Samson, the Pirate Lupe: Lost Memories - Part Nine
“Hello, Father,” growled the Halloween Kougra as she approached Captain Silverfang. Samson could almost hear the Captain’s rapid heart beat as she spoke. “It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?”
“Vampra? Oh, Vampra... I... I thought you were dead!” Silverfang got up to hug his daughter, but she jumped back and drew her sword, keeping it pointed at his chest.
“Don’t get all mushy with me, Dad!” she snapped coldly. “You abandoned me!”
“No!” cried Tactrick. “I tried to save you, I just-.”
“You just lost! You allowed me to be taken by those monsters! You can’t imagine the torture I went through on that ship! I was lucky the Captain that took me got himself killed, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to take over as easily as I did!”
She looked at the Darigan Kougra in the corner of the ship. He was still comatose and crumpled over on the floor. She lowered her sword, confident that her father was too shocked and saddened to move and approached the Neopet. She stroked his ear with her paw like one strokes a household pet.
“I guess he didn’t succeed,” she purred. “That much was obvious as you are still alive.”
“You... You sent him?” Captain Silverfang rasped. He looked even older and more haggard than Samson had seen him before. The sight of his daughter in this form seemed to break his heart.
“Of course,” she replied. “He was just meant to be a spy at first, but I told him before he left that if matters escalated he was to kill you and anyone close to you so he could steer the ship to the M.H. I thought Darkwing would help him, but it seems that the coward has flown the coop.”
The announcement caused the Lieutenants to shudder.
“No...” It was Lt. Draco who whispered the word with the anger of betrayal. “He was one of the mutineers.”
The enemy Captain seemed to enjoy the distress and sorrow of those around her. “But something still puzzles me,” she purred. “What caused Dagoon Burnteye to act?”
There was a noise from the mast and Vampra flicked her thin yellow eyes towards Tiger, freezing him in his tracks.
“Ah. That’s it,” she purred. “I see you found my delinquent son. It must have been a shock for you when he told you who he was.” She returned to Captain Silverfang and poked her sword harder into his fur. “Now that you’ve found him for me, I can take him back and punish him for running away. Let’s see. What should I do? Should I imprison him for life? Or should I finish him on the spot?”
She suddenly threw an obsidian dagger from her pocket and it struck the wood of the mast inches away from Tiger’s nose. The Kougra yelped and fell back.
“Take him!” ordered Vampra. The Lenny and a very large Skeith charged forwards.
“Over our dead bodies!” snarled Samson as he and Hailey drew their swords and stood between Tiger and the attackers. The Lenny looked to his Captain who ordered them to halt with a flick of her tail. Vampra flapped her wings irritably.
“Who might you two be?” she growled, licking her pearl white fangs. “I vaguely recognise the Draik as Lt. Draco’s kin but I’ve never seen the Lupe before-.”
“I’m Samson Swiftpaw! I was the only survivor of the ship you destroyed almost a month ago! And I’ll gladly die to defend a friend from you!”
Vampra Silverfang let out a chortling laugh and flapped her wings and flew over her father and crew. She landed squarely in front of Samson and took his chin in her claws. He flinched but kept his teeth bared in an angry snarl.
“You’re cute,” she said. Suddenly, she took flight, lifting him up into the air. She held his neck tightly in her paw and threw him into one of the masts. He smacked into it and his world became a blended palette of colors and patterns.
“Samson!” he heard Hailey shout. The Draik flew over and caught him just before he crashed to the ground.
“Tiger!” he gasped. “She’s going to get Tiger!”
The Lupe was right. Before anyone could stop her, Vampra leapt forward and brought her sword singing through the air towards her son. There was an electrifying clang. A sword caught hers just before it reached Tiger’s neck. The young Kougra yelped and jumped out of the way, his eyes wide open in fear. Tactrick Silverfang had caught the blow with his sword.
“Don’t you dare touch my Grandson!” he roared. Vampra smiled.
“Don’t even try it, Dad. I’m much more experienced then I was when I was with you.” The Halloween Kougra did a back flip over her father and swiped down on his shoulder with her sword. He caught the blow again with his.
“Even old pets can learn new tricks,” he growled. She snarled and sliced with the sword again. He still caught it. The pair fought on, matching each other move for move. She swung up, he swung down, she swung down, he swung up and they repeated this pattern time and time again. It looked like a stalemate. Suddenly, Vampra whipped her tail around Tactrick’s wounded knee and flipped him over. The Captain yelled and fell on his back, his sword clattered to the floor.
“So that’s where you learnt your tail attacks from,” growled Samson to Tiger bitterly.
“It's over, Father!” Vampra Silverfang shouted. “I’m taking over your ship and destroying every memory of you, including Tiger. I can’t afford to have someone who looks up to you on my ship!”
She poised her sword over Captain Tactrick Silverfang’s heart and just as she was about to deal the killing blow, Samson leapt forward and hit her arm with the hilt of his sword. Vampra screeched and hissed, dropping her sword and covering her numb arm with her wing. She retreated backwards.
“You’ll pay for that, pup!” Angrily, she launched herself at the Lupe and clawed at his chest. Fur went flying as the pair scrambled across the deck their claws and fangs flailing. Samson forced her backwards with the flat of his sword and she crashed through the wooden wall that covered the Captain’s cabin. The Lupe rolled onto his back, panting. There was silence. Was it over? Had he won? He staggered to his paws and crept over to the dust covered pile of wood. As the dust cleared, he realized that she was gone.
“Swiftpaw! Up!” shouted Lt. Darius.
Samson looked above his head and saw Vampra diving down towards him, her father’s sword in her paws. He rolled as she landed and slashed forwards. Jumping back to his paws he ran circles around her, jumping over each strike she made.
The Lupe parried a heavy blow that the enemy Captain made. She jumped back and made a bluff strike from under, which Samson fell for. The Kougra smiled and whipped her sword up, bringing it back down at lightning speed. Using what Tiger had taught him, he lifted his left paw and caught the blade. He yelped as it drove into the center pad, but at least it stopped him from suffering a terrible injury. Vampra snarled, brought back her blade and twirled in the air, whacking Samson with her wing and throwing him into the mast. He rolled to the floor, exhausted.
“This ends, now!” she breathed. The Kougra stalked over to him. She raised her sword and prepared to strike.
“Don’t you dare!” shouted Hailey, lifting up an ice cannon and firing it at Vampra. The giant blast of freezing cold liquid struck her in the chest and sent her hurtling off the deck and into the foggy sea.
“Vampra!” cried Captain Silverfang, limping to the banister. The rest of the M.H’s crew shrieked in terror as Hailey raised her cannon again. Most of them jumped onto their own ship while some others flew into the ocean and pulled out Vampra, trapped within a solid ice cube. Her face was stuck in a frowning; screaming position and her frozen eyes stared directly into her father’s.
When the cube was dropped onto the Mist Hunter, the crew shouted in contempt at the S.M and took back off into the mist. It wasn’t long before they disappeared completely.
The Sea Monster’s crew jumped and shouted in jubilation. Today was a day to celebrate. They had defeated the infamous Mist Hunter and sent it scurrying back into the fog.
Samson couldn’t believe what happened. There was only one question that came into his mind.
“Hailey! Where in Neopia did you get that?”
Hailey looked at her slightly rust, blue ice cannon. “What? This thing?” she said. Oh, I’ve had it for years. I keep it under the floorboards behind my hammock!”
Samson laughed and turned to Tiger. The Kougra was still lying, slightly shocked on the floor.
“Well, you were useless,” he joked. Tiger smiled.
“At least I wasn’t almost killed,” the Kougra laughed. Samson held out his marked left paw, Tiger grabbed it with his marked right paw and stood up. “Thank you,” he said.
“Don’t worry about it. You would have done the same for Hailey or me. And you’re right,” he added, looking at his newest scar. “It's way better to learn from experience.”
The orange Kougra laughed. “Friends?” he asked.
“Friends,” replied Samson. The pair shook paws. Samson turned round to congratulate the Captain on a great victory, but found him in the same place, as he was when Vampra was thrown off. His shoulders were heaving and he was leaning on the banister with a paw at his eyes. Lt. Darius stood beside him, not saying a word.
Samson stopped in his tracks. He couldn’t imagine how horrible the Captain felt. He had lost his daughter twice and couldn’t even seek revenge on the Captain that had taken her. Vampra despised her father as one despises an enemy and that alone must have broken the Kougra’s heart.
Suddenly, the Captain spun round and limped furiously over to the now awake Dagoon who still lay crumpled at the side of the ship. Tactrick grabbed him by the throat and pushed him up against the banister.
“Now!” he said, dangerously. The ship became silent. “What shall we do with the traitor?”
“Kill him!” shouted Lieutenant Draco.
“No!” snarled Lt. Clara. “Torture him, then kill him!”
Another voice shouted, “Break his wings and leave him on a deserted island!”
Soon, many angry voices rose up from the ship, thinking of more fantastic and horrible ways to punish the Darigan Kougra.
“Stop!” cried the Captain, hushing them all. “He will not be killed, tortured, marooned or be subject to any other punishment you pets have thought of!” The crewmembers began to shout in protest.
“Silence! He shall be set to work with the toughest of crewmembers repairing the brig. And when it is finished, he shall stay there-.”
“But, Sir!” shouted Lt. Draco. “That fiend could have finished you!”
“I know very well what he could have done!” Silverfang snapped back. “That is why he shall be guarded day and night for the rest of his time on this ship until we come to a good pirate trading port on Krawk Island. I’m sure there’s some poor sucker out there willing to pay dearly for a thug!”
Samson saw Lt. Darius smile. It looked like the old Captain was back.
Captain Silverfang threw Dagoon to the ground in front of Lt. Clara and Servill. “Seal the hole in the ship and take him to the brig! Then he can start shovelling out the water!” The crew began to laugh at the shamed Neopet as he was dragged down to the depths of the ship.
The Captain then turned to Samson. His leg almost gave out as he approached, but he steadied himself by walking on three legs instead of two. Slowly, he padded over to the heroic Lupe.
“Thank you, Swiftpaw,” he said. “Without you, Dagoon and my-. Vampra would have killed me. I don’t know how I can repay you.”
Samson bowed. “Thank you, Sir. All I want is somewhere to work and live. If it is okay with you, I would like to stay on your ship.”
Silverfang nodded. “Consider your wish granted,” he purred and patted Samson on the back. His eyes flicked to his Grandson causing Tiger to instinctively step back and stare at the ground. The old Kougra approached him.
“I cannot change what has happened, nor can I change the fact that you are my kin and deserve to be treated with a bit more courtesy than I have given you so far. For that I apologize. For your recent actions I shall accept you as my Grandson and a crewmember of the S.M.”
Tiger looked like he would burst into tears of joy, but he restrained himself and put out his paw which the Captain shook. That paw shake became an awkward hug.
“Thanks, Gramps,” Tiger said. He stood back and saluted. Captain Silverfang saluted back.
Hailey then jolted upright as the Captain came to her.
“Miss Hailey Shock, for your quick thinking and great actions today, I am very happy to promote you to the rank of Lieutenant.” Hailey’s mouth fell open and she almost dropped her ice cannon in response. The crewmembers began to cheer and clap, but none clapped louder than Samson and Tiger.
“Th... Thank you, Sir!” she shouted with glee. “I’ll serve you as best I can!” The electric Draik saluted and her wings fluttered with happiness.
“I will honor our friend who has disappeared today. Ship hand Fox Arks. Let us hope that we may one day find you if there is a chance that you’re still alive,” the Captain said to the crew. Samson, Tiger and Hailey lowered their heads in respect for their friend.
“Lt. Draco!” called the Captain. The old Draik jumped in surprise.
“Yes, Sir?” he said, saluting.
“As you are the most senior Lieutenant of the ship and have served me well these long years, will you take the role of Commander for the S.M?”
Lt. Draco was silent with shock and Hailey looked at him expectantly with joy glittering in her eyes like the stars on a summer’s night. Lt. Draco bowed his head.
“Thank you. Thank you very much Sir for your kind offer, but.” He stopped for a moment. “I’m afraid I cannot accept it.”
There was a gasp from the ship and several confused murmurs.
“Grandpa!” exclaimed. She ran up to him and put her paws on his arm. “Why? Why refuse? Isn’t this what you always wanted?”
The old Draik sighed. “My child,” he said, putting his paw on hers. “I’m far too old for those dreams now. I enjoy my life as a Lieutenant and can’t handle any heavier duties; besides, I know of someone more deserving of the Commander title.”
The Captain looked puzzled, as did the rest of the crew. Lt. Draco looked towards Lt. Darius. The Uni straightened in surprise.
“Are you sure, Lt. Draco?” he said, scraping his hoof nervously upon the floor.
“As sure as I was raising Lt. Shock,” replied Draco, bowing. Lt. Darius bowed back.
“Then I accept your offer,” he turned to the Captain, “if the Captain agrees, of course.”
Captain Silverfang nodded in approval and Commander Darius bowed to his superior.
The entire crew roared in celebration and Samson roared along with them. From his experiences on the S.M. in the past few weeks, he expected greater and more dangerous voyages to come. But for now he couldn’t care less.