The following is chapter six of The Dragon Protector.  (Need to start at the beginning?  Click here to go to chapter one.)

Taliya watched the color drain from Javan’s face.  He looked like he wanted to be alone to mourn the implied loss of his mother and grandmother, but she had too many questions she needed answered.  Micah, however, spoke up before she did.

“You have an invisibility trick?  How is that possible?”

“That’s irrelevant right now.”  Taliya knew Javan could make himself invisible by inserting a scale from his Noon Stalker into the triangle-shaped slot between the blade and handle of his stalker sword, but Micah wasn’t aware of that ability.  This was not the time to share such stories.  “What’s relevant is discussing this Ravier person.  Why do we need him?  The smaller our team, the faster we can move.  We’ll be fine with just the three of us.”

“Being fast won’t do us much good against the army of soldiers guarding the portal to earth,” Javan said, the color returning to his cheeks.  “That’s why we need Ravier.  He knows how to get people safely through the portal and back.”

“Oh.”  Taliya couldn’t argue with Javan’s logic.  “I guess that would be helpful considering getting through the portal is an important part of our plan.”

“Getting to him will be a problem, though,” Micah said.  “We have to get to Japheth, and there is a dangerous desert between us and the city.”

“The desert isn’t a problem,” Taliya said.  “We can skip right over it.”

“No, we can’t,” Javan said, shaking his head.  “We’ll be disabling the portal.”

“Are you forgetting about Kisa?  She’s this Dawn Stalker you went to a lot of trouble to collect.  She’s been to the Land of Zandador before.  Do I need to remind you what power Dawn Stalkers possess?”

“Right!”  Javan slapped his forehead.  “They can teleport to places they have been before.”

“Yup.  Before we disable the portal, we send her to the eastern portal near Dusk Stalker Territory and wait for her to return.  While we wait, we make sure the portal is disabled.  Once she comes back, she can teleport us all there when we’re ready to go.”

“Sounds like a solid plan,” Javan said, walking to the door.  “Micah, you stay here and work with Lydia, Cyr, and the Iria crew on the best way to capture the soldiers; just don’t make any moves till we get back.  Taliya, you come with me.  Kisa may be more willing to give up some of her scales if you can explain to her why we need them.”

“Excellent.”  Taliya clapped her hands to break up the meeting.  “Chit-chat time is over.  Let’s get to the action!”

Taliya skipped through the door ahead of Javan, excited about the adventure that awaited her.  She wasn’t elated about returning to the Land of Zandador and facing her father after fifteen years, but she did like the idea of hunting for dragon eggs and visiting earth.

She had read much about that strange dimension beyond the portal and was eager to explore that unfamiliar territory.


The story continues with Snags in the Plan.