The afternoon sunlight did little to illuminate the insides of the ship, and when the Swordsman felt the cool, damp air that was trapped in the interiors that had been hidden away in shadow all this time, it began to sink in just how much trouble they were both in.
The back of his boot bumped against the unconscious girl’s body, and there it stopped. The Swordsman had kept his revolver away, and now both hands were at the ready by his sword.
There was barely a sound from the darkness all around, but still he could feel the hundreds of eyes that were set on him, waiting to see what he would do. On the ground behind him, Rayna stirred.
‘Rayna,’ he tried, keeping his voice low. From the shadows to his right, there was a quiet snarl, and the sound of dry bones scraping along the wooden floorboards as the creature advanced.
The Swordsman drew his blade, quick as lightning – and there was a hiss when the light caught the blade and was reflected into the darkness. To the human eye, there was barely any light to see by; but for these creatures that have stayed in the dark for so long, every pinprick of light was a dagger in their eyes.
‘Rayna!’ he said, voice still low but an urgency creeping into it. ‘Up, now!’
The girl stirred again, but this time there was a wakefulness that was coming back to her. ‘Gosh,’ she mumbled, ‘What in the world happened? It’s dark in here.’
‘Zombies,’ he chose the word that she could understand, ‘All around. You can’t see them, but there are hundreds of them. Ready your weapon.’
Her body stiffened as alarm filled her. He could feel it in the shifting of her energy. His only fear was that these creatures all around them could feel it too.
‘There’s no way out but through them, is there?’ Rayna said as she swiftly got to her feet. Now the creatures have gotten restless, and he could feel them tensing up, impatient. Tired of waiting.
‘I hope you’re adept with your blade, girl,’ he said, picking up his loaded revolver and aiming it into the darkness before him. ‘We have three seconds before they recover. Ready?’
‘Will anyone really be ready to fight for their lives?’ she laughed a little, then said with a sigh: ‘As ready as I’ll ever be, Stubs.’
The Swordsman steeled his gaze, and fired his hand cannon into the dark with a deafening crash.