Dragon Ascending Part 3: Brand New KDG Read!
Happy Friday everyone! I hope you’re enjoying Dragon Ascending, the sequel to Piloting Fury, as much as I’m enjoying sharing it with you. Last week we left our mysterious heroine searching a salvage yard for safety from the coming night. This week, we learn that safety isn’t that easy to come by. As always, I love it when you share my work with your reading friends, so feel free. In the meantime, enjoy!
If you missed the previous episode of Dragon Ascending, follow the link for a catch-up.
Dragon Ascending: Book 2 of the Sentient Ships Series
On a desolate junkyard of a planetoid, scavenger Lenore Felik, disturbs something slumbering in a remote salvage dump and uncovers secrets of a tragic past and of the surprising role she must play in the terrifying present she now faces.
Robbed of her inheritance after her tyrannical father’s death, Tenad Fallon is out for revenge on her half-brothers, one who happens to be the sentient ship, Fury. Fury, with his human companions, Richard Manning and Diana McAllister, has his own agenda – finding the lost sentient ships and ending the scourge of indentured servitude in Authority space.
Dragon Ascending Part 3: The Climb
Len grew up climbing, in the wreckage here on Tak Major and before that on the ice cliffs of Tak Minor. She was sure on her feet and strong, but then that was when she had not been beaten half to death. Not that she hadn’t taken her share of beatings before, but until today, she had always given as good as she got, most times better. She could easily see the route up. It was not very far. Any other time it would have been an easy climb. But now, weak as she was and with the breeze already brushing her face, it would be worse than climbing the Harbinger on Tak Minor. Injured or not, she’d have to try and she’d have to do it quickly. She didn’t waste her breath with the curses running through her mind as she pulled off the wrap from around her head and face and wound it as tightly as she could around her ribs, the string of silent expletives becoming more colorful as the pain made bright colors dance in front of her eyes. She would have pissed herself in the agony if there had been any water left to wring out of her dehydrated bladder. At last the binding was done, and without pausing for more than a shallow gasp of breath, she began her ascent. It was only ten meters, she told herself with every agonized breath, only ten. At least the coming cold of the desert night helped her stay conscious. Even so, the route up the first half was a battle to stay conscious.
It was the increasing nausea that kept her from passing out completely. Who knew battling to keep from puking on herself could be anything one would be glad for, but the burn of bile in her dry throat focused her as the pain shot through each pull and drag, each pushing to her feet, each horrendous stretching upward. And then the fucking wind picked up again. It howled and gusted around her in swirls of dust that made her eyes water and stung her face, now exposed since she had use her head covering for her ribs. She clung to her precarious perch, arms and legs trembling until each gust passed. Under normal circumstances, she would have just jumped for it and swung up those last few meters. She’d managed worse, but this time, this time she’d have to hold on and take it slow.
Another pull up and her hand slipped for a harrowing moment leaving her hanging, fearing that she would pass out and fall and none of it would matter anyway. But if she did, knowing her stupid luck, she wouldn’t die, only break enough bones to become an easy feast for any predator that squeezed through the opening, or to have her bones scrubbed clean by the scouring of the sand driven by the wind before she had the good grace to fuck off and die. She closed her eyes fighting vertigo, nausea and worst of all despair. That was a waste of time she didn’t have. She steadied herself and reached out. It was only when her hand slipped the second time she realized it was bleeding. How much more goddamned blood could she have left to bleed out? There was no binding it, not from her unstable position. She gave it a quick wiping on her filthy trousers and tried again. The hand held long enough for her to make another lunge upward, with just enough space for her to puke off to the side without soiling herself anymore than she already was. When the dry heaves stopped, she clung for another moment to the unstable heap of junk she ascended until she could steady herself. Her hand slipped again, new abrasions, more blood, a lot more blood. Fuck it all! She would have to jump. There was no other choice. The wind was all but howling around her now. If she didn’t act, it would blow her right off the mountain of junk. She waited only long enough for the gust to pass so that she could see, taking the opportunity to fill her lungs with what little breath she could manage in each painful gasp. The airlock was at least a little closer than it had been. And if she fell, she fell. She would do her best to do a proper hard splat of a landing and with any luck she would lose consciousness, break a few more bones, lose the rest of her blood and that would be that, or at least she hoped. Not so bad, she thought. Way better than this shit.
Somehow in spite of the pain, she found that place deep at her center, the place that felt bigger than the Outer Rim and the Great Rift put together, yet it was impossible to pinpoint. There she remained just long enough to draw in another tiny sip of breath. Then she gathered herself and wiped her hand one last time on her trousers. For a split second her vision cleared, the wind went somewhere else, and there was only her and the airlock tempting her to safety. One more painful breath and she jumped, heaving herself upward into blinding pain, arching and reaching and stretching with a banshee yell that came from deep in that same place.
And she knew instantly, she knew that she would not make it. She was just too weak. “I’m sorry,” she whispered to no one there. The wind raged and the whole junk heap shifted, falling all around her. She cried out and reached upward feeling another rib snap as the world flashed bright and she lost consciousness.