Monochrome Monday Excerpt

36

MARK-1 EYEBALL

Dragon Lady^

Kayleigh turned her seat back to the forward position, then stood up and used the bulbous curved viewing port for its designed purpose; to see forward, up, down, and side to side in the Etheric Plane. Radar and Sonar were not an option within the this realm; the mark-1 eyeball was the best, and only, form of surveillance; hence the massive glass and metal domed crows nest over the top of the ship, exposing the bridge before merging with the forward view ports.

Like the standard issue goggles all Phantom Service personnel wore outside the ship, the light filtering, bug eye shaped, portal in front of Kayleigh, sifted out most of the abundant purplish-greyish light, allowing only specific frequencies of red and blue to pass through. From the outside, the stronger than steel glass looked iridescent, a kaleidoscope of ever changing colors; however, from within, looking out, the transparent material sharpened the contrast of the red-blue and gray dominated realm, to the quality of a high-definition black and white film.

Kayleigh pointed down directing, “A little faster Jaye; I want to be on top of the larger one when it finally decides on the form it wants to take.”

Jaye nodded and increased the bug-eyed ship’s forward speed gaining on the rapidly moving cloud formations in front of, and below them.

Kayleigh pulled the brass telescope from the slot it occupied on the metal bulkhead. She focused on the larger cloud commenting, “The big one is forming… fuck… it’s a Gryphon. Damn those things are almost as bad as a Dragon; just as agile, but without the bad breath.”

“Message transmitted twice, balloon retracting,” Melinda called from her station on the bridge.

Jaye mumbled something under his breath as Kayleigh studied the creature through the spyglass. The dark white cloud the creature emerged from dissipated as it fell behind the mythological incarnation.

Just like its fabled counterpart the beast had the furry body, tail, and the rear legs of a lion; merged with the feathered head and wings of an eagle, with bright golden brown talons instead of front legs and paws.

“Who comes up with these things,” Jaye muttered under his breath, “Why can’t it be something less… unreal?”

Kayleigh replied to Jaye’s rhetorical question, “He’s not going to be an easy one. I see several plasma burns on his side and back; he’s been in a fight before; and survived.”

As Kayleigh watched through the handheld brass scope, she provided a running commentary, “They are slowing down; the smaller Phantoms are breaking off and heading down toward the resort.”

The four other clouds fell away, descending under the protective cover of the now circling bird-lion. Kayleigh collapsed the telescope as she yelled back toward Doli at her station on the bridge, “Tell the Marines to disembark and happy hunting!”

“Balloon secure,” Radioman Signa shouted from her station.

“Ground clock started,” Dillan added his voice to the shouting choir of status updates.

Doli relayed Kayleigh’s orders down the voice pipe. Kayleigh took over from Jaye and pointed the ship toward the ground below the Gryphon, chasing after the falling shrouds. She felt the unnatural atmospheric resistance of the Etheric Plane increase when the loading bay door opened. She feathered the wings slightly and increased power to the magnetic inducers that kept the ship aloft in this realm, allowing the Marine Recon team time to distance themselves from the Dragon Lady; before Kayleigh aimed herself, and the Dragon Lady, toward the slowly circling Gryphon below them.