The dragon flew gracefully over the land below, the noon day sun bouncing off his glittering golden scales. Within his great clawed hands sat his second in command who rested against his palms contentedly. Coming within sight of the massive crowds of people he called out to them with a roar before adjusting his wings, allowing himself to hover before them before landing. Releasing his charge, he looked to the people, absently noting the armies of Urnst and Furyondy had already begun to disperse.
"It is time!" Prometheus announced in his deep, rich voice. "Let us return to our homes so that we might begin the process of renew!"
Thousands clapped and cheered as he stretched forth one of his clawed hands. Powerful arcane words came flowed from his mouth and a swirling multi-colored gateway opened before them, revealing the golden fields of Celestia. Turning to the people, he beckoned them with his other claw.
"Fear not! Step through and rest for we must enter the realm of the gods before I can return us to Aerdi. Rest assured, no harm will come to you there."
As the crowd slowly began to filter through the gate, Beowulf asked him quietly. "Why do we not simply march them home?"
Prometheus muttered more arcane words before carefully tapping Beowulf on the head with a claw. Suddenly he heard the dragon's powerful voice echo inside his head.
~~Do you see any food or supply trains here Beowulf?~~ Prometheus asked mentally. ~~Iuz never expected to feed these people as undead have no need of such things. No doubt that is why he killed the main force of his army before raising them as inferi. These people would not be able to march for two weeks without food and the lands around would not be able to supply so many. Thus we are taking a shortcut.~~
Beowulf nodded silently as they watched the people march. Presently, Davis's hard light avatar came up to them. He first looked at Beowulf and the dragon contemplatively before rapping his knuckles against the dragon's shin. Prometheus looked down to see the hologram standing next to him.
"Heaven's Light said you wanted me to stay behind as a link to our world." Davis stated with a slight frown.
The dragon nodded. "Indeed I did. I realize you have not seen your home in some time. If you wish, you may return there though I would ask that you return here within a reasonable amount of time."
"Tell me," Davis continued, eying the dragon speculatively, "are you familiar with the term 'nanite'?"
The dragon looked at him sharply, his gaze considering the machine before him before he spoke. "I am. Make of that declaration what you will, but you will not speak your conclusions aloud unless I permit it. The dark forces have not been defeated utterly and they have many ears."
Davis nodded thoughtfully, stepping up next to Beowulf. Giving the gnoll a significant look, Beowulf glanced back at him and nodded briefly causing Davis to smile. The machine's eyes glowed blue for a moment before he looked over at the dragon.
"Heaven's Light is now aware." He stated cryptically.
Glancing at him, the dragon nodded without saying a word.
The afternoon wore on as thousands upon thousands of troops passed through the gate. Finally it was time for the remaining three to depart. Beowulf and Davis walked through the gate before Prometheus lumbered through, the gateway closing behind him. The people milled about in awe of their heavenly surroundings. As Pelor approached Prometheus, His voice resounded inside Prometheus's head.
~~You look as though you have come to conquer my realm.~~ The god said jokingly.
Prometheus smiled. ~~Never, Great One. Forgive the mess I have made in bringing them here but the gate spell does not permit travel between two points on the same plane.~~
~~Of this I am aware.~~ Pelor replied. ~~Take care not to rest on your laurels. Your desire has been granted and these people are now yours. Look after them as if they were your own hatchlings.~~
~~I will try to be a good father to them.~~ Prometheus replied.
Pelor summoned forth his will, creating a multitude of portals in front of the masses.
"My people!" Prometheus called to them. "The portals before you have been created by the Radiant Lord Pelor so that you might return to your cities and homes with all due haste. Go now and prepare yourselves for the day is soon coming that your hands and minds will be needed to rebuild this great kingdom! Speak of all that has been done for you and praise the gods for their mercy! You have seen the light and grace of the gods and returned to tell the tale, a feat only a few could claim! You are blessed, my people, always remember that!"
The multitude dropped to their knees, praising Pelor and Prometheus for several moments before the god bid them to rise and return to their homes. As the people walked through, various portals opened and closed until finally, the three were alone with Pelor. Turning to Davis and Beowulf, he began to speak.
"You are aware of who Prometheus is, and more specifically who he is not, correct?" The sun god asked.
Beowulf nodded. "My Alpha has made it clear to me."
"I'm afraid I'm still lost on the details, your Holiness." Davis admitted.
"You may remove your cloak of invisibility here, machine." Pelor informed him. "The dark gods have no way of perceiving you here."
The air behind Davis shimmered and his large body appeared. Pelor gave him an appraising look.
"You are a most fascinating machine." He said admiringly. "Never have I seen such metalwork from the beginning of eternity to this very day."
Davis smiled. "Just as I have never seen a god until today. It seems I have been mistaken about a great many things." Davis looked over at Prometheus. "It seems I owe you an apology Ash."
The great dragon frowned. "Do not use that name to refer to me. Asher Walters died on the battlefield along with the former Canon Hazen. I am Prometheus, Ascendant and protector of Utopia."
Davis frowned in confusion. "I'm afraid I don't understand. You are aware of what nanites are and Beowulf is clearly loyal to you. Who else could you be?"
"Grant me the use of your nanites and I shall enlighten you." Prometheus told him.
A grey stream of millions of machines flowed from openings in Davis's body. Inhaling them through his nostrils, the machines quickly began to multiply exponentially using the raw power inherent in the dragon's body as fuel. As they flooded throughout his body the machines began collecting extraordinary amounts of data regarding the dragon. A specific grouping within the dragon's head quickly formed themselves into a transmitter. Tapping into the machines with a thought, he connected to Davis's transmitter.
~~Are you ready to receive my memories?~~ He asked.
Davis blinked at the powerful voice reverberated within him. "Wow. So that's what people mean when they talk about hearing the 'voice of god'. But yes, I'm ready."
Suddenly Davis's avatar flickered in and out of existence as a flood of information poured down the link. The machines powerful processors struggled to keep up with the data flow, diverting more and more cycles to processing the data until his avatar vanished entirely in an attempt to shut down all non-essential systems to free up processing power. Finally after several seconds, an eternity of processing time for the machine, Davis's body reappeared looking rather shell-shocked.
"That…was…wow!" He exclaimed. "All that history, the interconnections between the space-time dimensional fabric and the energy matrix weave! It's incredible! You've blown virtually every scientific law and foundation of physics out of existence with this stuff! With this we can…we can…!"
"Enough!" Prometheus stated firmly. "I did not grant you the knowledge gained through my transformation so that you could use it for such petty concerns! I will not have that knowledge used for selfish reasons, is that understood?"
Davis looked ready to argue the point before he saw the dangerous look in the dragon's eye. Calming himself, Davis chose his words carefully before speaking. "This information could be used to great benefit for the people at home. Think of what we could accomplish with such knowledge."
Prometheus sighed. "You still do not understand. You look upon me and see a human who has taken on the form of a dragon for a time, expecting at any moment that I will change back and all will be as it was before. If what you have seen does not convince you of what I am, any words I might speak to you to try and convince you otherwise will be so much wasted air."
Davis frowned. "You were changed into a dragon. I get that. It's permanent. I get that. Your mind's been altered. I get that too. But I still don't think its right to withhold all this when we could do such good with it."
"Perhaps in time the people of Earth will be ready for such knowledge but as it stands now, they could not use it. Prometheus explained. "Oerth is in a completely different universe with different physical laws and constraints than that of Earth. Even if they were mature enough to handle the knowledge, they would not be able to make use of it properly."
"So what happens now?" Davis asked, seeing he was getting nowhere with the dragon. "Do you plan to return home or stay? The war is won; you've no reason to stay here unless you really want to watch over a bunch of farmers and tradesmen like a mother hen."
Prometheus sighed, resting his whiskered face on his claws. "So often do you only think of yourself and how to profit by the gifts granted to us." He said mournfully. "I realize you were programmed to ensure your survival and the survival of those with you but your disdain for this world and its people has always saddened me. I have sworn to be the protector and guide of those people and I will do so with my dying breath if need be."
Prometheus's gaze turned to the great citadel at the center of Pelor's realm, the great golden city gleaming in His eternal light. "This calling I have undertaken is greater than any position Ash might have had on Earth. Such things hold little interest to me now, except perhaps as the means to an end. The assets Heaven's Light controls will be useful to me in the future but I have no desire to return to Earth and run that company; my transformation has tied me irrevocably to this world and its future. I shall bring that future to my people and under my leadership they will prosper. All who desire safety and security in this dangerous world shall find refuge under my wings for my kingdom shall last forever, guided by my hand as a father guides his children!"
Beowulf knelt before Prometheus, his head bowed in reverence. "All hail the Great Father Prometheus! Long may he reign!" He exclaimed.
The dragon smiled indulgently. "Indeed, my brother. Indeed."
Pelor quietly withdrew from the group, a private smile on his face as he entered his rooms. Within the room sat a haughty middle-aged and pale-skinned woman. Her high cheekbones and pursed mouth made her face appear sharp and thin as her deep black hair fell down her back. She wore an intricate gown that seemed to be spun from silver spider silk and in her hand was a small spindle. Standing as Pelor approached, she regarded him coolly as he acknowledged her.
"Istus, as always the strands of fate are in your hands. I was a fool to doubt your predictions regarding him when he first came here."
Disregarding his seeming apology, she spoke in a cold tone, her voice rich and haughty. "Indeed you were, Sun-Lord. Fortunately you came to your senses in time and allowed him to join your band of followers. Otherwise the strands would have foretold a much different and darker fate for us all. As it stands now…"
"As it stands, he has a glorious future ahead of him. One from which we will all benefit." Pelor said, glancing back through the door.
"He will cause the rise and fall of many in the years to come." The weaver of fate intoned. "And his coming shall be a sign to those in darkness that their salvation is at hand. His destiny has only just begun."
Pelor nodded as he watched Prometheus and his two followers via his supernatural sight. Creating a portal back to Oerth in front of them with a thought, he watched them enter and vanish.