The Adventures of a Wayward Professor

This, I believe, has potential for development. Those of you who read, if you'd be so kind as to leave honest feedback.

WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE

After a restful night, it was wonderful to wake up to the sounds of lumber cracking and the screams of men. I gathered my notebook, knife, and collection tubes. I sleep in my clothes.

“Professor Richmond, I believe you are being summoned above decks!” shouted young Master Delvish.

“Good heavens,” I said as I wobbled my way up the narrow staircase. “He seems to be a little larger than how I read him.”

Water was pouring in through the doorway. “He’s certainly large!” My young protégé laughed as ocean brine soaked through his smart doublet and trousers.

On the deck, my men were scrambling to gather the ropes, harnesses, and nets.

“Where’s Captain Forsythe?”

Master at Arms Griffin cast a sideways glance at me (ever the stoic). “It appears the dear Captain has decided now was the appropriate time to learn how to do the front stroke.” He cocked his head to the north. Sure enough, the Captain was swimming back in the direction from whence we came.

“Ha ha! Good lad,” I yelled.

Three of my men were grappling with the first tentacle, which was twice their size stacked. Two of the Captain’s men were struggling to maintain their balance on the second tentacle. A third burst through the surface of the water and headed straight for my head.

Crack. Master Griffin unchambered a pellet.

“No! You fool, I want this thing-” I notice a few drops of blood on the deck. “Quick! Delvish! My Swabbing Cloth!”

Delvish patted his breast pocket, leapt over an incoming tentacle, ducked under another, swung from a rope, and landed on his feet next to me with the cotton in his hand.

“Alright, no need to show off.” I snatched it greedily, squatted down, and allowed the cloth to soak up as much of the viscous fluid as I could. I’ll precipitate the sea water out later. My vial was ready to receive the cloth.

Then, it unleashed an awfully dreadful sound. Sixteen of the men on board immediately covered their ears and cried in pain, fell to the deck, and began writhing about. A few of them leapt overboard.
I’d read from an earlier text that this beast has the ability to drive mad the weak of spirit. I knew then that it was psychsonic (the only other beast we’ve encountered with that ability was the banshee of Ireland). Of the sixteen, half were frothing at the mouth, two were twitching about incessantly as the salt water washed over their eyes, and two more were vomiting uncontrollably. This is why I don’t hire sailors.

The boat we had commissioned was standing up to the test. It rocked, sure, but it was supposed to. This prevented capsizing, which, when confronted by a beast this size, on its own terrain, could be death. I must make sure to congratulate Bronson and Sons for a fine job.

Right about the time of my momentary respite, Delvish was snatched around the midsection by one of the massive appendages. In an instant, he was picked up and raised into the air. The sun was behind him, making him glow poetically. He smiled down upon me and mouthed, finish this task, before he was hurled a half league through the air. He landed somewhere in the water.

“Set the discharge!” I barked. Half a minute later, we felt the surge of the subsonic explosion under the boat. Clever design, really. “Ready the cannon!” I shouted.

The beast was using the boat as a simple ladder.

At first, the bulbous head was nothing more than a shimmering surface of foul-smelling carrion. Then I realized we were staring at the enormous rotating eye of the leviathan.

“Wait for it,” I held up my hand. The water was seeping on to the boat. My men had lashed down five tentacles to the deck. One had ripped off the mizzenmast, but that was just for decoration anyway.

The eye. Deep blacks and purples, while oranges ringed the outside. Though the flesh was scarred, it flashed in cooperation with the colors of the decks and matched the skies. It turned it’s eye to me, and the beak emerged from the prow. It was similar to an octopus’s, but of course much, much larger. The beak was lined with rows of teeth, which I could only assume served to further digest food. It’s prey? Who knew. It was certainly carnivorous.

“FIRE!”

A single blast, and the sedative sunk itself deep into the corneal conjunctiva of the mammoth. I didn’t know how fast the sedative would take to work. The lashings were already being worked loose.

One… two… three…

The beast roared again.

Four… five… six… seven… The tentacle raised in the air went slack.

Nine… ten… the beast drooped, the boat lurched forward, and we all sighed our relief.

“Help!” I heard. Delvish. That cheeky bastard. To the East, I could make out his hands waving.

“Master At Arms, we have a man overboard.”

-JR Simmang

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