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It was the day. She knew it. It’s not like they had a date set or anything, but she knew it was the time. The day that they would escape from this place. It was something that she had been waiting for since she was ten years old and got dragged to this place. The day that she had been training herself for every day.
She stared herself in the eye at the small circular mirror that hung above the tiny bathroom sink of her cell. Her own fiery orange eyes stared back, determination bouncing back and forth between her and the glass reflection. Her mouth was set in a straight line, brows furrowed the slightest bit. She wasn’t the same helpless, crying, weak little girl she had been when they had been brought to this place. She had grown. She had fought to survive through the tests and experiments, using them to her advantage to grow stronger. And all the scars, bruises and burns are signs of this.
She rarely ever actually looked at her reflection, never really wanting to see herself. Ever since she was little, she was known as defective. She was different from the others of her kind. While everyone else’s eyes had slitted pupils, could transform since birth and could use their Element; her eyes had enormous, wide pupils, and she hadn’t been able to transform until she was about thirteen hundred years old. Honestly, she didn’t know how long she had actually passed, so she was only going off of a guess. And as for her Element, well, she could definitely use it now, but that didn’t mean she had complete control of it. Being bullied in her own village, and then the Camp, by the same people she grew up with, she had grown to hate her own appearance. Not herself, just … how she looked.
Her black hair was parted messily to the right, pulled up into a messy, shaggy pony tail with a titanium hair band that would tighten immediately around her hair at her own command. The tips of her hair had jagged, uneven orange naturally in them, making it look like she had a fiery ring around her head whenever her hair was down. Her skin was rather tan, even though she rarely ever actually got to go out into the sun, so she guessed that it was her natural skin tone. She knew her brother probably had it—though it was all a pretty blurry image in the back of her mind. Like she had said before, her eyes were the same vibrant orange as the tips of her hair, her pupils extremely wide, almost completely engulfing her iris. Around her neck was the same kind of metallic band that everyone else held captive here wore. Hers had the numbers 756423 printed on the side, shouting out her prison code with a shameful pride.
“Hey, hot head. You gonna stop staring at yourself in the mirror any time soon? I’d rather get to the cafeteria and grab any of the actually decent food before its all grabbed up.” A familiar voice to her rang through the silence. She had grown used to his unexpectedly silent entrances, so she merely looked at him out of the corner of her eye, not moving a single muscle as she looked him over.
White hair spouted from the top of his head, falling in shaggy lengths in front of his eyes and to his shoulders, an ice light blue shade of hair covering the crown of his head from his roots. Though it was hard to see, his eyes were the same kind of icy blue as the roots of his hair, usually sending chills down anyone’s spines. He had the same kind of collar as her, only a different code; 978645. His skin was rather pale, but since his hair was so brightly white, he appeared to have a little tan. He wore a white, dirty t-shirt over a pair of black sweatpants, not shoes present on his feet.
Her eyes shot up to his suddenly, a sharp spark shooting between their stares. They both knew it was the day. They stared at each other for a brief period of time before a gruff voice broke the silence.
“Alright you two, let’s go. Now.” Her eyes shot up to the guard that had came into her line of view. The man was at least 7 feet tall, but she was guessing it was all thanks to the incredibly high boots he was wearing. His entire body was covered in the black uniform that would protect him from any of the inmate’s attacks. It was one reason by they had been brought there. To figure out ways to protect themselves from people like the inmates. Not like they actually ever intended to do anything to the humans.
Dragons were naturally pretty peaceful, until you messed with their emotions. Then you’re screwed.
“Come on Ember, like I said, the sooner we get there, the better.” She smiled the slightest bit at the tender tone Crisp’s voice had taken. Only with her. She shoved herself away from the mirror with a light sway, padding towards him on her bare feet. When she got close enough to him, she had to tilt her head back to look him in the eye. He turned his body so she could get to the hallway behind him, his hand going to rest on the middle of her back. A shiver ran up her spine. Not from his naturally cold temperature, but because of where he had touched. The place that a white and orange symbol made of smooth, flat scales had resided since she was twelve. He had the same one hidden on the left side of his chest, just below his collar bone.
He had talked her into agreeing with it, for her own protection. By the time everyone there would turn thirteen, they would be searching out for mates, anyone they could take—whether it was willing or by force. It’s retractable, but both parties have to be willing. And that’s one thing that she feared for when—and if—they got out of there. Did he want to lose the mark that bound them together? Cause as of late, she really didn’t know if she wanted to. Her thoughts and feelings were muddled together. She hadn’t exactly ever been completely stable, emotionally or physically. So she couldn’t entirely trust what she felt, but she knew that whenever he touched her, she grew hotter inside her chest than she normally did—and she could melt ice with a few seconds flat just by standing next to it.
They had merely shook on agreement, gripping each other’s forearms firmly, and one shake later, there had been a ripple from between their hands, and she had found the mark on her back. It was more like labeling each other as potentials, but it also meant that they were still bound to one another until they both called it off or made it official. For it to be made official, the male had to bite the female—an old tradition that made her cheeks flare into a slight shade of strawberry red. The only intimate act she knew of was fighting, which she put all the passion she could muster in. You couldn’t afford to hold back around here. It was something you learn the first day.
They walked side by side down the dank hallways, the guard keeping his distance behind them but would on occasion jab one of them in the back with his staff if they started to go to slow for his liking. It would send a very small shock, depending on the setting of his staff. They’ve grown pretty much immune to it, so it was pretty much like poking them with a plain old stick. If they didn’t have such impenetrable skin, they would have dropped dead from the shock instantly.
But when he went a little too low, touching her in the butt with his own hand, she whipped around with a feral growl, snarling at the man. No one ever dared touch her, mostly in fear of what she would do to them. When she had first arrived, she had been an easy target for those that were stronger than her, but that had changed drastically. Before, she couldn’t even make a small spark of her flame, but now, she could completely engulf her body in flames—if she got angry or hyped up enough. She had grown in ranks of power, which was a good thing and a bad thing. She wasn’t picked on by the other dragons anymore, but that also meant that she was a favorite of the crazy a******* that tested on them every day. It also didn’t help that she was the only fire dragon in their possession, making her already an extremely interesting subject.
A cold hand pressed down on her shoulder, causing pain to ripple across her skin. She knew he didn’t do it on purpose, her own fault. The fact that her skin was so fiery and hot, the slightest touch of cold could cause her pain. She immediately calmed down, clenching her teeth together as she turned to look at Crisp over her shoulder. He shook his head slightly, not releasing her gaze from his own. Though he covered it well, she could see his own icy anger towards the man.
“I don’t need you in isolation again, Ember. Just come on.” He said, yet again pressing his hand against her back and continuing down the hall. Ember couldn’t help let a small smile grow across her face again. She knew that Crisp was protective of her, but he refused to let her see it. He also knew that she was completely capable of taking care of herself, so in his mind, lashing out and saving her from whatever disaster arrived was insulting—at least to him anyway. But she saw it.
They hadn’t made it farther than a few feet when there was a loud boom from somewhere else in the building. Instinctively, she crouched, fists clenched and eyes alert, ready to use their half-form when needed. Nothing happened for a couple seconds, the air still and quiet, but that was broken when one of the lights went out at the end of the hall. Then the next, then the next and the next, continuing on down the hall until the only remaining light was at the exit to their sector, but it then burst out in sparks also.
Both the dragons knew what it was. It was time. They were getting out, so they took advantage of the darkness. To them, everything was black and gray, like night vision, but for the guard, he wouldn’t be able to see a wall an inch in front of his face. Grabbing onto Ember’s hand, Crisp rushed down the hall, throwing the door exit open with a loud bang. Now that they were in the open hallway, the cafeteria just a few yards down, they could hear the frantic fighting of the other dragons.
Everything was dark. Ember couldn’t hear any electricity running through the building, or smell it, so her best guess is that there was a power surge and everything went out. This was definitely their chance. Still gripping onto Crisp’s hand, they both ran with top speed down the hall, taking a sharp right into another that would lead them to the exit. But they knew better than to assume that it would be open for the taking. They would be passing right in front of the security room, meaning the guards would easily be able to stop them. So they played it smart.
Leaping with incredible stealth, they used their half forms to grow out their human limps into their scaled covered dragon legs. They gripped tight to the walls, their backs pressed against the ceiling with no space as they waited for the guards to come bustling out of the room. They continued to move forward, sliding across the ceiling towards the exit that was still just out of reach. Apparently, they had the right idea. Not seconds later did the security room door burst open and dozens of black suited guards came running out and flooding the halls, trying to reach the cafeteria and hold back the other dragons. After they all passed, it was easy for the two dragons to the door and throw them open, running out into night air. Ember would have given anything just to stop and relish the open air, something she hadn’t done for two years, but it wasn’t going to happen.
They reached the giant brick wall, coated in barbed wire, and if they so much as got within two feet of that thing, their collars would shock them to the brink of death. Fortunately, a few years back, a girl dragon discovered that only the dragon wearing the collar’s element couldn’t break it, but other’s could. It was time to put it to the test. When they reached the wall, they knelt in front of one another, staring at each other before reaching up and gripping one another’s collars. Crisp went first with deactivating her collar.
She could feel the ice coating over the collar and her skin, freezing the mechanics within to stop. Unfortunately, the device had been attached to her so long, it had pretty much grown onto her skin. So when he squeezed his hands into fists, breaking the nearly unbreakable metal into pieces, pain rippled all over the top half of her body. But she didn’t scream. She simple bit her tongue and endured it. It wasn’t the worst she’d ever felt, even though she could feel the blood dripping down her neck from the lost skin. Next, was him. She focused on only touching the collar, not his skin with her flame.
She raised the temperature excruciatingly high, melting the metal to a soft, more breakable substance. She did the same as him, crushing the collar between her fingers. She could see the pain in his eyes, but like her, he didn’t call out. They both had suffered more than that over the years. They took a few seconds to recover from the pain that was the price for their utter freedom. Just the idea of getting out was enough to make a smile grow over her face and force the pain aside.
Reaching out and gripping his hand that was clenched in a tight fist in the dirt, they both stood to their feet, looking up at the wall. They had grown so used to using their half-forms that they didn’t even think about turning into complete dragons. With a few tweeks to their outer appearances, gigantic wings grow from their backs. Stretching after being cramped within their bodies for so long. They didn’t look back as they took to the sky, leaving their past forever.