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PRINCELESS by Cam Jace Storykiller

Chapter 9

Copyright©by Cameron Jace

January 15 2019

Sailor's crew of fishermen stood ready for the enemy. They were an older crowd, but vicious. Venus wanted to watch but the his men forced her downstairs already.

“Till death do them part,” Sailor tucked a new fish thorne between his lips, pointing at their soon-to-be attackers.

“We are death,” an older woman fisherwoman with bad teeth said, loading her weapon. “The girl will not die today.”

Sailor nodded and then briefly addressed his people. “Some of us will die today,” he said. “All of us will live forever.”

And so a little war in the middle of some ocean began.

***

Venus sat in her room biting her nails and tapping her feet. With gritted teeth she watched the door she had been locked behind. Some metal door she could hardly break through. She could not help her anxiety. Not because of her being hand-tied and unable to participate, but because of what she heard the Pillar say.

Why was she so special? What did they expect of her? Who was she, really?

Guns flared and blared. Some sounded like explosions. Some sounded muffled against the wind and rain outside. People screamed. People yelled. People died. Some… not yet.

She could hear Sailor roar like he was captain Ahab from Moby Dick, the kind of leader she wished a father would have been. His voice was commanding. Inspiring. He had done this before. And before. And before.

She’d come to trust her mother’s judgment. This man was going to be her mentor—if he made it out alive, but she had no doubt he would.

Fishermen and women were shot. She could hear their screams. She recognized some voices.

She was tempted to go up and fight, even though she did not know what this was about. But the feeling of belonging surmounted analytical objections. Besides, those people in the ship had been trying to kill her since the day was born. If it weren’t for her mother, she would be dead right now.

Venus locked eyes with that door again. Was there any way she could leave this room?

***

The first one to cross over and set foot on the enemy’s ship was Sailor.

“What a great ship,” he said smugly and lit a cigar from the fire catching the wood nearby. Fish weren't up to the gravity of the occasion anymore. He took a long drag, shooting an attacker at the same time. “Never interrupt a man ready to puff.”

He wasn't fearless, but he understood he was just a man. The war was bigger than leader and men. This was about secrets buried in history and camouflaged as children's fairytales.

Further ahead, he delved into the ship’s corridor, making sure they weren’t being ambushed. His people had a good fight and almost killed half of their enemies. It was his part to make sure none of the enemy warriors hid inside the ship, so he opened doors left and right, a man on his own in a foreign territory.

He shot a couple of soldiers hiding in the corridors, but that was it. The enemy was filled with century-old hatred against the Organization.

“Hate fuels the blind,” he mumbled. “and the blind are easy target.”

Soon Sailor would whistle across to the fishermen to get Venus out and ship her over. The room he locked her in was his own invention. None of the enemy’s men would find her. She was safe.

“Venus Wild,” the Pillar sighed. “How I’m eager to see you ten years from now.”

“You won’t,” a dark voice interrupted from the corridor.

Sailor could have turned around and shot the man, but that would have been predictable.

In the battlefield, predictability was a contract with death.

“Looks like this is how you die,” the enemy’s soldier smirked with laughter. “I can’t believe history will remember me as the man who shot the infamous Sailor.”

Sailor bit on his cigar, humming Bob Marley’s song ‘I shot the sheriff’ but changed the lyrics to ‘I shot the Sailor.

“Drop the gun. Hands where I can see them.” The man demanded.

Sailor dropped his gun and raised one hand up.

“The other hand too, Sailor.”

“I can’t,” said Sailor, “I’m jerking off.”

Even the dark man let out an involuntarily chuckle. “You don’t fear anything, do you?”

“I fear that I can’t last longer in bed,” Sailor's voice was a dead note, tasteless and unfazed. “You know this isn't a James Bond movie, right? You can just shoot me.”

The man grunted with uncomfortable tension. Sailor wasn’t going to hand him the satisfaction of the kill. He knew that a man shot after begging for his life was the enemy’s ultimate gratification. A man who didn’t care about dying could never be killed. It wasn't about the body count. It was about satisfaction.

“On your knees,” the man ordered, and the Pillar followed. “I know how to make you beg for your life.”

Sailor said nothing and inhaled his last and sweetest puff.

“I won’t kill you first,” the man whispered in his ears from behind. “I will kill her in front of your eyes and let you live with the regret for the rest of your life.”

Sailor wouldn’t admit it. The enemy got to him. Though he was confident he had locked Venus up safely, and that his men would never allow that, he took it upon himself, that he couldn't handle dying thinking about her getting hurt.

He wondered if he could hit the man with the back of his head, but the gun snugged against the back of his skull didn’t allow that.

“I can always spare you,” the man elaborated.

“Why would you?”

“If you tell me what I want to know,” the man said. “What the Colonnade wants to know.”

“I will never tell you where Venus is.”

“We will kill her anyways,” the enemy said. “Some she isn't that important.”

“She isn't,” Sailor lied to protect her. “What do you want then?”

“The List.”

Sailor shrugged. The reasons were many, but he wouldn't confess anything. “There is no list.”

“You're lying,” the enemy said. “The List exists. We burn it and the war ends.”

“The list is a fairytale.”

The enemy roared with mockery. It sounded like he laughed but in pain. Sailor wasn't sure if the enemy caught the ingenius of his last sentence. Did he get the double entendre. The innuendo? He must have or he wouldn't have laughed hysterically.

“Good one, sailor,” the enemy said. “So you admit there is one.”

“We both know there is one, but we both know I don't have it.”

“The Princeless have it.”

“The Princeless doesn't exist.”

“I should have know you will never tell,” the enemy sighed. “Let me enjoy the honor of killing you then. I’ll shoot you anyways—“

It was a swift shot. Two shots in fact. Sailor didn’t get a chance for one last puff.

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