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SSAR-02 The Voice

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    SSAR-02 The Voice

    Super Squadron
    Aquarian Force

    SSAR-02 The Voice
    By Adm Pouchlaw and Devvy-boy
    April 25th, 2020

    Starring: (In order of appearance)
    Clipper-XXV, advisor Devil Mouse - Magical Acquisition, Information, and Debt Services (MAIDS)
    Nicholas "Nick Peter Kane, Galactic Dragon Guardian
    Deryk Harley Devlin, Red Huntsman Ranger [Delvyroo]
    Hector David Anthony, Kamen Rider Scale Guard
    Alexander Scott "Exan" Lonewolf, Konga Champion
    Robyn Elyse Skye, Bronze Vixen Chaos Ranger
    Iris Rianne Angelo [Starpaw, Kangaroo Order of Vengeance], Albino Kangaroo Ghost Ranger
    ...and possibly others to come...

    Prince Gasket
    (Other generals of notable worth)
    (memorable grunts of eons gone by)

    Part One: ...And I Feel Fine.

    At a Location within an invisible and intangible viewing globe

    "Greetings folks. I am Clipper-XXV, the 25th member of the famed Clipper Legion. And while I keep in touch with Cosma or Clipper the 1st, he is assigned to the Gaea sector while I am assigned to the Wolf-journey sector. My real name is Linus, but I prefer to be called Clipper or more formally, Clipper 25. I am in the process of watching a few Australians as they engage in the Call of the Ages. At least it isn't the Tam of Ages." He giggled at his own joke.


    Ringwood, NT; Australia - Wolf-journey Sector
    Kane Station

    Nick Kane had just finished his chores in his father's yard where he stopped and his head turned toward the Outback.

    His minister father and his school teacher mother took notice of his reaction as both said, "Nothing in the Outback 'appens by accident."

    Nick turned to his parents. "Ah 'ear someone asking me to come to Kane's Cavern, father. Ah've never felt this way before. What do Ah do?"

    His Minister father walked over and hugged his son. "Pack yer things as if for a camping trip and seek out the voice. We knew this day would arrive. Go and make us proud."

    His mother commented, "Just remember, Nick... there is courage in music. Yer song voice is more powerful than any force of lies. We love yas, son."

    And Nick went into the house to pack his things for the journey to come.


    Devonshire, Queensland; Australia - Wolf-journey Sector
    Devlin Empowerment Circle

    Lord Kiel spoke with Dirk Devlin as Auranea and Quetzalcoatl prepared Deryk Devlin for his graduate empowerment.

    "Thanks yas much for permitting me to teach yer son the Dreamtime fighting arts, Dirk. The joey turned out to be one of yer strongest sons yet. Unlike yer first two sons through previous marriages. Cutter and Joseph. We are still looking for Joseph's whereabouts. It is odd that no one on Earth nor in Dreamtime can find 'im, not even that immoral kangaroo warlock, Roolock."

    Dirk Devlin said, "Thank yas for even looking. When our mortal means ran dry, Ah 'ad to swallow my pride and ask Dreamtime for 'elp to find 'im. Ah just 'ope no demon got 'im. The boy knows a lot of our family secrets."

    Auranea called out, "It begins!"

    Deryk stepped out into the glowing circle as he bowed to the statues one at a time and then he called out his choices. "Arcadia! Tatsu-lan! Dreamtime!"

    Deryk struck his action pose and lifted his head on high. "Cosmos Arise!" His entire body glowed brightly, as the images of an angelic warrior, a red dragon, and a red kangaroo, appeared all around his body, rapidly merging together upon him, erupting as a great flash of flaming light! As the light began to dim, the flames became red metallic armor plating, adhering themselves into a protective suit! He grew in height, 15' tall, as he became studly and buff, gaining body mass! His head was that of a draconic kangaroo with a halo, while his tail was dragon like and his legs were like that of the kangaroo! As his angelic red glow began to subside, close-ups of his winged armor and body parts occurred, finalizing on his flaming eyes before the scene pulled back to show his full stature. Then Deryk shouted, "Delvyroo!"

    Delvyroo then struck an admiring pose as he checked himself out slowly. "Nice... smooth curves... decent armor... awesome sword... a good host..." He then stepped out of the circle and he bowed to Auranea. "Greetings, Mrs. Devlin. May I have a cookie later?" The last part was a controlled portion from Deryk since his mother wouldn't let him have a snack before the ceremony.

    Dirk grinned as he shook hands with Kiel. "Sounds like my son and 'is 'untsman are getting along swimmingly."

    Kiel smirked. "As long as Delvyroo doesn't shed on the kitchen floor."

    Auranea glared at the two adults. "Behave yas rogues. At least yas two are getting along. Better Kiel than Roolock." She then looked back at Delvyroo and said, "Power down, big guy. We 'ave to give Deryk 'is other gift."

    Delvyroo vanished as Auranea brought out a fantastic looking wrist morpher that had the relief art of the angel, the dragon, and the kangaroo stylistically embossed all over the device. "As promised, son... Yas are now the Red 'untsman Ranger. A special power in the world for assisting other ranger teams when they need yas the most. To use this new morpher, lift yer fist before yerself as yas shout, Fire Hunter! Engage! The sequence will start and then yas can announce yerself at the end, if yas want. Now give it a try."

    Deryk lifted a fist before him as he shouted, "Fire 'unter! Engage!" His fist then ignited in a blaze of fire, as it arced upwards, then slowly encircled his body like a living serpentine fire-dragon. His body became all aglow with light, as his Ranger-like armor began appearing all over his body. His gloves and boots were next to appear, as his flame katana materialized within the grasp of his extended fist. Then, as his helm settled into place as a blast of fire erupted all around him as he shouted, "Red 'untsman Ranger!"

    Auranea then gave the last few instructions. "Always use yer powers for good and never for evil or selfish gains. And don't forget that yas are a practicing Arch Magi as well as a demon 'unter and now Power Ranger as well as 'untsman. Delvyroo 'as the power to banish demons. Always use 'im for banishing purposes. And that's all there is to it. Go greet yer father and Kiel while Ah go get us some cookies."

    Deryk smiled as he walked over to his father and Kiel. "Thank yas both for being so patient with me. Are yas going to stay for a cookie, Lord Kiel?"

    Kiel grinned. "Ah should. Although Fern East makes the best cookies. Yer mum's are good, but Fern 'as been doing it longer."

    Devonshire, Queensland, Australia - Wolf-journey Sector
    Artificer Workshop

    While Mrs. Devlin was away, it was up to Derek McCartney to observe the final task of the Artificer apprentice before he can graduate from the apprenticeship until she returned. It brought back memories for Derek, as Auranea oversaw his training and even lambasted him for causing an explosion while drinking booze at his first workshop over a decade ago. And having to go to the Sauventreen Artificers to get prosthetics for his left arm and leg. He was wearing appropriate protection now, as he observed the etching of runes into a Naginata's blade. Beside him in observation was the apprentice's longtime Kangaroo pet, Jirra, whom looks as if he scolds Exan whenever he leaves his side. Derek noted the Kangaroo's human-like mother hen attitude was very peculiar, as if he was the similar roo to the ex-boyfriend's old watchroo, Ramses. He didn't dare try to disappoint the apprentice's 'good warrior' father by switching out Jirra's collar with an Ambassador Collar to see what the roo had to say for himself. Though he can't stand the Egyptology Professor nowadays, his partner Vlad Lonewolf III was a good man.

    Alexander Lonewolf of Stonehenge, known only as Exan to his friends (even though family and the older adults still insist on calling him 'Alex'), was duplicating a rather complicated rune etching and enchantment to a dual-bladed Naginata that Derek made with relative ease, and he was very careful with duplicating the runes. He had to make sure everything was so, otherwise both blades won't work in unison. He was about finished with the first side of the blade, and is about to etch the runes on the other side before finishing it with an incantation.

    Derek said lowly to Jirra, as he scratched the fur underneath the collar of Exan's Kangaroo pet. "Looks like this joey is growing up, eh Jirra?" Jirra could only focus on Exan's progress, at the moment of disaster he had to be ready to blow his cover and intervene for the safety of his charge.

    Stonehenge, Queensland, Australia - Wolf-journey Sector
    Outside the Lonewolf Station

    Robyn Skye was working on several traps outside of the property fence to surprise Exan. She chuckled like the mischief maker she was. "Whether he passes or fails to get his Artificer qualifications, Exan is sure going to be very surprised with the traps I am putting in his usual fence-jumping spot." She grinned at how great her plan was starting. She then heard the front door open. "Oh drat!" she gasped, as she hastily hid her tools of the trade, and quickly climbed up the nearest tree. She saw Exan's father and adoptive stepdad emerge from the house with a rather large Dreamtimer. That's Mr. Lonewolf and Professor Dragonheart... but who is that?

    Robyn pulled some of the foliage out of the way, but it was too late. Only the Professor remained on the front deck of the Lonewolf House. Robyn was disappointed. "Drat. the visitor teleported away, with Mr. Lonewolf as well! Who was that with Mr. Lonewolf?" She shrugged her shoulders and started the waiting game. She will finish with the trap as soon as the Professor goes back in the station house.

    Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia
    Anthony Family Home

    It's been several years since their family moved so the parent's can work for the local as go-betweens between the company and the US Distributors. Delilah was away from home at this time to cover a class she couldn't take as an online course for her Law degree, so Hector was the only one in the house. He brought out the basket with the oversized egg he found at their doorstep a fortnight before. As he warmed the egg with an old reptile light, he wondered what was going to come out of the egg. It started to move the other day, and he heard tapping just last night. To him, it made him think that whatever scaled creature it was, it was about to hatch.

    Then there was a crack in the shell. Then another. And another. Suddenly a burst of wind knocked some of the pieces out of the way, and a tiny dragon with a wingspan bigger than his body was in the remains of the shell and looked around curiously. "A dragon?" Hector said in a baffled manner. He looked at it in curiosity.

    The tiny dragon hatchling looked at Hector, gave him a sniff, then chirped in approval. "Daddy!" it said in English.

    That made Hector jump out of his skin. A dragon can talk the human language, even fresh out of the egg? "What did you say?"


      The Longreach and Winding Road...

      The quickest method and route for reaching Kane's Cavern which was located South of Blackall in Koondoo was to travel West of Ringwood to Alice Springs and then catch the East-bound train to Longreach before boarding a bus heading South on Isisford/Ilfracombe Road past Devonshire before reaching Isisford itself, then travel by bus from Isisford East to Blackall, then change buses and journey West and then South to a bus stop some forty miles South on Blackall/Adavale Road to the Koondoo Station/Kane's Cavern Roadside park. There was a modest motel at this location usually for tourists as well as a simple eatery also for tourists wanting to see the famed cavern that many kangaroos made a migration to every year under mysterious reasons.
      Nick Kane would have VIP accommodations at the motel upon arriving all because he was legally a Kane. The ride aboard the train was quiet and lonely although he continued to hear the voice calling to him to come to Kane's Cavern. It made little sense to him, but his parents said that they knew this day would come.


      Devlin Station

      After some nice cookies and milk, Lord Kiel and Deryk packed up the boy's belongings for the next part of Deryk's approval as a huntsman ranger; and that was to travel to Kane's Cavern to receive the Dreamtime blessing. Otherwise, the boy would only have the claim and not the official blessing.

      It was not uncommon for Dreamtime Lords to ride the public transit means when they could have teleported just as easily, but tomorrow was a special day. "Ah got us tickets on the bus for tomorrow so we can go to Kane's Cavern."

      Deryk asked, "Why aren't we going today?"

      Lord Kiel said, "Because Ah promised yer mum that we would 'ave dinner with the family one last time before yas 'ad to absolutely 'ead out. And We nice Dreamtime Lords keep our words. Ah know old Zeustail 'ad some sort business with Mr. Lonewolf over in Stone'enge, that is 'is business, not mine. Yer mum made a chocolate cream pie for dessert. Yas don't want to miss out on that, do yas?"

      Deryk grinned. "'ell no! Ah love mom's desserts!"


      Artificer Workshop

      Auranea Devlin teleported in and patted Derek on the shoulder as she handed him a cookie. and then she knelt down and she gave Jirra his cookie. "Yas know, Derek... one of these days, yas need to learn the magic for animal linguistics. It sure 'elps me up at the Devlin Station. The animals assist me in catching Dirk doing stupid things. 'ow is the newest apprentice doing? Ah 'ave a cookie for 'im too when 'e graduates 'is training."


        Artificer Workshop

        "The Joey is more conscious about duplicating the technique on the first blade to the letter and has just started etching the runes on the other side." Derek then said. "With time and practice he could quite possibly be better than most because of his higher understanding of enchantments. It took losing a couple limbs for me to gain the understanding he got." He looked towards the kangaroo briefly, "Jirra seems more tense than usual. Didn't take an eye off Alexander for a single moment until you offered him a cookie. Almost reminds me how loyal ol' Ramses used to be. It's almost as if he was preparing for the near-disaster last year because of that prankster girl didn't heed Alexander's warnings."

        Jirra tilted his head in appreciation after enjoying the cookie. Lord Zeustail is on 'is way... though Alexander improved 'is paw with magic and artificing, Ah must spring into action if there is a flaw that causes a disaster like Robyn Skye tried to cause last year. Ah'd be in deep trouble for sure if Ah revealed my watchroo status now, but if something 'appens, Ah must 'op in. Ah owe it to the good warrior.

        Paying no attention to the adults present at this stage, Exan realized though the runes are different, he recognized what the potential end result for the enchantment would be. He smiled, Gotcha, Mr. McCartney. He kept on going regardless to finish the complicated version of the most simple empowerment combination he was studying for a while.

        Derek chuckled. That change in posture... he found out about the true properties of the enchantment.


        Hector has been panic-reviewing the note he had as well as inspecting the basket in greater detail as the hatchling worked to gain his footing. He found a bottle labeled in several languages and in the common as 'Dragon Oil," several assorted stones, a pouch of powder that said 'learning powder for Human use' and a Belt with a Dragon's head buckle and a gem slotted in a frame that matched the belt.

        The Hatchling lumbered over to the belt, gave it a sniff and placed a claw on the buckle. Both glowed in an emerald energy.

        "What was that?" Hector asked.

        The hatchling chirped, "Daddy good Dragon!"

        "I'm Human," Hector said, as he picked up the hatchling. "Since you insist on calling me Daddy, I'm calling you Jakkin."

        Jakkin tilted his head, then smiled at the new name. "Jakkin want be good Dragon like Daddy!"


          Devlin Station

          Deryk lay on his bed rubbing on Lord Kiel's tummy waiting for his mother to return home from the Artificers Workshop. "Ah know yas said it was not normally allowed for a mortal to rub the tummy of a Dreamtimer, so why are yas letting me do it now?"

          Lord Kiel replied, "Because yer legally an adult what with the graduation of yer studies. Yer allowed to do as yas like. When yas were younger, rubbing on a Dreamtimer's tummy would be an invitation to join that lord's species. Ah promised yer mum that Ah wouldn't do that to yas while yas were in training. She was 'olding 'er bad roo paddle when she said that."

          Deryk grinned. "That thing 'urts, doesn't it?"

          The Were-Kangaroo Lord nodded his head rapidly. "It sure does; she 'ad it enchanted. She's even used it on yer father."


          Artificer Workshop

          Auranea Devlin said, "Deryk and Kiel will be heading out tomorrow morning via bus to go to Kane's Cavern for the official blessing. The blessing will be the final stage of Deryk's training to prove that 'e is an adult. Ah just wish we knew what 'ad 'appened to Joseph. Not even the Dreamtime Lords can find 'im." She then mentally added, Robin Skye is a rotten little shit, isn't she? Thankfully, she is over in Stone'enge some sixty miles West of 'ere.


            Jirra noted. Which is why Ah started insisted that Ah needed to stay around in case something like that 'appened again. Alexander's father might be inclined to agree with that once his training is complete. His nickname is too silly though. Why he chose to accept Exan as his name instead of Alex, Lexie, Xander, or Lex is beyond me.

            Right when the VIP guests arrived outside the workshop, Exan completed the etching of the runes then held out the Naginata in front of him and chanted the proper arcane sealing and empowerment incantations with the right diction, the runes glowed bright and in perfect unison as if one person - not two - made the spell . It became a unified weapon, as evidences. "An enchanted Naginata any client might love... might make my stepbrother drool."

            Derek noted. "You also caught on to the error I placed in the runes of the first blade on purpose to see if you would catch on."

            "Couldn't correct that rune without messing up the order and causing a bad explosion," smiled Exan so Ah made sure there was a proper rune to counter the mistake." Exan than said. "When visiting another Artificers workshop, one must be sure not to make mistakes. Otherwise... boom." In more ways than one, the Lonewolf added in thought, remembering how much trouble Robyn got into when she pulled a near-dangerous prank in the workshop when he was gaining momentum in training.

            Back in Bundaberg, he was confused as to how all those items worked, especially with the things meant for the care of the napping Jakkin. He looked over each of the items. No instructions, save for the powder. He scrutinized it thoroughly. "Take only the full packet, without water by mouth. Then wait for further instructions."

            Shrugging his shoulders, he snipped open the packet and ulped. "What else have I to lose? I need to know the proper care for Jakkin. He then took the powder in one go. Once he closed his mouth on the powder. His eyes bolted wide, and he was forced into a trance like state.

            In that state, he looked around. There were dragons in the skies above him, flying in different maneuvers as if they were learning. Some landed within viewing distance, conferring with hatchlings that seemed superior to the dragons they teach. It appeared he was in a learning academy for Dragons. Although he knew he was at home in reality. This couldn't be real... he then spoke up. "Where am I?"


              The dragon instructor which stood nearby just stage right of where Hector seemed to appear glanced down at the human and said, Ah... a new Scale Guardian. There used to be thousands; these days we are lucky to see a hand full of them. I am Psyraxthropolis the Unwinding, an instructor to these young hatchlings. But that is a mouthful to speak, so you may shorten that to Syrax. It makes insulting dragons a lot more fun. But dangerous at the same time. Some pompous dragons prefer that a mortal be able to speak the full name; but nicer dragons permit the nicknames. I can answer a few questions for you if you have any.

              He then chuckled. Silly me, you did ask a question. This is the young dragons training school in Tatsu-lan. As for how you got here, your body is still where ever you inhaled the training dust at. Your mind has journeyed to the school and you will be able to do this whenever you like from now on.

              Auranea handed Exan his cookie. "My son passed 'is finals earlier. Kiel will be escorting 'im down to Kane's Cavern in the morning. The Dreamtime Lord actually bought bus tickets for 'imself and Deryk. Just when Ah get to thinking that 'e 'as no manners, 'e goes off and does something civil." She then handed Vlad III and Zeustail their cookies. "Now everyone 'as 'ad one."

              In Deryk's bedroom, he was laying down holding Kiel's big feet in his lap as he gave the kangaroo feet a nice massage. "It is a wonder that mom and dad didn't throw me out into the road when Ah graduated; that's what Dirk's father did to 'im. Or so 'e said."

              Kiel said, "They are worried about yer 'alf-brother Joseph who is still missing. We've looked all over creation for 'im. But we're not giving up. 'e was last seen going camping with a few boys at a location just past the Glenmire Trade School. The tents were found but all three boys are still missing. Ah 'ave asked the entire Were-Community to fess up if they 'ave the bloke, but no one will say a thing about 'im."

              Deryk said, "Dad is afraid that a demon got 'im. Ah sure 'ope not."

              Aboard the train, Nick rested in his bunk so he would be alert when the porter called out the Longreach depot stop later. But for now... "Zzz."


                Vlad Lonewolf smiled as he took the cookie. "Always a delight. Thanks Mrs. Devlin, though it was tragedy in the Stonehenge when Alexander didn't want to follow in his father's footsteps as a Demon Hunter."

                "Not this story again, Da'" Exan rolled his eyes as he put the Naginata on the presentation dais. As Derek scrutinized the rune he used to account for the trick he used to test the magic-minded Lonewolf. He then noticed the rather large Kangaroo next to him. He scrutinized the character a bit as he ate the cookie. "Tell me yas don't owe this Dreamtimer money, Da'. Ah thought yas stopped betting on billiards and Trappers Run years ago, whatever that game is..."

                "A good warrior always keeps 'is promises son," said Vlad. "Even when it comes to the very old ones. This dashing Boomer wanted to meet yas when the time is right. And now that yas proven to me yas are better with being magical rather than a warrior. I'd say this would be the right time. Derek?"

                Derek scrutinized it further and smiled to both Auranea and Vlad. "As far as Alexander is concerned, he definitely did better than I did when Mrs. Devlin tested me out of apprenticeship years ago. The rune he used is impressive. Must've spent a lot of time studying and less time catering to libido like those his age do. I give my seal of approval."

                Back in Stonehenge, the Professor decided to take a leisurely stroll near the usual tree Robyn waited in for Exan to spring her trap. He stopped at the tree. "If yas think yas are going to get my partner's son in the trap yas made. This time yas might be sorely disappointed."

                Robyn swung on the branch until she was upside-down when she emerged from the foliage. "There is not a trap that I haven't set that Exan didn't fall for! He's so easy to trap, Professor!"

                Valon chuckled. "Alexander may well be now, but when 'e completes 'is apprenticeship, 'e's going to find out 'e 'is more than 'e thinks 'e is." He started to walk away.

                Robyn jumped down from her tree. "What do you mean by that, Professor? Does it have something to do with that Dreamtimer?" Of course the Professor didn't answer. It was a matter that stayed in the family, and some key contacts in the DHCN.

                Training dust, so that's what that foul stuff is. Hector said, rubbing his chin. How is it that the bigger dragons seem to take instructions from hatchlings only slightly larger than the one that hatched at home? Of course a human not in the know would ask that, he didn't have the benefit of getting an adorable Roilriniam Kyzuniss or Zyriddun Rynuuris on his doorstep coaching him into his role.


                  Syrax then mentally sent out a request across the training academy. Attention Academy Trainers: we have a new Scale Guardian. Report to my location if you would like to apply to be this cute human's instructor. And then he turned to Hector once again. Because this small form is the size that I prefer to instruct and lie around in. Behold... and he changed into his full age size form. ...this is how I look normally when I am not instructing others. And he stood up and posed, flexing his wings, stretching out his prehensile tail, and exhaling a bolt of lightning into a distant target. Finally, after displaying himself for a few moments, he resumed his trainer's size and form. From on high, the dragon students applauded and whistled. Syrax smiled up at the others. Resume your drills, young ones. Now he looked to Hector once again. It is all a matter of aesthetics. Makes it far easier to fly through small doors and windows if you are not as fat as a house. You won't have to imbibe the powders the next time to be able to make contact with us. I have summoned other instructors to see if someone would like to become your personal tutor.

                  "Longreach Depot in one 'our! Now departing Carlo Station!"

                  Nick Kane stirred in his bunk after having heard the announcement. "One 'our and then Ah get the bus ride." He closed his eyes to resume his train ride nap.

                  Auranea said, "A graduation is not complete until the student travels to Kane Cavern to receive the approval of the Kangaroo Council of Twelve. They are the right 'and Dreamtime Warriors to Lady Mathilda 'erself. Yas might even get to see Outback Legend down there. My son and Lord Kiel will be 'eading out in the morning. So if yas want to travel with them, Ah can get yas a bus ticket to Kane's Cavern. Once yas receive yer blessing, yas can do whatever yas like."

                  The Dreamtime Lord said, "Ah am called Lord Zeustail; Ah was trained to be one of Mathilda's Dreamtime Warriors, therefore Ah will be accompanying the nice lad to Kane's Cavern. Rules dictate that the first trip be done the mundane way. In ancient times, that meant walking the entire distance. But since Queensland 'as a tourist bus that goes down that way now, we will be riding that. Save our tootsies from unnecessary agony and 'iking pain."

                  At Deryk's bedroom, Lord Kiel had summoned Clipper 25 and was saying to Deryk, "Ah might not be around for yas whenever yas like, Deryk, which is why Ah am introducing yas to the Information Services agent who works the entire Wolf-journey sector. The bloke responds to the name Clipper, but that is actually the name of the legion 'e is a member of."

                  Clipper smiles and bows to the nice Graduate Arch Mage. "My real name is Linus, but please just use the name Clipper when around others or Clipper 25 when you feel like being absolutely formal. It is my job to monitor heroes and help to tutor magic users, meaning that I can help you to learn new spells."

                  Deryk asked, "Yer so adorable, Clipper; may Ah pet on yer fur for a little while?"

                  Clipper replied, "One the perks of the job. Go right ahead since you asked for permission first." And he received a good petting from the nice Aussie boy.


                    Jirra bowed his head slightly toward Lord Zeustail, after hopping between him and Exan. More out of his sense of protection for the joey than to grab attention. M'Lord, Ah am Watchroo Jirra, protective guardian of Alexander. 'e 'as grown well into being a magic user, yet 'is instincts for trouble looming are far less pronounced than 'is maternal father's.

                    Exan rubbed Jirra on both ears. "It's alright, Jirra. This bloke seems nice enough." He then said. "Sorry about Jirra; the bloke's been a bit more clingy to me since a friend of mine pulled a prank that nearly spelled disaster during my training. 'e's been persistent in 'is own way that 'e'd be in the same room if there is a risk." He then smiled toward Mrs. Devlin. "Sounds like a better plan than 'aving the Professor play speed demon across the Outback in that ol' Jeep, thank yas, Mrs. Devlin." Looking to his father, Exan quipped, "Sorry Da', but 'is driving still makes me carsick."

                    Vlad made a mental note to pay Mrs. Devlin back later. "It's enough to make anyone carsick, son. I'm surprised ginger didn't have the same effect on you."

                    "Yas make a lot of stuff with ginger, Da'!" pointed out Exan. "Ginger snaps, ginger tea, ginger chicken... That is why it stopped working."

                    Hector smiled as he waited to see who would fly down to teach the boy about the . My hatchling only demolished his egg this morning. He seems to be rather chatty even though he mainly speaks like a human toddler. If only I knew what those special care items are for... only labeled their names but no instructions. He noticed two dragon instructors flapping down from not being as busy as they once were. I believe your call has garnered a couple of your colleagues, Syrax.

                    Deciding to heed the good Professor's warning about his stepson (and feeling a little bad of what was to come), Robyn had disarmed the traps and started to clean up her mess. She then heard a childlike chuckle coming from all around her. "Maybe you shouldn't clean up that trap, child of chaos. Here... allow me to save you some time. Suddenly a magical snap was heard and trap was back to being set, and it looked a little less obvious compared to Robyn's original construct.

                    "Who's there?" said Robyn, whom was starting to quake a little after seeing the trap made for Exan reconstructed far better than she could do. "There are no Demons in these parts, since the Professor's son became a Demon Hunter... and the Dreamtimers in the area are not into trickery."

                    "Luckily I am neither." Bringing down an illusion of the sky concealing himself with the wave of two of his four tails, a humanoid fox wearing a kimono and floating in mid-air made himself known. "Good to know that there is someone of this Earth that can be just as foxy as I." He winked with a smile across his muzzle.

                    "You're a fox-man?!" Robyn asked, surprised by the appearance of the creature. "Foxes I know can't float in mid-air, let alone speak."

                    "That's because humans choose to believe foxes say 'ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding,' and not 'yiff,' like my 'uman mate believes I might as well say." He giggled again then floated down and landed on his hind-paws. "But if it's a human you want, I can change partially to accomodate that." His eyes glowed magically, as he shifted to a human-like form now wearing matching pants underneath his kimono only with the tails still present and the fox ears in place of human ears. Apart from those quirks, he looked like a handsome boy of Japanese and Caucasian descent that just put his hands back into the sleeves of his kimono. "I am what's known as a Kitsune. A fox of multiple tails and very long lifespans. My name is Rein, Lord of the Akinobu-clan kitsune, as well as one of the unofficial Lords of Chaos. But you can call me Renny. I would like to speak with you about improving your prankster ways and trap-making."


                      Syrax glanced up at the two approaching instructors. Ah good... Present yourselves and give your names for the newest Scale Guardian. This human's real body is back in his world. He imbibed the training powders to allow himself to mentally travel here to make inquiries for the young hatchling he recently acquired.

                      Lord Zeustail nodded his head as he said, "A Watchroo companion. Not as much in demand as they used to be. It is a dying breed. But rare and privileged when someone does receive one. Exan, Jirra was assigned to yas during the final days of the old order. 'e is a Watchroo Companion. Some Earth-like worlds still make use of these special kangaroo entities. As Ah just said earlier, they are a dying breed and yas are privileged to 'ave one. We will use the local bunk'ouse closest to the bus route so we can go to Kane's Cavern in the morning. Unless yas fancy walking as fun. Mathilda will be 'olding court in the afternoon. Ah don't know whom all she 'as summoned but there are sure to be a lot of graduate students and Dreamtime Warriors present."

                      Back at the Devlin Station, Auranea popped back in and she set the table. "Git yer tushes in 'ere and 'ave dinner or else Ah'll make yas eat one of my mother's voodoo stews!"


                      All of the males in the household arrived in the dining room and they sat at the table. Lord Kiel brought his paw-hands together and lowered his head as he softly said, "By the Lord of us all, please bless this repast of a meal that Mrs. Devlin 'as toiled to create for us unworthy males and please guide the lost Joseph back to safety no matter where 'e is being 'eld prisoner at for 'is loved ones desire 'is safe return. Nearly every Dreamtime source 'as looked for this joey and no one can find 'im, Great Lord. As sad as this may be to suggest, Ah 'ave to suspect a 'uman crime or else the Dreamtime Lords and Ladies would 'ave found 'im by now. Amen."

                      Deryk looked at Lord Kiel and said, "Yas suspect that one of us killed 'im? That's crazy, Kiel! 'e is my brother!"

                      Kiel filled his plate and replied, "There 'as been no ransom demand from neither mortal nor demonic sources; Not a single Dreamtime royalist can find even a trace of this young male's spirit energy; that alone would suggest that 'e was dead. And while Ah am not laying an accusation on yas, Deryk, but Hell's Fire.... someone sure as flip knows where the joey is."

                      Dirk hummed. "The last day Ah saw 'im, 'e 'ad willingly completed all of 'is chores in record time and 'e even cleaned the Artificing Forge without being asked to do it; a job that was usually a punishment. 'e said 'e was going to go clean up for dinner and we never saw 'im again."

                      Kiel dropped his fork into his plate and he hopped away from the table. "Come with me, Deryk. Back in those days, yer parents didn't 'ave the well pump installed yet. So Joseph would 'ave to 'ave hauled water up out of the cistern to 'eat and bathe with." And then two were out the door with the parents chasing after them. At the old cistern well, which was boarded up, Kiel threw the boards off of the cistern opening... and an odor arose seeming to confirm what Kiel had suspected. Deryk nearly gagged on the rotting stench that came from the old cistern. Kiel then used his powers to cause everything within the cistern well to rise straight up into the air above the old well, where upon Dirk quickly swung the family trampoline directly under the debris and skeletal remains of not just one human but of several kangaroos and other Outback Animals that 'ad fallen into the well over the years. One of the human skeletons had on the clothes that Joseph had last been seen wearing the day he disappeared. The others were unidentifiable.

                      Deryk gagged and threw up when he saw the corpses. "Kiel... Ah beg of yas... not like this... Either yas resurrect 'im, or Ah will use my new graduate powers to bring 'im back myself."

                      Kiel said, "It is beyond my ability at this point, but Delvyroo could do it."

                      Deryk struck his action pose and lifted his head on high. "Cosmos Arise!" His entire body glowed brightly, as the images of an angelic warrior, a red dragon, and a red kangaroo, appeared all around his body, rapidly merging together upon him, erupting as a great flash of flaming light! As the light began to dim, the flames became red metallic armor plating, adhering themselves into a protective suit! He grew in height, 15' tall, as he became studly and buff, gaining body mass! His head was that of a draconic kangaroo with a halo, while his tail was dragon like and his legs were like that of the kangaroo! As his angelic red glow began to subside, close-ups of his winged armor and body parts occurred, finalizing on his flaming eyes before the scene pulled back to show his full stature. Then Deryk shouted, "Delvyroo!"

                      Delvyroo came over to the trampoline and looked over the bodies on the bouncy tarmac. "A few of these humans were murdered. I can see the blunt strike markings to their skulls. I might be able to resurrect all of the animals at the same time. Those who were murdered are long gone. I will do what I can for Joseph."

                      "As the Phoenix rises from his pyre, a lost soul returns to his sire! I ask the Lord of us All for this boon, a soul departed too soon! Arise! Heaven's Call! Arise!" And the entire trampoline glowed as bright as the sun itself as animals and Joseph's body glowed causing flesh, muscle tissue and organs as well as hair and fur to be restored to the bodies able to be revived. "Lost Souls Arise!" and a mighty flash of power poured living energy back into the beings on the trampoline... although the skeletons of him unable to be revived did speak the names of those who had killed them before the bones broke apart and lay as still as death.

                      Auranea wrote down the murderer names that were spoken so the sheriff would have something to work with later.

                      When the revival light cleared, Kiel was helping the animals and Joseph off of the trampoline. He then noted that Joseph's eyes seemed to reflect more kangaroo than human when the Dreamtime lord looked into the young man's eyes. "Yer not entirely 'uman, mate."

                      Joseph coughed as he sneezed and weakly said, "Lord Kiel... why am Ah out of my pen? Why am Ah in Joseph's body?" Then Joseph sneezed again as he said, "What a way to save a kangaroo from drowning.... Ah never thought Ah would merge with the kangaroo. Lapnose usually stayed in Pen number Fifteen. When Ah was drawing water out of the cistern to get cleaned up, Lapnose came barreling out of the barn which looked to be on fire, and 'e collided with me and we fell down the Cistern. Ah yelled for 'elp until Ah passed out but no one 'eard me."

                      Dirk said, "That was also the day that a trespasser set the livestock barn on fire. Ah chased the villain while Auranea was saving livestock from the barn. If only we had known that yas 'ad fallen into the well. Ah am so sorry."

                      Delvyroo struck his pose and shouted, "Power Down!" And he returned to his sweet human Deryk Devlin form. As Deryk, he said, "At least we got you back, bro. Ah graduated my studies earlier today.

                      Nick is resting on the train. He will next be seen when the overland Kane's Cavern bus picks up the boys and their escorts in the morning.



                        Robyn looked towards the Kitsune Lord hosting her. "Where did you say you were from again?"

                        "A Magical Forest in California, but my clan is from the Kyoto Prefecture of Nippon... what you would call Japan." Lord Rein then realized, "How rude of me... would you like some tea?" He then made a tray of a Matcha tea set appear out of his sleeves. "We don't have to stand on ceremony, it is meant to be broken for times like this." He then poured some of the vibrant green tea as he continued on with his explanation. "As I was saying, I am one of the unofficial Lords of Chaos. Admiral Nargon of the Otters has wagered that I wouldn't be able to find a girl worthy of bearing the powers of chaos incarnate. I believe I will prove that were-otter braggart wrong. Then I can get away with turning his prize musket into a bubble gun."

                        "And how are we going to do that?" Robyn said. "I mainly make traps and pranks on one person."

                        Placing a teacup in front of her, Lord Rein poured a cup for himself with magical kinesis. "That's right, I didn't give you these yet." He then snapped his fingers and appearing on Robin's wrists were two bracers. "You are going to be the Chaos of Autumn. Not only will these bracers grant you superior trap-making abilities, it will give you the power to become more, especially since your favorite target is going to realize he is not what he seems to be."

                        "Exan?" Robyn said, "Aside from liking magic and training to be an Artificer, Exan Lonewolf is kinda plain and vanilla."

                        Suddenly, Exan sneezed, but luckily he did it on his shoulder. He was helping out his father by carrying a water trough to give the revived animals some refreshment.

                        Vlad had the forethought to bring a pail of water from the water pump once he noticed Delvyroo being called forth. He knew his battles with demons in America, and how he had to empower himself. He said, "Good, Alexander... lay it right there." He then gave a ladle of water to Joseph "Slow steady sips, young man... no need to get it down the wrong pipe." He turned his attention briefly to his magically-inclined son. "Please, pour the rest of the water in the trough, son. They could use some water after the miracle that just happened."

                        Exan nodded. "Got it, Da'!" He took the pail from his father's side, and gently poured it into the trough. "Come get it, furred friends, there will be plenty of water and some feed where that came from!" He then noticed Deryk and gave him a nod and a small smile before heading back to the pump to get more water for the animals. He always maintained respect for Mrs. Devlin's son (both of them, now that Joseph was revived through different means). Although his mind has sometimes drifted to the realm of curiosity, he didn't let it take over his reasoning. He didn't desire to jeopardize his apprenticeship.

                        One of the small dragon instructors extended his wings. He was a metallic dragon instructor with brass scales and several horns making a mohawk style. Izziad Doghierth, Bright Brass Wonder of Natural Earthen Treasures. It's okay to call me Izzy, but calling me Doggy will earn you a tailslap back to wherever your body is located

                        Hector hummed. From what it looked like, this brass dragon instructor was willing, but he didn't look like a wind-based hatchling like Jakkin did. He awaited patiently for the second dragon instructor to introduce himself.


                          The other small dragon instructor never landed as he hovered in mid-air with a rainbow colored pattern all over his scales. Galeharthe Prismabow, Mystic Mist of Rainbow Magic. I allow the nicknames of Gale or Harth, but I refuse to be Prissy. I am clearly a male dragon of respect especially between the legs. But if a student wants some private time with me, how can I say no to such a nice face? The worst punishment I have ever given out to a student was for the wrong-doer to count a whole kettle of rainbow tokens for a Leprechaun whom I know.

                          Syrax grinned. Doggy and Prissy. Make no mistake, Hector of WolfJourney; only real dragons can use slang nicknames toward each other. Humans must show respect by using the name they allow or by using the full name. Two able instructors willing to make your education a good one. If you cannot choose one over the other, then utilize both of their services. It can only benefit you in the end.

                          Gale smirked. You better watch it, Thropo the Windbag! you have a slang name, too!

                          Lord Kiel picked up Lapnose's body and he laid a paw-hand on Joseph and another on the kangaroo in question and he used his powers to transfer Lapnose back into his own body. Afterward, Lapnose looked ecstatic to be back in his own body. "Thank yas so much, Lord Kiel. Joseph is a nice joey, but Ah should not be in a 'uman's body. May Ah return to my pen now?

                          Kiel petted on Lapnose, "Yes, young one... go back to yer pen and rest." After he let Lapnose return to the barn, Kiel looked to Joseph and said, "If yas don't mind, Joseph, Ah would like the privilege of giving yas training that yas may 'ave missed during the years yas were in the cistern. As Deryk just said, 'e graduated from 'is studies thus bypassing the levels and ranks yas may 'ave been at. Will yas permit me to become yer mentor for the rest of yer training?"

                          Joseph sighed. "Ah am 'appy that Deryk completed 'is studies, but if yas are sure yas want a slow learner like me under yer wing, then with parental permission, Ah accept yer offer."

                          Kiel looked to Auranea and Dirk. "Yer comments, my friends. Ah spent a good deal of my time looking for this joey. May Ah train 'im?"

                          Dirk said, "Ah think yas 'ave earned the right to train another Devlin, Kiel. Try to keep yer order brothers from molesting the nice joey. Mission impossible, Ah know..."

                          Auranea said, "Let Joseph rest at home for a day and then after yas finish yer escort of Deryk to Mathilda, yas can come back and claim yer student. Ah said student, not sex partner."

                          Deryk and Zeustail both laughed at that reference.


                            Izzy growled. A definite Thropo the Windbag modus operandi; insult volunteer instructors when introducing them to students of different worlds! Even the legendary four instructors would have you gleaning the clear and shiniest turds out of the latrine for insulting your fellow instructors!

                            Legendary four?
                            Hector asked.

                            Izzy looked to Hector. There are three of note, and a Dragon god of Death that are considered four of the best instructors despite their clashing attitudes and methodology. It might be good to know their full names in case they appear before you in your travels, you might honor them. Razylymiirgolos Andrakkan is the aforementioned Dragon god of Death that mentors a team of heroes, some of different species. His good nickname is Rocket. Xyrriddun Rynuuris is the elder among them, having lived since the time of Ancient Draconia. He is a puppetmaster hermit that teaches humans the way of Juikungrate, the Dragon martial arts. Master Ryuu is his nickname. Roilriniam Kyzuniss is the most foul-tempered and now a retired Stealth Dragon which excels in teaching elites and despising psyonics. He prefers to be called Raker. Wudang QingGong rounds out the four; just don't 'ring' him thrice despite his somewhat humorous nickname Gong. Those with the luck and the willpower to be taught by them are the best among students.

                            Hector smiled. Well met, the both of you, Izzy and Gale. What came with my hatchling's egg was several things. A belt buckle with the shape of a dragon's head with a key holding an emerald, a bottle of something called 'dragon oil', and several different stones and solid minerals that look precious in nature. The belt glowed as soon as Jakkin touched it, so there must be something connected to having him and that buckle. But none of them came with instructions.

                            Izzy grinned towards Gale. He is asking us both, Gale. If you'll explain the oil and snacks, I'll explain the properties of the stone for that buckle.

                            Exan returned with extra water, and poured it for those that didn't return to their pens right away (after Vlad got a second ladle for Joseph). "Drink up friends." He then looked towards Zeustail quizzically. He seemed mysterious to him, but his Da' seemed to hold him in high regard.

                            Vlad looked to Dirk and smiled, as he helped Joseph with the ladle."I'm glad your boy is returned to your family, Dirk. I remember how worried the both of you were."

                            Lord Rein twitched his ear slightly, as if some being was reaching out to him telepathically, as he was teaching her some aspects of chaos that she could find useful. "Hmm... very interesting indeed."

                            "What is interesting?" Robyn asked, as she looked at her sponsor.

                            The Kitsune Lord of the Akinobu clan said. "Someone is trying to reach out to me, and I doubt it is my mate; he can't use telepathy." He then released some of his mental blocks. This is Lord Rein of the Akinobu-clan Kitsune and member of the unofficial Lords of Chaos. To whom am I honored to be reached by in this telepathic manner?


                              Gale giggled. The oil is for cleaning Jakkin's scales after a session of playtime or rough-housing or even romping. The snacks are rewards that you give Jakkin when he performs a training maneuver well enough that you deem that he has earned one. I hope you didn't eat one of those yourself. There is no telling what they might do to a human.

                              Mathilda's mental voice was then heard by Lord Rein. My apologies, Lord Rein. Ah was reaching out to Nick Kane whom is currently on the West-bound train to Longreach. 'e is of the age where a Kane is chosen to receive a great mission in the world. The event is called Kane's Call. 'owever, tell Robyn that Exan will not be coming 'ome neither tonight nor tomorrow night. The bloke passed 'is exams and in order to complete 'is training, graduates such as 'imself and the Devlin bloke are to come down 'ere tomorrow with their escorts so they can receive their blessing. Per'aps they will assist Nick Kane when Ah send the joey out on 'is mission. Deryk and Exan are to arrive via bus tomorrow around noon-ish time. Nick Kane should be on that bus by then as well. Otherwise, Ah'll 'ave to send Outback Legend to fuck-, er Ah mean, to fetch the bloke. Mental blush following the fauxpaux in words.

                              Zeustail grinned as he playfully shoulder punched Kiel. "Yas are always training someone, mate. At least yas got permission this time."

                              Kiel grinned. "Yas 'eard Dirk. After all the searching Ah did to find this joey, Ah 'ave earned the right to train 'im."

                              Deryk smiled at Joseph. "Ah want to 'ear about yer greatness someday, bro." And then in Delvyroo's voice, "Don't worry about your brother. I'll keep his sorry ass in line." Deryk quickly said, "'ey! Ah'm not that out of control!" Delvyroo's voice replied with, "Pardon me, then... I was reading some of your stored memory files and they imply that you have had some instances."

                              From Dirk's mouth came Dirkonga's voice, "Boy that brings back the memories..." Dirk replied with, "And my mum walloped our butts when yas told 'er what was stored in my memory. Yas probably thought that only Ah would get it. She showed yas." Dirkonga's voice said, "There are times when keeping one's angel warrior mouth shut is a blessing in disguise."

                              Auranea cleared her throat. "Ahem. Ah'm standing right 'ere, boys!"

                              Joseph smirked. "Ah'm glad Ah don't 'ave a blabbermouth inside of me."