MISC: Swashbucklers of the Double Helix #1

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Fri Feb 17 23:52:37 PST 2017

I would apologize for not posting for a while - again - but you know what? Screw 
it, let's get to the content!


    Some said he was a prince himself, that he'd been born with a silver spoon 
in his mouth, but scorned the excesses and the cruelty of his royal kin and 
taken off with their ivory ship. Others said he had been the lowest of the low, 
but had been clever and tricky and managed to talk his way into stealing it 
right out from under their noses. (Still others noted that these two 
possibilities were not exclusive.) But everyone agreed - he was beauty and love 
and fire, and even though that love was shared with everyone he met, there was 
in his heart a great hole. This he covered with a golden plate, the shapes of 
stylized vines curling over it as if they had grown over an abandoned temple.
    And the ship of ivory flew around the worlds, around the white-capped 
hyperwaves of the Great Helix, the path laid long ago 'cross the civilized 
galaxy, and the dark and unknown fractals of the Nemesis Helix, in which many a 
ship has gone lost down the branching paths of possibility. And many were his 
adventures, and many were the enemies he fought, and many were the people he 
protected and the lives he saved.
    The enemies he was fighting at the moment were a rapscallious band of Time 
Pirates, who stole days and weeks and years from the unwary and used them to 
spin gold. He leapt onto their golden deck, a rapier in each hand, fencing with 
two, three, four at a time. His coat of burgundy and gold filigree sparkled in 
the light of the pink and purple suns of Qaladar. His curly pink mohawk bounced 
cheerfully as he leapt across the deck, a whirling dervish of silver blades and 
    The door to the cabins burst open, and the commander of the pirates pushed 
out a hostage - an elegant dandy in a pale blue suit and silver diadem that 
sparkled perfectly on smoky-topaz skin. "We know your weakness!" shouted the 
commander, holding a butcher knife to the hostage's neck. "Your soft and 
unfinished heart! Stop right there, or we'll slit this one's throat!"
    He gave the pirate an easy smile. "Of course. You have beaten me." He gave a 
deep bow of respect and submission - and as he straightened, he tossed one of 
his blades in the air, where it caught the light and for a brief moment dazzled 
all. In that moment, his other arm whipped out, and the rapier in it flew, 
slicing the pirate's hand and making him shout and drop his knife.
    He leapt across the deck, catching one rapier as it fell, kicking the pirate 
commander to the ground and scooping up the other. "Ah, my mistake," he said, 
pointing both blades at the commander's neck. "*I* have beaten *you*."
    The pirates were made one by one to walk the plank, off which they leapt 
into the Great Helix, and were swept across the galaxies by their own karmic 
weight, toward new fates and new lives. With a salute, he turned away from the 
guardrail and toward the former captive. "Apologies for the slow service; if I'd 
known they had a hostage, I would've brought some popcorn for the fight." He 
sheathed his rapiers and extended a hand. "Might I know the name of the lovely 
lad who fate has dropped in my lap?"
    The ex-hostage smiled shyly at him, shaking his hand with a warm, soft palm 
and long, dextrous fingers. "I am Prince Cabochon, of the Amber Dwarves. Might I 
know the name of my rescuer?"
    He dipped his head in apology. "Alas, O Prince, I have none. Many have tried 
to give them to me, but none have fit inside the hole in my heart."
    The prince nodded in sympathy. "But I will need to call you something; if 
not who you are, perhaps what you do?"
    He gestured at the ship of ivory. "I captain yon vessel against scallawags 
like these."
    The prince giggled. "May I call you Captain, then?"
    The captain chuckled, low and deep and pleased. "Be delighted if you did!"
    The pirate ship was sold for a tidy profit at the next port of call. "Always 
satisfying when a good deed goes rewarded," said the captain. "So, my prince, 
where are the Amber Dwarves?"
    The prince stared into the ageless skies. "Many turns of the Great Helix 
from here, I fear."
    The captain put his hand on his. "Then, my prince, I shall bring you home; 
but, for a kiss, I shall bring you home the fast way~"
    And the prince's cheeks darkened; but he kissed him, first on the cheek, 
then on the lips, and said, "It does not have to be *too* fast."


Drew "a new swashbeginning!" Perron

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