Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 5, part 3.26

Posted by harmony0stars on April 14, 2010

As one of the priest rolled the barrel of blood to the edge of the boat, Dag stopped him. “The boy first.”

Chester was dragged closer to the octopal priest. The other priests did not seem inclined to enter the water, perhaps not trusting their ability to control the younger man in an element which was natural to all of them. Instead, they forced him to lay with his body a third of the way off the ship, Dag seating himself on Chester’s lower back while one of the other priest grabbed the man under his jaw and pulled his head back. His neck thus painfully exposed, Dag removed a tentacled dagger from somewhere, two of the tentacles forming a twisted dual blade not quite meeting at the tip.

As he reached out eagerly to slit the young man’s throat, Glory closed her eyes, not wanting to see the gory eruption of blood that was sure to result. Surprised shouts of “A boat!” made her opened them once more. So intent had the priests been on subduing their prisoners, they’d failed to see a boat approaching from the mouth of the bay. The tiny vessel was half way to them and getting closer by the second. It couldn’t possibly carry enough people to threaten the priests assembled on the prison ship, but there was no telling who or what was approaching.

Dag muttered something guttural that sounded more like a curse than a command and slowly back away from Chester. Without the pressure on his back, the younger man suddenly twisted and kicked the elderly priest in the gut. The force of the blow sent Chester over the side and into the water. Many of the priests ran to see if their High Priest was alright, but he waved them off irritably, gesturing emphatically towards the speeding boat and the water where Chester had disappeared as he gasped for breath.

Father Miguel immediately dove in after Chester. While the other priests were occupied, Glory continued to struggle with her bonds. Not that she had ever stopped, but with all the attention focused elsewhere, she didn’t have be so secretive about it. I could burn them off, Phoenix offered in an insolent tone as her frustration mounted, if it means we won’t end up in the water

Glory didn’t need to respond. Her irritation was answer enough, and she was enveloped in a nimbus of light like St Elmo’s fire. How appropriate considering she was on a ship. She was worried for a moment that he would inadvertently burn away her clothes as well, and there were already entirely too many naked people running around, but somehow the fire focused on the netting and burned only through its coarse fibers. It was good to know he could do that for future reference, not that she hoped to be tied up much.

She continued to strain at the netting as the fire burned, eager to be free while her jailors were still occupied. The priests were distracted enough by the onrushing boat that at least Captain Hodgeson looked as though she might try something. As shots rang out from the vessel, sending the priests into a panic, the Captain threw herself at her nearest captor and Glory launched herself at the fat bulk of the High Priest.

Father Dag turned just in time to see Glory rushing towards him and caught her a nasty crack across the face with one of his tentacles. Once again she slammed into the deck, and Dag quickly pinned her under his gut while raising the dagger high over his head. from the tiny boat shots continued to ring out, but there wasn’t much danger, though the priests ducked and cowered on the deck. The boat and its occupant were much too low in conjunction with the ship to pose much of a threat. Everyone was nonetheless trapped on the deck by the barrage of bullets.

Dag shrieked and rolled off of her as Glory clothed herself in fire again, and all eyes turned to their fight. Conscious of Phoenix’s still depleted energy, she pulled the flames back into herself and snatched up the tarnkappe where it lay half over a barrel. Before the High Priest could so much as shout for his people to grab her, she had already thrown it around herself and rushed to the opposite side of the deck.

There was no need for caution however. The shooter had stopped and stood staring wild-eyed and defiant in his little boat. The water was dark and choppy and getting worse, but somehow the deranged professor managed to keep his footing. “I know what you people are! You have my daughter, and I want her back!” Professor Jacoby took careful aim with his gun, and another bullet harmlessly pinged off the side of the boat. Apparently his aim and his sanity were not much improved by the intervening week.

For a moment Glory felt pity for the man, but it was short lived. How had he known Chelsea was in Innsmouth? Well, that was easy enough to explain. She could just make out Edgar and Robert in the bottom of his boat, tied up and hopefully only unconscious. How he’d captured them or even found them, Glory didn’t know, but she’d had more than enough of Jacoby’s antics over the past week to last a lifetime.

It was hard to turn her back on him, but she needed to take stock of the ship. The sun had nearly set, and the few stars that had made themselves known did nothing to lessen the deepening gloom. Captain Hodgeson had been subdued. Though she’d managed to take out one of her captors who lay nearby, the other man was now sitting on her to keep her under control. None of the other prisoners seemed to have made a move. In fact, the remaining priests were gathered around their High Priest, inspecting his wounds as if they hadn’t a care in the world.

For the first time, a swell rocked the prison ship, nearly knocking Glory from her feet and making the priests look around in confusion. Father Dag, who up until that moment had simply looked angry and irritable, suddenly paled and struggled across the deck to the hole in the railing where Chester had disappeared. Glory followed, leaning over the railing several feet from the gathered clergy as they stared into a churning vortex of gray waters. From her angle, she saw Jacoby fall back into his boat, toppling over her boys as the water became increasingly violent.

While most of his fellow priests looked merely confused and some of them looked quite pleased, Father Dag wore an expression of utter horror. He backed away from the opening  even as another swell knocked several of his lackeys off their feet. Dag slid helplessly towards the hole, knocking another priest off his feet as well and nearly through the hole. Looking as though he’d rather do anything other than catch the fat High Priest, the man grabbed his superior’s arm with one hand and latched onto the railing with his other, shouting for his peers to lend their strength.

That got their attention. They looked at their terrified leader with wonder, even as a huge mottled tentacle rose from the water and slapped onto the deck, splintering part of the railing as it came down. It suddenly dawned on some of them, those who were perhaps not completely cowed by his cruel sovereignty, that he should not be so afraid of going into the water, that he should perhaps not even fear whatever denizen of the deep was rising. They looked at one another uneasily as they backed away from the edge of the boat and their frightened High Priest.

to Book 5, part 3, page 27

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4 Responses to “Tattoo Book 5, part 3.26”

  1. here2read said

    Repent! Time to repent… LOL

    • Yeah…. something tells me that their kin beneath the waves weren’t really aware of what exactly was going on up there for the past few decades. Either that or they take respect for their elders Very seriously!

  2. Fiona said

    I’m worried about Robert and Edgar in that little boat!

  3. Alderin said

    I suspect Chester had a heart-to-heart with his gods, and they may be a wee bit angry… though who knows the whims of the old ones?

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