This is a scene from Dragon Masters which I wrote in 2012. I recently decided to make it less of a political novel and focus it more on the dragons themselves. This small scene shows the developing personality of a baby dragon. Dread Naught is the only survivor of a clutch from the oldest dragon on the planet.
"They are our plows Hierophant. They help cut the ground swiftly and with different attachments, we can use them to weed between the rows, interplant, and pull other instruments."
"You mean they move by themselves?"
"They use steam to move the wheels, we have to control them. I wish I could find a way for the plows to do all the work, then I could sit at the end of the row and just wait with an ale in my hand!"
Erik the Viking laughed loudly along with several other people in the area.
The Hierophant did not laugh. "Do you have many of these..contraptions?"
"You mean many of the machines? We have about twelve, including the steam road cutter. They are our pride and joy. We have improved our village a hundred fold with these machines. We can afford to have huge feast days like this several times a year now."
"Erik, aren't you afraid of the pollution you cause with these? You must power them with coal or wood."
"Hierophant, the wood of the native Bangor tree burns cleanly and slowly. The ash drops into trays to be used in other places. We experimented with many different types of wood until we found one that worked well. We did not want our village covered in soot after all."
"That is ...imaginative."
"You are welcome to see one in action for yourself Hierophant, if you do not believe me."
The Hierophant turned away, "No I have seen enough here."
She returned to the tables and took a hard look around.
"Where is your Archon?" she said loudly.
The People fell silent and Erik came forward, looking the Hierophant straight in the eye.
"As the Elder of the village, I made him leave."
"LEAVE?" The Hierophant gasped. "You cannot make an Archon LEAVE a village, they are here to show you the way to LIVE! And you cannot be an Elder. You are too young. Where is the real Elder? Come, show yourself coward!"
A swift motion from the corner of her eye caused the Hierophant to retreat a step. Suddenly, dishes on the table went flying as Dread Naught landed on the table. He looked at the Hierophant with a terrible gleam in his eye.
"You're MEAN! You should go away now! Go away and don't come back until you can be NICE!"
The Hierophant backed away in horror.
"Harboring a Dragon! That is grounds for death! I will see all the women in this village whipped to shame, all the men chained like the traitorous animal you protect!"
Behind the ridge, the dragon Master tensed, but Sethembile grabbed his wing,
"no Master! You'll ruin it all! Please, stay here! Dread Naught wouldn't hurt anyone!"
Rumbling, the dragon settled back down again, very displeased and obviously fighting his own instincts to rescue the hatchling. The hatchling refused to move, his tail waving back and forth. He stared the Hierophant full in the eyes and raised his head in a dominance gesture.
The Hierophant turned and ran toward the carriage. For a long moment the Polemarch's face showed his reluctance to follow. Then his steps slowly took him back toward the Hierophants carriage. He held the Hierophants cloak crumpled in his arms, heedless of the damage he did it. The four other carriages followed the Hierophants, but not all of the Hierophants entourage went with them.
The hatchling sat down on the sturdy log table and looked at Erik the Viking, "I'm hungry!"