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Sylva's Spirit: Origins: Part Two


by jrayeb3

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Two days into the sailing

      The water was bright, and as Sylva stood on deck with Eliza sitting near him, he felt almost no fear. Almost. He carefully reached inside his pocket and pulled out the letter, yellowed with the age of barely two years.

     

      “To Sylva,

      I think you'll find Brightvale to be different than what you expect. We do enjoy fun, and we're not all as rich as the king. My friend Alex speaks highly of you, and I'm hoping that someday you two will do something big together, something that can change the world. Maybe the Brightvalian stereotype holds true with me, that my dreams are too big and I see too much in what isn't there, but I can't help it. You two both have unbridled potential and no patience. Indeed, he's been complaining about our university since the day we arrived.

      I'm hoping you two can achieve what I believe you can, or my hopes will fade away into a ghost lupe and gelert that haunts me, metaphorically speaking.

      Write back soon. University has been awfully dull.

      -Eliza”

      Sylva smiled. That had been only a year or two ago, and it already felt like a lifetime. He glanced at his compass. The needle was sticking straight up, meaning that the ship was perfectly on course.

      “Smooth sailing.” He muttered.

****

      Two days later

      Code red.

      Had there been a set of codes, and had there been a color assigned to each of them, this would certainly be code red.

      The wind was whipping the sails, and the sky looked almost purple with rage. Alex was at the helm of the ship, steering through the madness. Sylva looked up, helpless, to the rigging, as the crew members up there struggled to set the sails into position, the cloth ripping and shredding down onto the deck like snow. Eliza stood next to him, reflecting his own terror like a mirror.

      Waves leaped over the side of the boat, spraying mist on any dry surface. Alex must have been soaked.

      “Eliza! Sylva! Load a life boat with food and medicine. FILL IT!”

      Eliza dashed into the supply room, faster than Sylva, and he ran to catch up. The sea water filled the air, making it feel even more cold than imaginable.

      This certainly was serious sea business.

      In the supply room, Eliza busied herself with holding as much medicine as possible, stuffing all the small bottles of leaves and remedies into a larger box. Sylva grabbed the smoked meats, the foods that would last the longest, and a few supplies of water.

      Sprinting back up to the deck, lifeboats were being hoisted by the crew. Alex still was fighting for control of the ship, but at this point, water was flooding onto it and had no visible intention of stopping.

      “Alex! Get into a lifeboat!”

      The terror in his eyes would haunt Sylva forever.

      “Is everyone else in one?” He tried his best to choke out the words through the salty sea spray, and he could barely hear over the roaring thunder.

      Both of the Lupes gazed around. No one was on deck, and there was no one in the masts. The lifeboats were off the edge of The Weewoo, and it couldn't be seen if the crew members were in them or not.

      The loud grinding noise of the ship running into a rock knocked a few jars of the herbs out of the box Eliza was holding. “Hurry up, Alex!” She cried. “We've got no time to waste!”

      Alex reluctantly turned away from the wheel, and waited a moment too long. A second crash could be heard, and wooded pieces were flying. Dean rushed from below deck and jumped into Sylva's arms, on top of the heavy load he was already carrying.

      Rushing to the closest boat, Eliza and Alex jumped in. Sylva saw the rope holding the lifeboats above the water, connected to the mast. If he cut it, the masts would never be repaired, but the lifeboats would lower.

      He unsheathed his sword, and with a slice, the boats fell to the water, the sails collapsing around them.

      Leaping into the lifeboat next to Eliza, they began rowing for their lives, as The Weewoo fell into the ocean behind them, along with the hope of ever conducting a proper colonization.

      Sorry, governor.

****

      The next morning

      7.

      That was how many people were with him, including Alex and Eliza.

      The 5 others had made their way to the beach where they were stranded via a lifeboat, and Sylva couldn't help but think that this would have been the perfect place to colonize, had there not been an accident. Mild weather, seemingly endless vegetation, plenty of potential for petpets and spices.

      They were quick to try to set up camp, and keep an eye out for the other crew members. One Pteri decided to take shelter in a tree high above to see if any others were floating in the wreckage. The Weewoo had sunken about 2 miles away from where the survivors were now, somehow so close, yet so far away.

      The coast was seemingly empty, filled with palm trees ripe with strange fruits, and a few familiar to the Meridellians, including coconuts. Eliza gathered some, and along with the food they had salvaged from the ship, they formed a stock pile. It was a meager amount, and would only get them through a week or so. Alex had made a trip back to the wreckage of the Weewoo in one of the lifeboats, and had come back with a bit more, extremely wet, food. Dean had eagerly tried to help him, attempting to bite at the fish in the water to no success.

      Eliza had been one of the most daring; since arriving on the shore she'd been pacing back and forth, filled with impatience, the hot sand burning her feet. Her dress was torn and soaked from the storm, and she wanted to figure out a way to get home, or at least find some necessities.

      It was 2 days before the crew finally gave in to her relentlessness and decided to set out.

****

      Sylva didn't want to head out into the forest, but when Eliza had an idea, there would never be anyone able to stop her.

      Leaving 4 others on the beach, Alex, Sylva, Eliza, and a clever Kacheek by the name of Paul went to search. Dean couldn't stand to be left behind, and the Manjeer loyally followed their pawsteps.

      Eliza had explained what they were looking for: “Natives to trade with, food, clothes, and especially clean water, and other materials will not be rejected.”

      Alex was shaken still, feeling he couldn't be trusted with other people, but as they set into the jungle, hacking the way with Sylva's sword, their fears were relaxed. Vegetables and roots were emerging from the ground, and Paul held them all in one of the empty food boxes. The atmosphere was light, and soon Sylva and the others were cracking jokes, laughing, and chatting happily. The air was warm, helping to dry out the crew's clothes, and a gentle breeze almost erased the feeling of being stranded.

      “Alex! You see that bird?” The kacheek pointed up to a bright-colored spot in a tree far above their heads.

      “Yeah?”

      “You scare it out of the tree, I give you my serving of dinner.”

      Eliza cradled her hand in her face, while Sylva smirked. This was going to be fun.

      Alex was all in. “You're on, buddy.”

      He started by throwing rocks up towards the bird, and after 5 attempts, and 2 of them landing on his face, Paul was fighting back laughter. When Alex moved on to hitting the tree with his fist, nothing happened, but Sylva had to bite his lip so hard it hurt to keep from smiling. By the time he had attempted throwing rocks against the trees, everything had scattered from the area- except the bird.

      The Gelert threw his paws in the air. “You wi-”

      His long, curly ears bent over in shock. “Guys! Natives!”

      Turning their heads, the group could see some pets in the distance, masks covering their faces. A gentle fire blew smoke towards them. All four of the searching party members had wide eyes.

      Gently moving through the brush, Eliza gazed at them with awe. “We're not alone” she whispered.

      As she delved deeper into the jungle, Sylva tried to follow, his hand over the sword on his side. The natives were surprisingly similar to the crew; a few were even the same species. The biggest difference was the way they dressed: Bone piercings, face paint, toga-like robes. They danced around the fire, eating meat.

      “Eliza, we'd better go.” He whispered in her ear, so quietly he couldn't hear himself. She nodded, and backed away.

      As they made their way out, trying to quickly and silently flee, Sylva couldn't help but look back one more time.

      And he felt like he would jump out of his skin when he made eye contact with a native, staring directly into his soul.

To be continued…

 
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