Wings of Freedom

by Fossil-Dragon-Messiah


Thanatyak walked briskly through the hollowed out rock formation that housed the hive with a pep in his step and a song in his heart. At long last Commander Kilik was sending him off to battle, and that wasn't even the best part! Now that he and his siblings had higher ranking access to the mess hall, they wouldn't have to keep eating the same tatzlwurm stew every day. Not that tatzlwurm stew wasn't delicious to the omnivorous changelings, but eating the same thing over and over again everyday for thirteen years could leave a lot to be desired in ones palette.

Cocoonis and Nymphia walked behind their younger brother, just as ecstatic as him, but showing it in a much more restrained manner. Both of them had a pleased smile on their faces as they walked through the rocky caverns.

Where the three were heading, nobody could tell. They seemed just pleased to travel to where ever their legs and wings would take them. Nothing short of a dragon ripping open the hive and laying waste to every changeling inside could spoil this moment.

Nymphia seemed lost in her own little world, whispering to herself as she calculated the most efficient ways to dispatch different breeds of dragons. "Let's see here... Wyverns: Clip their wings and aim for the forehead. Basic variants: The stomach has least amount of protection. Sneak in close and stab away. Armored variants: Practically invincible except for one little spot where their head meets their neck. Orientals... Orientals... Orientals..."

Cocoonis turned to his sister. "Orientals are extinct. Remember? They have been for the past six years."

Nymphia shrugged. "I kinda wish they weren't. Could you imagine if we came back with ones head on a pike? We'd be legendary!"

Thanatayk jumped up and let his wings carry him as he turned to his brother and sister. "I wouldn't be so eager, Nymphia. Giant lizards that don't need wings to fly, but instead use telekinetic powers? Ugh... Just thinking about seeing those purple scales and green spines attached to a giant gaping mouth sends a shiver down my exoskeleton."

Nymphia's eyes lit up as she recalled the oriental's achilles heel. "Oh yeah! Now I remember! Orientals couldn't stand the toxic extract from the Venom Thorn cactus!"

Thanatyak and Cocoonis rolled their eyes. For as much of a hard ass she was on them, when she got interested in something she practically squealed about it. Nymphia threw back her papery mane as she trotted alongside her brothers, discussing the near future.

All three of them couldn't wait for their military careers to begin. Soon they would be using real swords instead of the wooden practice swords and they would finally be able to kill some dragons.

For the past five years, dragons had been terrorizing Chrysalis' hive, claiming that dragons have an inborn right to take from those they consider lesser beings. Any changeling outpost was fair game for them, but they seem to prefer attacking supply depots, sentry posts or any where the hive got fresh water in the harsh desert such as the recently demolished Titan Outpost. Even worse, the dragons seemed to relish in it as claimed by some of the few survivors of their attacks. Laughing as they burned soldiers alive and smashed through defensive lines.

The three had heard the stories, but they only served to stoke their will for battle. Such disgusting creatures didn't deserve to live on the same planet as the changelings, and they would be the harbingers of their extinction. They would be the last thing the wretched beasts see before they ended their miserable lives.

Thanatyak shuddered with anticipation as he slammed into a wall with a thud. "OW! Dammit!" He exclaimed. The purple stinger turned around and glared at the wall, or door rather. A door that led to the mess hall no less.

The stinger placed a claw on his stomach as he realized just how hungry he had been. A grumble sounded off as he felt the vibrations reverberate through his exoskeleton. "Hey guys", he said as he turned to the two changelings behind him. "You wanna grab something to eat real quick? I'm really friggin hungry."

Nymphia and Cocoonis looked at each other before coming to a silent agreement. Thanatyak opened the massive stone door and held it open for his siblings as they walked inside. They had arrived slightly later than average, catching the mess hall empty, but not to late as to annoy the cooks by stopping them from closing up early.

For some reason, the mess hall was filled with a most unusual aroma. As far as the three could tell the cooks weren't experimenting with any new meals, so they assumed they had a new appreciation of a smell that had once been subtle to them, but now that they were no longer restricted to only one type of meal, they took in every intoxicating smell. Meat roasting on the racks, the few amounts of vegetables they could cultivate being stewed. It all came together in a blissful aroma.

The three each ordered the same meal, a steak cut from the hide of the finest specimens of nemean lions, one of the most difficult beasts to hunt as their skin was impenetrable to everything but their own claws, making the only way to kill them strangulation, poison or getting another lion to do the dirty work, but the resulting meat was so worth the effort.

Thanatyak bit into his meal with a savage hunger, while Cocoonis and Nymphia took more polite and savory bites. The succulent juices oozing off the meat was pure bliss as it fell upon their tongues. The three ate their new meal no longer as trainees, but as full fledged soldiers ready to kill for the hive.

With a mouthful of meat, Thanatyak turned to his siblings and asked, "So... Where did Kilik say we were getting deployed again?"

Nymphia swallowed and responded, "I believe he said we'd be shipped off to a place called Horn Valley."

"Never heard of it", Cocoonis said bluntly.

Nymphia turned to the eldest brother. "I think I've heard the name before but I can't remember where."

Thanatyak shrugged nonchalantly, "Meh. I'm sure Kilik will fill us in during the briefing. For now let's just sit back and relax."

The rest of the night was spent relaxing. The three siblings goofing off and talking about nothing in particular. They sat enjoying the remaining hours of irresponsibility in their barracks.

Eventually, the curfew came, leaving the three siblings in the darkness, ready for sleep.