July 12, 2013

Clockworks on the Island III

Hello! If you're reading this during July 2013, then I'm busy writing for NaNoWriMo! I'm also busy taking a class over this month, so I will be harder to reach. However, I have written a short story to be published over this month for you to enjoy. You'll find an update on things twice this month. Enjoy!

Backstory: Brecken is sent to Skull Island to fight in the resistance against the invading Armada. She meets Errol and does not want to befriend him. After meeting with Captain Avery, Brecken teaches Errol a few fighting skills and sends him to sleep.

"Fiona," Brecken called into the cave, smiling, "Never thought I'd see you again."
"I said that we'd meet." Fiona Parker twirled a lock of hair between her fingers. Small crabs scuttled across the cave floor, unwary of the explosions on the outside, "You camping out, too?"
"I need to get home," Brecken admitted, walking across the cave-room. She shot at larger crabs that tried to latch onto her ankles. Brecken sat down next to Fiona. Other people were in the cave, but they were sleeping.
"They fly at night," Fiona explained, "The poor souls." Fiona waved her hand, and a pan of water below a spit began to boil, "They're all mine, Avery says."
"That's nice," Brecken said. She knew Fiona to be the fiesty mix between a tried-and-true privateer and slightly spooky witchdoctor. Fiona hadn't ever been so sleep deprived, Brecken observed. Brecken heated her hands in the rising steam. She helped Fiona stir a pot of soup above the bubbling pan.
"We can't really afford the tavern's stuff," Fiona sighed, "We have enough money, but things happen, you know. Mikey, our navigator, sports bad limbs as of yet."
"That's why he's below?" Brecken asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Exactly."
"Your ship crashed recently," Brecken getured to a wheel in the corner of the cave. She kept shooting at the crabs.
"Yes, it did," Fiona mumured indifferently. Brecken looked towards the rest of the cave. Originally, members of the Red Claw had inhabited this space, but it seemed like since she rescued a local rat squirt that the crabs had fled elsewhere. From the rest of Fiona's crew, Brecken heard snoring. They were battered and beaten from combat, relishing what hours of sleep they could muster.
"I can go out tonight," Brecken offered, "I can sail a ship through the home ways."
"It's alright," Fiona murmured, "You left your crew behind, anyways."
"I have a friend," Brecken said, "An ample fighter, newer to the ranks." Brecken couldn't possibly imagine Errol, who had just learned to fight, out in the skies fighting the clockwork armada. She voiced ti anyways, "It would work out. I defeated six of them on my own." Fiona shrugged.
"It's your choice," she sighed, brushing back a lock of hair with a comb, "Do whatever doesn't get you killed."
"Then I stay and we both die," Brecken countered, "I was sent here to do this. There's plenty of shellfish." Blasting another crab into a corner, Brecken stood up and left the cave, stepping over the crabs which now turned away.
Skull Island evenings used to be some of Brecken 's favorites. The sand blew across the wharf and toppled over the island and into the air. The fish that swam in the reef near Fiona's cave glowed in the dark. Brecken held her boots in one hand, wading through the water barefoot. Hearing the screeches of her skarakeet, Brecken shook out her feet, one by one, and slipped her boots back on. Into the clearing came Errol, whose hands were scratched up from fending the bird off. The daggers were on his belt.
"Come on," Brecken sighed, gesturing with her hand. She walked onto the platform looking over the dock. On it, pirates fought clockwork soldiers that never got too close to the platform itself. An Armada galleon was docked in the central section of the docks. Brecken slid down the wooden banister, creeping through the fight. Neither a pirate nor a clockwork turned towards her. Errol sighed and tried to mimic what Brecken had done. He closed his eyes and felt a veil of shadow wash over him. He crept down the creaky stairs and through the battle, almost getting hit a few times. In time, he reached a bison-origin galleon, a fine piece of art made by bison braves. Gems made the figurehead glow. Pictures of windlanes and similar gems were pained on the sides. They didn't seem to have worn at all since Brecken had last sailed with Fiona. She expertly scaled a rope ladder and felt her own source of shadow disperse as she took the helm of the galleon. When she began to sail out, Errol had just barely flopped over on the deck. Brecken spun the wheel and watched the ship spin in the air around and towards the windlane. Peering over the side, Brecken noticed that ships were everywhere, from hulking galleons to creaking rafts. All were jam-packed with raging pirates and the occasional clockwork. Fewer Armada galleons traversed the skies, but those that did got through quite a bit of air before getting shot down. Few made it to the docks.
"Look, one made it!" Errol barked from down below, "We have to intercept the clockworks!" Brecken, from the corner of her peripherals, saw a horde of pirates charge.
"It'll be fine, Errol," Brecken grumbled, "Do me a favor and look out the sides." Errol darted to the side of the ship and coughed.
"This air is so dry," he complained. Brecken, from inside her coat, revealed a golden spyglass. She stalled the ship and walked on the deck. She winced and offered it.
"This belonged to my grandmother," Brecken warned, "Use it carefully." Errol wore the chain on the spyglass on his neck. Brecken returned to the wheel and started steering again. She wasn't as strong as the buccaneers on her crew who would have happily steered, but she managed. It was disorienting to hear no noise from below, just Errol's anxious steps and cannonfire.
"There's a port in Jonah Town, I heard," Errol noted, "Maybe we can stop there after a round of going through." Brecken sighed, making a puff of white in the evening air.
"If so," Brecken said, "Then we'll be too held up getting back out to be back on the Island before sundown. That's when things get dangerous."

"I know," Errol said in a sing-song tone, "As the Armada fleets grow, the opposition coming from Blood Shoals may be too much when we sail back." Brecken took her hands off of the wheel, staring back perplexed. Errol was right. Fiona had led them on a death mission.  

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