People have asked, and now I will deliver. I can not promise this will be a regular series, but now and again I can make a chapter for it. There are some things, such as sailing terms and whatnot that I do not know and I apologize for. Also, Maria, Marai, they are fish people and I will try to use Maria as much as I can; I may hit 'a' before 'i' by mistake though.
Nautilus is very tricky, however, because most of his lore is about him in utter darkness. I am not sure about this, but I can hear nothing while underwater. So, I am unable to really make out what he can and cannot experience while on his own, underwater, in utter darkness at the bottom of the sea.
I hope everyone enjoys chapter two.
Chapter Two: Dead Man's Tale
After a time, Nami pushed herself away from Nautilus. She met his glowing, orange eyes with her own red-orange (maybe orange-brown) eyes. She closed her eyes for a moment, and then opened them. "Where did you go? After you defeated that beast, I mean?" She asked timidly. She sounded as though she would not try to make him answer.
Though he knew he did not have to, Nautilus did answer, but not before gesturing toward the water.
As to two of them walked, his footfalls leaving imprints in the sand and her tidal pool leaving it slightly wet. He led her into the water until he was waist deep, while she was nearly shoulder deep; one would guess her to be as tall as him but that was only due to her having a fin instead of legs. He let his anchor sink into the water, and then leaned his arm against it.
He looked out at the sea, diving into his private thoughts and memories, at least those he could recall. "After I set off that depth charge, I was blow upward and away by the blast, and then became ensnared in a fishing net." He began his story.
What everyone else knew was that he had come to Bilgewater from the sea, but none knew of his journey there. Nami was the only one who had some idea of his past, and now he would tell her what became of him after their meeting.
It was dark once more, all light having faded in one, large and blinding flash. He couldn't feel his body, the shock wave, he believed, had been too much for him to survive. He imaged these were his last moments of life, and then he would be gone from the world and into the afterlife. He only hoped she had heard his final words to her:
Thank you and farewell.
With the water all around him, his words had turned to bubbles, the water silencing him and taking the air from him. He did not know how that could be, and still allow him to breath, but he did not truly care at the time.
He only hoped that girl, the Maria Nami, had the pearl and would make it back to her people safely.
Suddenly, he felt himself being moved.
He tried to lift his arms, but was unable to. He tried to move his legs, but they only dangled. He was trapped in something, but did not know what.
And then, he was assaulted by light and sounds; his eyes hurt from the bright light and his head pounded from the sounds.
"What do you think it is Captain?" Said one voice, it sounded young but not too young.
"It looks like an old diver's suit. I remember my grandfather spoke of them." Said another, older voice.
All around, the noises continued, each syllable hurting his ears. He brought his hands to the sides of his head, a ripping and tearing sound screaming at him in protest. He tossed his head to the sides as more, louder, sounds went off.
"It's alive! It's alive!" The older voice said. "Get the guns! Quick!" The voice said.
As he turned to his side, eyes such tight to keep out the light and hands to the sides of his head, he heard the sound of metal being ran on. It was agony! "Wait for my command!" Called the voice.
Finally, after seeming hours, but really minutes, the sounds stopped.
He laid there, his breathing the only sound he could hear, as his senses began to adjust to his surroundings. His time underwater had made him vulnerable to the light and sounds of the over world, welcoming him with only pain of having returned so quickly.
After several minutes, he began to recover. When he did, he removed his hands from his head, and then used them to push himself up. His eyes drank in the surroundings.
Around him were ten man, some young and others old, armed with guns and harpoons. They were on a metal ship, with him over a net of metallic links; what had bound him. To his left and ahead was a tower, where the helmsman kept the ship away from hazards that would otherwise mean doom for the ship and its crew. Behind him was a pit, from where soft sounds were heard.
"What are you?"
The question made him look over at an old man. He had a rust-colored beard, wore an orange jacket, and dark boots. Everyone wore the same orange jacket and dark boots, plastic and waterproof by the looks of them. The old man appeared to be the leader and captain of the ship and its crew.
"What in name of the seas are you?" He asked again, appearing braver than the others around him.
A thought came to him. He opened his mouth to speak, but, instead, the only sounds he heard were that of water pouring and splashing and gurgling. By the look of the men around him backing away, it was coming from him. He leaned his head forward, feeling nausea welling inside him, and began to hurl his insides. Water, small fish, bits of coral, and some dark muck began to litter the space around his hands.
After a minute of this, followed by coughing, he was able to breathe through his mouth without gurgling or anything else coming out of his mouth. He looked up, into the eyes of the old captain, and began to rise to his feet. Those with weapons took a step back, fearful of the seven-foot titan growing before them.
"Nautilus…" He said.
The old man, seeming calmer, shook his head. "Nautilus? Who is that? I am Timber, Captain Timber of the Blue Whale. Are you Nautilus?" He asked.
The titan put his hands to his head, his head still pounding from the rush of light and sound. "Nautilus…" He said again, going to his knees as his head pounded painfully. It almost felt like each beat was his head hitting his helmet, keeping his head inside the suit.
"The ship's being rocked Captain!" A familiar voice called out in his head. "Whatever's got him will pull us all into the grave!" The voice said.
There were more voices, most yelling and filled with panic and fear, and then his own, pleading for help as he held on for dear life to the ship's railing. His grip was tight, even in the heavy suit, but the thing that held him, the same one rocking the ship, held him in a tighter grip.
Images began to appear, all of them sailors and one of an older man, but not as old as Captain Timber. He wore a blue coat, an eye patch over his left eye, and was larger than any of the other men. His one-eyed gaze analyzed the situation and his men with care, taking into account the man's pleas with sincerity.
Metal began to bend. The railing was being stretched.
Finally, the captain looked down in surrender, and mumbled something. He did not hear the words, but somehow knew what they meant.
In seconds, the men trying to help the pleading man left him, leaving him to hold on to the railing for his own life, and then they began to work the railing with tools. They were disassembling it!
As the ship rocked, the grip on his leg tightened, the man begged for help, for salvation from his plight from his fellows. None so much as looked at him. He was still there, and yet they had already abandoned him.
Suddenly, the railing came undo, and the man began to be pulled below. His fall was broken when he caught the anchor of the ship, but only for a few seconds. In that time, his eyes locked with the one-eyed captain. There was a message in that stare: Forgive us… We can do nothing, but save ourselves.
And then the chain on the anchor broke, the dark thing that had him had won. He never took his eyes off the man who had sentenced him to his doom at the hands of some alien, seafaring creature until his vision was lost in darkness.
It was an honor to know you… Nautilus.
His arms fell to his sides. His head no longer hurt.
He stared down at the deck of the foreign, metal ship, lost in a sea of emotions far more vast than any he had ever known.
On his knees, he remembered… he had been betrayed and sentenced to die so his fellows could live. He was the only one brave enough to explore the unknown… yet allowed cowards to decide his fate. He had held respect for each man aboard that ship… and now he had paid the price for such trust in others.
"Nautilus." He spoke again, without looking up. "That is my name." He added.
He heard movement, people walking about and the waves hitting the sides and hull of the ship, as well as low whispers. One voice, however, spoke to him. "Well, Nautilus, do you know what you are?" It was Captain Timber, repeating his previous question.
The titan looked up to see the old man standing over him. All he could do was shake his head. "I am a sailor." He said, and then looked down again. "Betrayed by his crew and left to die." He added. He hadn't realized until then, but his voice was booming, almost echoing, compared to the voices he heard.
The whispers stopped, and footsteps were heard more. "Well, Nautilus, we could use a big guy like you to help us." The captain said. Nautilus looked up when he heard those words. "We're a fishing crew, employed by Noxus. These waters have already claimed a few of my men with sickness, and were just on our way back to port." He said. He then extended his left hand. "What do ya say? Will ya help us get back to port, or just sit there and feel sorry for yerself?" He asked.
Nautilus looked from the hand to the man's face. He was a sailor, yes, but he did not know of fishing. He didn't know what kind of sailor he was. Finally, he reached forward with his left hand and took the captain's hand in his gloved one.
Timber smiled. "Since yer so big, help carry the heavy loads. Just put that hunk of metal over there for now." He said, gesturing to the corner of the ship where the anchor was.
Nautilus nodded once, and then went to it, setting his anchor down and tying it to the side with rope. He then rose and was directed to a sailor named Josh, the last remaining sailor who helped with the heavy lifting. There had been four; one had been washed away by the tides, the second was crushed by one of the loads, and the other two died of illness.
He quickly found out that he was much, much stronger than Josh, able to lift three times the load he was. The two made a good team, with Nautilus as the brawl and Josh directing him.
As night rolled in, nets were cast and shifts were taken in case something went wrong. Nautilus found that he did not need sleep. The act of trying to only caused him to lay on the cot he was provided. After two hours, and his shift came, he never returned to the cot. Though they found it strange, none of the sailors, or Captain Timber, forced him to sleep. So he chatted with the crew to pass the time.
When morning came, he was able to pull the fishing nets aboard without the aid from the other sailors, which allowed them to avoid injury and allowed for better coordination. The catch consisted of a variety of fish with some lobsters mixed in, which were stored with the rest into the pit. All and all, it seemed an easy job, yet it did not feel like the work he had done before.
What he felt more attracted to was navigation.
Nautilus spent his free time looking over the charts and maps of the ship. He was able to almost subconsciously pick out lands and seas, distinguishing between rocky and smooth terrain and rapid and calm currents. There was one place in particular that draw his attention; it was an area in the center of an imaginary triangle formed by Bilgewater, Ionia, and Noxus.
For a time, everything was going well, better with him on board and willing to help out the rest of the crew, until they began to near Noxus.
Nautilus sat in the helms room, reading over the charts, when one of the crew, Tarson, called out from the deck. "There's something in the water! Left side!" His voice called out.
Captain Timber, steering the ship, turned to Nautilus. "Go see what the boy's going on about." He ordered.
Nodding, the large man rose and started out. In the weeks he had spent on the ship, he had never taken off his diver's suit. He would have… were it not for what laid under it. He didn't want to lose a second crew.
As his steps banged against the stairs, he took them two at a time to make the best time possible. Others began to look over the deck as well, trying to see what it might be.
When Nautilus arrived, the men parted for him to take a look. He had become a quick friend to many of them. He looked over the edge, and then froze for several moments. What he saw, however, made him stagger back.
He ran to fetch his anchor, still lying tied near the Blue Whale's. He turned his head as his hands worked to undo the rope. "GET AWAY FROM THE EDGE!" He yelled. "SEA BEAST!"
Just as he said the words, something rammed the side of the left side of the ship. The force caused everyone on deck to stagger and stumble toward the center of the ship, some slipping to the right of it. Even Nautilus had been caught off guard, but the rope around his anchor prevented him from going far from it.
After a moment, there was another hit, this time harder and from the right. Those in the center were tossed to the left, two of them being swung over the railing. One of them managed to catch the rails, but the other one splashed into the water.
"Throw him a line!" Captain Timber ordered from his vantage point above. Even he was shaking on his feet from the impacts.
Josh and Tarson were the first ones on the scene, casting out a life preserver tied to a heavy rope. The sailor grabbed the preserver, holding it tight, and waited for his fellows to pull him up. As the two men pulled, he kept his eyes peered for the thing that had rammed the ship.
Before he could get to the ship, he screamed out in pain. "Something got my leg! Something's got my leg!" He yelled out. The two men pulled harder, but they were unable to get him up over the water. "It's got me! Help! Help!" He cried out.
Josh and Tarson were beginning to lose their rope. As it slid away, Tarson lost his grip, and Josh was nearly flipped over the railing. He caught the rail with his legs, but that would not help him for long. He was losing the tug of war, and would soon be over the edge as well. The rope burned as it slipped through his hands.
Before he lost it, Nautilus reached over, passed the sailor, and coiled the length of rope around his metal-gloved fist. A bang knocked against the ship; he had dropped his anchor. He pulled, bringing the man over board closer to the ship, and then wrapped his other hand in the rope. Alternating between hands, he was gaining the upper hand against the beast.
Suddenly, he felt the other end leave, and nearly fell back but was able to keep his balance by stepping backwards instead. In only a few seconds, he had the man over the railing, allowing Josh and Tarson to pull him back on deck. The man's right leg was bleeding from bite marks below his knee.
"Get below deck! EVERYONE!" He ordered. Without another word, all six of them fled below deck, out of the reach of the beast who had nearly claimed one of them. "Captain Timber! Lower the anchor! This beast will not let us leave without a fight!" He yelled.
As though in answer, the ship was hit from the left. Nautilus staggered, but kept his balance. He looked back up at the old man. "NOW!" He yelled.
There was the sound of chains falling, a loud splash, and then a series of smaller splashes. After a few seconds, the ship jerked forward, and seconds later paused all movement save for the waves.
Nautilus grasped his anchor, his weapon, once more, and waited above deck by himself. He didn't have to wait long as the ship was attacked from the sides again and again, yet he did not budge.
Finally, realizing the attack was futile, the beast rose from the seas. Its eyes met the angry glare of Nautilus.
The sea beast was like a giant python, but with wing-like ears at the sides of its head. His skull, he imaged, was harder than steel. The teeth were sharp, sharper than the crew's harpoons, and a wicked tongue darted out of its mouth. The patterns on its body made it difficult to distinguish it from the dark clouds, but he could make out the movement.
It lunged for him. He swung his anchor in one hand. It was a solid hit, but not enough to make it back off. It recovered, and then lunged for his arm. The beast flung him into the air, and then began to coil itself around aboard the deck, moving from the sea to the small land to better get at its prey.
Nautilus landed with a hard thunk, creating a small crater on the deck in the center of the beast. He landed on his left shoulder, grunted from the impact, and then rolled to his chest before rising. Oddly, he did not feel any pain, and was able to get back up quickly.
The beast lunged at him almost immediately, tossing him against the scaly body of the beast. It attacked him with a series of head-butts, keeping him off balance and unable to attack. Over time, it began to show as his suit was bent and he grunted in pain.
BANG! A sudden, loud sound was heard and the beast ceased its relentless assault.
Nautilus fell to his knees, his suit bent badly at the helmet, chest, and arms. He looked up just before another bang sounded, and the beast turned to the source. A harpoon was sticking out of its left eye, now closed due to the projectile.
To his right, he saw who had done it: Tarson, Josh, and Arnold, the engineer, were there; each one held a gun of some kind. Tarson was the one who had used the harpoon gun, and was now reloading it as Josh and Arnold aimed their handguns at it.
The harpoon guns were designed for use against beasts such as this with their sharp, jagged heads and shoulder pad for more accurate shots. While they could be used for fishing, such prey would have to be worth the price of ammunition. The handguns, likewise, were used to stun and distract their targets with their heavy bullets, loud blasts, and knockback recoil. Both weapons were far too powerful for mere foes, but perfect against monsters such as this.
However, the beast was not dumb enough to let such threats go unscathed.
It hissed and lunged toward the three, who took shelter within the doorway of the stairs down. Its head was too big to fit through the door, but that did not mean it couldn't get through. It rammed against the door, forcing the frame to move aside, and then snapped its jaws at the three.
The sailors wisely backed away, down the stairs, but their intervention gave Nautilus the chance to recover.
"GET AWAY FROM THEM!" He yelled, climbing over the beast's body and jumping onto its outstretched neck. His landing was hard, but it was not enough to flatten the muscled neck. Instead, he landed on it and bounced off, to the side.
The beast tried to pull its head out, to retaliate, but it was stuck for the time. He took the chance and wrapped his arms around its neck.
Squeezing for all he was worth, Nautilus's arms slowly but surely began to move closer and closer together. The beast's lover body began to whip to around the deck, hitting the railings, cages, nets, and the inside of the pit as it thrashed in panic. There was no escape for it now, not under the strong grip of the sailor's metal-enhanced strength.
In a matter of seconds, the beast's head became separated from its body.
The body and head both whipped and thrashed about, painting the deck, helmsman tower, and Nautilus in a fountain of red blood. Nearly a minute past until it finally ceased, the life now gone from the monster of the sea.
Nautilus was not finished.
He grabbed the beast's severed head and, in one mighty tug, pulled it from the stairs, taking the frame with it. He grabbed the frame, threw it into the sea, and then began to beat the beast's head with his already blood-covered hands.
"Nautilus!" A small whisper met his ears, but did nothing to divert his attention. "Nautilus! Stop!" Again, the whisper came.
Suddenly, he felt resistance on his arms as he drew them back. In the heat of rage, he turned his head to see what had grabbed him; to see what kept him from protecting his crew!
It was Josh who held his right arm back.
He turned his head to the left. There was Tarson, holding his left arm.
Panting, he turned to look at the beast, or its head. He barely recognized it. The skull had been bashed in, the scales flayed from it, the muscles in it were scattered around, and the deck under it was red with blood and gore.
He turned back to Josh. "It's dead, Nautilus." Was all he said.
Nautilus fell backwards, his metal suit clanking against the ship. Both sailors let go of him then, allowing him to look at his hands. The metal and rubber was stained red. It was then he also noticed that his body was emitting a dark green aura around him. The aura was not just on his arms, but surrounded his whole body.
It did, however, not last long. As he calmed, the aura began to fade until it was completely gone.
"Are ya alright?" It was Captain Timber's voice. Nautilus turned to the old man, meeting his eyes. He saw fear where he had not before. He also saw the rest of the crew looking at him the same way, like he was more dangerous than the beast. "Will ya be alright?" He asked again.
Nautilus looked back at the remains of the beast, the one he had killed with the help of Josh, Tarson, and Arnold. He stared at it for nearly a minute before turning back to the captain. "I… I don't know…" He said. It was a frightening experience for them all, but more so for Nautilus because he did not even know what he had been doing.
Timber looked around, gauging the damages his ship had taken. Finally, he looked back to Nautilus. "Go get some rest. We'll make port at Noxus tomorrow morning." He said, and then looked to the others. "The rest of you too, get some rest! Tarson, Josh!" He gestured. "Don't worry about the rest of the fishing, the beast's body will fill the rest of the pit. Just clean up the head as best ya two can." He said.
It was late at night when he arrived on deck once more. The rest of the crew were asleep, at least he hoped they were, so they would not know he was up to something. Standing at the edge of the railing, watching the waters below, Nautilus's mind was a sea of troubling thoughts.
He did not know what had happened to him, what had caused him to go berserk like he did. All he could think of was protecting the rest of the crew. He didn't even know the blasted thing was dead until he was about to turn his rage to those he was fighting for.
Only did he realize what that thing had did to him, the one that had dragged him into the abyss, the one that had forced his crew to abandoned and betray him. It had changed him into something that was not human, and, in so doing, made him part of it. Only now did he feel it, after that aura had appeared over him, the darkness within him.
He was no longer human, but a monster. He couldn't bear the thought of staying, putting the rest of them at risk of being killed by him. They were all good men, and he would never be able to live with himself if he hurt even one of them.
He put his hand on the railing.
"Nautilus? Is that you?" A voice said.
He paused, and then saw the glow of a light out the corner of his eye.
"Nautilus, what are you doing?" The voice asked.
He turned to see Captain Timber with a lamp. He looked up to see that there was another light at the helm. It seemed the captain intended to get the shore as soon as possible.
The captain's eyes took in the sailor in the metal and rubber suit. His face softened. "Take the life boat boy. It'll be easier than swimming in that suit of yers." He said.
Nautilus shook his head before turning back to look over the railing. "I do not plan on swimming." He said.
"Then what? Do you intend to sink to the bottom and walk?" He asked. The old man had no idea he had hit the nail on the head.
"I cannot stay, nor can I go back to land without finding out what I've become." He began. "This body, my body, has been changed by something in the darkness of the abyss. I do not know what has happened to me, but I know the answer is somewhere down there and to the east, where I was changed." He said.
There was silence, the only sounds that of the wind and waves and the gentle sounds of the lamp's flame. Finally, Captain Timber spoke. "I wish ya luck in yer quest then." He said. It sounded like he had turned around. His voice began to fade. "If ya ever want to return to the sea, we'd all welcome you back aboard The Blue Whale. I've not seen a braver man than you since my days as a cabin boy, and those fellas weren't even half as brave as you." He said.
Nautilus waited until he no longer heard the captain's footsteps, and then pulled himself over the side of the railing. As he fell, anchor in hand, the last sight was that of the ship's name in dull, dark blue: The Blue Whale.
And then, he splashed into the water, sinking back into the abyss.