Li'tra gazed down from her balcony at the Iminenira Palace, her golden-red hair stirred slightly by the wind. Her somewhat simple garments (a dress fringed by a silvery boarder that was made from a single piece of cloth) did nothing to diminish her natural beauty. The second of the three suns was setting, dusting the horizon a deep crimson red and casting the buildings of the city of Iminenira into a ruby-red hue, like so many jewels set amongst the desert.

However, this was not the object of the young si'mi's, or lady warrior's, attention. No, her attention was on her thoughts, which had been rather troubled of late, especially since there had been rumors of war for the past few months.

A tiny chirp resounded, and Li'tra turned around and saw her dragon familiar, Wadjet, beating the air furiously with her slightly diminished wings.

Wadjet was a bit of an enigma; nobody was quite sure which species of dragon she belonged to. Her head was adorned by a single large crest extending to about foot long, which was coupled by two smaller horns on either side of her head. Her long, swan-like neck was covered in thick little plates that acted as highly effective armor, and they also tended to bristle out, giving the appearance of spikes. Her tiny mouth was equipped by a set of poisonous fangs, each of them nearly three inches long.

Despite her strangeness, Li'tra adored Wadjet. The two of them had been combat partners since Li'tra could hold a weapon and swing it. And now that war was apparently in the cards, all those years of practicing would probably come in handy.

"Hello, aibou," greeted Li'tra as Wadjet took her usual perch on her master's shoulder. Wadjet squeaked in reply, wrapping her sinuous body around Li'tra's neck, thrumming softly.

"Si'mi Li'tra!" Li'tra turned about swiftly, Wadjet chirping and squealing in dismay. A palace guard stood before them, looking just a bit more than disheveled, a large cut on his right arm.

"What's going on?" demanded Li'tra. Wadjet coupled in with a hiss, her amber cat-eyes glowing softly.

"It's the Anacidans; they've sent in one of their raid teams," answered the guard.

Not this again, thought Li'tra. Aloud, she said to the guard, "Stay here, I'll take care of it." Wadjet chirped in agreement. The guard nodded and stood out of the way as Li'tra grabbed her scythe and raced down a flight of stairs that led to the main reception hall, Wadjet gliding along behind her.

It was mayhem back in the city. Li'tra couldn't understand how she couldn't have noticed the sounds that usually accompanied a raid. Sure, she had sensed something, but...

Suddenly, an Anacidan horseman rushed by, a javelin in hand, his country's colors (red and black) adorning not only his armor, but also his horse's. Li'tra raised her scythe, slicing the horseman's armor easily with a single swing. Li'tra didn't even wait to see if her target was dead; she ran on, right into the town square, at the heart of the fighting.

The once peaceful, serene plaza was wrought with fighting. Citizens, armed with little more than cheap daggers, were attempting to take down around a hundred Anacidan warriors, at least half of them on horseback.

Li'tra looked down and saw that Wadjet had landed, her neck armor bristling, her fangs bared. It didn't alarm her; Wadjet had done it several times before, and what usually followed tended to bring the desired results.

"Go ahead, Wadjet," said Li'tra blithely, leaning a bit on her scythe. Not a second after, Wadjet began to emit a bright light as her body transformed into her "true form", as Li'tra had heard some subjects call it. In any case, the Anacidans stopped in their tracks, wondering who their new opponent was.

The light faded, and now, Wadjet stood on four strong yet lean legs, her tail swishing around behind her. Wadjet's wings had grown to nearly eight times their usual length and height. And instead of an innocent, questioning squeak was now a deafening roar that shook the building on their foundations. The citizens cheered, even as they headed for cover, mindful of what was going to happen.

For a second, the Anacidans stood there, numbly, for they hadn't seen an Iminerian dragon before, let alone any kind of dragon.

Suddenly, one particularly brave (and foolish) warrior rushed forward, scimitar raised high in the air. Wadjet turned slightly, bringing her tail forward like a lasso, easily knocking over the single challenger like a grain of sand. The rest of the raiding party rushed forward, but to no avail. Li'tra and Wadjet were like a two-man army, leaving what remained of the Anacidans to flee back into the desert on the boarders of the city.

"Well, that was fun, eh?" asked Li'tra cheerfully when it was all said and done. Wadjet answered with an affirming grunt, nodding her great head up and down, just like a human.

"That's it for today, I suppose," said Li'tra in a bored way, examining her weapon with a dulled interest. "How much do you wanna bet they'll come back again tomorrow?"

Wadjet raised her five-toed forefoot and presented Li'tra with three claws; by which she meant that she was putting approximately three shares of whatever they were having for dinner the next night on a bid.

"Alright, then," said Li'tra with a grin. "Wanna go for a ride before we go home?"

Wadjet crouched, allowing Li'tra to climb onto her back. Bracing herself, Li'tra looked upwards as Wadjet leaped into the sky, her large wings propelling her farther into the clouds. The sun was winking out, its final daylight rays waving like a hand bidding farewell...

Author's Note: There are some references I'd better explain before I go on; Wadjetwas thename ofan Egyptian goddess, often depicted as a fire-spitting cobra with wings. And "aibou," is Japanese for "partner." I've long wanted to write a story featuring my version of Wadjet, seeing as I draw her so dang much. Anyway, I hope you liked it. Shalom!