The Assignment

Captain Von Delgo is a man who is lost. He is known as a turncoat, a hero and a mass-murderer. He has no beginning, and as far as he can see he has no end. Which makes him just about the most dangerous man alive. After the completion of his last job Captain is on his way out to receive his payment and rest up. His plans are delayed when a religious sect known as the Ravens pull him in with an offer. Captain faces a dilemma, he has never once failed in his assignments. But accepting this one and succeeding would change the way of the world, change everything that everyone has ever known, plunge it into chaos. But he has also never once turned down a job, and with his life quickly descending into a chaos of its own despair, he can see no reason why not to accept. After all, how hard can it be to kill an immortal?

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19. Chapter 19

He was still there. 01 watched him. For a week he had watched the Captain only to see him do nothing. 01 lowered the nocular from his eyes and rolled over onto his back. He watched the clouds for a little while, found the shapes, then blew and lit them on fire. He didn't care what the natives thought, or what the Captain thought if he was taking the time to look out of a window. 01 had too many things on his mind, but it was all coming together. It was starting.

Dark storm clouds rolled across the sky, lightning flashed and thunder roared to show the things of the sky who was boss. Then the rain came. 01 closed his eyes and let the cooling rain cover his face. He opened them almost immediately as what he saw frightened him. He was having nightmares. Not really nightmares, not as they happened every time he closed his eyes.

He would close his eyes for but a second in a blink, but what happened behind them seemed to last for hours and sometimes days on end. Yet he didn't know what they were. Images, live films, memories of his time in the hospital, people crying, screams, his own. Doctors yelling, nurses standing by ready to hold him down as he jerked around on his bed.

And the Captain, standing always in the doorway never coming into the room, even though 01 called for eternity for him to. And just before he would open his eyes, the Captain's face would go dark and he would smile, then leave as 01 died in his bed. Not once coming in to hold his hand and tell him he was sorry.

Rage distorted the 01’s vision as he rose to his feet and stumbled down the hill. Oh how he wished for his day to arrive. The day it would show who the Captain really was inside. Hopefully, the dreams he saw would prove to be false and not be what would happen.

The man stumbled to the shack he had built from the trees in the jungle. It was small and he only ever used it for sleeping in. He climbed into bed and pulled the covers over his head. He let the soothing sound of the rain pattering on his roof calm him into a deep sleep.

He awoke with the night. Startling black sky riddled with rings of fire that swirled as the island moved forwards in time. Colours in all forms flew through the night, leaving streaks of their life to shine. They merged with others and created new beings of life to add to the empty black.

They freed you from the death that holds you in its greasy claws, and brings you into a life you wish you had known before you had started.

The screams of creatures that live in the dark cry with despair as what they know is taken over by the light of a thousand suns and stars which revolve around thousands more. But as time zooms backwards, it disappears.

Beauty never lasts.

Not while there is ugliness to raise its head from slumber and to roar with empathy with the creatures who have had to run to hide from what wakes you in the night and tells you stories of what is.

The man payed no attention to this. He rolled over and went back to sleep. He neither cared nor saw the point of beauty and of ugliness.

He awoke again when the sun shone through cracks in his roof and filled his opening eyes with blinding light. He crawled out from under the covers and made his way to the sea. He found love in the sea. Something to wash in but still remain dirty.

He wondered, but never thought to care, what would happen today. All in time would it be revealed.

Time. What a word.

He sank beneath the waves and swam to the bottom. His ears filled with water and everything was muffled as he swam. He opened his eyes. The salt stung at his eyes and he closed them, but he opened them again. Anything was better than closing his eyes.

He tumbled through the water, chasing fish and sometimes letting the fish chase him. He didn't know if breathing was a requirement when swimming under water so he didn't. It was another strange trick he could do. He called it a trick but it probably wasn't. One of the strange things inside him probably made it work. He wanted answers to some things, but he still hated questions though he asked himself heaps.

He finished his swim, but the beach he came up on was not the one he had left. He walked up the beach; his clothes were drying fast in the sunlight. It was like any normal beach. If you know what normal means. He would need to find out where he was if he was to get back to The Donaghan Islands.

He followed his nose to the scent of a fire made to cook meat. The meat was on a stick held up by two split pieces of wood that you could turn using the handle. A person walked out of the jungle adjusting his pants. He stopped in shock at seeing someone standing on the beach watching him. His clicked his belt into place and took another step closer.

'I thought I was alone here. It's only a small island. You must have washed up on the beach.' He walked over to the fire and sat down, turning the meat to cook the other side. He waved the man over. 'Come and sit by the fire if you've just come out of the water. You'll be cold. The sun’ll dry your clothes but it won't necessarily warm you. Have some breakfast while you're here. When it's ready. There'll be plenty.’

01 continued to inspect the other man, and then deciding that it was safe, moved over to the fire. The man from the jungle stuck out his hand. 'The name's Whistle. What's yours?'

01 didn't know what to say. He had been asked for his name before, but not for ages and he kept forgetting it and why. He shook his head. 'I don't know. Why is your name Whistle?'

The man started whistling a tune. It was low; it filled 01’s ears. Soon it was all he could hear. It started to repeat and become annoying. It changed pitch and rang inside his head, he felt like he would explode. Not his body, just his head. He screamed and fire flew from his fingertips. The fire hit the man and sent him flying into the jungle. The sparks caught onto the dry branches and vines of the jungle that had withered and died before the man’s gaze while Whistle whistled. The fire spread and Whistle jumped out of the burning jungle, and dowsed water onto the parts of his body that had been caught. He stood back and gazed on as the jungle slowly turned to ash in front of both men.

'We-elll,' he murmured. 'I've never quite had that reaction towards my whistling before,' he told the man next to him. 'Come on, sit down and join me in breakfast.' Whistle sat down again at the fire and turned the meat over one last time before pulling a leg off of whatever creature it was and handing it to 01. 01 took the leg and bit into it. The meat inside under the skin was red, and juicy.

'Mmm!' he moaned in delight. It was magnificent. 'What is this?' he asked Whistle.

Whistle shrugged. 'Don't know. I found it in the jungle. There were lots of them. I suppose they're all gone now thanks to your handy work.' Whistle laughed at his own joke and then stopped when the man didn't laugh with him. 'Get it? Handiwork? Fire came out of your hands and lit the jungle on fire? You don't get it?'

01 shook his head and took another bite of the meat. 

Whistle sighed. 'So how'd you arrive here?' he asked..

01 looked over his shoulder at the ocean. 'I swam. I don't know how. But I got here. Tell me. Please, where am I?'

Whistle laughed again. 'You swam! Where'd you come from? You're on Oka Seavanteen! There is no island for you to swim away from for at least a day's ride in a boat good, weather permitting. Did you fall off a boat?' he asked.

The man shook his head. 'I came from The Donaghan Islands. I swam. Without realizing it I've come here.'

'From the Donaghan Islands?! You must be crazy! No one can swim that far! You'd get washed over the sides of Gamdagleeare Luff!' Whistle rose to his feet.

'Why must you get so upset about what I've done? Is it because you thought it could not be or is it because I proved you wrong?' The man put his head on its side and studied Whistle with a look of supreme interest.

'It's not that I thought it couldn't be done, it's just that, Shadows are crawling on those islands.' He gasped and took a step back but his feet sunk into the sand and he tripped over onto his back. He got to his feet. 'You're not a Shadow are you?' he demanded, suspicion in his voice.

01 laughed. It was a boyish laugh, and coming from the man in front of him sent chills up Whistles spine. 'I am not a Shadow. I ran from Shadow's once you know? It took me to a place where meeting a shadow would have been a breeze. A walk on the moon.'

'Which one?!' inquired Whistle with distrust.

'Does it matter? There is one in the sky, it may not be the one we see but it is there. Any moon will do.'

'Ri-ght. So you're not a Shadow?'

'No.'

'Good!' Whistle walked forwards and patted 01 on the back. 'I think we could be friends.' He sat back down at the fire and pulled off a leg of the creature and started on it.

It was again nearing night by the time the man left the island and started to fly back to The Donaghan Islands. He'd enjoyed his stay with Whistle, he probably wouldn't see him again, and that sort of thing was unavoidable. You went your way and the other went his way. You may meet up again but maybe not.

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