Kirin reached for the whistle that hung around her neck. When she blew it, a dark shape appeared in the sky. Kirin heard Natasa's intake of breath.
"Bend your knees," she suggested as the creature hurtled toward them. The force of the heliosaur's landing sent Natasa stumbling back, and Kirin reached out a hand to steady her. "Meet my friend Noble."
Noble was easily three times Kirin's height, even perched on all fours, curious black eyes gazing down at them from the end of a long, swanlike neck. If swans had necks as big around as a person. And that person was a lumberjack.
Variegated wings stretched out from his foreshortened front limbs, almost like a bat's except for the feathers at the edges and tips. His hide was slate grey and leathery, with blue highlights in his feathers and the fleshy wattle under his chin.
"Go ahead," Kirin said to Natasa, who stretched out a tentative hand. Noble extended his neck, snuffling at the Wrecker with a beak as long as Kirin was tall.
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