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Hey guys! I made a side-story while I'm working on My EdgeOf series. This one will be done quicker since it's more like an episode. But I do plan on making something out of this. It's a shame I can't write with my mind or this series would be done... Anyway... CUE EFFECTS
Totally fades in from where we left off with Mala holding Hiccup at Katana-point
Spoiler: click to toggle
Chapter 1: Explosive Personality
“But first Hiccup, I’m going to kill you myself.” Mala declared scornfully.
“Hold on Mala, please, just listen!” Hiccup begged.
“No, Dragon judgment or not, you have doomed my people and you must pay.”
“Mala, please, we didn’t do anything!”
“Yeah, it was those dirty Hunters” Astrid chimed in. “They’re the ones who took your Eruptodon.”
“And who was their ‘perfect’ distraction? No, I won’t be swayed by any more words. It’s time to take action.” Mala got into a striking stance, “I won’t let the forsaking of my people go unpunished.”
“Mala, look, if you kill me, no one will be able to get your Protector back. The Hunters have been gone for only a couple hours. They couldn’t have gotten far, WE can stop them, but we’re wasting time.” Hiccup explained.
“And if you never return? Then what? I’m not willing to take that risk.”
“Hiccup, we’re not getting anywhere with her. She’s crazy.” Astrid whispered.
“I know, but think about the position she’s in. Look, I have one more card to play, hopefully it’ll work.” Hiccup returned.
“Mala, if you won’t let us go get your Eruptodon back, then let my team go and keep me. If they fail to bring back the Eruptodon…” Hiccup sighed, “Then you can do what you wish with me.”
“What?!” Both Astrid and Mala asked.
“Hiccup, are you serious? That’s your plan?” Astrid asked incredulously.
“Look Astrid, we aren’t getting out of here otherwise. Besides, I trust you guys to get the Eruptodon back quickly and safely.”
Hiccup turned back to Mala, “And what say you, Mala? Will you let my team rescue the Eruptodon with their leader?”
Mala had been taken aback by Hiccup’s proposition. She didn’t want to trust any of the dragon riders, but it would take a day of sailing with their fastest ships for the Defenders to catch the Hunters, and another day of sieging, with a heightened chance of the Hunters killing the Eruptodon, THEN bringing it back if everything goes right. She had no choice.
“Very well Hiccup Haddock. Your team has until sunrise tomorrow to bring back the Eruptodon. Should they fail, your head is mine.” Mala threatened. “Defenders, to the ships! We sail immediately!”
The Defenders quickly exited the unstable volcano on their leader’s command.
“Hiccup, just what in the Hel are you thinking?” Astrid, once again, asked.
“Astrid, what choice do we have? She wouldn’t have let us all go. Besides, she has the worst problems with me, she wouldn’t have had any reason to let me leave.”
“But Hiccup, was it really worth risking your life?” Astrid worried.
“Like I said Astrid, it was the only option. She would have killed us otherwise. Now’s not the time to talk about this though. We only have until tomorrow to get their dragon back. We need a plan and we need to move fast. Well… you need to. Come on, let’s go get the other riders.”
Astrid couldn’t hide her disapproval, but Hiccup was right. This crazy bit.. lady wanted to kill all of them. Hopefully Hiccup’s plan wouldn’t end in an un-noble sacrifice.
But what if it did?
Well first off, Astrid would find a way to raise Hiccup from the dead to kill him again, then his father would repeat the task.
How could Hiccup guarantee the safety of everyone and that everyone would be happy in the end?
I can’t Hiccup thought. I’ve been stuck in some pretty nasty situations but this one really takes the cake.
Hiccup was truly unsure of the outcome. He always had a feeling that he and his team would pull through to save the day, and it’s not that he doubted them this time, it’s that Viggo and his men were so unpredictable that the possibility of worst-case scenario was very high.
“Alright Astrid, look, we can’t tell the other riders about this.” Hiccup begged.
“And what will I tell them when you don’t come with us?” Astrid retorted.
“For now, we tell them that I’m the prisoner until they get the Eruptodon back. No ‘death’ business.”
“Fine. But for the record, I will not take responsibility if they find out.”
“Thanks Astrid. I’m glad I can count on you.” Hiccup smiled.
Astrid smiled back, but only to hide her inner worry. Again with the boar-headed risk. Sometimes Hiccup drove her crazy with his lack of thought when it comes to his own safety. But in the end, Hiccup wouldn’t have let anyone else stay in his place. No changing his mind now.
“So what’s the plan?” Astrid conceded.
“That's a good question. We still have a couple minutes before we get down the mountainside. I’ll have something by then.” Hopefully.
Suddenly, the ground below began to shake as the volcano let off a massive groan.
“Ok, check that, we need to get this resolved fast.” Hiccup corrected.
Meanwhile, at the Defenders Village
“Ok, so where are Hiccup and Astrid?” Tuff asked.
“They went to the Volcano to see why it was acting up with Mala, ugh, don’t you guys ever listen!?” Fishlegs pinched his brows.
“No. Can you repeat that?” Ruff chimed in.
“Ugh you guys are so annoying!” Snotlout complained, “Amirite babe? We should totally ditch these losers.”
“Now’s not the time Snot.” Heather rolled her eyes.
“I think you mean, ‘It Snot the time’” Tuff cackled at his own… genius.
The rest of the riders groaned in response, Fishlegs in particular rolled so hard that he turned his head, only to see a ship in the distance.
“Hey guys?” he frowned, “That’s… that’s a hunter ship!”
“What?” the riders echoed in response.
They all looked south to see one of Viggo’s main ships sailing quickly away.
“Wait a second, are they… leaving?” Heather asked.
“Look’s like it, but why?”
“Good question Snotlout. We need to find Hiccup and Astrid right now.” Fishlegs answered.
The Dragon Riders turned and started to make their way to the foot of the volcano, only to be met with a thunderous echo. There were Defenders instantly running around the island frantically.
“Uh… what was that?” Fishlegs whimpered.
“Sounded like Tuffnut’s stomach.” Ruff said as she punched her brother.
“Ow! Hey, it’s not my fault I’m always hungry with your nasty food lying around.” Tuff retorted.
“It sounded like the volcano.” Snotlout gulped.
“Well we now know why Mala requested that Hiccup and Astrid go with her.” Heather added, “All the more reason for us to find Hiccup and Astrid now.”
“Right!” the other riders echoed.
As the dragon riders were moving through the sea of Defenders of the Wing, they saw smoke billowing from the volcano.
This is bad, Heather thought, really bad.
“The entrance to the path to the volcano is up ahead guys.” Heather reassured.
As the riders got closer, they noticed Mala and her entourage coming down the path.
“Where are Hiccup and Astrid?” Snotlout nagged.
“Maybe they’re staying with the Eruptodon. Maybe it’s sick and Hiccup and Astrid are taking care of it?” Fishlegs rationalized.
“Let’s ask Mala what’s going on.” Heather declared.
“Mala!” Heather called out, “What’s wrong? And where are Hiccup and Astrid?”
“You’ll have to ask your traitorous leader what’s wrong,” Mala sneered, “As for where they are: it makes no problem for me when Hiccup Haddock decides to show. The later he starts, the less time he has.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Tuffnut asked.
“It me--” Mala was cut off by crumbling tremors. She glared at the riders and left without another word to them.
“Defenders, hear me!” Mala declared, halting all the scrambling Defenders on the island, “Our savior, the Eruptodon, has been taken by the Hunters. We must make haste and get the dragon back before we lose our island. I want half of you on fire prevention duty and half on dragon rescue duty. Fit our five fastest ships with weapons and ready up for fighting. The hunters will not have their victory today!”
The Defenders cheered and began to designate each other to fire prevention of retrieval.
“Wait, did she say the Hunters took the Eruptodon?” Fishlegs whimpered.
“Ok, NOW we go get Hiccup and Astrid, wherever they are.” Heather advised.
“Well we won’t have to look so hard.” Tuffnut declared.
“And why would that be Tuffnut?” Snotlout disbelievingly asked, “Do you have some magic orb that can tell us where they are!”
“Yes! Two actually, and they tell me that Hiccup and Astrid are running towards us right now.” Tuffnut pointed them out in the crowd, “See, my eyes were the orbs that could see where they are.” Tuff cackled, “You asked… uh...” Everyone, even Ruffnut, had already headed towards Hiccup and Astrid.
“People just don’t appreciate my humor.” he huffed as he, too, made his way toward his leader.
“Alright guys… pant …. We have to get… pant … the Eruptodon back.” Hiccup gasped.
“Woah, take it easy Hiccup. What’s going on?” Heather asked.
“No time. Get dragons. Meet back here. Plan then.” Astrid panted.
“O-okay, let’s get the dragons guys. Give them some time to rest.”
“Bring Toothless and Stormfly please. A bit easier for us.” Hiccup reminded.
“Got it.” Heather called out as she and the rest of the riders searched for their rides.
“Hiccup, what’re we gonna tell them?”
“Not the truth Astrid. They’ll freak out and you know it. Besides, I don’t want them to blame themselves if-”
“Stop. It’s not going to happen Hiccup. I won’t let it. Now let’s get a plan together please. The more we know what to do when the other guys get back, the better I’ll feel.”
Hiccup sighed, “You’re right Astrid. We’ll tell the riders that Mala will hold me as collateral until you guys bring the Eruptodon back. I’m only a prisoner as far as they know, and we don’t know anything that happens otherwise. As for the plan, I think I have some better news for you there.” Hiccup smirked.
Astrid could only smile feel happiness rise inside of her as they began to plan. But in the back of her mind, worry still festered.
I won’t lose you Hiccup.
Spoiler: click to toggle
Chapter 2: Leading from Afar
“Ok so planning time.” Hiccup said while he waited for the dragon riders to come, “What do we know?”
“Well, it’s obvious that the hunters took the Eruptodon, next, they have one large flagship and two smaller fighters with it.” Astrid stated.
“Right, we also know that Viggo planned for me to take the bait and come to this island. Now the hardest part: Is Viggo on that ship?” Hiccup added
“What difference does it make?”
“Astrid, if Viggo is on one of those ships, he can read our moves and make counter-attacks on a whim, and if I can’t be there to counter the counter, then the trouble really mounts.” Hiccup explained.
“Why would he come now? He’s never really shown up to the fight...”
“Except when his plan involves deception. The Flightmare, the Buffalord, and now the Eruptodon, Astrid. He’s on that boat. He wants to make sure that things went the way he wanted them to.”
Astrid sighed. “Ok, whether he’s here or not, we still need some sort of plan. Besides, we should act like he is, because a plan against Viggo will probably work against anyone.”
“Well you got a point there.” Hiccup admitted, “Ok, so plan for Viggo, hope for Ryker, got it.”
The two stood and collaborated, thinking of ways to overcome the Dragon Hunters for a couple more minutes, until the rest of the dragon riders showed up.
“Ok, what do we got?” Heather asked.
“Uh, not much directly. A lot of contingency plans though.” Hiccup replied.
“Contingency Tuff, it means backup.” Fishlegs clarified.
“Oh, well why didn’t he just say that?”
“Moving along,” Hiccup stressed, “Our first move is to identify if Viggo is on any of those ships. This plan goes a lot smoother with him not here.”
“Uh, no plan is smooth with Viggo around. Well, except his, because he’s great at planning. I mean, he totally got the Eruptodon from under our noses.” Ruffnut blathered.
“Oh for the love of, will you all LISTEN for once.” Hiccup yelled, “These people on this island could be a great ally, and it is our fault that they could be wiped out, so we have to help them. Now we don’t have much time left before the volcano erupts, so please, let’s get through these plans.”
The riders all nodded silently. Finally a moment of relief.
“Ok, so our most basic, overarching plan is a fake diversion. Fishlegs, Snotlout and the twins will all be laying down cover fire while Astrid and Heather will take out any air cannons under the cover of darkness. Once all major air weapons are down, focus on the side ships, but this is where the fake diversion comes in. While the Fish, Lout, and the twins are in the air going after the side ships, Heather and Astrid will disappear, only coming in to help the others if absolutely necessary. If the shipmen start looking for a surprise attack from the non-attacked side, we go all out on the attacked side. This should clear everything for the final boat holding the Eruptodon.” Hiccup explained.
“Why can’t you use Toothless under the cover of night to speed this up, I mean, Hello? Night Fury? This is perfect for you guys!”
“I’ll get to that in a second Snotlout, but first I need to explain the part where we get the Eruptodon free, because this is where it gets tricky.”
“Yes! I love tricks!” Tuffnut exclaimed. “You know how much of a trickster I am.”
“Yes Tuff, a great trickster, but what I’m trying to say is: I won’t be… Out there with you guys.” Hiccup elaborated.
“WHAT!!!???” The riders yelled.
Hiccup winced, “Well it’s not really my choice, Mala is holding me as collateral until the Eruptodon is returned. She did however say that I could lead from behind.” Hiccup lied.
“Oh, so many questions.” Heather sighed, “so first, what if we don’t get the Eruptodon back?”
Astrid looked nervously at Hiccup who just returned a nod of encouragement.
“Mala didn’t say anything about never returning or losing the Eruptodon, but she did say that if the Eruptodon was returned before sunrise tomorrow that she would pardon all charges and become our allies. Any later and she didn’t specify.”
“Ok...” Heather accepted warily, “Next: What do we do if all the given plans fail? I don’t doubt we’ll forget them,” Well, Astrid, Fish, and I won’t forget at least. “But we can only have so many backups if everything fails.”
“Look. I believe that you guys can do it. If I didn’t, I would be begging Mala to let me go with you. So if anything goes not according to plan, I know that you will figure it out.” Hiccup said with conviction.
The rest of the riders were awestruck. Even Astrid, who knew the true reason behind Hiccup’s future battlefield absence, was at a loss for words.
“Alright. We’re with you… Or, not with you because you won’t be with us, but well… You know what I mean.” Fishlegs stammered out, still bewildered by Hiccup’s speech.
“Thanks guys. I knew I could count on you.”
“Don’t thank us yet.” Astrid said, “You can thank us when we come back with that dragon.”
Hiccup smiled in acknowledgement. “Then let’s get to the harbor and saddle up.”
On Viggo's Main Ship
“So we got the dragon and we’re sailing off. But what is stopping the riders from flying after us to take it back?”
“Well brother, if you would indulge me for a second, I can explain the intricacies of this plan that you rarely care to understand. You see, Mala, the queen of the Defenders of the Wing is quite… Explosive in personality. She has a bad tendency to accuse anyone on her island that is not a native of being a Dragon Hunter-”
“So she accuses them, but that won’t stop them from flying away.” Ryker interrupted.
Viggo furrowed his brow, “Please let me finish brother.” He stated sternly.
Ryker relaxed his aggressive, yet anxious pose.
“As I was saying, Mala is accusatory, now knowing our little Hiccup, he will do anything to prove that he and his friends are not Dragon Hunters. Based off of information given to our spies that survived, Mala will throw Hiccup to the dragons to see if they accept him. That is when we struck, as you know. But what you didn’t know is that our purposefully planted evidence will lead Mala to never trust young Hiccup again.” Viggo cruelly grinned.
“Y’know brother, that’s extremely convenient. How do you know Mala will take all the bait and play the part perfectly?” Ryker asked.
“Remember when I said ‘the spies that survived’? Well, it turns out that those who don’t are due to Mala’s… predictable habit of suspicion. Now Hiccup is quite the clever boy. He would be able explain his way out of having a map with my name on it, yes. But what if the Defender’s main prize, the Eruptodon, was stolen and it all looked like a diversion? That is why, dear brother, I knew this would work. If you took the time to think, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time explaining it.”
Ryker only gritted his teeth at Viggo's not-so-disguised insult.
“Y’know brother, one of these days your plans won’t work because people won’t act how you want them to.” Ryker sneered.
“Dear brother, I always study my opponent before making such masterful plans.Take on how I knew Hiccup would go to the island? We’ve been at each other for months so now I can read young Hiccup like a book. Of course, I would only need a few days for someone so noble. They always love to do the right thing.”
“I got that much but ye still have yet to explain why they won’t fly away?” Ryker gritted his teeth.
Viggo sighed in annoyance, “Again, brother, Mala’s accusations are quite serious. And if Hiccup and his riders are off their dragons for a second, and Mala accuses them of whatever she wants, they will not return to their dragons. I guarantee it.”
“And you don’t think that Hiccup could convince her otherwise? I mean we took the Eruptodon. Would Mala risk a chance, possibly her only one of saving her island? You’re too focused on ruining that dragon rider that you’re getting sloppy. You think you know people but you don’t. If this works out it’s pure luck but we’ve been losing more and more to this boy and you can’t let it go.”
Viggo slammed his hands on his desk, “This is NOT about losing or winning brother this is about ridding ourselves of the dragon rider annoyance once and for all!”
The outburst had taken Ryker slightly aback. Viggo took a deep breath to regain his composure before speaking softly,
“A shame too. Hiccup was quite the opponent. But as you so aptly pointed out, we have suffered some… losses that were quite costly, even with the Berkian supply of gold. So I had to put our… games to an end.”
“Well… this is certainly A way to end it,” Ryker raised an eyebrow, “but I’m still not 100% behind it.”
To be perfectly honest, Viggo’s plan was made more quickly than he would have liked. However, after the latest loss, Viggo needed more dragons, or more specifically, one very rare, and expensive, dragon. Also, he decided to rid himself of 2 pests to his operation at the same place.
So why not steal an expensive dragon that protects and island full of paranoid Dragon protectors from a volcano while baiting a group of dragon riders there to frame? Viggo wished that he had someone with a brain to appreciate his plan. It truly was a shame that he had to get Hiccup killed. If only the boy would join them.
Truly a shame.
At the Defenders Harbor
“Alright gang, you know the drill. Get in, get out and bring back the dragon safe, above all.” Hiccup reminded them.
The riders began to get on their dragons, unsure of what to do without their leader up with them.
Hiccup grabbed Astrid's arm before she mounted Stormfly, “Wait.”
“What Hiccup? We need to go!”
Both Astrid and Toothless were caught off guard by the request.
“What?! I can’t do that! He needs to be here with you in case… Well… The worst happens? And you need to escape?”
Toothless also grunted in protest. It wasn't that he didn't like Astrid, Toothless just didn't want to leave Hiccup.
“There isn’t going to be an escape Astrid, because I know you guys will bring back the Eruptodon before the sun rises.” Hiccup gave her a toothy grin.
Astrid couldn’t bring herself to smile though. Her nerves were off the charts, but she didn’t want to waste time arguing.
“Ok, ok,” she conceded, “I’ll keep Stormfly on command at our side for support.”
Apparently Toothless also understood the severity of the situation, because he complied without further complaint.
Hiccup smiled again, but then his expression darkened, “Astrid, if Viggo, or Ryker… do something to the Eruptodon and you can’t bring it back, promise me you’ll take care of Toothless and the riders.”
“I will.” Astrid replied, “But promise me you’ll doing something if it comes to that.” Astrid replied, tears beginning to well up in her eyes.
Hiccup opened his mouth to assure Astrid but was cut off
“Dragon Riders!” Mala’s voice echoed, “Tonight you can earn our trust. We set sail to reclaim our island and our Protector. Fly now!”
Hiccup looked back at Astrid, “You better get going.”
“Wait!” Astrid exclaimed.
Hiccup’s reply was cut off from a sudden kiss from Astrid.
As they separated, Astrid bit her lip, “Just had to do that once for myself.”
Hiccup couldn’t reply. Just smile goofily.
“Hey lovebirds, let’s go!” Ruffnut shouted.
The rest of the riders wanted to give Hiccup and Astrid as much yak dung as they could, but they all understood the severity of the situation and took off one by one.
As Astrid took off and got in formation, Heather pulled up to Astrid with a sly grin.
“Soooooo, just friends?”
Astrid smiled sheepishly and whispered, “Not after this I hope.”
But a part of Astrid kept nagging about the terrible secret that she and Hiccup had kept.
Back on shore, Hiccup watched as the Riders flew over the Defender’s ships towards Viggo and Ryker. Behind him, the moon was rising, emphasizing the glow of the impending volcano.