Silver Bolt, Anasa, Bron, Mali, Araju, Gymara, Braeku and Fayhari copyright to Silver Bolt. Serine, Cassandra, Saphira and Buru are copyright to Serine Hatake.

Characters not to be used without either of our permission.

Based loosely around the Disney animated movie The Lion King.

Questions, comments, abuse and praise to either of these emails:

silver_bolt_9787@hotmail.com and staceyliger@hotmail.com

 

Two Worlds United under One Sky

=Part II=

 

 

 

“Oh!” she gasped, she didn’t hear him take off or even hear the water fall from their legs and tails back into the river.

“You’re getting a little too quiet you know?” She began to laugh and he joined in. They paused for a few seconds wandering deep in each other’s eyes. Serine broke the gaze and started to climb onto Silver’s back, but as she did she stepped o’so gracefully by placing one of her paws on his head lifting her self up.

“WHOA! Go easy on the mane S.” He exclaimed with a chuckle in his voice. She just gave a small smile and made her way onto his back, stumbling on her way up.

 

Flying around a section of the Valley that was new and unknown to her she simply stared at the majesty of the place. The constant emerald green of the trees and grass spanning from one side of the valley to the other could do nothing but amaze. She thought about what had just happened to her. Her thoughts were a mess, and Silver could only hear most of it as a blur, not being able to make any of it out, and neither could Serine.

 

He flew for a few minutes, turning every so often to give her a different view and to stay on an updraft. He then headed for the peak of Mt Nisei.

At this time of the afternoon the sun engulfed the peak of the giant mountain bringing an early darkness to the valley immediately below it.

He circled once and landed on its peak. A weird shaped peak at that, it wasn’t quite flat but it had a promontory of sorts, although it didn’t extend over the edge, it gave an almost 360 view of the surrounding Valley.

It was twilight now, Silver’s favourite time of the entire day. He landed softly but still managed to raise a small dark cloud of dust when his elegant wings brushed the surface of the mountains peek.

He knelt to let Serine off his back; she didn’t say a word as she jumped off because she was mesmerized by the view.

The sunset behind the far horizon created shadows that danced together to form one, as the night conquered the sky to reveal the heavens.

 

She walked over close to the edge and peered over; she got a little too close and felt dizzy from the height. Although she was fine with flying because she knew she could count on Silver not letting her fall, she still didn’t trust her own footing.

Silver noticed that her balance was shifting a little too much so he moved up beside her and placed one claw on the ground in front of her and pressed his leg firmly against her so she wouldn’t fall, and started moving her back onto the peak again.

“Oh. Huh, thanks for that. That was odd… I could feel myself leaning too far but I couldn’t move I wanted to see more” She smiled innocently and then laid down where he had pushed her back to.

He joined her by her side folding his left wing in tight but kept his right open to cover Serine,

“I bet you haven’t seen the sunset like this before” He said in a light tone, as he wrapped his wing around her body. “If you watch for a bit longer it looks as though the savannah is on fire, it’s… Hmm well you’ll see.”

They sat there watching the sun as it just began to touch the cliffs surrounding the Valley.

“Now it begins, watch the trees and the ground…”

The sun, plus the skies immediately around it were a blood orange colour, and the clouds were a pink, fading to a dark gold colour.

The sun’s rays cast a gorgeous red and orange shadow across the ground which engulfed everything it touched; turning all the tall trees as well as the swaying grass in an area that Serine had not yet been, into what looked like flames from a wild fire racing its way across the savannah.

 

Serine looked on amazed at this wonderful sight. Silver had seen it many times and was too busy staring at a suspicious looking cloud behind them to bother looking at the sunset.

When the sun had descended to almost half way behind the cliffs, the red-orange shadow turned dark Amber.

“Wow!”

“Yeah it gets a bit like that sometimes.” Silver chuckled, still looking at the cloud behind them, which had now acquired a few more clouds.

“It’s beautiful Silver, HEY look, it’s the same colour as your eyes now!”

For when only a quarter of the sun remained, the Amber shadow had turned Butterscotch Gold and then got progressively darker as the sun slowly disappeared from sight.

 

“You were right SB, I have never EVER seen the sunset like that before!” she leaned across to kiss him, when suddenly something slammed into her really hard from the side Silver was sitting

“OWWW-WOAH!”

The force of the slam was enough to slide her across the peak, she tried to slow down, but being winded from the hit, she just couldn’t keep her claws deep enough into the rock face.

“AAAH----!” She half screamed with the small amount of air left in her lungs, as her claws failed to stop her sliding of the peak an down the cliff drop side of the mountain

“Sorry Serine, I’m coming!” he yelled as he folded his right wing back into his body and rolled all the way to the edge and off as well. When he was facing the right way, he slightly opened his wings, not enough to hover but just enough to guide him to the falling lioness.

 

Silver had less than two seconds to make Serine move before a lighting bolt struck the peak, right where they were sitting, which made the loudest ‘crack’ of a sound Serine had ever heard.

Silver could see that Serine was falling a lot faster then he was, so he tucked his wings back around his body and free fell until he got level with Serine.

“SILVER!!!!” she screamed, clearly getting her breath back.

“Hold on Serine, I’ve almost got you!”

As soon as he got a good grip around Serine’s waist he whipped his wings open, which from falling at that speed, plus the weight of Serine as well, made the most piercing pain he had ever felt.

“GAH!”

The pain was like his wings were being ripped from the joints.

“SILVER! THE GROUND!” Serine screamed whilst pointing to the ground trying to get his attention.

Once the tears had left his eyes, he realized that even with him pumping his wings as hard as he could, they were still going to hit the ground. Hard.

“Shit, hold on Serine!” he screamed as he tucked one wing underneath his stomach and half around her.

“What are you DOING!?”

“Wait for it!”

They were only about 100 feet off the ground when Silver tucked the other under as well, whist at the same time, rolling over in mid air, forcing Serine on top of him so that he would hit the ground first.

 

 

 

“Ohhh my head!” whimpered Serine, she could feel water falling on her hard, and the ground underneath her was hard as well, so she was no longer on top of Silver. She slowly got up and had a look around. It was raining heavily and she could only see a few feet ahead of her, she could feel a huge presence behind her, and when she walked a few feet in that direction, she realized she was at the base of Mt. Nisei.

She turned and began searching for Silver.

“SB where are you? Can you hear me?”

She couldn’t tell what direction the cave was from the mountain, so she tried to keep the mountain in sight or in presence while she was walking close to the base.

After about ten minutes of walking almost in a complete circle she stepped on something smooth and wet, but she could feel a small amount of heat coming from it, and when she bent down and looked closely, she realized it was the tip of one of Silver’s wings.

“Silver!”

She jumped over his wing and walked around to his face and could tell that he was out cold.

“Silver can you hear me? SILVER!” She even tried to wake him up by licking his face, but he didn’t wake.

‘Oh shit, oh shit,’ thought Serine, ‘I need to get him out of this rain!’

She tried to move him with out hurting him, but as soon as she tried to roll him over, she saw that his other wing was underneath him and it was bent at a bad angle, not enough to be dislocated, but if she kept trying to move him, she was scarred she might actually break it.

‘Oh crap...Stuff it!’

She stopped the attempt to move him and just lay down next to him to keep the both of them warm.

The rain stopped about half way through the night, and by morning there was still puddles of water everywhere throughout the Valley.

Serine woke up freezing cold, to find that Silver had regained conciseness through the night and had sat down properly next to her, so that he wasn’t lying awkwardly on his wing. She turned and licked his face in an attempt to wake him.

“Are you awake SB-B?” she asked with a little shiver sunning through her.

“I am now,” he laughed, but quickly stopped and grimaced, “Okay mental note: don’t laugh!”

“What’s wrong are you hurt? How bad is it? Im so sorry if I hurt you, I didn’t mean to…”

“Calm down Serine, I’ve already got a headache I don’t need another, it wasn’t your fault, remember I shoved you off the mountain.”

“Yes I remember, but are you alright?”

“Yeah I think,” he tried to stand up, and with a bit of help from Serine he was standing fine.

“There see, no harm done,” he began to slowly walk a little bit but couldn’t keep his balance and stumbled a bit before sitting back down again.

“There, I am fine now, but are you okay? Are you hurt anywhere?”

“I landed on you Silver, I’m fine, although I have a massive headache. I think my head either hit yours or the ground.” She giggled. “Silver, how big is the mountain?”

“I don’t actually know, why?”

“Well, how is it that you fell from the peak, with the weight of me on top of you, and you hit the ground hard enough that it should have killed you then you get up the next morning absolutely fine?”

“Well okay, now im not 100%, my wings feel like they are all broken even thought they’re not,” he opened them to their full extent and closed them again with a frown of pain on his face, “My head is killing me, and I think I might have a broken rib, or maybe a few”

“Oh Shit! You could die from that Silver!”

“I’ll be fine, I don’t THINK it’s broken, my chest just hurts when it moves too much, like when I laugh, its okay when I breathe though.”

“…Are you invincible or something?”

“No why?” he softly chuckled, testing his chest.

“That fall, plus with my weight forcing you down, SHOULD have killed you…”

“Yeah I know, that’s why I did it, so it wouldn’t kill you, I knew even with me trying to fly, we still would have hit the ground and the force probably would have killed YOU so I rolled over so that I would hit the ground first, not you.”

“But how did you know that the force wouldn’t have killed you? Have you done that before?” She asked in fear.

“No I have never fallen from that height before, and I didn’t know it wouldn’t kill me, I just knew I had more of a chance to survive then you.”

“Silver you’re an Idiot!” she laughed and kissed him.

“Come on let’s get back to the cave.” He replied with a kiss and they both stood up and slowly started walking back to the cave.

 

Everything was an eerie green after the storm; the storm had made a mess of at least the part of the valley they were in. Leaves, branches, even entire trees had fallen because of the storm, and it was clear by the darker skies that it wasn’t over yet. They were lucky that they were so close to the base of the mountain, for they were covered from the winds and the flying debris.

 

They followed a path made by years of use by the Flyers that led towards one of the bridges that crossed the river further ahead, the plants had made an attempt to reclaim lost ground on the paths but failed halfway through the attempt.

 

Silver stopped and perked his ears forward; Serine slowed her pace and soon stopped to ask why he wasn’t moving.

Silver didn’t pay her any attention and continued to listen intently until Serine butted in again, “What is it SB!?”

 

“The river… it sounds… different. Could be nothing but, I don’t know…” Silver was stumped at the altered sound of the river he had known since he was a cub, “C’mon lets keep going.” He began to walk with his head lowered and stretched so he could continue to try and pinpoint what was different.

 

A few minuets later they passed through the edge of the forest pathway and stepped into a clearing where they were greeted not by the gently flowing river and well-trimmed bridge but by a gushing overflowing river and no bridge in sight.

 

“Was this what you heard?” Whispered a shocked Serine while examining the river.

Silver let out a sigh, “Yeah, this could be a problem…”

‘There’s no way his wings can carry us both over…’

“Silver, are your wings well enough to fly yourself across?”

“Well, yeah, but how does that help you get across?”

“I can swim across,” ‘I hope…’ Serine added in her head. Silver tried to object but she raised a paw cutting him off, “Just get yourself across the river in one piece, okay?”

“Have you seen the river!?” asked Silver, “Look how fast it’s going! You can’t swim that!” He moved closer to the water and motioned for her to come and take a closer look.

 

She stepped close to him and rubbed her head along his neck,

“Silver, trust me. I’ll be fine.” He stepped back and to the side, shook his head at her and extended his wings. With a small amount of pain in his wing joints he was already half way across the threatening river.

 

Once he had landed he turned to see what Serine was planning, as he turned he saw her running upriver, ‘She’s nuts… What is she doing? She’s not looking for another bridge I hope… ‘Cause the other one is in the opposite direction…if it’s even still there’

 

He watched her intently. Serine had run about a hundred meters upriver and while running she was scanning the river for any dangerous objects.

‘Doesn’t seem to be anything that could get in my way, excellent. Alright this will do.’ She thought once she got as far upriver as she needed, ‘Now once I hit the water start swimming, don’t stop, even if its freezing, don’t stop.’ She repeated over and over in her head and took long deep breaths.

 

She backed up three paces then charged straight for the waters edge, once near enough, paws drenched in cold water, she pushed off on her strong and sturdy hind legs and jumped into the river.

 

It consumed her.

Silver gasped as Serine’s head went under and didn’t come up for a few seconds, but got a small amount of relief when he saw her rise back to the surface.

 

She was somewhat blinded by the amount of water that had splashed into her eyes but knew she couldn’t stop to shake it out, she had to trust herself and go by the blurred images she could see. As she propelled herself through it the rushing water was bringing her back towards Silver, Serine knew that she couldn’t simply swim straight across so she took into account the waters strength. Still swimming she just passed where silver landed and her paws hit pebbles. They rolled under her paws making her slip underneath the water, Silver raced over to her but she was drifting further down river.

 

Unable to get a grip on any land she unsheathed her claws and dug them in to help her to the surface. She was still underwater when Silver rushed over to give her a helping claw. Once helped out of the cool waters she collapsed on the grass to catch her breath.

 

“You okay!? Ugh THAT WAS STUPID WHAT YOU JUST DID!” Silver licked the little lioness on the cheek.

“Y… Yeah I-I know.” Serine answered shaking slightly more then before, “The water w-w-was a colder than I t-thought.” She began to laugh.

“C’mon up you get,” Silver helped her up and they began a slow pace back up the river to the pathway.

“Okay… How where you able to swim that!?” said Silver in a slightly louder voice than usual.

“What? I can swim well, and it helps if you had a croc for a, well lets call him a friend…”

“A croc? Your kidding!? The things that you landies sometimes argue with over a meal!?... Why?”

She giggled, “I was too big for the little guy to munch on so he chased me around in the water, he’d always catch me but I tried my best to get away, he was a hatchling, I was still a cub. I learnt a lot about swimming from that little guy.” She finished with a coy smile.

 

Silver let out a small laugh, stopping quickly because his chest still ached a bit.

“What?” Asked Serine turning around.

“You look like a wet rat!” He said while restraining his laughter.

“What?? Really??? Hmmm I think I might have to fix that.” She began to rub herself against Silver’s side and around his neck, transferring some of the water onto his lovely now semi dry fur.

“Aww how lovely, thanks…” He said with an over abundance of sarcasm in his tone of voice.

“Your most welcome!” She poked her tongue out and turned to find the path that led them to the cave.

 

On their way back the rains came again, still with some force. Wind rustled the trees and forced the rain down hard into their eyes so it was good that they were almost at the cave.

 

“Not much farther now, right?”

“Right, should be just behind those trees.”

 

They emerged to find the caves entrance blocked by a few braches, which were easily removed.

 

Once inside they headed to the back of the cave due to the wind blowing the rain a good couple of meters in, the rain formed puddles where they used to lay. Serine went and lay close to the wall and Silver joined her placing a sore wing over her body.

 

“Well,” started Serine snuggling under his wing, “Now you can answer something for me,”

‘Damn questions…’ “...What is it?” He said with a sigh.

“Well for one, how did you know that that lightning bolt would hit where we were? It WAS lightning right? That’s why I got shoved…”

“Ah, well I could tell,”

“So you have these REALLY fast reactions?!”

“They help but I know what to look for, I have lived here most of my life after all, I know things.”

“That’s another thing I have been meaning to ask,”

‘Oh C’MON!’ thought Silver getting slightly frustrated with questions now.

“Why are there no other Flyers around?”

“They are off traveling, mainly, most of them do stay here just not in this part of the valley, and it IS a big place you know.”

“Yeah. So, why did you choose not to travel like the others?”

“Someone has to stay and take care of this place, but I used to leave sometimes, not often though.”

“So what, you’re the valleys’ babysitter?” Serine stated with a little humour.

He began to laugh slightly, “Yeah you could say that, but I’d prefer caretaker.”

“I’ll try not to make you laugh, and fine caretaker. Where you given that role?”

“Ha no, self employed”

“How many Flyers are there?” Serine asked, looking up at Silver, just to catch the end of him sarcastically rolling his eyes

“A few hundred, I don’t know the exact number.”

“Would there be more then lions?”

“Hmm, I doubt it, I mean there are like what, fifty of you to a pride? And like a pride every half a day’s walk, so I highly doubt it” He finished with a chuckle.

 

They both stared out of the caves entrance. Serine placed her head on Silvers claws when the skies flashed white; lightning came again followed by the roar of thunder.

 

“Well… Aint this going to be a productive day?” Silver said sarcastically.

Serine just laughed as she rolled onto her side so she could face the cave entrance, still keeping her head on his claws.

“How are you wings feeling SB?” she asked, her head deep in thought.

“Yeah they are feeling better, now that they are out of the wind and rain,” he added a chuckle that didn’t hurt as much as he expected, “My chest is feeling better too.”

“Good.”

“How are you, are you warm again?”

“Yes I am warming up now.”

“Excellent…what?” He perked his ears up towards the entrance.

She looked at him rather oddly from the tone he used with the statement. He glanced at her and noticed the odd look he was getting, “What?”

“Nothing,” she replied whilst turning her head back towards the entrance.

 

Half an hour later it had stopped raining, but the sun still wasn’t out and it was getting progressively colder, so the Flyer and the lioness moved away from the cold wall and lied down together to keep warm, Silver placed a wing over Serine’s body again to keep her warm, he was okay himself, and they drifted off to sleep, finally comfy.

 

 

“Whoa!” exclaimed Serine as a sudden blast of freezing cold air rushed through the cave, waking her up from a deep sleep.

“Silver?” she asked, noticing that the Flyer was no longer lying beside her.

“I’m just out here Serine!” he replied, but it sounded like he was further away than at the cave entrance.

When she got up and walked to the mouth of the cave, she was blinded by an extremely bright light.

“OW! Damn that’s bright,” she could hear Silver laughing his deep laugh ‘Oh that means he’s better!’ she thought and then ran outside, only to be tripped up by something white, cold and slightly fluffy which had crept into the cave’s mouth.

“Whoa! What is this?!” She yelled jumping a meter in the air backwards into the cave.

“It’s called snow Serine,” Silver yelled still laughing.

As Serine was looking and running her paw through the weird stuff she called out, “Where are you SB?”

Still laughing he simply said, “Look up.”

When she finally stopped looking at the snow she scanned the skies for Silver.

“Where are you damn it!” She laughed.

“Turn around!”

He was on one of the highest branches in the tree right above the cave, a good hundred meters up in the air.

“What are you doing up there?”

“It’s the best view of the valley when it snows up here,” and still laughing he launched of the branch resulting in Serine screaming, and him landing facing her. He opened his wings and tilted them backwards and flapped them once before he hit the ground, not only did his weight force a lot of snow onto Serine but using his wings as well covered her in it.

At first she was scarred but when it didn’t hurt her, and wasn’t even as cold as she thought, she just laughed and shook herself clean.

“Why did you do that!?”

“Refund for beside the river yesterday.”

“Asshole!” She laughed.

“You’ll get over it!” He laughed in reply, “So I take it you have never seen snow before yeah?”

“Yeah that’s right, I have only ever seen desert and wasteland, and the savannah and grassland and um semi dense forest, plus the Valley now.”

“So this is a first for you, well let’s have some fun!”

Using his wings, he covered her from head to paw in snow again.  The sight of Serine as a snowlioness was so funny, that he fell over onto his back laughing his deep laugh.

‘Bastard, I’ll get you,’ she thought, and shook the snow off, then scooped up a paw full, smooshed it together and chucked it right at his face, he saw it coming, so he raised one wing to block it.

“THAT’S CHEATING!” She laughed as she prepared another one.

“Too slow yet again Serine,” and when she looked up at him, he had a snowball almost as big as his head raised and she had less then a second to move before he chuckled it, but it got her right in face and knocked her over.

“OWY!” she squealed. Silver walked over to make sure she was all right she then copped one right in his mouth.

“You rat!” He laughed after spitting out the snow.

As Serine was lying there both of them heard her stomach growl.

“I take it your hungry again yes?”

“Yeah…” She said with a sheepish grin.

“Well tell me when you get hungry, so that way we can go before your stomach rats you out okay?”

“…Okay then, I just didn’t want to be a problem...”

“Well you’re not a problem okay, plus I’m feeling a little peckish myself, for meat I mean so come on.”

 

“I will say Serine, nice catch! One of the nicest antelope I have had in a long time,” Silver congratulated her after they had finished a decent sized antelope that she caught with the assistance of Silver.

“Yeah it was nice, even though you only ate about ten mouthfuls!” She laughed at him.

“Yeah I know you’ll get over it, plus I have food in the Valley, so if I get hungry I don’t have to come as far.”

“Smartarse!”

He just chuckled, “Come on, home time.”

Whilst flying over the cliffs Serine’s mind was amazed at all the snow that covered only the inside of the Valley.

“Why does it only fall inside the Valley?”

“Wouldn’t have a clue, but like I said before, the Valley has really bad weather some times.” He answered, knowing what she was talking about.

“Did you know it was going to snow?”

“Yes, why?”

“Is that why you asked if I was warm earlier this morning?”

“Yeah.”

“And that’s why you said ‘excellent’ in that weird way huh?”

“Ha-Yeah.” He laughed. “In a while, once it gets a bit colder, I will take you to the waterfall ‘kay?”

“Why ‘once it gets colder’?”

“You’ll see.”

They were really close to the cave now and Silver had already started his decent, when he pulled up short and stayed hovering around fifty feet from the ground.

“What is it SB?”

“Shhh!”

 

He thought he heard someone clicking their claws on a rock, but when he tried to hear it again the sound was gone.

‘Hmm it can’t be Anasa, humph maybe I was just hearing things,’ he thought and started his decent again.

Trying not to get Serine covered in snow again, he landed then allowed her to jump off.

“‘Bout time you got back Boltz, you’ve never taken that long to get something to eat before!” A male voice in the cave rang out breaking the silence.

Trying not to speak Silver glanced at Serine with a look to tell her to hide. She got it right away, and dove off to the side of the cave mouth.

“Yeah well sorry all right, you’ll live” Silver laughed back, completely at easy with this invader in his cave as he started walking towards the entrance, for they landed a little away from the cave mouth.

‘He MUST know who it is for him to be that casual.’ Serine thought whist watching Silver sit down in the snow about ten paces from the entrance.

“Well?” He asked the stranger, “Are you gunna come out or what?”

Serine could hear someone exhale loudly and sarcastically, she could almost ‘see’ the... someone… slowly get up to come out and greet Silver.

Serine knew it was a Flyer even before she could see him, he was the same build, if not bigger then Anasa, which made him almost half a head taller then Silver, his adolescent mane was almost the same colour as Silver’s hide a light brown, his hide was a dark chocolate brown.  Probably his most amazing feature/s would have to be his silver-grey eyes, or perhaps his beautiful midnight black wings and tail, which Serine could tell were longer and bigger then Silver’s. What she couldn’t tell because he had his wings folded up was that the end feather on each wing was a silver-grey just like his eyes.

“What’s been happening Bron?” Silver asked in a cheerful way.

“Not much bro how’s the Valley? When did it snow?”

“Only early this morning man, you must have just missed the downfall.”

“Yeah I could feel the cold even before I passed over the cliffs,” he added with a grin, “Hey, aren’t you a little… alone?” He questioned with a raised eyebrow, looking around the immediate vicinity.

“Yeah, Sas left about a week ago she went exploring again.”

“Yeah I know I ran into her about two days ago.”

“Well then why ask?” Silver stated, already knowing who Bron was talking about.

“Because you know as well as I do, that I wasn’t talking about Ana, where’s the Landie?”

Serine was currently really scarred, but the tone of voice Bron used was just a normal one it even sounded comical.

“She told you everything, didn’t she?” Silver asked, staring straight at him with a slightly annoyed look.

“YEP you betcha, now where is she, I want to look at the lioness that has captured your heart,” and in an undertone he added, “Even though there was a perfectly good Flyer here before…”

“Shut up Bron!” Silver replied, then looked over at Serine and moved his head in a ‘come here’ manner.  She slowly moved out, still staring at Silver just in case something bad was going to happen, but Silver had his smile on his face, so she knew she could trust this ‘Bron’.

She approached with her tail low and her head the same.

 

“No need to fear precious.” Bron said with no evident negative feeling in his voice, as she got closer.

“No offense, but I have had a bad run in with other Flyers…” She came even closer, she was about half way when Bron moved to greet her, they circled, examining each other.

“Well… I shall say this she aint bad…” He raised an eyebrow and looked back to Silver. Bron then moved alongside Serine and whispered something in her ear, it was only three words and Silver, with his acute hearing, could tell them apart.

 

“Lets get ‘im.”

 

They prowled towards Silver with evil in their eyes. Silver looked on opened eyed and realized what they were up to, but it was too late, for they had already began to run towards him gaining speed. Within a few bounds they had reached him. Bron had opened his wings and using them, pounced on his old friend pinning him to the ground. Struggling under Bron’s weight Silver managed to see what the lioness was doing. Serine had got a clump of snow as big as Silvers face and had tossed it right at him, he squirmed but to no avail. All he felt was the cold of the fresh snow landing on his face. Hard.

 

He got a mouthful and Bron got off him high-five-ing Serine at the same time.

 

“Ohhh you’ve done it now…” Silver spoke through gritted teeth and spitting out some of the snow, but he still had a half smile on his face.

 

The two together gave an ‘UHOH’ and scattered; Bron going towards the tree line in the direction on the waterfall and Serine back to her previous hiding spot near the mouth of the cave.

 

Silver took to the air blowing the recently settled snow off in all directions; he was searching for Bron, the brains behind the operation. Bron had found a small clump of dense foliage so he was near impossible to see from the air, however, he had forgotten about his claw and paw tracks.

Silver followed them right to his target. Silver skimmed the tree tops collecting enough snow to make a claw sized ball then landed right next to his buddy.

 

They stood there next to each other; Bron smiled cheekily and pulled on a low hanging branch while saying, “If I’m going down your coming with me!” As snow piled on the both of them.

The snow fell until it had reached their underbellies; both carried some on their backs as well as on their heads.

 

Silver looked unamused but after looking at Bron he began to laugh profoundly. Bron couldn’t help but join in and, wondering what all the laughing was for, Serine found the two. Unfortunately Silver still had his snowball and as soon as he saw her he chucked it and it hit her right in the chest.

 

“Ow, HEY c’mon! BRING IT BOLTZY!”

“What was that?” Silver asked mockingly.

“I said bring. It. BOLTZY!” She replied all the while dragging snow together around her paws.

Silver shook off the snow, most of it fell onto Bron. ”HEY, GET! I have my own snow thanks!!”

 

Silver lowered himself extended his wings above him and without moving them he jumped into the air using his wings to allow him to glide straight for Serine. He was too fast; he seemed to be getting ever faster since she first met him. The lioness didn’t have time to assemble the snowball at her paws and was brought down by Silvers crash tackle.

 

“I DARE you to call me that again…” He waited.

“Okay then BOLTZY! BOLTZY BLOTZY BOLTZ-“ She was muffled by a mound of snow.

While still muffled he gave Serine a quick neck-rub.

“Geez get a room.” Commented Bron beginning to give a wonderfully deep laugh.

 

Still spitting out the snow in her mouth she managed to come out with a coherent sentence, “Is it just me or is it getting cooler…” They all were able to see their breath clearly now.

 

“Yeah seems to be, hey Bron, you staying around for a bit?”

“Yeah I could do with a break from traveling so much. Why?”

The two Flyers met half way.

 

“I think I might need a little help…” He gave a sideways glance towards the Landie slowly getting back up.

Bron and Silver walked together to the waterfall followed by a slightly snow covered Landie.

 

The waterfall had changed so much; no longer was it blue/green but now a pure white. The flow of water had stopped completely and in its place a cold, hard and slightly reflective surface. All three came to its edge, Bron lowered his head and closed his eyes, he seemed to be listening, but to what?

 

“It’s safe, solid as a rock.”  Bron then glided out onto the surface spinning himself around to face the other two. Serine just stood there with her jaw almost hitting the ground.

 

‘He can’t walk on water… He can’t… can he???’ Thought Serine testing her courage by nudging the surface with a hesitant paw.

 

Silver soon followed him and skated onto the surface using his claws and talons to keep him balanced.

 

“Why don’t you join us missy?” Bron asked while she circled the edge getting closer to the crystal waterfall. The glint off the hard surfaced waterfall caught her eye and she felt compelled to investigate, it was like the stuff that had replaced the water in the pond but it was hanging off a rock.

 

Both Bron and Silver skated a bit testing to see if the dark Flyer was right about it being safe when Silver remembered to tell Serine something about the ice.

 

“It’s called ice Serine, and,” he turned to look at her, “I have to tell you not to lic-“ It was too late; Serine was over powered by her curiosity that she had to lick it. Her tongue was now stuck on an icicle. She grunted and began to look a little scared; she feared that she would be stuck like that forever.

 

Bron faced her and began to giggle, he knew she must have been a little scared but the sight of her with her tongue attached to an icicle was hilarious.

 

“Hold on S ill get ya out of it.” Silver moved gracefully across the ice and back onto land. She began to make unintelligible noises and Silver knew that she was wondering how he was going to do that.

 

“Okay, we have two options. One: I can remove your tongue,” Serine was terrified, her eyes went wide in shock and they began to get a little watery from the cold breeze blowing into them which only made her look more scared. ”I’m kidding don’t worry, I wouldn’t do that. Okay now I need you to stop pulling or else you’ll just hurt yourself,” She stopped, “Good now stay like that for me okay.” She nodded as much as possible, which was only very little as he leant closer to her face facing the icicle, he breathed onto the ice, his hot breath warmed the ice slightly and a part of her tongue was able to come loose, after two more her tongue was freed but frozen.

“Thankth SthB.” Serine had a temporary lisp.

“Now I want you to stay away from any and ALL icicles okay?” commanded SB.

“Yeth thir” Both Flyers laughed their deep laughs and skated back onto the ice.

 

She gathered her courage and put a paw on the ice, it sent a cold shiver running through her like electricity. Her eyes grew brighter but not wider as she gazed at her own reflection in the ice. ‘Look at where I am! From disaster to paradise. No one would believe me, heck I wouldn’t believe this if I had heard it from someone else. It’s too much like a dream.’ What she didn’t know was that she had two Flyers listening in on her thoughts unintentionally.

 

Silver and Bron glided over and Silver lowered his head and looked at her eye to eye, “It’s no dream Serine, I guarantee it.”

She was shocked at what he said but smiled, getting used to the idea that maybe Silver could simple ‘read’ her thoughts. She took another paw and placed it on the ice, it slipped around a bit but was stable once she unsheathed her claws.

 

“Don’t worry we’ve got you, you won’t fall, just take a couple of steps and you’ll be skating.” Reassured Bron.

 

She took those extra steps and was out on the ice with the Flyers.

 

“Alright! Now, do as I do.” Bron gave a demonstration of how to skate simply moving his paws and claws in a rhythmic pattern. Serine mimicked what she was shown until it came to turning around, she lost her footing and ended up flat on her stomach.

“Bugger…” Serine whispered frustrated.

“Haha don’t worry, your doing great.”

 

Silver then moved over and with Bron’s help they both got Serine back on her paws. “Let’s try this again.” This time Silver demonstrated a slow turn that Serine could pull off.

 

They practiced and played till the sun had fallen and clouds began to gather themselves again. Once it got too cold for all of them they headed back for the cave. Suddenly a small white dot landed on Serine’s nose and began to slowly melt, others followed and got caught in the three friends manes. All of them smiled and looked around at the spiraling snowflakes as they fell from the heavens.

 

They made it to the cave with a thin coating of snow over their backs and on the Flyer’s wings. They shook it off before entering the warmer cave.

“So Bron, where have you been traveling?” Silver asked before Serine could start with her list of questions.

“Oh all over the place, headed north for a bit then I don’t know, just drifted.”

“You always were just a drifter, not minding where you went.”

“Yeah, if the wind blows northerly I go north. You know that”

They placed themselves down in the center of the cave Serine taking her place next to Silver with Bron facing them both. “At least your similar in height hahaha.” Bron added looking at the pair. Both stared at Bron, annoyance evident in their eyes.

“Hey boys, I’m a little tired I’m going to sleep ‘kay?”

“Sure thing we’ll try not to keep you awake.” Bron said barely audible to the lioness but as clear as anything to Silver.

 

The two Flyers stayed up talking in near silence catching up with the other, asking who else the other had run into whilst outside of the valley and swapping stories of any that had bowed before them out of ignorance.

 

Beyond the cave the clouds gathered their strength near the cliffs leaving the centre of the valley open to the radiance of the full moon. With the moon shining the snow reflected its light making the valley glow.

Bron was the first to see this and suggested in a hushed voice for Silver to wake Serine and to meet him in the air.

 

Silver made his way to the sound asleep lioness and gave a gentle nuzzle to which she only stirred to. He gave another and called her name, and that got her to at least start opening her eyes.

“Huh… what?” She managed to mutter still with sleep in her eyes.

“Here hop on we have something to show you outside.” He lowered his back to allow the sleepy Landie to get on easier.

“Now its gonna be a little chilly just so you know.” She gave a long yawn in response.

 

He walked to the entrance greeted by a cold wind head on that ruffled his feathers and made Serine bury her face in the Flyers’ adolescent mane. He took advantage of the head-on wind and was able to take to the skies with hardly any effort at all.

 

Bron was near invisible, with his dark coat and wings against the deep sky. Bron however had no trouble in finding SB and Serine.

 

“Hey little one, you awake?” Bron asked with a tender voice that echoed in the night.

 

She took her head out of Silver Bolts mane and took her first look at the glowing valley, “Whoa!”

 

The moon lit the valley and made the snow glisten. The strong but low wind picked up snow from the tops of the trees and flew across the valley’s surface. A cool breeze picked up some of the glowing white substance and carried it up to their height. The Flyers followed the current, embracing it, and as it consumed them the Landie stretched out her neck and caressed it as if it were another being. Bron flew close by, admiring the valley while Silver monitored the skies.

 

“Hey BOLTZ!” Yelled Bron who was now flying above them, “What’s wrong man?”

 Silver’s eyes focused on the clouds straight ahead of them, and then back towards the cave, “We need to get back home. NOW!”

Both Serine and Bron looked back at Silver in fear.

“What is it?” Bron asked in a serious voice.

“Lighting. And ice, a LOT of ice!”

“Oh fuck!” Exclaimed Bron, with annoyance, “Not again!”

Serine was worried about the ‘again’ part. ‘Shit, what happened last time I wonder…’

“You’ll see what happens when Bron is in the air and there is lightning about.” Silver answered her thoughts.

“Serine, don’t be scarred okay,” and without an answer from her, he did a back-flip making her lose grip on his shoulders and fall back towards the ground.

 

Her scream was cut short when Silver caught her again, but with his claws so that she was underneath him instead of on his back.

 

“WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR?!” She screamed at him, still scarred out of her skull.

“I did that so that I can catch Bron” She had not even fully opened her mouth when he cut her short, “Don’t worry you will understand soon enough.”

 

All of this had taken place within three seconds of Bron saying ‘Not again!’

“Bron, you ready bro?” Silver asked his Flyer friend.

“When you are bro, when ever you are!”

They had flown about 10 minutes away from the cave to show Serine the moon lit snow, but when the icicles started falling, it seemed like it was 10 hours.

 

They were flying back to the cave in the weirdest formation ever Silver was holding Serine below him, whilst Bron flew about 5cm’s above Silver’s back.

 

“Why is Bron so close to you?” Serine asked Silver.

“HOPEFULLY you won’t have to see, but you just might.”

‘Gee that’s helpful.’ Thought Serine.

“Yeah, well tough, I'm trying to concentrate, so if you wouldn’t mind…”

She got the point and shut up, both physically and mentally.

 

After another few minutes, Serine was freezing and was sore from head to paw from all the ice-rain hitting her, she almost didn’t hear Silver say, “Soon Bron!”

 

Silver was listening to, and watching the clouds waiting for the first bolt of lighting to strike.

 

He saw it coming just in front of them.

 

“Soon Bron! 1230!”

 

Serine didn’t understand what the ‘1230’ meant but she could tell from Silver’s voice that the lightning was coming.

 

Without saying anything both Flyer’s increased the angle they had to the ground after Silver finished.

 

“How big is it Silver? Please tell me it's a small one!” Bron asked himself more then anything.

“Its big man, I'm sorry it's huge.”

“FUCK!” Bron cursed, “It’s ALWAYS gotta be a big one don’t it!”

“You know it!”

“HERE IT COMES!” Silver screamed out.

 

Bron flapped his wings down once more, then on the up lift, he lifted them right up together so that his Silver feathers were touching, right as a giant light blue line streaked its way from the heavens and struck his wing tips.

 

Serine saw that the lightning bolt was going to hit Bron, or maybe even all of them, so she was screaming at Bron telling him to get out of the way when the lighting struck him. For one-millionth of a second which lasted for ever, the light blue line connected Bron to the heavens, until he flapped his wings down once more, splitting the Bolt in half and sent both down either side of the group.

 

Serine could feel the heat from the Bolt as is whizzed past her, causing her half-mane to reach out for it, even though it was full of water.

 

When Serine looked back at the ground she noticed that they were falling a lot faster now, and when she looked up at Silver, she could see Bron laying on his back unconscious.

“Is Bron alright?” She asked Silver, her voice raising a fair few octaves mid sentence.

“He will be, calm down it's all right.”

“…OWWW!...I hate you Silver…” Bron half-heartedly chuckled, still a little dazed from the lightning.

“I know Bron, I know.” Silver laughed back.

 

After a few more minutes Silver landed in front of the cave. He flew low enough so that he could drop Serine on her feet, and then landed next to her with Bron still on his back.  It was still raining hail so they quickly walked into the back of the cave.

 

“Why was the rain so solid? It was like the icicles at the waterfall.” Serine asked.

 

Silver laid the semi-conscious Bron on the ground before answering.

“Because it was that cold up there that the water droplets froze half way down, and we were unfortunately up way too high, so they were quite big and they hurt a lot even on ground level let alone up so high.”

“Plus the weather in this valley’s a bitch.” Bron added whilst slowly getting to his feet.

“That was quite a recovery man, your getting better!”

“Yeah I know, it was good too, ‘cause only my back got shocked this time,” He added with a chuckle, whilst he was stretching his back and his wings.

“Wait, wait, wait, again? You mean you’ve been hit by lightning BEFORE?!” Serine added looking delusional.

 

The two Flyers just started laughing at the look on Serine’s face.

Still laughing Silver answered her question. “Yes he has been hit by lightning before, like what? 15 times was it?” he asked Bron.

“Yeah about that.”

“And how do you survive?” Serine asked him in a shocked tone.

“HA! You tell me!” He laughed again.

“Well I think I know how,” Silver added, “I think it's because of A) who/what he is, and B) I think it has something to do with his weird silver-grey looking wing tips.”

“What does that have to do with anything?” She asked.

“Well I don’t know, all we know is that the first time he got hit, we were like, what 4? Maybe 5 years old I think, still young-”

“‘4 maybe 5’!?” Serine cut in, “I'm still only three! How old are you?!”

This only made Bron laugh even harder.

“Shut up Bron, how would she know?”

Still laughing, “Sorry, sorry I just thought that you would have told her.”

“You know, it didn’t even cross my mind…”

“Well?” Serine asked, a little annoyed at her mate and his best friend.

“Well what?” Bron asked

“Well, how old are you two?”

“Well this youngen here,” started Bron as he nudged Silver in the ribs with his elbow, “Is only a young 15, and I’m 17.”

 

Serine’s mouth dropped and her eyes widened, “15, and 17!?” She asked whilst looking at the respective Flyer of that age.

“Yeah that’s right,” Silver then looked at Bron, “You know, it's probably a good thing I didn’t tell her, I mean look at her face!” He chucked at Bron, who was still laughing.

“So wait how long DO you guys live for? I have never met anyone older then eight!”

“Around 30 years.”

“30 YEARS!”

“Give or take.” Silver smiled.

“WOW! 30 years!” Serine started dreaming of living such a long and amazing life.

“Hey,” Silver butted into her fantasy, “Do you want me to keep telling the story?”

“OH! Yes sorry keep going, sorry I side tracked you.”

“You know that’s cool. Anyway we were around that age I think I was 4 so that would make you 6 Bron.”

“And Ana 5.”

“Yeah that’s right.”

“So you’re the youngest SB?”

 

“Oh right, sorry no more questions.”

“Thank you, ANYWAY we were flying around here, well not here, but in another part of the Valley, when a storm blew in, and I think it was Sas that dared you was it?”

“Yeah it was her…”

“Anyway she dared Bron to fly up as high as he could while the storm was brewing.”

“So of course, I accepted.” Bron’s eyes glazed over as he remembered when he was so little.

“Yeah you did, you idiot, and he was almost touching the clouds when I got a strange feeling, but by the time I yelled out to him, the lightning had already struck, but instead of hitting his body, it hit his left wing tip, and then exited his right wing tip, making him apart of the vein. After it had disappeared, he started to fall, but Sas and I caught him, he wasn’t awake or breathing, but by the time we landed he was awake and fine.”

“So after that we practiced with it till I only got my body tingling from the strike, it would still knock me out, but I would revive soon enough.” Bron added.

“You guys are idiots!” Serine just shook her head at them, “How did you know it wouldn’t kill you the next time?”

“We didn’t, that was the whole reason for doing it.” She was still shaking her head.

“So can you do anything SB?”

“No, nothing amazing like Bron, at least not that I know of.”

Serine just remembered what Bron was ‘listening’ to at the iced over waterfall.

“What were you trying to hear at the waterfall Bron?”

“Just to see if it was solid enough to walk on”

“…By listening to it?”

“Yeah, another weird thing I can do.”

 

“Whoa!”

 

Still pouring with rain all three stood there for a moment until the heavens cried out again shocking all of them. Serine, remembering an old tradition replied with an echoing roar.

“It’s been so long since I have done this, especially because of the drought at Erevu’s lands.”

“Yeah I remember, the first time we met, those lands were barren.”

“Yes, the drought seems to be getting worse now days,” Bron chucked in, “Every direction from here is just desert almost, some stretch for almost a day of flying as fast as I can.”

“Yeah? Man I wonder what’s happening out there?” Silver wondered looking at the black sky whilst Serine roared again.

“Come on before you freeze to death.” Silver turned and with his long feather tail ran it along Serine’s eyes to get her attention again.

“Huh? Oh sorry,” She giggled as she turned her head away from the black clouds and headed back towards the cave. After a few seconds Bron turned away from the clouds and followed.

 

“Don’t you guys miss your families?” Serine asked, looking at Silver as she laid down beside him, well as close to him as she could, as he was lying on his back with his wings semi-extended along the ground.

“We would,” Bron answered walking into the cave but turning away from them, “If we had families. I mean real families. Like I mean my brother is on the ground right next to you and I ran into Sexy just last week, so I’m content for the moment.

“…Sexy?” Serine asked his tail, “Who’s that?” Silver just laughed

“He means Anasa.”

“Does she know he calls her that?”

“Uh yeah,” Bron laughed, and turned his head to them, “How do you think I got these scars?” With his right talons he traced them exactly down the three scars on his left ear.

“OH!” Serine started laughing, “So you call her that to annoy her?”

“Yeah,” they replied as Bron turned and walked into the cave then went and lay down on the other side of Silver.

“Get up you lazy shit.” He said as he nudged him in the ribs again.

“Okay I’m getting,” as he stood up Serine got a good look at Bron’s eyes for the first time since the lightning hit him. It amazed her because the irises were a light blue, and seemed to radiate, as if they contained electricity.

“Ah Bron, weren’t your eyes the same colour as your wing tips before?”

“Huh?” Asked Silver at the same time as Bron went, “Yeah, why?”

“Ohh!” Both the Flyers started to chuckle when they realized what Serine was talking about.

“Yeah, they are electric blue right now aren’t they?” Bron asked Serine, who was still staring at his eyes.

“Yes!”

“After about the fifth time he got hit with the lightning this happened to him, we thought it was permanent, so we were going to stop, but after a few weeks they went back to normal.”

“How long till they change back now? Since you’re getting better at it?”

“It’s still a few days 1 or 2 but yeah.” Bron shrugged the ‘yeah’ part.

“It suits you.”

“Yeah well don’t expect it to stay okay, I’m not getting fried every three days just for some Landie.” he chuckled.

 

The cave was silent for a few minutes with only the rain pounding against the cave and the low rumble now and then. That is until Bron decided to break the silence.

“What happened to your mum Serine?” Bron asked, getting up and walking around to her and sitting next to her.

“Well, I… I don’t really remember, but when I was young, like barely one, we fell asleep one night, just a normal night. And when I woke up in the morning she was gone. I searched around for her but couldn’t find her, so I went in search of one of her friends, I didn’t know her, but Mum talked about her a lot. When I couldn’t find her either, I decided to just stay with the next pride I found, that is if they would accept me, which in the end they did.”

 

Unfortunately for Serine she was thinking about the story, and although it sounded earnest to both Silver and Bron, they could see that she was lying about her mum just not being there in the morning. They knew the truth.

Her mother had a fight with a male, and it woke Serine up, and when she got up to find them, she couldn’t. ‘She must have been saying this lie for a while now to make it sound so convincing,’ Silver thought.

“That’s not fair, what do you mean she just wasn’t there?” Bron asked her, but Silver could tell he knew the truth as well.

“Well, she just wasn’t.” She let a sad and nervous giggle escape before stopping.

Sensing that she would go into a crying gag soon Silver changed the pace.

“So you didn’t even find her friend?”

“No, and she had a really unique name too, but no one knew her.”

“What was it?” Bron asked.

“Saphira.”

“Whoa!” That just brought on a wave of de’ja’vu to Bron now standing and looking down at her.

“What?”

“WHAT!?” Silver and Serine where getting impatient, they both just looked at Bron.

“One day when I was flying, it would have to be about a moon ago now as I was walking next to a river somewhere, I heard a lioness call out to another near me, she hadn’t seen me but the one looking for her called out ‘Saphira’.”

“WHAT DID SHE LOOK LIKE?!”

“I don’t know, just like the rest of you I guess.”

“DID SHE HAVE A SCAR ACROSS HER NOSE?!” Serine asked, ecstatic.

“Ummm… now that you mention it, I think she did.”

“THAT’S HER. THAT HAS TO BE HER!” Serine yelled in a happy voice as she jumped up and ran around the cave.

“Would you like to go see her?” Silver asked still on the ground watching her bound around the cave.

“Yes let’s go now!”

“Ah Serine, we can’t, its still storming outside, and I really don’t feel like getting hit again.” Bron pointed out.

“Can we go when it stops?”

“Sure.” Silver said to Serine’s overjoyed face, “Can you remember where she is bro?” He asked, looking at Bron.

“Yeah I’m pretty sure I can get us there, although it is a 17 day flight, with stops enough for Flyers though.”

“I DON’T CARE!” Serine yelled happily again, “I finally get to see my mum’s best friend!”

“It’s going to be a long travel, you understand?” Silver attempted to calm Serine down but it didn’t work too well.

 

“HELL I DON’T CARE IF IT TAKES ANOTHER LIFETIME!!! So long as she is there and I get to talk to her.” She started to fantasize about what the future meeting will be like until Bron butted in.

 

“You may want to consider sleep lit-” Serine knew he was about to call her ‘little one’ again and shot him a look that was slightly playful.

“WHAT!?” Bron looked confused.

“Psst,” Silver tried to grab Bron’s attention, “You were gonna call her ‘little one’ right?”

“Yeah so? She is rather… little.” He said in a hushed voice but Serine could still here them.

“Not good…” Silver squinted and looked away cause Serine was now in midair after Bron, she heard him call her small and she didn’t like it. Bron didn’t notice it till it was too late and the Landie slammed him.

 

Now on the ground with Serine over him, “Well… this is embarrassing… taken down by a little Landie.” He sighed and then laughed a little.

 

She moved off him and gave him a warning not to call her little or small again. Silver decided to end the fun and ordered both Flyer and Landie to sleep. They took their places and all but one fell asleep within minutes. Serine wasn’t able to sleep not with all the excitement of finally seeing Saphira. She made a strong attempt to keep her thoughts under control so as to not bother the others.

 

‘I wonder if she will remember back then… she must be six or seven years old now… I mean she was young when my mother was around; at least that’s what mum told me.’ Her thoughts darted around from how she was told she looked to how Saphira would react when they arrived.

 

The storm still brewed outside but the thunder and lightening had stopped. With her head just out of the cover of Silvers right wing she watched the rain but it didn’t stop her thoughts as she had hoped. SB’s wing began to move and it pulled back revealing more of the lioness also showing where Silvers face was, right near her ear and in an extremely low, quiet voice he began to speak.

“You should go to sleep,”

“I know but…”

“Serine if you sleep now dawn will come sooner.” He gave her a kiss on the cheek and covered her completely with his wing.

 

Now consumed by darkness she fell asleep.

 

Dawn approached and what little snow remained after such a huge storm was in scattered heaps. Everything seemed a lot greener than before, if that were at all possible.

 

Dawn brought the sun and gave the cave light waking Bron first followed by Silver. The two of them sat outside, stretching their wings and worked out the path of flight and how long it would take to reach Serine’s missing mother.

 

“From what I can remember,” started Bron with a yawn in between, “We should head… north north-east. There is now a dried river bead that we can follow most of the way there, it should also lead us to a few water holes.”

“I’m not liking the ‘should’ bro. Are you sure it will lead us to water and give us places to rest?”

“Yeah man of course, it’s only about three and a half-ish days flight from here I think, so I’m pretty sure we can make it.”

“Think that through again Bron, we also have a Landie, which means extra weight for me to carry, making me fly slower, and she needs to eat and drink more often then we do too.”

“Oh yeah, bugger, okay then.” Bron paused whilst trying to think of another way to get there so that Serine wouldn’t die of thirst.

Silver went back inside to wake Serine and found her on her back in a deep sleep, she had a smile on her face and Silver could just make out the dream she was having, it mainly consisted of the word Saphira with an unseen face on a lioness with a stripe on her nose. He was tempted to wake her so they could get an early start, but he could tell she was happy in her dreamland so he walked back out to Bron.

“Found another way yet?”

“Yeah I think so, it will take another few days to get us there but I think, using this route we will bypass, if they haven’t all dried up, a watering hole every second day.”

“That’s better at least, and I don’t think Serine will care if it takes another few days, she's content with the fact that we are actually going.” He laughed at her thoughts, “She hasn’t been this hyper since I first met her.”

“Hahahe so that’s why you didn’t wake her up?”

“Yeah,” they both chuckled, and Bron, being an idiot, stood up and palmed Silver on his shoulder and, opening his wings, used it as a launching pad and took off into the air.

“Bastard!” Silver joked as he got his balance back and took off after him.

 

During the middle of her dream, Silver’s voice broke it clean in half as she thought she heard him say ‘bastard’.  After she fully woke up she realized that neither Flyer was still in the cave, so she got up and walked out side and still could not see them. She decided she wanted a drink so she walked down to the river to see if it had calmed down after the storm.

 

Thankfully it had so after she got a drink of the beautifully refreshing yet freezing cold water; she turned her eyes to the skies to look for SB and Bron.

She found them flying over the top of a hill covered in prickly bushes, and it looked like Silver was trying to make Bron land on them, for he was standing on Bron’s back, with both his front legs wrapped around one of his wings. From the look of it Silver was going to win when Bron suddenly rolled over and tucked his wing that silver had a hold off, under his body. Now Bron was on top of Silver free falling towards the bushes. Serine thought they were serious, but when Silver’s back was but a metre form the bushes he let go of Bron’s wing, and Bron grabbed him around the ribs and took a few powerful beats and was 20 metres above the bushes when he let Silver go. Silver fell 2 to 3 feet before he turned over slowly opening his wings and he was air born again.

“SB! BRON! LET’S GO!”

Both Flyers turned their heads when they heard Serine’s yell, and raced each other to her side.

 

“HA! Too slow Boltz come on man you getting worse and worse!” Bron laughed as he landed right next to Serine.

“Yea well you have an advantage, your extremely long wing and tail span can cup more air then me with every beat!”

Bron just laughed as Serine asked, “Can we go now?”

“Sure sure lets go.” Silver replied, “But I’m going to walk till the cliff-side okay Bron.”

“Sure why not.” He laughed as Silver and Serine turned and started walking in the direction Bron told them to last night.

 

“WHOA! The cliffs are SO much bigger then I first thought!” Serine exclaimed, as she was standing right at the base of it. “Are you sure Nisei is bigger?”

“Of course Nisei is bigger you can see it over the walls!” Bron answered her with laughter in his voice.

“It was a hypothetical question dummy.”

“I know.” He just laughed again at her.

“Okay enough you two lets go.” Said Silver as he crouched down in a stance that looked to Serine like he was going to pounce.

“Jump on.” He said to her as Bron took flight right next to her, making her stumble a little before she hopped on Silver’s back.

As soon as she was sitting right, Silver took off from the ground and made it half way up the cliff face without flapping his wings once.

“Holy Bejesus, I never knew you could jump that high!” She said in his ear with amazement.

“Ana can jump three quaters of it.”

“Really!?”

“Yeah Bron just beats her, it drives her crazy.”

“How high can you jump without me on your back?”

He laughed before he answered her, “I can make it to the top, not landing on the top, but digging my Talons onto the top edge.”

“WHOA! That’s a HUGE jump!”

“Yeah it’s not bad.” He mused.

He was still laughing when they met Bron sitting on the top waiting for them.

“Lets go Bron!” Serine yelled as she saw him.

“Haha okay Boss.” He joked as he stood up and ran for the edge and launched himself of the edge, but instead of falling he was gaining altitude.

“… How… did, how’s that possible? Shouldn’t he have fallen even a little bit, even with his wings open?”

“He could hear the wind current that was right there, so he just jumped into it with his wings open.”

“So his power thingy that he can do is just like super hearing?”

Silver just laughed, “I guess so, his hearing is even better then mine or any Flyer I have ever met actually…”

“Then what, you sight is better then anyone’s?”

“Well yes, every Flyers eyes are better cause of the Eagle in us.”

“Funny smart arse. I meant better then other Flyers.”

“Yeah I know, I just wanted to make sure you knew,” Silver replied, “I don’t THINK so, I mean we have tried that before. Bron and Anasa and I would try to find something in the distance that they couldn’t see but I could, we all could see every little thing, besides I don’t ‘see’ the bolt per se, I just kinda …‘know’ it will be there I guess.”

“Hey!” Bron cut in, “See that gap in the two hills in the distance?”

“Yeah.” Both SB and Serine answered.

“That’s where we will stop for water and food and sleep tonight okay?”

“Lead the way O Maestro.” Following Bron’s lead they set off in search of Saphira, the only lead on Serine’s mother’s whereabouts.

 

“Geez you’re so slow!” Whined Bron.

“Alright no more talk from you bro unless it helps us GOT IT!?” Silver was joking but made it sound very convincing.

They flew in silence for the longest time with Bron steering them towards updrafts to make the full day of flying a little more bearable. They stayed amongst what little clouds there were and from that height they could spot small groups of Wildebeests dotting the burnt savannah like ants.

“They’re so small!” Serine commented frequently as she spotted them, and the only response she got from the Flyers was laughter.

 

High sun brought the two Flyers to a half way marker, a small rising in the earth that was speckled with a few trees.

“Hey, hey Silver…”

“What is it Serine?”

“Are we there yet!?” She couldn’t help herself.

“NOT AGAIN!”

“What I was just asking…” She waited several minutes and they were still silent so she tried again, “Oi are we there YET!?”

“BRON HELP!” Silver cried out to his friend but his reply was a deep laugh, “Thanks mate… Thanks…”

“Oh c’mon SB cheer up!” Serine spoke in his ear, “It aint that much farther right?” She asked then nipped his ear.

“WHAT THE!?”

“Sorry, couldn’t help myself, you know me.” She gave a wide smile then looked over to Bron who was rising with another updraft, out of boredom he did a corkscrew then exited gracefully.

‘Show off…’ Thought Serine.

“You got that right!” Silver butted into her thoughts again.

“Am I that easy to read?”

“Well your one of the easier ones to read, I mean we try not to cause its sort of an invasion of privacy so we try not to unless a situation requires it. But you seem to be broadcasting it on all frequencies, if you catch my drift. It’s a little harder to block you out. You see with others we sort of umm, have to go ‘looking’ for what they MAY be thinking, we don’t get exact thoughts remember, but you and some other Landies have ‘loud’ minds and well we have to try to block them.”

“Oh… I didn’t know that,” she let out a little giggle, “Guess I’ll have to learn to keep my mind quiet a bit better then.”

“HA don’t do that, some things are quite funny!” Bron decided to go against Silvers orders of shutting up.

“Wait EVERY Flyer can hear them?”

“Uh yeah.”

Feeling somewhat embarrassed she hid her face by holding a paw over it.

“Aww come now its not so bad. Hey look we’re almost there!”

They were approaching their destination for that night, it was no different than its surroundings, very little greenery was present but a small brook slithered to the east of the two small hills. There wasn’t much water but there was more than enough for them.

“Keep an eye out for dinner okay bro, cause this one,” He shrugged a little, “Will be needing something to eat I think… as do I. DAMN my back is gonna be sore.” He laughed it off.

They descended a few feet closer to the ground but still closer to the clouds than the ground when Bron spotted a herd of gazelle grazing on the golden grasses.

“Yo, who’s hungry?”

“ME ME ME!”

Silver being all sarcastic, “Gee I wonder who is hungry… but yeah I am too bro, you may want to make two trips though.” Silver chuckled.

“Why’s that?”

“S can eat one all to herself if she is that hungry.”

“You calling me fat?!”

“Steer clear of that topic brother or else you’ll know about it!” Bron, not wanting to stick around for Silver’s possible beating he took off after the herd.

 

The hunt was simple and went smoothly with Bron being able to pick off loners without the herd knowing about it ‘till the second had ‘disappeared’. He would drop from the sky land right on the back of one when all others had their heads down, break it’s neck and drag it up into the sky.

While he was bringing in the food Silver dropped down by a grouping of Umbrella thorn trees letting Serine jump off while he stretched his back.

“You know it feels a little weird being back out here, outside of the Valley again.” She said walking around the small area getting her muscles working again.

“I bet it does.” A loud crack came from Silvers back, “WHOA much better!” For he was stretching his back by keeping his back paws in the same spot, and sliding his front legs forward till his chin was almost on the ground.

“Are you serious Silver?” Serine asked, anxious as she stopped exploring to look at Silver stretching his back.

“What do you mean? Serious about what?”

“That all Flyers can hear my thoughts.” She said, whilst pawing a rock out of the way for a good laying spot under one of the trees.

“Yeah of course we can.”

Serine’s eyes just widened. “I thought it was only you!”

He just laughed at her as he started, “No, all Flyers can do it, but like I said we can hear YOU better then others.”

“…so I'm guessing that Anasa could too right?” She said, laying down.

“Yep.”

“Bugger!”

“Why ‘bugger’?”

“‘Cause I was always thinking that she hated me and I thought she was evil half the time, I hope I didn’t offend her, I mean, I didn’t intend to offend her.” Serine rushed the end out in a frantic worry.

“Hey calm down, it’s okay she will get over it.”

“You think so?”

 “Yeah she will.” Bron butted in, “She doesn’t hold grudges for too long, even against me.”

“Yeah that’s what I said to her.” Silver replied as Bron landed with one carcass on his back and the other underneath him as Serine yelled out: “Food!” and jumped up.

Bron flicked the one on his back to the ground at Serine’s feet and jumped off the other one and lay down beside it and started chomping. Serine dug into hers as Silver took a dozen mouthfuls out of Bron’s before announcing that he was going to look for some fruit.

“Bring us back some Blackberries will ya bro?”

“No problem man.” Then as an after thought, which he laughed at, “Did you want anything Serine?” He joked as Serine made a face and exclaimed: “Yuck! No thanks.”

Both Flyers just laughed as Silver walked off into the light scrub.

 

Bron got about half way through his carcass before he stopped, full. Serine had almost devoured three quarters of hers before she stopped full too.

“Damn that was good, thanks Bron!” She smiled at him with a small amount of blood around her mouth.

“You ah, got a little…” He let the sentence hang as he moved his claw around his mouth.

“Oh,” Serine laughed as she wiped it away, “Sorry! Thanks for the food Bron!”

“No Prob.” He answered as he rolled over onto his back to stare at the black clouds back in the direction of Heaven.

“Bron” Serine started after a few minuets as she got up and walked over to lie beside him.

“Which do you prefer? The Valley or out here?”

“Heaven, claws down, or paws down, whatever,” After a little chuckle he added, “Even with all Her dodgy weather,” as he nodded at the grey clouds. “What about you?”

“I don’t know yet, as I told SB, it feels weird being back out here, knowing that we aren’t the only animals anymore, even though I have lived my entire life out here, it just feels weird.”

He laughed at her in a friendly way.

 “Oh great!” Bron exclaimed, suddenly really serious. “Stay here, don’t talk or move!” Once he had finished his remark, he, amazingly and seemingly impossibly to Serine, launched himself, from his back on the ground, to the top of the tree that they were under, without making a single leaf move or make even the slightest sound.

‘Oh shit!’ Thought Serine, as she lay dead still on the grass. She managed to get her breathing back in order so she pretended that she was asleep on the ground.

After a few minuets she could hear someone walking towards her, she knew it wasn’t Silver Bolt, because Bron was up in the tree. She suddenly got really scarred when she thought that it might be a rouge lion, much like the one she had met before. She was contemplating making a run for it, until she heard a few beats from an extremely large set of wings.

‘Stupid me,’ she thought with a silent laugh, ‘Of course Bron would protect me if it was a rouge.’ She kept laughing silently until she could tell that something came out from behind a tree.

 

The lioness could smell the blood and was trying to locate where it was coming from, she then turned around the corner of the hill and could she another lioness lying under a tree asleep. When the lioness spotted the two almost completely eaten carcasses she was suddenly afraid, her eyes went flat against her head and her tail went between her legs as her head suddenly darted from side to side, looking for this lioness’ mate. After a few minutes she began to relax as she realized that a lion wouldn’t leave his mate unprotected whilst she was asleep.

But the two carcasses were a disturbing thought.

She slowly and hesitantly began to walk towards Serine.

When she got a few feet from her she reached out and tapped her hind leg softly. When Serine didn’t respond, the lioness turned and silently grabbed the carcass with the most meat on it and began to drag it away when she was startled by Serine.

“Excuse me, did you ask for that?”

The lioness dropped the carcass and whirled around, suddenly afraid for her life and began backing away from Serine.

“Oh I'm so sorry,” The lioness began in a rushed voice, “I’ll just go catch my own, I’m sorry I will leave now.”

“No wait,” Serine replied, with a smile and a friendly step forward. “If you want some, it's all right. I have too much for me to eat anyway.”

“Are you sure? Won’t your mate have an issue with it? I can just get another somewhere else.” She had a scarred tone and when she mentioned the word ‘mate’ she looked around again for a lion that wasn’t there.

“It’s okay, my mate WON”T BOTHER you with it, besides he’s not even back yet.”

The lioness tilted her head in confusion at Serine when she said ‘won’t bother’ because she said it like it was directed at another besides her.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, positive, come on.”

The lioness walked back over to Serine and the carcass, sat down and started munching on it.

“What’s your name?” Serine asked, catching her before she took another mouthful.

“Fayhari, but you can call me Fay if you want.” She bit down again into the half eaten gazelle.

“Fayhari. That’s a nice name. I’m Serine”

“Nice to meet you Serine.”

“You too, Fay.”

Once the lioness was finished she got up and moved closer to the now sitting Serine.

“Did you see that weird looking creature before? I saw him, well ‘it’ near the heard of gazelle over there just before I came here.”

Knowing full well who Fay was talking about, and with a convincingly confused face Serine asked her: “‘Weird creature’? What did it look like?”

“Well it looked like a lion, but…” And with a serious note in her voice added; “And don’t think I'm crazy or anything okay ‘cause I'm not, but it looked like it had wings!”

“Whoa, a lion with wings? Are you sure that’s what it looked like?”

“Yeah, positive.”

“Was it scary looking?” Serine asked with awe in her voice.

“Well, not really.”

 

During the entire conversation Bron was up in the tree listening to both the lioness’ voices and their thoughts when suddenly Serine’s yelled his name. When he looked down at her she was still smiling listening to the lioness.

‘BRON! When I count to three jump down and land beside me okay? Oh and if your there too SB you jump too okay. One,’

Bron started silently laughing when he knew what she was going to do.

“If you seen it again would it scare you?” Serine asked with real curiosity in voice.

‘Two,’

“Well I guess not.” Fay answered looking around the surroundings again for a lion that didn’t exist.

‘Three!’

Bron laughed as he landed right next to Serine on the ground.

Unfortunately Fay wasn’t looking when Bron landed, so Serine asked her, “Does it scare you now?”

Confused, Fay turned around, and completely ignored Serine’s question when she saw Bron, and asked him: “Oh are you Serine’s mate?” She was completely taken in by his half electric blue, half silver grey eyes to notice the rest of him.

Bron laughed at her question and answered with a defiant: “No.” Still laughing, he then added, “But I could easily be yours.” This earned him a smack on the shoulder by Serine.

“Stop it Bron.”

Once Fayhari dragged her eyes away from his, she noticed that his front legs didn’t have fur running all the way down, and his paws weren’t paws at all, but what looked likes claws that belonged to a bird.

Guessing her thoughts Bron quickly added: “My legs and claws are suppose to be like that.”

“What do you mean?” Fayhari asked tilting her head to one side.

Without verbally answering her, he just opened his 17 by 5 foot wings, as Serine explained.

“He is that thing you saw before am I right?”

“Yeah that’s him!” Fay exclaimed, amazed by the sight of him. “What ARE you?”

“I’m a Flyer, or as you might know from your stories, an Angel.”

Fay just shook her head, “I’ve never heard of anything like you before.”

“Really?” Bron asked suddenly keen, “Then I stick by my previous statement.” That earned him another smack by Serine.

“What?” he asked her laughing, as Serine just shook her head.

“Leave the poor girl alone will ya.” Then returning to face Fay added, “Don’t pay him much attention…”

“How can I not, I mean,” She began to circle him, “He’s so… weird! Oh in a good way.”

Showing off, yet again, Bron adjusted his wings so the silver tips glinted in the sun’s fading light.

 

Meanwhile Silver was on his way back with two claws full of assorted berries, mainly blackberries Silver was partial to the blueberries though. As he skimmed across the golden grass it turned into waves as he glided by. When approaching their resting place he noticed a third with Bron and Serine but seeing as there was no conflict and Bron was showing off his wing-tips SB saw it was okay to glide in.

 

While Silver Bolt was flying low Bron spotted him and gave Serine a nudge in his direction. She spotted him clearly with his dark brown wings and equally dark red mane. Then got Fay’s attention away from Bron, who wasn’t so happy with that.

“Hey, look out there, you see him?”

Fay looked on in amazement as Silver came closer still gliding only about a metre above the tall grass, “There are more of them!? WHOA!”

Silver flew just above their heads, Fay ducked fearing getting hit, and he landed with all the grace he could muster right between Bron and Serine with a cocky smile on his face holding his wings in front of Bron’s face.

“Hey! Don’t hog the lime light bro!” Bron then shoved Silver in the ribs playfully making him fold away his wings.

Still looking open mouthed she had to ask, “A-are you her mate?”

“What have you gotten yourself into this time?” He asked directed at Serine with a raised eyebrow.

“NOTHING!” She rebutted, “Fay found us.”

“Fay huh… yeah I am her mate, what are you doing out here?”

“Just looking for food, I was rather hungry.”

“Be nice SB!” ‘Was I so different to her?’ She asked him through her mind, he calmed down and gave a welcoming smile.

“Name’s Silver Bolt.”

“I’m Fayhari, Fay for short.” Her gaze went from one Flyer to the other, trying to take in as much detail as possible.

“Nice name, you like fruit?” Silver had to move the subject along.

Fay screwed up her face, “ICK! NO! Who could eat that stuff!?”

“We do.” Bron spoke up proudly.

A silence followed so Serine decided to break it, “Well… While you boys munch on your berries we’ll go down to the waterhole. I’m parched! Its not far right?”

Bron answered, “Nah not far the other side of that hill there.” He pointed to the opposite hill to them.

“Gotcha!”

“We’ll join you ladies later.” Bron added in a very seductive but meant-to-be-obvious tone.

The pair made their way through the tall grass as Silver laid out the berries in piles.

“Nice one bro thanks.” Bron flicked two in the air and caught both in his mouth.

 

The two lionesses found the watering hole with no other animals in sight. Making their way Fay stopped at the waters edge and lapped up the reasonably clear water, Serine on the other hand kept on walking right into the water. Fay looked oddly at her but continued to drink.

“I mean no offense but you look a little… scruffy… come on the waters fine.” Serine then dunked her face underwater and tossed her half mane back in Fays’ direction, splashing her.

“Well… I guess I could do with a wash.” Treading carefully through the water she made it to where the other stood.

“See, not so bad.” She laughed.

“How long have you been with them?” She walked near Serine and crossed in front of her sending ripples over the entire surface of the water.

“A few moons now I think… well with Silver Bolt, only a few days I think with Bron.” Serine started to clean the lionesses back licking away the muck.

“Only a few moons? Does your pride know?” Fay then turned her body so she was standing correctly to start grooming Serine in return.

“They don’t know, they exiled me along with two others mainly for the inability to hunt well…” She resumed grooming Fay who was turning out to being a light tan under the dirt. “What did you do today? Play in a mud hole?!” Serine exclaimed.

Fay just giggled, “Well… Actually…” They both laughed and continued the grooming. The water was cool and reached just above their elbows. The dirt from Fay was beginning to wash away making the water milky with the mud.

“How does a girl get so dirty? I never got this dirty and I didn’t have anyone to groom me!” Serine giggled as she examined her progress.

“Why is that?”

“Ahh my pride wasn’t all that friendly.”

“But you were family right?”

“Not exactly but there was one cub who made me feel like family there.” She drifted for a moment, “Kipofu was his name…”

“Aww how sweet, was he yours?”

“OH no no, he wasn’t mine, but I took care of him as if he was. You have any family?”

“Well… yes and no…” Serine looked at her confused.

“What do you mean?”

 

 

Silver chucked a couple of berries in his mouth savouring the sweet taste.

“So where’d you find these?” Bron questioned.

“Just a K back the way we came, I spotted them on the way here.”

“Nice, Then why did you walk up the hill?” Bron asked as he tossed a few of his blackberries up into the air catching all but one which hit his nose, “Damn,” he caught it and threw it again catching it this time, as Silver answered.

“Because I felt like it” Silver couldn’t help but laugh at Bron’s failure but got a shock when he felt three berries smack the side of his face.

“What?” SB said still laughing.

Bron stared at him, “C’mon, lets get the lovely ladies.”

They rose and walked around the base of one hill then began to climb the other.

The two Flyers sat on top of the hill and watched the two lionesses groom one another for a few minutes. Silver and Bron then opened their wings and called out both Serine’s and Fay’s names.

“What is it?” Serine answered.

“We should all get some rest before we leave its best if we go before the heat sets in for the day tomorrow.” Bron called.

The females approached them and they headed back to the tree. Silver was the first to get settled for the night and was followed by Bron who tumbled to the ground ending up on his back, wings outstretched. Serine chose her spot under Silver’s wing and Fay came and found a cool spot near Serine.

Night set in and the Landies were asleep. Bron however was not. He was unable to stop hearing Fay’s thoughts on him. Bron rolled onto his stomach and stood up relatively silently but Silver heard him.

“What are you up to bro?” Silver asked in a near silent whisper.

“Dude I don’t know how you can handle it, hearing those thoughts almost constantly.”

“I don’t mind them some of the time,” he looked down at the fast asleep Landie under his wing, ”but I sometimes just don’t listen, tune myself out but not really, I guess I am getting used to it.”

“It’s just weird man. I didn’t think it would bother me this much…”

“Find a place and rest for the flight aight?”

“Aight man.” Bron wandered around the desolate area for a bit until he found a calm spot not too far away but far enough. It was a place where he could hear the Earth sing in silence as night drifted on.

 

“Come on, we should get a move on!” Bron yelled out to the half asleep group.

 “Are you leaving now?” Fayhari asked with sadness evident and still waking herself up.

“‘Fraid so.” Bron answered. Serine gave a sigh got up and rubbed necks with Fay before getting on Silver Bolts back.

 “Goodbye!” The three said in unison as they began to take flight.

Still saddened at the fact that they had to go Fayhari sat there watching.

“She really likes you, you know Bron.” Serine stated.

“Yeah I know, I CAN read her thoughts remember?”

“What’s so wrong with her for you not to like her back? Besides you said she could easily be your mate.”

“Well, that was said as a simple fact, not that I WANTED her to be my mate, and anyway, not that I’m being OVERLY discriminating and mean, but for a start, she’s a lion, second she’s not a Flyer, and third I’d only out live her.”

The last comment got him a saddened look on Serine’s face and a smack up side the head from Silver.

“Oh shit sorry Serine, I didn’t mean to offend your kind or anything.”

‘That’s not it…’ She thought.

Then Bron realized what the touchy subject was.

Serine had at most 6 to 7 years left of her life, where as Silver had at least 15 to go.

“Sorry S.” He said again.

No one spoke again until the sun had passed the centre point in the sky and was beginning to descend, when Serine’s stomach pulled off a very convincing leopard growl.

“Hungry again?” Silver asked in a polite tone as he began to descend.

“Just a little…”

“I’ll go get some food then.” Silver offered.

“Aight bro.”

“Okay then, be careful!” Serine said as she jumped off his back and gave him a kiss as he launched back into the air.

Serine sat down into a laying position regally, as Bron knelt down in a bow and rolled onto his back with his wings open again.

“Hey Bron?” Serine asked after a few minutes silence.

“MM?”

“Don’t worry about before, it’s okay.”

“You forgive me?”

“Yes. But why don’t you find someone for yourself?”

He just laughed in response, “There’s no point.”

“What do you mean?”

“Even if I did, whether she be lion or Flyer, I couldn’t have a family anyway.”

“You mean your sterile?”

“Oh SHIT NO!” He laughed at her question, “What I meant was I’m not allowed to have a family, I’m allowed a mate, but I can’t have a family with her.”

“Says who?”

“Hm, I take it he hasn’t told you.” Smiling at her upside down

“Told me what?” she asked tilting her head to the side with a confused look on her face.

“Only certain Flyers are allowed to reproduce.”

“What? Why? Says who?”

“Dad.”

“Dad? I thought you guys didn’t know your parentage.” With a confused smile appearing across her chin.

He smiled at her not knowing.

“I don’t mean MY dad; it’s just a nickname for one of the Elders.”

“Elders?”

“Yeah, kind of like a King but different.”

“In what way are they different?”

“Well,” He chuckled, “For one they can’t be overcome by Tyranny.” He grinned as Serine just rolled her eyes.

“But seriously, they are the direct, even if distant, descendants of the First Flyers. The only main rules we Flyers are governed by are: One: and this goes for all animals of flight, we must keep the Valley a secret, which of course Boltz broke it by showing you. Two:  Only hand chosen Flyers are allowed to mate. Both males and females are chosen, and they can choose anyone to be there mate, although it kind of has to be a Flyer. And Three: No child Flyer is allowed to know exactly who there parents are, they might know them in person, but they aren’t allowed to know that they are their parents. Although of course, that rule doesn’t count for the descendants but they only find out when they turn ten anyway.”

“Well that would suck; do you have any idea who your parents are?”

“What with my power?  They would most probably be a god and a Flyer, but no, I wouldn’t have the slightest.”

“Why do you call that Elder Dad?”

He laughed a deep laugh similar to Silvers, one Serine hadn’t heard from him before.

“Because he is the one who told me and then Sas and then Boltz the laws.”

“What does he think of you calling him ‘Dad’?”

“He just laughs, he’s a good Larrikin.”

“What’s his real name?”

“Gymara…I think” he added with a sneaky smile.

“You think?”

“Yeah either that or Araju…”

“I take it that’s another Elder?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re hopeless Bron.”

“Yeah I know. But his real name IS Araju.”

Serine just shook her head at Bron’s Hopelessness as Silver landed with the biggest wildebeest Serine had ever seen.

“WOAH! Why would any sane animal even ATTEPMT to take that down!?” She said standing up just to take in the size of it.

“I didn’t!” Silver laughed, “I was aiming for his mate, she had a broken leg, and I was hunting like a real lion for once, and he turned and charged me and well tried to kill me, but broke his neck and died in the process, so I just took him.”

“Tried to kill you?” Bron asked.

Silver turned to show them the slight gash on his right foreleg.

“How did this happen?” Serine asked with anger and worry in her voice.

“Like I said, he turned and charged and when he hit me he broke his neck and died.”

“This monstrous animal charged you and DIED?”

“Yeah, well what did you expect-”

“-We are stronger than the average Strong lion.” Bron and Silver both reminded her.

“Yeah I know that, but I mean, come on are you serious?”

“Calm down S I’m fine so what does it matter?”

“I guess your right…” Serine said as she got up and dug into the carcass.

“That’s better.” Silver chuckled as Bron helped himself to the carcass. Silver laid down in a more regal way, but still ended up like Bron was before, on his back with his wings open.

Both Bron and Serine had eaten their fill while Silver lay nearby, eyes shut tight against the sun, soaking up the heat of early afternoon. Bron decided to give him a nudge.

“Why don’t we keep going for a bit bro?”

Silver squinted at Bron’s silhouette, “Bro, my back is SO SORE!” He exaggerated the last two words. Bron rolled his eyes and parked himself near Silver. Soon after that SB felt new warmth on his chest, he looked up and saw Serine had placed her head on his chest and was resting happily next to him.

“Comfortable?” Silver asked in a humorous way. Serine didn’t answer but was thinking about what Bron had said, both about the Elders and about the laws.

‘SB has broken two of the laws already… What will happen if an Elder finds out? The rules seem pretty important, so why break them?’

“Hey,” Silver was listening in; it wasn’t hard to do, “Some rules are meant to be broken.”

She looked at him through her half-mane with hazy eyes then just listened to his steady breathing and slow heartbeat.

 

Sunset brought an unwelcome awakening. Serine had the sun in her eyes so she opened them a bit and saw two sunsets. ‘WHAT THE!? This aint right…’ She shook the sleep from her eyes and saw that there were low dark clouds over one sunset, and they were moving too fast. “SHIT!” Serine yelled startling both Silver and Bron.

“What? What is…it?” Bron took one look at the horizon, a huge fire was moving their way, “Bro we gotta go.” They stayed calm knowing that they would be able to outrun the fire without so much as breaking a sweat.

Serine climbed on SB’s back and they were on the wind again, but keeping low to the ground, for the smoke was already above them.

“Yo where is our next stop?” Silver asked not knowing the plotted route for this journey.

“It’s too far to fly to now, we will need to rest somewhere else for the night.”

Time shifted slowly as the sun went low beyond the horizon while the fire still blazed on, leaving a trail of death behind it.

After a while Serine spoke up, “Couldn’t you have done something to put it out?”

“We don’t have that ability S, you know that.”

“I can still hope though” she added as an afterthought.

The night remained silent until midnight when Bron was drifting slowly off course, intentionally.

“Have you found a resting place?” Silver asked quietly.

“Yeah, it’ll do.”

It was nothing special, an old dead tree with small bushels of grass dotting the ground beneath it. Serine hopped off Silver’s back and didn’t get too far before her legs gave way and she was on the ground. Bron stifled a laugh while Silver chuckled.

“That was smooth S, real smooth.” He engulfed her within his right wing and they settled in for the night with Bron near by.

“Hey I’m glad your hiding whatever is going on under your wing bro.” Bron mocked and turned his head away.

“Aww is Bron missing out?” Serine returned.

“There is plenty of room for you bro.” Silver tagged on; they all laughed. The laughter drifted into silence and night took them.

 

It was a late morning start. All three arched their backs stretching their clenched muscles. A few cracks broke the silence.

“How much farther is it?”

“Not too much little girl, not too far.” Bron was again first in the sky, his black wings created a monstrous shadow across the ground below. Soon after the shadow had a friend, not quite as big but was big enough.

 

The day passed by fast and Serine became confused, for the Flyers didn’t look like landing.

“Where are we going?” She asked into Silver’s ear.

“We are going to fly through the night, you can sleep if you want.

Serine got as comfortable as possible and slowly drifted off to dreamland.

 

The next day past with nothing much happening, they landed for some water and relieving of bladders before setting off again. Before they knew it they were near the resting spot Bron had designated.

They landed and walked to the nearby waterhole, drank from what little remained from the constant drought and began their walk back. Serine lagged behind deep in thought but trying to keep it from being too loud. She wasn’t doing a good job of it.

‘He’ll out live me? Huh funny how that hasn’t hit before now… man I’m slow…’

The two Flyers saw it was right to leave her to her thoughts for a while and walked ahead and reached the resting place before the lioness that was slowly making her way there.

“Bro why did you have to go and say that? Look at what you have done. That is all she has been thinking about for the past two days.”

“Hey I didn’t mean to man! It just slipped out, anyway it’s the truth.”

Silver just shook his head and sat next to his best friend only to be startled by a growl and a call of pain. Both Flyers looked at each other and leaped after the voice.

 

They came to a rather fast paced scene two lionesses going at each other with everything they had, teethe bared, claws unsheathed, intending to take the other down.

 

The two lionesses leaped at each other then found the ground, landing hard. Serine’s eyes were scared but determined. The other seemed familiar to Bron, he was able to see a strip across her muzzle. Saphira.

“GRAB S!” Called Bron to SB who was already flying over to her as he ran to hold back Saphira. The fight simmered down as Bron held off Saphira, still aggressive but starting to question who and what these two males are.

“Get out of the way male! Even better get off our land!” Saphira snarled only to make Bron smile slyly.

Both of the lionesses were injured. Serine: three slashes along her rib cage and a chipped left ear, Saphira: a gash on the back of her neck and claw marks on her right hind leg.

“What happened S?” SB asked with evident worry in his voice.

“I was walking back when I heard a twig break, then she came charging at me. I had no time! I had to fight! It wasn’t my fault!” She was flustered and out of breathe.

“I know, I know,” he gave her a hug, “At least we found her!”

‘Not exactly the welcome I was hoping for…’ Serine thought looking over his shoulder to see an aggressive and scarred lioness.

“And I was wrong about how many days it would have taken as well” Bron chuckled as Saphira tried to step around him

“Fine, if you won’t move I’ll make you!” she growled.

“Yeah,” Bron yawned, “I’d like to see you try…” She charged him head on only to be sent straight back by a slight shove.

“You wanna try it again miss?” This only got on her nerves.

“Bron stop it…” Serine redirected her speech so it was now aimed at Saphira, “Would you calm down for a minute so I can talk to you Saphira?”

She was taken aback by Serine knowing her name and moved back a step as well.

“I’ll take that as a yes. You probably don’t remember me, heck I doubt you have even heard of me let alone seen me. I’m Serine, daughter of Cassandra. You and my mother were friends, the best from what I can remember being told,” memories came flooding back, memories of her mother, memories of the last night she saw her, “I’m not going to waste your time, I need to know where she is”

Saphira took in what was said eyeing all three of them but taking care on the details of the two males. “Who are they? Why are you here?”

Serine passed in front of Bron so she was face to face with Saphira, “Forget about them for now! WHERE IS MY MOTHER!?”

Bron and Boltz sat blank faced straining to get through the fog of thoughts  and questions, both mental and physical now clouding the air.

After a moment Saphira spoke, “I don’t know anyone by that name.”

Silver and Bron perked up and moved either side of Serine. Silver gave her a nudge. ‘A lie?’ Serine thought and Silver gave a small nod.

“Look Saphira, why can’t you tell me where she is? I know you know where she is. You can’t lie.”

“I have a new game, you answer my questions and I wont be tempted to chase you off our land… as much” Saphira spoke aggressively moving closer to Serine, their noses almost touching.

Serine backed away, she moved behind the Flyers, allowing them to say what needed to be said about them, what they were in relation to lions. Angels.

“Well now that we have the pleasantries out of the way perhaps you can answer this one’s question.” Silver invited Serine back in to the conversation.

“You expect me to believe all of this?” Saphira raised her voice out of disbelief.

“No I don’t expect you to believe them, I expect you to believe me.” She shifted from one paw to another shifting forward slightly wanting to gain her trust, “At least a small amount anyway.”

Saphira squinted and questioned what she will say.

“Please Saphira, you’re my only link I have to finding her.” A tear had formed and began to fall.

Bron stepped up to the plate, “What is it you will loose if you tell a daughter where her mother is? What is so damn important that you can’t tell someone where their mother is!?” Bron was getting a little testy. SB moved behind Serine eyeing Saphira.

“You were given a burden of not telling a soul where she is, well did that include her own flesh and blood?” Silver added scanning Saphira’s surface thoughts.

“HOW DID YOU…”

“Answer MY question.” Silver growled hoping to push her just far enough to get what he needed.

“Well… Well no. But she didn’t say anything about her!”

All of them were shocked by that, ‘Cassandra had not spoken of her daughter to her best friend. It makes no sense. And I’m pretty sure it aint some weird Landie thing…’ Bron speculated then picked up on what she was hiding. “You won’t need to worry about us, we won’t trespass on your land any longer, but say we need you again, where would we find you?”

Serine piped up her face darting from Bron to Silver to Saphira. Silver moved by her and whispered that she need not worry, they knew.

“Serine,” Saphira lowered her head, “I’m sorry for what has happened, but you must understand she did what she had to do. It’s the truth, she did not tell me of you, but I had a feeling she had a cub. I just didn’t know. She had a… disagreement, a rather violent disagreement with a rogue… well he was a rogue at the time, he has proclaimed himself as king of this sorry spit of land…”

“Wait you mean she is here!?” Serine cut in with excitement flowing through her.

“Yeah… I’ll tell her to come out here, you’ll have to wait here, and it’s safer for you if you do wait here.” Saphira turned tail and made her way back to wherever her pride resides.

 

The three of them exchanged glances not knowing exactly what to feel but Serine was ecstatic.

“Well I guess we didn’t have to go digging through thoughts after all.” Said Bron.

“Hey… I thought you couldn’t READ others thoughts?”

“We can’t but we are able to roughly get what is on the surface. We can… manipulate, to a degree, some to get what we think is there to come to the surface.”

After minuets of silent pacing Silver heard movement from the direction Saphira had ran. An older female walked steadily towards them. She had the same black ear rims as Serine’s, the same royal purple tail tuft, pale pelt and the same crystal blue eyes. The differences lay only with the gray around her paws, a gray sock per paw.

 

Serine had her back to Cassandra as she approached, but when she saw Bron stand she whirled around. There was a moment of doubt, was this her mother? Was she her daughter Cassandra had left behind years ago?

Cassandra saw it prudent to say the first words, “Serine, I am so sorry.” Her voice quivered and fell into tears; Serine too began to cry as she ran to greet her mother. They spent a couple of long minutes embracing each other, comforting each other.

“I had to leave, I’m so sorry for what I put you through. If that rogue had found you when you were so young, you well… you wouldn’t be here…” Cassandra confessed her story to Serine.

Through choking tears Serine got a reply through, “It’s okay… I’m just glad I finally found you… I’ve missed you mum…”

“Shhh it’s okay now… it’s okay now…” Cassandra opened her watery eyes and pushed her daughter back so she could see who she truly was. “You look so beautiful…” She then caught a glance of Bron and Silver. Slight fright shot through her system. “Who are they!? What… Wait… Angels?” Cassandra asked, looking from Bron to Silver.

“Yes,” Bron started whilst Silver was staring pointedly at Serine “We are two Angels of Destiny sent to reunite a family…”

 

Whilst Bron was talking Serine noticed the stare Silver was giving her, and when looking closer at his face, he looked as if he was in thought, when suddenly and for no reason a memory of Serine’s came to the front of her mind. It was when Silver had dropped her into the River to go look for Anasa in the Valley. But the main focus of the memory was what Silver said to her, and instead of it just starting out loud then fading like it did, it stayed loud the entire time Bron took to explain their being there to Cassandra. She realized what was happening when the memory played again and this time Silver’s shout was louder still, so she paid attention to it this time. It said: “I’ll come back for you okay? I won’t be too long. Stay put, and don’t go wondering off!”

 

“…And now that it has been fulfilled, we must leave.” On the last syllable, they both launched as high as they could into the air, staying level and took off as fast as they could fly.

“NO! Wait, I didn’t get a chance to say thank you!” Cassandra fell quite when they disappeared.

Gaining altitude, Bron and Silver started a back-to-back Corkscrew that formed a vortex of swirling air rising from the ground up and was concentrated between them, and when they both leveled out and turned into it, it shot them another few hundred meters into the heavens.

 

When they got so high they could barely breathe they turned south and angled downward at a slight angle.

“Nice going with the Destiny thing.” Silver laughed as they landed.

“Yeah I get bored with just being an ‘Angel’ we have to be know as an ‘Angel of Something’ at least so I thought and Destiny was a good choice this time.”

“Well now you’re the Angle of Destiny and I’m the Angle of Death,” Silver laughed, “Ha Destiny and Death traveling together; that would scare ya wouldn’t it?”

“What? Since when have you been the Angle of Death?”

“Well once when Serine and I went out to get some food, a rogue crossed our path and challenged me for Serine, so I jumped up on my hind legs, whipped open my wings and scare the buggeries out of him!”

“Nice man, I’ll have to go digging for that memory.”

Silver just continued laughing.

”Oi, how long are we gonna stay out here?”

“Until she calls for us.”

“Aite then bro. Oi come on lets RUN!” Bron then took of running, using all his strength to push him faster then a cheetah.

“You Rat!” Silver yelled as he took off after his best friend.

After Silver had caught up, they ran as fast as their physical strength would allow them to for about 3 km’s before they began to slow and eventually stopped.

“Man that was fun as, it’s almost as exhilarating as flying”

“Yeah, but it still doesn’t come close.” Silver laughed.

“Can you hear Serine anymore?”

“No we must have run too far, come on let’s just walk back.”

“Okay, no wait you can walk back, I’m flying.” But Bron never left Silver’s side and was only high enough for his paws/claws to drag lightly across the ground. Silver assisted him by increasing his pace fast enough for Bron to remain airborne while flying so slow. When they were about a third of the way back they heard a lioness growl from behind a few shrubs, ‘Oh be quite’ Bron thought as he landed and folded his wings on the far side of Silver. They ignored her and just kept walking, as soon as they had passed her she stopped.

 

Another few hundred meters they heard another noise, this one created from movement, behind another row of bushes and Silver thought ‘FUN!” in a very sarcastic way.

“Oh great. Another Landie trying to take our life. How quaint.” Bron said, quiet enough only from Silver to hear.

“Who are you calling a Landie huh?” It called, as it jumped over the row and landed right in front of them.

“SAS! You idiot!” Bron cried as he dove and crash-tackle-hugged her. Silver just stayed upright shaking his head at his crazy friends.

Anasa managed to untangle herself from Bron and his massive wings, and she stood in front of Silver.

“I’m sorry for how I acted before, and for the fight, do you forgive me?”

“Of course I do Sas, you’re my sister. I forgave you ages ago.”

“Thank you, now I’m going to have to ask for it again…” She said looking down.

“What for?” Piped in Bron once he was standing beside them again.

“The Elders want a council. With all of us.”

“What!?” Both Bron and Silver screamed, making Anasa cringe as if she was being hit.

“Why did you go to them?” Silver asked.

“I didn’t They came to me, and it was Dad himself too.”

“Dad? What did he ask?”

“He just asked about why you were spending so much ‘rumoured’ time with this Landie that looks different to others.”

“Did he know that I took her into the Valley?”

“I don’t know for sure, but I guess he did, seeing as he ran into me about a week after I ran into you again Bron, and I hadn’t altered my course, so there was only one place he could be going.”

“I wonder why he came instead of just sending Mali.” Bron said out loud, thinking.

“Who would know?” Silver then swore extremely badly, which earned him a smack up side the head from Bron, and a smack across the chest from Anasa.

“Ouch, come on, if Mali wasn’t with Dad, we have to get back to Serine!”

“Where is she?” Ana asked.

“She’s with her mum, now come on!” They all took flight and headed back to an oblivious Serine who’s only trouble was that at the moment there wasn’t enough time in the world to spend with her mum.

 

“Mum you don’t have to do that…” Serine said as Cassandra began to clean up Serine’s torn ear, “I’m fine.” Secretly she liked it; she could not remember the last time she was lavished with such care.

“What have you been up to that got you all banged up and grubby like this?” Cass asked with authority, “Where did you learn to fight like that anyway? Saph is one of our best fighters, if you were able to stand up against her you are one hell of a fighter.”

“I sought out Erevu… Once I knew you weren’t coming back…” Serine answered, not looking at her mum. Cassandra’s face saddened and she kissed her daughter on the forehead, “I was taught how to fight, I even helped out with the fight for the territory… I wasn’t much of a hunter anyway.” She tossed her mane as if to say it was the reason why so may of her hunts had failed. They both gave a light giggle.

Cassandra looked over her, “You don’t look underfed though…for being in a drought-ridden land and not a great hunter, I mean”

“OH… the two Angels have been taking care of me…” She glanced away.

After a while Cassandra moved to Serine’s rib wounds taking great care. “Where is your pride? You must have traveled a fair way…” She looked lovingly at Serine wanting to know all about the life that didn’t exist. Serine saw it best to lie through her teeth. It was for the best, how could she tell her mother that her mate is what she views as an Angel, and that she is an exile living in a valley that is lush and gets covered with white soft water every now and then?

“They are a VERY long way from here… I think it’s about as bad as this place.” She took a look around to see dead savannah grass and wilting trees, no different than those back with Erevu.

Silence lasted a few minutes as Cass continued to groom her grown cub. “Will you be stay…oh” She cut herself off short as she saw three Angels flying towards them, “You expecting anything?” She asked Serine nodding at the three Angels

 

Serine turned and saw three Flyers; she could not tell who the third was from this distance. She stood up and walked to meet them. The Flyers landed in a triad around her, Anasa and Serine exchanged polite glances before speaking.

“What are you doing here? I didn’t call” Serine said through clenched teeth at Silver.

“We know. Something’s come up…” Silver shot his head toward Ana, not harshly though.

“Something!? What something SB?”

He spoke sternly, “We need to go.”

Serine went to rebut but looked over her shoulder to see her mother standing there looking back at her puzzled. Serine faced forward again and then at the ground trying to stay in control of her emotions.

“Hey, hey you can have a minute…” Bron tried to comfort her. She gave a sigh and approached Cassandra head low.

“It seems there is a catc… Mum who is that? Do you know who it is!?” A male was approaching slowly from behind Cassandra. He wasn’t threatening any of them in any way. His face was friendly. Cass turned and motioned for the male to come forward.

“I’m surprised you can’t remember this boy.”

“No that can’t be you… last time I saw you, you were but a scrawny little thing, we both were,” His voice was deep, soft and familiar, “You can’t honestly say you don’t remember me Serenity…”

The memory clicked into place with that one word. Serine started to cry loudly, tears gushing. She had not been called that name since their last meeting, since they last saw each other years ago. “Buru?” She ran over and greeted him, rubbing necks. Silver began to pace keeping a watchful eye on Serine.

“Calm down bro, we have time.” Bron said hoping it would stop him from pacing. It was starting to irritate him.

Buru’s two-tone mane, dark chocolate and light tan, had grown into a full adult male’s mane. Serine remembered him as a cub with only a tuft of hair to call a mane. He was found all alone when Serine stumbled over him while playing one day, he was a little older than her but when Cassandra saw how the two were getting along she didn’t see why to not care for him as well. They became close to brother and sister, as close as one could get. The parting, from what Serine can remember, was that Buru wanted to get out on his own. Although he hated leaving Serine behind.

“You come all this way and you don’t even say hi to your big brother? I’m cut…”

“I didn’t know you were here! In truth I had forgotten…”

“I think they are waiting for you…” Buru took the Flyers presence in stride. He was not shocked at all. Anasa had noticed this, and tried to read his thoughts, thankfully it wasn’t to hart to get what he was thinking. He was 2, just after he had left Cassandra and Serine, a shadow had past over him, and when he looked up he had seen one of the Flyers. Anasa couldn’t work out who it was from the memory so she let it fade back into his mind.

 

Serine looked at the three of them. Bron was standing on edge watching Silver still creating a ditch in the ground where he was pacing so vigorously. Anasa sat there; her ears perked and eyes kind as if taking notes in her head, documenting everything.

“I guess so…” Serine still had tears in her eyes and it blurred her vision when she looked back at them. “Mum I’m…” She was cut off by a warm hug from both mother and brother only making her vision dissipate even more behind the tears.

“Hey, at least we know you are safe Serenity.” Buru whispered as he too began to cry as well.

“If anything I can leave here happy knowing that you are okay and have Angels watching over you.” Cassandra added as she began to lose breath.

Silver diverted from his pacing runway and walked up beside Serine, “Are you ready to go yet?”

‘Do you think I’ll ever be ready?’ Serine thought looking up over their shoulders.

“Good point…” Silver Bolt said under his breath kneeling on the ground allowing her to climb on. Bron and Anasa moved either side of them.

“Thank you! Thank you so much for bringing her back to me.” Cassandra sobbed her thank you to all three ‘Angels’.

“You take care alright Serenity? And don’t you forget me again!” Buru laughed slightly trying to hold back the tears that his heart was crying too.

Silver took flight first not wanting to delay it any longer. Anasa followed close behind.

“Be sure as to not say anything of us to your pride okay?” Bron instructed both of them. Buru was calming Cassandra.

“Of course, will we see her again?” They both asked keenly.

“I don… I am unable to say for sure.” Bron corrected himself, using proper speech, and then opened his impressive wings, gave a strong down beat and was air borne.

 

“Where are we going?” Serine asked the three, for they were flying as fast as possible, far faster than Serine had seen them fly before.  Anasa was in lead with Bron as close as practical to the left of Silver.

“Just away, in case he is close, who knows what his orders are, and I can’t take him on my own.”

“Can’t take who dammit!?”

“His name is Mali, he’s the true Angle of Death, and he is the one your stories are based off.”

“Wouldn’t that make him like a million years old?”

“The first Angel of Death was called Mali, so in honour of him, and to reinforce the stories, all new Death’s call themselves Mali.” He paused as he looked over at Bron.

“Bron said that he has heard rumours that this particular Death can get inside your head and incapacitate you before he even touches you, but he is pretty sure it’s just a rumour…”

“Let’s hope so.”

“Don’t worry; we won’t let him get close enough to even try any of that.”

“Okay then.” Serine turned her head slightly to the left to look at Bron, mainly because it was more comfortable then looking forwards, and the front of her face was cold from the extra force of the wind.

 

Bron turned to look at Silver; he said something that was lost in the wind before Serine could hear it.

“Serine loosen up your grip”

“WHAT! Why would I do that?”

“Just DO IT!”

Scarred, thinking Mali might be close, she loosened her grip. Half a second later she realized that Silver had stopped flying and dove down, by the time she realized, had closed her eyes and built up a scream, she landed back on his back, but for some reason it felt bigger and more uncomfortable, and when she actually looked down at him, his mane was no longer a dark red but now a light orange and his wings were now black.

“Sorry S,” Bron stated, “I thought Boltz might like a rest, he won’t last long in a fight if he has to fly this fast with extra weight. No offence.”

“That’s alright, next time just tell me so I can close my eyes before I drop okay?”

“Okay no prob.”

 

After flying for a few more minutes, Serine tested a theory she had been building up.

‘ANASA!’ she screamed in you head, and she was glad to see all three of them wince at the volume of the thought.

‘I’m sorry for any harm I may have caused you before,’ She thought the words again just in case Anasa hadn’t heard them all properly. She was glad to see Anasa nod her head in acceptance.

 

Serine’s thoughts drifted back to her mother and Buru, and she started to get anxious about them. Sensing what she was about to ask, Bron said: “Don’t worry, He shouldn’t touch them. I doubt he even knows you have been with them. He is only coming for us four, if he even IS coming, and even though I doubt he is, it’s better to leave no trace as to where you have been. And the best way to do that is to simply fly.”

 

They flew all through the rest of the day, and when they didn’t look like they were stopping for the night, Serine got as comfortable as she could, and fell asleep on the back of the ‘Lightning’ Flyer. Bron smiled at that thought. 

When she awoke in the morning she was relieved to find that she was on the ground, and right in front of her was an antelope carcass, although not her favourite, she was hungry so she dug in. After a few mouthfuls she looked around in hope of seeing one of the three.

“Silver?” She called when she couldn’t see any of them.

She heard him walking towards her from behind the bushes she had been laid so she took another mouthful and looked up.

“Silver where are…oh sorry Anasa.” She said when the female came into sight.

“That’s okay.” Anasa said, sitting down in a very protective manner just a few paces from Serine.

Unsure of what to say, Serine took another mouthful and looked away.

“Look, Serine, I’m sorry for how I’VE acted. I was just worried about Silver and I, more Silver though, because at the least, his punishment if or when caught with you in the Valley, would have been banishment. At most, both of you would be killed”

“So, the first thing they would do if they caught me in the Valley with him, would be to banish him, then organize his punishment?” She asked looking over the carcass at Anasa face.

“Pretty much.” She replied with a sadden smile

“What an Idiot, he shouldn’t have done it then!” Serine said, hitting her paw on the ground.

“Well, that’s what I was forever worried and annoyed about, ‘cause not only would he be banished, but I might be as well, seeing as I am now an accomplice to him, as Bron now is too, although I doubt he would care that much with being banished from the Valley, in his 17 years I doubt he has spent five whole years within the Valley walls.” She smiled at his care free spirit.

 

Thinking of Bron and his spirit, Serine asked Anasa “Hey, do you have a special ability like Bron’s? I think Silver does but I’m not quite sure.”

“Hah! No I don’t know anyone as remarkable as Mr. Lightning, but I can beat both of them in a fight, and that’s a power in itself!” They both shared a laugh.

“But no I don’t have a special ability like that, Bron’s just special. There have been records of other Flyers with different advanced abilities but I have never met one. You said you think Silver has one? What do you think it is? Apart from being crazy!” She laughed her wind-chime laugh.

Serine laughed as she started to recall the night where the lightning struck Bron and how she though that Silver could tell it was going to happen, like he could sense when and where something might happen. And also what that thing might be.

“Yeah come to think of it, he has done that to me a few times, like when we were kids and we would play around he would always be able to find me, but I never thought anything of it.”

“Where are the two of them?” Serine asked moving her eyes to the sky.

“Off making sure that Mali isn’t close, although it will be hard to tell if he is.”

“How come?” she asked tilting her head to the side as she looked as Anasa.

“Well, he is more advanced in his stealth then us.” She replied with a coy smile

“How?”

“Well to become the Elders Death one has to go through certain trials, all of which could kill you if you’re not up to it, before one is given the title.” She said keeping the coy smile on her face, which made the start of her scar a little wonky.

“What and why would someone go through something like that?”

“Why? I don’t know, maybe glory of the title of being the most feared being in the universe? Well the first test or trail is a test of endurance; you are tested to see if you can last one full moon without nourishment of any kind. But simply sitting in a cave for a whole moon won’t qualify, the Elders make you fly for kilometers to retrieve food for them, of course your followed by the Death of the moment so you don’t cheat, they then make you swim through rivers and across lakes and other such things aiming to drive you to the point of wanting to eat or drink. For the second Trail, that is, if you haven’t died or cheated in the first one, after only one small meal after the full moon, you are meant to face off against one or two Flyers in combat to prove your physical strength after such an ordeal. You are meant to fight to the death, but not allowed to deal the final blow, if you do, you fail-”

“Why aren’t you meant to deal the final blow?” Serine cut in with yet again another question.

“Because that proves that you can be moral as well as ruthless and blood thirsty. Anyway, for the last trail, if you make it that far, not many Flyers do, they ask of you the one thing that no one should ever have to even consider. They ask you to surrender your heart.”

“‘Surrender your heart’? What do they mean by that?”

“They command that you forget your loved ones, your friends and are never allowed to acknowledge them as such, they command that you never get new friends and you’re not allowed to find a mate.”

“Even if you’re allowed one.” Serine added.

“Oh, you know about that? But yes, although if you’re allowed one I doubt you’d want to give that up.”

“True. Then what happens?”

“If you get to the end, and the Elders think you’re worthy, The previous Mali would take you out and teaches you how to leave almost no trace of were you have been, he pushes you to your limits of how long you can last without nourishment, he pushes you to find the point where the lack of food reduces your ability to fulfill your job. He teaches you how to fight properly, how to subdue your opponent without taking serious damage. And, I don’t know how they do it, but since they are getting stronger, both physically and mentally, they do it in a way that your body doesn’t show the physical improvements that your muscles are making.”

“Wow! That’s scary, so this Mali could be like, as small as me?”

“He could be, but I have seen him and he’s huge, he was big before he became the Angle of Death.”

“So that would be why Silver said he couldn’t take him before, his physical size and how they teach him to fight!”

“Yep. It’s scary.”

“Why do they need an angle of Death, and why did the first one start it?”

“Well, I don’t know why the first did it, but the main reason they have one is to keep the renegade Flyers in check from spilling the details of us and the Valley.” Anasa said, getting up and sitting down beside Serine as she stopped eating and sat up.

“Wait so the renegade Angles from our religious stories are just Flyers gone bad?” Serine asked, licking the blood off her face.

“Yeah, ironic isn’t it?”

“Yeah, well our entire religion is based on just another animal!”

“Yep, kind of degrading ain’t it?” Anasa joked.

“Well, I suppose it is.” Serine laughed her reply.

“But how do you know all about the process of becoming the next Death?”

“Well, half is from trickery and stealth, and the other half is because I once applied for it…”

“You WHAT!? Why would you apply for it?”

“Well, mainly because B&B dared me-”

“B&B?”

“Bron and Boltz.”

“Oh. Duh.” Serine rolled her eyes smiling.

“Ha-ha anyway, mainly a dare but also because there hadn’t been a female for a few generations, and I was bored.”

“You were bored, so you decided to go off and become the Grim Reaper?”

“Yeah pretty much”

“How far did you get?”

“All the way, up till they told me to surrender my heart. But I thought of my two idiot brothers, and I knew in my heart I couldn’t give them up so I quit then and there.”

“How did you fare in the fight? How many Flyers were there? Were they female as well?”

“HA! Please, there was two and they were both male, and both bigger then me, but they were stupid, they went easy on me till I beat one of them, then the other got serious but he was beaten after a few more minuets.”

“Typical males, just because your female you shouldn’t be good as them in a fight.”

“Yeah so true!”

“Is that how you got your scar?” Serine asked, a bit hesitant.

“What? Oh ha-ha no I got that from Silver the first day I met him”

“Really? How?”

Anasa smiled, remembering the first day she met Silver. “He couldn’t fly yet, we were both one, I was almost two though, and we were playing ground tag, and he tried to tag me, but I launched into the air, and his claw scraped down the side of my face, it hurt like hell, but I forgave him for it later, it was an accident after all”

“Ow, remind me to smack him later okay?” She said laughing

“Okay then” Anasa replied laughing.

“Hey did you want some?” Serine asked getting up and pointing at the half eaten carcass

“No thanks I’ll be right for a few more days.”

“Okay then, where is there a waterhole? I’m thirsty that’s all…”

“I’ll take you there, just as soon as I have finished.” Anasa walked over to the carcass, picked it up with her mouth and walked into the thick bushes with Serine looking at her in the weirdest way, thinking that she was crazy.

 

“…Anasa?” Serine asked after a few minuets had passed and she had not come out.

“Sorry,” she said as she re-emerged a few seconds later, “I had to get rid of the carcass.”

“What did you do with it?”

“I buried it.”

“Buried it?”

“Yeah you know, dug a hole in the ground and covered it back up…”

“Yeah I know, but why?”

“Just to make it a little harder for him to find it, because he will be able to smell the blood a mile away.”

“Oh okay then, which way is the waterhole?”

“Come on I’ll show you.”

 

Anasa took her around a few trees to a shallow river that had a slow but steady flow to it, and was fresh and cool to drink. They had been there for less then a minute when Bron showed up with some unsettling news.

“Around an hours flight east (for they came from the north) we found a deceased lioness at the bottom of an average sized boulder. It shouldn’t have been big enough to kill her but she still had a broken neck, so it would appear to look as if she tripped and fell awkwardly. Or he was there…”

“Why would he kill her? Is there any proof that he was there?”

“Nope, of course, but there is no way a Landie can get up on the rock to fall off it.”

“But I wonder why though? We didn’t even fly past there!”

“Who knows, maybe it was another target, maybe he didn’t even do it…”

“True but we should still leave.”

“Agreed.” Bron replied as he opened his wings, “Let’s fly!” He then launched into the air with a massive down blast from his wings that moved Serine’s half mane down her back.

“Wait, Bron!” Serine cried as she flicked her mane back into position.

“What’s up?” Anasa asked walking close.

“Hasn’t he forgotten someone?” She asked, pointing at her chest.

Anasa chuckled, “No I’m going to take you, if that’s alright?”

“Oh okay then,” she smiled at Anasa as she walked over to get on her back, “Where’s SB?”

“He’s in the sky, now hold on.” Anasa replied as she too took of in an aggressive yet feminine way.

 

Flying on the back of the female Flyer was a lot different then on the two males, for when Serine was on Silver’s back she had to find just the right spot, so that when Silver beat his wings, none of his muscles would poke and prod her. Even when she was on Bron’s back, it was a little easier to find that spot because his back was bigger, but with Anasa, she didn’t have to find the spot at all. When Anasa flew, she rarely beat her wings lower then horizontal with her body, she would only go lower when she needed to gain altitude or was taking off. ‘The only downfall with being on Anasa’s back,’ Serine thought, ‘is now I don’t have SB’s mane to hide behind from the wind.’

“Is this better?” Anasa asked as she raised her head as if she was standing on the ground. Thanks to her movement, the wind hitting Serine was cut by at least half.

“Yes but only if you want to. I don’t want to cause you unnecessary pain.”

“It’s alright like this.” Anasa replied. Serine could hear the friendly smile on her face. And Anasa could feel the gratitude enriched with kindness and newfound friendship coming from Serine’s mind.

When Serine got bored of looking down at the Earth passing away below them, she looked up either side of Anasa, and when she couldn’t see them, she blasted Anasa with a mental image of both the Flyers and a question, ‘Where are they?’

Anasa suddenly looked up either side in a hurried and scared way, but then relaxed. “Silver and Bron are both still there, Silver’s on your right, Bron on your left.”

“I can’t see them. Sorry for scarring you.”

“They are there, they must just be too far for your eyes to see them, try calling for one. And that’s all right; you just caught me off guard”

“Sorry” she said again.

 

Before she tried calling for them, she had an idea, just to test how prone they were to her mind. ‘Silver?” she asked in her mind, but she said it as if they were in a small cave laying next to each other, rather then miles above the earth and many more away from each other.

 

After a few seconds she could see Silver drifting in closer and closer till she could see the pupils of his eyes. He had a worried look on his face when he looked at her, as if he was asking her “What’s the matter?”

‘I just couldn’t see you, that’s all.’ She said with a smile both in her mind and on her face.

He smiled his half grin and drifted back out, but this time made sure he was close enough so that Serine could still see him.

 

After flying for what felt like hours, and as Serine was starting to nod off, she was awoken from the fact that she nearly slid of the front of Anasa.

“Serine! Hold on!” Anasa screamed trying to keep Serine on her back with her head.

“Oh sorry!” She said as she pulled herself back into position on her back, “What’s wrong? Why are we landing?”

“Silver has dived, that indicates trouble, so we will meet up on the ground, Oh, and there is only Silver and I with you okay?”

“What? Why? Where’s Bro-“

“SHH!” Anasa cut in, “Don’t think of him, okay, there is only Silver and I OKAY?”

“Okay then, I’ll try.”

 

Silver was already grounded and was walking over to Anasa and Serine by the time they hit the ground.

“He’s here. He is a few minutes ahead of us, but he is not flying. I think he is waiting for us.”

“Well what should we do?” Asked Serine in a half worried half scared voice as she jumped off Anasa’s back.

“We’ll walk, I’ll go first.”

After what felt like a few minuets, but was actually just seconds, they worked out what they should do and how they should confront him.

“Okay go over it one more time for me.” Anasa said as they were walking.

“Alright. When we catch up to him, I’ll stay in front of Serine, cause it will be because of, but not her fault, that we won’t have the jump on him, he will hear her mind before we get close enough. Anyway, I’ll go in front of Serine and you’ll circle off to the left of him.”

“Okay got it, no prob, and if it goes up in smoke?”

“If it goes up in smoke, in comes the backup.”

“Excellent!”

“But I don’t want that to happen, I don’t want any of you hurt!” Serine piped up with fear and anxiety in her voice.

“Calm down Serine, nothing will happen, hopefully it won’t come down to a fight, but with him, you never know.”

 

“No. You never do know do you Silver Bolt?” Said a deep and powerful voice in a menacing tone from above them.

Both Silver and Anasa jumped a little at his voice and each stepped a little closer to either side of Serine.

 

A Flyer landed a good ten feet directly in front of Serine. He was just a little bit taller then Silver, so he had a bit on Serine, and what Anasa had said about him was right. He was HUGE. He had more muscle on the front half of his body, not including his wings, than Silver had on his entire body.

 

When he was standing his full height, Silver and Anasa nodded their heads at him, but they did it in the weirdest fashion, they turned their heads a little to the right, then slowly lowered them about an inch then returned them to their original positions, without taking their eyes off his the entire time.

“Greetings Mali.” Silver said as Anasa just glared at him and started to slowly move to the left.

“Oh don’t bother trying to flank me Anasa; you will end up just getting hurt. Now Silver. Step aside so I can see the animal you deemed worthy to reveal all our secrets to.”

“Like Fuck!” Anasa stated loudly, “You’ll have to get through the both of us before you can touch her!”

“Temper, temper Anasa I’m not going to harm the girl, I haven’t been given THAT order, at least not yet. I was only sent to…for lack of a better word…observe the complication, not remove it.”

“So? That doesn’t mean you won’t kill her and just claim it as ‘self defense’ to the Elders.” Silver piped up, in the cruelest tone Serine has ever heard him use.

“Oh, ouch Silver Bolt, that hurt my pride, how could you accuse me of something so twisted and evil?” He asked in a mockingly hurt voice.

“Because it’s your job!”

“Yes I know, and I am devastatingly good at it too!” He added in a malevolently twisted voice. He sneered as he walked closer to the three to stop only paces away.

“Now Landie. Tell me your name and why you are with these two Flyers and the accumulated amount of knowledge you have of our secrets and the Valley!”

“She knows barely anything Mali, and the small amount she DID know, has now doubled thanks to you getting involved!”

“Hold your tongue Anasa, I wasn’t asking you, I was asking the Land animal!” Mali snarled at her

“Well, umm the Valley. Well I have only seen a small area around the base of Mt. Nisei and the area around Silver’s cave, and he has taken me to a gorge in the Valley with a small blue river running through it, um I can’t think of anywhere else he has taken me.  Ummm the knowledge side of things, well, I know that Flyers live for around 30 years, um I now realize that our religion is solely based around the Flyers, I know that you guys are all around better then my kind, like stronger, faster, smarter, all that. Um I think that’s it.”

“Lie to me again and you WILL die. Now what else do you know!” Mali bared his teeth at the three of them.

“Umm I can’t think of anything else!”

“Then I will TAKE it from you!”

“No wait!” Silver interrupted, “I will find it, she is just getting confused and scarred, and you will only hurt her if you go digging, so let me, and by word of our language I swear that I will not lie about what I find.”

“Then start swearing by it!”

“How much more knowledge must she have to learn thanks to your being here?” Silver asked clearly annoyed.

“Point taken I’ll take your word for it then.”

“Good,” Silver then turned to Serine, and in a soft voice asked: “Please try and, well sort out your thoughts, and try not to ask questions, because that will only delay my going okay?”

“Umm. Okay I think…”

“Don’t be afraid I will try to tread as light as possible. Now close your eyes.”

As Serine closed off her mind to world, and entered the darkness, she felt, well at least thought she felt something slightly touch the side of her head near her temple and when she shook her head to get rid of the weird feeling, Silver’s smooth as velvet mind voice spoke, ‘Please don’t do that S, its hard enough to concentrate.’

‘Sorry.’ She thought with a grin.

She was still smiling when suddenly the memory when they first met popped into her head.

‘…She bounded out from behind the bushes and bared her teeth growling,

“You know your trespassing!?”

He laughed, “Yes I know little one, don’t worry I wont be long I just wanted something to eat. Did you want some?” He offered her an eagle’s claw full of berries.

“Eww no thanks!”

“Suit yourself.” He replied, and chucked a couple in the air and caught them with his mouth…’

The Silver Bolt from her memory didn’t disappear from her mind’s eye when everything else did and it started to talk, and it was Silver’s mind voice that spoke instead of his real voice.

‘I can still remember that day as clear as a bell, but in your mind, it is ancient history.’

‘Yeah well I have seen and heard a lot in the past few moons.’

‘True.’ Silver nodded in agreement, before he let the picture of himself disappear into oblivion as a new memory started up.

‘…At the far end of the valley, where the river was beginning to disappear from sight, she could see a log bridge across the water...

‘That’s weird’ thought Serine. ‘Why would they need a bridge when they could just fly?...’

And so it continued as Silver went searching for all the information that she had found out about the Valley and the extremely weird creatures inhabiting it.

 

“Okay I’ve finished.” Silver stated, both in Serine’s mind and the real world, withdrawing from Serine’s mind.

“Wow that felt weird!” Serine said, shaking her head as if she was trying to clear water out of her ears.

“How much does she know?” Mali asked.

“Okay, from the top. She said how much she knows of the Valley and that’s true, she knows all our Laws she now knows about the Elders and you, clearly, and she knows about gifted Flyers. That is all.”

“I have just checked her and she seems to agree with you, so that must be all.”

“What does it really matter if I have been in the Valley?” Serine asked, building up her courage, “I don’t eat berries, so I haven’t impacted on your food source.”

“It is one of the Laws, and besides, you will just tell another and they will tell another until someone gets enough guts to try and take it for themselves!”

“But no one can get in there!” argued Serine.

“They have done it before so they can do it again!”

“If all you’re here for is to talk,” Anasa chucked in, “Just leave!”

“Please Anasa, Elder Araju sent me to bring you before him, or kill you if you put up a fight.”

“Dad would not have ordered that!” Silver said in an angry and annoyed voice.

“Your right, he didn’t, but I’ll just claim it as self-defense and be all sorry and stuff. Like you said.” Sneered Mali.

“Wait a minute; did JUST Araju request a council, or all three of Them?”

“Just Elder Araju.”

“Why just him?”

“I don’t know, nor care. I only carry out Their orders.”

“What difference does that make?” Serine asked, looking at Silver.

“That means we might get out alive.” Anasa chucked in, with a little sarcasm mixed in.

“Well, that’s good news then, isn’t it?”

“Depends.” Silver answered.

“What does that mean?”

“It means,” Mali replied, “Only if I deem you worthy of standing before Elder Araju…”

“What happens if you don’t?” Serine asked.

“I am allowed what ever means necessary to stop you from going near him, and if I class you as a threat, I am allowed to remove that threat.”

“And of course, he will see us as a threat, right Mali?” Silver directed the question at the Reaper.

“Of course.” He said with an evil sneer on his broad face.

 

Serine’s mind was going crazy with worry, but she was trying her hardest not to project them, not that she knew how she was projecting them, but as a back up plan, she tried racing from one subject to the next, ‘whether or not they would get out alive, what the Elders looked like, how old they were, how the four, no wait three of them would get out of this alive, why suddenly did Mali’s ears pick up, maybe he can hear me?’ she thought, ‘ I hope he can’t I hope he doesn’t go digging through my head like,’ she tried to stop herself but her conscious mind unwillingly brought up a picture of Bron.

 

“So. Dear old Bron is in on this too?” Mali asked Silver and Anasa, but staring straight at Serine, slightly shaking with laughter.

“No, do you see him here with us?”

“Of course not Silver Bolt, I’m not blind, I just saw him in her mind, and her mind KNEW him, so he must be in on it, so that means he must be close by, and if he is, which I know is true, he will want to come out now before I take self-defense against your sorry asses, and stain this beautiful earth with your ugly blood”

Serine looked at Silver and Anasa with confused and sorry eyes.

“Is he here?” she asked.

No one answered but Bron himself answered by landing right next to Silver a few seconds later.

“Greetings Bron.” Mali said in a malicious tone.

“Greetings Mali.” He answered with the same weird head nod that the other two gave the Angle of Death.

“I don’t know if I should let you all see him.”

“Oh shut up Mali, he’s as much as our father as possible, he knows we offer no threat to him!”

“Your insolence Will be your undoing one day Anasa, and I DO hope I’m there for it. Now. Fly West ‘till I tell you all to stop.”

Silver laid down so that Serine could get on his back as Bron and Anasa took to the skies.

 

After they took off, Serine had to turn her head to see if Mali was following, because even though Silver and Anasa were silent on the wing, Mali basically didn’t even exist in the air he was that quiet.

 

 

“That’s far enough!” Mali’s loud voice carried over the wind and was enough for all four of them to hear. They had flown for about half an hour, by Serine’s count.

“I will go and get Elder Araju; he is close enough for me to catch you if you try to run.” He threatened, which Anasa dismissed with a smart comment, “Oh shut up and go get him”, Mali glared at her and took off as silent as ever.

“Why does he call him ‘Elder Araju’ all the time, not just his name?” Serine asked once they had landed and she had jumped of Silver’s back.

“It’s a sign of respect towards them, you’re supposed to refer to them as Elder all the time, but we just use it in front of them now, plus Dad doesn’t even like it.” Bron said lying down, like an idiot as usual, on his back with his wings open smiling.

“I thought you had bailed.” Serine said looking down at Bron with a smile.

“Nah, I was close enough to come to aid if need be, but far enough away that he wouldn’t know I was there.”

“Oh okay then.” Serine laughed.

“Oh,” she suddenly thought, “Will I be allowed to talk to Araju at all or is there a rule forbidding me or something?” Serine asked looking from one Flyer to the next.

“No.” Silver answered sitting down as both Anasa and Bron laughed. Serine hadn’t heard them actually laugh together and the mixture of Anasa’s wind chime laugh and Bron’s powerful deep laugh made one of the most beautiful sounding laughs she had ever heard.

“We’re not heathens -” Bron added, still laughing, as Anasa continued “-You will be allowed to talk; besides you’re not the one in trouble here, well at least not as much as the rest of us”

“So I can say what I want?”

“So long as it is respectful, otherwise Mali might, well he’ll just kill you.” Silver said with a evil looking grin.

“That’s what I meant but I will still be allowed to speak, right?”

“Yes.”

“Good. Then I will convince him that there is no harm with me knowing about the ‘real’ you, and the Valley.”

“Let’s just be thankful only Araju is coming to see us.” Anasa slipped in with Bron nodding his head in agreement as she lay down beside him.

Another quiet minute had past when Silver thought of something Buru had said.

“Serine,” He piped up, suddenly curious, “Why didn’t you tell me that you whole name was Serenity?” Serine looked at the ground as all three of the Flyers looked at her.

“Oh…well I guess I didn’t because, the only two people who knew me by that name, well… I thought were dead or at least gone, so I vowed that they would be the only ones. It also sorta allowed me to let go, in a way, it helped to not have anything reminding me of them so I just started introducing myself as Serine from then on.”

“So what name are you going to give Mali and Dad?” Bron asked, looking up at her upside down.

“Serine, of course!”

“I still can’t see why you didn’t tell me at least…” Silver said, more to himself then Serine, “All well, it doesn’t matter. We all have secrets.”

“Good then. Are you going to drop it?” She asked in a firm tone.

“Yep, sure why not?”

“Good then.” Serine repeated.

 

“What was with that weird head nod thing that you all did to him?” Serine asked a little while later, yet again another question.

“Well” Anasa started, “It is a respectful greeting -”

“Towards the Elders and there immediate associates -” Bron continued.

“-But it’s supposed to look like this.” Silver finished, as he stood up and bowed properly, turning his head to the right and lowered it level with his back, but this time looked down at the ground.

“We didn’t break eye contact with Mali in case he attacked -” Explained Anasa.

“-Which he is prone to do -” Bron added.

“-The slimy git!” Silver finished.

“Can you guys please stop doing that?” Serine asked, shivering.

“Doing what?” the three asked her all at once.

“That! And finishing each others sentences!”

“Oh, sorry.” Bron said, smiling as Anasa and Silver laughed.

“Besides,” Silver continued, “Mali doesn’t like all the respect junk, so long as you do it to the Elders.”

“Then why did you do it?” Serine asked.

“We don’t break all the rules.” Bron said, with a grin.

“Only most of them.” Anasa said smiling towards Bron.

Serine started laughing with the rest of them, finally convincing herself that they must not be in as much trouble as she thought.

‘Good,’ Silver thought, ‘she’s finally cheering up; at least she’s not scared anymore.’

“Should I do it for Araju?” Serine asked, tilting her head in thought.

“Hmm don’t know.” Bron chucked in.

“If you do, it would appear that you know a lot about our rules.” Silver stated, as he started pacing, but in a slow and thoughtful way this time.

“It could undermine our entire defense!” Anasa said, pointing out the obvious.

“True.” Bron said as Silver piped up, “Yeah your right.”

“Well what if I do it, then tell him that I asked you to show it to me so that I can prove that A: I can and do show respect, and B: that I can stand true to my word?”

“You know… that just might work Silver.” Anasa said, with a dazzling smile, which almost made the scar disappear, moving into place, as Bron just laughed at the clever Landie.

“You know what, it will work. It has to. I can feel it.” Silver said, also smiling a just-as-dazzling smile.

“You’re getting cleverer the longer I know you Serine!” Bron said looking up at her.

“Why thank you Bron. And you’re getting sillier the longer I know you too!”

“No, he’s always like that.” Anasa said, ruffling Bron’s mane with her taloned claw.

Serine walked over to Silver and rubbed her head under his chin.

“Any last thoughts?” Silver asked, still looking at Bron on the ground, but pointing in the direction of two Flyers getting closer with his wing.

 

When they got closer, Bron and Anasa stood up and walked over to stand next to Silver and Serine.

The more Serine looked at the other Flyer, the more she got confused, she had imagined that the Elder would have looked older and maybe more fragile than the rest of the Flyers she knew, but when he landed she couldn’t believe her eyes.

 

With only a few meters to go, Mali put on a burst of speed and landed extremely hard, it didn’t seem to affect him though, and said in an extremely official and empowering voice; “Bow before the Elder Araju, one of the Elder Flyers and Gods of the Sky.” The first thing about the Elder Flyer Serine noticed was the fact that his wings were bigger then Bron’s, they looked around 20 feet long from tip to tip she guessed, and even though Bron’s wings were black, Araju’s jet black wings made Bron’s look blue.

 

When he landed his extra long mane fell down over his eyes, Serine noticed that it was as long as her own, as he flicked it back up over his head. It was a pure glossy white, and when he flicked his feathery tail, she noticed that half of the feathers were as black as his wings, and the lower half were as glossy white as his mane. His pelt was a golden hue; it reminded her of a fading sunset falling through golden brown tall grass.

He stood a little taller then all three of the Flyers, but was still a little below Mali.  As he started walking forward he reopened his massive wings and ruffled them to straighten out the feathers, as Mali walked over in front of him and bowed just as Silver had shown Serine, although he even bent one massive clawed leg.

“Elder.” Was all Mali said, but it stumped Serine, the sound she heard was not the same as Mali’s voice, nor was it even lion like, or bird like for that matter, but what stumped Serine most was the fact that she still understood him even though the sound didn’t go with the words.

Araju just smiled and nodded at Mali. He stood up and walked off to the right hand side of him and sat down.

Araju then looked over at the four friends with a smile, and Bron walked over to him, bowed just as low as Mali, but didn’t bend his knee, and surprised Serine by saying ‘Elder’ in the exact same fashion, tone and voice that Mali did, and she could still understand him.

“Greetings Bron.” the Elder Flyer said, still in the same alien language.

Bron walked back and stood next to Serine as Anasa moved forward. The same greeting was given and received by both Anasa and then Silver, before Araju started talking in his normal, well at least normal to Serine, voice.

“Now. Come closer, and tell me who this Land-dwelling lioness is. Please. Come forward so I may greet you.”

 

After Serine looked at Silver for comfort, to which he flashed his half grin, she started walking toward the Flyer. Mali startled her by standing up and taking another step closer to Araju. She stopped walking and looked at Mali with a little bit of fear showing in her eyes but not her face.

“Don’t mind Mali, dear, he’s just doing his job, and being extremely annoying in the process.” He joked, smiling at her. “Anyway come.”

When she got level with him, she bowed like Silver had shown her.

“Greetings Elder Araju. I am-”

“-Serenity,” Araju butted in with a smile, which caused all animals in proximity to look at him with a mix of emotions from puzzlement and confusion, to laughter and boredom, “Daughter of Lioness Cassandra and Lion-”

Please don’t say his name…” Serine cut in. Araju nodded and continued. “Un-blood brother to Lion Buru. Mate of Flyer Silver Bolt, friends with Flyers Anasa and Bron and Pride Lioness of… no-one.” he finished, smiling.

The four of them looked at each other, then in turn at Araju himself.

“How did you know all of that?” Bron questioned.

“Serenity’s mind has been extremely helpful.”

“How?” Silver asked looking confused.

“Her mind has been screaming it ever since I landed.”

“Sorry Dad,” Silver said with a smile, “But since I have spent the most time with her, I believe that I am more attuned to her mind than anyone, and I have been teaching her to quite it as much as possible, and I haven’t heard anything but your description in her mind since you landed.”

“You’re right about almost everything there Silver. You have been attuning yourself more then the rest of us, but what you four didn’t know, was that I can manipulate others minds that much that I can get what ever I want from them, even if it’s something from when they were a cub, without them having the slightest idea that I was even in there. Plus, when you dive into someone, they can feel it, and also think about what you are looking at, right? With me, that doesn’t happen.”

“Wow!” Bron said with a smile, “You sly bugger!”

“You can practically manipulate lightning Bron, and you can basically see, well feel the future Silver, my ‘power’ as you call it is just thought manipulation.”

“That’s cool Dad!” Anasa said in awe.

“No. That’s Disturbing!” Serine said, a little annoyed.

“It is okay Serenity, Mali is not allowed to tell another living soul about what he has heard about your life, nor is he allowed to harm your family.”

“I thought you only learnt about this stuff just now?” Serine asked.

“I did, and I just ordered Mali not to just then.”

“Oh, okay then.”

Just then, Mali’s leg picked it self up and pulled Mali that far forward it almost threw him off balance and into the dirt. His claw, acting as if it didn’t belong to him, drew a rune symbol into the ground, gaining everyone’s attention.

“Damn Braeku!” Mali muttered, he frowned at the symbol, then turned to Araju and spoke in his ear.

“That’s fine, I will be okay. Go he needs you more then I do right now.” Araju said in a calm voice with a warm smile at Mali.

“Are you sure? Elder.” Mali asked, turning to glaring at the four friends.

“Yes. Now send the reply and go.”

“As you wish Elder.” Mali replied as he gained control of his arm and drew another symbol into the dirt. Serine turned with a raised eyebrow at Silver and when she turned back to gaze at the symbols again, Mali had taken flight and was a fair distance away and the ground was completely undisturbed where the symbols once were.

 

“What was that?” Serine asked without thinking looking at Araju.

“It’s a little trick that we three Elders and Death use to talk to one another.”

“How though? He just drew two symbols in the dirt!”

“Not quite true, he only drew one.”

“What? I saw him draw them.”

The four Flyers laughed, “Yes his physical body drew two, but Braeku used Mali to draw the first one. It is a way that we can be separated but still stay in contact without having three Deaths. Now,”

He said, getting serious, “Down to business. How much knowledge have you acquired of our race and our homeland? Mali told me, but I’d also like to hear it from your lips”

“Wouldn’t it just be quicker to find it yourself?” Bron asked.

“Yes and no. What will be quicker, is if you just think about the first day you met Silver then proceed through to today, it doesn’t matter how much detail you can remember, because your mind will still remember it all and I will be able to see it.”

“Alright.”

 

It only took about half an hour for Serine too run through the many weeks she had been with the Flyers, but Araju sat there with his eyes closed for at least another hour and a half.

“Well. That is quite an insight into our life, and what I should do, technically is to kill you where you stand, but I can feel the love you two share, so I will spare your lives.”

 

Araju’s simple and short sentence sent shivers both cold and warm along the length of Serine’s spine.

 

“So what’s your Verdict Elder?” Silver asked as calm as ever.

“Well, like I said I should kill you two and banish both Anasa and Bron for not coming forward. But I like you three a lot, and I can tell how much you two,” He glanced at Silver and then at Serine, “Love each other. Oh that reminds me.”

He suddenly drew a weird rune symbol into the ground and after a few minutes his arm, without him moving it, drew another symbol next to the first. After he nodded his head in agreement, both symbols faded into oblivion, leaving no trace of where they were.

 

“Who was that to?” Silver asked.

“Mali, I made him swear he would not tell the others that I didn’t kill you.”

“But how would he have known?”

“I should have ordered him to kill you as soon as I landed.”

“Ah…” Silver Bolt said with a disturbed look on his face.

“Anyway it doesn’t matter; I will speak to the other two myself later.”

“How annoyed will they be?” Silver asked, as Serine butted in.

“How do the symbols disappear like that?” She blurted out.

“Now I know why you know so much, you are forever asking questions!” His tone was firm, but he was smiling and his face was warm. “The only people who are allowed to know that are the Elders and Death. Now before you two sidetrack me again, down to business”

All four sat up straighter making sure no one would miss any detail, no matter how small.

 

“Your punishments are as follows, and of course the consequence is death if you do not follow your punishments. Now: Serenity. You are not allowed to mention this place to any other living non-flying soul, you are not allowed in any other place of the Valley in which you have not walked and seen yet, you are not allowed to go exploring in the Valley.  Silver Bolt. You are not allowed in any other part of the Valley that Serine has not walked and seen.

Bron and Anasa. You’re punishment is the exact same as Silver Bolt’s but it will only last a few moons.”

“You mean we are banished forever from walking the Valley?” Silver asked, astounded at the not-as-harsh-as-death-but-still-harsh punishment.

“Well, yes, but I wouldn’t worry, just give this time to blow over and you will be allowed to walk and fly it again soon enough. So I wouldn’t be too worried about it.”

“And how long will it take to blow over?” Serine asked.

“About a year maybe more…” Araju said with a warm yet cheeky smile.

 

“Thank you Elder Araju.” All three Flyers said, with another bow, which Serine also did a second later.

Araju bowed back to them, dismissing Serine so she could stand next to Silver again.

“Now enough with the political stuff come greet your favourite Dad!” Araju said with a smile as he walked forward.

Bron was the first to move, he smiled and then laughed as he walked over to Araju and shared a head-but with him, then Anasa jumped over to him and gave Araju a neck rub, and Silver walked up, picked his taloned claw of a foot, curled it up into a ball and tapped his knuckles forward into Araju’s same positioned claw.

“Hey Dad.” Silver said as they connected.

“Now how have you all been?” Araju asked laying down, as Anasa and Serine sat down, Bron rolled onto his back with his wings open again, but had his head in the middle of the circle, Serine looked up at Silver and patted the ground beside her, he smiled and after a small chuckle joined them in the circle.

 

“So what’s it like to be old Dad?” Bron asked laughing up at the Flyer.

“Oi watch it, I am but 7 years older then yourself boy.”

“That would make you how old?” Serine questioned.

Silver replied with a laugh, “This old Flyer is 24 years old.”

“Hey that’s harsh!” Araju joked.

“Are you really 24 years old?” Serine wondered surprised, for she expected him to be closer to Bron’s age from the look of him and the way he interacted with them.

“Yeah, and it’s been a fun 24 years, well the first ten were the best.”

“Why only the first ten?”

“Cause that’s when I didn’t know I was an Elder.”

“Oh!” They all laughed creating their own melody.

“How long do you think you’ll live for Dad?” Anasa asked with a smirk on her pretty face.

“For a century, just to smite you Sas.”

“Why do Flyers live for so long? SB said you live for around 30 years.” Serine asked, taking in the Elder’s physique again.

“Well, even though I am a Flyer, there are some things we don’t know, same as you for instance, why do lions only live for around ten? Why do eagles only live for around twenty? Who would know, but from a guess, I’d say that since Lion’s live for around ten, and Eagles live for around twenty, id say, since everything else of us is just added together, it makes sense to say the life span’s are as well.”

“Araju, do you mind if Serine and I take a short walk?” Silver asked, standing up and tapping Serine with a wing to make her stand up as well.

“Of course, go have fun. Bron, Anasa and I shall talk for a while; we have a bit to catch up on.”

“Excellent, thanks Dad.”

 

They both walked off, with Silver half a step ahead leading the way behind a few close-by trees that would hopefully stop the flow of their voices.

“What’s up SB?”

“Are you okay?” Silver asked, staring straight into Serine’s eyes and mind.

“What do you mean? Im fine.” She said, a little taken aback at his stare.

“Are you sure? ‘Cause what you just went through would scare most Flyers out of their skin!”

“I’m okay, believe me Silver I’m fine.”

“Alright. What do you think of Araju?” Silver asked suddenly getting quirky.

“He’s more of a cub than you!” She laughed, smiling at him.

“Yeah, he’s the better, well at least nicer one of the three, mainly cause he’s the youngest, but that doesn’t really mean much”

“How old are the others?”

“Well, Gymara is almost 32 and Braeku is 30”

“So you do live past 30?”

“Yeah, only if we take care of ourselves.”

“So why, really, is Araju more like a cub? Wait, why do you guys still act like a cub half the time, and an adult the other half?”

“Well, its weird, but it seems that we get stuck in a lions adolescent years, both physically and mentally.”

“So that’s why you guys look no older then me?” Serine said making the connection.

“Yep, pretty much.” He answered still looking straight into the Landies eyes.

“That’s funny; hey his mane is the same length as mine.” She said recalling one of the Elders outstanding features.

“Yeah it is too isn’t it, I hadn’t noticed that before.”

“Do you guys know why you all stay at that adolescent stage?”

“Like Araju said, wouldn’t have the slightest.”

Silver grinned Serine’s favourite half grin, walked over to Serine and kissed her.

After she finished kissing him back, a sudden thought occurred to her.

“Hey SB! You said you couldn’t simply ‘read’ peoples minds right?! Then what the hell was that back there?”

“What? Oh” Silver laughed “Well those memories where easy to pull forwards because they were almost the same as mine and for some reason that makes it easier. I know it works because I have done it with different birds before, but never a lion or lioness.

“Oh. Okay then” she giggled as she kissed him again.

“Hey” She asked, deep in thought again

“Yeah?”

“What was that…noise I guess, when Araju landed, and you all spoke his name, but it wasn’t normal…”

“Oh, that is the sound of our real voice. For some reason, everyone can still understand it even though the sound itself is different”

“It is really weird”

“Well when you grow up with it you get used to it” He laughed.

“Well I don’t think I’ll be able to” She joked as she gave him a neck rub.

“Come on lets head back” Silver stated and started walking back to his ‘family’.

 

In her head, Serine thanked Aiheu that she had found this weird animal, and was thankful for the ride that her life had now become…

 

 

 

 

Well now that was fun, what do you guys think?

And yes we do both realise it has been 2 months off a year since our last one, so ha us: 1 you: 0 XP

Anyway,

Comments: Silver_bolt_9787@hotmail.com, Staceyliger@hotmail.com.

Cheers

Silver and Serine.