Infinity’s breath was cold in the evening air. She- with Dawn in her saddle- were settled on a flat ice plains, staring up at the night sky as they waited for their compatriots.
A dark blot in the distance approached, snuffing out the stars behind them. Clouds seemed to part before them- and soon, Infinity could feel a gust of wind as they approached, shielding the eye on her sternum with her wing.
“Sorry for being late,” Attikias sighed out over the noise of Ahnura’s talons clicking on the ice, digging in and leaving a furrow in their wake. Metal wings flapped a few times as she readjusted, and she dropped, dipping her head.
“It’s okay,” Infinity purred out with a smile. “You aren’t late at all!”
‘It took them twenty minutes to get here,’ Dawn complained, tugging gingerly at Infinity’s mane.
‘But they DID come,’ Infinity argued light-heartedly as she wing-walked closer. “Did you bring the baubles?”
Ahnura nodded as Attikias slid down from her back, fiddling with a saddlebag on the side of her sophisticated saddle. “The cords should be big enough,” he idly spoke, turning to glance at Infinity. “It’s Wind magic, not Ocean, so try not to take a breath in, sort of… Refreshing the air in your lungs instead of converting water. It’ll let you hold your breath for about two hours- I tried on one of them, so the others should be good enough, too.”
“You tested it personally?” Infinity nosed the small blue bead Attikias held in his hand. It glowed just slightly, and it was strung on a long, thick necklace.
“Shep insisted,” he said with a shrug. “Lean your head up?” Infinity did as he asked, turning her head away so Attikias could reach around her neck. The necklace clasped easily around her mane, and it didn’t lay into her eye- and she reared back, touching at it once it was secured and tightened.
“This’ll be great,” Infinity said, grinning. ‘Dawn?’
‘Yeah, yeah,’ Dawn grumbled in her dragon’s mind, reaching over Infinity’s wing as she lowered her abdomen to the ice.
“Can you get Dawn?”
Attikias perked from his movements, where he was looping Ahnura’s necklace on her. “Oh- right.” He pulled out the smallest loop for Dawn and offered it to her. Dawn hesitated for a moment- she was thinking, Infinity could feel it, but soon she reached her head through the open loop and waited as Attikias tightened it.
“I think that’s everything. Mind giving us the debrief?”
“So formal,” Infinity laughed out, standing up again. “No, I mean– I’ve seen the shipwreck down there, heard about it a few weeks ago.” One wing-wrist came to rub at her jaw as she talked. “Supposedly it was a pirate ship, so we might find a good bit of stuff.”
‘If the Phinae didn’t get to it first.’ Dawn complained.
Infinity snorted. ‘Come on, it’s supposed to be fresh. John told us about it.’
‘John’s also a pirate,’ Dawn pointed out.
‘It’s still a lead.’ Infinity shook her head and shuffled closer to the edge of the ice, leaning over. “It shouldn’t be too deep. It sunk because of the ice, so I don’t think anybody got to it yet.”
“Ah, nice,” Attikias said, his attention focused on Ahnura. “We’ve got bags to bring stuff back up, too.”
“You’re free to keep what you find,” Infinity offered, stepping towards the other pair. “Bring it back up to this shelf, and we can pick out the stuff that’s worth keeping.”
‘I hope the technology’s not all fried by now,’ Dawn idly hissed from behind Infinity.
“Shep’s… A Thunder dragon, right?” Infinity wagered, glancing to Ahnura when the larger dragon nodded. “Do you think he could get any salvaged tech working again?”
“I don’t know, we can try,” Attikias offered, pulling himself back up to Ahnura’s saddle. “We’re ready to go.”
“Right. Should be straight down,” Infinity returned to leaning over the ice, looking into the murky waters. ‘Ready, Dawn?’
‘Sure,’ said her rider noncommittally, though she could sense the feline tightening her grip on the saddle. It was for good reason, too- with a sudden burst, Infinity dove into the water with a splash behind her, her leather wings flaring out and cupping ocean beneath them. Darkness fell away as her eyes adjusted to the murky depths.
“A-” Infinty tried to speak, but coughed as water flooded into her. As Ahnura dove in with a flurry of bubbles, Infinity’s head shot up from the waves, coughing and spluttering. Water ran over her waterproof scales as she hacked out the liquid.
‘Are you okay?’
‘I will be,’ Infinity assured Dawn with a mental sigh, before diving back in. Ahnura had twisted around to watch for Infinity, and Attikias peered from her shoulders, his hands crossed in front of his mouth. Right, no talking. Already, Infinity could feel the faintest sting that came from holding her breath, but the magic seemed to be working as she powered on deeper.
‘This way,’ she willed to Ahnura when she glanced back, the other dragon silhouetted against the faint ocean roof. Ahnura seemed to take the signal, and she dove forward, her metal feathers awkward in the water.
‘There you go.’ Even if Ahnura couldn’t hear the mental encouragement, it was encouragement nonetheless, and Infinity powered on. The shadow of a fallen ship was soon to be seen- and there it was, the wreck of the Louise.
It took every ounce in her to hold back and excited gasp, her tail flaring out behind her and her muscles shaking. ‘I told you he was right!’ Infinity cheered despite Dawn’s mental eye-roll.
‘He was right. But do they even have any treasure?’
‘Guess we’ll have to see,’ Infinity spoke, grinning madly. Surging forward, Infinity came close to the mast, ears flicking forward in attention.
Ahnura came up beside the storm dragon and pointed one talon into the depths, her fabric flowing in the water. Infinity glanced to her and nodded, turning and swim-flying in closer, kicking in the water. She could see the captain’s quarters, but the door- it was too small.
‘Let Attikias and I handle this,’ Dawn spoke as she shoved off of Infinity’s back, padding in closer. Ahnura had paddled closer, and Infinity twisted around, jerking her head to where Dawn was scratching at the door.
Attikias shoved off of his dragon and dipped his head to Infinity. Soon, he was behind Dawn, and he gently pushed her away before kicking in the nearly horizontal door. Soggy wood cracked underneath his heel and the two drifted in.
Infinity turned back to Ahnura and exchanged a glance before paddling to the cargo hold, a much larger entrance that Infinity could probably break. Shoving her snout to the other side of the wood, Infinity watched Ahnura as she moved about, reaching down. She pulled back when Infinity shook her head rapidly. No, she had a plan- and she reared back, ice coalescing in front of her opening mouth.
With a deep ‘thoom’, the large shard shot forward and splintered the wood, cracking it open and giving the two of them leverage to pry the rest of it away. Ahnura was the first one to shoot forward, using her talons skillfully and pulling back wood, the darkness of the hold below yawning before them.
Time to get exploring.