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Friday, 24 January 2014

The Dragon's Talisman Part 3 page 5 of 8

The Dragon's Talisman Part  3 page 5 of 8

It was late evening and darkness was falling. Jason said that going out while still daylight we would have made to big a target. Under the darkening sky we flew due east around the pillar making our way to the east side where the blasts had come from, just as we had planned, so far we had not been detected.

It was only supposed to be a reconnaissance flight; fly there, check the ground conditions, then come back and make a report. This was when I heard those popping sounds from the darkness below and saw flames with the popping noises.  We were being fired upon!

I felt something thumping on Dragon’s left flank. Dragon screeched,
and shooting flames she made a steep sideways drop. It was so sudden that I felt myself slip from Dragon’s back. 

The next thing I knew, I was in free fall with the air rushing in my face. I felt a very sharp blow when I hit the top of the trees. A sharp pain flared up in my right rib area. I bounced three times then hit the ground rolling. 

Getting up, I winced at the pain in my right side. I felt around and was relieved that I had no broken ribs. Badly bruised, yes, but not broken.

I pulled out the lance, pressed the handle, and a long, smooth rod with a three-foot blade that glowed blue in the darkness appeared. This lance was not ordinary. It did not kill, it only stunned, disabling its victim for a short period of time. It was another of the many gifts from fairy land. 

Were the artifacts like this spear among the things that Jason has? I never thought to ask the fairy people. Some would call this spear an energy weapon. That might be a good description It could disable an army in a circle up to a quarter mile away. Or I could point it at one individual and only that individual would be affected. 

I practiced a bit to loosen myself by dancing around the woods while taking many different stances and moves of the warrior. I  stopped abruptly in a thrust stance with the lance, pulled it back, then pressed on the handle with my thumb and the blade returned to a rusty red where then I put it back in my bag.

Looking back I saw the few scattered branches where I had landed. Now I knew how Dragon had felt, except I couldn't scream and shoot out flame. On that thought I slung my bag back over my shoulder, winced from sore ribs again and thought: I had other toys in there for back up if I needed them. One was a simple spool of twine which I held in my hand.

Two hundred feet of line tied among fifteen trees that I had marked for possible later reference, that should do it, I said to myself. Getting up I plucked the twine and it twanged like a finely-tuned guitar string. I was satisfied as I started my trek up hill towards the encampment of agents above at the foot of the pillar. They no doubt knew that the pillar was man-made or else why are they blasting?

Climbing was made a bit more difficult with my sore ribs but it was not so painful as to keep me from continuing the mission. I heard a loud roar and flames lit up the sky right ahead of me,  followed by another roar and flame to my right. 

I stood still and closed my eyes and thought, "Dragon! Do not kill them, scare them away if you can but do not harm them." My thoughts were returned by Dragon, "No harm." I could also feel the pain she felt from where bullets had hit her. Granted, the bullets would never penetrate her thick armor of scales, but it still hurt, like being hit by pebbles from the spinning wheels of a car.

I came to the top of the hill and got down on one knee while I surveyed the clearing that was part of the empty space between forest and tower. There must have been something to do with the tower that kept that strip of land clear of vegetation, something that not even Jason had found or come to a conclusion as to its source, yet. 

I heard another roar but this time a little more distant. Then I saw the flash of flame on the other side of the clearing next to the tower wall. Now that my eyes had adjusted I could see the dark shape of Dragon circling that same area at the foot of the pillar.

Springing to my feet I ran as fast as I could. Outside of the dull pain in my right side I felt like a gazelle running across a savannah. I stopped running and continued walking towards a group of men who had holed up in a cavern at the base of the pillar. "A place where I can not reach without damaging them," Dragon informed me.

"Keep guard. I will be there shortly," I relayed back to Dragon. 

I climbed up to the top of the cavern floor and I immediately noticed that the cavern was not natural. It was part of the excavation by the people now under Dragon’s watchful eye. 

I thought they would have been blasting for quite a while to get to the main core where our labs and command centers were located. Given the direction of their work they would have missed it by several hundred feet and come out on the other side. 

I stood straight and still and waited. My long hair fell loose over my shoulders, legs slightly apart. I held my spear upright; the blade glowed a bright blue. Facing the people within the cavern I said: "You are trespassing. I would suggest that you pack all of your things and leave here. If not,” I pointed over my shoulder, “My friend out there will make toast out of you. Understand?" I asked. 

I heard some rapid gunfire from the left and saw little puffs of dust on the rocky floor. I moved, turning a somersault to the right, and landed on my hands and two feet. I then flattened to the cavern floor, pointed the spear at the man with the gun and pressed the handle on the spear. A beam of blue light shot out and I heard a thump and a firearm clattering to the stone floor.  I knew that particular threat had been neutralized.

More gunfire came from within the cavern. 

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