Fire Wind Red (Part 3 of 5)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm
The third story in the Red Fire Wind series. We meet the team and the next crime begins to unfold.

Submitted: April 17, 2019

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Submitted: April 17, 2019

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The rocks glinted with the moonlight, as did the scales on my sons back, I can feel the bond between him and me growing hour by hour day by day, it’s a strange thing to experience having a little creature completely dependent on you for so much knowledge but be able to learn so fast that you feel they will move beyond needing you so quick. It’s a survival skill of our people that we gain all the skills we need to survive within a few weeks of being born, so we can hunt and survive without parents as all too often parents are killed or leave so fast. I think about him every so often, it hurts to remember him at times, we were so bonded that now without him… “Mom! Look! I can do it!!” I smile at my son distracted from my thoughts as he has a decent sized deer in his claws, it was almost the same size as he was.  “I am so proud of you little one! You are ready for the human world. We will leave tomorrow, sister dear, I am assuming you will come with us? We will have a big house and lots of land to hunt on. But remember everyone, no one must?” they both looked at me for a moment then in unison, “Never show our true selves!” I smiled at them, “very good! Everyone needs a good night rest we fly tomorrow!”

The town of Kinder was quiet this night as Fran-Kin and Ellie walked back to the inn they were staying at the base of the mountains where they last saw Redordo. “Well, we got the building confirmed, they will be finished with the final parts of constriction tomorrow. Ellie, you talked to the Scryer that came in yesterday yet?” Ellie shook her head, “no we are going to meet up at the café tomorrow to seal the deal. I have also recruited Terrance’s’ cousin to join us as an enforcer of sorts. So, we will have me, Corton, Terrance’s’ cousin, you and Redordo in the field and we will have the scryer in the office helping with communications, if they accept, I think we will have a pretty well-rounded team.” Fran-Kin grunted, “That sounds good, but we need someone who can work with local kingships and constables to make sure we are not stepping on anyone’s toes. Someone upbeat and trustworthy that will blend in with the local communities and also be able to share information, so the locals won’t get scared. “Ellie looked at him for a long moment with a look of surprise, “I had no idea you were so smart and informed in such things!” Fran-Kin stroked his long brown beard for a moment, “thanks, you’re not bad for a tiny person yourself.” She frowned, “I am not tiny for a brownie, I am average sized thank you very much!” her tiny brown dress fluttered around her as she turned a walked faster away from Fran-Kin her long brown hair flowing angerly behind her. Fran-Kin sighed and started walking just a little faster to catch up. “Look Ellie,” he started as he caught up to her, “I am sorry, I did not mean to hurt your feelings. I am not used to being around other people. I have been a loner for too long.” Ellie stopped outside of the Inn, she sighed, “I should not have run off like that. I am so used to being made fun of or ridiculed for either my size or my abilities that the word “freak” is the most common thing I hear while around others. I try to stay positive and…” She trailed off and her cheeks were suddenly wet with tears. “I... I will see you in the morning...” Fran-Kin watched her walk away towards her room unsure how to respond to the situation.

The flight was quick, quick as it could be with a youngling veering every few minutes to look at something shiny on the horizon. We still did not know his name, so we continued to call him youngling. We landed in about a day in the forests around the mountains of Ranth where we would meet the rest of the team in the village below in the morning. That night we camped at the base of the Ranth mountain and had the last little bit of meat we had left over. As we settled in and the little one dozed off, me and my sister talked. “I hope he likes it here and can fit in with the other humans. It’s a lot to take on all at once.” My sister stared at me for a long moment, “You do realize what you are expecting here is a lot right? I mean, he needs to have an education of some sort, he needs to be taught of our ways and that of humans, he needs to know of the world. Who will teach him? And who will teach the rest of the children of this land of our….” She trailed off as she seemed to realize something, “Are you expecting me to teach him and maybe even teach others?” I gave her a sheepish smile, “I was hoping that you might be interested in doing so… I remember when there was more of us, how you seemed to love teaching the younger ones our ways and that of the humans, as well as the history of our world among other things. I was hoping to make this village our home, a place to come back to when we were done for the day. And maybe a haven eventually for all different peoples and creatures to call home.” My sister stared off into the darkness for a long moment. “It would be nice to be around the young again, to teach again, I do miss the way their eyes light up when they get a new idea or concept. It has been a long time since I was a part of a community as most of our people have scattered to the four corners.” I smiled at her and gave her a one-armed hug as her long red hair tangled with mine for a moment, she closed her eyes and sighed, “I don’t remember feeling this hopeful and scared about the future all at once. I really hope you know what you are doing.” We sat there for a long while scared and excited for the future that might lay ahead.

The morning sun came with a blazing heat and a lot of annoying chirping birds. I don’t know why I felt so awful, but my head was spinning, and my eyes were watering as I looked around and did not see anyone. The panic filled me immediately as I start to run, transform, search, but nothing, my son, my sister, they where both gone! I flew down to the village changing back to human form as quickly as possible. I saw Fran-Kin first, “Please, I need your help, my son, my sister, they... their…” the tears fill my eyes, I feel such the fool. But Fran-Kin took my hand, “Its fine, they are here, we have them, they are fine, but they are very sick. They, and probably you, were poisoned. Because of your...” he coughed, “strong constitution you and your family will make a full recovery. The poison is unknown, but we have an apothecary helping us to identify the poison from the saliva and other bodily fluids as we speak. Come, they would want to know you are safe.” I wiped my eyes and was led into a back room where I saw my son lying on the floor in full dragon form and my sister in human form by his side stroking his cheek as an old man was behind them at a table working with test tubes. I flung myself on my son and cried as I felt his body move slowly up and down beneath me as I lay there my body draped over his. “Dracor, my son, my…” His eyes opened and he smiled at me, “mom..” he was talking very softly, but him calling me mom, I brought a new welling of tears to my eyes, “You are going to be fine my little one, we will figure out who did this and stop them.” He nodded weakly and fell sound asleep. I turned to my sister and hugged her tightly, “what happened last night?” I let go of her and sat back and stared at her. See stared back at me for a moment “All I remember is you falling asleep first, then I dozed off, I heard a noise in the middle of the night and a hand over my mouth and the next thing I knew I was being dragged off down the mountain. I tried to fight them off, but whatever they gave me worked fast. The next thing I remember is waking up here with...” her eyes started to tear up and hugged me tightly. We hugged and cried for another moment before we separated and composed ourselves. I turned to Fran-Kin “what is the status of the team? Who do we have that can help find out who did this and why?” Fran-Kin grunted, “We have Ellie of course, Corton who is our muscle, and we have a scryer that we will be interviewing today. I think her name is Bethanie. We are also putting the final touches on the headquarters today. It should be move in ready by noon. Now I think we need one other person to help with crime scene investigation, I know of a ranger with a specific set of skills that might be of use to us. We are interviewing him in a few days. For the moment however, I think that we should get Ellie to the scene and see if our criminals left anything behind for her to read.” I nodded, “good, well I guess since everyone here is being taken care of, maybe a bit of food is in order, sister? Wish to join me? We can get you introduced to the team so far.”

Breakfast was a served at the café and was eggs and steaks, Me, Ellie my sister, Corton and Fran-Kin sat around the table eating quietly for a few moments, then my sister started talking, “So I guess most of you already know what we really are already, I am hoping that you understand why we don’t share that information freely.” Corton cocked his head, “Sorry, I know I am new here but what Is the secret?” Ellie, paused mid fork full of eggs, “Fran-Kin you did not tell him yet?” Fran-Kin shrugged, “bah, it didn’t come up in the hiring process.” I sighed, “Corton, we are actually dragons, who can shift into human form, so we don’t scare the locals or get hunted and killed.” Corton dropped his fork. “wait I thought all dragons were exiled? I thought the Red Wing Accords established that you cannot live among other sentient beings.” I saw the color rising in my sisters’ cheeks, I spoke up before she said something she would regret. “No, that is not quite right, it stated we cannot live in our natural form around sentient beings and we cannot kill anything sentient but when the elders came up with the spell to allow us to change into human form at will and then the eventual natural ability that grew out of that spell, we now can live among the other races. I hope that clarifies the situation?” Corton nodded, “sorry, did not mean to offend, I just was always told that dragons were evil and eat everything they saw and that was why they were exiled.” I nodded, “it’s a common misconception, it has been a long time since the accords were signed. Much of what was written does not apply any more. Now to business, we need to get to the camp site and see what can be found that belonged to our attackers.” Breakfast was finished quickly after that, I paid for the food and we all left to head up to the camp site. I would come back after and check in with my son, but for now I needed to make sure who ever hurt him was found.

The sunlight streamed between the trees as we hiked up the last few feet to the site were, we had slept the night before. Ellie started looking around the site as my sister pointed out where we had been sleeping. “Ok, so I was sleeping over here,” I started talking to Fran-Kin while Corton looked on, “considering the hike we just took, it must be assumed they came from above us, we need to look for tracks, Fran-Kin do you know anything about tracking human prints? I am going to work on smells.” Fern-Kin, grunted, “I will see what I can see.” He walked up the hill  and started searching the ground for prints I followed after him sniffing the air for anything, but while I have a sensitive sense of smell it is more used for hunting and not for searching out people, but what from I could tell there were at least 3 or 4 distinct people here and they seemed to have encircled the camp for a few hours before they attempted to poison us. Fran-Kin came over to me, “well I can tell you there were at least 4 people here one was either a girl or a child, smaller feet and not dwarfen, now I noticed that there were some arrow notches on these trees so they were armed, or at least one of them was. I am going to talk to the town elder and see if there were other attacks in the forest recently. Can you meet the Scryer for our interview in about an hour?” I nodded and walked over to Ellie to see what she might have discovered.

Ellie was trying not to feel the thoughts to deeply, but she could not help herself, she had touched the ground where Redordo and Dronomo had slept the night before, and she had felt the love they had for the new child in their life, she felt the pure dreams of the child on the scraps of fabric from the blankets left behind, but no violence or fear was felt. She continued to search the area and found a bracelet in the grass. “I found something!” The others came over to see. Fran-Kin spoke first, “It looks like a fay bracelet, one crafted to protect from fairy folks getting to close.” Ellie nodded, “There is a lot of anger attached to this bracelet, a lot of fear from the past, the person who used this, they, she? Yes, she, hated almost everyone or everything she met. She only loved her… I am not sure, maybe a child, its faint, but I can tell she only traveled with people she cared for, so maybe she was with either close family or a close group of friends. They had been together for at least a few years, otherwise the visions of them would not be as strong, I can only sense emotions and forest, so I can say with some certainty that they did not stay in a town, so they are most likely nomadic.” Ellie sighed deeply at sat down. “sorry, the item has some sort of magic on it, it is very hard to get a clear history from it. What I did get took a large effort. I will try again later.” I smiled, “that was impressive, that helps a lot, we can now ask the village elder and the locals if they have seen a small nomadic group of humans around in the last few days. We need that Scryer, to see if other towns in the area may have seen this group. We are already behind, if they are wandering around randomly poisoning people, they suspect to be non-human there are going to be a lot more bodies to come.”

Dracors’ eyes opened slowly and he saw his mothers face smiling down at him, “mom, your ok, I was, I mean I tried to stop them but they, is Dronomo, Aunt Drooy ok?” he tried to sit up, realizing that the world was still spinning and that he was still in dragon form both at the same time. I put my hand on his shoulder, “its, ok you are among friends, here, Apothecary Hernot, has made you better, but you will be weak and dizzy for a while still. Stay still and rest. Its ok you are with friends here.” Hernot smiled at her, “You can call me Gregor, please, it was my pleasure to get a chance to see your kind once more, it has been too long. But enough about that, the poison used is a from a plant called the White willow, It is deadly for most creatures and only grows in the high mountains and not in this area, I will need to look at some of the records to see where it is normally grown, it is curable if it did not work so quickly and by touch. It is normally applied via a cloth to the outside of the body. It has been known to help with pain management in very low doses. However, they are using it to numb and kill their victims.” “We need to inform the locals I have just finished updating Bethanie on the situation and she is reaching out through the scrying network to see if there are other towns where a group match this one’s description has come through. I will be meeting with her shortly to see what she has uncovered. I think we should meet at the house, as we can all gather together and get all the information out together and figure out how and where these killers will strike next, Fran-Kin go ahead and gather the team, I will help my son get over there, Gregor, please join us at the house, I want to make sure you tell the others what you told me and I don’t want to have them get the information second hand.” Fran-Kin nodded and left the small tent quickly. I picked up my son, still in dragon form, “Do you think you can shift my little one?” He nodded weakly and shifted slowly to his human form, Gregor and I left together and walked to the house that would soon be both our home and the headquarters of our little group of crime fighters. We will find these killers and stop them before any other little boys got hurt or killed. I would make sure of that.


© Copyright 2019 Robert Dragon Pollack. All rights reserved.

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