Excerpt From Sam’s Quest for the Crimson Crystal by Ben Furman
Sam felt a sudden chill — Drogon had arrived! The wing beats of a massive charger wasp tore the air as it dropped through the ceiling opening to the floor. Peering over the arm of the throne, Sam was riveted by the searing red eyes of the wasp staring back. It clicked loudly to alert Drogon, who pulled his sword.
“Who desecrates my throne?” the giant Zog leader hissed. “So it’s you, Seeker!” Drogon’s booming voice frightened Sam. “I will chop you into tiny pieces and throw them in the moat,” Drogon shouted. He urged the wasp forward.
Sam shrieked and ducked down behind the throne. The blue blur of a combat dragonfly dove through the ceiling opening and smashed into the charger wasp. Kryton! He’s returned!
The collision knocked Drogon to the floor and his sword went flying from his hand. Sprawled on his face, he roared with rage and pushed himself upright. The dragonfly fought hard, but in such tight quarters it was no match for the powerful wasp. Kryton needed room to use its superior speed and maneuverability, and fired upward to the sky with the angry wasp in pursuit. Now the terms of combat would be even.
Sam struggled to slip out from behind the throne, but terror made her stumble. She fell to one knee as the tyrant’s eyes fired twin beams of yellow energy that struck her chest. The air crackled, and she smelled the scorched material of the cape. It had managed to deflect the beams into the throne that melted into a sizzling mound.
The cape had been weakened by the strike. It couldn’t absorb another hit that strong. She rolled under the table as Drogon fired another volley. The stone table shattered, and shards of rock rained down around her. She slipped on the rubble as she ran for cover. Another beam glanced off her right shoulder. The force of the strike spun her around and slammed her to the floor.
With two mighty steps, Drogon closed the distance between them. She kicked his knee as hard as she could. Drogon shrieked with pain. She rolled away just as his claws gouged the floor where her head had been.
Scrambling on her hands and knees, she heard him right behind her. He spat the words “Seeker!” and “Outworlder!” as if they were curses. She could feel her lungs start to close. Oh, no! I’m having an asthma attack.
A clawed grip closed around her leg and Drogon pulled her backward. Sam’s vision started to go black as she struggled for each breath. Air, I have to have air! She fumbled for the inhaler and rolled onto her back. The huge Zog easily picked her up and slowly raised his razor claws to strike.