Chapter 1 – Here There Be Dragons! (excerpt)

Dragon Space – Earth Year 2457

“Where are we?” the young Ensign asked as he stared out the forward window.

“Dragon space,” the thirty-something Commander replied. “Watch carefully, Ensign.” The Commander nodded toward the star field as a large Arc came into visual range. “You are about to see something amazing. Something that takes my breath away every time.”

A second Arc came into view as the Maru Ryujin edged closer. “Wait for it,” the Commander leaned toward the window. “Notice the open apertures. The ship that opened its aperture first is the receiving ship.”

“And the other ship?” the Ensign focused his attention on the ship that had arrived first. Its aperture suddenly opened and a large iridescent Dragon emerged and flew between the ships. “Was that…?” the Ensign’s voice trailed off as it sunk in.

“Yes, Ensign. Your eyes have not deceived you. That was a Dragon crossing between two ships. Soon, one will cross space to our ship, and we’d better hurry or we’ll be late.” The Commander had already started the long walk to the lift to the deck below. Behind him, a single Dragon Arc turned to face the Maru Ryujin and sent a hail to the Maru’s bridge. The hail was forwarded to Commander Jules Ellison just as he and Ensign Ryu Tanaka arrived in the shuttle bay control room. “Responding now,” Commander Ellison informed the bridge.

The shuttle bay doors opened with a head-on view of the Dragon Arc. An aperture flicked open and a small robed figure appeared. Leaping out of the opening, the robed figure transformed into a large silvery-blue beast that quickly traversed the distance between the two ships. By the time the beast had settled in the shuttle bay, the Dragon Arcs had departed. Commander Ellison closed the shuttle bay doors and started down to meet the new arrival with Ensign Tanaka in tow. Upon seeing the woman and recognizing her uniform, the Ensign snapped abruptly to attention.

“Permission to come aboard, Commander?” the Captain smiled.

“Welcome back, Captain Alexander,” Commander Ellison replied.

Turning to the Ensign, Captain Chase Alexander laughed, “at ease, Ensign, I don’t bite.”