Mariner's Canon: Supernova

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm

Chapter 22 (v.1) - Chapter 22

Submitted: June 25, 2018

Reads: 78

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Submitted: June 25, 2018

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Tetch drifted in space. At first he thought he was flying in the night sky, but he saw no land or ocean below him. He drifted through a black nothingness, but it was lit up with an infinite amount of speckles of light. Calm stars were glowing across galaxies. Tetch felt like he was floating, maybe even sinking, in water. He looked around the surrounding space and realized he couldn’t find any constellations, he didn’t recognize the order and placement of stars. He wasn’t viewing the stars from Earth’s point of view.

 

“Took you long enough,” Tetch heard a voice. It made his heart feel warm, but heavy with sadness at the same time. He knew that voice.

 

“Johnny?” Tetch asked in a hushed tone. He looked around, but still only saw stars.

 

“Whoa. You’ll actually say Johnny now? You’ve been avoiding it for so long.”

 

Tetch’s heart started to race. He suddenly felt a sort of gravity pull at him, and he started to fall, until he landed on his feet on a hard surface. He looked down to see it was like he was standing on a piece of clear glass in the middle of space.

 

“Johnny? Is that really you?” he asked again.

 

It was quiet again. Tetch turned around himself trying to see if anything else moved aside from the twinkling stars, until he spotted one of his katanas floating nearby. He realized he wasn’t wielding any of them, and that that was the only one close. He found himself walking towards it, and then took it in his hand. He knew it was one of his four, and it felt comfortable and balanced in his hand like it always did. He looked up from the blade and nearly jumped out of his skin.

 

Somebody was out in space with him now, and they stood just a foot away. Tetch swallowed as he gazed back at himself.

 

Tetch stared at his doppelganger for a long moment. He thought he was looking in a mirror or something at first, but the more he stared the more he realized it was another person standing there. But, something was different about this clone, like it wasn’t exactly his clone. The doppelganger seemed to sense Tetch’s distress, and his mouth slid into a sly grin.

 

“You need to get out of that cage. You’re just locking yourself in,” the doppelganger said.

 

“What do you- or - what do I mean?” Tetch asked. “Are you me?’

 

The doppelganger didn’t answer, but instead reached out a hand. Just to weird Tetch out more, the doppelganger grabbed a twinkling star, like it was a firefly.

 

“This power is much more than it looks.” The doppelganger observed the cool white light that glowed in his hand. He then looked up and regarded Tetch.

 

“Your heart is warm, your optimism bright,” the doppelganger told him. He gently took Tetch’s hand, and put the glowing orb into it. He closed Tetch’s fingers around it.

 

“Wielding it takes time, especially without someone who wields the same power to train you. But, you have strong friends and family, as well as powerful allies. You’re a natural, and your drive and dedication exceeds that of so many before you. You are a rare find,” the doppelganger said with a sort of reverence.

 

Tetch continued to look at this doppelganger’s face. The more he looked, the more he knew this person was not his clone. This doppelganger wasn’t a doppelganger at all.

 

“Uh, wait. There are others like me?” Tetch wondered.

 

The not-so-doppelganger smiled again. “At a time.”

 

Tetch didn’t know what that meant. He looked down at the glowing object in his hand. It felt lighter than a feather, and it was cool in his palm.

 

“The worlds need you,” the not-so-doppelganger said. “Break free of that place. You’re a pirate, one of the Affinity, and that is such a creative and hopeful concept. Being a member of that cause, traveling and exploring new places should be a thrill for you, anyway.”

 

Tetch felt his eyebrows furrow. “If you are me, which I don’t think you are, but if you are me, you should know that we don’t like riddles and cryptic messages.”

 

“No puedo decir mucho. Por eso es críptico,” the person said in fluent Spanish, just as Tetch would have.

 

“You can’t say much?” Tetch repeated back. He grunted. “You haven’t really said anything.”

 

“Hey, it’s your dream.”

 

*********

 

Tetch sat on the floor, leaning up against a cold stone wall, but wrapped up in an itchy yet warm wool blanket. Saka had his snout rested on Tetch’s knee, and his tail calmly swayed back and forth. Tetch absently scratched behind his dog’s ears, and stared down a long corridor dimly lit by little glowing orbs of light magic in glass bulbs mounted on the walls.

 

Kaizoku Stone was huge. It was a massive stone fortress completely hidden and covered by the ice of Antarctica. Hallways weaved this way and that, there were countless cannons peeking out of countless portholes throughout the outside walls of the fortress, and a platform way up on top the ice of the building that could view the surrounding waters for miles around. There was a dining hall that was so massive Tetch usually got lost walking from one table to the next. The docks were inside ice caves that were probably the biggest in the world, big enough to house fifty-four pirate vessels at once if it needed to. There were also enough quarters in the fortress for every pirate within the Affinity to get some rest.

 

Tetch had spent the past six hours in the medical wing fighting hypothermia, and was told as soon as he was well to head to the meeting room, which is where he sat outside of now. He was still freezing and his bare toes had a few black spots of frostbite on them, but he had to admit he felt much better.

 

The captains and some of the first mates of the Affinity had been in the room for almost three hours now, arguing about anything and everything. Gatherings such as these were meant for captains and first mates, not a regular pirate like him. Being instructed to attend this Gathering made him uneasy. It probably wasn’t the best sign.

 

Images and words spoken in his dream from when he was passed out in the medical wing lingered in his mind. He was used to warped memories and his mind playing tricks with whatever floated in his brain, but this dream was so much different. He probably should’ve considered it a nightmare, but it wasn’t freaking him out like a nightmare usually did. He was more curious than anything else. Where did all of that come from? Did his brain know more than he did?

 

As he thought to himself, he sensed something stir off to his right. The next moment, an arrow was flying towards him. Without much of a look, he caught the shaft of the arrow in his hand just a hair from his nose. It was glowing green.

 

“Nice try,” he smiled. He looked over to see Ix peeking around the corner of the hallway with her bow in her hand.

 

“Well, a green arrow couldn’t hurt,” she responded and headed down the hallway. She sat down on the floor next to him.

 

“I’m just cold now,” he told her. He handed the arrow back to her. “Save it.”

 

She looked like she was about to protest, but she put the arrow back in her quiver.

 

“So. . .” She started to say, “you took out a Shadow Craft.”

 

“Yeah. I’d say I’m pretty awesome.”

 

Ix laughed. “If you say so.”

 

“I know so.”

 

“Is that little feat proof you’re understanding how to control it?” Ix asked.

 

Tetch shrugged. “I think so. I still don’t fully understand it, but something kind of clicked. I didn’t realize before that it was something I could control like that, but now that I have controlled it, it seems natural in a weird unnatural way. It feels easier to direct it the right way now, but, one wrong move, I think it could still rage out of control. It could be bad.”

 

“As is a risk for anything that powerful,” she told him. “Luckily, that power is in the right hands.”

 

Tetch scoffed. “I don’t know about that. Why did it take me this long to realize I could control it like that?”

 

“You just needed a push,” she assured him. “Your power isn’t exactly the same as an Atmosian’s power, but I felt the same way once I took hold of this bow and my arrows. You just have to do it the right way once, and it already feels familiar to you. Maybe you don’t understand it yet, but it is a natural part of you.”

 

“I suppose blowing up stuff with a beam of light would be a natural thing,” Tetch joked.

 

“You know what I mean,” she gently laughed.

 

Tetch continued to stroke Saka, and the three sat quietly.

 

“By the way,” Ix said after a moment, “I’ve been meaning to ask. Your middle name is Jude?”

 

Tetch groaned. “Neptune’s boxers. I wish he didn’t announce that.”

 

“Hey, I was actually bringing it up to tell you I liked it,” she said as she nudged him. “It reminds me of something from my home.”

 

“Another sorry sap named Jude?”

 

“A song, actually.”

 

Tetch rolled his eyes. He then felt a little chill go through his spine, so he pulled his blanket in tighter. He burrowed in and shoved his hands into his pockets for more warmth. When he did, he felt a wad of cloth in one of them. He forgot about the creepy thing. He pulled it out. It was damp, but the blood kanji was still there, and it was definitely still creepy. He held it out to Ix.

 

“We’re kind of in the safest spot known to pirates, did you want that creepy blood note now?” he asked.

 

Ix eyed him cautiously. “Not really.”

 

She took it anyways. She gave Tetch one more look, and started to read the note. At first her expression was unreadable, but her breathing quickened. Her eyes darted across the cloth, like she couldn’t read it fast enough. She looked up at Tetch in disbelief when she finished. It looked like she was about to burst into tears, but she also looked bewildered and shocked.

 

“Tetch, this is all. . .” she trailed off.

 

“This is all what? What does it say?” Tetch eyed her.

 

Ix shook her head. She was about to say something else but the door to the meeting room burst open. Jengo was standing in the doorway.

 

“Come upanga kidogo, we have some things to discuss,” he said sullenly. He had a hardened expression.

 

Tetch stood from the ground, pulling his blanket in tighter. He wasn’t sure if he was shaking from being cold, or from being nervous about stepping into a room full of powerful pirate captains from all over the world.

 

“Can I bring my dog?” he asked in a small voice.

 

Jengo tried for a small smile. “Of course.”

 

Tetch walked towards Jengo with Saka close at his side, and the big guy put his hand on Tetch’s shoulder. Jengo gave him a comforting squeeze, and the small gesture made Tetch feel a little better.

 

Ix spoke from behind them. “I need to discuss. . . some things as well.”

 

She showed the cloth towards Jengo, then put it her own pocket.

 

Jengo nodded. “Come.”

 

Tetch entered the massive meeting room, and immediately felt about seventy-five pairs of eyes fall upon him. A few pirates were arguing with each other in the corner of the room, but grew quiet as they turned their attention to Tetch. The room was dimly lit and had one massive table in the middle. About forty captains of the Affinity sat around it, with their first mates gathered around behind them. Nobody said one word.

 

Tetch did his best to hide how self-conscious he felt. He pulled his blanket in closer, and made sure Saka was still at his side. He wasn’t sure if he should sit, but Captain Rogelio waved for him to sit next to him.

 

Hola, señor Theodore,” Captain Rogelio said as he pulled out the chair for Tetch.

 

Hola, Capitán, gracias,” Tetch said with a small voice. He cautiously sat next to Rogelio, and Saka loyally sat on the floor next to him.

 

Tetch knew pretty much everyone in the room, but he felt a little better sitting next to Captain Rogelio. He was Ferdy’s cousin. Tetch looked down the table and saw Ferdy on the opposite end, and Jengo headed to stand behind him. Ferdy raised the corner of his mouth, a small smile to try and reassure Tetch. Everyone in the room had a grim expression on their face, but Ferdy looked a little more disgruntled than the rest. Tetch tried to smile back, but his eyes drifted and made direct eye contact with the Captain of Kaizoku Stone. Captain Kampen, the head of the Affinity.

 

Captain Kampen was a big guy, a Viking, and half brother to Viola of the Sabiduría. They looked somewhat alike, but they did not act alike. Viola had a soft side, and Kampen was about as soft as a pile of rocks.

 

The Head Captain bore his gaze into Tetch, as if his eyes were axes hacking away at the puny pirate trying to hide in a blanket.

 

“So, how’s it going?” Tetch asked the staring pirates, eager to break the silence. He did a little wave. He saw Ix smile in the corner of his eye, and that made him feel a little better. Kampen’s expression didn’t change, of course.

 

“Well, Theodore, why do you think we called you in here?” Captain Martin asked lightly. Tetch recognized him as the captain of the Henge, a ship with members mainly from the British Isles. He was usually a nice guy.

 

“Usually when I get called into a meeting or something it means my sense of humor and overwhelmingly wonderful trouble-making skills have gotten the best of me,” Tetch responded.

 

First mate Brick of the Erebus chuckled. “Sounds about right.”

 

“Enough games, boy,” Captain Kampen boomed. His voice made Tetch look down like a kid getting yelled at for eating another piece of candy when he was told not to. He knew from experience.

 

“I’m not really sure. . .” Tetch started to say when he realized everyone was waiting for him to speak. He hesitated. He didn’t know how to put his words together. Should he dumb it down, or say what he really thought? Except, he wasn’t sure what he really thought.

 

“Tetch,” Ferdy spoke even more gently that Captain Martin. Tetch looked up at him. Ferdy looked so tired, and worried.

 

“Tell us what you think, Tetch.” Ferdy spoke carefully. “I know that you tend to be aware of much more than you let on. In the very least, I know you are thinking more than you let on.”

 

Why did Ferdy have to know him so well?

 

“I guess I. . .” Tetch began, keeping his gaze down, “I guess I get the idea I’ve been targeted, like a lot of pirates before me.” He waited for someone to say something like: no Tetch, that’s just your imagination! But of course, nobody said anything. “At first I was thinking it was just recently, but now I’m getting the impression I’ve been on the ‘Most Wanted’ list a lot longer than I thought.”

 

Then, Captain Ouro of the Clockwork spoke. “New question. Why do you think the Affinity was created?”

 

“To protect the world from Dark Matter, from Aether.” Tetch thought it was an obvious answer.

 

“As well as a means to protect the ones who know too much or pose a major threat to Aether,” Captain Martin added.

 

“Listen, boy, I’ll be upfront with you,” Head Captain Kampen finally spoke. “Of course we all have our duties to protect the people, the seas, the islands, but for the past fifteen years, our main duty has been to protect our greatest weapon. We wanted to protect it until the time was right.”

 

Tetch eyed Ix, and then eyed Ferdy. They both looked disheartened, but their expressions weren’t telling Tetch much of anything else.

 

“Do you mean. . .” Tetch had the slight urge to throw up.

 

Kampen crossed his massive arms. “We wanted to wait until you were older. We were going to wait until you understood how to control your power better.”

 

“Wait for what?” Tetch asked.

 

“You’re the only one of us that has taken out an entire Shadow Craft on your own,” Captain Onyx said. “Does that raise any flags for you?”


“There are incredibly strong members in the Affinity,” Kampen continued, “but none have had the sort of power you have. The ones who came close were targeted and almost immediately taken out. Admittedly, the Sabiduría has done well in harboring a targeted pirate,” He regarded Ferdy and Jengo, “but you by far get the most Dark Matter attacks. Supernova is a beacon to darkness. Your power has been attracting Aether, and the Affinity has been doing everything in its power to keep you hidden. Though she may not have realized it right away, you have been the greatest threat she has ever had.”


© Copyright 2020 Andi May. All rights reserved.

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