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A New Prophet

Gatherall, Yr209

     The waves were easy and calm, the sun bright as the fishing ship Trinity's Blessing trawled the designated zone. She came around lazily, Captain Rom Elsen giving the order to close her nets. It had been a good catch and there were plenty of smiles on the crew’s faces. A scan of the news feed showed prices were up on the fish market’s opening that morning. The corp would be paying well today.

     Elsen walked back to his cabin to get a bottle of SanBan Mead. He opened the bottle, took a swig, and gazed out over the water through his porthole. He could see the Barrier in the distance, keeping unimaginable horrors out. It glimmered and refracted the light, beautiful.

     There was a knock at his door. “It's Fren, sir. It's important.”


     The young boy came in and shut the door quickly, but quietly. His face was pinched and he looked confused, if not afraid. He kept his left arm held tight to his side and slightly behind his back.

     “What is it Fren?” Elsen put the mead down and walked over. “What's going—”

     Fren held his arm out. There was a deep bite mark on his arm; discolored but not bleeding, it still throbbed visibly and looked extremely painful.

     “Fren, what happened?” Elsen spoke as he moved to his medical cabinet and took out supplies to treat the wound.

     “Sir, we were pulling in the net and unloading the catch into the hold when we found this… thing. We thought it was dead but it lashed at me when I started to move it, biting me. I feel light headed.” He'd begun swaying after he'd closed the door.

“Alright son, take a seat and let me look at this.” Elsen sat down next to Fren and inspected the arm. He'd never come across a wound like it, especially from anything in the waters.

     “Tell me about the creature.” Elsen tried to keep the boy conscious and talking.

     “It’s big... almost... human size. Huge teeth... eyes...” Fren was starting to pass out. The captain worked as fast as he could, administering a spray of antibiotic nanites and wrapping the wound tightly. The boy was already unconscious by the time he'd finished. Elsen moved Fren to his cot and headed back up on deck. He needed to see this creature.

     The creature stood upright, like a man, though web-footed and definitely a water-dweller. It had a massive jaw, with teeth easily big enough to bite through a man's arm. Fren was lucky.

     The creature was speaking in a frantic, angry, gritty voice. The crew had encircled it with harpoons and fish knives, keeping it in the middle of the deck. The creature finally noticed Elsen, as did his men.

     Jiden, the first mate called from the starboard side, “Sir, stay back. This thing’s dangerous.”

     “Does it understand us?” Elsen walked down to the deck.

     “Probably not. It's been spewing babble since we hauled it on board.” Jiden didn’t take his eyes off of the beast.

     Elsen gave the creature a good look. He saw a glint of intelligence in its eyes. Even humanity? Could this be a mutated man from the outside? It looked up, past the crew and at the Barrier, as if reading his mind.

     How could it have gotten through?

     1 of 4 in a series of short tales by Eric Kahn. Click here for the next in the series.

     You might also like to check out these other series by Eric: Dash To Chokoloskee, The Old Frontier Ain't What It Used To Be, Times Can Be Tough and Trouble In The Water.

Realms > Mortal Realms > Elements > Gatherall
Art > Short Story

Created by: Kahnman. Last Modification: Thursday 25 of June, 2009 21:28:14 UTC by MMK.

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