Dozer growled again before trotting off to assert his authority on the approaching mail truck. David closed his eyes. It wasn’t so hot in the shade. It would be some time before his grandfather finished up in the shop for the day, so he had some time to enjoy his current lack of responsibility.
Dozer barked one last time after the retreating mail truck and smugly turned back to the house. His victory was short lived as another foe loomed over the yard. His rapid barks brought his master from his work in the barn. David opened his eyes and gaped in shock. A ship was coming to land by the corrals. Not an airplane but an actual ship. At first glance it looked like the Spanish galleon held inside the glass bottle on the living room shelf, but instead of masts and sails it had what appeared to be a blimp as its source of propulsion.
David expected it to crash into the ground but he heard a voice shouting orders and thrusters roared from the bottom of the ship, easing its descent and narrowly missing the pipe fence that separated the yard from the hay field. The horses bolted around their pen in fear at the noise. He ran down to join his grandfather as a gangplank was lowered.
“What…?” he began but his grandfather waved him off, a curious look of surprise and anticipation on his face. A woman dressed in trousers and knee high boots appeared and descended to the ground. A bandana held back her long auburn hair and she carried a saber around her waist. Her grey coat reminded David of an old confederate army jacket.
“I am Zoey Blackheart, captain of the Saltador, free trader, wanted criminal in three worlds, and champion of the Ankhali. And I need help,” the woman spoke. David’s grandfather pushed his hat up and rubbed his forehead.
“Well,” he said slowly. “That’s something you don’t hear every day.”