Hey guys, long time no see! Sorry I've kept you waiting!

So, let's get into it, shall we?

NOTE: Okay, to understand a part of this chapter, you have to think of dragon claws like human hands. They have claws in place of your fingers, with the thumb claw in the back, like bird talons. There is a soft palm like ours in between the finger and thumb claws. And the thumb claw is somewhat opposable, just not as much as ours. It's the same with their hindclaws.

DISCLAIMER: Do I look like I own the MOTHER/EarthBound series? I do? Well, someone needs glasses!

Dedicated to a friend I know, who thought my drawing of Noen was some kind of Phoenix/cat hybrid. I'm so showing her this.


To Rise and Fall

Chapter 2: Accuse to Forgive


I still remember that day, two years ago.

I opened my light sea-green eyes (well, technically they're Medium Spring Green, but I like the name sea-green better) and took in the cave where I lived. A lot has changed in the past two years. Now Noitome and I are fourteen, and are close bond has gone downhill.

"Nice to see you're up," Noitome greeted. His voice was cheery enough, but he couldn't fool me. I could hear a hint of an icy tone beneath the cheeriness, and his amber eyes also had that cold hint. Another change: our faces. We now had mask-like markings around our faces. Noitome's was a darker blue than his face, more like a New Midnight Blue, and it was spiked. Mine was rounded, but was a Free Speech Red, darker than my own face.

Yeah, I wasn't kidding when I said our bond has gone downhill. No, scratch that - it was thrown off of a cliff.

"Nice to see you care," I retorted, careful to keep my tone even.

"Why wouldn't I?"

"Well, you certainly haven't been acting like you care about me," I muttered, my sea-green eyes staring right into Noitome's irritated amber ones.

"I'm not the one who bosses others around on who they should be friends with!"

"I'm not bossing you around!"

"Then stay out of my business! If I want to be friends with H'Taed, then let me be friends with H'Taed!" He growled. We glared at each other in silence.

That's why we practically hate each other. The day we first went to the Drako Games, he ended up friends with the more popular guys on our team, and of course, they were friends of H'Taed. The guys introduced 'Tome to H'Tead, and you can guess where things went from there. As for me, I'd rather not associate myself with H'Taed. The guy rubs my scales the wrong way. He acts so superior, like he's king of the world, and he's so conceited. I mean, I know what it is to be arrogant (I'm quite arrogant myself) but this guy takes it to a whole 'nother level. I'm arrogant because I believe in my abilities and I'm the kind of dragon who's more than willing to prove himself, especially if my pride is wounded. That can happen quite often, considering my appearance - tall and thin as heck, with no rippling muscles or long, sharp fangs or anything like that. I'm fine with that though. What I lack in strength and long fangs are easily compensated by agility, speed, and the thin sharpness of my claws. But this guy is arrogant about himself. He deems his team the best because he's in it, for the spirits' sake! I just think every team I join is awesome, like what most others think. Plus, you can't declare one team the best, because you've only experienced one of seven.

My point is: I don't agree Noitome should be hanging with H'Taed. And Noitome will defend his beliefs with all of his power (It's a family trait). This has been tearing us apart, which is sad, honestly. 'Tome was never good at hiding his emotions, so I can see how he feels every time we have an argument. Every insult he throws at me, he feels double the hurt. I feel the same way. We know we shouldn't be fighting like this, but we just can't seem to stop until the other sees it the way we want to see it. Every insulting remark we make hurts us twice as much as it hurts the other, and that doesn't count the guilt we feel for even arguing in the first place.

"I...I'm going now," I muttered awkwardly. "I'm going to go hang out with Ehtycs and K'Nip today. Bye." I jumped up and rushed out of the cave before I could hear Noitome's reply. I had no idea what he would say next, and I'd rather not argue with him anymore today.

I ran down the main path and found Ehtycs and K'Nip seated on the edge of the forest. K'Nip? Oh yeah, I forgot! Noitome has made a few friends over the course of two years, well, so have I! K'Nip is a Torch Red female, with Brink Pink ear-tips and muzzle. Like Ehytcs and I, she's a high level PSI user, hence the special name.

Over time, we became a little group or trio of sorts. I was the quick, cocky, hotheaded one, K'Nip was the independent, extremely violent and quick-tempered one, and Ehtycs was the smart, somewhat shy one.

"Hey guys!" I greeted. "We're not meeting in EmberBreath?"

"Well, I dunno 'bout you, but I'm not in the mood to deal with the teasing and dirty looks today," K'Nip replied. Yeah, I've become somewhat famous in EmberBreath. Not the good famous, mind you. I already told you, I look too strange. And K'Nip and Ehtycs are famous for associating themselves with me. I've apologized on multiple occasions, but they always shrug it off. I've learned that they honestly don't care what the others think, and that they should mind their own business. This always makes me feel worse, because my thoughts always travel to Noitome and I.

"You got a point..." I answered.

"Yeah, and we always come back here anyways," Ehytcs added, standing up. "So, what do you guys want to do?"

I smirked and crouched down. "I suggest we go like secret agents in the trees or something."

"Sounds like fun!" Ehtycs agreed. "No one'll find us up there!"

"I'll beat you up this time, Noen!" K'Nip challenged.

Which, of course, she lost.

"Ha! I win again!" I crowed.

"Rub it in my face, why don't ya? Why don't you come over here so I can show you who's the real winner!" Oh spirits, I ticked her off. She shares one special trait with Noitome: a severe temper. I think it's about time I run for my life.

The moment K'Nip lunged was the moment I took off. I bounded from branch to branch as fast as I could. I tried my best to look back, but containing curiosity is not one of my strong points. I cast a single glance behind me, and I instantly sped up. I'd seen flashes of Torch Red not so far behind me.

Of course, I shouldn't have been looking back. I was so busy panicking at the thought of K'Nip beating me to a pulp that I didn't see that there was a gap in the trees ahead of me. With a cry of shock, I fell through the gap and onto the ground. Above me, K'Nip and Ehtycs laughed. I glared resentfully at them, but in a few moments, my laughter joined theirs. How stupid was I? Who the heck looks back when they're running for their life?

"What a Drake!" It was one of H'Taed's friends, the slate-blue (though I think it's really Cornflower Blue) dragon that had tried to help him in our game of Capture the Flag two years ago. Since then, I've learned his name was Zetan. "Laughing at your failure? How Drakish could you get?"

"Well, I don't think anyone invited you into our business, so shut up and leave," I retorted.

Zetan laughed again. "Why would I? Seeing three Drakos act like Drakes is simply too entertaining to pass up! It's incredibly foolish, that's what it is!"

Anger boiled up inside of me. Who does he think he is, just waltzing on in and calling me Drakish! And going out of his way to bother me isn't? Yeah, 'cause that makes perfect sense!

"Well, at least I can do things for myself! You always hug H'Taed's tail all the time! 'Oh, H'Taed! I can't do anything on my own, could you help me?'" I imitated in a high, squeaky voice. "'H'Taed! You're the coolest, so if I stay around you, maybe I might be cool too, even though I just hide behind your back!' 'H'Taed! You're obviously a holy spirit! I will worship and grovel and blindly follow you for eternity!'" I spat on the ground. "That is a sad, sad existence."

Indignant shock twisted Zetan's face, and utter sasitfaction filled me. I turned and walked away briskly, believing I'd gotten my point across. Well, I did. But someone decided to be all angry about it. And of course, Zetan just had to pick the violent response.

I sucked in my breath sharply as I felt searing pain slice through my upper back, between my shoulders. I saw blood splatter the ground around me, and thin trails of crimson slide down my back, behind my shoulders, and drip down into small red puddles.

I was pushed down onto the ground, and Zetan pushed the palm between his finger and thumb claws down on the side of my head, pressing my face into the dirt.

"Let's get something straight, bag of bones," Zetan hissed. "Someone as low as you will not insult me like that again, got that?" He pressed my face further into the dirt, waiting for my answer. His claws pricked the side of my head, and I could feel the warm, sticky blood trickling down onto the dirt. This has gotta be illegal!

I looked up the Ehytcs and K'Nip, who were frozen in shock. Go! I ordered silently! Hoping they would get the message. Go get help! I'll be fine for a while! Ehtycs, who had known me longer than K'Nip, picked up on my message first and nodded slightly before nudging K'Nip and leading her away through the treetops.

Good, they weren't going to be around to see me beat the ever-loving crud out of Zetan.

"'You're truly inferior if you believe yourself superior'," I growled at Zetan, quoting my father Rehcra. I violently turned just enough to reach up with a foreleg and swipe at his chest, leaving three clean red slashes across Zetan's paler Pattens Blue chest.

Zetan backed away, gawking at the wound I'd inflicted on him. I quickly stood and crouched. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that he'd attack again, so I'd have to keep up my guard. Sure enough, Zetan suppressed his shock and lunged forward again.

I dodged a powerful strike aimed for my head and leapt over Zetan's back. The bigger Cornflower Blue dragon, who had tried to anticipate my next move, was left in disarray as he tried to turn around and strike. All he did was give me an opening. I clawed his shoulder, effectively ripping out one or two scales. He thumped his palm over my head, and my vision swam and blurred briefly from the impact before clearing up again. I looked up as he raised his claws to do it again, and as he quickly lowered his palm, I gripped his foreleg in my teeth and used his momentum to fling him over me, onto the ground. He quickly got up and slashed my side in retaliation. I hissed in pain and whipped around to face him. Suddenly, his eyes widened in shock.

"There are two of you now?" He cried, his Indigo eyes darting between me and something to my left. What was he talking about? Did he finally snap or something? But when I looked to my left, I saw an exact copy of myself! Well, I hope he distracts Zetan so I could get a good shot of him...

To my surprise, my copy lunged forward, face twisted in an ugly grimace. Zetan ducked and dodged all of my copy's furious swipes while I came up from behind and scored my claws against the back of his head, like he'd done to me. As soon as my claws made contact with Zetan, my copy faded away. Enraged at the trick, Zetan swiped at my chest.

Before I could recover, Zetan jumped over me and slammed both of his palms into my back. With a silent cry of pain, I was sprawled on the ground like a leaf. Zetan growled in utter hatred as he pinned me.

"ZETAN! GET THE HECK OFF OF MY BROTHER!" A blue dragon roared furiously, lunging forward and ripping into Zetan's back with his powerful jaws. Ehtycs and K'Nip rushed back into the small clearing. Relief washed over me as Zetan was pulled off my back. K'Nip and Ehtycs had brought Noitome, who was one of the three best dragons to choose for this kind of situation, right beside my father Rechra, and my mother Siha.

I stood and swiped at Zetan, trying to help my brother in any way I could without getting in his way. His face was twisted with uncontrollable rage, and he was putting all of his strength into every bite and swipe. I don't want to be caught in the middle of that.

Finally, Noitome roughly clamped his jaws onto the back of Zetan's neck, and I saw my opening. As Zetan struggled to pull himself out of 'Tome's grip, I jumped in and slashed at his face, leaving three clean scratches across Zetan's face, one narrowly missing his eyes. He screamed in agony and pulled himself free of Noitome, running away with his tail slightly tucked under his legs.

'Tome and I sat down, panting and bleeding, not saying a word for a few agonizing moments. Finally, I spoke.

"'Tome?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm sorry. You were right, I was bossing you around and trying to choose your friends for you."

"Why are you apologizing?" Noitome asked. "If anything, I should be the one saying sorry. I should've at least taken your argument under consideration. If I did, maybe I wouldn't have fallen for H'Taed's tricks, and this wouldn't have happened."

"I don't care if it's your fault or not, I still forgive you." I replied stubbornly.

"About time you two made up," Ehtycs interrupted.

"Yeah, how long have you two been going at it?" K'Nip inquired.

'Tome and I exchanged a sheepish look, and in unison, responded, "I have no idea."

"It was that bad?" K'Nip asked with a sigh. Ehtycs, 'Tome and I nodded at once.

A picture of my copy flashed in my head. "Hey guys? Do you know anything about clones or copies?"

Ehtycs' eyes sparkled with interest. "Yes, I do. There should be no clones in existence. No one knows how to create them. Why?"

"Because someone who looked exactly like me suddenly appeared, distracted Zetan for a few moments, and disappeared when I got Zetan."

Ehtycs' eyes widened and the interest deepened. "Appeared and disappeared? Did this copy of yours actually hit Zetan?"

"No."

"Did it obey a mental command you sent it? Like, did you want it to do something and it did it without you saying anything?"

"Uhm...yeah."

"Aha! I got it!" Ehtycs cried.

"What is it?" Noitome asked eagerly.

"Well, you know how every dragon is born with PSI and we learn it around this age?"

"Yeah, and?" K'Nip hinted at him to continue.

"Well, before PSI, dragons had Powers. Each dragon is born with a certain Power and their Elemental Power, but nowadays most don't know about Powers, so many never learn how to use them. The Elemental Power could only be used when it's needed most, but the other power you had access to at all times. You could use it anytime, anywhere. There were all kinds of powers, but there were three no one has ever had: Thought, Emotion, and Dreams.

My father Korin studied this a few years ago. He said if one was to have the power of Thought, they could communicate telepathically with anything capable of reasonable thought. They could also sense someone's intentions or even alter someone's thought, like manipulation. If one was to have the power of Emotion, they could sense anyone's emotions. Of course, they would also be very emotional, a bit more than most. They could even slightly alter others' emotions. If one was to have the power of Dreams, they could create illusions and even make a few reality, if they really wanted it. Their power was tied to their own dreams and ambitions, and they too would be ambitious dreamers. They could sense others' dreams and ambitions if they wished. I believe you, Noen, have the power of Dreams."

"WHAT!" K'Nip, Noitome, and I cried out in unison. Me, a dragon who doesn't even look like one, gifted with a power that has never been given before?

"...It makes sense, actually," Noitome realized. "You aren't exactly down-to-earth, and you're quite the dreamer. This can't be some coincidence. I'm pretty sure that copy was an illusion you made."

"Huh, you're right..." K'Nip realized.

"Okay, even if I do have the power of Dreams, we can't just go tell everyone this! I mean, everyone will think it's a bunch of lies! That it's blasphemy!"

"Another good point," K'Nip said.

"So this'll just stay a secret with us," Ehtycs agreed.

"Good enough for me," Noitome added.

"Good, I'm enough of a freak to the others as it is," I sighed. "Now, who's up for a game?"


So, waddaya think? Sorry I've been gone for so long...

And if someone says 'Drakish', that's the dragon equivalent of childish.

Names:

Vharsi: Vahr-see (I keep forgetting to add him)

K'Nip: Kay-nip

Zetan: Zay-tan

Korin: Kohr-in

If anyone can figure out where I got the idea for Zetan's name, I'll give you a virtual cookie. Double for those who can figure out what I do to make special names (and for Wolfy3433, you may not guess! You already know the secret to special names!)

Again, color names came from:

www. colblindor.c

om

/color- name- hue/

...You know...without the spaces...

...Bye...

...No seriously, bye.