"Nice women," remarked one quite loudly, almost
at no one in particular.
"Yea, I really fancy the younger one."
The group formed an arc alongside the wing of a car, preventing the party
moving further. "Fancy a decent fuck?" asked one, grabbing the
youngest woman by the arm."I strongly suggest you release my wife
and disappear under the rocks you came from."
"Shit, she's too gorgeous for a pissant like you."
One of them had broken away and moved around the back of the car so there
was no easy retreat. "This one has a neat arse."
"Well, we can take turns, I dare say we'll be entertained most of
"I won't tell you again, walk away. While you can."
"Like we give a shit what you think. We do what we want around here."
The youth, he barely looked eighteen, skin so smooth it appeared as though
he hadn't even started shaving, pulled a handgun from beneath his jacket.
"Give us your car keys, if you wait here we'll bring the women back
when we get bored."
The husband turned his palms upwards looking at his fingers thoughtfully.
"Well Princess, this is one reason why I don't like Earth."
"What?" questioned the armed interloper.
"Leave now, before I lose my patience."
"Are you exceedingly stupid, this is a fucking gun."
"Do I look frightened?" There was always going to be a chance
that a weapon was only a threat. But significantly it was a question of
hostility, not wanting to draw first blood. Only standing in front of
a belligerent youth with a gun was likely to cause distress. Just for
whom would rapidly become apparent.
The gunman glanced past his target. "Waste the bastards, we can get
away in their car and fuck the women in the flat until we get bored,"
he said rapidly. Five shots rang out, echoing in the confines of the side
street and a man fell to the floor.
One man fell.
"Dad!" screamed a woman, collapsing to her knees, wrapping her
arms around an all but lifeless figures freely issuing blood at her feet,
coughing feebly and struggling to speak. Through her tears she managed
a few distinct words. "Griff, make it painful. Very painful."
The initial gunman had a rather blank expression on his face, he was two
feet from his victim and had placed three shots into the chest, but having
staggered back a short distance and buckled over the corpse' straightened
almost calmly. The expression on his face was not one of imminent death,
it was intense anger.
"Be afraid, be very afraid." Then he turned to the young woman
beside him. Having wrenched her arm free she had moved almost behind her
husband where she felt more secure. "Catch me Vai." As his body
went limp his wife reached out to support him.
"Afraid of a dead man," laughed the assailant, confidence restored.
"You fool, he is not dead, he is behind you," Vai roared.
The other men turned and suddenly lost all colour from their faces, the
one that had shot Jane's father dropped his gun in shock. "What is
it?" Whatever was behind him seemed to have terrified his friends.
"You don't really want me to answer that," said one of the others.
The figure twisted around, there was a dragon standing on the pavement,
a ghost of a dragon anyway. Its jaws agape it shook it's head slowly.
"What the fuck is that?"
"The last thing you will see," said Vai bitterly.
The smoke launched forwards, enveloping the gunman and closed it's mouth
slowly. As teeth entered flesh the street was filled with a horrendous
scream. The figure bent forwards a little as blood gushed from numerous
openings, then the dragon's head whipped up so legs shot into the air.
"Kill it," squealed another figure, pulling a gun from beneath
his waistband and firing six shots into the strange slightly transparent
head. No doubt some hit the moaning limp form hanging in the air. As the
gun clicked on spent rounds the lifeless body flew into the group, knocking
most of them to the ground. The repeated gunfire had drawn pedestrians
to the end of the street. But they were confused, unsure what was happening,
they saw what appeared to be a figure falling rather rapidly from a wall
having been shot. There was smoke in the air, it was difficult to be certain
what was going down.
The dragon swirled around the side of the car, a vapour foot reached out
and crushed the paralysed figure that had killed Jane's father. Dragging
him into the street claws ripped him apart, leaving a bloody trail. The
other armed figure was reloading, while the young man next to him was
backing away in fear. The advantage of being an immensely strong dragon
is that you can attack on several fronts, his tail whipped out and flattened
the figure against the wall, shattering countless bones, probably destroying
most internal organs and knocking the nervous one to the pavement.
The two remaining attackers were running, in opposite directions, one
had picked up a gun from the floor, just in case. A police car, blue lights
flashing, squealed to a halt as it turned into the end of the road. In
seconds figures were crouched beside it.
"Armed Police. Stop."
The air seemed to clear. Griff stiffened, reached out and pointed, allowing
a quite fine pulse of blue light to shoot into the darkness. The disappearing
figure left the ground briefly before he crashed down to the tarmac, lifeless,
give or take. As Griff turned he could see the remaining antagonist motionless
about twenty metres in front of two armed policemen.
There was one more within easy distance. "Are you afraid now?"
The man nodded fervently. "A pity you won't tell anyone." Griff
flexed his fingers sharply and the man's neck snapped like chalk.
"Put the gun on the floor," demanded an officer at the end of
"Once more time Vai," whispered Griff.
"Do it now," shouted the voice of authority, the sound reaching
the stricken figures without comforting them in any way.
The youngster was terrified, caught between a dragon and the blue meanies.
Suddenly he felt something grip his gun arm. "No!" he offered.
"Drop the gun!"
As the pistol rose sharply towards the officers, four shots rang out and
the helpless man fell dead onto the dark asphalt, the gun highlighted
by a white line. By then the main road was awash with light, a second
wave of police vehicles was driving slowly up the side street from the
other end. One car stopped beside the crumpled almost prone figure virtually
wedged, head down between two parked cars, another two came to a halt
alongside the stricken group.
Griff had leant across without getting up and had his arms around Jane,
comforting her a little as she sobbed profusely. Against a wall her mother
was too shocked to move, tears flowed down her cheeks but little sound
left her body.
"What happened?" asked an officer as he stepped out of a car.
What does it look like, pillock?
"They wanted the car keys so they could take the women away and rape
them," Griff said blankly as he tried to make a little sense of things.
"But what happened?" probed the man anxiously.
"I asked them to leave. Then without warning they just opened fire,
two of them."
"They killed my father so they could rape us," screamed Jane.
"But they are all dead," said a policeman quietly, looking at
the mess. "That one over there looks like he was bitten almost in
two by a shark, and this one has been spread onto the tarmac like fish
paste." It was a reasonable description, the rib cage had been torn
open, and all internal organs were rather enlarged in surface area and
well distributed over the street. Maybe a spring roll then. "There
are four dead men here." Obviously being little more than an untrained
civilian in uniform he couldn't count.
"Asshole," spat Jane. "There is one dead man and the remains
of four useless vermin that should have been drowned at birth."
"You haven't suggested what happened yet," he replied quite
"You wouldn't believe us, we don't understand it." Well, it
was beyond the understanding of most people on the planet after all. Whether
the character standing above them, who appeared to be a lobotomised uniformed
twit, would even hear the truth was debatable.
"Try me," the officer replied wearily.
"A vapour dragon materialised from nowhere and ripped them to shreds.
It must have objected to the gunfire." That and the obvious pain.
"No, you are right. I don't believe it. You said they opened fire
at point blank range. Why aren't you injured?"
"Blind as well as stupid," sighed Griff. "What does this
look like to you, lipstick?" When he glanced down, for the first
time since the incident had begun he realised his chest was completely
red. It made him feel quite strange.
Jane looked up. "Jesus, Griff!"
"I'll be fine." Hopefully. Turning to the figure in blue he
offered an plausible explanation. "I had major surgery after a crushing
injury, I have a metal plate in my chest, luckily he hit that, three times.
Pure fluke." A pity that wasn't true as he was starting to feel breathless.
It wasn't worth trying to imagine just how much tissue damage there actually
was, while he could distance himself from what his brain was struggling
to understand he was at least able to appear calm. After all he had already
been able to vent most of his anger. Just so long as the tedium didn't
begin to annoy him.
"We told you, what you believe is up to you but use your eyes and
apply a little common sense, if that isn't beyond you. Jane's father is
dead, she's wrapped around him wishing we had never come out. Vai is holding
me tightly because she's worried I'm on the way out, I collapsed the moment
I was shot, obviously. That leaves Jane's mother, I don't think she is
here mentally. Then there is a slight anomaly over a mechanism. Look at
that body, I can see teeth marks from here. Something bit him hard, something
huge so it obviously wasn't any of us." Griff breathed in slowly,
aware that blood was still flowing from his wounds, something the police
had yet to even notice. Obviously they trained to fight crime, not have
any regard for critically injured civilians. The fact that it would take
more than the odd bullet to place Griff at death's door was irrelevant.
The uniformed figure looked up. "Here's an ambulance."
"Can they bring the dead back to life?" asked Griff.
"Well that sounds about par for the course. God, I hate this planet."
"Someone will accompany you to the hospital, just to get the truth."
Griff shook his head slowly, at least they were not attempting to handcuff
him, that felt like progress in the right direction.
"Vai, I feel faint," Griff whispered.
"It's alright my love, I'm here."
Griff closed his eyes and let his dragon walk once more.
"Sarge, what's that?"
A three metre tall vapour dragon, what does it look like? Stomping down
the road, the rather ethereal form crushed four cars and uprooted a small
tree with its tail, then appeared to roar, obviously silently, soared
along the street through several officers and spiralled into the sky.
"Fuck me," hissed the questioning officer.
"Hardly," snarled Jane, tears still pouring from her face.
Two policemen were quivering, prostrate on tarmac, sobbing softly.
Griff opened his eyes. "Did I miss something?"
"Griff, can we take mother home? I mean our home?"
"What about your father?"
"You can come back for him as a gas giant," she said bitterly.
Griff struggled to his feet, fighting against the waves of pain, holding
his chest and wheezing a little. Maybe he should have waited, let an ambulance
crew put him on a stretcher, only Earth medicine was rather pathetic and
would only draw attention to the fact that it was impossible to X-ray
any part of his body.
"Are you alright?" asked Vai.
"I don't know yet, bloody primitive weapons."
"What drugs are you on? Primitive weapons?" sneered the policeman.
"You take your mother," Griff said, ignoring the officer. "I
can carry your father now, otherwise it may prove tiresome."
"Where do you think you are going?" asked the policeman stepping
forwards in an attempt to stop movement. Vai blocked him as Griff moved
closer to Jane. Forcing a smile he activated a voice link which looked
a lot like a hearing aid. "Al-lisia Code Red."
There was a momentary delay. "Griff what is wrong?"
"This planet, as usual. Track the signal, visual at one hundred metres,
scare hell out of the bloody monkeys," Griff spat, trying to hold
back the growing rage at the idiot's attitude.
"Jane's father has been murdered."
"How is she?"
"You work it out."
"Two or three minutes."
"Make it five, there's no rush, we need to walk to the end of the
road, this side street is too narrow. I don't think we can move that quickly,
obstructions." he said, trying not to alert Al-lisia to the fact
that he had been injured.
Griff leant down and hooking an arm over his shoulder lifted a limp form
from the floor. It was a struggle carrying the lifeless parent but Griff
was eager to distance himself from more than just feeble authority figures.
"You can't take the body away, sir."
"That is my father, he's coming with us," Jane sobbed, leading
her rather robotic mother. A group of uniformed figures moved with them
unsure quite how to react. When they reached the main street there was
a sea of vehicles, hordes of curious onlookers. Probably morbidly curious.
"I am the God Bach-ael," Griff shouted. "Belligerent pathetic
people on this planet have angered me immensely. I may just kill you all."
Not that he meant it, he just needed to say something to vent some anger.
"Jesus, what a fruit cake," laughed a nearby policeman.
"Is there enough room Al-lisia?"
"Yes, structurally, what about any vehicles?"
"Crush them," he sneered.
"Careful who you insult, you feeble creature," mocked Griff
nodding towards the sky. "Is that likely to have been made on this
At that moment the ship became visible, it came down slowly, powerful
floodlights blinding those in its path. There were no substantial wings,
no engine noise, just a massive vessel dropping out of nowhere. Al-lisia
attracted everyone's attention by playing the computer file of an old
record, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, I am the God of Hell Fire. That
seemed to make them scatter. Even if they were too young to remember it,
in that particular context the words alone were almost frightening.
"Oh shit!" said the sergeant softly.
Several police and civilian cars were wrecked, no uniformed figures moved
as the family boarded and the ramp closed behind them.
Jane was stroking Griff's forehead when he awoke. "I
hate it when you do that. It worries me, it was a premonition wasn't it?"
"Yes, I'm pretty sure about that, rather explicit too."
"Tell me about it."
Griff rubbed his chest. "I don't think bullets will kill me. But
we are never going to Earth again."