Dragons of Atlanta
By L’Poni (Poni) Baldwin
© 2009-2016. All Rights Reserved.
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Dragons of Atlanta
At the cubicle of Darrell Kingman at the dragon welfare office; a highrise in the middle of the city
We’ve been getting reports from all over about dragon attacks in major cities. People have sent in videos and in the ones I saw I could see giant creatures coming from the sky and digging into the Earth with their maws and paws. Some of them even had barbed tentacles like…like bugs! They were pulling strange pillars from under the ground! They had this technology the whole time and we were busy chasing UFOs while the real aliens were living with us!
The dragons took over some major cities and built their towers there. I heard Atlanta was the fourth city to go down but everyone says it was Rome that was taken over first. In Georgia I heard that a giant serpent that was delivered via dropship crippled the Georgia Gate Defenses. The dang thing was so wide and long. It literally melted the wall when it breathed fire. How could such a creature exist? I guess it’s beyond our understanding.
When the wall was down all the dragons started moving in with sacks, canisters, and ship-pods. Hundreds of medium-sized dragons were kidnapping people while the other dragons were dealing with the help from the military.
At first I wondered why didn’t they attack from above? Why come through the gates? And then it came to me: They needed to protect the ground troops. Moving in together would make them a stronger force on initial attack and then they could get to kidnapping humans quicker.
We are getting reports from all over the world about these attacks. People like me—regular humans—here at International Dragon Society do not know what to do. Our job is to manage the welfare of dragon+human families. We’re like a welfare office from them acting under the government. We don’t know how to deal with this kind of shit! All over this rotting planet the dragons were kidnapping humans and taking them to their god. If only we were smart enough to exploit their weaknesses…
No wait—I heard we tried that already—it failed…
What they have in weaknesses they make up for in numbers, strategy, tactics and army power. They work together and they’re a species that is not based around fighting. I guess studying Dragonism pays off.
God help us all
This is Darrell Kingman, signing off
———CAMERA SHUTOFF. PROGRAM TERMINATION———
CONTEXT / NOTES
This is what I like to call a “webcam story.” It takes place during and after the Dragon Apocalypse. I enjoy writing backstories through innovative points of view. This whole story is told on a webcam that the guy takes with him, kind of like a documentary. In Darrel Kingman’s case, it would have won him an award.
This story came to me as a prose-poem-story. Some guy in the African American forum on Topix called it an epic fail. Epic fail my arse! I rewrote it, eliminating the poetry element and turning it into a story.
Also you’ll be seeing “text message” type of formatting in the next parts of the story. It’s to help give off the camera feel.
Day One: After the War
Inside the office floor of the IDS. Papers are scattered everywhere. Chairs and desks are upturned. Darrell sits as his cubicle
Hello to whoever sees this. I’ll be keeping a video diary. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
It’s raining today and the bombings have ended. I saw a few dragons in the sky but Kim told me not to peek out the windows. We’ve…uh…taken in a few survivors and their dragonling. It’s a black six-limber and has little horns on its head. The survivors are an old couple, kinda like hillbillies.
Rhonda (she’s a bit on the chubby side) and her husband Ralph say they know where to find fresh food. Kim and I will be heading out with them tomorrow. The last time I had an apple was…fourteen days ago. That’s not long to be honest. I’ve gone longer without one. I was cautious at first about their dragon but they said it can’t use telepathy and is loyal to them. You can probably see the thing behind me. He’s as ugly as hell. I’ve never seen a dragon like him; he’s not like the others. He looks old, he’s slow and tiny for an adult. I thought he was a baby! The old couple said he didn’t hatch properly and he’s deformed. Said he should be bigger. Those whiskers make him look like a fat cat. He won’t stop glaring at me.
I think It’s time I turned in. Goodbye America.
Day Two: Food Search
Location: a shopping center three blocks outside the IDS
Darrel: Good lord! Right over there…right by Cunnery Point! It’s standing right there! Don’t move.
Look, can you see it? I’m pointing the phone right at it. That’s your first glimpse of an armored bipedal dragon soldier and right beside him is the overlord: an actual dragon! Looks like he’s dragging a little girl. Hold it…that’s a boy! We need to save him!
Kim: No! we can’t risk getting caught.
Darrel: but, he’s just a little boy.
Rhonda: oh my god, that’s my son! That’s my son!
Ralph: what? Jon? Is that really Jon?
Kim: shhhhhhhh!!! Shut it!
Rhonda: my baby, my baby, my baby—
Kim: shut it or we’ll get caught
Darrell: Ms. Hawthorne please lower your voice
the bipedal dragon drags the squirming child into the metro station. Rhonda tries to quell the tears but it’s futile.
Kim: we gotta keep moving. Come on! We’ll find your son when we have better weapons
Darrell reluctantly stands and follows, keeping his AK47 close. Rhonda slowly stands, feeling the weight of emotions pound at her back. She accepted the fact that she might not see her son again. As much as she tried to push him out of her thoughts, the more she thought about saving him.
It’s a shopping mart! An actual Food 4 Less. Shit. It’s been partially damaged by the bombs. I find it hard to believe this is still here.
Inside the grocery store, Kim films the aisles she passes through. Some are empty. Meat that is on display and prone spoiling without refrigeration causes part of the store to stink. Power still cycles through the store. Freezer items are edible. She puts everything essential into a cart.
Kim: I’m sorry about your son. We will save him when we get settled.
Kim: …what was your life like before the war?
Rhonda: I …I was a teacher. My husband stayed with Jon. He had an online job. What about you?
Kim twirls her frizzy brown locks as she thinks about her life before the war
Kim: I was a Summoner.
Rhonda: a what?
Kim: nothing. It’s nothing. I animated stuff in my spare time and taught karate.
Rhonda: oh, nice
Kim: yea. That’s the benefits—not really a benefit—of being ex-military. I guess. It wasn’t a boardwalk, being in the war.
Rhonda: we’re it so easy…
Darrell gets his phone back. He narrates once again
It feels so ghostly out here. I was on guard the whole time and not once did a dragon pop out to kill us. When we left we didn’t encounter anything on the way back. Where are they? Aren’t they scoping for stragglers? Survivors?
That night, everyone stays on the ground floor. Windows are boarded up. Darrell watches all four entrances from a security feed on a tablet
Darrell: it’s been quiet for the past hour. We were upstairs when a dropship passed by with its searchlight. We came down here cause we thought it was safer. That’s pretty stupid now that I think about it. We’d have to—wait
Rhonda: what’s that sound?
Ralph: is it those damn lizards???
Kim cautiously walks to one of the boarded windows to peek between an opening. She catches a glimpse of a machine being delivered by a warship
Kim: oh my go—
There’s a loud booming sound and the ground trembles. Kim looks outside the window again
Darrell: what the hell is that?
Ralph: is it them???
Kim: that machine they brought is digging into the ground. We should go back upstairs.
Rhonda: upstairs? Shouldn’t we leave???
A loud hiss scares them all into silence. They see the shadow of a dragon on the wall
Darrell: uhhhh—lets go upstairs
Ralph: I agree with him
The group quietly leaves the lobby for the upper floors and stays in the offices for the rest of the night
Day Three: Cave Dwellers
Okay, we’re inside the Cannery Point station. The entrance was unguarded so we let ourselves in. it’s so damp and dark.
turns on flashlight, the only comforting light in the station
Darrell: Holy sh—
Rhonda: are they…mating?
Ralph: that looks fun.” how come we don’t do that anymore?
the group curiously stares at a small blue Cantedragon vigorously mating a whining red Fire dragon. Darrell steps closer, but Kim holds him by the hand. He looks back at her and notices her warning expression
Kim: let’s go, now.
Darrell (whispering): it looks so freaky. Is that all they do? Make babies?
Kim: why don’t you ask Vasilev when we reach Kansas.
[_ They travel deeper into the train tunnels, tip-toeing past sleeping dragons and navigating through crashed trains. They enter the lobby where they see an active nest. There are hundreds of dragons, both armored bipedal soldiers and winged dragons, tending to the giant and sleeping black dragon at the center. The human citizens were sitting on the cold concrete with cloth blindfolds covering their eyes. Others were forced to watch as their family members were impregnated by the dragon. Shifters, bipedal dragons, Wyverns and the like were observing with anticipation. The crystals on the wall start to glow a deep red color as it registers the unknown aura coming off of the intruders. Immediately Darrell realizes this place. _]
Darrell: oh, shit.
Kim: what? What is it?
Darrell: remember the UNYOS virus in New York? The one that originated from the UNYOS station?
Kim: yeah, what about it?
Darrell: well, the guy went into a nest like this one and came out infected…
Kim: get to the point!
Darrell: this is a breeding ground and we’re the food! We shouldn’t be here. We might get—
Rhonda: my son! Look! There’s my son!
Kim backs away as she examines the red crystals
Kim: those crystals can detect us. Shit! I knew this was a bad idea.
Rhonda starts crying as she sees her six-year-old son being implanted with the sleeping dragon’[_ s genetics. _]
Rhonda: what are they doing?
Darrell: Rhonda, this was a bad idea we need to go, now!
*there’s a loud hiss and a terrifying shadow approaching them from the left. Ralph holds Rhonda’s hand and talks comfortingly. *
Ralph: honey, we need to go. We-we-we can’t save him, Ro.
the shadow draws closer to them
Ralph: Ro, c’mon, we’ll save him when we find the military, okay? Ro, is that okay?
the group runs for the other exit, avoiding the sleeping tunnel dragons. They exit through the southwest entrance and leave the confines of the nest[
It’s just us four now. The IDS, um, International Dragon Society, collapsed a few weeks ago. What’s left of it, eight senior members, decided to stay hidden until we can recreate the IDS again. Forgot to mention that.
Oh! Behind me Ralph is constructing a weapon made from anything that’s useful. We haven’t had a chance to get out and scavenge for food. There are dragon soldiers occupying the neighborhood. I’m going to broadcast this video and any audio messages so survivors with a radio or SugarTablet will know they are not alone. Speaking of…I need to find more sugar for my tablet.
Kim: Darrell, come look!
Rushing from his seat, Darrel runs to Kim’s side
Darrell: what the hell is that?
Kim: shine the cam on it. This will make a great home video
Ralph: what are those dragons doing?
Darrell: looks like a giant tower
There are hundreds of ships congregating around a half built structure. Dragons are flying in frenzy, delivering metal, steel, glass, cars, toys and anything else salvageable to the various construction ships and Hoverlasers. The lasers grind the steel and scrap and turn it into a goo-like substance that sticks onto the spire and expands. Other machines meld metal and steel into the unfinished tower.
Kim: they’re building one of those Portal Towers
Rhonda: a what?
Kim: a portal tower. It serves as a nest for their high ranking sub-species. God help us all if they are building more than one.
Ralph: Crotonians have been doing that for years. Ain’t nothing new.
Kim: it is now since the spotlight is on the dragons
Darrell looks around, noticing a missing presence
Darrell: hey…where’s that fat dragon of yours?
Rhonda: Who? Timmy? He’s over…
Ralph: where is he?
Darrell grabs his trusty AK47
Darrell: that little lizard ain’t going to make a lunch of me
Kim: I hear something
Ralph: I hear it too
Darrell: THERE IT IS, THE LITTLE FUCKER
CONTEXT / NOTES
I had fun writing these! Each time I finished one and read it I felt like I was on a mini journey. Their declining hope was a way to add tension to the story. I loved exploring the crystal caves with Darrel and his crew. I believe I was playing a game when I wrote this. “Dragons of Atlanta” and “Twelve” are the two most ambitious stories that were released in the past as promotional efforts to get the word out about the space dragon stories. I don’t think it worked but I’m glad I tried.
[*Day One notes: *]…fat cats…lol…last year I decided to build upon the original Dragons of Atlanta story by adding some post-apocalyptic elements and added depth. What would Darrel do every day? Is there enough food to last? Would survivors see his broadcast and find him?
I believe these aspects were inspired by an apocalyptic alien invasion film I saw at the theaters. I remember that day. I wanted to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, but my older sister wanted to see The Darkest Hour or whatever that crap was. I admit I liked it until the main character got killed for no reason. There wasn’t much exploration about how they’d live during the apocalypse and there wasn’t much alien lore either. It’s one of those rainy day horror films.
The original version of this was a poem and some guy called it an “epic fail.” I can’t believe I took that literally. It was that comment that made me change this into a longer story.
[*Day Two notes: *]this part came to me when I was thinking about an abandoned grocery store. In the game Fallout 3 you had to go to a grocery store for something only to find out you walked in a death trap! I think that’s what also inspired the ending of this story.
Day Three notes: Ha! Did you catch that part about UNYOS? It’s a virus mentioned in Dragons and Cicadas. The virus originated in a train station. I should really write more about that…
Thank you for reading this flash story! .
I remember when I first wrote it for Dragon’s War.
That. Was. Fun!!!
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