Wow, er, hey guys… remember me? It's sure been a long time! I can't actually remember when I last updated this one! But inspiration struck me and I descided to finish this next chapter.
Hope you enjoy,
Blinding sunlight made Aerrow shield his eyes with his ands. Looking around he saw that he was in a courtyard – full of people.
"Leave her alone!" there was a furious shout. Pushing through the crowds, swords at the ready, he came to the centre of the circle. Taking a quick glance around he realised that many were older and younger teens. Clutching his drawn swords, so tight that his knuckles where turning white he stepped out into the open circle.
"Let go of my daughter!" a furious dark haired Sky Knight growled, her hands clutching her weapon tightly.
Turning he saw a very scaly, hissing reptile. "Repton," he snarled.
"Let her go!" there was another furious female voice.
"Starling, Starling, Starling…" Repton grinned patronisingly as if he was speaking to a three-year-old. "D'you really think that after all these years, I'd let a prize catch like this go?" For the first time Aerrow saw who the daughter was. Matted purple hair fell over her shoulders, and shining blue crystal eyes shone from their sockets. She struggled, but it was futile – as Repton pushed his muscular arm further up against her throat.
"FAYA!" there was a terrified cry as Aerrow saw an elder teen crash through the crowd, swords ablaze, red hair flopping over his face.
"Finish him off Spitz," Repton commanded and with a swipe of a deadly claw the boy fell to the ground – blood pooling around his chest.
"You bastard!" Faya screamed, kicking against the lizard's body – tears streaming down her face. Aerrow stepped up, and so did Piper.
"Didn't you know about your children's little affair?" Repton hissed. The Interceptor to his left let out a furious battle cry, and launched into the circle, attacking Spitz full on. Although Aerrow had no intention of fatally murdering anybody, and stepped up to Piper, wanting to leave this crazy world behind.
"Piper…" he looked at her with shining emerald green eyes. "Pi, I know you can hear me…" With that she turned – her beautiful amber eyes glistening with unshed tears. "H-h-he killed…" she trailed off, not being able to form words.
Taking a deep breath Aerrow took her shoulders. "Pi, this is all just a illusion – just what you told me. You've gotta get outa here. You're not thirty-three, nor are you a mother. You're eighteen, and dieing in your room in the Condor. If you wake up it will be over. Please."
She didn't listen to him. "Aerrow, what about Isa and Zrux?" she swallowed. "They need…"
He cut her off with a gentle finger on her lips, though refusing to let his blush deepen. "Right now I'm kissing you. It was the only way I could get into your head. Please Piper. Master Cyclonis wanted to cause you this pain – and I want to get you out of here."
The Amazonian Goddess, took his fingers from her lips, and held his hand gently in her own. "And how are you going to do that?" she asked, wanting and trying to block the scene around them, from her mind.
"Kiss you…" surprising him, Piper didn't actually look to shocked.
"You didn't even have to ask," she looked up at him expectantly, lowering his lips Aerrow let them join with hers.
And for that split second, he felt like he was in heaven.
Gasping for breath Aerrow felt like someone had poured cold water over him. Shaking his head like a wet dog he immediately turned his attention to Piper – had it worked? Was this nightmare finally over? Grabbing her hands gently he gazed into her face.
Suddenly two amber eyes shot open – but they where cloudy and grey, and tears started fall down her face.
"Aerrow!" her voice was cracked and dry from un-use. "Please help me."
"Crap," Rio murmured, everybody looked at him, but Aerrow was focused on Piper, and Piper alone. "Aerrow, she's giving a prophecy," Aerrow's hands tightened around hers. "Aerrow, just keep telling her you're there, she'll be alright." He didn't dare tell him that she might not wake up after. Aerrow pulled himself into the bed with her. So she was sat on his lap. Cradling her like a newborn baby he whispered useless words of comfort into her hair – rocking her back and forth.
Piper froze, and her eyes widened, there where no longer the burnt amber colour that Aerrow had fallen in love with, but they were blue.
A deep midnight blue spun in the irises, Radarr screeched with fear, at the unworldly appearance of the second in command. Her head fell back and her mouth opened. Golden dust spurted from her mouth, enveloping the pair in shining light. A voice, that was no longer the girl that the people in the room knew, rang out around the room.
"The light will find the answers,
The dark will become stronger.
Friends will become lovers,
And the one shall find their place…"
The voice ended, and the gold dust flooded back into the young woman. Her love continued to cradle her, face buried in her hair. Piper buried her face into Aerrow's chest.
"A-A-Aerrow?" she stuttered.
"I'm right here," he whispered gently.
"It hurts!" she moaned.
"All over," she stopped shaking – and her wide eyes faded back into their usual shade. "Don't make me go back! I can't!" There was the sound of desperation in her voice. "I can't!"
"It's going to be fine!" he snapped back at her, gripping her arms, and tears running down his face. "You're gonna be fine! It's all just a dream Piper! Please don't do this to us – all of us! Please! We need you!" I LOVE YOU! His voice screamed in his head, wanting to be heard, but foolishly and selfishly he let it scream in the back of his mind, over and over again.
"I don't want to go back!" the cry was ripped from her mouth. Finn winced, and Junko turned his head, horrified at what they where both seeing.
As sudden as she woke, her eyes rolled back into her head, and she slumped into Aerrow's arms. The man in question clutched her even closer and pressed his face into her midnight blue hair. His body shook with silent and shocked sobs, as he continuously whispered her name over and over again, rocking her in tandem with his voice, and methodically stroking her hair. The other Hawks watched in shock as their strong, reliable and faithful leader shattered in front of them.
Finn felt a slim hand slip into his own and squeezed it when he realised that it was Starlings small pale digits intertwining gently with his. Rio didn't say a word, but directed the other Hawks and the Interceptor out of the room, leaving the pair in peace.
It was surreal for the red headed leader as he breathed in the mocha earthy sent of the teams navigator. Her pulse had returned to normal and her breathing had slowed to a – unsteady – but stable pace. Placing her back down onto the bed the young man stroked her hair out of her face and pulled the blanket back up to her chin, and pressed his forehead gently to hers, wincing as he realised that it was slightly hotter than usual.
"Piper," he whispered as if it was a silent prayer, ghosting a kiss over her forehead. "Please stop doing this to me! I love you too much, and I need you more than this team, more than defeating the Dark Ace, I need the future that we're going to have together. I need YOU!" his desperation was tearing through him and he was going to go mad if she didn't rise from her infinite sleep soon. He knew that he had to leave soon, and get back to his team, and back to his own retched life. Swallowing the tears that once again going to flow down his face he pressed his lips to her cooling ones, turned and left.
Because if he hadn't he knew that he wouldn't be able to turn away again.
The crew turned as Aerrow confidently walked into the bridge. The light afternoon sunlight seemed to be mocking him as it swept its way across the dusty metal floor in hues of yellow-orange. His uniformed boots tapped softly on the hard metal, as he sat on the sofa surrounding the main round table set in the middle of the bridge. The others looked at him in confusion, wondering what he was doing. Radarr went up and nuzzled his master on the underside of the chin, purring in concern and asking for a pet. Aerrow ignored him and the sky monkey scowled, going and curling up next to Junko.
Finn posed the question. "Well dude, what are we gonna do?"
Aerrow looked at him and shrugged.
"What d'you mean?"
"I don't know," the leader looked at him, green eyes dull and lifeless.
"You can't not know," Finn pressed his friend, his worry about his mental state skyrocketing.
"Guess what Finn," Aerrow snarled, fists clenched at his sides. "I don't know!" he slammed his fist on the table, and Radarr yelped, scampering up onto Junko's shoulder, giving a look to the other skymonkey, Eclipse was hanging onto her masters shoulder, looking as grim as a small furry animal could. Standing Aerrow glowered at his wingman, the anger rippling over his skin and his strong shoulders. "You know what – you do the leading, you think of somewhere to go!"
"Man, I was-"
"Just shut UP FINN!" Aerrow dug his hands into his hair and ignored the stares from the rest of his team as he took it out on his wingman. "Just GO AWAYI!" The red head gripped his hair tighter, trying to make the mental pain go away with the physical pain he was inflicting on himself. The rest of the team looked at him in shock.
"Aerrow I think that you need to-"
"Don't tell me to calm down!" he rounded on the purple headed Sky Knight, almost snarling in anger, at his friend.
She narrowed her eyes at him. "Do you really think that Piper would want you to act like this Aerrow?" she paused trying to contain her own anger. "Do you really think that she would want you-"
"DON'T TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK THAT PIPER WOULD KNOW!" Aerrow roared suddenly, as he patience snapped. "AT LEAST I DIDN'T HARM HER!" the other occupants in the room wondered why Starling visibly flinched away. Finn was the one to step in, realising that his leader had gone to far.
"Hey, what has Starling ever done to you?" he snapped, blue eyes shining angrily.
"It's not what she's done to me," he snarled, lip curling.
"What?" Finn looked across at Starling in confusion.
"Back out of it Aerrow," Starling replied. "You need a female on board to keep this old tin can afloat – and you know it. If I need to take Piper's place for now I'm fine with it, but if you want to argue about it then I'm not fine. I'll take my leave," she swiftly turned on her heel and Junko's ears went back on his head, not liking what he was seeing at all. Radarr whined and tried to nudge Stork over to prevent the elder Knight from leaving.
"You're calling my bluff," Aerrow dared, his emerald green eyes narrowing challengingly. His reply was met with silence, as the last member of the Interceptors walked out of the bridge.
The team was falling apart, even Flow could see it as she sat wearily next to her mate, Rio had several of Piper's maps scattered across the table and he and Finn were trying to work out the most likely place for the helix stone. Junko was doing the best to try and make himself useful whilst Aerrow had disappeared soon after Starling had walked out. Eclipse was curled up on her lap and the pale blue merb scratched her on the back of her head, deep in thought. Stork leaned forwards, his greasy hair sliding over his eye as he regarded the map with the other two males.
"I'm still thinkin' that it's gonna be somewhere obvious," Finn crossed his arms over his chest whilst Radarr cocked his head in question.
"What d'ya mean Finn?" Junko was perched on the seat, licking his fingers clean from the mess of the second sandwich in the past hour.
The teen shrugged, hoping his dad would understand. The man in question rubbed his chin, and nodded in agreement with his son. "But what would be powerful enough to protect a helix stone?"
"The Leviathan we faced was pretty scary," Junko shuddered at the memory.
"That's the stuff of legends," his father looked on at the small group impressed. "I see where you're coming from Junko, but the problem is that Leviathan's don't tend to stay in one place. They tend to guard their whole territory, which can spread for miles," he paused. "We need a creature that's powerful enough us lot don't go near it, but also one that has a crystal attached-"
"Phoenix's!" Flow suddenly yelled, startling Eclispe so she leapt of her lap and onto the table.
"What?" Stork shifted away from his mate slightly, thinking that she'd caught a serious bought of mindworms.
"Stork don't you see PHOENIX'S! They have a phoenix crystal attached to them, if we can track one down that is powerful and large enough to control the power of a helix crystal then think of what it can do with Piper! It can heal Piper!" she was getting excited now, and everyone could feel the electricity buzzing in the air. Finn let out a whoop and punched the air, Junko grinned at her.
"Well?" Stork cut through the jubilation. "Is there a phoenix that powerful? Is there a way that we can retrieve the helix crystal without dying? Is there any way that we're going to be able to control the raw power the crystal holds?"
As damning as the questions were, it did bring the reality crashing down around them. What were they going to do? How exactly were they going to do it?
"How famous are you guys?" Rio cut through the silence, and the three remaining males of the Storm Hawks shifted.
"We're pretty up there," Junko replied modestly, scratching his ear. Radarr nodded in agreement, looking as sheepish as the wallop did.
"So there would be people willing to help?"
"What'dya mean?" Finn asked, glancing at Stork in confusion.
"Think about it kid. Once the news that you're getting this helix stone, from the phoenix-"
"Possible phoenix," Stork interjected with his normal dose of pessimism, and Flow dug him in the ribs to make a point.
"Then the full army's of all that's evil will be upon you like a iron fist," Finn dropped his fist from the air, and sank down next to Junko.
"Man, we're screwed. And now we've lost Starling," he ran his hands through his hair, causing it to flop in different directions. It had almost lost it's usual jazz, as Finn slowly lost his will to live.
"It can't be all that bad," as normal Junko was the optimist. "If we can get as many squadrons as possible to help us, then I'm sure that we can fight off the cyclonian's,"
Flow nodded. "Sure that's a possibility, but what about meeting where Cyclonis doesn't notice us? 'Cause a heck of a lode of squadrons meeting together is going to look pretty suspicious,"
Stork scratched his chin, a plan forming in his mind. It was a way that this could actually work, and how not to get killed at the same time. "Wasn't there that tavern were we fought off the leviathan?" he posed the idea, and the rest seemed to work with the skeleton of the plan that was forming in his mind.
"Yeah, that Sky Shanty town," the expression dawned on Finn's face. "If we meet up there then Clyclonis won't expect a thing!"
Stork rubbed his hands together. "I think I have a cunning plan…"
Sorry I had to leave it like that, but my brain has melted!
I actually forgot some of my own plot lines! (The embarrassment)
Hopefully this was okay, and I'm surprised, since I started writing this, how far my writing has come. Both in maturity and ideas!
This is still going to follow the orginainl plot, and I'm already falling back into my old writing style! *eek*
Please read and review,
Have a nice Sunday, and the rest of the week.
(and Christmas, if I don't update before then!)