They had formed a phalanx, a solid wall of steel shields all emblazoned with the golden lion. A few more seconds and they lowered their spears as one. The Dothraki hoard below me went into a frenzy, their battle cries became shriller. I tightened my hands around Viserion’s red-tinted and scaly skin and he gave a reassuring screech, his wings beating faster. My eyes swept the sky for my sister and her mount. I spotted her due north at the centre of the horde, the massive Drogon shrieking endlessly as he bore her onwards. I’d always envied her control of the great beast, bigger as he was than both Viserion and Raeghar; wilder too. I never could ride him.
I urged Viserion on, my mind buzzing with slight irritation. We were supposed to ride in together. We’d decided that, decided it was better to centre the magnitude of the flames on the section guarding the barrels of food being moved out of High Garden. I called out to her as the wind whipped past my ears, and for a second, my vision was obstructed by the flying short crop of sleek, silver tresses that was my hair. I whipped it out of my face and shouted again.
The push of the wind in my direction drowned out my voice a second time as I called out to her. Soon we would hit the shield wall. I readied my mind to give the command. As we neared them, Daenerys descended to hover just above the heads of our forces. And then I heard it like a shrill pipe, her voice commanding the beast she was riding. And with a deafening roar, Drogon spat and the flames sprung forth, eating through the solid wall of Lannister steel. Screams rent the air and with a deafening crash, our two forces collided and the blitz began.
The clash of steel against steel, the screams of wounded men, the smell of scorching flesh – it was an all-too-familiar scene. Almost involuntarily, I smiled to myself.
The smoke was beginning to wave towards me. Soon Daenerys’ flying silver hair was all I could see as Drogon’s leathery wings beat powerfully. There was a sort of grace about the flames as they wove around like fiendfyre seeking out our enemies and reducing them to charred flesh and dying screams. I leaned forward on Viserion and urged him on, and his great wings beat harder in response, carrying us faster towards the fray. Below, the eerie battle cries of the Dothraki became mixed with shrieks of horror and pain. Agony beyond description.
Steering Viserion north, I cried out in the tongue the beast had come to master.
The rumbling in his belly grew more jarring, and with a blinding flash, the flames spew forth, white-hot, searing the nippy air before my face, scorching the earth and throwing up debris as we moved. Arrows flew at me like a swarm of bees, striking with a million tiny steel clinks on Viserion’s scales. Turning in the direction of the offending archers, I called out again and Viserion roared, his scales bristling as he scorched the earth beneath him, intensifying the screams that already filled the air. I drove him on, over explosions rocking the earth as barrels of oil spilled from the burning carriages. I heard a particularly loud cry somewhere beyond the smoke as Drogon screeched furiously. His burgundy-tinted kin beneath me returned the cry as he swept the earth with flames, the sun glinting off his scales.
Then a second inhuman screech, different and filled with agony, tore through me like a blade. Viserion reared in mid air, tossing his great head like a restless palomino.
I’d never heard the beast cry out like that. Whipping around, I searched the skies for my sister, for the great sable dragon that was her mount. She was nowhere to be found. As impossible as it was, that could only mean one thing.
My eyes flew to the lake due north and locked on a scene that stopped my heart. My startled gaze had locked on the dark mass writhing against a rock, splashing the waves of the lake and screeching as a tiny figure pulled at something at its side, oblivious to the coming danger.
Pulling on Viserion’s scales, I called out to my sister a third time. My heart seemed to drop as I steered. Unable to look away from the scene I surely wouldn’t reach in time, I called frantically again.
And then, she looked up.
Written by Kainene