Tiamat tapped gently on the door she used to access the mainframes withholding a laminated claw, the ancient fireworm was twelve thousand pounds of unholy fury in a fight and had snuffed more fleshys in her incredibly long immortal existence than any known disease. She was a creature of profound striking beauty,in any aspect she choose to wear. She carried a dark soul that defied definition. She often used talents and abilities that could only be described as “magical”.
She was one of his oldest “friends of the flesh” as the saying went. That’s if you call six tons of immortal carbonfiber nanotubes wrapped around a skeleton denser than degenerate matter flesh. The claws were carefully sheathed as she went for a stroll around the main rotunda for some exercise. The locals all knew of her of course. This particular aspect was thirty feet long with wings and could spit fire for fun. She very was hard to miss in a crowd.
But the station was now packed with thousands of fleshys that didn’t know and love her evil brand of humour. Alec suspected many of them didn’t even believe in dragons much less fireworms.
Alec quietly piped a private encrypted video/audio feed to all the cannies in reach.
The door slid open and Tiamat’s huge head swung around through a theatrical cloud of water vapor. Her four foot long tongue flicked out as she tasted the new smells. She savored the innocent flavor of the souls present. A very slight change in lighting triggered the scenario. Vendors acted to secure there sensitive goods and a few shops “went to lunch” quite suddenly as a few owners opted out as was there option.The actors would take there cues on the fly and then ad-lib the vocals.
Dear old Ethel from the jamba juice joint kiosk by the door was a classicly trained thespein on the blacklist, these days she she liked to keep her skills up in case she ever got another gig. She had set this up one day for practice. “Practice” had now replaced the regularly scheduled abandon ship drills, fire drills and poison gas drills They were all now replaced by invading evil queen fireworm drills.
Ethel kicked it off as always. Her instinct was infallible for reading the captive audiences mood. Her hand signal had indicated that she was going all-in. A text message confirmed this.
Doors and exits all silently closed and locked. Extra medical staff quickly silently entered the airlocks and locked the doors.
Her scream was high and clear as it rang around the ring. The note trembled with a touch of horror and taste of fear laced with panic. This was reinforced by her best student, the waitress from the cafe. Her point squat and scream was letter prefect. Everyone looked. A wave of real genuine panic swept the crowded hall and people instinctively ran with the two guards that had both shot tiamat twice and then threw there guns at her before they had turned screaming in fake terror. They led the whole panicked mob on a stampede of destruction around the big ring with the lights flashing and harmless smoke coming from the vents.
Tiamat loved the exercise and beth strobed the lights, her cue that she was “good to go”. She roared lightly and took off at a slow pace. The crowd was trampling each other in panic. One of the guards made his bid for a bonus by “tripping” and taking down a large fast moving group that was getting away. They went down in a tangled heap so the action could catch back up. As they jumped up to run it appeared that the guard was dead.
But no. He just wanted that bonus. As Tiamat approached he rolled over into her path stuck his arms and legs up and cut loose with his best scream ever. His scream cutoff perfectly as Tiamat appeared to eat him.
The poor basterds were really scared now and they followed the other guard two full laps around the big ring fucking shit up in a desperate attempt to flee with Tiamat hot on there asses roaring and blowing flames in harmless directions. The fireworm finally stopped and collapsed laughing by the jamba juice joint. Ethel and the two guards where laughing and high-fiveing each other over a couple of pan-galactic gargle blasters the waitress had whipped up special during the second lap.
Of course the victims weren’t very amused but then, Tiamat also ran the complaints department, so Alec didn’t foresee any problems there. In fact no one had filed a complaint in the ten years she had held the job.
Finally Alice asked, “where did you find that?”
“She found me actually”
“What is it?”
“That, is Tiamat, she is a fireworm queen goddess from another realm of the multi-verse who is here on hiatus” Alec said.
Alice said, “your kidding right”.
“Well I’m not actually sure were she came from but she can breath fire” he answered.
“I saw that and you know I’ve also seen a Dragon of Pern breath fire at my dedication ceremony. That is not a Dragon of Pern.”
“I told you thats not a dragon. It’s a fireworm and that’s not what I’m talking about anyway” the heavily encrypted video he sent her showed Tiamat chasing, catching and eating solar sprites through the corona of a pre-super nova red hyper-super giant.
“Oh my goddess” Alice liked what she saw.
“Vicki and Tiamat go way back to something they won’t talk about and Tiamat has some weird fetish about sleeping on large piles of other peoples money which makes her the prefect financial loan officer.”
“Oh yeah. Eight years and not one late payment” That was unheard of.
“Nobody died?”she asked.
“She don’t make loans to those guys” was alec’s cryptic reply.
“What do you mean?”
He evaded the question by saying”Oh yeah, which reminds me all that loot is giving me a funny wobble can I make a deposit.”
“Does Tiamat come with it?” Alice had huge piles of currency and new security concerns were popping up all over.
Alec gave a small cryptic laugh and said “watch this”. Best to catch her in a good mood. He shut down everything but lights and air in that section. Just to be safe.
He called the still laughing dragon on the public address system and said “Tiamat I’m transferring all my cash funds to Beth’s main vault for safe keeping.”
A wave of real genuine dragonfear slammed down against all the fleshys in range as two foot long claws went through the deckplates and her calm blue highlights turned angry red. Her baleful eyes stared through the bulkheads directly at his organic central core in a blatant undisguised threat against his life.
He maintained no illusions in regards to her. She was dangerous on a level that totally boggled his mind when he thought about it. If she wished she could sunder this entire galaxy with little effort to no effort. Why she had chose to stay here with him for the last decade was a mystery that she wouldn’t discuss.
“What exactly is an ‘Alice'” she hissed at him. Her lashing tail swept the deck clear of everything but the paint.
“Take a look” Alice observed the dragons head swivel about and locked on to her location right through Alecs hall and a couple of good sized ships to boot.
She was instantly pissed. “How the fuck did that get there. What is it. And where do I find this Alice bitch I keep hearing about.” A live picture of Alice as seen from the docking ring appeared on a large nearby viewscreen. Alec place a work order for a fresh coat of paint for that section of deck.
“This is my other half. The ‘Alice’ I have told you about.” Alec declared hoping she took this well.
“Other half my narrow carbonfiber ass she’s fifteen thousand times your mass” he dump the last work order and ordered new deck plates instead.
The eyes of the dragon ignored the screen after the first scathing glance and then looked straight through the bulkhead with those strange compound eyes of hers. Then Alice received a text from Alec that said ‘watch very closely’.
The six ton myth leaped off the deck and vanished before she hit the ceiling.
Alice was stunned, speechless.
“Wait for it…” Alice could hear the laughter in Alecs voice.
Alice said “oh, fuck me” as Alarms went off and the firewurm suddenly appeared at low altitude over one of her main cargo hangers gliding along casually in the thin air as she swooped into the big hanger that Beth had been parking cargo ships in. Alice was stunned and realized that the air it was flying through was to thin to support her in flight and yet she was gliding effortlessly in near vacuum.
The family triad of firebugs went straight to the front of the class by sending the dragon an invitation to enjoy a spot of yarb tea.
That was when Alice got her mind truly totally blown.
“This is the best part” Alec whispered laughter still in his voice.
The six ton fireworm landed near one of the small ships and walked toward the airlock. As she did her shape shrank and twisted until a lithe slender dark biped form knocked for access.
“How in fucks name did she do that” Alice demanded.
Alec laughed “If I knew that I wouldn’t look like the ass sphincter of a big lug.I would sale the information to the Outsiders and retire in style as something that doesn’t look like the ass of something else”.