• tab Pyra looked around the room for a utility locker. A small green light near the door blinked on and off. “There you are!” She walked around the bodies of the sentries, stepping up to the flashing light. Pulling open the door, she found a variety of tools and equipment nestled within the confines of the locker. She played her fingers across a few before removing a small cone shaped beacon and a flare. She pulled a small ball of black explosive putty from a pouch on her utility belt and molded it around the barrel of the flare. She placed the modified flare on the inside of the broken door frame. Then, she moved the wounded blue dragon behind the open locker door and ducked behind the transmission machine, bracing for an explosion. She pictured the trigger of the flare in her mind, willing it to pull. With a click and a bang, the doors flew into the hallway, careening off the walls and ceiling with metallic clangs. Smoke from the doorway billowed into the small room.
    tab She lifted the sentry onto her shoulders, and walked through the hole that was once a doorway, marveling her handiwork. “Explosives as emergency door openers… I should suggest that at the next staff meeting.” Stepping over and around the twisted doors, she left the hallway and entered the first room again. She was in the midst of gently placing the unconscious soldier on the only piece of furniture that was still intact, when a thought struck her. “That female sentry probably got a good look at the creature before she died. I wonder if her visor is still intact…”
    tab Pyra stepped over the demolished main door into the shade of the canyon wall under midmorning light, raising her visor so she wouldn’t hurt her eyes. She stepped over to a small open area, and placed the conic beacon in the middle of it. Pyra quickly pressed a button on the bottom of the cone and jumped back just in time to avoid getting hit by a short burst of red energy, which rocketed several hundred feet into the sky, where it detonated in a brilliant flash of crimson. She nodded in satisfaction. “There’s no way they’ll miss that!” Pyra then turned her attention to the wall ruins. “Now where did that corpse go…?”
    tab She rummaged through debris until she found a leg sticking out from under a boulder. “Wrong half, but I’m close.” Moving to the other side of the boulder, she was rewarded with the sight of a dusty head sticking out of a pile of rocks. Pyra stepped over to the head; the rest of the torso was buried beneath the rubble. “Lucky for me she landed like this.” She carefully removed the visor, collapsing it to make it more portable, and set it in a pouch on her utility belt.
    tab Although she was no stranger to carnage, Pyra shuddered when she saw that the sentry’s eyes were still open. They had assumed the color of dead dragon eyes: a deep all-encompassing blackness that seemed to stretch on forever, filling those who see it with dread. Pyra looked away, unable to bear the sight any longer. Turning to face the sixth gate she released her wings, once more taking to the skies in search of her prey.

    tab Hallsoor dashed out of the mountain pass onto blazing-hot sand and rock. Unable to control the Wind-walk for long distances, he used it in short bursts, conserving energy that would have been spent trying to navigate the terrain at ridiculous speeds. The Southern Dragon Control Tower appeared on the horizon a little to the left, he altered his course slightly so that he would end up next to it. “Kyle and Karin are probably already waiting, placing bets as to who will reach the tower first, no doubt.” He thought. A few minutes later he began to use a skating motion to slow down, weaving back and forth through the treacherous rocks and crevices, getting closer to the tower with every passing second.
    tab Finally, he slid to a stop beside the tower. The two dragon medics jogged up to him, catching him as he collapsed from exhaustion. One medic turned to the other, “This guy seems to just be tired, let’s bring him inside where he can recover.” The other medic nodded. They walked through the doors into the lobby carrying Hallsoor, turning to go through the arch leading into the waiting room.
    tab Kyle looked up as the medic entered. He waved to a chair, “Set him there, he’ll wake up in a bit.” The medics complied, gently placing Hallsoor in a comfortable position in the chair. One medic checked Hallsoor’s pulse, confirming Kyle’s words, while the other walked back into the lobby, returning with a full pitcher of water and a cup to replace the now empty pitcher on the table. Kyle grinned, “Thanks.” The medics left to wait for Sasha to arrive. Kyle turned to Karin with a grin on his face, “I win.” Karin sighed, “But there’s still a chance of me getting the rest!” Kyle laughed, “In your dreams, maybe!”
    tab Hammaas watched the exchange with mild amusement, finally interrupting, “Are you sure he’ll be all right?” Kyle waved him off, “He’ll be just fine. We do this sort of thing all the time.” Lilly spoke up, “I see the last member of your unit coming, it looks like they’re on a suicidal course.” The three sitting down stood up and walked over to the window. Kyle grinned, “I have to see this.”
    tab Sasha was using her full strength to propel herself along the ground. Her body ached from holding a dead sprint for so long. “It’s time to try something new!” She thought. She gathered all her strength in her legs, and launched from the ground at a low angle. “C’mon, c’mon… Keep it steady!” Her course began to shift as she fought to retain her balance every time she touched the ground.
    tab Kyle looked out at the approaching Sasha with a slight frown. “It looks like she’s attempting to use the Wind-walk.” He said. Karin frowned, “Isn’t that suicidal for her?” Kyle covered his face with a hand, “Yeah, it is. I didn’t think she do something this reckless.”
    tab Hammaas watched Sasha for a moment, “Her course is crazy, she looks off balance.” He said. Lilly stared out the window silently.
    tab They all watched as Sasha tripped, lost her balance, and started to slide/roll/bounce towards the room they were in. Kyle grimaced as Sasha bounced one last time, the angle of it causing her to smash into the window, spattering it with blood. Her crumpled body slid to the ground.
    tab The medics dashed out to the front of the window, lifting a broken body off the ground and putting it onto a floating gurney. One hesitantly checked for signs of life, and looked surprised as he called out, “She’s still alive!” They rushed Sasha’s body inside, now little more than a bloody heap of flesh on broken bone, yelling for the desk clerk to open an emergency portal to the medical facilities at the Dragon Academy. Kyle turned to Karin, a grim smile on his face, “I win again.”