To Be a Pirate: Part Six
A Pirate Krawk was swimming stealthily through the depths
of the sea. The pirate's eyes gleamed red, a trademark of the Revenge's crew.
He had been sent down in order to further Scarblade's newest plot to destroy Maraqua.
Only this time the idea wasn't to demolish the underwater city, it was to control
The Krawk gave a dark smile as he came in view
of the splendid city. There were guards at the gates, but that was all part
of the plan.
The pirate approached the guards as pitifully
"You!" one of them roared, seeing him. "Land-dwellers
are expressively forbidden to come to Maraqua. Consider yourself our prisoner."
"But, guards," whined the Krawk. "I am a member
of Garin's crew. When we fought for your city, the king declared we could return
at any time."
"How is it you can breathe underwater?" asked
one of the guards suspiciously.
He had been expecting this question. "A great
storm came up. I had been told, erm, to watch over the remainder of the potion
that allows you to breathe water. I was cast overboard by a wave, and managed
to drink this potion. I could not reach the ship, so I came here in hope of
"I don't know," said the first guard doubtfully.
"We shall take you to see the king. He can decide what to do with you."
The pirate gave a secret smile as the guards
escorted him to the palace. Foolish, predictable guards.
The gate guards swept past the palace guards
with a nod. Soon they came to a furnished doorway. One of the guards rapped
the entrance smartly.
"Yes, yes, come in!" called a voice agitatedly.
The doors swung inward, allowing the three to pass through.
King Kelpbeard was talking with a Maraquan Draik.
"I know," said the elderly Koi. "We shall have to simply make more trips to
ancient Maraqua. We need more weapons, and that is final-" he broke off as he
spotted the room's newest occupants. "What is it, guards? Make it quick."
One of the guards shrugged. "This surface dweller
claims to be a member of Garin's crew. I-"
The Krawk interrupted smoothly. "If it would
please your highness, I would like to show you something." Reaching inside his
vest, the pirate drew out a large, cracked ruby ring. It glowed in an oddly
The king noticed. He eyed the trinket apprehensively.
"Tell what that is."
"Just relax, king," said the Krawk soothingly.
"Forget your troubles. Gaze upon the ring. It's lovely, is it not?"
"Love…ly," echoed King Kelpbeard slowly. Some
faint instinct ordered him to turn away, but he found himself ensnared by the
luminous jewel. He could not seem to think.
"Perfect," said the pirate softly. The light
surrounding the ring expanded slowly to fill the room, and pass out of the walls.
The light flew outwards, passing through buildings and walls, consuming the
entire city. All Maraquan inhabitants were left blank-eyed and immobile in its
"Perfect," hissed the pirate again, holding the
ring tightly. The light dissipated, leaving only a small glow remaining around
It was a legendary ring. Scarblade had recently
plundered it from a cave of treasure. Rumor said that the ring could hypnotize
many people at once, with a spell cast on it. The one who held the jewel would
be safe from its powers.
"Would either of you mind if I returned this
to Captain Scarblade?" sneered the Krawk, prodding one of the frozen guards.
He swam out of the palace, making his way through
the dark waters, feeling a dark sort of satisfaction.
Isca swam deeper, taking a small comfort in the
familiar pressure of the sea. She was worried about Garin, wondering tentatively
if it was possible he had escaped. As she was berating herself for the hundredth
time for not having one of her dreams, a sudden figure emerged from the side.
"Caylis!" Isca stared in surprise at her sister.
"What are you doing here?"
"It's a long story, and one that may affect
Maraqua," answered Caylis coolly. "Not that it matters to me."
Isca took no notice of her sister's cold attitude.
"I'm happy to see you, Caylis, but I'm worried about Garin. It's odd…I was found
Jacques on the water when I was out. He tells me Garin and his ship were attacked,
by the Revenge."
"Jacques is alive?" exclaimed Caylis, startled.
"You need not worry. Garin is all right. I found him, and one of his crew, but
he believes Jacques to be finished."
"And Jacques thinks the same of Garin!" cried
Isca. "I'm so relieved. For once, I had no dream predicting danger. I found
Jacques by chance."
"That may be because I had the dream instead,"
replied Caylis. Isca looked at her in astonishment.
"Don't look at me like that. I dreamed of his
young friend, an Usul by the name of Usi, in trouble, with Garin," replied Caylis
Isca stared at her sister. "We have to go back.
Both of them should know the other is safe. I brought Jacques to a small cove.
I assume that's where you left Garin?"
When Caylis nodded, Isca turned quickly and
swam back in the direction she had came, Caylis following. Sunlight seemed to
float on the water's surface, moving repeatedly with the waves. The water was
getting shallower, the golden, sandy floor rising steadily upward. At last,
the sisters broke the surface.
"Where is Garin, and Jacques?" Isca wondered,
gazing around at the uninhabited beach. "I think this is where I brought Jacques.
No one's here now."
"Look," said Caylis, moving closer to land.
"The sand is very disturbed here. It looks like there's been a struggle."
"Why haven't I been dreaming?" said Isca desperately.
"I don't know what's going on."
"It's not your fault," replied Caylis, slightly
more kindly. "Garin and Jacques may have simply moved farther inland, or around
the beach. Why don't we look for them?"
But Isca was far from reassured. A feeling of
foreboding grew worse as they circled the island, and there was no sign of Jacques
"Well, you should go back to Maraqua," said
Caylis finally, a small bitter tone entering her voice. "I'm sure the king is
worried by now."
Isca looked at her sister anxiously. "Caylis,
you are allowed to come back. King Kelpbeard said so, you heard him. Please?"
"No. The city is no place for me. I mean it,
Isca, go back. Perhaps you'll have one of your dreams tonight. I think we can
assume Garin and Jacques are fine, seeing as they must be together," Caylis
"Well…goodbye then," replied Isca uncertainly.
Caylis waited until her sister had disappeared,
then she started swimming back around the island. There was something she wanted
Usi, Jacques, and Garin were being dragged across
the beach, beside a hidden saltwater river moving into the island. Usi spat
out a mouthful of sand.
"Is this what pirates do every day? Because
if it is, I'm sorry I signed up," she spluttered. She was promptly hit with
the flat side of a weapon.
"Shut up," one of the pirates growled. "We're
Usi gasped in horror as they rounded a corner.
The river widened here, and, crouched in the water like some large, sinister
animal, was the Revenge!
"What are you planning?" demanded Garin. "What
is the Revenge doing here? Wait… that's the Black Pawkeet, you murdering thieves!"
And it was the Black Pawkeet, tethered to the shore like a prisoner. Usi couldn't
help noticing how small it was compared to the Revenge.
"Didjer hear that?" said one of the pirates
in an injured voice. "Murderin' thieves he called us. Shuttup, yew three, or
I'll shut youse up for ye!"
Caylis reached the small river opening she had
discovered before. It was mostly obscured with foliage and bushes. Caylis dove
underwater, passing smoothly as a ghost into the river. She discovered it widened
considerably as it went on. Putting her head above the water, Caylis moved on.
Suddenly, she stopped short. The Revenge was
moored in the riverbed. It was like a thing of nightmares, with its gigantic,
dark exterior and the word Revenge painted alongside, as if the writer had used
blood. A smaller ship was alongside the Revenge, and Caylis recognized it as
the Black Pawkeet.
A sudden noise from the opposite bank drew her
gaze away. She recognized Garin, Usi, and Jacques, tied together amid several
pirates. Garin's angry voice rang across the water, and Caylis sighed as she
realized he was about to get himself into more trouble. She was not disappointed.
She watched as they were dragged on board the
Revenge. "Isca would want to know about this," she muttered under her breath.
Diving underwater, Caylis disappeared.
To be continued...