I'm buried deep in the editing of Dave Hooper 2 (The Last Temptation of Dave) and the writing of Dave Hooper 3 (unamed, so far) at the moment.
I need a little pick-me-up to stay at it, so thought I'd release a teaser into the wild.
The scene below comes from book 2. Dave and his Scooby Gang are flying across the US to a showdown with... well... I can't tell you. Spoilers.
But all you need to know is that by book 2 there are dragons in the air, causing a shut down of all non military aviation.
(I dips me lid to Orin for the very appropriate image below).
Extract. The Last Temptation of Dave.
"What is it?" asked Boylan, finally becoming animated as he synced back to reality. "Is it dragons, Dave is that what it is? Because I'm not ready for dragons. I prepared myself for giant pig demons and carnivorous monster dogs. Not dragons. Not on a plane. I can't do dragons on a plane, Dave."
"I think it's dragons," Dave confirmed. "Look."
And soon almost everyone was pressed up against the windows on that side of the plane, either shielding their eyes from the sun and staring out of the window next to their seat, or moving seats to do so. Everyone except Emmeline, who remained asleep, and Compton who had followed the instructions to strap himself in and was now craning around, looking very unhappy with his travelling companions.
It took a few seconds to find the aircraft against the background of the mountain range.
"Over there, near those lakes," said Igor, and Dave had them. Two bright geometric shapes, metallic flashes picked out in the morning sun, moving impossibly fast and straight amidst the visual clutter and chaos of forest and rock.
The Super Hornet, an arrowhead of the Gods, left the Warthog behind. Dave tracked its flight path for a moment then extended ahead a few miles, squinting with the effort to pick out whatever they were chasing. It didn't take very long; a plume of bright orange fire lit up the tree line well ahead of the fighter.
From this distance the torrents of beast-fire looked a trifling thing, like a barbecue flaring up in someone's backyard. And yet he knew that the arc of super-heated bile could reach out the length of a city block and was hot enough to crack rocks and melt sand into glass. Trees would be exploding down there, their sap flash boiling to vapor, detonating like a string of bombs dropped on the side of the mountain.
The Boeing turned in its holding position and they lost sight of the creature. Everyone hurried to the other side of the plane.
"Oh come on now," shouted Compton, still firmly strapped in, but nobody was paying attention. Even Joy had found herself a spot to view the battle from down near her station at the rear of the plane. Dave ended up crouched next to Heath who didn't need any superpowers to find the creature again, or the two human aircraft screaming towards it.
"At 10 o'clock," he said, pointing into the middle distance, where Dave saw the flying tank they called the Warthog and, by extending its flight path, the Super Hornet. It seemed that the very moment he locked eyes on the jet fighter, twin puffs of smoke appeared under her wings, as two small points of light appeared to detach themselves and speed away.
“AMRAAMs?" said Dave.
He’d read that in a Tom Clancy book.
Heath didn't turn away from the window and neither did Dave, but he sensed the officer nodding. "Heat seekers," he said. "Air-to-air. Pilot must've got tone. We'll see soon enough."
It did not take long. To Dave's untutored eyes, as quick as the jet was traveling, the missiles seemed to move away at two or three times its speed. He followed the burn trail all the way down to the slowly circling figure of the dragon. It must've been miles away, but he was certain he could see the great leathery wings as they flapped slowly carrying the monster across the forest canopy. It was possible, he thought, that he could even make out the great tail, although he had no hope of picking out details like the giant spikes at the end, with which a dragon could impale up to two or three Hunn warriors with one vicious swipe. He wondered how much detail the others could make out, but none of them were complaining.
“Praise God and pass the ammunition,” said Zach, just before twin explosions bloomed silently around the Dragon. Dave flinched, expecting to hear its death shriek, but of course he never would. It was miles away and they were safely sheltered within the insulating steel and glass tube of the Boeing. When the fire died away there was nothing to see. It was gone, but the A-10 pressed on anyway, and after a moment Dave saw long, fluorescent strands of light reach out from the tip of the plane to rake at the mountainside where, he presumed, the Dragon had fallen. The pilot poured on the heat for at least ten seconds, and fired rockets that followed the line of tracer fire into the burning forest.
"Nothing left of that sucker but loose meat," said Igor, standing up and returning to his seat. And indeed there seemed to be little left to see. The two aircraft were returning, and Dave lost sight of them as the Boeing came around to resume its original heading.