Posts Tagged dragons

[scrap] Micah.

The act of putting pen to paper was always a comfort. Of course I had a laptop, and most of the work done at the station was digital, but this was important enough that I made sure to make room for a notebook in my meager personal items weight allowance.

I had filled the notebook over halfway already, so I was trying to ration out the experience. I was getting used to the computer for homework, for taking notes, and for writing stories—though that last was a tough one. You get used to the speed you write, and the way your thoughts go faster, piling up behind the pen, waiting to come out, ordering themselves appropriately before it’s their turn to come out. And then you sit down at the computer, the thoughts come at the same speed, but it’s slower than you can type, so you constantly feel you’re working yourself dry, reaching for the next word—and then when it comes it may not even be the right one—well, that’s how it went for me, anyway. My remedy was to try thinking faster, and sometimes that worked… well enough for first drafts, anyway.

So the last things that still went in my notebook were the journal entries; things I didn’t want just anyone to see over my shoulder. As far as my friends were concerned, I wrote in code; of course explaining to them about dragons and their languages was out of the question, and elaborate lies would only be asking for trouble.

Anyway, today was a journal day, and as usual there was really only one thing to write about: the boy.

[scrap] Micah.

This one’s a bit rambly and unfocused, not too fond of it.

The red landscape of Mars was a constant distraction as I tried to focus on homework.  Charlemagne never saw this pink sky; did that make us better than him?  Silly question—the future would take the new world for granted.  I wouldn’t be in any history books, though the men who built the rockets surely would be.

Would there be any history of Mars?  Or would it be like the moon, just a place of curiosity for scientists?  Obviously it’d be a refuge for Atlanteians as well, but it was yet to be seen if that’d enter human history.

For the thousandth time, the persistent thought—if only I’d been born human.  I shut the history book and got up to look for a more effective distraction.

[scrap] Micah.

The question of first contact would be a difficult one.  How would a city of monsters reintroduce itself to the humans who’d forgotten they were real?

The Atlanteians had put a lot of thought into the question; some debated whether it would be necessary at all, at least for a good long time—Mars was a big place, after all, and they—we—could probably avoid humans here as we did on Earth.

Of course, this would ruin the point of having the humans there at all; we would, eventually, be detected, whether by colonists or watchers from Earth, so better to have them nearby, so explanations could be done in person, and communicated home with less panicking.

That was the optimists’ plan, anyway.  I knew it wouldn’t work out; human nature is just like everyone else’s.

Still, as the Atlanteian lander waited, invisible, not far from the human settlement that was already calling itself the Martian Research Station, even though no research had quite been done yet, I hoped a little.  Dad would be able to do it, if anyone could.  As long as having hidden wasn’t taken as some kind of betrayal…

[partim] Shine.

Previous | First

The food went quickly, and my hunger came back.  I shoveled in egg rolls after kung pao after potstickers, my light burning hot inside me and illuminating the whole room.

Beside me, Fofaa ate, with a daintiness unusual in non-anthros, but steadily and relentlessly. Her light didn’t brighten so much as it increased in splendor, the fire changing colors, and becoming visible through more of her scales, bathing her in an amazing aura.

I lost track of how much I ate—I figured they’d be keeping track well enough.  My gut was straining from fullness and I know I had to push my seat back to make room at least three or four times.

I would have loved, desperately, to stop and give my gut a good rubbing for comfort’s sake between plates, but by this time my belly was way too hot to touch.  I was glad I didn’t have to worry about undoing a belt—my backside’s generally plenty to keep the pants up—but I was just reaching the point where I’d have to open up the button and reclaim some breathing space.

I grabbed a couple of spare forks from the table and used one to lift my overstuffed belly out of the way, and I stuck the other one under it and jiggled the button till it came free.

I exhaled heavily and put down the forks.  That was a lot better.  Before I could do anything about it, though, the girl who was bringing my next plate dropped it—the plate shattered and eggs foo young went everywhere.  She seemed frozen in place, and I turned to see what she was looking at.

[partim] Shine.

Previous | First

A couple of younger men came out carrying trays crowded with plates of food and arranged them all on Fofaa’s table.

A few moments later, the man who’d first brought me in came back with a plate of crab rangoons.

I brightened up a bit and went to work myself.

[partim] Shine.

Previous | First

“So, I hear I have a competitor,” she said. Despite her appearance, she spoke English without any hint of an accent. “What’s your name, tiger?” Her light flashed with what was clearly a bit of contempt.

In her presence I felt a bit ashamed of my nickname, so I didn’t bring it up. “I’m Billy Taft. Miss…?”

“Lung Fofaa,” she said. “You think you can out-eat me, do you?”

I shook my head. “I didn’t—I had no idea what I was in for. They just offered me a free meal.”

“No such thing,” she said, “Trust me.”

“What are we even competing for?” I said.

She leaned in close and put her claws on my belly. “Fuel for the fire,” she said. My light flickered a bit at the feminine touch, but she didn’t react to it, if she noticed at all. “You can eat here for as long as you like—until a better eater comes along. And you must take on all challengers.”

I looked up into her eyes as her talons almost imperceptibly squeezed my gut. “Believe me, miss, I have no intention of threatening your meal ticket.”

She snorted, a puff of red smoke from her nostrils washing over me. “Nonsense,” she said. “The challenge has already begun. Go on,” she said, to the man who brought me in, “Let’s get me caught up.”

She took her place at a long low table beside me as he left for more food. “I beat a man for this position,” she said, “Over a year ago. He was just an ordinary human; no challenge whatever. No one since has even come close. But you’ve got fire in you too—you might just be able to compete.”

[partim] Shine.

Previous | First

I looked up and saw a door by the opposite corner of the dining room open, and a shimmering serpentine form slithered forth.

Well, I say shimmering, but that’s not really right at all. Fofaa was a Chinese dragon covered in glossy black scales, which scattered the light and the shadow as she moved. The bit that caught my eye, though, was that some of the light was her own: at intervals along her body—which was unclothed, as non-morphic people tend to prefer—at intervals there were patches of glowing red scales.

As she approached I saw that the red scales were actually transparent and illuminated by her fire.

I tell you, I’m not used to being outshined—but next to her I felt like a glowworm trying to compete with a galaxy.

My own light faltered a bit from embarrassment. She spoke first.