The Legacy of the Black Pawkeet: Part Ten
"DHannah and I both struggled tooth and nail as we were dragged to the Smugglers’ Cove by Scarblade’s men. Upon reaching it, the Lupe stopped and looked at his men.
“We’ll wait here for Avenger to catch up. She shouldn’t be too long.” He told them.
“Aye, provided she doesn’t spend too much time toying with her prey.” Benny said, and although I didn’t show it, I felt worried. Avenger was known for being the type of pirate who loved to make those that were weak suffer. And Rosa definitely qualified.
“Just what do you hope to gain this time, Scarblade?!” Hannah demanded, snapping me from my thoughts.
Scarblade grinned, “What else? I want Garin’s head on a platter. And you two are the perfect bait.”
“The only head that’s goin’ to be on a plate is yours when I get outta here!” I hissed angrily, struggling against my bonds again. The green Lupe just chuckled to himself before turning to the fire his crew had started, and Hannah and I were left sitting in the sand alone.
“I’m worried about Rosa.” Hannah said to me, “She’s no match for Avenger, and there’s no way she could’ve outrun her with that injury, even with the head start.”
I frowned as I heard her voice what I’d just been thinking and sighed, “Let’s just hope she managed to get to the Pawkeet before Avenger caught up…”
“Aye…” Hannah said quietly.
Right at that moment, Avenger herself stumbled out of the bushes with a nasty looking bruise on her forehead.
“There you are.” Scarblade said, turning to the Kyrii and noticing her bruise, “What happened to you?”
“G-Got ambushed…” Avenger replied while rubbing her head, “That little… brat deserter! AnnaMaria showed up!”
I grinned to myself. AnnaMaria was a Xweetok friend of ours. She had once been a member of Scarblade’s crew, but she’d deserted a while back to start her own crew. The truth was that she hated Scarblade, and had only joined his crew in order to survive and learn the ways of the sea.
Scarblade narrowed his one eye at Avenger, “And the girl?” He asked.
“Gone.” Avenger grumbled with a wince, clearly aware of her failure, and my grin widened. Ann must’ve protected Rosa from her.
“You let her escape?!” Scarblade roared angrily, and Avenger flinched.
“Ann threw me into a wall, I was out cold!” The Kyrii exclaimed.
“You let her get the better of you!” Scarblade growled before turning back to the others, “Back to the Revenge! By now, they’re likely on our trail!”
I smirked, amused by his reaction, “Bee on your bonnet now, Scarblade?” I asked cheekily.
“Watch your tongue!” He growled in response, but I just continued to smirk.
“Captain, there’s a ship coming around the coast!” Scout the Korbat called from up in the air.
“Colors?” Scarblade demanded.
“It’s the Black Pawkeet…” Scout answered before adding, “And I see the Pink Pearl coming from the other side!”
As a response, Scarblade growled and muttered a curse under his breath, and Hannah smiled, “Still think that it’ll be Garin’s head on a platter?” She asked.
Scarblade turned his head toward Hannah with a warning glare, “You mind your tongue!” He growled.
“Is that anyway to speak to a lady, Scarblade?” I heard Garin ask, and I turned to see him coming out of the jungle with some of the crew following him.
Scarblade’s glare turned to a dastardly smile and he drew his cutlass as he turned to face Garin, “Captain Garin, how good of you to drop by…” He said with mock politeness.
“I’ve never been one to abandon my friends.” Garin said as he drew his dagger.
“And that is exactly why you’re so predictable!” Scarblade replied. Predictable? Scarblade ought to spend some time sailing under Garin. He’d find out just how unpredictable Garin can be.
Garin made no reply to Scarblade’s remark, but he focused on the Lupe intently as they began to circle each other.
“Tryin’ to cut off my escape using two ships…” Scarblade began, “Pretty clever, I must admit, boy!”
“Well it is a lucky thing that Ann’s crew was in port as well.” Garin replied calmly.
“Indeed, very lucky for you. But your luck has just run out!” He roared as he swung at Garin, but the Usul swiftly dodged. As Garin regained his footing, Scarblade turned to his crew. “If I lose, kill the girls!” He told them.
“I won’t allow that!” Garin replied, “Help Hannah and Sea Cat, men!” He ordered before charging at Scarblade.
The members of our crew who were with Garin rushed forward to help us, but they were quickly engaged by the members of Scarblade’s crew. Fortunately, reinforcements came in the form of Jacques and the rest of our crew and the members of Ann’s crew coming ashore.
“I’ll free Hannah and Sea Cat!” Ann said as she jumped out a longboat, “Jacques, you cover me!”
“Right!” The red Kyrii answered, following behind Ann and preventing anyone from getting close to her as she ran over to Hannah and I. Our Xweetok friend quickly took out a knife and used it to cut through our bonds. She was then joined by her first mate, Marina, and Sasha, the Pearl’s quartermaster, who returned my weapons to me and handed Hannah a spare cutlass to fight with.
Meanwhile, Garin was still engaged with Scarblade, who blocked his attack and then shoved him down. “Ye can’t hope to beat me, lad!” Scarblade declared.
“Really? Cause I’ve done it before!” Garin replied boldly as he got back to his feet, only to be met with a punch from Scarblade. He grunted and stumbled back, but managed to stay standing.
Scarblade laughed and attempted to stab Garin, but Garin dodged and managed to slash Scarblade’s arm in a counterattack. The Lupe let out a yowl of pain and grabbed the wound.
“Give it up, Cyclops!” Garin told him, “Your hostages are free and your men are losing.”
“NEVER!!!” Scarblade roared angrily.
Garin grinned, all too glad to let Scarblade know he was beaten, and charged forward, though Scarblade managed to block the attack.
Garin spun around and Scarblade kicked him down, “Retreat!” He yelled to his crew, and they all quickly climbed into their skiffs and longboats and headed out to sea.
Garin “humphed” as he sat back up and watch Scarblade and his crew run like cowards.
“You all right?” Jacques asked as he walked up to the captain and helped him to his feet.
“Aye.” Garin said with a nod before walking over to Hannah and I. “You two okay?” He asked.
“Yes, we’re fine.” Hannah replied.
“Aye, though I would’ve love to have given that blighter a piece of my fist before he got away!” I added, slamming my fist into my palm for emphasis.
Garin chuckled before turning to address the crowd, “Let’s get back to our ships and return to port everyone!”
“Sounds good to me!” Hannah replied, “How’s Rosa? She’s okay right?” She asked suddenly.
“Aye. She’s aboard the Pearl.” Garin said with a nod, “Ann had Marina tend to her.”
“Good.” Hannah said with a sigh of relief.
“Well, now that Scarblade’s gone, why don’t we all head to the Golden Doubloon?” Alicia, a blue Wocky from Ann’s crew suggested.
“Sounds good to me!” Garin said with a smile, and with that, we all piled into the boats in order to return to our respective ships and then to port.
We arrived a the Golden Doubloon soon enough and a few of the guys pushed a handful of tables together so we could all sit and talk as a group.
“I’m glad you guys are okay.” Rosa said to Hannah and I when we had sat down.
“We’re glad you are too! We were worried when Avenger took off after you!” I admitted to her.
“Aye, I’d have been a goner if Captain Ann hadn’t shown up.” Rosa replied while reaching back and gently rubbing her horns.
“Hey, it’s what I do.” Ann said with a smile.
“By the way, I have something of a request.” Rosa said, with that same shy expression she’d had when she asked me to retrieve her jewelry.
“Aye?” Ann replied with a curious look.
“I’d like to join your crew…” Rosa explained shyly, “You need a cook, right? I’m good at that, as well as any other housework that might need to be done.”
Ann took a few moments to ponder the request. I thought it was good fit. Ann’s crew was entirely female, and all of them were girls who’d been disadvantaged one way or another and had no place else to go. Rosa would fit in perfectly.
“I think it's a great idea!” Sasha said, apparently agreeing with what I’d just been thinking.
“Me too.” Marina agreed, “How about it, Ann?”
“…Sure, why not?” Ann agreed with a smile.
Rosa smiled brightly in response, “Thank you very much!”
“No problem.” Ann said with a kind smile.
The day after our encounter with Scarblade, I stood at the doorway of Hannah’s cottage with her and Armin, my few belongings packed away in the rucksack, which I had over my shoulder. I was wearing a pink dress with straps that hung off my shoulders, and a blue corset with straps that went over them. I also had the purple sash around my waist and a blue kerchief in my hair, to keep it back when I cooked. On my feet, I wore a pair of purple flats.
“Well, I guess this is goodbye.” I said them. I was going to miss them, and I would forever be grateful to Hannah for giving me a place to stay, but I was also determined to learn to stand on my own two feet and make my own way in this world.
“I guess so…” Hannah replied, “Take care of yourself. And be sure to listen to everything Ann and the others teach you.”
I tried not to laugh when she said this. She sounded as if she was my mother, even though she was only a few years older than me. Instead, I said, “Aye, I will. I hope we meet again someday.”
“So do I.” Armin replied.
“You can keep the frying pan, by the way.” Hannah said, holding the familiar skillet out to me.
I giggled and accepted it, “Thanks.”
“Hey! You use it better than I do!” Hannah replied, and I laughed. She was a perfectly good cook, but I knew what she meant. “Oh, before I forget…” Hannah said while reaching into her pouch. She pulled out a set of locking-picking tools and handed them to me.
“For me? Thank you!” I said with a smile.
“Hey, you never know when you might need them.” Hannah said with a wink, and I laughed again before reaching forward and tussling Armin’s hair.
“Take care, Armin.” I told the little Bori.
“You too! And come back to visit soon!” He told me.
“Aye! I’ll stop by the next time we’re in port!” I said, waving as I walked down the beach. Very soon, I reached the Pink Pearl, my new home.
“All set then?” Captain Ann asked me as I walked up to her.
“Aye!” I said with a nod. I was glad. Glad to leave my past behind me and begin anew.
“All right.” Captain Ann said, “Now, Sasha will take you below and get your bunk set up. Then, I want you to get dinner going. It’ll be getting dark by the time we get out to open sea, so the girls will be hungry by then.”
I nodded, “All right.” I walked aboard the Pearl and over to Sasha.
“Just follow me.” The Tyrannian Kougra told me as she headed below, and I followed her down into the crew’s quarters.
Sasha led me over to an empty bunk that was next to the door to the galley, which was where I would spend most of my time.
“Thanks.” I said as I set my rucksack and frying pan down on the bed.
“If you need a trunk to put your things in, we may have some empty ones in storage.” Sasha told me, and I nodded.
“Okay. I’ll find one after dinner.”
“All right then.” Sasha said, before heading back above. I looked around at the crew’s quarters before heading into the galley. I had a feeling I would like it here and I felt I had a new identity.
I was the legacy of the Black Pawkeet; marooned by her first captain and rescued by her second. I was no longer the pampered daughter of a pearl merchant.
I was a pirate.