Skip to main content. Home Lifestyle Cover Story. Mehrin Mubdi Chowdhury. Click here to download it for your device. The Daily Star Breaking news alert on your phone. Leave your comments Comment Policy. Top News. View More. More from Cover Story. Woman Thou Art Divine. Destination wedding hullabaloo. Shop to colour block. M for Modern Art. Thousands of dragons suddenly leaped out of Between in a dazzling display of synchronized flying … dazzling, even if you were destined to be on the receiving end of what was to come.
The bustling seaport in northwestern Russia lay miles north of the Arctic Circle, and on the eastern shore of Kola Bay, 30 miles from the ice-free Barents Sea.
This is where many of the attacking Russian ships had sailed from and it was about to pay the price for its aggression. Heavy cruisers, gunboats, minesweepers, and even a few unlucky submarines were used initially to "bomb" the extensive port. Docks, both dry and wet, were savaged. Administrative, support, and warehouse buildings were leveled.
When the dragons ran out of ships to drop, they started flaming anything and everything that could have possibly been used against them. This particular city had been chosen to be the example for all the world to see what happened to anyone trying to attack the Dragon Nation. Murmansk Airport got the next most attention, after all, the dragons felt they had to control the air. The railway and M18 Kola Motorway were also destroyed, leaving no way other than by dragon … or helicopter … in or out of the city.
Five thousand dragons burst into view, many carrying huge objects between them, some single dragons carrying smaller objects. At the height they came out of Between, it was actually hard to see individual dragons. They looked not unlike a swarm of swallows except they were all at the same altitude. With what was to come, no dragon dared to be underneath any other.
Mishka Danakov looked up from his notes to take in the almost full room.
Every important government official as well as every Wizard and Witch involved with controlling said government were present. There were a few Muggles missing, but no one of any import. He may as well begin. He waited for the few moments necessary for everyone to settle and relative silence to descend on the room. We have no idea what happened during our previous attempt. After an extensive search, no trace of the Admiral Levenchenko, Captain Antanov, or any of his crew has been found. After many hours' search, it could only be assumed that the vessel went down precipitously with all hands.
We suspect, but cannot prove, that dragons were involved in our loss. With that in mind, we have ordered an entire carrier based attack group to engage and destroy any dragons they find in the North Sea, no matter their activity. We would have attacked much sooner but it took us a while to re-equip most of the vessels involved to carry our special heat-seeking missiles.
We also had to give some of the crew Special High Intensity Training in their operation. Even the Landing Craft will be used to collect any dragon carcasses for processing of magical ingredients. All our government buildings have extensive magical wards and nothing can get through without being specifically allowed. I expect momentarily to receive word of a successful attack and extermination of the first of many dragons who are trying to destroy us.
There was no chance to say anything else, as the "word of the attack" had just breached the roof of the ministry in the form of the bow of the aircraft carrier the Admiral Kuznetsov. Needless to say, though ordinarily they would have been displeased with the information, now they did not care, as they were all dead.
Hundreds of dragons appeared as if by magic over Riyadh, many of them over the King Khalid International Airport about 22 miles north of the city center, all at the same altitude, some of them carrying objects almost as large or larger than they were: bombers that, just a few seconds ago, had started a bombing run on the Lac Logipi Weyr in Kenya. As soon as they appeared, the bombers were released to continue dropping their own bombs, ironically over their own country rather than where they had started.
In a scenario repeated across the country, the released airplanes started falling from the sky even as they released their final bombs on the airports below. Some of the aircraft, too severely damaged to be able to fly, crashed almost immediately, adding to the damage their bombs had wreaked. Others, less damaged but still not able to fly very well, were forced to make more or less successful emergency landings in any area they could find that wasn't under attack by dragons. In every instance of a successful landing, dragons would arrive soon after to encourage the aircrew to vacate their aircraft.
Once vacated, the previous technological marvels of modern aircraft technology were reduced to glowing heaps of molten debris. Airfields were not the only facilities being attacked however. Government centers, military bases, oil production buildings and oil fields, and manufacturing plants were all fair game.
When they were finished some three hours later, Saudi Arabia would no longer be able to attack anyone else for some time to come … if ever. The dragons were not indiscriminate however. They carefully avoided attacking hospitals, museums, housing, food or water production and distribution points of any type, or any non-combatants they came across. They were determined to remove all threat of future attack, not to destroy a country. The war was short and devastating for the Russians and Saudis. The Weyrs had proof they only reacted after an attack by the Russians and the Saudis, unfortunately the proof wasn't accepted immediately by everyone due to the magnitude of the Weyr's response.
After the air battle, it was revealed that nearly twenty thousand dragons attacked Russia. Two wings of unbonded dragons dropped a fully manned and operational Kuznetsov-class Aircraft Carrier on the Kremlin from altitude. The gloves were off and thousands were killed in attacks which saw ships being dropped on air bases and military installations around the country. When they finally ran out of ships, they resorted to making flaming passes on any military targets of opportunity, tying up traffic as roads and rail were disrupted. The counter-attack on Saudi Arabia wiped out all of the Saudi military infrastructure, including vehicles, buildings, airfields, and any munitions they could get to.
In keeping with their desire to do no more harm to people than necessary, they attacked in such a way that they were safe at all times but they would leave one or more avenues of retreat open for anyone wishing to preserve their life rather than attack dragons. Less than a day passed before the Russian Minister of Agriculture offered up Russia's unconditional surrender. Russia's surrender shocked the world and made a lot of people wary of the Weyr.
There was no one left in a position in Saudi Arabia to offer a surrender, unconditional or otherwise. Fortunately for the Russians and the Saudis, the Dragon Nation wasn't interested in accepting surrender from anyone; they just wanted to be left in peace. Immediately after hostilities ceased, simply because there were no further military targets to attack, the dragons switched their activities to that of disaster relief.
Editorial Reviews. About the Author. James Donaldson is an Arthurian enthusiast and Beneath A Dragon Sky (Dragon Skies) by [Donaldson, James]. Dragon Skies is the dark and magical history of northern Britain in the late sixth century. The series blends myth, legend, and history into a vibrant and powerful.
They "dragon-lifted" tons of previously created disaster relief kits to every area in the two countries hit by combat. The day after the battle, all the relief kits had been delivered, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent were in-place aiding the survivors, and the Dragon Nation had virtually disappeared … as if they had never even existed on the face of the planet. Now he was about to announce it to the rest of his riders. Even those who had helped to build the Weyr and ferried supplies to Pern, didn't realize they were actually going to a different planet.
Even now, Ronan was on Pern revealing the Weyr secret to those who thought they were just going somewhere else on Earth to prepare for everyone else's arrival. I have a very important announcement concerning the Dragon Nation's future. It's long enough I don't want to have to repeat myself. If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them at the end," Harry said, with the help of his quickly cast sonorous spell, into the restless crowd of Dragons and Riders. Only a few of us knew at the time that he had given incorrect jump imagery to his dragon.
He was daydreaming and thinking of that wonderful Lee Jordan picture on the wall of my office. They ended up jumping to Pern. After the babble of excited voices calmed down, Harry continued. I wanted to make sure that we had everything we needed in place before announcing our discovery to the world.
You are the first to know that those Dragons and Riders have created our first Weyr on Pern.