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Stranded?


by jeran_b

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"Lindy, hurry up, or the boat will leave without us!"

     Lindy slung her bag over her shoulder and walked quickly after the Wocky. "Alright, alright, I'm coming. Geez, you know how pressure just slows me down," she said.

     "You're slow even without pressure," Gwayne replied. The cousins hurried across the dock and boarded the ship.

     "I still don't want to go to Krawk Island," Lindy grumbled. "Especially with that new governor. There's something fishy about him."

     "You feel that way about every mayor or governor," Gwayne pointed out.

     "So? I'm right most of the time. They have a habit of being selfish and greedy," Lindy said.

     "Don't selfish and greedy almost mean the same thing?"

     "Exactly! I rest my case."

     Gwayne grinned slightly and rolled his eyes. Lindy could be so ridiculous sometimes. They settled down on the deck of the ship and waited for it to set sail. A blue Ixi in a shirt sleeved jacket sat down next to them.

     "Nice day for traveling, eh?" he said with a wink to Lindy.

     "The sky looks pretty hazy today. And it's foggy. I don't think that's the best weather for sailing," she replied.

     "Hey, get away from there!" a tall Zafara yelled at them. "No sitting near the gun powder!" She shook a sword she held at them. "Explosion hazard four thirteen!"

     "Gun powder?" Lindy asked, and looked at the barrel she was leaning against.

     "Leave them be," a Korbat said to the Zafara. "I don't think any of them are planning on lighting a fire." He looked straight at them. "Right?"

     "Yeah," Lindy said at the same time that Gwayne said "Totally," while the Ixi added "not in a million years."

     The Zafara nodded in satisfaction. She shrugged, and grumbling about something, disappeared into the depths of the ship.

     "Wonder what that was all about," Gwayne said.

     "I don't know, but I don't think I want to run into her again," Lindy replied. They rose from where they sat to watch the shore of Faerieland become more distant as the captain announced that they were setting sail.

     Gwayne got sea sick, so as part of him hung off the railing of the main deck as he tried to recover, Lindy decided to explore the ship's hold. But remembering that the crabby Zafara was down there, she climbed up to the crow's nest instead.

     Once she reached the top, though, all she saw around her was water, water, more water, still more water, and believe it or not, even more water. She lost interest fairly quickly, and climbed back down.

     The blue Ixi sat on a crate examining what looked like a gold coin. Remembering his friendliness from earlier, she started to walk toward him to have a conversation, but her shyness got the better of her, and she turned around.

     "Hello," the Ixi said. She whirled around. "I don't think we were properly introduced before."

     "Well, um," Lindy stuttered, blushing.

     "I'm Hanso." He held out his hand, smiling broadly. "Hero of Neopia, savior of the faeries, Fyora's expert dangerous-artifact hunter, and thief extraordinaire. You've probably heard of me before."

     Lindy reached out to shake his hand. "No, I'm afraid not. But I'm Lindy. I don't really have a million titles as you seem to," she said.

     "Well, nice to make your acquaintance anyway," Hanso replied. "So you're from Faerieland?"

     "Brightvale, actually," Lindy replied. "My cousin Gwayne is, though. That's why we left from the Faerieland dock."

     "Oh! A good friend of mine is from Brightvale," Hanso said. "Very good friend. Ah, good old Brynn. Brightvale is where I spent the majority of my childhood."

     "Where are you from?" Lindy asked.

     "Hmm... Qasala, I think. Or maybe Mystery Island. Well, it might have been Terror Mountain," Hanso answered. "Or Meridell."

     Lindy frowned. "How could you not know where you're from?"

     "I don't have an answer for that question," the Ixi replied.

     Gwayne walked over to them. "Wow, these herbs are amazing! I don't feel sick at all anymore. I bet I won't in that coming storm either." He pointed at black clouds which weren't far away, and were creeping towards the ship at an alarming pace. Lindy looked where he was pointing.

     "Is the ship going to be able to survive that?" she asked, biting her lip nervously.

     "It might be able to survive the storm, but how come that ship coming towards us looks familiar?"

     "Because that's the Revenge," the Korbat from earlier said to them, lowering his telescope. "That cursed Captain Scarblade seems to be planning on attacking us. Better go tell the captain." He walked away.

     "The Revenge?" Lindy said. "No one's ever defeated the pirates of the Revenge!"

     "You've heard of the Revenge but not of me?" Hanso asked, looking depressed.

     "Never mind that," Gwayne replied. "Wait a minute. I know who you are! You're the guy who sold the artifact to the person who turned all the faeries to stone!"

     "I stole it from her first," Hanso replied proudly. "Then I saved Neopia." The black clouds were upon them, and the Revenge approached quickly with the storm.

     The captain of the ship was calling out orders to get ready for the inevitable battle against the crew of the Revenge, which was led by none other then the dreaded Captain Scarblade himself.

     "I thought Scarblade was dead," Lindy said.

     "No. You're getting mixed up with most of the other villains in Neopia," Gwayne said. He put his hand on his belt. "I wish I had a weapon. A sword, even a mace."

     "Ready the cannons!" the captain yelled.

     "Maybe we can get away without being spotted, and won't have to fight," Lindy said hopefully. A boom sounded from the distant ship, and a cannonball landed right next to the ship in the water. "...Or not..." Lindy said in a high pitched voice.

     "Come on!" Hanso called, and dashed into the ship's hold. Lindy and Gwayne followed, and the trio locked themselves in the captain's quarters.

     Suddenly the whole ship shook. "I think we just got hit!" Gwayne said.

     "Don't panic!" Hanso said. "Now isn't the time to panic." Another vibration rocked the ship, knocking them off their feet. "Alright," Hanso announced. "Now we can panic!"

     "Well, golly gee, thanks a lot!" Gwayne yelled back.

     "Uh, guys...?" Lindy said, looking at the floor.

     "You're welcome!" Hanso said to Gwayne.

     "I don't need your permission to panic," the Wocky said. "And I'm panicking right now anyway."

     "Good," Hanso said brightly. "Panicking can get your adrenaline pumping, often leading to quick actions and heroic deeds."

     "I don't mean to interrupt your super important conversation," Lindy shouted. "But... THIS PLACE IS FILLING UP WITH WATER!"

     "What?" the other two said. She was right. The water was already up to their ankles, and rising fast.

     "The ship must have been hit," Gwayne said, panicking all the more. "There's a hole. We're going down!"

     Hanso grabbed a bucket. "Start bailing!" he said. He filled the bucket with some of the water at his feet, and then dumped it next to Lindy. He repeated the action a few more times, and Gwayne helped.

     "What are you two doing?" Lindy said. "And how is this helping? Let's get out of here!"

     They broke down the door, and fled the captain's quarters to the main deck. The Revenge was right next to their ship, and people were fighting everywhere.

     They saw the Zafara who had shouted earlier at them, fight off a bunch of pirates with unmatchable speed and skill, her movement a graceful dance. Then, with a knowing smile and a mischievous wink in their direction, she disappeared over the railing.

     "This is not good," Gwayne said.

     "I think our side is losing," Hanso commented, not sounding worried in the least.

     "Of course we're losing!" Gwayne screamed at him. "No one can defeat Scarblade and his crew!"

     "Shh, don't say his name," Lindy said in fright.

     "Why? For fear it will attract his attention?" Gwayne snapped. "I'd say we already have it!"

     Before Lindy had a chance to reply, someone threw a sack over her head. By the sounds coming through the thick cloth, she guessed the same had happened to her friends. Her hands were tied behind her back, and she was picked up and carried somewhere unknown.

     *~*~*~*

     When the sack was pulled off, Lindy found herself standing in a dark room. The pirate untied her hands and pushed her forward. She stumbled inside, and sat down against the wall next to Gwayne. Hanso wasn't far behind.

     The door slammed shut, followed by the sound of a key turning in a lock, before fading into silence.

     "This is very, very, bad," Gwayne said in a low voice.

     "Yup," Lindy agreed. She squinted in the dark, struggling to see better. There wasn't really much to see in there. A few minutes of silence went by.

     Finally, Gwayne spoke. "How do we get out of here? There's no exit!"

     "Of course, we can always sneak out the window and use the rowboat I saw to get away," Hanso replied.

     "And you didn't say this before because..." Gwayne said.

     "Because no one asked me," the Ixi replied.

     Lindy shrugged. "That's a good enough answer for me. Let's go."

     *~*~*~*

      "So how are we supposed to get to shore from out in the middle of the ocean?" Gwayne shouted over the wind and the rain. The small rowboat bobbed up and down, carried by the rolling waves. The "Revenge" was already far behind them.

     "I got us off the boat. Am I supposed to think of everything?" Hanso replied.

     "Well, you could have thought it over more!" Gwayne yelled.

     Hanso shrugged. "I still think we should have stuck around a while before leaving the ship. Think of all the treasure Scarblade must have!"

     "Next time we get captured on the Revenge we can loot, okay?" Lindy shouted, raising her voice above the noise from the storm.

     "Okay," Hanso replied, and nodded in satisfaction.

     The boat was thrown up in a particularly large wave, and they gripped the sides to keep from flying out.

     "So what do we do now?" Gwayne asked. There was a bump as the small rowboat was carried onto shore by the waves. They were no longer in the water, but in the middle of a beach, carried in by the tide.

     "I did not see that coming," Lindy said.

     "I didn't see the shore either," Gwayne agreed.

     "Hey, we seem to be in luck today," Hanso replied, and climbed out of the boat.

     "Islands don't just appear out of nowhere when you need them," Lindy said, following the Ixi onto the beach.

     "This one did," he replied. Gwayne also climbed onto the beach, and they stood in a line, staring at the forest opening out before them. A minute passed. Then another one did.

     "Well, I guess we won't be discovering this island's secret anytime soon," Gwayne said. "Come on, let's go explore. Maybe we'll find a ship to take us to Krawk Island."

     "Or, if we're marooned, we'd best get to know the island since who knows how long we'll be on it," Hanso said. They crossed the beach and made their way into the dusky forest. A deep silence seemed to fill the dense forestry, and no sound could be heard.

     "Is this another uncharted island surrounding Krawk Isle?" Gwayne asked, breaking the silence.

     "I don't think we're close enough to Krawk Island for it to be considered one of them," Lindy replied, shivering uneasily as she too disturbed the silence in the forest with her small voice.

     "Maybe the Lost Island? The one with the giant petpetpets?" Gwayne said.

     "That would be an interesting experience," Hanso said. "I wonder who would get eaten first." The others had no response to that, and kept walking, afraid to run into any giant petpetpets, should they be the first on the menu.

     Suddenly a large stone statue blocked their path. The expression on the faerie's face was angry, and her hands were out as if she were about to recite a spell.

     "I think we found the Darkest Faerie," Lindy said. "Didn't she disappear or something during the fall of Faerieland?"

     "Yep," Hanso replied, looking at the stone faerie. All three of them gaped at the statue. "Shall we continue?" the Ixi asked. With a nod from the others, they did.

     A few minutes later, they emerged onto the beach. They were on the other side, as the beach somehow looked different.

     "Well, doesn't look like there's much in there," Hanso said, jerking a thumb over his shoulder at the forest. "And estimating the amount of time it took us to get here, I'd say this island isn't very big either."

     "See any passing ships we can get a ride on?" Gwayne asked. "I'm sure they wouldn't mind picking up some hitchhikers stranded on a desert isle."

     "Unless they're pirates," Lindy said. "Hey, I think I see a volcano."

     "A volcano?" Hanso said. The Cybunny took off at a run, back into the forest, her light brown hair bouncing up and down, and ran in the direction of the volcano. Gwayne and Hanso weren't far behind.

     They arrived at the foot of the volcano.

     "We must have gone in a sort of crescent," Hanso said. "We didn't go to the other side of the island. Just a different side, because we would have run into the volcano."

     "What's the point of running off to a volcano, Lindy?" Gwayne said. "It won't help us much."

     Lindy didn't answer either of them, but walked around the side of the tall mountain. Suddenly, she took a step toward the rock, and vanished.

     "Did she just go through solid rock?" Gwayne asked. Hanso walked over to where Lindy had stood.

     "Nope," the Ixi thief announced. "She didn't." And he disappeared too.

     Gwayne's mouth dropped open, and he went over to where his two friends had disappeared. Once he stood in front of the rock, he understood. The place where he had stood blocked the thin crack in the mountain that looked like it was leading deeper into the mountain. Like a cave. Gwayne squeezed through entrance, and jogged down the tunnel after his companions. He was about to enter a brightly lit room, but someone grabbed him from behind, hand over his mouth, and pulled him behind a barrel. It was Hanso.

     "Shh, we don't want them to know we're here," he said. Gwayne nodded, and Hanso released him. Lindy was right next to Hanso. Gwayne, always being overprotective, was relieved to see her okay.

     The trio peered out of their hiding spot, and Gwayne saw for the first time who Hanso had meant when he said "them."

     Pirates. The pirates, that had attacked the ship they had been on. The crew of the Revenge.

     Also, the captain of the other ship, the one they had been sailing on, who was named Captain Geronimo, was there with his crew. They were tied up in a corner.

     "You look 'ere, the cap'n wants his treasure, so ye better hand over the key, ye sea dog, or yer crew and yerself be walkin' the plank!" one of Scarblade's pirates said to Captain Geronimo, shaking his fist at him.

     "I told you already," Geronimo replied. "I don't know what you're talking about."

     "Don't ye?" the pirate said. He took out his cutlass and held the sword to Geronimo's throat. "How about now?"

     "No," Geronimo said, looking very nervous. He said something else, but the trio, who were hidden behind the barrels, couldn't hear.

     Lindy leaned forward slightly to hear better, and suddenly fell forward, rolling out into the open. When she looked up, three pirates were already surrounding her.

     "What the—?" the pirate that had been interrogating Captain Geronimo said.

     "I know her. She was one of the captives I took aboard," said one of the pirates.

     Lindy's heart was pounding in her chest. In fright, she heard Gwayne jump out of his hiding place and join her, standing between her and the pirates. Overprotective, as usual. She didn't feel annoyed like she usually did.

     "Run!" Hanso shouted, and made a dash for the exit. Lindy scrambled to her feet, and she and Gwayne followed him.

     They started to run up the passage, but they all skidded to a stop in front of a tall looming green Lupe. A scar ran across one of his eyes, and a captain's hat rested on his head. A Bruce with an expression that enjoyed seeing others suffer stood beside him, and three other pirates stood behind him.

     "Well, well, well, what do we have here?" Captain Scarblade said, taking a step forward. He grabbed Lindy by the collar, and lifted her slightly off the ground. She gulped, and looked around hopefully for a way out. Scarblade lowered her, and let her go. She scrambled out of his reach, and stood behind Gwayne. The other pirates that had been in the cave came from the opposite direction, and they were surrounded. "A bunch of kids, it looks like," the captain said. Even Hanso looked afraid.

     "Well, any news, Franky?" Scarblade said to the pirate that had been questioning Geronimo.

     Franky shook his head. "The cap'n of that ship claims he don't know what I be talkin' about, cap'n."

     "He?" Scarblade asked. "Let me see him." The pirates that had come with Scarblade grabbed the trio and dragged them back down the cave. Once there, they were lined up against the wall with the rest of the captives.

     Captain Scarblade faced Captain Geronimo. He looked at him. "Idiots!" Scarblade roared. "Fools! I told you I was looking for a Zafara. Not him. Where is she?" he shook Geronimo roughly. "She has what I want!"

     They searched among the pirates, but the Zafara he was looking for was nowhere to be found. Scarblade looked even angrier. "FIND HER! NOW!" Almost all the pirates fled out of the cave in a rush to find the Zafara. Only a few remained behind, one of them the Bruce, Scarblade's first mate, who's name was Benny.

     "Benny, do something with these prisoners," Scarblade ordered his first mate. "Then come to the ship. Make sure you leave a guard behind." Then the captain too left.

     Benny, along with his henchmen, led the crew of Geronimo's ship into a storage room and locked them in there. They sat around glumly, with no escape.

     "I knew there was something fishy about her," the Korbat muttered, meaning the Zafara.

     Lindy frowned, remembering her first encounter with the grumpy Zafara on the ship. She pulled the top off one of the barrels, and sniffed its contents. She recognized the smell!

     "Hey, get away from there!" a tall Zafara yelled at them. "No sitting near the gun powder!" She shook a sword she held at them. "Explosion hazard four thirteen!"

     "Gun powder?" Lindy asked, and looked at the barrel she was leaning against.

     "Leave them be," a Korbat said to the Zafara. "I don't think any of them are planning on lighting a fire." He looked straight at them. "Right?"

     "Yeah," Lindy said at the same time that Gwayne said, "Totally," while the Ixi added "not in a million years."

     "Hanso, do you have a match?" Lindy asked.

     Hanso reached into his pocket. "Um, right here?" he said, and handed it to Lindy. She smiled, and rolled the barrel over to the door.

     "What are you doing?" Gwayne asked.

     The Cybunny didn't answer, but checked the other barrels in the storage room to make sure none of the others had anything that would explode. She was surprised to find there weren't any. She made a thin trail of oil she had found to behind a wall of barrels she had set up, and sat down behind it. "Guys, come on!" she called. The others joined her in the safe spot, and she struck the match to the ground, lighting it. Then she ignited the oil. It caught, and followed the trail to the barrel. The group huddled together behind the barrels.

     The sound of the explosion filled the air. A large rock fell next to them.

     "Oh no, you blow the roof of the cave too!" Hanso said. "The whole place is coming down!" They all ran through the open door, passed the surprised guard, and ran out into the open forest. Captain Geronimo took charge then, and led them through the trees into a cove.

     His ship was docked there, and the Revenge was nowhere to be seen.

     "Get on board!" he ordered, and they all did.

     "But there's a hole in the ship," Lindy protested.

     "I had it fixed a long time ago. My quarters are a little flooded. That's all."

     In a few minutes, they sailed away from the island, leaving it behind them. They sailed in the direction of Krawk Island, and everyone was stressful, as they were worried they might run into the Revenge again. But they didn't, and they reached Krawk Isle safely.

     Lindy had never felt so relieved, and she noticed that Gwayne and Hanso looked happy too.

     "Well," Gwayne said to Hanso. "We've reached our destination. I guess this is where we part."

     Hanso shrugged. "Nah. I'm just here to hang out. I might as well with my good buddies."

     Lindy brightened when he said that, but Gwayne looked slightly irritated. "That's great," he muttered. "So, what do you guys wanna do?"

     "Let's go see Warf Wharf," Lindy said. "Maybe we can get a bite to eat there. I'm starving."

     "Me too," Hanso agreed. They walked down the docks, and arrived at the small town. People bustled about, and Lindy couldn't help but stay slightly alert for Captain Scarblade and his crew. She was slightly nervous.

     "Don't worry, he won't be bothering anyone for a long time," said a familiar voice. Lindy whirled around. The Zafara sat in a wooden chair with an open book in her hand, a mischievous smile on her face. "Good job," she said. "And well done. Like I said, he won't be bothering anyone for a long time." With a final wink in their direction, she stood, and vanished into the crowd.

     "Who is she?" Gwayne wondered.

     "I guess we'll never know," Lindy replied. "Come on."

     They walked towards the Golden Dubloon restaurant.

     "Do you think we should tell anyone we found the Darkest Faerie?" Gwayne asked.

     "Nah," said Hanso and Lindy.

The End

I love getting comments on my stories, and since I can't think of anything else to write here... feel free to send feedback!

 
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