The Cl0ckworks Drag0n
Moonlight poured in through the broken castle wall, filling the small cobblestone room with a pale blue light.
In the center of the room sat an old dragon hunched over a large iron desk, his scales the color of blazing copper. His dark amber eyes were narrowed in concentration as he fumbled over a small gold gear.
Suddenly, an ear-splitting roar broke through his concentration. The copper-scaled dragon whipped his head around as another dragon, scales black as night, burst through the castle wall. The newcomer threw herself on the other dragon, sending him crashing to the ground.
“I can’t let you finish this project!” The night-scaled dragon snarled.
The copper dragon grimaced.-
“Too late. He’ll be activated in an hour.”
The night dragon released him and stumbled over to the table, fear clouding her gaze.
On the surface lay the large figure of a full-grown dragon. Since he couldn’t grow, he had been made permanently this size. The scales were a vibrant gold, and at the base of the wings many gears turned slowly. The tail was whip-thin, leading to an insanely sharp point, and in the center of its chest a clock was embedded into the scales.
“That means he’ll have the ability to time-shift…”
The copper dragon’s eyes shone in the darkness.
“Yes, he’ll be a powerful weapon.”
The night dragon blasted him with fire.
“You can’t turn him into a mindless killer!”
The copper dragon shielded himself with a wing.
“Actually, I made him, so I have the right to choose how he grows up.”
The night dragon gave a disgusted hiss.
“I can’t believe you spent all these years in hiding creating a dragon to fight battles for you.”
The copper dragon breathed a snort of smoke.
“It’s not like that. I made him to defeat the Past Dragons, nothing else.”
The night-scaled dragon spread her wings, catching the moonlight and blending in perfectly with the darkness.
“The Past Dragons did nothing wrong. They made the future safe.”
The copper dragon lashed his tail, eyes blazing.
“They destroyed my kingdom!”
“Your kingdom was evil! And this dragon will be, too, if you raise him!”
Before the copper-scaled dragon could reply, she gripped the Clockworks Dragon tightly in her talons and flew off, her scales disappearing into the darkness.
I won’t let you become a killer…
The Clockworks Dragon opened his eyes slowly, adjusting to the different lighting. He had been carefully placed at the entrance to a cave, where a warm breeze rustled the grass on the outskirts of the stone. He spread his wings for the first time, feeling the wind catch in them.
“Wonderful, isn’t it?”
The Clockworks Dragon turned in surprise as a dragon padded over to sit beside him.
Her scales reflected the night perfectly, and her eyes were a deep blue. On the underside of her wings vicious red scars cut through the darkness.
I wonder how she got those?
Before he could ask, she began to speak.
“I chose a name for you…one that I thought you might like.”
The Clockworks Dragon looked up at her expectantly as she continued.
“Horizon, because when the sun rises, it turns the rest of the sky a beautiful golden color, like your scales.”
Horizon twisted his head to look at his scales.
They shone a vibrant gold in the morning sunlight, with small, perfectly drawn spirals at the bottom. He had pictured looking much less appealing than this. When he finished admiring his scales, he saw the night-black dragon watching him with a bored expression.
“So do you like it?”
“Good. Now lets get you inside so you can see the cave where you’ll be living for the next five years until you mature…”
Horizon blocked her with a wing before she went inside.
“Wait-you never told me your name.”
The night dragon hesitated.
“Just call me Night for now,” she replied, sounding choked.
Horizon gave her a puzzled look as she padded off into the cave. Why won’t she tell me her real name?
“This is where you will be sleeping,” Night announced.
“I collected the moss when I waited for you to awake. You took much longer then I expected!”
Night seemed to have had no recollection of changing her name. Horizon had been watching her closely every time he called her ‘Night’ while exploring the cave. She hadn’t even flinched.
“Sorry, did you say something?”
Night rolled her eyes.
“You seem to zone out every five minutes. I said, do you like it?”
Horizon studied the shallow dip in the cave floor. It looked comfortable. Dragons could sleep on almost anything because of their hard, protective scales.
“Yes, I like it.”
“Good.” Night sat down, wrapping her tail around her.
Horizon glanced expectantly at her as she sat down, hoping she would explain everything to him.