The Heist on Silver Knights Bank Chapter 3

Hello again. Here is chapter 3 of the Addy and PD collaborated Steam Punk story.

Chapter one is here

And Chapter two is here

So lets do this thing!


The Kingless port, cloudy, dark, and an often wet town, is situated at the bottom of the Dragon Mountains. It is also one of the many homes to the Unruled. Volcanic vents are harnessed, their energy pushing the large wheels and cogs that power this seaside town. It is a place of industry, as large machines controlled by the smiths forge weapons, tools, and anything else the Unruled would need. Factory chimneys lead to the sky, filling it with white steam and black smoke. And people rush about, working hard.

If you’re looking for work, you wouldn’t be looking long. Every smith and factory needs able bodied men and women to do jobs a machine can’t. But if you are well educated and have a great imagination you wouldn’t even need to look. You make your own work.

Inventors, mechanics, architects, and scientists call this place home. Many of the people work on new inventions and modifications both to their equipment and to themselves. To see a man with steam powered appendages or driving horseless carriages is not uncommon. The mountains provide steel and the vents, power.

The airship flew gracefully onto its landing platform, a hastily constructed surface of rustic sheet metal and flaking paint. Robes were thrown to a boy below who would earn a bronze rook, and the anchor fell, hitting the floor like a gong.

“Okay, one more time,” the captain said, grinning from ear to ear.

“One hundred and fifty thousand gold kings.” The gunman answered, carrying the heavy sack on his shoulder.

“One hundred and fifty! Fuck me royally, Peri, we could live like bloody kings!”

“Not to mention giving the Ruled the first middle finger since Cyanide’s death!” They were both interrupted as Musket pointed to an oriental woman with two metal arms and two swords strapped to her back. “We’ve got trouble, Captain.”

“Well, well, the great airship captain finally graces me with his big ugly face,” the odd-looking woman called out as she reached them.

“And good afternoon to you, too, Miss Schnee.” The captain gave her a mock bow: “And what do I owe the pleasure?”

Schnee is part of the shadier sides of a shady town. A loan shark/blade for hire, she doesn’t care who she hurts as long as she gets what she wants. Her two metal arms where either blown off in a steam engine accident or, as rumour has it, she cut them off herself when she grew tired of the limitations of a human hand. Now she wields a short sword in each hand and can spin them faster than rotors. It’s often told how she can block bullets and shred a man to pieces.

The captain went to her when he needed coin to build his ship.

“You know fine well. You owe me quite a bit of money for the construction of your flying monstrosity; shall I take your new toy for myself?”

“Take the stick out of your arse, Schnee. I have your money here.” He handed a small bag of kings.

Schnee studied the contents, looking through a few coins and biting others. After weighing one coin in one hand and the bag in the other she seemed satisfied. She never did smile unless she got her money.

“Well, I heard the rumours that you were planning a little heist, I just didn’t think you could pull it off. Especially after the last one.”

Peri looked at his feet and mumbled how it was a successful heist.

“But knowing your style,” Schnee continued, “I doubt it was quiet-like; violence will only take you so far, Captain.”

“You know what they say, Schnee: ‘If violence doesn’t solve your problems then you aren’t using enough,” Musket announced, fingering a pistol.

Schnee laughed at that. “Even still. You’ve drawn attention to us. None of us have done anything this stupid since our grandfathers tunnelled out the walls of Cyanide’s Keep. You weren’t followed?”

As prosperous as the Kingless town was it was like many Unruled homes: a secret kept from the Ruled. Otherwise fleets of ships would have wiped them out years ago. The Unruled may have had the advanced technology but the Ruled had numbers and weren’t afraid to expend them.

“No one can track a flying ship. We were too fast and we sailed above the cloud barrier. That, and this town has come a long way. We can defend it easily,” said Musket.

***

The town’s breakwater had long been fitted with automated sonic cannons linked to volcanic vents deep below the water. The town walls are also equipped with repeater cross bows and cannons. Any ship unmarked with the town’s brand would be blasted before reaching the dock. So long as they have power it is near impregnable.

This makes the sky the only weakness, but that wouldn’t be the case now.

“Fine, but keep your head down. You may have a flying ship, but you’re not invincible.” With that she left them.

The captain stared after her as she left, lost in thought as she walked away.

“This is why you don’t have a girl, Capt’n,” a small voice chirped.

Shaking the captain out of his trance he rounded on the perpetrator. “Damn it Bombs, were have you been?” Bomber looked up, as innocent as ever and with fresh paint on her face. “Don’t change the subject. You can’t get a woman because you always look at the crazy ones like her.”

“What, are you my mother? Don’t you lot have some celebrating to do or something!”

***

On the back of the breakwater three large cogs spin, each one powering a sonic cannon. These cogs are also pushed by heat and steam, except they are powered by sub-oceanic vents.

One man checks the pipes connecting the vents to cogs. He suits up in a whale skin dry suit, fitted with lead weights and a metal air tank. A brass helmet is fitted over his head and a torch is clipped onto his helmet and arm.

When he is as comfortable as he could be, he jumps into the ice cold waters and sinks slowly to the bottom.

The first danger comes at thirty feet, where he might experience narcosis, a condition where the water pressure and nitrogen in your body gives you a drunken state. Once, the diver became anxious and panicked, nearly swimming to the surface too quickly. Another time, he sat at the bottom laughing. He knows how to avoid it now and he is always cautious.

When his boots touch the bottom silt it billows out, clouding his vision. When it passes he starts his journey to the first pipe. Breathing deeply, he maintains peripheral awareness of his air gauges. It’s dark down here. Only a little light breaks through, and visibility is poor.

The first pipe is intact. Slightly rusted but without leaks, and he enjoys its warmth before moving on.

The second is leaking hot air bubbles; an easy fix soon remedies that. He takes out a welder and seals the breach before moving on.

Last one; he is getting tired now and by the time he reaches it he can hear something: sonar. Whales once lived here but they left when they realised their brethren were being hunted. He marches on, mindful of his depleting air supply.

He hears ticking, and stomping.

He stops and breaths, its narcosis, nothing is down here but fishes and dust. “Just breath,” he thinks to himself.

What little natural light was above him is extinguished as a shadow passes over him. He looks up and sees it! Cogs spinning and joints bubbling, it was faster than lightning. It grabbed him by the air tank. Flailing around he tried to break free, but it was useless.

The metal tank hissed as it began leaking, and then it blew open. The diver watched helplessly as his air supply rushed out of his tank and made for the surface. His helmet filled with water and the cogged giant released its victim, letting him sink to the floor before turning its attention to the pipes.

Advertisements

the heist on Silver Knights Bank

Had an idea for a steam punk heist and decided to jot it down. Then I handed it to Periodically Demented, who is writing a steam punk novel, after editing, fleshing out the story and giving it more steam, I can say it is a lot better. Hope you enjoy!


Metal, timber, leather, and bone; these were the components IceWind Keep had been wrought from, with much of the Keep gouged from the wind-torn mountain it backed into. Unlike others in the Realm, this Keep was fashioned as a trading port for the goods that crested and fell on the mammoth tidal waves of the Devil’s Inlet as they made their way in the hulls of fantastic ships from Grey Magick River and the Dragon Eyes Volcanoes.

Harshly grated metal had been galvanised to the natural steps smashed out of the cliff face, and long tusks of wild Pitch boar were hammered into the water side and braced with Fire Island metal, the hardest compound known to man.

For nearly a century the Keep had been the advance staging post for trade with the Unruled, a mad collection of rogues and pirates who called no man master. They had come many times, often under the flags of trade, only to spill their devil-sent warriors onto the landing stage at the base of the stairs. Twice they had nearly breached the defences with their ingenious weaponry, forcing the Ruled to evaluate new methods of defence. A dozen attempts later, the Unruled had, it seemed, learned their lesson and had become quiet and cooperative in trade. The Ruled prospered and the Unruled meekly accepted the uneven terms of trade.

The Watch Captain walked around the Outer Fortress walls, looking out into the billowing bleakness of black rolling clouds and spray so harsh it was said too much exposure to it would grind a guard down until only a skeleton remained. Within stood the Silver Knights Bank, one of the richest banks due to the amount of debt it owned, including his and most of the Watch. It was why they all volunteered to be here. These men and women had run up debt in the Realm and the hardship pay they received in this place would shed years off decades of repayments.

The bank, too, housed enough coin to meet the foreseeable needs of trade, and while the prices they offered were criminally low, the goods they bought were still massively expensive. A bleak and pensive spirit seethed over the entire area, cruelly reminding all of the follies that had brought them to be here where, they said, arse met shit.

At the first watch post Captain Brandis ordered a report. A guard turned, looking tired and with salt-lacerated sleep in his eyes.

“Nothing to report, Captain!” he stated.

“Good,” the captain replied, gruffly, looking into the guard’s eyes again. “You weren’t sleeping, were you? You know what the bank’s policy is.”

Panic hit the guard “No! I mean, no sir, I wouldn’t sleep on the job sir!”

“Good. See to it that you don’t,” and with that he moved to the next post, and the next. To be found sleeping on duty had escalating consequences. The first time, it was a month’s pay and a week’s rations. The second time it was the loss of two fingers, the index and middle ones, meaning that an arrow could not be nocked into a bow and a blunderbuss trigger could not be pulled, rendering the guard fit only for much more lowly paid service. The third time, if there was one, would see the dead body of the guard being relentlessly smashed against the river rocks by the constantly assailing waves. Sending a disgraced guard home was no help to anyone and an expense the Keep would not carry.

“Report.” This guard was different. He looked concerned.

“Sorry sir, but I think I just saw a ship. Coming this way but it vanished sir.”

The captain looked out across the ocean. It was dark but the moon was full and the stars were bright. A ship would have been easily spotted despite the darkness.

“Vanished, you say? If you see it again, report immediately.” He turned without another word.

***

The tale of the PMU, the Partly Mechanised Unruled, is a long one, shot through with dread warnings and centuries-old embellishments. Long before there were Ruled and Unruled, Regent Cyanide reigned his father’s lands with a fist of steel and a penchant for poisons. It is said, but never loudly, that he poisoned his own father, weakening him. A dead King at that time of toil and vicious power was not the best outcome for the Regent, but an incapacitated one would still hold sway over the shaky power structure that was present.

Cyanide routinely experimented on the subjects of the Kingdom with varying degrees of success, if one could call it that. Many died, some lived, and all were horribly disfigured. In time, the people had been reduced to poverty, and from poverty there rose a groundswell of resentment and backlash. History shows the uprising failed, and the torn and ragged bodies of those left living were banished into the Wilds.

Many died; many didn’t. Among those who didn’t were scholars, designers, builders, dreamers, and thinkers. All of them dispossessed, and all banding together for the common weal. Less than a century later, the Unruled emerged from banishment, which had been as much self-imposed as imposed by Cyanide. They had, in that time, become partly mechanised, as much by design as necessity.

Cyanide, now in his 140th year, was taken hostage when the walls of his castle came alive and dragged him screaming into the shadows. What came back didn’t live long. His eyes had been burned out with a remarkably high degree of precision, and in their place were fitted two goggle-type eyes that hissed and whirred as he sought focus on a thing. His lungs sounded like a bellows in his chest, for that is what they were, mechanical bellows powered by the steam cart bolted into his back. Slow-working poison was fed into his nostrils via tubes that caught and filtered the natural toxins of his body. It was the perfect irony, that the Regent of Poison should die by the poisons of his own making.

Had the Unruled advanced they’d have taken control of all of the lands, but their passionate hatred had blinded them to it. They retreated into the world they had created in the Forbidden Quadrant, which they powered by the harnessing of volcanic activity and steam. Necessity is a contrary mother of invention. To adapt to their harsh environment, the PMU had to avail themselves of the technology that was itself driven by the harsh environment. Succinctly, to survive they had to mechanise themselves. Mechanisation and survival became interchangeable and vital.

***

The captain climbed down the steps and into the garden courtyard. He was heading for the garrison, hoping for some bread and cheese. Hopefully there would also be some cheap wine in there.

He had just about reached the door when he heard the most ungodlike sound, like a dragon’s fire or a mad man’s machine. Spinning around and readying his blade he saw it. The ship! It was smaller than a brig and made of hardwood, braided leather, and iron. What was horrifying was that it was floating above the courtyard, suspended by a large canvas balloon framed with iron. Fire shot out of its deck, filling the balloon as it rose. On its foredeck stood a man aiming some sort of mounted crossbow bigger than he himself was. He aimed it at the garrison and fired not one but several bolts per second, each arrow tearing through the stonework like it was clay. Dust engulfed the captain before tearing him apart. In his dying moment his heart filled with fear. The PMU had developed mechanical flight; the Ruled were fallen, although none but him knew it yet.

“The garrison is down!” the gun man roared as he swivelled his weapon to the defensive walls.

Behind the helm a young man in a weathered coat of leather and steel steered the ship with one hand and with the other fired a long-barrelled musket with a brass scope. It hissed and crackled as the steam that powered it was compressed and released, firing the quickly-glowing shell as it raced toward death and destruction.

“Aim for their cannons, we want a clean get away this time!” the whole ship tilted to the side as they went round the fortress, taking out anything that could slow their progress. The air filled with smoke and the smells and sounds of death and destruction.

“What do you mean this time? Last time was a success!” the gunman called back as he shredded through a watchtower.

“It cost more in repairs than we were able to steal!”

“Can’t hear you … guns too loud!” His gun wasn’t too loud and he could hear just fine. The last time: Only six months ago they had routed a flotilla of supply ships, but they had taken heavy fire and had only just managed, leaking and creaking, to make it back to a semi-friendly port. Everything they had looted from a supply ship that had wandered away from the flotilla, looking for clean air to fill its sails, had been handed over to the repairers. They had also lost two mechanical boom arms for loading heavy goods, and a cabin boy who had been born slow but had been augmented with a simple mechanical brain.

The strange airship made a thumping sound as its engines powered strong blowers that spewed thick black smoke into the air. Those blowers positioned the ship with remarkable accuracy, right above the now caved-in roof of the Bank. The captain shock his head and focused on the job. “Are you ladies ready?” He shouted through a pipe leading inside.

Deep in the bowels of the ship two women were making their final adjustments. One wore leather armour with two muskets on her chest, four on her hips, two on the small of her back, and she held a short three-barrelled shotgun in her hands.

The other was not dressed for combat as such. She was younger and covered in different colours of dust as if she had blown up an art supply stall, which might have been the case. She wore a skirt with combat boots and was busy painting a smiling face on a bomb.

“About time! Of course I’m ready,” the musket-clad woman shouted.

“Then open her up” The captain called back.

They both caught at the pulley that hoisted them up to mid-ships where another winch and pulley system was in place. Turning a wheel, the hull opened up like theatre curtains revealing the courtyard bellow. Grabbing a thick and time-knotted rope they were lowered outside the front doors to the bank’s metal-clad vault. It sat, impressive in its silence, abandoned by guards already gone or dead.

“Bombs away” the girl chirped playfully as she threw her smiling friend, the bomb, toward the entry. The explosion tore the thick doors off their hinges and the woman, Musket, ran in, shotgun in hand.

Inside men and woman clad in steel charged at her with swords and axes. Her gun blasted at them and as soon as she fired three shots she dropped the smoking and spent gun and switched to her muskets. The few remaining dropped their blades and raised their hands in surrender.

“That’s the spirit. Now I want all of you to keep your eyes on your own belly buttons. What we steal isn’t yours, mostly, so stay cool and you can live,” Musket told her hostages, as if they were having a tea party and she’d just let them in on a funny little joke.

She ordered Bomber to open the vault. Bomber happily skipped across the hall towards a heavy metal door with a padlock bigger than her head. Placing a pink bag on the lock she ignited the fuse and skipped back.

The bag burned and sprayed bright white sparks. In five seconds the lock had melted and the bank was open for business. Bomber skipped in happily, opening two empty satchels. They were soon filled to brimming with money. She scooped up as many golden Kings and Queens as she could before topping up with silver rooks and bronze knights.

By the time they ran out both bags were full of pieces and the ship dropped anchor and pulled them aboard on it.

“Did you get it?”

“Sure did, Captain!” Bomber shouted happily.

With that the captain pulled a lever to speed up the propellers while the engine blasted more hot air into the balloon. The ship soared high into the air and made for the horizon.

Redam Lore – Mankind

Mankind was created much like Redam, they was given form as the god of stone who moulded the first from clay. Flame baked the clay. Ice gave it a mind. And fauna gave it life.

Mankind was the pinnacle of the gods’ creation. A creature to rule and protect all others. But it seems they only desire to rule and very few to protect. But mankind was given the tools to their growth.

Stone gave them the imagination to build and prosper; this is why we have an innovative mind and our technology is ever changing.

Fire gave them bravery and passion but also anger. To ensure they can protect themselves and thrive without fear of destruction. His gifts are also associated with war, strength and power.

Fauna gave them the knowledge to tent gardens of their own. Herbs and remedies, food and other crafts from life. Those that take all a garden can provide will destroy it and so those who retain and protect will never starve or grow ill.

Ice gifted them with wisdom and the potential for magic and sorcery, giving the potential to ascend.

Man as we know them now is not the same as the ones first created. Many believe the reason why we are so diverse is due their forms in days of old. It is speculated that when a man serves a god or goddess faithfully, or fulfil their use of a gift they developed certain characteristics.

An example of these characteristics is the elfin races being linked to the goddess of ice, Wise, resourceful and showing keen attitude in the magical arts. Fossils of the elfin races are typically found in colder if not frozen lands.

Another is the dwarfs. Short and stocky builds being fit for mining and some of their architecture is still present today. Much like the god of stone wanted.

It is believed the Wolfling tribes are descendant’s to those who fulfilled Fauna’s gift. However this is speculation as there may be other animal/human creatures. It is therefore more common that a Halfling or Fairy children match the goddess’s vision however there existence is as much a myth as the gods themselves.

There has been no record or a creature showing a characteristic of fire. As most creatures are weak against it. This has led to speculation that people with demonic characteristics once roamed the world at one time, however there is no fossil evidence or records from the old days that support this claim.

 

As they do in the present these characteristics divided the world and although violence had existed for as long as time, there was no death. The creatures were immortal but the gifts the gods granted us conflicted.

Mankind was violent but they were also resourceful and wanting to spread life as much as take it. This caused wide spread suffering to all living things, a suffering that was only growing. And so Ice gave us her last gift, Death.

Redam Lore – Creation

In the world of Redam there are many kingdoms and civilisations, each with their own customs and belief’s. But most religions contain barely a sliver of truth to how the world came to be. The truth being lost twisted and destroyed until only the gods and their servants know the true truth of it.

There were once billions of gods and goddesses, but their differences grew into an unimaginable war were worlds were born and destroyed in a blink of an eye. It was until only four of these beings decided that enough was enough and fled their realms.

These gods and goddesses were the four elemental gods that created this world.

There was the artist and visionary: Stone, the Lord of the mountains who carved and moulded the earth.

There was the warrior: Fire, the King of destruction and bringer of the light. He breathed the core of this earth and brought it to life.

The scholar and wise queen: Ice, she was Cold and harsh but her wisdom brings balance and created a better world than the ones we would have wished for. She soared across the skies, cooling the world. Ice and fire brought the oceans and its steam gave the sky.

And finally the fair mother and carer of the world: Fauna. She grew and tended her gardens, providing food, safety and eventually life to the world.

That is how Redam was born. As a statement to all great beings, that difference can create beauty and strength

 

But of course, peace never last forever.

As time went on the Gods created their living creatures and appointed their Angels.

Fire brought Dragons, everlasting, intelligent and powerful.

Stone brought forth stone Gollum’s. The living statues, patient, observant and a true testament to art and longevity.

Fauna brought Pixies, Fairies and Sprites. Small, innocent, resourceful and kind are some of many comments made about their kind. Yet in truth they are powerful and dangerous to those who would defile the forests and jungles of the world. They show how true creatures should conduct themselves and respect their world.

Ice brought frost spirits, Known to be cold, harsh and deadly. They are invisible and ever watchful.

But populating the world with their own wasn’t their intention. And so Stone proposed to make a new creature. One made with all their magic’s and efforts. They would be a further statement of unity and all agreed. But not for Stone’s reason.

In truth Fauna wanted to spread life. To create a creature with resourcefulness and desire to spread her life throughout this world and eventually others, even places where it was not wanted or needed.

Ice was a curious one. Wanting to see if they can fuse all their powers and perhaps make a new god, a god made with all elements. It would end all godly conflict once and for all, but at what cost?

But Fire’s reason was the worst. He was still a warrior and still wanting to save his kin in his home realm or even rule it. He wanted to create the perfect army, unstoppable by all elements and under his command.

This mixture of interests, unknown to one another is what would divide the gods and the creatures of the world. This was how mankind was brought into existence.


Hello.

 

This has been Redam Lore. I have been thinking about the creation of my world and thought you may find it interesting. I will be adding some more of these as time goes by so feel free to criticise, it’ll only help.

cheers!

 

why i write

So chuck has issued a flash fiction challenge that in no way involves writing fiction. Instead he wants us to write way we write. I love this idea. ONWARDS!

 

I write because I am a reader. A reader who wants to travel the worlds of fiction: from the wizarding world of Harry Potter to Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings. To be a man capable of helping those in need in like Jack Reacher or even lead a rebellion against an unjust government like Katniss.

As a reader I have loved these stories and I want to contribute some of my own.

But I also write to reflect the world as I know it and even to extract my own revenge against it. In my school days I didn’t have a great time: I had moved to a new town, my dad had passed away and I was too well mannered and sensitive. I was the perfect victim for the bullies. And so I hunted them down and horrifically murdered them.

Ok! Ok! Not me personally, please don’t call the cops!!

I created a character to kill representations of the bullies. Some of you have met him, his name is Amin Nightcoat and he is a ruthless hunter. Yeah he is not the as bloody as what my twelve year old self created but he is still my personal killer.

I also create people to base as a role model for myself. Alistair Dowshan is another protagonist in my WIP and he is a king capable of diffusing conflict and war without drawing his blade. He is a just and diplomatic and above all selfless. A characteristic I admire above all else.

The world itself and the actions my characters play reflect how I feel about our own and how things, in my own mind, should be.

So I write to create the man I want to be, to show how the world can be wrong and to ensure that evil gets what’s coming.

 

Thanks for reading!

I HAVE RETURNED!!!

Hello everyone

Good to see you all again, I have returned from my vacation in turkey and it was awesome.

A quick summery is this:

Too much food

Plenty of drink

More sun

Great diving

And everyone’s favourite: books, I burned through three (literally and figuratively)

Let’s start off with some quick book reviews and then move on to diving.

I was able to read three different books, one of which I started previously. These were two of Robin Hobbs Farseer trilogy. I was shown these books by Periodically Demented, a writer I greatly appreciate as PD has given me a good few tips to my first novel. One of them included reading Robin’s work.

I have now read both the assassins apprentice and Royal Assassin. This series follows a boy called Fitz. A bastard son of prince Chivalry, however due to his very existence he has changed the course of history, shaming his father who must now must abandon his place as heir to the throne and leaves Fitz’s upbringing to his stable master.

However a bastard can’t be left be, just because his father cannot be king doesn’t mean he can’t do damage to the royal procession. So Chivalry’s father, King Shrewd (his name does match the personality perfectly) makes a deal with him, since “a useless bastard is a dangerous bastard” and so he makes Fitz loyal to him by supplying everything he needs including a place in the keep and an education in return Fitz becomes a Kings man, and the role Shrewd has for him is as an assassin.

From the age of seven Fitz trained for diplomacy with a knife, learning poisons and stealth. Meanwhile he has to hide his own secret as no fantasy is complete without magic; Fitz is born with use of the Wit. The ability to communicate and in some cases control animals.

This kind of magic is shunned, should a wit user be caught he/she would be hung over a river and then burned.

I have found both books highly entertaining. It deals with loneliness, fear of being who you are, depression and abuse, in more ways than one. It is highly viewed by George R Martin and I can see why. I often feel sorry for Fitz as he gets dragged through hell and bears responsibility for changing his kingdom.

Brace for pain when reading.

What I have learned so far from these books is a better way of showing the past. In my book I want to show recent events in a characters life without being boring. I follow a king whose greatest strength is diplomacy and politics is incredibly boring, I have a brother who may as well be Prince Regal in this regard. In the Farseer trilogy each chapter starts with a bit of history or with recent events. In the first book it’s the history to give you an understanding of the world. In the second its recent events to keep you updated.

I can use the same method in mine.

The third book I read was called “The Winner” by David Baldacci. It is about LuAnn a poverty stricken mother with a drunken “partner”, a poor job and no hope. Until someone others her the chance to win the lottery.

It’s a great book; I had trouble at the start as the first part is about the morality of such a choice: to cheat the lottery while millions pour hard earned money into it. The second is about surviving with a new found wealth.

However this is where I become weird; see I didn’t care much for LuAnn. She became rich but she was a foolish idiot for going against the antagonist Jackson.

In this book I have learned that there is nothing better than a good villain and Jackson is that. He is a master of disguise, being able to impersonate anyone, including protagonists, when LuAnn is ever talking to someone I was sure he was going to jump out and scream “Surprise! You tried to foil my plans” followed by a bloody stabbing.

But Jackson wasn’t completely evil. Or rather he is ruthlessly evil but his master plan will get people out of poverty and stinking rich. Oh LuAnn it would have been a shorter and boring books if you listened to him but at least everyone would win.

I mentioned earlier that I burned through three books both figuratively and literally. I was two chapters away from finishing ‘The Winner’ before some component in my kindle melted. It was 40 degree and glorious.

Now diving we did five dives. Three surrounding a reef at 17 meters, one in a beginners dive site at 9 meters and my final being the deepest dive yet of 23 meters on a sunken Spanish torpedo boat which sunk over 300 years ago.

Ok I will start shallow and sink deeper. The beginners dive site was good fun. You don’t need a licence to dive their just book a day and follow the dive masters. They take you around the site, mainly sand creating nice blue water. Plenty of small fish and even an octopus swim here.

However the site is next to a cliff face with a road above so expect to see litter, rubbish, bottles and the odd tyre. If it weren’t for these things it would be a perfect dive site. CURSE YOU SURFACE DWELLERS!!!

The reef at 17 meters is a lot better. Again clear blue waters, but due to it being deeper you get the proper experience; unfortunately you need an open water licence, which I have. Down here you see the plant life, schools of millions of colourful fish, some as big as your hand and bigger. It the distance at the edge of your vision you can see the big fish, they seem timid and capable of feeding a family of five with more left over for soup.

There are also black sponges and volcanic vents you can warm your hands in.

In one dive we found a large fossilised shell, this size (me holding my hands as if carrying a large ball). In another we found ancient pottery. And in another we had to turn back early because the people we are with chewed up a lot more air than we thought.

Now for the Biggy. 24 meters. My deepest dive.

Now due to the lovely waters the dive masters complained about the cold weather while it was as warm as a swimming pool (Scottish Water is an ice bucket challenge) but down here it is colder. It a nice Scottish Breeze to me and freezing to the masters.

Even still it was scary. Have you read my diving blog? Here it is. so now reading that you know you use more air than the surface. And as you go deeper the denser air gets. Including air inside you. my ears popped multiple times and I used up more air than I was comfortable with. I started breathing faster with the new conditions and had to calm down. Visibility was poor and I don’t want to get lost down here, especially since swimming straight up means death unless you had a safety stop.

So me and Jerry (my dive buddy and step dad) held arms with the dive master as he took us around the old wreck. It’s my first wreck and the old torpedo boat was one large vessel, not it’s in different parts at different depths. The deepest is at 34 meters (no fucking way thank you, at least not yet). What we saw was an old metal husk buried in sand and silt. An old mast sticking up and covered in plant life. Port holes filled up and the hull now bearing sea life. An old cask of wine, ancient now. And the anker, or what’s left of it.

It was scary, eerie, dark and awesome. I look forward to doing another wreck in the future.

The journey up was terrifying, nothing but dive watches told us we were going up to quick and even though I equalised and pooped my ears I still heard the air screaming out of my left ear as I surfaced. Also the after effects to this dive was new to me. It takes 12 hours for all the air to escape and the nitrogen to dissolve. If we flew that day we would have died as the nitrogen poisoned our bodies and the air expanded.

Turns out however we were flying that night. We just didn’t realise it until our taxi phoned us asking when we want picked up did we realise that we had one hour to get to the plane. So we had an extra day in turkey. A very expensive mistake but hey all inclusive beer!

So in conclusion I have done the deepest scariest dive yet (only encouraging me to do more) burned through books and am into a new book series. Ate way too much. Also bought an awesome leather jacket, and so tanned people thought I was Turkish (seriously I nearly turn black; I don’t burn like most Scottish people).

anyway i hope i  have made you all jealous enough. Thanks for reading. I hope you all got away to someplace nice as well! 😀