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  • Chapter I, Vacation interrupted

    Shia and Rahl had been hiding for over an hour. They had first teleported themselves across the valley to the small caves at the beginning of the badlands. Kia and Barr were circling all over the valley looking for them. It was a game they started before the second sun was up and their pursuers were no closer to finding them than before. Finally when Kia and Barr gave up they directed them in to the apparently empty cave. While Kia and Barr looked around and started to give up Shia and Rahl reappeared.

    “No fair” thought Barr “and how did you get so far without us seeing you?” They explained their new found powers to their friends who wanted to see them do it again. After a few times of popping around the cave to demonstrate, Barr wondered if, since their clothing moved with them, why not the harness and the dragon that was harnessed?

    And so began the experiments that frightened everyone in the valley. Imagine sitting out on your lanai when a dragon and rider appeared from nowhere. And rather than stay to explain, it disappeared as fast as it had appeared. Complaints were being heard from all directions.

    Torr had aged and the children were all reaching adulthood. Torr called them all together for a demonstration of their powers. Angel and he joined Aral and Torr to watch them flying overhead and then just winking out. When he thought to them, he could tell they were a long way off. They spotted the kids far on the horizon before they winked out again and suddenly were overhead. They landed and Shia explained “Anything Rahl and I are touching when we make the jump, moves with us. And if we are touching Kia and Barr when we disappear, they disappear with us. It takes very little effort for us to do this.”

    Then Kia made her pitch “Father you have always protected us with bodyguards. With our cousins on our backs, we can go places the bodyguards cannot keep up. And if they could, they would draw attention to us and put us all in danger. With the cloaking and jumping ability, we can avoid dangerous situations while observing areas of your kingdom and beyond. We are better protected by our invisibility and our speed over great distances. Please allow the four of us to take a trip to far off lands by ourselves. We are mature enough and well trained to handle anything that we encounter.”

    Torr looked at him and Angel and Aral. They passed a few private thoughts before “You have our permission to take a three week vacation…alone. But, if you are not back at the end of three weeks you will place many of my dragons and warrior friends at risk as they take to the skies in search of you. Are all the children of Human and Falians able to exhibit these powers?”

    “Yes, father. But they were not lucky enough to be brought up with a dragon for a best friend. We have been working with the younger dragons and some of our friends are pairing up with them. They are on a rigorous training schedule that we developed for them. There are twelve of them in the program and it is scheduled to be completed in a month. Your dragons had Falian warriors to ride on their backs into battle; our generation has a new breed of warrior to ride on our backs and enable us to strike fast and unexpectedly against any enemy. We will return before the graduation and you shall see how these new warrior/dragon teams will help keep our kingdom free from invaders.”

    Shia and Rahl said their goodbyes and after making sure they had enough food and supplies in their backpacks, climbed aboard Kia and Barr. The kids had laser pistols as well as the traditional warrior sword strapped to their backs. With a final nod, they were gone in an instant…without a sound.

    They had developed a way to stay wingtip to wingtip, even when invisible. When they were just normally flying, the dragons had control of where they flew. But, during the jumps, Shia and Rahl were in control. Their thoughts kept them on course as they were able to “see” in front of them. It was too fast to actually see with the eyes, but the mind had no problem keeping up. Once they reached the end of a jump, Kia and Barr were piloting like before.

    After many jumps, they learned how to meld their thoughts together so each knew what the other knew. This is what they had spent so long training for, and what the others were training for now. The ultimate fighter with each having both: none of the control, and all of the control. While one was concentrating on diving full speed at a target, the other was operating the cloaking control. An enemy could either die beheaded from an unknown source, or be fried to a crisp from the sudden flames surrounding them. And as fast as the damage was inflicted, they were gone again without being seen.

    One of the side effects of the training was Kia and Shia could finish each other’s thoughts. This gave them an edge both in battle and in dealing with others. Barr and Rahl were almost as fast, and would eventually get there as they practiced more.

    By the time the suns set they were far from their father’s kingdom. The first day had seen many small villages near a large river that seemed to run north south. The villagers could not see them as they circled overhead fully cloaked. They seemed to be quite primitive with almost no sophisticated equipment; except, they had a well that irrigated their small field of crops. It was driven by a windmill. Looking at them, it was hard to imagine that they had built the machinery, never mind knew how to operate it. Someone else must exist or, at least did at one time exist.

    The watched from overhead for a while before gliding to the next village. It was the same from one village to the next. As they gained altitude prior to making a jump, they spotted the large metropolis on the horizon. They set their sights on it as they made a small jump. They circled the bustling city and landed in a vacant lot, fully cloaked.

    There were races of creatures walking and talking to each other like none they had seen before. And the languages were guttural and harsh. They went airborne again and followed one of the main thoroughfares to find a large spaceport with many space ships docked. Each one was different from the next, and crew members were running about refueling and loading stores. Fully cloaked they landed and tried to understand the languages spoken. That’s when they heard him. A Falian general with a scar across his face called them to attention. “Gentlemen, I have gathered you here on the backside of my planet so we can build our army quietly. The planet is ours for the taking…”
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