Chapter 7: The Face Of The End

Minekia and Daemos left only minutes after their parents. Then it took them only a few minutes to fly to the beach and from there start to comb it. For about an hour they scurried across the warm sand shifting through it for anything that shined. Like Pearls, Clams, sea shells, and other things. At one point Minekia found a Human Skull with the name "Blackbeard" engraved in it with what seemed to her to be a knife but tossed it away and continued nosing through the sand. A minute later she had found a buried trove of treasure.

With Daemos's help the two young female dragons got the heavy chests farther up the beach. The next two hours passed with little events after that. "Minekia! I thought you said we would find sea shells! All we've found is a bunch of gold and gems." Minekia's head popped out of the sand at her sister's voice.

"I said we might. Didn't say we would." He head sunk back into the sand.

Daemos grunted at her sister and slowly worked her way to the distant rocks. As she neared them the sand slowly gave way to more stone. Spotting something flashing the hatchling brightened, "Minekia! I think I've found something!" She charged across the intervening boulders to where a side of the small cliff was flashing strangely.

But as the boulders started to become jagged she slowed down and started to hope from one to another, the swelling waves splashing the jagged rocks to a slick surface. She was proud she stumbled only once but otherwise found the flashing unharmed.

At first the flat stone area looked normal. But before Daemos's eyes it started flashing again… almost like a pulse. A soft glow came from it, flashing every couple of moments. So entranced was she with the flashes that the Divination Hatchling didn't notice her sister come up behind her, "What'd you find?" Daemos nearly leaped from her skin and Minekia chuckled, "Interesting. The Fearless Shiny got spooked."

Daemos stuck her tongue out at Minekia who slid up to the pulsing rock with unnatural grace, "And what is this-" She got cut off as it suddenly started to spark. Both Hatchlings jumped back as the first one nearly struck Minekia in the nose. Then as they watched lines of electricity traveled across the patch of stone as if it was conducting it.

Then the words started to appear.

They came letter by letter slowly. At first illegible Minekia started to make out words. Her flawless memory dredging up the time when their mother tried to teach them how to read Draconian, filling in the blank spaces with obvious answers, and found her self quietly reading aloud as it appeared.

"You who read,

Read now from where you are.

They who come through here,

Come from there.

From Anetelle they come,

To you they go.

Fear now the unknown.

For Armageddon has come."

As the words came to an end she felt her body run cold as the grave. "Daemos… Run!" She could recognize a summoning spell when she saw one. At first the Divination Dragon looked at her sister bewildered but when the word suddenly flashed with immense power the shiny hatchling spun and ran.

Minekia turned on a pin prick and chased after her sister, the two hatchlings running for all they were worth. Before they could get far though a portal that covered where the letters were opened up, and though it Minekia could see a burning landscape. Immense, sweeping, majestic building that made even Vita's palace pale in comparison blazed with dark fires. A scene that chilled Minekia to the core. From where she stood she could see burnt corpses of Humans. Women, children, soldiers, it didn't matter. All were dead, a few of the bodies were nothing but a sculpture of ash. But the sculptures were so perfect Minekia could make out every detail of their pain and fear-ridden faces.

Behind them and the burning structures was a sky darker then Vita's blood. And far more chilling then Nex's realm. Minekia spun to her sister and shoved her towards the forest and the Lair, "Daemos! Run! Go find one of the others! Tell them that something came through the portal! If I don't catch up, tell them that it's dangerous!" With that she turned back to the portal and started dashing towards it.

Daemos stumbled but ran anyway looking over her shoulder, "What about you?"

Minekia screeched over her own, "I'll slow what ever it is down!" With that the Divination Dragon vanished into the under brush before taking off towards the lair. Hopefully the Shadow Dragoness didn't get herself killed…

O0o

As Daemos vanished into the distance Minekia turned her full attention to the portal. She could feel the evil coming through it in waves. It made her think back, to the time when Vita attacked the Lair. The evil was palpable. But this time there was a difference. This evil didn't have rules in this dimension to follow. She felt fear root her to the spot. The power she sensed was vast.

The sheer vastness was impossible. The only ones with that kind of power were Vox and Vita… and her father. But the sudden force and wind that appeared through it confirmed what she felt as the power and Evil closed to the opening. It was the feeling of a being that shouldn't exist. A creature that was never meant to walk this, or any other world. But the power and it's Evil were proof it did exist.

It came through as a strand of matter. If it could even be called that… It was a grey, metallic substance. It gave off the same aura of wrongness that the essence she felt had. But as it came through so did the essence and she knew she was looking at it. But as the last of it passed she still felt the wrongness on the other side of the portal… dulled to an extent she could still feel the vast power. Another being that should not exist but did. And one that had power that was far beyond anything she had felt before… but a sudden burst of memory reminded her she had felt something like that before.

From Eyhain.

Then the portal suddenly snapped shut and cut off the essence. She quietly prayed to what ever gods that watched over her the other essence didn't come through. But the sudden movement from the other that did brought her back to reality. First the small strung out mass squirmed as if trying to remember it's form, then slowly started to shift like clay. And before her eyes a new being the likes of witch she had never seen before stood from the ground, his voice chilling to an entirely different level almost on par with Eyhain, "Disgusting… I have to deal with another Beautiful planet… It'll take me months again!"

Then he seemed to notice Minekia's presence and turned, "What do we have here? Looks like a hatchling. Curious… Oracle hatchlings never range far from the nest… I guess I get an early lunch…" He smiled viciously and Minekia gulped, she wasn't going to survive this… They lunged at the same time.

O0o

Daemos flapped her wings for all she was worth. But her mind kept roaming back to Minekia… What if she couldn't fight off what ever it was on her own? The Divination dragon squeezed her eyes shut as she tried to think. For the last few years Minekia had been the leader between the two. And the de-facto leader among the hatchlings. She worked as the "Older Sibling" and was always the mature one when the rest got into trouble or any hair-brained ideas. And it was almost always she the one who got them out of it. And now she could be alone against something she couldn't beat and Daemos was here running away!

The Divination Dragoness snarled and spun midair on her tail tip. A trick only Minekia had ever been able to improve on against her, and sped back towards the beach. She wasn't going to leave her sister to fight alone!

O0o

Minekia had rolled in mid air to avoid his strike, gliding past his defenses like a drill. Crashing into his head the creature rocked off balance and she rolled across the ground, dazed from the impact. The Creature recovered first.

He swung a mighty blow at the small dragon and rent stone as she dodged ungracefully. She stumbled and he kicked her, sending her skipping across the sand. She hissed in pain and scrambled to her feet. Father's training taking over.

She sunk into the ground, using the hidden shadows between the grains of sand, then reappearing from his and lunged at his face. A moment of surprise flickered across his face as she appeared out of literally nowhere and slammed into his face. He roared in pain and snatched at her.

She jumped off as he almost grabbed her leg and while she was in mid air a thin strand of something formed in his hand and danced through the air like a whip. For a moment Minekia felt it lash into her scales and she was suddenly skidding out across the water. The sting from it coursed through her body and she hissed.

His laughter was chilling as she slowly stood up from the shallow water that reached up to her shoulders. The Shadow Dragoness hissed and drove her wings into the ground under the water and massive black spikes erupted from under his feet. When nothing moved she sighed in relief that she might have won.

She never saw the whip that struck her in the back of the head.

Minekia slammed into the stone face of the small cliff and felt her shoulder blades shatter. He paused to laugh at her futile attempts to fight him, "I can't believe how easy this is! I've had harder fights from lesser beings!" Behind him, through blurred vision Minekia could see Daemos appearing in the distance. No! What was she thinking?

The male creature noticed Minekia's quickening of breadth and turned to look at what she was. "Ah, there's the other one. I was wondering if she was just a coward but apparently not." A corner of Minekia's mind held onto a pale hope that she had found some one and told them but the part of her mind that was still rational knew she wasn't gone long enough to find any one. Nothing was this close to this beach at this time in the morning. She snarled and lunged at the larger creature.

In one movement her body shifted, crushing her bone back into their proper places and fusing them anew. Fully healing her to her normal state. And in the same movement, changed her wing into a extra hand. Sword-like fingers extended from her wing fingers and her membrane retracted giving the new fingers room to move… and she drove the sharp appendages into her opponent's back.

Veror would have chided her for fighting unfairly but Minekia was never one to fight fair. Cheap shots were her specialty. As the ends erupted form the creature's chest she snarled in triumph, "Die!"

Then he became a ball of spikes. Grey blood leaked from in between each of the black shards. And as Minekia hung there from the ball, heaving for breadth she smiled in relief. Daemos landed not far away and dashed closer, "Minekia! Are you alright?"

The Shadow Dragon nodded to her sister, "Yeah… just tired. Did you let them know about the portal?"

When Daemos grimaced Minekia knew she hadn't. "I told you too-" The ball of shards suddenly erupted and the hatchling was thrown. The solidified shadows passing through her without acknowledgement but the force of the eruption slammed her into the ground. The air was knocked from her lungs as the creature reared above her, anger etched onto every inch of it's face.

It's maw opened up wide and energy gathered into with such speed that it was only moments before a silver-gold ball of power radiated between it's jaws. Minekia's eyes grew wide as he fired, and the last thing she saw was a flash of grey.

O0o

Daemos stared in horrified disbelief at where Minekia had been laying. She couldn't even smell her sister anymore. Slowly the grey beast turned towards her. Daemos felt fear overcome here again. "Time for you to die also…" The hatchling slowly backed up as he walked towards her, her mind babbling. At his third step she did the only thing she could think of doing.

She dung her feet into the ground and straitened out her wings. They molded and shifted, her shoulders and neck shifting along with them, and gathered all of her sparkles on the front of them. Then in a singular moment squeezed her eyes shut and willed them to their brightest.

She had done the exact same thing only once before. It had been a day after Abyss had given her and Minekia lessons on shifting their bodies to new and different shapes. Unlike her sister and father, Daemos couldn't shift very much. She could only change her basic form. But it was enough. When all of her sparkles were focus to her front and she shaped her wings the right way it acted like a massive spot light. But what she didn't anticipate was how bright it got. The only one to witness was Bertia… and the only reason her sister could still see was because she was because the Dragoness of nightmare was yawning had her eyes squeezed shut tightly. But she had still been stuck seeing spots for months afterwards. Everyone else were asleep and were so not affected… they were only woken by the flash of light on the edge of their consciousness.

But as she willed her sparkles to their brightest the beast frowned at her sudden form change… and squeezed his eyes shut. But he had been too late. His eye had been fully open for the single instant Daemos needed… and the world was bleached pure white. Shadows were eradicated, had they been in holes or under rocks. Color vanished as everything became white. And nearly everything that witnessed the flash was instantly, permanently blinded.

The Divination Dragon's sparkles could hold their focused brightness for only an instant, and just as fast as the world became light, it returned to normal. Her body retook it's original shape, and she wondered if her attempt worked.

The last this the consciously remembered seeing was a flash of grey, and then blackness.


Much shorter one this time. Me and Unmercyful ran out of things to add and can't think of anything else. Remember to reply: reviews are missed when absent and might help with the production of new chapters.