First meetings always end in fire and doom, right?

“What are they doing?”

The question echoed throughout the crews of the three ships as they watched the Viking commanders act out some chaotic version of what Captain WitchyRobyn could only assume was a failed re-enactment of their ship crashing. She squeezed her eyes shut and tried to take deep breaths to stop the sudden pounding in her skull. She marched forward, fearing the worst even as she opened her mouth to scream at kdskid007 not to do anything.

Too late.

The dinosaurs growled as kdskid007 sneezed fire all over them.

“I need that drink now, Wolfy,” Witchy said, turning to look at her fellow academy leader.

Wolfy, who had been steadily smacking her palm onto her forehead since they had spied the crew of the Viking, silently handed the bottle to Witchy who took it and belted back a gulp of the liquor.  It burned going down.

She sighed, handed the bottle back to Wolfy, and led the group down the hill. “Be vigilant,” Witchy warned.  The bottle seemed to make its way through the other officers before finally ending up back in Wolfy’s possession.

They came to the base of the hill, within shouting range of the Viking crew who now seemed to be furiously miming apologies. Or…something.

“Someone deal with them, please,” Witchy said, rubbing her temples again. This was going to get annoying, quick.

“What do you think this place is?” Lieutenant BlackberrySpark asked. They watched as Commander Kistoway made her way across the lush field. Hopefully Kistoways peacekeeping skills would prove useful once again and she could manage to keep the dinosaurs from eating the Viking crew.

“No idea,” Witchy asked as Captain Elyndra approached. “What say you?”

“Dinosaurs. Again.”

“Seems that way, yes,” Witchy agreed. “Although they seem intelligent. Perhaps we can find a way to communicate with them.”

The three followed Kistoway across the field, the rest of the crews following. Small groups of excited chatter filled the air as they came to the scene of smoldering grass in the path of Kdskid007’s earlier sneeze.

“Allo, fellow Cap’i’tans!” Captain Eldarwen said, a grin plastered on her face.

“What did you do?” Witchy asked. “We told you. I told you. Why do you lot never listen?”

“Listening is no fun,” Commander aka-click said.

“Besides, listening doesn’t get me cool fire-breathing powers!” Lieutentant kdskid007 said. They moved to demonstrate but Captain IronAngel held up a hand.

“We saw.”

“I think they’re friendly!”

The four ship captains turned to see BlackberrySpark smiling and nodding along with three of the dinosaurs. Her mouth contorted into a weird shape and she spoke in a strange half groaning sound. After a few minutes of this, and of equal responses from the dinosaurs, Blackberry hopped over to the crew.

“They’re dinosaurs and they can speak!” She was practically hopping now, like one of Captain Elyndra’s famous plotbunnies. “They couldn’t understand anything the Vikings were saying, but I explained best as I know what happened.”

“Okay…” Witchy began.

“Are they going to eat us?” TwinkleToestheBeserker asked, spooning ice cream into her mouth. Witchy blinked.

“No, no,” Blackberry said, “I think I smoothed all that over. They were more curious about the powers we got. Because they’ve never seen anything like that before. And also never had anyone to talk to. Other than themselves that is.”

“I’m not sufficiently caffeinated to deal with this today,” Witchy said.

As if on cue, Kistoway handed the Ninja captain a steaming latte with a shrug.

“Anything else?” Elyndra asked, sensing Witchy was about to launch into a rant about the foolishness of not listening to good sense.

“Not much…” Blackberry said, brow furrowed. “Oh, yeah, they said there is an asteroid headed this way and will kill us all.”

Wolfy twitched and there was a bottle in each officers’ hand.

“You didn’t think to lead with that?” IronAngel asked.

“No? Should I have?”

“Next time,” Elyndra answered.

“If we live until the next time,” Witchy and IronAngel echoed.


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