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Prologue: A Young Captain
The boy walked down the street, grasping his cloak tight to him to keep warm from the whipping winds of piercing ice. Fall was wrapping up, and the harsh winter was already making itself known. Dublar was simply returning from a small errand of his fathers’. His wavy brown hair was blown to a mess, but out of his dark brown eyes; yet the navigating was still hard.
Dublar’s eyes stung from the winds, and he continued to wipe the tears from them all the way home. His face was becoming chapped, his lips were dry and cracked. He quickened his step. He hated the part of the city he was in, but with the short supply of money his father was bringing home, it was the only place that had food his family could afford.
The two small remaining coins jingled with every step from within his breech’s pocket. The holes in his breeches and in his plain tawdry white shirt, provided nothing but a covering, leaving him to pull his cloak even tighter. He had been promised new clothes a week ago, but with winter coming, food came first.
Dublar was hoping to become a captain, and would leave for the training in two years when he was nineteen like his eldest brother. A lot of money was promised to those who captained a good vessel, and Dublar had full-fledged evidence for it to be true to its word. His brother had promised to pay for him, but his ship, Assailant had left on a voyage three years ago. It was originally supposed to be gone for only five months.
Dublar escaped from his thoughts, and made sure he hadn’t missed his street. A sign read, Fuller Rd., and Dublar turned there. The streets were paved for the most part in the city of Eve, and the streets didn’t differ from each other too much; whether large or small. Most were made of wood, painted a light color such as beige, then framed with a darker color of brown. Four frame windows were most common on houses. The roofs were of wooden shingles.
Dublar arrived at his house, and went through the small gate that led to his front door. When he stepped inside, he was immediately filled with the mouth-watering smell of sausage. His mother had cooked the last of it for supper.
“I’m home, mother!” Dublar called from the entryway, as he slipped his shoes of. “I got everything you asked me to get.”
She walked in from the kitchen and grabbed the things out of his arms.
“Thank you,” she said hastily, and then she quickly returned to the kitchen.
The house was a smaller house. The first room was the entryway. The floor was tiled plain white, with a red diamond centered in each. The walls were painted a light brown. The ceiling in the room reached the highest in the house, and from the second floor, could be looked upon from a balcony. The walls of the inside of the house were polished oak.
Dublar walked through the kitchen, and took the small flight of stairs, which were hidden in the far corner, going back towards the entryway. The small hallway from there, led to three different rooms. One was for Dublar’s mother and father, one was for his two younger sisters, and the third was his bedroom. He opened his door, and walked in. He stripped of his shirt and put on a new one.
Sitting on his bed, Dublar pulled out his log. Faone had shown him how to make a ship log before he had left, and Dublar liked to imagine himself on his own ship, jotting down the events of the day.
“Dublar! Come down here, it’s time for supper,” Dublar’s mother called from the kitchen.
He set his book down, and went to eat.
Supper went fast, and Dublar decided he would get out of the house, making up his mind that he would just bare the cold. He grabbed his cloak and walked out into the street. Dublar began to head wherever came to his mind first.
“Wait up there, chap!”
Dublar turned to see his friend, Diego running down the street, with a hand placed on his cap to keep it from falling off his head.
“Diego, what are you doing out?” Asked Dublar.
“I was about to go to my lesson.”
Diego was three years older than Dublar was, and his training on being a captain had started three months prior.
“Right, I forgot that today was the day of your lessons,” replied Dublar.
“Yes, would you maybe, like to join me? You could get a glimpse of what you’re in for.”
“Well, I didn’t have any other plans, but wonder around the streets. So, I suppose I’ll take you up on that offer.”
“Alright then, we best be going.”
It took some time to get to the city’s harbor, and from there they went to an old warehouse. It had been turned into a small museum. One of the rooms however, had been given to be used as a classroom. They arrived, just as three other boys did, and together they made their way.
When they entered, Dublar was surprised to see a familiar face writing things down on a chalkboard. It was Professor Bailon; Faone’s former professor. He was the one who gave his family the information about Faone’s missing vessel. From then on, he would stop by now and again.
“Ah, Dublar! It’s good to see you,” said Professor Bailon. “How are you?”
“I’m fine, thank you.”
“Come to join my class have you? Is it only two more years now?”
“Are you excited?”
“I’m very excited to join your class.”
“Good. I’m glad to hear that I have at least one person eager to become a captain.”
“Well, you better find a seat; I’d like to get started here very soon.”
The seven boys, including Dublar took a seat.
“Tonight, we’ll be discussing what to do when someone on board becomes ill. Now, you definitely don’t want the illness to spread, because a sick crew could mean death. And you certainly don’t just shut the man who’s sick out either, because that almost guarantees death. You leave a man in a room by himself, he’ll get devoured by cockroaches, rats and who the hell knows what else. Now the key is…”
Dublar sat in his chair, his face planted on his fists. He sucked up and stored for life, every word that came out of Professor Bailon. But when Dublar looked around the class, he noticed sleeping and dozing. How can they simply ignore this? Dublar thought. They’re getting the chance to be taught by a man known around the world for his amazing talent to Captain a ship, and all they can do is sleep?
“Now, can anyone please tell me about some of the things that I just said? Anyone at all?” He added when no one made a sound. “For God’s sakes, I’m doing my best to train you all to be extraordinary leaders, and you don’t even attempt to learn. If you’re not going to try, why do you even bother to come?”
Hesitantly, Diego raised his hand.
“I think I can tell you most of the parts, at least the important ones.”
“Would I be telling it to you if it all weren’t important. Everything I teach is very important; but at least you’re trying. This is why I say this as much as I do. Diego will truly be the first one out of here, and will have a great starting position on a vessel. Now please, share with the rest who decided sleeping was a better way to go, what my lesson was about.”
Dublar listened to his friend recite the lesson, still just as exhilarating to him as it was the first time. When he was finished, Professor Bailon stood up from his chair, and went back to the chalkboard with an eraser.
“Thank you Diego, next week will be on navigating on a cloud-covered sky.”
Each student in turn thanked Professor Bailon and exited the room. Dublar was the last one.
“I loved your lesson, Professor Bailon. I was so intrigued about everything. I’m even more excited to join!”
“Thank you very much, Dublar. I know you’re going to be just as smart, or more than your brother, Faone was.”
“Thank you,” said Dublar.
He turned, and left the classroom. Diego was leaning up against the wall just outside, waiting for him.
“So…what did you think about it?” He asked, beginning to walk down the long harbor.
“I loved every bit of it,” replied Dublar. “I can’t wait.”
“You know, maybe you and I’ll be partners on a ship. Wouldn’t that be swell?”
“It sure would. Adventuring the see together. That would be swell indeed!”