I love Temeraire but man, I really want to see how that world continues to develop with dragons. What happens when people start building airplanes? Do they even bother to build planes when they can just hop on a dragon? How do dragons influence the development of the American military-industrial complex? What do dragons think of the Internet? Is Temeraire still alive and posting selfies in his best jewelry please I need to know
Okay but am I the only one who has imagined dragons *in planes*. Dragons want to go over the sea too, and ships are awful and take months to get anywhere. Planes with a section in the back for one or two little courier-weights. Planes with reinforced sections for baby dragons. Giant, giant carrier-planes for larger dragons.
Dragons hate planes. It is a Fact. They whine so, so much about flying without wings.
(Dragons going through Customs, guys.)
Whoa, you’re right–the most sensible solution for all concerned would be to have shipping switch over to airmailing small dragons, who could finish many of the final hops sending people/goods to last-stop distribution centers.
what about humans in hangliders and squirrel suits? a talented hanglider guy can coast around for ages. then a small dragon could tow them higher, or a middleweight dragon could simply be landed on. the humans would have to get the hang of dealing with the turbulence from enormous flapping wings, but if they wiped out the dragon could just grab them.
the tactical advantages in dragon combat are obvious: instead of forcing the enormous and expensive dragons into direct combat, their boarding teams would glide at each other from a distance. if they miss, they just spiral down rather than falling to their death, unless encountered by an enemy glider with a big ripping hook or swatted by the enemy dragon. the human combatants can then continue the fight on the ground, or sit tight and radio for extraction.
i’d equip a human boarder with a pistol, sticky explosives, a compass, a map of the area, and a big sickle-bladed grappling hook on a chain, for either grabbing on to a dragon’s hide or slicing through an enemy’s glider fabric. the trick would be to make something that caught in hide but went right through a glider, since you’d want to stick to the dragon, but not a plummeting enemy. i suppose it could be detachable at the chain…. then again, if you have a pistol, you might just want to shoot your gliding enemies directly.
the explosives could be as simple as tape and a stick of dynamite, if it’s early 19-20 stuff. glider over, hook on wherever you can, tape the dynamite down while shooting whoever you can, and dive away before it blows. later plastic explosives could be made even stickier and harder to peel off, with remote detonators, so you could just brush by, throw it down, fly off, and then blow it.
THESE WOULD PROBABLY BE THIS AU’S FIRST “FLYING ACES,” LIKE HOW WE REALLY ROMANTICIZED THE FIRST FIGHTER PILOTS FOR A WHILE THERE?
THERE’D BE THIS PERIOD OF TIME WHERE EVERYBODY DOING THIS WOULD LIKELY BE PRETTY BAD AT IT, SO THE PEOPLE GOOD AT IT COULD JUST FUCK SHIT UP *EXTREMELY* AND GET RLY FAMOUS