The first few days went by smoothly.

I stood on the prow, drinking hot chocolate. The ship's cooler was magic, and could produce any food you wished. I looked back, to see a girl yell something at Finn, who was at the helm. I recognized her as Halldora, Finn's sole friend.

She was kinda cute, I guess, with strawberry blonde hair that reached her shoulders, and a spray of freckles across her rossy face, but she really wasn't my type.

"Hey, Finn! I've found your hairbrush!" she yelled. Finn glanced back at her, and said, "I'll take it later, keep it!"

Olaf appeared next to me. "Hey, hey, am I seein' what I think I'm seein'? Egill Hallason sneaking a few peaks at some girls? Nah, I'm hallucinatin'."

Finn snapped back at Olaf's words, and glared at me. I blushed and looked away. "Thanks for nothing, Olaf." I mumbeled. He grinned.

I finished up my chocolate and set the mug down. "So, Olaf, anything you wanted to talk to me about? Except girls?" I forestalled him.

He grinned even more. "Yeah, I did want to talk, Mr. Touchy. You remember Sigurd?"?

"You mean Sigurd Sturlason?"


"How couldn't I? He's a damn good warrior for one, and my rival for another. How to forget?"

"He's here."

"Really?" I was surprised. Then again, I hadn't exactly spent my time recognizing my fellow chosen ones.

"Yeah. He met me a few minutes back. Told me he needed to talk to you."

"Probably to tell me how he's been training to beat the hell outta me."

"Nah, he was serious. And he ain't often serious."

"I know. So where is he?"

"Follow me, man."

He lead me into the lower cabins. It was the same size as mine, though a good deal cleaner. On the bed, sat Sigurd.

He was humoungous, way taller than me. He glanced at me with his Blue and Black eyes. "Hey, Egill. Good to see you."

"This is not the Sigurd I know. What have you done with my rival?"

He smiled wearily. "Nothing, dude. Just not in the mood."

"You're always in the mood!"

"Not today. Listen, I met up with Flake earlier today."

"Oh." I knew Flake; he was a pretty mysterious guy. The gods themselves had sent him to Bik. He had no parent, and, well, that's all I knew about him. He was that shady.

"You and me, we know he's a strange guy. Hell, everyone knows he's a strange guy. But today, he went out of the way to prove his oddness."

"What happened, man?"

"He told me... he'd been having a feeling that something bad was about to happen. I was, y'know, like what? He just pointed to the sea, and...

"Egill, I could see a thing down there. Kinda humanoid, but definitely not human. Too huge. Larger than me. Then It looked up, and I could see it's eyes... and I felt like I was drowning. When I snapped out of it, Flake was speaking strange things, and his spear was out. Y'know, the one he calls End... and he pointed it at the thing and it growled, and... then it wasn't there."

I glanced at Olaf. He looked worried. Probably, so did I.

"Where is Flake now, Sig?" I asked Sigurd.

"I dunno... and I don't wanna know." He massaged his forehead.

"C'mon Egill." I heard Olaf. "You too, Sig. We're having a meeting."

I looked at him. "We sure are, partner."

We sat on the benches. The wind was picking up nicely, and the magical ship did have an autopilot. Every one in one place.

There was me, sitting with Sigurd and Olaf; Finn sat with Halldora. The other people sat around, talking in hushed tones. I recognized a few; there was Snorri Hvokson, looking around with his bloodshot eyes, sitting next to his sister, whos name I didn't know. Both had silver hair. On his other side sat Halgor, the oldest guy aboard, aat 18 years of age. Meel the healer was also there, cleaning her glasses. There were others I didn't recognize, though a few looked familiar.

Then I noticed Flake.

He was sitting away from everyone else. He was deathly pale. His long blode hair fell on his shoulders. He was the smallest guy on the ship, and the skinniest on perhaps the whole world. He noticed my glare, and smiled at me sickly.

"Hear, hear, all!" This, I saw, was Halgor. "Olaf Archerson, Egill Hallason, and Sigurd Sturlason have called this meeting. Let them speak! Oi, I just said something, Joffrand!" A brownhaired guy looked at him sheepishly.

I told Sigurd to do the talking. He gave me the Evil Eye, but stood up, and started recounting his tale, glancing at Flake time and again, who seemed vastly interested in his fingernails.

The boy Halgor had called Joffrand was staring at Flake with undisguised dread. I wondered if there was more to his look, but then Flake stood up.

"Since Sigurd has already told you about the incident that occured a few hours ago, I guess I can start elaborating. I believe we are being followed."

Mutterings broke out. "Silence!" called Halgor, his eyes burning holes in Joffrand's skull who looked like he wanted to jump off the ship.

"And now that I've told you this, I guess our stalker will attack us... oh, just about now."

Suddenly, the sea rose, rocking the ship. I tumbled into Finn, but I was too confused to blush. When I looked up, I saw a massive humanoid form standing on the waves. It's eyes pulsed with blue light. I heard a guttering laughter, and then the words,

"Welcome to your demise, Vikings...."

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