Categories > Cartoons > Skyland > Antigua

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by hyperpsychomaniac 1 Reviews

With the Saint Nazaire damaged (due to Mahad's stupidity) the pirates have to stop on a block for repairs. But something about the block has both Cortes and Wayan feeling uncomfortable; turns out, ...

Category: Skyland - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters:  - Published: 2007/03/26 - Updated: 2007/03/26 - 2248 words

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A/n: I just had to write this. Don't ask me why. Don't be too scared by the first paragraph... if that scares you... that's as bad as it gets... hides

Antigua

"So... any special requests...?"

"I just... need to forget..." He looked up into the eyes of the woman straddled across him. He'd never seen her before a few minutes ago.

"Ah..." She leaned in closer, pushing him further into the bed. "Old girlfriend?"

"Not like that... I need to forget a lot of people. A lot of people who aren't around anymore... thanks to the Sphere..."

"Oh..." She paused for a moment. For a moment he saw a flash of understanding cross her eyes. "Well..." the look left and she traced a finger up his bare chest and to the corner of his jaw. "... I can assure you, you're only going to be thinking about one thing for the next few minutes. Guaranteed. Or your money back." She winked, and then she pressed her lips against his. The rest of her body pressed into his.

And then, for the next few minutes, he almost forgot.


**

Cortes gripped the wheel of the Saint Nazaire. He could feel the ship creaking and groaning beneath his feet. He didn't like the feeling; he didn't like a damaged ship. And he was not in a very good mood about it. It had taken all his self-control not to yell and pound the railing in frustration as they'd limped the ship away from the Sphere water carrier they'd attacked. They hadn't known there were so many patrollers nearby.

It didn't help his anger when Mahad strolled in through the door to the bridge, a grin plastered across his face. "Did you see me take those patrollers down?! They didn't know what hit them!"

Cortes gripped the wheel tighter, in an effort to keep his emotions from seeping out. It didn't work very well. "I gave you an order, Mahad. I told you to back down."

"Yeah... but then we would've still had those patrollers chasing us."

"Then we wouldn't have a damaged ship!" Cortes retaliated. He realised he'd raised his voice when he saw Lena jump out of the corner of his eye. But it didn't stop his focus on Mahad. "Now, we have to take time to get repairs. Time we could've used to find a less heavily guarded water carrier!"

He wouldn't have been so angry if it was just damage. Or maybe he would, but the anger wouldn't have been directed at Mahad. Cortes had actually thought the boy was improving. It had seemed he was just possibly listening to him more. When Cortes had left him in charge of Puerto Angel, he'd shown he was capable of thinking of other ways to keep people safe, other than coming out guns blazing.

But now he'd disobeyed a direct order. Instead of turning the Hyperion around when two squadrons of S-22s had flown in, he'd gone the other way, blasting through them, as if he was untouchable. The Hyperion had escaped damage. But the Saint Nazaire, larger and less manoeuvrable, had taken more hits than its left engine could handle. They could have escaped with minimal damage if Mahad had docked the Hyperion when he'd been told.

"They're all too heavily guarded! We already bypassed one because you thought Sphere radar would pick us up! We could've grabbed that one, and been gone! We could've still taken the water from the last one..."

"The Saint Nazaire cannot carry a water load on one engine."

"Have you tried?"

"Enough, Mahad! This is all beside the point. I gave you an order. And while you are on my ship you will obey those orders, understood? You will not go gallivanting off, and put yourself and everybody else in danger."

Mahad grumbled and looked down at the deck. "... yes, sir."

Cortes felt like saying a good deal more, but now was probably not the time. "Cheng," he said instead, "have you pinpointed the nearest repair station yet?"

"I think so... there don't seem to be many around here..."

"Where? And how far?"

"About thirty kilometres. It's on some block called 'Antigua'."

Cortes froze as the name rang a bell.

"It's supposed to be a pretty good repair station," Cheng continued, oblivious to Cortes' reaction. "They have to be, because there're no others around for miles. Guess we're pretty lucky to be so close."

Cortes only caught half of it as his brain clicked back to reality. He noticed Dahlia was looking at Wayan, who must've also reacted to the mention of the name. Cortes moved away from the wheel, before Wayan could look up at him. "Is that the only one?"

"Yeah... none around for miles..."

Cortes sighed. "I guess we'll go there then. Dahlia, Wayan, set a course for Antigua."

"Yes, sir," said Dahlia.

"Ah... Cortes?" said Wayan, a half-second later.

Cortes closed his eyes for a second. "Yes, Wayan?"

"Um... you sure we can't make it back to Puerto Angel? Might be a better idea..."

"We have to stop at Antigua. You know if we try to make it much further we risk losing power completely."

Wayan's hesitation was almost imperceptible. "Yes, sir."

Cortes watched the blocks drift across the forward window as the ship altered its course slightly. They would arrive at Antigua in a little over twenty minutes. Then they'd have to get the repairs organised and completed.

And then they would leave as soon as they could. There was no reason to stay. He could already feel something like apprehension building. He didn't really want to go to the block anymore than Wayan did. But as long as they simply repaired the ship and left... that was all they would do on Antigua.

**

"What is the point of me doing this!?" Mahad exclaimed, throwing the scrubbing brush across the deck. It bounced twice, and skidded to a stop beneath Lena's swinging feet, where she sat on the railing, just outside the bridge.

"I think that is the point." The scrubbing brush floated up in front of Lena, under direction from her powers.

"What?"

"That it's pointless..."

Mahad let out an exasperated sigh. "That'd be right."

When the Saint Nazaire had arrived on Antigua, Cortes had first ordered Wayan and Dahlia to help with various things, and then told everyone else that it could take a little while. Mahad had said something about taking a look around, and, in his opinion at least, Cortes' rather loud 'no' had been much louder than necessary. Why staying put was necessary either, he didn't know, but then he'd made the further mistake of muttering something about 'fun filled hours of boredom'. Cortes had told him that if he needed something to do, he could give him something.

And so here he was. Scrubbing the deck.

"Can you stop playing with that?"

The scrubbing brush floated back to Mahad, and landed rather heavily in the bucket of water next to him. "Hey, watch it!"

Lena just giggled.

At that moment, Dahlia walked past, a clipboard in one hand. "This is supposed to keep you out of the way, you know," she grumbled as she practically had to step over Mahad.

"Dahlia! You've got grease or something on your boots!"

Dahlia looked back at where she'd walked. "This is a repair station..."

"Why am I even doing this!? None of it's going to come off."

"You know, it could've had something to do with you damaging the ship?" Dahlia suggested.

"I didn't damage the ship, the Sphere did!"

Dahlia sighed, and continued into the bridge.

Mahad scrubbed at a bit of grease on the deck, and then threw the brush back into the bucket. "What is so wrong with fighting the Sphere rather than backing down?!"

"I don't think that was the point..." started Lena, but she stopped short as she was cut off by a shout from across the repair station.

Mahad stood up to get a better look. Neither he nor Lena could fully hear what was going on, but they could see Cortes was yelling at one of the repair station workers.

"Does he yell at everybody?" Mahad wondered aloud.

"He doesn't yell at everybody..." said Lena. "He just yells at you when you do something stupid."

"I do not do stupid things. I just do fun things. And they're fun things with a purpose, like getting water..."

"... or damaging the ship?"

Mahad sighed. "That wasn't my fault... and he's yelling at that guy! So it's not just me being stupid."

"Maybe he's just having a bad day..."

"Or maybe it's just this block..." Dahlia said from behind Mahad, making him jump.

"But he always yells."

"Lena's right Mahad, that's just at you."

"Alright, he just yells at me! Jeesh!"

Having curbed Mahad's complaining, Dahlia came and joined them by the railing. "But he doesn't yell this much. Both he and Wayan seem to be on edge since we got here. And they both reacted when Cheng mentioned the name of the block. I've been thinking, we have been here before."

"What happened?" Lena asked.

"I don't know, it was a few years back. I can't remember that anything bad happened. But I do remember both Cortes and Wayan were in a pretty bad mood when we left. I have no idea why."

"So... you think something about Antigua upset them last time, and that's why they're so grumpy this time?" said Mahad.

"Or something that happened while we were here last time? Yeah."

"So... that means Cortes was only mad because of that... does that mean I have to keep on scrubbing this deck?"

Dahlia sighed. "I hardly think he wants you to clean the whole deck. Maybe just keep out of his way? Keep out of everybody's way?" She turned and started to walk down the stairs that would take her off the ship.

"Maybe you should ask him?" Mahad shouted after her.

"What?"

"Ask Cortes why he's so grumpy. Then we'd know what was going on, I wouldn't feel bad about not cleaning this deck, and everybody would be happy!"

Dahlia looked back at him. "I am not going to ask Cortes why he's 'grumpy'. If there was any danger from being on this block, we wouldn't have stopped. It's probably nothing."

Mahad sighed and watched her leave. "Yeah... if there was the slightest possible risk, I'm sure we'd be a million miles away from here..." He picked back up the scrubbing brush and looked down at the rusty deck. "You know..." he said to Lena, "I think I'm just going to sit here unless Cortes comes past. The deck's going to look exactly the same."

**

"I can't believe this. Why would they have half the parts their probably going to use on the other side of the block!"

Wayan sighed. "Lack of space? I don't know. I suppose we'll have to wait until one of their guys is free to go over there."

Cortes scowled, and seemed indecisive for a moment. "I'd rather not wait that long." He looked agitated, and he'd been growling at any of the repair station workers who weren't doing things fast enough.

"Well... you could always try yelling at them again," said Wayan, in an attempt to lighten Cortes' mood, or at least distract him.

Cortes barely responded, as if he didn't even realise Wayan was poking fun. "Forget this... I'll just go over there myself and get them to send the reactor. Maybe I can get them moving faster from that end."

"Wait..." started Wayan.

"What?"

"How are you going to get over there?"

"Antigua's a busy block. They have cabs. I'll take one."

"Okay, but..." Wayan took at step closer to Cortes, and lowered his voice. " ...you know what happened last time."

"What are you getting at?" Cortes growled.

Wayan realised he was pushing Cortes' boundaries. Sometimes it was like the man had a concrete wall erected around him, and God help you if you tried climbing it. It was only after he'd known him awhile that he realised Cortes was more bark than bite, and if you weren't going to damage anything inside the wall, he'd let you through. He'd probably still growl at you though.

"Look, I'm just worried you're going to go to that place again..."

Cortes sighed, looked like he was going to get angry, but then seemed to reign it in. "Do you really think I'm that desperate?"

Wayan just looked at him. "You know that's not what I think. Last time you told me you'd been a few times before."

"Yeah, so I went to a brothel, on Antigua, a few times. The fact that last time I was there a member of my crew practically walked in on..." Cortes trailed off as Wayan made a face like he'd just got a bad mental image. "Look, Wayan. I appreciate your concern. But I actually want to get off Antigua, and if we're going to do that we need that reactor. I'd rather go get it than sit around doing nothing, probably thinking about other things I could be doing on this block."

Wayan sighed. "Alright, just look after yourself..."

"Don't worry, Wayan. I am perfectly capably of controlling my own problems." He turned away, heading across the repair station. "I'll be straight back when they bring the reactor," he called back behind him.

Wayan watched him leave, and really hoped he would.
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