Sammy at Rufrad

 

Second book in the series

 

Chapter One

 

Four Heroes

 

The smells of burnt feathers, and wood smoke filled the air. The three friends, a teenage boy, a bottlenose dolphin, and a girl watched as a breeze lifted some ashes from the remains of Ytell’s pyre.

 

“Gursha says I need to get back to her clinic,” Zeghes said, floating in the air, frustration creeping into his voice. “She thinks this wound’s bad. It’s only 3 inches deep. What’s she thinking? I’m a dolphin; it’s not a problem for me.”

 

“That’s the one drawback of these artificial intelligence devices we all wear,” Alex said. “Those in authority can almost always get in contact with us.”

 

Alex’s AI spoke to him in his mind. |If you want me to, I can pretend not to work when someone’s trying to talk to you.|

 

|Ha! That’s a great idea.| Alex thought to his AI.

 

“Hey everyone, my AI just told me it can pretend not to work.”

 

 “That’s great,” Hheilea said. After a pause, she added, “My AI says it can try, but it doesn’t understand pretending.”

 

“Mine just says, ‘I don’t understand,’” Zeghes said.

 

“Our AI learns from us,” Hheilea said. “Alex, must be more devious that we are.”

 

A hint these teenagers were not in an ordinary place was the structure soaring into the sky behind them. Three thick legs, golden, silver and blue arched up, over a mile, into the sky. Cradled at the top of the three arches rested a pearlescent sphere, almost two miles wide. The sphere was the Academy. There they had been learning how to do magical things, as the result of the interaction of Vapu with their minds.

 

Above the sphere an island floated in the air. The island looked peaceful from below, but battles took place there, in the arena. Some died in those battles. The battles prepared them for a dangerous future.

 

“You’d betting get going,” Alex said, “but before you go, putting your lives on the line to help me save Hheilea was incredible. Thanks, you two are great. I just wish Ytell had survived his battle with the wrath.”

 

The friends turned back to look at the ashes from Ytell’s pyre gently being stirred by the breeze.

 

“He told me once; he would gladly give his life to protect any member of his flock.”

 

“What are they going to do with the egg they pulled from the ashes?”

 

“It’s being sent back to Ytell’s home world. There they hope it will hatch. The thrips hope the chick will have the answer they have been looking for.”

 

“Who’s going to be our new flock leader?”

 

“I don’t know.”

 

“You better get going Zeghes,” Hheilea said, turning with Alex to continue toward the beach. “Before our nurse, pink hair waving, comes and grabs you with all four arms to drag you back to her clinic.”

 

“See you guys later. I’ll be well soon. Alex, I’m looking forward to helping you save your cousin, Sammy.”