Dragon Lineage (Kafi and Ontos)
Dragons are everywhere. They rule the world. It was said that the field artillery of the Great Powers did the dragons in.
Bullshit. The politicians are the reptilians! Shape-changing reptil-
Sequester stared at the screen with half-closed eyes. Her finger scrolled the mouse-wheel down rapidly, her eyes barely paying any attention to the forum posters, their numbers and mental health prescriptions growing every month (or day, if they managed to get one of their idiots on radio), with the topics on chemical discharges from aeroplanes, the Illuminati controlling the world, and dragons running the world from behind the scenes. All of them sounded so hollow and untrue to her ears. Especially the part about the dragons.
"Bullshit," Sequester whispered to herself. Her own impression of dragons were pretty much only her father and herself, and neither of whom had any inclination to rule the world. If her father tried to rule the world, he'd stumble across some highway, be thrown a few metres by some passing sports car, and walk it off with a mumbled grunting of 'Where's my bottle?'
Dragons ruling the world? They would sooner hand the inmates the key to the asylum at Arkham.
Sequester turned her head gently to the source of the noise, staring with unamused eyes at the smiling face of a blonde-haired young man. When a girl like her could take hits from a basketball team like a punching bag made of steel, little noises like those failed to rouse any great reactions from her anymore.
"Micah," she said.
The blonde student made a tutting noise and waved his finger in disapproval at her. "Caleb. Ya' always get it wrong, Questy boy," said Caleb. He leaned right into Sequester's laptop, and looked on her screen.
"Garish background. Green and black?" Caleb gasped.
Sequester rolled her eyes as she watched Caleb poke around the webpage she was at. The guy who was the first (and last) to ask her out on a date, with flowers, and without any sort of question about whether she was male or female, was now criticising the aesthetics of a forum. She imagined some activist group, in the corner of her mind, holding up signs saying 'STOP THE STEREOTYPES'.
"And conspiracy theories. Dragons are history. People keep dredging them up whenever some disaster happens, you know," Caleb muttered, still looking at the screen though his voice no longer sounded as amused as it was a moment ago.
"That's something we can agree on, Caleb," replied Sequester, looking aside nervously. Dragons were history, in the same way some people just disappeared from the annals of time, like Lord Lucan.
The blonde young man turned towards Sequester, with a wide grin brimming with genuine joy and a hint of sadistic pleasure. "Sequester, ya' gotta' handle the finances again." Caleb produced a pink thumbdrive with clear plastic bunny ears and placed it right next to Sequester's laptop. That was certainly not the Student Council President's thumbdrive; Sequester recognised it from last month, when the president claimed to have lost his thumbdrive, using his young sister's as a replacement. From the number of calls he received that day during the meeting, in which Sequester could hear the blubbering sobs of a little girl asking for 'Bun-bun', she guessed that such a replacement was not in the interests of the president's sanity.
"The party for the Chinese students for the 'Chinese New Year' festival needs to be double-checked. What is this 'lion dance' event anyway?" Caleb gave a puzzled look at Sequester. Plugging the thumbdrive in, she failed to notice his expression. With a few swift double-clicks, Sequester opened the text document about the event.
"I have never actually seen one." The young girl turned to look at Caleb, acknowledging his puzzled expression with a light shrug before returning to look at her laptop.
"But I hear they just have a few professionals do it, with a drummer and- $50000?" She interrupted her own speaking, staring the large total figure. Sequester knew she had budgeted this a week ago, but she did not realise how much she was not paying attention.
Caleb's smile dropped as he saw her reaction. "Was that day that-"
The blue-haired girl silenced him with a single wave of her hand. That day was the day her father just kept calling her. He was drunk and miserable, as usual, but he kept saying something about 'dragon uprising' in between his wailing about his wife. From the state of the upholstery that day, the only thing rising up was the contents of her father's stomach flying onto everything that could soak liquid in the living room. The dry-cleaning expenses were monstrous.
"I'll handle this. Just give me an hour. I can cut the budget."
Caleb smiled. He stood up straight, and left as silently as he popped up right next to Sequester.
Ben was trying really hard to study for a biology test. If he did well he could bring his grade up to an even A and would be considered for the advanced biology class next year. However he was discovering that the library might not be the ideal location to do that in. It was fine when he first got here and cracked open his books and notes. There weren’t too many people around and he had a few hours before he needed to go change for work. Ben was very glad he’d opted out of taking extra curricular classes in order to have time to study. With his job and then all the people at home this was the only place where he got any peace. However it seemed his luck had run out.
As he sat scribbling away on a pad of paper someone sat down across from him staring at him. He ignored them for as long as he could before sighing and glaring up at them. “I’m pretty sure I spoke clearly last time. No.”
The olive skinned guy sitting across from him sighed and shook his head, “Ben, you are a waste of raw talent. If you’d just listen to me-”
“I don’t really feel like it.” He looked back down and started flipping through his book.
The other boy growled, exasperated, “Come on! We would absolutely kill the other teams with you as quarterback! But more than that, you’d be good. Maybe even good enough to get a scholarship without all the studying. Come on Ben you know it’d help you get in to any college you wanted.”
Ben sighed and set down his pencil in order to rub his temples, “Look, Jake. I appreciate it, really. But not every tall guy plays basketball, and not every big guy plays football. I’d rather get into college with academic honors.”
“But Ben! You could-”
But the larger boy stopped listening. Something had caught his attention across the room. "And conspiracy theories. Dragons are history. People keep dredging them up whenever some disaster happens, you know," He tuned Jake out completely now and listened in. It wasn't much but it was enough to make him curious. His parents had been on edge for a few weeks now, and they refused to talk about it, but he and his siblings knew something was up. Without realizing it he was staring menacingly across the room at the two sitting there. Even after the one boy had walked away there was something about that other guy…
“Hey? Ben? Are you even listening to me?” Jake sighed and slammed his hands down on the table making Ben jump. “Ah, well…no. Not really. Hey do you mind? I need to finish this.” Jake threw his hands in the air and stormed off. Ben shrugged it off and went back to studying, although every now and then he glanced up at the slim boy curious.
Last edited by Kafi; 04-21-2013 at 01:10 AM.
With a few quick searches on Google, Sequester smiled to herself, satisfied with her own efforts. 10 minutes was enough time for her to reduce the overall budget down to $35000, a number less likely to induce heart attacks.
Her smile gave way to a frown, though, as she thought about how distracted she was the week before. Who gave the idea about the dragons taking over the world to her father anyway?
Unplugging the thumbdrive from her laptop and closing her computer with a tangible clicking sound, Sequester lifted up her laptop and held it between her left arm and her waist. The thing was said to weigh nearly 4 kilograms, but the grey half-dragon carried it with the same ease as a small book.
As much as Sequester ignored everything else about being a half-dragon, the benefits it granted her were awesome.
Walking to the exit of the library, Sequester stopped in her footsteps as she felt her phone vibrate in her pocket. Her eyes looked around the area furtively before she retrieved her phone from her pocket. The sight of Benjamin, the tanned young man with dark brown hair, passed by her eyes but failed to register in her mind.
The number appeared on her screen was her father's cellphone number. She grimaced at the thought of the cellphone bill her father accumulated. If he had to drunk-dial Sequester, why didn't he just do it over the landline, she wondered. Perhaps it was her fault for keeping her mother's cellphone number for her own usage, but signing another phone contract was spending more money that she wasn't earning.
Rolling her eyes and sighing, Sequester held the phone next to her ear. "Dad, stop calling me," she whined.
It was a woman's voice that jolted her from her exasperated thoughts. Almost fumbling the phone in her hands, Sequester managed to keep it next to her ear. She began to think. Her father hadn't left the house in the 4 years when she started buying booze online. He loved his wife too much to cheat.
"Are you an abductor or a house-breaker?" Sequester asked, lowering her voice. If she had not sounded boyish before then, she almost sounded like her father's son rather than her daughter at that point.
"Neither. I'm a revolutionary."
"Unfortunately, Steel Wing of Eter-"
Sequester's blue eyes widened. Her grip on her phone loosened and dropped onto the table, in front of Benjamin, with a soft thud. But that sound seemed like background noise to her.
"How do you... know?" Sequester mumbled. Her eyes looked down to see her phone on the table, then to her empty hand.
Crap, she thought. She just hoped no one saw what just happened.
Scooping up the phone and listening to the speaker again, Sequester caught the end of what sounded like a monologue.
"Steel Wing is worthless. But what about his progeny? What's your name?"
Her eyes darted around the library. Whatever attention she attracted from her phone's fall looked like it was gone. However, her mind reeled from the prospect of the discovery of her draconic nature. Everything else around her looked almost secondary, even if there was a vehicle speeding towards her.
"Get out of the house before I call the police," she whispered agitatedly.
"You're making a mistake. Join our side, and we will forgive your... impure blood."
The woman's voice sounded so sweet as honey, even as her intentions were anything but to Sequester's ears. There was one thing she could guess, however, from the way the woman spoke.
Whatever dragon uprising they were planning was not going too well. Before her father took to the drink, he would, in frank terms, describe what dragons did with dragons that fell in love with humans, in language and deeds not unlike the Nazi Party during the years before World War II. Having to appeal to Sequester and Alexius would mean that they were desperate for allies.
She wondered if they even asked those with less draconic ancestry than her. Humans with less than 50% dragon blood could not even transform to a dragon-like form, though some of their dragon blood would grant them powers humans could not have.
"Go away," Sequester growled into the phone, scowling. "Leave us alone, and take your damn brainless ideas to the grave."
"The dragons will rise again. Those who choose their side will know their fate when it comes, prodigal son of-."
"Shut up!" Sequester raised her voice a little. Angrily, she tapped on the screen to hang up, and placed her phone in her pocket. She wondered about her father's status, though with an interest level that almost bordered on academic. Her father was already gone right after her mother died, whatever alcoholic was left was nothing like him.
It was then that a horrible, frank realisation, dawned upon Sequester. She would not cry if the strange woman had killed her father right after that.
"Am I a monster?" she whispered to herself.
Benjamin was just getting back into his studies memorizing the functions of the brain and spine when the other boy started to pack up. He was curious to see that he handled the laptop with such ease for being so slim. But his test was more important and he dove back into the book.
But it was with some interested he saw the boy stop and answer his phone right next to his table. He was about to grumble about how he thought the library was supposed to be quiet when he caught Sequester’s reply. He turned a little red and tried to pretend like he wasn’t listening to what was obviously a very private family call. But his head jerked up at the next line. Revolutionary? What? His pencil posed above the paper as he listened in on the part of the conversation he could hear.
Admittedly he jumped a bit when she dropped the phone. Whatever had been said must have shocked her. He didn’t like this, something was making the hair on his arms stand up. With all of the rumors running around lately he could only guess at who was on the phone.
Quietly he started packing up his books and things. He wanted to know more about this and this kids seemed like the most likely way to do that. He glanced at his watched and sighed, it looked like he would be skipping work today.
He finished and waited until the end of the phone call, impatiently drumming his fingers on the table. He heard her whispered question to herself and could feel the puzzle coming together just a little bit.
Quietly he stood and coming up behind her put a hand on her shoulder while leaning down to whisper into her ear, “Hey, I think I need to talk to you.” A hand went around her arm and he gently but firmly gave her a push towards the door, “Somewhere private if you don’t mind.” He really hoped she’d come with. He didn’t have much of a plan if she didn’t, and throw her over his shoulder caveman style probably wouldn’t go over very well. But he was getting sick of his parents trying to hide the fact that something was going on, and this looked like a good lead.
The melancholic expression on Sequester's face turned into surprise as Ben lightly directed her out the library. Was he one of the students who had his budgets rejected for his club? Almost no part of her mind thought about any possibility related to events beyond the school. The girl was in school to live a normal, pseudo-human life, and that she accepted.
The tanned and tall brown-haired young man, with green eyes, was someone Sequester saw before, but she could barely put her finger on where and why. Perhaps he was just a zealous club member.
"Look," she said, turning around to face Ben after a few steps. Her face stared resolutely at Ben, the sort of expression she gave when she planned on not giving way. Sequester had rehearsed, in her mind, the way to reject students that bypassed the Council President to ask for club funds.
"You have to see the president about your club. I'm just the treasurer." Sequester looked upwards and adjusted her cap, which tilted to the side slightly as Ben was pushing her along.
"He's very particular about how the money is spent."
Her thoughts then drifted to other things. Like when was the last time she saw this young student. He was seated in front of her, when she was talking to the strange woman on the phone.
Did he hear what she said? Her face managed to contain her horror of the possibility, though her eyes twitched at it.
Though, even if he did, he would think of it as something minor, she thought to her relief. Sequester smiled mentally; no one really thought about dragons nowadays.
At least, she hoped so.
Last edited by Ontos; 04-24-2013 at 02:38 AM.
The tall young man stopped abruptly when she did and let go of her for a moment. He had to smile a little at the younger guy’s stubborn face. He waited until she was done talking before shaking his head and turning her back around.
As he took hold of her arms again and started moving her towards one of the empty lab rooms down the hall he snorted, “I don’t do any clubs. I’m not here to talk about any funding. But it is important.”
Once there he let her go and turned to close and lock the door. If this was what he thought it was he really didn’t want to be disturbed. He relaxed a little bit after that and took a deep breath before turning around to look the smaller guy over.
But it was at that moment that he realized that now that they were both here he wasn’t sure how to approach this. He could just say, ‘Hey, I was just wondering if you’re one of those dragons that aren’t supposed to exist anymore.’
After a long moment of silence while he looked Sequester over he finally spoke. “Look, you’re probably going to think I’m crazy, and this is probably a really bad idea,” he walked towards her, speaking more softly now so as to not be overheard, “but I overheard something you said back there on the phone.” He looked into her eyes questioning before he took a breath and continued.
“Lately my parents have been worried about something…and if I guessed right so have yours. Something that has to do with this revolution that people have been talking about.” He watched her eyes carefully for any sign of recognition, ready to barrel ahead if she reacted or to step back and laugh saying it was just a joke if she didn’t.
Sequester took off her cap and glared at Ben as he locked the door behind him. "Why are you doing that?" she hissed. "How private is this conversation?"
Ben seemed to freeze for a moment, as if thinking about what to say. Was he... going to be like Caleb? Sequester growled at the thought, and shooed it away angrily.
Though when he began asking his questions, Sequester immediately regretted following him here. She wanted to pretend that she knew nothing, but Ben seemed to be too prying about this. From what position was he speaking from, she wondered. The inquisitive human, or something else?
The young man looked to her to be almost as nervous as she was, as if he was half-prepared to be proven wrong. However, one overriding principle about Sequester's life remained; never to let anyone know that she was a dragon. Even her mother did not know the truth. Lying was the best choice.
Sequester forced an amused smile towards the young man, waving a hand at him dismissively. "I don't know what you're talking about," said Sequester defensively. "Now, can I leave?"
She cocked her head at him and winked cheekily, though her inner thoughts just wished that his curiosity disappear.
Ben hadn’t realized that he’d been holding his breath as he waited for an answer. As she laughed off his question he let it out. With a sigh he mumbled to himself, “Maybe not..”
But he’d felt so sure that he might have found another person like him and his siblings that he couldn’t just let it go. The slim kid in front of him seemed almost too innocent. If it had been someone uninvolved they would be asking him questions now. He couldn’t let it go at that.
“Wait.” He called looking back over her with a frown. He was about to do something incredibly stupid, but if his intuition was right it might be worth it. His father would probably fillet him alive if he knew.
He stepped closer keeping an eye on her and held out his arm between them. If he was wrong and she panicked he’d just knock her out and then say she hit her head and was hallucinating.
“Don’t scream.” He concentrated and carefully focused on only his hand. At first nothing happened but then the skin grew rough, breaking off into individual scales and his nails grew longer into the start of claws. More nervous than he’d probably even been in his life he looked up from his hand to her face to gauge her reaction, shoulders tense and ready to move if he needed to.
Sequester turned away and walked towards the door. She placed her hand on the unlocking mechanism before Ben re-attracted her attention with a word and a frown.
She watched his hand as he held it in front of them. He was drawing attention to it, but she could not figure out why. But as the hand he held out transformed into a more dragon-like form, she immediately looked out of the laboratory window. No one else should see this thing, she knew.
"Keep your claws out of sight! I get your point." Sequester scowled, grabbed his hand and shoved it under a table out of sight of any passers-by. Her frown faded away, but she began to smile at Ben like a sudden bond formed between them. After all, they were both pretending to be humans.
Releasing his hand, she placed her cap back on her head. "Revolutionaries. Some strange woman wanted my father's help and I in the..." Her voice trailed off, and she clicked her fingers while thinking. The term dragon was pretty much common parlance to both of them, but Sequester was still afraid of eavesdroppers.
"Uprising. We both refused."
It occurred to her to start a proper introduction. "My name is Sequester Mercer, or Quest," she said, pointing at herself. "I'm... half." She made a few quick hand movements, as if the words for her kind were not what she wanted to say.
Surprised, though not unpleasantly so, at her reaction he nodded and scales melted back into smooth light brown skin. He glanced around as well now to double check that nobody was nearby. He looked back at her and returned the smile with one of his own. With a laugh he ran his fingers through his hair.
“I can’t believe it! I thought my family were the only ones around here.”
But his cheery mood soon vanished as she filled him in on what the phone call was about. He shook his head slowly, knowing that his parents must have been contacted as well. That would certainly explain why they’d been so stressed the last few weeks. He nodded, “I haven’t heard anything yet from them myself. But I bet my father has.”
Coming out of his thoughts he nodded down to her and held out his hand, “Ben Randall. I’m three quarters.” He made a similar motion, catching on that she didn’t want to say it out loud, and she was probably smart to do so. “Quest huh? That’s an interesting name.”
Glancing out the window again to keep an eye on a few girls walking past he questioned, “So what now? Do you think your dad is okay?”