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


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

out of gas

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Horror,Sci-fi - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2009-11-21 - Updated: 2009-11-21 - 1216 words - Complete

“The problem, in a nutshell,” Shades explained, “is that we don’t have enough fuel left to go anywhere.”

“You’re shittin’ me,” Justin muttered.

“I wish I was,” Shades replied, “but I’d never joke about something like this.”

“So what do we do now?” Max asked.

Shades thought for a moment, then said, “Max, you said there were more ships on the other side of the island, right? Some of those ships must have more fuel. We could regroup and then see what we can do about getting more gas from one of those ships.”

“Are you nuts?” Justin demanded. “You expect us to go back!”

“I don’t think we have a choice,” said Max.

“For now we stay down, even though I think we’re out of range,” Shades told them, “and then we stay down some more. No telling what else that bastard might have at its disposal.”

That having been decided, they moved out to the point where they could barely make out the island anymore, hoping it was far enough. There, they stopped to patch themselves up between the ship’s first aid kit and Abu-Sharrah’s healing supplies, and tried to work out a more specific plan. The best they could come up with was snagging one of the other ships and trying to figure out a way to siphon fuel from it once they were at a safe distance. Or, failing that, just take the other ship instead.

Once they were ready, they began to circle the island at a distance until they reached the other side, the Reflection holding back even farther out of range. They all watched as the island seemed to rotate, revealing areas they hadn’t been to. Near the opposite side, they saw a natural harbor, with several mysterious squarish stone pillars thrusting out of the water. Leading to the top of the mountain was a broad stone stairway. At least two dozen vessels sat along the docks on this side, all of varying size, design, and origin.

They tried not to ponder how all of those poor souls ended up.

Deciding to try from among the ships closest to the edge first, the biggest of them presumably having the biggest fuel tank. Therefore, they figured, most likely to have the most fuel left to siphon. Or so they hoped.

Since Shades had the most experience maneuvering this particular vessel so far, he stayed at the helm. Deciding that the entity wouldn’t give them much time to make their move, they opted for the fastbreak approach, advancing as fast as Shades felt he safely could while still being able to stop in time. Pulling up alongside their chosen ship, laying low while Max and Justin went to work.

Still unsure if there was anything he could do to that effect, Justin at least tried to cover Max as he hopped aboard. Max, for his part, tried to stay low, tried not to think about how Justin would have made a smaller target. But Justin was, after all, the best marksman among them. Laser sword in hand, Max prepared to break into the cabin if need be.

All the while watching for little red dots.

Whatever they were bracing for, none of them expected a small object to sail through the air, landing on a nearby vessel. Even as Shades recognized what it must be, before he could shout a warning, there was an explosion that ripped half the ship apart. In that moment, all that came to mind was the fuel tank that was likely right under Max’s feet. The powder-keg of fuel he and Justin were sitting on, for that matter.

“Holy shit!” Justin screamed as he hit the deck, trying to figure out what the hell that thing was up to now.

“Max!” Shades called from the helm. “Get out of there! That thing’s got a grenade-launcher!” Thankful that it didn’t have a rocket-launcher, or else they’d all be dead by now, but, “We’ve gotta go! There’s no way we can withstand that!”

Max wasted no time turning back, but just then a second grenade arced through the air, striking near the base of one of those blocky pillars, shattering it.

“Max!” Shades and Justin cried out in unison, watching in frozen horror as the pillar fell, looming over the ship Max was still on.

As the mass of stone collapsed above him, Max dashed across the deck, taking a flying leap at their own deck. The whole thing crashing down right behind him as he flailed through the air. Landing on the deck, skidding right across and tumbling against the opposite railing as shards of stone streaked by overhead like shrapnel.

Shades was thrown from the helm, and Max and Justin tossed across the deck like ragdolls, the ship itself nearly capsized against the shock of the impact. As Shades hit the deck, in his mind he heard alarms, remembering that in the movies this would be the part where someone would shout Damage report! or Shields are failing! or some such, and sparks would start flying from all of the controls. But this wasn’t any movie, he had to somehow regain control of the ship or they would all die for real right here and now.

As the ship began to right itself, Shades crawled back to the helm, restarting the engines and moving away from the flattened, rapidly sinking wreckage of the other vessel, which he could barely make out through the debris splashed across the starboard windows. When he heard both Justin and Max shouting on deck, he at least knew neither of them had been thrown overboard. A miracle in and of itself, he decided as he poured on more speed.

Max and Justin stayed down, and both of them screamed in spite of themselves as another blast obliterated yet another ship. Clearly correcting its aim with each shot. Even as they moved very clearly out of range, several more ships exploded in a fiery tantrum, and there were even several short geysers as shots tracked their retreat beyond the docks.

“Now what the fuck are we supposed to do?” Justin moaned, knowing now, as he originally suspected, that to go back for another round would be suicide.

“I guess we have no choice,” Max said, looking up the mast, relieved to see that there was no serious damage to the folded sails. “Until we get more fuel, we’ll just have to travel the traditional way.”

Seeing this, Justin stormed into the cabin, demanding, “Why the hell did we just almost get ourselves killed when we didn’t have to?”

“I guess I didn’t think of that…” Shades said sheepishly, taken aback somewhat by how absent his own tone sounded, in light of everything that just happened.

“Well, why didn’t you?”

“Why didn’t you?”

“Will you two please stop arguing?” Max sighed as he stumbled into the cabin. “None of us thought of it, so let’s drop it, okay?”

Before either of them could say anything else, though, they came upon the Reflection, where Abu-Sharrah waited and observed from a safe distance, and they came out on deck to converse.
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