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Sovereign of the Dragon (Part 7) by J.J. Massa

Dropping onto the back of his dragon, Tikan instantly blocked out the echo of alien thoughts. While he understood the connection to His Majesty, analyzing such things would wait until after the battle.

A quick glance toward Nadya sent his heart plummeting. She was still lying on the dragon's back, unmoving. Worse than that, another explosion burned the air just to the right of her dragon, sending it in a rolling spiral.

In a purely academic sense, the spinning dragon was beautiful, the colors of swirling feathers bleeding into each other in a graduating flow of pink to blue. Here and now, however, Nadya's survival depended on Tikan and his dragon somehow disabling whatever was firing on them.

Every other time they'd come under fire, their attacker made no effort to hide. Of course, it wasn't as if they needed to. They'd been attacking while the five of them defended.

The liquid fire of rage wrapped him in a determined haze as he turned his dragon toward the direction of the attack. His dragon, mind joined as it had been since called, flowed smooth and deadly against the traffic of white heat barreling toward them.

Weaving in and out of the incendiary missiles, Tikan's dragon continued to pour on flames.

More than once, the furnace of dragon fire burned a violent blue, setting the very air ablaze. The deadly projectiles crumbled away to ashes when introduced to the dragon's billowing conflagration. 

The two were bearing down hard on the wedge of ocean that seemed to cough deadly injury and death. Ata movement off to his left, Tikan leaned toward the right, simultaneously spotting the submarine firing on them and Jason, standing--standing!--astride his kraken, as they silently approached the craft.

How anyone could miss spotting a giant squid with a teenage boy standing on it, Tikan couldn't imagine. Perhaps the answer lay in the fact that all guns, and possibly most of the crew, were aimed away from the leviathan.

Tikan had every intention of using the situation to his advantage, of course. Why wouldn't he? The fury and frustration of witnessing Nadya's  long fall, of not knowing what her injuries were, had meshed, leaving him cold and calculating, and quite without concern for his own wellbeing.

Circling in front of the submarine, the dove forward, the dragon issuing searing gout of flame before dodging away. The path they chose cut across to the right, but too close to get a shot off.

 As one of the huge sockets swiveled to track Tikan, the giant squid rose from behind the craft, causing a large wave and upsetting the submarine, almost to the point of capsizing.  While Tikan felt an almost overwhelming urge to finish the craft and the monsters inside once and for all, he managed to resist.

His dragon's thoughts, too, roiled with conflict, as the great beast fought against the instinct to end this enemy before more harm came from it. But Nadya was out there somewhere, and her dragon could only help her so much.



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