Your Current Location is Chaos Keep : Stories : Miscellaneous : Objects: Chapter 4: Defensive Measures
Objects: Chapter 4: Defensive Measures
By: Fox Cutter
"Help is on the way!" Renie called out as she tried to pull away from the black dragon. Its breath was hot on her tail and she could feel the burning of its blood as it splattered on her scales when he roared.
Frances reached up, wrapping one arm around her leg. The tips of the claws were slowly digging into his shoulder, causing him to wince from the pain. "How soon?" he called to her.
"Not fast enough," she answered, her voice rattling from the strain she was putting on her body just to keep a slight lead on the black beast behind them, but it was not lasting. The Jaksarin started to slide under her belly and towards the young man.
He was not about to let the beast take him, and when it grew close he let out a loud yell and kicked at the dragon a second time. This time his foot connected with the beast's teeth and sent a jolt of pain up his leg.
The beast fell back behind the dragoness, its white blood flowing from it's injured nose. The wind blowing past it as it flew had forced the blood back over its snout and it contrasted sharply with the black scales.
Without warning the beast lunged forward, its jaws gaping open as it snapped at Renie's tail. She whipped it back, pulling it around and slamming the end against the dark dragon's face with a loud crack.
The Jaksarin let out a roar, its cheek deforming from the impact. It's seemed to stutter in its flying as it slipped further behind them.
"I can't keep up this speed for much longer," she said, panting with each word, the muscles in her wings screaming in pain.
Frances ground his teeth as he struggled to hang onto her clawed feet. "Why is this thing after us anyway?" he yelled. The wind stole his words away, but enough of them reached the dragoness' ears.
"It's after me," she said in a flat tone of voice.
The human glanced up over her green belly. "Why you?" he called.
She nodded her head, risking a glance back at the beast, only to see that it was still too close for comfort, and once again gaining ground. "I'll tell you if we get out of this alive," she said.
"Can't you attack it? Breath fire on it or something?!" he demanded.
Snapping her neck forward she started to pump her ever tiring wings even harder, finding a reserve of strength she had not know she possessed. "I can not do that while it's behind me," she said.
He frowned and looked back down at the monster below his feet. The blood from its nose was starting to harden over its snout, forming a thick, icing like crust over the wound and its black scales.
Craning his head back he looked up into the air and past Renie's beating wings. The dark and perfect blue of the sky highlighted her scales and glimmered into his eyes as an idea slipped into his mind. It was crazy, even insane, but it was a chance, something more than they currently had.
"Renie," he yelled up to the dragoness, twisting around to look towards her head. "Stall!"
She dipped her head down to look back at him. "What?" she asked, confusion on her face.
"Stall the wind over your wings," he said, desperately trying to explain as the black dragon closed in on then once again.
"But I'll lose lift!" she sputtered out, finding even the suggestion completely insane.
The young man smiled. "That's the idea!" he said, and pulled his legs up as the Jaksarin lunged forward once more, nearly catching the human's feet in its large teeth. He responded by kicking the beast's wound, reopening it with a spray of blood.
Renie considered what he had said, then decided that it would do no worse to them then being caught by the monster. With a snap she extended her wings to there full span and twisted her body upwards and flew into the sky. Her wings lost the wing, the membrane growing slack as she started to fall backwards in the air. Then the world fell out from under her as she lost all lift and plummeted like a stone.
The Jaksarin had no idea what to make of the move as it flew right past them, still moving at full speed. It lost them for a few seconds as it searched the sky before looking below itself and spotting them. It started a tight turn and pulled its wings close so it could catch them again.
Renie struggled with the air as she fell, the force of it pinning her wings against her back as she spun downwards. It was hard work; the wind pulled at her was she was tried to regain control and fought her at every turn. With a groan she was finally able to force her wings open and catch the air, righting herself once more.
She looked up into the sky, scanning for the black dragon and finding it high above her. It was still a distance away but was approaching fast.
"Good job!" Fancies called out to her, still held in her legs. Thin trickles of blood running down his shirt from where her claws had sunk into his skin.
The dragoness slowed her flight and tilted her head down to look at the human. "We are not safe yet, and I'm going to need all four of my claws. You're going to have to get onto my back," she told him.
"How?" he asked.
"Trust me," she replied and tucked one wing tight to the side, sending her into a roll. The young man twisted around in her claws and let out a scream when he felt them let go. He shoot upwards into the air then came down a moment later, landing hard on her back halfway between her wings and her haunches. He scrambled on her back, his fingers digging under her scales to keep from sliding off.
She let out a cry of pain as her scales ripped free under his weight and cut at his fingers. It was still enough for him to hold onto, and at the moment that was all that mattered.
Once she was righted she start to fly as fast as her tired wings could take her, aiming towards the black dragon. "Hold onto me as tightly as you can, this is not going to be easy," she called out as she flexed her claws forward.
A moment later the two dragons meet. The Jaksarin reached out with its claws and grabbed at Renie's wings. She twisted under him and racked her claws over its exposed side, ripping in deep and pulling out large chunks of the beasts flesh, white blood spraying over her and Frances.
They separated in the air and she started to bank around for another pass. Her shorter body allowed her to turn faster than the long and lanky black dragon so while it was still halfway through its turn she was attacking again. This time she plowed across the center of its body, her claws digging into the wings as she flew past, digging out long chunks of flesh from their base.
She didn't escape unscathed. The Jaksarin managed to spin his body in the air and once more grabbed at her wings with one claw. Its claws punctured the thin flesh and he pulled back, trying to rip the wing from her body. It was unsuccessful, the claw coming free, but not before they tore through the wing membranes.
Renie tried to right herself, but the damage was done and she was already losing altitude as she sailed towards the ocean below. Each flap of her wings sent spikes of pain down through them and into her body.
On her back Frances could see the damage, the gaping cuts through the thin flesh slowly spreading as the air was forced though them. He held on as tight as he could, the wounds on his shoulder stinging as the white blood soaked against his skin.
The Jaksarin let out a low howl as it descended towards them, licking its wounds as it sank through the air. It knew that its prey could no longer flee from it. Now it was just a matter of killing them. The hunt was over.
Renie crashed into the salt water, diving under for a few seconds and sending Frances tumbling back under the waves. Coming to the surface the dragoness rolled onto her back, letting the water support her injured limb.
The human swam close to her and took one of her legs in his hands. He used it to pull himself up onto her belly. "How badly are you hurt?" he asked, looking up at the descending black blotch of the other dragon.
"We're not going anywhere," she whimpered softly.
He let out a long sigh and blocked out the sun with his hand, watching the sky for any movement. "What about your help? How soon will it be here?" he asked.
"I don't know," she replied, her voice starting to fading. "I've wasted too much energy--I can not open the lynkxs."
He nodded and turned his head away from the sky. There was nothing else to see but the beast growing closer. He shifted a bit, his sock felt slick on his foot, the fabric soaked with both water and dragon's blood. He sighed and worked the sock off, then kicked off his other shoe and sock. He cleaned his feet in the ocean water and rubbed gently at the skin.
"There has to be a way to deal with this thing," he said after a moments thought as he looked back into the sky. The black dragon was getting closer, but was taking its time.
He slid his backpack off his shoulders, surprised that it had stayed on him throughout the battle. He shifted through the waterlogged contents and come back with his pocket knife.
Lifting her head from the water Renie gave the young man a long, hard look. "What are you doing?" she asked.
"I'm going to meet the monster," he said, then pulled his shirt off and wrapped it around his other arm. "When it gets here I'm going to see what I can do about killing it," he said and flipped open the small blade.
Her eyes went wide for a moment, then she reached out with one foreclaw to try and stop him. "That's suicide, that thing will swallow you whole!"
The young man shrugged his shoulders. "So what? This whole trip is suicide for me," he replied. He looked back into the sky to find the dragon again, and let out a soft gasp.
Renie followed his gaze. The Jaksarin was only a few hundred feet above them, but it was not alone. Two more dragons had arrived; one was fire red and nearly twice her size, the other was a small green dragon. They were both heading towards the black dragon, one from each flank.
The three dragons collided in a fierce battle. First the red dragon attacked the beast, and while it was distracted the green dragon snuck in hits to the beast. Outnumbered and taken by surprise the monster didn't stand a chance.
It tried to attack in return but couldn't focus its attacks on either of the dragons. Eventually it turned wrong and left its neck exposed. The green dragon swooped in and removed it with a single swipe of his claws.
The Jaksarin fell into the ocean with a heavy splash and vanished under the waves in seconds. Only a white slick of blood was left on the ocean to show its passing.
Frances let out a cheer and waved his arms to their two rescuers. As the dragons started to descend towards them he returned his knife to his pack and pulled his shirt back on.
The red dragon flew in a tight circle around them and gently landed in the water only a dozen feet away. As soon as he noticed the young man a hard look crossed its features.
"Why is this human with you?" he demanded in a deep voice that almost seemed to role over them like thunder.
Renie turned her head to look at him, her energy slowly starting to return. "That can be explained later," she said.
The red dragon grumbled and turned his large eyes to Frances, "Are you a friend?"
The young man nodded his head.
With a snort the red dragon shook his head then let out a long call into the air. The green dragon circling above quickly landed at Renie's other side.
Carefully each dragon grasped Renie's body in their claws and started to fan their wings. As a group they all lifted in the air, but only by a few feet. They flew low over the waves for what seemed like hours, moving slowly so as to not injure the dragoness any further.
Frances stayed on top of her belly, comforting her throughout the flight until she eventually fell into an uncomfortable sleep. After a time a small island appeared over the horizon, moving deceptively fast as they neared it. The dragons slowed as they approached the snow white beach, and gently lowered the injured dragoness onto the sand.
The green dragon launched back into the air the moment that Renie had touched the ground and vanished into the sunlight. The red dragon stood in the sand next to the dragoness, a look of concern on his long pointed muzzle.
"Thank you for your help," Frances said as he slid off her belly, winching softly as his bare feet touched the ground. He started to walk along the wet sand, working out the kinks in his legs.
The red dragon watched him with a little bit of curiosity. "Are you injured?" he asked, but there was no actual concern present in his voice.
"A few scratches and scrapes, but nothing that needs any attention," the human replied as he walked back to look at the dragon.
The red sniffed around a bit at both Renie and Frances. "Did you get any of the Jaksarin's blood on you?" he asked.
He chuckled softly as he took a seat in the sand to look at the red dragon. "I got some on me when I busted up its nose," he boasted.
A dark look crossed over the dragon's face as he looked closer at the human. "I don't smell it on you, did you clean it off?"
"It washed off when we hit the water, and I pulled off the sock before you arrived," he said.
"Let me see your feet," the dragon ordered.
Frances frowned and narrowed his eyes. "I'm not sure I like your tone of voice," he said.
The dragon took in a deep breath and blew out a gout of flame into the sand next to him, turning it to glass. "You will do as I say if you wish to continue to live!" he bellow.
He blanched and unfolded his legs, offering his feet to the dragon. "You just had to say please--no need to be so dramatic about it," he said with a huff.
The dragon leaned in and took a smell at the young man's bare feet, sniffing up and down the flesh before seeming to be satisfied. "Good then, you are safe for now," he said.
"All because of how my feet smell?" Frances asked with a huff.
"It's because of what they don't smell of. Jaksarin blood is very dangerous, if it stayed on your skin too long it would have brought about your death," the dragon explained as he leaned back. There was an unpleasant smile on his face, like he enjoyed the idea.
"I'm glad I washed it off," he said with a frown.
The red dragon nodded his head but said nothing.
Frances settled down into the sand, playing with it as he thought about what had happened. "Is help on the way?" he asked after a short time.
"Yes, a healer will be here soon, she will treat Surenian's wounds," the dragon replied.
He nodded and looked back to where his friend was sleeping in the warm sunlight. "Will she be alright?" he asked.
"She will be fine by sunrise tomorrow," he answered. "Unless there is some other injury to her that I am not aware of."
Frances nodded his head as he looked back to the male dragon. "What is your name then? If we are going to be here for at least a day I would like to know it."
The dragon looked at him oddly for a moment, his head tilting to the side as he considered the young man. "My name is Delgration," he said.
"Hello, Delgration, my name is Frances," he said.
The dragon chuckled and nodded his head. "Well, Frances, that is the first time a human has ever asked me for my name. I thank you for the respect you are showing me."
The young man shrugged his shoulders as he dug his fingers through the sand. "You are a person--there is no reason for me to not ask your name," he said with a smile.
Delgration pulled his head back at this, his eyes blinking in surprise as he looked closely at Frances. "You are different than the normal sort of human, aren't you?" he asked.
The young man chuckled and shrugged his shoulders. "Yes, I'm pretty screwed up," he said.
Delgration nodded his head, then looked back into the sky. "Help will be here in a few short moments," he said after a moment of thought.
He looked into the sky, but could not see what the dragon saw. "You must have much better vision than I do," he said.
"Of course," he said with a small smirk. "I also have access to the lynkxs."
"That's the second time I've heard that word. What are the lynkxs?" Frances asked.
The dragon shook his head as he looked back into the sky. "That's not something that you need to be concerned with; just know that the healer is here," he said.
A new dragon appeared in the sky. It's scales were dark violet and it seemed to blend into the horizon. She was smaller than Frances expected, maybe twice his own size and with a long slim body. Her eyes were a bright blue that seemed to glow with something as she looked towards him.
"What is the human doing here?" she asked, her voice soft and somehow warm.
Delgration moved away from Renie. "He is a friend for the moment. Now, Frances, come to me, we need to give Beladana a chance to do her work," he said.
The young man nodded and walked over to the red dragon and sat down at his side. The dragon shifted himself away from the young man, but stayed close enough to keep Frances in check.
"You're sure she'll be okay?" Frances asked as he tucked his knees up under his chin.
"It is a small injury, one that she will recover from," Delgration replied and cupped his wing over the young man, but still not touching him.
Frances nodded, "I hope you are right," he whispered, and watched as the healer went to her task.
* * *
The sunlight was starting to fade by the time Frances blinked his eyes back open, surprised to discover that he had been asleep. Letting out a yawn he sat up in the sand and lifted his arm over his eyes to block out the sun.
"You're awake," Delgration said.
The human nodded and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. "I'm awake, not that I was sure I was asleep," he said as he turned around to look up at the large red dragon. He was relived to find that he was still there, that the events of the day were still real and not a dream.
"How's Renie?" he asked.
"Surenian," he said, mutilating her full name as he tried to say it.
Beladana moved forward and gave the human a small smile. "She is recovering at the moment, her wing is nearly whole again and she will be able to take back to the air in only a few hours. She was awake for a while but did not wish that we wake you," she said.
"Why did she do that?" Frances asked.
"Because you needed to sleep," Beladana said, tisking gently as she moved closer to the young man. "You had been fairly deeply drained by what happened. I was able to heal your minor injures while you were asleep."
He thought about in for a second then stretched out his arms and rolled his head back. Much to his surprise he found that there was no aches and pains to be found. "Thank you very much," he said.
"You are welcome," the violet dragon said and bowed her head to the young man.
"Frances, I would like to speak with you," Delgration said as he placed a clawed hand gently on the humans back.
He turned his head to look at where Renie lay on the sand, her tail tucked over her nose and her wings pulled to the side. She was sleeping peacefully, her chest rising and falling with each long breath she took.
"What do you want to talk about?" he asked the red dragon as he turned to look at him.
"You are a strange one, Frances Richardson the Third," he said as he walked the young man down the beach. "Surenian told me that you were willing to die to try and save her?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "I had to do something--she was hurt and couldn't fight. It was the only thing I could do."
"What a strange thing to hear coming from a human," the dragon replied, a look of concern on his face.
Frances looked up at the dragon. "How so?"
"Most humans treated dragons as nothing more than animals, hunting and killing us," he explained. "Very rare is it that a human will fight to save a dragon's life."
The human nodded, but said nothing more.
Delgration let out a long sigh and pulled the young man to a stop. "You showed great bravery today, beyond all that I have come to expect. You are an extraordinary man. Why is it that you wish to die?"
"Because I'm not extraordinary, I'm just plain old me. Nothing more and nothing less, and nothing that's worth saving," he said.
The dragon shook his head and gave him a soft squeeze on the shoulder, making sure not to hurt the human with his claws. "One's life is measured by one's actions, and your actions say much about you. For a century we have been trying to find Surenian, to bring her out of her seclusion, and you've succeeded in that without even trying."
Frances took in a deep breath and slowly let it out. "I've already made a deal with Renie, she's going to try and safe my life. I'm not going to extend that agreement to anyone else."
"I understand, but I felt that I had to try, to let you see what you've done for her."
He nodded, but once more returned to silence, Delgration stayed quiet as well.
To Be Continued...
This story is copyright 2006 by Fox Cutter, hardcopy reprints limited to one a person, all other rights reserved. This story may not be distributed for a fee except by permission of the author, and this copyright notice may not be removed.
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Objects: Chapter 4: Defensive Measures
Page last updated: 02/19/2012
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