Zelda changed into a dragon, banking up. Just as she expected, she felt a wall of darkness slam into her and bite her throat, but she twisted, dislodging the creature and she seized it in her talons. The unexpected weight caused her to fall a little, but she caught herself and felt a sharp stab of pain in her hind leg. She dropped the creature, somersaulting and following it down. As it crashed into the ground, fell on it, tearing at its flesh. It fought back, but it was out of its league. She killed it, but not before taking several more wounds to her body, and wings. She stared at it panting, then turned and started climbing the canyon wall, not wanting to risk her wings. When she got to the top, she started toward her home, exhausted. When she got there, she froze, still hidden in the trees. Winter lay splayed on the ground, in dragon form. She looked dead, Zelda blinked, and could still see her life force within her flesh. What really scared her were all the people. Firemen were extinguishing flames-most likely Caroline’s work- but there were many more people. Police. Regular people who probably saw smoke and came to investigate. She even saw Rose’s boyfriend. They were staring in shock at the dragon and hellhound. She looked about the woods, spotting a black eye gleaming within the trees Caroline. She thought. She also saw a pale white glow, meaning Cassandra was here too. Where’s Dove? Lucy? Rose? She wondered. She turned back to the proceeding. A man was approaching Winter, who didn’t twitch. He touched a scale, and there was snarl. She realized it came from her, rumbling deep within her chest. She quickly became quiet, but the man back away from Winter. Zelda felt uneasy. It had been too easy. Sure, they were all badly wounded, but no one had lost… she knew the other three weren’t dead. She didn’t know why, but she just knew. She heard more cars and even a couple helicopters coming, and she realized she needed to do something. She began to growl, and the wind started to blow higher. She quieted for a moment, seeing how uneasy the people looked. She bared her fangs, and then roared, shaking the ground. The wind continued to pick up. She broke from her crouch and emerged from the woods. She saw a lot of people scream and start to run, while the police drew their guns and aimed them at her. Out of the corner of her eye, she glimpsed Caroline step out too, miniature flames playing along her scales, adding to her already frightening appearance. Suddenly, all the people already fleeing froze, and someone cried “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING?!” Zelda looked for the source and her blood turned colder than ice. A huge silver creature was soaring toward them, being followed by creatures from a nightmare. The silver creature was best described as a hydra. The main body was legless and serpentine, with large, powerful wings. But then it split into three fire breathing heads. The blood red eyes took in everything, missing nothing. It was bigger than any of the dragons, but not outrageously. The other creatures couldn’t really be named anything. They were a little smaller than Caroline, Zelda decided. They were roughly the same shape as a dog, but that were the only resemblance. Long tentacles sprouted from their head and moved on their own accord. There was an extra set of legs, much like arms for a human, and spines ran down their back. Zelda counted 5 of them. Then the hydra spoke. It couldn’t be heard by ear, but what it said reverberated within her head. Even the humans seemed to have heard it. It said “So it is true. The 7 female heirs are here, untrained and easy prey. Delightful” Zelda replied, in the same manner “Get out of here.” She roared, and the hydra was blown back by a huge blast of air. It was held out of fighting distance by the powerful wind, but Zelda knew she couldn’t keep this up for long. IT was taking a toll on her strength. She sprang onto the nearest creature, ripping into it. It tried to choke her, but to no avail. Its tentacles cut into her neck painfully, though. Caroline also sprang, sinking her fangs into one and ripping it in two. Together, they destroyed the rest. Cassandra finally came out and watched. The humans were too scared to move as they watched the battle. When Zelda saw all the creatures were dead, she let the hydra come. She sprang into the air to meet it, snarling a challenge. It simply watched her, then let out an amused roar. Zelda turned and saw the creatures reforming, coming back together. The hydra spoke “We’ll be back” and in a bright flash of light, vanished along with the creatures. Zelda stared at the ground, trembling. She turned and looked at the humans, who were staring at them. She lowered her head, eyes dull. She heard a twig snap, and she raised her head. Lucy was staggering toward them, supporting a barely conscious Rose, both in dragon form. Rose collapsed at the edge of the clearing, and Zelda heard a voice yelling “Rose! Where are you?” it was Thomas. Rose stirred, raising her head. Her eyes rested on him, and she could see sadness radiating in the ice dragon’s eyes. She obviously believed they would never be together now. The police had seemed to have worked up some nerve, as one stepped forward and called through a megaphone “Do you understand me?” The others didn’t seem to have the strength to answer, so Zelda stepped up, nodding her head. The policemen gulped, obviously scared of the large, bloody winged reptile staring at him with vivid emerald green eyes. He spoke in a wavering voice “Are the residents of this house safe?” Again, she nodded. “Where are they?” She hesitated, looking at Cassandra for an answer. The other dragon didn’t seem certain what to say either, then she spoke in Zelda’s head What the hell. We are leaving anyway. Just before she could continue, Dove showed up, unharmed. She looked sheepishly at her weary ‘family’, lowering her head submissively to receive a painful bite to the neck from Zelda. Cassandra sighed, and continued Show them. I really don’t care anymore. Let them see who we are. Next chance we get, we get a car, and vanish. She told this to everyone. When they all nodded slightly, Zelda looked at the policeman, then closed her eyes. She reluctantly forced herself back into human form. Everyone gasped as she appeared before them as a human, wearing jeans and a T-Shirt. More gasps came as her sisters too resumed human form, all in identical jeans and white T-Shirts. All were stood covered in severe wounds and looked like they were about to pass out, but it was clear that they were not weak. Zelda spoke “Does this answer your question?” The man nodded slowly, looking more than a little shocked. He looked like her was about to faint. Zelda spotted Thomas looking around frantically “Where’s Rose?” He cried. Rose looked at him, knowing her didn’t recognize her with white hair and two different eye colors. A single tear welled in her eye, and she couldn’t bear to see his fear. “Where’s Rose?” he asked again, and Zelda snapped “Shut up. Everyone, go home or I will make you leave.” The people nodded and left. Only Thomas stayed, watching stubbornly. Rose looked up and shrugged. Zelda pointed to her, and Thomas finally recognized her. Abruptly, he turned and walked away. Cassandra said “Good news. Our car is intact. Let’s see if we can find anything else in working order. Zelda switched to dragon to help move larger pieces. They found a few rooms were still intact, and were able to recover several pairs of clothes, a working laptop, and lots of emergency cash in briefcases. They put everything in the van, got in, and drove away. Cassandra drove, while the others tended to their wounds. When Caroline finished with her, she switched places with Cassandra so she could take care of her wounds. They drove for hours, until they arrived at a house Cassandra had bought a while back with some of Winter’s money she had earned doing some not so good things. They had stocked it with disguises a while back, so Dove pulled on a wig, put it colored contacts, and left to buy supplies. The others simply headed to bed and collapsed, exhausted.
Winter had barely closed her eyes when she heard a knock on the door. She got up, grabbed a knife from the kitchen, and headed to the door. Standing there was a woman with a briefcase. “What do you want?” Winter asked, more than slightly annoyed, but too tired and weak to fight if she did not need to. The woman said “We need your help, dragon” she shifted her grip on the knife, but the woman held up a hand “We know our history. The real history. We also know how to track a dragon after a battle. You know what I mean” Winter nodded. She continued “As I said, we need your help. Since you all left, darkness has been rising. It has started to release creatures like the hydras and the hellhounds from hell. Soon, they will set these creatures in the human race. You know we can’t stop them. We need your help. Desperately. Please, I am begging you. Help us” The dragoness groaned “Great. Come with me.” She led the way into the family room, where she pointed to one of the chairs. “Sit” The woman sat down, calmly clasping her hands before her. Winter glared at her before walking to Cassandra’s room. She picked up a shoe and chucked it at the girl, hitting her “Get up. We have a visitor” Cassandra groaned. Although dragons healed very quickly- so fast that in the next week all signs of this battle would be gone- all of them were sore, stiff, and crankier than, well, anything she could think of. Winter watched as her ‘twin’ got up and limped to the family room. She smiled, and the 21 year old continued to Zelda’s room. She walked in, shoved Zelda, waking her up. Zelda opened one eye and said “This better be good, or you are dead” She smirked “Sorry, it’s not your lucky day. We have a situation. Get off your lazy butt and get to the living room” The 18 year old did just that, while Winter strolled to Rose’s room. She picked Rose up off her bed and dumped her in the hall. Rose sighed and got up, and just went to the family room after Winter pointed her in the right direction. The water dragoness went to Lucy’s room and shook the youngest dragon awake “Let’s go.” Lucy sighed and followed Winter to the family room. Dove had returned and was waiting with her ‘sisters’. The women started “You may call me Lily. You are Winter. You are Cassandra. You are Caroline. You are Zelda. You are Dove. You are Rose. You are Lucy.” She said, pointing at each of them in turn. Her gaze fastened on Winter, who watched her coldly. She smiled slightly “In case you were wondering, they showed your names with pictures to find your whereabouts. So introductions over with, why are the dragons returning now, and not sooner, when the darkness was weak?” The dragons shifted uncomfortably. Cassandra spoke “It’s a long story. I’ll start with this: We are no ordinary dragons. We are the Heirs of the Thrones.” Winter muttered “Are you sure you want her to tell her that?” Cassandra glared at her before turning back to the astonished Lily “I am the Heir to the Throne of All. Grumpy is heir to the Throne of the River. Caroline is heir to the Throne of Fire.” Caroline and Winter tensed, not liking how their leader was sharing their secrets to a stranger. Despite the wariness of the other dragons, Cassandra plowed on “Zelda is heir to the Throne of Air. Dove is Heir to the Throne of Energy. Rose’s heir to the Throne of Ice. Little Lucy is the heir to the Throne of Earth.” A growl rose deep within Winter’s throat. Cassandra looked at hard at the other Heir her age, meeting the flaring amethyst eyes calmly. Finally, Lily said “Um, so why are you here” she wanted to break the tension. Cassandra held Winter’s gaze for one more moment before turning to Lily “we were banished to Earth because the current holders of the Thrones decided we weren’t good enough and they wanted the throne. Thus, we got thrown here to Earth. Who knows where the hell the guys ended up.” Lily nodded slowly “Well, I believe this is a stroke of luck for humanity. We need you all. Desperately. Help us defeat the rising darkness.”