Disasters were always a surprise, Dragos thought.
He raced through the bizarre forest, his heart pounding a thunderous rhythm in his ears. Branches of alien-looking foliage and creeping vines whipped his face and arms as he exploded through the tangled underbrush like a heat seeking missile.
Dragos had a wide-ranging vision, and he knew how to play a very long game. If he saw something coming, even if it took decades for the event to occur, he maneuvered to either avoid or confront it. Sometimes he chose to go to war, but when he did he always calculated the cost first.
Often in recent centuries, he employed his relatively new-fangled skill for politicking, and the dragon smiled cynically to himself as he treated with the smaller, weaker creatures around him.
They were all so eager to believe they were important, so credulous that he saw them as important too, and so remarkably easy to manipulate. Whereas, really, the most dangerous and important things about them were their strength in mass numbers and their ability to propagate at an alarming rate.
He didn’t call any of those things disasters. Those were situations that he handled, and he handled them well.
No, disasters were the something else entirely. Disasters were the small child suddenly gone missing, or the explosion in the face that took away vitally important chunks of memory.
Or his mate in danger.
That one. Disaster was too puny of a word for that one. That was an apocalypse waiting to happen, because if the dragon lost his mate he would not crumble meekly in some humble demise. No, he would set the whole world on fire and drag it down with him into the dark, and never care that it would destroy the other people he might have loved once.
Dragos castigated himself viciously. This was his fault. He should have known how bad the trouble would be from the moment it had appeared on their horizon. The warning signs had been there, but he had been too preoccupied to take proper note.
As soon as he had discovered that Death had come to Las Vegas, he should have grabbed Pia, turned on his heel, and gone home.
Death only appeared in person for the extraordinary events.
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