Friday, September 02, 2011

The Quest, Part Four

This is Part Four of the story.  Part Three can be found here.

The trickiest thing about fighting a Paladin of the Silver Wing is figuring out exactly which direction to run away in.  --Garn Calloushand, slaver

Garek burst out of his quarters at the sound of the loud explosion.  He cast a quick glance around before noticing the ship next to their own, a ship double, no, triple the size of The Losgud, with two rows of snub-nosed cannons pointing out at the cargo ship.  The deck was filled with corsairs, each with a drawn firearm or blade, and on the top of the poop deck stood a man, larger than the rest, wearing expensive red clothing trimmed in gold, and holding the ruby studded hilt of a cruel cutlass.  "Prepare to be boarded, sirs, and prepare to die!"

Garek wordlessly began striding towards the edge of the Losgud, his  left hand reaching back to thumb the small catch on the sheath he wore on his back, causing it to splay open like the wings of a butterfly, while his right hand gripped the hilt and pulled the massive, five-foot-long sword off of his back.  He reached the edge of the deck and jumped in the direction of the ship twenty feet away, roaring, "Leap of Faith!"  At the apex of his jump, silver wings of light seemed to sprout out of his back, flapping once, then twice, carrying him the distance to the pirate vessel, where he landed easily behind the men prepared to board his ship.

"And for the Light, I shall fight.  For it's will, I shall kill."  He spun, gripping the heavy blade in two hands, and his weapon made contact with one, two, then three of the corsairs, splitting them open at their chests, cutting the first in half.  "I believe I'm your first opponent, gentlemen," he said, his eyes narrow slits, radiating rage and hatred for the evil auras each one of them projected.

The pirates were battle-hardened, and needed little time to react, firing their guns and rushing him with drawn blades.  Garek surrendered himself to his battle rage, his sword a blur in the air as it spun around him in elegant circles, blocking bullets and severing limbs and heads from the pirates.  A stray bullet caught him on the shoulder, and Garek snarled, throwing out his hand at the offending gunsman.  "Ties that Bind!" he roared, as a shining silver chain rocketed from his open hand, wrapping around the pirate.  With a grunt, he yanked the chain, sending the man flying through the air and smashing into the mast with the force of an elephant, cracking it in two before it shuddered and fell back, crushing more of the sailors under it.

More of the pirates swarmed from below decks, dozens of them standing before the exiled paladin.  "You can't fight all of us alone," the dwarven man in front said, a stout individual with ornate rapiers in each hand.  Clearly, this was their first mate.

"Very well, then,"  Garek said, raising his hand.  "Jace.  Aid me."

Nothing happened, and the pirates began exchanging glances amongst themselves, chuckling, as confidence began to return once more to their ranks.  "And what was that supposed to do, paladin?" the first mate asked.


Wordlessly, Garek pointed up.

The dwarf caught the site of the talons, the cruel beak designed for ripping into prey, the large, beautiful, snow-white wings, and barely got out the word, "Griffon!" before Jace was on him, ripping into his chest with vicious, razor-blade talons as if the chainmail he wore was made of dried grass.

"A paladin is never alone, fool," Garek said, casually walking by the rows of horrified pirates.  "Kill them, Jace.  I've their captain to deal with."

He took the steps to the poop deck to see the captain alone, his cutlass in one hand, his revolver in the other.  "Come, then, paladin.  One of us will die an honorable death this day."

Garek stopped, marveling at the aura of pure, unashamed evil the man radiated.  The man was a fiend, a demon among men, and it showed.  Through the years his perversion had even affected the very vessel they stood on, which also glowed with a dark light under Garek's ability.  The paladin shook his head.

"No," he said.  "You're not dying in combat.  You don't deserve the satisfaction.  Leap of Faith!"  He jumped straight up, the silvery wings sprouting from his back once more, flapping to take him higher and higher, until they finally disappeared when he reached an altitude slightly higher than the top of the other two masts.  He flipped midair as he dove towards the deck, pulling his giant blade back, which began glowing as he roared, "SMITE EVIL!"

His fullblade smashed into the deck of the ship, shattering it as if it had been hit by a rushing train.  Garek fell still, smashing through two more decks before he plunged into ice-cold water, the ship snapping in half above him.  Frantically, he began to swim away from the vessel, but he wore heavy armor, and was gripping a sword that was nearly as tall as he was--for all the headway he made away from the vessel, he sank lower and lower, rapidly.

Finally, he cleared the vessel and threw out his hand.  Bubbles and muffled noises issued from his mouth as he named the spell, but the silver chain still shot forward, out of the water, and he felt it catch on something before he began rising, higher and higher, finally breaking out of the water, as Jace pulled the chain until he fell to his feet, once again aboard the Losgud.

9 comments:

  1. This is a grand battle scene! Awe-inspiring combat, for sure!

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  2. Battles make me smile. They are man in his natural state.

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  3. Quality as always, loving the story.

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  4. Wow again...just started The Quest and had to skip forward...again!

    Garek is a badass.

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  5. Very good, as always. One problem, though.

    "With a grunt, he yanked the chain, sending the man flying through the air and smashing into the mast with the force of an elephant, cracking it in two before it shuddered and fell back, crushing more of the sailors under it."

    This passage is a little rough. (Which isn't to say my own writing is never rough. I think, having my own rough spots has helped me develop as a writer. Still a long ways to go, though.)

    Anywho, consider the merits of something like:

    "With a grunt he yanked the chain sending the man flying through the air, smashing him into the mast with the force of an elephant, and cracking it in two. The mast shuddered and fell back, crushing sailors and warping the deck by sheer weight."

    Mine is a little clearer but still misses something.

    Also, one must wonder what happened to the man slammed into the mast. I'd suspect death by massive damage, but I'm still curious to the specifics. For instance, did the impact split open his skull? Was it merely a glancing blow which obliterated his leg, so that he drowns from not being able to swim? Did he scream for his mother or wet his pants as he hurtled toward the (only?) mast?

    And suddenly I realize why there are 5 final destination movies.

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  6. Correction, there are three masts. My bad. My brain skipped over that part.

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