Find other Dragons.
Sounds easy, eh? Travel to another plane of reality, another planet, and consult their Yellow Pages under D. Don´t forget to bring chocolate, your camera — and a towel, just in case.
Okay, I´m ready to go. Better get it done soon, or I´ll never do it.
If I can, I´ll send you a postcard or two. If not, stay tuned anyway.
Find other Dragons.
“You should spend the weekends traveling,” Svangur proposes. “Unless you must work then, too.”
There he´s got a point, hasn´t he? Why didn´t I think of it before? After all, it just takes a little concentration, and there we go. But I didn´t do it, and I don´t feel like leaving tomorrow, either.
Svangur recognized my insecurity. “You don´t want to go.”
“Why not? It´s been your own idea.”
“Yeah, I know. But…” What keeps me from traveling? “I feel unsure. I mean, probably they won´t be waiting for me to show up at their doorstep saying, hey, come with me on a trip to my home and help me fight Demons.”
“I think they have their own homes to defend.”
Svangur flicks his tail and eyes the cupboard where I keep the chocolate chip cookies. “They do. But think about it. If there´d be someone at your doorstep asking for help, would you deny?”
“What do you mean?”
“If there´d be a stranger telling you about trouble with Demons, and you´d see he´s not very apt with fighting — far less than you are — wouldn´t you go and help? Before the Demons do bad things to many little children on this other planet?”
“Put this way, yes, I think I´d be going. But then I´d have to leave all the little children on this planet unprotected.”
“Unless you knew when and where the Demons are coming and could relocate there instantly.”
“Well — um — yes.” Where does that lead me to?
“So if you ask someone for help, that someone could still return to his own planet in no time, given he´s able to travel the planes of existence himself.”
“And can I take that as a given? How many people can do it?”
“Not many. But I´m sure, all Dragons can.”
“What do you want to tell me?”
“Don´t waste your weekends looking for help randomly. Find allies who can travel the planes, are more apt at fighting than us, and appeal to them. Find other Dragons.”
Tell me one thing—how am I supposed to venture on such a journey, to find allies to save our world, if my regular job keeps me busy like this?
Okay, I could go and tell my boss, “Hey, I must travel the planes of existence in order to find allies who will help me fighting a Demonic infestation on Earth.” Bad idea. I´d be out of job and in a madhouse next…hmmm, the latter wouldn´t be such a difference.
I could quit without giving a reason. Bad idea, too, as I need the income to feed my Dragon—at least as long as I can´t live by sales from my backlist of novels alone. That won´t happen soon, either, unless one of my readers recommends me to the New York Times or such.
No, job comes first, at least while I don´t encounter any Demons and have to turn them into licorice. So far, that hasn´t happened on the job, even if there are a few where I have my doubts…but as long as there´s no itch, I keep my suspicions to myself.
Said that, I might post less regularly, but Svangur and I won´t forget you!
To boldly go where no sane girl has ever gone before
The village is a fortress, but the walls are invisible—deadly radioactive contamination. The people inside haven’t seen a policeman for decades. The strongest rule, as simple as that. Women are traded for entertainment. Not the best place for a pretty female thief to be caught in the action…Only a lunatic would accept this challenge.
Johanna—or short, Jo—no longer regards herself a loser. She’s a successful whore, thief, gambler. But her game is dangerous, outright lunatic—more and more often she sets out to cause trouble for the worldwide organized crime, called the Cartel, only to go into hiding again. How long can that work?
I must be a total lunatic. That thought suddenly shot through my mind, and I paused in my movement. My nude body clung tight to the building’s mirror-like face. With nothing more than the suckers at my finger and toe tips, I stuck like a gecko almost three hundred meters above the ground on the outside wall of the Frostdragon corporate skyscraper. I must be a total lunatic. However, of course my climb made sense.
The four-hundred-and-seventy-six-meters high building was practically impenetrable for a burglar. The main and rear entrances were well guarded, just as the accesses to staircases and elevator shafts were. The roof held a landing pad for helicopters or Tigershark planes with perfect surveillance. In between, the building was wrapped in panes of diamond-hardened armor glass, almost without grooves, only interrupted by finger-sized openings for the antennas of metal and motion detectors. Glass cutters were useless—there was no way through! But far above, at four hundred thirty-eight meters, there was a maintenance access for the illuminated company name. If you could get out there, you could get in there, too. At least, I assumed so—I’d have to have a look once I arrived there.
The answer was obvious, the question purely rhetorical. In order to find allies, we had to travel other planes of reality, and try to convince someone to help us.
Maybe it´s time now to tell about my previous travels, the ones Svangur took me to between chapters nine and ten. Remember? It´s been more than a year ago. Back then he demonstrated me the travel between the planes, and back then I first acquired the “plucking.”
Back then, traveling the planes was highly uncomfortable, if not to say nauseating. However, meanwhile I´ve got used to it. It´s much less unpleasant if you actively control the travel yourself, as I did for my return from the Demons.
What do you pack for such a journey?
“Lots of chocolate,” Svangur proposes, peeking over my shoulder.
“I´ve been thinking in terms of clothing and such.”
“The typical tourist brings a camera.”
“What would you do with a camera?”
“Make a photo of the scenery? Moreover, the flash can be useful to shy monsters away.”
“What should we do next?” I ask my scaly companion.
“Have some chocolate?”
“Not in terms of food.”
“Oh.” He closes his eyes. “Mmm — I should teach you fighting blindfolded. You never know how much light you might have.”
“Okay, but that wasn´t what I meant either. No — what should we prepare for? I mean, there´s a purpose — defending mankind and saving the world and all that, in case the Demons settle for a full-fledge attack. It´s good if I can fight, but do we need some kind of strategy?”
“Oh, that. Yes, that might be good. What do you propose?”
“I? I thought you´d tell me.”
“How could I? I don´t know anything about strategy.”
“I thought you would.” I pouted. “You know so much about Demons, about fighting, about other planes of reality, so you could know about the proper strategy, too.”
“Good reason, but I don´t. Except that making sure you can fight sounds like a good strategy to me in the first place.”
“No argument about that, but that´s hardly enough to defend an entire planet, right?”
“What would we need to defend an entire planet then?”
I pondered that. “Hmm — more fighters?”
“I fear there are no other humans able to withstand Demonic mind control. I don´t know why I should know, but I feel that I would know if there were any. So, it´s futile to bring any of them into our secret, as they´d willingly tell the enemy everything.”
“Okay. No humans. Where do we find allies then?”
“Did you grow taller again?” I ask my Dragon.
“Don´t know. Why do you ask?” Svangur returns.
“Just an impression. During the last training, I didn´t do as well as I expected. Either I´m losing it, or you´re improving — or growing.”
“Oh. Well, yes, maybe I´m growing. From the Dragon perspective, I´m still a cub.”
“A cub? Oh. As a human, you´re looking quite grown-up.”
“I am. But considering a Dragon life span, that doesn´t count much.”
“How old can Dragons become then?”
“Oh, I don´t know. A few thousand years, perhaps.”
“A few thousand?” Ouch. I hadn´t thought of that. “Okaaay — tell me then, how large can a grown-up Dragon become?”
“I don´t know that either. Don´t know whether there´s a limit, or whether it depends on the environment. Quite large, I´d say.”
“Give me a clue.”
“Oh, maybe — fifty meters long?”
“As big as a house, then.”
“Certainly. The ordinary ones.”
“Ordinary. Are you telling me there are extraordinary ones?”
“Must be. As far as I know, I am one, otherwise I wouldn´t be here. Ordinary Dragons don´t travel the planes of reality.”
“Aha. And tell me, dear Svangur, how large can extraordinary Dragons become. Do I have to look for a larger house?”
“That might be futile. As I said before, I don´t know whether there´s a limit, but indeed I might grow to the size of a mountain eventually — within the next two thousand years or so.”
Considering the way the Demons tried to break me, it had initially seemed a good idea to exercise wrestling. Svangur´s task should be trying to rape me, my task would be preventing that. Obviously, that wouldn´t work. You can´t expect me to fight an opponent with all my heart if in fact I don´t want to hurt him severely and at the same time want him to win.
This may entice some erotic feelings for a moment, but I couldn´t entirely forget what our exercise was about — saving my life, making me able to withstand and fight back.
So, we mostly dropped that notion. If you´d been in the Demons´ hands, you´d understand.
While Dragons are immune against cold temperatures–remember #24?–Dragons in human shape are not, or at least not entirely. I had to remind Svangur of that fact, and then I had to help him warming up again. Luckily, that´s an easy task. Close body contact and friction are both well-tested means for it.
Moreover, chocolate icing–how misleading this term is in terms of temperature!–can be put to other good use than just on cakes. However, it requires some extra consideration if you don´t want messy sheets afterward…
If I had little practical experience before, now there was a huge, tasty incentive for exercising my tongue, and I took to the task eagerly. My pet Dragon, if you excuse me calling him so, needed quite some directions, too, but of course his dedication left nothing to ask for.
You might guess that this distracted us from skiing, but we regarded the days as a way to build up expectation–and the way Svangur beamed with happiness, plus the bulge in his skiing trousers, attracted even more female attention. In the end, it was inevitable to share my partner with a few chosen others…while I was watching.
We´re back home now, so we can continue our regular training schedule, only with a few new extras.
One week of skiing and hot chocolate–it was over much too soon to Svangur´s taste. I would have agreed with him, if not for two reasons. For one, I worried about where he´d put all that chocolate with whipped cream…he certainly shouldn´t outgrow our car, as that would cause a whole new bunch of problems. For two, the other female skiers became bolder with every day, and Svangur seemed to become aware of their attention´s direction.
No girls! If there´s anyone to lick cream from a stick, that´s my business alone.
I shouldn´t have worried about the former. I could feel it myself–transformations and translocations do cost a lot of energy, and a few cups of hot chocolate can hardly compensate for that. In fact, you could unabashedly dig through a dessert buffet or a Belgian chocolate shop, and you wouldn´t regret it afterward. The nutrients are consumed, and the extra will disappear with the next change latest. Moreover, there must be another kind of immaterial nutrient in chocolate that doesn´t go to the love handles at all–the happiness can be stored, too.
Or so it seems, at least if you watch my hunky Dragon.
I must give a goal to all his extra happiness. Excuse me for a while. Purrr!