Petrolea 12a

Chapter 12

Metallic trash scattered in the backwash from the mother Dragon’s engines.

Feroza stared up at her. She wanted to run to the beast, wave her arms, shout to her not to leave her children behind. But, of course, her real children were still back in the aerie.

“All right,” Victor said, “I can hack her behavioral processors–“

“No.” Feroza exhaled. “Let her go. It’s the right thing to do.”

“Is it?” Victor stared at her.

“What do we need her for? To take us back to the aerie? To guard us? To keep us company? Let her go back to her family, Victor, what’s left of it.”

“Well…pucha.” Victor’s legs gave out. He didn’t so much fall as sink, drifting downward until his bottom rested against the Leviathan.

Feroza knelt to swap out his spare oxygen canister. “Come, we’ll think on just how to survive for the next few hours. Do you have the materials you need to make another still?”

“I’ll have to start again from nothing.”

“But you can keep us alive?”

Victor took a deep breath of fresh air. “Feroza, we can never go home again.”

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