Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chapter 1.15 - The full moon's omen...

The full moon's omen...


The full moon hovered over the Dragon Valley, casting it's eerie shadow over the town.  Mithrilen used it's presence to remind people of the strange foreigner in their land, declaring the shadow was a portent of what was to come...

***

Feeling agitated and edgy, Kearney woke well before dawn, looking for something to keep him busy.  Mackenzie had been complaining about the first floor toilet constantly running.  He headed downstairs to tinker with the damn thing to see if he could find the source of the problem.  He'd been working on his handy-man skills.  Putting his ear to the wall, he listened.  It sounded like there was a steady drip of water coming from in the wall.  Perhaps it wasn't the toilet after all, he thought, tentatively tapping on the stones. 
He jumped back when the stoned that were stacked in that area crumbled to the ground.  A holed up door frame, he thought with wonder.  What secrets did this keep hold?
Carefully he stepped inside and glanced around, a single torch in the middle of the room catching his eye.

Walking over towards it, he lit it so that he could see around the dim room.

 ***

Breandan picked up his daughter and held her in his arms.  She was his little miracle!  If Mackenzie had not been sent by whatever magic the stars possessed, Violet would not be with him!  He cradled her close to his chest and closed his eyes.  Unimaginable!
"She's beautiful, isn't she?" Mackenzie said, walking up behind him and wrapping her arms around him.

Breandan glanced back fondly at his wife.  "She gets it from you!" he told her truthfully.  "I've never met a more beautiful woman than you."

Mackenzie laughed and leaned forward to kiss his neck.  "Flattery will get you flat on your back in the bed," she teased.

Breandan was just turning around to take her up on her enticing offer when he heard Kearney shout for him from downstairs.  The sound of it sent chills down his spine.  He thrust Violet into Mackenzie's arms. 
"Stay here, love," he told her.

Mackenzie protested, moving to put Violet in her crib. "I'm going with you!"

"Stay here!" he barked.  "Keep her safe!"  There was no telling what was wrong, but until he knew, he wouldn't put his wife and daughter at risk!  He rushed out the door, ready to fight alongside his brother if need be.

***

"Where are you?" Breandan called when he made it downstairs and heard no further noise.

His brother called from the vicinity of the bathroom.  "In here!"

Now Breandan was more puzzled than worried.  "Did you forget how to wipe your bottom?" he taunted his brother as he opened the door to the bathroom... and saw the gaping hole where a wall had once stood.

"Kearney?" he called in alarm, sprinting into the hidden room.
"A dragon's egg..." Kearney said in a hushed tone.

 ***

"I think we should just hole up the wall and pretend we never saw it!" Kearney advised his brother as they discussed their strategy over lunch.   "It can waste away in there for another hundred years!"

"And then when the generations down the line come upon? Then what?  If we ignore it, then we just pass our problem on to our descendants... Violet's descendants!" Breandan argued.
"Wait, let me get this straight," Mackenzie broke into the conversation. "It's like a real, actual, dragon's egg? With a dragon in it?" she asked in awe.  Just when she thought she'd made sense of the world she'd landed in, she realized she didn't know anything about it at all!
"Yes, an actual dragon," Kearney confirmed testily.

"You have dragons here?" she repeated, stunned.
"We had dragons here," Breandan explained.  "The last live dragon was seen generations ago, after Seamus O'Connell's ancestor, Captain O'Connell, came from afar, bringing technology.  Scientists were able to inhibit the growth cycle of the dragons, but they remained as vicious as ever despite their diminutive size.  Then, for unknown reasons, they began to go extinct.  Some say it was because of the intense eradication attempts and some say the scientists altered more than just their size.  We don't really know for sure."

"So... there being an egg in our house is a really big deal?" she asked, trying to follow the story.
Breandan nodded.  "I'm going to see O'Connell," he announced, ignoring Kearney's protests.  "He needs to be updated!"
Breandan hurried down to City Hall and requested an audience with O'Connell.  Upon hearing the alarming news, O'Connell called a few of his trusted advisers for an emergency meeting.  Breandan was thrust before the advisers, giving a speech at the City Hall before he could blink.

 ***

The remainder of lunch passed quietly.  Finally, Kearney tersely stood up, annoyed that Breandan had not heeded his advice.  Although, he shouldn't have been surprised!  Lately, Breandan never listened to his advice - usually doing the exact opposite. Avoiding Mackenzie's questioning glance, he hurried from the room.
He hoped a good, punishing workout cleared his mind!

 ***

Mackenzie had tried to stay busy, filling her afternoon with mundane tasks like checking the weather, tending to Violet and hanging the holiday lights.  But she was drawn to the hidden room like a moth to the flame.

How could she not take the opportunity to go see a dragon's egg?
Quietly she snuck into the room and peered down at the large egg.  It was not as big as she had assumed it would be.  Intriguing, she thought, it seemed to be covered with thick, rough scales
Crouching down, she softly stroked the shell.  It was softer than she had imagined!  She carefully lifted it into her hands.  And so much lighter than she'd imagined! Holding it in front of her face, she grinned, "Have you ever heard the age-old question? Which came first? A dragon or the egg?" she joked playfully.

Shaking her head at the absurdity of her own thoughts, she gently placed the egg back down on the ground and hurried from the room.
"Hello, little flower! Mommy's had an interesting day!" she told her daughter all the dragon stories she could remember, starting with Puff, the Magic Dragon.

 ***

She heard the moment Breandan returned and hurried down the steps to greet him.  "What did O'Connell say?" she asked.
"He wants us to safeguard it in our keep while they decide the next course of action.  One group wants to destroy it before it can hatch and potentially attack.  The other wants to study it in the laboratory."  Glancing up when Kearney walked in the room, he told him, "Come, O'Connell wants us to find all the references in the ancient texts regarding dragons as soon as possible.  If something changes, we're to report it to Lieutenant MacAnna."

"Can I help?" she asked, hurrying behind them.

Breandan kissed her cheek.  "See to Violet.  We'll need a few hours of  uninterrupted quiet."

Mackenzie watched him shut the door and crossed her arms.  So that's how it was going to be?  Now that she was a mother she'd been relegated to babysitter?! Fuming, she stomped up the stairs.
Breandan remained oblivious to his unintentional slight, pulling out their family texts and pouring through the books for any record of dragon. 

 ***


 ***

Breandan jumped from his chair, putting the book aside. "Did you hear that?" he asked in alarm.  Tilting their heads, they listened carefully.

"There it is again!" Kearney agreed when he heard the high-pitched squawking noise.
Their eyes met across the room.

"No!" Breandan said in denial.
They rushed from the room, already knowing what they would find.
"MACKENZIE!" Breandan called angrily.

***
Mackenzie came into the room, surprised to find that the egg had hatched.  "Aw! It's so cute!" she cried out in wonder. 

"Did you touch the dragon's egg?" Kearney demanded, his tone somber and intense.

Mackenzie's hand flew to her chest.  "I just touched it a little!" she told him. "But I washed my hands afterwards!" That had always been the rule back home after touching livestock.  

Breandan was momentarily side-tracked by the absurdity of her announcement. "You washed your hands?' he asked, befuddled.
"Well yeah, you're supposed to wash your hands after handling stuff like chickens or raw meat... or stuff.." she finished lamely, shrugging, "It seemed like a good idea at the time," she added petulantly.

Breandan shook his head.  "Did you talk to it?" he asked her, attempting to get back to the heart of the matter.

"What?! No! What would I say to an egg?!" she laughed, then stopped and cleared her throat.  "Um, well, I didn't talk to it, but I did kind of joke about dragon existentialism."

He regarded her blankly.

"You know, which came first? The dragon or the egg? You know, usually it's the chicken or the egg..."

He blinked.  The things that came out of her mouth sometimes.  Sighing heavily, he pressed his finger against his throbbing temple.  "Let us hope that you did not imprint with it," he said worriedly.

Imprint? she thought wildly, What in the world were they talking about?!
Suddenly the dragon flew up and circled around her head, landing on her shoulder.

"Oh God!" she cried out in fear, cringing away from it.  "Get it off, Breandan. Get. It. OFF!"
Kearney sighed. "Well I think that answers that," he said in a resigned tone.  "I'll go give our findings to Lieutenant MacAnna.  You can explain this mess to your wife."
 
 ***

The Lieutenant met him at the theater.  "Garda O'Shea," she said in greeting. 
Kearney was momentarily struck by how beautiful she was in the moonlight.  She almost seemed to glow!  Shannon glanced at him questioningly.  "Is anything wrong?' she asked.

Kearney shook his head.  "No, I'm sorry. I was just..." he stammered, "You look beautiful tonight."

Shannon blushed in response and averted her eyes.

Kearney could have hit himself upside the head. He was here on business and he was treating it like a date! "Actually," he corrected himself. "There's a bit of a problem," he corrected, telling her about Mackenzie imprinting with the dragon's egg and causing it to hatch.
"The foolish girl! Doesn't she know that words spoken to a dragon's egg will influence the dragon?!" she said in astonishment.  "She does not think before she acts!"

Kearney felt the need to defend his sister-in-law.  "She is not from here," he said.  "She didn't know the trouble she was causing."

Shannon blew out her breath and looked heavenward for patience.  "I know that is the truth. But, I worry about the dragons," she admitted.  Her mother had told terrifying tales of the destruction the dragons had caused at one time.  "I will have to tell Seamus. He will not be happy," she warned.
Kearney reached out for her hands and squeezed. "Do not fear," he assured her.  "All is not lost. It is only one and there have been no other eggs seen."

Shannon blushed and averted her eyes.  Shyly, reluctantly, she pulled her hand back.  "I am a Garda member!" she said with pride.  "I am not afraid."

"Of course not," Kearney said, embarrassed that he had unintentionally insulted her courage.  "I meant no insult."

Shyly, she added, "But I am glad that we have such noble protectors like you," quickly adding, "And your brother," lest he think she was infatuated with him.  Which you are, she thought wryly.


Wishes Completed:
M- Hang holiday lights, check weather
B- Pick up Violet, Snuggled Violet, Opportunity-Give speech at City Hall; Opportunity-Read book for work
K- Improve handiness skill, Hang holiday lights

Wishes Pending:
M- Be friends with Mason, Join Forensics career, Earn a raise
B- Workout 8 hours, Level 8 Athletic Skill, Join Special Agent, Have a baby
K- Workout 6 hours, Get promotion, Reach Lvl 7 Military career, Earn a raise


*AN:  Shannon totally sabotaged my storyline today! But, I was so excited that Kearney finally hooks up that I rolled with it.  Kearney attempted a few romantic interactions like complimenting and a flirt, but Shannon always took it back to the friend zone. We'll have to see how this develops!
Kearney: "This is Kearney, who may I ask is calling?"
Breandan: "Kearney, we're in the middle of a scene! You're not supposed to answer the phone!"
Kearney, covering the phone with his hand: "But this is Shannon! She wants to go on a date! With me!"
Breandan, sighing: "But it's a dragon!"
Kearney, repeated slowly: "Shan-non!"

So, technically, I cheated by making Mackenzie talk to the egg! I didn't realize that the dragon's egg wouldn't just hatch on it's own.  So, Mackenzie, full of curiosity, went in and picked it up, conversing with it about existentialism.  For gameplay, I have the Margaret Pendragon's marvelous no autonomous interactions (which actually might've been why no one played with the egg, in retrospect) & no cheaty motives!

2 comments:

  1. I loved your dragon story.
    And yay for Kearney finally getting a little romance. Not a lot of romance, lol, but it's a start.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wanna play with dragons! :) I took off the no autonomous interactions to see if they mess with little Spike more.

    Lol.. poor Kearney! He got a little bit of a hand hold and that's it! Maybe he'll actually get married sometime around the time Mackenzie and Breandan have their 10th child. :P

    ReplyDelete