Okay okay maybe I did less preparing, and more randomly shove everything into a backpack and woohoo that's done moving on now. (No one ever said I was a methodical and thorough packer. xD)
But here we are on part two of the Lando story, and I hope you enjoy. This one has a lot less cats and a lot more being awarded ARYs and the such.
:: Part One ::
I drew in a lungful of air and breathed out a gush of flames at the front line.
To my disappointment they didn’t incinerate but now we had white and black kittens attacking us. Nicely charcoaled but still not dead. Titus grabbed his ever-present screwdriver from his pocket and met the charge of cats with an attack of his own. Thomas started waving his Com Hack in front of him, melting kittens as they came.
Having no such weapon, I had to defend myself with my hands. I kicked, whacked and generally hit anything white that I could get my hands on. Kittens filled my field of vision, jumping at us with lightning fast attacks.
“No!” Thomas yelled, his voice cutting across the sound of our attackers.
Somehow I heard a clatter and something hit my foot. I punched a cat and ducked down, picking the small black object up. Thomas’s Com Hack felt hot in my hand, and I felt the tiny buttons on the side.
A kitten pounced and I held the high-tech hacker tightly, swinging it at the creature. Before it hit something strange occurred.
The Com Hack buzzed and a ray of red light shot out of the end. I yelped in shock and dropped it, but the ray had already done its work.
I blinked, staring around the square, empty of all signs of the kittens except for a massive shimmering puddle on the black asphalt.
“Wow,” Thomas blinked up from the ground. “Did you do that?”
“Um, I guess so,” I said, picking up the Com Hack apprehensively. “I dunno how.”
Titus whistled as he surveyed the puddle. “Is that the killer kittens?” he asked.
“Guess so,” I replied, wiping the remains of a kitten off my arm. I tossed the Com Hack to Thomas, who studied it intently.
“Amazing,” he muttered. “I didn’t even know it could do that.” He froze suddenly, “Oh no.”
“What?” I asked, my heartbeat quickening.
“We’ve only got minutes until the Awarding starts back at Dragon Island,” he said. “If we’re late again...” He didn’t have to finish.
We all knew what he was getting at.
Titus procured a golden Net from it pocket. “We need to run,” he said then grinned, “Not literally, I think we’ve just done enough of that today.”
Thomas was bouncing up and down on the spot. “Okay, can we just leave?”
“Righty-o,” Titus tossed the Net in the air above us. It expanded as it fell, and I heard the familiar buzzing as it activated. As soon as it touched us the world went black.
We tumbled out onto one of the hanging Nets on Dragon Island.
I rolled to the ground, getting my feet tangled and landing in a heap. The twins jumped off and helped me to my feet.
The sound of a Dragon’s Horn being blown echoed across the island and Thomas groaned. “That’s the starting call,” he said. “We’ll never make it.”
Setting off instantly, we sprinted up the hill, and, not for the first time, I found myself wishing that the main hall wasn’t at the very top.
It was probably Sir George’s idea to build it there.
We burst into the hall, breathless and hot. Luckily Frontrunner —the leader of Dragon Island— Aliella Scot was in the middle of her introduction speech so our late entry was only noticed by those closest to the doors.
I scanned the hall quickly. all the seats were filled except for three, right in the front row. I winced, there goes our chance at a concealed appearance.
Thomas grimaced at me as he noticed the same thing. With a shrug, he led the way to the spare seats. Heads turned as we dropped into our place and Scarlette Broome, the girl next to us, rolled her eyes.
“Are you ever on time?” she whispered.
I grinned wryly. “We had a cat problem,” I returned in the same quiet voice.
Scarlette rolled her eyes again and turned back to Aliella.
The tall brunette finished her speech and cleared her throat. “We have several awards to give out today,” Aliella said. “Co-director Sir George Heelay will do the honours.”
Aliella was the official director of Dragon Island. She’d been in the position for years, but she didn’t look like she could be much older than twenty-something. She stepped aside and took a seat on the side of the stage as Sir George appeared on stage. “First award is the ‘Best ReLocator’, I would like to ask Mister Lewis Yorke to come up onto the stage and accept the trophy.”
There was a smattering of applause and a dark haired boy climbed the steps onto the platform. Sir George hit the button on a small machine and it buzzed into life.
“That’s the 3-D printer,” Titus whispered. “He programs the trophies on his computer and then he prints them out with fake bronze.”
Thomas was fingering his chin thoughtfully as his twin spoke and I saw him slip his hand into his pocket casually. I wondered what he was up to.
The 3-D printer finished and Sir George presented the newly made trophy to Lewis. They shook hands firmly and then Lewis went to stand to the side of the stage.
A Miss Madison was next, with the ‘Dragon Charming’ award. Then a young guy for the ‘Dragon Riding.’ At that point I nudged Titus. “We can ride dragons? Like, legally?” I asked.
“It’s only for over eighteens,” he explained, leaning over in his seat so I could hear his whisper.
I fell silent again as the awards continued to be handed out. Scarlette got chosen for the ‘Best Net Repairer’ and it went on. Eventually Sir George paused and looked directly at me and the twins. “And now, we have only one award left,” he said. “Most of you will have heard of the ARY.”
A ripple of laughter ran through the recruits gathered.
Titus, Thomas and I exchanged a glance and grinned. So what if we got the ‘Annoying Recruits of the Year.’ We were the Terrible Trio.
“This is the sole award that can be given to more than one person per year,” Sir George continued. “Please come up, Titus Kanter, Thomas Kanter and Lando Erif.”
We rose and trouped up the stairs. Sir George frowned at our smiles and pointed at the floor beside him. We shuffled into place.
I noticed that Thomas was bent over himself, fiddling with something in the palm of his hands.
Sir George coughed. “I hope you like the trophy to add to your collection,” he said to Titus. He tapped the button on the 3-D printer again and it started on the last award.
Thomas’s fingers were moving rapidly, and I began to have a suspicion of what he was doing.
Sir George picked up the trophy. “There are some new recruits who haven’t heard of the ARY award,” he paused and turned to the line of award winners. “Perhaps Scarlette will read it out for us all,” Sir George suggested.
Scarlette took the plaque and looked at the bronze nameplate on it and her mouth dropped open. Sir George motioned for her to read it out but she just stood there gaping at it. “Sir George, I think we have something wrong...” she trailed off and pointed.
Sir George frowned. “What?” he peered at the engraved plate. “Terrible Trio...The Amazing Recruits of the— no!” he stopped, seemingly lost for words.
Thomas looked at me, all too obviously struggling not to laugh. He opened his hand and I caught a glimpse of his Com Hack before he slipped it into his pocket.
A laugh welled up inside me and my shoulders began to shake silently. I pressed my lips together to stop myself from bursting out laughing.
Titus looked at us bemusedly. I didn’t try to explain, I knew that if I did I’d end up laughing my head off.
Frontrunner Aliella rose and walked to Sir George. They had a quick conversation in low tones and then Aliella took the award and turned to the puzzled onlookers.
“I’m afraid to say that we have had a strange technical difficulty, but we shall proceed nonetheless,” she glanced at us and I managed to get my face suitably serious in time.
“Such a positive outlook,” Thomas murmured.
“I give you this award in honour of your combined diligence and loyalty in the art of,” she paused and looked down at the nameplate, “Providing amusement to the Island and generally being the most Amazing Recruits of the Year.” She handed the trophy to me and shook my hand. As I looked up at her, her lips twisted into the all too familiar appearance of trying to hide a smile.
She shook hands with each of the twins and then turned to the crowd and started thanking them all for their work in the past year.
I looked down at the dragon shaped trophy in my hand. A bronze plate gleamed up at me, inscribed with the words: Awarded to The Terrible Trio. For Providing Amusement to the Island and Generally Being the Most Amazing Recruits of the Year.
Titus looked over my shoulder and smiled widely. “First time we’ve won that award,” he stated cheerfully. “Now we have another trophy to add to the collection.”
“I think I like this year’s words best,” Thomas said tapping the plaque. “This one’s actually addressed personally,” he grinned. “To The Terrible Trio.”
“And you never know,” Titus said optimistically. “Maybe next year we’ll win something different.”
“I’m sure you will,” Scarlette, standing beside me in the line, interrupted. “In your dreams.”
“You’re forgetting one thing,” I said and nodded knowingly at her. I exchanged a look with the twins.
“We are the Terrible Trio,” we said in unison.
- - -
And there we are. This was actually the ending story to my original batch of Lando. (And if anything is slightly weird in sections, I'm blaming past-me, because I only veeeery roughly went over it before this post.)
Have a great weekend folks, I know I will. Probably freeze myself because it's almost winter and we're going to the beach, but all good fun, y'know.
So tally ho for now!
Are you a last-minute packer, or do you rather have everything done early so you can move of to organising everyone else?
Is it just me or is this year going insanely fast?
(It can't be just me. Tell me it isn't? Please?? *searches frantically for the beginning half of the year*)