Science Fiction

                                                 The Great Race

    As the sun sets, sunlight filters down slowly through the trees like sand in an hour glass. If the sand reaches the ground, Draakar will die. Tension is high, and drones are seen, but not by the Draakar who bob up and down in the pond like corks. It would be a comical sight if it wasn’t so frightening.    

    The Finding have successfully surrounded the pond, and Officer Jones picks up the megaphone, “Please surrender now. Everyone in the pond will be killed in five minutes if you don’t surrender. Step onto the bank, turn, change, and put your hands in the air.”

    One Draakar raises his head out of the water and emits a high pitch almost deafening tone. Then another follows, then another, all emitting the same tone until some forty Draakar glide effortlessly to the banks and rise up out of the water. They step out, and all turn in unison with their backs to the Finding. 

  Officer Jones thinks, ‘So far so good.’ They seem to be following his directions, but he also realizes no hands are raised, and they stand motionless without changing to human form. They stand as Draakar.  The mood is ominous, and suddenly a loud wail which makes their previous deafening tone seem a whisper, pierces through the night. The Draakar turn as one then leap screeching at the Finding in full attack. At that moment, Officer Jones wishes for the drone attack to wipe out all of them, but it’s too late.  ‘The cat’s out of the bag’ or rather ‘the Draakars’ are out of the pond.’ Gunfire erupts immediately, but more Draakar were in the pond than anticipated. 

  Cougars, part of the Finding hidden from view in the trees, scamper to the ground.   Many of the Draakar fall dead and wounded as well as the Finding, and just as hand to hand combat begins amidst the gunfire, cougars run full speed toward the Draakar, pounce and attack. Draakar have concentrated on breaking through at a point nearest to Cane Bayou, and as they run toward the bayou, the cougars give chase. Nine Draakar run as fast as they can, but are no match for the speed of the cougars, and soon the Draakar are fighting for their life surrounded by sixteen cougars. The Draakar slash and strike out at them as the cougars continue to circle. They growl and screech, but as fierce as Draakar are, they are no match for the cougars’ quickness on land. The Draakar’s reign ends at the water’s edge. Their position is hopeless, but they fight on in a life and death struggle. The Draakar begin to realize the futility of their fight. The cougars have them under control, and all the Draakar could soon be killed, but they also sense there is hope they could survive.  Suddenly they stop and slowly sit.  There is a chance for survival.  Breathless Draakar sit still and stare at the cougars who stare back at them panting and snarling. 

    Officer Jones, who joined in the chase, changes back into human form, walks away, and calls Monroe on the phone, “We got ‘em… Right, all of them…   Heading back now…   No, no word from Bob or Jesse.”

    The night is clear, and the moon casts a pale glimmer on the waters of Lake Pontchartrain with the added reflection of stars hovering above them.  Flying on his bibibia, Jesse has gained on Bob and now has him in his sights. The lights on the causeway light the way. At least Victor didn’t dive into Lake Pontchartrain, at least not yet. In the dark waters of Lake Pontchartrain, it would be all but impossible to find him. Either Victor Daulton isn’t aware he is being followed, or he’s so focused on his destination that he’s oblivious to anything else. Metarie shines below them, and the New Orleans skylight is ahead. After flying for a good thirty minutes, Jesse decides to try again to call Monroe and Samantha so they’ll know what’s going on. Previous attempts were unsuccessful; no signal. First he tries Bob, and this time the call goes through. 

     “Bob is that you on that big bird?”

    “You got through,” Bob says, “Yes, it is. Where are you?”

    “Right behind you. I’ve gained on you.”

    “You’re on a bibibia? I’m impressed.”

    “Yeah, I’ve bonded with my bird. Where are we going?”

    “Beats me… Following Victor Daulton.”

    “Does he know?”

    “Don’t think so.”

    “Have you been in touch with Monroe?”

    “Tried to call…  My phone didn’t work until now.”

    “Mine either.”

    Bob says, “Try again… Victor is slowing down. He may plan to land in Metarie. Catch up to me.”

    “Right.” Jesse calls Samantha. 

    Samantha answers worried, “Where are you? Are you okay?”

    Jesse hears Pamela ask in the background, “Is Bob with him?”

    “Tell Pamela, Bob is fine. I am too. Don’t worry. Don’t have much time. We may be landing in Metarie.”

    “Landing? Metarie? Are you in an airplane? I hear wind… Are you two in a bi-plane?”

    “No, not exactly… We both are riding… Bi… bibia…  Tell Pamela; she’ll explain it. Listen, we’re following Victor.  Tell Monroe…   I’ve got to go. Love you.” Jesse catches up with Bob and calls him, “Bob, They know. I told Samantha we were following Victor, riding Bibibia… Told her Pamela would explain.”

    “Monroe? Officer Jones didn’t tell them we were on bibibia?” Bob asks.

    “Doesn’t look like it… Probably scared to,” Jesse answers.  

    “Probably.” Bob points ahead. “Victor is slowing down, losing altitude.  I’m going to slow down… Pull your reins back.” Jesse pulls his reins back, and his bird goes up.  

  Bob loudly says, “No, no. Don’t pull up, pull straight back… with both hands.” Jesse does as he’s told, and his bibibia levels off about ten feet higher than Bob’s. Next Bob instructs, “Now slightly, only slightly pull both sides down, but wait till I tell you. We don’t want you to dive.”

    Jesse answers, “Okay.”

    Bob tells him, “Gently and slowly, pull back slightly down.”

    Jesse follows orders, and at just the precise moment, he pulls the reins gently straight back and levels off beside Bob. Jesse looks at Bob who realizes Jesse did that on his own. If Bob didn’t realize it before, Jesse’s expression says it all. He’s grinning from ear to ear with pride. Below them, the causeway lights are beginning to spill into the shoreline and spread. Bob notices Victor is gradually losing altitude and slowing down. “Victor’s going to land.”

    The exhilaration Jesse felt with his ‘new found’ expertise and skill in riding his bibibia, is short lived and totally replaced with fear and dread. All this time he never thought of landing. 

    Bob says, “As soon as he commits to landing, I’m going on top. I’m not giving him the chance to run.   Land close, then run over.”

    Clumps of forest are interspersed between house and building lights up ahead. Their speed drops along with the altitude, and Bob says, “I’m going to go up to gain speed then come down on top of him as he lands. You just land close and come help. Be careful.”

    “You too.”

    “I’ll try.”

    “Remember, we were told not to do anything stupid.”

    Bob laughs, “I’ll keep that in mind.”

    The calm of the night surrounds them as the wind whistles in their ears. Their bibibias’ wings float then rise and fall effortlessly. The peace of the night is with them for only another two minutes, when suddenly Bob says, “Gotta go, see you down there.” 

    Bob and his bibibia shoot up and out of sight while Jesse keeps eyes on Victor. Jesse feels the element of surprise is with them. Suddenly they are over land, mostly forest, but lights are coming up quickly in the distance.  Jesse feels a landing is eminent, hopefully in the seclusion of a barely lit park as opposed to someone’s front yard, but time is running out. The skyline of New Orleans is getting closer, but so are the tree tops below… Suddenly there’s a clearing, and Victor drops down. Jesse searches the sky for Bob but sees nothing. The land below is coming up fast, and it won’t be long before Victor will touch down. Jesse braces himself for an inevitable crash landing, but whatever it takes, he is determined Victor will not escape. Then in a blink of an eye, Bob dives down in front just at the moment Victor touches down.  Bob’s high rate of speed sends Victor rolling and tumbling as Bob completes his landing and dismounts with his bibibia still moving. Jesse remembers the old cowboy movies where the cowboy jumps off his running horse and thinks to himself, ‘Yes, he’s done this before.’ Jesse lands clumsily twenty feet past the chaos now in process, and runs back to help. Though Victor completed his change into a Draakar, he is unsteady and stumbling from his brutal take down. Bob also turns into a Draakar and strikes at Victor. Jesse also changes, runs the last few feet and blindsides Victor, slamming him into a tree where he falls. Victor lies unconscious, and Bob uses the bridle from Jesse’s bibibia, to tie up Victor. Bob and Jesse both sit, look at one another, and smile.  

    Bob, a little breathless says, “We got him.”

    Jesse nods, “We did… You okay?”


    Jesse takes out his phone. “I’ll put us on speaker phone.”

    Bob looks around and asks, “You know where we are?”

    Jesse says, “There’s a sign over there, I’ll look.”

    Suddenly they see the lights of a car coming down the road. “We need to hide,” Bob tells him. 

    Both Bob and Jesse gather the big birds and rush to the tree line to conceal them. Just as quickly Jesse carries Victor and falls behind a tree as the car drives by their hiding place. Victor takes his second nasty spill of the night. It is now Jesse who is breathless. The car goes on by slowly but doesn’t stop.

    “I’ll be back.” Bob runs to read the sign. He tells Jesse, “Pelican Park.”

    Victor begins to stir and tries to get up when he sees Bob and Jesse. Jesse pushes him back down. Victor is disoriented. 

    Bob asks, “Where were you going?”

    Victor remains silent.

    Jesse checks for a phone on Victor. “Why did you land here?”

    Victor again remains silent.

    Flashlights flicker from within the woods.

    Jesse looks at Victor, “Don’t make a sound.”

    “They’re coming this way. We’ve got to get out of here,” Bob tells him.

    Quickly Jesse says, “Follow the causeway back across Lake Pontchartrain… Mandeville, North Shore.”

    Bob hurriedly gathers the three birds saying, “Bibibia are territorial… We can go back to Cane Bayou. They’ll know their way.”

    “You’re the bird boss.”

    Jesse gets Victor to his feet, unties the bridle, and reconfigures it from his wrists behind his back to his neck. He keeps Victor’s hands free, but the bridle now becomes a noose and will bear Victor’s entire weight should he happen to jump from the bird. Next Jesse takes his tattered shirt and binds Victor’s hands, not a strong lasting binding but enough so Victor can’t free himself before his neck snaps should he suddenly fall or be pushed off.

    As Victor is put on his bibibia with Jesse in back, Jesse tells him, “You try to change, I’ll push you off. Your neck will be snapped.” Jesse illustrates by pulling on Victor’s noose. Jesse then ties the bridle firmly on the saddle horn. The saddle horn Victor will dangle from in the event of an untimely end. Jesse quickly texts Samantha, ‘On way home, ETA 45 to hour.’

    Bob says, “Tell them, Bob says, Hi.”

    Jesse adds, “Bob says, Hi” Jesse raises his eyebrows at the unmanned bibibia.

    “He’ll follow.” 

    Jesse nods and continues texting, ‘Need covered truck. Transport three bibibia.’ Jesse coaxes his bibibia to follow, “Come on, George.”

    Bob smiles, “George?”

    All three bibibia hop, Bob first then Jesse with George bringing up the rear. A worried Jesse looks back at George who hops one last time and becomes air borne with the other two. Relieved Jesse smiles then turns forward to focus on Victor. Jesse looks at the lights of the causeway below, the stars above, and the crescent moon shining most fittingly over the crescent city. He hopes Samantha is open to a romantic ride with him on George, or is it Georgina?   He thinks, Bob will know and is filled with a sense of serenity.

    Samantha receives his text and shares it with Pamela. Both are relieved and after alerting Monroe and Officer Jones, they can finally relax.  They share a smile and Samantha shakes her head and laughs, “You never know what they’ll do.”

    Pamela agrees, “But they do the right thing.”

    “Right… no matter how dangerous it is.”

    “Officer Jones believes they saw Victor take off on a bibibia.”

    “I’ve never seen one,” says Samantha.

    Pamela tells her, “I’ve seen one but never ridden one. Bob has. It’s a Draakar thing in Osteo. I can just imagine Bob’s eyes when he saw that bibibia take off. It took him back to his world, to Osteo. I bet he couldn’t wait to take off after Victor.”

    “Yes, and never mind that Jesse had never seen a bibibia and doesn’t like heights. Seeing Bob go after the bad guy, he was right with him.”

    Pamela tells her, “He has courage.”

    A very emotional Samantha adds, “He does.”

    Pamela takes her hand, “They’re safe now.”

    Samantha smiles and nods, “They’ll probably expect a hero’s welcome with a parade.”

    “No doubt.”

    The Finding have set up a perimeter around Cane Bayou and continue to search for any of Victor’s men who are still hiding. Those already captured are awaiting transport back to Community. Officer Jones, Monroe, Pamela, and Samantha along with a few of the Finding head to the barn which housed the bibibia. They figure Bob and Jesse will land there. Samantha and Pamela heard the gunfire, and while it was over quickly, it was intense. Most of the bodies of the dead and wounded, both Draakar and Finding, have been removed from the area, but the exact number is unknown. A sense of peaceful calm slips back around the pond and surrounding area as the night sounds return until Officer Jones discovers a Draakar partially covered in lilies lying half in and half out of the water. 

  “Is he dead or alive?” questions Jones as he approaches him cautiously.  

  Then Pamela announces, “He’s dead.”

    “Are you sure?” Officer Jones asks.

    “Quite sure. He died in the process of change,” Pamela answers. “See?”

    They all look and see a human leg and an arm beneath the water’s surface. The rest remained Draakar. Officer Jones pulls him from the water. The sight sends shivers down Samantha’s spine, but she also feels sad the he was unable to achieve his dying wish.  ‘Was he human or Draakar?’ she wonders.

    Officer Jones calls in to report the location of the body then they continue on to the barn. He tells them, “Inside there is one dead bibibia, and another which is hurt, maybe dying.”

    Concerned, Pamela asks, “One is hurt? How badly?”

   Officer Jones replies, “Don’t know.”

   They hurry inside the barn and find the dead bibibia with the injured one lying beside it. Samantha has never seen Pamela move so fast as she runs to the injured bibibia. Samantha stands speechless watching. Draakar are fierce looking creatures, more from a horror movie than a fairy tale, but the bibibia are beautiful. One is white with splashes of dark purple fading into lighter shades of lavender. The injured one is more maroon. Their wings appear too small to fly. 

    Samantha asks Pamela, “Is it bad?”

    Happily, Pamela says, “I don’t think so.”

    Officer Jones and Monroe gather around, and they all help the bibibia to his feet.

    “I was worried about taking him back, but he can walk. He’s going to be fine, but he’s not going to want to leave.”

    “Why not?” Officer Jones asks.

    Pamela sadly says, “That’s his wife.” She points to the dead bibibia.

    Samantha understands the different colors are male and female and feels her heart breaking.

   Outside some of the Finding yell, “They’re coming.”

   They all run outside and see three bibibia flying over then down between the tree tops over the bayou to land. Bob appears more at home on the giant bird and makes a perfect landing, but although Jesse is certainly no expert, he does not fall off. The Finding take Victor away after Jesse unties his noose, and though his dismount could use some work, he barely stumbles.   

    Samantha runs to Jesse, flings her arms around him, and they kiss. “Don’t do anything stupid, I said, and what do you do?  You fly off on a giant bird.” Samantha hugs and kisses him even more. “I  was so worried.”

    Jesse points to Bob, “It’s his fault. He took off. I had to make sure he was all right.” 

    Pamela and Bob shake their head, roll their eyes, and laugh.

    Jesse tells Bob, “You get me into trouble. I’m never going out with you, again!”

                                                                    The End

July 30, 2021 02:57

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'debss A
21:55 Aug 04, 2021

It was very engaging and I enjoyed it, but because it's a sci-fi story, you should add an appendix so we can understand the terms you use such as "bibibia" and "Draakar". If it's not a stand-alone story and you've included the appendix in one of the previous parts, you should consider the fact that some people may only be reading the Reedsy prompts for that week and may not see the appendix. But great job and I love the way you think and write.


John Meiners, Jr
22:25 Aug 04, 2021

Good idea. It is ongoing and Great race is twenty fifth story so you’re right. If reading it alone certainly won’t be familiar with Draakars and Bibibia. Thanks for nice comment.


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