The next day, we brainstormed ideas for how to get the Dragonstone and the necklace.
“I say we make her fall asleep!” declared Wildsky.
“How are we going to do that?” asked Rockstorm.
“Plant Clan has special plants that no one has. One of them creates a pollen so strong that simply breathing it in will make you fall asleep in a matter of minutes!” he explained.
I wondered if Swiftstreak and her brothers were from Plant Clan.
“How long would you fall asleep?” asked Firesong.
I could tell she liked the plan.
“About two hours. That should be enough time,” stated Wildsky.
“I don’t think we should do that. It’s not a reliable tactic. For instance, how are we going to get her to smell the pollen?” argued Swiftstreak.
“Oh...I hadn’t thought of that.” admitted Wildsky.
“Do you have a better idea?” Firesong challenged Swiftstreak.
They eyed each other darkly. Why did they have to hate each other so much? I thought we were beginning to work together as a team?
“No,” sighed Swiftstreak looking down.
“Alright, then you three continue spying, and the three of us will go to Plant Clan to get the plants. It’s empty now anyways, so no one should notice,” decided Rockstorm. “Say Wildsky, what does the plant look like?”
“Well, the inside of its petals are green spots with purple lining, but on the outside the petals are orange. It looks like a large tulip and it’s bigger than a ball that’s the size of a rock and-”
“Maybe you should just come with us?” I suggested.
“What?! No!” gasped Swiftsreak. “What if he gets hurt or--or…”
“Don’t worry, Swift, we’ll take good care of him,” reassured Rockstorm.
“And how are we supposed to do all the work with one less spy?” added Swiftstreak, still panicking.
“We’ll leave one of us with you guys, like….Firesong,” decided Rockstorm.
“What!? No! No! No! Absolutely not! There’s no way I’m staying with them! Why don’t you leave Geyser with them. They get along!” snapped Firesong.
“Firesong, we think this is a great opportunity for you two to get along,” I whispered to her.
“Besides,” I added louder. “We wouldn’t want you to accidentally start a forest fire in the jungle,”
“Do you think leaving her with us is a good idea?” questioned Swiftstreak. “Does she even know a thing about spying? What if she blows our cover? She’s so..bright, ugh, she’ll stand out. Sure, she’s smart, but it takes more than brains to spy successfully,”
“You know what?!” flared Firesong with small wisps of smoke starting to fume out of her ears, “I want to stay. In fact, I’m going to prove to you that I don’t need training to prove successful! So there! It’s on!”
“She’s packing heat as always,” I whispered to Rockstorm.
He smiled knowingly.
“I think it’d be good for you to take Wildsky, we could use a break from him,” admitted Jetlash.
“Hey! I heard that!” called Wildsky. “And in that case, I want Firesong to stay with you. That means I can go with Geyser and Rockstorm!”
“Well then, it’s decided then. Sorry you two, but the odds are against you. We take Wildsky and Firesong stays with you,” decided Rockstorm.
The girls sighed. Rockstorm and I turned into dragons and let Wildsky hop on my back.
“Try not to kill each other while we’re gone!” I called out as we flew off.
“If you mess this up, our cover is blown and our career is down the drain. So, we’re going to show you a few techniques whether you like it or not,” stated Swiftstreak coldly.
“Fine, let’s get this over with,” agreed Firesong.
“First things first, always be quiet, since this mission won’t require you to socially interact with them. So try to breathe quietly and slowly. Also, make sure you don’t hold your breath or you’ll let out a big breath and the person you are sneaking up on will know you are there. Got that?”
“Yes, commander Swift,” moaned Firesong sarcastically. “Ugh! Is it recess yet? I can’t take any more lectures!”
“Um.. I’m going to go spy on them, I’ll leave you here with her,” stated Jetlash as he slipped out.
“It’s going to be a long day,” sighed Swiftstreak putting a hand on her temples.
“A very long day,” muttered Firesong in agreement.
After a couple hours, the two of them went to Red Blood’s lair.
“Alright,” whispered Swiftstreak. “You hide behind those rocks, I’ll hide here. Remember, stay hidden and quiet. Make sure to listen and concentrate on what they’re saying,”
“I know! I know!” erupted Firesong.
“Hey! Stop shushing me!” yelled a warrior.
“I ain’t!” hollered another warrior.
“Yeah you was!”
“No I isn’t!”
Swiftstreak and Firesong stopped shushing each other. Firesong quietly crept to her position.
“This is so boring!” Firesong complained to herself. “And why do I have to be stuck with her!? Where’s Jetlash? I wish I was with Geyser and Rockstorm. They’re like my brothers, my family, because I don’t have a real family anymore. Why am I here? I was called into this crazy mission with the fate of the world at the edge of chaos and destruction. When will this end? How much of this can I take?!”
She looked up into the sky as the sun set.
“Wherever you are, boys, I hope you’re faring better than me,” sighed Firesong.
“Aye! What’s all the mumble jumble!?” yelled a warrior.
“Oops,” muttered Firesong quietly.
“Di’ you ’ear ’at?” called a warrior to another.
“Oi! I ’eard some’n a little earli’ah ago too,” remembered the other warrior.
“Yeh, sound like singing.”
“Singing? Oi! That’s nasty!
“Uk! I nar!
“What’s any of this us singing abart anywhos?”
“Uh don know, who’s got time fer dat anyways?”
“Not oi either,”
“Must be one of the maids. Anyways, did you ’ear General Red Blard?”
“Nar, not dat! I mean dis morn’n. He said we be attacking soon. “
“Some village, a big one, with thousands and thousands ar people!”
“I thought they all left!”
“Well they had to ’ave gone somewhere, and dat somewhere is this village! It’s near this lake.”
They continued to patrol.
“I better tell the others!” cried Firesong.
She ran down the gravelly hill and slipped.
“Ow!” squeaked Firesong.
“What on Aranthalas was that!?” asked a warrior.
He looked over and saw Firesong.
“Oi! General Red Blard! I think we have a spy in our midst!”
He came over “My name is General Red Blood! Not Red Blard!” He looked at Firesong. “I know her! She’s one of the trio! Where there’s one, there’s more. Get her!”
Firesong flapped her wings and took off. Yet the warrior was faster. Firesong didn’t have time to look behind her, but suddenly, she heard a smack. She turned around. Jetlash was fighting the warrior. His cover was blown! Firesong flew back to help him and shot fire at the warrior. He plummeted.
“Let’s get out of here!” Jetlash said urgently. “Follow me! Let’s get Swiftstreak and we’ll regroup!”
They flew until they found her. More warriors were after them.
“Go to the base! Jetlash and I will fend them off to give you time!” ordered Swiftstreak.
Firesong didn’t need an invitation. She was out of sight in no time. Swiftstreak swung her battlestaff at the warriors while Jetlash hit them with his battleaxe. However, one of the warriors had a weapon with a chain attached to it and it latched onto Jetlash. He let out a short squeak as the chains tightened. Firesong was flying away when she heard it and flew back, tackling the warrior to the ground and making sure to turn his lights off on the way down. Swiftstreak watched in amazement at Firesong’s ability to spring into action.
“That should keep out for a few hours if not a day, thanks Firesong!” smiled Jetlash.
Firesong beamed. “Let’s call it even, you saved me from that other warrior,”
“Sounds great. Now we better get going, our cover’s blown anyway,”
The three of them flew to the hideout and made sure no one followed them. Firesong told them what she had overheard.
“Most likely they’ll leave tomorrow morning,” assumed Swiftstreak. “Which means they’ll reach The United Clan in three days if they fly.”
“I’ll fly to the boys and tell Wildsky to fly to you three with the plants. Then Rockstorm, Geyser, and I will warn the United Clan,” decided Firesong.
“All by yourself?” gasped Jetlash. “How will you get there in time?”
“If I turn into a dragon, I get there twice if not three times as fast,” reminded Firesong.
“Oh yeah, I forgot you could do that,” sighed Jetlash. “So I guess you won’t need anyone to accompany you?”
Swifttreak raised an eyebrow.
“That’s real’ gentlemanly of you, Jetlash….but, I’ll be fine.”
“Ok, well, um...I’m going to hit the hay,” he said curtly as he left the firepit.
“Sorry, for blowing our cover. I-I-well-couldn’t take it and--I let you down. I said that I would prove to you I could be a great spy, all on my own, with no help...and I...failed. I ruined the mission,” confessed Firesong.
Swiftstreak didn’t say anything. The silence burned Firesong more than anything she had ever felt.
“Oh please, say something...anything…….” thought Firesong.
“I warned you…” Swiftstreak mumbled darkly and quietly. “If you mess this up, our cover is blown and our career is down the drain. And you messed this up!”
“I know,” sniffled Firesong. “I am so sorry! I-I don’t know how I’m going to make this right, and I don’t blame you for being mad at me--and--and hating me! It’s a wonder I’m even friends with Rock and Gey, I fought with him a lot. I-I always pick fights with people. I really am hotheaded and-and-y-you were right!” She steamed uncontrollably.
Swiftstreak had this smug look on her face. Yet through Firesong’s steam she could see Firesong truly was sorry. Swiftstreak took a deep breath.
“Look, sorry for being so tough on you, but, you’re being pretty tough on me too. I guess I started this one. Yeah, it’s going to be hard to spy on them, because they know we’ve been spying on them. So.....I don’t know what we’re going to do. But Rockstorm said we were on the winning side. I bet...I bet the Dragonstone knew about this and is going to use this for saving Aranthalas,”
Firesong stopped steaming. “But how am I going to live with this guilt? I wronged you terribly,”
Swiftstreak wiped a few of her own tears and stifled a cry.
“Well, I’m just...trusting that the Robed Ruler has everything under control, like he always does.” declared Firesong.
“But how do we know? We never see this Robed Ruler. Where in the prophecy did it say we were on the winning side?” argued Swiftstreak.
“I’ve seen the Dragonstone do things I never thought it could. I saw the Purple One’s hand pick up the Dragonstone after the War of the Endless Dragons and put it back into the Enchanted Volcano. The Dragonstone called us three into this mission. It has guided us along through difficult times. I believe that things are going to get better. Yes, the prophecy didn’t actually say this would work. But why would the Robed Ruler, the one who created Aranthalas, put three teenagers on a mission for adults to save a broken world, if it was all for nothing? Surely, this isn’t a joke.”
Swiftstreak thought about it for a while.
“Maybe…..and maybe not. Either way, we need to get to bed, especially since you’ll be leaving tomorrow morning.” She walked away into the hideout.
Firesong was left at the firepit all by herself.
She sighed as she talked to herself, “Will my life always be this cringy? I feel so out of place. I always have so many problems with life. Here I am, on this crazy mission...what will happen next? Yet I guess...it’s not so bad. It could be worse. I could have died many times by now. There’ll probably more times that I could die in the future. Yet I do have friends who care about me, especially Gey, since he literally represents caring. It was nice that Jetlash saved me. He may be quiet, but he’s really nice. You know, life has been rough, but it’s been good. And...I’m ok with that. I’ll get through this.”