Day 27 – 1160 words and a total of 47 267 words! 3 days left!
The voyage across the Stykk Ocean was quite boring after the first day or two, and time passed—almost—uneventfully.
After creating a makeshift bed out of blankets and pillows on the floor of the cabin, the five stickmen had decided on having two watches throughout the night and day: Stif, Stib, and Leddy on one, and Stikky and Steik on the other.
Using these, they sailed northwest throughout both day and night—three sleeping while the other two sailed the ship, then the other way around.
The cupboard was a lot more full than it had been on the previous voyage, and despite how carefully they fitted everything in, there was one annoying bread loaf that simply wouldn’t, so they ate that for supper the following night.
Once there was a whole day without wind, and the five stickmen had decided to get out the oars and start rowing. The sun—which had generally been hidden behind clouds promising rain that had not come—beat down mercilessly on the decks and backs of the five. Then Steik had come up with the idea of taking down the currently-useless sail and stretching it from the top of the cabin to the bows, creating a cool, shady spot where they could sit comfortably away from the sun.
Altogether it was a fairly successful journey, and after sighting land on the eighth day, they landed at Destick’s Island a few hours later.
“Well,” Stikky decided, turning to the cabin door as it opened and the three off-duty stickmen came stumbling sleepily out. “I think you three sleepy heads can stay here to guard the boat; Leddy and me will go find out what Destick is planning.”
Stif objected sleepily, his mouth opening in a massive yawn. “But,” he protested. “We haven’t even been inside Destick’s Lair, and you and Leddy have been inside heaps!”
Leddy shook his head. “It’s not a privilege guys,” he replied. “We’re only going in because we have to. Only two of us should go because the less of us there are, the easier it is for us to sneak through the security.”
Steik pulled his glasses off for no apparent reason, then put them back on again. “Whatever,” he decided, waving a hand. “But if you guys aren’t back in two hours, we’re gonna come looking for you, okay?”
Stikky nodded. “Agreed. Now let’s go!”
Grabbing their swords, the two leaped over the railing of the boat, landing with a splash in the shallow water surrounding the Spy. Waving cheerfully, they turned and made their way out of the water, up the beach, and disappeared into the trees.
Stikky and Leddy made their way quickly through the forest, trying to keep a balance between going as fast as they could and going as quietly as they could.
They soon reached the dark cave entrance that led to Destick’s Lair, and entered in without hesitation. Leddy pulled out a match and was about to light it when Stikky shook his head. A light would be a clear giveaway to anything watching—or even something not.
As they descended down the steeply-sloping tunnel, Stikky bumped his head on a piece of low-hanging rock. He winced in pain.
“That’s gonna give me a bruise…” he muttered grumpily, feeling the bump with tender fingers and glaring angrily at where he thought the rock was in the darkness.
“Ssshhhh!” Leddy hissed, stepping cautiously out into the seemingly-roofless cave at the end of the tunnel and looking around him.
Ignoring the massive lake stretching off into the darkness to their right, they hurried straight towards the entrance of Destick’s Lair.
“Looks like he’s done some repairs,” Leddy said a moment later, studying the brand new metal doors in front of him, both reflecting the warm light of the lantern hung above them.
Lifting his sword, Stikky reduced the shiny keypad positioned in the wall beside the doors to a sparking heap with a single blow, grinning in satisfaction as the entrance opened.
“Well, he still hasn’t changed the system, even if he has repaired the numpad,” Stikky whispered, peering cautiously through the open doors. “Too bad, he’s going to need another new one!”
Making their way through Destock’s Lair, avoiding Strobots as they went, the two were in entering into the inventing room before they knew it.
Stikky looked around. It was empty, once again. He supposed Destick wasn’t in here very often, only when he was thinking up evil schemes.
They rummaged through some blueprints and documents, but everything was almost exactly the same as when they had been here last. But what was that whiteboard on the wall, covered in scribbles and diagrams? That certainly hadn’t been there before…
Stikkye went over to it. It took him less than a split second to tell what it was.
“Leddy!” he cried in panic, looking around wildly for his friend.
The younger of the two stickmen hurried over to him, and his face too went pale when he saw the massive outline drawn on the whiteboard. It was a bomb.
“This thing is huge!” Stikky exclaimed in a quivering voice, breaking into a cold sweat. “It’ll wipe out the whole island!”
Leddy wiped the perspiration from his forehead. “Everyone depends on us, Stikky,” he decided. “So we can’t muck this up. Come on, we’ve got to collect all the information about this we can!”
Forgetting his fear, Stikky looked up at the whiteboard and studied it as hard as he could, muttering what he read aloud.
“They’re going to drop it out of a helicopter directly over the castle…” he mumbled, anger growing slowly inside him. “It’ll destroy far more than just the island—everything surrounding it too!”
Leddy held up a map pinned to the wall. “This is the radius of the bomb,” he decided, showing it to Stikky. “It’s huge! It’ll even reach Stickland! Destick must be absolutely crazy if he’s willing to blow up his own island, and even himself if necessary!”
Stikky looked at him. “Or else he just really, really wants to get rid of us.”
Leddy nodded, slightly puzzled. “What I absolutely need to know,” he said slowly. “Is why Destick wants us dead!”
Stikky shrugged, then took the map from Leddy and stuffed it into his pocket. “Hopefully we’ll find out one day…” he answered, grimacing.
“Can we go now?” Leddy asked a moment later. “It’s almost been two hours, and we don’t want the others coming looking for us when we don’t need them to.”
Stikky studied the whiteboard one last time. “We just need to know when they’re going to drop it!” he muttered. “It might not make a difference, but at least we’ll know when it’s going to happen.”
“When?” Leddy asked, breathlessly.
Stikky pointed grimly, then turned and hurried for the door. “On the 15th. That’s less than a month from now, so we need to get back and do what we can to prepare for it. Come on!”