This is sort of a two parter. Part one can be found over here.
WARNING FOR POSSIBLE TRIGGERY STUFF
(just to be on the safe side)
How it Began; Part 2
(c) 2013 Necia Phoenix
The cave stank of fear and desperation. Greyson stopped just inside the entry to gain control of his stomach, and let his night vision adjust. Seeing in the dim light, while a blessing in the mountains, was a curse in the dank tunnel. There were things he didn’t want to see. Remains of other victims lay by the doors of their cells. They were far too late to save them. Dmitri, hadn’t been willing to come inside, now that he was there, Grey couldn’t blame him.
“Come on, boy, she’d be down this way.” Stilgar’s voice broke through his thoughts. Grey nodded.
“He said four or five cells.” Habcore said. “There’s a lot more here than four or five.”
“Aye.” Toura looked ill.
“Lothos is crazy.” Grey said. A whimper drifted from the depths of the tunnel.
“Someone is down there.” Stilgar said softly.
“Dragonmaster, she might know him,” Fiore said, stepping over. “But I’m female, and it was a male that did this to her.”
Stilgar looked back and forth between them and nodded. “Go with her Grey, she may recognize your voice.”
Fiore took the furs from him, and he followed her down the cold tunnel.
She was huddled in a corner, her pale skin covered in dark bruises, her only covering was her pale hair around her. She looked towards them fearfully, cringing.
“Open this door Grey.” Fiore whispered. She turned her attention to the woman, her voice soft. “My lady? We’re here to get you out, Lady Aunusha sent us.”
Grey nodded, gripping the bars, pulling on the dragon-strength and anger. No one had ever looked at him in such fear. He stepped back, tearing the door from the frame set in the stone, and resisted the urge to throw it, setting it to one side. Fiore crouched beside the woman, draping the fur over her slim form. The woman kept looking towards Grey with a frown.
“Do you remember Greyson?” Fiore asked. The woman’s lower lip trembled.
She looked at Fiore. “The Dragonmaster’s son.”
“Yes. And the Dragonmaster is playing lookout. We’ll take you where it’s safe.” Fiore pushed a strand of hair from the woman’s face.
“He’ll find me.” She whispered. “He said he’ll find me if I try to leave.”
“No, we won’t let that happen.” Grey said, trying to keep his voice calm.
“You can’t stop him.”
“We got here, didn’t we?” Greyson asked. He met her eyes. “Trust us. We won’t let him find you.”
She stilled, her eyes flickering from a pale blue-green, to the blank Spirit state. She nodded, looked up at Fiore and tried to stand, her body swaying. “Take me home.”
She whimpered once when Grey shifted, and Fiore secured her to the carry rig. It hung between his front legs, and would shelter her during the flight. He crouched, preparing to launch when Habcor roared a warning. Two large ice dragons approaching, fast.
Grey lurched into the air, trying to get used to the extra weight. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a blur of pale grey, diving from the clouds, slamming into one of the approaching dragons, pushing it into the other, with air-piercing roar. Then he was past them, following Stilgar and Fiore’s dark shapes through the clouds.
“Physically she’ll recover.” Lady Aunusha said, stepping from the inner room where servants had taken the injured woman. “It’ll take time to see how and if her mind recovers.”
Grey, Fiore and Stilgar had stayed at the Oracle of the Spirit Elementals, the others returned to the Hollow. They watched the Lady as she paced, her hands clasped in front of her.
“What will the Grande Council do about Lothos? This is not the first time this has happened.” She looked at them. “Will there be any justice for them?”
Stilgar frowned. “Before we left, I requested an immediate Council, to discuss this and prior incidents. However, there is a chance Lothos could counter it, I did break multiple treaties…”
“You saved her life.” She whispered. “Are treaties more important?”
“In the eyes of some of the Council, yes. I took a risk that could cause war if Lothos feels so inclined. I felt it was worth taking, others won’t agree.”
“You are the Dragonmaster,” she glared. “You could order him,”
“To what? My authority extends only to my clan. The Ice Dragons have their own rules. We’ll do what we can. But even with the might of the Council behind us, I doubt anything can be done about him. One of his underlings, yes. Lothos is their leader, and that would mean removing him,”
“Which should be done!”
“You and I both agree with that! I don’t think the council will see it that way. The Ice Dragons are a bit unpredictable to begin with, remove their leader and we’d have a serious problem to our North, one the council won’t want to deal with.”
“I see. My thanks, again, Dragonmaster, for your help in this matter.” She turned and went back into the inner room without another word.
Fiore sighed. “One ally lost.”
“Two. I doubt Dmitri made it out unscathed.” Stilgar corrected her, glancing at Grey. “Well?”
“Is this what you do all day?”
“And jump off ledges. It scares the piss out of peasants.” Stilgar flashed a tired smile. “We’ve done all we can here, now to go let Megare know where we were.”
“You didn’t tell mother where we were going?” Grey stared at his father incredulous.
“Oh gods.” Fiore, pushed ahead of them. “This is going to be a loud one.”
“I may have left out a few details.” Stilgar said dryly.
“Mother would have wanted to come along.” Grey said.
“I’d rather spare her the nightmares.” Stilgar said. “I don’t think any of us are going to rest well knowing about that cave.”
“Or the ones we were too late for.”
Stilgar nodded, patting his shoulder. “Come on; let’s go face the angry dragoness.”
Word count came in at 998.
Other Flash Fics can be found over here
As this IS a Dragon/Elemental world snip I’ll go ahead and link over here to the other Dragon snips on the site, in chronological order.