TITLE: Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)
SUMMARY: Another rewrite of the original TP story, but with a new added character, Xyra Robethian, who also has a reason for returning to Treasure Planet.
WHY: language, violence, and cuz I want it to be!
DISCLAIMERS: I own Xyra
PS: Xyra is named after one of my good French buddies, the name is pronounced Zy-ruh.PARAGRAPHS IN BOLD ARE DREAM SEQUENCES
PARAGRAPHS IN ITALLICS ARE THOUGHTS
PARAGRAPHS THAT ARE UNDERLINED ARE WRITTEN WORDS
MONTH- 8th of Nymphian months DAY- 3rd of 1st Nymphian week YEAR- 2514
It always seemed funny to me, carrying out my life, if you could call it that, in such the manner that I did. Sometimes it dragged on, sometimes the years would flash by me like a bright firework, and I would leap through years and years and years like some graceful ice dancer who weaves patterns on the ice. When life seemed pointless however…ahi! I think the only thing that kept me going then was the faint hope that I might get home.
So here today, I signed up for this mission into distant space. My only wish is that this does not turn into another wild goose chase; I've already been on enough. My body is tired and although it seems pointless, I still have to give this yet another shot. I have no choice.
-Excerpt from diary-
I slowly read the diary entry and went over every single word to try to see if I had left myself some kind of hint in the old writings. The careful interpretation led me nowhere however, so I closed the diary and locked it before throwing it into my bag. Around my belt I fastened the deadly weapon I had invented and gotten made by a blacksmith; I capped the points of my javelin, so turning it into a mere walking stick.
After cracking my neck a few times, I stood up and slung my bag over my shoulders, felt the heavy thump of books and then marched out of the inn and down to the bar. The cook glared at me so I tossed him a Nekt, I'm glad I at least had enough to pay him.
As the wooden door swung open, the bright light caught me off guard and I squinted at the bright central star of this solar system. Slowly the road took my dry boots up to the docks so that I could marvel at the magnificence of the ships, and then a notice caught my eye.WANTED
Strong crewmen for the R.L.S. Legacy,
Paying price of thirteen Kricts
Led by the famous Captain Amelia
The ship may be seen at dock 74 A
I grabbed the flier and smiled, at least there was some job that needed doing, and I was getting bored of staying in this dull port. I took off at a brisk walk towards the A docks, practically whistling with joy.
As I arrived at the dock, my heart started to pump; the ship was beautiful! I raced up the gangway and smiled as I looked up and down the three giant masts. The decks were morbidly empty, but my thoughts were ruptured by a heavy voice.
"May I help you?"
The words made me spin to face the speaker, a tall Regolithian man. His stony glare nearly made me turn cringe, but first impressions always decide how the entire journey will turn out.
"Yes," I answered confidently, "I'd like to sign up for the voyage sir. I have recommendations if you would like to see them?"
He nodded; I dropped my bag and pulled out a thick folder. I handed it over, but he didn't open it. My right eyebrow slowly rose, and the Regolithian finally sighed and walked off, making it clear that I was to stay behind. Not much later, he returned with the Captain, a Felius. She took the folder and flipped through the files before snapping it shut and handing it back to me.
"I see no reason why not to hire you; however, I do not allow weapons on my ship."
I nodded, "I'd be very glad to hand over my blade Captain." I unhooked the sheath and presented it to her. She took it and nodded.
"Welcome aboard Miss…how do you pronounce it"
"Xyra. Xyra Robethian, Ma'am."
"Very good now! I am Captain Amelia, and this is my first mate Mr. Arrow, he will get you started on your duties, but I must go plot all this out in the Log."
As she passed, I touched my hand to my silver and green bandana, then Arrow looked doubtfully at me. "Seeing that you are the first member of our crew, I will get you started cleaning out the hold."
He told me how to find the brooms and scrub brushes, water and buckets and soap as well. I scrubbed until my arms ached then, single handedly loaded on the very first of the cargo. Most of it was food supplies, but there were some animals. I led the heavy treatle (something like a cow), gratil (something like a goat), and durf (Animal that resembles a shaggy rhinoceros and makes milk) aboard and carried on a couple cages of pockies (chicken like creatures).
Gradually, the sun rose to its zenith, and my stomach began to grumble; I took a few quick bites of energy bar from my bag and continued to load and clean. When the sun began to set, there still was no crew except me.
When the first stars began to show, Arrow showed me the quarters where the crew and I would sleep; then, when my hunger reached its pinnacle, Arrow brought down a load of foodstuffs and told me to make three dinners.
Let me tell you, it was hard to cook! What with me being so hungry, but eventually I whipped up a meal of grilled vegetables and roots and a few fillets of hures, a scaled water-dwelling creature. I presented the Captain and her first mate with the meals formally but ate mine privately in the galley. Afterwards, I fed the animals and cleaned up the dirty dishes. Bedtime was early since I figured there would be a lot of work in the morning.
Figure skaters danced around a Christmas tree made of millions of tiny glass shards, fish leapt over rainbows, and there was an opera voice singing high in French. It kept repeating "Go for the gold, Shoot for the stars."
When I woke, there was no light, but there was no chance of me getting back to sleep, so I stretched, found an open barrel of water, washed my face and went to the bathroom before having another energy bar and going out to the deck to watch the sunrise over the enormous Montressor. The thing that always had thrown me off on different planets was the number of moons.
Here there were three: Lepta, Andromeda, and Wrath. It was interesting watching them all. Wrath was a deep black color, it rose with the sun and so could only be seen during the day; Andromeda appeared a reddish color from the iron oxide on the surface and was the largest. Finally, Lepta, the smallest with a plain white coloration that was nearly out of sight behind the large planet.
I climbed up the bowsprit to get a better look; the atmosphere of Montressor had changed into a pinky-purple. I sighed and thought of home. How long had it been since I had seen it? Too long, that was for sure.
There was a creak of a cabin door so I dashed down the bowsprit and landed on my boots lightly. The captain looked refreshed and nodded to me.
"Good morning Miss Robethian."
"Good morning Captain, looks to be a beautiful day!"
She nodded, "I only hope that we can hurry with this mission, there is likely to be a solar storm in about two revolutions of Andromeda."Two days, not much time to assemble an entire crew.
"Luckily for us Miss Robethian, a crew has already been hired by an amateur; the sponsor of the mission."
"When are they supposed to arrive Captain?"
"This afternoon. Now Miss Robethian, as I glanced over your papers, I noticed that some of them were implying that you were about to graduate from a midshipman to a third lieutenant…"
I shook my head, "Yes Ma'am, but I prefer to work with the sheets and masts. Couldn't stand to walk around and watch people all day."
Amelia stared at me, "Was that an insult?"
I laughed, "Not at all Ma'am. I'm just one of those free-falling sort that prefer to keep a low profile."
She looked at me and I quickly noticed a quick wit beneath the hardened outside.
"Well, seeing that you are now assigned to me and that the navy is in desperate need of good officers, I forcefully promote you to the rank of midshipman, or woman; that means you will get separate quarters -all as well, the rest of the crew is male- a prim uniform, and a few privileges."
I sighed, it wasn't what I wanted, but this meant that after this mission, I would be able to go to lieutenant school on Toulouse.
"Where do I start?"
Amelia smiled, "We have to get you fitted and acting your part before the rest of the crew gets here, now!"
First, I had to move all of my things to a separate compartment next to the galley, then, the captain gave me a Krict and sent me to an outfitter to get five uniforms, six undershirts, six pairs of breeches, seven pairs of socks, a new pair of boots, an overcoat, and a midshipman's hat. Amazing what you can buy with a single Krict!
Back at the ship, I put on my new uniform and was given the chore of inspecting the crow's nest. It was probably the captain's idea of being helpful, since she had forced me to this rank. The reason that I had refused was that, in most cases, officers were despised, if not hated.
As I climbed up the rope ladder, my mind quickly blew free with the breeze seasoned by the winds of space. At the top of the main mast, the crow's nest stood; above the nest were three platinum hooks for flying a flag. The bottom of the nest was a loose knothole; when I pulled on it, it came out and inscribed on the side was the writing: Under the galley knife-holder.
I dashed back down the ladder and immediately reported my find; Amelia insisted to assist me in recovering whatever the object was. We walked down to the galley and found a hooked board nailed to the wall; underneath it was a loose plank with another knothole that came up partially and then could be used as a handle.
As I pulled open the floorboard, I wondered what could have been left by someone else and if it was still here. My questions were answered when I spotted something silvery and red in the small gap between this floor and the next. Carefully I pulled it up; it was a solar surfer.
I blew the dust off, and Amelia looked at me.
"Do you want to keep it Ms. Robethian? I have no use for it and the previous owners probably forgot about it."
"I'd love to Captain! Thank you!"
Amelia smiled and then strutted back to the deck. She's a great woman; wish I could be as confident as her!
Carefully I examined the board; there were two footholds that you could strap yourself into and a single thick mast that was about two and a half metres high. The solar sail was torn but could be easily patched up with some extra sails I could get in town before we left. Along the mast were several buttons with labels written in Harbit, official language of Haryib; my old board was way out of date, and this one, though old, was a good, trustworthy model with amazing speed.
I quickly stored it in my quarters and went back on deck; Amelia was crawling up the masts and along the arms like a squirrel. Suddenly she landed lightly next to me.
"The crew has finally arrived," she said with impatience. "It took them long enough."
I glanced dubiously at her and she shook her head; I grinned and saw a large group of sailors moving towards us. My mind grew doubtful, I'd seen my fair share of navy and pirate crews; however, this group reminded me of neither. The leader of the pack was a red-coloured scorpion, but there was also a cyborg, a flatulan, and an octiopt.
Immediately Mr. Arrow appeared out of nowhere with a list of the crew that been delivered the previous night. He read off the names of the basic crew and led them off to their assigned jobs but not before handing the list to the Captain.
"John Silver, Cook."
The cyborg stepped forward, "Aye Cap'n."
Amelia nodded, "Miss Robethian will show you to the galley Mr. Silver."
I raised my chin a bit, "This way Mr. Silver." In a way, it felt good to be above others and make them listen to me and have them not be able to retort. As I walked down the stairwell, I could hear the clunk of his metal leg and the whirr of his gears, but this didn't scare me. I'd worked around cyborgs all of my life.
When we arrived in the galley, Silver looked around and I made to leave, but he called me back.
"Ms. Robethian, seeing that dinner 'll take a while to prepare, I'd be wantin' to start soon as possible."
I nodded, "I'll inform the captain immediately and get your utensils and ingredients here as soon as possible."
I gave him a brisk nod and quickly left, keeping my chin up high as I walked back to the deck, where all of the crew had been dispersed to their jobs. I walked up to the captain and cleared my throat.
"Mr. Silver has requested the items that are necessary to make the afternoon and evening meals, Ma'am." I said confidently.
"Is that so? Well, the potatoes are in the second hold, the knives and cutlery are in the storage above the burners, and the hardtack is in the giant barrels of the second cupboard."
"Aye." I quickly left to tell Silver my information, but was called back by the captain.
"Miss Robethian," she called me close to her and whispered in my ear, "I don't quite trust this crew, and I would like it very much if you could keep an eye on Mr. Silver today. Get him to trust you, and also recommend potatoes au gratin, it's one of my favorite dishes."
I grinned, "I'd be glad to do it Captain." I touched my hat and caught myself before I began to skip, instead strutting back to the galley.
When I walked into the galley, Silver had discovered the knives, but I quickly pointed him out to the direction of the rest of the food. The scorpion alien rolled in a barrel of purps and quickly left, leaving Silver and myself alone to bond.
"The Captain likes Potatoes Au Gratin," I mused, grabbing a hammer that had been mixed up with the knives and prying open the purp barrel.
"Izzat so? Well, mayhap she'll get her favorite dish ta'nite."
As I picked out a ripe purp, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Silver was studying me, his cyborg eye shining in mine.
"Look Silver, I don't like being a midshipman, the captain pretty much forced me to do this, but I am not daft. If you want to scan me, ask first please." I shook my head and stuck my purp in a pocket. "The name is Robethian, Xyra Robethian."
"Silver, Long John Silver."
I grinned, "Great, all we need now is a massive treasure and we'll have Treasure Island all over again!" Silver didn't get it, of course how could he? In fact he looked a little suspicious, so I shook my head, "Don't you need milk?"
Silver smiled, a golden-toothed smile that kinda freaked me out, "Mind milking ma'am?"
I popped my purp in my mouth and went to retrieve a bucket.
That night, I examined all of the things I would need for my solar surfer. First of all, a special kind of insulated needle, conductive thread, and some spare webs, the special honeycombed solar sails made especially for surfboards.
There was ice, a plain of ice and sleet was falling from the sky, in the distance, classical music was playing, it was one of my favorite pieces but I couldn't figure out the song. Next I saw a small golden box; as the lid opened by some invisible force…
I woke up; shaking off the last traces of the dream and yet knowing that the piece I had heard would be stuck in my head the entire day. I groaned and pulled out my bag, from that came a sketchbook with drawings on the inside pages; I picked up the pencil attached by a string to the loops that held the pages together and began to draw. It was nothing fancy, just another little sketch of one of the things I had seen on my long journey.
I finally put it away and pulled on my coat, new boots, old belt, brushed my hair, and placed my hat on my head. My feet carried me to the deck and to the tip of the bowsprit; the winds changed direction for a minute and I could distinctly smell the scent of the Etherium. My heart beat faster with the memories coming with the smell.
With the rising sun, my dreams rose as well; my soul felt free and as the star seemed to rise from behind the planet Montressor, so did my heart. Of course, there was still a long ways to go until I might be able to reach home and let my soul roam free.
The crew began to rise from their beds, and Amelia was soon up and about as well. I brushed my hair with my fingers and retrieved my hat and coat before talking to her.
"Beautiful day Cap'n," I sighed.
"That it is." She took a couple deep breaths and then turned to me, "We are going to launch today, but there are also going to be two more passengers: the cabin boy and the financier of the voyage. Also, if you would like to make a last shopping trip, you could do it on the way to pick them up."
I raised an eyebrow, "Don't tell me, I'm going to have to baby-sit the cabin boy the whole trip, right?"
"No, nothing of the sort,but both of them are landlubbers and I think it would take them about an hour to get from the intergalactic bus stop to the ship."
I laughed, that walk would usually take me five minutes, "When do I leave?"
She looked at her watch, "Dr. Dopplar said at Seven fifty-four, five minutes."
I grinned and touched my hat before running back to my quarters to prepare for my departure. Quickly I oiled my boots and straightened my uniform, combed my hair and tucked in my shirt before grabbing a couple nekts and flying up the stairs, taking a few crewmen by surprise.
My feet carried me down the gangplank and up to the intergalactic bus stop in a short bit of time, I could see the bus was still about four minutes away. I looked around and was surprised to see a solar surfer shop; shrugging my shoulders, I walked in.
Without asking around, I walked to the checkout and demanded my items, paid and walked out briskly; there is no need for courtesy when you don't plan on returning. The galactic bus was pulling up and I looked over the people who got out. Queen of some planet, tall guy with a funny nose, weird boy sticking close to a guy in an astronaut suit…landlubbers.
I stepped out and caught the astronaut guy by the shoulder.
"Are you doctor Dopplar?"
He smiled really strangely and nodded, I rolled my eyes and gestured. "You guys had better follow me, captain's orders."
The boy looked at me with the kind of look that said, 'Hey, you're not the boss of me.' I just shook my head; these guys did not know the order of life on a ship. Surprisingly, they both followed me, and we got to the ship in no time.
Well...the 1st chapter's gonna be a little longer than the rest, so please review, constructive critisism and anything else will be loved!