It was a dream, he knew that. Specifically it was a dream of summer. The air was warm, the grass soft under his back and high above him he could see the wyverns circling on the thermals. He pulled one hand out from behind his head, it was a child’s hand still so this was…a memory. Why was he dreaming of this?
He sat up because he was unlikely to learn anything just lying here and gazing at the sky, pleasant as that was. This was definitely a memory because he was back in Kartesholm and he must be under ten because Shrenger’s barn hadn’t yet succumbed to the hay fire. Fler Forest, the source of the thermals, glistened dark and green under the summer sun, unbroken from here to Immerkald. It was a clear, bright summer’s day like so many he remembered from his childhood, with the beginning of a heat haze on the southern horizon.
He stiffened. That wasn’t a heat haze that was smoke. For it to be looking like that the smoke had to be blowing towards him and so much smoke, the fire must be enormous. Why did he not remember a fire that big? Wait a minute, he could see dots moving high in the sky above and behind the smoke but they were too far away to see what they were.
This was a dream. He could have anything he wanted or needed. He felt a familiar weight in his hands and looked down to see his spyglass. Just what he needed. He lifted it to his eye with a grin, his boyhood self would have loved to have had this.
Through the spyglass the dots resolved into ridden dragons dumping water from supply canvases, presumably onto the flames below but not descending low enough to get burnt.
He woke up. The begemmed and enchanted armour he was wearing winked in the candle light but its imperative voice was silent for the moment. “Water dumping by dragons from a height. The dragons stay high enough not to get burnt and use the canvases we use for carrying supplies.”
“We could do that,” agreed his own dragon from behind his head.
“Well?” That silent challenge was from him to the normally incessant voice inside his head.
“You were right,” it agreed, reluctantly and slightly chastened. “This time focussing solely on the mission has endangered the mission. We should have turned aside days ago to deal with this fire. I shall try to be more flexible in future,” it paused, “and to pay more attention to your opinions.”