[Sanctuary of the Elusive Captain] Ch 6-3. Party in the Captains' Room
[Sanctuary of the Elusive Captain] Ch 6-3. Party in the Captains' Room
May 02, 2022
Leon and Roxie finally let go of each other and the need to stay in one place. Emil dove from his bed to the computer chair and crawled his way up to a crouch.
“I was kinda hoping one of you would make it this far.” He dragged a hand around himself. Beadlike orbs trailed behind it. “‘Cause like it says in the title, ‘I Made This For You~’”
“For us?” Leon watched him stand up, then point at the ceiling. Faint red lasers shot out from each orb, expanding into thicker, brighter ones. Those looked like trouble. What looked like even more trouble was Emil resting his foot on the side of the desk. Nonchalantly, he kicked it, sending the chair and himself and the lasers into a spin quicker than any before!
Leon and Roxie, caught between two, soared across the room to keep up with them. They soon found themselves sitting ducks, trapped against a wall. The lasers dimmed just before making contact.
“Rookie!” Roxie’s voice came from a distance.
“Now is not the time to be idle!” She made it all the way back to the front door as Leon finally processed that the dim lasers weren’t dangerous.
And then they became bright again.
“Ow!” Once again, Leon forgot to change his settings.
“Was that my first hit?” Emil’s chair continued to twirl. “I can’t see anything!”
He didn’t know how long his post-stun invincibility would last, but made the most of his time rushing back over to the door. The next thing he knew, a cloud of red curls blinded him.
He and Roxie spiraled out of control, having crashed into each other on her way to the back wall. They drifted toward it, but the lasers looked like they could outpace them. Leon gave them an extra boost. It sent them crashing into the wall just as the lasers went dim.
He held his arm out to her. “We should probably stick together.”
“Agreed!” She hooked hers in his and sent them flying to the other side of the room.
They fled the lasers from one side, turned, then rushed back to the start. This back and forth kept them unscathed, and they really got into the rhythm of it!
Too much for Emil’s liking. “I’m not hearing any struggling, so I’m gonna guess you two got the hang of it. Let’s kick it up a notch!”
Out of the corner of his eye, Leon saw Emil flinging something bluish from his hands. He glanced behind him to see a big, star-shaped projectile hurtling toward Roxie like a shuriken.
“Roxie, behind you!”
It was too late for either to escape. Leon spun them around to take the hit instead.
“A sacrifice?” A smile crept on Roxie’s face. “For meee? Thanks! I owe you my next life!”
“Your ne–Ahh!” A second blue star barely missed Leon’s head. It wouldn’t have been a problem if it didn’t, but it was still scary! Roxie dragged him back toward the door, where a third star bounced into the corner and out of their path. “Next life? Don’t you have one hit left?”
“I have two.”
“How?? You took two during our fight!”
“I dunno. Magic!” Roxie unhooked one arm from Leon, spun herself in the opposite direction, and hooked the other one in. “This is a more optimal formation. We don’t have to turn around, and we can keep a better lookout for the death stars.”
“Got it!” Leon stuck one leg out and pushed them over to avoid one.
“Ohhh, did you get that glitch?” asked Emil.
“What glitch? Eee!” A star barely cleared Roxie and Leon.
It smacked into Emil, but that didn’t phase him. “The glitch where if you get really close to enough shots,” he flung out another to take its place, “it gives you an extra chance to get hit.”
“Sounds like deceit!”
“Believe what you want, but I’m tellin’ the truth.”
“You were kinda squeezed in by my last attack.” recalled Leon.
“Cool pattern, by the way.” Emil complimented.
“Haha, thanks!” Leon’s face tingled with pride. “By the way, I really like the stars, even if they are trying to kill us.”
Emil tried to look at him but spun too fast to stare in any one spot. “Figured you would.” He spread his arms out. “Anything to make my opponents comfortable!”
“Can you make them stop?” asked Roxie.
The lasers hardly registered as a threat anymore. Leon and Roxie flew back and forth like clockwork. The stars, on the other hand, were unpredictable, usually out of sight, but always on the mind. Leon and Roxie never got used to them, screaming every time one shot past.
Emil danced in his chair. “This is my favorite song!”
Leon couldn’t help but laugh. The lieutenant looked like nothing more than a blur. It almost distracted him from a blue streak speeding by.
“Roxie, push us–!”
“Uwaaaah!” It was too late for her.
To add insult to injury, the pattern stopped. The lieutenant launched himself upwards, majestically spinning with his arms outstretched. Leon clapped. Roxie joined in.
Emil placed a hand on the ceiling, stopping himself. “And now for the finale!” He winked before pushing himself down toward his bed. “I felt a little bad partying to your pain. So as a treat for making it this far,” From under it, he grabbed his guitar and pick, hooking up the former to a small box, “you can have some music!”
A performance from Emil? Leon felt like he’d already won.
Much like the last attack, the blond summoned beadlike orbs with his hands, creating dim lasers. This time they were fewer and unevenly spaced.
He stopped the chair with his foot. “Welcome, welcome, lady and gentleman! I hope you’re ready to experience thrills, chills, and maybe even a prize, ‘cause we’re about to play a game of ‘Rushin’ Roulette!’”
Instead of spinning himself, Emil pushed the orbs around like a roulette wheel. Then he launched into a sick guitar riff!
“Soooo cooool…! Roxie, isn’t this so cool?? He’s playing the guitar right in front of us!!” Leon’s voice reached heights he didn’t know were possible. Roxie moved around behind him, probably dancing. She may’ve said something, but he couldn’t hear her over his own joy.
She suddenly hooked an arm in his, pulling him along. “This is not a concert, this is war. Focus.”
Emil stopped playing. “You don’t hafta worry about the lasers, you’ll know when they’re coming. Save your breath for the next part.”
The lasers slowed to a stop, brightened shortly after, and transformed into see-through walls. This locked Leon and Roxie into the largest section of the ‘wheel.’
“Congratulations! Let’s see what our lucky contestants won! It looks like–” something pink emerged from the center, “--flowers!” Emil played happy jingle while alternating rows of flowers approached Leon and Roxie.
Stepping side to side, Leon did his best to weave through them. “These are beautiful!”
“And easy!” Roxie spoke for herself.
“Yeah, this one’s not so rough,” Emil sounded a little disappointed, “but check out the other ones if you wanna see a really bad time.”
“And risk my last life, no thank you!”
That reminded Leon that he was on his last too. He couldn’t afford to get distracted now, no matter how awesome Emil’s guitar playing was!
Finally, the pink flowers stopped coming, and the lasers dimmed down. Emil sent them into another spin. Leon took a breather, but Roxie still paced around, alert as ever.
“We don’t have to think about the lasers until they stop.” He reminded her.
“That’s what he wants you to think.” Roxie squinted at Emil, sitting in his chair sideways, continuing to perform. “But if I know about game shows, the best prizes are in the tiny slivers.”
“That is correeect!” The guitarist played another jingle. “But can you get there fast enough?” A more sinister tune played.
“I’ll show you!” Roxie pointed at him.
Leon spotted the smallest sliver of the wheel. It looked big enough for only one of them, maybe both if they stood in line. With the lasers so close together, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to take that risk. He figured he’d go with what he knew.
Upon slowing down, Roxie’s choice was clear. She soared up and over Emil into the back corner of the room where the lasers locked her into place. In the wrong section.
“Oooh, tough luck for Roxie.” Emil’s guitar whined for her. “Let’s see what’s in store for Leon!”
“Won’t it just be flowers again?” What emerged next answered Leon’s question. Stars shot from the edges of his section, bouncing around chaotically.
“Oh, lucky you! Stars! And a buncha them!”
“I don’t feel really lucky right now!” Leon ran for his life. He didn’t want to know how things could be even worse for Roxie, but he found out anyway.
Across the room, Roxie’s section filled with white projectiles. Tiny pellets in neat columns hid most of her from Leon’s view. She didn’t seem to have a chance.
Somehow she survived, even when they enveloped her. “Ha! This doesn’t seem too bad. Give me all your might!”
“Okay.” Emil warned.
“Wait! No! Not that much! Wait! Wait! Nooo!!”
“R-Roxie??” Leon saw nothing but a curtain of white. A star passed in front of his face. He didn’t have time to worry. Scrambling from the star storm, he had to hope Roxie was okay.
The stars and pellets vanished to reveal nothing where Roxie once stood. She was nowhere to be seen.
But she could be heard.
“Rookie…” Roxie drifted slowly across the ceiling. “It’s all up,” she coughed, “to you…!” Finally, she pretended to go limp.
“Roxie, no!” Leon reached out for her.
Emil played a bit of Ave Maria. “What a touching emotional moment. Really tugs at the heartstrings, don’t it?”
“Avenge meee…” For a dead person, Roxie sure did talk a lot.
The lieutenant turned his chair toward Leon. “C’mooon, put a little more confidence in it!”
Leon didn’t know if he could. He was on his last hit and if the next ‘prize’ were any more hectic, he might not live to see the next spin. What could he do?
“Emil?” An idea started to come to mind. A ridiculous one, but maybe that was what he needed. “The sections next to the smallest one, do those stay the same?”
“Yep. Only the big one changes.” A sudden smirk crossed Emil’s face. “I see that look. What’s goin’ on in that head of yours?”
“I don’t know if I’ve decided on it yet.”
“Well you better do it soon! Things are slowing down.”
The dim lines became more visible as things came to a halt. It looked like the next sliver would appear over Emil’s bed, and next to it, a danger section to Leon’s left. He stepped into it.
Roxie gasped in horror. “Leon!! That’s certain death!”
“No! I’m going… to live!” The words left Leon’s mouth without thinking, and he found himself pointing at the distance. He felt his confidence building up after the fact.
“Oooooh! The drama, the spice!” Emil leaned forward, absolutely delighted. “The audience is gonna eat this up!”
“I am eating this up!” Roxie confirmed.
“Go for it, Rookie!” Emil strummed his guitar. “Show us whatcha got!”
He didn’t know if it was the fact that he couldn’t escape or Emil’s guitar playing, but Leon welled up with more courage than ever. “I’m ready!”
White pellets emerged slowly. All Leon needed to do was stand completely still between them and he should be fine. Which led to Problem #1: Leon was heavier than Roxie.
He got the idea to stand sideways, which gave the pellets enough space to pass by without hitting him. Hopefully, he was close enough for what he needed to do.
“It’s a tight fit, but not too bad.” He felt cold sweat on his temple, but all he had to do was stay like this, right?
Roxie hovered over him with extreme concern. She looked toward Emil. “Can he call a lifeline from beyond the grave?”
“Hmmm, I’ll allow it.” permitted Emil. “But only in rhyme. We need some more spectacle.”
Roxie put on her best ghost voice. “An unwelcome surprise awaits you ahead! Back up carefully, or you’ll be dead!”
True to her words, what Leon saw surprised him. Unwelcomely! The pellets shifted so that the next columns were directly in his path, but the second part confused him. “Where do I back up? Everywhere looks the same.”
“You may ask for advice when you don’t know how to avoid your fate, the time is now!”
It took Leon a second, but not one too soon, he backed up in time and felt over the moon!
“I did it! I did it!” If he could stand still just a little longer, he should be in the clear.
“Huzzah!” Roxie cheered for him, but something else caught her attention. “Emil! What’s that on the observation deck camera?”
”What the–? Is that a hole in the floor??”
“Wher–Ouch!!” Leon made the mistake of turning his body and took a hit. He came so far, but everything he worked for vanished in an instant.
That’s what he thought until he realized his plan worked. He gained a hit to spare! Using the split second of invincibility he had, he flew up through the pellets and through the boundary, emerging into the sliver without even tripping over Emil’s bed. It contained the best prize he could hope for: Absolutely nothing.
After some well-deserved relaxation, not only did the walls disappear, but the entire pattern too, revealing Emil and Roxie glued to the camera panel.
“Guys! I won!”
“All riiight!” Emil riffed a celebratory tune.
Roxie clapped. “You avenged me! Good job!” She leaned over Emil. “Now you have to tell us your hint.”
“Oh. Yeah, just a sec.” He waved Leon over. “Sorry to cut your celebration short, but do you know anything about this?”
Instead of 16 small camera feeds, Leon saw a large one. It showed a hole in the floor of the observation deck the size of a few tiles.
He thought for a moment. “Uhhhh, I remember stepping on a tile on the way over here. It sunk a little.” His pride in winning melted away to embarrassment. “...Did I break something?”
“Behold the stairs!” Roxie pointed out faint steps inside the hole.
So it wasn’t broken. “Where does it lead to?”
Emil’s brows furrowed. “Dunno. But I got a feeling we can find out.”
Leon and Roxie watched as he set down his guitar, stood up, and glided to the door. He looked back and winked.
Not only is this the first three-parter chapter, but it's also the first mid-paragraph split! The last sentence of last chapter was supposed to go with the first sentences of this one, but splitting them up was the least awkward transition. Hopefully I'll never have to deal with either of these scenarios again any time soon.
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