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Nocturna league (episode.., p.6
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       Nocturna League (Episode 3: The Sunken Breath), p.6

           Kell Inkston
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  Chapter 5: The Needle, the Eye, and the Fight

  Estradia bursts out from the cabinet, electricity arcing off his slimy eel exterior. “You will all meet the deep! The Nocturna will be swallowed!” Estradia cries while rushing for the two ladies. In a blink, The Captain propels into Estradia and kicks his lanky body across the room and into a medicine cabinet, shattering the glass from the impact.

  “I should have known,” The Captain cries out, “another case of eldritch mind-infection,” The Captain continues, struggling with the now hideously-strong Estradia.

  “That’s right! Right under your nose!” The possessed Estradia yells, his eyes tearing out black, horrific ink.

  “I can’t believe I didn’t notice.”

  “Oh yes, we’ve evolved; we could be in your entire crew for all you know!”

  The Captain scoffs, pushing Estradia deeper into the broken glass of the cabinet. “Possibly, but it’s unlikely you could make much use of it— your kind can only do so much to control a single mind at a time. There must be two of you.”

  Estradia grins. “Yes! Much more, even! We’ll kill you, and then everyone else on this ship! Souls abound!”

  The Captain laughs. “You’ll likely have difficulty stealing something from me that I don’t have.”

  Estradia draws back, his long neck arching in confusion. “Huh?”

  The Captain swings Estradia straight through the room and out the door onto the cold deck. He leaps out to meet his opponent, but turns just a moment to shout an order. “Do it, Grancis, we haven’t the time for chatter!” With that he exits and locks the door behind him ensuring no one without a key could interrupt the two ladies.

  Colette and Grancis are alone now, and Colette’s hand is still tightly wound about her friend’s wrist. “Colette, please.” Grancis aims the needle as she pushes her weight into Colette, toppling her onto the table.

  “No! Salt’s a dumbass! You’re a dumbass! Get…” Colette strains her superior strength, “off me!” She successfully flings Grancis aside and reaches into her vest to retrieve her revolver.

  Grancis rolls to her feet quickly, but once she spots the weapon in Colette’s hand, she freezes. “Would you… would you actually hurt me? I’m just trying to help you!” Grancis says, eyes scanning the room for possibilities.

  Colette’s rigid frame pauses in thought and her eyes steadily widen in realization. Just as soon as they opened, though, they narrow back into focus. “Yeah, I would. You’re an idiot for trusting that salt-ass sonuvabitch and even if you’re well-intentioned, you’re wrong. I’m going to bed… Get out of my way, Grancis!” Grancis slides in front of the door and over to a nearby medicine cabinet with the same motion. “Grancis Vereyrty! Move over!”

  Eyes trained on Colette, she shifts through the various jars of drugs in the cabinet, and picks out one labeled 'muscle relaxant'. Grancis narrows and focuses her gaze as she silently equips the jar in her other hand from behind her back. “I trust him, Colette. We don’t know anything about this.”

  “Know anything about what?!” Colette brandishes her gun.

  “You have like… a thing… in your head! I was there!” Grancis exclaims as she fights down her tremors and readies herself.

  Colette loosens up a bit. “What th-” Grancis swipes forward with the vessel slightly ajar, slinging a few drops of the drug at Colette’s face. “Grancis, what the hell?! What the ffff-” she drops to her knees, but has enough nerve in a single second to fire her gun. Her shot hits Grancis’ foot. “Ffff…” Colette falls over, conscious, but unable to move. “Gran… You piece of-” Colette says all sorts of things that the narrator would hate to repeat, as Grancis steps forward and pushes Colette’s defending hands away. She then poises the needle right above her best friend’s eye.

  “Take a deep breath, Colette.”

  “P-p-please, Gran. Don’t do it— there’s nnnn…nothing in my h-head. You’ll make me ha-ha-half blind. I c-c-c…can’t lose an eye. I nn-need everything if I’m gonna kill ‘em— please, please!” Colette begs on as Grancis takes a deep breath and lowers the needle towards Colette’s pupil. Colette vibrates, forcing every ounce of strength she has to defy Grancis, but nothing stops her. The needle, only a centimeter from Colette, hovers a moment and then plunges into her eye, placed almost perfectly into the center. Colette begins screaming as the needle digs all the way through her eye on its own accord, taking a life of its own as it inserts itself. Grancis takes a deep breath, watching it go in, and then looks to her foot— it’s bleeding heavily. Grancis limps back to the cabinet, crudely bandages her foot and lays back next to the suffering Colette, her friend's eyes wide and body convulsing in agony.

  Finally, she feels she can rest. Grancis holds Colette’s hand as she lays herself down, and she closes her eyes— dreaming of a time before Colette wanted revenge, and a time when she could simply help by carrying her companion's fish from the stream.

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