Well, here it is, I have seen a few people comment on this as well as a few favorites, while I'm sure others have given up hope. The story is not dead yet, just twitching. So I decided to post this chapter and see what happens.
Dragon Speech: example
Thoughts/ thought command: Example
Human Speech: "example"
Marv Speech: Example
Stoic raised his hand to stop the troop of Vikings walking behind him. Earlier that morning he had called a meeting at Mead Hall where the main topic of conversation was the odd occurrence from the night before. By now, everyone who'd seen it had described it to those who hadn't, and almost everyone was in a state of either confusion or panic. After dealing with the various theories ranging from:
"It's a sign! Ragnarok has begun!" to
"A gift from the gods!" and even from one person:
"Our alien overlords have arrived!"
(which resulted in several audible groans), Stoic managed to bring together a search party of thirty Vikings as well as his son to comb the forest where it looked like the object had fallen. It had seemed like a good idea to bring Hiccup along, he figured outings like this would be good for the boy, but internally, he also wanted to give the village a break from him. That incident with his little contraption a while ago was fresh in his mind, and he wasn't keen on any repeats. His thoughts returned to the present as he looked ahead at what appeared to be smoke rising through the foliage in front of him. After about two hours of searching, it would be a relief to actually find something. He signaled to his brother Spitelout and a few of his other battle-brothers to follow him, and they crept quietly through the plant life. You wouldn't think it, but Vikings could be surprisingly stealthy when they needed to be, such as stalking a deer or other skittish game; or when approaching Thor-knows-what from Thor-knows-where. As they stepped past the bushes, Stoic's breath hitched in his throat. But not 10 feet in front of them was a large crater which appeared to have been blasted out of the earth. Trees within range of the crater had been torn up by their roots and shredded, with many bearing scorch marks that made it appear as if some rabid dragon had gone on a rampage.
When the group ventured out that morning, they had been expecting a crater, as nothing they knew of could fall from that far and not make a dent of some sort. They had also expected to find the object responsible for the crater within it, but instead all they had was an empty smoking hole in the ground with no sign of what made it. He gestured to one of the men in the group.
"Go get the others, see what they make of this."
He nodded before disappearing into the brush. Stoic carefully climbed into the crater and knelt to look at the ground. He experimentally tapped a smoking clump of dirt expecting it to be hot, but instead it was barely warm to the touch. He picked it up and rolled it around in his hand, breaking it apart with his fingers, releasing more smoke. He tossed the clump back to ground and continued looking around the crater.
Within moments, the rest of the group emerged from the trees and spread out over the crater. Despite all of the Vikings searching the area, they could find no sign of whatever caused the crash. To Stoic, it seemed that whatever caused this either got up and walked away, or was completely obliterated on impact. Whatever the case, he was glad it hadn't landed in the village where it could have caused a lot more damage.
Hiccup watched his father conversing with Spitelout. He wasn't sure why his father had brought him along, although he wasn't complaining, he still wondered. He would have thought his dad would be dead set on leaving him at the village, but instead, he seemed almost insistent on bringing him along.
It was strange looking at the crater; the way it was shaped showed that the… thing had hit at an angle. He glanced up and looked around. Right off the bat, he took note of the far wall of the crater; it looked almost as if something had slid up the wall, as opposed to having been blasted out. Another glance revealed that the surrounding trees, although scorched, didn't appear to have damaged by anything solid. If that thing was destroyed on impact, anything around should have been shredded by flying shrapnel, or flattened. He made up his mind, it was around here somewhere, and likely intact. He glanced again at the crater and mentally drew a line up the center. The way he had it figured, if whatever it was had bounced out of the crater, it would likely be somewhere along the direction that line pointed.
Travis slowly opened his eyes, squinting as the clear morning light blinded him. He was lying sprawled on the ground, his arms spread to his sides. He tried to look around, but his head and neck felt far heavier than they should, and he let them flop back. Where the hell am I? He blinked a few times to clear the haze his eyes seemed to be caught in, then noticed that his field of vision seemed to be limited at best. That's when the memories hit him full force; the flight, the overload… the crash. He was looking through the unpowered eye slits of the armor. He groaned and tried to roll over, but encountered the same weight problem as in his neck; he could barely budge an arm, let alone get up. At that point, he gave in and decided to just lay there.
He knew that normally he should be panicking at being trapped in a metal tomb and unable to move, but he also knew that if the armor ever lost power and the wearer found themselves in his situation, they would need a way out. Hence, he'd quietly incorporated a new addition to his tech arsenal: Nanites. Two kinds of them actually. The first were tuned towards repairing synthetic parts; in other words, they would get the armor up and running if it was damaged. The second type served a different purpose, but they were no less vital. They healed wounds at an inhumanly fast pace to keep the wearer alive and kicking even when gravely injured. If they were given enough time, they could even restore the occupant to good as new. He silently thanked himself he'd set them up the way he did. He'd almost made them run off of the central power system, but decided that if the suit lost power; the nanites would be useless, hence defeating their purpose. Instead he'd made them separate from the power systems, and wrote their instructions in a form of synthetic DNA stored inside each nanite. In a way, they were alive, and it was for situations like this that he'd made them that way.
He knew that at this moment, they were working on restoring power, but without anything to give him exact times, he wasn't sure how long it would take. Considering the damage the suit systems could have taken, he figured it would be at most a week before the suit was fully functional again, but that was with no access to the right tools to speed the process along. Hopefully it would be just a few hours until power was restored and he could at least move. For now he had nothing to do, and he was exhausted after the night's events. After staring at the sky for a while, he nodded off.
What the hel IS that? Hiccup drew his dagger and held it ready as he crept forward through the brush. In a small field in front of him, some kind of shiny object laid at the end of a shallow trench that had been dug out of the ground.
He blinked a few times and pinched himself. Whatever it was, it was clearly made out of metal, but it was shaped like a man and had a dark triangle in the center of its chest, with two equally dark shapes on its face about where eyes would be.
Seeing as it wasn't moving, he slowly emerged from the bushes and walked up to it. Now that he was closer he could make out some of the finer details. The way the face was arranged, it looked like a cold, hard stare. The curvature of the slits made it look like its "eyes" were narrowed in anger or extreme irritation. He knelt down and lightly tapped the arm, confirming it was metal. As he observed the object, his mind was running wild.
Who made this? It shines like fine steel, with no apparent flaws… How did they form it? Even Gobber with his experience couldn't craft this. Whoever forged this is likely the most talented smith in all of Midgard… or even all the realms of Yggdrasil…
He glanced up at the sky then back down at the figure at his feet, suddenly wary of the shining object. It had fallen from the sky during one of the worst thunderstorms ever seen. For all he knew, it could have been sent (or cast out) by the gods themselves. Having made up his mind, he turned and started running back to the adults.
Stoic face-palmed. He had brought Hiccup along not only to get him out of the village for a while, but also to see if he could come up with anything reasonable regarding what they were dealing with, but as soon as he'd turned around, he saw that the boy had vanished. He inwardly sighed and started wandering around looking for him. He knew he should have expected it; the boy had the shortest attention span he'd ever seen, and had a knack for getting into things he shouldn't, which is why it was best to keep the boy in sight at all times. This was another reason he'd brought him along, yet he'd still slipped away. He silently reprimanded himself; the boy was sixteen now, a man by Viking standards, and Stoic knew he shouldn't have such a grip on him, but he was genuinely concerned for him, he just didn't know how to express that.
Stoic stopped, his senses suddenly on full alert; he heard something crashing through the bushes to his left. It wasn't steady footfalls, but irregular patterns, almost as if whatever was making them was stumbling and stripping every third or fourth step… Hiccup emerged from the bushes and almost face planted directly into Stoic's chest, panting heavily.
"Dad! Uh, hi! pant You need to pant see this pant I…"
Stoic stood there for a moment, bewildered by the sudden appearance of his son, and his ramblings. What's gotten inteh im'?
"Hiccup! Where have yeh…" He stopped. "What happened?"
Hiccup took a few more breaths, and then continued.
"Dad, were not alone out here! I wanted to see if I could find that thing from last night, so I went looking!" Stoic's eye's narrowed. "Well, I found something."
"I-I don't know, dad. It's shaped like a person, but it's made of metal or something like that-"
As Hiccup tried to describe what he'd supposedly seen, Stoic began to think. Tales like this were not new, Hiccup had a reputation for outlandish stories and "beyond the norm" beliefs, no doubt because of Gobber, but this particular iteration was new.
"-sent by the gods-" Stoic raised his hands to stop his son. Before this goes too far…
"Hiccup, now is not the time. After wha' happened last night, I need yeh teh be serious about this."
"Dad, I am serious! I'm telling you what I saw! I followed where the crater pointed and…"
Stoic was getting irritated quickly. "Hiccup! How can I know you're not makin' this up!?"
"I saw it with my own eyes! It's probably still there!"
At that, Hiccup turned and began disappearing into the brush. Deciding to follow, but feeling nonetheless cautious, Stoic gestured to some of the Vikings who had turned to watch the scene, instructing them to follow him. As Hiccup led them into the forest, Stoic noted his son did seem to have a pretty solid idea of where he was going. The other Vikings behind him though, didn't seem to think the same. Stoic could hear the occasional whisper among the group if he listened closely enough.
"Why are weh' followin' im'?"
"Maybe the boy's onteh' somethin'?"
"At leas' the chief seems teh' think so…"
At that Stoic shot a hard glance backward, effectively shutting up the group. After another minute of walking, the party emerged into a small clearing in the forest. The first thing stoic saw was a trench in the ground. As his eyes reached the far end of the trench, his eye's widened slightly in surprise. From how rigidly the other Vikings were standing, they'd seen it too. They slowly advanced on the brilliantly shining object, taking in more details as they advanced.
What do you know… the boy was right.
It was clearly shaped like a man, and was sprawled haphazardly on the ground. He knelt to examine it, and immediately noted the surface of the object. Whatever bits of it weren't covered in dirt and grime, shone brilliantly in the morning light. It reminded him vaguely of polished steel, similar to what you'd find in the finest of ceremonial swords, but a feeling in his gut told him that this was much, much stronger.
As Stoic looked over the sight, he noticed that the trench pointed in the direction of the original crater, so from what he could tell, the figure had come from that direction.
How did it survive the hit? After a flight like that, there shouldn't be anything left, yet there's only a scratch or two!
"What is ih', Stoic?"
"It looks like body armor er somethin'; similar teh what those crazy Saxon's wear, jus' more protective, but I don't see how yeh'd put it on." He thought for a moment, and then continued.
"As much as I hate teh say it, we have teh' take it back to the village. There may be someone inside ih' and until weh' know what their intentions are, we need teh' keep a close eye on em'."
The others stared at him dumbfounded but didn't question, except for one.
"Stoic? We only just found im', how can we know whoever's in that thing isn't a danger to us?" Stoic turned a calm, but commanding eye to the offending Viking.
"We can't. Until weh' know his intentions, he will beh' kept under heavy guard, and since yeh' seem teh' be the most concerned abou' any threat he may pose, you jus' volunteered fer' tha' job."
He turned away from the now scowling Viking and turned his attention back to the figure at his feet. It hadn't stirred or spoken once during the past few minutes, and wasn't showing signs of starting soon. He knelt down and lifted lift one of the figures arms, and was surprised at just how heavy its arm alone was. The other Vikings joined in and tried to lift the armor together and succeeded in getting it off the ground, but it didn't take long to figure out that they wouldn't get far. They went for another try, but then paused for a second when they thought they heard a grunt from somewhere. They shrugged it off, but almost jumped out of their skin when an unseen voice yelled:
"What are you DOING!?"
Travis was unceremoniously dumped on the ground as the men above him drew their weapons looking for the source of the noise. He'd yelled out like that after seeing the men that he would later find were Vikings trying to lift him. In all honesty though, wouldn't you respond the same if you woke to several incredibly large men with their arms and hands wrapped around various parts of you and trying to take you somewhere? He'd almost gone into a panic.
He rolled his eyes and watched as they scanned the surrounding foliage for the source of the voice.
They turned back in surprise hearing the voice coming from the figure they'd just been manhandling. Almost immediately, several of them held their blades over him, and the others backed away cautiously.
"Whoa, whoa, WHOA!" he yelped, looking at the wickedly glinting metal held above him.
He knew they didn't have a chance of getting through the armor, but still, the feeling of waking up to being manhandled then held at sword point was not pleasant.
"Jesus! What did I do!? I'm just laying here!"
A burly, red haired man with the biggest beard Travis had ever seen moved forward and glowered down at him. Travis shivered when he met his eyes. His gaze was as hard as steel and on an impulse; Travis assumed he had a very short temper.
"Don' make any sudden moves, foreigner. Yer' out matched". He practically spat the word out.
Travis stared back at him. Oh joy, I like him already.
"Don't worry, I wasn't planning on it." With an attitude like that though, I sure wish I could.
"Good." There was silence between them for a moment, before the man spoke up again.
"So, Who. Are. You?"
Jeeze, I had to go back and re-read everything I wrote to make sure that everything was consistent when I wrote this, and even then I'm not sure. I also came to a realization that I haven't touched this since January. My thoughts drift to it in some form every day, but I just now sat down and did something about it. I have a few ideas in mind for future chapters should I ever reach them, but for now, I just have to take this one step at a time. Also a small note: the formatting in this chapter may be a little different than the previous. I wanted to try and make the text less confusing as well as clean up the style for future chapters (if they happen). I'm still experimenting though, so feedback on how I can improve the formatting would be well appreciated!