Brian W. Antoine
October 17, 1993
"Hold still Damnit! How am I suppose to fit this thing on you if you won't hold still!" I had been trying for 10 minutes to fit a miniature harness to Penny's pet mini-drag, and I wasn't getting very far. The stupid thing kept wiggling to see what I was doing and getting tangled in the harness.
"Ok, that's it. You want her to wear this thing, you put it on her." I dropped the harness on the workbench in disgust and turned to face the screen on the wall. "I don't think this whole thing is going to work anyway. Just how the hell do you intend on training her to go where you want?" I could hear Star rummaging around on the table behind me. When I turned back, she had the harness looped sideways over her head and was cheeping at me. "Idiot dragon..."
"She's not stupid, she's just young. With a little tender care and training, she'll catch on quickly."
I looked at the tiny dragon that had managed to get her wing caught in the harness to the point she couldn't move it. "Yeah, right..."
"Come on, try it one more time."
"Ok, but this time I do it my way." I glanced over to where Smaug and Smoke were watching the battle. *Smaug, over here please* and I pointed at the workbench. With a glance at his son, he launched himself into the air and landed on the bench beside his daughter. *Ok, talk to her and keep her distracted*
The two of them stared at each other and occasionally made quiet noises as if talking together. While Star was occupied, I made one more attempt at fitting her with the harness Penny had designed for her. She looked at me a couple of times, but stayed still as I worked.
"Ok, that should do it. The rest is up to you." The next time Penny spoke, her voice came from the tiny package that now lay strapped to Star's back.
"Star?" The tiny dragon startled at the voice behind her and I chuckled as she tried to twist her head around to see who was talking to her. "Star, come to me." A second later the tiny dragon vanished from the bench to appear in mid-air in front of the screen on the wall. She was hovering and chirping at the screen.
"Ok, so she remembers where to return to when called. Now how are you going to teach her to go where you want?"
"I'm not sure, but think of the possibilities if I succeed. She can go places I can't get to with a remote, and she can get there in an instant. The equipment in the harness will keep her safe and let me follow along."
"Well, good luck. Now if you don't have anything else for me to do for you, I've got some more research to do, and I've still got to plan the FTL test run."
"No, that should do for the evening. You may return to your own interests, Jeaves."
"Thank you master. You're so kind to us poor slaves..."
Sitting down at my desk, I opened a link to the Velan Central Library and continued my search for information about the Velan family structure. I was finally getting someplace in my research, and the more I dug, the more interesting it got. I glanced up at the calendar on the wall with the tiny red X's. I had thirteen days before my birthday, and something told me that was when things were going to come to a head.