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Authors: Kevin Leffingwell

Dark Dragons

BOOK: Dark Dragons
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COPYRIGHT

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Leffingwell

 

 

All rights reserved. No part of this
book may be used or reproduced without prior written permission.

This is a work of fiction. The
characters, incidents, and dialogue are drawn from the author’s imagination and
are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons,
living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PROLOGUE 
DOOMSDAY

PART I


LONESOME LOOSER


“I DON’T THINK THIS IS A PLANE”


HOT RODS OF THE GODS


ARMAGEDDON CENTER


SHAKEDOWN


PRACTICE


JUPITER STORM

PART II


GIRL DRAMA AND HIGH SCHOOL MISADVENTURE


THE BOGEYMAN

10 
ICARUS HAMMER

11 
TEENAGE COMMANDOS

12 
OUT OF THE SUN

13 
SPEARS AND ROCKS

PART III

14 
BRUTUS

15 
DRAGONS UNCHAINED

16 
SHADOW SPAWN

17 
INFILTRATION

18 
THIS WAY THE DEVIL

19 
MERGE

20 
LAST STAND

21 
THE BEGINNING OF THE END

22 
FOOTPRINTS

 

 

Author Comment

Thank you for purchasing my first novel Dark Dragons. 
Since reviews are life-blood for e-authors, I would be gracious if you left an
honest review at:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Dragons-ebook/dp/B00C0E8K8S/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1364241166&sr=1-1&keywords=dark+dragons

 

Don’t bother, however, trying to tediously type a review on
your Kindle’s web browser unless you use a PC or have a free reading app that
allows easier typing.  Please also visit Before You Go after the last page
and share your 1-5 star review with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Once again, thank you most kindly.

Kevin Leffingwell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Jennifer

PROLOGUE
 
DOOMSDAY

 

 

4 Xrelmara

Fifth Song of the Ninth
Epoch, 103
rd
Verse

 

 

Kalaar stared into the painful brilliance of the two suns
above the southwest horizon and defied the tears that the Twins brought to his
eyes.  At this holy hour, their light struck the planet’s icy rings at
such an angle that the atmosphere always erupted with pulsating bands of
crimson and violet.  During other evenings, this dazzling exhibition of
nature would have overwhelmed the Xrel to worship the divinities for creating
such an auspicious display.  However, tonight’s radiance seemed weaker to
Kalaar, muted of full color, instilling a gray dread like an ominous fog
clouding the faithful minds of those Xrel not yet dead . . . because the
shimmering colors flaring in the thermosphere only accentuated the swarm of
black missiles raining down upon the Xrelmara landscape.

Over the southern horizon, a pulsating explosion bubbled
skyward and burned the tall clouds away.  Another strategic air defense
site destroyed.  One more confirmation that time on Xrelmara was short.

Kalaar stood quietly on the observation deck of his palace,
a superstructure of crystal and steel that sat on a mighty plug of solidified
lava, which had once filled the throat of a mighty volcano long since eroded
away.  He finally succumbed to the stellar light streaming into his eyes
and turned away, tears meandering down his toothy snout.

The encroaching rumble of interstellar war mocked him,
shouting assurances of his species’ demise with every explosion, every blinding
light over the mountains.  Kalaar had been the commanding general of the
Clan of Defense, but the great military strategist relinquished his leadership
in disgrace days ago.  The Citizens scorned him and his useless
battlecruisers and allegiance soldiers because they could do nothing to repel
the Vorvon invaders now pummeling the planet’s strategic defense sites from
their orbital perches.

Kalaar heard the tiny holoture sphere chime in his
pocket.  He withdrew the device and let it hover in front of him.  In
its place, a hologram of his appointed bodyguard materialized.  Teerlik’s
pebbled skin looked much grayer than normal, the pink of his eyes gone. 
Despair’s effect on the mind and body.

Have you finished your prayers?
came Teerlik’s
soothing mindspeak.

Not yet.

I have completed the ship’s pre-flight procedures. 
When you finish with the rites, it will be ready for your launch codes.
 
Teerlik fluttered his three eyes in the
hem’il
pattern——his clan’s
customary gesture denoting impatience and irritability.
  We have little
time left.  Vorvon forces have landed in the forest nearby.  You must
launch the cargo drone soon.

My prayers will not take time, Teerlik of the Yivin Clan.

Kalaar sensed that Teerlik desired to say more, to plead
perhaps, but the bodyguard cut-off his end of the transmission, and the
hologram promptly faded away.  He tucked the holoture sphere back into his
tunic.

He looked skyward again, this time to the north, toward the
Eye as he chewed on the sweet, spicy pulp of his
chatik
root plucked
from his greenhouse moments ago.  Sweeping his gaze across the darkening
sky, he picked out stars belonging to the holy constellation of the
tromal
-beast
emerging from the fading light of the Twins.  Its tail was always the
first to appear, then its head and six legs, followed last by the beast’s
single eye, Xrelmara’s polestar.  It was classified as a small
yellow-white sun some forty-thousand
serpean breaths
away——a great distance
even to Xrel standards.  A voyage to that star, such a holy place to the
Xrel, had once been planned but that seemed like eons ago.

A herd of spooked
wirbals
trotted in from the open
plains into the purple forest which surrounded Kalaar’s palace.  They,
too, felt the approaching thunder of the invader’s orbital strikes many
distances away and scrambled for cover.

He watched the last animal take shelter in the trees and
returned to the beast materializing in the sky above him.  The Scrolls of
T’ursea said that the gods staked their realm within the life bearing radiance
of the Eye, which was believed to have planets but never confirmed.  Holy
decrees prohibited telescopic observation of the Eye.

A squadron of Xrel fighters pulsed overhead, the scream of
their ion-wave drives reverberating through the tall trees, and disappeared
over the northwest mountains.  Seconds later, the air pulsated with a
thermonuclear wildfire above the invader’s foothold, a last resort and ghastly
effect brought to the Xrel surface.  Kalaar watched the super-heated
mushroom——horrifically beautiful——balloon across the sky.  Only primitive
weapons remain, he thought. 
Soon we will be using wooden spears.
 
When defenders begin to scar their own soil, defeat is never far behind.

The invaders had appeared from the direction of the Vorvon
constellation, fittingly named for the Third Prophet of Revenge, and with no
other appropriate epithet in which to identify them, the aliens were branded as
so.  It appeared the Third Prophet had unleashed his revenge as predicted
in the Scrolls for sins unknown.  What atrocity had the Citizens committed
to warrant such devastating retribution from the gods?

Two days ago, a terrified voice from the research base on
one of the gas giant moons had screamed over the deep-space com lines,
It’s
hideous!
  Communications had abruptly stopped.  Patrols were
dispatched.  Emergency meetings immediately convened in the Assembly
Chamber.  No one understood what the terrified transmission meant until a
few hours later, a monstrous apparition appeared above Xrelmara and fearlessly
challenged the planet’s orbital and surface defenses with astonishing power and
impudence.

Aerospace bases, surface-to-orbit batteries and strategic
defense sites were decimated quickly.  The Vorvons’ strength was bitterly
evident, and they attacked with a swiftness that stunned Xrelmara’s military
commanders.  The gargantuan invader ships would simply skip through the
upper atmosphere like hungry fish and fire their beamed energy projectors
unchallenged.  Nothing survived these murderous fusillades.

A hot lance of brilliant red light pierced the sky for just
the length of a heartbeat and touched the surface hundreds of
myno breaths
away, the laser burning the afterimage into Kalaar’s retinas.  The ground
under the beam erupted into a mountain of heat and rock.  He clutched the
railings quickly with apprehension, and seconds later the shockwave slammed
into his observatory.  The tall crystal windows rattled in their frames. 
Kalaar grimaced from the pain scorching his sensitive hearing tendrils.

He turned and ran for the magnetic lift.  Another blast
shook the palace, and Kalaar gasped in surprise.  The explosions were
closer, stronger.  In between curses, he wondered if the volcanic upthrust
of rock which supported his beloved observatory could withstand another
blast.  Too many questions to ask in such little time.

He knew one thing for certain——he was the cause for this
apocalypse.  His great military was crumbling around him, the people were
dying, and the gods seemed pleased.  Once proud and always brash, Kalaar
now felt himself reduced to an insecure child.  Nothing but guilt and its
accompanying daggers stirred his actions now.  His final decision in this
life had been made.

The lift platform whooshed to a halt on the bottom level,
and he stepped into the cavernous chamber where his huge telescope sat on its
revolving deck.  The observatory was not the object of his attention,
though.  An enormous vessel sat on the boost grid next to the telescope,
waiting for the insertion of launch codes from the computer-pilot nav
banks.  The cargo drone was an outdated freighter, so old it possessed a
primitive warp capability that could hardly be called warp, but it had recently
been modified with an advanced AI cognition guidance.  No living beings
would pilot the ship on this final flight.

BOOK: Dark Dragons
8.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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