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Six speedwriting Sirens

a guest Nov 24th, 2018 170 Never
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  1. I am at the end of my tether here.
  2.  
  3. Still he persists. I have shown it to be true on maps, on charts, even on land. Every time I do it, I only make two 90 degree turns in the whole journey. I am sure of it. And yet every fucking time, he moves the goalposts. "The earth isn't round," he declares. "Every educated man knows that the earth is flat, upstart! How dare you lie to your students! How dare you rig results! I'm not giving a penny to a blowhard trying to make a fool of me." I assure you, pal. You're doing just fine making a fool of yourself.
  4.  
  5. I sigh, face down in mountains of parchments, planning, scheming once more.
  6.  
  7. It's unjust. This is between two men. The church need to mind their own business. Why am I in this mess? Why does it fall to me to prove what has already been proven?! What could possibly cause the church to doubt the word of a proven genius like myself?! "Marston," I growl into my hands. "Fetch me my lolly."
  8.  
  9. "Certainly, sir." The butler mutters quickly, turning to the icebox in the far corner of the room and removing a bottle of wine by the wooden stick pushed into it in place of corkage. He quickly hands it over to me, and, having a fair few years practice, is able to dash out of the door quickly enough to avoid the flying shrapnel as I smash away my frozen treat's outer shell against the corner of the wall. Looking to preperations again, I give it a few long licks.
  10.  
  11. We leave the docks at noon. From there, and at you-know-who's demand, we pass through several - shall we say, less known-of realms on our way to the western edge of the Galmoran Ocean by nightfall, keeping position by our view of the coastline. From there, we perform a 90 degree turn, we travel through the Demohlan strip, make another 90 degree turn to neatly circle - or as the case may be, square - around the isle of Inismoore, and proceed back across the channel, ending up where we started. A certain bastard will pay up, FINALLY securing funding for my research, and the church will consider this nasty matter resolved.
  12.  
  13. "The Demohlan strip, sir?" Marston mutters from above me, causing me to jump a little. "Pardon me, but surely not. They call them demomen for a reason, sir."
  14.  
  15. "And what reason would that be, Marston?" I growl, clutching my pen with white knuckles. "Bearing in mind that the basement needs de-slugging again, and if we can't make some money soon, I won't have anyone but your indentured self to do the job. Indulge me."
  16.  
  17. "Well, basically, sir..." The old man flounders - "The ships get demolished. In fact, going down that way is basically a death scentence for a ship. They think it's rocks or something, sir. They send the decommissioned vessels-"
  18.  
  19. "And yet both the church and that jumped-up noble louse insist on it featuring in our little tour de la insane. I suppose I should conceed, then. That seems like what they want. Absolotely typical. But that's what we should do, right?"
  20.  
  21. "Oh!" Marston claps. "I'm so glad you've come around, sir. I'm sure there's some other way we can secure the funding for yo-"
  22.  
  23. "WRONG, Marston!" I yell, gripping the old man by his lapel and shaking him. "I picked this hill! WE picked this hill."
  24.  
  25. "We-?"
  26.  
  27. "YES, WE. And WE are not going to die on it. Science, SCIENCE will prevail! It is NATURE, Marston, that we fight against! Entropy itself. It seeks to take us backwards, my man! Back through the ages, as we witness the undoing of our years of progress! And when I stand in the way, they want rid of me! They seek to get rid of me! NO. I don't care if he's a noble, he's still a damned conspiracy theorist, and I am going to bleed him DRY."
  28.  
  29. "V...Very good, sir." Marston mutters. "I will... pack my bags."
  30.  
  31. ---
  32.  
  33. It's noon.
  34.  
  35. We're away... early? The dock staff seemed keen to get us through. It helped that we had little to no cargo, a skeleton crew, and at least one damned noble bastard apparently in charge. That surprised me. The church shoved him on too. They were laughing when they waved us off. Oh, they can laugh.
  36.  
  37. "I've got my eye on you, upstart."
  38.  
  39. "I am aware."
  40.  
  41. "One change to our heading. One correction - AHA!"
  42.  
  43. "That was the INITIAL CORRECTION, your LORDSHIP. Unless you would like to invite further mockery from the crowd behind us by hitting the docks?"
  44.  
  45. I swear, every time this boy spoke, it was to try and mock me. I must be civil. I am a professional. Professional. "You," I pointed to one of the hired drunks. "Keep an eye on the coast. You, why are you talking?! You, get BACK TO WORK!"
  46.  
  47. The crew - or shall I say, the random, drunken men that I had managed to procure for our voyage, were... better than nothing. Actually, no. A spoonfull of soup before bed is better than nothing. A patched up, leaky thatched roof is better than nothing. With this crew? Nothing might actually have be better. Could they at least make it look like the ship is moving in a straight line? I have to keep it under control. The noble has no sea legs, no sailor's intuition, probably - I quickly remind myself - no sea faring skills whatsoever, and I still felt he was fairly likely to notice. I couldn't let that happen. I needed this money from him, I needed concession, not more of his conspiracy theories. Could it look more like I was trying to throw him off?!
  48.  
  49. "Windy today, innit?" One of the drunks called from above.
  50.  
  51. "No," I called back. "It just seems that way because YOU'RE SWINGING FROM THE DAMN CROW'S NEST BY YOUR ANKLES!"
  52.  
  53. "What a fine operation you have here," The noble smirked. God, I hated this man. I gave him a glare, but before I could say anything, one of the crewmen interrupted.
  54.  
  55. "There be riptides, sir! We're getting pulled out!"
  56.  
  57. "ARE." I scream, and several of them copy me. I slap the closest on the back of the head. "What the hell does he mean there's a riptide?! We're barely out of port! Do you not think that the dockmasters would have noticed a riptide at their front door?! If I come around there and one of you IDIOTS still has THE DAMN ANCHOR DOWN-"
  58.  
  59. I freeze. In the waters below, I see something. Something black. It's only there for a second, but-
  60.  
  61. "I-Is this some kind of joke?!" The boy snaps right next to me. Oh, my giddy aunt. He saw it too.
  62.  
  63. "On course, sir!"
  64.  
  65. We... were on course?
  66.  
  67. I don't think boats are meant to move diagonally, but we were. Quite quickly now, in fact. "Raise the sails," I yell, taking this in stride. "And, erm... someone. Watch the water. I don't trust it."
  68.  
  69. "Aye," Someone above me said. "Listen to the scientist now. Don't trust the water, he says. Mayhaps we be hearin' a real seaman."
  70.  
  71. "ARE!" I scream. Again, several of them repeat it. My palm hits my face.
  72.  
  73. "L-Look." The little noble behind me mutters in that boyish voice of his that must make the women swoon - and sets my mind on edge. "Old man, can we PLEASE desist this stupid business?! You weren't supposed to actually- I mean- The earth is flat, for goodness sake. You are going to get us killed at sea with your incompetence. Who knows what's in tha-"
  74.  
  75. "Scared, boy?" I grin at him.
  76.  
  77. He clams up very quickly at that. Good.
  78.  
  79. Night falls. "The Demohlan waters be ahead, sir!" One of my men calls warily. I don't dignify it with a response. In the pit of my stomach, however, there's... a certain feeling. A feeling I will not record here, though suffice to say- it was no illness, it was no ailment, and it was no good omen. I turn to the noble.
  80.  
  81. "Boy," I state. "You have one chance now to pay me the full sum, based on the VALID PROOFS that I have given you, before have we try to do this. Call it a gentlemen's agreement." My voice is hollow, but from the look on his face, it might not matter. "We are out of sight of the church. We will sail back and claim to have completed the full circuit, and that you find my conclusions valid."
  82.  
  83. He looks convinced for a moment, but quickly, he stiffens up. "No. I will not lie to the church. We will make this run. Like Demosphenes! And if you're not man enough-"
  84.  
  85. "Oh, I am." I snap, rounding on him. "I was just wondering if you perhaps had come to the same conclusions, upon hearing that Demosphenes too had a noble on his boat and they too had a certain wager, that I did. I don't know about you-" I manipulated - "But I reckon this place is certain death."
  86.  
  87. "No." He said. "We do this. Or I turn you over to the church the liar and con artist that you are."
  88.  
  89. "Fine," I spit. "FULL SPEED AHEAD! DON'T SPARE THE SALES, USE THIS WIND. AND YOU, GET DOWN FROM-"
  90.  
  91. "SIR?" One of the men yelps. "There's be... noise."
  92.  
  93. There's silence for a moment. Then, suddenly, we hear it.
  94.  
  95. At first, we can't make out words. It seems like lively discussion. Musical discussion. The introduction of an act, perhaps, by a finely female voice. And then you hear it.
  96.  
  97. "Ami-chan hopes you're all ready to give our new visitors a warm, Demohlan welcome!" A perky, womanly sort of yelps happily, as each and every one of our crew freeze. Equally suddenly, something I would hasten to describe as music begins to play, loud, firm and upbeat as we round the first corner, to see...
  98.  
  99. Lights. Lots of lights, cast straight towards us. Lights of a kind that we've never seen before, a technology unknown to our civilisation. The shoreline seems populated with beautiful, winged women, sitting in rows in their thousands... Monsters. Half-bird, half woman. And right at the front of the flock, there's a stage, on which five of the most brightly colored ones are smiling and waving at us, each holding incredibly short staves with what appears to be a bulb on the end - a bulb that I can only assume will fire a beam to vaporize our vessel and doom each one of us to drowning in the water. I bark orders, but nobody is listening. They are transfixed.
  100.  
  101. Then, the singing starts.
  102.  
  103. It's not painful, not fear inspiring. It's... a rather lively, beautiful beat.
  104.  
  105. "Mine, is short but much to see..." One sings,
  106.  
  107. "And mine," Another voice joins in, as my gaze snaps towards the second girl, "Can't help but look to me,"
  108.  
  109. "Mine is lone with broken bones, little eyes and finger tones,"
  110.  
  111. "Mine is here with so much cheer he knows what this is, that's too clear, they're,"
  112.  
  113. "Here, to see us-" They all duet, as the music fills our world. "They've all come to see us, yes they have-"
  114.  
  115. "And now they're coming close, ending the foreplay, taking the dose,"
  116.  
  117. "Dropping the anchor, hearing the song and hearing our most,"
  118.  
  119. "Wonderful, hello..."
  120.  
  121. And that's when I come to again, the red one landing inches from me. But there's...
  122.  
  123. "Hello..." She sings, cupping my face with her wing. Tears form in her eyes, her voice filling my perception - and the clearing - as she sings into her short staff. It joins with a thousand other songs, all completely different, yet all somehow joining together as I look around, forming a duet in which the main, voice, the loudest... is the one inches from me.
  124.  
  125. "Stranger, hello." She sings. "Would you like me to warm you?"
  126.  
  127. "Warm you," The others sing,
  128.  
  129. "Like me to hold you, like this? Or no, perhaps you've heard what we are, perhaps you're lost like we are, perhaps you lost a friend?"
  130.  
  131. "You've lost a friend?" The others sing,
  132.  
  133. "We search long and far for the heart with the gap, and know it when we see it, so perhaps..."
  134.  
  135. "So perhaps..."
  136.  
  137. "You'll let ME fill that hole..."
  138.  
  139. "And maybe you... can, fill-"
  140.  
  141. "MINE." She hisses, launching herself at me. Wings close tight around my body as I fell onto my back. As my vision fades, my ears are filled with lewd moans.
  142.  
  143. Those that have read the other accounts know of what happens next.
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