Happy Friday, everyone! Time for another episode of Dragon Ascending. Last week Kresho found himself being blackmailed by Tenad Fallon. This week Lenor is transported. 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 35: Transported
Len woke up alone in her bed, but she sensed Ascent not far, his attentions drawn elsewhere for the moment. She was tender and sore in ways that made her smile. They had made love through most of the night. She didn’t exactly remember dozing off, but surely she couldn’t have slept much. She stretched long and leisurely, almost certain she felt the gentle warmth of morning sun coming through a window onto her face, something she hadn’t felt since childhood. Perhaps Ascent had accessed some humanoid memory from his database, maybe her own while they were making love. Things bled through, feelings, memories, sensations. Hadn’t she felt like there were no boundaries between them when the came together with him moving inside her? Hadn’t she, for a second, known the entirety of him, every circuit, every cell? She would ask him about it later. Right now she didn’t want to disturb him. She more than likely should try to get a little more rest, but her mind was too full of Ascent to even consider sleeping. She needed some time to process all that had happened in the past few hours. Groaning a little with the aches of muscles not used before, she crawled out of bed, took a very quick shower and slid into her surface clothes. She gave her pack a check-over, though there was no need. Ascent always saw that whatever items she had used were replaced when she returned and that there was plenty of water. Satisfied everything was in order, she shouldered it, settled it into place and made her way toward the outside airlock. Her PD informed her that it was early morning and she wanted to take advantage of the relative cool before the Shimmer.
The beginnings of a plan rattled around in her head, and there were certain items she knew she would need. Ascent had pinpointed on her PD several derelict ships from which she might salvage useful parts, not only to sell, but also to build a crude, but workable transport that would get her back to Sandstorm base. But now that seemed less urgent. Now there were other reasons to search through the salvage. Surely it was a mistake to make the kind of plans she was considering. Up until now her only plan had always been to get off this sand heap, and that had been vague at best, since she’d have to come up with the money for passage, and the only way to do that was to find something worth a fortune in the salvage dumps. Good luck with that.
Then she’d made love to an SNT, and suddenly nothing looked quite the same. She decided to keep her scheming to herself for the moment. Ascent was still too vulnerable, too sensitive. But sooner or later he would have to come to grips with the loss of his compliment and hopefully make the decision to rejoin the land of the living, though certainly there wasn’t a whole lot of living happening on Tak Major. Still, he was an SNT ship. He came here to mourn and to forget. He didn’t have to stay here. No, some of her plans she would definitely keep to herself for a little while, at least. She found it worrisome that he could not remember so much as his own name. The fact that she was alive proved that he could retrieve memories or at least data. That was another bridge to be crossed later, when he was ready, when they were more sure of each other.
She made the climbed down from the airlock quickly, descending into the furnace of early morning only beginning the temperature climb toward the Shimmer.
Once on the ground, she knew exactly what she was looking for, and judging the distance, and the topo graphs on her PD, she thought she could get to the wrecked Jaeger ,which the night’s sandstorm had uncovered, find what she was looking for, and be back before the Shimmer. Checking the route, she could see that if she underestimated the time it would take by a little, there would be shade from the scrap heaps for her to walk in almost the entire way back. Though she didn’t plan to be gone that long. She didn’t want Ascent to worry.
Ascent had informed her that while he had been responsible for the openings in the de-mole barrier, he did not remember erecting the perimeter himself, and doubted that he would have done so, since he found d-mole tech barbaric, and if it were left to him, he would ban it entirely. He could be a little judgmental like that. When she thought of some of the destruction the conglomerates had brought about for their own greed, she wasn’t entirely sure she agreed with him. The de-moling of the entire board of directors and all the top shareholders of the major conglomerates would most definitely make the galaxy a better place. Still, it was a mystery who built it and why. What could it possibly hold that would be of more value than an SNT ship? Anyway, Ascent had easily manipulated it to allow her in and keep others out. So had the other SNT.
She looked up into the sky that was still the deep blue of early morning and not yet the hot iron burn of the Shimmer and wondered if the SNT above her somewhere in orbit had seen her exit the safety of Ascent’s shelter. Who was this strange SNT with two compliments? As she headed around the perimeter of the de-mole in the direction of the coordinates on her PD, she was thinking about how she might convince Ascent he should meet his brother when the world shivered around her and then vanished. No! The world didn’t vanish. She did, dematerializing into nothing. The last thing she heard was Ascent crying out for her.
For a moment she literally did not exist and then the world shivered again and she found herself on her hands and knees on the bridge of a ship, a man and a woman standing over her. But it wasn’t either of them who spoke, as the woman offered her an outstretched hand.
“Lenore Falik, please forgive the abduction. It was the only way we knew to open communications with my brother.”