So, this is it… The end of the Engineered Rebel series…
Not that the characters are disappearing. Trust me, I am working on some things behind the scenes (you should check out my Patreon if you want to be the first to see anything), but it’s an end to this story, and that’s a little bittersweet. Especially when it’s the first long series I’ve finished.
Anyway, the cliffhanger at the end of Book Five was a little mean, so here’s the opening chapter of Book Six that follows on from that. If you need to catch up on the series, you can pick all of the previous books here (and Book One is free). Or if you want to just pick up Book Six in its entirety, you can get it here.
Nyssa stared at their attackers for a long moment. “I’m sorry, the what?”
The large Wyvern on his knees before her – an effect of Nyssa’s powers as a Dragon Priestess – hissed as he answered. “The Last Great Dragon. The Priestesses have tasked us with their protection. That means eliminating anything that would indicate a large Dragon presence on Earth. Including your beacon.”
Nyssa frowned. “You came here to destroy our beacon? But we have nothing to do with you.”
“It is not my place to explain. Only the Priestesses can do that. We were sent to destroy your beacon and escort you to them.”
“No,” Nyssa said simply.
“You cannot refuse their orders.”
“Yes, I can. They are not my Priestesses. I am not sworn to them, and they sent armed warriors into my domain without warning. These hatchlings are under my protection and the Priestesses have threatened them. So, no, I will not adhere to their wishes. You will tell me where they are, and we shall address them when we feel like it. Understood?”
The Wyvern growled, but clearly knew that he didn’t have a choice.
He was sworn to Nyssa as much as the others.
“Only someone with the correct portal can enter the city.”
“Then draw me the portal.”
Nyssa handed him some chalk and he did just that. After he was done, Nyssa examined his handiwork, and seemed to decide that it was up to standard before turning to him and the others, who were still kneeling on the ground.
“Leave here,” Nyssa told them. “And never return.”
They shifted out, leaving Gus, Hell and Nyssa alone in the room.
Nyssa sighed as she moved over to the pool of lava in the centre of the room.
“What are you doing?” Hell asked as zie approached.
“Deactivating the beacon.”
“Why? You told them to leave and never come back.”
“The beacon was what attracted them here in the first place. As much as I will stand up to them, antagonising them further doesn’t seem smart.”
“Yeah, but why did the beacon attract them? And why didn’t you want to go with them to straighten this out? I mean, if it was a misunderstanding, surely talking to them would be the best way to avoid antagonising them further.”
Nyssa sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose. “Hell, I wish that I had answers to your questions, but I do not, and that is why I will not bow to these Dragons. I do not know them. I did not even know that they existed until today. And the things they were saying did not make sense… There were only two Great Dragons when the Vulcan Plains were cut off from the other realms, and as far as I know, they didn’t make it to Earth. Except now there’s apparently one here and the number of Dragons needed to protect them… Hell, there would have to be a lot of them. And all I know about them is that I didn’t know about them until today. That’s not enough information for me to trust them.”
“Is it enough to distrust them?”
Gus suppressed a sigh. It was clear that his sibling wanted to reach out to the other Dragons, but he was with Nyssa on this one. They didn’t know enough.
Nyssa gave Hell a sympathetic smile. “Hell, I grew up in the Vulcan Plains, and serving the Dragons was the only way out of the Human communities. But if I hadn’t wanted that, it wouldn’t have mattered. As far as the Dragons are concerned, their children exist to serve them. If we go to them, you might not have a choice, either. With all of the work you’ve done to escape the Enhanced, do you really want that?”
Hell looked away. “Of course not. I just thought…”
“I know. But this will have to be handled carefully.” Nyssa sighed. “I will have to go, at least. I may have ordered away the ones who came here this time, but there will be others, and we cannot count on being so lucky every time. While I am gone, you and Gus should stay at the base. The shielding should protect you.”
“No,” Hell protested. “We’re not letting you go alone.” Zie turned to Gus. “Right?”
“Right,” he agreed, though he wasn’t sure that Hell was grasping the gravity of the situation. Still, if it was as dangerous as Nyssa seemed to think it might be, that was even more reason for her not to go alone. He turned to Nyssa. “We may not be sworn to you, but we’re in this together.”
Nyssa regarded them for a moment, and he was sure that she was going to continue to try to talk them out of it, but then she nodded. “Fine. But either way, you should tell the others.”
Hell smiled. “Then I guess it’s a good thing that we’re almost late for a team meeting.”