Ch. 45 Where Do You Go To Find Peace
“Mr. Loa, take the helm and keep us on a heading of 47 degrees north by 122 degrees west. Mr. Maa, Ms. Chow, accompany me please.”
Captain Jyun swung around and started threading his way beneath booms and sails towards his usual perch upon The Nergal’s bowsprit. Behind him stepped the ship’s quartermaster and its boatswain. When the trio finally arrived at the captains destination it was to find the morning seascape opening up to ever-increasing realms of oil slicked waters and rocky cliffs as the sun forced the Sounds coastal fog back into Poseidon’s cavernous lair below.
On a ship whose red stripped hull and silicon boule sails were a harbinger of slavery to all who had the misfortune of laying eyes on her, there was no room for disobedience or failure. The fact that one of their crew had just been behead was an indication of both.
Feet moored once again to the ships prow, Captain Jyun said, “Can either of you tell me how Mr. Sorensen managed to get his hands on that weapon?”
Responsible for not only the upkeep of the ship, but her security as well, Chow’s eyes cut to Quartermaster Maa for inspiration, but found the latter’s fixed firmly on the horizon. Refocusing her own gaze on a point at the back of the captains head she answered, “It seems someone cut the cage bolt, sir. Since I myself handed out weapons this morning, I can only assume Sorensen must have gone back down after I came up on deck.”
“And you’re positive it was locked?”
“Secured it myself sir.”
“And where is the weapon now?”
“I took the liberty of placing it in your gun cabinet, sir.”
A southerly wind slammed into Nergal’s sails, causing her to shudder under its unexpected assault. Abruptly the air was filled with more than just the smell of salt and decay. Out over the ocean a wall of radiant laden storm clouds marched towards them, its mass stretching as far as the eye could see.
“Yes, Ms. Chow. I see it.”
“Should we try and find a peaceful place to harbor, sir?”
Bone and muscle twitched along the captains bristled jaw. Turning towards his crew he said, “Mr. Maa, please explain to Ms. Chow why we are not going to abandon our search for the damphir.”
Quartermaster Maa cleared his throat, spat its stony contents out over the ships railing and replied. “Sentient weapons were designed with dual capabilities. The first was to seek and destroy vital organs.” Mr. Maa’s Adam’s Apple dipped before adding, ” The second was to act as a conductor.”
Boatswain Chow’s eyes swung back towards Maa’s. “A conductor of what?”
Eyes void of light the captain answered instead, “The plague, Ms. Chow. The weapon Mr. Sorensen used to shoot our damphir was specifically designed to carry the plague.”
Ms. Chows face drained of color. “But sir…that means…”
“Now you understand why we have to find that damphir.”