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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)

TITLE: The Sword of Truth and Light
By Valora Otis
08/28/07


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The ruffled white sleeves fell as he lifted his hands to the fiery heavens. The rumble that issued forth grew in depth as the festering bubble of emotion, burst from his soul. "No!" hands fell limp to his sides. The Princess lay near death in the filthy bowels of the enemy ship.

After a fervent prayer to God, to intervene in the inevitable-- the ship escaped his grasp.

"She's gone, how can it be?"

"Captain, Sir! Wake up!"

Captain Jacob Blake was saved from his reoccurring nightmare. He awoke to sweat tickling his back. His eyes opened, focusing on the face of his first mate. Relief filled his lungs as he sat up. “Blast that nightmare,” he mumbled to himself.

"Patrick! I don’t know what’s worse, my nightmares—or your ugly mug.” He shielded his vision with an arm.

“Aye, Sir,” Patrick straightened and ran a hand down the scared surface of his grizzled jaw-line with a grin. “’Tis me pretty mug, or the old dream that haunts yer nights more, Sir?

“A little of both it would seem.” Jacob smirked as he sat up running a finger through his tangled shoulder length hair. “What is so important that you must wake me so abruptly, you handsome devil?” The dream faded as he rubbed his eyes.

Patrick stood at attention remembering his position and the information at hand. "Sir, the computer says there’s a ship on the horizon. Its sails remain unfurled yet there is no sign of electromagnetic armor on its hull. What are yer orders, sir?"

His mind cleared quickly at the hint of trouble, his mantel of duty returned abruptly. "Is the wind in our favor, Patrick?”

“Aye, Sir.”

Blake stood, having pulled his breaches and boots on in a hurry. His white shirt tucked in, as the mate helped him with his waistcoat.

Patrick secured his hair at the nape of his neck with a bit of string as he walked.

Blake accepted the hat his mate offered setting it on his head as they stepped out into the ambient lighting in the ships corridor. His eyes adjusted as he walked the hallway and up the ladder to the ships bridge. His crew was at attention and awaiting orders.

With Patrick at his elbow, Blake looked through the spyglass.

“Greetings Captain, the target ahead is that which you seek.” A woman’s voice touched his mind.

“Thanks Kate,” he grimaced at the spyglass technology. The latest gadgets were amazing. The ship that haunted his dreams hovered before him gleaming in the daylight.

Perhaps the One and All had been preparing him for this eventuality through his nightmares? He shoved down his anxiety as he lowered the instrument and breathed the salty air into his lungs. He let it out slowly—his thoughts flowed from his mind. He turned to speak to the people who sailed the sky with him. They would follow him to the grave. As long as he drew breath, the heavens and ships that roamed the skies would be safe from any adversary.

“Unfurl the sails and make flank speed, Patrick! Crews to battle stations! We know what that ship is and who it holds prisoner. It is and always will be our task as sailors of truth and light, to engage any who threaten Serulia.

“Aye, Aye Captain!” A hundred men and women stood at attention--dedication to their duty shown on brave faces. These men and women stood marred by battle and engraved forever in his mind. All had served beside him for ten years. The Captain, nodded in Patrick’s direction.

“Well, get to it!” the first mate yelled.

Captain Blake leaned against the titanium railing. The hot wind felt good on his face. He gripped the sleek metal. He had the trust of the King to rescue his only child. Kidnapped she’d vanished for months. Now her prison was before them. Soon both their nightmares would end. This was a day of triumph over evil! His anxiety fled and his confidence grew as they gained on the ship that hovered on the horizon.

As they came along side the nemesis ship, Captain Blake unsheathed the sword of truth and light. From his very soul he roared above the howl of the wind for all to hear. “Today the nightmare ends!”


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Member Comments
Member Date
Ann FitzHenry08/30/07
I really liked your use of dialogue. Very appropriate for the story. I also liked your descriptions. The "ruffled white sleeves" reminded me of all the pirate movies I've ever seen. I think Sci-Fi is a good genre for you!
Pam Carlson-Hetland08/30/07
Wow, quite an adventure! Great characters with a "fearful" mission. Fascinating story.
Jan Ackerson 08/31/07
I really like your intentional anachronisms--quite clever!

A few punctuation faults, mostly with commas and apostrophes here and there.

This has a spirit of adventure to it, and is very visual.
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/03/07
I enjoyed both the humor and the adventure in the story.
Dee Yoder 09/04/07
Great story; a swashbuckling scfi! I've not read that combination before, but it was really a lot of fun. I like the characters and the setting, too.
Myrna Noyes09/04/07
Very intriguing, imaginative piece! I'm a bit confused, though, as to whether this ship was a spaceship or a sea-going ship. It talked about sails and salty air, but also talked about sailing the skies. Anyway, your descriptions were excellent, and I enjoyed the story! :)
LaNaye Perkins09/05/07
Yahoo! I LOVE this cyber-swashbucling-captain! Great story! I want MORE!!!
Julie Ruspoli09/05/07
Very good story. I could picture it as I read. Just a couple more proof reads would have helped. Very nicely done, the dialog was excellent
Edy T Johnson 09/05/07
This is a creative hybrid, all right. It sounds rather like a Hollywood movie in which one isn't sure what is real, what is dream, and what is spoof! You pulled it off well, I think. Great discriptions, too.
Gregory Kane09/11/07
I think it’s very hard to mix genres and I’m not sure that 750 words is enough space to do justice to your creation – perhaps a 2000 word short story format would be better. I like the buccaneer imagery and the sci-fi touches are intriguing, while the allusions to spiritual warfare cry out for further development. I just think that together it’s all too ambitious for such a limited word count.