Authors: Tianna Xander,Viola Grace
Tags: #Romance, #Paranormal, #Science Fiction, #Shapeshifters, #dragons
A radioactive dragoness and the Star Guard she is assigned to learn the fine art of self-control and bring a new meaning to solar flares.
Solar is of the stellar set of dragon clones. With her body radioactive, her power rioting constantly and her clothing falling apart, she is not in the mood to entertain a flight of dragons when they accost her and her four sisters.
To her shock, the dragons each grab one of the stellar set and take off to different worlds. She is separated from her sisters and only the calm instruction of the Star Guard, Denhar, keeps her flaring power under control.
She follows his directions, but after a jaunt to send some humans back home ends in injury, her solitary freedom turns into a partnership that she was not expecting.
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Copyright © 2013 Tianna Xander and Viola Grace
Cover art by Martine Jardin
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D.A.R.E. Project Six
he storm was coming.
Solar watched the churning clouds through the window and waited for the impact of the winds. Her sisters were down below, using their newly honed skills to make dinner while Solar was on dragon watch.
Five of her sisters had found matches in the dragon population, but the astronomical cluster was still together and single. Solar, Stellar, Celestial, Astral and Lunar were all gathered together on an abandoned world beset by wild weather.
They took shifts sending their senses into the atmosphere and watching for encroaching humans or hunting dragons. Now that the dragons knew that the sisters were cut off from home, they had become more aggressive than ever as they sought out mates.
Solar shook her head.
What kind of evolutionary design was it when a species produced so few females
that snatching them out of their homes was the only way to get a wife?
The upper tower of their home was ideal for watching for the flying beasts. Whatever race had built this house and the abandoned town nearby had done a wonderful job creating a watchtower for the children of the dragon queen.
The lightning strikes in the distance set her nerves into overdrive. Her body was drawing energy from the weather in a way that life underground on Earth had not prepared her for.
The blasts charged her, and her body was screaming at her to do something, anything, but all she was on assignment for today was to watch, and so, she watched.
The sky above was still open, and the stars stared down at her. Solar held her breath when one star separated from the dance above her. She closed her eyes for a moment and made a silent wish that they would get the humans back home and they could find a way to get on with their lives.
You will find a way, Solar. You and your sisters were born for this.
Thank you, Mother. How are you today?
Same as always, watching my girls and feeling pride at your growing skills. Now, open your eyes and look at the sky. You are missing the show.
Solar opened her eyes and watched four other stars join the one that hosted her wish. The wind pulled at her containment suit while she watched the five stars swirl in the sky and grow in size.
“Ladies, we have incoming!” Solar screamed and ran down the stairs to join her sisters in the main hall.
They all shifted to their assigned tasks, and while Solar got the crossbow, the others all grabbed their chosen weapons.
Stellar grinned and took the rocket launcher from their weapons’ store. With nineteen human colonies sent back home, they had quite a few collections of weaponry at their disposal, and Solar’s eldest sister did so enjoy using the launcher.
They walked into the wind and watched the approach of the bright, sparkling balls of light. The girls had dodged dragons in the past, but none of them gleamed like this.
Solar watched her wishing dragon come closer and closer. “Easy, ladies. No sense burning out the last clothes we have.”
Celestial smirked. “Like anyone would complain if we went naked.”
Stellar settled her launcher on her shoulder and aimed toward the approaching dragons. “We also don’t want to cook off the ammunition. Calm down, sisters. If we have to, we will run. You know where to meet up.”
Solar made a noise of agreement, but there was something in the air. “I am getting a funny feeling here. Mother told me to look up, but now, she isn’t answering.”
Astral bit her lip. “Maybe she is busy?” Celestial snorted, “Don’t be stupid. From what she has hinted at, she is confined.” Lunar scowled. “Quiet, they are almost here and bickering isn’t going to help.” The glowing dragons came in on a roar of wind.
Solar looked up at her wishing dragon, and he dropped to the ground in front of her in his bipedal form. Silvery-white hair, black-on-black eyes and deep bronze skin with tattoos similar to those of her set marked him as a dragon if the four companion fliers left any doubt. He wore a metal breastplate, leather trousers and matching boots, and there was a subtle glow to the clothing that drew the eye.
“Ladies. I greet you on behalf of the Star Guard and ask you to come with us.” The man was cheerful and had a relaxed stance.
Stellar cleared her throat. “Who are you?” Solar watched him decide how to answer. The column of his throat flexed and his left eye flicked lightly.
“Captain Denhar of the Star Guard. Above us from left to right are Skdel, Myrgik, Cavon and Lerihk. We have come to help.”
Solar took a step forward, and Stellar shifted her launcher to aim at Myrgik.
Solar cleared her throat. “We are well armed and learning to cook. We do not need your help.” He inclined his head.
“Excellent accomplishments indeed, but I was referring to the radiation that you are putting out. If you do not learn to control it, you will kill more than just your enemies. Your family here is leaking power like a burning star.”
Solar stepped toward him again. His power was drawing her in. It was a vibration in the air that called to her.
Stellar called out, “Solar, back away.” Lunar made a small noise, and in an instant, all hell broke loose.
Solar watched Denhar’s body shift into his dragon shape, and the next moment, she was snatched in a claw. Bands of bone and sinew held her tight, and her breath was squeezed out of her as he launched into the air.
She observed Stellar taking aim at a dragon and firing, but an exhalation by the incoming beast rendered the explosive useless. Lunar was using a bolt gun, Astral was watching the dragons come in and Celestial had already been snatched and was in the air.
Solar could feel her body heating in panic, and her containment suit flaked away as Denhar climbed higher and higher.
The air grew thin, but Solar had no problem breathing, her skin glowed and she remained warm despite years of information from living with humans told her she should have frozen to death.
How are you enjoying the view?
It was Denhar’s voice in her mind.
It is most peculiar. Now, why did you snatch us?
I told you. You are dangerous. Three passive species that you and yours have come into contact with have suffered radiation sickness. We have done what we could, but your lack of control is threatening innocents.
What? We never meant to hurt anyone.
We are aware. Eiwyn has sent us to help her daughters learn control. We will turn you into Star Guards and give you the benefit of our knowledge and experience with this type of power.
What will you expect in return?
She could feel the smile in his voice when he said,
That will be up to negotiation.
nce Solar felt the thrill of weightlessness, the next sensation was equally peculiar. Denhar opened a rift and flew into it, his wings extended for a long glide and his skin aglow with power.
The next thing Solar saw was a new world dotted with bright lights across the landscape.
Where are we…wait…where are the others?
She twisted in his grip and tried to spot her sisters and their transport.
Each of the Star Guard occupies a different world to make it easier for dispatch purposes. We also give off passive radiation, so it is best not to get too close to each other. The worlds we occupy are mainly unoccupied for that reason.
There are races that are resistant to our emissions.
They act as caretakers in our homes.
Wait, you have someone who cooks for you?
His laughter rippled through her mind as he lowered them into the atmosphere. Denhar’s wings began to beat as air once again became a factor.
Where are my sisters?
They are safe with the Guards. We are sworn to the service of the queen. No harm will come to her daughters. Do you have the same toxic tracking devices as your other siblings?
Um, I don’t believe so. They tried, but nothing could withstand our biochemistry. They settled for the suits, and I believe that just met an end. Do you have something I can wear when we land?
If you insist.
The huge, scaly head above hers sighed heavily, drawing a smile out of Solar. At present, she was only wearing his hand.
Just as they neared the layer of atmosphere that protected the world from its suns’ solar rays, another portal opened in the sky. Solar watched helplessly as another portal opened a great distance away and another dragon disappeared through it with one of her sisters. She couldn’t make out which one, because it appeared that she, too, had lost her protective clothing.
Where are you taking me?
She peered through the portal but was unable to see much of the world beyond until he flew through to the other side.
The world looked desolate from above. Desert covered the planet as far as the eye could see.
Solar frowned down at the barren ground and wondered if he would hold her here against her will or if he would let her go once he taught her control.
I have brought you to my world, where your lack of control will not harm anyone. The small population here is resistant to the type of radiation we both emit.