Mariner's Canon: Supernova

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

Chapter 37 (v.1) - Chapter 37

Submitted: July 27, 2018

Reads: 65

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Submitted: July 27, 2018



Tetch kept rowing with a steady pace, the dagger pulling at his belt. He stared absently into the horizon, and felt the sun rising on his back. Despite everything that was happening, he let his mind go clear, and he embraced the beauty of the calm waters around him. Like he told Johnny, he pretty much always knew where he was when he was at sea, and had a keen eye for navigating. But now, he found it to be exhilarating to have no idea where he was. He liked seeing the calm waves that went as far as the eye could see, the subtle glow of sunrise in the sky, seeing it all from a new perspective, a lost perspective. And as beautiful as that all was, he couldn’t stop himself from staring at Johnny every once in a while. He was really there. Tetch had to keep reminding himself he wasn’t dreaming.


He wasn’t sure how much time had passed, an hour and half to two hours at least, but the air around him grew extremely foggy. The sky finally lit up, though it was a dull glow through the thick fog. He kept rowing, and noticed something slide across the corners of his vision.


He looked to either side of the boat, and realized he was rowing it into the mouth of a river. It was narrow, so Tetch decided it was more of a stream than a river. On both sides of the boat was thick forests full of pine and maple trees, the tops of them swallowed in the thick fog. He could’ve sworn everything he was seeing wasn’t there a few seconds ago, but he was looking back and forth at a think woodland forest that now surrounded them. The water stayed calm, but Tetch didn’t have to row anymore. The current slowly pulled them inland, which was strange all in itself. Rivers and streams dumped into oceans, not the other way around.


He turned towards Johnny. This all definitely classified as strange.


“Johnny, wake up.” Tetch shook his shoulder and kept his voice low, so as not to draw anymore attention to himself and the rowboat. He couldn’t shake off the feeling that someone was watching, or danger was close. It was far too quiet. Woods like this, there should’ve been sounds of wildlife, but it was eerily silent.


Johnny was blinking his eyes open within a few moments.


“Everything alright?” he mumbled half awake.


“Look,” Tetch whispered as he motioned to what was around them. “I know I’m a little slow and oblivious at times, but I swear this wasn’t here two minutes ago.”


“We’re here,” Johnny breathed quietly after giving it a quick glance. He drew out his katana and kept his voice low, too. “Her magic keeps the island hidden from afar, that’s why you didn’t see it until now. Keep your voice low, and be on alert.”


Tetch didn’t need to be told twice, he drew out his four blades. He gently woke up Saka, and the smart dog knew immediately they were in a strange place and to keep it stealthy.


“North,” Johnny suddenly breathed in a barely audible voice.


Tetch slightly directed his attention to the left of the boat, and noticed what Johnny was talking about. There was shifting in the darker reaches of the trees a few meters away. Dark Matter. Tetch kept himself on guard. The Dark Matter didn’t seem to be interested in them, but the three of them in the boat stayed cautious as they slowly inched onward.


“Tetch, do me a favor,” Johnny whispered, “there are cursed Thaynes scattered throughout these woods. Would you keep an eye out for them? If it’s all the same to you, I’d rather not be cursed by a butter knife or something.”


“Okay,” Tetch agreed, “but why are there cursed Thaynes all over?”


Johnny did a scan around the boat then looked to his brother. “This is Atmos.”


“Atmos?” Tetch thought about it for a moment, and remembered from a while ago when Ix talked about where she came from. “Wait. Ix’s home?”


Johnny nodded solemnly.


“But I thought you said she's from the other world.”


“Yes,” Johnny explained, “but this island is identical in both worlds. It's Aether’s middle ground. It’s where the two worlds blur together.”


“So this is where they all. . .” Tetch didn’t need to say the last word out loud. Atmos was the home of the Atmosians, the island in which people with abilities like Ix had lived, secluded and safe from the rest of the world, until Aether came along.


The boat still floated down the stream, and Tetch kept a wary eye out for what he thought might’ve been a Thayne. But, Ix told him it could be anything. Johnny knew that too, and he did his best to keep himself small inside the boat. After cautious and extremely quiet trekking down the stream, it opened up into a lake, and it took Tetch a moment to register what he saw.


The lake was almost a perfect circle of water, and he figured it couldn’t have been more than two miles in diameter. The thick forest completely circled it, some of it was on top of cliffs that dropped into the water, other spots were steep hills upwards from the shoreline. It looked like a giant cereal bowl in a way, the lake at the bottom, and the trees, cliffs, and hills were the walls.


Tetch looked more closely into the trees, and realized it wasn’t just forest surrounding the lake. There were buildings built into the woods, hundreds and hundreds of them. They looked decrepit and war-torn, but once beautiful. Tetch had done a lot of traveling in his life, and had seen so many different types of architecture, and these buildings seemed to reflect parts from all over the world. He could see a log cabin, a hacienda, another home that seemed to have Roman inspired columns, a metallic shed, a square brick building, a Japanese pagoda, and so many more that Tetch had seen from so many places. This island was once a full and thriving city. Despite the fog and the buildings looking sad, destroyed, and inhospitable, the view was breathtaking.


“Remember Imagine talking about Jemuzu Rui?” Johnny asked him.


Tetch thought for a moment, then nodded. “Yeah. He was the samurai that escaped with her. He was like a father to her.”


“Yes,” Johnny answered. “His own Thayne was a book of sorts, he could see the future with it. With his knowledge of the future, he helped build this island, making it so much more advanced and safer than anywhere else in both worlds.”


The word book triggered something in Tetch’s mind, but his growing anger was what overwhelmed him at the moment. People lived here, it was once a home, and Aether destroyed it all for power. His grip tightened on his swords.


“How could she destroy a place like this? How could she kill so many people?” Tetch muttered between clenched teeth.


Johnny didn’t answer. He didn’t have to. What Aether had done made no sense.


Tetch realized the boat was slowing down now that they had come out of the stream, and the lake was terrifyingly calm. There were no waves, ripples, or breaks in the completely still surface. He started to pull out the oars to start rowing again.


“No,” Johnny quickly pushed the oars back to the bottom of the boat. “Do not touch the water.”


“Okay?” Tetch was confused. “We won’t get anywhere. We are literally sitting ducks.”


“The water,” Johnny started to say, “It’s cursed, too. This is where the Shadow Crafts go in and out. Deepest, darkest places in the waters, remember?”


“They do? It’s a lake, it can’t be that deep, and it’s so calm. Too calm,” Tetch eyed it nervously. Saka’s nose twitched, too. “So, what do we do?”


“Honestly,” Johnny looked to him. He looked nervous too. “I’ve never taken the water before, I’ve always skirted the beaches. Her castle is on the other side.” He pointed to a slight opening in the trees on the other side of the lake.


Tetch was about to bop him upside the head for not thinking this through, and for leaving out the fact she had a castle, but something just below the surface of the water caught his eye.


“Johnny,” he yelped quietly.


“What?” his brother followed his gaze. “I don’t see anything.”


What do you care about the most?


Tetch darted his gaze around the boat expecting to see someone, but it was still just Johnny and Saka.


“Tetch, what’s wrong?” Johnny instinctively lifted his blade like he was going to rain all destruction on water.


“You didn’t hear that?” Tetch asked him. The voice was so clear, but it wasn’t one he recognized.


“Hear what?”


Seeing is believing.


“There,” Tetch felt frantic. “There it is again!”


Something seemed to dawn on Johnny. “Tetch, the water. It’s a Thayne.”


“What?” Tetch looked to him with wide eyes.


“The lake could be a Thayne. If the Atmosian is dead, it could be cursing you,” Johnny put his hand to his head as the idea dawned on him.


“Cursing me?” Tetch shook his head. “But I’m already cursed, wouldn’t it curse you?”


I am cursing him. By hurting you.


“Gah!” Tetch roared in frustration when he heard the voice again. He swiped his swords at the water. The splash echoed through the island.


There was a horrible moment of silence that followed the splash. Tetch and Johnny locked eye contact for a short moment, then Tetch felt himself ripped out of the boat.


It took him a moment to realize that a wave had swept over the boat and swallowed him into the lake. Now the water, somehow, was pulling him deeper down.


He clenched his swords tight, though he wasn’t sure what good they would be against water. Everything was completely black around him, and cold. He wasn’t a fan of either of those. He tried to swim back up, but he felt himself thrown into a twisting torrent, and couldn’t figure out which way was up anymore.


Seeing is believing.


The voice spoke again. Tetch listened and tried to follow the sound through the water, but it seemed to come from everywhere.


That is what you care about most, isn’t it?


Tetch spotted something in the distance, and it was moving closer.


Now you see me, now you don’t, now you see me, now you don’t. . .


The voice seemed to be singing happily now.


The thing in the distance got closer, and suddenly Tetch was face to face with. . . Ferdy.


Now you see me.


Tetch felt his already weak lungs still busted from the shrapnel struggling for air as he held his breath, and he gulped in water. Ferdy suddenly wrapped his arms around him, and they rocketed through the darkness.


They broke the surface with water roaring in Tetch’s ears, and they flopped into the rowboat. Tetch coughed and gagged on lake water as Saka climbed on top of him whimpering and licking his face.


“Oh thank Davy Jones,” Johnny breathed. He helped Tetch sit up.


Tetch coughed and sputtered while he was soaking wet and wondering what just happened. He couldn’t figure out why he just saw Ferdy, then nearly jumped out of his skin when he realized Ferdy really was sitting next to him.


“Ferdy?!” Tetch coughed. “How?” He then went into spitting out more water.


Ferdy didn’t answer right away, he patted Tetch’s back trying to help get the water out of his lungs. Both of them sat there soaked.


“I was on the Sabiduría,” Ferdy tried to recall, “we were under attack by Dark Matter. One had trampled me into the shadows. I was in darkness, until I saw you. And that’s all I remember.”


“All you remember?” Tetch questioned. “You don’t remember going crazy and chanting with the rest of the crew?”


“I. . .” Ferdy hesitated, “I do recall that, but I was not in control of my actions. None of us were. As soon as you two had left, we stopped. I wanted to follow, but, equivalently, I knew that would only put you in more danger.”


“I think that’s what happened with that one lady I faced in Egypt. Somebody else was controlling her. A different way for Aether to control?” Tetch felt himself shiver. He slung his swords back in his harness so he could wrap his arms around himself.


“I am not sure.” Ferdy shook his head.


“Okay, but how did you get here?” Tetch wondered.


“I think that was my doing,” Johnny said. His voice was low, and Tetch realized his brother didn’t have his katana anymore. He looked even more beaten and exhausted than he did before.


“What do you mean?” Tetch asked him.


“You were down there so long. . .” Johnny’s voice was pained.


“How long?” Tetch asked. “I mean, it felt like forever with a collapsed lung.”


“Twenty minutes?” Johnny mumbled uncertainly.


“Okay. I can’t hold it that long, and it definitely did not feel that long. How is that possible?”


“I heard the voice, too, Tetch,” Johnny uttered. His eyes looked glossed over, and he sat unmoving. “After you got pulled out of the boat, I heard it. The lake. . . it cursed me.”


Tetch’s heart sank.


“It felt like when I got the swords. Remember how you said it felt like you got stabbed in the gut?” Johnny gestured to Tetch’s blades on his back. “And then the lake had to hurt the people I care about the most as my punishment.”


Tetch and Ferdy shared a glance. That’s why Ferdy showed up here. The people Johnny cared about the most. Tetch remembered the voice telling him it was cursing Johnny by hurting him. So, emotional harm? That was so much more harsh than a sword to the chest.


Ferdy eyed the lake warily. “So, you wield the water?”


Johnny absently nodded. He had a vacant stare.


Tetch gently put a hand on Johnny’s shoulder. “We’re both safe, now, Johnny. You brought Ferdy here to save me, so you saved both of us. Just like Jengo and all the others tell me, you control the curse, don’t let it control you.”


Johnny blinked a few times. He raised his gaze to Tetch’s face, and to Tetch’s surprise, it looked like he was on the verge of tears. His voice was barely audible. “I almost lost you again.”


Tetch’s heart melted. He gripped both of Johnny’s shoulders and looked him dead in the eye. “But you didn’t. I’m here.”


For the first time since Johnny came back, they pulled each other in for a hug. They gripped each other tight, finally grasping the reality that they really were back together, they were both real.


“I’m sorry I left you,” Johnny sputtered. He was sobbing now.


“You never did,” Tetch assured him. He gripped his brother tighter. He felt tears in his eyes, too.


After a moment that Tetch thought was one of the best moments in his entire life, Johnny reached a hand out for Ferdy and pulled him into a group hug.


Familia siempre permanece unida,” Ferdy said as he held the both of them.


They stayed a little longer, not long enough, then pulled away. Saka licked Tetch’s face, clearly trying to make up for being left out of the group hug.


Tetch couldn’t help but laugh. Ferdy and Johnny laughed, too. Tetch rubbed Saka behind the ears.


“Sorry, boy. But you know you’re important, too.”


“So, what now?” Johnny asked. He hastily wiped his face. “I lost a sword for the third time this week.”


“But it’s only Tuesday,” Tetch reminded him. “At least, I think it is.”


“Shut up.”


“Did you seriously try fighting water with a sword?”


“I said shut up.”


“Well,” Ferdy interrupted and had his look of contemplation. “You do wield a body of water, now. Unfortunately it has its curse and side effects, but you and Tetch both have learned to use the swords to your advantage. I do not see how this could be any different.”


“Yeah,” Tetch chimed in. “Clearly you can pull people through the water, Ferdy is here. Maybe you can pull the rest of the Sabiduría here?”


Johnny shook his head. “That’s where the curse lies. The lake was going to drown both of you.”


“I do not think it wise to bring the crew here regardless,” Ferdy said. “We can not draw any more attention than we already have. Additionally, the crew and I seem to be at risk of control by Aether. It is assumably so that it may not be in our best interest that I am here to begin with.”


“Okay,” Tetch thought again. “But Johnny had to have done something else. We rocketed through the water, Johnny pulled us out when we were so deep down, and he never left the boat.”


That seemed to make Johnny realize something. He turned his attention to the water. It had gone back to its eerily calm state, unmoving and still. Johnny stared at it, and suddenly there was a ripple in the water. A ripple that Tetch realized was from the boat moving forward.


“You can control the current?” Ferdy wondered. The boat started to pick up more speed.


“I think it’s more than that,” Johnny answered. He held his concentration on the water around the boat, and looked a little strange staring at it.


Tetch marvelled at was happening, but realized there were larger ripples in the water off to either side of them. They were a little ways off, but they were getting bigger, and they started to slightly rock the rowboat.


“Uh, Johnny?” Tetch raised an eyebrow. “Is that you?”


“Shadow Crafts!” Was all Johnny could shout before two of the smoky mirage galleons burst out of the water.


© Copyright 2019 Andi May. All rights reserved.


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