Dragon Ascending Part 64: Brand New KDG Read

Happy Friday everyone! Time for another episode of Dragon Ascending.  Last week Ascent and Len Finally bonded. This week, help comes from a surprising place. 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 64: Betrayals

“May Day! May Day! This is an emergency. I know you’re down there beneath the de-mole. I’m Camille. I’m indentured to Tenad Fallon, and I can help. Please. Listen to me. I can help.” The message came through the static on a little used sub processor channel that only an SNT would have known about.

“I have enabled it, yes, through the mole-tran with which the craft is equipped,” came Fury’s voice over the sub-com channel they all shared. “She speaks the truth,” Fury continued. “She has stolen Tenad Fallon’s craft from my dock.”

“Stolen?” Lenore asked.

“Tenad Fallon is unconscious at the moment, and I must tend her so I was perhaps not as vigilant as I might have been.”

“That is certainly understandable,” I replied. “I have ‘tranned the woman to my cargo bay and the craft will remain in orbit under cloak.” Since our bonding, it appeared that I could now access the data and programs that were necessary at any given moment as I had need.

“Then the bonding was a success,” Fury observed. “I am glad.”

“We’re much better equipped to help you get Mac and Manning back now,” darling Lenore said. “But what does Camille have to do with it?”

“She knows much that she was compelled for her sake and for that of my beloveds not to tell me. But she made no such promises to my poor incapacitated brother.”

“Your poor incapacitated brother is feeling much better now,” my dearest Lenore said.

At only a thought from me, my Lenore was once again clothed and heading to the cargo bay where I had gone immediately to welcome our guest.

This Camille was tiny, even smaller than my Lenore, though clearly much better fed. It would appear that withholding food was not the way Tenad Fallon chose to abuse her indentured. Her skin was dark and her hair jet black, cut short, as was the case with many female indentureds, I recalled. Clearly she was frightened, though only her vital signs made me aware of that fact, for she did not tremble and she held her head high. She cradled her forearm in the opposite hand, as I recalled indentureds often doing, ever conscious of their shackle and the death sentence within it that always threatened.

“Camille Ingraham. I do hope that I was not too rough in your transport.”

While there was a slight catch of her breath and she stepped back, but she did not look around the room as one tended to do when being spoken to by an SNT, but then she had spent time with Fury. “Thank you. No, it was fine,” she said

“You have put yourself at great risk coming here.”

To this she made no comment, but instead spoke with the single-mindedness of a person on a mission, for so she was. “I know where Fury’s compliment are being held, but I was forbidden to tell him. Besides, there’s nothing he can do. But I can help and so can you.” Then she asked, “which SNT are you?”



“Dragon, I am SNT7 Dragon.” And I was proud to once again wear the name that I had so long ago put aside in my despair.

“I wondered,” she said, now cradling her forearm tightly to her chest. “None of us knew.”

“I did not know myself in the beginning,” I replied.

“Camille? Are you all right?” My Lenore came into the room.

“Len?” She said. “You’re here with Dragon?”

“She is my complement,” I said.

She took all of this in only slightly distracted. And then she said, “Look, I don’t know how much time I have before … things get bad.” She nodded down to her arm. “Fury’s compliments are being held at the old science station on Taklamakan Minor. You can’t find them because Tenad’s placed a dampening field around the whole planetoid.” Before my Lenore could do more than gasp her surprise, Camille continued. “I can get you there on the Andromeda. She’s fast and she’s equipped with Mol-tran. But we have to leave now or the alignment will be wrong to get us there, and we’ll have to wait until we can slingshot it from the Pamir asteroid. I can’t be in two places at one time. I need help and I need back up. Tenad is sedated at the moment from the treatments, and Fury can’t help for fear of what Tenad might do. We’ll have to be fast before we’re discovered.”

To my embarrassment, I realized that I was not yet sure I could get out of the salvage dump, nor how much control I would have if I could.

“I’ll go.” Lenore said. Her skin had lost all color and her pulse rate was suddenly alarmingly high.

“No.” I spoke without so much as a thought. “I will not subject you to that place and those memories again.”

“Dragon, you can’t protect me from myself at the risk of Mac and Manning after all they’ve done for us. We owe them. I owe them. Besides, no one knows Tak Minor like I do,” she turned to Camille. “I spent five years on the station. It wouldn’t be safe for anyone else to go down there without knowing what they’d be facing. Dragon, I’ll need complete supplies for tranning down to an ice planet. I can’t take anything for granted down there.”

“Everything you’ll need is onboard the Andromeda,” Camille said. “She’s been especially equipped for ‘tranning to Taklamakan Minor. Tenad had planned to make the trip herself, but in the end she had Fury’s compliments delivered by a couple of her trusted officers.”

“She’d better have sent supplies because when I left the storerooms were bare.”

“All that’s been taken care of too. She can’t afford to have them die on her.” Camille shifted impatiently from foot to foot. “Can you pilot a ship?” She asked.

Color rose to my Lenore’s cheeks. “No, but I’m sure with Dragon’s help-”

“The ship, it’s a shrike class,” the little indentured interrupted her, “Dragon, can’t you just, I don’t know, scan it and put that knowledge into Len’s head, I mean she is your compliment.” Before I could respond that yes, that should be among my abilities with a fully bonded compliment, she pressed forward. “Look, I’m … I don’t know what kind of condition I’ll be in when I, when we get ready to ‘tran them up. I know that the virus works faster on some people than others, and I don’t know how long I have.”

“Your shackle has been deactivated,” I said. “Fury has done this from the beginning when you first arrived onboard, only he could not tell you.”

The dear woman’s eyes filled with tears and her knees gave. She would have fallen if Lenore had not guided her to a chair and settled her in, taking her wrist in her hand. “You have no reason to go back to that woman now, and once we get through this, we’ll have the implant completely removed for you and you can do whatever you want.”

Camille nodded, wiping at her eyes. Then she squared her shoulders. “First let’s get through this. Better if we can do this before Tenad suspects. I don’t know how long we have. We need to hurry.”

“Lenore, I do not want you to go without me,” I said. The fear had been growing in me from the very beginning of Camille’s plan, and I would not, I could not lose another compliment.

“Then don’t,” came my Lenore’s silent response, which tugged at my heart. “We keep each other safe, remember, and Fury, well Fury hasn’t made any promises where either of us is concerned.” To this Fury added his silent nod. Then she added, “figure out what you have to do and join us as soon as you can. It’s just that we have to go now, Dragon, and you have to free yourself. I’m sure Fury can help you now. ‘Tran us up, and I’ll see you soon with Mac and Manning.”

I did as she asked knowing that I would not be able to keep a ‘tran-lock on her until I could free myself and follow. I let her go, sending my heart with her, struggling not to think about the last time I’d had to let my compliment go.