Chapter Five - The Qrill

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Dotty looked around for her brother. Henry still stood at Nightfire's side working the rusted metal pole into the bolts holding the remaining length of chain. 

Stand aside. She heard Nightfire command.

She watched as the dragon wrenched the chain from its moorings. Grasping the metal in his claws he swung around to face the advancing foes. He whirled it around using it as a weapon. The Qrill tried to retreat but it was too late, caught in a maelstrom of spinning metal the warriors were ripped apart in a welter of splintered carapace and torn limbs.

Go! Nightfire called out. 

Dotty saw him reach up and slip a claw between the collar and his neck. With a quick twist, he snapped the manacle and threw it to one side. He attempted to do the same with the cuffs on his limbs but the Qrill had regrouped and were surging forward once more.

She felt Nightfire in her mind again.

You must go now before it is too late.   

Dotty backed away, dragging Alice with her. The Qrill warriors raised their weapons and rushed forward swiftly closing the gap. Behind her, the sheer drop down to the cavern floor beckoned. She pulled her sister closer and stepped to the edge.

It's the only way. She whispered.

She had a brief glimpse of Nightfire dragging her brother away from the attacking horde, then she jumped.

Dotty turned and kicked out diving off the cliff face and hopefully the shelter of the rocks and seaweed that littered the floor below them.

She still grasped Alice's hand, pulling her along.

Kick your legs like me, she told her little sister.

Alice did so and they began to move a little faster. But it was hard work, their skirts wrapped about their legs and a strong current that swirled around the rocky pillar held them back. 

Fear drove Dotty on, a fear of what would happen if the Qrill caught them. Would they kill them outright or take them prisoner? And if they took them prisoner, what then? How much longer would the magic that Mirrorglow had bestowed on them continue to work? Would it soon wear off, were they destined to drown in this strange far away land?

She led Alice into a deep crevasse hidden away beneath a patch of kelp. They paused for a moment and Dotty risked a quick glance outside.

There was no sign of the Qrill warriors she thought had chased them from the top of the pinnacle of rock. 

Where were they? Why had they not followed?

She turned to Alice. They have gone, we are safe for the moment. 

Where's Henry? Alice whispered.

He is with the drag... she started to say. Then she knew... knew why the Qrill had not followed them. 

They had all gone after the Nightfire and her brother. 

Henry, Dotty called out in panic. Henry where are you?

A burst of static flooded her mind and for a brief second she thought the worst. But then she heard a faint voice, no more than a muffled buzz at the back of her mind. She concentrated, trying to make out what it was saying.

D..ty...Al.ce can...yo...ear...me. They ar...all..ar..nd us. We .r. trap..d. 

It was definitely Henry and he sounded in trouble.  

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