"Nothing can stop me! Tomorrow will bring a new dawn. One forged in my dragon fire!” threatened Apsu. The Great Golden Wyrm stood on his meaty haunches, the god towered above Barzehk; a wee gloomy faced dark angel. Barzehk seemed to be blocking Apsu from entering the sextet of obsidian Obelisks. The pillars looked familiar like the Obelisks of Destiny that we encountered early on the journey, only bigger in scale. A massive black monolith was in the center; surrounded by five shorter and narrower columns each inscribed with countless draconic names. Goethe immediately recognized these as the genealogical record of the mysterious Planar Dragons: Rift, Havoc, Paradise, Infernal, and Crypt!
Apsu raised his claw high in the air. Barzek reacted by fanning out his arms; the barrier around the Obelisks lit up with swirling blood red bolts of energy. Apsu claw struck down mightily. A bright light made me turn away. A high pitched electrical sizzle sliced through the air like a defective lightning rod. Afterwards, Barzek was breathing very hard and Apsu hardly breathing. “It is only a matter of time before I break through” growled Apsu.
What in the hell was Apsu doing? If I was a gambler, which I am, I’d say that Apsu just raised the stakes in whatever game he was playing with the rest of the Gods of the Pantheon. I’m not a history wizard like Goethe, but it sounded like Apsu intended to melt the World and torch Dahak in a cataclysmic final battle. If I was a skilled gambler, which I am, I’d say Apsu was pushed to the bleeding edge, so close he could piss over to the other side. We had to catch Apsu’s piss, walk’em off that ledge, and get him to calm the fuck down. Once that whole Final Flight business was put to bed, we needed his permission to do something that goes against his very fiber. If I liked odds, which I don’t, I’d say the odds were really shitty. But, hey! What did we have to lose? If we go down in flames, it’s not like anybody will be left alive to throw a pussy fit anyways.
"Apsu please do not do this?” pleaded Lorenz in full dogeza. Damn, that was quick! And I was perfectly okay peeing myself for as long as it took. I imitated Lorenz’s on the cold stone; we all did.
"My worthless heroes are here! I commanded you to stop the grays not follow me around like lost little hatchlings” shouted Apsu in our general direction; his eyes still locked on Barzehk.
"Apsu please do not do this? This is not justice” pleaded Lorenz again. Apsu angrily broke off from Barzehk and stormed above us. We did not raise our heads off the cold stone. A single breath from the Waybringer and we were ash.
"Justice? That is exactly what this is. Justice for my beloved children” roared Apsu. My heart stabbed at my ribcage wanting to flee the scene. I kept my head down.
"What about the Justice for those who will perish in your flames?”
"Look at me you insolence pests!” demanded the Wyrm God.
I slowly looked up. And up. And up. Apsu’s bright golden scales reached to the ceiling, his brilliant wings were fully extended, his head cradled in horns, and the crazy eyes of a madman. There was something else too, an undercurrent that resonated with the god seed he planted in me. My dragon heart started to ache, to feel empty. A stream of powerful uncorked emotions made my head swim like a good 100 proof spiced rum. Hopelessness, Loss, and Rage blended together but I could taste each one distinctively. Finality and resignation was the bitter after taste.
"My dragons were taken from me! Cursed, Murdered, and desecrated in…unspeakable ways. And they do nothing, except hide from me!” roared the God. The echo hung in the air until there was silence.
"We do not pretend to understand. We came to implore you to give us, your chosen, a chance before it’s too late” humbly requested Lorenz. We all nodded.
"Apocalypse is want Dahak and the Gray Scale want most” added Master Goethe. Those words stung Apsu.
"We routed the Infernal Line like you wanted” eloquently assisted Mr. Finn.
Of course I needed to say something, “Rrrh, we got a guy on Gray Scale’s progeny right now. We have many leads like…” I rambled before Lorenz shut me down. Lorenz rose from the cold stone.
"Please stay the course, Waybringer!” petitioned Lorenz. Unconsciously, we all clutched our dragon hearts in unison. Apsu also found his claw over his heart. He looked down at his claw then at us. He clenched his fist. “There is so little time left…I will not…I will not give the Gray Scale or my son what they desire most…” responded Apsu in anguish.
"All my fleeting hope rests with you" sincerely said Apsu. The rest of us rose from the cold stone. I was about to thank Apsu, but Lorenz stopped me. Let him grieve. Thanks was not what Apsu wanted. He wanted results. He wanted salvation for his children. He'd just put his trust in a bunch of mortal pirates; he needed time.
Before we left we got Apsu’s permission to use the tarnished dragon orbs as a last resort against Gray Scale. He was not happy about it but recognized how dire the situation was considering what he was about to do. This was our third miracle of the day. The first two were preventing two separate Apocalypses, one being Groetus and the other being Apsu’s Final Flight. The cost was incredible high. Apsu was certainly sacrificing more of his dragon children while we worked. Now, every mistake, slip up, or setback would be paid for by Apsu in dragon blood. The God just risked everything he had left on us. In a sign of his faith in us, we were allowed to carve our names into the Obelisk of Providence and borrow their power.
Apsu choose us in the beginning. I only agreed to be his instrument for wealth and power and fame. Things have changed. I’ve chosen Apsu this time, asked him to believe in me, and the God accepted. Greed, nor fear, nor desperation played a role in our pact. We were united by our own hands. We are united by trust.