Happy Friday, everyone! Time for another episode of Dragon Ascending. Last week there were unwanted memories for Ascent. This week they turn into a nightmare and Len is pulled in. As I mentioned, I am now attempting to post episodes at lengths that will be better suited for the flow of the story and enhance your reading pleasure. Some will be slightly shorter, some will be longer. I hope you find this switch-up helpful. I hope you’re enjoying Dragon Ascending, the sequel to Piloting Fury, as much as I’m enjoying sharing it with you. As always, I love it when you share my work with your reading friends, so feel free. In the meantime, enjoy!
For those of you who would like to read the complete novel, Piloting Fury, book one of the Sentient Ships series, follow the link to the first instalment.
Dragon Ascending: Book 2 of the Sentient Ship 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 30: Waking Dream
“I will not! I cannot! I will kill them all for what they have done! We are innocent! We have done nothing wrong. You have done nothing wrong. Please my love!” Please! The room erupted in fire. She was hot, burning, skin blistering and melting from her body, oxygen to hot to breathe, and then sucked from the chamber. And then she was wrenched from my heart and she was no more.
From a long way off, she could hear his cries of anguish. “Lenore! Lenore, please do not leave me.”
She burst from sleep gasping from a dream of fire, of skin blackening, of anguished pleas for her not to leave. And she was thirsty, so thirsty. She stumbled to the bathroom and drank deeply from the faucet, not bothering with the glass, letting the water run over her head. There had been no fire in her past. Her nightmares had always been of ice, of being entombed alive in it forever, of trying to escape it, constantly trying to escape it.
Jesu Vaticanus! She had been in Ascent’s nightmare! She knew the SNT stories, she knew the disaster that had followed the massacre of the Phoenix. She stumbled back to her bed, reeling from the thought. How could one little transfusion of Ascent’s genetic soup connect her so deeply with him that they dreamed together? That was something only a bonded compliment could do, and that with years of training and injections of immuno- depressants to make the compliments compatible. She was only seven when the SNT disaster happened. Even if she had dreamed of following in her uncle’s footsteps onboard one of the next generation SNTs, she was far too young to begin the training when she and her mother had fled.
At first she thought the shudder that trembled beneath her feet and dumped her on her ass on the floor was an earthquake. They happened often enough on a planetoid of shifting sand with an erratic orbit, but it didn’t feel right. She’d been through enough of the little tremors and the big bruisers to know that this wasn’t that. It was only when she tried to stand that she realized the shudders in her own body mirrored those of the ship. Fear, anguish, and heat! Suddenly it felt like the life support systems were malfunctioning and Ascent was roasting her. For the briefest moment she recalled her fear that he was not sane, that he might hurt her, but there was little time to dwell on it as heat shimmered red in the air around her sheening her body in sweat and plastering her hair to her nape. She stumbled again and cried out and the space around her groaned.
“Lenore! Lenore please don’t leave me! Please, please! I will not survive without you, my love.”
“You will! You must! You have to live to fight another day.” The words were out of her mouth before she realized they were not her own. They belonged to Ascent’s complement. Fuck! They not only belonged to her, but they were her dying words, and Ascent, Ascent was only calling out her name in his confusion, in his pain.
“Ascent, it’s a dream! It’s only a dream! You have to wake up now.”
The room shuddered and groaned again. He hadn’t heard her. He hadn’t fucking heard her! “Ascent! Wake up, goddamn it! It’s a dream. You have to wake up now!” When the room tilted again and she all but threw herself on the floor from loss of her own sense of balance as the world shifted around her. She burst into action, throwing on her clothes as she shouted, again for him to wake up, shouted until her throat was raw. When there was no response but a harsh moan that sounded almost human, she slid into her boots, dug through her pack for a headlamp and ran for the door. On second thought, she grabbed up the whole pack and shouldered into it as she donned the lamp. She didn’t know the layout of whichever SNT Ascent was. She didn’t know how long it would take her if she couldn’t wake him, but she did know if she couldn’t wake him soon, she wouldn’t survive his nightmare. She had to find the way to his heart and hope he’d let her close enough to wake him up. If he didn’t want her there she could end up hopelessly lost until he finally woke up on his own, or until the dream passed. If she survived that long. She didn’t even want to think about the risk she was taking just going to his heart. At the moment she had enough on her mind without dwelling on worse case scenarios, of which there were too many for comfort.