ones that had seen in the Snow and Desert Biome. They find a place where they can climb up to the top to observe a most remarkable site. “That definitely looks like Viking’s Bay,” Captain Powell tells the rest as he observes the distant shoreline with the spotting scope.

“Can we fly across?” ask Rollo.

“If your dragons can fly that distance, go ahead,” answers Captain Powell. “Take Cleo, Tarmac, Loki, Reigel, Dianne, and Paragon with you. You can use the skyscraper as a landmark to find your way back here.”

The rest of the patrol set up camp as the four dragons make their flight across to Viking’s Bay.

Back in the village, Coronal Powell has sounded the alarm when he hears that four dragons are flying in from the strange land mass, with towering structures, that has appeared on the horizon. “How did you get back to Ragnarok?” he asks when they land in front of him. “Where did you find these two dragons and the woman riding on the female?”

“This is going to be a major shock to everyone here,” answers Rollo. “This Ark has landed into a huge crater on the Earth. You are looking at Sanctuary City on the other side of the sea.”

“Incredible,” answers Coronal Powell. “We have finally returned to Earth. We knew that something had happened. We just didn’t know what happened. Is there any way to get over there to see Captain Powell and my wife?”

“Fly back on Tarmac,” Cleo tells him. “I’ll get the longboats organized to sail across with the Rock Drakes. Sleeper and Slumber want to join you so they can be with their human friends. Flame and Torch want to come with their friends as well.”

“Try to leave someone here to mind the fort,” answers Coronal Powell. “There has to be a lot that need to be done before we can make Earth our permanent home.”

It is late afternoon when a large flock of dragons return to the temporary camp where the others are exploring. “Sleeper, Slumber,” both Masucci and Barbara say in surprise when they see the two poison dragons land by them. “We really missed you.”

“I now understand why Captain Powell had me bond with you,” Macy tells Belvelto. “Barbara and Sleeper are inseparable.”

“It certainly was not her fault,” answers Belvelto. “She never realize how serious you dragons take the commitment of being bonded to one of us.”

“Thank you for being such a good friend,” Macy tells him. But then, her attention gets focused on four strange dragons that come in to land on the wall nearby. Molly, Tina, and Gracy are also staring at them as well.

“Reigel, I have kept my promise,” Tammy tells him. These young bachelors are looking for mates.

Dismounting, the four riders of the four female dragons give them permission to go pick out a mate and get acquainted with them. It is quite a shuffle as the eight all crowd together. Eventually they separate out in pairs as there is a lot of dragon speak going on. They all look so happy.

“Thank you so much,” Loki tells Tammy. “Reigel can now concentrate with being with Paragon without the forest dragons constantly pestering him for attention.”

The next morning, a huge reunion is taking place as the Longboat fleet pulls into the edge of the Ragnarok wall. The Rock Drakes hop out to meet their riders. Lisa and Eddie greet their Rock Drake friends. Everyone is sharing the adventures of the past couple of weeks.

By the end of the week, a trade route has been set up between Sanctuary City and the village of Viking’s Bay. A new village is being constructed by the wall as the Earth continues healing up. The Southern plains by the wall has greened up considerably having been turned into farms and pastureland. Many of the prehistoric creatures roaming in Earth are successfully tamed and put to use.

It turns out to be the same story around the Earth at all of the thousands of places where Arks have landed in the craters from where they originated. Their occupants soon leave the boundaries of those Arks to explore and settle in the newly healing Earth, even those of Grumpy Town which has landed in the Western Deserts of Australia. It’s just punishment to Eric Bloodaxe and his enforcers, who just hate the life in that harsh desert climate.

 

Thus ends that most interesting adventure of what ever happened to the crew of Training Flight 19 and the crew of the flying boat sent looking for them.

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