Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Disclaimer: I own nothing but Lt. McDermott and the plot. The rest belongs to either Dylan Thomas or Naomi Novik

This is a semi sequel, not an actual sequel to April 1811, as in, its a spin off, the events described will not necessarily play out.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay*,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas (Welsh poet)

*not in the homosexual sense. It originally meant happy or joyful, so bear that in mind if you read any books written pre 1960/1970.

Temeraire sat in the Dover covert and stared at the sea, turned brilliant orange by the last of the evening sunlight. He sighed deeply, as he thought how Laurence would have liked it. He was motionless as he stared out at the sea, one single tear trickling down his cheek. Any philosopher wondering whether dragons cry would have been presented with incontrovertible evidence that they did. It had been a year since the French had sent an assassin on dragon back, supposedly a turn coat, too take out the British high command. He had been armed with a bomb, a small one. Just before the meeting, Laurence saw the man preparing it, and attacked him. Laurence killed the assassin, but not before being mortally wounded himself.

Temeraire had carved a line in both Chinese and English on the headstone. It read: "Rage, rage against the dying of the light".

After the funeral, Temeraire announced he would fight, but never with a captain, never again. Any who attempted to persuade him otherwise found that the words died in their mouths when faced with the look in his eyes. Sorrowful, mysterious and above all...dangerous. So he did, until the end of the war. Lord Allendale (George, Laurence's elder brother), after much browbeating by his mother, had invested Laurence's remaining capital and some of his own into a trust fund for Temeraire and Emily's son by Laurence, Llewellyn (after the welsh king Llewellyn the last. When curious people asked why, Laurence and Emily said it had seemed appropriate at the time.).

Emily was being cared for jointly by Lady Allendale and Lieutenant Eoin McDermott. She was still grieving many years on, much like Temeraire himself. The last of the sun's light ebbed away, and Temeraire curled up in a heap, remembering, tears flowing freely now. Laurence in his naval captains uniform, Laurence swimming alongside him, Laurence reading to him at night, Laurence enjoying himself with Emily on the Allegiance...that last thought made Temeraire crease his face into a sad draconic smile...Laurence flying with him into battle, Laurence taking tea with Qian...the images flew by in a rush, and at last, Temeraire succumbed to sleeps tender embrace.

Many years later a man in his mid thirties walked through the graveyard. One inscription caught his eye. He walked back. He could just about make it out. "Rage, rage against the dying of the light" he said aloud, curiously. That night, he wrote the first version of possibly his most famous poem. He wondered who had written such a line. Alas, he never knew.

Laurence's legacy lives on, Temeraire thought, being read the poem by Llewellyn Laurence the third **. He smiled. His spirit was, at long last, at rest.

**companion as opposed to captain