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Occupied; A Dragon's Den Disrupted

The Long-forgotten Species

By Amy HallPublished 8 months ago 24 min read
All Photos done by DALL . E 2, A.I. SIMULATOR

Chapter One; Luna and the Mountain People; a Meeting of Fate

I walk this route daily, along the mouth of these breathtaking mountains. The summer breeze brushes across my face as though it was the warm hand of my sweet love, Matilda-Jean. I missed her like I missed my Mother when she passed. Living these found memories through my mind, I take in the sun and it delights me for a few moments.

On this day, I would see something very different, something shocking and terrifying! Slicking my white hair back with water, I can hardly believe my eyes. “Intruders!” I talk loudly into my wristwatch.

“There’s no way! The radar and sensors are fail-proof!” Chimes the voice of Number One; the Elder.

“I know; no warning on my end either! Panel members! They have broken through the mountain!”

I wait for their response as my heart pulsates with adrenaline. “That explains why this is a surprise. The detection system is meant for the sky, not the ground! What is your location?” Yells Number Six through the intercom.

Screaming my coordinates while I race for the dragon’s den, I fear sudden death is upon us.

“Hang on, Six, I am going for a swim! Get a consult with Three when I report again.” I ask politely as I dive into the freezing-cold waters. I am fit for my age and very healthy, so it doesn't take me long to locate one of the Red-Haired Dragons.

“Queen!” I call for her with urgency in my voice.

“Intruders! On the West Mount. Hurry! Gather the other Reds! Just one family of you. We just want to give them a warning!” I bark orders while continuing to run at staggering speeds. She nods her head and flies towards the blast. While wailing a message to her fellow Red-Hairs, she spits fire from both mouth and nose. I had never seen this happen to a Dragon before. She too must feel a great deal of pressure and astonishment.

Red-Hairs, like Queen, are very intelligent and some can learn how to understand human language. However, they have yet to conquer speaking. They can communicate with other Dragons and pass along information.

That is how we figured out they could not fly above the mountains, therefore they were stuck in here with us. Some Outsiders are hostile and about two thousand years ago, they sought refuge in these parts. Outsiders are to be brought to the panel for an interview. They decide if each outsider should stay in our community or be killed because they pose a threat to us. I wonder how many there are!

My thoughts are interrupted when I was offered a ride by Gorga, a small adolescent Blue-Tail Dragon. "Thank you, Gorga!" Debris from the blast leaves her in a fight for oxygen.

I cover my face with a wet rag and hold on tight as she plummets downward in a spiral. Queen’s Brother Anthropom swoops in just in time to prevent our demise.

Gorga rests on top of the mountain’s valley to recover while I ride this beast of a Dragon. We, the Mountain People, of all races and genders, value first; every life shall thrive in unison.

Suddenly, I spot a small female-born child running along the opening. Sirens go off as though they are preparing to blast again! “They are going to light it up, go get that girl!” Anthropom obeys my command and my old heart pounds as I scoop her into my hands.

Her blond hair was singed by the fire that formed around her.

“Report Hudson!” Says Number Three from my watch. “I am a little busy, dear. Can we talk over dinner?”

She scoffs and continues. “What is your location?”

I send my coordinates and give a full report. After collecting Gorga, we landed on the peak of Eternal Glee Falls and waited.

“Queen! Call a retreat on your family. The intruders are leaving.” Three requests and I interject.

“I need to go to my house. I am injured.” She grants consent, and I bring the child into my quarters and check her over. Her lungs, her body; Everything is intact.

“Wow, little one! What were you doing out there?” I ask her softly.

“Mommy! Daddy!” She wails.

I comfort her as a tear runs down my face. This was the moment I adopted this little girl. Before I even knew her name. “I still have some good years left, my girl. I will protect you!”

She stared at me for hours before breaking the silence with her sweet voice, “Luna!” Smiling at her like a proud Father. “Luna!” I squealed as I pointed to her. “Hudson!” I added while pointing to my chest.

This was the moment the girl, and I became a family. With her small hand in mine, I knew I would die for this tiny human. One day, far into the future; I just might have to.

Chapter Two; Luna’s Missing–A Rush for Resources.

“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming to this emergency meeting. As the world’s leading scientists, you know the current crisis this planet is facing. People are starving, even the rich. The water is depleting and we are in trouble. Our efforts were too late. We made it to this year; 3002, this month, and this day; July 3rd. It is time to act now and we need all hands on deck!” Dr. Jackie Bloom presents to the conference room of four hundred and sixty-two scientists.

She continues. “We have located an unexplored land mass big enough to prevent this crisis from escalating, especially if there is a large supply of water. There have been complications in the efforts to reach this land because it seems to be unattainable. We have sent planes, drones, and climbers across that mountainside on every corner of access, and they just never return.” Jackie stammers the rest as she reads the room.

“Due to the number of brave men and women who have lost their lives throughout the exploration, we have not been pursuing this matter for many years. We have an action plan and if executed safely, there will be no casualties, just like any other mining excursion.” Jackie pauses for a drink of water before speaking again with a confident tone.

“It will create jobs for many families. This will take about two years to complete, just in time to save us. We need to fund this because it is paramount to our survival. Please reach out to your departments to assist my team in recovering this land mass.”

A screen comes down from the ceiling and a slideshow begins. The first slide shows a mountain range split with an image of the mapped-out area which could be recovered. This could be ours and each shareholder of this project will benefit from owning a piece of this land for their disposal. Thank you greatly for your time and consideration.”

The room bursts into applause, followed by loud chatter. Jackie looks into the worried eyes of her beloved husband and colleague, Dr. Richard Bloom who made sure to receive a front row seat. A funny twist from sitting on the closed toilet seat listening to her practising from the bubbles in their tub.

Two years later.

“I miss that baby bump of mine! I wish we could have another child! Luna would be such an amazing sister! ‘Remember when we had brothers and sisters?’ My Great Grandpa used to squeal to my Great Grandma while reliving warm memories.” Jackie’s voice was quivering as if she was trying not to cry.

Richard cuts in to try out his impersonation of Great Grandma. “Well, Edwin! We grew too fast and too much. The world has nearly twelve billion, pretty close, you know! Most of the fish are dead!”

While Richard sits in his chair on the boat taking samples, he keeps a close eye on Luna, who played in the sandbox. After it seemed like only one minute, Jackie giggled and laughed before screaming with worry while darting across the lawn.

“Luna!” She ran while screaming to her toddler to get out of the water, as though it was poison. “We don’t go in the water, we use it!” Richard laughs loudly as he tries to reassure her. “Honey, we won’t need to worry much further than it takes to get through that darn mountain. We are almost done! I can’t believe it!” He stated excitedly.

“Only my wife could make that happen. Remember that fight we had? Then you dared to end that fight by telling me you were pregnant!” They laughed as they arrived at the daycare.

A sign on the wall read, ‘check in with your assigned teacher every morning for your water count. If your child does not have 6 cups of water, they will not be accepted.’ Richard scoffs at Jackie, “did you bring the water?” She looks at him with great distress. “No, I thought you did!” she exclaims.

Getting back into their vehicle, she asks, “Are you thrilled or what?” He nods. “We blast through today!” She squeals as Richard proceeds through the man-made path inside the mountain. With Luna nestled and asleep, they talk freely about today’s mission. “I mean, yes. At times, it was tough, and we lost a few people. How many people do you think we would have lost if we did nothing?”

Richard nods and seems to be in a deep trance. “Yes. You were right,” he says flatly as they enter a larger, cleared area filled with military tents and vehicles. The one question that weighs on everyone’s mind is; what is on the other side of this mountain? The many miles of soldiers line up in cohesive rows. We seem ready for anything. Too prepared for threats if you ask me.

“She is asleep. Once they blast, she will wake up and we will get her. She can’t get out of her car seat, anyway.” Jackie suggests, and Richard puts up a small protest before allowing this plan with excitement.

The countdown to blast ends and the noise is so loud it is almost inaudible. A metal roof was erected to prevent flooding on the road through the mountain and lights were installed. The noise from the blast bounced from above like a volleyball in play.

Special vacuums helped clear the dust to increase air quality for the workers and scientists. “Three or four more blasts, Sir! Then, she will be penetrated real good!” Bellows the worker to the engineer and chief of the project, Mrs. Elaine Gauthier.

The dust settles and the group is presented with a vast forest area, but in the distance, you can hear the beautiful sound of running water. It seems to have the strength of a large stream that could run deep over a large drop-off. “Uncharted land, Ladies and Gentlemen! No known human has stepped foot here! Congratulations on being a part of this.” says Jackie with great pride.

“Finished sooner than you thought!” Elaine laughs while bantering with the worker. In formation, a group of two hundred and forty-two people gathers and disperse themselves throughout the forest. Like no other forest before, it revealed its glory and each group were followed by a soldier or two.

While becoming enamored with the revealing, Jackie’s heart sank when she realized they have not checked on Luna for some time now. She raced towards their vehicle, finding Luna safe, but shaken up. Richard comes running then also sighs with relief when he too realizes the baby is fine and they carry her into the wide open space of trees, bushes, and berries.

Luna played along a hollowed-out log while the family walked through the forest, holding hands at times. Investigating a large claw mark gained the attention of the couple. They talked about it’s possible origin, and their worst nightmare became true. Dread falls upon them both as they simultaneously look back and around, only to see no child in sight.

Chapter Three; The Long-Forgotten and not Missed Species.

The couple looked for their daughter, “she couldn’t have gone far.”

They talked about how fruitful the trees looked and that they seemed to be wet from the rain. Suddenly, through the scattered branches, a startling sound would be heard next.

“That was some sort of creature! I bet the thing that made the marking on the tree! It is huge, whatever it is! We have to find her now!” screamed Richard as he frantically called her name. “Luna!”

Jackie bellowed through the branches. “Luna! Where are you, little bug?” The animal passed over above their heads again and they witnessed a miraculous event. The first known sighting of a dragon in over two thousand years. It’s heat made sweat bead off Jackie and Richard’s brows, but yet, it did not shoot fire at them.

“He sees us, or she! Is that what I think it is?!” Richard shouts while frantically searching for his daughter.

“Retreat!” Yelled Roy, a famous environmental scientist. Gunshots rang through the air as the beast from above bellowed a deep cry. Trying to evade the attackers, the Dragon swooped into the space between the mountains, quickly pursued by an elite group of military personnel. Distant screams from the graceful monster rang through the trees along the forest’s edge.

“She isn’t bothered by our bullets! These things would cut a cow in half!” yells a soldier to his commander. When the large beast realizes it is trapped from above it spins onto it’s back gracefully and turns around in an effort to get free.

“We must evacuate!” Screamed soldiers as they loaded everyone on the truck and the Dragon sped out of the mountain’s clearing about their heads.

“You need to leave now!” The commander hollered to the couple, still trying to find Luna.

“I won’t leave her!” Jackie protests as Richard picks her up off her feet and runs with her on his back to safety by force.

The majestic creature shows it's girth as it flies seamlessly back through the entrance to their world. As multiple dragons come to the aid of their comrade, the humans develop a plan to blow the side of the mountain to seal them back inside. “Shoot anything that flies until we seal this death trap!” instructed their commander.

“No!” yells a defeated Jackie.

“You can’t do this! Our daughter is in there, you fool!” Adds Richard.

“I will stay!” She bargains.

“No way!” argues Richard.

“I am not losing you too, and we need you to develop a plan.” Jackie lunges at Richard screaming, “that’s our daughter! Come with me!”

She is quickly held back by military personnel. “He’s right.” Elaine votes as she passes by with a grim look on her face.

“We need someone to scale to the top, put this device between the marked section and come back down within 12 minutes or we are all dead!” explains Elaine. Someone in the distance agrees as Jackie stands at the mouth of the land begging to return for her precious daughter.

She violently kicks the soldiers assigned to her as they hold her back tightly. Richard and another man can get her to safety just in time for the blast. It would be very hard for them to breathe with all the debris, but they would be no match for the gaggle of Dragons pursuing them.

As the rocks crumble from the top, Jackie sees a glimpse of her daughter at the entrance, but she knows it is too late. Suddenly a red flash occurs, and she witnesses yet another mystery. For years she argues her daughter was gently picked up by a beast and flown to safety.

When the board declared the project would not be further explored, Jackie went into a rage that ended their marriage. Furthermore, sending her to Darnmyth Psychiatric Hospital for many long stays. Jackie greeted her psychologist the same way she always did. By banging on the window of her large, uniformly designed room yelling, “Hi Beth! I am still not crazy today! Do you want to let me out of here?”

Beth smiled as she greeted Jackie. “Do you think a person who bangs on the walls, talks to herself often and wakes up screaming every night could be experiencing some sort of difficulties?”

Jackie looks at her former colleague on the project with pure hate in her eyes. An emotion foreign to once sweet, mild-mannered Jackie. “How are you today?” She begins her assessment.

“If you let me out of here, I won’t say anything to the media. I will retract my statement and play crazy."

Suddenly Jackie becomes enraged and lunges at the window screaming as though she is breathing fire.

“I lost my daughter and I want to go home.” She finishes her sentence with wailing cries while tears stream down her face.

She recalls the sounds of that fateful day, of the water in the stream as Beth replies, “Now, that is progress!” Jackie looks at Beth as though she has ill intent for her.

“Fine. You can go home, but the board has a few demands."

Jackie listens intently as Beth continues, “You will not try to climb the mountain or access the road again. You will retract your statements and conduct a new interview about the disassociation you experienced when your daughter died. You will accept our offer of compensation and you will be able to move on with your life to another country. Your sterilization procedure will be reversed before you leave here today, as was Richard’s, and you will move on with your life.”

“Sounds fair,” Jackie exclaims. “One more thing.” Beth continues. “If you try to scale the mountain, you will be shot down. There are patrols.” Jackie had a tear in her eye as she was being released. “No funny stuff this time,” Beth asked while the door made a buzzing sound, then was released from its latches.

The crisp, cold air against her face for the first time in three months was almost too much for Jackie to comprehend. To her surprise, a familiar face emerged from his car; Richard. “Three months this time, Richard! They act as though I am the one that wronged them. I would have been happy to fight those Dragons for our daughter!” Richard offers her a ride home which she regretfully accepts.

He turns into a desolate road, and Jackie breaks the long silence. “If you are going to kill me, just do it!” Richard scoffs. “Of course not, I want to talk privately.” She looks around his vehicle, inspecting for spyware as they park and vacate the vehicle.

“OK. enough with the suspense. What do you want to say?” Richard stops and grabs Jackie by the hands like he used to. “We are climbing that wall!” He says as though he is seven years old and just discovered a stash of candy.

“After all this time? Fifteen years! What if she did parish? They have patrols and are going to shoot me if I try. Beth confirmed it.”

“I have a plan for that. I developed a camouflage suit that projects the surface underneath to the back. They will never know we are there. I have been through a lot of counseling too and I need to see this through; with you.”

Jackie accepts.

Chapter Four; Fifteen Years Later; Meeting Mom and Dad.

“Every year on this day, you take forth another year, my sweet child. July 3, the day you were found. You are old enough now that on this day, I will tell you your origin.” The old man stops, deep in thought about the next words that will come into play.

“My smart, young Luna, I will answer all your questions the best that I can. By now, you are likely wondering the whole truth. I have tried to be as honest as possible throughout your childhood years and I–.” The old man stammers as I intercept the conversation.

“What is it Pa-Papi? You are under stress. What is the matter?” He rubs my back as he has done every night before bed for as long as I can remember. “Do not comfort me when I do not know why you are doing so!”

“It is difficult for me to talk about. There are so many unanswered questions that I want to give you. Have you heard anything from the people regarding your past throughout the years?” I look at him with wonder and I am curious. What could he be hiding from me?

“No, Pa Papi! No one will speak of it. They tell me to ask you or Number Three. She tells me to ask you.”

“Good.” He replies. A glimmer of guilt sits behind his bright brown eyes. A familiar look that I have seen from time to time.

“Spill it like beans! You must tell me more than, ‘your parents loved you very much. You became lost and in danger. I rescued you with Anthropom.’ The End.”

I mocked him as I repeated his story told in response to many questions throughout my known life. I demand to know more and my heart quickens. We are interrupted by the sound of someone or something hiding in the shadows of the trees behind our home.

“Did you hear that?” He asks me with apprehension that we are alone.

“Just a squirrel, Pa Papi! You are paranoid, just tell me!”

“Hello? We are sorry to intrude on this talk!” A voice calls from the bushes. “We are lost.”

Pa Papi Hudson whispers to me softly, “No one gets lost here. How strange.” I agreed with a nod, awaiting his plan.

I added, “People don’t travel and there is no way the Outsiders could intrude with the new system.”

I whisper back, “A group of them, yes, but a couple? No! It sounds like two, maybe three.”

The man spoke again. “We are two. I am looking for our daughter, Luna, and we came across your lovely village. We come in peace.”

Pa Papi looks at me with his eyes, and mouth opened wide. I think I felt his heart hit mine as they fell to the floor. “I–.” He puts his hand over my mouth to silence me quickly, and I struggle for a few seconds.

“You are not on your rightful land. However, I welcome you to our home. Show yourselves.” He commands with purpose.

I guess this was the big mystery. He didn’t want to have me ridiculed for being the child of an outsider. It is said that some families harbor evil beings, something this land is missing. As I look my biological parents in the face, I realize I look like my Mother.

A million questions flood my mind, but not one of them will escape my mouth. They both look at me with hope. Hope that I am that toddler they lost in the woods all those years ago.

“I am Luna,” I say firmly. I can see that Pa Papi is staring into the soul of my being for any type of reaction, but there isn’t one. The two strangers that have travelled a great distance to meet me finally ask for water.

My Father collapses; from exhaustion or nerves, I am not entirely sure. We bring him inside and sit around the table, staring at one another in silence.

“Anthropom and I saved Luna from the collapse when you intruders invaded our land.” Pa Papi explains as a matter of fact.

“The dragon?” she jumps out of her chair and looks out the window frantically.

“Yes, we coincide with them peacefully. Heck, cooperatively! The Dragons are our comrades. They help us protect this place from too many of your refugees from the baron land.”

He looks down upon her and her husband, who has joined the table, confused. I nudge him to signal when he gets rude with them and reconvene in the conversation.

“OK. How did I get lost? What happened? Let’s start there. I am seven-teen now, parents!” I locked eyes with Pa Papi, so he knew I was talking to everyone. “What are your names?” I added.

“Of course.” She replied. “I am Jackie and this is your Father, Richard.” The woman cries uncontrollably as she hugs her spouse, sobbing into his sweater. Richard takes over and explains what happened on that momentous day.

“Wow. OK.” I stammered after what seemed like hours of listening.

“I know it is a lot to take in, my little bug.” Jackie swelled with joy.

“Did you not like me when I was a child? Why would you call me a bug? They are gross.” My anxiety takes over as I blabber on. “Well, it depends. What kind of bug?”

The adults laughed and I become uncomfortable and stormed off. My anger takes over and I speak loudly into my watch, “Voice call, Number Three.”

She answers, and I respond quickly. “Two intruders are in our house.” I hang up the call. Within minutes, troops arrive. I can see their flashing lights in the distance as I run. I hear them calling my name, however, I am content with not being found, for now.

I hear them talking as they pass me in the cornfield an hour later. “Anyway, it is nice to meet you! I have been a make-shift Mother for Luna since she was rescued.” offers Number Three.

“Why do they call you by a number instead of a name? Are you a high-tech AI?” Questions Richard, more curious by the passing moments.

“No. I am a human. They named me a number because I was moulded to understand this world we have and cherish it. I am the third highest-ranking panel member. It is like the government you adopted throughout the years. We are kind and truthful. We oversee the success and sustainability of every life here, unlike what you call ‘the Board.’

Trying to get circulation in the blood of my feet, I move my legs and that makes a sound, giving my location away.

“I just want to be alone. Go home! Please! I will meet you there.” I said as the group fell silent.

They respected my wishes and vacated the area. Deep within my thoughts, I am struggling to comprehend. I make it home safely and they are waiting by the door, in the kitchen talking and baking pastries. Each one takes a turn, trying to speak to me as I walk to my room without sound or expression.

“There has not been an awake or resting a minute on this planet that I have not thought about you.” Jackie cries.

“We should have kept a better eye on you. I am so sorry.” Richard oozes with guilt.

“I will see you in the morning. Get some rest.” Pa Papi whispers sweetly. He knows me.

Chapter Five; Is the Future Friendly?

Pa Papi made his famous breakfast with all the fixings, then sits us all down for a long story. He began by talking about the history between the Mountain People and the Outsiders. How, for thousands of years after the war that started it all, we have coincided. The Outsiders preferred to hide everything from the public and the Mountain People teach and train in the event of invasion.

“Each time one of your planes came across, it was grounded. If the pilot refused to land, it was shot down. Those people are always welcome to stay, but the board is right, with your kind of human, the secret is best kept.” He pauses and looks at me. His expression says he must now give bad news.

“You are not allowed to leave. The panel knows you are here, and there is military personnel on all sides of the house. That is just the way it is. We could use some outstanding scientists if you are interested.” An alarming state is apparent on both of their faces as my father asked the dreaded question.

“So, we can’t leave?” My Mom looks into his eyes with worry.

“Correct. Not alive. No.” Pa Papi replies. Tears run down my face until their next correspondence.

“No trouble. We were Mountain People the moment we found Luna. We would stay wherever she would like anyway!” Stress rang through her voice as she accepted her fate.

“Great, it’s settled. You will be monitored for some time and upgrades will be made to our defenses. You will be built a house and a garden. Luna will show you the ropes.” He leaves us to talk after adding a warning.

“We have Dragons on our side.”

“I am not following you, Hudson.” Richard knows when he speaks what Pa Papi is saying to him.

“The board has tried many times to conquer this land and they lose every time and have since given up.”

“They are getting desperate, but WE are Mountain People now!” Jackie says with a grand passion. “We can even serve as a spy. If it means knowing my daughter, I, we are forever indebted to you.”

“No need. We are ready for them.”

I hope you enjoyed this story. I would love to make a prequel or sequel. There is so much more I think this story could become if given the right support! I just love mythical and magical creations. Thank you Vocal for giving us this platform to test our skills and see if we might be able to continue it. This is my absolute dream! I hope one day I can make it come true. Thanks for reading and for all of you who support me. Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE and LOVE when you love my work! I will always have a look at yours!


About the Creator

Amy Hall

I have written since a little girl. With love for story telling, I was eager to learn how to write, so I could piolet my own adventures! I finally am pursuing as a career but have no idea where to start! Consider subscribing! Enjoy!

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