Part 1: Prologue
Nineteen years ago.......
It was a calm day in the small, eastern China town; the sun was high and rice farmers carried about their business in the heat. A group of tourists thronged near a stuffy, dirty cafe on the corner of the square and the natives who owned stalls in the market eyed them, suspiciously, deciding whether or not it would be possible to sell some over-priced rice to them. Small children ran across the gravel with goats tied to thin string, trying to sell them for loaves of bread. Some skulked around in corners, getting ready to pickpocket or steal.
A small, long-haired foreign girl wondered out into the throng of people, curiously gazing at the other children who haggled and played.
Up in the surrounding mountains, there could be seen the outline of a great, black building that towered above the valley like a God.
One of the Monks from the monastery wondered over to the group of British tourists, smiling a familiar smile and shaking their hands. The tourists exchanged hugs and handshakes and the traditional China bow. One of the tourists was a woman who had the same, long, dark hair that the child had and the other was a man, tall and muscular. Anyone who looked properly would be able to see the gun concealed beneath his thin coat and the large, metal case he held at his side.
The woman suddenly became very aware and looked around for her child, spotting her slowly approaching the Chinese children. It wasn’t until screams could be heard from up the narrow street that the woman darted though the crowd and halfway across the road towards the child.
As fast as she had leapt across the road, the man was at her side and there was an almighty thump of flesh on hollow metal. The monk stood, aghast as the Jeep that had come crashing down the street reversed, revved and sped over the bodies without a second thought.
Before the girl could turn to see the horror, the monk darted across the road and scooped her up, soothing her and whipping the confusion off her face with a smile.
Six years ago.......(Or six minutes in Sky Realm time)...
“The Sky Realm must be ruled over and I believe you, my child, are worthy of this gift...” muttered the frail, old man, twisting round on his death-bed to see his two daughters stood before him. “Lorna...you are now the high Queen of the Sky Realm....the responsibility....of looking over and...guiding the other planets is yours..... my love...” he coughed and spat blood from his mouth.
The red haired teenager sank to one knee and replied “My Father, your will be done. I will rule with honour.” She stood and looked at her sister.
“And what of I, Father?” asked the blond haired, pale-skinned girl.
“You.... my pretty......will inherit.....the power of....a thousand....storms..... and guide your sister’s heart.....as you have...guided my own....” the old man reached to the sky above him and the night became angry; a thousand lightning bolts flew to his hands until his whole body was glowing. Holly stood, confused. Lorna looked both horrified and angry.
“My child....” summoning the last of his energy, the old man reached for Holly’s hand and thunder echoed around them. Lightning flashed from one body to the other, making both of them shudder with energy. At last, the process was complete and Holly fell to her knees.
“Thank you, Father.” She whispered.
The old man fell back into his pillows and died.
The two girls knelt before the bed, trying desperately not to cry.
After a while, Lorna stood and, ignoring the council stood behind her, watching, and turned to the people gathered bellow the balcony of their castle.
“I am now Queen of the Sky Realm!”
The people cheered. The council didn’t move. Neither did Holly. Neither did the dead man.
“My first decree I shall pass will be the exile of my sister!” Lorna turned to Holly as the people stopped cheering and looked at one another, confused.
“You will give me my Father’s power, or you will be banished to another realm.” Lorna spoke in a whisper.
Holly stood and turned. “What? Why? You’re the Queen!”
“Yes, but I want what he’s had for so long. I want what you now have. I want ultimate power and control!” said Lorna, smiling excitedly. “Come on, give it to me.”
“What...I...I don’t exactly know how it works! I’ve only had Father’s gift, what, 1 minute and you’re already hungry for more power! No offense but that’s slightly twisted.” replied Holly.
Lorna paused. “Twisted or not, I still want ultimate power.”
“No, it’s my gift, you have yours, I have mine.”
“Well then. So be it.”
Lorna looked at the council, still stood watching in their black robes. One of them stepped forwards. “Queen Lorna, maybe this is a bit rash...”
“Oh, please, as if it hasn’t been obvious for the past 1000 years! Now open the portal to the most smelliest, run down, vermin-ridden, manky planet you can find! And then throw her through it!” she ordered.
“As you wish.” replied the council member.
“What? You’re actually going to let her do this!” yelled Holly, confused.
The member looked at her apologetically. “She’s the Queen, she’ll sack me of I don’t.”
And with that, the entire council turned and raised their hands. Before them, blue energy burst into existence and formed a ring. Through the ring was a night sky, ridden with stars. For a moment Holly thought it looked rather pretty, but that was before Lorna pushed her forwards and through the ring of blue light.
And then Holly was falling....
Georgia Twitch sat in the congestion ranting about the traffic to Bruno. She tightened her grip on the steering wheel every time she mentioned the word traffic or the word London and mentioned the word fuck in every sentence. Bruno sat, listening to her in the passenger seat, staring forwards, his tongue dangling from his mouth.
“Honestly, you’d think they’d some sort of system in place, or do they just like to fuck around with us? It’s fucking ridiculous!” Georgia turned to look at Bruno. She then looked away, calming down. “Why am I ranting at a Dog? Come on, Georgia, you’re a psychiatrist, don’t give in to the irony!”
Finally the traffic began to move.
Once away from the city centre and out in the suburbs, Georgia found herself driving along a lonely road when the 4:00 sky began to darken quickly. There was the sound of thunder and lightning cracked in the distance and then the sky immediately brightened again.
“And they say it’s because of global warming! You know what I think, Bruno, I think it’s the world about to end.” Georgia smiled to herself.
Suddenly, her vision began to blur and the image of a dark shadow lying in the middle of the road flashed before her eyes. She heard Bruno barking and Georgia regained her senses.
“Damn visions.” She muttered. Her visions had been getting worse, as of late and it was a pain when she got one at work or in the car, but luckily, she didn’t lose control and crash like she’d almost done when she first got a vision whilst driving. And it was stupid that the vision had been of her losing control and crashing in the first place! If anyone else was born with telekinesis and telepathic abilities, she was sure that they wouldn’t have had these problems. It always happened to her, for some reason!
She turned a corner and immediately pressed on the breaks. In the middle of the road was a dark figure the size of a human. If there was one thing about her powers, her vision always came true.
Georgia got out of the car and held the door for Bruno. The golden retriever leapt from the car and padded over to the heap. Georgia followed and knelt over it. Upon realizing it was a bland-haired woman, she turned her over slowly.
She didn’t know whether it was her abilities or whether it was just plain curiosity, but she touched her forehead and explored her mind.
A mixture of fear, curiosity and astonishment entered Georgia as she saw what lay in the girl’s mind. She pulled her hand away and tried to scoop her body up in her arms.
“Bruno, stop helping!” she muttered as the dog jumped up, almost knocking Georgia over. Eventually she got the girl to her car and laid her on the back seat.
Before driving back to her flat, Georgia peered at the sleeping girl.
“Just who and what are you, I wonder.”
Five years ago.....
“Daniel, the cars outside, you ready?” Nicki asked, impatiently glowering at the man who was bent over a work bench in a white coat. Scientists. Why is it they can never finish what they start and for some reason, they always have to tell everyone (specifically anyone who will listen) about what it is they’ve done!
“One minute, I’ve almost found the letter M in dragon tongue!”
Nicki almost replied, but decided she wouldn’t dignify it with a response. “Well hurry up! I’ve got things to do!”
“Oh, like what, waiting for someone to bid on your painting on EBay?”
“Hey, don’t mock my job!”
“It’s not really a job, is it?”
“Just shut up and hurry up.”
Daniel continued to scribble things on a note pad and stare at the huge piece of rock in the middle of the laboratory. Nicki looked around, bored, when she noticed a blue, glowey thing.
“Oooooo, what’s that?” she asked, moving towards the blue liquid on a glass tall, glass container.
“Daniel stood and turned. “Erm, that’s dragon DNA. Be careful, it’s the only sample we have and the only hope we have of recreating a species of dragon.”
“Can I poke it?”
Nicki moved away from it and looked at her watch. Daniel put his note pad aside and took of his white, lab jacket. “Right.” He muttered.
Nicki turned but the entrance was blocked by a red-haired girl about the same age.
“And who are you? Do you have permission to be here?” asked Daniel.
“I’m Lorna, I’m here for the DNA to prepare it for injection.” She smiled.
“Oh, right, Daniel.” Daniel shook hands with Lorna.
Lorna turned to Nicki and shook her hand. “And who are you?”
“I’m Nicki, I’m his friend and here to pick him up.”
“Really, what do you do?”
“I’m an Artist.”
Lorna pulled a disgusted face and moved towards the DNA.
“Wait one minute, who gave you clearance?” asked Daniel, suddenly very wary.
“Erm...The guy at the front desk.” replied Lorna, shakily.
“Well, that’s amazing because I don’t have a front desk! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this is kinda just a shed I built myself.” commented Daniel. The sentence had barely left his mouth when Lorna slapped him around the face with the back of her hand. He flew to the other side of the room and fell against the wall, unconscious.
“Dammit! What was that for?” asked Nicki, backing away.
“Move out of my way, mortal and you shall not be harmed.”
“Mortal? Are you off Thor?”
Lorna made a sharp move towards Nicki, who threw her fists up in a feeble attempt at self-defence. “Wait! This isn’t fair, I can’t fight!”
“Well you should have thought of that before!”
“What? I don’t exactly wake up every morning and prepare for a murderer to come kill me.”
“Shut up and move, or I’ll move you for you!”
“Dude! Worst line ever!”
“Stop stalling me!” yelled Lorna and punched Nicki in the face.
Nicki looked back at Lorna. “Bitch!” Nicki leapt at Lorna, hugging her to the floor. Lorna managed to wriggle out of Nicki’s grip and crawl towards the vile of DNA. Nicki stood and jumped on Lorna’s fingers. Lorna screamed and stood up, squaring up to Nicki.
“What do you want it for anyway?” asked Nicki, backing towards the vile.
“So I can have ultimate power!”
“So now you’re out of Star Wars? What planet are you from, weirdo!”
“The Sky Realm, eons above your devolved planet!”
“Hey, don’t mock it!”Nicki suddenly turned and grabbed the vile and ran for the exit. It was only upon a brief inspection of the vile that she realized that it had a huge needle protruding from it.
“Shit!” she muttered.
Nicki fell forwards as Lorna pushed her to the floor. Nicki screamed as something sharp entered her stomach. She lay on the floor for a moment, Lorna standing over her, fuming.
“Dammit! Why did you have to do that?” And with that, Lorna marched over to the door and fled. Nicki lay there, pain filling her and voices echoing in her head.
The next thing she knew, Daniel was turning her onto her back and asking if she was alright, before a horrified look took over as he saw her stomach.
“Fine....hearing voices in me head...and I have cramp in my knee...but I’m fine...”
Part 2: It begins...
Verity looked once more at the picture of the girl known as ‘The Beatle’ and ran from her room. It was the dead of night, so no one was around to stop her from leaving. She crept through the stone hallways towards the training room, where her father’s bow was kept in a glass case. Verity took a lock pick from her black, leather clutch bag and picked the lock of the case. She ran a hand over the ebony wood of the bow, gazing at the ancient runes carved into it. And took it out of the case and slipped it over her shoulders. Ever since her parents had died in the village, she’d been desperate to use this bow and to escape the monastery that had been her home all these years. An acceptation had been made to allow a girl into a monastery when her uncle, a monk, had taken her in.
Verity slipped out of the training room and took her black suitcase and made for the front gate. The bars of the gate were ridiculously wide, so she had no trouble getting through. The same could not be said, however, for her suitcase, which was brimming with clothes and trinkets.
“Verity!” the deep bellow rang out around the courtyard and verity knew she had to leave it. She only took her clutch bag and two quivers of arrows.
And then she ran...
By the time Verity reached Britain, it had been almost a week. A week spent of seducing men and getting them to drive her into Europe and to carry her across the English channel, but using her skills in stealth and sexiness, she made it to London. She paid in stolen money for a room in a Travelodge and sank onto the bed, tired, hungry and in a very bad mood. She took the picture of The Beatle from her clutch bag and placed it onto the bedside table. She went to sleep, thinking of the day she would put an arrow between her eyes.
When she woke in the morning, the most horrid smell greeted her. After a shower and washing her clothes the best she could with the resources she had, Verity left the room, stealing from the till at the reception on the way without being seen. Years spent training in China had taught her how.
She’d also taught herself how to speak English and studied maps of London and it was like she knew her way around. Now all she had to do was track down The Beatle and whatever it was after.
The Beatle, she knew, was a specially trained assassin working for an unknown source. There were legends and rumours of The Beatle; some claimed it could turn invisible, some claimed it was a cannibal who ate it’s victims, others claimed it could turn into a beetle and listen to people’s conversations. Verity knew, however, what it could really do.
She made her way into an abandoned warehouse in the London suburbs and pulled from her clutch bag a Net book. She turned it on and activated the tracking device. The gadget immediately sprouted a mini satellite dish from the back and Verity typed, furiously, pictures and reports of The Beatle flashing up on the screen.
The gadget was that of the Chinese technology. She didn’t understand it all, but she understood enough to be able to do things that a normal laptop wouldn’t.
A high-pitched beep came from the monitor and she slapped the top down, packed it up and stormed from the warehouse.
She’d found it!
The Beatle stood on the balcony of a flat, looking in through the window. Verity stood on the roof of the building opposite watching, her bow in her hand, waiting. It was dark, to The Beatle looked like a tall, slender shadow peering through into someone’s privacy. She’d thought the Beatle would be smaller.
The wind blew past verity and she blinked, cursing herself for doing so. The next thing she knew, The Beatle was reaching for something in it’s pocket and attaching it to the window. Verity acted quickly, sliding an ebony arrow into her bow and aiming at The Beatle’s heart. As she let go of the arrow, yellow flames erupted from the small device, blowing the doors apart and some of the walls. There were screams from bellow, but the Beatle ignored them; it was too busy staring in surprise at the arrow wedged in it’s leg. Verity slid another arrow into the bow and aimed again, this time at the Beatle’s head. As soon as she’d let the arrow fly, The Beatle was inside the flat. Verity pulled a specially designed arrow from her quiver and aimed for the wall above the explosion. The arrow latched itself to the wall, pulling behind it a strong wire. Verity dropped her bow and tied the wire around an air duck behind her and, slipping her bow onto her back, took hold of the wire, gripping it with her hands and hugging it with her legs, made her way across.
The Beatle was standing over two people inside the flat, one of which was strangely familiar. Verity concentrated on The Beatle who turned and aimed a gun at Verity. Verity let go of the wire with her hands and, just holding on with her thighs, she took her bow and aimed an arrow, sent it flying at The Beatle’s stomach. If she could just get it on the floor, then she could take the final shot! The Beatle let out a growl of annoyance and took the arrow to the ribs. Verity took another shot, the wire now swinging dangerously with her shooting upside down! The shot missed as the Beatle dodged and narrowly missed the citizens. The Beatle had had enough. It jumped onto the balcony and ran up the wall as if it was floor! It’s body perfectly horizontal to the wall of the flats, verity took on last shot before the Beatle disappeared over the roof.
Sliding the arrow back into her quiver, Verity carried on across to the flat.
One of the citizens looked at her, utterly bemused. She was a young woman, about the same age as Verity. They way she was looking at her, it was as if she was ready her mind! As if!
“I know these arrows!” she gasped. Verity ignored her and collected the arrow which held the wire.
“Are you alright?” she asked the two. The one still sat on the floor leaning against the sofa looked around. There was something strange about her look, as if she’d seen many things yet all this was completely knew to her. Verity wondered of all of the British were this strange.
“I know you! I know who you are! You’re...but they died!” Now the citizen had Verity’s attention.
“Who are you?” Verity asked cautiously.
“Georgia Twitch.” She replied, holding out her hand. Verity was now familiar with this gesture, so she ignored it. She did, however, recognise the name Twitch.
“Twitch.” She repeated.
“Yes, erm, Benjamin Ward is my uncle.”
Now that made Verity stop. Benjamin Ward was her father, supposedly murdered by one of The Beatle’s minions nineteen years ago.
“Is he now?” Verity mumbled. That would mean this woman was her cousin...
“Are you Verity Ward?” asked Georgia Twitch.
“Yes” replied Verity.
“So, what is all this again?”
“This, Nicki, is the start of my new experiment!” announced Daniel, proudly. “It’s a nature sanctuary, where all the rare species of animals live. Specifically, all the ones that I’ve discovered.”
“You mean the ones genetically modified?”
“Yes, well, it’s all part of the bigger picture.” said Daniel, ignoring the sarcastic comment. He turned from the huge, glass doors and started to walk back to the house. Nicki still stood, bemused by the huge, glass cube nestled in the surrounding trees that hadn’t been there yesterday.
“How did you build it so quickly?” she asked.
“With a little help from nature.” winked Daniel, stopping and turning to admire his handy work.
“So you exploited the trees to build an over sized green house. Tell me, do I belong in there?” asked Nicki, slightly annoyed.
“Erm...I didn’t mean to offend you! Of course you don’t, I mean, you’re slightly too big.” Daniel threw up his hands in apology and in a yelp, he mumbled, “Please don’t burn down the house!”
“Don’t worry, I did that last week.”
“Ah good.” Daniel made for the house and Nicki followed. Dr. Oakenbaum could be a geeky prick sometimes, but Nicki put up with him and his ‘experiments’. Speaking of which, almost always went wrong and she could see this one going wrong a mile away. And if it didn’t go wrong, she’d be sure to stand next to it when she sneezed.
“So, when are you going to get a proper job?” asked Daniel, holding the door open for Nicki.
“Erm...never.” replied Nicki, going to the only sofa and sprawling across it. Daniel went to his giant bookcase where he housed all his precious research (including his research on dragons). “I mean, I don’t really fit in, do I? And what if I sneezed or yawned and accidentally bunt down the building or killed someone?”
“Well, places these days must have some kind of insurance for that kind of thing...” mused Daniel. He straightened his lab coat and ran a hand through his short hair.
“I’m sure they don’t. Anyway, I’m bringing money in, aren’t I? I’m pulling my weight!” argued Nicki, gesturing behind her to an open laptop set on the coffee table.
“Putting paintings on EBay and waiting for a bid isn’t exactly a job.”
“Yeah, but I got a grand last week didn’t I? I mean, the guy who bought it was a weirdo, but it’s still a grand!”
“He said he was going to use it to scare his grand kids.”
Nicki stuck he tongue out, childishly at Daniel, who sat at his desk and began to work. Nicki took a rolled spliff from the coffee table and blew, gently on the end, which immediately started to smoulder. She blew cannabis smoke in Daniel’s direction, then got up and went to the kitchen.
“You want bacon?” Nicki asked, the last word of her sentence muffled by a resounding explosion of fire and smoke coming from outside. Nicki looked in horror as Daniel screamed and ran to the door.
“Wait!” she cried and followed him.
“MY CUBE! MY SANCTURARY! MY RESERACH, NOOOOOOOOO!” Daniel sank to his knees as the huge greenhouse was smothered in flames and shards of glass flew in all directions.
Out of the smoke came a figure. As it got closer, Nicki stood in front of Daniel and saw the gleaming red hair of the same girl who had fought her 5 years ago.
“Hello again!” Lorna chirped, brightly. “just thought I’d come by with a bit of a message: give me your dragon research or more stuff blows up.” She smiled.
“What?” Daniel slowly got to his feet. “That was why you destroyed my Cube? For that!”
“Erm, yeah, I had to get the message across because I assumed you wouldn’t just give it to me.”
“Are you kidding? You can take the stupid research! I’ve got something better than that now. But don’t think I won’t get my revenge! I loved my Cube!” Daniel flailed his arms, stressed.
“Erm, Daniel...” Nicki stepped up and tapped him on the shoulder as Lorna made for the house. “Do you really want her to use it for evil purposes? She’ll probably use it to raise an army or something.”
“Shit!” Daniel realized and turned. “On second thoughts...” he raised his arms and the ground shuddered; a huge crack in the hard earth opened up beneath Lorna’s feet and she immediately disappeared into the dark hole.
Nicki darted over to where she had fallen. Lorna was dangling above a dark abyss, holding onto the jagged edges of the hole.
She smirked. “You haven’t seen the last of me, fools! You power will be mine!” and with that, she let go and disappeared into the darkness.
Daniel turned and sat in front of the flames, sadly.
“Don’t worry, you can try again tomorrow.” piped Nicki, slapping him hard on the shoulder.
“No, this is war!”
“All because she blew up your Cube?” Nicki raised her eyebrows.
“Oh dear lord, this should be interesting.”
Part 3: Call to Arms
Daniel had been quiet ever since the explosion. Even making him breakfast and cooking him bacon sandwiches (a personal speciality of Nicki’s) had not cheered him up! Even reassuring him that there were a million other animals to experiment on out there had not lightened his mood. Nicki watched him through the window, stood in front of a metal incinerator. They’d decided it would be best for him to destroy all of the research on dragons, lest Lorna or The Beatle get their hands on it and use it for pure evil. Besides, Nicki was now fluent in the dragon tongue and was basically a walking dragon thesaurus.
Still, there was something in his eyes that told Nicki that he was up to something. He’d been using his powers more often. Usually, he liked to hide the fact that he could control any natural substance, commune with trees and make vines shoot out of the earth and grab people. But ever since that day, he’d been using vines to fetch the paper from the front door, or to grow apples trees if he was peckish.
And now he just stood there, not moving. Nicki turned back to her laptop and sucked on her spliff- he hadn’t even told her off for stealing some of the cannabis he grew for a buyer!
The sound of a car drifted through the window and Nicki thought it strange that they’d have visitors! Especially when Daniel was as geeky and unsociable as he was.
Nonetheless, she peered out of the window and saw someone very familiar climb out of the blue mini.
The woman was about her age with short, black hair. Her eyes were half hidden behind a full fringe. She wore a black, pin-striped suit and behind her trotted a golden retriever. A very dribbley golden retriever. Georgia Twitch shook Daniel’s hand and made her way to the front door.
Nicki stood, confused.
“Hello, Nicola.” Georgia said, reaching out to shake her hand.
“Hi, what are you doing here? Did Daniel call you?” Nicki shook her hand.
“Yes, he did, but it’s not about you. You look well.”
“Thanks. Oh good, because nothing’s happened ever since we found out what it was.”
“That’s a good sign. Ah, I remember those days well. It’s probably one of the most interesting work experiences I’ve ever had.” She smiled and sat down in Daniel’s arm chair near the fire. “Would you do the honours?” Georgia gestured to the fire and took reading glasses from her breast pocket.
Nicki knelt next to the fire and blew, gently, into the empty grate. Fire caught light on her breath and the grate blazed with a warm crackling.
“You’re getting good.” commented Georgia.
Nicki stood and leant on the window sill. The dog that had followed Georgia from the car came bounding in and sat in front of the fire, dribbling happily on the carpet.
“And who might this be?” asked Nicki raising an eyebrow.
“That’s Bruno.” replied Georgia. “I inherited him. Bit of an inconvenience, but I’ve trained him and he seems ok.”
“How did you train him? You use your mind mojo?”
“Something like that.”
Nicki looked up, thinking Daniel was coming through the door, but it wasn’t Daniel. She was about Nicki’s height and she had blond hair with blue eyes that seemed to change colour. She wore a skin-tight suit and a heavy, red cloak that looked like it was from Victorian times. She looked extremely out of place, her expression was mostly one of surprise and shock and curiosity.
“Nicola, this is Holly. She isn’t from here. In fact, she’s from another Realm.” introduced Georgia.
“Erm, hi.” stuttered Nicki, flashing Georgia sceptical look. “Where are you from?”
Holly smiled and said, “The Sky Realm. I have no idea where it is in relation to here, but this planet seems nice enough.”
Nicki paused. “You expect me to believe that?”
“It is so hard to believe? Just remember what you are.” sighed Georgia from the arm chair.
Nicki went back to leaning against the window sill and Holly sat on the sofa, looking around the room.
“So why are you here?” asked Nicki.
“I have n idea, Daniel invited us. He never told us why. He doesn’t even know Holly, but he invited her anyway.” explained Georgia. “Anyway, it’s always a pleasure to pay old friends a visit.”
There was the sound of another car from outside and Nicki turned to look. A tall, slender woman got out of a black BMW. She was extremely pretty and wore a short skirt, high heels and a red top. What was strange, though was that she wore a bow over her body and on her back was a quiver of arrows.
“Guys, this is Verity, Georgia’s cousin.” announced Daniel.
“Hi.” muttered Georgia, uncomfortably. Nicki sensed something was going on with the two. She muttered her hello and so did Holly. Verity sat next to Holly.
Nicki noticed something intimidating about the way she moved and looked, and didn’t like it one bit.
“What’s this all about then, Daniel?” asked Nicki, impatiently.
“Well, I’ve gathered us because there is something afoot. I know for a fact that everyone here is familiar with the Red Queen and The Beatle.” explained Daniel. “We all want some sort of revenge or other and if not,” he looked at Georgia. “then you’re here to help us because you’ve been a good friend. We all have talents that normal people don’t have.”
“So what you’re trying to say is that you want us all to work together like happy families to defeat them.” said Verity in a cold voice. “Like that’s going to happen!”
“Why not, it’s the perfect idea!”
Verity stood up, menacingly. “I have worked alone for the past nineteen years and I don’t intend to stop now. It’s the way I like it and the only way I can get things done without failing. The Beatle killed my fucking parents. She will pay by my hand!” She started for the door.
“Wait!” cried Daniel. “Do you know where she is? Do you know how to kill her? Arrows alone won’t stop The Beatle. She has ties to the Red Queen, who Holly has the most knowledge about. You can use Holly! You could use friends!”
Verity stopped. “How?”
“I am her sister.” Holly spoke. “She banished my from my own world and she’s now on the hunt for an ultimate power so that she can not only rule the Sky Realm, but this realm too. She tried to do that by getting my power and she tried by getting Daniel’s research, but she failed. She’s recruited The Beatle.”
Verity paused, turned and sat back down.
“You think we’re lying to you.” Georgia spoke.
“I might be. Get out of my head.” spat Verity.
“So, we’re all in this for the same reasons. We all want the Red Queen and The Beatle dead.” concluded Daniel.
No one spoke for a moment.
“Is that what we’re calling her? The Red Queen?” asked Nicki, raising an eyebrow.
“I thought it was fitting.” replied Daniel.
“And just how do you propose we defeat the Red Queen? And how is everyone here useful?” Nicki raised her eyebrows, sceptically.
“Well, Verity is a trained assassin and spy and had a shot with the Chinese Mafia once. Georgia, you know, is telepathic and has telekinesis, Holly is a Goddess and can do something with electricity or something,” Daniel looked at Holly, who nodded, “and I, you know, can control earth.”
Verity suddenly looked at Nicki, menacingly. “And what can you do, you look about as useful as Bruno!”
“Well, first I thought I had skitsophrenia, then I thought I had multiple-personality-disorder, but we figured it was just because I’m half dragon, on account of my getting injected with dragon DNA a while back.” explained Nicki, a hint of comedy in her tone.
Verity raised an eyebrow. “Seriously.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“You want me to prove it?”
“Wait! Not in the house!” cried Daniel. “Remember what happened last time!” he flailed his arms.
“Fine, guess you’ll have to wait to see my party trick.” smiled Nicki.
“And a party trick it shall be.” sneered Verity.
“At least I don’t have to prance around in a short skirt pretending to be Robin Hood.” snarled Nicki.
Suddenly, Verity was on her feet and her bow was in her hand. An arrow flew from her quiver and she was aiming it at Nicki’s heart. “Robin Hood? I could show him a fucking thing or two!”
“Guys! Stop!” yelled Georgia, standing.
No one spoke, for fear that Verity would kill Nicki there and then. She didn’t, however and slid the arrow from the bow and back into her quiver. Nicki smiled, still leaning on the window sill.
“So, are we going to agree to behave, or do I have to brainwash you?” asked Georgia.
Verity nodded and Nicki remained silent.
Daniel stepped forwards. “Now we’ve got all the arguing out of the way, Holly, tell us what The Beatle said.”
Holly stood. “She said my sister is in London, preparing to raise an army of Beatles and release them into the street. They will kill thousands of innocent people if we don’t hand over the dragon research and me.”
“Well that ain’t gonna happen.” said Nicki.
“So what we gonna do?” asked Holly.
“Isn’t it obvious?” asked Daniel, looking around. “We meet her where she’s at! And then we clobber her!”
Nicki started at him in disbelief. “Clobber...? Since when did you use words like that! And since when did we all become super heroes?”
“Since the Red Queen inherited the crown and the entire Sky Realm.” replied Holly.
“Ok, fine, so does anyone have a plan?” Nicki threw her arms up in frustration. “Just how do we find her and how do we defeat a Goddess?”
“Well, I can find her because I can sense where the Beatle is. I’ve met her once already and where the Beatle, the chances are that’s where the Red Queen will be too.” replied Georgia.
“And we defeat her by fighting fire with fire” chirped Daniel, happily. “We have a Goddess on our side as well, remember!”
“Oh and one more thing!” cried Daniel, almost in tears. “We need names!”
Nicki couldn’t help but groan.
“So, how do you know Verity?” Nicki asked Daniel when they were alone in the kitchen.
“She buys my Cannabis and sells it onto the Chinese Mafia.”
“Oh, because that explains everything.” Nicki groaned.
“Oh, I was thinking, your name could be something like Dovashiin! Because ‘Dova’ is Dragon and ‘Shiin’ is girl, I thought it sounded alright.”
“Since when did you become normal? You’re supposed to be geeky scientist guy who lives on his estate in his log cabin running experiments! What happened to Dr. Oakenbaum?”
Daniel paused, his brow furrowing. “That’s it! My name will be Dr. Oakenbaum!”
Nicki paused. “But you name is Dr. Oakenbaum!”
“Oh, well, what about Oak. It’s short, yet ominous.”
“Whatever.” Nicki mumbled and went into the lounge. Her usual place sprawled out on the sofa was taken by Bruno, so she leant against Daniel’s desk opposite, staring evils at the dog.
Georgia, Verity and Holly were huddled around the dining table discussing where the Red Queen would be. Holly was in the middle of telling them about how her sister fought in battle when Georgia suddenly went rigid. Her eyes squeezed shut and she sank back into the arm chair behind her.
“Georgia?” Holly spoke, cautiously.
“What you see, Twitch?” asked Nicki, looking from Bruno to Georgia, who was clutching her forehead.
“It’s...It’s... the Red Queen...she’s....what’s the place with that huge column with the guy on top of it?” she stopped clutching her forehead and relaxed.
“Nelson’s column.” replied Verity.
“She’s going to be there! Tomorrow!” gasped Georgia.
No one spoke.
“Well there’s that sorted. Now, how are we actually going to kill her?” asked Nicki.
“With arrows, electricity and Georgia’s mind control powers.” replied Daniel, from the kitchen. “Anyone want Lemon Loaf?” he called.
“No!” everyone called back at once.
“Don’t forget Daniel’s powers and the dragon!” suggested Georgia.
“Pahahah! Are you being serious? A huge dragon in the middle of London!” laughed Nicki.
“Hey, there’s been stranger! Have you not seen Doctor who? And besides, there’s going to be The Beatle anyway.” replied Georgia.
“Yeah, no one’s quite clarified what the Beatle actually is.”
Holly spoke immediately. “She’s a creature from the Sky Realm. She may be in human form now, but Beatle’s are fearsome creatures, huge and they are poisonous! They have huge wings. I doubt anyone won’t be able to notice one if it were in London, beside a whole army of them!”
“Well, another thing off the to-do list.” commented Nicki.
“This isn’t a joke, you know.” spat Verity.
“Could have fooled me, Robin Hood!”
“Actually, it’s Quivachi.”
“That’s my name!”
Nicki said nothing.
“And mine’s Imperia.” said Georgia.
“And mine’s Electriss.” said Holly.
“And mine’s Has-everyone-gone-fucking-mad?” Nicki cried.
“Nope, it’s Dovashiin!” called Daniel form the kitchen. “And mine’s Pending!”
“Right then. Looks like we’re all sorted!” cried Georgia, happily.
Part 4: Into Battle
Georgia stood at the door of the cupboard under the stairs, watching Nicki struggle with a huge case.
“If you wouldn’t mind.” Nicki gestured to the case.
Georgia raised her right hand and the case began to levitate off the floor. “Where do you want it?”
“Coffee table, if you don’t mind.”
Georgia walked with the hovering case and plonked it down on the table. “So what is it you want to show me?” she asked, curious as to what was inside.
“What I made the first time I turned.” Nicki smiled. “You see, every so often dragon’s shed their scales. And you know how hard and indestructible dragon’s scales can be.”
“No, but I’m sure Daniel has exploited this fact to a large extent.”
“You have no idea.” said Nicki, throwing it open with effort. Nicki pulled form it a pair of what appeared to be gauntlets. Gauntlets made from dragon scales! She threw them aside onto the sofa where Bruno sniffed at them, and next pulled from it a pair of boots clad in the deep green of the scales too. Georgia took them from Nicki, entirely fascinated by what she was seeing. The inside of the boots were made from skin and leather, probably shed from Nicki too. She put them down and watched as Nicki pulled a full body suit made from dragon scales and leather. The deep green of the scales was partly hidden by lighter, cream and grey scales creating a bodice and armour on parts of the legs and arms. Scales protruded from the shoulders too.
“I told you I’m an Artist! And the best bit is, the whole suit is kinda part of me, so I don’t lose my clothes when I turn!” she smiled.
“It’s...amazing! Put it on!”
Nicki disappeared and came back wearing it. Her hips and waist were emphasised and so was her bust by the low back of the cream and grey scales. She put on the gauntlets and the boots.
“Wow! I guess you’re more of a super hero now!”
“Hey, you need a suit too!”
“I don’t have one.”
“I told you, I’m an Artist. I’ll have one made by the morning. I just need to get high first.”
Georgia eyed her suspiciously. “Right. Well, apparently we’re all bunking here tonight, so I’m going to try and prize the bathroom away from Verity.” Georgia left Nicki to her work and went to the room she’d been given by Daniel. The log cabin was cosy, and Daniel had done his best to make it feel British with all the book cases jammed with old, leather bound tomes and the arm chairs, but Georgia still preferred her flat. It had central heating.
She sat down on her bed when Verity appeared at her door in a towel, her hair dripping.
“There’s only 10 minutes of hot water, so if you want to wash your hair, you’d better do it fast.” She told Georgia.
“Thanks.” she mumbled.
“You don’t really believe all the shit about Nicki being a dragon, do you?” she asked, sitting in a chair by the door.”
Georgia looked up at her. Verity’s face was hardened by her past, het she still managed to look beautiful.
“More than anyone.” she replied.
“I was doing work experience as a psychiatrist when I met Nicola. She was almost diagnosed with skitsophrenia and the multiple-personality-disorder. But, you know my skills, I knew there was something more, something that any normal person had no hope of diagnosing. I met Daniel through her. I used my powers and I saw into her mind and I saw the other half of her. I saw what she’d been given and what had been taken away. It was awful.”
“So it’s a disease?”
“No. The DNA she was injected with mixed with her own DNA. She’s now half and half.”
Verity raised her eyebrows.
“I advise caution when about her, Verity. Dragon’s have destructive tempers. Especially when it means accidentally burning the house down.”
“Nothing I can’t handle then!”
Georgia smiled. Verity reminded her of her uncle Benjamin. Always so cocky.
“So, Imperia, ready to fight tomorrow?” Verity stood.
“I don’t know, I’ve never had to fight before. I don’t know if I’ll be strong enough.”
“Hey, you can’t be any worse than Daniel!”
Georgia nodded. She had a point.
The morning came too quickly and Georgia woke form a none-existent sleep. She’d been kept awake by everyone’s stressed thoughts about today echoing around the house. It was only Nicki’s thoughts she hadn’t heard. Georgia made her way downstairs and into the lounge to find her sprawled across the sofa, sound asleep, still in her dragon-scale suit. Georgia pondered whether it had something to do with the fact that she’d been high and her thoughts had been clouded. On the arm chair was a heap of black and fabric. Georgia went to it and picked it up. It was a skin-tight suit with a tiny insignia on the side of the arm. It was silver ‘I’. There were straps on the wrists and the gloved sleeves. Georgia smiled and took it back upstairs. The suit fitted perfectly.
From downstairs there could heard the sound of bacon frying and voices. Georgia made her way down to find Nicki in the kitchen frying bacon and Holly in the lounge. She was wearing a uniform like Georgia’s except instead of an ‘I’, it was an ‘E’ insignia. Holly pulled on her heavy red Sky Realm cloak.
“Aren’t these amazing!” she squealed. Georgia didn’t know where Nicki had got her materials and didn’t want to know where she had worked. For an Artist, there was no evidence of a workbench or paintbrushes or anything in the house!
“You like them?” asked Nicki, walking into the lounge in her armour with a plate of bacon sandwiches.
“They’re amazing!” replied Georgia.
“Good. I am the best.” winked Nicki. “Oh and if you want guns and knives or anything, just look in the cupboard under the stairs.”
“What?” cried Georgia, alarmed. She went to the cupboard and peered inside. There was a box and inside it there lay a machete, throwing knives (lots of them) and a collection of machine guns, rifles, heavy rifles, pistols and hand guns. In a box next to them was ammo.
“What...?” Georgia began.
“Just in case the Red Queen ever came back and decided to steal some more research or blow something else up.” Nicki commented, munching on a bacon sandwich.
“I’m sure this is illegal.”
“That’s why we keep them in the cupboard. Anyway, I thought it would help against the Red Queen. You know, put a bullet in her shoulder and then do your mind control mojo.”
“Yes, of course.”
Daniel came bounding down the stairs and skipped to the kitchen, taking a bacon sandwich off Nicki’s plate. “Good Morning!”
“Someone’s in a good mood.” grumbled Nicki.
“Today’s the day my Cube gets avenged!” he made a fist.
Georgia turned back to the box of weapons and took a large knife and slid it onto the thigh holster and took a machine rifle. She’d never used one before, but she’d seen enough Terminator movies to know how they worked. Holly appeared behind her and reached for a set of throwing knives.
“So, does Daniel get a suit?” asked Georgia, raising an eyebrow at Nicki.
“You kidding? Bark boy has his own!” she smiled.
“Yes, tis true!” chirped Daniel.
Georgia waited to see what he was going to do, but when he just stood there, she said, “Go on then!”
“Oh, ok.” He took off his lab coat and laid it on the chair. He stood for a moment and then spread his arms out, violently. In that one, swift movement, plates of bark armour emerged from his skin. The armour curled over his clothes and bark grew over his head and majestic branches grew from the top, making it look like a crown.
Georgia sighed. So Daniel was entirely clad in thick bark armour that looked like something from The Lord Of The Rings. He raised a hand and the bark began to move around his head, creating a helmet crowned with spiky, angry looking branches. “Ta-da!”
“Are you serious? I am not wearing a uniform!” cried a cold voice from behind them. Georgia turned and saw Verity, dressed in a tight, black suit like hers except it stopped shortly before the knees in a skirt fashion. Beneath this she wore skin-tight black leggings and black boots. In a thigh holster was a knife and around her body was her bow and her quiver.
“Morning, Quiva!” Nicki winked at her.
“Quivachi.” growled Verity.
“So, shall we be off?” asked Georgia. She made for the door, flicking her car key and hearing her blue mini unlock itself.
“We’re seriously not travelling in that?” snarled Verity.
“I call shotgun!” yelled Nicki and darted to the front door. “And the dog’s not coming!”
Bruno had followed her to the car- he’d taken a liking to Nicki and proceeded to annoy her by following her.
“That means we’ll be squished in the back! And I don’t want to get leaves in my hair!” moaned Verity.
Georgia hopped into the front and waited for Holly, Verity and Daniel to manage to fit in the back. Nicki lounged in the passenger seat, commenting on all the leg space while Verity, Holly and Daniel fought over seat belts and tried to sit in any position that didn’t cause branches to jab them in the back.
“To the battle field!” yelled Daniel, excitedly. “We need theme music!”
“Well, we’re having Metallica.” Nicki pushed a CD into the player and turned up the volume.
The journey to Trafalgar Square was long and gruelling; the only person who actually enjoyed it was Nicki, moshing to her heavy music.
As soon as the five left the car once Georgia had parked, they were bombarded with odd looks and raised eyebrows, but the fact that they were in London meant that people wouldn’t give them a second thought unless the happened to be in fancy dress themselves. Which made it alright. Kinda.
“Right, when’s she getting here?” Nicki asked.
Georgia paused. “Em, well, i didn’t really get a time...”
“So we’re just gonna wait here for god knows how long?”
“Well, I s’pose...”
“Wait, how do you know if it’s even today?” asked Nicki, bemused.
“I’m telepathic, i don’t decide what i get and what I don’t get!” Georgia snapped. “We just need to be ready.”
“I have a plan!” declared Daniel. “And it’s a darn good one too! I’ll grow a cage out of trees and we can use Nicki to lure her into the trap! Then, Verity can pelt her with arrows and Holly can electrocute her!” he smiled.
Nicki, Georgia, Verity and Holly all looked at him, utterly astounded.
“No.” Muttered Verity. “Here’s the plan. I’ll take position up there,” she pointed at Nelson’s Column. “ and Georgia will be below me. Holly, you’ll be bait, so you’ll stand sentry in the centre of the square while Daniel will be stationed behind you. Nicki, you’ll get me up there and while we wait, you will stand on that building in human form.”
“Wait, where should I turn. I ain’t turning into a dragon in front of everyone!”
“We’ll go down an alley way somewhere. But we’ll all be able to see when the Red Queen will get here because Holly will engage her in conversation.”
“Oh, what about my plan?” asked Daniel, sadly.
“We’ll put it aside for future battles.” smiled Verity. She turned swiftly and strode away, leaving Georgia to take her place beneath the column and Daniel to sit on a bench opposite. Holly stood in the centre of the square and Nicki followed Verity.
As Georgia sat on the floor, leaning against the cold stone of the column, she watched Holly, wondering what she was about to get herself into.
Verity strode into an alley way between two tall buildings. She turned behind the buildings, well out of sight of people. She was well aware of Nicki following her. She hoped that what Nicki had said was true. If not, she’d be getting an arrow in her head.
“Now, show me the dragon.” She said, bluntly.
Nicki paused. “It’s a bit narrow...”
Verity turned and strode down the alley way a bit, looking for some sort of courtyard or wider space, to no avail. “Well, there is nowhere, so make do.”
“Right.” Nicki stood for a moment and then her body jerked suddenly. There was the sound of bones breaking and then it was like a huge shadow burst from her body, the scales she wore changing, growing and shaping themselves. It happened so fast, Verity almost missed it! And she didn’t miss much. Huge wings scraped the buildings on either side, causing deep grooves in the brick walls. Nicki stood before her, a huge, magnificently scaled dragon with a crown of horns and a tail with razor sharp spikes on the end. She sat on her huge, muscular hind legs, her deadly claws digging into the ground and her wings folded at her sides, cramped by the buildings. Claws curled off the joint in her wings; the almost resembled fingers, and the thick leather of her wings were almost translucent, casting green shadows.
Nicki growled softly, smoke wafting from her nostrils. Verity stood, half amazed, half annoyed for being proven wrong.
“Right, now, get me on top of Nelson’s Colum.” She ordered. Nicki lowered her head and Verity stepped up to her long neck. She hopped onto Nicki’s back, between the neck joint and the spine, taking care to avoid the sharp plates that lined her spine. Verity held on as Nicki shifted her body so that she could spread her wings down the alley way. She kicked with her back legs and rose into the air, spreading out her wings to their full span and burst forwards from the breast of the buildings.
Once in their air over London, Nicki soared over the buildings and homed in on Nelson atop his column. She slowed slightly, obviously not going to stop, so Verity crouched on her back and leapt forwards, perfectly timing her jump so that she landed, roughly on Nelson. There, she watched Nicki fly away, a huge, dark shape in the blue sky that disappeared into the shadow of a rooftop. Verity looked down; she’d never been afraid of heights and she smiled as she saw people’s shocked expressions as the pondered the huge dark shape they’d just seen.
Verity crouched next to Nelson and took out her IPone and checked Face book; one of the rare novelties she’d had in China. A video of a strange UFO appearing over Trafalgar square had already got over 1000 hits on YouTube. She smiled and looked down to where Holly was stood with her arms crossed and a pair of white sunglasses on. Verity took her bow from over her shoulder and rested it on her knees, feeling the cold ebony.
It was soon midday and The Red Queen was still nowhere to be seen. Verity looked over to where the huge dragon was sat like a gargoyle, smoke rising from it’s nostrils. It saw Verity looking and let out a low growl that carried on the wind. Verity sighed and looked down to where Holly was now sat on the floor, sunbathing. Daniel was sat on a bench on the other side of the square, licking at an ice-cream. Verity craned her neck to look at the top of Georgia’s head. Georgia looked up, probably sensing Verity’s thoughts.
She’ll be here.
Georgia’s voice echoed in Verity’s head. Damn that woman and her telepathic idiocy. She hated the thought of someone intruding her mind and getting their grubby fingers on her thoughts.
Georgia’s voice was a yell in her head and Verity stared in the direction of Holly. The Red Queen was stood in front of her, her red hair glistening in the sun. Verity grabbed her bow from her lap and she stood, leaning against Nelson. She slid an arrow into the bow and aimed at The Red Queen’s neck. It was a perfect shot.
Verity let the arrow fly. A huge, dark figure exploded before her and blocked the arrow. It lodged itself in between the thing’s black scales. Blue goo oozed form the in-between the scales, it’s skeletal, black legs flailing. Verity stared at it as it hovered with it’s insect wings, and when it turned in her direction she stared in horror at it’s sunken eyes and it grotesque horns. The Beatle!
Me and Daniel have got Holly, you and Nicki get the Beatle!
Georgia’s voice yelled in her head and Verity drew another arrow from her Quiver and aimed at The Beatle’s eyes. Letting the arrow fly, Verity watched it wedge itself into the Beatle’s eyeball. The Beatle cried out in a high-pitched, inhuman howl and blue goo exploded form the injury. The Beatle swerved violently, knocking the Column with one of it’s many legs, knocking verity form her position and sending her plummeting to the ground...
Part 5: The Epic Conclusion
Nicki saw the tiny figure falling and was in the air in seconds, soaring towards it. She felt the tiny figure fall, softly onto her back and she soared away, giving Verity time to recover. She circled The Beatle, glancing at The Red Queen on the ground, facing Holly who was flanked by Daniel and Georgia.
“You have no idea what your actions could trigger. I could give one word and my minions would destroy the whole of London!” Lorna smiled at Holly, who was stood before her.
“You will never destroy this world!” replied Holly, raising her fists.
Georgia looked around at people running, screaming and yelling at the two, huge shapes that hovered above Trafalgar Square.
“I can and I will! If you give me what is rightfully mine, then I might spare it.” Lorna gave a coy glance at the dragon that circled The Beatle and then back at Holly.
“You will never have dragon DNA!” shouted Holly.
“Then give me father’s power.”
“You will never have that either!”
“Well then, watch London burn!” Lorna yelled and she turned to look up at the Beatle. The Beatle turned to Nelson’s column and spat at it. Blue goo covered the statue and immediately began to dissolve it. The Beatle spat at buildings that surrounded the square and smoke and ash rose from the carnage. An almighty roar came from the other side of the Square and Nicki came spiralling out of thin air, lashing out with her claws at the Beatle. As Nicki flew out of range, she started to circle the Beatle again to confuse it and spit flames in it’s remaining eye. Verity was now stood on Nicki’s back, pelting the Beatle with well-aimed arrows, lodging them between the Beatle’s scales and into the soft, fleshy parts of it’s under belly.
With the Beatle occupied, Lorna growled and she raised her hands. Around them, the cars parked on the edge of the now-empty Square rose into the air. She flexed her fingers and the cars fell to the ground, some upside down, but all exploding on impact, causing buildings and other vehicle to catch fire.
“Have you reconsidered?” asked Lorna smiling. She raised her arm out forwards and a dark shadow appeared above their heads. Georgia looked up to see the underside of a lorry, slowly hovering. On flex and it would be on top of them.
“Never!” yelled Holly.
Lorna flexed, but so did Georgia. She raised her hands, catching the full force of the lorry. “Run!” she yelled.
Daniel and Holly ran to the side as Georgia forced it forwards, aiming at Lorna. Lorna disappeared beneath it. For a moment, Georgia thought she’d been crushed, but there were suddenly hands around her throat, crushing the air form her lungs.
“Die telepath!” whispered Lorna.
Georgia felt the air shift around her and she felt Lorna’s mind get distracted by the thought of taking a life. Georgia gathered the air and forced it outwards. The hands left her throat and Lorna went flying backwards, to be caught by thick, brown vines that tangled themselves around her body, squeezing her tight.
Above her, the Dovashiin and Quivachi battled the Beatle, the dragon spitting flames and Verity letting fly arrow after arrow.
Verity looked down at Georgia and then looked past her. Georgia followed her gaze to where Lorna was cutting free from the vines, a dagger in her hand. She felt to the ground, landing on her feet. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Holly taking a throwing knife from her thigh holster and throw it at Lorna. Lorna screamed as it hit her arm. Holly threw another, this time it landed on the floor with a metallic clang. Georgia felt her hands reaching for the knife in her own holster, but thought again when Lorna ran at Holly. Georgia reached out with both hands and her mind, freezing Lorna in mid air. The ground beneath her began to shake and folds of earth came up, encasing Lorna in an egg-shaped tomb. The rock hardened and turned to stone. Daniel appeared behind it.
Above them, Verity and Nicki were once again, engaged with The Beatle. The Beatle lashed out and caught the side of Nicki’s face with it’s skeletal claw. Verity put an arrow in that claw.
Georgia vaguely thought of how in sync they were with each other; a dragon and it’s rider, but she was distracted by a deep, cracking sound. She glanced back up at Verity, who’d heard it too. The Beatle was almost down and she paused testing the wind, slid an arrow into the bow and aimed it behind her. The arrow flew through the air and curved with the wind, lodging itself into the Beatle body. The Beatle started to fall to the ground with a crash.
The dragon landed next to it and Verity hopped off it’s back. Blood oozed form Nicki’s cut, but the dragon’s bright yellow eyes were fixed on the prison.
Cracks had emerged in the stone orb and the ground shook. Daniel raised his hands, beads of sweat forming on his forehead as he tried to build more stone around the cracks.
It was in vain as Lorna burst from the orb, sending shards of stone flying in all directions. Holly screamed, covering her face and Daniel rose a fold of earth in front of him and Holly to shield them from the debris. Georgia raised her hands, creating an invisible shield in front of her, shards of rock exploding into rubble on impact around her. She looked to the right, where Verity was huddle behind the tough leather of Nicki’s wing.
“Fools!” yelled Lorna as the five of them dropped their shields. “You cannot kill me...” Lorna lurched and yelped in pain. She looked down at the arrow that was lodged in her chest. “You bitch! That hurt!” Lorna put her hands around the arrow and pulled it out, blood leaking from the wound that was already beginning to close. Lorna rose into the air, hovering above them. “And look what you did to my Beatle!” she growled, annoyed.
“Go back to the Sky Realm!” yelled Holly.
“No, I like it here!” smiled Lorna. Flame immediately engulfed her body. Georgia looked at Nicki, who’s jaws were wide open, flame bursting from her mouth.
Lorna screamed and dropped to the ground, where she took the arrow that lay next to her and lung it at Nicki. Nicki caught it with her claws and smashed the arrow to pieces. Daniel was straight in with sharp vines trying to impale Lorna, who dodged them and flexed outwards with her arms, flinging Daniel to the ground. Verity pelted her with arrows and Lorna jumped up, Nicki snapping at her with her sharp teeth, missing and then falling as Lorna spun round the back and cut at her hind legs. Next, Lorna went for Verity, who put an arrow in her forearm and her thigh. Lorna snarled and threw her towards Nicki’s sharp spines with a flex of her fingers. Verity put her arms out and vaulted, athletically over them. Nicki lashed out with her tail, sending Lorna to the floor, but not before Lorna flexed and sent Verity flying backwards, away from Nicki. Nicki roared fire in Lorna’s direction, but Lorna threw her knife, sinking it into Nicki’s other leg. The dragon gave an almighty cry of fury and threw more flames at Lorna, who threw up her arms to shield herself from them. When the flames subsided, Lorna had disappeared.
Georgia looked at Holly and then round at the empty Square. She reached out with her mind, and felt a bundle of thoughts somewhere behind her. They were Lorna’s thoughts.
Turning, Georgia saw Lorna lunge towards her and Georgia lashed out with the knife from her holster, slashing it sideways. A huge gash appeared across Lorna’s face. Lorna growled and lunged again, this time Georgia threw her hands up, freezing Lorna where she was.
The sky immediately darkened and thunder groaned in the distance. Lightning flashed, dangerously across the heavy, dark sky; it pulsed through the clouds, above where Georgia stood. It cracked a shrill cry and then plummeted to the earth, a thin lightning bolt, making contact with Lorna and sending electric currents through her body. Georgia let go and looked around at Holly. She was stood with one hand in the air, lightning erupting from her finger tips. Her eyes were close in a look of utter concentration.
Lorna’s body was jolting, violently, and fell to the floor with a soft thump as the lightning subsided and the dark clouds retreated to reveal the clear blue skies of moments previous.
“You...shall...never defeat...me...” groaned Lorna, looking up at Georgia. Steam rose from her body. How was she still alive? Georgia allowed herself a sneak peek inside her mind and was horrified at the tiny portion she saw!
She saw the burnt remains of London and dead bodies littering the roads, the smell of congealed flesh filled her nostrils and screams and cries could be heard in the distance and in the skies, a million Beatle’s hovered, patrolling, looking around for survivors.
She pulled out, disgusted, to find Lorna staring at Holly.
“You...have not heard...the last of me!” she snarled and her body began to dissolve into blue dust, until there was nothing left.
Georgia breathed out, relieved. Holly sighed and looked around. Daniel was slowly hobbling towards them, with Verity and Nicki on his heels. Verity was supporting Nicki, who had a huge, bloody gash down her face and blood seeping from the scales on her thighs. Verity had small red cuts dotting her face and arms and Daniel moaned of a broken nails, but they were all alive.
“Nice work guys! Nice work!” cried Daniel.
The day after the battle, Nicki was sat at a table in the local pub, staring at the TV, bewildered. Verity sat opposite her and Georgia sat next to her. Daniel sat next to Georgia, and Holly sat opposite him.
“So, a dragon and a giant Beatle have an epic battle in the middle of Trafalgar Square and it’s not even on the news!” Nicki complained. “This superhero stuff is bullshit!”
“Maybe they covered it up; you know what people are like, they think its aliens.” replied Georgia.
A waitress approached the table with a tray of pints and passed them round.
“Cheers guys!” said Daniel, clinking glasses with the other four.
As they drank, a small, dark-skinned woman dressed in a long, leather coat approached them.
“Hi, I’m Miss Fury and I have an important matter to discuss with you. It concerns an event that took place yesterday. If you would follow me into the back room.” She said, flatly and turned and strode away, her leather coat billowing out behind her.
“What...?” started Daniel.
“You think we should follow her?” asked Georgia.
“She might be an assassin.” suggested Verity. “She might want us dead.”
“Yeah, but the chances are she’s not. We might as well hear her out.” Nicki stood and waited for the others to stand.
“I think we’d better be on our guard.” muttered Verity.
They followed Nicki into one of the back rooms of the pub and faced Miss Fury, who stood on the other side of a table.
“I’m Blur Fury. I know what you are and who you are and I have been instructed by my superiors to keep your activities under control. We’ve noticed your small clan and we’ve decided to keep an eye on you. You may have noticed that nothing has been said about the elaborate activities that took place yesterday and if something like that should happen again, we’ll be there to clean upo the mess.” She explained.
“Wait, you know who we are?” Nicki raised an eyebrow.
“Yes. You’ve been attracting out attention.” She replied.
“Kinda stalkerish...” muttered Holly.
“Well, make of it what you will, but know that we’re going to keep our kind a secret and if that means cleaning up other people’s messes, then so be it.”
Lorna sat in the dark cave, dabbing the burns on her arms with a blood-stained cloth. The Beatle stood sentry behind her in human form.
“Have you found it?” asked Lorna, sharply.
“Yes, my Queen.” replied The Beatle.
“Good. Then go get it.” She ordered, dropping the cloth to the floor and soaking her arm in a bucket of red water.
“As you wish, my Queen.” mumbled the Beatle, before disappearing into the shadows.
Publication Date: 08-01-2012
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