Skylanders: Portals is finally here, *cheers* and it is very different from how I first imagined it. There are a lot of the same elements as the first draft, but there are some things I need to warn you about that have changed since I wrote that last chapter in Skylanders: Giant of old.
One, and I know some of you asked, so I'm here to answer. No, no OCs, and no Alternate form Skylanders will be appearing in this Fanfiction. I said I wanted to cut down on characters, didn't I? I couldn't do that with the multitude of OCs you all had sent me (though they are all very awesome and all very appreciated for the gesture) and Skylanders of alternate form, that boosts the count way too high up.
Next, this has pairings. Okay, so why would I be warning you about that? Because I have slash, and femslash pairings, that's why. So, you know the drill. Don't like it, don't read it.
Finally, I have one one-shot, Jailcat, (though there will be more later), that explains character backstories, all connected to this universe. They will expand on things I may mention here.
You must just want to get into reading this, so I'll finish this now. I'd do a disclaimer, but the hint is that this is being posted on 'Fanfiction'.
Skylanders are real.
The real Skylanders are nothing like what those on Earth believe them to be. What they do is not child friendly, not as cutesy nor as safe as those who have played the Earth made games may be led to believe. They are not silly group of fighters who somehow manage to keep the forces of evil at bay.
No. In actuality, the Skylanders are an elite military organisation, full of hardened and toughened warriors who fight the Darkness with their lives. They shed much blood, sweat and tears to keep Skylands safe from all those who endeavour to do it harm.
Though the unit may be full of the same warriors as the Earth games, in every other aspect the games are a sugar coated deception, intended to be something that Earth children, either young or old, may play, and something that will help them dream of heroes.
But in real life, heroes aren't the ones winning the battle, they don't fight in the wars. They don't keep Skylands from falling.
We, the Skylanders, do.
Cynder slipped into a shadow dash as a boulder came flashing overhead, slamming into the rock spire at her back. She dodged the falling spire and jumped back out of the shadows. She raced through a smashed gate, breathing electricity at several of the vicious little creatures nicknamed Chompies who were swarming around the area, gnashing their teeth at everything.
"How close is the tornado?" she yelled into her communications line as she swooped across a gap between islands.
-Too close for comfort! Get them out, and quickly!- Quickstorm yelled back. Cynder could almost imagine the hare panicking as she ducked through the wreckage of the Royal barracks.
Cynder flew up a flight of stairs, and stopped as she reached the courtyard of the grand palace. The winds whipped around Cynder fiercely, and she saw the tornado bearing down on the palace. The dragoness dug her claws into cracks in the cobbles, and fought her way through the gale to the heavy iron gate that trapped the Royal Family and their staff inside.
Cynder cursed when she realised the gate could not be wrenched open. It was locked. Cynder growled furiously and looked around for any sign of a key. A golden glimmer caught her eye.
The key sat tangled up in the roots of a plant, a flower bush that looked like it could be wrenched free from the ground at any moment by the storm that swirled around.
Cynder darted back into shadow form and sped across the yard as the wind gave a final tug, and the plant ripped free. Cynder leapt, and snagged the key while still in partial shadow form.
She turned, threw herself forwards into the gate, and pushed the key into the lock. She spun it, and the gate opened. All the royals and servants were quivering by the gate, and several jumped as Cynder banged the gate open.
"Oh, thank you Skylander-" A Mabu began, but Cynder cut across them.
"Everybody move! The tornado will rip this place apart any second now!" Cynder roared, struggling to keep her balance as the winds inside the palace proper tried to throw her footing.
The Mabu scurried past her, obeying. Cynder watched, shepherding them out as quickly as possible, and as the last Mabu ran free, the palace began to collapse, and was sucked into the tornado. Cynder bolted out as the island fell behind her, and she activated her portal link. A portal appeared beneath her, and another beneath the Mabu, and they fell into the portals.
"Cut that a bit close, huh Cynder?" a voice said beside her. Cynder scowled at Camo. The plant dragon hybrid was standing next to Cali in the evacuation zone, lending the Portal Anchor strength as she readied another Portal.
A faint popping noise occurred as Whirlwind appeared, leaping through Cali's portal, her long tail feathers trailing behind her. Cali staggered, exhausted, and Camo propped her up.
"Light, Caem will need to supply me with more Portal Magic next time. Those last few jumps were killing me," Cali moaned, the normally strong Portal Anchor laid low.
Whirlwind's horn glowed golden briefly, and she shot strength to Cali. Camo sent a strong pulse of green Life energy to Cali as well.
"I wish I could hold as much Portal Magic as your Commcrystals," Cali sighed, sitting down in the grass to rest.
Cynder snorted, throwing her head so the dark crystal hanging around her neck caught the sunlight, refracting purple lights around. "Well, these things are ancient. Maybe the old Skylanders, the really old ones, knew enchantments we don't. At least they can hold open half the portal for you," Cynder replied, shaking her crystal one last time and fading it out of sight.
Cali nodded in reply, too tired to do much else.
Cynder turned to Whirlwind now. "Before the call comes to leave everything to an Evac team, why don't we go off and make ourselves useful as common pack mules?" Cynder suggested sarcastically.
"May as well. There isn't much else we can do, " Whirlwind replied, nodding.
Cynder started off, then turned back to Camo, who was helping Cali to sit on a rock. "Coming?" The dragoness asked, as Whirlwind took off ahead. Camo placed a claw against his chest.
"Oh no, Cynder, I'll leave the heavy lifting to strong ladies like you," Camo sighed dramatically. He sat down by Cali and waved the dragoness off.
Cynder rolled her eyes and, pumping her wings, took to the sky and caught up with Whirlwind.
-Units One through Six, report back to base! Good job guys, pull out and let the Militia's Evac unit do their work-
Spyro banked to the left and let out a sigh of relief. "You heard the man!" he called to the rest of his squadron. They looked up, and set down any loads they were carrying by the waiting balloons that crowded the evacuation zone. As Spyro watched, gliding above, they disappeared one by one. Satisfied, he nodded and wheeled in a circle, counting off those that had portaled out safely.
There was a Skylander missing. Hmm... Spyro glided back, trying to find...
"Jet-Vac! Come on, this tornado is ripping the island apart, this isn't going to stay a safe zone much longer! Let the Evac team take care of that!" he called, finding the Sky Baron, who was helping a healer load her supplies onto her airship.
His call going unheard, Spyro swooped down, and hovering near the errant Skylander, opened his mouth to call to him again.
"Here, Spyro, take this." Jet-Vac put a basket in the dragon's open mouth, and Spyro landed.
"Put it over here, please." The healer directed the purple dragon to the other side of the ship, and took the basket from him. He spat the wooden basket taste out of his mouth, and turned to find Jet-Vac. The Sky baron had disappeared.
Cursing under his breath, Spyro darted around the airship, and ran through the crowd of refugees and balloons, searching for Jet-Vac.
-Spyro!- the crackle came over the comms line.
-Why are you not out of there yet? Evac's in and that means you should be out! Come- The dragon clawed at his Commcrystal, switched the communication device off, cutting the speech. He was growling as he swung his head to the right.
There he is, he thought, catching a glimpse of elusive blue and white. Spyro ran over to the Sky Baron, jumping baskets and dodging mabu, as the other Skylander helped a couple secure their goods in a balloon.
"Jet-Vac! We are going, now!" he growled angrily, ignoring any looks he got as he stomped over to the Baron and reared up, placing his front paws on Jet-Vac's shoulders. Looking the surprised Skylander in the face, he activated his portal link.
The next second they were in the Debriefing room, and Spyro flared his wings angrily. "What were you thinking? We get them out, then the Evacuation team does the rest! Don't you listen to your comms line?" he snarled, shaking his horns. Jet-Vac clicked his beak anxiously, ready to defend himself to the angry dragon.
"Quit it, Spyro," a voice called from behind him. The purple dragon sighed at the sound.
"Cynder…" Spyro began, jumping off Jet-Vac and turning around. The black dragoness stared him square in the face, eyebrow arched.
"Cut it out, Spyro." Cynder replied, walking up to the Skylander in question.
"You know he doesn't work with an Evac team very often. And he isn't the only one who turns off his comms, now is he? I seem to remember a time when you refused to keep one on," she reminded sharply, before going up to the shame-faced Baron.
"Let's go get you cleaned up, hey? That's a nasty gash on your side. I bet Skylar has just the trick," the dragoness told him, leading him out of the room. The two Skylanders left, Jet-Vac avoiding looking at anything but the floor.
Spyro sat down heavily, staring at forlornly at the softly pulsing Portal crystal embedded in the ceiling.
"That was some crazy tornado, hey? Wasn't it Spyro?" The purple dragon looked up at the speaker.
Camo was flicking his tail back and forth, and smiling as usual. But it was a small smile. That tornado had rattled all of them.
"I don't know what had the Air Element so riled up," Whirlwind frowned, shaking her head.
Stealth Elf replied, "I don't know. The Elements are going crazy nowadays." She scowled, "And Kaos has no idea what has gone wrong," she finished bitterly, crossing her arms.
Camo shook his head, "Kaos is only good for seeing the present. Whatever has gone wrong is in the past and the future, so he can't see it," the life dragon said, scuffing his paws.
"I wish Eon was still with us," Whirlwind said softly. The others nodded.
"At least Eon wasn't useless." Stealth Elf muttered, scowling. Spyro got up and walked over to the Skylander.
"Don't bash the poor guy, Stealth. Kaos doesn't deserve it," Spyro reminded the elf, who harrumphed, then sighed.
"Well, what's the point of having a seer if he can't see what we need him to?" The elf asked, though the fight had gone out of her.
Whirlwind shrugged, "Come on Stealthy, let's hit the baths." The hybrid perked up at the thought, poking her friend with her horn and pushing her out the room.
"Don't call me Stealthy." Came the faint retort as they departed.
Camo yawned and stretched, tail curling, "Shall we hit the baths too, eh Spyro?" Spyro sighed dramatically, even though he couldn't wait to wash off the dirt from his scales. "If we must," he replied.
"We must." Camo assured him as they left the room, a spring in his step. Spyro assumed that was because he couldn't wait to see Sunburn, who would certainly be preening himself in the bath house by now.
"Whoever invented those baths is a genius, I tell you," Camo said, coming into the meeting room, Sunburn and Spyro on his heels.
Cynder, who was sitting closest to the door, shook her head at them, while Tessa, who was next to the black dragoness, nodded her head.
Spyro squeezed in next to Cynder, who huffed at him, as Drobot rose from the round table. The tech dragon scanned their faces, then sighed. "Look, captains and lieutentants." He gestured to the large projector screen behind him. As they watched, the symbol of the Air element flashed onto the screen, followed closely by the symbol for Water.
"Some of you may not be aware, so before I start I'll give you the brief. The Air Element went mad today, tearing apart the Royal Mabu Castle and the surrounding islands. Spyro led a team to investigate, and found no traces of any Dark influences. Some creatures of the Air element were found behaving strangely in sites nearby, but none were doing any harm like the Water Element in the Domed City. Everyone evacuated safely."
Everyone around the table winced. Last month the Water Element had broken the dome that held back the ocean from the aptly named Domed City, and the place had flooded. Thousands had drowned, and smaller Water Elementals had started to rampage and kill anyone fleeing. The Skylanders had barely managed to get everyone still alive out of the city safely.
Drobot whirred his gears to regain attention, "This is the second Element to destroy lands they watch over, and I'm sure none of you think this is a coincidence. On every site, however, there has been no traces of tampering, no Dark forces, no nothing that could set the Elements off."
Now Hugo, Drobot's second in information, got up, "All we can find is a slight elemental imbalance in the area before the… attacks, I suppose. And this was caused by the Elements themselves, so we have no clue about what is going on. Kaos has also been able to see nothing, and Spy Rise, Ash and Mesmerelda have found nothing as well in their networks." The mabu pushed up his glasses, a nervous habit.
Stealth Elf stood, and asked, "So all you have for us is depressing news? Was that all we were called here for?" Hugo and Drobot nodded sadly, and the elf snorted, and stalked out.
The projection disappeared then, and Spyro called out, "I guess that's it. Meeting adjourned. Go and spread the word, but otherwise you're free for the day, unless you've got patrol."
Cynder looked at him as the other Skylanders filed out, murmuring quietly to themselves. "I don't say this lightly, Spyro. I'm afraid something big is going to happen."
The purple dragon nodded, "I'm even more afraid that you'll be right," he replied, and the dragoness sighed, and walked away.
Kaos stared into the bowl, and watched them all leave. Looks like she's already right, Spyro, he thought, just as his head exploded with agony. His mental barricades nearly went down, and he fell as he struggled to keep them in place.
When he could stand and the barriers against his Sight were fixed, he commanded the bowl to show him the main Portal in the hall.
It wasn't there.
And neither were the Portal Anchors, or the Portal Masters.
They'd all just… disappeared.
Kaos cursed, then ran to fetch Spyro.
A big round of applause for my beta, HadesNecromancer. He is truly a saviour of prose.
And to my friend, Bluecat6, who read over my rough drafts and pointed out what could be improved, even though she wasn't a beta and didn't know the fandom.
Also, a special mention to another of my helpers, Seraph of Enigma, for listening patiently while I rambled, and forming the half coherent ideas I talked about into more coherent ones.
All of you guys, I thank you all deeply, for doing what you did to get the story to where it is now.