Shifting Tides

A life on the high seas. That's all I ever wanted. The glory of sailing on a ship, the knowledge of hidden treasure waiting to be claimed, the thrill of adventure and companionship, the freedom to travel wherever I pleased. Such is the life of a sailor. But when you're Starborn, you know you're destined for greatness. That's where I'm headed. My name will be in the books, forever known as a sailor worthy of song. That name is Pierre Villemont.

Chapter 1

Boarding Action

by: Firreus
"Fire as the guns bear!" The captain roared. As part of the gun crew I did my best to maintain the cannons, loading and firing as fast as my hands could work. The battle had raged for at least ten minutes and we were nearing the pirate vessel steadily, preparing for a boarding action. Our ship, the H.M.S. Brave, was a 32-gun frigate with a crew size of 38. The enemy was no more than a mere sloop-of-war, armed with only 16 guns: half the capacity of our own. We had already predicted the outcome of this battle.

We continued firing as the lieutenant in charge of our broadside, Faraday, yelled instructions to us.
"Swab the bore, ram in the powder, put on the wadding, load the shot, run out the guns and fire!" He cried. Like a pivotal cog in the machine, he continued to bark orders until the captain's voice coming from above deck captured our attention.
"Arm yourselves, men! Get to ready to board! Draw your swords and prime your pistols!" He instructed. Without hesitation, we abandoned the guns and went above deck to meet our enemies. Nothing special, just your average bloodthirsty pirates.

As we gathered on the deck, the enemy stood to confront us; snarling, weapons drawn, unorganised, it would be a matter of minutes to take control of the prize. As we stood ready to fight, there was a thick tension mixed in with the smoke in the air. We were a battle-hardened crew, steadfast and loyal to the end. The captain pulled out his pistol and aimed it into the air, the sunlight reflecting off its metallic sheen. "For Alvania!" He roared. In one resolute motion, he focused his flintlock ahead and fired, ripping a hole through the chest of one of the pirates. The rest of the crew let out a fierce battle cry as the sound of gunfire filled the air, smoke following shortly after.

Pierce and Brighton fell victim to stray shots, falling to the ground and clutching their wounds in pain. Fortunately, both were not mortal; they would live to see another dawn. A few of us whisked them away below deck to the doctor, a good and earnest man. He had saved me three times throughout my career, never once doubting my odds of survival. I was grateful and so was the rest of us for his years of service. Turning my attention towards the battle, we leaped onto the enemy deck, steel clashing against steel. I charged into the fray, catching an enemy off guard and slashing through his chest. I turned to meet an aggressor with his blade about to make a thrusting motion. I narrowly deflected the attack, sidestepping as I did so, and slashed at his throat in retaliation. He grasped at the gaping wound in a futile attempt to stem the flow of blood, dropping to his knees. I struck again from the opposite direction, giving him a quick death.

I scanned through the heat of the battle for the captain, knowing that he would be a prime target. Within moments, I saw him cornered by three ruffians hoping to take his head as a prize. I had not fired my pistol as of yet, so I pulled it out of my holster and aimed for the one closest to him. Centering my shot, I held my breath and pulled the trigger...

To find that it would not fire. Damn it, why then of all times? I quickly checked to locate the problem; somebody had spilled rum all over it, the black powder was wet! There was only one person clumsy enough to do such a thing. Mills. I would have him flogged were I not but a deck hand. He could wait until after the battle, I had a captain to save. I placed the pistol back in it's holster and ran past my enemies. Deftly evading their attacks, I secured a path to the gang and ran my blade through the chest of one of them. He dropped dead as I pulled my blade out and turned to fight the other two. "Right on cue, Villemont." The captain said to me, a hint of relief in his voice.
"Would I ever leave you to die, captain?" I responded in a steely manner. The other two now stood back to back, eyes maintained on both me and the captain.

Suddenly, he nodded to me. Taking it as a signal to strike, I swung my blade to meet my enemy's. As we fought, the only things I had made contact with was his sword and the air surrounding him. It revealed something different about him, that he was not your average pirate. He was possessed of an unnatural fighting skill; I could see it in his stance. Over time, he struck more aggressively, attacking with relentless fervour. I momentarily checked the progress of the captain: he was faring better than me and managed to knock his enemy to the floor. Then without warning, my foe knocked my blade out of my hand and overboard, into the murky depths below. Sensing the end of my career, I closed my eyes as he prepared for the final swing...

When a loud bang ruptures the air and a large hole encompasses my foe's chest. From behind, the captain held a second pistol, blowing on the opening of the barrel. My enemy was distracted by the wound, staring down into it and grasping at it like he was fumbling for a bottle of rum. Taking the opportunity, I grabbed him by the shoulders and tripped him up by the feet, throwing him off board. As I peered down, his body hit the water with a satisfying splash. I smiled to myself, unaware of the other dormant threat.
"Villemont, behind you!" The captain yells. As I turn around, the third and final pirate meets my fearful gaze as he raises his sword in the air. I struck out my left hand instinctively, certain that nobody could do anything now.

Nobody but me. There was a sudden build-up of energy in my arm as I outstretched it, the limb glowing an intense shade of white. Then a burst of pure... power surged forth, striking my foe with such intensity that he was knocked off the deck, joining his mate in Davy Jones' locker. It was so sudden and uncontrollable... the event was not at all expected. I retracted my hand in shock, staring at it as it cooled down and returned to its normal colour. A clank of metal on the deck withdrew me from my temporal paralysis as I looked up to see the surviving pirates surrendering, kneeling in terror. The faces of my shipmates looked upon mine with a certain reverence; even the captain was awed by my show of power, taking off his hat as a sign of respect.

What had happened just then, what happened to me, had affected no more than one in 800 men, making it an extremely rare occurrence. Usually, it is these people whose names rise into legend, whose services are highly sought after and whose heads are the most luxuriously priced. Never did I expect to own such potential, to be capable of such a power. You had to see it to believe it. And believe I did.

I was Starborn.


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