“A TRAP?!?” comes the surprised exclamation of the Shark from the bubbles floating up following the epic splash made by the rivalrous Angler and Shark.
The Mystic Wave lurches forward as the Shark dives beneath the waves. The Angler holds tight to the harpoon line, disappearing beneath the surf. Crimson’s pale knuckles clutch the ship’s wheel as he tries to guide the Wave in line with the fleeing Shark. The ship is flying across the waves, pulled wildly by the incredible swimming strength of the Shark.
“DROP THE SAILS!!! NOW!” bellows Crimson, hoping that the resistance may slow the Shark’s escape attempt. He reaches over and grabs the throttle for the Wave’s water-wheel and throws it in neutral. The water-wheel slows and begins to free-spin with the water rushing around the side of the ship. When the wind hit the sails it shook the boat, causing the crew-members to stumble and fall across the deck. Crimson alone is standing but only because of his grip on the Captain’s wheel.
Crimson frantically spins the wheel, matching the darting, erratic movements of the Shark. The Mystic Wave may be the only ship on the seas that could match the Shark turn for turn, and Captain Crimson the only Captain who could guide her with such expert hands.
“He’s comin’ up again,” yells Mitch. Sure enough, the monster’s movements become less evasive, and a form slowly becomes visible. Despite his surfacing, the Shark still maintains a fast pace, dragging the Wave behind him.
The Angler is on the Shark’s back using his koa marlin spike dagger to slowly make his way up the Shark’s back. Despite his relentless stabbing into the Shark, the Shark’s thick skin makes the attacks all but futile.
“Is he wearin’ out?” asks Porky with a cautious optimism.
“No, we’re in for some trouble,” mutters Crimson, realizing the Shark’s clever ploy. The Shark was going to dive.
Crimson grabs the Wave’s throttle and jams it in reverse. The ship’s smoke stacks belch thick black smoke as the engines roar pushing the water wheel against the rushing tide. The ship jerks hard, sending the sailors flying across the deck. Crimson again stands resolute, knowing the consequence of his action.
The Shark realizing his plan is in danger of failing begins to dive, pulling hard against the Wave’s mighty pull. For a moment, the battle hangs in limbo, the Mystic Wave holding the Shark in a stalemate. Then, slowly but surely, the Shark begins to once again pull the Mystic Wave forward.
“No…” mutters first-mate Cole.