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 The Prologue

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Join date : 2009-07-24
Age : 23
Location : Ossian, Indiana

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PostSubject: The Prologue   The Prologue I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 08, 2010 6:10 pm

The ships pitched back and forth on the high seas as the rain splattered upon their decks in a torrential downpour. The men below deck shivered with cold as water seeped through the floor boards and sucked the heat out of their bodies upon contact with their skin. As the twenty-five vessels rolled with the waves, the soldiers struggled to avoid getting seasick—most of them failed and the stench make that obvious. Yet, one soldier stood on deck, braving the midnight storm. His eyes were squinted as he tried to peer out through the rain, trying to see past the railing of the deck in the darkness. It was nearly impossible. This storm was working both for and against them. It meant the enemy couldn’t see them coming, but neither could they see the enemy.

Then suddenly, the young soldier on deck saw a dark mass looming in distance. He could barely make out what it was. As he stared at it he began to make out its features and it became apparent that it was a ship. There was a flash of lightning that lit up the ocean, and the image before him was burned into his sight—the image of a bull’s head plastered across the sail of the oncoming ship and on the sails of an entire fleet of ships on the water before them. It took his mind a second to register what it was seeing, when suddenly it hit him. It was the Wendulions. They had known.
The soldier twisted around and ran below deck, soaking wet, and shouted “THERE’S AN AMBUSH! The Wendulions!! They knew we were coming!!”
One man abruptly stood and shakily made his way over, trying not to step of the soldiers scattered across the ground. He gripped the young man by the shoulders and asked “Are you sure, Lieutenant?

The lieutenant nodded his head quickly and clenched his fists to contain his anxiety, “I am sure, Captain! I saw them with my own two eyes. In the lightning. I saw them!”

“I get it, Lieutenant, calm down. Take a deep breath.”

The lieutenant shook his head furiously, his hair splattering water onto the walls of the stairwell. “We cannot waste time! They will be on us in mere moments! We have to prepare to fight back! I saw them!”

The captain nodded “I get it. You are very right, Lieutenant.” The captain turned around and yelled to the men on board “You heard the man! Get a move on! We haven’t got the time to waste!” he grabbed his lieutenant by an arm and pulled him back up on deck. He took his free hand and tried to shield his eyes from the wind and rain and in another flash of lightning, he saw it too. A fleet of ships heading right for them. It wasn’t long before the rest of the men stumbled up on deck. One of them blew the signal horn, warning the rest of the fleet, and the signal echoed as the twenty-five ships immediately prepared for battle. It wasn’t long before a barrage of flaming ballista arrows began to shower down upon them. The fire was the deadly Greek fire; it burned brighter and more deadly in water.

The captain, seeing that there was no way they could face this new threat, turned to his lieutenant. A silent message passing between them, and he gave a slight nod. “Solon, it’s been a pleasure to serve at your side.” He then turned and gave the command, “ABANDON SHIP!” as the enemy continued to fire a plethora of seemingly incessant attacks upon them. It was over. It was mission… failure.

“The pleasure was all mine, captain!” Solon yelled as he ran and jumped up onto the railing of the ship before diving into the water. Mere moments later, BOOM! The ship exploded right above him, the force of the shock wave pushing him deeper into the water. He stared up in awe as the remains of the ship burned above him before he scrambled to reach the surface of the water, his armor weighing him down.

He continued to struggle for the surface, his lungs feeling like they were about to burst and was fighting the urge to breath in. The surface seemed so far away. It seemed as if he would never reach it. His vision began to swim. Black dots appeared everywhere. He felt something grab him and pull him to the surface. His head broke free of the water’s grasp and into the air. He gasped, sucking in air as he tried vainly to stay above the surface. One thought was all he could think I have to get this armor off… it only weighs me down. He floundered as he tried to grab something that could keep him above the surface as the waves crashed down upon him and pulled him under, only to thrust him back up again.

He finally managed to grab onto a plank of wood from the wreckage and he quickly grasped it, clinging to it for dear life as one by one the waves threatened to tear him off and drown him beneath their crushing weight. He didn’t have the strength to remove his armor, nor the courage to release his lifeline. He would have to flounder on with the extra weight.
All that was left of the Bluinthian fleet was burning wreckage and survivors floundering in the water looking desperately for help… but there was none. There was no help. There was nowhere to go, nowhere to run, no one to save them.

After a while the storm finally settled and seas calmed. Solon still gripped his piece of wood, floating on the surface. He was gripping it so tightly that it cut into his hands and made them bleed. The salt water washing over his wounds was painful, but he no longer felt the pain. It had all gone numb. He fought unconsciousness with every breath because he knew To sleep is to die. To let go is to die. And that was one thing he could not do. Die. So he held on tightly and hoped that someone would find him. Help him. He was so thirsty, and he thought What is it that they always say? Water water everywhere… but not a drop to drink.

A few hours later, out of sheer luck, chance, or maybe fate, a Bluinthian fishing vessel approached and he was spotted. The ship turned and halted, and one of the men jumped out and pulled Solon and his float over to the boat. They were both hauled back up on deck where he sat there, still gripping the edges of the only thing that had kept him alive tightly in his fingers, unwilling to let go. A couple of men managed to pry his fingers off of the board, given something to drink, and immediate medical attention to his hands. But Solon only sat there, staring blankly ahead. He was lucky to be alive. Only a few handfuls out of the hundreds that set sail were estimated to have survived. The captain was not among them.
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