Chapter 10: Frozen
Berk, One Month Later
One month passed since the roman attack and the Viking village of Berk was surrounded in its biggest freeze yet. It was so cold the trees, grass and even the ocean froze solid, killing everything that didn't have a place to spend the winter. The dragons, being cold-blooded creatures, were confined to the great hall and their trainers with them.
"This is the worst!" shouted Snotlout as the twins Ruffnut and Tuffnut kept bashing heads.
"*Sigh, there's nothing we can do Snotlout, our dragons can't go out there till winter passes and we can't leave them so we're stuck here." Said Fishleggs, clinging onto Meatlug. "Here Meatlug, have a +8 warmth."
All the Viking trainers were busy with their dragons, however, there was still one black haired girl sitting in the corner, her Terror buzzing around annoying other Vikings.
"Hey Soph, you ok?" asked her elder sister, sitting beside her younger counterpart.
"Y-Yeah, I'm fine sis'." Said Sophie, a look of worry filling her eyes. In reality she was worried about her Night Fury, Sunny, stuck all alone in the cove with very little shelter. Sophie was able to find a small crevice and winter-proofed it for Sunny, and there was a barrel of fish ready if Sunny got hungry, but she was still worried what the Night Fury would do without her.
"Well you don't seem fine, did you leave something back at the house?" asked Astrid, looking slightly concerned.
"N-No, I'm just a bit cold that's all, might be a sickness." Said Sophie, faking a sneeze.
"Alright, I'll get you some blankets. Say…have you seen Hiccup?" asked Astrid, looking around, almost waking up Stormfly who was fast asleep.
"No, not since we all moved here, why?" replied Sophie
"Nothing, just wondering."
"Who cares about that wimp, he can die out in the cold for all I care." Said Snotlout, crossing his arms.
"Heh, you're still mad that he beat you up and threw you outside." Laughed Tuffnut, earning a punch from Snotlout.
"Haha, nice one!" said Ruffnut as Tuffnut recovered and head-butted against his sister, restarting their little squabble.
"Well I for one am going to look for him." Said Astrid, putting on her winter jacket and stepping out of the hall. Nearly all of Berk was frozen over, ice and snow blowing everywhere and absolutely no sign of any activity whatsoever. Astrid kept walking and searching until she saw the silhouette of a figure, wrapped in old furs and muttering random nonsense to seemingly no one. He was sitting over the cliff that overlooked the ocean and letting his legs hang over the side.
"Hiccup?" asked Astrid and the scarred man turned his head.
"Astrid? What are you doing here?" he asked.
"Nothing, just looking for you, now what are you doing here?" said Astrid.
"Just looking at the sea, or the ice in this case." Replied Hiccup, returning his gaze to the frozen water.
"Mind if I join?" she asked, taking a seat beside him.
"No…" he said, half finished with his sentence, but stopped.
"Aren't you cold?" she asked.
"Yeah, I don't think I can feel my toes anymore." Said Hiccup, lifting his foot up and wiggling his toes. "Nope, still there."
All of a sudden, Astrid giggled and covered her mouth the minute she did.
"Did you just giggle?" asked Hiccup, looking at Astrid weirdly.
"Maybe, why?" she replied
"Well, I didn't know you giggled." He said and Astrid punched him in the arm.
"I am a girl after all, I think I have the right to giggle!" she shouted, blushing heavily.
"Alright, you're a girl, you win." Said Hiccup getting up.
"Hey, where are you going?" asked Astrid
"Back, my foot's about to fall off and I can't fight a hungry sea dragon without a foot." Replied Hiccup.
"Well then I'm coming with you, my hand feels a bit numb." Said Astrid, following Hiccup back to the Great Hall. Unfortunately, the snow started to pick up as it turned into a full on blizzard. Ice and cold wind ripped through the entire Berk as Hiccup and Astrid were completely blinded by snow.
"Where is the hall!" shouted Hiccup, shielding his face.
"I don't know, I can't see in this blizzard!" shouted Astrid, covering her face as well.
"We need to find shelter!" said Hiccup, struggling against the hurricane winds.
"I think my house is up here!" said Astrid, dragging Hiccup over to the left, barging through the door to Astrid's house.
"Whew, that was close." Said Hiccup, shaking off some snow on his shoulders.
"Brr, my parents probably put out the fire. I'll get it going." Said Astrid as she went over to the little fireplace in the middle and ignited it with a rock and her axe. Hiccup, disregarding the cold and snow, had just now realized that he had never been inside Astrid's house before. It was quite similar to the Chief's house, other than the fact that it was slightly smaller with a pot above a fireplace in the middle, and two beds on the ground floor and one upstairs.
So, she sleeps upstairs while her parents sleep here. Interesting. Thought Hiccup
"So this is a typical human place of rest. This seems much more comfortable than that place you hid me in." said Toothless, taking in the sights of the interior of a human home.
"Pfft, this is nothing, in Rome our villas are five times as large!" boasted Gladiator, imagining his villa back home in Rome, accidentally forming one in Hiccup's mind.
"Quiet you!" scolded Toothless, hitting Gladiator on the head as Hiccup and Astrid huddled close to the fireplace to keep warm.
"Ahh, warmth!" exclaimed Astrid, putting her hands close to the fire.
"I can feel the ice melting off my body. This is much better than winter on dragon island!" Said Hiccup, lying on the floor and relishing in the warmth of the fire.
"There's winter in that place?" asked Astrid, curiosity taking over.
"Of course, why do you think dragons don't attack in winter? They can't survive so they just stay in the mountain. It was a hel of a hard time finding food during the winters, especially since it's so cold!" said Hiccup, shivering from the experience. Suddenly Astrid had a look of sorrow on her face.
"Hiccup…" she started, stopping before she went on.
"Yeah Astrid?" said Hiccup
"Hiccup… I'm sorry." She said, slightly stunning Hiccup.
"Sorry? For what?"
"I'm sorry for how I treated you before, how I left you alone. I know that I was mean to you, but I just wanted to be the best. You were standing in my way, and I cleared you out, but I didn't know the consequences for what I did. I should have been there, during your trial, but I was too scared to come. If I helped you, I thought I would be banished as well, and I don't want to bring more shame to the Hofferson name. The Flightmare already did enough." Said Astrid, almost to tears. Hiccup knew what the relationship with the Flightmare and the Hoffersons was, and that it was a shameful event. Hiccup was torn from his thoughts when he saw Astrid starting to cry and he held her face up for him to see.
"Astrid, we were friends once, best friends. I don't know what happened between us, or why we fell apart, but now I can say that we are friends again. Besides, hearing the most vicious warrior on Berk apologize to a hiccup is pretty satisfying." Said Hiccup, smiling, shocking Astrid for a moment, but making her smile anyways. "Although I still don't forgive you for throwing a bola at me."
"Fair enough. It was a heat of the moment kind of… thing… anyways." Said Astrid, her speech slowing down as both Viking and outcast's eyes looked into each other's. For a moment, you could see snow falling, nearly invisible but there nonetheless, however neither Astrid nor Hiccup noticed. Soon Astrid's face started drawing closer to Hiccup's. Hiccup didn't seem to mind as he stood still and waiting. However, as soon as they were about to make contact, Hiccup's eyes suddenly went glassy and his skin cold. (I am terrible at romance parts)
"Hiccup?" asked Astrid, snapping her fingers in front of Hiccup's face, with no response from him. Suddenly, a hissing sound came from behind Astrid and her head whipped around to see what it was. Unfortunately, the sound got her first as a sharp pain and grogginess came over Astrid as she felt her body freeze until her head and she blacked out.
Berk a Few Hours Later
*GASP, *huff, wha-what happened? I thought, looking around. But I faced two problems my head wouldn't move, so I could only use my eyes and I could only stare at the black, empty house. I tried to get up, but I couldn't even move. It took a few minutes, or hours, but I was able to get all of my limbs moving and retrieve my axe. I looked at the fireplace and saw the fire was completely out, not even a little smoke came from the black pile.
Wow, I must've been out for a while. What happened, and where's Hiccup? I thought, about to step outside when a hissing sound, the same one from before came up from behind me. Fortunately this time I was prepared. I ducked right and heard something impale itself on the wall, and when I looked, a little green dragon with a fin on its head was hanging off the wall by its tail. I rose up my axe as the dragon looked at me angrily as it pulled out its tail and jumped at me again. Instead of dodging, I used the flat side of my axe to swat the little dragon into the empty pot over the fireplace. I reached for the lid and clamped it closed before the dragon could jump out again. The pot started rocking side to side, growling and hissing as the dragon inside desperately tried to jump out, but the clamps of the pot stayed strong, as it didn't break.
"What *huff, was that?" I said, trying to shake off the sudden attack. However, an immediate realization came to me. "The hall, I have to make sure everyone's ok!"
I barged out of the house and immediately tripped over something.
"Ow!" I said, landing in a pile of snow and ice. I rubbed my head as I looked at what tripped me, but I kind of regret doing that. "Hiccup!"
I panicked as I saw Hiccup frozen on the ground, his eyes glassy and in a battle stance. I thought he was dead, but I flipped him over and listened to his chest, glad to hear his heart still beating, albeit a bit weak.
*Sigh, he's alive. I have to bring him to the hall. I thought, trying to carry him, but he wasn't the light fishbone he used to be. "Gods Hiccup, how heavy are you?"
I thought for a while on ways to carry Hiccup and had an idea when I saw my dad's cart. I loaded Hiccup on and pushed him all the way to the great hall. Soon enough I was able to lug the frozen outcast to the great hall, carrying him up the stairs and inside. All around me were the frozen bodies of every Viking in the village and even some dragons.
"Hello, is anyone here!" I shouted, my voice echoing off the walls of the great hall.
"Astrid, you're ok!" shouted a voice and when I looked, the hulking form of Fishleggs embraced me in a bear hug.
"Fish…leggs…can't…breathe!" I said, gasping for air as he let go of me.
"Oh Astrid, it was terrible, they came through like lightning, they were fast, and they froze everyone, I thought I was a goner but I was able to hide in the storage room." Said Fishleggs, panicking like crazy.
"Whoa, slow down leggs', who are 'they'?" I asked
"The Speed Stingers that's who they came to Berk!" said Fishleggs and I flashed back to the little dragon I trapped in a pot, most likely the Speed Stinger that froze me.
"Speed Stingers? I heard about those, but how did they get here, they can't fly?" I asked
"I don't know, but all I know is everyone was frozen!" said Fishleggs, sweating buckets.
"Wait, where's my sister?! SOPHIE!" I shouted, fearing that I lost my sister.
"Don't worry sis', I'm still here!" shouted Sophie, appearing from behind a table. I thanked the gods as I rushed over to her and gave her a hug that rivaled Fishleggs.
"Thank the gods you're safe! Where are Stormfly and Iggy?" I asked and Sophie held up her hand. There, Iggy the Terror was stuck to Sophie's arm and frozen in a growl.
"He protected me from the Speed Stingers but they got him and Stormfly is up there." Said Sophie pointing to the roof. I looked up, and there Stormfly was, perched on one of the roof supports, luckily not frozen as she roared to signal she was fine.
"Where's Hiccup, maybe he can train them or-or make them go away?" stuttered Fishleggs, looking around behind me. I didn't really mean to make him cry when I showed him Hiccup's frozen body, but it just happened. "Nooooo, we're doomed, and the Green Death didn't even arrive yet!"
"Relax Fishleggs, we'll be fine, we just need a plan where are the others?" I asked
"Well, the twins are stuck in the broom closet, frozen, Snotlout is under the table also frozen, the chief is currently a centerpiece for the great hall and… umm… hey Sophie, where's Hookfang, Barf, Belch and Meatlug again?" asked Fishleggs, but Sophie didn't seem to pay attention as she seemed to be worrying about something else.
"Sophie! Are you ok?" I shouted, breaking her train of thought.
"O-Oh yeah, Barf, Belch and Meatlug are on the roof remember and Hookfang is stuck on the wall remember." She said quickly and Fishleggs nodded.
"Yeah, so we're technically the only villagers still moving." Said Fishleggs, hanging his head low.
"Don't worry, the paralysis is temporary, I should know." I said, showing Fishleggs and Sophie the little sting mark on my arm.
"Well that's good news, but you were gone for two hours, so I think waiting for everyone to defreeze is a bad idea. Besides, the Speed Stingers always come back for food and to give some villagers extra stings so they don't wake up." Replied Fishleggs, hanging his head lower.
"Well then we'll just have to get rid of them." I said as Fishleggs and Sophie stared at me blankly.
"Sis', I know you're a warrior and all, but even our chief got taken out, what are you supposed to do with me, Fishleggs and Stormfly?" asked Sophie.
"Don't worry Sophie, I have a plan… I think." I said half-heartedly and Fishleggs looked at me skeptically.
"Well then what do you have in mind?" he asked, raising his eyebrow.
"Well, we could lure them out with a pile of fish, then we can use our dragons…"
"Dragon, Stormfly is the only one not frozen remember." Corrected Sophie
"Alright, dragon, we can use Stormfly to attack them while they're eating. It's full proof!" I exclaimed, beaming with confidence.
"Full proof, except for the fact that we could be the ones getting eaten, or frozen. I tried doing the stuff Hiccup taught us, the one about training dragons, it didn't work on them." Said Fishleggs hopelessly.
"Don't worry Fish, everything will be alright, now we just need a barrel of fish and a way to lure them here." I said and Sophie looked at me.
"Well they always seem to come back around dusk, so we might be able to strike then." Said Sophie.
"Great, then let's get ready." I replied, whistling for Stormfly. She jumped off her roof perch and I got on her back.
"Wait! What do we do?" asked Fishleggs, waving his gargantuan arms in the air.
"Get the barrel of fish ready and place it somewhere, probably better somewhere enclosed so they don't have anywhere to run. I'm going to see if I can't gather a few weapons. And hide in the hall, so they won't get you." I said and Fishleggs nodded, him and Sophie off to get a barrel of fish most likely from the food stores of the hall. I tapped Stormfly and we zoomed off into the sky, perching on the roof of the great hall, using it as a vantage point to look out for the Speed Stingers.
Four Hours Later
The sun was setting and there was no sign of the Speed Stingers everywhere. The pile of fish was just sitting out there in the front of the great hall, the extra smelly ones on the top of the pile to attract the Speed Stingers. Maybe this plan wasn't such a good idea after all. The villagers and Hiccup were placed in a pile at the very back of the great hall and Sophie and Fishleggs were standing back to be on the safe side, just in case they get frozen. I waited patiently for a few more minutes until I saw some little blobs in the distance. I thought it was just a trick of the light, but then I remembered it was already twilight so I put Stormfly into a crouch and watched the pile of fish intensely. From the shadows, several small dragons, similar to the one that attacked me before cautiously approaching the pile, eying it carefully and as soon as they confirmed no one were around, the little dragons let out a chorus of high pitch screeches.
Good, they took the bait, now we wait for… I thought before I heard a shrieking sound behind me. I flipped my head around to see one of the Speed Stingers had made it onto the roof and was slowly approaching me, fangs barred and tail raised. As soon as it was caught, the Speed Stinger bolted at full speed, trying to sting me with its tail. I caught it with my hands right before the tail impaled my face and threw it off the roof. Unfortunately, it screamed as it fell, which attracted the attention of the Speed Stingers at the pile of fish. Immediately every Speed Stinger was either climbing the great hall or trying to destroy it.
"Stormfly!" I shouted, jumping on Stormfly before taking off. Then I remembered something very important; Fishleggs and Sophie were still in the hall. "No, Sophie!"
I flew down and blasted a few of the Speed Stingers off the door and barged flew in, immediately closing the door behind me. Luckily the constant dragon attacks toughened up the hall because I saw no Speed Stingers had breached the interior.
"Astrid, what's happening?!" shouted Fishleggs, emerging from behind a toppled over table.
"Not good. The plan failed. Get everyone as far away from the doors as possible, I'll try and draw off the Speed Stingers." I said, getting back on Stormfly.
"No sis', it's too dangerous!" shouted Sophie, clinging onto Stormfly.
"Yeah, but it was my stupid plan that got us into this mess, and I intend to fix it." I said, shaking Sophie off and launching Stormfly out the doors. "Alright Stormfly, let's get their attention."
Stormfly nodded and blasted a few spikes and a column of fire at the Speed Stingers, shifting their attention from the hall to me.
"COME ON YOU DRAGON-DWARVES! SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT!" I shouted, flying away as all the Speed Stingers gave chase. I was planning to lead them off the cliff, but a Speed Stinger got smart and used a roof to jump up to Stormfly and sting her. I felt her freeze up beneath me as her eyes went glassy and wings stopped flapping. "Oh no."
Stormfly fell to the ground like a rock, launching me a few feet away and into a pile of snow. I could see the Speed Stingers rushing towards me, a million eyes looking to tear me apart. I tried running away, but when I stood up my foot started to hurt like crazy.
No, I must've hurt my ankle! I thought. I sat in the snow and watched as the Speed Stingers got closer and closer, and I prepared to be torn apart. However, I didn't expect a bunch of snowballs to fire at the Speed Stinger in the very front. I looked around for the shooter, but saw no one in particular. The Speed Stingers looked as confused as I did, but continued their advance, only stopping when they actually heard a voice.
"Hey, over here, yoo-hoo!" Shouted a voice, and when I looked I saw Sophie waving her hands in the air and trying to draw the attention away from me. And it worked, the Speed Stingers started to advance towards Sophie, completely ignoring me.
"Sophie, what are you doing?!" I shouted, desperately trying to get to her.
"Saving you!" she shouted back, running off the other direction and bringing over a hundred Speed Stingers with her. She kept running for a few minutes, but eventually, the Speed Stingers caught up with her and one stung her ankle.
"SOPHIE!" I shouted, but it was too late. Her eyes went glassy and she looked at me once before freezing up completely.