"More power to the containment field!" the desperate tension in Rosa's voice did nothing to help Arno's confidence or his concentration.
"There is no more power!" he hollered back up the passage.
They had never figured out how to use the alien intercom, which left them with the inconvenient, and in the current situation, downright foolhardy alternative of leaving all of the pressure doors between engineering and the bridge open so that shouted commands could be passed. Fortunately, the alien ship was small enough for this to be, just barely, feasible.
Arno had been thrilled when he had discovered the secret to operating the alien drive - the secret the Conquerors thought humans too stupid to understand. His having done so had caused Rosa to redouble her efforts to learn the controls. In fits and starts, between the two of them, they had learned how to escape.
It had taken months of planning and preparation, and now, now that they were within a hair's breadth of freedom, the whole thing was falling apart at the seams.
Slowly, quietly, by ones and twos, they had got as many people aboard the craft as it could reasonably carry. It could carry more humans than Conquerors, to be sure, since humans were so much smaller, not having been raised in the kind of gravity the Conquerors had been.
The fact that the aliens could not stand Earth daylight had been a big help. No aliens around during the day to even notice the humans going aboard the ship. They still had to move fast. All people and provisions had to be aboard and stowed for takeoff before sundown, when their masters would once again be able to move about.
Servants left their masters, ostensibly running errands that their owners could not manage in daylight, and in singles and pairs had made their way to the makeshift spaceport. By the time dusk fell, there were more than a hundred of them aboard. Rosa was strapped into the too-big pilot's couch while Arno made final adjustments to the drive. At the precise moment that the Conqueror orbital patrol was on the diametrically opposite side of the globe, Rosa slammed her fist down on the mushroom-shaped button that would begin the pre-programmed liftoff sequence. To keep suspicions down, lift had to be accomplished at the ungodly acceleration used by the offworlders. Naturally, every human aboard, pressed deeply into the extra-thick heavy-worlder acceleration pads in twos and threes, lost consciousness, and two, their lives. By the time the survivors came to their senses, the autopilot had them headed for the jump horizon.
Then disaster struck. A Conqueror voice hailed the ship, and Rosa, still regaining use of her senses noticed on her sensor screen, a ship that had apparently just emerged from hyperspace. It was running at a nearly parallel vector to theirs. She knew enough of the alien language to answer, but there was no way she could make her voice sound like a heavy-worlder's basso profundo, nor could her human mouth ever form the sounds exactly the way the cavernous maws of the aliens did.
"Stand-by for further acceleration!" she cried down the passageway, hoping no one had unstrapped yet.
Her only chance was to run for the jump horizon and hope she could get the mass calculation adjusted properly while translating between Earth and alien number systems.
There were cries from the crew compartment as the impulse drive kicked in again, and she knew there would be broken bones or worse, but it could not be helped.
Fortunately, the aliens were, if anything, slightly shorter, on average, than humans, but their heavy skeletal structure and massive musculature gave them a mass more than twice that of the humans they otherwise resembled. Rosa was counting on the fact that the other ship was decelerating, trying to lose the momentum it carried from whatever system it had been in when it entered hyperspace, and hoped it would be reluctant to waste too much mass in chasing them, especially this far out. The pursuers would need all the mass they had to change their vector sufficiently to turn around and head for Earth.
She was right, but when the alien ship began firing its battle-lasers it made little difference. Alarms shrieked as her ships deflectors struggled to keep from being overwhelmed, and Rosa prayed. There might be weapons aboard her ship - probably were - but they had not had time to figure out how to work them.
Then the bilious yellow light that warned of an imminent hyperspace jump began flashing, quickly coming faster and faster as they accelerated toward the jump horizon. Just before the light became solid yellow, Rosa slammed her fist on the shut-off for the impulse drive. God knew where they would come out, but it looked like they would at least survive to reach hyperspace.
The hyperdrive surged, drawing power from the deflectors just as a laser sliced into the impulse drives. Then they were in hyperspace. In the eerie silence that followed, Rosa could hear moaning from the crew compartment, but they would have to take care of themselves. She and Arno had to take care of the ship.
"Arno! How bad are we hit?"
"I'm working on it! Wait one!"
The next thing she heard was Arno's boots on the catwalk. He poked his head through the bridge hatch looking about thirty years older than he had at the start of this impossible journey.
"We're not in too bad shape," he said, deadpan, "as long as we don't try to land."
"Can you fix it?"
"I'll have to go out..."
There was no way he was going to be able to modify one of the alien vac-suits to fit his human frame. He would just have to rattle around in it as best he could - fitting his five fingered hands into the three-fingered gloves, and taping the boot-tops tightly so they wouldn't fall off.
The damage wasn't too bad - an almost microscopic, clean-edged cut halfway through the bell of one thruster. He had been entrusted by the aliens with repairs to their ships on earth, and he found the right welding wands - the ones that were color-coded for use on thrusters. The weld was not as uniform as he would have made it on Earth, but on Earth he had not had to hold on with one hand to keep from drifting out of their little bubble of fantasy space-time and into the timeless dimension between space-time. With the grinder and polisher, he smoothed the weld as near to perfectly aligned with the inner surface of the bell as he could in the absence of the precision tools available at the alien shipyard. He prayed that it would be good enough.
It almost was.
In designing their ships, the aliens had determined that the longer (in subjective time) a ship spent in hyperspace, the more round-off errors in the jump calculations would multiply, so they had hard-coded a time limit on hyperspace jumps to keep their ships from being irrevocably lost. As that time limit approached, the ship would automatically seek a place to emerge from hyperspace. Another hard-coded sequence: Always exit hyperspace near a star system if no exit point was programmed. This way, if the ship was damaged, the crew could find raw materials to make repairs. Secondarily, should the ship be too damaged to jump again, the crew might find a planet on which they could survive.
Fortunately, their mad dash into hyperspace translated into a friendly vector for the new system - very little mass needed to be burned to put them in orbit around the only planet in the system. This was fortunate, since they had burned so much leaving the solar system.
Wonder of wonders, the alien instruments put the planet's parameters within Earth norms and with nowhere else to go, eighty two of the one hundred three living adults aboard voted to land.
They were only two miles above the planet's surface when the thruster began to fail. Arno and Rosa worked the containment fields like magicians, and almost made it. Less than a hundred meters from the surface, the wounded thruster blew, and Rosa had no choice but to shut down the other two to keep the craft from pinwheeling into the ground. Madly working the unfamiliar attitude thrusters, she managed to keep the ship's nose pointed skyward. The shock absorbers in the landing legs were built for heavy gravity, but a hundred-meter fall was too much for even those heavy-duty legs.
The legs collapsed as the ship settled on top of them, but for a long moment, it seemed as though the ship might balance on its tail anyway. Then the failed thruster nozzle cracked and crumbled, sending the ship crashing onto its side.
Rosa groaned and fought to release herself from the too-large harness. Her body had been left dangling sideways from the acceleration couch, and her weight made the quick release that was designed for heavy-worlder muscles even harder to operate. With a final push, she got the thing to let go, then had to grab the straps to keep from being dashed against one of the instrument panels.
Slowly, carefully, she lowered herself, and feeling with her feet, finally found herself standing on a panel of feebly blinking electronics. Experimentally, she twisted and turned her body, looking and feeling for injuries. To her relief, except for some bruising where the straps had stopped her fall, she seemed to be okay.
"Arno?!" she called. Long seconds dragged by as she waited for an answer. "Arno!"
Still nothing. Using whatever handholds she could find, Rosa climbed up to the hatch that had slammed shut when the ship fell over. It was not dogged and hung slightly open, but the panel was so heavy that it took all of her strength to push her way through. In so doing, she almost fell again as her body finally overcame the door's resistance and tumbled out the other side. Only her left hand on the catwalk railing saved her from being slammed into the side of the ship, nearly ten feet below. Already tired from the ordeal of getting out of the bridge compartment, Rosa swung her body until her right hand found a grip on the grating of the catwalk, then hung there by her hands, gathering strength for what was to come. When she felt she was ready, she began to swing her body, then transferred her left hand to join the right on the catwalk's grating. Her pinky finger jammed painfully against the grating as she sought a grip slightly higher than that of her right hand, but she couldn't afford to stop and nurse it. Slowly, swinging her body to use its momentum, she worked her way, hand over hand, up the narrow catwalk that was now lying on edge, until she could get her feet on the railing. With that accomplished, she was able to walk her hands up one of the stanchions and grab the railing on the other side of the catwalk.
Careful not to let her feet slip, Rosa sidled along the railings to the hatchway in the next bulkhead. This one opened inward, but thanks to the single-mindedness of the aliens, all hinges were on the same side of every door. That meant that this one lay open, flat against the stop that held it in place while in flight. The next two were in the same condition, so she had little trouble making her way through them. As she passed the crew compartment, a face peered down at her from the open hatch.
"Everything all right in there Rey?" she asked, then brought herself up short as she noticed the lifeless, staring eyes of the person she knew as Rey. Turning quickly away, she continued on toward engineering. As she fought waves of nausea, she wondered if anyone was still alive in the crew compartment. They had already had to space two of their number as they emerged from hyperspace, thanks to her evasive maneuvers and the ungodly acceleration that got them into space. Had she killed the rest making this insane attempt at a landing?
Right now, there was only one that she needed to find. The rest, she could deal with later. The door to engineering opened inward, and because an explosion in engineering could kill everyone aboard, it was designed as a thick, tapered metal plug that would only seat itself tighter in the event of such an explosion. It was also designed to dog itself automatically when closed.
The fact that the ship was on its side disoriented Rosa as she searched for the unfamiliar controls that would automatically, she hoped, open the heavy door. Finally, she found the blue button down near her boot. Giving it a viscious kick, she saw the door begin to open. The power to lift it in this position was not there, however, even though the gravity on this planet seemed about Earth-normal. The door opened until the panel was almost horizontal, then whined to a stop and began to slowly, grumblingly, close again.
"No!" Rosa cried, searching desperately for something to jam it - anything at all!
There was nothing within reach as Rosa searched the bulheads and the area around her feet. The heavy engineering boots that Arno had gotten her caught her eye, and in a flash, she had them off and wedged between the hinge side of the hatch and its metal opening. Breath caught in her throat as the heavy panel continued downward and the leather of the boots creased as though it was being cut by the sheer pressure of the two gigantic pieces of metal. Just when she thought that even the soles must give way, the door stopped moving.
Praying that the mechanism combined with the bootleather would hold it long enough, Rosa slipped into the crowded engineering compartment, smelling ozone, oil, and something sulfurous. Arno lay across one of the huge pieces of machinery that created the fantasy space that kept them alive while in hyperspace. There was a deep gash on his forehead, and blood ran down into his hairline.
"Arno!" Rosa cried, throwing herself on his body and holding him tightly, as if by doing so she could transfer her life to him. "Don't you dare be dead, you coward! Don't you dare leave me alone to handle this by myself!"
"Okay, okay," Arno grumbled from beneath her. "Geez, a guy can't even die in peace!"
As Rosa, overjoyed, rose to look down on his easy grin, Arno's hand went to the blood on his face. He stared at his scarlet fingers for a long moment before asking, "Is that you, or me?"
"You, you clown!" Rosa cried, throwing herself on him again and smothering him with kisses.
She ignored his half-hearted attempts to complain until he took both of her arms in his and lifted her bodily off of him.
"I'm going to have to insist that you wait until we get to a bed before you ravish me, you shameless hussy," he scolded. "This damned machine is digging into my back something awful!"
With tears in her eyes, Rosa moved away and got to her feet, offering him her hand. Arno took it, but his legs did most of the work as he stood to join her, bending over to keep from hitting his head on the machinery above.
It wasn't until he bent to give her a tender kiss that Rosa noticed the tears in his own eyes. "I don't know what I would have done if I had lost you," he told her softly.
"Nor I, you," she replied, holding him like she would never let go.
A noise from the catwalk outside brought them out of their embrace. Noticing how she had propped the door open, Arno retrieved a pry bar from one of the tool bins and had Rosa push the button again as he levered the heavy panel upward. She retrieved her boots, somewhat the worse for having been caught between the two pieces of metal, as he replaced them with the pry bar, holding it in place until the weight of the door once again settled to jam it in place.
Carefully, they made their way onto the catwalk railing, as Rosa had done during her trip to the engineering spaces. The noise they had heard had apparently been the sound of Rey's body falling through the open crew compartment hatch. It now lay several feet below the catwalk in a crumpled heap against the bulkhead.
They made their way to the point opposite the crew compartment, arriving just in time to help one of the passengers make the perilous descent down the connecting catwalk.
At the end of a voyage whose primary fuel had been luck, luck had smiled once more on the exiles. The ship had landed so that the main airlock in the section just abaft the bridge compartment was horizontally opposite the central catwalk, which boded well for their chances of getting off the ship without too much trouble.
Arno went about getting the airlock hatches open as Rosa helped the ambulatory passengers descend from the crew quarters.
As a precaution, even though the sensors had told them from orbit that the place should support human life, Arno closed the inner hatch before cracking the outer. He needn't have worried. The alien sensors were good at what they were designed for, and the air, though it wafted in carrying a whole range of unfamiliar scents, was eminently breathable, as confirmed by the lock's sensors.
One by one, he and Rosa helped the survivors out of the ship, handing them down the three feet or so to the barren, rocky ground below. There were several broken bones among them which had to be splinted and extra care taken when they moved, but Rey was the only new fatality. His body was the last to leave the ship.
Finally finished getting everyone safely out of the derelict, Rosa stood in the lock and surveyed their new home. For almost a mile around the ship, the ground was rocky and barren - exactly the spot for which she had been aiming, but further away could be seen lush jungle. Above the treetops flew some sort of long-tailed bird. To be visible at this distance, Rosa mused, those must be some pretty big birds.
They had had the good fortune to land less than half a klick from a stream, on whose banks grew the only vegetation in the area. Its water, too, proved to be pure and clean, and the little hill above it seemed ideal for a first camp.
Something kept buzzing in her head, as if someone was speaking just out of range of her hearing. Try as she might, Rosa couldn't make out a single word, however, and put it down to residual effects of the crash, or perhaps the recent emergence from hyperspace.
Paying it no more attention, Rosa began organizing work parties. One party was detailed to begin setting up whatever shelter could be cobbled together from the things they had brought with them and whatever pieces they could cannibalize from the ship, for it was pretty plain that if this ship ever lifted again, it would be at the end of a salvage grapple.
A second work party was designated to unload the supplies and gear that the escapees had managed to smuggle aboard during that last, tense day on Earth. Subjectively, it had been only a few hours ago that they had lifted, for perhaps the last time, from a subjugated Earth. Here and now, however, it seemed an eternity ago.
Hull plates proved far too difficult to remove, even with the help of the welder, but there were many panels inside the ship that could be removed, even without tools, and soon a small village had sprung up among the rocks.
Rosa stowed a last box of supplies under the shelter set aside for them and stood to survey the work. Except for the woman with the broken leg, even the injured had found a way to help, and the tiny makeshift settlement looked as though it could shelter them from almost any kind of weather.
"Did you say something to me Arno?" she asked as he came up to stand beside her.
He gave her a concerned look. For the last two days, as they cannibalized the ship and built their shelter, Rosa had, several times turned to someone nearby to ask if they had spoken, only to be told that they hadn't. By now, it was becoming a concern for all of them. She was supposed to be their leader, but if she was hearing voices that weren't there, they feared for her sanity. While she love Arno the more for not saying anything, she could not blame him or the others for what they must be thinking.
"Well, I need a bath," Rosa said, striding downhill toward the stream. "Coming?"
"In a minute, Rosita," Arno answered. "I just need to check on something first."
Arno had salvaged all of the machinery and electronics that seemed as if they might be convertible to something useful for the new colony, and he wanted to make sure that they, especially the electronics, were stored in a weatherproof place.
Rosa followed the stream down-current about a hundred meters from where the camp drew its drinking water and stripped off her clothes. She had gotten a little soft in the service of the heavy-worlders, but the aching in her muscles promised that living here would soon have her back in 'fighting trim'.
As she strode toward the water, a huge shadow fell across her and the voices in her head resolved into coherent thought. Rosa had barely time to look up and notice what looked like nothing so much as an enormous snake with huge bat wings and golden scales. She didn't notice the legs until a taloned foot closed around her naked body and swept her skyward.
... got her! the voice in her head cried as the beast above her emitted an ear-splitting shriek.
"Rosa!" Arno cried, and she turned her head in time to see him burst through the underbrush and race toward the place where she had been taken. It was far too late, of course. He was already dwindling to the size of a tiny doll.
Rosa tried to scream but the wind took the sound away, and she heard nothing but the rush of air and the sound of the gigantic wings beating above her. Her terrified heart hammered in her chest, and, even more frightened of how much damage the enormous talons must have done to her tender flesh, she turned her gaze downward to the constriction around her waist. To her surprise, although the hard flesh of the claws felt harsh against her skin, the sharp talons merely curled around her midriff, holding just tightly enough to keep her from falling.
As this realization came to her, the voice returned in her head, I will not harm you, Rider. We just want to talk to you in a place where the other humans will not be able to hunt us.
"Hunt you?" Rosa seized on the last part of the speech in desperation. "If you do not want them to hunt you, you should not kidnap their leader!"
Ah! So you are their king?
"King? No I am just the one who leads them. I am no king. Whatever gave you that silly notion?"
On Urth, before we left, the human who commanded the others was the King. Is this no longer so?
"There are still a few kings on Earth," Rosa admitted, "or at least there were before the aliens killed most of them and the presidents, and prime ministers, too."
Aliens? Presidents? How long has it been in human years, then, Rider? How long since the Wyrms left Urth?
"I do not understand your question," Rosa answered, shivering in the rushing wind, both from its chill and from the adrenalin coursing through her. She was no longer terrified of being eaten, but flying through the air, naked, with nothing but the good will of this giant scaly creature between her and a swift, painful end gave her plenty to worry about. "Can you set me down somewhere, and let's talk in a civilized fashion? How can you even hear me above the rushing of this wind?"
We will not be gone long, but surely you know the answer to your last question, Rider. You are the only one of the humans who has The Speech. I do not need to hear your human voice. I hear your rider voice.
"My what? Why do you keep calling me 'Rider'?"
This is most puzzling, the voice mused, do you mean to tell me that you do not remember your dragon - even after The Bonding?
Feeling as though her sanity was slipping away, Rosa answered, her voice filled with desperate confusion, "I mean to tell you that I do not know what you are talking about! I never had a dragon and I don't even know what 'The Bonding' is! Even the fairy tales about dragons are over a thousand years old, and those are just tales told to frighten children."
But ... How is it that you have 'The Speech'? Granted, it is weak and not coherent over long distances, but it is clearly 'The Speech', so how is it that a human who has not Bonded can...
... she must be a descendent of a rider, Klyphon, another voice said in Rosa's head, prompting her to whip her head around seeking its source.
Barely visible on the other side of the golden scales and scarlet horizontal belly plates of Klyphon, she caught occasional glimpses of a similar creature - this one with dark blue iridescent scales and vivid violet belly plates.
A descendent! Of course! Then she has not been Bonded. Shall I... ?
No! It must be her choice! I know that the sudden presence of humans here creates a desperate situation. Many of us cannot traverse Otherwhere again and we would have no choice but to kill them, but we must not force any of them into The Bond, It will only make the others more determined to kill us!
"Excuse me," Rosa felt, acutely, the incongruity of being polite to these scaly beings who had kidnapped her without even giving her the chance to put her clothes on, but in their own clumsy way, she was beginning to realize that they were making an attempt at diplomacy. "With whom do I have the honor of speaking?"
Even to her, it sounded forced and obsequious, but one of these things could probably swallow her whole, so a little sucking up couldn't hurt.
I, her captor said, am Klyphon the golden. My companion is Glystern the blue. We are Wyrms, or as your people liked to call us, dragons. And who might you be, Rider who is not Rider?
"I am Rosalinda Maria Gutierrez, former slave of Momph, now leader of the only known band of escapees from the captivity of the Conquerors of Earth," Rosa answered with as much dignity as she could muster. "Before the invasion, I owned a small catering business in California. As you have correctly surmised I am human."
We cannot say that we are pleased to meet you, Rosalinda Maria Gutierrez, as the presence of yourself and your companions here presents a difficult problem. We do not wish to have a recurrence of the tragedy that preceded our exodus from Urth. We are, however, pleased that you are willing to talk to us in a respectful manner.
"I do not wish to be rude, Glystern," Rosa answered, for it was the blue dragon who had spoken, "but wouldn't it have been easier for you and Klyphon to have come to our camp and spoken with us?"
That would have presented even greater difficulties, Rosalinda Maria Gutierrez, Klyphon replied. Since you are the only one of the humans who can communicate with us, the others would have been frightened. It is our experience that frightened humans are among the most dangerous creatures in the universe - to themselves as well as to those of whom they are afraid. We thought it best to find a way to talk to you alone, first, then let you speak with the others on our behalf.
It would be much better, Glystern rejoined, if you would Bond with one of us. The advantage to us would be that we would not have to be so near you to converse with you. Wyrms do not congregate easily. We are very territorial.
"And what would be the advantage to me and my people if I were to enter into this Bond?"
For a beginning, you could then ride upon your Bond mate and not have to be carried like a dead sheep, Klyphon replied, and you would know, without doubt, of the truth of what we said to you. Mutual trust would benefit all.
"I see," Rosa mused. "Very well, I will do it."
There was a long pause before either of her captors replied. When they did, it was Glystern who said, Perhaps we should explain what The Bond entails, before you commit to it.
"Unless it will kill me," Rosa answered confidently, "it seems that I must do it for the good of my people. What do I have to do?"
Another long pause, this one broken by Klyphon.
If you will accept me as your Bond-mate, we can begin immediately...
Rosa knew of no reason why one would be better than the other. Certainly Klyphon had treated her gently enough, allowing for his size relative to hers.
"I would be honored to be your Bond-mate, Klyphon," she answered solemnly, thinking the occasion must demand some sort of ceremony.
It is painful for humans, the first time, Klyphon told her solicitously, simply because of the difference in our sizes. I will try to make it easy on you.
"Thank you," was all that Rosa could think to say, though she wondered if it was one of those blood rituals, where they exchanged blood from a cut or something, and why did he say 'the first time?'
Klyphon had picked her up in one of his hind talons and carried her that way. Now he carefully folded the other around her, centering her and holding her close to his body. Rosa flew through the air face down with the landscape whizzing by underneath, while her legs, unsupported, dangled below her.
She had just began to wonder how a 'bonding' could be accomplished in mid-air when she felt something cold and moist probing at the cleft between her buttocks.
What?!! her mind screamed, even as the truth of the matter seeped into her consciousness. The tip was pointed, and, thank God, self-lubricating, which only helped it to find the proper aperture. The remainder was immense - far larger than anything that had been inside her before - and it showed no signs of stopping! The initial coldness had only been due to the cooling effect of the rushing wind. Once inside her, Klyphon's phallus rapidly took on the characteristics of a red-hot poker, or so it seemed. Its temperature was just at the edge of the bearable range for her.
Painful? Losing her virginity had been painful. Breaking a leg as a child had been painful. This was in a whole other league, and it was not made easier by the Catholic church, which, through her strict upbringing, screamed in her head that she was copulating with a beast!
I am sorry for the pain, Rosalinda Maria Gutierrez, Klyphon told her, but there seems no way to avoid it and still accomplish The Bond. I would appreciate it, however, if you would not think of me as a beast. I may not be human, but I am most certainly not a beast.
The surreality of the situation threatened her sanity as the incursion of the dragon's lance threatened her life, and Rosa struggled to find a basis - a foundation on which to rebuild her equilibrium. Diplomacy, she reminded herself. That's what this was: a strange and painful form of diplomacy. Absolutely necessary to the survival of the humans she had crash-landed on this planet. As the stretching ceased, the pain eased, and her mind regained some semblance of balance, and she resolved, once again, to pay the price for Arno and for the others. Truth to tell, now that the worst was over, the price was not looking as steep as it had moments before.
I am sorry, Klyphon the golden, she said in her mind, since he seemed to be able to hear what she was thinking, and trying to talk over the wind was making her hoarse. A lifetime of conditioning takes more than a few moments to overcome. Please forgive me.
Already done, Rosalinda Maria Gutierrez. I know that this is difficult for humans to accept, and I applaud your courage. Shall we continue?
Klyphon had promised to try to make it easy on her, and in his way, he kept his promise. Almost half of the prodigious weapon he wielded remained outside her body as his legs reversed their backward pressure on her torso and began pulling her off of her impaler. Her relief, however, was short-lived, for, as she would learn later, intelligent as Wyrms are, there are certain activities - sex and battle among them - that tend to subsume the more civilized portions of their being, in favor of the more primitive.
Neither do dragons have religions or other excuses for not enjoying every aspect of the things that give them pleasure, and coupling with beings from other species had been done as far back as genetic memory served them. It was their primary means of diplomacy, not to mention a huge turn-on, not only for the one engaged in Bonding, but for all of the other Wyrms, as well.
Klyphon retained enough presence of mind to keep from doing serious damage to Rosa, but gentleness during Bonding is not a common thing among dragons. Close upon the heels of the shock of the initial entry and realization of what the Bond entailed, Rosa's mind and body had to cope with the bestial rutting of the creature that carried her, and the aerial acrobatics it performed as it completed the act.
Climbing high into the afternoon sky, the golden dragon corkscrewed downward at a frightening rate, its hind legs pumping in time with its wings, driving her body onto his cock, each thrust deepening Rosa's impalement as her tissues stretched and groaned under the onslaught. She tried closing her eyes to block out the whirling, rushing clouds and landscape that provided visual reference to her alien lover's ecstatic aerobatics, but the changing G-forces and rushing wind suggested to her terrified mind even worse things than were actually happening.
Rosa was no virgin, and she had been with big men before, but next to Klyphon's prodigious appendage, they had been miniscule. The primary saving grace was that dragon cocks produce their own lubricant, so the initial entry was far easier than it might have been in her unprepared state. Sometime during one of Klyphon's frenzied maneuvers, Rosa realized that it was highly unlikely, at this altitude, for Klyphon to crash, no matter what tricks he performed, and she began to have more time to notice the sensations within her.
Some of those sensations, of course, were far within her. She had felt no tearing, but damned if it didn't feel like that thing was punching her diaphragm with each thrust. Nearer its entry point, her G-spot was receiving a thorough drubbing as the enormous veined pole trundled mightily across her sensitive flesh. Her clit, which normally received no stimulation when she was entered from behind, was dragged into the gaping mouth of her overstuffed sex with each inward push, adding its own electricity to the symphony of sensation.
Somewhere in the middle of a classic Immelman turn, as the downward acceleration exceeded the acceleration of gravity and made her feel, once again, weightless, Rosa forgot the pain, the danger, and the strangeness of the act, and became a participant - a partner in the ecstasy. She felt warm, pliant scales on her buttocks, and hot, hard throbbing flesh within her, urgent, passionate, and undeniable, and she felt the nuances of the air currents, the pull of the planet's gravity, the strength of Klyphon's wings, and the utter joy that he felt in The Bond which translated into such stupendously beautiful flight. She knew as if she were the dragon, the immense freedom of being master of the sky.
Rosa felt the dragon's joy erupt within her, filling her, physically and emotionally. Now, she could feel Glystern's joy in his brother's Bond, as well as that of thousands of other Wyrms, all over the planet. As the magnitude of what she had accomplished crashed in on her, and the joy of all Wyrm-kind bouyed her spirits, Rosa soared to new heights of physical ecstasy, as well. She knew, without a doubt, that earth-bound sex could never match the sheer exuberance of Bonding.
At the very moment that she peaked, Klyphon threw himself into a steep dive, accelerating to a dizzying speed, then climbed sharply into a tight, belly-up loop, releasing Rosa's climaxing body to continue vertically upward as it tore free from his impalement while his body completed the loop. Rosa felt an enormous sense of loss as she flew free from the dragon's body, but only the slightest twinge of panic, for she knew what Klyphon had in mind as if she were doing it. She had barely the strength to compose her body to the proper attitude as she reached her apogee and began to fall back toward the planet, gaining speed with every second.
Klyphon timed the maneuver perfectly, and as he leveled off at the bottom of his loop, Rosa landed on his shoulders and her legs slipped around his neck just in front of his wings and she settled almost gently into the dragon rider's proper position atop her Bond mate. The feeling was so right that she didn't even mind the twinge as her overused sex took her weight. She smiled as her arms encircled the warm, smooth scales of Klyphon's neck, and the two of them turned and headed back to her camp, accompanied by the joyous, welcoming thoughts of all Wyrm-kind on the planet.