Whee, yet another story! I actually wrote this one about two years ago, and I thought I'd post it, just for Iccle Fairy - I hope you like, and please do enjoy. You might notice some similarities to my other, older stories, too. I'll try and update every day or couple of days, since it's all ready written. Thany-you! Kurokage1717


The Talon King

ONE

A dark figure glided above the battle scene on big black wings that were built into the specially made suit he wore. Below lay a surging multitude of battling people. They were divided into two distinctive groups. One wore armor and had blood-red plumes on their helmets. They were to Plumes. The other group had no armor, and only wore brown tunics. But their blades of blue-black steel were the one thing that was notable. Their blades were unbreakable - nothing would break them. It was these blades that made these people famous.

The young man in the suit wheeled sharply in the sky, dodging metal discs that had been thrown at him. His keen eyes picked out the one who had thrown him, and he rapidly climbed in the sky, preparing to strike. Before the battle, there had been three like him, each wearing all-black flyer suits. One had been his instructor; the other his fellow student. Both were dead. And since the instructor was gone, he was the only one left alive that knew the secrets of the Black Talon flyers. The Black Talons were an elite group of flyers who had no match, not even other types of flyers. Their ways were so secret, no records were kept of them. What was known was kept by the flyers themselves, and passed on to the next flyer.

They were known as Black Talons became of their black suits, and the blue-black blades they fought with. But their most distinguishing feature was their heel spikes - long, thick blades that curved downwards from their heels while in flight. As soon as they hit the ground, these spikes automatically shifted positions, so that they curved upwards.

Now, the young man checked his position, and, satisfied that he was right where he wanted to be, pulled in his arms, and plummeted, feet first. He struck the disc-thrower like a falcon does a mouse. His long heel spikes struck the man, and he winced behind his helmet's visor at the impact.

He didn't like this part of his work, but in battle, in ugly war, he did what was necessary. Once on the ground, he found himself surrounded by Plumes, anxious to rid themselves of the last Black Talon. Here was their chance, to wipe the elite Black Talons right off this earth. But the young man was too quick. As soon as he had done his work, he activated his boosters, and once again shot into the sky, this time keeping low, and flying fast and hard. A small light had begun blinking on his helmet visor, telling him that it was someone at base was calling him to the caves, the temporary base for this battle.

It took him only eight minutes to leave the battle area and reach the series of well-guarded caves. He landed quickly, and spoke to the nearest guard.

"Who called for me?"

The guard gave a quick, respectful bow, and pointed to a nearby cave. "In there, Talon."

As a Black Talon, he was usually address as Talon, but his real name was Nakael. And here, nobody but one person knew that.

As he strode into the cave, he was greeted by a compact young man three years older than him, and whose hair was a white-blond. His blue-gray eyes were serious.

"Nakael, we must leave quickly," he said in a hushed whisper.

"Why?" he asked the young man standing before him. The twenty-one year old archer was his best friend, and had been his companion long before they had been drafted for military training. They were very close, and were basically brothers.

"There is no time to explain. We have leave, now."

"Taomak, what's going on?"

"I'll explain later," the archer reached forward, and gripped his arm. Although the flyer was taller, the archer was compact and very strong. In him, the flyer had an equal match in strength. Taomak pulled his companion deeper into the cave, where they reached a wide, gaping hole in the ground.

No longer holding onto him, Taomak descended first, Nakael following close behind. It wasn't long until they light began to shine through from up ahead. The ground sloped upward, and the tunnel broke into a clear area. The sounds of battle were faint here.

"You'll have to fly us out of here," Taomak said.

"What?" Nakael was confused. Never before had he carried his friend. His friend wasn't afraid of heights, but he preferred to keep his feet on solid ground.

"Please trust me, Nakael. If we don't hurry, it will be too late."

Nakael stared at his friend. He had trusted his companion with his life many times, and he would do it again. The strange young man who had drifted out of nowhere had proved time and time again that he was reliable. Nakael nodded firmly.

"All right."

The relief in Taomak's usually impassive eyes was clearly visible as he turned his back. Nakael quickly strapped him in, and moments later, rose into the sky. The near-two-hundred extra pounds weight pulled at his arms as he glided, but he was conditioned for such situations as these.

No sooner than they had gotten into the air, then a sudden flash of light lit up the area, and the whole ground buckled and trembled. A hot, terrible wind licked out at Nakael, and nearly tossed him out of the sky, but he was far enough away that its full force did not hit him. And as he flew on, he silently decided that Taomak had a lot to explain.


Taomak had come into his life when he was eight years old. He had been living at the orphan's house with an old woman. He had no friends; every one laughed and teased him, or just pretended he wasn't there. It was because he had no parents.

But one afternoon, after the big kid from next door had thrown him into the dust, that a strange new kid stepped between them, and said, "Leave him alone."

They all had stared at this new kid with curiosity. He had strange hair that was nearly white, and blue-gray eyes. His manner was so serious, that the other kids listened, and backed away. The kid had come, and offered a hand. And since then, Taomak had never left his side.

They grew up together, and became very close. And although Nakael had learned a lot about his friend, he never learned where he came from, or why he had come.

Nakael flew on in silence, ignoring his burning muscles. He pushed himself on, until they reached a small thicket of trees, where he landed, and released his friend.

He pulled off his helmet, and ran a hand through his wet, black hair. His dark gray eyes burned with an impatience. But before he could demand an answer, Taomak held up a hand.

"Wait." He reached inside his dark brown tunic, and pulled out a strange medallion on a long cord from around his neck. The medallion was made out of a strange green metal. It shone brightly in the sunlight. Two fighting birds carrying flaming sticks locked in combat were etched on one side, and two lines of letters were on the other side. Taomak handed it to him.

Nakael looked at it curiously. "What is it?"

"It's yours."

"Mine? But. . .how?"

"It belongs to the people of Daikhal. Your father had it before you, and now it is time you have it. It is a symbol of hope for your people."

"Wait . . ," Nakael said. "You're telling me, you knew my father."

"Of him," Taomak said quietly. "Your father had died before I got to meet him. But he left a request that I be given the Daikhal medallion to keep safe until I could give it to you."

"How did he die?"

"He was assassinated. By the Plume King. But he lived long enough to escape from the King and give his servant the medallion and instruction."

"This medallion," Nakael turned the piece of green metal over in his hands. "What's so special about it?"

"Legend has it that it is a key to a great Daikhal treasure. And only Daikhal nobility is supposed to know what it means."

Nakael shrugged.

Taomak raised an eyebrow. "This news does not bother you?"

"Not really. I believe what you tell me, but I never knew my father. His death does not mean a thing to me. And this business about the medallion. I may be a Daikhal, but I'm not nobility. Why should I worry about a thing that the Daikhal King should be."

"The Daikhal King is dead," Taomak said bluntly.

"Oh. I didn't know that. It must be all these wars with the Plumes. Nothing ever gets around. . ." Nakael looked up. "Then why doesn't the Prince have this thing? I mean, if the King is dead, it makes sense for-"

"The Prince does have it."

A moment of silence. Nakael wrinkled his noise as he usually did when he was confused. "The Prince has it? But I'm holding it. Are you sure you haven't got your facts confused?"

Taomak gave a faint sigh, as he would if a little child was testing his patience.

"Nakael, let me explain it a little clearer. You are the Prince. Your father was the King. You are Nakaelakito Daikhal, Prince of the Daikhal."

Nakael stared at his friend with wide gray eyes. Then a corner of his mouth began to twitch, as if he was about to laugh.

"Are you serious?"

"Yes." Taomak's deadly serious expression finally began to sink through. Nakael realized that his friend just might be telling the truth. He had never known him to lie. Ever.

"I am a Prince," stated Nakael disbelievingly.

"Yes."

Nakael shook his head. "Just. . .tell me what you have to do with all this."

"I was assigned to you as your Protector. To make sure you were safe at all times, and to keep you from falling into the wrong hands. Because I was so young, very close to your age, I was chosen for you. I was to tell you your true identity when the time was right."

"And it's right now?" Nakael's voice rose in pitch. Although he was a flyer, he was barely eighteen, and still had to learn how to keep in control of his emotions. "After all these battles, where I risk my life every day, every minute? And now you tell me my father, the King has been dead for years? And now's the time to tell me I wasn't who I thought I was my entire life?!"

Taomak placed a hand on Nakael's shoulder.

"The Daikhals are in danger of being wiped off this earth, Nakael. They need a leader now. They need their Prince."

Nakael gave a derisive snort. "What's going to make them believe that I'm their prince. You're the only one that's seen my face for the past several years. As far as they're concerned, I'm dead! I don't exist!"

"They know the face of their King, Nakael. You don't need to worry. You are the splitting image of your father. And you carry the medallion of hope. There is no room left to doubt."

"But I'm not a Prince!" Nakael cried. "I'm a flyer! I don't know the first thing about being a prince. Besides, I don't want to be a prince. I don't want all the responsibilities of caring for the people. And besides that, all I know is how to fight!" Nakael's voice softened. "I like being who I am."

"You don't have a choice, Nakael. You are a Prince; you must do your duty. And I'll be with you all the way. Besides," Taomak's mouth curved upwards, "Who said they couldn't have a Warrior-Prince?"