I opened my eyes again and saw the red warrior below me as though he were running into battle with Queen Boudicca against the Romans. In that moment I felt the Queen's anger rushing through me as though I were there with her invoking Andraste to assist her and her people in the uprising against the sassenachs so very long ago. Her elite guard touched by the gods of the ancients, sent into a firey rage giving them strength beyond anything known to man poured forth ahead of her chariot as the Roman line ran to their certain deaths.
Snapping myself out of this vision, I again turned my attention to the battle below. I saw the large gun that I heard only moments earlier. I allowed myself to take in the entire scene below my position on the balcony of the laboratory. There were hundreds of soldiers all milling about with no sense of purpose. I saw a man laying on the ground just behind (the thing that had been) Hotspur - and a large kilted man standing over him. It was Dr. Mason on the ground! Yes - I was certain it was him, and there appeared to be blood coming from wounds somewhere in his head. I could not see clearly from here.
Then IT came into my view as I followed Hotspur's run. A large dragon. A very angry dragon hissing and tearing at this son of Cúchulainn, which Hotspur had become. I watched as they battled.
The Dragon Who Waits was waiting no more. His full rage was focused solely on one man.
Hotspur attempted to seize the Dragon by the neck; however, it has already grown too large for him to have any real effect. Hotspur hacked at the raking claws with his sword.
One, twice, the sword bounced off the dragon scales.
The two yelled, cursed, and tore at each other for a long while before the Dragon felt the sting of the large sword as it found purchase deep in his front foot. He roared and fire shot upwards in my direction. I fell backwards onto the stones of the balcony with the force of his pain and anger. When I pulled myself up again and returned to the battlement to look at the scene once again I saw Hotspur standing there dumbly looking at a broken sword - hilt still in his hand. The blade was still in the Dragon's foot. I heard the rumbling angry voice of the Dragon - though not aloud. It was in my mind.
"You WILL join me and bend to my will."
I saw the fierce red warrior smirk as he growled,
"Titim gan éirí ort. You hold no sway over anyone now, Beast. Least of all me."
And then he leaped toward the great powerful beast. Lieng's Dragon form was enormously strong despite the black pearl lying broken on the ground nearby. Where was his power coming from?
Suddenly I heard both of them yelling fiercely and in a flash the Dragon had flung Hotspur against the wall of the great fortress. Those of us nearby were helpless at this point to do anything to help our friend. His great red bulk fell to the ground and in one fail swoop the Dragon was on top of him. The cavalry sword laying at his side was broken, smashed, utterly useless. Then I felt, more than saw, the Dragon crush Hotspur's left leg with one step. Just as in the tales of old, the red man seemed to feel no pain as he remained in his Berzerkgegang. He continued cursing his enemy and attempting to rise up.
Cúchulainn and Boudicca must have been standing nearby him - keeping the rage in his blood. But despite that, it was clear to me that the massive beast was ready to come in for the kill.
The Dragon leaned forward to rip the life out of him along with his heart. I summoned my grandmother's voice to me; my father's voice.
It was my father that I first heard.
"Pick my sword up, mo nighean - the sword of your forefathers. Claidheamh Flath forged by the ancient chieftain, Simon of Oliver, himself.... Forged of the star iron found in the fields around his home in Aberdeenshire....This sword has protected our family from attacks and dangers at many times in the history of our clan...both from physical, human enemies, and fae or demon intruders."
I raised myself up on the battlement above them and shouted,
"Caisg caraid! Cion-omhaill!"
He did not seem to hear me. Louder I shouted again,
"Cion-omhaill! Cion-omhaill! Caisg caraid!"
He recognized the ancient Gælic of his name and came out of his rage long enough to turn his burning eyes in my direction. I saw questions and confusion there. And then suddenly recognition. At that moment I threw Claidheamh Flath, the Sword of the Chief, to him. His great hand caught it and despite his injuries, he jumped onto the Dragon - onto Lieng - as the beast swung his awful toothed mouth toward Hotspur's chest.
Hotspur could feel the cold iron of the Frasers in his hands and he knew that this would be the end of The Dragon Who Waits. He lifted his arms over his head an cleaved the mighty beast's head from his neck as he yelled,
"Titim gan éirí ort!!" May you fall and never rise up!!
Both men fell viloently to the ground. Hotspur was right back up stopping only a moment to see that the head was in fact severed from the dragon's body.
As he lept around still in his rage, longing to take more lives....the blood thirst still on him, I watched as Lieng began the transformation back into his first form. The man. The man he must have been 20 years ago. Small. Younger, but certainly showing the signs of one who has used dark magic for so long that part of his soul and body have been withered. He did not move. He was dead.
Suddenly I heard howling. Lieng was dead. I was certain. Where? What?
Then a chorus of howls...coming from the hills behind us.
Fuzzball! It had to be. And it sounds as though he has brought help.
My eye caught movement again below me. The kilted man came forward to look at Lieng and then seemed to be trying to calm Hotspur who was moving about enraged - killing the dazed soldiers around him. I heard him speaking to Hotspur in Gælic, but to no avail.
Then I felt my grandmother's hand on my shoulder.
"Child, you must always remember the spell for calming and the song of recall. These will serve you in times of dire need."
In as clear and strong a voice as I could summon, I began the Latin song
"Totus super ira mos iam vado , ex penitus ut externus , planto is sic. Totus super ira mos iam vado , ex penitus ut externus , planto is sic. Totus super ira mos iam vado , ex penitus ut externus , planto is sic."
Hotspur turned his face up in my direction. The rage was ceasing. I saw him drop Claidheamh Flath to the ground, and the pain began to show on his face. Suddenly he looked smaller, more like my friend. He seemed to form a twisted smile at me as he collapsed onto the stones his broken leg and torn body finally giving way. In seconds several of his men were there beside him, and I then climbed down to the ground to help as I could.
"Lieng is dead. Your mission has been accomplished, mo caraid. Now don't you die on me, ye great Irish ninny!"