She was perched on a large rock twenty feet from Bessemer, who was stripping great pieces of flesh from the body of an adolescent paralititan. Fifty feet from them, two large tyrannosaurs watched, their ugly black heads bobbing up and down as they shifted from one foot to the other.
“Piss off, you!” Bessemer shouted at them. “This is my lunch!”
“I don’t think that’s going to do it,” said Senta.
The steel dragon turned toward the two monsters and roared, a massive gout of flame shooting more than half the distance toward them. The dinosaurs roared back, but then turned and stalked off across the great field toward the herd of triceratops in the distance.
“I guess you showed them,” said Senta.
“It’s not the size of the dragon in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dragon.”
The young sorceress thought that his philosophy must be correct, as either one of the black and red predators was easily twice as big as the dragon. Then again, maybe it was the fire.
“You’re not frightened of them?”
“I used to be. I suppose if one actually got a hold of me, I’d be in for it. That’s not going to happen though. And when I get a little bigger, there’ll be no creature on this entire continent for me to fear.”
“There’s always the other one—Hissussisthiss.”
“Yes, there’s always him,” said Bessemer. “I wonder about him sometimes. He must be lonely with no other dragons around.”
“Are you? Lonely, I mean, with no other dragons around?”
“I’ve got you, don’t I?” He took another big bite of dinosaur meat and chewed it. “Someday I think I’ll meet other dragons. There are bound to be some around somewhere. Humans can’t have wiped them all out.”
“What makes you think it was humans?”
“You know it was,” he said. “You lot are always wiping out other creatures. Look at the stories. Rendrik of the North, and those other barbarians—they were out slaying dragons all the time.”
“I suppose,” said the girl.
“Maybe they are all gone. Maybe humans did kill them all off. Maybe it is just me and that great green brute.”
Senta just shrugged. She didn’t have any answers for herself; certainly none for the dragon.