Posted by UO Team | 2013 Sep 04 16:54 -0400 GMT
The waves lapped against the side of the BSV Menagerie as they made their way across the ocean, but Isaiah had eyes only for the storm front that cast shadows across their intended destination. It’d been two long months since he’d last seen Isabelle, and the ring he was twirling inside his pocket had taken most of his pay to buy…but he knew it was the perfect ring for her. It was everything he’d ever wanted to give her and knew she’d love it. The only problem was the look of the storm ahead…if it was as bad as it seemed, it could delay them from being able to use the pillar. “Waterspout to starboard! Hard to port, lads, and work them sails!” Isaiah’s voice rang strong out from the bow where he stood, and he turned to see the other crew swiftly moving into action to put them in a safe path.
Their journey towards the pillar was filled with strange sights…sea life seeming to be fleeing away from it, and the weather getting increasingly worse…darkening the afternoon skies to the dimly lit air of dusk in but a moment, and causing the once gentle swells to slam against the boat. “We’re almost there, boys, don’t slack now!”
“Isaiah, we’re not going to make it past that typhoon a-brewing! We have to call this off, and try to make for shore!” The captain’s voice had a pleading quality instead of an ordering one…being one of the few who knew Isaiah’s reason for wanting to get back so desperately.
“We can make it, Captain!” His reply was ripped away by the wind though as the storm suddenly surged to new heights. All the crew clung to whatever was closest to try and hang on, when a tremendous tearing and shredding noise ripped through the air, raising the hackles on their necks. An instant later the worst of the storm was gone…the typhoons had vanished…but the rain still pounded down and the waves crashed against their ship. As Isaiah worked to clear his vision and tried to catch sight of the Serpent Pillar again something caught his eye with a shock.
Ahead and to port was a vessel similar to many he’d seen before, though a few of the adornments were new to him; but that wasn’t what caught his attention…instead a splash of blood on the deck and the massive hole in the hull that was sucking in water did that. A moment later, however, it was seized by the sight of the dead body on the deck, and the realization that there may still be someone else inside.
There was no hesitation on Isaiah’s part, and he leapt to the edge of the decking, and dove towards the other boat. Pumping his arms through the water, he had a vague thought for the safety of the ring in his pocket, and quickly thrust his hand inside and grabbed it…slipping it onto one finger as far as it would go, and clenching the hand into a fist to protect it. He thought he heard voices shouting for him from the Menagerie, but he shoved them aside and focused on the task at hand as he came alongside the unknown ship.
With effort he managed to get onto the ship during a large swell, but it was already listing heavily…it would only be a matter of minutes before it threatened to sink beneath the ocean. He spared a glance to the bloodied body being pressed against the deckwall and shuddered as it looked as if it was not incidental damage, but some sort of blunt weapon used against it. He made his way to the cabin and swept the door open, to find yet another body…no, two more inside. They looked as if they had somehow been slammed against the walls and possibly even ceiling repeatedly, leaving it smeared with their blood. Blanching, he managed to close the door and prevent himself from retching with effort. With only one place left to check, he ran for the hold, even as the entire vessel tilted treacherously beneath his feet.
It took a massive effort to get the door to the hold open, and his eyes boggled at the sight…inside was an absolute horde of crates and treasures, but amidst it was one man, and though he had blood on him…he appeared to be breathing as he floated on his back in the shallow water starting to fill the hold. He began to head down into the hold when the entire vessel lurched in a sickening manner, and started to tip on end.
In a panic, Isaiah quickly reached for the man, extending his one hand down and grabbing for him desperately, but unable to haul him up with a single hand. Isaiah quickly grabbed him with both hands, the ship turning as he dragged him out. His own vessels crew was fighting to keep their ship from being swamped…and a cheer went up as they saw him emerging from the doomed vessel.
Gripping tightly, he hefted the unconscious and bloodied passenger of the ill-fated ship, pausing only at feeling a strange sensation along his finger…before realizing too late that it was the ring meant for Isabelle sliding off. Time seemed to slow to a crawl as he watched the glittering emerald ring drop through the air, to be missed by his attempt to snatch it, as it dropped into the sinking ships hold. For what felt like an eternity he held his gaze upon it, for a moment even considering dropping the unconscious man…but the Isaiah that Isabelle fell in love with wasn’t that kind of man. With a bitter fist seeming to hold tight to his heart, he scrambled across the ship into the water, carrying the one living passenger up to their own boat, and trying not to think about the loss of the ring.
“Who do ya suppose it is, Isaiah?”
Isaiah had hardly said a word since he’d returned and the BSV Menagerie had docked in Papua. As the healers looked over the unconscious man, Isaiah found himself staring at the strange clothes…trying to figure out the fabric. He’d never seen it’s like before, and the color was a new one as well… “Probably some sort of noble or merchant…hopefully we’ll get a reward for saving them. But let’s find out…there’s only one place it could have come from.”
Standing up, Isaiah headed onto the docks and shouted, “You there, Lad! Lad…how many ships left by way of the Serpent’s Pillar this eve?”
“Err…none, mate. There ain’t been a ship that wanted to brave the storm…frankly surprised yer all came out here as well.”