Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Quest for Verdisc (part 5)

"It's a gigantic snake thing!" Cried Marcus.
A small clap was made several times and then there was a loud ding. A piece of paper fell from the slot in the Mechanical Wizards chest, and quickly became damp and mushy, the fresh ink running. Had anybody got there in time, they would have noticed it read, "That is a bad description, Master Marcus. I would suggest that you choose another adjective, and improve the term 'snake thing'."
Davelron was a Master of the Seas, he knew what he was doing. His legs stretched, and his mind on the task, he leapt onto the raised platform, rushing behind the wheel, and threw several lumps of coal into the fire. He grabbed the rip cord and ripped it forwards. The fans spun faster, the turbines increased, and the twin exhausts spouted flames, which flared in the falling rain. "On three!" He cried in English, before following it with, "Nye! Mbini! Ntathu!" He cried in Xhosa, the adopted language of the Nautia's. It was a strange language to hear, with a mixture of clicks and different sounds, and if it hadn't been for the fact that he'd then shouted, "Battlestations!" the two children wouldn't have known when three was called.
They spun handles on side of the cannons, that spun the barrels, and that fired the lead balls at the serpent. It was like a Pin Backed Toad being let loose in a Breath Sack shop. Pop pop pop pop pop.
Great splatters of green reptile blood splashed them, but it didn't stop the gigantic snake thing. It surged forwards, but Davelron anticipated this, and pulled the boat back. He pressed down on the pedal before the wheel and then spun the wheel, the new tracks clicking into place and the sails beneath the boat twisting. The boat spun with a rotation of the wheel and the two children no longer were facing the serpent, but instead the open sea. That didn't stop them from spinning around and running towards Davleron, who cried, "Brace yourselves!"
He pulled the rip cord and the boat raced forwards, leaving a froth in it's wake. He released his pedal and tugged the wheel, the boat bracing itself for an oncoming wave. He braced the engine again, and increased the speed, racing the vessel faster. It surged across the ocean, and Davelron screamed, "To the side cannons!" In Xhosa.
Marcus and Emilia stared at him, bemused.
"The side cannons!" He demanded.
They raced to the cannons, loading larger lead balls and then aiming it. Emilia took a flaming baton from the side of the shed like entrance to the lower decks and lit the fuse protruding from the cannon. The fuse began to raced down, and Emilia braced herself. The cannonball exploded out, just as the Serpent blasted out of the water, smashing it in the middle of it's chest. The Serpent howled, and another ball hit the chest from Marcus' cannon. "Mechanical Wizard! With me now! You two, to the wheel."
Marcus and Emilia began to run towards the raised platform, whilst Davelron turned to the Serpent, which was retreating. "I am First Mate Octavius Davelron!" He cried, in English, "You are a gigantic snake thing!" He grabbed the end of his Trident, still in the wheel, then cried something terrible in Xhosa, followed by, "I am a Trident Holder! Avast!!!!" He leapt over the fans, followed by the Mechanical Wizard, with his Trident outstretched. The Serpent, as Davelron suspected, wasn't retreating. It was taking a run up.
It surged towards the ship, all 20 foot of it, with it's body outstretched. Davelron landed on it's back, rolling to a halt about halfway down.  The Mechanical Wizard followed his lead. Waves hit them, but the upturned collars of Davelron's coat protected him. Davelron raced forward, across the scaly back, not slimy, merely wet. He slammed his trident down, and three large holes appeared in the Serpents back, blood oozing out. The Mechanical Wizard followed him, firing blasts of bottled magic into the wounds. They raced forwards across the 20 foot of Serpent, until they got to the head.
The Serpent ignored their pattering feet, or Davelron's feet and the MW's walking utensils, spending all it's intention on the boat ahead. Either Marcus or Emilia had found the the rip cord, because flames exploded out of the exhaust and the boat accelerated. "Spin her around!" Davelron cried.
Someone must have heard, because the familiar click of the sail track clicking into place sounded, and the boat soon spun around. Davelron grinned, then shouted, "Pull the lever at the front!"
Emilia raced around the shed and towards the front of the boat, grabbing a lever and yanking it. Behind her, the sound of the fans reversing could be heard. The lever caused a plank to extend over the masthead, and a roll of carpet extended over the edge. Davelron raced forwards and stabbed the three points of the Trident into the head of the Serpent, leaping forwards onto the extended plank, rolling onto the deck. The Mechanical Wizard followed, jumping and spinning in midair, extending it's operating utensils and blasting energy into the dying head of the Serpent. As the Mechanical Wizard bounced onto the deck and the gigantic snake thing slumped beneath the waves, Davelron led Emilia to join her brother. "Who are you?"
"I'm Marcus, and this is my sister Emilia." Marcus explained. "We're currently under the care of Thaddeus Mist."
"Thaddeus Mist!" Davelron exclaimed. "Whyever didn't you say?"
"You didn't really give us a chance."
"Good point. I've got to say, Thaddeus has always been a great man. He helped to design this boat."
"That'd explain why he sent us here."
"Yes it would. But why are you coming here at all?"
They explained to him how they'd been sent to convey a message to their Uncle Demetrius, after the spectres invaded Vincent. Octavius Davelron listened to the store and smiled. "Thaddeus Mist is a great man. I would be honoured to assist you in anyway I can." He offered his hands to both. "Welcome to the crew of the Black Addison."

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