The Black Scarab: Part Two
Metal struck metal and sparks flew into the air as the two blades met. Sea Cat leapt up to face Avenger, who swung a second blade at her. Sea Cat jumped back as Avenger advanced, swinging her two blades and laughing maniacally. Sea Cat jumped up as one of the two swords swung under her legs, but then Avenger swung again and sliced her leg slightly. Sea Cat yowled out in pain and fell to the deck. Avenger pressed her foot against Sea Cat’s wrist hard and forced her to let go of her sword then kicked it away. She laughed.
“The Captain will reward me greatly for this.” Avenger raised her sword and struck downward. But suddenly, CLANG! Avenger’s sword met a pair of awaiting cutlasses that hovered above Sea Cat’s neck defensively and she was shoved aside, away from Sea Cat. Avenger looked up and let out a snarl.
“You!” she spat.
“Hello, Avenger, long time.” Jacques raised his two cutlasses to be ready. Avenger jumped at Jacques, but he met her advances and pressed his own, just as skilled as she was. Sea Cat slowly tried get up, her wound minor. She was grabbed from behind suddenly and lifted up. She struggled.
“Let go of me, Brute!” she shouted, hitting behind her.
“I’m not Brute! So shuddup and stop hitting me!!”
“Garin!” Sea Cat exclaimed, recognizing the Usul’s unmistakable voice. “Sorry! I thought you were him!” Garin let go of her and gave her a friendly nudge.
“Not to worry, mate,” he said. “You okay?”
“Never mind me, we better help Jacques!”
“Relax, it looks to me like he’s got everything under control,” Garin said.
Jacques walloped Avenger in the chin; she swung at him with her two swords and kicked him in the stomach. Jacques recovered quickly and locked blades with Avenger.
“Normally it isn’t polite to hit a lady,” said Jacques. “But you ain’t no lady!” Avenger shoved Jacques backwards against the side of the Revenge. He held up both cutlasses to keep her sword away from his throat. Avenger grinned.
“You are a most worthy adversary, Jacques,” she hissed. “Or rather, you WERE a worthy adversary!” She raised her other sword, but Jacques grabbed an icicle that hung from the ratlines and smashed it against her skull. Avenger fell to the deck, unconscious. Jacques sighed and sheathed his cutlasses. Brute came up from below deck, letting out a roar.
“I guess it’s my turn now!” Garin ran at Brute, jumping onto the massive Tonu’s shoulders and struck him on the head with the hilt of his dagger. Brute fell to the deck, leaving a dent. Garin swiped his hands together and grinned.
“Show off,” Jacques muttered. Sea Cat couldn’t help but laugh.
“Boy, if you two hadn’t come along I’d be shark bait by now!” She embraced Jacques and Garin with gratitude.
“Good to see you too, Sea Cat,” Garin said. “But what are you doing here?”
“Mission,” Sea Cat replied simply, fingering the Scarab in her pocket.
“To do what?” Jacques asked, signaling for the rest of the crew to come aboard. Sea Cat rolled her eyes and removed the Scarab from her pocket.
“Scarblade wanted to use this against you, Garin. It’s called the Black Scarab and it covers the wearer in impenetrable armor.” Garin looked at the strange beetle and cocked his head. He looked at Sea Cat.
“So what’s so bad about it?” he asked. Sea Cat groaned.
“Trust me, Garin, if he used this on himself, the results would be bad for us, and-”
“Extremely good for me.” Sea Cat whirled around. Garin and his crew drew their weapons as Scarblade and his crew came forward. Scarblade eyed Sea Cat angrily. He held out his hand towards her.
“If you wish to live, Sea Cat, hand it over,” he said.
“Never!” she spat, clenching a fist around the Scarab. Scarblade narrowed his eyes.
“I will not ask you again,” he said. “Hand it over!”
Sea Cat just glared.
“Very well. Then I will take it.” Scarblade drew his cutlass. Garin jumped in front of Sea Cat.
“Not if we have anything to say about it, Scarblade!” he shouted. “Sea Cat, run!” he commanded, and Sea Cat took off. Scarblade snarled; his eyes were fixed on her as she ran.
“All o’ ye, take care of these pests!” he ordered his crew. “Benny, Champ, you come with me. We have a little lady to catch.”
“Over my dead body!!” Garin charged Scarblade, who stepped aside and shoved Garin to the deck.
“I don’t have time for you at the moment,” he said over his shoulder as he ran after Sea Cat.
Sea Cat nearly lost her footing as she landed on the ice below, and Champ and Benny were right behind her. Garin and Jacques jumped down after Scarblade, who was intent on taking back the Scarab. Sea Cat turned to face the oncoming pirates with a yell, swinging her sword at them. Benny threw a knife at her. Sea Cat dodged and fell onto the ice... the Scarab sliding from her hand. Scarblade seized his chance, slid past her and scooped up the Black Scarab. Garin and Jacques helped Sea Cat to her feet, the rest of the crew ran over to help, but now that Scarblade had the Scarab, it was too late. Scarblade looked at them.
“Thank you, Sea Cat,” he said. “I knew you’d see to reason.” Sea Cat glared, and threw her sword at Scarblade. He dodged, then grinned evilly. He held up the Black Scarab, and placed it on his chest.
“No!!!” Sea Cat screamed. The Scarab eyes started to glow and it suddenly grew legs, which clamped onto Scarblade, then a black cloud completely enveloped him. When the cloud vanished, Scarblade was covered in a black armor, which gleamed with a strange, evil brilliance. He looked at himself, then laughed in near madness.
“Nothing can stop me now!” he chortled. Garin drew his Maractite dagger.
“I don’t think so, old man!”
“Then try, boy! Give me your best shot!” Scarblade mocked.
“You got it!!” Garin charged at Scarblade, and swung his dagger at him. The dagger struck, but made not a scratch or mark of any kind! Garin stared. Scarblade grabbed Garin by the arm and threw him to the side. Garin groaned.
“Get ‘im!!” Talak shouted. The crew charged Scarblade, swinging at him with weapons, but their attacks were useless. The armor of the Black Scarab was just too strong. Sea Cat dodged as Scarblade swung at her with a thickly armored arm. Jacques jumped at him, but was hit aside and landed next to Garin. Garin leapt up and helped his best mate to his feet. Jacques shook snow from his face. He stared at Scarblade and watched Sea Cat dodge another blow.
“Wow, Sea Cat wasn’t kidding when she said things would be bad!” he exclaimed. “The armor’s just too strong!”
“Urgh! There HAS to be a way to stop him!” Garin snarled. He stood up, but the ice nearly broke away under his feet.
“Whoa! This ice is thin!”
“At least it can hold our weight,” Jacques said, standing up. Sam was nearly hit, but he ducked and rolled aside. “That armor has to be like carrying an anchor on your back!”
“It sure looks heavy enough,” Garin said in agreement. Suddenly he froze. He looked at the thin ice behind him, then at Scarblade.
“That’s it!!” he shouted. He ran towards Scarblade, with a plan he thought just might work.
“Hey! Scarblade! Over here!” he shouted, waving his arms. Scarblade eyed him. “I’m the one you want, you decorated Christmas tree! Come and get me!”
“Ignorant fool!” Scarblade shouted angrily. He ran at Garin, who dodged his attack and started to walk backwards towards the thin ice. The ice cracked under Scarblade’s foot and he was starting to catch on, and Garin knew he had to make him angrier.
“C’mon, my grandmother can hit better than that, you old fossil!!” he hollered. Scarblade’s eyes burned in rage. He swung at Garin and stepped closer. Sea Cat, Jacques and the crew watched in near horror, worrying for Garin.
“C’mon... c’mon...” Garin muttered, watching the ice behind him. Scarblade was beginning to slow down. Garin growled with bared teeth. “C’mon, ya coward!!!” he yelled.
That did it. Scarblade leapt at Garin in absolute hatred.
The ice broke and sent Scarblade under, but the only unexpected part was that he grabbed Garin by the ankle and started to drag him down. Garin slipped out of his parka and threw on his seaweed necklace, just as his head went under the icy cold waters.
“Garin!!” Sea Cat screamed.
“No!” Jacques ran towards the broken ice, but Bill and Talak grabbed him by the arms and held him back.
“Jacques, it’s too dangerous!” Talak shouted.
“You could drown!” Bill added.
“Let me go!” Jacques shouted. Sea Cat ran to the edge of the ice as Jacques broke free, but Sea Cat once again stopped him. She looked at him, with a sad, yet faithful look in her eyes. Jacques stared at her.
“I’ll give him three minutes, then I’m going under,” he said.
“Not without me, you aren’t,” Sea Cat whispered.
Garin tried frantically to free himself from Scarblade’s grasp. They were sinking deeper and Garin didn’t want to go down with Scarblade. He didn’t want to go at all for that matter! He kicked Scarblade in the jaw as hard as he could, and finally Scarblade let go. Garin kicked hard and stayed above Scarblade as he continued to sink. He tried to swim up, but the heavy weight of the armor weighed him down. Garin looked down at him.
“How does it feel?” he asked. “Sinking like an anchor with absolutely no control over your fate?”
“I have plenty of control over my fate!” Scarblade spat. “I can still breathe under water!”
“Sure you can breathe under water, Scarblade, but look beneath you.” Garin crossed his arms. Scarblade looked down and saw nothing but black.
“Bottom doesn’t look like it’s coming anytime soon, and the pressure will take good care of you long before that. But it will happen slowly.” Scarblade looked up at Garin and made eye contact. He was angry, but so was Garin.
“What are your demands?” Scarblade asked.
“Give me the Black Scarab and I’ll let you go in a truce.”
“Never!” Scarblade shouted. Garin raised an eyebrow.
“Are you sure?” he asked. Scarblade stared, then reached for the Scarab. He started to pull at it, but then he began to jerk at it and grunt. The movements soon turned into mad antics.
I take it that means it’s stuck, Garin thought. He rolled his eyes. I’m gonna regret this! Garin dove down and grabbed the Scarab, but it wouldn’t budge. He shoved his dagger under it and began to pry it off.
The Scarab came off with a ‘crack’ sound, and the armor Scarblade wore vanished in black smoke. Garin grinned. Suddenly, Scarblade wrenched Garin’s seaweed necklace off of his neck, and swam upward, kicking Garin in the face. Garin felt the cold water and lack of air hit hard like a kick in the guts.
Jacques watched as a dark figure came up from below. He held his breath, and Scarblade broke surface and dragged himself onto the ice, chuckling with an evil pleasure.
“What the? Scarblade! What did you do with Garin!?” Jacques demanded. Scarblade threw the seaweed necklace at Jacques's ankles.
“There! That’s all that’s left of your precious captain!” Scarblade bolted back to the Revenge laughing. Jacques stared, then hit his knees and picked up the seaweed necklace. Sea Cat placed one hand over her mouth in disbelief. Jacques’s eyes suddenly turned fierce.
“I’m going down there!” he said.
Suddenly, a blue blade suddenly stuck up from the ice behind them. They all jumped. The dagger went in a circle shape, then vanished beneath the ice. Garin broke through the circle he had made, coughing and sputtering water out of his lungs. He pulled himself onto the ice. The crew let out a tremendous shout of joy. Sea Cat threw Garin’s parka over his shoulders. He nodded in gratitude to her, then looked at the Black Scarab in his palm.
“Man, I’m good!” he said triumphantly. The crew laughed. Jacques embraced his friend in relief to see his best mate was all right. Garin handed the Black Scarab to Sea Cat, who took it, relieved that Garin had done it.
“Garin, you amaze me sometimes,” she admitted.
“Same to you, my friend. Probably even more,” Garin replied. “By the way, something tells me you could use a ride to Faerieland.”
“Yeah, I could,” she said with a bit of a laugh, and her cheeks turning red.
“Well then what are we waiting for? The Black Pawkeet awaits!” Garin got up and they started to walk back to the Black Pawkeet.
“Hey, Garin,” Jacques said.
“I take back what I said about not having an adventure up here. What we just went through was wild!” Garin laughed.
“You can say that again.”
Scarblade watched as the Black Pawkeet sailed away from Terror Mountain. He bared his teeth. Garin had survived somehow, and now the Scarab was in the hands of the Sea Cat. He gripped the railing of the Revenge, a cruel grin spreading over his face.
“Just wait, Garin. I still have a few tricks up my sleeve,” he growled. “And next time we meet, I’ll have a little surprise waiting for you!” He threw his head back and laughed evilly.
And little did Garin, Jacques, and Sea Cat know, they would meet Scarblade again sooner than they all thought, and when they did... he would not be so easily beaten.