Hmmmm.....I wonder if Tony/Metalseeker will be able to make his own suit....

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~DREAMER/ENDER DRAGON~

Goddess of Shadows, Stealth, and Mercenaries

VISIT /307685 FOR MY OC'S

ML: Khali/Shadow Raven

GVE: Dreamer (so far!!!)

PA: Silhouette

I OWN A MAGICAL RABBIT NAMED DAYDREAM

QUEEN OF ROGUEISH CHARACTERS

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~DREAMER/ENDER DRAGON~

Goddess of Shadows, Stealth, and Mercenaries

VISIT /307685 FOR MY OC'S

ML: Khali/Shadow Raven

GVE: Dreamer (so far!!!)

PA: Silhouette

I OWN A MAGICAL RABBIT NAMED DAYDREAM

QUEEN OF ROGUEISH CHARACTERS

poke

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

Queen of Non SequiturBookwyrmsPangolinsand Bones

 

Trash Squad, WerewolfGASTER FOLLOWER

 

Writer, roleplayer, nerd

 

WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

ZE IRON DRAGON WILL RETURN

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~DREAMER/ENDER DRAGON~

Goddess of Shadows, Stealth, and Mercenaries

VISIT /307685 FOR MY OC'S

ML: Khali/Shadow Raven

GVE: Dreamer (so far!!!)

PA: Silhouette

I OWN A MAGICAL RABBIT NAMED DAYDREAM

QUEEN OF ROGUEISH CHARACTERS

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~DREAMER/ENDER DRAGON~

Goddess of Shadows, Stealth, and Mercenaries

VISIT /307685 FOR MY OC'S

ML: Khali/Shadow Raven

GVE: Dreamer (so far!!!)

PA: Silhouette

I OWN A MAGICAL RABBIT NAMED DAYDREAM

QUEEN OF ROGUEISH CHARACTERS

just so y'all know, this isn't dead, the next chapter is just being very very stubborn.

 

my last week of progress consists entirely of about 200 words that I deleted and a comment on the side of the Google Doc about how I keep calling mixing up Bucky with characters from other series (namely Flowey from Undertale and the Assassin in White from the Stormlight Archive) ;-;

 

 

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

Queen of Non SequiturBookwyrmsPangolinsand Bones

 

Trash Squad, WerewolfGASTER FOLLOWER

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

ALROIGHT LETS HELP IT COME THROUGH

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~DREAMER/ENDER DRAGON~

Goddess of Shadows, Stealth, and Mercenaries

VISIT /307685 FOR MY OC'S

ML: Khali/Shadow Raven

GVE: Dreamer (so far!!!)

PA: Silhouette

I OWN A MAGICAL RABBIT NAMED DAYDREAM

QUEEN OF ROGUEISH CHARACTERS

oh, uh...I don't mean it's being stubborn in mods, I mean it's resisting being written. :P

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

Queen of Non SequiturBookwyrmsPangolinsand Bones

 

Trash Squad, WerewolfGASTER FOLLOWER

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

Ooohhhhhh *slowly retreats behind wall*

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~DREAMER/ENDER DRAGON~

Goddess of Shadows, Stealth, and Mercenaries

VISIT /307685 FOR MY OC'S

ML: Khali/Shadow Raven

GVE: Dreamer (so far!!!)

PA: Silhouette

I OWN A MAGICAL RABBIT NAMED DAYDREAM

QUEEN OF ROGUEISH CHARACTERS

Okay, this is REALLY GOOD.

 

I have to bookmark this.

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Grey

 

She/Her

 

My hobbies include hiding from face-to-face interaction, obsessing over fictional content, and wasting away on the internet. I tend to be inactive on these forums and in real life.

 

 

Queen of Sarcasm

 

 

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~DREAMER/ENDER DRAGON~

Goddess of Shadows, Stealth, and Mercenaries

VISIT /307685 FOR MY OC'S

ML: Khali/Shadow Raven

GVE: Dreamer (so far!!!)

PA: Silhouette

I OWN A MAGICAL RABBIT NAMED DAYDREAM

QUEEN OF ROGUEISH CHARACTERS

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~DREAMER/ENDER DRAGON~

Goddess of Shadows, Stealth, and Mercenaries

VISIT /307685 FOR MY OC'S

ML: Khali/Shadow Raven

GVE: Dreamer (so far!!!)

PA: Silhouette

I OWN A MAGICAL RABBIT NAMED DAYDREAM

QUEEN OF ROGUEISH CHARACTERS

re-bookmark

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

Queen of Non SequiturBookwyrmsPangolinsand Bones

 

Trash Squad, WerewolfGASTER FOLLOWER

 

Writer, roleplayer, nerd

 

WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

Chapter 4: In Which the Promised Interrogation Actually Happens, There is Very Little Plot Movement, and Oncilla Takes a Month to Write One Chapter (sorry)


Captain America


Note: All Russian in this chapter was done using Google Translate, so I apologize in advance for the fact that it’s probably grammatically incorrect if not complete nonsense.


It was snowing when Mesa finally walked into the tavern half an hour later, Vibrant and another MudWing on her heels, and practically a blizzard by the time they had all gathered in the kitchen. (They had planned to go in the back room, but Quagmire had taken one look at the doorless entryway and ushered them into the considerably-warmer kitchen, muttering about how he’d meant to get that fixed.)

 

When everyone had finally finished rushing around and settled on the kitchen floor, Mesa shook out her tawny-umber wings and studied the ex-humans. Her piercing eyes were the same dark brown as Quagmire’s, but with a ring of yellow around the pupil. She turned to her brother and asked, “So, do I finally get to meet your mysterious guests?

Quagmire nodded. “I suppose we should start with introductions. Scavengers, allow me to introduce my sisters, Mesa and Karst, and you already know Mallow and Vibrant. Sibs, I present to you Metalseeker the NightWing, Eagle the SkyWing, Spider the SandWing, Squirrel the RainWing, and, uh...Snowflakes? What was it?”

 

Bucky. Or...Elk, I guess.”

 

Karst, the fourth MudWing, nodded slowly. “Metalseeker, okay. Eagle shouldn’t be too hard to remember, half the Sky Kingdom is named that. Spider. Squirrel, the one who has a squirrel on her head. And...you have three names? Bucky, Elk, Snowflakes?”

 

“He’s also a barn!” Vibrant chimed in helpfully. “I guess you can keep cows in him or something.”

 

Everyone in the room stared at her for a moment, perplexed, and then Natasha put a wing over her face and started laughing. “Oh, that’s...that’s not what that means. Bucky Barnes,” she explained for the benefit of the rest of them, and none of the former humans could help but laugh too while the Pyrrhians looked on in utter confusion.

 

“No, but seriously,” Bucky said when they were all done laughing, “if there are any jokes about using me to hold livestock, there will be revenge. I’m thinking something with water balloons.” He moved as if to fold his arms, then remembered that he only had one and stopped.

 

“Isn’t that what happens when I give you a hamburger? I’m keeping a cow in you?” Tony mused.

 

“What about grain storage? Can we use you for that?” Natasha wondered.

 

“What is it with you and water balloons?” Steve asked.

 

Bucky glared at them all, then looked away and muttered, “Water balloons are great and they should have been invented a decade earlier. You should know this, Steve.”

 

Tony blinked at him. “Why do you know when water balloons were invented?”

 

“Quagmire, I question the sanity of these dragons,” Mesa said. She’d picked up a scroll and a quill pen somewhere--actual medieval-style ones like you might see in a museum--and a pot of ink sat on the counter next to her.

 

Quagmire nodded. “Yeah, their sanity is very questionable. ‘S part of why I want you to interview them.”

 

Mesa gave him a flat look. “I’m a detective, not a psychologist. And wasn’t this supposed to be some kind of identity verification?”

 

“It’s that too.”

 

Mesa sighed. “Fine, whatever. Now will you please tell us what’s going on?”

 

Quagmire nodded and began to explain the situation. His sisters listened intently, and Mesa jotted down notes on her scroll as he talked. When he finished, Mesa stood up wordlessly, set down her scroll and quill on the counter, and paced over to stare out the window at the falling snow.

 

There was a moment of silence. Finally Mesa turned around and returned to where she had been sitting before, and asked, “If you all are scavengers, why do you speak perfect United Pyrrhian?”

 

Steve, Tony, and Natasha looked at each other, at a loss for a response. “You mean we’re not speaking English?” Tony asked, looking just as bewildered as Steve felt.

 

Doreen hesitantly raised a purple-splotched wing. “It might work something like my talking to squirrels,” she said. “I just instinctively understand them, and it goes both ways...maybe something like that was triggered when we turned into dragons?”

 

“Okay, I’ve missed a lot, and maybe things are different now,” Bucky said, “but last I checked, that’s not how language works. Or, uh, reality.”

 

Doreen shrugged. “It doesn’t make sense to me either. But it works with the squirrels.”

 

The MudWings all blinked at each other, and Tony was starting to get that look that meant ‘I need to run some tests about that.’

 

Natasha sighed deeply and said, “Well, I suppose that makes about as much sense as everything else that’s happened today.”

 

Mesa frowned thoughtfully and scribbled some notes on her scroll. “Can you demonstrate the squirrel-speak thing?”

 

Doreen made some noises that sounded amazingly similar to a squirrel.

 

Mesa nodded. “Impressive. But I’ve heard dragons mimic birdsong and scavenger squeaks before. Just because you can sound like a squirrel doesn’t mean you can talk to them.”

 

“Well, technically anyone can talk to squirrels,” Doreen noted as she got to her feet. “Getting them to understand is the hard part.” She went over and pushed open the window, letting in a gust of chilly air and snowflakes, and stuck her head outside. She made some more squirrel noises and stepped back.

 

A moment later, a dozen bushy-tailed rodents appeared on the windowsill.

 

Mesa opened her mouth and closed it again. “Well. I have to admit, that was cool. Couldn’t you have trained them, though?”

 

“You guys can go,” Doreen said to the squirrels; they scampered off and she closed the window. “I guess I can’t prove that I didn’t train them, at least not until it’s warmer--I can get more squirrels to come when I’m not calling them out in a blizzard.”

 

“No, I can vouch that she’s telling the truth,” Quagmire said. “It’s just about the only thing here I can confirm…” He sighed.

 

Natasha folded her arms thoughtfully and asked a question in Russian. The MudWings blinked at each other, and then Quagmire, Mesa, and Mallow all turned to look at Karst.

 

“What?” Karst asked. “Just because I read Old SkyWing doesn’t mean I can understand every dead language in its spoken form. I don’t even know which language that was.”

 

Natasha frowned and muttered, “Pochemu eto vsegda angliyskiy?”

 

“Navernoye, potomu chto my vse eto ponimayem,” Bucky offered.

 

Nat snorted. “Oh, you hush.”

 

Tony shot Steve a bemused look. “One of these days, I really need to learn Russian.”

 

“Yeah, let me know when you do that. I’ll probably join you,” Steve replied.

 

Mesa made some more notes on her scroll.

 

Ultimately, the interrogation lasted about half an hour more before Vibrant and Doreen both started yawning, at which point Mesa decided it was time to wrap it up. She rolled up her scroll and announced, “Well, at this point I’m reasonably certain you’re not Shadow Claws. You could be lying for other reasons, or you could be any combination of insane, concussed, drunk, and severely sleep-deprived, but you’re not Shadow Claws.”

 

“Guess we passed the test,” Tony said.

 

“Since you’re cleared on that,” Mesa continued, “tomorrow we should go investigate the place where Vibrant found you and see if there are any clues as to what happened. If the blizzard has passed, we can start first thing in the morning, since I don’t need to be anywhere until noon. We have a guest room upstairs that y’all can stay in for the night.”

 

“I should have dinner ready in an hour,” Quagmire added. “Until then, don’t break anything.”

 

Mesa nodded decisively. “The investigation starts tomorrow.”

 

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

Queen of Non SequiturBookwyrmsPangolinsand Bones

 

Trash Squad, WerewolfGASTER FOLLOWER

 

Writer, roleplayer, nerd

 

WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

poke

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

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~Oncilla~

 

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Writer, roleplayer, nerd

 

WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

poke

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

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Writer, roleplayer, nerd

 

WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

poke

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

Natasha's a SandWing

I can't get over this

it's so perfect

*huggles Oncilla* i don't even care if everybody dies in this story, you've just made me so ridiculously happy

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Sanetra

 

11562+ stars - Apr 2017 - Mar 2019

 

Life is the greatest gift. You've all helped shape mine. I can never thank you all enough. It's been so good

 

Amigos

eurekaDarkseaBearBlackberryVertigoLectorGulfyCaleoZodiakTS

...I'm with you to the end

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She/Her

 

My hobbies include hiding from face-to-face interaction, obsessing over fictional content, and wasting away on the internet. I tend to be inactive on these forums and in real life.

 

 

Queen of Sarcasm

 

 

K so chapter 5 is done and I should be posting it soon, just gotta finish up revisions

 

No word on when chapter 6 might be out though, since this chapter took a month and a half and I had a good idea of what was happening in it

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

Queen of Non SequiturBookwyrmsPangolinsand Bones

 

Trash Squad, WerewolfGASTER FOLLOWER

 

Writer, roleplayer, nerd

 

WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

this is so great. NEVER LET IT DIE.

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ATbAsH

on hiatus//dead inside

bnha trash

This is the longest chapter yet, I think.

 

(please let this through, mods, I really don't want to have to do all the formatting again...)

 

Chapter 5: Finally Some Action (Starring Several Assassins and Mesa)


Winter Soldier


It was close to midnight when Bucky woke up on the floor, disoriented and gasping from the nightmares. As he awoke, it took him a few seconds to realize that he wasn’t in an alleyway in Berlin with a body at his feet, metal hand gleaming scarlet, and a few more to remember where he was: the guest room on the upper floor of Quagmire’s tavern. As a dragon.

 

He felt sticky and wrong, and the guilt and panic from the nightmare still clouded his mind, and at some point during the night he’d gotten tangled in his thin blanket and fallen to the floor. The room was quiet in a way that it never got in cities, and the dying embers of a fireplace glowed against one wall.

 

Bucky pushed himself to a sitting position, cursing softly as he tried to put his weight on the arm that was missing, and looked around the room. In the faint moon- and firelight, he could just make out the indistinct lumps that were three sleeping dragons; the fourth was standing silhouetted against the room’s single window.

 

“Nightmares?” Natasha asked sympathetically, voice hushed to avoid waking up the others.

 

“Yeah.”

 

She nodded understandingly, but didn’t press further, not even to ask if he wanted to talk about it. Bucky was grateful for that. There was a moment’s silence, and then she announced, “You should come see these stars. Without any light pollution, they’re pretty spectacular.”

 

Bucky nodded. He tried to disentangle himself from the blanket, but mostly succeeded in shredding the poor thing on his horns and claws and annoyingly-profuse spikes. As he got to his feet and padded across the room to the open window, he asked in Russian, “(So why are you still awake?)”

 

Natasha shrugged, stepping aside to make space for him at the windowsill. “(Couldn’t sleep. I had to get up and get some fresh air--you wouldn’t believe how smoky it gets in a room full of sleeping dragons.)”

 

Bucky poked his head out the window and looked up. The snowstorm from earlier had blown over, leaving the night sky black as velvet and swirled with the brightest stars he had ever seen, although the patterns they made were unfamiliar, and it was quiet in the way it only gets on still, snowy nights. He sucked in a breath of the clear air and closed his eyes, letting the cold darkness wash away the residual groggy anxiety of the nightmares.

 

Deep breaths. Everything is fine. There is no blood on my hands today. I am Bucky Barnes and I am not a tool of HYDRA.

 

What am I, then? a small part of him questioned.

 

That wasn’t a question he wanted to think about right now, so he pushed it away by answering, Well, at the moment, a dragon.

 

Which was...strange, to say the least. His sense of touch felt deadened slightly, although not as much as one might expect with scales--maybe like the dulled sensation from his metal arm had spread through his whole body, which was not terrible. Everything was proportioned differently--longer body, face, and neck, shorter upper arms and legs but longer hands and feet, teeth and claws like steak knives, mobile ears...a forked tongue…

 

Then there was the swirling coldness in his chest, which was probably his IceWing frostbreath. It felt blizzardishly playful, perhaps a touch like freezing from the inside, but not malicious. It occurred to him that it should at least be making him nervous--being frozen was not exactly his favorite thing--but instead it felt as normal and right as a heartbeat.

 

The wings and tail, too, although odd, seemed as natural as the limbs he’d been born with. From what he knew about neuroscience (picked up from Romanian science magazines and Wakandan scientists), that probably meant the whole wiring of their brains had changed when they’d turned into dragons. Stark, Shuri, and Doctor Strange would probably all have a lot to say about that, but--

 

Something moved in the forest behind Quagmire’s tavern.

 

Bucky tensed, opening his eyes and tilting his head slightly so he could see down into the trees without letting on that he knew there was something out there. It sounded large, about the same weight as dragon-Squirrel Girl if he had to guess, although he didn’t have enough information judge properly.

 

“(Nat?)” Bucky whispered.

 

“(Yeah?)”

 

“(I think there’s someone out there.)”

 

Natasha was at his side in a moment. Something silver glinted in her hand, and Bucky glanced at her in surprise; she was holding what appeared to be a large chef’s knife. “(Where’d you get that?)” he asked.

 

“(Quagmire’s kitchen,)” she replied, and stuck her head out the window.

 

“(You’ll give it back, right?)”

 

Natasha rolled her eyes. “(Da. Shush, I can’t tell if there’s someone sneaking around if you keep talking.)” She whispered in English, “You’re right, the moonlight on the snow is beautiful,” for the benefit of anyone who might be listening.

 

Everything was silent for a long moment, and then there was more movement, a little farther from the window. This time, there was a flash of a pale shape at the edge of the forest.

 

Natasha nodded slightly, then yawned widely. “Well, pretty moonlight is nice and all, but it’s past midnight and I really must be getting to sleep now. You should too, Elk.”

 

They withdrew to inside the window and sat back on opposite sides of it.

 

“(Who’s going to investigate and who’s guarding the window?)” she asked, switching back to Russian.

 

“(I’ll investigate. If someone does come through the window, try to capture them instead of stabbing them.)” He nodded to the knife in her hand. Then he stood and slipped silently out the door of the guest bedroom.

 

The hallway beyond was not as dark as he had expected, which turned out to be a good thing--walking silently with claws and scales and only one arm was hard enough without having to worry about feeling his way. He paused at the top landing for a moment, debating on whether or not to try to navigate the stairs head-first and one-armed, then shrugged slightly and simply jumped down the full length of them.

 

He landed less-than-gracefully on the stone floor of the kitchen, although at least this time he didn’t fall over. Then he moved cautiously into the back room, nervous energy buzzing through his body.

 

There was probably no reason for his apprehension. It was not exactly news that he and Natasha both tended towards paranoia. But then...there was already least one known threat in this place. The Shadow Claws would likely have loftier targets than simple barkeeps, but Mesa...Bucky was fairly certain that Mesa was part of the Blazing Initiative despite Mallow’s feigned innocence, and it would be no surprise if a member of a counterintelligence team was on their hit list.

 

She probably would have been on mine.

 

He quickly pushed that thought out of his head and focused on the task at hand. Mission: identify intruder and level of threat. Drive off, neutralize if necessary. Use non-lethal force if possible.

 

He silently rounded a bin of metal scraps and paused by the doorway to the outside, pressed against the wall to stay out of sight of anyone who might be out there. Then he peered warily through the door.

 

Nobody was immediately visible, so Bucky went out the door into a covered porch, glancing at the forge and anvil set up at the far end of it. Cautiously, he stepped beyond the porch into the snow.

 

There was a slight rush of air as a shadow fell over him, and instinct kicked in and he jumped aside. He spun as a smallish dragon thudded to the snow where he had been.

 

It was a silver-scaled IceWing; half his size, but wiry and muscular, and definitely better balanced than he was. Her eyes glinted darkly in the moonlight as her wings flickered closed, and she jumped away as soon as she hit the ground.

 

Bucky lunged for the other dragon, kicking up snow. She tried to dodge around him, but he slammed his hand down on her tail, pinning her.


The smaller IceWing turned and glared at him, jaw working. She opened her mouth with a hiss, and it was only then that he remembered the frostbreath. He scrambled away, releasing her, as a long stream of glittering smoke spewed out where his head had been moments before.

 

The dragon snapped her mouth shut and pulled a knife out of a sheath tied to her leg. Growling, she lunged at him, but he sidestepped. The two of them circled for a minute, and then the other dragon jumped at him again.

 

Bucky ducked, putting a wing to the ground for balance as he caught the dragon around the middle and shoved her over his head, using her momentum against her. The dragon slammed against the stone wall of the tavern with a crack and slumped to the ground.

 

She wasn’t dead; her tail twitched and she gasped for breath, pressed against the wall in a trembling crouch. One of her horns, it looked like, had snapped off at the tip, and dark blood was running down it.

 

Bucky approached slowly, using his tail to flick the knife out of reach. “What are you doing here?” he growled.

 

The silver IceWing didn’t answer right away. Slowly, she ran a hand over her face and up her broken horn, wincing as her claws came away wet. She tried to push herself upright, but failed and slid back to the ground. “None of y-your business,” she finally replied.

 

“You just tried to kill me,” Bucky pointed out. “I think that’s my business.”

 

She looked away and mumbled, barely intelligible, “Orders were Mesa’s sibs and anyone else who gets in the way.”

 

Bucky studied her. “Are you the only one here?”

 

“Yes.” She met his gaze steadily as she said it; either she was sincere or an excellent liar. Each seemed equally plausible.

 

Natasha’s reddish-sandy wings appeared around the corner, and she landed on a nearby bank of snow, kitchen knife still in hand. “(Everything alright?)” she asked.

 

“(Target neutralized,)” he assured her. “(Assassin, unknown source. No backup, as far as I know.)”

 

Natasha looked at the little IceWing, unimpressed. “(Bad strategy. Should I go wake up Quagmire?”)

 

“(Yeah, he’ll--no, wait, get Mesa. She’ll probably be more helpful.)”

 

Natasha nodded and spread her wings, but she paused before taking off. “(You take the knife, I don’t want to freak them out.)” Bucky nodded, and she tossed the knife to him. He caught it deftly as she took off and flew up to tap on the windows.

 

The IceWing blinked up at him as he turned his attention back to her. “Was that...some kind of code you were speaking?”

 

Bucky shrugged, sitting down and sweeping his tail close around his feet, making sure to position himself where he could still see the forest. “You could call it that. So who are you?”

 

“Petrel of the IceWings,” she muttered. “Third Circle, last I checked.”

 

Mesa’s coffee-brown talons thumped to the snowy ground next to Bucky. “What’s going on here?” she asked, tail tip flicking like an irritated cat’s.

 

“I caught an assassin,” Bucky explained, glancing at Natasha as she landed on his other side. “Her name’s Petrel. Not working alone, but no allies here as far as we know. Says her orders were to kill your siblings and anyone else who got in the way. Might be less stunned than she looks, so be careful.”

 

Mesa let out a long, hissing breath. “On your feet,” she barked at the captive.

 

Petrel gritted her teeth and got to her feet, wincing. She turned to face the three of them.

 

“Wings up,” Mesa ordered. Petrel grudgingly raised her wings, revealing the shape of a dragon’s footprint painted on her left shoulder in black ink. Mesa sighed, looking unsurprised. “Shadow Claws. Guess we should have taken the threat letters seriously…”

 

“Of course you should have,” Petrel growled, snapping her wings shut. “We never make empty threats.”

 

Mesa opened her mouth to reply, then stiffened. “Oh moons, Alpine! I need at least one of you to stay here and guard the prisoner. I’ll be back soon. If my sibs wake up, tell them I’m checking on Alpine.” She spread her wings and leapt into the air.

 

“Do you need backup?” Bucky called after her.

 

“Probably,” the MudWing responded, not looking back.

 

“I’ll stay,” Natasha offered, taking the kitchen knife from Bucky. He scooped up Petrel’s dagger and launched himself after Mesa.

 

They flew wordlessly through the night, surrounded by mountains and starlight. Bucky lost a wingbeat when he realized that there were three moons, but he quickly recovered. There was a mission; no time to waste staring at the night sky.

 

They landed at a one-story stone house on the outskirts of town. “Sweep the perimeter,” Mesa ordered. “I’m going in.”

 

He was only halfway around the building when he heard shouts from inside. Cursing, he retraced his steps to the front of the building and stepped through the front door, which was open.

 

On the floor of the front room, Mesa wrestled with a SandWing about the same size as Petrel and Doreen. She had its tail trapped in her mouth just below the venomous barb, but one of her arms was pinned beneath it, and its front claws were raking across the sides of her snout.

 

Before he could do anything, Mesa flipped over, pinning the SandWing. It growled and blasted fire at her, nearly hitting her face, but Mesa knocked its head aside.

 

The fire glanced off her wing instead, and Mesa gasped and jerked back, allowing the SandWing to pull its tail from her mouth and squirm out from under her. It darted away and bounded out the window of the house.

 

Bucky turned and rushed out the door, trying to follow the SandWing, but it had already disappeared into the forest. Capture’s not a priority...

 

He stepped back through the door as a SkyWing appeared from the hallway. “Mesa?” she asked, glancing up at Bucky and then back down at the MudWing. “What under all the moons is going on here?”

 

“Assassin,” Mesa answered, pushing herself to her feet and breathing hard. Blood ran down her face from the SandWing’s clawmarks. “Shadow Claws. They sent one after us too.”

 

What?” The SkyWing flared her wings as much as was possible in the hallway, then closed them again and spun around. She pushed open one of the hall’s doors, calling, “Sparrowhawk! Mistral! Lammergeier!”

 

She sighed in relief as she was greeted by a chorus of sleepy “What, mom?”s. “Family council,” she explained.

 

“In the middle of the night?” one young voice whined.

 

“There was an assassin,” the mother SkyWing said briskly. That got the kids up quickly, and a moment later, three young SkyWings stood in the front room, looking tired but interested.

 

“So what’s going on here, Mesa?” the mother SkyWing asked. “And who’s the IceWing?”

 

“This is Bucky. He’s the one who found the assassin that came after us. Bucky, this is Alpine of the Blazing Initiative, and her dragonets Lammergeier, Mistral, and Sparrowhawk.”

 

“Are any of you hurt?” Alpine broke in.

 

“No,” Mesa assured her. “We caught the assassin before they got into the house. An IceWing there and a SandWing here, both adolescent and both with the Shadow Claws mark.”

 

“Are they gonna come back?” the largest of the children asked.

 

“We don’t know,” Mesa responded. “We captured the IceWing, and she was banged up pretty badly, but the SandWing got away, and we don’t know if there were more of them.”

 

“We should move everyone to one house and post a watch,” Alpine decided. “Probably here, since it’s more defensible than your tavern. The dragonets can sleep with me, and then you and your sibs can take their room, and Bucky can take the guest room and we can lock your prisoner in the linens closet.”

 

“Don’t you have police or something?” Bucky asked.

 

Mesa shook her head. “The nearest Sky Kingdom National Guard post is down in Carmine Perch, and that’s a two-hour flight away. Blazing ops have the authority to temporarily detain suspected criminals in four of six kingdoms including Sky, though, so we’re good. I’m going to go get the others and bring them here.” She spread her wings, then winced at the burns and quickly closed them.

 

“I’ll go,” Alpine said. “You’re injured. Why don’t you kids go ahead and move your bedding into my room?”

 

The children scampered off to comply, and Alpine vanished out into the darkness.

 

About twenty minutes later, Alpine reappeared in the doorway. “Prisoner’s escaped,” she reported. She stepped into the room, shaking snow off her talons and leading a multicolored parade of sleepy dragons.

 

Natasha was the first in after Alpine, limping, bleeding from one arm and holding the other curled up against her chest. Her head was nonetheless held high, and she glared around as if daring anyone to express sympathy.

 

“What happened?” Bucky asked.

 

“Got jumped by a little SandWing,” Natasha replied. “I would have beat them, but I made a stupid mistake and forgot Petrel’s frostbreath.” Her tail lashed with annoyance, causing Tony to jump backwards and nearly run into Karst.

 

“That’ll be the assassin from here,” Mesa sighed. “That makes two of us who need medical attention, I suppose. That scratch claws or spines or tail barb?”

 

“Tail barb.”

 

Karst dragged Natasha and Mesa into one corner of the room and began administering to their wounds, while Alpine guided the rest of them as they arranged themselves in the different rooms. Steve, unsurprisingly, volunteered to take the first watch, and everyone else settled down to sleep.

 

The assassins didn’t come back for the rest of the night, and singularly and mercifully, neither did the nightmares.

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

Queen of Non SequiturBookwyrmsPangolinsand Bones

 

Trash Squad, WerewolfGASTER FOLLOWER

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

Yay it went through!

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

longing

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

rusted

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

1) that was awesome

2) somehow my music coincided perfectly with every fight scene XD

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Sanetra

 

11562+ stars - Apr 2017 - Mar 2019

 

Life is the greatest gift. You've all helped shape mine. I can never thank you all enough. It's been so good

 

Amigos

eurekaDarkseaBearBlackberryVertigoLectorGulfyCaleoZodiakTS

...I'm with you to the end

Masterpiece

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{Hyperbole}

{She/her} 

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." George Shaw 

Here to the end, and will be there in our new home.

"The forums are not a place, it's a people." Happeh

Thanks!

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

Queen of Non SequiturBookwyrmsPangolinsand Bones

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

Hm

 

Natasha and Mesa both getting hurt has somewhat derailed my plans for the next chapter

 

Might be a while until I can post that one

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

Queen of Non SequiturBookwyrmsPangolinsand Bones

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

Welp, here you go. Two months later, a very short chapter that wasn't even part of my original plan for this story and was written kind of by accident. I'm not sure if anything will come of it; I won't be able to tell if this subplot works or not until we're further down it. Some of the events are definitely happening, but I still have to decide if they're shown or behind the scenes. Don't be surprised if this gets dropped in the middle, is what I'm saying.

 

[Note: this chapter is spoiler-free for Infinity War, since it was written before I saw it. I'll try to post a warning on any chapter that does happen to have spoilers, which hopefully shouldn't happen for a while. If you must post spoilers in the comments, please white them out.]

 

Chapter 6


Petrel of the Shadow Claws


Petrel’s head pounded in sync with her talons and Oribi’s as they ran into the forest, scrambling to get away. Branches whipped at her face, and roots snagged at her claws, and she could hardly see where she was going in the shadows of the trees--Stupid, stupid forest why can’t you be like the Ice Kingdom there are no stupid trees in the Ice Kingdom why does it have to be so dark?

 

Sticky blood coated the whole left side of her face and neck from her broken horn, and her whole body hurt so much it was hard to move; adrenaline was all that kept her going. She thought one of her hind legs might be broken, too, and maybe some of her ribs, and definitely several of her scales. That other IceWing...he had thrown her into a wall from several yards away. Who was strong enough to do that?!

 

“Keep going,” Oribi hissed next to her. She hadn’t realized she’d slowed down. She forced herself to keep going--she had to get back to the rendezvous point because if she didn’t, she very well might just die here, in this treacherous forest hundreds of miles from home. At least there was snow. She could at least die surrounded by wonderful cold….

 

You’re not going to die, she thought fiercely. You’re going to make it out of here and avenge them.

 

She was glad they’d gotten away. They’d both heard the horror stories about what the Blazing Initiative did to captured Shadow Claws agents, and Petrel wasn’t sure she could hold up to torture. That SandWing had been good, too--if it wasn’t for a lucky shot with her frostbreath, they’d still be in the Blazing ops’ vicious talons.

 

Were they far enough away now? Could they get into the air and fly to the rendezvous point without being spotted, despite their bright sand-and-snow scales?

 

Before she could think this over any longer, Petrel tripped on somebody’s tail.

 

Oribi reacted faster than she did. Before she even realized what she had stumbled on, he had his knife at the throat of the NightWing who had been lying in the bushes. “Speak now if you want to live,” he hissed, flicking his forked tongue in and out.

 

The night dragon was only visible where his dark scales contrasted against the snow on the ground, and he vanished even more as he cringed back from Oribi’s knife. “I...I stand with the shadows,” he gasped.

 

Oribi pulled away his blade, but remained on guard, glaring at the NightWing with dark eyes. “Hapax legomenon,” he growled suspiciously.

 

“A-adularescence?”

 

“Gibbosity,” Oribi responded. He sheathed his knife, although Petrel noticed that his tail stayed arched tensely over his back.

 

“Where did you get those passwords?” Petrel asked. Moons was she in pain.

 

“A dragon called Hamerkop,” the NightWing responded nervously. He tried to sit up, then let out a whimper and laid back. “Where am I?”

 

“Crimson Woods,” Oribi answered. “You got a name, brother?”

 

“Yes, but...it’s not one you’d recognize as a name.” The NightWing’s wings twitched, and he flinched. “I need to talk to Hamerkop. Can you take me to him?”

 

Oribi nodded. “Lucky for you, brother, we were headed to the hideout he works at anyway. We have to go quick, though--we might have a Blazing tail. You wanna tell us what you were doing in the bushes? Spinuliferous.”

 

“If I knew, I’d tell you. Sorry. Taiga.” The NightWing rolled over and got to his feet, pausing a moment to orient himself. Then they took off for the rendezvous point.

 

By the time they reached the bluff where their handler waited for them, Petrel could barely fly. She leaned against a tree, trembling, as Hyena questioned Oribi about the NightWing and there was more exchanging of passwords.

 

Hyena cut off in the middle of a sentence as he finally noticed the condition Petrel was in. “Three moons,” he exclaimed, rushing over to her side. “Albacore’s not going to be happy about this…. Can you fly, agent?”

 

Petrel tried to answer, but her head hurt so much that all she could get out was a whimper. Her vision fuzzed; was she blacking out from pain?

 

Hyena sighed. “Oribi, we’re going to have to carry her. Petrel, hold still.” The two SandWings lifted her up in their arms and they flew off into the night.

 

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

Queen of Non SequiturBookwyrmsPangolinsand Bones

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

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Writer, roleplayer, nerd

 

WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

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WoFMBer Dec. 2014-Mar. 2019

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Such is the path of a dreamer: I find my way by moonlight.

 

~Oncilla~

 

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*Sunstalker*

 

Everything changed when the Crit nation attacked!!

 

 

 All hail the vampyre goddess Nyx

 

 

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