For anyone just joining me: On Saturdays I post prose, whether essays or fiction. At present I’m posting, in rather small pieces, a rather short story I wrote several years ago. If you haven’t already, I recommend starting from the beginning or reading Part Eight, or this isn’t likely to make much sense. This is my second experiment in serialization; the story I serialized here before this one was already divided into chapters, while here I’m breaking wherever it seems sensible to do so.
How much can I do? Rhinseth asked as she pumped her wings to gain altitude.
“Anything. I can’t do much Power from the saddle, but I’ve been trained to fight in the air,” Portia replied.
I’ll handle the Power, but it would be better if you aim it, Rhinseth said, leveling off.
A spurt of flame raced through where they had been scarce moments ago. Rhinseth turned as tightly as she could in the air to face this new threat. Portia pulled a javelin free from her saddle and hefted it.
“Shielding, then minor offense,” she said. She saw what seemed like two parts of a wheel come together in the back of her mind.
Something’s missing, Rhinseth said. A third piece of the wheel was not there.
“Can you still shield us?”
Yes. The wheel, incomplete as it was, turned once, and Portia breathed a sigh of relief and looked to see what her enemy was.
It was a black dragon, much larger than Tadic, with its ebony scales gleaming. Portia threw the javelin, which bounced harmlessly off the dragon’s burnished hide and fell.
You’ll have to find the missing piece, Rhinseth said.
There was a painful wrench in the back of her mind, and she seemed to split. She saw one half of her mind calmly order bursts of icy wind at the dragon, while she looked on.
The task at hand, Rhinseth reminded her.