After forcing Lance through the air vent Artha looked around the room. There was no way he could get out on his own. Smoke filtered in from one of the other rooms, making it really hard to see. Suddenly the wall behind him caved in. Waving an arm in front of his face the oldest Penn looked up.
His father's newest dragon, Beau, was standing there. With a shake of his large head Beau motioned for Artha to climb on. After a second's hesitation the young man swung himself up on the dragon's broad black and gold shoulders. As soon as he was on the large dragon froze for a moment.
A brilliant gold flash surrounded them, temporarily blinding the black haired teen. When it faded a golden star-shaped mark appeared of Beau's forehead. The mark matched the pendent that hung around Artha's neck; Beau had chosen his Dragon Booster.
Artha shook his head in disbelief as the large black and gold dragon moved to the other side of the room. Beau shook his head much in the same way as his rider before rearing up on his hind legs. The 16-year old cling to the large neck as Beau moved. With a roar the dragon launched himself and his rider at the wall in front of him.
Outside Lance looked up in surprise as the wall buckled and caved. Seeing Beau land in front of him with Artha on his back was a big surprise as well. The small red head stood there for a moment, staring at his brother.
"Beau chose… you?" he asked looking wide- eyed at his older brother.
"Yeah. It looks like he did." The oldest Penn replied putting a hand on his dragon's head.
Beau leaned into the hand for a moment before his head snapped back in the direction of the stable. Artha reached down and pulled Lance up while the dragon waited patiently. As soon as they were both settled the black and gold dragon took off; away from Moordryd and his Dragon Eye crew.
After moving far enough away Beau let both of his passengers off before turning back to look at the stables. Moordryd had noticed him and started after him with his crew members. Looking around the dragon noticed the unstable sign for Penn Stables. All it needed was a little push to make it fall and he was just the dragon to do it.
Concentrating he used a mag-blast to make the sign even more unstable. Just as Moordryd came around the corner the sign shook and fell, landing right in his path. The young Paynn hesitated for a moment before having his dragon, Decepshun, leap through the sign. He looked around and saw the tip of a black and gold tail vanish over the edge of the railing.
"What?" was the only sound that escaped him as the other members of his crew came up behind him.
Meanwhile, Artha and Lance had climbed back up onto Beau but they had no way out. Then Lance noticed a building across from them. He pointed it out to Artha who said it was too far for Beau to jump; they would never make it. The dragon beneath them rumbled in disagreement. The black haired teen shot the dragon a look like 'Are you crazy?' Beau merely smiled a toothy dragon smile.
Turning back he started running. Artha and Lance had no choice but to hang on tight. As they got closer and closer to the edge a strange thought occurred to Artha. It was something his father had said. It was "Release the dragon." The more he thought about it the more he seemed to think it was possible.
Seemingly without his knowing it he had been repeating the phrase under his breath for the past few moments. While he had been doing that Beau had somehow been able to speed up and had braced himself for the jump. Using his hind legs for most of the force the large black and gold dragon propelled himself and his two riders out into space.
They flew out and it seemed like they were going to miss but Beau landed as safely as he could. Despite that he still skidded halfway across the top of the building. Artha and Lance were knocked off when he hit a small sign on in his path. Moordryd and Cain came down the ledge that they had just left and only saw Beau by himself. It made him really mad but Cain held him back by saying that their dragons wouldn't make the jump and that it was a miracle that the black and gold dragon had made it.
With a growl the young Paynn had Decepshun turn and head for home. He knew his father wasn't going to be happy with him and for so many reasons. Today really was not his day. What Moordryd didn't know was the Beau had retrieved his riders and had taken off into Squire's End. When the slightly panicked dragon finally stopped running Artha used his wrist communication to call his friend Parmon Sean.
After about ten minutes of waiting in the dark they heard the sound of heavy footsteps above them. Beau tensed, clearly preparing to mag his young riders and escape. After a second a large Bull-class dragon dropped down in front of them. It was Parm and Cyrano. Artha relaxed and patted the dragon behind him to reassure him that everything was OK.
"What are you three doing in squire's End? This is where the Down City crews live and not even Dragon City Security comes down here." Parm ranted as soon as he was on the ground.
"Well, this is where Beau stopped running after our house was burned. Someone was after Beau and tried to steal him. As it is we barely escaped." Artha said gesturing to the dragon behind him.
"Ah well, that's not good. Who would try to steal Beau?" the young techwiz asked looking skeptical.
Shrugging Artha said, "I don't really know. All I really do know is that they were from one of the Down City crews. That's all I really know."
Parm was about to say something when Lance interrupted with, "I'm hungry," in a whiney voice. The red head responded to that by saying that since they didn't have any drakkles or gear they would have a hard time feeding themselves and Beau. Life was about to get a lot harder.
After think for a moment Artha made the suggestion that he become a dragon racer. Parm dismissed the idea quickly because he didn't have another dragon and he couldn't ride Beau; he was too easy to recognize. Artha then said that he could ride another dragon. At that Beau shook his head and seemed to pool his energy. When he released the energy his colors changed from black and gold to red and blue.
All eyes were on him in slight shock. Lance seemed ecstatic about that; now Artha could ride Beau and not have him recognized. Artha nodded to his dragon and his friends. Parm handed him his father's old racing jacket and the three of them set off to find the registration for the All-City races.