DISCLAIMER: I do not own Storm Hawks but I do own the Terras - Houndis, Summerlandis and Bloodstone - not to mention Lachlan, The Summer Survivors (Squadron), Zadia Bloodstone (in this fic but credit must be given to the wonderful Catherine Jinks who created her in the first place), Melody Fredricks, Lady Amira (yes this one is different, she is MINE), Tazzie (finally get to use her for something!), the town of Longhorn, Bran and the Wolves Hide (another squadron). I also used some characters out of other movies or shows like Odie from Class of the Titans. Just to let you know, Ruka and Kaname are characters from the manga 'Vampire Knight'.
You might also notice a little later on in this chapter that I use some lines from Mary Poppins. That's because I think that Piper could portray Mary Poppins character quite well.
It all began in Atmos. Where there are things that we wouldn't normally see in the world we live in. From vampires and werewolves, to sky knights and terras. This is all our imaginative dreams come to life.
It is where no one can determine what will happen next, which person could disappear in front of your very eyes? It's like nothing anyone would have ever seen in their entire life. To the many people who lived or do live there, think of it as a place that is better than heaven.
Not that many of the people that say that have died. The only person who's done that is Odie. A sky knight of Terra Blisteria. Some say that he died from the dehydration of his expulsion from the city he lived his life in.
Others say that he was killed by the hand of his rival, Bran. Bran, in the eyes of Longhorn's residents, was always jealous of Odie's role as leader of the Buff Buzzards. Since his return from the grip death, he has retired and is now living comfortably in the biggest house of the city.
Other terras have their own sky knight and his or her squadron. Coming back to the vampires, they only live on one terra alone. Terra Bloodstone. A terra no one, not even the bravest of sky knights or their enemies, the Cyclonians, will land on.
They have their own set of rules and the neighbouring terras like Terra Summerlandis – where it's always summer – would sometimes hear screams from the vampires prey as they were pounced upon and their blood devoured.
The werewolves inhabit only Terra Houndis. All the inhabitants of this island are humans by day but werewolves by night.
Along with the other hounds – from which the terra was named – they continually hunted in the night but there wasn't as much noise that suggested as such. Many people say that the werewolves are of no threat as they don't eat humans and they try to keep their bites low.
Other terras weren't so lucky at keeping their destruction toll so low. Cyclonians took their attacks full of force and sometimes very close together. There were many families and individuals alike that have lost loved ones to the Cyclonians and Master Cyclonis' wrath.
Such a group of individuals were a small tight-knit group of teenagers. Aerrow, Finn and Lachlan. Lachlan and Finn were brothers but had lost everyone else. Aerrow on the other hand had lost everyone. The only thing in his life left was the little sky monkey he called Radarr.
It was on a little cliff top, near the western most point of Atmosia, that Finn, Lachlan, Aerrow and Radarr found each other and became friends. The boys went everywhere together so when Aerrow said he wanted to find the safest place in the Atmos, the others went with him.
The safest place – Terra Summerlandis - however, was dangerously close to the most lethal place – Terra Bloodstone – in Atmos. This is where the 4 boys' journey led them.
Aerrow and his friends passed over Terra Bloodstone in relative silence as they had heard the stories of what happened to people foolish enough to land there. Looking down upon the terra, it looks dank, and dark, and dreary.
Not like the sunny, friendly top of Summerlandis that they could finally see. Landing on Summerlandis they noticed at first the amount of children that ran amuck in its sunny and flower-filled fields.
Suddenly a terror filled shriek came from behind the boys and all the children on Terra Summerlandis stopped playing and dropped to their knees. They all bowed their heads and started to whisper.
Aerrow could barely hear them but his young ears caught the words, "Keep them safe." and "Rest in Peace." Just as suddenly as it started, the whispering and the shrieking stopped.
The four friends looked at each other in confusion. Then they simultaneously watched as an adorable, olive skinned girl about their age skip towards them. Halfway, the girl was joined by a blonde haired and blue eyed girl the same height and age.
The blonde whispered something to the olive girl and the two started giggling like there was no tomorrow. The olive skinned girl playfully slapped the other girl on the arm and the two started laughing again.
Finn, Aerrow and Lachlan shared a glance of confusion with each other then looked back at the girls who had mysteriously vanished in to thin air, "Who are you?" Startled, the boys spun around and saw the olive-skinned girl standing two footsteps behind them. The boys exchanged a wary glance before answering, "We're from Terra Atmosia. I'm Aerrow and this is Finn, Radarr and Lachlan."
The girl looked them over like she was viewing something in a store window, "I'm Piper. You'd better come with me. Outsiders aren't trusted much with the kids." The girl – Piper – beckoned for the boys to follow her. She led them along a maple lined avenue but stopped when they reached the only fully leaved tree in the avenue, "Sorry to keep you waiting Ruka."
Ruka – the blonde girl from before – dropped from the tree and as she did, all the leaves disappeared, "Yes. I wondered where you went my friend. Master Kaname awaits your arrival." Piper nodded, "Go ahead and tell him I shall arrive shortly. And also tell him to be more patient." Ruka disappeared in a whirlwind of leaves.
Piper started walking again and the boys followed at a steady pace. Aerrow decided to break the silence, "Who is this Master Kaname? Is he in league with Master Cyclonis?" Piper laughed, "Of course not. Master Kaname is a kind and gentle soul unlike Master Cyclonis but I cannot say much about him for you must see for yourselves."
Lachlan and Finn, mystified by what Piper said, looked at Aerrow dumbfounded. They didn't know what she was going on about. Aerrow, however, knew perfectly well what she was saying. She was imprisoned by him most likely or being threatened to say nothing about this person. He resolved to try and free her when he could.
As they left the avenue, a huge stone mansion took up most of their view. Menacing iron gates and frightening stone gargoyles sat on pillars on either side. The boys faltered in their step but Piper strode through them as if they weren't even there.
When the boys tried to follow her though, the gargoyle sprang to life and pounced, "Ah! Piper! Help us please!" Piper swung around with god speed, gripped the throat of the nearest gargoyle and threw him against the pillar of stone with lightning fast reflexes, "That will be quite enough of that."
The other gargoyle continued attacking, "WHEN YOU'VE QUITE FINISHED!" Piper screeched. The gargoyle froze and returned to his post meekly. Piper was seething, "Get up!" She started to lead the way in to the mansion. When she turned around to see the boys' progress, she got cranky to see they were still a few metres behind her so she barked, "Hurry up you four! Move!"
The boys moved like the devil was after them to Piper's side. Then they looked at her face warily. Aerrow noted she was making a huge visible effort to calm herself but when she spoke the earlier tension and anger still leaked a little in to her tone, "Sorry about that. Those gargoyles are getting to my last nerve. I keep telling Kaname to get rid of them."
Aerrow started. She had said 'Kaname' and not 'Master Kaname' or anything suggesting she was in his service. Without another word Piper and the boys trotted in to the mansion through the enormous oak wood doors. Piper led them through a maze of rooms and staircases before she stopped at a rather magnificent door made of cherry wood.
Knock-Knock-Knock! The sound of Piper's slender knuckles against the wood were echoed up and down the long hallway. A voice sounded inside granting her entrance, "Wait here." She whispered to Aerrow before opening the door and slipping inside. Lachlan, Finn and Aerrow heard the faint sounds of a whispered and hurried conversation within the room before the door swung open and a male voice called, "Enter Aerrow."
Lachlan and Finn looked startled but Aerrow squared his shoulders and stepped over the threshold. The door closed quietly behind him. Another hurried and whispered conversation took place before the door opened again and the voice sounded again, "Enter Finn, Lachlan and Radarr." Lachlan and Finn stepped closer together and Radarr leaped on to Lachlan's shoulder.
The boys entered the room and faltered for a moment taking in the furnishings and decor. There was red velvet covering the chairs, green velvet on the floor and black wallpaper. The ceiling itself was black with the only colour a vibrantly gold and antique chandelier hanging from the centre.
The two boys and monkey steeled themselves before looked at the voice who had summoned them. Their eyes sought the figure seated in the chair behind the great mahogany desk but to their surprise it was Piper seated there, "Ah yes. My niece. Such a lovely girl don't you agree?" The trio jumped and spun around to see a man or boy really – no more than 19 – standing behind them in a cream suit.
"Guys this is Kaname. He's Piper's uncle." Finn and Lachlan turned to their right to see Aerrow seated in one of the four velvet chairs on the side of the desk closest to the door. They hadn't seen him when they'd come in for the chairs back was much too high, "Oh Aerrow! You say it like it's something that should be publicised in the whole Atmos." Piper cried out. Finn looked again at 'Master' Kaname. With his shiny chocolate brown hair and even darker eyes, he was quite handsome. He was also very tall and thin.
Piper turned and winked at Radarr and the two boys. Finn felt his knees start to shake at the cute emotion that swept across her lit face, "Kaname, I think that the boys are weary after their long journey," she said, "And that they need something to eat." Kaname blinked three times and then murmured, "Yes, yes." He straightened, "Piper would you please escort these boys to where they will be sleeping the night?"
Piper stood, stretching her slender arms and shoulders, walked towards the cherry wood door and beckoned for the four boys to follow her.