“I was caught unawares…” ~ On the Steps of the Palace: Into the Woods
Hiccup found he had much less time to act than he had anticipated once Toothless had faded from view. He turned to run back to the heart of the village, primed to resume Regan’s evacuation efforts, but was stopped dead in his tracks.
He could already see the smoke. Approaching flames tinted the cool winter twilight a dusty orange. The square appeared to be mostly deserted for the time being; Hiccup suspected most the villagers chose to remain in their homes, blissfully unaware of the approaching danger.
Hiccup felt like he was drowning. There were lives at stake, lives he knew he could save, but he was sickeningly helpless to stop the fire that burned over the horizon and the army that trailed right behind it. Especially without Toothless; stripped of the Night Fury, he was only a crippled human once again.
His fists clenched at his sides. No, he was more than that. For th