marked Ocelot's awakening from his slumber. The captain made it a point each and every day to be awakened well before this time so that he could bear witness to the daily retirement of the underwater sun.
"Come; watch as our ship rises into the air..." Ocelot dreamily spoke as he escorted his newest crewman up to the completely vacant observation deck. "I want to show you a world that you have never before seen. One that you will never forget, and one that you will never want to leave..."
The crewman's fear and disbelief of everything that he had been told was still very clear in his body language as Captain Ocelot escorted him through the darkened, narrow corridors toward some unknown destination of great awe and wonder. His tiny shuffling footsteps barely kept him at Ocelot's pace, but that didn't matter much to the captain, as he was lead even more forcefully up a
staircase barely wide enough for 2 people to ascend simultaneously. "Your accent doesn’t sound like one from around here." the crewman commented absently, trying to think of anything to help him keep his calm.
Ocelot smiled brightly at his crewman's comment, all the while keeping his attention on the heavy looking door at the top of the staircase. "I've not a good explanation for that." he explained as he ran his hand along the wall of the wooden staircase's corridor as if feeling to see if anything felt out of place, "but I assure you the sound of my voice will be the last thing on your mind when I show you what lays behind that door up there."
The crewman's fear-fueled suspicion grew more and more with every cryptic sentence that came out of Ocelot's mouth. Talk of never wanting to leave, and ships that raise into the air; he thought it was all the rambling of a crazy man. Ocelot could sense the crewman's awkward feelings. Another wide smile was offered to the crewman as they arrived at the thick portal door that led into the observation deck in attempt to resolve his discomfort, "I've asked you to come join us because of your ability to turn stone into beautiful works of art with hammer and chisel. Your woodwork is amazing as well.... set aside your doubt and behold your new home." Ocelot spoke with a supportive tone.
Ocelot's newest crewman found some relief in the reminder of what he was doing aboard this strange ship in the first place, but it wasn't nearly enough to support the surge of emotion that ran through his body when Ocelot spun the wheel-lock and pushed the observation deck door open.
Colors unlike any he had ever seen before jumped and danced before his eyes in sharp, seemingly organized patterns; various shadows danced all across the floors and ceilings and walls in the most fluid fashions; the light was low... the stairs were beautiful... the curves. the detail.. the wonder.. the water..
the vision.. the awe! It was truly unbelievable, yet he could not deny it's truth.
He was looking out into the ocean itself from beneath the surface.
"This is now the observation deck, " Ocelot explained with a cool and very collected voice. "On a normal ship, this would be the bridge. But as you can tell, we're now a little pushed for space down here.. so we had to combine the duties of quite a few areas of the ship."
"H.. how is this possible?" the recruit crewman stuttered as he slowly shuffled further into the elaborately detailed observation deck. "We're under the sea.. those are fish.. fish! I thought this was just a simple flatship!"
Ocelot couldn't help but to continue his routine of smiling at the reactions of the recruit. It did such service to his ego, knowing that his own creation was the greatest marvel of the sea. "The Lunai Helia has many secrets that she will gladly share with you when you accept her as your keeper; until then, come." Ocelot said as he closed the portal door behind him and moved himself further into the observation deck to escort the new crewman once again. His tone was now much more directive and paced as opposed to the tone of a person giddy with joy in witnessing another human fight the awe of being "underwater" for the first time. "I will share with you many of these secrets tonight during your welcoming dinner."
The O-Deck was simple in design, but heavy in elaborate detail. 4 massive hemispheres of a purely transparent material made up the front, the top, and the two sides of the deck. A smaller inverted hemisphere was placed in the floor of the deck to allow a crewman to monitor their depth and the Lunai's relation to the ocean floor.
Two elaborately carved staircases curved rounded down from both sides of a command balcony that was detailed in the same fashion as the two staircases. The command balcony was erected to the height of the center of the forward Hemisphere so that a separate ledge could extend out into the middle of it; giving the one who stood on it the feeling as if he or she was standing in the middle of the ocean. Two more balconies were erected in the middle of the 2 port and starboard hemispheres (god I hope my terminology is right. I don't know ships well at all... : P ) and each has similar balconies as well, although they did not have their own staircases. They were only accessible from doors that led into some higher part of the ship.
Finally, the two men began to step further into the room. Their boots clicked across a tiled floor as they made their way toward one of the heavily carpeted staircases that rounded down to meet each other.
"Most of what you see here was once part of my home back into the inland. I incorporated it into the design of this ship for the sake of sentimental purposes.. and for the fact that I feel a beautiful ship is a well taken care of ship." Ocelot spoke as he began his ascent up one of the staircases. The new crewman quickly followed along, giving in to the fact that all of this was
Definitely real. Once reaching the top of the stairs, he took a backward glance over the observation deck and saw that the tiled floor was layer out in the pattern of a nautilus, and the themes of the sun and the moon were incorporated into the design in various ways as well. Looking directly up provided him with the last view of the underwater sun that he would see for the evening.
"Isn't it breathtaking?" Ocelot said as he stepped out onto the balcony's extension that suspended him in the center of the front hemisphere. "Come watch..." he said, holding out a gesturing hand to his crewman, "I have my crew to keep this deck vacant for me every evening so that I can come up here and be alone with our mother ocean for a few moments before she goes to sleep. I always bring my newest crewmen up here so that they can witness this at least once."
The ocean floor was quickly disappearing into the darkness. "Stand here and imagine... look. It's as if our ship is taking off into the air. Doesn’t feel as though we are taking to flight like the birds?" Ocelot questioned with a sincere tone.
The crewman was still nearly speechless from being immersed into such wonder so quickly. "I' dun'not think is' a takin' fligh', Captain. It loos' as if tha' floor's ah fallin' out frum under' us."
Ocelot seemed overly excited at the newest crewman's comment, "Yes! It does feel that way sometimes! Doesn’t it?" The captain's attention turned from the ocean floor upward toward the surface, "ahh. You'll work out just fine, you will. I've missed having an imaginative mind aboard my ship for quite some time you see. I don't spend much time away from my ship, but I had to find someone who's mind was as beautiful as mine.. or that of the merfolk's. They helped me create the Lunai, you know."
The crewman watched every facial expression the captain made as he spoke; it was as if he couldn't ignore the passion that he spoke about the sea and his ship with. But the darkness had almost taken over the entire Observation Deck, and Ocelot's figure was dissapearing as well. "The merfolk don't come near this place though, do they?"
"Not anymore my friend, but they are still around. You will meet them someday. But until then, I would like for you to meet your new crewmembers." Ocelot said from the darkness, still standing where he was just a few moments ago.
Low echoing clicks and thumps began to sound throughout the OD as if the ship was coming back to life. Suddenly, 3 greeen specks of light appeared on the wall behind them; opposite of the foward hemisphere. Then 4 lines of blue light shot out from each of them, chasing each other along the wall in elaborate patterns, leaving a trail of low humming light where they passed by. The pale blue lines of light finally finished their pursuits on the back wall and then raced forward toward the hemispheres, encircling their connections to the ship and then tracing each side of the command balcony's walkways. The light trails would spiral around every few feet as if adding some artistic detail to their paths.
All of the blue light trails came to a circular closure on the extension where Ocelot stood. The circle of light that surrounded him was a most beautiful design indeed, but the pale light that it cast upward onto his figure gave his figure a most dark appearance. The creepiness of the scene was quickly done away with though, once the entire room was suddenly illuminated by yellow tubes that lined the ceiling.
"Magick of the Merfolk.." Ocelot said with a slight smile.
Almost immediately, the two doors that led to the port and starboard hemisphere balconies opened up, as well as the main rear portal door. 3 people came out onto each of the two balconies, and 6 people came through the main portal door. The crewmen on the balconies assumed their attentive positions, and the 6 crewmen below seperated into 2 groups of 3, each ascending each of the command balcony's 2 staircases, also assuming an attentive stance.
Ocelot's smile was bright and ever present. "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen."
"Good evening Ocelot." the crew said in a loud simultaneous fashion.
Ocelot turned and looked to the newest crewman and nodded before returning his
attention to the rest of his crew, "Tonight, we welcome our newest member to the
Lunai; Crew, this is D'Cai. He will be the one returning the beauty to our port, and eventually; he will be the one assisting Navia and I in reconstructing the Helia."
A strong round of applause sounded from the crew at Captain Ocelot's comments. D'Cai's level of comfort began to return to him once again because of the welcoming nature of the captain and his crew.
"This is your new family, D'Cai. They will take good care of you... and you are expected to take good care of them as well." Ocelot said as he motioned once with his hand. A few seconds later, the Port and Starboard hemisphere balconies' crew simply jumped over the rails and landed perfectly safe after a 15 foot freefall. They made their way up to the Command Balcony to greet D'Cai.
D'Cai was now being surrounded and greeted by the 13 person crew. They were definetly a very colorful group of people. Men and women of wildly different appearances each greeted him in their own unique way as Captain Ocelot stepped away to allow them all to meet. The crew's wild appearances varied in everything from their hairstyles to clothing to their very physical composure. The wide collection of the crew's appearances suddenly made D'Cai realize something that was most curious. They all seemed to take on an aspect of Ocelot's own appearance.
Ocelot wasn't the wildest looking character, but there was something definetly odd about him. He was of average height, and his physical build was actually quite a bit smaller than most sea-faring men. He kept it hidden most of the time, though, with large loose clothing that compensated for his dimmunitive size. His hair was a very dark brown color, just like his eyes, and he kept it cropped to the length of a 1/2 a forefinger. His most common outfit was composed of a tan colored shirt, dark brown pants, and a soft pair of shoes that were noiseless within the halls of the Lunai. The most bizzare aspect of Ocelot's appearance was his face and head.
Silver rings were imbedded into the flesh of his scalp like some kind of functional jewelry. Three rings were set into his hairline just above his eyebrows, there were two rings on each side of his head just above his ears, and two rings were imbedded into his skin near the base of his neck, still well within the hairline. A small string of multicolored jewels webbed themselves through the rings, creating a loose metallic net that cradled the back of his head. It was slightly femminine in appearance, but the infusion of the rings was an obviously painful process to have been done in the first place. D'Cah couldn't figure out why Ocelot would have ever wanted to have rings like those embedded into his head the way they were.
That was also what made Ocelot's appearance so strange and intimidating. His facial structure was soft, with a subtone of a feminine structure to it as well. Ocelot didn't look like the kind of man who would indulge in having pain intentionally inflicted upon him for any reason at all.
Then again; appearances were decieving.
"Excellent! It looks as if you are all going to mesh perfectly." Ocelot said as he made his way through the small crowd and down the Command Balcony stairs. "I am going to prepare for dinner; I will meet you all back here in 30 minuites. Please have the table and the meal prepared quickly; Ciera has a lot to discuss
tonight about the tunnels and the Helia."
The crew nodded and watched as Ocelot left to return to his quarters. Once the portal door had shut and locked, the crew's interrogations began with rapid-fire precision. "Where are you from?; How did Ocie find you?; Are you afraid of the dark?: What do you think of the Lunai? Do you know any of the smugglers? How old are you?"
D'Cai could barely keep up with the questioning, but he answered the best he could, "I'm 24, I dun'not care abou' the dark, tha' ship is... *nods*, is' amazin'... but.. I've a quession'. Who’s Ciera?"
“He dosen’t know about Ciera yet?” one of the crewmen questioned from the back of the group surrounding D’Cai.
D’Cai’s eyes took on a curious stance as he awaited an explanation from one of his teammates.
“Ocelot –is- Ciera… you know those little silver rings he has all over his head? He uses that chain he wears on the back of his head to loop through the little buggers and pull the skin of his face into different shapes. It’s bloody freaky when you see how much it actually makes him look like a girlie..” the crewman spoke up.
D’Cai wasn’t for sure of how to respond, but before he even got a chance to do so, another crewman spoke up as well.
“’Ciera’s pretty crazy, D’Cai. Especially Ever since the other night when the smugglers sank their ship and destroyed the Helia, Ciera’ has been talking of raiding the tunnels and killing as many smugglers as she can find.” The crewman explained. “Their ship killed over 90% of our crew.”
“Wait, What’s the Helia?” D’Cai asked.
“The other half of –this- ship. It’s the ship you’re going to help Ciera and Ocelot rebuild down in the Chapel. It’s a big underwater cavern that is the original entrance to the tunnels the smugglers use to… smuggle; before the merfolk sealed it up, of course.”
D’Cai was once again, speechless as the conversations continued between the crewmen as they prepared the dinner table.
“I hear she’s going to have us to break the seal from the chapel to the tunnels and have us kill them while they are working..”
“No, She’s going to have us swim up and sabotage their ships while they are waiting for the smugglers to return.”
“I bet she’s going to try and seduce the smuggler’s captain, kill em’ when he tries to have his way with her, then take over his ship, then lead his entire crew to their demise in some sick way.” Someone said, followed by silence and nodding.
“Yeah. That sounds like Ciera..” one more crewman said while looking to D’cai with a smile, “well.. Welcome aboard, D’cai.”