Welcome to the final chapter of Only at DragonTech!
It has been a wonderful ride with you all, and even through thick and thin and short hiatus' here and there, I thank each and every one of you who has been here since day one!
Blue and gold banners stretched all over the place as the beautiful campus of the University of Otago embraced the weekend long fair for new students. Many walked around the lovely shaded walkways, sitting on the stone benches and either discussing things with their friends of simply enjoyed the wonderful weather. It was definitely a bright day, and even as the newer students wandered around, things like apprehension were not to be found.
"So…explain to me again how you're going to get us a free vacation for break," Victoria asked, laying back on the grass and basking in the hot sun. Her friend Lance sat nearby, poring over vacation pamphlets, seemingly alright with the entire idea of a completely free vacation.
"I told you to relax. You'll find out."
Victoria rolled her eyes. "Whatever. I think you're full of it. We're gonna go sit on the beach in Coromandel again and you know it."
"What is with you? I just mentioned that maybe I could get us a free trip to America."
"Alright, let's assume you aren't full of shit," Lance chimed in, glancing over. "Where exactly would we go?"
"You know what? Both of you can kiss my ass. I'll just go alone then."
Lance tsked from where he sat, putting the pamphlets down. "Relax, Astrid. We can be a bit curious. You're literally the most private person in the whole program. We really don't know anything about you other than that your from America."
Astrid mock glared at him, crossing her arms. "Bullshit! You know that I have a brother and a mother, you know I don't have a father because he died, you know I once worked for a big ass firm and then lost that job."
He and Victoria glanced at each other for a second and then shrugged. "Okay? So what?"
Astrid stared back. "Is that not enough?"
Victoria laughed, rising up onto her elbows. "Alright girl, listen. You're real sweet and all, but lets compare. You guys know so much about me that you even know my bra size. We don't even know if you have a boyfriend!"
"I don't. You know that!" Astrid retorted sharply. She enjoyed these arguments she had with her two best friends from the internship. She had just about passed the incredibly competitive internship for physical therapy from the University of Otago, and Lance and Victoria were the only other two who had gotten through. After losing her job at DragonTech, Astrid spent some time getting her affairs in order before coming out to New Zealand to enroll.
It had been the hardest three years of her life, but she'd made it through. She had specifically avoided getting into any real big attachments here, or at least not getting too personal. The result? Friends who knew really next to nothing about her.
"We know you haven't slept with anyone, man or woman, since you got here. Unless you get seriously busy for the whole five days of break we get once a year, which we have no idea because you never tell us about your trips home, then you're a sexual cobweb." Lance analyzed, knowing this for a fact because he had tried emphatically to woo her when they first arrived.
Astrid threw her hands up. "My sex life is my own business!"
"Not amongst friends it isn't," Victoria remarked. "Well…among normal friends that is."
Astrid rolled her eyes and got up from the bench. "Whatever. Let's go. I'm starving." They walked together to the bus stop, waiting and chatting absently about things while waiting. The bus system here in New Zealand really was great, and the amount of places they went to beat out driving oneself by a bunch because gas cost a fortune here.
"Where are we going to ea-" Lance began before Victoria burst up in her seat.
"Holy shit! Guys, we're going to the port!"
Astrid groaned. "What for? Smallest speedo competition on the beach?" She asked sarcastically, knowing exactly why Victoria was so excited. She'd seen the news earlier that week about the arrival of the massive cruise ship put out by Te Fiti, called the TeKa. This line of ships was supposedly the most luxurious and technologically advanced luxury liners in the world. And that was because…
"That American company DragonTech will be there! Apparently they helped build the ships and all that! We have to go! Can you imagine landing a job with them!?"
Astrid let a short smile cross her face. Don't need to. I did. Once. "Why are you so obsessed with them?" She asked.
Victoria swung her arms wildly, almost hitting Lance but barely missing. "How are you not? Some people say that working for them is the best thing you could do with your time professionally! I even heard that some big shot from the company came through Otago once! Rachel Thorston!"
"Did she really?" Astrid asked aloud, cocking her head to the side.
"Yeah. Guess it was a good while ago though. I'm sure we would have heard if DragonTech was sending one of their own to Otago." Lance finished for the still swooning Victoria. Astrid smirked at the antics of the woman, loving how carefree and eccentric she was.
They rode the bus in silence after that, skipping the stop for the eatery that Astrid thought they were going to go to in order to go to the port. Already they could see the traffic beginning to pile up as the coastal city got ready for the arrival of a new global player. Te Fiti was supposedly going to shoot up the economic food chain with these new cruise ships. Even though they only have one on the water, if its maiden voyage to San Francisco goes well…who knows where they will land.
When the bus stopped, it was a miracle that the three of them even found a place to stand. The port area where the cruise ship was set to make berth was packed with people, standing almost literally shoulder to shoulder. Already the ship loomed in the harbor, people excited and screaming for it to hurry up. Astrid wondered momentarily how many of these people had tickets to get on that behemoth.
"Look! Astrid, look!" Victoria smacked her several times and pointed. On a raised stage nearby stood a familiar face. A man, too tanned for his own good, tall and broad shouldered, stood there, basking in the attention of all the people. "Who is that!?"
Lance cleared his throat, looking at another pamphlet he had inexplicably acquired. "That would be Scott Jorgo. A member of the DragonTech Board of Directors, and according to this, he could build a machine with a blindfold on."
Astrid stared up at him, wondering what sort of wild things he was up to now. He seemed to be simply enjoyed the attention of things, but she remembered how the Board traveled…so where were the others?
"Says that the entire board will be here," Lance remarked as her thoughts ventured that same direction. For the next half hour they waited and watched as the giant cruise liner pulled into berth, and finally, a horn went off to signal that it had made port for the first time. At the same time, people began to yell, shout and point upwards. Astrid and her friends did the same, and their eyes widened much like everyone else.
Three black specs rocketed down towards the port, clearly people, and showing no signs of stopping. Astrid held her breathe, watching the display with a mixture of concern and wild anger. The specs grew closer and larger, and just when it looked like they would run out of time, parachutes billowed out of them and the three divers floated gently down to touch down in front of the ship. Helmets came off, and twins waved at the crowd, along with a man with emerald green eyes and an unruly mop of brown hair.
Astrid growled and whipped around, grabbing Victoria and Lance. "I don't care what we have to do, but we're getting on that ship when everyone is touring it!" She snapped.
"Astrid, how the fuck did you get us on here!?" Lance asked in amazement as they strode through the halls of the wildly luxurious ship. The brochures and commercials did it no justice. The ship was beautiful and amazing, every single room and hallway a bright and comfortable mix of technology and artwork.
"Connections." She growled, storming through the halls with a determined look on her face.
They rounded the corner of the hallway they had been walking through and immediately found themselves staring at a state room. Essentially, a high end lounge for high end clientele on the ship, and Astrid knew exactly who was there. The symbol on the door had been a part of her life for years.
Lance and Victoria glanced at each other in concern. "Uh…Astrid, what are you doing!?" They demanded as she began to bang on the door wildly, slamming her closed fist against it as loudly as she could.
"You'll see," She growled. The door was pulled open as a curious faced Frank Inger appeared and, instantly, he stepped aside.
"Oh, Hiccup! You have a visitor!" He called. Sitting at the bar, four stools turned, and two people leapt over a bar and a single one immediately stood up and began to back away. Lance and Victoria watched with wide eyes from the door as Hiccup Haddock, the mighty owner of DragonTech Robotics backed away like a child.
"Hi! What can I uh…do for you?"
"You can explain to me why the fuck I saw three people skydiving to this bucket of bolts!?" Astrid snapped, fury in her eyes.
Hiccup pointed a finger. "It was their idea!"
"Shut your face!" Tuffnut yelled, his head popping up over the bar. "You agree- oh shit!" He retreated as Astrid's fiery glare found him. She turned back to the CEO, advancing on him like a tiger onto prey.
"I'm waiting…" Her voice was low and threatening.
"Rachel! Help please!" Hiccup begged to a deaf set of ears, taking more steps back, but he was steadily running out of space. Lance and Victoria looked to Fishlegs, who smiled at them good naturedly.
"No worries. This is normal."
Victoria looked horrified. "Normal? Astrid being on beast terms with the Board of Directors for DragonTech is not normal!"
Fishlegs turned a wondering look on them, an unspoken question on his lips. Astrid had had enough at this point though. She took a hard step forward and pointed a hard finger in Hiccup's face.
"I told you no skydiving! So, tell me again why you were skydiving!?" She yelled.
"Luke made me do it!" Hiccup protested. "Told me that if I didn't do it then I was whipped!"
Astrid cocked a head to the side. "Oh really?"
"And you listened to him? What have we talked about? Never listen to Luke!" She snapped.
Hiccup shrugged. "Now that isn't fair! I was also given explicit instructions to take the best care of him!"
Astrid rolled her eyes. "Taking care of him doesn't mean listen to stupid suggestions!"
Hiccup looked to say something else to her, but decided against it and dropped his stance entirely. "I am sorry."
Astrid relaxed. "That's better." She let out a breath to cool herself off before turning back into her two friends who, once she turned around and actually looked at them, looked exactly as confused as she assumed they would be.
"Lance, Victoria, come in please. Meet my friends Scott, Frank, Trevor, Ra- hey, get out from behind the bar! I'm not going to kill you yet!" Two heads popped up suspiciously from the bar and waved. "Those two are Trevor and Rachel, and this is Harry Haddock."
Introductions were thrown about quickly, and everyone was now standing in a circle, staring at one another. Lance and Victoria were still stunned, despite having met the board. "So…Astrid…you know these people how, exactly?" Victoria wondered.
Astrid shrugged. "DragonTech hired me on a few years ago and I got close to the board. One thing led to another and I lost the job."
Lance scrunched his face up in confusion. "Wait, wait, wait…when you lose a job, usually you don't remain friends with the Board of Directors of that job. Care to explain that?"
Astrid nodded. "Certainly. But don't be mad."
"Why?" Both her friends asked simultaneously.
"Because my last name isn't Hofferson."
Victoria threw her hands up and laughed wildly. "Oh haha, Astrid. Let me guess, you're gonna say something fucking ridiculous like your last name is Haddock or something stupid like that!" A
Astrid nodded, stepped into Hiccup's side and hugging him, feeling a strong around wrap around her shoulders. She leaned up and kissed him tenderly before looking back at them. "It is, actually. I've been married to Hiccup for just over three years now."
For several moments, silence extended into the room, Lance and Victoria looked around at the other members of the board for smirks or laughing. Seeing none, they looked back at Astrid, Hiccup and then back around again.
"You don't wear a ring." Victoria stated. In response, Astrid removed from her pocket her engagement and wedding rings and slid them onto her finger.
"I normally don't. Don't want them to get damaged or anything."
Silence resumed in the room. Lance finally gained the ability to speak.
"So…you stormed in here all mad because of the skydiving…"
"Because we love skydiving, and after those two monkeys got married, Hiccup had an accident and Astrid banned him from skydiving ever again, because she is his wife and she can do stuff like bully an international CEO who also just happens to be whipped as shit." Ruffnut finished for him, earning a glare from Astrid for her explanation. She only stuck her tongue out at her old protégé. For another few moments, silence retook them before Lance broke it.
"You people are fucking insane…" Lance muttered, covering his eyes.
Astrid giggled as she met Ruffnut's eyes, then looked back up at her husband. She kissed him again and rested her head against his chest, whispering into the fabric of the clothing of the man she loved.
"Only at DragonTech."
As I said in a previous chapter, I am willing to do a sequel to this, but I need to wait for HTTYD 3 to come out, and seeing as that is only supposedly happening in 2018, it'll be a long while yet! I hope to see all of you then!