Far, Far East
Posted on Wed Dec 14th, 2011 @ 1:29am by Mate Kanya Ashand
Edited on on Wed Dec 14th, 2011 @ 7:06am
Chapter 2: The Map says 'Go Here'
Location: Who Knows Where?
It was pain like she had never imagined before. But it was in all the wrong places. And her clothes were stained with blood.
"Ibu-ku, ibu-ku!" she heard herself say. But it wasn't quite her voice either. It sounded smaller, more childlike, and much frailer. "Rasanya sakit!" Was she going mad? She didn't even know what she was saying anymore.
Kanya tried to lift up her head, but it seemed heavier than usual. She managed to move it enough to get a good look of the room. She was back in the Red Room. The beautiful room with the beautiful red walls. Mahogany with intricate red carvings and inlays of pure gold. The Red Room was now stained with red blood, and was being eaten away by red fire.
She did not want to be here. She wanted to get out...
A woman was crying somewhere out of sight. It was the most miserable sound in the whole world.
She had thought the pain was bad but suddenly it got worse, shooting through her right leg and making her scream in pain all over again. It wasn't until it had subsided a little bit that she realized she wasn't supposed to have a right leg. Instinctively, she tried to move it and it followed her command.
Finally, she felt her father wipe the sweat from her brow. Like he always did in her worst nightmares. "Ayo, Kanya. Ayo." he said.
His voice was a great comfort through all that pain. All of a sudden, her vision blurred and she felt dizzy. Very dizzy. The world was spinning before her, and she wanted to throw up. It was almost like her first time on a ship...
"I don't know, Thommy." She heard just then. "Who's to say she's gunna make it to Brittania?"
It was the old man from the Big Ship. He was talking to her father by the doorway. Their faces were in a blur, but their figures were unmistakable in the candlelight.
The old man lowered his voice. "You should've let 'em kill her. Shouldn'ta killed 'em. Damnit, Thommy. If the King hears about this..."
"He won't." It was her father speaking now.
"I'm just scared for ye."
"I'm scared for myself too. But there are things I just won't do. I don't stand for the murder of innocent people."
"And who're you to say that they're innocent?" the old man pressed heatedly. "They killed our people too."
"She's just a child, Louis."
"A child with the bad blood. You heard 'em yourself."
Her father was silent for a while. "A child nevertheless."
The old man straight at her, in deep thought. Kanya realized her leg was hurting all over again, and let out a sob.
"What're we going to do with the mother's body?"
Her father didn't answer although he knew very well that there was only one solution in these parts of the world.
"Throw it overboard?"
He looked at the old man for a few seconds, his jaw clenched tight. Finally, he gave him a single, stiff nod.
Kanya felt that the world was spinning all over again. Then, she was on the mast of Steamhawke. It was a beautiful ship. With sails made of pelican feathers. She could hear Brem shouting something below. "Faster, faster, you missarble sott! We never going to catch em albatross at this rate."
She looked down and saw Brem yelling at that assistant engineer - was his name Erm? Anyway, Erm was furiously pedaling at a stationary bicycle that generated the steam that moved the turbines. The cook, Nicholai, was feeding him some nice, warm porridge to keep him going. Marty the shipwright had thought of that himself. He was really good with engines. But Kanya wished he had chosen someone faster than Erm to drive it.
Nearby, she could see that girl who had jumped into her bed - was it Laudine? - looking through a telescope. She started nudging the Captain, who had suddenly appeared beside her.
"There they are! Stand down everyone! Brem, tell Erm to slow down!" she heard Captain Daenelia say.
A flock of albatross started zooming past. Kanya was shocked to see that each was carrying a memory.
She tried to reach out and grab one, but she only managed to touch its tail feathers. Instantly, she was overwhelmed by a memory of her fathers, Thomas and John laughing together over tea and cakes. Thomas had said something funny, and just now John reached out to touch his hand. It was a good memory, but faded the moment the feathers left her fingers.
She reached out again and managed to touch another one. And she was at the Clock Shop again, building a miniature ship out of spare clock parts. She had barely thought of those times since now.
This time, she was determined to catch one. But then, she didn't have to. As she opened her eyes, she saw a speeding albatross coming straight at her. It collided onto her chest. Ouch. That hurt.
And then, she fell.
All of a sudden, there she was: the old house in Clockworth. The scent of heather and smoked sausages filled the air. But there was something else, something wrong. Thomas wasn't here, for one thing. The soldiers had taken him away. And an odd, burnt smell was coming from the upstairs. She ran up the wooden stairs and opened the door to John's laboratory.
"Are you alright?" She called out through the thick smoke. She had lost one father. Was she to lose the other too?
"I'm fine." came his voice.
John had his back turned on her, and was fiddling with some glowing purple liquid in vials. He was heavily dressed for a warm day. He wore a large coat, a scarf, mittens, trousers, and a pair of socks.
"You haven't gone down in a week, father." Kanya said, crossly. "I made breakfast for you every day. Even when I had to go to work early."
"Never you mind that, darling." he sounded unusually gruff. "I'm so sorry. Things... haven't been the same without Thomas."
Kanya nodded, and felt the tears roll down her cheeks. She moved forward and gave her tall father a hug. She felt him sob violently. They needed each other right now like they had never needed each other before. And yet, here he was locked away in his laboratory, worrying about useless things. When she looked up she saw hideous cracks all over the left side of his face.
"Father, what happened to you?" she gasped, not letting go.
John covered the cracked side of his face and pushed her away. "Get out, Kanya."
And then it was pain like she had never imagined before. But it was in all the wrong places. They had stabbed her leg, and then they had to cut it off to save her life. It wasn't her leg that hurt now, though. It was her chest. Where the albatross had hit her. Or was it a bullet?
When she opened her eyes, she was on Steamhawke again. On the deck. And her clothes were stained with blood once more.