Chance and Alpha

"Easy sailor, left sail!" Chance bellowed over the noise of the sea that licked ravenously against the side of the ship. 

The wheel fought against his hands as he tried desperately to bring her around to port. None of them had any real idea where they were going, the water got into all the oil lamps and the maps were past saving. Gritting his teeth and flicking his blonde hair out of his eyes, he fought the mighty tide. Captaining The Swift was his first mission on sea, but it was on land that he had earned his place among the warriors with sword in hand. Not upon the waves. He vowed, too, that this voyage would be his final one, he would leave the captaining to Captain Shanks and be done with the whole blasted thing. 

"Captain, bring her starboard!" Someone called from the inky darkness. It was so black that Chance could barely see the wheel and called out for the speaker to come closer. Galley, his deckhand, staggered over to him, clasping the wooden banister as the boat pitched wildly and the rain lashed down, "Bring her starboard, sir! We see the harbor." 

Squinting to avoid the rain, Chance looked starboard and there did indeed appear to be some orange lights far off in the distance.

"Nay, Galley, she's too wild now! I'll take her north a league more and wait it out until calmer waters surface." Chance did not need to see clearly to know the look that would be upon the face of his deckhand. It had been a long journey, the trip cut short and with nothing to prove for it. 

The ship groaned and pitched further port than she had ever done before. Chance knew then that they would not make it to the safety of a cove. He traced the carvings in the wheel with his fingers.

The Swiftest

The Strongest

And then the final line that someone had carved themselves:

The Loudest

When Chance had first saw that he had laughed, now it did not seem so funny. True, the ship was old and creaked in the slightest draft but she had held her own for them this far. Suddenly the wheel was wrenched from his grip and he struggled to get ahold of it once again until Galley came to his aid. More horrendous groaning echoed amongst her bowels and the wheel began to fold inwards. Chance threw himself and his deckhand away from the mechanism and against one of the wooden beams as it splintered apart and was lost to the sea. 

Hindered no longer, the wind turned her where she wanted and the ship soared around starboard, sending anything they had neglected to tie down tumbling about the ship with the crew. 

"Abandon ship!" Chance bellowed, heaving himself up, "Abandon ship, I say!"

Assuming they had obeyed for no splash could be heard above the howling of the wind, Chance and Galley flung themselves into the ocean. 

The cold was deadening but the noise was worse. Waves rushed against his ears and when they receded the voice of the wind took its place. The Swift pitched sharply starboard once, then again and then capsized fully till her silhouette was no longer viable against the horizon. Chance could see nothing nor hear anything of his crew so he swum blindly, barely able to keep his head above water for his heavy armor. Something floated against his arm and he took ahold of it, using it ensure he could breathe. The waves threw him about even more on his tiny, makeshift vessel and, exhausted, frozen and without hope, he began to drift off to sleep. 

The End

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