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There She Blows

by on August 2, 2014

Last time in the Catrina Chronicles, our heroine was still on board the zeppelin of the time-traveling Captain Ahab, who had just sighted his nemesis, the infamous White Whale. We rejoin the thrilling chase, already in progress!

It was the whale, all right. The immense bulk of the creature gleamed brilliantly below them, as it rolled along the surface of the sea. Catrina had seen a few whales in her time, but she had only glimpsed them at a distance from the shores of Kumquat City. She had never been this close to one before. “So, there it is then,” she commented aloud. “I suppose you’ll be wanting to throw your harpoon at it then.”

“Ay,” thundered Captain Ahab, “Ay, I have chased him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round-”

“And round and round, all through the town,” Catrina interrupted. “Don’t lets go soliloquizing again. Honestly, I still don’t understand. It’s a whale. It bit off your leg, sure, but it didn’t mean anything. It’s only a great big fish!”

Ahab glowered at her. “‘Tis more than a big fish, missie. It is intangible malignity, it-”

“There you go again,” sighed Catrina. “You just can’t stop with the speech-making, can you?”

The captain was about to bellow something more at her when he caught a flash of white out of the corner of his eye. He whirled, and seized his harpoon. “He dives!”  Ahab howled in anguish. “He shall not escape me again!”

“Tell me something,” Catrina demanded. “What’re you going to do with the whale once you’ve harpooned it?”

Ahab, distracted, had been taking aim with the proton harpoon. Now he glanced back at her. “What?”

Catrina started again. “Once you’ve harpooned the White Whale, paid it back for biting off your leg, and so on. What happens then?”

The captain paused. He obviously hadn’t thought that far ahead.

“Are you going to eat it? Sell its oil off for candles? Stick a fin up on your mantelpiece? What?”

“I’ll decide that when I’ve harpooned him!” Ahab declaimed with a flourish.

“No you’re not,” said Catrina. “You’ll probably just give a really long speech about it, as it sinks to the bottom of the sea. You’re not nearly practical enough to make use of it. I know a merchant or two back home who could give a decent price for whale oil, very handy for lamps, but noooo. You’re just going to stick it like a butterfly on a pin. Well, I’m not having it.” She flung out her hand. There was a crackling of ice, and Mlrning (the Shovel of Thor!) broke free and hurtled to her.

Ahab leveled his proton harpoon. “Stand aside. I have faced you and your shovel before, and trapped y’ both in ice of your own creation. I’ll do the same again if ye don’t stand away and let me after that whale!”

“Yes, but this time I’m ready for you and your little proton shield harpoon,” Catrina said, brandishing the Shovel of Thor.

The captain raised his arm. The proton harpoon gave a menacing whirrrrr. Catrina clung to Mlrning and hoped against hope that this time the ice ray would work. Then, outside, she saw another flash of white. The princess’s mouth fell open in shock. The captain had been wrong. Moby Dick wasn’t diving. He was breaching.

With a massive spray of water and foam, the White Whale heaved itself up out of the sea. For one moment it hung suspended and shiny in the air, gleaming in all its mighty brilliance. Catrina thought she glimpsed its eye, for one second. It looked almost sad. Then, it plunged down again and hit the water with a thunderous smack. Catrina saw the flukes of its tail wave one last time as it dived beneath the waves, then a torrent of water blocked the zeppelin’s windows. The whole ship quaked violently and blurred about her. Then, so fast that it nearly turned her stomach, Catrina found she wasn’t on the zeppelin anymore. She was standing, still with Shovel in hand, on a cobblestoned street amidst a bustling city. A man in a top hat brushed past her. “Excuse me,” she said. “But can you tell me where I am?”

“London, ma’am,” said the man, tipping his hat politely. “Are you lost, pray? Do you require a constable?”

“Not quite yet,” Catrina replied. “One more question. What year is it?”

“Why, it’s the year of our Lord 1913,” he said, a little astonished that she shouldn’t know.

“Right,” said Catrina. “Now I require a constable.”

This has been another exciting episode in the Catrina Chronicles. For previous episodes, go here. Thanks for reading!

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  1. What an adventure…going from the whale to 1913 London I have no idea where you’ll ts go with this, but I guess that’s kinda the point, huh?

    • Indeed. I have a vague idea where this particular arc will go, at least in the short run, but one never really knows… 🙂

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