04-24-2010, 06:09 AM
What IS Aerial Fire? It's a story I'm working on!
It's about a girl who leaves her tribe to join her countries military Dragon Brigade. She'll learn respect, she'll learn patience and so much more as her training continues and this is all before she ever gets onto the back of a dragon.
Remmy- the main character and only girl in her family. She is prideful and puts a lot of emphasis on respect and demands it from anyone she sees as 'below' her.
Father- Remmy's mostly stay at home father. He is kind but stern and doesn't accept crap or fights from his children.
Raca- Remmy's little brother and youngest member of the family. He loves to provoke Remmy and compete with her.
Merane/mom- Remmy's mom, a proud woman who carries herself with the air of a leader. She is the leader of the Dragon Landing Circle.
Kelai- a elder of the tribe who is cold to everyone because she is hateful and sad about the loss of her husband and children.
Ch 1 Vocab!
Hacar- A set of clothes in desert, the shirt has a loose body but is tight around the wrists and bottom. The collar of the shirt also has a built in face scarf and hood. The pants are held up with a series of knots from a string that laces up on the hip.
Venom Spitter- A breed of dragon that is often colored varying shades of green and black. They're small and fast but they also spit venom as their name implies. They're often found only in the desert called Saquin.
Ch 3 (in the works)
04-24-2010, 06:13 AM
"Remmy," my father called and I looked up from my wrestling bout with my younger brother "let your brother up." I gritted my teeth at his order, I did not want to obey my father. My brother deserved to be thrown to the ground this time. "Yeah Remmy, get off!" Raca smart mouthed off from beneath me but I silenced him by pushing his face into the ground roughly as I stood up and dusted the sand off my Hacar. My brother glared at me as he stood up and dusted his own clothes off. "Do it again Remmy, I dare you to do it again." He said and a moment passed of me staring at him like he was stupid before I punched him in the face. Our father was instantly between the two of us as Raca hit the ground. "I don't need to do it again when I can do something new." I snarled at him as he put a hand over his cheek and stared at me. "Remmy, go to your mother now and tell her what you've done." It was common in our tribe for the mother to be the disciplinary figure when a fight broke out amongst the children. Not only where the children considered hers and only hers but it also taught the children that although your mother loved you she was very capable of reprimanding you. Father sent me to mother because she had made a pact with him that he could only punish me and my brother if she was not in the tribe and that was often seeing as how our mother was a dragon tender.
Stomping across the open area that would soon be packed as the sun went down and dinner was started I headed towards the dragon landing site where I knew my mother would be nine times out of ten. Tribes where constantly moving in the desert as rain and game patterns changed but the tribe would always set up a ring for any dragon rider to land his or her dragon for whatever reason. As I approached the ring I found my mother asking a large Venom Spitter to lift her fore claw so she could inspect it. I stood at the edge of the circle and waited for her to finish. It was rude to interrupt someone who was working. "Mom!" I called out towards her as she turned towards the next claw. When she heard my voice she stopped and looked towards me then waved me over. Having permission to enter the circle I did so. Up close the Venom Spitter was even large then I had thought she could be. Being at least 90 feet long from snout to tail she turned to look at me with a large emerald eye then bobbed her head in a greeting and I froze to bow to her. The female dragon let out a laugh before she turned her head towards me. "It is good to see that your offspring has manners Merane." The dragon was talking to my mother now and my mother looked up from her work and nodded her head. "It truly is. I put a lot of faith into my husband when I leave for work to train my children in our ways. If he did not I do not think I would keep him around." Mother laughed and I moved closer to the dragon feeling overly intimidated by the dragon. "Remmy, do not fear the dragon, she is not hungry." my mom said sounding very annoyed to know her daughter was scared of a creature that was not in the slightest bit intimidating to her. "Yes mother." I quickly smothered my fear and marched over to my mother. "Now, what has brought you to the dragon circle?"
"I got into a fight with Raca and father sent me to be punished."
"I see, why did you get into a fight with Raca?" My mother asked as she signaled for the dragon to inspect her work.
"Raca insulted me." I crossed my arms and looked at the sand but my mother snapped her fingers and I looked up towards her. "What did he say?"
"He told me I would never be a good woman because I was a soft hearted idiot."
"Remmy, being soft hearted is not a bad thing." my mother stopped working on the dragon's claw to look at me. "Being soft hearted is why women take husbands or a man ask for a woman's hand in marriage. It's what makes people love or find joy in what they do."
"I do not want to be soft hearted! I don't want to end up like Sama did." Sama was a woman who had fallen in love and died for the one she loved because he had gotten angry at her, it was a story told in our tribe by the elders to the children to teach them that one should not become so emotional that it leads to death. "Sama is a woman from a story! Do you think of who you come from? You come from a long line of women who are strong fighters, leaders and great mothers. What made us strong was our love for our people, our husbands or children and our love for our people that made us such great leaders, warriors and mothers. When you have a soft heart it gives you such a great thing in return, it gives you joy. Look at Kelai, she has a hard heart. Kelai is not a happy woman is she?"
"No." I muttered softly. Kelai was an elder in my tribe and her heart had gone cold from a war that had taken her children and her husband. She was mean to anyone and everyone but she was on the council because she was smart and could plan out an attack in seconds after looking at a piece of paper with military information on it. "Would you rather have a soft heart or a hard heart?"
"I don't know..." I muttered and scuffed the sandy dirt with my boot toe. "Do you want to be in love? Or do you want to hate everyone and in return be hated?"
"I want to love.."
"Then you will be soft hearted and no longer take it as an insult when Raca calls you one. The idiot remark however is not a good thing, you did right by fighting him. Your father is simply protective of our youngest child and needs to learn that his coddling will bring nothing but pain to the boy. Go back to your father and do not fight with Raca anymore. When I return from work I shall talk to your father. Now go."
"Yes mother." I bowed to my mother and left her forgetting to bow farewell to the dragon but the dragon said nothing of my lack of etiquette.
Back at the tent I found my brother and father to be mending a set of shoes, I left them alone and opted instead to find something else to do. Walking out into the dunes I looked around, I could see shrubs and other plants that where common in the desert. A bird let out an eerie cry over head and I looked above. In the sky I saw a flock of vultures circling the sky over something in the distance.
Curiosity took my feet over the dunes and towards the vultures. Every time I topped a dune I would look back and make sure I could see the caravan before continuing towards the birds. What I saw startled me. The birds where feasting on the body of a fire breathing dragon. One of my peoples most cherished animals was dead and it's body was being eaten by birds of death. What would I do? Should I tell my father? Should I stay quiet and only send my own meager prayers to the gods in hopes they will hear the words and grant the large dragon a place in their caravans? My contemplation was brought to a halt when a vulture dove at my head and I screamed in fright.
The bird landed in front of me and flared it's wings and opening it's beak as wide as it would go. "Stupid bird!" I cursed it and kicked sand at it but it only enraged the bird so that it went after my boot with it's beak and beat my legs with it's wings. Screaming at the bird I flailed my leg trying to get it off. My screams and the birds screeches drew the attention of the other birds and many of them turned from picking at the carcass to look at me with a devilish hunger that scared me. These birds never attacked humans no matter what their size, if a human moved the birds where often taking flight with screeches of a disgruntled quality but theses screeches where something I was not familiar with in all my time of being alive. I shook the bird attacking my boot off and took off back towards the caravan but the birds followed me letting out their freakish screeches.
My own screams soon became drowned out by theirs as they swooped at me, beating me with their wings and raking with their claws. The scent of my blood drove them crazy and soon even more descended on me with a renewed frenzy. Flailing my arms I skidded to a halt and tried to beat the birds back but they only descended on me more and more till I took up running again. I topped a dune and looked to see the caravan camp site off in the distance. My lungs burned as I topped the next few dunes but the birds would not stop diving at me so I continued to run till I tripped over my own feet. I went down hard in the sand and the birds landed on me. Their beaks slashed at my back and tore at my hair, my screams grew louder and louder till I could hear them over the screeches of the birds. Rolling over I kicked and swatted at the birds but those I did not hit only dove in and attacked my undefended areas.
A war whoop broke through the screeches of the attacking birds and I looked between the flying wings and feathers of my attackers to see a group of men and women from my tribe descending on the birds with swords and spears. The birds took off but arrows rained down and they dropped like flies. "Remmy!" I looked up to see a grey haired woman named Salona running towards me. I rolled over to my stomach and got about three fourths of the way up before my legs gave out from under me. Salona skidded to a stop near me and grabbed my arm pulling me to my feet and helping me walk towards the gathering party of warriors. "What did you do those birds?" She asked and I shook my head, I had done nothing to them other then kick sand at one. "What made you go away from the caravan?"
"I saw the vultures and I wanted to see what they where doing, they where... eating a dead dragon. One attacked me so I kicked sand at it but it went after my boot." I muttered and looked around shakily feeling the many scratches and cuts burn from the sand in them and the movement of walking. "Tell me where the dead dragon is." the woman shook me and I looked up at her then pointed towards the smaller bundle of vultures in the distance. "That way, cross five dunes and you will see a large Fire Breather dead in the sand." Salona nodded and let me go before pointing to the camp. "Go to the healer and tell your parents of what happened." She pushed me away so I stumbled toward the camp. As I was walking my legs gave out from under me and I fell into an older boy who caught me. My head started to spin and a chill swallowed me. What was wrong with me? The older boy shook me gently before crying out for someone or something. He shook me again and waved a hand in my face, he held onto me and kept me standing as the world spun dizzily. More people gathered around, I was laid down, faces darted in and out of my line of sight. Words swam in my head as they spoke, my father's face hovered the longest in my eyes before it went away then darkness filled my eyes as it became hard to breath.
The darkness smothered me, the cries of vultures and the screams of people echoed around the darkness that filled my lungs and suffocated me. I fought to breath, I fought to move against the darkness but it would not go away. I started to shake and cry, was I dying? Would I be covered and choked by darkness forever if I died? Time passed and all I did was cry, I couldn't stop and I didn't want to stop either, how much time passed I did not know but when the darkness started to recede I stopped crying and looked towards the small dot of light. The light burned my eyes and brought the faint whispers of voices that would come and go. I stood up and looked closer at the light, the more I looked at it and thought about going towards it the brighter the light became. Curious I started to walk towards the light. The darkness once again reared it's ugly head and tried to stop me, the darkness wanted me to stay and feed on my tears and despair but I did not want to stay. I started to run, and when I heard the scream of a vulture I ran harder. I ran so hard I thought my lungs would give out on me and I dove towards the light. The light washed over me, and the screams of angry vultures followed me through for a second before they became screams of pain and I opened my eyes.
My open eyes fell onto my mother's face. It hovered over mine and her lips moved constantly as if in prayer. Slowly the sounds of the real world greeted my ears and I let out a sob of joy, I would not stay with the vultures and the darkness today. My sound brought my mother from her prayers and she opened her eyes. They looked deep into mine before she closed her eyes and pulled me close to her body. I smelled the sand of the desert and the smell of a dragon when my mother held me to her. "Oh Remmy." she muttered soothingly as her hand stroked my back and my hair repeatedly.
A Hacar is not a real article of clothing in the real world that I know of. Instead a Hacar looks much like a Kimono top with long loose sleeves with a hood and a face mask.
04-24-2010, 06:16 AM
My mother told me about what happened after I was attacked. Apparently the dragon I had found the vultures eating had been poisoned by a feral Venom Spitter and that had made the body of the dragon uneatable to all but the vultures who prey on Venom Spitter carcasses and some of the more venomous creatures of where I lived in Saquin. When the vultures eat a carcass with poison in it they become easily agitated and provoking them can lead to a group mauling. They had also transferred some of the Venom Spitter poison from their meal into me when they had attacked me. It had been more then enough to be fatal with how many cuts and gouges I had on my body. The healer had even told me it was amazing that I had not collapsed in the desert farther off. The two women filled me in on the fact that the carcass had been set on fire in a pyre to prevent other animals from dying or having the rest of the vulture population become crazy and chance an attack on the caravan. That had been two days ago. 1
"Now that you're awake Remmy, I want you to rest and not do anything too wild. Your body still has to process the rest of the poison out and while the anti venom has dulled the most dramatic effects of the venom it has not gotten rid of it. Do you understand?"2
"Yes, healer." I nodded my head gently and she patted my shoulder before taking my mom into the next room and talking to her quietly. When my mom came back into the room she told me that in the carcass of the dragon they had found a dragon egg. By law of the Matriarch all dragon eggs where to be given to the military but the one who found it could join the military of the country if they thought they had a chance at becoming the eggs future rider, but many others would also petition to possibly be chosen by the dragon when it hatched. "I would like you to go and join the Dragon Riders Remmy." my mother told me after a few moments of silence and I arched an eyebrow at her. "It has been many generations since this tribe has been represented in the military and I think it should be the time for our tribe to become so honorably recognized." My mother held my hand gently as she told me this with such an adamant way that it almost forced me to think about it. "We have many women in our tribe who can marry the men and continue the tribes line of succession but there are no boys your age or any that I know of you being interested in. You don't even seem interested in any of the trades offered by the masters in the tribe." 3
"Because I'm not. I know the boys and they're my friends but I am not interested in them for marriage purposes and I do not want to be an armor mender or a simple defender of the tribe. I like the art but they do not have room for me in their tents so I cannot become an apprentice."4
"All the more reason for you to go with the egg to the capital and place your lot in on the egg like the rest of those who will." 5
"I will think about it mother, I promise." my mother brushed a strand of my black hair back and away from my face before patting my head and pressing a kiss to my forehead before she left me to my thoughts. I did not think much of the proposition that night or the next day for that matter because I slept through most of it. 6
A few days after I woke up my mother approached me again about the egg and I was able to answer her request. I told her yes. From that day forward my mother trained me constantly around the dragons that landed in the dragon circle. When there where no dragons she forced me to run and do various gymnastics and made me practice my fighting with the older boys till I could not move without something in my body hurting. At first it was hard to do and keep up with but soon I was beating the boys and that was the days we grew closer to the capital in our constant traveling. My mother assured me that dragon eggs took a long time to hatch and it would still be a long time before the egg was hatch-able even after we delivered it to the military commander at the capital. "Remmy, do a follow through the sword, do not try to force it to stop." My oldest brother told me as he leaned against a nearby tree. His long black hair flew about the soft breeze that caressed the ground today. He looked overly dressed for the day with his red dragon armor and sword at his hip, he wasn't even on duty today. "If you do not do a follow through you risk hurting your arm for no reason. Do it again." my brother waved a hand at me to continue to wave the stick around. Huffing softly I shifted my hands on the stick and then went through the paces with the sword again. Again and again my brother would stop me and fix my stance or through in some tidbit of information till I was ready to scream. By the time Raca came to tell me that mom had come to the tent for the night I was attacking the air with a precision of rage induced deadliness that neither male would call out to me until I was done. 7
After I had stopped my practice my brother Raca walked with me back to the family tent. "You're getting really good at that stuff Remmy." Raca said as he stepped on the leash of a tribe dog that was tied up, his words caused me to trip over my own obstacle. Raca's hands shot out to catch me and steady me as the dog I had tripped over wound his leash around my leg in an attempt to escape and I laughed as I regained my balance and wiggled myself out of the wound up leash. "I do believe I just heard a compliment from my little brother, do my ears deceive me?" I asked with a grin and Raca laughed as he let my arm go. "Nah, you're hearing things, Remmy." I laughed and shook my head as we left the dogs behind and stepped into the maze of the tents that where always set up haphazardly without a lot of thought as to order beyond being near your friends or near the healer or the girl you liked in most cases. "Well I'm telling myself thanks, if you want some help with your training Raca, I'll help you." I gave my brother a smile that made him stop in his tracks, it was rare for the two of us to ever get along but when those moments came around it was with a true sincerity that most people could never muster for a sibling. "No, it's okay. I'm the best in my class and you're busy with your own training." Raca puffed up a bit when he told me he was the best in his class and I laughed, not at the idea of him being good at weapons but at his own gusto and pride. Raca smiled at me and I shook my head. "Yeah, I might be busy with my training when I'm training but what am I suppose to do at home? My chores aren't what they use to be." 8
"Neither are mine! I think I got your old ones." Raca told me matter of factly, it was just a common fact in our family that happened, if a person in the family took up new training or such then the other members of the house with free time would take up the new chores. It had happened to me when I was little and my older brother Joda had become a tribe warrior. "Don't complain, I'm sure mom and dad took the bigger chores." I shoved Raca sideways as we walked and he laughed even as he stumbled into a tent making the woman inside shout at him. When he came back to shove me towards a group of people I dodged around him and sent him sprawling into the sand. I laughed at him as he pushed himself up and back to his feet while his cheeks blazed just making it all that more worth it. "You sure you're the top of your class?" I asked with a grin and he puffed up again like an offended rooster as he stalked over to me. I ran from him turning it into a game of chase all the way back to the tent with the sun setting to the east of us.9
Once at the tent I laughed as my brother barreled towards me, at the last moment I dropped low to the ground and grabbed his calves sending him flying over my shoulders. My grip on his legs stopped him from going too far and I stood up with a bit of effort. Raca's girly scream of surprise had me laughing as I carried him into the tent where my mother and father waited near the fire and gave the two of us cursory glances. "I brought you that thing you wanted, where I should I put it?" I asked my mother who's lips tugged slightly in a smile. "Put your brother down, Remmy."10
"Oh, THIS is a brother?" I tilted my head and looked over my shoulder as if I had never heard of such a thing like a 'brother' as Raca pinched at the back of my legs. "Yes, Remmy, that is your brother now put him down, gently." With a sigh I crouched down and let my brother's legs go. For all my gentleness the little ass kicked me in mine before we sat down for dinner.11
The next day my mother woke me up instead of my father. Her voice was so uncommon in the tents early in the morning that I immediately thought something was wrong. "What is a matter mother? Did the cattle or something get out?"12
"No, no my daughter. I need to speak with you. Come, get up and get dressed so we may take a walk before it grows too hot." My mother patted my head and left my bedding. I sat up slowly and groaned as the cool morning desert air brushed against my bare skin. I looked about to find my hacar and pants in a folded pile by the head of my bed. Grabbing my clothes I pulled them on, dancing around to warm up but to also put my leg into my pants. "What are you doing?" Raca lifted his head from his blankets to watch me hop on one foot and fight my leg into the twisted material that was a pant leg. "I'm getting dressed."13
"No, you're dancing."14
"Shut up and go back to sleep before I sit on you."15
"You'll think scary when you can't breath," I hissed at him as I finally pushed my foot through the gathered cuff at the bottom. "Hand me my boots."17
"I can't, I'm asleep." I glared at my little brother as he rolled over and covered his head with a blanket. I pulled my pants tight by the strings and tied the strings off in an intricate knot used for keeping the pants up no matter how much I moved or rolled around. Stepping over my brother I made sure to kick him in the kidneys gently as I pulled my other leg over him. He grunted and peeked out from under the blankets then grabbed my ankle and sent me sprawling across the cold fire pit. Grunting as I hit the floor I rolled backwards through the cold fire pit smearing soot and ash across the back of my hacar and pants before I came up near the shoes lined up against the wall of the tent. Raca laughed softly as he looked at the back of my clothes as I pulled on some socks and my mid calf boots. "Bye Remmy." Raca called out in a sweet tone of feigned innocence, I was half tempted to throw my boot at him. Trudging out of the tent I found my mother talking to another woman across the walk way that was erected by the boundaries of the tents. While I waited for my mother to finish talking I dusted the ash and soot of my clothes with my hands. 18
"Remmy, come here and meet Necta. This is the woman who trains the new recruits when they sign up for the military. In two days time you will be leaving with her for the capital." My mother introduced me to a woman wearing military dress. Her clothes where stiff as if fresh pressed and she stood with a straight back. Her boots where a dull sand color and her clothes matched in certain areas but for the most part her clothes where a mottled assortment of grays, tans and a few smears of green. Necta's eyes were a bright blue and she wore her hair in a tight braid, her hair matched the sands but her skin was pale and looked scorched by the sun. "My name is Necta, I'll be your Mepta." Her tone was clipped and she spoke with an odd accent that caught my interest. "It's nice to meet you Necta." I bowed slightly and her lip turned up in a light smile as she bowed back. "I'm under the impression that you are to be a Dragon Rider."19
"Yes I am. I hope to bring great esteem to my tribe." My mother beamed with pride as I spoke more with Necta. Necta wanted basic information about my abilities to fight, what I was best at, if I could do anything beyond just fighting and how skilled I was with the other abilities. Other then fighting I could repair my own clothes, I could hunt, track, and cook. I could also read and write, Necta only nodded her head and asked me other various questions about dragons that I could not answer before she nodded her head and dismissed me to talk to my mother. 20
That day and the next day the woman was at my side watching everything I did. She wouldn't speak a word to me about things but she always held a talk with my teachers before, during and after the training session before following me to the next one. When I asked Necta why she was following me she only told me it was for placement purposes and it was a common thing for the military to do. I did not really like that answer but she didn't seem willing to answer any other questions. The day before I left which was two days after I met Necta a large party was held as a going away party. The older members of the tribe organized it while my mother dragged me out of my training to have a small army of women scrub me down with perfume smelling soaps and then cover me in oils that smelled wonderful that made my skin glow in the dim light that came from outside the tent. My mother sat me down on a rug that was ringed by other women, I was left naked so the oil would dry on my skin and not stain any clothes. The women around me started to pull combs, brushes and boxes from seemingly nowhere. The chattering that ensued was wild, there where seven conversations at once and they all talked about me, what colors would go best with my hair or my eyes and what they should paint or not paint and who should paint it. Someone was combing my hair while I sat on the rug with a stupid expression, I never knew these kinds of things where so dire. Once they had made their choices on what colors I should wear and how that would coordinate with my eyes, hair and paint my face was used as a sheet of paper for their art. Sometimes the brushes would travel below my face to my arms, neck, upper chest and down my back. When I asked what they where doing they told me they where blessing me and to stop moving. I21
didn't know how long I sat on that rug with the women all around me painting me and dressing me but by the time they where done I was swathed in a silk dress that wrapped around my body, tied off in the back and held for good measure by pins of bone with beads and leather tassels for decoration. My hair was piled on top of my head with beads running through it, my boots where replaced with sandals that where similarly blessed like I was. I missed lunch because of the preparations so the smell of cooking meat that filtered through the tent as the preparations continued made me feel like my stomach was trying to kill me for not feeding it earlier. When I was released they had put me in front of a mirror to look at myself. My face was painted blue and white symbols for grace, courage, honor, bravery and strength where applied over the blue. The areas that where painted below my face where in beautiful flowing swirls that ended in various symbols for good fortune, health, and love. My eyes where highlighted by tan paint and when I closed one of my eyes I noticed how my face resembled the coast line where the capital was located. Smiling I nodded my head and gave my thanks to the women around me who went out of the tent to join the festivities outside. 22
"Oh my Remmy, you look magnificent. You will make the Dekata tribe very proud tonight." My mother smiled so happily at me that I couldn't help but smile back even as she fixed my dress collar. "Come, let us join the party." Mother took my arm and escorted me toward the tent flap where my father stood in his best clothes a beaming smile on his scruffy face as he took my other arm to lead me into the dusky light that highlighted the crowd of my fellow tribesmen. Everyone in the tribe was decked out in their better clothes for the festivities though I noticed that none where dressed up like I was or bore the same markings across their faces and bodies. The elders walked up to me and my parents departed. The oldest member of the council a frail old man with hair as white as the dragons and eyes as white as the clouds walked up to me, I went to bow but he held a hand up to stop me. "Do not bow tonight Remmy, for tonight and tonight alone you are with the council in honor. It has been many a generation since last we had a ceremony like this." I already knew this but I stayed quiet and allowed him to talk. The old man shuffled closer to me his walking stick supporting him. "I may not see you tonight Remmy but I know you look as beautiful as the goddess who birthed the dragons." I blushed brightly at this compliment, the goddess of the dragons was said to be the most beautius woman in the whole world with hair as black as the night sky without a moon, eyes the color of the sands and skin like mud. "May the goddess' dragons walk with you." the old man smiled and patted my shoulder before walking away. My parents came back to my sides with bright smiles holding up their arms to escort me to the platform erected near a roaring bon fire. I sat on a large rug and for what seemed liked forever people came up to me to wish me well or give me a good luck charm that I thanked them all equally for. Necta came last with a set of clothes that where much like her own. The top had no face covering or a hood to block the sun or sand but they where mottled to look like the sands and outlying areas, the only difference between mine and hers was that around the sleeves and hem where a blue section of cloth and the chest patch was empty of everything but my name. I blinked at her and all she did was smile at me before leaving.23
Eventually the oldest member of the coucil rose to his feet shakily and walked to the platform to look out over the tribe with beady grey eyes under bushy grey eyebrows. "Memebers of the Dekata tribe, hear me and bid once more good luck unto our young warrioress Remmy." I heard loud shouts of good luck amongst the general cheer that went up making me blushed with embaressment. "Now that the gods have heard our wishes of luck let us welcome Necata of the capital. She has come to the tribe to usher our young Remmy into the claws of the military and onto the wings of the dragons that protect our country!" Another roar of cheers went up at the end of that section of the speech, I watched Necta smile and blush like an embaressed girl despite her age. "Not only are we well wishing both Remmy and Necta we are here to send them off. As of sunrise tomorrow these two will leave for the capital. May the gods bless you both and now, let us eat!!" Another roar of approval went up before people went to work on the food layed out. More food was brought in from the various tents around the pavillion. The council, my family and Necta shared the platform with as we ate, various lizard meats, cattle meats and fruits where the dishes and all of us tucked into the food with relish. "Remmy, will you come back with your dragon once in awhile?" Remmy asked around a mouthful of food, his large brown eyes watched me carefully. I swallowed my mouthful of food before nodding my head enthusiatically, "I'll come home every chance I get Raca, I'll even keep in touch through letters when I can't come home." A sigh of relife spread through my family simultaneiously and I laughed at the looks of relife on their faces. "What, you people thought I'd forget about you once I became a big bad dragon rider?"24
"It crossed our minds."25
"Wow, thanks for having confidence in me." I muttered and took a bite out of my food as a flute started up in the background followed by a few more instruments as my parents started to tell me how they had confidence in me. I listened to them but immediately turned them off when I saw the dancing. "Can I go dance?" I asked my mother and father who looked at me with a sigh before nodding their heads. I was off the platform in a flash and in the wild press of bodies that was the dance floor. For the rest of the night I danced, ate and sang with my friends and those around me till late into the night.26
The morning came all too quickly for me when I felt my mom and father shaking my shoulder gently telling me to get up. My father helped me wash the paint off my face and my mother undid my hair all before the sun was even up. Someone had packed for me during the party or while I was asleep and I found no need to try and brush my parents off because of this so I let them tend to my hair and face. "You will make us proud Remmy." I looked at my father who gripped my chin and then planted a kiss on my now clean cheek. "I promise I'll make you proud papa." he smiled at me before pulling me into a tight hug as my mother let the last of my hair down and she too hugged me. Once I was dressed and wearing some of the good luck charms my parents let me out of the tent and into the arms of my three brothers. Hugs and noogies went around the four of us along with laughs and threats of coming back or coming to and beating someone up if something happened to one another. Before long Necta came walking down the aisle of tents wearing a back pack and leading a donkey ladened with supplies and the dragon egg. Necta was wearing desert clothes like mine and she walked with a powerful ground eating stride. I knew I would have a good time keeping up with her for the next couple of days. I waved goodbye to my family before I followed after her snice she only tossed her head and kept walking. 27
"So, whats the military like?" I asked as I held onto the lead rope of the donkey and paced myself along side Necta. "Oh, um," Necta was caught off guard by my question and she scratched her head slightly before answering "once you're situated with equipment, rank and room you begin to train. Training consists of running in the morning, breakfast, drills and then more running followed by lunch then the squad breaks up to do other various lessons. You'll be learning about dragons. I don't know what they teach in the dragon chambers nor do I care." Necta said over her shoulder as she put her hands on her hips and started to walk at a slightly faster pace. "Do you not like dragons or something?"28
"It doesn't matter what I like or not. I'm your Mepta and you will not ask me such questions again." I rolled my eyes as the woman trudged on faster then before across the cracked dusty flats of the Saquin north. The first day of travel was spent silently and we only stopped during the hottest part of the day and waited for the day to cool off before we continued to walk. We walked well into the night and when the sun came up she set up camp and called it a night. I blinked at this, I could have gone longer provided she allowed it but when I asked what we where stopping for she only glared and told me to obey orders. Silently I thought if she was going to be this way the whole trip I'd not be having any fun or much small talk. For the next three days of our trip it happened exactly that way, Necta only spoke to command me and when she commanded me I was expected to do it without question. By the last day my jaw hurt from clenching it so tightly for so long. The donkey however seemed just fine with obeying orders and brayed loudly from time to time for no real reason as we walked up and down the dunes that had accumulated outside of the city.
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