The Adventure Begins
Chapter one – (Embedded link for Optional Musical Score – Click to play as you read)
Deo leap from the yard arms, flames climbing up the mast. Canvas black and falling in glowing red pieces in the air all around the ship. Flipping into a tight tuck position to then extend out smoothly to enter the water feet first, Deo plunges under the surface of the water, quiet and clam. The sounds of the battle disappear; the heat is replaced by the cool of the water. Tucking his sword into his belt, he swims under the hull of the ship and towards the only land for many leagues. Surfacing near some debris he grabs a plank and part of a torn sail, pulling it over his head. Leaning into the wood as a float he pushes slowly to the shore, hidden from searching eyes.
Explosions, several small and one large, confirm Deo’s plan of abandoning ship. The sounds quickly end with the enveloping rush of hissing waves wash over the ships as they sink beneath the water. Deo slowly turns around and looks. Through the cresting wave and remaining burning wreckage he searches, no signs of life.
Waiting and watching, the flames burn out, the waves calm and the wind even stops. Death appears complete, yet still He watches. Nothing, nobody to be seen or heard, the current carries near Deo near the shore, He lets it.
Sand touches the bottom of his feet, startled out of his watch he looks down through the water and sees the edge of the beach. Standing up he is now head and shoulders above the surface, He turns and walks ashore with his sword in his belt and a piece of canvas on his back. The plank abandoned, floats away, the last piece of ship he was on.
The sun is now low on the west side of the island and air is clam and cool, the beach is wide, clear and empty. Except for the signal track of fresh footprints coming out of the jungle, coming near the waters edge and then turning back the way they came, into the wall of plants, tress and vines.
Deo scans the jungle, no sign; he feels that he is being watched. Hesitation, then slowly he walks up the beach, following the foot prints. Looking closer he sees the shape of the print, it is wider, deeper, the man that made this is bigger, much bigger than Deo.
He stops and looks some more, cautious now. He didn’t survive wars, prisons, deserts or worse to die on the beach of some no name island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Trusting his instincts, he quickly turns to the left and sprints up the beach, drawing near the edge of the water for firming footing he runs as he has never run.
A whistling sound catches his ear, cat like reactions cause him to dive to the right and tuck and roll to come to a stop on his knee looking behind him. First he sees a rather large arrow sticking in the sand just ahead of wear his footprints ended. Second he looks back down the beach and sees a large man covered in green, looking for all intents like a part of the jungle. He is pulling back and firing off more arrows, Deo jumps up and runs again, alternating his path at random, arrows falling around him. Moving farther down the beach gets him out of range, He hopes. The arrows stop falling, He turns back and sees the jungle man is gone, Deo runs up and grabs several arrows and then turns and runs along the beach, after several miles he comes to rocks and then a cliff. Blocking his path along the shore. He must quickly decide, His hunter has the advantage of being armed and knowing the terrain. The path leading into the Jungle at the end of the beach will surly be guarded, Deo had no doubt that the Jungle man went through the jungle to head him off on this path and ambush him. The only other way would be to start to climb up the broken rocks and get to higher ground, this too may lead to danger as the jungle man could get to the top faster by inland paths. He has to chose, what ever way he goes he will leave a trail, He is being hunted now.
Deo looks at the path, the rocks, the ocean and then smiles. Quickly he makes very clear tracks in the middle of the sand right up to the broken rock walls and starts to climb, hoping he has enough time he only goes up several feet then moves side ways towards the ocean and near the edge dives in and swims to a familiar piece of wood, the plank from the ship is floating nearby. He grabs it and again pulls the sail piece over his head and begins a dangerous swim up the rocky coast, several times fighting the waves and current he misses rocks and reefs by inches. Pushing on around the north side of the island the rock cliff grows higher, more broken. Many inlets and small hidden beaches and islets. One catches his eye, near the back is a cave under a overhang. Not visible from above and looks high enough up to be out of reach of storm waves at high tide. Riding the waves into the small cove Deo carefully scans the rock walls and the edge all around the top. No paths down and no signs of anyone watching. The beach area is small, the cave can only be reached by climbing up between two rows of rocks lined up as guards against intruders. Slipping by the rock guards Deo reaches the cave mouth and to his surprise finds a desk, carpets and a skeleton of a man at the desk, gun in his hand as he slumps over the desktop. Having shot him self in the head years ago, this man left many things for Deo to find in the cave. Weapons, Barrels, chests, boxes and a small cannon of all things. Quickly checking at the cave opening again Deo sees no danger he begins to explore to find some answers.
The papers left in the desk are in ruins, weather worn, bug eaten and pretty much unreadable if not worn out. What remained of the mans cloths show no tailors labels or military identification. The cloth is dark and ragged; it may have been navy issue of French of British type. The hand gun was more helpful, it was a Long Sea Service flintlock pistol. The standard pistol issued for Royal Navy use for decades. It was a .57 with a 12 inch barrel and sometimes, like this one shortened to 9 inches. This model was the type issued British officers at the turn of the century. That puts this guy hear about 140 years old. Feeling better about the cave Deo takes another quick scan outside, seeing no danger he continues. Looking over the rest of the weapons, assorted rifles, swords, a pike and of course the cannon. The barrels were of storage type and empty. Boxes had moth eaten material and other useless, formless objects. No ammunition for the guns or the cannon and no black powder. The last of what was left must have been used for the fatal shot by the man.
The back of the cave ends in a rock pile, not a rock wall like the sides but loose rock like a cave in. Could there have been a way in and out through that rubble, appearances would seem so, how else would all this stuff been brought here.
Light outside the cave is dieing quickly and with no apparent supply of food or water, the prospects of long night are assured. At least Deo will have a quiet place to shelter until the morning. Finding a flint from one of the broken guns Deo starts a small fire near the back. He waits until near dark and shields the light from the cave mouth with a wall of boxes and barrels. A make shift bed on the ground and Deo lies down for the night, Sleep comes quickly and he rests well.