Okay right, i noticed that if people see really long stories they don't even give it a chance, they just skip it thinking 'no way am i reading all of that!' don't worry people, i do excatly the same thing. So this is an extract of my really long story. If you like this little bit and you like it enough to wanna know what happens next and what happened before; to read the whole story (which is not finished yet despite it's length), then you can go ahead and read my whole Superior Species. If you like it just a little bit but not enough to read all of it then fine, can i ask that you leave a review on this extract saying that? If you totally hate it then fine as well, don't read the full story. Can i ask that you leave a review telling me if you hate it and possible reasons why, i can improve it for the people that do like it. Okay that was a very long rant so here you go, her it is. (Oh by the way the plot so far is that there's a girl disguised as a boy to become a draconight; a knight whith a dragon partner who defends the realm.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Her punishment was decided by a prehistoric old man; he looked as if he would crumble to dust if he were even so much as poked, his physical state did not affect the type of punishments he dished out though. "So we've got a troublemaking girly boy 'ere 'ave we?"

It was a rhetorical question Shanie knew, but she answered any way with a simple statement, "I'm not girly."

"Listen to me," the old man rose from behind his desk and prodded Shanie in the chest repeatedly to emphasize his point, "I'm the superior here, you will do what I tell you to do, you will do it when I tell you to do it, and you are what I tell you you are." He finished with an extra hard poke, "Now," he sneered, "Let's 'ave your name, offence and the teacher you was sent 'ere by and then you can get to work. And be sure, I'll be checkin' up so don't be tellin' no lies."

"Shane Portiner. I fell asleep and I don't know the teachers name."

The teacher stared at him disgustedly as if falling asleep were a federal offence and not knowing a teachers name meant the death penalty itself, "What group were you in?"

"I'm with the new draconight recruits." At this the old man allowed himself to laugh outright, "I'm tellin' ya," he said as if he were speaking to a close friend, "They're that desperate that they'll let anyone join nowadays. And seein' you is proof enough of that." He chuckled as he recorded it down, not noticing how Shanie's small fist clenched and unclenched at her sides. He pulled out a huge file and after banging it down on the table flicked through it. He stopped suddenly and stabbed a page with a gnarled finger, allowing him self yet another evil chuckle, "I think this one is right up the alley for a lazy, troublemaking Girly Boy. Ya can accompany Markom and his lads to help clean out the dragons keeps'." His sneering face turned up waiting for a cry of disgust or an expression of outrage. Instead Shanie stared back emotionlessly, she knew he was trying to faze her and she was not going to let it work. Thinking the boy was just slow to the uptake, the old man continued to include rather graphic details of what would be required of her; "Do ya know how big those beasties' excretion are? You'll be swimmin' in it by the end of today, interestin'ly it's not your usual brown either, more like puke green. Do ya know the type of things those lizards eat? I 'ope you come across some ribs or intestines left 'alf digested. You just think abou' that while you're havin' you're first- and I guarantee ya, not last- swimmin' lesson." His smirk turned into pursed lips of irritation as he still failed to get a reaction from Shanie, although inside her stomach was curling with revulsion. "Fine." He said more to him self than to her, trying to find something else to throw at her, "You can also do fifteen laps and a session in the training wing." Instead of looking for a reaction he knew he wouldn't get, this time he shouted through the doorway "Markom!" in a commanding voice.

A man in his early twenties appeared in the doorway, rubbing his whiskers he looked Shanie over, and then turned to the punisher, "What?" he said shortly and sharply, his voice emanating dislike toward him.

"Girly Boy 'ere wants to 'elp clean the dragons' keeps' then you're to send him over for fifteen laps and a training detail session."

The young man seemed to give him a long steely stare before answering no less coldly than before, "Got it." He looked at Shanie and then jerked his head, "Come on Kid." She followed obediently.

Out in the hallway Markom warmed up to Shanie; "So what did you do then? Kids who commit a serious enough offence to be sent to me on the first day usually just get booted straight away."

"I fell asleep."

"Is that it?" at Shanie's nod he went on, "Man, the Crone must have it in for you. Kids fall asleep all the time here; it's the training that takes it out of you. Taking a nap is like zero on the offensive scale. The Crone has given less for others who have done way more serious things."

"Crone?"

"Yeah, I saw you in there, you hate that guy; you'll fit right in. Have you really looked at him? He looks like an old witch; hence we all came up with the name Crone. Despite his looks he can be real brutal though."

Shanie grinned at his description and the newfound nickname of the punisher, "I guess I got lucky on both accounts."

"Hell you did. What's you're name Kid?"

"I'm not a kid."

"Okay so it's either Girly Boy or Kid, not a great choice."

"Shane." Shanie said her mood dampened slightly.

"That's more like it. You know for a Newbie you look pretty muscular but I can see where the Crone got you're nickname from, Girly Boy.

At this Shanie's dampened mood became soaking, "Look, you can call me Kid or Newbie or whatever but get this straight alright, I am in no way girly and I'm sick of assholes saying it. The last thing I need is people picking fights with me to test the theory."

Markom's grin faded at Shanie's unexpected response, he realized that he had struck a nerve, "Hey, look man, it was a joke. I'm sorry; really, I'll keep it to myself. Although that won't stop you from getting into fights, I guarantee you."

"What do you mean?" Shanie's momentary anger was put aside as curiosity struck.

So as Markom led Shanie through the winding hallways, they talked about what life was like to be a draconight in training.

Markom lad her away from the main body of the precincts to a never-ending lustrous green wilderness occupied by twenty or so crystal domes. They glistened with richness as the suns rays reflected off the bed of gold inside each dome. Here and there great green shadows stirred as mighty wings unfolded and silver taloned feet shifted, and so Shanie stood in awe. A creature of past time evil soared above, wings stretched wide at a perfectly acute angle to stay aloft and straight, they beat steadily and it kept its armed feet hugged to its body for perfect balance. As it wheeled in the air, changing course to fly straight at them, a force blasted through Shanie causing her to stagger for a moment. Markom a few feet in front of her seemed unfazed. She regained her composure in time to hear a light voice ring out inside her head, "Markom, how are you doing?"

"Fine," Shanie watched Markom shout at the dragon, "Where are the guys?"

"What?"

"Where are the guys?" Markom shouted with increased volume but the dragon still did not receive.

"Look out I'm coming down." The dragon's steady voice rang out as clear as if she were two meters or less in front of them. But the four hundred feet or so in the air that she was was nowhere near.

Rock-like scales somehow bent as the muscles underneath them changed pattern, getting ready for a dive.

Like a great eagle the carefully structured wings slackened and the mass of prehistoric ancestry hurtled towards the two tiny figures on the ground. At the last moment before impact like the billowing sails of a ship, the span of leathery wings were flung out once again to send the dragon gliding levelly over the two humans and landed a kilometer away in the open field. From there it turned on its heel and padded back to them.

"Who's you're new friend?" The dragon's voice was just as even and as loud as it had been when it was flying so far above them.

"This is Shane," Markom gave her what he probably thought was a hearty pat on the back; it was more like a thump. Markom caught Shanie's wince out of the corner of his eye, "Sorry mate."

The dragon gave what sounded like a chuckle, "You don't know your own strength Kom."

"How would you know how strong I am? You're a great big lizard, you've got three hundred times the amount of strength that I have so I don't think that you're theory there is quite accurate."

"Three hundred times is a hugely exaggerated number, we dragons aren't that strong, we can measure human strength quite easily, and let me tell you that you are a very strong man, you hurt nearly every one you meet."

"Please, a little thump like that did not hurt, it may have smarted a little, but it didn't hurt, right Shane?" Instead of waiting for an answer, Markom continued to berate the dragon, "And there is no way that you can say that I have hurt every one that I've met! I can name plenty of people that I know that I haven't hurt."

"Name one."

"Okay…, but hurting them emotionally doesn't count!" at the dragons nod of agreement he smirked, "You."

"I'm not a person."

"So, you're still a being that I know, and that I haven't hurt."

The dragon stretched a wing out revealing a large white patch near the spinal bone of the wing, at this Markom's shoulders drooped, "Well who did this then?" the dragon asked, knowing she had won their little argument, "I suppose you don't remember that huge tree trunk that speared my wing less than a month ago, I suppose you don't remember me telling you to just leave it, that I would get it out myself. But no, not you Almighty Markom, you insisted on yanking it out, and what did you do? You ripped my wing the other way! Now I've got to fly around with this huge clump of white cloth attached to my wing, not only making me look like a complete Wally, but also putting my whole flight navigational senses off balance!"

"That wasn't a tree trunk it was a tree branch." Markom said trying to find something to defend his weakening case.

"It doesn't matter," the dragon told him, "the point is that there are not many mortal men who could pull a tree branch of that size out of a dragon's hide-"

"It wasn't your hide it was you wing."

"Same thing."

"No it's not-"

"Well it's basically made out of the same stuff."

"No, it's completely different, that is just stretched flesh and scales,-" Markom pointed at the damaged wing.

"Will you let me finish a sentence?"

And the man and the dragon broke out into a debate aver whether a dragons hide was the same as its wing.

"I think that I would know, seen as I'm a dragon!"

"That makes absolutely no difference."

Oh right, well I guess you can feel the lack of difference between the two as well then? I'm glad we're agreed."

"We're not agreed, you have just made an invalid point and that does not settle this!"

"Excuse me?" Shanie attempted to intervene but her quite voice was inaudible against the now bellowing voice of the man and the ringing voice of his opposition.

"And how may I ask, is that an invalid argument?"

"S'cuse me?" Shanie raised her voice slightly but still there was no answer bar the ranting reply of Markom.

"Because you covered in scales, which means pretty much everything will feel the same."

"Hello." Shanie added even more volume and stated this rather than questioned it. Her lack of reply yet again left her feeling irritated.

"See, now you're just moving onto another subject because you know you were wrong."

"HEY, GUYS!"

The pair looked down at the tiny figure in astonishment.

"So it can speak." The dragon said seemingly to herself.

"It?" Shanie looked up at the toothy grin set in the scaly face, "Sorry mate, but since there are more people than dragons on this planet I think you would be the one referred to as 'it'."

"And it's one nothing to the little guy!" Markom said impressed as the dragon considered this for a moment then nodded its head in agreement.

"Look I'm kinda on the clock here so if I want to get any sleep tonight then I need to get this done quickly."

"Right." Markom said, "Do you know where the guys are?"

"Sure, they're in my dome." The pair acted as if the previous argument had never existed.

"Great." Markom said unenthusiastically. He shielded his eyes against the setting sun to catch sight of a distant dome.

"Need a lift?" the dragon asked them. Shanie's eyes widened and her pulse quickened, she would be riding her first dragon before the day was up!

"No," Markom replied glancing at Shanie, "Shane, here has got to do a couple of laps, the run over there should cover them, then all he's got left is the training session. They only last about an hour." Markom told the teary eyed Shanie.

"See you later," the dragon told Markom and with that Shanie was pulled into a sprint as she followed Markom's steady jog across the acres of field.