The Burning, and How We Were Changed Forever
From the Chronicles of the Uhra, Part Two
“Arthur, I think it’s looking at us,” Harvey Kesser said.
The signs of exhaustion and worry were clear across the pair’s face. Arthur Finnebaker’s clothes were powdered with soot from reloading the Aerial Globe Uhra’s double cannon relentlessly.
“Well, it was to be expected. We’d best make our leave.” Arthur reloaded the cannon’s chambers with one final salvo and rushed across the basket to the twisting system of ropes and valves that directed the Uhra.
The switch was just in time. As the bird-like Titan lunged at the bloated balloon of the craft, a violent rush of air was let out, allowing it to dive down into the streets of the city of Carbas. The basket bounced hard against the cobblestone, but it held strong and regained altitude as they sailed down the thoroughfare.
“We’re a bit low, aren’t we?! What if we run into someone?” Harv yelled against the rushing wind.
“Nonsense, I was observing the roadways earlier in the battle. This route’s been cleared of traffic. The only thing blocking us is—”
Arthur’s report was cut short as the Uhra crashed into a tall fence, scattering timber everywhere. A group of small, gray creatures could be seen sprinting away as they pushed through without hesitation.
“—that…wombat zoo.” He wiped his face. “I could have sworn we had another block to go.”
“Don’t worry about it now!” Harv shouted back. “I know the guy who ran it, he owed me anyway! We’ve got bigger issues, because that Titan’s figured out your little ploy!”
The monstrous bird of prey was tailing the craft, its wings casting an endless shadow over them and the buildings on their sides. Its eyes glowed malevolently.
“We’re trapped!!” Harv realized.
But there was no witty remark by Arthur, no skillful dodge this time.
*A torrent of fire struck the *Uhra, batting it like a fly in a windstorm. The ship crashed violently against building after building, finally rolling to a stop in the street.
Arthur blinked. Looking around, he realized he had been safely caught in the Uhra’s rope controls. Harv had been tossed out, but miraculously, he had gotten back up and was limping towards the wreck.
“I didn’t know it breathed fire,” Arthur winced. “It must be some sort of phoenix…” He then noticed the now-dark gray sky overhead. “…and now we’ve got some bad weather to worry about, too.”
“It’s not clouds,” Harv said. “It’s smoke. Carbas is burning.”