The wind whipped Adam’s hair into his eyes, almost making him lose his grip on the railing as he pushed the curls away. He shook his head and peered out into the horizon, hoping to spy again the shadow he was sure he had seen earlier.
Minutes passed and no gray spot was seen. Still convinced he had seen the dragon, he stayed on the perch not moving. After what felt like hours had passed and no dragon appeared, the boy became frustrated. He looked around to see if anyone was on the deck below him and saw no one close by. Putting his palms together, he closed his eyes and began to meditate. Pushing out his consciousness, he felt the presence of the crew members below him but no dragon. Gritting his teeth, he pushed out the search further, hoping to sense even the tiniest hint of the beast.
Slowly but surely he felt it, the faintest trace of the dragon. It’s large presence couldn’t help but leak small bits of magic that radiated the air around it.
Adam pinpointed its general location but the dragon was far, too far to be seen with eyes for a while. Nonetheless, he pressed the buzzer to talk to the bridge.
The SS Skybreaker or affectionately called Breaker by the crew was one of the last independent dragon hunting airships. The others had been bought by the Coalition or had run out of money to hunt. A dragon hunting airship brought large revenue but also accrued massive expenses. Adam waited for a brief minute as his call got picked up.
“Shrewd. What do you see Adam?”
“Adam. 40 on the left flank, rise by 500.”
“Shrewd. No sight from the helm, how far out?”
“Adam. Forespeed 90.”
Shrewd paused. Forespeed 90 was far, far enough to put an inkling of doubt in his mind but he trusted the boy. He’d guided through many unlikely trips that almost always yielded them their prey.
“Shrewd. Sound the alarm.”
The airship was ready for action. Excited, Adam moved and began to ring the bell. The mechanism of the bell had long since been retired and replaced with a much more modern alternative. The physical bell had been connected to the system for the sole reason that the sailors prefered the use of the physical device, it was a staple of dragon airships from days past.
The alarm blared in the hull and cockpit, awakening sleeping sailors and getting everyone geared up.
Adam ran down the steps to the hull and into the section D quarters. The section D quarters was a single room that housed 6 beds and contained the youngest members of the crew.
Running to his chest drawer, Adam pulled out and put on his hunting uniform over his clothes. He grabbed his glass daggers and fastened them carefully to each boot. Lastly, he strapped his spear gun to his back and went out onto the deck. Kelvin and Quinn were leaning on the railing, hoping to get a glimpse of the far, far away dragon. Waving hello to them, Adam went to the front of the deck and stood next to the vice captain, Star. Star kept peering out into the sky with his trademark steely gaze™ that he kept in his back pocket to pull out at a moments notice. He acknowledged Adam’s presence with a slight nod and pointed to several of the straps the boy hadn’t fastened when he put on his uniform. Blushing, Adam fastened his straps and spoke.
“Star, do you think I could be the lead on this?”
Star looked down at the boy and kept his gaze on him for a second. Looking back out, he took in a deep breath.
“I don’t think you’re ready for that yet Adam.” Star said slowly. Yes he realized the boy had the sharpest eyes he’d ever seen on him and the boy’s strength was astounding for his age, Star knew there was a big gap of experience Adam lacked. Adam sighed and looked outward with Star.
Though the trip would take over an hour to the dragon, the crew had gotten into action so early to prepare the airship for the hunt. Hunting a dragon was methodically planned out from the chase to the encounter. This had been the only way the early hunters had succeeded and tradition remained law in an airship.
The airship was nearing the beast and the crew stood tense, coiled up to attack when the moment was right. The gunner sweated but didn’t move a muscle, concentrating on the task before him.
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