Rise of the Guardians
Book IV: Heroes Reborn
Chapter XVII: Titans
Several months have now passed since Akyre disappeared. Spyro did not see or hear her leave in the middle of the night back in the Vale. The last place she had been seen was on the Kraiden which was now on a return trip to Maldoria. She had never returned to the planet but before the ship left they reported a foreign transport signal off of the ship. The signal had an Ubmyran signature which could only mean they could've intercepted her pattern in the transport stream. Spyro, in his quest to rescue his love, led a small group of 30 Avalarian and Maldorian soldiers to seek information on Akyre's capture. But what he didn't know was that the Ubmyrans had enslaved her to lure him into a trap.
Inside a dense forest north of a town called Quartz Canyon, a squad of Ubmyrans was scouting the area for any run away prisoners. One of the camps had picked up word that their military was charging in on their home town and decided to revolt. Not all of them escaped, some didn't escape with their lives. The leading J'Tahl soldier halted to scan the area ahead. The air was thick with mist, the air was hot and humid making it difficult to breathe for some, and the atmosphere was quiet. There was barely enough light to turn up several dark places that any potential enemy or prisoner could easily hide in. The sun was barely in the middle of the sky but the setting felt like the early morning haze before the dawn.
"Saktoune vorshaz. Iwre udant cular uf gurak." the leader ordered.
The Xeroc and J'Tahl Ubmyrans spread out into a single soldier formation unaware that Spyro and his squad was concealed under the leaves and moss. Spyro looked through the leaves to see a soldier pass within inces of his nose. He was concerned that his horns were not properly camouflaged but the passing alien paid no attention. Spyro elevated his vision to the tree ahead and gave a discrete hand signal to kill the trailing soldier in the enemy patrol. Tuka, a wolven assassin perched in the tree, strung up his bow and readied an arrow. He pulled the draw string back and lined the shot up. After pausing for the shot he released the arrow like a whip of lighting striking a tree. The arrow spooled into the back of the aliens third cranial vertebra. The soldier fell to the ground and fired a single shot on an involuntary muscle movement. The Ubmyrans jumped as they turned around to see where the shot came from. But there was nothing. Spyro had used his Earth element to conceal the body underground. Just then another sound was heard rushing behind the dumbfounded aliens. Vines began to form around the aliens feet and tied around them. Right as they looked down they were hit with plasma bolts and a few carbon fiber arrows. The only one left alive was the officer as the Avlarians and the Maldorians emerged from their surroundings like ghosts from thin air. Spyro stood up and shook off the leaves. He had grown in height to stand around 8ft 7in which is significantly taller than the garden variety Ubmyran J'Tahl. He walked up to the fearful alien and glared at him. Spyro picked up the alien and head butted him to knock him out. He threw the unconscious alien down and looked to his second in command.
"Take their ammo and weapons. Get this one and drag his carcase back to camp for interrogation. He had better hope to the ancestors that he knows where Akyre is." Spyro ordered.
"Yes my lord." Tuka spoke as he bowed his head.
"And stop with 'My lord' stuff. I'm not the leader of Avalaria yet." Spyro stated, "Besides I don't think the people will allow me to enter throne."
"You never know." Tuka replied, "People are already calling you the Dragon Lord of Avalar."
Spyro huffed in amusement. He didn't believe that he would later become Avalarian Lord. The soldiers picked up any and all useable weapons and equipment. Two Cheetah warriors grabbed the alien by the legs and pulled him through the mud and the muck. Spyro looked to the fog nearest to the town and saw what looked to be several light streams. He hastened to his troops and ordered them to pick up the pace in order to avoid detection.
Meanwhile back at the capitol city, Krydeir had allowed Akyre to freely walk among in the city, under armed escort. The city's atmosphere was quiet, mild; the air was warm and the skies were partly cloudy. She looked around in disgust to see homes, restaurants, and small family owned businesses destroyed by the Ubmyrans. Still in the air hung the smell of dead bodies which was making Akyre sick to her stomach but the Ubmyrans were immune to the stench.
"How do you not smell that?" Akyre said while covering her nose with her wings.
"We've smelled worse, now keep walking. The Lord Marshall allowed you 2 hours of free walking in the city." The left hand honor guard stated.
Akyre sighed angrily and replied, " 'Free Walking?' A pair of armed escorts kinda defeats the purpose of 'Free'."
"Shut up and keep walking." The right hand guard ordered as he pushed the butt of his plasma rifle into Akyre's back.
An hour of walking Akyre came to what looked to be a labor camp with an execution occurring. A young female wolf, at the age of 19, was being strapped down to a table. Akyre looked harder and saw it was Kulavi, her best friend from school. Over her head was a metal hood with three holes in it. Attached to those holes were silver metal tubes with smaller wires coiled around them. The Ubmyrans were executing her for no legitimate reason. Akyre jumped up and flew over the fence right as the aliens lowered the drill mask over the prisoners face. She flew to the table and ripped the support rod connected to the drill mask from the table and severed the power to it. She threw the hunk of Triterium off to the side and maintained a combat stance. The wolf looked and saw Akyre standing next to her.
"What has she done to deserve this?" Akyre growled.
"Who is this?" The Base Commander asked as his guards surrounded the execution stage.
"She is the War Slave of the Ubmyran Empire." Said Akyre's escorts.
"Why is she being executed?" Akyre asked.
"If you must know, we have reason to believe she is supplying classified Intel to the enemy. We have no evidence or visual proof that she did it but we can kill anyone we suspect." The base commander answered.
"I think not. If you have no proof then how can you be absolutely sure she is supplying me people." Akyre spoke, "I suggest you release my friend "
"Why should i do that." The Commander asked.
"First off, I understand that even a War Slave has command authority. And second of all, I am capable of killing every single alien in this city with one stroke." Akyre threatened, "So do not test my patience."
The base commander allowed Kulavi to be released to her barracks. Two Xeroc guards escorted the wolf to her bunk at the end of the compound. Akyre was about to resume her free roam when the base commander stood in her way and stuck the plasma emitter of his sidearm in Akyre's chest.
"You must be really hard headed to get in my way.." Akyre growled.
"And you must realize that someone has to take the place of a prisoner in an botched execution. You are going to take that prisoners place." The base commander threatened.
The Honor Guard Lt stated, "Actually she cant be executed. She is to be sent to the Emperor as the Ubmyran Royal War Slave following the defeat of the Avalarians."
The base commander holstered his weapon and said, "Well in that case..."
He signaled for three other base guards to come to them as right hand went to the handle of this stun stick. In one action he pulled it out, struck Akyre in the face and jammed the five thousand volt electrodes into Akyre's neck. The other guards pulled their stun sticks out and sent fifteen thousand more volts of electricity into Akyre. Her body locked up and her face clenched in pain. She tried to scream but all that came was a long winded grunt since her mouth was shut tight in intense pain. The guards, after a few minutes of torture, took the stun sticks away to let them charge.
Akyre, in great pain, begged, "Please....no more....please"
The guards resumed her torture.
"AAAAHHH.....EENNNNAHH!!!" She screamed as the electrodes fizzled and cracked.
The base commander took his stun stick away from Akyre and turned it off.
"Okay I think she's had enough." he said.
The other guards took their stun sticks away and sheathed them. Akyre quivered in pain as some of her limbs began to loosen.
He knelt down face to face with the dragon, "If you ever interrupt another one of my executions...I will personally end your miserable life."
He struck Akyre in the face leaving a cut across the bridge of her snout. As the base commander and his guards left, some of them spat on Akyre. The Honor Guard thought the base commander went a little overboard with the torture as they looked at Akyre. She began to cry in both physical and emotional anguish. Even the J'Tahl, at one time before the Ubmyran Empire, were under the oppressive rule of the Xeroc Dominion and the Honor Guard have seen their methods of torture.
Akyre muttered as she wept, "I am going to kill you all for this....I swear on my life I will end your oppressive rule."
The Lt ordered his fellow Honor Guard, "Help her up."
He nodded and went down to help Akyre to her feet.
"Come on...we'll get you back to your room." he said as he grabbed her arm to help her up.
Akyre pulled away and growled. The Honor Guard jerked his hand back as Akyre gave him the evil eye.
"Look we know what you are going through. Our people were once under the oppressive rule of the Xeroc Dominion. Granted it feels like we still are." he said, "We don't like their methods."
"If you hate the Xeroc, then why do you serve them?" Akyre asked.
"We have no choice. And unfortunately you don't either. Now come, we'll get you back to your room." he explained.
A few hours later Akyre's injuries were treated and she was sleeping in her apartment room. The room was dark and the air was still. The only forms of light shining in were the lights from the city leaving a large golden square on the carpet. As Akyre shifted her sleeping position in her nest, a dark figure was watching her. By the shape and form of the figure it was another dragon similar to Akyre. It emerged from the shadows to reveal the blackened face of Akyre herself.
"WAKE UP!" she shouted in a cold voice.
Akyre jumped out of her skin as she was pulled from her slumber. Akyre looked to see another dragon in her room. But her eyesight was so blurred from being asleep for 3 hours she could not see who this dragon was. The dragon swept its black claw across her face and pinned her up against the wall.
"You weak pathetic mortal; typical that you are fearful of your own true power and what it can do. You had the opportunity to burn these aliens off this world." The black dragon spoke, "Why didn't you destroy them?"
Akyre, trying to answer while her windpipe was being crushed, "I can't...I'm not allowed to use...*choking*....to use dark powers. It corrupts those who wield it for personal gain."
Words of a deluded mind have never been spoken more definitively. A deluded master." the black dragon replied, "Who has taught you these lies about using dark power?"
She let go of Akyre, dropping the young dragoness to the floor.
Akyre answered, "Aldmir, Spyro, and Cynder."
"Those two...are idols of demonizing dark power. I don't know who Aldmir is but Spyro and Cynder I know quite well." Said the black dragon, "I inhabited Cynder when she was younger and under the control of that puppet, Malefor. But when she broke free of my grip...I had to wait for another potential vessel. Seeing how your kind treats the difference between dark and light power." quickly turning to Akyre, "THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE!!!"
After hearing foot steps down the hallway the black dragon turned to smoke and entered Akyre's body. The smoke entered through her mouth, nose and eyes like a waterfall spilling into the lower river. After the tail of the smoke entered Akyre's soul she dropped to the floor unconscious. From there she did not move, almost as if the smoke took the life from her body.
The next day Spyro had the captured Ubmyran in an interrogation room. The Ubmyran was dripping with his own blood from the beatings he sustained. The Maldorians, given the fact the war was mainly against them, were getting irritated with his lack of cooperation.
"I grow tired of your incompetence. You know where the Avalarian Dragon is being held so spare yourself the pain and tell us what we want to know." Antarra spoke in a growl.
"Never, you impotent Maldorian whore." The Ubmyran spoke.
Antarra grabbed the alien by the neck and reared her fist back. Antarra delivered a concussive blow in one punch which disoriented the alien, using her Sound element.
"Let me deal with it." Spyro spoke as she stepped forward. To the alien, Spyro gave his first threat, "If you think pissing off my friend here is not a big deal, and then you don't want to know how much pain I can cause you to suffer."
"Should I be remotely scared of a purple creature like you? Where I come from purple is the color of cowardice." the Ubmyran insulted.
Spyro was about to attack when Antarra stopped him, “Let him run his mouth. All he stands to be is an alien with empty threats and insults.”
“The only thing you should be wary of is a traitor among you. That’s all I can say.” The Ubmyran said as he started to foam at the mouth.
The alien arched back and started to seize up as the poison in his body started to deteriorate his nervous system. He hunched over and died as Antarra went to check on him.
“Neural toxin; He must have released it so we wouldn’t be able to get more information.” Antarra said after using her sound element to check for vital signs.
Spyro took those final words to mind. He has heard of potential traitors wanting to seek asylum with the enemy. Generally those were just rumors but even rumors like that had to be taken seriously. But who and why; was the question remaining on everyone’s mind. None of the Avalarian leaders knew who this potential traitor was…