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Dimar: Lost Waters
(you can order a paperback copy or ebook here)

Special Thanks to:
Clay Dreslough, Ian Smith, David 'Tae' Baxter, Eugene Arenhaus and Paul aka 'Draco'. :)

Table of Contents

Intro
Prolog

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30
Chapter 31
Chapter 32
Chapter 33

Glossary
Dimar terms
Arrallin terms

Map

 

 

Lost Waters - Chapter 5

     Tara blinked, squinting against the intense light of the sun. She listened for the moans of pain around her, expecting to hear a chorus of trouble. To her surprise, she only heard excited babble, and the distinct and unnerving sound of Arrallins in mourning. There had been fatalities, after all, but what of injuries? Her left arm tingled, as did her side. She shut her eyes and grunted, bracing herself for what she might see.
       She opened her eyes again, and looked down at her arm. It was in one piece, but her dark skin was mottled with unnaturally white skin, and her sleeve and uniform side were blood-soaked, although she couldn’t see the wound.
       "What the..." She uttered, and turned her head to see what could only be described as a massive blue-green dragon walking straight toward her.
      Screaming, she leapt up and grabbed a piece of twisted metal from the wreckage, and swung it wildly at the beast as it loomed above her. "RAKAL!! HARMON! GET THE RIFLES!!" She hollered, managing to regain her command voice as the creature stopped and seated itself in front of her. She planted her feet for her best home run swing as the creature lowered its huge scaly head into her striking range.
       "I wouldn't do that, Tara! It's not polite to smack the critter that saved your life, you know." Rakal's deep, amused voice boomed out over the crowd. Tara dropped the metal mid-swing, just missing the creature's head, sending the bar flying into the rubble. She sank to her knees, thanking the stars that Rakal had made it to the surface alive. The dragon just cocked it's head and continued to watch Tara intently. With adrenaline flooding her veins, she instinctively resumed command, and demanded full status reports.
      "Rakal, what the HELL is going on here? What are these things? New pets? Well, you damned well better keep them off the furniture — that's for sure. What the hell happened?" Her memories of the landing flooded back into her mind, and she felt the sweat break on her neck. Rakal ambled up on all fours, a feral Arrallin grin on his muzzle, and just chuckled. "Why aren't we dead, Rakal? Mmmm? Can you tell me that?" She muttered at him through clenched teeth.
      Rakal sat, wrapping his silky tail around his feet in a catlike manner. Tara knew he was enjoying this situation immensely. "We're not dead because, despite that magnetic storm that threw the entire Golden Hinde navigation computer into deep space, you did manage to land us flatly. We went into a tumble, you know. Do you remember that much?"
      Tara half-smiled back at him, appreciating the supportive words in the face of the disaster. "I do remember that 'next time, I land' comment, bub." She tried to hold back a grim expression as she replayed the landing in her mind.
      "We lost four betas — only FOUR...out of three hundred, and we lost three humans — three out of sixty, and they were expendable humans, if you get my meaning." Rakal was quick to comfort her. He shot a furtive glance at the dragon sitting next to him. It seemed to comprehend nothing, but shot a glance at Tarrin and Harmon from time to time. As Tarrin walked up, its ears went forward, and it stuck it's nose out to greet the little speckled beta like any beta might.
      "Are these dragons psis? What's with Tarrin? And what ARE these dragons, anyway? Those raptors we saw in the report?" Tara tried to remember the briefing, but the memories were indistinct.
      "These 'dragons' are not dragons, really. They're not evil, they're Dimar. They do have the ability to communicate with our psis, and are," he paused, sighing, "intelligent indigenous life, as far as we can tell. They just don't build anything, like we do. We had no way of knowing before the landing."
      "Shit." Tara slammed a fist into the ground. "Do they mind us dropping in on them like this? I know I'd be a tad upset."
      "As far as Tarrin can tell, the verdict's out on whether or not we're welcome here, but they did heal the one-hundred seventeen casualties quicker than anything with this magic fairy water they have." Rakal chuckled, watching Tarrin and the beast. "They're already trying to learn English, and are starting to master Arrallin. Here, I'll show you." He beckoned the dragon over. "Luuko, meet TARA. She's the boss lady of the Golden Hinde." Rakal seemed exceedingly comfortable near the giant monster, but Tara didn't share his enthusiasm.
      "Hedoooo, Taaallla, dabosslaaaaddeee Gouwtim Hinde." The dragon dipped his head, and extended a foreleg. "Sake."
      "He means 'Shake'." Tarrin added. "They're working on the 'sh' sound, but they're great with the 'rrrr' sound in Arrallin."
      She tentatively took hold of the scaly paw, feeling the soft underfur that lined the skin beneath the scales. His paw-pads were rough, but he had four long, graceful fingers with sharp, raptor-like claws, and two opposable thumbs, one on each side of his paw. She shook his paw, and greeted him. "Hello, Luuko. A pleasure to meet you."
      "Dapleeesure's minde." he chimed, and wiggled his long, equine ears. Tarrin just laughed, and patted him on the shoulder.
      "He's a natural, " Tarrin laughed. "Soon, we'll have him writing speeches for Rakal. He's exceptionally bright, and a real Talent, too. They all seem to be, but this one's not as shy. Harmon is getting along farmerly with Liur, the leader of this expedition."
      "Farmerly? Tarrin, you could use a little English refresher course, there. Try famously" Rakal grinned, leaning toward Tarrin, who just shrugged and smiled.
      Tara gave the dragon a close look, standing to be eye to eye with the lowered head. Two long, spiraling horns jutted out from next to it's ears, which flicked forward and back, very much like a horse or a goat. Its heavy eyebrows were coated in tiny scales that carefully interlocked as it moved them, frowning down at her quizzically. The muzzle seemed to be a cross between a cat and a camel, with a long nose, and nostrils like a camel, but the upper lips and lower jaw meshed in a feline way. Creamy fur tufted out from beneath the heavy scales on his cheeks. It, no he, had a long neck, more like a heron than a snake, that emerged from a powerful set of withers. His head was swiveling to her right and then left, regarding her as much as she was regarding him.
      She took a step closer, sizing up the beast. His shoulder was a few inches higher than her head - and all muscle. She resisted the urge to pat his side, not knowing how he’d react. His front legs were long, configured like a cat's, ending in clawed fingers. She took a step back, not wanting to dwell on those claws very long.
      Luuko ruffled his wings and turned his attention back to Tarrin, undisturbed by her continued examination of him. The creature's wings looked a bit unnatural, emerging just behind the shoulders. He had them neatly tucked onto his back, and they gleamed with an almost metallic shine. They too were coated in scales, but the scales had a silvery luster that set the wings apart from the rest of the body. His back legs were heavily muscled, ending with an elongated six-toed foot that looked perfect for leaping. Each toe was graced with a formidable hooked claw, and Tara shuddered to think about what the creature might hunt with that arsenal. Like Rakal, he had wrapped his tail around his feet, and twitched it from time to time, the spade-like blade at the end gleaming as it caught the golden light of the setting sun.
      Tara looked around at the hundred-odd Dimar dragons that sat, scattered between both the humans and the Arrallins. They ranged in color from earthy reds and browns to greens, yellows and like Luuko, blue-green. A few of the smaller ones had huge leather sacks strapped to their backs and bellies, and held hoses in their forepaws. Each of these ones wore long, silky flags stretching from their horns down to their wrists. As three betas returned from the woods with two bloodied survivors from one of the escape pods, these bannered Dimar gave the injured ones water-showers from the sacks. Tara nearly charged them when the first beta they Watered fell to the ground and howled, but Rakal jumped up to block her way.
      "Just watch. I'm telling you, it's high magic, this water." he turned, watching the beta on the ground whine with relief as his wounds sealed themselves, white fur and skin growing over exposed muscle and bone. The bannered Dimar repeated the process with the next beta, and again, the same miraculous results. "They say that the water is a rare and precious resource here, and is sacred to the Dimar."
      "I can see why! That's incredible." Tara held up her left arm, and pulled apart the rends in her uniform to examine the greenish-white skin on her side. "It doesn't really go with my real skin, but I don't mind being a pinto for a while. Is it permanent?"
      Rakal pointed to Luuko's side. "It seems to be permanent for him. We should ask, especially for the sake of you humans." He chuckled, fluffing the fur on his head, mocking Harmon's patented self-aware gesture. He shot a glance toward Harmon, hoping that she didn't catch his joke. She was covered in large swatches of bright white skin herself.
      In Arrallin, he asked Tarrin to find out about the permanence of the healing marks. Tara didn't understand much of it, as her Arrallin still needed some serious work, but she did catch a few words. "Hey, cool. I understood some of that, " she smiled at Rakal, who looked surprised.
      "Well, this will put a significant dent in our gossiping, now that you're becoming a scholar in our language. Will make playing poker more challenging too." He smiled good-naturedly, a learned expression from his time on Earth, but Tara wondered if he was bothered.
      Tarrin's answer brought a sigh of relief from those around them. "He says if the wounds are superficial, nor particularly deep, your natural skin will replace the green-white skin. It's not permanent." Tarrin strode over on two legs, and apologetically approached Tara. "However, your wounds were severe. Your arm will return to it's natural color, but your side may retain a lighter tinge. I'm sorry."
      Tara shrugged. "Hey, since when have I cared about my looks, eh? I'm just glad to be in one piece! Thanks for letting me know, Tarrin." She patted his shoulder reassuringly, and he looked considerably relieved. She wondered if Harmon knew, and felt a pang of sympathetic pain for her. She was much more appearance conscious than most of the crew.
      "Okay, kids. Break time's over. I want a staff meeting um...over here by this tree so we can figure out how we're going to set up camp now that a significant portion of the ship is a pretzel." Tara waved over the human and beta officers, and began formulating a plan for a new base camp.

The Tomb of the Unknown Editor: Thank you for all those pages of GREAT edits. I suck for losing your email. <:|   Dimar: Lost Waters is a public domain work of modern science fiction by Dee Dreslough. Please feel free to be inspired by it, draw pictures, write stories based on it, even republish the work as a whole...it belongs to everyone! www.Dimar.org