12: The Red Nightmare
Torac vs. Sooth
The two dragons circled each other in the air. Torac held the advantage, and he stayed at range. Sooth was a dragon-snake; his body was that of a long serpent with wings meaning he had no claws or talons to strike. Torac’s body was of the western type of dragons, more reptilian-like, a large lizard with leathery wings and a pointed tail. Torac had shorter arms but with sharp claws that doubled as his hands as well.
Torac stayed ahead of the Sooth, blasting lightning at his body. Some bolts would miss as Sooth would alter the shape of his snake-like mass. Sooth did this by coiling or uncoiling his body before the electrical blast would hit him. Sooth needed to get close; his primary attack was construction and poisonous fangs. Torac was not letting the dragon-snake close with him.
Sooth had very little time left; the pain of being shocked over and over was beginning to wear him down. He had been compelled to attack this dragon; he knew of the guardian of the Hidden Veil and seen him once when he ventured out a few years ago. He regretted that this was aerial combat against Torac; he would have loved to fight him on the ground to wrap around and constrict the dragon. Sooth was not going to get this chance unless the silver-blue dragon made a mistake.
Sooth felt his mental compulsion lift. His eyes went to the ground below where Vish had been fighting a demon. For the first time, he got to use his voice in years, “TORAC Wait!”
Torac did wait; for the first time in the fight, the dragon-snake said something other than roar.
Sooth pointed his tail down at the ground where the two gods were fighting. “Vish has fallen. I am free of his control.”
Torah’s eyes followed the pointing tail. He watched as Vish’s body turned to stone at the hands of an earth lord. He felt proud of little Kate, and she had successfully won her first duel against another god. “Yes, our match ends here until next time.” Torac shot a bolt of thunderous lightning into the sky.
Sooth turned around and hightailed away from the lightning dragon. Sooth did not want to fight something he was compelled to by a tyrant of the Spire.
Kate started her ascent to where Torac circled. She touched her blue stone on her necklace to open communication with the dragon. “Mind giving me a ride, or do you want to race back?”
The dragon just laughed, “Little one, you know I can beat you in flight.”
Kate grinned, “Are you so sure? I am the Goddess of the Hidden Veil.”
More robust laughter came out of the dragon, “Who gave you that title?”
“I did.” She continued to laugh a bit, “We need to get back. Maverick and the rest are still fighting.”
The dragon raised his altitude, “Race it is!” with that, his mighty wings pushed him upwards and forward with a greater speed than what Kate would be able to keep up with.
Kate was now ready to test her new power. She had been limited for years; just how far could she push herself now? Concentrated for a moment, she wanted to go faster. Her eyes glowed a crimson red for a moment, and she felt a warm tingly feeling roll across her body. The red leathery wings burst into flames; bowing her head forward, she flapped hard.
Return to Sender
Torac sped toward the slow falling ships. The burning Scale smoked from the broken bow and smoldering bridge. He was about to make his grand entrance, a show of force and fear. This same action will break their will as their dragon has been defeated. He grinned to himself, his toothy maw revealing his white boney teeth. Then it happened a bat out of hell passed him; he could smell the brimstone coming off her wings. Kate had just passed him like he was standing still. He laughed to himself. He understood all too well, and she sure is a goddess who has now come to power.
Kate passed Torac; the smoke from her flaming red wings left a trail behind her. She circled the ship from below, flew up above, and dropped down with her wings tucked down behind her. Wings spread out just before she landed to slow her descent. Landing next to Maverick, the wave of heat washed over both crews. Her barbed scorpion tail twitched, making feint strikes at an enemy just out of reach. Her eyes glowed a solid crimson red, pulsing her power into her aura; she selected not to affect her crew with fear. Above her head, a red translucent symbol appeared, a circled hand. “I am Katalina, Goddess of the Hidden Veil. I have defeated Voloth’s unworthy servant Vish. Your dragon has also fled. I got only one word for you. RUN!”
The serpentine men of the Scale backed away from the flaming sabuci. Some just pissed themselves in absolute terror while others scampered off the Chimera as fast as they could. Some men fell to the lower deck of the Scale while running, screaming in terror of the new god. The men who paused and failed to run quickly were gutted by Maverick, Shaitar, or any other remaining crew of the Chimera.
Kate’s fiery wings and barbed scorpion tail retracted back into her body with bone-crunching sounds.
Shaitar could see that the Scale was slowly beginning to roll and tilt. He was amazed at the level of sophistication that kept the ship from crashing without the bridge. “Maverick! Get us the hell out of here!”
Maverick dashed for the bridge, “Right on it!”
Kate projected, “I will stay on the deck to make sure none, come back.”
Maverick slid into the pilot’s chair with one leg swing over. He then pushed down on a floor pedal and pulled one of the hand levers. The Chimera lifted, tilted to one side as the serpent head pylon hull was trapped in the Scales deck. Dropping the ship again with a sudden crash, he lifted again. The Chimera lifted, clearing the deck this time. Pieces of the bottom hull ripped off, collapsing as the still attached grapple hooks held firm. Clearing the Scale, the Chimera sailed away.
Maverick saw the flash, and he heard the thunder as Torac continued to use his electrical dragon breath to crack the Scale even more. The ship now began a death spiral, sinking closer and closer to the jagged wind-worn rocks below.
Torac circled the Scale, watching the ship descend to the ground. The vessel crashed hard, the bottom hull shattering into thousands of pieces. The sections not burning would soon be. The few survivors raced off the burning wreck. Torac continued his surveillance, and he could have easily danced more lightning at the survivors. He watched as the ground rippled, large stony hands pulled bulking granite bodies out of the land. The emerald green glowing eyes of the earth lords would be enough. There are no survivors from this crash; these warriors of the Spire will meet a stoney end. Torac glided for a moment before resuming his course back to the Chimera.