Chapter 1: Magnetic Heights
‘Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5 verse 8.’
A plague to end all plagues swept like the last curtain call over humankind, only a few survived the tragedy and became nomadic, mostly subterranean or mountain-dwelling. Before the terrible virus broke out a brilliant billionaire created magnetic flight, he was blamed for the outbreak of Vir21 the name of the terror that caused the unprecedented apocalypse.
It all happened silently, yet so suddenly.
It was during a normal day that everything changed after many planet-saving warnings were ignored by humankind, the most horrific events took place.
When the first flying dragon was spotted, people thought of it as a UFO. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. It was the beginning of the first race, the dragon race. Earth was where they left their offspring behind (their nesting ground) and when the planet got hot enough from global warming their eggs hatched and their numbers soon increased.
The decreased numbers of humans had to stay on the move because the dragons thrived in all four elements, land, haven and outer space was too littered with the debris from destroyed satellites were on the list of unsafe places. The dragons couldn’t only just swim, some could fly far and long distances in space.
There were different types of dragons as one might’ve been derived from the above mentioned.
There were also the Grand dragons, shape-shifting intellectuals. Although that was how the legend went because rumors tend to travel around from the remaining few magnetic sky-ships.
The Grand drakes were on top of the food chain. Elemental dragons or the wild cards as some like to call them, amongst other nasty terms that included a severe amount of profanity were lower down in the dragon ranks, the dragons had several rankings including great drakes each stronger than the other.
There were many different types of drakes, small, large, broad, thin, scaly, feathery, aquatic etc. They weren’t properly studied, named or listed... unlike those well put together birding books. Instead of spending time studying the beasts, people were trying too hard to stay alive.
There was one ship in particular that started as a normal ship but became quite the legend before he, Lieutenant Chad Lagoon climbed on.
He was quite young, in his early twenties when he joined the Dragon Defence Forces and he stayed there about seven years climbing the ranks while trying to protect the regular folks in the mountains against the onslaught.
He has seen many violent clashes, but also he survived Vir21 he never had an easy life. The tragedies Lieutenant Lagoon witnessed especially the last event (the virus) helped him to change his mind it was just too brutal.
He protected the East Hills, a great province with a few villages, including the main city and they marched up and down those mountains fighting a losing battle against the weather, illness, hunger, fatigue and lastly dragons. It took one big drake to come along and destroy everything the whole province... never mind that it almost leveled the mountain.
Those dragons were clever because they could hunt in groups and the East Hills province was the first to find that out, there were very few survivors left and he was one of them. He was regrettably lucky because during that time of the destruction event he was sent out with a small group of soldiers to scout the Green Island territories where live volcanoes thrived that smoked and started dropping some ash on their province.
These islands were a haven for the dragons and probably a nest where they stayed together as a tight-knit group. All the dragons were male, and several female humans started to vanish it wasn’t quite known as to why. The humans thought that it was because the females were the weakest, but that turned out to be not quite accurate because only females of a certain age were taken, and ugly females were excluded.
The villagers of the East Hills then decided to start spreading the message and hid the females and that’s when the drakes got furious and decided to take them out for good.
Firstly, the medium-sized dragons came along. Good old red and green ones, they were still young drakes and well-known on top of that, they smoked the tunnels out during the night when it was the hardest to see for the villagers.
The drakes could fly quietly and half of them went to one side of the mountain and just started smoking through their nostrils, that’s when the humans thought the volcano from the nearby isles were going to erupt soon and started to evacuate to the other side of the mountain.
What they should’ve done was go to the deeper caverns and hide there, but unfortunately, some of the soldiers were away, fear and chaos ultimately caused them to make fatal mistakes.
Medium sized dragons waited with cages on the other side and took as many people as they could prisoner, the smaller brown dragons caught the stragglers and ate them if they weren’t of female gender with no ailments, no other humans were spared and all the medium drakes did was fill up their cages and hauled them away to their volcanoes.
Some stayed and when they caught enough villagers, they finished up and left before a very large drake came and breathed an extremely hot blue flame over the mountains after it swooped down with its huge claws and tore almost everything apart, it used its armored wings to level the big mountain peaks and its flames were so hot it could melt the ground into glass, then it stomped every hole flat. Glass stalagmites were all that remained amongst the mountain ruins.
A few days later, the small group of soldiers along with Lieutenant Lagoon returned to find the glass graveyard, they started a futile search, trying to break the glass with the back of their guns. The glass wasn’t breakable by using their weapons so they searched the perimeter, just to find nothing. Homeless and weak with nothing left they all decided to wander around.
His group didn’t stick together, most of the soldiers split up or died due to fatigue and starvation. Although they were in a tropical region, the winter nights were still chilly enough to cause illness. There was nowhere for them to go unless they could cross the ocean and all the boats were destroyed excluding theirs so they took it as a shelter because they feared the water monstrosities.
The dragons could’ve been hiding anywhere, luckily they had their fill for a while and humans weren’t particularly good food for them, they were tough, bony and not very nutritious because of the poor states they were in.
The dragons were mostly omnivores that stuck to natural food, meaning food that roamed or grew naturally and wasn’t kept or raised by humans. They didn’t eat each other or it should rather be said that nobody knew if dragons ate other dragons yet, fights were witnessed now and again according to the tall tales, but it seemed they had more of a ′hive′ mentality and incredible intelligence.
Lt. Lagoon sat and thought about the dragons with five of his men, there used to be twenty men, but five died and he sent ten out to scour the landscape for anything they could use to survive until they could move out quietly.
He watched the sunset in a hue of bright red, orange and yellow with a hint of dark blue from the volcanic ash, it was the most beautiful thing he ever saw, especially the many mini rainbows that appeared on the horizon as a bonus.
His stomach gave an uncomfortable growl, he leaned back against the wood of the small boat and watched the sun go down. The soldiers around him prepped the camouflage around the boat and killed the flame because dragons were known to hunt close to dusk and it was fast approaching.