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I Need More Maple Syrup

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I Need More Maple Syrup

Author: Pocsock
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Copyediting is welcome

“Crap” I cursed. The empty bottle made a loud hollow sound when it landed in the garbage bin. “I need more maple syrup.”

I headed over to the lonely table sitting in the four-by-four meter-square box someone dared to call a dining room, once. It didn’t have to be fancy, it only had to stand my three daily meals , and right now there were a pair of round waffles ready for me to eat.

Without maple syrup they would taste plain and dry. I didn’t even have a glass of milk to wash them down.

The computer was on, and a soft bell sounded indicating I had received a new e-mail. I sighed and threw both pieces of conglomerated flour into my mouth and quickly made my way to the seat in front of the screen.

As usual, the thing didn’t respond to my commands.

“Work!” I yelled at it and hit the keyboard. It hummed and the message came into view.

I read through it. I had been assigned a new job. If everything turned out as planned, I would be having breakfast tomorrow with a stomach full of maple syrup.

I was about to leave when a familiar feeling came to me all of a sudden. I couldn’t leave yet, not without empty hands at least. So I opened the only window in my room, with only a little complaint from the wood.

“Carl, I know you’re here Carl. I need some provisions,” I said with a clear and audible voice. A light breeze came by and the beginnings of rush hour could be heard in the distance.

“I know I haven’t paid you back, but this is really an emergency.” I continued after some minutes. “I got a job just now and I promise I’ll make it up to you.” The air remained silent.

As I waited at the decaying frame of the window, the city around me continued to move. The lights on skycrapers and apartment buildings began to fade one by one as the sun made its entrance from the concrete horizon. I just stood there as the intense sunrays cast away the darkness and replaced it with light.

Until a bag of gummy bears suddenly fell from the sky.

“This is the last one I’ve got left,” a raspy voice came from the same direction of the bag. A gray figure landed with a loud noise on the window frame next to the multicolored retainer of sweets. If you ever combined the body of a one-meter-long lizard with the head of a wild boar and the wings of a bat into one whole flexible stone being, the result would be the living gargoyle that had just come out in front of me.

“You’re lucky your neighbors haven’t noticed that I’ve been stealing from them,” he scolded me, moving a menacing finger in my direction. A rough screech always seemed to scape from his joints every time he moved them.

“You’re the best!” I said, grabbing the bag and starting to open it on my way to the door. “I swear I’ll pay you back!”

“Just don’t forget it,” he said.

I knew he muttered something about me and my manners as I closed the door and made my way down the stairs.

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Damned mini-stores, the only thing they got in there were those new soured candies. What has become of the world? What happened to the old-fashioned candies that rot your teeth and left you an enjoyable feeling in the mouth? Fortunately for me, chocolates haven’t fallen to another victim of fashion yet, and I was even able to find these wonderful round ones that came in various colors.

I was opening the package of these, that I held in my left arm, when my objective came down the corner inside a limousine. I immediately knew it was him because the mail had said he would be taking this route and because he was the only millionaire that lived around this part of the city. It would be very easy to follow the black car on foot as all the traffic made him go very slow, and then delivering the ultimatum would be a piece of cake.

Just as I thought this was going to be a good day after all a yellow-scaled hand grabbed my bag of chocolates.

“Hi there,” the cloaked figure said with the taint of a growl “It’s been a while since we last saw each other.” I recognized the voice, and reluctantly turned to face the creature.

A beak the size of a hand was poking from under the violet robes of silk that he wore. The only other visible parts were a golden tail with a black tuff of shiny hair that swayed from a hole in the back of the fine clothes and a pair of paws the size of four fists bulged together that held claws that could easily torn through the strongest bones in the animal kingdom.

He was touching my candies! “You’re touching my candies.” I said, trying to control my temper.

“I’ve heard that they have finally assigned you a mission.” he said, revealing his white feathered face with his left claw. He had eyes that could freeze of terror any living being, or so I was told. I had actually seen more frightening eyes than just the cold stare of a completely round pupil surrounded by another circle of yellow. “How long has it been from the last one eh?”

He was still touching my candies! “You’re still touching my candies!” I said in a higher tone than what I had intended.

“Why, here I am, an old friend of yours trying to start a nice conversation after a long time, and you can only think of these sugar-saturated human food.” He waggled his head from side to side. “I thought you had gotten over them by now?”

I had had enough of him! “If you don’t remove your foul self off my chocolates I’ll rip off your magic disguise right here and now, on this crowded street!” I warned him, my eyes looking down and never leaving the shrinking gryphon in front of me.

He didn’t hesitate for long as he already knew I had done something similar once. So he freed his grasp from my munchies. “As you wish,” he said as he headed down the street once again. “Never really liked them that much.”

I began to relax when he was finally gone. Some people were staring, but eventually continued with their own business. It could have been worse if I had dropped the hallucination covering Alex.

The guy believed he was the center of the universe just because he had came up with the pose most of the gryphons are portrayed in most coats of arms. He was pompous and arrogant and his goal was to make miserable as much people as he could. It would have served him right if the human police captured him and conducted some painful experiments in some far away dessert, but I would have been the one that would eventually have to clean up the whole mess, and HQ would probably cut my supplies for some months, something I didn’t want to happen, so I just let him get away with it this time.

“Crap!” I cursed as the traffic had miraculously sped up and my target had moved far away by now. The bird’s brains had distracted me and allowed traffic to flow quickly with a spell so I would lose the target.

Now I had to turn for plan B, something I didn’t want to do but I had no choice now. So I reluctantly turned to go to the rendezvous point that was some blocks away from here.

I had a craving for roasted chicken all of a sudden.

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“He’s late,” I muttered as I entered one of the many similar dark, humid and lonely alleys of the city. The contact was supposed to meet me here if, by some reason, I wasn’t able to find the secret hideout of the target.

I usually did everything on my own, too many chances that something might go wrong, especially on stealth missions like this one. The bigger the number, the easier it is to get detected by human means. Not that I couldn’t handle some dangerous situations myself, but HQ had ordered me to stick with normal protocols as much as I could, or something like that.

I then heard a loud screech. I looked up and saw a brown figure circling above, a small peregrine falcon by the looks of it. It started a stoop towards me and for a moment it was hard to see it. At the last moment he tried to slow down, only to discover he had too much momentum. It stumbled in the air for a moment and managed to land in a nearby dumpster.

I rolled my eyes as I made my way to help him. They had to send me a rookie, a showoff rookie at that. It was evident he had planned the entrance as he had come from the opposite side that the target had taken, and even more obvious that he was still getting used to his new body.

“Ouch!” I heard him say when he stumbled out of the container and hit the pavement with his human body, which was much older than the one I had. He had some egg shells on his brown curly hair and his jeans and white shirt stank of sour milk and some rotten fruits.

“I think you’re lucky you survived something like that,” I said as I offered him my hand and put him back to his feet “Next time you try to brag about your flight capabilities, make sure you do it right ok?”

“I didn’t ask for your opinion kid,” he said as he cleaned a little bit. “I’m waiting for someone to show up at any time now and was just making my way down here so we could meet.”

“Sure, whatever you say,” I said in the most sarcastic tone I could muster. "Now, just hang over the package and we can get on with the mission.”

He then began to acknowledge my presence and began to examine me thoroughly with his gaze. I didn’t blame him; everyone that didn’t know me assumed I was just another twelve-years-old boy on the street. “You got to be kidding me.”

I sighed, closed my eyes and thought of the package. It immediately appeared from the void between us and I grabbed it before gravity took grip of it.

“How did you..?” he stammered.

“Trans-dimensional spells for object are among the easiest ones to counter-spell, as even an amateur like you can do it in order to transport things,” I said opening the package and revealing some cookies filled with taffy. “Excellent,” I muttered as I began munching on them.

“You’re a sorcerer?!” he asked incredulous and oblivious that he had protected a package that contained candies all this time.

“I have an innate magic ability if that’s what you mean,” I said, spilling some crumbs from my mouth. “Now let’s continue. In which direction is the lab?”

“Over there,” he said, pointing somewhere opposite from were he had come from. “at about a mile. But I think it would be better if we just transported inside the place,” he added quickly.

I wasn’t a fool by any means. He just wanted to see a little magic in action. Most new recruits were eager to learn all about this new world they discover and do almost anything, even offer to be the pet of someone HQ had had an eye for some time or to help ‘repopulate’ the world by transforming into animals and be freed in the wild until balance was restored.

Come to think of it, a transportation spell didn’t sound that bad after all. It would help me get over with this faster. “As you wish” I said, a grin creeping on his face “Hold this.” and I handed the box over. “And don’t even think about stealing one. I already counted all of them” I warned him.

“Don’t you need a chalk or something to draw a pentagram on the floor?” he asked as I was turning around towards the direction he pointed at.

“That’s only for the mages at HQ.” I said without turning. “They always like to complicate matters with words in forgotten languages or amulets made of expensive materials. You should never forget,” I turned around and faced him for a moment “that the best magic is the simple magic”

“Yeah right.” he said, but I had more important matters to attend than scold him. I began to feel the threads of space all around me, until I found the one. I began to fold it over until a connection was made, then I just had to open the way wide enough so we could pass through it.

“Open sesame.” I muttered, and an ethereal door manifested itself in front of me.

“You got to…” he began when he saw the air change with his very own eyes.

“It worked, didn’t it?” I said to him. I recovered my cookies from his perplexed self and pushed both of us towards the portal “Come on. I want to get this over with.”

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“So what’s your name?” Matt asked after explaining almost half of his life to me. Not that it had been boring, but I was just too busy making our way through the complex.

The genius had pointed to the right place alright. He had just missed the fact that the target’s office was some stories higher than where we appeared. I think I made myself clear when I asked him to point out the place.

Either way, it could have been worse. At least he had had the distance right and we were now slowly approaching the top floor by complicated routes as to not touch anyone. After all, being invisible didn’t mean that people couldn’t stumble on you.

But all in all, we were doing a good progress so far, so a little chat wouldn’t hurt anyone. “Sirrehll.”

“Sir Ehl?” He asked, pronouncing it bad. “Man, everyone in the Alliance has strange unpronounceable names.” he said as we approached the stairwell.

“They just sound strange to you because most of them were first used millennia before your tongue was invented.” I said, pushing the door open and going through. “Alliance eh? They changed the names again. Last time I heard it, it was a coalition.”

“They change names?” he asked, moving behind me as we climbed yet another floor. “Why can’t they just stick to one?”

I shrugged “Political affairs. You know, the dwarves claim the elves have too much power, the elves say centaurs always hunt in their sacred secret forests, etc. They always come to an agreement and a new pact is formed and the only difference in the organization is the name.” We exited on this floor. “It also changes according to the place and country you’re in. But every change is linked to the unicorns one way or another, that’s for sure.”

“It makes sense” he said. “After all, the unicorns are the most powerful of all races as they were the ones who practically won the war against the dragons.”

This guy was promising after all. “Who told you about the great war?” I turned and asked him.

He shrugged. “I found out about it on my own in the great Elven library. They have some of the most amazing paintings of it in there. It still sends a chill down my spine when I see all the three main races fighting against swarms of dragons.”

“The paintings are good. Better than any human one” I said, continuing towards another set of stairs “but they always exaggerate in the account of numbers.”

“What do you mean?” he asked. His curiosity was clearly visible.

“Although there are persons that know the truth, almost everyone believes or tell that the dragons were the ones who started the war in order to rule over all the other races. The reality is that the war started by a conflict between the elves and the unicorns.

“The elves dominated the smiths and were beginning to span their crafts further with magic, which they had only discovered recently back at that time. They were developing a vast industry and needed more and more the resources of the earth.

“The unicorns, on the other hand, had always known magic. It was a natural part in them that came with the force of life itself, which is why they are considered the guardians of the world. With time, they began to develop a strong hate towards the machinery of the elves.

“As you may already be thinking, a war started between them. Most of the other races took sides so their power could grow with the victory of whoever won. Of course, the unicorns managed to eventually drag almost everyone to their side through blackmail, as they have total control over earth’s resources” we stepped through another door and walked down another hall.

“The elves had been left alone and heavy outnumbered. As a desperate move, they turned to the dragons. Are you following me?” I asked as I have just been hearing the occasional agreement from him all this time.

“Yes, the unicorns were winning against the elves and the elves asked help from the dragons.” he answered.

“Yes. Now, you need to know some things about dragons” I said as we dodged a crowd. “They are classified as one of the most powerful races that have ever existed. Their immense physical power overwhelms almost anything at its pace with thick skin reinforced with metal scales and enough force to hold back even the most terrible beasts of the deep. Their natural magic, which is passed from generation to generation, is a mystery to most races but it is often compared to the one unicorns wield. And their astuteness and eloquent speak is a very feared and dangerous weapon in the field of negotiation.

“But unlike most of the other races, Dragons are simple creatures that prefer to live simple lives. They enjoy simple pleasures like eating, sleeping or making hordes, and they do it a lot, and avoid conflicts at all costs, unless it is utterly necessary.

“The elves in their arrogance thought of them as simple talking animals at first, but when the situation came that they couldn’t rely on anyone else they were force to seek their help.

“As their was no central dragon government, as all dragons were independent from one another and only communicated if necessity aroused, the elves had to search for all over the world what dragons they could find, which were no more than half a hundredth…”

“Are you telling me that the dragon army was only of fifty creatures?!” Matt cut me. “I don’t believe it.”

“Believe it or not it’s true,” I continued as we approached an open empty elevator. “Dragons rarely mate and some don’t even bother to do it at all. Add to that the predators that eat the eggs and the hatchlings, the diseases, the occasional fight among them, and you have a population of some hundreds all around the world.”

“Ok, I get the picture,” he said as he pushed the button up some stories. “But how did the elves convince them to fight?”

“Gold.” I stated. “The elves are the best craftsmen in the world, and in exchange of help in their war they offered the scaly beasts tons of jewels. Of course they only had a limited quantity of these, that’s why they could only afford half a hundredth warriors.”

“So the elves joined forces with the dragons.” Matt stated when the bell announced we had arrived.

“Not exactly,” I said, getting out of the steel box. “The elves had originally planned to put them as a front against the other armies. That way they would gain some time for planning a solid strategy and find weak points in the enemy’s defenses. But their plan backfired when the dragons showed what they were really capable of. Oh! A bending machine!” I called out and headed to it.

“Can you please continue with the story?” Matt pleaded me.

“Patience is a virtue young fellow.” I replied as the machine gave me a bag of marshmallows. I took them and began to tear at them with gusto. “Where were we?” I asked with my mouth full.

“The elves’ plan for the dragons.” Matt said, a vein poking from his brow.

“Oh yeah!” I said, swallowing the puffy candy. “In only one year of fight they managed more than all the elves in two centuries of war. They not only held back the continuous invasions to the Elven country, they even began to make the enemy withdraw back to their territory and were starting to claim it for the elves.

“When the world began to take notice that the dragons were a practically unstoppable force it was already too late, they were already knocking at the doors of the sacred forests and woods of the immortal, so the unicorns immediately began to take actions. They quickly restarted negotiations with the elves and offered a deal they wouldn’t resist. They would share their knowledge with them, complete control over nature, beauty beyond anything terrestrial and touching divinity and immortality, in exchange for the destruction of the dragons.

“So they double-crossed the dragons, tricking them so they couldn’t use their magical abilities and lurking the warriors to a trap.”

“The battle of the Seven Empires,” Matt whispered. “the one portrayed in the library.”

“Precisely, but even then it took armies to finish them… Matt are you ok?” I asked when he stopped moving behind me. When I turned around a thin layer of brown was slowly consuming him.

His body was starting to distort. Feathers were growing all over his bare skin. Hands and arms were becoming stiff and began to position themselves at his sides. The bones on his feet were snapping as they rearranged themselves in new positions, the skin there spurting little yellow scales and his nails lengthen into razor sharp black claws. He couldn’t speak as a beak had begun to grow from inside his mouth and was almost done.

Something was definitely not right, as his eyes showed total panic just the moment before they turned amber and he began to shrink. “Matt!” I screamed and tried to run to him. But the walls of the corridor began to spin all around the two of us, a sign that transportation was taking place in most cases.

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But it didn’t feel like transportation at all. Then I knew that the place had been rearranged by magic, the same magic that had transformed the companion next to me.

“Matt are you alright?” I asked him. For a moment I was afraid his mind had slipped away as he was just staring at random directions all around, but I eventually recognized a nod.

“Don’t worry, I promise I’ll turn you back.” I said, kneeling down so I could stare at the now peregrine falcon in the eye.

“And I wonder,” a very deep voice said from my left. “How do you plan to do that?”

“Norman I presume?” I said standing up and facing the darkness from where the voice had come.

“The one and only.” he answered. Why did all the eccentric, crazy and evil millionaires have to hide in the dark? It was probably the fashion of this century.

“In the name of the Alliance, nature… and all that other stuff,” I began. “I hereby give you a last chance to stop doing… whatever it was that you were doing and summit yourself to the justice of the Seven Empires. And that includes turning Matt here back to his original form” I said, eyeing him. Matt contributed with a screech of his own.

The bass voice just laughed, starling Matt a little. But I kept calm, eating my bag of marshmallows.

“I must admit he has served me well, both as a pet and as an informer,” the voice continued. “It was thanks to him that I discovered your secret society, was able to get a hold of many powerful magical items and could track you down with magic ever since you departed from that alley”

“Really?” I asked, skeptically. I was sure we couldn’t have been located by any magical means, unless…

I turned to see Matt again; a faint blue glowed in the back of his wings, unnoticeable under a shirt in human form. “Oh yeah, there it is. I wonder why I didn’t see it before?” I said. “I must be getting a little rusty”

“And your friend will be the one who pays for your incompetence.” the voice boomed.

Then a series of lights came to life all around us except for where the voice sounded. They revealed a completely flat room the size of a football stadium with a big dome serving as ceiling.

All around us, animals of every kind and species were running, jumping, flying, eating, fighting… it was a complete jungle in here. “As you can see, I’ve been quite busy with my magic.” the voice said in a lower volume. “All the animals around you were people once. It only took me one spell to turn them all completely into wild beasts. I can see from the looks of your friend that he’s starting to lose his mind as well”

He was right; Matt was starting to show symptoms of a full change. He was shaking his head now and then and I could feel him struggling to maintain control, but he’ll eventually lose it and be at the mercy of the primal instincts of the prey bird in a little while, trapped forever in that feathered body without any control over it.

But as much as I hated the situation Matt was in, there was still something not quite right in all of this. How could a simple beginner have done all of this with just one spell?

That was when I decided to check the currents of energy, and found my answer. This very building was the intersection of two powerful energy lines, increasing the effects of magic, including wizard spells. This could be a very dangerous thing if placed in the wrong hands, like the ones it was in right now.

“Stop this at once!” I said, my voice echoing from the walls.

“And who’s going to stop me, you?” he laughed maliciously. “A twelve years old boy who’s not even big enough to be affected by magic and whose weapons are thumb-sized marshmallows?” and he laughed some more.

“You don’t know who you’re messing with.” I replied, taking another bite.

“No, it is you who doesn’t know who you’re messing with”. The last light then turned on above him.

I was so shocked at the sight in front of me that I dropped the bag of candies.

“A dragon…” I muttered. “it can’t be…”

“Oh, but it is.” it said.

This guy was pushing me to my limits…

He managed to get his four meters tall ass up and stood an all fours. He was covered in scales so black, so opaque that even the light refused to touch them, making the figure have a complete cover of darkness all around him. His hide smelled of corruption and ambition and looked rotten in some places. Bare bones served him as spines from his muzzle, elongated and twisted into a distorted evil grin that showed fangs that couldn’t fit inside it, all the way through his hideous back and ended with a black blade in an unbelievable thin and long tail.

His mere presence was drawing me insane…

“You just wouldn’t believe how wonderful it feels to have so much power” the creature hissed, a slimy bifurcated tongue escaping the dry lips. He then lowered himself from behind a desk that had once belonged to a human and slowly made his way towards me. “I can feel things that no man will ever know. I can sense magic currents like this one in many other places. Their energy calls to me, and tempts me to use it to feed upon the entire world!”

“That’s your own ambition and tainted nature,” I told him, my hands turning into fists and my head low. “The same one that has consumed your body and left a demon in its place.”

He was filling me with more anger by the second…

“Fool little human” he said. His blood red gaze never leaving me “You know nothing. My race will take its rightful place on top of the world, enslaving the Seven Empires and destroying anyone who opposes us with my guide.”

I couldn’t control myself anymore…

“The dragons shall rise once again!” he boomed, extending the holed leather of his wings at his full length and sending a crimson flame on my way.

…and I didn’t want to.

The scorching flames burned at flesh in less than a second, releasing my coppery hide from its confinement. My scales glittered in different shades of orange and dark amber as the fire passed next to them without doing harm.

I stretched the strong muscles on my thick and powerful tail as it grew from the end of my spine. The soft leathery plates on my stomach touched the floor for a moment as my posture changed with the growth of claws on what were once my hands and feet. My skull snapped as my muzzle grew outward, dissolving my nose into only two lines on its front, pushing my eyes, which were the purest amber and with a slit instead of round pupils, a little to the sides so that I could have a wider view range, and my fins finally opening after being hidden all this time and overwhelming with sounds once again. My neck lengthened to be almost as long as my increasingly bulking body, its flexibility, dexterity and power allowed me to use it similarly to a hand. I spread my wings that easily doubled the distance from my nostrils to the end of my white tail-blade, my chest easily lifting all the extra mass thanks to uncountable hours of flying throughout the world.

The ashes of my human body rested on the ground around me, making the air reek of burnt flesh and hair. And as the air cleared of the smoke, I could see the small figure in front back a little at the sight of a real dragon that could easily been mistaken for a two stories rock of fine metal.

The monster snapped into reality again quickly, and began to attack me with everything he had in despair. He threw fire at me again, but the heat couldn’t do anything against my scales. He tried to tackle me, only to find out he was too weak. He launched at me with his claws directed to my neck, only to find them cut with my own. He attempted to use his tail as a whip against me, only to find it cut with my blade before he even blinked. He flapped his barely usable wings and was able to get off the ground, only to fall to it with the wing one beat of mines made.

As his last resource he crawled to his desk and drew out of a drawer a book enveloped in leather, a wizard’s spell book by the useless runes engraved in it, and recited the last enchantment in it. The waves of the magic lines began to vibrate, until I reached them and calmed them with my spirit. The most powerful spell the humans had been able to muster had been to change the position of natural magic currents and, with it, a little bit of reality. But he was so weak and had so limited magic knowledge that the only thing that he did was to disrupt a little the surface of magic’s calmed waters. Even if what he did wasn’t of great relevance, it was better to restore balance quickly before someone got hurt.

Realizing his spell hadn’t work and that he couldn’t wield magic anymore, he took shelter under the fine wooden furniture he had gone to. All this time I had been harvesting energy from the lines in here and now was the moment to use their full power.

“I am Sirrehll!” I roared into the room. “Son of Sarrhall and descendant of Ardera, who slaughtered the great Eslathian sea snake in the name of Gaia herself!” I pushed the currents from their course so they could feed a deed that the human age hasn’t seen.

“The purest dragon blood runs within my veins, ever since I was born in the molten center of the earth!” The energy began to canalize through me, the light emitted so intense that no dark corner was left.

“And you!” I said, pointing at where the coward laid. “You have dared to insult my kin and my ancestors by comparing us to the insolent stereotypes in other races’ stories! You even thought we were animals that you could have easily manipulated to achieve your material goals! And you also made me drop a bag of my favorite food, candies!

I released the power and watched the world change. “And now you’re going to pay for it.”

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All the material objects began to distort in random and chaotic forms as the dimension shifted around them. Patches of the floor took different shapes; sand, vegetation, rocks, magma, plasma, water, all were scattered as far as the sight could see and were turning into other shapes as time passed. The dark brown desk joined the water that touched it from below and the curling and shaking ball was revealed.

All this time I’ve been the one manipulating the forces so that a dimension fusion wouldn’t happen. And as I was the one with complete control here I forced the giant lizard to uncurl, turn around and face me, just when the floor on his claws turned to a sandy little hill. So I began the process.

His body dried up and began to take a brighter color as silicates began to substitute living tissue. He just stood there the whole time, his body not twitching at all but his eyes were consumed by growing fear.

Finally, his body was completely consumed by the process and he was now a sand statue that resembled just a little a reptile with wings. Without any real support, and with the increasing wind, the sculpture quickly collapsed on itself and joined the other sand in the pile below.

As that had been taken cared of, I focused on another matter. The temporal fusion had affected the whole room, and with it the rest of the people that had been forced into animals. They were hovering all over the place, their animal forms slowly returning to normal humans with every passing second.

That’s when I took a good look at someone. It was Matt, but his form wasn’t changing. He was still a peregrine falcon, which shouldn’t have been surprising at all. We were in Chaos after all, one of the few realms where dreams and thoughts have strong power over other universes. It was only logical to assume that the kid truly wanted to be a bird.

As much as I liked to fly in a zero gravity ambient, the more time we spend here, the bigger the chances that a fusion would happen. So I focused again on the original currents of magic that had brought us here and were feeding the connection to this place and moved them until they were in their original state.

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Everyone was still unconscious when the reinforcements came in. Two unicorns, five elf mages and a number of phoenixes went to see that the entire human’s memories were erased, the magical items were dealt with accordingly and all evidence was removed from normal human’s hands, all normal procedure.

Matt had woken up shortly after we returned and was being thoroughly questioned now. I don’t think he minded that much that he couldn’t turn back to human form and would remain forever a bird of prey. Of course, it had been his choice after all.

“This was supposed to be a simple message delivery mission!” the white equine figure yelled at me in the neighs and whinnies of the language of their kin. “And imagine my surprise when I find out you sent the last three floors of a skyscraper in a trip across universes!”

My human hair had just finished growing and I looked the same way I had when I took the first step in here. “We delivered the ultimatum. The other stuff was in self defense.”

“What could he have possibly done that you needed to use a trans-dimensional enchantment?!”

“He dropped my marshmallows” I stated. He couldn’t argue against that, and he knew it.

“This isn’t over yet!” the unicorn snorted. “I’ll keep a close eye on you” and he then turned to open a portal back to their kin’s woods.

Everyone parted from my way as I headed to the still intact bookshelves and stands. They were afraid of me and what I’ve done, but I didn’t care as it would be easier to find what I wanted if no one disturbed me.

As I was searching shelves located behind were the desk should have been, I saw Matt land on one of the highest ones. He must have been done with debriefing.

Why didn’t you tell me? he told through telepathy, yet another gift from his stay in Chaos.

“Would you have still gone with me if you knew?” I answered. My now human hands opened little doors, and revealed some scotch behind them. I close them again and kept looking. “Besides, HQ doesn’t like that much when I go around yelling I’m a dragon when they take pride in their great battle.”

Then why do you work for them? It’s obvious even to me that they don’t like you and would rather see you dead.

“Oh, don’t be so dramatic,” I said as I revised between some books. “They need me and, as you can see, it would be very hard for any of them to kill me.”

It still doesn’t make any sense. Don’t you hate to think they killed your own kind and take joy in it?

I sighed “Yes, I don’t like the idea.” I the turned to him. “But my brothers also deserved it. They allowed their greed to control their minds and made the fatal mistake to enter a war, and I don’t plan on doing the same thing by fighting everyone whose ignorance doesn’t allow him to see wider.

“Besides, who cares what they think!” I said and waved at all the busy people around, who turned and stared at me. “I’m a dragon. I have a simple life, simple needs and simple joys. I only hope that some day the other races will open their eyes and begin to see the wonders in these things before you all end up destroying everything.” and I continued my search.

A moment of silence followed and then they continued cleaning the place. I felt that something disturbed Matt.

I kind of feel sorry for the poor guy he said eyeing the empty space some feet away. I don’t think he deserved to die like that after all.

“You shouldn’t worry about those things Matt. It’s Chaos justice after all. Oh, so here they are!” I said, opening what must have been the final drawer of the room and taking out a fine wooden box with chocolates. I tasted one; they were filled with honey! “Do you want one?” I offered Matt.

I think I’ll pass. he said and flew away.

“You’re the one who misses it.” I said just as he was out a window.

“I would offer one to you Norman, but I don’t think you can eat anymore.” I whispered to the amethyst geode that had rolled somewhere next to this furniture after we returned. “Don’t worry, it’s not permanent. I believe some thousands of years will be enough for you to think about what you did.” and with that I was out of there.

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The bell on the computer rang again and I went to see it. As always, I still hadn’t got a clue as to how to operate the damn thing, so I used a little bit of magic.

“Work!” I yelled at it and hit the keyboard. It hummed and the message was displayed.

It was another job, one of some lake contamination industry. But what caught my attention was that a side note said that Matt had offered to be my partner on this one.

I liked the kid. He was still a rock-head but had a rather insatiable thirst of knowledge that will eventually correct that. I was even feeling some kind of connection with him. Dragons don’t mate that often, and even if the season came I still hadn’t found a likely dragoness of my likes. But even if I didn’t bear hatchlings, at least I won’t be forgotten by the sands of time with Matt as my pupil.

I suddenly felt a spell taking place, and went immediately to check out the source of it.

I opened my fridge, and found that it was stoked with all kinds of sweets and things that would make any dentist faint.

“Thank you.” I said to the air. I then grabbed the maple syrup and proceeded where my waffles were waiting to be bathed with it.

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