Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 10 - "Reflection"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

Land ho!

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Sci-fi - Published: 2009-11-04 - Updated: 2009-11-04 - 952 words - Complete

Two whole days passed, rather uneventfully, aboard the Reflection, and now passed into a third.

Abu-Sharrah laughed occasionally and remarked that they must be making good time, though there was no way for Shades to tell. Away from land, the Ocean looked like it would reach past the rings of Saturn. Even Justin and Max looked a little bored at times as they sailed, and Bandit mostly just slept in such a confined space.

On the plus side, Shades’ stomach had gradually settled down, and he was beginning to get the hang of traveling on the high seas. And his bad dreams about John and Amy also subsided, something he attributed inexplicably with the vibe of this old man and his ship. Along with no longer being seasick, he was also getting better at moving around, not stumbling as much during his training, which was a relief, as he felt it would become very important to be able to defend himself on a seagoing vessel from here on out.

He was also learning the ropes of seafaring, with Abu-Sharrah and Max, even Justin, giving him hands-on advice. Though he suspected that Justin was just looking to add another hand to lighten his own load. He had always wanted to learn, of course, but his interest had often been diverted to things he could make more direct use of, and now, at last, his chance had come.

On the downside, though, Justin remained distant and cutting, especially toward him, and took every opportunity to pull Max aside and train or just talk with him. A hell of a feat, given how small the Reflection was. During those times, he just gave them as much space as he could, putting on his headphones and losing himself in music. Shades had tried offering him some pointers from Master Al’s bo staff training, and much to his chagrin, Justin mostly seemed interested in using it against him.

He was beginning to wonder if this was what it was like for John and Tom all these years.

So he was left to wonder if this Justin Black was the type to hold marathon grudges, or if he was just slow to simmer down after getting that pissed off. Apparently, from what he could gather, even Max had never seen him this furious before, so he had no way of knowing. With no point of reference, all he could do was just try to be diplomatic while they were cooped up on this ship, and see what Justin decided to do the next time they landed somewhere.

Much like with Shades’ and the other’s dreams, Max’s ankle was also healing quickly. As if the infection itself had diminished along with the Building’s influence. To say nothing of the old man’s mysterious presence.

Though their first full day traveling aboard the Reflection left each of them with a little jet-lag at such a drastic change of pace from the days and weeks leading up to it. No guards, no automated security systems, no curses or seemingly bottomless mazes to be wary of. The absence of enemies and hazards was a welcome, if rather disarming, turn of events. Ill at ease at first, but gradually settling into a reflective detachment.

Out here on the Ocean, everything seemed so distant.

At times like this, Shades often wondered where his friends were out there, that strange mix of openness and hope, of distance and despair. To be so free, and yet so lost. What he would need was some kind of clue, some kind of sign, but one thing he quickly learned during his brief visit to Centralict was that foot-beat detective work was very time-consuming, yet he feared he would have to resort to that method everywhere else they went until he got a lead on something more substantial. Something he could work with.

Max sometimes wondered where in that blue-green expanse the Islands might be, yet just as quickly dropped it, for fear that thinking about it might somehow bring them there. And he could still no more explain himself now than he could back then, so it was probably for the best. Sometimes, he also wondered where the Isle of Paradise was, as well, but even though he sometimes felt a hint of homesickness, he was beginning to discover that he really didn’t miss the place as much as he thought he would. For now he was finally, truly free to explore, and increasingly his mind turned to the possibilities, of all the places his parents had traveled to years ago. All the places that now awaited him out there.

For his part, Justin mostly sat and brooded, wondering where in this maze of an Ocean Kato and her cohorts had gotten off to. The vastness of it all rubbing saltwater in that stinging cut in that proverbial place between his shoulder-blades that only betrayal can reach. Even so, there were times when he his mind wandered off to another ship he traveled on, and he found himself wondering if the Skerry was still afloat out there, and if he might see it again some day.

Thus far, the weather was partly cloudy, with only a hint of rain, and a steady wind sped them along. Though in what direction, none could tell. It was beginning to look like it was shaping up to be another dull day when they all heard Abu-Sharrah call out from the helm: “Max! Justin! Shades! Dere is an island ahead!”

Jumping at the chance to get out of this cramped ship, each grabbed their gear and prepared to see what this new place held in store.
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