Maxwell Dark, LancerDragoon, and Gingerbean voted for the main character's gender. Gingerbean was outvoted by 2. The main character is female. That's going to make this story harder to write in some aspects, but easier in others. Well, here's chapter 1. I hope you enjoy it. I bet fictionpress.com screwed up my formatting on my paragraphs, so please don't yell at me about formatting, ok? If there's any grammatical or spelling errors, you can blame Metallica and Linkin Park because I'm listening to them full blast on headphones right now and singing along. Also, I do have a younger brother, but this doesn't represent him in any way. (Thank God for that.) Also, I know this chapter is REALLY long, but I promise they won't be horrible in the future. For anyone who's read "The Job of the Reaper", you know I like to keep chapters nice and short.

Thanks for reading and reviewing,

Cirien Phoenix

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            Cirien lay looking up to into the sky. The tall grass around her ruffled with the breeze. She sighed and pushed her long blonde hair out of her eyes. She was an innocent little girl with pretty silver eyes. Although she had problems among her family that needed to be taken care of, right now in the grass she didn't have a care in the world.

            Her brother, Marcus, who was lying next to her stood up and turned to her. He was younger, but her father treated him as if he was a man already. He was only 5 years old, whereas she was 7. He had short messy brown hair, but he was similar to his sister because he had matching silver eyes.

            "Hey, Ci! Look!"

            Cirien sat up to see what he was pointing at. "Yeah, it's a cloud. Big deal."

            "No, dummy," he yelled at her in a brotherly way. "It's a dragon!"

            Cirien looked a second time and found he was right. A giant red-ruby dragon was swooping through the sky. Its great wings were ruby, too, except for the skin stretched across it, which was gold. Cirien sat mesmerized as it slowly coasted along the sky toward the earth. Suddenly it made a steep dive toward the ground a short ways behind the two of them. Cirien twisted around to watch it descend. It nearly hit the ground, then it changed direction and leveled itself to the ground. It zoomed over the children off into the distance.

            "Cirien," Marcus started, "I wanna see where he went!"

            Cirien smiled. Her father was raising her brother to be a Dragon Master, so if a dragon was around, her brother became focused on it. For the type of tricks that dragon was performing, Cirien guessed there was a Master for that dragon already. Her brother probably wanted to find it's Master and watch him. She stood up next to Marcus and grinned, then took off in a full run.

            Marcus shouted, "Hey! Wait! A head-start is no fair!" He took off after his sister.

            The two of them ran full force down the field. Cirien was laughing until she hit a hole in the ground and sent herself careening forward onto her face. Marcus ran past her. Cirien reached out and tried to grab his ankle, but missed. She stood back up and began to run again as she wiped the dirt off her face. As she cleared the top of a small hill she nearly ran into Marcus who had stopped.

            "What are you stopping for?" she asked him irritably.

            Rather than say anything, Marcus pointed. A single figure stood in the tall grass talking to the ruby dragon. He was dressed all in black. He had on black slacks, and a long black duster. His heavy boots were also black. The only thing that wasn't black was his light blue, almost white hair. The figure looked over to the children, but ignored them and continued to lecture the great beast in a strange dialect. Finally after a few more minutes, the strange man gestured for them to walk over.

            Marcus asked almost immediately, "Are you a Dragon Master?"

            As Cirien drew closer she noticed that he had black eyes, too. "How unusual," she thought. Then she realized there was something about this stranger besides his strange look.

            "Yes, I am," the man said in a voice as smooth as ice. "I saw you at that stable the other day. You're a rookie, but you're doing quite well for your age."

            "Thank you," Marcus replied breathlessly.

            The stranger spoke again. "My name is Julius. I am from far in the north. What are your names and where are you from?" He studied each of them with great interest.

            Cirien spoke up before Marcus had finished opening his mouth. "I'm Ci. This is my brother, Marcus. We live at the edge of town," she said pointing out over the field to the west.

            "This little town is quite a picturesque little place," Julius said dreamily. "I used to live in a town similar to this one, but it was destroyed. Of course, that's not important. The past is the past and that's all."

            Cirien finally figured out what it was that she felt besides her feelings about the way he looked. She didn't trust him. There was something she didn't like about him, but she didn't know why. Maybe it was the distrust for any stranger you meet by chance, or maybe it was something more…

            "Dwelling on the past again?"

            All three of them turned around. A woman in a Victorian-style red dress that went to her ankles was standing beside a silver dragon that had sapphire wing-skin. She was pretty, but she still had small scars on her face and arms. Her dark auburn hair hung loosely around her face.

            "Arlene," Julius said irritably, "why must you pester me? Is there a reason you follow me everywhere?"

            "I like to keep my brother alive and well. How am I supposed to do that from the opposite side if the earth?"

            Julius sighed and turned back to his dragon.

            Arlene merely smiled as he did this. She seemed to be drawing great satisfaction from his anger. Cirien noticed and giggled. Arlene's smile broadened as she looked over to her. "And you are?"

            Cirien preferred this woman far more than her brother. "I'm Ci. This is Marcus. He's my brother."

            Arlene walked closer to them. Her dragon obediently followed her. It's blue eyes scanned all of them as he walked close to his mistress. "Have you ever ridden a dragon young lady?"

            Cirien was prepared to lie to her. Her father did not want her riding dragons or doing anything he deemed as "not lady-like". Marcus, who didn't always prefer the choices his father made, had taught Cirien the basics of riding when he wasn't around. If Marcus had ever gotten caught, he'd be stripped of the privilege to become a Master. Cirien felt she could somehow trust Arlene. "Yes, somewhat…"

            Arlene seemed to know what was going on inside her head. "That's a very wonderful thing. Would you like to ride again? If anyone sees you, I'll take the fall for you. You won't have any worries or troubles. I promise."

            Cirien nodded. Arlene walked her over to the dragon and lifted her onto it. "How about you, young man?" she asked Marcus.

            Julius spoke first. "I propose a race. Do you accept my challenge? First one to get a leaf from the trees over there," he pointed, "and come back to us will be winner."

            "She a beginner, Julius," Arlene replied.

            Cirien smiled. "I can do it."

            Arlene grinned at her. Marcus went over to Julius and he was lifted onto the ruby dragon. Both Masters muttered instructions to their dragons in the same strange tongue that Julius had used earlier. They lined up and got ready.

            "Go!" Arlene shouted excitedly jumping up and down.

            "You're really sad," Julius began at her. "You act like-"

            His words were drowned out by the great flapping of wings as both children took off. They raced across the field, so fast that Cirien was nearly being torn off the giant beast's back by the wind.

As they reached the trees, Marcus made his dragon give a great burst of speed. Cirien tried to do the same and realized she didn't know how. This turned out to be a very god thing because Marcus was going so fast he couldn't steer anymore. He and his dragon slammed head first into a tree. The dragon let out a great yelp of pain that sounded like nails being dragged across a chalkboard. Cirien covered her ears and was nearly swept off. Her dragon realized that its rider wasn't holding on and immediately slowed down. Marcus screamed so loud that Cirien screamed, too.

"Go to him!" she screamed at her dragon. She remembered that when riding horses, a good jolt to their sides will make them move, so she kicked the dragon in the sides. "Go help him!" She continued shrieking commands as her dragon gently tried to land between the trees.

Suddenly, Marcus' dragon came bursting through the foliage toward them and straight into Cirien's dragon. Cirien was thrown backwards off into a branch and the world went dark…

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I'm sure most of you are thinking that Cirien is a sweet little girl, but in like 5 chapters, you're going to hate her. I don't just mean you're going to be like "Oh that jerk!" You're going to wish her dead. At least, that's my goal. You're going to be getting a taste of her good side, and then you're going to want to stick a fork in her eye. This character represents me, but she is supposed to be my evil, hateful side that people RARELY ever see. I'm the kind of person who's cheerful 95% of the time. This is that 5%. If you want to wish her dead in future reviews, then feel free. I planned the first 15 chapters out, so I know what to write, and I can honestly say, I want her to fall off a cliff of something. I just want her to die. I bet I have you curious as to what she does that's so horrible. Well, it's… (*evil laugh*) I can't tell you! Then you won't have any incentive to read! However, thank you very much for reading and reviewing this chapter. I promise they will get shorter and easier to read than this!

Thanks a bunch,

~Cirien Phoenix of the Eternal Phlame