The Curse Of The Eclipsium (The Midnight People 1)

In the fantasy world of Riarkum, where powerful yet dangerous 'midnight people' live hidden away from human civilization, the crew of the Eclipsium have been cursed with vampirism for over a century. When Ander Zavien is rescued from his execution by the ships mysterious Quarter-Master 'Ransom', he is pulled into the center of a violent conflict between those who are willing to sacrifice everything to reverse their curse, and the order of night-hunters set on destroying it entirely.
As his own blood hangs in the balance, he seeks out the truth of why these creatures of night are fighting to keep him alive, and why they call him 'Firstblood.'


14. Chapter 14 - Tricks Of Sirens

Upon reaching the deck, Ander was stunned by silence. The crew around him were frozen at their posts, fixated on the edge of the ship. Thick fog had rolled in, like clouds gathered in the air above the water. It obscured his vision past the railings, the sun only a white blur in the sky hardly visible for the seething mist.

"Ander?" Said Samson quietly, as though afraid to break the silence.

Seeing him alarmed him for a moment, before he reminded himself that what he had witnessed was merely a memory, and Samson was completely fine. His friend grinned at him, striding forward to slap him on the back.

Ander chuckled nervously. "Morning.."

"What 'appended to your cheek?" He asked, raising his eyebrows, and Ander looked away self consciously.

"Nothing exciting.. Probably fell out of my hammock."


"Why is everyone staring at the mist?" He asked, quickly changing the subject. Samson followed his gaze.

"..Ah. See, it might come as a shock to you, since you're new to all of this.."

Before he could finish speaking, Ander saw the silhouette dive through the fog, an impossible shape that he somehow recognised.

A long, arching fishes tail, leading off to a woman's body with her hair trailing behind her..

He rushed closer in fascination, stopped only by Samson grabbing at his sleeve. "Woah, hold on! Don't get too close.l"

"I have heard legends of merpeople.." Ander breathed in wonderment, gazing out at the lancing shapes in the fog. "Of course I never believed them."

"Nor did you believe in vampires and mages, Ander." Davelynn said softly, stood against the masting.

Ruth lingered close to the edge a second, then quite suddenly leaped back with a loud string of curses, bumping into Ander so hard he stumbled backwards trying to steady her. She gasped with pain. "The bitch bit me!"

"I didn't see anything?" He frowned, stepping away from the girl.

Ruth turned to face him and scowled. "Of course you didn't, my hands were right over the edge!"

She held up her left hand to reveal a clean bite mark, human teeth, though two had cleanly pierced her palm like the fangs of a vampire. As she touched it, wincing, it began to close up slowly as expected.

Ander looked at the wound with confusion, then stared up again, trying to make out the creatures more clearly.

"They're not 'merpeople,' Ander, they're sirens." Said Ransom from behind him. He emerged at his side with folded arms, Quill and the others flocking to him and forming a semi circle. "There's a story behind their creation, they were once changers."

"The tribes in the wildlands you mentioned?" He asked, turning to face him.

Ransom nodded lowly.

Cyro was thumbing his weapon almost anxiously, itching away at it. "Vile creatures.." He said bitterly. "They did not let their women fight, when they were just as strong as the men. They sent them away, and caused this.."

"Not so much different than humans, then." Davelynn muttered unintelligibly under her breath, but she was cut short.

Quill and Gillian were wandering closer to the edge, roused by curiosity. They seemed almost driven, their eyes glazed and fixated on the swirling mist. Davelynn quickly lurched forward to stop them, roughly grabbing them both by the scruff of their shirts to drag them back. "Don't you dare let them tempt you!" She barked.

Both men grumbled in realisation. "Aye.."

Ransom breathed an annoyed sigh at them. "Their story started when the hunters were attacking the changer tribe. They were strong, but their defences were weak.. They sent the women and children to the sea, and they turned into great fish to disguise themselves."

"That's irony at its finest." Samson muttered with a grin.

Ransom glowered at him. "Shut up, Samson. But, when the days rolled on, and the battle didn't end, they started to merge into their changeling bodies. It happens, when a changer isn't entirely adapted to a creature before they take it's form. It had been rushed, they had no time to study them. They became stuck as half human and half sea creature, sirens."

From the hull, hunter piped in without looking away from their course. "Their minds were bent, twisted, warped.. The men were forced to banish them permanently, for their own safety. We should not spare them, should we be forced to confront them."

"How are they still about..? Changers aren't immortal like vampires, are they?" Ander frowned.

Ransom sighed. "They spread, mated with other things, I suppose. And now they bear a violent hatred for humans, especially men. Women, they usually spare."

"I don't feel spared.." Ruth grumbled, rubbing the spot the siren had bitten with her thumb.

He glanced from her healing hand and back to her. "Doesn't mean they don't hold a grudge. Especially against attractive women, since they've become rather.. Estranged from humanity, themselves.

"Flatterer today, are we?" She grinned at him teasingly, but he seemed unchanged. For a moment, he turned back to face the entrancing mist, and his eyes clouded a second. "It is.. Best you all return to the cabin quarters. We will defend the captain."

"No, Ransom, we're staying!" Samson objected. He grinned confidently. "I can handle some ugly fish-wenches, alright."

"They're corrupted things, and corruption can warp existing magical abilities like form-changing to dark magic, which is forbidden from practise at midnight clans. It's only used freely by monsters like these." Reynick, who had been relatively quiet, contributed placidly. "Dark magic encompasses necromancy, mind control, blood warping.. To name a few. We did a study into whether the seductive, hypnotic power of a rogue vampires eyes bears the same corruption, but I doubt you'd be interested in the result." He said bitterly, directing his venom at Captain Hunter, who didn't appear to hear him.

Quill stepped forward. He looked dismal, his hands knitted behind his back. "I, uh.. I'm not sure I can fight against the temptation, me' self. Call me a coward, I don't wanna hurt anyone or lose me' mind to this dark magic.."

"He raises a good point." Davelynn started, reaching for Ransoms shoulder. "Anyone who doesn't believe they can resist their enchantment, I suggest you return below deck to Alec and Yates immediately."

Quickly, Gillian and Quill retreated, mumbling apologies. The others didn't so much as flinch at the idea; they were solid in their determination. However Ander felt a twisting feeling in his gut, something he couldn't comprehend. He was afraid, but not at the concept of these startling new creatures. He wondered whether he could truly fight against their 'dark magic' if it came down to it, knowing nothing of it.

Ransom moved to the upper deck to the captains side, and the others spaced themselves around the central masting, back to back. Ander leaned against the panelling, Davelynn and Samson on either side of him.

He kept one hand unconsciously on the dagger at his belt.

Someone, maybe Edward, muttered something from around the opposite side of the masting. "Oi, y'know one legend goes that they'll capture and rape male sailors, then cannibalise 'em to make the unborns stronger."

"Aye! I heard it too! That's how they mate, 'int it?"

Ander swallowed hard. "Davelynn?" He said quietly. Davelynn didn't look up, but responded with a "Hm?"

He looked at her a moment, how relaxed she seemed, her features neutral and her hands fixed behind her back.

"How are you not afraid?" He asked in a low tone. "Have you encountered them before?"

She pulled a sort of half smirk, just the corners of her lips twitching up in amusement. "I don't fear much around everyone here, because there really isn't much that can divide a centuries worth of connection. I know, for example, how Samson holds his weapon firm in both hands, so he can make clean sideways cuts and evade with his particularly bony elbows. He grimaces if someone gets the upper hand, but rarely stops grinning while he duels. I know everyone here like the back of my hand, and we move as a unit. It gives me confidence to rely on them."

Samson was leaning against the wood, his hands spread behind his head in an arrogantly overly relaxed stance, as usual. He bobbed his head around the corner to them, grinning. "You certainly spend a lot of time staring at me, Davelynn, to know so much. I realise that I possess such superior good looks but my, my."

Davelynn smiled blandly back at him. "Sammy, I regard you as almost equal to my brother, therefore my staring at you the way you speak of would be simply inappropriate. Maybe return to fifty years ago, try that seduction tactic again."

"Ouch." He chuckled, "But, last I checked Alec is cleaning up Anders rotting fish disaster downstairs. I'm half as blonde, and twice as charming.. It's not a completely lost cause."

"Samson, please stop talking, your depressing attempts at flirting are giving the sirens another reason to hate humanity." Ruth muttered.

Ander chuckled at her, but the boy just shrugged it off and made a fake, over exaggerated wink at Davelynn, who couldn't help but to chortle. Ander heard Reynick snort from where he stood.

"Be quiet down there!" Hunter hissed at them from the upper deck, without turning from the wheel. "Do you socially awkward imbeciles have a death wish?"

The chatter faded, and the captain seemed to soften. "Right. Now be on guard. We're almost out of the mist."

"Aye, Ruth?" Samson whispered, voice raised just enough for them all to hear. "You think I'm 'andsome, right?"

"Seen better." Ruth smirked.

Ander tried to mentally picture someone up to Ruth's standards, maybe a combination of every man present. He thought maybe cheekbones were a carrying trend, but beyond that he couldn't comprehend it. Women seemed to like feminine looking men with strong bodies, but where did that leave him?

Many vampires were of a paranormal beauty as it stood, but he couldn't imagine someone at the top of that minority.

Samson pouted. "Davelynn?" He whined.

She groaned loudly in exasperation, turning to him. "Yes, Samson, if it pleases you, you are good looking. But I blame the vampirism entirely."

He grunted in annoyance, muttering to himself. "That's a flesh wound and a half.."

That was when Ander felt the hand on his neck, a cold, lingering touch, almost a stroke. He leapt forward in alarm, shuddering. "Oi! Who touched me?"

Reynick emerged from around the pillar. "Why would we have need to touch you?" He asked with a puzzled frown.

Davelynn and the others looked just as dismal, each of them mumbling their excuse and raising their hands. Even Samson, the likeliest to have done it, quickly excused himself. "I swear on the six- sorry, the five lords o' truth, Ander. It really wasn't me."

Then Cyro cringed away suddenly, almost lurching, and patting at the flat of his back. His eyes were wide in buried fright. "Alright, whoever did that, I swear I will disembowel you!"

As if on queue, the mist became visible, and Ander stepped back in alarm. A small pocket of moving cloud, working it's way around the masting pole, in and around the small group frozen in confusion. From it, he could make out projected shapes. Eyes, a nose, all female and very obscured. It was clearly not natural, and clearly morphing..

Then, reached out the hand in question. A girls hand. Slender and dainty, pale, with nails groomed and sharpened to a point at the index finger. He heard an audible gasp spread, the crew recoiling fast and thumbling for weapons.

The hand extended further from the cloud, a real hand that he could touch. The group were edging further and further away.

The scales lining the woman's wrist came into view. A siren.

And, eyes misty and glazed, Samson reached out to it.

Like a reflex action, eyes wide with horror, Ander quickly withdrew his dagger. He growled out and raised it to strike, but like a barrier in his mind, he was prevented.

Like the creature could see his actions, the hand seemed to cower away. It raised in retreat, fingers curled as though pleading. He frowned in hesitation.

"Do it, Ander!" Ruth hissed at him.

He couldn't. He stared at the fragile girls hand, how it withdrew in fear, and he softened. He couldn't cut it. He couldn't..

He felt, distantly, a voice invading his mind and speaking his own voice. That he had to protect her.

"Oh, I'll do it then!" Ruth snapped. She snatched the weapon from Anders grip, and swung out violently.

Where the blade struck the woman's wrist it left a deep cut spurting what appeared to be purple blood. Echoing and warped by distance, seemingly from the cloud, a awful wail of agony choked like an old woman's sounded.

The hand snatched back, and the cloud dispersed into thin air.

Ander felt like he been pulled from a day dream. His vision focused considerably and he could suddenly think clearly.

"What the hell just happened to me?!" He cried, looking about frantically. Reynick scanned him up and down judgementally.

"You allowed dark magic to reach you." He explained quickly. "Watch you don't become corrupted!"
Ruth returned the weapon slowly, just as tendrils of matching, swirling mist began to stretch out from the thick fog engulfing the outer body of the ship. They moved like slithering reptiles, transparent, yet the shapes within them gave them strange dimension.

Reynick raised his hands quickly, and from them the shimmering body of a forcefield emerged. The snake like tendrils passed cleanly through it.

"Damn it.." The mage muttered. "Ethereal. Some kind of matter-moving enchantment, they're using the fog like windows to us."

Ander went still and listless, wide eyed, before backing away from the strange moving mist. He carried on retreating until he bumped backs with someone.

From the grunt that followed, it was Ransom, now descended from the upper decks. "Ander, stand your ground! You can cut them if they emerge from the fog." He ordered, but he didn't move away. "I'll remain by you, if one of us are tempted we must restrain each other however necessary. Are we in agreement?"

Ander nodded quickly, before remembering he couldn't see it. "Yes." He amended. "But if you dare let them take me, I swear on the graves of the five that I will haunt you!"

Ransom sighed in annoyance.

The two stayed back to back, and when Ransom tensed Ander could only guess they were being approached. Impossibly, the moving fog arranged itself before him into an oval shape, flat down, almost paper thin, glass. He held his dagger shaking in both his hands.

"Ransom.." He murmured, "Are you seeing this?"

"Regretfully." The man responded lowly.

From the swirling oval, another hand emerged. Just as pale and fragile, dotted with the shimmering reptilian scales starting at the wrist.

Ander waited, having realised he certainly couldn't kill the thing by cutting off its hand. But he shook with anticipation, like his weapon was calling to be used.

Soon an entire torso had emerged from the misty portal, a woman, dressed in strands of entwined greenery that ended at the waist where a tail began. A fishes tail, long and covered in glistening green scales almost sharp enough to cut. He stared in amazement.

And then, the head. The girl was undoubtably beautiful, her skin white as porcelain and just as young. Her hair, lightest blonde and curling out around her as though submerged in water, fell in gentle rivets across her cheeks. She seemed so harmless, and painfully innocent.

But her eyes.. Ander could hardly look away.

Stunning emeralds, dotted with flecks of Amber. As he gazed deeper, most every colour he could imagine, falling into perfect line with each other, only as he stared and did not break his gaze, he saw the colours. It was beautiful. She, was beautiful.

He was entranced.

Unconsciously, unable to pull his eyes from hers, he leaned closer to the girl, his back leaving his companions briefly. He did not blink, did not break her unwavering gaze. But Ransom felt him move, and snapped around from the mist fast approaching him.

He knotted his arms with Anders to lock him, then lifted him very briefly with a grunt to toss him aside. Ander skidded across the ground, landing in a heap and gasping with the pain of crashing into the masting. He brought a hand to his leg, his ankle twisted beneath him, and looked at Ransom in muted horror as the enchantment abruptly ended.

Ransom had drawn his sword with a scrape of metal, and the girl recoiled in alarm. He brought the sword down toward her throat with a loud cry.

Then he halted. It took Ander a moment to notice the mist that had been rounding at his back, that was now coiled around him. The ethereal tendrils wrapped around his middle and arms, restricting his movement.

The mans eyes widened, and he growled out loudly in frustration, struggling against the impossible force on him.

"Release me!" He cried out indignantly, wrestling about frantically. He looked at Ander with frenzied eyes. "Ander!"

Ander managed to find his footing, his wounded ankle cracking as he stood, and drew his daggers with a harsh grate of metal against metal.

The girl, however, set her eyes on her again. Strangely, she smiled. So elegantly, as though unsurprised by the display. She extended her hand to him suddenly.

"Ander," She breathed. She spoke with a voice so soft, gentle, yet so thick with wisdom. Ander felt nostalgic, like he knew it from somewhere, but he could not recall where. It shocked him, causing him to lower his guard a moment.

"Ander, dear," the girl said slowly, "Come to me, take my hand and forget this cruel reality you face. Your friend will be at peace with his own demons."

Ander realised the control she was having over him, he knew this was the enchantment he had previously witnessed. He fought, he didn't want to let it take him, but of his own free will he lowered his daggers.

That voice.. So loving, so unscathed.. He could not destroy it.

"Ander!" Ransom called, but the boy seemed dazed, stood still and listless, completely unaware that his sense of willpower was an illusion.

He shouted until his throat tore. "They are using your memories to claim you! Turn around! Fight it!"

Fight it! Fight! Fight!

Ander remembered, hearing Ransoms desperate voice through the sirens.

This was the true enchantment, it had not left. Whoever that voice belonged to, it was not this creature.

He gripped his dagger once more, and rose it high. "Don't use that voice so carelessly." He spat, and he ran at the figure with his dagger before him. He plunged it into the sirens chest, and she released a shallow, wracked gasp, followed by a gut wrenching scream of agony.

From the wound poured that foul purple blood, dripping to the floorboards, and the mist began to deteriorate. With it, the siren.

Ransom collapsed to the floor, choking and coughing as he did, and Ander span around to aid him. As he lunged to help him up, he was quickly rejected.

"I am fine!" Ransom snapped bitterly. "To Samson - Go!"

Limping on his sprained ankle, Ander turned and rushed to the mans side.

Across the deck, the mist obscured the crew, but he could make out Samson. He stood right at the edge of the ship, entranced by the dark haired siren emerging from the cursed fog before him. His turquoise eyes were wide, unblinking, and he walked forward in a sort of lifeless, limp state, his hand lifting to the sirens offer.

Ander cried out to him, sprinting forward, and lunged at his side.

Grabbing his friends midriff in a tackle, he body slammed him, and both boys toppled right over the shallow edge.

Before he hit the water, he took a deep breath.

The plunge into icy water was shocking, and water filled his nose and ears. He quickly felt himself sinking, entirely submerged, and kicked his legs to stay afloat, but he searched for his friend.

Though the salt stung his eyes, he managed to pry them open, and through the pitch black and murky depths he saw them. The sirens, swimming the treacherous waters like sharks. Their long, scaly green tails protruded out behind them, the fins tattered like they had been ripped, and drifting through the water like silk.

About a metre away from Samson was too attempting to keep himself afloat, head snapping about in shock at the realisation of what had happened. His blonde hair circled around him, drifting, as did the light material of his white shirt. He looked at him in alarm.

It was then that many of the sirens spotted them, and bore teeth in a startlingly animalistic, territorial way. Ander reached for his other dagger, but doubted he could get very much momentum underwater. Samson noticed this, too, and gestured quickly for them to swim.

Both turned and started to kick their legs hurriedly until they resurfaced, Ander gasping for breath desperately.

Samson promptly bobbed up beside him, and started screaming for aid.


"HELP!" Ander cried out.

A sharp, stabbing pain in his calf beside his swollen ankle made him cry out, and Samson quickly reached for him, but he was too late.

Hands wrapped around Anders ankle solidly, and he was abruptly yanked back into the waters, almost too suddenly for him to catch his breath. Looking down, he saw the siren who's wrist had earlier been cut, still wounded, dragging him down.

Her eyes were cold, menacing, so different than the sirens had seemed on ground. They were devoid of compassion, devoid of humanity, a feral beast.

He struggled fast, kicking his legs about to no avail.

Trying to scream, he choked on water, only bubbles coming from his mouth. He gargled; no noise.
Samson flipped and dived under to his aid, reaching out to him with eyes filled with horror, and Ander stretched out to grab his extended hands.

Before they could clasp wrists, his friend was pulled away. Not by a siren, but aboard the ship. He was pulled straight from the water.

Ander, however, was pulled deeper into the pitch black depths to the ocean floor, only the barnacle ridden hull of the ship in his line of sight.


Samson was dropped, dripping wet from head to toe, onto the deck by Ruth and Cyro.

"Samson! What the hell happened?" Ruth gasped, trying to aid him to his feet, but the man stumbled up himself, almost slipping and having to grasp the side.

"Ander!" He gasped out, "The siren dragged him down! He's going to die!"

He then attempted to throw himself overboard once more, quickly stopped by Cyro, who grabbed his soaked shirt. "Don't be foolish, boy! They will kill you if you go!"

"HE SAVED ME AND NOW HE'S GOING TO DIE!" Samson objected, shouting in the mans face. He bore teeth, exposing pointed fangs. "LET ME GO! LET ME G-"

There was a dull splash, and Ruth looked at the coat that had been thrown over her shoulder. Black, with gold buckles, finely tailored..

At her feet, was Hunters hat.

Samson relaxed, staring in dulled horror, and Ruth cursed.

"Oh, bloody hell.."


Ander was slipping in and out of consciousness, lungs burning for air. Though his eyes were closed, he felt the hand on his chest, the sharpened nail of the siren almost piercing his skin.

She was trying to drown him, and so far she had been successful.

He had given up struggling, now far too weak, but through his bleary vision, he could swear he saw bubbles from the surface..

A figure, making it's way swiftly toward him. He was almost too dizzy to distinguish the face, but it became clear as he neared.

Captain Hunter.

The captain positioned himself behind the siren facing Ander, and though he was slowed, grabbed the woman's wrist. His fingers pressed into the wound from earlier, as he reached for the sword on his back.

The sirens scream could be heard, sending waves through the water. Her back curved as she wailed, signalling the surrounding creatures for a moment, but they were too slow.

Hunter plunged his sword straight through the woman's chest, the point almost cutting Anders throat. 
She released a silenced gasp, face contorting in shock and pain, then he withdrew it.

Unlike a fish in a pond, she sank, landing just beside Ander. From her wound seeped grotesque purple, filling the water and turning it a shade of violet that drifted by his resting face.

Horrified, the other sirens saw this. They looked at each other in terror, and from the blood, they retreated. Turning quickly on their tails with echoing wails, and swimming at extraordinary speed away from the ship, until their colourful scales were shrinking spots in the distance.

Hunter resheafed his sword hurriedly.

Ander, now blacking out, felt hands momentarily under his arms and he was lifted weightlessly from the sea floor, then with an arm around his middle, the captain clasped him to his side. Trying to balance his weight and swim with one arm, Hunter dragged his limp body to the surface.

The entire crew; Yates, Alec, Quill and Gillian counted, were gathered at the edge where Hunter had dived overboard, waiting with bated breath in anticipating silence.

There was an audible sigh of relief as they resurfaced, before six of them all at once leaned right over, extending hands to grab at like a ladder.

Hunter handed Ander to Samson and Ruth, who pulled him up between them with grunts of effort, before Quill and Cyro heaved up the captain.

He landed swiftly on his feet, but Ander was near enough dropped, both dripping with water with dark hair plastered to their faces. Ander was limp on the floorboards, unmoving.

Momentarily stunned, Samson knelt beside Ander quickly, his face a mask of alarm. He shook him once, then again insistently, almost violently. "Ander? Come on.. Ander, come on mate!"

Hunter cleared himself a path to a pacing Ransom and concerned looking Davelynns side to examine him.

Davelynn knelt opposite Samson, her emerald eyes wide. "Is he breathing? Oh, Staras mercy.."

Ransom looked uncharacteristically shaken, like he had no idea what to do with the situation and that helplessness frustrated him, where as Alec was trying to barge his way through the crowd from the cabin quarters to see him.

It was Reynick that finally stepped forward. He dropped to one knee, and quite suddenly, without a word of explanation, started pushing hard on Anders chest. Samson tugged at his sleeve in confusion. "Hey stop! You'll do him another injury, you bastard!"

Reynick grimaced, and continued. He did this six times, before it started to work.

The unconscious boys eyes sprung open abruptly, and he convulsed, coughing up water. He gagged, gasping at air for a moment, then rolled over and retched onto the floorboards. Davelynns hand rubbed circles on his back soothingly, sinking in relief, while he emptied his stomach.

Ander coughed a few times, then rolled back over exhaustedly, to see fifteen faces staring down at him, Davelynns hand now holding his and Samson holding his neck to keep him sitting slightly upright. Some were mildly horrified, others beaming with relief, and a few trying to appear indifferent, miserably. Despite the searing pain in his leg and chest, he felt his heart swell.

"Thank Stara, Kionibus, Quiri and whoever else might be up there.." Samson sighed, looking like he had just suffered a series of small heart attacks. He aided Ander to sit straight slowly, keeping a hand cautiously on his shoulder incase he fell.

Ander leaned his dizzy head in his hands with laboured breaths, "What.. How did I.."

"You died there for a minute!" Alec cried, cutting him off. He was wiping tears from his eyes, one that had escaped and rolled down his cheek. "Y-You weren't breathing! Humans need to breathe! I t-thought you'd died!"

"Hunter dived in after you." Ransom informed him, voice steadying, "..and Reynick some how revived you."

"It wasn't exactly magic.." Reynick muttered, straightening and crossing his arms. "Magic users sometimes forget the wonders of using your god given hands, like you fools seemed to. Call yourself immortals?"

Ander looked to Captain hunter, stood back by the masting behind Ransom. He was holding his hat and coat under his arm, his shirt drenched, and sticking to him. He looked away modestly.

"Thankyou.." Ander managed, though it hurt to get words out, sounding breathless and uneven. "I should be dead.. So.. Uh, thankyou.."

"No need to thank me, you saved Samson. In your own way." He paused a moment, wringing out his shirt in bunches. "Get him to the quarters and have his wounds seen to."

"Yes, captain." Came the automatic reply. Samson and Davelynn aided him to his feet, though it hurt to put pressure on his ankle, the pain shooting right to his knee. He winced, cursing quietly under his breath.

He was quickly handed over to Reynick.

"As much as I hate asking you, can you do something?" Davelynn asked sourly.

Reynick sighed, scratching his neck. "Why do you all assume I'm a doctor? I'm not a healer, but I can relieve the pain a little, maybe stop the bleeding."

"I did say 'something'" Davelynn said impatiently. "I didn't ask you to part the bloody ocean.."

Reynick glowered at her in a sense that admitted defeat without surrendering to it, taking Anders weight from Samson with an arm around his shoulders. "Do you want me to help the boy or not? Ander, use your good leg, I'll support your left side."

"I think I can walk alo-"

"Don't object, do as I say. Your body is still in shock from inhaling a pint of salt water."

Very much doubting that the support was necessary, Ander allowed himself to be half man-handled down the steps to the quarters, until Reynick could get him to his hammock. Alec trailed behind, asking incessant questions about his condition that were shushed each time.

The fog had been completely cleared, clearly leaving when the sirens had. Ander allowed himself to relax into his hammock while Reynick propped up his leg to bind it, and soon drifted into sleep.


Anders nose hurt.

His ankle was numb, infact, he couldn't feel very much below his knee and his breathing was too shallow to register the burning in his lungs, but his nose and the spaces beside it stung like he'd fallen face first into a bed of needles.

He groaned quietly, and Reynick shushed him.

"Hey, now." He said, offering a rather pathetically false smile. "Don't you think you should be resting?"

"You might.. Burn off my foot.." Ander murmured exhaustedly, his eyes fluttering. "I think.. I'll be needing it.."

Reynick breathed a laboured sigh. Anders leg had been bound tightly on either side of the torn bite wound and his swollen ankle, the injuries left to dry with Reynick sitting with his hands positioned over them. The wavering field of magic was drifting in the space between, holding the pain at bay. "Anderson, I can sincerely promise you that I will do no such thing. In fact, it's next to impossible with my magarc. You'd remember that, if you slept."

Ander didn't have enough energy to object. His head, hardly lifted in the first place, fell back into his hammock and his arms went limp once more.

He did not enter the between, nor did he dream. His sleep was reluctant, fighting to stay awake and not be quite so helpless in his subconscious, while his body told the rest of his brain that a coma would be welcomed greatly.

Reynick observed him quietly, and while he slept he'd ease the force of the painkilling away, gradually enough that he could still get his much needed rest whilst not becoming reliant on it.

Samson and Alec would arrive occasionally at his side with water and food, and they'd pour small amounts between his parted lips with great care. Samson looked like he was grieving a dead friend as he watched him, needless guilt a weight on his chest.

"Ander will be fine, you're being ridiculous." Reynick told him for the third time, in a bored tone of voice, bags hanging beneath his tired eyes.

Samson scratched his head sheepishly. "I know that, but it doesn't matter.. He still got hurt because I gave into that - that bitches trick!"

Alec reached for his arm tentatively, "Samson, maybe you should lower yo-"

"I heard my mothers voice! That siren stole her voice and the way she held herself, and I recognised it, and I crumbled! And now.. My friend is hurt."

Samsons hands were clenched, and he hung his head. "I just.. I'm such a screw up!"

A fist furiously connected with the side of his hammock, leaving an imprint in the wood and causing it to rattle, before he sunk back against it.

Reynick shushed him loudly, while Alec backed off in alarm.

"Samson, for Staras sake, be quiet!" He hissed. "If you keep blaming yourself and talking like that, Alec will drown himself in the blood supply! Ander thought you were worth saving, so can you shut up about this being you or the siren?"

"But I-!"

"But! But! Oh, save your breath. HE threw himself overboard - HE took the risk, for you. Alright? He wanted to play hero, but motivation doesn't grow you gills. Now, if you're going to be a sob story, find a dark corner. Don't linger in the room where the wounded are trying to sleep."

Samson exhaled slowly, looking at his feet. He sat back in his hammock, and Alec clambered up into his. The three sat in silence for a while, whilst Ander lay awake, eyes clenched shut perhaps too tight to be believable.

Hero.. The word bounced heavily around his mind. He had heard enough tales of valor to be doubtful about whether he wanted to be a part of that category - they had a habit of winding up dead at the end of the story.

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