Ace approached the chest, and saw there was no lock, yet it magically raised its lid as she stroked its intricate design. The chest opened and revealed a single item: A small globe marked with strange runes.
Ace pulled out the globe. Its metal resonated in her hands and runes glowed beneath her breath. “What magic is this?”
The crew member gasped and covered his mouth.
“Crispin?” Ace turned and followed his gaze toward the dragon’s shadow on the rocky wall. Even though the dragon’s appearance had not changed, it’s shadow was morphing into a great serpent.
Ace’s heart pounded in her chest and her hand reached to her side for a saber but found nothing but warm air.
Crispin and Ace bolted from the dragon’s lair and tried to run back into the meadow where they came, but as they reached the rocky shoreline, there was a great chasm instead.
“Captain!” Crispin screamed as the serpent’s teeth sank into his back. Ace fired her pistol toward Crispin and ended his suffering.
Ace looked at the globe’s glowing runes and spoke their names out loud. Hurricane force winds caught her off guard and flung her into the chasm.
She landed with a painful thud, and waited for the end, but as with everything else had happened since she left Glimmerton, things were not as they first seemed. Ace opened her eyes and found herself back on board her ship surrounded by her stunned crew.
“Set sail,” she ordered.
“But, Captain,” they began to protest.
Ace stood and drew her pistol. “I have had enough with traitors, cowards, liars, and thieves. Anyone left of board will either do as I order or leave right now.”
The crew exchanged nervous looks but declared their loyalty through action. In minutes, the ship was back at sea.
Ace sat in her quarters at a large carved desk and looked at the globe again. The more she breathed on it, the more the runes glowed. “What is this?” she muttered.
“Don’t you recognize your own map?”
Ace leaped from her chair and drew her pistol only to find an empty room. A deep laugh echoed around and Ace released the breath she didn’t know she was holding.
“Poseidon.” She shook her head and returned to the globe. “What do you mean my map?”
A man appeared to her side and leaned on the desk. “That’s one thing I have always admired about you. When you do something, you give it your all.”
Ace grew frustrated and growled under her breath.
“Hey, that was a compliment. Now, about that errand…”
Errand? Retrieving the globe, losing crew members, running halfway around god knows where, wasn’t the errand? She could not lose sight of her real goal though, finding Matthews and that map. “Go on.”
“Matthews is only two days ahead of you and is going to run into rough weather.” Poseidon said, looking at his fingernails. “I want you to go to Limber and collect something they stole from me.”
For supposedly being an all-powerful god, Poseidon sure managed to have a lot of things lost or stolen. Ace looked at the globe and asked, “What am I supposed to collect?”
“You’ll know it when you find it.”
Ace turned to inquire further, but found nothing but the empty cabin. Sounds of cheers on deck captured her attention and she went to investigate.
In addition to her own crew, there were now two cyclops, a handful of small creatures dashing to and fro cleaning, and a man dressed in matching colors as Ace and armed to the teeth.
“Name is Tufts,” the man said, nodding. “It is my pleasure to serve as your first mate.”
Ace nodded but was unsure of her new crew, however, she did not want to get on Poseidon’s bad side.
“Set course for Limber.”
Tufts nodded and took the helm.
I hope you enjoyed this installment. As tomorrow’s A to Z Blogging letter is H, please select what happens next from the following options:
A. They get blown off course by a hurricane
B. They get stopped by Hades
C. High winds drive them into Limber safe and sound in a matter of hours.