The Black Scarab: Part One
WHACK! The girl sent the Pirate Krawk down with a striking blow to the chest. Her sea blue eyes darted to her other enemies around her, but she jumped onto the ratlines of the ship and started to climb. The cold frost of Terror Mountain had laced the ratlines, and all sides of the ship were surrounded by thin ice. The name of the ship... Revenge, and her name... Sea Cat, an Agent of Queen Fyora herself. Her job was to collect whatever rare or powerful items Queen Fyora sent her after to be placed within the Hidden Tower for safe keeping. Many times she had dealt with the evil Captain Scarblade and his crew, trying to keep him from getting his claws around whatever item Fyora sent her to get, but rarely did she need to tangle with him, and that was the last thing she wanted to do.
But then again she did get to see Garin and her other friends.
Garin had helped her obtain an item she was after once, and even saved her life. She became a member of his crew simply for something to do between missions, and so she was christened Sea Cat. But right now, she had to concentrate on what was going on. One of the pirates had grabbed a corner of the parka she was wearing; she kicked him in the face and broke free. She arrived at the yardarm, but instead of going out onto it, she jumped down, whipping out a Maractite Cord and letting it wrap around the mast of the Revenge. She landed safely on the deck below, and looked up at the pirates.
“Not bad for a human, eh?” she called up.
“Not bad at all.”
Sea Cat jumped and whirled around, only to find a cutlass at her throat, and Scarblade standing in front of her. She glared and bared her teeth, letting out a very unfriendly growl. Scarblade merely grinned.
“You aren’t going anywhere,” he said mockingly. “I just may need you as leverage if we should meet your mate Garin any time soon.”
“You’ll have no such pleasure!” Sea Cat hollered. She drew a sword of her own, and knocked Scarblade’s cutlass away from her neck. She bolted towards the side of the Revenge, but Scarblade caught up quickly and grabbed her ankle. Sea Cat fell forward overtop of the rail. She turned around and kicked Scarblade in the face, which had no apparent affect on him. He smirked, and Sea Cat didn’t like the look in his eye one bit. Scarblade shoved Sea Cat over the side of the Revenge and she fell with a scream, breaking through the thin layer of ice and into the cold water below. Scarblade laughed maniacally.
“No one can survive that unless they breathe underwater,” he said to himself. “And that takes care of our little Agent pest.”
Sea Cat grabbed her throat and kicked wildly. The freezing water was numbing her fast, she could hardly move, she couldn’t see, and worse she couldn’t breath. Suddenly, she felt something drape around her neck, and instant heat enveloped her, and she felt the need to breath subside. She gasped; taking in much needed breath and then looked around her neck. She saw a strange charm on the end of a strand of green seaweed. It looked like a bubble filled with water and a golden fish tail hanging from the bottom of it.
“It’s called the Water Faerie Token,” said a voice.
Sea Cat spun around.
“N-Nereid!” she gasped. She bowed as best she could underwater. The Water Faerie smiled kindly.
“You must be Queen Fyora’s Agent. I’ve been waiting for you, but what on earth were you doing up on that pirate ship?” Nereid asked.
“Scarblade and I are somewhat enemies,” Sea Cat replied. “He never sails in these waters, so I went to see what he’s up to this time. But then things got a little hairy.” She looked up and scowled at the Revenge.
“I see,” Nereid said with a nod. “Come with me, I have the item for you in my cave.”
She swam forward with Sea Cat following behind her. They went down further into the darkness of the cold waters, but then swam into a tunnel made completely of ice, and the sunlight shone through, creating a beautiful setting. It was almost like a fairy-tale. Sea Cat and Nereid entered her cave, where they where surrounded by Water Faerie items. Sea Cat recognized a sculpture of the Drenched, which was enchanted so Nereid could keep her eye on them. Nereid turned to Sea Cat.
“Wait here a moment,” she said. She swam into a smaller cavern, and Sea Cat waited where she was. Suddenly, Nereid screamed out in alarm. Sea Cat instinctively drew her sword and bolted in after her.
“Nereid! What happened?” she asked.
Nereid turned around.
“It’s... gone!” she exclaimed. “The Black Scarab is gone!” Sea Cat swam over and looked. The ice that apparently had held the Scarab had been chipped away and the Scarab stolen. She groaned.
“This is awful!” Nereid exclaimed. “I should have sealed it in more ice! It was right here this morning, but now it’s gone!”
“Nereid, please try to calm down.” Sea Cat sheathed her sword. “I’ll get it back; that’s my job. I just need a clue as to who stole it.”
She swam over to the chipped ice and examined it. She found nothing, but Nereid pulled a small chip of something from the ice.
“What’s this?” she asked. Sea Cat held her palm open and Nereid laid it in her hand. Sea Cat examined the chip close up.
“Metal,” she concluded. “From a PIRATE’S cutlass.”
Sea Cat let out a low growl and muttered a curse in the ancient tongue of Neopia. “So that’s why Scarblade’s here! He stole the Scarab!”
“But why?” Nereid asked.
“Well, what does the Black Scarab do?”
“If it is placed on the chest of whoever possess it, they will be covered in a black, impenetrable armor. Nothing can break it, not even Maractite.”
The word ‘Maractite’ struck Sea Cat like a heavy mace. NOW it made sense.
“Scarblade wants to use it against Garin. He always fights with his Maractite dagger against Scarblade, so the armor will make him safe from the dagger’s blade,” Sea Cat said. She placed one hand to her face out of frustration. “But not only will he be invincible to Garin’s attacks, but Maraqua’s as well. He’ll be unstoppable.”
“Oh dear,” Nereid said, eyes wide.
“I have to stop him!” Sea Cat said. “I’ll get that Scarab back from him Nereid, don’t worry. And when it’s safe within the Hidden Tower, I’ll send word to you that it is safe.” Sea Cat swam out of the cavern.
“Good luck!” Nereid called after her. “And keep the Token! I have a feeling you’re going to need it in the future more than I will!”
“For crying out loud! What next?!” Garin exclaimed. A large pavement of ice blocked the path of the Black Pawkeet. Garin was wearing a thick brown parka to protect him from the cold, and his crew was wearing whatever they had for this weather. Jacques walked over to him, rubbing his gloved paws together.
“By Fyora! I feel like my ears are going to fall off if it gets much colder!” he exclaimed.
“Yeah, I know what you mean,” he said, his breath making a small puff of fog in front of his mouth. He turned the wheel and heard a thin layer of ice crack off its surface. “We’ll have to go around this ice. We don’t want to risk damage to the hull of the Black Pawkeet.”
“I was afraid of that,” Jacques groaned. “It just means more cold.” Garin patted Jacques on the back in encouragement.
“Don’t worry, Jacques. And who knows, we may have an adventure while we’re here,” Garin said. Jacques smiled.
“That will be shocking,” he said.
Garin looked up into the rigging. Rat, a Mutant Xweetok and the newest member of Garin’s crew, stood in the Crow’s Nest and watched the snow start to fall. A snowflake landed on his nose and he blew it off. It fascinated him. He had never seen snow before, because he had lived in the tropics for most of his life and it was simply amazing to him. He swished his tail across a small pile of snow and watched it fall from the crow’s nest... right onto Bill the Buzz’s head.
“Oof!” Bill bent over as the ball of ice-cold snow hit his noggin. He looked up. “Rat!” he shouted.
All Rat could do was laugh. Bill growled, but then heard Sam the blue Kacheek laughing at what he had seen. Bill smirked, and bent over and made another snowball, and threw it at Sam, hitting him in the face. Sam fell backwards, then tried to throw another snowball at Bill, but missed and hit another member of the crew; Jacques.
“Oi!” Jacques said, shaking the snow from his hair. “What was that for?”
“Sorry, Jacques! I-I was aiming for Bill!” Sam exclaimed. Jacques looked at him, then up at Garin who was at the helm. He smirked.
WHAP! The snowball hit Garin smack in the back of the head. He whirled around at Jacques.
“Alright, that’s it!” Garin bent over and scooped some snow into his hands and threw it at his mate. Jacques ducked and laughed. Soon, everyone was throwing snowballs at one another. Rat came down from the crow’s nest and joined in the fun, only to receive a snowball in the forehead. Sam leapt up onto the ratlines and threw two snowballs at Garin. He looked out over the icy water, and saw something large, and rather haunting, making its way off into the distance. Sam recognized it as a ship.
“Sail ahoy!” he shouted.
“Huh?” Garin looked up at Sam, dodging a snowball. “Where Sam?”
“Over there! I think it’s...” Garin didn’t wait for Sam to finish. He ran to the side and gazed out over the water, quickly joined by his crew.
“Yep. It’s Scarblade alright,” he confirmed. He turned to his crew.
“Everyone, stay quiet. They haven’t seemed to have noticed us yet, so we’ll try and catch ‘em off guard.” His crew nodded in agreement and ran to their stations. Jacques followed Garin to the wheel.
“You do have a plan, right?” Jacques asked.
“... I’m working on it.”
Sea Cat pulled herself out of the water and onto the thick ice, but suddenly, before the cold enveloped her, the water that covered her was sucked quickly into the Water Faerie Token, leaving her dry and warm. She stared.
“Wow,” she muttered. She looked around her and spotted the Revenge in the distance. Not wasting a minute, she got up and ran towards it. She would get the Scarab back if was the last thing she did.
Sea Cat crept quietly onto the deck of the Revenge. Scarblade and his crew were gone, so this was going to be easy, except she couldn’t get too cocky. Scarblade always left someone to guard the ship. And that someone normally was Avenger, a yellow Kyrii with a bad attitude and very good dueling technique. Jacques usually made a good adversary for her, but right now he wasn’t here, so Sea Cat would have to do without him. Something sounded behind Sea Cat. She ducked behind a barrel and peered around it carefully. Brute, the very large Tonu, was walking along the deck. Sea Cat bit her lip. She was no match for the large pirate, but she would most likely have no choice. She ducked behind another barrel as he turned his back to her, then into Scarblade’s cabin. It was unearthly quiet, except for the whistling of the wind, which sounded like a drowned moan. Sea Cat shivered.
“The Scarab has got to be here somewhere in all this mess,” she thought. She crept up to the desk, where, out of place lay a brown sack, a WET sack. Sea Cat grinned and reached into the sack. The Black Scarab was more brilliant than she imagined it to be: a black Scarab beetle shaped stone with ruby eyes that almost glowed with brilliance. She smiled and tucked it into her pocket. She opened the door to the cabin slowly and darted to a small cluster of crates that lay nearby. She sighed in relief. Suddenly, Sea Cat felt an icy blade point against her throat. She stiffened, but slowly turned her head to look.
“Caught you, ya little weasel,” hissed a voice.
It was Avenger, sitting on top of one of the many crates, her salty grey-blue eyes gleaming with a haunting eagerness. Sea Cat swallowed hard, and slowly reached for her sword, even though she was no match for the skilled Kyrii. To win would take a miracle...
Sea Cat shut her eyes tight and gripped her sword.
To be continued...
I'm back! Hope you enjoy!