Saturday, July 8, 2017

Sassy Saturday: Beware the Giant Fire Salamander

Sassy Saturday!  Every week will be an excerpt from one of my novels showcasing a kick-butt heroine. If you want read about the original blog hop the link is here.

The previous Sassy Saturday post can be read here: Liberating the Body, Mind and Soul

The context for this post:  Eric is traveling to Mt.Fiol as part of his plan to save himself from Gruffle's vengeance. On the way, he runs into some trouble. Fortunately for him, the airship he's traveling in is piloted by Kallen and her copilot Emily.  

Mt. Fiol was a stratovolcano in southern Ataidar. It grew out of the eastern side of the Sussano River and so it faced Mithra instead of Latrot. Fiol’s Faithful, Ataidar’s state religion, maintained that it was the only thing that prevented Ataidar from being absorbed into the Mithran Weeping Willow Empire. Although the historical account was more complicated, the volcano remained essential. As Albatross IX approached it, smoke spewed from its peak.

Big and dark, it formed a cloud that shrouded the area. Emily scanned it with the ship’s sensors and determined that it was not volcanic ash. Nor was it small enough to be even the largest of burnt offerings.

“Shields up,” she muttered out of reflex.

Her hands moved across the co-pilot’s controls with practiced ease. Small changes rippled across the hull to make it flame retardant and its weapon systems heated up. From within the smoke cloud came a salamander spirit.

It was as big as the ship itself. The orange and red coloring in its ectoplasm streaked backwards and bled into each other as it raced towards Albatross IX. Its mouth opened impossibly wide.

Kallen made a sharp dive to avoid it. The spirit followed. Fire plumes shot from its mouth. Kallen swerved around the first four and performed an aileron roll to deflect a fifth one, the maneuver generating an electrostatic barrier that canceled the flame on contact. Everyone but Emily lurched in their seats with each maneuver. The redhead was too busy relaying data to Kallen to notice the turbulence.

“See?!” Eric shouted. “GIANT MONSTER ATTACK!”

“SHUT UP AND GET UP HERE!” Kallen ordered.

“But I can’t—”


Eric shifted to his true form and then undid his seat belt. At that moment, Kallen did another aileron roll and tossed Eric across the cabin. His head clanged on the inner hull. He crawled to the cockpit only to find that he couldn’t fit. Grabbing the door with both hands, he waited through a third and fourth aileron roll before dismissing his bulky metal hide.

“Stick your Soiléir into the power converter console.”

Eric clapped his hands together and plunged the crystal into the gap in the dashboard near the ignition key. The sea blue light shimmered within its depths.

“Hang on to something!”

Kallen pulled back heavily on the control stick and performed a loop. A blast of divine wind magic from Eric’s crystal overcame the inherent vulnerability of the maneuver and put Albatross IX behind the giant salamander in an instant.

“Campione Cannon, fire!”

The ship opened its griffin mouth and fired a specialized beam of divine water energy at the fire spirit’s tail. It both punctured and washed over the target via twin currents. The salamander withered and hissed as it went out in a puff of smoke.

Emily hummed a little victory tune as the cannon retracted and cooled down.

“Have you done this before?” Eric asked while retracting his Soiléir.

“Flesh and spirit both,” Emily replied. “It’s how I pass the time while Kallen is on a mission.”
Transcending Limitations, and the rest of the Journey to Chaos series, is available for purchase at Amazon as an ebook. The series is also available in Kindle Unlimited. The paperback format is available at Amazon and also at Createspace.

To learn more about the heroines of Journey to Chaos, visit the Tvtropes character sheet.

Brian Wilkerson is a independent novelist, freelance book reviewer, and writing advice blogger. He studied at the University of Minnesota and came away with bachelor degrees in English Literature and History (Classical Mediterranean Period concentration).

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