Happy Friday, everyone! Time for another episode of Dragon Ascending. Last week Kresho informed the Fallons of the new plan. This week he gets a peek into the Fallon family dynamics. 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 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 39: Insights
Jessup didn’t argue with anything after the mention of Mist. He only gave a surly growl before he turned and followed Gerd out the door with Dyrg right on his heels. Once he was gone, Kresho turned to Tenad, who had settled into the chair in front of his desk, legs crossed, hands resting on the arms like it was her throne. He said nothing, only moved to his desk and settled behind it pulling out a bottle of good New Caledonian whisky. Fuck if he didn’t need it, badly. He hadn’t bluffed that hard in years. At least for the moment they were buying it. Silently he cursed Ori once again. He offered Tenad some, but she shook her head.
“I don’t drink, which I reckon you probably already know, a man with your superior intel.”
He shrugged and pulled out a single glass. “Just thought after the joyful family reunion and then having to kiss all those credits good-bye, you might need one.” He filled it to the rim and drank half of it before the burn had calmed him enough to speak again. So far so good with the plan, but it was very early days. “You’re brother’s a little shit.”
“He is, yes. I hated Gerando, but even he had his moments, she offered half a grimace, “as much as any Fallon ever did I suppose. Now,” she leaned forward in her chair, that bronze ponytail cascading over her shoulder and down onto her breast. He had an overwhelming urge to grab it and reel her in right onto the top of his desk. She carelessly shoved it back over her shoulder and offered him a mischievous smile. “Are you going to tell me how you suddenly came up with all this juicy information that just cost me a small mint’s worth of credits, and I didn’t even argue?”
“Of course I’m not going to tell you,” he said. “Did you really think I could run a space station out in the middle of nowhere if I didn’t have some damn good connections.”
She sat back and relaxed. “No. I guess not. But seriously, another SNT?”
“That’s right, enough to begin a small fleet all for the Andromeda Conglomerate, right? By no means the biggest, but a serious contender? You see, I always do my research. You’re the one with the low profile and the fat bank account.”
Her smile was genuine this time. “And once I have the Bright Star resources, I’ll finish the job SNT1 started, gut my father’s conglomerate and use the resources to build up my own. It’s only the liquid assets I lack to carry out plans my father was too conservative to make.”
“And tell me, did you dance in the streets when the old man got blown out an airlock with the SNT virus?” He asked, suddenly feeling all the resentment that all of these years of hiding and running had given him time to build up.
“I’m afraid I don’t dance, Ivanovic. But I did celebrate in my own way.” The crooked smile she offered, the way she looked at him like the prey and she was about to pounce on gave him shivers, shivers that weren’t entirely because he feared her ways of celebration could end up extremely painful, or worse. Ori knew enough details to make him both hard and chilled, and to wonder how the hell she’d gotten them.
He shoved back in his chair, hands behind his head and breathed out a deep sigh. “Well we certainly celebrated here. Then laughed our asses off when we heard what Gerando had pulled off on the rest of the family. I don’t think anyone thought he had that much of a brain.”
She stood to pace. “There was nothing wrong with his brain,” he could almost taste the bitterness in her words. “What was wrong with him was that he expected he could actually earn the old man’s respect, and even believed it was worth having. Most of us knew better, or we learned pretty early on anyway. No one mourned the daddy dearest. None of us celebrated any less than I’m sure the people on Vodni Station did.”
He was about to say he seriously doubted that when she turned and leaned over his desk so quickly that she was practically in his face before he knew it, her words a poisonous hiss. “Don’t ever think I want to carry on the Fallon legacy, Ivanovic. I hated the man. I hated everything he stood for. I used to pretend my last name wasn’t Fallon. I always swore I’d change it one of these days. There just hasn’t been time.”
“Then you’re the nice Fallon?”
She huffed out a breath and the smile returned to her face, this one made his skin crawl. “It would be a mistake to think I’m nice, Kresho, and you don’t look to me like the kind of man who would make a catastrophic mistake like that.” She stood and straightened the black blazer she wore over a crisp white shirt. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get about the business of expediting our contract if we’re going to get away on time tomorrow.”
She left him sitting in his chair cradling the glass in his hands. For a long time he sat there in silence wondering what the fuck Ori had gotten him in to. Then he downed the rest of the whisky, shoved the glass and the bottle into the drawer and slipped into his coat. Once in the lift, he said, “Flood it,” and headed for the Inner Dock.