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 The Wreck of The Alexandra [P]

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Saladin Pendragon
Missing-Nin D
Missing-Nin D
avatar

Fame : 49
Home Village :
  • Sand

Element(s) : Lightning
Clan : Pendragon
Clan Element : ---
Bloodline : Martial Prowess
Ryo : 500
100%


PostSubject: The Wreck of The Alexandra [P]   Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:04 am

Red sky at night sailor’s delight; red sky in morning, sailor take warning

Saladin had never been a superstitious man. Yet, as he gazed out into the rising red sun, the words of his first captain, Momotaro, echoed in his head. A few gulls hovered overhead enjoying the warm thermals of daybreak lending their piercing calls to the gentle slosh of the crimson sea.  From his position at the helm of The Alexandra, Saladin—now a captain himself—could see all the way to horizon and could not help but shake his head at Momotaro’s foolishness. Today looked to be a perfect day for sailing; with any luck and wind willing they’d make port by the evening, superstition be damned.

“Taro,” Saladin bellowed for his first mate without once taking his eyes from the horizon. “Wake the men.”

The lanky first mate folded up the navigation charts he had been inspecting and wordlessly descended into the wide belly of the great merchant vessel. Taro and Saladin had worked together for going on ten years. At first, the two had butted heads, but after a particularly treacherous trip near Volcano country the two came to respect one another. This respect blossomed into a close friendship and helped to create one of the most competent captain first mate pairings to ever grace the shinobi.

Together the duo scraped together a living by jumping from contract job to contract job. Roughly a year ago, the pair hit the merchant sailor’s equivalent of a jackpot and won a commission to captain The Alexandra. By no means the largest of the merchant vessels to sail the seas, The Alexandra sacrificed size for speed. This trade-off allowed the vessel to serve as an express ship for goods that needed to travel quickly from one point for another. Of course, this speed was something people would pay a pretty penny for. Consequently, both Taro and Saladin were well on their way to being rich men.

This particular shipment consisted of mostly wine and a few barrels of spices. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t the most valuable haul of cargo in the world. However, it was a short trip and would bring The Alexandra to one of the shinobi world’s many coastal metropolises, Shangri-La. Once there, they could pick up a large shipment of silks, which would fetch a good price up and down the coast.

For the past ten years, this had been Saladin’s life. He rarely spent longer than a week or two in any one place at a time instead he opted to jump along the coast to his heart’s content. Him and his crew drank ports dry and moved more tons of cargo a year than anyone save for the crew’s accountant, Shinzo, could keep track of. Yes, the sailor’s life quite agreed with the man. He lived for the sea and hated to be away from it for any length of time often preferring to sleep aboard whatever ship he may be contracted to even while in port.

The grumbles of the crew below decks were accented by Taro’s whoops and shouts. Soon men from every walk of life and sleep still in their eyes began to make their way above deck. Saladin hired ex-outlaws, straight laced farm boys, and even the odd bartender. For the The Alexandra’s captain the past was the past and so long as his crew kept it that way he did not care where they came from or who they used to be. Sure, at times this policy came back to bite him, but it also created a close-knit crew willing to do anything for their beloved captain.

Forty-five minutes later, the sails were unfurled and The Alexandra was on her way when Taro rejoined his captain at the helm. Without a word, Saladin passed off the large ornate wheel to his first mate, gave him a half nod, and made his way below decks.

Following the lead of their captain, half of the crew fell in behind Saladin as they trooped down to the mess. The other half remained above deck seeing to the morning monotony; swabbing the decks, trimming the sails as needed, and standing watch for anything out of the ordinary. The crew had a system and it worked well.

Blinking a few times as his eyes adjusted to the poorly lit mess, Saladin took his place at the head of the table. The crew who’d followed him quickly filled the benches on either side of the table. The two cooks had promised something special for breakfast and even Saladin found himself getting excited in spite of himself—he knew the supplies aboard the ship like the back of his hand, the cooks couldn’t surprise him if they tried.

Nonetheless, he roared with approval upon the arrival of breakfast. Porridge and brown sugar, an apple, and a salted slice of ham. Of course, any self-respecting landlubber would have turned his or her nose up at such a meal, but for the crew of The Alexandra this was a feast fit for king. Indeed, it did not take long before the boisterous sailors—Saladin included—broke into a song praising their lovely chefs.

~Haru and Haruto, two cooks were thee~
~They cooked up something good for you and me~
~Porridge, apples, and ham; what more cooould we ask for?~
~Haru and Haruto, the best cooks there ever could be~


Lyricists they were not, but they made up for it with energy and enthusiasm. Plus, in the end, the words didn’t really matter all that much as each crew member sang with their mouths full. This slurred the whole song and turned it into more of a group of sounds than discernable lyrics. Ultimately, however, it didn’t matter; it woke up the crew, flattered the cooks, and heartened Saladin. Breakfast time was all good things.

“Captain Saladin, sir. Captain Saladin, sir,” the shrill voice of the ship’s cabin boy wound its way down the hallway along with the boy himself until he reached the mess. “Captain Saladin, sir. You’re needed above deck. Taro says its urgent.”

Raising an eyebrow, Saladin followed the boy through the belly of the ship and back up into the crimson light of the morning. Normally, he would have ignored the urgency in the boy’s voice as he had a bad habit of exaggerating. Taro, however, never bothered him during meal time, never. And so, Saladin—despite his most optimistic hopes—knew something terrible had happened.

“Taro, what the hell—” the words died in the captain’s throat as his eyes instinctively wandered to the horizon.

Black sails greeted his gaze, pirates. This was not the first time he’d seen the scourge of the sea. It was, however, the first time he felt his heart quicken at the sight. The previous ships he’d seen were much smaller than this vessel and of little concern to his vessel. This one, though, cut through the water like no boat the man had ever seen and even as he returned to the helm he could not take his eyes from it.

“What’s the situation?”

“Sal,” the first mate was the only one of the crew to call him this. “It’s not looking good. Somehow, they’re gaining on us. We should be the faster ship, but they seem to have the spirits on their side.”

Taro, unlike his captain, held more than his fair share of superstitions.

“They’re shinobi abroad that ship,” Saladin asserted. “There’s no other way they could be catching up with us.”

He paused here as he considered his next move; they couldn’t run, so they’d have to fight.

“Tell the men above deck that breakfast will have to wait and get those below deck on the cannons.”

Taro nodded, handed off the wheel to Saladin, and dashed off to the bronze bell at the bow of the boat. Soon the clanging of metal on metal brought the whole crew to attention. Those above deck stowed excess sail to mitigate damage and those below deck began to load The Alexandra’s sixteen cannons. Powered by explosive tags the cannons were stronger than most, but Saladin could not help thinking that the pirate ship would probably have more than double their guns.

There was no way around it: this would be an uphill battle.

The next hour or so consisted of a complicated dance of sails and shouting of orders. However, try as they might Saladin’s crew could not shake the ever-approaching Pirate ship. Soon Saladin could even make out the low chant of the pirate crew as they came up on his starboard. He also heard the unnatural rush of the wind as the shinobi-powered sailed pushed the two boats into a confrontation.

“Be ready,” Saladin screamed. “On my mark…”

Taro relayed the message below decks in his deep voice.

The time for fancy sailing was now over, the pirates would have their battle.

“FIRE!”

He’d barely issued the order when the slosh of the sea shrank away into nothingness and gave way to the blast of explosions. Splinters flew this way and that, screams echoed over the vast sea, and blood ran on the deck of The Alexandra. There was nothing clean about this engagement in the slightest.

We weren’t fast enough…

The deafening crack of the central mast rang out like a death knell for the merchant vessel. Now, even if they managed to beat back the pirates they would be at the mercy of the currents. And, of course, that was a big if, for in no time at all gangplanks were run across from the pirate ship allowing them easy access to their prey.

With no other choice left, Saladin drew his sword and dove into the melee that had developed on the decks below—he couldn’t do much at the helm anymore. The hour that followed had to be the most grueling of Saladin’s life. By the end of it, he could claim to have bested at least five pirates and only sustained a shallow cut to his lift bicep and a minor burn on his right upper thigh.

His crew on the other hand?

Well, they were not so lucky. Roughly three-fourths had fallen and the remaining fourth now found themselves surrounded by a crowd of jeering pirates. They had lost in a most horrendous fashion.

“Put down your arms or you will all die,” a large pirate with a golden gauge in either ear screamed. “Do it and we’ll spare you.”

“Fine fine,” Saladin finally sputtered out. “Men, drop your weapons.”

The sound of metal on wood filled the air as his crew complied.

“Are you the captain?” the same pirate asked.

“Yes,” Saladin replied.

“Very good, step away from your men.”

This is it, Saladin thought to himself, this is how I die. Unfortunately, he was wrong; he was very very wrong. Death would have been preferable to what fate had in store for him. No sooner had he stepped away from his crew when the pirates closed in on the group killing with wild abandon. This left Saladin to watch in horror as Taro was killed right before his eyes.

It was all over in a matter of minutes, Saladin was all that remained of the once great crew of The Alexandra. And, now? Well, now all he could do was await his fate.

“Call me Seth,” a new pirate wearing a flamboyant hat approached him. “Can I have your name, captain?”

“Saladin,” Saladin murmured, he was resigned to his fate.

“Well, Captain Saladin, rejoice for we have no intention of sending you to our death.” Seth’s tone shifted dangerously. “Instead we’ll let Davy Jones decide what to do with you.”

Two strong pairs of hands gripped Saladin and brought him to the side of the boat. Yes, Saladin’s death would be much worse; he was to be condemned to the sea where he would likely drown. Killed by the one thing he loved above all else, now that’s irony for you.

“Farewell Captain Saladin.”

These were the last words Saladin heard before he hit the cold water. Fighting the shock, he prevented himself from inhaling mouthful upon mouthful of seawater. But now what? Honestly, he didn’t know; Seth was right, Davy Jones would decide his fate. One way or another he would make it ashore. Of that Saladin had no doubt, he just didn’t know whether he’d arrive dead or alive.

Red sky at night sailor’s delight; red sky in morning, sailor take warning

---
TWC: 2083

[+10 stats, 2000/2000 for Martial Prowess, and 83/1000 forProjection.]

[/i]
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Yurei
Missing-Nin B
Missing-Nin B
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Fame : 105
Home Village :
  • Cloud

Element(s) : Fire, Lightning
Clan : The Chad Uchiha
Clan Element : E d g e
Bloodline : White Mangekyou Sharingan
Ryo : 5100
100%


PostSubject: Re: The Wreck of The Alexandra [P]   Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:25 am

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.

Approved.



Health:25  Chakra:125 (+25)  Stamina:60 (+421 AP) Speed:100  Strength:40
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Saladin Pendragon
Missing-Nin D
Missing-Nin D
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Fame : 49
Home Village :
  • Sand

Element(s) : Lightning
Clan : Pendragon
Clan Element : ---
Bloodline : Martial Prowess
Ryo : 500
100%


PostSubject: Re: The Wreck of The Alexandra [P]   Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:29 pm

Surfacing from his headfirst plunge into the icy depths, Saladin found himself forced back under by a concussive blast from the ship above him. This time he was not prepared and his whole world went black. In this way, the former captain soon found himself adrift not an actual ocean, but rather a sea of dreams.

He was sixteen again. His vision seemed to blacken around the edges, but as he glanced around the small room in which he lay he began to recognize objects from his past. The alarm clock he broke when he turned seventeen, the stuffed horse he used to play with as a toddler, and the sheathed sword his father always had him practice with. And, the more he thought about it, he came to realize that this wasn’t just any room, it was his room.

“Saaal,” the voice of his long-dead mother danced into his room. “Breakfast’s ready.”

His body now moved of its own accord, he was merely a spectator to the whole thing. He walked to the bathroom, splashed water on his face, and then walked down the familiar hallway of his family’s cottage by the sea. In a matter of moments, he was greeted by a scene that he had tried—clearly in vain—to block from his memory.

His father sat at the kitchen table, reading. While his mother stood over the stove, cooking. Both seemed at ease and unaware that in a few short years they would no longer walk among the living. They were all so happy, it felt wrong. This was what Saladin had hoped to never see again and yet here it was, haunting him like some vengeful specter. It hurt and yet it also felt good to see his parents one last time…

Unfortunately, life was not done with the disgraced captain, for his dream ended as he surfaced from below the depths. Coughing up water and what little bit of breakfast he’d eaten, he struggled about in the sea of debris that now surrounded them. The Alexandra was gone—or rather it was everywhere—and the black sails of the pirate ship were fast disappearing. This was far worse than a quick death, he’d heard tales of men’s bodies washing up weeks after shipwrecks—he would soon be one of those bodies.

Paddling over to the center of the debris field, Saladin found a particularly large beam on which to cling. The thought of simply allowing himself to be taken by the sea, but as he considered the prospect of being ripped apart by sharks and other sea creatures the idea appealed to him less and less. If fate wanted his life, then she would have to come and claim it from him. And, until such a time, he planned on doing everything in his power to remain afloat and alive.

The first hour was easy, however, then the sharks began to show up in the second hour. The bodies of his crew and a few dead pirates on the edges of the debris field were the first things to go in a cloud of red. Soon, though, the bodies closer and closer to Saladin began to bob up and down as arms were rent from bodies and heads relieved of eyes. It was a gruesome sight and it took all the captain had to maintain his sanity as he now found himself afloat a sea of literal blood.

A few times he felt the nose of a shark bump his leg. All he could do was kick back as hard as the water resistance would allow and hope it would be enough. By some stroke of luck, it was indeed enough, for soon the bumps became less and less frequent and the water less and less blood-filled. Still clinging to what he now understood to be part of The Alexandra’s mast, Saladin breathed a sigh of relief—the debris field had been picked up by a strong ocean current.

Now, a less experienced sailor might have worried that they’d find themselves being dragged out to sea and resist the current. Saladin, however, was more than experienced and did the only thing nature would allow by relaxing and allowing the current to take him where it wanted. To fight would mean expending precious energy that he knew he would need later if he wanted to swim to shore. He could only hope he’d get a chance to get to shore in the first place.

Only time would tell.

As the sun began to sink from the sky, Saladin’s hope began to falter. With darkness would come unbearable cold and strange beasts of the deep; he would not survive the night. And so, he resigned himself to death or at least he would have had a cluster of lights not appeared on the horizon. Blinking a few times for fear of a mirage, Saladin confirmed that it was well and truly a village by the sea.

Another half an hour passed before the man broke from the mast and struck out towards land. His arms burned, chest heaved, and head ached, but still, he soldiered on until he once more felt soft sand beneath his feet. Collapsing on the beach, Saladin felt as if every muscle in his body was on fire—he’d lived. Somehow, he’d lived through a pirate attack and a day adrift at sea, quite the feat to be sure.

Struggling to his trembling feet, the water-logged captain staggered into the small unaffiliated village. He got a few strange looks, but at this point in his day, he couldn’t be bothered to explain the past twenty-four hours to everyone who asked. Instead, he wound his way to one of the more prominent buildings in the village, the pub. With a wide vault-like roof the building exuded warmth and comfort the moment Saladin stepped inside. Sidling up to the bar he fell onto one of the vacant stools and spoke in a hoarse voice to no one in particular.

“Someone, anyone, get me a drink.”

---
TWC: 1004

[+5 stats, 917 words to completing the training of Projection (see above for the other 83 words), and 87 words to Hidden Arms Technique]
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Yurei
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Fame : 105
Home Village :
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Element(s) : Fire, Lightning
Clan : The Chad Uchiha
Clan Element : E d g e
Bloodline : White Mangekyou Sharingan
Ryo : 5100
100%


PostSubject: Re: The Wreck of The Alexandra [P]   Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:12 am

Approved again.



Health:25  Chakra:125 (+25)  Stamina:60 (+421 AP) Speed:100  Strength:40
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