The small sailboat was being tossed about on the stormy waters. A splintered stump was all that remained of the mast. What had been the sails were lashed around the boat, and under the sails, protected from the elements but very seasick, were Demetri and Paul.
When the wind subsided and the storm blew itself out, the boat was still mostly intact, but the first thing Demetri did once he emerged from under the sails was throw up.
“This boat isn’t a sailboat anymore,” he told Paul, eying the mast stump.
“It isn’t even a rowboat,” Paul replied sullenly. “But we can’t just sit out here in the middle of the ocean and wait for our deaths. We must think of something.”
“You’re the one with all the brains, always coming up with plans,” Demetri yawned. “You think of something.”
Most of the morning was spent deep in thought, at least in Paul’s case. Demetri seemed to be spending his time deep asleep. Occasionally, he changed sleeping position, but aside from that, neither sound nor movement did he make. But Paul’s cry of alarm quickly roused the catatonic one.
“Whah?” he asked sleepily
“LOOK.” Paul pointed to some dark shapes slicing through the waves towards the immobile boat. The creatures surfaced for air a few times, giving Demetri a view that made him think of the things as dragon-headed dolphin seals. But once they go closer, the “dragon-headed dolphin seals” popped their heads out of the water to stare quizzically at the battered boat.
“What are they?” Demetri asked Paul. Paul, of course, was the one with all the brains, and he promptly answered, “Some people think they are miniature larucas, but they are better known as sea dragons. They are pretty intelligent, as far as animals go.”
Before Demetri could find out if they liked to be petted or not, the pair of sea dragons seized the severed rope on the front of the boat, and began swimming at high speed towards land. “Very intelligent,” Demetri noted.
They arrived on the coast at high noon, thirty miles from Tammycus. But, of course, they didn’t know that. Demetri turned to look at the sea dragons again, but they vanished into the sea, clicking in a rapid succession, and making growling noises. Just as they disappeared, a huge shadow passed overhead. A real dragon, a hungry dragon, was hunting.
“Run!” Demetri yelled. The huge green dragon swooped, dipping its claws into the ocean in hopes of snagging a sea dragon for lunch. It missed, and that just made it angrier. So it went after Paul and Demetri instead. Dragons can fly faster than anyone can run, but most of the land consisted of trees and forests, where the dragon could not reach them.
Eventually, they came to a valley, and as they began to travel around it, the dragon seemed reluctant to keep up the chase. It had the choice between getting lunch, then fighting the dominant dragon of the valley, or avoiding a fight and leave hungry. It decided to get lunch, and face the music. Rather angry roars, actually.
The dragon had been flying no longer than a minute, when a gray-brown dragon with yellow stripes on her wings attacked out of nowhere, raking her claws down the side of his head. Demetri and Paul sat down, breathing hard, to rest, while watching the violent scene above them.