473 Dragon Haven

    A soft plop of a lure landing in the river broke the peaceful silence of the early dawn.  Nix leaned back in his chair and listened to the slow trickle of water.

    /Go Fish: Semmi: Not using live bait this morning?

    /Go Fish: Nix: Nope.  I picked this lure up in Glory City, wanted to give it a try.

    /Go Fish: Jun Li:  From that outdoor adventure shop?  I heard they have everything there.

    /Go Fish: Semmi:  We have about a dozen new players that started playing in Colonial in the past few months.  Should we make a mid-tier Inferno?

    /Go Fish: Jun Li: No guild business while fishing!

    /Go Fish: Semmi: Sorry, Junie.

    Jun Li stared off into the distance, her brown eyes squinting slightly.  "What's that?"

    Nix reeled in a few meters of line before looking up.  "Our three dragon friends."

    The frightening appearance of three full-sized dragons was in full effect as they took turns chasing each other and performing battle maneuvers.

    Semmi paused from her task of putting a worm on her hook.  "Count em Boss, there's five."

    "Must be Muncie and Fey."  Nix created a scaled-down version of a dragon puppet from the corpse left from the Ever Flame battle.  He had given this to Muncie who was their only Necro-Animator.

    "Make that seven."  Jun Li pointed toward the east where two smaller brown dragons were flying toward the group.  "Is that Tharaka and Una?"

    Nix nodded while he watched them.  The two wildling dragons from Tembai had been given to Tharaka and Una.  The Ashobel chieftain had been planning to wait since his leadership of the tribes was a big part of Inferno's power.  However, when Una took over the body of her wildling, she had unexpectedly retained the ability to change back to her previous form.  Seeing this, Nix agreed that Tharaka should risk taking over his also.  Wildlings were basically young dragons that hadn't developed the full range of abilities yet, as such they weren't covered by the Dragon Accord.  The two of them, along with Muncie, Fey, and the drakes; gave them quite a bit of real firepower.  The gamble had paid off, Tharaka also retained the ability to change to his Ashobel form.

    Jun Li whistled softly when the sky behind Muncie and Fey suddenly darkened with dozens of drakes.  "Goodness... Is that our air power?"

    Semmi cast her line toward the far side of the river and took a seat.  "Just wait until Sky King Clan takes to the air."

    Nix smiled at the name.  The Sky King was the common name for the Falcon Titan.  As someone who inhabited one of their puppets, he knew exactly where the moniker came from.  Their aerial abilities were unrivaled, even against dragons. Guyanar had changed the name of Clan Krayven to the Sky King Clan.  "How many of them have developed?"

    Semmi brought up her hud and glanced at the numbers.  "Nineteen.  It's by far the most of any of the Clans."

    /Go Fish: Jun Li: No business, last warning!

    Semmi closed her hud and winked at Nix.  "Sorry, Junie.  No more!"

    Nix nodded in agreement.  "I hear Nihlus is your date for the Harvest Dance?"  He kept his face expressionless but his eyes bore the glint of humor.

    Jun Li's pale face reddened slightly.  "I don't dance anyways..."  She'd been spending a lot of time with the Lion Titan.  He was stuck inside a dragon egg since Nix had saved both him and Sindi with his animator abilities.  "That reminds me, Tai was looking for you yesterday."

    Nix felt the smallest tug on his line and transferred his attention from Junie to the fish.  "Aren't I easy to find?"

    A sudden heavy tug made the end of his rod bend downward, in one motion he stood and set the hook with a quick jerk of his wrists.  The sudden whine of his line being dragged out brought a grin to his face.  "Gotchya!"

    Semmi bounced up and reeled in her line before bringing out an oversized landing net.  "Big one?"

    Nix nodded and tightened up the drag on his line.  "Damn... it's really running!"  Suddenly the line went slack, frantically he reeled it in as the fish decided to change directions.  "Smart bastard."

    Since the line was still far upstream, Semmi took a moment to slip off her shoes and roll up her leggings.  "Haven fish are freakish."  The fishing club had learned early on that some of the fish they caught were much smarter than they should be.  They would turn toward the fisher and charge, after getting slack in the line they would turn back and attempt to snap it.  The tactic worked until the fishing club switched to a much stronger line.

    After twenty minutes of fighting, the line stopped a few meters away.  Despite his attempts to pull it closer, Nix was unable to reel the rest in.

    /Go Fish: Jun Li: Did you hit a snag?

    /Go Fish: Semmi: Want me to go get it?  It's fairly close.

    /Go Fish: Not a snag, he's dug in somehow.  I'll get closer.

    Nix continued to reel while wading closer.  "The hell is that..."

    Semmi lowered the net into the water, the golden glimmer of a fish could be seen wedged behind one of the bigger rocks.  "Did it do that on purpose?"  She gripped the line in one hand and scooped it up with the other.  She hoisted the meter-long prize into the air a moment later.

    /Go Fish: Jun Li: Good lord... What is that?

    /Go Fish: Nix: Golden Carp maybe?

    /Go Fish: Semmi: With legs?

    Four tiny legs stuck out from the fish's long body.  Its head was rounded slightly, giving it a blunt appearance.  It's bright blue eyes stared at the blonde officer.

    "Remove this hook from my mouth, or suffer the consequences, little man."

    Semmi. "...."

    Nix was the first to recover, he took out a hook-pliers from his belt and easily removed the lure.  "A talking fish?  Now I've seen everything."

    The blue eyes focused on Nix, squirming slightly when he picked it out of the net and walked toward the shore.  "I'm a dragon, moron."

    Jun Li touched the scaled body with one finger, jerking back suddenly when it snapped at her.  "Hey!"

    "Do I go around touching you?"  The golden tail flicked with indignation.  "Not that I'd want to, you are hideous."

    Semmi laughed at her friend's expression.  "Don't kill it, Junie."

    [Whisper: Nix to Deidra]  Can you take a break and come see me?  Got something I want to show you.

    A moment later, the largest of the dragons in Haven landed on the riverbank.  She quickly morphed into her human form and took a moment to shrink her horns before walking toward them.  "I saw you earlier, but didn't want to disturb your fishing."

    "What do you make of this thing?  I caught it in the river."  Nix held the golden fish in both hands.  The body was about a meter in length and the thickness of his arm.

    Deidra's eyes widened in surprise when she turned her focus on the fish in Nix's arms.  "This was in Haven?"

    The golden fish attempted to swat Nix with its tail.  It ceased struggling when Deidra came into its sight.  "Big sister?  Make these fools release me!"

    Unexpectedly Deidra started laughing, her expression changing from curiosity to joy.  "It's a predecessor.  I've never actually seen one but I've heard stories."

    Nix shared a clueless glance with fishing buddies.  "A predecessor?  So it's a dragon?"

    Deidra shrugged slightly and held her hands out.  "Perhaps in a few thousand years or so.  May I take it?"

    /Go Fish: Nix: Either we eat it or give it to her.

    /Go Fish: Jun Li: Let's eat that rude bastard.

    /Go Fish: Semmi: Agreed.

    Nix ignored the general consensus and handed the fish to Deidre.  "Good riddance."

    Deidra waved her hands quickly and the fish disappeared from sight.  "I'm going to study it for a while, if you want it back just let me know."

    A moment later the woman turned back into a dragon and rejoined her flying comrades.

    [Whisper Tai'Qui to Deidra]  What did Nix want?

    [Whisper: Deidra to Tai'Qui]  He wanted to greet me and apologize for not visiting my nursery.

    [Whisper Tai'Qui to Deidra]  Really?  Just that?

    [Whisper: Deidra to Tai'Qui]  No, he also asked me to attend their Harvest dance.

    /Go Fish: Semmi: Next time we catch one of those, I'm starting a fire and we are eating it immediately.  It called me a little man!

    /Go Fish: Nix: I'll ask Deidra if he's the only one.  From her expression, it seems they are pretty rare.
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