Tales of a Pirate Prince: The First Meeting
My name’s Jacque con Tristador, only child of Capitan Kiote con Tristador, Le Baron de Corsair. But I just go by Jackie.
Most people would call my father a pirate, and rightly so. But he’s really nothing like those filthy mongrels you see attacking Neopets left and right for no decent reason whatsoever. And he’s never worn those hideous red and white stripes in his life. He’s a Shadow Wocky and a brilliant corsair who lives to give those disgusting, thieving kings and lords a taste of their own medicine.
I am destined to take his place as el capitan when the time comes.
This is merely a short story of my first meeting with the most famous spy Neopia has to its acclaim. And why I hate his guts.
“Hah! Found you!” laughed Jackie, whipping open a cabinet and seeing 10C, his Red Kougra best friend. “Now you stay there and count to 100!” The little Brown Wocky, today in a handsome red velvet suit with black silk trim, shut the cabinet again and ran out of the room excitedly, dodging pirate crewmen as he ran past.
The two young Neopets were in the middle of a game of Stowaway, which was really just their own personal version of hide and seek.
I know just the place! thought Jackie excitedly, rushing towards Falcon’s dining hall. It would be empty right now. That old pirate cook always took a nap in the afternoons.
He swung open the double doors, and found it was not empty.
Two figures were deep in the middle of a conversation. A new deckhand by the name of Sammy--a Blue Mynci--and a stranger, a Yellow Moehog in a black tuxedo with a red bowtie, had been sitting across from each other at a small table near the large viewing window.
As they heard the door open, the Moehog leapt upright, ready for action. Then he noticed the intruder was just a child and relaxed. “Come here, boy,” he called softly.
Sammy stared at Jackie in terror and slunk back in his chair.
The young Wocky, realizing whatever was going on was no game, drew his foil in his left paw and, for his right paw, a knife from a hidden sheath at his back. Unafraid, he took a few steps closer.
“It’s Jacque--Kiote's son!” hissed the Mynci to the stranger, trembling.
“Who are you?” asked Jackie calmly.
The Moehog hushed Sammy with a gesture and grinned smoothly, nearly as dashing as Capitan Kiote. That grin alone put the young Wocky on guard and he tightened his grip on his weapons.
“00Hog, young Jacque.” He smiled, obviously waiting for some sort of recognition.
“Never heard of you.”
The Moehog pouted for a second, then shrugged and smiled. “No matter. I was just leaving.”
“No, you weren’t. You were talking to Sammy.” Jackie’s eyes narrowed suspiciously as the situation suddenly made sense. “You’re a spy. You’re spying on my father!”
“I prefer the phrase ‘collecting information’, and yes.”
Jackie angrily threw the knife and charged forward with his foil, drawing his cutlass with his free paw as he ran across the room.
00Hog was far quicker and immeasurably more experienced. He easily dodged the knife and caught the young Wocky by his wrists as he lashed out.
“Not a bad toss,” said 00Hog cheerfully, glancing back to where the knife was embedded several inches into the wood behind him. It would’ve caught him right in the shoulder if he hadn’t seen it coming. Strange a tiny little pirate prince wouldn’t go for the throat, but who knew what the kitten was planning to do with his swords.
Jackie was fighting to free his paws, but it was hopeless. The spy was far stronger than him. 00Hog tightened his grip, trying to get the Wocky to drop his weapons, but Jacque clung tightly to the hilts of his swords.
“Tough little guy,” he complimented. “A few years and you may put up a decent fight. I just might keep in touch.”
Then he twisted the Wocky’s paws hard, at the same time yanking the young pirate up into the air.
Jackie cried out as both swords clattered to the floor, though he was still suspended in the air by that spy. His heart was just beginning to quicken as the Moehog smirked at him, then turned to ask something of Sammy.
The double doors banged open and Capitan Kiote glared at the scene before him, stiff with rage. The Shadow Wocky was resplendent in his typical full pirate captain suit, complete with plumed hat and a sword at each side.
Falcon, a pirate Gnorbu and the ship’s cook, stood at his left, probably the one that alerted the Shadow Wocky capitan in the first place. Rodger, a pirate Yurble and Kiote’s first mate, stood at Kiote’s right.
“Drop my son,” growled Kiote.
10C, still looking for Jackie, peeked into the room and noticed the commotion. The young Kougra’s eyes widened as he took in the strange Moehog, Capitan Kiote’s stiff posture, and Jackie’s predicament, then he took off to find Lady Belle, Jackie’s mother. She’d know what to do.
00Hog shrugged and dropped Jackie in a heap. Then, without another word, he spun around and leapt through the glass window. It shattered outward and the Moehog plunged overboard into the sea.
Kiote ran to the window and was just in time to see the Moehog slip beneath the water. They’d never catch him now. Breathing hard, he spun around to face a sweating Sammy.
“Grab him,” he ordered coldly. Falcon and Rodger did so immediately.
“That disgusting spy got away. But you won’t,” said Kiote darkly, drawing his foil and pressing the side against the Mynci’s throat.
“You’re a traitor. And you’re dead.”
He drew back his paw...
... And Jackie jumped at his father, latching onto his arm and throwing off his father’s swing.
“Papa, no! He hadn’t even given his side..." Jackie’s voice trailed off as Kiote turned his furious gaze at his son.
10C got back just in time to see Kiote shake Jackie off and punch him in the chest. The small Brown Wocky crashed hard to the floor. The young Kougra winced and ducked back behind the door in fear.
Capitan Kiote turned back to Sammy and again drew back his paw--
“KIOTE!” screamed Lady Belle fearfully from where she stood just inside the doorway, clasping her paws together over her pounding heart. The Blue Acara looked as lovely and precious as ever.
The Shadow Wocky growled and lowered his paw. By his personal code of honor, he would never execute anyone--not even a traitor--in front of his beautiful and delicate wife.
“Throw him overboard,” he ordered Falcon and Rodger.
“Kiote--what happened?!” asked Belle, still frightened. Her wide eyes took in the shattered window and her son crumbled on the floor as the pirates dragged the traitor from the room.
Kiote instead stomped over to his son and hauled him up by his shirt collar. “Never get in my way. Until you become el capitan, my word is law,” he growled, glaring deep into his son’s eyes.
“Y-yes father,” said Jackie weakly, still in pain from the blow.
The Shadow Wocky seemed to relax and lowered his son back to the ground. “Good.” Then he turned and left the room.
“Kiote! Kiote--speak to me!” called Belle, chasing after him.
10C ran up to Jackie and knelt beside him. “You okay, buddy? That punch must’ve hurt!”
Jackie was staring at the shattered window and didn’t seem to hear. “That--that spy. 00Hog. He must have known Sammy would be killed as a traitor. But he just--" he groaned and pressed a paw to his chest. “He just saved himself.”
“Scum,” growled 10C. “But seriously, Jackie...”
“Even... even if Sammy makes it to Krawk Island he’ll never get recruited to another pirate ship. And no one would lend him Neopoints or anything, knowing he’d gotten thrown off by Capitan Kiote...” He squeezed his eyes shut and pressed his paw against his chest, trying hard not to whimper.
“Jackie! You alright?” asked 10C again, worried.
“I shouldn’t have interfered. I knew better. And it’s not like Sammy’s any better off.”
Falcon, the elderly pirate Gnorbu, had returned and heard that last statement. “Not true, Jackie boy,” he said softly. “He’s got a fightin’ chance now. An’ he’s still alive. Life is a gift in itself.”
“No. I was wrong.”
Falcon glanced at 10C and shrugged. Jackie would never see that his father could be the one in the wrong. The Gnorbu scooped up the Wocky in his arms and headed towards his kitchen and private room.
“Let’s make sure ya didn’t crack any ribs, Jackie lad.”
10C followed along.
End of Tale One
Before you pirate fans come after me with your cutlasses, I’d best make it clear all opinions at the outset belong to Jackie himself at this stage in his life. Hope you enjoyed the short, and if you’d like more shorts about our little pirate prince, just send me a neomail. I’m writing a series starring Jackie (a.k.a. Black Jack to those of you familiar with my stories), but I can’t seem to get it published. Ah well.