This story really wants to be something bigger. My muse handed me so many details. I am going to try to make it into a bigger short story I think for Storm Dance Publications upcoming anthology Grumpy Old Gods Volume 2, and after that maybe a whole world for stories to play in my imagination.
I hope you enjoy the story. I had trouble finding an ending so hope the ending leaves you feeling satisfied for a short story. I could have kept going.
Soren was waning. The injury he had sustained during the galactic invasion of Weir was not healing.
The planet was dying. He could no longer infuse it with his life force. Instead of going out in a blazing nova it would, instead, die a barren wasteland tomb to a once powerful dragon god.
His people, the dragon-shifters that survived the invasion, were now spread across the galaxy leaving behind a home that could no longer sustain them.
Soran had sealed the interdimensional portal and destroyed the machine that had created it at great cost to himself.
Unfortunately, the remaining Graax, caught on this side of the portal were stranded in this dimension.
The invasion had been stopped, but the recovery and struggle with the Graax were not, but for Soran his part was over.
He felt himself waning. He understood it was the nature of life to resist, so he would buy himself time, even gods could hope, allowing the deep slumber to slow his awareness and preserve his life until he could no longer resist the fade.
Darius landed the Seed Ship Agatha on the northern mountain peninsula, the highest point on the planet Weir.
Stabilizing the ships landing gear, he then launched over 200 atmospheric pods and land probe seeders to take readings of the planet and communicate with the orbital satellite he had already set into orbit.
Immediately, information flooded the ship’s databanks lighting the console and activating its systems. He carried a linked datapad with him as he moved around monitoring and adjusting everything.
The seeders had already started their work. The planet was responding.
The Agatha was a highly modified science ship equipped with ancient terraforming technology, used in the early days in space exploration and colonization, when the earth was still home for humans three hundred years before the invasion. The ship and the technology survived despite continuing skirmishes with what remained of the Graax.
Darius’s adoptive uncle, a space salvage dealer was able to acquire the ship and tech through a corporate auction on one of the first worlds settled by humans in the Soul Galaxy.
The theory was the ship and the technology had played a key role in the surviving humans escape from the Graax, an alien interdimensional race that invaded our dimension conquering galaxy after galaxy, including the Soul Galaxy home to the planet Weir.
Something had happened on Weir that had stopped the invasion, but Weir became uninhabitable.
“You know kid, I can’t believe I let you talk me into this. This ship may be spaceworthy but what makes you think this technology will do what you hope it will do?”
Darius had lived with his uncle since he was sixteen. Jarek Jacks was a genius mechanic with a side interest in robotics and space racing. He took Darius in after Darius’s adoptive parents died in a freak explosion on a secret project for the META Corporation. They had both been scientists one in genetics and the other in robotics.
“It will do what it was created to do. We’ve spent the last five years restoring and refitting everything. It worked on Indis.”
“Indis was not the wasteland this planet has become. Indis still had small regions that supported life and an eco-system.”
“It’s already working. Look at the readouts. This planet is not dead. It is almost like it is in some kind of hibernation or alternate state.” He handed his datapad to his uncle while he made more adjustments. “The numbers are good.”
His uncle pulled up a comparison image on the ships view screen that also allowed them to view outside the ship. “I don’t know. The seismic inconsistencies have me a little concerned. I suggest sending a probe down toward the planet core to get more exact readings.”
“Not a problem. Doing it now.”
Soren felt different. He had not faded. Restlessness made him twitch all the way to his toes even in slumber. Awareness tingled over him like layers being pulled away to expose his soft underbelly. Something had been injected into the planet’s soil, even the atmosphere. It was healing him. Something hit his snout. He roared.
The mountain shook. Rock shifted.
Alarms sounded throughout the ship as it rocked and slid over a hundred feet into a open fission in the rock.
Darius and his uncle toppled and tumbled around the cockpit until the inside gravity sensors activated.
Strapping himself into his seat, Darius fired the outside gravity repulsion system, slowing the ships free fall speed and creating a bounce that prevented an all-out crash. They bounced three times before he was able to set the ship down smoothly.
Jarek activated the outside view screen. They were inside the belly of the mountain. The outside running lights came on.
“Atmospheric readings are stable down here. It’s safe to breathe. I’m going outside to assess the damage and gauge whether we can get back out the way we came in.”
“I’m coming with you.”
“No Jarek, you’re the better pilot. Stay here. Monitor things. I’m taking a commlink. I’ll call if needed.”
Darius stepped outside taking a reading of the air as he emerged. It was good, so he unzipped his protective suit, removed the mask, and tossed them back into the ship. He hit the hatch seal. The ship ramp retreated.
He gave his glow rod a snap triggering the light. They were in a massive underground cavern. Something enormous was moving just outside the light sphere. He held his light up higher casting the light further.
Whatever it was… it stopped moving, so he stepped closer.
The gargantuan reptile like body with wings that rose up into the cavern had him dropping his glow rod.
“Who pulls me from the fade and disturbs my planet?”
Darius backed toward the ship. “We did not mean to disturb you. The intention was to bring life back to this planet.”
The golden dragon snout moved toward him. The dragon sniffed. Darius struggled not to be inhaled. His six-foot stature would easily fit inside one of those nostrils.
“You have Dracon blood. I can smell it.”
Darius knew he was an orphan. They had found him on a derelict spacecraft adrift in space with no other signs of life on board. What happened on that ship was still a mystery. Genetic testing had shown he was not fully human, but what he was they never fully determined.
“Who are you? What are you?”
“I am Soren. Draconian Fire God. I am DRAGON. Protector of this planet.” Soren sniffed again. “You are dragon-shifter. My people live.”
Juneta writes SPECULATIVE FICTION. Fantasy, Sci-Fi Fantasy Adventure, a bit of space opera with a touch of mystery, romance, and paranormal hijinks.
She is a big proponent of short stories through various venues. She has currently entered into a partnership with another author to create themed anthologies at Storm Dance Publications.
You can read her story along with 12 other writers in Grumpy Old Gods Volume 1 the first themed anthology in this series.
To Wake A God by Juneta Key
The Sprite In The Well by Angela Wooldridge
Something Different by Karen Lynn
0 – The Fool by Raven O’Fiernan
Big Enough by Elizabeth McCleary
Grumpy Old Demeter by Vanessa Wells
Say Please By J. Q. Rose
Provoking the Muse by Moira K. Brennan
It all Started… by Bill Bush
Zombies by Barbara Lund
Before The Dreams by Katharina Gerlach