The Legacy of the Black Pawkeet: Part Nine
I ran as fast I could toward the docks and the Black Pawkeet, but my injury was slowing me down. To make matters worse, I could hear someone running after me. I didn’t dare to look behind me. I didn't have to, to know they were catching up.
“Get back here, ye brat!” A woman’s voice growled before I suddenly felt someone grab me by my horns. I cried out in pain and tried to hit my assailant with the frying pan that I was still carrying, but it was knocked from my grip with a skilled swing of a sword. I found myself facing a yellow female Kyrii, whom I knew from Captain Garin and Jacques’ story to be Avenger, a member of Scarblade’s crew. She was pulling on my horns the same way she might’ve my hair, making it painful to struggle. All I could do was whimper in fear.
“Gotcha now, ya little brat!” She said before grinning cruelly at me, “Now… shall I clip a bit off yer ears first? Or maybe lop off a paw?” She pondered.
I whimpered in terror and felt my eyes fill with tears, “P-Please…” I whimpered pitifully.
“Please what? You’re going to have to speak up!” Avenger hissed as she dragged me into an alley and threw me against a wall.
I cried out as I collided with the unforgiving brick, sinking to my knees and beginning to sob, not from pain, but from sheer terror. “Please don’t hurt me!” I begged, knowing that I was completely at her mercy, and mercy was something she seemed to lack.
“Don’t worry.” She said cruelly, “You won’t feel anything by the time I’m done with you!” I closed by eyes in dread as I saw her swing her sword toward me.
I opened my eyes at the sound of metal striking metal to see a peculiar sword blocking Avenger’s.
“Huh?” I asked in confusion. Looking up, I saw that the sword was wielded by a red Xweetok girl who looked a few years older than me. Her long red hair was pulled into a ponytail, and she wore a short, black-and-white striped top with straps that hung off her shoulders and a matching skirt that was equally short. Around her neck was a black, silk choker with a silver skull and crossbones charm, indicating that she was a pirate as well.
“Wh-who are you?” I asked in surprise.
“Explanations later.” The girl told me as she shoved Avenger back, and I couldn’t help but notice she had a Latino accent. “For now, take cover.” At that point, Avenger and the girl began to circle each other, and I did as she said by hiding behind a nearby pile of crates, though I carefully peeked out from behind them to watch.
The Xweetok girl said something to Avenger in Spanish, which I couldn’t understand, but it sounded like an insult.
Avenger apparently did understand though, since the next thing she said was, “You’re one to talk, deserter!”
Deserter? Had this girl once been a member of Scarblade’s crew?
“Don’t be jealous…” The girl replied, “Just because I have better looks AND brains.” She added while flipping her hair in a sassy, almost flirtatious, manner.
“You wish that was true!” Avenger shrieked angrily as she charged at the Xweetok. The girl was clearly very skilled though, since she easily blocked Avenger’s swings and then tripped her. Avenger stumbled, but regained her footing, then spun around to attack the girl again. This time, however, the Xweetok dodged the attack before grabbing Avenger’s arm and throwing her headfirst into a nearby wall. With that, Avenger grunted in pain and crumpled to the floor.
The Xweetok girl let out a “hmph” and sheathed her katana while muttering another insult in Spanish before turning to me as I slowly came out from behind the crates, wincing slightly from the pain in my back.
“Thank you…” I told her.
“You hurt?” She asked, apparently noticing my wince.
“A… A little…” I replied, “She just aggravated a wound that I already had.” I told her. The running hadn’t helped either.
“Lemme see?” She asked, although it was almost more of a command.
I nodded slowly and sat down on one of the crates I’d been hiding behind, allowing the girl to walk behind me and examine the wounds on my back. I could feel that the bandages were damp, so I guessed that I was bleeding again. I winced as she gingerly touched the wound and bit my lip to hold in a cry.
“This is pretty bad…” The Xweetok said, “Who lashed you?”
“A pirate known as Bloodhook…” I told her.
“I’ve heard of him…” She replied, “So what’d you do to tick him off?”
“I survived when I shouldn’t have…” I muttered. It wasn’t that I actually believed that, but it summed up why Bloodhook had attacked me pretty well.
“…I see.” She said slowly before deciding to introduce herself, “Name’s AnnaMaria by the way. Yours?”
“R-Rosa…” I replied as I retied my corset, “I’m sorry, but I can’t stay here any longer. I must get back to the Black Pawkeet!”
AnnaMaria raised an eyebrow, “The Black Pawkeet?” She repeated, “And just what business might you have with Captain Garin and his crew?”
Under ordinary circumstances, I probably wouldn’t have told her, but considering she did just save my life, I decided to answer, “Sea Cat, Hannah, and I were attacked by Scarblade’s crew in the jungle. That’s why she…” At this I pointed to the unconscious Avenger, “Was chasing me. I don’t doubt Hannah and Sea Cat’s skills, but they were totally outnumbered!”
AnnaMaria’s eyes narrowed the moment I said Scarblade’s name and she quickly helped me to my feet. “Come, I will take you to the Pawkeet!” She told me.
I nodded, “Thank you.”
I picked up the frying pan on the way out of the alley and followed AnnaMaria as she led me to the docks. As soon as I saw the Black Pawkeet, I hurried up the gangplank.
“Captain Garin! Captain, are you here?” I called urgently.
Fortunately, Captain Garin was up by the wheel, examining a map, and his ears twitched when he heard me, “Rosa, that you?” He asked without looking up.
“Yes! Hannah and Sea Cat are in trouble!” I replied.
At this, Captain Garin’s head instantly snapped up and he set the map aside before running down the stairs to me. “Where? What happened?” He asked with the same urgency with which I had spoken.
“I-In the jungle…” I explained, “Scarblade and his crew came upon us… I ran back to find help.”
“Can you show us where?” he asked me.
“Garin, don’t be stupid!” AnnaMaria said from beside me, “She can’t with that wound on her back! And with Sea Cat gone, there’s no one aboard to treat it…” I hadn’t even realized until now that she’d followed me aboard. From the way she spoke to Captain Garin and her knowledge of his crew, I guessed she must’ve been a friend.
“Darn, you’re right…” Captain Garin replied, before looking at AnnaMaria with a look in his eyes that told me he had an idea, “Take her to the Pearl and have your surgeon treat her! My crew and I will go after Scarblade!”
“But you don’t know where they are…” I said hesitantly.
“Can you read a map?” Captain Garin asked me, and I nodded.
“Then you can draw the route for us.” He said as he went into his cabin. He returned moments later with a map of Krawk Island, spreading it out on a barrel for me to see.
“I can’t say for certain,” I began as I studied the map, “But based on the route I took when I was with Hannah and Sea Cat and the route I took back, I would say we were somewhere around here.” I explained as I drew a circle on a small portion of the jungle with the pen Captain Garin had handed me. Fortunately, having grown up on an uncharted island, I had an excellent sense of direction. I looked up at him, AnnaMaria, and Jacques, who had joined us. “The Revenge obviously is not here in port, so might it be hiding at the Smugglers’ Cove?” I asked.
“It’s possible…” Captain Garin said thoughtfully, “It’s more likely he’s got a few skiffs and longboats stashed there, and his ship is anchored out in deeper waters. That way, he can make an easy break for Scurvy Island!”
“We’d better get going then, before he gets that chance!” Jacques said.
“Aye!” Captain Garin said with a nod, “Here’s what we’ll do; Ann, take Rosa back to the Pearl and get her patched up, and order your crew to head around the coast to Smugglers’ Cove! Jacques, you’ll do the same. Stay here with the Pawkeet and have her sail around the other side of the coast to cut him off! We’ll box ‘im in! Meanwhile, I’ll take a few of the men and follow him on land!”
“Aye, aye!” Jacques said with a salute.
With that decided, Ann helped me to her ship as the crew of the Black Pawkeet split up. Ann’s ship, the Pink Pearl, was unlike anything I’d ever seen. It was elaborately decorative, yet looked powerful, and I could tell by her size that she was fast, just like the Pawkeet.
Ann helped me aboard and took me into her cabin, gently helping me to sit on the bed before looking back toward the open door, “Marina! Marina, I need you!” She called, and a green Shoyru with red hair came flying in.
“Yes Ann?” The Shoyru asked before noticing me, “Oh!”
“This is Rosa, I need you to treat these wounds she’s got.” Ann explained.
“Wounds?” Marina asked, walking over and then wincing as she examined my back, “Oooh, you poor thing!”
I said nothing, simply because I didn’t know what to say, and Ann smiled gently at me as Marina carefully removed the bandages Sea Cat had placed on me that morning. “It’s all right. You’ve nothing to be afraid of.” She assured me.
“It’s not that.” I replied, “I trust you. But I’m getting tired of… well… being pitied. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that I’m tired of winding up in need of it.” I explained.
“I know the feeling, believe me.” Ann said as she sat down beside me, “But I saw those wounds… They need to be treated and if you don’t let ‘em heal, they won’t, and then they’ll get infected.”
“Aye, and from that, you could get real sick.” Marina said as she applied a cream to my wounds, “Sorry, this may sting…”
“It’s fine. They’ve already been infected actually, and no medicine could hurt worse than that.” I told her as I remembered the pain and the fever the infection had caused, simply because I hadn’t been able to go to a doctor straight away.
“Aye, I thought this looked worse than it should…” Marina replied, “This should prevent the infection from worsening.” She said as she set down the jar of cream, “Now, I’m going to redress these. Mind raising up your arms?”
I did as she asked, though I winced slightly from the pain it caused me, and Marina quickly and efficiently wrapped new bandages around my torso.
“Thank you.” I told her.
“No problem.” Marina replied.
“Marina, we need to set sail around the east side of the coast to Smuggler’s Cove.” Ann told her, “Garin needs our help to rescue Sea Cat and Hannah from Scarblade. He wants us to cut him off before he can reach the Revenge. Jacques is sailing the Pawkeet around the west side.”
Marina nodded, “Aye, aye Captain!” She replied before flying out of the room.
To be continued…