Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 01 - "The Islands"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

the sinking of The Edge

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2008-09-11 - Updated: 2008-09-11 - 913 words - Complete

“Daaddd!!” cried Max.

His father seemed to fall forever in that moment; it seemed he would never hit the water. He could hear Robert’s horrified cry over the storm. Falling…

His splash was accompanied by a jolt that knocked Max off his feet. And just in time to avoid another round from the boats. As Max caught a glimpse of several more flashes of eldritch light under the water, followed instantly by another shockwave, he finally figured it out.

Horrified at how easily the submarine had slipped beneath the churning waves when he wasn’t looking, he no longer had any clue to its exact position. And with Slash no longer aboard, the crew of U-553 now opened fire on The Edge.

It didn’t take a tactical genius to see that the Cyexians had decided to sink The Edge. Or that she wouldn’t be able to withstand that much punishment for long. Max crawled over to the ruined deck railing, thankful that the submerged U-553 had maneuvered around somewhere to the other side of the ship. As another blast rocked the now sinking ship, Max hung onto the laser sword for dear life and jumped overboard.

The thrashing waves immediately threatened to overwhelm him as he struggled away from the doomed vessel, not wanting to go down with it. He tried to focus on staying afloat, and on trying to find Robert. He knew that if he could find his father, everything would be okay.

So focused was Max on looking out to sea, that he was almost run over by one of the small vessels as it pulled right up to him. He looked up to see a Cyexian leaning over him, her hand out-stretched.

“Need a…” was as far as she got, trailing off as she finally recognized who she was trying to rescue.

Max wasted no time. He grabbed her hand, kicking off the boat’s hull and hauling her overboard. He sprang up out of the water as high as he could, throwing one leg aboard just ahead of the other.

At this point, the pilot finally turned and saw what was happening. But even as she drew her power pistol, she knew she was too late, for Max now carried the power pistol that her partner had set aside for the rescue attempt. And Max fired. Wounded, the pilot lost her balance, and Max shoved her overboard, leaving the other pirate to help her unconscious comrade as he left both of them in his wake, his only thought of finding his father.

Max watched as U-553 surfaced near its mostly sunken quarry, a predator alien to these waters. The sub hovered before The Edge, her stern tipping slowly up into the rain-driven sky, and Max was certain that in that moment he beheld U-553’s true nature, and that of those who built her. Though the term wolfpack was unfamiliar to him, for a moment he envisioned it anyway, at least in concept.

Max was jolted out of this unsettling reverie when he spotted a familiar figure splashing frantically up ahead. As he cut the engine, he heard his father call out to him.


“Dad! Hold on! I’m coming!”

“No! Max, you have to get out of here!”

“But Dad!”

“Go! Now!”

Rather than argue further, Max restarted the engine. Yet before he could make his way over to his father, though, one of the other boats started firing on him. All it took for the other two to follow suit was for Max to hit the accelerator, and the chase was on. Instead of being able to swoop by and save him, all Max got was one last glance at his father over his shoulder as he was forced to swerve away from the enemies’ line of fire.

The last thing he would see was his father swept under by the wake of his own pursuers, and whether or not he ever surfaced again would be subject to speculation and hope.

For now, Max labored to keep the boat under control in the storm-tossed sea while Cyexian pirates took pot-shots at him. The chase taking him farther and farther from where he wanted to be. He almost lost control when a laser blast fried his radio antenna.

“No witnesses!” cried his pursuers, for that had been Slash’s standing order for anyone who stumbled across this secret operation. Or U-553, for that matter. Having seen their secret weapon, the boy must die.

Yet as they raced deeper out into open sea, the worse the storm became. On one hand, this made it harder and harder for Max to stay at the helm. On the other, though, it was making it practically impossible for the pirates to target him.

“Hold up!” commanded the group leader on the comm line. “We have to turn back!”

“But what about the kid?” demanded another. “Slash said no witnesses!”

“There’s no way he can survive that storm,” said the leader. “He’s as good as dead out there. And so are we if we stay out in this shit.”

It was a point well taken.

As the Cyexians turned back, following U-553’s ghost-frequency signal beacon, Max fled still deeper into the endless reaches of the Ocean, all hope of rescue lost.

“Dad…” Max whispered, wondering if he would ever see him again, for now giving little heed to the grueling ordeal ahead of him.
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