Here truly be there Dragons.
Two to be precise.
Dragons was also a very loose terminology. The skin was not even composed of scales. Indeed these beings were not even remotely reptilian though their appearance was gruesome almost to the point of inducing fear. Griff hadn't the opportunity for hesitation, the luxury of self doubt. Awkwardly the nearest figure turned, an excess of flabby tissue bound by a thick yellowish skin made even simple movement cumbersome.
"Hardly," spat Griff as he stepped forward and calmly embedded the strong blade deep into something that had all the apparent texture and density of whale blubber.

That was when the imagined resemblance to historical creatures was reinforced, as the injured animal, we are all basically animals, roared in despair. Dragon maybe because he revealed an immense gape, jaws that could sever limbs with greater ease than any Earth bound predator, even a Great White shark. That coupled with a thick hide and organs protected by copious layers of body fat no doubt helped compensate for the lack of agility.
At least he was right about the hands.
Earth bound?
The second figure extended an arm, reaching for an elaborate panel. Eager for a little communication no doubt, maybe a few friends with weapons. But the console was not designed for a single task even for speed of operation and dumpy arms were slow to react. Griff realised his mistake and rapidly slid the blood drenched alloy free. Then using his weight to increase the momentum arced the blade across to perform a simple amputation. Suddenly there was a realisation, Griff recognised these beings as Vallan, feared throughout the galaxy. Yet they were not exactly in their element, behind the controls of a fighting machine. A second momentous downward stroke cut deep and parted ribs of the cumbersome being, an action so strenuous it brought a sweat to Griff's forehead. At least it was a sufficient injury to cause gravity to toss the thing to the deck where a decisive blow to the head was possible.
Watching his colleague with little emotional reaction the remaining occupant of the small chamber questioned his attacker.
"If you are not from Alsaris, then where? You have their appearance."
"A blue green rock, way back across the galaxy. Somewhere you clearly should not have missed."
So, gripped by the night, Griff had clearly sunk deep into the realm of fantasy, science fiction. Amidst the stars anything would be possible, his soul perhaps even immortal.
So what was the point of making a mock whale meat shish kebab?
"You may have sneaked in, though I fail to imagine why, but you will not escape." The creature was remarkable relaxed for something skewered so deeply. Though the piercing had not achieved the required effect it was a sizeable wound and bled freely.
"I can't see you raising the alarm."
"It surprises me that you even have an understanding of our language, that you speak it so fluently is incredible. But what do you hope to gain? This is nothing more than an ancillary control station. If you wish to take command of the ship you have chosen the wrong location."
Another snippet of information, they were on a vessel of some kind, from the appearance of the lift shaft, rather a large one. So why had he started the adventure mid way through an epic?
Probably because he couldn't remember the beginning, after all we have a poor demented soul suffering from comprehensive amnesia.
Griff had almost incapacitated his opponent, breathing so difficult it made movement virtually impossible. But he needed to complete his intended task.
"Something to puzzle over on your way to the other side. I'm afraid it's time for lights out."
As the lifeless blob slid from his heavy duty seat Griff moved close to the equipment, running fingers over the surfaces at almost lightning speed causing lights to flash in ornate patterns. Something that was inevitably not going to escape the attention of others.
"Section eighteen. Respond."
The strangely metallic voice echoed around the small chamber, it seemed his antics although being noticed had not aroused too much suspicion. Griff looked at the blood stained uniforms, searching for evidence of rank. Strangely he recognised insignia.
"Thrall Kattock here, I am detecting a cascade failure of the seventeenth level energy containment protocol. Am attempting to compensate."
"Kattock? I do not know of you."
"I am not usually responsible for this level. I have traced the problem through the hardware to this station. The command Thrall has taken his minion to the conduit. They are attempting a by-pass."
"I do not understand why this malfunction has not shown on our station?"
"There may be a phase modulation or an overload pathway on your monitors." Clearly it was some dream, Griff appeared to be talking gibberish, meaningless strings of techno-speak words that had no derivation or logic in his world. Yet they had in the images of the night, as the invisible figure behind the voice seemed to accept them.
"Continue then, keep me informed."
"Yes sir." Griff's tone was almost condescending, he could quite easily have told the truth. Somehow a pitched battle deep inside an alien vessel did not seem entertaining.
It rapidly became apparent that there was a limit to what he could accomplish using the software technology at his disposal. However there appeared to be a quicker way. Pressing a finger onto each corner in turn popped off a face panel.
"Time for the necessary remodelling I think."
What seemed out of place to a mind where conscious thought was hovering in the background trying to make sense of images, was the way Griff performed electronic surgery. Simply squeezing wires between his fingers seemed to sever them. Resoldering, for want of an understandable simile proved just as easy. Touching delicate silicon pathways with single strand of excess wire for accuracy, destroyed or rerouted them. Almost as though Griff was his own tool.
Time seemed to have stopped, yet his elaborate manipulations must have taken more than a few minutes, then the panel was back in place. An appropriate moment for a little housework.
Griff labouriously hauled the two technicians in turn to the access shaft, struggling with immense weight. Eventually he managed to roll them both into the void. Briefly he returned to the relative safety of the chamber, he needed to use the communication panel before he left.
"The lead Thrall has been injured by a falling ceiling plate, we are assisting him to level twelve, to an aid station. This section will run automatically until a reserve crew is allocated."
"Have you solved the cascade problem?"
"All work has been carried out to my satisfaction."
"Very good. Inform me of the level of injury once you have had it assessed. It needs to be documented."
"Thank you, sir."
As Griff turned away he gave the silent speaker the single finger salute, an unseen gesture. Removal of lifeless shapes may have prevented discovery by casual glance, but the floor was almost swimming in a strange looking liquid, the severed arm had fallen out of sight. Alien blood. Mop and bucket? No, so Griff slipped back into the corridor. Thankfully the floor was so dark the thin layer of body fluid that had been dragged along with the carcasses was virtually invisible, it was impossible to see footprints, though obviously they were there. Briefly he looked into the dark shaft, the whale meat was not hanging just a few metres down on a ledge. Then he stepped onto a platform and rose through the vessel. Maybe he was more than a little relieved that it was still operational, it would have been dangerous to move towards another lift, as there was an ever increasing risk of detection. Level four and the lift halted. Swiftly Griff stepped off, just as an alert sounded and the flimsy metal that acted as a transporter descended at maximum velocity.
Clearly an authorised entry into the shaft had detected a blockage far below. That or blood had found its own level and oozed out into a corridor. That was the last scenario he wanted to envisage, because it might lead to the discovery of his handiwork.
Silence on his floor though, at least for that moment in time. The interconnecting door to the main corridor hissed open, three long strides and once again Griff had access to a weapons locker. Time for something more effective at a longer range, stealth was no longer the buzz word. Somehow he had to rise two more levels.
Why should that matter in a mere reverie? Yet the feeling, the knowledge was intense. Factual.
As he hurried along the metal passageway the repetitive pulse of the alarm became irritating. It was clearly a Vallan ship, no manual access corridors as the life forms were far too obese for anything so exhausting as climbing stairs. The lift was the only means of travelling between decks. No doubt each was now security locked and to by-pass the code would alert those who sat and watched. Yet although the blocked shaft was now of little use it did not take long to reach another. A slightly smaller carrier plate that failed to respond to an initial request to rise. Definitely on some form of serious alert then! Another chance to play with skilful fingers, to manually by-pass the lock out code. After all there was no other choice. Go for it!
Safe on the required level he moved away from the void, the lift corridor door automatically shut almost silently behind him.
Safe, ha!
An almost matching pair of figures waddled along the corridor like two legged hippopotami. Four bursts of laser fire later and there was no doubt as to the location of the intruder. Sensors instantly detected weapons use and an illuminated strip the whole length of the passage rippled red continually. Luckily that near the upper skin of the craft, far from technology and sensitive areas they were few patrols to stand in his way and no automatic defence corridors.
It didn't pay to let concentration lapse or get over confident. A laser burst seared along the passage wall at his side, slicing open the metal like paper. Griff turned, dropping down to one knee to return the compliment and popped a Vallan skull apart inside an ineffective defensive helmet.
"Two sections, then I'll be too close to the outer skin for them to use anything other than concussion blasts."
It was a strange type of dream as Griff was analysing his own actions. It puzzled his enquiring mind why he had not travelled those additional levels while he was in the first lift, but the reason escaped him.
But when you hurry to escape it is a little difficult to look behind you all the time.
Searing pain ripped through Griff's arm, causing him to drop his weapon. Backing into a recess, one hand wrapped tightly around his wound, he drew breath. Vision was becoming blurred, as if he was in mortal danger.
"We have you now, weasel. Do you want to step out and die swiftly or shall we creep up and wound you further? Perhaps you would like us to eat you alive? After all that is our nature."