Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 117,885,008 Issue: 236 | 21st day of Eating, Y8
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Walk the Plank: Part Seven


by puppy200010

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"No! No, don't take the food from ol' Darkwing!" he cried in his sleep as he dreamt of dancing food. Darkwing abruptly woke from this dream in a sweat, feeling even more hungry than he had in the last few weeks. The room was still dark. Nothing had moved overnight, although the ship still rocked gently back and forth from the motion of the outside waves.

     The sound of creaking floorboards met Darkwing's ears. He started breathing heavily, thinking he was still in a dreadful dream. His head snapped around to investigate the room as the noise grew louder. The steps moved closer. And closer. Until....

      CREAK!!

      Someone had opened the door to the brig. Darkwing's head pounded heavily in his chest. Who was it that had come down to the brig? Could it be the Pteri, wanting to put him to work as a slave? Darkwing could only imagine all the torturous labor the Pteri could put him too if he really wanted to. Just the mere thought made Darkwing shudder all over.

      Well, it was apparent now, whoever had opened the door hadn't intended for it to be so loud. The door's opener was now sneaking through the dark room as quietly as possible, which unfortunately wasn't very quiet due to the old floorboards. There wasn't much light for Darkwing to see in since the other pet wasn't carrying a candle, but Darkwing was able to make out and recognize the pet as he came closer. It was Longtail.

      Darkwing gasped happily in surprise, but he quickly stopped. Had his old friend Longtail been brainwashed too? What if he wasn't planning to help him but was going to do exactly what he had speculated the Pteri was here to do? Longtail revealed a mug of water and some hard biscuits, which ended his suspicious wondering. Voracious and almost dying of thirst, he dug into the food and water.

      "Longtail!" There was no question at all whether Darkwing was happy to see Longtail in the brig. "What you be doin' down here?" Darkwing continued to chew the tough biscuits.

      "Rescuing you," said Longtail nobly, pulling a small ring of keys from a hidden pocket in his clothing. Frantically he inserted keys into the locks until Darkwing was free from his chains. "Now, we must be careful-and quiet. It's the middle o' the night, so the Cap-err, that Pteri is asleep. I can hide ye in me galley area fer awhile. Then I can tell ye about all that's gone on here since ye've been gone." Longtail helped his old captain to his feet and helped him walk across the unsteady floor of the brig.

      Darkwing couldn't help but feel like an intruder on his own ship as he and Longtail walked down the long hallway in the dark. Neither spoke a word until they reached the galley.

      "Arr, so what's me ship been like without me?"

      "It's been weird, mate." Longtail was the only one on the ship who had ever dared to call the captain mate. "All o' the other crew got brainwashed by that meal the Pteri prepared. Good thing I never eat the group meal prepared each day. Since ye've been gone, I've had to pretend that I was. 'Tis tirin', I tell ye!

      "That captain here is a bad one. So far I've all but lost count o' how many ships and islands we've looted lately. Ye oughta see that room where ye stash all o' yer loot..."

      Darkwing moaned. That filthy Pteri had been inside his precious loot room! His hands balled into fists at the thought.

      "Aye, I be sorry. I haven't been able t' keep 'im out."

      "How could I go about gettin' rid o' him?"

     ***

      Darkwing patiently waited until morning on the deck. Just as he expected, the Pteri came up the stairs just as the sun was beginning to rise. He had gotten no sleep overnight as he waited, so he again felt so tired that he could barely lift the sword out of its leather scabbard.

      "How did ye get out?!" snarled the Pteri as he glared and flew over to where Darkwing waited for him.

      "Ye'll never know, scoundrel," said Darkwing, trying to look fierce. He quickly drew his sword. The blade shone brightly in the light of the rising sun. Tears nearly came to Darkwing's eyes as he remembered all the previous times he'd ever drawn the sword out in that exact manner. He also couldn't help but notice how unpirate-like he'd become lately. Pirates didn't cry! Pirates didn't whine or act weak. Being stranded several times in the last week had definitely had a toll on him.

      The Pteri drew his own sword without a second of hesitation. Darkwing had expected them both to leap into battle, but instead they just stared at each other for a minute. Slowly the tip of the Pteri's wing edged towards something belted to his waist. A small painting of a Pawkeet was slowly pulled out. Diran wasn't sure why, but he could suddenly sense a deep sadness that emerged inside Darkwing.

      "Me bird..." Darkwing whimpered, nearly dropping his sword. "Polly flew awaaaay..." he cried, obviously upset by the reminder of his pet. He hadn't been in good condition before, but now there was no way he'd be able to fight off the Pteri. Darkwing slumped to the deck while the Pteri stood tall, looking victorious and throwing his sword aside. It appeared to him that his work had been done.

      While Darkwing was unable to fight due to his despair over his lost bird, Diran still had some fight in him. He, too, was exhausted from a lack of sleep, but he felt a deeper connection and almost obligation to Darkwing. After living the life of a pirate inside Darkwing, Diran had learned much about being a pirate. One of those things he had learned was to never give up a fight. So he wouldn't. Diran, back in control of the body, slid back up into a standing position. The Pteri had no idea that Diran had moved.

      Wielding the sword, he crept up behind the Pteri, who turned around split seconds before Diran aimed at him. Trying to defend himself from any further attacks, the Pteri dove back to where his sword had been laying before. His body slid across the splintered surface of the deck, but he managed to grab his sword before Diran took another heavy stroke at him. Once the Pteri managed to get back to his feet, the fight exploded. Both seemed able to block the other's aims.

      The fight was fierce and competitive. At one moment, it appeared that the Pteri would reign as the ship's permanent owner, but the next, things looked like Diran would win back the ship. All of the crew crowded around the deck, barely managing to keep out the way of the flying blades. For hours they were at it, neither wanting to sacrifice the ship to the other.

      Perhaps three hours after the fight had initiated, Longtail arrived on the deck with refreshments. He passed around large mugs of grog. As each crew member took a drink, they instantly gained an alert facial expression and ran down below the deck, only to return minutes later with a shiny metal sword. One by one, they surrounded the Pteri. Eventually, the Pteri was trapped among all the crew.

      A desperate look was on the pet's face. Finally, the bird laid down his sword and took a step back. Climbing onto the edge of the boat, he pushed off and flew into the air, gliding away from the ship. The fight was over. Diran had won back Darkwing's ship, and Darkwing would forever be in debt of Diran for winning the fight for him. The ship was more important than Darkwing's old Pawkeet, any day.

      Cheers and celebration started on the deck of the ship. Longtail walked over to Darkwing with a smug smile on his face. "Arr, we got the ship back."

      "Arr, so we did," replied Diran as he gazed out over the sea.

     ***

      "Lord Darigan, what are you doing?!"

      Darigan snapped out of his vivid daydream. "Oh, nothing."

      "Nothing. Heh," replied Darigan's assistant. He snorted. "Nothing, is it? I'm assuming that means you were dreaming about those silly pirates again, weren't you?"

      Darigan looked alarmed. "Me? Dream about pirates?! No, no, never! Just concocting another evil scheme, I assure you!"

      His assistant nodded. "It'll be hard to top the last one you invented, Lord. How ever did you manage to become so evil, anyway?"

      "Arr...I not be kno--" Darigan stopped himself in the middle of the sentence, realizing what he was about to say. "I mean, I have no idea." He gulped. No one could ever know the secret of his evil origins. For now, he'd just laugh evilly and protect his secret once more. No one would ever suspect. No one would ever know... except the pirates.

The End

 
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Other Episodes


» Walk the Plank: Part One
» Walk the Plank: Part Two
» Walk the Plank: Part Three
» Walk the Plank: Part Four
» Walk the Plank: Part Five
» Walk the Plank: Part Six



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