The Darwin Chronicles, Book Three: The Blackfire Meadows

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Chapter 23

"Mutiny! Mutiny!"

The fires blazed, reflecting the rage in the rebels' eyes, the heat like the life rushing through their veins.

Screams rang through the camp, victorious and terrorized alike.

In the end, Emmett hadn't planned for this.


"Dazhong!" Emmett hissed, shaking the boy awake. "Dazhong! I need your help."
"Mmmmm," Dazhong mumbled. He rolled over and slowly opened his eyes. "Wha-what?" He yawned.
"I need your gelp-I mean, help," he repeated. "I want to revolt."
Dazhong rubbed his eyes and laughed. "Revolt against who? The Ciis?"
"No, you idiot. Luke."
Dazhong's grin grew wider. "Good luck with that."
"No, no, no. Come on. Listen. Think of all of our friends who are girls. Don't you care about them? They care about us."
"Like Amy?"
That hit a sore spot in Emmett's armor. "Shut up about her."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever. I'm going back to sleep-"
"No!" Emmett snapped, grabbing his friend's arm and twisting it. "I won't let you go to sleep, you crap-eating bag of blood."
"Ow!" Dazhong winced, struggling. "Dude, I was just kidding. Of course I'll help you, you douche."
"Fine." He let go off the arm. Dazhong rubbed it as he explained what he wanted him to do. "I need you to rig a line of traps up near those tents of Luke's followers."
"Yeah, yeah. Whatever you say." Dazhong got up and put on his armor.
"Thanks, man."

"Stay there," Dazhong hissed, pushing Emmett behind a rock. "And don't look."
"Why?"
"You'll be blinded, idiot. What do you think? We're dealing with explosives here."
"Fine, whatever." Emmett pressed his back against the boulder and gripped his sword. He heard the crunch of dry leaves being stepped on as Dazhong headed away back towards the camp.

"Fire up!" Someone shouted from outside the tent.
Bangbangbangbangbang! The ground shook, and the bright light of explosions lit the campground. Faint screams could be heard.
"What's going on?" Luke sat up in bed and groggily looked towards the entrance of the tent.
"Luke! Get out! They're coming-!" Al suddenly fell forward, an arrow sticking out of his back. Another arrow struck Luke in the chest, another getting stuck in the backboard. Amy scrambled to her feet and ran outside. Most of the tents were in flames, along with some of the people living in them. explosions were still visible, but further down the camp.
"Dragon!" Someone shouted. Emmett's dragon, now a full-sized dragon, was roaring, catastrophically blowing fire everywhere.
"Emmett!" Amy shouted before she could stop herself. He needed to get his dragon under control. Where was he?

Emmett heard an earsplitting roar from the campgrounds-he'd know that roar anywhere. Kevin!
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