In The Wind

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In The Wind

Post  Damxge on Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:53 am

This is a story I intend to continue as a hobby, I may email a few publishing houses after I've written a chapter or two, but for now its my own little project.
This is about a quarter of the first chapter.


CHAPTER ONE: A CREW OF GHOSTS
A shrill whistle cut through the dark and into the ears of the ship’s crew like a blade; signaling the morning. The crew of large, burly men rolled from their hammocks, which were packed tightly together on the mess deck of the military ship, and made their way up through the hatch and onto the deck. The still dark sky above was covered by a roiling mass of clouds, obscuring any sign of the moon or stars. The rough wood under the feet of the crew was cold and damp from the thick fog surrounding the small battleship. There was only a single mast in the middle of the deck, massive white sails disappeared into the fog above, obscuring the upper portion of the mast.
To the rear of the ship was a large raised platform called the tiller deck, but what would have been on any normal ship, the poopdeck. But on this ship, lightness and speed was everything, so the large platform had only four legs holding it above the main deck that slanted gently, but increasingly, as you got closer to the bow. On this tiller deck were three men, two wearing the same brown wool clothes as the crew, one at the large wooden wheel, the other standing next to it. The other man wore a shocking blue coat with gold trimming the collar, silver buttons running up the chest.
This elegantly dressed man was Captain Hyde, the fiercest and most heartless man known to be under the employ of the English Military. He piloted the Cloudship, Hell Song. He was a tall man, his tan, well shaven face was weather worn and wrinkled. His eyes were a light blue, almost white, the pupil the only bit of darker color in his eyes. His nose was hooked and curved with a slight bend halfway down, rumor had it he’d let go of the helm once when he was young and inexperienced. His lips were thin and covered two rows of perfect white teeth. His large jaw jutted out dramatically, adding to his impressive, rough sailor look.
“Mister Felds,” he bellowed out over the deck as the crew emerged from the depths of the ship, his voice rough and gravelly. A man stopped and turned in the flow of bodies, looking up at the tall platform.
“Sir!” He yelled back, straightening and saluting.
“Take post at the lever,” Captain Hyde yelled down. Felds nodded and made his way to the ladder leading onto the tiller deck where the captain stood. A large wooden lever protruded from the wood, a long slot running up the center of the deck, underneath the tiller deck were rows of cannons covered by black fabric, hiding them from enemy telescopes, they could be seen through the long slit, the lever though continued into the lower decks. Felds gripped this large wooden lever tightly and looked to the captain for direction.
“Bright us up, we’re too close to the water,” Hyde said, looking out into the thick fog lying across the deck, hiding whatever was out there.
“Sir,” Felds said and, with a loud grunt, shoved the lever forward, where it stayed.
“Ascending!” yelled the man next to the helm, his voice high and shrill, carrying easily across the deck to the crew who were seated along the thick rails, eating their meager oatmeal breakfasts. Hyde walked over to the rail of the tiller deck and looked down, the ground hundreds of feet below, and receding quickly as the Hell Song angled up at a thirty degree angle. A small grin split the hardened captain’s face as he turned back to the men.
“We’ll soon be above this fog,” said Felds, holding tight to the large altitude lever.
“Good,” said the captain, climbing down the ladder and onto the main deck.
The ship was long and thin, built for speed. It curved elegantly from the square stern, the corners softening and angling upward as it moved toward the bow, shaped like a long wooden stake. To the single mast was attached a parachute like sail, lines tied to cleats along the rails holding it open wide, a single line running from the top of the mast, down to the deck controlled how fast the ship would go depending on its trim. A huge, fan like rudder protruded from the stern, dramatically large compared to the rudders of its water bound counterparts. There were four decks on the fine vessel, the tiller deck where they controlled the steering, the main deck where the men milled about, trimmed the sail to get as much speed out of it as they could, the bunk deck where the men slept and ate their dinners, and finally, the gundeck, at the very bottom of the ship.
There were ten cannons on the ship ready for action, they all protruded from the angled side of the ship, pointing more downward than up where they could fire down onto unsuspecting enemy ships. Underneath the tiller deck, on the main deck, was what would normally be the hold, but it was completely open, so everything had to be tied securely and placed in barrels to keep what little cargo they were carrying from spilling across the deck. At the top of the impossibly tall mast was a small wicker basket where a single man sat, the watch, looking out for any danger from above the thick layer of fog.
The ship flew thanks to the wood. The ship was made from a tree known as the bitterlift bush. They were known to grow in mountain ranges on sheer rock cliffs where they would anchor themselves to a rock and begin to grow, once they’d grown to almost ten feet tall, they would begin to lift, trying to float into the sky. The larger they got, the harder they tried to break free. They were odd looking plants, their trunks growing faster than their limbs, causing a long, pointed javelin to protrude from their bramble like branches. They had been found frequently floating along in the air, carrying massive boulders they’d broken from cliffs or the ground.
Though even after they’d been cut and made into boards, they were still alive; they still flew as if they were alive, and would grow together to form a solid hull for the ships. It was these ships, known as the Cloudships that were now being used in the wars between America, England, France, and Germany. The invention of electricity, only a year earlier had influenced the war as each country raced to control it first, warring with one another to slow their progress. While the flying ships could wreak havoc on any stationary location, they were much more effective for destroying the blimps the countries used to drop huge loads of explosives on each other.
After six months of constant battle, the animal kingdom became a part of the fight, the large cats of the jungle and savannahs began attacking towns and cities as well as other groups of animals with amazing intelligence and planning; elephants, rhinos, and apes also formed an alliance, spear wielding gorillas and chimpanzees riding rhinos overran towns and attacked the groups of cats. Most other animals though fought for their own race, killing anything that became aggressive toward them.
Hyde flew right into the middle of this mess, he was to attack a zeppelin building plant in Africa run by the Germans, he and his attack crew of fifty men had flown for two weeks from what was to become California in the distant future. On this ship was a boy by the name of Austin Krag. He was only fiteen years old and had stowed away on board during loading, hiding in a barrel, one now right under the tiller deck. There he’d stayed, munching on the sack of apples in the barrel with him. He got out whenever he could and would climb onto the bowsprit and hang his feet over the foggy depths of the sky, the ground too far below to see.
He’d tried to sign up as a sailor on the crew, but they’d deemed him too small, even though he was tall and lean and could have easily been a watch. Hit blonde hair was dirty and grimy, while his face was smeared with dirt and filth, his grey eyes shining brilliantly from under the filth. He watched as the crew sat about, eating hot oatmeal and chatting tiredly.
After they’d eaten, they were lined up along each rail of the ship, pistols in their hands. They would fire chunks of cloth at one another for the next four hours, simulating all sorts of scenarios that they might face in combat. The pistols were made of plain wood with strips of metal wrapped around them to keep them from splintering should the small packets of burn powder, a much more explosive substance than gunpowder, explode. . The force would fire a small shard of glass, heating it immediately beyond its melting point, causing it to stream out into a long ribbon; it would harden in the air creating a long, thin javelin that would be extremely difficult to remove from a person, especially when it breaks. The higher the quality of glass for the shot, the less it melted, causing more instant, debilitating damage.
During the training, one of the men misfired and shot himself with a tightly packed ball of now burning cloth. He had been intentionally packing the small balls tighter than most everyone else, trying to cause as much pain as he could in whoever he shot. He was a brute of a man, only four and a half feet tall; he was thickly built with a square jaw and head. His long, apelike arms hung almost to his knees, while his legs were impossibly short. His lower jaw jutted and exposed his teeth even while he was at rest, his thick brow giving him a short caveman look.
He screamed out and fell to the deck, holding his leg. Krag watched him through a small hole in the barrel used to let liquid out when the barrel was to be drained. The short man rolled on the deck, clutching dramatically at his burning pants. None of the other men moved to help him, instead, they formed a circle around him and stood there, watching, blocking him from Krag’s view. After several minutes, the man’s high pitched pained cries faded and were replaced by a defeated whimpering. Several of the larger men were commanded by the captain, now standing up above on the tiller deck, to carry the man below to his hammock where he was to stay for the rest of the day.
Captain Hyde had seen the man’s behavior and decided to leave the burnt piece of cloth embedded in the man’s leg until the next morning, there was no need for lashings when the men learned their lessons themselves. Krag watched with little interest as the men resumed their mock fighting; now using long wooden poles, the tips of which would be capped with long thin blades during real combat.
One of the fights were becoming rather heated, two of the smaller crewmen, neither looking a day older than seventeen, were dueling roughly, jabbing and swinging at each other in such extreme focus, they didn’t notice the captain walk up to watch them duel. After what seemed like ages, the taller of the two, a mousey brown haired boy, whacked the other across the head, sending the shorter black haired boy to the deck, panting hard and holding his head. Krag was rather surprised when he stood, smiling broadly and took the other boy by the hand, shaking firmly, acknowledging his defeat; even as a angry red welt began to appear across his cheek.
Krag remembered how him and his cronies had mock fought, practicing day in and day out for the day they might serve on a ship such as this. Tears dotted the boy’s eyes as he remembered his small gang of friends. They’d all been killed when the Americans had attacked his village, along with his parents and most of the other townspeople. The vision of flames licking at his small window stood burned in his mind. He’d barely gotten out before the whole house went up in flames. His father had told him to run, and run he did. For almost three days he hadn’t stopped; until he came to the town of Lamshire, where he found work at a market and scraped out a meager living, sleeping on the street, for three years.
“Mister Collins!” yelled a man in a nice blue jacket, nice, but not as nice as the captain’s.
“Sir!” said the shorter of the young men, turning to face the older man, his face bright red from the fighting, a bit of blood dripping from his ear where he’d been struck across the head.
“Return to your post, a ship has been spotted,” the man in the coat said, his tone quite high and shaky, he was obviously worried, “Gun crew, to the cannons, prepare to fire, boarding crew, in your quarters,” he continued before turning and climbing up onto the tiller deck. No whistled had been blown, no bells rung, not even a yelling watch. This was obviously to keep the other ship from noticing the Hell Song; any undue noise while in chase could spook an enemy ship, possibly causing it to stop and fight, risking more lives.
“Shall we prepare to board?” asked the same man, his voice still shaky.
“Blow it out of the air,” said the captain. Krag assumed he was sneering as his voice had taken an incredibly smug air. The ship that had been spotted mustn’t have been much of a challenge, as Hyde was an extremely cautious man. It also mustn’t have been worth a fight as he always preferred to capture a ship than destroy it.
Krag strained his eye, looking around on the now empty deck; everyone had gone below to prepare for a fight that would never come.
“Gaining steadily, give us five minutes to be well over them,” said the lieutenant, his voice shaking audibly, even though the captain had such supreme confidence. It must have been his first or second fight, Krag deducted. A few minutes passed, seeming dreadfully slow in the smelly barrel Krag sat in.
“Fire,” said the captain, his tone completely indifferent, almost bored. It took the shaky lieutenant a few seconds to realize Hyde had just ordered the death of everyone on the enemy ship, now presumably almost directly below them. The first cannon rang out, the entire ship shaking and rocking from the shot. A scream followed.
But the scream did not come from below Krag, it came from above. There was a loud thump as something fell from the tiller deck and onto the main deck, close to Krag’s barrel. Then yelling broke out on the tiller deck, the captain’s voice could be heard over those of two other men, obviously frightened badly. The voice of the lieutenant though was not among their quarrel. Krag slowly lifted the lid of the barrel and chanced a look out.
Only five or so feet from him, and to the left, lay the man in the blur coat, a dark red puddle spreading from under him. He lay, face down on the dark wood of the deck, his eyes bolt open in dead shock. The yelling above deck continued for a few more seconds when a splintering of wood silenced them. Dust and small chunks of wood fell down into Krag’s hair from above. Looking up, he could see a four inch hole, almost directly above him from where the captain’s weather worn face was peering down. He didn’t say anything about Krag, instead he looked up at the two other men and yelled, “Get us as high as you can,” he said urgently, his confident and smug air gone.
The ringing of cannons going off shook the ship violently as the crew fired as a whole. The cannonballs, all but one, smashing into the thick wood of the enemy ship; then, the Hell Song lurched upward as the tiller man set the long ship on a steep upward incline. Krag figured he’d been seen, so there was little use hiding, and rolled out of the barrel. The deck was banked in fog, making it almost impossible to see.
“Hold in the fog, Felds!” said the captain from above, followed by a grunt from Felds as he evened the ship out. The fog muffled everything, the sound of splintering wood from below us on the other ship was almost completely extinguished and the wind died almost completely, leaving the now soaking sail hanging limply from the mast. The wet fog immediately plastered Krag’s clothes to him as he walked to the rail to look down into the swirling abyss of clouds.
“Sir! The fog bank is too thick, I can’t see anything!” came a slightly worried yell from atop the mast.
“Good! Tell me if you come out of the fog!” yelled the captain in return, his smug air returning.
“Sir! What happened to Diggory?” asked one of the men up top, probably the helmsman.
“That ship was a bait boat. Someone was stalking us for a while and I assume one of the men prefired,” said the captain, walking across the tiller deck to look down on what little of the main deck he could see.
“Do you think they’ll catch up to us in the fog?” asked Felds, his voice rougher than the other man’s.
“I’m counting on the fact that they,” started the captain, when a loud thump further down the main deck cut him off. Krag spun and looked into the fog obscuring most of the front of the ship. A single dark shape was moving through the grey mist.
Krag was about to open his mouth to say something when four more figures came flying from above, slamming down onto the deck with mighty thumps. They moved slowly and carefully toward the tiller deck, the sound of a sword being drawn sounded out in the mist, accompanied by a hurried shushing from one of the other men.
“To quarter!” bellowed the captain somewhere back in the fog, his voice muffled and faint. At that, the five men drew their swords and began screaming, they dashed hard into the mist at the rear of the ship fading from Krag’s view. The sound of gunfire and swords clashing followed shortly after.
Krag dashed after the men, his light weight making little sound as he ran. He made it to the ladder leading onto the tiller deck and realized the men were already up there, dueling with the captain and Felds, the other two men were lying on the main deck next to the body of Diggory. Krag snatched up one of their still sheathed swords and clambered up the slippery wooden ladder. One of the enemy men were dead, the others slashed and poked at Hyde and Felds. Slowly, Krag stepped up behind them, with a yell, he thrust his short sword forward, driving it through one of the larger of the brutes.
One of the others turned to look where the slash had come from and was beheaded by a quick slash from the captain. Krag slashed at the legs of one of the remaining two men, sending him crashing to the deck with an agonized scream. The last man turned and dashed at the rail opposite the captain. Krag swiped at him as he passed but missed. The large man leapt onto the rail, using him momentum to fling himself further out into space.
A gunshot rang out and the man’s controlled jump turned into a spinning rag doll fall as a thin ribbon of glass skewered him square in the back. Krag turned back to see the captain, his pistol drawn, a grim look on his face. Krag was about to say something when six more men rocketed from the mist above, slamming into the deck around them. Two passed through the tiller deck and fell to the main deck with a splintering of wood. All along the deck the same thunderous thumps echoed through the fog. Men began emerging from below but were almost immediately cut down as the assailants invaded the ship. Captain Hyde slashed the arm from one man and turned and stabbed another in the chest. Felds dove from the tiller deck into a mess of enemies, slashing and yelling.
Up until now, the battle had been almost silent. Now the screams and yells of men and the clashing of swords defended everyone, causing them to scream even louder. Krag fought as hard as he could, killing any who dared try to climb onto the tiller deck. But soon, the crew had gone silent and the enemies were swarming heavier and heavier onto the tiller deck, their war cries becoming more fearsome and their bodies getting larger and larger as Krag weakened, unable to keep up with the onslaught. He saw the captain fall at the other ladder and enemies swarm onto the opposite side of the deck. Krag slashed at two more men before a heavy club slammed into the back of his head, sending him spinning from the tiller deck and down onto the men below. He was roughly thrown down onto the hard wood where a few of the crew spat on his unconscious body and kicked him a few times.
After almost three hours of looting and destruction, the men gathered at the base of the mast, their black clothes plastered to their large muscular bodies. Krag’s eyes were open slightly, he could see the group of them, conversing and trading cargo or trinkets as if they had not just slaughtered an entire crew of men. After what felt like ages, a man descended from above, supported on a rope ladder. The fog had thinned considerably and only the upper portion on the mast was still buried in the thick mass of clouds.
“Are any still alive?” he asked, his voice rough and deep.
“No sir, we killed them all,” said one of the men, stepping toward the man. All of the other men wore open black vests, revealing their muscular bodies, and black leather trousers. A large number of the men had some kind of metal contraption attached to the outsides of their legs. Krag wondered what it was for, but the blood rushing to his brain for thought hurt his head and made him dizzy.
“Very well, get your haul and return to the ship. We leave this ship to float on, as a message to the military rats,” said the captain, who was dressed in a lavish purple longcoat with golden trim and buttons. He wore a single eye patch over his left eye and when he smiled, several gold teeth could be seen. He had tall leather boots over the same black leather pants the men wore. A long blue sheath extended from his hip, next to it was a holster containing a long pistol, a lever on the top of the tube of wood could be used as a trigger instead of just pulling the stopper back.
The men filed up the ladder, carrying all manner of loot. The last to go was the captain, who lit a match and began smoking a cigar. He stood there for a few minutes before flicking the cigar onto the deck, where it immediately started to burn the wood. From above, the hull of a massive ship could be seen, floating just off to the left of the Hell Song, well immersed in the fog above. The captain turned and began climbing up the long rope ladder, his sword jingling lightly as he moved.
The ship above slowly pulled away into the fog, leaving the Hell Song to float on until it hit a mountain or burned to the keel. Slowly, Krag pulled himself up and staggered over to the burning spot on the deck where he stamped it out, leaving a darker spot on the dark wood. Turning dizzily, he could see the bodies of the crew, scattered around the hatch. They’d never made it further than that, the enemy shipmen had just waited there, cutting them down as they emerged.
Tears slid down Krag’s cheeks as he climbed onto the tiller deck. Captain Hyde lay next to the ladder, surrounded by the bodies of the enemy. At the time, it had felt like they’d both been killing dozens of the enemies, while now Krag realized he’d only killed six, the captain eight. Almost slipping in the puddles of blood, Krag shoved at the altitude lever, making the ship descend quickly, getting underneath the clouds, only a hundred feet from the rough terrain below. The wind picked up and shot the ship along, piloted by a lone boy. END OF CHAPTER ONE
CHAPTER TWO: A FLAG OF CRIMSON


If anyone has any ideas on names, ships, weapons, characters, plots or anything else, feel free to let me know, the ideas might be what I need to keep the story up.



Last edited by Cross on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:18 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: In The Wind

Post  Damxge on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:17 am

Updated. Going to start work on chapt. 2 now.
Sending emails to publishing houses.
I'll also send emails out for anyone else with an idea for a story or something, I'm very well known for being a pretty good salesman Wink

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Re: In The Wind

Post  Drag on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:25 am

I only read the first few paragraphs, I will continue later. Cross, you have a nice way of writing. Its not painfull to read and its pretty interesting.

Could you give me a little synopsis of what its about? Or would that ruin the story?
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Re: In The Wind

Post  Damxge on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:29 am

A boy, his home is burned and he tries to join a military ship (the ships fly and animals and all the countries are fighting) but he's turned down and sneak aboard. The crew is killed by an enemy ship. That's the first chapter anyways.
He seeks out old friends to crew the ship and becomes an outlaw captain himself and fights against the French and Germans.

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Re: In The Wind

Post  Drag on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:32 am

Holy crap...That sounds amazing... :shock:

If its published I will buy it! How many pages are you planning?
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Re: In The Wind

Post  Damxge on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:34 am

I don't measure by pages as the publishing houses do not either, I go by words. I was thinking somewhere around 20000 words would be a nice starting goal. If I love how its flowing, I may write more.
This is around 4100 words there.

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Re: In The Wind

Post  Drag on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:37 am

Sweet. Im still working on my comic book. I have not come up with a name (Or a good story Cry just writing as I go). Its really fricking wierd.
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Re: In The Wind

Post  Damxge on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:39 am

Post what you have!
(I know a bit of HTML if you'd ever like to consider turning it into a web comic. )

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Re: In The Wind

Post  Drag on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:51 am

I will soon. Im only writing the script right now. I think im going to get someone else to draw it. I might try but Im not the best artist.
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Re: In The Wind

Post  Damxge on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:58 am

Ahh, good luck to you then mate.

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Re: In The Wind

Post  Drag on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:58 am

Thanks. I will make a thread for proggress and info.
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Re: In The Wind

Post  killer8529 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:20 am

this is realy good i hope you continue it


Last edited by killer8529 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:32 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: In The Wind

Post  Damxge on Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:39 am

Thank a bunch, and I hope to.

I hadn't thought of that, but I hope no one else makes the connection, could ruin the name. . .

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