Disclaimer: RedDragonX does not own, will never own, though he wishes on occasion he really did own: Spyro the Dragon. All characters relating to or known to take part in the video game series are the property (unfortunately), of Activision. I do, however, own all characters of my own creation and any other asinine conceptions I might concoct within the insane asylum that is sometimes my imagination. (they will get due credit below)


Prologue:

Rescued

How long had it been? A few hours? Perhaps a few days? For all he possibly knew or understood, it had been an eternity of unknowing.

Explosions of white. Streaks of red. Was it a bright light that finally shook him free of such torments? The nightmares never ended. The saddest part about it was that he was stuck on repeat. A blank slate. Was he doomed to live out the rest of his days in this pathetic existence?

Whenever that flash came, he could only appreciate it as a savior. A divine presence descending from the heights above to deliver him from eternal suffering. Of course, he would never be truly free to realize just how wrong he could be.

At least … not yet ...

With an abnormally loud thud, his "rescue" began. The clicking of talons and grunts of twisted amusement were all that could be comprehended at the time; along with various flashing lights that helped facilitate his arrival.

The buzz of meters and grinding of gears polluted the airs encircling him, along with a coat of grimy ooze beginning to peel away from shadowy scales.

"I swear, I'll never get use to such an archaic system. Tell me once again: how have we managed to develop such strides in aquatic algae management but have yet to fully refine a more simple solution to suspended animation?"

"I swear, if you pester me any more about this today I'll ensure you're sent right back to those algae management duties. Is it not enough to know that it works efficiently? Can you please just be satisfied with that simple knowledge? Who cares about appearances so long as you get results."

A huff and rather accepting chuckle rang through his ears; tail starting to slap across the grates.

"I want him cleaned up within the hour. If this is to go as planned, he will need to be fully briefed."

"Fully?"

"Well, you know what I'm getting at. We can't be taking any chances on this Perry … I'm staking my reputation on this going halfway smoothly."

Another sigh broke out, followed by a groan emanating deep within his chest and out his muzzle. He could feel the metallic cords starting to twist and squeeze against his scales. Within moments, he was lifted from the floor. A violent wave of forceful suction erupted from the grates below him, draining any remaining gels from the canister.

"I can't say I'm a fan of this either. Next time we visit the Senate I will make a point of supporting a motion to present better applications and resources-"

"Enough! Even if I was going back there any time soon, you're more then aware you don't have a voice upon the floor. I have my orders and you have yours. Prep him right away, I expect to fully brief him as soon as possible. Understand? Good."

With that, the clicking of talons against metal was heard along with the shuffling of armor. His eyes remained halfway shut, still unable to adjust so early. It didn't help when a blinding spotlight started burning against his frame, causing an audible hiss.

Another halfway defeated sigh was made. The electronic clicking of a thick door was the only thing that followed; light screeches of protest echoing upwards from the gears.

At least this heat had a purpose, albeit greatly at the expense of his diluted senses. His wings were forcefully pushed away from his scales, accompanied by yet more discomfort. The ooze dripped off his frame as he began to regain more and more comprehension.

Turning his thoughts inward, he began once more attempting to make any sense of his dreams. To his dismay, they started to drip away. If only he could reach out and ensnare them. They were all he had even if not immensely pleasant. It was a pointless struggle. Every time they evaded his capture. Losing sight of a pointless objective, he relented and hung his head.

"Every … time … "

Her head slowly perked up from the various instruments before the slender draken. A silver brooch graced her neck, displaying a draconic symbol that for years past decorated the heavens themselves. His heartbeat rose slowly and pulse evened out. A small smile started to appear along her snout.

A calm presence could be felt, and as the machine continued to adjust his frame with eagerness, he focused on forcing his eyelids open. Moments later, the blurred vision started to piece together.

She was gazing straight back at him, unmoving and unflinching. Though, based upon her eyes alone, he could already gather that a mixture of both excitement and fear was pulsing within her breast.

Those eyes, she could never really forget them. Rich as sapphire gem stones, and seemingly bottomless pits. Yes, she would never forget such an aspect. His shadow dark scales stood out amongst the brightness. Powerful limbs represented his significant strength, and the golden plates of his underbelly shined all the more intensely. The crescent like blades which crowned his tail were quite unique, and the five horns extending outwards and upwards from his skull gave the visage of a royal crest. The two side horns were formed of solid bone, but the rear three were made up of an enigmatic crystal substance. Even with those features, it wasn't his most defining trait.

She slowly moved away from the panel, stepping towards the glass barrier as coolant was released via massive vats and pipes beneath the grates. Further inspection revealed the markings etched upon his hide. Such an interesting pattern, and seemingly burned into his being. It began at the crest of his skull and extended down his spine before separating at his shoulder blades, each trail of runes spreading across his chest to form an X. They continued the pattern across his underbelly before meeting once more on his lower spine; rejoining and capping off at the base of the tail blades.

Numerous studies had been made, but none concluded with any substance. The language wasn't known to any dragon lore, nor that of species long past. It was, at such an end, a dead language carved out upon his very flesh.

It was painful for her to comprehend any such barbaric ritual. Would anyone willingly have such an an action taken upon them? Dragon or otherwise, it was a violation of the very spirit.

"That is of course … if he was even willing." She whispered to herself, causing the male dragons' frame to twitch upwards, snout finally rising from the floor and become fixated on her position beyond the glass.

Those eyes once more locked upon her own, causing a shiver to burst down the spine and throughout her limbs. Then, she let her muzzle curl upwards again to form a friendly smile, teeth flashing as he was lowered towards the floor rapidly. "Welcome back … Arus."


"Your orders may have been approved by Consul Kalog, Legate – but as you know, such an action will not be taken lightly by the Co-Consul. The two of them already have their share of differences, but at this rate, it will be hard to keep the Senate halfway civilized." Issued a voice from the communications panel before a large, graphite colored drake.

Beside his frame rested a golden plated helmet designed specifically for one worthy of his position. Rich plumes of red emanated upwards from the crest of the helm, which was further decorated with the visage of the heavenly dragon. His shoulders were draped with a rich crimson cloak that poured down his body, hiding much of his mass from view.

He sighed and rubbed his forehead. "If Marcus was so worried about it then perhaps he should have been there when the Senate was in session! Such matters are brought up on a daily basis. It would seem that he always makes himself readily available when discussing matters of supply and financial compensation for the labor force. Why is it he can't force himself to be in attendance when a true matter of Imperial security stirs up?"

The voice seemingly hesitated before coughing up an answer. "Consul Marcus is quite busy as of late. You know how often he leaves the capital for-"

"I'm well aware. As is most of the Senate. Unfortunately, that will not do him any favors when elections roll around next year. The simple truth is that this matter must be addressed with haste. We do not have time to debate it, nor would I have the sanity. If the Consul is still upset with the decision then he can take it up with Kalog, but leave me to my own devices. I've been issued my orders, I now plan on proceeding with them."

Silence was his response, and the older dragon couldn't help but half-smirk to himself.

"He will want a full session when he returns. I would keep that in mind for the next few days if I were you Legate. Until then, Hail Praxus."

His bronzed eyes turned upwards slightly, gazing at a golden scepter laced with various jewels, crowned by the same heavenly dragon, which currently rested upon his desk.

"Yes … Hail Praxus."

Silence was all that followed as the communicator powered down. The dragon lifted himself upwards, sight still not having left the golden scepter resting but a few inches away. It was quite an entertaining notion. Years of service and blood were behind him, yet, all he had to show for it was this golden trinket? He only chuckled and shook his strong head, loosening his jaw concurrently.

Of course, it really was much greater then that. Only a Legate was allowed such a symbol in their society. Any other drake or draken who refused to acknowledge his authority was immediately sentenced to death. If they were lucky, a quick one.

It was the only life he'd ever known, and in essence, the only one who could ever have desired for himself. A firm electronic tone broke his thoughts, followed by yet another voice.

"Legate, there is an officer here. She demands an immediate audience."

Eyes perked upwards in slight annoyance. It wasn't very often a lesser officer demanded audience with one of his stature. Issues like this were better left to the chain of command, and such a breakdown only riled up his typically resolute mindset.

"Name, rank and purpose Centurion."

"Designation: Razeth. Rank of Optio, currently on assignment from the staff headquarters of Co-Consul Marcus. She wishes to discuss current orders from the Senate."

A small sneer rapidly broke out upon his features. He literally just got off the line about this matter and already the Consul had taken action to make sure the game remained in balance. This was going to be a possible variance in the operation. Nevertheless, he had no choice.

"Very well, grant her entry."

The intercom switched off and the door slid open, three shadows appearing from beyond. Claws clicked forward and his gaze sat in stone upon them. His office was built much like a throne room; a set of stairs separating his desk from the audience floor below, giving off an image of superiority.

"Interface: Re-adjust to light factor four." He commanded.

Not moments later, the room was awash with brightened vision, displaying many various trophies and decorations about the walls. An immense window was behind him, giving off a landscape view of vast sky scrappers and industrial complexes; smoke and gas billowing upwards. Two red banners, both bearing the typical heavenly dragon, hung on standards to each side of him.

His gaze didn't falter as the three dragons proceeded to the base of the stairs. The two flanking the middle figure were of the typical variety. One was a Centurion, a more senior officer within the army organization. The other, nothing more then the typical recruit. Both were decorated in strong metal breastplates and greaves; shoulder mounted devices also supplied to them. The Centurion wore a more elaborate headdress, designed in a similar fashion to the Legates'. Both were physically larger then their third companion.

Bronze orbs rotated and fixated upon the draken. This was also a rare pleasure. Females were not often suited to military roles within the Empire. All three brought their legs to attention and crossed the right forearm across the chest.

"Hail Praxus!" they spoke in unison.

He waited several moments before returning the gesture in kind, though, he said nothing.

The draken stepped forward ahead of the others, resting one forelimb against the lowest step before bowing slightly.

"Legate Xalanth, it is an honor to address you. I've heard … quite a great deal about your accompli-"

"Tell me Optio, has it become common-place within your command to be so informal with your superiors?" His eyes burned into her hide, taking the moment of hesitation to examine her more closely.

Her frame was very well built, larger then the average female and stockier, yet not to the point where you would think her an actual drake. The scales beneath her armor were a bright shade of green along with a pear colored underbelly.

She shifted some before turning her gaze upwards, moving back from the step and puffing her chest somewhat. A small buzz emanated from her helmet before the metal started sliding backwards into the mechanical sheath behind her skull, finally revealing her honey colored eyes and femininely unique gaze. A total of six horns decorated her skull, the two largest stretching out and forward. Two more sets followed the same pattern further down her neck, creating a mandible like image.

"My … apologies your excellency. I can assure you, I am well versed in all manner of military traditions and standards. Though … I will openly state, I do think this command is a bit uptight in certain areas. You would do well to cheer things up a bit around here in my opinion, and with all due respect."

His eyes narrowed slowly, fixated upon the half smirk she was prominently displaying. The two drakes beside her shifted somewhat, the recruit receiving a stiff glare from the Centurion for stifling a chuckle. Yes, this was going to be somewhat problematic, but unfortunately, he wasn't in any position to dismiss her.

"How I decide to run my command is my business Optio. Either way, I would really like to be briefed about your presence here, and how it materialized so … quickly." His strong shoulders relaxed somewhat before falling back onto his haunches.

An amused expression once more found her beak like snout. She quickly regained her bearing, knowing it would do no favors to anger a drake like Xalanth. "I was assigned to be the military liaison between Co-Consul Marcus and Eighteenth Legion. The Consul was more then aware of the discussions taking place between his counterpart, the Consul Kalog, and our governing body. Let's just say … we had a feeling that something like this could happen. He made sure to take all manner of contingencies."

His teeth started grinding together, rocking back on his haunches slightly before turning quickly, his long, red cloak flowing freely behind him as he proceeded towards the landscape view of the city. Yes, he would have to manage such an interference carefully. He would have to play the game.

"So, I take it the Consul wishes you to remain here, reporting everything you see while questioning our every effort?"

"I'm not here to sabotage anything your excellency. In fact, the Consul wishes me to offer whatever support I possibly can to ensure your success. This is a very delicate matter to the Empire, and he wishes to see it prosper just like any of us would. He would also like to extend an offer of full financial support, along with whatever resources you may require."

Xalanth only smirked to himself, staring out over the endless chasm of towers. Marcus was no fool, and despite her best efforts to make him think otherwise, she wasn't either.

"That won't be necessary, Optio. You may inform the Consul that all preparations have been taken to ensure the success of our mission. I will allow you to take up residence in the barracks located in the delta wing. We will offer detailed reports along with-"

"I must ask your pardon, Legate, but it is the Consuls' wish that I also fully observe the mission itself. I trust, you understand his reasoning."

Xalanth turned almost violently, his eyes narrow and fierce for but the briefest of moments, tail almost colliding with the glass behind him. He regained his bearing withing a fraction of second.

"Does the Consul not trust his fellow patriots? Does the word of a Legate mean so little to him now? The guarantee of his equal?"

"Consul Kalog has made no such promises that we are aware of Legate Xalanth, and until he does, this matter is relegated to the chain of command. Consul Marcus has issued you a direct order. You are duty bound to obey."

Her tongue was quick to the point as the blood started to boil more beneath his graphite surface. His frame puffed outwards, a dragon of his years being exceptionally larger then most. Honeyed eyes did not back down, even while the drakes beside her lowered their snouts. He had to admit to himself, this draken had a particular spirit about her that he couldn't help but admire.

"Very well, you may observe in full as the Consul desires. Please offer him my compliments when you communicate with him. Report to the debriefing chamber at approximately 2100 hours. Optio, you're dismissed."

She was rather surprised at his sudden reversal of demeanor, but in the end, one did not get to a position like his without learning how to navigate the landscape of controlled speech and appearances. Her forked tongue slipped across her lower jaw quickly before issuing the common salute, followed by the guards.

Moving towards the exit, his strong voice echoed outwards.

"And Optio … Razeth."

She turned to gaze upon his intimidating image, wings now slightly extended outwards to reveal several vicious tears and scars plastered about the membrane.

"You would do well to remember this in my command. Normally, you would already be dead."


Various inputs were entered into the screen via a metallic keyboard. Claw delicately tapped the screen, which was also displaying many other natural elements. The science of the world today never ceased to amaze her. She was certainly privy to many such ideas, for she had a claw in developing some of them.

All her life, for as long as she had known, science was her gift. She never considered herself above others, not once, nor would she ever have the desire to do so. This was a foreign idealism, as the Empire took great pleasure in crushing them beneath claw the moment they started to flourish. A small magnifying glass pealed backwards, pulling away from her muzzle before jamming and making its complaints known with a small shock against her light cyan scales.

"Damn it! Piece of junk … I swear you were one of the worse mental investments I ever made!" she cursed before tossing the headpiece onto the floor. Yeah, not everything always worked how she wanted, but regardless, she loved tinkering and solving the most minuscule of issues. It brought her some manner of comfort.

Her claw scratched the now sensitive scale, soreness being the only response. She was resigned to just staying here in her quarters for any given length of time. Time to improve on her designs and ambitions. Yes, she would help change the world, even if all seemed lost at one point or another. She sighed before brooding over various blueprints cataloged upon the walls. Unfortunately, she did lack motivation for the one thing they desired most from her: warfare applications.

It was a sad fact that every single design she'd forwarded to the Office of Internal Developments which wasn't involved in some manner of combat advancement was flat out refused without question. She often posed the issue to Xalanth, but he would only ever mutter about, "The good of the Empire.." or some previously prepared response of similar sorts. He always encouraged her to explore her talents, though, he was certainly more prone to encouraging an active military role.

She wasn't built for that. She didn't possess great strength, or speed. The only thing she ever ran to acquire willingly was the latest installment of Drakengard. Another soft sigh escaped her before slumping back into a large cushion in the corner of her quarters. A beautiful view of the city for sure. It stretched out as far as one could see. To the untrained eye, it would seem that all was well and prosperous. Far at the edge of the horizon, one could just barely make out the massive structure that was the Senate house: the central government of the Praxus Empire.

"Hail Praxus indeed … " she muttered as various dragons flew along on their daily business, many by shuttle and a few through the more old fashion flying methods.

She knew in her heart of hearts just what was happening to this planet. The Empire was established some four thousand years ago, as far as anybody knew. History books were quite vague on the subject; most choosing to simply ignore it. The planet itself was once inhabited by many different species, all living together in some sense of unity. Granted, it was never perfect, but it was certainly not a far cry to claim it could be much worse.

Emerald orbs turned downwards towards the dirty streets far below, noticing a forced labor group. A once proud Lion, limbs a shadow of former glory and mane cut down to the pink skin, proceeded to toil in removing stone debris from a recent demolition project. His wore only a loose pair of fabricated breaches, and his body was covered with burns and scrapes. Beside him, was a Wolf, pelt shaved down as well and appearing in much the same manner. Lastly, a Mole, the small creature struggling to keep up in any way. They were watched closely by a sentry. One of the Avocati, or as the common dragons called them: Black Robes. Perhaps more machine then dragon at that point, their red eyes displayed all one needed to know. They were designed for cruelty and brutality; raised to know nothing more beside unshakable loyalty to the Senate.

Shaking her head away from such a pathetic scene, she refocused her mind on another blueprint tucked away in the corner, pinned between a book shelf. Her claw grasped it softly, pulling it close against her chest plate. Rolling it open eagerly, she gazed down at the plans she had submitted for an automatic avenue recycle service. It was very convenient, and it only made her all the more disappointed with what was occurring around them.

"But … I believe in him."

How many times did she tell herself that? Yet, she had no reason to think otherwise. He had always been there for her since she was but a hatchling, stumbling around lost and confused. Only he made her see what was to be done. Her gaze once more explored the horizon, watching closely as one of the twin moons began peeking above the skyline, freeing itself from forced confinement. She always enjoyed the moon, it gave her a sense of peace in a world filled with chaos.

"Xalanth, please." Emerald eyes relaxed, leaning back into the embracing cushion before a shrill beep almost made her flip head over talons.

"Perrath, report to briefing immediately. It's time."

The draken huffed and nearly threw the communicator across the room before restraining herself, not wanting to be forced into fixing it once again. Forcing a small sigh, she gripped it tightly.

"Acknowledged. Reporting within ten minutes."

" … Five."

"Ten, and if you don't like it then I'll make sure to reprogram your hologram collection when you least desire it. Perhaps when Prefect Rikku visits next weekend?"

" … Fine, just make sure you bring the records." came the defeated voice in return. Smirking to herself, she disabled the link.

"Well then, this will certainly be an interesting evening. Time to at least halfway look the part." she muttered before forcing herself up, stretching her limbs to their max. Releasing a soft yawn, she proceeded into her bathing chamber, humming a soft tune to herself.


"Really? Legate Xalanth huh? That's certainly quite the duty to pick up, Razie … I don't think you need me to tell you to watch your hind quarters."

The electric green draken just rolled her eyes a bit before looking down at the wrist communicator, the image of a sleek, black draken, along in years, gazing back at her. She wore the white robe of a lower office.

"Trust me, I already got that message pretty loud and clear. I was surprised as anyone when I received the order. Things must be much more heated between the Consuls then we anticipated."

"Be careful when you speak of them, I taught you better then that. It's not just the Consuls, the entire Senate is on edge. Whether we want to admit it or not, a true power struggle is at hand."

"Has he spoke to you about it in any detail? Don't think I didn't notice his scribe coming and going from the compound last week." She smirked before raising one eyeridge.

The recipient did not appear amused. "Oh enough of the childish banter. Seriously, did you pay any attention during your studies? It's hard enough for drakens to advance without some misplaced luck or connections. You're not doing yourself any favors in acting this way over an official channel."

Razeth tilted her head a bit, being sure to turn her honey eyes upwards on occasion to gauge her destination. "I suppose you got me there, but hey, I'm only the second female Optio in history, I'd say that's quite an accomplishment. You should have seen Torrens' face when he heard about being passed up for promotion, I warned him to stay away from the buffet line. I bet it knocked a good ten seconds off his physical examination."

"Razie, I'm serious. I don't want to see my only daughter being escorted away by Avocati. You know the consequences."

"I know mother, forgive me. But don't think I didn't notice … you failed to answer my question." she replied with a light chuckle.

The black draken turned her head away with a sly smile. If here scales were not so dark, odds were that blush would be more than evident. "He … we have not directly discussed the issue in great detail, but I know enough to tell you to tread lightly. Do not poke your snout into business you don't belong in, and for all that is sacred in this world, do not anger the Legate. He has more influence then you and I know. Even Marcus is unable to fully comprehend the depth of his aspirations. Needless to say, you could be descending into a snake pit."

Razeth nodded softly before coming to a halt at a hallway intersection, several recruits and a Centurion marching by, none acknowledging her in the slightest.

"Some things never change," she scoffed before focusing down again, "Well, either way, I'm due to meet with the Legate in a few minutes, I will contact you at the soonest possible convenience mother." She turned her eyes upwards and smiled.

She returned the gesture and nodded. "I will eagerly await that day. Trust me, I will do all I can to help you through any situation, but take my advice and blend in with the background."

"Piece of life gems." She flashed her teeth.

A small chuckle came in response. "For you? Nothing is that easy. Stay safe my Razie. I love you."

She could only frown and shake her head with a groan, wing knuckle coming up in an exasperated manner. "You know how much I hate that nickname!"

Another laugh was heard before the device powered down, leaving her once more alone with unorganized thoughts. As much as she teased her mother, she more then had a point. Females were not exactly encouraged to make significant contributions in the Empire. They were seen mostly as a symbol of power and conquest. Something to claim, and of course, breed with. She shook her head again before proceeding down the hallway towards section bravo.

It was highly unpopular if drakes were not birthed between couples. It had become a completely normal practice for males to take on multiple mates until a successful sire was the result. Quite a disgusting practice in her own mind, but the most disturbing fact seemed to be that the average draken was completely comfortable with this unhinged reality.

Thoughts continued to rattle about within her skull, causing the occasional trip and recovery. Yes, she made quite the stirring sight for an officer.

"Mind if I accompany you?"

Razeth was caught off guard, snapping her head around to the image of another draken. Well, this was most certainly a rare occurrence. Her scales were a very light shade of cyan, practically white with the light shinning off them. Two graceful horns curled upwards in a wide arc while two more situated below her jawline curled downwards. A smooth body was decorated by a white shoulder coat that was laced with black trimmings. A silver brooch rested on her neck, displaying her allegiance in full. She offered a soft smile in response to a rather hostile reaction.

"Oh … I'm uh … forgive me, I didn't hear you. It can often end poorly for those who sneak up on a soldier you know." she replied in a manner harsher then she intended.

The draken just giggled to herself before walking forward, coming within reaching distance before bowing gracefully.

"I offer my sincerest apologies, I suppose, I just have a habit of moving quietly." her muzzle lifted and offered up another meek smile.

Razeth simply tilted her head and nodded in acceptance before facing back down the corridor. "Don't worry about it, I'm mostly just surprised. I never expected to see another female within the confines of perhaps the most secure facility in Elysium."

She giggled again, something Raz found mildly annoying, but pushed the grievance aside. "I understand your confusion, it's not every day that I get out and about as well, and seeing you also came as a shock. Xalanth doesn't typically go against tradition … "

"You mean the Legate?" replied Raz with surprise. And she thought she had issues with being informal.

"Oh … um, that's correct. The Legate." replied the draken in fluster.

Razeth released her own small laugh before resuming her pace, only being a short distance away from the destination. "Well, speaking of which, I have an appointment. It was pleasant to meet you … um … I'm sorry- "

"Perrath. A pleasure."

A soft sigh escaped her snout before returning the favor. "Razeth. Optio of the Eighteenth. I am due to see the Legate within a few minutes."

"Well isn't that a coincidence … so am I!"

Raz stopped in her tracks before glancing back in shock. "I'm sorry what? You … I don't believe … are you part of the Legion?"

She was rather taken aback as Perrath chuckled and moved quickly past her, tail wavering as she did so. "Not in the slightest, never touch the stuff!"

Razeth released another huff before watching her move beyond. This draken was having far too much fun with this concept. She didn't appear to have any military bearing; fully admitting she had no part in it. What was she possibly contributing to this situation of the State.

"Razeth? You just gonna stand there gawking? Xalanth doesn't like to be kept waiting!"

Her mind snapped back into reality before puffing her chest, followed by an exhale. "I suppose you know better then myself … very well then, shall we?"

Perrath smiled again, knowing that in some manner she was mentally toying with the draken as she slowed her pace to allow her to match. The two of them then proceeded down the corridor, as odd a couple to be found on the continent. They soon passed the physical training sections, noting the stares of several drakes chasing after them as they passed along the viewing glass. Raz kept her gaze forward regardless, but Parrath couldn't help but release a teasing smile in their direction.

"Don't encourage them, that's the last thing they really need." spoke Razeth sharply, her tail slapping the metal floor.

Perrath just turned towards her and smiled inwardly. "Oh, it's all in good fun. Most of them will be forever occupied to strive endlessly in pursuit of great strength and noble battlefield deeds. I'm willing to bet less then half of them will ever engage in intercourse, much less sire."

Raz chuckled at this before attempting to engage her mind in other notions, but found it increasingly difficult. "Besides, we all have those urges now and then, right?" she nudged Razeth in the flank, causing her to stiffen up slightly at the contact before stopping in her tracks, staring Perrath down with a steel glare.

"Oh believe me, it's something they don't forget to remind us of at any time. My Cohort helped reintegrate Hallowstone into the Empire six months ago. A rather pleasant little place. We executed our orders to the letter, a perfect tactical victory in every sense of the word. Our commanders were quite generous that day. They decided a proper reward was in order. They allowed every able bodied legionnaire free reign to do as they pleased. Any spoil they desired was granted. Coin, property and fucking."

Perrath tightened up, her shoulders growing slightly stiff before her chest caved in slightly, suddenly feeling quite small. Razeth didn't offer up an expression.

"They must have claimed fifty females that day, passing them along the line, being sure to grant their full measure and then some. Any who resisted were forced upon by gangs of three or more. All the time, I was forced to listen, even watch. Strong constitution one said, my commanding officer included. They even joked about letting me in on the pleasantries, in either direction."

"Please, enough." begged Perrath softly, not wanting this to continue as is. Razeth only sealed her snout and turned forward once more, continuing onward.

"They never forget, you shouldn't either."

The two drakens arrived in silence at a giant metal slider, two Black Robes stationed alongside. Razeth made no move to acknowledge them, it wouldn't have mattered anyways. Perrath moved up to the doorway and initiated the screening process. Following her bio scans, Raz followed suit, the large passage opening to them within seconds. Lights activated with each step they took forward, every fifteen or so feet resulted in two more of the Robes on active guard.

"You're late."

Perrath and Razeth turned to meet the gaze of Xalanth, the older dragon standing several stones above them. Raz couldn't help but force the lump in her throat downwards, complaining the whole time. Perrath only smiled and tilted her head. "Sorry about that, I slowed her up, I take full responsibility."

Xalanth only snorted and shook his head before moving forward, splitting the two as his frame strode past, followed by his thick tail. "This way."

Razeth stared at Perrath, the cyan draken giving a small nod before they followed suit. The corridor continued to light up with each step, and it seemed as if the endless passage would never cease. Five minutes later, they arrived at yet another barrier.

|-Level 5 Security Screen-Full Designation Required-Full Compliance Mandatory-|

"Legate Xalanth: Commander of the Black Legions, direct access requested by order of Co-Consul Kalog."

Several systems appeared to be working and processing, Xalanth impatiently tapping his claw on the floor as it did so.

"The system needs and update Perrath." he muttered in annoyance.

"Computers will forever be an imperfect science, I think I've told you that before." she replied before chuckling towards Razeth, the unamused draken remaining stoic.

A loud beep echoed and the doors rolled open, revealing a large, circular based audience room. Dozens of lounging platforms and cushions rotated around the round chamber, the center of which was claimed by an immense oval table. Razeth immediately observed that several Robes were already in place here as well; half a dozen situated at various observation points. They remained mostly hidden in the higher areas of the chamber, the only thing really visible about them being their red eyes.

"Now then, I don't think you need me to remind you Optio, that everything you see in here is classified and of the utmost secrecy. Should you violate this order in any way … "

"It does not need explaining Legate. I'm well aware of the regulations and consequences." she replied sharply.

Xalanth gazed at her coldly. "Are you?"

She couldn't help but give some ground to such an iron will. Perrath seemingly ignored them and proceeded to a control panel located aside the oval tabletop. Xalanth disengaged from the situation and made a gesture to one of the Robes above them. The figure silently acknowledged and proceeded to seal the chamber, several electronic locks sealing following this action.

"Perrath?" the Legate asked quietly.

"Coming online now."

Razeth watched silently as a viewing screen slowly descended from various other instruments above the table. Several moments later, an image started to present itself, although, it was mostly static at this point.

"Optio, please be on your best behavior. I don't believe you've met the Consul yet." Xalanth implored her, using his eyes to hit home the point.

She could only stiffen in yet another moment of shock. It was becoming a common theme today. "Con … Consul?"

Xalanth chuckled, a sound that seemed to reverberate around the room. "That is correct. Consul Kalog is directly involved in this matter as well and will be taking part in this briefing."

Her jaw was slightly ajar at this point and Perrath couldn't help but smile. "Don't be so nervous, they're all pretty much the same, just with fancier titles. Am I right?" she directed the last question towards Xalanth, who only gave her a stiff gaze before relenting.

"You behave also, I don't have the energy for it tonight."

"As you wish master." Perrath responded dryly. Razeth didn't know what to make of this. How exactly did these two know each other? If any dragon dared speak to a Legate like this they would have typically been executed on the spot.

The image finally steadied and within moments the outline of an obviously male dragon could be distinguished, though, in no such other details was he identifiable.

"For the amount of currency we are diverting to this project it had better be worth it Xalanth." Spoke the screen, the voice slightly raspy and seemingly disjointed.

The graphite dragon stepped forward, eyes hardening before nodding towards Perrath. She returned the gesture and then proceeded to activate several more switches. Razeth was nearly knocked from her feet as the floor beneath her suddenly started to shift. The table in the center of the chamber started to descend into an abyss, and the array of gadgets above it moved upwards along a mechanical tract.

"As I informed you a few days ago Consul, your resources will be put to good use."

"And your decision to call in the asset? Surely you know that is no small feat." he responded coldly.

Asset? What could they possibly be referring to. Raz quickly noticed the silhouette of the Consul turn in her direction, sending a cold chill up her spine and down the tips of her wings.

"Xalanth, who is this?"

The Legate's eyes turned halfway towards her before proceeding on.

"Your counterpart assigned her to this briefing Consul, whether or not he discussed it with you I do not know, but regardless of my feelings, I had to grant his request. No matter how untimely it would seem."

The silhouette made no further movement. "Very well. Continue."

As the discussion mounted, the room continued to change, the table now being replaced by a large, mounted canister, the contents of which were still sealed off from view.

"Now then – as most in this room are aware, the Praxus Empire is facing a very dire crisis. One that will forever alter her future and the fate of the known world. This planet, slowly, but surely, is beginning to die."

Razeth felt her eyes go wide, but nevertheless, remained rooted in position at attention. She knew that the world wasn't exactly in "excellent" condition, but she never figured the prognosis would be that bad.

"Our resources are now spread so thin that we can no longer apply proper medical treatments or recuperation therapy to half the casualties taken in the field. Our communications are more unreliable and unstable due to the shortage of spirit crystals. Our very life forces, like it or not, will start to wither away."

Perrath continued to fiddle with various instruments on the panel, seemingly investigating whatever rested within the canister. The Consul remained silent.

"Due to the lack of these … non replenish-able resources, we have no choice but to look elsewhere for our needs. For the good of the Empire, for the survival of our kind everywhere, measures must be taken. I therefore submit the following action for full approval."

The Legate gazed towards Perrath and gave another nod of command. She hesitated for but a moment before pressing a large switch at the bottom of the panel. The canister roared to life, the metal sheet slowly starting to rotate downwards, Razeths' eyes falling prey to the unusual sight slowly being revealed. She could have sworn that small sigh of sadness emanated from Perrath, but she paid it no real mind.

"We have not yet fully developed the technology needed to explore outside of our planetary boundaries, and due to the extreme lack of resources such a plan would be completely unmanageable. I therefore submit to you Consul, that we make use of our ground breaking progression in advanced time line coordination, codenamed: TimeCrisis, to find, and obtain, what we need for survival."

The metal sheet completely peeled away at this point, venting steam upwards towards the drainage grates as the glass started to defog. A shadow scaled dragon with a crowned helm, an intricate pattern of runes crossing his body, was propped up within the chamber. Both Razeth and Perrath took deep breaths, their minds burning with realization to what was actually about to happen.

"Consul Kalog, the asset, codenamed: Arus, has bravely agreed to serve as our representative in this matter."

The video monitor remained silent, though it was obvious that his attention was piqued. "Impressive indeed Xalanth, I was beginning to wonder just why you requested the extra surplus of soul crystals. They better not go to waste, but tell me, exactly where do you intend on going to find what we need?"

Xalanth only closed his eyes, mind working like a computer and accessing a seemingly endless supply of information banks. Both drakens eyed him closely, the air thick enough to slice. He smirked softly and gazed upwards, claws tapping the metal.

"Tell me Consul, does the name Spyro mean anything to you?"


A/N: Hey look! A wild RedDragonX has appeared! Better use the Master Ball before he gets away! All kidding aside, yes I have returned to Fanfiction to help further represent that poor unfortunate purple dragon who is apparently serving no real purpose to Activision anymore except as a marketing tool.

I've been working on this story for the past few months now, and have decided to refrain from posting anything in mass as of yet since I don't want a repeat of what happened with my old project: Secrets of Convexity.

I'm sure many out there would love for me to continue and finish that piece, and I truly feel awful that I never got around to finishing it years ago. Unfortunately, life has a way of changing priorities, and I was never in the proper position to conclude it in the manner I wanted.

That being said, I have since developed into a writer more suitable of the vision I really wanted to present on the page. To answer the question quickly just to get it out of the way, NO I will not be going back to finish Secrets of Convexity, at least not while I'm working on this project. Convexity would need a complete overhaul and edit from start to finish for me to even consider continuing it, and I have simply decided instead to start fresh and present a new story that I have planned from beginning to end in more solid detail.

You will still see characters that I created myself for Secrets of Convexity many years ago. Arus, I believe you're already familiar with if you've read my works. The others will make their proper appearances in due time, and I have integrated them into the plot in a manner I really want to accomplish with Convexity as well.

That being said, this is a fresh start for me on here, and I really want to make it up to all those who I let down when I couldn't finish before. As I stated before: I want to get this right this time, and that includes being much more careful in my planning and updates. I've got a good head start this time, and I fully intend to keep it that way.

I will gauge how soon I can get the first official chapter up upon the feedback I receive, and then settle on a proper update schedule that can satisfy everyone.

This is but the first Volume in a Three Volume series I intend to release over the next few years, so you can rest assured that I'm taking it quite seriously and personal.

As an added bonus, I'm also commission artworks for all the major characters that will be included in the story! A good friend of mine has agreed to help me in this regard, and I owe her a lot for agreeing to do it. That being said, she's quite busy with her own life, so she can only work at a modest rate, but I plan to get 5 full character pictures for each Volume released. You will be getting Arus for starters, since he's the central character of the story.

All that said, this is most likely the longest A/N you will receive since it has quite a bit of explaining to do, but I do want to give some special shout outs to both Rurikredwolf for constantly pestering me to get back into writing, and to Dardarax for also aiding in getting me readjusted and motivated to finish what I started. Both are fantastic writers in their own regard and deserve every ounce of praise they receive.

Now that all that is out of the way, I hope you enjoyed the prologue to Crystal Chronicles: Volume 1, and if you are interested in seeing the fully body picture for Arus I will have the link up on my FF profile soon.

Until we meet again! CYA!

My Characters: Arus, Xalanth, Razeth, Perrath, Kalog