Chapter 7(6 in morellatops, if you go to new to scorched earth, just go in order.)
"Heads up!" Shadow shouted as a Phoenix dived at frost. Shadow net gunned it and it fell to the ground. The flames burned through the net, scorching it. The net stayed intact though. "Fire proof nets, this isnt my first rodeo." Shadow said. "5 left." Frost replied. "I can see that." Shadow said while pointing north. The remaining 5 were scorching a town. "Well, see you there!" Shadow said as she melted into a shadow. At first it was just a circular shadow, then it morphed into a thyla shape. The shadow seemingly ran towards the town. Frost morphed into a bird and chased after Shadow. The suns rays shown through the clouds, causing the heat to rise. Shadow leapt from her shadow form onto a phoenix. "Ouch ouch ouch! Bad idea! Hot hot!" Shadow complained and she net gunned the phoenix. The other 4 saw what happened and charged towards frost and shadow. "Oh they're gettin smarter!" Frost exclaimed. Both pulled out their net guns and shot all 4 down. Shadow walked over and sent them to the shadow realm. "Next is rock elemental. Thatll be extra fun."
The desert was hot and forbidding. Kai could no longer move. His Thyla moved for him.
Any water they found was too dangerous or dirty to drink. Many more cannibals like the man from before wandered out and tried to kill them. What the desert could do to a person was unforgettable.
“I see haphis’s base!” Cutter shrieked. He crawled through the sand until he came to a rock. It was a mirage.
“Cutter, get up.” Nox begged.
“Just let me die here, Nox...” he sighed. He fell asleep, and Nox began dragging him along.
“Forget about those stupid meddling people.” Haphis said to himself. “You’ll defeat the guardian and you’ll ascend.” He was walking alone in the dunes, off to the sunken city. The coliseum. The statue of the guardian. No, the statue of the Manticore.
Ten human skeletons were spread out across the coliseum. Haphis had seen more and more human bones the longer he stayed in the desert. Something big was going on. Something big was coming.
“I don’t care what’s happening.” Said Haphis.
“Fool!” He said back to himself. “We must prepare- AAAAUGH!!!” The warlord let out a corrupted cry of pain. The corruption on his body spread slightly. Huge black spikes grew on the parts of his back where the corruption was.
“No.” Cutter said. “We shouldn’t. I will kill him if anything goes wrong.”
Haphis entered the room.
“I need an army.” He growled.
“Do it yourself.”
Haphis held up a sword. He pointed it at Slav. He raised the sword.
“I can’t believe we’re taming Rexes for a madman.” Slav muttered. He rubbed the stump that was once his left arm.
“Shut it.” Haphis said. “Or your right arm will be gone as well.”
“There’s the obelisk.” Kai said. “Are we ready?”
The same old flash of light as they entered the boss arena. A giant Manticore flying down to meet them. The guardian of the desert was going to be a challenge. The next ark was going to be a challenge. What would the future hold-
Nox opened his eyes. He saw lots of weird mushroom trees. A glowing raptor. A hairless direwolf like animal. He closed his eyes.
Opening them again, he saw that they were in the heat of battle with the Manticore. Had Nox seen the future? He didn’t know. But he saw. He saw a blue Rex take one last bite. The manticore fell to the ground, dead. In an instant, Nox was lying on the ground again. Lying in the mushroom forest. Lying in the next ark.
Twisted Sands is officially complete! Look out for another story in the Featherlight section!- Swamp Guy
“This is a Wyvern.” 89 pointed to the dragons. “There are three types. Lightning, fire, and poison. Today you’re going to learn how to ride them.”
Slav hopped on a Poison Wyvern and flew it around. He landed and the Wyvern bit a wandering Paracer.
“That’s not even the best thing.” Kalo yelled.
“This is!” Jenny whispered to her lightning Wyvern, and it shot a massive bolt of lightning. Nox winced, painful memories of lightning coming back to him.
“The giga roared with fury. He let out a blast of lightning.
Wait... a blast of lightning??
“What are you doing? Kai found the man and held him at gunpoint.
“We are advancing science! Weaponizing our tames for more power!”
Titan roared and tried to claw out his lightning cannon implant.
“You’re hurting him!” Yelled Kai. He ran back into the battle, fumbling his armor on.
Nox distracted the Giga, who shot a furious lightning blast at the cage. It shattered, and Cutter leaped out, attacking the furious giga. The giga stomped on the ground, and bit down hard on something.
It was Roughtooth.
“No!!” Nox yelled, running towards his brother.
It was too late.
(P.S., this flashback is chapter 12 of The Swamp)
“Nox! Are you okay?” Cutter shook him awake. In the distance, Nox could make out Kai on his Fire Wyvern, Jenny on a Lightning Wyvern, and Slav on a Poison Wyvern.
“Yeah...I’m fine.” He threw up on the ground.
“This place isn’t very much of a ‘heaven.’” One of the soldiers said.
“Quiet!” Haphis replied.
“I’m just saying-“ the soldier had sealed his fate. Haphis picked up a cluster grenade.
The scream of a loyal soldier being killed by his commander didn’t faze anyone else. They slowly trekked across the badlands, looking for those stupid people who had tried to stop him.
The girl’s griffin! Haphis saw its corpse sprawled out over a flat rock, being slowly gnawed away by troodons.
“We must be getting close.” He snarled. “It’s finally time for my revenge.”
Firetalon's body lay in sand decaying slowly. The Scorpion eating her burst into flames. The Phoenix was back, and hungry. Smokeclaw searched the lake and found the den. He cautiously walked inside. All of a sudden, a bunch of bullets hit him and he felt sleepy.
“We suspect that Haphis’s base is here, in the northern mountains near the trench.” Kalo pointed to a marked dot on his map. “We need to find and capture him.”
“We need faster mounts than Wyverns, thought.” Jenny said.
Two hours later, Kai and the others on Thylas were making their way across the desert. Two guards were with them. They came across a massive skeleton. Inside was another skeleton. A human skeleton.
They stopped short as a whistling sound spun through the air.
“Fresh meat...meat...” rasped a horrible voice. A thin, sunburned man stepped out from behind a rock. He held a shotgun. He wore cloth pants, but that was it. He smiled at them. An evil smile. He shot the guards and dragged their bodies away.
“Let’s. Get. Out.” Slav whispered. They ran away until they had put enough distance between them and the man. The northern mountains came into view ahead.
They sat by a fire, lazily cooking meat. The kapros and Thorny Dragons dozed in the hot sun.
“Get up, you.” A voice startled Nox, waking him up. The others were bound and gagged.
“Who are you?” One of them asked in a strong Australian accent.
“Snork....snore....what’s going on?” Pouncer woke up, rubbing her eyes.
“We’ve heard of you.” They said. “We saw you fall from the sky.”
“Who are you?” Chiron asked.
“Kalo.” The first one said.
“Xencrixeir.” The other one said. “But just call me 89.”
“We need your help.” Kalo said.
Kalo and 89 had built a massive fortress in the dunes that lined the ARK. Turrets were set up. Massive...dragons? Kai was puzzled. The dragon they fought back on the island was obviously never meant to be tamed. Large bugs with sword hands, giant moths, camel-like dinos, more Thorny Dragons, cute little mouse things... this place was very different from the home Kai had known.
“Do you recognize this person?” 89 held up a piece of paper. On it was a familiar face.
A familiar, corrupted, malformed, face.
“Haphis!” Jenny gasped.
“So you do know him.” Kalo said.
“Unfortunately, yes.” Kai sighed. “You want us to help take him down?”
89 replied with a laugh. “There’s a few things you need to learn about the desert.”
Three dead Wyverns lay, sprawled out on the ground, their rotting corpses being eaten by insects. Under a boulder, Kai was most likely dead. The kapros and the thorny dragons lay there, too hurt and torpored to move. Slav, Chiron and Jenny lay on the ground, unconscious. Haphis’s loud voice boomed through the air.
“Don’t you get it, fools?!” He cackled. “I will defeat the final guardian of this ARK, and I WILL BE THE ONE TO ASCEND!!”
“No you won’t.” A dead man’s voice from under a rock said. “I will.”
Kai leapt out from his apparent grave and tossed medical brews to his allies. They stood up, ready to fight once again.
“Need a hand?” 89 yelled. He and Kalo came in on Lighting Wyverns, ready for battle. Haphis’s rock golems were killed, and it was time for the final stand.
“FOOLS!” Haphis yelled again. His base began lifting into the air. It flew off, propelled by some unknown force. Within seconds, it was far away.