Seekers of the Spiral (Part 8) by Witty Nathan Brown
Part 8 - Map of Secrets
“Queen Eleanor, our left flank has been breached!” cried the monquistador.
“Send Gortez there! He fights like a hundred soldiers,” commanded the queen. “Queen Ana should be sending reinforcements soon. Now move!”
The young soldier scurried away, leaving Eleanor alone. Standing on top of the desert dune, in full combat gear, she surveyed the fight. As the sun fell, she saw the other ship arriving, marking the death of even more of her people.
Meanwhile, Drew was frantically sailing his ship away from the port. Cannons fired, as the faster Monquistan ships started gaining on them.
“You idiot!” he yelled at Ian. “Why didn’t you tell us we were fugitives?”
“Why, you never asked,” Ian said, with the same old smile upon his face.
Grating his teeth, Drew continued shouting orders.
“Madi, aim the cannons. Logan, get ready to fire!”
Suddenly, their enemies stopped following them.
“What?!” Drew cried.
“Drew, look down!” Madi screamed.
Below them lay a swirling vortex of clouds. Lightning flashed across it, and the wind seemed to be pulling them in. Drew closed his eyes and held his breath as his ship was sucked into the abyss.
Madi, also with her eyes closed, felt strange. Aren’t we supposed to be dead? she thought. Upon opening her eyes, she gasped. They were flying through stars, with a beautiful blue light sparkling upon everything. Logan and Drew were also staring awe at this ethereal spectacle. Only Ian seemed unimpressed.
“This must be a stormgate,” whispered Madi. “It’s all the magic of the Spiral, condensed into one spot. We could go anywhere from here. “
“Look,” said Logan. He was pointing toward a light that they were sailing toward. As soon as they touched it, wind started howling, and lightning flashed. They were coming out a second stormgate into a new world.
Logan stared at the windswept, arid land in front of him. Trees would occasionally dot the endless desert, and dusty winds swirled throughout the air. Drew let down the ship’s anchor.
“Crew meeting!” cried Drew. All the kids gathered around the mast, where Ian was still tied. “We need to discuss things. Like why we’re OUTLAWS!” he screamed.
“So, you want me to tell you about things that are important and could possible endanger your life?” said Ian, as if the idea was new to him.
“Here’s something. Those people over there are coming, and they don’t look happy,” he said with a nod to the west.
The kids saw a large ship sailing toward them, but noticed a white flag flying from their mast. As the impressive ship drew closer, they saw many Monquistans, some injured on the deck. The ship drew closer still, and Drew placed a gangplank across the sides of their ships. A regal looking monkey drew near.
“Hello children, I am Queen Eleanor, former queen of Monquista. Tell me your story, and I will tell you ours.”
Madi told Eleanor about their journey. She told Eleanor about being kidnapped and about how Avery had helped them. Eleanor told the children about the Monquistan Civil War. The nobles had been oppressing the commoners for decades, and the queen had lost her power because she was leading the rebellion.
“The noble houses and the Monquisition are desperate to stop us. Now, the King wishes to trade with the Armada so they will fight on his side.”
“What does he want to trade?” asked Drew.
“Some sort of map piece.”
Everyone turned toward Ian.
“I hate to say it, but the reason you guys are criminals is because you supposedly have part of a map. The Armada is trying to get rid of you, because people really want that map.”
“What’s on the map?” asked Madi.
“It shows the way to a world of gold. And there’s also some science mumbo-jumbo about wormholes and stromgates.”
Madi snapped to attention. Wormholes? Could that possibly take them home?
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