by John Pirillo
Light flickered in through a narrow port hole that seemed stuck in the side of his cabin, more than built that way. The whole interior as he allowed his eyes to take in his surroundings was old and worn looking. Not horrible, just worn, like a trusty chair, or a comfortable pillow. Finally, his eyes came to a wardrobe closet built onto the wall next to his bed. A huge drawing, very complex, was affixed to it by short tacks. It looked like something out of one of Verne's stories, or perhaps even Wells. It looked like some kind of ship. A flying ship. Beneath the ship was another vehicle. Something that looked vaguely familiar, but he couldn't place it at that moment. His mind was still somewhat number from the blow he had been struck.
Then he tried to sit up, remembering what had happened. Someone had attacked him from behind, but now he was here. Where was here? And what was their purpose. He reached for his magical potions he always kept in his right pocket, and that's when he noticed he was undressed.
The door to his cabin opened up and a Giant stepped inside, holding his clothing, all clean and pressed. "I hope you don't mind the temporary inconvenience. I don't imagine a gentleman such as you enjoy walking in public with clothing that was as sullied as yours was."
He threw them on the bunk Harry laid upon, and then sat down on a stool, that creaked and groaned from his weight. He was familiar in some way, but he couldn't quite figure out how just yet. Something about the eyes. But this man was built like a monster. His forearms and upper arms were bulging with muscle and his neck was also thick like someone who worked with weights might get. His fingers were delicate looking though, long and pointed at the ends, like an artist's, or a piano players.
"Do I know you?"
The Giant shrugged. "One never knows. It's a big world. But a small city."
He hunched over, and then put his chin on his hands while resting his elbows on his knees, giving him the appearance of DaVinci's Thinker. The perpetual thinker lost in contemplation. "I feel like I should know you. Perhaps at one time we knew each other. I don't know. I've forgotten a lot about my past."
Harry began dressing himself, his eyes on the Giant. What had happened? Where was he?
As if reading his mind the Giant answered. "You're on the Merchant Marie, bound for the West India Isles."
"Bound for..." Harry almost choked, then ran to the port window and looked out. "Oh, Mother Mary, dear God in Heaven! We're at sea."
"Have been for about a fortnight already."
Harry looked over at the Giant. "But why am I on this ship?"
"Would you rather I left you to that horde of zombies that attacked you?"
Harry sat down hard on the bunk, causing it to groan in complaint.
"I never saw who attacked me." He looked up. "I'm alive."
"But barely." The Giant answered. "Had I been another second or two longer in rescuing you, they would have torn you to pieces."
Harry groaned. "Well, no problem. I'll just use my magical potions to summon Captain Nemo to bring me back to London."
The Giant's eyes brightened a moment. "Another name I recognize, but don't know."
Harry grinned. "If you'll just give me the small bags you found in my right pocket."
"Can't do that." The Giant said.
"And why not?"
"The zombies took them."
Harry groaned again, and then brightened. "Again, no problem. We should be near a port soon, right?"
The Giant smiled gently. "Why so eager to get back into that hell hole. You're lucky to be alive. Why rush back into a trap?"
"Yes." The Giant replied as if he were as sure of that fact as if he wore born with the information. "Yes. I saw it from..."
He indicated his drawing. "You made that...."
"Yes. The Captain humors me with my fancies and I pay him back by giving him better ways to secure cargo and fish."
"Where is that device now?" Harry asked, an indeterminate waver in his voice.
"In the hold, near this cabin. It takes about a week to put it together, and dry land."
"How long till we reach somewhere we can take to port?"
"About two days."
Harry sighed. "Well then. Since we have so much time between us, why don't you introduce me to this captain of yours, and perhaps we can figure out a way to get your craft up into the air a bit quicker."
The Giant rose and smiled. "I'd like that."
"By the way, do you have a name?"
Harry smiled, and then offered his hand. "I'm Harry. I think we're going to get along just fine. Does your crew like magic tricks?"
"You can do magic?"
Harry grinned. "Oh. A little."
They exited the cabin and went up on the main deck. The sea was restless and the ship tossed along with it, but continued to make a strong course towards the east, where the India Isles lay. Harry relaxed for a few moments, allowing himself to take in the faces of the good men on the ship. For good men they were. And most looked familiar to him in some way, though he couldn't put a finger on it quite yet. He didn't let that get in the way of him enjoying their handiwork, as they climbed the masts and pulled in some of the sail to keep the sails from tearing in the strong winds blowing their direction.
The Giant pitched in as well, doing the work of two men. He was a strong spirit from what Harry could see, of mind and body. But something kept nagging him about the man. The Giant was grizzly like a bear, his face hidden in a mountain of facial hair that even Professor Challenger would admire.
But then it all came together in a fell swoop, when Harry, day dreaming about London and what action he might be missing and thanking God for his luck with the Giant saving him, was put into a further elation and confusion at the same time.
He turned around.
Harry turned the rest of the way around and then got the shock of his life. "Captain Nemo!"
The Captain almost sprang forward, his bearded smile lighting his face with warmth as he grabbed Harry's hands and shook them heartily.
"When I was told the Giant brought a stranger from the riots aboard, I had no idea." Captain Nemo apologized.
Harry gave him a look of gratitude. "I owe my life to this man."
The Giant, who was furling a sail up alongside them gave him a smile of appreciation, but continued working.
"Come to my cabin. We must talk immediately." Captain Nemo said, practically sweeping Harry along with him, a hair fist guiding him into the stately cabin.
Harry gave a whistle of appreciation. "The Nautilus hasn't pence on this."
"This brings me to my next statement or question..."
"Where's my ship?" Captain Nemo beat him to the punch, motioning him to sit down on the opposite side of a highly polished rosewood desk inlaid with marble curlicues that reminded him of Indian Sanskrit.
The Captain noticed his look, and then nodded. "Hand made. My father and his brothers gifted he this when I lost the Nautilus."
Harry shot up. "You lost the Nautilus?"
Captain Memo's eyes quivered, almost as if he were about to cry, then he straightened up, reached into a cabinet, and took out a huge flask of crystal with water inside of it. He poured a glass for both himself and Harry, and then sat down in a lavish chair behind the desk that was wrapped in red velvet and silver trim.
He leaned across the desk.
"Aye. A sorry day it was for me and my crew it happened."
Captain Nemo told him.
Harry's eyes widened, his face paled and his fingers almost lost their grip on his glass.