Those first few moments after the Furious Fathers went into the water were weird. A breath or two passes as we all are looking out over the bow of the ship, frozen, as if nothing happens on board when The Trio isn’t around. But that’s of course not true, as soon as we were sure that they were good and under, I saw everyone start moving in the orchestra of practiced movements they’d done hundreds of times before. Jake calling out orders, doing his best to fill the boots of Fal’kjun all while Earl calls out supplemental orders. I rushed over as Earl shouted out,
“Alright one of you sea dogs get these weapons off the deck”
“Aye, Sir” I blurted (I must remember to not volunteer for this low-tier work…) and I scooped up the weapons we’d brought out for the Fab Few. I couldn’t help but notice though, there wasn’t an anchor among the stash, and I could have sworn Sieg had left it behind. I looked around for it for a moment, worried Sieghart would be mad at me for losing his anchor, before Earl called again,
“I thought I said get these weapons off the deck! Get a move on!” He shouted at no one in particular. (He could at least look at me when he gives me orders…) I hurried away to the armory and stowed everything, but I had a nagging in the back of my head. Just what were they up to? How could we know? That’s when it hit me! Slal! He probably has some magic or something for us to view the Fathers with! I started rushing down to Slal’s workshop, and as that eerie, green glow from his shop washed over me in the hall, I stopped. How am I supposed to explain this to Slal? He’s gonna think I’m obsessed with them or something. Or he’ll just call me dumb because that magic doesn’t exist or something. Maybe I shouldn’t ask and just— And who else bumps into me and knocks me out of my own head, other than the tentacle-face himself.
“Oh my, I’m so sorry, my boy, I didn’t see you there. Are you alright?” He reaches his hand out to help me up.
“Oh, no, sorry, it happens more often than you think…”
“A-a-and who might you be, my boy, I don’t recall any new recruits lately. How can I help you?”
“Wait Slal, it’s me, Tariq! I’ve been on this ship for years!”
“Oh, oh, so sorry, my boy, there’s just been so much going on I must have lost my bearings. What can I do for you Dariq?”
“It’s Tari—actually not important. Look, Slal, I was wondering if you had any way for us to view what the Furious Fathers are up to?”
“My boy, you think there’s just some fast and easy way for us to view the adventures of the boys? What, you think I can just have some sort of ‘window’ appear that would be some kind of ‘stream’ of visuals of what they’re doing?”
“Uhh, yes? I’m sorry is that dumb?” Damn, I knew he was gonna think I was dumb, I shouldn’t have even come here. Now Slal is going to tell Earl and Earl is never going to promote me!
“Why, yes, my boy, I can absolutely do that. Come into my shop!”
And he ushered me into his shop. As he rummaged around and pulled up a small metal disk, I sat down on his worktable. “Here we are, I’ve been working on this actually for inspiration in the shop! Maybe if I see more off the ship, I can have new, and brilliant ideas come forward and then I can make even better items and maybe even be able to find Fal’kjun and…” and at the mention of our lost Captain, Slal gently trailed off. Stood solemnly for a moment, and then, “Well, let’s see how it works, place your hand on the disc and focus on who it is you want to see.”
I reached out, rested my hand, and the plate hummed with a warmth, like the perfectly warm baths I used to take before setting sail. I focused on Aereus, shirtless and steadfast. I focused on Kipa, courageous and bombastic. I focused on Sieghart, intimidating and strong. And I thought of how much I wish I could be like any one of them. Before my eyes light began to swirl, and form, and like a window into the sea, I could see them! A still frame of them, Sieghart standing tall in a kelp forest, as… Aereus and Kipa looked like they were hitting him? Then the image shifted, and they were in some kind of room, dark and decrepit, loading gold into a bag. And again, the image shifted and the Big Three look like they’re about to assault a group of humanoids entangled in combat. And one final time the image begins to shift, the lights swirling, and rearranging, and the only image is of me, standing next to Slal.
“Slal, what’s wrong, why did it stop working??”
“Well, hmm, were I to venture a guess, my boy, it seems that you are most focused on yourself right now and so you are seeing yourself.”
“But what if they are in danger!”
“Well, my boy, you see, every time they leave the ship, they are in danger. They know that they’re in danger right now, but that is wherein their strength lies. The trust they have in each other to see them through that danger. And that trust is one we must have in them too. And perhaps, your worry is not so much about the danger they’re in but, guessing from how our little trinket responded to you, it’s a worry that the danger they’re in may overshadow where you are. I don’t know though, food for thought” And he lets out a giggle. “Now, I have work I must be doing, but remember Dariq, its—”
“Yes, Tariq, my apologies, but remember, it’s not about trying to shine as bright as others, but about shining for yourself that matters most.” and with that he ushered me to the door, patted me on the shoulder, and shut the door behind me.
I tangled with the idea of what that must mean- but couldn’t stop thinking about what the Fathers must be doing. Maybe that entanglement would go astray, maybe they need help. Maybe they need me.
I knew what I had to do, and I rushed to get myself a Gill-suit. If the fathers needed help, it was going to be Tariq that helped them. It took a bit of doing to get a suit with no one seeing me, but somehow, I made it passed everyone, suited up, and even made it to the edge of the ship. All that was left to do now was to jump, swim down into the black, and find them. Find my friends. Save my friends! And maybe THEN Earl will promote me!
-The Journals and Chronicling of the Sea Monster by the Great and Glorius, Tariq Daynjerine