5
min

A Captain's Journey, Making a Lover Out of a Fighter

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At one point in time, there was a Captain. Fierce and right as rain, she tore down any path set before her again and again. Never would she go without a plan, never would she lose sight of a prize. More than anything she wanted to discover her Dream, something she could not find anywhere near her. She knew she could not stay in her homeland forever.
The time had come to cross the sea. The Captain was to make her way through uncharted territory, a brutal quest at best. The whole way there she sat stoically on deck, sharpening her sword. “I will succeed. I can not back down. There are things to fear but that is no matter.” She said these things aloud to further keep doubts at bay. Coming upon the shore at last, she landed without a splash and was faced with a great red wall of cliff. It spanned all the way down the coast, with no break in sight. The cliffs were impossibly high— not too high as to not see their top, but ridiculously high all the same. The Captain walked up to the wall of red, walking along a ways before finding a huge, foreboding door. Old and cracked it still boasted a shiny pink handle. Strangeness aside, she was sure that behind this door the hardships would be revealed and the battle would begin. Taking a deep breath, sword drawn, the Captain flung herself through the door ready to swing. The excess of force sent her flying once inside, where she landed on top of flowers.
“Nothing!” she cried, “Why, there’s nothing here.” Indeed, the Land Beyond the Sea was shockingly kind, nothing whatsoever posing a threat. For as far as she could see there was nothing but this enormous field of pastel flowers. Daisies, from the looks of it, and in every color. Though the sun had been setting behind the door, it now hung cheerfully overhead in a cloudless blue sky. The Captain sheathed her sword but kept a hand on the hilt, “We shall soon see if it’s truly nothing.” At the edge of her vision there appeared to be a forest so she began crossing the hilly expanse to reach it.
Between that night and the following she ventured further inland, losing sight of the cliffs and coming across ghosts of modern society mingled with odd bits of nature. Azure foliage winding around perfectly square buildings, distant noise that may have come from people or been a figment of the imagination, the overall sense of being alone in a crowd without anyone being visible. Sometimes it would rain, water hanging in midair for a moment before falling, and would differ from loud and quiet depending on the mood of the clouds. “I don’t understand.” the Captain often thought, jumping at every rustle in the shadows. There seemed to be traces of other people, occasional human-sized silhouettes, but it took days before she found fellow adventurers. Pockets of rather quiet folks, some from nations close to her homeland and others from farther than the Land they now resided in. She came to be fond of two in particular: a gentle warrior and a star weaver who had become acquainted but a fortnight ago. They lost touch with the Captain one morning when she rose early and continued inland. What she was looking for at this point she did not know, for nothing appeared remnant of a Dream, not that she knew what those were supposed to look like anyway.
She collapsed, finally, at the foot of a long-dead tree. Her sword remained at her side, she unsheathed it to examine it’s beauty out of sheer boredom. “I haven’t had to use the blasted thing at all. I’m in the Land Beyond the Sea! Oh, I suppose I could bring it down upon threatening plants if I have to. Doesn’t seem like too much of a threat yet.” Slowly a reality dawned on her. “I haven’t found my place here yet! Yes, if I’m going to stay I need to set up residence.” It now became quite unsettling that she had been going all this time without a proper home. When was the last time she slept? She had no idea.
Some sound within the tree gave her a start. She got up and turned to the source above— there was a small home built into the heights of the tree. A window opened and out popped the face of the gentle warrior. “Hullo, Captain!”
“Hello there!” What a relief, she thought, to find a friendly face.
“We couldn’t help but overhear you monologuing, perhaps you’d like to come up?” Before even hearing the Captain’s answer a decaying ladder unraveled to the bottom. She hurried up and climbed to the entrance, where she found the ‘we’ the warrior had referred to was the included company of the star weaver. The two girls sat in the middle of the dimly lit room at a lone table, the whole place reeking of coffee. In fact there appeared to be coffee in every concave object of the room except for a cup.
“Captain!” The star weaver greeted joyfully. The Captain nodded her hello. She did not expect to be so well received. Joining them at the table they were properly introduced , the gentle warrior being Ruby and the star weaver being Ran. “We’re in a similar predicament, actually,” began Ran “we need a new permanent residence, this one isn’t getting along too well.”
“Would you like to join us in living together?” proposed Ruby. The Captain was certainly looking to strengthen her bond with the two friends, but knew she must lodge alone.
“I’m sorry but my temperament calls for solitude. Let us all support one another through the search.”
“Fair enough.” Ran sipped some of her coffee from a baking pan “It’s all written in the stars after all.”
“Ah, isn’t that the truth.” The Captain sighed. Something about the stars remained mysterious to her, particularly here in the Land. They never stood still at night, constantly twitching and sliding like a wild light show up in the heavens. There was something else too, something she couldn’t put her finger on. The pair of roommates began to squabble about where first to look for a lodging and the Captain said a swift goodbye.
Through trials and tribulations, all of which miraculously did not require swordplay, she commandeered a little corner of the city’s heart to call her own. Never mind it was costing a fair amount of time to upkeep, it was worth it to stay nice and comfortable in this alien land. But was it so alien now that she had been here so long? What was home, what was abroad? The Land Beyond the Sea raised question after question.
All in the background of these escapades were trips to the perplexing Tower and it’s song. The song remained an important part of the experience— it was an indescribable sound, hopeful in it’s tune but twanging with melancholy, an insistent message that drew the listener towards the source. And despite being in a relatively quiet area of the city the inner workings of the Tower were that of a funhouse. Doors going nowhere, doors going multiple places at once, doors that never opened. Different climates by floor, a host of resources buried where they could be overlooked. But what made the Tower what it was wasn’t the structure itself, it was the people who frequented it. Nomads, freaks, artists, scientists, geniuses, philosophers, young, old, native, foreign— the only prerequisite to hanging around this place was to be the weirdest in the Land. Apparently not everyone could hear the song and only those who heard it could properly find and enter the Tower. This was how many residents knew each other in passing, from converging at this odd place. Much of the Captain’s time passed within the Tower, with her newfound friends plus many more she was introduced to, and it slowly dawned on her that her sword would never be needed. The Land, once so formidable and promising of hardship had blossomed to her as a place of peace and opportunity, something she had wanted yet never thought she would ever have. Dream or no dream, the Captain was all too happy to be where she was now, in this strange new home of hers.

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