I was awakened by the sound of metal hitting metal. I opened my eyes, and for the first few seconds I was in a panic, wondering where I was and how I got there. Then I remembered. The quest, the journey, to boat. I got up and opened climbed to the deck. Max and Duke were moving around like dancers. Dancers with really sharp bladed weapons, moving in slow exaggerated movements. As the blades touched each other there were still sparks, and you could see from their reaction that it was still a strong impact.
When they saw me they stopped swinging their weapons around and put them away, Max into his glove and Duke into his arm. That had to hurt.
“How long did you fellows sleep?” I asked.
“Woke up about 20 min ago, decided to get some practice in,” Duke said. New weapon, needed to get used to it. Made sense.
“So what are you doing Thunderhead?” I asked. Max shrugged.
“I’ve practiced with a sword for as long as I can remember. Using this glove,” he indicated Joules, “and the electricity bit is all new, so I figured I would see how it worked when my life wasn’t in danger.” He grabbed a couple of buckets and tossed one to Duke. Then he poured it over himself and started walking towards me. Duke did the same thing and followed after him.
I must have blushed. I mean, he was a good enough looking bloke, and he was brave, and pretty smart all things considered, but showing off was just uncalled for. Duke too. They walked passed me.
“Close your mouth,” Duke said as he passed with a smirk on his face. He yelped a second later as I flash froze the water droplets on his body before letting them liquefy again. Bugger.
While they were down in the crew quarters changing, I went into the Pilots house of the boat and sought out where we were. One of my fathers blessings is that so long as I am on salt water, I can tell exactly where I am in Longitude and Latitude coordinates. Nifty. I could also tell that we were nearing the Sea of Monsters. I slowed the forward motion of the boat when I saw the mountain.
The Sea of Monsters has two entrances. One is known as the clashing rocks, you need to be fast an maneuverable to get through there otherwise you will get killed by either the walls running together and crushing you, or the rocks just under the water surface tear the bottom of your boat and you drown and get crushed. Lovely way to go. The other entrance looks a lot more peaceful, but is probably more dangerous. It is guarded by two monsters, Scylla and Charybdis. All I know about Scylla is she hates everyone and everything, rests on top of that big ol’mountain there, and with her six long necks, kills off any sailor and ship that gets too close. Charybdis is a relative of mine...sort of. Long ago, during one of Zeus’s and Poseidon's many famous fights, she helped our father claim a bunch of land for the sea. As punishment, Zeus turned her into a giant monster that sucks up the sea, creating a whirlpool that is dangerous for any sailor, and then spits all that water back out. Either way, eaten or drowned, she can and would kill you.
The boys came back up, properly dressed this time. Max looked innocent enough, but Duke looked angry and amused. Before he could speak I gave them the run down.
“So, no matter which way we choose we are probably going to die?” Max asked.
“Not necessarily Sparky,” Duke said. “If you can keep that lightning shield up long enough, just above the main mast, we can keep Scylla from reaching us, or the boat. That would allow us to take the narrow channel safe from both monsters.” It was a good plan, but could Max do it long enough?
“Do you think you can keep it up that long?” I asked.
“I don’t know. Usually when I set it in place, it stays in that one spot. I have always been able to see both ends of the wall. If it follows the usually methods, I would have to constantly move it, or building up new ones in front of us.”
“Can you attach it to something?” Duke asked.
“A lightning rod for example.”
“Umm...lets find out?” He asked. Silly boys. Duke grabbed a metal rod from one of the storage compartments and started to use it to shimmy up the main mast. Once he reached the top I sent him some rope which he used to secure the metal to the top of the main mast, away from the cloth of the sail. He slid down and repeated this same process with the other masts. After fifteen minutes (approximately 5 per mast) he had made the boat a target for a lightning storm. Max did his eye glowing bit and looked around.
“I think I can attach it to them. But I will need to focus to make sure that it doesn’t dissipate too quickly, otherwise we are going to be in trouble.” I nodded at that understatement. I moved to the pilots station and rested my hand on the wheel. The connection I had to the boat strengthened. I could feel the ropes straining as the beat moved with the waves, the sails pulled taunt with the wind. I could feel the hull, including the leak developing in the hold, and the boat blocking that leak with tar. The boat was alive, and I could feel every bit of it.
“Give me the signal,” I yelled out. “And we shall get underway.”
“Tie me to the mast please.” Max said, and then he sat with his back to the main mast. I sent some extra ropes to wrap around him and held him there, not too tightly, but enough so he wouldn’t slip away. He took a deep breath, put his legs so that they were crossed and rested his hands, palm up, on his knees. He sat like this as the minutes passed, and nothing seemed to happen. Well...nothing except my hair began to stand up. Duke smiled at the sight, until I sent a rope to slap his backside. He moved to fore of the boat and rested his hands on the railing.
“I think I got it,” Max said, his eyes opening and blinking at the sharpness of the light. I started the ship forward into enemy waters. At first all appeared to be normal, with nothing to indicate we were about to be attack. Nothing to indicate the existence of massive monsters above and below us who wanted to eat us and send our souls to Hades. Of course, it didn’t last.
A few minutes out the water started feeling...wrong. That’s the only way I can describe it. Like something oily and dirty was moving around under the surface. Then the ship began moving sideways, as if being dragged, and whirlpool appeared off to port. I angled the boat away from it, fighting the current being created by the obstacle. I made sure to keep us close enough to the mountain so that the current would no longer be a problem, but that put us within range of Scylla. Tentacles rushed down from the top of the mountain to grab us, but as they struck Max’s lighting wall they rebounded with a shriek of pain from the top of the mountain. Legs continued to beat against wall of electricity, and with each hit Max flinched.
The whirlpool filled out and I looked to the bottom of the vortex. At the bottom of the vortex was a circle of teeth, complete with braces. Some of the teeth were broken and seaweed was stuck everywhere between the teeth and in the braces, a dentists nightmare. The mouth closed and water shot out causing waves and pushing us towards the rocks. I fell to my knee’s as the ship used my strength to compensate against the new push towards the rocks. I heard a series of thumps against the deck. I looked up to see Duke holding his new axe and staring down a horde of Telekhine wearing pirate hats.