It's Tough to Be a God - Chapter 3 - UtmostSecrecy (2023)

Chapter Text

Of course, though the ship hasn’t been at sea for long and there had been no complications with the acquisition of their positions, nothing could remain easy for long.

The ship is rocking with a fury, each tilt resulting from each heavy wave that hits the front of the ship is enough to send the most experienced of sailors from the port side to the starboard side, and the least experienced would already be thrown into the ocean. The sky was pitch black, a solid mass if not for the outline of clouds visible only from the waves of lightning. A bolt striking the sea every few minutes or so. In absence of widows to rattle, the thunder rattled them all to their very core. Rain poured down, leaving little visible. Each time someone braves a glance from under the hood of their rain poncho, they were met with near a gallon of water in their eyes.

049 and 035 found themselves gripping the edge of the ship on the port side. The tumultuous weather drew them out from their cabin, but quickly sent them careening into the far side of the ship, and if not for quick reaction on both their parts, they may be in the water, or gripping to the side of a shipping unit as it sinks to the ocean floor.They weren't the only ones on the deck, as about 10 other crew members were somewhat visible through the deluge. Luckily for the two of them, the towers of shipping crates acted as a wall to prevent them from the rain's assault from all sides, although still both of them had been pretty quickly drenched. A few stragglers who didn't manage to make it to an edge to grab onto, were sliding back to the inside of the ship.

“Is there some sort of god behind this?” 049 shouts at 035, who despite being less than a metre away, could barely hear him. The metallic clanking cacophony drowned out most noise, and what was left was the slamming of the waves.

“Rough weather is usual out in the ocean! Why do you ask?" 035 shouts back, having to shield his eyes from the ocean spray, whose sodium chloride additions left traces of chlorine gas emanating off of him, as his viscous liquid is reacting with not only the water but the salt inside of it, effectively choking out those standing close to him. He operates a bit different than a person, not necessarily requiring that he physically close his eyes to have the same effect. He doesn’t need to, but on occasion the urge rises, especially since the weather and impacting waves are so large, His tie to the body - a coward, he realizes - also prompts him to close his eyes and turn away.

“I know,” 049 answers, his voice’s volume decreasing enough that 035 can tell he’s turned away, it increases as he turns back to him, “but most ships do not confront a kraken!”

“What?!” 035 forces himself to glare through the rain, spotting the tail end of a tentacle dipping into the water. “You could have led with that!” 035 shouts back, using the host’s arm to shield himself from the rain enough to assess the situation. He was frustrated that he somehow didn't sense the monster, and more importantly, it was likely, like 049 had inquired, to have a divine figure somewhere in the vicinity to command it. There was a pit of dread that began to form in 035's "stomach", at the idea of Poseidon being behind this, but he wouldn't send a kraken. This ship would be already hurling towards the ocean floor in a whirlpool if he was behind this. A thought that leads 035 to carefully monitor the water's movement. Though not encircling the ship, there was a clear disturbance.

The running description of the kraken is a gargantuan octopus, which is correct… up to a point. 035 watches as a head emerges from the water, large enough that enough water to sink a small boat poured off. The rest of its face slowly came into view, which had two pairs of golden forward facing eyes, one set farther back, but all four snapped to glare down at the barge before it. It doesn’t have a mouth on its face, so very quickly the face blends into its monstrous body. Should one be curious, the mouth is located at the centre, if you will, much like any other cephalopod.

As terrifying as that sight is, what honestly made 035 more nervous was what stood atop the kraken: Calypso.

“Hey, Calypso!” 035 projects, his voice managing to cut through the storm, hands cupping around his mouth as if he were just shouting. The first response he got was the snarling of the kraken, and 049’s glance over to him. 049 admittedly focused more on the kraken before him, but was experienced enough to not ignore the humanoid atop it.

“Who is she?” 049 asked, shouting just loud enough that 035 could hear him, but the pair could almost certainly not even make out they were talking over the storm and their distance. In the background, many of the crew members were just now making out the figure of the gargantuan beast through the dark storms.

“Calypso!” 035 answers, “she’s a nymph, daughter of Atlas!” 035 elaborates at the annoyed glare 049 shoots back at him. “It must be a more recent development that she’s working with the kraken!”

“So, you have braved the ocean again!” Calypso’s voice cuts through the ambient noise. Her arms are crossed over her chest and her eyes bore down on them, perhaps more intensely than the kraken’s. Outside of the lightning and the ship’s lights, she remained the brightest thing around, given off a glow that was more ominous than one would think. Her gown was loose and airy, looking like it was made from sheets of ocean water, but didn’t move with the gale force winds.

“Yeah, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?” 035 banters back, honestly stalling for time as he is trying to figure out how on Earth they are going to get out of this.

“Do you want me to pilot?” 049 nods his head to the cabin, gripping onto the railing tightly as he is nearly slammed into the side by another strong toss of the boat.

“Please,” 035 managed out as he was not so fortunate, nearly winded as his body nearly went overboard and was only stopped by the side which he slammed into. With a curt nod, 049 used the boat’s opposing toss to help slide him to the stairwell.

“Stop with your stalling!” Calypso barks, she notices 049's departure, but didn't think anything of it, just a cowardly crew member fleeing at the event. With a barely perceptible command, the Kraken draws closer, the resulting wave too much for 035, who slides to the starboard, his back colliding with a shipping container. All those who were loitering on the deck were quickly tossed into the water.

On the inside of the ship, they fared only better by virtue of the fact that a force substantially stronger would be required to throw them off of the ship. It’s a fairly narrow stairwell, the spread out lights are flickering, barely managing to stay on in the face of the storm. He’s a few levels short of his destination, and has more than once had to either slip past or shove out of the way a person or two. In the wake of the most recent wave, 049 had to lean against the wall for additional stability. He presses his back against the cold metal, narrowly missing a boot to the face as a crew member flies by, hitting the flat, metal wall above the stairs with a thud. He falls to the ground limp, with blood pooling around his head. A few crew members rush to him the second the boat evens out, but 049 doubles his efforts, nearly jumping up the remainder of the flight, crossing three to four steps at a time.

Back on the deck, 035 works his way through the shipping containers, shouting out to Calypso and the kraken to carry on the conversation. Little to their knowledge, 035 was slowly building up more and more of his viscous liquid underneath the barge. It digs into the metal, eating it away much like water erosion as the excess flows across it, joining a growing sphere underneath the ship. Now, this was more than blowing off excess, he was having to actually produce the liquid for this endeavour, which will be quite the show, 035 muses, slipping a row over to miss the gaze of the kraken as it peers down at the ship, now more than too close. Even though there’s hardly any additional light, its shadow casts across the deck, plunging most of it into nearly complete darkness.

035 presses his back into the wall of cargo crates, peering up at the massive beast, met with an expanse of green, grey, black, and purple scaled skin, rippling with every movement the creature makes.

“Coward! Quit your hiding! You know damn well why we’re here!” She shouts, head rapidly whipping around to spot him. He’s impossibly white; one would think this would be easier to do.

“Honestly, I can figure out why you may be after me - in that every god appears to be, but I don’t get why you specifically care all that much about me. I don’t have a direct line to Odysseus.” 035 climbs atop a stack of crates, smoothing out the host’s soaked clothes. Maybe bringing up her inaccessible lover isn’t the best idea, but 035 dropped any pretense of being polite. Her erotomania be damned.

They both snap their attention to him, “well, look who shows themselves,” she mocks, ignoring his aggravating comment. “I have to take orders from Zeus, and word has gotten out that not where you were kept, but that you had gotten out. It just so happens you’re on the water. It’s brave of you to enter a god’s domain like this.” With a command, the kraken rears up, ready to strike.

“There’s a god for every damn domain, Calypso,” 035 sighs, stretching out the host’s neck, preparing for the oncoming fight, "you know, that begs the question: why are you having to follow Zeus? Why isn't Poseidon dealing with us? It would take only a matter of seconds for him to effectively sink us."

"Do you want him to? I can certainly call him if you'd like to get captured quicker."

"I appreciate the offer, but that's not what I'm getting at," 035 forces down the anxiety of her actually following through with that - a threat rather than an offer. Luckily merely saying a god or goddess' name doesn't summon them.

Calypso sighs, glaring down at him, "Poseidon doesn't care all that much, not right now anyway. Also, going to the bottom of the ocean isn't really the direction you're wanted in."

"And are you and the kraken going to toss me into the air when you catch me?"

"I'd love to throw you from here to Olympus, but that's not practical. I'm sure you're dying to find out what we'll do, so let's get that started," she smiles, adjusting her stance, but not immediately attacking. 035, however, doesn't rise to the bait either, and waits for her to make the first move.

It’s a tense stare down, as neither are willing to risk the element of surprise, the wind swirling such that the deck was in the pseudo eye of the storm. It obscured much of the area outside of the boat, and it had a rather damping effect.

As their starting gun, a lightning bolt passes at a diagonal between the sides, striking the water. Just in the flash it came, the bolt disappeared and the fight begins. The kraken and Calypso dive, the head of the beast coming closer, two of its tentacles burst from the water, aiming for 035. His expression changes to full on comedy, and with the swing of a conductor, the tendrils he created from his acidic residue swing up from the water. Two wrap around the tentacles, barely managing to push back against them. The tendrils can eat through the kraken’s flesh, but the immense amount of salt water, slime, and scales create a deceptively strong shield against the corrosive.

The mass of the kraken slams the outermost crates straight into the water. 035 gives it a glance, more aware that his position is now less shielded. He won’t drown, but he is susceptible in the water, and if he falls in he will essentially be a prisoner. The weight of the monster begins to tilt the ship, the starboard steadily approaching the edge of the water. The crates shift, and 035 has to shift his weight.

Just as it seems like the ship was genuinely risking capsizing, the ship swings around, the force in addition to 035’s efforts are enough to throw what of the kraken that was leaning on the ship off into the water. 035 has to lean back to keep from getting thrown as the boat settles. He takes a glance up, and can make out 049. With him at the helm, 035 jumps down from the tower of crates, hoping to use the extra cover.

“You can’t hide!” Calypso shouts. Her gaze is intense as she keeps her focus on him. However, her focus falters when she has to steady herself when both her and the kraken are jostled suddenly by another sharp turn from the boat throws them off kilter.
Back at the cabin, 049 is stuck not only attempting to steer the ship in the process of fighting off not only the crew, but also the security who had no real way of understanding what was going on, much less 049's actions.

He feels a hand roughly grip his shoulder, accompanied by a bark, "hey, what the Hell do you think you're doing?"

049 quickly reaches back, gripping the hand that touched him, before letting go. By the time his fingers left the hand, he felt it slide off of him followed by a thud. Luckily, he was one of the last ones to not be fleeing from the sea creature that was currently sprawled out on the deck.

With some effort, 049 swinging the ship to the side, effectively throwing the monster back down to the deck as a few crates it was perched on for support suddenly went careening into the water. There's a speck of white that dips behind a tower of crates. Not long after that flickering speck hid, the tendrils that were previously contesting the kraken go on the offensive. Four pull back and lurch forward, taught and as piercing as an arrow. They are able to pierce almost a foot into the animal's body, the corrosive liquid now starting to do some damage. Blood and viscous liquid drip from the holes, creating a spotty waterfall of dangerous material.

A different tendril rears up and takes a swing at Calypso, swiping at her in an attempt to knock her off of the beast. And unsuccessful swipe, as she merely jumps over it, sending a blast of what looks like electricity towards the crates. Upon touching them the crates explode, several bursting into flaming pieces. 035 had already moved out of the way, and instead was climbing up to the top of a new set of crates, though still having to dodge one of the flaming projectiles.

The kraken rears back, pulling itself off the tendrils, preventing further pursuit by stabbing a tentacle at 035. The appendage pierces straight through the crate tower, and straight through the host's right leg. 035 rips himself back, severing the leg as flesh tears apart from the two points. Soon, he breaks free, and in just enough time to jump back from another attack from Calypso. Hastily, 035 forms a new leg out of his viscous liquid, a dangerous game, as it will only corrode the body faster. Unfortunately, every other humanoid had been tossed out into the sea that was on deck.
035 stabs a tendril through one of the kraken's tentacles, who was coming in close. The force of the jab sends the tentacle straight through the window of the cabin. 049 ducks, crouched underneath the panels, watching as the tentacle slams into the back wall, denting and tearing the metal. It pulls back, sweeping around the perimeter of the room, stopping halfway before pulling back out. Whilst crouched down, 049 spotted one other living person in the room with him. A woman, whose hair is threatening to come out of her hair tie from the wind, and is now soaking wet from the rain that's pouring through the now bursted open window. She's gripping onto the rivets and railings by the door leading to the stairwell, and even if she did witness 049 murder that man, her focus is on him, wide-eyed and clearly terrified, as though he might be a lifeline.

"Enough of these games!" Calypso shouts, and with a determined command, the kraken begins to slither off of the ship. 035 watches ducked carefully behind a tower of crates, and 049 risks peering over the panel. Both know nothing good is going to come out of this, for it was not a retreat. 035's tendrils do their best to keep the kraken away, so they maintain their position atop the deck, following the kraken, but not striking.

The monstrous pair slide to the edge of the ship, starboard side, which 049 quickly jumps to balance out the ship, as the weight of the animal was starting to tip it. Suddenly, after just a second of balancing themselves, the kraken throws all of its weight and force into the side of the hull. The force rocks the boat to where the top edge of the port side was dangerously close to the surface of the water. What little bit had managed to stay on the deck was very quickly thrown into the water. 035 dug his makeshift leg into the deck, using the hole he was slowly burrowing into it to keep him from flinging off. The woman is pressed into the wall further, lucky that she was already up again the port side wall. 049 has to do his best from falling to the wall, and takes advantage that most seating and console features are literally welding to the cabin floor.
Calypso and the kraken fall into the water, right as the ship, by miracle of an opposite facing wave, slams back to the water, jogging everything first to the starboard side, and beginning to even out, however there was a concerning tilt on the starboard side. Just then the cabin goes from largely quiet outside of the screaming wind from outside, to alarms blaring. It was loud enough that 035 could hear it faintly over the storm. The beast had torn a hole through the side, and they were starting to flood very, very quickly.
035 swings his tendrils from above the water, to hastily sweep underneath the ship, making a net around them, and trying to detect movement. They can't risk another hit, and there is no way they have retreated. He's getting tired though, and he's having a hard time keeping up the liquid production, already his tendrils can't move as far as they did, and the water is reacting with the sphere he made. However, he can't move it on ship, otherwise he'll be eating a new hole straight through the deck and out the bottom.
Stuck as the new captain, 049 quickly tries to discern exactly what damage has been done. Once the boat is largely even enough for him to walk, he quickly steps over to the woman, grabbing her by the collar and pulling her up, despite her protests, "what is your job on this ship," he demands. If it isn't useful in this situation, he'll just kill her.

"D - damage control," she manages out, who despite being dangled off the ground is focused on the warnings coming from the ship.
"Perfect," he almost tosses her into the panel, "fix the breach, and keep me updated," he orders. He'd be lying if he said he had much of an idea about what exactly to do. The first ironclad ships used in war were American, and though they were quickly adopted elsewhere, not only was he not one to be involved, but he found himself in foundation control not too long after.

She quickly gets to work, hands flying across the panel, "I am going to close the bulkhead doors around the flood, which hopefully should be enough to prevent sinking."


"Well," she stops, having finished, and though there was no way to know from a distance, the doors had been activated, "the reason it would fail is if the breach was in more than one compartment, or if we didn't close the doors in time. But," she pauses, watching the alarms and waiting to feel if the ship was beginning to dip as though it were sinking, but when it remained afloat and steady she continued, "it looks like we were able to get it just in time."

There was a second before 049 grabs the console, "brace yourself," he warns, having not only an immensely overpowering sense of incoming disaster, but spotting 035 begin to pull his tendrils back, preparing for something to come up over the port side.
She was wise enough to follow his instruction, and they both are barely kept from being tossed to the floor as the boat tips almost until the water came over the edge on the starboard side, as the kraken launches from the water, tsunami-sized waves come radiating from around it, the storm picks up, with the storm clouds beginning to cycle and create a shallow funnel above the monster. The rain picks up in intensity, and the sky somehow darkens, the thunder begins, loud enough and just above them to rattle all of them to their cores. The kraken roars, followed by a war cry from Calypso, and a swift dive.

This was it, 035 had no time to trifle now. The last of his tendrils fly forward at the beast, meeting them halfway. Two are battling two tentacles of the monster, having wrapped around them, searing a ring into the appendages, blood beginning to drip from them. The tentacles are still pushing forward, though not making much in an advancement. Four more tendrils target the body, two nearly in its head, if not for its rapid movements, but two stick it in the body, repiercing the holes it had bore previously, undoing the rapid healing the monster possesses as it eats into its flesh.
What tentacles are not focused on holding the animal up, and are not engaged with 035's tendrils, are actively swinging about the deck, trying to hit 035.

035 narrowly dodges the tentacles, jumping over the first one, only to have to slide across the deck to narrowly miss the second one that swipes a few inches above him. This time 035 isn't hiding, he is rather running further towards the middle of the ship, and he quickly begins climbing up the wall towards the bridge wings. He jumps up and lands on a tentacle that's slithering along the wall, running up it to quickly climb a hundred feet in elevation before jumping back onto the wall when the tentacle pulls away sharply. Two new tendrils from 035's arsenal sprout, now firmly holding the kraken in place via a tether. His goal: Calypso.

He jumps onto the head of the kraken, landing 10 metres from her, having to stabilize himself since the aquatic creature is as slippery as an eel.

"Coming to surrender?" She taunts, masking her discomfort with him being so close, being well aware of the power he would incur with her as a host. She prepares a blast, standing her ground, but ready to back away if needed.

"No, I'm here to see your death or retreat," his tragedy mask turns quickly to comedy, as he jumps to the side, missing the blast. He doesn't waste a second, and quickly runs to her, appropriately swerving to keep up with the kraken's agitated thrashing underneath them. She moves further away, using the slickness of the monster's skin to slide around the edge and now on the other side of 035. 035 flings an arm forward, following his movement, the last tendril he can muster comes flinging towards her. She is able to dodge it, leaning to her right, watching the tendril pull back.
In retaliation, she flings another burst at him, this time moving much quicker. Challenged, 035 manages to slide out of the way, targeting her again, this time the speed of his throw cracks the tendril like a whip. Like one, it wraps around her wrist, and he begins to attempt to pull her towards him. She resists, and the two are in a tense tug of war, as she is deceptively strong, and 035 is having a hard time pulling her to any extent.

The kraken's thrashing wasn't helping either of them, and 035's fatigue was beginning to really catch up to him. However, his maintained stalemate with Calypso was costing her too. She's close to being able to escape, but only because she's risking losing the hand. 035 begins to walk forward, wanting to take more footing on the crown of the beast's head, since unless Calypso wants to stand at a rather sharp angle down the kraken's neck, she will have to stay closer to him.

With each step he takes, she tries to pull back, stopping right as the edge of the head gives away, her resolve faltering as her wrist is now being eaten away down to the bone.

"So, you're taking the demise route?" 035 smiles, risking another step closer to her.

"I'm taking you up on the retreat," she yanks her hand back, the tendril ripping through the flesh on her hand, but freeing her nonetheless. With a command, the kraken pulls away enough against the tendrils, which are too weak to properly keep such a massive creature restrained, and with it breaking free, it flings its head such that 035 is sent flying into the cabin through the broken open window. Once free, it sulks off of the side of the ship, and quickly retreats into the water, Calypso still on top of it, clutching her nearly torn off wrist.

In a not so romantic gesture, 049 simply ducks, allowing for 035 to fly into the back wall, nearly slamming into it if not for adapting the makeshift leg into a sheet of viscous liquid extending from the ceiling to the floor, effectively catching him, and with a bounce restoring him to an upright position.

"Thanks for catching me," he comments snarkily, whilst also reforming the sheet back into a makeshift leg so he doesn't have to hobble around, something he does not have the balance for.
With the pair's retreat, the weather clears rapidly, the clouds being blown away by the still strong winds, taking the rain, lightning, and thunder with it. The sky is still dark, but only because it was night, and at just the horizon the sun was beginning to rise, so that will be fixed shortly. The water begins to still, and the ocean almost goes back to being peaceful. There's a chance they may come back, but for a bit they are safe, since the true motivation for their retreat was not only the damage done to them, but the water was becoming less deep, and a fleet of ships headed to the Americas could be witnesses.

"What the -," the woman tries to back away, having been startled by the witnessing of the monster, the fight, and a member of said fight hurling through the open window, and wasn't interested in becoming wrapped up any further. She already had the suspicion that 049 was part of this, since he seemed far less surprised than he should have been.

She is silenced, however, when 035 quickly prys himself off of his current host and flings himself onto her, completing the transfer quickly, able to adjust to the new body right as what was left of his old one crumbled to the ground.

"No problem," 049 finally responds with a smirk, walking over to 035, waiting until he's done stretching to gently touch his arm, "will they be back?'

"At some point, possibly. We need to see how long we have until we reach land, and it would honestly be best to follow along routes with other ships. We should be fine here for a bit," he takes 049's hand in his own, "it looks like they are anchored."

"We should probably check how many crew members are still alive and on board, as well as find another damage controlman. When the kraken swung around and impacted the ship, it punctured a hole in the hull. Obviously, the puncture was properly countered, otherwise we would be sinking, but it should be monitored."

"I agree, to both, let's go," 035 gives 049 a quick kiss, not letting go and rather guiding 049 hand-in-hand down the stairs, and through the ship, checking for survivors. If they had a second to spare they would drag the bodies into piles for either disposal or future use.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Gov. Deandrea McKenzie

Last Updated: 15/06/2023

Views: 5360

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Gov. Deandrea McKenzie

Birthday: 2001-01-17

Address: Suite 769 2454 Marsha Coves, Debbieton, MS 95002

Phone: +813077629322

Job: Real-Estate Executive

Hobby: Archery, Metal detecting, Kitesurfing, Genealogy, Kitesurfing, Calligraphy, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Gov. Deandrea McKenzie, I am a spotless, clean, glamorous, sparkling, adventurous, nice, brainy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.