Samson, the Pirate Lupe: Lost Memories - Part Eight
“Fox!” cried Samson again. “Fox!” The Lutari wasn’t gone! He couldn’t be gone! He was lying injured in the water somewhere and Samson had to help him.
He felt a tug on his arm and turned his weeping eyes to Tiger.
“Give up,” he said sympathetically. “Samson, Fox is gone.”
“No!” snapped the Lupe. He couldn’t admit that the orange Kougra was right. There was a sudden series of shouts from above and one of the banisters exploded from the deck in a ferocious fireball.
“Come on!” said Tiger. “We’re better use on deck.”
Reluctantly, Samson finally turned his head away from the fast closing wound in the ship’s side, swam back through the brig with Tiger, and bolted up stairs.
When they arrived on deck, they were met with Lt. Darius, who passed them two swords. His coat was dusty and burnt and he was covered in nasty scratches where he’d been hit by bits of fiery wood.
“Hurry!” he rasped through the smoke. “All hands are needed on the smaller boats. There is a small opening in the trap that we can break through! We can tow this ship out of here!”
“But we’ll be picked off by the M.H!” protested Tiger. Samson looked around the deck. Fire burned in several places and there were gaping holes in several corners and sides that had received a heavy blast. One of the smaller masts was on fire and had fallen an thick, grey smoke seemed to suffocate the crew as they jumped overboard into small boats tied to every available side of the S.M.
“No!” shouted Darius. “The Captain signalled a parley with the M.H. They’ve stopped their attack and will be coming aboard the S.M to discuss terms with Captain Silverfang. Now hurry up! Get aboard those boats!”
“Where’s the Captain?” yelped Tiger. Samson glared at him with a suspicious eye.
“In his cabin. Don’t worry. He’s staying with the ship. He is guarded by Commander Darkwing and Dagoon.” Tiger let out a short gasp. Lt. Darius ignored it. “Get a move on!” he shouted, pushing the pair towards the boat. The Uni jumped in first and Samson followed.
“Hey! Samson!” called a voice. It was Hailey! The Lupe ran over and hugged her. She began to laugh. “Hey! What was that for?” she asked joyfully. Samson didn’t reply. The Draik looked around. “Have you seen Fox?”
Samson stiffened and drew back. His eyes were red and glazed.
“Gone,” he said solemnly. Hailey was silent. She sat back on the boat, completely resigned.
“Tiger,” called Samson. He turned round. The Kougra wasn’t there. “Tiger?”
The Lupe looked back up to the deck and saw an orange tail flick out of view. Samson snarled. “I knew I couldn’t trust him!” he shouted to himself. As fast as lightning, the Lupe scaled the rope linking the boat to the ship.
“Swiftpaw! Get back here now! We need every hand we have!” Samson ignored the Lieutenant’s order and jumped onto the deck.
Ahead of him, he could see Tiger attacking the guarding Dagoon. They were tumbling across the burnt wood and ripping at each other with their claws. Dagoon kicked forward and caught Tiger on the flank. With a grunt, the orange Kougra backed off, but charged forwards again.
Samson bolted forward and crashed into Tiger, pinning him to the ground. Immediately, Tiger jumped back up and clipped him across the face, making a nasty mark across his eyebrow and snout.
“What are you doing?” the frenzied Kougra yelled, trying to smack the Lupe out of the way.
“Saving the Captain!” Samson snarled back. He ran forward and bit into Tiger’s scruff. “I was a fool to trust you!” he muffled through his opponent’s fur. Tiger suddenly jumped and threw him off. Samson fell backwards and slammed into the banister.
“You idiot!” yelled Tiger. “I told you before! Dagoon is the one who wants to kill the Captain! Not me! And you’ve let him escape!”
Samson shook away his dizziness and glanced at the hallway door. It had been thrown off its hinges and Dagoon had disappeared. Samson groaned in anger and was about ready to kick himself. Completely forgetting about Tiger, the Lupe ran through the hallway, hearing crashes and furious shouts from the Captain’s Cabin. He burst through the open door to see turned over tables, smashed ornaments and a shattered window.
Samson turned to the left and saw Dagoon standing on two legs with a sword in his right shaking paw and his claws unsheathed on his left. His wings flapped in triumph as he cornered the felled Captain Silverfang. The old Kougra was lying on his back, his front paws gripping his scarred knee. The old wound must have hampered his movements.
“Why are you doing this?” he gasped through the pain.
“It's my job!” snarled Dagoon menacingly. “I was hired to kill you.”
“It would break your heart to know.” Dagoon raised his sword.
Samson cried out and leapt at the Darigan Kougra. Dagoon must have expected him as he spun round and smashed his sword across the Lupe’s side. Samson vaguely heard the Captain shout his name, but it all became a blur. He crashed into a cabinet and crumpled to the ground.
“Grandpa!” shouted a voice. It was Tiger. Samson looked up and saw Dagoon stare dangerously at the other Kougra before young Silverfang threw Silverfang Sr. one of the swords from the wall. The grey pelted Kougra caught it, jumped up onto mostly one leg, spun the sword in his paws, and made a dive for Dagoon. The ship hand caught the sword with his and pushed the Captain back. They began to swipe and parry each other’s blows at a frightening speed. Samson couldn’t believe how amazingly the Captain fought, even on a knee that was almost useless. Dagoon made a bluff swipe downwards which Silverfang seemed to fall for. The sword slid back and came hurtling down towards Silverfang’s head. The Kougra dodged and spun, smacking Dagoon with his tail like a whip and cracking the flat of his sword across Dagoon’s head.
The Kougra wavered on his feet before toppling over unconscious. Letting out a relieved sigh, Tactrick Silverfang seemed to shudder and collapse as well, but he kept steady by grabbing hold of the upturned table and leaning on his sword like one leans on a cane.
“Don’t mind me!” he snapped as Tiger ran over to him. “Look after Swiftpaw!”
“Samson?” Tiger enquired, lifting the Lupe up and resting him against the wall. “Samson? Can you hear me?”
The Lupe shook his head for a moment and nodded.
“Good,” said Tiger. He turned away and licked a cut on the back of his orange paw. “Grandpa, do you have any bandages?”
“Over there on the right shelf,” replied the Kougra. “Pass me some while you're there.” Tiger threw a handful to Silverfang who caught them and began to wrap them tightly round his damaged knee as if to act as a bracer. “We have to get out there,” said Silverfang gruffly as the ship pulled out of the trap. “The Mist Hunter’s Captain will be arriving soon.”
Samson finally fully woke up. “Sir!” he said quickly. Captain Silverfang looked at the Lupe. “We have one way of getting rid of the M.H.,” said Samson. “If we kill its Captain when they come over the rest of the crew will get scared and run.”
Silverfang looked at the Lupe, hard. “We will only save that as a last resort,” he muttered. “I will not resort to killing if I don’t have to.” He looked at Tiger. “Help me up.”
Tiger Silverfang didn’t hesitate and let the wounded Captain lean on him as they padded out the door. Samson got up and followed. His shoulder hurt, but he could still walk. He was surprised that it was the shock that seemed to injure him more than the wound itself.
Tactrick Silverfang stopped suddenly and looked out the broken window. The gaping hole was vaguely Eyrie shaped.
“Sir,” said Samson. “I thought Darkwing was guarding you. Where is-?”
“He deserted us,” Silverfang purred sadly. “He was one of the first to trust me when I came onto the ship. He was almost killed when my daughter was taken. I thought he was loyal but it turns out he was working with Dagoon the whole time!” The Captain snarled and punched the wall. “It's like Neopia is working against me!”
With a new burst of energy, he completely ignored his knee, grabbed Dagoon by the scruff, and bolted from his cabin to the deck. Samson and Tiger followed. The returning ship hands and Lieutenants who were just coming back from the boats met them.
“Are we afloat again, Lieutenant?” called the Captain.
“The entire bottom deck is flooded, but we can still sail for a while,” Darius called back. He then approached Samson and Tiger.
“Hailey told me about Fox,” he said sadly. Samson jumped slightly.
“Did you find him?” he asked. Lt. Darius shook his head.
“I’m afraid we must fear the worst. The sea is too wide to search for him. We have to leave as soon as the parley with the M.H. is over.”
Samson let his head drop and he began to cry for his friend. The Uni came forward and gave the Lupe a re-assuring hug.
“Here they come!” called Hailey from the tallest mast.
The entire crew turned to face the pirate ship drifting out of the fog. The Mist Hunter came right up close to the Sea Monster allowing its crew to swing from the rigging onto the ship. Spearheading the group was a male mutant Lenny wearing a small pirates hat and a striped vest and a female Halloween Kougra wearing a pointed captain’s hat, a jewelled coat and torn red pants. She was the most beautiful Kougra Samson had ever seen. He looked around at the crew to see if any of them were as goggle-eyed as he was. Lt. Darius and Draco had yelped and staggered back in shock. Tiger seemed to shiver and tried to hide behind the mast. Samson then turned to Captain Silverfang. The Captain was shivering and had fallen to the deck floor. His impossible eyes had filled with tears as he stared into the same impossible eyes of the M.H’s Captain.
“It can’t be,” whispered Lt. Darius.
“What’s going on?” asked Samson. “What’s wrong?”
“No!” said the Captain. “Why? Why does it have to be you?”
Samson turned to Tiger in confusion.
“I told you killing the Captain wouldn’t be easy,” he stammered. Samson looked back and forth between the three Kougras. He finally understood. Tiger’s mother, Tactrick’s daughter was Vampra Silverfang. The same Kougra that flapped her wings and landed gracefully upon the deck of the Sea Monster. Tactrick’s daughter was the Captain of the Mist Hunter.
To be continued...