The Adventures of Trina: The Two Islands - Part Three
The four friends stood in front of the storage room and shared dismayed glances. From the surface of the ship, they could see the interior was covered in blankets of dirt. They opened the door and began to look around, unpleased. Scattered on the floor were some dusty black cloaks—the same ones that all of the pirates wear—and some wooden crates covered with holes that were beside the door.
The captain rushed through the rules like he had said them thousands of times over, memorizing every pause, every sound. "The first rule is that you must follow all of them. Rule number two: making contact with others beyond our crewmembers is strictly forbidden unless permitted. Rule number three: we, unlike lower pirates, do not use this so called 'pirate talk' under any circumstances. Rule number four: never question my authority. And lastly, rule number five is that one may never betray the pirates of Arugahi Island. Severe consequences will follow for those who do and those who assist them."
Trina shuddered. She was going to have to break one of the rules sooner or later in order to explore the island with her friends. But which one exactly? As she searched deeper into her mind, she realized she might have to break all of them. And, the more frightening part: her friends would have to break them, too.
"I am known as Captain Mevolin," the captain continued, "but as I said you earlier you will only address me as Captain—none of you are worthy enough to say my name. Every night you will sleep here until you have proven yourselves as one of us. By the end of this expedition, you shall become rather familiar with the crew—that is for sure. All of you must be ready for training as soon as dawn arrives. Now get out of my sight."
How peculiar, Trina thought. A few hours ago they were told the rules, and now they were asked to train with them? Why train so soon?
Cassie was lying on the floor. A thin layer of dust covered her fur when she turned to find a comfortable position.
"Well, this is cool," she mumbled wryly after a loud sneeze. As Trina rested on the flat, wooden ground, she flashbacked to the first time she had encountered the pirates. Were the pirates really evil, or were they just misunderstood? Without any more delay, she closed her eyes and fell into her dreamland.
* * * * *
"Is it time to get up yet?" Pat yawned.
"I think so," said Trina. She rapidly blinked her eyes and brushed a patch of dust off of her cloak before remembering something. "Hey, did you have any of those dreams last night?"
"I didn't. You know, I think that potion was made so I can only get them sometimes." The Shoyru's eyes widened.
"Wake up Linny and Cassie for me, please," Trina said, leaving the stifling room. "I'm going to check things out."
Trina scrutinized her surroundings as her bare feet ambled about the ship's rough surface. The ship only had a small amount of free space; the rest was covered with barrels and crates filled with who-knows-what. The sun had just begun to reveal its light over the horizon, leaving a reflection of glowing pink floating on the lustrous waves. There were few clouds spread out in the sky that also carried the pink light.
Facing the ship's rear, she spotted a small room with a pair of closed doors. One of the doors opened and a hooded pirate trod out. It was that short Yurble pirate from the previous night. His face was rigid, as if something had gotten on his nerves, and looked like he was ready to burst into rage.
Before Trina could back away, the Yurble stomped up to her, snarling angrily. "Let's get the training over with, shall we? The name's Mevin! And you are...?"
"Then from now on, we pirates will call you Trin. Move over there, Trin!" Mevin pointed at an empty area directly across from him, still scowling.
Noiselessly, she followed his command. She pulled her hood back, allowing it to flutter gently in the breeze.
The pirate opened the closest barrel and tossed a wrapped object at Trina. It was in the shape of a pirate's sword. She was going to have her own real sword! It was much lighter than she had imagined. When she removed the paper wrapping, she found that the sword was nothing more than a cheap, plastic toy—something that toy shops would sell. She looked up at her new mentor with displeasure.
"It's what every beginner gets," the Yurble chuckled dryly. "If you do well after some time, then you may get leveled up to the clay sword!"
"Then let's begin!" Trina said impatiently.
"Okay then," Mevin snickered mischievously. "Show me what you got, that is, if you got any moves."
"I've got moves," Trina smiled, awaiting her challenger's response.
"I'll be the judge of that," he sneered. He moved his hand to where a metal sheath hung from his belt. "Let's see how well you fare against a mastermind before you speak of skills. I'd be worried about your survival, if I were you. "
"Bring it!" Trina challenged, waving her plastic sword. This was her chance!
Without hesitation, her opponent bolted towards her, grinning madly.
Trina's mentor lunged forward with his dagger. Just in time, the camouflaged Wocky managed to leap out of his path and dive to the floor, causing Mevin to almost collide into a barrel. Trina smirked as she reeled upright.
As Mevin trembled off of the floor, Trina tightened her grip on her plastic sword. Then, the pirate ran at lightning speed, halting in front of her in mere seconds. He wasted no time taking a swing, but the toy sword opposed it. A deep scratch was left across the cheap plastic. The immense force made her lurch backward. Luckily, she maintained her footing and kept her focus on the pirate.
Trina continued to defend herself from a few more of the pirate's blows, preparing her next move in her head. She then rushed behind the pirate and swung her harmless toy at him.
Unfortunately, the pirate was too prepared. He spun around and started doing the same. He fought with such energy it made her realize that the little pirate was no easy challenge. She jumped out of the way and deflected Mevin's blows once more. Then she scampered to another side.
"You may be agile, but it's not enough to win this battle!" barked Mevin as he charged forward.
Perhaps she could use the surroundings to her advantage. She took a sudden double-take at the pair of doors in front of her, focusing on a few stacks of barrels alongside. What could be in these barrels, I wonder? Swiftly, she sprang into the air and tumbled the top barrel with a fierce kick. A torrent of liquid splashed on the deck, and took Mevin by surprise, sending him flying backward into the puddle.
"Grrrrrrr!" he bawled, wiping his hands across his face. "Lemonade! How daaaarreee you! Get... get out of my sight! Just tell the other recruits to get here!"
The pirate wrestled to remove soaking cloak and then dashed from the scene, slipping and sliding as he scrambled over to the Captain's cabin.
Trina shimmered with pride on her walk to the storage room. She had defeated a pirate on her very first battle! How many could actually do that? When she reached the shack known to her as her new home, tired looks were still evident on her friends' faces.
"Time to go training, you're late!" Trina panted with a wide smile.
"Let's go then!" Linny said and stood up unhurriedly, her green hair completely messy. "See you later, Trina," Cassie said, following Linny.
As soon as Linny and Cassie were out of close sight, Pat, who was still weary, walked up to Trina. She gave her direct eye contract when she spoke. "Do not trust the pirates, Trina."
Bewildered by Pat's words, she turned to ask her what it meant, but she was already gone. Suddenly, an aroma of warm baking bread made its way to her nose. A smile appeared as her tongue desired a proper greeting with scrumptious fresh biscuits.
"I better get some breakfast," she mumbled to herself before entering the ship's cabin, where she could see some pirates gorging themselves to food through a trio of windows. Inside, a long table was in the center of the room, covered in breads and glasses of water.
"We're low on food supplies," a Kyrii told her when she reached for a slice of bread, "so you'll have to live on bread and water 'til we return to the island."
After she relished her share of three slices of bread and two glasses of water, she made her way to a jumbled line of barrels where six pirates were actively talking among themselves.
"New recruits eat off the floor!" snapped a tall, pirate Krawk with his mouth full of food.
"Leave her alone!" a Mynci shouted over the bustling noise of the other pirates. He was quite thin, looked close to her age—unlike the other pirates. An encased scimitar hung just above his waist, visible through the flap of his cloak.
"Make her eat off the floor, and I'll make you eat out of the garbage. The captain told me to stop you from mistreating the newbies. Not like last time."
"Fine, I don't care anyway," the Krawk grumbled and leapt off of the barrel he was sitting on.
"You never care, Astin," the Mynci added.
"Whatever," he replied, and he left the kitchen cabin with an annoyed face.
Once Astin was out of sight, Trina took the barrel next to the Mynci. "Thanks for that."
"It's nothing," the Mynci said. "I do these things all the time. Astin is so annoying. I'll never get tired of annoying him in return. So, you're one of the landlubbers, huh? The name's Evrilin. Evrilin Shinski."
"Er... isn't that a girl's name? It doesn't sound very pirate-y."
"No, it has a longer 'r' sound. But wow—you must have some knack for picking fights to ridicule a weapon specialist."
"Believe me, that's not like me at all," Trina said while shaking her head. "The name's Trinandra. Or Trina, for short."
The Mynci laughed hysterically, and placed his palm to his face to stop himself. "And you thought my name was ridiculous. Welcome aboard, Trin."
If this pirate really was a weapons specialist, maybe she shouldn't get on his bad side. But she couldn't picture this Mynci, a mere inch or so taller than her, crossing swords and besting his enemies with superior brains and a warrior's drive.
"A weapons specialist, huh?" Trina said, glancing down at the Mynci's weapon. From here, she could see the sword up close. Tiny green jewels and engravings were embedded into the gold hilt. "You like swords, then? Do you know a lot about them?"
"You could say I'm pretty sharp about 'em. That's why they call me the one who can wield a thousand weapons."
Trina laughed. "Cool."
"It is cool." He leaned forward. "If you wanna be technical I guess I'm the ship's gunner, except our cannons haven't been too functional in years. No reason to use them... since the powder's not too easy to get where we are, and we have the captain on our side. We have better defenses to use against other ships."
Now Trina was really curious what those "better defenses" were, but she concluded it would be prying to ask, being a crewmate for barely a day.
"So why'd you wanna join the Dark Depths, anyway? What you saw in this old piece of junk is beyond me..."
"The Dark Depths?"
"It's our ship!"
"Oh..." She could feel her cheeks glow red with embarrassment. "Truth is, I wanted to try out this pirate thing. The way they risk their lives in pursuit for treasure and a great adventure is intriguing. In fact, I love adventuring! Someday, I want to be an archeologist. Nothing's better than digging up secrets and researching things all day long. Weird, isn't it?"
"No, I agree, actually. I once wanted to be a—well, that's all history. Sorry, I just remembered I have to finish a chore. Captain's orders—see you around!" Evrilin said merrily before hopping off of the barrel.
* * * * *
The sun was beating down on Trina's face as she leaned against the ship's railing. She was waiting for her friends to come talk to her so they could discuss their plans further, until she heard a familiar voice.
"Hey," Evrilin greeted. "I was looking for you."
"You were?" Trina asked, wide-eyed. "Why?"
"Yeah, just wanted to ask you," he paused, "how'd you like our ship?"
"Well, I can't believe I'm saying this about a pirate ship, but it's pretty awesome—right now at least. That storage room I could do without, though. I think I'd rather sleep in a cardboard box."
"Indeed. I remember when I was first sent there. About four years ago, I think." "What happened?" Trina questioned, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh, not much. I was just sent there for a week and assigned the most challenging jobs you've never heard of."
"Cleaning the ceiling."
Trina frowned. If it took someone as built as Evrilin a week to prove him worthy to the captain, then without a doubt it would take her even longer.
"Oh, don't worry," he said cheerfully with his pair of crimson eyes fixed on her face. "I'm sure he won't be too hard on you once you've been stuck in there for a month!"
Trina didn't reply, as she heard something explode from inside the kitchen cabin, causing her shoulders to jolt.
"Well, I hope you like eating soggy bread soup, since it looks like that what we're getting for lunch!" Evrilin chuckled, then headed off toward the cabin, only stopping once to briefly wave goodbye.
* * * * *
The next morning wasn't much different than the first. Trina was the second to awaken since Pat was lying with her eyes barely open on a pile of blankets. A beam of sunlight made it through a small window over the door which brought warmth to Trina's dirty face. She closed her eyes, hoping to get more sleep, only to be fully awoken seconds later when something had crashed into the door.
The pirate then burst in the storage room. In less than an instant, Trina recognized that it was the Tonu pirate that had burned the library. She quivered as he stood in the doorway.
"Captain demands your presence, Trin!" he said quickly before dashing off.
Facing the door, her mind suddenly wandered in a memory, but it seemed blurry to her. She remembered that Pat had told her something of great importance—that much she was sure about—but what had she said exactly? Instead of waking Pat and asking what it was, she ignored her curiosity and dashed away from the room.
After minutes of searching, she had found the captain's office, which was small and messy. Maps and pale parchments covered the dirty, mud-stained carpet as well as the walls. Quills and empty bottles of ink were gathered in the corners, alongside piles of sharp, glass shards. On top of what she thought was a desk was a stack of books. The books at the bottom had pages falling out, some torn severely. Trina quickly turned her head from the devastating sight and looked around for any sight of her captain.
The pirate captain then stormed inside, as if there was something troubling him. He stood in front of Trina, leaving her in his long shadow.
"There you are," the captain shouted at her. "I need you to do something, now!"
Never had she seen the captain from up close. His glare was full of menacing anger, drowned by a sea of emerald shards, cutting into his onlooker. Part of her wished she could flee, escape just to be free from his hypnotic stare, but she remained standing in a stiff manner. Along his ear, tiny brown scars could be mistaken for stitches lazily sewn at the seams. A golden ring hung at the center, and it struck her as peculiar, for there were specks of rust eating at its glossy surface.
"What is it?" she asked, trying to sound concerned to mask the fear in her voice.
"Go clean the cargo hold. I've been getting word of your lack of performance from a few of my crew members. Get cleaning junk and go! That'll keep you busy for a few hours. Don't think I'll go easy on you—"
"Actually," interrupted Mevin, who had just entered the room, "I think swabbing the deck would be much more suitable of a task for our little Trin here. It's much more challenging. The deck hasn't had a good scrub in a while."
Mevolin murmured something under his breath before releasing a long sigh. "Fine, but only after the cargo hold is spotless. I have far too many things to do for you to be wasting my time."
Trina glared at Mevin for giving her more work.
"You'll find the cleaning supplies downstairs," said Mevin. "Here, why don't I show you where they are..."
* * * * *
The sun surprised her eyes when she left the cabin. She felt the wind between her sweaty fingers. It was much colder than when she had left the storage room many hours ago. Suddenly, her fur prickled; something didn't seem right.
Clouds of a deep grey were in bunches over the horizon and seemed to have no end. The darkest bundles of clouds happened to be looming right in the ship's path. Unfortunately, the sky over the left side of the ship was no different. There was no doubt about it; the ship would have sail through the dangerous storm.
Trina rushed inside the kitchen cabin to inform her friends. Just as she was, they were helping themselves atop of the line of barrels.
"We saw the storm too. All of us are worried, even the captain," said Linny, almost dropping the deformed slice of bread in her hand.
The door opened and the pirate Tonu stepped in. "Ah, we'll breeze right through it, no problem! We've gone through hundreds of storms before, and look, the ship's just fine."
"Don't be so foolish, Jonu," the captain remarked, and then pointed at the clouds from a window beside of him. "I'm calling a meeting right now! Get everyone inside!"
The Tonu nodded intently and scurried off to gather the other crewmates. Once a crowd buzzed around them, the captain rose like a general addressing his army.
"Since we are deprived of time," the Draik said, "I will make this short and simple: we are heading into a dangerous storm. We cannot turn back from where we are now. Never have I seen a storm such as powerful as this one, so if you fail to listen you may find yourself in the ocean. If I don't order you to stay on deck, remain in the cabin until further notice. Now prepare yourselves!"
Suddenly, Pat grabbed Trina's arm and dragged her into a vacant corner, whispering raucously. "I'm going to get right to the point. Remember to never trust the pirates, Trina."
"Why not, Pat?"
"It was in my dream, but it wasn't clear to me. I don't know who or why but I do know what. Pirates, Trina, PIRATES! Do NOT trust them!" Pat snarled. "Something was telling me that we're going to be betrayed very soon. That 'soon' is now!"
"If it wasn't clear to you then how do you know it was the pirates?" Trina questioned.
"I saw them with my own eyes!"
"Your eyes? And you can't be too sure; there's no evidence that says it wasn't an ordinary dream!"
"I know what I saw! Quit questioning me! Stop tryin' to be the smart one!"
What in Neopia had gotten into that Shoyru? In the many years she had known her, she never saw that side of the Shoyru before, and it was completely out of the blue. Pat had shouted so loudly that despite the panicking, many faces turned in her direction for the moment. What was going on?
"You just don't get it, do you?" Pat barked, causing Trina to jolt. "We don't belong here! If we stay here any longer, we'll get hurt!"
"No! We can't! We've already gotten this far! You don't know what you're saying! It may not be true! This isn't like you—"
"Shut up! Don't tell me I'm wrong! I know what I saw!"
"I don't believe you!"
"Then I can't believe in your pathetic plan, either!" Pat yelled lividly, her face was now burning red with rage.
"When it fails, it'll be all your fault!"
"FINE," Pat finished, and then stomped away.
"What just happened?" Trina sobbed. "What have I..."
Pat just didn't understand. She had not talked to them like she had. The pirates may be strange... maybe even secretive at times... and crazy... but betrayal? The code forbids it! And she had agreed to their code... she can't leave... she wouldn't.
Was this really Pat?
* * * * *
About one hour had passed since Trina had first received word of the coming storm. There was not much time left until they would reach the first rain cloud. The sun that once loomed happily overhead was now shrouded by shades of grey, and the sea's waves darkened with the minutes that slipped through their fingers.
"Captain, we'll hit the first raindrops in about a quarter hour!" Astin informed the captain, who was looking at the messy horizon of waves through a telescope.
"Then we must move faster!"
The captain clamored many commands to the crew members, laced with foreign ship lingo and technical jargon. Defying the Captain's orders, she stood on the deck. Really, how often does anyone get to go through a storm at sea?
The wind had picked up so much speed; her hood was being blown around her head every second. Lone drops of ice cold water jabbed her arms.
"My bad, Captain!" Astin called from somewhere unseen. "The rain's already here!"
The rain was indeed falling. Rogue drops of rain took refuge in Trina's cloak as she rushed to get inside, and the deck had become slippery in no time at all, forcing her to take slower steps.
"Trina," Cassie greeted, but she did not say her name with her usual, joyful tone.
"How long do you t-think the storm w-will last?" Linny stuttered while she twiddled with her thumbs in her lap.
"How would I know?" Trina cried, and then sat beside Linny in the kitchen cabin.
"She went down to the cargo hold. She told me she wanted to be left alone. Whatever's going on between you two, you could tell me, you know."
Trina shook her head. "There's no time..."
As if on a cue, a loud crack was heard from above. The storm had just begun, and so did a long, terrifying evening.
* * * * *
Trina rushed out on deck with her friends tailing her.
"What was that?" Cassie asked the Draik.
"The wind!" the captain retorted over the pouring rain and whistling wind. "It's damaging the lookout!"
Where the lookout tower once was, there was now just a severed log. The pole snapped in half and the tower was nowhere to be seen.
"Time to go back inside..." Trina grunted.
Back in the cabin, Trina ran to the room with the staircase and threw herself on the stairs, panting and soaked, her cloak stuck to her fur. Her friends followed as well, no more or less drenched. To make matters worse, the ship was rocking back-and-forth. Somehow, over the sound of wooden boards creaking from the walls, Trina heard a fast set of footsteps approaching. Then the door burst open.
The petite Yurble peeked through a crevice in the door. "Captain demands everyone on deck! Hurry now!"
"Let's go," Cassie said, squeezing some water out from the bottom of her cloak.
"What about Pat?" Linny asked.
Cassie sprinted through the doorway and paused halfway up the staircase, panting.
"You go get her, Linny! If the captain wants all hands on deck, it must be important!"
Linny nodded and did what she was told, while Trina followed Cassie out to the deck.
The deck was almost unrecognizable. Wooden poles were shattered and debris covered most of the floorboards, apart from nearly a foot of murky water. Almost all of the crewmates were trying to repair parts of the ship that were about to collapse; the rest of the crew was rushing around, bringing supplies to help repair. Huge ocean waves found their way on deck constantly, washing the wooden remains in every direction. In the corner of her eye, Trina saw a fierce bolt of lightning in the distance; it was followed by roaring thunder just a few seconds later. The falling rain accelerated, challenging Trina's ability to see anything beyond inches of her nose.
Suddenly, Trina whizzed around to finally see Linny and Pat running from the cabin to the captain, screaming. "Leak in the cargo! Leak in the cargo!"
"Someone better fix that leak!" Mevin shouted to his crew and happened to spot Trina.
"You, go keep watch to see if anything, or anyone, falls overboard! And call Captain over to you when you see him! Inform him of our current situation!"
Trina nodded briskly while watching three crewmates—the Tonu, Kyrii, and Astin, the Krawk—rush inside the cabin with long, wooden planks from the storage room along with some identifiable metal tools.
The booming thunder was now heard more frequently, and the ship made drastic sways more often. On top of that, it was becoming even harder to hear anything over the thunder, except the roaring waves. While Trina looked in the chaotic distance, she was blinded by a flash of lighting that lasted no more than a blink of an eye. Followed closely was the loudest roar of thunder she had ever heard in her entire life. All this was terrifying, but nevertheless exciting. You would never find anything like this in Neopia Central. Not even close.
Suddenly, the ship jerked to the left, throwing Trina off balance as if she was skidding across ice. The ship shook again, and this time the left side had ascended so high that she was forced over the railing. She fell many feet before plunging into the endless dark oblivion.
"Landlubber overboard!" she heard Mevin call the very moment she reached the water.
She gasped for a breath, but it only made her feel much worse; loads of salt water rushed into her mouth with every attempt. The thunder was stifled by the water and she could see only the shadow of the ship. Everything around her was close to a shade of black. She wanted to swim upward, but the waves were relentless and fierce. One of them managed to pull her up for air, but as soon as it came, she sank again. The hammering beat of her heart was all she could hear as she descended deeper and deeper into the abyss...
To be continued...