Petrolea 2d


Feroza waited as long as she dared before rebroadcasting the signal. Wide beam, this time.

The Dragon under her shifted and the other – the mother – came to investigate. Headlights focused. Antennae rose in what Feroza could only interpret as a quizzical gesture: What could such a strange creature be doing glued to my mate?

Feroza broadcast the infant distress signal again.

A metallic probe bumped against her chest plate, hard enough to set off more warning claxons. Then, there was vibration along Feroza’s sides as the two Dragons dragged their snouts around her.

A deeper vibration. A shiver and burst of heat she could feel even through her suit. The tiny robots clamped to her suit released all at once. Toledo wasn’t the only one who could communicate with and control factors!

Feroza fell of the father Dragon and sprawled to the floor of the hangar. Behind her, the animal rose, the edges of the hole in his skin zipping smoothly back together. He lowered his head and unhinged his mouthparts to gape a threat at the tiny human who had invaded his domain.

Feroza pulled her legs and arms under her, making herself small, willing the Dragons to forget about her. They were just animals, after all, with no instincts regarding organisms like her. Her human outline should make no impact on their awareness.

The father closed his mouth and looked down at his body, across at the mother. Feroza could almost see the question passing between the two animals: What could this thing be?

The father’s head drew closer. Factors decoupled under the lenses of his eyes. Sheets of metal pulled back to expose the clamps, spikes, and torches of his feeding apparatus. Perhaps it will taste good.

The mother slithered between Feroza and the sleeping young. Or perhaps it is a threat.

The blunt tube of her flamethrower clicked into position. Liquid dribbled onto the rusted floor of the hangar-nest, where it boiled into vapor.


The warning flickered in Feroza’s visor: low oxygen.

Feroza triggered the distress signal again and held her hands up before the mouth of the serpent.


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