"What is it, Kekoa?" Ano asked.
"The Fire Tribe approaches. I believe they are also hunting Dreth."
Ano sighed and rose. "Well then, let us go meet them."
Kekoa, Leilani, Obsi and Maiara followed Ano to the beach. Obsi and Leilani had hidden the egg Scorpa gave to Obsi behind some rocks and Obsi tried not to glance at the spot. Ano waded into the water and motioned for the Fire Tribe to come closer. He made gestures with his hands that Obsi contextually discerned meant that he wanted to talk and the talk would be peaceful. A man whom Obsi guessed was the Fire Tribe Chief walked through the water up to where Ano stood. Maiara walked into the water and stood behind Ano. Leilani motioned for Obsi to follow and they stood on either side of Maiara.
"The creature is peaceful," Ano said to the Fire leader.
"How do you know that?" the man asked angrily.
"This woman," Ano motioned to Obsi, "can speak with dragons. The creature you are hunting is from the Great Trench. It only comes out when there is a disturbance. What that may be we have yet to figure out."
The Fire leader snorted and crossed his arms across his massive chest. "You are a fool. You take the word of a woman, no a stranger, from who knows where, over the tribes? That is almost a declaration of war!"
Ano opened his mouth to speak but stopped and looked to the sky. The Fire leader turned and almost fell on his backside as Goda swooped overhead and landed on the beach. Ano caught the man's arm and helped him regain his balance.
"This cannot be," the Fire leader said.
Goda, realizing he had an audience, rose to his full height, spread his wings and roared.
The others from the Fire tribe scrambled out of their boat and joined their leader. The all dropped to one knee.
Obsi looked up at Goda as he put his front feet on the ground. "Showoff," she said.
Goda laughed, which was a bit unnerving. "It is not often I get to show off like this, Obsi. Please do not ruin it for me."
Obsi laughed and she and Leilani rolled the egg out from behind the rocks to in front of Goda. "This is why I called for you. The dragon Scorpa gave this to me. Would you please take it to my base and have Tim incubate it for me?"
Goda bowed his head. "Of course, Obsidian Wraith. Oh, and on my back is a pouch for you. Your sister sent you some supplies."
Obsi climbed on Goda's back and she heard a collective gasp from the Fire Tribe. She untied the pouch and jumped off.
"Thank you for bringing this and for taking the egg home for me," she said, patting the dragon's cheek.
Goda gently picked up the egg. "If you need me again, you know how to reach me. Until then, farewell." Goda rose to his full height and roared again before launching himself into the sky.
The Fire tribe pushed themselves to their feet and scrambled onto the beach. "That...that was...Goda!" The Fire Leader said.
"Yes," Obsi replied flatly.
Obsi shook her head. "No. He is a friend."
The Fire Tribe fell simultaneously to their knees. "We apologize for our comments before. We beg your forgiveness."
"There is nothing to forgive," she replied slowly. "However, you must not hunt Dreth."
"Agreed," the Fire Leader said as he rose to his feet. "Ano, I should know better than to doubt you."
"Yes, you should," snapped Maiara.
"I apologize for my false accusations and my inference that you wanted war. The Wave Tribe has always been peaceful unless provoked. I do not wish to provoke you."
Ano reached out and the men clasped arms. "My friend, I understand why you would say these things. I appreciate and accept your apology. I invite you to stay for the mid day meal."
The Fire leader shook his head. "No, we will return to our island and make sure no one continues to hunt the creature known as Dreth." With that, the Fire Tribe returned to their boat and paddled off.
Maiara put her hand on Ano's shoulder. "Vulc will not be pleased with this," she said softly.
"Probably not," Ano replied, "but there is not much he can do about it."
As the Wave Tribe returned to their village, a green fin stuck ever so slightly out of the water, just out of eyesight. Meglok waited for them to disappear into the jungle then breached himself out of the water and swam to the bottom of the ocean to wait.