Willow grabbed Drake’s arm, ‘Look, Look!’ she cried, pointing at the sky.
Falkor hovered above them, like some primordial guardian angel, his lustrous azure body, almost invisible against the sky, sparkling in the mid-morning sun. He roared defiantly, pinned back his wings and plummeted to the ground, his enormous jaws gaping open. The air was thick with the smell of gas as blue-hot flames jettisoned from the back of his throat. The sound was terrifying, like ten jet engines starting up.
The crowd scrambled for cover, screaming, as Falkor swooped in front of them, unfolding his azure wings and flashing his sabre-like fangs. Scarface pulled Elvis in front of him to shield himself from the onslaught of fire.
Unfazed by the screaming crowd, Falkor gently landed on the cobbles, and stretched out his wings, allowing Drake and Willow to haul themselves onto his bare back. Before the crowd could react, Falkor kicked back and propelled himself into the sparkling sky.
‘DON’T LET THEM GET AWAY!’ came the shouts from the crowd, as the Elders tried to put order to the chaos.
‘Pyro!’ hissed Drake. He could just see the djinn’s bald head bobbing up and down as he made a run for it, as fast as his short legs would carry him, through the chaos of the crowds, to a dark alleyway and his freedom.
‘Leave him,’ pleaded Willow.
But it was no good, Drake was damned if they were going to lose Pyro and the Hand of Glory. He didn’t have to say anything; Falkor was on to it before Drake had even finished thinking about capturing the djinn.
‘No! Not again!’ screamed Pyro, running as fast as he could, but that wasn’t very fast as his legs had seemed to have stopped working the second he had seen the dragon heading for him. ’AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!’ he screamed, as Falkor swooped over and scooped him up from the crowd, like an eagle grabbing a salmon from a stream, his muscular feet clamped around the top of each of the djinn’s arms. In a beat of a wing they were once again ascending into the air and over the crowd which was now resembling more of a riot.
Once Falkor had reached a safe distance, Scarface threw Elvis to one side and clambered to his feet. ‘Shoot that dragon! Come on, what you waiting for? Take him down!’ he ordered. The boggarts immediately started shooting and the sky was suddenly alive with electricity, large bolts of lightning streaking from their stun guns, the blue tendrils crackling and fizzing millimetres from Pyro’s dangling body.
‘NO! DON’T SHOOT AT THE DRAGON!’ screamed Pyro, ’I DON’T WANT TO LOOK LIKE A PASTA SIEVE!’
Luckily for Falkor, the boggart’s aim was abysmal. It was just a shame, thought Drake, that they hadn’t managed to hit the djinn because that scream was starting to do his head in.
Drake peered down. He could see the dwarves and other members of the crowd scrambling around, throwing whatever they could find into the air; shoes, stones and bits of rotting fruit, but they all missed Falkor and, instead, rained back down upon them. He chuckled as a boggart grabbed Elvis by one of his ankles in desperation and threw him at the disappearing dragon. The chubby dwarf failed to gain much height and instead plummeted back to earth, landing straight on top of the boggart’s head, knocking him out cold.
Within a few wing beats, Falkor had risen above the bizarre buildings of Nowhere and had cleared the town walls where the Security Goblins were trying, unsuccessfully, to load their cannons. The Kraken was emerging from the moat, its slimy suckered tentacles slithering up the walls as it opened its gargantuan fang-filled mouth to catch the falling dragon, but Falkor was miles away before the first shot was even fired.
Drake waited until Falkor had cleared the Wild Mountains before he contacted Gizmo.
‘Gizmo, are you there?’ he said, pressing the button on the side of his watch.
There was a brief silence before Gizmo’s holographic form appeared before him, flickering like a ghost. ‘Hiya. See you’ve found Falkor then?’ said Gizmo, pushing his glasses back up his nose, the slight sound of frostiness in his voice.
‘Er…yeah,’ said Drake, ‘any more trouble back there?’
‘No,’ said Gizmo, shaking his head, ‘all’s quiet at the mo. Is everything alright?’
‘Yeah, everything’s fine. We need your help. We need to get to New Haven, can you help me out and send a map?’
‘Okay, no problem; the map will be with you in a mo.’
‘Cheers Gizmo Has Ailsa managed to find anything in Fenrik’s systems yet?’
‘No. She’s been munching away but they’ve got it protected by one serous fire-wall, she came back an hour ago quite frazzled. Didn’t take much to repair her though. Oh, I nearly forgot, she managed to intercept some chatter before she got fried; it seems that that guy you picked up, er, Pyro wasn’t it? Well, he’s been released already.’
‘Yeah, I know,’ said Drake looking at the petrified body of Pyro clamped tight in Falkor’s claws, ‘I’ve seen him hanging around. Keep working on the computer Gizmo, and stay safe, we’ll be back as soon as we can.’
Gizmo’s image evaporated, revealing a rotating 3-D map. Drake scanned the map, correlated Falkor’s trajectory and then pushed it into the corner of his vision with a flick of his eyes.
He could feel the pressure in his head again, he could feel the adrenaline surging through his body, plumping up his veins in his arms and on the back of his hands, and he could feel his hatred boiling in the pit of his stomach. This was Fenrik Lasko’s fault. It always was and always would be.
Until Drake finished it.