Prologue



Ariax stood on the roof of the Rialto. The gale quipped her long, rusty brown hair backwards and her deep grey-green eyes combed the city in front of her. The first sunset she had seen in over a year gave light to the destroyed world before her.

In one sweep of Old Melbourne, she took in the lakes of water the long rain had created, the buildings that lay in ruins and the hundreds of humans hidden amongst them. Ariax's heart was heavy with sadness for them, they had not seem it coming, could not prepare. Now all that was left of the Australian population was crowded into the once proud city of Melbourne. They had long since pushed their dead away and some were taking to the streets to witness the miracle of the sun.

Ariax's bones ached from a seemingly endless year but now it had ended. New Years Day, rather appropriate day to end the war of the Apocalypse. Her hands ached more than ever. Despite changes to her body her human habit of cracking her knuckles still caught up with her. She rubbed them and turned her eyes to the horizon.

After a while a black dot zipped toward her, as it got closer it took on a deformed shape. Its middle bobbing up and down in time with the rise and fall of the sails to either side of it.

As Ariax watched, the dragon flew closer and she let her mind wander. She hadn't always been such a cold person, claiming her slowly. It had mainly swung in when the ancient martial artist, Master Phen, had taken an interest in her skills. Ariax shook her head.

"That was five years ago," she told herself. "Let it go." A huge grin split her face as she recognized the dragon. Taking a deep breath, she dived off the tower.