Ch2: Histories' Legends

Copyright © 2013 by P.A. Lackey
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Chapter Two: Histories' Legends  
Arius moved across the wet beach sand as the others pulled out any more luggage that washed ashore. He had on him his private bag which he managed to pull from the ship before it incinerated itself in the water. His other supplies were gone which left him woefully unprepared for their venture. Dread crept up his stomach as he speculated on the future. What was next? How would they proceed?
“Are you alright?” Arius asked, approaching Jayvolni.  
The man sat upon a black rock sticking out of the sand, and wrapped his right arm with a bandage. Arius could see blood running down his rain soaked sleeve. Jayvolni glanced up at him, his two colored eyes glistened in the moonlight.
“I’ll be fine,” he replied coldly. “Caught my arm on the wreckage somehow.”
Arius nodded before he turned back to the others who were now approaching. They were all mercenaries; they killed for a living which left Arius as the odd man. He didn’t know how he got himself into this situation. His allies were cold killers, while he had only known combat for a time shorter than most. Of course, he knew how he got there. His own stupidity was to blame, and he had been tricked into signing up for the expedition. He had no clue what he was getting himself into, but now he realized the treachery that had been done to him.
“It’s time to go!” Thorim ordered, approaching his position. “If anyone picked up the crash, this beach will be swarming with possible hostiles.”
Thorim was their commander, and perhaps the most sensible of them all. The man was often times stern and distant, but at least he didn’t act like a savage like the others did at times. Arius trusted him as a leader, though he distrusted the others. Brockumus, the medic, was his most trusted ally while Jayvolni was just cold.
The group hurried into the surrounding forest which quickly grew dense. Stretches of beach sand fingered its way into the botany, but soon it was choked out by the trees. The rain pounded the tops of the pines and oaks leaving an abundance of water to drizzle off of the branches and onto the ground. The group traveled hard uphill before they reached a worthy shelter.
A rock leaned up against the side of a cliff, surrounded by many other boulders and stones. It sheltered them from the rain, but the claps of thunder roared across the island. The trees trembled under its fury, shaking the water from their burdened leaves. Fire could be seen erupting in the distant clouds whenever lightning struck. It was as if the clouds themselves were fuel for the fire, and whenever lightning sparked the cloud burned hot to heat the falling rain. What kind of world was this, Arius wondered.
Dueson, Arius’ antagonist, cracked the heat sticks over a bed of dry kindling. They gave off a distinct crack before flames consumed the kindling and Dueson fueled it more with some sticks. Everything was wet, but the flames from the heat sticks made easy work of the sticks. The fire was kept small in order to avoid attention and the mercenaries huddled together around its small flames.
Brockumus was beside Arius holding out his palms to the heat. They shivered in their soaked clothing, teeth chattering from the wind which blew through the rock shelter. Arius could no longer think too far ahead as his attention was on keeping warm. He struggled to pay attention to Thorim who spoke to them as a group.
“Remember the call, my brothers,” he said. “Our mission is noble, and hinges upon legend. Do not lose heart, for tomorrow we make history.”
“Our ship was sabotaged,” Rie replied. “How can we proceed?”
“We are not dead,” returned Thorim. “And we do not know the details. Stick together and we will prevail. Any traitor, if there may be one, will be found out soon enough.”
“I say we keep two at watch,” Dueson said. “Just to be safe.”
The men agreed, and they all found rest under the rock. Arius clasped his arms and fought back the chills. His thoughts turned inward, and soon he was drifting to sleep where he explored old memories. Thunder roared overhead. 
Thank you for reading chapter two of my short story. Stop by next Thursday for the third chapter, "Not Mementos," and please leave a comment below to let me know what you think. Also, check out my book.
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