To Be a Pirate: Part Four
Caylis woke up with a gasp. The Maraquan Aisha had been
sleeping in a lonely cave, far out in the ocean. She had just had a terrible dream.
Caylis shivered as she recalled seeing a small
female Usul dress up as a boy pirate. The dream had changed, and Caylis saw
with a shock the pirate Garin, her sister Isca's friend. Garin and this strange
Usul seemed to be in mortal danger.
Sitting up, Caylis wrapped her arms around herself.
She was used to foreseeing horrible disasters. It was the reason she'd been
banished from Maraqua in the first place. She did not know whether she made
the disasters come true, or if she simply foresaw them.
But for some reason, Caylis felt an overwhelming
need to help the two Usuls. She shook her head, trying to banish the feeling.
"It is none of my business," she said bitterly,
her voice echoing into the loneliness. "Isca dreams about that Garin, not me.
For all I know she has had the same dream, and is going to them this minute.
There is nothing I can do. Nothing I can prevent."
But no matter how hard she tried to convince
herself otherwise, she could not shake the feeling that she should help. Caylis
turned over in the cave, trying to fall back asleep. She just kept seeing the
young Usul, along with Garin. Finally she swam out of the cave.
"I am a long way from where my dream took place,"
she said to the empty waters around her. "But I will travel there. I feel I
will not get any rest until I try to help. Though there is nothing I can do."
With that, Caylis swam quickly out into the murky,
deep waters of the sea, passing through small shafts of sunlight released by
the surface, reaching thinly through the depths of the ocean.
"You get everything, Kisho?"
Usi nodded quickly. Since they had set sail,
Garin had been showing her around the ship, explaining what she should do. Although
it hadn't been an hour since leaving land, she already felt completely at home
on the Black Pawkeet.
"Have you ever had sword lessons before?" asked
Garin, expecting the answer.
"Oh, erm, no," said Usi truthfully. Garin sighed,
pushing a paw through his blond hair.
"We have work to do, then," Garin said, pulling
out his blade and facing Usi. "Time for your first lesson. If we get attacked,
you might as well know what to do. Go ahead, attack me."
Usi drew her sword uncertainly. She ran forward,
Suddenly she was sitting on the ground with a
sore paw, and her blade was a few feet away from where it started. Garin was
"It was your first try," Garin said mischievously.
"See, you were swinging your blade wide open. You have to try to make it work
like a shield as well. Otherwise, you're in trouble. I just twisted it out of
your paw, no real damage. Okay, try it again."
Usi got to her feet and retrieved her sword.
She backed up a bit, studying Garin. Running forward lightly, this time she
did not swing it. Garin dodged easily to the side.
"Hang on," he said quickly. Usi paused. "If an
enemy was where I am now, they would try to get you from the side. The best
thing to do now is spin around and block. Then try to knock my dagger away.
Usi blinked and he was moving again, bringing
his blade in an arc toward her. She spun around, blocking him effectively. Garin
swung his blade to the side, and Usi brought her sword as hard as she could
on the dagger. It was knocked downward forcibly, causing Garin to stumble.
"Great!" he said approvingly. "That's really
good. If I were an enemy, you'd try to strike while your opponent was off balance.
Suddenly, Garin broke off. He looked at the sky.
Usi followed his gaze. Strange, dark clouds were gathering.
"That's odd," he said, frowning.
"Garin! Captain Garin!" a crew member suddenly
yelled. "It's- you won't- It's the Revenge!"
"What?" shouted Garin. He ran to the head of
the ship, Usi right behind him. A strong wind was blowing up now. The sea was
dark. The waves seemed to grow larger.
A huge, dark, ghostly shape was moving toward
the Black Pawkeet. Usi looked at it fearfully.
Garin scowled grimly at the oncoming ship. He
turned quickly. "Grab your weapons! We'll have to battle our way out of this
Jacques dashed up to Garin, brandishing a sword.
"We're with you all the way, Captain Garin."
Garin nodded. "Good. Prepare to fight. Kisho,
quick, head below. There's no way you can fight the Revenge's crew, you're a
beginner. That's an order."
"Right," said Usi reluctantly, hurrying toward
the door that let to below the deck. She wrenched it open against the wind.
As soon as she shut the door, she noticed a small amount of light was coming
from a hole in the wood. Usi could just see what was going on.
"You know the plan!"
Scarblade waved a sword threateningly at his
crew. He was a fearsome sight against the darkening sky. A tall, green Lupe,
Scarblade had a long scar running down his face. He was the kind of pirate who
made you want to never say his name aloud, for fear of the wrong ears overhearing.
"I don't care about the others, I want Garin
dead! Most of you will distract the crew. Keep them alive, I want them as servants.
As for the rest of you flotsam, attack Garin. I will allow nothing to stand
in the way of our invasion of Maraqua!"
The pirates yelled their assent, brandishing
weapons toward the sky.
"I'm staying on the ship. This is a small job.
Do it right!" Scarblade yelled these last words with a ringing command. No one
would dare to disobey.
The Revenge cut through the churning sea like
a nightmare, drawing close to the smaller Black Pawkeet. Usi looked apprehensively
through her little window. The Revenge, huge and dark, pulled up next to the
Black Pawkeet. Almost instantly, many pirates leapt from the Revenge's sides,
landing with a menacing crash.
Usi noticed how while most of the pirates were
driving the crew back, the rest of them were going after Garin. He was hard
pressed on all sides.
"I have to help!" said Usi to herself, forgetting
her orders. She leapt toward the door, pulling it open.
Wind blew in the open doorway. The sky had gotten
darker, and waves lashed against the side of the ship. Usi drew her sword and
dashed forward, squinting against the elements. Swinging her sword at the group
of pirates, they scattered for a moment, and Usi found herself next to Garin.
"Kisho? What are you doing here?" he panted angrily,
swinging around to block a blow.
"You looked like you needed help," replied Usi
quickly. She waved her blade in wild arcs, which temporarily forced the pirates
Garin took advantage of this break to give a
furtive yell. "Jacques! Over here! We could use some help!"
The Kyrii threw a glance over his shoulder, from
where he was in a swordfight with a pirate. Seeing his friend in trouble, Jacques
quickly disarmed his opponent and hurried up to where Usi and Garin were fighting,
back to back. One of the pirates turned quickly, facing Jacques. He was driven
to the edge of the Black Pawkeet, and the pirate managed to knock his sword
away. He swung his blade at Jacques. Stumbling to avoid the blow, Jacques tripped,
and was sent plunging into the sea below.
"Jacques!" yelled Garin, but more pirates were
coming off the ship. They surrounded Usi and Garin.
"We're in trouble," Usi panted.
Garin fought furiously, but they were outnumbered
ten to one. Finally, some of the pirates managed to dart in and tie them with
a long rope.
"Got 'em!" one of them cried triumphantly. "The
young captain and one of his little crew. The others can capture the rest. We
have our orders!"
The pirates swarmed around Usi and Garin, laughing
harshly. They dragged the two Usuls over to the edge of the ship. Usi barely
had time to grimace at the pirates before they were heaved overboard.
Isca floated lightly just outside Maraqua. She
gazed at the surface thoughtfully. The pretty Maraquan Aisha was worried about
Garin. She hadn't heard from him, or had any dreams about him, in months. In
fact, she had no idea where he was, or how he was doing.
Sighing, Isca rolled over and swam away from
the city. King Kelpbeard had been much more lenient about letting her go where
she wished lately. Isca wanted to visit Goregas. She had swum for perhaps half
an hour before she remembered that Goregas had gone far out into the south for
the season. Unwilling to go home right after leaving, Isca continued swimming.
It was then that she noticed something odd. The currents here were much more
powerful then they would have been normally. This meant a storm on the surface.
Suddenly, she noticed a dark shape on the water. Curious, Isca swam upward.
Her head broke the surface. Shaking water from her eyes, she moved toward the
shape. "Jacques!" she exclaimed in disbelief.
After falling off the ship, the Kyrii had managed
to swim to the surface. However, the waves were powerful, and the water soon
drew him out of sight of Black Pawkeet. Helpless and exhausted, Jacques struggled
to continue swimming. "Isca?" he gasped, with equal astonishment.
The Maraquan Aisha hurried to support him. "Jacques,
I don't believe it! What's going on? No, this is not the place to ask questions.
The waves are strong here. There is land toward the east," she said, mystified.
As Isca swam for both of them, she questioned
Jacques. "Jacques, I don't understand. Why are you out here? Where's your ship?"
Isca was afraid to ask the next question. "What happened to Garin?"
"You won't believe it, Isca. The Revenge is back.
I was cast overboard while fighting one of their pirates. I believe the Black
Pawkeet has been taken." Jacques averted his eyes. "The last time I saw Garin,
he was outnumbered and fighting for his life. I do not know his fate."
"But…but why?" cried a distressed Isca. "Why
would Scarblade attack like this out of nowhere?"
"I don't know," sighed Jacques.
"This is my fault," said Isca sadly. "I should
have foreseen this."
Jacques looked at her sharply. "This isn't your
fault at all, Isca. Garin may be fine. Perhaps they have defeated the Revenge's
crew." But even as he spoke, he knew how unlikely this was.
"Land," whispered Isca. Relieved, Jacques saw
a long stretch of shoreline on the water. As they drew closer, he saw that it
was a cove, and it seemed to be uninhabited.
Jacques let go of Isca when the water grew shallow.
"Thank you for your help, Isca." I have to try and find out what has happened
to the Black Pawkeet, and Garin."
Isca nodded silently, and dove back beneath the
Bound tightly together, Usi and Garin could
do nothing but struggle as they sank deeper into the cold ocean. Garin knew
he had his magic necklace, which allowed you to breathe underwater, in his pocket,
but it was impossible for him to reach it.
The two sank quickly, until finally they hit
the seafloor. Usi fought against her ropes. Her sword, along with Garin's dagger,
had been left on the Black Pawkeet.
Usi felt herself getting weaker. They were in
trouble, that was for sure. She could see no way out of their situation. The
water seemed to grow brighter, and the last thing she saw was a blurred figure
moving toward them. Then the world faded to darkness.
To be continued...