Chapter 1: The Arrival
The occasion of having a trader come to Berk was a special occasion. Traders only came about once every month or so, and brought so many supplies and cool nick-knacks for everyone. One of the best and most revered trader was Trader Johann. He came around every two months, and brought everything from fabric and paper to swords and chests. The only trader more famous and revered than Johann was Trader Kyle, who came around every two months, every month that Trader Johann didn't come so as to both get equal trading rights.
Trader Kyle was so popular because he brought the largest selection of items to trade, and was usually very accommodating of people's needs. He was a favorite with the children because he was fond of handing out free sweets to them from the far distant lands he always traveled to. He also happened to be Hiccup's favorite trader, mostly because he liked and admired Hiccup's inventions and brought Hiccup many much needed tools.
Trader Kyle was supposed to come the next day, and everyone in the village was getting excited, gathering up their provisions and stocking up for trading. Everyone was in a flurry of activity, trying to get the village presentable for the Trader. Appearance was everything, since most of the news the other islands got about Berk came from the traders.
Hiccup was slightly worried, as this was the first time Kyle was coming that dragons were on Berk. Kyle had just visited when the war just ended, and it had been two months since then. He hadn't seen that Berk had made peace with the dragons, so Hiccup wondered how he'd react. One look at Toothless though, who was sitting right next to him chowing down on some fish, that made all of his worries fly away. He smiled. How could anyone hate dragons when they were so awesome like Toothless.
"You want to go for a fly bud?" he asked.
Toothless nodded excitedly, gobbling down the last of his fish. He leaned down, allowing Hiccup to jump onto his back. Hiccup clipped in his fake leg to the pedal, and they were off.
Flying never got old for Hiccup. It was the most exhilarating thing, being able to fly above the clouds, the wind whipping through his hair, completely oblivious to all of his other problems. He was able to be free, to go wherever he wanted to go. He reached down and patted Toothless on the neck.
"I'm glad we're such good friends bud."
Toothless looked up and looked at Hiccup with those big, round green eyes. Hiccup could tell that Toothless felt the same way. He wanted to be able to talk to Toothless, to be able to hear his side of their relationship, but they already kind of could. Just through a look, they could convey such a strong emotion and message. They both knew how to read each others body language and mannerisms, and their relationship was one of understanding. Hiccup loved it.
"Well, bud, I think we need to head back for dragon training," said Hiccup, looking up at the sun and seeing that it was about two o'clock.
Toothless grunted, obviously upset that they had to cut their flying short. Hiccup caught on to his meaning. " I know, I don't want to either, but we've got to lead that group or they'll never get anything done," said Hiccup.
They flew over to the former killing arena, now the Berk Dragon Training Academy. The others were already there, Snotlout with Hookfang, Astrid with Stormfly, Fishlegs with Meatlug, and Ruffnut and Tuffnut with Barf and Belch. Gobber was also there, trying to get the class started, but he was having a hard time of it.
I walked in, and the entire class got quiet. "Finally Hiccup. Where were you? I've been trying to get these kids to cooperate, but they won't listen to me," said Gobber frustrated. "Especially Ruff and Tuff. They seemed to find it amusing to chase each other around the ring with axes until one of them ended up dead, until I pulled them apart."
No that Hiccup looked, he did notice that Ruffnut and Tuffnut were standing on opposite sides of the group, being held back by the others. Hiccup sighed. What was he going to do with them? Toothless caught his drift and grunted. Hiccup looked at him and they both did another sigh. "Would you?" Hiccup asked.
Toothless obliged, roaring a roar that made everyone shut up fast. "Thank you Toothless. Now today we're going be doing some target practice with the dragons. Gobber, if you could get out the targets would you?" Hiccup asked, gesturing to the pile of target Hiccup had organized before.
Everyone got onto their dragons and prepared for the exercise. Gobber stood on the other arena holding the targets. At random times, he would throw up a target and shout a teenagers name. They then had to get their dragon to blast it before it hit the ground. It was a fun exercise, and it started to get competitive. We started to keep a tally of the dragons with the most hits. Hiccup and Toothless, being the most coordinated, won the competition.
"Alright, gang, good work. No training tomorrow, what with Trader Kyle coming and all, but I expect you all here the day after. See you guys later," said Hiccup, and the others departed. Astrid stayed, following Hiccup out of the arena. Gobber smiled at the two. They had really taken to each other, and had really started to become a solid couple. He felt happy for them, and he was wondering how their relationship would pan out.
Astrid and Hiccup flew off on their dragons and raced to their usual rendezvous point, Shadow Island. It was called Shadow Island because it was the island that happened to always be in the shadow of Berk, giving it the apt name. Hiccup and Astrid met there often to just hang out and have fun, but mostly because they just liked to be together. Their relationship had certainly become much more concrete since the end of the war. Sure, Hiccup was still worked at the blacksmith, and Astrid was still, well, Astrid, but they found ways to like each other and to grow closer to each other.
They explored the island a little, as most of it was unknown, but after a while they just sat on the bank looking out into the ocean. They didn't say much for a while, just stared into the expanse of ocean before them.
Astrid's face suddenly looked concerned. I followed her gaze and saw why. A huge storm was moving in, advancing at an amazing rate of speed. I saw lightning flashes among its dark clouds.
"We should probably get going home. We don't want to be stuck here when that storm hits," said Hiccup.
They got on their dragons and flew back to the mainland. As they were flying, Hiccup spotted a boat in the distance. He recognized the pattern on the sail, two hands shaking in agreement, that signified a trader. Was it Trader Kyle? He wasn't expected for another day? Hiccup caught his breath as he saw the storm start to overtake the boat. The boat listed sharply, threatening to overturn. Hiccup urged Toothless on toward the storm, chasing after the boat in the distance. He yelled over to Astrid over the thunder.
"It's Trader Kyle! We've got to help him!"
Astrid nodded in acknowledgment, and urged Stormfly on after Hiccup. The storm was advancing faster now, as if it was being spurred on by the gods themselves. When they got withing sight of the boat, they saw that Trader Kyle and his son Jolt were standing on the deck, scanning the skies and waving their swords, as if fighting off some unknown being. Toothless flew next to the boat and hovered easily. They now saw that the boat was taking on water at an alarming speed. As much as the traders bailed, there was no hope for the boat.
"Quick, get everyone and hop on the dragons!" yelled Hiccup, previously unseen in the dark on Toothless.
The traders recoiled in shock, but got over it when they saw Hiccup. Jolt ran below and came up with his mother, two sisters, and his brother. It looked like they had brought the whole gang for the trip this time. Hiccup wondered why. There was a lot of people, so each teen took three, the boys with Hiccup and the girls with Astrid. The dragons struggled against the storm, but managed to get out its grasp.
Toothless reached the beach and deposited his passengers. That's when they all heard it. A screech so piercing it could only have been made by one thing and one thing only. A skrill. Before Hiccup could stop him, Toothless flew up and raced into the storm. It was dark in the storm, and Hiccup couldn't see anything through the driving rain. He tried to steer Toothless out of it, but he just managed to get himself more lost. A lightning strike close by illuminated the sky for an instant.
Hiccup saw the skrill, seeming to be part of the storm itself, a vivid blue/white coloring, throwing off lightning bolts like Thor himself. It shot a bolt at Toothless, who shot a plasma bolt right back. Both managed to dodge the strikes, but Toothless followed up with one faster and managed a hit. The skrill fell from the sky and landed somewhere near Raven Point.
Toothless seemed satisfied and raced out of the storm, landing on the beach, which was now empty. They raced to the main hall and took shelter from the storm. They found Trader Kyle and his family there, looking thoroughly bewildered. They kept looking at the dragons and then back to the vikings, rubbing their eyes, not wanting to believe that it was true.
"Well friends, this is a most unfortunate way to greet our favorite traders, but welcome to Berk," said Stoick.
"Thank you Stoick, pardon me for asking, but what is...this..." Trader Kyle said, trying to find the right words, while gesturing to Toothless and Hiccup, the most dominating dragon/human pairing in the room. Stoick sighed.
"We made peace with the dragons here on Berk, thanks to Hiccup. We now ride them and treat them as friends," said Stoick by way of explanation.
Trader Kyle looked genuinely surprised, looking at Hiccup in a strange new way. "Well, Hiccup, you finally amounted to something," he said laughing.
Everyone shared a good laugh. Soon enough, Trader Kyle was swept away by the children (and Gobber) who were eager to fill Trader Kyle in on the full story, which Hiccup highly doubted was even half true. It was a said truth to viking nature, tended to over exaggerate everything.
Hiccup walked over to where Jolt was standing aloof from the rest. Jolt grinned. They had become good friends over the years, even when they only saw each other for one week stretches every two months. They happened to share many similar traits, including a love of inventing and a feeling of being a misfit. Toothless bounded up to him and proceeded to lick Jolt's face all over. When he was finally able to get a breath from under the dragon drool, he faced Hiccup with an amused light in his eyes.
"I guess you're not so misfit anymore," he said laughing.
"Why does everyone think that that is so funny?" asked Hiccup.
"Because you're the last person people would think of when they think of a popular viking. The image just doesn't work."
"Well when you have a dragon like Toothless, it gets pretty hard not to be the center of attention," Hiccup said jokingly. "Yeah, I get the coolest job now. I get to train dragons."
Jolt's eyes lit up. "That sounds like the coolest job ever! We'll be staying here for a while, so do you think I would be able to help you train dragons?" he asked eagerly.
"Sure, I don't see why not. We've just got to get you a dragon that would fit your personality. They seem to bond better with the rider that way. But we'll do that tomorrow. Come on, you're staying with us until you get your boat fixed."
They walked outside. The storm had stopped and the sky was clear. "Man, fast storm huh," mused Hiccup.
"Yeah, it really jumped out of nowhere and overtook us. We never saw it coming. That combined with fighting off the skrill, it wasn't a fun time."
"Why was the skrill attacking you?"
They continued to chat, Hiccup filling in Jolt on the events since he was last here, and Jolt filling Hiccup in on what was currently happening in his life.
"We actually were just leaving our home base to restock and were on our way here when we saw the pirates. They attacked the village and we had to run as fast as we could. We had heard rumors of the pirates coming, so we grabbed the whole family, ma, Evan, Ally, and Megan along with me and pa. We were almost shot out of the water by a massive...thing. It was a metal tube, really long, and it spat metal balls and fire that almost tore a hole in our ship. I've never seen anything like it," said Jolt.
"I'm sorry for you man. I wish that never happened."
"Yeah, well, we'll probably stay here. There's nothing left for us. Our home is destroyed, along with our ship. We have the family together, and I want to keep it that way. I'm going to ask pa if we can stay tomorrow. I also really want to getting to dragon training," he said eagerly.
Toothless gave Hiccup a look. Hiccup saw what he was trying to say. He was eager, and he would probably make a great dragon trainer. They would see in the morning.
The trio got to Hiccup's house and ran up to his room. Toothless followed them up, which Jolt thought was strange until he saw Toothless curl up on his stone slab, looking right at home there. Hiccup got out a spare bedroll and laid it next to his bed for Jolt. While he was doing that, Jolt took a look around the room. It was plastered with so many pictures of dragons and design, mostly Toothless, but there were others. There were schematics for hundreds of inventions and ideas. Jolt felt jealous. He had never had a room to himself before, a place where he could put all of his ideas, or design his own way. He just had a bunk on his fathers trading ship, and his only decorations were the sketchbook he kept and his helmet.
"You're drawings are amazing," he mused to Hiccup.
"You like them? Maybe I'll make one for you when you get your own dragon."
"That would be cool," said Jolt, sounding very dreamy.
Hiccup yawned. "Well, let's tuck in for the night. Big day tomorrow."
They settled in for the night, anticipating the next day.