Walk the Plank: Part Seven
"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....
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
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
"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. 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
"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.