My tail twitched involuntarily, for what must have been the one hundreth time. I looked up at the massive and awe-inspiring statue of Pyrrog towering over me. Never did I dream that I would sit at the base of the very symbol of the drakk culture, attending a drakk council meeting. Then again, I thought, I never dreamed that a situation that threatened the safety of the young of every species would ever arise as well.
The meeting had been called for soon after the number of kidnappings had passed a dozen. Normally the council of the drakk elders and leaders would meet alone, but because of the extreme and unusual circumstances surrounding the topic at hand, they decided to invite some of the prominent and respected drakks. I still couldn't believe that I had been chosen. I'd barely lived over two centuries after all.
The head of the drakk council, an old and venerable grey-scaled drakk, cleared his throat, and the soft rumble of nervous mumbles ceased. "This council meeting will now officially begin. I extend a welcome to the special drakks chosen to join us, as the matter at hand is a grave one indeed." His eyes scanned the area, resting upon each drakk briefly. I stiffened a little when he got to me. I'd never even talked to him before.
"I will get to the point of why we are gathered here. Our hatchlings are being stolen right from our homes. In only eight days, more than a dozen have been kidnapped. An unnaturally dense mist enshrouds the kidnappers each time. We cannot let this continue any longer. We must act now.” The drakks present all murmured their agreement with grim determination. The head of the council nodded.
“I have learned that the other species also face this problem.” The other drakks gasped in shock. I thought back to what that mimic I’d delivered the weapon to had said. I’d realized she’d been referring to the same creatures I’d seen in the mist, so I wasn’t surprised by the news.kidnappers each time. We cannot let this continue any longer. We must act now.” The drakks present all murmured their agreement with grim determination. The head of the council nodded.
The council head continued. “It has been confirmed that a gathering is soon to take place in Cileka with representatives from each of the other species attending. It has been many centuries since one such meeting has occurred. However, we drakks are a solitary race. Moreover, with the Great Oak Incident with the Terralye and the Sea Wars with the mermaids, our presence may be treated with hostility. We need to decide how to counter this threat on our own. Let us begin the discussion.” I listened as the council proceeded to discuss ideas to stop the mysterious kidnappers. My mind thought back to my encounter with them. My special drakk trait was firebreathing, and I was confident in my power and control. Yet the mist had only dispersed for a second with a full blast stream. It might be different with more drakks, but on the ground, their abilities were limited. I could feel that the kidnappers probably had a few other tricks up their sleeves.
My thoughts turned to Avinia. She'd had been in a state of utter depression over the loss of Tempito. I’d visited her everyday since the abduction, and my heart broke every time I saw her in that despondent state. I remembered the empty look in her eyes, one that had lost hope of seeing her hatchling ever again.
I felt a flash of anger rise up within. As her friend, I couldn’t let Avinia stay like this; I had to do something to save Tempi. She had once likened me to being his big brother. "Big brothers don't sit around when something happens to their little brother," I thought. I had to do something.
I turned my attention back to the meeting. It seemed as if the council was planning to ignore the crisis gathering in Cileka. When I thought about the enemy, and how they were successfully stealing the children from every species, right under their noses. “The culprit can’t possibly be stopped by just drakks,” I realized. We would need help, and there was only one way to do that. I stood up, signifying that I wished to speak. The drakks around me looked towards me curiously. I waited until it was my turn to take the floor. I took a deep breath. No turning back now.
"I believe we are taking the wrong approach to solving this problem," I said firmly. "This is not just our problem. Every race is facing the same thing, and none of them have been able to counter it. That is why this crisis gathering is being held. It is foolish of us to think we can tackle this on our own and accomplish what they cannot. I paused for a moment. If the council is willing, I volunteer to attend the crisis meeting as the representative of the drakks.” The invited drakks looked around at each other but sat in stunned silence. The council also said nothing, but they hid their reactions. After what seemed like an eternity the head council drakk motioned for me to come to the center of the gathering grounds.
“You certainly are outspoken for one so young," he noted. "What is your name?”
“Ignaiciér Ferru. I am a forger, devoted primarily to weaponry.” The council head nodded.
“I have heard of you, Ignaiciér. I have seen your works at the festivals, and know that your fame is well deserved. You do seem to have a good arguement. However, the drakks have lived as a secluded race for centuries. Our disputes with the Terralye and mermaids have not been forgotten by either race, nor by ours. Most of the older generation still remembers the atrocity the Terralye committed upon this sacred monument to our god." He gestured towards the statue of Pyrrog. "To say we must forget what has happened is a bold statement."
“Yes it is," I agreed, "But I wouldn't have made it unless I had reason to believe it." I paused for moment. "I know firsthand what we are dealing with." Audiable astonishment arose from the audience.
"You have seen the kidnapper?" One of the council members asked in surprise. I nodded.
"Six nights ago, I encountered the mist, just after a hatchling, one that I know personally, had been kidnapped. I was able to briefly disperse the mist by firebreathing, my drakk skill. and saw the culprits' shadows before the Mist dispersed.
"From what I witnessed and experienced, I know that we cannot stop the kidnappers by ourselves. If we ever wish to overcome this crisis, and protect our hatchlings, we must put aside our differences and join together with the other species."
"Should we decide to send a drakk to the meeting, who would be willing to go?" asked another council drakk. "There will surely be animosity from the Terralye and mermaids."
"Then I volunteer to go to the crisis meetings on behalf of the drakks."
"And why you?" they asked gruffly.
"As I said before, I know what we face. I am probably one of the closest people to have encountered the Mist. I'm certainly the closest drakk. I will deal with any of the animosity I may come across with and won't let it bother me. My only goal is to stop any more of our hatchlings from being kidnapped, and if at all possible bring the lost ones home.” The council head was silent as he pondered my proposal.
“Come here, Ignaiciér,” he said. I opened my wings and flew to where the council head stood, in front of the statue of Pyrrog. He looked into my eyes carefully. I stared back hoping he would see the resolution in my gaze. After a while he stepped back and addressed the other drakks.
“I agree with Ignaiciér’s reasoning and proposal. He shows wisdom beyond his youth. This crisis does go beyond our own kind and affects every species. Since all of the species face this crisis together, all of the species should be present at the gathering. If we do not send a drakk to represent us because we refuse to break our seclusion and move past our history, we will indeed be the foolish ones." He looked around the gathering grounds. "Is there any drakk present who wishes to move against this proposal?” I waited with baited breath for any dissenters, but the crowd and council stayed silent.
The council head smiled. “It seems as we are all in agreement.” He turned to me. “Ignaiciér Ferru, you will go on behalf of the drakks and attend the crisis meeting. I expect you to represent us well and do all you can to solve the mystery.”
“Yes sir,” I said sharply. The drakks surrounding us burst into applause and cheers. The council head put his claws on my shoulders.
“May Pyrrog’s flames light your soul. Go now, Ignaiciér and make us proud."