04: Hands of Grace
Katalina flew to the red sphere of darkness. Hovering above the ground only a few dozen meters from the ground, she raised her fist in the air. The ground rumbled in response, a huge hand of earth raised from the ground. She projected to Maverick, “Tell Landis to release the spell.” She got a quick response from him.
The dark red sphere faded as Landis restored the sphere’s time. Katalina’s earthy hand moved slowly as the spell completed, catching the two falling dragons and matching the speeds to provide a safe landing on the ground below.
The quaotle slithered quickly out of the cage facing the small flaming bandaged sabuci. Katalina dived down at the dragon-snake, infusing her sword with her burying grace. The dragon-snake reared its scaly head back, exhaling a cloud of green mist. Katalina disappeared into the thick foggy cloud.
Katalina punched through the acidic cloud, her body now covered in green scales. She had adjusted her body with her grace to create a skin that would protect her against the acid cloud. The glowing sword slid down the length of the dragon-snake quickly, slicing through the dragon’s scales like a hot knife cutting butter. The resulting wound proved to be fatal. The bloody dragon crashed into the ground.
Katalina opened the earth hand where Torac lay dying. She landed near him as the Chimera slowed and landed, with the rear cargo ramp facing the dying dragon.
Reeva, Grizz, and Nolland came rushing out of the ship to his limp body. Reeva placed her hands on the unconscious dragon.
“Do something for him!” Katalina pleaded.
“I got it. He’s not dead. The damage is bad. Now, you get back to the ship. I will have to redress your wounds again.” Reeva’s hands and eyes glowed as she knitted Toracs skin back together.
Grizz’s eyes glowed, and an earthy green vine started covering Torac’s bleeding body, “I can help too.” The vines sprouted glowing yellow flowers giving off a pleasant honey scent. “These will heal. I practiced on fish.”
Reeva nodded in approval.
The wounds slowly closed on Toracs blue scaly flesh. A crackle of electricity danced across his slowly opening eyes, shifting his head down to the young woman healing him. “Did someone say fish?” He tried to move. The green vines held him still.
Reeva shouted, “Stay still! Stop thinking with your stomach. We are not done yet. You are a big lizard.”
Torac snorted, “I am no Lizard!”
Grizz let out a heavy laugh.
Shaitar watched all the commotion from the upper deck above the bridge. Rolland climbed up the steps to him. Shaitar turned to Rolland as he approached, “We still got the Volothian fleet to deal with.”
Rolland scratched his chin, “The small ships will not have blooded. The larger ones will.”
Shaitar leaned his hands against the ship’s railing, “Go find out from Torac what the exact numbers he saw when he decided to go assault the fleet.”
Rolland nodded and leaped over the railing, pulsing his grace as he landed his eyes glowed momentarily. Then, striding up to the green vine entombed dragon, “Hey, lizard, how many snakes did you leave for us?”
Torac’s eyes flashed with electricity, “I AM NOT A LIZARD!”
Rolland turned to Grizz, “Is he a lizard? I get kinda confused once in a while.”
Grizz continued to make a huffing, animalistic laugh as Torac struggled in the vines.
Torac growled a bit, releasing a bit of electricity. “These vines are stronger than expected.” He shifted his head to the little demigod before him, “I destroyed the command ship and destroyed two smaller corvettes. Leaving two corvettes and one damaged carrier remaining. Both of the escorting dragons have been defeated. As soon as I am healed, we are ready to go again. ”
Rolland saluted Torac, ”Great! You’re making my job just a little easier.”
The dragon shifted a bit uncomfortable in his organic restraints. “Your welcome, ape.”
Rolland smirked as he ran and jumped. The extra strength he used allowed him to leap effortlessly back to the upper deck.
Shaitar watched as Rolland made a slight misjudgment on his landing, leaving him on the other end of the upper deck. “You know, we have stairs.”
Rolland stood up from his crouching position. He had lost his tricon hat in the jump. Pulsing his grace, the hat floated up to his hand. “Yeah, but this is much more fun.” Walking over to Shaitar, “Torac destroyed half of the ships, leaving us two corvette classes and one damaged carrier. They will stay around the wounded carrier in a defensive formation. Any remaining fighter classes will be scrambled also to provide defense as well. I am thinking, infuse a few explosive bolts with grace, and that should be enough. Have Opal place a barrier in front of the ship just in case they get the same idea.”
Shaitar tapped his finger on the railing, “We have a big advantage. We took out their dragons and can heal ours. They will message for reinforcements, but they will not get here soon enough.”
Rolland grinned, “I hope they decided to wear their brown pants.”
Battle in the Sky
Torac rose back into the air, Reeva’s healing magic was true. He hung behind the Chimera’s forward-facing transparent blue shield. The dragon shifted his size to gain protection from Opal’s shield. The carrier had stabilized and had come to the landing. Two remaining corvettes circled looking for danger, as did six remaining petite scout and fighter airships.
The smaller fighter craft made their move. First, the sleek cylinder-shaped vessels darted two the Chimera, the side-mounted weaponry shot rays of fire from the magical mounted cannon. The shield in front of the Chimera lit up and held, with no signs of weakening. Next, the two fighters streaked past either side of the Chimera. Chimera’s smaller ballista mounted on the secondary hulls fired, hitting one and causing the fighter to explode. The other Torac disintegrated with a bolt of lighting.
The last fighter did something unexpected. It spun around and flipped upside down, releasing six heavily armed serpentine men onto the deck of the Chimera.
Chadis flexed his green-scaled muscles. He looked around the deck, a number of these rebels dressed as pirates. He pulled his sword, dragging the defense also blade across his fangs, releasing an orange poison coating the edge. He was eyeing a man wearing a black robe and a clockwork staff leaning over the upper rail. He pointed his sword at the magician, “You scum. You will bow to the..” Chadis was drawn to the magician’s glowing eyes as his staff pointed at him.
The world around him became increasingly brighter, the voice of the battle all around him sped up. Everyone was moving around at inhuman speeds. He felt a sudden pain in his gut and his arms. He watched in horror as his arms slowly detached themselves and dropped. A moment later, time resumed generally for him, and he fell to the deck. He had been cut in half. Chadis’s blood gushed out along with his intestines. Chadis collapsed to the ground in a bloody mess. He watched as his life faded, the rest of the boarding party quickly being dispatched.
The Chimera continued forward. The scout that had dropped the boarding party did not last much longer as Torac snatched the ship with his jaws, clamping down until he reached the ship’s core. The scout then spiraled out of control only to crash a minute or two later into the ground below.
The Chimera dived down out of the cloud level in an erratic spiral. Magical bolts brightened up the sky as they missed the ship or hit Opal’s shield. After the initial barrage, Torac broke from his defensive position and brought more electrical destruction to the smoldering carrier, causing more fires. Finally, the ship’s air-core exploded, and the resulting release of the elemental formed a tornado ripping out the vessel’s side.
Shaitar watched from his position on the bridge. He had a smile on his face. “That felt good. How long have I wanted even such a small victory? We just destroyed a fleet with one dragon, one corvette, and a lot of divinity.” He unhooked himself from his chair, Slapping Maverick’s shoulder, “Maverick continue onto Durith.” Moving to a brass communication funnel, Shaitar’s voice echoed throughout the ship, “Damn good work. Next Stop Durith.”