Chapter Ninety-Four: In which plans are made

Once we had captured Arwel, with such surprising ease, we had to sort out a lot of problems. We had planned on capturing Arwel at some point in the not too distant future, but had not expected that the moment would present itself so soon. As a result, we were unprepared and had to scramble to figure out how best to proceed.

The facility’s human guards were unconscious for now, but they would wake up in a few hours confused and, thanks to the gas that they had inhaled, they would be missing the memories of the last six months of their lives. It would not be long before they would call for help, or people would start to miss them and come to find them. Before this happened, we dragons had to be gone from the facility, leaving no trace of our presence behind.

One of the dragons who was a part of the rescue unit was local and he immediately called for help. Since it was now nighttime, a group of dragons from the local clans were able to fly in under the cover of darkness, skimming over the trees to avoid being detected by radar.

Lord Eagen picked up Arwel and I showed him the room where I had been imprisoned. We locked Arwel in, double checking that his bonds were secure, and double checking that he did not have anything on his person that he could use to help him escape. We also double checked the locking mechanism in the door. We were not taking any chances. Before we left the room, I removed the fabric from his mouth and was rewarded with a torrent of abusive words, which we could hear long after we slammed and locked the door.

“What a charming fellow he is,” Lord Eagan said. “I pity whoever has to care for him in the future.”

Our next problem was to gather together the young dragons and to help them to understand what was happening. They were still completely under Arwel’s control and we had to break that bond before they would be willing to return to their families.

Thankfully the experience with Ninebark had helped us to understand how Arwel’s hypnotic power of suggestion worked. I immediately contacted Lady Aloisia, the healer who lived in Canada and who had helped Ninebark so successfully. Lady Aloisia talked to a group of dragons who were given the job of helping our young dragons. She taught them the process that she had developed so that we could release the young dragons from their hypnotic bondage without damaging their brains in any way.

Once we were sure that the dragons knew what to do, we brought all the young dragons to the library. They were very confused when they saw the adult dragons and did not recognize any of them, even though some of the rescuers were their relatives. This was very distressing for the adults, who wanted to hold their young ones in their arms, but who had to refrain from doing so for the time being. As far as the young dragons were concerned, the adults were strangers.

While the dragons worked on undoing the hypnotic suggestion that had been placed on the young ones, the rest of us worked on removing all the research material that our young dragons had created during their captivity. Documents on computers were copied and then the computers were wiped clean. Inventions that they had built were taken apart by dragons with scientific knowledge, and the parts were flown to the nearest clan hall for safe keeping. Data pertaining to scientific discoveries were similarly taken away so that humans would not find them.

While these necessary jobs were being performed, I talked to the Dragon Council using a dragon cell phone that one of the local dragons had brought with her. We had to decide what to do with Arwel.

“For now, let’s take him to the nearest clan hall and keep him under lock and key there. Later we can decide what to do with him for the long term,” Lord Cobar said.

“This sounds like a sound plan, but how are we to transport him?” I asked.

“Is there some kind of container there that you can use? You can place him in the container and then two of the strongest dragons can fly the container to the nearest Clan Hall, which is to the north of your present location,” said Lord Ime. “Thankfully, you are in an area that is not heavily populated and hopefully the mission can be completed without the dragons being seen.”

“May I suggest that I shift to become a Great Northern dragon, Lord Ime. In that form I will be able to carry Arwel without assistance and will also be able to make the journey in less time.”

“If you are willing to do this, Lord Gryf, then we heartily support this plan. The quicker you are able to make the journey the better. Try to shift into a Great Northern that has dark scales. The darker the better,” Lord Hibiki said.

“Very well, Lord Hibiki.”

I went from room to room looking for a suitable container, and at the same time I also made sure sure that every sign of a dragon presence was removed. We could not allow the humans who would surely come to the facility in the near future to find anything that would suggest that non humans had been living at the facility.

In the hanger where Arwel’s vehicles were stored – his airplane, his car, and some trucks,
– I found a large wooden crate. With Lord Iagan’s help I attached heavy-duty straps to the crate and then one of the local dragons used one of the computers to show me where his clan hall was. He pointed out the land forms that I could use as landmarks and also contacted dragons at the clan hall, telling them to expect me and to get a room ready that could be used to contain Arwel.

Then Lord Eagan and I went to get Arwel. When we opened the door of his cell, he glared at us.
“What are you going to do with me?” he asked. “I suppose you are going to kill me.”

“You suppose incorrectly,” I said coldly. “We are humane beings and do not kill creatures, except when we need to eat. Needless to say we do not consider humans to be suitable food animals. No, you are going to spend the rest of your days in captivity. For now you will be transported to a location not far from here, and later we will decide where you will live in the long term.”

“I will need dragon blood to make my anti-aging serum,” Arwel said, and for the first time since I had met him in the present day, he looked worried, perhaps even frightened.

“That isn’t going to happen,” Lord Eagen said. “Your blood drinking days are over.”

“But I will start to age,” Arwel said, his face starting to pale.

“About time,” Lord Eagan said, and without ceremony he swung Arwel over his shoulder and carried him out to the hanger. Arwel began screaming abuse again and we had to put him down for a moment or two so that I could replace the fabric in his mouth.

“Ah, much better,” Lord Eagen said when the screaming ceased, and he picked up Arwel once more.

When we got to the hanger, a couple of dragons were taking off, carrying boxes and bags in their claws. The inventions and research materials that the young dragons had created were being taken away.

A wriggling Arwel was placed in the crate, which was then nailed shut. Two dragons carried the crate out of the hanger. Then I crate editedshifted into the form of a Great Northern dragon, taking care to make sure that my scales would be dark when the shift was complete. They came out a satisfactory dark green color that would help me to blend in with the countryside that I would be flying over.

“By the flame, that is a bizarre thing to see,” said Lord Eagan, staring at me.

“It is a pretty bizarre thing to experience,” I said, making the dragons around us laugh. I walked out to where the crate stood on the landing strip, gripped the straps in my talons, and then rose into the air.