WARNING: Some portions of the following work of fiction contain explicit sex. If you are under 18 (or whatever age is appropriate for your location), HIT YOUR BACK BROWSER BUTTON NOW. If you find explicit sex offensive, please don't offend yourself by reading further. The full disclaimer for this work of Vampire Hunter D fanfiction is at the beginning of Chapter 1. ============================================================================= Feathers on the Wind Chapter 3 Sea Terrors "This is disgusting!" she said. The kitchen was filthy. Pots everywhere, and about two inches of grease and discarded scraps over everything. The smell was horrible. "I've seen worse." D commented. "I can't cook in this." She took off her cloak and hung it on the door. "I'm surprised no one is dead after eating food from this place." "What are you doing?" "I'm gona clean this mess. I wouldn't feed rats in this dump. There aren't any rats here are there?" "Not that I can hear." D, also, took off his cloak and hung it with hers. If she was going to clean, she was going to need help. As they cleaned, the deliveries of food arrived and were placed in the over sized cooler. D told her that when at sea, water was brought in through pipes and poured over the outer skin of the cooler keeping it cold inside, the water was then divided. One half went for desalinating and cleaning for drinking water, the other half went for the lavs. Finally, after hours of cleaning the grease, dirt and grime from everything, Kale started to get dinner ready. She opted for a stew, it was easy,required little planning, and it was relatively quick. She used her mother's recipe, committed to memory, and made five pots of it. "That ought to be enough," she said as D helped her move the last of the huge kettles. Just then the doors to the dining are burst open, and the crew literally fought each other to get to the front of the line. Word of a woman in the kitchen had definitely spread amongst the crew. "<STOP>!!" D shouted, his severe commanding tone even froze Kale in her tracks. "<The cook has asked me to give you the rules. And they will be followed if you expect to eat. One! No fighting, she makes enough for all. Two! No hassling the cook. Three! Everyone gets one serving, if there is any left then it is first come first served. Understand>!" The men all nodded. "<Four. An orderly line is better than this mob. Now Line UP>!!" The men all jostled for position and took a bowl from the stack. One by one each crewman was ladled two spoonfuls of her stew and they all sat down to eat. She rolled up onto her bunk exhausted. The one small mercy of being the cook, each crew member washed their own dishes when they were finished eating, all she had to clean were the five empty kettles that had held her stew. But even that wasn't hard, for they had been practically scrapped clean, the crew devouring every morsel. Thankfully, she and D were able to eat between servings. "The captain is impressed," said D, returning from a last look around at the Western Shore. They'd set sail after the meal, and the coast was quickly fading away as the sun descended the horizon. "He said he's never had food that good on this ship in many years. He asked me to tell you that, and to thank you." "The health inspectors should have closed that kitchen long ago." She said trying to relax. "There aren't any inspectors anymore," said D quietly. "You get some sleep, I'll wake you when its time to start breakfast." She was almost asleep already, when someone called out from the animal cages. "Hello! I thought I heard voices." A short, skinny man strode briskly across the hold. He was dirty from head to foot, and he wore more of a brown dress like tunic, that barely covered, and nothing else. "I'm Vrail. I look after the animals. Welcome aboard." "You speak the common language," said D, striding four paces away from the cots stopping the man from coming further. "Yes. It was my first language. Where are you bound?" "The Far Shore," D then stepped closer to him and with an underlying threat to his voice he continued. "The girl is off limits." Vrail smiled a broad yellow-toothed grin. "Oh sir, you flatter me. Yes, she is very pretty. But, please, take my word for it, I'll go for a sheep before I go for her. Less hassle and no complaints afterwards." "That is sick!" said Kale. "Oh, trust me. On this ship, most men will take their pleasure where they can get it. Even with each other." "Even still. You've been warned," said D. "So I have. Please, excuse my rudeness, but I heard the men say, a woman cooks on board now. Would that be you?" Kale nodded. "Oh goodie. There is a trap door in the floor of the kitchen. That's where I'll be for breakfast." "Didn't you get some stew?" she asked. "No, but don't worry. I had some food. Well, I shall bid you good night." "Eggs," said Kale. "What?" "I hear chickens over there, do you have eggs?" "Yes. Lots." "Put them in a box. I'll take them to the kitchen. I'll make scrambled eggs for breakfast." "Sounds good, but I'll put the eggs in the kitchen tonight. Good night." "Odd fellow." Kale remarked quietly, as D returned to his bunk. "He's spent too much time with his animals," said D, covering Kale with a blanket. "Duh..." And so it went on. Kale cooked for the more than 150 crew of the ship, and D was always close to her, making sure the men knew she was his. Just never letting on in what way. D and Vrail constructed a makeshift lav for her, since there wasn't a separate one for women. And Vrail was true to his word. Seeking comfort with his animals rather than hassling Kale. A month had passed. Kale, no longer weak from her recovery, now felt depressed about her surroundings. Each time she looked out a window it was always the same. Be it calm or rough, sunny or cloudy, it was always water. Then about half way through their journey they met another ship from the southern seas. Egypt, the ship was called, named after it's ancient homeland, though it reflected none of the Egyptian culture that Kale had read of years before. The Egypt's captain was surprised to learn that a woman was on board his friend's ship, but seemed to ease a little when he learned she was also the cook. So Kale had to cook twice as much food over the next few days to feed both crews. Though it had exhausted her more than before, she welcomed the change. During the time the ships were together, cargo and animals were carefully moved back and forth between the holds. D helped them, so long as no one hassled Kale. With his added strength, the moving of the cargo went much faster, though Kale's lav took a bit of a beating in the process, and needed to be rebuilt. Finally, after cargo traded and farewells sent, the two ships continued on their way. If Kale had known ahead of time what lay ahead on the final leg of their journey, she may have chosen to stay in the west. D had borrowed a chessboard from one of the crew and was engaged in loosing to Kale. She wasn't really that good, but she was learning as she played. But the move she'd used he didn't expect. It seemed she'd centered her attack on his pieces from the left side of the board. But to his surprise she slid her bishop from the right, where she had left it for so long, and captured his king. "Very good!" Vrail announced, who'd been watching from the side crouched on the floor. Kale smiled and looked to him, only to blush brightly and turn away. D, seeing this, he glanced at Vrail and saw why. "Either put on a longer tunic, or put some pants on." "Oh, sorry. Didn't mean to embarrass you." "Shall we play again?" Kale asked. "We better not, you have to start dinner soon. Though I must admit. I had never been mated in such an attack as that. I'll have to remember that you like to attack to distract, while killing from another side." "Well, I couldn't just let you, let me keep winning." D looked at her, his eyes apologetic. "Its ok. It was fun anyway." Just then the ship was rocked from below, as though it had just hit a sudden wave, rose the crest and fell again. The chess pieces scattered across the floor, shouts from the men on deck sent everyone rushing to their posts. D ran to the top of the ramp and asked what was going on. "<We're being attacked by seafish>!" said the man. D ran back down and grabbed his sword. "Stay here." He told Kale. "Vrail! Make sure she's secured." "Right." The dirty, barely dressed man took Kale to one of the center support columns and tied her to it. Not tightly, just enough to make sure she wouldn't fly across the deck. "What's going on?" she asked, as Vrail tied himself to the column next to her. "Seafish," Vrail answered, as if that explained everything. "Just stay put, it'll be over soon. They just have to get the side spikes down." Kale couldn't see what was going on above. All she saw were men running with swords, spears, ropes and chains. Suddenly there was a huge crash from the wall near their cots, boards and metal pushed in through a gigantic whole. She couldn't believe it; it splashed water into the hold, its jaws snapping hungrily mere inches from the center support columns. Kale's eyes went wide, her heart pounded in her chest, fear paralyzing her, her mind screaming, but no sound was uttered. "Kale," D repeated for the one hundredth time. "Kale, I'm here." He'd helped kill the great seafish. The men had already repaired the hole left in the side of the ship. Vrail had untied her when the danger had past, only she didn't move. She barely breathed. She had gripped the column with such a force that her hands were white and her fingertips were bleeding slightly. "It was right in front of us. If it was two feet longer, we wouldn't be here." "Shut up Vrail!" shouted D. "Kale, come on. Look at me." "<Small mercies>," said the captain and drew his blade. "<Fright has her, she won't come back>." He raised his blade to bring it down in the middle of her chest. "<No>!!" shouted D, blocking the captain's dagger with one of his own. "<You said yourself, I am responsible for her. Let me handle this>." The captain nodded and left. The men wanted seafish meat for dinner, and were already setting fires in empty steel drums. At least they wouldn't go hungry during the night. D went back to Kale. He tried to get her to let go of the column, but her grip was as solid as iron. "Kale," he said, turning her head to look in her eyes. He eyes were wide; the spark that had developed there over the last six and a half weeks was gone. Her pupils refused to react to the light. He kissed her, hopping a different kind of shock would bring her around. Nothing. "Vrail, go to the kitchen. In the cooler, bring me the biggest onion you can find." Vrail ducked into his tunnel that led to the kitchen and disappeared. "Onions wont help," said the sym. "I know," he said, looking around one last time. No one. "Wake her." He took his left glove off and placed his hand to her right temple. "I can't promise this will be gentle." "Do it quickly." The symbiot was a mysterious creature in many ways. Most of its power he didn't understand, nor did he want to. "She's terrified," said the sym, "D stand close to her. I'm going to break through." He stepped closer, pressing his body to her, wanting her to feel his strength. A moment later she screamed. Some of the crew looked into the hold at the sound of their cook's terrified cries. The captain saw this and ordered them away. They did so. Kale kept screaming as tears ran from her eyes. D quickly put his glove back on and managed to separate Kale from the post, and held her as she collapsed on the floor. "Easy Kale," he hushed. "Easy now. Its over." "SHARK!!" she cried, over and over, her cries not weakening. "For God's sake, D, bite her to shut her up. She's hurting what little I hear with already." He didn't. He picked her up and carried her to their bunks. Thankfully their bags did not get knocked out the hole the seafish had ripped open. He laid her down on his bunk and draped both her cloak and his over her. "She's in shock," he said, over her cries. "So! Bite her anyway!" She was finally resting. Restlessly, but, at least, she was no longer screaming. Despite the symbiot's pleas, D didn't lay a fang on her. She turned over and woke sharply. "Please, don't start screaming," said D. "That was..." "You kept screaming 'shark'." "Bigger than Jaws ever was." "Kale..." "I hate sharks. I run from pictures of them. I won't watch programs about them, I went catatonic at an aquarium when my jerk of a date took me to a shark exhibit when I told him not to." She strode to the center columns and started to hit the one she'd been tied to. D stopped her seeing her hands bleed slightly with each strike. "The paramedics had to sedate me!" she cried. "Why didn't you tell me?" "Kale. The seafish are vicious, but we have defenses against them. You're safe now." "What made them so big?" He took her back to his bunk and sat her down, speaking quietly. "What the war didn't finish, scientists mingled animals together and made even more horrible monsters then the war could ever produce." "Why didn't someone stop them?" "Someone did. With even more terrible monsters." He gently brushed her hair back as she hid her eyes, crying. "We'll be safe on the Far Shore. Can you hold out till then?" She nodded. "Good. I won't let you down again. I promise." "I need a bath." She whispered, and D went to see what he could do about that. They had seafish; or shark; meat for the rest of their journey. Kale opted out of eating it after a while and went to eating salads, stating if she ate another bite of it she'd grow gills herself. After another five to six weeks, however, the Far Shore was finally in sight. They sailed back and forth outside the mouth of a harbor, waiting for the tide to recede. The harbor was exceptionally deep, but was surrounded by a ring of old coral & rocks, with an arch extending over the only inlet to the safe harbor. When the tide was up, there was only about ten feet of space between the water's surface and the arch, making passage for large ships impossible. Finally, the tide receded after midday, and the ship passed through the opening with little trouble. But, again, they had to wait for the tide to come in before tying up to the docks to unload. Below deck, Kale helped Vrail ready some of the larger bovines for off loading and rounded up the smaller lambs and goats, born during the trip and put them in the unloading crates. D tied their bags to Nightmare's pommel and powered it up, unlocking its feet from the floor. "<We're docked>!" called the captain from the top of the ramp. "Kale, its time," D mounted up and Kale swung up behind him adjusting her cloak as she settled. "Well, it was good sailing with you." Said Vrail, picking up a stray lamb. "Perhaps if you need to cross again, you'll choose this ship." "I won't be crossing again," said Kale, holding tight to D. "If D has to go over again, I'm staying here." "I won't be going again. If the western world needs the services of a hunter again, someone else will go. Not me. HA!" He dug in his heels, and his horse swiftly ran up the ramp to the deck. Vrail waving as they went. "Good bye then, young Arker," Vrail whispered. "I pray you will have peace in this new world." The upper deck was alive with the bustling activity of both crew and dockworkers. D explained that usually a ship had to pay a large docking fee, but this fee would be waved if the ship carried the jaws of a seafish. One less beast to make the water crossing safer. There were also repair crews examining the patchwork over the hole in the side, working out how much material was needed, and how long it would take for the repair. D strode his horse next to the captain. "<May you have calm seas and fare weather, captain>," he said. "<And may many seafish die upon your spikes>." "<Thank you eastworlder. And if you should ever tire of your woman's company, I'll pay you a handsome price for her>." He smiled back, eyeing Kale one last time. "<I doubt you could afford her>. Kale, hold tight." D spurred his horse one last time, just as the ramp was lowered to the dock. Its hooves clamored down the metal plank and onto the firm wooden deck. Then another twist of the reins and they were off at a gallop away from the shore. "I will give you this choice." He said. "We can stay tonight at an inn here in town and look for a horse for you tomorrow, or we could use what rations we have and go to the next town by tomorrow." "I don't care," said Kale, as they rounded a corner. "If things are relatively the same market wise, prices will be higher, in a town like this, for horses. Just don't put me on another boat." "Fair enough. Magar Rocks isn't far. We should be there by mid afternoon tomorrow." Next Back to the Fanfic Archive.