“I have seen larger organics,” Na Fru said to me, boldly. “They couldn’t hurt me and neither can these.” The dragons seemed to determined to prove him wrong by covering him in flame. It was hot enough to melt steel, but the stone man laughed. “Keep it coming, monsters! You cannot hurt me! All you do is make me stronger!”
Surprisingly, the dragons appeared to have caught his meaning and stopped breathing fire on him. Instead, they decided to go right at him. Na Fru stopped laughing. He tried to to keep them back, to keep them away, but they just crushed his every attempt to impede them until one was upon him. It swooped down and trapped Na Fru beneath its taloned feet. I turned away as the dragon started to squeeze its claw shut. I couldn’t watch.
Shards of rock went flying everywhere. I instinctively ducked to keep from being hit. The dragon roared victoriously and flew off into the sky to join his brothers. I climbed up so I could see the peak of the mountain, but it was empty. All that was left were claw marks where the dragon had squeezed its claw closed.
“Na Fru!” I yelled. “Na Fru!”
He was gone! Dead! Shattered into pieces! He was gone! I couldn’t believe it! This was all my fault! I did this. I brought him here. I woke him up. I restored him to life. I convinced him to follow my stupid plan, to come to Ramstov. I told him to help me distract the General. And now he was gone! And it was all my fault! I killed him! And now I was all alone. Up here. Against half a dozen dragons. What was I going to do?
This plan had really backfired. I could have just stayed hidden. I didn’t have to come out here. I didn’t have to show myself. We could have taken the Sharkwoman and we could have gotten out of here, all of us safe, alive, prepared to fight another day. The General hadn’t known we were here. We could’ve escaped. We could’ve stayed on the other side of the world until we had a better plan. But I couldn’t wait. I couldn’t just stand by doing nothing. So here we were. Here I was. All alone up here. Ready to die for my stupidity.
I looked up at the dragons and I could see that they were all watching me. They knew that I was here. We all knew that I was next, but they hadn’t killed me yet. It was because they were toying with me, I realized. They knew as well as I did that there was nothing that I could do. I couldn’t fight them. I certainly couldn’t beat them. I couldn’t even run. I could try. I would try. I would do my best not to get caught, but it wouldn’t do me any good. I knew that. I couldn’t outrace them. They were too fast and I had nowhere to go. I was trapped up on this mountain.
Finally, one of the dragons got bored and dove at me. I ran down the mountain, but the monster was soon upon me. I was engulfed in its shadow. I could feel its hot breath. I could all but feel its talons as they closed in on me. I could see them as they reached for me. But then just as I thought it was over, I was suddenly pulled down into the mountain.
I wasn’t pulled far. I was just snuck into a little pocket in the mountain. I desperately tried to catch my breath, to get my heart to start beating again after that bit of terror. “Thanks, Tilly,” I said. “Once again you saved…” but then I stopped as I realized it hadn’t been Tilly who had phased through the rock. Standing in front of me was Na Fru! His crimson skin was glowing so I had no trouble seeing him and I could see that he was somehow still alive! “I thought you were crushed!”
“No,” he said, calmly. “Those large organics may be tougher than I expected, dangerous even, but I am not yet beaten.”
But even as he spoke, the mountain began to shake. I could hear the dragons bang against the rock. They were scraping against it, clawing away at it. They were trying to get in. They were trying to get at us. “We have to do something,” I told him feeling desperate. He had saved me, but it felt like all he had done was prolonged my inevitable death. “They’re going to break into here!”
“Wait,” Na Fru said. His voice still frighteningly calm.
“Wait? Those things can tear us apart!”
I could hear their talons cracking away at the mountain, tearing out the rock between us. “We really should…”
I could feel the little broken pieces falling down on my head, my shoulders. “They’re going to…!”
The roof ripped open. I could see the dragons looking in. I fell to the floor. “Na Fru!”
to be continued…