Klaus stood with all four of his hands behind his back, watching the experiment’s conclusion. The magic they were using glowed in the air, creating an aura that clung to everything, making it challenging to see. The dragon thrashed, growled, lightning sparking throughout the laboratory, the air so static Klaus could scarcely breathe.
And then with a crack, it was over. Everything went silent, still, smoke billowing up from the myriad small fires the dragon had started with its power. Klaus sighed, covering his mouth. “What went wrong?”
“I don’t know,” Theresa said, the frustration in her voice clear, even as she sounded outwardly calm. She looked over her notes, over the instruments she had in front of her, which were vibrating and spinning in unusual patterns. “Not the same thing as last time. I was sure I’d stabilized the morphoreactive circumnodes, but they collapsed at the tail end of the spell.”
Klaus sighed, stepping into the smoke. This would work eventually, he knew it. It would be for the benefit of everyone on the planet, not just the Spider Corps, and would probably win them the war. Assuming they didn’t start a war with the dragons by continually kidnapping and experimenting on them for reasons that were impossible to communicate.
“Very well,” Klaus said. “I shall dispose of the body and we’ll go about finding you another…”
The movement in the smoke was so sudden Klaus had no time to move before a hand was around his throat, slamming him into the back wall. It took him a moment to recognize the low sound emanating from the man holding him as a growl. “Hey!” Theresa said, standing.
Klaus held up a hand, staring the man in the eyes. Those eyes were a grey so pale they were nearly white, and belonged on a man with features so sharp they were nearly blades. He was growling at Klaus incomprehensibly but in patterns that had to be language. And he had horns and wings in the same cascades of blue and black that the dragon had had. “Please,” Klaus said to him. “Calm down. We mean you no harm.”
“Well, I mean you harm,” the dragon said, in rough but legible Dynese. Klaus blinked. “What did you do to me?”
“We’ve granted you transformational abilities,” Klaus told him, aware that he was pressed against the wall and that the dragon, even in this new form, was considerably taller than him. Hypothetically, he should have retained his resistance to magic, as well. “So we can better communicate. And be allies.”
“Allies don’t imprison each other,” the dragon growled, pushing harder. His tail had remained as well, and snaked around to grab one of Klaus’s arms.
Klaus saw what was happening here. The dragon wasn’t necessarily angling to hurt him, just prove his strength. Dragons were by nature competitive, aggressive. Hierarchial.
Klaus reached behind the dragon with his other arms and grabbed his wings, pulling him down, startling him. “Hey!” The dragon let Klaus’s throat go, reaching behind himself.
Smiling, Klaus reached up and grabbed his horn, moving aside and slamming the dragon’s head into the wall, dazing him. “You may want to avoid instigating fights until you’re more used to this shape,” Klaus suggested, kneeing the dragon in the stomach. “You’ll find it rather embarrassing, I fear, to lose in physical combat to someone who used to be human.”
“Fuck…fuck you,” the dragon said, from the floor.
Klaus smiled, kneeling on his neck. “I am Klaus. What’s your name?”
The dragon was silent for a second, before growling out a series of sounds. Klaus nodded. “Well, Razzgkrar’thengg-ysshrrmdj’znvya’gnkiia, I’m afraid many of my colleagues may find that somewhat a challenge to pronounce. If you don’t mind, I’d like to lend you a name for the time being. How does Osmond sound?”
“You can call me whatever the fuck you want,” Osmond growled. “I’m still going to eat every fucking one of you and turn your bones into a lightning rod.”
“If you must, though I fear bones don’t conduct electricity well. Before that, however, I’d like to tell you the reason for why we’ve done this to you. You see, we’re fighting a war that I think your people could help with. And given that you’re the first one to survive the transformation, we’d like to make you a liaison. Unless, of course, you feel someone else is more suited to serving as a leader of all dragons in the world…”
He had Osmond’s attention now, and Klaus nodded, removing his knee. The attack was expected, and Klaus was able to deflect it and put Osmond back on the floor quickly. Yes, this was going to work out just fine.