Fulfilling Illusen's Quest: Part Two
Raerrgarn found his back against the wall. "What does
that mean?" he snapped, a gleam of defiance shining in his eyes.
Jannick took a deep breath and leaned toward
him, until his golden eyes were facing her glowing amber eyes. "That contract
you signed," she breathed softly, "was cursed. You are doomed to stay on 'Jhudora's'
forever. And it makes you immortal."
Raerrgarn leapt back quickly. "Oh yes," answered
Jannick quietly. "I am not lying. We all could've died a million years ago.
Storm. Sea monster. Capsize. But we lived: because of that contract. And Lief
will never rip up your contract. Ever."
Raerrgarn tried to run, but Jannick's eyes gripped
him tight and her eyes bored into his. "Don't drink any grog!" she hissed. "Don't!
It gives you an illusion…that you're on the best place in the world and you
are perfectly content…stay away from it at all costs!"
The feverish light seemed to dim from the Lupe's
eyes, and she sighed. "You might as well take a mop," she pointed out.
Raerrgarn took a mop and the two began deck
"You're Raerrgarn, correct?" she asked.
"Yes," the bewildered Lupe answered, blinking.
"How did you know?"
"Part of that little curse," sighed Jannick,
placing down the mop. "I might as well show you around 'Jhudora's.'"
"This is the kitchens," said Jannick, swinging
open double doors. Raerrgarn choked and wrinkled his nose as the strong scent
of grog came wafting up his nose. "Remember…" reminded Jannick warningly.
Raerrgarn nodded and the two stepped out of
the kitchens past unconscious sailors.
"Here are the cabins," Jannick continued. "You'll
be bunking with me. I called tops," she added, with a cheesy grin.
After Jannick had showed Raerrgarn and taught
her mostly everything she could in a few minutes, Lief shouted to set sail.
Raerrgarn sighed. He was a pirate forever now.
They had been on the verge of entering
Maraquan Waters for days, now. Raerrgarn found Jannick pleasant company when
she wasn't warning him about the 'curse'.
The two were talking about stars when out came
a Pirate Kougra, muzzle dripping from what suspiciously looked like grog.
"Who is that?" exclaimed Raerrgarn softly. The
Kougra looked as if he had many sleepless nights and cared for nothing but grog.
"Fo shizzle the main mast!" roared the Kougra,
staggering from side to side perilously.
"You heard the captain," snickered Lief, changing
his laugh into a hacking cough. "Fo shizzle that main mast!"
Raerrgarn was confused. In the various nautical
books he had read, this command didn't sound the least bit familiar. The 'fo
shizzle' part was, though. He remembered Chomby and the Fungus Balls saying
that in their concert.
"Captain Sourge," answered Jannick with disgust.
"Captain Sourge spends far more time consuming grog in his cabin than paying
attention to his ship. It's Lief who really runs 'Jhudora's.'"
Raerrgarn nodded. It made sense.
The Kougra squinted up at the towering Krawk,
perilously tipping back and forth. "Who are you, and why are you being my echo
and repeating my orders?" he asked with a loud and very disturbing belch.
"I'm your first mate, captain. You appointed
The captain seemed confused and scratched his
head. Well, he tried, because as soon as his paw left the ground, he tipped
over unsteadily and sprawled across the deck, where he lay, winded. "What's
a first mate?" he asked, still lying on the ground.
Lief hid a chuckle. "The person you tell all
your orders too. And then I tell them to the crew."
Raerrgarn nodded, grinning. His smile slid off
his face as Sourge tottered toward him, leering. "What are you grinning at,
you lazy good-for-nothing-Lupe!" the Kougra roared, beady eyes glaring at him,
piercing him with strange acuteness.
"Umm…nothing Captain," stammered Raerrgarn.
Sourge staggered closer to him. "That's right,
you lazy Lupe, you better not be smiling at anything!" he bellowed. He turned
back to Lief, blinked, and said: "I need some grog."
"Perhaps the Captain would like to go into the
kitchens?" Lief suggested, turning red with the effort to not laugh.
"I don't need you telling me what to do!" roared
the captain, swaggering about. "I don't need some good for nothing first mate
telling me what to do!" he repeated.
"Yes, sir!" answered Lief, straightening up.
After all, Sourge was reputed to have a horrible temper.
The two stood in silence for a while, until
Sourge announced: "I'm going to go into the kitchens," and slunk unsteadily
As soon as the crew heard the double doors of
the kitchen closing, they roared with laughter.
The two pirates Raerrgarn had seen wrestling
yesterday were slapping each other on the back like friends.
"That's Sourge for you," mumbled Jannick in
between her bouts of laughter. Her eyes were merry, and her mane rippled through
Raerrgarn chuckled and continued to mop up the
"Raerrgarn, Raerrgarn, wake up NOW! You HAVE
to see this!" exclaimed a familiar voice.
Raerrgarn blinked sleepily and saw the anxious
and excited face of Jannick towering over him.
"Wh-what?" he asked, hiding a massive yawn.
"Sourge and Lief have captured a Maraquan Aisha!
Raerrgarn was out of bed and out onto the deck
so fast that Jannick blinked and wondered why Raerrgarn had suddenly vanished
from his bed.
The two Lupes crowded behind the other pirates
and gasped in unison.
The Aisha's scales were a delicate aquamarine
blue, and she was slim and graceful. She would've been extraordinarily beautiful
if her head wasn't slumped to one side and her face was weary and exhausted.
Her eyes begged to be free, but her mouth stayed unmoving.
Sourge and Lief laughed in unison and poked
the poor Aisha. Jannick and Raerrgarn stared in horrified fascination until
Sourge, Lief, and the crew grew bored. They left her, and then the two Lupes
rushed to her side.
Jannick lifted the Aisha's head onto her lap
and Raerrgarn tried to wake her up. "Speak up!" he said boldly. "Who are you?
Why are you here?"
He felt a tendril of thought touch his conscience,
and he recoiled. Was she magic?
'Relax,' said the thought. 'The only way I can
speak to you is through my mind. That Pirate Kougra and Krawk captured me. Will
you let me free?'
Jannick appeared to be hearing the same thing.
When she spoke through her mind, both Raerrgarn and the Aisha heard it.
'We cannot,' she said regretfully. 'We are pirates
as well, under his curse. We must leave you now.'
'Wait!' exclaimed the frantic Aisha. She lashed
her tail in frustration on the floor, but Jannick and Raerrgarn were already
"Do you think we did the right thing, leaving
her there?" asked Jannick worriedly. "I mean, anything could happen to her."
"I don't know," answered Raerrgarn, for he too,
was concerned about the welfare about the Aisha.
The two Lupes turned back and immediately swore
"Fyora!" spat Raerrgarn, while Jannick uttered
a harsher word. The Aisha was gone.
"We've freed her," Raerrgarn said with astonishment.
"Look at the rope markings here. Our legs were caught in the rope, but we yanked
our paws away and at the same time cut the rope. She's gone."
"Jhudora and Fyora, we are dead!" hissed Jannick,
looking around frantically.
The two hurried into their cabins, hoping no
one had noticed.
"ALL JACKS AND HANDS MOVE IT!"
Cold, lashing rain and whipping wind blew raw
across bare flesh. The night raged above them with clashing colors of lightning
and the roaring of thunder in the dark.
"FULL SAIL, CREW! MOVE IT!" screamed the desperate
voice of a Pirate Kougra, rearing on his hind legs and bellowing to the darkness.
It was Sourge: for once in his life, in control.
"Rocks ahead, captain!" shrieked a voice from
"WE'VE SAILED INTO ROCKS?!" screeched Sourge
angrily, eyes squinting frantically into the dimness, looking for proof.
But there was no answer needed, nor proof. The
needle sharp rocks were in clear sight, points glistening treacherously in the
dark night sky.
"TURN HER!" shouted Lief to Raerrgarn. "TURN
Raerrgarn was flustered. He didn't know how
to command a pirate ship! "I-I-but I-Sourge-I-I CAN'T, I don't know-"
"You 'eard the 'aptain, turn 'er!" bellowed Lief,
staggering against the blowing of the wind. For once, he wasn't menacing, or
frightening, or threatening. For one single second, every single one of them
on "Jhudora's" was equal: they were all afraid.
"BRACE YOURSELF!" screeched Sourge and Lief
simultaneously, crouching onto the deck of "Jhudora's."
"Jhudora's" sailed full sail into needle sharp
rocks. It tipped straight forward, tossing the crew deep into the unforgiving
waters of the sea.
All except Raerrgarn and Jannick, who were desperately
scrabbling at the completely upturned ship. The wind blew and dunked the entire
vessel underwater, Raerrgarn and Jannick with her.
Raerrgarn flailed, eyes wide open, under the
freezing water. He scrabbled with his hind paws to free his long claws from
the deck and swam strongly toward the surface of the water. He could feel Jannick
desperately clawing at the waves behind him.
"JANNICK?" he screamed, limbs flailing through
the ever-tossing waters, trying to find a stray piece of driftwood before he
went completely under. "RAERRGARN!" Jannick shouted.
To be continued...