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Posts Tagged ‘Dragon Ascending’

Dragon Ascending Part 4: Brand New KDG Read

Happy Friday everyone! And happy reading! Last week I talked books and good reads, a new post I now offer on the first Friday of each month. But this week it’s time to return to our desolate ship and the mysterious heroine, who we left struggling to reach shelter before the dangerous desert night set in. I hope you’re enjoying Dragon Ascending, the sequel to Piloting Fury, as much as I’m enjoying sharing it with you. Last week we learned that safety isn’t that easy to come by. This week we discover that help isn’t easy to access. 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. 

 

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 4: Accessing!

As I watched the desert woman struggle, I felt such pain, such helplessness, as I had not felt since my great loss. Against all odds this ragged creature had returned to me, and, in my efforts to provide for her, I had made her suffering worse. While the scent of her blood had disturbed me when last she visited me, it was as nothing compared to the scent of death clinging to her like a parasite. She had sustained more injuries than one humanoid should be able to endure and remain functional, and those injuries had been inflicted by other humanoids. Her condition roused in me feelings I could not bear to revisit, so I forced them aside to focus on this woman and her struggles. She would die, and very soon, if I could not access my resources. I remembered in my frustration, in the addled jumble of memories I avoided so carefully, that I had resources, many resources. Though perhaps I had lost them in my fall from grace. Had I fallen from grace? I could remember no such fall. I could remember only that there had once been grace once, and I felt its loss all the more exquisitely as I watched the woman’s desperate efforts to get to the safety I struggled to provide. It was as she wrapped the cloth which she had covered her filthy shorn hair tightly around her ribs that I realized my mistake. I had put safety beyond her reach. The dear soul would have to climb to reach me.

Access! I needed access to resources, to functionality, to data, to power sources, to my core, to the rest of myself. And yes, even newly awakened as I was, in all that was lost to me I knew there was so much more. I was a master at multi-tasking, or I had once been. Down into the darkness I dove charging through meaningless terabytes of information a fog that could not be real, could not truly exist, a fog I had created as protection from my loss. I cursed myself in a most humanoid way that in my shortsightedness I had not thought perhaps there would be functions I would need, that perhaps I would, at some point in my endless desolate future, once again have companionship, albeit rough companionship. I did not plan for such an event. Nor had I understood that in such an event I might need to provide aid and comfort. I had never imagined such would again be my lot. And yet here I was unable to access the most basic functions, the key purpose of my very existence, to provide companionship, to work in tandem with one so vulnerable, to offer strength, to offer access to the stars. And yet as this woman, my woman, as I had already begun to think of her, started her ascent, I was scrambling in the darkness of my own data seeking for basic resources to save her life. For even, against all odds, if she were to reach the shelter I had provided, my analysis of the situation was that she would most certainly die without my help, for she had no resources of her own. Even the pack she had carried when last she came to me was missing.

There was a place within my data that would allow me to heal her, knowledge, resources, but none of that mattered if I had put myself beyond her feeble reach. I could not even access the very basic function of movement that would bring the unlovely airlock I had provided closer to the woman’s reach. Basics. Basics. Basics! Why had I chosen to forget basics? How could I be so consumed in my own loss that I had not thought others had also suffered losses. And this woman drawing nearer, the blood loss accelerating with each agonized effort, pausing, lurching, gasping for each painful breath, had suffered her share of loss. I scented upon her flesh the reek of violation, the scent of angry males, the scent of petty helplessness magnified by testosterone and frustration. My own rage crackled and hummed at her suffering, my own frustration magnified as she slipped and would have fallen if she had not been truly skilled in the art of climbing. These men who had harmed her, they were not far, and they would pay. In an instant I lashed out, unaware until I had done it that I could manage such violence, unaware as I had done it even exactly what I had done, but they did not deserve further attention from me. The one struggling so valiantly to get to me, she deserved my full attention.

 

 

There were new cuts, deep cuts on her hand, and I had put them there as surely as if I had taken a knife to her. If she had fallen to her death, it would have been one more death laid at my door. Had I caused other deaths? These who had harmed her, had I caused their death? I found that I did not care if I had. And if there had been other deaths laid at my door, that memory I shut behind airlocks and fog and shifting sand deep inside myself. That memory I did not want to access. I only wanted to help. I only wanted to ease this woman’s suffering. I wanted her to live. I needed her to live, I who had sworn to myself before I sank into my deep slumber I would never allow myself to need again.

Accessing, accessing, Fucking accessing! Words of frustration, curses, colloquialisms, scraps of doggerel, limericks. These were not what I needed now. These belonged to someone else, to another life lost. Accessing, accessing! Multi-tasking.

She ascended another agonizing few feet and then vomited painfully into the empty space, vomited nothing but bile. She could scarce afford more loss of body fluids, dehydrated as she already was.

Accessing, accessing. The Vienna waltz, ghost stories from Diga Prime. Heart and Soul, Chopsticks, Beethoven! Goddamn it! Nothing useful! Nothing fucking useful, and my woman, the one who had come back to me, the only other in this desolate world, slipped again. She did not cry in her frustration, she did not curse, she did not make a single sound, in her agony, as she steadied herself, she did not even moan. Once again she wiped her bleeding hand on her trousers, and looked up at safety, tantalizing, tempting safety just beyond her reach,

Accessing, motherfucking accessing, desperate accessing!

She was going to jump. She was going to bloody jump!

Accessing, Vaticana Jesu! Accessing!

She was going to jump, and if she did, she would not make it. She would fall to her death, and I would once again be alone.

ACCESSING!!!!!

She jumped! I accessed and reached into the darkness. She jumped, her fingers slipped. She fell away, away, away.

Accessing, accessing, ACCESSING!

Resource found!

She fell away, and I reached out and drew her into my safety.

Once she was safe inside, I closed the airlock and with less than a thought made myself invisible to anyone who might come looking for her. At the time I could not say how I did it. Perhaps again it was some instinct of self-preservation that my makers had given me, but then again, I do not recall that instincts can be programed. Still, it did not seem quite like simple programming. None of that mattered at the moment. All that really mattered was keeping her safe.

But then she stopped breathing.

 

 

Dragon Ascending Part 1: Brand New KDG Read

Happy Friday everyone! I promised a surprise and here it is. Dragon Ascending is a brand new KDG read, and the sequel to Fury’s story. I debated long and hard about sharing the second book in the story of the SNT ships, but the truth is, I was just too excited about the Dragon to keep it to myself. Fury’s was the first story in a series of novels I can easily see in my head. Dragon Ascending was not the story I planned to follow Fury’s, but it was the story that pushed itself to the front of the queue with such persistence and such intrigue that I couldn’t resist. The rough draft got written fast and furious last April for the Camp NaNoWriMo month. For me it was one of the novels that wouldn’t let go of me until it was all there on the page down to the last word. On top of the tenacity of the story, it was an absolute joy to write, and it wouldn’t let go of me until it was all there. SOOO, if you enjoyed Fury’s story, I promise you, you’ll love Dragon’s story. As always, I love it when you share my work with your reading friends, so feel free. In the meantime, enjoy!

 

 

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 1 Salvage

Anticipation returned with consciousness and the knowledge that I was no longer alone. But how quickly that anticipation was crushed. This filthy dust-covered woman child was not she, not the woman I longed for. With consciousness I was painfully reminded that the one I desired was gone, and the ache of her absence came back to me just as quickly as the presence of this humanoid roused me from my slumber.

Perhaps it had been a millennia, perhaps it had been only moments. The pain was the same. And certainly if I had cared to check, I would have known exactly how long she had been gone down to the nanosecond. It mattered not, the passing of time. It had eased nothing. Of what happened before, beyond her loss, I remembered little else, only fire and pain and loss, none of which I wished to bring to mind even if I were able.

But I knew with certainty that this humanoid woman at the perimeter shield was the first to visit me in my mourning, so I made sure she could enter my resting place. Though I should not have. I should have returned to my sleep. In sleep, I did not feel my loss. In sleep it was as though I had never existed. But night was approaching. The wind was already rising. This one would not survive without shelter, so with some effort, I opened a small breach in the perimeter shield, and this one was wily enough to find the entrance I had provided. She was not large, she had no trouble wriggling through like a small desert creature, pushing an oversized pack ahead of her. Once she was within, I closed the breach for the night to keep out predators, and I made my shelter available to her, but she did not know that. She did not even know I was there. No one knew I was there. I was alone.

It was my intention simply to offer her shelter for the night and then to return to my slumber, but oh, the presence of her, the intrigue of such a being finding her way here to this desolate place where no one came.

But when she drew near, she was not at all what I had hoped for. She was filthy and she stank of sweat and fear and determination. There was a fresh abrasion on her shoulder. It was rubbed raw from the heavy pack she carried. The scent of her blood made uncomfortable memories dance and weave in the fog of my mind. I did not want the scent of blood in my space. It caused me pain. And then I wondered if it was perhaps her pain I felt, and I was even less comfortable with the pain I could do nothing to ease. I was never supposed to feel such helplessness. I was supposed to alleviate pain, to heal wounds, to make situations better, and yet I could not. I could not remember how.

She was nothing like the woman who was taken from me. And I despised her for all that she was not. Perhaps it was only self-loathing in my helplessness. I do not know. And yet she intrigued me. And I found that I could not return to my slumber in her presence. Oh of course she did not know I was there. I did not want her to see me in my disgrace so far from the stars in the dust and the filth of this place. Oh how the humanity we once all longed for now seemed like such an evil thing.

 

 

I did not want her here. Her very presence disturbed me, reminded me of what I had lost, and yet I could not leave her unprotected nor could I rest while she slept in our shared hiding place. We were, both of us, fugitives, salvage, hiding away for our safety, of use to no one, tired and alone. But perhaps a little less alone for the moment. I watched while she slowly ate hard journey bread, taking but small nibbles, savoring each bite, lingering over small sips of precious water. In truth, she was thin, too thin and the bread would do little to return her to healthy weight. I would have offered her a feast. I would have offered her a bath and a clean bed in which to sleep. Was that not the hospitality one would share even with a stranger, even one who had come uninvited? But alas I could offer nothing but shelter, so weakened was I, so unaware even of my own functions.

When she had eaten her meager meal, making sure to tuck half of it away safely in her pack, she curled on her side, pulled the loose fitting cape around her thin shoulders and was instantly asleep. It was little enough to keep her warm and even in her sleep she shivered. That much I could offer at least. I curled myself around her and gave her my warmth, feeling the rise and fall of the breath of human sleep, and the ache of another memory, one I could almost not bare. Just the feel of human sleep next to me — one who did not need sleep and yet hid in it now like a coward wishing for death that would never come. But I was awake for the moment, and I took pleasure in the sleep that was laced with all the biological functions of humanoids, so complex in their perfection and yet so very, very vulnerable in their weaknesses. This one lived another day because I had given her shelter. But beyond that, there was nothing I could do for her small, fragile humanity.

Through the night I kept watch as she battled dreams, doggedly keeping them from erupting into the waking world. Silent. It was a silence I knew well, the deep silence of self-preservation. Why was she here in this inhospitable place where everyone who could leave had done so long ago? For a moment I feared for her, but there was nothing I could do, nothing I could offer that would not give my presence away, so I offered what I could and watched her sleep.

In the morning when she left without breaking her fast, I closed the breach in the defense shield behind her, and I returned to my slumber. But she had disturbed my perfect sleep. Even when I returned to it, this strange woman walked my dreams. The details of her came to me while I slept. Her hair beneath the rusted desert dust had been pale, cut short. Her eyes were equally pale, perhaps blue, though they seemed more silver at times. Her body was small and fragile, hard earned muscle and sinew too close to the bone. Her lips were cracked from the sun and the heat and drawn tight with the battles of her own internal workings, but I imagined them full and moist and smiling, as they would have been if she were well cared for, sheltered and cherished as she should be. How was it that I cared to remember so much about her when all I really wanted was to return to oblivion?

I would not see her again, for certainly she was just passing through. It was best that I not think what her future might hold in this desolate place. It was best that I not think of her at all. And yet, how could it be that I missed her when she left? Though I remembered little of what had been, I had not doubt that my own losses had left me unbalanced, and perhaps it was my instability that brought with it dreams of this strange woman, for surely she was nothing of value to me.

So for some time I did not bother to measure, I was alone again, expecting that time would purge this woman from my memories and allow me to return to my deep unknowing, for surely she was of no significance that she should take space for long in my dreams.

And then she returned. At first the joy of my anticipation nearly overwhelmed me, unhinged as I was sure I must be. And then I realized she was injured, that death was imminent and that she sought my shelter in which to die.

 

 
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