The noise of the village's roars fills Sammy's ears. So many voices blending together. She can't tell whether they're excited or angry. But she knows why they're making such a noise. Sitting up in her bed, Sammy pulls back her curtains and peers out into the early morning. A crowd has gathered near the docks, waving arms and holding children close by. Sammy feels a tug of curiosity to find out what the Hive look like.
Once she had dressed herself and pulled on her boots, Sammy rushed outside of her home. Her mother and father were just outside, arms crossed - a mixture of guarded curiosity and fear. Sammy didn't wait around for their approval, before she scampered towards the docks. She slipped on loose pebbles, but she didn't care. All she wanted was to see the Drakons.
All of her life, Sammy had been fed stories about them; winged creatures that ruled the skies, bonding with humans known as Drakon Bornes. Living in such a remote village, Sammy had never had the opportunity to see a Drakon. And now it was her chance, as the Hive migrated to their new home for the winter, to hibernate.
Sammy clung to the railings and planted her feet on the lowest bar, eyes wide. Her mouth hung open. The Drakons were at least 30 metres in the air, wings held at full length, streamlined against the blistering wind. They varied from lime green to sunset orange and none of them paid attention to the curious humans. They were set on their destination. Sammy didn't know much about them, but she knew that they were like bees or wasps, almost - the Queen ruled and they did as she asked.
Her eyes never left the Hive as they travelled purposefully but calmly through the sky. That was until the person next to her jabbed her with an elbow and pointed to somewhere in the ocean. At first, Sammy couldn't see anything, but then made out something coming over the horizon. A boat! Several, in fact.
Sammy's heart leapt. Never had she imagined that, not only would Drakons arrive, but people that weren't from the village! She gripped the railing tighter and leaned forward, narrowing her eyes. This would be her first ever adventure, something new and exciting!
"Sam, dear." Her mother scolded. "Do sit down before we're forced to tie you to your seat. They won't be here yet."
Sammy scowled. "How do you know that? You haven't been outside for hours!"
After witnessing the arrival of the Hive, Sammy had been dragged indoors by her mother and hadn't been allowed outside since. She wanted to see if the new people had gotten to the shore yet.
"I'm not hungry yet," Sammy rolled her eyes. "And it's not like I'll get in the Drakon's way. I just want to say hello to the new people."
Her mother stared at her for a good few minutes, debating whether or not her daughter's argument was justified. "That's your father's job." She hurried on. "But if you go and stay with him, then yes. You can go."
With a squeal of excitement, Sammy hugged her mother and raced out of the house, towards the dock. To add to her happiness, the people on the boats had arrived. Her father was with the rest of the fishermen, helping to tie up the boats and offering greetings. The men and women from the boats were decorated with heavy fur coats and thick boots. Most were burly and had long beards. They must be from the North, Sammy thought to herself.
She reached her father's side and peered out at the new people, who regarded the village with interest. They seemed nice enough. And then she spotted someone - a boy her age, standing beside the tallest and scariest looking man of the group. The man had even more decoration. A feather was tied to his coat, beads were tied into his beard and a tooth hung from a piece of string around his neck. Sammy shivered. He had dark brown eyes that were almost black, dark hair flecked with grey and tanned skin marked with scars. He looked like a warrior.
The young boy, however, was the complete opposite. He had sandy blonde hair, vibrant green eyes and didn't seem to stop smiling. Whether or not that was for show, Sammy wasn't sure. She wanted to go and say hello; she knew everyone in her village but there weren't any children her age. They were all either younger or older. This was her chance to talk to someone new, who was her age, and who looked far more interesting, for that matter.
So she wandered forward and luckily, the man beside the boy had decided to start a conversation with one of the other men. Sammy suddenly felt extremely nervous - she had no idea what she was meant to say. She settled on the most polite thing that she could think of, "Hello. I'm Sammy."
"Oh, hello." The boy grinned and pulled off the gloves that he was wearing. "I'm Atlas."
Sammy tilted her head. What an odd name. "How did you get that name? Are your people warriors?"
Atlas laughed hysterically, holding his sides and almost crying. Once he had finished, he straightened up and looked at her with seriousness. "No, we're not warriors. I got this name because my mother liked it."
"Oh. Sorry." Sammy felt her cheeks grow hot with embarrassment. "Well, if it helps, I like that name too. It's different. So, what do your people do?"
He glanced towards the scary man he had been standing next to earlier. "Me and my family look after the Drakons. There are a lot of Drakon Bornes in my village, so we support and look after everyone. We keep them safe from scientists and researchers. Horrible people."
"Who is that man?" Sammy asked out of curiosity.
"My father." Atlas explained. "He's a Drakon Borne and head of our village. To protect everyone, he and his Drakon went into a lot of battles. That's the reason he has so many scars."
Sammy nodded and glanced around. "Where is your mother?"
Atlas went silent and stared at his hands. "She's gone. I'd rather not talk about it."
"I'm sorry." Sammy said immediately. "I won't make you talk about it if you don't want to. Just forget I said anything."
A moment later, Atlas' father was waving him over. Atlas got halfway before he turned back to Sammy and smiled. "It was nice to meet you. See you later."