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5.11 -The Captain's Legacy Uncovered
Somewhere, on some forsaken corner of Gaia, a snowstorm sweeps across a barren mountain, white plains heavily obscured by mists of thick blustery snow that whips around trees and rocks, obscuring the mouth of a large cavern. The cavern itself, a beautiful spire of pure blue crystal ice, resonates with the little light that shines through the thick snowstorm, almost as though hiding some long forgotten secret. The cavern is actually fairly massive, almost like an underground grand canyon... almost too perfect to be natural

The camera shifts to show a long trail of expedition teams carrying flashlights and rifles, a few all terrain vehicles rolling behind them with heavy green crates of equipment covered in blue tarpolin, strapped to the back of the machines like a modern day beast of burden. At the head of the team, the black, well trimmed hair of Nelson Rathbone can be seen, his sword at his side and a gleam to his eye. As he walks, he converses with what would seem to be his aide or perhaps a guide, who is holding a large map of the area in his hand

"The massacre at Eden and the reluctance of the king to take back our own soil is a sign of a problem. It's a sign that our technology, our means of war has become inferior to that of the enemy. Hikaru has an advantage," the man said in his typical low but forceful tone.

"...uh-huh... Lord Rathbone..." the man looks over his charts confused, "... this cavern isn't showing up on any of our intelligence networks. How did you know this was here? I mean, I'm all for a bit of spluenking, but..."

The man cuts him off with a wave of his hand, "An old friend informed me of this one time. I sincerely doubt he has any use for it where he is now, and it would be a shame to leave it to waste any longer."

"I see," the guide replies skeptically and sarcastically, "Your friend left you an ice cave. Charming. Did you recieve that in his will, sir?"

As the expedition team rounds a corner, the cavern seems to open up even further, lights shining into the darkness to reveal a giant metal object embedded in the ice of the cave. The object, in the shape of a plus, has two long dark grey fins, one extending from its bottom, one extending from its top. As the light shines over the object, even from exteme distance, the wings of what seems to be a massive vessal become apparent, layered in weaponry of unknown origin, despite the ship having been here for a while. In the center of the beast, a massive concave set of bridge windows overlooks the bow of the craft, which is short and primarily consists of a large series of panels over the center of the ship.

"It isn't the land I'm interested in, you nitwit. It's what he kept here," Rathbone replies sharply, only to look forward over the enormous craft before him.

The expedition teams pause to look over the shapely warship, seemingly having been lost in time. Nelson is surprisingly the first to make his way down the ice slope, his heavy winter boots digging into the slippery ice path as he heads towards the lower fin. As the lights trail across the bottom of the vessal, words can be seen as Nelson reads them off.

"The Vangel Battleship," the man states confidently, "One of the finest vessels ever constructed by mortal hands and kept in clockwork condition by its former master."

"It looks.. ancient," the guide peers up at it a moment, attempting to fold his map before just cramming it onto an ATV load, "How could this stand up to a force that even our Fortresses were no match for?"

"It may appear that way, but this is one of the most recent Cetran warships built," he gestures with a broad wave of his hand over the blue metal before him, "Its firepower is unmatched by any ship across Gaia, past or present."

As they reach the bottom of the ship, Rathbone makes his way over towards the lower fin, the massive metal spire embedded in the ice below it. He feels across its worn surface until he finds a small hatch and begins opening it

"Why just abandon it here if it's so powerful? Isn't that kind of stupid?" the guide asks absently as he trudges after Rathbone.

"To prevent its abuse, Captain Restalia planned on scuttling the ship here. Its crew has likely long dispersed, we'll never find them again," the man pauses for a moment, "...Not that it matters."

The hatch comes off with a simple hiss, revealing a ladder which travels up the spine of the craft. Slowly ducking his head under the low hatch entrance, Rathbone smiles ot himself as he moves into the framework of the craft

After a period of time crawling through a small service passageway, the expedition crew begins to disperse throughout the ship, several making their way towards main engineering as Rathbone himself heads to the bridge with a small escort of guards. He slowly makes his way down the frost encrusted hallways of the ship, past dead keypads and a large conference room with a map of the world laid out neatly on it, before stepping onto the bridge itself

As he steps onto the bridge, he takes a deep breath as though achieving some long lost goal, glancing towards consoles that have seen no activity in years, the tactical station... the sensors... the captains chair.

As he draws towards it o reach out and touch the large chair in the center of the bridge, there's a sudden chi-click from the side of the bridge. As Rathbone snaps his attention up, he notices four men in worn arctic clothing with rifles trained on him, grinning to themselves

"Looks like we got ourselves a travellin' dignitary," one of the men says to the others, grinning now at Rathbone, "Bet'cha he'd fetch a real ransom from whoever'd miss'em."

Rathbone stands firmly as he speaks, a slight smile crossing his face as he stares them down. He draws his hand away from the chair and turns to face them properly, maintaining a regal look.

"Squatters?" he says pointedly, "This is an un-ex-pected turn of events." He lifts his chin defiantly as he continues, "And what are you going to do if I refuse to cooperate? Shoot me? I doubt you even have the first idea what you're standing in. Or can your ignorant little brains comprehend the idea that this glorious machine is about to change your world. If you're careful, you may even live to see it."

The 'leader' of the men with rifles looks back to his three comrades and they all grin, "Heh. You talk mighty big for a guy carrying around a large knife. We get our ransom no matter what condition you're in, so I'd keep your trap shut 'til we decide what to do with you."

"No," Rathbone immediately replies, "If you're going to shoot me, then get over yourselves and do it already." He stares them down with a cold, dominant stare

"I'm ~waiting~," he says in almost a sing-song teasing tone.

"You asked for it," the leader says. He flips the safety off of his rifle and looks back to his men, "Try to leave enough left of his vital organs to sell back to his people, boys; he ain't worth nothin' as a corpse."

The men load their rifles and take aim like a firing squad. As they pull the trigger, bullets launch out of the chambers of their rifles. In a flash of light, Rathbone's sword flies from its sheath and cuts a swath across the path of the bullets, in slow motion using his slender katana blade as a shield. At full speed, the rifles fire off rounds towards him, each round clinking as it strikes his sword.

The men stop their firing a moment and just stare as he stands before them without a single scratch or bullet hole O.O

'What kinda demon are you?" one of the other men inquires with a stunned, shaky voice.

Slowly, Rathbone begins drawing towards them. The men again open fire at him, but Rathbone simply deflects the bullets out of his path without effort, his sword leaving a motion trail, small sparks indicating where the bullets connect with his sword.

"It's simple really," Rathbone says offhandedly as he continues advancing towards them, "Your trajectories are oh-so predictable; I know where you're going to aim, and I simply put my sword there as you fire. You see, your weapons only perform one simple function. They shoot bullets. Mine, however...

"Is so much more."

As Rathbone reaches the men, with a quick cross cut, two of the men find their necks disected from their bodies. With another sweeping motion, the third's rifle and arm drops to the floor. The fourth pulls the trigger on his rifle, but finds himself unable to fire.

"I learned that from the previous owner of this ship," he declares, then whips his sword around and slowly levels it at the last man's neck, "I believe you had intended to 'ransom me off'. Wasn't that it? You were going to sell me to the highest bidder? Why should I leave you alive?"

"P-p-p-please," the man stutters in fear, "Don't kill me..."

Rathbone slowly draws his sword away from the man's neck and turns around.

"Again."

"...What?" the man blinks a moment, almost in tears as Rathbone walks away from him.

"Once more," Rathbone says as he turns to face the man, "I am giving you another chance to kill me. You'd better not miss this time; I won't hesitate to kill you."

The man quickly reloads his rifle and pulls the safety back as Rathbone turns around, waving his now bloody katana before doing a mock slice to let the blood slide off the well maintained blade. The man trembles as he holds his rifle.

"What's the matter?," Rathbone asks mockingly, "Scared for your life? Pa-thetic. Go on. Shoot me.

I'm ~waiting~."

The man just about wets himself as he starts firing again, far more scared and scatter brained than last time. The bullets don't even come close to Rathbone as he starts walking towards the man again, the sparks this time being over the ceiling, the floor, in front of him, but not actually able to aim at him. Rathbone slowly draws in to point blank as the man again runs out of ammo, the hammer of the rifle clicking helplessly.

Rathbone stares the man in the face now, his thin eyebrows lifting.

"Oops? It seems you've wasted your second chance... your ammunition..." he pauses for a moment, "And your life."

The man again begins begging as Rathbone raises his sword, the blade glinting in the light of the cavern. As he slices his sword again, the mans pants hit the ground, leaving him in boxers and his arctic jacket.

"Unless you would like to fail a third time, get out of my sight, and off of my ship."

The man turns around and runs for his life, leaving his pants behind as he staggers towards the nearest exit of the cavern. Rathbone turns around and simply removes his radio, sheathing his sword like nothing happened

"All hands to your stations," he declares, "Prepare the Vangel for its maiden voyage. Our mission will be to reshape the world we live in, gentlemen. When my plan is completed, the entire world will know the name Nelson Rathbone."

"Set in a course for the floating islands when ready."

The camera cuts to outside the Vangel as the ice cavern begins slowly cracking apart, the whining of engines becoming a roar as lights across the body of the ship begin to activate. Slowly, but surely, the behemoth warship begins to free itself from the ice, its massive dark grey fin freeing itself from the glacial mountain above like shark rising above the waves

The man, who barely escaped from the bottom of the craft in time to witness it lifting off, turns to look upwards as he watches the entire roof of the cave shatter and lift, rising up with the craft, chunks of it sheering off and falling to the earth below

As the Vangel slowly rises into the dim twilight sky, Aurora Borealis dominating the air overhead, the lights fade on the scene.
Posted by Tony on Friday 13 March 2009 - 18:08:57 | Comments (0) | printer friendly
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