Chapter 18; Page 9

    The Baron steamed in the distance, a growing dot on the horizon. A dark plume of smoke rose to mark its position. From where he sat Darrian peered towards their target and sighed. It was time to act. Just a little longer and they would be free for this temporary servitude. Maybe that was what had Darrian on edge and a little annoyed. No one had asked him to do this mission. Claire at Reich’s behest had tricked him and that heated the old dragon’s blood.

    Another whistle sounded from the train. The time to brood would come. There was a job to do and he agreed. With a grunt Darrian pushed himself up from the cart. He stretched, the sound of bones popping back into place echoed within his ears. “Took them long enough” Darrian commented.

    Reich shrugged. “Good things come to those who wait.”

    Darrian walked up the short bank. “For you. Hell I bet you’ve had a moist tingly feeling waiting for this moment.”

    She shot him a playful grin. “I’ll never tell.”

    Darrian rolled his eyes. The both stood side by side, one foot on either side of the iron rail. “How close are we going to let them get?”

    “I say within their turret range.”

    Darrian nodded then stretched out his hands. “Gauntlets: Equip.”

    The mechanical gloves constructed from nothing. A whirl of activity as the parts materialized and fastened onto the gauntlet until the process completed. Darrian flexed the large metallic fingers and found all parts in their correct order. Reich snickered more to herself than anything but Darrian turned to question. “What?”

    Reich shook her head. “Didn’t know you still used those.”

    “Of course. They’re iconic after all.”

    “Sure they are”.

    With backs facing the Red Pass, both dragons stood tall against the beast that charged them. The Midnight Baron, a military grade engine who’s deep midnight blue paint blended with the night sky. Legends and myths surrounded the two hundred and four year old engine. Falsities to those like Darrian and Reich. Irregardless Engine 616 was not to be taken lightly.

    A boiler almost twice the length of civilian transports stretched from a cab that six men could comfortably work within. The tender would be the same midnight blue with ‘Midnight Baron’ written in large white letters. It would be from there that Divinity’s military engines began to become unrecognizable. Two sets of three drive wheels propelled the armoured frame forward to a top speed which surpassed many.

    The true changes were fitted around the smokebox with its double chimney and thickened armour. In front of the forward smokestack sat a rotating turret fitted with flak cannons. A ladder led down on each side to a iron walled catwalk where two turrets were fitted. Each were shielded and armed with thirty caliber machine guns. One set of turrets sat on either side of the smokebox with a second pair fitted near the cab.

    The Baron bristled with guns, like all of its ilk. Darrian knew that today made no exception. Every gun would be trained on the two obstacles which stood defiantly before Divinity.

    Reich squinted into the distance. “What the hell is that?”

Darrian looked at her in confusion then followed her gaze. The smoke box had been refitted. A long angled plow hovered above the rails. The construct curved upwards to seamlessly join a pointed cone which now functioned as the train’s nose. Ever angle facing them had been engineered to curve away from the Baron. Any projectile Darrian or Reich fired would near harmlessly be redirected elsewhere.

Reich snorted a short puff of smoke. “Those crafty sons of bitches.”

    “They’ve anticipated your little resistance.”

    “Probably not. That design would screw with Zevios and Tylain easy. Rigorian might manage to upend the damn thing. They’ve guarded against on coming attacks well though. We’d have to shoot dead on to penetrate that design and pierce the boiler.”

    Darrian scratched his jaw. “Still gotta give it a crack.”

    Reich’s pointed white teeth gleamed in the sunlight. She enjoyed this challenge and would revel in the victory when the sun set. Lust flashed in those blue eyes as The Dragon of Combat would flex her title once more. “Mmmm. This will be such a pleasure.”

    “Calm yourself. At least you know; until I’m not around.”