The Dragon

Forty Nine

“Well that sucked.”

“I imagine it did.”

Lisbeth looked over at Typhon. He was sitting at a white table, that appeared to be from a cheep patio set. Except the two chairs we both of different styles. The table had an extravagant lacy tablecloth, the kind you weren’t actually suppose to put anything on. The table was set with a large assortment of different cookies, and a fancy silver tea set.

“Are you mocking me?” Lisbeth finished pulling herself out of the gateway she had open. She had to crawl for two reason, the first being it wasn’t big enough. The second was she didn’t have the strength to walk.

“I wouldn’t dream of it.”

“Yes you would.”

“Yes I would” Typhon acknowledged

“How long was gone for.” Lisbeth didn’t bother trying to get into the chair that had been left for her. Instead remaining on the grass.

“No idea.”

“You still understand how time works, and is measured.”

“Doesn’t mean I know how long you have been gone.”

“How long have I been gone relative to you?”

“Just over six months.”

“Fuck me.”

“I don’t swing that way.”

“Yes you do.”

“Well I don’t this century.” Typhon flashed Lisbeth one of his perfect smiles. Or it would have been perfect if he had human teeth. Since they were currently too sharp to be called human, his smile had a bit of a disturbing effect.

“Fair enough. Is Bill back yet?”

“No, and he won’t be. Nicely done Lisbeth.”

“I didn’t kill him, so why won’t he be?”

“Because finding the universe you fell out of is a pain in the ass. Much easier to just find a new one, maybe seed some planets if it gets boring. If he was going to come back he certainly would have beaten you back. So yeah, he’s a nonissue.”

“How did I make it back anyways?”

“You cheated.” Typhon waited for Lisbeth to ask the obvious question. When she instead simply propped herself up on one elbow, and raised an eyebrow at him, he decided to continue. “When our mistress made you a natural law she gave you the power to open portals just about anywhere. Getting cast out might have meant you stopped being a law, but the connection was still there. It acted as a tether.”

Lisbeth frowned. “I didn’t know it worked like that.”

“It doesn’t, she helped you.”


“I guess she wanted you to finish what you started.”

“Without me things probably started getting slightly less predictable. Wouldn’t she prefer that?”

“Maybe she wanted to see the two lovers reunited. And they didn’t, things oddly enough are following the original plan to the letter. Atreus, and your Mr. Lansky are surprisingly dedicated individuals, capable of following a plan laid out by someone who for all intents, and purposes ceased to exist.”

“Think they be happy to see me returned?”

“Probably, Atreus was all upset you missed your birthday.”

“I feel like I missed several hundred.”

“From your perspective you probably did.”

“I didn’t miss the lovers comment. How is she?”

“Your sweet little telepath? She’s doing fine, even figured out the trick to magic all on her own. She claimed your pocket, and books for her own once it became clear you weren’t coming back.”


“I did have to have a little chat with here about sharing.”

“Typhon” Lisbeth let that out as something of a hiss, more of a warning sound.

“Just a talk. But you will be interested to see the kinds of things she gets up to these days.”


“You know it.” Typhon gave one of his all too toothy grins. “You feeling ok?”

Lisbeth’s body had given up, on the awake front. After hearing certain bits of news she started drifting off. It was mostly beyond her will, although she could have put it off if she really tried. Not that she saw much point in that, a nice long nap might be just what she needed.

Rest of course wasn’t exactly restful for her naturally. This night proved to be no exception to that. They were aware of her almost as soon as she started dreaming. When she was young they didn’t have the connections to know she existed. Now however she had met most of them.

She could almost feel them converging on her mind, like thousands of buzzards who had found a dead rabbit. They ran into each other before they reached her. Their progress was halted as they stopped to confer with each other. It didn’t take much time at all, or possibly it took days for them to come to a decision.

A number left, simply floating away. The vast majority stayed where they were, watching, waiting. One continued forward, slower than when he had first approached. She recognized him easily of course, they wouldn’t be foolish enough to send someone she didn’t know as better than an acquaintance.

When he reached her dream he gave a very polite knock on the outside, that she had shaped to be a large wooden door. The interior of her dream Lisbeth had turned into one of those old taverns. Something that could be found in an adventuring novel.

The wooden floor creaked with ever step, the tables were filled with drinking shadows. All of the patrons were shadows really, the only people she had bothered giving bodies was the waitress and the bartender. The bartender was stereotypical as well, a balding man large in stature wearing rough brown clothes, that seemed to blend in with the bar itself. The waitress however did not fit into the setting.

She was a pretty thing with a buxom chest and an outfit that one would expect from a much less reputable type of establishment. Lisbeth took her time looking at her creation, as she took her time letting the dream walker into her dream. She really had been alone for far to long. Something that she desperately needed to fix, but right now she apparently had business to deal with.


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Forty Five

Apologies are hard. There are all sorts of considerations that go into a good apology, and Lisbeth didn’t know what they were. Apologies, or at least big ones, that needed planning in advance, weren’t things that she had ever tried to deal with. Asking for advice was proving a fruitless task as well.

Typhon, for all of his supposed knowledge, started rambling about a world shattering fight he got into with one of his partners. When asked about the relevance that story had for her, he made his position clear.

“None at all. But don’t think you’re getting off easy with this one.” He then refused any more advice.

Mr. Lansky was worse. “You know I’m asexual right? I have literally never had to deal with a romantic partner.”

“I thought asexual just meant you weren’t interested in sex?”

“Yeah, but relationships are even more messy, never wanted to deal with those.” So yeah, he was useless in the relationship department.

Of course Atreus took the cake, or he did after laughing at her for a couple of minutes. “Before coming here I spent twenty years in a forest with a bunch of drugged up child soldier. I’m not sure I’ve ever had sex that didn’t involve cocaine. Besides why don’t you ask Atreus, he at least went to college?”

She would have tried the recruits, but even the newest ones had apparently heard whatever stories were floating around about here. Therefore they seemed terrified of her. Lisbeth still didn’t know why, but suspected Atreus had something to do with it. Mostly because every time she asked him he got all evasive.

Usual teachers having proved useless, and Lisbeth not quite willing to ask a god for relationship advise. Even if said god approved of said relationship. Since she wasn’t quite willing to just find the best way she decided to branch out to different sources. She would have considered Shelby, but Shelby had the weekend off, and was apparently doing what Lisbeth wished she was doing. The twins were a bad idea. This meant that she really only had one viable choice on who to ask.


“Hey Lisbeth good to see you. I’ve been worried.” Sinclair looked tired. He had deep bags under his eyes, and his suit was wrinkled. His hair was mussed up, and he had a slight odor of someone who hadn’t been home in a while.

“You look terrible.” Lisbeth didn’t quite mean it to come out as harshly as it did, but she wasn’t on the top of her game. Still very preoccupied with other thoughts.

“Work has been hell, pure hell.”

Lisbeth frowned slightly, Sinclair’s organization shouldn’t be dealing with the attack fallout. “I would have figured the community would be keeping quiet?” They were, mostly.

“They are, mostly. But the spying thing was big, we’ve even had some protests around the worlds because of it. Meanwhile the community is all nice and quiet, and already prepared with their own encrypted email service, that we can’t crack. They knew and all my superiors want answers.” Lisbeth smiled apologetically, but didn’t offer any words. “Meanwhile since I’m the member of the agency to have most recently worked with the immortal agency, and with my distinguished record. Thanks for that by the way. I have also been named the liaison between our bureau and the immortal agency. Meaning I get called to all of the meetings for the angel attacks.”


“No you’re not.”

“No I’m not. So what has the response been so far?”

“Our response as a nation, or our response as a species?” From the tone of Sinclair’s voice it was clear that those questions would have very different answers to them.

“Our nation.”

“Brilliant really, we’ve already restocked our orbital weapons platforms. We can have a significant task force at any city in under fifteen minutes. All major cites already have significant task forces stationed in them. The council is even placing Templars with them.”

“Sound great, how about as a species.”

“Embarrassing. We’ve already started selling off orbital strikes, and if countries don’t want to pay now they can pay when the angels attack. For a fifty percent markup of course. Yes we are advertising our prices. Templars are only being placed in the most developed and comfortable nations. The only good thing are rumors about a combined Templar task force the council is training.”

“It’s true.”


“Yeah, they even took the suggestion I had. Teaching all the Templars everything, not just the bits that their religion preaches.”

“So they might actually be able to beat the angels before we lose the city next time?”


“I suppose I’ll have to take that.” Sinclair leaned forward and rested his head on the table, with a dramatic sigh. “So, you didn’t call because you wanted to talk shop.”

“Not really.”

“Too tired for games.”

“I need advice.”

“I can do advice.” Sinclair looked up suddenly invigorated, with the prospect of something he could work with.

“I think Nerissa is pissed at me.”

“You think?”

“Possibly just very upset, and Meyer said she seemed betrayed.”

“Damn it, no.”


“I’m not giving you advice about your love life, get some female friends for that. I was hoping you had a stalker or got drunk and slept with the football team.”

“How is that better?”

“I can shoot a stalker, I can blackmail the football team. I can’t help with your love life.”

“I can shoot my own stalkers thank you very much. And what makes you think I would do something so irresponsible as sleeping with the entire football team. I have a girlfriend.”

“Who is feeling betrayed.”

“Damn it, give me something, anything.” There was a slight crack in Lisbeth voice, betraying that she wasn’t just being her usual playful self.

“Fine, this is what I tried in college and it didn’t work for me, but you might as well try.” Lisbeth leaned forward. “Find a good spot, get on your knees, and beg.”

Lisbeth threw a sugar cube at Sinclair. He didn’t dodge.

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After slightly more grilling, from a multitude of different angles, Mr. Lansky and Atreus backed off. They spent an hour or so gossiping about their respective positions. Mr. Lansky apparently had far too many idiot interns running around. Mr. Lansky called everyone interns, even if they headed up their own companies as far as Lisbeth could tell. Atreus lamented that all of the angel trainees were, young, overconfident, morons, who spent far too much time thinking with their dicks than their heads.

“Aren’t the latest batch all girls?”

“Yeah, but one of them figured out this spell; they’ve been trolling the garrison for weeks with them. Some of the guys are asking for a therapist to be on staff”

Lisbeth talked about the few classes she had so far. She didn’t talk about the party with the dream walkers, not a good idea to make those connections. 

Lisbeth tried to make it back to her room. Getting somewhere in the castle wasn’t a matter of knowing how to get there, it was a matter of knowing were you want to go and walking. She only made it part way back before being intercepted. She was intercepted by two of the Eyes. Well Lisbeth called them the Eyes, not knowing their proper name, if they even had one. The Eyes looked to be about the size of children, maybe. They had hair, and it was some length, they had skin, and it had color, they had clothes of some cut. For the life of her, Lisbeth could not tell you what kind of clothes they wore, what their skin color was, or how long their hair was. Trying to figure out their genders wasn’t worth the headaches. The one thing they did have was eye color, that could be seen with perfect clarity. Lisbeth didn’t know if their eye color changed periodically or if she had never encountered the same one twice. One of the two had dark hazel eyes with golden flecks, the other a bright violet eyes with blue circles around the pupil. 

The Eyes didn’t talk, or maybe they did and you couldn’t say what they said. Either way when encountering the Eyes Lisbeth always knew their intentions. These two had come to lead her somewhere, Lisbeth suspected the final destination but like the entrance she would never be able to find it on her own. After what felt like an hour of walking, and no less than six architectural changes they came to the door. No mistake that this door was special, besides the fact that it was massive and carved with dragons; it had power. It was made of something white with silver veins, probably stone; it wasn’t worth figuring out what kind, it changed every time she saw it.

The one on the other side of the door would know she was there so Lisbeth didn’t bother knocking. The doors opened with a single touch offering almost no resistance to bar Lisbeth’s passage. The hall was massive and probably literally beyond comprehension, there were thousands of columns and arches, but they reached so high that she could see the roof, nor the walls. Directly across from the door was a short path to the stairs that lead of to the platform, probably two stories high. Curled around the platform was the body of a great dragon, the colors of it’s scales shifting with each minute movement. The dragon’s head she knew would be resting at the base of the throne that would be situated at the center of the platform.

Lisbeth walked of the stairs, not slowly but she didn’t hurry either. By the time she was half way up all of her emotions could be boiled down to apprehension. Every step seemed heavier than the last. Lisbeth knew what would be waiting on that throne, she knew who would be waiting on that throne. Part of her desired to rush to the top or the stairs and throw herself at the base of that throne, another part of her wanted to turn around and flee; forget she had ever seen this castle. She hadn’t fled yet, but she had rushed up those stairs before. 

Lisbeth reached the top of the stairs, to look upon the throne. In it sat Nerissa what, no it wasn’t Nerissa. Her ears were just a little too pointy, along with her teeth. Her fingers just slightly too long, with her fingernails coming to sharp looking points. Most of all Nerissa didn’t have quite enough hair to be naked and still cover all of her assets with it. This Nerissa sat with her feet curled up underneath her, looking perfect. She didn’t move or make a sound to acknowledge Lisbeth’s presence, but Lisbeth knew she was acknowledged.   

Determined Lisbeth walked forward and kneeled before the throne and bowed her head to her god. She stayed there for what seemed like an eternity, although it was probably only moments before her god made her thoughts known. No sound, no movements, just pure emotion flowed over and into Lisbeth. Approval. It made Lisbeth gasp as it washed over her, filled every fiber of her being. It lasted only as long as Lisbeth could bear, she wanted it to last forever but that might destroy her, not that she cared in this moment. When it ended Lisbeth was dismissed; her god wasn’t very keen on prolonged audiences. 

Lisbeth made it out the door before falling to her knees gasping for breath. She wasn’t sure how long she stayed down there. Lisbeth knew her god new, because the Eyes were watching. Eventually a man came out through the doors, the man was the dragon. Like everything that resided this deep in the castle he looked different every time she saw him. Not much, he was always an older gentleman in a suit, but the details were all off. 

“What was that?” Lisbeth demanded, or did her best too. It came out more of a choking gasp.

“What was what?”

“Why did she look like Nerissa?”

“I believe that was her showing approval of your new girlfriend”

“Why would she even care? I’m just another piece on her board”

“It’s been ten years, do you really still believe that we don’t care about you?”

“You kidnaped me and brainwashed me, all you care about is your goals.”

“You agreed to come with us, willingly.”

“I was eight years old.”

Apparently granting her this point the man who was a dragon focused on the other point. 

“We didn’t brainwash you, we gave you a better rounded education than anyone could hope to get.”

“Indoctrination is just a socially acceptable form of brainwashing.”

“What parent doesn’t try to show their child their point of view.”

“You’re not my father.”

“No, but she is your mother.”

Lisbeth didn’t respond. She pulled herself to her feet and walked away. She reached the ebony door after only turing two corners, apparently the castle felt kind.  She didn’t stop in her room and went directly into the bathroom. Not bothering to undress Lisbeth wadded into the center of the largest of the three pools. and ducked below the surface. She started to scream wordlessly, as she did so the water around her boiled. She didn’t stop when her lungs ran out of air, or even when there was no water left in the pool. 

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Lisbeth was dreaming of flying, but she knew she was dreaming. She knew that the clouds wouldn’t feel soft and that the mountains that peeked up through them wouldn’t be covered in luscious green meadows. But she had crafted her dream this way, so they were.

Eventually, Lisbeth got bored of swooping through the clouds and leaping from mountaintop to mountaintop, so she settled in the meadow. Every mountain had a meadow, the same meadow. The meadow was filled with wildflowers ranging across the entire spectrum of color, and some colors that didn’t even exist. But that didn’t matter here because she was dreaming.

She decided to make a crown of flowers with every single one a different shade, impossible to tell where one color began, and another ended. She had to start with three flowers, which were all in the reds and started braiding their stems together. It took a while, but they wouldn’t dare fall apart on her.

When she was done Lisbeth idly spun it around her index finger deciding what to do with it, eventually she decided to leave it in her sister’s dream. Lisbeth knew her sister always liked it when she visited. She threw the crown up in the air one more time before stepping out of the dream, or that was the plan but the man caught the crown before it reached her outstretched hands.

The man was not a dream, and he was immense. He stood in the field on top of the mountain and was looking Lisbeth in the eye, but he was massive. Larger than the mountains and taller than the clouds. It didn’t make sense, dream logic.

“It’s rude to enter a dream unannounced, who are you?”

It wasn’t just rude it was impossible. This was her dream, in her head. No one could violate that, but this man could. He couldn’t just violate it, he could warp it, warp the space around himself allowing him to be so immense.

The man laughed, it wasn’t the laugh of a human, it was the laugh of the wind flowing through the wildflowers, it sounded just like her daddy.

“My apologies dearest, I’m a dragon.”

At that moment the man was a dragon; he was still immense, and he was still looking Lisbeth in the eye standing before her. He was also a mighty silver dragon curled around her mountain. His head was resting in the field wearing the crown Lisbeth meant for her sister. The crown had turned to silver and gold. It was his now.

As much as Lisbeth was scared by this unwanted intruder, her daddy had taught her well. ‘Always be polite to things that might decide to eat you,’ in or out of a dream, didn’t matter, be polite to dragons. So Lisbeth did her best curtsey grasping the hem of her impossibly frilly yellow dress.

“My name is Lisbeth, would you like some tea?”

The Dragon responded with his name. It wasn’t a name that could be spoken; it was a feeling. It was a shifting of the fabric of the dream that she had woven. Lisbeth knew she would never be able to repeat it, even in her own dreams, but she would never forget. The name was carved into her soul, and he would forever be bound to her just as she would be forever bound to him. Immortals didn’t tell humans their true names. The dragon didn’t seem to care about what was and wasn’t done. As he sat down in the gazebo to accept her tea and hospitality. She hadn’t put the gazebo there.

Lisbeth was unsure what to do next, she knew to always offer hospitality to welcome guests. The man wasn’t particularly welcome, but he was a dragon, and that trumped just how unwelcome he was. What were you suppose to say to a dragon anyway, especially one so rude as to enter a dream unannounced. So for a time they sat in silence, drinking their tea, only Lisbeth had hot chocolate; she didn’t much like tea. Finally the man spoke, his voice rushing through the wildflowers and dancing among the clouds.

“Would you like to be an angel?”

Lisbeth’s daddy had taught her about immortals and offers as well. ‘An immortal will offer you the world and ask nothing in return. They will do it too, but it will be a world of ashes. Always remember they only do it because they get bored.’ A dragon’s word could be trusted to be true and honest without any attempts to mislead, but only their word.

“What would I do as an angel?”

“You would grow up if you wish, you could fall in love, but that’s really not up to you, you would learn what makes this world ugly, you would learn what make this world beautiful. Ultimately you would watch the world spin, you would watch it burn, watch it regrow, and you would never be alone again.”

As the dragon spoke, the dream shifted. Lisbeth aged, grew old, and died, only to return to her young body. The wildflowers grew tall and out of control, and then they burned. From their ashes grew more flowers and different flowers. The new flowers were alien to the original field, but from a distance no one would be able to tell the difference. Throughout it all the man sat there, silent and immutable.

It wasn’t just the dream that he changed; it was her as well. She couldn’t see them, but she could feel them. The wings at her back. They were large, larger than she was, but somehow proportional, and soft. Her wings were impossibly soft; she wanted nothing more than to spread them and fly. They were different than a dream, they felt real like they were a part of her.

“Why would you make me an angel?”

“Because this world is stagnant, it’s trapped in it’s patterns and will stay this way for generations. It needs to change because change is growth, change is interesting.”

“That sounds like fun. What’s the catch?”

“The thing about angels is that they always have a God.” The man said with a reptilian grin.
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