|Swallowed by the Whale
Author: Blue GhostGhost PM
A space opera of sorts. Slash mxm warning NC17 dub/con angstRated: Fiction M - English - Sci-Fi/Romance - Words: 1,447 - Reviews: 57 - Favs: 61 - Follows: 94 - Updated: 12-01-10 - Published: 06-23-10 - id: 2821136
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say to him, You are like a young lion of the nations, and you are as a whale in the seas: and you came forth with your rivers, and troubled the waters with your feet, and fouled their rivers. Ezekiel 32:2
By the time the madness subsided and I remembered who I was, the crew was already calling me Jonah. I had been in the ship's infirmary for damn near two months by then—shitting myself, mumbling incoherently and otherwise making a nuisance, so it hardly seemed worth correcting them. They liked me better as Jonah and who was I to argue with pirates? It was the novelty of my strange arrival that had kept me alive anyway.
The stench of whale fat is distinctive—even if you are kept below deck and by the way of things it was pretty obvious that this wasn't a licensed whaling outfit—half of the crew didn't speak the native tongue of Newwater for starters. And considering that we're on a moon that greets whale poachers with torture and execution, even a raving lunatic such as myself is a considerable risk to keep around.
But I am told they cut me from the belly of one of those great sea monsters—that I just flopped out onto the deck during a harvest, burned hairless and screaming like a newborn babe. They had to strap me to a bed the first four days, I writhed so. Blind for weeks, they kept me, I assume, out of novelty or pity or both.
If I was talking to these men honestly I would tell them that I couldn't give a fuck how much whale oil they smuggled off this traitorous cockbiting moon. If I have enough strength in my arms by the time we get to shore, I will happily help them load the barrels myself. The more of the illegal stuff that floods the market, the lower the price goes. Low barrel prices hurt Newwater and I can't really see the downside to that.
It is midmorning sometime during the third month that I meet him for the first time. I hear the door to the infirmary open and I assume it is just the doctor again, or one of the other crewmembers that sometimes will bring me a meal. I don't even bother to look up.
"Doc says you're doing better," this is a new voice, rich and gravely like something smoked over an open fire. "Keeping your food down and not shitting yourself anymore."
Startled by the change in my daily routine, I sit up slowly and take in his appearance: tightly trimmed dark beard, blue waistcoat, and tailored jacket. This has to be the captain. He isn't too old, thirty-five at the most, but those steel grey eyes tell me he is battle-hard.
My home moon, Bethany, is no playground, full of near-at-war desert tribes. You learn to read a man right quick. You should also know your way around a blade and a gun, but honestly times being as they are I don't know a moon in the outer territories where that isn't the case.
I give him my best hesitant grin. I want him to think I'm a child-like fool, half smothered into stupidity by whale fat and harmless as a big-eyed puppy dog. It has worked on the others and I hope it will be the same with him. I don't want any trouble. I just want to live through this. He watches my performance appraisingly. I am hoping he doesn't think of it as a performance.
"Damn," he says approaching me. "So it's true. All your hair fell out and is coming in bone white. Aren't you a sight?" He touches my head and I try to hold steady—don't flinch. I can't be bold and hit his hand away, and I think I'll wait until he gives me a good reason for the beaten dog routine. He runs a finger through my now sparse locks and I try not to squirm at his touch on my sensitive scalp. "My men don't know all that much about running these sea vessels," he says at last. "Give them a space craft and you can't find better, but out here, half this crew is temporary. They respect me, I've made sure of that, but the relationship doesn't run all that deep. My second in command is still on the shuttle, so I'm stuck with some ass wipe moron from the mainland." I blink at him, wondering why the hell he's sharing his problems with me.
But all and all I like the look of him. There is a rugged honesty to appearance; right down to the way he keeps his clothes—neat but not overly showy. He seems, by my estimations, to be a reasonable man.
"I can see why they call you pretty," he says suddenly putting a hand on my thigh. My eyes go wide without my permission as my heart thuds rapidly in my chest. It takes me a second longer to fully grasp the weird and ugly place this is going.
This is the sort of conundrum one raised with responsibilities of my nature has to face. Do I go down to the death fighting off a rapist captain with a taste for simpletons? Or do I go with his desires in hopes of surviving long enough to personally rip the throats out of those who put me in this abhorrent situation? It gives me pause, let me tell you.
The captain puts a hand on my waist and pulls me towards him, at which point the answer flashes through my mind like lightening. Oh hell no. I'm doing this. I cannot do this. And if this is the way it ends so be it. I give him another stupid smile and lean in. He lets me, looking amused. I keep inching forward until my breath must be tickling his skin. I can smell the lotion he uses on his hair—citrus and mint, feel his body heat. Then suddenly I crunch down on his ear—hard. I think I taste blood. He yelps and staggers back in surprise. Think. Oh God think.
My blades are gone, but I've seen where the doctor keeps his scalpels. Those would do. And normally, I would have been able to make the lunge too, no problem. But I'm weaker still than I realize. My legs buckle and Captain Rape-O has me pinned back down on the cot before I can figure up from down. Probably for the best. People get a lot meaner once you have a knife in your hand.
"Hey, knock it off," he orders. I think I snarl. Then, he claps me pretty hard across the face, and I hear my jaw pop, as my head lights up in searing pain. That takes some of the wind out of my sails.
"Look, we have another month out here, so you have a couple of choices," he says calm as anything, "I can dump you back out there to be fish food—which is kind of tempting at the moment—you can come upstairs to my cabin, or I can leave you down here to be the ship pet. There's been talk. They're very fond of you, little Jonah and they're thinking you're getting well enough to play with. So what will it be? You want to be the Captain's or the crew's? Like I said, they're not mine all the way, but I've taught them better than to go grabbing at something I call my own."
Son of a bitch. Why is it once one person has fucked you over, they just start lining up? My father taught me that before he died. The trick is to not let that first bastard get any purchase, because then you're in the hole and boy was I in the hole now. I go limp. He has a point—not one I like, but a valid one all the same.
"You going to be nice now? You bite me again and I'll break your hand." I look into those grey eyes and I believe him. Considering his available options that seems downright tender hearted.
"Yeah, okay," I say my voice shaky, "let's go upstairs then."