“People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad.” ~Marcel Proust
I’ve seen more death in this world than any I’ve been to, and I’m not sure how long it’ll be before it claims me. We lost Cat the first time we were here. This time, we lost John and Idra. Then we lost Steve (sort of, more about that later). Now I’ve lost Ashanti. The worst part is that the last time I saw her, I acted cold and uncaring towards her. The reason I did it was that I was afraid of leaving her again. She belongs to this world and I don’t. My leaving is inevitable, and I didn’t know how, if I became close to Ashanti again, I could cope with losing her a second time when I went back home. I also realize that despite the similarities, she and Betty are two different people. Loving both of them at the same time would be more complicated than I can handle right now. I don’t regret my decision, but I regret that I couldn’t explain it to her and she died thinking I no longer cared for her. That’s something I can never undo. I have to live with it.
At least we finally have a direction to head in. We ran into our old “friend” Carter in a bar. It turns out he’s headed to the Isle of the Dark Ones too. I’m sure it’s JUST a coincidence, really. We made a deal with him. He’d do his mumbo jumbo to see if he could contact John and see if he’s still alive, and in exchange, we’d act as his body guards along the way. His results were predictably vague, but we were headed in the same direction anyway, so we stuck with him.
Part of the journey involved crossing a significant amount of ocean, so we booked passage on the first ship we could. Let’s just say it’s not exactly the Princess Line. It’s a rinky dink little carrack that made me think we were looking at a three hour tour, but it was the only thing available. We had been out a couple of days when the thing started to leak like an anonymous government source, so Steve went over the side to see if he could affect repairs. Guess what happened next.
That’s right. We saw a corsair ship headed right towards us. Before we could do anything, they rammed us. So much for Steve’s repairs. The corsairs started boarding and that’s when I saw Ashanti. She was captain of the pirate ship. I tried to yell to her to let her know who we were, but she didn’t seem to care. She just roared “No quarter” to her crew. I tried to get to her before more people got hurt, but I ended up in the water, after an unsuccessful attempt to be Errol Flynn.
By the time I made it onto the corsair’s ship, Ashanti was dead. I ended up there in time to see the Kong sized first mate break Steve’s neck. He died right in front of me. By that point, there were a lot of dead on both sides. That’s when Carter chipped in and said he could bring Steve back. The down side was that he would come back as a zombie, the traditional Haitian type, not the brain-eating Romero type. I didn’t think it was a good idea, but Carter claimed that he asked Steve’s spirit and he was OK with it. As lame as that sounds, we really didn’t have much of a choice. Carter brought Steve back from the dead.
That’s when things really started to get weird. All this time, it turned out that Kuma had been working with Ashanti, keeping tabs on us. With the captains and first mates of both ships dead, there was no one in command. Kuma knew that if nothing else we were competent in a fight, so he decided that one of us should be the new captain of the corsair ship. Corey didn’t seem to want the job, and nobody was too keen on taking orders from a zombie, so I ended up as the new captain, me, mister science guy, captain of a pirate ship. See what I mean about weird. At this rate, I figure I’ll either be dead or a king by the time we get out of here, maybe both.