So uh, I was intending to release this for a long long time, however the story kept on getting longer and longer and longer, so I decided to just release this first, then the second part later. Sorry for the lateness
Based off the writing prompts made by @BNTarwarn in May
The townsfolk of the island gathered around the port, watching as preparations were made. The Grand Exploration Fleet was lanching out today, and people fought to see this grand event.
“Can’t believe you actually signed up for this” A man wearing a blacksmith apron remarked
“You know they need a doctor Ben, especially one with my skills,” replied Arthur as he pushed up his glasses, “Not many people study magic academically, and we don’t know what we’ll meet out there in the seas”
“Look at you acting all high and mighty,” Ben replied, “What happened to needing a good old fashioned blacksmith”
He chuckled before replying “Oh, I’ll miss you when we’re out at sea”
“Make sure to write back to old Ben when you’re a big colonist across the sea,” Ben replied back,
“Your acting like I’m not going to return” Arthur replied, “Well, either way, I supposed we’d better get going”
“Don’t get eaten by a shark” Ben joked
The towering frigate launched off the port, with thirty others of its kind, with a simple objective, to determine if there was anything beyond the Seven Seas. “Throw open the sails!” the one-eyed captain yelled, “Pull up the anchors!”
“Pleasure to meet you Captain Harrow” Arthur greeted, “I’m Doctor Knight and I-”
“Spare me the pleasantries doctor” Captain Harrow interrupted, “If you want my respect, you’ll have to earn it. I don’t mean just rambling about the difference between a White Eyes and a Poison Jaws. You better know how to do chores, or you’ll be overboard by the time we reach this continent of yours”
“Well… I can’t say I’m proficie-” Arthur began
“Then you’ll have to learn, or the sea will be your grave” Harrow interrupted, before walking away
“Quite an intense man” Arthur mumbled to himself
“He can be nice when he wants to” defended a young woman wearing a red scarf and cloak, “He just likes to keep recruits on their toes”
“Bit of an understatement” joked Arthur, “Don’t think he’s keeping me for more than half the journey”
“He’s nicer once you get to know him. I’m Alex by the way” Alex replied,
“Honored to meet you” Arthur replied back
Arthur began to stare out at the island in the distance, as it got smaller and smaller. And then it happened
A sudden blast of magic energy knocked Arthur across the ship, the ringing sound of destruction echoing through his ears. “Below deck! Hurry!” one of the crewmates shouted.
Arthur picked up his glasses before looking at what had once been an island, was replaced by a giant wave of energy twice the height of the ship. He ran below deck, fighting through the clamoring crowd of people, desperate for even the smallest chance of survival. He barely fought through the crowd when the wave hit.
The ship rocked wildly as its durability was tested, half the people around Arthur turned into dust right where they stood. By some miracle, Arthur stood up, surrounded by the dust of those less fortunate. The shock of it all left him paralyzed on the ground, it had to be a nightmare, some sort of hallucination caused by the stress.
Unfortunately, he was not that lucky
The few surviving crew members gathered around, including Captain Harrow and Alex Everyone looked shocked, the implications of what had happened still setting in on them.
“This event was certainly not planned,” one of the crew members remarked
Arthur nervously chuckled, “No shit”
“We should turn back, make sure everyone over at the Seven Seas are okay” Alex suggested
“The Seven Seas are probably just a couple of rocks right now” another one of the crewmates replied, “Besides we’ll have to deal with whatever the hell caused this”
The whole crew began to devolve into arguments, before Harrow cut in, “MEN! We are the last people on this planet, and here we are, arguing like children. Every one of you was hand-picked for a reason, every one of you had something that someone thought was noteworthy enough that you would be able to colonize an entire new continent. This may not have been on schedule, but if we work together, we’ll make it through just fine. Unless you want to sit here and bicker as the last of humanity dies out.”
The crew stayed in silence for a couple moments
“What’s your plan then, Captain” Arthur spoke up
“We’ll stick with the original plan, we keep heading north-east, and we end up at the continent that all those scientists were raving on about. We’ve got about twelve months worth of food, and as long as we make it before that runs out, we’re safe.”
“What happens if it doesn’t exist, sir” one of the crewmates interjected
“Then we die looking” Harrow replied grimly, “Get to work lads, we’ve got a long journey to make”
People began to move to their jobs, knowing that if they failed, the last men on earth would have perished.
“Harrow! You might want to take a look at this” Alex shouted from above deck.
An almost solid wall of storm clouds had gathered, with glowing green lighting coming from the clouds.
“Those certainly aren’t normal clouds” Harrow spoke, “Although I’m pretty sure we’ve all figured that out”
“I was hoping this wouldn’t happen” Arthur replied “We’ve hit the dark seas, Centuries of magic pollution formed some sort of wall around the Seven Seas. We should begin to expect the worst, everything from magically mutated creatures to weird weather like this”
“The plan stays the same, whatever’s in these dark seas can’t be worse than a White Eyes.” Harrow replied, “And we’ve killed those before”
“With all due respect, we’ve never explored the dark seas, there could be monsters that could eat this ship whole” Arthur replied back
“Let them try” Harrow threatened, “Everyone! Get ready for some tough weather out there! The dark sea will not be our graves!”
The ship began to rock wildly as they hit the barrier, lightning echoing around them, stabbing at the murky ocean. Waves towered over the ship, almost as large as the mountains. Several unlucky crewmates were washed off the ship, lost before they hit the water. The dark sky seemed to project an air of hopelessness
“So how’d you end up on this cursed ship” A crewmate questioned, as he sharpened his long sword.
“Research on magic and the dark seas” Arthur replied, “Never thought I’d end up stuck in the cursed thing though.”
“Came here looking for a new life, got a little more than I bargained for” he replied, “At least the bastard Durza is dead,” he replied, “I’m Avernel by the way”
“Think he might’ve caused it?” Arthur responded
He remained silent, continuing to sharpen his sword. Suddenly the lunch bell rang, interrupting the silence. As everyone filed below deck, the chef began handing out biscuits to the crew, “This is it?” Arthur remarked as he received a single biscuit. “Captain wants this to last us at least 24 months, so eat your share and stuff it”
“At least we’ve still got dinner” Arthur muttered
“Dinner? It’s already breakfast” the chef grinned, “I was serious when I said 24 months, and we aren’t hitting that unless we ration like hell”
Arthur sat down next to Alex and Avernel, the other crewmate he had met earlier. As he sat down he noticed Alex’s badge, “You worked for the Arcane Government?”
“Used to be a trainee for their wizard division, wanted to do something good for the world” Alex answered
“They wanted me to make some weapons for them before I left, something called the Pepperbox. Still got the blueprint they gave me”
Avernel looked like he wanted to say something, but remained silent.
As he bit down on the biscuit, he recoiled from the taste, “We have to eat these things?” Arthur complained.
Harrow responded as he passed by, “You’ll have to get used to it fancy boy. The next time you’ll eat fresh food is when we hit land”
“How long could that be”
6 Months Later
Arthur thought back to that moment 6 months ago, Harrow was right, he did get used to it, as well as the rest of this hell. He barely even remembered the taste of fresh food at this point, and his memories of the Seven Seas had begun to feel distant. In that time, they had gone from a crew of 600 to a humble crew of thirty, some were lost in the blast, and some were swept off the ship by the waves. Either way, they weren’t coming back.
“Thinking about home?” Alex asked
“You could say that” Arthur replied
Suddenly their conversation was interrupted by a crewmate blowing their horn,
“Some sort of ghost ship passing through!” the crewmate yelled
Sure enough, a transparent husk of a ship passed by them, they could see ghastly mimics of crewmates running around on the ship before all suddenly being dragged by a shadowy beast into the depths. As one of the crewmates began to run below deck, running for his life, the beast bit him in the chest. He clutched his chest as he collapsed, coughing out a grayish mimic of blood, before the entire ship faded, disappearing as quickly as it appeared leaving nothing but a smokey mist behind.
“The heck was that supposed to be?”, One of the crewmates questioned shakily.
The rest of the crew remained silent, an air of fear settling in on them.
“I would recommend we find some weapons before the same happens to us” Avernal stated grimly
“You heard the man. Find any weapons you can in the hold! Harpoons would be preferred, but take whatever you can get!” Harrow ordered
As everyone else prepared for the oncoming battle, Arthur went through his belongings, fishing out a blueprint. He stared at the advanced drawings of the weapons, every dimension, and equation laid out, whoever had made this was probably dead now, but that wasn’t important. He pulled out some blacksmiths tools, gifted to him by Ben as a parting gift, and began to bring the blueprint to life.
He lifted his creation to inspect it, rimmed with silver and gold, the Pepperbox was supposed to be the weapon of the future, given to elite fleet admirals as a sign of honor. He would have to hold it in their place.
“I suppose this is the blueprint that the Arcane Government gave you,” Avernal remarked as he walked in from behind
“It is” Arthur replied, loading ammunition into the barrels
A horn blew above deck
“There’s our signal kid,” Avernal said, “Time to prove your worth”
As the rest of the crew rushed above deck, a crew member that he recognized as the chef was already surveying the scene.
“Somethings disturbing the water” he observed, “Looks like it’s moving fast. Maybe if we kill it, we’d get some fresh meat for once”
The crew began preparing their harpoons and weapons, as Arthur loaded the last few bullets into the Pepperbox.
“It certainly sees us” the chef continued, “I think it’s going to -ARRGH”
He was cut off as the beast jumped out of the water and dragged him off the ship in a reddish blur of motion. He uselessly fired his harpoon into the distance as he disappeared into the murky water. The chef struggled for less than a second underwater before a cloud of blood floated to the surface, the only remains of the poor man. This was going to be a grim battle.
To be Contiued
Thanks for reading