They couldn’t see me, or at least, they gave no indication they saw me. I lay prone on a low-hanging cloud over the volcano using a pair of binoculars to stare inside. It had circular caldera, but small, maybe thirty feet across. I had come up here because I never had a chance to stare into a volcano before. I had come far too close to one in Iceland, but that was an emergency.
I didn’t expect to see—but should’ve—two men in the caldera, right next to the lava. They were naked because of clothing’s combustibility, but their flesh remained untouched. They were of the Pyro clan, or as we storm riders liked to call them, hotheads.
And today they were at the bottom of a volcano practicing their art. They had wielded fire, jumped into the lava or hurled the molten earth at one another. But now, their more rigorous exercise complete, they blew smoke rings . . . using the volcano.
The crater belched forth another ring into the sky. I could see the air currents that kept the ring together, the wind circling around the smoke while simultaneously a current blew through the center in a torus.
“God, that’s cool.”