With a roar of engines Feroza could feel through her suit and the intervening air, the Dragon matched speeds with her. The animal hung in front of her, a column of metallic flesh the length of a bus. A mass of violence and confusion and the need to make decisions. Feroza opened her arms to it.
Iron wings flared, engines strained, and Feroza’s arms were nearly ripped from their sockets, but their fall smoothed out into a climbing glide. And Victor’s arms were hauling at her, pulling her into a sitting position against his chest.
Feroza squeezed her legs around the fuselage, felt the factors reach up to hold her in return.
“Thank you,” she said.
“You are welcome, you crazy woman,” said Victor. “I should push you off this thing. I should…I don’t even know. We are the only two people left. Do you understand? Everyone else is dead and you throw yourself off the Dragon like you don’t understand how…”
His microphone clicked off, but their suits were pressed together tightly enough for some vibration to propagate. Feroza sat there in front of Victor, wondering if he knew she could feel him weeping.
He was right. Everyone was dead. So were they, sooner or later. But there was nothing to do now but push that death later into the future. Victor was counting on her for that.
The Dragon slowed. The wings tilted up, the landing gear down. The vast metallic landscape of the Leviathan’s back stretched out before them.
“Get ready,” said Feroza as the Dragon settled onto the metallic carapace.
“Ready for what?” asked Victor, and something attacked them.