So, I said that that short story I wrote a while back, Mutiny, might turn out to be a book? Well, it would be a very limited book, seeing as I started it out as a 1st person, present-tense thing. Rewriting it in 3rd person, however, would make it a lot more workable. So I did that.
We’ll play a little catch up on exactly what strange genre I’m writing in here.
Short version: Young Earth Dragon Fiction
Long version: So, this is set after the tower of babel dispersion. Everyone is spreading out over the world at this point, and the main conflict is between the idol worshipers and those who follow “Noah’s God”.
The post-flood world is mainly unexplored off the Eurasian continent, so this is somewhere near modern day British Isles-Greenland.
What the ship Leviathan‘s mission is is taking supplies to a colony in modern day North America. Bad people don’t want that, because they still want to keep Babel going.
Research was done in the books “After The Flood” “The Genius of Ancient Man” and “Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings”, though this is extremely speculative.
Also trying to expand The Peleg Chronicles genre, so it’s sort of like for those of you who’ve read them, it’s a lot like that.
There will be dragons at some point. Sea dragons.
Anyway. Compare the two and tell me what you think. And please give me any plot bunnies regarding this story. I am lacking in them. 😛
Here’s the first one: Mutiny
And, my new one:
(yes, you may laugh.)
The North Sea had never been a particularly easy place to trust people. Captains, more specifically. Fog and ice were bad enough separately, but together and in a relatively unexplored area of the sea . . .
It put a man on edge. And the fact that the captain of the ship Leviathan didn’t call on the same gods as the crew didn’t do anything to smooth the matter over.
The sun had set a while ago and the fog was rolling in thicker for the night. It clung to the Finnian’s clothes and made them damp and sticky as he watched out into the night, keeping a futile watch for icebergs. The ship took a sudden jerking turn as the captain spun the wheel and a spire of ice made itself visible in the Leviathan’s former path.
Finnian sighed and rubbed a hand over his aching eyes. This was impossible. Simply impossible.
“It takes prayer and practice, Finnian. Just watch the signs and take note when ice passes, if nothing else.” The voice of Captain Quinn sounded boxed and hollow in the fog that swirled over the deck.
Finnian nodded and turned back to the sea, trying not to show his uneasiness at the word “prayer”.
All again turned to graveyard silence as the ship glided through the icy water. Finnian looked down at where the hull met the water. Waves lapped at the words the captain had carved there: “Replenish the earth and subdue it”. He was barely able to read the sentence, let alone see much beyond it.
Finnian rubbed at the amulet around his neck and continued his watch, pretending that he could see beyond the fog.
Captain Quinn leaned his tall body over the wheel,
“You’ve had a good shift, mate. Why don’t you go below and get some rest?”
“Aye-aye, Captain.” Finnian pulled away from the rail and started the walk below deck to where the rest of the crew slept. The captain gave him a small salute and a smile. Finnian returned the salute, but the ability to smile escaped him, as it nearly always did around Captain Quinn.
He was a believer in Noah’s God. Believers in Noah’s God were bad luck, especially at sea.
The stairs creaked under him as he ducked his head to go below. A lantern hung from the ceiling cast a glow towards the hammocks. Empty hammocks.
Finnian covered the lantern next to him. Another lantern’s glow penetrated from the gaps between cargo boxes and hushed voices murmured nearby. He uncovered the lantern again and walked slowly towards the apparent secret meeting. One more loudly spoken sentence reached his ears before it was quickly shushed by the other voices.
“How long are we going to stand for this? One more day like this and the name of the Leviathan is going to be another byword for sailing the North Sea . . .”
Finnian stepped around the corner and frowned at his crewmates, huddled around the lantern on the ship’s deck.
“What’s all this?”
The men froze, some mid-gesture, and turned guilty eyes up to the first mate.
Eamon stood and put a hand on Finnian’s shoulder.
“Mate,” he purred, a forced smile making its way across his lips, “Don’t tell me you’re the only one not a little uneasy about what the gods think of our . . . captain.”
Finnian squinted at Eamon’s tight face for a few seconds, then shook his head. Eamon’s smile became more genuine, mostly with relief.
“Have a seat, Finnian. Perhaps you can help us with the solution to this little problem.”
Captain Quinn was still standing at the wheel when they came up before sunrise and was ready with orders for them.
Morning came and the fog burned off somewhat. At least the sunrise was visible today. The crew hustled about the deck, adjusting sails, tightening ropes and such.
“Would you like to go below, Captain?” asked Finnian, noticing the tired sag of his captain’s body.
“Not to sleep yet,” Quinn said, blinking hard a few times and running a hand through his damp hair. “But if you would take the wheel for a little, that would be wonderful.”
Finnian took over the wheel and the captain went below. Within a few minutes he was back on deck, but he looked concerned.
There were a lot of reasons he would be concerned. But he had already shown that he wasn’t about half of them, and the other half he didn’t know about. Or shouldn’t. Finnian tightened his grip on the wheel and looked straight ahead.
Captain Quinn walked up next to Finnian and seemed to observe how he was steering the ship. After a long silence, he spoke.
“The carrier pigeon is gone.”
Finnian swallowed and didn’t look away from the bow of the ship,
“Maybe it escaped. They’re smart birds, you know, sir.”
“Perhaps.” Quinn furrowed his brow and looked out to sea. “But then how would it get out without me noticing? The only way I could see is the portholes. And someone would have to open them.” He glanced over at his first mate, “You don’t know any scoundrels who would do that, do you?”
Captain Quinn frowned again,
“We can’t communicate with the other ships without the pigeon. I’ll ask the men later. We’ll find the rogue.”
Finnian’s knuckles were white on the ship’s wheel.
“Captain!” called one of the crew from his perch atop the mast, one hand pointing out to sea. “Look!”
All heads turned with the captain’s just as a painted back hull was hidden in a curtain of fog. One thing was still visible above the billows: a blood red flag.
Automatically, Quinn closed his eyes in a quick prayer, then opened them again to address the anxiously muttering crew. He didn’t notice Eamon wasn’t among them anymore.
The worried noises drifted away on the wind and all the crew turned to face their captain.
“The situation is not a favorable one, and the Leviathan is not the best armed ship but I know that with the help of the Lord, we will prevail. Prepare to fight.”
He pointed to a group of a few men,
“You men, get the catapult up on deck. The rest of you, bring up the bows. Put swords in your belts as well. We’ll fight down to those if need be.”
Finnian almost sensed movement near him and turned slightly. Eamon had pushed a small club between the rails next to his feet. Finnian pushed a little on one end with his boot, getting the other end up to his hand. The captain hadn’t noticed. All was going according to plan.
The crew scuttled off like crabs to do their jobs. Captain Quinn watched them, then glanced over towards the dark form materializing in the fog, red flag still poking out above. He took a breath and cleared his throat.
“I know many of you don’t embrace the God of Noah, but this would be an especially good time to consider your true Maker.” His voice cracked a little, but he pressed on.
“In the end, human strength is nothing. Faith is what saves, not amulets and idols.”
The men stopped in their tracks and stared up at their captain. Quinn took a step forward and opened his mouth to say more.
Now was the time.
Biting his lip, Finnian raised the club and swung it sideways across the back of the captain’s head. Captain Quinn stood still for a moment, his mouth still open, then he went down to his knees. He blinked a few times and shook his head.
Finnian hit him again and he fell to the deck.
Eamon was up beside him in moments, smiling with all his teeth.
“We’ll see where your faith gets you, Captain.” He said it like a joke. A few of the men on deck laughed. Finnian didn’t, but rubbed his amulet again and prayed to his gods that he’d done the right thing.
The pirate ship nosed its way out of the fog and Eamon waved to the man on the bow, who waved back. Anyone who had doubted last night when Eamon said he had friends in the right places doubted no more.
“You two,” Eamon nodded to Finnian and another man named Connor, “Get him below deck. Take all his weapons and tie him up. We’ll keep him there ‘till he get to the slavers.”
Well, which one do you like best out of the two?
Any ideas for how the story should continue?