Featuring Angel, Rory, Cloud (Hunt), and Speckle.
1528 words. Collab with Tomboy-kei.
As the dark night sky started giving way to a soft morning glow, the receding tide still gently washing up onto the swampy shore was only a slight issue, as Angel left her lure on as she climbed onto the barely lit land that was covered in fauna and just out of her sight she could see large insectoids who hadn’t taking notice to them yet. Or maybe they had, she was hoping on the former as they dismounted and climbed onto the land.
“We are here.” She told the pair who had been resting on Speckles back. The large ocean dragon rather still for most of their ride as he tried to leave them comfortable, but mother nature of course has a say in this and she said it was the time for many high waves as they traveled.
Moving his body as close to the shore as he could, Speckle wiggled and set himself laying on the coast as he let the two find themself to solid ground.
Neither of them felt much like traversing the ground; but what choice did they have? Cloud ambled around on his knuckles, still content not to fly, while Rory hopped down and stretched his sore muscles. He had watched over the stupid dragon all those hours and had to wake him up at least three times to keep him from choking on salt water. He laid down and sighed, wishing he could sleep, even ignoring how the dirt messed up his white clothes. “Thank God.” He looked at the tropical palm trees above them and felt that maybe–maybe–this wouldn’t be so bad. Then he saw what was in the palm trees. Ants as big as his hand. He leapt up and realized they were surrounded by the little pests. They marched around, humming and seeming focused on serving their queen. They hadn’t noticed the three morsels that were in their midst yet. Yeah, no, this was no time for him to take a nap.
I’m thirsty, Cloud groaned, which made Rory all too aware of his own thirst. They couldn’t exactly drink sea water, after all.
The Rider turned to the strange creature, which appeared to be some sort of sea dragon…but also a Rider…and quickly asked, “Do you know where we are? And do you know where water is? Fresh water, I mean. We haven’t had any since before our flight.” He hadn’t expected to end up so off-course; In all his studies–which, honestly, he never paid close attention to–a tropical place with giant ants was not something he learned about.
Feeling a chill go down her spine as she took in the environment, Angel already missed the water but she did say she would help the pair and she wasn’t about to go back on her word just because of some cold. Watching the rider and dragon pair wobble off the large cyan colored dragon, Speckle soon lifted himself from the water. Despite his large size he was able to still fly in the air and up he went, exploring some of the higher up areas that were less crowded with trees that would catch on his tail and fins.
“I believe we’re on one of the Murciélagia islands, one of the more northern islands.” She herself didn’t come from the water all that often, but in her travels she had made her own map in her mind. It didn’t always come in handy, as she herself had gotten lost along the way, but it was sometimes helpful.
“It’s the big bug island.” Speckle added, but could see Rory and Cloud had already figured that much out as he watched from the air, following the congo line of ants as they moved past them.
“The ants may have water at their nest?” Angel suggested, but aside from that didn’t know of anything that may contain water near them. “Maybe there is a river close by we could drink from, but i’m not familiar with this area myself.”
“Water in their…nest? You think I want to go anywhere near their nest?! For ants that size, I bet the whole island is their nest!” Rory exclaimed. Just as quickly, he realized he lost his cool and composed himself as best he could. “Sorry, I’m overreacting. Ants and bugs need water to live, so there has to be water somewhere.” Cloud looked to Speckle, looked back at Rory, and then nodded quickly. He was quite ready to go into an ant nest and find some delicious water to sip. He even had echolocation to get them through the dark ant tunnels!
Rory sighed. “Just…ignore him. He likes to be silly. We could follow the shore until we find a stream, then go up the stream to its source. Since this is an island, it can’t be far–and the water is likely to be clean if we manage to find the spring.” He at least knew a tiny bit about survival, even if giant bugs were outside of his education. He looked at the clearly aquatic creatures suddenly, realizing something important. “You two…are you going to be okay without water?”
Blinking at the rider who just suddenly went outside that kind of calm and collected mentality for a moment, Angel’s tail was swishing gently, moving the foliage near it as she stared at the tan male with bright colored hair and clothes. It was all taken back in a moment, but that was a sight to see and made her wonder where that line of patience laid for him.
“That too, maybe we can see some giant mosquitoes, or water scorpions, maybe a few cockroaches, or boatmen. Boatmen are pretty cute.” Thinking out loud to herself, she didn’t mind what they did so Speckle minded not either. Paying more attention to the two males as Angel was off in her thought of all the aquatic bugs they could come across if they followed the coast.
“Yeah, we’ll be fine. Angel is both aquatic and terrestrial, and I can go in and out of water as I please as dragons are very adaptable.” Twirling in the air, his own tail knocking against some palm trees, he started to go along the coast, his bigger fin waving at a not so small ant who paused to take notice of him but was then back to picking up an abandoned fish that flopped for a second but then was limp. “Let’s be off though, if you need water we better go find it.”
Rory saw Speckle knock the palm trees with his tail and watched in horror as ants the size of coconuts fell to the ground. Looks tasty, Cloud said, licking his fruit snout with excitement.
Absolutely not. Rory struck that down before it even started. None of the bugs Angel listed sounded particularly nice. Giant giant cockroaches sounded wretched, in fact. And water scorpions? Were land scorpions not enough?! And what exactly were boatmen? He didn’t need to know, actually. That could stay a mystery. The concept of cute bugs simply didn’t compute. Perhaps sea monsters had an affinity with those sorts of things, but not him.
I have an affinity for bugs. They’re tasty, Cloud insisted.
Do you want to sleep on my back?
And have you wander into the ant hill while I’m there? Also a no.
He looked at Angel almost like a lost puppy would. “Do you have an affinity for water or something similar? Do you know which way from shore we should start walking?”
Watching as a few ants came from the trees that were shook, Angel poked at some of them but left them to their ways as they seemed less interested in her and more interested in finding food to bring back home. Blinking as Speckle poked at her through their bond, she pranced off after where her ocean noodle was going, but looked at the completely distressed and destroyed rider who was not having a good time on bug island.
“I am very good at swimming and traversing the deeper lands of the ocean, but my talents come more in handy to myself. Such as the ability to go without food and water for long periods of time or able to travel as long as i desire without tiring too much. Let’s follow the ants direction though. Like you said, they have to be getting water from somewhere, maybe they are close to a water source or will travel past one.” Splashing in the shallow parts of the water as she followed after Speckle, she waited to see if they would be followed or was Rory just done with life. “You can ride on my back if you are too tired? But let’s get going so you two can be watered.”
It was time to adventure around, and see what could be found on the land full of giant bugs. Maybe more ants? Maybe giant spiders? Giant bugs of course, but what ones? Angel could only debate, waiting for Rory to decide.