“Sacred spirit of austerity and decorum,” Alibaba breathed, “I command thee and thy brethren.”
Chadli was rousing now, moaning from the pain of a shredded arm. Then he caught sight of what was coming at them.
Alibaba ignored the screams, and let the strange words come. “Use my magoi to lend tremendous power to my will.” I have no idea what this is going to do, but we’re kind of out of options.…
And now he had to kick, harder, as the whale sucked in and Chadli was trying to drown them both. But there was the eye, maybe ten yards away; and if he could reach that, somehow-
“Show yourself, Amon!”
A torrent of fire lashed deep into monstrous flesh, lighting stony skin in blazing shades of lemon and scarlet. Jahan clung to the railing like a lifeline as the island whale bellowed, the whole sea convulsing with the wild thrash of fins.
“What in Solomon’s name is that?” Aden swore.
“What in Solomon’s name,” Jahan breathed, “indeed.”
A final bone-breaking twist, and the roar of flames died.
Jahan raised his head, as the waves finally started to slow. Blood, spreading slick as oil over the water. Rocky flesh laying limp, luring tentacles drifting in the water like dead worms. And an eerie quiet. “Captain. We need to go back.”
“Go back?” Aden snarled, still gripping the wheel. “If that thing’s not dead-”
“If it’s not, then this is our best chance to kill it,” Jahan cut him off. “But if it is… we may have living men in the water. Would you leave them to the sharks that monster will draw?”
The words Aden loosed should have blistered all the paint left on the Shadow. But he snapped orders to the crew, and spun the wheel.
Be alive, Alibaba, Jahan thought, searching bloody waves. I don’t want to have to answer to Harun’s ghost….