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Redwing, Dragon Detective
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ISBN-10: 1-89484-141-7
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Fantasy/SF/Science Fiction
eBook Length: 98 Pages
Published: July 2005



From inside the flap

Dragons were living on Venus and were in their 63rd century of recorded civilization. (while mankind was still only in their 21st century). Even more incredible they were watching Earth television, absorbing our culture while creating their own. Follow the exploits of Redwing and his partner Grey Scream as they foil the bad guys in "Redwind, Dragon Detective"!

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Redwing, Dragon Detective
Dave Kuzminski
www.double-dragon-ebooks.com
reviewed by Barry Hunter

Many years ago, rather than face a final showdown with the humans on Earth, the dragons moved their entire civilization to Venus where it has flourished. But recently, it has come to the attention of the authorities that some of the criminal element has been traveling to Earth to obtain something that has been missing in their diet for too long.

Redwing is sent on a mission to Earth to execute any dragons he finds there and to keep his existence secret from mankind. Everything Redwing knows about Earth he learned from watching police dramas and movies on television. We all know that a flying, fire breathing dragon would be hard to hide, especially when Redwing takes out some of the local criminal element. Redwing ends up working with George and Wanda, two Secret Service agents who have been tracking the Second Street Raiders.

After Redwing saves George and Wanda from an ambush his presence becomes known and his picture on television makes his superiors on Venus aware of what’s going on, Redwing must do what he can to catch the rogue dragons before he is ordered home.

This is a fun read that shows Kuzminski’s versatility and knowledge of TV crime dramas. Pick this one up and enjoy a different sort of dragon tale.



Redwing, Dragon Detective (Excerpt)


Chapter One

It felt good to plop down on my stomach in an easy chair, let my wings flop loosely by my side, and just enjoy the programming. I couldn?t help myself. I had to watch TV in the evenings. It was addictive. Then again, I felt I deserved it after working as a detective on days that too often needed overtime.

Usually I?d tune into one of the Earth stations. Thank goodness, there was plenty of bleed-through from Earth broadcasts, even though I felt their equipment was primitive compared to ours. It was enough to make me glad that I lived in the Sixty-third Century. However, I could judge by their recent progress that they?d soon surpass us in technology, which was pretty amazing for humans who were in only their Twenty-first Century. After all, we didn?t have to invent so many things as humans did because we had greater strength and could already fly. In fact, that was partly why we left Earth centuries ago.

Fortunately, our bodies were rugged enough for us to migrate from Earth to withstand the rigors of Venus when our ancestors recognized the danger of two oh-so-different societies attempting to live on the same world in peace. It just wasn?t going to happen, especially when some of our worst criminals liked to pick on the humans and eat them just for the fun of it. Though we were bigger and far stronger, the humans outnumbered us greatly and they reproduced far faster. As well, they had already reached a level of technology that made it possible for them to defend themselves, as well as wage war upon us. If we hadn?t migrated, we could have been wiped out eventually, just like some of those criminals the humans caught and slaughtered.

Even so, it took several centuries for everyone to make the move. Consequently, some of the dragons, as humans call us, on Venus are a bit less fortunate in the ownership of land and such. Because of that, our society mirrors theirs in ways that the TV was now reflecting as humans slowly reached for the stars. Yeah, I watch TV for more than just entertainment. I also watch to see how humans are solving some of their problems in hopes of using those solutions in my job.

***

It was seven in the morning on a Friday. I dropped down out of the cloudy sky to the cloudy ground. At least, it would have appeared cloudy to a human. To me, it was just a mere veil of mist, enough to give everything a shimmering appearance. Then again, I had built-in radar and sonar to go along with my eyesight. Somewhere in my people’s evolution, we had developed those. Probably, the radar came about because we also breathed fire, which tended to block our normal vision. Our scientists still argue about how we managed to develop sonar. Suffice it to say, none of them know for certain, so I don?t let it bother me. I have it. I use it when I have the need. That’s good enough for me. Well, except when I get a cold.

I shook my wings once to disperse some of the moisture I picked up while flying. Then I folded my wings, lifted my tail, and walked to the precinct building entrance. My partner dropped down from the sky just as I reached the doorway.

"Wait up, Red!"

"Morning, Grey Scream. Ready to chew gum and kick ass?"

"Huh? Is that a new saying?"

"Never mind. Are you ready to get some work done?"

"Sure, I am. Have a good evening?"

"What was left of it after the overtime we pulled? Not hardly. How about you?"

"It was all right. I took the wife out dancing. You ought to think about getting married."

"Okay, I will. Think, that is."

Grey hesitated for a moment. Then his face broadened into a smile. "Oh, that’s got to be one of those Earth jokes you picked up."

"You?re catching on, Grey. Let’s see what the boss has for us today."

Our boss is Captain Sharp Fang. He’s a by-the-book cop. Stands by his officers, but doesn?t put up with any corruption. He?ll stomp down hard on anyone who so much as steals the aroma off an apple cart. Yeah, we?ve got apples here on Venus, though they?ve mutated slightly under the atmospheric pressure. By that, I mean to say that they grow on bushes instead of trees. Then again, a lot of things that grew on trees on Earth grow on bushes on Venus.

"Morning, Red, Grey," Captain Fang greeted us as we entered.

"Morning, Captain," Grey and I both answered.

I asked, "Got a case for us? You?re usually in your office."

"We just got a call from a merchant on the east end of town. Looks like he’s got a shoplifting problem," the Captain said.

"We?ll get on it," I said.

Grey already had his notebook out and was writing down the particulars. I went over to the armory room and signed for our official vehicle so we?d have a way to transport any criminals we apprehended. I knew that Grey would fill me in on the way to the scene. We had our routine down pat so we wasted virtually no time in taking a case. Within two minutes, we were in our hover vehicle heading for the east end.

We approached Mr. Dry Scales, the owner of Scales? Jewelry Market. He was still conducting an inventory to determine what he?d lost. He stopped his work when we reached him. "Are you with the police?"

"Yes, sir, we are. I?m Sergeant Redwing. This is my partner, Officer Grey Scream. Tell us what happened."

He looked us up and down for a moment as if convincing himself that we were police since we were in plain leathers. Only our neatness set us apart from some of the thugs that roamed the streets. He nodded when he saw our badges in our palms when we presented those a moment later. "Okay, I?m already certain I?ve sustained losses this morning. I just don?t know how much yet. I knew it was just too early in the day for anyone to be shopping. My regular customers generally don?t arrive until close to ten. However, I thought I was doing the guy a favor by letting him in so early."

"Just the facts, please," I said. "Can you describe the dragon you suspect of stealing from you?"

"Average build, blue eyes, very straight teeth, his wings were a bit ragged. That should have tipped me off that he was a ruffian up to no good."

"Any distinguishing marks?" I asked.

"Now that you mention it, I think he had a tattoo under his right wing. It was difficult to see it at the time. It was like he was trying to hide it."

"Can you describe what you saw of the tattoo?"

"It looked like part of a circle."

Grey looked at me with one of those oh-oh stares of his.

"That’s all?" I asked.

"I really didn?t get a very good look at it. I?m not even certain that’s what I saw. Is it important?"

"For now, anything that helps us find him and recover your goods is important. Can you give us a description of what you know was stolen?"

"Well, if you?re willing to wait another ten minutes, I can have a printout for you."

We both nodded and proceeded to wait while Mr. Scales finished his inventory. Within fifteen minutes, we were back at our vehicle with the list in our hands.

"If the thief has a circle tattoo, he could be a Planeteer," Grey said.

I knew immediately that my partner was right. The Planeteers are a bunch of space-faring dragons. There aren?t many of them, though. Traveling through space is an ordeal that only the most physically fit dragons are capable of handling. Some of them are honest, but a few aren?t. Regardless of which they might be, they often had a tattoo on them somewhere consisting of a circle. Each time they visited another planet, they were entitled by their own rules to add another circle.

You could say I got hooked on TV because of my work. I felt I needed to know something about Earth and monitor it in case any of the bad Planeteers ever took refuge there. I knew we couldn?t risk exposing ourselves to humans before they?re ready sociologically. After all, they still weren?t completely over the trauma of some of our people eating some of theirs not too many centuries ago.

"You going to ask the Captain to issue us teffies?" Grey asked.

Teffies are super slick, high velocity bullets. Normal bullets generally only stun dragons. Occasionally, a normal bullet can kill one of us if it hits a vulnerable area, but our built-in armor usually protects us against all but the shock of impact over the rest of our bodies. I knew that Grey was concerned that our suspect might try to run for Earth to hide, despite the fact that Earth was quarantined.

"No, I don?t see the need."

"What gets me is why he felt he had to steal. If he’s a Planeteer, he can pick up valuables on several of the other uninhabited worlds for trade."

"Maybe he needed the added thrill. That’s why most of them are Planeteers. We better get back to the office with this description. Then we?ll head out to question any Planeteers we can find."

I knew that Planeteers usually flew to other planets solely for the thrill. After all, except for Earth, the rest were mostly airless and that required careful planning. A dragon flying to one of those planets had to carry along an air tank to replenish the breath he held while in space so he could return home.

Even though Earth was quarantined against visits, I suspected some of our own technological advances were actually invented by humans. How else could we explain our possession of television receivers? It was certainly coincidental if both races invented it at about the same time. Of course, that was entirely possible. After all, it happened before with other inventions. On Earth, that is.

In fact, our TVs were good only for picking up Earth broadcasts. We didn?t broadcast any signals for fear of revealing our presence. After all, we numbered only a few million compared to the billions on Earth. Maybe it was paranoid of us, but we also knew that Earth people possessed more advanced weapons than ever before. We simply didn?t want to risk whether anyone on Earth still had bad feelings about us because of what some of our criminals once did. I feel fairly certain that I wouldn?t much care for any humans were they to eat my Aunt Smoothwing. Okay, I?d probably wouldn?t like it if they ate Uncle Redtoe, either, even though he’s a bum.

***