Samson, the Pirate Lupe: Lost Memories - Part Six
Samson made at least ten or eleven trips back and forth to the food stores, carrying back meat and grain and all sorts of things. He never realized how big they were or how much food this ship carried, a supply that was quickly depleting. He now hoped that the raid on the M.H. was successful. If not, they would be under rations for a long time.
He stumbled back into the kitchen through a back door and brought the heavy meat he was carrying over to the stove. He almost tripped over Tiger’s tail in the process.
“Hey! Watch it!” snapped the Kougra, who had his paws under the machine.
Samson raised his eyebrows. “What are you doing?”
Tiger tensed and stumbled with his dialogue for a moment. “Uh, the stove’s not giving me enough heat, nothing’s getting warm.” He looked around. “Hey! Dagoon! Are you good with Virtupets electronics?”
The Darigan Kougra looked candidly at the orange Kougra.
“Yeah. What about it?” he grumbled.
“You think you could help me with this?” asked Tiger. “All you need to do is open the oven door.”
As Dagoon began to approach, Samson jumped ahead.
“That’s simple enough!” he scoffed. “Let me do it!”
“No! No, I’m sure Dagoon is better at it,” Tiger stuttered worriedly.
“Oh come on! What do you take me for?” the Lupe asked rhetorically. Dagoon growled and padded away. Tiger’s tail thumped the ground with despair.
“So you just need me to open this, right?” asked Samson, reaching for the iron handle.
“No! Don’t!” cried Tiger. It was too late. Samson had yanked open the door, allowing an explosion of fire to hit him with the force of a flamethrower.
Samson screamed fitfully as the flames knocked him back. He scrambled around the kitchen, his eyes flicking back and forth in terror.
“I can’t! I can’t!” he cried. “There’s too much! It will hurt me! Stop screaming! Just stop screaming! Leave me alone!” He burrowed his head into his paws and curled up in the corner in the direct line of the fire.
“What in Neopia is going on here?” yelled Rattigen, storming into the kitchen.
“Help! Fire! Help!” yelled Tiger, trying to get to Samson through the flames.
Gasping, Rattigen ran out of the kitchen. “Water!” he yelled to the crew. “We need water, now!”
Lt. Darius, Draco and Servill ran in with a hosepipe and turned it on. The icy water jetted from the spout and took out the source of the fire. The flames soon weakened and died, allowing them to reach Samson.
The Lupe’s grey fur was blackened and his eyes were wide open in terror.
“They’re dead! They’re dead! They can’t hurt me now!” He rolled around and laughed manically.
“Get him to the sick bay!” ordered Lt Darius. “Move!”
Draco and Tiger lifted the maddened Lupe up and carried him down into the ship.
“What happened here!” snarled Darius, turning to Rattigen.
“I don’t know, Sir!” Rattigen said quickly. “I was out of the room when it happened.” The mutant Xweetok looked back outside. “I guess we’ll be getting cold food for a while,” he laughed.
“This is not a laughing matter, cook!” snarled Lt. Darius. “You could be thrown off the ship for this!” The Uni spun round and kicked over the stove with his back hooves. The thing clattered noisily across the kitchen and skittered to a halt at the back of the room, shedding nuts and bolts across the floor.
Lt. Darius trotted over and examined it. “Here’s the problem,” he grumbled. “The fans have been gummed up. No wonder the thing exploded. There was nothing to cool it down! This was sabotage.”
“What happened? What’s going on?” moaned Samson as he woke up.
“Lie still,” whispered the Matron, placing her paws on his chest to push him back down. “Do you remember where you are?”
“I’m on the... The S.M. We are coming up to the foggy sea...”
“Do you know who you are?”
“I’m Samson Swiftpaw... I... I... What happened?”
“There was a fire, but you’re not badly hurt.”
“My sister... Is she alive? What about my mom and dad? Are... Are they here too?”
Matron Cardinal looked from Hailey to Tiger who stood at either side of her staring worriedly at their friend. This wasn’t a good sign.
“I remember... I was in the kitchen,” groaned Samson. “I... I was carrying meat and I tripped over Tiger’s tail... He was... He was doing something to the stove and...”
Samson’s eyes flew wide open and anger rode the memory back into his mind.
“You!” he roared, leaping from the bed and flying at Tiger. He attacked with his claws, forcing the Kougra back, smashing the medicinal bottles in their wake. Pages of torn books and shards of shattered glass rained down on them as the scuffled on the floor. Samson grabbed Tiger’s scruff and pinned him to the ground.
“Hey!” cried Tiger, choking. “Are you insane? What are you doing?”
“Traitor!” Samson bellowed, keeping his paw firmly placed on Tiger’s collarbone. “I knew I couldn’t trust you from the moment I saw you!”
“Its not me you shouldn’t trust! It’s Dagoon! He’s-. Ulp!!” Samson twisted the Kougra over and put his claws right up against his throat.
“How do I know that, Silverfang? How do I know that you didn’t set that trap for me?”
“Why would I set it up for you?” Tiger gargled.
“Because I know too much!” yowled Samson. “I heard you consorting with Dagoon in the brig! You want to overthrow your own grandfather!”
“Why would I want to do that?”
“I don’t know! I don’t have the mind of a murderer!”
“You sure about that?” Tiger roared and kicked Samson off of him. The Kougra then leapt up and smashed him across the snout. Samson reeled back and crashed into another set of shelves, toppling them. Samson shook off the shock and attacked back and the two were once more battling with tooth and claw.
“This is getting out of hand,” said Cardinal as she and Hailey stood at the door. “I’m going to get the Lieutenants!” The striped Kyrii bounded down the narrow corridor and out onto the deck.
Tiger threw both his paws onto Samson’s shoulders and threw him into the wall. The Lupe slid to the ground; his burnt fur a mess of mashed medicines and stale herbs. He shook away the shock and looked up just in time to see Tiger bearing down on him with his claws unsheathed and his fangs bared.
Suddenly, another Kougra knocked him flying into the bed and stood like a proud lion over Samson for a moment. It was Captain Silverfang and he looked just as wild, fierce and animalistic as his grandson.
“What have I said about fighting!” snarled Silverfang, his eyes looking back and forth between the pets. Samson glanced at the bed where Darius and Draco had restrained Tiger. He, meanwhile, was held tightly under Silverfang’s sharp claws.
“Sir!” protested Samson. “He was plotting to kill you! I heard him myself!”
“He’s lying, Grandpa!” Tiger snapped back. “I set up that explosion for Dagoon! Not him! He just got in the way!”
Tactrick’s eyes flew wide open. He kicked Samson away and forced Tiger into the wall. “So it was you!” he yowled. “Do you know what could have happened? You could have set the ship on fire and you could have killed a crewmember!”
“Well, I didn’t! I was only-.”
“Enough! For your foolishness, the entire ship is going to have to live on cold food until we can pillage a working stove and for attempting to kill another crewmember, you shall be flogged thirty times and be thrown into the brig where we shall keep you until we find the M.H. We will return you to them!”
Samson saw genuine fear flash in Tiger’s eyes for the first time since he’d known the Kougra.
“No! Oh, please no! Gramps, I’ll do anything! I’ll make up for what I did! Just don’t take me back there, please!”
“I have no grandson!” Silverfang snapped coldly. Tiger looked completely crushed. His eyes seemed to die and his face lost expression. His strong shoulders slumped and he allowed himself to be taken away by Lt. Darius and Draco. He didn’t even look at Samson as he left. He just hung his head low and stared at the floor. Samson had never seen such a death of spirit in any pet.
“As for you,” growled Silverfang. His fur was bristling, his back was arched and he stood on all fours with the stillness of a statue. “You shall be flogged in front of every pet on this ship as a public exhibition and then you will be thrown in the brig in the cell next to your friend’s. There you can fight without any physical contact. There you shall stay until Tiger leaves. Is that understood?”
Samson was silent for a moment.
“I said is that understood?”
“Good.” Silverfang stalked on all fours out of the room. “I’m sure that whatever he was plotting will be stopped now,” the Kougra said without turning. “If he remains in the brig for the rest of the journey he will not come close to killing me. So forget about it.”
“Can you walk or limp at least?”
Samson stood up.
To be continued...