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HOME >> Product 0637 >> Prehensile Digits>>

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Prehensile Digits

Robert H. Cherny

Female dragons have come to earth to find a safe place to lay their eggs, protected from predation by males of their own kind. They need humans to care for the eggs, keep the hatchlings from killing each other, and protect them from rival males.

Unfortunately, before the dragons can leave their young in the humans’ care, humans must stop killing each other. In surprise lighting-swift raids, fifty fire-breathing female dragons invisible to radar quickly disable all the world’s air forces and navies, destroying any weapon that can threaten them.


Air shows featuring dragons and specially designed aerobatic aircraft become part of dragons’ propaganda, surveillance, and attitude-management techniques to keep humans obedient. The dragons halt the international wars, but civil strife and random bloodshed continue in the power vacuum the dragons created. Mass shootings, insurrections, and criminal enterprises thrive despite the dragons’ best efforts to control them. No population likes to be conquered, and even subjugated people fight among themselves.

Angry at having been abandoned, the male dragons arrive and attack human cities to demonstrate their worthiness to mate with the females hiding from them. Since the female dragons have left the human population without air defenses, the unarmed aerobatic teams rally to defend the cities and drive the male dragons to the females so they can mate.

After mating, the males are forced back to where they came from, a feat that would have been impossible without human interference. The female dragons leave the eggs with a team of young adults, many of whom are jet pilots, to care for the eggs until they hatch and keep the hatchlings from killing each other. These teams of young adults have been carefully matched to form pairs. Romance follows as expected. The teams accomplish their primary mission and travel to the dragons’ home planet to address a threat that imperils not only the dragons but all life on their planet.

The young adults rely on their creativity to solve the current threats while laying the groundwork for a sustainable future free of violence and random bloodshed.





54858 Words





Cover Art:

Robert H. Cherny


W. Richard St. James


Robert H. Cherny

ISBN Number:


Available Formats:

PDF; Palm (PDB); Nook, Iphone, Ipad, Android (EPUB); Older Kindle (MOBI); Newer Kindle (AZW3);




“Okay, ladies, it’s showtime.”

“Roger that!”

FOUR MIDNIGHT-BLACK AEROBATIC jets with gold markings roared in from the four cardinal compass points relative to the air show’s VIP viewing stand, traveling precisely at Mach 1.1. Tendrils of white smoke trailed from their wingtips and the tops of their rudders. No sooner had the sonic booms rippled across the runway than four charcoal gray dragons, moving at six hundred miles per hour, roared in with flames flowing out of their nostrils from the four ordinal compass points to complete the compass rose’s eight points. They banked left, showing the top sides of the aircraft, and the dragons’ backs, forming two concentric circles at predetermined distances from the show center. The dragons formed the inside circle, and the jets with their human pilots marked the circle’s exterior boundary. The jets slowed to below the speed of sound, and the dragons snuffed their flames. Still, the eight aerobats made an impressive sight as they spiraled tighter and tighter around the show center.

After three revolutions around the show center, the aerobats banked tightly toward the center, and when it appeared as if they would collide over the runway, they pitched up, climbing vertically toward the high thin layer of cirrus clouds that were too high to impact the show, but would provide the photographers on the ground beautifully textured backgrounds for their pictures. As the eight aerobats raced for the heavens, battling the clutches of gravity, the four jets kicked in their afterburners on a single command. Bright translucent blue cones of undulating ringed fire lit up the afternoon sky. Concussive rippling acoustic shockwaves emanated from the evenly spaced flames spreading across the airfield, reaching as far as the stubborn spectators beyond the fences, in boats out on the ocean, and lining the roadways across the lagoon, unwilling to enter the airport property for the free show.

Within seconds, the eight aerobats reached the apex of their ascent, cut the afterburners, and split once again to the compass rose’s eight points. As the aerobats spiraled downward, they divided into the teams that would dominate the rest of the show. In a diamond formation, the dragons crossed the show center perpendicular to the runway. Their wings beat so fast that they were a blur and seemed almost invisible like the dragon was simply a body hurtling through the air at three hundred miles an hour. The dragons flew so low that the wind from their passage caused the banners on the runway to flutter and the grass between the runways to ripple. Two jets approached from the right of the viewing stands. One was inverted over the other. Two other jets came from opposite ends of the runway, performing barrel rolls. They appeared to pass so near each other that they might collide, but they were well away from each other, and only parallax made the collision appear imminent.

The crowd that attended the airshow was predominantly male and included the most aggressive and militant members of the local male population. The marketing and promotion of these shows were designed to bring these men out from wherever they hid. Access to these men was critical to the success of the overall mission of which the air shows were only one aspect.

To further enhance the acoustic impact of the show, the jet pilots engaged the screamer devices embedded in the jet’s wings every time the aircraft approached the show center. The Germans had developed the screamers to terrorize the civilian populations that did not die in the repeated bombings. The current iteration of the screamers had been carefully tested so that their frequencies amplified the already high levels of male hormones generated by the hours of deafening engine noise from the dozens of aircraft that had participated in the show before the aerobatic jets arrived to headline it. The engine noises and the simulated strafing and bombing runs by historical aircraft that preceded the jets produced a massive testosterone rush among the male spectators. The spectators outside the fence were not out of range of this effect.

The overwhelming wash of male hormones overloaded the spectators’ nervous systems and made even the most aggressive among them malleable so they could accept the dragons’ mentally transmitted messages, ideally ending their opposition to the dragon’s occupation. The same hormonal responses that demagogues and warlords had used for centuries to motivate men to go to war were used to lock them so tightly in their internal battles that they were rendered powerless. The term “intellectual paralysis” assumed that the person had an intellect, but even no-minds like these guys succumbed to the phenomenon. Softening the male instincts for violence and destruction in the face of the dragon invasion was critical to avoiding further bloodshed. More than enough human blood had been shed in the recent wars. These airshows were only one aspect of this worldwide psychological campaign of forced pacification.

The female dragon that ostensibly flew “high cover” over the show had a second purpose. While she could not read human minds, she could “push” thoughts of pacification into human minds. Human females had been willing to accept the calming, soothing messages, but the human males had been recalcitrant, and other means to reach them had been required. Thus, the air shows. Police reports and other statistics demonstrated that the technique worked, but the effect rarely lasted more than six months. Still, gaining six months was better than nothing, and the toll on human lives was reduced somewhat.

The show with the midnight-black jets and the green dragons lasted half an hour and ended with another starburst like the one that had started the show, except that the sun had descended enough that the clouds had begun to take color, and the images the photographers collected were even more spectacular than they had been the first time the team had performed the starburst for this crowd.




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 Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Young adult, dragons, hatchlings, humans, aerobatic aircraft, human citirs, propaganda, surveillance

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