Sawel discovers what is in the vault.
|Drip. Drip. Drip. A cold splash hit Sawel Bodrick in the forehead. He jolted into a sitting position. His head pounded like a black smith's hammer on an anvil. His right leg ached with good reason. The harpy stinger stood erect in the right thigh. He winced while he extracted the long needle.
Not an ounce of metal covered the chamber. Three amber pillars stood erect next to a machine that appeared to be Orquish at first. As he got closer, the contraption felt more Elvish in design. A hand depression sat on the side of the machine, next to a group keys with Elvish letters on them. A great amber screen with the words, "Please place a hand on the scanner."
Sawel stared at the depression beneath it, a crystal slate. He lowered a hand into the handprint. "Initiating scan..." The screen said. An hourglass appeared on the smooth surface, "Welcome, Sawel Brodick, Son of Gideon. Use the keyboard to select and view a file."
The screen changed again. Three options presented themselves. "Project Dragonwood genesis, Activate Dragonwood Armor system, begin a pilot search."
Like his father, Sawel preferred to study a subject before he engaged in any physical actions related to it. He fiddled with keys until the genesis file activated. Sawel expected words, not a memory recall. Gideon's jovial face lit up the screen and caused Sawels heart to ache.
"Greetings Sawel. Congratulations, you survived the city's security system. I have one more gift for you, but explanations first. Orquish technology is beyond us. I find no shame in my admittance of the fact. Ask yourself what strengths do the Elven people possess? Take a minute."
Sawel tried to imagine a strength the elves possessed. A bottomless chasm two miles wide best described the difference between Orques and Elves. It was plain to see Gideon held the answer.
"Does the answer escape you? Worry not, I stood in your shoes fifty years ago. Magic remains our greatest strength and a solution to the current situation."
The recorder panned out to obscure trees. An orange aura surrounded the golden canopy. "Meet the Dragonwood tree, the discovery of a lifetime. They are a carnivorous plant capable of eating anything and adding it to their composition. If you're impressed now, hang on to your hat, the plot thickens as your mother would say. They enjoy being shaped by magic."
"We both know Orquish technology works for the Orques alone. They use something called DNA. Fortunately, the Dragonwood removes all their silly safeguards."
Two elves deposited Orquish laser rifles and pistols at the base of the shimmering tree. Spellcasters stepped forward and began to chant. Thick knotted roots rose from the ground and engulfed the pile or Orquish weapons. A soft glow ran up the tree trunk. The lowest branches developed thick buds that continued to grow by the second. Little by little, the bud shifted its form until a wooden pistol hung like fruit.
"Impossible," Sawel said.
"The weapons convert magical energy into something capable of piercing orquish armor. We wrote an instruction manual for our new arsenal. You'll figure it out."
The screen blinked, and Gideon's face returned. "Today will decide the future of our world. No doubt, disbelief rules your mind over the weapons. I now ask you to witness the birth of hope." Sawel heard shouts and grunts in the background.
"The success of the weapons caused us to ask: What else can the Dragonwood do? Our ambitions turned our attention to the Iron Giants. The dragons, who showed us the power of the dragonwood, advised we use live subjects."
Sawel shook his head and whispered, "Madness."
"We thought the scaly bastards were crazy. Crocach, the dragon elder, said the new creation required a mind. He advised we send envoys to the griffins and alicorns and ask for their strongest and honorable warriors for the experiment. Crocach himself volunteered."
"Heave, Ho." An elvish captain said in the background. A platoon of elves aided by Crocach pulled an Iron Giant erect against a tree. The griffin and alicorn lent their strength and stood at the base of their trees.
A group of spell casters triple the size of the first group started their chant. The melody brought goosebumps to Sawels arms and neck. A tear fell from his eye. The elves raised their voices in celebration or to revitalize dying areas of the forest.
The trees swayed back and forth in rhythm to the chant. Golden leaves and branches embraced the Iron Giants like a child. The massive trunks opened like they were on hinges and swallowed the armor and beast whole. The tree glowed, bits and pieces of branches and trunks fell away. Sawel imagined a giant artisan at work.
A young messenger approached Gideon, whispered in his ear, and left. "I'll resume recording after the spell casters complete their work." The monitor blinked, and Gideon wore the mile-wide smile. "Sawel brace yourself, our little experiment paid off in spades."