The Dream Cutlass
A Dark Passage in the Dark Rift
"Hrm…I don't know about this one, Vyse," Aika said, leaning over the railing and peering down on the shipwreck.
The Delphinus hovered in place over yet another shipwreck in the Dark Rift. After running across a man still living in one of the shipwrecks that dotted the giant fungi there, the pirates made it a priority to check every odd-looking wreck for more survivors (not to mention all of the ancient treasure most of those same ships held). Now, Vyse, Aika, and Fina were on the deck of the Delphinus and looking down on another wreck.
"What do you mean? We've already been into a few ships like this one since we entered the Dark Rift," Vyse said.
"But there's some kind of green glow coming from this one—see the windows over there?" Aika pointed at the windows where the captain's cabin would be, and sure enough, faint green light steadily poured out of them.
"They could just be uncovered Green Moonstones," Vyse said, shrugging off Aika's worried tone.
"No way! 'Green light equals ghosts' is like the rule for creepy stories!" Aika turned to Fina for support in her desperation. "Come on, Fina, you agree with me right? It's not worth it…"
"It couldn't be worse than anything else we've faced so far, right? And there might be another survivor there," Fina said, genuine concern coloring her face.
Aika sighed in frustration. On one hand, she was so proud of how outgoing Fina had become since they first met months back, but on the other, Aika was not good with ghosts. Or creepy lights. Or freak fog banks. Or dead things in general. Either way, it seemed she was out-numbered two-to-one, though.
"Well, if you don't want to go, we won't force you," Vyse said in that annoyingly guileless voice. "Shall we, Fina?"
"Ah, yes, thank you," Fina said, letting Vyse cradle her in his arms as he hopped down onto the other ship's deck.
Aika crossed her arms and whirled away in a huff. It was short lived though—a moment later her eyebrow twitched.
"Alright! Fine! Wait up, guys!" Aika cried as she leapt down after them.
The deck of the other ship was silent—the only sound was that of the creak of ancient wood as the trio investigated. It was clear that the wreck really was ancient. It was an old wooden ship that appeared to not even have the basic back-up engines most wind-powered ships were now equipped with in the event of emergencies. At first, they thought about exploring the other areas of the ship first, but the pressing mystery of the captain's cabin was too much for the three to ignore.
Vyse put a hand to the door to the captain's room and looked back at Aika and Fina. They nodded that they were ready and hefted their weapons. Aika held her enormous boomerang like a club—it would be useless for throwing in such a confined space. Fina called her sentient "bracelet" Cupil, which materialized into a blob of silver with beady black eyes in the air beside her head. It circled her head a few times then morphed into a silver short sword—perfect for close-quarters fighting. She wasn't very skilled with blades, but she was proficient enough to hold her own in a pinch—more than enough for a Glist Arts specialist. Seeing that they were both ready, Vyse flung the door open wide.
What met their eyes was something no one could have guessed. Instead of the captain's room, it was a long hallway.
"Wha-whaaaa?" Aika spluttered. "Bu-bu…the light…the captain's room…"
"That's weird…I've never heard of a ship layout like this. It doesn't make any sense," Vyse muttered. "Was the light from the windows we saw coming from side rooms off this hallway?"
Fina squinted into the dark hallway. Something didn't feel right at all. Not ominous exactly, but very unnatural. Her gaze flicked to the doorway again. Something was definitely off. The door was a completely different style from the rest of the ship, and was so pristine it looked like it was installed only a few days ago. Fina wondered if it had really had changed since they had opened the door or not—now she couldn't even recall what it had looked like before. Fina was about to point it out to the others when Vyse spoke up.
"Uhg, its pitch black in there too—Aika, can you give us a light?" He asked, trying to peer into the dark corridor.
"Ye-yeah!" Aika snapped her fingers a few times and a red flame burst to life in the air over her palm. Aika's skill with Red Glist Arts had progressed so far lately that she could even call out simple flames without even having to speak the activation phrase.
The flickering light from the flame seeped across the floor, illuminating several yards ahead. "Seeped" being the key word, as the light seemed to be limited to the floor. The darkness remained, stubbornly clinging to the walls and ending strictly where they met the floor. If one stared really hard at them, you could almost see the outline of wooden planks under the gloom, but the nearly impenetrable darkness proved to be too hard to look at for more than a moment.
"Well, let's go," Vyse said, carefully stepping forward. Aika sighed resignedly and filed in behind him. The three walked single file, not wanting to get too close to the strange darkness. The passage went on for about twenty-five yards, with Aika grumbling every other. It finally ended with another door that looked just like the last one, Fina noticed.
"Finally…we made it through…" Aika tearfully said.
"Okay, one more time—you ready for this, guys?" Vyse said, hand on the door.
"Yes," the two nodded.
Once again, he threw the door open, and they were blinded by a flood of green light.
If you wish to claim my power:
Realize your full potential
And with a single mind,
Author's Notes: And so ends chapter 1 of my weird, random diversion… I have a vague purpose for this, but I really only wrote it 'cause I wanted to do something random, and the Dream Cutlass- in all of its overly-mysterious glory-seemed like the best choice. Note that this'll be prone to large rewrites without warning and possibly full-scale deletion over the next few weeks if I decide I hate it.