Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Story Seed - Siren

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The man gestured with his hands, complex weavings of his fingers. He was young, perhaps twenty five years in age, but his body showed signs of a lifetime of abuse. Scars lined his face, and the limp ragged leg of his pants indicated a leg missing at the knee.  One eye was milky, covered in a cataract of scar tissue that made it as useless for seeing as the man's absent foot was for walking.

"They heard it first. A sound unlike any he could describe. Whatever was making it was beyond the horizon at the time so the men in the crow's nest helped the steersman to navigate. After an hour the sound was louder, and on the horizon they could make out an island with a great structure atop it. The noise continued to call to them, hauntingly beautiful, compelling the captain and crew to sail at best speed."

"Fascinating," the aeon priest remarked.  She was middle aged, and her eyes were steel blue and shot through with glowing lines of green from some enhancement culled from the leavings of the old worlds.  "And when they arrived at the island?"

"He says that they never set foot to land," the elderly fellow at his right said reading the younger man's "water talk".  "The ship was destroyed, before they could get close."

"Destroyed?" the priest asked.

The older man translated, using the sailor's hand language known as water talk to ask the priests questions. After a moment the younger man replied and was translated, "He says that as they neared they could see the structure was formed of golden metal, but as they neared the sound continued to grow in intensity and that though he did not see beam or projectile travel from the island to the ship he feels that the ship was being attacked.  The noise changed, becoming a great boom, like a detonation that continued on over and over growing louder with each passing moment.  It grew too much for him and he jumped into the water hoping to find silence there."

"He thinks that he was spared because he was under the water when the ship blew apart and the crew perished and the sound finally stopped." More signs passed between the two sailors. "He says that after the sound stopped he broke the surface of the water for air and found the ship gone, little but splinters.  He swam away from the island until he was almost ready to succumb to his fatigue.  That was when he found the longboat.  It was not until the next day that it occurred to him that he had been rendered deaf. There was no sound of waves, no ringing in his ears, no sound at all."

The woman scowled and jotted down some new notes in her journal. "No beams, no projectiles," she repeated with a sigh. "Ask him what the building he saw looked like," she told the old man, a hint of and idea scraping the back of her mind.

More signing before the old man answered, "Like a great fork. Two towers rose from a single stalk that rose above the trees reaching high into the sky hundreds of steps."

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