Tynilia’s arms clung to his waist with a tight desperation as they raced through the skies thousands of feet over the earth. Nothing but a chain wrapped around Thrashing Storm’s thick neck held them in place on the mighty dragon’s back and Jack’s two hands stayed white knuckled around its length.

Thrashing Storm

He fought through the roaring winds to call back to her. “Between the two of us, you’re the one who flies, why does this bother you so much?”

 

“One, I’m not in control. And two, I would never go up this high.”

 

“Still, I’m the one that will be in more trouble if we were to fall off.”

Jack Face

He felt her relax some. “Don’t worry big man, I’ll keep you safe.”

 

Talking over the wind remained difficult so they dug in for the long trip south. Still, despite the distance, they moved quickly. Jack saw the snow covered mountains disappear into the murky forests. Areas which had taken them days to traverse passed in mere minutes.

 

If nothing else, Jack felt relief that he wouldn’t have to relive the journey that had claimed six out of the eight original travelers. As they quickly neared the areas with which he and Tynilia were more familiar, he shouted directions to Thrashing Storm and the dragon curved to the west.

 

Doubt plagued him for he couldn’t be certain how far the armies of The Darken had advanced. It had been nearly a month since the adventures had set off and the overwhelming army could have all but destroyed his allies in that time.

 

As they dropped in elevation Tynilia’s words echoed his thoughts. “We should assume they have long lost the pass they were attempting to hold. I guess the question is, should we head to village of my allies or yours?”

 

“I think Darken would attack the Village of Yig first, since Stalker had made that deal with him.” After giving Trashing Storm directions, they headed toward the village of Yig where Jack had spent several nights in what seemed like an eternity ago.

p3

Long before they reached it, Jack knew he wouldn’t like what he found. A huge black line of destruction cut through the lush jungle from the south. The wide path of death ripped through the green like a giant highway of darkness killing all it touched.

 

The village had failed no better. In its place a crater of lifelessness stretched into the trees like a corpse’s hand. He could only tell where the village had once stood by the huge circle of obliteration fanning out into the jungle.

 

The party grew silent and Thrashing Storm descended into the center of the circle of death. No trees or obstacles stood to block his landing and Jack jumped down as soon as the dragon’s feet hit the ground. He shouted a few times, but got no answers from the quiet forest. Not even birds sang as if even they too mourned the destruction of the Yig followers.

 

Thinder's Flame

 

The dragon spoke. “My condolences child of Yig. I fear we are too late to rescue your fellows.”

 

Jack didn’t reply, instead he marched around looking for clues or survivors and found nothing.

 

Tynilia and Thrashing Storm gave him some time, but then she approached him and her gentle fingers brushed his arm. In a soft voice, she said, “There is nothing here, Jack. Perhaps they retreated to my village. Either way, we have to go. My village could still be fighting.”

Tyn

He nodded and knew she was right. Together they mounted the dragon and sped to the east.

 

The path below them remained easy to follow and they flew over the long black ribbon that cut through the jungle. Tynilia’s arms gripped him tighter as her stress level rose. He knew she must be wondering what they would find at her home.

 

Jack called back to her. “Maybe he hasn’t attacked the village of Tezcatlipoca because of the deal he thought he was making with Stalker.” She didn’t bother to answer and they flew on.

 

As they drew close, the sounds of battle reached their ears. Tynilia clutched him hard. He laid his hand over her wrist. “Please don’t fly off until we know what’s happening.”

 

They figured out the situation quickly. Hundreds of battle dinosaurs towered over the ranks of easily a hundred thousand warriors. Within their cluttered mass, other darker forms lurked. The center of the dark army held a massive throne carved from black obsidian, but since its huge back faced them, Jack couldn’t see the occupant, but knew it must have housed his ultimate adversary, Vile Darken.

Dino eating Ri[ps

Jack gripped Tynilia tighter and shouted back, “Perhaps Vile held off until he sensed Stalker die and then attacked. It could the only reason they are still-”

 

He was interrupted by the massive roar of Thrashing Storm’s fiery breath blasting into the Army of Darken. A thousand men and several dinosaurs cried out in agony as the fires consumed them.

Dragon Fire III

Before they could recover or react, the dragon hit them again.

 

Thrashing Storm circled around the army and drew in for a third attack, but then suddenly roared in pain. Jack held onto the chain when the dragon lost altitude. The dragon’s body rocked and he appeared to be having trouble flying. The jungle rushed up at them and the two humans cried out as Thrashing Storm crashed into the towering trees.

 

jack Fire

 

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and his allies can somehow survive.

 Thunder's Flame II

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jack

Words Versus Wonder

May 16, 2016

The king of the dragons had a name impossible for humans to pronounce, but translated to Thunder’s Flame. The number of other dragons surprised Jack and amounted to far more than he could have imagined. The Lava Dragons proved to be no myth, quite the opposite, they thrived in their hidden mountain refuge.

 

The dragons loomed like endless towers of red and gold, but even these colossal figures stayed dwarfed by the titanic might of their King. The size of a city, Thunder’s Flame remained difficult to perceive. Jack had a hard time wrapping his head around being in the presence of such a godly figure.

Thinder's Flame

Wings the size of soccer fields flapped around them. Growls and serpentine whispers filled the caves with loud noise. Claws and long tails scrapped over piles of coins and giant mounds of treasure as the pair waited for things to settle down.

 

Tynilia gripped his hand like she was suspended over a cliff and he had never seen her look so terrified. Her self-confident bravado had felt her and she clung to him as a woman already doomed.

Ty

When things quieted down to about as much as Jack could expect, he stepped forward and spoke in the loudest voice he could muster. “King Thunder’s Flame and all the rest of you noble dragons please heed my words. I, Jack Primus, hail from a world far different from your own, but despite this, I wish to save the planet you call home from the otherworldly evil that has ventured here and now grows like a cancer threatening to destroy all that you hold dear.”

 

Booming voices interrupted him. “Destroy you maybe, but never us.”

 

“Nothing of your kind could ever be a threat.”

Dragon II

“Let the ants eat away at each other. Whole empires could fall and we would not feel a difference.”

 

“Your words ring true,” Jack shouted, “but The Darken will not stop with us. He stops at nothing short of complete power and domination. I have no doubt that you and your kind are the mightiest creatures on your world, but will even you be able to withstand the might of an entire planet pitted against you? And even if you could, would you want to? Would you enjoy seeing your mates and younger ones fall to his hand in a war without end? And I know this from experience, if your own planet’s resources fail to bring you down, he will bring the might of other planets to bear upon you until you are forced to flee your homes and have nothing left but your lives.”

 

Voices murmured, but he didn’t give them a chance to build.  “Or you can work with me to defend your world before it is too late, strike now and with might such as yours, you can end the war before it begins. Leave him stinging so harshly, he will have no desire to return and face your strength again. Do this now or wait to the end and fight him at a hundred times his strength while no chance for allies remain. What say you?”

 

Thunder’s Flame paused and for once all the dragons grew quiet. Silence ruled the caverns while they waited. Minutes stretched as a warm sweat collected on his back and armpits. Tynilia’s grip tightened.

Thunder's Flame II

At last the king of the Dragon’s glowing eyes regarded him and he spoke. “You words sing of brave intentions and wisdom, but we have seen nothing for ourselves. I will send my son, Thrashing Storm back to your mate’s homeland to see if your words ring with truth as well.”

 

Jack smiled toward Tynilia before bowing deeply. “We could ask no more your majesty and thank you for the kind offer.”

 

122

Jack

“Rest up, we will celebrate with you tonight for you will leave at first light!”

 

Jack turned to Tynilia, “Hey, if nothing else we don’t have to walk back.”

Yig Mayan

 

Come back next Monday to see if Jack and his allies can somehow survive.

 Lave Dragon

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Tynilia 5

As the colossal dragon drew enough air into its lungs to fill a stadium, Jack knew he only had seconds to act before he and Tynilia would be burned into ash. His mystic strength remained at a low ebb after healing himself and Tynilia, so he would only have one chance to save them.

dragon golden

Without thinking the possibilities through, he once again assumed the form of a serpent. This time he became the largest snake he could manage. As he transformed, he felt the last of his Ki drain away. This had better work, he thought to himself, because I don’t think my axe will do the trick against a five hundred foot long dragon.

 

While he changed, he drew himself up as high as his new body would allow, it was still like a worm looking up at an eagle, but it proved to be the best he could accomplish.

Snake giant

The dragon hesitated. Glowing golden eyes glared down at him.  It tilted its head like a confused puppy for a moment and jets of steam poured from its nostrils as it closed its massive jaws.

 

Jack realized, as he swayed there, that one of the drawbacks of his plan would be his inability to converse, but who even knew if these dragons spoke?

 

He detected movement behind him and saw Tynilia dropping to her knees and then bowing until her head pressed against the floor. She stayed there long enough for Jack to wonder what she might be doing. The moment stretched and then grew longer.

 

He couldn’t be sure if he should remain in serpent form or try some other plan, but felt that given the situation he should place his trust in his lover.

 

After another long pause, she raised her head from the floor. “You can become a human again, Jack.”

ty

After he returned to his human body, he regarded the titanic dragon for a few seconds and then turned to her. “What did you do?”

 

“I conversed with the dragon telepathically.”

 

“You can do that? Why didn’t you ever tell me?”

 

She flashed a slight smile his way. “A woman has to keep a few secrets. Besides it might have made you nervous if you knew I could read your thoughts.”

Tynilia

His face grew stern. “Have you done that?”

 

“Oh course. Don’t worry, you passed. Why do you think I trust you so much?”

 

He coughed and jerked his thumb at the dragon towering over them like a scaled mountain. “What about this guy?”

 

Stalwart

Stalwart

“First off, she is a she, and she thought your little trick was adorable by the way, but I’m thinking it saved us. That and they fact that we are a mated pair, also gave her pause. Especially when I told her I was pregnant.”

 

His jaw hung open while he fumbled for words. “What? Huh, wait what?”

 

She smiled at him. “Sorry handsome, what did you think would happen? You are quite a potent specimen.”

 

“By Yig’s scaly beard. I ah… maybe we should talk about that later when an army destroying dragon isn’t waiting on us.”

 

She couldn’t keep the smile off her face. “I agree. She is calling for a…friend to watch over her eggs while she takes us to meet their king. She says we should prepare ourselves for he’s the truly powerful one.”

 

“If he’s much bigger than her, I hope he aren’t too small for him to notice us.”

 

She laughed and seemed happier than he’d seen her in weeks. She slipped her hand into his and they followed the dragon as she led them deeper into the towering cavern.

 

Dragn Molten

 

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Forest Jack

Forest Jack

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Tyllina

After Stalker killed Shadowknife and then flew off to attempt to enlist the Lava Dragons for The Darken instead of fighting against him, Jack slumped against the wall and just struggled to breath and take in how screwed over they were. Tynilia’s still form still breathed from under his cloak. The wound on the top of her head had closed, but the severe swelling remained visible in the muted light created by the river of lava rushing below the ledge.

 

Jack paced the narrow ledge for a moment just trying to think. He strained his mind searching for an answer. Focusing on himself, he attempted to ascertain how much of his mystic strength remained. He’d become a snake twice and had healed Tynilia as well. Healing her further would leave him dangerously low in Ki, but also every moment they wasted gave Stalker a greater chance of completing the mission they had all came to accomplish.

 

Who knew if the Lava Dragons could be convinced to do anything or if they were even real, but with their help, the forces of humanity might have at least stood a chance against the Armies of Darken. If they joined with Darken, there would be no remaining hope. This world Jack found himself on would fall and become another planet held within the grips of Vile Darken.

Dragon Fire

Making up his mind, he crouched next to Tynilia. Despite the possible risks of depleting his Ki, only Tynilia had the ability to fly and he would also need her help. She was the only ally he had left.

 

Deep green lights flowed from his fingers and seeped into his lover. She woke with a gasp and regarded him with wide brown eyes.

Angry Jack

“Jack, by the Mirror, what happened?” She looked around. “Thanks for saving me. You did save me didn’t you?” After his nod, she sat up with his help. “Where are the others?”

 

After he filled her in on Stalker’s murder and then ultimate betrayal, she got to her feet as a stream of curses burned his ears. “That worthless fungus slime. My village wouldn’t agree to his betrayal, Jack I swear it.”

 

“They won’t have to make that choice when my axe splits his skull. But we need to get moving. We have no idea about these Lava Dragons, but if he gains their alliance before we reach them…”

 

Tynilia set her jaw and he’d never seen her look more determined. They spent a minute gathering their gear, but then, without a word, she wrapped her arms around him and they flew up to the tunnel Stalker had so recently entered.

Tyn

The tunnel became a mix of ice and stone, but once might have been created by some life form. In places the ice had grown to almost cut off the corridor, but in others, huge jets of lava had pushed through creating giant open areas. The journey proved to be a strange mix of light and darkness. They would travel in darkness for hundreds of yards through the warm and humid passages, but then have their way illuminated by jets or rivers of lava passing under the tunnel.

Tunnel, Creepy

After traveling for half an hour, they heard a roaring sound as the tunnel shook under their feet. Jack grabbed Tynilia’s slight form as icy skull sized rocks tumbled into the corridor. Jack winced as one smashed him in the left shoulder. He felt the warmth of his own blood trickling down his chest as he clung to Tynilia until the shaking ceased.

 

“I’m not sure if that might be a good or bad sign,” he said.

 

She remained silent as her frozen face looked up at him.

 

He held her hand and led her forward. “Might as well get this over with.” She nodded and followed him into another stretch of darkness.

 

Twenty more minutes passed before a dull glow began to be seen before them. It increased in brightness quickly and before long they determined that the tunnel opened into a large cavern ahead.

 

“This could be it,” he whispered.

 

They hadn’t made it much further when they saw a shape centered in the middle of the passage. It appeared to be smoking.

 

“Stay here,” Jack said, as he crept toward the shape. She ignored him and stayed on his heels.

 

Wisps of smoke still lifted away from it and a growing heat reached Jack. The cavern itself had raised the ambient temperature of the tunnel to easily over a hundred degrees.

 

The shape had been revenged by an incredible heat or fire, but Jack recognized some of the obsidian jewelry. There remained little doubt the shape was Stalker and he was quite dead.

 

Tynilia gave a little gasp, but before she had finished she drew back in a scream as a shadow fell across the tunnel.

Dragon Large

Jack looked up to see a titanic creature larger than a skyscraper looming over them. The Lava dragon radiated heat like a furnace and glared down at them with eyes the size of the house Jack grew up in.

 

He stumbled a step back into Tynilia as it opened its mouth and they both looked on in horror as a colossal fire grew there as it sucked in a huge lungful of air.

 

Dragon Fire II

 

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 Yeti Fight

 

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Dragon II