Coming from nothingness and calm to fire and panic took me by surprise.
I stood on a rooftop, a bridge overhead, a market spread out around me. Flames roared and danced, people of all races screamed, animals lowed in terror, and the air was thick with smoke.
For a moment, I wasn't sure if I was back at the troll market or not. Summoning magic, I was prepared to leave until I heard Rhaelgyr roar. Smiling, I began searching the sky for the dragon.
He dove in a strafing run, unleashing fire onto buildings. Heat lashed at me, and I felt sorry for anyone trapped on the ground.
Like Tessa. I swore, smile gone, as I thought about the young human I'd promised to rescue. I hadn't even thought about her since I'd left her at the little street bar. Moving to the edge of the roof, I wondered if she still waited for me.
The riot below made that seem unlikely. It was a sea of flesh, maddened by the dragon attack. Some escaped through the dimensions, causing sudden gaps that instantly collapsed as people shoved and fell. The screams were more cacophonous than before, adding to the horror of the scene.
Death energy disrupted the magic of the area, making it impossible for some to leave. The mortals were completely helpless, and they fell first. Animals broke from their pens, and began rampaging through the streets.
Rhaelgyr roared again, and I wondered if I cared. Did Morgan the Setian want to help these strangers? Morgan the Gray was neutral, and had no reason to be involved. Which one was me?
Had I been taught to care for others, and lost that capacity when everything was stripped away? Had I ever cared? The impression of my father's arrogant voice came to me, and I wasn't sure I had.
The past no longer mattered, I reminded myself. I didn't have to care about these people, but neither did I have to let them suffer. I could do a little something for them.
~Rhaelgyr!~ I shouted, reaching for the dragon. Telepathy opened me to the tumult of minds below, and I gritted my teeth as I waited for him to make the connection.
~Morgan?~ The dragon latched on, strong enough to send a wave of vertigo through me. His surprise caused my heart to skip a beat, but the other voices fell away as our minds joined.
~Yes, it's me.~ It hurt to speak. ~I guess you missed me~ Somehow I laughed.
Wind stirred as Rhaelgyr approached. I narrowed my eyes, looking up at the midnight blue dragon as he hovered. Fire drooled from his lips, hissing as it landed on the rooftop. ~What gave you that impression?~ His mental smile filled my skull.
Several other impressions came, but I don't know if Rhaelgyr intended me to get them. Him and the dryad. her trying to drug him. He overreacting and attacking the market.
~We need to stop this,~ I said, turning toward burning buildings.
~Why?~ Rhaelgyr hissed, landing heavily on the roof. Hot breath washed around me as he extended his head. Jewel eyes stared at me, and I found my reflection in their inky surface.
He was still half-crazed by the dryad's drugs. Only partially sated lust had become anger, which had become a destructive urge. Rhaelgyr wasn't like to stop anytime soon.
I craddled his muzzle in both hands. "Because I asked you to." I leaned forward, placing a kiss on the tip of his scaly nose.
Rhaelgyr's response was a bone-rumbling growl.