Salt filled the air so much that one could feel it in his very bones. The only sound that could be heard was that of the waves crashing against the ship and of men carrying about their duties above deck. Cold winds howled against the massive sails and whipped the ship's blank, black flag about in the air.
"Ships spotted!" screamed a one-legged man from the crow's nest. "Three ships spotted! Three ships leeward!"
The commotion and chant echoed about the ship. "Get the captain!" someone yelled.
Moments later, the door leading to the captain's cabin burst open. The captain of the ship stomped about the deck in thick, knee-high, black leather boots with spurs. He wore blue trousers and a thick leather belt from which hung a sword and a pistol so massive it may as well have been a cannon. His shirt was a loose-fitting button down made of soft, red silk. Over all of it was draped a black coat stained with grease, gunpowder, and blood. Atop his mess of hair rested a beaten, cut up hat. The captain stared down his men as he ate a lemon whole, like an apple. And within this swashbuckling outfit was none other than Cleti.
"What do we have, men?" Cleti asked.
"Three ships traveling together southeast of our position," one sailor answered.
"Release all of the sails," Cleti ordered. "We want all of the power and speed we can get. Hard turn to port; set a course directly for them. Pull up the anchor. Man the cannons. Open the gunports. Let's get this thing moving."
"Sir, which gunports need to be opened?"
"All seventy-two of them," Cleti responded. "I want to overwhelm them as quickly as possible. Let's go. We've got ships to rob."Within an hour, Cleti's ships overcame the three they were chasing. Cannon fire held off two ships as Cleti's ironclad ship pulled against the third, dropping blanks onto the deck so that dozens of Cleti's pirates could toss the ship for anything valuable. Cleti rushed onto the ship to fight alongside his crew, tearing through people with his handcannon. Pirates killed innocent sailors while they futilely tried to defend themselves until all the passengers aboard the vessel dropped their weapons and surrendered.
"Our captain wants to speak to whoever is in charge," shouted one of the survivors.
"I'm in charge here," Cleti said. "Bring me your captain."
"He wishes to speak in his own chambers."
Cleti jabbed the barrel of his handcannon against the cheek of the sailor that was speaking. "Tell your captain that we'll speak on my terms, or I'll have one of your comrades do so after they toss your headless corpse overboard."
The man ran away into the bowels of the ship. Moments later he returned with an old man with short white hair wearing nothing but long black robes.
"You look like a fucking priest," Cleti scoffed. "Are you the captain of this ship?"
"I'm the one leading these three ships on this voyage," the man said. "My name is Cristoforo Colombo, and I come in the name of the Queen of Spain."
"Holy shit," Cleti mumbled. "You're Christopher Columbus. I've got a proposition for you, Chris. I'll allow all of you to leave and I won't pillage or destroy any of your ships. My men and I will provide you with protection throughout your journey. And in return all you'll have to do is willingly give up any material of great value that we may discover. How's that sound?"
"Anything that I find is the property of the Queen of Spain," Chris said.
"If you're saying no, Chris, you do realize that I'm going to kill your right now," Cleti said with a smirk. "Then, for funsies, I'm gonna rape your corpse before throwing it into the ocean."
"Anything that you want is yours," Chris stammered. "May I ask your name?"
"You can call me Captain Commander Navigator Cleti, at your service."
"Well, Captain…Commander Navigator, my three ships are the Gallega, the Pinta, and the Nina. All of them are at your command."
"Um…your ships are named Santa Maria, Pinta, and Santa Clara," Cleti pointed out. "There's no Gallega or Nina here."
"Those are nicknames," Chris responded. "Why is your ship covered in strips of metal?"
"Defense," Cleti shrugged. "It's gonna be all the rage in a few centuries. Anyway, let's get you to the Bahamas."
"We're sailing for India," Chris corrected him with a smile.
"I'm the fucking Navigator," Cleti said, "and we're going to the Bahamas. Trust me."
And so, Cleti set sail with Christopher Columbus in search of the new world.Cleti sailed with Christopher Columbus for a while, defending his ship from pirates and sea monsters. It was a few weeks into the voyage and Cleti was enjoying the breeze while he and Chris were having tea on the deck of the Pinta. Suddenly, the wind turned deathly cold and the sky changed to a sickly swirl of grey and red.
"What's going on?" Christopher asked.
Cleti watched over the crews on the various shipped. The flesh of many men turned a pale green color. Their eyes disappeared, leaving empty sockets that spilled a black fluid over the faces of the men. They all screamed in garbled tongues while clawing at their own flesh. The water beneath the ships churned and bubbled, sucking the voyagers into a massive whirlpool. Lightning and patches of dark emptiness streaked through the skies. In the sky appeared hideous creatures the size of donkeys. The creatures looked like toads with the wings of bats stretching from their backs. They had seven eyes, and three horns protruded from their foreheads. The beasts had six insect-like legs and massive pincers grew from the corners of their mouths. The monster calmly circled in the sky above the ships.
"Navigator!" Chris shouted, "What sort of hell has opened upon us?"
Cleti turned deathly pale as all the mutated men fell silent and gazed at him. "Cthulu," Cleti whispered.
At that instant, a massive beast burst from the sea, destroying the Santa Maria as it rose. Its body was bloated, but human-like with its flesh covered in green scales. The massive wings of a dragon spread open from its back. Its head was an octopus with countless tentacles, the slick rubbery skin of its face covered in hairs the size of a man's arm that were constantly twitching and moving. It made no noise but simply glared with its black, alien eyes at the three remaining ships.
Chaos broke out. The mutated crew members began to attack and eat those that were unchanged. The toadbats in the sky also began swooping down to pick up prey, grabbing anything that moved.
"Kill the infected!" Cleti shouted at the surviving men. "Ignore the flying things unless they're close enough to touch you. Someone man the cannons! Fire at the eyes of the devil."
Cleti fired his handcannon at a toadbat that had landed on the deck to eat a crew member. The shot tore the beast in two. Cleti then drew his sword and made his way to the mast, cutting down the infected as they came near him. He grabbed the closest rope and began climbing up to the crow's nest. Once there, he perched and waited.
As a toadbat flew beneath him, Cleti dove on top of it. He grabbed it by the horns and dug his heels into the creature's sides. As Cleti thrashed about in the air on the monster, Cthulu picked up the Nina and forced the ship into the mass of tentacles that hid the beast's mouth. Cannonballs roared through the air, tearing through toadbats and slamming against Cthulu's scaled hide. Near endless bloodshed spread out over the two remaining ships as men battled against mutants and monsters.
Finally, Cleti gained control of the toadbat. Kicking the beast in the side, Cleti sped through the air toward Cthulu. A cannonball zipped by and smashed into Cthulu's left eye. The monster convulsed violently as it cupped its hands over the eye.
"There ya go, boys," Cleti said as steered the toadbat into a divebomb toward Cthulu's face, "take out the eyes to distract it while I go for the brain."
Moments before Cleti drove the beast into Cthulu's forehead, he stabbed it in the head with his sword and dove off. He slammed against Cthulu's skin with a loud sploosh. The flesh was slick and slimy. Cleti tried the grab one of the hairs, but he couldn't hold on and slid off Cthulu into the air over the swirling water below. Cleti stopped descending with another loud sploot as one of the thousands of tentacles caught him in the air. It coiled about his body and drew him in. Seconds later, Cleti disappeared into the cloud of tentacles.
"We're doomed," Chris said as he fell to his knees.
Cthulu reached out to crush Cleti's ship, but instead started to convulse and writhe in pain. Crescent waves of blue light tore out of Cthulu's body in several directions. Everything seemed to stand still as a final wave of light burst out of Cthulu, tearing it open down the center from its eyes to its chest, spraying thick, putrid, purple blood out across the sea.
Splashes of the blood coated the decks of the ship as Cthulu sank back into the ocean. The toadbat monsters disappeared as the skies returned to normal. The mutated crew members turned to dust, and the ocean beneath the ships calmed.
Cleti came up coughing and sputtering from the globs of blood on Chris's ship.
"You killed that thing," Chris mumbled. "How did you do it?"
Cleti gave Chris a deathly cold gaze. "That is not dead which can eternal lie," he said. "And with strange aeons even death may die."
From there, Cleti went inside and slept for three days straight.Two weeks later, in the middle of the fucking night, Chris's ship spotted land. As they came ashore, Chris was joyous.
"We've done it!" he shouted. "We sailed to India from Spain. We sailed around the entire globe!"
"Shut the fuck up," Cleti said. "You're only halfway there. Welcome to America, asshat."
Chris and his crew were greeted on the shores by dozens of dark skinned natives carrying spears and bows. The natives wore little clothing and were covered in massive scars. Communication between them went smoothly due to the fact that the natives seemed able to pick up on the language with eerie ease. Cleti mostly ignored the exchange between the explorers and the natives until they began to explain how they got their scars.
One of the older natives stood at the front of the group. Motioning to his scars he explained in broken sentences that people come from nearby islands at night to kidnap villagers. Most are used for slavery, but others are used for blood. This statement interested Cleti.
"What does he mean they use them for blood?" Cleti questioned Chris.
After several minutes of guttural speaking and frustration, Cleti learned that the women and the strongest of the men are killed on an alter to appease the hunger of the gods of the nearby island. The inhabitants of the other island will do this until their god returns from the sea. They will know it is their god because he will look just like them, only his skin and hair will be pale.
Cleti looked around at the group and picked out a man with dirty blonde hair. "You're fucked, buddy," Cleti said.
That moment, hundreds of men in masks and war paint swarmed the group, kidnapping several natives and people from Cleti and Chris's ships before disappearing into the night.
"Jesus fucking Christ," Cleti said. "Those mother fuckers came out of nowhere. C'mon, Chris, we've gotta get our guys back."
Cleti took a group of five natives to lead him in a canoe across the expanse of sea to the next island. There, they trekked into the trees until they came upon a clearing. At the center there was a massive stone. One of the natives was lying on rock. Another native that was covered in war paint stood over him. Cleti and his quintet of native guides watched from the trees as the man on the rock was brutally sacrificed by having his chest completely crushed. Then, the natives with war paint gathered at the rock, painting suns on their chest using the blood.
The natives formed a circle around the rock as the blonde Cleti pointed out before was dragged to the rock. A native stood over him with a stone dagger that was plunged into the blonde's chest. The moment the dagger tore into his heart, golden light spilled out from the wound. The blonde's body melted into the tower of light that was shooting out of the stone. Blood and tiny bits of remains were sucked up from the rock into the pillar. Bolts of lightning shot out of the golden light like hands, grasping all the natives with blood-painted suns and pulling them inside. With a blinding explosion, the pillar of golden light turned into a man. He looked like the natives, only he was completely naked and lacked any genitalia, hair or nipples and his entire body was covered in a glowing, golden mist.
"Holy shit!" Cleti shouted in a whisper. "We've gotta get the fuck out of here."
Cleti turned and tried to sprint back to the canoe, but the golden man was standing in his way. The golden man grabbed Cleti's entire head in his hand and threw Cleti through the trees. Cleti crashed into the sand of the beach. The golden man appeared standing over Cleti. With a flick of the golden man's wrist, the world lit up as if it were day.
Cleti stumbled out of the crater his landing had created and drew his sword. Cleti charged at the golden man, slashing at his shoulder. Cleti's sword stopped mid-swing, held in place against the golden mist. The golden man looked down at the blade nonchalantly. He reached up and broke the blade in two before back-handing Cleti. Cleti skipped across the water like a rock before sliding to a stop on the opposite island.
The golden man appeared a few yards away from Cleti. Cleti primed and loaded his hand cannon and fired it at the golden man's chest. The golden mist caught the cannonball, which then fell to the sand. Cleti took a deep breath and held his hands in front of his stomach. Blue light swirled about in the space between his palms, creating a ball of blue energy in Cleti's hands. Cleti launched the hadouken at the golden man, only for it to explode against the mist.
"Last chance," Cleti said as he took an extremely deep breath. "Scream for dramatic effect."
Cleti charged at the golden man. When he was a few feet away, he skipped into the air, shouting "THROWING!"
As Cleti landed, he firmly planted his feet in the sand in a wide stance and shouted, "CLETI!"
Cleti drew his arms up and bent his upper body away from the golden man and screamed, "PUNCH!" as he threw his torso forward, punch with both arms and drilling his fists into the chest and stomach of the golden man.
Cleti's hand tore through the golden mist and connected with the golden man's flesh. The golden man vibrated a moment before exploding, sending a wave of golden light across the sky. With the golden man's death, darkness returned to the sky, and it was night once more.
Chris, his men, and all of Cleti's remaining crew members stared at Cleti in awe. All the natives fell to their knees and bowed to Cleti.
"Thank you," Cleti wheezed. "Thank you. It was nothing. I'll be here all week."
As Cleti was walking back toward Chris, something began making a terrible buzzing and whirring sound. Cleti looked down at his right wrist and pulled up his coat sleeve. He was wearing a metallic wrist band with a brilliant blue jewel on it that had a faint glow pulsing deep within it.
"Oh, fuck, not again," Cleti said as he disappeared in a flash of blue lightning.
Because of Cleti's incredible powers and ability to continue on even when he's pants-shittingly scared, Columbus survived his voyage and was able to return to the Queen of Spain with...corn and stuff or something. And because of that, we now have "the new world" where we can have economic failures and moronic governments and stupid people like Cleti serving in the military.
It is also yet another United States federal holiday whose creation indirectly involved Cleti, as well as another instance for CAPCOM to use while building their copyright infringement case against one Cletus Clemens.- El Cleti