Carter was being stubborn, as he always was after cooking.
“Absolutely not,” he sets down his bowl onto the wooden table, “I am not seeing him.” For good measure, he crossed his arms - being defiant as ever.
“You can’t just ignore him.” Dylan gives the stew a sidelong glance as she pushes it further away. “He is your uncle, as much as he is mine, and besides, it would be rude.”
“Like how you are with my stew right now? I didn’t slave over the stove for nothing.”
“I am not being rude, you know my preferences-”
Carter interrupted, scoffing, “You mean how picky you are about my cooking?”
She wagged her finger at him, just as his mother did to them as children. “That isn’t true, I am just not a fan of everything-stew.”
“Please, if a Maiden Marauder challenged you to eat any of my meals you would decline. I have been doing this for a while-”
The ship sounded with a mighty CREAK, as crewmates above prepared for docking “- and you still won’t budge with my food.”
She offered a nonchalant shrug. “Sure, a Maiden Marauder may challenge me in a few years, but until then, you will surely improve the recipe.”
“My supremely-perfect-in-every-way dishes are the best as they are. You are just stubborn.” He released his crossed arms and began to get up.
Dylan clicked her tongue, “I guess it’s a family trait.” This made him frown. Although it didn’t last for long as she flashed one of her winning smiles. “Now, if you’ll excuse me,” she sat up and grabbed her cap, “I must return to my duties and make morale rounds before we dock.” She patted herself down, and turned - until tripping over a bucket stationed in front of the door.
She fumbled and fell butt-first onto the cabin floor.
Carter doubled over at his cousin in a fit of laughter.
She scowled up at him. “Hey! Don’t even start.”
With muffled laughter, he held out his hand, and she took it with a nod of thanks.
“Why for Great Neptune is a soap bucket still out? Where is Wilson?”
He scratched the back of his neck, looking anywhere but at the now-fuming captain. “Well…”
She raised an eyebrow. “Well?”
“Well, he wasn’t on board when we left from Sector Four over seven cycles ago.”
She muttered to herself as she processed this, "By my waves.” They were in rival territory. This is the sixth crewmember they lost since they sailed from Sector Thirteen, from - she sneered at the thought of them - the Scarlet Rays.
He placed a hand on her shoulder. “Don’t worry I put out a few flyers at all our stops, and one promising applicant is coming for an interview. When we dock.”
This made her relax. One less thing to worry about before docking. And, she supposed, giving her more time to tidy herself up - before getting questioning looks from her uncle.
“Thank you for your help. What would our fathers say if they saw me now?”
Carter raised his brows in a tight manner, and straightened his back, “No good pirate should roll in all this filth, instead they should focus on their duties-”
“In finding the end to the Everlasting Solstice.” Her face began to lift into a wide smile, “I know. It was a rhetorical question, no need for an actual answer.”
He placed a finger up. “I was pretty accurate though, wasn’t I?”
She began to walk back to the deck, to make it to her captain’s quarters. “Do my morale rounds since you are wrapping up here, before we dock in Sector Seven.” Turning on her heels, she faced her cousin, “Remember: Jefferson and Davis are here to supervise the supply shipment’s arrival. You have to interview the promising applicant.”
He called after her, “Hey - Hey, don’t change the topic, you didn’t answer my question! It wasn’t rhetorical! Was the impression accurate or not?”
She made it to the cabin’s door, and nodded back at her cousin before she went. She mustn't dilly-dally, as her father would put it. Pirates are only here for one purpose, to bring back the night.
The seagulls were circling the dock, as they always did.
Making it that much more difficult for Ivan to hide without his guilt looming nearby. The seagulls squealed above, the caws piercing Ivan’s thoughts as if they were yelling only at him.
He had to burrow his head deeper within his cloak, to ignore them as he passed, heading for the docks. He could’ve followed orders, he could’ve stayed put and waited for his escort from the Scarlet Rays, he could’ve gone through with the deal, but here he was. Listening to his guilt, and letting it still take hold of him.
He has been planning this escape for weeks.
Too much was hanging on this moment. He had to pay attention.
The Scarlet Rays have exploited him for too long, and he was due for a change in scenery. Ivan was done with it all. Even if the change of pace would cost him his life.
He wasn’t going to be found. He wouldn’t, he mustn't.
It wasn’t his choice; the last 193 years had seen no moon or stars, but instead two new suns to guide ships. His ancestors were the ones to blame, not him nor anyone else.
His sun-kissed skin, the white streaks that adorned his hair, and the golden hue of his eyes, all telltale signs of his bloodline, and their once deemed ‘noble’ birthright; now only to be used by the pirates. More reason for him to blend in, and find somewhere to hide.
That’s when he saw it.
The ship was massive. He looked up, positioning his hand over his face to block out the suns. The ship's mast was higher than any other ship at the dock, adding to its majesty. Every inch of the wood was a cerulean blue, and the rim was coated in a shimmering gold.
As he was gawking up at the ship's massive frame, a man dropped a crate into his arms and pointed up the ramp. Before Ivan could object, he remembered what he was doing. He was refusing his orders. He couldn’t draw attention to himself. He didn’t have time to think before a boy pushed him forward.
Ivan readjusted his grip, and began to walk up the ramp.
The boy in front of him lost his footing, giving Ivan a chance to run on board. Apologizing under his breath, Ivan struck the boy in the shins and watched as the boy’s crate burst open in front of him, drawing the attention of everyone around.
His feet were already moving.
Ivan made it up the ramp with two quick steps, and set the crate down, never looking back.
He had to do this, even if it disgusted him to do so. Everyone hated the Enlightened, and for what? To Ivan, it all seemed ridiculous. Ridiculous enough to make him hope - to plead - that this Everlasting Solstice would end. That the extra suns would disappear, and everything would be right in the world.
That was a pipe dream.
“Finally! Somebody I am happy to see.” A firm hand clasped Ivan’s shoulder, making him freeze in place. “Don’t let me frighten you, leave that to the rest of the crew.” The tall teen edged him further down the ship.
Ivan tensed up, but nodded along nonetheless.
“Let’s get a move on, before my horrid uncle stops by-” the air was split by a high-pitched screech of a whistle.
Ivan knew that call, it belonged to anyone with power, or really anyone who was a titled pirate with access to power. The only one in this sector was - Sir Kay Simmons. He knew of him, that’s for sure, he was a proud relative of - Great Neptune.
The teen beside Ivan heard it too, and muttered a brief, “By my waves,” before pushing them forward once more. “Let me give you a brief tour.”
A millisecond passes before Ivan is jostled forward.
The stranger gestures to himself, “I'm Carter, the temporary chef, ranked fourth in command. And as such, I am to give rookies,” he now pointed to Ivan, “like you, a tour of this magnificent ship.”
Ivan realized where he was; he had to leave now. He would be better off swimming the hundred miles back to Sector Two. The Scarlet Rays would be fuming, but that would be better than being dead here.
“Your initiation can take place after the interview,” he looked down at Ivan, “if you pass that is.” He peered over Ivan’s small form. “Now let me just find-”
Ivan, caught off-guard, was shoved into a room. Carter hollered a quick, “I’ll leave this with you Dyl!” Leaving Ivan to stare into the eyes of Dylan Simmons; leader of the fearful Crested Waves.
Dylan was looking over documents before leaving her quarters, as she always did.
Until a boy was shoved inside, courtesy of Carter.
The boy shivered under her lingering stare, which she found quite odd. Each applicant was usually either confident or borderline cocky; this boy was neither.
She tilted her head towards a seat, “You may sit.” The boy scurried forward and plopped down in a chair. He keeps his head down, not sparing a glance. Dylan can’t decide whether she was aggravated or intrigued by this ill-respect.
She leaned forward on her desk, intensifying her gaze. “I need your documents.”
She shot him an icy glare, silencing him mid-sentence. “The documents you had to prepare for this interview, we need proper identification before you are initiated as a part of our crew.”
He jumped out of his seat, “Oh those documents!” He fakes a laugh for good measure and continues spitting lies, “That little kerfuffle outside had distracted me. My apologies.” He made a show of doing a quick bow, and turned on his heels.
She stood up straight behind her desk. “What are you-”
“I will be back momentarily with my documents, now if you’ll excuse me-”
Within a second, she had rounded her desk and sidestepped him, quickly raising a dagger to his neck. “Let me finish.” She hissed.
Suddenly the lights hanging across the room fizzled off, catching Dylan off-guard.
They both stood with slacking jaws and wide eyes.
Before she had to repeat herself, thinking this boy was indeed showing ill-respect, he lowered his hood gradually, and turned to face her.
There was little she could do to hide her shock. Standing in front of her was everything she had been trained to hunt, all of his features matching that of an Enlightened. Commonly known for their bloodline that seeps with magical abilities, making them extremely dangerous.
Dylan forced herself to regain her composure, this was her ship, and her crew. A boy like this could ruin everything she has. She wasn’t going to let this boy leave, not unless she permits it.
“Now,” her voice was as smooth as it was filled with ire, “Why are you really here?”
Johnson was running out of excuses, as she always did.
She began to whisper in a hurried breath, “What are we going to say to the captain? She has been awfully excited for the Sir’s visit,” she began to fidget with her arms, “and all for what? A letter?”
He responded in a calm tone, “This is more than just a letter. It has our banner’s emblem on the wax seal, marked only for important documents. No better sign of respect than giving this to her, nonetheless to her trusted quartermasters such as us.”
Her glasses began to slide off the bridge of her nose, making her adjust them with shaking hands. “I can see that Davis, I am not blind you know.”
Carter walked up to the pair, confused as to why he couldn’t see his boulder of an uncle anywhere. “Is there a reason why we are whispering so loud?”
Johnson jumped at his interruption. “Well no Tapscott -”
Carter winced, as he didn’t enjoy being seen as a Tapscott, even by his crewmates. His father was spit upon by the Crested Waves, even if his mother was of noble birth in the Simmons monarchy. The Scarlet Waves were always going to be associated with him, whether he wanted to acknowledge it or not.
Davis noticed his reaction, quick as ever, and filled him in. “Before we could dock, a messenger who works for Sir Simmons came with this,” he placed the letter into Carter’s hands. “We haven’t read it yet, but it has been stamped by the Roaring Riptide.”
Carter didn’t know how to handle this, it was one thing to not see his uncle - for which he was elated - but a letter from the Roaring Riptide? They rarely wrote outside their network. “It’s safe to assume our Uncle isn’t coming?”
Jefferson bobbed her head frantically. “I am afraid so.”
Carter pinched the corners of his eyes. He expected this, his uncle never kept his promises even to his favorite niece who adores him - Dylan.
Without wasting another second, he tucked the letter into his pocket and clapped his hands together in anticipation. “Welp, we should show this to Dyl. There is no time to waste.” He turned on his heels and led them to her quarter’s, all the while hoping this letter bore good news. If not, he may have to strangle his uncle with his bare hands for being such a coward.
Ivan had enough of pirates; as he always has.
“I've already told you, I am NOT a spy.”
Davis was inches away from his face. “Refresh my memory; who do you work for?” The teen’s face was as red as a tomato, but Ivan thought against pointing this out or he may become the new bear-skin rug at their feet.
“I wouldn’t necessarily call it working, being forced to when I was a young-”
“Don’t dodge questions! If anyone around here would know that tactic it would be me, so stop trying to con the con artist. Perhaps you didn’t hear me, let me repeat myself, Who do you work for?”
“Davis, lay off,” Dylan stepped between the two. “I was going to propose a plan with Ivan here-”
“When did you get so acquainted with this filth? He is a Scarlet Ray for the Sun’s Sake-”
Carter approached the three. “I beg your pardon, Davis?”
His face began to pale, remembering he should keep his trap shut. “My apologies.” He gave a curt nod and stepped back from them, but not forgetting to keep his icy glare on Ivan’s shrinking form.
Carter accepted this apology, and focused back on Ivan. “Ivan, nice to formally meet you. Let me introduce you to everyone.” He jumped to Ivan’s side and pointed out everyone name by name, “That’s Johnson, a genius beyond her years, and that grumbling stack over there is named Davis- ”
“I am not grumbling!”
“One, yes you are, and two I am not done yet.” After Davis crossed his arms, Carter continued, “And this amazing person right here is my cousin. She is formally known as Dylan Simmons, the eighth leader in the pirate gang we are all a part of-”
“The Crested Waves. And as such, I have a duty for my people. I also have an idea on how we can turn back the tides in our favor.” She tipped her head to Ivan, “And he’s helping.”
Davis was fuming in his corner. “That’s ridiculous! Captain Simmons, I mean no disrespect, but how can we trust him?”
“We have to, we have no choice. You saw the letter.”
Disgust spread across Carter’s face as he recalled the message. He now understood why the spy network gave them the letter, it would terminate their mission of ending the Everlasting Solstice: “The Crested Waves will henceforth retire the previously held tradition of allowing the first born to vanquish the two suns to bring an end to the Everlasting Day.”
Dylan cleared her throat, snapping Carter back to reality, “After this next cycle, we shall leave these shores and head towards the third sun.”
Carter smirked at his cousin, “I hardly believe that to be a plan Dyl, more of a death wish.”
“I wouldn’t wish that on any of us. That is why Ivan will be there to take out the suns as our ancestors intended us to. This day can finally end with our secret weapon, as I just witnessed something extraordinary: Ivan snuffed out light.”
“It was a fluke, that has never happened before.”
Dylan shook her head, “It may seem so, and yet your people have brought the suns, giving you the greater ability to destroy them.”
“No, no I can’t-”
“Yes, you can. You have the choice of doing so.”
Carter stood and took his side by his cousin. “Are you certain of this?”
“As sure as I can be. What good is the sun with no moon? A day with no end? Even if it means breaking orders, we must do this.” Dylan walked over to Ivan and put her hands against his shoulders. “Are you in?”
Ivan thought long and hard, this was his choice to make. He isn’t forced here, he can walk away and never turn back, but something was weighing on his conscience: He had always hoped his ancestors’ mistake would resolve itself one way or another; he never thought he would have to take an active role in fixing this mistake. The suns were here to stay, and if no one was going to end this cursed day - it may as well be him.
Ivan looked back up at the crew. “When does my initiation begin?”
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Ooh, nice story! I like the multiple POV’s and I’m a huge fan of the well-developed worldbuilding (which is something I struggle with). My only critique would be this: I noticed a little slipping between present and past tense. Great story, and I’m glad you made the deadline this week!
I love world-building, I just struggle with seeping the story with random information (I hope it didn't seem like too much! 🙈). My writing process is chaotic to say the least, so I am not surprised about the shift in tenses. (Thank you! I had to sit down a few hours before and really zone-in on finishing this. I am glad you liked it. 😊)
Heya, I got good news ^^ I have a new part of the story with Artio and the others. Check out "A Little Adventure With Family" and tell me what ya think
AHHHHH, yes, the content we all need! I will do that right now, give me a few moments to read through it. :) Side question: Do you have Instagram? I can add you, and we can rant about short story ideas there. (Our threads are looking a *tad* long, and I am getting worried. XD)
Oh, sorry, I don't really have an Insta. Maybe we could find something else?
Darn! That's the worst. Hmm, I have Facebook, but that is for old people apparently. (Unless you have that...?) I don't have many other options than that though. :/
Nah, I don't have Facebook either. I occasionally do stuff on Amino, and I'd suggest that, but it would be hard to find a thing on there. And I mean like, let's say, as an example we picked a thing just related to Gravity Falls, it would be difficult since there's probably a lot of those on it.
I don't have a lot to say about this, except like the others, I really like how you used multiple POV's, it was just a nice touch. And it was just a really great story for your first one on here ^^ I'm gonna give this one a 10/10, and I hope that you continue to make more stories, I have a feeling that they'll be great.
Aw, thank you! That's so nice to hear. I tried to play around with the multiple POVs, and I think they worked rather well to depict the story how I wanted it to end up. (Yes! I will definitely write more stories, if life doesn't get to hectic, that is.)
Np ^^ Whenever you do eventually make more stories, could you tell me? I'd love to check them out and leave feedback :)
Ah, yes! I will, for sure. I am thinking of writing one for this week, but none of the prompts are working much for me. (I will see what I can do. ;) )
Well the newer prompts are coming out tomorrow at some point, maybe there'll be some good ones for ya next ^^
Yep, yep, that look way better. I have been writing other pieces, so I am trying to do so here and there. I will try to make time this week and write a short story. *crosses fingers*
I like your use of multiple POVs - it comes off very natural to read with your writing style. I also think your use of italics is great in this story. I enjoyed reading it.
I'm glad you did! I am tinkering with using multiple POVs, and I'm glad with how it turned out. With the italics I try to evoke all the sass and sarcasm I can in characters, and these guys had it. I always like writing teenagers, they always hold themselves differently. I am glad the italics worked in their favor. (Thank you for noticing! :) )