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"Eleven Years of Friendship" is a Season 5 thread written on April 13, 2015.

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Grey Bergman: Good girl, Shadow!” Grey shouted to her Night Fury as she fought another Valhallan soldier. 

Shadow crooned a thank you to her rider and continued to swat her towel back and forth and fired plasma blasts at the soldiers’ feet. Both the girl and the Night Fury gave each other impressed and confident smiles. True, Grey made great teams with Warren, Greg, Asha, and even King Haddock, but there was no doubt that Shadow and Grey were the greatest team of all.

Shadow could tell that Grey was growing into her leadership role. She always knew her best friend had it in her. Her parents said so as well! The Night Fury remembered how Grey promised that they would always be together, but she promised to herself that she would always stand by Grey…no matter what. Suddenly in the midst of fighting…she stopped when she heard a voice… 

No…it couldn’t be, the Night Fury thought to herself. A singing voice began ringing across the skies. It was him…the Father of the Dragons…from the stories her parents told her before Grey found her when they were young.

All who fight in this war.  All those of mankind who fight. Slay them.

Mankind… shall burn.

Suddenly, as she listened to the song, Shadow began to feel…strange. Like something was taking over her. Her head suddenly hurt. 

“GREY! GREY, HELP ME!” she roared out getting Grey’s attention. 

“Shadow?” Grey asked. “Shadow!” She ran over to the dragon.

Midgardsormr: The song continued.  Beneath it were feelings, instincts, orders.  The song ran through the dragon’s mind, blood, bones.  With it came brief images that flashed in red - smashed eggs, trampled hatchlings, slain elders, all lying on the steps of the Father’s shrine as a human army rushed through, killing every dragon they could see.  

Murderers.  Oath breakers.  Sinners.  Fighters of Ragnarok.  Mankind.  Slay them.  Burn them.  

Burn them.

Grey Bergman: “Shadow, are you alright, girl?” She could hear Grey’s sweet and gentle voice, but it sounded so far away under the Father’s song. “What’s wrong?”

“NO! STOP! FATHER, PLEASE! GREY DID NOT CAUSE THAT!” she roared to the dragon. “She’s my best friend! She would never do anything so horrible! Please!”

Midgardsormr: The song crescendoed, as though a powerful being were calling out to all.  But something came that was private, more personal.

It is Ragnarok.  Mankind fights for their gods.  They will slay all if ordered.  This is for your protection.  For all of your brothers and sisters.  For all of my children.

I have sung.  You will answer.

You will obey.

The song strengthened and rung, drowning nearly everything out but for the command.

Burn them.

Grey Bergman: “GREY! GREY IF YOU CAN HEAR ME, RUN!” she roared. “PLEASE! GET OUT OF HERE! GOOO!”

Suddenly, Shadow stopped roaring and struggling with whatever she was struggling with. However, before Grey could even go to comfort her friend, Shadow’s eyes slowly shrunk into slits and rose her head standing at attention as if waiting for a command. The Lady furrowed her eyebrows together. 

“Are…you okay, Shadow?” Grey asked.

Midgardsormr: Your human friends will betray you.  They have betrayed us.  They murdered your kin.  It is for your safety.

Slay them.  Burn them.  Before they slaughter you.

Commands came with pulses of the song that encompassed all of any resisting dragon.  The Will of the Father was absolute.

Grey Bergman: “Yes, Father,” the Night Fury said as she turned to face the human. All she could see was red and shadows, but she was able to focus on the shape and scent of the human in front of her. 

Grey widened her eyes as Shadow suddenly turned to her. Her heart began to pounded as she found herself face to face with those slitted eyes. Shadow suddenly began to growl and to advance toward her…as if she was a prey that was to be killed. 

“Shadow?” Grey asked as she took a step backwards. “W-What are you doing?”

Midgardsormr: Slay them.

The song relayed emotions, feelings.  Feelings of vengeance, of safety, or ending threats, protecting the lives of other dragons.  Killing the humans would save dragonkin.  Killing the humans would avenge those who had been murdered.

Slay them.

Grey Bergman: “Yes, Father,” Shadow said as she advanced toward Grey ready to pounce on her prey. He was right despite how much she hated to admit it deep down. The humans were evil. Humans killed her own parents. They need to be destroyed. “I shall do as you command.”

“Shadow!” Grey said backing away slowly as the Night Fury came closer and closer. “What’s the matter with you?! Come on, what are you doing?! This isn’t funny! Stop!”

“You shall perish, human!” Shadow roared. 

Midgardsormr: Go my child.  Slay them.  Protect your kin.  Avenge your kin.  The sinners shall perish.

Grey Bergman: Shadow edged closer and closer to the Lady. Grey looked to Shadow pleadingly fighting back the tears in her eyes as she continued to back away from the Night Fury. She wasn’t even sure if it was Shadow anymore. It was almost as if an imposter dragon was replacing her. This couldn’t be the same dragon that would smack her in the back of the head to tease her and would go flying with her for hours on end.

“SHADOW! NO!” she shouted. “SNAP OUT OF IT! SHADOW!”

Out of the corner of her eye, Grey noticed something. There were other dragons around, and they were acting the same way Shadow was. So, this wasn’t just the Night Fury. Whatever it was, the dragons weren’t acting on their own free-will. Maybe…she could try something. She took a deep breath and stopped in her tracks. She took her sword and tossed it aside and knelt down extending her hand to the growling Night Fury.

“Hey, Shadow,” she said gently, “it’s me, girl. It’s me. I’m right here. Don’t be afraid. I’m here. Come back to me.”

Midgardsormr: Do not trust them.  They will betray you.  They will kill you.  They will kill you like they killed your kin.  My child.  You must survive.  Slay the human oathbreaker. Sinner.  Burn them.

Grey Bergman: “Shadow, I don’t know what’s going on with you,” she said, “but whatever this is…it’s not you.”

Shadow still approached Grey bearing teeth and glaring with her cold, slitted eyes. Grey could even see a small plasma blast slowly building up in her mouth, but she still held her ground. She stayed where she was, and she was determined to get her dragon…her sister back.

“You would never hurt me, right?” she said.

Midgardsormr: Murderers. Sinners. Oathbreakers. Do not trust.  Do not forgive.  Avenge your brothers and sisters. Mankind must burn.  Mankind must burn.

The song boomed, pulsing through the dragon’s blood, compelling, controlling.

Grey Bergman: “Come on, Shadow,” she said edging closer to the Night Fury with her hand outstretched to the dragon’s nose. “Don’t do this. You would never hurt me.” 

Shadow was about to open her mouth to release the plasma blast, but as she did, the figure emerged from the red haze. She saw familiar, warm, gentle brown eyes. She had seen those before…for the past 11 years…

“Grey?” she crooned. She suddenly realized the plasma blast building inside her mouth. “No, no!” Thankfully, she swallowed it back as she tried to shake herself free of the control. “No, Grey is my best friend! I can’t kill her! I won’t! Father, please…let me go! She’s my best friend!”

Suddenly, Grey’s hand touched Shadow’s nose, and all the memories of the past eleven years right back to when Grey did the same gesture when they first met…the moment they both knew they would be best friends forever. 

“Please, Shadow, you’re my best friend…my sister,” Grey said staring deep into Shadow’s eyes. “You’re my sister. I love you, girl.”

Midgardsormr: The song was threatening, angry… but sad.  And this time, it was a direct voice that rung in Shadow’s mind.

Trust and belief in the friend.  They will be your downfall.  You cannot slay the one you believe is your best friend. The faith is too strong.  The will is powerful.

Then you will not slay her.  Your brothers and sisters will do it for you.

Leave this place.  It is a sad thing that must be done.  It is better that you not witness it.

The song echoed again, with different orders, different commands, aimed at other dragons.  The compulsion for obedience rumbled once more.

Grey Bergman: Shadow felt her heart pound. She didn’t want to leave Grey. How could she do that after all they been through together? Especially now when the Father will send dragons after her? But the song was too strong! She couldn’t resist! 

“I’m sorry, Grey,” Shadow crooned, “but I can’t resist this. I love you, too, sister! Please remember that! I’ll prove the Father wrong about humans! I promise! I’ll save you from my brothers and sisters! I promise!”

Shadow suddenly pulled away from Grey’s hand and straightened at attention causing Grey to jump back in fear that her dragon was going to attack again. 

“Shadow?” she asked carefully. 

Shadow took one last look at Grey and then without any warning, turned around and took off into the sky leaving Grey behind. 

But Grey refused to give up. “SHADOW!” she shouted running after her. “SHADOW, NO! COME BACK! PLEASE! SHADOW!” She suddenly screamed as she tripped over a stone and fell into the dirt below. She pushed herself up only to see that her dragon…her best friend…her sister…was nothing but a shrinking black dot in the sky. “Shadow…” Tears suddenly came to her eyes, and then Grey began to cry. 

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