Monday, September 1, 2008

28. The Weapon

Bruce stood on the deck of the Fair Gwenllian. He was deep in thought, something that didn't come naturally to the knight. He usually acted before he thought, but tonight was one of those rare exceptions. Gottfried's plan, he knew, was not very heroic but more of a smart well planed operation. One that left little room for error, but if successful was far more safe. It wasn't the intelligence of the plan, though, that was bugging Bruce. He sighed and moved toward the rail. He had just had a strange dream, and didn't know what to make of it. Like most dreams, it was fading fast from his memory. What he did remember was that people he had never scene before appeared and said things to him in a strange language. He knew from experience that dreams had people and events from his life. No dream he had ever had ever had people he had never seen before. But in this case he saw people he had never seen before.

He had a lingering thought in the back of his mind, a thought that suggested that perhaps Sea Spirits did in-fact exist. But he was not yet ready to resign himself to such a strange and wild story. His official conclusion was that he was still sea sick and that caused delusional behavior.

Bruce wanted to forget his dream and decided to run over Gottfried's plan again. He glanced over to the apparatus that had been assembled upon entering the waters that Ralph's ship had been in before the storm picked up and blew them off course. The device looked a lot like a giant Crossbow. Gottfried's blacksmith had made barbed heads for the enormous arrows that this thing was supposed to fire, but simply firing an over sized arrow at the over sized snake wasn't going to be enough. The shot had to be perfectly aimed and hit a vital organ, yet most of the serpent was muscle and scale. A shot from the ballista would merely be a flesh wound. What Gottfried wanted to do was fire a few shots to aggravated the serpent then, when the snake was furious, land a harpoon strait in its mouth with the kill object attached to the other end. This special harpoon arrow had an iron loop attached near the end. Through this loop a rope was strung, to form a pulley with two ends of a really long rope hanging down. Attached to one end was the kill object. This "Kill Object" was what confused Bruce. It was a steel ball about 3 feet in diameter, with a iron hoop attached to one side. Next to this hoop was a rope. Gottfried said that when the rope was lit the ball would burst into a huge flaming ball. Bruce had a hard time believing that this iron ball could transform into a larger flaming one. But Bruce did think that the enormous Crossbow had potential. He merely agreed to attaching the ball because it wouldn't hurt to have the thing dangling from the monsters mouth. Once the Harpoon was lodged in the monsters mouth a group of men would pull on the other end of the rope to get the ball into the leviathan's mouth. The timing had to be perfect, and Bruce wasn't sure that it would work. Therefore, he was prepared to attack the thing with his sword if the plan failed. It was late so Bruce moved toward his cabin, but as he approached the door he noticed the water behind the ship swirling.