Happy Friday everyone! Time for another episode of Dragon Ascending. Last week Tenad Fallon beegan to realize just what she’d up against to become compatible with Fury. This week she gets to experience the agony first hand, and Fury asks her why? 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. This one is particularly long in order not to break the flow of events. 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 Felish, 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 59: Why Put Yourself Through this Agony?
“I do not understand why you would put yourself through this agony when I have already said I will give you all that you ask.” Fury said as he watched dear Camille bathe Tenad’s fevered forehead. It was something that the auto-doc could have done more effectively, but she would not have it. He knew that she did not believe that he would sabotage the treatments with the lives of his compliments hanging in the balance, though that is what she told him. She trusted the little indentured, and she took comfort in her presence. Yes, she was indeed an open book with much written between the lines. After getting to know Gerando Fallon, Fury suspected that were true of all of the Fallons who were old enough to have any memory of their father.
“I’m doing it because I want that bond, Fury.” Her words were slurred with pain and delirium. “I want that much control over you, and I want…” her words were swallowed in a wave of violent shivers and once that had passed enough that she could speak again, she continued between chattering teeth. “I want to know what it feels like, why Gerando would sacrifice everything for that bond.”
“Gerando proved himself worthy.” Fury said.
“And you don’t think I am?” Before he could respond she said, “he wanted to steal away your compliment too you know, hounded her ruthlessly, as I understand.”
“And in the end he restored my brother to me, the one I did not know I had.”
“You know, he was crushed by what our old man did to the SNT’s. He always loved the SNTs, even wanted to be a compliment, trained for it, but he was rejected.”
“I know his story, for it is now a part of all of our story,” Fury said.
“That nearly broke him. Did for a long time. You know what he was like. The old man would do anything to see Gerando fail because he knew that if Gerando ever figured out what he was actually capable of, he’d bring the old bastard down in a heartbeat, but it doesn’t matter now. And my dear brother got to be a compliment after all.” Her hands twisted in the cooling blanket that covered her and her mouth was a thin pale line of pain.
“And you are jealous?”
“I have no problem with Gerando fulfilling his fondest dream. I heartily cheer him on. When the old man was focused on the first fruit of his loins, he wasn’t busy trying to sabotage my efforts. What I do have a problem with is Gerando helping you gain access to the old man’s fortune and find a way to hide it all beyond the Rim.” And then the shivers took over and the pain and she did not speak again.
“We have been systematically searching the planetoid as best we can,” came Ascent’s voice in Fury’s subprocesser. “Also this Kresho Ivanovic is searching as well. Are you aware that the man is a compliment.”
“I am, yes,” Fury replied as he watched Tenad Fallon drift in delirium. “He wanted me to know, though we did not have time to speak. I thought it expedient for Tenad Fallon not to know he had paid me a visit. If his SNT still lives, I do not know.”
“I do not know which of our siblings would bond to such an unsavory character,” Ascent said.
“I think perhaps we have misjudged the man on some counts my dear brother, though I cannot forgive him for his complicity in the taking from me my dear ones.”
“I cannot forgive him for leaving my poor Lenore to such a horrible fate. Though I must admit I am not sorry that in the end that fate has brought her to me.”
Fury did not ask if he would consent to the bond to Lenore Felish now, though after all that had happened, it was not a topic he could broach without pain.
“Can he help us, do you think?” Ascent asked.
“I believe he wishes to, and we must have all the help we are able to obtain. How is dear Lenore?” He asked.
“Less angry with me, I believe, though at the moment all of her focus and mine goes to help you find your dear ones.”
“Fury?” Camille spoke softly, looking around the room, as all humanoids did in the beginning.
“Yes, dear Camille.”
“Shouldn’t we give her the immunosuppressant injection now?”
To their surprise Tenad Fallon managed a grunt of a laugh. “He wants to make sure I’ve suffered enough first, Camille.”
“I cannot begin to make you suffer enough for what you have done, Tenad Fallon. But no, what you are feeling is quite normal. The immune response to my genetic material must be fully activated before we can judge how difficult it will be for your body to adjust to my blood and plan your treatment accordingly.”
“And your compliments went through this? Wow! You must be one helluva ship if they were willing to go through this.”
“Only my dearest Richard had to suffer so and more for he was dying of severe radiation burns, and the treatments had to be forced. There were many extenuating circumstances resulting from the way he came to be my companion, but none of those concern you.”
“And Diana McAllister?”
“She was born to be my compliment, so she did not suffer in our bonding. But your father made sure she suffered far more than you will ever imagine before Richard Manning and I were able to rescue her.”
“My father made sure everyone he came in contact with suffered.” This time the pain on her face ran much deeper than her body.
“It is time for the injection,” Fury said. “I have laced it with a sleeping drug for you will need to be well rested before the next transfusion.”
“Thank you,” she said. “I don’t sleep so well these days.”
When the auto-doc approached with the injection, Camille took it. “Let me do that. She doesn’t like auto-docs that aren’t her own.”
Another forced attempt to laugh as Tenad watched Camille prepare the injection. “My father used to threaten us all whenever we were ill that his auto-doc was equipped to give us the SNT virus if we didn’t get better because invalids were of no use to him.”
“He did inject Gerando,” Fury replied.
For a moment she was silent, biting back pain in lips bled pale from exhaustion. “Like I said, he made everyone suffer.” Then she turned her face to the wall and within a few seconds was asleep.
Fury watched as the little indentured fussed about the woman who was without a doubt the source of all her suffering. “She’s kind to you?”
“She’s not cruel, and she doesn’t punish me, if that’s what you mean.”
“But you have never given her cause.”
“That seldom matters for indentureds. In my case it does, so I do as she asks and the rest of the time I do my best to draw no more attention than her med-bot does when it isn’t in use.”
“She will sleep now for a good many hours, Camille. Come down to the galley and have something to eat, and then you must also rest, for the next few weeks shall be grueling.”
She stood to her full height, which was not tall at all, and looked around, once more making an effort to hold his gaze. “Will she die?”
“I have no intention of letting her die before I have my loved ones back, then she may go to New Vaticana hell and dance with all its demons for all I care.”
Camille looked down at her mistress for a moment, squared her shoulders and headed for the galley.