Kestrel made a mental note never to steal from the Armada again. Though it might have been a little late. Sitting in a cell on an Armada ship headed for certain death didn’t seem like the place to her to learn life lessons.
It was just some gears! Kestrel mentally moaned at the ceiling. Who would have thought the Armada would get so upset over a handful of gears? Of course, adding that unto all the other things she was wanted for, stealing several of Avery’s valuables, sinking ships of various navies for parts, vandalizing shops and stealing their goods, and working as a mercenary to acquire valuables for customers to name a few, plus the one-hundred thousand bounty on her head, and she could see why she might be of interest.
A good thief never gets caught. She’d heard that one before and disagreed. In her opinion, a good thief makes a nice profit, gets noticed, gets captured, and then steals from their captors and escapes.
A large crack coming from the ship’s hull by the sound of it cut off her thoughts rather abruptly. Hearing metal-against-metal footsteps and the sound of rather robotic urgent voices, Kestrel assumed that the clockworks where rushing to repair the damage that colliding into a stay castoff rock or to perhaps attack the fool ship that had lumbered into the way. Probably the latter seeing how a perfectly programed Armada ship was unlikely to run into a rock of all things. She couldn’t have been more wrong.
It started at the front of the ship, the wood groaning under stress then snapping under it. The ship was blown to bits by the impact, Armada soldiers flying every which way, and then smashing against each and every bit of the ship, their finely tuned gears becoming little more than warped pieces of metal. Kestrel had just enough time to appreciate the destruction of her captors before she too was blown from the ship and thrown against a rather hard object. Pain blew through her body and her vision went white, then red and slowly faded away.
Kestrel woke to a world of rather hazy objects. It took a moment for the haze to fade away, and when it did, she could truly appreciate the destruction that had destroyed her captor’s ship. Blobs of metal where flung every which way, the remnants of the Armada. Slowly burning wood was the only thing left of the ship. Kestrel tried to push herself up, but stopped, her leg rather objecting as it seemed to be pointing the wrong way, and the other appeared to be missing. She decided to stay put. Looking out at the sky beyond the island, she found it strange there was no obvious sign of what brought down the ship so explosively. No ship she knew could have done that. Of course there seemed no possible explanation of how she had survived such a disaster anyway, escaping with only a broken leg. And about the broken leg…
Kestrel sneaked a peek at it and nearly jumped out of her skin. What was once a broken leg was now a perfectly functional, definitely-not-broken leg. And the other… Kestrel had never seen anything like it. Something almost like an Armada machine was now in the place of her leg, though not made of gears and piano wire. It was something else, made of a hard green stone, not unlike diamond, held together with glowing wisps of energy. Kestrel pushed herself up, standing slowly. The leg held, the energies and stone flexing just like her mysteriously fixed flesh-and-bone leg.
“That’s not possible.” She said, thinking out loud. This was something strange and unexplained, something no witchdoctor could ever hope to achieve, something she was not even sure the strange wizards that so many tales had been told about could do.
Kestrel stared at her surroundings, the wreckage from the ship strewn about sandy beaches that lead into a tropical wood. All this was normal. But there was something about this place that made her feel like the many cells prepared for her around the Spiral would be more welcoming then this place. That bend in those trees… What was it hiding? The dark shadows in the waterfall, the ominous position of the mountain that seemed to shadow the entire island… And yet it seemed welcoming too, the bend also beckoning adventure, the waterfall playfully falling into a crystal clear spring, in which Kestrel could see the shining of sun on fish scales, and the gleaming in the mountain that seemed to suggest hidden treasure. But the thing that really settled the mood of this strange island was the beach. For when she turned around all the debris that had been strewn about was gone. Vanished. All the twisted hunks of metal, the ashes of the wood, the fluttering remains of a sail, and the burnt Armada masks, gone. There was no tide to take it out and no wind strong enough to blow away all of the remains.
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