The Noachis Incident
There was no explosion. Hell, it wasn’t even loud.
Captain Falnis had barely spotted the silhouette of the damned thing before it rammed into our port side. Lanterns broke, oil spilled, wood splintered. From the shore, it would have been a quiet speck of inferno. From here, it was a conflagration.
“Redjacks!” Falnis would shout.
Redjacks? This close to Ighodia? And attacking us?
The usual procedure for Redjacks was to hide belowdeck and allow the Captain to parlay. Comply with anything they needed, as our lives were more important. The fires kinda threw procedure out the metaphorical window, though.
As the ship warmed around me from the yellow flames, I saw men landing on our deck that weren’t our own. Red coats and tattoos and sabres and screams.
I had run over to the most recent of the five whales we had caught, yanked one of the hooks from its gut. Important, that. Can’t grab ‘em from older whales. Things are real stuck in, frozen there. Anyhow, I knew that I couldn’t fight off these Redjacks with a hook and chain, so it became a matter of keeping distance.
As soon as it became clear I would be more trouble than I was worth, the two men left me alone. Ran off to raise hell, shatter lanterns, slaughter someone else, perhaps.
The half of the ship I was on–the bow side– was sinking. It was all sinking, but…
The Redjacks were moving quick. They wanted the whales, and they wanted Falnis. The red bastards aboard weren’t looking for slaughter–they were pulling a heist. A heist of flesh, perhaps, but flesh that could feed twenty people for half a year, and enough oil to light a thousand lamps for months. Times what? Five?
Ship was going under, quick though. People were screaming. And I did what I could do. I knew that I had to swim for it: keep me warm. No use holding on to any debris or nothing. JUst keep moving and hope the sea has my life in mind.
I leapt as far as I could. Swam as long as I could before my arms and legs and everything went numb.
That’s where I am now. In the black. The tides are pulling me in to shore, but it’s no use. That’s where I’ll be–by sunrise. Nice and cold. Dead.
Heh. No use.