Jericho: Into the Storm

I stomped up to the helmroom and took the wheel from the helmsman, wrenching the ship around so we began to head east. The heliopause's engine groaned in annoyance, and I rubbed the wheel soothingly.

"Sorry," I mumbled, adjusting for the new course and wind direction. Fyre, why on earth did they want to go to that forsaken place? It was said anyone who set foot on the island was cursed, destined to go mad, and not the good kind either.

"I'm going to have to charge extra." I said to nobody as I locked the course in place. "No way I'm going that far without heavy compensation."

So things went well for that first morning, but around lunchtime, the wind dropped and the sea below us calmed down. I checked a nearby barometer, and sure enough, the pressure was dropping very quickly. I took hold of a speaking tube and said into it;

"batten down the hatches gentlemen, all passengers report to your cabins. Looks like a storm's brewing."

"Can't we outrun it?" A voice said behind me. Jumping slightly, I turned to see Miss Edwina.

"Only an aristocrat would think we can outrun a hurricane." I said, grinning. "I'd strap myself down in my cabin if I were you." She gulped and hurried off, and I did a quick sweep of the decks, seeing my crew tying down any loose objects. The bartender was quickly putting wine glasses into specially padded boxes and stowing them below the counter. The cook was doing the same with his bottles of spices, one deck above. I could hear and feel the many pounding feet and slamming doors as we all prepared for the gale. My crew knew as well as I that such a sudden drop in pressure and the silence of the sky and sea meant something more than just a rainstorm. I took my position inthe helm room, latching the doors and viewport windows securely, and watched the clouds come closer.

They started as a black smudge on the horizon, but quickly grew to dominate the sky. It was disorienting, the bright blue behind us, and the wave of black in front, but as we sailed into the clouds, and the mercury in the thermometer dropped abruptly, I adjusted my grip on the wheel, braced my feet and...

BANG! We were hit with the first gust of wind with a sound like a cannonball.The view ports iced up and we were flying blind. I kept my grip on the wheel, holding the Heliopause's rudder in position as we struggled to cut through the gale. I kept my eye on the compass and tried to keep our nose into the wind, when suddenly there was the crack of thunder and a flash of lightning just outside the view ports, and all I could see were massive cloud formations.

"Come on Zeus is that all you got!" I challenged the great god of thunder as he threw another bolt after the Heliopause. Whooping and yelling, I battled with the wheel, straining to keep the ship steady against the ever increasing winds.

The End

210 comments about this story Feed