Pirate Steel: Part Two
Garin was in his cabin talking to his partner in piracy, Jacques, about their new temporary crew member.
"We can't afford her!"
"We can't afford not to have her! The crew's been getting worse, Garin! We need someone who knows this stuff!"
"How do you know she knows?"
"Oh just look outside." Jacques pointed to the deck, where Saphira was finishing her 10th perfect knot for getting the sails up.
"Fine, she's good, but where in Neopia did she learn this stuff?"
"No idea. Either it's natural or she studied a lot of sailor books. Or even pirate books. She's meant to be out on the sea it seems."
Garin snorted. "You heard the little twerp; sounds like she's hated pirates since she was two. No way would she read books about us." Jacques had to agree. Garin smiled at his victory. "Get Talak for me, please. I need him to explain a few things to our bit of steel," Garin ordered, unnecessarily, for Talak walked in, an expression of wonder on his face.
"That little Shoyru's a right bit o' pirate steel. She's got a knack for most everything that needs to be done here. Not to mention a bit of a strange past."
Jacques and Garin became interested. "What'd she say?" they asked.
"Not much, just let slip that she used to be a pirate or something like that. 'Maybe once, but not now,' she said," Talak answered. Garin and his pal exchanged glances. Maybe they'd learn more about their new crew member during the trip. After all, it's a pirate's right to know another.
He just needed a way to find out.
Saphira finished helping with the sails and wandered off to look at the sunset. Hours had gone by. Was Quinn worrying about her? Were Ella and ET still trying to earn neopoints for morphing potions? No, silly, they're on vacation. They won't be doing anything. Saphira sighed and looked sadly at the sea. No land for miles. She felt like crying. "I'm stuck on some rotten old ship with a bunch of dreadful pirates for company," she thought aloud.
"We're not that bad, are we?"
Saphira jumped and saw Talak again.
"Oh, it's you."
"I'm not you," he replied.
"Talak, you know what I mean," Saphira said and rolled her eyes.
"So, I still want to know about your little pirate incident," Talak said casually. Saphira tightened.
"No, you don't. I still don't want to talk about it. It doesn't matter, I'm not that Shoyru anymore. And I'm glad of it."
"Really now? You sure have been acting like a pirate. Threats, you know how to tie a good knot, and I'll bet you you could blow a few holes in Garin's ego if you tried." Talak smiled. Saphira giggled for the second time that evening. She knew she could put a couple of shots into it. The captain's ego wasn't very hard to hit usually. But she disagreed with the pirate thing. Saphira frowned. She couldn't face her past. Not yet.
"You know you've already got a nickname, Pirate Steel," Talak said, unaware that he was in the danger zone. That was his fatal mistake. The silver Shoyru punched him with all her might. "I'm not a pirate and I never will be!" she screamed, then ran.
Straight into Garin's arms.
Saphira knew she was in trouble.
"What in Neopia did you think you were doing?!?" Garin yelled at Saphira.
Saphira had lost her coldness and simply sat on the floor of Garin's cabin, looking for all the world like a normal kid in trouble. But she wasn't, and she knew it.
"He's out cold. We don't know what's happened, but he won't be able to do much for a few days, thanks to you. We'll be charging your little owner for that." He treated it as if they were on a ferry and she had simply broken a piece of furniture.
Saphira ground her teeth and tried to hold back her fury. He was so selfish, not even bothering to express any sort of emotion about Talak. He was so incredibly selfish and had such a big head, Saphira felt that staying for a minute was torture. And, combined with the fact that everywhere, she found herself face-to-face with her old self every time she looked in the water or even took a step. Garin finally finished staring at her, full of contempt, and sent Saphira off to her hammock, surrounded by sleeping pirates. She felt like screaming in frustration. Nobody could see. No one understood. They just cared about their stupid treasure. What was actual silver and gold compared to the silver and gold relationship between her and her brother? They had been friends forever, now she might never see them again, not trusting Garin to keep his word and bring her back. Saphira blinked back tears and fell into a troubled sleep. It was going to be a long stay at sea.
The next few days Saphira's mood became stormier than the sea's treacherous summer weather. Whenever you looked at her, she would be scowling, especially when Garin was around. Garin. That bratty, rotten, vicious fleabag. Garin amused himself by calling her Pirate Steel whenever she was around. Generally, to pirates, it would be a great honor, seeing as there's nothing that can beat good old pirate steel, but as a pirate-hater, the name was the worst possible torture. Garin was constantly asking Al how close to Mystery Island they were. The little Shoyru wasn't exactly good for the ship. She broke at least one thing a day, and then there had been the time where the mast nearly fell down. What a mess that had been. Garin shuddered as he watched the sun set and saw Saphira sitting alone watching it too. Garin scowled and stalked off to his cabin and crawled into his bed. Let's hope we'll be rid of her soon...
Saphira was gone too soon though.
Much too soon.
Saphira stuck her tongue out at Garin as she watched him enter his cabin. She amused herself by making two pieces of wood chase each other, held in the air by magic. Stupid pirate, can't even see that ship coming, she thought, for there was a ship about a mile away from the Pawkeet. It was huge; Saphira didn't like the look of it. Leaning out to get a better view, her bandaged wing (the bandage was quite dirty and torn now) unbalanced her and once again she fell.
In clear view of the Revenge.
Saphira surfaced, gasping for air. She went under again, waves pushing her closer to the Revenge. Finally she reached it, bumping against its slimy hull. Immediately strong hands pulled her up onto deck, where a rough-looking purple Bruce was waiting. Benny smiled. He had seen Saphira with the pieces of wood and thought that Scarblade would like her very much.
Especially since she was from the Black Pawkeet.
He ordered a burly Cybunny to haul her to Scarblade's cabin and he whispered something into Scarblade's ear. A cruel smile spread across the Lupe's face.
"Fetch that potion. You know, the one for--" Here he stopped and his grin spread wider. "The one for our special guests."
Saphira's eyes widened in fear and a few minutes later a disgusting slimy substance was forced down her throat.
Scarblade's voice turned to a fake-sweet.
"That wasn't so bad now, was it sweetie?"
Saphira struggled as the potion took over her mind.
"No, what, kiddie?"
Garin woke to see Talak shaking him urgently. "Eh, whuz goin' on?" he mumbled, his eyes half open.
"Sir, captain, it's the Revenge!" Talak said, unlike Garin, wide-awake.
Well, that was soon changed. Garin sat bolt-upright and began shouting out orders.
"Get every man on deck! Arm 'em to the teeth! I'm not letting that Scarblade take my ship again."
Talak hesitated. "The girl, sir?"
"Leave her, she's no use. Just as likely to kill one of our own," Garin said, rushing onto the deck, Maractite dagger in his hand.
He could see the Revenge, looming over them in the early-morning fog. Garin shuddered. He hated that ship. They were the truly bad side of piracy. As his crew filed out onto the deck, he inspected the crew of the Revenge. A flash of silver caught his eye. The kid? No way! He looked closer. Sure enough, Saphira was there, wings and all. He ground his teeth furiously. He focused so much on his rage that he didn't notice the crew of the Revenge board them until it was too late. He was surrounded by fighting pirates. Then he noticed one odd thing. No one was attacking him. He looked around and saw that everyone was avoiding him, hardly by accident. He saw the flash of silver again in the crowd, making its way towards him. Well, not everyone then, he thought, running. Saphira quickly caught up. He heard a few words slip from her mouth, ever-so faintly, as a dark blue light surrounded him and everything faded out.
To be continued...