Dragons Hill: Book III by J. Barrett - HTML preview

PLEASE NOTE: This is an HTML preview only and some elements such as links or page numbers may be incorrect.
Download the book in PDF, ePub, Kindle for a complete version.

DRAGONS HILL

BOOK III

OF THE

FIRST YEARS

By: J Barrett

1

PROLOGUE

2

About 20 miles outside of Chicago, in one of the well-to-do enclaves that existed before the

Great Burning, a large mansion stood on a rise in the center of one of the most exclusive of

these. Haunted eyes peered out of the picture window watching men unload weapons and

ammo from a large gray produce truck parked in the driveway. Dixon was a large man; his

6’5” frame held a well-muscled and finely tuned body. A scruffy dark beard and long

disheveled hair combined with red bloodshot eyes gave him a look that said - ‘mess with me at

your own peril’. A former Marine Black Ops member; he towered over most men, and could

take down any he encountered without much effort. He had been the best in his outfit and took

great pride in his abilities; when in the field he was cold, methodical, and emotionless - a

perfect killing machine. And now with no soul – he was deadlier than ever.

The men unloaded the many crates of ammunition slowly and with great care storing them

almost reverently on shelves that lined one wall of the large garage. They took a number of

weapons out of the van and stored the majority of these with the ammo; but they took their

own weapons with them into the mansion. Dixon called them all to attention in a low voice as

they gathered in the entry alcove; nervous twitching and low conversation confirmed this man

was their leader, and they feared him. Dixon ordered them to seek shelter in one of the

surrounding mansions and to pick their places well as they would ride out the long cold winter

here.

Upon entering the exclusive neighborhood they had found few survivors, and Dixon had made

short work of any who resisted. It had been three years since the Great Burning, and there

seemed to be fewer and fewer reports of the black monsters in the area, so he wasn’t

particularly worried about them. His ‘weatherman’ had predicted the previous cold fronts,

and now predicted the first blizzard of the season was on its way. Dixon decided to ride it out

in comfort this time in one of these luxurious estates. No one disagreed with him; no one ever

disagreed with him. He claimed the largest estate for himself and his seconds-in-command.

Guards were posted and the remainder of his men was sent out to scour the other large homes

for any and all food and drink.

Hours later Dixon gave orders he was not to be disturbed unless there was an emergency; and

it ‘damn well better be an emergency’. Others had learned the hard way what constituted an

emergency, at the cost of their lives. Dixon grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels in his powerful

hand and walked into the large living room, taking a long swig. He paused at the window that

looked out onto the back of the large estate; enjoying the burn as the liquor slid down his

throat. A pathway led down a small incline to the abandoned tennis courts and swimming pool.

The sun was setting on a cold blue horizon and he watched as its colors played across the dirty

algae-ridden pool. He turned around abruptly and looked about as if expecting someone to be

standing there. He waited for a few minutes and then slowly walked thru the large rooms of

the house, taking a swig from the bottle every now and then.

On the second floor he discovered what appeared to be a private study. The décor was very

masculine, dark paneled walls, small bookcase, and a large soft leather couch. An impressive

leather chair stood behind a desk so ostentatious, and yet so definitely male, he was drawn to it immediately. He sat himself down in the leather chair and began to go thru some of the desk’s

drawers. The bottom drawer on his left produced a pearl-handled Colt 45. He leaned back

admiring the weapon, yeah; this is definitely me… he thought to himself smiling.

3

He rose and went over to the plush sofa and plopped himself down grabbing a throw pillow and

sliding it under his head. He downed the bottle of Jack and slammed it on the rectangular

coffee table. Leaning back again, he closed his eyes and let his body go, releasing the tension at last. He cleared his mind of everything, and then as he dozed, he allowed himself to

remember.

His mind took him back, back to the cave where he had found her; back to the ultimate joy that

had gripped his mind when he made first contact.

In his last battle with the black monsters he had become separated from his unit. They had

attacked with such a vengeance that he barely made it to safety. He had run to a ledge and

jumped down the side of a mountain, sliding and rolling down a considerable way, striking his

head several times on boulders. He ended up at the bottom of a small ravine in a clump of

bushes, unconscious and hidden from view; the rest of his team was not so lucky. He

remembered coming to and finding nothing but scorched earth and charred bodies all around

him. He wandered about trying to find his way back to his unit. He was turned around and the

ground was charred beyond recognition. He couldn’t travel very far by day, and night travel

was out of the question with the monsters in the area. A bad situation quickly got worse and he

ended up on his own in the middle the monsters hunting ground.

He had been wandering for several months and came upon a desolate valley; the land was

scorched and blackened. He had to be very careful, always locating a place he could hide in

nearby in case the bastards showed up. He had finally found a cave in the side of a mountain;

it seemed to go on forever. He spotted one of the monsters above and retreated to the back of

the cave. He was trapped, so he decided to explore it further when a wrong turn led him to a

dead end where he slipped and fell into a large crevasse. He slid down at least a hundred feet

before he landed in a puddle of some horrible smelling liquid, which he later discovered was

dragon urine. It was very dark, and he couldn’t get his bearings. He could see some light down

a long pathway, so he quietly headed for it keeping alert to any sounds.

It opened into a large cavern, and the ground was littered with odd shaped orbs. He realized

quickly that they were dragon eggs of various sizes – he was in a hatching ground. He quickly

backed against a wall and dropped to his knees carefully looking about; there was no

movement or sound. He began to move forward slowly when he heard a small child’s voice

calling out and froze on the spot.

Is anyone there? A small plaintive female voice called, Please, can you help me?

A child trapped in here with all these eggs, he thought, probably food for when they hatch.

He looked about frantically searching for any indication of where she could be. His natural

instincts kicked in and he made a decision - no way will those beasts feast on this child!

He looked about and thought, where in the hell are you, kid?

The reply was immediate.

You are somewhere very near; I can feel you close by.

4

Dixon spun around scanning the ground near him. All he saw was a small gelatinous egg.

Going down on one knee he looked closer at it and noted it was honey-colored and appeared to

be sparkling in the dim light. For several seconds he seemed spellbound, mesmerized by the

dancing lights. He stood up and looked all about the chamber. He became aware that there

were several of these colored gelatinous eggs about the floor of the chamber, but none like the

one at his feet.

He looked down again at the small egg at his feet and reached out to pick it up. He was hit with a huge electrical shock that knocked him down. He landed flat on his butt, stunned for a

moment. Almost immediately his mind was flooded and contact was made.

All the false bravado, all the macho bullshit, the hard outer shell he had erected about himself

dissolved away in an instant. It was replaced with an all-encompassing love unlike anything he

had ever felt before. He would never be alone again; never know rejection again; he would

have a friend who accepted him as he was. Their joining made him happier than he had ever

been in his entire life.

{Dixon stirred in his sleep and smiled at the memory.}

The next several months were spent finding a safe place for the little girl to mature. She

showed him how to get out of the cave and soon they began a long journey to find a safe haven.

If the monsters got wind of her existence, they would surely try to kill her. So he searched for a safe place to hide her while she grew.

Several hundred miles away from the cave he had found her in, Dixon stumbled onto a hidden

opening in the side of a small mountain. Burrowing and squeezing into the opening he found

himself inside a huge cavern. A landslide, probably from an earthquake, had blocked the

entrance. For his purposes, this seemed like a safe place for her. He set up camp in the cavern talking to his charge and telling her all about their safe hideaway. He retrieved small branches and leaves and fashioned them into a nest for the egg. He blocked any openings he found in the

cave, the better to keep her safe from prying eyes. He explored the cave and found a pool of

water at the back, down a long slope. Feeling safe at last, he set in for the duration of her

hibernation.

In the days and weeks that followed the egg began to grow. They spent their days exchanging

knowledge. She explained that the full extent of her knowledge would happen at the hatching,

when they blended as one. But she gave him the knowledge of the history of her kind. For the

first time in his life Dixon felt he was part of something greater than himself; and he was

humbled that he had been chosen to be included in it. He told her about himself leaving

nothing out, and he felt her acceptance of him as he was, without any reservations. She would

teach him a new way to wage war on the devils, she told him, and they would join with others of

her kind and put an end to this horror.

And then one morning, as he was bathing in the pool, she called to him to come quick. He

dressed hurriedly and as he ran towards the main chamber he heard her egg cracking. He

entered the main cavern and saw the shells lying about and looked for her.

5

She called to him and stepped out into the open light. Dixon stared in awe at her; she was

gorgeous, more than he had envisioned. She was honey colored, stood at least 20 feet, and as

she lowered her beautiful head to him he beheld her dark brown eyes, and the intelligence

beyond them.

I am the Lady Tessa, Warrior Dragon to the First. She began to tell him, you are my savior, my

companion, and my friend. I was chosen for you and you were chosen for me. We are to be Riders

of Light, in the army of the First. We will rid the land of the monsters that kill and destroy for no

other reason than they can.

He felt himself rising in the air and he heard her cool sultry voice calling to him. A flash of

bright light suddenly burst from her and they were encased in it. He felt himself changing, and

the knowledge began to flow. He was in ecstasy, reveling in the joy of full bonding.

And then the bastards burst in.

Dixon lashed out in his sleep at some unseen enemy. “No!” He shouted as tears began to slide

down his face.

Screeching and roaring filled his mind as he remembered what took place when they broke in

and attacked. Lady Tessa dropped him on the ground, sweeping him aside with her tail to

protect him; she spun around and faced her attackers. She fought a terrible battle with the

devils; fire flying in all directions. He was thrown out of the cave and rolled down the side of the hill slamming his head against a rock. He could hear the loud roaring from above; it filled

his mind just before he blacked out. When he came to all was deathly quiet. He searched in his

mind for his friend; but the connection had been severed.

Noooo!

Heart pounding, he ran up the hill to the cave; he found it covered in blood. He searched

everywhere and sadly found her lifeless body towards the back of the cave. She had been torn

to pieces. Dixon howled like a madman, screaming out his anguish.

He held her lifeless head to his chest rocking back and forth and wailing. He thought he had

known pain in his life; but it was nothing compared to the pain of this kind of loss. A dark,

black emptiness filled his mind and his heart - his grief so deep. He could not fathom the pain

he felt… Dixon went mad.

Days passed and he was barely aware; he would be quiet and reflective one minute, and a

raving madman the next. His rages went on and on and in his madness he looked for someone

to blame, someone to take vengeance upon. This ‘First’ she spoke of never came to her aid; he

abandoned her in her hour of need. Dixon would hunt him down and make him pay.

Eventually, through his strong will, he was able to pull himself together; but he was a changed

man. He had one thing on his mind now – revenge! He would find the one responsible for this

and destroy him. He would raise an army, an army so large that none would oppose him. He

would hunt this First down and do to him what had been done to Dixon. He would kill his rider

and watch with hideous glee as the madness overtook him, and then Dixon would kill him.

6

Days later he gathered his small possessions and left his cave of so much joy and headed out

into the wasteland. He wandered about for some weeks until he stumbled across a band of

marauders who quickly attacked him. They had no idea who or what they were dealing with.

Dixon ran at them screaming and roaring; all they saw was a madman with wild red eyes. His

appearance, wild and disheveled, put them off for a few seconds. He used the time to swiftly

take out their leader; then took over the band of cutthroats, killing any who resisted. The

majority knew it was better to follow than die but they did so out of fear. He took this small

band and went in search of other bands doing the same. As the months went by he slowly

began to build up his forces.

“Aargh!” (He screamed in anguish)

Dixon bolted upright in a cold sweat panting deeply. He wiped his eyes and looked around.

One of his men had come into the room explaining that he had heard him yelling, and asked if

he was okay.

Dixon shot him between the eyes.

“I am now,” he said in a cold dead voice as he watched the red pool slowly form around the

man’s shattered skull.

“I am now.”

7

RETURN

8

1

Much had happened since the Great Battle here, and the destruction of NaTas in Peru. The

Blue Dragon Clan had returned to the West Coast and immediately began flying up and down

the coast proclaiming the land free of the black menace. Slowly the people came out of hiding

and began to pick up their lives once again. It was Surfman and Diana who made first contact,

hailing a group of surfers. Their laid back attitude provided an easy opening for an

introduction, especially after Surfman showed them a new way to ‘ride the crest’. His ability to speak the surfer lingo endeared him to them quickly, and soon the general population accepted

him and the other Blue Dragons as well. Order was once again restored along what once was

the California coastline.

Diana delivered six healthy babies and in true dragon fashion pawned them off on her brothers.

These children grew at a rapid pace and were soon communicating with Wolf on a telepathic

level. Following an inner instinct, Wolf paired them with six of his telepathic dragons and

began training them himself. He watched as they grew, in both body and spirit; studying them

and their emerging gifts carefully. The children and dragons ended up picking each other and

within a short time were ready for pairing. Two years had passed, but the children had aged

rapidly to almost 7 years in body. They informed their father that they were ready for

enhancement and told him they wanted him to know before they went to Wolf.

Both the children and their dragons approached Wolf requesting enhancement. Wolf

conferred with Big John on this (because he was the children’s father), and received a

resounding ‘yes’ to his inquiry. Diana protested at first, but the children all convinced her that it was the best thing for them. She relented and finally agreed with them, it was time for this.

So it was that the children were officially joined with their dragons, embracing enhancement

with open minds. And the six children of Diana and John, along with their dragons became

known as ‘The Blue Six Squadron’.

It was then that Wolf was called to Dragons Hill for his evolution to Ancient.

Several days later as they flew over the large mesa those below were not prepared for the

startling change in the children. Only Jake had known of the rapid development of Diana’s

children, and their joining with their dragons. Wolf waited for his clan to land and then he

circled and landed in the midst of them.

He proudly called out their names to Jake, rider and dragon alike, as they dismounted:

“May I present the Blue Six Squadron: Abby and Akira; Bobby and Bato; Charlie and Catai;

Daniel and Drega; Ellie and Entai; and last but certainly not least, Kyra and Okada.” Each

bowed in respect to Jake and greeted him telepathically.

A deep resounding chuckle erupted from Jake as he shot a huge flame into the air signaling

‘Approval’.

You are full of surprises Wolf; I congratulate you!

9

Daniel and Kate stepped forward and greeted Big John and Diana and bowed to Wolf in

respect. Daniel reached out to Big John and taking his forearm in a greeting of equals.

Welcome back to Dragons Hill, it has been a long time since we were all together. Big John, your

children are quite a sight, how wonderful for you.

“You have no idea,” he laughed loudly and the children joined in, “a private joke, Daniel,” he

said slapping Daniel on the back.

“No need for telepathy, the children translate all to their brothers.” Turning around John

called to his children, “Come over here and meet your Aunt Kate and Uncle Daniel properly.”

The young men and women all turned in unison and laid their hand on their dragon’s head for

a moment, turned and joined their father. He introduced them to Kate and Daniel, one at a

time. Each exuded an air of confidence and strength; both Daniel and Kate felt it immediately.

Diana smiled brightly, “My children are beautiful, aren’t they?” she said sweetly.

“Yes Diana,” answered Kate, “They are a wonder; but then I would expect nothing less from

you.”

Diana laughed childlike and went to her children, “Did I not say that you would like your aunt

and uncle? Come, let us go below and meet Sam and the other riders. And perhaps Oreo will

come and say hello also.”

Kate noticed that her ‘children’ treated her with great respect and also something else. Their

manner and speech was that of a parent to a child.

“Yes Mother, we will go below now and meet the others,” said Bobby. “But we must conduct

ourselves as warriors befitting our leader, Wolf.”

“Yes, yes, of course my precious,” said Diana as she slipped her arms in theirs and pulled them

along the path leading down.

Daniel, Kate and Big John followed behind them. “As you probably noticed, the young ones

take care of Diana. They control her bursts of impulsive behavior, and no, she had no idea.

Yet when we fight, they follow her lead; it is a very symbiotic relationship for all involved.”

“Are they that powerful?” asked Daniel in alarm.

“More than you can imagine, Daniel,” answered Big John somberly. “They have a built-in

sense of right and wrong that goes far beyond my understanding. Wolf says not worry; they

love their mother very much and will do nothing against her will.”

John stopped and cocked his head to the side, listening, he then looked at Kate and Daniel,

“The children just informed me that Valotin and Queen Valeria are about to exit the thermals.

We should return to the mesa and give them a proper welcome.” They hurried above and

joined the other riders.

10

Valotin and his Queen, Lady Valeria, came out of the thermals and began the long spiral down

towards Dragons Hill. It had been a little over two years ago that Valotin had left Dragons Hill to complete his task. He had managed to lure the ancient slayer Seth with the promise of a

future, which thereby reinforced his strength of will. Seth was able to resist NaTas’s false

promises and see thru to the truth; he was able to destroy NaTas and end a thousand years old

war thus releasing him from his bondage. The final battle with the forces of NaTas was fought

and won by Valotin, Ichor, and Alakar’s armies; but a high price was paid for their victory.

Valotin was returning to Dragons Hill to be a part of the installation of another dragon to the

status of Ancient. Lady Arian came out of the thermals right behind Valotin. At Jake’s

personal request she had accompanied them on this journey with her rider Lady Emily and her

mate Adam, the winged man. As they slowly spiraled down James and Elizabeth could see

their friends from Dragons Hill gathered on the mesa below. James also noted that the Blue

Dragon Clan was also present. He called to Lady Arian’s riders telepathically.

Adam, you’d better prepare yourself, the Blue Dragons are already here. That means Diana

knows you were coming with us, sorry old man, James laughed, I can ask Jake to step in if she

gets to be too much.

I’m not the least bit worried about her James; she won’t bother me I assure you. He gave Lady Emily a little squeeze, Emily I’m going to take to the air now.

Spreading his magnificent wings, Adam lifted off the back of Lady Arian and flew to her side

calling to her politely, Lady Arian, thank you for a lovely ride, it was a fantastic experience!

My dear Adam, she purred to him, I was most happy to give you a ride thru the Thermals. And I

understand your need to be in the air again. Look below; all the dragons are staring in envy at

your beauty! Lady Arian was a bit prejudiced where Adam was concerned.

She was right about one thing, both dragons and riders below let out a low humming sound as

Adam spread his wings and took to the air. He dove and circled above the large mesa waiting

for Valotin to land first.

Watching from below Diana was itching to jump on Surfman’s back and fly up greet Adam,

but she held her position. No, I will remain here by John’s side. I will show respect to Wolf, just

as I promised the children I would. I will not embarrass Wolf on this his special day, she thought to herself defiantly.

She continued to watch with the others; the fact that her children were grouped tightly around

her never occurred to Diana.

Valotin circled once and landed with his Queen by his side. Lady Arian landed just behind

them. All the riders dismounted and stood by their dragon’s right side. All heads and eyes

were fixed above as Adam circled once more.

Valotin called to him, Spread your wings my friend, you have their attention, now come and land

beside me. Adam glided in and landed by Valotin’s left side - a place of honor.

11

Valotin began, Hail Jake, First of the Ancients; I bring greetings and salutations from Dragons

Bay. You know my Queen, Lady Valeria, she lowered her head in respect, and of course our

riders James and Elizabeth, both bowed in his direction. Behind me I present the Lady Arian and

her rider, Lady Emily. Both bowed in their respective way. And at your personal request, Adam,

the winged man, has joined us. Adam stepped forward and spread his wings wide with great pride as he bowed to Jake with a flourish.

There was an audible gasp from the riders assembled on the mesa, and a deep throaty chuckle

from Jake, who roared ‘Approval’ to the astonishment of all.

I bid you all welcome to Dragons Hill. We are pleased that you could come for this august

occasion. Now, let us dispense with all the formality, go and enjoy for we are all family here.

With that the riders came forward on both sides. Steve reached Adam first and gave him a big

bear hug to the surprise of all. He and Adam had become fast friends during his many visits to

Dragons Bay. He picked up Emily and swung her around and gave her the same. Then he took

Lady Ashley’s hand and introduced her to them both. She was flabbergasted and tongue tied

in front of Adam until he put her at ease by giving her a welcoming hug, and with a wink to

Steve, lifted her two feet off the ground. Adam had her beaming when he let her go.

Kate and Daniel welcomed James and Elizabeth warmly and they also paid their respects to

Valotin and his Queen. Walking over to Adam and Lady Emily they formally welcomed them

to Dragons Hill. Daniel asked Lady Emily to introduce him to her dragon Lady Arian. With

great politeness he bowed before her and welcomed her warmly.

Please tell Daniel that I am most pleased at his politeness, she relayed to Lady Emily, and I am

honored to be here. Daniel smiled and bowed again and bid her to enjoy her stay and feast on the herd at the feeding grounds, then he took his leave.

“All right everyone lets go below,” Daniel ordered the large group. “Come on, we can all visit

in the Great Hall.”

As they began to gather in groups and leave the plateau, Michael came over to Steve with Lady

Sally; their eyes pleaded for an introduction to Adam. Steve smiled and called to Adam and

Lady Emily.

“Adam, Lady Emily, a moment please,” they came over to them and Steve began, “Adam I

believe that you asked me introduce you to Michael and Lady Sally at the first opportunity.”

Steve swung his arm wide and bent in a mock bow, “Well, here they are buddy.”

Adam’s eyes got big and he smiled enthusiastically as he marched right up to Michael and

grabbed his hand.

“Lady Kate’s grandson, Oh, I am honored to meet you sir,” Adam spread his wings in

excitement as he shook Michael’s hand vigorously. “I’ve read all about you in the Dragon

Chronicles, and spoke to Master Jeffery himself when he visited us recently. You were the

second to enhance, after Lady Kate.”

12

Both Sally and Michael were taken aback by his obvious admiration of them; and here they

were like school kids in awe of him.

Turning he looked down upon Lady Sally and worked his magic on her. “And Lady Sally, you

must promise to introduce me to your friend, Oreo. I am so looking forward to meeting her.”

Sally was surprised he knew about Oreo, let alone wanted to meet her. “I have heard much

from Steve about your wonderful camp.”

Adam turned and reached out his hand to Lady Emily and pulled her to him. “May I present

my wife, Lady Emily.” Sally graciously greeted Lady Emily with a hug and an invitation to

come by her cave and see their child.

As they made their way to the Great Hall, Lady Sally promised, “Adam, I am sure that Oreo

will join us in the Great Hall when we arrive. She is filled with curiosity and has a tendency to check out all the newcomers to our little community during the dinner hour.”

“I look forward to seeing her, and Tabs, and Brutus and Cesar, and the other animals that

were enhanced. I read about your Lady Emily’s falcon, Lancelot; I want to meet him too!” he

told her excitedly.

Adam checked out the pathway leading down remembering the tales from the Chronicles; so

this is where the battle took place between Oreo and one of the mutant beasts. And she dove off

this very path into the midst of them. That must have been one hell of a leap! They entered the large cavern and Adam looked about in wonder.

Sam had outdone himself preparing a great feast for the day. All the tables were laden with

piles of biscuits and honey, ice tea and water, and bowls of steaming veggies. Sam had asked

Steve what the birdman ate as he did not want to offend him by preparing anything he would

find offensive. Steve told him that Adam was just like him, he just happened to have a pair of

wings. As Steve, Adam, and Michael came into the Hall there was a hushed silence. Lady Sally

took Lady Emily’s hand and with Lady Ashley leading, they made their way to a table with

Adam, Steve and Michael right behind.

James, Elizabeth silently called to her mate, Adam looks a bit unnerved by all this attention.

He’ll be fine my love, he answered her immediately; I believe that he is secretly enjoying it. He’s

just worried that Diana will make a scene and embarrass Big John.

Perhaps not, I noticed that she has remained by Big John’s side since they arrived. Elizabeth stole a glance in their direction, but her eyes say she wishes she were over there with them. Oh, here

comes Sam for the blessing.

Sam came into the large room and went to the center table where he called everyone to

attention and said the blessing. Then he bid them all enjoy the meal as the servers came out

with giant platters laden with steaks, pork chops, and barbequed chicken and began to place

them on the tables.

13

Sam began to make his rounds of all the tables and speak a word or two to all the riders. He

began with the leaders table and warmly greeted James and Elizabeth, promising James that

he had made a special desert for him to enjoy.

As they sat at the table, Adam stared at the large platter of food. “Steve, I haven’t seen a feast the likes of this in quite some time.” Emily piled his plate high, “I do believe I shall be too

heavy to fly if I eat all this!” Adam said in exasperation as everyone laughed.

Sam finally made his way to their table and Steve handled all the introductions. “I certainly

hope everything is to your liking young birdman,” he told Adam. “And if no one has said it