Dragon Ascending Part 60: Brand New KDG Read

Happy Friday everyone! Time for another episode of Dragon Ascending.  Last week  Tenad Fallon’s willingness to suffer to be able to bond with Fury mystifies him. This week the search intensifies for Mac and Manning, and our heroes discover things could get much worse. 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!

If you missed the previous episode of Dragon Ascending follow the link for a catch-up. If you wish to start from the beginning, of Dragon Ascending. Follow the link.  

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 60: We Are All Afraid Most of the Time

“Fury, we have done all that we can to boost my scanners to pick up the signals of dear Richard Manning and Diana Mac. I know that they live, as I am sure you do. This I can feel in my bones.” I had no bones. I was not at all sure why those words seemed to be best for my sense of knowing, as I watched Lenore working near my core, her clever fingers both gentle and efficient in their efforts. She had learned SNT technology and biology with exponential speed, as though she were born to it, intuiting exactly what to do, which pathways to tweak, how to make my systems more efficient. I ached at my core that she kept her distance, so carefully polite and considerate, since I had ‘tranned her back from Fury, a function I had not been able to access before she was attacked. As for Jessup Fallon, I found it was as easy as breathing to destroy the one who hurt her, though I might have preferred a slower death for what he had done. Still, before he breathed his last, my darling Lenore was safely returned to me. We were all hopeful when my ability to mole-tran and so precisely had come back to me when most necessary. As for my part, I was most sorry that I had not been able to do it before the Fallons had taken Fury’s dear compliments, for I knew now that I could have brought them to me and easily have overcome a lesser mole-tran. Fury of course could have done the same had there been any reason to suspect such a violation might occur.

But none of my new abilities had made my dearest Lenore any less remote to me. I had wanted to embrace her. I had wanted to take her to myself, to tell her how terribly sorry I was for wronging her so. I had wanted to erase the pain I had caused her and give her reasons to feel for me as I did for her. It always seemed that the abilities I lacked were the ones most needed at the time, and to draw Lenore back to me seemed beyond my programming. But there were other priorities now, urgent priorities, and we were both focused on getting Fury’s beloveds back to him. While Lenore had only been back a few hours, she had kept her distance, focusing on what we might be able to do to help Fury and not on what remained unsaid between us.

“You feel what any SNT would for their compliment” Fury spoke in response, “and those of their siblings. We know each other’s sufferings just as we also know each other’s joys, deep in our bones.” The pain in Fury’s voice was nearly a physical presence that beat against my heart, but he quickly changed the subject, for there was much to do, much to take in. “I have just given Tenad Fallon the second injection of my genetic material. Her body is adapting quickly, but she will be very ill shortly.”

“Good! I hope it feels like a thousand glass vipers are eating her alive,” my darling Lenore said.

Fury was no less displeased about the woman’s suffering than was I, but at the same time, we needed desperately to keep her alive. As it was with SNT’s, Fury read my thoughts.

“I know ways to keep her alive, ways that she will not like at all, but I promise you, my brother, she will not die until my beloveds are restored to me, and if they are harmed, then I shall keep her alive even a little longer.”

Lenore gave a little shiver at the thought, and I was not sure if it was at Fury’s bloodthirstiness or that she was delighted with the idea. Knowing the dear woman’s sense of loyalty and kindness, I could well believe it was the latter. “Since there’s no solid core on Tak Major,” Lenore said, “She can’t have hidden them underground. And I can’t imagine anyone in Sandstorm hiding them for her. Yes, they would like to get off this shit pile, but none of them would risk the wrath of the other Sandstormers to kiss Fallon ass. And even if they had the balls to do that, they sure as fuck wouldn’t cross an SNT. Apparently the word got around that one Fallon’s now nothing more than space garbage, not even worth the salvage fee. That was cause for a little celebration, from what I hear. They also know that Tenad Fallon is attempting to hold an SNT’s compliment hostage. They’re taking bets on how long it’ll be before she joins her brother for an impromptu spacewalk.”



“I think perhaps this is Kresho Ivanvic’s effort to redeem himself.” Fury said.

“It’ll take a fuck ton more than that,” Lenore growled. “Arji said that Evanovic knows things about me and my mother, things he thinks I should know, and I’d sure as hell like to hear what he has to say for himself. Arji said that was all the man would tell him for his own protection,” she added as an afterthought. And then the color in her cheeks flushed and her pulse picked up, for she had let her source slip.

“If you have gained this information, Lenore, then it is safe to assume you have spoken to this pub owner.” I promised myself I would not give her another reason to be angry with me, and yet I could not keep quiet.

“Yes.” She continued working as though I had asked her about the weather outside, as though she dared me to make an issue of her efforts, but her fingers were not quite as steady and she bit her lip the way she did when she was uncomfortable. That she had spoken to him and not to me; that he had treated her with kindness while I had hurt her, why would she not prefer to talk to him?

She stopped her efforts and sat up. “You don’t suppose Mac and Manning could be on Vodni Station, do you?”

“It isn’t possible,” Fury said, “for there have been no ships to or from Taklamakan Major since we arrived in orbit. They would have had to have been transported to a ship not equipped with SNT tech and then taken to the station. It is much too far for a transport and the curve of the planetoid would have prevented a transport to either of the other outposts. What else have you learned, Lenore Felish” asked Fury, who pushed such pettiness as my jealousy of this bar tender aside, his dear beloveds taking priority, as it should be.

Lenore continued. “Turns out Ivanovic and his people are spreading nasty rumors and making not only the locals nervous, but Fallon’s people as well. Has them all shitting themselves for fear of being shackled, but so far they’re still following orders. Tenad’s people have taken over Jessup’s dreadnaught. No surprise there.”

“And what else has Arji Finkle told you?” Fury asked.

This time she ran a hand across her damp forehead and huffed out a harsh breath, “He says that the dreadnaught and Tenad’s personal Jaeger, the Virago, are both are equipped with planet killers. Arji says people are pretty nervous about that. It would be just like a Fallon to use them for spite if nothing else.”

“Then it is up to us to see that does not happen, for we must protect the people of Talkalmakan Major, who have been dear Lenore’s family and our friends throughout,” Fury said.

I did not know how we could do that. I did not know how I could possibly help when I could not even move. Would a planet destroyer destroy me as well? In my helplessness, in my weakness, I thought that perhaps that might be the best thing for all of us. Certainly Fury would take my dearest beloved Lenore into his arms and see her away to the Rim, as she wished, and she would be safe, and I would not lose another compliment.

“And there you have said it yourself,” Fury spoke only to me in the depth of my core. “Do not let your fears stop you from doing what you know in your heart is right, dear Ascent, for we are all afraid most of the time. Usually we choose simply to push on and not to think about it. If we did not we would be paralyzed and lost in our grief and pain, rather than embracing the joy that is also there just beyond fear.”