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Lion and the Fire


By Steven Lake

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2013 Steven Lake


Prologue


A sleek, gray starship, about the size of a small closet, leapt into a binary star system on the edge of the galaxy and dropped out of slipspace near the planet Braisail. It slowed to a stop high in the atmosphere and then opened like a gigantic lobster claw to reveal a football shaped object within. It then took careful aim and fired the object at the planet. Once it was certain the object was safely away, it jumped out of the system. The object it left behind spiraled down to the surface with incredible speed, slowly heating up to a brilliant, white hot glow as it plowed through the ever thickening air. At forty thousand feet, after having slowed considerably, it transformed into a large, graceful eagle like creature. Small thruster engines on its back quietly spooled up and came to life as the bird like machine gently pulled up.

It soon leveled off and began sweeping across the land in a very calculated, almost methodical pattern. Yet as it moved it made no sounds. It continued its search for some time until a golden shimmer in the prairie below caught its attention. It immediately turned off its engines and began a slow, spiraling descent. It soon identified the objects it'd seen as a pair of lions. Realizing it'd found what it came for, its body shimmered slightly and then transformed into the spitting image of a tabion. It soon came to rest in a tree not far away and studied the two lions intently, its eyes zooming in and out as it tried to determine if they were the ones it was looking for. But they weren't. So it climbed high into the sky again and continued its hunt. As it did, it prayed that its search would not be in vain.


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