Mariner's Canon: Supernova

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

Chapter 24 (v.1) - Chapter 24

Submitted: June 26, 2018

Reads: 65

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Submitted: June 26, 2018

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That evening for dinner - or Tetch assumed was evening since it was always daylight this time of year in Antarctica -, the majority of the pirates were crammed into the dining hall. Hundreds of pirates from all over the world were sloshing around mugs of rum and stuffing their faces with a good meal. They all enjoyed the Gatherings, it was an opportunity to catch up with old friends and take a small break from the fights and pangs of sea travel. This time did feel a bit more strained than usual, since more security detail had to be stationed around the perimeters of the fortress. The numbers of Dark Matter creeping from the ice had lessened dramatically since all the pirates had moored in the caves of Kaizoku, but there were still some out there. Some pirates were frustrated that they had to deal with Dark Matter in a place where they were supposed to be safe, so Tetch got a few evil eyes from people as he walked through the dining hall with his plate of food. Despite the captains keeping explanations to a minimum, Tetch knew everyone knew the Dark Matter were after him.

 

Tetch tried to pay no mind, and grabbed a seat at a table in the corner of the vast dining hall. It was the table known as the “powder monkey” table, with about two dozen members that were technically in training. They were all young teenagers working towards being full fledged pirates of the Affinity. They didn’t go on all the missions all the time, but were usually around to do small work here and there on ships with crews, like loading and reloading gunpowder for cannons. Hence the marvelous name “powder monkeys”. Tetch was one of the youngest, but he by far had the most experience and training. Of the group, he was the only one that grew up on an Affinity ship.

 

He did always have fun hanging out with them when he got the chance at Gatherings, it was good to spend time with people his own age. They were loud and rowdy and enjoyed the time together. And another plus, they weren’t giving him evil eyes like so many others were.

 

After dinner, a lot of pirates went to catch some shut eye, while others went for another half dozen rounds of rum. With pirates coming from all over the world, everyone was on a different time frame and sleep cycle, so Kaizoku was never fully quiet. There was always somebody awake.

 

Tetch wasn't tired just yet, so he volunteered to take patrol along the borders of the fortress. He wanted to take up a shift at the docks in one of the caves, but of course he got the stern are you crazy? look from Ferdy and from the Head Captain. “Too dangerous”, blah blah blah. So, he got guard duty at a tower way on the ice roof of the fortress, too high and desolate from the sea and oncoming Dark Matter attacks.

 

Tetch threw on a coat and latched on his swords, and caved to put on his boots. It was the Antarctic, and he figured his toes were screwed up enough. He went to the armory, a slightly terrifying place full of every weapon he had ever known and more. He grabbed a typical recurve bow and a quiver with a couple dozen arrows, knowing he probably wasn’t going to be meeting any enemies at close range on top of the ice.

 

He found Saka in an open cavern playing fútbol with Captain Rogelio and a few others as he headed up to the tower. Tetch felt bad taking his dog away to go on patrol, but Saka seemed happy to do so.

 

The two climbed up, and found themselves hit by brisk winds blowing over the ice. The sun felt warm, but nothing else did. Tetch marched around the tall tower and looked down the obnoxiously tall ice fortress, sixty meters below a few Dark Matter were scurrying across the ice. But, cannon fire, gunshots, and arrows exploded from the side of the ice wall and almost immediately took them out. There were over two hundred crew members at Kaizoku, it was literally the most well-guarded place for pirates in the world. The large crew of Kaizoku didn’t get to see much action aside from the occasional raid on the hotspot nearby, so Tetch could tell they were excited they got a chance to fight.

 

Tetch then sighed and looked around the roof he was to patrol. No Dark Matter to be seen, no action anywhere. The sun was bright and right overhead, so the shadows were far too slim for a Dark Matter to creep through. He kind of felt like he was sentenced to an icy prison on a roof. He leaned over the wall and shot an arrow down at Dark Matter every once in a while, but the rest of Kaizoku clearly had it covered.

 

Eventually he started messing around with his swords, swirling and twirling around, then it turned into chasing Saka across the tower, and then it turned into rough housing.

 

“So productive up here,” Ix said as she climbed up the stairs. Tetch was currently pinned to the ground by Saka and being drenched in dog drool.

 

“This is clearly a training method,” Tetch responded. He chuckled then shoved Saka off. The dog rolled and barked happily.

 

Tetch stood and sheathed his swords and grabbed the bow and arrow. He headed over to Ix who leaned against the wall and observed the shooting below. As he got closer, he noticed how the bright colors streaked in her hair seemed to shimmer in the sunlight. He grabbed a pink strand and gave it a little tug.

 

“Would you puke rainbows if I pulled too hard?” Tetch asked. He stifled a chuckle at his own joke.

 

She turned towards him and raised an eyebrow. “I’m not a unicorn.”

 

“Well, you are a rare find.”

 

“What does that mean?”

 

Tetch thought about his joke a little more. “Wait, don’t unicorns poop rainbows?”

 

“Gross, Tetch.”

 

Tetch then burst into laughter.

 

“Oh, grow up.” Ix rolled her eyes. “You jokes don’t even make sense.”

 

Tetch laughed a little more, then calmed down. “So, what brings you up here to my icy prison cell with a view?”

 

“Well,” Ix took a moment, “I didn’t want to let on too much at the Gathering, but I already know where we can start on the search for the dagger.”

 

“Oh.” Tetch thought about it. “Well, at least it won’t be a wild goose chase. I’d prefer we go help all the former members that are in danger, but I see that finding this dagger can be just as important.”

 

Ix nodded. “I suppose.”

 

Tetch was expecting her to say more, but she stayed quiet.

“But there’s a but,” he said.

 

She sighed. “Well, we’re coming into contact with another Thayne. If we do something wrong, it could latch and curse someone.”

 

“It’ll be alright, Ferdy will come up with plan. I swear, his middle name is Careful. Not really, his middle name is Luíz. But anyway, how’d you keep these katanas locked away all those years? Can you do it again?”

 

She shook her head. “No. Rui took care of your swords, and I don’t know how. But, I do think I can teleport the dagger away, then come back to it when we need to.”

 

“That’s a good idea.”

 

Tetch waited for her to explain more, but she suddenly pulled a black arrow out of her quiver and shot it at a Dark Matter a good seventy-five meters away down below. She got it with a killing shot, and it disintegrated immediately. Tetch was impressed, she really was a good shot. He felt the need to show her up and pulled an arrow from his own quiver and shot a Dark Matter another ten meters farther away than the one she hit.

 

Ix smirked. “Do you have to be good at everything that involves violence?”

 

“Hey now, I am not violent.” Tetch then shot another Dark Matter that was barely out of a shadow in a crevice of a glacier.

 

“No, no. Of course not,” Ix said with thick sarcasm. She then shot two arrows at once and took out two more.

 

It quickly escalated to a contest, but they joked and laughed about it, and sabotaged each other. Tetch was about to take a shot at a Dark Matter that was so far away they could barely see it, and Ix nudged the bottom of his bow. The arrow sailed way off and into the water.

 

He grunted. “Very funny.”

 

He was about to shoot another, but Saka started barking like a mad dog from the other side of the tower. Tetch turned around towards him.

 

“What’s wrong--”

 

Tetch was expecting to see a Dark Matter creeping out of his dog’s shadow or something, because these days that actually seemed like the most likely scenario. But no. It was Kampen.

 

Kampen stood over Saka with his axe raised high over his head, poised to drop straight on Tetch’s dog. Saka could’ve easily attacked, but the dog knew he was a friend. Saka was confused, so he continued to bark.

 

Tetch knocked an arrow towards Kampen, unsure if it really was Kampen. “Head Captain? Why are you about to slice my dog?”

 

Kampen’s axe stayed still, but he titled his head towards Tetch. “This dog makes you weak.” His voice sounded deep and burly as always, but there was a coldness behind it.

 

“Captain, what are you. . .” Tetch’s own voice wavered. He caught glimpse of Kampen’s eyes, and he caught his breath. They were glowing gold, just like Dark Story’s. Tetch could’ve swore he saw that glint in Read’s eyes, too. But did he see it on the lady back at the pyramids? He wasn’t sure.

 

“Ix, he’s--” Tetch’s voice caught.

 

“I know,” she breathed. She drew a green arrow and shot it at Kampen. The big captain swatted the arrow out of the air like a fly.

 

“Tetch, you can help him,” she then whispered.

 

Tetch stood unmoving, he and Ix both had arrows poised at Kampen. The Head Captain moved sluggishly. He was clearly under mind control, and whoever was controlling him sucked at doing it properly.

 

“What can I do? We have to get a green arrow at him,” Tetch said back to her. “That can heal him out of this stupid mind control.”

 

Ix shook her head. “No. That note, Tetch. Everything I found out about Aether, about this world, about you, I was right. Supernova can break the dark magic.”

 

“Okay, you lost me. How much can be written in blood, seriously?” As Tetch finished his question, Kampen charged towards him. Tetch dropped the bow and arrow and drew out his swords. Kampen swung his axe, but Tetch deflected the power of the swing away with a katana. Kampen swung again and again, and Tetch easily defended himself against the big guy. Kampen clearly wasn’t in his right mind, and he wasn’t fighting at the level that Tetch knew Kampen was capable of. Tetch didn’t want to hurt him, so he just dodged and weaved, not sure what else to do.

 

“Ix, arrow. Now!” Tetch said as he did a back handspring away from Kampen. The axe came down and cracked the ice where Tetch was just standing. Tetch then slid into a perfect split to avoid a cleave over his head.

 

Tetch heard the pull of Ix’s bow, and dodge-rolled around Kampen, giving Ix a clear shot. She let the arrow go, and just as Tetch got to his feet, a dim blue arrow embedded in his own forearm.

 

“Ix. . .” He was about to yell at her for missing, but he felt jittery, and his mind was scattered from the adrenaline rush. He saw two Kampens.

 

“Hit the dark magic inside him, Tetch,” Ix spoke.

 

Tetch was pretty irked at her for hitting him, but what she said got his mind a little more focused. He steadied himself as the blue lightning flickered across his skin. There was barely any juice in this arrow, but it was enough for Supernova to start pulsing through his bones. Painfully, of course.

 

He channeled the energy to his hand. Kampen looked dazed, like a moth to the flame as Tetch held up his glowing hand. Tetch focused on protecting Kampen, even though he was aiming right at him. He sent out a beam from the palm of his hand. Kampen yelled, and fell to a knee. Tetch pulled back the light and staggered on his own feet, but regained his balance.

 

“Captain?” Tetch asked quietly as he approached Kampen cautiously. The Head Captain was still on one knee with his eyes closed and skin steaming, but he had no burns or sign of injury.

 

Tetch took another step closer, and Kampen’s eyes suddenly opened. It caught Tetch by surprise and he raised his swords in response to be safe. Kampen then stood to both feet and stared at Tetch. Thankfully, his eyes were back to normal.

 

Tetch let out a sigh of relief. “Captain, I’m glad that worked.”

 

In response, Kampen suddenly started speaking jibberish, with an absent stare across his face.

 

“Huh?” Tetch lowered his swords in confusion. The more he listened, the more he realized he recognized that Kampen was speaking in fluent Japanese. As far as he knew, Kampen did not know Japanese. He turned around to look at Ix, and she looked like she saw a ghost.

 

“Ix. . . What’s going. . .” Before he finished the thought, he realized the same thing was happening again like it did at the pyramids.

 

Ix started talking back in Japanese, and Tetch wished he knew what they were saying. Ix started to cry. Kampen still stood unmoving, Japanese absently flowing from his mouth.

 

Ix seemed to ask a question, but then Kampen suddenly flopped unconscious to the ground.

 

“Captain!” Tetch rushed to his side and rolled him to his back. He checked his pulse, and thank Davy Jones, it was steady.

 

Tetch rested Kampen’s head down, and turned on his heels towards Ix. “What in Kraken’s name was all that? Is he going to be alright?”

 

Ix’s arms went slack, she barely gripped her bow. She dug a finger into her forehead again and breathed heavily. Her eyes darted back and forth, like she wasn’t really seeing anything around her, her mind was somewhere else.

 

Tetch wanted answers, but he could tell Ix wasn’t alright. He felt concerned and sheathed his swords. He cautiously approached her and put a hand on her shoulder. She looked at his face, but her swirly green eyes were unfocused.

 

“Are you going to be alright?” Tetch asked.

 

She didn’t seem to hear him. She stared at him with wonderment.

 

“Who are you?” She asked with a small voice. She sounded. . .scared.

 

Tetch’s heart sank. He couldn’t stand the idea of scaring someone.

 

“Uh, let’s get you to the medical wing,” was all Tetch could manage to croak out. “Let’s go down and get some help for Kampen, too.” Tetch wrapped an arm around her shoulder, but she suddenly pushed it away.

 

She shook her head. “No.”

 

Tetch stood confused, but then she shot Kampen with a green arrow, immediately followed by a purple one. He vanished in a flash.

 

“Okay, that works too,” Tetch said. “Now, let’s get you down there.”

 

“No, Tetch, he’s here,” Ix said in a low voice. She didn’t move, put pointed over her shoulder.

 

Tetch went to the wall and looked across the water. Sure enough, there was an unnatural dark cloud drifting across the ice towards the fortress, and Tetch caught glimpse of a Shadow Craft hidden inside, and creeping along. Tetch didn’t want to admit it, but he knew exactly who was onboard that ridiculous boat.

 

He turned to Ix. “Teleport me down there. I need to stop him before he gets too close.”

 

Ix’s breathing was uneven, and her cheeks were wet with tears. She didn’t move.

 

Tetch circled around in front of her and gently took her hands. He looked into her eyes, and it seemed like she was finally coming to back to this present moment, her mind starting to reel back in when he gripped her hands. Every fiber in Tetch wanted to make sure she was alright, despite how lost, confused, and admittedly, how terrified he himself felt.

 

“Ix, you’ve lived for hundreds of years,” Tetch spoke gently to her. “I can’t even begin to comprehend what you had gone through all that time, what you’ve seen, what you’ve endured. And on your island. . . I don’t think I would’ve been able to function after watching everyone I cared about be there one moment, then all completely gone the next. But Ix, you did keep going. You’re here, you’re alive. You talk about this mission you have, how you owe people, but I’ll never get that. You owe it to yourself to be proud of what you have done, for what you’ve endured. You are far too strong to let whatever all this nonsense is to get you down. Maybe I don’t know what I am, maybe you don’t know either, but know that I am here to help you, you’ve been there for me my whole life even without my knowing. I owe you. And. . . I’m sorry if I scare you. I scare myself. But, know that I want to do everything I can to make all the right choices, to stay on the right path.”

 

“Tetch,” Ix interrupted. She let out a small and uncomfortable laugh. “Shut up.”

 

Tetch looked down to his boots, his face felt warm. “Shutting up is not a strong suit of mine.”

 

“Clearly.” She took a breath while Tetch looked back up. “But, thank you.”

 

“Motivational speech is my middle name.”

 

“No, it’s Jude.”

 

“Okay, now you shut up.”

 

They both heard cannon fire from down below.

 

“Ix. . .” Tetch started to say.

 

“We have to leave Kaizoku,” she said. “Dark Story is only after you, he’ll leave the fortress when you do. I’m going to find Ferdy, and there’s something. . . I need to check. The Sabiduría needs to get you out of here, and I have an idea on how to make our get-away fast. But, I just need a bit of time to prepare.” She then knocked a purple arrow.

 

Tetch nodded. “Send me down there, I’ll give you time. Take Saka with you, he can help you find them all fast.”

 

Ix aimed the arrow at him. “Ferdy’s going to kill me for this. Please, be careful.”

 

Tetch snuck his sly grin. “You doubt my cautiousness?”

 

“I’d be stupid if I didn’t,” she smirked. She then dipped her arrow for a moment. “And, Tetch?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“I’m not scared of you. Don’t ever think I am.”

 

With that, she let the purple arrow fly.

 


© Copyright 2019 Andi May. All rights reserved.

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