“It’s time to go.” Dax rose as Jasima slid out of his arms, heading outside. He followed her outside. “We need to make sure no one is left alive, then burn the town.”
Jasima tugged on his hand, pulling him to a stop.
“Why? Explain this to me.”
Dax sighed and enfolded her once again in his arms. Jasima hadn’t lived as long as he had. He had lived through the black plague and knew sterilization was needed to take down any unknown disease. They had no idea of what they were dealing with and fire would cleanse the area.
“Sometimes you have to eradicate everything the disease has come in contact with. Not to mention, the smell of the dead will attract predators and they could spread the disease even more.” He nuzzled the top of her head. “Fire will cleanse the land.”
Jasima nodded at his words. His mate made him proud. A delicious armful that accepted him and all that he was. Their first mating had resulted in their first batch of hatchlings.
Dax couldn’t help but puff up in pride at his prowess. A half dozen hatchlings had resulted. Proving that he deserved every bit of boasting and swagger that he knew made him a leader in his weyr. Every couple of hundred years, when Jasima was in heat, they had added to their family. He eyed her, noting how beautiful she was in her human form, just as beautiful as she was in her dragon skin. His chest swelled and the desire to mate swelled over him, distracting him from his thoughts.
“Stop it.” The small hand swatted him in his stomach, distracting him from his desire. “There is no time for that. If it truly is dangerous to leave the towns so close to our weyr intact, we need to eradicate them.” Jasima stepped forward. “Nothing will harm my dragonets.”
Dax rumbled in laughter. His hatchlings hated when their dam referred to them that way, even more than calling them hatchlings. They thought they were too old to be called either. He just gave them the look until they settled down and Jasima went on, unaware of their dislike of how she affectionately referred to them. If it made her happy, she could call them whatever she wanted.
“I don’t know for sure, but I’d rather they were safe.”
“What should we do if we find any humans alive?”
Dax sighed, thinking.
“Let’s see if we can find any alive first. We’ll search the town then torch it.”
So their search began. The town was empty except of death. Humans and animals alike had succumbed. Dax was unclear whether or not the animals had died of starvation, locked up without food available or they too had died of disease. Those animals still alive, they released into the wild. When their search was complete Dax and Jasima shifted, flying low over the town. With a rumble to ignite his fire Dax drew a deep breath and aimed it along the edge of the buildings.
Jasima emulated him moving in the opposite direction. The two of them circled the town until it was alight with flames.
“It’s time to go.”
Jasima nodded and they moved on, exploring each town they came across. They flew when the sky was dark or when the air was too thick for humans to see. Most of the towns were deserted, death everywhere. They used their dragon fire to eradicate any trace of the towns, leaving behind blackened earth and no trace of man.
Rise of the Dragons
Before there was Stealing Hope
Stop by next Saturday to read part six of the story.
If you missed the beginning check it out here.