Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 111,981,549 Issue: 223 | 13th day of Sleeping, Y8
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To Be a Pirate: Part Four


by lolazgirl

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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, swinging it.

     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 laughing.

     "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. Let's go."

     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. Now let's-"

     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 one."

     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 back.

     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 waves.

     ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

      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...

 
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Other Episodes


» To Be a Pirate: Part One
» To Be a Pirate: Part Two
» To Be a Pirate: Part Three
» To Be a Pirate



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