The Sacrifice of Tind
LINER NOTES: This came a few weeks after Glances, and there are two sides to this story: 1) the overall event and 2) Ashuton’s side of the story. Only one of these events is true. The Reaping of 2012 was a war that the Antonin Empire participated in, and it has sullied the reputation of Antonin, branding the dragons with the names “Passive Lizards” and “Humanitarian animals.” They were no longer viewed as an empire, they were seen as “overly nice” and “too giving.” Lucerano used this to their advantage, and since then political parties, other ruling powers and rich folks have used the Antonin dragons to their benefits, taking advantage of their “niceness.”
Those whom clung to the wings were the true warriors. Before the war had started, President O’Shelly had declared a mass assassination of all the dragon-shifters in the Tind area. Tind was a government controlled area that kept dragon shifters locked within a forest that was guarded by thousands of military men. Every night a client of the black market would come to Tind for a trade: one pitcher of Juice from a dragon. 38% of the money went to O’Shelly, 40% went to the miliants while the rest went to maintaining Tind. When word got out of Tind, Antonin officials came to the commune for investigation. O’Shelly had the militants threaten the dragons to stay quiet, but they couldn’t watch everyone. Juan Santos, an elderly dragon-shifter, screamed from his house, “they’re holding us all captive! Save us!”
But his sentence was cut short by a golden bullet. The Officials tried to escape but were cornered by the militants. They shifted forms, revealing their dragonessence: one was western and the other was Eastern. They were brutal in their fighting, clamping their maws around the bodies of the hapless fighters. The bullets they used were laden with Copperminer, which was a new type of poison that was harvested during a dig to the Earth’s crust.
Everyone wanted to feel the freedom, and they all rebelled against the militants. The children and teenagers fought alongside their parents, each of them varying in sizes. The soldiers were given orders to refrain from shooting the “products,” but when one of them started to open fire, the rest of them followed. The young ones, inexperienced in the art of “Dragonlinging,” were the first ones to be shot without mercy. Dragonlinging was an old Technology power that allowed one to move quickly and slow incoming attacks that would threaten their livelihood. The dragon-shifters of Tind weren’t allowed any type of education in dragonism, so they never knew Dragonlinging existed, but they had proper knowledge about Draconizica. They dreamed of being with their cousins and living the life a Dragon should be living, but they were confined to a town guarded by their worst nightmares.
The fighting waged on, but the dead outnumbered the living. The raining sound of bullets and shellcases was a hollow and frightening sound of bewilderment to anyone listening from a distance. One little Dragonchild tried to use the power of Hynnody to deflect an attack on his Mother, but his little powers couldn’t hold up the forcefield barrier. Three silver bullets was all it took to send the child tumbling to the ground. When the Officials escaped the hell of battle, the few hundred civilians were cornered at gunpoint. Things were in silent tension for a whole week.
Word had spread about Tind and O’Shelly was impeached from the White House and his precidency. He retreated to one of the many ghost islands off the coast of Italy, which was a fatal choice. He gave the order for the militants left under his command to assassinate anything living in that village. Every man, woman and child were to be executed. No shifters left alive. That night the civilians were gathered by the firefly pond. Some cuddled by their family members for comfort, while others gave warning stares at their assasinators. The general gave the order, “Ready, Aim, FIRE!”
The sound of a hundred gunshots sounded all at once, and the remaining dragon-shifters of Tind were killed, execution style, and none were left alive.
The next morning, one of the Officials returned with Ashuton, Aaron and a few other dragon princes, but were too late to stop the slaughter. The Dragons in Tind village were dead. All of them, in human and dragon forms, were dead in their own pool of blood and spilled organs. Ashuton discovered the executed civilians by the pond, and the sight sent his mind reeling. They were lifeless shells, their eyes were puffy from tears of fear and their skulls shattered by bullets. Prince Ashuton cared deeply for every dragon he birthed. Every egg that came from his body was filled with his love, and to see his own children DEAD, executed and dismembered was like a punch to his heart. This was probably the three-thousandth time he’d seen something like this in the twenty-year period. Dragons were being treated poorly ever since the “Reaping of 2012.” He couldn’t stand it anymore. He had to bring his children out of the darkness.