Hey, hey, hey! Chapter 15!
You know the drill, enjoy!
I don't own Storm Hawks or Dragon Booster.
Piper and Aerrow stepped out to the other side of the Gate, and for the first time in what seemed like ages, they felt Atmosian ground beneath their feet, and saw the familiar towers of land that rose from the Wastelands around them. Piper shut her eyes, took in a deep breath of air, and then slowly let it out. Her amber eyes opened a moment later, however, as she realized the Condor wasn't there.
Aerrow looked to have the same line of thought as he gazed around the clouded sky, hoping to see the hulking ship they called home. He finally spotted it hovering above a small islanded terra to the north of them. However, he felt his body go rigid as he saw Talons – many Talons – surrounding the thing. They weren't attacking it, which made him even more anxious to know what was going on.
Piper, having seen it also, clambered onto her heliscooter, which had miraculously stayed untouched near the gate. She motioned for Aerrow to hop on behind her, which he did. The pair silently flew up to the Condor, trying to asses the situation.
Looking back at Aerrow and bringing a finger to her lips, she signaled to keep quiet and flew to the window. What they saw made whatever hope they had left plummet. Their friends – Starling included – were tied up and sitting back-to-back, the Dark Ace standing over them with sword ignited. Radarr was lying limp near a wall on the other side of the room, making Aerrow fear the worst.
Without consulting his friend, the red-head pulled out both his brace and amulet, and put the two in place. He silently transformed into the Sky Booster, much to Piper's surprise – and a bit to his as well; the thought that the armour might not work in another dimension had entered his mind more than once. He quickly jumped off the ride, and, using his gained power, he jumped to the roof of the Condor. Quietly landing, the now-white-haired teen signaled for Piper to follow him. The tactician quickly complied and landed her heliscooter suit.
Without a sound, the two carefully crept into the ship, luckily unnoticed by any Talons.
"Now, to finally finish off you little brats." The Dark Ace brought his sword up once more, already relishing his win. He let the sword drop down, releasing its energy in one, huge blast.
However, it didn't hit his intended target.
A bright blast of grey intercepted it before it could hit Starling and the remaining Storm Hawks, averting it to the wall. Looking at the ashy blast mark that now adorned the paneling, the Dark Ace snarled. "Now what?!" He whipped around, only to find that girl and some guy clad in gray and blue armour. Can't those incompetent Talons fend of any intruders?! He thought angrily to himself. He could hear his captors give out sighs of relief.
"Piper!" Junko called joyously. "You're back!"
"Just in time, it looks like. Jeeze, can't you guys fend for yourselves for just a couple of days?" she asked jokingly. Aerrow – thought the crew didn't know it was him – smirked.
"Enough!" the Dark Ace roared. Within a flash, he charged at Aerrow. The teen was prepared, however, and easily parried his blow.
The two clashed weapons once more, and began a practical fight of strength as each tried to push the other away. "Piper," Aerrow called, "free the others. I got him!" With that, Aerrow gave a strong push and forced the Dark Ace further away from the group.
The Cyclonian commander grunted as he blocked another swipe from the disguised-teen's staves. Aerrow continued to attack, determined to keep his team safe.
Piper rushed over to the tied up group, confident that Aerrow had it handled. She untied Starling first, who proceeded to help untie the rest. The group stretched their legs and looked towards the three bewildered Talons that were supposed to be guarding them. The Cyclonians gulped. Stepping up towards them fearlessly, Piper swiftly hit one of them on the top of their head, rendering him unconscious. The two others looked at each other, looked at the Storm Hawks, then looked at the window. The Storm Hawks watched the two men jump out the window, and slowly glide down into the Wastelands with parachutes open.
With the Talons taken care of for the moment, Piper rushed over to the wall and knelt down near Radarr. She nudged him a small bit, hoping he'd wake up. He did.
The little sky monkey gave out a small churr while shakily standing up. He looked up at Piper, smiled, and gave her a thumbs-up to show he was alright.
The girl sighed in relief, then looked towards the only other fight going on with curiosity.
"Who is he?" Finn asked, pointing a finger in Aerrow's direction.
"You don't recognize him?" Piper asked, a bit of amusement in her voice.
"Should we?" Starling cut in. "And where's Aerrow?"
Piper just stared at the group. Could they seriously not put two-and-two together?
"Wait a minute…" Stork started, his eye twitching. "Is that Aerrow?"
Piper couldn't help but smile. Finally someone got it. "Yeah, that's Aerrow."
The crew gaped. "What?....How?"
"Kind of a long story."
The five couldn't help but stare at Aerrow, including Radarr.
Finn let out a small, almost nervous laugh. "Huh." They turned back to the fight.
The Dark Ace snarled at his adversary, his strength leaving him. He had to make a decision. Either fight or flight, all up to him. He could see that the Talons he brought with him into the Condor had either been knocked unconscious or jumped ship. He let out a quiet, frustrated sigh.
He straightened up, and looked his opponent in the eye. "Next time, kid, I'll get you." With those words, he whipped out a small, violet crystal, set it off, and disappeared without a trace. The Talons outside the ship, having seen their Commander escape, turned tail and fled back to Cylconia.
Aerrow turned to them, though still in his armor. "Uh, Stork? Maybe you should get us out of here? You know, before more Cyclonians come?"
Stork's ears pricked in realization. His friend had a point. The merb quickly scampered over to the controls and put the ship in full gear, getting his beloved – and his friends – back to safety.
Aerrow removed his amulet and shifted back to his former look. He looked up at his crew and smiled. It felt like it had been ages since he had last saw them.
His sharpshooter came over to his side and slapped him on the back. "Nice to have 'ya back, dude!" He heard the others agree, relieved.
"So, what's with the suit thing?" Junko asked, pointing at the brace on Aerrow's arm.
Aerrow half-heartedly smiled. "A story for another time, trust me." They laughed at the answer.
With that, the Condor sailed off into the sunset, her crew finally back together.
"So, you say you can help us?" Master Cyclonis asked, her dark eyes flitting around her desk, multiple designs and papers scattered on it.
A voice replied through an odd crystal, the man she was talking to appearing on the face of it. "Yes. We have many supplies and weapons that could help you obtain your goal. They come at a price, of course."
"Of course," the teen leader replied. "You help me, I help you. Simple as that, correct?"
"Yes, Master Cyclonis. Do you agree to those terms?"
"I most certainly do." Her purple eyes looked up towards the wall, a wicked smile threatening to come onto her face. "Let it begin, Word Paynn."
"Let it begin," he answered back, smiling.
Yup, that's the end. For now, at least…
Please review! Please please please :D
Again, thank you to Tempest Hawk, my plot writer, and all the wonderful people who have reviewed! Cookies to all!