both supple and resilient. They were the image of the dragon that lay slumbering back in the hall.
They passed overhead with a scream of engines that sent many people in the plaza diving to the ground.
Amy looked at the faces around her, ordinary men and women, but with absolutely no frame of reference for what they were seeing now. What must this all look like to them? The sound of the engines grew fainter as the ships headed downriver, but the danger had not passed. They must have turned, because the noise grew steadily louder again.
While the people gathered here might not entirely understand what they were seeing, they knew enough to be able to tell that the enemy had not left them. They shouted as they struggled with each other to get to the alcoves, the cellars, the places of shelter.
'What are they? Where have they come from?'
'It's Dant! Who else can it be? The beast in the hall
— these creatures look just like it! They've come to claim it back! They're going to kill us!' That, and the steady approach of the dragon-ships, sent the crowd into panic.
'Be quiet!' shouted the Teller. 'Calm down!' His voice rang out above the noise. He could still speak with authority and persuasiveness. People stopped panicking to listen to him. He pointed upwards.
'Dant? How can it be Dant? How could the people of Dant possibly have anything like that?'
'Who is it, then? We took the dragon from them! It has to be them! Who else would do this?'
The Teller opened his mouth to reply. 'Now, this should be worth hearing,' Amy muttered. But whatever he was about to say was sucked up in the scream of the engines. The dragon-ships were now directly overhead. Then they opened fire.
In the council chamber, the Regulator had turned the concave space of the dome into a huge screen, onto which it was projecting images of the events happening outside. The Doctor, Rory and Hilthe watched in horror as the two dragon-ships made their first pass over Geath.
'Doctor,' Hilthe said, 'what are these creatures?'
She had moderated her tone considerably, presumably having realised that making demands was not the best way to extract answers from this stranger. She got her reward.
'They're not creatures,' the Doctor explained.
'They're ships — vessels that can fly in the air.
This is a demonstration of power. The Regulators are trying to show how powerful they are in comparison to your people.' He turned angrily to the Regulator. 'That's right, isn't it? You want to scare them into handing over all the Enamour.'