Two surfboards barrel down the ocean at top speed, faster than any airplane or train could ever hope for.
Two figures, just blips in the distance from the point of view of the pirate fleet off the coast of San Miguel Island. The waves themselves conceal these blips entirely.
And those pirate soldiers...
One captain, some nameless mook stares off into the waves. His eye twitches but he smiles with that piratey smile. “I wonder how many they’ll send.” He giggles a little to himself and forces his lackey to laugh along with him. “We’ve got so much firepower in here... These ships are ray shielded. They can’t take this fleet.”
“It’ll probably be, uh, fifty fighters. They’ll need at least that many. No, maybe a hundred fighters! They’ll never take this fleet with less. Heh, they’ll need an army of fighters!”
The lackey stirs. He looks through binoculars and stares at those growing blips. “I have a visual.”
“I think so.”
“How many?” the captain asks. “A thousand?”
“Forty? Come on, how many?”
“What? Give me those!”
He snatches the binoculars away and stares at the ocean himself. The captain’s eye twitches.
Indeed, there are two, and only two fighters coming towards them at top speed.
The captain knows now that this is the day he will die, but he isn’t willing to accept it just yet. So he screams and orders his ship to cast fire at full strength.
At least that’s how I imagine our approach.
I, Eryk Solbourne, and Abby Faulkner race towards the pirate ships and get ready to battle.
I’ve been in a lot of full-frontal assaults in my time. And definitely many more in my Slayers days that I can no longer remember. So this one, while my first ever assault by surfboard, is not so different. I’m calm, and I will decimate these enemies because that is exactly what my destiny has in store for me.
An epic battle begins.
Cannonballs explode on impact against the ocean waves, just feet from my prior position. If I was surfing just a little bit slower, I would have been completely decimated.
Dozens of pirates fire their guns out to sea, and the closer we get, the more dangerous it becomes. Like Francis’s famous “shoot them up” games, I am forced to dodge bullets at maximum speed before my hitbox is reached. Abby, too, of course. We’re both being pushed—though not to our limits.
These men are unprepared. Caught off-guard by the sheer brazenness of our attack of just two. So as hard as they try, they still aren’t strong enough to stop the two of us.
We’re almost in striking distance. Almost ready.
“This must have been what Swayze felt like when he escaped the FBI,” Abby says to herself, as if remembering the nostalgic specter of some ghost.
“Well, let’s dance these pirates dirty,” I say.
“Yes, my King.”
We’re in range!
I poof from my inventory my trusty bow and arrow that has served me so well for all this time on Earth. I fire off one shot and it immediately pierces the heart of one of the pirate ship soldiers. There’s fifty more on the deck shooting at us, let alone the other ships further down in the fleet but one down is a good start.
I’m... not going to keep track of that for a little while, sorry. I’m going to defeat a lot of foes in the next few minutes.
Abby takes out the double-edged boomerang scythe (that I gave her just before we departed) and tosses it at the ship. It whirls at a speed and sharpness that none of the soldiers are able to deflect it, or even have enough time to flee— It slices right through the bodies, just like the butter of some smooth 60 FPS framerate (as Francis would often say) (I really miss Francis), and kills most of the men shooting at us. A good ten still remain, including the twitchy-eyed captain, but the bulk of the ship is now defenseless.
There’s still the matter of the cannonballs, but I lob off a few more arrows and kill the operators for two of them.
However, we don’t have much more room to maneuver. The ship is too close—so we have to break off and circle back around, lest we grow too close to the sprays of bullets.
I make my second move—I poof out of my inventory my OTHER bow and arrow set, which I received from the Royal Palace just hours ago.
Two bows, two hands.
I begin launching as many arrows as possible with my one-handed bow shots, firing from each hand as many shots as I can make in as little time as possible. This is my first time ever dual-wielding bows, so my accuracy is much lower than I would wish, but I am causing great chaos to this pirate ship filled with desparate soldiers. Some outright abandon their heresy and jump overboard rather than risk being hit by one of my strikes.
They are intelligent. It is a good path not to trifle with the powers of Eryk Solbourne, Leader of the Old Slayers, King of Santa Barbara, Viceroy of the Vines (this is a nickname given to me by the vine people of Alabaster, but doesn’t mean much).
Abby circles back around just in time for her hand to catch the scythe so she can throw it once more. This time, though, there are so few soldiers on deck that it only kills one foolhardy woman who, imitating me, had picked up two machine guns to fire at us.
Then Abby’s eyes narrow and she points at the ship.
“Don’t get too nervous, but they’ve mobilized the surf ninjas,” she tells me. “They’ll try to pick us off.”
“Surf ninjas, eh? I have dealt with far worse than that in my time,” I say.
Out of the ship, and pouring out of other ships behind it, comes dozens of surfboard-riding men, almost all of them with blonde, curly hair, almost all of them shirtless, and almost all of them holding various swords and axes and harpoons.
Unlike Ms. Faulkner and I, these surf ninjas do not have the sheer balance or outright strength to wield weapons like guns and bows while surfing. So while their numbers are many, their reach is weak, and that will doom them.
I fire off a particularly sharp arrow that pierces through one surfer. It goes clean through his body and ends up in the chest of the woman behind him.
None are able to even approach Abby; she simply swings her scythe around and all who are too close perish. That is the power of a scythe gained through the Achievements Board, and if only these Earthlings had the Destiny Deck System, they would have already known this.
If only I had a good Destiny Card to wipe out this whole force at once, we’d have a great time, but alas, my cards are too specialized for that.
One unwary man grows too close to me, though, and I activate [Parch!]
Parch: Rank 2. Drain someone/thing of fluid and absorb it to become less thirsty. (It would take a few minutes of sustained parching to suck all fluid from a human and kill them, in case you were wondering.) Cost: 350 LP.
But I still have over 18,000, so it’s not like that matters anyway.
I suck all of the fluids possible out of this man, quenching any lack of water I may have had and fully refreshing me.
This man, though, has completely lost all balance and is teetering off the edge of the board almost immediately. His skin is dry and his hands are shaking.
“I’m... so.... thirsty...” he mutters before falling off his board and into the ocean.
The man’s board flies up into the air like it has been catapulted, and I shoot it with an arrow to propel it. It flies through the air, knocking three more surfers off their boards, and finally collides with the pirate ship.
A cannonball fires in my direction, and I swipe with the full force of my [Power] stat. Timing it just right, I counter the ball and volley it right back to the pirate ship. It explodes on the deck and sets the whole ship on fire.
Now, with few surf ninjas left and a pirate ship quickly sinking, the rest of the fleet approaches the two of us at once.
But our job is done...
We stalled for time.
And now the large cruiser has arrived, with Delta as its captain.
The assault continues.