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Sea of Blood 3

Alain’s story had been interesting till now. But, he had failed to explain anything about his motives, which gave Edwards no reason to trust Alain. He decided to leave Alain as he was, tied to the bed. Edwards removed his flintlock pistol from its position in his belt and placed it on the table, pointing in the direction of Alain. He placed is hand on the flintlock and looked at Alain –

“The story is nice. But, you had better get to the point now, fast.”

Alain glanced at the flintlock. Showing no sign of fear, he continued the story.

‘The teenage prince sunk rapidly, the chains bound to his body speeding up his descent. Mer held his breath. His vision started being invaded by darkness. His shock at being condemned to this fate was soon replaced by fear. His vision went completely black as his lungs finally gave in to the pressure. But instead of suffocating and drowning completely, Mer found it to be more pleasant under water than over it. He had no trouble breathing. His vision fully returned to him. He looked at his body. His elbows had developed prominent scales on them. The same could be said about his feet. He felt his neck. His fingers met with thin slits. Gills, he thought to himself. His body was still loosely bound with chains. His fear had now left him. It had been replaced with anger, a burning wrath against his father. He pushed out with his hands and to his surprise, the chains broke apart. This was a feat he could have never dreamed of performing before whatever it was that had happened to him. Free from his shackles, he scouted the area around him with his eyes. To his surprise, multiple pairs of peering red eyes looked back at him through the thick ocean flora. Slowly, hundreds of people began coming out of their hiding spots surrounding him. He looked around. All of them had red eyes and scales on their elbows and feet, just like him. He spotted features that seemingly matched his stable boy’s features, before he was drowned in the sea. He kept looking around and found several faces that were known to him. Then it dawned upon him. None of the condemned people had died. They were alive, just like him. The people had surrounded him now.

“It is Prince Mer. Let’s rip him apart. His father did this to us. “

A random voice said from the crowd.

Mer had always thought that talking underwater was impossible. But apparently, it wasn’t so.

“Yes. Kill him!”

More voices joined in.

Soon, the crowd began moving slowly towards Mer, their discontent clearly visible. Mer knew he had to put a stop this, or else his new lease on life would be a very short one.

“Stop! Listen to me. I know how you feel. I know you are all angry, angry with the King. Angry, that he abandoned you and condemned you, no us, to this fate.”

Mer paused. He looked around to check whether his words had been registered by the people. They had stopped moving towards him. Mer let his anger swell within him.

“I share this fate with you. My own father did this to me. And he will pay. I swear this to you. You, you are all my people. And I, Prince Mer shall lead you. Together, you and I shall crush the Kingdom of Veluise. I promise you, we will have our revenge. Will you share this revenge with me?”

A long pause followed. Mer had spoken with true feelings, and his speech was soon met with cries of approval. And from that day, Mer became the king of these people, and they came to call themselves – Merfolk.

Mer’s first order of business was to understand the extents of their new abilities, their strengths and weaknesses. Mer discovered that his people though much stronger inside water, could survive on the surface as well. As long as they were near the sea air, they would not die due to suffocation. However, they were not very physically strong without the presence of water. He also understood that their diseased bodies could only digest meat, even human meat. One of the amazing things Mer discovered was that a few of his kind could alter their physical features to look like normal humans for a short amount of time. They would manage to get rid of their gills and the red hue of their eyes. Mer felt this was most interesting and useful to his plan. He began training his people to fight as soldiers. He would need them for the war that was coming. He continued planning his revenge for many months, biding his time and waiting for the right moment to make his move.

The time finally came after thirteen months. The disease had been eradicated from the Kingdom of Veluise, and the king reigned over a peaceful time. Mer had carefully selected his time. At the night of the King’s birthday, the whole kingdom was in a celebratory mood. Taking advantage of the thin vigilance, Mer and his group of thirty best soldiers snuck into the royal palace. The hooded Mer made his way into the gala and approached the king. Mer taking his hood off, revealed his presence. Mer’s face was the last thing the old King ever saw, as Mer plunged a sword into his chest. His soldiers made quick work of the astonished royal guards. He went to the ramparts and lit a torch. His Generals recognizing this as the pre-planned signal launched their attacks. Merfolk began rising from the sea and attacking the island cities from all directions. The Veluise soldiers were caught unawares. It was a massacre. The unsuspecting people of Veluise stood no chance. A once great Kingdom had been turned into a mass grave.

Mer returned to the sea. Even though Veluise was destroyed, his own losses had been heavy. More than half of his people were among the bodies littering the islands. Mer’s hatred had extended towards the rest of humanity now.  A few of his subjects did not agree with his actions. Realizing his cruel ambitions, they decided to not be a part of his actions. They decided to stand beside humanity and act against Mer.

I am one of their descendants. ‘

Edwards took a moment to register everything. He went up to Alain and cut the cloth near his elbow. The gills on his elbow glittered in the lamp’s light.

“You still haven’t told me what you were doing yesterday night”, Edwards said as he lifted his pistol.

“I was making sure things do not go wrong. We are in Merfolk territory now. Every night, I keep a lookout for those who dwell inside these seas. I know they are planning something big and it is related to you somehow. “

Edwards was bemused now.

“Me? And how do you even know about all of this? “

Alain smiled dryly.

“Captain Edwards, how did you find someone to navigate these treacherous waters so easily? A bit too convenient, I would say. I did mention that some Merfolk could change their appearance, to appear human like. “

Edwards understood now.

“Jach! “, he exclaimed.

“Yes, captain. Jach. I have been keeping an eye on him, working undercover to get wind of their plan for humanity. They – “

Alain was cut short by the impact of motion as the ship suddenly stopped. Almost instantly a knock sounded on the door.

“Captain Edwards, we seem to have hit a reef.”

Edwards looked at Alain with alarm on his face.

“They are here”, Alain responded with equal alarm.

Sea of Blood 2

It was early morning now. The rising sun was floating above The Titania, bathing it in much needed warm rays of light. Edwards glanced towards the sun. The red ball of light reminded him of the red eyes he had seen in the water yesterday night. They had appeared right next to Mr. Toobak’s body, peering from inside the water. They had appeared only for a brief instant, before they disappeared into the watery depths along with Mr. Toobak’s body, sending chills down Edwards’ spine.

Word of Mr. Toobak’s sudden disappearance had spread fast among the crew, causing panic. The entire night had been spent in calming everyone down, and getting everyone back to their jobs. Edwards was tired already, but he knew the day was going to be a long one. He still needed to have a chat with Alain. After, the disappearance of Mr. Toobak’s body, Edwards had quickly dragged Alain to the Captain’s Cabin. He bound his hands and feet and tied a rag of cloth to his mouth. Leaving the man tied to the bed in that condition, Edwards had gone forth to inform the senior crew about the events. However, he had left Alain’s part out of the story, fearing that it would contribute to the panic. However, now that the morale of the crew had been stabilized, Edwards decided he needed to have a talk with Alain, a long talk. Edwards made his way to his cabin. He entered and locked the door behind him. He turned towards Alain who was still tied to the bed. Alain looked back at him with his red eyes, which in Edwards’ opinion, looked a lot more red now. He removed the rag of cloth. Alain coughed. The rag had dried his mouth, very visibly. Edwards poured some water into Alain’s mouth and sat in front of him, fixing his stern gaze upon the pale man.

“I need answers; now. Tell me what were you doing there at night? And more importantly, what happened to Mr. Toobak? “

Alain held Captain Edwards’ gaze.

“Well, Captain Edwards. Looks like I have got to tell a whole tale to you. Let me start at the beginning “

Edwards nodded.

‘Many thousands of years ago, there existed a prosperous Island kingdom- the kingdom of Veluise. King Veluise II ruled his lands with an iron-fist. Without an heir for almost thirty years, the king was overjoyed when his wife, Queen Melvina gave birth to a child. The king was happy that he was blessed with a boy, the heir to the great kingdom. They named him Mer.  However, the king’s joy was to be short-lived.  When the prince was fourteen, an unknown disease started spreading in the kingdom. The people affected would show certain symptoms- red eyes and pale skin. They would soon find it difficult to breathe and succumb to the disease. People noted that this disease spread through contact or any exchange of fluid, making it highly dangerous. Soon, an epidemic broke out and as the death toll went on the rise, the hands of fear gripped the kingdom all the more tighter. Fearing for his people, the King decided to take extreme measures. He decreed that any person found to be affected by this disease would be tossed into the sea, fated to drown. Almost a year later, Prince Mer while on a hunting trip, came into contact with an affected person. And inevitably, he too started showing symptoms of the disease. His eyes reddened and he began growing paler by the day. The prince was bound in chains and was kept confined to his room. Being a man of his word, and fearing for the royal family, the king decided that the prince should be thrown into the sea, just like all the other diseased people. The King’s orders were swiftly followed.  On a full moon night, the Royal Guard took the prince to the edge of kingdom that overlooked the great sea. The teenage prince was then thrown into the sea. The king himself saw the prince drown under the pale glow of the moon. He had sent his heir to a watery grave.

Or so he thought. ‘

A terrifying dream

He would meet her soon. They had been married for 3 years now. Their demanding work schedule had pulled them apart, but only in distance. The only thing, he hated traveling, and now he had to travel. Last and final journey, he consoled himself. I’m never going to stay away from her ever again, he smiled.

He flashed his ticket at the official. The official gave him a courteous smile and allowed entry. He sat, it was a comfortable window seat. Popped in a few sleeping pills and looked out. Soon enough the world he knew became a blur and he dozed off.

A terrifying dream! The vast ocean ,on all sides. Gigantic grey ships, boats and people talking urgently. A search for some elusive object, destined never to be found. Then in the middle of the ocean was his wife, hovering just above the ocean surface. She was beautiful with perfect hair and dark brown eyes, but she looked hollow, devoid of emotions, as if someone had ripped her heart out. He stared at her in disbelief, an unknown fear gripping him. She extended her hand towards him. He tried reaching her, but she was too far. The earth started shaking vigorously. And suddenly the calm ocean , rose with a vengeance, threatening to swallow everything in its path. He screamed at his wife, telling her to move out of the way. But no voice came. He tried lunging towards her. But he couldn’t move. He couldn’t protect her. Her voice echoed their vows- ‘ Till death do us apart’. He begged to be awoken from this dreadful dream, his wish was granted.

He opened his eyes, but only for a second. His seat was rattling uncontrollably. Fear lingered in the air. He looked outside the window and the terror gripped him. Then, it went blank. His last and final journey, indeed.

Headlines for the next day- ‘ MALAYSIAN AIRLINES FLIGHT 370 MISSING’

-Authored by Purva

Mission(Part 1)

The street looked empty. Not a soul in sight. Falcon was checking the perimeter for any hostiles. Satisfied , he made a fist sign . The men behind him immediately became alert. He motioned for them to follow him. The five man squad started to make their way through the smoky war torn streets of this dump of a city. They had walked about fifty feet when they heard a gunshot. Azure crumpled to the ground . The bullet had gone clean through his head. The other four dived behind the walls of a house just as bursts of bullets began to spray around them. Skull reloaded his weapon and waited for the assaulters to make a mistake.

Delta Unit Soprano had received intel about a group of insurgents and were dispatched to handle them. They had not expected their targets to be skilled tacticians , and their folly had led to Azure’s death. Crawling under cover , Skull made his way towards Falcon. Falcon pointed towards Tank and Grunt who were under heavy fire. Then he pointed towards the source of the firing – an open window of a still-standing brick building. Two assailants . Skull nodded. He aimed through his scope and picked them off with two short bursts. He was the best shot in the squad. He turned towards Tank and Grunt. Grunt gave him a thumbs up, which suddenly disappeared in a cloud of dust. A grenade lobbed by one of the assailants had found it’s mark. Only Skull and Falcon remained.

They needed better cover. Skull signaled Falcon to toss a flashbang. It would provide the window they required to get to better cover. Falcon tossed the flashbang onto the street. As soon as it exploded both of them made a break for a house which had an open door. They figured they would survive longer indoors. Bullets fired by the blinded assailants flew all around them. Skull reached the house and turned behind to see Falcon on the ground. He had taken a bullet on his leg. Skull could see there was no way Falcon could make it on his own. He decided to save him much to the protest of his comrade . He made a break for it. However, just as he was about to reach Falcon , he felt a bullet hit his hand. He did not stop. However, his risk was to prove futile. Falcon had taken quite a few hits on his body and upon reaching him , Skull realized he was no more. Enraged , Skull began to fire in the general direction of the insurgents. Then it hit him, a bullet. Then another , and another. His vision began to go red , and then it went all black.

GAME OVER flashed on the screen.

“Damn, that was a real bad mission” Timothy, aka Skull mouthed on his microphone.

Undetected

All my pieces are in place. I have almost achieved what I had aimed for. The world will be mine. Soon. This is my story.

I was born in very turbulent times. There were frictions in my parent’s marriage. And they split up just after my birth. A family was something I had never had. My childhood was spent standing up to the various ‘white’ bullies in my neighborhood. I had learnt to hide from them. But I hadn’t forgotten the running and hiding. I remembered every single incident and it would not be forgotten, ever. Friends are something I couldn’t make. I could never bond well. That is when the idea struck me- ‘Why fit in? I could  take over the world. Mould it as I pleased. Mercilessly.’ I knew that I could never hope to gain allies, someone like me. But I decided to use my ability to cause conflict and separations , to best effect. And so my quest began.

I started from my neighborhood. Chaotic times followed. I moved on from area to area influencing the inhabitants of not only rural areas but also densely populated areas , filled with the whites. But stealth had been my number one priority. My game would have ended if the whites had found me out.  Every day my forces would grow. My followers would in turn influence more to my cause. My followers were my clones in every sense. They echoed my feelings, my thirst for take-over and my quest for dominion. It was years and years of planning and waiting, taking all the opportunities that appeared. Getting stronger and stronger , while at the same time avoiding detection. Detection would have jeopardized my entire operation and that is something I wouldn’t allow at any cost. It was indeed a long wait. Forty years. But now, I am strong enough. I am ready.

Like I said, all my pieces are in position. Even if the whites detect me now, they can do naught but make a vain attempt to stop me. The world is already mine. All I need to do is pull the final strings. The third stage of my plan is complete. I have won.

I, Cancer.

Ouija

It was Friday evening. We had gathered at Simon’s house. His parents had gone out of town . Simon had wanted to try something new , and so we had gathered – Jane , Mark , Virginia and me. I knew what Simon had wanted to try. He had been pretty interested in it since a few days. As we waited in the dining room , he presented to us what he had wanted to try  , an Ouija Board.

Simon placed the board on the dining table. Everyone sat at the table , encircling the board. I hung back. I was really skeptical about these talking boards. I had never once heard of an Ouija board actually doing the trick. But , I still liked watching people making their frantic attempts to contact the spirits with their eyes full of hope and fear. This was exactly how the people sitting at the table were feeling . Simon moved the planchette along the board , along all the alphabets , numbers and even along the yes , no and goodbye markings. The lights were dimmed and everyone was speaking in whispers. Simon instructed everyone to hold each other’s hands. He left one of his hands free to operate the planchette. Simon had been pretty confident about his knowledge of operating the board. He started calling out to the spirit world-

“ Hear me , o those who stay in the realm of the dead.”

No movement of the planchette.

“We wish to speak with you. Give us a sign that you are present among us. “

No movement.

I found it amusing. There was no way any spirit would ever respond to something like this. But , Simon did not give up.

“Just give us a sign. Any movement on the board. “

No movement again.

“ Please, I really do believe in ghosts and spirits. I only want some proof. Please give me some sign. “

No movement, again.

Well, it was hopeless. After a while , even Simon began to feel so. He let go of the planchette and closed his eyes, dejected. The others at the table appeared a bit let down as well , but I suspect they were secretly pleased.

Everyone began to leave and started saying their goodbyes to Simon. I had known Simon for a while now and I did not like to see him dejected. I walked up to the table and moved the planchette from its position to the ‘goodbye’ marking.

Everyone gaped .

“ Hey Simon , I think it did work “ – they said.