Monday, 21 July 2014

The Quest for Verdisc (part 6)

"First jobs first, me hearties!" Cried Davelron, tightening his jackets. "We rake the guns in."
"Yes, Sir." The two children chirped.
Davleron eyed them, angrily. "No. You say 'Aye, Aye Captain.' Understand?"
"Aye, Aye Captain!" Marcus and Emilia grinned. They raced off the raised deck, around the shed like shack to the front of the vessel. There were wheels with handles protruding from them beneath each cannon, which when turned caused the cannons to shrink down into the sides of the boat. They draped some cloths over them and then raced back to Davelron who was wrestling with the large ship wheel. "Right then, Marcus, raise the swings."
"Aye, Aye Captain!"
"And Emilia, grab a bundle from the cart and toss it in the burner."
Before Emilia could even question what any of that meant, a gigantic explosion tore through the air. Large balls of fire blasted into the sea, and smoke began to cloud the growing moon. The Castle of Vincent was a burning wreck of flames, but nobody had told the Spectres.
"Uncle Thaddeus!!!" Emilia screamed.
"Calm yourself child." Davelron said. "Get below deck now."
Marcus, who was taking it surprisingly well seeing he was the weaker of the two children, grabbed his sister and dragged her towards the door and down the steps to the hull. Davelron followed them, pulled the tarpaulin over the shed and then ducked down into the 'Gallery.' "Marcus, your sister is obviously useless at this moment, so batton down the hatches."
"The lever in the corner, lad!" Davelron roared, ripping his coat from his shoulders and throwing it onto the rack. Then he took his Trident and hung it on the wall, making his way towards the chair opposite where Emilia was sat. "Look at me, girl. Your uncle is an extremely clever man. And when I say extremely clever, I mean the cleverest man you'll ever have the good fortune to stumble across. And you know why I'm telling you that? Because it means he escaped. Blazing hell torrent! It was probably him that blew the place up. And that means he isn't dead! Do you understand that, Emilia?"
She nodded, not too convincingly.
"Good. Now I'll tell you what you need. Some lovely grub. Aye. You'll love some grub, so you will."
He raced to the cooking unit, grabbing a scrubbed pan and placing it under the tap. He spun a tap wheel which caused a test-tube to fill with water from the sea outside. Then he turned that tab back and turned another with let the water out into the brass pan. He slumped the pan onto one of two hobs and flicked on the gas smashing a flint down on another, which caused the gas to ignite. The water began to bubble slightly. Davelron rooted through the shelves and pulled a cloth bag out. He opened it and poured pasta into the boiling water, leaving it to boil whilst he went to another cupboard and took another bag and a vial of spices. He pulled the bag open and took the seaweed from it, dropping it into the pans along with the pasta. It began to simmer. Davelron took three non matching plates from beneath the worktop and threw them onto it, dishing up the pasta and seaweed unevenly. He took the vial of spice and shook it onto the plates, then throwing two of the three plates onto the round table. "Marcus, take a pew. Everyone dig in." Davelron took the third plate and jumped onto the sofa, using a pen knife to eat the crudely made dish.
"Excuse me, First Mate Davelron." Emilia asked.
"Aye? And call me Davelron. We're off duty."
"What are we meant to eat it with?"
"Oh!" Davelron exclaimed. "I forgot about that. Me and the crew always used to eat with our pen knives, rather than cutlery."
"Then what do you suggest?"
"You'll have to use your fingers. We'll get you some cutlery at the next port we stop at." He laughed a second then threw his empty plate, wolfed down in a couple of bites, and walked over to them. "If you don't mind, I'd like to take this opportunity to go through a crew meeting. It's what my old Captain would have done."
"Excuse me, Davelron." Marcus said. "But where have your old Captain and crew gone?"
"I wish I knew."  Davelron replied.
There was tickering of letters against paper and then a ding and everyone jumped in fright, having forgotten that the Mechanical Wizard had come down before them. Emilia went to the corner and took the sheet of paper, reading from it. "It says, 'I have slight psychic powers. Would you like me to find out?'"
"Yes." Davelron demanded, immediately.
Emilia nodded and flicked the Yes switch. There was a humming and then a portal of light appeared above the table. The light showed an image. The deck above, with four men on it. There was a collection of men, four in total. One was behind the wheel, barking orders. He was tall, valiant, with a coat similar to Davelron's, but his was decorated with medals. He held a trident, and looked out across the seas like he was the master of them. To his left was a man, crouched over a table, studying charts and maps, crying out 'correct the course!' or other genetical terms. In front of the shed were two more men, manning the guns and washing the decks. One, the one to the left fiddling with ropes, was small, with strong arms, laughing at something the other man had said. The other man was taller, and the spitting image of Davelron.
"Gaius!" Octavius Davelron cried. "He's my brother." It showed the four crew members again and Davelron identified them all. "My brother, Gunner Gaius Davelron." He said the other man at the front was, "Boatswain Zachary Forsooth." The man with the charts was, "Master George Izalathio."
And the man behind the wheel, "Captain Gregory Defaut. The Crew of the Black Addison." Davelron looked at Emilia and Marcus, adding, "The old crew of the Black Addison. Dogs the lot of them. But friends nonetheless."
The portal continued it's message when suddenly Master Izalathio pointed out something in the far distance. Marcus gasped. It was the first of the Fleet of Spectre Warships. They could see Defaut barking orders and the Black Addison began to make it's way towards the warships at full pace. Gunner Davleron was instructing Forsooth how to use the front spinning cannon, when suddenly something the portal didn't show caused the boat to violently rock to one side. Defaut spun the wheel, pulling the boat back under control, and Gunner Davelron began firing harder. A Spectre must have noticed them, however, as a smaller ship was making it's way. The cannons fired hard, but it was having no effect, the hooded theatrical mask wearing spectres kept charging towards them, and soon were onboard. Defaut whipped out his trident and began fighting but it had no effect. They had lost the battle. The spectres took the crew and jumped back into their small boat.
As the spectre ship disappeared towards Vincent, the Black Addison floated away, yet another, if not large, piece of sea debris. Until a hook grabbed the mast head and dragged it into port. And then Marcus and Emilia appeared, looking for escape.
The Mechanical Wizard took this moment to get rid of the portal. Davelron slumped back against the sofa. "My crew." He whispered. "My crew."
There were a few moments of silence, and then Davelron stood up, stamping his foot. "Mechanical Wizard, set course for the Permaline Recesses. We're going to need Demetrius Mist if we're going to slay the spectres and rescue Gaius."
Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Ding! "'Aye Aye Captain'" Emilia read.

To be continued...

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