Chapter 2: Unbelievable Fate

Chapter 2: Unbelievable Fate

A Chapter by Cole Spire
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Xavier and the Good Captain Dust meet an unexpected "Charge"

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Chapter 2: Unbelievable Fate

 

It was always a spectacle coming into the docks of Port King. The largest port on this side of the Umani Coast, so called for holding the largest human population in May-Terra, on top of that Port King was once the landing dock for the King of the Umani kingdom. No one knows how the term “Umani” became associated with the human race but some Elders tell tales of an ancient race of people that walked among the Gods and Goddesses as if they were one. The “Ancients” then split to explore the world and “Umani” was the name of the Ancient that found this coastline. Most people though, believe it is just a universal term for their race.

The docks of Port King were tremendous compared to the other smaller ports that doted the coastal cliffs of the Umani coast. Large cruise ships, with as many as six masts, loaded and unloaded passengers looking to travel the sky for a small fee. There were smaller one mast schooners that sped through the docks weaving in and out of the larger ships as if they were nothing more than large inconveniences. These were usually followed up by the larger three and four mast ships that were home to all sorts of travelers. Port King was known to be the place to trade, sell, market, and introduce your most marvelous wares, or buy from the traveling merchants that came from all around the world.

It wasn’t so strange to see Elves and Dwarves arguing over the strengths of their respective weapons or magic. At the same time the Were-creatures from Lunaticia could be found trying to sell their furs, tracking and hunting items. Humans of course traveled frequently around here and every once in a while you might even be able to catch a glimpse of a Saurial or even an Orc or Ogre that had wandered in to buy new equipment. It was well known that every race of creature was welcomed in Port King and not only that but Port King was a neutral city. A safe haven from any war or battle that might be waging between the races.

Yet it was also known that Port King had a dark side, a seedier side to the glitz and glamour that the market place showed the visitors. The back streets and dark alleys of Port King could lead you to all the wonders of the mind and flesh that you could imagine. Concubines of all sorts and sizes could be purchased for a small amount of gold, along with weeds and grasses that could be smoked to illuminate the mind and lighten the coin purse. Gambling houses were common here as well as pubs and bars ranging from a small table serving the newest Dwarven Ale, to a large establishment that was selling thirty or so wines, ales and beers.

This was all known to the authorities of the port city, and they allowed some leniency to the hidden places. As long as the rabble didn’t spill out onto the main streets the back alleys were allowed their own type of justice. This leniency was well known to the business owners of Port King and it was well abided by. For the King’s Royal Patrol was also know for their cruelty. The police of the city had full reign on the laws that were enforced and they also enforced their own personal laws that usually changed with the moods of what ever KRP had you in custody. Simple beggars had been known to be thrown aside with a simple warning while others, that had caught a KRP in a bad mood, had been sentence to months in jail for the same crime.

Once the KRP got involved in anything, both parties usually ended up with the short end of the stick and the KRP’s purse a bit heavier.

Even through all of this, Xavier stood on the bow of the ship with his hand over his eyes blocking out the harsh sun and his tail wagging slightly. He couldn’t hide his excitement at finally seeing this port city of legend. Captain Dust had promised the whole crew a hefty amount of the bounty and a full two weeks of shore leave before calling them back. One of the things that Xavier was most interested in seeing were the Elves. He had heard many great things about their magic and ability to imbue items with powers and abilities that he could only dream. Yet he was also in the hurry to meet with the Dwarven craftsmen, he had ideas for weapons that only someone of their skill could even possibly have the chance to complete. Xavier couldn’t help but feel excited about the opportunity he was given, he knew he would never been able to see something this wondrous unless he had left home.

“Don’t let her beauty blind you Xavier.” Spirit said as he slowly walked up to where the young wolf was standing.

“What do you mean?” the young wolf asked a little upset that his wizard friend had tried to ruin his mood.

“This place has a way of luring you in and never letting you go. All the pleasures of the world are here, you could spend an entire lifetime here and still not see everything.” the wizard said as he straightened his cloak. His long golden brown hair hanging over his slender shoulders making him look quite feminine with his thin features and beautiful face.

Not only was Spirit the first wizard Xavier had ever met, but he was also the first Elf as well. Xavier had to really hold back from grabbing at Spirits ears the first time he had seen them. They were elongated like his but flesh, no fur what so ever, and stuck out quite a ways. He found that he still had trouble trying to not grab them. As spirit saw the young Lunatician gazing at his most dominant feature, he pulled the hood up of his forest green cloak.

“Why do you wear that old thing?” Xavier asked bluntly as he looked over the weather beaten and torn cloak that Spirit was wearing.

“If you must know Fenris.” Xavier’s ears lowered as he heard his first name. No one ever called him by his first name, it was the way of his people and the way he truly liked it. Spirit very rarely called him “Fenris” and it was only when he was starting to get annoyed. “This was made by my great great great grandmother for me on the day I was born. It is dear to my heart and I will wear it even if there is only a small shred left to tie around my neck.”

Xavier blushed furiously and then turned his attention back to the dock they were slowly coming to.

“Spirit?”

“Yes Fenris?” Spirit asked back sounding even more annoyed.

“Why do you do this? I mean, why do you travel like this? I have heard stories about the Elven continent and how many amazing things there are and how much magic there is there. Why leave home and travel with a pirate hunter?”

Spirit smiled, even Xavier could see that he was amused by the simple question. It wasn’t an annoyed smile but more one of mirth as if he had expected such a childish question.

“If you must know my friend then I ask you to seek the answer to your question within yourself.”

Xavier turned to look at Spirit, his eyebrow cocked high on his brow. If it was one thing he could never get used to, it was the way Spirit seemed to talk in riddles. He had no idea if it was all the Elven kind or just Spirit because he was a wizard. He hadn’t met any other than Spirit, and really hadn’t paid any attention to Durango while he was avoiding the magical attacks. The young werewolf looked back at the port city and sighed then turned to face Spirit once again to ask him for a more understandable answer, yet once he turned his head his Elven friend was gone. Once again Xavier was amazed at how silently the wizard could move, whether it was a spell, magical item, or natural ability Xavier wasn’t sure.

“Drop sail! We’ll coaster’ in the last thirty feet to pull right up along the dock!” Xavier heard Chops McRee shout from the crow’s nest. The old sky dog had been sailing for far too long but his sight was still just as sharp as ever.

“Aye!” he heard from the deck and then turned to watch the crew scramble to drop the sails and get the ropes ready for docking.

“You seem excited Xavier.” Captain Dust said as he and Xavier met near the railing.

Xavier couldn’t deny the fact that he was impressed by how the Captain was dressed. He had on a very dapper crimson coat that had gold frills along the shoulder and a pair of pressed and steamed white pants. Red lining traveled up and down the sides of the legs and met at the end and to complete the ensemble the Captain was wearing a pair of polished black boots with a crest glittering where the buckle should be. He looked as if he was ready to be knighted by the King himself.

Apparently the astonishment was obvious on the lycanthropes face because the Captain laughed a bit. “I have to dress to impress Xavier. I need top dollar for Sweed’s head.”

Xavier looked down at his tattered clothes and frowned. If he was going to buy anything with his share it would be brand new clothes.

“You look fine my boy.” the Captain said as he placed a hand on Xavier’s shoulder. “I’m sure you’ll find more than a few hearts to break around here.”

Xavier blushed again.

“Meet me back here in an hour after we dock and I will give you your take.”

“Yes sir.” Xavier said with a wide smile. It was his first payment, the first of many more to come, at least he hoped it would be.

As the large schooner drifted in, the Dock Master was waiting and Captain Dust pointed him out and then waved. The Dock Master waved back and then touched his wrist. It was obvious that he was scolding them for being late, but all Captain Dust could do was shrug. The Captain then looked at Xavier and chuckled.

“Dressed to impress remember?”

Xavier nodded and waited for the wooden steps to be set into place so he could disembark after the Captain. As soon as the entire crew had set foot on solid ground he turned and gave them all a hard stare. He then smiled and waved a heartfelt goodbye. They all knew to meet him back here in an hour and the crew all knew that they would all be waiting for him long before he got back.

Xavier watched as Spirit quickly moved off towards the busiest part of the marketplace and he found himself following the Elf. He didn’t know why but he felt that being near someone he knew might make his first trek into the busy city a lot easier. Spirit didn’t seem to mind that he had a tail and lead Xavier around the more prominent markets. The most important one that he needed to visit was the apothecary. He was in dire need of supplies for his spells and there he would be able to replenish his stores.

“You there!” Spirit heard an overzealous voice call out behind him. He turned to see Xavier standing stone still with his finger pointing to his own face, a very confused look masked over his features.

“Come here boy! I have for you the most wondrous game this side of the Umani coast!”

“A game?” Xavier asked quite interested.

“Not just any game my werewolf friend. The only game known to May-Terra that can put a keen mind such as yours to the test. I can tell just by looking at you that this would be a game for you.” the barker said boisterously.

“Ok. How do I play?” Xavier asked as he moved over to the small display table the host was standing behind.

“Darn simple my boy.” he said as he place a small walnut shell face up on the table, next to that he placed a large banana leaf and in the middle of both he placed a small talon, not unlike the talons of a large birds he had seen hovering about the ships as he sailed the sky.

“A leaf, a walnut and a claw from a Sky Ripper!” the barker said enthusiastically. “All you have to do is guess which of these items will appear in the magic mirror!” the man waved his arm greatly to display the large golden mirror behind him.

By this time, Spirit had stepped next to Xavier and was intently watching the salesman from under his hood. He had seen games like this before, the most popular was a shell game where the man moving the shell would palm the pea so it was not under any of the three shells. For a boy new to a big city, this game was a death trap. Spirit knew that the barker was counting on Xavier’s ignorance to put a few more pieces of gold in his pocket.

“Seems simple enough.” Xavier said with a smile.

“Great, only one gold to play!”

“One gold? But I don’t have anything.” Xavier said solemnly.

“I’ll pay for this.” Spirit said suddenly, causing the werewolf to jump. And before Xavier could protest he placed a small golden coin on the table.

“What a generous friend!” The barked exclaimed and gathered up the three items and placed them on the top of the mirror that held a basin. The man waved his hand over the mirror mumbling gibberish that Spirit knew to be no such magic spell or incantation he had ever heard and watched as the mirrored surface of the “Magic mirror” started to swirl.

“Alright son, what is your first guess?”

“All I do is guess?” Xavier asked more than curious of the magical item.

“Yup, simple huh? A one in three chance to double your money. I have nothing to do with the random item that will appear. To prove it I will stand over here.” he said and stepped far away from the mirror, his hip resting on the table.

“Okay. Uh… Sky Ripper claw.” Xavier said with anticipation on his lips.

As the mirror seemed to swirl more, a small clicking noise sounded in the young cubs ears.

Click, click, click.

As soon as the third click had sounded, a claw appeared on the mirror and the salesman slapped his hand on the table.

“Well don’t that beat all, looks like you won your friend there a second gold coin.” he turned to face Xavier in a flourish. “How about a second guess and I will double your gold?”

Xavier looked to Spirit who only nodded. The Elven wizard had seen Xavier’s ears perk up and was interested in seeing what the young wolf could do. He knew that the barker would let Xavier win again but the next bet would be double or nothing.

“Ok the banana leaf.”

Click, click. Xavier heard it again and sure enough a banana leaf appeared in the mirror.

“Aw you have got to be kidding me! Beginners luck.” by this time the hosts cries had gathered a large crowd to all watch the game being played. “Okay okay kid, double or nothing?”

Xavier looked to Spirit and again got the nod to go ahead. As Xavier was thinking about his next choice, the clicks sounded again and the mirror started to swirl once more. He heard “Click, click, click, click.” and then the barker say “Hurry the image is coming.”

Xavier took a few seconds and looked at the way the mirror was set up. The tray held the three items flat so he could barely see the tops of all three and then it dawned on him what the clicks meant. He counted in his head to four as he looked at the items and quickly blurt out “Walnut!” just as the image came into view.

The mirror cleared and a walnut was sitting in plain sight for everyone to see. The man hosting the game didn’t seem as enthusiastic as he did before but paid Xavier a total of eight gold pieces. The mirror continued to swirl and the barker asked again. “Okay okay, double or nothin again, I have to win something back.”

Click, click, click, click, click.

Xavier counted again and smiled. “Bana-” he heard another click. “Claw!”

Instantly the mirror showed the claw. The barker looked confused but paid Xavier double his bet. “Looks like this kid has been blessed by lady luck over here.” the crowd was cheering Xavier on and Spirit gave a third nod. If Xavier lost he would really only be out one gold piece which was only a fraction of what he held in his coin purse.

“Ok, double or nothin again?”

Xavier nodded eagerly having figured out the trick to the game. As the clicks started to sound, it seemed the barker had caught on too. But he didn’t understand how keen Xavier’s ears really were. The clicks seemed to pile on top of each other as the barker looked down at the small pile of gold he would be paying out if he lost this. Yet Xavier was counting right along with him.

The last click sounded and the host seemed satisfied with his trick. “Can he do it again?” he asked the crowd.

Xavier counted and then counted again to make sure and finally said “Walnut.”

Before the image even became visible the barker groaned. He took a small handful of gold coins and tossed them at the young wolf. “Go on! Get out of here! Take your gold and leave!” he looked furious.

Xavier quickly gathered his winnings and moved near Spirit.

“That really wasn’t fair of you, you know?” Spirit said with a smile as Xavier handed him his gold coin back.

“No you keep it, you won it fair and square.”

Xavier looked at him confused but then smiled as he placed all the coins in his empty pouch. “I thought you said it wasn’t fair.”

“Well he was cheating and you were as well. There is no wrong way to cheat a cheater.”

“True.” Xavier said simply.

“How did you know?” Spirit asked as the two walked towards the end of the market place. Xavier was headed to a tailor with his winnings, he decided he needed to dress to impress as well.

“The clicks.”

“What clicks?” Spirit asked a little confused. “ I heard no clicks.”

“There were clicks. I don’t know what he was pressing or stepping on, but it made a soft clicking sound each time he pressed it.”

The Elf smiled. “He was using a pedal, I saw his foot moving subtly. Your ears must be very keen to hear something like that.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Xavier said as he scratched the back of his head. “Well, I won’t have anything else to spend after I get out of here, so I guess I’ll meet you back at the ship?”

Spirit nodded and smiled opening the door to the tailors shop for the werewolf. “Till we meet again my friend.”

It had been long after the time Captain Dust said he would return and the crew had begun to worry. Rumors had started that day that a continent had appeared surrounded by a cloud like haze. The sudden appearance of a new land mass meant two things to most of the population of May-Terra. One was that Titan, the God of the land, was in a creating mood and had not yet finished this new mass of earth. Or it was a foreboding sign of ill times. Most of the populace of Port King believed the latter of the two ideas and had begun contemplating the horrible things that would soon be happening.

It wasn’t hard to have a crew go rogue on their Captain if ideas such as doom or even pending doom filtered down from the panic stricken city to the hearty and battle hardened crew. Like thieves and beggars, bounty hunters and even pirates themselves were a very superstitious lot. Spirit knew this and also knew that something important must have diverted the honorable Captain Dust from his appointed meeting time. As he looked over the crew he saw someone he had never seen before and casually walked over to introduce himself.

It wasn’t uncommon to see a new face every once in a while, a young man trying to hop a ship to get to a certain port, or even someone brave enough to try and join them. So he thought it was important to find out which reason it was.

As spirit neared, something seemed very off about the young man. He seemed more than comfortable talking and waiting with the crew. His clothes were too new and looked as if they had been worn for the first time this very day. The wise elf moved closer still and let his eyes roam over the young mans form more than once. He had dark brown hair and brown eyes, but the oddest thing about the boy was the fact he had no shoes.

It took Spirit a few seconds more to realize who exactly he was looking at and why the young man was so comfortable with the crew. He was part of the crew, the new first mate to be exact.

It was Xavier.

Spirit smiled and walked up to the young wolf disguised in human flesh and placed a hand on his shoulder. “One must dress to impress.”

Xavier blushed a bright cherry as he looked into the penetrating gaze of Spirit’s eyes and nodded. He had spent all the gold he had won on a new outfit. The pants weren’t as tight as his old ones and on top of that they were a dark earthy green. His vest seemed to be a companion to the pants for it was the same color. The coat he wore was still the same royal blue coat he had been wearing before, it seemed he didn’t have enough to finish the ensemble.

“The Captain is very late.” Xavier said trying to change the subject.

“Yes, I feel as if he has been detained for a good reason though. He has been sailing these skies for over ten years and has yet to refuse payment to his crew. In fact most of these sailors have been with him since he began.”

“What should we do?” Xavier asked slightly put off. He was the new first mate and Spirit’s statement made him feel as if he had been wrongfully given the position. He hadn’t sailed more than two weeks before the battle that earned him his title.

“Well what would you suggest sir?” Spirit smiled.

Xavier’s eyes widened. Spirit was right, with the Captain gone he was in charge and he had no clue as to even where to start directing the crew to keep them occupied till the Captain returned.

His mouth hung open as if he meant to say something but only a whimper could be heard.

“Start by having them get the ship unloaded.” Spirit whispered.

Xavier nodded and then cleared his throat. “Alright! Attention my friends!” he was trying to keep his poise as the Captain always had.

No one even turned around to pay the young wolf any heed.

“Don’t be the Captain my young friend. You do not command their respect as of yet. Be yourself, and more than likely you should drop the human appearance.”

“Right.” Xavier nodded as his body began to shift and change. His bones cracked painfully as his nose and upper lip formed a muzzle, his canines grew into small fangs and his hands and feet grew thick fur as well as his ears grew and shifted to a point as fur sprouted from under the skin as each inch grew. Once back in his hybrid form, Xavier looked at his clothes and frowned. The seems near the feet had burst with his sudden growth in muscle and his vest was suddenly too tight. His jacket, on the other hand fit like a glove.

“Hey!” Xavier barked out, his voice ending in a snarl. “Get your lazy asses on the ship and get it ready for loading! The Captain will be back soon and I doubt he would like to see his crew meandering around like a bunch of wandering slugs!”

The twenty or so men that had been standing around suddenly turned and looked back to see Xavier standing there, his arms folded over his chest with a snarl over his lips. The reaction was instant as every person to the man scrambled to get back aboard the ship.

“Subtle” Spirit laughed.

Xavier only shrugged. “It worked didn’t it?”

“Aye my young friend. Now what do you suggest we do about the Captain?”

“Go find him?” Xavier asked very unsure of himself.

“Indeed.” Spirit said checking the many pockets within his cloak. “But where should we start?”

The Elven wizard was trying to make Xavier think like a first mate and to allow him to learn on his own, but the situation would become dire if the Captain didn’t arrive soon. The crew was loyal, but even loyalty has its price.

Having no knowledge of this city or where the Captain would even go to collect a bounty, Xavier was more than a little overwhelmed. He wracked his brain to try and think like Captain Dust but found himself lacking the experience to even begin retracing the Captain’s steps. As he thought of every place he would go, one suddenly sprang to mind.

“The KRP station at the other end of the city?”

Spirit only nodded. “A good place to start.”

The two let the crew continue to do what they were doing and started off down the street again. This time instead of the marketplace they headed towards a more wealthy part of town. The KRP main office was smack dab in the middle of the higher class community. Buildings around this part of the port city were known to be owned by lords and high paid adventurers. So it was not so unrealistic to believe that the police of this fabulous city were also just as high paid.

In this part of the city Xavier felt like a black spot on a piece of white parchment. He felt so out of place that he wished he had a cloak like his Elven friend for the fact that every window he passed and every street corner he seemed to have eyes watching him. No more than a few blocks into the upper class area did the two encounter two KRP officers.

“You two lost?” one asked gruffly from on top of his mount. It was a large chestnut brown stallion covered in leather battle armor to allow the steeds large muscles to pound without constriction.

The other was on a mount as well, his horse was a light blonde but just as magnificent. It was obvious that the money placed into the KRP’s hands was used well.

“No sir, we are on our way to the other side of town.” Spirit said from under his cloak.

“I see, and what business do you have here?” the second officer asked sharply.

“We seek our man.” Spirit answered once again before Xavier had a chance.

“I doubt your man is anywhere on this part of town boy.” The first KRP officer said as he moved the stallion in front of Xavier to halt any further passage.

“Why don’t you two head back where you belong and find a nice alley to sleep in.” the second added.

“I assure you, we mean no ill will here sir. We seek our man in order to get our ship ready to leave port.” Spirit spoke calmly.

Xavier couldn’t understand how the Elf could remain so calm, he was severely offended and his anger was starting to show. The wolf’s claws had tightened into fists as his throat rumbled low emitting a low but audible growl. The stallion that was near the werewolf raised its head in alarm and trotted back a few steps.

“You threaten a King Royal Police officer!?” the officer on the mount said angrily as the horse stepped back. “You mongrel beast!”

The second officer quickly drew his sword as did the first, both ready to charge at any other signs of a threat.

“I assure you sir, we mean no harm.” Spirit said quickly trying to disarm this potentially dangerous situation.

“Lower your hood sir, or I will lower it for you!”

Spirit took a deep and calming breath as he looked sideways at Xavier who was still growling with his eyes narrowed. He reached up to the cloth with his nimble hands and slowly pulled it back. Shaking his hair free of the back of his neck, Spirit let it settle over his Elven ears and stared directly at the first officer almost defiant and deliberately not letting himself get angry.

“Just as I thought, a bloody elf.” the officer on the blond horse spat.

“Looks like we have two trespassers here. A damned werewolf and a stupid elf. I think a few months in the jails will teach them a lesson on where their kind is welcomed.”

Xavier growled louder as his foot started to move forward. All the while Spirit was praying to his Goddess to keep the situation calm.

“I see my hard earned money is paying for nothing but bigotry!” a booming a commanding voice echoed from behind the officers.

Spirit thanked the Goddess Siren for her blessing as he saw Captain Dust standing at the corner with his arms folded over his chest.

The two men stuttered over their answers before saluting the well respected Captain. “Captain Dust sir! I didn’t see you there.”

“I’m sure you didn’t. After all, two lesser race creatures are walking along your golden paths aren’t they?” Captain Dust said sarcastically.

“No sir, you misunderstood me.”

“I’m sure I did.” Me moved to stand in front of Xavier and Spirit glaring up at the obviously distraught KRP officer. “Why don’t you help me to understand then?”

The two men looked at each other for answers but when none were obvious the first turned to face the Captain’s unrelenting stare one again. “We got reports of two shady characters wandering around the streets of this area.”

“Oh I see. And a werewolf is definitely shady right?”

“No sir.”

“How about an elf, I suppose they are shady too? I mean the stupid race only blessed your weapons and stallions with magic didn’t they?”

“No sir.” both officers said in unison looking quite uneasy.

“They didn’t bless your mounts or those swords you were so eager to use a second ago?” Captain Dust snapped at them.

“They did sir.” one of the KRP said quietly.

“I see. So a werewolf would only be good to help you track down a thief or murderer and an elf is good for nothing but granting you magical properties?” Captain Dust never let his eyes leave the two officers, he wasn’t going to have two of his friends forced into action or their races badmouthed by two bigots.

“No sir.” both said again a little quieter.

“Good, then I suspect you owe these two fine sailors a heartfelt apology.”

“I’m so -” the first officer started.

“But I know it won’t happen!” Captain Dust cut him off. “Since you don’t have a sincere bone in your body, next time I am in port I will have a talk with Captain Gregor about your attitude. You better not hope I catch you bothering any more of the ‘lesser’ races boy or you won’t be able to walk when I am done with you!” he growled as he pointed a finger at the officer.

The two men were so shocked that they couldn’t respond, both just looked at the Captain as if he were the God Alexander himself.

“No be gone ya racist b******s!” Captain Dust hollered.

The two officers wasted no time in turning tail and heading off in the opposite direction that the three bounty hunters stood. Xavier stood looking with even more respect for his Captain. He couldn’t do anything during the scolding but watch the exchange with an opened mouth. He was sure tha a few flies had found their way into his gullet without his knowing, but he hadn’t been able to close his mouth. He looked to Spirit who had a warm smile on his lips, and it was that that allowed Xavier to finally pick up his jaw.

“I was handling it sir.” Spirit said softly placing the hood back over his head.

“I’m sure you were Spirit, but I think our friend here had other ideas.” the Captain said motioning to Xavier who finally let his hands relax.

“Yes, but he was doing his best to behave himself. You have to give him that.”

Both men shared a laugh at the young wolf’s expense and then began to head back towards the docks. Xavier stood there trying to understand the joke but shrugged and then followed his newest friends.

When the three arrived at the Morning Sun, the Captain was honestly amazed that the ship was unloaded and ready to take on more supplies. He looked at Spirit who only nodded at Xavier. The Captain smiled and placed a hand on the young wolf’s shoulder. In that action Xavier understood that he had the Captains respect and that meant more to him at that moment than anything else in the entire world. He watched as the Captain boarded the ship followed by Spirit. The rest of the crew watched as Xavier followed the two with his head held high.

Much later on, in the Captain’s private cabin, all three sat around his drawing board with a map of May-Terra’s skies laid out before them. There were marks all over it showing battles, sightings, victories, and even deaths. Captain Dust was sipping a warm cup of tea as he looked at his two closest confidants on this ship and slowly placed it onto the table on an unmarked portion of the map.

“I have another meeting in a few hours.” he said breaking the silence.

“Oh, so soon?” Spirit asked.

“Yes, and I would like Xavier and you to join me on this. I understand that this is someone that you would greatly want to meet Spirit.” the Captain said smiling and then turned to Xavier, “And if you ever plan on taking over for me when I am too old to wield a sword or fire a cannon, you need to see how these meetings are conducted.”

For the second time in less than four hours, Xavier found that he couldn’t close his mouth. He had just been told that he would eventually become Captain of the Morning Sun! All he could do was nod in response.

“You two get some rest and meet me here in three hours. Unfortunately the person we are meeting requires great secrecy and we have a long trek till we get to the meeting place. Xavier I’ll need your sense of direction for this since neither myself or Spirit are any good in pitch black darkness.”

Spirit gave him a questioning look that was returned with a calming hand patting the air. The Captain knew that Spirit had abilities that allowed him to find true north any time he wanted, but he wanted to have his first mate guide them. He considered it a test for the young boy and was eager to see how he fared.

Xavier didn’t get any rest, in fact the only thing he was able to do is pace in his cabin. Being the first mate his cabin was slightly larger than the rest of the crews cabins. It allowed him space to be alone as well as have a place to sleep. The young wolf had very few amenities in his room, there was a blanket he had taken from his mother before he left Lunaticia that would keep him warm in even the coldest nights as well as remind him of home when he felt sick for the lycanthrope continent. He had a space for his newest clothes and didn’t know if he would ever wear them again since he didn’t think he would find himself in a situation that he would need them anytime soon. The only other major item in the werewolf’s cabin was a small shrine built to his Goddess. It was large for the space he had and took up most of the floor, but the large crescent moon carved out of stone was a reminder that he was never alone.

Spirit actually found the wolf in front of the shrine when he came to get him to go to their appointed meeting place off in the forest just outside the city gates. Always interested in other customs, Spirit watched silently as Xavier continued to pray and let him finish before clearing his throat to announce he was there.

“Time to go my young friend.” Spirit said smiling.

Xavier felt his stomach churn nervously as he nodded and moved past the Elven wizard and made his way topside. He didn’t know what to expect and was more than a little curious as to why the Charge; what the Captain called people who hire them, needed to have such a secretive meeting place.

“Ready Xavier?” Captain Dust said from the railing, his normal attire back on as well as a sword at his hip and a gun on the other.

“Ready as I’ll ever be.” was all he could manage without exposing how nervous he was.

The Captain nodded to Spirit and then to his first mate and headed down onto the dock. The other two followed quietly but the feeling of excitement was definitely in the air as all three seemed to know something big was about to happen.

The sun had long since set as the small group of pirate hunters finally made the clearing that they were supposed to meet their newest Charge. Xavier had performed flawlessly, able to read the signs of recent movement or even marking on the trail as they passed them. It was to be expected from the werewolf sense his whole race were some of the greatest trackers in the world. With the young wolf’s nose and keen ears they had avoided a pack of Goblins that were looking for a fight as well as a lone mountain lion that was out stalking the night for food.

They had made the clearing faster than the Captain or Spirit thought possible. Spirit looked at the regal Captain with a look of astonishment and it was returned with a look of mirth from the leader of the pirate hunters. Captain Dust was about to congratulate his first mate when a sudden hurricane force gust caused the three men to drop to the ground to keep from flying away.

“What in the black Abyss was that?” Captain Dust said pushing himself up and drawing his rapier.

Xavier sniffed the air and caught a familiar scent that he couldn’t quite place but he knew they were no longer alone. “Someone is here.” he said as he narrowed his eyes looking around, his ears twitching this way and that listening for the slightest noise.

As the Elven wizard dusted himself off he only shook his head. He didn’t think they were being set up, but with the company they kept, one could never be too sure. Spirit had slowly lowered his hood and shook out his tangle of hair and deftly ran his fingers through it to get any final kinks out when his eyes went wide. He gasped loudly and then dropped to one knee lowering his gaze.

Xavier heard the intake of breath and turned to see a beautiful woman walking towards them. Her robes seemed to flow endlessly and the edges seemed blurred, as if they were vanishing with every step. There was something familiar about her and as he looked her up and down the wolf suddenly remembered where he had seen her. It was her blue eyes, they were so clear and beautiful that Xavier had seen them looking at him while he was soaring between the ships.

“Ah Madam Siren.” Captain Dust bowed low.

Xavier mouthed the words as if he could hardly believe who and what he was seeing.

“Your lady, I humble myself in your presence.” Spirit said softly.

Siren walked up to the wizard and lifted his gaze to hers by his chin. “Spirit who walks in the living. You have no need to humble yourself in front of me. You are always in my gaze and I am proud to have such a faithful follower.”

Spirit blushed a deep crimson and it was the first time Xavier had ever seen his wizard friend nervous

“Captain Dust.” Siren said as she walked past him and stood to face Xavier. “You must be the young one I saw flying through my skies earlier today. Very brave if not a bit foolish. Especially for one without wings.”

Xavier chuckled and then shrugged. “I though the ships were closer really. Just trying to keep the crew from getting hurt you know.”

Siren smiled at the young cub and Xavier seemed to feel a warmth radiating from his toes fill him up. He couldn’t help but be attracted to the Goddess, she was the epitome of beauty and he let his mind drift away into a fantasy that he was sure every male on the face of the planet would have at that very moment.

The Goddess watched the lewd smile that crept over Xavier’s muzzle and could only guess at his thoughts. As Spirit watched he could have swore that he saw his Goddess smile and blush as if she were a school girl.

“Fenris you need to keep your thoughts to yourself!” Spirit scolded.

Xavier blinked a few times and shook his head not even realizing what had happened. “Huh?”

“Be calm Spirit. Very few beings know what it is to be in the presence of a Goddess. I am sure Xavier didn’t know that his fantasy was being shared.” Siren said with a disarming smile.

The werewolf blanched as he realized the Goddess had either read his mind or had seen what he was thinking of and he felt those butterflies again only this time it felt like they were made of silver.

“Can we get down to business Madam Siren?” Captain Dust said calmly.

“Yes of course my good Captain.” Siren passed by Xavier and then Spirit to stand in the middle of the clearing. Her eyes seemed to glimmer a second before gusts of wind surrounded them growing stronger by the second. The wind grew stronger until it seemed like the group would be sucked into a vortex and thrown into the night sky, but all four of them stayed planted on the ground.

“There, now no one can interrupt us or hear what I propose.”

Xavier moved to stand next to Spirit and the Captain, not wanting to miss a thing.

“What is it you need of us my Goddess?” Spirit asked almost breathlessly.

“Something so simple and yet so dangerous that I wish I could ask some one else. I hate to think of what could happen to such great men if they fail.” Siren frowned as she finished.

“There isn’t anything we can’t handle Madam Siren.”

“Yeah with Captain Dust at the helm, we could battle through hell and back with Diablo’s crown in hand!” Xavier said enthusiastically.

Siren chuckled and nodded. “I am sure you could, but this is very important. So please listen to my whole proposal before asking any questions or denying my request.”

All three nodded eager to hear what a Goddess could possibly want from them.

“I am sure you are all aware that there is a new island that floats in my sky no more than four days sail from here. I am also sure that you have heard rumors that there resides an evil demon on that island. These of course are nothing more than fairy tale.”

Captain Dust had indeed heard the rumors and knew exactly of who the Goddess spoke of. The demons name was simply “Demon Spire” and had been held accountable for hundreds if not thousands of deaths over the years after he had first heard of the creature. Everything from a bad hand of cards to the destruction of an entire continent had been caused by this creature that no one had ever seen. The only recollection that was recorded about Demon Spire’s appearance was a tale of two blood red eyes. Shortly after that the teller of the tale dropped dead of fright.

“The evil that resides on that island is not of hell’s or heavens making. Demon nor Angel reside on that volcanic land mass. The evil is of Human descent. He is a vengeful beast that wants nothing more than to destroy the very life we all cherish. So I ask you Captain Dust, and you Fenris Xavier, as well as you Spirit of the Elves. I ask you three to take your crew and put a stop to this menace before he rains his evil and terror on the peaceful coastline of the Umani Coast.”

Captain Dust seemed to consider what the Goddess had just asked and looked at his two other companions for answers to unasked questions.

“You will be rewarded handsomely I assure you.” the Goddess spoke as if she knew exactly what was on the Captain’s mind.

She knew he was weighing the options of loss compared to reward and if it would be worth it. Captain Dust knew his crew would follow him into a den of vicious Cerberus Kings without a second thought, but going after something like what was just described could prove to be too dangerous to even fathom a reward that could compensate for it.

“I leave it up to you two.” he said finally looking at his companions.

Spirit looked at his Goddess and had full trust in her. He would accept this quest even if it meant certain death. “I say we go.”

“What kind of reward?” Xavier said, his youthfulness and inexperience showing greatly.

The Goddess looked amused when she knew she should be taken aback by the bluntness of the wolf’s question. “The blessings of a Goddess could be anything you can think of my young friend. Even a blessing from my sister if you like.”

Xavier knew which sister she was referring, his Goddess Luna. A blessing from the Goddess of the moon might let him achieve his full potential. At such a young age he knew he would go down in history with his people. That simple fact was more than Xavier could pass up. “We’ll do it!” he said quickly.

Captain Dust merely nodded. “Just give us a heading and we’ll be off in the morning.”



© 2008 Cole Spire


Author's Note

Cole Spire
Please comment and enjoy. Your opinions really do matter to me, good or bad.

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Reviews

First of all, you need to go back and change the word "sense" with "since". I'm not sure why people do this, but it is my biggest pet-peeve with writing. There is a part where it is mentioning that Xavier's race is filled with some of the best trackers. I'd leave a note about it, but apparently we can't do that anymore.

Okay, despite the way I feel about the direction you are taking Xavier, this chapter was fairly good. It moved along nicely and kept my interest. There were more than a few misplaced commas. I'm not really one to be giving advice on commas, but I did notice spots that they should have been used and weren't.

I also felt that you used the term "as if" and the word "as" a little excessively. I think you could easily exchange that term. Here is an example:

"the Goddess spoke as if she knew exactly what was on the Captain's mind."

You can easily change that to: the Goddess spoke, knowing exactly what was on the Captains mind.

Also, don't worry about using an apostrophe for every plural word. Remember and apostrophe "s" is combing the word with "is". Such as, Captain. Doesn't need to be Captain's unless meaning multiple Captains.

Now for my problem with Xavier. I'm not really liking how he was used in this chapter. He seemed very out of character. First off, he didn't talk... at all really. Xavier is a talker. He would have gotten a word in there somewhere when Spirit or the Captain were talking to him. The only place I found that he slowly drifted back into character was near the end, when they met with Siren.

He is also fairly greedy. For instance, when he beats the con-man, he would not have offered to give Spirit all of his gold. He would have offered the one that was given to him, but kept the rest without hesitation since he was the won that won the gold.

And then the part where he has to act as First Mate, he wouldn't look to Spirit for reassurance, posing questions to make sure they were the right decisions. He would've stated it as an order, but questioned himself on the inside. Xavier was always a master of composure, not allowing people to really know what he was thinking or feeling. If he is confused, he doesn't show it, unless in a humorous way, such as tilting his head like a dog when they are confused.

I'm all about Xavier not being as obnoxious, but the way it was done in this chapter almost made me forget that it was even Xavier.

Posted 13 Years Ago



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Added on September 5, 2008


Author

Cole Spire
Cole Spire

Holloween Town, NV



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"Being a writer is like having homework for the rest of your life." -Hank Moody Those are words so true that it is scarey! Aloha! My name is Cole Spire. Colstainous Spirion to be exact but mos.. more..

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A Story by Cole Spire