Chapter 17: I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing
The waters exploded as two giants of the sea emerged, intent on destroying the foul creature which had been dining at their table. They were clearly blue whales, but yet clearly something more, indicated by the purple and red glowing jet trails behind them and the gleaming, pearly white teeth. They circled around the white whale, higher and higher until they were like building-sized blue vultures, scouting a carcass.
“Prepare to die by my hand, the mighty, the merciless, the unforgiving Wale, son of Whaiel, prince of Whales!” proclaimed the whale who was a slightly lighter shade of blue and had bright purple eyes to match its trail.
“--and also by my hand, the bodacious, the incredible, the stupendously radical Wail, son of Whaiel, prince of Whales!” said the other whale who was darker and had piercing red eyes matching its trail.
The whales suddenly accelerated upwards and disappeared into the upper atmosphere, ripping a hole in the clouds. The bay returned to a state of relative calmness as the clouds began to balance themselves out and chatter resumed amongst the seagulls who had been scared completely shitless (like that’s even possible, those bastards always have one in the chamber) by the flying ocean mammals.
The vampire crossed his arms and shook his head. “They’re both named Whale?”
“No, one is named Wale and the other is Wail,” replied the Admiral.
“What’s the difference?”
“Wale and Wail, not Whale.”
“You’re just saying ‘Whale’ again and again to mess with me.”
“No! Wale, Wail, and W--wait, no, I have an idea.” The admiral pulled out a notepad and a sharpie and quickly wrote down the three homonyms.
“Oh! That makes sense now!”
“The fact that they’re flying with some sort of magical aura still makes no sense.”
“Well, how else would a whale fly? They’re not very aerodynamic, they weigh a lot, and they don’t really have wings.”
“Whales aren’t supposed to fly at all!”
“What are you, the whale police? They’re part of nature! It’s not our business to tell them what they can and cannot do! We’re simple guests on the surface of their ocean!”
A piercing screech sounded from the canopy of the heavens. The air itself trembled at the thought of what was going to happen.
“ULTIMATE WHALE NUCLEAR ULTRA SUPER 9999 MEGATON MEGA MISSILE COMBO ATTACK 32!”
The whales descended in a spinning vortex, spiraling around each other like swans or something beautiful and poetic like that.
“Yeah, we should get out of the way,” noted the admiral, blasting off of the white whale’s back.
“Wait for me!” The vampire got a running start and took off behind him.
Not a moment later, the whales drilled straight through the fake whale, easily ripping it in half and disappearing into the bottom of the bay. A series of fountains spraying green slime with yellow bubbles exploded from the mangled pile of whatever the hell they used to build that thing.
On the exact opposite side of the world (just southwest of New Zealand), the two whales erupted from the sea, covered in lava, weird gnome creatures, and glitter. That’s when their missile combo maxed itself out and detonated. New Zealand and part of Australia ceased to exist in the following moments of horror.
Lord Hawthorneberry and Admiral Nelson swooped into the open cavity where the Lazy Orca lay, covered in goo, dead people, and other such debris. The surviving crew was sitting on the upper deck patiently watching the pope and the captain duke it out below around the center mast of the ship. The pope was partially robotic and a skilled warrior, but the Captain was a time-traveling goddess of war and other questionable things. She had been killing stuff when the pope was just a dirty thought in his mommy’s head. In fact, she had been killing stuff before dinosaurs were a thing--back when it was just those little fuzzy wizard people fighting alien crab lizards. Now, she was about to kill him. He was gushing blood and oil and he was barely able to stand, let alone hold his ground.
“This time, you’re going to stay dead, your holiness!” She grinned sarcastically.
“No! I can’t die! Who will lead the church?”
“Hopefully a cooler villain!”
“...but I’m cool!”
Captain Morgan flashed the pope one more mocking smile and raised her sword, but before she could finish him, the lord and the admiral appeared out of nothingness and hacked the clergyman to pieces. They sheathed their swords and performed an obscenely complex handshake/fist bump/high five/salsa dance to commemorate their bromance prevailing in glorious victory.
“Ha! We totally kicked Pope Vader’s ass! You’re welcome, Captain!” The admiral winked at her condescendingly.
“I know I’ve just met you, but I really feel like we’ve become best friends!” The vampire gently placed his hand on the admiral’s shoulder.
“Wait, would you say... best friends forever?” The admiral winked at the captain again with an excited giggle.
“Yes! Of course! I’ve never m--” The vampire was “cut off” as the admiral sliced off his head with a spin and a flick of the wrist. Puns literally killed him.
“I WIN! I WIN! HA! I WIN!” The admiral jumped up and down in gleeful victorious jubilation, spinning in circles.
“Wha--wh--I--what?” Captain Morgan tried to speak, but she was at a loss for words.
“Come on, Ryssa! We won! Let’s celebrate! I finally got my revenge or whatever it was at this point and now I can finally rest!”
“Admiral! What are you talking about?”
“I just killed the vampire, dumbass! Keep up!”
“HE HAS BLUE EYES!”
“WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME? YOU KNOW I’M COLORBLIND!”
“I didn’t know that! And I thought you figured it out! Lord Hawthorneberry’s family has pretty much run the city for the past 150 years!”
“It’s an elaborate backstory. He--I--We’re smart enough to plan something like that!”
“No, you’re an idiot.”
“Stop being so mean! I just accidentally killed my best friend!”
“It wasn’t an accident! You killed him on purpose because you were trying to pull off some villainous evil plot... EVEN THOUGH I TOLD YOU IT WAS A BAD IDEA!”
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no...”
“Stop! You’re going to be fine; you just need to calm down.”
“Wait, I can fix this!”
“You can? How?”
“Remember how we got here?”
“What do you mean, ‘we?’ I had to swim back to the ship because you had the keys to our exo suits.”
“No! How we got here in time?”
“Oh. No, no, no, no. No! That won’t work anymore!”
“Yes it will! We have to go back! I need to save my best friend!”
Khvarikx approached Ryssa, sheathing his sword and drawing a dagger.
“No!” She swung her sword to fend him off, but he skirted the blow and stuck the short metal weapon deep into the side of her exposed neck. He pulled it out and crammed it into his chest.
This time, Ryssa didn’t bleed purple slime. It was just a sharp crimson red. Her arteries strained, spraying a silky mist. She dropped to her knees and coughed harshly. Khvarikx dumbly stared at the knife embedded in his heart. The time travel ritual wasn’t working and it was significantly more painful. Ryssa crawled to the edge of the ship, clutching her open neck, trying to slow the bleeding without any success.
The admiral sighed and pulled the knife out. He had to accept that his new best friend was gone. At least he still had that crazy girl, Ryssa, who was currently trying to tear open a handful of band-aids all at once and having no luck. Hawthorneberry was right when he said that the admiral was totally gay for her. He smiled at the thought. His brief time with the nobleman had taught him a valuable lesson. You don’t have forever to spend with those you care about. That’s why you need to cherish every single moment.
“Ryssa, you win. When we find the real vampire, I’m just going to kill him straight-up, no games. Sounds good?” He turned to her and looked into her eyes. They were vacant and empty, like the sky on a starless night.
Khvarikx slowly approached the fallen captain and knelt beside her. He had never seen something so painfully beautiful. He held her drenched red hand in his and softly groaned. This girl was his real best friend and she had been all along. Lord Hawthorneberry was a riot and a total blast to party with, but after all that the admiral had been through with the chaotic time witch, she should’ve been his priority. He gently kissed her on the forehead and stood up. He crossed his arms and steeled himself against the cold winds whipping across the water.
“I don’t have time for this feelings crap! I need to go kill myself!”
He realized that his whole crew was still watching, traumatically trying to comprehend what was happening.
“Admiral?” A sailor asked nervously.
“What is it, sailor?”
“Why did you kill the captain?”
“Um... munity or something. Don’t worry about it. We’re going to find the vampire and kill him! Twice!”
“The vampire! Seriously, do you guys even listen when I’m--”
He stopped because he realized he hadn’t told them anything about his twisted revenge plot. He dismissed the man with a slight wave of his hand. “Throw the captain’s body overboard. We sail further North until we find our enemy!”
“I know where the head vampire lives. It’s a cursed castle a few miles away from my home village. Maybe that’s the vampire you’re looking for?”
“Well, thanks for telling me! That would’ve been helpful sometime last year!”
“I didn’t know you were looking for a vampire!”
“That’s a horrible excuse! You’re all useless!”
“That’s it, I need a new crew.”
“I’m going to start killing all of you with this dagger.” He held up the bloody weapon. “If any of you survive, I’ll give you a promotion and let you join the next crew.” He placed his open hand on the shoulder of the sailor who had been talking. “First, you should mark the spot on the map where the vampire is. That would be cool.”
Below deck, the rampage was winding down to its final moments. It was almost complete darkness without the lone princess-themed nightlight on the wall. It weakly illuminated a twisted scene. The last two crew members left were crouched in the corner, bawling wildly. The admiral was scrounging around in the darkness, trying to figure out where he threw the dagger.
“If you can’t find the dagger, are you still going to kill us?” One of the sailors forced a question through a stream of tears.
“No, it has to be the dagger, otherwise you guys can count it as surviving.”
“Yeah, do you want the good news or the bad news?”
“There is no good news for you and that, my friend, is good news for me!”
In an instant, the admiral had smashed the dagger through one sailor’s head and into the steel wall behind him, splattering the man’s brains and blood all over his friend. The admiral smiled and pulled, excited to finally complete another successful rampage. The dagger was wedged into the metal fairly deep and it resisted. He tried again without success. A third attempt was made with much straining and grunting.
“I guess you’re going to live. Ha! Look at that! I even cracked the handle!” The admiral laughed at his misfortune.
“Really? I’m gonna live?” The sailor jumped to his feet.
“Totally! Check this out though! Look really close at the pommel! I hit the steel so hard it cracked, man!”
The sailor obliged and squinted at the pommel. He clenched his fists and cocked his head, trying to see the crack. The admiral anxiously pretended not to watch. The sailor leaned closer and felt the handle with his hand. The admiral started tapping his feet impatiently. The sailor leaned closer, his eye only centimeters away from the handle. The admiral grinned and swiftly punched the back of the sailor’s head, sending the handle of the planted dagger through the man’s eye socket.
The admiral closed his eyes and relished the moment. He stretched his arms and yawned. He had found his target and now it was time to strike. All he needed was a new crew, but he would have to clean and hide the bodies of the old crew first. He opened his eyes and examined the situation. To his relief and alarm, both bodies were gone along with all the blood and gore. All that remained was the dagger in the wall, now completely clean.
He jumped back in shock before turning and bolting up the stairs to the deck. As he stepped into the light, he saw that all the other corpses and evidence of murder had disappeared.
“What? Why?” He tried to ask himself aloud.
“I just put a curse on your ship, asshat!” Perched on the railing above, a mermaid flapped her tail mockingly as she intercepted the question.
“...?” He had no words.
“Your ship now has a craving for human flesh!”
“...?” He had even less words.
“It only eats dead people though, it’s very civilized.”
“I felt like it. Peace!” The mermaid attempted to make a smooth getaway and vaulted over the edge, but a thump sounded on the side of the ship as she bounced on her way down to the water.
A regular captain would’ve been happy that the mermaid sorceress hadn’t turned him into a frog or a small dove, but this wasn’t a regular pirate captain. He was a goddamned time-traveling inter-dimensional world-destroying dragon admiral. The sight of potential prey fleeing from him was enough to make something snap inside of him and he performed a flawless double-front-flip, diving into the waters below. As he felt the cold, unforgiving waters surround his body, he closed his eyes and drew his sword, activating the laser edge.
He opened his eyes and immediately regretted his decision. Like a swarm of piranhas, a thousand mermaids slowly slithered through the water towards him wielding various sharpened sea shells, swordfish, and rocks.
“Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope!” He ignited the thrusters on his exo and propelled himself out of the water, narrowly avoiding the ravenous mermaids jumping out after him. He angled his descent and glided down to the main control panel on his ship. “Lazy Orca main computer, activate hurricane engines!”
“Caution. Hurricane engines are only to be used in emergency situations. If you would still like to proceed, say ‘Geronimo’ threes times and clap your hands five times,” the automated computer responded.
“Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo,” said the admiral, clapping his hands frantically as predatory mermaids began to scale the sides of the ship.
“Error, you clapped six times. Resetting in two minutes.”
“NO! Override! OVERRIDE!” He swatted a mermaid away with a swift backhand and slammed his fist into the computer screen.
“Override unsuccessful. Please try again later.”
“NO!” He flicked his sword and sliced a mermaid’s hands off before wheel kicking her overboard. He knew he needed to manually activate the engines below deck, but the ship was now overrun by slimy, yet sexy fish women; there was no way he could reach the stairs. He buried his sword in the metal deck he was standing on and spun, carving a circular chunk out and dropping himself down through the hole and into the engine room. He sprinted to a large red lever covered in caution stickers, police tape, and glitter. He grimaced as he gripped it and a cloud of sparkles rose from the red metal. He pulled it down with a growl and immediately felt the ship lurch forward, sending him flying back across the room into the waiting arms of the sea creatures which had chased him through the hole in the ceiling.