A little story I decided to write first. It tells of the events after the end of my Mystic series. I know it's jumping ahead, but I need something to work on and I need to connect a few things.
They say that's where we came from. That our ancestors arrived on a machine called an 'Airplane' some hundreds of years ago. A man called a Pilot was the only reason they survived the crash landing and, in his honor, they called the new land Hammond. But that was long ago.
So very long ago...
"Dammit, Fury!" Noah yelled, rubbing his backside. His companion, a large red Dragon named Fury, looked at him mischievously. "Think you're funny, do you? Throwing me to the ground just because I won't give you any food."
The dragon huffed, sending out a stench from his spike covered snout. Of course, he was covered in spikes, just like all dragons. A saddle was the only defense for a Rider like Noah.
"You know you get sick when you eat too much, Fury," Noah said with a sigh. He stood up and brushed off his long leather jacket. He was lucky it hadn't ripped. Leather was cheap but he liked this jacket!
Fury moved to lay beside Noah, a usual motion when the dragon was trying to suck up. Well, it worked. The sight of a twenty foot tall dragon acting like a kitten always made Noah give in.
"Let's get going, you big baby," Noah told the dragon while patting the underside of Fury's neck. It was the only place without spikes and Noah hated getting poked.
In mere moments, Noah and Fury were soaring over the land of Hammond. Below them, forests expanded and mingled with small towns that dotted the land. Powerlines and cellphone towers lay hidden for the most part, but Noah was careful to watch for them. It would be dangerous for Fury to hit one.
And just thinking of cellphones brought out a call...
Noah pulled his phone out and answered the insistent buzzing.
"Noah," his mother's voice replied, "When are you and Fury going to drop by again?"
Noah groaned. Did she ever let up? "I'm near Neo York, so not for quite some time."
"Neo..?" There was a pause. Oh God... She knew. "Noah Ian Rider! You are not crossing the Wall! You know the Stone Sentries will hurt you! Just like they did to your grandfather thirty years ago!"
Noah patted Fury and watched the scenery pass below as he waited for his mother's rant to end. Sheesh, it wasn't like the Stone Sentries even killed anyone. They just stopped any of the United from leaving Hammond. Noah wanted to see the other lands, though.
"... and that's final!"
"You done?" Noah asked in a lazy tone, "Cause I was lying about where I was. I'm entering the Wall now. Seeya!" A click disconnected Noah from the last person he hoped to talk to in the months to come. After all, he doubted the desert beyond the wall had cell reception.
Just ahead, mountains came into view. They weren't like other mountains in Hammond. No, these mountains never stopped climbing upward into the heavens. Even as high in the air as they were, Noah and Fury could not see the top of the Wall.
The only way through was a man-made cave that had been discovered a hundred years back. Noah knew exactly where it was, too. In fact... There!
"Fury, to the right some!" The dragon responded in kind and a small cove just big enough for the two of them appeared in the mountain wall. Fury was smart enough not to fly right in and instead landed just outside the cave. If he had flown in... Well, that might have been bad. Sentries didn't like Dragons for some reason. They always killed them on sight.
So Noah headed into the cave without Fury. Despite being a red dragon, one of the strongest of all dragons, Fury started whining. Noah had to leave some food for the poor beast before heading in.
The inside of the cave was not much really. Just unnaturally smooth and round, like it was cut by a stonemason. The Sentries were large, so maybe they had giants do the work for them? It was an interesting thought.
And then Noah saw it. What he had been expecting and fearing, yet ignoring. A Stone Sentry.
He really didn't know what to expect, honestly. The stories said the things used the sand itself as a weapon and broke arms and ribs. The stories also said that the Sentries had never killed a United man or woman and refused to harm children. Seeing as how the large thing had yet to move - even with Noah staring at it from a few feet away - Noah was starting to doubt those stories. His grandfather probably broke his arm while tripping.
Noah crept toward the large - and rather imposing - figure, now feeling as if he was stupid to even be afraid.
The thing was stone, though Noah wasn't surprised at that. What did surprise him was the intricacy of the stonework. He had never been into art or sculpting, but even he could tell this thing was made by an expert. The second surprise came when he noticed the lines that separated the stone into segments, almost like a suit of armor from the ancient storybooks.
Noah poked the chestplate of the Sentry, and...
He jumped back as the entire thing crumbled.