Kiadan awoke upon a table strapped down in a position where she was unable to move and bright light filled her vision making seeing difficult. Out of the corner of her eye she could watch the imposing humanoid blurs interact with one another; their language was unknown to her and the motions difficult to track. She was unsure how long she’d been conscious. All she knew was it was only to brief before she sunk into darkness again.
Kiadan would awaken at odd times to feel horrible throbbing pains in her limbs or headaches of unbearable pain that would blur her vision and make her teeth grind in spasms. For Kiadan the darkness came and went, the only constant for her was the pain, the horrible ache, and one other thing… a sobbing whimpering crying sound. It wasn’t until she had been awake in the darkness for what felt like weeks that she realized that the whimpering crying sound was her crying and despite her best efforts she couldn’t stop. A deep pit of despair had formed in her heart and she couldn’t escape its energy consuming abilities.
When Kiadan next awoke she was surrounded by tall imposing figures of unknown origin, but they resembled nothing more then an evil aquatic alligators with many robotic eyes. Dazed and sluggish things did not look good for Kiadan, she’d only been awake, well she wasn’t sure how long she had been awake but compared to the looks she was getting she was pretty sure she didn’t want to be awake anymore. She only got a few steps away from the creature before she was hosted up by her tail and thrown into a small cage. A feminine hand reached into her cage and administrated a small patch of something; sighing contently she lay down upon the cage floor and lazily watched what went on around her.
Kiadan was unsure exactly how she’d come to be in a small gilded cage. But she was sure it did not allow for much if any movement except for a wearying paces in a small circle. The cage conformed to be just tall enough for her hands to just reach outside the cage, but not enough to make much use of leverage. The floor and the cage were hard as steel and as inflexible as stone. Even swaying the cage from side to side would not disengage it from whatever held it suspended above her head. Too much wobbling brought the cage owner close to her where he would poke her with a vast meaty finger as hard as he could in her side.
Day in and day out people would wander by the small cage where Kiadan hung, at the mercy of their torment. She would be poked, stabbed, rocked senseless and spit upon. Each insult created more and more desire for freedom in her heart. The owner of the cage was a tall and menacing appearing creature that would throw scraps occasionally into the cage where she lived. There was no privacy to Kiadan’s cage and the only consistency to her location was that her cage was held so there were no shadows to be found in any direction, this of course made sleeping difficult in the busy shop. When Kiadan did sleep it was fitful tossing and turning of the exhaustion one knows from being deprived to much sleep for to long.
Time passed and slowly Kiadan worked when the owner wasn’t looking for a means of escape, her tail was long as she was tall and could easily reach around the majority of the cage, but there was nothing to keep it suspended from above, which could mean through deduction it was held aloft by an anti gravity machine of some sort. Kiadan seized her chance at escape when a particularly vile looking creature shoved a finger into her face intent upon tormenting her. Latching onto the finger with her jaws she refused to let go. For support her small fore hands grabbed upon the cage and her tail encircled several bars to provide a brace for herself. Tugging mightily the creature finally managed to wrest his finger from Kiadan’s mouth. The motion of him jerking his finger out of her mouth allowed it to come off its small repulsor lift and onto the floor and the awaiting shadows.
The shadows welcomed Kiadan into them as if she were a long lost friend. In the shadows she made her escape in the blink of an eye. Luck had been upon her side and she wasn’t about to stop running. The throng of people barely noticed the small dragon as it appeared from a shadow in the midst of a busy street. Shrieks of “Stop that creature” rang from behind her. Kiadan did not stop to ponder who was the creature for which the screams were meant nor was she inclined to worry, she had far more pressing matters to escape from and began to fly away at top speed.
Beings closed in upon all sides around Kiadan as she darted from shadow to shadow refusing to be caught. The creatures were persistent and hard to shake. Following her as if she were several dozen times her actual size. Leading the pursuit the large owner of her cage. Kiadan’s breathing rasped in her ears as she ran, her breathing coming in shallow gasps as it quickly expelled from her lungs. She collapsed into a heap, heart thudding and unable to catch her breath. It wasn’t long after she collapsed into a heap that she felt hands around her tail yanking her into the air.
A collar was slapped around her neck and the creature chuckled. “You’ll not get so far again, little one.” Attaching a thin cord in the collar she was led back to the store, the owner careful to avoid any shadows, lest Kiadan managed to teleport away again. This would not be the final attempt she vowed to herself. “They were right about your shadow trick, you are well worth your 900,000 credits, we’ll make use of your running tricks all in good time my pet.”
(For story purposes Kiadan is outfitted with Lung Locks and a Locator by her owner, currently Kiadan has no memory of the days prior to her days in the cage and the times of darkness and light when a merchant in phase world bought her as an exotic pet to display in his shop.)
Kiadan spent several long months writhing in indignation at being held against her will in the gilded cage. It had become something of a contest between her and her owner to see if Kiadan could escape from her cage and how long she could avoid capture. The results were always the same, she would only run for a few minutes before she would literally run out of air and would collapse unable to breath.
Kiadan being a crafty and patient individual was not beaten in the least, when she wasn’t attempting to escape she made use of her time in the cage learning the setup for the shop where she was kept and the regular costumers and the standard hours and habits of her owner. Though he was large and imposing seldom did he pay attention to Kiadan, he was however quick to recapture her should she indeed make her escape.
As Kiadan noted the shop was nothing more then a weapons boutique filled to the brim with weapons of all sorts, from rune to plasma and primitive to technological. The proprietor of the store, Kiadan’s owner, was a large heavily muscled being that enjoyed demonstrating the weapons for his clients in a small back room. The bigger joy he had was betting upon sentient versus sentient combat.
Noted in Kiadan’s list of her owner’s habits was his joy of Sentient vs. Sentient combat. This was a spectacle he would never miss given a choice, and would often close the shop to go visit or watch the show.
Kiadan seizing a chance one day snagged a personal computer from one of his clients she’d not seen in the store before. She drug the creature’s computer into her cage with her tail and laid atop it using her small-scaled body to hide her theft. A quick searching by the creature failed to turn up the item and it left to try and retrace its steps and find its computer.
After the customer had well and truly left, caring little if her subjugator saw, Kiadan began to work upon the computer. Quickly mastering its small controls and setting about learning computers. Her captor noticed Kiadan working upon a small portable computer but did not take it from her. Instead he watched and observed what she did. Content that she was only marginally intelligent and had at last grown used to being his pet.
He stopped paying attention to Kiadan’s exploration of this computer, and only marginally wondered where she managed to steal it. His lack of attention would prove a dreadful mistake for him and a fortunate oversight for her. Using his ineptitude Kiadan began to siphon a small portion of credits from his personal account into an account for herself.
Now armed with a computer and a savings account Kiadan set out learning how the lights worked, so she could switch them off and escape when the time came. One day however things went from bad to worse as far as Kiadan was concerned, her owner reached into her cage and took off her rather plain collar and gave her another one, far more decorative and fancy. “This will be useful for you in the future little one,” he said with a menacing grin. Despite her best efforts this new collar could not be removed, a noticeable benefit however was that when she was poked she could hardly feel it anymore.
Realizing that this was perhaps a foreshadowing of her demise Kiadan set about doing her best to escape post haste from her cage. When the store closed that same night she began work on cracking the code on the lighting system. Kiadan wasn’t sure where the storeowner lived, but she was certain he came in every day at the same time and would leave at the same time. She hoped she had her timing right, if she did she would have six hours to hack the lights and teleport to safety. It took her nearly three hours to hack into the shops computers and turn the lights down to the point shadows appeared. She popped out of her cage and wasted no time. Using her knowledge of the store Kiadan quickly gathered up a few items and in her searching found a small Naruni super heavy force field that was surprisingly sized for her.
Kiadan’s fears had been justified; her owner was planning on sending her into sentient vs. sentient combat, or worse still. He could be doing this to simply hunt her down as a display of his fine weapons from his store. Which if that were the case, her escaping now would merely signal him to start the hunt. Worry clouded her mind for a time and she stopped gathering items into a small satchel. She had to tell herself over and over, run escape Kiadan. Finally geared into action she grabbed the last thing she would need, the personal computer that had started her escape today. She’d managed to fit into her satchel her personal computer, a pocket laser distancer, a flashlight pen, a laser scalpel, some tools she hoped would pick locks, a hand held communicator, a mutli-tool, an old language translator, a basic survival kit, the stores first aid kit, and a silver knife. The only things she wore were the force field; a pair of goggles she found that was somewhat close in size, the magical collar she’d been given and the satchel. Her bank account had exactly four thousand credits in it, and she’d managed to flitch away from his supplies some jewelry, which she was hoping was at least nine thousand credits. Her calculations were rough but with at least ten thousand credits she could escape by hiring or booking a ship or using a jump portal away from here.
Kiadan escaped from shadow to shadow, allowing the relative darkness to hide her while she escaped. She wasn’t sure how her Owner always managed to find her, but she had no time to worry, if her chorno meter was correct she was rapidly running out of time in both lung capacity and in escape time. Her owner would be to the store within an hour if she were lucky. As if it were on cue her lungs seized the air she needed to breathe. She faltered into a shadow and fell, gasping for breath, her heart hammering in her small-scaled chest. The pain faded after several panic filled moments, slowly her breathing returned to normal and her heart pounded more surely. She’d made it five minutes before her attack, and she had to wait another two minutes before she regained her composure. Her ability to leap through shadows was useful, but it would only get her so far before she was caught because of her asthmatic fits.
Swallowing her pride Kiadan leapt from the shadows at full flying speed. Zooming along at head level for many creatures she made better time before her next fit. She could just make out the elevator off this level, if she could just make it before her lungs gave out. Luck was on her side, as Kiadan began to descend she literally crashed into a small open car carrying foods of all manner headed for the elevator. The car made its way into the lift and began to ascend to an unknown floor. Kiadan however was not quiet so lucky, hearing the problematic breathing the driver turned to see a small winged dragon apparently dying in his vehicle. Stopping the lift at the closest level he flung the small dragon from his car and out into a busy street. Still suffering from her asthmatic fit Kiadan tumbled end over end till she collided with a solid thud into a wall. The resulting throw forced what little air that was in her lungs to explode out violently. Kiadan passed out from lack of oxygen. The last thing she saw before she began to black out were two long thinned hands reaching to pick her up.
When Kiadan awoke again she was strapped to a table with a bright light shining down at her. A man’s long thinned hands were delicately holding a large syringe above her. He spoke to Kiadan in a modulated tone with a precise educated accent. After he injected Kiadan he lifted her up and put her in another cage, leaving her alone in the room as he left to do something. As he walked away Kiadan could see the man’s long lab coat and skinny skeleton like body.
Kiadan wasted no time in trying to escape but the slippery cage walls left no purchase for her to grab on to. Kiadan had only been in the cage a few moments when her features began to change and shift to resemble the stars in space. She grew lighter than air and rose out of the slickened cage and just as quickly as she’d changed she returned to normal. A sound at the door forced Kiadan to flee.
The giant metal man with the human face who came tromping into the room didn’t even notice Kiadan as he spied the room for something. Only the quick dart of Kiadan moving from shadow to shadow gave her away to the man. The giant man sat down on his legs and beckoned to Kiadan. Chancing it Kiadan leapt onto his lap and pretended to be a docile pet for several moments till the voice of the man who had poked Kiadan came over the speaker and revealed her secret of intelligence.
Knowing that subterfuge was gone Kiadan began speaking to the man who introduced himself as Jack. He promised to protect and guide Kiadan from the station and the two set out, forming an uneasy bond. Jack even further to show his trust gave Kiadan a laser pistol and a clip of ammo. It did Jack little good as Kiadan stared at the weapon in confusion but she took it none the less.
Kiadan and Jack met up with several other individuals in another room, a horribly disfigured man with a foul temper, a dwarf, and a short man with a golden Mohawk. Kiadan kept to Jack’s shoulder as much as possible and stayed out of everyone’s way for as long as she could, till her curiosity took over and she began to examine each of the new travelers in time.
As the group moved through throughout the ship of the Unfunny Doctor, things started to go from bad to worse. The few things on the ship seemed to want to kill the party and they were doing a good job of it. As Kiadan watched helplessly as each of her traveling companions were pinned down, the dwarven marine Mizor jumped up and started firing at one of the enemies. A stray shot punched a whole through the ship sucking both Mizor and the evil robot man into space. Kiadan hiding nearby was sucked into space as well.
As Kiadan lay floating in space a new sensation came over her. A sense of belonging and completeness filled her. Opening her eyes she looked into the vast darkness and saw Mizor searching franticly for the small dragon. Grinning Kiadan bounced upon the dwarf, trying to cover her face plate with her small hands. Kiadan laughed and began to babble at Mizor over her strange new power, and Mizor was left speechless as Kiadan flitted through space as easily as the air.
In the distance Kiadan and Mizor saw a beat up ship and made for it. Along the way Kiadan grabbed the arm of the robot Mizor had destroyed, claiming it as hers. And when she reached the ship before Mizor she proudly proclaimed that as hers as well. Mizor and Kiadan made haste for the ship’s power core and began to bring it online as weapons fire began to ping and resound outside. Frightened, Kiadan took wing and hid in Mizor’s helmet once she took it off.
Their was a resulting fire fight outside the ship as two more ships were clashing for dominance and right to loot the ship Jack and the others were still on. Mizor was able to pilot the ship away and rendezvous with the other ship.
Jack instructed Kiadan to sneak aboard the other ship and plant devices on the ship but Kiadan became side tracked when the ship began speaking to her through her communicator and she was quick to leave the explosive on the ship and report back to Jack to tell him of the talking ship.
Branko, the angry jigsawed captain of the Discordain Saint, introduced the other captain who instantly banished Kiadan from his sight and threatened to hurt her. Kiadan so angry at the treatment ran off, and somehow managed to activate the power of her necklace to give her super strength, into the air ducts. Realizing that the others couldn’t get to Kiadan in the air ducts the little dragon made these her territory, routing out ways to get around the ship without being seen, and losing screws to get into places she shouldn’t have been.
Though Kiadan shared a room with Jack, she claimed the closet in their room, Kiadan often slept on the bed the metal man hardly used, and she was often found napping and frolicking throughout the ship. Playing jokes on the other residents and taking their things.
The three men that Branko’s friend left with them became endless fun for Kiadan. And she came to adopt Doc Roe, the music man, as a close friend, often spending time around the pacifist doctor in an attempt to steal his shiny sword. That is until she managed to get her hands on the sword. The magical bolt of lighting knocked Kiadan out cold and it was some minutes before she came to her senses. She didn’t completely trust Doc Roe from that point on.
Branko’s ship was in need of repair and docked at a colony asteroid. The crew disembarked to purchase repairs and supplies for the upcoming journey back to center. Kiadan was asked by Jack to take notes on a gig while he took his robot suit in for repair. Kiadan often wondered what was wrong with Jack to never leave his suit but her friendship with the gentle man kept her from asking about his condition.
While in the meeting Kiadan struck a deal with the man who had sought the contract for all the shinies she could carry. The man agreed as long as he got to inspect Kiadan’s plunder and approve of the items she took.
While on the planet’s surface Kiadan pretended to be the pet of Doc Roe and they began their investigation. Jack and the others had smuggled their weapons in the dimensional pocket in Kiadan’s vest. Kiadan used her ability to jump through shadows to give the party a reason to split up, half the group to investigate and find the small dragon, and the other half to act as guards for their cover mission.
Kiadan wandered through the air ducts for hours before coming out in a well lit computer room. The guards in the room petted and played with Kiadan for several minutes before one of them grabbed her about the collar and threw her into a makeshift cage. It was only a few minutes later that Kiadan had escaped from the cage and took her revenge on the men who had tried to impression her by tying their shoe laces together and escaping back into the air ducts.
While in the air ducts Jack radioed Kiadan to give her instructions and Kiadan ran into resistance in the form of three toy poodle sized crabs. Using her goo gun she’d gotten from Jack Kiadan immobilized one of the robots completely. She was able to hack another and it deactivated. The third and final crab nearly killed Kiadan as the two fought and struggled. Kiadan depressurized the area around the crab and took advantage of it to breathe a bolt of void shadow onto the crab, destroying it.
Delighting in her capture Kiadan took the deactivated crab with her as she searched for her companions. The asteroid was becoming destabilized as more and more robots punched their way through the rock to destroy the humans inside. The party got separated at some point and when Kiadan asked what happened to Doc Roe and Mizor Jack explained that they lead a group of civilians to escape in another pod. Kiadan cheered up at the thought that Roe and Mizor had escaped and would soon reunite with them.
Kiadan didn’t have time to ponder what happened long as her two new friends consumed much of her time. The strange robot she named Lockjaw and Holt, who could speak the hiss click language like she could.
When the party arrived at Center Kiadan was ecstatic, even if Jack didn’t let her leave his side. Jack took Kiadan to a vet to look into why her lungs were so weak and unwittingly took Kiadan to her old vet. The experience frightened Kiadan so much that she clammed up and didn’t talk for hours afterwards.
The crew came up with a way to free Kiadan and it was Jeremiah, the golden Mohawk man, who suggested they kill the vet. Kiadan forbid it and refused to speak anymore on the topic. She grew angry with Jeremiah when the vet was kidnapped, but Jeremiah swore it wasn’t him.
Seeking more money the party began looking for another job, Jack and Kiadan went to the library of center and they began searching the tomes. It was here that Jack learned of Kiadan’s true affinity for computers and put her to use doing data searches and browsing catalogues. Even if her desire for candy was a strain on the metal man’s patience at times, it was also at this time that Jack began to suspect something was mentally wrong with the dragon.
When the duo returned to the ship a new member had joined the party, Cynthia, the pretty lady, who took a liking to Kiadan’s simple childlike tendencies. The two were fast friends and Kiadan allowed Cynthia to pick out bows and other things for her, delighting in the attention she got.
When the party went to meet with their contact a rift opened in the bar and a fire fight broke out. Against Kiadan’s better judgment she followed Jack’s orders and ran to scoop up the items in the middle of the bar. There was a loud noise and then a sizzling pain came over Kiadan and things got weird for the reptilian thief...