Les Mousquetaires – Chapter 6 (The Wind Witches) Part 2
“Remember you are the voice for those who cannot talk; you are the protector of those who cannot protect themselves.” Debasish Mridha
“There’s a few things we’re going to have get clear before I agree to help you,” the elegant man with the larger-than-life gun said, as the small group of conspirators walked down the west dock towards their skiff.
“Oh yeah?” Lynnette asked, in a way that told the man she’d expected there would be conditions.
“We’ll get aboard the Aponi first, then, we’ll talk about it,” he said, as he put his hand on the small of her back, just as she was boarding the skittish craft.
And normally, Lynnette would have flinched at the contact. But from first laying eyes upon him, Lynnette just knew there was little that was normal about the man Omaha.
“The Aponi is here,” he told Benny, as he pressed his handheld to the one Benny had in his hand.
“Thanks,” Benny said, as he plugged the coordinates into the small craft’s auto-pilot.
“We have just under one-hundred-and-ninety-thousand harvesters under the Wolf banner, and even with the twenty-nine-thousand the Catholics have, and the seventy-three-thousand the Russians and Chinese have combined, I still don’t think we’ll have the numbers you need,” Omaha shouted over the wind, as the open-air craft bounced over the white capped water.
“Storms brewing,” Bruce said then, as he sniffed into the air.
“We need nineteen-thousand more,” Lynnette hollered back, as she tried to keep her bun from unraveling in the wind.
Omaha narrowed a look at the woman that suggested he was impressed with her, and scared of her, all at the same time.
“Before we board, there’s something you should know,” the man said, just as they reached the brand new harvester.
“Oh?” Lynnette asked, in such a way as to imply she really, really hated surprises.
“This isn’t my boat. And I’m not the captain.”
Lynnette didn’t say a word at that, but rather she held her tongue, because she’d caught a smirk on the man’s face she liked entirely too much to be angry with him now.
And so, she followed the rest of them onboard the elegantly designed Aponi.
“Elu, we have a visitor, she’s here to help us fight off the drake. Elu, this is former Secretary of the UN Lynnette Parker. Lynnette, this is my wife, and captain of this ship, the beautiful queen Elu.”
“My pleasure,” Lynnette said, taking the hand of a woman that was almost as black as night.
“I’m glad they had the sense to send a woman,” Elu told her with a smile that radiated like the rays from a full-harvest moon.
“Well, they didn’t really send me, so much as I just came. That’s why I’m no longer with the UN. Because instead of looking at solutions they were too busy assigning blame. And something needed to be done.”
“Would you like something to eat? You all look hungry,” the forty-something-year-old woman asked, with so much grace and elegance Lynnette instantly liked her. As did Benny and Bruce and Tiglath, who were all star struck by her radiance.
“How is it you came to be the captain of the Aponi? I thought the Aponi was a White Wolf ship, and the White Wolves are all of the Whitefoot tribe, I thought,” Lynnette asked the Zulu woman.
The dark-eyed woman was silent for a minute, as she seemed lost in a sudden memory that Lynnette’s words had sparked. And then she softly said, “First we eat. Then we talk. It’s never good to discuss such things on an empty stomach.”
“God bless you, woman,” Benny said then, with such a look of happiness it caused everyone else to smile and blow out a bit of pent-up energy they were storing.
“Rowtag is technically the captain of the Aponi, this ship’s predecessor. And yes, he was of the Whitefoot tribe, just like the rest of the White Wolves,” Elu told the table, just as they were finishing off a delicious meal.
“Was?” Lynnette asked, as politely as she could.
“Yes,” the woman said, bowing her head a bit, in reverence and in respect.
“My husband died during the fight of the Shales. When Red Wolf clan was decimated. To a man.”
“But how did you not lose the harvester?” Lynnette asked.
“As you know, when the Catholics attacked at the Shales they used a high-frequency sound generator to disrupt the DNA signals of all of the ship captains. That’s how they won. And also how they lost, when it was determined they had used technology no man should possess.”
“Yes, I remember reading the reports at the time. It was devastating. But, I thought only Red Wolf Clan had been effected, to any large degree,” Lynnette told the woman, though to be fair, at the time it had happened Lynnette had been neck-deep in other pressing affairs.
“What you do not know is that both White Wolf Clan and Dead Wolf Clan were also effected. Nearly to a man. And a few other clans were also affected, to a lessor degree,” Elu told the woman who arrogantly prided herself on knowing more than everyone else in the room.
“Why am I just learning this now? And how did you not lose all those ships?”
“Because what the enemy does not know can’t be used against us,” Elu informed the woman, as she rose from her place at the table, and then began cleaning off the dirty dishes.
“No, let me. You go talk with them. They need to know. It’s right. It’s time,” Omaha told his wife, as he took the dishes from her hands and then kissed her on her forehead.
Elu smiled at the man then, in such a way as to make Lynnette believe there was nothing she would not do for him, nor he for her. And for a moment she let that thought sink into her bones.
And then she sighed and followed the elegantly dressed woman into the central room.
“The device the Catholics used only affect men, as it turns out. But thankfully, most of our harvesters also had women aboard, woman that weren’t known by the council, because such things are frowned upon,” Elu told them all, as they each took a seat in the small central room.
“Frowned upon for good reason. Harvesters are deadly, and especially after the great upheaval, and loosing all those women’s lives… to risk any more by allowing them onto the harvesters…” Lynnette’s voice trailed off as she realized that if these women had listened they would have lost their entire livelihoods. In a heartbeat it simply would have been gone.
“I’m sorry, that must have been a terrible loss for you,” she finished instead.
Elu smiled at her, and then she bent over and scratched a white cat behind one of its ears.
“It’s the past. And rarely do we know why a thing happens until much-much later. As the gods intend it to be.”
“Why is that? Do you suppose?” Lynnette asked, honestly curious to hear this brave and bold woman’s answer.
“Because our minds are just too small to make sense of the bigger plan. And because if we knew what they had in store for us we’d probably all just jump ship now.”
“Touché,” Lynnette said, with a wry grin.
“Most all of the ships within the South Pacific ring are captained by these women. Women who have been doing it silently, behind the scenes, ever since that fateful battle. Omaha is just the face of the operation.”
“The muscle in front of the brains,” Bruce chimed in then, his face a bright pink from all of the alcohol.
“Oh, Omaha is much-much more than muscle. He’s the proud male lion that keeps all the rest at bay. I mean, can you even imagine if all the men of our world realized these harvesters are populated with nothing but women? What kind of danger they’d be in?”
Lynnette understood immediately why they functioned the way they did, and she thought it was brilliant. Given the times they were in.
“Plus, it helps if the Catholics don’t know their sound device doesn’t work on women,” Lynnette also stated, just to make certain everyone else in the room understood the scope of the secrets they were now obligated to keep.
“Yes, it certainly helps that our enemies doesn’t know either our strengths, nor our weaknesses. In fact, the only way us Wind Witches can ensure our safety, is if we can count on you all to keep our secret.”
Elu’s eyes were jet-black and as entrancing as her flawless skin and features. Yet, there was deadliness to her, a deadliness that spoke of not only a willingness to act, but a preparedness to act as well.
“We will all keep your secrets. But first, I must know who’s really is in charge, then?”
“Why, we all are, of course. All of us Wind Witches. We formed a council of twelve, with Omaha as our thirteen. As he puts his neck on the line for us more than anyone. When we can’t decide among us, when there’s a decision we can’t make – Omaha decides.”
“So, he really is more than a show piece?” Lynnette remarked, just as the average build man with the larger than life presence walked into the room.
“Dishes are all done,” he said, as he took up Elu’s hand and kissed it.
“Oh, yes. Omaha is the only reason we’re all still alive.”
© Raena Exe 2021
*Inspired by life.
*All characters, places, and events are completely fictional.
*All rights reserved.
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