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Book firstflight.jpg

First Flight is a children's book published by Ladybird Books LTD in 1997.

Story

In the aquasphere, two young citizens of Airlandis, Dan and Mina, were talking to Aron about the future.

"I believe we must find a safe place on Earth to live," said Aron. "Even with the dragonnators to collect crystals and protect us from Dread Wing, we can't survive up here forever."

Above their heads in the giant aquasphere, the seabirds of the Earth gave their haunting cry. Through the water sped sleek, grey creatures called dolphins.

"We are like the birds and animals," said Aron. "Although we can live here, it is not our home. We must one day return to Earth."

Just then, Aron got an urgent call from Josh on his video communication system.

"We've picked up an mystery SOS call from Earth," said Josh. "But the Dragon Flyz are with a team of dragonnators on a crystal run. All the other dragonnators are on guard duty."

"Very well," said Aron, sadly. "We will have to miss this chance of finding a new home."

"The SOS could be from other humans!" said Mina, as Aron turned back to his work in the aquasphere. "We can't just ignore it!"

"But what can we do?" asked Dan. "We're not dragonnators."

Mina looked thoughtful. "Come with me - I've got an idea," she said.

Later, when the Dragon Flyz returned with their crystals, they found Josh and Aron talking to each other, looking worried.

"Mina and Dan have disappeared," explained Aron.

"We've had search parties looking high and low," added Josh. "No one has seen them. We can't think of where else to look."

As she listened, Apex realized that perhaps the dragons knew where the two children were. And she was the only person who could ask them, using her special powers of communication. She decided to go to the dragons' compound. She knew they would want to help find the children if they could.

Soon, Apex was back again. "Dan and Mina have taken a young dragon down to Earth," she explained.

"How do you know?" asked Josh.

"I haven't got the time to explain," said Apex. "Just trust me."

"We'd better get after them before they get into any trouble," said Z'neth. "Have you any idea where they might have gone?"

"Well," said Josh, "this morning we got a mystery signal..."

As soon as Josh had explained, the Dragon Flyz flew off after the children.

Meanwhile, feeling excited but a little nervous, Mina and Dan were riding the young dragon over the wild, swirling storms of the Warpwinds. Dan was steering the creatures as well as he could. Behind him, Mina was following the beam of the mysterious SOS signal that they had managed to trace.

"We're really close now," Mina said to Dan, excitedly, as the dial on the receiver glowed brighter. "And there's a Wind Pit. Are you sure you can handle this, Dan."

"No," admitted Dan, nervously. "But if we don't go, we might never know who the signal could be from. This could be our only chance of finding a home on Earth."

"Okay then," said Mina, determinedly. "Let's go for it!"

With that, Dan directed the young dragon's head downwards and they glided into the open mouth of the Wind Pit. The wild, howling winds instantly sent the young dragon and its two riders bumping and crashing against the stone walls of the honeycombed mountain. Without a dragonnator's training, the Wind Pits could be deadly.

Suddenly, Mina lost her balance in the storm, and slid from the dragon's back. Dan heard her cry for help, and twisted in his seat to try to reach her. Helpless, he saw her falling further and further from him.

As Dan stared in horror after his friend, the young dragon flew too close to a jutting stone outcrop. Dan smashed into it. Moments later, he too was falling after Mina into the dusty, whirling darkness. Left alone, the terrified young dragon headed back to Airlandis.

At once, the sound of flapping wings filled the Wind Pit. From out of the mountain's cracks and crannies flew hordes of Dread Wing's screeching gremwings. They headed after the children, down into the depths of the Wind Pit.

Later - he wasn't sure how much later - Dan heard a menacing voice close by.

"Look," he heard the voice say, "they are beginning to wake."

"Hmmm - interesting, " said another voice. "Not what I wanted, but I'm sure we can make use of them."

Slowly, Dan opened his eyes and got his first glimpse of what life on Earth was like. Staring down at him were the hideous mutant faces of Dread Wing and Nocturna. Around him veins of smoking lava bubbled and glowed.

"So nice of you to drop in," shrieked Nocturna, cackling.

How could anyone possibly survive in such a terrible place? thought Dan.

Dan saw Mina beginning to stir beside him. "H-how did we get here?" she asked, horrified. Dread Wing smirked, and ordered the gremwings to take them to his throne room. Then he explained his evil plan to the frightened children.

"You were both knocked unconscious in the Wind Pit when you were following my phoney SOS signal. I know you humans would want to know if the signal came from others of your kind down here," he told them. "My gremwings brought you here, to my throne room. I expected something bigger to fall into my trap. But you're better than nothing."

"What happens now?" whispered Mina, nervously.

"You're the bait," replied Dread Wing, as Nocturna stood by, gloating. "I'll use you to trap the Dragon Flyz. They're sure to try to rescue you, all we need to do is wait..."

"You won't wait for long - these guys are in enough trouble already," called a familiar voice. "They're wanted back on Airlandis."

The mutants of Earth looked up and saw Z'neth on Riptor swooping down towards them. As Riptor flew past, Z'neth reached out and snatched up the two children.

"Quick! After them!" roared Dread Wing. "With three of them on one dragon they won't get far."

With Mina and Dan hanging on as tight as they could, Riptor's great wings spun them over the broken stones and twisted forests of the Earth. Smoke and lava bubbled up from cracks in the ground. Behind them, Dread Wing's dragon, Black Heart, was drawing closer and closer. Mina and Dan could feel the heat from its fiery breath on their backs as Z'neth directed Riptor towards a vast canyon.

Waiting halfway down the canyon were the other Dragon Flyz and their dragons. The dragons' muscles strained as they held a giant mutated tree flat against the canyon wall. Then, as Z'neth flew past them, they let the tree go. With a whoosing sound it snapped back, crashing into Dread Wing. The mutant warlord was thrown from his dragon, and both went spinning to the floor of the deep, rugged canyon.

"Nice going, guys," said Z'neth, after they reached the sunlight above the Warpwinds. "Now, let's get these kids home. They've seen enough of Earth for one day!"

"Okay, big bro," said Summit, smiling. "By the way kids, I've got a message for you both from Josh and Aron...You're grounded!"

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