We join our heroes, as Dragon Flyz Team One flew over a range of mountains: well-known and mapped in detail before the Cataclysm, but now uncharted and hazardous ever since.
Said Peak: 'Wahoo! Look at all this snow! Ready to make some snow-dragons, Zenith?'.
Zenith answered: 'Keep your eyes on the skies, Peak! We're scouting here in unfamiliar territory; so keep it down!'.
With that, they flew over a ridge, and Peak said: 'O: look at the size of that thing!'.
It was, in truth, immense: a seamless blue-white orb, many times as large as Airlandis itself, which held itself, as if supported by invisible pillars, above an earth-bound city. So monstrous was the orb, it pierced the Warp Winds; and the city below, though it filled the valley in which it lay, seemed little more than a stain upon the floor.
At the edge of this city rose a skyscraper as large as a mountain; and its top-floor was a terrace, where people moved and gathered. On this, now the dragons alighted, and their riders dismounted. One of the locals said: 'Welcome, newcomers, to Traveler's Rest. Come; the Speaker will want to see you'.
The Dragon Flyz dismounted, and followed the locals into another hall, where another figure waited them: a tall man enveloped entirely by cream-colored robes and armor, with his face and head hidden by a featureless mask. Quoth he: 'Welcome, newcomers, to Traveler's Rest. I am the Speaker, and you are our honored guests. I am sure you are wondering: why we have allowed you into our city so easily? To which the answer is: the Traveler, which floats above our City, would not have allowed you past, if your hearts were not pure'.
Said Peak: 'Whoa; stop me if I'm going wrong; but that mini-Moon didn't look very defensive to me'.
The Speaker answered: 'It did not, because you are good at heart, and at one with us. The Traveler projects a light, which cannot be borne by those of evil will. Because it let you past, and you felt nothing, we know you are good, and welcome to our City'.
Said Apex: 'Tell us more about your City’.
The Speaker answered: ‘It was built shortly after the Cataclysm, when the Traveler stopped its travels in this place. Guided by our soldiers, more people gathered here, and the city was built of old machinery, into its present size’.
Quoth Summit: 'If the Traveler's Light keeps your enemies out, why do you have soldiers?'.
Said the Speaker: 'Our soldiers, the Guardians, venture outside the City, for reconnaissance purposes (much as you, I think). There, they fight against the Fallen, our enemies, and go in search of machines to repair'.
Quoth Summit: 'What do you mean?’.
The Speaker answered: 'In Traveler's Rest, we do not make new things; we only repair and reconstruct the technologies built by our ancestors. It is part of a Guardian's duty to find them'.
Said Zenith: 'We use Amber crystals; what's your source of energy?’.
The Speaker answered: 'Again: the Traveler's Light, which we use for every purpose we need'.
Quoth Summit: 'How did it come here?'.
Apex added: 'And why is it called the Traveler?'.
The Speaker answered: 'Before the Cataclysm, the astronauts of the Earth found the Traveler on the neighboring planet of Mars. Our scientists found it to contain the world-building technology of an ancient interstellar civilization. With that technology, we established colonies on other planets, all over the Solar System, and built the most wondrous of civilizations;–– but it could not last. Alien species from other Solar Systems sought the Traveler's power for their own; and when the Traveler tried to abandon us and escape, we broke its engines, and it came to rest above this place. Those who survived the war, built the City here, where the Traveler's Light was still strong; they were our ancestors'.
Quoth Summit: 'But where does Warnado fit into all this?’.
The Speaker answered: 'The Warnado, as you call it, was the cause of the Cataclysm: of that, we are certain. It fell from the sky in a blazing trail; and at that moment, civilization was annihilated. But you have seen more of it than we have, who seldom venture beyond our walls'.
Said Peak: 'Not the sort of life I'd like to live'.
Said Apex: 'We live in a flying city, called Airlandis; but we can't stay there for ever. Do you know of any place we could colonize on Earth?'.
Said the Speaker: 'Any number of your people are welcome to settle here, in Traveler's Rest, if you so choose. We have room and people enough to accommodate you all. In the meantime, you four, and your dragon steeds, may come and go as you wish'.
The Dragon Flyz thanked him, and wandered all over the Tower Plaza, with their eyes wide with admiration at the sight of its shining walls, sparkling fountains, blooming gardens, ornate carpets, and intricate open-works. Wherever they went in the Plaza, people, and things like people, greeted them as friends.
After a moment, their wanderings took them into the map-room, where they were met by a tall man in heavy armor, who said: 'Welcome, dragonators, to Traveler's Rest. I am Commander Zavala; this is Commander Ikora; and this is the newly-appointed Commander Cayde'.
Said Apex, to Cayde: 'You're a cybernetic construct, aren't you? Do you know of another, named Cifex?'.
Cayde answered: 'Can't say I know'm personally, li'l lady. Ikora's the librarian around here'.
Commander Ikora typed on her computer for a moment, then said: 'The Cifexes were a model of cybernetic construct, much like Cayde. We have none here, but it seems you knew one, and remembered him fondly'.
Said Apex: 'He died fighting alongside us'.
Said Commander Zavala: 'I don't wish to press you, friends, but I recommend you return to your own city soon, and convey the Speaker's offer'.
Said Summit: 'As soon as we've finished admiring yours, we will'.
Peak glanced at a nearby Guardian's armor, and asked: ‘Whoa! Are those dragon bones?’.
Said the Guardian: ‘Could be. We call’m, Bones of the Dire Ahamkara. Legend has it, they were somethin’ like your dragons. But nobody’s seen one for years, until you people showed up’.
Said Apex: ‘It’s not impossible, Peak; and it doesn’t make them our enemies. Even Dread Wing and his mutants ride dragons; or had you forgotten that?’.
Said Peak: ‘No; I didn’t forget that, and I’m not in any danger of forgetting this. Even I’d never wear Blackheart or Nightmare’s bones, if I were lucky enough t’ destroy ’m’.
The Guardian answered: 'Di'n' mean t' give the wrong 'mpression, friend. The name's Bernard, and these are my partners, Meva Halide and Nathan Merioux'.
After that, the Guardians and the Dragon Flyz told stories of their homelands and adventures, until the time came for the Dragon Flyz to return to Airlandis. Once there, they brought the Speaker's offer to the Council.
Said Orac: 'These Amber-reactors are my babies;–– but they won't last for ever. I have to work non-stop, to keep them going! A place where Dread and his lackeys can't go, sounds like a good place to me'.
Said Elspeth: 'But how do we know, the Traveler's Light protects its City from Dread Wing? Perhaps only the Fallen are vulnerable to it'.
Said Zenith: 'I worry about the same thing. For once, I agree with Josh.: we need to be careful before we abandon what we have, even for a promise'.
Said Zarkan: ‘Our people are on the increase. If Traveler’s Rest can hold even one-third of us, their offer of hospitality is worth our acceptance’.
Said Joshua: 'I feel we are making a grave error. But if the Voice of the Council be as one, we shall move a convoy to Traveler's Rest. What is the Voice of the Council?'.
Everyone answered: 'It is One'.
On Warnado, Dread Wing stamped into Gangrene's evil laboratory and said: 'This better be good, Gangrene. If you've distracted me for no reason, you'll soon see why I'm still Lord and Master here'.
Said Gangrene: 'I'm sorry to report this, my Supreme Dreadfulness; but I can only admit the truth. The entire population of Airlandis appears to be;–– moving!'.
Said Dread Wing: '“Moving”?! That can mean only one thing: they've found a new place to colonize! A new place, to found their own kingdom! Fryte! Rally the Dramen. Nocturna! Ready your weapons. We'll stand at the road they travel, to-night, and head them off at the pass! I will not allow another incursion! This time, they have gone too far to turn back, and survive!'.
Elsewhere, the Dragon Flyz flew as the escorts of a convoy of strato-gliders, which bore all the Airlandians toward Traveler's Rest; but they had not gone far, before plasma-blasts and Dramen darts and the screeching of Gremwings filled the air. Said Zenith: 'It's a trap! Cut and dive!'.
With that, the dragons swerved under the Dramen, and the Dragon Flyz fired on them from below. Said Dread Wing: 'They fire on me from my own place: the ground! The insolence! Destroy them all!', and the Dramen retaliated with their plasma-blasters. But the dragonators fought just as hard. Gremwings and Dark Dramen fell from the sky like rain, and the air was cross-hatched with the Windjammers’ blasts and the answering shots of the Dramen. Zenith called: 'Surround the transports! Don't let Dread's minions near the civilians!'.
Said Dread Wing: 'Did you hear that?! How nice of them to show us! Now, fire where it burns! Destroy the strato-gliders!', and the Dramen trained their plasma-blasters on them. The Dragon Flyz interposed themselves, and the fight grew hotter yet.
At length, Summit called: 'There's too many of them! We have to retreat!'; but all of a sudden, a new sort of fire smote the Gremwings.
Said Zenith: 'Who's firing?'.
Apex answered: 'It's the Guardians, Zenith! They've come to help!'.
Sure enough: the Guardians of Traveler's Rest had arrived, and their shots soon destroyed most of the enemy. Said Meva: 'You just take it easy, Dragon Flyz; these critters are toast;–– butter-side down'.
Said Peak: ‘Boy! am I glad you showed up!', and fired again at Dread Wing's forces.
In the battle that followed, Dread Wing on Blackheart called: 'We are outnumbered! Retreat! Back to Warnado! The end is not yet, Dragon Flyz! I'll see you, and your new friends, go down in smoke;–– for ever!', and led the retreat himself.
Said Peak: 'You're the one going down in smoke, Dread Wing’.
Merioux added: 'Yup! It looks like we smoked him;–– together'.
Soon afterwards, the Council of Airlandis met with the Speaker and Commanders of Traveler's Rest.
Said Joshua: 'After all that happened, we cannot accept your offer. But as long as each of our cities knows the other exists, we still have a hope, we are not the last survival of humankind'.
Said the Speaker: 'We are sorry to see you go, Joshua. But if ever you need a refuge, Traveler's Rest is always open to you; and we will allow your people to establish cities on our mountains'.
Zenith agreed: 'That's a good place to start. We'll prepare for it. And if you ever need air-support, you can call on us. After all, flight is might’.
The dragons bugled their agreement, and the Airlandians returned to their city.