Desperate Dream

a story
2013-04-26 20:30:50,
2014-05-17 22:51:20
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    ‚Äč“Damnitt, damnitt, damnitt!” Alexander Abraxas, captain of the Fallen Adele, was angry. Furious. Livid. For a year he had been saving up, working extra hours well into the night, to purchase his very own airship. His friends laughed, his mother shook her head and sighed. He wouldn’t be stopped though, not by anyone, nor anything! Nothing, except perhaps sky pirates. They had jumped aboard his ship, knocked out his first mate (and best friend), stormed into his cabin and took anything of value! Needless to say, they didn’t find much, which would explain their motives for attacking the ship itself. He was barely able to land, and the landing likely did a good deal more damage than the pirates. His first mate had stormed off, cursing and accusing Alexander of having his “head in the clouds”. Crewless, ship less, he felt less like a captain now than he had in the many years of dreaming the day he would fly the skies and become a bounty hunter. Being young and full of reckless abandon, wishing for the sweet taste of adventure and the thrill of danger! Well, here it was, a bunch of scrap metal.
“Damnitt!” Kicking at the sand as he walked, Alexander stepped into the nearest shop and asked where he could find a mechanic. Perhaps not all hope was lost, as a cluster of expert mechanics operated not far from where the shop he was in now. He walked out with a slightly lighter gait, cheery in the idea of returning to the great skies above Gearford. Merchants and shopkeepers called him from all sides, people bustled by and laughed and talked. It was a pleasant part of the city, and he enjoyed observing people as he walked along. Once he reached the building described by the shopkeeper, Alexander walked in, slightly nervous but anxious to see his poor ship afloat once more!

   “Bastards!” Alexander sulked through the streets, the echoes of the mechanics laughter still ringing in his ears. “What a fool I was. The pirates took everything, down to the last simo!” Any coin he had kept safe was not even close to the amount he would need to pay for even decent repairs. His dreams were dashed, crushed, squished under the boot of cruel reality.
“I’d watch your tongue, one of those mechanics actually is a bastard, and he could crush your head like an egg if he heard you.” Alexander jumped at the thin hiss of a voice that was right next to his ear. He hadn’t even sensed someone near him, especially considering he had felt the breath on his ear. He turned and was faced with an odd man like he had never seen. Thin, very tall but slightly slouched, a vest too large for his frame, messy black hair, he could have been any lower class citizen, if not for the fact his face was covered with a wooden mask painted black around the eyes and with a grotesque smile.
“Who the hell are you?” Alexander blurted, all sense of politeness shocked from him. The man tilted his head slightly, and it was unnerving being unable to tell what his expression might be. His eyes were barely visible behind the shadow, but they seemed to be smiling.
“The name is Faces! Mask merchant of Gearford, and I promise you will never find wares quite like my own!” the man whisked behind a nearby alley wall and emerged heaving a large and heavy looking backpack, covered in masks of all sorts. Even more were inside when he opened it and showed it to Alexander. “I trust you like what you see, but alas, they are pricey indeed. All handmade, and a poor boy like you could never afford them!” Alexander could feel himself getting angry again, but something about the masked man made him feel nervous, and so he held back the slew of insults he would normally have thrown.
“So…why exactly are you talking to me then?” Faces laughed, which sounded like wind whistling through an old creaky house. The sound was bizarre, especially considering how young the masked man seemed to be.
“I heard you are in need of a mechanic! You went to the wrong place, with the repairs you need and the amount of coin you have! What would you say if I told you I know of someone who could have your ship running better than ever, and that you could afford?” Alexander sucked in a breath, hardly able to believe what he was hearing. Why should he trust a stranger, a very seedy one at that. But yet, he couldn’t help but believe that Faces would have no reason to lie. His dreams were at stake.
“Where can I find this mechanic?”
“Dayntie! Oh Dayntie~!” Faces sang out as her shuffled toward a small shack on the outskirts of Gearford. It was partially underground and was made of scrap metal and old wood, and had a sign outside scrawled with “FEOIL REPAIRS”. Alexander slowed his pace, unsure if he should enter or not. The door to the shack suddenly burst open, and out jumped a slight girl with hair the colour of fire and an expression of utmost joy.
“FACES!” she squealed, and leapt on the masked man to embrace him, kissing the mask where his cheek would have been. She chattered quickly and happily to Faces, and Alexander took in her appearance, slightly bewildered. She had many tools dangling from her belt, a scarf was wrapped around her neck, and her face was slightly dirty. She certainly looked like a mechanic, but how good could this energetic girl be?
“Faces, who is this?” He snapped to attention, now that she was looking at him quizzically. He felt another wave of unease as her eyes traced not just his face, but his entire body. Had he imagined that? Either way, she was a lady, a pretty one at that, and he had manners.
“I am Captain Alexander Abraxas of the Fallen Adele.” He stepped towards her, sweeping down and taking her hand, kissing the top of it smoothly, and standing up. She giggled in a sweet way, blushing slightly. “I hear your skills in airship repair are quite good and I was wondering if I could employ your skills?” The girl grinned and saluted in a silly way, giggling still.
 “Dayntie Feoil, at your service! Airships are a specialty of mine, I’d be more than happy to help in any way I can!” Faces crept forward suddenly, taking Daynties shoulder and pulling her back a step. She turned to face him, a confused expression.
 “Ah, Dayntie, our good Captain has a slight…problem. He has no money, see, so he may need to try another form of payment you see.” Daynties expression fell, serious concern making her appear sharper than before. She turned to Alexander, looking him over once again.
 “Captain Alexander. Just how badly do you want your ship fixed?” He was taken slightly aback by the seriousness of her tone, and the weight it held. How badly?
 “I have wanted to be an airship captain all my life. Since I was small, I dreamed of flying the skies as a bounty hunter. Only last year did I finally pursue my dream when I saw the Callum Navi in the Ticking Clock. Captain Swift is my hero, and I desire to be a great bounty hunter like him one day, with a loyal crew and a dependable ship. First I need my ship, and if you can get it into the air again, I will pay anything I must!” Dayntie listened quietly as Alexander made his speech. He stood with determination, his eyes hard, and underneath she could see the turmoil of passion.
“Alright Captain, I will give you my price. But I doubt you will like it any more than I will. Desperate measures…”
 “Name it.” Alexander said sternly.
 “Why…I require just a piece of your flesh.”

Alexander couldn’t have run faster, or farther. The girl was insane! Who could so seriously ask for something so gruesome, so monstrous?! Surely she was touched in the head or something. Cut a piece of his own body off just to fly?! He slumped down in an alley, panting, wiping sweat from his forehead. He sat for a long time, his mind buzzing and reeling, unable to focus on one thought for more than a second. Suddenly a familiar and unwelcome voice whispered close.
“That was mighty rude of you Captain. Making a dear, sweet girl like that cry.” Faces was sitting next to him, quiet as summer wind and creepy as an old abandoned house. Alexander had half a mind to run away, but was far too worn from the day’s events to attempt any more effort. He slumped down further, defeated. “Want to hear a sad story, Captain? That girl back there, Dayntie? She has amnesia. Can’t remember a damn thing. Woke up in the desert with a few trinkets and a very strange looking marking across her stomach.” Alexander looked up, confused. Why was he telling him this? “The markings are a disease Captain, called The DWNN. It’s very rare, and it’s very serious. It isn’t contagious, and so far it isn’t deadly. It creates a marking, and the marking appears on the area of ones body that is effected by the disease. If Dayntie does not consume a certain amount of human flesh every few weeks, she goes insane and will tear the skin right off you as you squirm and scream.” Alexander shifted uncomfortably.
 “Than she is a monster? Why are you friends with her if she’s sick?” Faces laughed, but it was far from genuine. It was sad, a pitiful kind of laughter. Mocking.

   “A monster? Probably. But do you think she asked for this? Do you think she takes any joy in it? She has been dealt quite the hand. Is it not admirable, that instead of becoming a psycho and taking flesh from people, she offers services in exchange? It is such a small cost for the desperate in my opinion. She means no harm, quite the opposite. She just wants to get better, more than anything in the world. Do you want anything that badly Captain?” Faces stood suddenly and ambled away, humming a haunting tune. Alexander sat with his mouth slightly open, never more lost in his life. The girl, she was so optimistic. She had been so sincere and happy and full of light, yet she carried a dark weight. No one deserved that, and yet she made light of it in the only way she could. But cutting a piece of his body away... Suddenly a slight wind blew through the alley, knocking a paper from the top of a nearby trashcan. The Ticking Clock, and on the front page. Callum Navi, a photo of Captain Leo bravely fighting a man with his bare fists, his crew poised ready to defend him. His hero. His dream. Alexander stared at the paper for a long time before he walked out of the alley towards the outskirts of Gearford. When he arrived at the shack, Dayntie was sitting outside crossed legged, sniffling and screwing a bolt into a complex looking machine. She jumped when Alexander cleared his throat loudly, turning to expose puffy eyes and red cheeks.
 “Miss Feoil. I have come back to employ your services so long as they are still up for offer.” Dayntie smiled slowly, her face bright as Demitrius, and motioned Alexander into the shack.