Mariner's Canon: Supernova

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

Chapter 33 (v.1) - Chapter 33

Submitted: July 12, 2018

Reads: 62

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Submitted: July 12, 2018

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The crew went into high alert dodging across deck. Ferdy went back to the helm to keep his steady hands on the wheel, and ordered the crew to blast the ship fast ahead and into the fray. As they all did, Johnny came back to Tetch’s side.

 

“Let me help patch you up,” he said.

 

Tetch looked down to see the gash from the shrapnel was still bleeding, but it was lessening. Johnny pulled out some gauze from his pack and started to wrap it. Johnny had spent some time working as ship surgeon before becoming Captain, but Tetch didn’t remember him being this adept. Then again, Tetch was pretty little.

 

Tetch punched Johnny’s arm with as much force as he could muster, but yelped at the pull in his side when he did.

 

Johnny rubbed his arm and looked to him. “Um. Ow.”

 

“That’s the first of many,” Tetch grunted.

 

Johnny scoffed with a smile. “Can’t say I don’t deserve it.”

 

“You really don’t know where Ix is?” Tetch asked.

 

“Ix? Is that her nickname? And everyone is calling you Tetch? Are these nicknames your idea?” He sighed and as he continued wrapping the wound. “I don’t know where she is, but I think we both know she can easily handle herself.”

 

Tetch couldn’t disagree.

 

Johnny then taped down the gauze. He was silent for a moment, then he added with a small voice, “Johnny is the only nickname I ever got.”

 

“As well as mbuni,” Jengo chimed in. He stood over the two of them with his arms crossed, but with a large smile across his face.

 

Johnny looked to him and nearly melted at the sight at such a warm and familiar face. “Hey, Jengo.”

 

“It’s good to see you,” Jengo responded as he patted Johnny on the back. “We have much to talk about, but as it always goes, duty comes first. Why don’t you go and help Ferdy? I’ll have Kendu check Tetch over just in case. You said we were close to the island, do you know exactly where we need to go?”

 

“Yes,” Johnny responded and stood. “I’ll go help him. And Theo-- Tetch. Pay attention to the valve, don’t let the pressure build up too much.”

 

“Just got back and you’re already telling me what to do,” Tetch mumbled.

 

Johnny smirked. “That’s what big brothers are for.”

 

He headed for the helm. Tetch watched Ferdy and Johnny give each other a long stare down, but then they pulled each other in for a firm hug. Tetch’s heart warmed at the sight.

 

“Are you alright?” Jengo asked as Tetch pulled his attention away from the helm.

 

Tetch thought Jengo meant his gash, but he soon realized that Jengo was looking much deeper than that. Tetch thought about it for a moment.

 

“You know what? Yeah,” Tetch responded. He realized he believed that even more after he said it out loud. “I may be in shock and there may be a lack of oxygen to my brain, but he’s here. I’m just going to embrace the fact that he’s here. I have faith in him, I always have.”

 

Jengo nodded approvingly. “Faith and hope are more powerful than any sword skill or blast of light, upanga kidogo. Though, I don’t think I need to tell you that. I think you exercise that philosophy much more than any of us do.”

 

“Alright,” Tetch shoved him with a grin. “Enough mushy stuff. Let’s--”

 

“Shadow Craft coming from the waves!” Anemsis suddenly shouted from the crow’s nest. “Trailing us from the stern! Dangerously near!”

 

Jengo tried to protest that he needed to rest and find Kendu and blah blah blah, but he let it go pretty quick. He knew Tetch wasn’t going to listen. Tetch ran for the bulwark and looked to the back of the ship.

 

A Shadow Craft burst out of the waves, and sent the nearby Sabiduría rocking. Tetch noticed that there were no dark clouds anymore anywhere out in the open sea of battle, but that didn’t seem to matter. The dark magic was churning through the water.

 

Dark Matter started jumping from the craft and crawling up the sides of the Sabiduría, more started oozing from the shadows. The crew went to work.

 

Lars, Striker, and a few others kept a steady pace to keep the ship sailing onward to aid the other ships in the Affinity as the rest of the crew covered them from Dark Matter. Despite the attacks, Ferdy and Johnny were both locked at the helm. A compass and a map was being passed back and forth between them as they held the helm to continue onward.

 

Tetch took a few swings and realized his chest was already feeling tight. He twisted the valve and inhaled sharply. The air surged into his lungs. He closed the valve back up, then went back to flipping around the horde.

 

“Hey! Captain Fernando!” Tetch suddenly heard someone shout from off the Sabiduría. He didn’t realize that they had already pulled up to another ship.

 

He looked over to starboard to see Captain Martin aboard his ship, the Henge. His crew was running this way and that across their deck fighting Dark Matter and one Beast that Tetch could see.

 

“Captain! Henge off starboard!” Anemsis called down.

 

Ferdy and Johnny were so sucked into the map they didn’t even realize.

 

“Captain Martin!” Ferdy called back.

 

“Get to port of that Shadow Craft up ahead!” Captain Martin called. “We blast it from both sides!”

 

“Aye!” Ferdy called back. He and Johnny stashed the map away. The hunt for Aether’s island would have to wait. The Affinity needed them.

 

There was a still a Shadow Craft trailing the Sabiduría, but it wasn’t keeping up the pace, it was trailing further behind. Ferdy could see Martin’s idea was a good one, so they’d have to worry about their pursuit later.

 

“Man the cannons off port!” Ferdy called. “Prepare for full fire!”

 

The gunners obeyed and went to work loading the cannons on port. Some went below decks to ready the cannons down there, cannons that weren’t used too often. Tetch weaved around the gunners fending off Dark Matter still creeping from the shadows, his four blades twisting around himself and who he protected. He held them back on his own as the crew loaded the ammo. Within moments, the gunners were ready to fire.

 

“Wait on my call!” Ferdy shouted.

 

“Tetch, take that cannon!” Willamar pointed to one closer to the bow. Tetch nodded and went to man the cannon. Other crew members followed his example so that every cannon was ready to fire at the same time.

 

“Aim low!” Ferdy called. “Do not overshoot!”

 

Tetch adjusted the cannon down lower, making sure it would go straight into the hull of the oncoming Shadow Craft. He sheathed two swords on his back, but held two more out for the ready.

 

The Sabiduría and the Henge sailed side by side, Ferdy keeping his steady hands on the wheel. Both ships slid forward, the Shadow Craft wedged between. Dark Matter started to leap from it onto the pirates’sb ships, but the crews did their best to keep them away from the cannons. Saka destroyed the Dark Matter as they crawled up the bulwark.

 

“Hold, crew!” Ferdy called.

 

Every pirate on the cannons had their match sticks ready, every one of them holding their breath.

 

“Wait,” Ferdy breathed. He waited for the right moment.

 

“Fire!” Tetch heard Captain Martin call from the other side.

 

“Fire!” Ferdy repeated.

 

Tetch slid his blades together in a quick motion and sent sparks from them into the vent of the cannon. Everyone else lit their cannons, and the next moment was full of loud banging and sounds of dark magic hissing and disintegrating.

 

The Shadow Craft started to sink. Little by little, it sunk into the waters, and washed away in the currents.

 

“Well done, Captain!” Martin called across.

 

“Aye!” Ferdy called.

 

“Captain, the Shadow Craft behind us draws nearer!” Anemsis called.

 

“Captain, I got this one!” Tetch called. He could see Jengo was about to protest, but he was already sprinting across the deck, Saka close behind. He climbed the stairs to the helm towards the stern.

 

“Tetch,” Ferdy grabbed his arm as he ran past. “Please, be careful.”

 

Tetch smirked. “When am I not?”

 

Ferdy scoffed. “Every day of your life.”

 

“What is he. . .?” Johnny started to ask as he looked at Tetch with a confused expression.

 

Tetch left before he could finish his question and climbed up the back of the ship to see he could easily swining to the bow of the Shadow Craft. He then realized Saka’s fur was brushing up against his leg. His beloved dog was about jump with him.

 

“Saka, you gotta stay, boy.” Tetch scratched behind his ears. “Espera, Saka.”

 

The dog sat, and tilted his head, unsure why he was told to wait. Tetch then reached for rigging draped over the stern of the ship from the mizzenmast. He grabbed  a rope, then swung from the Sabiduría.

 

He landed face-first on top the bowsprit with a thud. He quickly drew a sword to jab into the miragey wood to keep himself from falling. He realized he was a mere half inch away from crushing the valve that was still in his chest. Oops.

 

He pulled himself upright and ran across the post and landed on the deck of the ship. It looked identical to the last one he was on, and it was swarming with Dark Matter. He cartwheeled through them and threw his swords through the air and around himself, pushing them away to give himself some space. Once he had them pushed away enough for him to have a second, he willed Supernova into his hands. His four blades started to glow white hot in his grip.

 

He then willed Supernova across his body, wincing at the burning. It was then that his chest felt tight and his breaths were getting short. He knew he needed to twist the valve again, but Supernova was taking away all his attention. It was hard to focus, his injuries always made Supernova harder to handle.

 

He wanted to control the burst, but he knew it needed to be a big one again. He then finally let it out in a wild rage. The light blinded himself and swallowed the Shadow Craft. He tried to shout out, but he was breathless. He felt himself get flung back in the blast and backlash of the Craft exploding.

 

He felt a smack to the head, and it made Supernova flicker. He felt even more dazed than he already was, but remembered how he calmed himself down the last time. He embraced it, then the light almost immediately faded.

 

He heard the wood creaking and splashing to the water around him. The Shadow Craft sunk in on itself, and the Dark Matter squealed as they hit the water. Tetch was an unmoving heap on a floating piece of wreckage. His arms felt like they were full of wet sand after the blast, and he was half awake.

 

Eventually, the gasping got extreme and he started to panic. His tired hands fumbled for the valve in his chest. He got a loose grip on it and twisted. He took in a pained full breath.

 

He twisted it shut, then let his hands collapse back to the driftwood he floated on. The collapsed lung was messing with him, and he wasn’t prepared to feel this awful.

 

He didn’t move as he waited for his breath to even out. He then heard Anemsis shouting something about someone going overboard off in the distance. He tilted his head towards her voice and saw the Sabiduría was sailing away quickly. It was heading straight ahead to help Captain Wilde and his crew on the Breakdown. Even with his tired eyes and being this far away, Tetch could see that ship was swamped. The Sabiduría had gotten into the heart of the battle.

 

Tetch tried to move, he was going to have to swim. He slid off his driftwood, but then was caught by something furry. Saka.

 

“Saka!” Tetch mumbled. “Hey, boy. I told you to wait, but I’m glad you didn’t.”

 

Tetch found a new sense of strength and motivation knowing that his dog jumped off the ship and swam all the way here. He adjusted so that he kept the valve in his chest out of the cold water. He slung one arm over Saka, and the other back over the piece of driftwood. He started to kick through the water, and Saka swam strong to pull him along.

 

The two probably looked pathetic and like little specks in the water that churned from a ship battle, but Tetch and Saka were a little slim on options. They kept going for the Sabiduría when something suddenly shot through the air towards them from the stern of the ship.

 

A purple arrow.

 

It landed in Saka’s shoulder, and he vanished in purple light. Another arrow sailed through the sky, and Tetch let it land in his arm.

 

He floated through purple light then landed on his feet on the very back end of the Sabiduría, behind Ferdy. His knees then promptly buckled and he toppled over. Johnny was nearby and caught him in his arms.

 

“Thanks,” Tetch mumbled. Johnny stood him up and held a firm grip on shoulder to stabilize him. Johnny stayed by his side, but Ferdy stayed at the helm far too busy with calling commands across the ship and navigating it through a warzone.

 

But standing there in front of Tetch, was Ix. She had her head tilted down and her hood covered her face. But, with her bow in her hand there was no denying it was her.

 

Tetch smiled. “Ix! You’re alright!”

 

She looked up from under her hood. Tetch’s smile faded. Her bright green eyes weren’t green. They glowed an eerie yellow.

 

“Oh, yes. More than alright.” Ix’s usual kind and warm face warped into an evil sneer.

 

Tetch drew out his swords, swaying on his legs as he did it. Johnny drew out his own katana and aimed it towards her.

 

“Aether got to you?” Johnny questioned in a stone voice.

 

Ix laughed. Tetch’s heart sank when he heard it, because the laugh sounded evil. It wasn’t her.

 

Tetch was about to speak, but the ship swayed lightly to the side. His feet fumbled underneath him. Johnny had to stabilize him again.

 

Ix evilly laughed again. “You really don’t know your true power, do you? You’re so much stronger than you allow yourself to be. This weakness you’re showing now is a facade.”

 

Tetch’s grip tightened on his swords.

 

“No matter,” evil Ix stated. “In this weakened state of yours, I can help you out. I’m quite the shot, this should be easy.”

 

Johnny protectively put an arm in front of Tetch, but it didn’t matter. His reflexes were quick, but he wasn’t expecting a purple arrow flying from her bow as quickly as it did. Tetch was far too out of it, and the arrow landed in his shoulder. He was flown through the violet flashes again.

 

The next moment, he was falling. He was high in the blue sky, and he felt himself being pulled by gravity faster and faster. He spiraled out of control as he plummeted down. He realized the whole ship battle was going on in the waters hundreds of feet below him. The Sabiduría and the other ships spun around in his vision as they got closer and the wind pelted his face. The water started to get dangerously close when he felt something pierce his side. He looked to see the brightest glowing arrow he had ever seen come from Ix’s bow. And, it glowed bright blue.

 

He had no warning, no time to think, no time to breathe through his collapsing lungs. But, he knew within that small fragment of time Aether wanted his raw power to wipe everything out. The Affinity, his crew, his family, his dog, his brother. Deep down, Tetch always knew the power he held could wipe out everything.

 

But, he needed to believe that he was stronger. He needed to believe his will was stronger.

 

Tetch couldn’t exactly understand the blast that left his body. It felt. . . otherworldly. It was like his own atoms split apart in millions of ways. It was like a gravitational collapse of energy, the truth of what the word supernova really meant. It was the dying of a star, one of the most powerful phenomenons to ever exist.

 

Despite the sure devastation of the blast, he used every ounce of his will power towards keeping all those he cared about out of harm’s way. He hoped that was enough. Hoped.

 


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