Chapter 1: Dragons Everywhere
This is Berk. It's located solidly on the Meridian of Misery, and two days south of freezing. It is a highly mountainous island with a charming view of the sunset. The only problems are the pests. While other people might have rats or wolves, we have dragons.
Yup, dragons, huge, scaly, fire-breathing monsters that seemed to have been created to do nothing but make our lives miserable. They raid the village every month or so, taking loads of livestock and wrecking the houses. In fact, this village has been around for seven generations, but every building is new. It adds some spice to the village, I'll give it that, but nothing stands very long.
My name is Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, known mostly around the village as either 'The Useless' or 'The Inventor'. You can probably guess which one I obviously preferred. I was a weaker viking, with little muscle or talent for using weapons, so it was kind of obvious how I became to be known 'The Useless', as we kind of lived in a warring community. But I did use my mind much more, and I had a knack for inventing and crafting, and some of my inventions were used around the village regularly, earning me the nickname 'The Inventor'.
I was running from my house when I was nearly smacked off of my feet by an angry viking who was running after a Deadly Nadder.
"Morning," he said before running off after the Nadder. Well, this was pretty much a typical Monday for me, and I ran toward the forge.
I was apprenticed there since I was little, er well, littler. Gobber, who had an interchangeable arm which he used for every kind of purpose around the forge, was hard at work hammering out bent swords and axes from the raid. I swear, it's like some idiot just walked up to a dragons and begged them to just smash the swords to pieces.
I grabbed my apron from the wall and went right to work sharpening swords.
"Well look who decided to join the party. I was afraid you had been carried off," said Gobber.
"Who, me? No, I'm way too muscular for their tastes," I said, gesturing toward my nonexistent muscles.
"Well, they'd need toothpicks, don't they?" said Gobber, hammering another sword.
"Bola!" called a viking at the counter. I grabbed a bola from the corner and hauled it up to the counter, straining my arm in the process. I needed to get some more muscle.
The viking grabbed it and hurled it at a gronkle that was flying by, and then he ran after it to kill it. Man I wish I could do that, but I had to stick to machines that could do that for me. Speaking of which, there was something that I wanted to with this raid here.
"Hey Gobber, I'm going to go test out my bola launcher over by the cliff. Don't have too much fun without me," I said.
"Not so fast Hiccup. You know I promised your father that I would look after you, and I'm not letting you go out there to risk your life just to test some machine," said Gobber.
"Yeah. But if I get it right, it could be really useful. Come on Gobber, one time. It's not like I'm going to go hand to hand with a dragon. You know me, I'm not that stupid," said Hiccup.
"Alright, but if your dad asks, you ran off without my knowledge," said Gobber.
"Fine." I grabbed the bola launcher, which I had nicknamed the Mangler, and wheeled it through the village. It looked almost like a wheelbarrow, but instead of the barrow part, it was more of a...log. Inside were all the components, but from the outside it just looked like I was wheeling a log.
I heard exasperated shouts behind me.
"What are you doing out?"
"Get back inside!"
"Hide yourself boy!"
It was quite common knowledge around the village that I was Gobber's apprentice, and that my father always wanted e protected. It was also common knowledge that I could get myself into mischief and not follow the rules. Personally, I just didn't care. I had my own rules, and everything I did I did to gain some recognition from my father, who treated me like I was just a fragile glass sculpture that couldn't do my own thing.
I set up the Mangler on the cliff overlooking the ocean, my aims set on the most reclusive of all dragons, the night fury. I was close to one of the catapult towers, and the night fury liked to destroy those. They also lit up the night when they exploded, so I would get an even clearer shot.
I waited and waited, but nothing came. "Come on, come on, give me something to shoot at," I muttered at the dark sky. Suddenly, out of nowhere, an explosion rocked the earth, and the catapult tower went up in a pillar of fire. A dark shape flitted into my field of vision, and I knew that I had it.
I aimed quickly, knowing I would only get one shot, and fired. I had never expected such a kickback on the machine, and it threw me backward. I got up and heard a screech and saw a dark shape fall from the sky toward Raven Point.
"I hit it? Yes I hit it! It works!" I said, reloading the Mangler and spinning around, hoping to get a shot at another dragon. I looked into the viewfinder, and all I saw was a dark red muzzle. I looked up and saw a rather angry looking Monstrous Nightmare staring me in the face.
"Oh gods!" I yelled before running as fast as I could in the other direction. The Nightmare roared loudly and smashed the Mangler before chasing after me.
Now if there was one thing I was good at beside inventing was running. I ran with all that my legs had, but the Nightmare was damn fast. I tried to lose it in the maze of houses and piers that made up Berk, but the Nightmare just blasted its way through. It shot its forth shot at me, and it whizzed by my face, sizzling my eyebrows. I mentally counted 'four' knowing that a Nightmare had a shot limit of seven.
We danced a merry chase around the village, running through the crowded streets. There were shouts from angry vikings as we ran past, knocking over everything and everyone in our path. I had only one hope of getting rid of the creature, and that was to use one of my more signature moves, but I could only do it one place. It was a crazy, stupid plan, but it could work, and I had to try. I was getting tired.
I ran to the spot, a cliff face that overlooked the docks. I leaped from the cliff at a full run, knowing what lay right below me. There was an old awning from a former merchant's shop that lay right below that cliff face, and if I hit it just right, I'd survive the landing. I hit the awning going full speed, and I bounced straight up, landing on something scaly and hard. My heart leapt to my throat.
I was on the back of the Nightmare, clinging on with both hands onto its back spines. Apparently it had followed me, and my bounce landed me right on its back. I was scared for my life, but I tried to make no sound so as to not alert to the monster that I was on its back. But, just as my luck would have it, he could feel me there. And if he felt me, then there was only one way that this could end. With my ass on fire.
I heard the telltale tiny hissing noise that signaled that a Nightmare was going to light itself on fire. Strangely, I was the only one that ever noticed it, but it always happened a second before it happened. I jumped off of its back just as it lit itself on fire, landing at the base of a torch pole.
The Nightmare, seeing that I had jumped off, circled around, trying to find me, but I hid behind the pole. I poked my head around, trying to find where the dragon had gone, but then I heard a snort from behind me.
"Oh the gods hate me," I muttered, spinning around quickly and flinging a powder from the pouch that I always kept on me. It was a sleeping powder that I had developed, but it took time to work, and it only worked at close range. The dragon recoiled at the weird powder, its actions quickly growing sluggish and weak. It stumbled around for a while, but it then collapsed in a heap. I had it. This was my moment to shine.
I was about to go up and kill the dragon with my knife, bring pride to my village, when out of nowhere, my dad, Stoick the Vast, chief of the tribe, ran into the dragon. And I mean ran into it and tripped over it. It was hilarious, but unfortunately, it woke the dragon from its slumber. My dad quickly smashed his hammer over the beast's head, crushing its skull. The dragon collapsed again, but this time from the chronic condition of being dead.
Then Stoick turned on me. "What do you think you were doing out? And going after a Nightmare? Do you have a death wish?" yelled Stoick.
I simply rolled my eyes. "No, I was testing out my new bola launcher. I shot down a night fury, but then this brute over here ran up in front of me and kept following me. I used some of the more...potent skills in my arsenal. I almost had him before you showed up," I said, sifting some of the black sleeping powder through my hands.
"Hiccup, you know that you're supposed to stay with Gobber. You are many things Hiccup, but a dragon killer is not one of them. You'll learn that some day. You have a different calling. Work on your inventions, work with Gobber. You'll be chief come day, but you won't be a warrior," said Stoick, who promptly walked away, leaving me with the dead Nightmare.
Or at least I thought that he was dead. Just as I was walking away, I saw the dragon open an eye to me, a big, yellow reptilian eye. The eye held so much emotion, like it felt sorry for me for what my father said, almost like it had forgiven me for letting it die, and I could swear that I saw that it knew something about me. Something that I didn't even know, something deep within that he could somehow see in me. The final emotion that surprised me a little bit was...freedom. I had no idea why, but I knew that it was true. It spooked me something fierce, and luckily the eye winked out and I saw the dragon breath its last.
I walked back to the forge after the raid, still rattled about what that dragon's eye had done to me. It was crazy, to think that the vicious brutes who raided our home had any kind of emotion or feeling, but I would swear on every god I knew that that look that the Nightmare had given me held emotion, so much emotion. I shuddered. Best just to forget everything.
When I arrived at the forge, I went back to my own private workshop where I held all of the notes and pages on my many inventions and ideas. I brought out the Mangler design and wrote some more notes on it, some things I had noticed when firing it. I then set about making another prototype. The one I had used had been smashed by the Nightmare, so I needed a new one.
The process was a long one, that required much metal and wood working, but the results were worth it. I had to present the idea to Gobber and my dad when I had it perfected. It could be useful against raids in the future. I thought of a demonstration, and then I remembered the night fury that I had shot down. It was still out there, and I had to find it. No one had ever killed a night fury, let alone seen one, and I was going to be the first. I grabbed my notebook and headed out the door, running as fast as I could. I knew the general location of where it had gone down, so I headed there.
After hours of searching, I had come up with nothing. Zilch. Nada. I scribbled over all the X's I had made in my notebook.
"Oh, the gods hate me. Some people lose a knife or a mug, but no! I lose an entire dragon!" I yelled and smacked a tree branch, but it sprung right back at me, slamming into my face. It stung, and I put my hand to my face to subdue the pain. That's when I noticed the tree that it had come from.
It was bent into an almost perfect ninety degree angle, almost perfectly parallel with the ground. The trees that were next to it were bent and broken too, and they all led in the same central direction. I followed the direction of the crashed trees excitedly, knowing that at the other side would be a night fury.
I followed the trees to a large boulder, where all of a sudden the broken trees stopped. I looked over the boulder, and what I saw took my breath away.
It was the night fury, jet black all over, and surprisingly small. I had always imagined it looking larger, but the thing was smaller than a Nightmare, longer maybe, but definitely smaller. It looked lithe, agile, except for the ropes that wrapped around its body. My bola.
"Yes, I did it! This is the night fury, and I will go down in legend as the first person to kill it," I said triumphantly. "Alright dragon, I'm going to kill you and bring you head back to my father and prove to him that I am a dragon killer. I am a warrior!" I yelled loud enough to startle the birds in the trees.
The dragons eyes flashed open, connecting with mine. Those deep, revealing forest green eyes, eyes, like the Nightmare, held so much almost human emotion. Deep down, I knew that it was wrong. I couldn't kill this creature that looked just like I did, scared out of my mind and giving up. I just couldn't do it. I looked at my handiwork and muttered, "I did this."
Before I could think about what I was doing, I was cutting the bonds of the dragon, one strand at a time. I watched the dragon's eyes, and I saw the confusion in its face. When the last strand snapped, it leaped up and pinned me to the boulder. I just stared into its eyes, trying not to show fear, but it was pretty hard as I was almost wetting my pants with terror.
The dragon stared at me, and then got off my chest, roaring an almighty roar, and than flying off, crashing into just about every tree along the way.
I just passed out from the mental strain of it all.
So yeah, this is my own version of a movie adaptation, but it will deviate pretty majorly from the main plot, so stay with me. It'll get really good I promise. Please review, I love the feedback. Also, be sure to check out my other story The Lightning Rider. It's a great story, and I will be working on these two in tandem, but I work quickly, and I usually bust out one chapter in a sitting, which takes about an hour. Enjoy!