Fantasy novel set in modern times, featuring dragons, riders, and Nazi-like enemies
I, Giljaras of Rowheigh, have waited countless years for this day. The day, which the evil Mylandian empire, land of the hominids, birthplace of the diabolical Macrocorp Corporation, would finally topple.
Mylandia invaded my homeland, killed my parents, raped my people, pillaged the countryside, and most heinously, plunged all of Tribitua into the devastating world war.
Now, after countless battles, on lands near and far, our gallant forces have brought the war into the wretched depths Mylandia itself. Endless hardship, tragedy, heartbreak and death we have endured, but the day has come, it has come. And no matter what, I will not let this day slip by me.
Once upon a time, long ago in a past life, I had been a dirt miner slaving for Macrocorp, trapped without hope. But today, I flew into combat as a legendary dragoner, mounted on the back of a mythic dragon. From being without hope, we were now the hope of Tribitua.
Flying west from the direction of my avenged homeland, we soared briskly through the red, militaristic air; tainted by the pall of shell-pocked plains. Flak shells rang black in the near distance; supplemented by the sounds of shells blasting ominously, creating that awful symphony of dread.
The sounds of battle always possessed this surreal, dream-like aura, where you feel you can do anything, but at the same time nothing. This nightmarish gloom never failed to seep tragedy, but with a stout heart, I led my airborne squadron of dragoners into the inferno of the last bastion of Mylandian rule.
The once great Mylandian city of Geok Tepe, the heart and soul of Macrocorp and of the hominids, stood smoking and tattered, blaring with trepidation in the sunset. Geok Tepe’s once towering and seemingly invincible skyscrapers of metallic majesty had been long bombarded to rubble during the course of battle. It’s ruins now loomed over the battlefield like the city of the damned.
Psychologically preparing my fellow dragons and riders for the upcoming fight, I rallied them through my thought speech,
“Okay everyone, this is it, we’re coming in on the Geok Tepe, and once we grind em up here, Mylandia will be no more!! All our hardships and struggles have led us here!! We will finally repay them for all the family we lost!! Our friends!! And to our people!!”
We, the dragoners cheered vigorously, beaming with revenge.
“Everyone report in!!” I shouted, gesturing with a gloved arm. With a determined head nod, all the dragons counted off. “Flamer4 standing by,” the dragon and rider called as one, “Flamer3 standing by,” “Flamer6 standing by” “Flamer9 standing by” “Flamer7 standing by!!” “Flamer2 standing by” “Flamer5 standing by” “Flamer8 standing by.”
Wait, that’s only eight out of nine, who were we missing? Doubt billowing in my mind, I searched around.
“Flamer1 standing by, we’re all ready to go Giljaras?” my good friend assured from under me. As custom before a battle, Flamer1 slowly turned his head and stared with his mesmerizing green eyes straight into my own green eyes, melding our minds as one.
It felt soothing how Flamer1 always reminded me, in his own particular way, how he always stood by me in the best of times and the worst of times. Flamer1 was not only my dragon; he was my good friend, my brother.
“Okay boys…” Flamer7 curved haughtily and gave me a sharp, incredulous look.
Smirking, I rolled my eyes, “and girls, we’re hitting hard and fast, 3rd dragonier battalion has run into armor, and it’s up to us to take em out!! Let’s do it!!” I ordered sharply through my mental radio.
In a wave of heroism, I raised my fist and pumped it forward, straight into the inferno of war.
Flak and AA grew more ferocious as my wing approached the battlefield, puffs of smoke exploding perilously close. Diving and strafing, my squadron danced around the riddling flak, cringing from its noxious smoke. Turbulence clattering my teeth, I clutched Flamer1’s heavy spike to keep balance.
In a quick flash to my right, Flamer6 suddenly became riddled by a burst AA, and moments later, hit with a direct shot from a SAM. Roaring in pain, he twisted despairingly downwards, leaving a black smoke trail as he crunched onto the ground. I cursed under my breath, lamenting the loss of our friend Flamer6.
God; how I hate those murdering hominids. Those soulless killers have already taken too many of our friends, family and people.
Don’t worry Flamer6, you haven’t died in vain, or the tens of thousands of dragons, or the millions of my kind who died before you. But during battle, you never had time for a eulogy. A too-near flak shell quickly reminded me of that.
“Everyone!! Split up!! Flamer8!! Flamer9!! You go to the right and take out the infantry!! Flamer2!! Flamer5!! To the left!! Emphasize artillery and tanks!! Flamer3 and Flamer7 are coming with Flamer1 and me straight through the middle!!"
"Let’s move it!!” I cried with rage, pointing every which way in the vibrating darkness like a madman.
Heeding my orders, the sectioned squadrons spread open their wings and split up. Roaring, Flamers 3, 7 and 1 dropped their heads down, and all plummeted furiously down toward our common enemies like hawks after their prey.
Spotting one of the enemies’ deadly 95 mm cannons firing away, Flamer1 let loose a twisting inferno of flame breath at it. For insurance, he added in his co-wing rocket launchers and mg fire. Explosions erupted furiously in a domino effect, destroying the artillery piece and melting the artillerymen around it.
But emerging from rising smoke was a tank, rolling in ponderously and menacingly. Grunting to a halt, the symbol of Mylandian evil rotated its wide turret upwards to shoot us out of the sky.
“Flamer1!! Barrel roll to the left!!” I screamed, unable to help myself from staring down the deadly turret. Flamer1 hissed, slanting away. Spinning, I caught out of the corner of my eye a tinge of orange erupting from the turret.
I felt the AP round streak under Flamer1’s wing, the concussion temporarily disorienting us. Once Flamer1 got his bearings back to normal, he made a sharp swerve and tilted in the tank’s direction.
“Flamer1!! Give that tank a rocket up the ass!! Right 28 degrees!! Down 18 degrees!!” I pinpointed roughly.
Flamer1 tilted his right wing to match the angle, the launching mechanism screeching as it activated. A second later, a rocket screeched out from the launcher, homing straight for the tank. The tank exploded in a fury as the rocket hit, sending up a tall plumb of orange explosion.
But soon enough, another rolled in from a shell-hole and tilted its turret upwards, hell bent on blowing us away. Crap, we wouldn’t have time to dodge this time.
Preparing for inevitably searing impact, I closed my eyes and put my hand over my face.
For some reason, the pain never cam, and when I opened my eyes, I noticed the tank burning in flames. A responding roar, one that shrieked higher-pitched than Flamer1’s, echoed melodiously through the air.
“Flamer1!! This is Flamer7!! That was a really close one!! Watch it okay? You still have to live through the battle first!! You wouldn’t want me to be lonely after the war now would you?” she joked, half-flirting with her sweet voice.
Flamer1 blushed, shuddering with embarrassment underneath me. “Roger that Flamer7!!” he responded cheekily, leering at Flamer7’s beautiful, armored body streak away into the sky.
Flamer1 definitely possessed a heated affection for Flamer7, that’s for sure. One things for sure, after the war, Flamer1 and Flamer7, who already liked each other immensely, would really get it on. They’d get married, get settled in a comfortable cave, then start a family, and live happily ever after. But for now, they needed each other as squadmates, as comrades working together to destroy the enemy.
Yet neither of us could think of that now, for a Mylandian counterattack had suddenly commenced along the front lines. Blinking with alarm, the radio at my side beeped and vibrated for attention. Alertly, I jerked it off the connector and jammed the speaker to my ear.
“Giljaras and Flamer1!! This is third dragonier battalion!! Give us air support!! I repeat we are under attack!! We are in need of air support!!” the tinny voice rang.
Before it could hang up, an explosion rippled through the speaker, and the other side fell silent.
“God dammit” I cursed, snapping the radio distastefully back onto my belt.
Vengeful for our comrades, Flamer1 and I swooped downwards like an oversized bird of prey. A deafening cry of ‘Flamer’ burst from the infantry as they shifted their fire upwards to stop us. Flamer1 let out a roar, freezing and demoralizing the enemy with his Dragonfear.
Defiantly exposing myself to the enemies’ riflery, I directed Flamer1 down toward the largest grouping of hominids I saw. Bellowing, Flamer1 let loose a long, devastating column of fire, scorching the hated Mylandians below into a wild disfigured dance of agony. After many terrifying passes, the counter attack broke.
My courageous comrades cheered elatedly from their trenches, leaping over the hump and trampling lifeless opponents as they resumed their assault full tilt. Flamer1 and I saluted back as we passed over them, raising their morale 1000%.
“That ought to wreck things for the Mylandians!!” Flamer1 stammered to me wearily, lifting me away from the carnage.
Suddenly out of nowhere, machine gun rounds, screaming death, began beating in on Flamer1 and I. Instinctively, I ducked down onto the Kevlar saddle as low as possible as the rounds passed overhead. Where had that come from?
“Flamer1 this is Flamer3, you got two tangos on your tail!! They’re coming in fr--” PISEWWW!!! BOOOM!!!!! Before he could have possibly known what hit him, a missile from an air superiority fighter had exploded Flamer3. His crinkled corpse, or what was left of it, spiraled the ground in a twisted inferno. I cursed under my breath
“SHHIIITTT!! Flamer1 take evasive maneuvers!!” I directed, like second nature.
In a hissing flash, Flamer1 ignited the under-wing jets, yellow heat blazing from the engines. Bracing myself, Flamer1 veered sharply down and to the right away from the fighters, barely dodging the pulsating mg.
The two fighters began to follow, no doubt trying to get a lock-on on us, but before they could, Flamer1 adjusted his wings and made a sudden vertical ascent, wringing my stomach dry. The fighters could not follow, due to their cheap Mylandian, late-war construction, but disappeared to attempt another strafe anyhow.
Geez, you never got fully used to that surreal feel of maneuvering, no matter how many times you had done it. The G-Force always had this tendency to push down on you like dead weight, threatening to separate you from your conscience. Thank god for seat belts and my flight suit.
Yet strangely, the fighters didn’t try to go after us anymore, but instead screamed downwards toward Flamer7’s direction, busy blowing up tanks and routing infantry. They began firing their mgs, forcing her to pull up and evade.
Flamer1 roared with fury, enraged at the very notion of his girlfriend getting hurt. Boiling in masculine pride, Flamer1 burned on the jet and shifted his body to trail after the two fighters. Shifting in and out of ground fire, he managed to position himself directly behind the fighters.
“Okay Flamer1!! We got em now!! Let’s give em what’s for!!” I screamed vengefully. “FOR FLAMER7!!” Flamer1 snarled with personal rage, his eye goggles distending from his expression.
With a vicious roar, Flamer1 released a deadly ball of fire on the first, disintegrating it, and locked onto and destroyed the second with a rocket. The wrecked pieces of plane scattered everywhere, forcing me to duck my head to avoid a near miss of what had been a tail wing.
“Thank you Flamer1!!” Flamer7 cried out, gazing back.
“Glad to be of service Flamer7, but next time, there’ll be nobody to save you from me once we get into the caves” Flamer1 teased, smoke billowing through his nose for an entirely different reason now.
Flamer7 giggled, finding the prospect exciting rather than threatening. With still a battle to win however, Flamer’s 1 and 7 separated, going their different ways.
Throughout the night, we hammered the hated Mylandians mercilessly with flame, rocketry and bombs. Our enemies crumbled under our on-coming barrage, retreated disorderly through the windswept plains as they sensed the end once and for all.
Victory was near; Tribitua would be free from the oppression and tyranny of Macrocorp, heralding in a new era of freedom and prosperity for all.
By dawn’s early light, the forces of Mylandia threw up the flag and surrendered. Just like that, years of pain, anguish and suffering, had ended. Mylandia, which once had an empire that spanned half the globe, had finally been defeated.
At the news, I directed Flamer1 to touch down upon the crater-scorched ground. In my most heroic pose, I lifted my fist into the air, provoking a triumphant roar from my comrades. Fellow soldiers and dragons alike celebrated in triumph, while through the corner of my eye, Flamer7 touched down and nuzzled Flamer1.
Ahh yes, Flamer1 and Flamer7 could really get their flames going now, and live happily ever after. And I, I will be engraved on statues, immortalized in lore as the harbinger of peace in Tribitua. You don’t know how good it feels, to be honored as a hero. It really feels good.
Yet, all of the sudden, at the pinnacle of our joy and happiness, a dark, unnatural aura, one I had never seen or even imagined of, spawned from the northern horizon. I let out an unnatural whimper as the darkness sped toward the battlefield at a sickening pace.
Humans, hominids, and dragons alike stared up dreadfully at the apocalyptic weapon. The entire sky darkened opaque as night as the weapon crept closer and closer, leaving a trail of red residue in its wake.
It whined like a dying vulture, the signal of the death of the entire world. Feeling my anguish, Flamer1 let out a disbelieving croak. Fearfully, I clung onto his scaly hide as tight as possible.
H-had, had we, and they, gone through all this pain just to end up dead like…like this? It’s not fair!! Oh, my God.
Instantly, I felt an excruciating, unending pain. I tried to scream out with horror, but somehow, I couldn’t, as my soul sucked literally away into the abyss…
I found my conscience in total darkness, unsure whether I was dreaming, or dying. Where was everybody? Where was Flamer1, or my comrades? Where was I? Um…when was I? My question became partly answered when I heard a strange activating ring, inside my head.
H-Huh??????? What the hell?
“Giljaras, wake up!!”
Oh god shut up.
“You don’t say shut up to God!! There is a job that needs to be done, and you’re the one who’s gonna fulfill the path of destiny!!”
Errr, yeah whatever, I’m dead, or dreaming or something. So what are you saying about this goddamn destiny?
“I will help you along the way, but you are the one who has to fulfill your duty.
Fine whatever you say god.
Okay Giljaras, I’ll leave you now, but promise me that you’ll—“
[Read chapter 1, where Giljaras will]
"Dawn of Reality, Chapter 1"