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Curse of the Revenge


by lama12122

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Author's note: This story is set before the First chapter of Curse of Maraqua, where Garin and Isca lay eyes on each other for the first time.

Garin ran down the beach. Normally it was burning hot under his feet, but the sun was setting and its rays were no longer beating on the sand. He had always loved the feeling of cool sand. Garin was a young Usul, almost a teenager, with blonde hair. His father had passed away a few years ago, and he lived with his mother and grandfather now, in a small house on Scurvy Island. He loved his grandfather. He always told Garin tales of his ancestors, all of whom were pirates. Garin vowed that one day he would follow in their footsteps.

      Ahead of him he could see the silhouette of his friend, Jacques. Jacques was a handsome, young Kyrii, around Garin's age. He was Garin's best friend, and the two of them often sat on the beach together, daydreaming of the future and how together they would be captains of pirate crew.

      "Hey," said Jacques, "I thought you would never show up." Every night Garin and Jacques would meet at the beach and watch the sailboats out at sea. It was here where he found his petpet, a black pawkeet, which he named Sam.

      "Mum prepared dinner late again," Garin said in reply. Sam was perched on his shoulder. The two friends sat in their usual spot on the sand and watched the sailboats float by. With the sunset in the background and the colored sails of the boats, it was a beautiful sight.

      An hour later, the boats had all left the harbor and the sunset was over. It was almost totally dark. Garin looked up at the sky and saw enormous black clouds rolling in, threatening a storm. The also seemed unnaturally close to the ground.

      "Maybe we should head home now," said Jacques.

      "No," Garin said, "Not yet. Wait." He wanted to see what was happening with the clouds. It looked almost as if they were descending from the sky. Soon, the horizon was no longer visible and the clouds seemed to have engulfed the ocean. They began to swirl and the two friends could tell that something was emerging from them in the distance.

      "Oh, Fyora," Garin could hear Jacques mutter. His grandfather had said no pirate ship had ever been seen in these parts but that was all about to change. Sailing through the ocean (although it really looked like it was floating on the clouds) was and enormous pirate ship with huge black sails, a gigantic body, and the word "revenge" painted sloppily on its side. Neither Garin nor Jacques had seen anything like it before, not even in pictures.

      The weirdest thing about this ship, however, was not its enormous size, but the way it didn't look solid. It looked somehow see-through, like a ghost. Suddenly it disappeared.

      "What was up with that?" said Jacques.

      "I don't know but I'd better get home now," Garin replied. Then the two of them ran all the way back to their houses.

     *****

      "Grandpa! Grandpa!" Garin ran all through his house, calling his grandfather, until he finally found him sitting in his old rocking chair up in the attic.

      "What is it, son?" his grandfather said.

      "Jacques and I saw something," Garin said. "It was a giant pirate ship!"

      "Oh, Garin," his grandfather said in and exasperated tone, "Ye know no pirate ships 'ave been seen in these parts fer years."

      "But Grandfather," Garin pleaded. "It was there! It was huge and it had black sails and it had the word "revenge" on it!"

      "Did ye say revenge?" his grandfather asked curiously.

      "Yes," Garin replied. "It was painted on in red."

      "Oh, no," his grandfather whispered under his breath. "Ye have seen something terrible, terrible." He continued to mutter and soon began pacing up and down the attic. He stopped in front of an old dusty full-length mirror and looked at himself. He was an old, rugged, Usul with an eye patch on one eye and a long, white, beard.

      "Grandpa," Garin began to say, "What was it?"

      "Ye saw the Revenge," he said grimly. "She be the nastiest, most evil, ship ever to be sailin the five seas."

      "Why?" said Garin, curiously.

      "Ma said there be no more pirate tales," Garin's grandfather simply said.

      "Well she's not here, is she?" said Garin.

      His grandfather looked down on Garin. Garin was looking up at him. His grandfather had seen this face more than enough times. It was the face with the pleading expression that Garin always used when he wanted his grandfather to tell him a story. "Alright, alright," he finally said.

      Before the two could pull up a chair, there was a knock on the attic door. The door opened to reveal a Kyrii with a black pawkeet perched on his shoulder. "Hope I'm not interrupting anything," Jacques began, "But you left Sam at the beach. You must have been too distracted by the ship."

      Sam flew across the room and landed on Garin's shoulder. "My grandfather was just about to tell me what that thing in the water was," Garin said. As if this was an invitation, Jacques walked over to Garin's grandfather, pulled up an old chair, sat down, and waited for him to start. Garin and his grandfather followed suit.

      "Aye," he began. Garin and Jacques listened intently. "It all started a few years ago. An enormous pirate ship named the Revenge terrorized Southern Neopia. They invaded Mystery Island, killing and burning. No other ship be able to stand a chance against the Revenge. Its crew was almost as enormous as the ship. It contained all sorts of odd pets. Women, men, small pirates, giant pirates, skilled pirates, and weak pirates were all be a part of the crew. They also had the most advanced weapons. And, of course, they had their secret weapon."

      "What was that?" asked Jacques.

      "Their captain," he whispered. Garin and Jacques shuddered.

      "His name be Scarblade, Captain Scarblade. He be the nastiest Lupe ever to sail the five seas of Neopia. Scarblade be almost as malicious as Jhudora herself. He ain't normal. He had powers no Neopian could ever dream of possessing and a way of tricking others into joining him. He never let anyone compete with his reputation. Any crew that be tryin' to withstand his forces was immediately sent to Davy Jones' Locker."

      "What happened then?" said Garin.

      "I 'ave told ye about yer ancestors," his grandfather said in his pirate accent, "and how yer great-great-grandfather, or my grandfather, was a marvelous pirate. Well, one day, Scarblade got wind that there was a new ship on the water, threatenin' his reputation as the biggest baddie in the seas. Your great-great-grandfather be the captain of that ship. Her name was the Black Pawkeet and she was a beautiful ship, far more nicer than the wreck that Scarblade controlled. So that Scarblade fellow came all the way over here, in search for him. An' he be gettin' quite a surprise when he saw how large and well-built both the ship and the crew be."

      "What did the Pawkeet look like?" asked Jacques as Sam let out a squawk. He supposed Sam thought that was a good name for a ship.

      "Aye, she was a beauty," said Garin's grandfather. "Their captain did great work. He hired professional artisans to give it a pretty paint job. They made a black sail that had the skull of a pawkeet painted on it. But Scarblade didn't care about beauty. Aye, he just wanted to conquer every part of Neopia, one by one. So me granddad and Scarblade met one fearsome night. The sea and the clouds be a roarin' that and the sight of the Black Pawkeet made Scarblade mighty nervous. The two ships anchored themselves in the middle of the ocean, preparing for battle. From the bow of his ship, the Captain Scarblade glared at the crew of the Pawkeet, like a Tyrannian Kougra eyeing its prey. The enormous blasting of cannons erupted and they had officially gone into battle. It was a war of the good pirates and bad pirates. Me grandfather knew that if he defeated the Revenge, pirates would no longer have anything to fear. He also knew that if his crew went down, it was just another group of helpless men sent to the bottom of the ocean. He was determined not to lose. He never had before."

      "Did he win?" Garin asked.

      "Did they all sink to the bottom of Maraqua?" said Jacques.

      "Hold on, hold on, I'm getting to that," said the old Usul.

      "The battle raged on for hours," he continued. "Many had been killed. Just when it seemed all hope was lost, the first mate of the Pawkeet was defeated to top it all off. He had been the captain's best friend. Suddenly filled with rage, the crew fought harder than they ever had before. But the Black Pawkeet didn't have enough time to kill them all, for a cannonball had made an enormous hole in the Revenge and it was taking in water faster than they could throw it out. The Revenge was sinking so fast that there was not even enough time to pull out life boats. Within minutes, they were sleeping with the gulpers. The crew of the Pawkeet cried out in triumph, then headed home."

      "That was it?" said Garin. "It doesn't sound very heroic."

      "No, no, no," said his grandfather. "That be only the beginning. What happens next is far more interesting."

      "Yer great-great-grandfather won many more battles and his reputation as a pirate continued to grow. Soon he met a nice lady and decided to settle down from his life of piracy. He had a family and put all his past behind him, including his rivalry with Scarblade. After seein' ol' Scarblade go down with the Revenge, he never assumed he would never see him again, but assumptions can often be wrong.

      "One day he was sittin' in the Golden Dubloon, chuggin' down a good ol' mug of grog, when he heard some fellas behind him, whispering about Scarblade. As he eavesdropped on the conversation, he found out that some people had been claiming to have seen the ghost of the old captain and his ship. These were mostly pirates and even the bravest ones became so afraid that they decided to quit their life of piracy. Me granddad was a brave one so he decided to rent a little row-boat and take it out to sea. He brought along with him a telescope and a journal. In the journal, he planned to keep any records of anything he had seen. The telescope was going to be used to keep a safe distance from the ship in the case of him spotting it."

      "The next morning he headed out. It was cloudy and the waves were fairly calm. As he rowed the boat farther and farther away from the coastline, he felt the salty spray of the sea on his face. It gave him an excited feeling, a feeling he had not experienced for a long time. When he could no longer see shore he stopped rowing and pulled out his journal. He opened it up to the first page where he had written some notes from the things he remembered hearing in the conversation. The first said that the ghost of the Revenge roamed the seas at midnight. It had gotten dark a while ago. Looking up at the position of the moon, the Usul could tell it was almost midnight. He, again, looked down at his journal. The second note he had taken said to look out for black fog. He lifted his head up and noticed dense, black, clouds began to swirl around him, as if the sea were burning and letting off a heavy smoke. Your great-great-grandfather whipped out his telescope and looked around for any sign of an old ship."

      Afraid of what they thought was going to happen next, Garin and Jacques shivered. The thought of these waters being haunted alarmed them.

      "Suddenly the fog began to part, and an enormous ship emerged. It was draped in seaweed. Some of the wood had rotted away. He could see the hole from the cannonball that had blasted into the side of the ship and sent the Revenge to the bottom of Maraqua. She looked exactly the same as the night she went down, except for the fact that she was transparent and looked like a ghost."

      "So he held his telescope up to his eye and looked up at where the crew members were. Scarblade was standing at the bow of the ship. His crewmates were behind him, laboring just like they had been doing it their whole lives. Taking out a pen, he turned to a fresh page in his journal and began to quickly write down what had happened so far."

      "But as the Revenge got closer, me granddad noticed something looked different about the crew. He rowed a little closer and looked through his telescope again. The crewmates looked like skeletons with ripped clothing dangling over them! Scarblade spotted him, and commanded his crew to move toward me granddad. For the first time ever, the old pirate was scared out of his wits. He immediately started to row the small boat back towards the island. Knowing the ship was going to be much too fast for him to out-swim, he looked back and noticed that the black clouds had vanished."

           "The ship began to fall beneath the waves. Yer great-great-grandfather opened up to the page with the notes and saw the last thing he had remembered hearing in the conversation. The third, and final, thing was the rumor that ship could submerge under the water, and the crew could breathe under water. Even though it wasn't much of a surprise since they were dead, seeing his old enemy return from the dead almost made him faint from fright. He worked his arms harder than he ever had, in order to get as far away from this place as he possibly could. He arrived back on the island and ran far, far away. He was never seen again. That's why it is said that any man who sees the ghost ship is said to go mad with fright."

      "But if he ran away as soon as he got to the shore," said Garin, "Then how would anyone know what had happened?"

      "Aye, more questions," said his grandpa. "My grandmother got worried when he didn't return the next day and walked down to the beach to search for him. She found the row-boat. Inside she saw the telescope and journal. She took the items home. After placing the telescope on a shelf, she began to read the journal. Her husband's whole story was recorded in it. When my father was older she gave it to him, who passed it down to me. Since I can't pass it down to my son, it is only fitting that I give it to you, Garin."

      Garin's grandfather stood up and walked over to a pile of boxes, stacked up in the corner. He opened one of them and pulled out an old, tattered, journal.

      "Wow," said Garin as it was handed to him.

      "He has all of his travels written down in here," Jacques said in awe. "How do you know he wasn't lying about this story?"

      "He has told me many stories that seemed to be real," replied Garin's grandfather. "Of course there was that tale about him catching a water faerie with nothing but his bare hands…"

      "Well," said Jacques sarcastically, "It sounds like we can always trust him."

      "And then there was that story he told me about when a nuranna bit off all of his limbs and he fought the nuranna to get 'em back," he continued. "I'll never forgot the time he said he found 1,000,000 neopoints lying around on the beach…"

      "I guess we'll never know what really happened," said Garin.

      "I guess not," said Jacques. He sighed. It possibly wasn't true, but it was still a great story. "I should go home now." And with that, Jacques walked down the attic steps and headed home.

      Sam started squawking. Garin had completely forgotten he was there. He picked Sam up but this only made him squawk louder and begin to flap his stubby wings. "Quiet," Garin said to him, "Or mum will make you sleep outside." He carried the Pawkeet down the attic stairs. As he descended down the steps, he said to himself, "The Black Pawkeet. What a nice name for a ship."

      Garin's grandpa was still upstairs, in the attic. He looked at all of the boxes, and other old stuff that was dumped up there. There was one window in the attic, which looked out onto the beach. He looked at an old grandfather clock that was in the room. It was almost midnight. He stared back out at the water and noticed that black clouds started swirl around the waters. He was just about to head downstairs with his grandson when he noticed a brightly-coloured, sly-looking, piraket was perched on the windowsill, staring at him.

      "So that's why Sam wouldn't stop making noise," he said to himself. Slowly, he approached the bird, so as not to scare it away. But the piraket stayed rooted firmly to his spot on the windowsill, throwing the old Usul dirty looks. As he got closer, the petpet began to squawk loudly, warning him not to come any closer. This piraket was aggressive, that was for sure.

      "Why aren't you just a little ol' bucket of fried octorna?" Garin's grandfather said. The petpet shut his beak at the thought of fried petpet. "What are ye doing here anyway?" He tried to grab the piraket but it flew away. Puzzled by the odd behavior of the petpet, he walked down the steps of the attic, trying to figure out what had just happened.

      Suddenly he heard a voice call, "Grandpa, wanna play a game of Deckball?" Up for a little activity, Garin's grandfather hurried outside. Whatever had happened between the Black Pawkeet and the Revenge was ancient history. Surely the world of Neopia would never have to deal with the likes of such a vicious pirate ever again?

The End

 
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